By the hands of the Gods, you have been plucked from your time and from your world, dropped into the box.
Only the box is a world of its own.
We are a mass crossover based on the concept of Pandora's Box. Characters from nearly any fandom can be played here. Because of the endless character possibilities, we are canon only here at Pandora. Take a peek at our rules and plot information before starting your new life in Pandora.
Ever since Jaesa had dropped Rey, Connor and Kylo off in Elysium and then gone her own way in her ship, she had felt like she was constantly trying to outrun the man in her head, the man she had supposedly been in love with for months, with whom she’d grown close enough to form a Force bond. She felt nothing for him, though, because she didn’t know him, and she knew it was the same on his end. His place in her head was, as far as she was concerned, undeserved, and it was all she could do just to try and stay far enough away that she could try and mute the damned connection between them and just ignore him.
Although she realised she must have lived a different kind of life in the past few months that she’d apparently been with Kylo, it didn’t match up with how she remembered living her life up until the moment she’d rescued Rey from Semirhage and gone into deep space with her and Connor. She had no reason not to dive right back into the lifestyle she didn’t remember ever leaving: alcohol, violence, and sex. It was a life consisting of several unhealthy coping mechanisms bundled into one, but it had served her well enough since she had lost Wolfgang.
Fuck. After that, she just could not imagine getting close to anyone else.
There was a pretty decent dive bar on a colony far from Elysium, and far from whatever Kylo was doing. Jaesa had been there the past two nights, but that night, she spotted a face from her past that she hadn’t thought to ever see again. Hell, it had been so long since she’d seen the woman that for a moment Jaesa had to squint over the top of her whisky at her before she was certain that her mind wasn’t playing tricks.
A few steps took her from the stool she’d been sitting on to the one next to the other woman. Jaesa set her glass on the bar, and looked sideways at the woman. "Brunn," she greeted, wondering if the woman would even remember her. Their time in the SUF together hadn’t been all that long and Brunn had been the least hardworking of the lot, doing only the bare minimum to stop herself getting fired. They’d been out for drinks a few times, but then Jaesa had resigned after what had happened with Sauron and Wolfgang leaving her, and she hadn’t seen Brunn for the more than a year that had passed since. She wondered how long Brunn had remained there. She’d never seemed to particularly enjoy the work, only the drinks afterwards. "It’s been a long time."
Brunnhilde spent most of her days in bars. Most of her nights too. Basically a good chunk of her life was spent sitting in a bar stool, trying to get drunk and having a good time. Or at least, that was what the valkyrie aimed for. It wasn't always possible. Sometimes she didn't have enough coin in her pocket, metaphorically speaking, and other times she just couldn't get to a bar. Her ship had taken damage at times or she had been tracking down a bounty. Plenty of reasons to be cranky. Plenty of reasons to need to blow some steam off.
She had spent the last few days hunting down a group of people that had bounties on them. Keeping them all trapped in the cell below the pilot's chair had been interesting. They had all been part of the same gang and they had thought that one of their members had been a rat. Then they had had long discussions about who it had been, despite Brunnhilde telling them to shut up about fifty times a day.
It hadn't been that annoying until some of the fuckwads had tried to kill each other on the last two days. Then Brunnhilde had had to pull them apart and she had been royally annoyed at everything. Everything and everyone, mostly because she hadn't been able to drink either and having all of these idiots try to bring her bounty down by killing each other? Brunnhilde had not been in a good mood at all.
Brunn. Except a voice cut through everything rolling around in the back of her mind and the valkyrie looked up to see someone from her past walking up. It took Brunnhilde a moment to remember her name, though not for long. She remembered exact what the other woman was capable of in combat and she was certainly someone worth remembering. "Jaesa." They had worked together at the SUF for a few months. Jaesa had quit before the Calamity and Brunnhilde had never tried to go back after the Calamity. They hadn't seen each other since, at least... unless Brunn had been black out drunk. Which was still something that was possible. Very possible.
Except Jaesa confirmed that it had been awhile and Brunn flashed a smile. At least now she knew for certain what was going on. An old would be comrade coming up to say hello. Not the worst thing in the world. "Managed to survive then." They would both know what Brunnhilde was speaking about. The Calamity had certainly been a trip and a half.
