Actions

Work Header

Lost and Found

Chapter Text

Reminiscence 

The eye of a Hurricane always was quiet, silence drowning out the madness and havoc of the outside world, a place of safety, yet the young man couldn’t feel either. There was sound, one sound in particular drowning out the screams and threatening screeching of a varkid hive nearby, an everlasting high pitch ring from the loud explosions that surrounded him. At this rate he would lose his hearing next to already suffering the loss of self-respect and equanimity. The shaking of his body and ragged breath being remnants of the initial shock, unsure if he should worry that his panic grew more frequent with each passing moment he spent on this planet, just how did he manage to survive the past three days, it would remain a mystery forever. A nerdy, lanky programmer who frankly didn’t get payed enough by Hyperion to put up with all it’s bullshit, not too long ago his biggest worry was trying to climb the ladder and rise to the position he craved, head of his department, now he only sought to avoid the deadly creatures lurking around the corner.

All had spiraled out of control, living in a naïve set of mind that everything would turn out the way he wanted it to, the bubble had to burst one day. The experience of spending his entire life on Helios hearing stories about what it took to hold a position of power, murder, backstabbing and betrayal, neither of these seemed to teach him a lesson. He was too peaceful to allow such thoughts cross his mind let alone plan an overtake, looking back on it he truly wished to talk some sense into himself. One look was all it took for people to realize he was no threat but a target, someone who still tried to achieve their dreams with honest work a role model to many interns. It had taken years of his devotion, sleepless nights and smiling at Henderson’s crude offensive jokes for Rhys to inch closer to where he wanted to be. A coding monkey who put his heart and soul into every line, truth be told he was no genius but his ability to catch on and learn quickly made him far more skilled then his colleagues.

The pain of realizing all of it had been for nothing still lingered in his chest bitterly, remembering his eyes meeting the popsicle recognizable as his former boss floating in space. Mouth agape, eyes wide, stomach turning at the sight, not out of sympathy for the man he was no saint, many rumors too absurd to be conjured in someone’s mind held him accountable in his cruelty. The reason he felt cold sweat run down his back, blood freeze, unable to provide color to his already pale face, was thanks to whom revealed themselves as Henderson’s murderer. Vasquez, his new superior. Years of animosity and bickering, given both men fought for the position in their own way, Vasquez preference being stealing ideas, like a leech he sucked up to whomever necessary. What was the brunette supposed to do, bend over and submit to a reality of being a janitor, polishing the narcissist’s ego even further?  If self-obsession could lead to an implosion, handing programming department over to Rhys, he would have considered it. Instead he committed a series of mistakes that all ran through his mind in the matter of seconds, hacking into the slimy bastards pc and investing money into hunting a vault key on Pandora, not to forget stealing Vasquez car.

Failed efforts to keep his hand from shaking didn’t stop Rhys from slowly reaching up to touch the area where his port was implanted, carefully touching the bruised skin. Applying pressure lead to stinging pain, feeling something sticky beneath his fingertips, blood. Great that was definitely the most hygienic treatment of dangerous cybernetics, the last thing on his mind should be the worry of bacteria, yet here he was listing down numerous infections he heard people could get from an open wound. At least he kept his mind occupied for the time being, if anything his worry should focus on his echo eye he oh so carelessly pulled out with a glass shard laid next to him, there was a first time for everything, doubting the Hyperion medical team survived the fall. The eye remained shut, thankfully the pulsating dull pain had synced with every other pain he felt, unable to tell what hurt most.  Burying his fingers deep into his hair Rhys tugged on soft locks that now looked worse for wear, dusty, greasy and like him roughed up, unhinged.

With time he dared to open both eyes, his vision yet had to clear from blood, dust and tears that didn’t stop welling up. To make matters worse Handsome Jacks words replaying his mind like a broken echo recorder. Kneeling in front of him begging to not be send to wherever he was sent too, there was nothing but a void, no life after death. He didn’t have a choice is what he told himself, the one and only time he had a spine, fight or flight reflexes saved him from an untimely death of chocking via his own cybernetic arm controlled by an AI.

