CHAPTER I: THE NERD
When people look down upon you -- and they’re always looking down at you, given that you’re 5'2“ only on a good day -- they don’t see you as anything other than a scrawny nerd. With your giant glasses and lithe physique, nobody has ever expected much out of you. They laugh at you, scoff at you, and openly mock you. You’re basically everyone’s last pick for anything. You’re avoided like the plague constantly.
To put it bluntly, it really sucks being you.
You’re thankful that you have Rhys, at least. He’s just as big of a nerd as you are, and that’s how the two of you bond, really. Looking at the two of you, nobody would ever expect that you would have been friends. You two could not look more radically different from each other. Rhys is tall and handsome, you’re short and... average-looking, you guess? The main difference between you two is that everyone thinks Rhys is cool, and you’re not.
It’s bullshit, though, because Rhys is just as big of a nerd -- if not even bigger -- as you are. Simply because he’s conventionally attractive, he gets a pass for everything. It’s frustrating, and there’s really nothing you can do about it. You can’t fight against your own genetics, as much as you’d like to, so you settle for life the way it is.
Still, despite how things are more in Rhys’ favor than in yours, he still sticks with you through everything. You distinctly remember a party the two of you tried to get into back in your college days. Neither of you were invited to this party, but that didn’t stop you from trying to get in anyway. Your much taller friend simply told you to play it cool.
That didn’t work out.
The bouncers were willing to let Rhys in, but one look at you sparked them to say “Sorry, we’ve already filled the nerd quotient.” You were left out on the curb, which wasn’t an unusual occurrence by any means, but it still stung. Another party you weren’t allowed to attend. You were always going to be the nerdy friend to Rhys’ cool guy persona, and that night simply cemented those feelings. You resigned to believe that was how things were always going to be, no matter what.
Yet, Rhys didn’t go into that party. He couldn’t leave you behind, and you’d always appreciate that. You couldn’t have asked for a better best friend.
CHAPTER II: THE MONEY MAN
Straight out of college, you go to Pandora’s moon and you end up working for Hyperion as an accountant at Helios. You’ve always been good with crunching numbers and sitting behind a computer, so your job comes naturally to you. Rhys tags along and ends up working at the same company as you, and wow are you thankful for that. Without him, you probably would have been miserably lonely. Even out of school, people still don’t think much of you.
Life isn’t perfect, but you can’t find too many reasons to complain about it. You have an okay job with okay pay. You’re good at what you do, and while you don’t feel respected in your company at all, you suppose it’s enough to simply work at a place where you can put your skills to good use. Besides, you have Rhys to hang out with, and soon enough, you also have a friend in local lunch leech Yvette, so that definitely helps things run smoothly for you. You could be content with your life and your position at work, but you and your friends are ambitious and want more.
Everyone looks to company CEO Handsome Jack as a shining example. He started at the bottom of ladder, just a simple code monkey for Hyperion, and then one day he was head of the whole company. While you didn’t exactly admire the guy like everyone else seemed to, you could see the inspiration in how someone of such a low standing became such a big deal. It gave all of your coworkers something to aspire to, believing that they too could one day climb out of their miserable jobs to become the boss of everyone. Of course, you were doubtful anyone was going to take Handsome Jack’s place.
Not until his very unexpected death.
Handsome Jack went down to Pandora himself, and he did not return. Officially, he was stated to have been killed by bandits on the planet in a heroic blaze of glory. You’re not so sure about the accuracy of that statement, but you do know for certain that he’s dead.
And that means that just about anyone can take his spot now.
While Rhys doesn’t outright say that he has the CEO’s chair in his sights, he does keep setting his sights and loftier positions and promotions. You’ve never been one to throw him to the side, so you help him in getting promoted time and time again. You eventually get in good with your asshole boss Henderson and put in a good word for Rhys so he can get promoted to a better position. All your plans fall apart when Henderson is quite literally thrown out the window and into the endless vacuum of space.
His successor is Hugo Vasquez, who is arguably an even bigger ass than Henderson was. Assquez, if you will.
Instead of being promoted, Rhys gets demoted to janitor thanks to Vasquez. But there was one good thing that came out of that meeting: the vault key. Apparently, Vasquez was supposed to buy a vault key on Pandora for ten million dollars. Those are worth much, much more than that, so you and Rhys hatch an idea: you’ll steal ten million dollars, go make the deal yourselves, and sell the vault key again to become unimaginably rich.
