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 If I'd Have Known You Were Coming..., Riddick
PORTER F. COLE
 Posted: May 3 2014, 11:15 AM
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ain't as good as i once was

But I'm As Good Once As I ever Was

Laying on a hillside outside of New Mecca, feeling the sun beat down, Porter couldn’t help but think that he was getting too old for this.

It was an intermitted thought that came to him whenever he had a moment to feel the aches and pains in his joints, the reminders that he had lived a hard life and it was catching up to him. He didn’t let it keep him down, though. A few pills, a bottle of the good stuff and he could get himself out of bed and off to the next hunt. He had to do it. There was nothing left in his life but the hunt and he was damn good at it. Now, maybe if he had made some better choices he would be settled in with a family, enjoying his golden years, but that wasn’t to be. There was never a girl, there were never kids, there was no settling down. About the closest he had was his sister letting him know when he was an uncle around twenty-five years ago, but he’d never had anything to do with the boy. He’d never had anything to do with his sister, either, and when she died...well, that was the end of it. Their parents had gone when New Mecca was taken by the Necromancers and he hadn’t shed a tear for them, either. He was the last of the Coles. Maybe that was a good thing.

But, seeing as how he was the last of the Coles of New Mecca, when word came in that he might find one Richard B. Riddick hiding out in the rubble and hills of his home planet, he was more than inclined to haul himself out of bed and get himself situated to watch the best spots, and with any luck he’d bag himself a criminal. If not, well, he wasn’t going to sweat it. There were other bounties and if there was one thing a long life had taught Porter, it was that there was always tomorrow. He could be patient, he could be level headed, and he wasn’t called The Old Man for nothing.

Shifting his binoculars a bit, Porter caught the shadow of movement ahead. It wasn’t much, but it was potentially something that could lead to a big pay day, so he paid it mind. And sure enough, something was moving down there. He was about to pull his gun and see if he could get off a lucky shot or two when he heard the distinctive sound of gravel crunching under a boot behind him. He smirked a little bit, slowly sitting up.

“Well, it looks like your reputation of being hard to track is well earned,” he offered, always giving props where they were due, after all. Besides, he figured every man deserved a chance before he took them in and it was always more interesting when it was a face to face instead of a lucky shot off a hill. “Still, had I known you’d be coming to me, I’d have brought a bottle and some lunch.”

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RICHARD B. RIDDICK
 Posted: May 4 2014, 12:06 PM
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i bow to no man
furyans defiant 'til the end
Always running, always hiding. That was the life of an escaped convict. It was the life that Riddick had chosen from the moment he'd first escaped a slam. Not just any slam but Slam City, one that was supposed to be inescapable. He was the kind of man that put words like that to the test. So far he'd outed seven prison planets three of which were triple-max slams that rarely if ever saw daylight. He'd outed Crematoria and that should have been a signal enough for people to stop hunting him but it never was. He'd even drug Autumn into this mess but she'd said she'd gone willingly. Even now as time went by and he tried to find her he was growing restless. Riddick wouldn't leave the lady he loved trapped in a place without him. The longer they were apart the more he could feel her inside. He knew she was scared, and it was driving him to the brink of madness. Not to mention he'd been hounded by mercenaries since it was reported that his lady love had been captured. Now he was on New Mecca, back trying to make sure that Lajjun and Ziza were taken care of.

He hated this world, it was so bright, so out of control. It was where he had become Lord Marshal to the Necromonger Empire and the more time he spent here the more the Necro's could realize that their Lord Marshal was not in fact dead. Hadn't anyone realized yet that to prove that he was actually dead someone needed to bring home the body. It was a challenge that few were willing to take. Yet he knew that some were stupid enough to still come after him. Riddick understood that New Mecca was a dangerous place for him to be on both fronts. The Mercenaries wouldn't let up and the Necromongers would be dangerous knowing he was still alive. Oh yes this was going to be a fun little time. Still he needed to watch over the only link he had left of Imam and that planet of carnivorous bioraptors. If it hadn't been for him getting Imam out of there there would have been no family for the man. No one to watch over Jack before she decided to leave them. Rumor had gotten out that Riddick was back in town and he was now just waiting.

