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BLUE SUN ROOM FAN FICTION - ROMANCE
The eclipse finally darkens the sky...
CATEGORY: FICTION TIMES READ: 645 RATING: 0 SERIES: FIREFLY
"We need those cells from the crash ship.” Carolyn Fry announced. “Shit, still gotta check out the hull—---patch up the wings--.” She turned to Shazza and Kaylee. “Get a start on it.”
The mechanic and the Australian nodded before hurrying out of the Coring Room towards the skiff. Kaylee stopped in the doorway and turned to River and Riddick, who were still in the room.
“Come you two, we’ll need help.”
Riddick gave Johns and Fry a look before leaving.
River silently followed, yet when no one was looking she hid behind a couple of barrels. Johns was giving off heated vibes, and since she didn’t trust the handsome blonde (and couldn’t read his mind) she’d stayed behind to hear what he was obviously itching to tell their pilot.
Once he was sure that the others were gone, Johns turned to Fry. “Let’s wait on those power cells.”
“Wait for what?” Fry snapped, rounding on him, disbelief darkening her words. “Until it’s so dark we can’t even find our way back to---?”
“We’re not sure when it happens,” Johns was obviously beginning to lose his patience with the only person he could truly consider his ally on this planet. “So let’s not--.”
“Get the fucking cells over here, Johns.” Fear had turned Fry into a vicious tigress ready to strike at anything in her way---even handsome, blue-eyed devils. “What’s the discussion?”
A muscle twitched in Johns’ cheek, yet to his credit he kept his growing annoyance out of his voice. “Ever tell you how Riddick escaped?”
Fry looked up at him, frown turning confused. “What does that have to do with anything?”
River watched them from her hiding place, hearing all of Fry’s conflicting, frightened thoughts, and Johns’ empty blankness. Why was it that she couldn’t read Johns? With Riddick she knew there was a barrier that kept her out, but with Johns it was just silence.
Of course, it would be her luck that the only person she wanted to hear the thoughts of would be completely silent.
Johns looked around before taking a closer step to Fry and speaking in a softer voice. “He can pilot.”
Fry’s eyes widened, obviously jarred by the revelation. “He can what?”
Obviously pleased with her reaction, Johns relaxed somewhat. “Hijacked a prison transport, made a helluva good run ‘fore I tracked him down.”
“Okay, maybe that’s a good thing.” Faint hope was evident in her voice, wiping the pleasure from Johns’ face. “We’re lucky. We got stranded with a mechanic to help patch up the skiff, and a pilot to get us out of here. I--I’m only a docking pilot, he---.”
“Also figured out how to kill the pilot and the other convicts that escaped with him on the transport.” Johns informed her.
Fry froze, going pale, shivering, before sending him a glare. “You said we were going to trust him now.” Accusation was thick in her voice. “You said there was a deal.”
Johns snorted. “That’s what I said.” His look challenged her to read his mind.
River sure the hell was trying, and feeling more and more frustrated when she couldn’t pick up anything from him.
“Oh,” Fry whispered, realizing what Johns’ true intentions were the same moment River did. “This is a dangerous game you’re playing, Johns.”
“May’ve noticed that chains don’t work on this guy, it’s better for him to have the illusion of freedom.” Johns scoffed at her warning. “And you know what sort of things he’s done, you already told me that you’d heard of his murders. You know monsters like that don’t deserve to be free amongst innocent people again.”
Fry looked away, jaw tense, arms folded over her chest.
“And he sure has taken a likin’ to pretty little River.”
The docking pilot jerked her glare back at Johns. “What are you saying?”
“You know what I’m saying, captain.” Johns looked like he wanted to smirk and frown at the same time. “Imagine what that creature would do to that lil’ woman once we’ll all in the air and he’s killed us---or maybe he’ll just kidnap her and steal the ship, leaving the animals on this planet to do the work for him so he’ll have more time to…enjoy…her.”
Fry looked as if she’d been slapped, and unfolded her hands, taking a couple of steps back. “I---he’s been convicted for murder, I never heard anything about ‘rape’ when they waved the Hunter Gratzner about him some time back.”
“Keep telling yourself that princess, but it ain’t you he can’t keep his goggles offa.” Johns shook his head at her, as if disgusted by her naivety. “Stop thinking with your cunt.”
