A/N: Hello everyone, and welcome to my very first Riddick Fanfiction! Just a heads up, this is only a one-shot; I have no intentions of continuing the storyline... by myself. I will, however, post a fic challenge at the end, and would like anyone who wishes to partake in the challenge to say so in their review. Anyway, hope you all enjoy!
Disclaimer: Nothing, I repeat, nothing but the unfamiliar planet system at the end belongs to me. Granted, I pray every night to whatever deity exists to give me the rights to Riddick himself, but if that ever happened, I'd probably die of shock. On with the show!
She woke alone, the impenetrable darkness pressing all around her. The musty stench of sweat and fear invaded her senses, shortening her already-shallow breath, turning each one into a sharp little pant, intended only to quiet the screaming of her burning lungs. Blindly she groped for the glass jar of phosphorescent larvae she and her companions had discovered earlier. Believing it to have simply rolled out of reach, the desperation of her situation was revealed when she found that the tiny source of lifesaving light had completely disappeared. Refusing to give in to the uncharacteristic tidal wave of fear that gripped her, the girl lay motionless in the oppressive darkness, waiting for the inevitable haunting calls that marked their sonar, cursing her own stupidity. God damnit, Jack! She swore to herself.
(Jack is dead)
How could you have fallen asleep at a time like this?
(She was weak)
If Riddick had come back while you were out…
(Kyra, are you with me?)
He wouldn't have hesitated to leave you behind.
(I was always with you.)
He won't waste time on the weak. With a sudden shock, Jack realized just how empty the tiny caved seemed. Now she spoke aloud with a voice that showed no hint of her well-controlled panic. "Imam? Frye?" With a slight hesitance in her voice, she called out quietly, "Riddick?"
(The name's Kyra now…)
She tried again; this time, her voice wavered slightly with effort. "Imam? Frye?"
(And I'm a whole new animal…)
"Riddick!" She came awake again, this time with a blood-curdling howl that startled the room's only other occupant for a moment, before she settled back down in her chair. The woman with whom Kyra shared the room was elderly; however, she showed none of the fragility normally equated with such age; only fierce strength. Her white hair, though obscured by her cloak of the same color, flowed in waves to her waist, and her azure eyes were offset by the paleness of her skin. Anyone who had traveled the stars would recognize her for what she was, an elemental, but the young woman who had just awoken was too disoriented to even acknowledge her presence.
After a brief but serious moment of panic, Kyra took a fraction of a second to ponder her surroundings, sharp mind already mapping out weapons and escape roots. Beige walls trimmed with flowers, cream-colored curtains that matched the comforter on the bed she was laying on, white embroidered pillowcases with lacy edges; certainly a far cry from the dank cave she had thought herself occupying up until a moment ago.
"How are you feeling?" A quiet voice de-railed her train of thought quickly and effectively. In her brief perusal of the room, Kyra had either not noticed the other woman's presence (unlikely), or had dismissed her as little threat. For the second time in mere minutes, she cursed herself, angry for letting her guard down even for a moment.
"Who the hell are you?" she asked in a voice gruff from disuse. Despite the harshness in her throat, the petite woman on the bed succeeded in putting a considerable amount of threat in her words, but the other woman shook it off with a laugh before rising to cross to Kyra's side. Startled at the mysterious other's sudden proximity, she would have jumped to her feet; when she meant to move, she found that her legs would not obey her, and bared her teeth in warning and defiance. "Just because I'm sitting down doesn't mean I couldn't end your life in three different ways before you even have time to blink," she hissed, and fury boiled inside her when the elemental just smiled.
"My name is Aereon," the woman-creature said, taking a step back from the bedside, respecting the younger woman's obvious distress.
Knowing the woman's name didn't calm Kyra's nerves; the fact that the elemental just stood looking at her wasn't a lot of help, either. Defenses raised, Kyra tried again to move from the bed, and to her relief, found herself able to swing one foot to the floor. Knowing that she had a better chance of defending herself from a standing position, she made to rise, but before her second foot could follow the first, Aereon spoke words that held her fast.
"I know what happened to the man you call for in your sleep," she whispered, drawing closer in the fluid, wispy way only elementals could manage. "I know your Riddick: who he was, who he is," Aereon quirked her lips in a secretive smile. The unspoken what he will be hung in the air between them, corporeal enough if she would just say the words aloud. "Will you listen, Kyra?" A moment of silence passed as ocean-blue eyes clashed with vibrant green ones. "Will you listen to the words of a dying woman to discover the truth about the monster, the man, that saved your life, Jack?"
