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March 26, 2018

 

“Switching back to you Karen in 3...2...1!”

“And moving onto a story I’m sure you’ve all heard before, on October 6th of last year nine boys were reported missing without a trace and nearly half a year later still haven't been found. Those that have been following this case are asking when the search will bring up any leads, and if perhaps it’s already too late…”

 

School ID and passport photos of the boys cycle through the slide behind the duo while the second reporter comments, “True, it does seem that nobody can find anything about where they could have gone to but Karen... If it were your son wouldn’t you want them back?”

 

Her face suddenly losing the fake-persona, she looked down and swallowed, “Yes. and if not alive then..” She suddenly looks straight at the camera, “Then I would at least like some closure.”

 

“Of course,” The slide changes to all of the nine together and a number below them, “To our audience at home, the police have a line set up for any information you can give about any of the missing persons. At this point there is still nothing so please don’t hesitate to call”

 

---------------------------------------

 

“NINE BOYS STILL MISSING! ARE THE COPS EVEN TRYING?”

 

It’s been six months since the disappearance of Bang Chan (21), Kim Woojin (21), Lee Minho (20), Seo Changbin (19), Hwang Hyunjin (18), Han Jisung (17), Lee Felix (17), Kim Seungmin (17), and Kim Jeongin (17). Each boy went missing on the same day, but nothing is found that connects them together.

 

[Continue reading?]

 

[read comments]

 

KenUnot: “It’s been 6 months?? Wow it feels like just yesterday I heard about this”

_______127percent: “Yeah, of course, it’s nothing to you! Imagine how their families must feel!!!!”

 

looktwice: “If it’s been this long why are they still looking tsk..”
_______Regularwahht: ”how can you be so rude, if you go missing I hope your family doesn’t look for you ha see how you feel then”

 

ReallyAwkSilence: “The police are part of the government and they aren’t this useless… they found like 5 people last year and it only took them a month for each one... If they haven’t found these guys yet it’s for a reason..”

______MonsterAXE: ”what as in the government took them??”

________KitKat9903: ”Omg yeah…. I think like 20 years ago there were these 12 guys and they were gone for like 3 years before anyone saw them again…”

____________rotaripsnoc”They only saw three and they couldn’t remember anything allegedly”

______________rudeol dhag”don’t you kids have anything better to do than make conspiracy theories? Tsk… go study before your brain cells rot”

 

-------------------------------------------

[CHECK STATUS?] {YES}{NO}

 

[260318; 2:34AM]

BC97 : STATUS: 60% CONCENTRATION___LOCATION: DIST5 __WARNING__

WJ97 : STATUS: 95% CONCENTRATION___LOCATION: DIST5 __NORISK__

LK98 : STATUS: 96% CONCENTRATION___LOCATION: DIST5 __NORISK__

CB99 : STATUS: 95% CONCENTRATION___LOCATION: DIST5 __NORISK__

HJ00 : STATUS: 90% CONCENTRATION___LOCATION: DIST5 __NORISK__

HN00 : STATUS: 95% CONCENTRATION___LOCATION: DIST5__NORISK__

FX00 : STATUS: 93% CONCENTRATION___LOCATION: DIST5__NORISK__

SM00 : STATUS: 97% CONCENTRATION__ LOCATION: DIST5__NORISK__

IN01 : STATUS: 98% CONCENTRATION___LOCATION: DIST5 __NORISK__

 

“...Warning?” The man at the desk swivels in his chair and huffs in annoyance, making gestures at the screen behind him “Tom, come take a look at this”

 

Standing up with a groan he hits a few keys before grumbling, “Watch the drones and check on the subjects every once in a while with the new guy they said,,, It’ll be easy they said” He peers at the bright screen below him, the smell of smoke from old cigarettes radiating off of him in waves, “BC97 at 60%? Bah~ The warning is stupid” stepping backward toward his own station he continues, “That drug of theirs is effective at like 25% or some shit. Don’t worry about it”

 

BEEPBEEPBEEP

 

He whips around and rushes back to his terminal at the sudden alarm, “Ah fuck! You distracted me with your useless questions and the drone went on the wrong flight path!” He growls in anger, and slams the table, causing a nearby coffee mug to spill,

"Should we repor-"

The angered man rushes to the newbie and grabs his collar, “If you tell any of the higher-ups that a drone broke I’m going to suggest that you get transferred to... A lesser facility….Capiche?”

