The evening air was warm in Hazzard County Georgia, an the sun had long since settled behind the distant horizon. Loud music pierced the darkness all around the Boars Nest and people packed into bar for a cold beer on such a hot night.
Among the people a dark lone figure lounged at the pine bar, a long neck bottle set half empty in front of him, and a stool on each side of him lay empty, except of coarse for a few women who moved back and forth from the bar to the tables scattered around the room. An it was only a few select women who new the dark figure that didn’t feel the need to keep there distance from the hulking muscular man and occasionally, a few out of town women found him….charming.
Riddick had been lounging at the bar since just before sunset an just after he had returned from Peachtree City with a delivery truck for Cooter. He didn’t often drive for Cooter, but a couple months before the truck had been hijacked and stolen. So Cooter came up with the brilliant idea to instal his own personal security on the truck, his security being the biggest, strongest an most feared man in Hazzard County. An now after his long drive through the hot weather, he sat enjoying a cold beer or two or three an the fresh cool air of the cold air conditioning.
He finished his third bottle of beer and prepared to order a shot of the Nest’s finest when a thin, lovely looking women with long Burnet colored hair. Her smooth stomach showed visibly for her shirt was short an made of a thin lacy fabric, an her body was made of smooth fine curves and beautiful skin. Riddick glanced at her at first then looked again doing a double take of such a gorgeous being as she leaned against the bar next to him ordering herself a fancy drink. His eyes clearly showed his intoxication, he hadn’t drank heavily in a long time and it was showing in his composure.
The bar tender brought Riddick not a shot but a mug of cold hard whiskey, he tested it at first taking a small sip of the intoxicating liquid. Then with a big swallow he drank down half and glass and then rested it back on the bar.
She turned her attention to him with a ear to ear smile, so big an beautiful that it seemed a mile wide or more. Here eyes were wide with surprise, not many men could gulp whiskey like that, especially that large of amount at once. An she looked him up an down where he stood at the bar shirtless even though it was against the rules of the Nest. His skin shinny with sweat, his huge muscles tight against his skin and his tattoos a decoration wrapped tamely around his massive body. She flashed her eyelashes at him an grinned yet brighter showing a hint of shyness but that shyness was over ridden by the feeling of herself being pulled into him.
The bartender brought her a fancy drink with a tiny umbrella in it, an she ordered a ice cold beer and pushed it towards him, moving herself close enough to him for her side to brush his.
“Hello gorgeous.” She said still staring an admiring his massive body.
Riddick grinned widely feeling her eyes fall over him, his own glossy white eyes bare an falling over her every beautiful curve.”Well hello beautiful, I’ve never seen you around here before.” His naturally deep voice curved with the alcohol, his mind blurry.
She held her smile like sunshine beaming down from the sky. “That’s because I’m from out of town, just stopped in for a drink.” The Burnet locked her arm around Riddick’s left elbow an moved yet closer to him. “What’s your name gorgeous?”
He leaned towards her a little enjoying the attention an the feel of her hand and arm around his. “Im called Riddick. An whats your name beautiful?”
She leaned closer to him to, hardly able to hear him over the blaring music an laughter all around them. “Can we go outside? I can’t hear you.” She said taking his hand in her smaller hand.
Riddick nodded as she lead him by his hand outside an out of the noise, the night air had settled warm an still. He followed her, allowing her to lead him like a big Saint Bernard outside where it was immediately quieter, and she stopped half way out in the parking lot an turned back towards him.
“You said Riddick?” She questioned putting her arms around his waist, her hands running over his back muscles.
“That’s cool. My name is Sarah.” She paused looking up into his eyes, his height towering over her an his size 4-5 times greater then hers.
Riddick smiled an led her towards his charcoal colored Barracuda that sat towards the back of the parking lot. He backed her up against the front drivers side of his car an leaned towards her bracing himself with his hands on the hood behind her.
She leaned against the car smiling at him brightly, an without a hint of shyness she laced her arms around his neck, raising her head she then pressed her lips to his. Riddick returned the kiss, allowing his mouth to melt into hers, his white eyes closed slowly an he fell into her grasp.
There lips parted as she rubbed her small hands over his hulking shoulders an down his taught bare pecks feeling his moist skin at her finger tips. She smiled up at him, her eyes drawing him in for more, an pleading for him to return the kiss. Riddick smiled in return an bent his head forward an pressed his lips to hers again, his arms wrapping tightly around her.
Lost deep in an intense an passionate kiss, Sarah slowly moved her feet turning Riddick around so that his back faced his car an her back faced the open parking lot. She slide her tongue between his teeth an wrapped her lips more tightly around his as she moved her body up against his in a teasing fashion. Her arms dropped down to her sides an to the pockets of her blue jean skirt, an her small fingers produced an unseen item.
Riddick lay in the world of passion, his mind an body oblivious to everything but what his lips were occupied with, an he never saw the needle clutched in her hands. Sarah knew that it was going to take a rather brutal jab for the needle to pierce the massive breast muscle of Riddick’s chest, an she was prepared to dodge him the moment the drug was injected.
She prepared herself, clutching the needle in her hand tighter as she continued to kiss him, an at the last possible moment when it seemed as though the kiss was going to end, she raised her fist in the air like a butcher knife. An she stabbed him in the left peck , the needle imbedding itself deep in the knotted muscles of Riddick’s chest. Quickly she squeezed the end down on the siring injecting the drug into his body.
Immediately Riddick yelped an pushed her away sending her on the ground an clutched the needle with his right hand. Suddenly two strong hands grabbed Riddick’s arm out of the darkness an twisted them behind his back.
“Let go!” Riddick growled in his huge voice.
He struggled, an tossed the pair of men hanging onto his arms around like stuffed animals, but they clung to him like vultures an hung on forcing him to hunch forward with there weight. Sarah regained her feet quickly an put her arm around Riddick’s neck in a head lock, cutting off his air ways.
“Come on Riddick, we don’t want to hurt you, you just got to come with us.” The guy hanging on Riddick’s right side said.
Riddick didn’t reply, he could feel the liquid injection pulse an spread through out his body an begin to weaken him, on top of the lack of oxygen. Again he tried to shake them off an dragged them a few feet backwards an then halted staggering and feeling weaker. He swallowed hard an blinked his eyes staggering half a step to the left, his knees threatening to buckle under his weight an the weight of his attackers hanging on him.
Sarah tipped his chin up an glanced at his eyes an loosened her grip on his throat to check the speed of his breathing then returned to her previous position, clutching him in a head lock tightly. His eyes had gone from a clear glassy, almost bluish tinted look to a milky, glossy an distant _expression, she could tell that he was slowly falling into the hands of the drug.
For a moment no one moved, an only Riddick’s tiring breaths could be heard barely escaping his throat. He staggered one more step, his body swaying as he took in as much air as he could an prepared to put up his final battle.
Suddenly he straitened his back tossing one of men to the ground an causing the other to take a better hold, the girl was lifted off the ground, her arms a death hold on his neck. Riddick struck out at the man on the ground who quickly regained his feet throwing his weight back upon Riddick. Weak an oxygen deprived Riddick could battle know more, an the weight of the third attacker clamping back onto him was more then he could take. His knees buckled under him an he tipped backwards off balance, crashing down hard on his back, he continued his struggle in futile.
“Easy! Easy!” Sarah said as Riddick’s struggle became violent.
The two male attackers quickly pressed Riddicks arms to the ground an laid there weight against him as he struggled slowly weakening. Sarah continued her part in restraining him, she knelt by his head on the ground an returned the pressure on his throat, once again cutting off his air way.
It was an unnatural feeling to be sprawled on his back, his body slowly being taken over by a painful numbness and the uneasy feeling that the lack of oxygen gave him. He had know choice but to surrender his struggle to get free, an take on a new battle. To breath. The women that had set him up held his throat tightly an then covered his eyes with her free hand, his head half resting in her lap.
