Authors Note: Hi! Welcome to this fiction! I hope you enjoy. This will be a Maya-centric fic, but will occasionally show the viewpoints of a few other characters, which you'll see as we go along.
I want to add this clarification right now, this is NOT a Self-Insert
Also, if you see a misspelling, or improper grammar, or a misplaced comma, or something, feel free to PM me and let me know. Reviews are also welcome, but if you'd please keep corrections between us, that'd be awesome.
Disclaimer: All characters and names, proper nouns and creatures, guns and personalities, and pretty much everything besides Haiden is not mine and I don't own it.
Night had descended upon Pandora. The Bullymongs and Skags had returned to their dens and the Nocturnal monstrosities of the planet had come out to play. The cries and calls of the beasts created a concordance of noise that made it impossible for anyone who had not become accustomed to it to sleep.
Amid the nightly sounds and horrors of the dark, upon the wall of a bandit camp, a Bandit named Phil couldn't relax.
Phil had come to Pandora, like most others, to seek fortune and freedom. Phil had arrived on Pandora, like most others, to find death and insanity. He had joined up with a group of Bandits for safety. No one on Pandora survived very long alone and Phil didn't think he'd try his luck.
Ever since he had come to them, maybe because he had come to them, Phil was a grunt. Bottom of the totem pole. Cannon-fodder. He knew this, but he didn't plan to stay there very long. He knew all he had to do was kill someone important, someone big and bad. After that, he'd be set.
He sighed. Therein lay the problem.
Phil didn't have anything that made him special. He wasn't a good shot. He wasn't courageous. He wasn't insane. The only thing, to him, that made him unique was his mind. In all reality, Phil was pretty much an average, everyday bandit.
But whatever. Back to the point.
As the darkness was full of noise, Phil was beyond tense. He hated guard duty. In his mind, it was just a reminder that he wasn't anything special. Just another gun. Someone else who was good for nothing except to stand between his bosses and someone else and get chewed up in the cogs of Pandora's "politics". Basically, that just meant the person with the biggest stick(gun, whatever) was in charge.
As he sat there, contemplating how to make himself worth more to his bosses, he saw a raiding party return. The raiding party consisted of 3 Bandit Technicals surrounding what looked to be a bus with 3 large chests on top. In one of the trunks, the tell-tale purple glow of Eridium created eerie silhouettes of the homebound raiders.
Eridium was the reason anyone of any value stayed on the God-forsaken rock known as Pandora. Some time ago, a group of Vault Hunters had fought to open the only known vault, searching for treasure and riches beyond their wildest dreams. Instead, all they found within was disappointment and angry teeth.
However, the opening of the Vault had a different impact. It began the spread of the rare element known as Eridium.
Eridium was incredibly valuable, although Phil wasn't sure why. All it seemed to do was glow and mutate people, but he didn't get paid enough to ask questions.
One thing every resident on Pandora knew was that Eridium was somehow connected to Sirens. The material seemed to impact the powers of the Sirens, so, in a deluded effort to gain Siren-like abilities, many bandits were stupid or crazy enough to eat chunks of Eridium. Instead of giving them Supernatural powers like they hoped, it gave them radiation poisoning and eventual death
All Phil knew was that if he got his hands on some Eridium, he'd hightail it out of the Bandits as soon as humanly possible.
Phil had began to move to alert the Gate-Lever-Puller-Guy(yeah that's a real thing), when a flash of light caught his eye.
As he watched, a figure that seemed to be an average person casually made their way to the caravan. The leader of the party called out in an angry voice. Phil couldn't hear what was being said over the sounds of Pandora, but he got the gist of it. Scram or we'll blow you full of holes. It was too far away to tell for sure, but Phil thought he saw the figure cock their head to the side, as if to say Really?
As Phil watched, awestruck, the figure instead began once again to make their way to the gun-wielding, slightly insane group hopped up on alcohol and bloodlust only found in those lacking in mental fortitude. Again the leader shouted and again the figure paid him no heed. Finally, the leader turned to his men and pointed at the slowly advancing shadow. All of the dozen or so bandits raised their assortment of guns.
