A/N: Hello fellow writers and gamers. Ever since I first started on this site, I've been trying my best to think outside the box and bring for stories that would leave their mark on the internet world. So far, my best work 'Crysis Effect' has earned many marks since I first posted it. And with it, I've had many more ideas come to life.
And this here is one of them. I've become a strong fan of the Borderlands series, but the number of stories posted with it have yet to crest 800. Though it's to be expected I guess, most categories don't get much attention due to a low fan-base. So, I intend on leaving a new mark here.
So to my fans already out there, and the few others I hope to gain, wish me the best of luck.
(I don't own Borderlands)
There are many stories out there. Some great, others not so much. Chances are you've heard a great deal of them.
Well...have you heard the story of a random man from another universe that would become a hero to a whole planet?
I can tell by your silence that you probably have not, so allow me to enlighten you;
The planet Pandora, one of the borderland worlds of the galaxy. Many say that it is a desolate, savage and deadly wasteland where only fools would go to look for anything of value. But, the many would not know the legend of the Vault.
A mystical treasure trove of alien descent that contained riches and power beyond imagination. Countless have gone in search of it, and all have either failed or perished trying.
These folks were known as Vault Hunters, and despite the danger, they persued the legend without fear. One group in particular would stop at nothing to attain it, with the aid of a Guardian Angel, they would traverse across Pandora's never ending wastes in search of the Vault.
However, they had no idea of the anomaly that would appear, and offer help in the form of skills and a strength all his own. Arriving from another universe through unknown mean, with the guidence of his own guardian angel, and with the intent of aiding the Vault Hunters on their journey.
Taken from the life he was more than happy to leave behind, he would spend three years on Pandora's unforgiving surface before meeting the four that would search for the Vault. Growing accustomed to life on the borderland world, making a name for himself amongst the people that lived there, and putting his mark in the history of Pandora as a whole.
This is the story of that hero, the story of the Fifth Vault Hunter. His origins unknown to those lucky enough to be close to him. His drive to protect the 'not so wicked' never ending. And the fear he could involk in his enemies unbound.
This is the story, of The Courier.
Nighttime over Pandora was clear, the stars shining brightly in the ink-black sky along with the moon reaching its apex tell those on the planet how late it was.
The streets of Old Haven were as silent as they usually were, save for the various bandits, thieves and murderers that were still skulking around looking for their next target. A few recently killed bodies litering the streets, along with a few that had been there a while that were in the process of rotting.
Things around here were a bit more quiet, ever since the Crimson Lance started moving in and attempting to bring 'order' to the hostile settlement.
Though none of this affected the lone man walking down one of the many desolate streets. The appearence attracting the attention of a handful of others, but they just ignored him and went on with their business as he passed by them without worry or care. Either out of weariness or uncaring was hard to tell, but neither mattered to him as he continued toward his destination.
The light from the moon, and the handful of lights and fires around illuminating him. His form standing at 6'1'' with a lean build, dressed in a pair of ripped jeans with armored knees and shins tucked into steel -toed combat boots. He was outfitted with a black, light armored chest piece with various compartments lining it along with pouches and hard cases around his belt, all hidden beneath a long, sleeveless, black duster.
His arms were bare, save for the fingerless gloves on his hands and the bandages wrapped around his forearms.
On his head was a grey skull-cap with a pair of tinted visor-like sunglasses perched on his forehead allowing his dark-green eyes to be visible as they stared forward. Looking bored, but vary aware of the dozens of possible threats that were around him.
Though he was far from worried. He was more than equiped for anything that could/would throw themselves at him. A pair of Valdof machine pistols in leg holsters on each thigh within easy reach, both capable of shooting electric rounds to stun and kill their targets.
A Dahl, burst-fire assault rifle sat on his back beside a Hyperion sniper rifle. All of them with their safeties off and fully loaded, just incase. Though he also had a few hidden weapons that would be hard to detect.
His steps were long and full of purpose, stopping when he reached the front of the building he was expecting to find. Pulling out his Echo, he checked the coordinates given to him to make sure they were accurate before replacing it and stepping through the door.
The bright lights inside took a moment for his eyes to adjust to, his ears bombarded with loud laughter and the sharp clink of glasses. The smell of smoke and alcohol heavy in the air as he strode through the crowded bar toward the front where the barkeep was serving drinks.
