War Pigs: Origins, II

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"Shut up. Your just another corrupt, piece of shtako politician that doesn't know what a promise is. And the next time you say the phrase 'back to New Folsom' you won't be walking away." My voice was cold and full of unmasked hatred and my own glare could freeze over New Folsom was focused right on Vince. "And why the hell was Natalie sent to New Folsom too? All she and the captain did was join our little band! Those four fekking months broke her inside and people like you never can see that!" I hadn't so much as looked at Natalie since we had been released but somethings didn't need to been to be understood.
"The only way I was authorized to organize the War Pigs was due to the fact that you were completely expendable. They could send you through hell and then cut all ties with you! They wanted a team to do their dirty work while keeping their mouths shut! After you outlived your usefulness, the Senate overruled my power and stuck you back into those cells for the rest of your lives!"

Vince bellowed from the podium at Hank. He didn't particularly enjoy being the target of a bunch of convict's hate, especially since he really was innocent.

"Do you have any idea how hard I've been working my @$$ off trying to get you out of those cells for the past few months? Do you have any fekking idea!? No. And now I'm banking my entire career off you low-life scum. So don't insult me like I don't know how to do my job!"

Makins recovered temporarily from his outburst, his face still red from shouting over everybody. Bianca pushed him over the line. He stopped himself before transforming into a broken record. Instead, he smiled at Natalie's mention.

"Natalie Ross..." He repeated, exposing her with his eyes.

Natalie fidgeted in her seat, her palms under her thighs. Her beat-red face refused to move. Glossy eyes watched helplessly as her legs trembled. No... Elyon, why did you have to point me out, Bianca? Her neck found itself straining to keep her head from vibrating. Her black hair stretched for her lap. It began waving when Natalie's head twitched and vibrated with uncontrollable emotion.

Brock winced when Bianca mentioned Natalie's name. She had spent this whole time in New Folsom? Then... That means... The reality came tumbling down on Brock. He looked up to see if Vince knew. Oh yeah. He knew. His heart sank and he darted to see Natalie's body hardly reigned in check. She shuttered with pure emotion, like any criminal would do before being exposed to her only friends. Rage boiled up in Brock, but there was nothing he could do. A flinch was his only reaction. It wasn't worth the lives of every War Pig.

"So innocent." A sarcastic smile crossed Vince's lips and he cocked his head, batting his eyes profusely. They considered her an Angel and maybe they were right. But Vince knew better. Judging by Brock's reaction, so did he. Vince knew he could break Natalie right here, right now, in front of everybody. The debate within him was whether it would benefit him.

"Is that the name you're using, Natalie Ross?" Vince poked and paraded like poking an injured animal, tempting it to move. Explode. Suffer.Vince stopped himself. He realized Natalie's mental state could greatly influence their next mission. He decided to have mercy for now.

Brock exhaled deeply at the turn of events. Natalie's mental profile would survive another day. A single tear rolled down Natalie's cheek and fell on her lap. She then buried her face in her hands and shook with sobs. Vince smiled at the scene. That aughtta humble them.
"You try being in New Folsom for ten years leave, get out and then go back. It's worse the second time you corrupt piece of sh!t. Hurry up and do the briefing or send us on our way to what ever piece of !@#$ mission you have for us now." I say giving a nice long one finger salute(*cough* flipping him off *cough*) before heading over to Natalie.

What in blazes is going on? I think to myself as I just sit rather unobtrusively to the side.
OOC: You approach him while he's not paying attention? How in the world would you manage that? :P

Realistically, Vince would either put a bullet in Bianca, or send her back to New Folsom for the rest of her life. I'm willing to alter realism if you wish.

You should also take into account everything that's been happening with Natalie. How does Bianca feel about the situation? Does she feel for Natalie? If so, does she really decide to go punch Vince rather than comfort her? And there's no hesitation between the two actions?

I'll wait for you to confirm or edit your actions. It's totally up to you. Just... Remember it will come with consequences.
Alison's only reaction to all the anger in the room is to uncross her legs and lean forward in her chair with a grunt;
"Alright, maybe I misjudged. It seems as though you aren't like the rest of the spineless idiots running this house of cards. Provided that you're telling us the truth of course."
She snorts and shakes her head in memory of some long past event before looking back at Vince;
"Well, whether or not you're lying doesn't matter. We're here because we've got a job to do. Enough with all the pointless nonsense, and tell us what we have to do."
Alison says, her voice frank, a casual smile never touching the rest of her face.
decided to edit ... as for how she could come up unnoticed ... Vince did have most to all of his attention on Natalie.
He never really said that from what I read...