Everyone thought they knew how he worked, how he hunted by they were wrong. Just because he saw better at night without the aide of his trusty goggles didn't mean that he couldn't hunt during the day either. He was just as good both ways, but the night gave him more of an advantage. He'd seen the old man trying to hunt him and that was why he'd looped around before the guy could spot him and come up from behind. So far the merc hadn't done anything but try to pinpoint him. Most of them knew that if they lost their chance they probably lost their life. He wasn't sure if he was going to kill this one yet. After all one quick glance at the guy told Riddick that he was far too old to be doing this line of work. He needed something to keep him going and maybe bagging a big payday was it. Though if he was lucky enough to make it to old age, Riddick knew he sure as hell wouldn't be out hunting convicts. He'd settle himself down with a family, the family he wanted right now but couldn't because of mercs.

Riddick couldn't fight the smirk that grew on his face when he confronted the man. He liked when they were causal about it. He understood that to them it was a business, a deal they wanted to make. True most of them also thought they should beat him to a bloody pulp but there were a few honorable mercenaries out there. He'd learned that in his dealings with Boss Johns. "I knew someone would be coming for me soon enough. Figured I'd save an old man like you the effort of having to move. Doesn't look like you can do much of that anyway." Thinking for a moment, Riddick reached into his pocket and yanked out a bottle. It was scotch and he wasn't all that keen on it but it would do in a pinch. "Brought the drinks. Forgot the sandwiches. That's usually my woman's deal but well she ain't around" Shoving his hands back into his pockets, Riddick just stood there. He was armed, always, but he wasn't pulling a weapon yet. Right now he was trying to give this guy the benefit of the doubt that he could be honorable about it. One wrong move and Riddick had no problem ghosting him.


TAGGED: OLD MAN, RAWR , ENOUGH WORDS

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PORTER F. COLE
 Posted: May 7 2014, 03:40 PM
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ain't as good as i once was

But I'm As Good Once As I ever Was

In all fairness, Porter was prepared for anything. Being taken by surprise was something he planned for, in fact. If he was surprised, he’d lose his edge. Of course, he would have rather not being taken by surprise. It never seemed to end well for him. The last time it had happened, half of his crew had ended up in shallow graves. It was not a situation he was looking to repeat, especially considering that he’d left what was passing for his crew now in their shack back in New Mecca. They were young, they only ever bothered to slow him down, just like they slowed each other down with their personal issues and bickering. There was no honor amongst Mercs, and one had to make their beds with people who were going to die young.

That was one of the few perks of the job that Porter wasn’t privy to. He had always managed to be the one person who was left standing, never trusting anyone to watch his back but himself. It had clearly worked well for him. Of course, there would come a day where it wouldn’t do anymore, when he couldn’t keep up, where he couldn’t watch both sides at once, where he was sure that he’d go down hard. Every day had the potential to be that day. Today had the very definite potential to be that day.

Looking the most wanted man in the universe in the eye didn’t bode too well for his own survival, after all. Perhaps he would be able to live another day if he handled things well. Seeing as how he was still alive, it wasn’t out of the realm of possibility.

“Well, this old man thanks you kindly for the consideration,” Porter replied, thinking that it was all too true. “I’m afraid my joints don’t seem to have the same youthful spring that my personality still demands.”

Really, although they hurt early in the morning and he had some trouble getting out of bed because of it, he was still spry once he got moving. It wouldn’t do to tell the other man that, though. For now he had the man believing that he was too slow, too sore, too...old for this. Even though he was personally in agreement, he could still do the job. He would still do the job. He’d get his bounty sooner or later.

For now, he’d take that drink.

