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 |Borderlands| Begin Anew |1-on-1 rp|

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PostSubject: Re: |Borderlands| Begin Anew |1-on-1 rp|   Mon Jan 18, 2016 6:42 pm

Zer0 forced himself to release the hold on his sword's hilt, if only to put everyone at ease. Best not let tempers rise further aside from his and Naeva's. It was going to be a long day, however, that much was quite clear already. Still, at least everyone seemed ready to move on after long last.

Naeva's tone didn't escape his notice. The exhaustion already prevalent there... well, that wasn't a good sign at all. Yes, a long day indeed.

Nonetheless, they were filing into the caravan one-by-one, slowly even. Zer0 lingered at Naeva's side while the others piled inside, waiting to be the last ones in. He had no want to be sandwiched between anyone if he could help it and this way he could avoid that easily. Naeva might well be entertaining the same thought if he wasn't mistaken.

"A worrying trek / in store for us here. Such things / now outed to them," he murmured for her ears alone. Even so, he headed into the caravan as well, keeping their conversation in hushed tones for just them as he did.

It was Sasha who sat at the driver's seat today, looking comfortable as could be within that seat. Naira didn't mind this, seeing no need to take the wheel herself. It left her free to brood or keep an eye on everyone. As such, Naira seated herself at the little couch again. Already she'd passed out twice in twenty-four hours, best be somewhere more comfortable in case she dozed again so soon.

Vaughn joined her at one side, maybe already expecting his buddy to sit next to her. If that was the case then maybe it wasn't just Naira thinking that Rhys wanted to keep her in eyesight... This thought she kept to herself.


"If it's not too much to ask, let's not out any more secrets today, huh?" Fiona shot her way, looking both wary and maybe a little amused.

Naira waved dismissively in answer as Zer0 and Naeva entered the caravan themselves.

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PostSubject: Re: |Borderlands| Begin Anew |1-on-1 rp|   Mon Jan 18, 2016 7:01 pm

One by one, they started into the caravan. She and Zer0 would wait until they could pile in last. Neither were quite comfortable with their relationship out in the open and yet, there it was. Thankfully, no one had questioned further than what was needed.

She pinched the bridge of her nose briefly, trying to ward off a potential headache. This was going to be a long trek for sure...

Zer0's words were soft, no doubt having intentions to keep the conversation between them. Neither had been planning this and what was worse, there was no preparation for it either.

"I'm beginning to think this is more trouble than it's actually worth..." she commented in return but nonetheless, followed right in, "There are too many risks for her to just...say that out loud..."

Unless her intention was to put Naeva in harms way. It was hard for Naeva to believe but...well, she was Hyperion now. They had done worse things...


Rhys had moved into the caravan, sparing a brief glance around. The room still spun a little and his head ached more than he was willing to admit but what was done was done. Already this morning had been a little too much to deal with.

What was out was out, however, and there was nothing that could be done about it. He just hoped the stress later on down the road wouldn't cause any fights.

Naira and Vaughn sat down in a comfortable place. Rhys followed, sitting down beside Naira. She waved away Fiona's words easily in between.

"Yea I don't...plan on doing that," he answered easily. Secrets were that for a reason. Why Naira threw her friend under the bus, he didn't pretend to understand but then again, maybe it all went right back to that plan.

"I think there's enough tension in the air today to last a while," he commented, leaning back, "Maybe a nice ride will fix the nerves. I...really can't tell though. I don't get to do this often."

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PostSubject: Re: |Borderlands| Begin Anew |1-on-1 rp|   Mon Jan 18, 2016 7:18 pm

Zer0 nodded, closing the door behind him and following closely behind Naeva to corner of the caravan to sit at away from the others. In this way they could keep an eye on them all again and observe. This was just one of many things that Zer0 did best. Perhaps by doing so he might learn more about his temporary allies.

"She has revealed / leverage against us now. / A dangerous thing."

For that's what it was, after all. Why else would she have let it 'slip' like she had? Zer0 saw no other motive but to put them into a corner, to make sure they would not try to take the Vault from under her nose, or leave her for dead along the way. The press of a button, just one call to anyone and Naeva would be targeted more heavily than ever to get to Zer0...

"What a clever ploy," he mused, if not a little miffed about it still.

He had to admit that the trouble was mounting rather quickly and in ways he could not have hoped to prepare for. Still, he would see this through to the end if possible. Nothing would stop him from that, not even Naeva's old friend...


Vaughn echoed Rhys' sentiments of not wanting anymore trouble, holding up his hands as if to ward off Fiona's suspicions to the contrary. Naira hardly paid any mind, fishing for her ECHO instead. If her silence would ultimately make the others happy, well... why not? As such she began to promptly flip through the titles on her ECHO, seeking something to play to pass the time.

"So, know anything about Old Haven, Naira? I don't think I've even heard the name before yesterday," Vaughn started after a moment or two had passed. "But that video we found while you were dealing with Rhys' freak out told us to head there."

Naira hummed briefly at that. Old Haven, was it? At first she did not answer, picking a little rhythm game to play instead. While it booted up she thought of how best to explain the long since abandoned place. Only when music began to play from her ECHO, the title screen bypassed with a button press, did Naira speak up.

"I believe it used to be an old Atlas mining town but it's been abandoned for a long time now."

For a second, Vaughn scratched his chin, a thoughtful look on his face. Naira didn't seem to notice, already heading into her game mode selection and ready to wile away the minutes as she could with the game.


"Well, that makes sense, I guess. I mean, the Gortys Project is Atlas too."

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PostSubject: Re: |Borderlands| Begin Anew |1-on-1 rp|   Mon Jan 18, 2016 7:48 pm

Naeva sat down with Zer0, away from them all again. She didn't want to outwardly admit it but whatever ties she had to Naira were quickly being severed. Whether this was intentional or not, well, she couldn't say.

She leaned forward, folding her hands. Mixed emotions gnawed at her in that time. What were they supposed to do if someone found out? Even if he didn't say it out loud, Naeva was more than aware that Zer0 would do anything to keep her safe. Still, it worried her. She didn't want him needlessly putting his life on the line.

