Okay so new chapter! Yay this took forever only because I was busy (lazy) and couldn't find time. I spell checked this twice. If there's an error I'm going to shoot myself in the face repeatedly, I don't know how I'll do it, but I will.
His chest was tight; his breath was uneven and jagged. His lungs burned as they expanded and contracted. His vision was blurred, and yet he'd never been so focused.
This was battle.
Numb fingers from holding on a trigger and an instinct to shoot anything that moved were things that he had learned to live by. It was his code, his honor, his one right that no one could take away, because hell, he'd blast 'em.
It was truly a thrill for him. But it was also something that he loathed at the same time. To him battle was like air. It was something so vital, he needed it and couldn't go very long without it, but at the same time he hated it. He hated how reliant he had become on it. He hated that no matter how hard he would try he'd give in.
Sometimes he wished he could just sit back, live an ordinary life of a sort. Live a simple existence where violence wasn't necessary.
But then there would come a time when he'd set up just the right shot, a precise bullet right through the eyes of some cretin that lit him up like… like some kind of happy holiday and pretty soon he'd forget his hatred for a little while.
"What'd you say to me?" Mordecai's heavy and low voice asked, but softly as if he was calling a bluff.
"You heard me." the smirking Siren said. Slowly she faced him. She initiated another of their famous stand-off's.
"Take it back kid, you don't want to start something you can't finish." He warned. "Must I remind you of last time?" an evil grin crept onto his face.
"Well I don't know, hearing you scream for mercy made me ignorant to anything else." She countered. "I guess you'll have to come down here and remind me." It was then Lilith started to glow, metaphorically. Her adrenaline was pumping again.
Mordecai stood up, his body tensed for combat but the longer he stared and pondered the outcome of the fight the more and more he withdrew physically and mentally. His at winning chances were great, Lilith's not so much. He knew this would only result in another week of a sore-loser Lilith and really that wouldn't be good for anyone in their group. If dragging a woman like Lilith through Pandora was tough, dragging one with an attitude was worse.
He huffed as if he were about to comeback with some smart remark but then anti-climactically dropped his shoulders and sat back down.
"Some other night maybe." He said dismissively. "Not in the mood right now." And then without another word he turned and took aim at things across the street, setting up for another kill.
"That's it?" Lilith remarked displeased. She climbed up to where the Hunter had rooted himself.
"What the hell? You left me hanging." She said half irked, half jokingly.
"Yeah…" Mordecai mumbled, "Just not feeling it." He didn't really have words to describe the feeling other than, don't really feel like kickin' your ass tonight, any other night would be fine. But I'm not traveling around Pandora with a butt-hurt little kid.
Of course though that would be really rude and only entice her more to fight him.
"Well I'm pumped now. So you're gonna have to talk me until I fall asleep." She said matter-of-factly.
"Oh god." The Hunter rumbled. "What are you five? Just… Just go to bed… or something." Mordecai said trying to focus again on a skag that had wandered into his sights.
"Oh what? Dislike small talk, that's another thing we can add to your list, right up there with eating." Mordecai took a moment to process what he had just heard and made a small smile, not letting Lilith see.
"You know, because you told me once that-."
"Yeah I know." He said cutting her off abruptly. His smile was fading now, he tried to focus back on the beast he saw through his scope. All was quiet for a moment. Mordecai waited for the right moment then pulled the trigger.
The skag fell over dead as Mordecai chuckled. He reloaded and then set the gun down. He looked over his shoulder to see if Lilith was still there since she stopped talking and her breathing had become almost inaudible.
He turned around fully now to look at her. She was staring up at the sky, her eyes seemed far away.
"Lil'." He said. At first she didn't respond until he shook her lightly.
She had a face as if she had awoken from a deep sleep.
"You're spacing out kid."
"Oh…" She commented slightly embarrassed. "I was just admiring the sky, I guess." Her voice was timid and unlike herself. "It's beautiful, a nice shade of blue and grey and even a little orange at the further edges."
Mordecai looked up with her.
To him there was nothing. The sky was all one grey blur, the farther reaches Lilith described as orange were just lighter shades of grey. He was colorblind of all things. As a cruel joke he used to say that in return for all his skills he had as a sniper God took the color from his world.
"Uh yeah." he agreed, "Real nice."
But really he couldn't even begin to fathom what colors she were talking about. He imagined teal was cool from what he'd been told but other than that he was clueless when it came to the things called colors.
Lilith yawned again. "I think I'm ready to hit the sack." She looked at Mordecai again then stretched.
"You should probably get some sleep too. Big day ahead of us."
Mordecai nodded. "Yeah."
Sometimes you feel so lost, so far and detached that nothing could ever bring you back. It's as if some entity consumes you. You are a shell, a stranger, watching your own life through someone else's eyes.
You have no sense of direction, no driving force. Nothing.
Many times had this plagued the Hunter. But when he was at his very bottom did he look for the highest reason to change.
