Title: Interchange
Author: Minxfic
Email: minxfic13 AT hotmail.com
Rating: ADULT
Summary: What could've happened if Riddick had escaped aboard the Hunter Graztner.
Disclaimers: Riddick and Fry aren't mine and I make no profit from this story.

 

Summary: "They say most of your brain shuts down in cryo sleep, all but the primitive side, the animal side. No wonder I'm still awake." "Transporting me with civilians, sounded like forty - forty plus. Heard an Arab voice, some hoodoo holy man, probably on his way to New Mecca. What route? By what route?" "Smelled a woman, tool belt, leather, prospector type, free settlers and they only take the back route." "And here's my real problem – Mr. Johns, blue eyed devil. Planning on taking me back to slam. Only this time he picked the ghost lane. A long time between stops"...."a long time for something to happen."

 

Riddick had spent more than a week patiently undoing a small, but vital, link on his cuffs. The bindings at his wrists were just one part of the restraints that tethered him in his cryo-tube. Riddick wasn't sure it had been a week. He had lost track of time as he silently counted to a hundred, while carefully twisting, pulling and prising the link with his fingers. He stopped and rested for another count of one hundred, contemplating the inside of his blindfold for the millionth time, wondering just how many days he had been in the tube. He knew every knot in the fabric, every mark and blemish in the weave. He had counted the coarse stitches so many times he could've drawn them accurately down to the last one.

He relaxed his fingers, and his thought's turned to his options once he was free. He needed a pilot; he'd already decided that. He didn't think he could handle this ship on his own. His limited flight training didn't give him the skills needed to handle a ship the size of the Hunter-Gratzner. Realistically it was out of his league. Better to get a member of the crew to pilot. So, who would he choose?

He had met the captain, been taken before him on his arrival at the ship. He'd been a big, burly man, the type to 'take no crap'. He'd stared at his precious cargo with distaste, disliking the convicted killer before him, making his feelings very obvious to Riddick. So he was of no use, and would have to be eliminated at the first opportunity. Riddick needed someone more pliable, easier to manipulate.

Riddick knew these types of vessel were always stuffed with passengers and cargo but had the bare minimum of crew. He had noticed a woman in the pilot seat when he had been dragged on to the flight deck. Maybe he could make use of her, a couple of hard lessons and she would be his bitch to do as he pleased.

The Captain had made a grave mistake requesting that Riddick be brought to him on the flight deck. It had given him the opportunity to see the ship's layout and the crew. The captain should have followed the usual procedures and come to him, stupidly, he had been too preoccupied with preparations for departure. Something had delayed the loading of the passengers and cargo, what Riddick didn't know. Time was money to people like the Hunter Gratzner's owners and there couldn't be any delays. Riddick had inwardly smiled as he faked his reluctance to be hauled up in front of the captain's smug self-satisfied face, all the while taking in the controls, the technical specifications and a myriad of minor details that would help in his escape.

Riddick finished another count of one hundred and began to fiddle with the link again. The counting was mundane and uninteresting, but the routine was the only way he had of keeping track of time. He had been doing this hour after hour, day after day, his rigid mental discipline the only thing keeping him focused, in the twilight world he inhabited in cryo sleep. But still his mind was in desperate need of occupation. He had recited every piece of writing he could remember. The stupid religious texts he'd been forced to learn at school. He had performed reams of mental calculations, adding and dividing and multiplying endless numbers. All the while still turning, twisting and working to gradually loosen the link.

Just a little more

Just a little more.

Sometimes he dozed. Riddick never slept in cryo, he was always aware, his mind never rested. Living in a strange disconcerting zone, disorientated, dreaming, a sick stasis of life neither moving forwards nor staying still. And always time continued to pass, dragging its unwilling victim with it.

Then came the moment he had been waiting for. Part of the link opened, the weld holding it crumbling away. Riddick's heart thumped in his chest. He pulled a little harder feeling the skin around his thumbnail tear with his renewed efforts. The link had to give. He had to get out of here. He couldn't stay in this hot, sweaty lifeless cage a second longer. He wanted out, now! He pulled and pulled, squeezing his eyes closed, and his face contorting with the effort.

The link finally gave; its tentative hold with the cuffs separated and fell to the floor with a tiny metal clunk. The noise sounded enormous in the continual silence Riddick had been living in. The sound mocked him with its volume, testing his nerve. Riddick had desperately wanted it to happen, but the shock of feeling it coming loose and slip through his fingers stunned him into absolute stillness. He was concerned someone might have heard. Someone might come and spoil his plans, shackle him again. The thought made his heart skip a beat. Stupid, they were all asleep, enjoying the delights of fun filled cryo. He knew, rationally, that no one had heard a thing. The sounds of oxygen being pumped into each chamber and the continual hiss of the ship slicing through hyperspace hid any noise in the cryo-tubes. The chance of anyone hearing the tiny clunk of the link was infinitesimal.

Lucky shits

Riddick slowly pulled his hand from the cuff and rotated his free wrist, feeling the bones pop and grate from the artificially induced stiffness.

Free...

Riddick wanted to grin in delight but the bit prevented him doing so. It stretched his mouth twisting and distorting his face. His muscles ached uncomfortably, always stuck in the same position and created a grim parody of a circus clown.

Still irrationally concerned that someone might hear his movements, he slowly moved his free hand to undo his other wrist, each movement measured and wary. He undid the circular band around his arm, smoothing his damp skin under the cuff and feeling the gritty dirtiness under his fingers.

His shoulders creaked from disuse as he lifted his hands to the back of his neck to undo the collar. The blood was flowing more freely now but his numb fingers couldn't undo the bindings. He tried not to struggle and panic, but he had waited so long for freedom that it was hard to be patient any longer.

Finally the clasp answered his frantic pulling and the tension around his neck slackened. He rolled his head first to one side and then the other reveling in the movement in his neck; the muscles here were stiff and cramped too.

Next came the bit. He flicked the catch and, thankfully, it undid easily. He closed his eyes behind the blindfold and enjoyed the sudden release of pressure on the corners of his mouth. The freedom to lay his tongue flat caused an intoxicating rush of sensation through his body. To have control back after so many days of discomfort was delightful. He'd spent so many hours of shifting uncomfortably with all the bonds rubbing and chafing, never being able to settle and relax his body. He pushed the bit from his mouth with his tongue and cast it aside recklessly. It hit the floor with a resounding clang as metal connected with metal. The collar swung free still attached to the side restraints of the chamber.

Beautiful

He lifted the edge of his blindfold just enough to assess the lighting in the main cabin. It shone dimly through the laminate door of the tube, with no one moving around the ship, the lighting had been reduced to the absolute minimum. He could cope with that until he found his goggles. No doubt Johns would have them in his cryo- tube. Riddick pulled off the blindfold. The view from the tube hadn't changed since he'd been wrestled him into it. Johns had finally shot him full of sedative to stop the struggling so they could chain him up. He'd decked one guard and broken the nose of another in the short space of being dragged from the flight deck to the cryo-tube chamber. The blood from the guard's nose still stained Riddick's filthy shirt.

Fuckers

He stood quietly, waiting for his circulation to respond to his renewed freedom. He rotated his shoulders until he felt them loosen sufficiently to grip the bulkhead above him and stretch upright. The muscles in his arms flexed, warming into activity. Safety regulations on civilian ships were that all prisoners had to be secured with quick release catches in the event of an accident, fire or other disaster befalling the vessel. He'd known that all he needed to do was free one hand and then the other restraints would take no time at all and he could just walk free. Normally, Riddick hated rules and regulations. This time, they were working to his advantage.

Idiots

He looked around at the inside of his tube, where the door hinged with the walls. He knew it was magnetically sealed. He bent awkwardly to undo his ankle cuffs. He needed them undone to force the door of the tube open. He also knew that the moment he left it, Johns would automatically be woken. The two tubes were linked and his could not be opened without the other, and only Johns or the captain could open his. Once he broke out he would have to deal with the blue eyed devil immediately. He couldn't bend enough to reach the clasps without pushing against the door, and that might prematurely trigger the 'wake up cycle' in John's tube.

Riddick stood and thought, still stretching his body. He leaned to the side of the tube, twisted his upper body to ninety degrees and slide down till he was almost crouching. His thighs didn't like the sudden intense use of their muscles after being immobile for such a long period of time. Riddick felt for the clasps around his ankles again. He had to do this at the first attempt; he was too stiff to keep on repeating the action. The clasps surrendered to his pulling and he sighed with relief. His eyes moved to the discarded bit on the tube's floor. He had an inspirational thought. His revulsion at the offensive article of humiliation almost prevented him picking it up again, but he would need every advantage against Johns. He needed a weapon. Grasping the bit in one hand, he used his other to help push himself back up.

He turned the bit over in his hands examining it. The metal bar that had sat in his mouth for so long almost thinned to a point at either end. He had thought he might be able to use it. He was right.

Shiv

Riddick began to twist the flexible metal bar that attached to one end of the mouthpiece and worked it back and forth in his hands. The bit had been designed to stop biting, not to restrain, so it wasn't particularly strong. After very little persuasion, the metal gave and Riddick looked at the free end of the mouth piece. It thinned to a long point, rather like the old stiletto weapons of the Mafioso of Earth. Riddick grinned again. It wasn't very sharp, but in the right spot, the sweet spot, no, not the sweet spot. Not this time...somewhere higher.

He refined the plan in his mind. Riddick hummed tunelessly, enjoying the sound of his own voice, it made a change from the usual noises of the ship that he had grown so tired of. He began going over the motions of the plan in his mind.

Johns, at last!

He was ready for the final part of his escape, the plan finalized in his mind's eye. He fiddled with the makeshift 'shiv'. He wished he had his own, but any weapon was better than none. Taking a couple of quick deep breaths to calm his accelerating heart-rate he threw himself at the door of the tube, forcing it open with his shoulder. The magnetic lock sprang open and he tumbled to the floor outside, landing on the metal grating in the cryo-tube chamber. The coldness outside the secure environment of the tube took his breath for just a few seconds.

Fuck it's freezing.

Most of the ships functions were closed down to save on power, it would take sometime for the settings to reactivate for human comfort. A hiss behind Riddick told him that John's tube was waking him. Riddick knew he had to strike now. He hoisted himself to his feet and turned to face the cryo-tube. He wrenched open the door, Johns eyes flicked open at the sudden rush of cold air into his tube.

Riddick struck. With one hand he grabbed Johns around the throat, pushing him up against the wall of the tube. With his other hand he drove the spiked bit into the intercostals spaces between John's ribs aiming to puncture a lung. Riddick stabbed hard but the makeshift weapon wasn't long enough to create serious damage. He pulled the bit from the hole, his hand being simultaneously covered in frothy blood from the tiny puncture he had made.

Johns finally woke up enough for his eyes to register recognition of his assailant. Riddick wasted no time he raised the weapon and pushed into Johns left eye, shoving hard to reach into John's brain. Riddick could feel vitreous fluid spurt from the ruptured eyeball and coat his hand mingling with the residue of John's blood. He hung on to the now slippery bit as long as he could, pushing and pushing.

John's body began to spasm; his brain had been punctured and was dying. His arms flailed and he twisted in Riddick's grip. Releasing him, Riddick watched as Johns slid down the back wall of the tube and lay in a crumpled heap at his feet.

Riddick looked at the twitching body, enjoying the moment. He bent and retrieved his goggles, which had partially fallen out of John's jacket pocket. He then searched the others, finding his shivs and a small pocket knife of Johns own taste, a mere toothpick to Riddick. He also found the mercs secret store of ampoules to feed his drug addiction. Riddick grinned as he thought of al the times he had watched Johns retching his guts up while fighting the fearsome withdrawal symptoms. He wouldn't have to worry about that any more.

Riddick stepped backwards out of the cell, taking in the entire picture of the dead man; it was one he would enjoy remembering again and again.

