A/N: HELLO AGAIN! I know it's been almost 2 weeks, but its tough trying to keep track of what all the chars are doing... XD Here's the newest installment of ROABP!
Chapter 7: Splitting Image
"So umm... Dafuq was that?" Lilith asked.
Jackie laughed. "Well, your friends mind was actually quite shattered. His emotions were completely separate from each other. They must have segregated the moment the split in his mind happened. Because of that, I couldn't eliminate the Krieg persona altogether. Looks like your old friend is here to stay."
Maya glanced towards Aidan. "So now Krieg is a voice inside your head?"
"It seems he has a little more control than I did. He's able to speak through me, but I control the body." Aidan was trapped in the confines of his own head for years, and this newfound freedom was incredible.
Jackie walked forward to address Aidan. "Now that you are the dominant controller of this body, you can bring out this 'Krieg' whenever you want, allowing you to fight just as furiously as before."
"Well, how would I go about doing that?" Just then, his face twisted into an evil grimace. Aidan pulled his buzz axe from his back, and whalloped himself in the face. Blood poured from the fresh wound made in his forehead, trickling down the side of his face. His tongue reached from his lips and lapped at the small stream of crimson.
"I TASTE LIKE GRAVY AND METAL!" He proceeded to whack himself in the head again.
"Ow! God damnit that hurts!" Aidan cried, resuming control again. "How the hell does this not phase him?!" He reached up to his forehead to try and stop the bleeding.
"Move your hand." Maya said to him before placing her own on his forehead, tattoos glowing. She held her hand there for a good 10 seconds before her tattoos dimmed. When her palm left, it revealed that the fresh wounds were gone, as if they never occurred.
"Haha, that kinda tickled!" Aidan said with a smile. The group chuckled to themselves, especially Maya.
"Aidan, we have a LOT to talk about once we get back to base."
Lilith stepped to the center of the room. "Alright, guys. Looks like we're splitting up from here. Nick, Jameson, Gaige, and Brick: Head to Overlook, and check out the delivery that Blake told us about. Axton, Salvador, Maya and Aidan: head to sanctuary and set up our meeting room. Mordecai, Zero and I will be back shortly."
The teams dispersed to the entrance of the mining complex's fast-travel station.
"I'll never get used to this..."
Jameson, Nick, Gaige, and Brick arrived in Overlook, with Gaige clutching her head, falling to her knees.
"What's the matter? Motion sickness?" Jameson asked, confused. A wave of pain began in his eye sockets, sharply digging into his skull. "Ow god damn it! Fuck!?" After the skull-shattering pain subsided, he turned to Gaige, rubbing the bridge of his nose. "What the fuck was that?!"
Gaige regained her composure and stood again to her feet. "Our bodies are altered with mechanical parts. When we go through the fast travel, we reassemble at our destination, but our mechanical enhancements take a bit to reintegrate. The shock to the central nervous system hurts like hell. Strangely, the old model Fast Travel stations, like the one in Headstone don't cause it, because they animate all non-biological data first, and integrate with your nervous system as its being constructed. Sanctuary also has the old-style terminal now, which explains why the system shock didn't affect you until now."
"Good to be human!" Brick said with a hearty laugh, which earned him scowls from the two enhanced Raiders.
"Anyhow, let's check out this shipment." Jameson said, walking to a large barge crate that sat on the outskirts of town. A large holographic keypad popped out of the door console once they assembled in front of it.
Gaige frowned. "Shit. Need a password." She held her mechanical wrist up to her lips. "Lilith, we need a code for this crate. It won't open otherwise."
Lilith replied, "Jackie says she has no-" she was interrupted by the new Hyperion President.
"The code is: I hate you. All one word, no spaces."
"Alright then. Just get this thing open. Gettin' kinda boring out here." Nick spoke.
Gaige punched the code in. The holopad retracted from its projection point and the sound of hydraulic pressures could be heard as the barge simply unfolded down the middle, revealing 6 red weapons trunks. The four all had the same look on their face: pure ecstasy.
"LOOOOOOOOOOOT!" Gaige shouted, pushing the buttons on each chest, disengaging their pressure locks. As the tables rose from their respective compartments, the best of the best Hyperion Equipment shone into view. Conference Calls, Bee shields, Invaders, and a very potent Butcher were lifted from their homes. Amongst the glorious armaments were a shotgun, an SMG, a sniper, a pistol and a grenade mod that Gaige didn't recognize, but bore a Hyperion logo, and the word 'PROTOTYPE' etched in the stocks. Gaige scanned the weapons to bring up their details.
