A/N: Sorry for the wait after the big cliff hanger last chapter. I have been away this week and not had any internet. However, I had heaps of spare time, so I have been able to get loads of writing done. I have started on the sequel which will be uploaded sometime soon after this one. This is a very, very, long chapter (6805 words), so give yourself a fair bit of time to get through it. Read on and enjoy!
I flew for only an hour, without Jack's JET Loaders giving me any trouble. I was following the nav data to a place called Hero's Pass, where there was an extreme concentration of Hyperion activity, as well as a hell of a lot of Eridium. I wouldn't be able to get to the exact location the nav said from the air, however, as it was inside a volcano with the only entrance through a relatively small cave.
The canyon leading to the cave was full to the brim with Hyperion Loaders, soldiers, and technology designed to keep me out. I flew in low over the canyon, searching for a way to land near the entrance to the cave. I programmed the nav computer to find a possible landing spot inside the canyon, and also set it to choose places closer to the entrance to the cave over places further away, as I needed to save time wherever possible. I knew the Vault key was close to being completely charged, and every moment I had to fight past Jack's army, the closer he got to awakening the Warrior.
The nav computer beeped an alert, and I checked the map it had generated. It seemed to be showing an entrance at the start of the crevice, but also that I wouldn't have to leave the ship until I reached the actual cave entrance. I swung the Firehawk back around to the start of Hero's Pass, and then dropped in through the location the map showed. It was a tight fit, and the hostiles below me all had perfectly clear shots at the ship however, but this wasn't a problem, as the armour was impervious to small arms fire.
I let the auto cannons loose as I slowly made my way through the Pass. I made sure that I left nothing alive, and reached the designated landing zone relatively easily. There were a few sections that required some fancy manoeuvring, but I passed them with only minor scratches and dents. The Firehawk was able to cruise along the pass and resist any hits the Hyperion army tried to damage it with. Even the RPG loaders only shook me in my seat, without actually causing any serious damage. If we survived this, the Crimson Raiders will have gained a powerful asset for their arsenal.
As I rounded the last corner, and the base of the volcano was revealed, I saw a massive Super Badass Constructor sitting vigilantly in front of the cave mouth. It locked its heat-seekers onto the Firehawk's engines and launched a volley of missiles. However, the weapons computer had already locked the auto cannons onto the missiles, and was destroying them as they left the launch pods of the Constructor. As the first volley of missiles was destroyed, I turned the forward canons on the eye of the Constructor, and it was destroyed in seconds.
After the machine exploded in a spectacular orange mushroom cloud, I blasted the wreckage out of the way and brought the Firehawk in for landing. The vertical thrust engines kicked up clouds of dust, clouding the area and reducing the enemy's visibility. I activated the infra-red sensors and cleaned out the rest of the Hyperion soldiers and Loaders in the area. The shipped touched down on the landing gear, and the hydraulics hissed and the rumbling of the engines faded as the ship settled on its feet. I left the weapons systems activated, to protect the ship from possible Hyperion reinforcements, and lowered the boarding ramp from the bottom of the ship.
I ran down the corridors to the armoury, and selected my weapons. I was going to need some serious firepower if I was to defeat Jack, and if things went badly, the Warrior too. I also needed to be able to arm the rest of the Vault Hunters, if I was able to free them. I chose one of Axton's favourite assault rifles, an E-Tech Vladof that shot corrosive lasers, an electric SMG for Gaige, a pair of spiniguns for Salvador, a massive corrosive Maliwan sniper for Zero, and a light, corrosive Dahl SMG for Angel. I tried to remember what the others had said that Lilith liked to use, and recalled them saying she liked anything with fire elemental. I grabbed a glowing, orange Maliwan SMG with a circular power core clip, a massive Jacobs sniper for Mordecai, and a big Bandit rocket launcher for Brick. I added them all to my ECHO's digistruct memory, after making sure each weapon as of high enough quality to survive he fight.
I had my pistol in the thigh holster, the Vladof in the crook of my elbow, and grenades along my belt. There were multiple different mods on them, mostly corrosive, but with a few electric too. Included with the other effects, such as sticky longbow or singularity, I was able to provide enough choice for any situation.
