A/N: What's up guys. Been a lot of things going on these days, so I'm still taking as much time as I need with this.

I've gotten a couple of PMs asking what Mason's hair style looks like, to answer that think John 'Soap' Mactavish's hair in Call of Duty. The man's a badass and I wanted my OC to have a bit of his style. On another note, I have yet to decide whether or not to use the New-U stations.

Unlike the Fast-Travel stations, the respawning points would mess with the story too much and throw too many things off. So the choice is still up in the air, but leaning toward a negative on that one.

This next installment's got a good amount of kickass fire fighting in it with an awesome song to go with it. So strap yourself in boys and girls!

I don't own Borderlands.

Three days had passed since the Arid Badlands were cleared of bandits once more. And in that time the five Vault Hunters had been on the road heading in the direction of the DAHL Headland which would take them to the person that would help them find Patricia Tannis.

The old bandit technical worked like a charm after the adjustments Mason made to it. After sending the coordinates to his information source to the others, they set out the morning after everything was set. Swapping drivers every so often so that they were refreshed.

All the while they got to know on another as they headed deeper into the Pandorian wastelands. Sharing stories back and forth as they got a feel for one another and allowed Mason to understand his new team better. Though not everything was without a bit of tension.

Lilith had been abnormally silent for most of the trip, Mason right there with her as they still tried to come to grips with what they experienced the night before they had left. Though, neither of them knew that the other had the same exact dream or the outcome.

The Courier did his best to hide the strange markings that appeared on his chest when he had woken up. He didn't feel any different, though he did feel a slight pull whenever he got too close to Lilith. None of it could be explained, he'd never heard of this happening to anyone before and even less since a Siren was somehow involved.

And it wasn't like he could ask anybody about it, especially Lilith who seemed to be avoiding eye contact with him every chance she got. But they had managed despite the slight discomfort.

Currently, Roland was behind the wheel, Mordecai and Bloodwing riding shotgun with Mason in the turret leaving Brick and Lilith riding in the back with the supplies. Music was blasting over the radio as the soldier drove around the many rocks and sand dunes that made up the headlands.

They'd passed through the gate that was unlocked for them by one of the many Claptraps that stood vigil at the various checkpoints around Pandora hours ago, and were now heading deeper into the desert.

"So where are we headed now?" asked Mordecai looking over his shoulder at Mason.

"A place called Lucky's Last Chance Watering Hole." Mason exclaimed back. "We're making good time, but this beast takes up a lot of gas. We're not going anywhere else without a refill soon."

"How much farther do we have until we reach that informant of yours?" asked Roland from the driver's seat.

Mason shrugged, "Depends on how much trouble the local bandits give us. We should be there in less than a week, less then that if we drive straight through the next couple of nights."

Brick groaned from the back, "Man...I'm getting bored here!" Lilith just rolled her eyes and went back to the book she had borrowed back at Fyrestone. Subtly sending a glance at the back of the Courier's head at the same time. Like him, she too had been feeling the strange pull in her chest whenever she was close enough to him.

It confused her beyond belief. She'd first gotten the feeling after getting up the next day after the dream and got together with the others before they left. Seeing Mason coming in from the garage it was almost like a magnet had been switched on somewhere within her being, her tattoos had even flashed for a brief moment at the same time which she was thankful that no one noticed at the time.

The Siren had seen and experienced many strange things in her life in regards to her powers, but nothing like this had ever happened before. A sudden attraction to someone she just met was a whole new level of odd, even for her. She never wanted answers about her origins more than she did at that moment.

The technical rolled over a few more hills, the shocks bouncing hard but not bouncing the hunters too much as they stayed their course.

Another hour came and went with still no trouble, but the Courier kept his eyes on the surrounding dunes. He'd been through the headlands dozens of times, and he had been bull-rushed by at least two or three groups of bandits each time. This place was a regular hunting ground for the bastards, and this time wouldn't prove any different.

Turning the .50 cal in a full circle, his eyes caught a cloud of dust being kicked up almost 100 meters away from them. Looking a bit closer, he saw the telltale shape of a runner heading in their direction. "Got a target!" he called to the others making them all perk up.

