A/N: Here it is, the last chapter of Postbellum for the Certifiably Insane. I would like to thank all those who have been reading this story and leaving supporting reviews as I wrote it. This story had been so much fun for me to write, maybe even more fun then the last one. This is not the end though, I will be writing short stories focusing on characters and their life after the war. Keep an open eye for them and I hope you all enjoy the final act of my story.
Meta: Yup, they convinced me to go for the more solemnly. I figured I had had enough fighting in this story, and needed some serious closure. Kudos for noticing!
BubbyGum24: I don't think I've left any too bad cliff hangers in this story, but remember I will be writing more!
Isaac Clark aka Reven: I would like to again thank you for being my most consistent reviewer and supporter. I hope you enjoy this last chapter!
Chapter 17: The Finale
"Hello Angel, have you come to visit your mother?" Katelyn said as she turned back towards the screen.
"Pick up the damn pistol, I'll be damned if I kill someone who is unarmed."
Katelyn shook her head, "I'm not going to fight my own daughter. I've already lost enough."
"Katelyn I'm not you daughter. I have no parents, not anymore," Angel said coldly, keeping her pistol trained towards Katelyn. Katelyn picked up the pistol, but did not even turn towards her daughter, rather continued to look at the happy family on the screen, watching young Angel and her dear husband; how she missed him so. "I love you daddy," the young Angel laughed as John picked her up and gave his daughter a hug.
"I love you too sweetheart," he answered.
Katelyn finally turned towards Angel and said, "You know your father used to be a great man, before all this. He didn't deserve the fate that had befallen him."
"My father was a monster and used me for his own personal gain," Angel growled.
Katelyn sighed, "I'm not saying I forgive him for what he did, but everything I've done here is for you. All I wanted was for you to have a family again."
"Well if you had just looked around, you could have seen that I already have a family. One that loves and cares for me, that's more than you or John has done."
"I see…" Katelyn said as a tear rolled down her cheek. She turned towards Angel with a sad and solemn look; she was done fighting. She was done fighting for a lost cause that would only end in more death and more suffering. After a couple seconds of silence Angel cocked her pistol, and was about to pull the trigger when Zer0 knocked it out of her hands. Angel turned towards Zer0 and yelled, "What are you doing?"
"Angel, it's over, we've already won this war, there's nothing left here."
"What are you talking about? I need to kill her, not just for me, but also for Pandora! All of this is her fault!"
Zer0 shook his head and put his hand on her shoulder, "Then let her face Pandora's justice. Look at her Angel; she's already dead. She's defeated and tired."
"I don't care! I need this! This is closure!" Angel yelled, trying to tug the gun out of the assassin's hand. Zer0 broke the pistol and told her, "You once said to me that it's important to be able to let something go. Katelyn has fallen; she's faced justice through failure. Now it's time to let go and move on for the good of Pandora." Angel stopped fighting when she heard these words. She sighed and let go of his arm and walked over to Katelyn, who looked up towards her daughter. Angel took the pistol from her hands and threw it to Zer0, who caught it and holstered it in his pocket. Angel told her silently, "Mom, I just want you to know that nothing you or dad has done has been for me. It's all been for your own selfish gain, and because of it good people have died. I just hope you can live with that." As the two turned and left, they heard Katelyn call back to them.
"Angel, wait." Angel turned around and faced her mother, who was now standing right in front of her. "I can't live with it, that's why I want you to let me give you this." Katelyn touched Angel and suddenly her tattoos started to glow, reacting with Angel's own. Suddenly, Dahl's tattoos started to fade as Angel's began to glow more violently. After a couple seconds, Katelyn dropped to the floor and smiled up towards them. Angel checked herself to make sure she was alright, hoping that her own mother hadn't done anything to end her.
"What did you do?!"
"I took part of the lamp's power for my own just in case. In you know lies incredible cosmic energy, enough to do anything. You know have the power to change this planet," Katelyn rasped as she felt her breath escaping her, "all my power and memories I give to you my Angel. Please, use them better then I have, civilize the borderlands and make it safe for you children and theirs as well. This is my last gift to you my love." With that, she breathed her last. Angel let a tear fall, for the mother and father that she had once had. Zer0 put his arm around her lovingly, trying to comfort her.
"She did care for you, she just was blinded by it, her gift is great though," Zer0 said as he bent over to close her eyelids in respect for their fallen enemy.
Angel nodded, "With these powers, we can bring actual peace to Pandora. We can make it safe for the good people that live on it." Zer0 turned and left the room, and was soon followed by Angel. Before she left, Angel turned and said, "Goodbye mother, I hope you rest in peace."
