A/N: this is for you, hayj, not an update, but a sequel, because it wouldn't let me be!
Translation: I 'jacked hayj's wonderful crossover Only fools are enslaved by time and space and wrote sort of a sequel to it, featuring the Riddick kids (Jack, Marcus, Richard, Zoey) and Isabelle and Royce's Carrie and Mason/Mace. Nicknames are my own, the world is hayj's.
Synopsis of "Only fools…": Riddick, Carolyn, Royce, Isabelle and others are stranded on the alien game planet. Instead of being hunted, they become part of a Predator social experiment under the watch of the resident Pred, Bob. This is the story of their offsprings many years after the end of Only fools…
- The children of tomorrow –
There was no possibility of escape, no chance of survival and as Marcus twisted his father's big hunting knife in the tender flesh of the deer-like creature in his grasp, he couldn't help but feel a strange sort of sympathy towards his catch, as if some part of him resonated with the anguish shining in the dying animal's eyes. It wasn't the biggest thing he'd ever caught in the domesticated jungles of the Sanctuary House Residential Complex – as Varro had so lovingly named the compound because he was a notorious sucker for attributing some type of pseudo-deep-shit meaning to the world around him via equally psycho-fuck denominations – not by far, nor was it the easiest to ensnare, but his mother had wanted something light for dinner. Watching the warm blood gush from where he'd nicked the sweet spot, Marcus heaved a deep sigh and wringed the animal's neck for good measure.
The world around him was quiet. And what a restrictive world it was. Though it seemed thick and in some parts, the greenery was so green as to look positively dark, the jungle near his home was not as wide as it was long – circling Sanctuary House like a perfect steel trap – and then tightening in a single cord that connected Marcus's world to a vast and never-ending ocean, across which only his mind could travel. And Bob, of course, if he could get his heavily horned head out of his alien shit hole and call down a sweet Pred ride over the green-blue expanse of water and through the planet clustered skies. And then space… of which Marcus's mother sometimes spoke off, when he'd been particularly good. She told him mostly of the darkness and coldness of space, but in his mind, space was infinite and therefore knew no borders. Marcus lived a deeply caged life, he thought, and he had no tolerance for it. Never had. He'd slept with all doors and windows opened ever since he was old enough to claim his own bedding. And most of the times – for his home knew no harsh winters and only mildly pluvial autumns – he slept outdoors, his eyes ever fixed on the stars – lumbering moons and slowly revolving planets.
Marcus twitched, but didn't answer. He hoisted his prey onto his strong, broad shoulders and turned for where his home was, carefully sidestepping his younger sister. Marcus had an older brother, Jack, and a younger one, named after his father. But the youngest of the Riddick children was a girl, three years and a half his junior and one – one! – centimeter taller. He loved her most of all. Not because she shared his colouring – their skin a permanent tan and their eyes blacker than that of their pansy blue eyed siblings – but because she shared his soul, his dreams, his hunger for freedom. At 15, Zoey was the absolute slave master, the final boss of the Riddick household, tall and fierce, unbending, unyielding, unless you were packing some serious buttercups. And by Bob, the girl could eat. Couple o'years ago, around the time of the last drop, a woman came by, the out-of-place, out-a-sort type, that gave half the compound food poisoning. A convicted nut case that one, but a brilliant chemist nonetheless, she taught Zoey how to "bake", on account of his baby sister's immunity. Zoey was magical, she said and the kids had laughed for days and days. But Marcus had waited – patiently – until the night he had pushed the woman's dead body down into the river and out into the sea. His sister had always been a quick study.
That night, Marcus had realized that the two of them were of a different stock to the rest of the kids in their generation. Their father too had looked at them with a queer glint in his shifting eyes. But he had said nothing, opting instead to take Marcus out with him on his regular runs and when Zoey had been old enough not to upset Mama anymore by her prolonged absence, her too. Marcus knew he also took Jack hunting as well, but in his brother, Marcus thought, his father had honed a different set of skills. Jack had always been the little man of the house, so, naturally, he could provide food and shelter for his family. He could provide warmth and affection. He could provide strength. Marcus, on the other hand, he just liked to kill his prey first and think about food later – Zoey was a bulldozer, she liked it her way.
"Thinking deep thoughts there, big brother?"
Lately, Zoey had gotten better at this whole stealth thing. Secretly, Marcus harboured the notion that she might have bullied Bob into showing the tricks, 'cause the big alien was such a softie for Carolyn's female offspring – but he didn't dare say it. He knew better.
Marcus shifted a little bit under the weight of the night's supper and smiled at his sister.
"Fuck or fight, man. You're creeping me out!"
Chuckling, Marcus shortened his stride so he was walking side by side with Zoey.
"You're barking off the wrong big brother, sis. Jack's the one screwing around, not me."
"He's pining after Carrie, bro. Show some consideration for your jilted brother."
Marcus had also pined after Carrie. And for a long time too. But he had been younger then. Still, his traitorous heart had stuttered the tiniest bit when Carrie and Jack broke off not even a month ago. Not as much as he thought it would, though.
"Don't worry, he's getting enough consideration from the Vargas girls. And their cousins."
Zoey snorted, "My brother – the family man!", and the two of them started laughing in earnest.
