Out of the Game

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Out of the Game

Post by JollyLabyrinth on Tue Oct 04, 2016 1:23 pm

It had been a long time since the incident with Father and Lazy Eye. How long? Weeks? Months? Hawk didn't know. As far as he was concerned, it was a lifetime ago. This was the second time he was deserting a family, a second time he had died. He only had the heart to let himself die a third time. He had managed to escape Charon's goons, and decided afterwards that it would be best if he just.... got out of the game. Whoever won that fight, whether it was Lazy Eye or Charon, Hawk no longer wanted a part of it. Either way, it wasn't going to end well for him. But only having a rifle and a box of ammunition to his name, he couldn't exactly skip town. He managed to find a job in Ruby Central sweeping floors for some small business that sold knick-knacks, and he made enough to rent a small house in South Emerald. He always liked it there; green hills, clear sky, the ability to see the stars at night. Well, some of them, anyways. Still, it was nice. Perfect place for a retired military man to move to without too many people asking too many questions.
Didn't stop him from asking those questions to himself.
Hawk's past always haunted him. The people he had shot, the choices he had made, the friends he had abandoned. It was almost too much to bare. He never saw suicide as an option, at least not a messy version of it like hanging or shooting himself. No, those weren't options for him. Even so, that didn't mean he was above poisoning his liver every few days.
It was Friday. He always had Saturdays off, so he decided to drown his sorrows in a grimy pub in the slums of Jadetown. It was in East Diamond, sure, but no one would recognize him there. Everyone who would recognize him was most likely dead, on the run, too important to risk being in Jadetown, or too "high and mighty" to be caught in that section of it. Hawk always thought Lazy Eye was a cock for his holier-than-thou attitude. Didn't matter. Sounded like a gang war was going on in Mocca City, said the news. Lazy Eye wasn't surviving it. Good riddance, Hawk thought. He shook his head and took another drink from his glass; he was drinking whiskey, plain and simple. Did the trick, all that mattered. He leaned his head on one of his hands on the bar. The bartender looked at him with a look of concern, but didn't ask any questions. Hawk had been coming around often enough that the bartender knew Hawk wasn't the kind of person who talked about what was upsetting him. Instead, he shook his head and refilled Hawk's drink.
"Thank you, friend." Hawk whispered; he always whispered. Some people found that creepy. He liked this place. The glass wasn't ever empty. He'd be able to sit here and drink until he stumbled into the streets and blacked out on some garbage heap, then wake up the next morning with his wallet missing again.
Fitting for a deserter. Repeat offender, at that.
What a wonderful life I've lived. Hawk thought to himself as he continued drinking.
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Re: Out of the Game

Post by Charon on Tue Oct 04, 2016 6:08 pm

Things were going from bad to worse. Charon had initiated a full on war that was only going to end when either he or Simon were dead. And right now, it looked far more likely that Charon wasn't going to make it out. Simon's forces had far more power behind their punches and a lot more money to clean up any messes that Charon could send their way. Charon's men were good at fighting, but they weren't anywhere near the military might that Simon was. Charon needed help, even from places that he didn't want to look for any more.

It had been about a week ago when one of Charon's men had informed him that Hawk had been spotted in the city. Charon ordered the man watched, contemplating striking first to remove any unknown pieces from the board. The reports that came back weren't what Charon expected though, they painted a sad picture of the life of Hawk, a man that Charon had once respected and even feared to an extent. The man was good, and there was a reason that Charon had tried to take Hawk out along with Lazy Eye. He didn't enjoy loose ends.

Now though, perhaps it was time to make a trip.

The door opened, and Hawk would hear feet moving behind him before feeling someone sit next to him. He'd only have to look over for a second to see the mask and red eye of Charon, a man that had grown far more powerful in position and strength since the last time they met. "Bartender, the rest of his drinks and all the previous ones are on me" Charon said before throwing two hundred dollars on the counter for the bartender to take. Charon would have considered drinking himself, if removing his mask wouldn't cause a riot.