In a flash of green, the figure disappeared, along with the container of Eridium. But the scariest part was every member of the raiding party didn't seem to move. In fact, they didn't react at all. Then, almost in sync, they fell to the ground, dead. If Phil could see that far, he see that every single one of them had a bullet hole right in the center of their forehead.
Phil froze, awed and terrified in equal parts. After a few moments, he decided maybe, just maybe, it wasn't such a big deal to have guard duty.
Pandora. A planet for those who want to turn their life around. Or so they say. In actuality Pandora is little more than a death trap or an insane asylum. It's infested with ferocious, man-eating beasts; it's filled to the brim psychotic killers and bandits; and it's sorely lacking in any real entertainment that doesn't involve blood and death.
For many, it's nothing short of paradise. But for others it's anything but.
On the planet of Pandora, there are very few places somewhat sane people can go for any semblance of relative safety. If you're insane or work for Hyperion, which you have to be insane to do, than your options are a little broader.
But for good, upstanding, tolerable folk, the best bet is Sanctuary. The city of Sanctuary is built on the ruins of an old Dahl mining ship that came in search of the rare and valuable Eridium. The city looks like little more than a collection aluminum foil huts. However, the ramshackle outside hides a strength that belies its appearance.
In reality, Sanctuary is one of the most secure locations on the planet. It's name became legendary due to the fact that even Handsome Jack, the infamous leader of the Hyperion company, couldn't crack it. That made Sanctuary very special because, usually, whatever Jack wanted, he got.
The residents of Sanctuary were safe, in large part thanks to the shield generator that the cities guards worked so hard to maintain.
A flash lit up the Fast-Travel station within the city. The Vault Hunters had returned from a long crazy afternoon. It was approaching 5 o'clock at night when the Hunters were digistructed.
There were four members of the team.
The first was the tall, silent assassin named Zero. He wore a mask to cover his face and the only way to judge how he was feeling was the emoticons his helmet would occasionally display. He never spoke much; and when he did, it was in haikus; but they say actions speak louder than words, and Zero was a good example of that. He was deadly with a sniper and ever more so up close. He could fade into invisibility and send a holographic display to distract his enemies and then appear behind them with his incredibly dangerous Digistruct sword.
The next was short Hispanic man named Salvador. He was what they called a Gunzerker, which basically meant he was only at home if he had a big gun or a bigger beer in his hand. He had a Mohawk which added about 3 inches to his rather short stature of just over five feet. When he got angry enough, he could carry, and effectively use, a gun in each hand, quickly laying pain on whoever was foolish enough to push him over the edge.
Third was the soldier Axton. He had been a member of the Dahl army, but had split when they left the planet. No one was sure why he had left, but no one was asking. Axton had the typical soldiers outfit, with the army jacket and a buzz cut. He had the ability to call upon the aid of a turret to help support him when in firefights which allowed him to flank the enemy when they were distracted, or put even more bullets in to them. He called his turret his little lady, but no one was brave enough to ask why.
The last Hunter was a little different from the rest. Her name was Maya. She had short blue hair, cut just below the chin, her eyes were fierce, and she radiated power. She was also covered on her arm and over most of one side of her body in blue, swirling tattoos. She was a Siren.
She glanced down at the number at the bottom of her Heads-Up display. 13 the number Read. She let out a long sigh. Still only 13? She thought belatedly.
See, the Heads-Up display automatically scans other people and its user and compiles information for a rough estimation on how powerful or deadly someone or something might be and gives them a level. This was done so that users could stay safe and avoid potentially dangerous situation. But right now, to Maya, it just seemed to be mocking her. She turned to the group.
"I'm going to go get a drink" she said, tired. "Anyone else want to come?"
Zero, the assassin said nothing, but simply shook his head and headed out the opposite door.
Salvador was usually up for a drink. However, tonight he shook his head tiredly. "Gracias Señora, but I think I'll pass tonight. I need to get some sleep or I'll collapse on the ground."