Riddick gasped for breath an laid still for a moment concentrating on breathing, an then reverted back to his struggle only to find that he had no control over his body, he had fallen completely numb. An now he lay still, his body relaxed.
Sarah took her hand away from his eyes and looked into them, she knew exactly how he should have looked at this stage, and just by looking at him she knew they had underestimated his strength. His eyes showed the painful paralyzation that had taken over his body an the unwilling surrender, the blue tint completely gone from his eyes.
She released her grip on his neck, an the guys holding him backed off an knelt next to his still body as she pressed two fingers to his throat in search of his pulse. His breath still came rasping, an his pulse raced.
“Charlie, Scott, hurry go get the van. He’s having an allergic reaction to the injection, if we don’t hurry he’s going to fall into shock.” Sarah said her eyes intent on Riddick as she sat down on the ground and pulled his head an shoulders into her lap.
The two male attackers, Charlie and Scott rushed off towards there van hidden at the end of the long drive of the Boars Nest.
Sarah rubbed her gentle hands over Riddick’s face an for head, his temperature was already rising quickly. His eyes watched her as he breathed, feeling up tight an uncomfortable.
“Your alright Riddick, my friends went to get the van so we can get you up off the ground. I know it hurts but it’ll go away.” His eyes looked at her briefly then darted away in an uncharted direction.
She removed the siring still sticking out of his chest,a few small trickles of blood had dripped down his chest an over his abdomen. Sarah wiped the drops of blood off him with a tissue an paused to look into his eyes again, he had shut them an passed into unconsciousness.
Drip…..drip….tick…tick….tock…..The sounds came to Riddick’s sensitive ears magnified an strong sounding. His head throbbed with every constant echo of the leaky sink somewhere to his right, an a clock, ticking….ticking with no end in sight.
He moved his stiff body feeling soar and rather numb, a head ach haunted him aching his mind and paining his eyes. An he moved a little, the feeling in his body slowly returning, his eyes fluttered an then opened for a split second then shut tightly again. The lights in the room were bright an painful to his white, light sensitive eyes.
Despite being blind for the time being he tried to get up from the cold, rock hard steal that he lay on, his face pressed to it. But his wrists, neck, lower back and ankles lay held firmly by strong leather straps and chains locked tightly onto them.
An it occurred to him that he was laying on a table, an by the clean clear smell of the room, in a place much like a Doc’s office or…..his heart skipped a beat. Not in fear but in memory of his last trip into a science lab, a trip that had left him blind to the natural world and a animal like night seeing monster.
Riddick heard a door open and close, an a pair of high heeled shoes cross the floor not far from the steal table that he laid on chest down. It was a women, he could smell her familiar scent, the scent that had quivered in his nostrils only a short time ago. An he herd the report from the door again, and another pair of high healed shoes crossed the floor in front of him. The scent of this women was unfamiliar, but it was clearly a women, his strong sense of smell had detected her even before she had come through the door.
“Dim that light Jen.” Sarah’s familiar voice came. “His eyes are light sensitive.”
The small click of a light switch being turned to a different setting came to Riddick’s ear’s and he moved on the table, straining against his restraints. He opened his eyes but kept them narrowed, peering around the room, indeed he was in a science lab once again.
Riddick could hear Sarah to his right maybe about ten feet away preparing something, what he couldn’t tell for her back was turned towards him. An when she turned around she held a siring in her one hand, an empty glass blood storage containers. She approached his right side an grasped his arm that lay strapped to the table, an immediately he began a violent struggle.
“Your going to feel a small prick Riddick, I’m going to take a blood sample.” Sarah said, her friend known as Jen approached and stood directly in front of Riddick.
“No you aren’t!” Riddick growled loudly, his huge voice shaking the glass in the nearby cupboards.
He moved his arm around as much as he could, his strength beyond hers even as his wrist lay secured. She gripped his arm an took a jab at him missing the vein completely an stuck him in the upper arm, an she tried again in futile.
“Dammit Riddick! Hold still!” She hissed at him and attempted to penetrate the vein in his lower arm an missed once again.
Someone suddenly stuck there head in the lab only opening the door half way, but Riddick didn’t notice, he continued his struggle refusing to give it up. On top of it all, he was furious that Sarah had set him up so easily, he had one too many drinks, enough to make him vulnerable to her.
“What is going on in here?” The male voice came from the man sticking his head into the lab room, a white doctors coat draped over his aging body.
He stepped into the room, rubbing his hand over the greying beard on his chin as he shook his head in disapproval. The two women paused there attack with the needle and Riddick also briefly paused, he recognized the scientists voice, he knew it all too well. A wave of fear went over him as his eyes made contact with the elder mans….it was….indeed Dr. Aberham Poe. The man that had destroyed his vision years earlier in Riddick’s life, it took only a few short moments for Riddick’s mind to register the threat.
Feeling enraged and purely insane with furry Riddick began a violent struggle to free himself from his restraints. He knew what Poe was capable of an he refused to fall into his hands again, he threw his head from side to side and shook his body, his muscles flexing and straining against the secure ties holding him.
Poe approached the stainless steal bed that Riddick lay strapped to, noticing the mans sudden enraged and violent struggle. The shaggy bearded man shook his head and smiled cruelly.
“Awe whats wrong Riddick? Not happy to see me.” His smile curled. “Whats the problem ladies?” He asked looking at the two women.
“He won’t let us take the blood test, an you said we couldn’t sedate him anymore.” Sarah frowned and pouted.
“Thats correct I did say that. Your approach upon him is improper and uneffective, hes probably the most powerful victim you will ever meet.” He paused standing directly in front of Riddick, an just watched him wretch in his horrendous struggle. “You must take control of the situation before you take responsibility.”
Poe watched Riddick for another moment and in the blink of an eye his right hand came up from his side and caught Riddick by the throat just under the chin. But the grasp on his throat did not immediately phase Riddick, an he twisted his head from side to side shaking and half dragging Poe from side to side. Poe pinched his forefinger and thumb around Riddick’s juggler an bent Riddick’s head back until it pressed against the restraint, he intensified the pressure until his victims face began to turn red and his struggle subsided.
Jen smiled seeing the pain and intense discomfort in Riddick’s eyes, she looked at Sarah to find her friend frowning, her hands frozen an barely holding onto the siring. Her eyes watched Riddick’s as his breathing caught in his throat an he began to gasp for air, his face twisted in pain an his chest heaved for breath. Poe also looked up at her and was rather shocked to find her staring at him that way, she looked scared and hurt by the sight that was meeting her eyes.
“Take the blood test Sarah.” Poe hissed.
Jen made a move to take the siring from her friends hands and take the blood test herself, but Poe pushed her away an glared at Sarah. His grip on Riddick’s throat remained, but his glare darkened on the young girl.
“Take….the….test.” His words were evil and angry now.
Sarah looked up at Poe as her eyes brimmed with tears an she began to cry, she glanced at Riddick as she took his arm in her hand. She trembled in fear an fumbled with the needle, he did not move this time as the silence surrounded her, only the sound of his ached breathing coming to her ears. She stuck the needle into Riddick’s vein and in reply he shook his head from side to side in a ‘no’ gesture, which caused Poe to tighten the pressure.
Her fingers worked faster to fill the veils with his blood and soon removed the needle an stepped back away from the stainless steal table. The tears pouring down her face now as she looked back at Riddick, his face was beat red and his head leaned against Poe’s hand limply an his breath gurgled from his throat.
“Please….” She cried to Poe. “Please…let him go…you promised you wouldn’t kill him…..Please…” She cried harder.
