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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 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?”


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 a vortex that he 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.

Chapter Text

Evan had sucked the air out for only a second. Time had moved slowly in his presence, and whatever pressure he was dragging from the universe itself, it had taken a lot out of him. When he fell onto the ground, it was like his breath was finally released.

Delirious couldn’t move, or even speak, his mind was a blank space besides his own emotions swirling inside of him. Questions piled up, but he couldn’t sift through a single one without confusing himself with more.

Wildcat moved first from behind the vehicle. He sprinted past Evan’s body, not glancing at him, but at the truck. The bodies of the soldiers were gone, alongside the large hole Evan created between them.

Moo’s hand jolted Delirious out of his shock, and sound returned to his ears. He sucked in a breath and scrambled to his feet, running towards Evan, and skidded on the ground beside him. He turned him over, pressed a shaky hand against his neck where his pulse was and felt it.

“Evan?” Delirious said, breathing hard, his hand touching Evan’s cheek, but he didn’t budge.

“Is he…okay?” Moo asked, hesitant.

“I think so,” Delirious answered. He glanced at Wildcat wrenching the door open and pulling himself up into the driver’s seat where he looked for the keys. He found them on the floor when he ducked for a second, and brought the vehicle to life. He rolled down the window and practically stuck his head out, and his brows were furrowed at Delirious and Moo.

“Hurry the fuck up before more get here!”

Delirious gritted his teeth, he held Evan, a shaky nervous feeling overwhelmed him, but he couldn’t leave him. Even if there was a sense of fear that pulled him under. Instead he turned to Moo and said, “Can you help me?”

Moo nodded, kneeling down and grabbing Evan's arm, and wrapped it around his shoulder, as did Delirious, and they both lifted Evan to his feet. They made their way to the back of the vehicle and pulled him inside, and Wildcat drove from the large hole in the road that whatever Evan had done, ate it away from existence. Including the men.

Delirious and Moo stared at Evan’s unconscious form that laid on the floor of the vehicle while they sat on the benches. The ride was quiet, and ominous, filled with unanswered questions. Delirious pulled his gaze away and at Wildcat who was staring at the road ahead, a stern gaze in the rear view mirror, exhaustion upon his brow, but a rising heat in his eyes.

“Why didn’t he tell us?” Moo asked, and it broke whatever thin thread that was between them.

“Who cares,” Wildcat said, resentment sliding between his teeth, and his brows deepened into a glare, “he didn’t tell us anything...he lied.”

Delirious slowly nodded, his mind empty besides what he witnessed at the hand of his best friend. “He lied to us.”

“If he lied,” Moo said, his gaze fixated on Evan, “then so did Lui.”

“Yeah,” Wildcat scoffed, “what a bunch they are, aren’t they? Always the most fucking sensible ones who are liars. The ones we fight beside and die…” He shook his head as the words fell from his lips before closing into a firm line.

Delirious wasn’t angry with Evan for what he did. He was shocked. It was hard to think that something like that could happen right before his eyes. And coming from his best friend of all people. There was fear of rejection lingering on his tired face, but also acceptance when he rose from the ground after healing Delirious’s arm.

Which reminded him, he touched the wounds where he was shot and recalled the heat and skin ripping, and the harsh pressure of when the bullet gone through his bone. The blinding light before his eyes when he stumbled back, trying to hold his ground, but falling anyway. Disbelief clouded his mind until Evan was close to him, his shaky hand, words wobbling from his dry lips, and a slight panic was obvious on his face when he told Delirious he was shot, not just once, but twice.

There was no sign of a wound anywhere, no sign of a single scar when the skin pulled itself together, along the bone inside of him. All the pieces taken away from him in under a second was given back to him in under the same amount of time. And all he can do was ask a stupid question and stay rooted to the dirt while his best friends steps into an array of bullets.


And now he lay on the ground of a vehicle they stolen from men that no longer existed in this plane of reality.

Staring at Evan, and wondering what was inside of him, what did he hold that made him what he is, and why didn’t he say anything? How long was he hiding this from them? Was all this a chaotic lie that was stapled shut. Now that he ripped it clean open, how are they supposed to make sure that Evan was okay?

“My dream…”

Moo hummed. “What?”

Delirious raised his eyes at Moo, and he felt his heart racing inside his chest as he remembered what happened before he woke up. “My dream...was of Evan. He was surrounded by a debris, dust, smoke, and dead bodies. He was looking for us...and he could use this power inside the dream, but that’s all I thought it was. And then he was...taken. He thought it was…” Me. He thought it was me in the smoke and dust, but he only realized it wasn’t. “He was attacked. Someone tranquilized him, they knew what he was, and they took him.”

“Coincidence,” Wildcat said.

Delirious shook his head, he breathed heavily, remembering every second of the dream as it played inside his head. “No. I don’t think it was. Before he passed out inside my dream, he sent out a signal…” Looking down at Evan, and a smile appeared on Delirious’s face, “and I don’t think Evan knew he was sending it into the past. We were there...somewhere on the street, surrounded by a torn down building, he was looking for us, making sure we weren’t dead. And he sent out a fucking signal!” He rose, and almost stumbled when Wildcat made a turn.

“Sit the fuck down,” Wildcat yelled, glaring at him in the rearview mirror. “It was a dream, Delirious, you have to chill out.”

Delirious frowned. “No. I think it was Evan’s signal. He sent one in the past. To me. Because he knew we would find him if he was taken.”

“If he sent it into the past,” Moo said, looking peculiarly at Delirious, “wouldn’t that mean, Evan is going to be the future?”

“Don’t tell me you’re believing this bullshit as well?” Tyler asked.

Moo shook his head, “I’m just asking, if Evan has these...powers...then it could be plausible that he’s extremely powerful enough to send a signal, and not just a signal, but an entire event into Delirious’s mind.”

Delirious nodded.

“And that means,” Moo continued, “that the only thing that was a coincidence about this is that you were sleeping which allowed his signal to go into your dream when he sent it.”

“Okay, fuck sakes, I’ll bite,” Wildcat said, coming onto an interstate, “if Evan is this damn powerful being of unknown origin. Where the fuck did he get his powers? Why didn’t he tell us? And why does Lui of all people know about it?”

Delirious’s brows pushed together. “Lui knew him before he recruited the rest of us.”

Moo nodded. “That means, Lui...either stumbled upon him using his abilities, or he also recruited him, got Evan to trust him enough for Evan to tell him.”