"How far?!" asked Roland as he kept the truck steady.

"70 meters and closing from the North-West!" Mason turned and saw more clouds rising above other dunes and hills not far behind, "And they got friends!"

A total of five runners were barreling towards them over the sand, the group drawing steadily closer as Roland hit the gas a bit harder to put some distance between them. The Vault hunters took up their weapons and readied to fight, Mason swinging the turret around and getting them in his sights.

'Hello! How's it goin' out there dipshits?!' a voice suddenly burst out through their echos.

"Oh you've got to be fucking kidding me." the Courier muttered before picking up his echo. "Turn around and head back under the rock you crawled out from under, Rip-Jaw. There's nothing to hunt out here."

'I beg ta differ! There's plenty ta hunt out here!' exclaimed the bandit leader from behind the wheel of the lead runner. 'One rusty old technical with five of the most wanted pissants on Pandora! Atlas'll pay us shit-loads bringing your burnin' corpses in all at once!'

Lilith kept her SMG leveled on the railing of the truck as the runners began to surround them in a 'V' formation. "They got us boxed in!" she called to the front. Roland looked to both sides, eyes narrowing as a plan started to form in his head.

"So you're after our bounties, huh?" asked Mason seeing what the soldier had and knowing what he might have planned. "God must pity you for you're stupidity. Your merry band of second-rate thugs couldn't take me solo, what chance do you have against all five of us?"

Rip-Jaw chuckled, 'After my boys pump a few ounces of lead in your ass, maybe that'll put an end ta all that flappin' you like ta do so much.' The turrets on the runners on either side of the truck turned and locked on to them, the gunners pulling back the bolt handles and preparing to fire.

The Courier smirked as he set his echo down a new song clicking over the radio as he shouted out, "We'll see about that, ROLAND NOW!"

(A/N: Play 'Dragula' by Rob Zombie)

The soldier slammed on the breaks just as the turrets opened fire, the technical slowing instantly with the hail of gunfire criss-crossing in front of them.

Both runners were peppered with friendly fire, sparks and blood spraying through the air as both vehicles and their passengers were hit with the salvo. One of them bursting into flames and exploding when the fuel tank was hit multiple times.

Roland shifted the gears and punched the gas again, the technical surging forward as the four other bandit vehicles went after them, one lagging slightly behind with black smoke trailing from its frame.

Mason swung the turret around and opened fire, spraying .50 cal rounds in the direction of the pursuing runners and making them scatter. Mordecai stood up a bit, sniper rifle in hand as he looked down sight and firing at the closest runner. The round nailing the bandit at the gun straight through the head, blood and grey matter spraying through the air as the body was thrown from the turret.

Brick grabbed two grenades from their crate of supplies, priming them both before tossing them off the back of the truck. One of the explosives detonating uselessly against a rock, the second however managed to hit the right tire of one of the enemy vehicles. The explosion ripping the axel in half and sending the runner flipping end over end before crashing into the sand upside down.

"YEAH MOTHERFUCKERS!" the berserker shouted as he picked up his rocket launcher and started shooting with it.

Another runner came up along side the technical, a psycho that was riding on the side brandished his buzzaxe and jumped on to the side railing of the truck. Rising up, he found himself face to face with the barrel of an SMG just before his head exploded and burst into flames.

Lilith reaimed and emptied the rest of the clip at the driver forcing them to steer away to avoid the flaming rounds. Pulling out her own grenade, she tossed it after them. The device exploding in a burst of electricity that fired the engine and electrocuting the ones riding in the runner, causing them to lose control and slam into a rock formation.

At the front, Roland pulled out his sidearm and shot a midget psycho that had managed to land on the hood of the technical. The small body falling off and was run over by the large wheels below leaving a bloody smear in the dirt.

The truck lurched when the runner the little psycho had come from slammed into it. The driver pulling out his own sidearm and taking pot shots at the soldier who ducked down as the window beside him shattered. Spinning the wheel, he just barely managed to miss hitting a pillar of stone as the runner hit them again.

Above him, the roar of the turret of their technical bellowed out as the bandit vehicle shook from the rounds that struck it. Mason kept the heat on while Mordecai locked on to the driver's head and fired.

