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His Chaos

Chapter Text

He wouldn’t have thought of doing this. Blood and ash stuck to his clothes, and he fought the temptation to lie down and whimper like some wounded dog. His pride, however, was too powerful to ignore and he raised his head to look toward the destruction he created. A chaos at his fingertips, wisps of dense fog surrounded him while the smoke and fire rose.

He lost his gun awhile ago, and even his friend’s voices were a distant memory to the horror that clung to his beating heart.

“What did I do?” he asked himself, a whisper amongst the blaze.

He was surprised that he wasn’t shaking from fear, or even shock. Except he couldn’t stand up, maybe he is in shock. He looked around, all he could see was concrete debris and several bodies, blood splattered on the ground in a deep red that almost looked black.

Clearing his throat, “Jonathan?”

He hoped he hadn’t been killed by the destruction. Except the man wasn’t exactly keen on dying any time soon, and usually escaped death on many occasions.

Taking a deep breath, Evan slowly rose to his feet. Fingers flexing, he searched the debris, made sure not to get too close to the fire, but it reacted to his presence anyway.

“Shit,” he said, waving his hand in front of it and the fire pushed back. “This is going to take forever.” He wandered away, stepping over thick glass shards that were scattered across the ashy ground like rough hewn diamonds.

He knew the others were here somewhere. He could feel them, as if their pulses were at his fingertips, as if he shared breath with them, and most were erratic, some were calmer than the others. The pain they felt was heavy in the air, and the taste of blood collided with it. They were close, but he was still searching for Jonathan.

“Where are you?” he asked under his breath, making sure not to linger on the dead bodies that were lying lifeless on the ground, shock and fear forever registered on their faces before the inevitable came to its fruition.

He should’ve known that something like this would’ve happened, he should’ve been more careful, and even that was terrible in on itself. He didn’t even think about the many people that surrounded him and his friends, the panic had escalated in his heart, racing through his veins, then everything came to a complete and utter stop.

Evan looked down at his hands, confused, he had used too much, exerted enough force, and as the guilt settled in the pit of his mind. He looked for his friends, and tried to justify that he did everything for them and things had ended the way they did because of this reason.

As he moved through the debris, he heard something. A crackle of glass and rock, the fog moved in and out, and the form became more solid as they walked closer toward Evan.

There was a sense of hope in Evan’s gut, but there was also an alarm going off in his mind that this was wrong.

Whoever it was raised something in their hand and fired. His hands moved up to defend himself, whatever energy he had was gone for the moment, and nothing appeared before him. It wasn’t a bullet that stuck from his skin, but a pointed dart.

“Sorry about that,” the man said, a cigarette between his fingers, a smile spreading across his dried lips. “We had to make sure that it looked like we were after your friend, but in truth, we know what you are and what you’re capable of.”

Evan’s legs buckled and he panted hard when his knees hit the ground, his body was becoming numb and his vision was blurring.

The man knelt down in front of him. “Did you really think you could hide amongst vermin? They don’t even know what you did, they only tasted the raw power you have inside of your body. If only they knew...now we have you, they won’t ever find out.”

Evan squeezed his eyes shut when the man picked him up, and he did one last thing he could muster, he sent a signal out from his mind and pushed hard before blacking out.

Chapter Text

Jonathan woke with a jolt, his breath had stalled in the back of his throat, and he turned on his side and started coughing ragged breaths.

“Holy shit,” Tyler said from the table across from the sitting room that Jonathan was in, he was with Brock and Evan, all three of them playing cards, “dying over there, Delirious?”

Jonathan cleared his throat, he blinked his eyes a bit, and sat up. “I’m fine, choked on my spit when I woke up.”

“Well, get over here and play a round,” Evan said, waving his cards at him, “Tyler is winning again.”

“You guys just suck,” Tyler said, placing down a card and laughed as both Evan and Brock groaned, “I won, you assholes.”

Jonathan rubbed his eyes. He tasted smoke in the back of his throat, the pinprick of the dart in his skin, his knees giving out as his body became numb. There was a plea inside his head that he did not want to go, that he had to do something.

Jonathan got up from the couch and walked over to the table, Brock was passing the three of them cards, including a place for Jonathan next to Evan. “I had the weirdest dream.”

“We don’t want to know what kind of weird dream it was,” Tyler said, scrunching his nose.

Jonathan’s lips twitched, “No, it wasn’t that kind of dream. There was smoke everywhere, a building had collapsed and a lot of people were dead...and some guy appeared from the smoke and picked me up.”

“Yeah, we didn’t want to know,” Evan said.

Jonathan examined his cards. “I don’t think it was me, it was someone else, the guy was taking—”

“Enough, Jonathan,” Brock said, frowning at him from the other side of the table, “we don’t want to know what kind of sex escapade you had in your dream. Can we just play cards until Nogla and Lui get back?”

Tyler and Evan nodded.