“A man after my own heart.” he smiled, thinking that was a classy move. This was one convict that he could appreciate. It would be a shame to lock him up again.

Of course, the way that the man had phrased his words wasn’t something lost on Porter. He’d heard about Autumn’s capture. It was just a step up the ladder to Riddick and some Merc had figured that one out. Personally, Porter thought it was low. One didn’t go after the loved ones to get to the score. Of course, there was a bounty for the woman, as well, but it was clear that it was just the bonus to getting this man. He was the big ticket. It made him thankful that he kept space between himself and the ones he once loved. They couldn’t be used against him that way. His sister was all burned up with her husband and their ship, the folks were buried, and his nephew was causing chaos out there for some dimwitted captain, he was sure. He was alone, and it worked for him.

“I’ve got some dried meat in my pack,” he offered, toeing it closer for the other man to find for himself. The last thing he wanted to do was reach into a bag with unknown contents in front of this man. Of course, he only had one gun in there. The rest were all on his person, but for now he had no intentions of hurrying along his inevitable demise. “It’s not much, but it’ll go well with whatever you have in the flask.”

It was something to share, after all. If he had known this was how his day was going to go, he would have set up for tea. It was one of the few civilized things he clung to. Tea was his mother’s daily tradition. It had made him annoyed once upon a time, but now it was a routine he could appreciate. It was an hour of relaxation and contemplation. Looking over the other man, he could tell that he was the type who appreciated some quiet contemplation. He was a thinker.

“Tell me something, son – why New Mecca?”

Honestly, it was something he couldn’t figure. There was nothing left here, not for a convict or even for the Lord Marshal of the Necromongers. Whatever brought the man back had to be something interesting and Porter was old enough to be more interested in the whys than just making the assumptions.

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RICHARD B. RIDDICK
 Posted: May 10 2014, 12:12 PM
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i bow to no man
furyans defiant 'til the end
If anyone were to spot them they might think they were walking into the strangest scene on the planet and really it was. The notorious Richard B. Riddick was sitting and making conversation with a known mercenary and neither one had died or made a move to strike yet. Taking a seat, Riddick thought about what he was doing. Right now the old man didn't pose that much of a threat, at least not like the last one he'd faced. So far this man hadn't actually gotten a shot off with his rifle and so far that was a good thing. Taking some of the dried beef the man offered, Riddick poured out a couple of glasses of the whiskey he had before handing one to the man. For a while he was content to just sit here without having to answer many questions. The problem with people, overall, is that they were too quick to believe the hype and the lies. In truth, Riddick had been nothing more than a stupid kid when The Company had created the convict. Only he, and his lover knew that because no one else would believe it. It was the simple fact that Riddick was a convict that had them all running.

Taking a moment to think about how to answer the question posed the man chewed on the dried beef. "Most people, most mercs don't bother to get to know the true target they are after. They don't know what it took to make that person snap and supposedly become some criminal. I was just a stupid kid that thought I could take down the corruptness within The Company and got sent to Slam City for it. That began the tale of the notorious Riddick. You.. you want to know what brin's me to Helion Prime? There was an Imam. a shepherd who I met years ago. He was on a haj to New Mecca and thin's didn't quite go so well. Stupid merc put me on a converted cargo hauler and we crashed on some backwater planet with three suns. Oh I'm sure you've heard all about it. It's where Johns' died. Stupid carnivorous little creatures that came out only durin'the eclipse that we happened to crash just before. Killed almost everyone. I managed to get four people off that rock. It was years ago and then the Necros invaded and things changed again."