"Huh... I got nothing... These are brand new Hyperion firearms. I gotta radio Lil! She's gonna have a rakk hive when she hears about this." She again pulled up her left arm to her lips. "Lil, ya there?"
"Go ahead, killer."
"Blake hooked us up BIG TIME! There's some damn good firepower in here! CC's, a Butcher, and some shit I've never seen! We'll get the crate lifted to Sanctuary, but you gotta see this stuff!"
For the first time since the death of Jack, Lilith was happy about news concerning Hyperion. "No. Way. Did the rest of you's hear that?"
"Hell yeah! Dibs on one of the Conference Calls!" Axton shouted over the ECHO.
"The invader's mine,/ it is a killing machine/ extremely potent."
"Fair enough," Gaige said. "You'd only have to fight with Mordecai anyway."
"Are there any other rifles? I need something to replace my Sloth, and my Orion just isn't as effective as I want it to be." Mordecai sighed.
"Well, there's another rifle here, but you'll have to see it for yourself, Mordy. It looks NASTY." Brick paged his clan of bandits in thousand cuts. "Hey, slabs! We need 6 buzzards in Overlook for supply transport! Your delivery point is Sanctuary! On the double!"
The static cleared up from the other line. "Roger, King! We'll be there before ya know it!"
Nick chuckled to himself. "You have an entire bandit battalion at your disposal. That's insane."
"Whelp, being sane was never my strong suit." Brick said with a bellowing laugh.
"Alright, Blake. When do you wanna do this?"
"We could meet tomorrow, in the morning hours. Where do you wish this to take place?"
Lilith paused for a moment. "We'll meet in Sanctuary, that way if you pull any funny shit, we can just pitch you into the sea below."
"Now, now, Lilith. If I wanted harm, I wouldn't arm your team with our finest weapons. Not only that, but Miss Jacqueline will be the only accompaniment I will bring."
"That's reassuring. And I apologize if I come off as brash, but Hyperion and the Raiders have a rather hostile history, as you already know. We're not ignorant, just cautious." Lilith sighed. She couldn't let another incident like Roland ever happen again. The Raiders were more than just a platoon of hired hands... They were family, and she couldn't bear to lose another member. "Alright, send us an ECHO when you near the city tomorrow. My men will shoot on sight, otherwise."
"Noted. If your team has any questions about the firearms package I sent, Miss Jacqueline has the info. She will send documentation once she returns to me. I look forward to our meeting, Lilith, and a new beginning in our business relationship." And with that, the feed cut.
"You sure we can trust him, Lil?" Mordecai was just as cautious, having shared his own loss at the cause of Jack.
"No, but I guess we'll find out."
"Can you guys work on setting up the meeting room? I need to talk with Aidan..."
Maya was still in shock from the events that took place at the mine. Ever since she laid eyes on the hulking man known as Krieg, her whole persona had changed forever. Before her adventure to Pandora, she was a calloused, angry woman, her trust in humanity scarred by the actions of the Order. They raised her from infancy, trained her to use her siren powers. They led her to believe she was a goddess.
The worst part, was that they led her to believe she had a family. That she had people in her life that cared about her, that loved her, that wanted the very best for her. All were lies. They viewed her as a tool, a means to an end, an asset. She was the Order's payday, and nothing more. The day she left for Pandora, she left alone and seething. If it wasn't for Krieg, she may have not even given the others a chance. He saved her life... Yet before that point, she felt her life wouldn't worth the trouble. After the events at the train station, the two were very close, often going on missions together.
"By all means, Maya. We got it covered." Gaige grabbed Axton by the arm as she headed towards the unprepped meeting room.
Aidan sat down next to Maya in the living quarters, plopping heavily on the worn-out couch and turned to face her. "Thank you..."
Maya leaned back, puzzled. "What are you thanking me for? Jackie was the one that fixed you..."
"...For sticking by me. Even up to this point, being in this ragtag group-" his face twitched, and he spat, "NRRRRGH I AM NOT BROKEN!" His face softened just as quick is it soured.
"Is this something I should get used to?" She questioned, wide-eyed.
"Sorry, Maya. He can scream through me practically whenever he wants. Anyhow, this group of raiders, they always feared me... Always judged me... Always felt like I couldn't be trusted. I could sense it in the way that they looked at me, as if they were always prepared to put a bullet in my head at a moment's notice. You, however, looked past the psycho I was, and still kinda am, and tried so desperately to talk to me, to understand me, to decipher the obnoxious, cryptic banter of Kriegs speech... Like you knew 'I' was there all along."
