A/N: To everyone who thought this story was done. Nope! lol Sorry for such a long wait, I've been going through some changes like finding out that I'm going to be a first time mommy! :) This story is still on and I'm really going to try and make my updates faster.
I want to thank my beta jenefaner, her first time doing this, but she made this chapter flow beautifully and this chapter is possible because of her. Thanks so much! :)
Well, Read, Enjoy and please let me know how it was at the end. Thanks!
Smoke twisted up into the night air, thick, dark and smelling of burning flesh as the Mercs' bodies were devoured by the flames. Riddick stood in front of the fire, Taya's limp, lifeless body cradled in his broad arms. He looked down on the Indie girl who his Jack cared for so much...no not Jack, Kyra. She was his Jack, just the bitter, angry part of her who hated him...who hated herself.
Either way, Taya was her family, the only family she could remember ever having. He stared down at her red-brown skin, body soaked with blood, watching the shadows that danced wildly upon her from the fire.
"Come out now, or end up like the other two." Riddick's deep, baritone voice commanded.
Jason, Mitra's newphew and little "brother" to all her girls whether by blood or not, stepped out from the shadow cast by the Prince's ship. "Please, don't throw her body into the fire."
He rubbed his hand against his leaking nose while his eyes ran with tears seeing her body. His voice sounded like he was crying, no doubt from all that he had seen.
"She has a family; I can show you where you can take her."
Riddick stared at the timid boy. He was scared, shaking where he stood, but seemed to be more upset seeing Taya lying lifeless in his arms.
"I wasn't goin' to put her in there with them."
The boy only nodded, wiping his hand against his nose and sniffing back tears, stopping as his eyes caught sight of someone else.
"Is...Is Kyra going to be ok?"
Riddick eyes went over to Kyra, slumped against the vessel where he placed her, still passed out from shock. He returned his goggled eyes to the kid and only gave him a nod and grunt for a reply.
The boy started to head towards the alley from which he came, but stopped to look at Riddick over his shoulder.
"Come on, I'll show you where to go."
Mitra's eyes shot open feeling a disturbance call to her on the wind. She sat kneeling before a lit candle praying to her goddess when a chill ran through her body, catching her breath in her throat.
"Va rog, zeita, lasa totul sa fie bine. (Please, goddess, let everything be ok.)" She kissed her fist, a little hope, but the feeling of dread wouldn't leave her despite the prayer.
Soft raps sounded on the back door to the small apartment they stayed in until their services here were done. The taps sounded impatiently again, and a familiar voice whispered through the door.
"Aunt Mitra it's me, Jason!"
"Jason?" She said to herself, confused thinking him to be in bed where she sent him hours ago.
She cracked the door open to see her nephew there with a hooded man standing behind him she did not know. The knocks caught the attention of her girls, they gathered behind her to see as well who had come unexpectedly at such an ungodly hour.
One girl screamed, another fainted at the torn package Riddick held in his arms, causing a great unstirring inside the house as everyone pressed close together to see. "Is that Taya?"
Mitra eyes fell heavily to the limp body in his arms she hadn't noticed. She wrapped her own around her poor Taya. "What is the meaning of this? What have you done?"
Unable to take the sight before her she fell to her knees with Taya cradled to her chest. Not defenseless at all, one by one the girls pulled out concealed weapons and blades, eyes narrowed, mind intent on one thing.
"No!" Jason protested holding his arms up at the attack that was sure to take place. He had seen enough death and bloodshed as it was.
Riddick placed the kid's hands down slowly, he could talk for himself. "You're Sensors, so you know I wasn't the one who did this."
"He didn't!" Mitra cried knowingly as images of the night's events flooded her mind. Scene after scene, she rocked with the dead against her, smoothing the Indie girl's hair down her face in mourning. The girls slowly looked from the broad hooded-man to their "mother",one by one stooped down to the floor with her, huddling around their lost "sister" shedding tears in sorrow.
Riddick, feeling out of place, turned around to leave. He did what needed to be done, now it was time to take his girl back home. He wasn't going to lose her to death or anything else again.
He would die first this time around.
"Wait!" Mitra's voice spoke up in panic as she realized something. Her hand stretched out to him as if that would halt him from going. "You're him! You're...You're going to take the girl away from us."
He stopped at the sound of her words, his back to her, voice threatening. "She belongs with me."
"You'd take her from the only family she knows?" Mitra spat out with spite and anger.
"The fact that you were there for her when I wasn't is the only thing you got going for yourself. Don't push me, lady." His voice rumbled in warning as he turned around and peeled the hood from his face, silver pools showing angrily toward the older woman.