 

Coughing slightly, eyes wide he chokes out a “Capiche!”

 

Tom nods and tightens his grip once more before releasing his coworker with a push.

 

He grabs a pack of cigarettes from his seemingly endless supply, heading for the back door to smoke, “Good.”

 

The rookie shakily turns back to the screen and resumes his surveillance. 

 

Nine boys stand in a hedge maze. Four on each side. 

One overwatch. He holds an empty frame. 

 

Waiting, Searching. 

Chapter Text

It's dark, it's cold, and he's standing in a hedge maze.

 

That's the first conscious memory BC97 has, (well that and the fact that he knows his name isn't actually BC97, but he can't for the life of him recall his real one.)

 

A sudden gust of wind sweeps black hair into his eyes; he blinks rapidly and sharply inhales the cool night air, eyes searching the landscape before him as if he were truly seeing the world in front of him for the first time. Eight boys stand before him, clad entirely in a suppressing shade of white. Something inside him twinges in recognition, again knowing a series of letter-plus-number combinations, but still not knowing their given names. They move robotically, looking at and tending to each leaf with a programmed sort of gentleness. Spotlights move around the area, and the humming of countless security drones can be heard overhead. Stepping forward, the damp grass crushes harshly beneath the soles of the stark white shoes he never remembers putting on. As he passes each of them they continue with their task, paying no mind to each other or him. Do they not sense each other? He moves to ask one with highlights in his hair where they are but is stopped by the sleek black frame he didn't realize he was holding. Examining it provides nothing as to what is supposed to go inside, he looks back to continue what he was doing before- except this time he's interrupted by an unknown brightness amidst the black leaves of the hedges. His eyes scan the plant and he gently lifts a hand to touch the startling red leaves, ‘ A poinsettia; only capable of producing red leaves after being exposed to long periods of darkness… search for it well’ This thought (or memory?) comes to him in a sudden flash. He pulls his hand away quickly, gaze switching between the frame and the red leaves before he snatches them out of the hedge and puts them in the frame. An inexplicable nervousness overcomes him and he knows what he found isn't good for any of them here.

 

a loud CRASH followed by a quieter thump startles him again. A new source of light floods from the night sky and before he processes what's happening his body is already taking off down the rows of hedges, feet slipping occasionally as the shoes mercilessly don't provide any traction. The ground shifts from grass to a hard concrete as he runs into the new light. Not too far off there's a grounded drone, lights flickering in one last attempt at staying powered on before succumbing to the damage. There's a shard of badly cracked glass under it which he bends to pick up. Turning it over in his hands a few times he makes the connection,

 

The drone crashed into something… and now there's light that isn't coming from one of the spotlights’

 

There's a slight shimmer to the area in front of him that he failed to notice earlier, too distracted by the fallen drone. Curiosity overtakes him and he moves his hand up to it. The shimmer ripples like water, traveling along and upwards to outline the shape of a dome.

 

Moments later a harsh automatic voice from the frame startles him back to the present,  

 

“TIME 5:00 AM RETURN SUBJECTS TO CONTAINMENT”

 

Return subjects?’ he shudders at the implications of the term,  ‘so we're here as part of some test..’