Maya's lip began to quiver, but she stifled her feelings down. "I've... I-I just wanted to talk to you... I wanted to help you... You saved my life at that station, and that told me that the psycho I saw was not the person you used to be. Any other raging lunatic would have attempted to carve my head like a firemelon. Something good had to still be in there."
"The moment I set my gaze on you, Maya... I knew you were just more than this random woman in the middle of a wasteland. Krieg, as much as he won't admit it, was alone, even with my company. But it seems as though he likes you, which is why we spent so much time together."
"I enjoyed it... There is nothing more hilarious than watching krieg kick a midget. And despite him never making much sense, he always made me laugh. We watched each others backs... And we've saved each others lives too many times to count now. The only thing that was missing between us, was sharing what we thought, and how we felt..." She was getting nervous with every word, shifting in discomfort as she spoke. "I never had a true friend before you. I mean, yeah, our comrades are our friends, but you... You've always seemed to be more to me." She looked away as a reddish hue glinted across her cheeks.
"I owe you more than my life, Maya." With that, he leaned over and lightly planted his lips against her forehead, wrapping his arm around her shoulder, and her nuzzling her head into his. "If it weren't for you, I'd have given up on him by now. You kept me alive in there."
She leaned up and looked into his eyes, planting a small peck on his cheek. "Guess we needed each other more than we knew." The two spent the next hour silently sitting, her head nestled in the crook of his muscled chest, his arm around her shoulders, simply enjoying each other's company.
"Finally... All set up. Wonder what's on the bounty board..."
Axton and Salvador had finished tidying the meeting room, and were quickly becoming bored. They both strolled to Sanctuary's bounty board to check for some new money-making opportunities.
"Dammit, this is gonna suck, but the pay is good." Axton scratched behind his head as the data downloaded into his ECHO
"What's the job?" Salvador groaned.
"Well, it's an in-and-out op. You remember that bandit encampment right outside Three-Horns Valley?"
"Seems the bandits have settled in again and have set up a series of gunnery posts along the outer wall. They're hosing down anything that moves out there, including Hammerlock. He's the one giving us the mission."
"Gunnery posts? You mean 'turrets'?" Sal questioned.
Axton sighed. "No... Worse. Towers with armor plating, capable of housing plenty of bandits, who will likely be armed to the teeth. We should go scout it out now while there's still some daylight left. Maybe we can hit 'em after dark."
"Muy bien. This is gon' be fun as hell."
"Damn right." Axton spoke into his ECHO, "Lil, me an' Sal are gonna head out to the Divide to shoot people. Meeting room is set up."
"Ya gettin' paid, kid?"
The line was silent for a few seconds. "Have fun, boys. Call Zero if you guys manage to get knee-deep in shit."
Axton smirked and looked over to Salvador. "O, ye of little faith. How dare you doubt our awesomeness, which has been proven many times over. We will be victorious. Over and out." With that, Axton and Sal headed for Pierce Station.
"I'll go anyway,/ It will be hilarious / When I steal their kills." Lilith had just got off the horn with the commando.
"Dude, that's just mean..." Mordecai sighed, a devilish grin forming on his face. "...I'm in."
"You guys are assholes... Make sure to get their pissy fits on camera." Lilith chuckled.
"Trololololo / lol lololol lololollllll / ho ho ho ho hoooooooo!" Zero and Mordecai bolted for the fast travel station, dematerializing as they warped to the Divide.
"This thing is LOUD AS HELL, but it's a helluva lotta fun to fly!"
Brick's buzzard team had picked up the boys and Gaige, opting to try out a ride in Brick's newest, custom bird, the Gryphon. Rocko flew it in, and when they had landed, took the copilot chair as Brick sat in the pilot chair, and the others stowed away in the roomy passenger area. The buzzard was massive, sporting 6 turbine engines, a frame twice as wide as a normal buzzard and plenty of cargo space for passengers, with brick's seat placed dead center of the nose.
"So what neat tricks does this thing got, Brick!" Gaige shouted over the ECHO.
"Torgue specialty rocket pods, 2 high caliber chain gun turrets, and some of Tina's custom payloads. If you want sumthin blown up, this is tha bird ta do it! Not only that, this is the fastest buzzard on planet, thanks to Scooter and his "propulsion dohickey'. Its the same as the boosters on his runners."
Nick was grinning ear to ear. He was similar to his partner in the way of being a master of particular sciences. However, while Jameson worked on weapons and computers, Nicholas was a motor fanatic. Cars, trucks, planes, ships... If it had an engine, He could tear it out and put it together again, and guaranteed a 50% increase in performance.