"Hello Hawk, been a while" Charon said, his lone eye glancing over to the sniper.
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Re: Out of the Game

Post by JollyLabyrinth on Tue Oct 04, 2016 6:13 pm

Hawk looked up from his glass and cast a glance sideways to the man generous enough to pay for his drinks, about to thank the man for his generosity when he saw a familiar sight: white hair, red eye, black mask... Charon.
Well. Guess this is how I die. Hawk thought. He took a drink of his whiskey and nodded in appreciation. "Take it you won, then, eh?" He asked in his quiet tone. "Suppose that means Lazy Eye's dead. Considering the fact you've tracked me down, I take it I'm next." He pushed his empty glass toward the bartender's side. The bartender returned, filled the glass, took the money and nodded to Charon, and wandered off to help other customers. Hawk lifted the drink to his mouth. "Won't put up a fight. Done fighting. Done running. I'll let you take me to the alley out back and put a bullet right in the back my skull. All I ask is the courtesy to finish this last drink." He raised the glass to his lips and took another swig.
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Re: Out of the Game

Post by Charon on Tue Oct 04, 2016 6:16 pm

"Definitely won, believe me Lazy Eye isn't around anymore" Charon remarked as he just looked forward instead of staring at Hawk. "And I know that you're done fighting, you've been spending your days drinking and sweeping up back rooms in place of what once made you so mighty....I'm not here to kill you unless that's what you want. You're not a threat to anyone as you are right now, probably couldn't fire straight if you tried" Charon said quietly.

"I'm here because I need experience from someone and only you can provide it for me right now. Tell me, in the military did you ever fight a group that just had all the right gear and advantages...and a part of you wondered if you could even possibly win?" he asked quietly. "If you did...I need to know how you defeated them. What kind of tactics in the military did you call upon?"
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Re: Out of the Game

Post by JollyLabyrinth on Tue Oct 04, 2016 6:29 pm

Hawk placed his drink back down and stared ahead for a moment. Charon wasn't going to kill him. Hell, he was asking for advice. That was a relief. Of sorts. Hawk wasn't sure if he fully believed the fact he was getting out alive, but whether he did or not didn't matter anymore. It was something to worry about later on. For now, Charon wanted to talk. And talk about the military.
He shrugged. "There was one point we were outgunned to all hell. Went into a place with a recon team, six guys in total. One of 'em, jaggoff by the name of Henry, wasn't watching his step, tripped a whole bunch of alarms. Building we were in got surrounded." He shook his head, trying to keep the memories from becoming images in his mind. "Henry and his little brother got gunned down when they breached first floor. Rest of us managed to barricade the second, they couldn't get up to us. Four against at least three dozen." Hawk stared blankly forward for a long moment; it wasn't hard to tell he was reliving the memories. "Called for backup. Was told it would be there in twenty-five minutes. No way in hell was that gonna work. So we used an ace in the hole." He gave a weak smirk and cast a glance to Charon. "Me. They had better firepower, more men, more ground, but we had one thing they didn't: sniper. And a damn good one if you don't mind me saying. The three boys on the stairs shot anyone who poked out their head trying to get to the second floor, I picked off any who tried to get in the building in the first place. Wouldn't call it a victory, but we held out. And that's all you gotta do; use your one advantage and hold out. Then, when help arrives, nuke the bastards from orbit." He took a great swig. "Backup arrived. Super with explosive powers or somethin' messed them all up. Don't matter how well trained you or your men are, chaos will ruin anything. Destroys coordination, destroys morale, can destroy minds. If you're in a fight of that scale, you need to create chaos, and whoever maintains order will win. And no one is better at keeping themselves composed than a sniper. That's me. Was. Was me." He took another slight drink and looked at Charon. "Why are you askin' me this?"
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Re: Out of the Game

Post by Charon on Tue Oct 04, 2016 7:32 pm

Charon just listened, trying to compare this situation to his current one. He wasn't sure what he could take from it. Chaos was like the wind in the East District, always there but no one could really control it. Even the East District Mafia couldn't hold reigns on everyone. Charon saw Hawk's point, but he wasn't sure that he could take too much out of it.

Charon glanced to Hawk as he asked why Charon had this question. "Because I started a war I don't know if I can win. And yet I know I have to see it through, surrender isn't an option" Charon said before taking a deep breath as he knew that saying this next part would be the hardest for him, and he hoped it'd be hard for Hawk as well.

