Once inside, the four vault hunters turned the corner to witness what was probably the last thing they expected to see.
"I probably went about this all the wrong way. I'm a doctor, I make people better. I just wanted everyone to be okay." Ned stated, sounding almost like he was confessing about something, until the vault hunter's interrupted him.
"Zed? The hell are you doing out here? Where's that Ned guy we're looking for?" Axton asked, seeming slightly confused.
"And why do you have a mustache attached to your surgeon mask?" Maya asked, sounding equally confused.
"What? No you idiots, I'm Ned! Right here!" Ned pointed to himself, attempting to convince the hunters that he is in fact a different person.
"Alright joke's over Zed, I guess you're going through some sort of identity crisis but seriously, where's Ned?" Axton asked, still not believing Ned.
"Fine, you don't want to believe me, here's all the damn proof you need." Ned stated, handing Axton a photo.
"Oh, well shit I guess you are Ned." Axton stated, trying to understand exactly how this made sense.
"Anyway, I made the zombies. I was never as good as my totally not made up brother Zed, and we're totally different people." Ned stated, finishing his abruptly interrupted explanation.
"Ok, we already understood because of that photo that you're not Zed, so why explain it again?" Maya asked, trying to understand Ned's seeming lack of logic.
"I dunno, emphasis maybe?" Ned asked, not quite understanding why himself. "I need a drink" as Ned raised a large bottle up to his surgeon mask.
"Wait, how the hell do you drink with that surgeon mask on?" Axton asked, adding to the list of questions that had been thrown around since they arrived.
"You know, I never really thought about that. Whatever, I need you to head down to the local hospital and retrieve an antidote I was working on." Ned stated, hoping to put an end to all the questions the hunters were asking him.
"Simple enough, let me guess, there's a catch to it?" Maya asked, almost knowing exactly where this was going.
"I lost the key to the gate, there is a small side entrance behind a tombstone, you might get mauled by an undead torso or two but nothing bad." Ned stated calmly, almost like zombie apocalypses were his form of a monday.
"Right… I'll remember that." Maya responded, shifting uncomfortably. After which the four hunters left the room and grouped up outside to decide on a plan.
"So, just got yet another assignment from the bounty board. Jakobs wants us to find out what happened to some Jackie O' Callahan guy. Want to give this splitting up thing a try again?" Axton asked, figuring maybe the second attempt would go better than the first.
"Fine, but I am not going with you again. Come on Zero, let's go find Callahan." Salvador stated in a surprisingly feminine fashion before grabbing Zero by the wrist and pulling him towards the elevator. Under normal circumstances Zero could probably break free in the blink of an eye, but he was just too surprised by Salvador's sudden outburst to do anything but walk to prevent himself from falling over while looking back at Axton and Maya. The two stepped into the elevator and soon were out of sight, leaving just Axton and Maya on the ledge.
"Um, what the hell was that?" Maya asked in disbelief.
"Salvador's bossy, hell-bitch wife side maybe?" Axton asked, also wondering what he had just witnessed. "Well then I guess we should head out to the hospital. Wait, while we're here." Axton took a few steps forward so that he was standing on the edge of the platform overlooking the area. "I'm king of the wor-." Axton attempted to yell out as a joke about their high up position before a nearby corpse eater flew in and made a dive-bombing head-butt straight for Axton's crotch. "Fuck…me." Axton wheezed out before tipping over the edge.
"Say goodbye to kids." Maya quietly said to herself, laughing about Axton's evident turn of bad luck before calling the elevator back up. After a few minutes Axton was back up and the two left for the side entrance to the Hospital.
"So he said it would be hidden behind a tombstone?" Maya asked, spotting a tombstone up ahead.
"Yeah, I think that's it right there." Axton said, sprinting up towards the tombstone. "Here lies Bill, that's dull." Axton reached over and touched the tombstone, which very abruptly and quickly fell backwards. "Well shit, that was easy."
"I take it you're not very good with delicate things?" Maya asked, making a joking verbal stab at Axton.
"I guess, want to see if I have any better luck with you?" Axton asked with very obvious implications.
"Not on your life." Maya stated, walking through the now open side entrance. Once on the other side they were greeted by a very unpleasant sight. "Ah crap, I know where this is going."
"Great, a freaking graveyard. Well lets just take it slow and don't split up, maybe things'll go alright." And with that they advanced up the hill, undead erupting from the tombstones the whole way up. Both hunters advanced side by side, opening fire on any who got too close. Aside from the occasional psycho zombie that got too close their advance was relatively easy. Once they were at the top Salvador ECHO-ed in.
"Uh guys, bad news." Salvador said, sounding slightly worried.
"What happened? Are both of you alright?" Axton asked, wondering if splitting up really was as bad of an idea as he thought.
"We're both alright, we didn't find Callahan, but we found an ECHO recorder. He was saying something about some monster up on the hill by the hospital, you're probably about to find it." Salvador stated before closing down the link. Almost right on cue they heard the sound of a skag roaring. Looking up at the roof of the hospital, they saw what looked like a large half human-half skag creature with a large yellow hat on.
"Is that thing wearing a hat?" Maya asked, thinking either this place was getting weirder by the minute, or she was going insane. Axton was about to respond before the creature jumped down from its perch, slid off the roof and landed directly in front of the hospital. It stayed like that for a few seconds before charging forward. It made a B-line dash straight for Axton, mauling a zombie that was behind Axton by accident. While the wereskag was busy mutilating the zombie, Maya moved in with a Jakobs double barrel that was laying on the floor and fired, ripping a large hole in the creature's back.
