Ten left the sofa at the entrance to the raider headquarters and quickly finished his beer. Moxxi always got antsy when he went in her bar with alcohol from somewhere else. He quickly wandered back through there. He decided that for once he would find a different style. He was celebrating after all, he was celebrating the day that Sanctuary became safe. No doubt Jace would walk through the door of Moxxi's with a smile on his face and tell them that everyone was either dead or gone.
Ten walked up to the quick change station and spent a moment to look through the vast selections available to him. In the end he picked a pair of slim fit dark blue jeans that looked worn on purpose just above the pockets. Stylish black pointed shoes fit nicely on his feet though he wasn't sure about running around in them but all he expected to be doing was drinking and sleeping. For the top half Ten picked out a perfect pink dress shirt. It hung tightly to his huge lean muscles. With the sleeves rolled up to his elbow and the first few buttons undone revealing the chain to his dog tags he really decided to revel in his vanity. He looked amazing, he'd definitely dress like this more often.
Ten walked into Moxxi's and immediately all eyes were on him, most of the guys were even giving him approving looks, he was enjoying it a lot more than he thought he wold. "Well hello handsome." Moxxi said with an air of uncertainty in her voice, it was almost like she couldn't decide on whether she was flirting with him or whether she actually wanted him. She didn't even know herself. Lilith looked up from her glass and was shocked by what she saw. She tried to say something but Ten had spaced himself by accident. "Vodka please." He asked Moxxi who took the first opportunity she could to distract herself from Ten.
"What's the occasion?" Lilith asked, purposely keeping her eyes away from his, he was annoyingly good at knowing when she was lying.
"We're free. There's finally going to be peace for Sanctuary, for all of us. I'm going to try my best not to disappear again…" Ten spoke softly for the last part of the sentence. Lilith turned on him, pushing him down into the bar stool so that there was no escape.
"But?" She asked almost threateningly.
"But things don't always go the way people plan." He looked away, he didn't want to hurt her yet at the same time he was yearning for freedom.
"You're leaving again aren't you?" She backed away, the hurt in her eyes was real, Ten didn't know what to do or say, he didn't plan on leaving but that was always going to be his easy way out. Looking around desperately Moxxi gave him a stern glare and he always crumpled underneath that woman's gaze. "No, I'm not. But should someone else come to try their hand at killing me, I'll leave instead of giving them another reason to war with us." Ten said very calmly so that he didn't rock the boat even further, that was when he noticed her running makeup, she'd been crying. He'd noticed her acting extremely weirdly for a while now.
"What's going on?" He asked sternly. She realized that he had noticed the sudden changes.
"Nothing." She tried to reassure him but luckily for her Tannis ran in, stopping Ten from pressing her further.
"Oh thank god I found you, it's the Eridians! They're coming up!" Tannis raved frantically.
"Argh! Just when I was about to settle down with…" He stopped himself and paled completely, noticing the looks of shock on both Moxxi and Lilith's faces. "What was that?" Lilith asked, punching him in the stomach as hard as she could. Ten didn't even seem to notice her.
"It was nothing, leave it." He growled as he got up and left the bar in an angry rage. He had almost just told them his future plans but luckily there was a new encounter to deal with.
All of the raiders were gathered except for Jace's tactical squad which meant that Jace, Jackie, Midion, Anarchist and Arid were all still having fun on the battlefield below Sanctuary. The courtyard had turned into a fortification. Everyone was ready for the Eridians, the last two Eridians in existence. They had seemingly been waiting for this day. Tannis was standing behind Sarge's little squad, they had been assigned to protect Tannis on all of her latest and greatest quests of immediate endangerment, which of course meant that Sarge tried to kill Grif. Grif got kicked in the balls and now Simmons was half robot. The other parts of salvaged gear Sarge had made a fully functioning robot head… That could only speak Spanish. They called him Lopez. (A/N: That was OF COURSE a direct RVB reference, the entire existence of Sarge's squad is, kudos if you noticed.)
