The room they have her locked in is dark but for the red stand by lights emitted from the occupied pods. The fresh air being fed into her pod through the ventilation is cold and makes goose bumps form on her skin. The metal shackles on her wrists and ankles hold her firmly in place
The distress signal plays on an endless loop over the radio frequency she picked up.
“Help. Our ship crash landed. We have injured survivors on board in desperate need of assistance. We’re at latitude N 35 ° longitude W 89 ° . Someone please help!”
The message had started playing at around 21:00 hours yesterday. Slowly but surely Alice had made her way through several hick towns and vast deserts to reach the coordinates given in the S.O.S.
To say that she was surprised when she first heard the message was a bit of an understatement. It had been months since she had heard any static about survivors let alone seen another sentient being. Alice had silently mourned humanity thinking she was probably all that was left.
While nearly delirious with joy at the thought of other survivors she couldn’t shake the feeling of how odd the message felt. ‘Ship’ being the lynch pin. It seemed logical that it referred to a plane but aircraft weren’t generally referred to as a ship unless they went into space.
With an effort Alice shrugged off the nagging feeling of suspicion as she rode nonstop on her motorcycle to help.
The back of her head radiated pain and she could feel dried blood crusted in her short blonde hair. She could see that four of the other five pods were being used. The occupants of said pods seemed to be asleep. The man in the pod across from hers had wildly curly hair and looked like one of those mercenary/survivalist nuts that Umbrella Corp always seemed to hire.
It took Alice three days to find the ship that sent out the distress signal. Really there weren’t any other words that came to mind at the sight of the contraption. The metal thing reminded her of the space ships from old sci-fi movies.
Taking the glock out of its holster with practiced ease Alice walked around the ship, leaving a wide berth between them. Her muscles coiled with tension. The nagging suspicion came back in full force. It was more than obvious that said ship didn’t crash land as the S.O.S. led her to believe. In all actuality it looked quite intact.
A hissing noise was emitted as metal joints were released, letting down a door. Alice could hear her pulse beat loudly in her ears as she waited for someone to emerge from the ship.
When it became apparent that no one was coming out Alice cautiously made her way up the gain way and into the ship. The interior of the ship was pitch black and a good 10- 15 degrees cooler. She pulled out her revolver with her free hand as her sea green eyes adjusted to the lack of light. The smell of cold metal, engine grease, and dirty humans tingled at her nose.
As far as she could tell the interior of the ship was relatively small. There were two pilot seats in front and a bench along the opposite wall to the back door. The tick metal door slid aside opening for her as she stood over the pressure sensors. Inside the back room six hyperbaric chambers lined the walls. Alice absentmindedly ran a hand over one of the glass pods after she put the revolver back into its holster. It seemed that whoever had sent out the S.O.S. had found the help they were looking for. Or maybe they had gotten tired of waiting for help and ventured out on their own. In which case they were already dead.
Alice was willing to bet her punch blades it was the latter rather than the former. She let out a soft breath of disappointment and left the ship. A part of her refused to admit that she was weak enough to have been excited to see another human being who wasn’t infected with the virus. Probably the only other human beings on the planet who hadn’t become a victim to the T-virus.
Alice shaded her eyes against the blinding sunlight once outside of the ship. She could vaguely make out a shadowed figure by her motorcycle as something heavy connected with the back of her head. A second blow sent her tumbling to the hard desert ground. In a detached part of her brain she could feel whoever had attacked her was carrying her back on board the ship with very little effort. A dark giggle escaped her. It struck Alice as somewhat morbidly funny that instead of being eaten by reanimated corpses she was being abducted by aliens. Never a dull moment in her life, no sir.
A monotone female voice broke through the heavy haze in her mind, “Chamber One preparing for deep sleep hibernation state.”
After waking up it became readily apparent that she had been abducted by humans, not aliens. The fact that her glock, revolver, punch blades, bundie knife, bronze knuckles, and grenades were no longer on her body didn’t escape her attention. Angrily she pulled against her restraints. A furious howl escaped her as she slumped over and took in her surroundings. The three other humans sleeping in their separate pods looked much the same as the one in front of her, each with their own collection of scars. While she wanted answers as to why these people had attacked and captured her, Alice didn’t strain herself trying to figure out the why. It didn’t take her long after the T-virus was released to realize just how fucked up humans were. They didn’t need a why or any motivation for the matter. No, they just followed any whim that flitted through their mind at any given moment.