Mitra gasped, all the visions Kyra told her about were real...memories she fought in her mind to forget, but her past came back to haunt her anyway. "Your eyes...they're...You are the monster Kyra has told me about, the one she has visions of."
"I guess so." He replied, not letting her words of Kyra's thoughts sting him as he turned to leave once more.
"Please, wait! She's sick!" She called out, almost wishing she said nothing by the deathly look that over-took his face.
"Old woman, I'm in no mood for your games." Riddick snapped but was halted from entering the ship by her next words.
"Jack." He corrected through a growl, tired of this Kyra person already.
Mitra shook her head, dismissing his response. "She's burning up like a furnace and you know this to be true. You've touched her skin, her fever is critical. Please, stay long enough for me to treat her..." She pleaded, "...and for her to be here for her sister's merge acasă (home going). This is all I ask."
After a long time he walked up to the women who huddled closer together in fear of what he would do. He towered over them, taking Taya's body so the older woman and the other girls could stand before him on their feet before replacing the body back into the women's arms.
Treat the girl and bury your dead, then I'm out of here with her." He told her exactly how it was going to be before he stared each girl down. "And keep your bitches here on their leashes; I don't want to have to stay behind for more home goings."
The beautiful girls in many colored shawls slit their eyes toward him for his words watching as he only dissapeard long enough to retrieve Kyra's body from the stolen skiff and walked passed them into their home carrying her in his arms.
Riddick laid Kyra upon a small bed in the room she shared with Taya while the Sensors stayed on Helium Prime giving out their explicit "services". Mitra was busy at her side concocting a mixture of strange herbs, blue plants and colorful oils in a Mortar and Pestle, grinding the contents with a masher until the ingredients turned green, thick and creamy.
Kyra squirmed on the bed, sweat beaded upon her skin, head thrashed side to side as the fever poured through her body, taking control. She murmured nonsensical things, about the dark, black creatures with razors for hands and screeches calling out her name.
Mitra's dark brown eyes looked worriedly to Riddick's deep silver orbs. She could see Kyra's words had him fearing for the young girl too. Kyra continued rattling off in the Sensor's native tongue, screaming out words he couldn't understand.
"Ei vin pentru mine!...Ei vin pentru mine!" She bucked wildly on the bed causing the two to grab her arms and legs to restrain and keep her from falling off the mattress.
"What is she saying?" Riddick demanded, having a difficult time containing the girl.
Mitra's eyes were grave, scared, as she repeated Kyra's words, blinking slowly. "She says, 'They're coming for me'."
Kyra screamed; a wicked sound that echoed through the house halting everyone in their tracks. With fear they prayed in their heads to the goddess for protection against whatever was happening in that room while the two struggled to hold onto her.
Mitra instantly released her hands from their grip, shrieking in pain. "Ouch, ea e ardere-vă! (she's burning up!)."
"What the fuck is wrong with her?" He watched as she grabbed the bowl with the green mush. She looked reluctant to answer and truly reveal her fears.
"She's in shock." Was all she would say in answer.
"Bullshit, sister! This is more than shock...there's something you're not telling me." Riddick easily opened the connection in his mind. With the powers gained from killing the Lord Marshall and maybe even the power he had with being Furyan – he found that he could control things, do feats that were impossible before. He pressed against Kyra's mind to gain access but found he was blocked while before it had seemed almost effortless.
Mitra touched the girl's chin and forehead to pry her mouth open, forgetting about the intense heat radiating from her skin and quickly withdrew her hands. "Here, help me!"
Riddick came to, Mitra instructing him to place his hands where hers were a moment ago. "Press down gently to open her mouth."
Mitra fingers scooped up the mush, forcing the rancid tasting glob between the girl's lips. Kyra coughed, sputtering as the vile stuff assaulted her taste buds and in her unconsciousness, seemed to fight harder as the medicine raced through her system.
"It's for her own good." Mitra tried to reassure, sensing the tension coming from the silver-eyed monster in the room with her. He was all too ready to push Mitra away in protection.
Sweat streamed, soaking through and through; he could hear her heart pound away in her chest unnaturally fast and watched her body jolt before all at once everything was still. Her breathing calmed, heart slowed to a steady beat and her wet body lay limp on the bed, deep in the throes of sleep's embrace.
"Now what?" Riddick asked, looking from his Jack, wet skin, tousled red curls twisted about her face from her fight, to Mitra who seemed less worried.
She looked back at him, face calmer and nodded her head as she spoke. "Now we wait..." Her eyes went sad as the night wasn't over yet; there was still one more task to deal with. "...and mourn the dead."
