A/N: You guys aren't going to like this. For this chapter, review or don't review, I don't really care. You won't like this ending and neither do I, but it has to happen this way, trust me.
Also, forget about most of the game mechanics for this chapter, just for story purposes.
We dropped from the 3 meter high platform and found ourselves on an island surrounded by lava. Scattered around, and jutting out of the lava, were giant statues of weird beings. In the distance, I could see a figure, with extended angel wings, floating inside a purple circle.
"Come on, that's Lilith, let's go," Maya said urgently.
We jogged towards Lilith until we reached a large, circular platform. There was a hole in the middle of the circle, directly beneath Lilith. I guessed this was where the Vault Key would go. The Vault Key was divided into three pieces that circled Lilith as she was forced to charge them with her power.
Suddenly, Jack appeared next to a set of Hyperion monitors a few metres away from us, smiling through his ridiculous mask.
"Decided to join me, did you?" He asked sarcastically.
We were sick of his games. At the same time, we all raised our weapons and fired upon Jack. To our surprise, he vanished just before any of the bullets hit him. We exchanged a look of confusion.
"Where the fuck did he go?!" Axton yelled angrily.
"Right here," said a chorus of voices coming from behind us.
We spun around to see 3 Jacks standing there, armed with pistols. We opened fire on the clones, and they all vanished, just like the first one. Another 5 Jacks appeared, and approached us from all angles. These Jacks took slightly longer to kill, they were developing shields.
"Which one is the real one?!" I heard Maya shout.
"I don't know!" Axton replied, he was swarmed by around 4 Jacks "Gaige!"
I spun around to see another Jack running towards me at speed. I aimed my revolver, but he was faster, he surprised me by launching an explosive punch straight to my face. That was the real Jack. I felt blood erupt from my nose as I fell backwards from the force of the punch. Just as I hit the ground, I felt rough hands clamp around my throat, choking the air out of me. I looked around quickly, Deathtrap was busy destroying the fake Jacks, as were the other Vault Hunters, I was on my own for this one. Jack continued to choke me and I felt myself becoming weaker. I desperately tried to kick him off me. I looked up at his face, he was grinning maniacally. I summoned all my strength to my robotic left arm, and pushed away. Slowly, I felt his grip loosen. He looked at me curiously as I pushed his hand away. Once I had enough space, I reached for his holstered pistol that he kept around his waist. I grabbed it with my right hand and pulled it away from him, while using all my strength to throw him off me with my mechanical arm.
Before he could recover, I stood up and uploaded the whole clip of the Hyperion pistol into him. I had never seen a pistol like this before, it tore through his shield and blew chunks out of his flesh, soaking him in blood. I wondered why he didn't just shoot me in the first place, maybe he wanted a satisfying kill, he was weird like that. I fired until the pistol made a clicking sound, indicating that it was out of ammo. I tossed the pistol aside and looked around for my revolver, which I had dropped when Jack tackled me. I found my revolver and spun around to face Jack again, except he was gone.
I looked back towards the centre of the platform, just in time to see him thrust the completed Vault Key into the whole. The Vault Key emitted a purple pulse, he collapsed backwards and Lilith fell to the ground beside him. A purple shield appeared and surrounded them both.
Axton jogged over to me and put a hand on my shoulder.
"You alright?" he asked, "You really messed him up."
"Yeah I'm fine," I replied, wiping the blood from my nose.
We heard a loud rumble and the ground shook slightly. We looked around to find the source. I was distantly aware of Jack laughing to himself.
Suddenly, a huge, dog shaped monster made of rock and lava jumped up from the cliff and landed on top of the Vault. I had never seen anything like it before. The beast let out a loud roar.
"Warrior!" Jack shouted triumphantly, "Kill."
The Warrior jumped down from the Vault statue and instantly began covering the whole area with fire. I dived behind a stone pillar as the platform was filled with fire. Salvador jumped into cover beside me, two huge assault rifles in each hand.
"Any idea of how to kill this thing?!" I shouted.
He ran out of cover and fired in the general direction of the Warrior.
"With a fuck load of bullets!" He yelled.
I ran out after him, firing at the Warrior. It didn't look like any of us were doing any damage to it at all. The Warrior smashed one of legs into the ground, creating a massive shockwave. I stumbled, but continued running and firing. Then, the Warrior turned around and dived underneath the lava. We had a chance to assemble and reload our weapons.
"Anyone see any weak points?" Maya asked quickly.
"This orange stuff started pouring out when a few of my turret's bullets hit it in the chest," Axton said.
"Guess it's the only idea we've got, let's go for it," Maya said.
The Warrior rose out of the lava and resumed spraying fire everywhere. We spread out and fired on its chest. Sure enough, bits of its chest were falling off as we shot them. It did something, but not a lot. The Warrior began to try and step on us. I, once again, ran for cover behind a rock. I found Axton already behind the rock, crouched down, reloading his assault rifle.