She heaved a heavy sigh, pinching the bridge of her nose for a second time. Naeva didn't want to think that Naira would use that leverage.

"What a god damn mess..." she muttered, finding that for early morning, she was already quite exhausted, "What do we do, Zer0, if she tries?"

That was her biggest concern. Pandora was large but Hyperion still had power. If they hired their own top bounty hunters or assassins...they could be put in hot water faster than either were ready for.


Naira was more or less silent in between all the chatter. Zer0 and Naeva had sat away from them all, the woman looking far more troubled than she had in these passed few days. What all was riding on that relationship getting out?

He shook his head, glancing back at Vaughn when he spoke up about Old Haven. They weren't sure what they'd be in for at this point. Naira was fishing out her ECHO, no doubt ready to play another game when she answered.

"I guess we'll have to expect something classic Atlas then," he finally answered, shrugging his shoulders, "Those people were so weird but they knew how to hide just about anything."

It was the truth. Who knew how long this core had been buried. If Zer0 hadn't said anything about it before, they would have never known. It was all just unfortunate luck that it ended up in their hands.

"I wonder what it's all going to lead us to," he finally mused out loud, "This whole...core thing. I mean, it has to be something amazing right? If it's directly involved with a Vault."

Who could say. If he was honest, he was getting a little excited just to figure out what was at the end of all of this. Whatever it was, Rhys hoped it would be worth it.

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PostSubject: Re: |Borderlands| Begin Anew |1-on-1 rp|   Tue Jan 19, 2016 5:09 pm

Back to the wall, arms folded and a watchful eye on them all, yes, this was how Zer0 felt most at ease in this situation. It gave him time to ponder on Naira's possible intentions for outing their relationship. As such, he didn't respond right away to Naeva's inquiry on the matter, merely dwelling over what he knew.

It was clear that Naira was desperate for this Vault, the only one she had a clear route to, that much had been obvious when it came to threatening Zer0 and then a falsified show of suicide to further knock Naeva off kilter. But then, why not use that knowledge of their clandestine relationship then? Putting it out there now just made no sense, it had no rhyme to the only reason he had that she would do as such.

Was there something Zer0 was missing?

"Stop it then and there," he said simply, finally. How they would do that depended entirely on the situation, that was all.


Vaughn raised his wrist, where the Atlasio he'd taken from that hidden stash was now strapped, brandishing it rather proudly. "Hiding things and making awesome tech!"

She was already playing now, focused on the buttons that appeared in time with the beat of the music. Because of this she easily and quickly became engrossed in what she was doing rather than in the conversation she sat in the middle of now. The music video happening behind the button presses, well, that was all just a passing glance in order to prevent herself from unnecessarily messing up.

"Hopefully something worth selling! Man, wouldn't that be great? Get out of this debt and maybe buy our way back into our old positions at least. Heck, it'd be even better if it skyrockets us to the top, huh, Rhys?"

From what little Naira heard of that rambling, it was clear enough that both men at her sides had big dreams. Many who entered Hyperion's ranks did though, just as many gunning to be the next Handsome Jack. Naira resisted a scoff at that. She missed a button prompt, an off-beat vocal played as punishment. Her frown deepened slightly before she deigned to speak up.

"Information, loot, old Eridian tech? It's hard to say what's inside except for a guardian monster to greet us first."

Several seconds passed again before she glanced up at each in turn, the song ended with but a passing score. Disappointed in that, knowing she could do better, she deigned to do just that after reacclimatizing to the controls. Silently she held out her ECHO to Vaughn, a silent invitation to try or to play with her. That would be difficult if it was the latter but she'd manage. Maybe they'd take control of half the prompts each. It didn't seem to matter as Vaughn shook his head, looking somewhat apologetic about it. Naira merely offered a shrug.

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PostSubject: Re: |Borderlands| Begin Anew |1-on-1 rp|   Tue Jan 19, 2016 5:24 pm

Naeva rubbed her thumb against the back of her hands, something of a nervous action. On occasion, her worried gnawed at her belly so bad, her grip tightened and released after she'd long since folded her hands.

Zer0 was quiet, observing and maybe pondering the situation. She couldn't blame him. It had been a while since they'd been pushed this far into a corner.

As time went on, she suddenly felt worse and worse about this entire situation. The Naira she was hoping to see again didn't seem to exist anymore. She would have never thrown Naeva under the bus, not like this. Yet now, it seemed she was almost willing to outright hurt if not throw her to the wolves if need be.

Zer0's answer was simple, any other time, expected. It was hard to accept now. Naeva wasn't sure if she could put an end to Naira even if she kept this streak up.

"I'm warning you Zer0, if it comes to that, don't trust me to pull the trigger," she reiterated, a shake of her head following, "I don't know if I could do it."


Vaughn sounded enthusiastic about it all but then again, he was a fan of Atlas tech and even what they did. It might not exist now but there was still plenty to find. That much had been made clear.

"Who knows, maybe it could," Rhys agreed as his friend went on about getting their positions, or possibly higher, back. If it put Vasquez out of the job, Rhys was willing to do anything, "I just hope what ever we find is enough."

It was Naira's voice that rang out, explaining what could be found. The thought of a monster though, now that was frightening. What were they going to do about that if there was one?

"Do...all the Vaults have a monster in them?" he asked hesitantly, afraid of what answer he might receive.

Naira didn't seem to hear him or if she did, she ignored it. Instead, she turned to Vaughn, offering to play though, he never had been much into games either. Rhys wasn't sure if he could figure it out but...

"What are you playing anyways?" he asked then, trying to catch her attention.

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PostSubject: Re: |Borderlands| Begin Anew |1-on-1 rp|   Tue Jan 19, 2016 5:39 pm

He could glimpse her rubbing her hands as she did when growing anxious. It wasn't hard to figure out why she was doing so now though he wisely chose not to comment on it or draw attention that he'd noticed it at all. Best to let it run its course, he'd found.

