Day 045: Mothers And Children
Summary: Lip wakes up back in Alpha Station, he and Grey talk plans, and then Natalie joins to talk about family none of them really want to talk about.
Date: 12 July 2016
Related: Unity Day on the Ark, SWM Seeks... Escape?, Reapers Under the Mountain, Catching Up and Breaking Down, and Return of the Scouts.
Grey Lip Natalie 

Alpha Station Room, Camp Jaha
In scene-set
45 Days After Landing

It's definitely not the classiest set of quarters in Alpha Station. Just one big room with a couch and a vidscreen and a table and a pair of bunks. Lip was left sprawled on the lower bunk, only his shoes removed, and a while later, Grey came in, pulled a blanket over the annoying prick, set down his old 'baton' in its bandoleer on the decking alongside the bottom bunk, then pulled off his own boots and his armor, divested himself of his weapons, set an alarm, and claimed the top bunk. Hours later, morning is breaking outside, and Grey is still fast asleep, one arm actually hanging off the edge of the top bunk.


Phillip Oscar Wylde, Jr. wakes up in a fit of yelling. Because that's just something that Lip would do. He immediately sits up and flings the blanket off himself because he's not sure what the hell it is. Likely had something to do with the fact that he wasn't where he thought he was. "Th' hell?" Lip looks around as he fights his way out of whatever crazy ass nightmare he was having. "… I'd say I'm not in Kansas anymore but I don't even know what the fuck Kansas is." It takes Lip a long moment to turn towards a hand that's hanging off — "AHHHHHHH! WHAT THE FUCK!" Lip slaps at the hand and dives back down onto his bunk fully. Scared now.

If the yelling didn't wake Grey up — it sort of did, prompting a twitching and a 'hrm…wha…' — the slapping at his hand certainly did. He pulls back his arm and starts to push-up off the bed, only for his aching left arm to give out. The flop back onto the top bunk isn't graceful, it isn't cool, but it's pretty loud, especially with the now-muffled, "Shitballs," added in. And then Grey peers his head over the edge, "Woah. Hey… Lip… s'me. Grey."

"Oy, what th' hell, mate?! Hangin' arms and shit like that! That is some scary shit! Stop that!" Lip takes a second to compose himself and make sure he doesn't have to find some pants to change into before he rolls off his bunk and to the floor. "Cheezus. Okay. So." Lip looks around a bit and stretches while doing this exact thing. "Ready? We gotta' go save your friends. Let's get some guns and shit and roll. We got a lot of ground to cover. And I… I gotta' find my shoes." Lip begins the Search for Shoes.

Grey scrubs at his eyes a moment, trying — and mostly failing — to keep up with Lip's stream of consciousness. It's difficult when he's wide awake, but when he's still half asleep? "Shoes? Uh… base of the bed. Don't trip over the baton." Flopping onto his back, Grey stares up at the ceiling, "Ugh… what the hell time is it?" And then the alarm goes off right in his ear, and he twitches, jumping about an inch straight off the bed. "WOAHSHIT!" Fumbling, he turns it off, "Oh. Six. Ass."

"Right! Shoes!" Lip drops to the floor to grab his shoes and start putting them on. And his mouth is going, "Six? Perfect. We can go get your friends and maybe even grab some breakfast on the way out. They have the most delicious meats. So good. Or, well, I guess so evil? I dunno. Fuck it." Lip gets his shoes on and then looks off at the bandoleer thingy hanging. "… Whoa. Is this mine? Did you give this to me you big lug?" Lip reaches for the baton in the most unworthy of Excalibur way possible. "I'm gonna' kick so much ass with this thing."

Slowly starting to push himself back off the bed, Grey rubs his face with his hands some more, clambering slowly down, "It's gonna take time to get the Guard together. A bunch of them are out doin' their own lookin' around." He gets down to the floor just in time to step way back when Lip goes for the baton, "Yeah… I promised you my old baton." Speaking of which, his new one, all collapsed and lightning-in-a-handle, is collected and attached to his belt, "And some lessons."

