Rakkale


One after another my former lives were departing, like ships, together with their sorrow.

- Czeslaw Milosz


The bottle smelled like a freshly fired caustic rifle, so sharply acidic it made her nostrils tingle from across the table. The chair creaked as it leaned backwards, balancing on its rear legs as she put a few more precious inches between her wrinkled nose and the slightly lumpy brown sludge still coating the inside of the half empty bottle.

Mordecai's drink of choice. Rakkale.

A fly landed on the lip of the bottle, twitched suddenly and fell limply to the table.

Lilith eyed the supposedly consumable beverage with misgivings, one leg kicking slightly making the chair teeter dangerously to and fro.

Psycho piss and used paint thinner? Or do they just hit rakk with a caustic round and collect the goo? How are the locals still alive?

A shudder crawled down her slim spine. Pandora did not believe in weak anything, spirits included. A clear liquid burned down her throat as she raised her own glass to her lips, trying to forget the stench, the dust, the heat, and the gloomy cloud she was under.

Fire Water the bartender called it. Of course it was her favorite Pandoran drink.

Fire was hers, the clean burn to ash and dust. The element flowed easily along her skin, burning off the blood and gore with every pulse of her Siren power. Red as her hair and yellow as her eyes it suited her.

The empty glass clinked as it hit the table.

"Hey, I'm an even better shot when I'm drunk!" The rough voice of the twiggy sniper crowed in victory from the other end of the bar and her bleary amber gaze jerked toward it. Lilith shut her eyes for a moment as the room bobbed in a nauseating manner before opening them to see the gaunt figure of Mordecai make another bulls-eye with a rakk-feathered dart.

Picking on the locals again...they should know better than to play darts with Mr. Badass Sniper himself by now...

Pandora seemed to believe muscle and brains could not coexist in one body without a massive meltdown. The grubby New Haven farmers cheerfully called for another round, confident Rakkale would erode Mordecai's skill. A smothered laugh managed to escape out her nose in a snort.

Idiots.

The rickety chair teetered precariously as her slim frame lurched forward suddenly, contemplating weaving her way to the bar for another round she wasn't bothering to count. Today was a celebration afterall. A Vault-Opened-job-well-done, complete with a treasure of nothing but tentacles and hollow legends.

On a dusty rundown ball of a backwater planet that can't even serve a bloody good drink. Maybe I should've gone with Brick and Roland to the Underdome...

Screaming midgets on fire did wonders for bad moods.

Another inebriated fly flopped onto the table from the brown bottle's lip, spasmodically jerking before laying still.

Not even screaming blazing midgets will work today.

A gloomy frown tugged at her small mouth as she rested both elbows on either side of the empty glass, staring into the bottom searching for an answer. Was it over? Really over? After all this time searching for a legend...and finding it.

Be careful what you wish for eh? Just might get it...

The empty glass gave no answer. She frowned harder.

It was over. All of it, the four of them hunting for legendary treasure and a challenging kill. They would go their separate ways, maybe keep in sporadic contact before gradually fading away. She ran long pale fingers through red hair, trying to sooth the unhappy feeling away.

Can't be Vault Hunters without a vault to hunt.

She's finally started to like this freakishly cheerfully violent backwater hole too.

Suddenly the bar was too far away for another round, the tables and chairs a minefield of trip hazards. She needed a drink. bottle of rakkale sat half empty across the table, within arm's reach. Surrounded by the inebriated or dead bodies of various flying insects.

Oh to hell with it.

It tasted almost as bad as the the flying bits of skag she'd swallowed once, soft chunks floating in thick liquid. For the first time in years Lilith coughed against the acrid burning of alcohol.

That's...disgusting. How does Mordy stand it?!

The contents of her stomach threatened to make a dramatic reappearance.

"I hear there's a problem in Jacob's Cove. Walking dead or something. And I guess there's some big legendary creature – wait, did you just drink my beer?" Mordecai's astonished voice sounded from somewhere above her head.

It took about a minute before the words sank in and her fiery head jerked up from the table.

"Say that again." She demanded when the room stopped cheerfully spinning.

"You drank my beer." Even with the mask covering half his face the sniper's astonishment was plain. The goggles appeared to stare at the now empty bottle still in her fingers.

"No, the other part!"

"Uh, the dead are walking in Jacob's Cove and we could check it out? You seriously drank my beer. You said it smelled like caustic skag poop." The goggles remained fixed on the brown bottle.

The smile on her red lips could have lit up a world. The chair tumbled over backward as her thin body lunged upward in a staggering attempt to stand. A wild grab for Mordecai's bony shoulder saved her from falling.

The smile never left her face.

"That's awesome! Lets go!" A spindly arm wound around her shoulders, automatically keeping her upright, a habit ingrained from many battlefield injuries. A bemused look crossed the older man's face.

"What's the rush Lil? Roland and Brick aren't going to be back for a couple hours..." His voice was even and quiet, calculated to sooth whatever drunken antics she was bound to produce. Drunken Sirens were a hazard. Especially fire-happy redheads in bars full of flammable liquid.

"Mordy it's not over! It's not over!" The goggles regarded her warily as she grabbed the sides of his mask, gleefully repeating a phrase he clearly did not see the significance in.

Her smile got brighter.

The adventure isn't over! Mordy I could kiss you.

And as alcohol set her inhibitions on fire and giggled as it watched them run around screaming when the thought crossed her mind Lilith didn't hesitate to ram her tongue down the astonished sniper's throat .

Mordecai froze in place.

She leaned back to smile blearily at Mordecai's gaping stare before slumping onto his thin frame. The hunter stayed frozen, thin arms holding Lilith's limp form upright, mouth hanging open for a solid minute as his usually quick mind srtuggling to catch up.

A muffled snore from his right shoulder jogged him back to reality.

"Lily? Shit. Bloody rakkale..."

The bar erupted in cheering.

The empty bottle of Rakkale slid out of Lilith's unresponsive pale fingers to shatter on the floor.


Most distinguished voyager, what was your eon like?

- Czeslaw Milosz


A/N: Did anyone else find Borderlands 2...depressing and mildly disappointing? I missed the cheerful random violence of Borderlands. And how the team that defeated the Vault, Knox, a Zombie invasion, and Crawmerax was somehow defeated by Wilhelm just...blows my mind. Ah well, c'est la vie.