Mitra smoothed her hand down Kyra's cargo clad leg before rising from the bed and leaving the room to give Riddick some time alone with her. He was already by her side, sitting on the edge of the small bed, body sore and spent from his running after her to finding her almost raped and maybe even killed by those Mercs if he hadn't arrived when he did.
Riddick was still in awe; there wasn't any real time to dawn on the fact that she was back in his life. Now, reality rushed over him. It felt strange, he could still picture clearly her dying in his arms after Zhylaw threw her body against those spikes, impaling her.
The feelings were still fresh. The anger… he would kill the fucker a hundred times more if he could. The sadness in seeing the life leave her eyes after her last breath...
He shook his head to dispel the onslaught of memories. Even now it was still hard to think back on that day...how he almost lost his light forever. He sat there on the edge of the bed, his head turned to the side to see her, just staring down at her, too afraid to touch her as if she would ripple away like a reflection on a lake.
Slowly he stretched out his hand, fingers tracing at the edge of her neck where her carotid artery pumped, to her soft cheek, up the side of her face to her red disheveled curls. His fingers brushing at the locks that clung to her sweat matted face...her skin was cooler, it felt like heaven or what he could only describe as angelic.
Her touch, it was electricity and sparks and the brush of his against hers...he couldn't get enough. He closed the distance between their faces, resting his forehead against hers.
So much he wanted to say; why the hell didn't she wait with the Holy man? What happen to her in Cremetoria to turn his precious bald-head Jack into a cold bitch? How did she survive being impaled?
How did she come back?
There was so much he wanted to do...things he knew he just shouldn't be thinking about this kid...the one with the hero worship in her eyes and thinking about the thirteen year old with self-made goggles, shaved head trying to pass off as a boy wasn't helping anymore.
His nose peaked at her scent, blood, sweat, anger, fear, sadness; it was a jumbled pot of emotions sprinkled with her very essence. He breathed her in deeply, closing his moon-shined eyes to savor her scent. His breath brushed against her swollen lips, mere inches from his own, whispering her name in his rumbling, deep voice.
In her sleep, she reacted; her face moved up as if trying to find his mouth, her lips brushed his igniting a fire through his body. He wanted her and always had, but more, seeing the woman she'd become on Cremetoria.
Jackie girl, all grown up.
His beast smiled in his mind, with explicit thoughts.
Riddick snapped back to his bottom, hands shaking and strained them shut as if they might do something he would regret.
'Stay the fuck away from her!'
'Oh, come off your high fuckin horse Dickie Boy. You've grown soft.'
Riddick felt the monster inside, stalk around him, sizing him up, looking for all those nicks in his structure to add even more damage. 'You let the girl get to you...change you.'
Riddick's silver orbs fell to Kyra. She did make him different, she got under his skin and turned his ex-con heart toward humanity...toward the light.
He felt the intense heat of breath against his ear, as his eyes took in her curves, the slim, agile fit of her body. She was toned, in shape from fighting to survive on Cremetoria. Her feminine features sure didn't suffer from it either. Her bust size was smaller than what he liked in woman but it was perfect for her, everything was just right. Except her mind.
'She ain't no lil' girl anymore, Dick.'
The beast interrupted his thoughts, an evil cackle rung with his words. 'So the question is, can you stay away?'
Riddick found himself alone with Kyra once again, the beast settled for now with the jabs, but he wasn't done with himself by a long shot. He felt for the girl, emotions weren't an area he dealt with, but she kept bringing it out of him when nothing or no one else could.
What was she to him? A girl? A woman? A friend? Just a girl he kept around for amusement or when he needed his pride buffed up? A lover?
Riddick shook his head in denial, clawing his hand down his face. "Why'd you go and grow up, making things so damn difficult?"
He stood to his feet, one last look to the girl who entrapped him. He found himself leaning over, pressing his lips to her head, eyes closed as he stood there for a while, wishing her well with his mind all he could do when unable to reach her through their shared link. "Jack, come back to me."
"I would like to speak to you after the ceremo-" Mitra came to an abrupt stop, walking into the room, seeing Riddick in a private moment with the girl she'd come to know as a daughter.
The dark-spirited man rose slowly, an unreadable look crossed his face with being disturbed. She placed her hand to her chest, latching tightly to the shawls around her shoulders, feeling exposed in his glare. "Fine, let's get this over with. I'm not staying any longer than I have to on this rock."
Women tasked with Kyra's care attempted to enter the room as they were walking out, but were blocked as Riddick's arm came crashing down in front of the door. "Don't try and test me about killin' women. She better be here when I come back."