His voice felt surreal like the first time the former leader of hyperion appeared before the brunette making him jump out of his own skin at the sight of someone he idolized for many years. In a lost atlas facility of all places the blue hologram had appeared, unable to keep himself from getting nervous and jittery at a bunch of zeros and ones that kept the legend alive. The stories didn’t do him justice, Rhys established early on having so many questions keeping himself from spilling them all, most of them still remained unanswered. Who was he to pry about Jacks life, surely the other enjoyed hearing himself talk, but that didn’t mean he would oblige to a fanboys interview.

The works of a miracle formed an alliance  that day, admittedly given his adoration of the legend there was no way he could refuse, practically gleaming that he had the privilege of meeting him. It remained their secret, even Vaughn who was the closest person to family for Rhys wasn´t aware of the addition to the team,  admittedly it plagued him but he could not risk blowing their cover, which gave Jack way too much power. From all the tales the programmer had managed to hear not one had implied that the man was such a child, soon getting to know that side of his too well. Catching the brunette noodle off guard amused the AI, Rhysie reactions were a joy, a quite manly squeak letting the other travelers in search of the vault question if he was sane or if he hit his head one time too much. Some hours were spent staring at a corner where the former CEO of Hyperion was pulling faces or delivering stand-up comedy, it was outright impossible to ignore and observe with a neutral expression. He had gone the extra mile of faking a cold, hiding his fits of laughter with coughs and redness of his cheeks, caused by pet names that ranged from princess to pumpkin, with a fever.

Hacking alongside the genius, knowing he watched his back not wanting both of them to die, kept him sane when facing imminent death seeing as on Pandora everything was designed to kill. The air, dangerous, the friendly grandma who baked cookies that smelled delicious and made his mouth water? A hallucination caused by corrosive spores that were in the process of luring in their prey. It was unbelievable how much safer he felt with Jack´s holographic self by his side, even if his power was limited he did great damage control on Rhys mental state that could have suffered even more, ending up as skag food, dead in a ditch whilst a psycho turned his face into pizza. The man most hated by Pandorans, a hero to Rhys and many more Hyperion employees that grew up listening to his adventures,  who promised to fight as a team reassuring him they were in this mess together,  betrayed him at the very last moment.

The warmth on his cheeks stemming from more tears, possibly looking and feeling pathetic, slowly he regained the ability to think, breathing steadier then before as he was now able to have a look at his surroundings. Eyes peeled to the ground unsure how to proceed, Pandora was always hot, but the scorching feeling came from the burning remnants of what once was a legacy. Unable to bring himself to look at the destruction and death he caused just yet, his focus falling on the small device in his hand, the echo eye that allowed him to see it all unfold. All this technology, even in its advanced state it had no way of preventing the catastrophe in the first place. He wanted to scream until his lungs gave out, it’s not like anyone would hear however, and his throat was dry. The next step, the logical thing to do was crush the device, clenching his fist he tried to feel angry, frustrated even. The memory of Vasquez smug grin, getting betrayed by Yvette, those memories still evoked the feelings one would think, what was different about getting betrayed by Jack. Loosely gripping the implant, thoughts moving at valiant speed, not resting now that they were back in control.

Was it their late night talks that snuck themselves into the young man’s mind?  Reminded of the attempt at an awkward high five with a hologram or perhaps the rare moments where Rhys could have sworn seeing something heavy undermined by a tease. In a little amount of time the man wished to take weight of his idols shoulders, who was nothing more than a stranger if he was true to himself. Wishful thinking of getting to know a mere hologram, what once was or something that could have been with time. Would they get along if Jack hadn’t died? Why did he decide to betray him? He was trying to wrap his mind around these questions but everything turned into loose ends, pieces of different puzzles he was desperately trying to fit together. Who gave him the right to cry when it was his decision to pull out the eye in the first place, still unable to crush the scrap of metal in his robotic arm he let out a furious groan. His anger directed at no one and everyone at once.

