It was like waking up after a really, really crazy night Jack decided, wincing as she tried to vainly open her eyes. Her mouth tasted like something had crawled in there and died, whilst the throbbing in her head gave her reason to believe something was pounding on her skull with a wooden mallet.
"Eurgh..." she groaned, shifting uncomfortably. Whatever she was lying on had more in common with a slab of concrete than a bunk. Slowly, she attempted to sit up, her head threatening to fly apart as she did so. "Holy...shit..." she muttered, putting a hand up to hold it together. Squinting against the light, she did her best to work out where she was. The walls were dull grey metal panels and restraints dangled above her...In a rush it all came back. The monsters, Fletch, Melody, Riddick... "Oh God," eyes flying wide she found herself suddenly standing, "Riddick..."
Spinning around she nearly tripped over her own feet as she saw Melody dozing in the far corner of the cell. The scientist looked exhausted which, Jack supposed, probably wasn't far from the truth.
"Melody?" she called gently, afraid to startle her. "Melody?" Losing her patience, she snapped out "Melody!"
"Wh...what?" the scientist muttered, sitting up with a jerk. She cast Jack a wide eyed glance, relief flooding her face. "Thank goodness you're awake! I was so worried when they brought you back..."
Jack's face darkened, "those bastards... They bloody doped me." With a scowl she marched to the door, ignoring the twinge in her leg and began to hammer on it. "Oi! I want to speak to the person in charge!" A small screen flickered into life next to the doorframe, the profile of a guard coming into view as he spoke "please stay calm. Your attitude achieves nothing."
Jack folded her arms and arched a brow, repeating firmly "I want to speak to the person in charge." The man in the screen glanced back over his shoulder, muting the sound as he conferred with someone behind him.
"How long have we been here?" she finally asked, directing her query over her shoulder to Melody.
"I'm not quite sure to be honest," Melody confessed, pulling her ruined lab coat tighter around herself. "I'm not wearing a watch, but I believe a few hours. Why?"
"I'm trying to work out where they're taking us..." A new face appeared before her, one that she recognised from back on planet-side. "Nice to see you again Captain Linden," she drawled mockingly, narrowing her eyes at him. "Having a nice day?"
He chuckled, a darker edge snaking through. "How are you feeling? That shot was a little...strong."
Jack clenched her jaw before biting out "I'm fine."
"Good, I wouldn't want to give Riddick any reason to worry," but his tone betrayed his words. He shifted as though to make himself more comfortable, lacing his fingers before him. "I suppose you have questions?"
"Only a few," Jack replied tightly, wanting to scratch his smug face off. "Firstly, where exactly are you taking us?"
A cold smile crossed his face. "Have you heard of Libitina? I rather like the rough translation – death's grave. Has a somewhat poetic ring to it doesn't it?"
"You're taking us to the Mortem colony? Are you insane?!"
"Not that I'm aware of," he smirked "but I do know that they're willing to pay up to 40 million just to see Riddick die."
"What about us?" Jack jumped as Melody appeared beside her. "You said we weren't prisoners."
"And you're not," he stated silkily, "but you are leverage right now. Once Riddick's done his part, we'll be quite happy to drop you off at the first main port we pass."
"If we're not prisoners, then when will we be let out of this cell?"
"Cell?" He scoffed. "Those are your quarters until we arrive. It shouldn't be too long now...just another day." With that parting shot he ended the call, leaving Jack and Melody staring at a blank screen.
"Now what?" Melody asked, tucking her hands into her pockets, sitting down on a bunk and looking hopeless.
Jack sat beside her "now we..."
The door slid open with an abrupt hiss. On the other side stood two armed men, one whom she recognised as Lieutenant Kade. The other held a metal tray on which there was a syringe and a regen mac.
"Ladies," stated the Lieutenant, tilting his head respectfully.
Both Jack and Melody stood as he approached, taking a step back as the men crowded into the small cell.
"Medic Crane is here to see to your leg" he informed them, the man in question placing his tray on the platform she'd previously been lying on.
The medic stepped forward, the syringe in his hand. Jack's hands curled into fists at her sides. "You're not touching me with anything."
Medic Crane shook his head. "You're not thinking rationally. You're still losing blood and you need medical attention." He paused to let his words sink in. "You need to let us help you."
Jack glanced down at her leg, considering the rough bandaging on it stained a deep rust. "I don't trust you."
"Be that as it may," interrupted Lieutenant Kade, "we are offering our help."
"Like I said, I don't trust you. Why would you offering help make me feel any better?"
"Because we don't have too."
"Actually," interrupted Melody, "since we're not technically prisoners, thereby making us passengers..." She tailed off as Kade just looked at her."Maybe now would be a good time to stop talking" she muttered to herself, shifting awkwardly.
Jack folded her arms and stared at the medic, considering. The pain in her leg was a dull, but persistent, ache and from experience she knew it would only get worse. Of course, Riddick would have just snarled at them and told them where to stick it, but she wasn't him.
"Fine," she ground out "but no injection. Just regen mac it."
The medic looked at her in disbelief, lifting the syringe off the tray. "That's a deep laceration. You're going to need something to take the edge off of it."
"No injection" Jack reiterated. She wanted her full-wits about her.
Placing the syringe back on the tray, he picked up the regen mac and activated it, checking it was at full power. "You'll need to sit down and uh..." he looked momentarily awkward.
"Your trousers need to come off."
Jack laughed and shook her head. Instead holding her hand out to Kade, who shot her a questioning look. "Your blade."
"I need to cut my bandage off and make the rip larger. I'm not stripping for you." She waited, her eyes on his. Slowly he reached for the blade he kept concealed in his belt, saying "I'll be watching the whole time."
Jack rolled her eyes as she took it, sitting down before leaning over and easily slicing through the tight knots. Gritting her teeth, she worked the blade beneath the trouser fabric that had dried crustily to her skin. Folding the edges back she closed her eyes as her head swam.
"Are you alright?" Melody asked, squeezing her shoulder.
Jack let out the breath she hadn't realised she'd been holding and nodded, her bloody fingers shaking as she handed Kade back his knife. "Go for it Medic Crane" she ordered with false bravado "do your worst."