"What? Guard? What Guard? No Guard! Just us. You, me, some guns. We can do this. We got a lot of people to save so the less people we take the better. I mean, we gotta' get a move on before I forget how to get there. Or how I got out. Because I totally meant to get out. I planned that escape from day one. For the record." Lip takes a few horrible baton swings. "We can do the lessons on the way. Y'know, like in a montage. I'll be a master at this in no ti-ow!" Yup. Just hit himself in the knee. Not good. "OW WHYYYYYYYYYY!"

Grey is caught between sighing in annoyance and chuckling with… well, with Lipness. "You want to rush through acid fog, fight our way through hundreds and hundreds of Reapers, and then fight however many people are in the Mountain just you and me?" A smile peels across his lips, "I'm good, man, but even I'm not that good. And I wanna keep livin', if that's okay by you. Me, I figure we're gonna need both the Guard and the Trikru to get 'em back. Trikru to take on the Reapers and smash the missiles, Guard to get us past the fog and then distract their own guards," because everywhere has guards, "so we can get our people out."

"Oh fuck no. Ow." Lip continues to rub at his knee because it hurts like hell. "Fuck that. None of those fuckers. I mean, I know you're fuckin' one or whatever because I seen you look at her and she's hot as fuck but no. Those bastards tried to kill us. I can't forgive no shit like that. At least, not until I get a hot one like you got." Lip shrugs and ends up waving the baton around again. Probably won't end well. "We can fuckin' do this. Okay, maybe not just you and me but just a handful of us. US. Delinquents United. Whatever the fuck you wanna' call us. We're the shit. We landed on this motherfuckin' rock and we kicked its ass. All by ourselves. With no help. We can do this. And I got two words for you that'll get us past everything you just said…" Lip pauses in case there's a moment of camera zooming happening in his direction. "Home Alone."

"You mean the one who trained half the camp to use bows? Taught us to fight her own people? That one? 'Cause I know you're not saying she tried to kill us." There's a pause, "Well, besides me. But that was the first time we met." At the river. Grey steps out from behind the bed, wary of the baton, "I got no idea what Home Alone means, but I can tell you right now that without at least the Guard, we're dead meat, and so's everyone in the Mountain. And that's not okay."

"Traps, man. Traps. We set traps." Lip says this as if it was the most obvious thing in the world. "Fine. We'll do it your way. Not like anybody would listen to me without you anyway." Lip rolls his eyes at that thought because he knows the truth of it and just moves to put the baton back into the bandoleer for safe-keeping. "But we gotta' move fast. I'm pretty sure they know I'm gone. And if they know I'm gone that means some fucked up shit is probably going down." Lip's eyes gloss over for a moment as he remembers something. "… I saw some really shady shit on my way out. We gotta' get back there, Grey. Fast."

Grey shakes his head, "You're a hero now, man. Some people'd listen to you. But you also gotta think, there's gonna be a whole lotta girls in there that want some Lip-lovin' when you bust 'em out. If you get yourself killed, you won't get any." As the baton is tucked away, Grey steps closer, reaching out to clasp Lip's shoulder, "Yeah, we definitely gotta move. What did you see in there, man? Where the hell'd that Trikru come from?"

The fevered pique of news about one of the missing having returned to Jaha finally reached the medical facility not long before this moment. The one that talks a lot with the brown hair was back! He wrestled a four headed bear! He swam through poisonous snake swamps! He single-handedly fought off a host of Reaper assailants with a graphite pencil! He had gone stark raving mad due to torture in captivity, raving about feral ducks! The accuracy of these reports was entirely questionable!

What wasn't questionable was Natalie's instant welching of her overnight shift. This determination for a reunion had her at 'the one that talks a lot'. She didn't even try to offer up some kind of excuse, opting to tear out of the med bay. It was a slow night anyway. In through the bunkhouse door barrels 98 lbs. of wide, four eyed nearly hysterical hope. There's just a fraction of pause in the threshold before she's barreling right for Lip and leaping at him, her arms already intending themselves for his shoulders. It might be 6 a.m. and people might be sleeping and Grey might also be standing there but Hurricane Natalie is on a collision course with Lip, the Returned.