Even when he did answer, well, Naeva took stock in it for a long moment. His speculations that she might have been hesitating on what ultimately may need to be done to silence Naira being realized after he'd waited patiently. Then again this wasn't surprising, she'd said as such last night anyways.

"A worry for a / different time. We know not / what she really plans," he answered.

It gave brief insight into his puzzlement. From the things Naeva had told him before and from what he'd witnessed first hand, well, Naira wasn't one to go about like this. She was, as Naeva had said once, 'blunt force trauma' more oft than not. This, however? This was too randomly placed, to left out for everyone's ears for it to be just blackmail.

But then what was it?

He reached out, sure that no one was watching, to briefly clasp Naeva's hand in his own. No one was looking their way, anyways, either driving or elsewise busied up.


There would be no answer to Rhys' first question. From experience, of course there would be a Vault beast to combat, but worrying about it right now while they tracked down whatever was left in Old Haven, well... Naira saw no point in that just yet. It could come when they were closer to their goal.

Upon Vaughn's polite disagreement to join in her game, Naira had been intent on just playing on her own. She briefly recalled Rhys admitting he hadn't quite taken to video games the night before, after all, and saw no point in requesting if he'd like to try or not. Even so, a minute may have passed before he asked what it was she was doing now.

Very briefly, Naira looked up at him, only a split second of a glance spared before her nose was buried in her ECHO again, not willing to mess up entirely to sate her curiosity just yet. Why was Rhys so interested anyways? Ah, well, Naira figured it couldn't hurt to indulge in his answer. What Naira missed, however, was the very questioning look Vaughn sent to Rhys over her head.

"It's a rhythm game; press the buttons as they come into place in time with the music," she said.


"Yeah, can't say I was very into music much either," Vaughn pitched in, perhaps to justify to her his refusal to play.

Naira didn't mind, offering a nod to show she heard and understood. She wasn't the type to be offended over that but maybe he thought she was.

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PostSubject: Re: |Borderlands| Begin Anew |1-on-1 rp|   Tue Jan 19, 2016 5:58 pm

She didn't like the worry that was steadily over taking her mind, leaving her thoughts racing and too muddled to sort out. This was something she had long since worked passed and yet here it was flaring up despite the years of it mostly laying dormant.

He soon reassured her not to worry. Even so, it would linger in the back of her head for days to come. That was just how it worked back then and it would be the same here and now.

"Well...I'll try to put it out of my head for now," she answered him quietly.

That would be a far more difficult task than she bargained for. Recent years, it wasn't so bad to bury her worry and anxiety. How could one person dig them all up again and so quickly at that?

His hand clasped hers briefly, drawing her out of this thoughts. She ran her thumb over his knuckles, sparing something of a small smile. The worry would still gnaw at her but she could at least hope things would get better.


She didn't answer about the Vault monsters, leaving Rhys to wonder just how far bad that could get. He wasn't even sure he wanted to know at this point...Either way, if they made it to this Vault, they would find out.

Instead, she had turned back to her game again, only once glancing up to explain it. Rhys had heard of a lot of games in his time but not so much things like that.

"Huh...that doesn't sound that hard, actually," he pointed out after Vaughn.

Most of the simple ones that had been popular sounded difficult but hitting buttons to music? That sounded like the easiest thing in the world, if he was completely honest.

"I thought you'd be into harder games," he pointed out, a smile tugging at his lips.

If she reacted, it wasn't much. Her gaze was fixated on that ECHO of hers like it was some kind of lifeline. These days, well, maybe it was.

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PostSubject: Re: |Borderlands| Begin Anew |1-on-1 rp|   Tue Jan 19, 2016 6:21 pm

She didn't sound so sure, not like she'd been for a few years now. Naira was shaking her to her core if that was the case... Zer0 didn't like that fact at all. If that's how easy it was for her then... He shook his head, turning more fully to Naeva then. Best to tend to his partner than to dwell angrily on it.

"All you can do now," he murmured.

He would do his best to protect her from Naira, whatever it was the Hyperion woman planned on doing. Perhaps she and Handsome Jack had more in common than Naeva had once wanted to believe. If that was the case, well, it certainly left quite a bit to worry about. Zer0 would watch and wait and if something fishy happened concerning her, he would act.

There was a Vault at stake, yes, but if it meant keeping Naeva alive, he would risk losing that Vault if no other options presented themselves to him.

"We will prevail here."



Rhys sounded sure of his assessment. She didn't have to glance up to see that much, it was very easy to hear in his voice. Naira's lip quirked up briefly in the ghost of a smile at his little taunt to boot. Hard? Oh, he didn't know hard.

"If hard is what you want I could always toss you into the midst of Demon's Souls when I have access to my consoles again," Naira noted easily, not yet finished with the current song. As such she didn't glance up to see Vaughn shrug at Rhys.


"Sounds like a pretty morbid one to me," he pointed out.

He was more right on that than he could know but Naira saw no need to point that out. Perhaps in the past she might've, more easygoing than nowadays. Instead she tipped her head briefly in answer neither confirming nor denying it. The song was finishing up anyways, the last beats hit before she finally sat straighter, turning to Rhys.

The ECHO was held out to him, an invitation to either play solo or to half the buttons with her. She was honestly fine with either, knowing full well Rhys had no clue what he was in for. From the sounds of it he might not have even seen a rhythm game played before in his life.

"You can try on your own or we can split up the buttons," she said, waiting.

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PostSubject: Re: |Borderlands| Begin Anew |1-on-1 rp|   Tue Jan 19, 2016 6:36 pm

She didn't miss his worry. Masked as it was, the fact that he paid her more mind now than those around him was tell enough. Naeva had gotten used to reading his movements rather than anything else, no expression to even go on.

"Little point in worrying," she answered him.

Whatever Naira was planning here, Naeva felt herself day by day getting worse. The first stunt was enough. Naira knew things from back then regarding her own depression and anxiety. Had that been all a ploy to start shaking Naeva's own confidence?