Fry’s hand shot out and the slap resounded in the Coring Room. “Don’t you ever speak to me like that again, do you hear me?” She hissed, eyes narrowed viciously. “I am the leader here and I demand some respect!”
“Oh believe me, I give the woman who would have happily sacrificed everyone on board the Hunter Gratzner—man woman and child—for herself the amount of respect she deserves!” Johns snapped, Fry’s handprint red against his cheek.
The docking pilot looked as if he’d slapped her back, and lowered her gaze to her boots, body visibly shaking, thoughts of guilt and self-hatred filling her head.
“When you get your head outta the clouds and finally start remembering that he’s a cold-blooded murderer and not some muscular eye-candy you’ll admit that he’s dangerous and can’t be trusted.” Johns pressed on, seeing that he had the upper hand in the conversation once more. “Only way we’re safe is if he believes he’s goin’ free.” He paused. “But if he stops believin’---”
“You mean, if he learns that you’re gonna royally fuck him over.” Fry snapped, obviously not as easily broken as Johns had thought.
River was beginning to like the docking pilot.
“---We need a fail-safe.” Johns continued as if she hadn’t interrupted him. “Bring the cells over at the last possible minute---when Shazza and Kaylee have fixed up the skiff and made it sky-friendly---when we know we’re ready to launch.”
Fry shook her head at him slightly, as if seeing him with different eyes. “He hasn’t harmed any of us!” She told him. “He fuckin’ saved River’s life! Stick to your deal with him—even if only to show him gratitude for saving the girl. Let him go if that’s what it takes---.”
“He’s a murderer.” Johns cut her off mercilessly. “The law says he gotta do his bid, or do you wanna be the one to tell the family of his victims that you let him loose once more because he decided he wanted to save some skirt so he could break her afterwards?”
Fry flinched away from those words and lowered her gaze, backing away from the fight, defeated. “You’re dancin’ on razor blades here…”
“I won’t give him the chance to grab another ship—slash the throat of another pilot—or harm that girl.”
“And what do you plan on doing to keep him away from her?” Fry snorted. “She’s as attracted to him as he is to her. She even went to see him when you had him chained up. And while he might be fucked up, she’s not normal either, Johns. Who knows, they might actually make the perfect couple.” She added, sarcastically.
Johns flinched, obviously River’s visiting Riddick was news to him. “She’s suffered a traumatizing shock, Fry. She nearly died and he saved her. It’s pure hero-adoration shit. She’ll eventually realize how fucked-up he is---but she need to be kept away from him until then.”
“And how do you plan on doing this?” Fry wanted to know. “Keep her from him yourself? Hold her hand and tell her not to talk to tall, dark, handsome strangers with a tendency to get skiv-happy?”
He smirked. “What a good idea, captain.”
She frowned. “Now wait one minute here Johns…”
Yet the blonde had turned and walked out on her.
River watched as the docking pilot stalked away after the law enforcer, obviously not finished with their conversation.
“Knew not to trust him.”
Gasping, River turned and saw Riddick materializing out of the shadows closer to the door. Apparently he too had noticed Johns itching to have a lone conversation with Fry.
“They’re making a mistake.” Riddick told her, apparently not minding her silence. “Waiting until so close to the eclipse…that’s stupid.”
“The fox knows that the wolf is stronger, and to make up for lack of strength, he tries to outsmart him.” River paused. “Yet his ‘smartness’ isn’t smart enough. A wolf’s brain is larger.”
Riddick’s scowl had turned into a wolf-like grin as he listened to her. “Is that so, my lil’ ‘skirt’?” he asked, quoting the name Johns had given her.
River nodded as she went to Riddick and gave the murderer the smile Kaylee gave Simon that made her brother’s thoughts become heated and filled with images of their oneness. “The wolf’s brain isn’t the only anatomy of his which is bigger than the fox’s.” And with another grin, yet this one tinged with the blush on her face, River walked out of the Coring Room.
There was the rumbling of a throaty chuckle behind her before Riddick was besides her once more. “Damned right it’s not.”
River frowned suddenly, remembering Johns’ parting words. “The fox wants to hide the stars in his jaw and keep them from the darkness.”
Riddick tilted his head towards her, a smirk growing on his face. “So I’m the darkness now?” For some reason that metaphor seemed to please him, and his grin turned deadly.
