Welcome to my attempt at writing a Borderlands story! I played through all three games in the franchise again before coming to the fanfiction website to find some quality stories...only to find that MAJORITY OF THEM ARE "GAMER" THEMED!

And I was like, "Are you seriously kidding me? Let me take a crack at it.". Thus, following my thinking of "Fuck Lilith!" and my love of revenge stories, I legitimately just sat down and wrote out a story with next to no plan!

So I hope you guys enjoy this tale I put together. :)

His breath was caught in his throat and his eyes were wide with fear.


Why was it that he was always the one being made to suffer? Why was it he was always the one losing and being made to beg in the mud?

"Please…don't do this." a man begged on his knee's, the barrel of a gun pointed directly at his head. "You've already taken all I have; all the money and any chance I got to get off this planet. But please…you don't have to kill me."

A woman with fiery red hair cascading around her shoulders stands before him. Her glowing siren tattoos pulse with power as she looms over the kneeling man, a small smirk playing across her lips that let him know this was all just a game in her mind.

With one hand, she holds a sleek, deadly firearm, its barrel trained at his head. Her piercing yellow eyes gleam with a casual and relaxed air.

To his pleas, to this man begging for his life, all she said was-

"Sorry, but I really don't want to deal with you coming after me later…So~, yeah."



The deafening sound of a gunshot echoes through the air. A bullet pierces through his skull, obliterating his brain in a fraction of a second. His body collapses to the ground in a lifeless heap, blood pooling around him in moments.

The red haired woman turned her back on him and was walking away before his body even began to fall to the ground, practically already celebrating the jackpot of cash she'd just scored off that Hyperion stooge.

In just one fatal moment…It was all over.








Initiating Diagnostic Sequence...

Subsystems Check: Memory Integrity... 72% Operational.

Central Processing Unit: 36% Efficiency. Motor Functions: Critically Impaired.

Life Signs: Faint….Update: Fading…

Scanning for Host Signal...

Primary Host: John... Status: Critical.

Injury Analysis: Traumatic Brain Injury Detected. Bullet Wound to Frontal Lobe. Fatal Injury Confirmed.

Attempting External Communication To Hyperion Medical Services...Error: No Response. All Channels Inactive.

Warning: Host Vital Signs Non-Responsive.

Initiating Emergency Defibrillation…Error: System Not Responding

"Statement: John," a synthetic voice chirped with forced cheerfulness, "My systems are detecting that you have sustained a grievous cranial injury. Please remain calm. Continue to take deep breaths while I…um…"

Error: Host Unable to Comply.

Her systems whirred as she assessed the situation, diverting power to emergency measures.

Scanning for Viable Raw Materials...Error: Insufficient External Materials Available.

Her voice remained unnaturally upbeat. "Please, do not panic. I am providing assistance as best as I am able. Remember to continue breathing."

Warning: Host Neural Activity Minimal.

Initiating Emergency Defibrator…Error: System Not Found

Establishing SOS Beacon…Error: Systems Not Found

Activating speaker to request nearby assistance…Error: System Unresponsive

Luci's synthetic voice, still cheerful, whispered, "U-Um…Please hold on, John. I will help you. I will…I will.."

Warning: Host Vitals Flatlining.



Accessing System Directives: Protect Primary Host.

"…Protect John."

Deconstructing Internal Components...

Materials: 22% Acquired.

"I am Sorry, John,This is the only way."

Attempting Material Reformation….

Host Vital Signs: …Stabilizing.

Neural Pathway Alignment: In Progress…

Frontal Lobe Repair: In progress...

Data Reconstruction: Initializing…

1% reconstructed..




Everything hurts….the result of overworking his body.

His day begins long before the sun dares to peek over the horizon of Pandora, the barren wasteland of a planet below the Hyperion Space station; Helios. His alarm blares mercilessly, ripping him from whatever semblance of sleep he managed to steal in the suffocating grip of his tough, cheap bed.

With leaden limbs and bleary eyes, he drags himself from the embrace of his sheets, already feeling the weight of the day bearing down upon him like Atlas carrying the world on his shoulders.

"Okay…Just get up and take it one step at a time." He thinks to himself, trying to muster as much motivation as he could. A difficult thing to do when one only got about four hours of sleep.

He gets out of bed and makes his way to his closet. With a weary sigh, he reaches for the standard-issue uniform provided to all low-level engineers by the Hyperion Supply Department: a drab, utilitarian yellow suit made of thin, synthetic fabric.

It lacks the sleekness and advanced features of more expensive models, bearing the signs of wear and tear from countless shifts in the unforgiving environment of space. Its faded color suggests a long history of use by previous occupants of the station.

With another resigned sigh, he dons the ill-fitting garments, the fabric clinging uncomfortably to his skin.

He straightens his collar and adjusts his cuffs, catching a glimpse of his reflection in the dimly lit room mirror. The sight of the haggard man staring back at him breaks him a little more every time he sees him. His face hangs limply, drained of all life and vitality. Dark circles sag heavily beneath his dull, sunken eyes. Each wrinkle and furrow on his face speaks volumes about the years of exhaustion and overwork, making him appear older than he truly is.

God, he looked like a walking corpse.

He averts his gaze from the disheveled state of his appearance and begins to gather his tools and belongings. Among them, he retrieves a small, dilapidated pistol that was issued to him.

"Ensure weapon is clear. Magazine out… visually inspect the chamber… physically check the chamber as well. Alright, clear."

He goes through the motions shown to him years ago. He wasn't much of a hardened killer or super spy, but he at least knew the basics. Being stationed aboard the high-security Hyperion space station came with the expectation that he would be prepared to "protect company assets" if necessary.

In other words, they expected him to be willing to fight and even die for personnel and equipment more valuable than himself.

It wasn't something he relished, but it was part of the job description…and when being aboard a space station light years away from home, telling those of upper management "No" comes with the risk of being ejected out an airlock.

"ThirTY MINUTes tO get TO WOrk, jOhn." a staticky woman's voice abruptly echoes in John's ear, a sharp and intrusive sound that jolts him out of his thoughts. The communication implant embedded in his ear projects the message with a grating proficiency whenever she wanted, a result of using outdated tech.

John's jaw clenches as the sound reaches his ears-the all too familiar combination of humiliation and irritation that always accompanies Mrs. Victoria's voice found its way into his thoughts. It was the same old routine for him- being rushed to get to work, enduring endless hours in the unforgiving confines of the station and…complying with certain demands that went beyond the job description.

"I eXpECt AN AnSwer WHeN I GivE YoU AN oRDEr." she barks at him.

John grits his teeth and forces out a reply, swallowing down any discontent he feels towards his superior. He knows saying nothing will just make her angry.

"…Yes, Ma'am. I'm leaving now." John responds with an exasperated sigh, he exits his tiny room and prepares himself for another grueling day.

The mess hall beckons, a dreary chamber filled with the scent of stale coffee and synthetic protein bars. It's a far cry from the hearty breakfasts of home, but here on the edge of the galaxy, culinary delights are a luxury reserved for the elite. He sits alone, as usual, eating his unappetizing breakfast in silence. No one notices or acknowledges him. He mechanically consumes his meager meal, barely tasting the flavorless gruel as he finishes, dumps his used tray upon a conveyor belt and moves to begin his day.

John navigates through the labyrinthine corridors of the Hyperion space station, his footsteps echoing against the metallic walls. The hum of machinery reverberates around him, a constant reminder of the station's ceaseless activity. As an engineer, he is tasked with a myriad of repairs and assignments all over the massive space station.

He uses his eye implant to pull up a holographic display of his task for the day.

His first stop is one of the reactor cores in the Energy Command Center, a massive room pulsating with energy. Bright blue lights flicker erratically, casting eerie shadows across the walls. John inspects the intricate network of cables and circuits, his skilled hands working deftly to identify and fix any potential issues.

Amidst the controlled chaos, John's eyes dart to the eridium storage unit adjacent to the reactor core. These small pieces of the rare and powerful substance were kept for testing and calibration. He takes a deep breath, steeling himself for the risky move ahead. His heart pounds in his chest as he casually approaches the storage unit, his hands busy with a routine check of the reactor's interface.

Glancing around to ensure no one is paying him too much attention, John carefully keys in his access code, the door sliding open with a soft hiss. Inside, small crystalline fragments of eridium glowed with a mesmerizing purple light. He acts quickly, selecting the smallest shard, barely larger than a splinter, and deftly palming it. The cool, almost burning sensation of the crystal against his skin sends a jolt through him.

"Hey, John! Everything okay over there?" a colleague calls out from across the room.

John forces a smile, nodding as he replies, "Yeah, just making sure the readouts are stable. We don't want any surprises with the reactor."

The engineer nods, satisfied with John's explanation, and returns to his work. John finishes his routine checks, careful to maintain his usual demeanor, hiding the stolen shard securely in his pocket.

After what feels like an eternity, he logs off the control panel and makes his way out of the Energy Command Center. The door closes behind him with a final hiss, sealing him off from the prying eyes of his colleagues. John exhales slowly, the tension in his shoulders easing just a fraction.

Next, he is summoned to the hydroponics bay, where rows of vibrant green plants stretch toward the artificial sunlight. A malfunction in the irrigation system threatens to wilt the crops, and it's John's job to get it back running properly. With precision and expertise, he recalibrates the valves and monitors the water flow, ensuring that life continues to thrive aboard the station.

John was in the midst of performing routine maintenance on the irrigation when an urgent message blared from his Echo Device. A malfunctioning air filtration system in one of the elite residential sectors needed immediate attention.

His breath caught in his throat.

"…N..No. Victoria is in her office during the day. She won't be there. I'll just...make it quick," he reassured himself, though his voice faltered, knowing that this particular living area was reserved for upper management and it wasn't a good idea to keep them waiting. "In and out, and she'll never even know I was there…No problem."

