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Patricia Tannis is a non-player character who is integral to the main storyline of Borderlands and provides missions in Borderlands 2.

Tannis has a tenuous grip on sanity. She often abruptly changes the subject of her conversations and appears to have developed emotional attachments to her ECHO Recorder and to two chairs. In Borderlands 2, it is also revealed she has become extremely sociophobic, popping a blood vessel when someone says hello to her in the street. She also has a very strange set of morals, demonstrating scientific curiosity towards horrific experimentation on people.

She is the leading expert on Eridians and the Vault, and as such is a person often consulted in missions. Her knowledge is vast but is presented in an extremely whimsical way. Tannis also records much of her life into her ECHO Recorder, then promptly hides the recordings, paying characters to retrieve them.

Tannis is autistic, and described in the Hidden Journals mission briefing as "an insane introvert with Asperger's." Some of her autistic traits are lack of empathy, echolalia, unusual vocal inflection, difficulty with social cues, and hyperfixation on her research and special interests. Tannis has suffered multiple traumas and prolonged isolation on Pandora, as described in her echo logs, which further exacerbate her social discomfort.

Background

Patricia Tannis is a researcher, scientist, and archaeologist once employed by the Dahl Corporation to unearth details about the mysterious Vault. Over the time of her research, the harshness of Pandora and the deaths of most of her colleagues led to her developing psychosis. She became completely numb to violence, and her loneliness caused her to impart personality onto the ECHO Recorder she uses to log her progress. When rebooting the ECHO network, the instructions she gives are described as being in the form of "an argument with either an invisible cellmate or a rat." From the first time Tannis is introduced, she expresses a sort of arrogance centered around her standing as a scientist, often implying that those who surround her are on a lesser intellectual level, her fellow researchers included.

When Dahl pulled out from Pandora, they removed their funding of Tannis' research. By then, she had become completely obsessed with finding the Vault, so she turned to bandits to aid her research. After several more discoveries, she was betrayed and abandoned by the bandits. It was at this time she realized that she could not leave her campsite because of an irrational phobia, so rather than directly conducting her search, she instead sent out a signal calling for Vault hunters to do the work. Eventually, when a sleepwalking incident left her outside her camp, she decided that there was little to fear and promptly proceeded to scatter the journal recordings around Pandora.

Involvement

Players are first introduced to Tannis during the the first Hidden Journal mission in the Arid Badlands. The Hidden Journal missions focus on recovering various data recorders hidden throughout the wilderness. The recorders contain journal entries from Tannis, most of which concern her research on the Vault and illustrate her rapidly diminishing sanity.

Players meet Tannis soon after passing through New Haven, when directed to her dig site in Rust Commons West. After showing her the Vault Key fragment that was found in Sledge's possession, she sends the Vault hunters out to find the rest of the fragments.

After collecting the second and third key pieces from Krom's Canyon and the Trash Coast, Tannis sends the Vault hunters to seek out one more piece of the key, alleging that Baron Flynt stole it as Tannis fired him from her team. After battling through Flynt and his men, the Vault hunters find the key's supposed chest empty. The Crimson Lance commander Commandant Steele contacts the hunters, insinuating that Tannis has joined them and has handed in the key fragments willingly, which is never refuted by Tannis. Amidst the doubt over whether or not Tannis has betrayed the Vault hunters, she explains that the Crimson Lance came after her and took the vault keys, and says that Steele came up with the plan to send the adventurers to kill the bandits. Tannis says that she went along with that part because it seemed like something the Vault hunters might enjoy.

After the Vault is opened, the Vault hunters can return to Tannis (who has returned to her dig site) to turn in the key for a substantial reward of money and experience.

In The Zombie Island of Dr. Ned, she offers the mission to seek out the Pumpkinhead monster.

Tannis returns in the fourth downloadable content pack, Claptrap's New Robot Revolution. This time she has established a secluded workshop overlooking Tartarus Station. She explains that it is her secret workshop, and she is beginning some sort of project in which she could use some help. After collecting a number of components from rogue claptraps, the project is revealed to be an android of herself, built so she wouldn't be lonely.

Between the events of Borderlands and Borderlands 2, Handsome Jack steals the Vault key from Tannis by torturing her "ceiling chairs", including one she had developed feelings for, intending to charge it with Eridium to open another Vault containing an ancient Warrior. Roland contacts Tannis, inviting her to move to Sanctuary. Wanting revenge for what Hyperion did to the chairs, she accepts the offer.