"Mute's dead"
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Re: Out of the Game

Post by JollyLabyrinth on Tue Oct 04, 2016 7:37 pm

Hawk's stomach sunk for a moment when he heard that Charon had started a war he couldn't win. It went even further when he heard about Mute's death. He lowered his head for a moment. "How's the rest of them?" He asked softly. "Sam, Janitor, Orlando, the rest of the Diamonds... They all alive? Or did they get out of the city?" Hawk was sincerely hoping that they had just skipped town, but Sam wasn't the kind of person who would do that and he knew it. He shook his head. "No... Stupid question. They're still here. And they're still alive or you'd let me know. If you're discussing deaths, you'd start with ones that are closer to me." He took a drink from his whiskey; this one was half empty now. He still felt surprisingly frosty despite his drinks this evening; he always did. "What happened to Mute?"
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Re: Out of the Game

Post by Charon on Tue Oct 04, 2016 7:40 pm

"Enemy assassin hired by Mammon, no idea who he is but apparently he's a big deal in the underworld. He has a power to make everything around him silent, other than that and his ability with a sniper rifle I don't know anything about the man" Charon acknowledged.
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Re: Out of the Game

Post by JollyLabyrinth on Tue Oct 04, 2016 7:44 pm

Hawk froze for a moment. There was a lot of information in that simple answer. "You pissed off Mammon?" He asked, somewhat dumbfounded. "And you're not surrendering? You're going to fight them to the death?" He shook his head. "Charon, forgive me, but waging a straight war with Simon is... Suicide..." He swallowed, his palms sweating. He was out of the game. He was out of the game. He had deserted a second time, he couldn't go back... But if he didn't, his friends would die in a suicidal war. He shook his head again. "And on top of that, I think I know the guy who picked him off..."
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Re: Out of the Game

Post by Charon on Tue Oct 04, 2016 8:07 pm

"Mammon pissed off me!" Charon shouted before smashing his hand against the table as he looked right in Hawk's eye with his own. "I owe it to Mute to not even consider surrendering. I'll have my head on a pike before I surrender to those cowards!" Charon said loudly, not caring who in the bar was hearing his angry rant. He was making a point for Hawk that this war was only going to end with death. Peace, was never an option.

Charon released his fist for a moment before looking forward as he worked to regain his composure. "You know this assassin...I'm listening" Charon stated. "Tell me everything you know"
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Re: Out of the Game

Post by JollyLabyrinth on Tue Oct 04, 2016 8:19 pm

Hawk watched Charon carefully; he was angry, and if there was one thing Hawk learned in his time in East Diamond, it was that men like Charon were incredibly dangerous when angry. Hawk wasn't concerned with his own safety, but he wasn't about to let Charon go on a rampage in a civilian pub.
When Charon regained his composure and asked about the assassin, Hawk relaxed slightly. "Not too sure, honestly. He's more of a ghost story, myth passed around and a bit of a training story to teach snipers to keep their damn heads down. They call him Hissori. Supposedly best shot in the business." Hawk said, though his voice made it seem he doubted Hissori really was the best; Hawk wasn't the kind of man to brag about his skill, but he always doubted people were able to outshoot him, at least as far as accuracy was concerned. He never liked people who were quick to point out their skill, and liked them less when others did it for them. "I've never seen his handiwork myself, but if you believe the stories, man can walk into a building with thirty men in the middle of a military compound, then snipe the rest of the compound from up top without raising an alarm. Not sure how much I believe the stories, but even if they're exaggerated, if people are telling stories about you, there's gotta be a damn good reason for it." He took a drink. "And as I said, a good sniper is the best way too tilt a war in your favor. Mammon already had the upper hand in this war, and now they've got a legend in their ranks. Charon, for your sake, and the sake of your men, and my god damn friends... Call off this war. One man died. Your best friend, sure, but how many more people's best friends are gonna die in this suicidal war? How many others are you willing to lose to avenge one man?" He asked. "Only good way to stop a sniper is to get a better one."
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Re: Out of the Game

Post by Charon on Tue Oct 04, 2016 8:46 pm

"I'd let this entire city burn to avenge Mute" Charon said and meant every word of it. Every loss of innocent life would be worth it to avenge Mute as far as Charon was concerned. He didn't share the same feelings as Sam where there were lines that shouldn't be crossed. Sometimes in a war you had to do terrible things, even if you didn't get to win. Charon wasn't going to bow his head and serve Simon, all it would do was cause further annihilation. If Typhon was going out, at least Mammon was going to remember when with all the forces they took with them.