Satisfied with my loadout and the choices I had made for the others, I ran down the ramp and out the ship, turning left toward the entrance to the cave. There were carts full of Eridium sitting on train tracks running into the depths of the cave, and the concentration of Phase in the area was immense. If I had no other choice, I would be able to draw on enough energy to collapse the entire volcano, and destroy everyone or everything inside. I hoped it wouldn't come to that, and I would try everything else before it, but I may not have the liberty of such a choice.
I made my way quickly through the cave, and a nightmare vista was revealed. The whole place was full of shifting, bubbling lava, the stench of sulphur filled the air, and ash coated everything. I saw massive statues, built by an ancient race that even had lava pouring out of the eyes. I recognised the creatures depicted as Eridian Guardians, ancient golems built to defend the mystical Vaults from invaders. I assumed there weren't any actual Guardians here, or they wouldn't of let Hyperion build over the area so easily.
I ran on toward a lift built to allow access to the outcropping where the Vault sat. I could see Lilith, her Siren wings extended behind her, and the three pieces of the Vault key rotating around her as she drew on a pile of Eridium below. I could feel the immense amount of power flowing through her body, as well as the collar that was forcing her power against her.
Reaching the lift, I activated it, and jumped off when it reached the bottom. I ran steadily across the treacherous, ash coated rocks toward the Vault itself. I could see Jack now, standing in front of a computer terminal, working on something while he waited for the key to finish charging. I passed a supply crate full of ammo and Eridium, and leapt down a set of large rocks and boulders onto the piece of land where the Vault was located. It was only slightly above the lava itself, and the heat was intense.
I readied myself for the fight ahead. Jack was going to throw everything he had against me, and I would not back down from this challenge. I was powered by an incredible rage, and I would show no mercy against this man who was barely human. No matter what I had to do, I would have my vengeance.
I saw the others suspended in blue electric jail cages, their limbs locked back by electro locks from each corner of the cage. They were all unconscious, except Angel, who spotted me as I walked out from behind the rocks. A smile touched her lips, before a sob of relief racked her frame. Jack glanced up, saw that she was awake, and sent an electric shock through her beautiful body. The girl shuddered, and passed out like the others. I looked away in anger and my eyes landed on Mayas' body, surrounded by a pool of blood. My throat choked up at the image, and I turned away again. I put all my emotions except rage in the back of my mind. I could not afford to let anything distract me now.
I walked past the Guardian statues, and glanced up at Lilith, who was struggling against the power that flooded every inch of her body. A beam of glowing Phase energy travelled from the pile of Eridium below her to her own body, before splitting into three beams that were each connected to a piece of the Vault key. The pieces orbited her body at an alarming rate, and the power they contained was incredible. Even her wings, which had been as orange as the purest flame, were now tinted purple from the energy. It was a horrible torture, and her face was creased in pain and what I assumed was frustration. Her eyes opened, and they glowed as she looked down at me.
"Hurry," she mouthed, and I nodded. This war had been going on long enough, and the key was nearly charged. We could both feel it.
"Jack!" I called, and he turned from the desk to face me. His mask was just as I remembered. Pale, perfect, and smug.
"Ah, you're here," He said, smiling. "You may have noticed the Vault key's nearly charged, and then Pandora will be mine. Oh and, thanks for bringing my daughter back to me. I was worried she might not come home, but you and your friends provided quite the escort, I just hope she didn't learn too many bad habits from you disgusting bandits."
I growled, "Quit stalling Jack. You don't have your Warrior yet. Let's finish this now. You and me, one on one," I took a step forward, and raised my gun, but not aiming at him just yet. No need to antagonise him too much.
"Oh, you think I have the honour to accept your challenge, man to man, do you? Well, wake-up call kid, I didn't need honour to become the most powerful man in the galaxy."
He shrugged and bared his teeth, meeting my eyes in anger, "I will however, be glad to fight you. The stress relief will be good for me. Prepare to die, Siren."
I held his gaze, my heart racing with determination and adrenaline, "Whatever Jack, it won't happen." I said.
He laughed, and yelled, "Righto kid, then let's do this!"
He pulled out his revolver, and hit a button on his belt. All of a sudden, at least four holographic images of Jack appeared, surrounding me. Even though the holograms themselves were insubstantial, the guns they carried were not, and my shield dropped quickly.
I yelled out, "Enough!" and launched a huge Phasepulse at the ground, the energy rolling out in all directions. The holograms disappeared, and the real Jack was thrown back. He slammed into a rock, and collapsed to the ground heavily. I digitised the rifle to get it out of the way and leapt over to him. As he was rising to his feet, I landed next to him, and with the force of my jump behind me, I slammed my palm into the ground, releasing another massive shockwave.
