PHD #396: A New Life
A New Life
Summary: Nataly abandons the life of a civilian for the life of a Marine. It's not much fun.
Date: 30 Mar 2042 AE
Related Logs: none
Nataly Vandenberg Constin 
Elpis Living Quarters, and then Cerberus Hangar Bay
A room full of a bunch of Bunks, and then a room full of a bunch of ships.
Post-Holocaust Day: #396

Nataly is moving about here and there, occasionally amazed at all the stuff she has just in the small space she could call her own. A great deal of it is either being junked or given away, though in a way as non-intrusive as possible. She doesn't want to make a huge deal out of enlisting.

Vandenberg has been here helping out, packing up what she can when she can. There isn't a lot of personal space on the Cerb. "Basically all you are going to have room for is what you've seen in the bunks. The lockers have a small shelf for personal stuff but nothing large. It'll be up to you and what's important enough to store with you over there. I came aboard with almost nothing but yeah, you pick stuff up real fast. Never understood how."

Nataly stands back a second. She never had many clothes to begin with, though she keeps her gym outfit, the overalls, and a couple of t-shirts. A few notebooks, and some tapes of music she made with her uncle, now unique in the universe. She then looks over at Van. "This is so weird. Giving up one life for another… all over again." She looks back at her bunk, which now looks much as it did when she was first moved onboard Elpis. "Feels like I'm just vanishing."

"Yep. Except this time you're volunteering to do it. Just make sure you keep some of your nicer civvie duds. You'll want them for going out and relaxing on this ship when you have time. Or you might be able to trade them for something better." Vandenberg looks over the bunk, leaning against the frame. "You are vanishing, Natalya. You're leaving this old life behind and becoming more. Its a transformation. You will never be this young lady again. You're about to grab adulthood by the hair and kick its ass, darlin. And its got nothin' to do with sharin' a bed with someone. Its a mindset, love."

Nataly smiles. "I know. And I'm looking forward to it, there were just some… aspects, of this young lady I was looking forward to. Being the sweet little reporter wife of some brave soldier, here to care for him when he comes home. It has some appeal, you know. This way, I'll be there for him by covering his ass when the bullets are flying but…" she shrugs. "Not gonna be the princess in the castle, anymore. Not even yours. Just feels weird."

Natalie smirks, the left side of her face still more or less immobilized by bandages. "Heh. Yep. I know how you feel. I'd wanted to do that a bit myself. Finally found the right guy on Libran. Was gettin' all ready to settle down, be the wife, have a kid or two. Let life wash over me for once rather than be eyeballs deep in taking lives." Its admitted to quietly, but with a little humor. Its exceedingly rare for her to talk about life before Warday. Or really even before Cerberus. "You can still be a princess outside work, love. No reason you can't. Just expect to catch hell about it from the other enlisted. And hey, its not so bad saving the life of the man you love. Gotta find romance where you can, yeah?" She winks at Nataly.

Nataly's grin holds. "You know what I used to hate about Captain Ryder? It wasn't that he sometimes treated me like a little girl. Guy his age, you expect that, every now and again. What I hated was how, if I wasn't careful, I found myself wanting to BE his little girl." She shakes her head with a rueful smile. "It's just another bit of my childhood I'm losing, and even if I'm losing it by choice, I still feel a bit of the loss. All told, I prefer this, though. Every time the klaxons went off during the swarms, I HATED just sitting there and hoping." She waves it off. "I know you did that a lot, too. I'm gonna be an MP, not a pilot, it's just… oh, hells, I don't know what it is." She pauses. "Don't really have any nice civvie duds. Nothing I'd wear, you know, on a date, or anything. Guess I'll have to see what I get my hands on, later."