He paused a moment as if trying to figure out what else to say. "Just before the invasion we were forced to return here. The Imam had a family, and I look after them. You all seem to think I'm nothing more than some hardened killer and you might be right. Even go so far as to call me an animal but you always seem to forget. Animals' they don't hurt women and children if they can help it. Yet each of you finds a way to hurt a child hoping you get me to surrender and each time I make you pay." He was generalizing about mercenaries. Not all of them were corrupt. He'd met a decent merc in Boss Johns and for that he was grateful, yet it didn't matter what anyone thought. The majority of the ones the ones sent after him were pathetic excuses for human beings that in the end no one would miss. Taking to this line of work was normally a solitary thing. Very few mercenaries had families because they knew that they could be taken away at any moment. Most, but not all, were some sort of former military who found a way to leave.


TAGGED: OLD MAN, RAWR , ENOUGH WORDS

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PORTER F. COLE
 Posted: May 10 2014, 02:07 PM
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ain't as good as i once was

But I'm As Good Once As I ever Was

Porter watched as the man helped himself to the offered beef, pouring out two potions of the alcohol from his flask. Porter didn’t care if it was any good. Alcohol was alcohol in his mind. He found that the good stuff was harder to come by as the years went on, especially with the Necromongers destroying civilizations who were able to actually make good brew. It was the one great tragedy in the universe as far as Porter was convinced. Perhaps he’d start brewing in his retirement, start making the good stuff and profit from something honest. It was a pipe dream, but it was a plausible future. As he listened to the tale Riddick started weaving, he was sure that there was no future for the man he was sharing company with.

He’d heard the story of the planet with three suns. Boss Johns was an old acquaintance and during the time that his son was missing, he’d leant a hand in trying to find the boy for a few months. It hadn’t been a fruitful search. Johns had to accept that his son was either dead or hiding from him, and when the story leaked, he’d seen how it had crushed something in the other man. It hadn’t stopped him, but something in him started to flicker. It was yet another reason why he was thankful he’d never had a son to follow in his foolish footsteps.

As for Riddick, perhaps the man wasn’t as far gone as they were all led to believe, especially if he was taking care of those who had helped him once. It was honorable and he’d met many less scrupulous men hunting criminals. He couldn’t fault Riddick’s impression there, even if he didn’t condone it.

“I have no doubt that you are a very good killer,” Porter offered, thinking that it was very true. “But in my experience, animals don’t offer their prey a last drink.”

It was both an observation and an attempt at lightening the situation slightly. He was beginning to like the other man, after all.

“And as for those Mercenaries who think that hurting innocent people will help them profit, I think they’re below contempt.” It was said with a growl. Porter didn’t condone such tactics, even for a big payday. It was only their own personal morals that kept them from being just as bad, if not worse, than the people that they were hunting. There had to be a line, and the line was very clear in his mind. “We’re not all like that.”

He wanted to set the record straight on at least that much. He wasn’t the kind who normally cared what other people thought about him, but it was one thing to think that he was a lowly Mercenary without a code, but it was another to think that he would harm a woman or a child to further his own cause. He may not have had a family, but he wasn’t the kind who would take that from anyone else, either. Studying the other man, he could see him being a father in another life. The protective streak was certainly there.

“Some of us have a code, which is why you’ve put me in a spot.” he took a sip from the glass, thinking that there were still things in the universe that could surprise him. “My code says that no matter the bounty, if it doesn’t sit right, don’t take it. None of this is sitting right with me. You see, I was prepared for the animal.”

And instead he’d met the man and it made him wonder if he should walk away from this one, but also if he could. “And that makes me wonder where you and I go from here, Mr. Riddick.”

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RICHARD B. RIDDICK
 Posted: May 17 2014, 11:01 AM
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i bow to no man
furyans defiant 'til the end
With all the years of running that he'd gone through, Riddick knew that not every single mercenary out there was evil. If things hadn't have gone bad for Jack the way they did he was quite sure she would have been one of the honorable ones. The only problem was that the honorable ones were so outnumbered by the others. The creed is greed after all and most of them only cared about the size of the paycheck they would be receiving. Money was one of the few things that everyone needed to survive, even he needed it at times when he couldn't hunt for the items he needed though there were days where Riddick could do without the credits rattling around in his pocket. His dark goggled eyes watched the old man, studying him, trying to see if he was actually worthy of even an ounce of trust. Trust could get him killed just like it had Imam and Jack all those years ago. Even now he wondered how his love was doing, was she alright. He hadn't yet had a chance to fully explain to Autumn that he could sense her always. She was this beacon in the back of his mind.