"It's cool of you to say but both you and I know I ain't shit, ain't never been shit and ain't ever gonna' be shit. Jus' the way the world works. Especially now." Lip shrugs and smiles through it. He's accepted his fate and is dealing with it the way he deals with everything: Comedy! "I was followin' this nurse, right? She was crazy hot. Like breaking through the atmosphere hot. Anyway, she wanted me to meet her in the dark recesses of the corners and stuff. So I was on my way but made a wrong turn and WHAM! Room full of cages! Your Groundhog buddies? Locked up like the rats the jerks they are. Serves 'em right if you ask me. But then there was some other fucked up shit that I don't think even those assholes deserves." Lip shudders as he memory lanes. "… Those fuckers in the Mountain? They're vampires, man. Fuckin' vampires." Lip's eyes then go wide. "Holy shit. I ate their cake. AM I A FUCKIN' VAMPIRE NOW TOO?!" And it is about this moment that there's a flying Natalie in his direction and Lip goes down. He is not the most coordinated and there's nothing to stop him from hitting the floor with a bunch of Natalie on top of him. "… Natalie?! Oh my fucking Zod. Nats!" Intense Hugging Intensifies.

Grey starts to shake his head at Lip's suggestion, "Man, you just escaped the Mountain." And then he's going on, and while Grey starts out suspicious, and then gets incredulous, and then horrified. And then just cast aside, as Natalie comes flying in and brushes him aside. He staggers back, grasping onto the side of the bunk, "What the…" And then he pauses a moment, and he smiles crookedly, "See?"

Remember that one time when a chick actually threw herself bodily at Lip and there was a witness to that fact? Heavy is the burden that Grey now faces in the face of this stark truth. Natalie, on the other hand, is not heavy but all the same she's sprawled atop lip like an graceless spider monkey with its arms around his shoulders and her face buried into the front of his shirt. Awkward. Oh, sure, happy, too. A happier moment than most have gotten in the weeks since the first wave was dropkicked back to earth just ahead of the next. The best day. But also, has it been mentioned recently: awkward?

Lip, Lip the Tom Jones of Kidnapping Victims is currently experiencing the first blush of mild dampness from tears absorbing into the front of his shirt. Her face lifts out of his chest and looks up, teary eyed and glasses akimbo, at Grey. "Who's a vampire?," she asks, sniffling before looking down at Lip again. "See what?," she asks, looking up at Grey once more before she starts to assess Lip for obvious malfeasance committed upon him by the Mountain.

"The people in the Mountain. They grab Groundhogs, throw 'em in cages and then drain their blood. I saw it with my own eyes. I'm gonna' have nightmares for the rest of my life. So gross. So wrong. Especially the hanging them upside down part. Uncalled for!" Lip isn't sure he wants to let Natalie get off him so he just talks from the floor and underneath her. It works for him. "This is why I say we gotta' go, Grey." Lip looks from his sprawled position to Grey. "What happens when they run outta' Savage Losers? Who's blood are they gonna' drink next?"

"Apparently…" Grey stops as Lip answers the question, then adds, "Hey Natalie." Lip's question draws a shrug, "It's worse than that, Lip. They've got thousands of Trikru to pick from. And they ain't had no problem getting Trikru before. Gotta be somethin' more for us. But yeah. We gotta move. Just as soon as we make sure we don't die or screw it up. 'Cause if we do that, we're screwed. Hard. No lube."

"Wait w-what?," Natalie falters and perhaps to Lip's disappointment shifts around enough to sit up on her knees, adjusting her glasses and squinting hard at the notion that the people in the Mountain drink the blood of anyone. "Why would…?," she begins, her question lost at sea as it drowns out there in heavy confusion. "Hey Grey," she offers in return, one of her hands releasing its death grip on Lip's shoulder to offer Grey a slightly addled wave hello. Her attention skates down to Lip beneath her, her released hand tugging on Lip's sleeve for a moment as if verifying that this isn't like that time she accidentally put those red berries in her mouth and thought the forest was full of giggling gnomes. She offers Lip another slightly overwhelmed grin, reaching up to push up her glasses and catch whatever moisture is poised to escape her eyes. "What happens when they notice he's gone?," she asks, after a slightly nervous pause for the hamster wheel to churn up progressive logical mental loops about cause and effect. The frown setting in slinks on to her lips, looking guilty that the moment is somehow ruined.

