War Pigs: Origins, II

Joeyray's Bar
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Rob grinned and pumped his fist into the air.

"Ready as ever Captain! Straight out of purgatory, too!"
Alison shrugs, getting to her feet and following after Natalie;
"Ready as I'll ever be. Let's get moving."
Brock led the group down the corridors to the armory passing several guards on the way. Peculiar, Brock thought, that Vince didn't assign an escort. His eyes caught a camera in every hall and he knew Vince was watching.

Reaching the Armory, Brock was the first to get into his CMC armor.

"Last time I was in one of these, it was crushed like a soda can." He jested, mostly to himself.

Natalie grabbed a Needler and a thigh-holster and strapped it on before sliding her pistol in. She hated CMC suits. Sure, she had one, but only got in it when she absolutely needed to.
Armoring up in just under a minute, I test out the new armor before nodding, noticing the paint job was exactly like the one I'd had on my old suit of 300. "Well, they got every detail right. Surprising considering the sloppy paint jobs they used to do." Scanning the weapons rack, it doesn't take my long to find my slugthrowers and my Bosun, which I put in the appropriate spots before taking a moment to step out of my armor and put the kukri in it's position, getting back in and facing the captain. "Last time I was in one of these, I took a Zerg spike to the a$$. I hope to avoid a repeat experience."
I warily approach the machine that held my armor. This was my first time ever getting the armor put on and using it.
"What have you gotten yourself into now James...." I mutter as I step into the machine to get my armor put on.

OOC: I was kind of thinking James's armor would be a bit bulkier due to his size and the fact he has the Gauss cannon.


After getting my new armor on I look around for the weapons that I was given, I find the shot gun first and set it on the lower side of my back and find the Gauss cannon shortly after.
"Now this is a gun..." I say as I heave the weapon to bear looking over it in slight awe, "Never seen one of these before."
I step to the side of the aimed weapon and lightly push the barrel of it down, raising my visor and leveling a glare only a Sergeant could do. "It's called a Gauss Cannon. This model's meant to be carried, but usually they're used in turret emplacements. Do me a favor, and everyone else, and point it away from us." Slinging my rifle around to where I could hold it, I take a moment to load up on ammo and grenades, having learned from the last mission, and slide a clip into place, racking a round into the chamber.

"It's a big gun used to keep the enemy from charging us or getting a clear shot, or suppression as it's more commonly referred to. Against the Zerg, well, let's just say you may be our greatest asset against one of the breeds. Small, hound-like and charging the foe is what they do. Makes 'em easy pickin' when you aren't running from 'em to avoid falling from orbit." Shaking my head, I sling the Bosun and draw each pistol, slamming a magazine into them and the holstering them again before unslinging the Bosun. "You catch all that?"
"Point away from yall, Fire at the small little Zerg things when they charge in cluster, possibly best asset against small zerg. Yeah I think so." I say as I check to see if there was a safety on it. Once I found it I set it on then sling the rifle up against my shoulder followed by gather the ammo for both of my weapons.
"So how bad are these things? Like end of days type of bad?"
"The snake ones cut through steel doors with their claws like it was butter. The hound ones...I don't really know. From seeing the state the Captain was in though, it seems they can chew through a full suit of CMC armor with little difficulty."
"Damn... Sounds like a frecking nightmare."
I light the cigarette that Hank had tossed me earlier. It help some with the the lack of hab and stims in my system but not much.
I shake my head and wait for the order to move out, my mind trying to think of just how any other breeds of Zerg there are. "You've no clue. Oh, and the snake ones shoot spikes that can punch through CMC armor with ease, just a little icing on the cake." I pull one out of the pouch and toss it to him. "They look about like that."
I catch the spike and look over it..
"Damn... Looks like it packs a nasty hit."
Quickly gearing up, Alison checks over the pressure seals on her flamethrower, making sure there wouldn't be any leakage and follows it up with a safety check of the rest of her gear.
After everyone was suited up, the group headed down the hall to the Hangar in which the Silico rest. Upon entering, it was obvious the Silico had undergone some repairs and refurbishing. It looked brand new. Well, as new as a twenty year old Wanderer-class ship could look, anyways.