Poe sighed glaring at her and released Riddick’s neck allowing his head to thud limply to the table an collide with the right side of his face. He immediately began to pant for air and blink his eyes, his breath weezing from his throat.
“Come on Jen, help me heat up formula X. ” He paused his approach on the door an looked over his shoulder at Sarah. ” Sarah, get Charlie and Scott to help you move Riddick to the holding chamber, he needs to rest before we put him into surgery.”
Tears still spilled down her face an she stood a few feet away from the table that Riddick lay on, she nodded her head to his demand and watched him and Jen leave. Jen followed Poe out into the hallway an into another laboratory where they would prepare the formula that Poe had invented.
Sarah allowed the tears to stream down her face as she knelt down at the head of the table where Riddick’s head lay facing to the left.
“Im so sorry I brought you here. I didn’t know….” She cried an put her small hands on his shaved head. “Im sorry….”
Riddick’s throat throbbed with pain with every breath that he gasped for, Poe had done this to him before, but he had never damaged his throat so badly. He would be bruised for days, an probably unable to talk for sometime to come, just taking a breath hurt. But he could hear what she was saying, an it occurred to him that she had no idea who Poe was an what he was capable of doing. She was just another victim of a mad mans game.
She forced herself to stand up and radio to Charlie and Scott to come get Riddick and move him to the holding chamber, he would be safer there. He would also possibly be granted some water an maybe food. Her hand rested on the back of his head and she whispered to him, trying to assure him that he would be safer in the chamber.
The two men arrived an unstrapped Riddick from the table, holding him down as they did, even though he did not fight them. There was no point in fighting them, he knew that Poe would only punish him more. He knew Poe’s power, there was know escape from this place until he was done with you, or until you were dead.
Charlie and Scott slowly released there pinning hold on Riddick, convinced that he wasn’t going to struggle and fight them. They lifted him up under the arms an dragged him across the floor an into the holding chamber, which was little more then a jail cell in the corner of the large lab room. They laid him down on a blanket an left the chamber, closing and locking the gate behind them.
Sarah wiped away her tears and leaned against the cell, she hadn’t had any idea of what she was getting herself into when she asked for Poe’s help, she had no idea who he was. Suddenly she was shaken from her thoughts as the lab door opened and one of Poe’s brutes carried a screaming, wiggling, crying little girl.
Her golden hair knotted and tossed about, her little face battered, scraped and tear stained. She fought fiercely against the man holding her back, but she was no match against an adult. Quickly she was forced into the cell and locked in there with Riddick. Sarah only watched, there was nothing she could do, she glanced at Riddick’s big form laying on the floor on the blanket.
He had rolled over onto his side so that his back faced her, his tattoos decorated his back and shoulders. She watched his side rise and fall with each breath, it seemed that he was resting peacefully, but she knew that Poe’s rough grasp on his throat had done damage. The little girl scrambled into the corner of the cell and berried her face in her lap crying.
The little girl whimpered and an cried hard for a few minutes then looked up an released that she wasn’t alone. At first the sight of Riddick frightened her and she hide in the corner crying harder. Sarah saw this, there was no question in her mind, Riddick was not a murderous monster like Poe had told her he was. He was much like a big Saint Barnard, a gentle giant, he had grown from a dangerous creature of the night into someone that the people of the town called there friend.
She approached the cell and got down on her knees, not wanting to further scare the small child. She hushed the little one an spoke to her softly.
“Shhhhh….shhhhh…its ok….he won’t hurt you. He’s a victim like you….he won’t hurt you he only looks big and mean.” Sarah said watching the little girls reaction.
“Please help me…..” The little girl cried harder and harder. “Im lost…please take me home to my momma.”
The little girls loud voice stirred Riddick from his dozing, he rolled over onto his stomach and pushed himself up onto his elbows and looked in her direction. She was very young an rather small, not much over five or six years old, an it was clear that Poe’s men hadn’t been at all gentle in there handling of her. Her long golden hair was knotted, her face showed signs of battery and by the looks of her crying state it had been a long trip here.
Riddick cleared his throat an winced at the pain it caused, he rubbed his hand over his jugular where Poe had brutally grabbed him. A large black and blue bruise stretched from the pressure point below his left ear to the pressure point below his right ear. It would take weeks for him to heal, he sat up his eyes still on the little girl, she was afraid of him that was clear.
“Shhhhhhh…..shhhhh.” He spoke to her as he got to his feet an stood for a few moments feeling a little light headed.
Sarah watched him, she saw him wince at the pain in his throat and could see the blackness of the bruising beginning to show up. Riddick approached the golden haired little girl and knelt down by her, she was scared and crying hard. He wasn’t sure what to do, but he remembered what his friends liked when they crying an were scared, crying and feeling alone. Moving slowly and with much protest from the child he picked her up in his arms.
She struggled against him and screamed fearfully but he did not release her, instead he held her closer to him comforting her in a hug.
“Shhhh….shhhhh…..” He coughed forcing his voice to speak in a horse whisper. “I…will….not….hurt….you.”
It was like something clicked, as soon as the little girl found how strong, comforting and gentle this man was she clung to him putting her arms around his neck burring her face in his bare shoulder. He hugged her and rocked her back and forth in her arms, there was something about children, often as soon as they got past there fear of him they clung to him.
“Shhhh….shhhh….” He carried her over to the blanket he had been laying on a picked it up and wrapped it around her.
Riddick glanced at Sarah, he had heard her pleas to Poe not to kill him and he was in her gratitude. She may have helped in kidnaping him, but she was different from the rest of this gang of crazies. He sat down in the corner of the cell with the little girl in his arms, continuing to rock her back and forth she eventually fell into a peaceful sleep feeling safe in her new friends arms. Riddick also dozed off to sleep sitting with his back in the corner of the cell and the little girl in his arms.
Meanwhile else where in the large building, Poe was heating a bright orange liquid in a quart sized vile over a extremely hot flame. The liquid turned over and over getting deeper in color as it heated up, over the period of a few hours he did some final tests on formula X and doubled checked the DNA sample that it would be mixed with. Also he put Riddick’s blood through a number of thorough tests to make sure that all would go as planned.
Poe also knew that it was crucial that Riddick didn’t eat anything, but it was even more important that he took in at least a half gallon of water before his surgery. But the little girl would be granted food and water.
“Dan, Jake. Get Jen to help you make a meal for that little girl. We may need her if someone comes snooping around looking for Riddick. But I repeat, do not, do not! Let Riddick have anything to eat, give him a gallon jug of water an make sure he drinks it.” Poe paused looking at his two men.
“If the little girl tries to share her food with Riddick, club him. Do what you must to keep him from eating.” With that said Poe turned his back on them and went back to work, his men stalked off to find Jen an give her the instructions.
It was late in the evening when Riddick awoke, many hours had passed while he slept, the little girl still lay asleep in his arms sleeping, soundly. The sound of the cell door being unlocked and opened had awoken him, his strong sense of smell picked up the scent of fresh fruit and possibly soup. He opened his eyes an got to his feet quickly as three men and Jen surrounded him and the girl. Riddick backed away defensively, but stopped not wanting to get himself pinned in the corner.
His senses had been correct, Jen held a small plate of food in her hand and a gallon jug of water in the other. The little girl had awoken at Riddick’s sudden movement to get up and now she clung to him fearfully whimpering. Riddick set her down on her feet and stood in front of her keeping himself between the child and Poe’s men.
“Come on Riddick….don’t make this harder then its got to be.” Jen said standing away from the men.
Riddick only bared his teeth an narrowed his eyes, his throat would not allow him to speak and he was furious from earlier that day.
“Bret…”Dan spoke to his comrade. “You grab the girl, the Dodger and I will hold him back.”