Dead blue eyed devil

Riddick turned from the death scene and walked along the row of chambers, tucking his booty into his pockets. There were two rows of cryo-tubes facing each other, stretched down each side of the room. He peered into each one. Each had its own quietly sleeping occupant, blissfully unaware of the carnage that had taken place no more than a few feet from most of them. Riddick absent mindedly wiped his hand covered in John's detritus down his filthy pants, adding another stain to the collection. So many tubes to choose from, he stopped to wipe condensation off of one, finding an attractive dark hair woman behind the damp Perspex surface. It wasn't the pilot he'd seen on the flight deck. He moved on making mental notes of who was in each one. Whether the occupant was male or female, short or tall, strong or weak, specifically searching for the crew. Riddick felt like a kid in a candy store, so much choice.........

 

Riddick tilted the chair back into the semi-reclined position and swung it around from the navigation console. He brought it a full one hundred and eighty degrees until he faced the people standing in front of him.

Not looking at either, he casually crossed an ankle over the other knee and began to pick his nails clean with a shiv.

Both the man and the woman stood in silence. The man was deliberately stiffening his back in a show of defiance. His ramrod posture, accentuated his height, but did little to hide the middle aged bulge around his stomach. His graying hair and worn features centered round a hooked nose, creating a haughty expression. Riddick knew what Captain Mitchell was thinking--he was the Captain and none was going to order him around on his ship!

The woman was considerably younger, no older than himself Riddick surmised. She was trying to match the man’s bearing but was swaying and having serious trouble staying on her feet. Her thick blonde hair curling around her ears made her look slightly elfin in Riddick’s mind. He had always been fond of stories of elves and wizards. He’d frequently been beaten for bringing such blasphemous books into the school. He’d tried to hide them, but the brothers had been thorough in their searches for contraband, and ‘pagan’ books had been high on their list.

She continued to stand, blinking and trying to hide her lack of alertness. The swaying gradually subsided, as her strength and equilibrium returned to her.

Riddick had revived both of them rapidly from their cryo-tubes. He hauled them out partly asleep, thrown them to the floor and shackled them with the spare restraints Johns had brought for him. He had frog marched them to the flight deck, not saying a word. Riddick wanted them vulnerable, disorientated and bewildered. Their weakness was his advantage. Now he would find out who was willing to cooperate.

Riddick knew how this next part of the situation was going to go. It always went the same way. Protests, begging, and finally death…boring, boring, people were so predictable.

Let’s get on with it.

Riddick stopped picking his nails and laid the shiv carefully in his lap. The seemingly innocent gesture filled with intent. He looked Mitchell and said, “You are going to change course for the Anilo system.”

Riddick paused to let this information sink in. He lifted his goggles and rested them on his forehead, allowing his prisoners the full effect of his eyes.

Riddick watched the Captain bristle at the tone in his voice, unused to being spoken to in Riddick’s brusque manner. He opened his mouth to speak. Riddick leaned forwards in his chair, grasping the shiv from his lap loosely with one hand and wagged a finger at him.

“If you’re about to say something like ’neither I, nor my crew, will help you. Then you are wasting your time. You will do as I ask, or I’ll make you.”

Mitchell shut his mouth with a snap and frowned crossly. Riddick grinned, having so easily stolen his carefully prepared retort.

“I am not reasonable. I don’t negotiate and I have absolute control.” Riddick’s voice lowered to a frightening growl He continued. “I’ve done this before captain, several times in fact, as you are no doubt aware.” He smirked remembering his last escape and the furor it had caused.

The Captain did not reply. He had nothing to say. Riddick had usurped the Captain’s power completely.

Riddick turned his attention to Fry. He picked up his shiv from his lap and stood abruptly. He took a step towards her. She was startled and forgetting the shackles, she stumbled backwards crashing heavily to the floor with a pained gasp. Mitchell looked down at her concerned, but it was Riddick who moved to her side. His boots only inches from her face, he loomed over her like a nightmarish apparition.

He bent down so his face was level with hers and said, “You’ll help me, won’t you Carolyn Fry.”

He paused again to let her digest that he knew her name. He hoped she’d realize that he had learned it from the ship’s computer manifest, along with her status on the ship…pilot. The actual entry had said docking pilot, but that still meant she had far more skill than Riddick for flying the ship. That was the specific reason he had released her.

Before releasing them Riddick had taken at lot of time to explore the ship thoroughly. He’d accessed the computers, the safety codes had been laughable, and reviewed the passengers and crew details. There were forty passengers in total, well, thirty nine now that Johns was gone. Riddick grinned at the thought of the merc’s death. There were only three crew members. Three was better than he’d expected. Less crew less hassle.

He had restored the ships environmental functions and then spent some time getting himself in order. He showered in Captain’s quarters, enjoying the hot water and pleasant smelling soap. Wallowing in the feeling of being clean. Such simple things were luxuries after weeks in cryo. He’d then found the galley. It was basic but produced what he wanted. He’d cooked an enormous meal and eaten until he was uncomfortably full.

Then he’d gone back to the computer bank on the flight deck, and enjoyed the remainder of a packet of cigarettes he’d taken from Johns, while he looked over the star charts. He had already worked out in the cryo-tube where he wanted to go, but he hadn’t known if it was going to be feasible until he looked over the charts.

The Anilo system was well off the beaten track; tiny and with no planets valuable, either in minerals or strategically. Riddick had a friend he could call on. They lived on the third planet from the system’s sun, a lush green planet where he could hide out for a time. Getting there was feasible but it required a difficult sling shot maneuver, that only a well trained pilot could perform. It would also take the better part of six weeks to get to his destination. Six weeks of controlling the ship and anyone he chose to wake up. He would have to work hard to get where he wanted. Six weeks of little rest and constant surveillance of his crew would be a pretty tough price to pay for his escape and disappearance, but he would do it. But his choice of pilot would be crucial.

He finally returned to the Captain’s quarters for twelve hours of uninterrupted sleep. He tumbled heavily into a dream laden state, full of images of his past and his expectant wishes for the future. Only when he had felt fully refreshed did he rouse Mitchell and Fry.

Fry winced in pain again as she tried to dodge Riddick’s hand poised to stroke her cheek. She had smashed her elbow on the deck in her fall and Riddick could see the pained expression she was trying to hide from him.

She lifted her chin. She felt the need to voice her opinion, and said, “The Captain has already made his feeling clear and--”

Riddick, tilted his head to one side, and cutting her off he said,” But what are your feelings Carolyn?”

He ran his fingers down her cheek, her sweat covered neck, and trailed them across her breasts. She never flinched.

Good girl…you’ll do nicely.

Riddick stood up and stepped over Fry. His movements were sharp, uncompromising, made deliberately to be disconcerting. He grasped Mitchell’s arm, and twisted him around to face Fry, his shackles clinking on the metal floor.

He walked around behind him and leaned close to his ear and said, ”I will ask you one more time, because I like to think I’m fair. Will you change course and take me to the Anilo system?”

Mitchell stiffened again, his military training dictating his tough demeanor.

“I will not help a convicted mass murderer, to take control of a civilian ship with more than forty people on board.” He said, looking back over his shoulder first at the shiv no more than a hair’s breadth from his face and then to the murderer holding it.

Riddick sucked his teeth, inhaled and sighed. “I thought that might be your answer.” He slid his hand around Mitchell’s neck and held his chin tightly, as he pushed the shiv in between his vertebrae, and up into the base of his brain. Riddick was so professional only the tiniest drop of blood was spilt. Mitchell’s eyes widened, mouth moving in silent protest, as he died.

Riddick didn’t watch the Captain; he was paying special attention to Carolyn’s reaction. What would she do? She was sitting on the deck, open mouthed, stunned at the suddenness of events, revulsion and fear sweeping across her face. But she didn’t vomit or start screaming hysterically at the sight of a dead man.

You’re tough enough. Riddick had got what he wanted from her. Dragging Mitchell’s body from the flight deck, he dumped it outside in the corridor. Wiping his shiv on his thigh as he walked back to Fry. He briefly looked up to see she was gone. He stopped amazed that she had moved in her shackled and slightly injured state. Fry launched herself at him from behind a supporting bulkhead, screaming obscenities as she moved towards him. Her attack was more bravado and uncontrolled fury, than an accurate and calculated attack. She landed squarely in Riddick’s arms.

Riddick stumbled backwards, only just retaining his balance as he adjusted to having her weight in his arms. She slid down his body and he grabbed her hands clawing his face. He twisted her arms around her in a living straitjacket to bring her under control. He pushed her a few steps across the room, up against the ships bulkhead, using his body as a huge wedge. She tried to bite his hands, engulfed by him but still she continued to wriggle, squirm and in a new trick to stomp on his toes. A pointless exercise with steel toe capped boots on, Riddick thought, although he couldn’t help admiring her audacity and courage. He wondered if maybe he had picked the wrong crew member to revive. Well, if she turned out to be trouble he had one more left.

“You have ten seconds to get it out of your system, Carolyn, then you either do as I say or I’ll kill you.”

Riddick wasn’t sure she’d heard him in her blazing fury and maintained his pressure up against her body. Quite rightly she seemed consumed with rage at her Captains death, he had just been slaughtered right before her eyes, and now she wanted to hurt Riddick for it. The feel of a woman that close to him was a huge turn on. He rubbed up and down her back. Her ass pressed against his groin was intoxicating. Licking his lips, he seriously considered it.

Hmmmmm…could I make you squeal Carolyn?

He tightened his grip with one hand and pressed himself harder against her. Moving his other hand to the button at the top of her pants, her flicked it open and slid down her zipper. Fry gasped and stood still realizing what his intentions were. She rapidly renewed her fighting with him. Riddick was unconcerned at her frantic efforts to shove him off. He pushed his hands inside her pants his fingers massaged the smooth flesh under his hands, as he moved down to her sweat covered ass. He was so tempted. She felt so good but he needed her compliant and useful, not a destroyed bloody heaving wreck. He would have to wait for another time. He removed his hands and whispered in her ear.

“It’s your lucky day.”

Carolyn stopped struggling, seemingly understanding his words. His tone was condescending enough to imply that he could take her anytime he pleased. Riddick eased his body away from her. Her head slumped forward as Riddick let go and she collapsed in disheveled heap onto the floor, sobbing. Her hair was plastered to her face and her clothes hanging off her. Riddick now had her absolute obedience. Her little display against him couldn’t have been more helpful in reinforcing who was in charge.

Riddick bent down to her trying to ignore her disarranged clothes exposing her body. He took her chin in his paw like hand and tilted her tear stained face towards him.

”Get over it Carolyn, it was either him or you.” He released her chin and strode away to the navigation console to lay in his new course.

 

Riddick had given Fry the length of time of a slowly smoked cigarette to recover from her ‘attack’ on him. He had sat at the navigation post, feet up on the console, and watched as she had regained her composure. He watched her as she wiped her face with the back of her hands, leaving smudgy dirty tracks down her cheeks. Her body still jerked from the occasional, now stifled, sob. He had finished his smoke in one last large drag and then hauled Fry to her feet and said, “Shower.” She looked up at him. Her face said ‘submission’ but her eyes still said ‘fight’.

So now, he dragged her along a dank, dark narrow corridor, just one of a myriad of claustrophobic warren like tunnels that ran the length of the ship. The illumination from the bulkhead lights was gloomy and threw ugly shadows in front of them. Tired of her weight dragging on his arm he grabbed her, swung her past him and pushed her in front. Her shirt tore at the collar revealing her slender neck. Riddick watched her stumble but she managed to keep her footing. He caught her heels and she increased her pace.

“Move!” Riddick yelled as she started to slow down after just a few steps. “This is for your fucking benefit not mine.”

He shoved her again, squarely on her shoulder, and this time she almost fell. He watched as she clutched frantically at the cables on the wall to save her from crashing to the deck. Riddick did not slow his pace or try to help her, he merely smirked at her efforts and nearly trod on her as she picked herself up. They rounded the corner and drew level with the Captains quarters.

