Note: Hello, everyone. I'm slowly getting back into writing fanfiction and am planning on re-publishing 'Hope in the Darkness' but wish to get a few chapters with my more thought out plot. In the meantime, here is the long awaited sequel to 'A Life Worth Living'.
Disclaimer: I own nothing of the Pitch Black or Harry Potter universes.
Chapter One: Problems Arise
Shazza groaned as she wiped the sweat from her brow. The planet they landed on was hot, but luckily it didn't have multiple suns. She smirked at the inside joke before she looked over to Zeke who was arguing with one of the other prospectors about whether or not to use explosives. A frown was etched on Zeke's hard face as he tried to glare their partner into submission. Deciding that she should do something before the argument turned physical, she abandoned her digging and walked over to the pair. Moving so she was in between the two men, Shazza laid a comforting hand on Zeke's shoulder.
"What seems to be the problem here?" She asked with a raised eyebrow, forcing her husband to abandon his glaring.
"This bastard wants to blow the hole," Zeke muttered. Shazza rolled her eyes at Zeke's tone, knowing that he was angry at their partner for ignoring his protests.
"It'll be faster than this back-breaking routine your dumb ass seems adamant to try," the man said in his defense.
"It'll collapse the hole you fucking moron or do you not realize that the top dirt is too loose to take an explosion!" Zeke shouted back at him. Only Shazza being between them kept him from lunging at the annoying man. The man ignored him and started carting the explosives into the hole to set them up before coming out and calling out a warning. After a few minutes of wait to make sure everyone was a suitable distance away, the man hit the trigger tied to the explosives and the explosion sounded loud in their ears. To the man's annoyance, the hole collapsed in on itself. Shaking his head at their partner's idiocy in not listening to more experienced prospectors, Zeke turned around and started gathering up their stuff. "Shazza get the stuff together; we are outta here."
"You can't leave, we are partners in this!" their younger partner cried out, afraid of being left to deal with this on his own.
"This partnership ended when you decided to ignore me and blow the hole anyway," Zeke stated calmly gathering the last of their stuff before grabbing Shazza and walking back to the main settlement. The walk took a couple hours as their site was a ways from the settlement, but once they arrived it was to see the normal hustle and bustle. Giving a sigh at the busyness of the settlement, Zeke pulled Shazza toward their tent in the temporary resident area. Shazza stayed quiet, although she did level a glare at Zeke, but once they got inside and the flap closed behind them she voiced her displeasure.
"What the hell was that!? You just walked away from a possible payday because that newbie made a bad call! What is your problem Zeke?" Shazza said with fire in her eyes. Her hands were on her hip and she was impatient for an answer from her husband, who was in her eyes acting strange.
"I'm tired of this shit," Zeke said softly. "It's always about the payday, the possible payday, and the prize. I feel like we're no better than that bastard Johns or that coward Paris; what's the point in all this?"
"The point is to make money and get to the good life," Shazza said with a hard edge to her voice. "Don't you remember? That was our goal, our hope; I thought it still was." Zeke didn't answer; instead he lay down on the nearest cot and threw an arm over his eyes. Shazza huffed before storming out of the tent and running straight into a hard chest. Before she could apologize, the man grabbed her and dragged her away from the tent toward the canteen. Soon she was in a booth with the mystery man. At first he didn't speak, he instead ordered them both drinks and took a deep gulp of the liquor. Pulling out a cigarette, he lit it and took a deep drag. The man was older from what Shazza could see; he had graying hair and a few wrinkles on his face. There was a noticeable scar on his face and his clothing was tailored to easily hide weaponry. He was a gruff looking man, but it did not worry Shazza much. "Do you want something?"
"Where's Riddick?" the man asked nonchalantly as if he were commenting on the weather. The hair on the back of Shazza's neck stood up and her eyes darted back and forth quickly before she tried to relax and put on an air of confusion.
"I don't know what you're talking about," Shazza said in what she hoped was an apologetic manner. The man smirked and took another long drag on his cigarette.
"You're not a very good liar. You are Sharon Montgomery; your husband's name is Ezekiel; and you were both survivors of the Hunter-Graztner. Now, I wanna know where Riddick is," the man said again.
"The Hunter-Graztner? Wasn't that the ship that crashed like seven years ago on some unknown planet?" Shazza asked in faux ignorance, hoping the man would give up his interrogation.
was, but in the papers it was "lost in deep space"," the man said with a smirk and a gleam in his eye that let her know she was caught. Shazza gulped and looked around for an escape route in hopes of getting back to Zeke. "I'll pay you for any valuable information."