Vandenberg chuckles. "Aye. I knew a bartender like that back in my hometown. Great guy, yeah. When I hit eighteen we rolled into the bars and I took right to him. My parents barely earned the title. He was somethin else. Went to him for a lot of advice." This is obviously a fond memory for her. "Its fine to feel like you're losing something. You are, darlin. But I think you'll look back on this time? Before you joined? As a very different person and you'll be proud of who you are. Ask Elf sometime what kind of life he led before he joined. But hey, you need nice civvie clothes? You lemme know. I'll try and scavenge from the Marines we have. Maybe find you a nice black dress."

"That'd be nice. Aunt Cicely never took me clothes shopping. That outfit she wore all the time? She wore it all the time BEFORE the war, just in different colors." Nataly smiles. "I think she was scared that if we went clothes shopping, the Caprican in me would flare up, or something. I had some nice dresses, but it was always my uncle who bought them." She throws a few sketches into the bag, closes it, then shoulders it. It isn't even half full. "I… I think thats it, then. Anything I really oughtta do in my last hour as a civillian?"

Natalie grins. "Hon? If I'm supposed to be your mother taking you into adulthood? You have better believe I want my girl looking as classy as she can. I might have a dirty mouth and make the boys look bad on the battlefield sometimes, but I also love dollin' up and goin' out to a bar." She smiles easily. "We'll get you somethin nice and take you to Pete's after graduation from basic. As for your last hour?" The officer shrugs. "Dunno. Got anything in mind?"

Nataly shrugs. "Just wondered if there was anything you missed from being a civ that you'd relive, but given your past…" she shakes her head. "No, I'll still be me. Just a bit more baddass." She grins. "And won't that just give that jackoff Jerry a wonderful surprise, the first time he tries to cross me. Dude might piss himself." She turns to Van with a smile. "Ok. Time to become a soldier."

"There is plenty I miss about being a civilian. But its mostly stuff I miss about being a teenager. I started ROTC when I was your age. The things I couldn't let myself do anymore? They're the same things we can't do because of our position. Don't sweat the regrets. You owe the Corps a few years. Stay in if you like it? Get out if you don't. I think you'll probably stay." Vandenberg smirks, the light gesture one of warmth and love. "Lead the way, little lady. Time to make a Marine out of that scrawny little butt."

"Scrawny?" Nataly retorts as they start walking. "Based on some of the looks I got during workouts, some of your marines have a very different evaluation of my butt."

Vandenberg lofts a brow, chuckling softly. "Oh is that so, Natalya? I'll have to hunt them down and let them know who the boss is. Make sure that if they think so highly of your hindquarters that they politely handle it by speaking to the owner." She sways her hip once to hip-check Nataly. "You're the boss, Recruit Rassvet. I'll toss my advice when I think you need it but I know I'm gonna have to let go a little. Let you make your own choices. Particularly around Marines. Woof. Bunch of horny dogs."

"And I'm sure we'll gossip over them plenty during downtime," Nataly says with her smile. "Ok. Time to be a marine." And she walks out of the berthings as a Civillian for the last time.

After having packed up most of what Nataly wanted from her old civvie bunk on the Elpis, Vandenberg escorted her to the Raptor transport. The Marine officer is in her duty greens with the pins on once more, boots shined like the belt underneath. The chatter from Natalie on the transport stops abruptly when she takes a signal from the Raptor pilot. Vandenberg turns instantly serious and stares right back at the young woman across the Raptor from her, swaying slightly in the movement of the ship. She says absolutely nothing. At all. She just stares intently at Nataly as if wanting her to wither and die under the look. Training as begun very suddenly. Its anyone's guess what is going to happen next as the hatch to the ship hisses and begins opening once parked on the hangar deck.

Nataly's smile fades as the chatter, on the subject about Marine Males, suddenly lapses into a silent glare. Lords of Kobol, what had she said, this time? Something about the look, however, makes her nod. Training has begun, and Natalie has suddenly turned into Lt. Vandenberg, resident badass on fire sale. Fair enough. Nataly swallows down her fear and simply holds her peace, for now, though she doesn't try to stare Van down.