Jack was thrown at least four metres into the sky, and as he reached the peak of his short flight, I jumped off the ground, then, leaping off the rock, slammed into him as hard as I could with my knee. He grunted in pain, and I felt multiple bones break from the collision. We fell toward the rocky ground below, and, manoeuvring myself above him, I kicked off his back, sending him into the ground faster, and slowing my own decent. I rolled to absorb the impact, and Jack landed with a sickening crunch. He slid a few metres, before rising with a broken arm, and blood trickling from a wound in his side.
"Ah, fuck you Siren!" he said, coughing some blood onto the ground, "You and your little friends aren't perfect. You can make mistakes, just like the rest of us, you can fail like the rest of us, and I think you of all people would know you can die like the rest of us. You won't win here. You're the bad guys, and the bad guys always lose. That's how the world works, so just piss off, and die!"
He stumbled over to his gun, and bent down to pick it up, cursing in pain. I walked over behind him as he stood up again, and kicked him over into the dirt.
"You think your justified, Jack? You think the war, the death, the murder of innocents is all justified by your naïve self-righteousness?" I kicked him in the ribs, and he rolled away in pain. I followed him, rolled him onto his back, and kicked the gun from his hand.
"You believe you have a right to your power? You really believe in your own life's superiority over my life, over Angel's life, over Maya's? You, asshole, have a harsh lesson to learn." I punched him across the jaw, and one of his teeth rolled away in the ash.
"There is no innocence, only degrees of guilt. And you are the guiltiest of us all." I said, before I hit him again, harder.
He turned back to face me, blood leaking from his lips and nostrils. "You don't think I know that? I have spent my whole life trying to atone for previous actions. I have made mistakes and learned from them. I am justified, because while I'm guilty of much, at least I've tried to atone for what I've done by clearing a planet of people like you. Of people who are evil enough to wrong, and not care for the consequences of any of their actions. So, you're sitting here telling me that I'm the problem? You better come back to earth kid, because your logic's as broken as your life." He scoffed, and blood spattered across his shirt, "You can go fuck yourself. At least my morals aren't as twisted as your neck will be."
He bucked hard, and threw me off of him. I rolled away and leapt to my feet, as he stood up and dived for his revolver. I jumped after him, but landed short. He rolled onto his back before I got to him, and pointed the gun at my head. I stopped in my tracks, and raised my hands.
"Ha! Think your fast Fletcher? Think your quick enough with that power of yours to dodge a bullet?" He grinned wildly, all pretence of sanity gone, "Go on, try me. Let's see how good you are."
Neither of us moved. I thought about all the possibilities, and I had to think fast. I could see his finger tightening around the trigger. I wouldn't survive a direct hit to the head from that gun. In the stomach, maybe, but the head? No amount of Phase could fix that.
I took a step back, and Jack laughed, "Scared of death are we? I wouldn't be surprised. I fear hell too." He kept the gun pointed at me while slowly got to his feet. "So, I guess the fight's over huh?" He chuckled, "I should've cancelled your project when I had the chance. You know, I was the one who personally over saw your group of subjects. No really, it was me guiding the research teams the whole time. And seeing as you can't remember your real parents, I suppose that makes me your father." His smile faded, and the gun steadied in his hand. "Well, then I guess it's appropriate I clean up my mistake."
He fired, but as he did, I launched a Phasepulse at the ground. It bounced me up into the air, but I wasn't fast enough. The bullet penetrated my shield and slammed into my side, sending me spinning in the air. The pain was incredible, and I could feel one of my ribs crunching and cracking against the others. The Teflon coated projectile must have hit it directly and shattered it. I landed heavily, and rolled away, holding my side, and thick, warm blood coated my hands in streams.
The pain was making it hard to breath. I coughed up blood onto the ash and cursed. Straight away I began drawing in as much Phase as I could, and slowly I felt the wound begin to repair, and the broken bone shifted back into place. The bullet popped out, coated in my blood, and the skin sealed over, leaving a lumpy scar at the entry point. I felt better already, but as I glanced up I saw the one sight I had feared the whole battle.