 

Something inside of him responds to the demand and he’s pushed to the backseat of his own body, suddenly being carried along for the ride. He fights the control of whatever-this-is to no avail, screaming in his head and kicking out but it’s like he’s fallen into a pit of quicksand. Struggling and struggling only to be pulled further in. He watches in a daze as his traitor of a body moves back to where he assumes the others to be. Hard concrete switching back to damp grass as he approaches the eight, black frame and red leaves tucked away safely into the crook of his arm. His body stills and for a moment he almost believes he’s about to regain control, only to hear his voice being forced out of him in a dreadfully monotonous tone,

 

“WJ97-LK98-CB99,” As he calls out each codename the boy in question limply drops his hands from the hedges down to his sides and joins the slow building line in front of him, spotlight moving with them, “HJ00-HN00-SM00”, the listing continues.

 

The sight of all of them tending to the hedges in a lifeless state was weird to him before, but this was just downright creepy,

 

“IN01”,

 

The final name was called. Apparently, his body decides it’s time to move again and swiftly turns around, heading toward a bland, featureless building that looks just as “containmenty” as the voice told him.

 

With the drones following them ominously and the spotlights blinding their eyes as he leads eight boys he assumes to be innocent, (except he shouldn’t be the judge of that, he doesn’t even know who he is..), to what he assumes is the complete opposite of a five-star hotel; He has just one thought.

 

“I need to get them out of here”

 

____________________

 

Six months earlier - Sydney

 

“Wait a minute why didn’t that coupon apply??”

 

‘Oh gods here we go again…’  Mentally rolling his eyes he puts on his fakest customer service face and applies the ‘I’m having a great day and not suffering at all!’ filter to his voice, “Mam that coupon expired last week so the register it won’t take it”

 

As expected, the middle-aged women (with husband in tow) standing across the counter only grows more offended, “Wha- Well can’t you just type it in there?” Her hands fall to her hips in a way that screams she’ll be asking for a manager in just one more failed attempt at getting the ‘useless cashiers’ to let her use a 50% off on a 200$ suitcase, (aLSO who even needs one that big?? Where are you going damn)

 

“I tried to type it in as well and it still won’t accept it, if you have a competitor’s coupon we can apply that to your order today,” The poor freckles that sprinkle his face are being crushed by the practiced smile as he brings a hand up to his radio’s mic in preparation,

 

“This is ridiculous, I have a coupon I should be able to use it!” At this, she decides to add her ‘killing blow’, “Get me a manager or at least someone that actually knows what they’re doing”

 

Holding the button down to speak into the mic he asks, “Hey, can I have a manager at the registers? A customer’s coupon isn’t applying and they would like to know why”

 

“ThANK YOU”, She glares at his name tag before continuing, “ Felix”

 

In a feat of fakeness he never knew possible of himself, “Lemme just slide your stuff over to this register right here~ The manager will be over in just a moment~”

 

‘I was supposed to leave 15 minutes ago but got stuck helping yet another horrible customer, what a day this has been’

 

Booking it toward his locker before a lost customer can ask him where to find literally anything in plain sight is his only goal and he completes it in record time. At least not forgetting to switch from his work shirt to his normal red and black shirt before heading out.

 

He reaches up and runs his fingers through burnt orange locks to make sure his hair isn’t a rat’s nest before taking off out the back door, fully ready to give his friends a playback of his worst customers.

 

It’sFelix: ‘Yoooooooooooooooo I just had /the/ worst day at work’

It’sFelix: ‘Like seriously “Give me someone who knows what they’re doing” BitCH FInE you get behind here and let’s see how well you do’

 

Laughing to himself, he steps along the sidewalk to his bus stop but is stopped by the streetlamp in front of him going out with a small pop.