River nodded, returning his smile, enjoying the fact that someone understood her so well. Whenever she was with him the young woman could forget for a moment that she wasn’t like the others, and just pretend that she was normal.
“Yes, well, I want you to stay away from Johns and go with Kaylee and Shazza.” He ordered. “And try keep your mouth shut around him. Won’t take long for the shitter to realize who you are if you keep spouting out like you’ve been doin’ so far,” Riddick paused before adding: “River Tam.”
River shivered at the ripples of pleasure that ran through her at the sound of her name on his lips. “Where are you going?” She asked when he turned to leave her.
Riddick looked back at her with a smirk. “Goin’ta have me a little talk with the captain. Think there’s something about ol’ Saint Johns she might wanna know.”
River frowned at the odd sensation in her stomach at the thought of Riddick leaving her to look for Fry, but she pushed it away. “Okay.”
“Just so you know,” Riddick commended lazily as he began to walk away. “I plan on continuing what we left off in the Comms Room before you went crazy.”
River’s frown was immediately replaced with a goofy grin as she watched him turn the corner and disappear from view. The girl stayed there in that spot, looking at the empty space where Riddick had once been, deciding that she liked the sensations he invoked in her and wanted to explore them further.
She also decided that when she got back to Serenity she’d wave Inara and ask her all the questions Kaylee had been too embarrassed to answer.
Riddick truly wasn’t surprised that Johns was going to either kill him or leave him on the planet for the creatures to play with him a little before having a snack—he’d guessed the blonde’s intentions all along. That was why he’d recommended that Johns just ghost him first, because now that he was free, Riddick wasn’t going down again---and he definitely didn’t plan on becoming Dog Chow now that he had every intention of proving to that little tease what he could do with his ‘bigger’ anatomy.
So that was why he was aboard the skiff, watching Carolyn Fry work on the computer system. Johns and her were the power-duo, the heads of this fucked up little ‘family’, and Riddick decided that it was time ‘mummy’ and ‘daddy’ got divorced.
But how to get around to the point he was going to drive through without it being obvious that that was the reason he’d come here?
“Looks like we’re a few shy.”
She jumped and whirled around, cursing.
“…cells.” Riddick prompted when it only looked as if she was going to try and calm herself and not pick up her part of the conversation.
He raised an eyebrow at her. So she was going to go along and follow Johns’ orders. That just wouldn’t do. “Strange, not doin’ a run-up on the main drive yet,” he waited a half beat. “Strange unless he told you the particulars of my escape...”
She took the bait. “I got the quick-and-ugly version.”
“An’ now you’re worried about a repeat of history.” He said more than asked.
For her credit, her body didn’t betray the nervousness her eyes did. “Entered our minds.”
“I asked what you thought.” He pressed, taking a step closer, pausing when he realized that her breathing had accelerated…and fear wasn’t the only smell in the air.
“You scare me Riddick.” She admitted in a defensive voice. “That’s what you wanna hear, isn’t it? There, I admit it. Can I get back to work now?” She was getting all defensive, acting bossy and uninterested, yet the way her eyes quickly did a once-over betrayed what was going on her mind when concerning him.
This could actually work in his favor.
Fry tore her eyes from his body and gave him her back.
Riddick came closer and quickly scanned the controls, memorizing them and after a quick analysis he concluded that while he’d never flown one of these before he wouldn’t have any problem doing so if the situation came to that.
Fry’s body radiated tension as he stood so close to her.
Riddick couldn’t help but find her attraction to him amusing, yet he knew that laughing wouldn’t help his mission, so he kept his face dead. “Think Johns is a do-right man? You think I could trust him to cut me loose?”
A beat passed and her tension grew.
God, she was so easy to play with.
“Why, what’d you hear?”
“Well, guess if it were trickeration he’d just do me, huh? Then again…I am worth twice as much alive.” He could have smirked when the truth suddenly smacked her on her harshly. “Didn’t know? Johns aint an enforcer.” He finally allowed himself to smirk when he saw the denial in her eyes and in the slight shaking of her head. “Oh, he’s got that shiny badge an’ all—but I don’t think he’s been flashin’ it around as much as he used to.” His smirk grew. “He’s just a merc and I’m just a payday. That’s why he won’t kill me. The creed is greed.”
