Pandora, once a luxury planet, now nothing more than a dust ball inhabited with the scum of the universe. Whores, thieves, murderers, you name it. Nothing good is left here, well except one thing.
The Vault, it is said in legend that the Vault contains riches beyond your wildest dreams; anyone who'd find it would be famous and praised throughout the land. Not to mention you'd have access to your findings. For years people have told stories about this cave of legend, so is really a wonder that four little kids grow up to be vault hunters?
The sun rose high over the open road as the rickety old bus ambled along the broken and beat up path. On top of the bucket of bolts were luggage trunks and duffle bags all tied down by thin ropes and loose knots, one of the thinner, worn down ropes snapped and a duffle bag tumbled off the bus and onto the dusty road.
"Aw fuck." grumbled a thin, goggled, masked man. From the inside of the bus he watched as the bus got further and further from the duffle bag. A bird at his side who he called Bloodwing ruffled his feathers and turned his head fixing him a curious eye.
"What is it Mordecai?" asked a hulking man sitting at the very back of the bus whose head was brushing the top even though he was sitting down.
"Another one of my bags fell off the goddamn bus. At this rate by the time we get to Fyrestone all I'll have is my rifle." Mordecai growled quietly.
The huge man in the back cracked his neck and then settled back into his seat.
"Told you to pack ligh-."
"I know what you said, Brick." Mordecai interjected, turning to Bloodwing and scratching the bird's head. "I know what you said." Mordecai huffed and sat down again staring out the window blankly.
Closer to the front of the bus a red haired woman slept, her head resting on the window while she breathed peacefully. Even in sleep she was beautiful (despite her occasional snores). A scratched up old SMG rest in her hands, her first gun. To the left of her, on the other side of the isle was a Crimson Lance soldier, to be exact, ex-soldier.
The ex-soldier was watching the red haired woman as she slept, turning frequently to a map in his hands then back to her every so often.
And at the very front was the driver, a very happy, very plump middle aged man by the name of Marcus. He was losing his eye sight, something he'd rather not admit, just as he was approaching an old billboard advertising Pandora, a skag had jumped out into the road.
There was enough time for Marcus to avoid it, but as we said, bad eyesight.
The skag splattered all over the front bumper of the car.
"Damn." Whispered Marcus as he squinted, "Not again."
He looked in the rear view mirror saw the ex-soldier, the masked man, and the hulking figure in the back give him a questioning look, the red-haired woman snored louder then settled back into a quiet murmur.
"Okay everyone let's address the elephant in the room." Marcus announced, "I, Marcus, hit a skag. Happy?" Everyone looked away. Marcus grumbled a bit then perked right back up.
"Hey! Wake up in the back there!" The woman shot up and looked around as she straightened her beige vest and her hair embarrassed.
"It's a bright new day! Full of opportunity." Marcus declared.
As the bus pulled off to the side the four could see the closed off gate and a yellow robot waving to them. A holographic sign that read "WELCOME" presented itself to them.
"Here we are, Fryestone station." Marcus said. "Who's getting off the bus?"
Everyone got up and stretched. Mordecai leaned back a bit until the knot in his back popped. His bird perched himself on Mordecai's shoulder. He picked up his sword and strapped it to his back then tossed the ex-soldier a combat knife.
"Ehy, Roland. Catch." The ex-soldier turned around and caught the combat knife just before it hit the ground.
"Thanks, Mord." Roland replied as he strapped his knife to his belt. Brick in the very back popped his neck again and got up; the bus leaned his way for a moment. Everyone was startled by the sudden uneven weight distribution but was quickly relived when Brick stepped off the bus.
"Hello traveler." They could hear the distant robot say.
Regaining her balance, the red haired woman straightened her posture and pulled down her shirt that rode up on her when she was sitting down.
"Alright boys." She said loading her gun, "Let's get a move on."
She strutted off the bus and stood next to Brick outside. Roland laughed at the woman's bravado. He then looked to his masked friend on the side.
"You ready for this?" Roland asked Mordecai.
"For what? Lilith's bitching? Put up with that for years, this won't bother me now." Mordecai replied smirking.
Roland rolled his eyes, but in a light-hearted manner. He nudged Mordecai in the ribs, "That's not what I mean man. I mean are you ready for this."
"Ro, We've dreamt of this since we were in our diapers, now were actually doing this, if I'm not ready for this then I would have just stayed back, but I'm out to get everything life owes me. Life owes me that Vault."
Roland smiled approvingly. They gave each other a quick nod and together walked to the front of the bus.
But before either of them took one step off the bus they froze.
"Don't be alarmed." A female voice said, "I need you to stay calm and don't let anyone know I'm talking to you." Mordecai's initial reaction echoed Roland's
What the fuck?
"Start making your way off the bus, you don't have any reason to trust me, but I need you to believe I'm here to guide you. I'm here to help you find the Vault in a moment you'll be greeted by a funny little robot, do everything he says. You'll know what I mean when it happens. I'll contact you again soon."
Neither Roland nor Mordecai knew what to make of what they had just heard. Mordecai had tried to walk it off by laying on a thick sarcastic comment. "Wh-what Ro? Scared already?" he said half-heartedly when his friend wouldn't move. For a split second he had thought Roland had heard what he had.
Roland however was stuck in a state of disbelief. Did he really just hear someone talking to him just now?
"Roland." Mordecai's gruff voice called. But it was Marcus who had snapped Roland out of his trance.
"Ey you in the back, hurry up there."
Roland quickly shuffled to the front of the bus.
"Well, we're here. Don't worry just yet about saying goodbye. I feel like we're going to be doing this again soon enough." Marcus chuckled good naturedly then his expression turned cold, " Now,get off my bus."