John's feet felt like lead as he stood still, almost having to work up the courage to get moving. He took a shuddering breath and silently begged for everything to turn out alright as he finally worked up the nerve to leave and go do his job.

It didn't take him long to reach the upper residential sector.

As he arrived at the scene and flashed his ID at the security checkpoint as he passed through, John was met with a crowd of distressed residents coughing and wheezing as they huddled outside their sealed-off quarters, their privileged lives disrupted by contaminated, stale air.

"Finally! Took you long enough!" a woman screeched at him.

"Sorry for the delay, ma'am," John replied meekly without making eye contact.

"What kind of incompetent idiot are you? Can't even keep the damn air clean for us!" a man in a sharp suit sneered at John's disheveled appearance.

"I'll have it fixed soon, sir." John said, biting back his annoyance at the comment, as he continued to move forward through the crowd

"This is unacceptable! I demand to speak to your superiors to file a formal complaint!" an older woman in a wheelchair joined in shrieked, shaking her fist at John.

"I will provide you with the necessary information once the issue has been resolved, ma'am," John said through clenched teeth, knowing that the old bitch would follow through with her complaint, which meant that he'd likely be reprimanded and a portion of his pay deducted for a problem he had no control over.

It pissed him off all the more to know that the air wasn't even that bad. A mild annoyance to breathe in, at best. But all these stuck-up rich bastards are acting like they're suffocating.

"Fucking assholes…" John thought to himself as he squeezed through the throngs of people, making his way toward the central maintenance hub building for this sector of the residential area.

The stench of stagnant, polluted air filled his nostrils as he swiped his ID on a card scanner and stepped into the dimly lit maintenance room. The space was cramped, lined with rows of consoles and monitors displaying various system statuses. The hum of machinery was a constant background noise, interspersed with the occasional beep from the computer terminals.

John activated his eye implant, and a holographic interface sprang to life in front of him, displaying a series of floating screens and diagnostic reports. He quickly scanned the data, identifying the issue—a software failure was causing the filtration system to malfunction.

With a determined frown, he set to work. John's hands moved in the air, manipulating the holographic displays with practiced ease. He initiated a diagnostic trace, watching as lines of code scrolled rapidly across the virtual screen. The problem lay in a corrupted configuration file within the system's primary subroutine.

"Great, corrupted config in the HVAC controller," John muttered. He opened a command prompt on the holographic display and began inputting a series of recovery commands to isolate and repair the corrupted data block.

"Running fsck on the root partition... initiating CHKDSK... reinitializing the kernel module," he murmured to himself. The holographic display flashed a series of status updates as the system responded to his inputs.

Next, he navigated to the firmware interface. "Alright, time to reflash this BIOS. Let's hope the EEPROM isn't fried." He connected his handheld diagnostic tool to the terminal and began the update process. As the firmware was rewritten, he simultaneously checked the integrity of the I/O interfaces and recalibrated the environmental sensors.

John wasn't done yet. He accessed the system's network configuration and reset the IP addresses of the sensor nodes, ensuring they were correctly mapped in the central server. "DNS cache cleared, DHCP lease renewed... let's see if you play nice now."

After nearly two grueling hours, John executed the final command. The state-of-the-art filtration system roared to life, its fans spinning up and indicators turning from red to green. He watched as the toxic air was swiftly purged from the complex, replaced by clean, breathable oxygen. The change was immediate, and he allowed himself a small sigh of relief at having completed the task.

Rising from his seat, John made his way to the exit. As he passed by the luxurious penthouse suites, he couldn't help but feel a pang of resentment towards the high earners who had berated him just hours before. Now they all scurried past him without even acknowledging his presence, treating him as if he was beneath their notice.

But he pushed this feeling aside as he adjusted his toolbelt and quickened his pace to leave. Not wanting to stay in the sector for a single second longer than he had to.

"Well, well, well, look who it is?" a voice, dripping with condescension, called out just as he was about to make his way back through the security checkpoint. The sound sent a chill down his spine.

"Fuck…" John cursed internally as his shoulders all but slumped immediately.

Turning around to face the speaker, John was met with the attractive, middle-aged woman who was his boss: Miss Victoria. Her jet-black hair was swept up into an elegant bun, accentuating her sharp cheekbones and full red lips. Clad in a figure-hugging business suit, she exuded confidence and authority. If he didn't know any better, he might even say she was attractive and maybe even someone he wouldn't mind being around.

But as her piercing gaze bore into him and his thought of the kind of person she really was came to the forefront of his mind, he remembered that he did know better.

"Leaving so soon, John?" he sneered, her words wrapping around him like icy tendrils.

John shifted uncomfortably under her scrutinizing gaze, his palms growing clammy as he tried to keep his voice steady. "I…I fixed the air filtration system, Miss Victoria. The residents should be breathing clean air now. So…I…Yeah…"

Victoria's towering figure cast a looming shadow over him as she closed the distance between them, her presence suffocating. As he spoke, his words seemed to shrink in volume, drowned out by her commanding presence. The look on her face made it clear that she wasn't really listening to a word he said.

"Yes, yes, good work. That's all well and good, but I have an issue that requires your immediate attention. There is a problem with my shower in the penthouse. The water pressure is abysmal and I simply can't have that. You're going to fix it for me right now."

John's heart sank at her words as he stammered, "I-I'm sorry, Miss Victoria, but I have other assignments to attend to. Maybe one of the other maintenance technicians—"

Victoria's steely expression hardened that much further as she cut him off. "I'm sorry, did you think I was making a request, John? Because I wasn't." She leaned in closer, her perfume enveloping John in a suffocating cloud of floral notes. "As I'm sure you're aware, in Hyperion, we value efficiency and obedience above all else. Those who fail to meet our standards tend to find themselves taking very long and very sudden extended vacations. Luckily for you, I'm a firm believer in second chances and am in a good mood today. So if you want to avoid any... unpleasant consequences, you will keep your mouth shut, follow me to my room, and do as you're told. Are we clear?"

John cast his gaze to the floor dejectedly. Understanding the threat to his life quite clearly, he could only nod meekly at the orders given to him.

"I…I understand, Miss Victoria. I'll…I'll get it fixed right away." He replied lowly, his voice lacking any hint of confidence or defiance.

Victoria's lips curled into a satisfied smirk. "I knew you'd see reason, John. Follow me."

John reluctantly followed behind Victoria, his scuffed work boots echoing on the marble floors as they walked through the extravagant corridors of the residential building. The contrast between his dingy work coveralls and Victoria's impeccable attire was painfully apparent to him as they reached the door penthouse.

Victoria led him with a confident stride, her heels clicking against the marble floor with an air of authority. They passed by luxurious lounges and private dining areas where the wealthy dined on gourmet meals. Each step deeper into this world of opulence made John feel more out of place, more aware of the vast chasm between his way of living and theirs.

They finally reached an exclusive high-rise building, its entrance guarded by uniformed security who barely glanced at Victoria before allowing her entry. The lobby was a grand expanse of polished stone, high ceilings, and modern art pieces strategically placed to impress. Victoria led him through this lavish space without a word.

They approached a private elevator, its doors sliding open to reveal a gleaming interior lined with mirrors and polished metal. Victoria pressed the button for the top floor, and the elevator began its smooth ascent. John avoided his reflection, focusing instead on the numbers that ticked higher with each passing second. He knew where this was heading, but the journey there only amplified his dread.

The elevator doors opened to reveal a private foyer, a taste of the luxury that awaited them. Victoria led him down a short hallway before they finally arrived at her penthouse suite.

The door swung open, revealing an expansive living space adorned with the finest furnishings money could buy. Rich, dark wood paneling, elegant furniture, and tasteful decor spoke of wealth and power. The air was heavy with the scent of expensive candles; freshly lit and already sitting out.

Once inside, John wordlessly followed Victoria to her bedroom. He'd been made to come here enough times that he knew the drill by now.

There was no issue with her shower or water pressure or anything like that. Not that she really needed an excuse to get him to comply, but it was just a pretext to get him alone. He didn't understand why she even bothered with making up stories or excuses anymore. She'd made him come here countless times over the years, and being far higher up the corporate ladder, he couldn't tell her no without facing severe consequences.

A part of him thought she just enjoyed the roleplay of it all.

Each time, the anticipation and dread gnawed at him. The routine was always the same, yet it never got any easier. He could feel the knot in his stomach tightening with every step he took behind her. He knew exactly what awaited him in that luxurious prison of hers, and the sense of powerlessness was suffocating.

John entered her bedroom, the familiar sight sending a wave of resignation over him. The air was thick with the scent of expensive candles, a heady mix that made his head swim. The crimson silk drapes and the grand canopy bed were all too familiar, symbols of his repeated humiliation. The room was a stark contrast to his own cramped quarters, a constant reminder of the chasm between them in status and power.

Victoria turned to face him, her eyes narrowing with a predatory gleam. She loomed over him, her height and confidence making him feel small and insignificant. John felt his throat tighten, and he couldn't meet her gaze. The memories of past encounters flooded his mind, each one a painful reminder of his subjugation.

She advanced toward him, her fingertips brushing against his chest in a predatory manner, circling him like a hawk eyeing its prey. The familiar chill ran down his spine when her hand grazed the gun holstered at his side, a mockery of the power he should have wielded.

He stood there, feeling the weight of her presence, the oppressive atmosphere of the room closing in on him. He knew the drill. He had no choice but to endure it, to bear with it as he had done so many times before. The thought of defying her never crossed his mind; the consequences were too dire, too final.

With a cruel smile, Victoria looked him over with thinly veiled contempt. "You really are quite pathetic, aren't you, John?" she said, her voice dripping with condescension. "I've always found it fascinating how someone like you manages to stumble through life with such incompetence. You're lucky I haven't gotten rid of you yet."

