AN: I know. It has literally been years since I've updated this. Thank you all so much for continuing to read, review, and encourage me to continue. I haven't forgotten about this story and I hope to eventually complete it. My pursuit of my own writing and my schooling have been taking up the majority of my life, as they should, but hve left me little time for fan works. Updates may be few and far between- but I'm not letting this go quietly to its grave! (And hopefully the mechanics of my writing have now improved. However, there will continue to be typos, as I have no beta.)

This is short, but I wanted to give you something.

Chapter Sixteen


Breep!

A mounted, red light near the ceiling suddenly began flashing distressingly. Riddick didn't even glance up, but Kyra stared at it blatantly.

Suddenly, their cages jerked forward. They were mounted on a conveyer belt.

Well this is fun, Kyra heaved at herself.

A panel in the side of the hold slid up, and the belt bore them through it. Riddick held fast and silent, waiting to see. The ride was long, tedious, and a straight shot through the bowels of the rig. The conveyer belt ended in a slope in a new room, effectively depositing first Kyra's cage, then Riddick's. Their bars clanged together as Riddick's cage roughly crashed into hers, sending it sliding across the smooth, black floor to bounce off the opposite wall.

Kyra bumped her head against the bars. "Ouch! Who's the dumb fu-"

"Now, now," tutted Mother's ambient voice. "If you don't behave, we won't let you out."

Kyra searched for the speakers, or the green glow of a working security camera. Riddick searched for new weapons and escape routs. The room was small, but neatly accommodated both of their cages and still left some pacing room. There were no obvious entrances save the rout they had taken. The walls and ceiling were plain and metallic. There was no where to run, no where to hide.

The conveyer belt gave a high pitched screech as it began retracting. A heavy steal door slid into place over the gap they had come through and seamlessly blended with the wall.

"Can you two play nice?" asked Mother, her voice's location still unattainable.

Without waiting for a reply, bars in both cages retracted into themselves, creating little more than doggy doors for their occupants to slither through. The chains still remained tight around Riddick's limbs.

Kyra crawled forth immediately, glad to finally be able to stand and stretch according to her will alone. She walked to and fro for several minutes, contemplating the purpose of her opponent's latest move. Riddick silently watched her, his gaze sharp, like a wild cat stalking its unsuspecting prey. He said nothing.

"Are you cruel, Audrey?"

Kyra stopped in her tracks, lip clenched between her teeth, one eyebrow raised questioningly at the ceiling- the closest to where she perceived Mother's voice to be emanating from.

"Has the outside world made you heartless?"

She leaned against the wall unconcernedly, crossing her arms over her chest in unconscious defiance. "It sure as hell hasn't made me Marry Sunshine."

"What are you doing?" Brother hissed in Mother's ear.

She put her hand over the microphone, "I'm encouraging a little contact." He shook his head at her, confused. She pushed him away impatiently, "You'll see."

Riddick cocked his head to the side. Mother was about to try some manipulation brain-fuck voodoo on his little merc. Let's see how you do, he thought, focused on the woman before him. She was avoiding his eyes. Let's see if you fall into their net. A twinge of unexpected excitement kicked at the base of his scull.

"You are cruel," Mother said, "Are you willing to let your friend remain where he is? Bound and hurting while you stretch your legs?

"Fucker has it coming," Kyra mumbled, her head angled towards the floor- literally a little girl mouthing off behind her mother's back. "He's a real slick shit," she said loudly, lifting her face, "He can take a little punch and pull."

Mother frowned from her perch in the booth. "Are you angry with him, dear?"

"That transparent, am I?" she scoffed. "I don't know what the hell you're playing at-"

"Nothing. You have the means to unlock him and alleviate his pain, I just thought you should know that."

Kyra tossed her hair, "Sure, like this isn't some game to get me to… to- whatever!"

No reply.

"If you're so concerned," she railed, "Let him go yourself! It's no skin off my nose if he rots in there."

Silence.

"Fine, Mother. Leave him." She slumped against the wall.

Mother looked pleased with herself. She turned to Brother. "Those restraints have chips in them similar to the one in her shoulder. They can detect her new hormone. The only way they'll unlock is if she's touching them.

"Convenient," Brother nodded his approval.

"That's technology for you, my boy."