Appearances

Quotes

Borderlands

  • Upon approach
    • "Greetings."
    • "Do you need something?"
    • "Welcome to my camp, or what's left of it."
    • "What can you do for me?"
    • "You're from off planet, you smell oddly."
  • Upon leaving
    • "We'll speak again."
    • "We should talk again."
    • "Let's hope you're more useful than the last one I hired."
    • "I guess you're leaving."
    • "Keep your eyes open."

Claptrap's New Robot Revolution

  • Story quotes:
    • Atomic batteries to power... Turbines to speed...Ooo, I wonder what this does... - from cutscene
    • I'm going to need a nuclear reaction to generate the 1.21- Oh hey! Hello! Welcome to my secret lab. Secret lair? Terror pavilion! Yes, I like that one best. Hey, you look like you're into experimentation, maybe dabbled a bit in college. Head down to the Hyperion Dump to find parts for my totally legit, in no way morally reprehensible secret project. There should be plenty of scrapped claptraps ripe for the picking; sure are a lot more of the buggers puttering around. It'll be easier than stealing candy from a dead body! - Upon acquiring Are You From These Parts?
    • Fantastic! These parts should let me reroute the Omega 13 device to the Snooze Button without sacrificing the nuclear payload! If you find any more, send them my way. - Upon acquiring Fight For Your Right To Part-E
    • I need fresher claptrap parts. These are already going stale. I'll reward you. Rip them right out of the suckers if you have to. - Upon acquiring Parts Is Parts
    • (Singing) The anklebone's connected to the leg bone. The leg bone's connected to the plutonium. The plutonium's connected to this rubber duck. Man, I'm gonna need some more parts. - Upon acquiring We All Have Our Part To Play
    • Don't worry, the claptraps don't feel a thing. It's no worse than stealing a drifter's kidneys and leaving him in a tub of rice. What? Ice? Uh-oh... - Upon acquiring A Part Of Something Larger Than Yourself
  • Upon approach
    • Do these teeth make my gums look fat?
    • Do you need something?
    • Greetings.
    • I used to be a galaxy class scientist; but now I've been reduced to a babbling hang-on.
    • Hello there, good friend!
    • Hey! Over here! Yoohoo! Yes, you!
    • My talents were squandered on this rock.
    • Over here! I need your help with... something.
    • What do you need, an invitation? Come here!
    • You can be of service to my talent.
    • You're from off planet, you smell oddly.
  • Upon leaving
    • Did you get lost already?
    • I can't finish the toaster setting without those parts! Go!
    • I guess you're leaving.
    • Keep at it, my friend!
    • Keep your eyes open.
    • Let's hope you're more useful than the last one I hired.
    • More parts! I must have more parts!
    • Shh! Act like you don't know me. There are spies everywhere!
    • We'll speak again.
    • We should talk again.
    • What part of secret lab don't you understand? Get out of here!

Borderlands 2

Reminder

  • "Oh hello, Vault Hunter. If you wouldn't mind taking a break from smashing creatures into goopy collections of bone marrow and sadness, I have a job for you back in Sanctuary. This isn't a date."

New mission available

  • "If you could stand still for a moment, I require something of you"
  • "You will help me, and I will pay you. It is as simple as that."
  • "I am very sorry to say I need your assistance."

During an active mission

  • "Have you completed your task yet?"
  • "Do you have a progress update?"
  • "Given the blank look on your face, I assume you have not completed your task."

No new missions available

  • "I am happy to say I need not rely on you for help, at the moment."
  • "My research is going swimmingly, my psychoses notwithstanding. Your help is not required."
  • "I require nothing from you, other than that you please stay a safe distance away from me. I am known to bite."

Idle

  • "Well, I have things to do, if you wouldn't mind... removing your face from the vicinity of my face. Like, in a nowish way."
  • "So many calculations left to do. So much research left to explore. So many inanimate objects left to best in sexual combat. What to do?"
  • "Sometimes I put my hand on the shoulder of the nearest passer-by -- which for the record aggrivates my vomit reflex -- and I say Good job! Lord Garflax of the Tardik system values your sacrifice, to mess with them! And then I burn an effigy to Lord Garflax."
  • "There's too much left to do! If we're going to stop Jack, we're going to need a hell of a lot more than Porcheen combat fruits."
  • "My lower lip tastes like me, but my upper lip tastes like Tandoran lip destroyers -- which are a local delicacy if you don't mind your lips being ripped from your face."
  • "Can I help you? I have things to do, mouth-breather."
  • "Is there something you still require? I'm quite tired and want to lay down with a ceiling chair if you wouldn't mind disappearing."

