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Posted: Jan 29 2016, 10:33 PM
Can I tell you about the time I got my leg stuck in a rabbit hole? Let me tell you, it's nothing like the books said. Rabbits apparently bite too.
• Dork • Dorky •
• Dorkier • Dorkiest •
Bennett T. Woodford
In the end, it's not the years in your life that count.
It's the life in your years.
tell me something...Hi there! I’m Bennett Woodford, one of the more senior Mechanics on the Ark, but you can call me Benny. Well I guess I should start off with talking about my time on the Ark right? Or would you rather hear about the time I peed on a bush? No? Alright fine, Ark it is.
I came from a fairly middle class kind of family, my parents and their parents before them were mechanics which enjoyed tinkering with equipment. So it was no wonder I got into tinkering with things too. I got given a screwdriver on my sixth birthday which I promptly named Squid, I always carry that thing about everywhere with me. Squid the Screwdriver is the best piece of equipment on the whole damn Ark, I’ve had him more than thirty years now and not once has he failed a job. He has a gorgeous red handle and a little discoloring over the years which I carefully clean up using a solution of… what’s that? This isn’t just about Squid? Oh right… sorry I’m rambling. You know I’m kind of disappointed you aren’t interested in Squid, he’s amazing.
Okay so yes, I was born and raised in Mecha and fell into the position as a Mechanic fairly early on. Life was good. By late teens I was getting a little more confidence in my abilities. I loved my job, it was a lot of fun working alongside people. Mechanics were a great laugh to be around… not so much Engineers but gotta have a little rivalry. In all honesty I don’t mind them, they’re a good bunch of people and do their work properly about forty percent of the time. Maybe that’s why Faith took an interest, maybe she saw how hardworking I was. I kind of have my doubts about that, she might have planned this all along but back then I just went with the flow.
Who’s Faith? *sighs* ...Can we not talk about that? I… I don’t know. I don’t really want to get into all that just yet. Can we talk about Hutton instead? Is that okay? Yeah? Alright great. Well my little girl was born just after my twenty second birthday. She was so tiny, you wouldn’t believe how small newborn babies are. They said babies were cute but from all the ones I saw, that was a massive lie. They looked like little wrinkly potatoes. You know the ones which are super old and start growing stuff? Yep, just draw a face on one of those potatoes and you have yourself a newborn. Not Hutton though, I loved her from the moment I looked into those little blue eyes.
I never really had this plan to become a father, or at least not so early on in life. Hutton had definitely been a happy mistake. I married Faith shortly after she was born. They both moved in with me from Faith’s home in Factory. Up until that point I was totally unaware of what exactly I was getting myself into. Ignorant bliss, I was a newlywed and a father now. I thought life was perfect and could only get better. I was so very wrong.
Faith liked her drink, and I’m not talking about extra rations of water. She liked the heavy stuff, anything she could get her hands on. I had no idea she was drinking throughout the pregnancy, I tried to voice my concerns a couple of times but it was brushed aside. She seemed to be functioning okay so I just kept quiet and got on with life. I only married Faith because she said she wouldn’t let me near Hutton if I didn’t. We were pretty much like roommates from the get go. I guess I did love her in my own way, and it was wonderful getting to see little Hutton’s face as I walked through the door at the end of work. Looking back I wished there was something I could have done differently, but I was so scared of losing Hutton I just did what Faith said.
The drinking got worse by the time my little Hutton was a toddler. We’d argue every single day, sometimes that escalated to Faith lashing out and blaming me for getting her so angry. I know I shouldn’t have argued back with her, but there’s only so many bruises on Hutton I can believe were from falls. I didn’t want to believe Faith was like this, she wouldn’t do that to her own daughter. She would always threaten to leave, take Hutton with her. It’d break my heart so I tried to make us work. Get us to be a family. Faith wasn’t always like this, there’s a sweet loving wife somewhere deep inside. I just needed to help her get out of this rut.
Hutton was always a smart girl, I tried my best to keep her out of her mom’s way. I used to buy her books and coloring pencils to occupy herself in her bedroom. She needed to be there a lot to stay out of Faiths way. I didn’t want her seeing her mom like that. She didn’t need to know what we argued about, or that mommy sometimes hit daddy if daddy had been bad. I know I should have left, took Hutton with me. Faith was an angel the next day, making it up to me and giving me promises of change. I didn’t want to be the one to break our family. I had been totally blind to how broken it already was.
This went on for years, it felt normal for life to be like this. Hutton coped and did well in school. I was always there to give her a shoulder to cry on when Faith had a bad day. I had to teach her to not talk back to her mom, be good and ignore her. If Hutton didn’t react maybe Faith would leave her be. I took the worst of it when I could, I wasn’t always there to protect her though. She used to hide her bruises from me so I wouldn’t worry about her. She was always a good girl, broke my heart she had to deal with her mom on those bad days.