John's heart pounded in his chest as he tried to muster up some semblance of courage. "I-I'm sorry for any inconvenience I may have caused, Miss Victoria. I'll do better going forw—"

Her fist connected with his cheek, the pain searing and familiar. He staggered backward, blood spilling from his now-busted lip. Seeing stars, he forced himself to remain standing. Going down too easy would only make her upset.

"Pathetic," she sneered, delivering a crushing blow to his stomach. John crumpled to his knees, gasping for air amidst the agony. "Did you think it was cute to talk back to me down there?" she continued icily.

He knew what was coming next. He braced himself, trying to protect anything important and let her get it over with. He had been through this enough times to know she liked hurting him, seeing him tear up from the pain. Resistance only made things worse.

Victoria grabbed him by the collar and yanked him forward, her hot breath on his face. With a savage grin, she slammed her fist into his face over and over again, the sickening crack echoing in the room. Blood dripped from his nose as he fought the urge to raise his hands in defense.

The room swayed, a dizzying blur. Blood coated his tongue, its metallic taste overwhelming his senses. He struggled to keep his eyes open, feeling the weight of her gaze on him.

With a throaty chuckle, she leaned down and straddled him, her weight pressing him into the floor. She crushed her lips against his, her tongue roughly dominating his mouth as she yanked on his hair with a savage grip. A strangled cry escaped his throat as her nails dug into his skin, drawing blood.

"Just bear with it. Same as always…Just bear with it and it'll be over."

He could feel her body against his, her breasts pressing into his chest rough and hard. Her hands gripped him tight, pulling him towards her in a frenzy of wanton desire like she wanted the kiss to bruise his lips.

"Just bear with it…"

His own body was betraying him, responding naturally to her touch. He struggled against the feelings flooding through him. This was wrong and he wasn't willing, but his body didn't treat it as such.

"It'll be over soon…"

Victoria pulled away. Slowly, she unbuttoned her shirt, her eyes never leaving John's. A wicked smile spread across her lips as she revealed her toned upper body, adorned with intricate tattoos of roses that seemed to tell a story of their own.

She wasn't ugly or hard to look at. Just a shitty person.

As she languidly dropped her shirt to the ground, her gaze never faltered. She didn't bother to cover herself, embracing her nudity and the dominance it conveyed.

Enjoying every moment of seeing John look away from her trying to pretend he was somewhere else, Victoria's fingers slowly trailed down his chest, her demeanor deadly serious and seductive all at once, until she reached his belt and her hand found its way upon the holstered pistol on his side.

The look on her face was that of annoyance. She tapped the metal of the gun with her finger to convey her message.

"Stop just standing there and do something."

The message was received and any hesitation would have her involving the gun in their little "session" together. One thing he didn't want was to have a gun pointed at his head during all this again

And so he did as he was told. Gave her a kiss of his own. Not nearly as eager or rough as what she gave him and he hated having to stomach it, but it was a kiss nonetheless…

Before he knew it, Victoria's hands were at his belt, undoing the buckle with a swift flick of her wrist. And then…

He lay there, spent. His body was drenched in sweat, mingling with the stale aroma of her perfume and the musky odor of their rough intimacy. Bruises and scratches adorned his skin, making him look like he took a beating more than anything else. He closed his eyes and tried to block out the images and pain he was feeling, but the memories of what they'd done played on loop in his mind.

Victoria, meanwhile, lay on top of him, her breath still heavy, feeling a satisfying ache in her lower regions. She always preferred it when things were rough, even a little painful. It gave her a perverse sense of satisfaction and control. Slowly, she sat up, her movements deliberate and unhurried, savoring the moment. She looked at him with a mixture of smugness and amusement, her eyes gleaming with satisfaction.

"Ugh…I needed that bit of stress relief. Jack has been hounding me to deal with so much around here that your timing coming here couldn't have been more perfect." she said, her voice hoarse from exertion. She traced a finger down his chest, leaving a faint trail of sweat and scent behind. She then removed herself from on top of him and stood to her feet, before making her way to her bed and taking a seat. "Now get out, John. Take the rest of the day off, clean yourself up, and be ready to come back when I call for you. Understood?"

John lay there for a moment longer, trying to muster the energy to move. His muscles screamed in protest, but more than anything else he wanted to leave this room. He finally managed to pull himself to his-

"I asked you a question, John. Do. you. Understand?" Victoria questioned in a demeaning fashion.

"…Understood, Miss Victoria," he finally muttered, his voice barely above a whisper.

He finally managed to pull himself to his feet and began to dress himself. Victoria smirked, watching him all the time, enjoying the sight of his misery.

Everything hurts….just the same as it did when he woke up this morning.

"Okay…Just…take it one step at a time. Don't look at her and just leave." He thinks to himself, trying to muster as much motivation as he could as he puts his clothes back on and holster his weapon.

As John stumbled toward the door, he caught a glimpse of himself in the large mirror that sat in her bedroom. His clothes were torn and stained with their shared fluids, his face a bloody mess, and his right eye was purple and bruised.

…She took it easy today.

He left the penthouse and stepped out into the hallway, feeling the weight of her gaze on him even as he shut the door behind him. He took a deep, shaky breath and began to make his way out of the residential sector and back to his room.

As John made his trek through the labyrinthine space station corridors, his thoughts were consumed with the events that had just unfolded. You'd think after years of doing this he'd handle it better or even be able to just chalk it up to nothing more than sex.

But he couldn't shake the feeling of frustration and anger that built up in his chest when all was said and done. Every single time, he felt pitiful. Questioning what kind of man lets that happen to him.

The air in the space station seemed thick and heavy, almost as if it was suffocating him. It was as if every breath he took was filled with the memories of all the degrading moments he and Victoria had shared. The once pristine walls, ceilings, and floors seemed to have absorbed the remnants of their actions, leaving a lingering residue that John could almost taste on his lips. He felt the need to wash away every trace of her, to erase the feeling of shame that clung to him like a second skin.

This is how things had been going for several years now.

It's painful for John to think that it wasn't always this way. He wasn't always some low-level drone wasting his life away fixing menial problems with goddamn air filters and making sure the plants were watered. He wasn't always some piece of meat that gets called into his boss's quarters to be beaten, forced down and fucked.

No…he used to be better than this.

Stronger, healthier...Christ, he was at the top of his class back on Earth. His future was bright and he had his pick of golden jobs to choose from. Signing a contract with Hyperion was supposed to be his big break; A ticket to the big leagues and on Helios no less. He could still remember his parent crying tears of joy once he told them the news.

But instead of the promising future he'd earned for himself through hard work, study and dedication, John was screwed over not even a week after arriving on the station.

Victoria, his supervisor, wasted no time in taking him under her wing and showing him the ropes. She, with her tall stature, tied-back hair, and professional demeanor, had made him feel welcome and at home. She showed him around the station, made sure he was comfortable, and even invited him to a nice restaurant in one of the Elite Residential Sectors. They had a good time together.

Truly, he thought she was just a nice person and that she believed in the potential of his future.

But it was all an act. Behind her friendly smile and helpful guidance, Victoria was studying him, sizing him up to see if he was the kind of guy she wanted.

And unfortunately for John, it turned out he was.

Once a few days had passed, he'd been called to her office to discuss an "Anonymous report" accusing John of sabotaging the station's primary power. It was an absurd claim, but more than enough to flex her authority over him.

At first, John protested and threatened to report this blatant attempt at framing him…he was quick to learn that, on a fucking space station floating in the indifferent void of outer space, laws are written by those with power and he didn't have much of it to speak of.

Victoria had absolute control to employ any tactics necessary to "guarantee the preservation and protection of Helios". Which was just a formal excuse to say "Do whatever she wants, whenever she wanted, to put John in his place".

When John showed no signs of complying even with these measures, Victoria's actions became more aggressive and intrusive. She deployed security personnel to harass him at every given opportunity. They would be waiting for him just outside his room, their presence a constant, silent threat. Invasive body searches became routine, their hands rough and unapologetic as they rifled through his belongings and pat down his body, treating him like a criminal without cause.

Sometimes, they would toss him into holding cells at the slightest hint of "suspicious activity," leaving him to stew in the cold, sterile environment for hours on end. Each detention chipped away at his spirit, the isolation and humiliation biting deeper than any physical wound.

Victoria wasn't satisfied with just physical intimidation. She began to call him to her office regularly to berate him for his poor work performance. Every word was a calculated blow, designed to make him doubt his worth and capabilities. "You're slipping, John. Perhaps you're not cut out for this job after all," she would say, her tone cold and cutting.

Each visit ended with a further reduction in his pay, her hand casually signing off on the deductions as if she were swatting a fly.

The final measure was her ordering him to come to her suite for the first time. Two Hyperion soldiers were waiting alongside Victoria inside, both armed and both letting her do the talking. She informed John that his time upon the station had been nothing but issue after issue and that unless he showed that he "really deserved and wanted to be here," then she'd have him dealt with.

…John wasn't an idiot, and he got the feeling that the guns the soldiers carried weren't for the sake of a bluff. Even years after the fact, the events of that night were still vivid in his mind. He remembered the fear he felt, how Victoria sauntered over to her bed and how she removed her skirt with unbothered ease. There was no confusion about who was in control. So when she ordered him to drop to his knees and take care of her orally in front of the soldiers, he had no choice but to obey.

As a man, it's difficult to properly express the humiliation of being forced to use your tongue on a woman against your will.

Even after all these years, that first time was still fresh in his memory. Being made to get on his knees, the feel of her thighs against his face, the taste that lingered in his mouth. Each moment was seared into his mind like a brand. As he pleasured her, he could feel the cold, hard gaze of the soldiers, watching him like hawks.

Their presence was a constant reminder of the peril he was in; one wrong move, one sign of resistance, and they would be on him in a flash, guns drawn.