Cocking his head some, he looked at the man. "I guess this puts us both in an interesting situation. I'm not really in a killing mood, you haven't crossed me and I bet if you ask Boss Johns he will admit that even when I had the chance to kill him, after his seemingly easy betrayal of me, I still didn't kill him. Most of you mercs have all your facts about me wrong. Did any of you ever stop to figure out exactly how I became a convict or hell even my age when I did? Do any of you eve know what Autumn is to me before you sought to rip her from me just to watch me fall apart. You tell me I'm not an animal but you'd be wrong. Do you know anything about Furyans?" In truth he was curious about what the man knew. Knowledge was power and the more that people knew about his own people the more Riddick was feared. As she sat there he could remember stories about Earth That Was and the ways in which they were trying to study evolution and adaptation, how they wanted to change themselves.

Standing up slowly, Riddick wondered what they were doing. "I only kill out of necessity, this should be obvious. You can live, to fight another day to hunt me down another day. In truth, I just don't feel like killing any mercenaries, not here, not right now. Maybe tomorrow on some other distant planet that the world has forgotten. You seem honorable enough. Let me guess your gun is loaded with tranqs? Real bullets don't take me down, they just piss me off. Last time someone had to take me down it took four elephant tranquilizers and even than I had to be hit in the face with the butt of Boss Johns' gun before I succumbed to the darkness. So if you think you're a big enough man go ahead and try." He was giving the man an out, a chance to catch the biggest convict in the universe. If someone caught him they'd have to take him to Butcher Bay, simply to get the rest of the money. Now that The Bay had Autumn no other prisons would take Riddick, besides Butcher's Bay had a score to settle with one of the few men to ever escape their triple max.


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PORTER F. COLE
 Posted: May 21 2014, 06:03 PM
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ain't as good as i once was

But I'm As Good Once As I ever Was

Porter knew that he was on dangerous ground when the other man started to talk. It was something that he was sure people didn’t hear from the other man often. After all, he doubted that there were people who actually chose to sit like this and ask of the other man to share his story. It did raise some questions in Porter’s head. He never did ask how this man came to be what he was, frankly he hadn’t needed to know. He’d read the rap sheet, but never paid it much mind beyond the fact that Riddick was wanted and there was a bounty. He couldn’t afford to feel for the people he was bringing in. It made it hard to take them if he felt for them.

He was a bit relieved that the other man was not in the mood to kill him. He wasn’t particularly in the mood to die that afternoon, either. And as for Boss Johns, he hadn’t heard this part of the other man’s story. He had no love lost for Riddick, especially after Johns Jr. had perished on a hunt for him. He was sure that there was a lot more to the story, but Boss was missing something since his kid died and Porter wasn’t sure how far he would go. He probably wouldn’t stop until Riddick was dead.

“I’m afraid I’ve never been paid to look into the past of anyone I’ve been paid to track,” he offered, thinking that was all too true. “I may have to start making exceptions.”

The Merc didn’t know what he would be if he started doing that, though. He didn’t know what he would end up being if he grew a conscience this late in the game. Still, he did understand where the man was coming from. Having a record so young did not speak of fairness. As for Autumn and Furyans...

“I have met a few Furyans in my day,” he replied, thinking it had been many years since that had last occurred. It tended to happen when the home planet of a race was destroyed because of one man’s paranoia. “They did not let me into the inner workings of their minds, but their hearts were fierce. And as for your Autumn, I was no part of that.”