Suddenly Riddick dashed forward and tackled the biggest of them, a man he had known from his first visit many years ago, the Dodger. He tackled him to the cement floor and let his fists fly into the other mans face, Dan quickly struck Riddick with his club in the back of the head. The blow threw Riddick to the floor an off of the Dodger, Dan struck Riddick again and again while he was down.
As soon as he could Bret grabbed the little girl and half dragged half carried her out of the cell, she screamed and cried, struggling to get away from him.
The Dodger got to his feet angrily wiping a stream of blood from the corner of his mouth, he fetched Riddick a brutal kick to the ribs rolling the large man onto his back. Dodger grasped the club from Dan’s hand forcefully an circled Riddick’s form on the floor.
“Get up you mangy white eyed devil….you want to attack me you sonofabitch…come an get me!” Dodger snarled.
Enraged Riddick pushed himself to his feet, his breath rasping from his throat as he fought to catch his breath from getting the wind knocked out of him. He stood up quickly his eyes flashing in anger, Dodger smirked and swung the club at Riddick striking him in the side of the face with all his might. The blow sent Riddick sprawling, unconscious before his big body connected with the cement.
Dodger grinned smugly an prepared to send a another swift kick to the unconscious mans side when Dan grabbed him bye the shoulder and turned him away.
“Stop!” Dan snapped. “We were not told to beat him to death, we were only told to keep him from eating.”
Dan waved for Jen to bring the jug of water in an leave it for Riddick, she did so, setting the jug of water and a paper cup on a small stool in the corner of the cell. The little girl was taken just out side of the cell with Bret to eat her meal, at first she refused to eat then over come by hunger she shoveled the food down in a few short minutes.
Sarah had heard the commotion an came to see what was going on, when she arrived the little girl was sitting on one of the lab counter drinking a cup of orange juice. Riddick still lay on the cell floor unconscious an bleeding from his left temple where Dodger had struck him in the face. The cell door was locked an she could not get in, but she walked up to the bars staring at Riddick. She shut her eyes holding back her tears, why…..why did they have to do this to him.
Dan opened the cell door an Jen released the little girl back into the confinement of the cell. Sarah watched as the little girl approached her big friend with concern. She knelt down on the floor in front of him, a few tears rolled down her cheeks in fear. Her little hand touched his shoulder an shook him gently trying to wake him, but he did not stir from his unconsciousness. She glanced up at Sarah who stood helplessly watching.
“Do you….know what his…name is?” The golden haired child asked Sarah in a tear choked voice.
Sarah nodded and replied guiltily. “His name is Riddick.” She paused watching the little girl try to wake him again. “What is your name?”
The child did not look back at her but simply replied with tears in her eyes. “Lucy.”
Felling helpless Sarah went to a sink in the lab and took a towel from a cupboard and soaked it in cold water, she returned to where she had been standing. She stuck her hand through the bars holding the towel out to Lucy a few feet away.
“Here, take this…..put it on his forehead.” Sarah said kneeling by the bars.
Riddick’s blood oozed down the side of his face and dripped to the floor creating a small puddle. With all her might Lucy pushed Riddick’s shoulder back an rolled him onto his back, he only groaned and laid back still lost in the unconscious world. Lucy did as she was told and wiped the wet towel over his forehead then gently blotted the bleeding gash on his temple. Riddick winced feeling the towel touch the gash on his head, he began to stir an soon blinked his eyes.
Lucy pressed the towel to the gash with her small hands an watched him open his eyes a little at a time, blinking slowly.
“Are you ok Riddick?” Lucy asked backing away as he rolled over and rested his face on his arm.
She had spoke his name, Riddick was surprised to hear her speak his name, but his head ached sorely and his ribs throbbed. After a little while Riddick picked himself up off the ground an sat leaning against the bars, Lucy sat a couple feet away. She was a smart little girl, she knew that he could not speak to her because of the blue marks on his neck but she knew that he was her friend.
The rest of the night was long and quiet although they were not disturbed again sleep wouldn’t come for Riddick and he sat watching over the little girl. He had learned her name, he could not speak it but they had found that communication wasn’t needed to be friends and Lucy slept feeling safe near Riddick, all curled up on the blanket.
Morning came in the blink of an eye, a terrible gut feeling told Riddick that this day would bring another great change in his life, much like the change to his eyes. He paced the cell a little, Poe was brewing something up for him, something bigger and worse then the surgery to his eyes. But what….what this time.
A couple more hours passed by, Riddick spent most of that time pacing the cell in deep thought and Lucy slept on the blanket on the floor. At about 8:00 AM Poe came into the lab with a quart sized vile in each hand, a few of his men followed carrying equipment of all kinds, everything from syringes to heavy chains. Poe paused on his way out to fetch more supplies and watched Riddick pacing, he smiled evilly and went on with his business, Riddick was no fool.
At 9:00 AM four of Poe’s strongest men came to the cell, there orders were to fetch Riddick and bring him to a chair that had been placed in the middle of the room. One man opened the cell door an they all filed in surrounding Riddick like a hungry pack of wolves preparing to bring a large prey down. Poe stood outside the cell by the chair watching an waiting, Jen and Sarah stood in the labs door way.
The odds were by far against him, these men had him trapped an no doubt they were all armed in some way shape or form. He had taken on more men then this before at once, but at that time there was more space an he had not been trapped in a cell.
“Come quietly Riddick an it will be over quickly.” Poe sneered from outside the cell.
“I would rather die…..”He coughed from the soar ness in his throat.” Then come quietly to the likes of you Poe.” Riddick spat and suddenly whirled around landing his fist on the bridge of one mans nose.
The man’s face burst into a stream of crimson and he stumbled to the floor barely on the edge of consciousness from Riddick’s mighty blow. The second of the four men drew a club an raised it ready to strike, Riddick stepped back just barely avoiding the club. Instead of striking Riddick the club landed heavily on the head of the third man standing behind him. But it was the forth man that would slow Riddick’s attack in all the confusion.
As it was the fourth man was no doubt one of the smartest, he grasped one of Riddick’s arms and twist it cruelly bending it behind his back in a police hold. Unable to bare the pain of his arm being bent Riddick bent at the waist struggling to be free of the hold, the fourth man grinned evilly seeing Riddick bent forward in pain. He held Riddick’s arm tight and stepped forward raising his knee and striking Riddick in his already bruised throat.
The fourth man released Riddick’s arm and allowed him to clasp to the floor on his hands and knees as he rasped for air and clutched his throat. Two of the other men who had recovered quickly bore Riddick to the floor flat on his chest and proceeded to shackled his wrists and ankles. They rolled him onto his back and removed his socks and boots, leaving him dressed in only his tattered black jeans.
Lucy had awaken during all the commotion an the man with the busted nose forced her out of the cell an into the arms of Jen and Sarah.
Riddick could do nothing more then lay on his back an wither in pain as he rasped for air. Three of the four men haled Riddick to his feet by the chains on his wrist and stood him up. They escorted him out of the cell, practically dragging him for he refused to walk even though the chains on his feet were long enough. Putting up as much fight as possible an struggling endlessly he was forced into the waiting chair to face Poe for little more then a talking to.
“Listen to me Riddick, I’m not one to repeat myself.” Poe glared and gave a evil grin.
Riddick sat in the chair, bore down by the three sets of hands pressing on his shoulders, he paused his struggle to listen to Poe, he knew this info would be important.
“The last time you an I crossed paths I gave you those magnificent eyes.” Poe paused to analyze his previous work. “An I enhanced your five senses to strength of a adult male Maltese Tiger, which is a very large bluish colored tiger with white paws, belly an some face markings, it has black stripes like the orange Siberian tiger. This particular cat is as large as its cousin the Siberian, weighing up to 700lbs an measuring up to 13ft in length from head to tip of tail. It’s a pity that I didn’t get to finish what I started with your eyes years ago, of course back then I worked for the government.”
