War Pigs: Origins, II

Joeyray's Bar
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The question forced thought out of Natalie. Had New Folsom nearly broken her, or did it break her? Or was she broken all along and New Folsom simply exposed it? She didn't know. She would never know. Ever since she was framed, she would never know the truth. Was she really framed, or did she just want to think she was framed? Was she a cold-blooded murderer, or did she just think she was a cold blooded murderer? Did she retain the gift of innocence? Or was she a back-stabbing killer with the curse of a conscience?

The truth was New Folsom gave Natalie a split personality between two possible realities. One, she was an innocent Confederate bodyguard who lacked professionalism with her prominent lover and employer. The other, she was a cold blooded killer on the run from her past. She would never know. Either way, four months was too long to hang in suspense.

Living out every day in a cell, caged with mass murderers, terrorists, rebels and downright horrible people finally made Natalie realize this was reality. She was a cold-blooded killer with the curse of a conscience. Whether her past confirmed the present or not was irrelevant. She would live out every day of the rest of her life guilty, whether by justice or injustice. It took four months of white walls and empty thoughts to come to that conclusion.

New Folsom showed Natalie the life she was really living. And whether her past confirmed it or not was irrelevant. reality confirmed it. Every day she woke up as a convict and went to bed as a convict. She finally had to accept that she was a convict.

Accepting the truth didn't cure her mixed personality, though. On the outside she was a criminal, on the inside she was a law-abiding citizen. The war between the two lasted until New Folsom. What Vince did was re-awaken the horrible truth it took her four months to get over.

"Whatever doesn't kill you makes you stronger. New Folsom didn't kill me." Since when did Alison become the nurturing mother? Natalie still wasn't willing to open up completely. Her answer was satisfactory.
Her face hardening back into it's usual impassive mask, Alison, gives Natalie a careful look;
"I see... Still, you haven't answered my question; What's up? There's obviously something eating away at you, and keeping your pain locked up is far from healthy. You certainly have a more interesting past than you would like everyone to believe... After all, why else would Vince's words have hit you so hard?"
Alison states calmly, her voice neither pitying nor accusatory.
So I'm gonna throw a wrench in this cause there's some unresolved stuff between Hank and Natalie.

IC: Keeping my gear on me, my first stop was to claim my bunk, dropping a single one of the spines on it, informing the others who's bunk this was. Leaving the bunk room, I head for the mess hall, though it really was more of a kitchen, and grab a soda, popping the top and taking a sip of the best damn thing I'd tasted in months. From there, I headed to the cockpit, catching the tail end of Alison's sentence and sighing.

Let the poor girl be, for the love of Gaia. Makins was enough. Poking my head around the corner of the door, I knock on the wall. "Sorry to interrupt, but Miss Ross and I have some unfinished business to discuss that predates my Zerg spike to the @ss." I knew this would probably irk Alison, but if she really wanted to go a round, I'd be happy to oblige at a later date.
Keep in mind, Zarkun, that your unresolved business with Natalie can be discussed at any time. There's a whole flight ahead of us. Don't feel like all the Character development needs to be crammed in one scene.

Also, now might not be the best time for Hank to approach Natalie. Normally, I'd say Hank doesn't know any better, but he heard Alison! He knows what they're talking about and therefore might consider postponing whatever he has to say to a later time, even if it is only in a few minutes after Alison leaves.

On the Contrary, Hank might be oblivious to the emotional stress this might potentially bring Natalie.

Whatever Hank decides to do is fine with me. I'll wait for you to confirm Hank's actions, just remember it will have consequences.
Well, oblivious or not, Hank is of the opinion that if Natalie wanted the Pigs to know, she'd tell them. As it is, she's got a right to her privacy, if he'd heard Alison talking about other things, he might have walked away, but he feels that Alison is trying to pry into Natalie's personal matters, which he doesn't feel is any of the other Pigs place.
So you are confirming Hank's actions then?
Thane, that's definitely a yes.
In his mind, he's helping, so yes.
I just want to make sure we're clearer than clear.

Coolio. This is some good RPin. You guys are awesome :D


Was Alison stepping too far? Did Natalie want to tell Alison everything? The questions floated around in her mind, her eyes made her conflict obvious. How was she going to respond to Alison? Is now a good time to spill the beans? Maybe it would be good for her to verbally process. Natalie wasn't exactly afraid of being judged by another convict of all people. She knew Alison was probably a safe place to share things with. And if not, who cares what a half-insane pyromaniac thinks of you?

Ten seconds later, Natalie still couldn't figure out how to start. She thought all her memories had been dead and gone. This recent excavation of her mind revealed otherwise. She had been thinking so hard about burying her past, it was still there even if she believed it to be gone.

