Just to be safe, I'm putting in a trigger warning for some suicidal undertones that might be present in the story. Hope you guys enjoy it!
The rat cowered before me. The poor thing looked so pathetic, I considered letting him go. But I was already raising the axe above my head and charging at it, grinning madly behind my mask in anticipation. Part of me wondered was the Siren was thinking of all this. She'd stopped shooting at me, which was a good sign, but butchering a bunch of packrats in front of her hardly seemed like a way to convince her of my sanity.
"I'M GONNA PUT MY PAIN INTO YOUR SOUL!" I roared, my face inches away from my victim's.
The rat whimpered in terror before his eyes rolled back in his head and he sunk to the ground. It wasn't the first time I'd scared someone unconscious. Since he wasn't moving anymore, I lost interest and looked around for the next kill. Before I had time to react I heard someone screaming to my right and turned to see another rat leaping at me, claws outstretched for my neck. It was just about to reach me, but something stopped it.
I stared in confusion as the sputtering excuse for a human being stopped in midair. There was a sound like rushing air as the writing, screaming rat hung suspended in a strange, blue sphere. I looked questioningly behind me. The siren stood behind me with her bare arm outstretched, clutching a similar ball of energy in her hand. Her tattoo's glowed bright aqua for a moment, then faded back to light blue. She walked closer, looking me straight in the eyes with an expression I couldn't quite read. I only panted and stared.
She helped me?
I still felt fazed by the whole situation, but I returned my attention to the rat. It screamed as I brought my axe crashing down on it's bony torso. The bubble vanished, and the rat hit the ground with a sickening thud. It struggled for a bit, gasping grossly and trying to reach at the weapon buried in it's chest. Once it went still, I casually held it's body down with my foot and tugged the axe out. Suddenly I was aware of the Siren standing behind me, watching in silence.
Now tell her thank you. Tell her that because of her, we might actually one day be able to act like a normal person again.
I whipped around and gesticulated dramatically while shouting, "I powdered my cockatiel for the ribcage slaughter!"
She glared at me, and I suddenly wondered if she might start shooting again. But her expression of distrust softened into a smile. I had been irritated with myself for yelling something so stupid again, but that smile was worth any sort of nonsensical garbage I could've spouted off.
Huh... close enough.
She smiled at me. I didn't remember the last time I'd been smiled at instead of screamed at. Such a lovely smile too, I memorized every detail about it. I also couldn't help but notice her stunning silver eyes. Do all Sirens have such striking eyes, I wondered.
"We will be leaving the Dustfield terminal in five minutes." A cheery female voice startled me from my thoughts. She wasn't smiling anymore, instead she just looked confused. I nervously averted my gaze, wondering how long I'd been staring down at her.
She glanced between me and the train worriedly. I questioned her guilty expression until I realized. "Umm... thanks." she said with an apologetic smile. My stomach sank when she looked away and jogged to the train entrance. Leaving me behind.
What did I expect anyway? For her to run off into the desert with me? She was a vault hunter. She didn't have time to waste on me. My hand ran across the back of my head, twitching fingers fumbling with the leather straps.
Damn it all. Getting my hopes up over nothing.
I hummed a disjointed tune as I slowly started to walk along the tracks, just as I was before I was hit by the train. The cheery song was completely out of place, echoing in the whistling wind. I somberly listened to the train hiss and whir to life as it prepared to take off.
"Hey! Wait!" I turned around. She stood in the entryway, pointing her thumb behind her. "Why don't you come with me?"
I blinked in disbelief. Me accompanying a vault hunter on their adventure? Delving even further into the bloodfest that was the Borderlands didn't sound like a great way to get a handle on my sanity.
"I'm hoping to open the vault. Maybe you'd be interested?"
The vault. Of course I knew about it, it was all anyone on Pandora ever seemed to talk about. I wasn't really as interested in the treasure. But it was the first instance of someone reaching out to me and giving me a chance in... well quite a long time. I couldn't have possibly turned down her offer.
Yes! Get on the train! Do what she says!
"Not because you told me to!" I yelled threateningly and scrambled up the side of the yellow train. The metal was hot from the beating sun, but I still seemed content to sit cross-legged on the roof and clang my axe against the metal.
Get in the train numbskull, not on top of it!
But I didn't budge. "Mush Buttershanks, mush!" I ordered it beating it with the axe blade.
"You sure you don't want to...?" she trailed off when I glowered down at her very seriously.
"No time? NO TURKEY!" I bellowed.
"Alright alright... just hang on tight okay?" She shrugged and waved a friendly goodbye before walking inside.