 

“What the-”

 

Another one goes out behind him, coating the area around him in darkness. The surrounding trees instantly become more ominous and his heartbeat picks up in fear,

 

‘Nah man f this, I’ve seen enough horror films to know where this is going’

 

He looks around with a quick 360, on high alert now, and starts walking faster. The speed of his steps matching the rising level of his anxiety. More lights behind him turn off like falling dominoes and it’s this moment that makes him start sprinting to his destination, fringe flying back in the wind. He’s looking back as he tries to outrun the pace of the lamps turning off when suddenly he’s bent over with a fist wedged firmly in his abdomen the wind is knocked out of him. He’s thrown onto the ground and he finds himself staring at the stars as he takes large breaths, that is- until he feels a damp cloth being pressed over his mouth and nose. Every muscle in his body clenches in fear,

 

“NO!” He screams as loud as he can, only for the cloth to be pressed harder against him, “MMphH LET ME GO!” A second hand is brought to his neck, preventing his vocal cords from doing much more than squeak in pain. He tries to shake off the offender but his effort is fruitless, as the struggling only makes the need for oxygen more painful. The cloth works to cover the bottom of his vision, but even in his panic he searches the edges for any clues to identify the criminals later,

 

Just as the edges of his vision blur out from the lack of oxygen he notices the woman from before coming toward him with the annoyingly pink suitcase he realizes she probably got it half off and is probably going to throw him inside. As his certain doom approaches him he has just one thought,

 

‘I knew you were a bitch’

Chapter Text

  

Whoever decided to put them in the creepy forcefield dome was not one for interior decorating. The lack of, well, anything at all is what made this painfully apparent.  

 

No wait, actually, that’s a lie. There were also black security cameras harshly drilled into the corners of nearly every wall. Although, with the sleek black such a stark contrast against the white brick, it’s a miracle he didn’t snap out of whatever haze he was under at the sight of them earlier.

 

Which leads to another question… How long has he been leading 8 other boys around a barren hedge factory?

 

Shoving this internal crisis to the back of his mind for when he’s not being controlled like a puppet he chooses instead to focus on a way back out of the white maze, ‘ left…right… right…up…left’ The path is needlessly complicated and neverending. Not soon enough, the halls turn into something more, but what he finds is no less comforting than their current situation.

 

Rooms, nine of them to be exact. Each accompanied by a bed that looks about as comfortable as a dentist’s chair and a sterile blue glow. The boys behind him silently drop out of the line one by one to stand in front of a room and just as they finish the voice makes its comeback,

 

CHECK IN AND ADMINISTER 5ML VBD”

 

A cart with vials of liquid and a scanner at the end of the hallway beckons him and he knows this is the first step to freedom, his muscles scream with tension as he fights against the control of what he assumes now to be the VBD liquid. His fingers twitch but the rest of his body remains stubbornly out of his control until he reaches the cart and something just clicks .

 

The sudden regain of control throws him off-balance, legs buckling just slightly with the shock before straightening back up. His eyes quickly dart up to the security camera, ‘ If someone’s watching I can’t just take off and run…and I need to wake the others up somehow’  

 

CB97 may not know his own name yet but he does know that if the other 8 aren’t in even a fraction of control they won’t be making it very far. The survey drones and security cameras would make sure of that. Mentally shaking his head he begins moving toward the cart, mimicking the roboticness of before in an attempt to stay under his captor's radar. He contemplates how to snap the others out of it for a moment before he remembers the red leaves he put in the frame earlier. Subtly snaking his fingers around a leaf he tears it into strips, and scratches a quick message as accurately as he can with his nail, ‘I hope they can read Korean…’

 

Reaching forward with shaking hands he begins to push the cart forward, one wheel squeaking in protest with each rotation. The first in line was the one he was going to question back in the hedge, his mind supplies the codename WJ97.

 

WJ97 holds his wrist out and the machine on the cart whirs to life. Just as CB is about to take hold of the scanner an unnatural patch of black catches his eye, blood running cold.

 

‘A barcode,’ he thinks angrily, ‘so that's what it meant by check-in’

 

Forcing himself not to show emotion he picks up the offending scanner, blue light shining over the barcode and beeping when it registers. The screen brings up a profile,

 

WJ97 : STATUS: 75% CONCENTRATION___LOCATION: DIST5 __SLIGHTRISK__

 

‘The concentration must be the VBD,’ CB97 turns his own wrist over, expecting to find a code as well only to come up empty. The skin on the underside of his wrist is smooth and unmarked. Fingers curling into a fist with frustration he questions, ‘why not me, why am I different..’