Jonathan sighed, and they started playing cards for the next twenty minutes. Tyler won again, which made them all scowl in defeat.

“This is ridiculous,” Jonathan said, leaning against the counter in the kitchen. After Tyler celebrated his win, the rest of them went to the kitchen.

Evan had the fridge door open and pulled out a can of beer. “You want one?”

“Yeah.”

Evan grabbed another and passed it to him. “Tyler got lucky, that’s all.”

“Three times with you and Brock? And twice with me?” Jonathan cracked open his beer and took a quick sip, the taste of cold iron ran down his throat. “I don’t believe it was luck.”

“Well, you better believe it,” Tyler said, walking past them to grab his own beer, “because I beat all of you.”

They won’t hear the end of this for the rest of the night. Jonathan sipped his beer, letting the taste wash away the smoke in his throat, the ash on his tongue. He could still hear the crackle of glass when he or whoever it was walked over them, the instant fear of someone’s life on their mind, and their own heart racing before the person obscured by the thick smoke had taken them away.

What kind of dream could leave a taste in his mouth like that, the sounds, the feeling, the smell. He never experienced this kind of dream before, but maybe that’s all it was, a dream.

Jonathan followed Evan and Tyler back toward the table where Brock sat. A matte black laptop sat in front of him, thin on the sides, with a slightly dim light as Brock stared intently at the screen.

“Anything to report?” Evan inquired, sitting down and leaning over to look at whatever Brock was looking at.

“Lui sent over a crypto again,” Brock said, narrowing his eyes, “I hate when he does this.”

Evan pulled the laptop towards him. “Some of our networks have been interfered by most Government operations in the past, including some stupid UFO radio that thought an air strike and an incoming invasion was going to destroy half the country.”

Jonathan smiled, amused by the news channel, and the crazy UFO theorist telling everyone to buy a couple thousand dollar bunkers if they wanted to survive the nuclear war, and the alien take over in the coming months.

Of course this happened two years ago, and it’s been debunked by several cryptologist that managed to figure out Lui’s message to their headquarters. He kept most private information out of the message, including names. Except they learned about the coordinates that Evan, Tyler, and Nogla were meant to receive for their latest mission, but the facility was found abandoned in a couple of days by the Government, and again, later debunked, but several theorists still believe something was meant to go down at that facility, something hidden only for the Government to store it in Area 51 where everything was classified and researched.

They weren’t working for the Government, they were a private sector, some would call them mercenaries, or spies, or agents, but Lui liked to simply consider them Operatives since none of them went to war, or experienced the ravages of a hard ground and the loud artillery sounds.

Everyone gets used to a life that they don’t like, a rhythm to keep themselves sane, or even pretend that nothing exists.

Jonathan wondered if peace even existed, or it was something people believed would happen when they died.

This was his rhythm, and he got used to it after several years.

“This time he’s using a secure line,” Evan said, pulling up a few sites and telling Tyler to grab him a pen and paper.

“I thought he used one last time,” Brock asked.

“He was, but it was intercepted, this time he managed to make sure it wasn’t.” Tyler passed him the pen and paper, and Evan wrote down the code, a series of words and numbers. He pasted it into a code reader where it scrambled and gave him a list of numbers.

01000110 01001001 01001100 01000101 00100000 00110010 00110100 00111000

“What is that, Binary?” Jonathan asked.

“Yeah,” Evan said, putting it through another translator, and it gave him a complete word and several numbers.

FILE 248

“What is that?” Tyler asked, frowning.

Brock got up. “No wonder he made sure it wasn’t intercepted. He wants us to check the archive, I’ll be right back.” He left the room, while Evan was clicking off the sites and pushed the piece of paper and pen into the center of the table.

“What’s in File 248?”

Tyler shrugged. “How should I know? Brock and Lui are the only ones that look through those damn things. We have technology—”

“Which can be hacked and stolen,” Evan cut in, lifting a brow at Tyler.

Tyler rolled his eyes, and they waited for Brock to return with whatever file Lui wanted them to look at. Jonathan figured Lui would have used a comm or even a signal to get a hold of them, but a file?

Brock returned with a tan folder that was thick with notes and papers. He placed it down on the table and flipped it open.

Jonathan leaned closer and noticed there were pictures in the folder. Old ones, black and white of veteran soldiers, some were of impoverished people, others were obviously rich in their time.

“What the fuck is this?” Tyler asked, picking up a few pictures and looking at them with disgust. “Why does Lui want us to look at this?”

Evan picked up a thin report that was old with a stain on the side. “And why does he have this particular file? This isn’t one of ours, it’s someone else’s, maybe a military unit gone rogue over fifty to a century ago.”

Jonathan reached for a picture of several soldiers with blood stains on their clothes, holding guns, smiling, while a few wore grim looks upon their haunted faces. There was no insignia’s on their clothes, and at the back of the picture, there was a name scrawled in black pen.