Riddick forced the hands off his shoulders roughly but made no move to stand, he grasped one shackled hand around his bruised throat watching an listening to Poe.
“Now that I have reclaimed you I will finish what I started, for the next 10 hours I will transfuse three chemicals into your body by way of IV. You will receive eight syringe injections, the first will be a prep chemical, it will prepare your body for the shock of the three main transfusions. After the first transfusion of my formula you will receive two injections that will cause “X” as my formula has been titled, to stimulate progression and cause it to begin its work. After the first chemical has been administrated an the injections have been given, the system will start all over again until we are left with the eighth and final injection. At that time you will be in your new state, the eighth injection will be morphine mixed with a powerful muscle relaxer.”
Poe paused to allow what he had said to sink in, he knew Riddick was smart, witty and held a lethal temper. He watched the mans reaction to this, only to take notice of the mellow hurt filled look on the mans face, a look that he had never gotten from this dangerous convict. The _expression an emotion written on Riddick’s face stumped Poe, but the distance in the mans pearl white eyes nearly mad him fumbled.
Riddick’s mind had wandered off as Poe’s plans were spilt, an to a degree he had mentally given in. This man had practically created him, an in another breath he had destroyed him and in both aspects he had been powerless. But this didn’t trouble Riddick, the end did not trouble his mind, it was what he had grown into since his arrival in Hazzard. What he would leave behind, Poe’s experiment on him would spell his death an he would leave behind all the friends that he had made.
Worst yet no one would ever know what became of him, people had seen him leave the Boars Nest on the previous evening with Sarah. They would assume that he had run away with her, that he had not had the courage to say goodbye. The thoughts nearly made tears swell in Riddick’s eyes, he loved Hazzard, it had truly become the place that he wanted to call home.
Unable to understand the sudden swell of emotion on his captives face Poe continued to explain his plans.
“You will hopefully be in the state of a rather large white Tiger, the blue pigment in the genes that you will acquire through X will slowly spread over a matter of three days. The change from human to tiger will be painful, your bones will literally grow into that of a Tigers.” Poe paused once more, his smile further lengthening.
Riddick glared back covering up the truth in his angry _expression and he vowed that if he survived….
the…. the change from man to beast that Poe would be the first one he would kill. He bared his gritted teeth and the men holding the chains latched to the shackles tightened there grip.
“Put him on the surgery table, an buckle him down tight for the time being.” Poe began to give orders, everyone in the room going to there work. “Get the torches started and prepare the injections.”
The men dragged Riddick over to the table, he refused to walk an struggled in there grasp putting up as much of a fight as he could manage in his state. They forced him onto the table chest down an put the straps over his back, legs, wrists and neck tightly. Riddick withered an pressed against the nylon straps as hard as he could, but it was know use, there was no chance of escape now. Struggling now useless he lay still to rest, his chest heaved and he coughed his throat soar.
***2 Months Later***
“My god….” Poe’s right hand man’s eyes were as wide as could be as he watched the 800 pound white tiger run powerfully an jump over a fence in the training yard.
“He’s magnificent isn’t he Dodger.” Poe’s evil grin curled on his face as he watched Riddick.
The man had settled into his new form rather well an was showing magnificent, power speed and stanima. Poe stopped his time watch as the 800 pound white tiger trotted into the room at the end of the optical part of the training course. Wound up tighter then a rubber band from his outting, Riddick paced around the small room, making large circles as he panted hard.
He quickly searched the small room, looking for a bucket of water and his usual reward of a slab of raw meat, finding nothing he continued his pacing waiting impatiently.
Dodger blinked his wide eyes, he’d been watching the tiger grow stronger and stronger over the past two months, the man was astonished. At first it was in question weather or not Riddick would even survive the first week in the icy cold tub after the traumatic transformation into the tiger. But he pulled through an had gained well over 50 pounds, weighing out at nearly 800 pounds plus his daily meal. Poe patted his right hand man on the back noticing the _expression on his face.
“Go ahead Bret, let him into the lab, have the girls check his temperature, blood pressure and take a blood test for me.” Poe said to one of his men standing by the door behind him.
The man stepped over to the control panel and flicked some switches opening a door in the small room that Riddick paced in. Before the door entirely opened the tiger scrambled through it an dashed down the long hallway an out another door into the lab room. Immediately he trotted up to the bars of the cell where the little girl sat on a mattress waiting for him. Impatiently he paced in front of the cell door that stood shut rather then open as it usually would be after his first daily work out.
Panting heavily he sat down by the cell door an waited, his thick pink tongue hanging out one side of his mouth. Lucy came up to the bars fearlessly an stretched her arms between them to pet him.
“Shhhhhh….. they’ll let you in soon… shhhhh.” She scratched with her small fingers between his ears an smoothed her hand down his thick furry back.
Feeling tired Riddick licked the saliva from his jaws an laid down with his back against the cell bars, he’d laid flat against his side on the cool floor. Suddenly a fiery hot wash of pain came from his chest an he coughed an panted for air, his body feeling heavy an numb. He coughed again trying to clear his lungs to breath, a haze of blood choked from hiss mouth an a crimson stream ran from his nose. The blood dripped onto the floor an he began to feel light headed, as the darkness threatened him he laid his head back an just panted for air.
Seeing the blood Lucy became frantic, she stood up an yelled at the top of her lungs, gripping the bars with her small hands.
“Help Help!” Just then Jen and Sarah stepped into the lab there attention immediately landing on the tiger.
Sarah quickly jogged over to him an kneeled down at his side, Jen not far behind. Quickly Sarah checked his vital signs finding him barely on the edge of consciousness, her an Jem recognized his centimes.
“Hurry Jen! Call Poe! Hurry!” Sarah shouted, carefully she grabbed the tiger by his head an leather collar an pulled as hard as she could trying to raise his head enough for him to breath. “Come on Riddick, breath damnit! Breath!”
In seconds Poe and Dodger rushed into the room, joining the two young ladies. Poe knew exactly what was wrong, he’d been concerned with it ever since the first time Riddick clasped. Quickly Poe took an emergency needle from the cupboard an moved over close to the rasping tiger.
“Keep breathing Riddick, cough if you can, just breath if you can’t.” Poe said as he grabbed the big cat by the scruff of his neck, Dodger came to his aid grabbing the big animal by the loose hide on the back of his neck an pulling hard rasing the massive tigers head.
“Hold him right there Dodger.” Poe instructed kneeling down further so that he could get to the Riddick’s throat. “Jen, Sarah! Come over her an help Dodger raise his chin up so he can breath!”
Hesitantly the two young women joined there boss at the tigers head, Jen joined Dodger while Sarah took hold of Riddick’s bloody muzzle. Wrinkling her nose in discuss she took his bloody tongue between her fingers an moved it over to the side opening up his throat while more blood coated her hands from his nose and mouth.
“He’s bleedin’ bad Poe.” Sarah said turning her hands up momentarily to show her boss the amount of blood on them.
Poe glanced at her then brought the needle up to his mouth an pulled the cap off between his teeth, his other hand holding the heavy white fur spread apart on the side of Riddicks neck, where he knew was a big vein. Quickly he inserted the needle administering the drug then stepped away disposing of the siring. Shaking his head in disapproval and worry he raised the tigers lip an looked at his gums, checking there color, sighing he stepped away.
“Let him go…” Poe said as he stepped over to the sink to wash his hands, as instructed Dodger lowered the tigers head to the floor an brushed his hands together.
Sarah stayed with Riddick, allowing his unconscious head to rest in her lap as she stroked his soft fur gently, Lucy stood behind her peering quietly through the bars.