"Pay me?" Shazza asked weakly. She felt a bit of revulsion to realize that he had gotten her attention with that comment and she wondered if Zeke was right. "I'm not interested and I don't know any valuable information."
"Fine, we'll play this game. My name is Toombs and I'll be around if you change your mind," the man said before chugging the rest of his drink and leaving the canteen. Shazza watched him leave and waited a few minutes before hurrying out herself, leaving her untouched drink. Hurrying back to their tent, she barged in. Zeke sat upright in bed, obviously startled from the sudden entrance of his wife. He watched confused as she started packing their things and talking about catching the first shuttle out in the morning.
"Honey, what's going on? When you left you were yelling at me, but now you are all for leaving?" He asked confused and a bit hopeful.
"Some merc dragged me to the canteen after I stormed out and started asking about Riddick. I tried to play it off, but messed up when I mentioned that the Hunter-Graztner crashed as that wasn't in the papers. He offered me money for information about Riddick and I almost gave in," she ended in self-disgust before falling to her knees on the floor beside their clothing.
"But you didn't give in, that's what's important," Zeke said reassuringly, moving to gather his wife in his arms. Outside their tent, Toombs stood smirking to himself. 'I knew they had info on Riddick.'
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Blake was sitting outside doing exercises with his shiv. His two-year-old little brother Adam was watching with awe on his face. Adam tended to follow Blake or Ali around like their little shadow. Blake smirked a bit to himself as he saw his brother watching him. Soon he finished his exercises and turned toward his little brother. Raising a brow at the younger boy, Blake's eyes softened and he opened his arms for the younger boy to give him a hug as was his routine in the mornings. A soft giggle drew Blake's attentions to the doorway where his twin sister stood with a glass of cold water in her hands. Releasing his brother, Blake gratefully took the water.
"Why do you insist on training every morning?" Jasmine asked with a bit of exasperation at asking the same question over and over again without getting a satisfactory answer.
"To stay at the top of my game," Blake answered with a grin, knowing that his sister wanted a better answer although she never got one. Their mother appeared in the doorway just as Jasmine was about to retort and informed them that breakfast was ready. Entering the house, Blake took a wide berth from his angry twin and steered his little brother toward the bathroom to wash up. On the way they passed Ali's room where he was running through his combat moves. "Breakfast is ready." He didn't get an answer, but then Blake didn't expect one as Ali ignores conversation when doing his routine.
Soon everyone was sitting at the table, although Jack was rubbing some small cuts on her arm and glaring at Jasmine. Of course, Jasmine ignored the look from her eldest sibling and calmly grabbed a wrap and scooped some fruit salad onto her plate. Ali grabbed a piece of toast and spread a generous amount of jam on the bread before grabbing a couple wraps and a slice of meat. Blake helped Adam get what he wanted before fixing his own plate and unapologetically kicked Jack under the table in warning to get some food before their dad was allowed at it. Jack switched her glare to Blake and moodily grabbed a bit of everything while muttering about bratty, evil little siblings. Finally after the kids had food on their plates, Harry nodded to the impatient Riddick.
"Why again do I need to wait till the kiddies get food, before I can?" Riddick asked with a raised brow. Harry rolled his eyes at his stubborn mate, but answered anyway.
"Because they are growing and you are not and no that does not count," Harry said with a glare when Riddick went to open his mouth. "Also, before we established the protocol; fights broke out at the table and little Adam almost got hurt."
"That was one time and he doesn't even remember it!" Jack exclaimed when she noticed the dirty look that her mother was giving her as she was the one that had started that fight. Ali started laughing at Jack, which of course made her mad. "What you wanna go bookworm, I got all day."
"I don't like to fight, you know that," Ali stated, although he was obviously remembering the last fight they had where Jack ended up flat on her back from one of Ali's moves.
"You are so full of—"
"Jack, Ali, you two will stop arguing at the breakfast table! Stop laughing Riddick!" Harry said forcefully in surprise of their argument, as the two eldest tended not to have many disputes. Riddick was still laughing loudly at the two as he knew Jack was just sore that she had been beaten in a fight by her younger twin siblings and the non-violent Ali. 'Judging by the marks on her arms, Jasmine used her whip to get her to come to breakfast' Riddick thought amusedly. The moment was ruined by a knock on the door that made Riddick groan, since he knew that the only people that came to their secluded home was his unwelcome in-laws. Harry rose from his chair and approached the door opening it with care, just in case someone unexpected was on the other side. Standing there was Alex with a basket of fruit. Opening the door wider, Harry smiled as he beckoned his mother through.