“Operation Iron Oak. American soldiers...they went rogue from their own country?” Jonathan asked, dropping the paper and looking at the others, “Why would they do that? Why does Lui want us to look at this?”

“Who knows,” Evan said, picking up a smaller file, it had a date on it, and it was recent, maybe several months old. He looked inside, and on the top it said, “Operation Frostburn,” Evan wrinkled his nose and he read the report, “several private sectors that connected through Operation Frostburn executed rogue soldiers over the past few decades, most of the members are dead, and the remaining went quiet in the fall of 2017.”

He moved the papers around, and stopped at one particular black and white photo. Evan tensed, he picked it up and scanned the picture of a white building surrounded by thick trees.

Jonathan looked, “What is that place?”

Evan’s mouth parted, and Jonathan registered the shock on his face, but he noted it was more terror than shock. His words were barely inaudible when he said, “TAURUS, an underground research facility, hidden by the mountains and trees. It was shut down eight years ago.”

He dropped the paper and got up. “He obviously found out something about the members of Operation Iron Oak, they must be alive, and that is our mission.”

“Where the fuck are we going?” Tyler asked, following after Evan, Brock also got up and caught up to them down the hall.

Jonathan scrutinized the papers and photo’s. Why was Evan bothered by the building? Did he look into the report before? Or was there another reason to it that he wasn’t sharing. He moved one of the photo’s to the side and read a small report with a slightly faded text.

Abandoned, all known resources and information have been moved to another location.

He didn’t know what it meant, and left the folder, its papers and photo’s on the table and hurried after the others.

Chapter Text

They took the truck out onto the dirt road. Tyler drove, while Moo sat in the passenger seat, Delirious sat behind Tyler, and Evan was behind Moo.

He stared out the window, the wind blew his hair back, but his mind was muddled with unexplained questions that he couldn’t answer. Why did Lui want them to look into this? Why was it important? And where were they?

He hadn’t seen the name in a long time and thought he wouldn’t see it again. Lui had looked into it a few years ago. He said it was a cold case and that the entire facility was abandoned, all its members were killed in mysterious ways. There was no point in looking into it. Except Lui decided to keep a folder filled with information about it, and it seemed he made sure that he found evidence of each thread that tied itself to TAURUS.

From the code he gave them, and revealing the contents of the folder. Lui found something out about TAURUS, that it probably resurfaced after all these years.

Evan shivered, he curled his fingers into fists in his lap. He hoped it wasn’t true, but it was right there in front of him, and now they were on their way to something he wasn’t entirely sure about. He had to stay vigilant.

“Where the fuck are we going?” Tyler asked, glaring at Evan in the rearview mirror once they got onto the highway.

Evan pulled himself up, sitting slightly on the edge of his seat. He leaned forward, looking at the cars rushing by them. “I’m guessing we’re head to the rendezvous point where Lui had established several months ago.”

“Why do you think he would end up there?” Moo asked, frowning at him. “Why bother sending the code in if something happened to Lui and Nogla? It would’ve been less messy to just tell us themselves.”

“They might be compromised,” Evan said. From the code itself and revealing FILE 243, it seemed like a big message to Evan personally. He and Lui were the only ones that knew about TAURUS, had spent weeks making sure that the group was buried before ending their mission. Old soldiers from the war wouldn’t be much of a problem, but over the years, they would have recruited new members, trained them, so it only made sense that most organizations would be wary of this infamous group.

They were simply making sure they didn’t look their way since their own group was growing in the ranks.

Once they were completely silenced, that was that. It was over. They could finally let it go. Apparently, Lui couldn’t, maybe it was paranoia that kept him looking for answers, digging into archives and possibly sourcing for information over the years until the folder grew bigger and bigger.

It was quite impressive that Lui managed to keep it a secret all these years. Except Lui probably knew that he wouldn’t have looked into it, that he wanted to turn away from it, and not know the truth until it truly mattered.

Tyler switched lanes. “From your shocked face, you recognized the group. Anything useful you want to share?”

Evan smiled, his friends were all observant, growing that particular skill over the years. It was quite hard to lie in front of them when not saying anything about the subject was a better option.

“Like the folder said, TAURUS was a research facility—”

“Yeah. We heard that, but why were you and Lui looking into it? Why did it matter to the both of you to keep this from the rest of us?” Tyler asked, gripping the steering wheel.

Evan nodded. His friends needed to know the truth as much as he needed to keep it a secret. It was bound to come out sooner or later anyway. “Several years ago when we first created the group, asking the rest of you to join with us, Lui was watching TAURUS. They were a research facility, but they hired mercenaries—”

“Why?” Jonathan asked.

Evan narrowed his eyes at him. “I’m getting to that. Anyway, they were killing off people who were getting too close to the facility, and since we were new, Lui wanted to make sure they didn’t intercept us and kill all our new members—”

“Our heros,” Tyler said in a dramatic tone, Evan caught the roll of his eyes.