He did know a bit about the men and women, how they were part of each other for life. It had been something that Porter would never understand. A connection like that was dangerous, especially in this business. He took a sip from his drink, thinking that he would indeed like to live another day. After all, he could always gather the troops, maybe find himself a partner to take on the other man. It was clearly wasn’t hard to find the other man, as Porter had discovered, but taking him down seemed to be something else entirely.

“They are tranqs,” he admitted. “I don’t like killing if I can help it.”

Of course he had heard about the bullets, but his policy was not to kill unless it was absolutely necessary. He’d done it a few times out of need, but it was what it was. He was only alive because he was able to break his own code on that one. Right then, he wasn’t all that inclined to shoot the other man. He was warm and content, full of alcohol and puzzling questions.

“I don’t know about you, but it would be terrible to ruin a good drink,” he replied, thinking that it was in his best interests not to push the other man right then. “How about we enjoy it and try and kill each other tomorrow?”

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RICHARD B. RIDDICK
 Posted: Aug 16 2014, 08:48 AM
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i bow to no man
furyans defiant 'til the end
It had been a long time since Riddick had met an honest merc. The last encounter had been with Boss Johns on that lovely little rock called Not Furya. He'd been stranded with Autumn until he'd set the trap to get the mercs to show up. Of course at the time he hadn't expected that his bounty would have been double if he was dead. When would people realize that he would only die when he wa good and damn ready too. Right now he wasn't ready, his mate, his wife for all intents and purposes was trapped back in the Bay half a galaxy away from him and he needed to get to her. Riddick couldn't just go walking in there. He had to be taken in by allowing himself to be captured. Yet at the same time he wouldn't just let any mercenary take him in. No he had a plan and no one ever stopped his plans when he was like this. That much was true. His plan though, was not to kill this man.

Looking up at the older man through his goggles, Riddick was focused and determined. He knew that the world didn't understand him, couldn't understand him. He was a convict. Nothing more than a stupid child who'd saw something wrong and tried to fix it. "You ever ask yourself what these people do to become convicts in the first place?" He paused for a moment in his question. Riddick had gone through countless psych profiling just to see if they could try to pick why he was the way he was. It didn't help. No one, but another Furyan, would understand him and thanks to the last Necromonger Lord Marshall there weren't any left. His entire race had been wiped out even before he was born and that alone was enough to make him want to rip the universe apart. He needed her like he needed air to breath and ground underneath his feet. Still he was judging people by the way they reacted to him and so far, Porter was not on his kill list.

Riddick sat and ate and drank and contemplated this. It wouldn't hurt to have another mercenary in his corner. Mercs, by trade, were only in it for the greed but there were a few good upstanding ones. Those ones usually didn't last very long in this world. More often than not the good ones were taken out by the bad ones for standing in the way. It didn't matter though, Riddick was not going to kill Porter here. "I know the rumors and the words. How everyone should be afraid of Richard B. Riddick. The man whose more animal than man. How everyone should be afraid of his partner, Autumn Fallon for the same. Two peas in a pod yeah. We are the last of our kind, the last of the Furyan spirit warriors. We are lovers, friends, mates, eternal. She is my everything, keeps the animal at bay and the man alive. Doesn't let my darkness take me over. Now she's gone, back to the slam that forced a ten year old her to undergo the shine. Back into a place where she'll be drugged out of her mind and used for who knows what. And I'm the uncivilized one because I kill the bastard mercs that like to rape women and children."

Words spilled from his lips like venom. He wanted this man to understand something. Even among convicts there were certain codes. Certain things that weren't held in respect. In truth, most of the convicts were far more civilized than the mercs that hunted them. You followed a certain code in the slams or you ended up dead and you for sure didn't touch Riddick's shit. That was rule number one. If Riddick was in your slam you left him the fuck alone, didn't touch his things and didn't make trouble. If you were really really lucky he'd let you try to bust out with him and wouldn't kill you on site. The convicts knew the game and it saddened Riddick that the people in the slams knew to respect him more than the humans outside. There was a wealth of knowledge and pain in his voice as he had said that last bit to Porter. Their worlds were never black and white. Convict and merc, bounty and hunter. It wasn't ever black and white. While he might kill Porter now he's sure there would be a time when the man would come after him with the intent on killing. Riddick didn't take kindly to people trying to kill him, or people with ill will. He didn't read any lies from the older man and that was why, for now, he was letting him live.


