They’re on the far edge of Federation space, way out past most of the civilized planets, when they get a hail from a ship that Jim doesn’t recognize.
(Bones is busy in sickbay, or he’d tell Jim not to respond.)
But Jim does answer; it’s a distress call from a man bleeding in half a dozen places, who says his ship is in need of repairs and he doesn’t have enough power or supplies to make it to the nearest outpost. He’s wearing torn black clothes and goggles over his eyes, and Jim can’t ignore someone asking for help.
(If Bones were on the bridge, he’d tell Jim to retreat and not look back, to blast the ship into dust once they’d gotten away.)
The man calls himself Riddick and says that he’d been boarded against his will, but all the would-be pirates are dead. All he wants is a lift to the nearest outpost.
(Bones is busy in sickbay, fixing up an ensign who burned himself in Engineering.)
Jim orders that Riddick be beamed aboard. He’s then escorted to sickbay, so that Bones can look him over. Jim and Spock stay on the bridge and the Enterprise continues on.
(Necromongers are a footnote in history, destroyed by in-fighting over a century before. They’d never really entered Federation space, and so had never been dealt with, though the Federation frowned upon their practices. No record of their Lord Marshall has an image. No one is entirely sure what happened to set off the civil war, but no one laments their passing.)
“Vaako,” their guest purrs, stalking into sickbay, the security officers barely able to keep up. “Ain’t you the one who told me that we keep what we kill?”
Bones freezes in the act of cutting a bandage and slowly turns. The security officers exchange looks, hands drifting down to their phasers, and consider contacting the bridge.
“Riddick,” Bones says quietly, straightening up and then falling into a form of military rest. “I thought you were dead.”
Smirking and chuckling, Riddick spreads his arms. “Well, I am the Lord-Marshall,” he drawls. “It ain’t without perks.”
“That life is gone,” Bones tells him, and the security officers are completely lost. Lieutenant Devisham radios the captain and Riddick just pads closer to Bones.
“We’re the last, Vaako,” Riddick says, stepping within reach, movements smooth despite the blood coating his clothes.
“I assume your pet Elemental tracked me down?” Bones asks, gaze flicking past him, to security and then the doors. If he can’t get these people out of here, then they’re all dead. “Let’s talk in my office,” he suggests, turning his head slightly to meet Christine’s eyes. He tilts his head in the direction of the door and then focuses back on Riddick.
By Riddick’s smirk, he knows his motions haven’t gone unnoticed, but Riddick still follows him anyway.
“You know what I find interesting, Vaako?” Riddick says, sprawling over one of the chairs. “You ain’t aged at all.”
“As I said,” Bones repeats coldly, “that life is gone.”
Riddick smirks. “You’re not human. Should’a seen it then.” He makes a show of looking around the office, eyes still behind those goggles. “Done well for yourself.”
“Why are you here?” Bones asks, leaning against his desk. He measures Riddick with his gaze; he still cannot win a physical battle, but maybe he could be sedated? Knock Riddick out, then throw him through an airlock.
“Don’t,” Riddick says, tilting his head. “I’ll play nice.” His smirk is terrifying as he bares his teeth to add, “For now.”