It hurt to think that might have been the case...

"I'm sure," she agreed a moment later, "Just have to muddle through whatever Naira has in store later down the road..."


He'd never heard of the game she mentioned but he didn't know a lot of them in the first place. Maybe it was a challenging one. All he could do is agree with Vaughn there.

"Sounds...dark," he answered after a long pause.

He barely got to think much further than that when she was holding the ECHO to his face now, a silent invitation to play. Rhys blinked a couple times, caught off guard before he took the ECHO into his hand.

"Can you do two player on this thing or...?" he asked a moment after. He didn't want her to feel left out.

Rhys glanced down at the screen, raising an eyebrow a little when he saw the art that was there. She was into that weird anime thing too? He would have never guessed...There was a lot about Naira that really was a mystery...

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PostSubject: Re: |Borderlands| Begin Anew |1-on-1 rp|   Tue Jan 19, 2016 6:56 pm

Though she agreed with him on the matter she hardly sounded fit to do just that. Worrying had been a hardship for her upon meeting so many years ago and though she'd gotten a handle on it Naira's ploys had caused it all to resurface with a vengeance. Zer0 grew further displeased at this. Naira could do what she would to him but this was crossing a line, especially after the care packages through the years.

Another shake of his head followed and he leaned back. Though he allowed his hand to drop from hers moments ago Zer0 kept it close, grazing her thigh. In this she might be able to draw strength from him, if only a little, in that time.

"And that we will do," he reassured her.

With that said he turned his gaze back to the others. All was calm enough now and Zer0 somewhat hoped that remained if only for Naeva's sake. Sasha at the wheel rendered her quiet, perhaps one who drew to brooding while she drove. Fiona seemed to take to a task of her own and the three Hyperion members of their group had situated themselves on the couch.

"Quite quiet here now."


Naira tipped her head to one side, regarding Rhys more curiously. Why did he feel so inclined to keep her near, to include her even? Was it that big heart of his or some other notion? Naira couldn't help but wonder though asking now might only result in a stammered answer. Who could even say if Rhys would answer truthfully, if at all? Perhaps something to speak of in private...

A shake of her head followed and she gestured at the little keypad. "This one's single-player only. We could split up the buttons, if you don't want to worry about all nine or so at once."

The last portion might have been a little teasing, knowing full well Rhys was about to be a little daunted. The game might only be on normal instead of hard but it would still be a challenge for a newbie gamer. Even so, Naira did find herself a little flattered that Rhys was at least trying it. Jack never was one to entertain the notion, though he would stay with her and sometimes watch.

"Wait, nine? Why does it need nine buttons?" Vaughn wondered.

"Oh, the basic face buttons and directional arrows that needed to be accounted for on the console version. And the thumbsticks being replaced by a key for this port." A pause. "Oh, and the directional and face buttons are combo'd frequently as well."

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PostSubject: Re: |Borderlands| Begin Anew |1-on-1 rp|   Tue Jan 19, 2016 7:36 pm

He remained near even if he'd parted from her. His hand would brush passed her once in a while, something she managed to take comfort in. There was a lot to worry about and it was clearly affecting her more than it would him.

The quiet around them wasn't missed, more of a blessing now. There had been too much noise the day before. She wasn't used to such things these days.

Zer0 went back to watching carefully, only bringing up a new topic to break that silence softly. Naeva didn't mind. It would distract her in hindsight, something she needed.

"It is," she agreed momentarily, "A blessing really. I was afraid there might be another fight for a while this morning."

It could have been entirely possible if tempers were flared more. Thankfully, they had all rested well enough at this point that they seemed to all sail through it pretty easily. She hoped it would stay that way.


So the game only could work with one player. It sounded like Naira had an idea as to work around that, however. Them both playing could do some good, especially if the game had nine buttons like she had claimed.

"And you can keep track of that, all by yourself?" he asked, almost in a disbelieving manner.

If she was playing these games for a long time, perhaps that was the truth. It must have been easy for to do even if it might have been difficult in the beginning. Rhys didn't pretend to understand that kind of thing.

"Alright well, we'll do it that way then," he announced after a moment, handing her half of her ECHO.

She would no doubt pick the song and they would begin though, Rhys wasn't sure if he'd be able to do this. Still, he didn't want her to have the same trouble as she had days before. Maybe indulging in these things would help.

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PostSubject: Re: |Borderlands| Begin Anew |1-on-1 rp|   Tue Jan 19, 2016 8:02 pm

Naeva seemed to relax a little with the quiet that had spread through the caravan. Even the conversation the three Hyperion members were holding wasn't all that loud, hushed even. Did they do that out of courtesy? Zer0 doubted it though would not question it further. In this time it aided in Naeva regaining her composure.

For her sake there had not been another fight that morning though one could have broken out easily if any had defied Zer0's wish, or pushed her buttons further. No, that wasn't needed now. He had to tell himself that again and again, if only to keep from reaching for his blade. Violence would not, sadly, solve this particular problem.

"A small blessing, hmm? / There will be more, I assure / you of that much now," he promised quietly. Even if it meant losing out on just this Vault, he would do what he could for her in the days to come. Again, he brushed his thumb across the side of her thigh, a silent reassurance to his words.

Just for awhile, they could sit undisturbed like this in the presence of others. Now that they knew there was no reason not to all the more, perhaps all of them now quite aware now that the lack of space between he and Naeva was not just of trust in a battle comrade but in a partner so much more. Even so, Zer0 would keep it down low, perhaps to make some forget. It would be easy if they were not obvious about it.

They never were.

"Let come what comes now."


Naira blinked, head cocked to one side as she peered up at Rhys. Was that really a feat to wonder about? Naira didn't think so, but then she'd done these things her whole life so maybe she was biased on that. Or maybe it was Rhys and Vaughn who had the weird thought on the difficulty of nine or so buttons to a single game.

"Of course," she said matter-of-factly. "I grew up not only playing video games but watching my elder siblings play too. I even started to learn to read through RPGs. This stuff is child's play."