Jack made his way over to Lilith, and even as I watched, there was a large, final pulse of energy from the Eridium, and the three parts of the key dropped to the ground, Lilith landing heavily among them. She struggled to raise herself, all her energy drained from the over exposure to Eridium. Jack picked up one of the keys, and then kicked her savagely in the ribs. Lilith dropped to the ground again, and groaned weakly in pain. He bent down, and disconnected the collar.
"Thanks for that, Lilith. I don't know what I would've done without you. I shall give you quite the reward later, and you can hold me to that one." He walked past her and picked up the other two pieces of the key. He spat blood onto the ground, and connected the three pieces like a puzzle, till they formed a cone. The glowing lines along each piece lit up a light purple, and I could feel the immense energy it contained swirling and pulsing inside the small confines.
Jack walked over to table that had similar designs and swirls to the key, and slotted it into the depression in the centre. The table lit up, and I heard a roar from somewhere off the cliff.
"No," I groaned, as I stood up. Lilith was still struggling to rise and I couldn't count on her for help. Jack was staring out into the abyss, looking for a sign of his ultimate warrior. I had to free the others, or they would be killed easier than sitting ducks.
Jack stood a few meters past the computer terminal, so I snuck up as quietly as I could. My ribs had nearly finished healing, but I winced at every step. Reaching the terminal, I deactivated the jail cages, and the other Vault Hunters dropped to the ground.
Jack turned at the noise and saw them, but simply laughed. "Go ahead," he said, "Wake them up. They should be allowed to see the great power that kills them."
I ran over to Gaige, and shook her awake, "C'mon! Wake up!" Her eyes fluttered open, and she looked up at me in confusion. "Gaige, focus, the Warrior is coming, and we have to stop it. Help me wake up the others."
When I said the Warrior was coming, fear spread across her features, but she still grasped my hand and stood up. I digistructed a weapon and gave her the shock SMG, and she moved over to Zero, waking him. I woke Salvador, and then ran over to Angel.
"Wake up!" The roaring of the Warrior was getting louder, and I wondered just what kind of beast it was that we would have to face. "C'mon Angel, get up!" My words were followed by an extremely loud roar, and her eyes shot open. Her hands clamped onto my shoulders in fear and her eyes met mine. "Get up!" I said, "It's coming, we have to take it down, and we won't stand a chance if we don't work together."
The raw fear cleared from her eyes and I pulled her up, handing her the Dahl SMG. "Thanks," she said, and I ran back to the others, distributing them their weapons, and making sure they were all okay. I glanced back at Lilith a few times, but she had passed out, and was lying limp next to the Vault Key. I would have to try and wake her up if I got a chance.
As I handed Salvador his second spinigun, a massive creature made of what looked like liquid Eridium and rock flew over the cliff, landing in the lava next to the outcropping we were standing on. Jack cried out in triumph, and stepped back toward the table. Lilith was lying next to it, and as he stepped over a glowing mark in the ground, a pulsing purple shield of Phase energy appeared around the table, trapping and protecting the pair of them.
The Warrior was massive, as big as the Firehawk and twice as long. He had a long tail that had Eridium dripping from the end, his mouth was dripping lava, and his eyes glowed bright with power. He had a pair of massive stone wings lying flat against his back, with glowing Phase holding them together. I had heard of the mythical creatures known as Dragons, as well as the ancient cats that used to live on earth, and the Warrior was a cross between them.
"Warrior!" Jack called and the massive head swung down to meet him eye to eye. "I am the one who has awoken you! I am the one who has freed you from your prison! You are mine to command!"
The massive eye blinked, and the tail flicked back and forth. The rest of us backed away. We knew what Jack's first command was going to be, so all of us were searching for a weakness in the beasts armour, or maybe in the way it would fight.
"My task for you, Warrior, is to kill the Vault Hunters! All of them!" Jack cried and pointed to us.
The massive creatures gaze flicked across us, and it raised its head, filling its lungs with air. I saw what was coming before the others did. "RUN!" I yelled, and we split apart in all directions. A fraction after we moved, a massive wave of flame engulfed the area we had been standing. We took cover behind the rocks and rubble that littered the area. The Warrior turned toward me first, recognising my scent as the one who had warned the rest of his prey to his attack.
I watched from behind the thick stone block as the massive creature crouched down, sprung overhead, landing in the lava opposite his previous position. We were now in perfect range of its breath, so we all dived around the other side of cover.
