TITLE: Hunter Down
FANDOM: X-Men(616) / Chronicles of Riddick(Pitch Black)
GENRE: Crossover, slash, action/adventure, future fic
RATING: NC-17 / Mature / Adult Only
WARNING: Excessive violence, bad language, drug use, homosexuality
DISCLAIMER: I do not own Gambit, Riddick or any of the characters portrayed in the X-Men comics or the Chronicles of Riddick series of movies. I am not making any money off of this.
SUMMARY: When Remy LeBeau booked passage on the Hunter-Gratzner he was only hoping to track down rumors of his one-time friend and teammate, Logan. Then the transport crashed onto a hostile world and what he found there turned his whole life upside-down. Hunter DownX-Men/Pitch Black cross
Gambit looked at the little bit of plastic and metal in his hand that was, apparently, the futures’ version of an airplane boarding pass. From what little he knew of current space travel, this tiny electronic thing held all of his personal information as well as his medical information. It would be plugged into the cryogenic chamber he’d be placed into. That way the ship and crew could identify him and monitor his health while he was in suspended animation.
To be honest, if it wasn’t for the rumors he’d heard about an immortal wild man with knives for hands living on another planet, he wouldn’t go. Not that he feared space travel. Gambit had traveled the stars of deep space several times, but that had been centuries ago with Shi’ar tech or with Corsair and the Spacejammers. The ship he was waiting to board was pure human design and pure human tech. He didn’t have nearly as much faith in it.
He was also very wary of being put into any type of cryogenic chamber. This, when one considered that he’d woken up in a cyro-tube only five years earlier deep inside one of Sinister’s abandoned labs, only made sense.
To this day, Gambit didn’t know how long he had lain asleep in that tube. He only awoke because the power to the lab had finally failed and the auto-sequence to initiate wake-up in the various tubes kicked in. He’d felt like he’d only been asleep for a short while before waking up in a lab with Scalphunter, Blockbuster, Harpooner, Arclight, and Vertigo. The Marauders were together again.
The thing was, every single one of them had died, including Gambit. His own personal last memory before waking up was being captured by Sinister at the ripe old age of 72. He could clearly remember having long silvery hair with a receding hairline, lots of wrinkles and age spots, and a tremor that made his right hand shake due to nerve damage suffered over the years. When he awoke, he couldn’t have been more than 25 years old, if that.
The shock of being cloned into a younger body soon gave way to an even greater surprise. Culture Shock, to be more accurate. They were in the future. Centuries in the future and on an alien world colonized by humans decades ago.
Sinister hadn’t been anywhere to be found. In fact, they didn’t even know if he was still alive. They had banded together in order to survive while they desperately tried to learn the language and catch up on the technology. Still, Marauders are Marauders, no matter what century you drop them into. Blockbuster and Harpooner were in some sort of prison on some other planet now. Scalphunter and Arclight ended up joining a merc group for the fun of hunting down people and capturing or killing them. Vertigo found herself a fairly wealthy man and was currently filling his home with babies.
And Gambit, well, he had gotten back into thieving. It had taken a while to learn enough about current security systems and the modern version of computers, but he was a thief at heart. He began to wonder about what happened to those he had known in his first life and started to track down what information he could on how they died. A morbid hobby, true, but one that led directly to him being here in this small space port and about to board the futures’ version of cheap mass transit to another planet.
There were rumors, nothing confirmed, of an immortal man with knives for hands. An old man, weathered and wearied in ways that most couldn’t understand. A wild man that often set out to spend years in the untamed lands of non-colonized worlds alone until civilization caught up with him once again before he’d move on.
Gambit believed it was Logan. Wolverine. And he was going to hunt down and find his long lost teammate.
Gambit was pulled out of his introspection when a blond merc walked past him directing a bunch of security people who were pushing another man on some sort of trolley. The man had more chains and shackles than Gambit had seen since the last time the X-Men tried to tame Victor Creed. The large heavily muscled man seemed calm, serene, almost amused by the fuss. He was either a fool, or deadly dangerous.
The man’s head snapped around whip quick when they passed Gambit and their eyes met. Fiery red on black met a strange darkness coated in a glistening silvery sheen.