“Stop.” Riddick barked. He was pissed with her. It was less than a half hour since he had killed Mitchell in front of her, and then fought off her pathetic attempt to attack him. However, she hadn’t learned her lesson and was already messing him about. He hit the door release mechanism with a little too much force. Grabbing Fry by the shoulder, he spun her round. He wrapped his hand around her throat, his finger and thumb nearly meeting at the nape of her neck. Pinning her to the wall he leaned against her, she stunk of sweat and fear. The sweat she could wash off. The fear, Riddick wanted to keep. Don’t push it woman.

He ran his free hand through her dirty blonde hair, curling one lank strand around his forefinger and tugging it. Fry winced and closed her eyes. Riddick leaned close to her face and said, “I know you were deliberately slowing your pace walking here, Carolyn. I know that you will try and do anything you can to stop me from taking this ship.”

He licked his dry lips and continued,” I also know, if you keep it up, it’s the quickest way to get yourself killed. Do you want to die Carolyn? You are dispensable and you are mine. Fuck me about and I will kill you, and it won’t be quick and it won’t be easy.”

He traced his fingers over her sweat-drenched cheek, across his own hand around her neck, and followed the line down her body to her still open pants, hanging carelessly off her hips. He slid his index finger inside her panties, just touching her soft curls. Carolyn’s eyes widened again. Her posture immediately changed. Her shoulder’s dropped and she lowered her eyes. Riddick could feel her repeatedly swallowing under his hand around her neck. He pressed his cheek to her own, and his body up against hers, crushing her to the wall. He whispered in her ear.

“Don’t make me kill you Carolyn, because if have to, I will, without hesitation.”

He paused.

“First I will take your body, and then I will take your soul.”

He felt her start to tremble. Having made his point, he slowly released his hold on her neck as he stepped back, admiring the reddening marks left on her skin. If he was going to have to reinforce his will regularly, he was going to enjoy it.

“Now do you want to shower or not?” Riddick asked. His demeanor changed as he lowered his goggles over his eyes. He wouldn’t put up with her unwillingness to cooperate much longer. He needed her help to accomplish the slingshot maneuver, after that, he’d see how useful she would be. They could do the next six weeks the easy way or the hard way—Fry seemed to want it the hard way. Riddick didn’t care either way, as long as he got what he wanted.

Fry peeled herself off the wall and managed a slight nod. She moved toward the open doors as Riddick gestured and walked into Mitchell’s sleeping quarters. She stopped suddenly. “What?” said Riddick inclining his head towards her. “Clothes…they are in MY quarters, along with my washing stuff, shampoo...” Fry stammered. Riddick cut her off, “We will get your clothes but you will wash in here.”

He already knew there was nothing in the room that she could use as a weapon in an attack. He had removed everything when he had showered earlier. He planned to keep her constantly guessing, never knowing what was going to happen next. Fear and confusion of his enemies had always been his greatest strengths.

He stepped back and allowed her to walk past him, making sure she had to brush along his body. He followed her up the corridor just a few meters and into her quarters where she retrieved clean pants, shirt and underwear.

Riddick saw her take a sly side ways glance at a picture on a storage unit as she gathered her clothes. He walked over and picked it up. It was a family portrait. HER family portrait? Fry stood in the center of the group, presumably the couple behind her were her parents and the two others her siblings.

“Family?” he asked. He looked at her and she nodded sharply. He watched as the realization hit her that even though he wasn’t looking at her, he had seen every move she made. He returned to the picture, Fry looked much younger in it, ten years at least. Ten years ago, Riddick mused, he’d been starting his second stretch in slam. Riddick smiled to himself, he hadn’t stayed inside for more than three weeks, and the security had been a joke. He turned and looked over the top of the photo at Fry. “Cute,” he said and threw it across the room, just missing her head. It smashed against the wall, shattered glass flying everywhere Fry gasped, but said nothing.

“Go shower,” was all Riddick said, his voice flat, even and devoid of emotion.

Carolyn looked close to tears again and scurried out of the room; her clothes bundled in her arms. Riddick followed, keeping her in sight. They reached the bathroom of Mitchell’s quarters and Fry dumped her clothes on the locker by the shower and turned to undress. Riddick settled himself against the doorframe; he kept his goggles on as the bathroom lights were very bright. He crossed his arms and said” Twenty minutes.”

Fry’s discomfort increased as she realized that Riddick was going to watch her shower. She opened her mouth to say something but thought better of it and turned her back to him to undress. She lifted her shirt above her head and pushed her pants down her legs. She could hear his breathing getting louder the more clothes she shed. She felt so humiliated, she knew that was what he wanted, and that she had to brazen it out. She pushed the toe of one foot against the heel of the other to force off her shoe without bending down. There was no way she was going to bend down in front of him and present him with her partially clad ass. She repeated the action with the other foot and then shrugged off her pants as they reached her ankles. She kept her knees together awkwardly, desperate not to bend over. Carolyn heard Riddick growl and paused, the sound sending a chill down her spine. She leaned into the shower to turn the water on. She had a choice now. Did she strip completely in front of him? Not fucking likely. She stepped into the shower panties and all.

Riddick raised an eyebrow and shouted over the noise of the water hitting the base of the stall. “You always shower in panties, Fry? Take them off, I’ve seen it all before.”

He watched Fry suck her top lip as she slid them off, dropping them on the floor with her other clothes. Her jaw flexed as she gritted her teeth. She turned and began to lather herself with Mitchell’s soap. Riddick sighed absorbing the view in front of him. He was getting hard, fuck; he needed to control himself.

Pursing his lips, he slid reluctantly off the doorframe, trying to rearrange himself so he was more comfortable. He walked into the sleeping quarters and started to systematically empty every draw, cupboard and locker onto the floor, searching for anything Fry could use as a weapon. This would be her room when he allowed her to sleep, he didn’t want her finding a weapon to attack him with.

He found Mitchell’s bags in the bottom of his locker. He turned them upside down and shook them, several things fell out. Riddick retrieved the nail scissors. Anything he found he would dump later.

He pulled the tatty mattress off the bed and opened the bedside locker tossing Mitchell’s pictures of his family on the floor with everything else. He stood up and surveyed the fittings in the room. Riddick’s many escapes from slam had made him a master at using anything around him for a weapon or a means of escape. A door handle could be a crowbar. A screw or nail an effective puncturing weapon. He walked to the mirror on the wall and ran his fingers around the edge. Mirrors could be smashed and the glass used for a dozen things. This one was well secured, however, and couldn’t be pulled from the wall.

He peered into the shower room; to find Fry looking back, her puzzled _expression turning to embarrassment at being caught staring at him. He smirked back at her allowing his eyes to sweep the full length of her body, just long enough to make her uncomfortable again. She hurriedly turned her back to him.

He took one final look around the room and then decided it was time to return to the peep show. He sauntered back into the bathroom grabbing a towel off the rack as he walked. He stood right by the edge of the shower for several seconds, enjoying the view, as Fry turned under the faucet to rinse off the last of the soap in her hair.

Oh yeah.

“Out”, he said.

The closeness of his voice made her start. Her eyes flicked open and she snatched the towel from his out stretched hand, wrapping it around herself as quickly as possible, soapy bubbles still visible in her hair. She went to step out of the shower but Riddick blocked her way. She up looked at him, seeing her reflection in his goggles.

Riddick took an edge of the towel in each hand and, with painful slowness, pulled it from her fingers. He opened it wide. His breathing was fast after rushing the search the in the sleeping area, but he was bringing it under control. Staring at Fry’s delicious naked body was slowing that recovery. His eyes roamed across her, his tongue curling in his mouth at the anticipated relief she would bring. The water was still dripping down her. Little rivulets ran down her breasts and stomach disappearing into her blonde curls. Her thighs were creamy white and her nipples rosy pink. This was the seminal moment. If he were going to rape her, he would do it now. The seconds stretched as he debated with himself. Fry stood dead still; she could tell what was at stake. Riddick abruptly snapped the towel back around Fry.

“Get out,” he said brusquely.

Fry clasped the edges of the towel together and leaped out. She pushed past him, the first time she had voluntarily touched him. She grabbed her clothes off the locker, and ran into the sleeping area. She nearly tripped over the debris on the floor, trying hard to keep her towel around her body.

Riddick shook his head, cross with himself. He had nearly lost his control. He turned and leaned against the cool tiles. He watched Fry as she tried to dry herself hurriedly, her back to him again. Her ass was firm and bounced as she rubbed the towel up and down her legs. Riddick didn’t care which way she faced him. Front ways, back ways , he’d fuck her anyways. Weeks in cryo were bad for a man’s sex drive.

Riddick moved his hand to his crotch and undid his fly. He had to kill this urge now. He was already rock hard, and his cock sprang free as the zipper opened his pants. He bit his lip grabbing himself and began to jerk hard. He was practiced and could bring himself off in ten good strokes or less.

The brothers had beaten any boys that they caught ‘playing with the devil’. Therefore, you learned to come fast if you didn’t want bleeding fingers that were then dipped in antiseptic powder. The memories of the boys screams almost put Riddick off his stroke. He closed his eyes for a second and focused. He re-opened them to see Fry climbing into her panties, he legs parted just enough for a glimpse of her snatch.

Fuck yeah!

“ Stop,” he shouted.

Fry stood still, one foot in her underwear.

“Turn round and face me,” Riddick’s voice had become low and rough with his arousal. Fry slowly turned and looked at him, her eyes immediately dropping to his open pants and his hand stroking his large cock. A blush spread from her face down her neck almost reaching her breasts. To Riddick the blush looked like she was turned on by his actions, even though he knew she wasn’t. It gave her skin a beautiful glow.

“Dress slower,” he growled.

He could see Fry’s eyes nervously roaming the floor, walls, anywhere that wasn’t looking at what he was doing. She lifted her other leg into her panties and slid them up her hips, her pelvis jutting out provocatively. Riddick groaned and the muscles in his thighs and legs tensed, he was close. He pumped himself again and focused on Fry’s nipples. The cold of the room had made them into hard pink knots on the end of perfect round breasts.

He knew she was still trying to dress as quickly as she could get away with. Riddick didn’t care now. After weeks with no sexual relief , he came, hard. His back arching off the wall and thrusting his pelvis forwards his cum coating his hand, and dripping onto the floor. He groaned loud enough to make Fry look up and then quickly away again. Riddick continued to gently pump himself, enjoying the after shocks. He slowed to a stop, leaned over the sunk and flipped on the tap, rinsing his sticky hand, keeping his eyes on Fry all the time. He pulled at his cock, milking every drop from himself. Then zipped himself up and walked through to her.

She had slipped her shirt over her head and stood waiting for him. He could see her still not daring to look in the bathroom. His eyes met hers; her blush was still visible. He took her chin in his damp hand, knowing she could feel the wetness and smell his cum.

“Food.”

Fry nodded sharply. He let her go and she moved out through the doorway. He was pleased to see that she was beginning to submit to his routine. Well, some of it anyway. Riddick smirked at her previous attempts of defiance. She walked in front and he followed to watch her, he ordered and she obeyed.

They arrived at the galley and Riddick dumped all the things he had removed from Mitchell’s quarters down the garbage disposal chute, peering in as they were all sucked away to be dumped. He then took a seat and said,” I eat anything, except rice.” Fry turned to the prep area and began pulling out things to cook.

He lit one of the last remaining cigarettes from John’s packet and inhaled. Riddick hated rice. The brothers had fed them with it every day. When he’d left the school, he’d sworn he’d never eat rice again. He’d kept that promise to himself and he’d kept his promise to the brothers as well. Riddick grinned, his only happy memories from his school days were from the day he’d left and the parting gift he’d left the sadistic fucks that were supposed to be his ‘caregivers.’

