saga/title/fandom: The Past Never Dies chapter 34 (Pitch Black/Riddick)
rating/genre: (NC-17) - het, angst, drama
warnings: het, sexual content, adult content, drug use, criminal activity, religious fusion
summary: What if Jack had stayed on New Mecca with Imam? What if Riddick had come back for her? (Riddick/Jack, Imam/OFC)
comments/disclaimers: General disclaimers apply.
Unfortunately, Jack had chosen to try to scrape through with her breasts up against the sandy wall of the cave, instead of the flat side of the refrigerator, hoping the sand would have more give. That rendered her right hand—and the knife in it—unable to reach the man pawing determinedly at her, striving for a firm hold on her robes. He finally succeeded in grabbing her and wrenching her out of the gap she was wedged in, pulling her back into the pantry. Ignoring the pain in her scraped body parts, Jack immediately brought the knife around.
Her captor was expecting it this time. He smacked her wrist expertly up against the wall, numbing it, so that her knife clattered uselessly to the floor. He followed that with a punch to the face that made Jack see stars and set her nose to bleeding. It was hard for her to put up much resistance after that, because she couldn’t seem to get her lolling head to clear. He dragged her out of the pantry and shoved her onto the table in the now empty kitchen.
“Stupid bitch,” he grumbled as he struggled to get her out of her robes.
During her wanderings while awaiting his dubious pleasure, Jack had retied everything on her clothing that could be untied into a snarl of difficult knots. In his haste, the ex-merc failed to consider, for a time, that he could get at her from below, without untying anything. Those precious minutes allowed her to regain control of her faculties.
When he started pushing up her robes, Jack reared up, rocked back, planted her feet on his chest and gave a mighty shove. Her captor bellowed angrily as her unexpected momentum forced him to take a few steps backwards. She rolled over and tried to scoot across the table, but he threw himself on top of her.
“How’d you know I’m an ass man?” he snarled triumphantly in one of her ears, his hand wrapped painfully in her loose hair, her scarf having again been knocked off her head.
If anybody ever goes there, it’s not gonna be you, Jack vowed, gritting her teeth against the pull on the roots of her hair and adamantly refusing to make it easy for him.
Fortunately, holding her hair only gave him one hand to work with, so it was slow going. Just as he managed to bare her rear, there was a massive explosion and the lights went out, robbing him of the sight he had worked so hard to see.
“Fuck!” he cursed. “Good thing I can work in the dark.”
“Me, too,” Riddick hissed, growling low in his throat, silver eyes flashing.
The weight of her captor suddenly disappeared. Jack slithered off the table, grateful she could only dimly see what was happening. Nothing would ever make her forget the sounds or the smells, however. There was the dreadful tearing, followed by the wet squishiness of meaty things landing on the table, things that were never meant to see open air. Agonized moans came from the man who had wanted to hear such sounds out of her only moments before. The sweet tang of newly spilt blood and the earthy awfulness of split entrails assaulted her nostrils. It seemed to go on and on, much longer than it had taken Riddick to kill the creature on T2, the first time she had ever seen him wield a knife. After awhile, it dimly occurred to Jack that the beast was playing. This man’s death was meant to last as long as possible. Finally, with a horrible bubbling gasp, the shredded body gave up. Riddick tossed it away from him, and stalked around the table towards her.
Jack didn’t realize he had no idea who she was until he lifted her off the floor by her robes with one blood smeared hand, the other one wrapped in her hair. The silver eyes that raked her face were devoid of any recognition. Her terror at this realization was so great that any pain she felt was rendered insignificant.
“Riddick, it’s me, Jack,” she squeaked. “You came here to rescue me.”
Seeming vaguely puzzled, he pulled her closer to him and inhaled deeply of her scent. His demeanor instantly changed. Although he still seemed to be completely dominated by the beast, he set her down gently and was gone into the darkness, no doubt looking for more prey. Attempting to staunch the flow of blood from her nose with her scarf, Jack wondered how many he had killed and how many were left. The periodic screams she heard coming from other rooms left no doubt in her mind that he wouldn’t stop until he had annihilated every last one of the marauders.
Carefully, Jack picked her way through the marauders’ den. It was very dark in the underground space, and she had to be careful not to trip over any of the many bodies she encountered. The entire floor felt slick with blood. Her sandals kept slipping, so she finally removed them, trying not to think about what she was stepping in.
At last, she could see a massive hole in one wall, the faint moonlight pouring inside. Jack found her air car, right where her captor’s minions had left it. Gingerly, she climbed onto it, started it, and flew it out the new doorway Riddick had made. Since Jack had no idea where he had gone, there was nothing else for her to do but leave this death pit. Jack headed the air car back to her house, her baby, her relatives, sanity. She drove home to await the return of her husband. The beast was loose now, and she wondered for how long. Who would come home to her, after the killing was over?
Baba was waiting outside when she arrived. Seeing her father, her anchor to all that had been normal and safe about her life, caused Jack to burst into tears. He helped her climb out of the air car and ferried her inside, tucking her into the nearest chair. Immediately, her entire family surrounded her.
“Are you all right?” he demanded, seeing the dried blood on her face and in her hair, spattered on her robes.
She nodded, unable to find her voice.
“Did they hurt you?” Nahlah asked, with tearful trepidation, having wormed her way to the front of the knot of people around Jack.
For the shattered child, she calmed her tears, forced her mouth to form words. “Only the leader. He hit me.”
“Not like my sisters,” Nahlah acknowledged, struggling to keep her face from crumbling. “They—“ she choked on the words, unable to say aloud the terrible things that had happened to them.
“Rick kept him from doing that to me,” Jack explained.
“Did he kill them all?” she demanded, with frightful viciousness.
“He will,” Jack promised, knowing her promise was already being kept.
“Good,” Nahlah snapped, and not a single person in the room remarked on what a sin such malevolence was.
“How many?” Imam asked Jack.
“I don’t know, Baba,” she whispered, uncertainly. “Maybe thirty.”
“Rick tortured the two at my house until they told him where the others took you,” Nahlah offered without remorse. “Then he killed them. I had no idea knives could, that you could … “ she trailed off, not sure how to put into words what she had seen him do.
So much like me at thirteen, Jack recalled, remembering how she had felt after watching Riddick disembowel one of the creatures on T2.
Fatima appeared with Shazza, who cried happily at the sight of her mother. Jack looked at the snarled ties on the front of her robe and knew she would have to listen to her hungry child scream for a long time before she could work them loose.
“I need a knife,” she said.
Ruining the robes she had on was fine with Jack. She never wanted to see them again and now she would have to throw them away. Sawing through the last of the ties, she handed the knife to Imam, not able to remember who had handed it to her. Then she took Shazza in her arms, bared one of her swollen breasts and put the baby on it to suckle. Never had she felt such relief, both from physical discomfort and psychic trauma, as she felt holding Shazza and stroking her dark curls while she nursed. She closed her weary eyes, cuddled her baby and shut out the rest of the world.
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