Roland stood in front of the army of Crimson Raiders, ready to address them all. He looked out and saw a sea of blood, but also hope. He saw hope for civilization in the savage planet, hope for unity and peace. "Hello my fellow soldiers," he began, trying to sound upbeat for the army's sake, "today, we taste victory. Victory that would not have been possible if not for all of you." The crowd cheered loudly for their leader as he smiled down on them. Roland continued his speech, "While we may have won, we've lost many brave men and women, including a dear friend of mine. For the first time, I would like to commemorate Luke Powers. Luke was a brave man, who always put others before himself and made the ultimate sacrifice to save us all not once, but twice. There is one more person I would like to thank, Katelyn Dahl."
The whole crowd went silent, wondering if he had lost his mind. "Katelyn Dahl may have been our enemy, but she also gave us the strength we needed to push forward into a new age. With her powers, we can finally bring the peace we have always desired to our beloved planet, but not for personal gain like Jack once did. Angel will help us create cities, homes, and food to help being our civilization. While I will not expect everyone to change, I do hope that you all will give society a shot. The Crimson Raider army started to clap loudly, everyone was tired of killing one another for selfish gain. The warriors of Pandora finally laid down their weapons and embraced their brothers and sisters, ready to walk together towards peace and civilization, not for any corporation, but for themselves and the planet.
After the speech, Roland met with all the important players in the revolt against DAHL. He looked around and saw all the people that had been with him every step of the way and the people who had joined the fight later on. "I just want to let you all know how proud I am of you. We've all grown over these times, and I hope you will all help us bring some sort of order to Pandora. Salvador let out a sad sigh, "I guess we couldn't ride the gravy train forever eh?"
"Buck up sweetheart, there will still be an army," Scarlett told him, nudging him with her elbow playfully.
Maya stepped forward and asked Roland, "So where do we go from here? We've actually managed to bring together most of Pandora under the Crimson flag. Now what?"
"I believe we'll have to make some sort of government. While we may have beaten both DAHL and Hyperion, we need to stand strong against the governing powers of other planets."
"I can help you all with that, my time in the Lance has taught me well," Athena volunteered, limping over towards them with a large cast from her fight.
Roland nodded, "Once we set up a government, we will have a planet to call our own. One that won't be taken advantage of, one we all can all be proud of."
The group gathered together and planned out their structure for the New Pandora and a new age of peace.
Two years later…
Roland sat at his desk, filling out his paper work. New laws flooded his desk as their quest to bring together Pandora succeeded. Along with laws came recognition from other planets, some wanting to be trade partners, other wanting alliances in case of war. He had to admit, his new job was not quite as exciting as his original, but it was definitely more fulfilling. Eden-16 wanted to be trade partners eh? Oh well, might as well send that one down to Maya at interplanetary relations. He scribbled his signiture on the proper forms and sent them over to her department to have it worked out. As he worked, the bell on his door suddenly rang. He looked up and saw Lilith walking over towards his desk. She smiled and bent over to kiss him on the cheek, then asked, "How are things going mister president?"
Roland smiled and sighed, "Well I have a lot of things to do, but I'll manage."
"Well I just came over because someone had to see you."
A little boy ran from behind Lilith and jumped up into Roland's arms, giving him a big hug. "Hey buddy, how's it going?" Roland laughed as the boy let go and walked back over to Lilith.
"He's been causing quite the ruckus lately, but I guess being the first boy siren is a pretty big deal," Lilith said as she picked him up in her arms.
"Yeah," Roland responded, "well I'm sure he'll do fine, he's got you to teach him right?"
"Yeah it's a handful but… Luke! Stop that!" Lilith snapped as the little boy let loose a small arc of energy, knocking down a couple chairs in Roland's office. "Haha, I see he's getting the hang of his phase shock abilities," Roland laughed as he turned back to his work, signing more and more papers.
Lilith nodded, "Well he is your son. Just try to come home earlier today, I don't think I can handle the little rascal on my own."
"Sure thing honey," Roland gave Lilith a kiss and then she and Luke walked out of his office, leaving the president to his work. Lilith quickly peeked her head in and said, "Oh and one more thing, remember that Maya and Axton's marriage is coming up soon, so make sure you leave a space open." Roland nodded to her and waved her off, trying to finish up his papers as quickly as possible.
As Lilith walked out, she passed by Mordecai, who looked like he was on his way to see Roland himself. "Hey Mordecai," she greeted him with a wave.
"Hey Lil, is Roland in there?" he asked as Luke played with Bloodwing Jr
"Yeah, but he's got a bunch of work and I need him home tonight. What do you need?"
"Well I've just been having trouble keeping down some of the remaining bloodshots. They've been raiding some of our malls and scaring off tourists, which we kinda need," Mordecai sighed in exasperation, frusturated with the killers.
Lilith laughed, "Well the idea of a police is kinda new to this planet Mordecai, who said inforcing the law would be easy?"