He rubbed his hand over his scalp. He was tired. They’d eat and then sleep. Then he would tell her of his flight plan and he could get this show on the road. He felt better now, more relaxed. He smiled wryly as he watched Fry’s ass straining inside her pants.

Sweet!

Six weeks with Miss Fuckable. He raised his eyebrows; he’d be spending a lot of time in the bathroom.

 

Riddick scrolled through the passenger list. He was looking for someone else to defrost. His choices were very limited. No men. No crew. No kids. That left eleven women out of thirty-nine people.

Riddick scowled, this wasn't part of his plan.

Fuck Fry.

 

He had spent the better part of the 'day', as time on ship was always indistinct, showing Fry where he wanted to go and how to get there. She had listened attentively, not commenting until Riddick had been through the whole flight plan in detail.

Fry's first words had been-- 'If you want to go to the Anilo system there is a problem'. Riddick had raised an eyebrow and looked at her skeptically. "No shit! That’s a surprise; I thought you'd be real enthusiastic."

She had swallowed nervously, not appreciating Riddick's sarcasm, licked her lips and then gone on to explain that before their current flight, the Hunter Gratzner had been undergoing repairs.

They had, of course, taken longer than expected and not been completed. One particular task, that had not been finished, was repairing the hydraulic rams that were on the side of the ship. When it made slingshot maneuvers, they were raised to protect the side of the ship closest to the planet. The heat produced by the friction on skimming the atmosphere was intense. The rams had shields on the end of them, which protected the ship's hull. The rams themselves had been fixed but had not been refilled with hydraulic fluid. The fluid was already on board for the job to be completed at the next spaceport they put into. If the rams could not be lifted to their correct position and protect the side of the ship and they attempted a slingshot then the ship would overheat, sustain serious structural damage and explode.

If Riddick wanted to slingshot around the planet T2, then the rams, down the left side of the ship, would need refilling manually. Four hundred and fifty gallons of viscous hydraulic fluid would have to be hand pumped into each of fifteen rams, thirty gallons in each. Back breaking and laborious work to be completed in 17 days before they reached T2.

It had to be done before then. T2 was the only planet in their present system that had three suns and extraordinary gravity fields that would launch a ship at almost twice its speed using half the fuel. They would reach Riddick's destination in the six weeks he had planned. Without the sling shot it would take twice as long.

Twelve weeks with the constant need to control Fry or six weeks with two people to watch. Riddick had been torn in his decision. He left Fry at the console and wandered around the flight deck chewing it over. He could feel her eyes following him, what did she not want him to see? He spun round on his heel and glared at her. She straightened up and stared back at him. Riddick immediately made the analogy of the frightened rabbit caught in a hunter's light just before it got its head blown off. He almost chuckled at her reaction to him. He just loved this game.

He slumped down in the Captains chair, letting his head loll. Even though keeping her on edge was fun, it would get harder as time wore on. If he had two to watch it was going to be exhausting towards the end of the trip. Although, of course, once the rams were filled he could dispense with one of the women. That would make life easier again. Riddick made his decision. His impatience had got the better of him. He would get someone to help Fry and have two to watch. Then the thought occurred to him to turn the situation to his advantage. Pick a woman. Something tasty.

'Twice the choice for the shower room,' he had informed Fry, who had immediately blushed at the memory.

 

Riddick read down the screen picking names and bringing up their details; name, age, a recent picture and their job description or skills. All details contained on their identity cards.

He would skim through them and then scroll on, dismissing them. Riddick had been amused by his own data entry. It had simply said; Richard Benedict Riddick, 31, mass murderer and the picture was unflattering as well.

Chuckling, compiled a list of the women and started to read their details more thoroughly. Six of the eleven women were over 45 so too old. One had heart condition, so the first time he snarled at her she would keel over at his feet. Another was just plain ugly, Riddick's blanched at her picture.

Whoa, couldn't wank watching that in the shower!

He exhaled. That left...three others; one was a prospector. She looked fit and could be made to work hard. She was a possibility Riddick had smelt her when he had been put in cryo. All the other passengers had been put in their tubes when Riddick had been placed in his. He'd taken the opportunity to try and absorbed some knowledge about his fellow 'sleepers' even though he'd been kicking the crap out of Johns at the same time.

Another of the remaining choices was a 'new age revivalist'.

Fucking hippies!

Riddick curled his lip; they got everywhere. She wouldn't last five minutes.

Riddick chewed the inside of his cheek as he thought. The last choice had mechanic/short lift pilot as her job description. That was more like it. She could be useful if Fry started misbehaving again.

He scrolled down to the picture; Nicola Erskine, was the woman's name.

Nikki, it's your lucky day.

He stood up and stretched. He looked over at Fry who was updating and running a systems check on the ship's computers. A task made more difficult by the fact that Riddick had ripped out the communications motherboard so they could receive no 'on stream data' updates. Riddick had torn it out the second they had reached the flight deck. He'd made Fry stand and watch, knowing that the first chance she got, she'd be broadcasting their location throughout the system. He thought she was going to cry again as he stomped the board under foot into a thousand pieces. They could survive without communications. Now, he watched Fry hover around the console trying not to touch the live wires hanging out.

"I've found someone."

Fry had been engrossed in her work and jumped, startled by his voice. He grinned and stood up. He still wasn't entirely happy with allowing another person loose on the ship but he'd manage fine. He stretched his large frame, raising his hands above his head and linking them. He twisted his head from one side to the other, removing the kinks. He was finally starting to shrug of the effects of cryo and feel human. Food plus sleep plus a wank, all equaled a happy Riddick.

"Come on," he said. He motioned for her to join him. She paused and looked at her clipboard with her reams of calculations and notes on it. "I need to finish these."

Riddick sauntered over to her and stood in front of her, towering over her by at least ten inches.

"Don't start Fry. Where I go, you go... for the next six weeks."

Fry nodded immediately. Riddick finally believed he was breaking her resistance down. A few more days and she would be his lap dog.

"Cryo-chamber." He said and she obediently stepped in front of him and they left the flight deck, Riddick walking just far enough behind Fry to appreciate the view.

 

They entered the cryo chamber and Fry stepped to one side to let Riddick walk down the central aisle to the tube he wanted. Instead, Riddick drew level with her. He pulled up his goggles and turned to her and looked her straight in the eyes.

"The tube we need is number thirty-seven. Nicola Erskine is the woman's name. She's a mechanic and….a pilot."

A smirk touched Riddick's lips. He knew Fry understood the intonation in his voice.

Riddick continued. "She will be your responsibility. It's up to you to keep her inline. You want her, you take care of her."

Fry nodded and they set off up the aisle to find the woman's tube.

 

As she walked, Fry listened to the heavy footsteps behind her. She thought that Riddick was relaxing just a touch. She was working hard on being submissive and it seemed to be paying off. Until she got help, she had no chance of taking Riddick. Her attack on him earlier had been foolhardy in the extreme. He could've killed her then. Now she would have to curb her temper and play along. She would find some way to stop him...she just didn't know what yet.

Fry's initial shock at having Riddick in charge had subsided enough for her to take stock of the situation. With Mitchell dead, she was now in command. She wasn't surprised Riddick had killed him, perfectly logical thing to do. She would retake the ship, but she really needed Owens to do that. Unfortunately, Riddick had been way too smart to give her a man for the job.

She was getting a girl. Crap. She hoped she'd be some sort of use, firstly with the rams. They had to get those fixed. Riddick had already changed course, they would make T2 in 17 days. If they didn't want to die then they had to be ready. Secondly, she hoped this passenger would be smart enough to help her take Riddick. Fry lowered her head and smiled to herself; gimme a smart babe, Richard B. Dickhead!

They reached tube 37 and Fry glanced up at Riddick. He shrugged and crossed his arms. Fry took that to mean she was to start the revival cycle. She pressed the buttons and a hiss came from the back of the tube. The process usually took 5 minutes. Fry stood looking through the Perspex at the still sleeping Nicola Erskine, she was not going to turn around and glare at Riddick, even though she would've given up a month's wages to do so. It would only result in him knocking her around and ruining her 'dumb blonde 'act. She could feel his eyes boring into her body. He made her feel naked even when fully clothed.

The woman in the tube started to stir, licking her lips and twisting her neck from side to side. Fry looked at her awakening form, feeling sorry for her. You poor bitch, you have no idea what you are about to step into. She was an attractive woman, tall and well built with long dark curly hair. She seemed to be used to the effects of cryo and was waking up fast. The timer on the tube bleeped to signal it was safe to open. Fry pulled on the handle and it opened with a soft hiss. She swung the door open wide. The woman opened her eyes, blinked and then smiled.

Fry stayed poker faced, trying to intimate to Erskine that all was not well. Nicola Erskine looked hard at her, frowned and started to climb slowly out of the tube. Riddick's huge frame came into view. Nicola took an involuntary step back, her eyes flashing wide-open.

"Nicola Erskine...meet Richard B Riddick," Said Fry.

 

Fry stood in the bathroom holding the towel for Nikki. For the first time in over 24 hours, even though he was standing behind her, she couldn't feel Riddick's eyes boring into her.

Instead they were roaming over the poor woman in the shower. Nikki Erskine was discovering the joys of living with a mass murderer. Fry wanted instinctively to stand between him and Nikki, but knew he'd just haul her out of the way.

Fry rubbed the rough towel in between her fingers, trying to find something to distract herself. Nikki Erskine was a fare paying passenger, and she, Fry, was a crew member. She felt embarrassed at having a passenger naked in front of her, and felt protective towards her. Nikki was clearly very frightened.

She could hear Riddick's breathing becoming harsh. She knew what he was doing. She stood completely still knowing she was in the most danger ever of being raped.

Fry's stomach turned over, all he had to do was pin her to the wall. She licked her lips and desperately wished she was anywhere else but here. Even at home with her parents, who she completely despised.

When Riddick had thrown the picture of her family across the room she had gasped and then cried, not because she was upset at losing it, but because he had nearly decapitated her with it. Fry hated her family and her parents with vengeance. They had always doted on her two brothers. She had been the cuckoo in the nest. Not as attractive. Not as smart. But all the agro had just made her tougher. She considered her brothers to be wimps, still living at home well into their twenties. A tiny smirk touched her lips at the thought of their reactions if they confronted Riddick

They'd piss themselves.

Erskine kept giving Fry side ways glances. Fry was ignoring them. Fry wanted her to just wash quickly then they could go and sleep. Riddick had said they could.

They had made it from the cryo chamber to here in an easy manner. The only drama had been when Nikki had first come out of the cryo tube. Riddick had decided to assert his authority, hauled Nikki aloft with his awesome strength and banged her head against the hull of the ship once. He'd leaned close and given her the same treatment he had been dishing out to Fry. Threatened her and told her to behave. Fry had watched the woman's reaction as closely as Riddick had watched hers to Mitchell's death. Fry noticed the sweat on upper lip was just a little too light, the shaking against Riddick's bulk pressed against her just a little too pronounced and the tears in her wildly blinking eyes was just a little too false.

She's faking.

Fry knew she was, because Fry was faking it too.

Fry had had to drop her eyes to the floor to stop from howling with laughter. She'd skimmed the passenger list the same as Riddick had. Wondering who would be the most help and least hassle.

You should have picked the hippie you prick.

Nikki had just hung there and not struggled. She seemed oblivious to Riddick's painful grip on her arms. He had outlined his plan to her the same as he had to Fry, and made her aware of the consequences if she messed him about.

Now standing in the bathroom, where she was so humiliated just hours before, Riddick was giving Nikki the 'haven't I got a big dick ' routine. Fry could smile about Riddick wanking at her now, at the time it had been unbelievably humiliating.

Nikki finished up and flipped off the water. She reached out for the towel from Fry keeping her face deadpan. Fry did the same. Riddick had stopped groaning and his breathing was heavy but regular now. She heard him turn on the tap in the sink, presumably rinsing his hand.