“Which in turn, they might have struck a deal not to say anything about it.”

“Now you guys act smart?” Wildcat asked, annoyed.

It was a lot to take in. The dream was real. He felt it was real, he was inside Evan’s mind, the panic, and fear in his body when he couldn’t find him and the rest of their friends, and then he was taken away. The only thing he could do to save himself was send out a signal. And here they were, what bothered Delirious is what Moo had said. Evan sent it from the future, meaning what happened to him is going to happen one way or another. And they still were unsure of who they were up against.

Evan groaned, turning slightly on his side. His body was stiff, and when he stopped moving, words murmured from his lips but never touching their ears. Only an agonized sound before his entire body sighed.

“Hey,” Delirious slid down onto his knees beside Evan, his hand less shaky from the first time he turned him over, and said with enough assurance, “you’re okay.”

Evan nodded slowly, his eyes closed, and his face relaxed. “Where...are we?”

“In the truck those soldiers had,” Moo said, frowning, “we stole it after you...made them go into a...what was it? A black hole?”

“A warp hole?” Wildcat asked, sounding sarcastic.

“Where did you take them?” Delirious asked, helping Evan into a sitting position.

Evan leaned against him, murmuring under his breath. “I’m not sure.”

Delirious felt his skin and it was ice cold, strange for the summer air, even if the night had descended under the horizon an hour ago. He rubbed his skin, covering his hand with his own, but Evan was limp and Delirious pressed his face against Evan’s dark hair, wrapping his arms around him, and bringing him close to his chest.

“Are you tired?” he asked.

Evan whispered. “No shit.”

They stayed seated on the floor of the vehicle for ten minutes, and Delirious was unsure of asking him any of the questions he wanted to ask. Evan tried to speak, but they were broken  up, and after five minutes, he had fallen asleep.

“Do you think he’s hungry?” Moo asked, staring at Evan’s face.

“Probably after what he went through.”

“Good,” Wildcat called, coming to swift stop in the middle of nowhere, they were surrounded by tall trees and bushes. He slid from the vehicle, tossed the keys and crawled into the back, arching a brow at Delirious and Evan. “We’re close to a diner. We can get him something to eat, and walk the rest of the way to whatever this facility is. And now that we know what the fuck Evan is—”

“We don’t actually know,” Moo corrected, giving him a half smile when Wildcat sneered in response.

“I’m only saying,” Wildcat grabbed Evan’s arm and yanked him up, Delirious helping as they dragged Evan out of the vehicle and onto the grass, “we know why Lui and Nogla are going there, and we know why Evan knows where it is.”

Delirious patted Evan’s face. “Wake up.”

Evan groaned, his head lolling backwards.

“For fuck sakes,” Wildcat muttered, shaking his head. “Wake up, Evan. We can’t carry you into town looking like a fucking light weight of a drunk.”

“He’s not drunk,” Moo said, sitting on the edge of the vehicle and swinging his legs.

“Moo, if you correct me one more time,” Wildcat warned, teeth clenched.

Evan nodded. “I can’t…”

Delirious sighed, frowning at Wildcat who rolled his eyes, he wrapped Evan’s arm over his shoulder, while Delirious did the same. And Wildcat said as they headed along the pathway to the road, “You owe us one.”

Chapter Text

Evan chewed the warm fries Tyler ordered for him when they arrived at the diner. His hands shook, and it was hard to chew, but he ate at their request. Listening to their voices, even if they sounded far away. Delirious sat beside him, his arms on the table. Moo was across from him, his gaze strayed out the window where he watched the light rain hit the window. And Tyler was beside him, a perplexed and yet troubled expression plastered on his face.

They all had questions that he knew he’d have to give. He owed them that much for witnessing what he could do. And for keeping it a secret all these years. Except his energy was gone, and it was difficult to even sit up without falling against the table and passing out into the his fries.

Delirious opened a small ketchup packet and squeezed the contents out onto a brown napkin. He reached for a fry and dipped it into the ketchup.

Evan gritted his teeth. Since he woke up and they dragged him down the highway, he had a hard time staying calm. Words wouldn’t escape his lips when all he could do was clench his jaw.

Blinking a few times, he leaned to the side, his fry falling from his fingers and he settled against Delirious for maybe the third time since they arrived. Tyler narrowed his eyes, while Moo turned his head, brows arched curiously.

Delirious nudged him, and Evan moved away, closing his eyes.

“I get that you’re tired,” Tyler spoke, calmer than usual, “but you’re going to have to tell us something.”

Evan nodded, he swallowed the lump in his throat. Where was he going to start? The story itself was mixed with negativity. He tried his hardest not to remember what he had gone through, what it felt like, and how much it had suffocated him. And now, here he was, about to reveal everything while he was drained of energy. Literally.

Moo slid the cup of orange juice toward him, and he reached for it. Clenching his teeth as he wrapped his hands around the cup and lifted it to his lips. Time was slow as he gulped down each drop, and he didn’t taste anything.

“What do you want to know?” Evan muttered, placing the cup down and Moo caught it when it was about to topple over.

“What the fuck did you do to those soldiers?” Tyler asked. He was still calm, his eyes, however, held a bit more rage inside of them than the tone of his voice.

Moo and Delirious waited for him to speak, but it was difficult for Evan to remember what he had done. He recalled the feeling that he had no choice. It strangled him, the pressure forcing him to comply. He hated that feeling, but this time it was right. He wanted to save his friends. And because of that, all his lies came to the forefront.

Evan clutched the end of the table and stared down at the fries clustered together on the white plate. And he waited, letting the remaining power warm his insides, and one by one he lifted the fries in front of him. He kept them leveled, and as his energy waned, and he jolted, hand gripping the edge. Three individual fries fell in front of his friends. One fell into the pile of ketchup in front of Delirious.

Evan shuddered, tensing up, he leaned against the wall as he wrapped his arms around himself. Shaking uncontrollably, he let out a small whimper when the room began to tilt.

Moo frowned, lifting the fry between his fingers. “That isn’t an explanation, Evan.”

“Guess,” Evan muttered, sucking in a breath. It was too much. He used too much energy protecting them from the soldiers. Wherever he sent them, he strained his body and mind. All he wanted to do now was to fall asleep.

“You have mind powers?” Delirious asked, eating the ketchup dipped fry.

“You’re so smart,” Evan murmured, closing his eyes.

“I think he’s being sarcastic,” Moo said, a laugh in his voice.

Delirious frowned and said, “Okay. So, what you did to the soldiers? I’m guessing you can teleport.”