That the elemental knew the alias of her younger self was a shock: Kyra had thought her past long-since dead and buried, so far disassociated with her person that only the most skilled of telepaths would find a trace. That alone would have intrigued her to the point of listening to the woman; the offer of information about Riddick that so few knew sealed the deal, and Aereon knew it. As they had from the very beginning, Kyra's instincts told her that she had nothing to fear from the elderly woman; she had relied on those animal instincts for years, and they hadn't steered her wrong. Never one to dance around a subject, the fiery brunette dove straight for the meat. "Where is he?"
"What, no 'please'?" When Aereon was meant with nothing but a low growl, she sat on the end of the bed, and spoke. For hours it seemed, she spoke, and every word breathed a new memory to life in Kyra; Frye's death, Imam and Planet Helion Prime, Cermatoria, the Necromongers, and finally, her own death at the hands of the Lord Marshall.
"He still believes you to be dead. He tended your body himself, bringing you here, the newly reconstructed area of Helion Prime, to be buried beside Imam with all due ceremony. Then, he took his Necromonger fleet and disappeared into the stars. That was three days ago." The Elemental fell silent, waiting for the questions she knew were floating just below the surface of Kyra's calm, cool demeanor. She didn't need to wait long…
"Wait. You said I was … dead. If I'm here, now, doesn't that mean I only had a serious injury? You brought me here, and healed me. You must have. I'm tough, I'll be the first one to say it, but even I can't defy death."
"You died." Aereon stated flatly. "You were undoubtedly, thoroughly dead. If it were not so, do you really believe the Furyan would have left your side? Would he have brought you here to be abandoned, after all he went through to retrieve you, if there was hope that you would live?"
He had done it before, Kyra thought to herself, remembering that day years ago that Riddick had dropped her with Imam, and with his deep gruff voice, broke her young heart in a thousand pieces when he'd told her he was leaving her there to 'lead a better life', and that she would never see him again. Supposedly, it had been to keep her safe, to keep safe the one thing he ever let himself care about, but she saw it as abandonment, pure and simple. I wanted to go with him, and he left me here, end of story. Shaking her head to clear it, Kyra tried to block the venomous thoughts that filled her whenever she thought about their escape from the dark planet. There isn't time for this. Not when I have questions, and especially not when she has answers. Curiously out of character, Kyra was unable to contain herself, and every question that danced around the fringes of her mind shot out in rapid-fire speed.
"Why doesn't he know I'm alive? How the hell am I alive? Where the fuck is Riddick? And who the fuck do I have to kill to get something to god damned eat around here?!" She kicked angrily at the bed like a spoiled child who had been denied her favorite toy, causing Aereon to chuckle at her expense.
"Come, child, we'll feed you, then put to rest the questions we can."
Kyra wasn't the patient type; the idea that she wait until after her meal to get the answers she so desperately craved was gnawing at her insides, but the prospect of food filled her with an instinctive urge… it felt like she hadn't eaten for days.
That's right, she thought vaguely as a steaming bowl of potatoes, corn, and gravy was set in front of her, I've been DEAD the last three days, and nobody will tell me why, or how, I'm here eating in the first place. Quickly, Kyra pushed that last shred of defiance to the back of her mind, and determined to be grateful for the continued kindness of the older woman, dug into her meal with gusto.
After she had eaten her fill, the empty dishes were cleared away, and she turned to the elemental. One question at a time, Kyra, and look out for Number 1 first. "Why am I still alive? How am I still alive?"
To Kyra's shock, Aereon laughed. It was a musical sound, sort of like the wind chime Kyra had outside her window on Helion Prime. "I had calculated the odds of your asking that specific question, Kyra, and I believe I've come up with a valid theory. How much do you know of Furya, or the Furyan race?"
Kyra shook her head. "Nothing. I've never even heard of them."
"Then this may come as a kind of shock to you. Riddick … well, Riddick isn't human." Far from the shock and dismay Aereon expected, the young woman still sitting on the bed threw her head backed and laughed.
At the elemental's questioning glance, Kyra just shrugged, and laughed again. "You said that Riddick's not human." Aereon nodded. "Like you expected me to be shocked or something." Another nod. "Look at the man, would you? Shined eyes like his, fighting skills like those… no human can move like that." She gazed off into space, her eyes shining as she remembered the thrill of watching Riddick fight, the thrill of watching the muscles in his arms bulge and ripple as he swung his shivs in wide arcs, ending the lives of anyone who was unfortunate enough to get in the way. "The way he moves… it's like a dance. Every move has another that follows, and he flowed with such ease between the steps… and you think it should be a shock to me when you say he's not human."