He took a stool on the far end out of sight of the other patrons, but in clear view of the bartender as he waited. Being sure to keep an eye on those around him, one hand on the top of the bar with the other on his left leg.
Within drawing distance of one of his pistols.
It took ten minutes before the bartender, a woman a few years his senior approached. Her hair was dirty blonde and held up in a messy bun, her clothes dirty and worn, and with the way she held herself he could tell that she'd had trouble in the past in terms of customer violence. That...and the eye patch that covered her left eye.
"Something I can get for ya, sweetness?" she asked kindly with a hint of a country accent.
"No." he said meeting her gaze. "But I got something for you." reaching into his duster, he saw her tense up. Hands reaching for under the bar where he knew that there was a weapon to defend herself.
One false move, and his head would be nothing more than a red mist of bone and grey matter.
Holding up his other hand to show he wasn't armed, he pulled out a small package and laid it out on the counter. "From Marcus. Just as you both agreed." he said calmly as she stopped reaching for the concealed gun and instead went for the package.
"Is this-" she stopped when he held his hand up.
"First rule; no questions. Whatever you and Marcus agreed on is your business, not mine." he explained clearly. "Second rule; complete the assignment by any means, so long as no harm comes to me or anyone deemed innocent. I've done this, as you can see. Third rule; you get the package, I get my payment, and we part ways. No trouble. Contradiction of any of these rules may force me to enact my fourth rule, something neither of us want to happen."
The bartender nodded slowly as she took the package into the backroom. She was gone for a few minutes before returning with a lightly packed envelope. "Everything's there, all counted." she said as he took the envelope and tested its weight.
Nodding to himself, he slipped the payment into his coat. A bottle of Rakk ale was set on the bar top infront of him a moment later. "On the house." said the bartender as she went back to her other customers.
Shrugging, he picked up the ale and put it to his lips. The cool bubble of the drink going down smooth with three swallows before he set it back down on the wood surface. It would be a three day journey to return to New Haven to complete his current contract, and the less time he spent in Crimson Lance territory the better.
With the bounty on his head, he was suprised no one had tried anything yet. Picking up the beer, he went for another drink when he felt the barrel of a gun at the back of his neck.
He sighed as he set the beer back down. Murphy's Law was a goddamn bitch. "Don't fucking move." said a gravely voice behind him, the gun's barrel digging in a little deeper. "Get up, move outside. Now!"
Raising his hands, he rose from the barstool and allowed his captor to lead him through the establishment and back out into the dark streets. Several thugs coming out of surrounding alley ways and surrounding them. "You must be dumb as shit to come out here. You have any idea how many folks would love to cash in on that bounty of yours?" asked the gunman when they stopped, the others forming a half-circle around them. "Full payment, Dead or Alive. Now that's a good score.
He looked over his shoulder. It was just a common bandit. Dressed in leather and denim with a red mask covering his face. A simple sidearm was all he was packing and nothing else.
There were seven in total, all of them similarly armed or had knifes or axes on hand. "You look like a smart bunch." he said without a hint of anxiousness. "So I'm giving you two options." he looked to each one directly in the eye. "Option one; you walk away without any bloodshed."
The thugs all laughed, "He's fuckin' stupid man!" said one of them twirling his axe.
"And what's the other option?" asked the one holding the gun to his head.
"Option two...I kill you here and now." was the reply causing another chorus of laughter. He heard the hammer of the gun behind him cock back.
"You know what, dead's a lot less trouble." said the thug as his finger tightened on the trigger.
He was in motion seconds before the gun went off. Spinning around and forcing the arm to the side as it fired, the round punching through one of the thugs on the right as he pulled one of his own pistols and fired a short burst into the man's head.
The leader fell with his skull a pulpy mass, the rest of the group went to attack as he dropped low, spinning around with both pistols in hand as he opened fire. Electric rounds zapped and tore through bodies, dropping them convusling to the ground before they went still.
Silence filled the streets once more, all seven thugs laying dead in pools of blood as he rose back to his full height. Dumping the spent clips from his weapons and loading fresh ones before re-holstering them again. "Should'a taken option one. But then again, no one ever does around here." he muttered as he began looting through the corpses.
It may not have been moral, but on Pandora, everything's fair game. And if you didn't take it, someone else would.
After collecting the few guns, and the small amount of cash the thugs had on them, he put everything into various pockets to be carried. He looked down at a piece of paper he'd taken off one of the bodies.
