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In the midst of the native uprising, Field Marshal Hawk quietly traveled with a small Bloodlust guard unit to New Acheron. As of late Hawk had typically spent his time working and rarely traveled, making this unannounced trip extremely out of character for him. Truth be told he'd intended to wait until the uprising has been quelled, but after the meeting with James in Predators Keep he just couldn't take it anymore. He couldn't sleep anymore until this was dealt with. He'd spoke with a few of his former Atlesian officers and comrades about what he was about to do, and after hearing his reasoning they eventually came to agree with his points. 

Once his carriage pulled up in front of the offices, Hawk had his personal guard wait outside. He hastily entered the building, making his way past offices such as Jack Howard, William Cochrane, Henry Nelson and James Graves. Being the military director, he didn't concern himself with security. Surely anyone on duty would recognize him. With heavy footsteps he reached Addison's door. Hawk didn't bother to knock, instead quite abruptly flinging the door open and stepping inside. His footsteps were warning enough. Frankly he didn't care what she was doing on the other side before his rather rude entrance, this was too important. 

"We need to talk." Hawk boomed, his massive frame filling the entrance behind him. His voice was loud and confident, traced with a hint of anger. A sliver of what was to come.

@Phoebe

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Rather than inviting Hawk to sit, Addison rose from her chair to meet the man eye to eye, his anger met with her calm, reserved gaze.

"Yes, Hawk?" she replied quizzically with lowered eyebrows. "There's no need to raise your voice."

She tilted her head to the side empathetically. His anger had seemingly come from nowhere.

This was most unexpected.

@Hawk

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Posted (edited)

"No reason to raise my voice?! Oh there's a lot of goddamn reasons to raise my voice." He snapped, flinging the wooden door closed behind him. 

Still early in the confrontation, Hawk did his best not to lose his temper, not yet anyway. 


@Phoebe

Edited by Hawk

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"I can hear you just fine," Addison retorted coolly as the ringing of the door in the doorframe accentuated the silence that followed his loud remark.

"Do you wish for the rest of the building to hear you shouting?"

Standing on the balls of her feet, she met the Marshal's furious gaze with great displeasure.

"Have a seat," she instructed.

@Hawk

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"I don't much care if they hear me or not." Hawk retorted, lowering his tone just a bit as he crossed his arms.

"Best I stand.

Before saying anymore, Hawk simply stood and stared. His face bearing the look a stern disappointed parent would give their child as he took a second to gather his thoughts. Where to begin?

"What am I to you? A pawn? A fool? A conductor to keep 'your' men loyal? Don't feed me some more bullshit. I want the truth." He began, his tone quieter, yet angrier. 

@Phoebe


 

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"No?" she replied in disbelief. "You've never been any of those things!"

The vagueness of his statement didn't make it any easier for Addison to narrow down exactly what Hawk was angry about.

"If this is about finding Esstevan, I'm doing everything I can, Hawk. But Esstevan isn't the only person in Atlas. He had millions of people, millions who survived who we can help. There are those who are maybe dead, and those who are definitely not dead. I'm doing my part to take care of his people just as much as you are. So please do share: what truth is it you want from me that I haven't already given?"

@Hawk

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Posted (edited)

Hawk scoffed. He figured she'd say something like that. 

"Everything you can?! Is that what you're calling it? You act like you're doing this for them. I've seen the shit you keep taking on. Fighting gods, going out of the way to clean up problems that ain't got nothin' to do with us?! I'm all about helpin' folk, but what about OUR folk?! Shouldn't they come first?! Not the ones here, they're safe. But the ones out there somewhere? Can't say the same for them. This ain't just about Esstevan. It's about the millions and millions that disappeared with em'." Hawk placed one leg forward a little, shifting his weight into the back one.  

"I don't think you want them to be found. You're afraid if they come back, you'll lose alllll this power that just fell right into your lap. The fall of Atlas was the best thing that's ever happened to you. All these confused people looking for somewhere else. It was the perfect opportunity to snatch them righhht up. You got a taste of power, and just couldn't get enough. Even with Howard in charge you're still callin' the shots." The marshal accused, his tone still sharp and aggressive. 

"Howard, Kora, Myself. We're all the same. I'm just one step ahead of the others."

@Phoebe

Edited by Hawk

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Rather than appearing angry, Addison looked. . . Tired.

"What do you want me to do, Hawk?" she sighed in exasperation. "Should I be diving head first into alternate realities of our world searching for what could be a needle in a five dimensional haystack? James has a point. Valucre got lucky with our reality. Valucre was lucky we were friendly. What if we find something we don't want to find? What if we doom this world and our world? We can't afford to be reckless, Hawk. But then again, what can I do to help? I don't understand any of this any more than you do."

His accusation however, roused her to heightened levels of anguish.

"I expected this view from Nate Luxbourg and the Promethians, but not from you, Hawk!" she exclaimed in shock. "You of all people, who cast me into a volcano when no one else would. You who ventured with me to Soloman's realm. You think I wanted Atlas to fall? You think this was all just some scheme to seize power?"

Her eyes flashed with hurt and her chest rose and fell rapidly.

"When we founded the Bastion together, we created it to offer new homes for the displaced Atlesians. That goal has never changed up to this day, and no one could have predicted the arrival of the Valucre portal that changed everything."

Her breath wavered. She hesitated. She didn't have the heart to tell him.

"My initiative against the Godslayers wasn't for no reason. . ."