Aereon just smiled at the woman, pleased with her ability to grasp the concept on her own. "I see I underestimated you. No, Riddick isn't human, but he is humanoid. Furyan, to be exact, and that is what makes your situation so unique. Riddick is one of the last surviving male Furyans, and as such, it falls upon him to be the Alpha. The Alpha Furyan in each generation holds special… abilities, whether he realizes it or not. Forming any sort of bond with an Alpha Furyan will intertwine your fates."
"Oh, you don't understand." Kyra very nearly blushed as she spoke these words. "Riddick and I… we're not… I'm not… anything I felt for him when I was younger was adoration, the equivalent of a schoolgirl's crush. He's like my other half, my older brother. He's the only family I have." The last sentence was spoken quietly, as though the fact that she was utterly alone had only just sunk in.
"That is precisely what I mean," the elemental explained. "Any sort of bond, I said. Yours is familial, but stronger, more intimate, than any other Riddick has forged. You two are connected."
"But…" Confusion clouded Kyra's thoughts. Connected? So what? Yeah, they were connected; they had yet to figure out who really was the better killer. Sure they were connected; she looked up to him like anyone would look up to their older brother. "What does our being 'connected' have to do with anything?"
Because she thought the younger woman had a more open and susceptible mind, Aereon found herself becoming frustrated with her. Why couldn't she see? Why couldn't she calculate, or even guess what was going on here? "You silly girl. From the first day Riddick saved your life, your souls have been connected." The look of confusion still marred Kyra's features, and the air elemental sighed. "As the Alpha Furyan, and you his companion, while he lives, you live. If you are harmed, killed, while he lives, you will be revived. Only after he dies will your life be finite." With a sigh, Aereon continued. "In saving your life, in connecting your soul to his in such an intimate way, he chose you for his mate. Whether or not either of you act on it… well, that is entirely up to you." In a flurry of white, Aereon walked out the door, leaving a confused and agonizing Kyra to her own devastating thoughts.
Mate? She can't have been serious. He's my brother, my family. The only person that's given a shit about me since I landed on that god-forsaken planet! Even Imam, with all of his kind words and offerings of a home, a place to belong… even he didn't make me feel the same sort of comfort as Riddick did with a few well-placed cuss words. We can't be mates… that's insanity. I won't deny our connection, I've felt that for years, but I can't allow our bond to be… manipulated in this way. I wont be manipulated this way! Goddamnit, do you hear me, Riddick?! I WONT LET THIS CONTROL ME. I WONT LET THIS CHANGE ME, OR HOW WE'LL BE WHEN I FIND YOU. Because I will find you… I have to…
3 days Later
"I wish you luck on your journey, Kyra." Aereon stood at the portal to the skiff, saying her final goodbyes to the young woman she had housed since her resurrection. "There's enough supplies for you to make it to the Tangelon system. That is where we last heard a confirmed sighting of the Necromonger comet; you've also been supplied with credits to buy more supplies there."
"Thank you, Aereon." Kyra nodded in the woman's direction in gratitude. With help from the elemental, she had been able to secure a ship to take her in search of Riddick; in search of her mate. The Tangelon system was 6 days out, and she wasn't sure what to expect when she reached it; Necromongers weren't known for leaving much behind. Instead of dwelling on that thought, she focused on what she would do when she came into contact with Riddick again, and that was enough to fuel her need for release from the planet. "I'll take good care of the ship, I promise."
"Don't worry about that, child," Aereon admonished, stepping back as the portal began to close. "Just find your Furyan." As the young woman's smile disappeared in the darkness of the ship, the elemental whispered, "Before he does something you'll both regret." Clearance was granted, and without further communication, Kyra was off in search of more than just the man she'd idolized the majority of her life; she was in search of her purpose… her reason for living at all.
A/N: The end! Not as good as it could have been; I rushed the ending just a little bit, but i was so excited, i couldn't help it. Alright, here are the terms for the challenge.
1. Fic must be longer than five thousand words, and must start relatively shortly from where i've left off. (Pretty self explanatory)
2. Preferably about Kyra/Riddick's familial bond. (I'd rather them be more like close siblings, older brother and younger sister, than lovers, but if you can find a way to do it that fits in with the story i've outlined, and can make it believable, by all means!)
3. Must have a Vaako, loyal to Riddick as Lord Marshall
Where you go with it other than those three guidelines is all up to whoever wants to write a fic. If you would like to participate in the challenge, please say so in a review so i can be sure to bookmark your page. I'd love to see what you come up with!