The welcoming committee amounts to one man as the Raptor's vaccuum sealed hatch hisses open. the smell of the Cerberus flight deck wafts in- recycled oxygen, chemical cleaners and coolant fluid pricks the nostrils. Constin is in his duty tans- left arm through the sleeve as usual, but- owing the the cast which swallows his right arm up to the elbow, the right half of the uniform is draped over his shoulder. The stern, unsmiling and scarred face of the big sergeant narrows his stare on the opening door, boots set at shoulder width, waiting.

What erupts onto the hangar deck is nothing short of fully barked orders called at nearly the top of Vandenberg's lungs. From her seated position, she's staring right at Nataly. "Do you want a frakking invitation, maggot?! Do we need to go back and revisit common frakking sense?! The! Hatch! Is! Open! MOVE, you simpering whore!! Out the godsdamned door and stand at attention on the deck!" Vandenberg sounds absolutely -livid-. Definitely more angry than Nataly has ever seen her. She seems ready to kill.

It was like suddenly being attacked by your teddy bear. Nataly gawks for almost a full second before exploding forward, bag being pulled along with her and then dropped to the deck as she stands at attention. 'Simpering whore?' Really?

Constin doesn't even look at Natalya as the would-be recruit rushes out of the Raptor and stands at attention. Instead, as Vandenberg emerges, the big marine brings his well polished boots together and snaps off a salute, spoiled only by the fact that his right hand is held together by plaster, titanium, and an ugly assortment of metal rods and screws. "Lieutenant." Until the recruit is formally delivered, he says nothing further.

Vandenberg emerges a moment after Nataly, taking her time to rise up to a full stand on the Raptor's winglet. The salute is executed and returned with the same precision. "Gunnery Sergeant Constin, this is Recruit Rassvet, Natalya. The pigfrakker thinks she's worthy of our globe and anchor." Stnading with her hands folded behind her back she looks over Nataly like a piece of meat. "Personally I don't think she's got half the guts she thinks she does. Do your best to see her washed out of my beloved Deck Six and returned to the Elpis for good. Trash like this shouldn't even be recycled. Just not even accepted." Her eyes snap back to Constin. "Consider this shitbag attached to Marine Training Class Zero Four, Four Two. You may do with her what you will, Gunnery Sergeant."

Nataly doesn't move, but she does steam. Sweet Lords of Kobol, was this necessary? Van had mentioned it before but… Lords, Nataly had survived Tauron, had even pulled that little job for the Marines, gone where they couldn't. Given she was the ONLY frakking recruit, didn't that earn her something? Maybe to not be treated to the whole routine? Whatever. Her eyes stare straight forward, into the meat of Constin's good shoulder. She was tough enough. All the theater in the world wouldn't scare her off of that.

"Yes, sir. Proud to, sir," Constin answers the Lieutenant, stern face staring straight ahead into the empty air someplace roughly a foot over Vandenberg's head. Once that last instruction from Vandenberg is given, the Cerberus' Master-at-Arms lowers his regard to fix an eye on Nataly. "Rassvet, Natalya," he drawls flatly. "From this point on, you are given nothing. You earn everything: food and sleep are privlidges. And if you are very, very lucky, your body may be retrieved for burial in the end. Now, you either holler back 'Yes, gunnery Sergeant', or you turn back around and board that raptor, because if you stay, life as you knew it is over."

Vandenberg takes a few steps forward and drops uncerimoniously to the deck, her boots thunking solidly. All of the Deck crew around have stopped and are watching this tradition take place. She doesn't interrupt Constin, either. She just stands there, bandaged head and all, staring big icicles through Nataly's face, daring her to walk away.

She doesn't flinch, though her face does darken. Welcome to the next few years of your life, kiddo, presuming anyone lives that long. "Yes, gunnery Sergeant!" She hollers back, as instructed. She could do this, she would do this, and she'd do it well. It was that or be a little girl following the corps for the rest of her life.