"Easy there, you two! That's our dinner you're jiggling there!" their mother called from the yard. She had the spit all prepped up and waiting for Marcus's catch, the warm weather outside allowing for a table on the terrace. Her children had swept in the house along with the dusk, but even with her failing vision, she marveled at how alike they were, despite the age gap. Seeing them work in tandem – carefully disemboweling and cutting up the deer, one perfectly sized slice of meat at a time – reading each other's minds and covering each other's blind spots, their movements a hallucinatory display of skill and coordination, Carolyn Fry feels small and helpless, cowering in the shadows of monsters. She loves her children and is afraid of them all at once, because they are not entirely human – born on an alien world, with a glorified alien babysitter that shoots blades out of his wrist sharper than the shivs Riddick fashioned for them on their birthdays. Matching shivs for matching souls – two powerhouses with edges that cut when she tried to fit them in what was now her world.
"Mace came by while you were out", Carolyn starts.
"Yeah, what'd he want?"
"Royce wants to head out and stir that heard of wildebeests our way. He thought you guys might want to join'em."
"So, what did Jack say?"
"Jack's not here and Mace was asking for you!"
Zoey chanced a look at Marcus and thought she saw a stir. She'd have pushed, but even with her back turned, she could tell Mama was wrinkling her nose in disapproval. She knew where Jack hung out these days and if Zoey knew her mother well, she probably had Bob record the whole debauchery of it just so she could shove it in her father's face and accuse him of aiding and abating illicit 'acts of godliness', whatever that meant in their parents codified talk.
"Mace has been asking for you quite a lot these days. Could it be that he wants to make you his cowgirl?" Marcus surprisingly piped in with a stellar lack of humour.
"You mad, bro?"
"I'm a holding a knife, Zoey Bug. Go ahead, make my day."
"Put that thing away before I decide to hurt you."
"Fight! Fight! Fight!"
"Can it, Richie B!" the arguing siblings yelled at their brother.
Richie snickered and swished a bucket of milk as he trudged good-naturedly in the yard.
"You guys are so funny. And by funny, I mean not. What's for dinner, I'm hungry. Hey mom, where's dad? Is Jack back from tapping ass?"
"Richard Brandon Riddick, I'll have none of that talk in this house!"
His mother was a pulsating blonde volcano stirring up tongues of fire.
"Sorry, mom…" Richie B bellowed from the bowels of the house.
"He took the bucket inside, didn't he?" Zoey chimed in. And right on cue, Richie casually walked out of the house, still swinging the bucket of milk and tread into the circle of fire his wild mother was tending to.
"Here you go, mom, the milk you asked for." He slapped a smooch on her cheek and pated her head reassuringly. "And don't worry, Jack should be done by now. He'll be as good as gold in no time, you'll see! Isn't that him walking his weary pompous butt over our way, right there?" and Richie B waved enthusiastically.
"Whore house, bro, is…that way!"
Carolyn promptly smacked him across his head, which only managed to widen her youngest son's semi-permanent smirk further more.
Marcus remembered many a times when Richie B had walked away from a mother of scolding with a "sorry, mom…" and a smile at the corner of his lips. He'd developed wrinkles at the corner of his light blue eyes from all the grinning, and smirking and laughing that he did. His baby brother was a laugh. But in a good way. In a way Marcus knew he could never hope to be.
Carolyn was ready to pounce on her eldest when Zoey stepped in, after having waited for Jack to get that close to the loose gates of their estate, and raised a perfectly capable of bitch slapping the sleazy cousin-fucker into the next moon hand to Jack's rather bemused face.
"Hold it! This is a no go area for toxic waste!"
Jack managed an impressive "wha'?" even though he had to look a bit up to say it. He may have been fit and buff, but slim and ridiculously tall was not his thing.
"Wipe off that pu…" – her mother growled in the background – "…putrid stench down by the river and I'll think about letting you sit for dinner."
"This is stupid. Le'go" and Jack swatted at her offending appendage. Zoey slammed a fist in his gut.
Zoey and Jack never really fought. They more or less…brawled. Split lips, black eyes, broken ribs, that sort of thing. Their father had once sat on the side and thrown a bottle of aged whiskey – one of Bob's strange courtesies – at them for the "added effect". He'd laughed his booming laugh until his sides hurt from the broomstick Carolyn had used on him when she'd walked in on the whole mess. Riddick had simply stated then that they've got to learn to hold their own in a fight. And the truth of the matter was that they continued to learn off of each other for years to come. Marcus envied his brother for that. Zoey never fought him, not even when he wanted her to. Probably because with him it would be the real deal and not the sibling entertainment she practiced with Jack. Zoey was his final boss, Marcus had a feeling deep in his bones, bones that were fashioned in her likeness. Whatever he was to encounter in the years to come, whatever opponent he would face, none would be on par with Zoey. An animal is only at its bets while it's hunted, Bob used to say in his weird patched up voice. His hunter was Zoey.
When enough blood was shed, Zoey and Jack broke off with minimum damage to Carolyn's nerves. Human beings were so adaptable, the woman mused. Ten years ago she would've fretted over each scrapped knee – and there had been many. Now, she patiently waited for her kids to settle down, blood free and smelling of rosy innocence before sitting all of them at her table and starting to behave like family. Now, she was happy for each day she still had them all together. For she knew…those days were growing shorter still.
Riddick padded silently into his house. He'd been late for dinner and judging by the tracks near the gate, he'd also missed a bit of a show. Experience told him he'd be right on time for an angry wife. A pair of silvery eyes – so much like his own, but rather more half asleep – flashed in the darkness of his home and he ruffled the boy's head.
"G'nite, dad…" and finally Marcus turned in for the warm Sanctuary night.
A/N: I might revisit this…