[A/N: OK, so the Fall is over, and it's been a long year of war for our raiders. Little else has happened but I'll leave that to the story. I'm obviously not going to have spoilers in the AN am I? ;) So a few people I need to leave a special thanks to. In no particular order. I have to thank AridWolfFang for the excellent OC suggestion. Many thanks to Trepidin for letting me use his OC, you REALLY need to go and read his story first though 'Restoration of a broken planet'. Thanks to Plauge99 for his unending support and 'Jace', who has a story with the same name. The biggest thanks goes to Elemental Hybrid who this far has let us use THREE of his own OC, 'Gen' 'Anarchist', and 'The Smith'. I do not own any OC mentioned above. Thanks guys and girls for supporting the Fall, it couldn't have been possible without you!]
Third Person POV
Sanctuary was war torn. The raiders faced an enemy on every side, and things weren't getting any easier for them. It was a struggle for them to maintain their resources, and there was only really one sure fire income of food, and that was from Ghost. A man that Ten knew he had seen in passing on ONE occasion. Apart from that, the raiders had left drop boxes of money here and there for him because of his generosity to the people of Sanctuary. None of them had ever spoken to him or seen him, and Ten often questioned if he was genuinely real or not, but it didn't matter, he was clearly a stealth master, not a combat specialist. Things were getting dire with this war raging on. Many time had Ten tried to engage one enemy to weaken some defences, but all other groups would engage him, and by the time that the stronger army got there, he was in bad shape from it all anyway, and was forced to flee.
This war is fucking endless. It's been a year since it all started and I see no bloody end to the countless deaths of our citizens. The citizens of Pandora that have been specifically targeted to get us to surrender. Overlook is no more. Tara made a point of how strong she has become without Eridium. We thought about pumping myself and Tara full of the stuff, but I overloaded and 'accidentally' blew up the new moon station. Oh well, I would have been sent to do that soon enough anyway, but we got the feeling that Eridium was not then way forwards. This was has taken its toll on all of us. I haven't had sex with any siren for like… Eight months!? What the hell, I'm losing my touch.
Drastic new measures are needing to be had. "Jace, Rose, report to Roland's office now." I calmly told them through the ECHO channel we had. I have no doubts that each army has managed to crack into our communications networks by now, but for the life of me, I truly do not give a shit anymore. It just makes this more fun when I'm trying to blow shit up.
We all got there and the other two looked moody. Things weren't looking great for any of us, but whenever I saw these two around together things always seemed like we might actually pull through this war, they gave me hope because the two most unlikely people had found each other after years of hatred. My old commanding officer and lover, Alex Rose, and my best friend and comrade in arms, Jace Torgue were a secret item. Their hot secret thing they had going all started when I was supposed to take a fall to my own inner demons. That didn't go to plan because of how stubborn I am. I refused to die and instead ended up killing them all. Jace saved Rose from certain death and ever since then, they have looked at each other differently. I am fully expecting any time now for them to just come out in the open with it.
"I've got an idea but I'm not guaranteeing that it'll work. Angel, set up a connection to EVERY known planet with intelligence…" I grinned mischievously, "Then send the signal to the morons as well, just for shits and giggles." I chuckled before my stern face came back. This is not the time for fun and games Ten, I thought to myself.
"What are you doing?" Roland asked, lounging in his chair. This war had taken the most out of him emotionally. He was a leader of us all and yet no matter what he did, he couldn't seem to protect the citizens, and every day, he died a little inside because of it. "Ready whenever you are." Angel confirmed and I knew that now was the time for big talk, but I was ready to back it up. I sighed, this was something that I never wanted to go back to for it was the one thing that haunted me the most out of every piece of shit stained history I have. I sat down on one of the ragged chairs, all eyes on me. Jace and Rose looked on with confusion. "I am Commander Ten of the Death's Messengers." I started, my face was already pulled tight with pain. Jace and Rose both almost jumped out of their skin, for me to go by that name was for me to visit a past long forgotten, and it was the only thing I could thing to do. They stared out me wide eyed. I noticed the goose bumps forming on their arms as they slowly held each other's hand.
