Helion system. Planet Helion Five. Airun. (one year later)
“Oh, fuck! You’ve gotta be kidding me.” Riddick muttered as he froze, motionless, burying his face in her neck, hearing Sean crying. Jack giggle as she stroked his back.
“Come on, big guy, he’s only three months old,” she laughed softly. Riddick growled deeply as he reluctantly slid out of Jack, rolling to one side.
“He might be three months but sure as hell he already knows how to fuck with his old man.” Riddick replied, growling as he grabbed his discarded boxers, making himself comfortable with his back against the headboard.
“Sean is not doing it on purpose, Riddick.” Jack said, grinning as she climbed out of the bed. She then grabbed her panties and a t-shirt and dressed knowing in advance what was going to happen in a few more minutes.
“You sure?” Riddick replied, a small grin tugging his lips as he put the pillows under his back. Jack burst out laughing, shaking her head as she padded to the cradle and carefully, she lifted their son.
“Shhh, don’t cry, honey,” Jack whispered, kissing Sean’s forehead. Holding him against her chest, Jack returned to the bed.
“Come here, buddy.” Riddick said as he lifted his arms, holding his son, placing him onto his chest. “What’s with you, Sean? You’re not gonna let daddy have a bit of fun, huh?” Sean’s cries stopped as soon as he heard Riddick’s deep rumble resounding against his little body and his eyes were wide open, staring at those silver pools.
It was a miracle that Sean survived, and Riddick couldn’t help that to his mind memories came floating without warning.
“Listen, Rick, I’m not gonna lie to you. Jack will be ok in a couple of days, but the baby…” the doctor trailed off, swallowing hard. “She’s only five weeks and…” He could feel rage emanating from Riddick’s body and his beast was flashing him with blind fury through his silver eyes. The doctor took a couple of steps backward and spoke again. “I did all I could, Riddick. Now it’s in God’s hands.” Riddick growled, narrowing his eyes and turned his head, looking at Jack, his gaze fixed on her belly.
The doctor heaved a hard sigh and left them alone in the room. Riddick turned around and grabbing a chair, he sat at Jack’s side. Then, he took her hand in his and kissed it gently, closing his eyes.
God. What an irony. Riddick always thought that God was a fucker with a twisted sense of humor. He had given thanks to Imam’s God for many things over the last six years, but for the first time tonight he was more than ready to beg and pray for his baby’s life.
All of sudden, Imam’s words echoed faintly inside of his mind. They were in T2 and Imam had already been praying with Carolyn, his last two kids and Jack, and he came looking for him when he was tying the cells all together.
The holy man had said something like “…just because you don’t believe in God, doesn’t mean that He doesn’t believe in you…” then, Imam had added that it wouldn’t hurt if he prayed for his own life. My own life…what fucking life, holy man? Riddick had thought angrily. The one locked in a fucking slam? Or the one running away ’cause I’ve been hunting down?
Back then Riddick had chuckled at Imam’s words, shrugging his shoulders because the holy man had took it all wrong.
Of course, he believed in God, how couldn’t he? He had spent half of his life locked down with a horse bit in his mouth and chains cuffing his wrists and ankles. A life that started in a trash bin at the back door of a liquor store with his umbilical cord wrapped around his neck. Of course Riddick did believe in God and he had absolutely hated the fucker. Until tonight. Because tonight, he needed that fucker on his side more than ever before.
So, Riddick shut his eyes tightly and prayed to God, begging for his baby’s life. And for the first time, he didn’t care if somebody would think that he looked like a pussy. He didn’t fucking care at all. The only thing Riddick cared about was the life of that baby, his baby, their baby, Jack’s and his, who was growing inside of his wife’s womb. Right now, he wasn’t Richard B. Riddick, escaped convict and murderer, cursing loudly his damn luck; he was Richard B. Riddick, father and husband, praying silently to make God hear his pleas.
End Flash back
And he heard me, huh, Sean? Riddick asked his son silently, stroking his back up and down, grinning. Yeah, God heard Richard B. Riddick. He chuckled at his own words. Riddick then looked at Jack. “How much longer until the rest show up?” He asked, kissing her lips softly. Jack smiled broadly and made herself comfortable at their side, resting her head on his shoulder.
“Anytime.” She answered and not even had the word left her lips when a soft knock sounded at the door. “See?” Jack teased him.
Riddick narrowed his eyes as a deep growl escaped his mouth. Jack’s laughter echoed softly in the room and she climbed out of the bed again. Heading toward the door, she opened it and found Lydia smiling broadly hand in hand with Tay.
“We can’t sleep,” Lydia whispered giggling. Yeah, I bet you can’t, kid, Riddick retorted silently.