"… Maybe that's our way in? Maybe I can go back the way I got out. Maybe I don't have to be 'gone'. Maybe I was just off-their-radar." Lip is trying to use his brain but there's a hot chick on top of him so he's kind of distracted. "Wait. What?" Lip pauses a second to let Grey's words sink in. "I mean, I know I don't like 'em but I ain't tryin' to see the Groundhogs extinct." Lip frowns more before he's focused back on the preliminary plan. "Find us a team, Grey. I'll come up with a plan. We'll meet and you can montage me into being a kickass baton-twirler. Then we can go kick some serious ass." Lip turns his head back up to look at Natalie. "Hey. I know I just got back but I gotta' help Grey save his friends… ugh, and the Lamekru too. I promise I won't die if you promise to jump on me again when I get back… again."

Grey shrugs slightly at Natalie's question, having the grace to at least keep his eyes off the girl straddling Lip. "I dunno. I don't know the Mountain Men." He points sort of side-long in the general direction of Lip, "But he does. And yeah, you should draw out what you remember of the Mountain so you can work on your plan, Lip. I'll help you as much as I can with it, and I'll get us a team to save our people."

"I could come with you." It's not really a suggestion. It's more like a really terrible idea that Natalie has blurted out with a slight wobble of anxious panic that seems interested in totally down voting this proposed separation that Lip is stating. A hard no, if you will. "I can… I… can be a medic and help people and I won't get in the way and I…I can be useful," she states emphatically, this hard sell pitched to Grey and Lip as she looks at them both as she talks. The emphasis of her point made by slowly starting to get up off Lip. The anxious notion of losing something precious to her twice sublimates itself with a neurotic attempt to adjust and then re-adjust her glasses, suddenly avoiding Lip's gaze in the process.

"If we're savin' everybody then we might need somebody with some medical skills. Especially if we gotta' unhook people from evil blood draining machines of doom." Lip finally works on getting back to his feet now that he's not being held down by the Natalie anymore. "Don't worry. I'll write out and draw out everything I remember. And what I remember is every-fucking-thing. I've got a memory like uh… um… well, I can't remember what the phrase is but you know what I mean!"

"It's gonna be nasty, Natalie. But if you wanna make good, for what your parents did up there," Grey nods skyward, "I certainly ain't gonna say no." Apparently, not everyone's forgotten the connection between the bombers and Daddy's Little Wanna-be Assassin. "Yeah. We'll have Morgan with us too, but more medics can't hurt." Grey offers out his hand to help Lip up, "Write it down, and I'm gonna pass it by some other folks. We'll get Guards, we'll get Trikru, we'll get everyone it takes to kick the everlovin' shit outta the Mountain Men and the Reapers and get our people back."

Natalie swift successive nods in conjunction with Lip's justification as to why Natalie of all people needs to be present at this mission comes to a sudden, awkwardly tumbling halt. Her mouth opens suddenly but a blank, thrown silence falls out as she looks at Grey with an uncertain, suddenly wary glance before it shifts uncomfortably right before everyone's eyes. "I didn't…," she begins, her small hands curling into nervous fists as a rarely seen hard pall sets in her expression. Her eyes narrowing behind her glasses as her jaw sets. There's more, that seems poised to bare its defensive teeth at Grey but its Lip's presence that trips her up. And instead, Natalie hesitates like a grey mouse shifting anxiously away from the spreading grin of a cat. The collecting heat in her cheeks probably mirroring the sudden flush in her face, humiliation and a dead-eyed anger crashing into each other and creating nowhere for Natalie to go.

"… hey, what the fuck?" Lip narrows his eyes at Grey and is all on his feet now. "The fuck is goin' on?" Lip makes sure to plant himself nearer to Natalie than Grey when this conversation takes a turn from the plan to what some other shit that's happened. "Her parents? Make good?" Lip doesn't even need to know what went down before his next comment comes out. "Since when did we start having to pay for what our parents did?" Frown.