“He was only making sure they didn’t come after any of us.”

“Sure,” Moo said, looking out the window. “Anything else you’re hiding from us?”

Evan noted the suspicious look on Delirious’s face. “No. There’s nothing else. Lui and I were only making precautions.”

“Does Lui know everything you’re hiding from us?” Delirious asked, rolling down his side of the window.

Alarms went off in Evan’s head and he didn’t understand why. There was something off about Delirious’s reaction. “No. I mean, yes, he knows everything. We trust him, don’t we?”

“I’m having second thoughts,” Wildcat remarked bitterly.

He didn’t want his friends to think he was simply hiding things from them. There was some things they didn’t need to know. If they can simply do the mission without anything getting out, Evan would say it was a perfect mission and move on with his life. He might even need a vacation.

They were in the car for another hour. Wildcat and Moo annoyed each other over who could change the station on the radio. Delirious stayed quiet, sometimes taking out his cellphone and staring at the screen. He rarely stayed this quiet, something was bothering him.

Evan relaxed against the seat. He had to focus on the mission, that is all that matters at this point. Of course he had to think over what they’re going to do if something did happen to Lui and Nogla. He was curious why Lui decided to send over a code instead of phoning them, but he was thinking this was serious enough not to use the phone. He knew some organizations liked to intercept calls from other companies, and Lui was trying his best to keep them off their trail.

The roads were growing dimmer as the light faded from the sky. Stars flickered out in the rural part of the country. And as they drove beneath a bridge and down into a valley where a fishing boathouse sat. They spotted no other vehicles when Wildcat came to a fast stop, and they all got out.

“He’s not here, how fucking surprising,” Wildcat said, slamming the door shut.

“What do we do?” Moo asked, “wait for them to get here?”

“They should’ve been here by now,” Delirious said, looking back at Evan, “unless they’re compromised.”

Evan leaned against the vehicle. Something happened to them, but what? All he can think about was Operation Iron Oak. Their members were decimated, their group silenced. How could they become a threat?

He went to the back of  the vehicle, pulled the door opened and grabbed a box in the back. The others watched him quietly behind him. He ripped the box open, pulled out a sleek black laptop and opened it. He turned it on, and while he was waiting for that, he pulled out several burner phones. He passed them to his friends.

“Are you fucking serious?” Wildcat asked, frowning. “We have to get rid of our own?”

Even Delirious appeared awkward about the dire request. “I don’t want to do that,” he said, with less fervor than Wildcat’s reaction.

Evan shrugged. “If you want to get tracked and killed, be my guest.” Once the laptop was turned on, he opened a secure line and looked for Operation Iron Oak, including trying to track down the code Lui sent to them.

Moo noticed what he was doing. “You’re not going to find it.”

“Everything leaves a trail,” Evan muttered.

“You’d honestly think Lui would leave one?” Moo asked, sitting on the edge of the vehicle, “he’d get rid of it right away.”

Which made the way the code was sent strange and curious. “He might have, but he couldn’t have sent the code that quickly if he was compromised.”

“That’s means we can find them by the trail Lui left,” Delirious said, smashing his phone on the ground.

“Exactly,” Evan said. He looked for the trail, hoping he could find it through the code. Lui was great at hacking, and was actually quite good at a lot of things. Except when he wanted to do something in an obvious way, he’d do it.  

Evan spent the next twenty minutes looking for Lui’s trail. The others were calling the rest of the operatives that had no idea what was happening. They didn’t want to leave their friends in the dark in case Iron Oak decided to appear to any of them. They had to stay aware of their surroundings.

“They want to kill our team because we’re a threat,” Delirious mused, he sat beside Evan, looking down at his phone in his hands.

“That’s the gist of it,” Evan replied, brows crinkling when he hit a dead end.

“What if it’s something else.”

“What else would it be?”

Delirious let out a frustrated noise before saying, “It can’t be that simple. Why not try and kill us before? What hide for so long? And what were they doing at that facility? TAURUS.”

Evan narrowed his eyes at Delirious who was still staring down at his phone. Confliction was plastered across his face, his brows were pushed together, and his mouth was set in a firm line.

“We’ll know more soon enough,” Evan said, looking back at the computer. A small part of him hoped they didn’t know anything else. He had to find Lui, he had to make sure what was happening stayed in the dark, for his friends, and for himself.

Chapter Text

Evan found the coordinates where Lui had sent the code. To their surprise and confusion, it was out in the desert, somewhere remote.

“Why the fuck would he hide there?” Tyler asked, rubbing the back of his neck.

Evan closed the laptop and cleared his throat before saying, “I don’t know. We can ask him when we find him, unless TAURUS found them like we did. This is going to get messy real quick.”

“It’s already messy,” Moo commented, frowning at them.

“Let’s go then,” Delirious said, breaking the tension. They all nodded and got back into the vehicle. He glanced at Evan who kept the laptop on his lap, his gaze was turned to the window, staring at the night sky.