“Come on, guys, daddy is going to tell us a story.” Jack said as she moved backward, making room for them to enter.
“Am I?” Riddick asked as he knit a brow, grinning. In seconds, Lydia and Tay ran to the bed, squealing and giggling, climbing in and making themselves comfortable.
“Yup.” Jack replied as she climbed into the bed as well, holding Tay against her. Lydia laid her head on Riddick’s chest and his arm circled her back, pulling her to him while with his other hand, he was still stroking Sean’s back who was already slept.
Riddick looked at Lydia frowning deeply. “Ok, which one?” He asked her as he lifted his hand, stroking Lydia’s hair.
“The one in which you saved mommy from the monsters.” Lydia answered.
“Yeah, the monsters!” Tay echoed, excited.
Riddick narrowed his eyes, growling and the kids giggle, hearing that sound, even Sean smiled a little in his sleep, feeling his dad’s rumble resounding against his little body. Jack smiled broadly and bit her lower lip, making a supreme effort, holding back her laughter.
“Are you both sure that you want to hear that one? What if you have bad dreams?” Jack teased them, knowing that they never had nightmares after hearing that story. “Aren’t you afraid of the dark, Tay?”
“Nope,” Tay replied, making himself a little more comfortable with his back pressed to Jack’s chest. She tickled him and he cried out, laughing.
“We’re not afraid of the dark.” Lydia stated, putting as much reassurance as she could on her words. “Right, Tay?” She asked her brother.
“Right.” Tay replied.
“And why is that?” Riddick asked, grinning. Lydia and Tay looked up at Riddick’s silver eyes, sparkling in the dim light.
“Because dark means daddy and no one messes with you.” They both said at unison, giggling. Riddick knit a brow and after a heartbeat, his lips spread in a huge grin, looking at his kids.
Scorpion system. Planet Onix. The Firm’s main building.
The Firm’s council was called into an extraordinary session. The twelve members of the corporation sat around the wooden table inside the meeting room. Mr. Alexander van Koemborn III was situated at the head of the table. At his right side Phillipe Delacroix who had succeeded his father, Charles Delacroix, five years before. After his father’s death in an accident while on a diplomatic mission, Phillipe became the new vice-president of The Firm, assuming his father’s duties and privileges.
The Firm was a financial institution whose main function had been since its establishment the exploration and exploitation of the unknown systems. So, The Board, as its highest level, had been the first one informed about a succession of unexpected events that was taking place.
It wasn’t the first time in its lengthy existence that The Board’s twelve members were aware of and concerned about an imminent threat upon The Firm’s interest, but it was the first time that it faced such a hazard that lay in wait.
The disconcerting news and rumors spread, coming from five of the eight systems located out on the frontier, those that were still unexplored, were the trigger of the current emergency state. The Firm’s Board activated its top security protocols, keeping at maximum alert their military facilities located across the entire Galaxy. Waiting. Waiting to confirm first hand these news and rumors.
The group of ambassadors were escorted by soldiers, dressed in the black uniforms belonging exclusively to the elite unit of Spec Ops, to the guest building inside of the main military facility. Three men and two women made their way through endless corridors until they reached the suites. The soldiers who were standing on guard greeted each others with salutes and the women crossed their gazes in silent dialogue, then the older one stepped into the elevator alone.
Mr. Koemborn made himself comfortable in his chair inside of his office, Phillipe Delacroix and General Owens sat as well, waiting for their prominent guest to join them.
Finally the doors of the elevator slid open, reveling the woman who almost immediately locked eyes with Mr. Koemborn. As soon as their gazes met, Alexander narrowed his eyes in suspicion. An Elemental, he said silently as a slight grin tugged his lips.
She could feel the evil presence inside of that room, overwhelming her and took a deep breath. The three men stood on their feet at once as she stepped out the elevator and slid forward in an ethereal move as if she was floating, almost vanishing completely, stopping in front of them.
“Welcome to Onix,” Alexander said, bowing his head, showing her his respect. “Please, make yourself comfortable, madam.” He added, extending his hand. The woman bowed at him and resting her eyes for a few second on each of them, she took a seat in a comfortable armchair situated in front of Mr. Koemborn.
“I’m Aereon, an envoy of the Elemental race.” Alexander knit a brow and held her intense gaze as Aereon elaborated. “I’m afraid I’m bearing unfortunate news, gentlemen.” She paused for a second and then continued. “There is an extremely dangerous army unlike any other crusading across the Galaxy toward a place called Underverse. Their name, Necromongers, leading them, the Lord Marshall.”