"Wait, seriously? Who just does that though? I mean, I have hobbies too but they aren't super diffic--..." Vaughn cleared his throat, adjusting his glasses briefly. "Uh, never mind. Most people complain about math, don't they? I forget sometimes..."

Naira allowed an amused hum to escape her in answer, reaching for her half of the ECHO. She shifted a little closer to Rhys, to more comfortably hold it and to see the screen better. Worrying about her arm growing tired would only doom the game from the start, after all. In all of this, she hardly seemed to notice the fact that she gave a little information about herself she'd ordinarily not have.

"Let's try..." Scrolling through the selection she hummed several times in thought, listening to the preview music before moving on. Something mildly easy to ease Rhys into it... Ah! "This one."

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PostSubject: Re: |Borderlands| Begin Anew |1-on-1 rp|   Tue Jan 19, 2016 8:32 pm

She didn't express it outwardly but everything since seeing Naira once again just seemed to be a bust. Naeva could hardly imagine seeing her friend again would cause all this trouble and yet...

It was a thought there and gone as Zer0's thumb brushed against her, his words reassuring and careful. There was a softer side to him, very rare, and it was shown only to her. In those moments, she could take some comfort.

"I'm holding you to that," she told him, sparing a small smile in return.

Whatever came down the road, she knew he would handle it better. He always had. Naeva had simply grown hard to a lot of it because she had to survive. Somehow, Naira was pushing things back to a state that felt like Naeva was just starting over. It was strange and unwanted but she didn't know how to stop it.

"You make it sound like you might enjoy whatever comes," she answered easily, "New challenges every day."


She must have grown up with a lot of games and her siblings influence had fed into it all at a young age. If that was the case, he was probably going to get trumped here. Rhys couldn't even remember the last time he'd played a game.

As she took hold of the other side, Rhys managed to spare a smile at the Vaughn's awkward voice. His hobbies were rather odd compared to what most people indulged in.

Already, Naira was scrolling through some songs. Rhys had no idea what they were or who they were by. Music and games weren't his forte but they seemed to be Naira's...

"Okay so...it just starts?" he asked as the screen changed, loading into what looked like a music video, "This is so weird."

Before he could say much more, cues for the buttons started flying by. He started pressing the ones that he needed to but a lot of them were missed or done badly. Naira outright succeeded in just about every one.

"How...how do you even?" he started, wanting to glance at Naira but finding he didn't want to tear his gaze from the screen either.

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PostSubject: Re: |Borderlands| Begin Anew |1-on-1 rp|   Tue Jan 19, 2016 9:00 pm

Zer0 spared a smile in return in the way he always did. He allowed it to linger, the crimson glow upon her cheeks and in her eyes giving her a more lively appearance in those seconds that passed. When it finally faded the smile on her lips remained, small as it might be. For that it was a small blessing.

He offered a shrug though it would not deter her correct observations on the matter. Zer0 would uphold his promise to the end and he was, in fact, awaiting any of those challenges that would come. The only thing that mattered now were just in what form those challenges would take.

"Just the truth of the / matter, if I am honest. / You know all that too," he pointed out.

Of the many Zer0 had come across it was Naeva who grew to knew him most and could interpret his actions and haikus the best. Of course, this was a product of all that time spent side by side. Zer0 did not mind, not like he'd once had. Sometimes, he found, on rare occasions, it was nice to have someone near that knew him well.

"I know you like it," he prodded, peering at her from behind his dark visor.



She offered an affirmative hum in answer, the music video starting with only seconds before the button cues began to show up. The video itself was a distraction, something to look at if you were a bystander. Rhys wasn't going to get that luxury now, though he'd certainly not been paying attention to the button prompts, or hadn't expected them, given the way he'd hurriedly attempting to hit his in time only to miss.

Her thumb found the proper ones, the cues combined with Rhys failing as he missed his half, though she otherwise was able to keep enough points to avoid being failed out. For now.

"Hand-eye coordination," she grunted briefly, staring. To blink meant to possibly miss a cue and now wasn't the time for that. It took a moment to realize that a thought like that would sound weird if said out loud.


"Jeez, that's nuts! Rhys, I think we found your Achilles heel," Vaughn said.

Naira leaned into Rhys to bump his arm with her shoulder, probably messing him up but it wasn't like he was doing that great anyways. Maybe a bit of a teasing push might make him a bit more competitive. "C'mon, Rhys' Pieces, that robo-arm of yours has to have some coordination you don't have in the other one."

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PostSubject: Re: |Borderlands| Begin Anew |1-on-1 rp|   Tue Jan 19, 2016 9:27 pm

The emoticon was a nice thing to see, often letting her know just what he felt in those moments. Sometimes, it those things only appeared to ease others but it being for her told her all she needed to know.

"That I do," she responded easily.

After all these years, she felt a little proud to know him so well, pick up on those little movements and habits. At first, it had made him uncomfortable to be read but over time, as they grew closer, he was less bothered.

His next words drew a short chuckle from her. Like most things, flirting was somewhat rarely done but it did rise up once in a while. Naeva never minded such things.

"More so than I'd ever imagined," she joked easily, "You somehow got a good girl down a dangerous path and I love every bit of that."


Every cue he missed was a little frustrating. This couldn't be that hard and yet he was eating his words in those moments. How in the world did she even do things like this? He really didn't know.

It didn't matter in the end. He got his answer regardless of that. Hand-eye coordination, huh? Well, if that was the case, maybe he could figure something out.

"Okay, so...that makes it sound a lot easier," he answered easily.

The taunt wasn't missed and in that short moment, he activated his ECHO eye. It would read the cues for him before they even appeared. Now there was just a matter of pushing the right buttons.

Rhys did just that, grinning as the cues were hit correctly, improving the score. While it was a little bit like cheating, he took no shame in it. Gamers cheated all the time, right?

"Well this isn't so hard," he stated, a little bit of cockiness in his tone.

