No Rest for the Wicked
A Borderlands II Aftermath Story
Disclaimer: I do not own any of the characters, titles, or song lyrics used in the story. I'm simply an aspiring author with a passion for the game. Don't sue me. If you haven't played, and completed the story of, Borderlands I and II, this story is a waste of your time, please move on. Thank you.
Chapter One: The many woes of Sanctuary.
The last vestibule of civilized society on the God-forsaken wasteland that is Pandora. The only hope for a taste of normality, a simple life that was more likely to end by age or sickness rather than in the jaws of some alpha skag or over a spit surrounded by cannibalistic, psychotic paranoid schizophrenics.
I stared at it through the open cockpit of my vehicle, through the goggles strapped to my head to keep the sand from tearing them from their sockets. Surrounded by open desert on every side, Sanctuary sat on the only spring of water for twenty miles. This, in combination with the several hundred armed citizens living within, was the only reason I stayed there. I sighed, adjusting the drum of my shotgun so it wasn't digging into my knee.
Stepping on the accelerator, my mind strayed back into the events of the last five and a half years. I'd stepped off that bus into Fyrestone with some dumbass delusion of fame and fortune, accompanied by three other morons just as high-minded as myself. Fucking idiots. All we managed after three months in the deserts of Pandora was a couple thousand dead psycho bandits, forty dead warlords, easily three thousand massacred skags, and a dead Destroyer that protected a good for nothing Vault. We left empty handed, but remained on Pandora for some reason, each of us going our separate ways after forming unbreakable bonds of bloodshed between us.
And then, five years later, four more jackasses came running to this hell-hole after hearing the same news about a second Vault somewhere else on Pandora. Yeah, I remember meeting them quite well.
After I left Roland, Lilith, and Mordecai, I started my own gang of the toughest raiders and bandits I could find, and started my own personal war with the mentally unstable indigenous tribes that dominated the human population. Five years of work, building this society of brutes from scratch, earning the title of "King", and these four mercenaries come barging onto the premises, shooting up my men with apparent ease. This, of course, prompted me to listen to them and return to Sanctuary.
A few days of gunfire and smoking asses later, I was reunited with the old team. We then began our war to remove Handsome Jack, owner of the Hyperion Company, off Pandora and lift ourselves from his oppression. We lost Roland in the process, and Mordecai's phoenix, Bloodwing, died at the torturous hands of Handsome Jack. The Vault was discovered, the fifty-story tall lava-skag defeated, and Hyperion crushed.
Since then, the new four, (Zero the assassin, Maya the Siren, Axton the Commando, and Salvador the Gunzerker) were hailed on the level we had been when we found the first Vault. Six months later and people still treated them like gods. I couldn't see the big whoop, they were fine warriors, sure, but we'd been the first in a thousand years to find the Vault, and the first ones ever to open it.
Of course, I said in my mind, There are hundreds of other Vaults, aren't there?
I snorted in agitation. It was always something else, always one more person to shoot, one more time into the fray. That was how I liked it, each day packed with combat. Not this sitting around bullshit.
My mind relaxed a bit as I slowed to breach the forcefield around Sanctuary.
I keyed a radio transmitter on the dash. "This is Brick, I'm coming back from the east coast, from the Fyrestone area."
I waited for the standard "too tired stay awake on radio duty" guy to get off his ass and respond. Ten seconds…Twenty…Thirty…
"I hear 'ya big guy, opening shield and vehicle access."
I offered a mere grunt, far too tired from the four thousand mile drive.
All for a power cell. A fucking power cell.
The shield parted, forming an archway through which I eased the Bandit Technical heavy transport. An open no-man's land separated the edge of the shield from the city, roughly a mile wide. I groaned as the beaten path beneath me seemed to slip away with agonizing slowness. The Technical wasn't as fast as the one-man Runners, but the lighter buggies couldn't comfortably support my size. Standing at seven-one and weighing in at three-twenty, you didn't find much in the way of proportional automobiles.
I pulled through the lowered garage doors, and into a brightly lit, grimy hangar-style building on the edge of Sanctuary's thirty foot walls. After finding a spot, I pulled the vehicle to a stop next to a black and green Runner. Axton's Runner.
I dropped out of the driver's seat, slinging my shotgun over my back.
A short, and I mean short by my standards, man with a trucker's cap and oil smears on his face and hands halted his jog about ten feet from me. "Hey there, muscles. You find what y'all was lookin' for?"
I hated his accent, and his three-year-old's grammar.
Despite the common stereotype of huge muscled guys being "meatheads" and being near retards, I am quite intelligent, and often was misjudged.
Scooter didn't bother me, however. "Yeah, I found it. I hit a spiderant king on the way back, fucked the front end all up. See what you can do with it."
Scooter didn't seem put out by the fact that I had unceremoniously added to his workload. On the contrary, he seemed delighted to have to fix another person's mistakes. "Well I will sure do, I'll have it all done did before the next time y'all take her out."
I nodded, making for the exit.
Safe return, check. Power cell for Zed, check. Money for a keg to myself, check.