The crew boarded and Natalie bee-lined it for the Cockpit. She had been anxiously waiting for solitude since being pulled out of New Folsom.

Brock watched the door close behind Natalie with a sigh before heading to his Private quarters.
Racking her gear, Alison swings by the mess hall and grabs a pair of sandwiches before heading up to the cockpit;
"Natalie? You have a moment?"
She asks, knocking on the door.
Throwing switches and activating the ship's systems turned out to be more of a blessing than Natalie could ever imagine. She felt a renewed love for flying. It gave her something to focus her mind on. She needed desperately to overcome the past few months of her life. She needed to dig a hole and bury the memories that have haunted her and given scum like Vince leverage over her. She was stronger than that. Besides, it's not like she was a mass murderer like some of the War Pigs!

Natalie reigned in her thoughts before they got out of hand. {Tower, this is Silico, prepared for departure.}

{Copy that, Silico, you are clear.} Natalie manually flew the ship out of the still opening hangar. She didn't want to activate auto-pilot. She needed something to do. Solitude was no longer an option. Her mind would tear her apart. Funny. A few minutes ago she would have killed for solitude. Natalie needed to be strong and get over herself. She now understood that being alone threw her back into being a little girl. Being in public would give her the opportunity to show strength, not weakness.

The door knocked. It was Alison. Of course it was Alison. Natalie grinned inside. She couldn't think of a better person to practice using her new facade with. Alison was the strongest girl Natalie knew and this was the perfect opportunity to pioneer her newly found strong, levelheaded woman mask she would need to perfect.

Then again, what if Alison had the same mask, but deep down was more like Natalie? What if they were, in fact, polar opposites wishing to be more like the other. She scoffed at the idea, but didn't dismiss it quite yet. The near future would tell.

Natalie's finger hovered over the auto-pilot button. After intentionally flying the ship out of the hangar manually, now she was going to put it on auto-pilot? She wanted something to do to occupy her mind. Alison no doubt wanted to talk about what just happened. With a sigh, she pressed the button and opened the door remotely.

"Sure." She answered simply. It was a neutral answer. Not strong, not weak. Perfect for now.
Stepping in, Alison offers Natalie one of the sandwiches;
"Happy birthday. I figured you might like something to eat."
She says setting the plate down next to Natalie and leaning up against the wall, the other sandwich in hand;
"What's up? Vince seemed to rattle you pretty hard."
Alison asks bluntly, giving Natalie a careful look before taking a bite.
The sandwich repulsed Natalie. Her stomach turned. The thought of food made Natalie nauseous. She had no appetite. Still, the gesture warmed her heart. She accepted it with a weak smile. Didn't want to drop her strong-woman facade that early.

"Yeah, Vince is kind of an @$$. I admit, I kind of overreacted though." As soon as the words exited her lips, her heart skipped a beat. Had she overreacted? Or was she truly the victim of identity blackmail? After all, compared to most other War Pigs she was quite normal. Even if they assumed her guilty, they probably would still accept her for who she was. They might think differently of her, but nobody would ever admit it. So what if they knew what got her into prison? So what if they thought she wasn't all innocent?

"Why do you care?"
Alison shrugs;
"That depends. Do you want to hear the practical reason, or the personal reason?"
She asks, setting the sandwich back down on the plate and looking Natalie straight in the eyes.
Natalie could barely withstand Alison's gaze.

"Both." She answered simply, trying to understand Alison's motives. She waited anxiously to hear what Alison was going to say. She had to fight impulses to lean into the edge of her seat.
Nodding, Alison continues;
"Practically, I care because I really don't want my pilot to be so consumed with whatever their problem is that they aren't capable of pulling me out of a tight spot. Personally, I care because I do. Natalie, you have something incredibly precious that I really never got to experience. And frankly, the thought that you could have lost one of the most beautiful things in the universe pains me."

She says, her hard-edged face softening;
"New Folsom nearly broke you, didn't it?"

Alison asks softly as she reaches out brushing a stray hair out of Natalie's face.

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