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PostSubject: Re: |Borderlands| Begin Anew |1-on-1 rp|   Tue Jan 19, 2016 9:45 pm

And so it began, the easing into a better mood. That was good. In the time he'd come to know her Zer0 had come to grow disdainful of those sour looks and foul moods. They didn't suit her at all, of that he'd decided early on even if he didn't originally do much about it in that first year or two.

The little bit of flirting, quiet as it was, seemed to drastically improve it further. If this was what she needed, then so be it.

"I'm glad to hear that. / So boring you'd been back then. / A stick in the mud."

The teasing would do her some good as well. She seemed to like a verbal sparring every now and again, it kept the wits and tongue sharp at least. Besides, her quips could be rather comical if not interesting. She certainly had shown herself to have a colorful language if she had a half a mind to indulge in it.

There were many things one might not expect of Neava, if he were truthful and he loved each part of it he had discovered. When he'd first agreed to protect her so long ago he would never have guessed he'd come to view her as so valuable.



It wasn't hard to see the change, not when the speaker on the screen had begun its warning flash of red, a warning that too many notes were being missed, that they were soon to fail... And then without warning it stopped, the speaker filling up to a safe, full meter and their combos hitting perfectly. To anyone else it might've been just Rhys playing around, pretending to be worse, but then he did have ECHO-eye...

Naira wasn't going to call him out right away, would wait until the end of the song. That was until he'd commented again, sounding more sure of himself, if not a little cocky. She snorted then, ignoring the game entirely to shoot him a half-amused look.

"Oh, I oughta dock your pay for cheating, you know?" she joked, waiting for his response.

It wasn't like she'd had too much reason to tease and joke around this pair in the halls of Helios or even on their journey thus far. It was probably a drastic change of pace and yet... Just like with Jack it was so easy to get along with Rhys... She shook the thought away before it could take root, before it could drag her mood down. She hadn't felt this good outside of a battle in months.

Was it selfish to want to hold onto that for a little longer?

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PostSubject: Re: |Borderlands| Begin Anew |1-on-1 rp|   Tue Jan 19, 2016 10:18 pm

She huffed slightly at his words. While she couldn't deny it was the truth, she could at least try to argue it. These small things were often enjoyable, after all. She never minded it.

"Ouch, now that hurt," she joked around instead with a roll of her eyes, "No but...I totally agree. I was...I was a Vaughn...Oh my god, I was Vaughn."

The realization hit harder than she originally thought. Just seeing how twitchy and nervous he was. Had that been how she really was? Naeva was starting to think so.

"Oh my god, I didn't think I was that bad..." she continued. Even if it was a bit of a joke, she still couldn't help but laugh in a bit of disbelief.

Well, at least that put things in prospective for her. Seeing it his way, she could see why it would be a little frustrating to deal with. What was worse, she was stubborn. That probably drove him up a wall most days.


Rhys started hitting the buttons easier and with more ease as they flew by. Whatever that meter was, it was changing and starting to turn into a less angry, red color. Even if he was cheating, it was still fun.

He continued this way until a rather lighter sound in Naira's voice  came about. What she said was no doubt joking but it was almost foreign after these passed days.

Rhys allowed a nervous chuckle to pass his lips before he spoke, "Whaaaat? I don't know what you're talking about."

The cues moved with the tempo of the song and they seemed to be getting faster in that short amount of time. If she had an idea that he was using his ECHO eye to see the cues ahead of time,  she was no doubt going to tease him about it.

"Come on, this is, is too easy!" he boasted.

Was it just him or was Naira in a better mood? Maybe this was the right idea...Maybe it was helping Naira to do this. Rhys was starting to think so.

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PostSubject: Re: |Borderlands| Begin Anew |1-on-1 rp|   Tue Jan 19, 2016 10:31 pm

Zer0 chuckled, waiting to hear Naeva's rebuttal to this one. She started off strong enough but sure as a fire was hot she'd began to trail off, a realization hitting her rather hard. Another short bark of laughter escaped him, muffled though it was to not draw attention their way. The pair consisting of Naira and Rhys were now engrossed in their own thing while their friend sat awkwardly, uncertainly. Zer0 would rather those three in particular did not glance their way now.

"That you were back then," he agreed, if not a bit humorously on the topic. Frustrating and even outright maddening it had been at the time, looking back on it was almost hilarious.

At the very least she was laughing at herself, or rather her old self. Perhaps she might see a comrade in Vaughn with this realization and though Zer0 did not mind that man he wasn't sure what might come of that later in this journey. Would it mean drawing closer to Rhys and then back to Naira despite today and the day before? He wondered...

Such thoughts were left unsaid, merely observed in the passing of a moment and gone for later. Now was no such time for sobering thoughts and maybes. He had some quiet time with Naeva, even if it was shared in the confines of a caravan filled with others. He would take what he would get.


She felt rather than spotted the way Rhys shifted as she called him out, his rebuttal coming quickly after. Nonetheless, he still played his half as she did hers, all but leaning against the other's arm as they did so. The ECHO wasn't exactly large and to hold it comfortably for both, it necessitated a little close proximity. Naira didn't mind it too much, though perhaps she should have.

From the sound of it, he was enjoying things as the song continued on, even if he was using that ECHO-eye like she thought he might be. What else could it have been? Even so, Naira didn't take her eyes off the screen for long to find out. She'd have to lean around or make him face her to see if that ECHO-eye of his was active, after all.

"Oh, of course not," she shot back easily, naturally even. When had that last happened before today? "Cheaters go to live in the poor house, y'know?"

Something akin to a chuckle escaped her, quiet though it was. Naira hardly seemed aware that a small smile played on her lips even.

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PostSubject: Re: |Borderlands| Begin Anew |1-on-1 rp|   Tue Jan 19, 2016 10:54 pm

The bark of genuine and less hostile laughter was a nice thing to hear once in a while. Even so, Naeva reached out and smacked his arm lightly with the back of her hand.

"Now that's just mean," she teased in response, "Laughing at me like that. You're too cruel."