Moo started up the vehicle and drove away from the lone boathouse and up the long dirt road to the freeway.

Evan told him which direction they should take, and they didn’t spend a lot on the road. Instead they drove into the desert until the sun began to set, darkening the expanse, making it look like a scene from a horror or sci fi movie.

When he discarded his normal life, he managed to adapt to the drastic changes. This became his new normal, and he didn’t mind it. He liked spending time with his friends. Fighting alongside them, keeping each other alive, and out of harm's way. Even if their lifestyle was dangerous. He got used to it.

Evan placed the laptop on the seat between them and leaned forward, pointing past Tyler and Moo’s head. “It should be along this road and over the ridge.”

“What the fuck is Lui doing here?” Tyler asked.

"I don't know," Evan said, leaning back against his seat. "He found something that has to do with TAURUS. It must be important."

“It better be,” Tyler said, “fucking making us come out here. I could be home, asleep in my bed without this bullshit interfering with it.”

“You’re always so damn ungrateful,” Moo commented, his tone dry and annoyed. This shut Tyler up, and while Moo drove along the road, a light came from around the ridge. To their dissatisfaction, they came upon a bunch of hippies standing around a bonfire. Several danced in the background, and some weren't clothed beneath the floodlights.

“Oh fuck,” Tyler groaned, looking away. “Of all the places he had to be at.”

Moo slowed the vehicle to a stop near a camper, and they all got out. Some of the hippies watched them, none of them looked threatening, only curious.

“Let’s find Lui,” Evan said, slamming the door shut and walked around the vehicle to stand with Delirious.

He smiled. “Not to your interest?”

Evan rolled his eyes, “Let’s not discuss interests when we need to stay focused."

They followed Moo and Tyler up the side of the hill, and away from the spray paint that covered the canyon. More hippies moved away from them, some looking wary of their presence.

Delirious ignored them and noticed a spray painted word, SAVE US! Green looking aliens were also painted next to the words. “What is this? A cult?”

“For fuck sakes, who cares,” Tyler growled, his voice echoing. He didn’t seem to care that several of the hippies and alien enthusiast glared at him.

They walked around the hill, and along the ridges, but other than that. Nothing. Evan stood on one of the platforms and stared down at the people below. The rest made their way back to him, Tyler grumbling under his breath.

“Well, he’s not here,” Moo said, crossing his arms.

“His last signal was here,” Evan said, sounding almost like he was trying to make himself understand.

“Why the fuck would he want to do it here?” Tyler asked, shaking his head at the people below. “This isn’t exactly the crowd Lui usually hangs around with. Unless he started believing in aliens.”

“I mean, Nogla kept making him watch alien movies that one week,” Delirious said, frowning.

"All I'm saying is that Lui wouldn't hang around here," Tyler clarified, gritting his teeth.

“He did come here,” Evan said, “he made the code here, sent it, and left. Either to hide his trail, but he knew we would come here, or we’re as dumb as he keeps on reminding us.”

Lui only called them stupid once when they couldn’t figure out a simple mission a few weeks ago. He had to assist them, and do most of it for them. Which made everyone annoyed.

“He’s not fucking here,” Tyler said, taking out his burner phone. “You know what, if these assholes took Lui and Nogla, that means they’ll come for the rest of us. Lui has a lot of information inside his head, and he might squeal.”

“Lui wouldn’t,” Moo said, defensive.

“Who knows,” Tyler placed the phone to his ear after dialing, “even the strongest man can die.”

Delirious watched the thoughtful expression on Evan’s face. He stared at the hippies and alien enthusiasts around the fire. He disregarded the naked ones in the back.

“This isn’t right,” he murmured, quiet enough for Moo and Tyler not to hear him.

“Marcel,” Tyler said into the phone, grabbing his and Evan’s attention, “is Scotty with you? Okay. Did you go back to the bunker? Well don’t. We’re compromised. Not us. Lui and Nogla. They sent a false signal and we fell for it, but an old group from the fifties resurfaced and might’ve kidnapped them. They actually might be dead already.”

“Don’t tell them shit we don’t know yet,” Delirious said.

Tyler’s brows pinched together, and his lips parted. “Wait. What? He called Terroriser? When?...Hold on, I’ll put you on speaker.” He pressed a button on the phone, and Marcel’s voice came through loud and in a rush.

“He phoned fifteen minutes ago. He told us to tell you guys that that he stole information from whatever TAURUS is, they made sure not to get captured. He said that TAURUS are using the remaining Subjects. I’m not sure what that means exactly.”

Evan went rigid beside him, his eyes widened, and his head moved back and forth with disbelief. He was speaking, but Delirious couldn’t hear him.

“Great.” Tyler slumped his shoulders, “Information that makes no sense. Did Lui say where he was going?”

“Yeah. He only mentioned he and Nogla were heading to the Old Facility.