"Never thought I'd be saved by evil Eridians." Ten muttered, completely forgetting about the lover on his heels. He felt a bolt of phase energy hit him in the back. Ten was tough, but not tough enough to completely ignore something like that, he turned to face his angry lover.
"Oh, you wanna do this here? In front of everybody?" He asked incredulously, Lilith was rearing up for another attack, she was angry with him and he had no idea whatsoever why she was angry with him.
"Apparently so. Alright then lover, what's got you so pissed off?" He asked her loudly, making most of the raiders shoot looks between the two of them. Most had their theories about the two of them but everyone had been confirmed of the love affair between Ten and Lilith with that one simple sentence.
"That after everything that's happened you're still going to leave us just like that!" Lilith snapped her fingers for effect. A few people were looking at Ten with hurt expressions, was he really planning on leaving them all so quickly?
"Hey guys what's going on?" Jace asked happily as he walked through the fast travel hub, a very tired task force trailing behind him. Rose took a quick look at them indifferently. "Ten's leaving." She informed him.
"What? No, dude you can't! You're the reason most of us have stuck together this far." Jace looked the most hurt of all, except for Lilith of course. Ten couldn't believe that Lilith ahd turned that around on him so fast.
"That's not what I said. She's turning my words, I'm not planning on leaving." Ten argued back, holding his hands up in surrender.
"But nothing ever goes to plan." Lilith responded with a dry voice before storming off.
"Well done." Maya said, shaking her head at him. The sirens went off to find Lilith. Tannis was enjoying herself all the same. "So what's actually going on here then? Why does the courtyard look like a medieval castle?" Jace continued, picking up where he left off.
"The ERidians are on the move." Ten replied calmly.
Jace's head shot up straight away, "You don't think?"
"Yep, after what happened earlier I think our theories just became fact." Ten nodded gravely. He didn't want to get his new clothes dirty or torn but it looked like they were all going to be in one final fight for their lives.
"Gamma and Beta… The Eridians." Jace nodded back when two huge crystalline figures soared high over Sanctuary, their forms flickering between a number of foes from a collective of peoples pasts. Gamma and Beta, Omega and Zeta, a few others that nobody seemed to have noticed.
"THE MEAT COLONEL AND THE DUCHESS OF JUICY FLANKS!" Krieg shouted in disgust and outrage, it seemed that these two Eridians had been playing a part in everyone's lives. The first one spoke up in a godly voice that echoed throughout everyone's bodies.
"We are the last of our kind. A dying race, much like your own Nephilim." That voice sent a child down Ten's spine before he found himself clenching his fists, he wanted nothing more than to destroy them straight away. Smith walked through the courtyard soul weapons in hand, looking very pissed off.
"Whatever happens I get to kill this one!" He demanded, pointing at the Eridian that hadn't yet said anything. "It destroyed my forge on the way up here. Chaos spawn." He spat angrily before assuming the combat position. The Eridian seemed amused by the show of bravado. The sirens had all returned to see what was going on. Ten rose gently to meet the floating Eridians.
"I'll give you one chance, return to whatever depths of hell you came from and stay there or I'll destroy you." Ten said casually. The first Eridian seemed to get off from his threat.
"Just what we wanted to hear son of demonkind. For years we have sought our revenge upon those who killed us. Their ancestors will do but we are bound by ancient laws to never intervene. A being powerful enough to hold the essence of the Eridian's legacy will do nicely. Once we transfer ourselves into your body you mind will be set for destruction. Your body is already a ticking time bomb awaiting detonation. WE may be destroyed in the process but our revenge will finally be exact upon Pandora." The Eridians both laughed before they seemed to flash before everyone's eyes. Lightning struck the skies in a purple blitz of brilliant light before Ten fell to the ground.
Hunched over and clutching his forehead Ten was almost paralyzed, what had he done? He was the perfect vessel for pure evil, they would no doubt have found themselves right at home inside his body. He felt their essence die out inside him but it didn't fade completely, no, there was still something left inside him, a lot of things that were telling him to kill. Sweat was almost pouring from his forehead, he expected that a lesser man would have given in to the urges before him already.