The revelation knocked her off stride but she stubbornly refused to believe him. “Save it, Riddick. We aren’t gonna turn on each other---no matter how hard you try.”
The murderer moved up right behind her, using her attraction to him against her, barely suppressing his grin when he heard her quick intake of breath. “I don’t truly know what’s gonna happen when the lights go out Carolyn---but I do know that once the dyin’ starts, this little psycho family of ours is gonna rip itself apart. So you better find out the truth.” He took pleasure in her pleasured whimper when he lowered his face to hers. “Come nightfall---and it will come---you better know exactly who’s standing behind you.”
The monitor chirping: “HULL INTEGRITY—100” played in the background.
Riddick took a step back and turned to leave, his job there almost done. “Oh, an’ ask Johns ‘bout those shakes he gets. And ask why your crew-pal had to scream like that ‘fore he died.” The silence told him all he needed to know, and with the smile of Grim, he left the skiff and a shaky docking captain behind him.
Fry was furious.
And horny as hell…
…But that only added to her fury as she went in search of Johns.
When she realized that everyone other than Johns seemed to be outside doing something productive, she frowned. That frown grew deeper as she saw River helping Kaylee and Shazza finish up the last touches needed on the skiff---and Riddick in the background, arms folded over his chest, watching the young woman was a lazy leer as she bent over to retrieve something for her cousin.
Apparently Johns wasn’t fulfilling his self-appointed mission to be River’s shadow, so that meant he wasn’t outside and didn’t know Riddick was tailing her once more.
So that meant Johns was inside.
Turning around, Fry stormed into the building. The moment she saw him she opened her mouth yet shut it when she realized what he was doing.
With his back to her, shirt off, Johns was bent over a box of shotgun shells and pulled out a red-metal one from its place between the usual blue-metal shells. Removing a glass ampule hidden inside, the mercenary dropped the ampule into an injection syringe.
As he injected the substance into a vein in his arm, Johns’ face was pure bliss.
She’d seen enough.
Riddick had been telling the truth.
“Who are you? Really?”
He whirled around, pulling the now empty syringe out of his vein.
That fury within her was growing. “You’re not a real enforcer, are you? Just some mercenary who goes around talkin’ about the law--.”
“I never said I was.” Johns interrupted, beginning to put his things away, apparently feeling guiltless about the deception.
“Never said you were a hype, either.” She hissed, moving closer, rummaging through his stuff brazenly, and finding a shitload of red shells with the hidden ampules.
“You have a little caffeine in the morning, I have a little morphine.” Johns said in a flat voice from where he watched her. “So what?”
“How could you?” She lashed out, turning on him, shaking one of the red shells in his face viciously. “How could you let Owens die like that when you had enough drugs to knock out a fuckin’ mule-team!”
“Owens was already dead.” Johns pried the shell from her hands and replaced it amongst the others almost tenderly. “His brain just hadn’t caught onto the fact.”
Something inside her went cold. “Anything else we should know about you, Johns? Christ, here I am lettin’ you play games with our lives when---.”
He caught her arms and moved them around his body, forcing her into an embrace. His hold on her hands grew painfully strong when she struggled to escape, yet she went still when her fingers made contact with the ugly, jagged purple scar he’d pressed them against.
“My first run-in with Riddick.” Johns said as a way of explanation. “Went for the sweet-spot and missed. They had to leave a piece of the shiv in there. I can feel it, sometimes, pressing against the cord.” He let go and pushed away from her. “So maybe the care and feeding of my nerve-ends is my business.”
“You coulda helped.” Fry pressed on, remembering Owens’ pain, his last screams. “And you didn’t.”
“Captain! Captain!” They could hear the Chrislams crying from outside.
They ignored them.
“You just let a good man suffer for hours and die horribly.” Fry spat out, itching to punch him. “That makes you no better than Riddick. At least he killed his victims quickly unless they pissed him off!”
Johns made up his nose in disgust as he looked Fry over. “Yeah, well, look to thine own ass first. Right, captain?”
That cut deep, and not for the first time Fry lamented having confided in him.
“CAPTAIN!” Kaylee’s cry caught their attention, and after sharing long, hate-filled glares, they marched outside to see what the commotion was all about.