Evan shook his head.

“Then what the fuck was that? Where did you send them?” Tyler asked.

Evan imagined a dark place when he used his power on the soldiers. A closed place where these people threatening their lives wouldn’t reappear. It was a thought, an image that strengthened his resolve. His anger rose with each pulse that left his body, draining him.

They shot at them. They shot Delirious. He couldn’t let his friends die. He wouldn’t let them die. Even how much it hurt him.

“Space,” Evan answered, opening his eyes and looking at Tyler and watched the shock flicker across his face. He didn’t have enough strength to look at what was upon Moo and Delirious’s faces, but he figured they wore the same as Tyler’s.

“You sent them to space?” Delirious asked, raising his voice, which earned him a sharp glare from Tyler.

“For fuck sakes, keep your voice down.”

“Yeah, sorry.”

“I don’t know,” Evan said, closing his eyes again.

“Okay,” Tyler said, “we’ll speak about this some other time. How about you tell us about TAURUS. I’m pretty sure you know who they are. Now that I think about it, you’ve been acting strange since they were brought up.”

It was going to happen. They were going to know, and maybe that was okay.

“The Twenty Project,” he told them, furrowing his brows and trying to push himself up. He felt a pair of hands reach for his wrists, and when he opened his eyes, he met Delirious’s who wore a concerned expression. Pulling Evan into a sitting position, he kept his hand on his wrist in case Evan lost his balance, and it was the kind of support that Evan needed.

“What is that?” Moo asked.

“Me,” Evan said, taking deep breaths to try to find the strength to speak, “I’m part of The Twenty Project.” He learned about it when he was fourteen years old when he was taken from his room and brought into a large white room filled with kids his age. They were all different from him, and he could feel it. Their strengths and energy were massive, and he was afraid of their capabilities. But he didn’t know while he stood apart from them, separated, that he was similar to them. It came in brutality. Pain draining from their thin bodies, screaming as they’re forced to their feet. Tears and vomit mixing together as a sharp needle is set into their arms. Some lay in their beds for days, not speaking until they’re once more thrust into that room where they have to strain themselves again and again.

The numbers dwindled until he was the last in the room. His thin white clothes weren’t immaculate anymore. He wore no socks, and the floor was always cold. Except what made that room pristine, he could hear the echoes of their screams all around him. His shock had forced him to listen to the men and women behind the glass. He was not allowed to touch it, but when he looked up at all of them, he spotted one in the room that always seemed to resonate with him the most.

A girl.

Shoulder length brown hair and brown eyes, she was pale with freckles adorning her face. She wore no emotion that could tell him what she felt about what was happening before her. She had witnessed everything. He always knew she was there, and the kids that were dragged from the room also knew. A constant reminder that there was someone a lot more stronger than they were close by.

She was the reason why none of them destroyed the glass and slaughtered the men and women. Her influence was incredibly powerful that she soothed their emotions, pushed them toward each other, and away from the ones behind the glass. She made sure that they stayed focused in what they were doing, and what they were meant to accomplish.

That day was different.

He was the twentieth candidate, the only one left standing. Behind him lay many of the other subjects. Choking on their tears and exhaustion. He wanted to help them, but his mind and body wouldn’t move to that particular action. He fought the girl inside his head, and stared at her, telling her that he knew what she was doing.

“TAURUS was experimenting on kids. Many before me, and possibly many after,” Evan said, his breath shaky. “I was the last candidate in that project. Accepted in other words.”

“What do you mean accepted ?” Tyler asked.

Evan gave him a weary smile. “It means I’m a lot stronger than the ones before me.”

“Why are you weak?” Moo asked, surprised by his own words, “I’m sorry. I mean, why are this? Tired. Exhausted.”

He understood what Moo was trying to say, feeling no offence by it. “I haven’t used my powers in a long time. I tried my best to repress it. I didn’t want it.”

“Why?” Delirious asked, “you have super powers.” He chuckled, finding the entire situation more amusing than they did, which didn’t bother Evan that much. “You’re practically a superhero.”

“This isn’t a fucking joke, Delirious,” Tyler told him, narrowing his eyes at him as Delirious plucked a fry from Evan’s plate and chewed on it.

“You’ve been apart from TAURUS this entire time,” Moo said, ignoring Tyler and Delirious, he leaned against the table, regarding Evan with interest, “why do they want you back? Why is Iron Oak hunting you?”

That was a good question, one that was haunting Evan since Lui mentioned them. He sat up, gripping the edge of the table to hold himself up.

“I’m not sure why they took their sweet time hunting me, nor why they’re using the other subjects. What we do know is that Lui and Nogla went to the Old Facility. Where I was kept growing up.” He nodded, accepting it fully, even how much he wanted to forget that place, from the way things were coming along. It was inevitable. “That’s where we have to go.”

Chapter Text

How could he keep a secret like that? From him. From all of their friends. He didn’t looked bothered by it, not even an ounce of guilt as he chewed on the fries until he rubbed his hands free of the salt that stuck to his skin.

Delirious stood and told him to follow him. Wildcat and Moo walked out of the diner, but Delirious was more occupied with their clothing choice. He seen it when he entered the diner, and when he checked the bathroom while Evan sat groggy against the seat of the booth.

A room in the back with the smell of flowers and powdery chemicals that he knew was detergent. They walked in the room and he closed the door. He checked the baskets and the dryer where several uniforms were trapped inside with the heat. He pulled a few out. A simple grey shirt that he took for himself, while he passed Evan a white shirt with silver buttons on the front.

“We’re stealing clothes?” he asked, turning around and pulling off his black shirt. And Delirious nodded, opening his mouth to say something, but the words died at what was covering Evan’s back. His muscles were smooth in the low light from the small window in the room, but it wasn’t something he was focused on. No. It was the scars he was gawking at.

Evan glanced over his shoulder, a weary look passed over his face before he pulled the shirt on and turned around. Buttoning it up while saying, “It was their first attempts.”

Delirious shuddered, taking off his own shirt and pulling on the other. He left his old grey shirt and the blue sweater in the garbage inside the room. He was angry when Evan explained what he is and where he came from. It was too much, what he could do, what he could possibly do that could’ve helped them. Except there was pain on his face when he talked about it. The memories too sharp inside his head as he relieved it with whatever energy he had left to keep himself sitting upright.

What’s done is done.

“What do you think we’ll find?” he asked him.