Instead Alice tried to relax and fall back asleep, knowing from experience that she was going to need it. Since her body had yet to acclimate to the colder temperature this was easier said than done.
Alice woke with a start as the door to her pod slid open. The curly haired man stood in front of her, his blue eyes sweeping over her as a toothy grin spread across his face. She stared back, her face expressionless. With a certain kind of conviction Alice knew that if she would have met this man under different circumstances she still would have hated him. It was apparent that he was the leader of the group as he ordered the others to unload the ship.
While the rest of the crew was busy unloading the ship the curly haired man fitted her with a metallic leash and collar. After unshackling her from the pod he led her off the ship and through town. Alice eagerly took everything in from the stone streets to the stories high buildings made out of unfamiliar clay-like material to the multiple suns in the sky to the scurrying masses of people. Uninfected people. It occurred to her that she could easily take the curly haired man and escape but she had no idea where she was or where she could run to.
Alice had traveled across Earth multiple times after the T-virus destroyed everything and she had never come across this many people anywhere. Hell the most people she found at one time was less than ten. So where the Hell was she? If the two suns were any indication then we are definitely not in Kansas anymore Toto. It had been obvious that the ship wasn’t man made, or at least not from Earth. She couldn’t help but wonder if she should reassess the whole alien situation. It seemed the only possible solution. That, or she was dead and this was the afterlife.
Eventually turning down several different streets the man led her inside one of the clay buildings. Inside the dimly lit room there was a bar along the far wall and wooden tables and chairs spread out across the floor filling the otherwise empty room. The curly haired man led her to a slightly balding man sitting at one of the tables in the back.
The balding man didn’t stand to greet them, “Toomes, back so soon?”
The man holding her leash, Toomes, shrugged, “It seems rather ironic that the last planet with life on it in the Dead Verse is now overrun with the dead.”
The balding man nodded his agreement as he turned his attention to her. She stayed impassive as his gray eyes raked over her, “So this is the one you interlinked me about? The sole surviving human?”
“Yep and I’m willing to sell her to you cheap. 5,000 credits Corbin,” Toomes voice takes on an oily characteristic as he haggles.
“5,000 credits? No human is worth that much,” Corbin sneers.
“Verdea is willing to pay twice that but I came to you first as a favor. But hey if you don’t want the last human it’s none of my business, we’ll just be on our way,” Toomes turns around and starts to lead her away.
“Wait!” Corbin stands up. “I’ll buy her you frakking thief.”
Toomes grins like a cat who ate the bird as Corbin hands over the credits, “It’s been a pleasure doing business with you Corbin as always.”
Corbin grumbles as he takes her leash from Toomes. The balding man leads her into a separate room behind the bar through a couple sets of doors. Inside the room is filled with women of various ages sitting on sofas and laying in beds. “Get her cleaned up and presentable so I can see what we have to work with,” he orders to no one in particular and leaves.
The women tittered to each other as they descended on her. Removing her well worn clothes and ushering her into a warm pool of sweet smelling water. A few of them joined her and ruthlessly scrubbed at her skin.
Alice tried to wrap her mind around what was happening. That she had just been sold as a slave. For what she was still unsure, but she had a feeling that whatever it was she wasn’t going to like it. Her mind was still reeling at the fact that she wasn’t even on Earth anymore or apparently the same universe. Somehow while her mind could accept an evil company that basically destroyed the Earth and created flesh eating zombies, being a slave on a different universe almost seemed too much. She didn’t know how to feel. Was she supposed to be happy that she was no longer alone, constantly on the move and killing the undead. Yes, she was a slave but as opposed to being constantly on the run for your life how bad could it be?
Bad. Very bad. Apparently she had been sold to a brothel to work as a sex slave. She ended up nearly killing her first customer, some fat ass that smelled like piss and alcohol. Corbin put some kind of shock collar on her after that.