There was a burst of blood before the runner turned sharply to the right and went into a deadly barrel roll. Roland turned the technical out of the way as the doomed vehicle was ripped apart by the momentum and became a pile of salvage scattered across the ground.

"How many are left?!" called out the soldier as he kept the gas pedal punched.

"Just one more! And it should be-WHOA!" Mason shouted as something zoomed past his head. Spinning around he saw the last runner, which was painted with red splatters and had skulls mounted on the spikes along the sides. In the place of the usual turret was an automatic missile launcher.

Behind the wheel was a man dressed in bloody armor, his head covered in scars with a pair of cracked goggles covering his eyes. His lower jaw wasn't normal, instead it was metal plated with jagged teeth sticking up from it like half of a bear trap.

"I'M GONNA RIP YOU FUCKERS IN HALF!" he roared after them.


He has the right-of-way...and one hell of an overbite!

Rip-Jaw slammed his fist down on the console beside the steering wheel, sending two more rockets firing from the launcher straight at the Vault Hunters. Seeing the attack coming, Roland cranked the wheel left and right. The attacks hitting sand instead of their truck. "Ideas?!" he called back to the others.

Mason fired the turret at the bandit leader. "Keep shooting until he blows the fuck up!" he called back, the others getting the same thought and opened fire.

Rounds and explosives connected with the heavy plating on Rip-Jaw's runner, but unlike his men, his vehicle was built to withstand the punishment. Grinning with his half-metal mouth, the bandit cranked the throttle causing the runner's boosters to kick on and rocket him closer to his targets.

"The bastard's gaining!" shouted Brick as he reloaded his rocket launcher.

Roland swirved around a pile of rocks and kicked on the technical's thrusters, everyone grabbed on to something as they shot forward. Wind and sand whipping past them as they kept their distance while managing to dodge the missiles being fired at them.

Rip-Jaw pulled up along side them, the boosters of both vehicles dying off at the same time and were now going at their original speed. The bandit leader spun his wheel and slammed into the truck, the spikes on the sides scraping against the metal plating sending out sparks and barely missing the tires.

"Bloodwing, get him girl!" Mordecai shouted. His bird screeched before taking flight, doing a couple of circles before diving at the attacking runner. Slashing with her talons and stabbing with her sharp beak at Rip-Jaw's exposed flesh, tearing it open and spilling blood as he roared in pain and irritation at the attacking creature.

With the close distance, Mason took the opportunity to target the missile turret. The heavy rounds denting the metal as he attempted to either disable or destroy it. Lilith assisting with her SMG, trying to weaken the metal with the fire-infused rounds.

Managing to swat Bloodwing away, Rip-Jaw pulled away from the technical and flipped a switch on his console. A compartment on the side of the runner opened to reveal a spiked harpoon get into position and firing at them with a long chain attached.

The truck shook when the harpoon pierced the metal plating on the side, the chain locking as the two vehicles were now attached to one another. "Shit! Some one get that thing off us!" said Roland as he tried to maintain their course.

Brick reached over his shoulder and took out Ripper. Revving up the chainsaw blade of the sword-like weapon as he approached the side with the harpoon sticking out of it. Both hands on the hilt as he brought it down hard on the chain. The loud screech of metal on metal roared over the engines and gunfire as the links being cut into began to weaken.

The turret of Rip-Jaw's runner started turning again while it was still taking damage, centering on the berserker as a missile got ready to fire. Seeing this, Lilith set her SMG aside and pulled out another grenade. Her eyes and tattoos glowing before activating her phasewalk ability and vanishing in a burst of purple energy, reappearing on the enemy runner a moment later before jamming the explosive into a small space on the turret before phasewalking back to the technical.

A moment later, an explosion filled with both fire and acid spread out and ate quickly through the metal of the turret. The weapon falling to the side and off the runner just as it fired sending the missile harmlessly off into the distance.

Now enraged, Rip-Jaw torqued the wheel to the left hoping to yank the speared technical with him. Brick kept his feet firmly planted as he ground ripper even harder into the chain, the smell of burning metal filling the air just before the links shattered and the chain gave way allowing them to pull from the bandit leader's hold.