“What now Poe? He’s unconscious….his breathes are fading.” Sarah said with tears filling up in her eyes, Riddick had barely survived his last attack like this, an it wasn’t half as bad.
“Dodger, get Dan, Jake and Scott in here, have them roll Riddick onto that table over there.”Sighing Poe scrubbed his hands an arms up to his elbows with soap. “Im going to fix this problem once an for all.”
“What are you going to do Poe?” Dodger asked as he picked up the phone to call the other men.
“Riddick has a piece of steal lodged in his chest, I assume thats what keeps causing these bleeding attacks everytime he pushes himself to the limit.” Poe spoke still scrubbing.
“Piece of steel?” Dodger said pausing by the phone again. “How do you know?”
“I know because I planted it in him, it’s a shaving from a rifle shell.”
Dodger winced an continued making his phone call, he knew what kind of damage a shell that big could do to a human body.
***Two Weeks Later***
“Come on, up on the table Riddick.” Sarah patted her hand on the stainless steel table, motioning for the tiger to jump up on it, a stethoscope he her hands.
Obediently he jumped up onto the table an sat down, still panting hard from his run through the training course. Sarah smoothed her hand over the area of his chest where his fur had been shaved away an a thin healing scare showed where he’d been cut open for his surgery.
“Does that hurt?” She asked him as she touched the healing line.
With the intelligence of a human he shook his head an sat still for her as she put the scope to his chest and listened. Sarah checked all his vital signs, each of them steady an very normal, afterwards she allowed him to enter the cell with Lucy, where his supper waited for him.
As evening came on the lights were turned down an the staff headed off to sleep in there rooms within the building. Riddick curled up on the mattress in the cell an Lucy joined him, curling up with her head laying against his side, feeling ever so safe and warm there with him. Both of them were asleep in a matter of moments. It was sometime during the night that the sound of the lab room door opening awoke Riddick, he blinked his glowing white eyes in the dark room an raise his head. His sensitive ears perking an listening.
He watched as Bret, one of Poe’s most trusted men opened the door and half dragged half carried a gaged and bound Sarah into the room, shutting the door behind him. Sarah squirmed in his grasp an tried to scream through her gag, but it was know use.
Riddick slowly sat up allowing Lucy’s small body to ease town to the mattress gently, he moved towards the cell bars watching, his white eyes glowing. Bret pressed Sarah’s back against a counter top, using his size and body weight to hold her in place. Roughly he suddenly grabbed the front of her shirt and ripped it open, exposing her crisp white bra beneath. She gasped aloud in surprise and struggled against him, he was so close, his body pressed to hers in a meaningful way.
The tiger came up to the cell door an scrapped his claws on it, it was the sign that he’d been trained to use, he wanted out. Bret glanced towards the cell and shook his head, the dumb animal couldn’t possibly understand what his intentions were. Sarah could see Riddick scratching at the iron bars with his huge claws, she knew better, she knew how intelligent he was. If only he was not inside that huge cage, he could tear that bastard apart.
Suddenly Bret yanked on her bra breaking the clasp an allowing it to fall to the floor, his eyes narrowed in desire and pleasure at sight of her small breasts. Riddick slammed his head hard against the door slipping one of his paws between the bars, he growled and snarled loudly. His teeth clamped down on the bars an he bit them viciously trying anything to open that door.
The banging on the cell door drew Bret’s attention to the cell again, seeing her chance Sarah shoved him away with all her strength and dove across the floor towards the cell. Bret pursued her with equal speed grabbing onto her ankle as she scrambled towards the key pad on the cell door. In terror she kicked and fought trying to release his grasp, she could see the tiger waiting right there at the door.
She stretched, reaching as far an hard as she could, finally her hand found the keys an pressed her thumb to the finger pad an pressed with all her strength. The key pad buzzed and to Brets horror the cell door automatically opened, a red light above the door began to flash and an alarm sounded.
Riddick leapt over Sarah where she was laying on the floor and pounced his mighty weight onto Bret, his claws and teeth diving into the mans flesh. Every instinct in the tiger went off like the flashing alarm system over head, he immediately when for Bret’s face, head an throat. In seconds the man was limp in the tigers jaws, his blood making a healthy sized puddle on the floor.
Feeling the dead weight in his mouth Riddick dropped the body to the floor an trotted over to Sarah who was now sitting up on the floor drawing her ripped shirt together. She thankfully reached for the tigers head, his bloody muzzle the least of her worries.
The flashing alarm drew nearly everyone in the building the first two on the scene was Dan and Jake, both rushed into the room, both of them entirely unarmed. Dan stopped quickly in the door way and Jake bumped into him from behind peering around him, quickly understanding why his comrade had stopped so suddenly. Poe pushed past them from behind and stepped into the rooming stopping in front of them, he glanced around his eyes falling over the body of the dead man and on Sarah with her arms around the big tigers neck.
Riddick’s ears drew his attention to the movement an he stood up realizing that the door to the lab was wide open an that he was not confined in the cell. He steadily watched Poe, a warmth of anger swelled in the tigers heart and his ears flattened back against his neck. This was his chance…. his only chance.
The tiger leaned towards Sarah an put his nose to her ear, an to her surprise he whispered into her ear, with the deep and powerful voice he’d had as a human. But his voice was scratchy and soar sounding an she could barely make out what he said, her eyes wide with surprise she nodded her head yes that she understood.
Knowing exactly what needed to be done Riddick stepped forward towards Poe and his men as Sarah stood up behind him and went into the cell to wake Lucy. He knew who his target was, it was the one person who had ruined his life, the tiger cleared his throat an spoke as clearly as he could. Riddick’s old voice bellowing and angry sounding.
“You’ve destroyed me forever Aberham Poe! And for that I will take your life and the life of each of your men.” An angry snarl echoed in his voice as he proceeded forward, his claws tapped against the floor in there unsheathed state.
Poe face curled into an evil grin as his creation grew closer to him, not a cell of fear swelled within him. “You think you can kill me you mangy white eyed devil… then come and get me.” Poe lowered his hand behind his back an unsheathed a dagger from his belt.
Riddick leapt at him, his huge jaws wide open as he sprang from the floor, snapping his mouth at Poe’s face. Poe stepped back as the tigers paws pressed against his chest, he drew the dagger from behind his back and struck out with it. Repeatedly he stabbed the white tiger in the thick of his neck, the rock hard muscles there protecting the beasts vitals.
Hissing in pain Riddick craned his neck to one side and snapped his jaws down brutally hard on Poes arm bitting down into the flesh. The tiger squeezed with his jaws until he felt the bone in Poe’s arm give way and break, his face creased in agony. Releasing the shattered arm Riddick sprang forward again using his hind legs to press with all there strength, his power full jaws snapped catching onto the flesh of Poe’s chin, the weight of the tiger throwing him to the ground.
The battle was over in seconds, Riddick’s mouth closed on Poe’s jugular once the man was flat on his back. By this time Poe’s men had regrouped an rushed at the tiger with chains used to restrain him to the lab table. The struck the huge beast anywhere they could with the metal chains, bruising the tigers back an sides.
Riddick fought back, biting an clawing his way through them, eventually taking them both down in a smear of blood.
Sarah rushed into the sell and picked up Lucy, who amazing enough had slept through all the noise of battle. The women carried the whimpering child in her arms holding onto the little one for dear life as they raced for the door, Riddick joined them once he’d canceled Dan and Jake. They ran down the hallway, Sarah leading them towards the entrance of the building. Suddenly gun shots echoed through the air and a high pitched scream caught in Sarah’s throat, her eyes wide as could be.
Her face flushed as she stopped in her tracks, Lucy slide down in her arms feeling the women holding onto her stiffen. Riddick stopped and turned back to see what was wrong, his white eyes immediately fell over the crimson stain washing down the front of Sarah’s blouse. He spun around, his paws sliding on the smooth hallway floor as she fell forward towards him, he allowed her to fall onto him, keeping her from hitting the floor hard.
