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Where Angels Fear To Tread

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Screaming. Nisha wasn’t even truly conscious of what she’d just done until the screaming bore into her skull. High and piercing, echoing off the wide, open room.

Jack’s body had fallen back over one of the barriers after the shot to his head. His knees hooked over the top leaving his legs dangling limply, the only thing in view. Lifeless. Nisha supposed it was a mercy to the screaming girl that the rest of his body wasn’t visible.

Nisha’s arm was still in the air, pointed directly at where his head had been. Shaking from the effort of being held up.

How long had she been standing here like this?

Terrified noises to the side jerk her to attention, Angel screaming again as Nisha makes eye contact with her. A small gasp of fear as Nisha’s trembling arm finally lowered, the woman slowly facing her.

Of course Angel was afraid. She’d just watched Nisha, a woman she’d not even properly met, whip out a gun and abruptly shoot her father in the head.

Why wouldn’t she be next?

But she was was wrong. The confused and combative stare Nisha was giving her had nothing to do with anger towards her. It was just a woman being forced to process the idea that she was about to do the right thing. Be a good person.

She was doing something that actually would make her more than just the bandit who kills bandits.

- - -

Jack keeping things from her wasn’t anything unusual, hell, normally it wasn’t even anything malicious. Just boring Hyperion business that Nisha couldn’t be assed to care about.

The only part of his business that Nisha was interested in and somewhat annoyed he wasn’t sharing was the progress with the vault key. She knew he had one. She knew he was doing something with it. She knew he wasn’t telling her for a reason.

Jack’d even been visiting her less and less as she started asking about the vault key more and more.

It had come to point on his most recent visit.

He’d blustered around, ranting about her never prodding about anything else, why was she prodding now? But eventually he relented to her piercing glare and crossed arms.

Jack’d said it would be easier to show her than to tell her.

Ever since she’d been gifted Lynchwood she’d really stopped her adventuring ways due to, you know, the responsibility of running a town. Initially she’d honestly been pretty excited about going somewhere different, especially knowing that there was a vault key at the end of this rainbow.

Granted, she’d rather be jostled around in a rough and tumble vault hunter buggy than riding shotgun in a fancy schmancy Hyperion luxury car but at least Jack was taking care to crush as many hapless wild animals under the heavy wheels as he could.

Each one eliciting a sharp and cruel laugh out of the woman as she hung out of the window. Getting just the perfect amount of blood on her.

Behind her, Jack kept grabbing the back of her coat to keep her from flying out the window. More amused by the danger than worried.

She hadn’t even bothered to open the door when they stopped outside a wide, open Hyperion building. Just slid right out the window before sliding back over the hood to retrieve her hat from Jack’s head.

But that’s where the fun ended.

He’d led her up to the top of the building, Nisha noting it was actually kind of pretty up here. Weird place to keep a vault key though. Why not keep it up on Helios where the bandits can’t get at it?

The weirdness was just starting as Jack instructed her to stand back for a second. A bioscan before he leaned forward into a mic.

“I love you.”

Hearing those words out of Jack’s mouth felt weird and foreign and wrong. An odd wariness falling over Nisha as she let Jack grab her wrist and lead her inside the newly opened door. A sinking feeling that was more than just the elevator down. Gut feeling of a rat in a maze as Jack led her deeper inside. Pressing a button.

An unfamiliar woman’s voice spoke, “Executing phaseshift.”

Jack explained as the room shifted around them, eventually revealing a young woman in front of her. Hovering in the center of the room, pale face looking down at them sadly.

Glowing white wings making her live up to her namesake.

Angel. A heavenly siren with her wings clipped.

Nisha didn’t even react at first. Just staring at the girl like a dumb, gaping child. Jack either not noticing or not caring as he continued to lead the listless Nisha around like a drifting giant spore.

Unaware of things clunking into place into his girlfriend’s mind. Unpleasant things. Memories of being locked in a closet, her mother banging on the door when she dared to start crying.

She dully looked in the general direction of Jack, fiddling around with some dials. Explaining that Angel was able to charge the vault key with her powers. In equal parts explaining little technical things about the room they were in and putting an emphasis on Angel’s mom not being in the picture, don’t worry about it, babe.

That was what Jack was worried about? Nisha being jealous?

So he soldiered on, still giving empty platitudes as there was the sound of a pump. Purple seeping down some of the tubes and into the pale women’s back.

Angel’s scream, contorting in pain high above them, cracked into Nisha’s skull. Echoing her own screams as a child, a glass shattering against her skull, blood dripping down her face, her mom cackling at her pain.

A sharp bark of laughter had brought her back to the present, Jack’s arm around her and shaking her a bit, “What’s the matter, Nish? You look like you’ve seen a ghost.”

The rest was a blur.

- - -

A blur that led to the current predicament of “Nisha standing in a room with Handsome Jack’s body and apparently his daughter Angel hovering above her.”

Oh holy fuck she had to get this kid down and get the hell out of here.

Whatever was in Nisha’s head it was like the opposite of a conscience. Yelling at her for doing something so reckless and dangerous to herself, all of Hyperion would hunt her down, kill her. Not only had she killed Handsome fuckin’ Jack but she was about to steal what was no doubt considered Hyperion property.

She ignored that part of her brain, admonishing her for daring to act out of consideration for anyone but herself.

Luckily just enough information about Angel’s containment had permeated Nisha’s brain as she pounced on the control board.

Above her, Angel watched her with absolute horror. She had vaguely heard her father reference dating a cruel sheriff, she supposed based on appearances that this woman must be her. The one she had just watched shoot her father down in cold blood.

And what… what was she doing now?

Angel didn’t have to wonder for long as the clunking noise above her announced her being disconnected.

A sound usually reserved for her being taken down to be tested on.

But Nisha certainly wasn’t going to be doing any of that, as Angel touched down on the ground. Tubes and wires still sticking out of her back like a mess of snakes biting into her spin.

Seeing Nisha approach her was terrifying, the sound of thick heels on tile feeling like being stalked by a tall, spindly predator looking to eat her up. But she didn’t. Stopping in front of Angel and looking at her with the look of utmost confusion.

She flinched at the long fingers pushing her heavy bangs out of the way.

Angel blinking up at Nisha with undeniably her father’s eyes. One blue, one green.

“I’m not gonna hurt you, promise,” Nisha tried to sound soft, “I’m gonna get you out of here, kid.”

Before Angel could answer the loud, blaring alarm came over the sound system unseen above. Blood red and yellow light flashing out a warning.

Nisha looked at the still connected girl in a panic, mess of wires and tubes sticking out of her. Roughly grabbing and yanking, there was an almighty racket of noise as cords snapped, tubes broke free, plug ripped out.

Almost immediately, Nisha failed her promise to Angel as she yelped. Majority of the long tubes tearing from above but nearly as many pulling free from her back.

“Shit, sorry,” Nisha hissed, jerking Angel forward to examine her back between the mess of wires and cords. No blood. That’s… good? Either way she grabbed Angel’s hand and tried to start running, “C’mon, let’s go!”

Only a few steps in proved that was going to be a worthless effort as Angel either couldn’t, or possibly wouldn’t, run.

Growling, Nisha scooped her up in an over the shoulder carry and took off. Gun up and at the ready to take out each and every Hyperion schmuck who dared to even look at her on the way out.

And given the location, she was going to have a hell of a body count before this afternoon was out.