No fucking way did he just say that!? He's gone back to a place in his mind that I thought he would never be able to get to. He's taking things up to a whole new level. If he's accepting his true role in life as Commander of the Death's Messengers then maybe… Just maybe there's hope for us all yet. I couldn't help it, a wave of goose bumps spread across my body violently and I subconsciously met Rose's hand with my own. I needed someone else to make me believe that this was real. Ten's words were sending shivers down my body, this couldn't possibly be happening! "I am one of the three Death's Messengers that have survived everything Pandora has thrown at us. I am the Nephilim that stopped the Fall of Pandora and razed Loboria to the ground alongside my best friend just to save a handful of beautiful women. Standing beside me right now is my fellow Commander, Jace Torgue, the champion of the Torgue Corporation, Loboria, Pandora, Rakkeria, Eden-3, Eden-4 AND the Carlisle DM planet clusters." Ten's words sent shivers down my spine, I remember each and every time that we had taken those missions. I had forgotten about the many titles that we had
"To my right is Captain Alex Rose, the leader of the Death's Messengers, and she has a very special message for you, so you would be wise to hear it." I still can't believe that he's doing this, I can't begin to feel how hard it must be for him to have done this. He had a pained expression for about half a second as if he was struggling to think of what to say before it hit him, "The Death's Messengers are back, and each one of us is taking on ONE understudy. We are on Pandora fighting a war on all sides, if you want to impress us, all you need to do is get to Sanctuary. If any of you are thinking about coming to Pandora to enslave, destroy or kill our planet and people. Don't, because I WILL fuck your day up. Commander Ten of the Death's Messengers out." He said as he grabbed his ECHO and threw it against the wall so hard it smashed. He'd been keeping his composure pretty well at that point but it was obvious that he was hurting a lot deep down.
I suppose that it might just be me, but the moment Ten started sending that message, the other two were almost frozen in what seemed like fear? No, it wasn't fear, surprise more like. They were surprised that he was saying these things. If he had come this far into the war without depending on his old Death's Messengers title. He must realize that things are getting bad now. Every time they go down to try and fight all of the armies converge on them instantly. All of them except for the two Eridians, the two beings that have more power than all of us combined. They just sit and watch, and I'll be honest, it's very unnerving. My soldiers stay brave though, they make me proud to have come so far. Things are getting tiring though, I don't know how much longer we can survive like this. Ten finished his message and broke his ECHO communicator. Those things actually cost money… No matter, I'll get him another soon. I'll just have to leave these guys to sort out the details of what they're going to do. I stood and saluted before leaving my office to go and find Astor and Axton.
Third Person POV
Ten was swearing as he stalked towards Moxxi's, pissed that he'd given in to his last resort. Suddenly he spotted a figure watching him from the shadows. Even as he noticed him the man was approaching him.
"You're a Nephilim." The stranger stated, as casually as if he was commenting on the weather. Ten looked a him incredulously.
"Yeah, so? There's a whole army of the fuckers down there." He said with an amused smirk as he pointed towards the side of Sanctuary.
"So nothing. I'm just stating an observation." Suddenly the stranger caught sight of the gauntlets Ten wore and anger entered his tone, "What the fuck?!" He shouted, he grabbed Ten's hand and started examining the gauntlet, all the while muttering to himself, "Poor workmanship. All force, no finesse. Definitely demonic handiwork." Ten tried to yank his hand back and was shocked when the stranger barely budged. It did serve to get his attention though. "Where did you get these gauntlets?" He demanded.
Ten gritted his teeth thoroughly, "My father." He said in a groan.
"A demon, I presume. They always were rather shit at Soul Forging." The stranger said as casually as ever. Ten was shocked. He knew about demons and yet he didn't seem fazed at all.
"Soul what?" He asked, delayed by his though process about the demons.
The man raised an eyebrow. "Soul Forging. The creation of a person's Soul Weapon. You don't know about it?" He asked, almost sure that the Nephilim would at least be aware of the pieces of metal that were bonded to his body.
"Oh no, I totally know. I just wanted to see if you did." Ten retorted sarcastically with a small smirk.
"Well fuck you too, Nephilim. I guess I won't offer to improve your gauntlets and unlock their full potential." The stranger smiled.
"Wait, you can make these better?" Ten asked incredulously, "Hang on, better than what? They're gauntlets and so far, they've successfully blocked everything that's been thrown at me." He retorted quickly before the stranger looked up at him. Ten then noticed his appearance for the first time. He was huge, short but built, almost as much as Ten himself, he had a forgery vest on, no doubt leather, with a forging hammer embroidered on the front. He had tattoos of a hammer and a sickle of chains that wove themselves around his arms and up to his shoulder.
"I could if I wanted, but quite frankly you can go and rot for all I care." The stranger said without a trace of sarcasm present in his voice. Yet another person that Ten had succeeded in pissing off.
"How could you make these better? They were made by an archdemon. They're the biggest and most badass demons going." Ten asked in shock at the thought of soul forging, but it was clear that his imagination had taken a slightly strange path when he suddenly grimaced at the thoughts in his head.
"That's true, but like I said earlier the demons are shit at Soul Forging." The stranger retorted casually.
"What is Soul Forging?" He had captured Ten's interest. Those shots of whiskey could wait for a while.
"Soul Forging is the creation of a person's Soul Weapon, a weapon created from the wielder's very soul if the name didn't make it obvious. It is a representation of the deepest reaches of that person's soul. It used to be thought that only Angels, Demons and Nephilim like yourself could wield Soul Weapons but I know that a mortal who's soul is strong enough to survive the Soul Forging process can in fact gain their own Soul Weapon. Each of the original three races had their own way of doing things but each had a flaw. The Demons' efforts resulted in crude, but powerful weapons, the Angels' resulted in elegant, but lower powered ones and the Nephilim's efforts resulted in weapons that balanced the two but mastered none!" His voice had risen by the end of his statement. He took several deep breaths before continuing, "That's where I come in. I'm the son of a Nephilim and a mortal, with the Nephilim's ability to forge Soul Weapons and the mortal's creativity. I am recognised as one of the masters of my trade." Ten looked at him with a blank stare. A few seconds went past. "I'm not your father am I?" He asked with extreme distaste in his voice.