Nikki dried herself rapidly and grabbed the clean clothes off the locker that they had retrieved from Fry's room before coming into the bathroom. The silence in the room was heavy and uncomfortable. It was broken by the sound of a zipper being pulled up, followed by another.

They stood facing each other waiting for Riddick's instructions. Fry lowered her gaze, if Nikki's lips quivered once more he would realize they had something going.

After a long few moments, in which Fry tried to work out what he was thinking about, he said, "Carolyn you stay in Mitchell's quarters. Nikki you will go into Owens quarters."

Fry breathed a sigh of relief, he hadn't noticed.

He was just deciding whether to separate us or not...interesting. So he still considers us or me a danger.

"Move," yelled Riddick. Both women jumped at his roar. Fry spun on her heel and walked into the sleeping area that was still devastated from Riddick's earlier vandalism. She had almost made it to the other side of the room when she felt herself swept off her feet and slammed against the wall. Her head smacked against the metal edging and her ears rang with the force. Riddick grabbed her and pulled her roughly up to half standing, pressing against her so tightly she could hardly breathe. Fry gasped, her head lolling.

Riddick said nothing and grabbed her around the throat, squeezing. Fry heard Nikki gasp, but her main concentration was on trying to breathe. She struggled, he had realized she was faking, he must have realized she was faking. Her vision began to narrow alarmingly; he was going to kill her. Fry closed her eyes willing her life to continue.

Riddick let her go. She collapsed onto the floor in a heap, her face pressed to the carpet as the oxygen flooded her lungs. Riddick and Nikki left the room.

Fry lay on the floor for some time, she didn't know how long. She had heard her door close and Riddick lock it. She could hear muffled sounds in the next cabin. She hoped Nikki was all right. She couldn't think any further than that. Her head pounded as she lay wondering how close she had been to death as she sank into blessed oblivion.

 

She was awoken as harshly as she had been left to sleep. A toe cap smacked her in the ribs and she grunted in pain. Opening an eye she looked at Riddick's legs.

"UP, you have work to do," he said.

Fry raised herself up on her elbows and swallowed. Her throat was incredibly sore. She coughed and tried to swallow again. Riddick pushed his toe cap into her ribs again.

"Alright," she croaked, and pulled her legs under her until she was kneeling. She brushed her hair from her face, feeling every single bruise that Riddick had given her. She flopped over onto her side disorientated and feeling sick, sore and tired.

Fuck.

Riddick completely ignored her and walked to the doorway. He stopped and looked back at her. "I said UP!"

Fry pushed herself onto her feet and staggered after him. They left the room and walked the few short strides to Owens quarters. Riddick opened the door onto the view of a still slumbering Nikki. She was curled in a fetal position amongst the debris of the room, making it look almost identical to Fry's.

"Wake her," said Riddick. Fry rubbed a hand over her face and walked into the room. She grabbed Nikki's shoulder and shook it gently.

Nikki came fully awake in a matter of seconds, looking startled and terrified. She had dried crusted blood on the side of her face and on sight of Riddick instantly began to tremble. Fry was alarmed by her reaction.

What did he do to her!

Fry mumbled, "All right?" which she clearly wasn't, and then pulled her to her feet. Fry could feel Riddick's massive presence behind her. Nikki looked over her shoulder at Riddick. Fry had never seen anyone so frightened, her stomach churned again. Just when she thought it couldn't get any worse.

Riddick watched impassively, as gripping each other they pushed past him and out into the hall. Fry turned towards the galley, but Riddick grabbed her shoulder pinching it painfully and stopped her.

"Engine room," he said.

Fry turned and set off down the other way, Nikki gradually finding her feet and hanging off her less. Fry glanced at her a couple of times; she looked like shit had happened to her.

I didn't actually think he would...but why her and not me?

Fry mused to herself, trying to hurry the thoughts around her head and snatch the answers in the few minutes of relative peace she had before they reached the engine room and Riddick started playing 'God Almighty' again.

He did it to her...to frighten me. He suspects I am faking...he's trying a mind fuck.

She'd have to improve her acting. Riddick suspected or maybe even knew she wasn't really being submissive to him. He knew or suspected that she was biding her time till she could screw him. That’s what last nights little display was all about. A panic attack gripped her, her skin chilling instantly and a fizzing sensation making her head spin. Fuck, fuck, fuck! He's going to kill me!

She swallowed the bile down, her bruised throat constricting painfully. She really needed a drink.

 

They arrived in the engine room the way they had left the sleeping quarters, in silence. Riddick had made it clear, in his little pep talk with Nikki in the cryo-chamber that there was to be no talking between them, other than related to work.

Fry had never spent a great deal of time in the engine room but looking round now she could see things had been moved.

In one corner were a set of chains hanging off a hook on the wall, with a chair close by. There were dried food rations stacked neatly on the workbench in the center of the room and a large container of water. Any tools that may have been lying about had gone. There was nothing that could be used as a hand held weapon.

He's been busy while we've been asleep.

Fry desperately wanted water but it was the chains that had caught her attention. She licked her bone dry lips and tried not to think about them.

Riddick walked to the bench and picked up two packets of dried rations and two cups. He filled the cups and set them down, placing the food rations next to them. He turned, crossed his arms across his bulky chest and addressed them both.

"From now until you finish refilling the rams you will live in here, apart from the six hours sleep I will let you have, in twenty-four. You eat and work, that’s it. No talking. I don't want to listen to silly girly chit chat."

Fry looked past him at the water in the cups on the bench. She was close enough to see the tiny vibrations on the surface of the water caused by the near silent hum of the ships engines.

"You get that, Fry, when you have finished the first ram." said Riddick gesturing to the cups.

It took every single ounce of control for her to raise her chin and not burst into tears. Fry silently counted to ten, then counted again. She turned from Riddick visualizing, inside her head, every swear and cuss word she had ever heard. She gritted her teeth, set her jaw and took deep breaths as she set about collecting the tools she and Nikki would need.

I swear on my life...when I get THAT chance, Richard, Butthole, Bastard, Buggering Riddick ..I AM SO GONNA FUCK YOU!

The first ram took, what felt like, forever. Fry had never done this before, she'd seen it in theory, watched it in practice. It was hard and dirty work but after nearly three hours they got it done.

Nikki may have been frightened witless but she was smart when it came to engineering and had caught on to the task almost immediately. They had whispered to each other a few times as they had worked, but nothing more than 'okay?' or 'thank you' neither of them wanting Riddick's wrath to fall on them.

He had stood no more than ten feet away from them the whole time. Watching, listening, and noting every thing they did. Fry found after around an hour her awareness of him had actually heightened to the degree she could feel his presence easily. Thus being able to use her body to block his view, very casually of course, and hide anything she was doing. At present, it wasn't much but she hoped it would be a useful skill and she could come up with a weapon or at least an idea of how to kill him.

Both she and Nikki were filthy. The hydraulic fluid was sticky and smelled awful. On opening a container her first few breaths of it had made Fry glad she hadn't had anything to eat. They had poured it into the pump and then by winding the lever it had been pushed into the tubes of the ram.

Nothing had any labels of quantity on so they had been frantically winding, taking turns till their arms and shoulders ached, when it had all started to pour out over their feet.

Nikki had screeched 'stop' as the fluid had poured over the rim of the tube, sliding down the side and covering their feet.

Fry had stopped suddenly, not because of the mess on the floor but because it was the first time she had heard Nikki speak in a loud and clear tone. Her one word had shattered the silence and Fry realized just how much she missed conversation. Not that she was the world's best conversationalist but even she liked a little verbal dialogue occasionally.

Riddick had broken the moment by appearing swiftly and silently, saying, "You'd better clear that up," nodding towards the fluid oozing across the floor.

Now they had returned to the engine room and found some rags to wipe their hands on.

"You can eat, now," was all Riddick said and try as she might to control herself and keep her icy veneer in place, Fry fell on the water and dried rations like wolf on a sheep's carcass Nikki followed suit.

Fry drained the cup of water in one go, a fair bit running out of her mouth and down her neck in her haste. She wiped her mouth with the back of her hand. She looked at Riddick; time to push her luck.

"If we dehydrate we can't work," she said. Riddick stopped picking his nails with his shiv and raised his head to look at her. He seemed to consider the matter for a few seconds.

"You can have more if you want...but bear in mind you are gonna have me watch you piss."

Fry didn't care; he'd watched her shower and jerked off while she dressed. Watching her piss would be a stroll in the park. She helped herself to another cup of water and then a third. Nikki again followed her lead.

They continued to work hard and finished a second ram that day; only thirteen to go. They got to eat again and then Riddick announced," Time for bed kids!" with a disgusting smirk on his face.

They all walked back up towards the sleeping quarters. Fry sighed tiredly. The muscles in her arms were sore, unused to the manual work. If he locked them in the rooms at least she could shower in peace and soak them. Perhaps she would have enough energy to tidy up a little, see if he left anything for her to use as a weapon. She didn't think so but there was always a chance.

Outside the quarters Riddick called a halt.

Fry wondered why, frowned, started to turn to look at him, keeping her gaze lowered.

Riddick grinned and pointed at Fry. She frowned.

What now?

"Eeiny," Riddick now pointed to Nikki, " Meeny," and then back to Fry again.

"Miney, mo, catch a girly by her toe. If she screams let her go. Eeiny, meeny, miney, mo."

Riddick's finger came to rest pointing at Nikki. He grabbed Fry roughly by the arm and shoved her through her doorway. With a curt, "Night Fry," he slammed it closed.

Fry stood looking at the door. Her heart was in her mouth as the significance of the child's rhyme hit her. Now she couldn't help herself and burst into tears. Huge sobs erupting from inside her and she slumped to the floor

 

Fry slumped dejectedly onto the floor. She sat staring at the patterns on the corded carpet, taking in nothing. She barely registered the dirt, and the indentations from thousands of footfalls that had come and gone. Sitting quiet and still she could barely feel her own breathing. She felt more despondent now than at any time in the past two days.

This is hopeless. I can't beat him. I can't win.

She could hear noises from Nikki's cabin. Not frightening or alarming noises, just noises much too loud for just one person.

What’s he doing to her? She's not screaming. Perhaps he's gagged her.

Pictures of Nikki's abused body floated in front of Fry's eyes. She had visions of Riddick doing...God knows what. Fry closed her eyes, trying to shut out the images. She wanted to put her hands over her ears to block out the sounds. But she couldn't. She wanted to stand up and hammer on the wall and scream her hatred of Riddick at the top of her voice, but she wouldn't do that either. Instead keeping her eyes closed her, and for the first time in at least a dozen years, Fry prayed.

As an atheist she felt a fraud. Asking for a divine power to keep someone safe was the plan that lurked at the bottom of everyone's barrel, and she was no exception. She squeezed her eyes tightly closed and tried to reach out with her mind to something, anything that she could hang on to. She was at a loss to know what else to do.

Having silently muttered the few sacred words she knew she climbed slowly to her feet and tore herself away from the shuffling noises. She could wash off the grime, but the sticky sweat from the fear and misery clung to her like a shroud. As she rose, she caught her hand on something on the carpet. She winced and looking down saw it was a piece of glass. She frowned and then remembered Riddick throwing the picture of her family across the room. He had forgotten about the glass and never cleared it up.

Glass!

Her mind rang with sudden clarity. What could she do with it? Her mood went from despondency to mind-swirling hope in seconds. She decided it would be a good time to tidy up and see how much she could find. She surveyed the mess strewn across the room; it was a pig-sty. Her tired aching limbs protested at the though of the laborious task. She was unpleasantly hot and uncomfortable, looking down at her pants she realized how filthy she was.

Shower first, I think.

But she wanted to find and collect the glass. What if Riddick came in any second now! This could be the chance she had been waiting for.