Constin, drill sergeant once again, bends his neck lower to Nataly's level as the girl's face darkens. Hollering loud enough into the girl's face that she might physically feel the air in her lungs shake, the sergeant bellows, "Are your FEELINGS hurt, Rassvet? Wipe that pissy scowl off your damn face, you ain't some entitled little civilian anymore! Your face better look like it's carved out of frakking rock, hear me? If I say your momma and daddy are a lot of radioactive ash back on the world, you do not cry, you do not glare- you are a recruit of the Corp and you will simply answer, 'Yes, Gunnery Sergeant', is that clear?"

Vandenberg snorts, looking Nataly up and down again. "Godsdamn, that's was pathetic. That pink panther female Viper jock? She's got more balls in her step than this thing does." Its mostly muttered under her breath after Elf gets in there, though its certainly loud enough for Nataly to hear. Vandenberg just stares at her more, barely a cracked emotion on her entire stature - let alone her face. She doesn't even flinch at the comment about her parents. Vandenberg has gone stone cold.

While her face certainly doesn't lighten, it does go neutral. Triad face, Nat. Her muscles tense at the mention of her parents, though it is, in fact, the faces of her aunt and uncle that she sees flash in front of her eyes. But she doesn't move. She just answers, coldly; "Yes, Gunnery Sergeant."

"Back straight! Heels together, square your shoulders! It ain't called 'attention' as a frakking suggestion," Constin barks, finding minute fault in Nataly's first affected 'attention'. "From here, you will march to ship's stores. If you are out of step, you will run the stairs until you can march properly before being shown your bunk. Is that clear, recruit?"

"Better make sure she can understand that supply is. Frakkin civilians don't have the first damned clue. Thinks she spent a few days on a ship like this and suddenly she knows a thing or two?" Vandenberg nearly spits onto the ground in front of Nataly's feet. She just scowls, stepping aside so that Constin might work her as he needs to.

Nataly follows the instruction. This is somewhat easier… she had at least one ballet instructor whose haughty disdain might as well have been worse than Constin's louder contempt. "Yes, Gunnery Sergeant." She doesn't even look at Van.

"By the end of today, you will be hurting in places you didnt know you had. You will be tired. You will be in pain. And any MOMENT in which you feel like you can't go further? You will remember that cylons don't get tired. Now pick up your gear, and move out, recruit!"

Vandenberg just stares at Natalya for now, waiting for the young woman to comply. "MOVE!" Vandenberg howls at the top of her lungs. "If you ain't pulled from supply in ten minutes I'm going to personally wake your ass up every hour to run a damned mile!" she calls after. The bottom of the ship to the top deck in ten minutes? Not impossible but very nearly so.

Nataly starts moving. Moving in step is easy enough, dancing training being what it is, but to do it THAT fast? Damn them all, but she was going to try. She gets moving, pausing only long enough to sling her bag over her shoulder, and soon she is out of the hangar.

Supply is already expecting the recruit, which affords Constin a scant few moments after Nataly starts moving in which to regard Vandenberg. "We'll see," he observes, simply.

Vandenberg's expression hasn't faded, nor has her demeanor. "No quarter. I find out someone treats her unfairly in any way, they will personally relive basic training. Again." She can't possibly mean that someone be too mean. That's gotta be 'unfair' in the context of treating her too well. Her eyes never leave the retreating frame of the recruit.

For her own part, Nataly pushes to make the required time limit. Van would never have recruited her, if she though she couldn't make it. So she'll make it. Period.

"All due respect, sir?" Constin returns flatly. "No way in downtown Hades I'ma let good marines trust their lives to somebody who can't take it. She'll clear legit, or she'll quit. You think otherwise, I owe you a count of striking a superior officer," he deadpans, before offering a short salute in parting, and moving to carry through with his promise of making Nataly's evening miserable.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License