Some cat Grey is. At Natalie's reaction, he blinks in surprise, "Wait… you don't know?" Shock flashes across his face, and his mouth drops open. He's slow to collect himself too, "Uh… I mean… your parents… they were on the Exodus Ship, Natalie." The one the terrorists stole and flew down… and then crashed on top of Thripoda. One hand rises up, and he nibbles on a nail, "Uh… they planted the bomb. Or at least, they were in charge of it."

"I'm sorry." It's a bid. A forlorn, panicked bid for meant but assumedly feeble apology that's trying to pitch itself forward over the exploding words in the room. It's a bid for Lip. "I'm sorry, I'm sorry," she repeats, now more rapidly as she tries to beat Grey to the punchline. If she could throw herself bodily over this verbal grenade, she's be on the floor already.

Too late. Instead, she's standing there, the once happy tears welling over again but this time, there's nothing happy about it— just the misery of the rumors that have skittered around the edges being laid bare. She looks at Grey for a moment, miserable and defensively angry in those same bumbling turns. "Everyone's /saying/ horrible things. But not to my face. They just stare at me and point. They're just rumors. No one's proven anything," she ripostes with an attempt at anger too tortured to be a proper stab.

"Oh piss off!" Lip narrows his eyes. "Seriously? This is bullshit. Y'know what, fuck it. I'll save them myself. I don't need some judgmental fuckers watchin' my back but ready to change their minds if they find out my Mum accidentally stepped on their foot or some shit!" Lip throws his hands up in the air and looks over at Natalie. "Hey, hey. Fuck that. Don't apologize to these fuckers because of some stupid shit your stupid ass parents did. Fuck that and fuck them." Lip eyes Grey and then the baton. "I can't believe this. You gave me a baton thing. Now this? That's fucked up, mate."

"And that's a shitty way for people to handle it," Grey responds to Natalie first, then turns to Lip, "Hey, do you see me judging? I'm just tryin' to… shit." He heaves out a sigh, "Look. I'm the last damned person to be judging someone for their parents. My mom was a stone cold bitch." Legendarily so, in Arrow Station, actually. And so was his father, not that Grey would ever admit it. "And yeah, I've been judged for who she was," and for who his father was, but again, blind spot, "and I haven't mentioned word one 'bout her," evidently he's talking to Lip now, "last name to anyone. I've been tryin' not to draw attention to it."

"But they didn't," Natalie insists in flailing earnestness that's watching the rope run out of her hands as she looks at Grey and Lip. "People are allowed to have opinions. People are allowed to say that the leadership was bad. People are allowed to not like what they were doing to us. They kicked us out to die here. We just didn't all do it. Just because people don't like the Ark leadership, doesn't mean they did bad things." Her glasses having fogged up, she clumsily wrests them from her face while looking at Grey and Lip. "It's easy for people to say what happened now that the Ark's in pieces. How does anyone know what they're saying is true? If it is true why's everyone's just pointing and whispering? What's that say about our leadership that they won't step up and just ask me if they did it? Because they didn't." The Nile was a river in Egypt. Now it's probably got some weird name like 'Watagunrun' in that weird speak that the Tri people babble. Nuclear holocaust didn't run the other nile, the one that starts with the de-. Welcome home, Lip.

"Oh. Well. Good then." Lip seems to be pretty okay with Grey's Defense. "You're back on the team." It doesn't take much for Lip to be okay with stuff. He offers Grey a thumbs-up before he turns back to Natalie. "You. You be you. I'll take care of these judgmental assholes. If you wanna' come with us, you come because we want you to come. Not because you wanna' fix some parental failure." Lip moves closer to Natalie to proceed to give her a Patented Lip Hug. "Shhhh. Don't. I'll take care of it. And the fuckin' Arkholes." Lip closes his eyes and mouths: /Jaha/.

"They've got tapes, Natalie." Grey's words are quiet, not the needling that they might have been when Grey was up on the Ark. "They were goin' to arrest 'em when they took the Exodus ship. Some folks made it down who saw." He shrugs helplessly, "I'm sorry. And yeah. I say screw 'em if they can't take a joke. You're one of the One Hundred," or rather, the 54 now, "and so I've got your back too. But, it might not be a great idea to make a big deal of it. I'm sure someone'll be askin' you some questions to see if anyone involved made it down. Like Sergeant Lin, the jackhole who sent Mags after Evie. Although he was on the Exodus Ship."