Bending stiffly like a person twice her age she carefully searched the floor picking up any bits she could find, shifting the debris of Riddick's whirlwind search to one side for sorting out after she had showered. After just a few minutes she had got quite a collection of large shards and some tiny splinters too. She stared hard at the remains of the picture frame now contained in her hands. As she walked into the bathroom, she carefully turned the largest triangular shaped sliver over and over.

She slipped all the pieces in between a couple of towels on the locker, her gaze lingering on the large pointed shard. If for any reason Riddick should walk in now, he would be hard pressed to find her new weapon. She ripped off her disgusting clothes and stood under the hot water, feeling it easing her aches. Her mind began churning over what she could use the glass for.

 

Riddick finally left Nikki's room at least an hour after they had arrived. He closed and locked her door and grinned to himself.

I love a good plan.

He had a lot to do before he could finally allow himself the luxury of a few hours rest. Not that he was tired now, in fact he was feeling quite the opposite, rather hyped up. He walked to the galley and fetched enough food packets for the next day and replenished the water container.

Then he went to the bridge and checked over the autopilot system. The one factor he couldn't control was something unexpected. Another unmanned ship on auto-pilot or a meteor storm or even a rogue comet. He could only check the systems and then check again; hoping they would automatically kick in if something showed up, steer the ship away and avoid a catastrophe.

He looked over all the screens and data banks. It all looked fine--to him. He would get Fry up here later to check it too. He was sure she would now give him accurate information, now she was really scared. Riddick grinned; she was going to be good girl from now on, he was sure of that.

Happy with how things were shaping up he settled himself in the Captains chair. He yawned, opening his mouth so wide his jaw clicked, closed his eyes and quickly drifted off into the sleep of the self-satisfied.

 

Fry awoke with Riddick's toe cap in her ribs again. But instead of growling with discomfort, her first thought was --would he find the hidden glass?

She had spent a lot of her precious limited sleeping time finding the perfect place to hide it, and working out what to do with it. Eventually she had concealed all the pieces she could find in a recess between the locker in the bathroom and the bulkhead wall. She had also decided on at least one use for the tiny splintered pieces.

Pacing her response to Riddick's unattractive wake-up technique; she rolled onto her side and lowered her legs to the floor. She was less stiff this morning, as she had slept on the mattress on the bed rather than crashed out on the floor.

Wiping the sleep from her eyes, she noticed Riddick surveying the room, taking in the fact she had tidied it. She really didn't want him thinking about it too much. As she climbed to her feet she faked stumbling and crashed against his legs.

"Oh crap, sorry," she mumbled.

Riddick looked down his nose at her and frowned, as she hauled herself up.

Please don't think to hard Riddick. I know it strains those little brain cells!

She stood up, wanting, just for once to goad Riddick, provoke a reaction and make sure he didn't think about the glass.

"Time for work Boss?" she said in her chirpiest, cheekiest and most irritating voice.

His fist came out of nowhere, propelling her across the room. She somersaulted across the bed and landed in a heap on the floor.

Fuck!

Fry stood up briskly, blinking and shaking her head to clear the ringing in her ears. Even with blood pouring from her nose, she had to try and keep his attention. She grabbed a dirty shirt off the floor to staunch the flow and glared at him. She hoped he would just think she was being sassy. He stared at her, his lip curling.

"You smart mouthed bitch."

She walked to the doorway quickly waiting for his hands to close around her throat again, wondering if she had pushed too far. But they never came and she knew that her diversionary tactic had worked. Still trying to stem the flow of blood from her nose she smiled secretly to herself; the stash was safe for now.

 

They all followed the same routine for four days. Sleep, work, eat, work, eat, sleep; with the exception of Fry who listened to the noises, worried and then showered as well. She couldn't sleep till the noises subsided. She had tried talking to Nikki while they were working but it was impossible, Riddick was always within earshot. Every night Riddick went to her after locking Fry up. Every night she could hear the heavy breathing, the deep rumble of his voice, the shuffling sounds. She had even pressed her ear to the wall trying to corroborate her worst fears. Fry couldn't take not knowing anymore and came up with a plan. She would use the glass to bore a hole through the wall. She had decided it was worth the risk of discovery, to try and talk to Nikki.

She had moved a small drawer unit, which was the only piece of loose furniture in the room, as quietly as she could, dragging it away from the wall. She knew the walls were very thin. It was a standing joke on ships like the Hunter Graztner that they were thin to stop the crew from fraternizing with each other. If you wanted sex you had to be quiet and discreet. All the cabins were identical, so she knew Nikki would have a locker or similar unit on the other side to cover the hole once she had broken through.

She took one of the biggest pieces of glass ands wrapped a piece of material from a dirty shirt around it. She dug it in the wall and began to wiggle it into the thin plaster. The glass was not very thick so she had to be careful and not break it and her supplies were limited. Having started she wanted to keep going but knowing she had another eighteen hours of work to come was a deterrent. She had to sleep but didn't have her watch so didn't know how long she had worked. It seemed almost as soon as she started she had to stop, fatigue setting into her body.

Each night she followed the same pattern. She showered and then had to wait for Riddick to leave Nikki. Fry had to force herself to stay awake so she could begin scraping. The plaster board wasn't tough in itself but the fire retardant filler was. So her progress had been painfully slow. She counted, silently, to herself to try and maintain some idea of time. When she was so tired the numbers became jumbled she knew she couldn't carry on. She stopped and slowly pulled the unit back into place. Conveniently the solid base of the unit hid the tiny particles of dust and debris the plaster had made. She carefully hid away the glass scraper and made for her bed. Her mind shut down the second her head touched the mattress. Each night her spirits rose a little more as the scar on the wall deepened.

Tonight was the first time she could hear scraping the other side of the wall. Nikki had obviously worked out what she was doing and was trying to help, what she was using, Fry didn't know.

Finally after six nights a deep hole had appeared. Fry held her breath; if she had miscalculated it could be Riddick looking back at her. Poking through the last bit of plaster with her finger, she bent and peered through the opening. She was thankful to see a pretty dark brown eye looking back rather than a shiny black one.

Fry smiled. She whispered, "Hi Nikki," after a few seconds she heard Nikki reply, "Hello, Carolyn."

Fry began to pull away the plaster frantically. She would carefully collect up all the pieces to hide in a locker. Soon it was big enough for Fry to push her hand through the hole, grazing her knuckles on the rough plaster in her haste. She dangled it in mid air and then felt another hand gently clasp her fingers. Fry grinned broadly and leaned her head against the plaster wall. Tears prickled her eyes she hadn't realized how much she really appreciated human contact until it had been taken away. At least now, she could talk with Nikki.

 

It was a strange sensation holding hands with someone you couldn't see. Fry pulled her hand back and bent down and peered through the hole in the wall.

She steeled herself. This was a conversation she was desperate to have, but also really wanted to avoid.

"Nikki?"

"Yeah," the dark haired woman replied, still grinning.

"How 'are' you?" Fry asked.

Fry watched as Nikki shrugged and frowned a little. "Same as you… I suppose."

She's being so brave.

Fry chewed her bottom lip, and then said. "I think he's doing it to you rather than doing it to me cos he thinks it will keep me in line, I had hoped by being more submissive he would leave you alone, but I know he goes to you night after night cos I can hear him and ....I don't know what else to do...." she nervously rubbed a hand across her forehead. Nikki blinked and looked puzzled. "I erm..."

Fry sighed, Nikki was making a hard subject even harder to get through.

"Nikki, I have been lying awake every night, I can hear what he has been doing to you."

"Oh, can you? "Nikki replied looking down at the floor. Fry couldn't see her whole face through the hole and the dim light in the room, but her discomfort was obvious.

"He does get a bit loud occasionally, not surprised you can hear."

Fry could feel the tears beginning to form behind her eyes. It was her turn to blink and try and remain composed. It was Nikki Riddick was fucking not her.

"Nikki, it's hard to rape someone quietly," Fry's tone was as gentle and as understanding as she could possibly be.

Nikki blanched. "NO...that's not what he's been doing," realization dawning. "He talks to me. He thinks I look like a girl he knew a long time ago. He touches me and kisses me and well..." she struggled for the words, "I think he kind of idolized her. Worshipped her, put her on a pedestal type thing." Nikki frowned, it was hard for Fry to see any facial _expression through the hole in the wall but her present one was very evident.

She blinked rapidly and said," It's been scary, I just played along, I didn't know what else to do." She looked up at Fry again, "It seemed like the safe option."

Fry sat back on her heels, her rage at boiling point.

He's been playing me again.

"You thought he was hurting me?" Nikki asked. "Crap, I'm sorry. No, he's just been touching me he's never tried anything else."

Fry sat silently thinking. Enough was enough. She wasn't going to play his mind games anymore.

She looked up at Nikki and said," I want to stop him from taking this ship. Will you help me?"

"Yes," said Nikki without hesitation.

Fry grinned, "Good, I have a plan."

 

As hard as Fry tried to vary her sleeping position, she always ended up on her stomach. Therefore when Riddick came to wake her every morning he always poked her with his boot in the same spot. There was quite a nice bruise developing just under her left breast, it matched the other ones all over her body.

She rolled over and stood up, walked straight to the door and out into the corridor unbidden. Riddick followed and as soon as he had unlocked Nikki's door she walked in and woke her and they set off quickly to the engine room. Fry slowed her pace; if they were being just a little too enthusiastic then Riddick would pick something up if they weren't careful.

Arriving at the engine room, they all moved to their familiar positions. The girls picked their tools, and stood waiting for instructions. They never moved until Riddick told them too.

Fry had a pretty good idea where they would be going though. They had managed to complete ten rams so far...the next one would be eleven. Riddick was nothing if not predictably logical when it came to getting this work done. It was the only time she had been able to second guess him.

Try second guessing me you fuck!

Fry was already thinking about how good it would be not to get a boot in her ribs every morning. How nice it would be to have enough to eat, and eat real food too, which she knew was in the galley. How nice it would be to have conversation with Nikki face to face. How nice it would be to find a habitable planet to land on and.....run away screaming from all this!

Fry inhaled deeply. The tension in her body was rising.

All we need is for you to take the bait

Fry realized she was staring at Riddick. He frowned, but turned to collect the barrel of hydraulic fluid he needed, and she swiftly looked away. She shot a furtive glance at Nikki.

They trooped down the service shaft. Not even the knowledge that they were about to embark on at least two sweat filled hours could reduce the spring in Fry's step.

She could hear Riddick rolling the barrel behind them.

We're gonna fuck you, we're gonna fuck you!

The childish chant helped to push away the fears she had with the plan...if it went wrong there would be no reprieve...he would kill them.

 

Riddick inhaled hard. He concentrated hard on the slate air rushing through his airways. There was something different this morning. Fry smelt different, but he couldn't put his finger on it.

He narrowly missed trapping his hand between the wall and the barrel he was rolling. He returned his full attention to his task. Maybe he was just getting tired. It was bound to happen, he wasn't superhuman. They'd been doing this for five days, it was starting to take its toll.

There were only five rams left. Then he could relax a bit. Lock them up till he needed them maybe he would have some fun with Nikki first. She was expendable. He was planning to finally fuck her. His restraint he been incredible, Nikki was almost as beautiful as Terri had been, and he'd loved Terri more than anything. It hadn't been fair when they had taken her away; he hadn't really hurt her, they had over reacted

Riddick winced as his fingers caught on the wall.

Shit! Concentrate you prick!

He silently admonished himself. He was getting tired. He had to push these bitches and get these fucking things fixed.

They arrived at the right place in the shaft and Riddick righted the barrel of fluid and twisted it across the floor so they could pump it into the ram.

He walked back across the corridor and leaned against the wall rubbing his squashed fingers.

He looked up and watched the women settle themselves to the task. He desperately wanted to yawn but knew it would be a sign of weakness that Fry would pick up on. She had been noticeably quieter since he had started his little charade with Nikki. He had wanted Fry to think he was abusing her...apparently it had worked. He'd found it a laugh making enough noise in Nikki's room each night to convince her that he was fucking her. Each morning he would see the anger flash in Fry's eyes and then she would quickly smother it. She now believed him capable and was acting accordingly.