Gambit’s first thought was that he was a mutant. Yet, from what he had learned from the histories he’d read, the time of mutants was over. When humanity spread across the stars, mutants tended to flock together and they had gone on to form societies that slowly evolved into various ‘sub-species’ of human. Normal humans had also done so, if more slowly and with less variation, but that was due more too environmental factors than anything else. A planet with less oxygen, or more gravity, or less water, or higher amounts of one heavy metal element or some such would effect changes on the human settlers over the generations.
It seemed that the deadly realities of space had finally taught the human race at least a little bit of tolerance for those that were different. Even as they banded together under a single empire, with a single economy and language.
Strange thing, the future.
Once the dangerous man with the wild eyes was chained down inside the ship and made ‘safe’, the rest of the passengers were called for boarding. He smiled at a woman in leather and got snarled at by her grumpy husband. He cast sad eyes at a young child trying desperately to pretend he was with other people and was supposed to be there and not really on his own. He mentally rolled his eyes when he was trapped in a corner and babbled at nervously by a thin man who was trying to cover his fear of space travel by boasting of the hoard of things he was transporting. Perhaps Gambit would pay back this kindness by relieving him of a few things when they finally got to where they were going, heh?
Then it was time and one of the crew was gently herding him towards his cryo-chamber. He hesitated slightly at the entrance to it and suppressed a deep felt shiver. Intellectually he knew that he was merely a clone of the original Gambit and that this should be like stepping back into the womb, but he had all of Gambit’s memories and a perfect copy of his body. He could remember a long life spent bouncing between the Thieves Guild, the Marauders, and the X-Men. None of those things suggested a personality that would calmly step into such a place. Yet, with a shudder and a sigh, he did so.
“Oh Logan, y’ better be there an’ willing t’ see him or Remy’s gonna kick y’ ass fo’ putting him through dis.” He muttered just before the cryogenic sequence started and his mind shifted into sleep.
Gambit was jolted awake when a large bang rattled his cryo-chamber and the power running it was suddenly diverted to another part of the ship. He felt groggy and disoriented even as something deep inside screamed of danger.
His sense of the kinetic was screaming at him. He somehow managed to blow the lock on the door and leap out of his cryo-chamber in time to see several bullet sized space rocks come blazing through the hull of the ship. Just as quickly they slammed into and then through the chamber he’d just been in. He only had a brief moment to gape and then his sense of the kinetic screamed in his head again. He dove to the right and rolled across the floor as another handful of rocks blasted through the hull.
He looked up from his crouch on the floor to find his eyes captured by a gleaming silver gaze. The chained and shackled man studied him briefly and then smirked.
He smirked back for a moment before his eyes widened once more at the mental clamor in his head and then he was jumping up and flipping over a dangling wire and a hiss of venting steam as more space rocks blasted through the hull. Two more cryo-chambers were destroyed, their passengers dead.
He both loved and hated the ability to sense kinetic energy in objects both moving and still. It gave him a complete picture of the world around him, but when he focused on it in situations like this; he always had to bite back the urge to charge everything up into tiny individual bombs. A ship flying through an asteroid field was dangerous enough without him exploding the ship around him.
“When Remy finds de fool dat flew us into de asteroid field, he gonna shove his boot up de man’s ass.”
The prisoner barked out a short laugh with his gravely voice. “You do that.”
Their conversation was cut short by a loud bang followed by a deep tremor and jolt that shook the whole ship.
“What de hell?” Gambit’s red eyes opened wide with confusion as he scanned the ship with his kinetic sense, before closing them in a wave of deep sadness. “Someone just disconnected de last section of de ship. It be in freefall towards whatever planet be below us.”
The man grunted. “The pilot can’t get control of the ship. We’re gonna crash. We’ll all die if she doesn’t get the nose down.”
Gambit nodded even as he looked around and finally heard the blaring alarms and the calmly smooth voice of the computer giving out various warnings. A man came through the compartment, one of the crew judging from his uniform. He stepped partway through a hatchway and began arguing with another crew member; the pilot probably.
He couldn’t follow their words, however, as just then his kinetic sense went wild and he was leaping and dodging under another volley of tiny asteroids that zipped through the hull like armor piercing bullets.
It was followed swiftly by another shudder, bang and jolt as another section of the ship dropped into freefall away from them. The crew member screamed at the pilot and jammed her door open so she couldn’t eject any more sections.
Then his kinetic sense screamed so loud that he swayed on his feet and nearly passed out. Instead, he took a deep breath and yelled out, “Oh merde!” and leapt towards the man chained down in the back of the compartment. Gambit jumped on the man’s lap and wrapped his long legs around him and the chair he was strapped to. He wrapped his arms around the man’s chest and tucked his head down into the man’s shoulder.