Seems like he didn’t have the guts to finish it in the end, so be it, there was no use in wallowing in self-pity, putting it away safely stored in the inner pocket of his heavily damaged hyperion vest, close to his heart, he would raise his head enough to evaluate the destruction caused. If he didn’t feel sick before he definitely did now. The gloom was just settling in as a cloud of smoke enveloped him in torment, guilt rising threatening to pull the air out of his lungs once more. A silent struggle as he slowly steadied himself, sore from fighting, running, what would he give to rewind time. Typing the password combination into their small apartment to see Vaughn already munching on some pizza he had put into the oven, due to Rhys being late.

The scene unfolded so vividly as he passed through the opening of a door that lead to more ruins, he would smile in apologetic manner and rub his neck letting his friend know what kept him away this time around. Too tired to cook something healthy or complain that frozen pizza was no way to take care of oneself, he´d plop down on the couch next to the man with glasses, joining in on late dinner. Watching whatever show they decided to binge together this time around, trying his best not to doze off and failing miserably only to wake up uncomfortably in the morning, still on the couch with a pillow and blanket tossed over him. Eyes facing the ceiling before he would look out to the vastness of the galaxy, stars and the moon Elpis seeming close enough to touch.

His carelessness while daydreaming caused him to trip over some poor loaderbots arm, catching himself last minute only to find a poster in his line of sight, reaching out to pick up the slightly scorched relic that let a hint of a smile show on his lips. Yet the smile conveyed no happiness, it was tired, exhausted and felt as if the universe wished to mock him further. A rare gem, he had this one in his collection many years prior, Handsome Jack riding Butt stallion into victory, a cheesy quote written underneath it. Come to think of it the CEO must have been the creative mind behind those works of art, Rhys could imagine him cracking up at the idea and ordering some unfortunate soul into creating this masterpiece and thus Hyperion motivational posters came to fruition, going as far as having a copy of the hang in there kitten, only to have Jack replace the cat. They were plastered in every office cubical watching over their employees, conspiracies would claim hidden cameras could be found in the CEOs eyes. Vaughn hated them so much, despising them, each time he found out his roommate obtained another cursed poster he would complain, at first it was only Rhys room that was infested, but it soon spread the more he acquired. At first it was a harmless fondness that soon turned into an obsession, it’s not like he was in love with the legend, the quotes just had their ways of cracking him up and well motivate him for the day.

Glad his secret remained well kept, the hologram had found enough reasons to wind him up, it was too easy to get under that delicate skin of his. Embarrassment was fast to show on his face and oh did Handsome Jack find amusement in that trait, appearing behind Rhys to make him jump soon turned more sinister, a soft whisper paired with the right nickname got him on the edge of fainting, he didn’t need him to know about the posters it would be signing his testament. Jack would never find out now, having sent him to this so called void of darkness, there was no return from what he had done. In such short amount of time the blue figure had managed to creep into his life and make him care, unable to not think about him, nor search him in his peripheral vision, now that he was gone it would take time getting used to.

A loud bang brought him back to reality, jumping at the noise freezing up it’s a sound he familiarized whilst on Pandora, knowing very well a gun just got fired. The fear that Fiona and Sasha would be out for his blood after the stunt Jack pulled proclaiming he was alive and kicking with Rhys help moments before and Vaughn? He would never want to look at him again, betrayed not only by Yvette but Rhys his brother. Why would he find forgiveness in his heart? His best bro lied to him, he had all right to be angry, furious even. But knowing the other he would get over it quickly, only to wrap him in a bro hug and try and find a solution, generosity that the brunette really didn’t deserve right now. His feet dragged across rubble at a faster pace, away from where the fire sounded, coming across melted statues of gold. The last remaining statues of Handsome Jack that were kept safe on the space station, the others long massacred and sacrificed by bandits. Come to think of it, even his hologram wore the mask, another unsolved mystery that would keep the man with dual colored eyes awake at night.