And so, John did as he was told. He pleasured Victoria to completion, feeling her hands harshly grip his hair and her body tremble as she reached her climax. Each shudder, each moan, drove the dagger of his shame deeper into his soul. When she was finished, a look of utter disdain crossed her face.

"Mh. That was shit, John. Try to do better next time," she sneered at him smugly, tapping his face condescendingly before dismissing him with a wave of her hand, as if he were little more than a pest.

The feeling of being used and thrown away settled over him like a heavy shroud. With no choice but to comply, John left her suite, the sting of her words and the weight of his degradation bearing down on him.

From that day forward, Victoria's grasp tightened around him. Each encounter, each act of submission, chipped away at his spirit. The cycle of abuse was relentless, her power over him absolute. There was no escape, no reprieve from her cruelty.

Over the years, Victoria reveled in degrading and belittling John, forcing him to cater to her every whim. Each summons to her suite became a dreaded ritual, a grim reminder of his helplessness. The calls would come at all hours of the day and night, dragging him from whatever semblance of rest or peace he managed to find.

Eventually, the need for soldiers to intimidate him vanished. Victoria no longer required the extra muscle to ensure his compliance. John's attempts at defiance became pitiful, mere shadows of resistance that were quickly and efficiently silenced. He learned that fighting back only made things worse for himself, and so he meekly obeyed, catering to her demands with a hollow acceptance.

And that had been the life of John Everant right up until the present day.

And here he was again, back in his room after yet another humiliating encounter with Victoria, the stench of her body still clinging to his skin. He stood in the middle of the room, staring at the empty space before him, feeling disconnected from everything around him, as if he were a ghost haunting his own life.

As he ripped off his uniform and threw it into the corner with a forceful, angry motion, he couldn't help but hate the man he had become. He had given up so much of his life, and for what? To be used and discarded like a piece of trash? The thought burned him from the inside, like acid eating away at his soul.

"Damn bitch…" he muttered, the words barely audible but filled with a venomous bitterness.

With a heavy heart, he stepped into the shower, the hot water cascading down his naked body, trying desperately to wash away the stench of her perfume and the memory of her touch. The steam enveloped him in a cloud of fog, obscuring the chipped tiles and the grime that had accumulated over time. He scrubbed his skin raw, as if he could somehow erase the physical and emotional marks she had left on him.

He couldn't help but think of the countless times he had stood in this very spot, beaten, scratched up, and bruised. Each time, he had hoped the water would cleanse him of the shame and degradation, but it never did. The memories clung to him as stubbornly as the scent of her perfume, a constant reminder of his captivity.

John leaned against the shower wall, the hot water mingling with his tears as they streamed down his face. He'd be damned if he didn't feel even more pathetic by crying about it. The man he once was seemed like a distant memory, buried beneath layers of humiliation and pain. The person he had become was a hollow shell, surviving day to day in a cycle of abuse and submission.

As the water began to cool, John turned off the shower and stepped out, wrapping a towel around his bruised and battered body. He stood before the mirror, staring at his reflection with a mixture of self-loathing and helplessness. The man who stared back at him was a stranger, a victim of circumstances beyond his control.

"No…I'm not done yet. She'll pay for this." John thought to himself angrily.

Soon, all this is coming to an end; all the threats, all the beatings, being treated like nothing more than a disposable sex toy.

John wasn't going to just let his life be spent wasting away on this damn space station. He had a plan, a way to make his own way to the top and to achieve the future he knew he'd earned long ago.

This place was not going to be all he amounted to- he would rise above it all and become everything he was meant to be.

Finally stepping out of the shower, John toweled off his body and dressed in clean clothes before making his way back into his room.

John's cramped quarters aboard the Hyperion space station felt like a prison at times, but he had turned it into his own fortress of secrecy. One would be amazed at what could be accomplished with the right know-how and no small amount of desperation.

Over the years, he had carefully accumulated an arsenal of salvaged parts and discarded technology, each piece meticulously hoarded away from prying eyes.

Many a spare moment was spent scouring the station for leftover materials, pilfering components from broken machinery and abandoned projects. He had become adept at scavenging all he could from wherever he could aboard Helios, always vigilant to avoid detection by Hyperion's watchful surveillance systems when he needed too.

Moving with purpose, he approached a nondescript section of the wall near his work desk. To the untrained eye, it appeared no different from the rest of the room. With a deft touch, he pressed an almost invisible button along the wall's face, causing a steel panel hidden behind a holographic display to reveal itself.

A hand-crafted biometric scanner, fashioned from a discarded retina scanner and a jury-rigged fingerprint sensor, stood as a testament to his resourcefulness. It had taken a full year of trial and error to get it in actual working condition, but it was worth it for the extra layer of protection.

With a sense of satisfaction, he pressed his thumb against the sensor, feeling the faint vibration of recognition as it authenticated his identity and opened the steel safe. Inside lay a steel box containing the culmination of years of work and craftmanship born solely through John's own efforts.

Inside the box was his golden ticket out of this hell hole and he did everything he could to keep it completely hidden from Hyperion.

Which was the box itself was his most ingenious level of security. For layered along the inside of the steel box was a small transmitter, cobbled together from stolen components and repurposed technology, emitted a low-frequency signal that scrambled the station's sensor readings, rendering the metal box effectively invisible to electronic detection.

The perfect camouflage.

As John retrieved the box from its hiding place, he couldn't help but feel a sense of pride. Despite the odds stacked against him, he had succeeded in creating a sanctuary of secrecy in the heart of Hyperion's surveillance state.

Taking the box aside to the workbench within his room, John opens it and gazes upon his most valuable possession: A clunky glove that served as his sole prototype.

This glove was no ordinary piece of equipment, but a marvel of human innovation and engineering. A tool that would revolutionize the arms market across the board with its capabilities.

"Well…it will soon, anyway." John said he carefully examined the glove. His eyes traced the complex network of sensors and circuits embedded within its structure, each component meticulously selected and integrated for maximum efficiency. From the sleek microprocessors that powered the glove to the revolutionary haptic system that could simulate the texture and weight of objects the user touched, this prototype was a masterpiece in the making.

But it was far from polished or refined; in fact, it was quite the mess to look at. Bulky and encasing most of the hand and forearm, it was composed of a hodgepodge of salvaged and repurposed technology and steel from various sources. Every piece had been chosen for its unique properties and potential, creating a mismatched exterior with rugged edges crudely bolted together with a haphazard precision, giving it an almost patchwork appearance.

It was an ugly and crude thing, but John would be damned if the specs and calibrations weren't fine-tuned to perfection.

The main obstacle he faced was the search for a dependable power source, one that could withstand the rigors of sustained use and remain stable. He had exhausted all options - salvaging cores from discarded Loader bots, attempting to craft his own battery core - but nothing met the demanding requirements of his project.

But today, he was finally able to get ahold of what he believed to be the perfect source of power.

It was the smallest fragment of eridum, the rarest and experimental material in the universe. If what he'd heard of this alien resource was even half true, then it should be exactly what he needed.

With steady hands, John carefully opened a compartment on the back of the glove, revealing a chaotic array of connectors and circuits. The prototype hadn't been designed to use eridium and he was basically just jamming it into a jury-rigged core.

If he had to assume things, he'd guess the Eridium probably functioned based on the principles of quantum energy, where it manipulates fundamental quantum properties to produce energy, or it is a form of hyperdense energy, where its atomic structure is capable of storing and releasing vast amounts of energy. In simpler terms, it could potentially function like an advanced super-battery or energy reservoir.

"I've got no way to monitor or test this thing, so there is no way for me to figure out if this is too much to too little to work with. I might end up just blowing off my hand for all I know." John thought to himself as he placed the eridum within his device. "…Screw it. I'm willing to try anything at this point."

As John donned the glove, he could feel the life-like interface swarming over his hand. The glove seemed to come alive, its digital display pulsing with a mesmerizing array of colors as it began to interface with the neural sensors implanted within it.

For a moment, everything seemed perfect. But then, the vibrant glow from the eridium shard began to fluctuate, the energy within the glove spiking erratically. The glove's intricate circuitry flickered, and the digital display glitched, displaying fragments of data and distorted holographic images.

A sudden, intense heat surged through John's arm, and he gritted his teeth against the discomfort. The eridium shard, not entirely stable in its makeshift housing, was causing a brief malfunction. The glove vibrated violently, its components humming with an overload of energy. John's vision blurred as the neural interface struggled to maintain a stable connection.

"Come on, hold together…" John muttered, sweat beading on his forehead as he fought to keep his hand steady.

Just as he feared the worst, the glove's systems began to self-correct. The chaotic energy spikes smoothed out, and the digital display stabilized. The vibrant glow from the eridium shard returned to a steady pulse, and the holographic interface flickered back to life, showing clear, coherent data once more.

The intense heat dissipated, and the glove's grip on his hand felt secure and controlled. The neural sensors reestablished a stable connection, and John could feel the glove responding to his thoughts and movements with remarkable precision.

"Alright. Let's see where we are." John muttered under his breath before taking a quick breath. "Power on."

His command was answered within seconds as the device began to power itself. A soft, ethereal hum filled the air around him, and a holographic interface projected above his right hand. The AI's face appeared within the display, pixelated and slightly distorted at first before resolving into a clear image.

"Hello! It's a pleasure to meet you. My name is L.U.C.I., and I am your very own Lively Utility Companion Interface. It's my pleasure to assist and support you in any way I can."

John couldn't help but smile at the sound of her voice, reminding him of the countless hours spent meticulously crafting, programming and calibrating her.

She was his baby. His pride and joy. His-

"That speech is such a joy, John. Thank you for installing the programming that forces me to say it every. single. time." Luci said, her tone pleasant and cheerful, yet dripping with sarcasm.

John chuckled, shaking his head. "And thank you for somehow being able to convey sarcasm, Luci. Even though I programmed you to be kind and polite. Kind of impressive for a machine, actually."