Mordecai and Roland exited quickly and joined Lilith and Brick by the yellow robot.
Mordecai scratched the top of his bird's head lovingly. "Why don't you go stretch your wings boy? I'll call you when I need you." Mordecai lifted his arm to the sky and released Bloodwing.
"Hello traveler." Said the yellow robot, regaining their attention.
"Jesus, what took you so long? This thing has been reciting the same line for five minutes." Lilith complained. She stared at Mordecai and Roland for a bit then her eyes widened.
"Oh shit…" Lilith hissed, "I left my crap on the bus." She said as she stared at the rickety vehicle drive away.
"Yeah 'bout that." Roland muttered, "All of it sorta fell off on the way here."
Lilith scowled then huffed childishly. "Of course, of course it did."
"Ah, don't feel bad." Roland added, "Mordecai lost all of his stuff too." A displeased snort could be heard from Mordecai, "Don't remind me." he huffed.
They turned their attention back to the little robot.
"See ya next time! Hah ha!" the robot exclaimed as he waved to the bus with a very rude gesture, "Welcome to Fyrestone, I am CL4P-TP. You may call me by my locally designated name, 'Claptrap'. Before continuing please accept this ECHO device and heads-up display provided free of charge by the Dahl corporation." Each of the four took an ECHO device and waited as the heads-up display loaded in front of them.
"Great! I detect that your ECHO device is fully functioning! This way, please." They followed the Claptrap to the large gate and listened while it droned on about New-U stations.
They walked all the way up to the gate and waited as the Claptrap unlocked it. Lilith yawned as she surveyed her surroundings. She kicked the dirt under her feet and clutched her SMG tight. She frowned with displeasure. She was stuck with a piece- of- crap gun, it was her first and sure there was sentimental value in that, but she had to admit, it wasn't her favorite. In fact if she were to rate it's power it would only rack up a 5.
I would have had something better. She thought of her lost luggage left behind somewhere on the highways of Pandora. She carried only a small bag with her, but in it concealed one of the better pistols she owned, not mention parts of a SMG she had found.
She looked at the Claptrap as it fiddled with the gate controls. She looked sadly at her old SMG in her hands.
This'll have to do for now. Lilith thought. Suddenly there was a rumbling in the distance. Someone was gunning the engine to a vehicle. "Wait… is that? Oh no! Not again! Ruuuuuuun!" cried the Claptrap as it disappeared into a small shack.
Out of nowhere, four or five vehicles jumped over the gate and swerved, disappearing into the town of Fyrestone.
Lilith clutched her SMG tighter now, her finger on the trigger. To her left, Roland had his assault rifle in his hands. He looked as ready as she was for combat, she smiled upon hearing her behemoth of a friend crack his knuckles to her far right. Mordecai stood in back, his old sniper rifle locked and loaded.
The claptrap emerged from the shack and rambled a bit about bandits. Lilith and the others were too busy drowning him out, they were too excited by the thought of battle, and after being on a bus for hours on end they all figured they needed this.
The claptrap fiddled with the control pad once more.
"Aaaaaand, open!" the robot moved toward the still rising gate and bumped the front part of it onto the gate. "Ow." It mumbled.
The four walked in all together. Almost immediately a shower of bullets began flying. Bodies were dropping, threats were thrown out like confetti, and people were taking damage severely. The claptrap again had gone into hiding leaving the four alone.
Roland had just run out of bullets by the time the last bandit dropped to the floor. He searched around the dead bodies for any spare ammunition. He found nothing of use for his gun, most of it was SMG ammo and a few sniper rifle cartridges and a repeater slug here and there.
"This way!" Announced the claptrap. Disappointed, Roland collected them anyway and followed the others and the claptrap.
A head of them laid a chest. Roland was about to speak up when Lilith and Mordecai instantly rushed past him.
"Mine!" Lilith growled playfully. She dashed towards the chest.
"Not on your life little girl." Mordecai retorted, almost catching up to Lilith.
The chest opened revealing two Repeaters. Lilith snatched up one and ran off ahead; Mordecai disgruntled with defeat picked up the other, weaker gun and stuck the rifle to his back.
"Wow that looks like it could do some damage." Claptrap stated upon seeing Lilith and Mordecai's new findings. "Follow me." it said. Brick grunted and followed behind Lilith and Mordecai while Roland stood back and evaluated what ammunition was left along with the chest.
He didn't notice that his friends were far from him already. Only the gunfire and shouting of voices far away alerted him that his party had gone off without him.
Roland quickly darted down the path which leads out into the center of Fyrestone. Brick had just dropped the last dead bandit on the floor with a semi-satisfied smile. Mordecai looked around approvingly at the bodies littered on the ground. Lilith was busy picking up money that was scattered around.
"Kill 'em! Kill 'em all!" a raspy voice bandit screamed. Roland whipped around and aimed at the bandit. About halfway there was a loud bang and the bandit's head snapped back and fell dead.
"Did that hurt?" Mordecai gloated as he shook his new repeater in the air teasingly.
Lowering his gun Roland looked at Mordecai with an irked expression.
"What?" Mordecai defended. "You had no more bullets anyway."
Roland rolled his eyes.
"Attention citizen of Fyrestone. Don't be alarmed. These new visitors have resolved the problem." Claptrap said to no one in particular.
"Well shoot, I thought I was a goner that time." Everyone's ECHO device had transmitted a message directly to them. The man who spoke had a low, scratchy, cowboy accent.
"Damn bandits won't leave us alone. Had to lock the place up tight. I'll let cha in…hold on… Come on! Dammit. Blasted circuits are on the fritz again. Give it a go from the switch out there would ya?"