Chapter Text

Why would he go there? They made sure that the facility was empty and it’d stay abandoned. He wanted it to stay abandoned. Never explored by its former inhabitants again. The confining walls and smell of antiseptic was strong in the air. Something was always clean in that facility. The floors washed and the counters cleaned off at the end of the day. The chemicals stored away. He wasn’t able to smell burning plastic without remembering that place.

He wanted to make sense of Lui’s rash decisions. It was bad enough that he didn’t get a hold of them, and he had to learn about it from the others. Words that weren’t known to any of them, the meaning of it lost on their lips. While he knew the truth. It was undeniable. Crawling beneath his skin and trying to break through. He wanted to forget, to never think about it again.

Evan looked down at his hands, he squeezed them into fists, and felt its dormant presence inside of him. The mess he cleaned up was rising to the surface, coming to light that he was wrong. All these years, he thought everything would be okay, that it would stay in its darkness. That he wouldn’t have to confront it anymore. Except, now he’s forced to do that, and to make it worse. His friends were here with him, trying to figure out what Lui is doing.

They will find out eventually.

“Evan,” Delirious said, standing beside him, his hand on his shoulder. He looked at up, and Delirious arched a brow. “I’ve been saying your name several times. Are you okay?”

Evan shook his head and smiled. “Sorry. I was thinking.”

“Great.” Tyler had his arms crossed and didn’t look in the least interested in what Evan had on his mind. He had hung up the phone after Marcel told them about Lui’s message. He made sure that they left the building they were, and head for one of their safe houses. If this gets any worse, Tyler will call back and update them on their situation.

Currently, they could deal with it until they find out the extent of this mess.

“You’re the one that knows about this Old Facility . You know its location?” Tyler asked.

Evan nodded, breaking eye contact. He didn’t want to lead them back there, to a place he tried to forget all these years. It was like leading them into the remnant of a burned house. All the old memories were still etched in the scorched walls, the hidden places revealed for all to see. He did not want them to see his lies, he had dealt with this issue for years. If only he could hide it a bit longer.

“I know where it is,” he spoke, looking at each of them, “it’s in the mountains, hidden beyond a group of trees. We’ll have to go by foot.”

They all nodded, understanding the implication. They all get back into the vehicle. Evan stared out the window at the hippies and alien enthusiasts watching them leave.

He tried to forget that place. Sometimes closing his eyes reminded him how much he wanted to pretend that it never existed. Certain smells, like cleaning products or soap reminded him of it. Needles, scalpels, leather harnesses, and holsters. The feeling of a railing, and the smell of something stagnant. As if there was a puddle of forgotten water in the corner of a white wall. Never looked at again.

His own bed was uncomfortable, because all he could feel was the beds that were there. The ones that were light, yet felt fake. A sort of cushion that he had to grow into. His blankets were always thin, cold when he crawled beneath them. His pillow soft, and never replaced over the years, even when he asked.

They never listened to their pleas. Not when they were in pain, or when they screamed for too long. They never listened. It wasn't their priority, but what they could do. And that was all that mattered to them. Not their physical or mental well being.

In the glow of the fire that brought chaos to the air around them. He had escaped through the walls, into the outside world where his feet met the dirt and cold grass. The smell of pine and cold water was close, and the night itself covered him in something he never thought he’d touch.

A freedom that sent a shiver along his skin, making his hair stand on end. A happiness he never thought he’d feel had overwhelmed him. Until he felt the odd pressure around him fading and he slowed his steps. Looking over his shoulder. None of them were following him, and he didn’t understand why that was.

He wanted to go back, to see if they were okay. Except he knew the truth before he could even make a move. He accepted it when the answer came seconds later as he stood alone. He was the only one that wanted to stay in the darkness.

Except he wasn’t the only one out there.

Not alone, but the figure was not a part of it. He did not run when they held the weapon in their hands, and their aim wasn’t at his chest like all the others usually were. He was calm in the darkness, a whisper on the wind that touched his face. A comfort that realized what he was, and did not see him as a threat.

He could feel there was a tremor in his heart, inside his mind, trying to find the truth to what he was looking at. He didn’t feel as if he was in danger. There was no mistake. Evan smiled at that confidence he found in the darkness.

He had introduced himself as chaos, and the man smiled.

Evan watched the sun rise in the horizon. The darkness receding, including the memory he had dredged up. Memories he’d rather not think of, the tell tale pain was still there upon his skin, alive and pulsing. Terrible reminders of a past he’d rather bury.

The first thing that made his eyes widen was his mind telling him to duck. Something he had done when he was younger, when he knew pain was finding its way onto his path. He had done it many times when he knew he needed to escape it. It helped after he had left that place in the mountains. With the people he had made friends with, it helped save his life, and theirs.

He moved on reflex, grabbing Delirious’s arm, tugging him closer. The bullets skimmed the sides of the vehicle and Tyler cursed. He swerved. Bullets shot through the window, cutting into the leather seat Delirious was sitting against seconds before.