Evan shrugged, rolling his old shirt into a ball and tossing it into the garbage bin. “I don’t know. But if they’re using the other subjects, it only means that they’ve managed to control them.”

“Do you think they want you dead?”

Evan grinned. “We always had the most fun when we have a target on us.”

Delirious grinned back, but it didn’t stay on his lips as he rubbed his forehead. “Oh man.”

“Come on, Delirious,” Evan said, stepping closer.

Delirious shook his head, and when he raised his eyes at Evan. There was a sinking feeling inside his chest that pained him. A desperation that tried reaching out for Evan, but that wanted to shake him, and to hide him. “Stop looking at me like that.”

Evan regarded him with a look of confusion. “What are you talking about? This is serious shit, Delirious.”

“I know,” he said, nodding, but not believing it. There was a lot going on in his head that he could barely understand most of the shit that he wanted to say. All of it cluttered up, but most of it was a sense of yearning that made him reach out without thinking, and pull Evan into an embrace. Evan didn’t expect it, and leaned closer, which made Delirious press against the washing machine behind him.  “I don’t want you to die,” he whispered into his ear.

Evan chuckled, breathless, “I’m not going to die.”

Delirious tightened his hold around Evan, leaning his chin on Evan’s shoulder, “How do I know that you won’t? Do you have foresight?” Evan laughed, and tried moving out of Delirious’s arms. “Or are you essentially immortal. Like a vampire?”

Delirious released Evan who almost stumbled, giving Delirious a narrowed glare. “I’m not a vampire, and I don’t have foresight.”

“Then how are you going to convince me that you’re not going to die?”

Evan glanced at the door. “I can walk out of this room.”

Delirious moved before Evan could reach for the knob. “Answer me.”

Evan shook his head, but he wore a cheeky smile on his lips. “After seeing what I can do, you’re going to stand in my way?”

It seemed more like a risk to Delirious who stepped closer to Evan, and his composure seemed to slip which made him move back. Maybe it was even selfish to corner him and ask him a question that is more like an embedded thorn inside his heart, that marred his body, a reminder of a past he’d rather bury in the depths of the earth. Or sinking in fathoms of a darkening sea where the pressure would forever alter it into nothing before it could reach the floor.

“I’m not stupid,” Delirious said, lowering his voice, “you revealed your weakness. Now answer my question.”

A mass of different emotions flickered in Evan’s eyes. As if he wasn’t sure if he was going to lie, or the truth was too easy to distinguish. Like an open vein when sliced open, the sharpness contrasted against the panic before finally smoothing out whatever chaotic thoughts had clustered along with his answer.

“You seen it already,” Evan said.

“Have I?”

He smiled, less cheeky, more compliant. “I can heal. Quite quickly.”

“It takes a lot out of you.”

He nodded, glancing to the side, a bit of guilt or even shame tilted his lips into a frown. “Like I said, I haven’t used any of my powers in a long time.”

“Why is that?”

Evan met his eyes, his lips parted with all the answers on his tongue. “Because...I wanted to be normal.”

Delirious chuckled, which managed to loosen Evan’s tense disposition he had placed him in. “Why? Don’t you like those Marvel movies? They have a lot of fun not being normal.”

“It’s probably because they can relate to each other,” said Evan, fidgeting. “All the people I knew, or at least thought I could relate too, were locked away and we barely talked. The only time we had contact was when they wanted to test our powers against each other.”

He managed to do it. What he wanted from the moment he escaped whatever place he lived in before. A place he wanted to forget. He met friends, suppressed his powers, and blended in with them without any issue. He became normal with all his secrets hidden inside of him, never to be tampered with until his past came looking for him.

“We should get going,” Evan said, playing with the buttons of his shirt.

Delirious nodded, he turned and reached for the doorknob and they both left the small room. He grinned when an old man with short thin white hair, wearing a plaid coat and brown pants noticed them leaving the back room wearing different shirts from when they entered.

He pushed open the front door and the cool wind brushed against his face as he scanned the parking lot and the sidewalk, including the tall trees on the other side of the street until he spotted Wildcat waving at them from behind several cars at the end of the parking lot.

They walked down the steps and found Wildcat leaned against a blue car with Moo lying on the seat with the wires pulled out. He was attempting to hot wire it.

“Can your powers help us out with this?” Wildcat asked.

“No,” Evan answered dryly.

Wildcat frowned, looking away, and he muttered, “Useless.”

A minute of silence between the four of them, the car came to life and Moo couldn’t stop grinning as he climbed into the passenger seat. Wildcat shoved Evan and Delirious out of the way so he could drive.

Evan shook his head and climbed into the back, with Delirious who watched the diner in case someone noticed they were stealing their car. Once they got far away, he asked Evan where they were going, and Evan told Tyler.

“How does Lui know about this facility?” Moo asked after fifteen minutes on the road.

It was a question he also wanted answered. It seemed to come together when Evan had saved them from the soldiers, and now that Evan was fed, changed into a different shirt, they were ready for more answers.

Evan stared down at his hands as he wrung his fingers. “Because...he’s the one who saved me.”

“He saved you?” Tyler asked, more somber than Delirious thought he’d sound. “Are you telling us that Lui was there?”

Evan slowly nodded his head, not looking at any of them, and was more fixated on his hands. “Yeah. He was assigned to destroy all assets in the facility. It was around the same time that I escaped when he arrived on site. I’m not entirely sure why he kept me alive, but since then, he kept my secret.”

They were right. Lui knew what Evan was this entire time, and like Evan, Lui said nothing.

Chapter Text

Evan stayed in the vehicle for a moment before getting out. Tyler and Moo were ahead of them through the trees and upon a thin trail where the grass almost ate it up if it. Delirious waited for him to get out, and when he did, Evan avoided his gaze, and they walked side by side each other until they met up with Tyler and Moo.

“How far is it?” Tyler asked, pushing a branch out of his way.

“Twenty minute…” Evan trailed off, staring off at the trees that surrounded them, and at the sky above that was clearing of the thick clouds. “I ran through the forest, it might be longer for us, maybe thirty or forty minutes.”

“Great,” Tyler muttered, checking his gun. “Let’s hope we don’t get eaten by anything.”

“Do you think we’ll find anything?” Delirious asked.

Evan shook his head. “I don’t know why Lui decided to go to the Old Facility. They cleared out years out. They wouldn’t have left anything behind.” He glanced up at Delirious with tired eyes, “I hope this isn’t a waste of our time.”

