A/N: THE LAST CHAPTER!!!!! My poor baby all finished up.
In any case, the sequel's in the writing process already, so it shouldn't be too long before I post it.
Thanks for all the support from my reviewers and extra-special thanks to Kara Kyuuketsuki, xAschlukeluverx, and xXDancerintheDarkXx, without whom this NEVER would have been finished. This chapter is dedicated to them.
Harry tapped his fingers anxiously on the armrest of the copilot's chair.
Where were they? They should have been back already, especially since he had felt Carolyn Fry's death almost twenty standard minutes ago. And though he really liked Jack and Imam, he was much more concerned about Riddick.
This man, this Alpha, was the first potential mate he'd sensed in his entire life- and his life had been very long, and very lonely.
Not that you could tell by looking at him. A vampire who was born, not made, could choose when they stopped aging. He himself had chosen twenty-five, desiring to be out of adolescence and into his prime years. His father had chosen his late thirties in order to create a better illusion of humanity.
He broke from that train of thought when he felt three minds breach the proximity ward he'd placed in the center of the town. Harry stood and flitted to the control panel and turned on the floodlights above the boarding ramp.
Several screeches and the scent of burning flesh reached him as creatures scrambled to escape the deadly vestiges of light.
He smirked and flicked his plait over his shoulder as feet pounded up the ramp. Riddick slid into the pilot's chair with a squelch and the other two collapsed into a drenched pile of limbs near the door. The sound of their panting breaths filled the room as Riddick closed the ramp and powered up the engines.
Harry sauntered over to stand behind Riddick, steady and unaffected, like a sentinel. He watched as the convict suddenly shut everything down, a smirk playing about his lips in the red emergency lighting.
"What are you doing?!" Jack cried. Her fear was gaining the upper hand, exasperated by the circumstances. Harry reading a sleep spell, just in case, but it was unneeded.
"We can't without saying goodbye," Riddick said quietly. In one smooth movement, he powered it all back up and fired the engines, lifting off.
Shrieks of pain swelled up around them, almost drowning out the rumble of the engines. They shot into the sky, burning through the atmosphere and bursting into open vacuum at last.
Harry admired the empty void as Imam and Jack situated themselves in the cargo hold, wrapping tightly in blankets taken from the camp.
He wasn't cold, despite the cropped leather vest and torn trousers. Vampires weren't affected by temperature changes, excepting the very extreme. Riddick looked the same, expression stoic.
"Hey, Riddick?" Jack piped up from within her nest. "What do we say if we run into mercs?"
He didn't even turn to look at her, eyes focused on the panel of instruments at his fingertips.
"Riddick died back there on that planet. I'm just Johns, bringing in my bounty." He jerked a thumb at Harry on the last word.
She didn't speak again, instead choosing to settle in for some sleep. Her fuzzy, dirt-smudged scalp was just visible over the edge of the hunter-green fabric. Harry sent her a fond glance- she'd be fun to raise, if he got that chance.
He shook that notion off as quickly as it came to him and slipped into the copilots chair next to Riddick. With one hand, he tapped a control and turned the lights down. The stars shone unnaturally bright through the viewing window.
It was an awe-inspiring sight, as it always had been throughout his long, melancholy nights.
Harry looked up at them now, and for what was probably the first time in a thousand years, wondered what that lasting darkness might hold.