Evan let go of his arm, ignoring the pointed look he was giving him. He reached for Moo’s back seat, pulling himself forward. There was a truck behind them, it was pretty large, and from the looks of it. It was military. They weren’t fucking around. They knew where he was, and they didn’t care how they were going to retrieve him.

A sharp pain made him dig his fingers into the leather upholstery, and then they shot the wheels out. Tyler was cursing, gripping the steering wheel, and when he came to a fast stop on the side of the road.

Evan undid his seat belt, opened the door and slid out, Delirious came up beside him as they took out their guns. Moo and Tyler were knelt beside them.

“Who the fuck are these fuckers?” Tyler asked, glaring.

Evan’s mouth went dry. All he knew is that they weren’t leaving until they were all dead.

Chapter Text

“Come on, you little rats!” One of the men say through the barrage of bullets hitting the side of the vehicle.

Delirious blinked a few times, staying behind the wheel with Evan beside him. He shoots blindly, hoping not to get his arm caught by one of the bullets spitting from their automatic guns.

“I can’t believe it,” Wildcat says, shaking his head, fitting another mag into his assault rifle. “Fucker called us rats!” He starts spraying bullets, and he successfully heard a yelp from one of the men, another shouting a curse. “Yeah, fuck you, assholes!”

Delirious licked his dry lips, and checking the gun. He glanced at Evan who was standing, pointing his gun over the hood of the vehicle and firing. The sun was rising, and he could see Evan's bright eyes alight with hunger.

Delirious grinned, he fired his fun again. Shooting two more, while the others hid behind the vehicle like they did. And like they’re own vehicle, their windshields and wheels were quite durable.

“What the fuck do you want?” Wildcat asked.

“Property,” one of them asked. Delirious noticed Evan go still beside him while holding his mag and tossing it a second after.

“Find a plot of land that isn't sold off and shoot at that, not us!” Wildcat called back.

“Ain’t talking about a house, dumb ass!”

Wildcat shook his head, whispering curses. Moo was behind him, quirking a smile at him, he held his own gun, but it wasn’t an assault rifle, more like a shotgun. He put it two shells, and fired at the men who tried to get close. It sprayed and hit the vehicle, once the pings ceased, the shooting continued.

“This vehicle isn’t going to last,” Evan commented.

“No shit,” Wildcat said, “what the hell do we do?”

“Kill them,” Delirious suggested, frowning at Evan and Wildcat’s glares. “What? Run? They have a vehicle, and a bunch of fucking guns. We ain’t getting out of here unscathed.”

“We need a wildcard,” Moo said.

Evan nodded, brows pinched. “We do.”

Delirious didn’t know how they were going to get a wildcard. They were between two impossible situations. All he can see in their future was their untimely death. He can see Lui shaking his head, muttering how dumb they are for getting themselves killed. They'd probably survive if he was here. Somehow Lui can get out of any situation, unfortunately, except the one he's currently in.

“No ideas how we’re getting out of here?” Delirious asked, arching a brow. He was hoping one of them at least had one, but their faces were expressionless. They had nothing, and their dire situation was coming to a quick end. Might as well get it over with. Delirious checked his gun, let out a sigh, and started firing. He screamed into the open morning air. Its cold wind brushed against his face, and the sun inside his eyes, with his friends beside him.

He was ready to die, and maybe this was the way he wanted to go out. Like this. Fighting on his feet with a gun in his hand.

It was perfect.

And he felt the pain explode in his shoulder. Another bullet flew past him when he stumbled backwards. The whistle and screams came to a blinding stop when he fell back onto the ground. He tensed, letting out a low groan. Hands gripped his sides, and he opened his eyes. Panic covered Evan's face when he fell to his knees, abandoning his gun to the side. Wildcat and Moo shot back at the mercenaries.

“Don’t die, don’t die,” Evan yelled.

“Superficial,” Delirious replied.

“You’re shot in the side, you fucker!”

He didn’t feel that one and figured they got him when he stepped from behind the truck. The pain was cold, washing over his entire body before the heat overwhelmed him. Blood soaked his clothes. His side ached. All he could do was clench his teeth to stop crying out in pain.

What a bunch of idiots they were. Trying to fight an army with no back up. He almost laughed, and then it came to a stop when the pain began to fade away. Like a video itself was rewinding. The blood was sticky against his skin, but the pain, his dizziness, the exhaustion was fading away. He blinked, looking up at Evan who had his hand bloody and covering the wound in his side.

“It’s okay,” Evan whispered to him beyond the clash of bullets against metal. “I won’t let you die, not this time, not ever.”

“What’s going on?” Delirious found himself asking, unsure if this was a dream.

Evan almost laughed. He brought his hand to Delirious’s wound in his shoulder, and the slight touch made him wince, but the pain began to fade. There was no bright light, no indication of what he was doing. It was simply his hand, and all of the pain was fading away like it was never there in the first place.