"Axton, this isn't working!" I exclaimed, "It will be ages before we do any kind of damage!"
"You got a better idea then?!" he replied.
I quickly stood out from behind the rock, took a look at the Hyperion computers that were set up a few metres away, and then crouched back into cover.
"It looks like Jack was using those computers to control the moonbase remotely!" I yelled.
"Gaige now is not the time for-"
"I might be able to control the moonshot cannon!"
Axton's face lit up.
"Go for it!" Axton commanded, "Wait for the Warrior to go under again, then run!"
We left the cover and saw Salvador standing there, a rocket launcher in each hand. He fired them at the Warrior. Both rockets connected with the Warrior's chest and exploded, blowing massive chunks of rock away. The Warrior screeched in pain and jumped back under the lava.
"Gaige, now!" Axton shouted.
I ran for the computers, while Axton informed the others of what was happening.
"Listen up!" he addressed them, "Gaige is going to try and hack the moonshot cannon so we can blow this fucker away. Cover her in whatever way you can."
The Warrior resurfaced, even more determined to kill us this time. I was distantly aware of the gunfire that filled the air. I was focused on hacking the computer. It was a tough hack, I had hacked Hyperion technology before, but nothing like this, it had every defence mechanism I knew of. I battled through firewall after firewall, until I was rewarded with two sweet words: access granted.
"Warrior, what are you doing?!" Jack screamed in disbelief, "Kill that cyborg freak!"
I ignored him and took control of the moonshot cannon. The screen showed live video of the area, with a strange looking crosshair in the middle. I tried to aim the crosshair at the Warrior, but the cannon moved to slow and the Warrior wouldn't keep still.
"Maya!" I shouted over my shoulder to the Siren, "Can you phaselock the Warrior?"
"I-I could try!" she replied.
I looked back at the screen and waited for the phaselock. I saw a bright purple light emit from behind me. I watched the screen as the Warrior became enveloped in a huge purple sphere. This was my chance. I placed the crosshair on the Warrior and hit a big red button on the console. I heard a thump in the distance as the cannon fired, and I saw the rocket speed towards us. The rocket crashed directly into the Warrior's head, blowing up and taking the head with it. The Warrior remained standing for a second, before collapsing on top of the lava.
The shield around Jack and Lilith disappeared. Mordecai rushed over to Lilith, helped her up and pulled her away from the dying Jack. Jack was caked in blood and was clutching his bleeding stomach.
"No no no... I- I can't die like this, not when I'm so close." He began to panic
"Anyone want the finishing blow on this scumbag?" asked Axton. "Because I'll gladly take it."
We had a quick discussion about who would get the kill. In the end, it was decided that Lilith should get the satisfaction. She walked towards Jack, who began to back away. Lilith had a huge grin on her face. She stopped a few feet from where Jack was standing. Then, Jack started to laugh.
"I just love how y'all thought it was gonna be this easy to kill me, I mean, ME." He smiled and tapped on the blue hexagon he wore around his neck. A huge electric pulse emitted from it, knocking us all back a few steps. The pulse spread to as far as I could see. I felt the gun in my hand and on my back digi-struct out of existence. When I had recovered, I looked at everyone else, they were staring at their empty hands, worried looks on their faces. Then I saw Jack, he was holding a Hyperion pistol in each hand, aiming at our group. Lilith was still a few steps ahead of us, close to Jack.
"Pretty cool, right?" he laughed. "It's a little something that the Hyperion engineers have been cooking up. It's some sort of EMP-blast thingy, I don't know. I does two things: permanently shuts down those stupid New-U stations, and temporarily disables shields and digi-structing guns for you guys, and no turret for poor old Axton over there. Although I have no idea why that floating hunk of junk over there is still here. Doesn't look like he's doing much is he?"
He was referring to Deathtrap. Jack thought that the EMP blast had disabled Deathtrap.
Axton stared wrathfully at Jack for a few seconds, before saying through gritted teeth, "Lilith, kill this fucking bitch."
Lilith raised her arm, ready to fry his brains. She thrust her hand towards him, but nothing happened. She tried again, with the same result. Jack let out a huge laugh.
"Yeah, nice try, Siren, but your powers ain't got nothing on me." He pulled back his overcoat to reveal a shining, blue shield attatched to his waist. "Took months of experimenting, but here it is, ladies and gentlemen, the first Siren-proof shield by Hyperion! Also, as an added bonus, it can heal all flesh wounds, look."
I noticed, much to my horror, that Jacks stomach was no longer bleeding.
Jack hovered the pistols over each of us individually.
"Now, who to kill first." He said happily.
Axton whistled quickly to get everybody's attention. They all looked over at him. He was twirling his tomahawk around in his fingers. They caught on to his plan. Mordecai pulled out his machete, Zero grasped the handle of his sword, Brick and Salvador cracked their knuckles, and Gaige pulled out her work hammer.