Radio commercials

  • "This is Patricia Tannis. I'll skip the platitudes, should you value such meaningless spittle, and begin to list the things that will happen to you if Handsome Jack is allowed to open the Vault. Number one, nachos will cease to exist. Number two, now that you're no longer knuckle-deep in the orifice of your choosing, seriously, NACHOS ARE GONE. Number three, I'll be dead though I know you value my well-being less than nachos. Hm, I had a thousand and forty-six more reasons but I'm being told I'm out of time."
  • "As the end of the world approaches, I'm allowing suitable mating material to submit to me headshots and various table furniture of your choosing. When mailing in furniture, please include a list of any of their likes or dislikes in addition to any varnish allergies you are aware of. What? Me and the ottoman are just friends! Unless he said something -- did he say something? I swear, he can be so crazy! El o' el! This is Tannis, outties."
  • "This is a blanket announcement. I spent last night becoming innebriated and left 73% of my clothing in an undisclosed location within Sanctuary. Should you come across the twelve socks and two over-sized pairs of archeology trousers, please leave them on my doorstep with a considerable effigy and a thoughtful letter of apology. I, Patricia Tannis, pre-emptively accept your thank you."

Quotes from The Raid on Digistruct Peak

  • Upon entering Digistruct Peak
    • Welcome to the Gauntlet! Please follow the smell of vomit and tears so we may talk face-to-face. As the vomit was mine, I recommend facing away from me.
  • Quotes from A History of Simulated Violence
    • Using a mixture of Eridium, digistruct technology, and Scooter's salami-stained fingers- try not to read into that, i've put the together the combat trials you see before you. If you succeed, you'll be ready for a new Pandora. A Pandora of overpowered enemies, better loot and an abundance of nacho cheese! It's been an eventful year, anyway, off with you!
    • With Brick and Mordecai circling each other's metaphorical jerks over who gets to hunt the sudden abundance of Vaults, Lilith and I created this training gauntlet for the Crimson Raiders. You will help me test it's relative lethality, so that I may not inadvertently turn half of Sanctuary's fighting force into a gaggle of whimpering, triple amputees.
    • Should you die in this gauntlet, I will take it as implicit feedback that I should consider making this easier. I will ignore this of course, mass-murder can often be a form of quality control.
  • Upon encountering bandits
    • These bandits naturally migrated to the training area like children to candy- or so i've been told, never met a child, but i'm certain i'd hate them.
    • Did you ever think that perhaps bandits are the true heroes and we are the villains? If so, stop.
    • That's not feces you smell! It's just bandits. And feces.
    • Bandits are the remnants of Dahl's original slave labor on Pandora. Come to think of it, so am I!
    • Upon encountering marauders
      • Marauders are primarily driven by greed and bloodlust. In this respect, they are somewhat like Marcus Kincaid without the beard.
      • Marauders, the peanut butter and jelly sandwiches of banditry.
    • Upon encountering psychos
      • Psychos are what happens when a mind is pushed to it's breaking point and when it becomes overly obsessed with meat.
      • Psychos scream about one of three things: meat, parties, or their mothers. Somewhere, a psychologist's head just exploded.
      • Say what you will about the psychos, their insanity helped them survive! In much the same way that my ceiling chairs taste vaguely of butterscotch- *gasp* 23!
    • Upon encountering rats
      • Rats make a habit of dragging away villagers in the night. Those who aren't eaten are brainwashed into joining their ranks. Just a funny anecdote for you.
      • The dark underground blinded the rats. They locate their enemies through hearing, making their aim that much more impressive.
      • Should your moral compass begin to twitch, rats are generally regarded as creatures, not people.
    • Upon encountering nomads
      • Nomads ironically desire solitude more than anything else. Their proximity to bandits is a source of unending irritation.
      • When we are all inevitably shot down in the street like filthy animals, it will be the nomads who pick are corpses clean.
      • Nomads despise midgets, other people, and midgets. In that order.
      • Upon encountering Doc Mercy
        • Doctor Mercy has a degree in ass-kicking. This is not a joke. Promethea University is not well respected in the world of academia.
  • Upon encountering spiderants
    • Ah, spiderants! The unimaginatively named of Pandora's beasts! As is so often the case in life, my advice is to aim for the butt.
    • If a blue spiderant roles uninterrupted for an entire mile, it will grow shoes and a voice, before awkwardly dating human women.
    • The spiderant's armor is made with a mixture of chitin and mucus.
    • The average spiderant lives as much as it takes to meet a Vault Hunter.
    • Upon encountering The Black Queen
      • The Black Queen is not actually a queen, as spiderants have no formal system of government. I have discovered this after infiltrating their ranks and attempting to run for prime minister.
      • The Black Queen killed and ate her king, in order to rule the spiderant colony. It was not unlike Macbeth, but with bigger butts.
      • The Black Queen is the Moxxi of the spiderant world. Were you an arachnid, upon looking at her chitinous plating, you would bite your knuckle, inhale sharply, and whisper: "damn" to anyone around you!
      • The Black Queen is as nefarious a spiderant as ever existed! Not that it matters, once you start shooting at her.
    • Upon encountering Scorch
      • Scorch is permanently on fire due to subtle eridium mutation. I have failed to replicate this power myself, though on the upside, most of my torso is covered in third-degree burns.
      • Scorch is a fire ant! I am attempting to learn puns.
      • If Scorch kills you, takes some solace in the fact that he is always on fire and you are not.
      • The Incinerator clan killed Scorch for being a heathen. As gods tend to do however, he respawned.
  • Upon encountering skags
    • Skags! The linchpin of any good descent into madness! I remember my colleagues getting eaten alive by a horde of these! Sometimes I replay the memories in my mind whilst eating popcorn and staring absently into the middle distance.
    • Sir Hammerlock informed me the skags' vertical jawline eases digestion. I responded by emitting a high-pitched shriek until I passed out.
    • Some skags for you!
    • You must aim low when fighting skags. This will ready you for your inevitable battles against the cyborg orphan army.
    • The skags' vertical jawline improves their digestion and Freudian symbolism at the same time.
    • Skags are the number one most common ingredient in Pandoran dishes and nightmares.
    • A man once tried to make the skag Pandora's animal mascot. Until he was eaten. By his mother.
    • Upon encountering Dukino's Mom
      • This replica of Dukino's Mom is just as deadly and irresponsible as the real thing! You can almost taste the parental absenteeism!
  • Upon encountering loaders
    • Yes, robots! Proof that the pen can be mightier than the sword, but that the calculator can kick the pen in the solar plexus and steal it's lunch money!
    • Moxxi helped me reprogram these. Surprisingly her prowess with robot rewiring is matched only by her prowess for bosom-related innuendo.
    • Robots, it has been said, are the cornerstone of any good combat.
    • Remember that unlike many I have encountered on Pandora, robots can lose a limb and continue to fight without screaming profanity and demanding why I need their shin bone so badly.
    • Upon encountering SPR-TNK or BAR-TNK
      • Now, here's something new! A Hyperion abomination brainstormed by Scooter and Ellie. Part spider-tank, part WAR Loader! These metal behemoths embody my two biggest fears that don't involve French-kissing.
      • Spider-tank, spider-tank! Does whatever a spider spank... can—can spank...