The knocking on the wall jerked Natalie out of her mind and into a gasp. She was instantly humiliated by it. There goes my strong-woman facade. It was Hank. And he's still calling me Ms. Ross...

Makins had awaken curiosity in every War Pig about Natalie's past. Feking idiot... She would have to devise a way to dodge them all, or finally spill the beans and rehash old wounds to every member of the homely band.

Wait, why would he want to talk about the zerg spike he took back on that horrible battlecruiser? Riiight... 'Cause he took it for you, Natalie.

Natalie took it as her only escape route from the current situation. She spun her chair around and faced him.

"What's up?" The phrase came out of her mouth with an inward grin. It was the same question Alison just asked her. Now she got to flip the tables on Hank. She secretly applauded herself for such semantics.
"Well, let's start with what your reasoning is behind why I saved you." I leaned against the doorway and considered lighting a cig, but decided against it, instead, taking another sip of my wonderful tasting soda. "Cause I'm pretty damn sure they're not the reasons I'm gonna give you."
Arching an eyebrow, Alison looks between the pair, before grabbing her sandwich off the plate;
"Unless you two say otherwise, I'm going to go get settled in... Natalie, do you actually want that sandwich, or are you not hungry?"
She asks, holding up the plate.
Something about the whole situation made Natalie increasingly uneasy. Hank had already cut Alison off and Natalie would have tried to avoid Alison. She was just trying to help. Right?

"Thanks, Alison." She said with an endearing smile before taking the plate into her hands and setting it on her lap.

She then turned her attention to Hank.

"I assumed you took it for me because I was the only chance at any of us surviving." Natalie instantly shot down her answer with several logical fallacies. One being the fact that Rob Alwin could have flown them out of there and it didn't have to be Natalie. Sure, it would be a bit closer than preferred, but it was the truth. The other was the fact that she had just kissed him prior to him taking the hit for her. Natalie considered it a possibility that she had accidentally awoken emotions within Hank and he acted irrationally. It had been four months, though. Surely they would have taken the time to settle.
With little to do at the moment I decide to wander around the ship and learn where everything was. I start by locating the mess hall and my quarters for now then roam aimlessly though still observing what was around me.
"Well, we all know that Rob is just a capable a pilot as you, so you're wrong." Taking another sip from my blessed soda, I lock eyes with Natalie, my own intense. "I came for you and took that spike for you because you're part of my squad. And if there's one thing I've learned over the course of my military career," I look over the pair, Natalie and Alison, before continuing, "it's that your squad is your family and I'll be damned if I leave family behind."
Alison grunts and nods, leaning back up against the wall;
"Now there's a sentiment I can agree with."
She says, taking a bite.
In my wandering I find the medical bay. I pause for a moment looking around before going in to see if there was first anyone in there. Not seeing anyone I look through the cabinets seeing what was in stock, mostly what I could use as a supplement for the lack of hab available to me.
Natalie exhaled in her mind. She couldn't figure what to make of Hank's entering at that specific moment just to tell her that. She was too emotionally exhausted to think about it.

"Well, in any case, thank you." She said with a weak smile, her body begging to turn around and continue monitoring the ship.

"I hope to return the favor one day."
I chuckle and nod, taking another sip. "Well, with the hell hole we're about to willingly go into, you just might get that chance." Turning to walk away, I stop and look over my shoulder at her. "Whatever Makins has over you, don't let that be his way of controlling you. You know the truth. And frankly, if you feel we need to know your past feel free to share, don't feel obligated to share because some of us are nosier than others. Me, you're who you've always been, past be damned." Closing the door on my way out, I head for the mess hall. Maybe we got some new channels on the TV.
For a minute or two Alison doesn't say anything, simply eating her sandwich. Swallowing the last bite, she looks over at Natalie;
"So, do you want to talk about it or not?"
Alison asks, brushing bread crumbs off her jacket.
Aaaannddd, the truth comes out. So that's why he entered the room. Feking Makins... She probably deserved it though. Or did she? Blegh, I hate this. Maybe it was best to get it off her chest. Everyone would probably benefit from the discussion. She opened her mouth to speak, but crammed the words back down her throat.

Was it really worth it? The heartache it would bring having to confront it again... No... It wasn't smart to rehash that before the mission.

"Maybe, later, Alison. Thanks, though." She offered a weak smile and awkwardly fidgetted.

Captain Brock had been monitoring the traffic between the cockpit and the rest of the ship. It had increased, that's for sure. Natalie's soft voice could be heard through the wall. Brock grunted. Would you pinheads just leave her alone? He thought, finishing his reorganization of his room. They never did get it just the way he liked it.

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