@Hawk

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"I ain't askin' you to dive head first. I just need your support! They need your support! Our talk when we first got here, every time I mentioned our mission during a meetings, your presentation to James! Did you have to be so blunt!? You clearly aren't onboard. I gave you all I had, Addison. I did. I need your trust on one goddamn thing! I stayed in Atlas after the fall for four years. Four years of constant relief efforts. If you'd seen the shit I've seen maybe you'd understand my obsession to bring the lost home. Or maybe not. Maybe you really don't care after all." Hawk knew Addison was smart, but he questioned if she was truly smart and precise enough to orchestrate such genius tactics of manipulation without anyone else catching on.

"Maybe Luxbourg and those traitors in Prometheus were onto something after all. But I was too blinded by my loyalty to see it. You got a taste of power, and just couldn't get enough." He continued, using his unrelenting pressure to try and force and confession. 

"I followed you through hell and back. Did everything I could to support you. Fought alongside you countless times until my combat efficiency declined. Strange thing you took on an apprentice right around then. I couldn't keep up, so you found someone who could? In didn't need me anymore. You still had Houghton and Howard to control in terms of soldier support, and they was doin' better than I was. Back in Orth all those years ago when Gauen attempted to arrest you, I was so blind and willing to make the ultimate sacrifice to buy you an escape. Turns out I was lucky, or maybe I wasn't I aint so sure but I survived." He paused clearing this throat before continuing. The following memories were painful for him to recall. 

"I rotted in Bulgarian custody for a month barely clinging to life. Figured you'd been captured or killed, and my days were numbered. But Montoya showed up. He was the only one that showed up to pull me outta there and i'm sure as shit you didn't send him. When I finally got out of that hellhole I came to find out you were alive and well. Long cleared of your charges and focused on another goal while I awaited my fate. Since we were so close, I couldn't help but wonder why I never got wind of an attempt to get me out. I'd of done the same for you. Maybe you thought I was dead? No. I seen the papers, it was world news. After the first day, my survival was no secret. If that makes me selfish then so be it. But I didn't see it then. Because I wouldn't. I was a fool. Strange the idea of the Bastion was proposed that very week huh? You found the perfect chance to get rid of me then came up with something bigger to get more power for yourself. I wasn't charged and arrested as you had expected. If I had been, my usefulness would have completely expired. You realized you needed me after all. Manipulated me for my men and connections. Once again, everything fell into place for you. Ever since then, I been startin' to see things more clearly. We're all tools, and you string us all along with our loyalties by building 'personal connections'. If you had simply hired us instead you couldn't guarantee our loyalty.

"I guess what I'm trynin' to figure out is if the woman I knew is gone, or if she's always been this way."

Rather than immediately continuing, Hawk leaned back to observe her reactions. Truthfully, that wasn't easy for him to say. In fact, he hopped with every part of him that his accusations were false, and she wasn't who he accused her to be after all. It was clear Addison was hurt by his words, but the ever so cautious marshal couldn't help but wonder if it was yet another act. Her point about the Bastion stuck him as odd, as that was never the goal she had announced previously. He was under the impression the Bastion was formed as an unbiased group to keep the peace between nations and protect the world. The fact she worded it as a place to provide refuge to Atlesians was strange. "Could she have known Atlas was going to fall?"

@Phoebe

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"I was on the run from Harpher!" she exclaimed in shock. "I was in contact with Esstevan regarding how we were going to break you out. I was prepared to storm the city, but he convinced me otherwise. Khan Asparuh is a leader. Esstevan Montoya is a leader. I was a Knight, Hawk! I wasn't about to start another war right after I had just prevented one from occurring. What could I have done?"

Her eyes flashed with tears as she balled up her fists by her sides.

"I didn't need you because of your power of the marines. I needed you because you were my friend. You are my friend. And you're hurting me, Hawk. You make me sound like some heartless manipulative psychopath. As if the things I've done were all just calculated gambits?!"

Placing her hand on the side of the table, she forcefully thrust it to the side, dragging it loudly against the concrete floor as she cleared the path between them.

"Look me in the eyes, Hawk! And tell me that everything we've been through was orchestrated, that I did it for power! Are these the eyes of a psychopath?!"

She wiped away her tears quickly and jabbed upward towards her eyes.

"You must think this is all an act. What more do I have to do to convince you?! James' order has given us the steps we need to take to retrace the coordinates of the Universe which took Atlas. They are an intergalactic peacekeeping force, Hawk. I can barely comprehend the implications of this.

If I haven't done enough, what more can I do?"

She fell silent as the room rang with her voice.

@Hawk

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Hawk remained silent as she spoke, his posture straight and tall as if he were on guard at Herograds gates once more. He didn't even flinch as Addison shoved the desk aside, his eyes never breaking contact with hers. The marshals expression was stern, cold, and restless. Several months after his rescue from the SSK and into the construction of the bastion, the roots of his doubt began to grow. Hawk attempted to gather information about what went on regarding his capture while he was away. Word of Addison's planned rescue seemingly slipped through the cracks, and never reached his ears. Until now anyway, there was very little evidence to believe that she had done anything or planned anything regarding his release. If she was to be believed, a great deal of guilt would soon be upon the marshal for his harsh and accusing words, and even planned potential mutiny if things had escalated. 

"I, don't know, Addison. I don't know much of anything no more." He relented, his gaze softening as he backed down from his tense offensive stance. 

He paused to evaluate his position if all of his claims were false. It wasn't pretty. After what they had been through, his claims would make him appear heatless and ungrateful. For in this instance, he would be the betrayer. 


@Phoebe

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