I could barely contain my excitement. There I was, on a train about to whisk me off to the far reaches of Pandora where I'd search for the legendary vault with a beautiful siren. I wasn't really interested in the vault. What use is money to me now when all I do is try to eat it? No, this was my chance to finally get out of the badlands and spend some time with sane people who wouldn't try to kill me at every turn. Anything to get away from all the senseless murder. Maybe they could help me get a grip on my sanity again. That's all I want. That Siren was the only person I'd met who intentionally helped me, which was huge. She was probably my last and only chance for redemption. I could only hope she'd continue to put up with me.
I grunted in surprise and fell backwards when the train suddenly lurched forward. My fingers scraped across the roof as I slid backwards, trying to find some to hold on to, but I ended up slipping off of the side of the train. Thankfully I managed to grab onto a safety rail, or I would've ended up alone in the wasteland again.
Once I got over the initial shock of falling, I started chuckling, then laughing at the top of my lungs. The wind rushing against me was invigorating. It was nice, hanging on to the side of the the train as it sped down the tracks. I watched the desert whiz by in relative peacefulness, save for my incessant screaming. At one point I'd even slashed a bandit near the tracks with my axe while I was flying by. Poor bastard didn't even know what hit him.
But nothing could have spoiled my mood as I finally waved goodbye to the ramshackle, sun-baked bandit camps and dusty skeletons. I hung on to that handlebar for what felt like ages, watching the rocky wastelands thin out to snowy tundra. It'd been awhile since I'd seen snow. For once it finally felt like things were going to turn out alright for me. That is, until I heard the sound of gunshots coming from within the train.
What's going on in there?!
In a panic I looked behind me down the side of the train. The word 'Hyperion' was plastered across the cars in large white lettering. I wasn't even thinking!
We've got to get in the train now!
Luckily I could sense the importance and started tearing away at the side of the car with my axe while. I managed to make a hole in the metal, which I pried open with my hands. I poked my head in, but there was nothing but a bunch of crates stacked inside the dimly lit room.
Try the next one! Oh god, please let her be okay, please let her be okay!
I leapt against the wind to the next car with ease and prepared to break inside again, until I heard footsteps thundering on the roof. I peered over the edge of the car. A tall, dark figure stood before two Hyperion engineers with a long glowing blade in hand. He hardly looked intimidated, by the two mechanically advanced soldiers. Then again, it was impossible to read any expression he might've had as he wore an opaque helmet.
One of the engineers drew back his large metallic fists, but the thin, faceless man didn't budge. The fist sprang out, only to phase effortlessly through his chest. The engineer scowled and looked down at it as if it were defective.
The man (I assumed it was a man. Really there was no way of telling what it was underneath the full armor.) simply disappeared, then reappeared behind the other engineer. Before they had the time to figure out what had happened, he skewered him through the back. The engineer staggered and stared down at the blade jutting out of his chest in bewilderment. Gracefully, the assassin kicked off the sword handle and twisted in the air. He pushed off the other engineer's back to his comrade, forcing the blade through his chest as well. The two stared at each other in shock as they bled out around the same sword.
I could only raise an eyebrow at the whole display. I had no clue what he did, but I was impressed. The assassin drew his blade from their bodies in a swift motion, a red holographic '0' flashing over the smooth helmet. He turned, looking right in my direction. I could only self-consciously duck behind the edge of the moving car and hope he hadn't seen me.
I heard the light footsteps on the roof just above my head and expected the digistructed sword to pierce me at any moment. The moving car shook with a loud crash sounding from inside and the footsteps stopped, then headed in the other direction. I cautiously peeked out again just to see him jumping into the manhole. Immediately I hoisted myself back up and crawled to the door, bracing myself for the kind of scene I might find in there.
My breath escaped me in a relieved sigh when I saw the Siren standing below, reloading her Maliwan SMG. Several others stood with her, other vault hunters I figured. Dead Hyperion soldiers, torn up loaders, and spent shells littered the floor. I probably shouldn't have worried so much, I mean, she is a siren with incredible powers. She'd defeated the first wave, but knowing him, he wouldn't just send a few goons after a siren. He'd be pulling out all the big guns, using all his dirtiest tricks. I cursed my own stupidity over and over for just letting her hop on a Hyperion train. Especially since Hyperion's just about the only people who even have trains running through the Borderlands. Stupid stupid stupid!
I considered trying to go down there, gather the vault hunters in my arms, and jump off the train with them, but a voice interrupted my plans. His voice. Though it was modulated, as if coming through a radio.
"It's cute that ya'll think you're the heroes of this little adventure, but you're not."
I heard a faint fizzling sound. It kind of sounded like...
A lit fuse...
"Welcome to Pandora kiddos!"
There was a deafening blast, an extreme pressure on my chest, then the peculiar sensation of flying through the air. I didn't remember much of anything after that.
Author: I felt really bad for not updating for so long, considering the fact that I have more than 20 pages of content written for this fic. More to come, as soon as I finish and polish the many ficlets I've been working on. Thanks for the support guys!