Jaesa half-expected Brunn to stare at her blankly when she said her name; people came and went in Pandora so often that it was actually statistically unlikely that this Brunn would be the same Brunn she had worked and drank with over a year ago.
Which was why there was a relieved and surprised light to her eyes when Brunn greeted her by name in return, with a smile that was the first one she had seen on the other woman's face since noticing her sitting there. She was glad that Brunn was the same, or at the least that she had the memories of her. They'd been friends of a sort, she thought - she'd certainly been the most fun colleague to go drinking with - but then they'd lost touch completely, and neither was the sort sentimental enough to try and reach out and see if the other was around after the Calamity.
"Good to see you," Jaesa said, half-saluting her with her glass of whisky before tossing it back. Her taste had certainly changed; the last time they'd gone out drinking, Jaesa had stuck to beer. Now, beer was nowhere near strong enough, not for the reasons that she drank for. The other woman's question, plainly about the Calamity, was one that would have made her uncomfortable for the truth of what had happened to her and the pain that was still involved there, if not for the fact that she'd already had a few shots of this pretty fucking good whisky and nothing like the Calamity was going to bother her.
So instead she just snorted some dry laughter. "In a manner of speaking," she answered lightly. Because she'd survived, but only because Pandora was a piece of shit that had decided to bring her back from the dead after she'd made peace with her incoming death.
Still standing there next to the empty stool beside her old colleague, Jaesa gestured to it. "You mind?" She could certainly think of worse company in this bar to have next to her, which included most of the dregs surrounding them.
Good to see you. There was a little bit of a nod in response to that statement. Jaesa had been part of the team and had been praised as being a good member. She had less collateral damage than what Brunn had normally generated. Not that the valkyrie had really cared one way or another but she had to admit that Jaesa had been quite formidable in her skills. A warrior in her own right, even if she was one of those mortal humans. The other abilities that Jaesa had at her fingertips made her someone not to trifle with, even if Brunn did think that she had a few interesting quirks to her fighting.
Brunn had been around for thousands of years. She had been in and out of that arena for so long that the valkyrie had seen more fighting styles than most. She had fought many while dragging them in for the Master. She had trained with others. Her skills had always been valuable on that garbage dump of a planet. In a manner of speaking. That was all the other woman had to say on the subject. Brunnhilde had run into enough "survivors" of the Calamity that she knew what Jaesa was speaking of.
"Join me." Instead of allowing Jaesa to sit, Brunnhilde invited her. It was a subtle difference but she knew that the difference would be noted. Jaesa had also been quick on the up take. Perhaps there was a large difference in how Brunn was treating her compared to their male colleagues, but that was only natural for the valkyrie. Women were far more efficient warriors than their counterparts and Jaesa was someone that Brunnhilde respected on that level. Enough for civil discourse of at least a few minutes.
She also lifted a hand to wave the bartender over to give them another round. Brunn also finished off what she was drinking, all in one go. Brunn needed to be drunker for this. She was certain of that. Any amount of conversation included a need to drink, in that this was no different than any other evening. Not for Brunnhilde.
Jaesa gave a half-smile, half-smirk when Brunn invited her to sit down. To others, the brusquely spoken words might not have seemed like much, but Jaesa had known Brunn for several months working with her, and she remembered details about people she had once known. For instance, she knew that Brunn rarely invited anyone to sit with her. Getting an invitation meant she actually thought of something of you, rather than thinking nothing of you at all. Of course, Jaesa knew that the older woman had liked her at work anyway, but it was nice to get the reminder all the same.
Sliding onto the seat, Jaesa pushed her glass across the bar for the barman to fill up along with whatever Brunn was having.
Once, when the two of them had drunk together, Jaesa hadn't touched the kind of fucking paint stripper Brunn preferred, instead going for the brand of beer she'd developed a taste for after Wolfgang had introduced her to it. But when he'd left her, and she'd suffered in isolation in Sauron's camp for three months only to die and come back in the Calamity... Well, Jaesa had started hitting the strong stuff. Hard. Now, she just took a glass of what Brunn was drinking and necked it back without even a wince. Of course, if she didn't want to get drunk she didn't have to; if her old Jedi Masters knew that she had learned how to use the Force to keep herself sober... She almost laughed at the idea. But fuck staying sober. She wanted to get drunk.