"The hell you waitin' for, then?! Let er rip!"
Brick turned back in his seat. "Be careful what you wish for! If you ain't got yo harness on yet, you betta do that now!" Gaige quickly fastened her seat harness, as Jameson and Nicholas were already buckled in. "Ladies and Gentleman, this is Gryphon pilot Brick speaking. We will be experiencing turbulence in a few short moments, so please reach for your provided oxygen masks above your heads, and render your seat backs and tray tables to their upright position!"
Gaige shouted to him over the whirr of the turbines. "What oxygen masks!? And we sure as hell don't have any damn tray tables!"
"Well then please firmly plant your head between your legs, and kiss your ass goodbye!" Brick flipped a massive switch in the center of the console, and the buzzard engines shifted, migrating lower and turning away from the plane, resting in a star pattern behind the passenger cabin. The floor dropped out and split in two, folding out two massive wings, the floor closing into position on top of them. "Scooter, ya there? This shit is awesome!"
A voice piped up over the ECHO speakers installed in the aircraft. "Finally kickin' in the boosters? SWEET! Lemme know how it works!"
"YOU NEVER USED THEM BEFORE?!" Gaige and Jameson cried in unison, legitimately pissing their metaphorical pants.
"Bout to flip the switch Scooter! Ya wanna do the honors!?" Brick screamed, an ear-to-ear, menacing smile appearing on his face, growing wider by the second.
"Hell yeah!" Scooter screamed as Brick hit the toggle and floored the throttle. "CATCH A RIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIDE!" The jet-like buzzard immediately slammed everyone in their seats with massive pressure, rocketing the ship's speed to well over 150mph as the turbines were kicked into overdrive. Gaige was trying to scream, but the force compressed her lungs to the point that it came out as a soft whisper, Jameson was getting nauseous, and Nick had a shit-eating grin just as big as Brick's.
"MY NADS HAVE BEEN FORCED INTO MY CHEST CAVITY BUT I DONT CAAAAAAAAAAAAREEEEEEEEE!"
Jameson was starting to black out. "I don't feel so.." He was interrupted by a lurch in his stomach. "HRRRRRRRLLLLLLLLLLUHHHHHHHHH!" Due to the fact that the buzzard was still an open cabin design, his bodily rejection forced out of the sides of his mouth, splattering the engine assembly and leaving a green and orange splatter trail in the Gryphons wake. Any that may have gotten on his face or in his hair had simply been blown off by the force of travel.
"Don't get any of that shit on me!" Nick cackled. Rocko and Brick were both wheezing for air as they laughed at their passenger's misfortune.
Brick shouted, "Alright, guess it's time to slow it down, we're just about on top of Sanctuary... It'll take awhile for the rest of my crew to show up." He flipped the big switch again and the bird slowed down immensely, wrenching everyone in their seats as the jet engines reversed back to hovering speeds, and folded back in place along with the wings. "Hey Nick, you ever gone that fast before?"
"Not in the air."
"Neither have I."
"Well, I'm gonna head back. I wanna see what's all in this little care package."
Lilith had talked briefly with Jackie about their powers and abilities... Jackie was a powerful one, capable of wiping out entire battalions with a thought, much like her 'sisters'. She told Lilith of a previous contract that she had carried out: the disposal of a corrupt company treasurer. She had simply severed the connection between heart and brain, inducing cardiac arrest. No blood, no problem. She claimed to be a mercenary, but was stealthier than their neighborhood friendly assassin.
"Yeah, I'd better get back to Blake. He may try to dock my pay if I take too long. We'll chat after the meeting tomorrow."
Lilith nodded, and lit up in bright purple, phasing back home to Sanctuary, just in time to meet the Gryphon landing outside Scooter's garage. As the crew unloaded, they looked like they were stuck in a wind tunnel. Gaige's pigtails were folded flat against her head, Nicks hair was matted down and sticking out in the back. Jameson fell out of the plane, emptying his stomach again after hitting the ground.
"The hell happened to him?!" Lilith questioned.
"Ha! I kicked the Gryphon into hyperdrive and he lost his lunch. It was hilarious." Brick was beaming.
Nick's face split in a sadistic grin. "Hey Jimmy!"
His partner looked up slowly, moaning in pain. "Wh... What."
"Sanctuary is a FLYING city."
"You son of a HRRRRRLUHHHHHHHHHURRRRRRRRllllllllllllll!"
A/N: That's all for now! Tune in next time!