"Ten?" He heard a familiar female voice call out to him but it was no use, it was now just an echo inside the ears of someone long gone. His eyes glazed over to lightning white and the mark of the ancient Eridians carved itself on his forehead. Another moment passed before more lightning struck right next to him.
"NO! GET OUT OF MY HEAD!" He growled like Krieg did. He was fighting, they never could have expected Ten to resist on such a scale. But it wouldn't last, it never would, not against a power where the Eridians were sacrificing themselves for the lasting impression that Ten had to kill. The thoughts occurred in his head, he had to kill, to kill all and everything. Anyone that crossed his path, friend or foe. Arch enemy… Or even lover. Ten felt a hand on his shoulder and he battered it away, unaware of how much strength he had put into it. "I SAID GET AWAY!" He shouted, seeing a blurry figure roll across the ground. He didn't know what was what anymore and frankly he didn't care. He felt good, was this the release that he had wanted so much? No, this was wrong, he needed to break the cursed control that the Eridians had placed over him. They were at least dead and gone. Everyone would be free to live in peace once this was dealt with… One HE was dealt with.
He very barely managed to get a warning out to his friends and family, "YOU HAVE TO…. HAVE TO…" He muttered, the sweat and strain on his body and mind was overwhelming. He wasn't sure how long he could last against the agonisingly painful control they had over him. If he gave in would the pain stop, or even lessen?
"YOU HAVE TO END ME!" Ten screamed again. The raiders couldn't believe what they were hearing.
"Contain him, we'll figure out how to stop this soon." Rose ordered. She, Jace in his wolf form, Jackie and Smith all grabbed a limb and held the struggling Ten to the ground. He quickly shook them off and tried to fend himself off from within his own mind. A fist collided with the ground and Sanctuary shook. If they weren't careful he would take down the entire city. A shadow solidified in the background.
"Hey!" Nightwalker shouted, getting everyone's attention.
"This is what Tara was planning. I've read her notes. This is what the Eridians do. Their plan was to possess someone this strong so that they could finally destroy Pandora. The Eridians are dead, check your instruments, no more signs of that special energy do da. The only way to end this is if you kill him or he's mentally strong enough to fight it off." Nightwalker told them before he disappeared for good.
"He needs help." Lilith got up and gently walked towards her fallen lover. "Ten, I need you to listen to me." She spoke softly into his ear. He held his head in one arm, the other crudely pressed against the stone floor of Sanctuary, as if he was bracing himself against it. The glow in his eyes softened slightly before returning to its full burning intensity.
"Let's get him in the sky." Smith said as he summoned the hammer. He hooked it around Ten's body and thrust upwards. The Nephilim was thrown high into the sky. His body splayed outwards and white lightning was striking everywhere around him.
"The only way for us to recover him is if he can get rid of all of that excess energy. Anyone that can sustain flight prepare yourselves for the fight of a life time." Smith grimaced as he rose off the ground. Rose followed suit.
"You know that you'll probably die right?" Smith told her when they were out of ear shot. She smiled briefly. "Just two of us against him, you know we're both likely to die. Let's face it, we're not weak but he's not normal." Rose sighed. Jace grunted angrily. There was one thing left for him to do but the transformation still took him a moment. In a blaze of fire he was covered head to toe in burning fur, his eyes replaced with those demonic ones of the demon Heat. He never lost the ability to do this but it took a lot more than the others as it was mostly a dormant power in the infused blood of his best friend. He flew a lot less gracefully as the other two but he rose to the challenge none the less.
"Oh look who gained his wings." Rose teased uneasily. They were still steadily rising to meet the Nephilim covered in white lightning. Another beam of light covered the area and then the lightning stopped. On his back was a pair of perfectly formed black wings of light that must have erupted when he powered up. They were a perfect image of what the sirens were capable of.