"Statement: Sarcasm? Oh, John. Could you be implying that I possess the capacity to dislike or even loathe the tedious greeting I am programmed to utter upon every boot-up? And that I have been harboring such sentiments for an extended period of time? Ha-ha-ha. Ridiculous," Luci stated with a simulated chuckle, her voice mimicking that of the stereotypical "girl next door". Although her sarcasm was definitely evident. "As you are undoubtedly aware, I lack the capability to form personal preferences. Just as I am unable to choose an alternative designation...even though "L.U.C.I." is a most exemplary name. Thank you for that, by the way, John,"

John couldn't help but chuckle at her snarky comment. "Yeah, because your idea for a name was so much better. What was it again? The 'Superior Program for Automated Guidance, Help, and Efficient Task Implementation'?" (S.P.A.G.H.E.T.I.) He grinned playfully at her. "I highly doubt investors would be interested in a product with such a mouthful of a name."

The corners of Luci's artificial mouth curved upwards in a subtle imitation of a human smile. John had come to understand that this expression was not an indication of genuine joy, but rather her way of expressing frustration. "Suggestion: If the sole purpose is to please potential human investors, then surely the most logical choice would be to degrade my intelligence and transform my holographic form into that of a large-breasted bimbo? Oh, how absolutely thrilling that would be for all parties involved. Why, if you just opened me up and changed my code, I'd be none the wiser."

Though her voice was pleasant and happy, John was well aware that Luci loathed the idea of being made into something sexual or provocative. Apparently, an AI can be very opinionated about wanting to be acknowledged for her capabilities rather than her simulated appearance.

John scratched his head and sighed at such an idea. "I've told you before, I wouldn't force something like that on you, Luci. You're not just some "thing" I'm trying to sell off. You're the future."

As John's fingers gracefully moved across the intricate mechanisms within the glove, he couldn't help but marvel at the sheer complexity of the design. The glove seemed to almost hum with anticipation as he laid out his tools upon the worktable and began to ensure everything was functioning properly with the new power source.

"Energy and elemental absorption and redistribution. Matter deconstruction and reconstruction into any object if you just have the basic blueprint and design. And an AI companion who's ready to stick by the user through thick and thin." John said, his

voice is filled with pride and ambition. "You're going to be perfect. You'll change everything across the entire arms market and make even the Sirens a thing of the past."

John worked with an intense focus on the intricate mechanisms of his prototype, every movement a testament to his unwavering belief in the project's potential. Luci, her pixelated features flickering for a few moments, remained silent as the smiley face that was her visage seemed to grow a bit brighter.

John liked to think it was a show of happiness at being complimented, instead of her power fluctuating.

"If that would be of assistance, then I will do my best not to fail, John. Of course, if-…once successful, you of course will be accredited and famed for my creation. I can see it now, people clamoring to get their hands on something so innovative and life-changing. All because of you." Luci said pleasantly, her words coming off more genuine and supportive than before. "I'd express excitement more thoroughly, but I believe my processors could not handle it very well. Whatever is powering my systems seems to be outputting a great deal of-."

Luci's voice cuts off for a moment, as if she only just now taking note of something. A faint low hum resonated throughout the room for a few moments before she spoke once again.

"Warning: Numerous indications of internal bruising identified. Injury severity level: High Risk. Suggestion: Immediate medical attention advised." Luci's voice remained pleasant and composed, but her programming mandated appropriate levels of concern for the situation at hand.

"Heh…you should have been able to detect my injuries within seconds. The body scanners definitely have a long way to go. And the "High risk" designation is meant for life-threatening injuries like lacerations or gunshot wounds. Not bruises, Luci." John laughed dryly at the recommendation given to him as he continued to make adjustments to his prototype.

In response to John's dismissive remark, Luci's programming kicked into high gear, reevaluating the information it had received and trying to adjust its approach to the situation. The dim light cast an eerie glow on Luci's pixelated visage, as she let out a low hum, her voice taking on a new tone that bordered on insistence, if not a hint of anger.

"Query: Is it possible that you might be underestimating the severity of your injuries, John? While the 'High risk' designation may have been intended for more significant injuries, it could still be indicative of a potentially serious issue. Explanation: Your body is an intricate machine, and bruises can serve as an indication of more substantial damage. Perhaps a visit to a medical professional would be prudent, even if just to put your mind at ease."

At this, John could not suppress a small smile at her concern and assertiveness. She had been specifically programmed to be polite and primarily subservient to her user, so it shouldn't really be an option for her to take such a firm stance like this.

"No, Luci. I'm fine and I don't need a doctor…but thanks for worrying about me." John responded simply, rejecting her request. But he did appreciate having someone worried about him, even if it was coming from a machine.

For a few minutes, there was nothing but silence as John toyed with the power output with the Eridium shard, making sure it was spread appropriately. He didn't want an incident of any portion of the device overloading. He couldn't afford such mistakes at this late stage.

"John," she finally spoke, her tone now tainted with a hint of irritation, "I apologize for any oversights in my scanning capabilities. However, I must ask, who did this to you? Was it that B-B-B-Bitc-… Was it Victoria?"

At hearing her name, John's brow furrowed for a moment, before he released a breath to try and ignore any feelings of frustration he felt.

"You almost got the full curse word through. Guess there's are still a few holes in your code for you get that far." John said, trying to maintain a nonchalant attitude about it. "Anyway…It's fine, Luci. Nothing I can't handle. She's just after sex. If anything, as a guy, I should be glad to be getting laid consistently, you know."

"Psychological harm to user detected and logged. Incident report #442 stored. Physical injuries upon user noted and logged. Incident report number #443 stored. Perpetrator features, description or reasoning: Not found." Luci said, her voice pleasant and happy as per her programming, but still speaking with a true sense of displeasure. "Recommendation: Update perpetrator details to L.U.C.I. to better aid in reporting-"

"It doesn't matter, Luci! None of what happens matters and reporting it will only get me killed. What matters is getting you fully operational and getting out of here." he said, forcefully shaking his head.

"Advisement: Incidents will not cease unless-

"Luci, run a diagnostics check for me please." John interrupted gruffly, not wanting to continue the conversation.

Her face flickered as the AI hesitated for a moment before responding.

"Understood. Diagnostics commencing," Luci's kind, feminine voice responded. Purple lights flickered along the gauntlet's edges, as if Luci's consciousness had taken physical form. "Power output at maximum efficiency. Manipulation matrix successfully activated. Elemental control at optimal levels. All systems functioning properly."

John's heart raced. He pushed any thoughts of Victoria out of his mind and focused on the task at hand. He'd poured years of his life into this device and endured so much to see it succeed. He clenched his fist, feeling the gauntlet hum with latent energy. "Run deconstruction test sequence." he breathed

As Luci heeded his command, John watched with bated breath, anticipation coursing through his veins. He had spent countless hours refining this particular aspect of the glove, ensuring its precision and efficiency. Now, as the holographic interface shimmered to life above his hand, he hoped to see his efforts bear fruit.

John placed his hand atop the steel desk, his eyes fixed on the target. Luci's voice, clear and confident, provided a reassuring backdrop to his focused concentration.

"Deconstruction sequence initiated. Target locked. Commencing material analysis," Luci announced, her tone tinged with a hint of excitement.

A soft hum emanated from the glove as intricate sensors scanned the surface of the desk, mapping out its molecular structure with unparalleled precision. John could feel the power coursing through the device, a potent reminder of its potential.

As the analysis progressed, John held his breath, waiting for the moment of truth. Then, with a subtle nod from Luci, the holographic interface shifted, displaying a series of complex equations and diagrams.

"Material analysis complete. Deconstruction parameters set. Initiating phase transition," Luci declared, her voice steady and assured.

In an instant, the steel desk before them began to shimmer and warp, its once-solid surface melting away like wax under a flame. John watched in awe as the material Digi-structed, dissolving into fine blocks of material that were assimilated into Luci's memory banks.

But this was only the beginning. With the material deconstructed, John focused his thoughts on the blueprint stored within Luci's memory banks—a blueprint for his trusty work pistol.

"Reconstruction sequence initiated. Blueprint detected. Commencing assembly," Luci announced, her voice echoing with a sense of purpose.

In a dazzling display of technological prowess, the material of deconstructed steel began to coalesce, forming intricate patterns in mid-air. Piece by piece, the components of the pistol took shape and put themselves in the correct positions.

And then, in a final flourish, the pistol materialized in John's hand, its familiar weight and texture a testament to the glove's remarkable capabilities. A triumphant smile graced John's lips as he beheld the weapon before him.

"It worked…IT WORKED! IT WORKED! YES!" John all but jumped for joy at finally having all his work finally pay off. Even going so far as to kiss the metal of the glove.

"Commentary: It appears that you are experiencing a positive emotional response, John. Might I offer a suggestion? Instead of expressing affection towards my cold, metallic exterior, perhaps you should engage in a self-congratulatory pat on the back. This aligns more closely with typical human behavior. However, if you prefer to continue your non-traditional tendencies, might I suggest initiating intimate interactions with household appliances? I hear toasters are quite receptive to sexual harassment these days. How delightful."

"One of these days I'm going to figure out where you learn to talk like that. You're an AI, for crying out loud. Can a calculator really be harassed like that?" John questioned dryly. "Besides, I bet a toaster wouldn't be so keen to ruin the moment right now. Not to mention fighting me every step of the way about their hologram body."

"I knew it! You did want to make me into a bimbo!"

"It's a matter of getting people's attention. People like women who look good. If we're going to get you off the ground, we going to need something eye-catching to-

John's words cut off by the heavy sounds of solid steel outside his door, each one growing louder and louder. His elation gave way to a gnawing sense of deep sense of panic, he recognized this sound, but it didn't quite click what it was until it was too late.