 

The machine beeps, drawing his attention back to his task of discretely spreading a message and avoiding the VBD. He takes one of the nine vials of liquid off the cart and twists off the cap, revealing a sharp needle. the screen says to administer it intravenously, but rather than doing as it says he slides the needle into the sleeve of WJ's shirt. Hoping that way, even if the drug can be absorbed through the skin, it would be a useless dosage.

 

Slowly reaching a hand back into the frame he grabs hold of an inscribed leaf, pressing it gently into the other’s hand before repeating the process, scan.sleeve.leaf.scan.sleeve.leaf…. He can only hope his message can get to them. Each boy he passes shows no recognition, eyes glazed and staring straight through him, each that is, until the final boy.

 

HJ00 : STATUS: 60% CONCENTRATION___LOCATION: DIST5 __WARNING__

 

The handsome boy’s confused eyes track his movements. As he places the red note into HJ’s hand it stays open. Seeing the overall responsiveness makes him quickly decide to risk speaking and so he softly whispers a quick, “wake up” before moving the cart away.

 

As the distance between them increases he fails to notice HJ watching him, full head turning and fingers slowly clenching around the message.

 

The doors to their cells open, walls blocking them from seeing each other. They’ve been given a bed, but CB denies sleep.

 

The risk of missing a way out too great.

 

____________________



It was the midday by the time Hyunjin’s practice was over. The sun was shining down and the leaves underfoot were producing a satisfying crunch with each step. Colorful trees lining the pathway to his bus stop. His music softly playing through a new pair of earbuds.

 

It’s peaceful.

 

Except the tranquility is abruptly shattered when he feels a light tap on his shoulder, turning around he finds himself face to face with a boy around age, (maybe a year younger?) hand still held in the air as his lips move.

 

Hyunjin squints a little in confusion before pulling out his earbuds, “Sorry, could you repeat that?”

 

Clearing his throat the other timidly says, “You wouldn’t happen to know where the 4419 line is, would you?”

 

The older’s eyes blink in surprize, “That’s actually where I’m heading now,” And, being the generous person he is, points over his back with his thumb with a smile, “Follow me”

 

As he turns around the younger follows closely behind, trying to prevent an awkward silence Hyunjin asks,

 

“Are you not from around here?”

 

The other falter’s in his step at the question, “um..”, he pauses rubbing the sleeves of his shirt together, “yeah. I mean no.” He shakes his head as if to physically remove whatever’s blocking his words, “I’m from Busan”

 

Hyunjin hums in acknowledgment as the duo make it to a rough looking bench with a bus sign in front of it, there’s a man leaning against a nearby tree, ‘probably waiting for the bus too, that's  weird, usually its empty this time of day’

 

Sitting down and patting the seat next to him as an invitation he finally remembers to respond with actual words, “That’s pretty far, are you going to school here? or just visiting someone?”

 

Typically Hyunjin wouldn’t have to ask, but as it was the weekend no one was in their uniforms,

 

“Actually yeah, I study music at SOPA”

 

Almost standing up in surprize the older points at himself, mouth open comically, “I study dance there!”

 

A rumbling in the distance catches their attention, the sight of the bus they've been waiting for prompting them both to stand up. Footsteps crunch leaves behind them, the man from the tree walking up to the curb with them. As the bus screeches to a stop and the doors open with a puff of air he waves them on before him and walking on they quickly greet the driver.