It was a little funny, if she had to admit. Knowing that someone existed that was almost exactly like her when she had first arrived on Pandora. This was another bit of irony that she didn't expect.

"Though I guess I understand why you would walk away from me ready to murder something," she noted lightly, "And then you actually did start murdering things."

Zer0 was patient but even that ran out time after time. Dealing with Naeva must have been a special case. There were times she could almost feel the frustration ebbing off of him. She probably would have felt the same if it had been her.


The song went on and he found it easier and easier to follow these cues. Naira seemed to figure it out quick, even cracking jokes about it. This was so strange. He had never once heard something like that at all. Yet there was she, cracking jokes and maybe even smiling.

"Poor house, me? Never," he retaliated easily, "Vaughn would dig me out."

He still didn't admit to cheating but even so, he didn't seem to need to. Naira already had a pretty good idea as to how it worked. When the song ended and their score was shown, he was pretty darn proud of himself.

In that moment, he glanced upward, his eyebrows furrowing when the information flashed before him. Naira's was concerning, the last statement from a therapist stating that her regression into depression was getting worse and dangerous.

What was curious was her birth date...The year 1991 was splashed across for him to see but he wrote it off as a glitch until he glanced at Naeva. It was the same year, their birth dates just a few months apart.

He decided not to say anything for the time being, figuring it'd be info he brought up later. Instead, he grinned again, motioning to the ECHO as his technology shut down, "See, I'm not that bad!"

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PostSubject: Re: |Borderlands| Begin Anew |1-on-1 rp|   Tue Jan 19, 2016 11:22 pm

Zer0 did not respond verbally though he did reach up to, rather affectionately, tap the tip of her nose with a finger in a playful taunt. Of course he would laugh at her, just as she would him. Hadn't she just tried to make fun of his directional skills the day before at the makeshift bandit arena? Zer0 hadn't forgotten. It was hard to when she made it a habit.

Another chuckle, darker in nature, occurred at the mention of his killing streak back then. Oh, yes, there had been much bloodshed in lieu of his frustration.

"And yet never you. / You I kept as safe and sound / as could ever be," he pointed out. A strange thing for him, one who was solely an assassin by trade. Yet there it was and now he'd come out of it with a lifelong partner.

His hand had fallen to hers, hidden between the two of them from sight. There was no need for the secrecy in this caravan and yet Zer0 would keep it that way if possible. A little was enough. That had always been their way yet it seemed that it could be seen through. Oh, well. The damage was partially done. Zer0 would make use of it now and make sure it spread no further.


"Oh, I'm sure," Naira all but purred, a chuckle escaping her.

Vaughn had grown silent as they'd played but Naira hardly thought about why that was. It was nice, just sitting like this, doing nothing important at all. It almost felt like the Vault, Hyperion, her worries, all of it, just might be miles away for the time being. She dreaded when all of that would come crashing down on her again and so tried to ignore that nagging reminder.

All she needed to know now was that Rhys was easy to get along with, that he was warm.

As the score was tallied, a barely passing one but an acceptable one nonetheless, Naira scoffed in good humor, tucking her hair behind an ear. Well, at least it got her some in-game currency... Still, the fact that Rhys had ended up cheating to keep up, it was a little funny.

Rhys' comment drew her attention to him more fully, her gaze tearing from the screen to meet his. He definitely was proud to have made it through the first song, that much was obvious though he had to have turned off that ECHO-eye before he'd turned to her. It as inactive now, merely a blue and nothing more.

Naira shoved him with her shoulder a bit. "Oh, you're just the worst," she argued. "Maybe I'll jump up the difficulty just for you."

She could hear Vaughn shifting behind her though he remained silent for the moment.

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PostSubject: Re: |Borderlands| Begin Anew |1-on-1 rp|   Wed Jan 20, 2016 12:02 am

It surprised her that he reached out, tapping her nose a few times in a non-verbal taunt. Even so, she watched him, a small smile tugging at her lips.

Those few words were all she needed to make her heart feel like it was fluttering all over again. How she ended up with him, like this, she didn't bother questioning. It was how it was and she wouldn't have it any other way.

His hand fell back into hers. Her fingers gently enclosed around it, hidden from view. It was arm despite being completely covered. There was oddity in him, strange digits and never once seeing what he looked like but even if that was the case, she didn't mind it.

"I don't know why you did," she finally answered softly, "But I wouldn't have it any other way."

In all of this, she found him as a rare blessing, strange as it had been. Their relationship was mostly secret but still genuine. It was best that way, it always would be. Naeva just hoped that no bad came from Naira saying the things she did.


She really did seem to be improving bit by bit. In fact, this was as lively as he'd seen her out of this entire thing. Only one other time had she been somewhat 'okay' and that was during the fight with Bossa Nova. He wondered about that but never asked.

Was he really helping? Naeva was dropping hints here and there but he didn't actually think it would work out...Yet, here they were. Naira was acting natural and that was almost jarring.

"Wait...there are harder levels?" he asked, trying to ignore the jump in his tone. Well, that just gave him away, no doubt, "I mean, haha, I bet I could do it just fine!"

That was an obvious lie and he knew that she'd probably catch it pretty easily. Even so, the playful feel of all of this was actually...comfortable. Like nothing bad was really happening.

Rhys kind of liked it.

He cleared his throat a little, thinking about it all. Maybe this really was a good thing. Yea, Naira could be like this again. Wouldn't that be good for her? He really thought that would be the case.

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PostSubject: Re: |Borderlands| Begin Anew |1-on-1 rp|   Thu Jan 21, 2016 3:55 pm

She was perking up now, thankfully. Seeing Naeva so down because of another frustrated Zer0 greatly, especially so when that other person was someone she'd done so much to find all those years ago. Zer0 had to wonder just what Naira's plan was again but promptly brushed the thought aside. No need to worry Naeva again.

"It's a mystery. / One that has no clear answer, / just to dwell upon."

Even something so simple as his hand over hers left her day brighter. It was amazing, that, though Zer0 no longer questioned it. The simple acts worked and that was all he needed to know. Strange, that, but again, if it worked then who was he to question it?