The moment you get to Pandora with the money, you’re severely overwhelmed, and the plan quickly deteriorates.
CHAPTER III: THE STRANDED
Pandora is one of the most hellish, if not the most, places you have ever been to. It’s hot, there’s creepy alien beasts running around literally everywhere, and everyone is an asshole. Awful. No wonder Handsome Jack hated this place so much.
And what’s worse is that you have ten million dollars strapped to your person in a briefcase rigged to explode if someone else tries to pry it open, so that’s not exactly helping you calm down by any means.
Within your first few moments on Pandora, you’ve seen a dude’s brains explode from his face where brains definitely should not be coming from. You’ve also seen limbs go flying off of bodies and oh God you’ve never seen so much blood in your entire life! You and Rhys had to call in a Loader Bot to create a distraction for the two of you to get to the deal, and you’ve never been more thankful for a robot in your entire life.
You and Rhys keep pushing forward, even though you’re a bit shaken by watching so much death in such a short amount of time. Along the way, you find some strange device that Rhys decides to just keep in his back pocket for the time being, and shortly after, you finally reach the deal Vasquez was supposed to go to. Telling the individuals present that you’re simply filling in for an ill Vasquez, things go wrong real quick, and it turns out that the vault key is a fake to boot.
Basically, you just stole a shit ton of money for nothing.
And then in an ironic twist of fate, that money gets stolen from you too! Some random bandits came by and just snatched up your briefcase the one moment you didn’t have it attached to your person.
FUCK! How much worse could your day get? As you would soon find out, it was going to get much worse.
You and Rhys find yourselves forced to ally with con artists Fiona and Sasha. Rhys, thinking that the device he found was going to help you all out, shoves it into the port installed in his head, but all that seems to do is knock him out. Great. By the time he comes to, you all come up with the bright idea of sneaking into a race to win back your hard-stolen cash. Unfortunately, you don’t win the money back. In fact, somebody breaks into the case and forces the bomb inside to go off, exploding all ten million dollars to burst into flames, reassuring you that no matter how bad things could get, they could still get so much worse.
You’re so dead if you even think about returning to Hyperion now. Even when Vasquez calls you upon discovering missing cash and assures you that everything will be fine if you throw Rhys under the bus, you know you’re still dead. You only agree to Vasquez’s plans in hopes of getting him off your back, definitely not intending to follow through with your agreement.
A stroke of luck comes to you in the form of the Gortys project. You, Rhys, and the con artists locate a strange device and decide to continue to stick together in order to find it. Unfortunately, you and Rhys get separated from the rest of the group. And that’s when Rhys reveals to you that the weird device he shoved into his head contains an AI of the deceased Handsome Jack that only Rhys can see. So that’s just another fun thing for you guys to deal with.
Actually, now that you’re thinking about it, Pandora isn’t so bad. It’s crazy and wild, sure, but that’s what makes you excited about it. It’s so far and away from your boring job, and you’re now more okay with the idea of living there for the rest of your days. You definitely can’t go back to Hyperion anyway, right?
In your attempt to reunite with the con artists, Vasquez manages to catch up with you, ready to kill both you and Rhys despite the deal you made with him, only to get interrupted and the two of you get rescued by Loader Bot instead. With him, you find the con artists and go on to discover what the Gortys project is. And, wouldn’t you know it, you get intercepted by Vasquez again. This time around, he fails to stop your ragtag team from getting a hold of the Gortys project. His failure quickly results in his death, as his business partner Vallory made sure to catch up with him and kill him for his failure. She tries to kill the rest of you too, but a vault hunter managed to swoop in and force her to retreat.
Gortys, as it turns out, is the cutest little robot on any planet, and she needs upgrades to find a legendary vault. The vault, supposedly, should be full of the most wondrous loot imaginable, so you agree to help her. Plus, she’s absolutely too cute to say no to.
You would die for this robot if it came to that because she really is that cute.
CHAPTER IV: THE CAPTIVE
It’s off to an abandoned facility for you and your crew to find one of Gortys’ upgrades. Gortys gets along well with everybody, particularly Loader Bot. She makes the trip to the facility much less painful, and for a while, things seem to be going okay. Nobody tries killing you, nobody loses any body parts, it’s all fine and dandy. You find one of Gortys’ upgrades, and then the plan is to find the next one.
Of course, with the way Pandora works, things don’t go to plan.