Delirious agreed. He was wishing for coffee, the taste of it on his tongue, either bitterness that made him neglect it, or a sweetness that made him love life. Sometimes a little too much, he didn’t want it. Was that the same for this? Knowing more than he should about his best friend who kept a secret from him for so many years. Did he want to neglect what Evan decided to tell him and the rest of their friends. He didn’t know. Not yet, he was waiting for it too cool down, and maybe he’ll understand when he takes his first sip.

Maybe he already did.

The quietness of the forest was unlike the bustle of the city. Everything was chaotic, yet at the same time, organized. Here between trees and stepping upon tall grass, the strong fragrance of pine needles and soil wafted around him. A calm serenity unlike the taste of thick gasoline in the air, pollution, oil, and cigarette smoke.

He was used to the disgusting nature of life where skyscrapers dominated the shiny lights of cars streaming past. Fights breaking out amongst random residents, and the mold lingering on corner and crevices where only shadows knew them. The reminder of the heat in his hand when he pulled the trigger, and the dry taste of a bullet sinking into flesh normalized his rapid thoughts that something was wrong.

Sun seeped through the trees, beams of light upon the wet grass and dripping branches. A collection of noise made by natural occurrence than the embodiment of empty machinery.

A constant reminder of their silence that sank into his racing heart. He wanted to say something, do something to fill that empty gap. Except his mind drew a blank besides what happened in the last few hours since Evan revealed what he is. He sucked in color until the world was monochromatic. Exploding in an affinity of truths and lies that collided together upon his marred back.

“How long were you there for?” Delirious asked, hoping the question was carefully worded.

“I don’t know,” he answered. “I can’t remember. They must’ve erased parts of our memory of whatever life we had before they decided to experiment on us.”

“You weren’t like this at birth?” Moo asked, looking back over his shoulder.

Evan shook his head. “I don’t think so.”

“What was the last memory you did have?” Wildcat asked.

“I was in a room. Lying on a bed after one of the operations.”

Delirious exchanged a glance at Moo who turned away. “Operations?”

Evan nodded. “You seen my scars. They did something to me while growing up. I don’t know what, but it seemed to work.”

“Do you know what they were going to use a bunch of super powered kids for?” Tyler asked. He narrowed a glance at Evan who wasn’t paying attention.

“I don’t think they were going to do anything with us. They were testing something, and once they perfected it.” Evan tilted his head to the sky. “I think they were going to get rid of us.”

Delirious wondered if Evan felt grief for what and who he left behind. Except he rarely spoke of who the kids were. They never knew each other. Only by whatever they were forced to do to each other. How long did he have to go through with it. The pain, the anguish, and then the anger that drove him to leave.

All of it placed somewhere inside Evan’s mind, and by the placid expression upon his face, he wasn’t about to confront it. He was more concentrated on what they were doing now, not what he did in the past.

Delirious dropped whatever else he was going to ask and continued walking with his friends.

Twenty minutes of silence, Evan slowed his pace and his breath picked up.

“We’re close,” he whispered.

An innate reaction of something he was afraid of.

Tyler and Moo continued onward, and Delirious waited until Evan took a step forward.

“We’re only here for Lui and Nogla,” Delirious said. “Repeat that.”

Evan nodded. “We’re only here for Lui and Nogla.” And he repeated it under his breath as they past several trees and bushes until they finally came upon a white two story building surrounded by a rusted metal fence. Evan told him that most of the facility was underground, and the top floors were for the militia group, Iron Oak.

Evan raised his hand toward the building while Tyler and Moo strolled toward the metal fence. His brows knitted, and he let out a slow breath before shaking his head, and dropping his hand.

“No one’s here.”

Delirious stared at the building. Sharp white edges against a dark mountain in the midst of tall trees and lingering serenity. How did something this sick thrive among life? Now it seemed more like a carcass, bones and dried out blood, all its organs shriveled into nothing. Whatever breath it took was long suffocated from its throat.

He and Evan followed Tyler and Moo. Both of them manuvering around the fences toward the double doors. Glass glinted under a broken a window and bullet holes. He spotted stains on the old faded pavement that told him that something horrific had happened to this place. Not only did the breath leave, but whoever had targeted this place missed its heart.

Tyler and Moo disappeared into the building once they managed to get the door open. And Delirious stayed outside with Evan who had his back to the building and seemed more fixated on the forest around them, including the birds flying overhead.

“I always wished I could fly away,” Evan said, a chuckle leaving his lips. “It seemed all so funny back then. Trapped inside a room, forced to comply under orders I didn’t want to follow. Pain always woke me up. The reminder that every day when I opened my eyes. I would have to go back into that room and fight one of them until we couldn’t stand. Until the exhaustion tore us apart inside. A few begged. Cried. Whimpered on the ground. Took the beatings, the broken bones and ripped skin. Just so they wouldn’t have to fight any longer.”

Delirious watched Evan lift his hand and wipe something from his face. “You’re not there anymore, Evan. You escaped.

“Sometimes I feel like I haven’t,” he said, turning around. “I feel like I’m there all over again. Trapped in my blankets, screaming for them not to take me back into that room. So she wouldn’t get into my head.”

Delirious frowned. “She?”

Before Evan could speak, Tyler and Moo exited from the building and sauntered over to them. By the lack luster expression on Tyler’s face, they didn’t find anything.

“All the equipment is gone, no papers, no data, no computers, nothing. Some of the words have been spray painted or scraped off.” Tyler shook his head. “We did find burn marks on the walls. Shredding the plaster and paint.”

“Fire?” Evan asked, peculiar.

Moo nodded, his hand tucked inside his sweater pockets. “We also found...bodies. Recent ones.”

Tyler ran his fingers through his hair. “I don’t see how that’ll help us.”

“Lui and Nogla were here—” Delirious was cut off when Evan sprinted past him and swung the door open, and the three of them followed after him. “Evan!”

“What the hell is he doing?” Tyler asked, gritting his teeth as he reached for the door.

They walked inside, and Delirious could see no light but white walls and the smell of thick dust and something else that he knew was rot. But he was distracted when he heard a scream, and Delirious followed it with Tyler and Moo right behind him. And they found Evan down on his knees in front of large unusual scorch marks, several bodies were on the side, and he had his hands placed flat on the markings.

Delirious rushed over to him, and dragged Evan away from the burned floor and wall. His screams lessened, but so did his energy, and his body became limp as Tyler and Moo helped him outside.

“What the fuck is wrong with him?” Tyler asked once they laid Evan down on the pavement.