Finally there was Axton. He and Maya had shared drinks before so she had high hopes. But it wasn't to be. He rubbed the back of his neck while grinning sheepishly.
"Sorry Maya, but I need some sleep too." He said while looking at his boots. "Say hi to Moxxi for me, though." Without another word, he walked through the same door the other two had taken.
Feeling a bit miffed, Maya took the other door, grumbling about terrible friend and heading in the direction of Moxxi's bar. But as soon as she stepped through, she saw something that stopped her in her tracks and turned her blood into ice.
In the road were 4 robots, with similar statutes and colors. They were all a mustard yellow, with powerful legs and arms that reached down to their knees protruding from the side of a roughly rectangular shaped body. Each had a single glowing blue eye in the center of its forehead.
Loaders. She thought, horrified. Jack got Loaders into Sanctuary.
She withdrew her gun, preparing to blast the bots to the scrap metal they were, but as she did so, a hand stopped her with an iron grip.
"Woah there," an unfamiliar yet kind voice said. "Don't be so hasty!" Maya spun out of the strangers grip and pulled her Maliwan submachine gun to the person's face. However, instead of ducking, or freaking out or, even looking scared, the man simply looked at the gun, and then at Maya and then raised an eyebrow.
"Who are you?" She demanded. "How did you get these robots in here?"
"I asked Roland if it was okay if I used some reprogrammed Loaders to help me move." He replied calmly, as if there wasn't a gun that could spew corrosive acid pointed up his nostrils. "He said it was fine, but that it was on my head if they got out of control. Which they aren't." Maya glanced over her shoulder. It was true. The machines hadn't responded to her threats. Instead, they simply carried on moving boxes and furniture in to a two story house on the same side of the road as the Fast-Travel station. Maya slowly lowered her gun.
"How do you 'control' them?" She asked skeptically, with appropriate finger quotes.
He cracked a wry grin. "I've always been good with computers. Now, Ms. Pretty Lady Who Could Kill Me With A Thought, could I get your name?" Maya sighed. She was used to being hit on, but still, it was rather annoying when it happened.
"It's Maya." She tiredly responded.
As if reading her thoughts, he responded "Sorry, that sounded more flirtatious than I meant it to. I just don't know anyone and you're the first person I've seen besides Roland and a guard or two and I need friends."
"Oh" Maya responded blushing, pleasantly surprised but embarrassed to be called out. She took a second to take stock of the newcomer who had her on the back foot. He wasn't that much taller than her, only about 6' 1'', but he had fairly broad shoulders and looked like he could take care of himself. He looked to be about 25 or 26 and he had white hair that seemed out of place on a body so young. There was a scar on his right eyebrow that split it in half lengthwise. He was wearing a simple black hoodie and olive green cargo pants and he was wearing black combat boots. He had a pistol at his side and a sniper slung across his back. Even as she watched, he reached down to grab a box, easily avoiding hitting the rifle on the surrounding furniture.
What held her attention, though, were his eyes. They were two different colors. One was the same green as his pants, and surrounding the pupil, it looked as if white paint was seeping out and coloring the iris. His other eye was a typical chocolate brown. It didn't have the same white-bleeding effect the other one did. That wasn't the only thing that made them special though. To her, they seemed to hold age and wisdom, as if this man who couldn't have been any older than her had lived for much longer than his appearance suggested.
"Now, Maya, as lovely as having my life threatened is, I really have to get all my stuff moved in, so I hope you have a wonderful day." He turned around and picked up one of the many boxes and began walking to the house
"Wait" she called. She wasn't sure why, but she felt pulled to this stranger, like he knew library's worth of things she didn't. Maybe it was his eyes that seemed so old, or the easy, almost unconscious way he held himself and his gun. "I can help you move in." He raised an eyebrow at her. She felt herself heating up at her outburst, but she persisted. "I feel bad for pulling a gun on you. Here."