Vallory catches up with you yet again, and this time, she means serious business. You and your group put up a good fight, but a small group is no match for a seasoned mercenary and her crew. There is no winning. There is no running. She incapacitates the vault hunter who has accompanied you and she takes you as a hostage, demanding that you help her. Fiona is stubborn, though, and positively refuses to help Vallory. She practically spits the word no at her.
To repay her for those insubordinate words, Vallory takes a knife and stabs you with it. Just underneath your rib cage, a sharp, stabbing sensation shoots throughout your body, and it’s a hell of an agonizing feeling. You want it to stop oh so badly; you want Fiona to stop arguing with Vallory and just agree to her terms. Your small frame was not built to stand this kind of pain whatsoever. She doesn’t, and that just twists the knife, forcing the others to agree to her terms in her place. You’re thankful for this change in events.
Gortys’ other upgrade is back at Helios. You can’t go there in your unstable condition -- and even if you hadn’t just been stabbed, you can’t imagine any scenario in which you would be received warmly on Helios -- and so the rest of the team has to find their own way to get there. You can’t offer much help anymore. All you know is that you need to get out of there. You need to get away from Vallory, and if that means leaving behind those that you’ve learned to call friends, then so be it.
They’ll understand, you think. If it were any one of them who were put into your shoes, you wouldn’t blame them for trying to escape on their own. You’d rather they escape Vallory’s clutches than risk getting mutilated further. So, that’s exactly what you were going to do.
Your body may not have been in the best condition, but you could still get out of this miserable situation. You had to. While the rest of your friends made the trip back to Helios, you manage to escape your captors and run for the hills. You don’t get caught by them again. You don’t know if they bothered to find you again, or if your feet carried you too far from them. Doesn’t matter now, anyway.
You try to get in touch with Rhys, hoping you can let someone know you’re okay, but that doesn’t work.
You’re lost, alone, and afraid. You cannot go back. There is nothing waiting for you back there but Vallory and her henchmen’s clutches. You can only keep moving forward and hope for the best.
CHAPTER V: THE BANDIT KING
It’s a startling thing to watch Helios come crashing down onto Pandora’s surface. Even more startling is seeing a whole bunch of escape pods crash down with it, containing those who were stationed on Helios. None of the ones you find are Rhys, Sasha, or Fiona. You don’t find Loader Bot. Gortys is gone. At first, you have hope that you just haven’t found them yet, but eventually, you can only assume that the worst has happened to them, and it absolutely crushes you. All of your friends are gone in one fell swoop, and they’re not coming back.
Hyperion employees are all that remain. They emerge from their pods confused and alarmed, and suddenly, they look to you for guidance.
Not that long ago, they would have scoffed and laughed at you. Now they look at you with pleading eyes, hoping that you can help them figure out what the hell they’re doing on this strange and unnerving planet. You could have simply left them to fend for themselves, but you decide not to. You’re the only one of them who knows anything about how Pandora works. So, you take up the mantle of leader and you call yourselves the Children of Helios.
You feel as if you’ve transformed into an utterly different person. You’re not the timid, nervous man crunching numbers and wishing someone would notice him. You’re a leader, fully embracing this new, hectic life that you’ve been thrust into. You teach your followers the way of the land, showing them how to do so much. It’s a daunting task, initially, but you manage to shape them into decent Pandorans. You brush hands with death a few times on Pandora, but miraculously, you continue on with life. Things aren’t so bad, in fact, you’d argue they’re going quite well, but sometimes your thoughts drift back to the friends you lost. You wish they were still with you so badly.
It’s been quite some time since the fall of Helios when you’re suddenly captured. You’re thrown into the dirt in front of a masked man and some alarmingly familiar faces: Rhys and Fiona. They don’t recognize you, not at first, but once your captor lies dead and the masked man is incapacitated, you reveal to them your identity and happily reunite. From there, you bring all of them back to your base, only to discover that the masked man is actually Loader Bot. Not long after, you’re even reunited with Sasha.
Nearly the whole gang is back together again.
You discover what happened to Gortys, and you find out that Loader Bot brought you all together again to bring her back. Her upgrades made it so that she acts as a gateway to a vault. Unfortunately, she also brings a nasty alien monster with her, and she had been destroyed to stop said monster. With your help, Loader Bot wants to piece her back together and put a stop to the monster. Gathering up a team and coming up with a plan, you all manage to not only bring back Gortys, but kill the monster too.
With everything that’s happened, you’ve been on quite the adventure. You imagine that there’s only more to come.