IC: I wait until everyone's said their piece before speaking mine, sitting up for a moment before standing and stepping between Makins and Natalie, my eyes cold and hard like they were before I'd kill a Kel-Morian with my knife. "Look, I've been real patient with you, PO, but I've had about enough of the bull sh!t that comes from being expendable. I've served with most of these people for a good long time. Scum is anything but what they are. We're still human beings, most of us haven't even done anything overly bad. Now, shut up, stop the manipulation bull sh!t and give us our mission." I reach up and pull Makins to eye level with me. "Or so help me, even if it gets me killed, I will see you hung for burning my family." Letting him go, I step back to my seat and sit down.

"Now, some letters I've been getting from friends say that our xeno friends have surfaced. This fact or are they getting high on stims again?" I'd kept in touch with all my old buddies from back in the War, and most of them were still in service with the Confederate Marine Corp. Hell, it was the only reason I knew my old Captain had turned rebel. Course, your government turning your home planet into a nuclear waste land tends to do that to a man.
Whoa, she's angry. Vince clenches the wood of the podium between his fingers and thumb. Thankfully, the other Pigs were being more reasonable. He did just pull her out of prison. Maybe her actions were understandable? Still, flipping off your only string to sanity wasn't a good way to go down. Vince wasn't cruel enough to send her back to New Folsom for such a gesture.

Taking Alison's reasoning as a compliment, he decided to go on with the briefing. They had gotten far off track.

He sighed as he thought about where to start. They had missed a very eventful four months.

"Alpha Squadron was dispatched to Chau Sara to deal with the Sons of Korhal back in November. Maybe you've heard of them? A terrorist rebel group bent on the destruction of the Confederacy. Anyways, as Alpha Squadron was closing in, they came under attack by strange Xenomorphic organisms. Organisms that fit your descriptions perfectly. By the end of the month, all of Chau Sara had been infected and consumed."

Makins paused to let it sink in.

"That was two months ago. It gets better. An unknown, highly advanced race eradicated all life shortly after. During this time, we lost contact with the nearby planet, Mar Sara. The Confederacy launched a counter-attack on the advanced species and they withdrew. Temporarily. We soon discovered the Xenomorphs had indeed destroyed all of Mar Sara. The looming fleet returned and glassed that system, too."

Another pause.

"Meanwhile, the Sons of Korhal have been gaining support and power, stirring up several revolutions, the main one being in Antiga Prime. The Confederacy sent in a fleet to retake it, but... They failed. The Sons of Korhal then occupied the whole system. Since then, the ravenous Xenomorphs are in the middle of taking Atticus Minor. The Sons of Korhal will be overwhelmed soon enough."

Vince assumed the Pigs were starting to get a sense of where he was going with this.

"I know, it's worse than your last mission, but it was the only way to get you guys out of those cells..." He went on, "You are to enter Atticus Minor and assassinate the leader of the Sons of Korhal, Arcturus Mengsk, while they're distracted by the alien invasion. These Xenomorphs have developed a common-name, too. Zerg."
Alison arches an eyebrow;
"Not that I'm complaining, but why hasn't a ghost put one between his eyes yet? What aren't you telling us Vince?"
She asks.
I sigh and shake my head, leaning back in my chair before pulling out another cig. "You know, it isn't high on my to do list to kill my former Captain, Makins."
"And this is day just keeps getting better and better." I say to myself sarcastically as I sit beside Natalie and put an arm around her to comfort her. I pull her close and whisper in her ear. "What ever he was talking about doesn't matter. At least not to me. Your part of our squad and I'd risk my life to save anyone of these nuts. Except Vince if he ever goes into combat." I rub her arm soothingly and look up at Makins. "What do we get when the mission is over success or failure? And it better NOT be one way tickets back to New Folsom or I'm going to track down and kill this 'senator' or what ever and then kill you before dropping off the confederate radar."
"Yeah I heard of them. I think one of your prior teammates did some work with them. Mentioned it while he was in a cell near mine. Not really seeing why I should kill him, well aside from this place being my only way to stay out of a cell." I say shifting a little bit rubbing the upper part of my left arm. I quickly catch myself and stop rubbing my arm and look over towards Hank. "Mind if I bum one off ya?"
"Ghosts can't get close to this guy, nor would High Command want to risk a valuable operative in the quake of what will turn out to be the biggest war Humanity has ever fought." Vince told Alison.

The hair on the back of Vince's neck perked up. Oh yeah... Hank was under Mengsk at one point... He quickly schemed on how to maintain control of Hank. Now he had a personal stake in the matter.

"I know this could be hard for you, Hank, but times have changed. He's a rebel now fighting the Confederacy while aliens burn humanity around us. Sure, the Confederacy has it's problems, but the way Mengsk has taken it is too far. Especially now."