Delirious wasn’t sure. The place was hell for Evan, a dark place he shouldn’t have entered. “I don’t know, but he seen something.”

Chapter Text

Cold rippled through him when it happened for the first time. At least this is how he remembered it when most days were a blur of shaky pained gasps and blackouts.

Wildcat and Moo went back into the abandoned facility in case they missed something, but they were only wasting their time. They had no other leads to finding Lui and Nogla, and a small part ached to find a clue.

Evan tore grass from the ground, making a pile beside him while Delirious sat in front of him, watching him intently and wondering what he should say. Evan felt it since he revealed who he was. He felt it when he was torn from the room as the fire crackled and crawled along his hands and up his arms, splintering his mind. Images of a child being forced to their knees in a room filled with adults.

Their eyes watched him like Delirious was doing. Wondering what he was going to reveal, how he was going to fight, to get back onto his feet. His exertion was pulled from his control when he was yanked from the ground. His gaze settled across from him, at the girl with empty eyes. She was tasked to awaken him and anyone else who had fallen unconscious. Over and over again to the interest of the men and women behind the glass.

The kids who were there sometimes stood by the wall, never moving, never talking. They watched, and Evan knew the girl also kept them complaint until the sessions were over. Evan had his back against the same wall. His gaze on the crying boys or girls, whimpering and fighting the control, but also ending up back on their feet until they passed out.

It was torture.


Sleeping was harsh, a battle to close his eyes, a nightmare to open them.

His hands on the burns revealed all those who came before him. Their pain scalding his skin and tearing himself apart inside. He tried to rip his hands away, but he couldn’t, not until he was yanked away from the building and brought outside.

It was hard stifling the sounds.

“You don’t remember when you were brought here?” Delirious asked.

Evan scoffed. “For all I know, I could’ve been born in this godforsaken place.” His temper wasn’t for Delirious, and he smoothed it out with a shake of his head. “They did enough to make sure we had no past but the facility. They kept us isolated, and the experiments weren’t a fitting thing for relatability amongst our numbers. They made sure none of us would help each other, that we wouldn’t feel sorry for each other.”

“Did you feel sorry for them?”

“I tried,” Evan said, tearing more grass from the ground. “I tried. A lot. To care about them, but my own issue was the pain that I felt, that I dreamed about, and later...I couldn’t even do that. They wanted us at our lowest point, and when we began to grow, so did the experiments. It strengthened to a point that finally after years of being scrawny kids strapped to tables and later brought out to a room to scream under a mental weight. We were strong enough to manifest the abilities.”

“Which were?” he asked.

Evan glanced up and smirked. “Curious?”

Delirious shrugged. “I wouldn’t mind knowing what you’re capable of.”

Evan went back to making a grass pile beside him. “Telekinesis.” The grass lifted and surrounded them in a light flurry before settling back into the pile beside him. “I have a mental shield...I think I created that when she …” he shook his head, “you seen me use my energy based ability on the soldiers.”

“Yeah, that was fucked up.”

Evan chuckled. “I didn’t know the entire force of it would fuck them up like that.”

“You did faint,” Delirious pointed out.

Evan rolled his eyes. “I did, didn’t I. Years of underuse and I can’t even stand on my own two feet when I’m trying to protect my friends.”

“You protected us enough without it.”

He was right. He did protect them without using his abilities. Over the years, he had the urge to tell them, but it never came outright. And he’d change his mind as quickly as the thought surfaced. He wanted to bury his past, not dig it up. Not like this anyway, but now that it was bare for them to see. Why hide anymore from them?

Evan tilted his head and stared at the bright sky where puffy clouds began to form. “I think I can control fire.”

“You think?” Delirious asked, amused. “Are you fire proof?”

He shrugged, tilted his head to the side and smiling back at Delirious. “I haven’t tried it, but when I escaped, I was running through the fire and I didn't feel anything.”

“Right, you escaped on your own.”

Evan nodded. Fire and the alarms rung in his head, the smell of burning plaster wafted into his nose. He didn’t stop moving, he kept running and when his bare feet landed on glass covered grass. He didn’t stop running, and he managed to pick the glass from his skin and watched it heal his flesh wounds.

“I heal,” he tells Delirious.

Delirious nods. “I noticed.”

It’s weird to feel content in a place he escaped from, but sitting in the grass with Delirious was more than simply sharing secrets. It was intimate.

“We didn’t find shit all!” Wildcat said, hands tucked in his pockets. He wore a scowl as he made his way over to them, Moo following behind.

Evan glanced at Delirious before they both rose from the grass.

“You can’t...scan your hands around until you find something?” Wildcat asked, looking at Evan.

He frowned, fingers curling at his sides. “My power doesn’t work like that.” And he wouldn’t do it anyway. He already manifested a harsh image of when they left, and what they did to the Subjects, but reading memories from walls and floors were a lot more difficult than floating fries and pieces of grass in the air.

“We should phone Marcel,” Moo suggested.

The three of them agreed and Wildcat took out his phone and dialed Marcel’s number. While he did that, Evan closed the door to the facility, including the fences besides the one they’d have to walk through to leave the area.

The ringing continues which seems to worry them until someone answers. A soft panting noise is heard, followed by a barrage of gunfire in the background.

“Basically?” Wildcat asked, hesitant.

“Where are you?” Scotty’s voice rang through, “where are you?”

“TAURUS’s old base,” Wildcat replied.

Scotty laughed, dry and empty. “Well, they found us.”

Wildcat glared off at the sky. “Shit.”

“Yeah, and that isn’t the worst of it. They took Ohm and Terroriser.”

Chapter Text

“What the fuck do they need those two for?” Tyler asked, scowling.

Good question. Why take Ohm and Terroriser? What good were they besides being hostages. And why didn’t they take everyone else?

“I don’t know,” Scotty whispers. The noise in the background began to slow down and come to a crawl. They hear Scotty panting, a scraping noise follows after.

“What are you doing?” Brock asked.

“Crawling,” Scotty answers, then the noises stop. “I don’t know where everyone else is.”

“No shit, we don’t know either.” Tyler shook his head, looking disappointed, possibly by their own helpless stance and Scotty’s.

“I don’t...I don’t see any—” A loud sound scared most of them, and Tyler had dropped the phone when Brock moved back and jostled him, they both glanced at each other, Tyler with a more hostile expression as he reached down to grab the phone. Before he did, there was a low chuckle coming from it.

Delirious noted the hollow look on Vanoss’s face as he stared fixated upon the phone in Tyler’s hand.