It quickly became apparent the type of clientele the Cantina kept. Mercs mostly. They were a strange breed of creature she had yet to meet in life until now. Some clean, some not, but each and every one of them bat shit crazy with odd ticks and happy trigger fingers. And each as violent and vicious as the last. Mercs would sell out their own mothers if there was a bounty to be collected for them. The Cantina also had a lot of travelers since Zion was a major port city.
Zion was the capitol city of the Lamira Planet located in the southern quadrant of the Ziv Galaxy. A galaxy that was cleverly named for the brightest constellations and nebulas in the known verses located in its territories. The Ziv Galaxy was the closest galaxy to the Dead Verse, a mere 200 billion parsecs away. This was the extent of the useful information she had learned so far. That and the most common language used in Lamira was a dialect of Ceridian, which was amazingly close to English. Her one and only bit of good luck.
Alice hated life on Lamira. More and more frequently she found herself wishing she had never been captured and still on Earth. Or even worse wishing that the T-virus could survive travel across the 200 billion parsec distance to Lamira and kill all of these fucking mercs so they could come back and she could kill them all over again. Most of her time consisted of fantasizing about such a thing. She reveled in it like a wet dream. Yeah that was totally good for her mental health.
With all of the flak Corbin had given Toomes about how much he paid for her the proprietor easily made a substantial profit on her within the first couple of days. It seemed being the last human had a certain not of celebrity to it in this business. If anything she had even more customers after word got out about her nearly killing her first client. Every merc and violent sadistic fuck wanted a chance at her after that. Corbin was raking in so much dough that he could afford to raise her price astronomically.
Her blood boiled at the looks she was given while she was out on the floor. Her fingers itched to just reach out and snap bones and break necks. Unfortunately Corbin learned quickly enough that death threats meant less than nothing to her and he slapped a plasma shock collar on her faster than hyperdrive. The second she stepped out of line he zapped her with a couple thousand volts and she was convulsing on the floor in white hot pain. Still sometimes the urge was too strong and she snapped, consequences be damned.
Alice felt like a nuke set to go off at any second by the time the early evening rush came by. The group of mercs sitting at a table towards the back were boisterous and quite obviously blitzed off their asses and calling for more alcohol. The alcohol in Lamira was something akin to Everclear, vodka, tequila, and jäger all rolled into one and tasted nasty as shit in her opinion. Dutifully she brought them another round of drinks as the man sitting against the wall in the corner caught her attention again.
He was a regular and she quickly learned that he was unlike any other customer that came through the Cantina. The tall mountain of a man was well muscled. His pale skin littered scars. The fact that the black goggles he constantly wore were the least strange thing about him was probably saying something. The bald man would come in and nurse one drink for hours on end, never going in back with any of the women. All of the mercs, even the most insane gave him a wide berth and avoided him altogether. More and more Alice found herself looking forward to the quiet tension that seemed to follow him. The predatorial/animalistic way he watched the Cantina occupants reminded her of how she felt when she was on Earth. The constant wariness and the barely controlled violence that boiled just under her skin.
While she hadn’t been paying attention one of the drunken mercs came up behind her and trapped her against the wall. Her sea green eyes flashed with anger. Anger at her stupidity for letting her mind wander. Anger at this roided, drugged up, drunken merc for being too stupid to leave her alone.
“You’re a pretty little human,” he breathed in her face as he groped at her.
“Let go,” she growled.
“Aww, come on babe. Why don’t you come in back and have some fun with me and my buddies?” his friends jeered loudly from their table. He laughed stupidly and crooned to her, “Come on babe, what do you say?”
Alice leaned forward and whispered in the merc’s ear, “Burn in Hell.”
She grabbed his hand that was trailing up her inner thigh and swung the burly man around while dislocating his shoulder in one fluid motion. His loud cry of pain was broken off as she expertly snapped his neck with ease. The three other mercs surged to their feet as their dead friend’s corpse fell to the ground. Two of them came at her from the sides hoping to grab her.