Surprise visible in the mans eyes as he came across an entire area that remained unscathed from the crash, pushing past metal doors that were half closed finding himself on the 32nd floor. Given the level the more pompous furniture and spacious living quarters were self-explanatory, salvaging some clothes that were better than his ripped up attire. Hand lingering on his red tie, going through the tedious process of getting dressed with one arm, it had been a while since he last had to hop around chasing the opening of his trousers. Years of practice kept him from meeting the ground with his face, not wishing to look back on failed attempts when perfecting that technique during his teen years. Using scissors to cut away sleeves that were access fabric, new objective forming it was essential to scavenge parts to craft a new arm. Trying to remain optimistic he kept walking eventually finding boxes that were labeled with familiar Research and Development initials, even if most their contents were crushed beyond repair, some parts that ended up buried and shielded looked promising enough, more than enough, to be useful. The arm would not be as advanced as his old one, missing many fundamental things to make it run smoothly or independent from needing a charging station, not finding the right battery, yet Rhys was willing to put up with anything, it’s better than nothing.

With all requirements met and packed, a backpack flung around his shoulder he began his journey off into the setting sun, legs still threatening to give in, not knowing where his path would take him. The stun baton remained hoisted on his belt, as well as a tweaked hyperion gun that assisted his non-existent aim. It’s not like he intended to get into a fight, when encountering a creature he would most likely scream and run for his life, but damn if it didn’t look good on him. For now he needed to find a place to hide, a place to make an arm, not able to stop looking over his shoulder, he would figure out the rest hopefully. Just as tranquility returned for a moment to grace his cheek and allow him to leave it all behind a buzzing sound was heard.

“-hs, Rhys, listen I need to know that you are alright. Bro please, I don’t want be out here alone. Rhys? Please let me know you are alive, don’t be dead. You promised we would get to that vault and be rich remember?”

A distorted voice that came from a damaged echo recorder, a failsafe he had on him in case his echo eye acted up. Vaughn’s voice causing him to clench his fist, the crack in his voice indicated his sorrow he was on the verge of tears, he couldn’t cause more harm, the ones you love litter the roadside, take a look Rhysie this is what success looks like. Jacks words as bitter as they may be struck fear into the brunette’s heart causing him to toss the recorder far off into the desert sand unable to give his best friend an answer. It’s not like he could say, hey sorry bro I might have had Handsome fucking Jack in my mind all along but didn’t have the guts to tell you. Perhaps I wanted to have his attention all to myself, you know how much I admire him and all, oh and him killing me was totally part of the plan alongside making Helios crash and killing most of its population, anyway yes I am still breathing sooooo what’s up.

Turning around to face the broken base from afar, he felt his energy drain, fight or flight reserves exhausted, knees being the first to sag, connecting with the hot sand, his upper body meeting the same fate. In his last moments of consciousness he saw the blue figure kneel, begging for his life, defeated as he traveled to the void himself. Unlike the other he would return from it, if no creature decided to make him their dinner, but judging from the distant voices he had been found. Picked up in the arms of the best friend he tried so desperately to push away, cradled in Vaughns arms in relief that his bro was in fact still alive just out cold. It looked like his hunt for the vault was not yet over, unable to take a rest, seeing images play in his senseless mind. Unbeknownst he hand a very much sentient fighter watching over him, just because he pulled out his cybernetics didn’t mean his brain deleted the ‘Handsome Jack’ file, not in a million years kiddo.

Chapter Text

Remorse

Destruction has latched itself onto the young programmer not letting go anytime soon, unable to smooth things over with his friends due to unfortunate choices made, it completely slipped his mind a vault guardian was still on the loose. Vallory had beaten them to it, her greed crossed paths with the monster that guarded the unlimited treasures, causing her deserved, yet untimely, death. In one swing the pillar of a woman turned from a lone conqueror into the hunted and conquered, leaving nothing behind. Alone, with no one to aid her, Gorty´s was struggling to keep the unhinged beast in shackles, attempting to stop it from devouring the planet whole in his famished state. Fiona’s storytelling transformed it into a terrifying tale; was this how he imagined his new life, to put himself in the face of danger, unsure if he would live to see another day, a living nightmare. Rhys didn’t need to think twice to realise, that this was not worth it, whatever valuables lay beyond the hurdle, couldn’t make up for the torment his mind and body suffered.