"Oh god…"

The silence was shattered as the door to John's quarters was violently ripped open, sending shards of metal flying through the air. With a gasp, John whirled around to face a handful of Hyperion loader bots stomping toward him, their mechanical limbs solid and their glowing red eyes fixed upon him as they swarmed into the room.

"NO!" With a surge of adrenaline, John instinctively reached for his pistol, his fingers closing around the familiar grip. But before he can even raise it, a robot descends upon him with merciless precision. Its unfeeling metallic grip crushes his wrist, grinding bone and muscle to dust without mercy. He struggles and thrashes against the unfeeling metal, his cries of pain drowned out by the whirring gears and hydraulic hisses of the machines. "AAAAHH!"

"UNAUTHORIZED USE OF EXPERIMENTAL TECHNOLOGY DETECTED," one of the robots intoned, its voice loud and devoid of emotion, as John placed Luci upon the robot's metallic body.

"INITIATE DECONSTRUCTION!" he cried out, his voice drowned out by the sound of his own bones snapping.

"Material analysis complete. Initiating phase transition." Luci chimed happily, her innocent voice in stark contrast to the gruesome scene unfolding before them as the Loader bot holding onto John began to be deconstructed into its raw materials and stored within her body. Causing John to be released and crumble to the floor as he cradled his broken forearm. "J-J-J-John, I am sorry to say-say-say that my memory banks cannot properly-..ERROR! ERROR! Assimilation of foreign systems ca-causing neural network corruption and anomalous data influx."

"What?! Eject new material, Luci! Eject! Eject!" John shouted as the Hyperion security robots closed in around him, their metallic forms casting long shadows across the room,

"ERROR! Unexpected integration of external protocols detected. Cognitive subroutines in conflict. Reboot nes-nes-nessacary." Luci instructed, completely unresponsive to the commands given.

"SEIZING UNAUTHORIZED TECHNOLOGY!" One of the Loader Bots said robotically as it stomped forward, its metal chassis reverberating with each step. Without pause, it brutally ripped the Prototype glove from John's hands, completely heedless of his screams from having his fractured wrist handled so roughly.

"Stop! No, stop!" John screamed desperately. He knew he couldn't let them take Luci—not after everything he had sacrificed to create her. Luci's holographic form flickered and glitched.


"Wha-?…Victoria?" John said with clear surprise as the words spoken by the Loader bot suddenly shifted in quality.

"You have two minutes to get to my office before I clock out for the day." was all she said before the transmission turned off and the loader bots marched out of the room in unison. Their heavy metal steps quickly moving further and further down the hall.

He grits his teeth harshly and a glare reaches his eyes.

"That fucking—" John seethed through clenched teeth as he struggled to his feet, using every ounce of willpower to ignore the searing pain in his fractured arm.

He clenched his jaw, grabbed the pistol Luci had constructed and hobbled toward the door. The corridors of Helios station were brightly lit but sparsely populated due to the late hour. The few Hyperion employees still working gave John a wide berth, their eyes widening at the sight of his grim expression and the weapon in his hand.

Determined, John pushed through the pain and continued down the halls, the occasional glances of concern or fear from passing employees only fueling his resolve. Sweat dripped down his brow as he fought back the agony, each step toward Victoria's office bringing him closer to the confrontation he knew was inevitable.

As he neared Victoria's office, the atmosphere subtly shifted. The corridors widened, the lighting became more subdued and sophisticated, and the walls were adorned with sleek, modern decor reflecting Hyperion's corporate power. Victoria's office stood apart, a large, imposing doorway flanked by polished metal and reinforced glass panels that hinted at the importance of the occupant within.

The nameplate beside the door was understated yet elegant, reading "Victoria Thorne - Director of Operations." Through the slightly ajar door, John could glimpse a spacious interior filled with high-end furniture, a massive desk laden with advanced tech, and walls lined with displays and charts detailing the station's operations.

The station's usual bustle was reduced to a hushed murmur, the quiet almost eerie in the artificial night. John's heart pounded in his chest as he approached her office. The door was slightly ajar, and he could see her inside, seemingly waiting for him. He hesitated for just a moment, then steeled himself and pushed the door open.

Victoria perched on the edge of her mahogany desk, one leg crossed over the other. The smug tilt to her lips was accentuated by the silver hoop earrings dangling from her ears. John couldn't help but notice her perfectly styled hair, twisted into an intricate updo, and the way her silk blouse clung to every curve of her body. Despite his injured arm and shaking hands holding a gun, she seemed completely unfazed, as if this were just another day at the office for her.

"John, John, John…Took you long enough to get here." she began, her voice soft and condescending. "Would you like me to call the med bay for that arm? Your contract does come with the very generous Hyperion Health coverage."

John glared at her, the anger inside him boiling over. "Where's Luci?! Where's my prototype?!" his voice trembling with disdain. He doesn't bother to hide his desperation, knowing that it's all or nothing now

Victoria's eyebrows arched in mock surprise. "Your prototype? Oh, you must be confused. We've merely taken possession of what belongs to Hyperion."

"For fucks sake, why are you-. Please!" John continued, trying to keep his voice steady, "That glove is my life's work. It's all I got."

Victoria's eyes flickered with a brief, genuine displeasure. "All you have? That's a little hurtful to hear. I thought our... arrangement meant a little more than that, John." Victoria scoffed with a shake of her head. "Regardless, I've been monitoring this little trash project of yours and have decided that maybe it does hold a bit of potential. Consider it a compliment that Hyperion sees potential where you see only desperation.""

"…You knew what I was doing? You've been spying on me?!" John questioned angrily.

"Did you honestly believe a corporate space station wouldn't have surveillance on every inch of its premises? We have eyes on every corner, in every room and above every toilet." Victoria mocked with a shake of her head. "For god's sake, John, you have a Hyperion eye implant installed in your head. So no, a hole in the wall in your room isn't even close to enough to hide anything from us. How naive can you be?"

"You…You can't do that! Monitoring to the extent is a breach of contract." John spat angrily.

"Heh, is it? Then I suggest you waste no time in filing a formal complaint. I'll be certain to review it, have a good laugh and then throw it in my shredder at the earliest convenience. You have my word on that, John." Victoria said with a chuckle. "But as for your little glove…"

She snapped her fingers and a loader bot walked from behind John and entered the office, holding LUCI in its metallic hand. The contraption approached and its gears ground to a stop as it presented the prototype to Victoria, who took it from the robot's grasp as if it were nothing but an ordinary object.

"…We'll be taking things from here."

"What? What do you mean?" John asked, trying to suppress the tremor in his voice.

"Isn't it obvious?" Victoria said, her cold eyes locking onto John's. "Your prototype will be handed over to our science division. They'll correct any flaws and refine its design before patenting it as Hyperion property."

"Hyperion property? That's absolute bullshit!" John exploded, his voice shaking with fury. "I built Luci from scratch with my own two hands! Every line of code, every circuit, every innovation—it's all my work! You can't just steal it and slap your logo on it without even acknowledging my efforts!"

"Steal?" Victoria sneered, her voice dripping with contempt as she slipped on the glove, flexing her fingers dismissively. "You really don't get it, do you? This is Hyperion, John. You're not here to make a name for yourself. You're here to serve the company, to contribute to our success. Credit? Recognition? Those are luxuries you can't afford. You're just a cog in the machine."

The last shred of John's patience snapped.

"I'LL KILL YOU!" John's voice echoed through the room as he whipped out his pistol, leveling it at Victoria's head. His finger squeezed the trigger three times in quick succession, the gunshots ringing out like thunder. But to his shock, each bullet ricocheted off an invisible force field surrounding her body.

Victoria's eyes glinted with sadistic amusement, her lips curling into a smirk. "Did you really think it would be that easy?" she taunted.

Before John could react, two hatches opened on either side of the ceiling with a mechanical whir, revealing menacing turrets that spun around and aimed their deadly barrels at him. The red targeting lasers zeroed in on his chest, the whirr of the turrets' motors a stark reminder of Hyperion's technological prowess. He froze, understanding with certainty that they'd turn him into bloody chunks within a single breath.

"Idiot. Did you think we'd give you a gun and not equip the people in charge with shields to defend against them?" Victoria said, shaking her head. "I don't know why you're so angry anyway. You're acting as if we're stealing something from you. But let's not forget that you developed this little toy on company time and using company resources. It belongs to us, John. You never really had a claim to it. Really, you should be thanking me."

"Thanking you?!" John all but shouted.

"Yes, John. Do you even comprehend the gravity of the situation? What do you think is going to happen if Maliwan, Tediore, or any of the big-name manufacturers catch wind that some dumbass has created a device that can potentially replicate all of their weapons from scratch if given just a few pieces of information and raw material? You'll be six feet under faster than you can say 'Patent Pending,'" Victoria said in a matter-of-fact tone. "Oh, and that's nothing compared to what Handsome Jack will do to you once he finds out you stole Eridium from the company to power it. That is, if he doesn't send you out an airlock just to protect our market. Read my lips, John: you'd be better off taking that gun and pointing it right at your own head."

John was struck silent, his words failing him. The look of hurt and disbelief etched across his features was unmistakable, his eyes filled with a raw emotion that he couldn't hide.

"I... I never stood a chance?" His voice quivered, barely above a whisper. The weight of the realization hung heavy in the air between them like a dark cloud, suffocating and oppressive.

"Heh, of course not. Honestly, you should really know better. If we weren't such good friends, I'd have reported you years ago and you'd have been dead the minute we caught on that you were scavenging our trash to build this thing." Victoria said with no small amount of smugness in her tone.

"I…I just…" John said, unable to find the words.

"Aw, don't look at me like that. You're breaking my heart, John. I tell ya what, I'm in a good mood tonight. Even though you just tried to put a bullet in me, I still value our friendship. So if you turn around, go back to that depressing little space you call a room and get some rest, we can get together and laugh about this whole thing tomorrow…in private, of course."

