It didn't take long after my arrival on Pandora for me to figure out that there were two kinds of people on this planet: Vault Hunters and bandits. Since the latter didn't appeal to me very much, I was more than excited to find a billboard saying "Vault Hunters wanted!" This was the opportunity I needed.
I sat in the shadows of a dusty train car, feeling every jolt as the train sped along the rails. I sat with my back against the wall, with my right knee up and my right arm resting on top of it. I'd been sitting there for hours, maybe, without any kind of interaction whatsoever. I'd hoped, coming on to this train, that I would get to meet other Vault Hunters, but the train was empty when I got on. I was beginning to think maybe this wasn't such a good idea, I mean, a teenage girl like myself hunting a Vault? The idea seemed ridiculous, and I thought about how I ended up in this situation.
I was deep in thought when the door to the train car opened. The train hadn't stopped, so we hadn't arrived yet. I looked up. 4 people entered the train car, they were all talking, but stopped when they saw me sitting on the ground. There were 3 men and one woman. The woman looked to be a little bit taller than me, with blue hair and had tattoos running down her left side. One of the men looked like he was in the military, except his uniform was worn and he looked beaten. He was built and had short, light brown hair. Another man was short, but incredibly muscular, he had spiky black hair and a long beard. The last person, who, I can only assume is a man, was a complete mystery, he wore a black, full body suit and a helmet and carried a long, blue katana on his back.
The short man whispered something to the soldier-looking man, but it was the woman who spoke to me first. "What's your name?" she said.
"Gaige" I replied.
"You a Vault Hunter?" she asked me.
I looked down towards the floor. "I guess" I sighed.
The short man started laughing, but the woman shot him a cold stare that made him shut up. She turned back towards me.
"Name's Maya" she said.
She introduced me to the other Vault Hunters. The short man was named Salvador, the soldier was named Axton, and they called the mysterious man Zero. She held a hand out to help me up, but when I reached for it with my mechanical left arm, she froze. The others noticed it too and they all looked equally surprised.
I laughed and held up my metal arm, "What?" I smiled.
"What happened to your arm?" Axton asked.
"Sliced off my original arm and built myself this mechanical arm instead, wasn't hard, although I like to think I'm a pretty good mechanic." I explained.
Jaws dropped as everyone stared at me. I couldn't help but smile. There was a long silence.
"This girl is very strong / she will make a great Vault Hunter / she should stay with us." Said Zero in a robotic, monotone voice.
I grinned and looked at him.
"Haiku?" I asked.
He nodded his head gently.
"You want to explain to us why you cut off your arm, amigo?" boomed Salvador, he spoke with a Spanish-sounding accent "Not even I'd be that crazy!"
"You'll see why eventually" I said to him.
The rest of the group exchanged glances, you could see that they thought I wasn't exactly... normal.
I had been on the train for hours, the ride was relentless, never-ending. I had met up with 3 other Vault Hunters on the train: Zero, Salvador and Maya. We had been talking most of the time and I reckoned I knew them quite well. They had all come to Pandora for different reasons.
We got sick of waiting in the same train carriage for hours, so we decided to check out what we could of the rest of the train. We walked through a few different carriages without seeing another person. The same question was on everybody's minds: "Where are the other Vault Hunters?"
It was in the fifth carriage we checked, however, that we found another Vault Hunter. We all noticed the teenage girl at the same time. She was sitting on the floor and looked up at us when we came in. She wore a sleeveless denim jacket with a hood and an orange t-shirt with a skull on it underneath. She also wore a dark orange skirt with ripped, black and white striped leggings. Her hair was bright red and was done in two pigtails sticking out on both sides. She also wore a pair of yellow goggles on her head.
"There's no chance she's a Vault Hunter!" Salvador whispered to me. I ignored him.
There was a short pause and then Maya spoke. "What's your name?" she asked.
"Gaige" the young girl replied quietly.
Maya paused before asking the next question.
"You a Vault Hunter?" she said
Gaige looked down towards the floor, obviously considering her answer.
"I guess" she muttered and let out a sigh.
I felt sorry for the girl, she looked like she couldn't have been older than 16. She was completely out of place on this planet of savages and psychos and she knew it. We would have to ask her later why she came here. I heard Salvador begin to laugh beside me, but stopped when Maya gave him a stare that meant "Shut up." Maya evidently felt the same feeling of sympathy towards Gaige as I did.
"Name's Maya" she said to Gaige
After Maya had finished introducing us all, she held out her hand to help Gaige up. It was then that I noticed it, I should have seen it before: Gaige's left arm was mechanical. We all stopped, eyes wide and mouths hanging open. After a long pause, she held up her metal arm and let out a huge smile.
"What?" she laughed, obviously finding amusement in everyone else's disbelief.
I was the first to speak.
"What happened to your arm?" I asked
"Sliced off my original arm and built myself this mechanical arm instead, wasn't hard, although I like to think I'm a pretty good mechanic." She explained casually, as if it was nothing.
There was a long silence, I could tell everyone was trying to take in all of what Gaige had just told us. We were all beginning to think the same thing, but it was Zero who put it into words.
"This girl is very strong / she will make a great Vault Hunter / she should stay with us." He said, never leaving his Haiku speak.
Gaige looked at Zero and smiled again, I knew what she was going to say before she said it.
"Haiku?" she asked him.
It was impressive that she noticed it so quickly, I only noticed it when Maya pointed it out to me.
It was Salvador's turn to speak next.
"You want to explain to us why you cut off your arm, amigo?" he said loudly "Not even I'd be that crazy!"
I'd hoped the first sentence Salvador said to her would be something a bit more... subtle, but I guess that's just the kind of person he is.
"You'll see why eventually" she said to him.
We all looked at each other. I liked this girl, she brought a sort of happiness to the group. It looked like she was going to be staying with us for a while.