Sindel, one of the women he denied entry screwed her eyes up at him, sass in her thick accent. "I'm not your whore to be ordered about! I take care of my sister Kyra because I want to, not for you."
Mitra softly placed her hand on the arm that wouldn't budge. "They're just here to keep an eye on her. I give you my word none of my girls will do anything to upset you."
Riddick dropped his arm, carefully watching the narrowed-eyed girls pass him and enter the room. He was led away to the rooftop of their building where the merge acasă was being held.
He noticed now Mitra was decked head to toe in white flowing silk shawls; not only her but her girls who attended were adorned in the same fashion. On their many colored skin, black ink scribbled in intricate floral patterns and designs.
He chose to stand and leaned back against a column to have a better view over the group of women, who sat encircled on plush, colorful pillows that surrounded a stone fire pit in the middle. The fire was unusual, like their hue-less robes, the flames burned brightly, white with flecks of blue around the edges. It danced hotly, twisting and winding like their bodies when they danced to seduce men, up toward a night sky that was dusted generously with glowing diamonds.
Over the pit lay Taya's prepared body. Washed of the blood that had once stained, it too was wrapped in white silk clothes covering beautifully decorated skin. She was like a sleeping bride, ready to be awakened with a kiss, though nothing greeted her but the low flames beneath the steel bed her lifeless body rested upon.
Mitra walked among the tear stricken girls, chanting words of her native tongue as she passed. She touched each one on their hand, upon the head or the cheek while they chanted her words to the dead, guiding their souls to rest. She stopped in front of the pit raising her arms along with the other girls, raising the flames higher to consume the flesh and turn to ashes.
"Acasă să se odihnească, sora Taya (Home to rest, sister Taya).
The flames rose high, brighter than before, Riddick squinted leaning his head away even with his distance from the pit, the light disturbed his sensitive shined-eyes. He glanced back to the scene realizing the light no longer held its sting even though the flames were six feet or so in the sky. His eyes scanned around him; everything was still. It was paused as if by a controller of some sort.
This sort of thing had happen to him before. The same butterflies swamped his stomach and his skin felt like thousands of feather tips skirted across it.
He took a few steps, studying the frozen scene around him. His head jolted up as the Metaphysical projection of Taya stepped down from out of the flames and toward him. Blue luminescence outlined the form of her once physical body, now taking on the form of the flames from which she came.
Riddick stepped back in reverence, fearing what she might do to him but prepared none the less to defend his wasn't prepared for this, not like he was even prepared for the first vision in that skiff those years ago. He watched her, closely, as she closed the distance between them and stopped a few inches away.
"You are him..." Her voice was other worldly, eyes blank as if not really seeing all that was around her. "...The one she needs."
Riddick turned his head, eyes taking in what surrounded them; the light was dimming, a black veil seemed to slowly shroud about them all.
She continued to speak as the darkness closed in tighter. "She is the one you need, Riddick. You are the dark, she is your light...but something is coming to take that away."
The pitch darkness continued to fold in all around, her voice becoming shriller, evil sounding, as if all that the inkiness touched took away the good. All too soon he was surrounded by the blackness completely, his eyes sluggishly going back to Taya in front of him. Quickly her beautiful features contorted to a hideous being of long jaws and sharply pointed teeth, snapping hungrily for his face.
He woke with a start, heart beating feverishly behind his chest as goosebumps and chills spread like wildfire across his skin. The haunting whisper of Taya's voice echoed through his ears, making the fear of the dream all the more real.
Mitra was just finishing up the ceremony; Taya's ashes were floating toward the night sky with sparks that came from the open flames, like the fire flies of earth. He didn't even notice when he had dozed off, the pounding in his chest proof that he had and the nightmare or whatever it was couldn't have felt anymore real. Riddick swallowed hard, his throat dry and constricted as the girls around him began to serve food and mead for the repast.
He needed a drink bad. His body was still shaking from the dream so he quickly took a glass of beer from the nearest girl who was serving them. She glared at him for his rudeness but did nothing but huff away. Riddick pressed the glass to his lips, downing the home made moon-shine. He saw through the bottom of his glass Mitra walking toward him.
His hand wiped at the liquid that clung to his lips as he addressed the woman, trying to forget what happened to him moments before. "You said you wanted to talk, so talk."
"Come sit with me." She said through a sad smile, eyes red with unshed tears, and led him to sit on the huge plush pillows that adorned the floor. He sat across from her, discarding his drink to hear what she had to say. She took a moment before her lips began to move.
"I...I wanted to tell you about how Kyra came into our lives." She said and paused to see what his reaction would be.