"What have you been up to the past year?" she asked, slanting her gaze towards Brunn as the burn of her drink slid down her throat. She pushed her glass over for another. She settled her gaze on the other woman. She'd always admired Brunn, in many ways. She was fun, she was confident in a way that Jaesa had struggled to be back then, and she was a fucking badass in a fight. Jaesa had seen her in tough situations, had seen how she moved and how she handled herself in combat. She'd learned a fair bit from the other woman about fighting unarmed too, from their sparring sessions at work. She kind of missed those.
Had Brunn been a more observant sort of person, she might have noted the difference in how Jaesa was drinking, but the valkyrie had never paid that kind of attention to anyone else. Even the amount of time that Brunnhilde had worked for the government of Pandora Town had been a drop in the bucket compared to her life. Those sorts of details were just going to fly past her. Brunn purposefully didn't give two shits about anyone else. Anyone who thought she would have remembered a colleague in that manner was dead wrong.
What had she been up to for the past year? Well, there was little to be said about it really. It was just... life. As much as possible, for the valkyrie. Very little stood out in a bad or a good sort of way, which was how the valkyrie really preferred it. When you had good things in your life, they typically got taken away, and that was something she had never been able to properly adjust to. She took her losses very hard in a bevy of different ways.
"Merc work." There was a subtle little shrug of her shoulders to suggest what that might have meant. Jaesa was not an idiot by any means. She would likely understand the sorts of things that Brunn had accomplished in the last year. Though there had been that one... "I killed a dragon. That was pretty fun." Probably one of the more notable moments, though it had interrupted a nice nap that the valkyrie had been having.
She took a big swig of what she was drinking and let her shoulders relax a touch. Brunn really was here for a good time, at least as much as she could manage for the moment. "You? Still working for.... S... u... whatever the hell it was." The valkyrie couldn't even remember what the acronym was for the place that they had worked at. Her memory was that bad when she purposefully avoiding any actual effort in remembering. "Or did you move on to something better?" More freedom, that was what she meant. More freedom to be the people they actually were.
Merc work. There was an understanding light to Jaesa's eyes as she nodded at that, because she wasn't surprised at all by that being what Brunn had moved onto. She was definitely the type for it. Once, Jaesa hadn't been. But Jaesa had changed in the past year. Now merc work was what paid her way too, just like Brunn. Merc money and blood money, those were the two financial constants. If she wasn't being paid for killing something or someone, then she was taking money from the bodies of criminals and thugs she killed on the side. They usually had a lot, and they didn't need it if they were dead.
If Rey knew how much of her money was stolen from corpses, the woman would probably be horrified. Sometimes she wondered what Wolfgang might have thought, because she hadn't been this way when she'd been with him. Probably wouldn't be still if Sauron had left her alone and she and Wolfgang had stayed together. Not that she wished for that any longer. She had long given up with the pointless wishing things had been different. The hardest part for her was just trying to imagine herself in love again, with this Kylo who sat in the back of her head. She was still convinced it was bullshit, and it was one of the reasons she was trying to get drunk... so she could pretend that she couldn't feel him there.
She snorted at the woman's question. "Fuck no," she said with distaste. She knew what Brunn meant with her follow-up comment, too. Better always meant freer. She had never liked working with the SUF herself; it had been a means to an end, a license for violence and a job that she had required in order to get personal training with Vader. He'd not have taken her on as a protege of sorts if she hadn't taken the job.
"I've been doing merc work too," she continued, with a smirk. She drank the next glass of burning liquid in one go, setting it back down on the bar. Already she could feel a bit of a fuzziness gathering at the edges of her thought, like mist edging in at the corners of vision. "I killed a huge fucking alien queen. Bitch to bring down but..." She shrugged. Of course she wasn't going to mention that it took two tries and that the first had landed her in a coma in hospital. That took the edge off her own boasting a bit.
Brunnhilde had let go of those what ifs a long time ago. For the first hundred years after she had left Asgard she had tried to think about how she could have done things better, but it had only caused her to continue to spiral in her depression. Something that she had solved by drowning herself in drink. A lot of the paint thinner that Brunnhilde was now drinking had played a large part in everything. It had been her only solution and ever since then the valkyrie had been able to steer her thoughts away from that dangerous direction.