Her weak fingers gripped onto his fur, slipping down towards the floor, he could see behind her an there stood with a gun in her hand, Jen. Slipping away from his back, her breath faint and her voice ever so weak Sarah slide towards the floor speaking to him with every effort she had left.
“Run… Razor….Run for…Lucy…take her….an run…Run…Razor…R…” Sarah said in her dying breaths an she slide from the tigers back an lay on the floor as still as stone.
The warmth of anger swelled with in him once again an Riddick bolted forward plowing into the gun baring women an knocking her down. Feeling the wind get knocked out of her, Jen scrambled dropping her gun she hurried to get away from the enraged animal.
Riddick could hear more foot steps pounding down the hallway, he had no time to kill Jen, he would have to get Lucy and go. Quickly he ran back to her and pulled her to her feet by her shirt being as gentle as he possibly could.
“Get on my back! Hurry!” He said to her, unlike everyone else, she had talked to him many times, she’d known all along that he could talk.
Quickly she clutched his fur and climbed onto his back grasping his collar with both hands and clamping her legs around his sides. Convinced that she was secure on his back he ran for all he was worth making a mad dash for the exit.
“Duck your head an close your eyes!” He shouted as they came to the exit, a glass door the only thing in there path.
The tiger sprang in a hard leap and gritted his teeth his head and front paws smashing through the door the glass shattering everywhere. The building alarm system sprang into action only seconds after the glass shattered onto the ground, Lucy clutched Riddicks thick fur holding onto him for dear life. His feet touched down onto the sidewalk just outside of the door, he never paused even though he could feel the broken glass cutting into his flesh.
Swiftly he barreled around the rear of the building, he knew that there was plenty of wide open forest in that direction an he let out for it at a hell bent run. As her cleared the rear of the building the back door slammed, an Dodger hurried from the door a rifle at his side. In a flash he knelt on his knees an shouldered the rifle taking aim at the fleeing tiger and child.
“BANG BANG!!!” He fired repeatedly at Riddick who had just cleared the fence in one mighty spring.
As he came down on the other side of the fence, the bullets tore into his flesh, imbedding them selves in his shoulder an leg. He stumbled, his muzzle making a nose dive into the dirt, his unwounded leg clawed the ground dragging him back to his feet. Although bleeding an in pain he pushed himself reverting back to a dead run for all he was worth, favoring his left side.
“BANG BANG!!!” Dodger took his chances firing two more shots at the fleeing pair, the dirt kicked up from the ground where the bullets skipped missing there prey by many feet.
The tiger and child quickly disappeared into the woods, not daring to slow down until they were miles and miles away. By then Riddick panted hard, his left leg an shoulder soaked in blood an on fire with pain. Panting hard he whirled around the way he had come and stopped in his tracks, his ears perked an listening to see if they were being followed. Crushed in pain he curled his left paw, supporting himself on three legs he stood an listened.
Shaking with fear Lucy sat on his back crouched forward and clinging to him. Slowly she took a few deep breaths an sat up looking at him, for a few seconds she just sat there watching the blood roll down her friends muzzle an ooze from his nose. Deeply afraid an scared at the site of his blood she buried her face into his neck an cried just clutching onto him tightly.
“Lucy…” Riddick said turning his head as far as he could to see her an nudge her with his nose to comfort her. “We are safe Lucy… please don’t cry… everything will be ok.”
She whimpered hugging him around the neck. “But your bleeding Riddick.” Lucy sat up a little looking down at his wounded shoulder and leg.
” I know…but I will be alright… don’t worry about me.” He spoke to her in as soft a voice as he could manage and began to walk through the woods, limping tenderly.
Riddick walked for many miles through the woods in silence, for a time Lucy lay crouched on his back resting and recovering from the trauma of there escape. After traveling for nearly 7 miles Riddick came to a shallow creek, the crystal clear water gurgled over the rocks as it flowed along its path. He paused, his shoulder an upper leg throbbing as it still oozed blood staining his white fur. Carefully he laid down beside the water edge and stretched his next out to it drinking thirstily.
“Lucy…” He turned his head an licked her small hand that clutched his fur. “Wake up Lucy…. I need you to get off my back.”
Slowly she began to stir, rubbing her eyes as she sat up an looked around, the forest was a bit of a comfort to her, here she knew they were safe.
“What did you say Riddick?” She asked petting his back with her small hands, her bare feet touched the ground on each side of his ribs where he laid.
“I need you to get off my back so that I can bath in the water… you should take a drink… it will refresh you.”
Nodding in reply, Lucy slide from his back an walked over to the creek where she cupped her hands together an took a drink. Riddick dragged himself to his feet and trudged into the water, his body feeling stiff and growing weaker. In the back of his mind he hoped to gawd that his body would hold out long enough to get Lucy to a safe place where she could gain much needed help and care.
Grimacing in pain he lay down in the water, breathing out a heavy sigh of relief as the cold water washed over his inflamed wounds. Riddick lowered his chin lapping up a few mouth fulls of water, its frigid fingers felt heavenly and washed away some of the blood. For long minutes he just laid there with his chin resting in the water, his body refreshing itself as much as possible from the water.
The air was suddenly disturbed by the rumble of an old truck engine, somewhere to there west, not far, a truck had come to a stop. Riddick perked his ears listening, the engine shut off an a heavy old door slammed. The voice of an old man mumbled through the air… something about a flat tire. Could it be there chance, Riddick wondered.
“Hurry Lucy… get on my back.” He said sitting up in the water, his head raised and listening closely.
Quickly she splashed through the water and straddled his soaking wet back, again clutching to his fur. The tiger limped up the opposite bank an moved through the thinning forest as best he could, his leg and shoulder still badly paining him. The forest trees thinned out, more and more until they completely stopped, ending at a roads edge where a huge moving van sat with the front drives side jacked up off the ground.
“Shhhh… be very quiet Lucy.” Riddick whispered to her as he moved alittle closer, stepping behind a patch of thick brush at the road side.
Quietly he watched the driver of the van as he struggled to change the tire, the olds trucks luge nuts old an ceased tightly. Carefully Riddick took notice that the rear of the truck was open an empty, the writing down the side of the truck read; ‘Hazzard County Moving Company, Hazzard County GA.’
This was it, this was there chance to get a easy ride back to Hazzard, if only they could get in the back of that van. Riddick glanced over his shoulder at Lucy crouched on his back an clinging to him, her scared eyes watched the truck with a longing deepness.
For a few more moments, the tiger stood watching the driver ever so closely, he waited, waiting as patiently as ever. Then his chance came, the driver turned his back to them to pick up the huge spare tire an Riddick sprang from the thick brush an silently crossed the road. Quietly he walked around the other side of the truck, well out of the drivers view the hard part was over now.
“Lucy…” Riddick whispered softly as they came to the open rear of the van. “Slide up onto my shoulders an I’ll lift you up into the back.”
“Okay…” Lucy whispered back sliding carefully up onto his shoulders.
Wincing an struggling through his weakening state, Riddick raised his front paws up an rested them on the small bumper of the truck long enough for Lucy to climb up into the bed of the van. After her weight was relieved from his back, Riddick stepped back and sprang up into the back of the van nearly crashing to the floor without the support of his left leg.
Purely exhausted an weak from lose of blood, the tiger lay down in the upper corner of the van licking his bloody wound. Lucy joined him, taking a seat an resting her back against the box of the truck, her arm slung around his neck an petting him. Even in her youth her eyes reflected worry for her friend, he’d barely had the strength to jump into the back of the van, she knew if they did find help soon that he would be in grave danger.