Riddick grinned to himself as he watched the women labor away. He picked at the torn skin on his fingers and returned to his thoughts on what he was going to do once he reached his final destination. First he would get completely fucking drunk, maybe score some decent dope and then...hmmm...girls. Lots of girls, enough to fuck for a week solid. He could hardly contain his excitement.

First he would have to find Jo-Neal though. His partner had the money stashed and he couldn't do anything with out the money. Find him; get his share then he could make himself a little more comfortable.

"Ahhhhh!" Nikki's piercing scream brought his attention back to the present. He blinked and straightened up from his comfortable slouch against the wall.

"What?" he said.

"She's got her fingers caught, I can't free her hand, I can't lift the ratchet I'm not strong enough!" Fry sounded desperate, " Riddick please?"

Riddick raised an eyebrow. Fry said please to him? It must be serious!

He stepped across, Fry moved out of the way and he walked around Nikki whose hand seemed to be completely inside the mechanism. How the hell did she manage that?

That was his last thought before Fry whacked him across the back of the head with the biggest wrench she could find.

Riddick groaned and dropped to the floor with an almighty thud.

Fry stood over Riddick's still form and raised the wrench again. She was shaking all over. She gritted her teeth and started to bring the wrench down to smash against Riddick's' skull.

But she couldn’t do it the wrench swooped down in an arc and clanged against the floor almost catching an ear. The reverberation up the shaft of the tool jarred her arms. She dropped it and wiped the tears that had escaped from her eyes. She couldn't do it. She had to but she couldn't.

She looked at Nikki who had managed to extricate her 'trapped' hand all by herself. She stared back at her, fear in her eyes.

"Tie him up?" she said.

Fry nodded glad that the decision had been taken from her.

They pulled his arms behind his back and using plastic cable ties secured his hands and feet. They then looped more ties around the three inch thick stanchion of the ram that came out of the floor and attached him to that.

Fry was crying the whole time. The adrenaline that had been rushing through her body was now gone. She was terrified he would wake up before they got him secured.

I want to stop him from ever waking up again.

But she knew she couldn't. When she'd gone down and lain still she'd wanted to cheer. Her hatred of him temporarily satiated. All she had to do was hit him again and he would be gone forever. Fuck the man was a killer!

She knew why she couldn't.

As a child her father had once hit a deer that had rushed out onto the road. After the shock of the initial impact her father had slewed the car to a stop. He stepped out cursing the animal and inspecting the damage to his vehicle. Carolyn had also climbed out, but her thoughts were for the wounded animal that was now lay only a few yards away, thrashing around in its death throes.

Her father had said nothing but 'hurumphed' his annoyance and said, "Back in the car Carolyn."

She'd obeyed. She had knelt up in the passenger seat, her small hands clinging to the headrest and watched as her father had taken a wheel brace from the trunk of the car, walked the few yards to the terrified animal and smashed its head to a bloody pulp. Carolyn had been unable to tear her eyes away and watched the whole episode with a sick fascination, barely aware of the rising bile in her throat and scrambling from the car just in time to vomit her breakfast all over the grass verge.

As she had stood over Riddick wrench in hand, the images had returned to her in glorious technicolor. She wanted Riddick dead. Desperately so, but her humanity wouldn't let her.

Taking one last look at Riddick to reassure herself that he was really tied up, she turned and followed Nikki down the shaft.

"What are we going to do with him when he wakes up?" Nikki asked. She had been silent the entire time they'd been tying him. Fry knew she could see her dilemma and was grateful for the woman's quiet understanding.

"I hope by the time he wakes up we should be well on our way to a habitable planet. He can stay there till we reach help."

Fry was furious with herself for not being able to kill Riddick.

I am so weak.

That’s what her father had said after she had climbed back in the car.

"It was only a deer Carolyn! You're so weak and pathetic."

Fry's feelings for her father had never changed over the incident from that day to this.

"Let's go to the flight deck and work out a new course." Fry smiled and tried to push away the feelings of self-loathing.

"Can we go to the galley first and get some real food?" Nikki asked.

"Sure." Fry didn't think she was up to eating just yet, but a good cup of coffee would certainly be welcome.

 

Riddick woke slowly. He was very cold and had no feeling in his shoulders and arms. For one brief second he thought he was in slam once again; languishing in the darkest depths of solitary confinement, ignored and forgotten. Then it all came flooding back.

Arrggghhhhhh!!

"FRY!!" he yelled out, "FRY. YOU ARE A DEAD WOMAN!!"

He breathed hard, sucking in air trying to ease the pounding in his head that the shouting had ignited. He opened his eyes, not that it made any difference to the amount of light piercing his retinas. It was pitch black in the service shaft. He assumed he was still in the service shaft, he could smell the awful stench of the hydraulic fluid mingling with oil and axle grease. The surface he was laying on was hard and metallic. He struggled to a sitting position and rolled his head trying to introduce some feeling to his shoulders and arms, this action released a wave of dizzying nausea. He must have been unconscious for a long time for his body to have become this numb.

Realization dawned that the women would have had ample time to change course. All his carefully laid plans would have been ruined. His rage began to build and soon would reach boiling point. Ignoring the pain in his body he pulled against the ties around his wrists. He could feel the plastic stretch and cut into his skin, trickles of blood began to seep down his arms and coat his hands. He pulled again, the muscles in his upper arms screaming at him to stop.

The plastic cable ties gave with a resounding snap, and his arms flew out sideways. He grunted with pain and slowly rotated his shoulders{;} they were agony. He reached for his ankles feeling the ties around them and then attached to the stanchion of the hydraulic ram. He gently reached round to the waistband of his pants and released a small shiv from its carefully concealed hiding place. Each of his movements was slow and methodical as his circulation in his arms gradually returned. He cut himself free and sat for a few moments. He lifted his bloody wrist to his mouth and licked at the wetness on his skin. He needed to be calm and cool about his next moves, consider his options and plan accordingly.

Fuck that, I'm gonna fucking kill them both.

His exhausted and battered body was now working on pure adrenaline. Grabbing the stanchion he pulled himself to his feet and waited for his head to stop spinning, reaching around he tenderly touched the huge lump on the back of his skull. Fuck it was huge. What did she hit him with? He took a step forwards and his foot clanged against the answer. He bent down to pick up the object, wincing at the dizziness the change of height induced. It was a wrench Fry had whacked him with a wrench.

Fucking bitch.

He hefted the weight of the wrench, sliding his hand up the shaft, adjusting it to fit comfortably. He took a moment to orientate himself. The rams were on the right therefore, the exit to the shaft was behind him. He turned and began walking up the shaft, instinctively ducking at the intersections. He walked steadily. He wanted to run, to find them and lay waste to their bodies. But he didn't, he conserved his energy and walked. He reached the engine room, marched through it and out in to the corridor that connected with the main thoroughfare of the ship.

I'm gonna enjoy killing both of you.

Riddick was unconsciously stretching his stride. He urgently needed to reach the flight deck. He assumed that’s where they would be. If not he'd systematically work his way through every room in the ship until he found them. At least on the flight deck he could re-set his own course again. He stomped through the corridors, uncaring as to whether they could hear him coming to get them or not. No more games, no more chances, this was it.

He turned the shiv over and over in his hand, flipping it back and forth, toying with the sharp blade. It kept catching his hands, creating new gashes, which released more blood into the palms of his hands to mingle with the sticky wetness between his fingers.

His breathing was now deep and regular again, his muscles had relaxed and his mind stilled, he was in killing mode. He came to the last bend of the narrow corridor and turned to see the doorway of the flight deck. He focused through it to try and see if they were there. A slow smirk crossed his lips, Nikki was right in front of him; directly through the doorway leaning across a console.

He almost ran the last few yards and stormed into the flight deck. He crossed the distance between the doorway and her in seconds. Grasped her hair yanked it back and drew the shiv neatly across her throat. She didn't even have time to scream. Not that she could've anyway with her larynx severed. Blood erupted from the gash in her neck as Riddick bent her back wards to look into his eyes. She registered shock, terror and despair in a few fleeting seconds, then the blood loss began to kick in. She sagged at the knees as her heart ran out of blood to pump around her body; most of it being on the floor and over Riddick. He wiped his face with the back of his hand and then licked the residue; his blood mixed with hers.

A taste I'll never get tired of.

Riddick became aware of a shadow just behind and to the right of him...Fry!

He stood still enjoying the sight of Nikki struggling to live, Fry could wait just for a few moments. He knew she would only last a few seconds more; she didn't know and continued to gasp, struggle and flail in a futile fashion. Riddick was bored with her now and released her hair and she flopped to the floor, a spent force.

He spun on his heel...but Fry was gone. Where did she go? He must be concussed from the bang on the head; he wouldn't normally lose someone.

He looked around slowly; there was a gap in between two consoles over to his right. She must be in there. He walked slowly over to it, all the while using his peripheral vision to make sure she wasn't going to try and jump him. She had got him once like that, just after he had killed the Captain, the first day of his freedom on the HG. That seemed like a very long time ago.

"Carolyn, I know you're in there."

He bent down and peered between the two consoles. They were very close together and there was no way Riddick could get between them. But the gap was empty. No Fry. Riddick frowned, where could she be? The flight deck wasn't that large, he was puzzled. He turned slowly scanning the entire room, trying to spot anything that would give him an idea where she was. No clues.

Never mind lets sort the navigation out, get back onto my course.

Killing Nikki had satisfied the immediate bloodlust Riddick had felt. He was relaxed now; he'd had his fix. As he stepped over her body to reach the computer he needed, he didn't even give her a second glance.

He was still alert and aware of everything going on around him as he settled down to alter the coordinates and work out how much time he had lost. The calculations were not hard but more tiresome and they took Riddick some time in his tired state.

They must have been slow choosing where to go...we've only lost eighteen hours. So that means I have five rams to fix in around five days...a bit less.

Riddick exhaled. That was going to be close. He was tired, concussed, and had to do the work on his own now. Then pilot the ship, in a dangerous maneuver. Crap!

His mood was beginning to darken again. He should've killed Fry with the Captain; bitch had been nothing but trouble. He reached back and rubbed his hand with exquisite tenderness over the lump on the back of his head. He could feel the clot of blood just under the skin, he reckoned it must be the size of his fist.

BITCH, BITCH, BITCH!!

He pushed his self up and away from the console growling. Then stopped, he leaned over to the life support controls. He turned off all the power to the heat and light in the ship.

We do this on my terms Fry. I'm coming to get you, no place to run no place you can hide from me.

In the dark he would have a huge advantage and he was starting at the top and front of the ship. That would make his search easier. He thought about where she would go. He thought as he walked, striding down the corridor his footsteps keeping in sync with the pounding in the back of his head.

He paused at each doorway opening the door, stepping into the room, looking around, searching any place in the room that Fry could conceal herself. Satisfied he hadn't missed he closed the door and moved on. The process was slow but every minute longer was another minute that it gave Riddick time to think about what he would do to her. It was also another minute, he assumed, that she was pissing herself, knowing he was going to get her eventually.

After nearly two hours of searching he had covered a dozen rooms, two service shafts and the living quarters. He was moving towards the cryo-chamber. He suddenly realized where she was hiding.

He rounded the corner to the chamber and stepped into the doorway, his bulk filling it. He listened to the hiss and hum of the tubes keeping their occupants alive.

Come out come out where ever you are!!

He began to walk down in between the rows of tubes. There were four empty ones...Fry's own, Nikki's, Mitchell's and Johns, which stood next to his own. Fry wouldn't hide in Riddick's one because of its special release mechanisms. So she would be in one of the others. His pace quickened. Pulling his blood crusted shiv from his waistband, he licked his lips he was so close to getting her.