Alice dropped to the ground and swept the feet out from under the one on the right. Coming up she grabbed a plasma gun out of the one on the left’s holster and shot him in between the eyes. She spun around and shot the one still laying on the floor in the temple. The third merc rushed her and managed to knock the plasma gun out of her hand and sent it flying across the room. Alice managed to mostly dodge the barrage of blows the last merc sent at her.
In a sliding motion she managed to get in past his guard and hit him hard in the groin. She swiftly brought up her knee and slammed his nose back into his skull as he bent over in pain. Pulling the knife out of its sheath at his hip Alice grabbed his hair, lifting his head to face her. She slammed the knife into his right eye. The merc fell like a bag of sand with the hilt of the knife sticking out of his eye as she let go of his hair.
The Cantina was quiet for half a second before the plasma collar around her neck sent thousands of volts of electricity through her and she fell to the floor convulsing. Engulfed in pain until the world mercifully blacked out. The last thing she saw was the bald man getting out of his seat.
Alice thrashed about momentarily as she first woke up. Thinking that she was in an Umbrella Corp facility being experimented on until her memory slowly came back to her. He pulse only slowed slightly as she remembered where she was exactly. Different parts of her body clamored for her attention to voice how much pain they were in. Eventually she was able to take notice of her surroundings from the giant bed she was laying on.
Frustration and unease filled her as she realized that she was in one of the rooms they usually took their clients to instead of the communal dorm room as she thought. Jesus Christ! Apparently even unconscious and foaming at the mouth raise the libido of the sick fucks. You would think watching her easily take down and kill four mercs at once would instill some sort of caution in the Cantina’s clientele.
Her frown instantly plummeted into a full out scowl as she noticed the bald man with the goggles sitting in one of the chairs against the wall. His head cocked slightly to the side as he watched her. Anger bubbled up inside of her. So he wasn’t different from the rest as she thought, just crazier. Well fuck him, she couldn’t take anymore of this shit today or ever. Alice no longer cared that she knew next to nothing about where to go and how to get there. She was done. Leaving this goddamn planet ASAP. Quickly she made a mental note of things to do: kill Corbin, get the plasma collar off, find some decent clothes (maybe her old clothes if she was lucky enough), scavenge for supplies and weapons, and finally blow this popsicle stand. Briefly she wondered if taking out the bald man before her would be entailed in the list. Looking up she saw that he had approached her unnoticed while she was plotting. That he was in fact a mere three yards from her.
With an effort she held herself still as he kept coming closer. She could do more damage when he was in close range. Alice ground her white teeth together in frustration as he stopped just outside of her reach.
“How the hell did a shit like Toomes manage to capture you?” the bald man’s deep rumbling voice caught her by surprise.
How did he find out the Toomes was the one that captured her?
“Knocked me over the back of the head when I wasn’t looking,” she answered.
He nodded to himself as if she had proved his theory right. Light glinted off the key in his hand as he moved forward to unlock her collar.
“I wouldn’t do that if I were you,” Alice warned.
Just because she genuinely didn’t want to kill the man didn’t mean she wouldn’t.
He grinned showing her his teeth, “You’re good Green Eyes but I think I can take you. Where’d you learn to kill anyway?”
“Hell,” images of the infected she killed swamped her mind.
The man studied her for a second before he reached out again and took the plasma collar off of her.
Alice rubbed at her sore neck, “Corbin won’t be happy you did that.”
He dropped the collar to the floor, “Corbin doesn’t have a choice.”
“And who are you that he is just going to let you do whatever you want?” she asked incredulously.
“I’m Riddick,” he stated as if that answered everything.
“That means jack shit to me,” Alice all but growled out in frustration.
Riddick seemed less than surprised by her reaction but didn’t’ appear to be inclined to elaborate on the matter, “Come with me Green Eyes.”
She felt railroaded, his demand catching her off guard. “Why? What do you want from me?”
“You like to kill,” Riddick’s low voice stated nonchalantly.
As much as she wanted to deny it she knew that he was right. She fantasized daily about going on a killing spree practically non-stop as of late. And if her choice was between staying with at the Cantina and going with the stranger she would take her chances with Riddick. Besides she could always decide to strike out on her own if she wanted. “My name is Alice.”
He flashed her a wolfish grin, “Whatever you say Green Eyes.”