Mason continued to pepper the side of the runner with heavy slugs, smoke beginning to rise from various spots as the damage started to take it's toll. Though he could feel a shuddering run through their truck meaning that they had taken a fair amount as well.

They needed to wrap this up and fast.

Rip-Jaw activated his vehicle's boosters and shot ahead of them, turning around a ways up and began barreling back straight for them. Roland gripped the steering wheel as they found themselve's in a deadly game of chicken. The enemy runner's front-mounted chainguns roared to life and pelted the front of the technical.

The Vault hunters fired with all their weapons at once in the direction of the bandit leader. Several hitting their target and doing damage, but not enough to deter the deranged driver, and the space was closing very quickly.

"Gotta take him out." thought the Courier as he reaimed the turret and let loose another stream of rounds. This time aiming for the front-right tire.

Seconds ticked by as the two vehicles closed in on each other. Rip-Jaw grinning as he was about to slam into the hunters, until he felt a rough shake through his runner. There was a loud creak of weakening metal before the tire Mason had been shooting at blew off the axel, the momentum the runner had been going at sending the vehicle into the air flipping forward.

The technical drove right under it, looking at Rip-Jaw's stunned face as he flew over them. Brick picked up his rocket launcher and aimed up, grinning as he pulled the trigger. The explosive projectile slamming into the runner and sending it spinning away from them and landing in a burning heap several meters away.

After a few moments, the team of five relaxed when they realized that there wasn't anymore coming after them. Bloodwing flew back down and perched herself on the back of Mordecai's seat as he finished reloading his sniper rifle. "So, how far is that 'Watering Hole' you mentioned again?" asked the hunter.


Thankfully, they were only a few miles from Lucky's Last Chance after their battle across the desert.

The place was run by an ex-bandit by the name of Lucky, who had gotten his name given the amount of times he nearly had been killed and managed to avoid it on multiple occasions. The Watering Hole was a combination gas station, bar and rest stop for folks traveling through the DAHL headlands. Though it was mostly frequented by bandits who put more than enough bullet holes in the metal shacks that made up the buildings.

Despite the rough company that went there, and the shadiness of the owner, it was the only place that the Vault Hunters could go since the truck needed to be checked over for damage, and needed to be refilled with gas since they were almost at empty after what transpired on the way there.

Mason gave the technical a good once over before filling up the tank. Thankfully the road battle didn't cause any damage to anything vital, and what damage there was could be fixed easily enough.

When everything was said and done, he made sure that their supplies were locked up tight so no one could steal them before heading over to the small bar where the others had gone to a little while ago.

It'd been a while since he'd been here. But from the looks of things nothing changed much since his last visit. Lucky had a nasty habit of pissing off various people and painting a bigger target on his back then there already was.

Even Scooter wanted the man dead for his own reason. And it took a lot to get on the mechanic's bad side.

Stepping out of the humid desert air into the stagnant atmosphere of the bar. The Courier made sure to look at the handful of other patrons at the counter and surrounding tables before making his way to the table in the back where the others were sitting around waiting for him.

"What's the damage?" asked Roland when he sat down.

"Mostly cosmetic, we're still good to go." replied Mason taking out a bottle of water and downing half the contents. "At least we took out Rip-Jaw. His gang's been harassing travelers coming through here for a while now."

"Another enemy of yours?" asked Mordecai, getting a nod from the Courier. "How did you manage to piss off so many bandit clans, anyway?"

Mason chuckled, "It wasn't easy, I really had to work at it. Though to be honest, they weren't doing a good job at making friends anyway."

Brick downed the rest of what was in the mug in his hand before looking toward their newest member. "What kinda name is 'Courier' anyway? Been meanin' to ask that since we first met up."

"Honestly? It was just something the locals gave me that stuck since I mostly did high paid delivery jobs." came the reply.

"If that's the case, how did you end up doing mercenary work?" asked Roland.

The Courier leaned back in his chair and crossed his arms. "How does anyone fall into it? The need for money. The excitement. Some even do it trying to make a difference. For me, it's a combination of all three I guess. Whenever I was out on a job and found someone in trouble, I couldn't help myself but try and help them any way I could. Pandora may not be a place for heros, but that doesn't stop me from doing what I believe is right."