Everyone began to walk slowly towards Jack.
"Looks like you can't get rid of every weapon, Jack," Axton said menacingly, "Give it up, you're outnumbered, it's over."
"That what you think?" Asked Jack with a smile.
"Pretty much," Axton replied.
"God dammit stop fucking walking!" Jack screamed, getting angry. "I will shoot every last one of you!"
The Vault Hunters continued to advance. For every slow step the Vault Hunters took forward, Jack took one backwards.
"You think I'm fucking joking?!" Jack threatened. "Fine then!"
Suddenly, he aimed both of his pistols at Gaige and pulled the triggers. Both bullets embedded themselves in Gaige's chest. She fell to the ground.
"Gaige!" Maya and Axton cried simultaneously.
Deathtrap recognized, too late, that Jack was a threat to Gaige, and sprung into action, speeding right towards Jack and swiping him with his claws. Deathtrap was on him before he even realised what was happening. Jack's head rolled off his neck and his body slumped to the ground.
The Vault Hunters sprinted over to Gaige, who lay on her back on the ground, blood gushing out of two gaping bullet holes in her chest. She wasn't dead yet, but she would be soon. Deathtrap hovered over to the crowd.
"I...didn't...see...that...one...coming." she tried to laugh but ending up coughing up blood.
Axton, Lilith and Maya dropped to their knees on either side of her. Zero, Salvador, Brick and Mordecai stood looking down at the dying girl.
"Quick, look for an Insta-Health!" Axton began to run off, but Mordecai stopped him. He put a hand on Axton's shoulder.
"An Insta-Health won't fix that, amigo, she's done, and with no New-U's..." Mordecai trailed off.
Axton returned to his spot next to Gaige. Lilith was holding Gaige's mechanical hand in hers. "I'm so sorry Gaige." She kept saying. Tears were streaming down her face.
"'Bout... time...we took...that... bastard... down." Gaige stammered and started to smile.
Then, her face dropped and her head turned to the side. Her metal hand slid out of Lilith's and the metallic arm dropped to the ground.
Lilith stood up, walked over to Mordecai and hugged him. Maya remained sitting on the ground next to Gaige's body. Axton, however, shot up, anger in his eyes and breathing rapidly. He ran over to Jack's decapitated body and began kicking it with all his might.
"You worthless piece of shit!" he yelled.
Brick walked over and gently pushed Axton aside, only so he could launch an immense punch into Jack's chest. Jack's torso exploded into blood. Salvador and Brick then picked up Jack's body and threw it into the nearby lava, before returning to the group. They stood in silence for a minute, honouring the girl that had fought with them the whole way.
The Vault Hunters gathered around Gaige's grave, which they set up next to Roland's. Sanctuary citizens, guards and the Crimson Raiders all showed up to the short funeral. Axton had carried her body back all the way from Hero's Pass back to Three Horns Valley without saying a word. He, for some reason, seemed to be the one most affected by her death. Each Crimson Raider walked up and said a few words about Gaige, before they lowered the coffin into the hole in the ground and buried it.
Meanwhile, Gaige leaned against a nearby rock with her hood up, keeping out of sight.
"Quite a turn out." She whispered to herself.
She hated what she was doing, she hated what it had done to the other Vault Hunters, but it had to be done. She'd hacked a New-U station in Three Horns Valley before they left for their last mission. The mysterious black sphere which she had gotten from Scooter was a hacking device, and once she had implemented it into the New-U station, it worked as a generator, keeping this New-U station running when the rest stopped working. Much like Zero's Deception ability, she managed to reconstruct a new body, while keeping the old one in existence. She could only use it once though, as when she opened up the New-U station to retrieve it, she saw that all of the circuitry had been fried, along with the black sphere. She had used it to fake her own death, but with good reason. Even with its head severed, the Hyperion corporation still continued on, and the bounty would have still been on her head. But, the bounty died when she did, or at least when she pretended to. She had intended to fake her own death, but she didn't count on Jack killing her after shutting down most of the technology on Pandora.
She planned to make her way back home to Eden-5, she didn't know how she was going to do it, but she figured she would find a way. It was essential for her to stay off the radar, and being with the Vault Hunters who had killed Hyperion's CEO was not the way to do it. She figured the Vault Hunters would get over her death in time. She resented herself for what she had done, she wished she could let them know she was still here, but even them knowing that she was still alive was too dangerous. She remembered how Lilith had tried to fake her death, but Hyperion found out she was still alive when she began to contact the Vault Hunters.
She turned around and headed away from the people. She didn't know where she was going or what she was doing. She just headed into the distance, towards whatever the future held for her.
*EDIT*: If you have finished this and are looking for a sequel, read my second story 'Hunted' :)