"Huh, that was easy. Wait, what the?" Maya asked, watching as the wereskag started growling, stood back up and turned to face her as long claws started to grow out of its fingers. The wereskag slowly started advancing, then lunged forward as Maya attempted to load another two shells in, impaling her on its hand in one quick movement. The wereskag lifted her up to face level before tossing her off its claw in one quick swing. It then turned to the sight of a very pissed off Axton aiming the Jakobs double barrel Maya was holding right at its head. Unfazed by the sight, the wereskag opened its mouth to roar, which was abruptly cut off by Axton firing both barrels directly into its mouth, splattering blood and brain matter across the yard. As soon as the skag dropped to the floor for good, Axton dropped the shotgun and rushed over to Maya. As it turns out the wounds were worse than he expected, she was already gone.
"Dammit, why. Why the hell does this have to happen." Axton yelled, sitting next to Maya's corpse. He continued yelling, unaware of the footsteps growing louder behind him.
"Uh, Axton, what are you doing?" Maya asked, wondering what was going on.
"Maya? But how? I saw you get impaled! How the hell are you back?" Axton asked, standing up and sounding extremely confused.
"I respawned at the New-U station just down the hill, did you forget we have those or something?" Maya asked, wondering if Axton had truly lost it.
"Oh, right. Forgot about those." Axton stated, figuring this whole zombie fiasco was probably starting to mess with his memory.
"By the way, was that you screaming "Why god why" the whole time I was walking back up the hill?" Maya asked as she walked over and grabbed the antidote they were looking for out of a nearby dumpster.
"Uh, no. Must've been some poor sap getting mauled." Axton stated quickly, trying to hide his embarrassment.
"Whatever, let's get back to Jakobs Cove, Salvador and Zero are probably waiting for us." Maya stated, grabbing the Jakobs double barrel and starting to walk back to Jakobs Cove with Axton not far behind. Once they were back at Jakobs Cove they saw Salvador and Zero by the bounty board alongside Ned's claptrap, which was tied up.
"The hell happened to him?" Axton asked, wondering who the claptrap's big mouth had angered just a little bit too much.
"No idea, he was like this when we got here." Zero stated, turning in the Callahan job to the bounty board.
"Oh thank goodness. Get me the hell out of here! We have precious little time." The claptrap said as soon as Axton walked up to it. The claptrap then jerked slightly and started talking in an accent that made him sound incredibly similar to Marcus. "Before you go off and help that lying mobile toaster, you'll want to hear this. Dr. Ned is not who you think he is, and he's about as trustworthy as my dog who I put down for being untrustworthy." The claptrap then switched back to his regular voice. "Woah, hey where'd that come from? Ok, just kidding around here, just kidding around, feel free to forget everything I just-." The claptrap stopped with another jerk and started speaking in the accent again. "This is all true, but don't take my word for it, look for yourself. Take the boat tied to the pier to the lab on the other side. You'll find a door in the town that will require a special knock." The claptrap switched to its regular personality for a second. "Woah, I'm possessed!" the claptrap yelled out before the accented voice took over again. "The knock sounds like this." the claptrap stated before knocking on its hull in a rhythmic pattern. "Now go, and leave this robot for the skags."
"Marcus, is that you controlling this claptrap?" Maya asked, figuring that was probably where the accent was coming from.
"Why yes, I wasn't about to let some of my best paying customers get killed, bad for business." The claptrap responded, gesturing to the four hunters.
"Where the hell did you learn to hack a claptrap long distance anyway?" Maya asked, wondering if anything made sense on this island.
"Actually, I don't know, it just kind of came to me all of a sudden." Marcus answered, sounding deep in thought. "Whatever, you going to take the boat or not?"
"Right, forgot. Ok, see you later." Maya responded, right before the four hunters turned around and left for the nearby pier.
Sorry that it took me longer than expected to get this out. I had a pretty busy weekend and things like that, but it's here now so that's better than nothing. Some things I would like to point out that might have been misinterpreted.
To Eckskalibur : This was actually not intended to be a romance fic or anything like that in the first place, Zero talking normally was just supposed to be that he's doing that to humor Maya, he's not suddenly going to be some touchy feely flowers and unicorns kind of person or anything like that. He's still going to be a cold assassin, he just talks like a normal person so that I can give him more than one line every chapter. And also, the main reason why there are a lot of transitions is because there's not really much I can do with zombies as enemies for exciting fights. I'm trying to make it more dynamic so that it's not just a boring read until Secret Armory, but it's still a bit difficult. Regardless, thanks for your feedback because otherwise I wouldn't have thought that I would need to clarify for anybody, so I'm glad you said what you did.
Anyway, some other things I thought I would mention is this isn't going to be an outright crack fic, Salvador's not suddenly going to be acting like a bossy woman, I just had to put that scene in because I was laughing too much after initially thinking of it. And Axton is not going to get progressively dumber, this was just an off day for him. Also please directly point out any mistakes I make, Chapter 1 has been through three revisions now, so I am more than willing to go back and fix my mistakes or answer questions in an author's note. And one final thing, to all you people asking for Bloodwing and Roland to not die, if that's your standing on things you're going to love the person coming in once Zombie Island is finished…