Day 091: A Not Simple Situation
Summary: Fiona questions Natalie about what she knows concerning the Thripoda suspects.
Date: 28 August 2016
Related: Thripoda Logs, Trust and Peace, Poking Holes in Alibis
Fiona Natalie 

Inner Arboretum
At the moment, this room is simply a section of Alpha Station that was once an interior room, but is now open to the sky above and the earth below. The dirt is scorched and burned, but still rich. The walls around the compartment are nearly solid, save for a pair of doors that survived Arkfall unharmed. One leads to the former mess and the other deeper into Alpha Station, to a functioning computer lab.
Day 091

It's August, which in space was probably a distant detail that mattered for not much when you had climate control. But now that they're back on earth is weather is more than a comfortably moderated at all times proposition, the denizens of Jaha are getting to know what it means to sweat thanks to the environment. As such, Natalie has chosen a shaded spot in the corner of the trashed former arboretum to attempt something like leisure time. This concept now relegated to intermittently drinking from a cateen full of filtered lake water, holding still for the grace of a cool breeze, and attempting to slog your way through a copy of Dune, the cover and edges charred from its unceremonious re-entry in lower earth orbit.

Fiona has been - well, doing her job. Which for the most part involves talking to people. A lot of people. Members of Skaikru, members of Trikru, and for the most part it's a pleasant job, except now and again she's forced to broach some uncomfortable topics. So it's with a concerned but casual approach that Fiona makes her way over to Natalie, slightly awkward but earnest. They do have a certain type of family in common, but Fiona's parents have been significantly less radical. "Hey…Natalie? I'm sorry to disturb your reading, but I need to talk to you. Got a few?"

Natalie squints up at Fiona, sweatily as she brings one hand up to shade her bespeckled eyes from the sun's leer on high. "…uh, sure?," she nods faintly, the surprise framing her voice for Fiona's interest in her difficult to scuttle away. The mangled copy of Dune is dog-eared and set at side, as Natalie yanks her glasses off her face self-consiously and gives the scratched lenses a hasty rub with the hem of her shirt. One her hands self-consiously feel-checks her limp-frizzy ponytail before she fidgets a little, forcing a somewhat nervous smile up at Fiona.

Fiona moves to sit across from Natalie, keeping her body language quite casual. "It's cool." she tries to assure the other girl. "You're not in trouble or anything, but I do need your help, and it might be kind of an uncomfortable topic. But you're one of the Hundred, and I'm hoping that will count for something."

Natalie looks the opposite of casual but perhaps that's about always her general mode: as comfortable as a long tailed cat in a room full of rocking chairs. "Oh, uh, sure… but…," she hedges, adjusting the glasses on her face as she looks up at Fiona despite their lack of needing such. "It's… y'know… I'm not sure how I can… but… he… uh…w-what I mean is, if it's about Lip…," she stumbles through, her assumption of the bid for a casual reflection on the top of Lip's not unhidden affection for Fiona faceplanting.

"Lip?" Fiona echoes in surprise. "What about Lip? Is he okay?" Then, "It's not about Lip, I promise." She looks rather embarrassed about that notion, before admitting, "It's about your parents. More specifically, people your parents might have known." She rests her elbows on her thighs, shoulders hunching over. "Will you help me? Please?"

This is the sort of thing that's difficult to multi-task. The earnest hope that you'll just curl up and die right here and now as a way of fixing what you've just said has to share the spotlight with an different kind of touchy subject. Natalie flinches, in embarassment or something else, it might be hard to tell for the dueling banjos moment of awesomely terrible topics to talk about. "…I uh…," she begins, carefully as her mood seems to darken as she stares up at Fiona. "…I gave Lionel a list."

"I know." Fiona replies gently. "And there's a few people on it that we need…well, more information about. Ingmar Wull, Aetha Swain, and Rita Consuelos. Particularly the last two. Do you know anything about them? Anything at all beyond the fact that they were associated with your mom and dad?"