“What did you do?” Delirious asked, moving his shoulder and touching the wound in his side. There was no scar, no sign of a bullet inside of him, but he could see them sitting beside him. Two metal bullets with remnants of blood on them. He looked at them, his wound, and at Evan who settled on his knees, blinking and slumping his shoulders.

He had no idea what he wanted to say, all his words emptied out of his head. All he can think about was the dream he had before this all began. And the suspicion he was feeling since Lui brought up TAURUS. He had questions, and he knew that instead of Lui, Evan was going to answer them.

Evan chuckled, an easy smile came onto his face. “I’m tired.”

Chapter Text

It took him weeks to not feel as tired when he placed his hands against one of his injured friends. Easing their pain from their bodies and their minds. He wanted them safe. He couldn’t imagine them taken from him so early. He knew he needed to do something. And in those moments, he made his decision. He never told anyone about it, he couldn’t admit it, even when he wanted too. Maybe they could understand one day, but even he couldn’t imagine watching one of his best friends with bullets digging deep into his skin, blood soaking his blue sweater.

He looked pale, even when he wore a weak smile.

Evan couldn’t do it. He couldn’t watch him die. He made his choice. He placed his hand on Delirious and took away his pain and examined the confusion twisting upon his face. Awe and fear that Evan expected, but also curiosity.

“What did you do?” he asked, but Evan could barely hear what he said. The bullets cutting into the air and Wildcat’s curses leaving his lips had drowned out Evan’s focus. Exhaustion fell hard against his shoulders, but he wasn’t finished. He wouldn’t be until his friends were safe. All of them.

Evan slowly rose with some trouble. He was really tired. He expected it, but at the same time, he didn’t expect it. His legs and arms were noodles, or that his bones weren’t fortified enough to hold himself up. He stood anyway, even with all that pain, the breath leaving his chest and escaping from his mouth. Over and over, the world tilted back and forth.

He used too much.

Maybe because he held onto someone who was about to tip over the edge and into the endless depths of death. He wouldn’t let Delirious die. Not like that. Even how natural, or unfair it was. He wouldn’t.

Delirious watched him, his eyes wide and unsure. “What are you doing?” he asked, again.

Evan smiled, weak and tired. “Saving you.” And then he stepped past Wildcat and Moo who were too busy reloading their guns to notice him, their bodies were tense, hands shaky from exertion and adrenaline.

Delirious was yelling something, and it seemed to have caught their attention. They looked, and Wildcat’s voice reached Evan’s, but he was already stepping past the car and into the line of fire.

He hadn’t used it in a long time. Always letting it sleep inside of him and waking it when he needed its help. A tool that was his own, a power that he shoved away. Mostly in shame and despair because when he was set free, or when he freed himself in those long nights of hating the kids that were like him, and the doctors who spoke in monotonous ramblings. He couldn’t bare standing in a world that was unlike him, and learning he was more of an anomaly than the people who lived without knowing the pain he went through.

He became less than what he was, and more like them. He added a gun to his set of skills, and pretended everyday to be someone he wasn’t. The only shield he could harness in those days. Until he made friends that helped him forget, and when those friends were in pain, he remembered that what he could give would always be with him, and him alone.

No longer could he make those decisions.

No longer could he hide from them.

And no longer could he lie when the truth would always be inside of him.

The bullets slammed into the air before him. A soft light expelled when the bullets hit the barrier. Over and over until he stood in the middle between them. The soldiers stared, their eyes widening, and realization was coming to the forefront of their minds.

He was chaos.

An endless pure energy of it inside of him. Swirling like vortex that he had sheltered and ignored.

Evan took a hold of that energy, of his chaos, and used it against them. He raised his hands, and a bright light lit up around him. The wind picked up and slammed toward the soldiers before dragging them forward. He didn’t want them to experience a warning shot. No. He wanted them to die for attacking him, for attacking his friends, and attempting to kill them.

Evan felt it in his bones, it was enough to open the entirely to his energy. Filling him up inside, a warmth that touched his heart and soul. His breath contained the energy, and with it, he was complete.

He slowly curled his fingers on his right hand, and the earth around them began to pull inward. The screaming was deafening before Evan squeezed his hand. He clenched his teeth. Energy leaving his body, spilling out, and it was done. An entire chunk of earth was gone before him in a second, several feet from where he stood, and fifteen feet wide. Taking all the soldiers in, excluding the truck that sat untouched across from him.

The wind died down, and with the energy gone from his body. His breath was ragged. He looked to the sun that was rising over the trees, the rays warmed his cool skin that shook. He turned, listening to the rustling of his friends behind him. Wildcat, Moo, and Delirious stared at him, unsure of what to say. Their gazes passed over him to the large hole in the road, and back at him.

He had the urge to laugh, but all he did was give them a smile.

And then he fell forward, he didn’t feel the pain of hitting the asphalt when he blacked out.