You woke up and crept out of bed. It was silent in the two-story shack you shared with your younger brother, Wren. It was a modest little thing. Two bedrooms at the top of the stairs and a bathroom, cramped living room, and an irresponsibly tiny kitchen on the ground floor. Speaking of the kitchen, you slowly made your way to the coffee maker and started making yourself a pot. You weren’t excited for what was in store for the day.
This morning you and Wren needed to scavenge a fallen satellite. Living on the outskirts of Overlook, you had an easy time getting where you needed to be. It was still going to be a long journey, and it was going to be dangerous. As much as you hated it, you knew that you had to bring Wren with you. It was even more dangerous to leave your sixteen-year-old brother alone on Pandora… even if he is a good shot with a Maliwan.
You heard something scuffle behind you and you instinctively grabbed a second mug from the cupboard, “Morning, champ.” You greeted, voice cracking from the grogginess.
“Nng.” was all you got in response.
You cracked a smirk and shook your head. Teenagers. You poured a glass for both you and Wren and joined him on the couch. He took the mug graciously and immediately almost scalded his tongue on the hot coffee.
You shot him a look before taking a sip of your own mug. It was quiet between the two of you as you nursed your morning beverage. You snuck a long gaze at your brother like you have every morning, taking in how big he had gotten over the years. You were just ten when he was born. Your parents often scolded you over how much you doted on the tike. When you signed up for training at Maliwan company to try to bring your family out of poverty, he was only eight.
It sucked living away from your family for four years, but when you heard the news that your parents had been killed by a raiding party of psychos, you knew you had to get back home to take care of Wren who was only twelve at the time. The only problem was that Maliwan had a strict eight-year employment contract that you had signed in order to join their computer sciences program. You knew breaking that contract would have been risking your life. You didn’t care, though. You ran the first chance you got. Stowed away on a gun shipment to Pandora and booked it straight for your family home as soon as your crate opened at Marcus Munitions (which earned you a lifelong friendship with the owner.) You had been taking care of Wren, since.
“What?” the teen shoots when he catches your glance.
“Nothing, kid. Just thinking about how big you’ve gotten.”
“You always say that.”
“It’s always true. Can your big sister not dote on you anymore?” you said, leaning annoyingly close to the side of his head.
“Get out of here!” he laughs, pushing you back.
You lean back into the couch and sigh. “It’s gonna be a long trip, make sure you’re ready.” You reminded him, “And make sure you don’t forget your guns this time.”
Wren groans and sets his empty mug on the coffee table before getting up and heading back up to his room to go get ready. You rest for just a moment longer before you get up and start getting ready, yourself.
You approached the satellite about an hour ago. You and your brother thought it would be best to split up once you determined the area was cleared. There was a lot of scrap that you could refurbish and sell. You were thankful that you rented a Bandit Tactical so that you had enough room to haul everything back.
You were currently inspecting the biggest piece of the wreckage, looking for anything worth saving, surprised to find that the satellite was a Dahl company property. It looked like the satellite was built for radio transmission, so you knew you could sell some of these parts to the Echo Repair place in Sanctuary. Pulling out your screwdriver and miniature crowbar, you got to work pulling hardware from the dead machine. Things were popping out easily enough, but you became pretty distracted when you heard screaming coming towards you.
Dropping the tools and hard drive you were currently working on, you pulled your rifle off your back and spun around. It was Wren, running at you… no, running away from something. You set your sights behind him and saw a pack of ten skags following close behind.
You shot three rounds; two went down.
Four more shots; one down.
Many of the beasts were directly behind Wren, meaning you didn’t have an opening. You whistled and pointed right, praying that your brother still remembered the signals you taught him. He immediately turned right and kept running. Now you had a chance.
You lit off six shots and each hit their target, bringing a skag down. You snapped your sights onto the last one but it was as if time itself had slowed down to a snail's pace. There it was, mid leap at Wren. You fire and miss. It crashes onto your brother and you begin running. You could hear Wren’s cries of panic and pain. You were there in just seconds, pistol in hand and you shot the fucker four times in the head and it crashed to the ground, leaving Wren howling in agony.
You crouched down next to your brother, “It’s going to be okay. We need to get out of here. I need you to help me get you into the car, okay?” You told him in a soothing voice, wiping the blood and sweat off his face. He nodded and you hoist him up with one arm and prop him up with your shoulder. The walk to the car was excruciating for the both of you but eventually you got him into the car and fastened up. You ran to the other side and got in, immediately gunning it.
