War Pigs: Origins, II

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Carefully considering Natalie for a moment, Alison scratches her chin and nods;
"Alright, I don't think it's a good idea to hide from your past, but that's just me. Hell, I'm a hypocrite because I gloss over the first ten years of my life whenever I talk about them. The past can be a b!tch to talk about, believe me, I know. Personally, I'd say you don't want to talk about it because of any of the following: Love lost to a stupid mistake, evil acts done with joy, or something that is simply too personal, painful and embarrassing to talk about."
Alison says, moving over to the doorway, her eyes softening slightly.
It's all three! The thought slapped Natalie in the face, temporarily enraging her. "Okay, are we done? I have a ship to fly." The rude retort was out of place. Natalie knew it the moment it passed by her lips like lightening. She deserved it, for being so nosy... Thanks to Makins...

"I'm sorry, I just- I- I don't know, I can't-" She shook both tense and extended hands in frustration before turning her chair away and beginning to flip switches and glance at monitors. They had twenty minutes before they were in the hot-zone. She needed to use the time to recuperate.
Alison shakes her head;
"No, I'm sorry. I shouldn't have pushed you so hard... And Natalie? All three of those are true for me. I know that pain... Look, I'll leave you alone, but if you want to talk, all you have to do is ask."
She says, hints of melancholy tempering her voice as turns to leave.
At least you know who you are... She thought, a dull pain growing in her forehead.

"Thanks, Alison." She offered another weak smile, this one was awkward. Natalie dipped her head to see the Sandwich Alison had given her. She smiled behind an emotionless face before unwrapping it and taking a bite.
Giving Natalie one last look, Alison quietly sighs and shakes her head. Walking out of the cockpit, the door slides shut behind her. Softly moving through the ship, Alison heads straight for her room. Walking in, she collapses onto the bed, quickly falling into a light sleep.
Finishing her sandwich took longer than Natalie expected. Her monitor beeped as she programmed it to twenty minutes ago. Had it really been that long? What in the world had she been thinking about this whole time?

Footsteps were audible outside the cockpit. Oh, why? Whhhyyy? She turned just in time to see Captain Tailor enter the room.

"Just wanted to say it's a pleasure working with you again, Natalie." He wore an endearing and understanding smile. Natalie's face became distrought with emotion as she moved to embrace him. He welcomed her with an embrace of his own and a grin. The two didn't speak, just stood in silence for a full half-minute before Natalie responded.

"You too, Captain." She answered, a single tear falling from her sealed eyes. Her monitors beeped again.

"Gather everyone in the War Room, that includes you. Halt the drift and mask all frequencies. We need a battle plan."

"Aye, Captain!" She threw up a salute before turning and doing as instructed. {All crew, report to the Captain in the War Room!"
I found a few things in the medical lab that I could use but leave them be for now as the call just came in for everyone to report to the War Room. I exit the medical lab and head for the War Room arriving after a few minutes.
Snapping awake, Alison rolls out of bed and makes her way to the war room, appearing to be more like her normal self.
Glancing at the speaker from my seat, I sigh and stand up, stretching and throwing away my can, leaving the mess hall. "Bloody wonderful timing..." Anyone who came in behind me could see that I'd been watching the news reports on the conflict currently tearing through the Sector. Zerg breeds were rushing over defenses and defenders and news reporters were frantically trying to evacuate. And if it wasn't Zerg, it was the SoK, their men and war machines sweeping aside the beleaguered Confederacy troops with relative ease.

Arriving in the War Room with my weapons, I take my usual seat near the battle chart, waiting for the briefing to start. "Anyone else think to watch the news?"
Alison shakes her head;
"No not yet. I was trying to catch a little more sleep. I take it you've been getting caught up though?"
I raise and eyebrow curiously.
"I haven't watched the news in years man. Why something going down that we don't already know?"
I nod, a grimace passing over my face as I think back to all the Zerg. "I have, and we're in for all kinds of hell compared to that battle cruiser. Along with the hound and snake Zerg, there's flyers that shoots some kind of worm with blades, there's a massive breed with scythes on it's front that I got to watch turn infantry like us into three slices of Terran Special pizza. There's," I stop, the realization dawning on me as I slowly stand up. "There's no way we can stop the Zerg, even if we kill Mengsk. All the breeds...and the numbers...Alison, we're going to our deaths down there."
I sigh and close my eyes not even sure what to say next.
Alison shakes her head;
"Well sh!t. That just adds one more level of complication to this mess. Then there's a little matter that I felt it was best not to bring up in the first briefing... Vince said that Ghosts hadn't been able to take this Mengsk out. Ghosts. If they haven't been able to off him, how the hell are we going to pull this off?... What a !@#$ing mess."
She says in disgust.
"Guess that is where they think we will be different." I speak up.
"Ghosts are trained to preform within certain measures right. I don't know about you but when I grew up in the streets certain measures and perimeters didn't keep you alive for long."
I slam my armored fist into the wall, leaving a dent in it and letting out a growl. "Makins knew all this, that double crossing, no good, piece of...when I get a hold of that bastard, Hell will be a nice vacation spot for him." Hearing James, I almost punch him, instead leaving another dent in the wall. "Ghosts are trained assassins. The best killers in existance! If they can't kill them, I guarantee we can't, especially since Mengsk has Ghosts of his own. I don't think any of us know how to guard our thoughts against a psionic." I couldn't believe this. He knew everything I'd learned from the news, and yet he insisted that us, a team of ex-cons, could get close to the man a Ghost couldn't kill and kill him.

Then there's the blasted Zerg, all those- I stopped mid thought and hit the intercom button, paging Natalie. "Natalie, we can't fly planet side! The Zerg, they use suicide flyers that explode in acidic clouds and melt through ship armor like butter!" I couldn't believe that thought didn't occur to me sooner. Hopefully it didn't cost us.
Natalie approached the room where the War Pigs were gathered. Hank's voice flew through her ear-piece on the way down the hall. Brock followed Natalie in, he heard Hank's concerns.

"That's what I wanted to talk to you guys about." He began, "This operation is going to have to go fast and quiet. The Sons of Korhal are losing ground fast. In a few hours, Mengsk will be forced to relocate. I won't bother the lot of you with details, but we need to go in fast and quiet and take out the primary AA tower. Then the Silico can drop us right on top of Mengsk. It'll be a risky operation, but it's our only chance.

"The problem is, as soon as that AA tower is gone, the zerg will overwhelm their defenses quickly. We might be able to use this opportunity and escape. It'll be... Fun... But I'm confident we can pull it off."
"Brock, did you ever stop to consider maybe Mengsk has his own psionics to keep him safe? I mean..." I shake my head and slump back into my seat, shaking my head in defeat. "You can't seriously expect us to survive that. We're good, it's why we're here, but none of us are that good. Not to mention we have to land to put a team on the ground to take out the AA and that could end any number of ways."
"I know, it'll push us. Watch each other's backs, keep a low profile and don't attract too much attention. Natalie, take us in."

Natalie nodded and headed for the cockpit.

"Any other comments?" The Captain looks around the room with a daring look.
"Yeah, those flyers have names, Scourge. We're not planet side yet, so what are we going to do about them, considering we're pretty exposed."

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