Exiting the building, Fry opened her mouth to ask what was going on when she noticed that everyone’s gazes were gang-locked on…an arch in the sky.
Luminous, ominous, it grew from the horizon.
“What do my eyes see?” Paris whispered, wiping at his spectacles as if hoping that it was only a speck on his glasses that he could remove with a sweep of his dirty shirt.
“It’s starting…” Fry responded, watching hypnotically as the arch slowly began to rise, inching towards the suns.
Shazza seemed to shake herself out of the trance first and turned to Fry. “If we’re going to get those power cells from the crash ship---I suggest we kick on. That sand-cat’s solar.”
Fry nodded. “Go get it started.” She turned to the others. “Get everything ready! The solar eclipse is happening quicker than we hoped and we have to go get those cells!”
They rushed out, everyone to get what was needed…all except River, whose gaze were on her feet and then hurriedly went to the spires all around them, face pale, body trembling slightly. Her dark eyes rose to the heavens and closed for a moment, before opening once more. The girl gave the spires once more look before leaving to help Kaylee bring ropes, water and other necessities to the sand-cat.
Fry shivered as she watched the girl.
It was as if she’d sensed something.
Shaking off the silly thought, Fry hurried to get ready as well.
It would seem that in moments everyone had gotten what was needed and hurried onto the sand-cat as they began their hurried journey back to the crash ship.
When the sand-cat arrived at the crash ship it hadn’t completely stopped before bodies jumped over the side and hurried to do what had to be done. River unconsciously reached for the hunting boomerang Paris had forgotten all about and looked at the weapon, mind rapidly processing all the information she’d been fed about it and its techniques.
She watched as Johns yanked the first power cell and started dragging it over the deck. Riddick yanked a second and, carrying it on his shoulder, passed Johns with a kiss-my-ass grin.
Glaring after the murderer, Johns shouldered his cell and stumbled after.
Being the only one left on the sand-cat other than Shazza, who’d wheeled the solar vehicle around, getting clearance between it and the ship, River had a good view of everything that was going on.
The Chrislams lashed a scrap-metal sled to the back of the solar vehicle, rapidly talking to each other in Arabic as they did so.
River suddenly stood and jumped off of the sand-cat, slowly making her way to the crash ship, not knowing why but feeling the need to get as far away from the spires as possible.
Riddick passed her giving her a smirk before reaching the sled, dropping the first cell onto it. Johns did the same only seconds later. Apparently they weren’t as concerned at racing the eclipse as they were competing with each other.
Feeling the flurry beneath her feet grow in intensity, River stopped her trek to the crash ship and frowned, looking up in the heavens in time to see the rings of the planet eclipse the yellow sun.
It was as if God had closed a blind in the sky. And with the dimming daylight came a growing, high-pitched sound that froze River’s blood. Her hand tightened around the hunting boomerang instinctively as she felt them beneath her, going to and fro, hungering, readying…
“Don’t stop…don’t stop!” Fry was calling out encouragements to the others despite the tremble and fear in her own heart.
Paris seemed not to be able to control himself and he did stop, and turn to look in the direction that River was now eyeing---the spires.
The sound was coming from the spires and growing with every passing moment.
River was so intoned with the planet she felt when the red sun was eclipsed, yet as a second darkness fell over the survivors she didn’t dare tear her gaze from the spires.
Everyone had stopped what they were doing and watched in silent horror as something began to pour out of the tops of the spires.
Backlit by coronal light, it first seemed to be smoke or ash, yet River knew better, and soon the others realized that they were living creatures emerging from the depths of hell, hatchlings squealing in delight at their first nightfall.
“Jesus,” Johns sounded breathless. “How many can there…?”
They kept pouring out of the tops of the spires around the survivors, darkening the sky further, rejoicing loudly in their liberation. Mercifully, the hatchlings seemed to be moving away, but one wave cleaved from the other and did a double-take, heading towards them.
“Just a suggestion,” Paris stammered, eyes wide and on the predators in the sky. “But we should probably flee.”
“Cargo Hold!” Fry cried. “Cargo Hold, everyone get into the Cargo Hold! Lesgo! Lesgo! Lesgo!”
River turned, noticed she was right in front of the door of said Cargo Hold, and took one step backwards—inside.