A black and white image of himself looked back on the wanted poster along with the bounty "75,000,000,000, huh? Makes me wonder how many people I pissed off in the last three years." he said to himself again as he tossed the poster aside.
His duster flapped in the wind as he made his way toward the entrance to Old Haven where his Runner was waiting for him. On the ground, the poster laid in the light of a nearby street lamp;
DEAD OR ALIVE
By order of the Crimson Lance
After three days travel, the trip back to the small town of Fyrestone was uneventful. A small pack of Skag had attempted to intercept him but had cleared out quickly when he ran down their Alpha. The front of his red and black painted Runner still had it's blood in clear view when he pulled up to the Catch-A-Ride station outside the small town as the sun began to set.
Stepping out, Mason pulled out the small bag of loot he'd collected on his assignment and headed toward the main gate. His vehicle digistructing behind him into the station as he entered Fyrestone in time for a small, box-shaped robot greeted him.
"Welcome to Fyrestone traveler! How can I-Mason! How was your travels?" squaked the Claptrap after it saw who had come.
"The usual, Clap." the man replied taping his fist softly on the bot's head. "Everything quiet around here?"
The Claptrap rolled along beside him as they walked through town, the few residents that were still awake were out and about saw him pass by and wave to him in a friendly manner. "No trouble at all." said the bot. "Ever since you cleared out Nine-Toes, Sledge and all the other bandits around here things have been great!"
Mason nodded, "Good. If there's ever any trouble in the future, call me on my echo any time." he said as they stopped infront of a small house fashioned with metal walls and a wooden frame.
"I will definitely do that!" the Claptrap chirped happily. "Oh! I almost forgot! Dr. Zed wanted to speak to you first thing in the morning. He said that he has an easy job for you."
A sigh escaped the Courier's lips. "No rest for the wicked." he muttered before turning to his escort. "Let him know I'll see him before noon. I'm tapping out for the night."
The Claptrap gave a salute before wheeling off to its little shed to go into recharge. Mason turned to the door of his home and punched the proper code into the keypad beside the frame. The red light on the door lock changed from red to green as the locks disengaged and he stepped inside.
No bigger than a one bedroom apartment with only the essentials. There was a living room/kitchen/entrance room with an old couch and coffee table, a fridge in the corner with a small hallway that led to a lone bedroom with a bathroom across the way.
It wasn't much, but considering where he was living, it was more than enough.
After relocking his door, Mason tossed the bag of loot on the couch before making his way to the bedroom. Kicking off his boots and laying them at the foot of his bed before removing his guns, armor, shield generator, money and the handful of medical supplies he had on him. Placing all the items into an armored chest in the corner of the room before stipping down to just his jeans and laying in the bed.
Reaching under his pillow, he pulled out a standard Repeater Pistol and checked to see if it was loaded and the safety off before replacing it as he got comfortable. He normally didn't crash out right after an assignment, but he was feeling more tired than usual and decided to turn in early to catch up on sleep.
Staring at the ceiling, the Courier slowly closed his eyes and drifted to sleep quickly.
He'd been expecting a dreamless sleep, the same he had been getting for the last few years. But this time was different. Instead he found himself standing on a metal platform suspended high in the air, overlooking a vast blue sky. In the distance, there were a handful of metal-like buildings that shifted in on themselves as they floated in the air due to whatever was powering them.
Taking a deep breath, Mason turned and was greeted with another sight. A female figure stood before him, standing almost seven feet in height wearing a long, flowing blue-white dress. The top of her head bore a strange crown, her skin pale to the point of almost being ethreal. Her face angular, but had a nose similar to that of a serpent, along with a pair of eyes filled with wisdom that surpassed anything that he could possibly understand in a million lifetimes.
"Mason." she spoke. Her voice reverberating around him and through his very being at the same time.
Mason straightened up even more to prepare himself. It had been a long time since his 'guardian angel' had spoken to him directly. And he knew that whatever she had to say had to be very important.
The Librarian approached him, "It is almost time, young one."
A/N: I was hoping to end this chapter at the introduction, but I wanted to take it a step further with this ending. And if you're a fan of Crysis Effect, you should know of this particular twist well by now.
Tell me what you think, my inbox is always open. (P.S. - This is a side project while I gather more info to continue Crysis Effect. So if you're waiting for updates with that, enjoy this in the meantime and I'll get back to it soon.)