Chapter 4: A Connection
Atticus knelt before Habuk and stared deeply into the three eyes that were meeting his. Habuk said nothing, but tilted his head slightly as he took in the sight of kneeling figure before him. Seeing Atticus' look, he chuckled slightly. "Would you like to know something?" Habuk's voice echoed into the room, emphasizing how isolated they were from anything else. "Of course." Atticus, replied, unsure of how it was going to connect to the thoughts he held in his mind. "Do you not find it odd that someone of my stance and power has no consorts, no mate" Atticus blinked from this sudden personal statement, but he did not let his surprise show. After all, it was nearing around to what he was planning. "Upon our creation, the worm asks many things of us. For us to follow the sword-logic, for us to worship them and the deep they commune with, but above all, for us to devour and feast. For us to consume." Habuk motioned for Atticus to stand, which he did. The blood, or whatever is was now, was pulsating quickly as it ran through Atticus. "When we mate, we consume. If two mates are able to resist the pull of the deep, they can consume each other while staying in their form. The reason I have no mate or partner is because those I have mated with were not… resilient enough to resist me. They longed for me to devour their essence, the pull of the deep to strong for them to resist." Habuk motioned for Atticus to come closer, and he soon found himself face to face with the Knight. He had never gotten this close to a living Hive before. Strangely, he was not repulsed, and instead found himself becoming entranced with any command Habuk had to give. "I know what you saw. The shared hunger is what connects us to each other, as well as the worms. You believe that mating with me would provide you with the insight you need. That it will show you the path." Habuk brought up a clawed finger to Atticus' face, scratching a deep gouge into his helmet. "But tell me, young one. Do you think you can resist me? Do you think you can feed off of me without giving in to oblivion?" These questions caused Atticus' very core to shake. When he had fed off the darkness, he was granted knowledge that, for the most part, seemed to be indescribable. One certainty he received from the deep was there was something after the bodily form. Was it something he wanted to risk? Seeing his indecisiveness, Habuk brought his hand to Atticus' back and yanked him forward, placing him on top of his lap. "Unsure of one's actions, are we? I'll tell you that this feeling is mutual at least. A being of the light, now one with the dark. How terribly curious I am." Habuk brought his hands down on Atticus' thighs, and held him down harder against his mid-section. Atticus become aware of something stiff under him, and that caught him by surprise. He had not assumed that Hive mated exactly like humans. Or was he somehow aware of how it was done by humans, and was simply accommodating him? Taking little notice of the look on Atticus' face, Habuk continued. "I will not deny it. When I was first ordered to capture you, I have wanted to devour you since then. That is not all though. For the first time, I want to be devoured by someone. By you." This caught Atticus by surprise. Though his own comprehension from these conversations and knowledge held in his mind, he knew this was a sacred action. It was mating, in it's raw form. Was Atticus really that important, that even someone of Habuk's position wanted claim to him? Atticus stared back down at Habuk, and into his three green eyes. For the past few days, if it was even days for he couldn't tell anymore, he found himself often staring into them. With his own eyes, he was able to see things that a regular human couldn't see. He saw emotions, thoughts. Up into this point, Atticus hadn't done anything to show his own desire. It was time to show that. He brought his hands up, and cradled Habuk's hard. This caught Habuk by surprise as he grunted softly, but he slowly settled into his arms. Among those he had been with, all were too intimidated by Habuk to show any emotion. But this one wasn't. They sat like that for a while, with Atticus on top of Habuk's lap, cradling his head. Atticus spoke, the words so quiet that they didn't even resonate in the large room. "What will happen if we both survive mating?" Habuk brought his hand to the back of Atticus' head, and pressed against it with his. "Then you will be my mate forever, young one." Atticus heart bloomed, his new knowledge of the universe giving him a new understanding of the word "forever". He thought back to his life before this moment, and how different of a world it was from all of this.
The bar was empty except for a few patrons, with Atticus and a few members of his fireteam among the more loud ones. Atticus was splayed out on a couch with a bottle in one hand, staring through an opening in the wall at the Traveler. Marcus was seated at the edge, polishing his helmet to a shine. Ada was sitting curtly in front of Atticus, having chosen tea over the various drafts that littered the table. Drak-6 was tuning a hand cannon as he hummed a song that was lost on anyone besides him. Ada began talking to Marcus, but their conversation was long gone from his memory. All he could remember was the Traveler, floating there silently. It was three days before they would go to the moon, and Atticus was aware of all that could go wrong. This knowledge didn't bother him, but his purpose did. Like all other Warlocks, he sought to understand the meaning behind his existence. The Traveler provided no answers, but hanged there regardless of his struggle. He laid there a bit longer, the only sound being Drak-6's humming.
Atticus opened his eyes to meet Habuk's once more. Through all this, he finally realized why this happened to him. It was what he wanted. He belonged here, where his life had a meaning that was tied in with the very universe. He was no longer a human who was unable to alter the universe or their fate. He was a Hive. Atticus spoke quietly, with only Habuk being able to hear what he was saying. "Then your mate I shall be."
Ada walked down the stone walkway which led to the bar her fireteam usually frequented. Upon reaching her destination, she found the familiar figure of Marcus against a wall, with a considerable amount of bottles around him. Ever since they came back from the moon a man short, this was where he always was. They all tried telling him that Atticus wouldn't blame him, but it didn't help. It had been days since he picked up a weapon, let alone left the tower. Ada checked up on him regularly, but his condition of rapidly deteriorating. Losing a comrade affected the Titans heavily than others. "Marcus." Marcus turned his head towards her direction, but he remained quiet. Seeing that she had his attention, Ada smiled. "Come with me. There's something you need to see." With that, Ada walked out of the building and continued back towards the Tower commons. She stopped halfway before looking slightly behind her. It was empty for a few moments until Marcus slumped out, and began walking after her. Giving a sigh of relief, she continued on her way. They reached a small table that was populated with the rest of the fireteam. Drak-6 was humming slightly, fiddling with a small repair tool. Marx-19 was next to him, the object they were working on hidden from view. Asani was behind them, watching their actions with interest. They all collectively looked up when Ada approached, and gasped slightly when realizing that she had managed to get Marcus. Marcus, noticing the ensemble, began to get irritated. "What is this, Ada? An intervention? Why did…" Before he could finish the statement, Marx-19 lifted the object he was working on. Marcus gasped. It was a Ghost, but the shell on it was unmistakable. It was Atticus' Ghost. "What? When? How?" Seeing his flustered expression, Ada quieted him. "He returned here almost two hours ago. Him and Atticus were sent somewhere where time is severely diluted. What was a week here was a few hours wherever they were. He's resting now, and Drak and Marx are repairing him." Before he could answer back, Ada grasped his shoulder. " Marcus. His Ghost told us before he powered down. Atticus is still alive in there. They were keeping him alive. He said he would tell us more when he comes back online." Marcus eyes widened, and a tear was slowly welling up in his eyes. The other gawked at this, as seeing a Titan cry was rare sight. Ada squeezed him. "Are you ready to save our friend?" Marcus wiped his eyes, and took a ragged breath. "Like hell I am."