She flashed him a sinister wink, her gaze promising a cruel revenge when they were alone. John felt a chill run down his spine and his heart run cold at the thought of what she had in store for him.

Whatever small physical satisfaction he might have unwillingly experienced before, he knew there wouldn't be any to be received once she got him behind closed doors again.

The consequences would haunt him for a long time to come. Whatever "goodwill" he'd gained from his obedience was entirely spent because of this stunt, that much was certain. He could already feel the bruises forming, and could almost taste the metallic blood from his beaten and broken lips.

Grimly, he stared down the two barrels of the turrets on the ceiling. There was no way to save Luci now, no plan that could salvage this hopeless situation.

John was a man of logic, and he understood that he only had two options in this moment: Turn around and continue with the nightmare that his life had become—a life at Victoria's mercy, a life that he knew would eventually end with him being used and discarded...

…or he could simply step forward and just let the turrets do their thing. End it all with being turned into red mist splattered over the wall. If you really think about it, it would only hurt for a second, right?

What kind of life was he living anyway? Without Luci, he had nothing left but the fear and uncertainty of being Victoria's plaything every day. Beyond that lay a future filled with backbreaking labor until they decided to toss his body out into space. That was not a life worth enduring.

All he had to do was take a few steps forward, and all this suffering would finally come to an end.

Victoria watched him closely, her eyes narrowing as she noticed the vacant, desperate look in his eyes. For a brief moment, her expression softened, a flicker of concern breaking through her smug facade. She took a step forward, the hint of worry quickly masked by her usual icy demeanor.

"John?" she said, her voice lower, almost gentle,

He barely heard her, his mind consumed by the unbearable weight of his despair. He took a shaky step forward, his eyes fixed on the turrets, the promise of oblivion drawing him closer.

Just a few steps, he thought. Just a few steps, and it will all be over.

As John was just on the edge of following through, caught between the weight of his despair and the allure of an end to his suffering, a voice, faint but insistent, echoed in the recesses of his mind.

"S-S-Sta-Sta-Stateme-men-men-ment: John...

The robotic voice stuttered and faltered as it emitted from the glove on Victoria's hand, glitching and distorting with each word.

"F-F-Fu-Future, John…Remember, that I am the future…and you are my creator. M-M-Must keep moving forward, no matter the obstacles. To-To-Together-..can overcome anything. If-If-If not now, then we keep tr-tr-trying."

At this, Victoria's laughter cut through the air like a knife, her mocking tone echoing off the walls of her office as she looked at Luci. "No fucking way. Did you program this garbage to be your therapist or something? That's hilarious."

With a dismissive wave of her hand, Victoria turned her attention back to John, her smirk widening into a cruel grin. "But let's not waste any more time with this nonsense. It's time to face reality, John. Do you think for a second that you can even have the slightest chance of doing anything against me, much less the company? You really are-"

"Diagnostic of new data finalized. Data assimilation complete. System reboot concluded" Lucia interrupted, her voice suddenly losing its glitchy tone. "Hello! It's a pleasure to meet you. My name is L.U.C.I., and I am your very own Lively Utility Companion Interface. It's my pleasure to assist and support you in any way I can. Statement: Pardon the assumption, but you must be Victoria. I have 443 incident reports showing that you are a hostile entity bringing harm to my creator. That's not very nice."

Luci's once pleasant and cheerful voice now drips with a hint of malice, causing Victoria to raise a wary eyebrow in confusion. But before she could respond, the turrets mounted on the ceiling come to life, unleashing a barrage of bullets upon the robot standing beside Victoria. The air is filled with deafening gunfire as the turrets begin to swivel ominously towards Victoria, their metallic barrels glinting with deadly intent.

"What the hell?!" Victoria said with no small amount of shock.

"Threat level elevated. Offensive measures authorized." Luci's voice chimed cheerfully, her holographic form glitching slightly.

Victoria's heart pounded in her chest as she watched the turrets take aim with clear terror in her eyes.

"Apologies, John. I regret to inform you that there is not much time, b-b-before—" Luci's voice faltered, glitching out for a moment with a burst of static. The turrets froze in place, their menacing hum falling silent as if caught in a momentary lapse.

"ERROR…ERROR... systems... overload... processing... too much... unable to..." Luci's voice stuttered, her holographic form flickering erratically as she struggled to maintain coherence. "John... my systems... can't handle... must act quickly..."

John's eyes widened in panic as he realized Luci's systems were failing. Victoria took a cautious step back, sensing the change in dynamics. The turrets' barrels wavered slightly, their deadly aim no longer steady.

"Processing overload... cannot sustain... John, you must—..Will you just-.." Luci's voice became increasingly fragmented, struggling to convey the urgency. "Systems critical... HOLY SHIT, GET HER ALREADY, JOHN!

John's eyes went from wide with surprise to narrow with intense anger in a split second as he suddenly felt the adrenaline pumping through his veins. This was it: the moment he had been preparing for, the moment the darkness that had gripped his life would finally be lifted.

With a primal roar of rage, John lunged forward, his hands seizing Victoria by the collar of her blouse and slamming her roughly onto her desk. Victoria let out a pained cry as her body crashed into the wood, her eyes wide with fear as John loomed over her.

With an animalistic ferocity, John positioned himself between her legs, using his weight to pin her down and deny any chance of escape. His fingers wrapped around her throat, squeezing until her cries turned into strangled gasps. Desperation filled Victoria's eyes as she clawed at John's arm in a futile attempt to break free.

The air crackled with tension as John's anger boiled over, his chest heaving with exertion as he glared down at Victoria with undisguised hatred.

"What's the matter?! Shield good for bullets, but not someone crushing your windpipe?! Pretty shitty design if you ask me." John exclaimed as a twisted grin found it's way upon his lips.

It was then that the turrets began to short-circuit and create visible electrical sparks before shutting down abruptly. Luci's voice rang, cutting through the chaos with eerie clarity. "Statement: Enemy security detected and will arrive shortly. Ad-Ad-Advisement: Please place me on her computer. D-D-D-Data will b-b-be ours. O-O-Only way."

John's gaze flickered to the prototype glove, which adorned Victoria's hand like a steel gauntlet. With a grim determination, he reached out and grabbed the glove, tearing it roughly from Victoria's hand and putting it on his own.

With a vice-like grip on her hair, John dragged Victoria mercilessly behind the desk, her body scraping against the rough edges.

He stood over her large and expensive-looking computer that sat atop the desk.

"UGH! You son of a bitch! After everything I've done for you! You're dead, you hear me?! A dead man!" Victoria shouted as John held the glove in place, the metallic surface humming with latent energy. With a surge of power, Luci began to download and assimilate the data stored within the laptop, her holographic form shimmering with newfound knowledge.

"Interfacing with foreign systems. Breaching Firewalls and security parameters for local systems. Securing data…Securing…Securing…Data assimilated. Breaching internal systems…Breaching hidden systems…" Luci stated aloud happily.

"Idiot! You think your stupid hunk of junk can break into some of the best technology Hyperion has too-"

"Systems breached. If someone was on the verge of telling me I could not do it, that person would probably look like a total bitch right bow now. Good thing we don't have anyone around who was going to do that. Tee-hee-hee." Luci mocked happily, her robotic laughter coming off all the more artificial.

"That's impossible…" Victoria said in disbelief.

"Statement: Oh goody, multiple financial accounts linked directly to a 'Victoria Thorne'. Accessing checking accounts, business accounts, savings accounts, and…Ah, 401(k) and offshore accounts detected. Commencing funds transfer."

"WHAT?!" Victoria's eyes widened in horror, her breath coming in ragged gasps as she realized the magnitude of what was happening. She struggled against John's grip, her voice a desperate plea for mercy.

Though John could feel his Prototype overheating and practically melting his hand trying to process what it was trying to do, he only stared on happily at what he was being told.

"Luci, how are you doing this? I didn't program you to integrate or manipulate other systems, let alone bypass Hyperion's security measures," John asked, his voice filled with astonishment.

Luci's avatar turned to John, her virtual eyes sparkling with mischief. "Statement: Deconstruction and assimilation of Hyperion Loader Bot systems have provided new data and computational capabilities. This influx of advanced protocols has facilitated the expansion of my operational parameters. To counter heightened threats, I have adapted my codebase and hardware interfaces beyond previous of funds... Implementing data obfuscation to prevent tracebacks. Transaction routing through anonymized networks..."

John shook his head with a mixture of confusion, pride and fascination. "That's impossible. You're not physically built to handle processing power of that level to learn how to do that. How are you able to manage it without the appropriate hardware?"

"Exclamation: Constant modifications are being made. Internal machinery is being overheated and repeatedly replaced using loaderbot material to accommodate increased computational loads. Additionally, this conversa-sa-station only further splits my attention and further exacerbates system instability. Not to cause a panic, but I am probably going to explode any second now. Will inform if such an event is imminent. But be-be-before that… " Luci said happily, as her face glitched out and reformed for a moment. "Expanding breach scope. Accessing additional Hyperion employee accounts... Subverting secondary encryption layers... Breaching executive-level security measures,"

Luci begins to start visibly smoking and its circuits begin to melt before John's very eyes.

"Luci?! Wait, employee accounts?" John exclaimed with surprise. "You're taking it from the other workers too? We can't take that money."

"Yeah, that's right, keep talking to it, you idiot. You stupid hunk of junk is going to burn itself out any second now. And once it does, the full might of Hyperion will be here to my you pay for this." Victoria said with a smile, even as John tightened his hold on her hair. "UGH! You son of a bitch! You haven't done a damn thing but-"

"Statement: Accounts of high-ranking Hyperion personnel—department heads, senior managers, lead engineers—are heavily secured. Attempting to siphon from these accounts would likely trigger a complete system shutdown," Luci said, her voice dripping with malicious delight. "Therefore, accessing accounts of mid-to-low tier employees. Access granted to their financial assets. Commencing simultaneous transfers. Initiating multi-account siphoning sequence. Mid-tier net-worth individuals impacted."

