casts the darkest shadow.”
Probably because I've seen how it can be taken away.”
Though the twins were only fourteen when the war for unification began, they were actively involved in assisting their parents in the war effort, risking life, limb, and their livelihood in order to go in and help pull Browncoats out of hot zones. Belle survived for the next four years as close to unscathed as one can be in war, when Beau was arrested for the first time, and sent to a PoW camp. That was devastating to Belle, but it wasn't long afterward that both of Belle's parents were killed with her there to witness it, and to this day, it's not a thing that she's much inclined to discuss. Yet another devastating hit for the young woman, she came out of it bowed, but not broken, resolving to carry on for so long as she could, and she did. She kept to the ship that her parents had run, now captained by a close family friend, until the day that Beau finally escaped the PoW camp and returned to take over the Exalted Justice himself.
Belle kept on as well, and for several years, things were good. There was work enough to survive, and trouble enough to not get bored, but all good things must eventually come to an end, and after a particularly tricky job, they found themselves pursued by the Alliance. The result being the complete loss of the Exalted Justice, and again, Beau's capture. Belle escaped injured, but alive, and for the first time ever, without a place to call home, or much in the way of family to turn to. She bounced around from place to place, friends, what few relatives she had, finding odd jobs, getting into trouble of some kind or another, and then moving along. It wasn't until she was twenty-four that she had any true ties to anywhere again, this coming in the form her infant cousin, who not only lost her father, but her mother as well, leaving Belle and Beau the only living relatives to take her in.
It's safe to say that this wasn't what Belle had planned, not that she actually had plans, but even so, she took Claire in and attempted to make a better life for them both. This meant finding work, finding a place to live, making an actual home of... well, somewhere. This driving need to do just that is what put her in front of some less than reputable men to whom she soon found herself indebted, but she had a small home and food on the table, but being stationary made finding work difficult at best, so the young woman found herself increasingly under water on what she owed. It was this, and the news of her brother's death, that drove her to find work on ships again, at first bringing her young ward with her, but as the jobs became increasingly dangerous, Belle opted to send Claire to live with family friends instead.
This was, for Belle, an incredibly dark time, but she still made it back to visit Claire as often as she could, bringing toys, or other knickknacks back with her. It was only years later that Belle discovered her brother was not, in fact, dead, There was a brief-lived hope that she might be able to go back and work with him, to continue their previous life of the Robin-Hood-like antics, but he wouldn't allow it, and so instead she continued to work on varying ships, some of the work legitimate, and some not, but ever honing her skills as a mechanical engineer
March 2532 - Belle surprises her brother by showing up without any forewarning, and manages to finally finagle a place on his crew again.
Belle Compton can be a hard person to get to know, often hiding behind a wall of sarcasm and gruffness, but to those who have gotten past that, she can be both warm, and also fiercely loyal.