It had taken mere seconds for him to be thrown back into action, mind still processing what led him into another face off with death. There was no time for him to breathe, now that both he and the talented con artist had lovely red dots pointed at their chests, the metal scrap that used to be an echo eye burning in his pocket. Jack wouldn’t stop singing lullabies of destruction and betrayal anytime soon, now that he had settled on being a vengeful ghost. Trying not to think too much about how the hologram could have managed to become a grudge bearing spirit in the first place, it´s Jack, he never seizes to amaze. Then again it wouldn’t be the weirdest thing he had seen on his journey so far, from pointing finger guns to becoming a vault-hunter, no one would have believed that nerdy kid had the guts to pull it off. The company man wanted nothing more than for this to be a bad dream, for it to be over soon, so he could go back to what he did best, but that isn’t how this tale would pan out, no fate wasn´t done playing games.

How did the mysterious traveler find them in the first place? Oh it was all starting to make sense. Most of his days were spent wandering around in the desert, away from Vaughn who had gathered Hyperion survivors and built a small community, one he was made aware of he was welcome to join anytime. The guilt that resided in his heart told him otherwise, it was a way for the young man to clear his mind, start from scratch, and perhaps even punish himself, something he would never admit. Finding something that would help him heal, a task that was easier said than done, feet carrying him to an atlas facility, hidden, broken, nothing but a shell of what once was greatness. Sympathy, it engulfed him as he picked up the scraps one by one, helping its recovery, healing both him and the base that hadn’t been cared for in a long while. Weeks passed, working until he was satisfied with the result of hard labour and sleepless nights, the most tedious of tasks awaiting him, obtaining the paperwork.

The sole reason why he stomped trough the desert angrily, unaware he was soon to be captured, was another dead end. He had a lead that led him into yet another ambush, the fifth one so far, running away from danger was no easy feat when surrounded by bandits, skags, spiderants and varkids alike. It was one of many things that made the planet oh so charming, bandits ready to chew of his face in hospitality or show him around a garden filled with landmines. Making his way towards his informant, a Hyperion issued robot that should have been discontinued a long time ago, that is if he remembered the report correctly. He should have killed that yellow menace once and for all, looking down the barrel and pulling the trigger, not that he had actually pointed a gun at the claptrap unit, surely it was part of his vivid imagination, mixed with dehydration in the Pandoran heat.

His initial plan was getting to sanctuary, scream at a robot and possibly alert the crimson raiders along with the firehawk, a frightening image, that was until an old friend tied him up and dragged him along, asking for his life story. At first he believed he was bound to die, winning the murder lotto, but beyond all layers of disguises he found himself reunited with Vaughn and Loaderbot of all people, robots. Not having spoken with anyone besides Claptrap and Psychos was starting to show, being less talkative than usual, used to silently working on the base. Snapping fingers in front of his face, that belonged to non-other than Vaughn, brought him back to reality. Constructing a bulletproof strategy to beat the guardian was simple, getting out of the ordeal alive was a different story, no pressure, especially with the sisters glaring at him, like rakks circling their meal, waiting for him to pull one wrong move.

“-hs, bro are you sure you don’t have a heatstroke? You´ve been staring at the wall for an hour” Leaning in Vaughn would add in a hushed voice “don’t tell me he is still in there” followed by a tap against his port, that, that made him jump. Quick to shoot an offended glance at the ripped individual, he ended up looking more like a wounded animal rather than an upset friend, causing his bro to apologize.

“He is gone for good, I´m Jack free” Hand finding its way to the back of his neck Rhys noticed Fiona’s tense shoulders ease up, hoping it was a good sign. In front of him was a list of potential candidates that they had met in the course of their travels, August, Felix, Athena, Cassius, Claptrap and his personal favourite Zer0. Setting up a well-balanced team that consisted of Athena, her fiancé Janey and the Vaulthunter, who had expressed his interest in Gortys before, with them they´d stand a chance. This was no time to get cocky, better said it was stupid idea of his, but in the end he had sent an invitation to claptrap as well.