Once the driver had successfully repaired the flat tire the truck started on its way, headed home to Hazzard County.
*** 2 ½ Hours Later***
Lucy was suddenly jolted awake as the moving van came to an abrupt stop at a intersection on the main road into the town of Hazzard. She rubbed her eyes an looked out the back of the van, seeing the wide open fields scattered with lively green trees and a fresh breeze blew in on her. Smiling happily at the sight she looked beside her at her friend laying stretched out on his side next to her.
To her surprise he lay awake, his side rising an falling heavily with each panting breath he took, his white eyes staring out the rear of the truck. Slowly she moved closer to him an smoothed her small hand down his back, her face reflecting worry.
“Are you ok?” She asked scratching gently between his ears.
“Yes…. “He panted for a few moments.” At the next….. stop we have…. to jump out.” Groaning in pain he pressed himself to his feet unsteadily, soon he knew he would be unable to rise. For a few minutes he just stood, steadying himself and gathering the last of his strength. The van suddenly jolted to another stop, nearly knocking him off his feet.
Riddick staggered an walked to the edge of the vans bed, Lucy beside him, she looked down at the ground an waited to jump beside her friend. Stepping back the tiger braced himself and with a deep breath and returned to the edge, stepping down onto the bumper then stumbling to the ground. Lucy climbed down from the back of the van agilely, her small feet touching the ground just as the old truck pulled away through the intersection.
“Come on… theres a farm I know of… not far from here.” Riddick said with his head low and his shoulders rounded in pain as he limped into the tall grass of the open field before them.
Clinging to his collar with one hand for guidance and courage, Lucy fallowed, walking closely beside him.
“Riddick?…” Lucy asked sticking closer to him.
“Yes?” He replied giving every effort he could to walk beside her.
“Why did Sarah call you Razor?”
“I don’t know…. I was thinking…. about that too.”
Lucy looked over at the big cat walking beside her, she remembered her friend as he had been when she first met him. In his human form, he was the same as now… just looked different, but she thought, that in itself was a great difference.
“You are different now… ” She whispered unsure if she should say how she felt.
“Yes… I’am.” The tigers voice grew still in his throat for a long moment, he pondered on the name that Sarah had called him by. She had saved his life, an Lucy’s life, more then once and she had given her life helping them escape. ” I think I will call myself Razor…. in Sarah’s…. honor.”
The little girl gave a small smile an patted the tigers head gently, she had hoped, prayed that he would decide on some way to show appreciation for there friend that they had left behind.
The thick grass passed by them, like the earth passing by the moon with every waking and sleeping night. Two miles passed by… slower and slower… the tigers paws touched the ground more and more tenderly. Each step foreshadowing another… until they came to the roots of a huge willow tree, its long whispering branches hanging over them. The tigers paws rested against the ground an he stumbled an unwillingly dropped to his side with a heavy sigh, he’d given every ounce he had left.
Lucy immediately knelt by his side, tears welling up in her eyes, she’d watched him grow weaker and weaker. Now she couldn’t help but cry, how could she possibly get to safety on her own and she could never leave him there to suffer in his wounded state. Laying in the heavy field grass near the willow tree, its wings of shade just barely reaching him where he lay, laboring for oxygen.
“Please get up Razor…. please…” Lucy cried to him, pulling on his collar.
But he lay still his white eyes squinted shut, her ragged pulling on him futile. “Lucy…” Razor opened his eyes tiredly. “Walk over the hill…. an go to the farm…. there are kind people there…. they will take care of you…. go…..” He sighed an sank against the ground. ” Please… go.”
Although she sobbed wiping her face with the back of her hand she stood an walked away from him, looking over her shoulder. She knew better then to not do as he said, still sobbing she broke into a run, running the way he had told her.
As Razor had promised, the small farm came into view as she peaked the hill, a small farm house with a ragged old barn with a pile of rotting straw beside it. An old faded tow truck parked out front in the drive way, the scene was almost too good to be true as she raced down to the drive. Running as fast as her small feet an short legs could carry her.
With tears still spilling down her cheeks, now shaking in fear she bound up onto the front porch and pounded her fists on the front door. Bellowing a sobbing cry for help as she did so, her hair tangled an sticking to her tear streaked face.
“HELP!!! HELP PLEASE HELP ME!!! PLEASE PLEASE!!! HELP HELP!!!” Lucy cried pounding and pounding until the front door was open.
To her relief a gentle face greeted her, creased deeply in concern. Cooter Davenport automatically drew the sobbing child into his arms an spoke to her softly, trying to sooth her trembling body.
“OH PLEASE… YOU GOT TO HELP… HIM… HES HES…” Lucy tried through all her tears an shaken state.
“Shhhhh….. shhhh just slow down here. Take it easy, your safe, your safe. Take it easy.” Cooter said softly wiping her face with his greasy work shirt.
After a few minutes of catching her breath and some gentle words from Cooter, Lucy was able to tell him everything. Where she’d come from, how she’d gotten there, about her tiger friend, an she begged Cooter to help him.
Cooter sat wide eyed with astonishment, could there really be a tiger in Hazzard? A tiger that needed his help as dearly as this little girl claimed, her tears an shaken state made her story incredibly believable. Finally Cooter agreed that he would go an look for her friend, on the condition that she would crawl into his bed an rest with the care of a good friend of his. Lucy agreed, she felt tired and ever so hungry and thirsty.
Concerned about the childs health he tucked her into his bed and cooked her some eggs an bacon. While she ate he made a phone call to his friends, the Dukes. They agreed to get together an search the field for the tiger that the little girl claimed lay out there dying. While Daisy stayed back at the Davenport farm an kept a watchful vigil over the young girl.
There search began only 40 minutes after the little girl had arrived at the Davenport farm, Bo and Luke Duke walked with Cooter, a bow in each mans hand. They scouted the field, doing there best to follow Lucy’s directions to the huge willow tree. Luke suddenly stopped, standing waist high in the field grass he could see a part in the hay and hear the hallow sound of labored breathing.
Quietly he motioned for Bo and Cooter to follow him but be quiet as he took an arrow from the quiver on his back an lay it on the bow, ready at any moment to draw back an fire as he drew closer.
Cooter an Bo circled around, each of them coming up on the tiger from a different direction, there senses on full alert.
Slowly Razor’s back came clearly into Luke’s view, the Duke boy could see the tigers sides rise and fall an easily hear the aching for breath. Luke came close enough to see that the tigers eyes were shut an he hesitantly touched the huge cats back with the tip of his boot toe gently to see of it would stir. When the tiger lay still Luke sighed in relief that it was safe an knelt down touching the unconscious animals back as if he were touching gold for the first time.
“Its alright… its safe ya’ll can come on over.” Luke said waving Bo and Cooter in closer.
Hesitating Bo an Cooter joined Luke where he now kneeled by the tigers shoulder examining the extent of the wounds. Quickly Luke sent Bo for help, telling him to call the local vet and the capital city vet…..
It took Razor nearly 3 months to completely regain all of his strength from being shot, in that time his snow white coat took on a blue blanket. Where an orange tiger would be orange he was blue, as blue as the ocean and the clear blue sky.
In 4 months time he discovered that he could return to his human form and have control over changing from human to tiger. After 6 months had passed, Riddick separated from the part of him that was the tiger, the tiger taking on his own characteristics, his own strong voice. An most of all his own ideas of how life should be, the people that created him were never heard from again.
On April 27th, 2005 Riddick gave in an allowed his life to slip through his fingers. His blood spilled to the ground, his mind dwelling deep into the disgrace, dishonor and grief that he had loomed over the town since the day of his arrival. He lay down beneath the looming branches of his favorite willow tree, letting his life slip away…. leaving behind the white eyes in the blue tiger and his ever lasting essence….