With her bare feet on the cold metal, she didn’t like that now she was a part of the crash ship and not the planet; it was harder to sense the creatures and their movements this way. She moved out of the way as Jack and Paris barreled inside, closely followed by Kaylee, the Chrislams, Fry and Johns.
Noticing two who were not there, River frowned and turned to see Riddick and Shazza—who’d been the furthest out—still out there running towards them.
Hearing the squealing descending on them, both hit the dirt, hatchling torrent raging just inches above them.
It was like a river of razor blades circling them from above.
River’s heart beat quicker, yet this time it wasn’t the nice way it did when Riddick was around. This time it hurt, like it had when Simon had been hurt by the Reavers in Miranda.
She watched Riddick as he watched the hatchlings in awe, no more frightened than a kid lying on his back looking up at the stars. Experimenting, he eased a bone-shiv into a hatchling that’d flown lower than the rest, and watched in detachment as the creature was easily sliced in two.
Feeling assured that Riddick would somehow be fine, River’s attention went to Shazza and she felt the same…fear…that was what Kaylee had once explained was the name of the rare feeling River had only felt twice in her life after being taken from the Academy by her brother.
Shazza looked horrified, as if she was having trouble breathing.
“Stay down…” Kaylee whispered to herself, fists clenched. “Stay down Shazza!”
The hatchlings keep coming, swarming more and more and Shazza whipped a frantic look at the Cargo Hold.
River could see her mentally calculating her chances of making it to the Cargo Hold before without being eaten like her husband had been.
“DON’T DO IT!” Jack must have realized the same thing River had. “SHAZZA! STAY DOWN!”
Suddenly the swarm clashed in the air and flew upwards, leaving the group in silence.
Shazza looked at the Cargo Hold with determination and stood…
“No, no, no, no!” Fry screamed out just as the swarm descended towards those outside with fury from above.
River hadn’t even realized what she’d done until the silver shooting through the air caught the attention of the survivors---and the hatchlings. The blade swinging through the air cut through the darkness, and all around Riddick and Shazza hatchlings fell bloodied and screaming.
The glimmer of silver did a sharp u-turn in the air and flew back towards the Cargo Hold at a blinding speed. River’s hand shot out, catching the hunting boomerang carelessly.
Both the survivors and the hatchlings seemed confused and disoriented from the unexpected attack.
Kaylee, giving River a small smile, turned to those outside. “RUN!”
Distracted by the blood, the hatchlings descended on their fallen siblings, devouring them and giving Riddick and Shazza the opportunity to make it to the Cargo Hold without a chase.
River and Riddick’s gaze met as he casually strolled into the crash ship as if they were having a lovely walk in the park.
She didn’t notice the looks everyone was giving her…
…or the sudden light dawning in Johns’ eyes.
All she saw was Riddick.
“River…” That was Shazza. “H-how…?”
Clicking filled the air and they turned in time to see the spires crumbling, being torn apart from within.
Placing one hand proprietarily on the small of River’s back, Riddick tore off his goggles and watched the happenings with his jaguar eyes.
River tore her eyes off of him and turned to view what he was watching.
The adult hatchlings, the creatures, emerged from the spires. They were large, mammalian, and hammer-headed. Clicking sounds escaped them as they used echo-location, sounding out the world they haven’t inhabited in 60 years.
Nothing that ugly or fucked up could have come into being without the Alliance’s hand in it.
“What is it?” Fry asked.
“What do you see?” Kaylee whimpered, somewhere behind River.
That was the first time that River realized that it was too dark for the others to make out what was going on.
And once again she was reluctantly thankful for all the shit and pain the Academy had put her through.
While her night vision wasn’t half as good as Riddick’s, she had something he didn’t---she had the planet alive at her feet, feeding her everything she needed to survive. After the attack she’d somehow connected with the ‘dogs’, understood them in a primitive, animalistic way that she resented because it made her feel like one of them, like those monsters. She could feel the echo-locations, could feel the creatures…
Was it a connection because they’d both been created by the Alliance?
Could the creatures sense her?
“Like I said,” Riddick’s voice was as dark as the sky above. “Ain’t me you gotta worry about.”
The rim of the planet above overtook both suns.
The world went pitch black.
Riddick led River deeper within the Cargo Hold moments before the vault-like doors slammed shut.
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