"Where's dad?" Harry asked as he motioned Alex to the table to join them for breakfast.
"Who cares?" Riddick grumbled under his breath, ducking out of the way when Harry went to smack him upside the head for his rudeness.
"He decided to go to work early, said something about not needing to see his son be manhandled by that bastard," Alex said with an exasperated roll of his eyes, "his words not mine."
"You would figure after seven years, he would get over that," Harry said with the same level of exasperation that Alex portrayed. Deciding not to allow it to get to them, Alex sat at the table to enjoy a bit of his son's cooking. Soon breakfast was over and Riddick stood to head out for work. Ali similarly stood for work as did Jack, since they both worked what jobs they could find to help out their parents. Ali went to his room to grab his bag of medical supplies; he had learned to be a healer and while still an apprentice, was considered advanced enough to have his own supplies. Jack worked in the central gardens during harvest time and in the woods during the time before winter; overall, she was a hired hand during the prep season. Returning with his bag, Ali patted Blake on the head and gave Jasmine and Adam a hug before he headed out with a reassurance that he would be careful. Jack just glared at her little siblings, gave Harry and Alex a hug and left behind him. Before Riddick could leave, Jasmine ran to him and gave him a tight hug that was returned gently as Riddick kept most of his force in check.
"Tell Dad hi for me, will you?" Harry said with a soft look and a small pout to ensure that his mate would approach his irritable father. Riddick grunted before heading out the door and catching up with his oldest before they would need to part ways. The trio was silent as they made the trek toward town; their home was rather isolated from the rest of the small populace. As they got closer though, they started encountering more people and picked up on the excited chatter of a landing ship. 'Ships don't land here too often, gotta keep our guard up' Riddick thought while giving a significant look to his oldest children.
"Keep your ears open and your mouths shut," Riddick said quietly. Ali just nodded before moving away toward the main doctor's hut to start his day while Jack rolled her eyes and continued toward the central gardens. Riddick felt unease, but didn't let it show as he moved towards the construction site on the edge of the town. Reaching the construction site, Riddick soon found his father-in-law and gave him Harry's message before getting to work. Only a couple hours in, Logan who was passing him by carting a large beam like it was a flimsy stick gave him a heads up that a couple were approaching with the chief-like authority figure. Seeming like nothing was the matter, Riddick kept working until he heard his name get called. Turning around slowly, Riddick's eyes widened slightly at seeing the prospectors, Zeke and Shazza.
"Been a long time old friend," Zeke said with a wry grin. Riddick raised an eyebrow, but gave no other indication that the statement meant anything to him. Deciding to ignore the man, Riddick went to go back to work only to be stopped by someone grabbing his arm. With a growl of annoyance, Riddick spun around and twisted the offender's arm behind his back stopping just moments from dislocating and/or breaking it.
"You should know better than to touch me," Riddick growled out as he pushed Zeke away from him. "What do you two want?"
"Perhaps this is not the best place for this discussion, my hut is not far from here; I'm sure that the site can handle the loss of one worker for a moment," the chieftain suggested, not wanting to cause any hysteria or unease.
"There is no discussion, they shouldn't be here," Riddick stated in his grumbling voice, turning away to continue working. He took a few steps away from them only to stop in his tracks upon the next utterance out of Zeke's mouth.
"A merc was lookin' for you!"
"What did you say?" Riddick asked in a quiet hiss, turning back around slowly to face the prospectors that had walked away from them years ago. He could hear Logan approaching from the site having stopped working upon hearing about a threat to his family.
"A merc, he tried to get info about you from Shazza but she didn't give him any. As soon as we could we hopped on a ship and made our way here to warn you guys," Zeke explained quickly, certain that any drawn out explanations would end with him being gutted. Even though his eyes couldn't be seen behind the goggles that he wore as protection, Zeke could tell that they were murderous and truthfully he couldn't blame him. When they were dropped off on this planet by the rescue crew they were told to wait a few years before venturing off; it was explained that they needed to give time to let people believe that they were dead. Even though they were warned, told, commanded to stay, Zeke and Shazza left as quickly as possible. 'Even I'm not sure why, everything we wanted, everything we've been searching for is right here' Zeke thought to himself.
"Did you come straight here?" Logan asked gruffly, his tense body betrayed his anger even though he tried to remain aloof concerning the reunited prospectors.
"We thought it important that we warn you, so yeah," Shazza said in confusion with a hint of annoyance in her voice at being questioned. Before anymore could be said, Logan and Riddick started running in the same direction.