“Hey, asshole. If you killed Scotty—”

“He’s alive,” the man said, rough sounding, a bit arrogant. “Not for long, though. But I’m sure none of you can do anything about that.” He chuckled. “I could easily put a bullet in your friends. They really fought their hardest, but I can see the disjointment in their movements. Such interesting people with obvious weaknesses. Without the rest of you, you’re all pretty much crippled.”

“Fuck. You.” Tyler gritted his teeth, tightening his fingers around the phone. “You better not have—”

“Is #3 there?” Vanoss stepped back, glaring at the phone. “You’re friends weren’t hard to find. They skitter like rats, noises truly got them running into the traps we set for them. Might want to think about that.”

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

“We want our property back from Lui.”

Vanoss stiffened in his movements, not able to pull his gaze away. Delirious reached for his arm, and he flinched at his touch.

“It’s okay,” he whispered, but he wasn’t entirely sure if it was. He can tell it was taking a lot not to run, but also not to yell.

“You fucking bastard, you better not touch any of th—” the phone dial went off, and Tyler yelled, tossing it across the fence and into the trees. They heard it land, but they were more concentrated on other things.

“We have to go back,” Moo said.

“Obviously,” Tyler said, scowling.

“It’s a trap,” Evan ran his hands through his short hair as he turned away from them. “It’s a trap!”

“No shit,” Tyler said, already walking towards the open fence. “We need to save the others.”

“And then what?” Delirious asked, conflicted. If they go back, they’ll kill them and take Evan, they needed a plan. He couldn’t let them take him, not like the dream, and certainly not to whoever this asshole is.

“We’ll think of our next move on the way there,” Tyler called as he continued walking through the trees, muttering curses under his breath.

Brock sighed. “Come on.”

Delirious told him to make sure Tyler didn’t get too far while he turned around and hesitated to speak to Vanoss.

“Are you okay?” was a stupid question, but it was the only one he could think of and it slipped from his mouth. He scowled, annoyed of his own declining intellect in their dire of time, even more so with Evan.

“No,” Evan said. He was turned away from Delirious, and there was a sort of resign in his voice. “I never wanted this to happen, to bring my past into our lives, or even have it come to the surface after all these years.”

“So what,” Delirious said, tucking his hands into his pockets.

“Now we have no idea if our friends are even alive,” Evan continued as if he hadn’t heard Delirious. “What have I done? I should’ve known, I should’ve done something that made sure none of us became a casualty.”

He didn’t like where Evan’s thoughts were heading. He was worried, which was an alright reaction to what is happening, but there also the guilt, the shame, the unbearable feeling sinking inside him, and it’s eating him while he drowns. Delirious didn’t want Evan thinking too much of their situation, there was always something more positive to consider. At least he dug around for some words and used them.

“Shit happens all the time, we deal with it. That’s how we all work since we came together. You don’t see Tyler or Moo walking away.”

Evan scoffed, he turned and grinned at Delirious. “I’m almost surprised you all did. Finding out I’m an experiment from some underground facility—”

“That has superpowers,” Delirious stepped forward, “you have superpowers.”

Evan shook his head. “Please don’t say it that.”

“And what should I call it? Your extraordinary abilities, or gifts—”

“More like a curse,” Evan looked down at his hands.

“How about you live a little, Evan. Stop thinking of all that negative bullshit, and truly grasp hold that you are human, but can also heal yourself faster than normal, you can send people into space or whatever you did to those soldiers,” Evan rolled his eyes, smiling, “and you can use telepathy.”


“Yeah, the mind thing.” He placed his hands on Evan’s shoulders and grinned, “come on, that is something no one has ever done. You may have suffered, but that’s in the past. We can deal with this. It’s just another job, say it.”

Evan sighed, relaxing his shoulders. “It’s just another job.”

“Good, let’s go.” Delirious turned on his heel and they headed out of the fenced area that encircled the facility, and walked along the same path they used previously and stopped when they spotted Tyler and Moo standing against a tree. Or hiding behind it more likely.

“What are they doing?” Evan whispered, standing beside him. They were slightly covered by a large branch lowered several inches from the ground, and the shadow of the tree made sure they slightly blended in.

“Someone must’ve found the vehicle,” Delirious said, taking Evan’s wrist and leading him to the side, keeping close to the trees to obscure their bodies.

Delirious took out his gun, gritting his teeth at the thought of using it. He had one magazine and he didn’t really want to waste it, not on police officers anyway. They sauntered into the clearing, obviously not yet adept at spotting them, but a few more paces and they’d get a good look at Tyler and Moo huddled behind a tree. Tyler was trigger happy, and Moo sometimes didn’t react well when killing people they weren’t meant to kill, not even police officers that were innocent to their current ordeal.

“Shit, what do we do?” he asked himself, and when he looked to the side, Evan was no longer beside him. “What? Where did you go?” He glanced around, but heard the rustle of leaves and the snap of a twig.

The police officers glanced up like deers, their bodies pulled taut at the sight of Evan walking into the clearing. He was relaxed, simple and insane. If he used his dimensional warping ability—or whatever it was—they’ll be thinking a bit too much about it. Not like Delirious let his guilt sit inside him for too long, at least until he drank a bit of alcohol to rid it from his conscious.

“Do you own the truck by the road?” the police officer asked, scrutinizing Evan’s appearance. The man had short hair and was incredibly lean that Delirious felt weirdly inadequate behind the tree.

“No,” Evan answered. Quite truthfully, they stole it, so none of them actually owned it.

“What are you doing out here?” the second officer asked, a woman with brown hair and was a lot taller than Evan.

“Taking a walk down memory lane,” he said, sounding too calm to be sane than Delirious thought he’d be. Maybe his pep talk was a bit more positive than he intended. Evan tilted his head to the side before righting himself. “What are you doing here?”

“Investigating a stolen truck,” the first said.

“What’s your name?” the second asked.


“Well, Evan, you’re going to have to come with us. There’s a diner who also gave a description of stolen clothes that you’re currently—”

“You might want to leave,” Evan told them, and he was calm, too calm that it worried Delirious. Both officers went quiet, staring at Evan, and they didn’t speak. “You didn’t see the truck, or this path. Go home.”

They turned around and strolled away out of sight, which stunned Delirious while Tyler and Moo came out of their hiding spot.

“Did you just Star Wars them?” Tyler asked.

“What?” Evan asked.