"HA! That's rich coming from you" Charon said. He was in a foul mood, and that made him more honest than usual. "You turned your weapon on these friends that you want me to save now, and here you are saying that for their sake I should surrender? You didn't give a damn about them when Lazy Eye put out that bounty. Your little message to Sam? Please, you and I both know that was horse shit out of your mouth. If Lazy Eye told you to fire, you weren't going to wait...were you?" Charon challenged.
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Re: Out of the Game

Post by JollyLabyrinth on Wed Oct 05, 2016 11:32 am

Hawk's shoulders deflated as Charon spoke. He sounded like Theodore, the last guy Father tried helping; forgot how small he was, wanted to bite off more than he could chew. He was going to get himself killed doing this, and he was going to get a lot of men killed as well. All over a single man who chose a line of work that was designed to kill those in it.
When Charon turned his attention to Hawk's antics, he didn't even look over at him. He wasn't saying anything that Hawk hadn't already said to himself. "I'd love to defend myself. I really would. But that's all true. Well, most of it. I didn't spout horseshit about my message to Sam. I believed it. Wouldn't have said it if I didn't. I just... Wanted him to know." He sighed. "And yeah... I would've fired. At the time. I'm a soldier, Charon. Was. Was a soldier. You follow orders. Don't matter if you like them. Don't matter if you hate them. All that matters is you follow them. Emotions and orders don't work together. Just because I turned my weapons to them doesn't mean my heart wasn't still next to them. Why do you think I bailed for so long? Why do you think I didn't come back and try to find Lazy Eye? No loyalty to the prick. And Sam had no reason to be loyal to me. Whatever went down between those buses, it wasn't ending well for me. So I bailed. Left Mocca City. Left that life." He took a drink from his whiskey. "And don't you act like you've never given an order to your men that you knew they wouldn't like and still expected them to follow it. You gonna chew them out for the same thing you're chewing me out for? Because you don't have to. We do it to ourselves enough. It's not our choice, but we still think it is." Hawk sighed and lowered his head into his hands, leaning on the bar. "But I meant everything I said about Sam. He's a good man. Always liked him. Strong, loyal, always had my back. I wanted him to know that. I don't think I could live with myself if I shot a man I knew and he thought that I was lying to him for the entire time we were friends. Hell, I don't know if I could've lived with myself either way. Would I have pulled the trigger on Sam? Yeah. Why? Orders. But what you didn't ask was next: Where would the second bullet go?" Hawk asked grimly; he let the question hang in the air. He didn't feel he needed to answer it.
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Re: Out of the Game

Post by Charon on Wed Oct 05, 2016 8:51 pm

"And yet, here you sit...doing nothing now" Charon pointed out as he thought about his own actions. Was it possible to beat Mammon? Yes, but it wasn't going to be easy or without further loss of life. Charon needed to defeat Simon directly, the kind of man that wouldn't fight on the front lines no matter the battle. That's where he and Charon differed. Charon would still execute a man himself when it was needed. He still had the will to act, to drive the knife forward and remember how to twist until the enemy begged for mercy. Simon? He would just keep throwing men and money until his problem was over.

Charon motioned for the bartender to fill up Hawk's drink once again. "I never gave Sam your message" he finally said. "Didn't see the point of it, I figured whether you killed him or he killed you, in the end words don't mean much. What you choose to do is what matters. I know I'm insane for fighting Mammon, and I know I'm insane to honestly think that I can win in a fair fight...that's why I plan to make the fight as unfair as possible" Charon spoke seriously as he looked towards Hawk. "But to do that I need the best, and I can't fight Hissori with the resources I have. I need him out of the picture before he kills all of my best men. You're the best shot I've ever seen Hawk. If you want to make up for leaving your friends, do it now. Help me win this war, and maybe save some of them...."