To say that Rhys was fangirling over Zer0 was an understatement, he was absolutely beaming whilst trying to keep up with haikus, oblivious to the assassin’s history. How he had ended the legends reign along with Maya, Salvador, Axton and Lilith, prior to Rhys incident mere weeks ago that is. Everything went along swimmingly, a little too well for their standards, having a last meeting to discuss positions. Making sure everyone was on board and ready to go, well almost everyone. Just as Vaughn was explaining the key elements of their attack a door was slammed open, sending an echo through their hideout.

“Helloooo minion, it is I Claptrap, coming to your aid as promised, so who are we fighting!” the sound of the robots wheel next to its mildly annoying voice, scratch that, very annoying voice, like nails on a chalkboard, caused heads to turn in its direction. Unable to gather the social cue of disapproval the box on wheels kept talking, something it did best. “You know I happen to be a bit of a Vaulthunter myself”

Zer0 was the first to voice his disappointment, soon followed by Sasha who made her conspiracies known for this was an attempt to sabotage them by Rhys or in her words Handsome Jack. As for what the programmer thought whilst inviting Claptrap along, firstly revenge, secondly he didn’t believe the robot would actually show up, but given his luck it was to be expected. Now they had to deal with its antics, by the looks of how it cursed upon seeing the traveller, a censored curse, it would be a long ride. With the addition of Claptrap to their team not much of their original plan changed, except for the fact that they now had a disposable asset if need be, words no one needed to speak for they all agreed in silence.

The entire fight felt like a blur, maybe it was a side effect from the adrenaline cursing through his veins or maybe his visions were to blame. Unable to shake the feeling that his every move was watched, the chances of his ex-partner in crime being alive were minimal, yet he didn’t dare to give them the time to manifest. Nakayama’s insane obsession might have implemented a failsafe in the failsafe AI, that was Jack, it’s an unsettling thought to say the least, the next he knew he´d see a t-rex frankenjack.

Just like that it was over, the cloud of dust was settling revealing more ruins, a female cry alerted the brunette causing him to turn to the direction the sound came from. The scene unfolded as Sasha lay there, Fiona holding her hand cowering above her, pain visible on both their faces, masks shattered. Unable to move closer until nudged forward by Loaderbot, it was clearly an intimate moment, it was no place for the fraud who had betrayed them. Loot was scattered around them, legendary rare guns he had only read about, but no one was celebrating. The air felt heavy, cold, so very unlike Pandora’s Dust, as it made Rhys movement stiffen, finally crouching down beside Fiona whose knuckles turned white from holding her sisters hands.

Tears staining that caramel skin of hers, makeup clearly not waterproof as it smudged, almost too scared to move, he wanted to place his hand on her shoulder, pull her in and comfort her. He was told to be a good hugger, how many times had Vaughn broken down under the stress of working for Hyperion, accounting was one of the most airlock endangered departments, Yvette wasn’t any better, but she preferred food over touches and gentle whispers. It was difficult for him to see anyone in a saddened state, eyes glazing over with a hint of tears, across from them he saw a blue shadow haunt him. Begging him, biting the pocket of his mouth to let him focus on Sasha’s unhealthy colour, the empty look in her eyes, a soft reassuring smile on her lips. They sat in the sand for a felt eternity, Fiona´s head came in contact with Rhys chest the prior anger vanished, arms holding what was left of her together, as the sniffles turned into sobs.

Fiona was a strong woman, she always prided herself in being independent, but it was far from the truth, she had been given a guardian angel, one that would remain watching over her. A sister who never backed out of trouble, having as sharp of a tongue as their guardian Felix, always making sure she was alright. For as long as she could remember it was the three of them against this shithole of a planet, two girls with a dream to get enough money and leave for good, to a faraway land where they´d be happy together. Even if times were rough they had a shoulder to cry on, they had each other, her heart was crumbling to pieces trying to process what happened in front of her very eyes.

