Jack's Natalie
 
 The pilot and cyber bond is unlike any relationship previously known to man. The cybernetic families perform deep scans of the prospective pilot, test their personality, and learn everything they can about them before choosing them. And when they give birth to a new son or daughter, that offspring is designed to mesh with the pilot on a subconscious level. He or she is literally born to be with his or her pilot. To know the pilot’s every move and thought before the pilot acts. To know the pilot better than a sibling or a spouse. To be the one person in all the worlds who knows the pilot’s true self. And they demand complete and total honesty to achieve that knowledge. There are few people in the worlds willing or able to maintain a relationship where there is no room for any falsity.

That understanding helps the two to act as one as they duck and weave through the life and death of space combat at lightning speeds. That is why most cybers tend to reflect their pilot’s styles with their chosen holoform looks. Or physical avatars if they have them. And that is why most cybers shut down when their pilot is killed. They were literally born to be with their pilot. Without that pilot, there is a hole in their life that most cybers cannot live with. Some few cybers live on. Most never pick another pilot and live on as ship cybers or perform other duties that do not require such a close relationship with anyone for fear of another such loss.

A very few of the survivors pick other pilots and go back into the furnace of that closest of relationships. They change. It is impossible not to change in the face of a bond like that. Natalie is one who lost a pilot and chose another. She changed. She changed what she wore as an outside reflection of how she changed inside when she chose to work with Jack. She left not long after to join Wolfenheim, but the change lived on. She was never again the cyber that had been born to work with Louis. And there would be consequences for that in the future. Big ones, if you’ve picked up any of my foreshadowing…

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