Mordecai woke with a start.
A thin layer of cool sweat lined his bare forehead and neck. Looking out his window he saw that Pandora's sky was still dark. Another quick glance to his right revealed that his pet Bloodwing was not awake either, a sign that his subconscious had not woken him up prior to any danger. It was as if him and his pet were connected, one never went anywhere otherwise unless it was agreed upon beforehand.
But he knew in this case exactly why he had gotten up early.
Mordecai pulled up his calloused hand to wipe the sticky sweat off his forehead then dropped his arm to his side. Sighing with a gust of relief he sat up on his tiny, busted up cot and looked out his window once more.
Nightmares, he thought with a slight scowl.
The wind blew in and graced the top of his head, grateful for the breeze he laid back down and stared straight ahead to wall in front of him.
Nightmares. He said again in his head. Nothing to be afraid of, your dreams are just having a real shit night. He closed his eyes again trying to fall back into the world of sleep.
But despite his efforts he couldn't seem to bring himself to close his eyes again.
In truth what he had dreamt had scared him, even if he wouldn't admit it.
In his own personal nightmare there were no creatures, no horror story effects, but the simple and possibly realistic chance of failure. That was all, failure and loss.
Failure to find the Vault, loss of his most prized possession Bloodwing haunted his nightmares frequently.
He grunted and rolled on his side. To one corner of the room laid his clothing, mainly his vest and his belts and his pants. His boots were at his bed side. He slept in his boxers and his under shirt. His mask he kept within arm's reach, his goggles around his neck.
Suddenly feeling uncomfortable, Mordecai rose from bed and slipped into his pants and boots. Bloodwing shifted and woke. Mordecai suddenly noticing that his friend had woken up came to Bloowing's side and pet the bird's head.
"Go back to sleep boy." The bird did not fall asleep but calmed and let Mordecai continue dressing. Mordecai then put on his goggles, he left the mask where it was on the floor and grabbed his favorite rifle.
Since he couldn't just drift off into slumber again he decided to do what he did best. A bit of target practice would be enough to lull him back into sleep.
He pulled his goggles around his neck up to his face, no need for a mask at this time of night, he mainly wore it to keep the dust and dirt off his skin and face but since he didn't plan on doing anything too rash he didn't bring it with him.
He walked over to Bloodwing and pets the bird on its head one more time.
"I'll be back later" he told the bird and then stepped outside.
It had been long since the team had killed off Nine-Toes. About three days ago Bone Head has met his demise, now they were working on Sledge. According to Roland, Sledge was holding a part of the Vault key, together they all agreed to go after him.
So the Vault hunters set after the bandit king, they decided to set up camp in an old bandit camp along the way to rest up before they went after him. Mordecai liked this camp particularly because of all the perfect sniping positions, not to mention the view.
The camp over looked the low desert part of Pandora, to be honest it wasn't really anything spectacular to look at, it wasn't beautiful or very calm, the landscape was decorated by burning husks of scrap metal and trash and if you walked to far Boundary Towers would zap you to your local New-U station. But the over look gave Mordecai perspective; he liked knowing where he was going even if he couldn't exactly go after it. You could call him a big picture guy.
Walking out to one of the ramps he inhaled the heavy and salty air. This planet was much different from his home world Artemis where almost everything was perfect for hunting, the air, the landscape, even the weather unlike Pandora. Pandora was crude, crusty, and unsanitary.
But despite all that he managed to use the environment to his advantage.
He scratched the top of his head and readjusted his goggles. He went up another ramp and then onto one of the platforms. Through the scope he had on his rifle he further surveyed the area, nothing to shoot but rocks and dirt. Sighing unsatisfied he took a seat where he was standing and swung his legs over the edge of the platform he was on.
"Whoa." said a female voice, "So there is a face under that mask."
Mordecai turned his head slowly.
"Well technically I knew there was but I haven't seen it in a while." Lilith stared down at Mordecai, his eyebrow was raised.
"Damn you've gotten old." She said unimpressed at the wrinkles and deep ridges that had set themselves into the man's face. Mordecai stared at her disheveled hair and clothes ignoring her.
"wherever have you been?" he said commenting on said clothes and hair.
Lilith lifted a hand to her messy locks then pulled out a bag from behind her. Still combing through her hair she dropped the bag on the floor.
"Just went on a midnight supply run. Don't thank me or anything." She remarked sarcastically.
Mordecai opened the bag and dug through the contents. In it were boxes of ammunition ranging from pistols to shotguns and a few stacks of bills.
"When'd you find time to get this?" He asked quizzically.
"Just now." Lilith then, happy with her still messy but neatly parted hair, fixed her clothes.
Mordecai looked through the bag again and pulled out three cartridges of sniper rifle ammo and a few revolver rounds, he handed the bag back to Lilith. Something in the air caught his attention.
Overhead flew a rakk, the rakk did not attack them, just simply flew in lazily circles and eventually flew off, Mordecai watched as the rakk dipped and dived then flew straight into a cliff side and flew off again.