"We have pretty loose laws anyways, heck there aren't many capital crimes at all! How hard is it not to set off explosives in convenience stores?"
"I dunno, but some people are still dead set on the anarchy this planet once was," Lilith told him, trying to cheer him up. As the new chief of the Pandora Enforcers, Mordecai had been facing some pretty huge challenges. Many had been generally accepting of the new rules and regulations, but there were still a good amount of psychopaths left on the planet, reletivly speaking at least. "Well I wish you luck," Lilith told him as she held Luke's hand and pulled her son with her towards their home.
"I want to thank you all for coming to my wedding," Axton said as he stood at his table, "I've had some bad experiences before, but I trust that Maya won't treat me as badly as my first wife."
"As long as you keep that ego in check," Maya joked as everybody raised their glass. Axton couldn't have been happier; he had finally ended up with the woman of his dreams. He had proposed to her through his pet skag, Dukino, who she found strangly adorable. After they had killed its vicious mom, the little skag stayed with them in Sanctuary, which was now a full-fledged city. As they ate, Axton thought back on when he had gone through this with Sarah. With satisfaction, he could say that he was over her. She had hurt him badly, but Maya was always there for him. The siren was truly someone he would die to save; it was a great feeling.
Everyone turned their attention to Salvador, who stood up with Scarlett around his arms and proposed a toast. "A toast, to Pandora! May she rise from the ashes like a great phenix, leaving a burning path of glory!" Everyone cheered for their beloved planet, which they could finally enjoy to its fullest. Axton laughed as Salvador continued his speech, during which the gunzerker compared himself to a sexual tyrannosaurus. The ex commando reached across the table and took Maya's hand and pulled her towards the balcony as the guests danced and celibrated.
"What is it honey, we still have people to hang out with," Maya said with a smile, leaning her head on his shoulder.
"I just wanted to enjoy this moment," Axton answered as they gazed up to the stars and moons, "this really is a beautiful night."
Maya laughed, "Don't get all philosophical on me honey, we really should get back to the guests."
"Yeah, but think about it. We're the second couple ever to be married on Pandora!"
"What about Moxxi's first three husbands?"
Axton pulled her close and said, "I meant legitimate couples Maya."
Maya kissed him lightly on the lips, "I know sweetheart." The two continued to gaze upon the stars, living in the moment as best they could. After a little bit, Brick burst through the balcony doors and yelled, "Guys come on in here, Steve just started to sing 'Heyaaa'!"
"Alright, we'll be right in buddy, just give us a bit," Axton laughed, secretly wanting to go hear the famous singer's hit song.
"Alright, just don't take too long,"
Zer0 stood atop the tallest skyscraper of Sanctuary, looking over the whole city. The building had been erected over where the office of Katelyn Dahl once stood. It was the night right after Axton and Maya's wedding. The streets were lit with the lights of traffic and windows. Sanctuary seemed to never truly sleep, much like Pandora before civilization. The assassin came up here whenever he needed to think or just let go. The soft winds blew around him as he crouched vigilantly, guarding the night.
He and Angel had started an official relationship now that everything had calmed down. Being only 24, he didn't think he was quite ready to take anything to the next level, but he knew Angel was the one for him. He had learned so much from her, and she from him. Angel had taught him sympathy and forgivness, he had showed her how to stay strong in the face of adversary. As he continued to think and watch the world around him, he heard a strange warped noise behind him. Zer0 turned and saw Angel floating behind him with a warm smile.
She floated down next to him and laughed, "Now how did I know I'd find you here?"
"You know me to well, how's the job going Angel, are you exhausted?"
Angel linked her arm around his and answered, "Well teaching the history of Pandora is pretty difficult since not much is known about the eridian race, but it's important. We have to learn from our mistakes so we don't make them again, and believe me; we have a lot of mistakes."
Zer0 pulled her in closer, "You're a great teacher, I have learned so much from you, so much about life."
"Well you've taught me quite a bit too," Angel responded as she pulled off his helmet, revealing Zer0's true face. Zer0 smiled, his eyes filled with new life since the Pandorian Revolution. She pulled him in closer, so close he could feel the her breath becoming one with his. "Angel," he said with a loving smile.
"I love you."
A/N: And cue curtain, that's a wrap people. This ending was definitely happier then the one from HSFCI's. I tried to leave it open so I could add on to the lore as I thought up of more fictions, but just note that it may not be for a bit. I have exams and other butt crap, so it may be a bit before I release any of the promised short stories. Thank's for reading my story, and I hope you liked it!
*Edit* Just putting this request out there, if anyone is an artist and wants to draw any of the OCs, I would appreciate it! I'm not expecting anything, but if you do PM me a link to the picture. Thanks!