“Brace y’self, we gonna crash!”
The man’s eyes widened in shock at Remy’s move, but he just braced his feet along the floor and wrapped his hands around the chains locking his arms in place. He tucked his own head down into Remy’s shoulder to protect his face and eyes from flying debris.
Then the whole ship jolted hard against the planet’s surface. The crew member that had fought with the pilot to save the remaining passengers’ lives went flying past them from the force of the hit. He slammed into a bulkhead and crumpled to the floor, dead. If Gambit hadn’t been holding so tightly to the prisoner and his bolted down chair, he would have been tossed to his death as well.
The ship bounced back into the air and swirled around dizzily. Gambit’s ability to sense kinetic energy let him know exactly what was happening around him and it was all he could do not to vomit down the prisoner’s back. The ship hit the ground again and a huge hunk of the hull was shredded away, taking two cryo-chambers with it. Then it bounced up and tumbled through the air once more. When it landed again, it skidded along the ground leaving a huge groove carved out of the surface before shuddering to a halt.
Moving slowly in respect for his sore and strained muscles, Gambit lifted his head and leaned back from the prisoner whose lap he was straddling. A wave of relief that he had survived the crash tumbled through his brain and he smiled the most joyful and charming smile he could.
The prisoner smirked and lifted up one eyebrow.
“I’s Gambit,” he winked and then purred out “but y’ can call him Remy.”
The man stared at him a moment before tilting his head back and barking out another laugh.
“Richard B. Riddick.” He rolled his eyes. “Most folks just refer to me as The Riddick.”
The man gave a tug on one arm and the damaged restraint broke free. His smirk grew.
“Well, Remy. Time to go. Got a blond haired merc to avoid.”
Gambit slid off of his lap and watched the man as he worked at the second arm shackle. He was big and strong and undoubtedly dangerous. He had a wild, almost feral feel to him that was very reminiscent of both Wolverine and Sabertooth. There was no doubt that he was just as deadly as those two mutants that Gambit had once called friend, teammate, and occasionally, enemy. Plus, he was sexy as all hell.
With a put upon sigh and a roll of his red on black eyes, Gambit reached into his trench coat pocket and pulled out a slim case full of ancient and modern lock picks. He knelt down by the man’s feet where his ankles were shackled.
“Remy should know better than t’ listen t’ his dick. It gonna get him kilt one o’ these days.”
He popped open one of the locks just in time for the man to bark out another laugh. Gambit started to work on the other shackle.
“Yeah, laugh it up. I can jus’ hear mon Stormy lecture in m’ head.” His voice went falsetto and took on an accent, “Remy, you know I love you like a brother, but I simply don’t understand your fascination with psychopaths and murderers. You need to settle down with a nice girl and get a job that doesn’t involve theft so you can raise a family.”
The man chuckled and stood up as the last shackle fell away. He reached for a pair of dark goggles and slid them on over his head.
“It’s good advice. You should listen to her.”
Gambit nodded. “It be great advice for a reg’lar person. Remy could never get Stormy t’ un’erstand that he be a psychopath an’ a murderer too, so she be de one wit’ de fascination.”
The man lifted one sculpted eyebrow as Remy tucked away his picks again. Gambit answered the unspoken question in the only way he could.
“Once a Marauder, always a Marauder.” He grinned sadly. “No matter how much y’ love de person tyin’ t’ rehabilitate y’.”
Whatever Riddick would have said to that was lost forever as Gambit’s head snapped around to see another cryo-chamber starting to open. He turned back to see Riddick grabbing something and stashing it on his person quickly. Gambit made a shooing motion, “Time t’ leave, cher. Remy see y’ later.”
Riddick stilled for a moment and looked at him. “Yeah. You will.” And then he was gone, disappearing through the gaping hole ripped in the side of the ship’s hull.
Gambit was stranded on a barren desert planet with three suns. And some type of…alien things living in caverns merely two meters under the ground. Fate must be laughing her ass off.
Well, as long as the things stayed in their caves and left Gambit alone he was more than willing to return the favor. At the moment, it was the three suns and lack of water that was worrying him.