He reached Johns tube. The Perspex front was covered in condensation. He whipped open the door. It was empty. He moved on to the next one...Nikki's. More condensation, he pulled open the door, but this one was also empty. He was starting to feel pissed off. He almost sprinted to the crew's tubes. Mitchell's and Fry's own, they both looked dark inside. He pulled the doors open on both at the same time, nearly wrenching them off their hinges.

Nothing!!

"FUCK!"

Riddick breathed hard. Then the smell hit him. Only he would have picked it up. Any scavenger animal would also have recognized it, the smell of flesh beginning to decompose, a creature recently dead, its body fluids seeping out. Riddick sniffed hard, and then he smiled.

Damn, Fry, you're so smart I almost like you!

She had killed one of the passengers, removed the corpse from their tube and taken their place. She must have stashed the body some where behind the tubes, in the mass of tubes, connections and cryo attachments. It was warm in the service areas, the machines looking after the sleepers gave off heat. The warmth would speed up decomposition.

He walked to a gap in the row and around behind the tubes. He squinted into the darkness. Lying crumpled in a heap a few feet down was a body, female from the smell. Riddick cast his mind back top when he had been choosing a helper for Fry. The body had dark hair. Had to be around Fry's size or she wouldn't have been able to move her. Riddick knew there were two choices. He ducked under some life-support tubes that lead into the nearest tube, then moved back out in between the rows again. He orientated himself he needed tube fourteen and tube twenty-seven. He walked to fourteen and looked through the Perspex, no condensation. This tube hadn't been disturbed. The occupant was silently asleep.

So it must be twenty-seven. Riddick walked slowly now. Savoring the moment of the capture, he enjoyed it almost as much as the moment of the kill.

As he approached the tube he could see the tell tale signs of a little condensation. The tube had been opened recently. He lifted his hand and wiped the front quickly then leered through the perspex at its occupant.

Fry looked back at him, her face a mask of shock.

She shoved the door hard sending him unexpectedly tumbling to the floor. He regained his footing quickly and lurched after her as she ran up the aisle between the tubes. He caught her heel and wrapped his fingers around her slender ankle and jerking her hard back towards him. She lost her footing and nearly lost a finger as she tried to grip onto the metal grating of the floor.

Riddick put his shiv between his teeth and used both hands to haul her in, his fingers biting deep into her flesh. He spun her around and grabbed her round the throat.

He didn't say anything to her. There was nothing to be said. Fry felt otherwise.

"You need me." she uttered.

Riddick smiled, "No I don't Carolyn, I have still have Owens."

"No you don't. I cut his life support."

Riddick arched an eyebrow. Had she really? That's unexpected, and extremely clever.

He turned and dragged her with him as he walked to Owens cryo-tube.

She had been telling the truth. The tube was dark and all the read outs showed he had flat-lined an hour or more ago.

"Very clever," Riddick pursed his lips. She stopped struggling against him, seemingly convinced that she was safe.

"Tell me, what do you need to pilot a ship Carolyn?" Riddick stared into her eyes, he was enjoying every second of this.

She frowned not understanding the question.

"Well, I'll tell you shall I? All you need is two hands Carolyn, just two hands." He paused in between each word.

Fry swallowed hard understanding the implication of his statement.

"The rest of your body is surplus to requirements." He leaned close to her ear and whispered, "Expendable."

With out another word he dragged her out of the cryo-chamber and out into the corridor and hit her. He hauled her to her feet and hit her again, feeling her ribs pop under his knuckles. He pulled her up once more knowing her ribs must be agony. He caught her across the chin with a left hook and then stood looking down at her as she panted and gasped while cradling her chest.

He picked her up by her throat, pinning her up against the wall. She dangled in his hand like an aged rag doll. He tore her shirt off her body, exposing her shoulders. He would leave his mark now, other wise how else would they identify her killer if they ever found the body. He pushed up against her crushing her ribs. She screamed and then he bit her on the shoulder, his teeth sinking into the soft skin at the join of her neck and back. His mouth filled with her warm blood and he lapped and sucked at it.

Fry had gone completely limp in his hand. He released her and she fell to the floor. The urge to fuck her and kill her was almost over whelming, but he did need her.

He grabbed a handful of her hair and pulled her limp form down the corridor to the engine room. She could hang in his old restraints while he finished repairing the rams.

Only five days till T2, he had to work fast, he looked down at Fry's unconscious form.

Five days then you die!

 

Riddick slumped to the floor and tipped the remainder of the bottle of water over his head. Its coldness felt good as it trickled down his neck and back, washing away the sweat and grime. He really needed a shower but there wasn't time.

He had been flat out for five days, fixing the rams, maintaining the ships course, nursing his aching head, and keeping Fry alive.

He was completely exhausted. He tiredly opened his eyes and stared across the engine room at Fry's inert body. He'd beaten her too hard. He was sure she had internal bleeding. She was pale, weak and had been pissing blood for the last two days. He'd be a complete fucking idiot if he got to a few hours from T2 and she died.

He crawled across the floor and put his hand to her neck trying to feel for a pulse. It was there; faint but there. The bruises from his fingers were clearly visible, as were the crusted scabs over his bite mark on her neck.

She stirred feverishly and mumbled. He tipped a little water into her mouth; enough to wet her lips. Her tongue snaked out and licked the dampness.

"You want more?" Riddick asked.

"Umm..," Fry's eyes stayed closed and her voice was no more than a whisper, her throat was so swollen Riddick assumed her voice box was damaged.

At least she can't scream no more.

Riddick grabbed another water bottle off the table. He gently tipped it to wards her, most of the water missed her mouth by a mile but some went in and she slurped it thirstily.

Riddick sat back on his haunches. Things had not really gone according to plan but now he was near the end.

Just a few more hours then he would be into the Anilo system, take one of the escape pods to his planet of choice and disappear. What happened to the HG was not his concern. Someone would find it floating in space, dead engines and deader cargo. Who gave a fuck, he sure didn't! He rubbed his hand over his face. He needed to get to the flight deck, and he needed to take Fry too. One last effort.

With barely an hour to spare they were on the flight deck. Fry tied to her chair, not that she was in any fit state to try and run. Her torso had been chained to the chair with only he arms left free to so she could fly the ship.

It had occurred to Riddick that she might not cooperate. She may just refuse to pilot it and force them to crash. It was hard to decide whether she would do this or not. Since he'd beaten her she had lost her 'fight'. Her spark had gone. But it wasn't a complacent admission of failure, more a defiant acceptance of the inevitable. Riddick couldn't read her. He wondered if her injuries were just too severe for him to see past them.

Riddick had beaten plenty of people in his time. But Fry was only the third woman, not that he felt guilty about that. Gender to him was irrelevant. A person was a person, with strengths and weaknesses. The fact that most women were weaker than him was not a presumption based on sexism just a fact. A fact he could use to his advantage.

The difference between Fry and the other two was that Fry was still alive. Only just. He needed her that way for another forty-two minutes.

"Pre-maneuver checks?" he asked her. Fry looked up at him through her swollen eyelids and nodded.

Riddick didn't comment further as she began to check the controls in front of her.

She's gonna play ball.

He walked over to another chair and settled his aching body. He knew he was showing her his weaknesses but frankly didn't care less. She was so fucked up he didn't believe he could stop him now. The HG was his ship, he'd fought hard for it and Fry had put up a brave defiance but she had lost. He admired her she was a lot tougher than many who had opposed him.

They sat in silence as she slowly checked each system for its operational effectiveness. After many long minutes, far longer than most pre-maneuver checks to account for her physical state, she sat back.

"Ready?" Riddick asked, she nodded in reply, then closed her eyes and appeared to doze. Riddick sighed heavily. The anticipation was a killer.

A proximity alarm sounded waking both him and Fry. They both stirred quickly, Riddick was surprised at himself that he had dozed off. Fry pulled herself as far forwards as she could but the restraints were clearly hurting her. She looked across to him and mouthed 'untie me'.

Riddick stood and in a manner not befitting his thirty-three years, shuffled across to her. It felt like every bone in his body was on fire, the exhaustion and tiredness seeping into every pore of his being. He couldn't see her doing anything to harm him now. He loosened the straps around her body, his tired fingers wrestling with the knots.

When she was free she could pull herself into a more upright position, making it easier to control the ship. She pulled herself up much further than she needed to she could now reach across the console completely, and perched on the edge of her seat. Riddick assumed that the position was easier on her ribs.

He watched as she started the countdown to entering the planets gravity field. Then she could raise the rams at just the right time and the ship would skim across the surface of the atmosphere like a smooth pebble across water.

Riddick braced himself as the computer generated voice reached '...ten, nine, eight, seven…'.

Fry had sat right back in her chair and turned to grin at him. Riddick blinked. What was she doing?

"I've decided I don't fancy piloting today, "she stretched and yawned, wincing slightly at the pull on her ribs. "I'm too tired."

"What the fuck....?" Riddick strode over to her. "Take the controls now!" He roared at her.

"No," came her simple answer.

He grabbed her wrist and pulled her out of her chair and yelled as a piece of glass shaped like a dagger sliced across his fingers. That’s what she had been doing reaching across the console; she had a fucking weapon! Not that it would do her any good. He grabbed her with his other hand and threw her to the floor. Any tiny feelings of compassion for her had now completely evaporated.

"Fuck you. I'll fly the fucking ship myself!"

Riddick didn't care whether this was insanity talking or not, he was done with her. He pressed the controls to raise the rams, the countdown was well passed zero, by several seconds. The rams began to rise in pairs, he watched them register on the read out, one pair, two pairs, three then 'error…error' the warning sounded.

Riddick frantically pressed the engage switch but nothing was working. The rams were jammed. He stabbed at the other switches, and then flicked the screen up switch. The shielding rolled down to show the brilliant glare of the atmosphere as the HG started to plough through it rather than skim across.

"NO...NO...NO!" yelled Riddick. He looked at Fry who was grinning broadly at the orange/red colors now lighting up the screen.

"What did you do you bitch?" he was still pushing buttons and trying to make the ship comply.

Fry raised her rasping voice over the roaring noise of the descent onto the planet.

"It amazing what you can do with a few glass fragments, motor gears really don't like them do they...causes all sorts of fuck ups with the mechanism. I've been dropping a few bits into each ram as we went. Figured I'd either have you subdued by now and we'd never need to raise them or....we'd die together."

Riddick snarled at her, his lips peeling back from his teeth and he glared at her. He couldn't believe she had fucked him. Then his expression changed.

He stood blinking. At a loss what to do next, never in his whole life had he felt this way.

The fog cleared and his first thought was to kill her. Then the ship lurched and his next thought was to save himself.

Purge the ship; lighten the load.

Riddick's piloting skills were basic at best but even he knew that he needed to stop the ship from hitting the planet in a dead drop. He could feel Fry's eyes on him, now she was watching his every move. He swung around and pulled the release handle.

"NO..." Fry's yell was much too late. The ship lurched again as nearly half its weight fell away into the atmosphere. "NO!" she yelled again and dragged herself towards Riddick and tried to stab at him with her makeshift knife. She caught his thigh and he easily pushed her away, sending her spinning across the floor to land in a crumpled heap on the far side of the room.

Riddick grasped the steering column and pulled hard trying to raise the nose of the ship. The vibration through the column was incredible but as he felt the nose come up it lessened somewhat. The altimeter showed their height now in hundreds of feet not miles and Riddick licked his lips and felt as though he had regained some control, he might even be able to land the ship.

Fry made on last final effort to stop him by literally landing on his lap.

She slashed at him with the glass and caught him again on the side of the face before he seized her wrists she leaned forwards and tried to bite him. He fought off her blows and her snapping teeth. He was about to throw her off him when the view screen exploded in wards showering them with glass, sparks from the fuselage and debris.

They both shielded themselves with their arms as best they could...then the ship hit the dirt and it all went pitch black.

 

The End.

 

 
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