Level 3: 9/30
Location Moat – Various
Word Count: 1,275
Zer0 watched on in mild disinterest as everyone settled in, listening as he always did to the conversations within earshot. He was mildly intrigued by his companions, even if not enough to really care about any of them outside of the Courier. They weren't Vault Hunters. They weren't his team. They weren't his friends.
His visor continued to track the moving shapes, even as the Master of Masters pointed them out. He didn't move as the first showed itself to be a spaceship of some kind, though very low tech at a glance, before it crashed. A mighty crash, really. It almost reminded him of the train back when he first started his adventure with the other Vault Hunters. As it crashed into the moat, he raised a single arm to protect his visor as the water crashed over him, watching the figure pull themselves out.
A puppet of the being of light, it seemed. Red eyes, discolored. It was a simple realization, and he drew his sword slowly in preparation of killing them before the second shape, all but forgotten in his mind, crashed down in front of them.
It – no, he – was gigantic. Bowser, but without the clothing, and all the menace that their little ally lacked but tried to exhibit. Zer0 found that he couldn't pull out his weapon the rest of the way, opting instead to let it sheath fully, as he was caught within the aura the beast displayed. So, with nothing that he could do in this case, as some invisible force cowed him, he listened.
He shook his head at the inane comment about the lack of clothes, wondering why that was what the young girl focused on. Really, with everyone locked down with nothing they could do in the face of a gigantic, fire-breathing beast and that was what she decided to comment on?
He kinda liked her style.
The Courier, however, was more alarming in his reaction. Offering up himself and his weapons? And a demonstration....Zer0 watched him sharply, crossing his arms, shocked as he created some kind of thing that he put into the man that Geno had brought with him. Giving him life, it seemed, freeing him – Ah, that was how Kirby had saved them, hadn't it? That was why the little pink guy had paid so much attention to the Courier once he had gained his wits back. He had recognized that the Courier had that ability himself, something that Zer0 wondered if he couldn't do himself. Emulating the Courier's actions, pulling from deep within himself, he mimicked the man. Doing the opposite of what he had done when he had absorbed that spirit that had changed his body, he was pleased when he discovered that he could replicate the Courier's actions and create one of these things himself.
Watching it disappear, he realized he had missed something as the giant tore a figurative hole through their Bowser. He could almost see the big guy crumple, dumbfounded, as his ego took the blow head on. If he wasn't such a egomaniac, Zer0 might have just felt a little bad for the guy. Instead, he couldn't help but be slightly amused at the interaction before the monster headed off to....clear his territory? Maybe. If this was all his, then why did he need to clear it? Something didn't seem right with that thing, besides the fact that he was a duplicate. Given the cloning that Nakyama had been working on, however, Zer0 couldn't simply dismiss this as impossible. All too possible, and it brought a metaphorical pit to his stomach. If he had been cloned, as Zer0 suspected, then it was entirely possible that Jack had been brought back and was lurking somewhere on this busted world.
And that was simply something he could not stand to leave alone. The moment he found evidence of Handsome Jack being back, he was going to put the bastard down again. Permanently.
Things took a turn for the worse at that point, however, as a giant, floating, talking, and apparently fully sentient white glove appeared. Summoning, with a strange light, many figures. Zer0 found himself taking a step forward before he stopped himself, Ratchet running past to reunite with the little robot. He couldn't find it in himself to care that the little guy had been taken again by the Light in the process, for he had eyes for only two figures.
Gaige and Deathtrap.
The girl, however, was not his friend. This was a puppet, stolen from him by the Light. Her burning red eyes were enough to know the difference, and it sparked something deep within him.
“An ally no more,
Shining with enemy light,
Zer0 drew his sword, running across the gap while the others spoke and the Hand disappeared. He paid them no heed, for there was no one here but Gaige, Deathtrap, and himself.
He swung his sword, just two thoughts rattling around in his head.
He could save her. He just needed to beat the girl into submission.
He finally had a challenge worth his time. A worthy challenge for a badass like himself.
A mighty clang of metal upon metal rang out as Deathtrap intercepted his swing, sparks flying from the impact as Zer0 slid backwards from the force of the brutish contraption.
“This could be the beginning of something AWESOME!” Gaige called out excitedly.
With a push of his legs, Zer0 launched himself upwards, flipping and spinning as he slashed and stabbed with his sword at the floating robot. With seemingly no effort the robot met his attacks head on, spinning to follow him and keep him in its line of sight. It's eye glowed brighter than he remembered, more of a burning red than the blood light of before. Looking at it, actually, Zer0 felt like it was missing some of the upgrades that Gaige had given it over the course of their adventures. Had it, too, been reset like Zer0 had been? A forced Respec.
Zer0 landed, bringing up his sword to parry the incomming attack from Deathtrap. Again sparks flew, and as he forced the giant arm slightly off-course to spin around it for a crucial blow, he felt a bullet pierce his side. Several gunshots rang out, and he glanced behind him to see Gaige pointing a shitty little pistol at him with her robotic arm. How the hell had it hurt so much? That thing packed more firepower than it should have.
That arm of hers was strong enough to compensate for the minimal recoil of the gun, and she quickly fired off more shots before Zer0 felt the giant fist of Deathtrap collide with his injured side, throwing him bodily into the moat. As he swam for the opposite shore, he watched as Gaige slid down the hill after him, launching herself to sit along Deathtrap's broad shoulder as he hovered his way across in pursuit.
He ran his way up the other side, launching himself up, and then up a second time, before landing and turning with his blade raised as Gaige dismounted Deathtrap, pointing the pistol at him. Deathtrap circled wide, and Zer0 couldn't help but emote again.
“A greater challenge
I have never expected
Now come forth, my friend.”
He raised his sword, dashing for Gaige as quickly as his new legs would let him.
“Kick 'em right in the Pistons, DT!”