You were speeding as fast as you could through The Dust. You knew the fastest route to help, and that was with an old friend of yours. You were passing bandit camps so fast the psychos barely knew that anything went by. You could see the outline of the sand dunes and totaled cars that barricaded your destination.
You looked over. Wren wasn’t doing too good. He had lost a lot of blood since the attack. The skag ripped open his arm and back and the blood was still flowing, though not as strongly. You grabbed his hand and squeezed as you raced over one of the dunes and flew through the air. You landed harshly, about five feet away from Ellie’s garage. You heard a sharp cry next to you as your hand was nearly broken by the injured teen.
Ellie rushed to the vehicle once she saw you rushing over to the passenger’s side to help Wren out, “What in tarnation happened?!” she exclaimed, immediately helping you carry your brother inside.
“We need to get to Sanctuary. Need Zed.” You said in a rush, adrenaline kicking in and making it hard to speak properly.
Ellie helped you rush to the Fast Travel Station, getting both you and Wren under the sensor. She plugged in the coordinates, “You better keep me posted.” She warned before the light swallowed the two of you.
You were suddenly standing in the middle of the fast travel building in Sanctuary. You screamed for help, still holding your brother up on your shoulder. A couple of civilians ran to get assistance.
You had gotten Wren into Zed’s clinic with the help of some bystanding Crimson Raiders. They carried him all the way to the tables and you were more than grateful for the help. The doctor lept from the vivisection he was currently doing to rush over and examine the patient.
“Gimme the story.” He said, beginning to cut the clothes off Wren.
“A skag attack. His shield is busted, so it mauled him.” You managed to spit out. It was true. When you were driving you noticed a red blip coming from his shield, signaling that it wasn’t operational.
“It’s going to be pricey. Surgeries this invasive require more cash in order to keep the patient comfortable.” The doctor stated nonchalantly, as if someone’s life wasn’t on the line.
“Money isn’t an issue.”
“Do you have four million dollars?” He asked, grin reaching his eyes in a sick form of amusement.
Four million dollars?! The number made your eyes widen and a chill to run down your spine. You knew you could get the money. You knew that. But you also knew that it was going to be one of the most dangerous things you’ve done since coming back home. You knew you had to. You couldn’t let Wren die like this. He was all you had left.
“Start the surgery. I’ll be back with your money.” You said, your voice low.
You logged into your home computer and began running hacking programs you created a while ago for instances like this.You were in the shack next to your house. It was you workstation. Wren was never allowed inside. Scavenging wasn’t a secure means to cash, so you decided to use what you leaned in college to make sure you and Wren were always fed. Your targets were usually the weapons manufacturers that clogged Pandora like a plague. Today’s target was Hyperion.You knew they had the cash, and you knew they were less likely to notice an entire four million dollars being stolen.
Typing your commands, you couldn’t help but worry about your brother. You knew he was in safe hands (as long as you had the money for it,) but you also knew that all surgeries have a risk for complications. You were so focused on your thoughts, that you didn’t notice the target parameters changing from the company of Hyperion, to it’s very rich CEO.
You reached over and turned on your digistruction machine. It was a self care gift to yourself from a scav job. You could have sold it and made a decent amount of money, but you knew that it would have come in handy. You digistructed a good portion of the dishes in the kitchen, to be specific. As your computer ended the program you ran, the digistructor whirled to life.
It began putting together what looked to be a briefcase. You watched as it became more and more solid and once it was finished, you gingerly picked the case up. Opening it, you caught a glimpse of the most money you have ever seen in your life. You slammed it shut quickly and ran out of the shed and towards your vehicle. You had to get back to Zed as fast as you could.
Speeding up to Overlook, you punched in the Sanctuary coordinates and off you went. As your body was reconstructed in the massive town, you clutched the case in your hand just a little tighter. Fully formed, you sprinted back to the clinic. Ducking through streets like you were being chased by Handsome Jack, himself. Bursting into Zed’s building, you slammed the briefcase onto the counter. Zed looked up at you just long enough to watch you open the case. His hands went straight to morphine on the small tray in front of him, and he injected Wren.
“You don’t need to see this. Go get yourself a drink. I think you can afford it.” Zed said, without looking away from what he was doing.
“What do you mean I don’t need to see this?” You asked, taken aback.
“The damage done to your brothers arm was extensive. There was no way I could repair the artery that runs through it.” he stated.
“What does that mean?”
“Wren is going to have to have the arm removed.”
You felt your stomach lurch at the sound of those words. “N-no…” you whispered.
“I’m sorry, dear but it’s the best I can do.” he said.
He was right. You didn’t need to see this. You nodded and walked out the door. You really needed a fucking drink.