Focusing on the familiar bubble of power she always felt present within herself, she pulled and focused on one of the boxes. Her tattoos began to glow and her eyes seemed to light up like they always did when she used her Siren powers. The box was surrounded by a blue light and lifted about 4 feet off the ground. She turned to look at the newcomer, expecting the awe or fear or envy that she usually saw when she used her powers. Instead, all she saw was casual acceptance.
"Sounds good" He said as if it was the most normal thing in the world to have a Siren help you move in. "Thanks."
Maya guided the box in to the house and took a curious look around. Aside from the headquarters, she had never been in another house in Sanctuary. It was small, about 15 feet across and 30 feet deep. At the back left corner, there was a set of stairs that she assumed led to a bedroom. In the opposite corner was a door that was open and showed a bathroom. There were a few Loaders moving or a arranging boxes and furniture. Maya's trigger finger still twitched at the sight of them, but she pushed down the urge. She turned to find the man watching her. He seemed amused at her reaction, but she pushed past it.
"It isn't much, but it's home" He said. Maya thought it was a little small, but didn't seem too bad. She said as much.
"True." Was his response "I could have done much, much worse." Maya thought his voice seemed to say that he had in the past, but gestured at the package she was levitating instead.
"Where do you want this box?" He read the side of it.
"Alright, so I'm having it set up…"
With the help of another set of hands (powers?), the job was finished in about 2 hours. Maya still wasn't sure why she was helping, but it felt good to do something other than drink away her problems. However, when they finally finished, it was dark, and Maya still needed a drink.
"Well, if that's it, I'm going to drink until I can't see straight.
"Need a drinking buddy?" he asked. "I'm exhausted after moving all day."
"You're welcome to come. Fair warning though, the beer tastes like slag runoff." Maya warned.
He laughed. "I guess it's too much to expect a decent drink from Pandora." They began walking down to path to the bar.
Maya thought about the question that had been on her mind, but that she had continually forgotten to ask. Finally she just decided go for it. "What's your name?" She asked suddenly. Her companion looked startled.
"I didn't give it to you?" He asked. He looked at the stars. "No I suppose I didn't" He mused. Then he turned to look back at her. "My name is Haiden" He said while giving a grim approximation of a smile, as if he was telling a cruel joke only he knew.
"Hay-den" Maya said slowly. Haiden nodded.
By this time they had arrived at the bar and walked in. The bar was roughly U shaped with a counter at what would be considered the curve and to the left of the entrance the duo had used. On either side were tables and on one end was a piano that had seen better days. Out the center of the bar and down a set of steps was another exit facing the entrance of town.
The two approached the counter and took a couple of the rickety stools. Moxxi sauntered up to the exhausted pair.
"Hey sugars. What can I get for you?" She asked silkily, giving Haiden a long, appreciative look.
"Just a beer for me" Maya said.
"I'll have one as well" Haiden responded. Moxxi reached under the bar and opened two bottles before placing them on the counter.
"On the house for you, honey" Moxxi said, winking at Haiden. Maya glanced at him, but he didn't seem to notice Moxxi's advances. Moxxi appeared to have realized this as well, as she leaned over the counter, showing off her ample bust. "So sweetheart, I've never seen you around this part. Where did you come from?" Maya listened too, having learned next to nothing about the man when they were moving everything in.
"I came from off-world." Was the response that came.
"Did you have a girlfriend that you left behind?" She cooed
"No, I don't really date much."
"Really? Why not? A young handsome man like yourself must have plenty of options." Haiden stared at her for a few seconds. Then, at the same time, they both began to laugh. It started with a low chuckle, but soon developed into all-out laughter.
"Geez Moxxi" Haiden said through laughter "Not even a hello before you dive right in."
"I hadn't seen you in quite some time so I thought I'd try my luck yet again." Moxxi responded, smiling.
Maya cut in. "Wait, you two know each other?"
"Oh yes" Moxxi said. "He saved my life a few years ago when I was on the run out of the clans. If it wasn't for him, I'd have died in the Dust."