Riddick showed more interest, his silver eyes solely upon her. "I'm listening."
She nodded and looked away, off into the flames of the pit as memories of that time played in her head. "We were vacationing on Oasis 12, Sahara Region of the Universe, just taking a reprieve from our services to men..."
Mitra's eyes left the screen of the flames to Riddick across from her. "Taya was the one who found her. She was out with other girls exploring around when a shiny object caught her eyes some distance away. Everyone thought it was a rock or broken glass glittering in the sun rays, but Taya was curious enough to actually see what it was..."
"Coming upon the object, she saw that it was a small black blade held in a woman's hand, the only two things visible from the sand. The girls with her screamed, shaking their heads thinking whoever the person was, surely she was dead. Taya noticed her fingers moving ever so slightly and frantically began shoveling the sand from her body. Once the others realized she was alive, they helped as well. She was alive indeed buried along with a-"
"Cyro-chamber." Riddick filled in, thinking out loud, remembering he was the one who placed her inside. He couldn't bear to think of her...his Jack, she gave her life to save him, rotting away to nothing but dried flesh and bones. He couldn't see her like that or let her become that.
"Why on Helium Prime would she be in a-" Realization dawned in her eyes as she looked to him for answers.
"She was killed, flung and impaled on some spikes. Died in my arms." His deep voice rumbling from his throat, she could have sworn he almost sounded pained.
"Than how is it she's alive?"
"That's what I'm trying to figure out." His low voice replied, taking a sip from his drink welcoming the fire that burned a trail to his stomach.
Mitra nodded and continued with her story. "Taya was the only one she seemed to tolerate at first..." She wiped at some stray tears from her eyes thinking about the deceased girl. "She was the only one brave enough to deal with the girl in her state of mind at the time. For a week straight she would scream and cry in her sleep, confused about who she was...where she was. She would repeat the name, "Jack", over and over again in her sleep, but didn't much care to be called by the name."
"She doesn't much care for anything it seems." Riddick's deep voice held a bitter note.
Mitra's eyes cut at him impatiently, lips in a thin line. "Kyra has been through a lot, and I sense she's been through a lot more even before we found her on that planet. It took forever before she felt she could trust us, but eventually she did."
Riddick made a rude noise in the back of his throat, and then swished down the remainder of his drink. "Yea, she's a piece of work alright."
She shook her head, her eyes slit at him. "You think you fool the universe, but I sense what you feel about her. You care for her greatly; why else would you want to take her away? So put the macho exterior away. The girl is broken and you feel guilty about it because you think it's your fault."
"Look who hit the fuckin' nail on the head." He replied and gave a dismissive, dark chuckle. "What do you want me to do, get all touchy-feely with you? Yea, I feel responsible. Aint no new shit there, lady."
"She was the one who paved her own path."
"Because of me! She was twelve years old, I should have been there."
Mitra leaned back some from his outburst while some heads turned to look their way before going back to their own business. "Would things have been any different?"
Riddick looked down to the ground in deep thought, trying to keep his temper under control. "I don't know...maybe..."
Mitra nodded knowingly; she could see what Kyra meant to him. There was something there that even he didn't see, nor could she quiet place what it was.
"You want her..." Mitra said all too aware of his head rising up and those haunting silver eyes glarring at her. "...you want the girl Jack, the woman she would have been if certain circumstance had not happened. Yes, there is something there...a connection between you and her that keeps bringing your paths together. It is strong as if destined."
Riddick did laugh this time, a low growl, rumbling in his chest. "Fate? Bullshit!"
"Call it what you want." Mitra shrugged, face dismissive of his answer. "The fact is to get what you want you must go through the woman Kyra, the malice, bitter-coldness she holds for you will be a challenge. Yes, but your fault or not, she needs help. Much weighs on the girl's state of mind."
Her eyes got a far away look that he couldn't read as she softly said, like she was speaking to herself. "Our very existence depends on it..."
He leaned forward, confused by her riddles. "What are you talking about?"
Mitra opened her mouth to speak but froze in place, the blood running cold within her veins and the look of fear crossing her face didn't go unnoticed by Riddick whose senses went on high alert. Instantly he noticed the air all around them tainted with the vile, pungent, horrid aroma of death. He could smell a foulness build around them and a dark entity pierced the fabric of space encompassing them.
He slowly rose to his feet, shivs ready in hand, seeing as the others noticed the disturbance also. Fear etched their features; stiff stances readying their bodies for an attack.
"They're here..." whispered softly from between Mitra's dried, old lips.
To Be Continued...
A/N: Thanks so much for reading, now leave me something really good! lol :) Until next time, Laterz!