Notes

  • Tannis has strong opinions against various things, calling music "wasteful and stupid," and believing bacon is for "sycophants and products of incest."
  • It is unknown at which point exactly the Crimson Lance started forcing Tannis' actions, as while the Vault Hunters are working to gain access to the Trash Coast for the third Vault key piece, Marcus Kincaid contacts them via ECHO, expressing his suspicions about Tannis as she had never used Marcus' services for resupplies and reasoned that she must be getting supplies from somewhere, possibly implying that the Lance had been supplying Tannis for some while in order for her to deceive the Vault Hunters into collecting the key pieces.
  • Tannis can also be seen from the "fish" Easter egg "Fun with barrels" in Treacher's Landing (near the "You're on a boat!" achievement).
  • Another Easter egg can be found in the Sawtooth Cauldron in Borderlands 2. Related video can be seen here.
  • Another Easter egg of her riding the fish is in the Regolith Range in Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel. Related video can be seen here.
  • Tannis has given at least one set of her underwear to Crazy Earl.
  • During her intro cut scene in Borderlands 2 the clothes lines hanging about in the background distinctly show a white bra and a pair of pink women's underwear, these articles are not present during normal gameplay. Most likely an Easter Egg referencing her above interactions with Crazy Earl from Borderlands.
  • Dr Zed appears to have a certain amount of dislike for Tannis due to her having a "real Doctorate" degree while he does not.
  • Tannis flirts with the vault hunter during her first mission-related conversations in Borderlands 2, mentioning a "standing offer" to experience her bed.
  • Certain unused entries within the game files indicate that one of the Patricia's roles was to sell eridium to the Vault Hunters. "If you require any more Eridium, you should know where to find me." is one of those entries.
  • Another unused entry ("Your payment will further my research on Eridium. And my bacon addiction.") indicates that her declared distaste for bacon might not be so real after all.

Trivia

  • Her line, "Atomic batteries to power... Turbines to speed..." is a reference to a line spoken by Robin in the 1966 movie Batman when the Batmobile is powered up.
  • "I'm going to need a nuclear reaction to generate the 1.21..." is a reference to the 1985 movie Back to the Future, in which 1.21 gigawatts is the power needed to travel though time.