"Aren't you worried about working for the wrong people that could double cross you?" asked Lilith, the first real thing she's said to him since they left Fyrestone which kind of shocked Mason for a moment.

"No really. I follow a set of rules for every job I take." he said back.

"And they would be?" wondered Mordecai.

"Rule 1: No questions. Whatever the clients I'm working for are doing is their business, not mine. Rule 2: Complete the assignment by any means, so long as no harm comes to me or anyone deemed innocent. Rule 3: The package is delivered, I get paid. If anything contradicts any of these guidelines I enact Rule 4."

"Rule 4?" asked Roland.

Mason smirked, "Trust me when I say I've had to enact it more than once. Only because those that forced me to implement it wouldn't adhere to the first three."

Lilith leaned forward on the table, "What is it?"

"Now, that would be telling." replied the Courier as he took another swig from his water bottle. "But I have a feeling you'll see what it is before this little odyssey of ours is over."

The group fell into a small silence, enjoying the small break they were on. The few people that were in the bar slowly trickled out leaving them the only ones there. When Lucky left the bar to do something in the back, the Vault Hunters all drew in closer to have a private conversation.

"We're gonna need to pick up a few side jobs along the way." said Roland getting confused looks from some of his fellow hunters.

"What about finding the Vault?" asked Lilith confused.

"With the amount of ammo and fuel we're going to burn through, it wouldn't hurt to have extra funds coming our way." replied the soldier. "It's only going to get rougher from here on out, so the more prepared we are the better in my opinion."

The others nodded in agreement after hearing him out. "Where do we start?" asked Mordecai. Roland looked over to Mason, giving him the opening to continue since he'd been around these parts longer than they had.

"There's a bounty board set up here at the watering hole. Most people who have jobs that they can't do themselves for one reason or another send the jobs to it willing to hire anyone who needs work. There's one set up in every town, and there are always people off the street that can give us assignments. You'd be surprised what people will be willing to pay you for." he answered.

"Sounds good to me." said Brick as they all got up, paying their tab before heading out into the sun again. The Courier leading them to the bounty board that was set up beside the Catch-A-Ride where they parked the technical.

They were in luck, two jobs were currently posted on the board. One was to clear out pests at the local race track, the other was to deal with a small group of bandits that were taking up residence at the Fast-Travel hub located in the North-West of the headlands.

"We should split up, cover both jobs and get them done faster then taking them one at a time." said Roland turning to the others as they accepted the jobs. "Since the job clearing out the race track will need the bigger group, three of us will hit that one while the other two deal with the bandits."

"So who's going with who?" asked Mordecai.

The soldier motioned to him and Brick. "You two will come with me to handle the race track. I need your expertiese on exotic animals encase something comes up. Brick will be our back up." he turned to Mason and Lilith, "That leaves the two of you to handle the Fast-Travel hub, think you're up for it?"

If Lilith could have melted Roland's head with here gaze she would have. With what was going on with her, the last thing she wanted was to be alone around the one who was somehow causing it.

The thought made her feel a bit guilty, considering Mason didn't do anything to her. But the confusion regarding the situation wasn't making things easy on her.

"No problems boss." Mason said making her snap out of her thoughts. "Just stay in radio contact encase you need back up.

"Likewise." said the soldier nodding. "We'll take the technical since you have a back up runner. Meet back here in three hours, questions?" no one said anything. "Alright, let's get to it people."

The hunters all split up, Roland jumping into the driver's seat of the technical while Mordecai and Brick jumped in the back. The truck roaring to life as they pulled away from the watering hole. The Courier brought up his profile on the Catch-A-Ride terminal and digi-stucted his runner, jumping into the driver's seat and bringing it to life while the Siren climbed up into the turret seat.

When he was sure she was situated, he shifted into gear and headed in the direction displayed on his echo map. "Looks like I'm back on the clock after all." he thought as he drove across the desert.

A/N: Another big shot bites the dust, and the team's started doing side missions to bring in extra cash. And with Mason and Lilith now working together will they be able to overcome the strange awkwardness that has come between them.

Till next time, drop your reviews in the box and I'll update soon.