Whether or not Naeva would ever find an answer to that was also a mystery. Zer0 wasn't about to try justifying it anymore much less to explain it. He hardly thought it mattered as to the why anyways. She was happy and he was too, provided challenges came their way in short order. In the end that was the important part of it all.

"Let's not focus on / that much longer. Now let us / sit and relax here."


Naira's smile grew a little at the obvious surprise in Rhys' voice just before he attempted to mask it with confidence once more. Already she was flipping through the song list, seeking a slightly harder one. He might be able to cheat, but could his thumb keep up with the speed of faster songs than the first? Naira would find out.

"That there are, Game Master," she taunted, peeking up at him briefly. "But we'll take it nice and slow for funsies."

Finding a new one was quicker this time, picking one she quite liked instead of one to ease Rhys in. He seemed to be having fun with her even if the songs were foreign, or maybe he wasn't quite paying attention to the music but rather to banter with her instead. Naira couldn't say for sure and, honestly, she didn't really mind which it might be.

"Getting your little cheat sheet all fired up?" she joked further, heading into the song properly.

It hardly mattered that so much was riding on the success of this Vault opening and what lay inside scavenged for use. As temporary as this little bit of light-hearted fun was it was something Naira was beginning to treasure already. Why it was Rhys here with her, why he was so adamant on the things he did now, and what drove him forward she couldn't say but at the moment it hardly mattered.

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PostSubject: Re: |Borderlands| Begin Anew |1-on-1 rp|   Thu Jan 21, 2016 6:15 pm

It was true, neither knew the answer and they could really only ponder on such things. Even so, it didn't seem to matter. Zer0 had accepted it just as well as she had welcomed it. She found no reason to worry about it other than the occasion curiosity in such things.

His hand in hers was enough most days. Old stresses were rising and while these shook her rather quickly, she found solace in him. Naeva didn't know what Naira was up to. Regardless, she tried not to let it bother her for now, tried to push that anxiety aside.

Zer0's words were simple enough. She was able to spare a smile but held nothing in return. Pondering these things just seemed unneeded.

It was his next words that drew an amused sound out of her. The thought of him actually sitting back and relaxing was so foreign and yet, he had no choice in that matter now.

"You must be ill," she told him despite his gaze having fallen elsewhere for the time being, "Using the word 'relax', that's a rarity in and of itself. No, I'm sure you're sick."


Naira seemed to take that as all the incentive she needed here. He couldn't help but offer a nervous chuckle. His confidence in that last song had only shown up because he cheated. If there were harder modes...

Already, she was scrolling for more songs, probably ready to pick a harder mode now that he had shown some sort of nervousness. Still, he took hold of the ECHO again, ready to start on another song.

As he glanced down, his ECHO-eye was indeed active but he wasn't sure if he could keep track of all the cues that would fly by. His mind had to work as fast as his fingers, it would seem.

"Please, this'll be easy," he answered with a nervous chuckle.

Even so, his reaction time was a little slow to the cues that would go by. He tried not to let it bother him. Rhys was amazed that Naira kept up without the aid, however. She was quick on each button without a bat of the eye.

"Buuut, you might just kick my butt this time around," he told her, trying to push the buttons as quickly as

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PostSubject: Re: |Borderlands| Begin Anew |1-on-1 rp|   Sun Jun 12, 2016 5:13 pm

It was quiet between them for a time and Zer0 could more clearly hear the conversations between the sisters and between Naira and Rhys nearby. Even so he did not fully listen in, seeing no need to. Just a shred or two here and there told him that the topics were nothing of consequence to him. Instead he merely sat and enjoyed the time with Naeva, her hand warm in his.

He gave a short sound, more a hum than anything, and a cock of the head at her words. Ill, eh? Perhaps though it would do her good and so he would settle himself even if it made him antsy. He was one much better suited to the constant ebb and flow of a battlefield. But then he would not forgo Naeva's situation and force her to do more than she could.

"And what if I am? / Would you care for me somehow? / Or do you not know?"

It was a bit of teasing, of course, and the quick flash of a cheekily winking emote would help display this. Even so, Zer0 wasn't sure if the emote was even necessary anymore after so long. Naeva seemed to have been able to pick up on the subtler clues after so long.

"Easy, right," she jested, beginning the next one once he'd grasped the ECHO again. Unlike before this one kicked off more quickly, only a second to prepare oneself. Already Rhys looked to be struggling.

She didn't have to look up to know he was using that ECHO-eye again but it wouldn't be enough, it was clear enough as it was with just the first few notes. From the corner of her eye she saw Vaughn shift in his seat, maybe trying to find something to do with himself. For a moment she felt a wash of awkwardness about that, a little more aware of just what it might seem like between she and his friend here before it was swept away with the sound of gunfire and the cracking of glass.


"We gotta problem!" Sasha screamed, the tires screeching as the caravan was brought to grinding halt. Naira found herself thrown around, ECHO clutched tightly in one hand, the other grasping at the couch she sat at to stop her fall. She was pretty sure she'd hit Rhys with her bony shoulder and Vaughn had been thrown into her entirely from the suddenness of the stop.

"A challenge arrives. / Bandits have come to play now. / A lively bunch, no?"

Zer0 was already on his feet, his hands steading Naeva as he glanced out the cracked windshield. Lucky that none had gotten hit though now they had to find out what best to do. It looked as if the bandits had them surrounded, or nearly so. There was no way they were going to get a head up on this one. Oh, but he so loved a challenged.

"Come on out, you Hyperion Bitch! I know you're in there, my scouts don't lie!"

Zer0's gaze turned to Naira as she stood, looking a little shaky even as she glanced towards the windshield herself. There was a curious look on her face, and even before she spoke Zer0 knew there had to be some history to this bandit group and her.

"Oh, I know that voice... How lovely."

"Yeah, so, a friend of yours?!" Vaughn squeaked.

"Hmmm, something of such. If it's that lug I may be able to salvage the situation..."

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