Most of his and the other’s possessions were spread across the surface of the planet from when the pilot, Fry, had dumped the first compartment of the ship. It had been the cargo hold for the most part. The only thing he had on his person was his armor, his bo and his lock picks. It wasn’t even his Guild colors and X-Men armor. His original body had most likely been buried in that. No, he was wearing old fashion Marauder armor that he and the others had found in a locker room in Sinister’s old lab when they awoke. He’d originally chosen to wear it just incase he really did find Wolverine. The man had always had memory problems and it had been several centuries since Gambit’s death. He had figured that armor would come in handy if the old man popped his claws.
He supposed that it would also be helpful if those things did come up out of the ground in a wave of violence and death, but for now it was a mild form of torture to wear heavy black armor in leather, kevlar and that synthetic spandex stuff developed by Reed Richards to absorb bio-energy attacks. His long brown leather trench coat didn’t help.
The heat was incredible; even for a southern boy like him.
He wasn’t the only one feeling it too. Everyone was overheated, thirsty, and scared. No one was quite sure what to do or how to get off this rock. That Riddick was loose and running around only made them jumpier.
Fry was a basket-case. From what Gambit could tell, she was a spoilt and naive little girl that thought she was tough. Now she knew better and was feeling a whole lot of guilt over sending two compartments full of passengers to their deaths. The merc, Johns, was playing her like a fiddle; tug the guilt, feed the ego and she was singing his tune.
The merc just got on Gambit’s nerves. He was arrogant and pushy and while he might have some small skill, he didn’t have what it took to back up his attitude. Gambit had known, fought, and loved better hunters and killers than this guy could ever hope to be; on both sides of the mutant wars.
The holy man and his young apprentices were okay as long as they didn’t try to convert him. His papa had been catholic and Storm had her goddess, but Gambit had given up on the notion of God around the time that he’d gone undercover for the X-Men and joined Apocalypse. Even now, centuries later and in a brand new clone body he could still feel the pull of the Horseman of Death under his skin. No, Gambit had no use for anyone’s God after that.
The boy, Jack, was a sad reminder of his own earliest days. Street rat thief, gutter child. Gambit did what he could to keep the boy out of Fry’s and the merc’s way. He tried to steer the boy to the holy man, but the child seemed happier to orbit around Gambit like a small babbling moon. Gambit understood and didn’t really mind; like calls to like after all. And in this type of situation, which was completely out of the child’s experience, an adult presence was comforting. Even to an orphan.
The man, Paris, was something else though. He was soft of body and had already come across as a bit of a coward. He called himself a businessman, but Gambit saw him being more in line to a small time fence. He was smart in his own way, and probably not so bad in his own environment. Here on this hellish planet, he was so far out of his depths he didn’t know what to do with himself. He tended to bounce between the merc and Gambit, trying to ingrate himself to them. He was shrewd enough to tell who could hurt him or save him.
The husband and wife in leather were simple people, but kind. Like Paris, they were out of their depth, but at least they were willing to try. The woman was gathering supplies and fussing over the kids. The man had grabbed a makeshift shovel and announced he was going to go bury the dead. Gambit had warned him not to dig too deep, that there was something living underground. That had gotten him some odd looks and a hasty promise to be careful. He’d offered to help and watch his back incase something went wrong, but he was turned down.
He knew that they all thought he was paranoid or confused due to the crash, but he hoped the man listened anyway and didn’t dig too deep. They had enough trouble without stirring up more.
Events picked up their pace when the woman, Shazza, found a stash of small personal oxygen canisters and breathing masks. This planet did have an atmosphere that was livable, but the oxygen content was low and this made everyone feel sluggish and out of breath. These would help tremendously. Paris had already donated his stash of alcohol to drink, but that would only delay the inevitable. They needed to find water to survive.
And Gambit knew there was water here somewhere. There were a few clouds in the sky and all the things underground needed something to drink too. It was just a matter of finding it. That being the case, when Fry decided that the group should split up and search for some, he agreed to lead one such group.
He chose the holy man and his apprentices. The child too. Fry’s grouped up with the merc and Shazza. Paris would stay at the wreck and wait for the various groups to come back. So, Gambit reluctantly peeled off his trench coat and emptied the pockets of everything he might need or didn’t want to lose. He warned Paris to watch over it and protect it. That had earned him more odd looks, but how could he explain the memories tied to that coat? Instead he had loosened his armor a bit to let some of the heat out. It wouldn’t do to overheat in this desert if he could help it.
Gathering his so-called team together, they headed out in the direction of the blue sun.