Dumbass, he though, flight wasted on one of God's dumbest creatures. Then suddenly he had an idea. He stood and grabbed his rifle, he walked down another ramp with purpose.
"Where are you going?" Lilith called from behind. Mordecai glanced over his shoulder, "I'll be right back. Don't wait up for me." he then continued down the ramp. Lilith quickly stuck a hand into the bag, "Then take this." She tossed a stack of bills over his shoulder, he caught it just before it hit the ground.
Staring at it he asked, "What's this for?"
"The New-U station takes money out of your account every time you re-spawn." Mordecai smirked.
"Found that out the hard way huh little girl?" Lilith rolled her eyes.
"Shut up ol' man."
Mordecai continued down the path and off to the left until the camp was no longer visible. He remembered somewhere along the way he and Bloodwing had found a cave. He had recalled seeing a few rakks flying into the cave once. They'd made perfect targets.
It was all too tempting now; the more curious side of him took hold of the situation. He found the cave with little trouble, looking at it in the moonlight he braced himself and then took the first feeble steps inside.
It was about an hour he spent walking inside, nothing was here, he was sure of it now, completely sure, nothing.
He rolled his eyes in disappointment and turned back, he really was tired now. Walking around for an hour in a dark cave, constantly being tense and tripping over the jagged cave floor would certainly do that to you. He sighed and cracked his neck; his nightmares were sure forgotten now. He wanted nothing more than to just curl up in his cot and sleep the rest of the night.
He was at the mouth of the cave when he spotted the full milky moon; it made him all the more tired, and a bit weird-ed out. Rarely did you ever see a full moon on Pandora, let alone a full one. Despite its beauty it casted an eerie glow about the place, which made Mordecai feel uneasy. It was then did he feel the need to rush back to camp.
When he arrived everything appeared normal. But there was creeping feeling on the back of his neck. He crept quietly into his own bungalow, Bloodwing was where he should have been but the bird was fidgety, he looked as if he were about to move any minute.
Mordecai quickly ripped the goggles off his face, and haphazardly threw on the rest of his clothing. He switched from his rifle to a revolver he found some time ago but in the midst of all this he didn't hear the person behind him step in.
Mordecai turned and froze with surprise and (though he would never admit) fear.
"Lilith!" he hissed in a whisper, "Don't sneak up on me kid." He growled as he finally loaded the revolver, Bloodwing ascended to Mordecai's shoulder.
But Lilith stared at him, her eyes were blank, her clothes and hair still messy.
"What?" he whispered again.
Lilith didn't blink. Her stare grew intense, her eyes shouted something important, Mordecai just couldn't pick up on it though.
Lilith then brought her hands to the front of her; she started making signs upon seeing that the Hunter still wasn't getting it.
Mordecai recognized it as the game they used to play as kids, each sign meant something different. It was their version of sign language since no one really knew how to sign properly and that they found this to be faster.
He racked his brain trying to remember what those signs meant.
Lilith kept the movements small, as if trying to hide them; it only made Mordecai more anxious, he gripped his revolver tighter.
With her nimble fingers she made talons resembling a bird's, her index and middle finger plus her thumb. Mordecai remembered that the sign meant danger, "danger is nearby" then Lilith hitchhiked her thumb behind her. Another sign she made resembled an 'R' and another sign that meant 'B'.
Mordecai then knew exactly what was happening, but just to make sure.
"Where are they?" he mouthed.
Lilith's brow knit tightly together and frowned with a twisted look of pain on her face.
And that was enough.
He dropped to the floor, Lilith copied and crouched, her back slid against the cool tin siding.
Mordecai slid a spare gun over to her. Lilith grabbed at.
"Princess… where'd you go?" mocked a raspy whine of someone outside
Lilith's face was full on contempt, her disapproval at the nickname was obvious. Mordecai jerked as if to get up but Lilith shook her head.
"No." She mouthed. "Look at their level." She whispered.
Thanks to the Heads-Up display it showed the Vault hunters a level of skill that everyone adorned.
Mordecai was barely a level thirteen. The bandit outside, though concealed, was fifteen. He drew the conclusion that Roland and Brick had thought together (or apart) they could take the bandit or bandits.
"How many?" he whispered.
Lilith's eyes darted towards the entrance. She shrugged.
Mordecai looked outside again. He decided to risk it all.
"On three we run out side and your fight like hell okay?" Lilith nodded.
"One…two…three." Mordecai released Bloodwing and unloaded his whole clip into the first bandit he that crossed him.
here we are the end of another chapter, hopefully you weren't too bored. Yes this pointless chapter does have meaning. I'm sorry for skipping the bosses but i found that I really wasn't moving anything along and i had to speed up. I also hope you guys liked this one. If not tell me, just don't flame me. Don't think i'm popular enough for flames anyway though. And if you care too leave a review. Thank you.