Doctors eventually told Faith if she continued the way she did it’d kill her, she was bringing herself down a really bad path. I think this shook up Faith more than she cared to admit, for the first time in our marriage she listened to me. We got her off the alcohol, kept it as far away from her as we could. Hutton helped me like the good little girl she was. We made a great team to help mommy. It worked too, Faith changed for some time. She was more attentive, took care of herself some more. Brought in more money working in Factory. Things were actually nice for a few years. Didn’t last though.
She never let on she was drinking again, but the sudden change in temperament was a dead giveaway. Outside of the house our family were great examples of community members. Behind closed doors was a different story, we kept it quiet though. I didn’t have it in me to get Faith in trouble. She just needed our help is all, the Ark didn’t really have any kind of support apart from floating her. I couldn’t do that to the mother of my child, I loved her even after all this time.
Faith eventually got caught. Stealing alcohol which hadn’t been the first time she’s done so, it had been the first time she was caught though. Any crimes on the Ark were punishable by death. I had been at work cleaning up a busted up circuit board in Hydro when the guards came to inform me to say my last goodbyes at the airlocks. They had Hutton already there, I was a mess but stayed strong for my girl. She cried and I hugged her tight, she shouldn’t have to see this. Faith was gone within seconds. Hutton was a wreck.
It was hard the first few months after being widowed, I hardly spoke to anyone about it. Hutton was always a bit of a loner too, so she kept to herself. What happened to her mom was never spoken about in the house, we just carried on as normal and pretended everything was alright. Hutton wasn’t dealing well at all, having nightmares. She wouldn’t tell me about what but I had a small idea it was about her mom. All I could do was hold her when she needed me most. Eventually it just stopped hurting as much, of course I still missed her. It just stopped being so painful.
It was terrible what the Ark did to those kids, I’d have sent them a strongly worded letter if Hutton had been on that dropship. She was too smart to get herself in trouble though. I never worried about that, she couldn’t hurt a fly. Soft heart, strong mind. That was my girl. She was my little Button, which only seemed to cause eye rolls when I called her that. They never told you how difficult it’d be dealing with a stroppy teenage girl. I tried to make her a heated bed for the days she wanted to curl up in the sheets away from everyone. Of course I tested it myself first and got electrocuted… so she didn’t get it in the end. I was late for her birthday that year, so she got more books instead. She loved her books. I used to read them to her at bedtime when she was a kid. She’d probably hit me with one if I tried doing that now.
Outside of my job I had other passions, I loved Earth. I’d always take Hutton to the observation deck and point out all the countries from the geography book. I think that’s what got her into rocks, I never really understood her obsession but I supported it. She showed me some cool things and I taught her everything I knew. I don’t think she’d follow the family into the mechanic job, but that didn’t matter to me. As long as she did something she loved I was happy for her to do whatever she wanted. Hutton was my little girl, no matter how big she got.
Unity day was probably one of the worst days in my life, I was out of it for most of it after the bombs went off. I remembered enjoying the children’s annual routine of explaining how the Ark came to life, then the explosion. I’d thankfully protected Hutton from the blast, but the shrapnel had hit me and cut the main artery in my leg. If it wasn’t for my little Buttons quick thinking I wouldn’t have survived. She kept pressure on my leg until the medics got to me. I just remembered waking up in Medical and being told my little girl was fine. Of course I worried when she didn’t return that night, but I knew Hutton probably found somewhere to spend some time alone. She could make it through anything that girl could.
I was still pretty much bedridden for the rest of the time on the Ark, finally started to move around with the aid of a cane. The walking thing was overrated anyway, I’ve always said we need robotic legs and saws for arms. Coming down was pretty terrifying, they were lying if someone told you it wasn’t. Hutton wasn’t by my side and I’ve been worried sick about her. We haven’t been able to contact any of the other stations since landing, which only adds to my worry. I spend most my days pacing outside or trying to keep myself occupied with my hands.
I wished Button were here, so I could tell her about all the new and wonderful things I’ve seen and learned. I’ve even been collecting some rocks for her. I have no clue if they’re special or not but if she were here she could tell me. I miss her telling me what an idiot I was sometimes, I wish I could build some new things to help her here on the ground… or threaten to build us both some robolegs. She should be here.
And that’s it, here we are now discussing my life story over lunch. Do you know why we’re still eating this gross paste? I have no clue, but I’ve found adding grass and a little dirt to it helps with the taste. Can I tell you about that time I peed on a bush now? Oh come on don’t be like that, it’s not long at all! It’s way more fun than my life story. Okay! So. Turned out that bush was home to a family of raccoons… and of course they were NOT happy with my intrusion. You try explaining to the guards why you were exposed and running through camp to escape some angry little critters. It did not go down well I can tell you that much… they made a good meal for a night so I guess I helped a little, right?
Aurora | Forty | Mechanic | Arker
Posted: Jan 29 2016, 11:58 PM
• Awesome • Epic •
• Ridiculous • Silly •
Posted: Feb 2 2016, 10:01 AM
• Fiesty • Alcoholic •
• Blunt • Damaged •