"Shoot it in the face!" I shouted over the ECHO. Everyone's guns lit up and round after round slammed into the creatures open mouth. It roared in pain, opening its mouth even more. We used its surprising stupidity to our advantage, and fired as quickly as our weapons would let us. Zero's rifle was unloading a payload of acid with every shot, and the sniper used the splash to coat the creature's entire mouth. My pistol's rounds were hitting it in the very back of the throat, the acid from my shots dissolving the glowing rock. I could even see lava begin to leak like blood from a few spots.
The Warrior had had enough, and leapt around in a 180 degree turn. The long, barbed tail rose up over me, and I could feel a massive build-up of Phase in the glowing tip.
"Shit!" I dove out of the way, barely dodging the glowing ray of energy that slammed into the spot I had been standing. The Warrior roared in frustration, and the deadly beam of energy followed me as I stood and ran.
Enough, I thought, I need to get on top of this thing. "Guys, distract it! I have a plan," I called over the ECHO.
They heard me and everyone began to fire at it wherever they though a weak spot might be. I saw Zero hitting it under the arms, Axton and his turret hitting the tail directly, Gaige was firing at the base of the tail, and Salvador was spraying in every general direction. Mordecai was going for the eyes that were looking back over the Warrior's shoulder, and Brick blasted away with his launcher at the creature's legs. Angel was over near the computer terminal, and her power was concentrated on the electronics inside it. She had her gun held up with one hand, firing blind while she focused on hacking the computer. I didn't say anything, trusting that she would be able to take care of it.
I holstered my pistol and readied my power, my red and black wings appearing behind me. I was right on the edge of the lava now, and the Warrior turned back to face me. Its lungs filled with air, and the massive beast leant its head down to me. As the flame burst from its mouth, I released a continuous stream of Phasepulses, creating a protective barrier between me and the flame. Then, redirecting the remaining energy, I jumped onto the creatures head, surprising it as it tried to shake me off. I squatted down on top of it, and locked my right hand under one of the rock plates that covered its forehead.
I told the others to keep firing, and Zero said, "Go for the chest plates/ they are a major weakness/ Fletcher will be safe."
I hung on while the Warrior swung his head from side to side. Then, when he stopped and breathed fire at the others, I stuck my left hand into the gap, and released a massive Phasepulse into the creatures head. The force from the pulse slammed it into the ground, cracking the whole skull, and revealing a weakness I could take useful advantage of. It was leaking lava, but I cleared it away with blasts of Phase. I grabbed both sides of the glowing crack, and began pulling the head apart with all the strength I could muster.
The Warrior's roar changed to one of pain, and it stumbled back from the shore. I kept pulling, drawing on the Phase at incredible rates. My hands were burning, but the Phase was healing me fast enough that no permanent damage would be done. The plates started to crack spilt along his head, and the stone beast released another roar. The gap between them was aglow as lava spread along the cracks faster and faster. I pulled my hands free at the last second, and before the molten rock solidified and closed the wound, I began to launch small fast Phasepulses. The opening grew wider with each pulse and more lava started seeping out and trickling down the Warrior's forehead. The beast tried to swipe at me with a massive claw, but as it swung up toward me I blasted it with a Phasepulse powerful enough to slam the limb back into the lava, breaking it ant the joint.
The warrior had had enough, and it leapt across the outcropping, landing heavily on three paws on the other side. Then, before I had much chance to react, it began to submerge under the lava. I saw the front paws enter and sink deeper and deeper, so I turned and ran along the beasts back. I sprinted as fast as I could, and reached the base of the tail. It was still sinking, and the jump was at least twenty metres and growing, but using my momentum and a large Phasepulse at the right moment, I made the jump with only a few metres to spare.
I landed heavily, and rolled to help absorb the impact. I kept running, and stopped when I reached Salvador, who was waiting behind a block from a collapsed Guardian statue.
"Glad you could join us, pendejo!" he said, a wild grin across his features, "Looks like you really gave that puta a headache."
I grinned back at him, "He chose the wrong employer."
The ground behind us rumbled, and the Warrior rose up from the lava. Immediately, everyone ran over to the side he had appeared at and began firing. DT was shooting electric lasers into the Warrior's eyes; Axton's turret was sitting on top of a set of rocks, and Zero was next to it, firing into the now exposed chest plates. Maya's body was still lying on the shoreline and the sight of her filled me with a renewed sense of determination.
Angel contacted us over the ECHO, "Guys, I've remotely programmed the Moonbase to fire a shot at the Warrior at a moment's notice. Tell me when, and we can hammer this thing into the ground."