Makins turned to Bianca. She had been trying to comfort Natalie, who didn't appear shaken by the briefing.

"Bianca, I'll be honest. You get nothing. Absolutely nothing. It's your choice, back to the cell now? Or prove your worth and loyalty to the Confederacy?"

Nodding at James, Vince continued, "I'd be surprised if nobody here had heard of them. The Sons of Korhal are becoming quite big. This mission is top priority and as such, you've all been granted all requests filed. I even got you the new standard CMC armor."

Natalie had finally controlled her emotion. She appreciated Bianca's support. She fit in with the Pigs more than she would ever like to admit. Even if they knew Natalie had a screwed up past, they would never forgive her if they knew everything.
Alison's eye rises even higher, an unspoken message clear;
If a ghost can't get close to this guy, what chance to a bunch of rag-tag expendable convicts have?
"Well, that's good news, better armor is always nice. I assume it's too late to get some additional armor for my flamethrower's fuel tank?"
She says instead.
Pulling out another cig, I toss it in James' direction before returning my attention to Makins. "Right, so we're going into the heart of rebel territory while they're being besieged by the Zerg, some of the best damned killers I've ever seen. Seems easy enough. As for killing Mengsk, if turning him into Swiss Cheese keeps me out of the cell he refused to fight to keep me out of, then consider it done."

It was true. Mengsk had interviewed everyone present at the fight between me and the lieutenant and the truth had been the lieutenant had thrown the first punch. But when it came time for the court date, Mengsk simply agreed that I was in the wrong for striking my superior officer and recommended life in prison for me. Guess that was the reason I was here, because I'd served under Mengsk and they didn't trust me in the prisons, or some sh!t like that.
OOC: Do we get upgraded equipment now?

Rob raised an eyebrow. The news was interesting for sure, and he along with Alison had some doubts.

"Damn, the Confederacy's resources are seriously running thin if they can't even take care of a bunch of terrorists. New armor sounds good though. I'll take spider mines as an upgrade to my old ones too."

Something else was bothering Rob. It wasn't the mission, the decision was clear on that one. Like Vince said, there wasn't much of a choice. But the way Natalie(or was it?) reacted unnerved him. A part of him felt sorry for the woman who had only shown him compassion in their short time together... yet...

Who the hell is this lady? She looked so ashamed... in front of convicts? I mean... I've killed innocents. Not on purpose, no... But children died because I pressed a button and she KNOWS that. What the hell did she do that would make her think I would judge her?

Rob was doing it again, thinking too much. He did his signature head scratch, but only to disguise his quick glance at Captain Brock. He clearly reacted at the mention of Natalie's name. Rob searched Brock's face for answers but found none.

Rob decided to bring it up later with him, he wanted answers.
OOC: Define upgraded. If you mean Standard CMC-300 suits, well kept weapons and top-notch equipment, then yes.


"Sorry, Alison, I didn't exactly have room to ask for customizations. Especially questionable ones such as that. I'm not even sure you could carry an extra slab of armor."

Vince smiled at Hank. "Glad to hear it, Hank. I know you can get it done."

Makins stepped away from the podium, addressing Rob, "We sacrificed a lot in the Guild Wars. Plus, this isn't just a terrorist group anymore. They have real armies and are a real force to be reckoned with. They took out a whole Confederacy fleet. What's that tell you?" It tells me the Confederacy's days are numbered. The thought gave Vince a questioning look behind his eyes. He was a professional at keeping his thoughts to himself, though. This comforted him to a degree.

"While you guys have been in prison, I retrofitted the Silico. She's got a fully stocked med-bay and all repairs have been made. She's fully fueled and loaded, ready to go in hanger D-26. Your equipment is in the armory located in B-wing. Any questions?"
"We going the 300 again or did you get us some 400's?"

OOC: Which were in use in the Great War.
"I hope no one messed with my FN-92. I had that baby just the way I like it and don't want to have to readjust it."
"It cost me a fortune, but I got you guys some 400's. Take care of 'em." Vince gave the Pigs a nod before walking out of the room.

Brock stood up and turned to address the Pigs. The briefing could have gone better, but it went smooth enough. Smoother than expected. Makins really wasn't that bad of a guy. He of everyone knew the Pigs needed him. Depended on him. Instead of being a total @$$, he still treated us with more respect than the average citizen and looked out for the Pig's needs. Hell, he got them better equipment than standard issue!

"Good to be back. We ready to go back into hell?"

Natalie thanked Bianca with only her thoughts as she stood up and headed for the door without a word. Vince had been cruel to her. Threatening to expose her like that when she did nothing to provoke him. Right now, she just needed to get away from everybody. She longed for the seclusion of the cockpit.

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