|kyra graves's skepticism remains (unshattered) wrote,|
@ 2017-02-21 21:08:00
Writer Name/Handle: Caitlin
Are you (the Writer) 18 years of age or over?: oui
Town Opening: Area 52 - (Unwilling) Test Subject
Housing: A small studio funded by the AEGIS Team
Character Journal name: ~unshattered
Character Name: Natalie Byrne(-Gunster) -- Nat's mother gave her both names, but she dropped it years ago.
Character Age: 21.
Character Played By: Emma Stone.
Character Personality & History:
Colleen Byrne was a good girl that wanted to break free. Growing up in a conservative Irish Catholic family meant rosaries, meant Sunday School, meant white dresses and Eucharist placed on your tongue (because of course you don't touch the body of Christ with your unanointed hands). It meant rules upon rules upon rules. From an early age, Colleen felt suffocated, and she sought a way to slip out of the cloying grasp of her mother (a homemaker) and her father (a plumber). She wanted more, and she wanted big. Colleen desired for the world to be an upbeat symphony instead of the sorrowful drones of choirs.
In walked W.D. Gunster.
He was quick and smart and kind to her , and he was very different than the small-minded Irish-American boys her parent tried to pair her off with. Only a week, and she just knew she loved the man. Colleen gave him her virginity, and nine months later, he gave her a baby.
Colleen hadn't seen Gunster much since she first found out she was pregnant -- he had told her that there was important things happening in his work, and while he would try his best, she might not see him for a long, long time. Left by the father of her child and kicked out by her parents, she found herself dropping out of her freshman year of college to pick up shifts as a waitress at the local diner while she swelled underneath her apron. Her water broke as she served someone a heaping plate of disco fries, and screaming out into the world came Natalie Byrne.
Nat was, by all means, a normal, healthy baby. Her cheeks fat, her skin pale and pink, her hair impossibly blonde. Colleen immediately saw the Gunster resemblance and fell in love all over again. Mom was happy, the baby was healthy, and they were both given a clean bill of health 3 days after baby Byrne-Gunster's arrival.
Colleen and Natalie lived in a frugal way. Hole-in-the-wall apartment, cheap clothes, fast food. Mom had never finished college and still waitressed at that local diner 6 days a week; Natalie sat in a high chair near the end of the counter until someone took pity and babysat on the cheap. And while she worked her ass off, she also spent a lot of Nat's early years desperately searching Gunster down to no avail. Honestly, she would have thought she imagined it all if not for the constant screaming reminder that kept her up at night.
Despite the rocky upbringing, Nat's younger years were fine. She developed normally, she played, she laughed. For all the time she worked, Colleen tried her best to make her baby girl's life good, and it was as good as it could be.
A routine check-up changed all of that around.
You see, doctors had seen a recent uptick in a specific marker on blood tests. One that pointed to some... well, supernatural habits.
And Nat's bloodwork lit up like the 4th of July.
The doctor told Colleen that Natalie had the makings of a special condition, and that some people would be very interested in her daughter soon. Some very important, very rich people. It was like high school all over again, and Colleen couldn't resist letting these people into their lives.
Some of Natalie's first memories were of men in suits poking at her while she piled Legos atop one another. She remembered bruises, purple and blue, blooming up and down her arms. She remembered sanitized rooms and the burning stench of sterile equipment. These times were brief and few and far between when she was a young girl, but they left an impact. She never trusted anyone wearing a tie and balked if someone stared a little too long for her comfort. But despite all the probing, nothing manifested. They cut Colleen a check, and they just went away (allegedly).
Everything was fine and dandy. Natalie grew out of her distrust of everyone and flourished. She was friendly, and she was bubbly, and even through her pain, she trucked through. Fearless, people used to call her. Charming. Mischievous. She made friends, and she did okay in school. She dated boys a little too old for her. She loved her mother fiercely. Everything was great.
Until Colleen got sick. It was quick, and it was painful, and Natalie's mother died within six months of her diagnosis. Stage 4 breast cancer. Natalie was only 15.
Having lost the only person she really loved in her life set Nat off-kilter. Grades dropped. Problems arose as she bounced from foster home to foster home. And things got weird. Sometimes, she swore things moved closer without her touching them, and she heard the whispers of voices in her head. Muffled, like someone shouting at a distance over an ocean's strong current. And it only got worse and worse. She was fucking losing her mind, she knew it.