"I sure hope not." The stranger hid his grin well, but then turned around on his sarcastic comment, "Unless you're about one hundred and fourty years old, then no, you're not my father." He said at last. Ten was about to say something about Nephilims aging but he remembered a very brief conversation with his father, he was in fact immortal.
"You said something about surviving the Soul Forging?" Ten brought the conversation back on track and not a moment too soon. He realised that Mist had been sitting close to where they were talking, and the mention of fatherhood might have set her off if she'd heard. It was always a sensitive subject for them, but at the very least Ten had been decent enough to not see anyone else.
"Oh yes. If the Soul Forging of a mortal fails, there are three possible outcomes: Firstly; They die. Their soul is shattered and broken and they will never find the afterlife." The man explained, Ten groaned once again. "Afterlife?" He prompted but the stranger waved it away.
"Shut up, I'm not finished. Secondly; They become Husks. Their minds gone and their souls destroyed. A zombie, in essence." Ten groaned even louder, and somewhat sarcastically at that part. "Fuck my life, zombies." He sighed before letting the man continue.
"And the last thing is that they may become a Hollow. Their Soul Weapon is formed but it draws the entirety of their soul from their bodies. They retain memories and independent thought but lose the ability to feel emotion or physical pain." He explained. Ten looked over to where some of the sirens were sitting in the courtyard. He accidentally made eye contact with Lilith and forced himself away. "Sounds handy." He muttered.
The stranger continued to explain the various different things to him however, "Husks and Hollows both have the ability to consume another being's soul. The Husk does this in order to continue its miserable existence but the Hollow does it to feel the emotions of that person. They're like vampires that drink your feelings and memories instead of your blood. Unfortunately, both of these leave their victim as a new Husk." After hearing that, Ten couldn't help but smirk.
"Well, I know what that's like." He grinned once more, the powers that had been returned to him and Jace because of Jackie's various abilities from Vampirism. "Okay. So if it goes badly, it goes really fucking badly." He finished, managing to get it back to the point of the conversation again.
"Pretty much." The stranger deadpanned completely.
"Do you have a Soul Weapon?" Ten began, remembering that he was part Nephilim.
"Of course." The Soul Smith snapped his fingers and in a flash of blinding yellow light a heavy sickle appeared in his left hand and a weight appeared in his right. A thick chain connected to both and coiled up his arms to disappear behind his back. Ten noticed that his tattoos had vanished.
"Wait. How come I got gauntlets? They're not weapons." Ten complained.
The Soul Smith dismissed his weapon with a gesture and said, "If you think about it, gauntlets are just a really big set of knuckledusters."
"What!? You can't hit someone with these big bastards unless you're bitch slapping them and it goes wrong. No, these aren't weapons, they're a form of defence. They USED to be considered weapons, when I had multiple demons attached to my soul. Good times." Ten's sarcasm meant that there was never a dull moment.
"I could of course improve them, which may or may not consist of them rapidly changing into a different form, but I don't think you're strong enough yet." The stranger smiled when he said this, it was true in terms of Soul Forging however.
"Are you fucking kidding me? I can lift up a bloody moon!" Ten argued. The stranger seemed to have considered this for a moment. "Prove it, beat me in an arm wrestle." The stranger waved his hand and seemingly out of nowhere a table propped itself up. Ten dismissed this completely and got straight to work on trying to take this ugly bastard down. They were at it for a solid five minutes before they both agreed that it was going nowhere.
"OK, so you're strong, but that still doesn't mean that you can survive reforming of a Soul weapon, I'd need some more time to analyse you before that happens." He explained. Ten nodded nonchalantly, he didn't really care, it was just interesting to hear about getting a new badass weapon.
"How are you so strong?" Ten asked, bringing himself back into reality.
"Nephilim's don't get sick or die of old age. We don't get weak and frail, we become hardened and stronger. I am one hundred and twenty three years old. I am just naturally this strong. Judging by your strength, I'd say that you're about sixty right?" He asked, looking the younger man from head to toe.
"SIX- I'm TWENTY FOUR!" Ten shouted in outrage. The stranger paled slightly. "This strong at twenty four?" He asked himself, ignoring Ten's cry of outrage.
"I will agree to reform your gauntlets if you let me run some tests on you?" The stranger offered. Ten hesitated slightly, the last time he'd agreed to let anyone test on him, Tannis had stabbed him in the stomach with an empty injector kit.
"Fine. When do we get started?" Ten asked him.
"I'm known as the Smith to a few people. And we start right now." He grinned. He punched Ten in the face and knocked him out cold.