General Owens chuckled at Aereon’s words. “A dangerous army more powerful than ours?” he asked sarcastically. In response, Aereon tensed slightly.
“The Lord Marshall has made a pilgrimage to the gates of the Underverse and returned a different….being. Stronger and stranger. Half alive and half…something else.” She replied, fixing her gaze on him. In response, General Owens rolled his eyes. “There are very few of us who have met a Necromonger and lived to speak of it, General. So, if I choose to speak of them, you should choose to listen.” Her voice sounded cold, yet tinted with concern. In response, Phillipe Delacroix shot her a cold gaze.
“What make them so dangerous an enemy?” He asked, glancing from the corner of his eye to Alexander who seemed lost in thought, but perfectly relaxed, listening in complete silence.
Aereon looked at Phillipe. “Their goal is far from material goods, Mr. Delacroix. Their interest lies in control and power. If they cannot convert you, they will kill you. If we want to survive, a new balance must be found. It is necessary to find a way to stop their bloody crusade, and it is a need that cannot be delayed in any way.” She then returned her attention to Mr. Koemborn. “We are in need of a skilled army, Mr. Koemborn. An army trained to kill without asking questions and a charismatic leader who is able to face the Lord Marshall himself.”
Phillipe cleared his throat. “Why should The Firm fight against them, Aereon, envoy of the Elementals?” He retorted, his voice tinted with sarcasm. Aereon tensed, narrowing her eyes. “We just simply could reach some kind of truce with the Lord Marshall. The galaxy is big enough for all of us.” Phillipe added. In response, Aereon gasped her eyes wide open.
She couldn’t believe that they were seriously thinking that when The Necromongers were done with their campaign there would be something valuable left behind. Aereon had seen with her own eyes how they had already destroyed the planet Furya and the entire Aquilan system.
Alexander cleared his throat, pulling Aereon out of her own thoughts. She looked at him through narrowed eyes and he grinned slightly as he spoke.
“As far as I know, The Firm was never welcomed among your race or your allies, my dear Aereon, and if my memory is as good as always was, The Elementals were the ones who literally refused to give their approval to The Firm’s investments in your home world.” Mr. Koemborn said, his eyes flashing her with an intense gaze showing a bizarre mix of banked excitement and anticipation. “Why should I listen to your pleas then?” Aereon heaved a hard sigh, suspecting in advance the high price all the galaxy was going to pay for The Firm’s help.
“In normal times, Mr. Koemborn, evil would be fought by good. But, in time like this, well…” she trailed off already regretting her desperate decision, coming here in search of these people.
“It should be fought by another kind of evil.” Mr. Koemborn absently finished her line, his mind anticipating the events that would take place. Interesting, he said to himself, narrowing his eyes. “Owens?”
“Yes, Mr. Koemborn.” He replied as he stood to his feet. Alexander turned his head and locked eyes with him.
“It is the time to find him, General.” He said coldly and General Owens saluted, heading toward the elevator without saying anything in return. He already knew full well who The Firm’s president was talking about. Aereon narrowed her eyes in suspicion and cleared her throat.
“Mr. Koemborn, if you don’t mind my question, who is him?” she asked, holding his cold gaze. Mr. Koemborn’s lips spread in a devil smile.
“The Big Evil, of course.” Alexander answered as his eyes smoldered with anticipation.
Aereon entered her suite and found Jesse staring out the window and it seemed she was lost in thought. After a long moment, Jesse turned around and looked at her, narrowing her ice blue eyes.
“You know that fucker Alexander will betray us, mother.” Jesse hissed through clenched teeth. Aereon went to her side and took her hands in hers.
“Of course, Jess, that’s the reason why you have to find him before someone else does. You’re a warrior of the Elemental race, Jesse, and I’m afraid he’s going to need your help when the time comes.” She replied, looking down at her tattoos. A Celtic moon on her left wrist and a rose/tribal bracelet on her right one. In response, Jesse nodded ‘yes’ firmly as Aereon smiled sadly. “You must depart now, my dear. Abu al-Walid has already been informed about your arrival. He will provide you with the intell you will need.”
Alexander Koemborn stared at the screen, grinning as he read to himself the intell that appeared on it. It seems that our paths will cross sooner than we thought, Richard, he said silently, grinning evilly.
Top Security Protocol Number 952415296
Subject: Riddick, Richard B.
Alias(s): No known aliases.
Last location: Unknown
File: Classified A+
Current state: Wanted Alive.
Bounty in force: 10 million credits.
Others: Violent sociopath. Skilled assassin. Weapon of choice: shivs. Surgically altered eyes to enhance night vision. Approach with EXTREME CAUTION.
Going into effect: Actual date