If there was one thing that Brunnhilde did enjoy while she was drinking... well, no that probably wasn't correct. There were a good many things that Brunn enjoyed when she was drinking but one of them was a good round of story telling. Boasts and brags. Mostly because Brunnhilde was able to one up almost everyone she had ever met. The valkyrie had simply lived longer and by virtue of her age, had done more than anyone else could ever hope to do in their short, little life spans.
Still there were a few exceptions. There were a few people who had abilities or powers that were outside of the realm of what Brunnhilde could manage. Jaesa had a number of those and it was interesting to consider what the younger woman was capable of. What she had managed when they had been working together had been impressive, so Brunn certainly thought that her stories might have been more interesting than the average person's.
One eyebrow lifted as the dark haired woman said she had killed some sort of huge alien queen. "Exactly how big was she?" There could be a multitude of things that Jaesa was talking about and Brunn needed details to paint the right kind of picture. Hopefully with a little prodding Jaesa would tell her. She did enjoy a good story. Brunn took another deep drink, finishing off her current one and quickly ordering another.
It was no surprise that Brunn honed right in on her own boasting, asking a question clearly meant to kick off a story. That was Brunn's way, she remembered. She'd liked hearing stories from the other squad members in the SUF. Jaesa had usually had good ones to tell back then, and others that she'd lived alongside Brunn that they could talk about over drinks, but back then she'd not gone against anything the like of the alien queen, not alone.
"I'd take a guess at twenty feet, give or take a foot," she said with a shrug, only too happy to launch into her own story. She realised that she'd missed talking to Brunn, and hell, she felt like she could kind of stand a bit more evenly next to her these days. She could keep up a bit better with drink, she was even better in fights than she used to be, and she loved killing big bad monsters. The bigger and the badder the better. "She was strong, like... She could tear a person into tiny pieces no problem." There'd been many corpses around to attest to that, other hunters who'd gone after that bounty and failed.
"Tail like a whip, sharp enough to impale," she continued. She had personal experience of how sharp that tail had been. The site of the impaling she had taken from back to front at her abdomen twinged in memory. "Covered in some kind of insect armour and way too many spikes. She was a bitch. Beautiful in her way, I'd guess, but a fucking bitch to kill. Best fight I've had." She let out a dry laugh, before necking back her next glass of drink. She felt that fog encroaching faster now that she had swapped the whisky for Brunn's paint stripper. "What about that dragon of yours?"
Twenty foot monster then, not some sort of hot alien queen that happened to be more of a bitch than her attractiveness was worth. Which helped start painting a picture in Brunn's mind. She was quiet while Jaesa went through her description of the alien queen. Sharp tail, insectoid, that sort of thing. Brunnhilde could remember a few of those showing up and making trouble at different points in Brunnhilde's life but the details were also hazy. Because it had been so long since the valkyrie had had to deal with such a thing that she couldn't put together too many details. Had one of them been... purple? Purple sounded just about right, regardless if that had been the truth or not.
Brunnhilde certainly wouldn't call any of them beautiful though. They had all been beastly things. Gross in all sorts of ways to kill. Brunnhilde certainly didn't mind getting dirty when she needed to but there was a large difference between things like blood and things like insect goo. As always, Brunnhilde would fight ruthlessly without care if she got covered, but it was so damn difficult to clean the shit out of everything. Brunn really hated that.
"It woke me from a nap!" Brunn was quick to launch into a wide grin as she explained. "I was hired to keep this mage safe in the Vales. Had to get some sort of component and bandits had been raiding the normal, quick roads." She took another deep drink before continuing. "No bandits but this big bloody dragon came in instead. Group were tracking it but I held it down while they did the technical cutting." Which had actually worked in Brunnhilde's favor because she had managed to keep herself from getting bloody as well.
Again, staying clean was something she preferred when it was possible.
"Quite a large beast, just not as strong as I was." Holding a dragon down with her bare strength? Well, that was hardly a humble brag. It was a straight out bragging, no bones about it, and Brunn kept on drinking after. They both had some good stories. Brunnhilde was sure that Jaesa would have some more. Perhaps it wouldn't be such a bleak night after all.
THE MUSE IS BACK!!! kind of. it's a process alsjfhalsjfhjasf. older threads are coming to me as a bit of a struggle, but i don't plan on dropping things. that said, if any of my partners are not feeling old things, now is definitely the opportunity to let me know and we can do something brandy new instead!