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PORTER F. COLE
 Posted: Sep 20 2014, 07:43 PM
quote
PORTER F. COLE
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MERCENARIES
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8 posts
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ain't as good as i once was

But I'm As Good Once As I ever Was

Porter had to admit that there were times when he regretted his trade, what he had made his life out to be. It was only when he met good men in bad situations, the ones who had bounties on their heads and didn’t really deserve them. Of course, he had no doubt that there was a lot that Riddick did deserve. One didn’t earn a rap sheet that long without at least having committed most of it. It wasn’t a good thing, but he supposed that he could see how it happened. When a man was backed into a wall, he had the choice to die or fight, and the man before him was a fighter.

“To be honest with you, I try not to think about what makes a man a convict,” he replied, giving the criminal before him an even look. “I don’t know where I’d be if I made some different decisions. I could have ended up in your shoes and it wouldn’t have been hard.”

He’d killed convicts. He did it with a Merc licence and a bounty to claim, but it would have been murder without those important facts. It would have been himself on the other end of the bounty at the tender age of seventeen. It was interesting to think about what societies accepted and where the line was drawn. He imagined that had he grown up somewhere more civilized, it wouldn’t have even been a career path. Perhaps he would have ended up as a cop or a security agent, but it was useless to sit there and wonder what could have been, especially when the culmination of his entire life’s endeavors was placidly eating his food.

Porter listened to the other man talk about his reputation, but also that of his partner, Autumn. There were rumors that they were married on some archaic level, but he really wasn’t one to judge. He’d been joined to a woman once, knew that it could work well until it didn’t. Perhaps Riddick would have better luck in that department. Clearly, he cared about her, and Porter had never spoken of a woman with such devotion, after all. He almost envied the man before him – reputation, bounty and life style aside. He would have been lucky to have fallen as deeply for someone as Riddick so clearly cared for Autumn. Porter didn’t get the sense that the man let a lot of his emotions show, but his tone was different when he talked about her, and then it changed when he talked about what she was going through, going from passion to venom. He wouldn’t have blamed the man for killing anyone who would put someone he loved through that. But then, he knew he was different than most men in his profession. The ones who raped not only their prisoners, but their fellow Mercs if there was no one else around weren’t his kind. He refused to let himself slump into such behavior. When even convicts were disgusted by them...well, that said enough.

“I don’t condone a lot that’s done by others in my profession,” he informed the other man, setting his drink down. “Some of them are worse than the men they put away. But the best I can do is keep myself.”

There was nothing he could do to change the way that things were. He couldn’t make men act better. He couldn’t make criminals act worse. All he could do was follow his own code and keep his own integrity. And just maybe they’d remember he was one of the good ones when he finally did get put in the ground.

“Son, if I were in your shoes and I had your skill set, I would be thinking about doing something that can’t end well.”

And somehow Porter knew that he was right on the money with that last comment. No man spoke of a woman the way that Riddick had without trying to save her. No man would let the woman he loved rot in a slam while he could do something about it. Riddick had broken out of enough of them to know how to easily break into one. It would result in lives lost and a bigger bounty on his head. It would make it impossible for both himself and Autumn to disappear off the map. People like Porter would track him down, pushing harder than ever for the bigger bounty. They could never have a life, they could never have a family, they could never have peace.

And yet, from the way that he spoke, he would be missing half of his soul, and that was no way to live a life. He was between the proverbial rock and a hard place.

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♔ nickdiazfan
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