Natalie blinks, her expression quirking at Fiona for a moment as it delves into confusion around the subject of names. She sniffs slightly, looking at some middle distant point between Fiona's knees and the air between the two young women. "What's it matter? If they didn't survive the Ark fall and no one knows where they are now?," she asks carefully, the air of withdraw in her tone starting in like a slowly winding mechanism on a pair of doors that aim to slam shut.

"Those three did survive Arkfall." Fiona explains quietly. "They're here on the ground. And we think they may be some of those responsible for the release of the dropship that destroyed Thripoda. Rita Consuelos is the alibi for Aetha Swain, but something about it seems off. There's no follow-up on where they both were, or what their relationship is."

Natalie looks bouyed by the news that they're alive, which may or may not do much in the way of extinguishing certain doubts about awarenesses. She nods earnestly, her eyes lifting out of that middle space and pushing out a sigh, it uncomfortable in its mein. "Lionel said that the Trikru are demanding a list of names," she admits carefully, slowly starting to collect herself from the floor. "…to kill people with, so I guess if people feel like alibis aren't enough, will they just be turned over to Trikru justice anyway?"

There's a small sigh from Fiona. "We're walking a really careful line." the young Councilor admits. "We'd rather make sure that anyone we turn over is certainly guilty, but ultimately it's up to the tribunal to decide. Wouldn't you rather we do our best not to turn over anyone who's innocent? Regardless of what we find, someone has to stand for the crime, Natalie."

Natalie nods slowly, the cogs turning. Her grimly framed mouth starts to pull downwards into a frown. "I gave Lionel a list of names for the people who should stand for the crime… but he didn't like the list," she states, with a limp openness. Her fingers push her glasses up on her nose. "Why does everyone think that I know anything, anyway?"

Fiona gives Natalie a sympathetic smile. "You know why." is all she has to say to that. "Can you tell me anything about those three? And why didn't Lionel like the list? Are you saying he didn't investigate any of them?"

"Interesting," Natalie observes thoughtfully before she shrugs, her head shaking slowly with the lack of insight in expression. "I don't know what he's done with it. I'm assuming he blew it off, since I put him on the list. And myself, too."

"Natalie." Fiona says patiently, "Do you know anything about those three people?" It hasn't escaped her notice that Natalie's avoided answering, though maybe not whether it's intentional or just due to nervousness.

"I know a lot of things about these three people," Natalie responds, which is probably not the sort of response that falls in the 'helpful' category. "But I also know how my parents ran their group and if they were involved, they would have been on the dropship and died with my parents. My parents weren't the type to share the glory of matrydom. They probably didn't even know what was happening, until it happened since plausible deniability is always something /we/ talked about."

"I don't think anyone on that dropship was looking for martyrdom. They were looking for escape." Fiona is doing her best to remain patient. "And they still would have needed folks on the outside to help them. If you're not willing to tell me what you know about them, please say so. There's no need to around in circles."

The frown that exists on her lips continues to pull downwards, her fingers pushing up the glasses on the bridge of her nose as she looks down at a patch of dirt at their feet. "Okay," Natalie breathes out, her tone not one of relent. Her head raises, looking at Fiona again. "I'm gonna go then," she states, reaching down to pick up her copy of Dune and strapping the canteen on one shoulder.

"I'm sorry, Natalie." Fiona doesn't altogether know what she's apologizing for, but she doesn't stop the other girl from leaving.

"Not your fault," Natalie states in the moments before she moves past Fiona, giving her a wide berth as goes. She offers Fiona slightly complicated grimace, neutral in its bearing. "It's a not-simple situation and well, I guess if people wanna think that mollifying the Trikru ends it, then they're going to but… it'll just happen again until the people in charge get it. If the guard wanna come do what they're trained to do on me, they know where to find me," she states, in a quiet resign before she starts to move away.

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