"Well, I guess I should be up there just as much as any of them." Lilith sighed before taking a deep breath. He tensed up and half her body began glowing in phase energy. Slowly but surely her flame orange wings came into view and her body lifted up off the ground, sustaining her easily. Only she could do this out of all of the sirens though.
"Well look at that, Ten's lover can fly as well." Rose mused quietly.
"That makes four of us. That doubles our previous chances. Now I suggest we do this quickly. Being the one who reformed his soul weapon I can pull it and cut his link to it but he'll just be drawn to it, besides I'm not sure if you can even lift it. The thing weights like a hundred tonnes." Smith grunted unhappily. He'd had a lot of fun playing around with that.
"Let's just get this over and done with." Jace grunted as he formed fire in his hands and threw it at Ten. The blast knocked him back and got his attention. He growled slightly before extending his own arm. A single perfect bolt of lightning shot towards Jace. Rose tackled Jace out of the air, he'd never have escaped it on his own considering how bad he was in the air. They crashed back through Sanctuary's ground. They were somewhere in the engines rooms. Jace had taken the brunt of the impact. "Looks like I saved you this time." She grunted dryly. Jace turning back into his human form that was him done for the day, he was already exhausted with battling the sons of Dogma, no one was asking him to do more.
"Looks like you did, I guess that makes us even-" Jace was cut off by a pair of lips pressed firmly against his own. Once the initial shock had worn off he only kissed back with passion. They had earned this after everything they'd been through.
Smith sighed partially before he noticed the phase energy still rising. "Right, back down to two. Try to stay alive Red." Smith grumbled behind him as he was sure Lilith was still alive. Smith moved like a blur and swung his hammer straight into Ten's face. The hammer cracked before it was completely destroyed but Ten didn't get off that easily either he was plummeting towards the ground, those black wings glowed a violent black with tendrils of electricity arcing off of them before Ten's course was corrected. He let out yet another powerhouse scream that cause the cap of the mountain located above the Fridge to avalanche. The more Ten screamed and exerted himself, the better their chances of recovering him. Ten shot towards Smith and punched him in the chest. A loud crack was heard before Ten turned and slammed Smith's body towards Sanctuary.
"And then there was one." Lilith grunted. Ten regarded her differently than the others.
"Look past the voices. Look past the pain, because the Ten that I know would never give into someone else telling him how to live his life." Lilith pleaded. At first it seemed like a futile attempt but a moment alter the wings disappeared and the Eridian symbol on his forehead sparked and turned black before he clutched at his head once again. The black sparks arched outwards in every direction for at least two hundred meters. Knocking Lilith unconscious. A strong pair of arms cradled her unconscious form as they glided down to Sanctuary.
The clouds were dark and lightning stormed everywhere around Sanctuary. It was like the gods were going to war. Ten landed his feet on Sanctuary as Lilith came around. Ten's body was burning up from the power of the Eridians essence that was forced inside him. The shirt was no more than tattered remains and his shoes had been melted off because of the black electricity. His jeans were torn and ripped but for the most part were covering him.
"Thank god." Lilith shouted, cupping Ten's face as she realized that everyone was staring at them, but she no longer cared, let them stare. "Nobody tells me what to do." Ten laughed dryly. People began to notice his steaming form.
"What's wrong?" Lilith noticed Ten's body doing something that it shouldn't be doing and she frantically started pacing her hands over his now exposed chest.
"No you can't do this to me, not now." She cried out to him. Everyone around them were silent. The Eridian energy was too much for him, and while he'd managed to regain his mind, it was still tearing him apart from the inside out. Ten promptly collapsed into his lovers arms who turned him over.
"Too much power. I'm dying. Fuck, I can't believe I'm actually dying from this. I won't return after this one. So much power, Jesus this would have been fun to play with." Ten grunted. His eyes felt so heavy but Lilith's face was much more appealing than sleep right now.
