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Skies the Bodyguard 2

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Chapter 1


            The demotion of the century; a ten million dollar Vault Key deal gone sour; said ten million dollars blown to shreds; his old employers trying to kill him; the AI ghost of a corporate dictator- and his hero- living in his head.

            To sum it up, Rhys’ trip to Pandora has not gone well.      

            The only good thing that’s happened the last couple days is his best friend, Vaughn, actually believes him about his Handsome Jack ‘situation’. He may have been sceptical at first, but they’ve known each other a long time. They can tell when the other’s telling the truth.

            But that doesn’t amount to much now, with the two- three- of them stranded in the middle of a Pandoran desert.

            Now they’re resting under a large rock in an effort to stay out of the sun. Every so often, Rhys looks up at the Hyperion space station, Helios, to see if his old friend, Yvette, has sent them a car yet. But it’s quiet.

            Rhys sighs and rubs the back of his neck with his robot hand. The cool metal feels nice.

            “How do you think the girls are doing?” Vaughn asks. He’s sitting beside Rhys, staring at the sky.

            “Oh, I’m sure they’re fine,” Rhys replies, “they’re tough.”

            They’re talking about Fiona and Sasha, born-and-raised Pandorans they met through the botched Vault Key deal. They were working on finding a new Vault together when Helios attacked them, splitting them up.

            “Hopefully they make it to Hollow Point alright,” Vaught says.

            “Ugh, come ooonnn,” Handsome Jack groans. He’s been pacing back and forth in front of them for the last couple minutes, looking not unlike an agitated cat. Rhys has been trying to ignore him but once he starts talking, it’s a little difficult.

            “I’m dying here, cupcake,” Jack whines, “literally dying again- of boredom! Let’s get going, let’s do something.”

            “You expect us to walk to Hollow Point?” Rhys asks drily.

            “Actually, I expect you to walk to Old Haven,” he replies, “that would make much better sense strategically. But anything would be better than just sitting here.”

            Rhys sighs and looks past the hologram to try to ignore him. Who knew Handsome Jack was so whiny?

            He spots something moving around the outcropping of rocks across from them and jolts. Two skags have emerged from their den. They notice the pair of ex-Hyperion workers and snarl.

            “Uh, Rhys?” Vaughn says fearfully as they jump to their feet. The skags stalk towards them, drool dripping from their chops.

            “Finally some action,” Jack says excitedly, clapping his hands together.

            “Heh, uh, g-good boys,” Rhys nervously says as he slowly draws his stun baton.

            One of the skags roars and charges. Rhys and Vaughn scream.

            Something suddenly leaps off the rock they’re against, tackling the skag to the ground. Even the second skag is surprised.

            Whoever they are, they’re definitely human. At least, for the most part. They keep the thrashing skag pinned to the dirt and stab it multiple times in the head with a machete.

            The second skag gets over its bewilderment and charges the mysterious person. They start to turn but Rhys responds faster.

            “Hey!” he exclaims and lunges forward, jabbing the skag with his stun baton. It yips as it flies off, hitting the ground hard.

            The person looks with Rhys with surprise and he flinches back. They’re wearing a Psycho mask.

            They quickly hop off the first skag and run over to finish off the second with their knife. Once they’re sure both beasts are dead, they stand up straight and face Rhys.

            “A Psycho,” Vaughn whimpers as he cowers behind his friend.

            “A female Psycho,” Jack adds, “never seen that before. S’kinda hot.”

            The person definitely looks like a woman with a mess of long, curly brown hair. She’s wearing a single black boot and black pants with the right leg cut off at the thigh, showing off her robotic peg leg made of exposed scrap parts. She’s also got on a black shirt and a brown trench coat with the right sleeve tied at the shoulder as she’s missing her arm. Her Psycho mask looks cheap and handmade, with a painted blue Vault symbol crossing over the left eye. There’s a hole for her left eye but a patch covers where her right eye would be.

            She scans Rhys and Vaughn appraisingly, lingering on the Hyperion logo on Rhys’ vest, his stun baton, and his one boot-less foot.

            “Uh,” Rhys coughs, breaking the tension. “Thank you for saving us.”

            “Yeah, thanks,” Vaughn adds, “you-you’re not gonna e-eat our eyeballs…are you?”

            The suspicious glare in the Psycho’s eye seems to soften. “Nah, eyeballs aren’t my thing.”

            “That voice,” Jack muses.

            Rhys and Vaughn watch with surprise as she puts her machete away in her coat and takes off her mask. She’s got a nasty, jagged scar that cuts straight through her right eyelid to her temple. She looks kind of familiar.

            “Skies!?” Jack exclaims in disbelief.

            “Skies?” Rhys questions, glancing at him before looking back at the girl. “Skies the Bodyguard?”

            She shakes her head. “Ex-bodyguard.”