<FS3> Lip rolls Resolve: Great Success. (5 1 6 4 7 8 5 7 7 3 2)

Natalie leans like a saggy slinky into a Patended Lip Hug, the hitches and catches of her upset expressed in muffled tones into Lip's once better off shirt. The momentary relief of Lip's unconditional acceptance in the way she sort of relents against him cancelled at the mention of the tapes. Her head lifts, followed by the defeated rest of her and she just stares at Grey, her face unblocked by the landmark of her glasses. "Oh," she says quietly, in a sort of defeat before she nods numbly at him. Helpfully or not, she offers no epilogue about possible conspirators who made it. She chews absently on her lower lip, the heels of her palms swiping away at the tears left behind before she offers them both an absent nod.

Lip grins a little bit. "Me? Make a big deal out of this? Never." Although, the look in his eye is clear that he's already planning a speech. Or something close to it. He doesn't let go of Natalie until she's ready for some space because somebody has to console her in the middle of all this dramatic stuff. "Let me draw out everything and then we'll meet for How To Kill Mountain Assholes Lessons, Grey?" He looks at Natalie. "I'm learning how to fight. If you wanna' watch and drool all over my sexy body in action."

Grey groans softly at Lip's announcement, "Bringin' attention to your parent's screw-ups never helps. Trust me." He glances around the room a moment, then shrugs, moving back to grab his jacket, "I gotta see what I've missed while we were gone, see what my duty schedule is, all that shit. And I promised Morgan to get him a live Reaper. But yeah, probably this afternoon, Lip." He hesitates a moment, then adds, "And Kane's a dick, but… he has been gettin' people movin', helpin' try to find a way in to you guys." He starts toward the door, then throws back over his shoulder, "Oh, an' Lip, your mom wants to talk to you."

<FS3> Lip rolls Resolve-9: Failure. (2 3)

For that, Lip earns himself a watery smile. In more cagey moments, the smile would take up polite refuge in its usual wry, 'oh you' remove. But this not a cagey moment, and the smile Lip gets approaches the line of googly-eyed adoring and steps right over it in giant, clompy boots. Subtle, it isn't. "Okay," she half-mumbles with a faint nod Lip's way before she looks at Grey, clearing her throat and pushing out a slightly shaky breath. "I still want to go, if you think other people won't get mad and will want me there…," she states, in more of a mumble than likely intended. The subject Lip's mom wanting specific audience with Lip? Even Natalie's eyebrows raise as she looks back at Lip. "It'll be okay," she offers in tone of reassurance that probably fails at its task where Lip's mother is concerned.

Lip just stops. He doesn't even know that he's no longer hugging Natalie. In fact, his entire world crashes and burns even more now. To the point that he doesn't even realize he's backed up and sat down on the edge of his bunk. He just stares out in front of him and looks as though he's just received a soul-crushing telegram from a ghost or something. "… Kay." is all that he manages to say as it seems like Phillip Oscar Wylde, Jr. has finally shown a weakness: His Mum.

Grey nods to Natalie, "I think you're good. Helpin' out can't hurt." Lip's reaction to the news draws a shrug, "You can always say you gotta work on rescue plans. See you this afternoon, man." He gives a little two-fingered flick of a salute, and then he's out, his armored Guard jacket slung over one shoulder. The other two can make awkward googly-eyes at each other without noticing on their own.

Natalie offers Lip a stiff grimace along with a slow nod as Grey departs. She settles down carefully next to Lip, opting for the better angels of silence for a moment as Lip sits there in his poleaxed reverie. "I'll go with you," she volunteers after the silence extends out a few beats beyond, her head turning slightly to look at him. "Maybe she'll tire herself on me first," she brightsides rather lifelessly, attempting a grey smile at him before she rubs at her nostrils with her index finger and sniffs lightly. A willingness to throw oneself on the mom grenade: just another 5'1" wallflower service provided.

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