"Well, then what are you waiting for? Hit it, now!" I said. I was ready to finish this, and a shot from a Moonbase mortar would definitely help that along.
"Alright then, it's firing now! Everyone get down!" Angel called. She hit the button, and a distant thud could be heard from the Moonbase. We all stood back behind cover and watched as the massive round fell from the sky, slamming directly into the Warriors side. The great creature roared in pain, and its back left leg was broken. It limped toward the shore, eyes glowing furiously at our refusal at death. It didn't bother fighting smart anymore, and simply coated the whole area in a huge wave of fire.
As the flame lessened, I charged a huge Phasepulse. Then, as the flame and heat dissipated completely, I rotated out from cover and released the massive wave of energy straight into the creatures head. I was thrown back, and slid along the ground till I hit a block of stone, dislocating my shoulder.
The Warrior was lifted up from the massive force, and the already damaged head made powerful contact with a stalactite hanging from the roof of the cave. The long jagged piece of rock cut straight through the weak spot on the Warrior's skull, before breaking under the immense weight of the beast. The whole thing collapsed, and the head slammed into the ground only centimetres from the computer terminal and narrowly missing Maya's body. Ash and dusted rolled out from the impact, and it was difficult to see any further than your hands.
I grimaced and popped my shoulder back into the joint as we moved forward tentatively, unsure if the great beast was really dead. Lilith called out from the table, "Hit it with another shot from the Moonbase. I don't want that thing waking up again later."
Angel's power flickered across the computer terminal, and again the distant thud was heard. The shot fell straight into the creature's chest, crushing it and shooting hot lava out across the cave. The Warrior gave one last roar of pain, before the impaled head dropped heavily to the ground, and the glow in its eyes died out.
"No! This isn't possible!" Jack stood against the table, pulling at his hair and hitting the table in rage, "I was the one who was meant to win. Not you filthy baby eating bandits! I was the one who was going to save Pandora. You hear me? Save it! I was simply doing the right thing, but you guys and your infernal will to live just wouldn't let destiny do its work. And you killed it. YOU KILLED IT! The greatest Warrior Pandora will ever see was beaten by Bandits!"
He turned away from the table and stormed over to me, yelling in my face, "And YOU, Fletcher, are the worst of all! You're not even supposed to exist, and you know it. No one is meant to live through the things you have, and definitely no one is meant to become a… mutant like you!"
I growled in his face, and shoved him hard, sending him stumbling back. "You think I had a choice Jack? You were the one who organised a whole bloody war. I am simply a casualty, and one who is actually glad of how they turned out. You think it's my fault, do you? Well I say it's your own hubris that got you're here Jack. And it's what will send you to hell."
I leaned over him, as he flinched from the unrelenting rage in my eyes, and stared him down. Angel came up behind me, and pulled me back, saying, "You're alive for a reason Fletcher. Don't let that coward get to you.
Jack laughed in dark humour, "So my own daughter is the girlfriend of my worst enemy, is that it? I guess Maya really did die for nothing then."
I had had enough of his rambling. I left Angel's grip and grabbed Jack by the throat, lifting him up off his feet, "Jack, you're going to die. Right here, right now. All I have to do is squeeze, and your head will simply pop like a bubble."
I dropped him and said, "But it's not my honour to have. There's someone here you have hurt more than any other, and she deserves to be the one to end this."
I stepped back and turned to Angel. No one made a sound as I handed the girl Jack's revolver, and she walked over to him. He stood defiantly in front of her, but Mordecai came up behind him and kicked him behind the knees, making him kneel in front of his daughter.
Jack smiled up at her, blood staining his body and dripping from his lips. He coughed and spat a glob of blood onto the ground. He looked up at Angel, with a faint smile playing across his lips. "So, I guess we find out how good a daughter you really are, Angel. Will you be good, and give me my gun, or will you be a bitch like the rest of them?"
Angel met his gaze, and put the barrel of the powerful revolver against his forehead, "I am no bitch Jack. And you have no daughter, not anymore. You lost her a long time ago to your job, your twisted evil, and your heartlessness. I simply have the honour of avenging my mother. Ending the war is just a bonus."