"Or you can stay here the rest of the night and use that bullet on yourself like you keep talking about. The fight will continue either way, but your presence would help. I can't deny that"
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Re: Out of the Game

Post by JollyLabyrinth on Thu Oct 06, 2016 12:56 pm

Hawk sat in silence for a long time. He was weighing things in his mind; Charon denied Hawk the one courtesy he had asked of him. He wasn't sure if that made Charon heartless, a piece of shit, or intelligent. Could be all three for all he knew. Hawk wasn't ever in Charon's position. But more than a simple sentence of saying "You're a good man, Sam", Charon was asking for Hawk's help. His eyes, his scope, his rifle, and his bullets.
"No." Hawk finally said. "I'm out of the game. I've walked out of that life twice now. I can't go back to it. I won't let some war you're waging drag me screaming back into hell. You wanted this war. You're very forward about that. And Sam is going to stand and fight it. That's what he does. We all make our choices. We all have to live with them, and ultimately die with them. You all have made yours. I made mine. And even if I go back, they won't accept me. You said it yourself, Sam wants me dead. Going back won't make up for leaving them. It'll just be one more corpse for the pile." His voice shook as he spoke; he wasn't sure if he could live with himself if he sat this out, but hey, he had survived this long through ignorance. Charon was going to leave the bar tonight, and Hawk would never see him again. Hawk could lie to himself that he and Sam won, survived, the whole shebang.
But the nagging would always be there. What if they didn't? And what if he had helped? No. Hawk thought. "I'm out of the game. Call me a coward, call me retired. I'm out, Charon. I fold."
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Re: Out of the Game

Post by Charon on Thu Oct 06, 2016 1:01 pm

Charon just nodded as Hawk gave his response. He always knew that this little attempt of his might not bear any fruit, it was always a risk coming here. There had been a chance that Hawk would draw out some piece and shoot Charon where he sat. Charon was a man of risks though, had been since he got in to the game. Would be for as long as he lived likely.

"If you come back, you'd never see the others. You're right about that, they wouldn't accept you. I'd position you where I needed you, Sam would still think you're out of the city as far as I'm concerned" Charon said as he stood up. "But hey, you're retired and out of the game. That's fine" Charon said before dropping a picture. Hawk wouldn't have to look long to see what it was: a picture of Mute's corpse with the single bullet through his skull. "Hissori did that to one of my best men, and powers or not Sam can't protect himself from an enemy we can't see coming...you're the only one I know who has that military thinking. But hey, you're out of the game. Live your brief existence before you use that bullet on yourself, or live for something" Charon said before flipping the photo. There was a single phone number on the back, one that Hawk was to call if he changed his mind.

Without saying anything else, Charon threw down another hundred for Hawk's tab before walking out of the bar and not looking back.
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Re: Out of the Game

Post by JollyLabyrinth on Thu Oct 06, 2016 1:13 pm

Hawk turned his eyes away from Charon when he placed down the photo. He didn't need to see the photo. He had seen hundreds of similar images through the scope on his own gun. He didn't need to see it to know what it was.
A few hours passed. Hawk made his way home and collapsed on his kitchen table, still holding the picture. He held it up and stared at it for a long time. Back of the head, Hissori didn't have the joy of seeing Mute's eyes as he died. He didn't get to have a face join the choir of the dead. Lucky bastard. Selfish bastard. Hawk shook his head and tore the picture in two, tossing the pieces in the trash. He made his way to his bed and fell in it, trying to get some sleep. But sleep wasn't coming. Sam was alive. Orlando was alive. The Janitor was alive. All of them, alive and kicking.
And on a suicidal march to Hissori's scope and Mammon's spiked boot.
They were dead men walking. And Hawk wasn't going to do anything to save them. No. Wrong wording. He thought to himself. He couldn't do anything to save them. No... He was right the first time. He was intentionally sitting the fight out. He was running. Again. It's what he did. It's all he did. All he could do. And here he was, running by sitting still.
Coward. Traitor. Deserter.
Minutes passed. Hours. The entire night. The sun crept through the hazy curtains, and Hawk saw the glint from the scope on his rifle stashed in his closet. He sighed. "Once more unto the breach..." he muttered. He rolled out of bed and made his way to the trash can. He pulled out the pieces of the photo and did his best to make out the number on the back. He punched the numbers into his phone. It was the early hours of the morning, so he didn't expect anyone to pick up, so when it went to the answering machine, Hawk said one thing: "Deal me in." He hung up, went back to his bed, and had the first restful sleep he had had for a long time.
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