Pitch Black and the characters of Jack and Riddick (unfortunately) are not mine in any way shape or form and I do not claim them as such. I won't make any money from this fan fiction so I hope Universal won't come after my butt for using their characters. Please be kind if you review. I will accept constructive criticism gracefully (I hope) but FLAMING ISN'T CONSTRUCTIVE! If you just hate it on principal, get over it and don't read anymore. I have to thank my very best friend for helping me out by reading this first (and telling me it didn't suck). Thanks, Sis!

Chapter 1 - Jack

The smell of death hung around her, all around, she had nowhere to go and there was only a quickly fragmenting piece of bone between her and certain death. Then he was there. Her savior. Her dark knight. He had faced down a horrible beast for her. He was her hero.

Jack woke to the sound of the alarm ringing. She silenced the intrusion with an annoyed swipe of her hand that nearly cleared off her bedside table. Sighing heavily, she threw back the covers and sat up, rubbing the sleep from her eyes, holding on to the last vestiges of her dream. While most people would see it as a nightmare, she could never see it that way. It was one of her fondest memories of Riddick.

Standing in the dim light of the bathroom, she went through the same routine she had every morning. Pee, shower, brush her teeth, floss, braid her hair. It was the same every day. Routine. Safe. Just like Riddick had wanted for her, a nice, safe, boring life. Funny, she'd never in her life felt as safe as she had during her short time with him.

In her mind she understood why he had left her with Imam. Even now, she could even see his face, his eyes, as he explained it to her. "Jack, you need to be a kid. Don't try to grow up too fast, and don't go thinkin' that life on the run is somethin' glamorous. I'd give anything if I could just rest for a while." She knew he meant it. But to a 12 year old it seemed like he'd lived the most exciting life there was.

At 12 she was hurt and felt somewhat betrayed by the man she'd chosen as her idol. She had imagined flitting around star systems with him, running from the law, just like a modern day Bonnie and Clyde. At 16 she harbored a young girl's crush, still seeing him as her own personal dark knight. She had dreamed of him stealing into her room one night, professing his undying love for her and taking her away with him. At 18, she'd gone off to college, still carrying with her the scrapbook she'd filled with every news clipping, every picture she could find of him. She followed every reported sighting. He'd become more popular to spot than Elvis had back in the 20th century. At 21, she'd made love for the very first time under a perfect, starlit sky with the sweetest boy in her class and still, when she closed her eyes she saw Riddick's face.

Now at 25 she was six months out of the New Sydney Engineering Academy, one of the best engineering schools in the charted sectors. She'd worked hard to get there and Imam had been so proud of her. It wasn't easy to beat out 500 other students in her senior class for the coveted scholarship, but she'd done it. If she was nothing else, she wasn't a quitter. That was something else Riddick had taught her. Never give up.

Her hard work had paid off. When she'd graduated from the academy, she'd been in the top 10% of the graduating class. That, along with glowing letters of recommendation from her professors, had netted her a job on Orion Station. She'd packed her bags and moved out into the brand spanking new station to start her new life. Weight and space limits on baggage had forced her to leave her scrapbook, which was now more like a foot locker filled with memorabilia, behind in favor of needed things like clothes and her personal computer. But memories didn't take up any space, and she'd always have those with her.

Looking at herself in the mirror, she smiled. It was a rueful smile, "How pathetic are you? Still pining over someone you've not seen in 13 years who probably wouldn't recognize you if he ran over you." She shook her head, flinging water at her reflection in the mirror and laughing at herself.