Delirious rolled his eyes and he walked over to them. “You really need to watch some movies once this is all over.”

“If,” Moo said.

“Don’t be negative,” Tyler glared, stuffing his hands into his pant pockets. “What did you do to them?” this time he was looking to Evan who wore a dazed expression.

“I...told them to leave, go home.”

Delirious stood beside him, making sure Evan didn’t fall. “Why are you like this?”

“Used too much again.”

Tyler scoffed. “Too much? You told them to leave.”

“I haven’t used my powers in a long time,” Evan gritted out, glaring at Tyler who wasn’t in the least impressed.

“It’s useful,” Moo commented as they walked away from the clearing.

Chapter Text

Evan groaned, hands pressed to either sides of his head to stop the headache from pounding inside. The support didn’t help, nor his own shaking body. He used too much. Way too much. Convincing them was hard, it meant he also had to convince himself. And that was hard to do in a short amount of time when he barely used his powers.

They were back in the stolen vehicle and driving down the highway. He was trying his hardest to stop his shaking, but his whimpers alerted Delirious who sat beside him.

“Do you need some water?” he asked, shifting to his side to support Evan’s body who was slightly leaning against him.

Evan shook his head, breathing hard. “No.” And yet his mouth was parched and Delirious knew him too well that he reached for the water bottle and took off the cap.

He tilted his head back while Delirious placed the bottle to his lips and the water filled his mouth. It was a relief.

“You should try to sleep,” Delirious advised.

Evan frowned. Why did when someone told him to sleep, it always seemed to bother him? As if he was a child. Not like he was, and the situation was completely different from a scenario of him rebelling against his parents. This was his best friend, and if he was going to protect Delirious, Wildcat, and Moo, he needed to sleep.

“Yeah, okay,” he said.

Maybe if he does, he’ll get his strength back and he won’t feel as much as a burden as he does. Evan got comfortable against the door to the car, crossing his arms, and closing his eyes.

He was exhausted and sleep came quick. His dreams were of the present and morphed into the past. Images of white walls and a voice in a microphone jolted him to his feet after the flashes of pain had brought him to his knees. He was always eager to fight the others who were dressed like him. Who had power like he does. They were training to be stronger. Grew to be something they didn’t know, the truth was always far away from them, never revealed even how much they made progress.

Even then he knew the thoughts he had were not his own. They were too far apart. Callous and destructive. He always found himself glancing around the room before dodging the first waves of attack coming from his opponent. He looked for her, knowing it was her fault for his volatile emotions, including the way the others handled themselves.

They were puppets, the strings always pulling taut, moving their arms and legs, bringing forth that inner power that simmered within. A strength that needed to be honed, coaxed to the surface.

They needed results.

He and everyone else needed a break.

It was a spiral of forced determination pooling in his gut, sparking the first flames of rage digging deep into his core. He needed to win, and that thought was all that was there. It was his and his alone.

A delusion of some kind, created by her.

And even now, without her influence, he still felt it as if it never left. It had soaked into his body, imprinted within his veins. A place only for her power alone, completely from them. She was the anomaly, stronger and more destructive, and yet she worked for them, and did not feel an ounce of regret for what she did.

By the time he woke up from his restless dream, they were far away from the outskirts of the city and were on the highway where a cluster of cars surrounded them. T was familiar, a place he knew well.

“We’re back?” Evan said, sitting upright.

Delirious nodded, turning his window down. “Yeah. Finally. Sitting in this car is boring.”

“No shit,” Wildcat said, shaking his head, “how about next time, you drive, Delirious.”

“Hey, I’d take that proposition if we’re run out of the city again,” he said.

Evan barely focused on their conversation to stare at the passing cars with glinting sunlight coming off their smooth exteriors. The tall buildings were a familiar sight, and it felt more like they were out of the city for days when it’s only been hours.

It was strange, they were forced to look for Lui and Nogla, but now their friends were in danger. Because of him, all of it had stemmed from a place that Evan wished to forget. Now he seemed to follow a path that might bring him back to that same possibility he wished to run from.

Maybe he couldn’t.

Maybe it was inevitable.

The sun was setting, a golden hue shown upon the glinting cars and buildings. A warmth surrounded them as if time was coming to a standstill between light and darkness.

He can’t hide from his past anymore, even how much he wants too. Dragging his friends into it was bad enough, and having them not know anything at all was worse. This was his responsibility, the truth surrounded the pain, and he would find a way to fix it.

“Something’s wrong,” Delirious murmured, staring out the window, fingers against the glass.

Evan looked to him, wondering what he meant. Everything seemed fine, for now. They were in the clear, and he had time to think of their next move. He couldn’t simply hand himself in. He needed a plan, a way to get him out of trouble if it ever came to that, including a way to get his friends out of it if they decided to target them.

“We can’t be here,” Delirious shook his head. He tucked the bottle of water into the pocket behind Wildcat’s seat, and wrung his fingers. “Something’s wrong...this looks familiar.”

“What do you mean?” Evan asked. It was an odd thing to say. Of course the city looked familiar.

Delirious met his eyes, his brows were furrowed and he seemed on the edge of panicking. “We can’t be here.”

“Shut up,” Wildcat said, maneuvering onto another lane before descending down a street onto the next. “It’s too late for second thoughts.”

“No,” Delirious grasped Wildcat’s seat, “my dream...something’s wrong...I seen this before...I felt this—”

“What the hell is going on?” Moo asked, cutting Delirious off.

They all looked ahead of them and Evan was shocked to see several cars ahead of them were beginning to float into the air like bubbles. A few were spinning slowly while a group of people within screamed for their lives. There were some standing on the cement, their eyes wide in shock as they stared up at the cars and they began to move away, and a few took out their phones to videotape the entire thing.

“What the fuck?” Wildcat said.

More cars floated into the air, and they seemed oddly specific to whatever was happening. The people on the ground weren’t targeted, and it was probably because they weren’t necessarily in the way.

Many more cars were being lifted as Wildcat slowed down their own car. The cars in the air weren’t going as high as everyone thought they were. They simply hovered several feet up, screaming and calling for help. A few were trying to get out, and some had already fallen and injured because of it.

“This has to do with one of you?” Moo asked, glancing back at Evan who stared, completely focused as if he were looking for something. He knew he was, he couldn’t get it out of his head. A small throb inside was telling him something, but he didn’t know what. It was so long and he figured he would’ve recognized it.

There was another.

That’s what it was, wasn’t it?

A Subject was making this happen, and they were a lot stronger than he was.