Those men in the suits started to appear again. The first time was at her high school counselor's office. The second time was talking to her foster dad, a nasty man who smelled of diesel and chewing tobacco. By the third time, she feared for her life. So she ran. She was 17.
It was supposed to be her last year of high school -- graduation, prom, filling out stupid amounts of paperwork for college. Instead, Nat spent it couch surfing and falling in with what her mom would have called the wrong crowd. Men with tattoos and girls with gauges and needle marks. People who spent most of their moments thinking about where their next fix would come. Three years before, she wouldn't have been caught dead with the. But, they welcomed her, and they shared what they had for some favors here and there. And while the voices got more distinct, Nat used alcohol to drown it out. When she realized that she wasn't fucking tripping and that hand mirror did fly across the room because of her, she did her first line of cocaine. Fuck it all, she decided. Her mom was dead, she was clearly some sort of demon powered monster, and no one cared about her.
She spent a year getting drunk and high and having sex on crusty couches. Character building, she'd say now. But if she was honest? It was because she was scared shitless of what she actually was.
The day after her 18th birthday, Natalie stood at the edge of a crosswalk, waiting for the light to change. She was skin and bones, shivering even though it wasn't cold, and completely out of it when the black van pulled to the curb and dragged her inside. Before she could even scream, everything went black. The next thing she remembered? A fucking sterilized, bright white room.
The home of some secretive government agency which Nat never gave a shit about learning, the Turner Facility housed "powereds" from all over the United States. Most were young, between the ages of 10-25, and the older crowd stuck out like sore thumbs. Those people that had been tailing her for her entire life? Yeah, they were the ones who threw her in there.
Detox was fist on the docket, which was brutal and merciless. They gave Nat nothing to help with the withdrawals beyond what could keep her alive. It was like they wanted to push her to the edge. And push they did until eventually they got the results they wanted. After two days in isolation without anything but water and bread, a doctor or a nurse or someone (Natalie never gave a fuck who) came in to poke and prod like they used to when she was a kid. She couldn't control it. An explosion of energy burst out of her, sending everything in her room -- her bed, her chair, her table, the person -- flying against the walls.
From there, they brought her in for some testing and training. The scientists tested her, pushed her to see how much she could take. What she could be capable of when pushed to the brink. How much energy she could expel, what exactly could she hear in her mind and from what distance. It took almost a month of testing, of torture, of ruthlessness when they seemed pleased enough to allow her into the general public. By this point she was clean, though still rail-thin, and that bubbly charm sometimes turned into razor sharp wit. She didn't make friends easily, if at all. Those she did make friends with? Well, they tended to be the ones getting cycled out of the center quicker.
One day at training, after she had been there for just about a year (but who was counting, right?), she was paired up with a boy about her age. And the rest, as they say, is history. Somehow, they clicked, and whenever they could sneak a moment together, they would. Stolen glances, notes passed on cafeteria trays, carvings left in training room walls. They fell hard and quick, and Natalie loved him more than she could ever put into words.
They began hatching a plan to escape. It was a waiting game, the standby for the perfect opportunity, and it took almost a year. But, they found their way. It took some finessing and some stolen guards' uniforms, but Natalie and her boy planned on slipping out with the routine convoy out of the compound. The timing was flawless, the stealth unbeatable, and they were on their way.
Only, it was a trap. One of the guards purposefully thought false information to lead the lovers to their demise. (The people at the facility were very, very hard to pull one over on.) Screaming, the two were separated and brought to different rooms. She heard his screaming, and she heard a scuffle and she heard two gunshots go off. Splatter, then nothing. And she knew it before they even told her. The love of her life was dead, and she had no one left in the world again.
After the incident, Natalie was transferred over to Area 52. After about six months there and some heavy sedation, the team there decided it was high time to allow Nat to interact with the town nearby: Repose. A new little experiment -- see how long before she snapped on the innocent populace of the sleepy town. They enrolled her with AEGIS to keep tabs on her and set her up in a small studio in town. Ready to see what would unfold.
THE X-MEN: Other powereds -- born or otherwise -- who she encounters through the town/life.
THE BOY: The guy she met in the facility who she fell head over heels for, who she was supposed to escape with. She thinks he's dead. He's not!
AEGIS: After her failed attempt to escape, AEGIS picked Nat up. They're the ones keeping an eye on her while she fucks around in Repose.
FAMILY: Lost Gunsters, foster siblings and parents, etc.!