Jack's eyes flicked up to Angel's, and for the first time, real fear crossed his features. "Angel, I'm sorry, please, I can change, and I can become a good father again. Just put the gun do-"
Angel fired, and Jack was throws back into the table. A deep red wound trickled blood down his face, and a pool was forming around the base of the table. His mask had flown off, and his true face was revealed. A disfiguring scar in the shape of the symbol of the Vault had been cut into it with a knife.
Angel dropped the gun, and fell to her knees. Her shoulders shook as she cried, and I ran forward and held her in my arms.
"Hey, it's finished now. It's over. We can go home to Sanctuary, and then we can get started on undoing everything Hyperion has ever done, and make Pandora free once more." I met her eyes, but what I saw in them gave me a pleasant surprise, and I smiled.
Angel's face was lit up in happiness and relief, and she said, "I know all that Fletch, and I'm fine. I just, I feel so free without the shadow of his power and influence following me. I am finally free." We stood up, and everyone had smiles on their faces. Lilith walked over, limping slightly on her left leg. It had a big gash along one side, but the bleeding had stopped a fair time ago.
She was healing herself as she spoke, "Now that he's dead, Hyperion is leaderless, and we can really take Pandora back, for the people." Her face grew sad though, and she said quietly, "and for the people who are no more."
Angel gave a short exclamation, turned and ran back to where Maya's body lay. She kneeled down next to it, and I felt her power searching through Maya's body.
I crouched down next to her, as she frowned in concentration, I asked, "What are you doing? You know that the human body is a fair bit more complicated than a machine, right?"
Angel nodded, still concentrating, "Yes of course, but once the heart is started the rest of the body takes care of itself. All I need to do is reverse any brain damage, close the wound in the head, then start the heart, and she should wake up just fine. It should work; at least, I hope it does."
Axton squatted down on the other side of Maya, and held the dead Sirens hand. "Do it Angel." She met his eyes, and he nodded. She closed her eyes, and her tattoos and wings glowed as she worked. The time passed slowly, but I saw the wound close over, with only a small scar. Even as I watched, it was fading and Maya returned to her previous beauty. Axton stared down on her intently, and I realised for the first time that his care for her was much more than simple comrade or friendship. He loved her, and had for a long time. I shook my head, annoyed at my own stupidity. How could I not have seen that?
Angel spent the majority of her power on the brain, as it was the most complicated and damaged part of Maya's body. Everyone stood around watching and waiting for Maya to move, to breathe, anything that was a sign of life. Angel was growing tired, so I reached out and let her lay back into my arms. Her wings faded from her back, and she closed her eyes as she worked on feel alone.
Minute after minute passed, and I began to wonder how long we would wait before giving up. But then, with a gasp, Maya's eyes shot open, and she arched her back, scrabbling at the ground with her hands. Angel sighed, and sat up tiredly, leaning over Maya and holding her hand with a smile.
Axton was the first to talk, and he said, "Maya? Can you hear me? Wake up now, come on."
Maya settled back to the ground, and her eyes fluttered and focused on his face. "Axton," she whispered, "I'm back, and you're free."
"I am," He said, "And so are you now. Jack's dead, the Warrior is dead, and we can finally free Pandora. Together."
Maya smiled at the news, and turned to look at Angel. "Thanks Angel. That must have been very hard for you to do."
Angel laughed as a tear slid down her pale cheek, and said "I wasn't going to give up, no matter how long it took, don't you worry."
Maya smiled and said, "I was talking about Jack, but thanks anyway," she said, laughing too.
We stood up, and Axton helped Maya up. She was weak on her feet, but she was drawing on Phase and rejuvenating herself. We walked back over to the Vault key, and stood around it in a rough circle.
Lilith stepped forward to pick up the Vault key, and said, "If I ever see this thing again, it will be too soon." But as she touched it, a light pulsed out, and a glowing hologram appeared over our heads. It showed hundreds of systems in our galaxy, with Vaults scattered throughout the planets.
Everyone's jaw dropped, and Brick said, "Are those, Vaults?! Holy hell, there's thousands of them!"
"You guys know what this means?" Mordecai said, a wide grin spreading across his face.
Lilith turned away from the hologram, crossed her arms and grinned at us all slyly.
"Yeah," she said, "No rest for the wicked."
A/N: THE END! Well, I would like to say a big thanks to everyone who has supported me with follows, reviews, or advice. I hope you all enjoyed my first fan fiction story as much as I enjoyed writing it. I am already started on the sequel, and you should see it up on the site in the next few days.
Thanks again. :)