Chapter 5: In Which Riddick Meets Death’s Boyfriend. For the First Time. Again.
Riddick was bound to a wheel, spinning backwards as Susan, on Binky’s back, rode over a battlefield, choosing the slain, ignoring him completely. She dissolved into Jack, who started to run towards him, arms wide open. He tried to move towards her, but she dissolved, obscenely, into the flying monsters of T2, flapping wetly towards him. If any muscles were responding, he might have pissed himself. The screeching monsters swirled above him and around him before melting into the towering castles of the Necropolis.
Riddick woke abruptly in a comfy chair in Death’s study and almost attacked the door. Only, for the first time in his life facing a fight, his muscles refused get involved. They felt dead. All he could do is glare at the door, furious at it for no reason he could remember.
Tauntingly, it opened slightly. Albert’s extraordinarily non-Necromonger head poked in. He was smirking. The smirk broadened significantly when he saw Riddick, still sprawled in the comfy chair. “Lobsang’s here, ma’am,” he announced, slightly too loudly. He winked at Riddick lasciviously. Which at least transformed the horror of flying monsters to the horror of something simply unpleasant and, Riddick comforted himself, entirely killable.
A boy walked in. A strangely familiar boy.
That’s funny, Riddick thought. Both the spinning dream and the paralysis vanished abruptly. Don’t I know this guy? The boy gave Susan a quick embrace and turned on Riddick, a worried look on a strangely familiar face. “Who’s this?” the boy asked, cautiously.
Riddick gave him a big, fake, sleepy smile, suddenly grateful that he had not attacked the door. Would have been ridiculous. It was just a door, not a gateway into a nightmare. Plus, the boy’s discomfort was kinda tasty. Wonder if he thinks I’ve been makin’ it with little death girl over there. That’s what Albert thought. The thought was deliciously amusing, like when he found out his Necromonger second in command was named Karl. “Hi there! Richard B. Riddick.”
He stood, only partially to see if he could, and extended a hand, only partially for the same reason. The boy took it, shook it solemnly. “I’m Lobsang.”
Susan sighed, theatrically. “Lobsang, please meet Richard B. Riddick. Serial killer. Escaped convict. Former Lord Marshal of the Necromongers. Would-be destroyer of the universe.” Riddick gave her a sharp look, dropped the boy’s hand.
“Rat told you all that?”
“Been reading up on you. Riddick, please meet Lobsang, the Avatar of Time. He has destroyed the universe. And brought it back. Many times.”
At that, Riddick stared hard at the boy, who suddenly did not look the tiniest bit familiar at all. Skinny kid. Could break him with one hand. But something told him that would be a very bad idea. “Hey.” He stayed intrusively close.
Susan suddenly seemed oddly flustered. “Oh, where are my manners? Riddick, you must be hungry. Or possibly tired. Albert has food.” She hesitated, then, almost unwillingly, rushed on, “or something like it. And you can have my father’s room.” She was clearly more confident of that. “Come on.” She bustled out. After a moment, Riddick followed, bemused at this sudden spasm of uncertain domesticity. She took him down through the black house to a small kitchen where Albert was cooking something tubular and oozing in a black cast iron skillet. “Albert. Could you feed him and set him up in my father’s old room?”
Albert gave him an evil wink. “Mort’s room? You bet, young mistress. Come on, sonny, got some sausages ready to go.” After deciding killing the old man would be another ridiculous overreaction, Riddick shrugged and took a seat at a battered kitchen table. Susan disappeared with alacrity. Given the smell, he couldn’t blame her. Smelled like the man was cooking down blood that had not seen the veins of an animal for quite some time.
After a questionable, though salty and protein packed, meal, Albert led him to a small room with a small bed, all in black. Sleeping seemed like a very good idea. His nap had not been renewing at all.
He slept without nightmares, but not without dreams of planets that were really giant turtle eggs and of riding a giant elephant over mountains looking for the place the sun went at night, filled with a dead certainty Jack was around somewhere.