I stepped into the bar/strip club at about dusk. The place was packed, go figure, but Zero was nowhere to be found. This was the fifth business I'd been too in the last hour trying to find the shady bastard.
"Goddamn it," I spat, frustrated at Zero's lack of social skills. "If he'd just agree to meet in public, the paranoid ninja-motherfucker…"
From across the strippers and drunk citizens of Sanctuary, Brick's voice boomed. "Axton, you son of a bitch, come on in and have a drink on me."
I resisted, very hard, the urge to roll my eyes.
Brick was a good guy, all the Vault Hunters were. He was just more annoying at times than he was tolerable. Being around a drunk Brick, nonetheless, was no picnic either. He might know where Zero is, I suppose.
Pushing through the crowd of onlookers, I sidled onto a barstool between Brick and Mordecai. I couldn't help but notice it was like being between a wall of muscle and a stickman. Brick was downing a half gallon of beer at a time, barely stopping for air before taking a hit off a cigar and repeating the process with a fresh pitcher. Mordecai had clearly just returned from clearing a bowl outside, a serious crime if the Atlas company knew marijuana was present in Sanctuary, and was now joining Brick with a pitcher of his own.
I stared in awe at the two. If they weren't out in the wastes doing missions for the town to keep themselves busy, risking life and limb each time, they were enjoying their free time in the bar, or perhaps even racing one another at breakneck speeds through skag infested dunes and ramping hardened piles of spiderant shit .
"Why do you guys do this to yourselves?"
Brick looked at me and this is what he said, "Ah, there ain't no rest for the wicked. Money don't grow on trees. I've got bills to pay, a mouth to feed, you don't get anything in this world for free. I can't slow down, I can't hold back. Hey, I wish I could. Nope, there ain't no rest for the wicked, until we close our eyes for good."
With that, Brick's eyes slid shut, and his face slammed off the bar, and he finally collapsed out of his seat.
"Well said," I conceded, shrugging my shoulders and ordering a beer with what remained of Brick's money.
I stared across a circular wooden table, covered entirely by a map of the known regions of Pandora's single massive continent that covered half the planet's surface. One hand gripped the barrel of the rifle I was leaning on, the other lay in the uncharted waters that dominated the other half of the map.
My eyes, however, were fixed on a fine pair of jugs held upright by a mixture of youth and a tight leather shirt-
"Hey, Mord. Eyes up."
I snapped my focus back to Maya's face. "Right," I replied in mock offense, "And, uh, what were you saying?"
Maya scoffed, and threw her hands up in the air. "I fucking quit. Axton, you do it."
Axton stepped forward, breaking his conversation with Brick, and pointed to a red plastic flag placed on the map. "This," he jabbed the flag several times in pure arrogance, "Is where we last saw a Long-Dick Pete and his group of bandits. As you can see,"
"When he's sober," Maya added.
Axton pushed on. "-here, that Pete is moving steadily closer to where Deputy Flagstone has setup the base at the Old Mine. That's only a few hundred miles away, and he's moving closer every day."
Brick was holding a block of ice against his right eye, trying to reduce the pain in his head that I understood, and shared, all too well. "So?" He chided, "What do we care? He's too far away to do anything anytime soon."
Zero silently stepped up to the table. "He will be here," his voice was dark, and mysterious, "In four days. Scouts say he's very well armed."
Brick rolled his eyes. It was common knowledge that he didn't much care for Zero.
"So why don't we just load our guns, ride out there, and pummel this fucker into the ground?" Salvador asked, his arms outstretched and a smile on his chubby face.
"Because," I replied, taking care to make the words slow and deliberate, "He's very well armed."
Salvador shook his head like a buffalo trying his damndest to ward off flies.
Maya stepped forward again, having obviously calmed down. "If Brick, Mordecai, and Zero go there to head off Long-Dick Pete, Axton, Sal, and I can go deal with the issue over in the Arid Badlands."
I rolled my own eyes, groaning. "What the hell is the problem there?"
`Maya fixed me with a stare. "Apparently, Claptrap says that a large flock of rakks are migrating to the mountains north of us."
I poured a shot of coffee, taking a small sip. "And?"
Maya forced a sarcastic grin, her eyes filled to the lids with sheer dislike.
"That'll cause issues when they get hungry, won't it?" She softened her voice at the end as if talking to a baby.
"My God you're a bitch."
"Drunk," she replied cooly.
"Washed up, mediocre sniper who's obsessed with his flaming chicken."
"Are you talking about the same chicken that you had down your throat three months ago? Because, babe, that one doesn't catch fire."
Maya snatched a random hollow pipe off the desk behind her, and started for me. I offered her a smart ass smile, just to piss her off. Axton grabbed the pipe out of her hand, throwing it across the room.
"Maya, calm down. Mord, that wasn't cool."
Zero whipped his sword from its place on his back and stabbed it downwards into the table with such lightning speed even I, an accomplished swordsman, couldn't follow him. "Enough."
Axton clapped his hands together loud enough to silence the room. "So," he rubbed his palms together, "We all know what we've got to do, let's get to it."
I grabbed my rifle, and, after meeting eyes with Brick, made for the door.