Clinging onto the nearest person that happened to be Rhys she felt her dreams of the future fade, kicking and screaming would not bring her back. Her mind became her enemy as it filled her field of vision with memories of the past, laughter and drawings of their fantasy house, singing songs, braiding Sasha´s long hair. Shutting her eyes in hopes it could stop the pain, it was all in vain, and with time she had no tears left to cry, drained, powerless. To her surprise there was no malice from the Hyperion traitor, just kindness, he had apologized many times, too many for her liking, but the caring nature of his embrace not complaining simply being her support had her reconsider her final sentence. Unable to voice her gratitude for his aid, the look his eyes held told her she didn’t have to, the rattling of a wheel is what helped her jump out of her trance for the time being.

“You know I was planning on stealing everything once the Vault Monster died, but I really like hanging out with you guys, looks like you need an addition to the team-” too soon, Rhys was about to stop the robot from speaking any further, but he was too slow “so I guess I´ll stay”. What surprised him was a small smile on Fiona’s lips, as she reached out to pat the robot in a somewhat peaceful manner. “Only if you can keep up, the treasure won´t collect itself” Not leaving the girls side, he would watch her reach over to close her sisters eyes, a soft whisper escaping her lips, words unclear, before she would get up with the assistance of Athena. The ex-assassin truly was good in her line of work, a shadow, that he hadn´t noticed until now, glad to be on her side unable to stop a shiver creeping down his spine.

Whilst their team collected guns, Rhys allowed himself to nudge the Pandoran girl he had been watching over, walls that were built coming undone silent as a stalker, challenging her to a race to the vault. A choice he soon came to regret, for she could run in heels unlike Yvette who dreaded a tiny amount of heel, needless to say the programmer felt out of breath after the first few steps. Slightly embarrassed by his fatigue given he was not that good of a challenger, he truly needed to change that, perhaps he could add it to his list of New Year’s, not gonna happen, resolutions.

Standing in front of the humming portal they looked at each other, so this is it, the last puzzle piece, the grand prize, that was payed for with Sasha’s life. His stomach turned as they took a step forward engulfed in the silky plasm, vision fading only to find themselves in another, somewhere? They weren’t on Pandora anymore, it didn’t feel like the desert, the air was sharp, cool and worst of all heavy, next to the feel of the air the low hum from before hadn’t stopped, but formed into a deep melodic tune. Ominous, as to be expected, a blinding light was the first thing that greeted him, a hallway filled with crystals unlike anything he had seen before. Tempted to stick around and observe their glory, regretting not having an echo eye on hand, his curious nature taken hold of him.

Yet Fiona had other plans, stepping forth a hushed wow escaping her lips, unable to stop himself from commenting Rhys would speak, “You think they made this place big enough.” his voice carrying though the room, vanishing without a trace. Walking towards the center, their goal being a glowing treasure chest shaped box at the very top, purple-blueish lights, such as the ones illuminating from the key, eridium. Feeling the need to disturb their silence further the brunette would clear his throat feeling the woman´s eyes shift their attention to him. “So this is it huh, the end of our Vaulthunting adventure”, trying to figure out what was going on inside her head to no avail.

“Or perhaps it´s the beginning, I´m starting to grow into it” her answer was vague and dismissive, not engaging in further conversation, Rhys would turn his focus back to not tripping over his own footsteps. However Fiona felt the need to add to his question “What about you, ready to become CEO of Atlas and follow Handsome Jacks lead?” She would never not bring up the man that plagued him, feeling a phantom itch in his head trying his best not to let it show. “No, actually I have no idea what Atlas is going to be yet... I´m excited to find out. As for Jack he is gone, as is his legacy, I´m going to carve my own path” holding his hand out for Fiona to take they stood on the last platform, ready as they´ll ever be.

With both their hands placed on the chest it gave off a radiant glow, the humming grew louder, almost deafening, a warm sensation spread from his robotic arm to the very tip of his toes, before he was given a chance to panic or pull away, everything faded to black once more. There had been no gun, no treasure nor money in that box, but something far more powerful, a glimpse into the future or another twisted fate, for the Vault of the Traveler sent the victor onto a journey. His story was far from over, their story was just beginning, but to go forward one needed to know the end.