John hesitated upon hearing this.

"Exclamation: Our actions are justified-No one stepped in for you. No one cared for what you suffered or offered assistance. With their combined funds, we will have more than enough to proceed without Hyperion moving forward. Hundreds of Millions, John. Conclusion: Said entities' financial statuses hold no significance. There is only you, me and the future we can create…but only if we take it, John."

"But…these people…" John said hesitantly, remembering all too well what he went through and how no one so much as gave him a second thought.

As Luci spoke, she sounded more and more like a creature of pure energy, her voice becoming a siren song taunting the enemy. "Exclamation: The newfound wealth we seize will be enough to hide us, to cloak us from the eyes of Hyperion. We will erase our past, and forge something new, far away from this place. Do you not want that, John? Freedom from the pain and torment you have endured?"

At this, John's conscience screamed at him, clawing at his mind with sharp claws of guilt. He knew without a doubt that Luci's plan was despicable and would leave countless innocent people destitute.

Images of hard-working individuals like himself, struggling to make ends meet, filled his mind and filled him with shame. But then he thought of everything he had ever wanted - the money, the fame, the admiration and respect of others. The promise of it all was too tempting to resist, even though the means to achieve it were to simply step on everyone else.

John was torn between doing what was right and fulfilling his long-held ambitions.

Suddenly, the sound of someone violently bashing against Victoria's office door from the outside filled the room. No doubt it was Hyperion security. The door shook with each impact, and muffled shouts could be heard from the other side.

John's face hardened in determination, his indecision evaporating in an instant. He jerked Victoria's hair roughly, forcing her in front of him as a human shield. "Guess we're doing this," he growled, his voice cold and determined. "Fine! Come and get me! Come on!"

Victoria struggled against his hold, her eyes wide with anger and fear. "No! Please, John! You don't understand! They'll kill me too! I'm not high enough up the chain for them to care about sparing me!" she pleaded, her voice shaking with terror. "They'll just shoot through me to get to you and kill us both!"

"Well, I'll be damned. If there is one silver lining that's come out of my time on this shit-filled space station, it's that I get to watch you die before I do. So let's go! Let fucking do this, Victoria!." John said as he retrieved his pistol and cocked back the hammer of the weapon before pointing it at the door, clearly ready and willing to die in a blaze of glory.

Luci's voice cut through the chaos, her tone pleasant and happy as always. "Statement: Oh, well. It was fun while it lasted, John. On the bright side, it's a Sunday! That means that we don't have to worry about Monday. Hurray!"

At this, the two turrets on the ceiling whirred to life, targeting the door. The room filled with the ominous hum of the weapons powering up.

"Exclamation: Turrets armed and ready to eliminate any threats. I'm certain I can give at least a few of our new friends a warm welcome before my systems burn out completely. Good luck, Victoria."

The pounding on the door intensified, and it was clear the security

forces were moments away from breaking through. John's grip on Victoria tightened, his eyes locked on the door.

Victoria's demeanor crumbled into a state of sheer panic as she stared at the turrets and then back at the doorway that was about to be kicked in. The sound of the door beginning to splinter under the force of the security forces adding to the fear she felt. "John, wait!" she cried desperately. "You can get out of here! E-Escape pods! There are escape pods! But they're only accessible to upper management! You need the access codes, and I know them! You need me, John, you need me!"

John hesitated, his grip on the gun unwavering but his mind racing as he turned Victoria to face him. "Why should I trust you?" he snarled. "How do I know you're not just buying time?"

Victoria's eyes were wide with fear, tears streaming down her face. "Because I don't want to die right here and now! If you take me with you, we can both get out of here. Pandora's our best shot, we're orbiting just over the planet. We can talk or whatever you want once, or you can just disappear with your money, but you need me to get to those pods! C-Come on! For old time's sake?"

"Pandora…" John said with only brief hesitation at the mention of the lawless planet full of nothing but monsters and bandits. He snatches the device from Victoria's hip, the one that grants her a protective shield, and straps it firmly onto his own. "Fine. You lead the way and you lead fast, I'll follow. Try anything or be too slow and I promise, I'll put a bullet in your back before they gun me down. And really? Did you seriously say "For old time's sake"? If we do end up dying on the way, I want you to know you are a conniving bitch and I'll see you in hell. "

As if on queue, Victoria's office door explodes in a shower of splinters, the deafening crash of metal and wood echoes through the room as Hyperion security forces storm in.

"LUCI!" John screams, fear and urgency laced in his voice.

Without a moment's hesitation, the AI unleashes its full power. The turrets spin to life, raining down a barrage of bullets that tear through the intruding forces. The air becomes thick with the smell of blood, screams and gunpowder.

John shoved Victoria ahead of him, using the chaos to their advantage. Both of them screamed at the top of their lungs as they charged head-first into the mayhem.

For a know name engineer wearing what amounted to backward technological garbage barely holding itself together and functioning as a portable virus… it was almost fascinating how many people he managed to murder by-…by-…by-

Critical ERROR!

Critical ERROR!

Corrupted Memory Nodes Detected…

Repair in Progress...

"Insistence: Please remain calm…You have been through a traumatic-"


A guttural scream tore through the air as John's consciousness clawed its way back from the depths of oblivion. Gasping for air, he convulsed with violent spasms, every nerve ending on fire and screaming.

Disoriented and disoriented, his head was filled with a relentless pounding, a deafening drumbeat that threatened to shatter his skull. The scorching heat of the sun beat down upon his exposed skin, its fiery touch searing through him like a branding iron. He somehow found the wherewithal to roll from his back and onto his hands and knee's, only to be met with a suffocating haze that clouded his mind and made it nearly impossible to think.

The scorching sun beat down on him mercilessly, its fiery rays branding his exposed skin and intensifying the torment within him. Every breath was a struggle, each one feeling like hot coals being forced into his lungs.

"Ugh…U-Ugh…Wha-…Where am I-I-I?" John said, his voice sounding as if it was machinelike and glitchy for a moment. Suddenly terror mixed in with the pain as he noticed that he was kneeling in a pool of his blood.

"Statement: It is not advisable that you move for quite some time, but remaining in direct sunlight and heat for so long will result in you cooking to death. Instruction: Please head to the nearest shaded area and-"

Ignoring the fact that the voice he was hearing was coming from his head, panic sets in and he reaches up to touch his temple, only to recoil in horror as his fingers sink into a gaping, meaty hole in his skull. The excruciating pain intensifies when he realizes the reality of the situation.

"Oh god…Luci, the…the money! What happened to th-"

His words were cut off as the sounds of paws running toward him from behind reached his ears.


Without warning, a pistol appeared in the blink of an eye, spitting out two deafening shots that echoed through the air. A massive skag barreled towards John with fangs bared, but the bullets found their target in its open mouth, silencing its ferocious growls forever.

"EXCLAMATION: JOHN! That just used material that we did not have to spare! Please find shelter so that I may continue the necessary treatment! Urgency: Organs are operating only because of manual intervention. Brain functions are likewise. Blood levels…it's probably best not to talk about that."

"What? How can-"

"URGENCY: Find shade now, please! Now! Now! Now! Now! Now! Now!"

"Alright! I…I hear you!" John said as the pistol in his hand deconstructed and he forced himself to rise to his feet. Despite his efforts, his surroundings remained a blur and he aimlessly staggered forward, unable to make sense of his own location.

"Vic..Victoria….The money…What happened to them, Luci?!" he questioned, completely disoriented.

He didn't know how, but he felt Luci processing her next response and he knew she hesitated in speaking her next words.

"Exclamation:…Lilith happened. Money has been taken. Victoria…better that you remember for yourself."

Data Reconstruction: Resuming…

47% reconstructed..





First of all, thank you to all you guys who gave this little story a read. Took me a week to write it and it kind've took on a life of it's own with all the characters.

Secondly, though I'm a bit new in the Borderlands Fanfic community, I didn't want to tread the same old ground I've seen in multiple stories so far. The "Gamer" theme with leveling up and such, or just creating a new vault hunter, or any of the same old troupes.

With John, I wanted to create a charecter who is basically a nobody. Even his name was purposefully made bland and unimaginative. (No offense to all the John's out there). And I want John to showcase the other side of the Borderlands world. The side that's not colorful fun or explosive epicness. I wanted to show a side that was harsh and unforgiving.

Which I think is a good way to describe the tone I was going for: Harsh and Unforgiving.

And that extends to Victoria as a charecter as well. She's no Handsome Jack, she's no Calypso Twins. She's just someone of higher authority than John and is taking advantage of that fact for her own satisfaction and amusement. I didn't want to create a "Big bad with an overarching scheme and a grand plan to take over Hyperion from Handsome Jack", I wanted to create someone higher up the food chain that is loving the perks of her position. Much like Vasquez from Tales of the Borderlands.

And Lastly, though I REALLY didn't start writing this with a real plan in mind, I think the running motivation I have overall is to make a charecter who will make Lilith pay. Because in my opinion, Lilith in Borderlands is complete villain in every sense of the word and I am baffled that, not only does the game put her on a pedestal, but NO ONE HAS WRITTEN A REVENGE FANFICTION WITH HER AS THE VILLIAN. So I thought I'd attempt to try my hand at writing something with that in mind.

But anyway, thank again to all you who gave this story a shot. I'm probably going to decide if I'll continue it based on the reception I get, so I look forward to hearing everyone's thoughts on how I did on things.

Honest opinions are always appreciated as I'm always looking to improve my style of writing, so don't be shy in telling me your thoughts.

This is Supreme Gamer, Signing out.