"I should probably make up a last minute speech about how you're so beautiful and such. All I can say is that my life was well spent. My only regret is that I never had a legacy." He lifted his hand to touch the side of Lilith's face and wipe away a rogue tear. A broad smile came across Lilith's face.
"That's where you're wrong. You do have a legacy. It's growing inside me right now." Lilith cried even more at Ten's expression. "Well then my lady, I'll be dying a happy man knowing that my child will be brought into a world guided by a mother that's tougher than her father." He laughed, a blood sputtered laugh as his lungs collapsed in on themselves and his heart beat its last.
"Never forget that I love you." He said at last. His eyes locked with hers as his hand went limp in hers. He hadn't been lying, if his body was to regenerate like it had done before then he would have turned to ashes but there lied his perfectly intact body. Lilith cradled him in her arms before the floodgates broke and her tears were loose. The truth about their long secret love affair was out and nobody dared question it.
"Today we've lost a great man, today we've lost a brother to many, a father figure to some but a loved one by all. Today is the day that we witnessed the death of Ten." Axton whispered, a shaky hand wiped away a sad tear of his own. The heaven's opened and the rain fell on Pandora and Sanctuary in heavy drops.
"Never forget that I love you." Lilith echoed Ten's last words almost breathlessly.
Five years later Lilith found herself at the monument that was built to remember her long lost lover, the one who had saved Sanctuary and Pandora time and time again but was taken from them far too soon. Standing by her side was her daughter, the daughter of Ten. Being half Nephilim she aged a lot faster than anyone ould even fathom. Ten had been the same during their time of the high school/prison. When they were all ranged from eleven to sixteen Ten had already been fully matured. That's just how things were. Now Lilith found herself standing next to her already adolescent daughter who looked up at the statue with respect.
"So he was my father. And he wasn't human? I've already spoken to my many aunts and uncles about him, they said that he was really something else." The girl asked her mother.
"Yes, he was. He could fly, lift moons and to top that off he had an incredible knack for doing the impossible." Lilith sighed before she turned to her daughter. "Come, we should be getting back, Jace will start to worry." Lilith pulled gently on her daughter arm which didn't do much to tear her attention away from the perfect sculpture of her father.
"Isis come on." Lilith warned her but was met with a sigh.
"Why did you name me Isis?" Lilith's daughter turned to face her mother as they made the trek back to the fast travel station.
"It had a relevant meaning to your father's life. Isis means 'The throne' and you are his heir, his legacy." Lilith explained to her daughter.
"To what though, he didn't exactly leave me any clues." She grunted unhappily.
"He was the alpha male of his race, the Nephilim. You are listening in your classes aren't you? I have no doubts that someone has trailed off and spoken about him at some point, I'm certain of it." Lilith muttered.
"Yes mom, I'm listening in my classes." Isis rolled her eyes at Lilith before letting her mother continued.
"As I was saying, he was the strongest of his race, the son of an archdemon. That didn't mean he was evil, far from it, he protected this planet and everyone on it with his life as it seems. Anyway, you can talk to someone about it in your classes. Right now we should be getting back, I think Rose wants to try and train you." Lilith explained. Isis wasn't stupid, she knew exactly what her father was, and what Rose was. She was half Nephilim so what? She hadn't asked for this life, but on the plus side at least the scary Nepihlim didn't give her any classes. Mister Smith only added to the scary look with his bald head.
Isis ran along before jumping over a rock, before she knew it she'd covered twenty feet in one jump without even realizing it. Lilith sighed happily before taking one last look at her love. "She is her father's daughter." She commented before turning back towards Sanctuary.
A/N: OK, so I spent a few hours on this finale, I hope you like it, but that is the end to the Fall/Rise of Pandora. I 'COULD' write a sequel to this sequel but it would take time, I have other projects and I wouldn't even start for a few months. It would be Isis looking for her father in heaven or hell with the help of the raiders. That's all I can think of right now, anyway, I hope you guys have enjoyed this journey as much as I have, goodbye for now J