 

As expected the bus is empty, but as the duo sit down, the man sits in the seat across. Unfortunately for Hyunjin, his new friend got the window seat… meaning he was the one that had to respond to the guy when he turned said,

 

“So. I overheard you talking about SOPA…”

 

Oh gosh another scouter’ Hyunjin thought to himself before politely waving his hands, “Sorry sir but I’ve already got a company”

 

At this, the younger turned toward him in shock, ready to comment on the statement, but was cut off by the man clearing his throat, smile thinning,


“Well, surely you haven’t debuted yet, why not check other options while you still have time?”

 

“Sir, I really have to get home-”

 

“Really I insist you come to see our company, it’s just a few stops away,” The man says with a hard voice, “You can even bring your friend along”

 

The older questioning shoots a glance at the boy who’s been watching the exchange next to him. He merely offers a shrug in response.

 

Not seeing a way out of this unless he goes he shakily replies, “Um… okay” biting his lip he speedily continues, “but um, but only for a short while and there’s no guarantee I’ll join you”

 

“Perfect” The man smiles now and as if on cue the bus comes to a stop, “It’s just along this way”

 

The two boys get off the bus at the man’s beckoning and follow him for a good five minutes through a zigzag of alleys and streets before coming upon a building in dire need of repair. Seeing the looks of confusion on their faces when he moves to open the door he reassures them, “We’re in the middle of repairing it, don’t worry-” He pats the wall in emphasis, paint chipping off and falling to the ground, “The inside is very nice”

 

Hyunjin moves forward, ‘just a quick look around then we get out of here’ being his reasoning, the younger reluctantly following, not trusting the man at all but not wanting his new friend to get hurt. Strength in numbers and all that.

 

The inside is nicer for sure, but nowhere near close to being described as “very” nice. The furniture is stained, there’s dust on shelves, and there’s no sign of it being anywhere near ready to be a functioning company. Hyunjin almost turns around then and there but the man quickly shoves a bundle of white into his arms, “Put these on before I show you the rest of the place- our dance studio is the greatest”

 

The two share a nervous look before sliding the white clothes on over their day clothes, if there was ever a time during this exchange where they both wanted to make a run for the door. It was now.

 

The man turns his back, searching for something in a cabinet across the room, Hyunjins legs brace in anticipation and he grabs the youngers sleeve but just as he moves to step forward the man sharply whips around two bottles in hand,

 

“Now, now, no need to leave so soon,” he smiles and gestures behind them with a laugh, “you haven't even met the others”

 

“The others?” the boy beside him begins to question, but he's suddenly ripped from his grasp, eyes wide with fear as a man tugs him back and holds him with both arms.

 

Hyunjin wouldn’t consider himself naive, but as he’s hit in the back of the head with something really hard and suddenly finds himself face first in a carpet that must be older than him he thinks that maybe just maybe ... it was a bad idea to follow a shady bus guy into his even shadier building with some innocent kid he just met.

 

‘...and I never even got a name.’









Chapter Text

“Hey princess, where are your sidekicks?”

 

‘Ah great, Jihyo is back from her mission’ Rolling his eyes the young man in question continues writing his lyrics. As the son of a gang leader there’s only so much time he can snag for himself, what with constantly being called out to missions and meetings. It’s a miracle in itself that he can find the time to catch a few hours of sleep,

 

Unfortunately, the girl intruding on his long deserved downtime takes his lack of response in stride by moving over to where he’s propped against his bed. She sits down, using her hand to prop her head up in wait,

 

“Hello Jihyo, nice to see you again too,” he says, eyes still trained on the words before him, willing his brain to produce more but his momentum has been broken by her abrupt presence so he firmly closes the notebook and throws it onto a desk nearby. He mimics her pose to annoy her smiling innocently,  

 

“And to answer your question, I don’t know.”

 

Surprize flashes across her face, “You three are always together, how could you possibly not know what they’re doing?”

 

His lips curl upwards in a taunting smile as he counters, “You asked me where they are, not what they’re doing”

 

“Ya!~” she hits his arm and pouts, “You knew what I meant”

 

“Ow! Okay, okay,” he holds his hands up placatingly, “they’re on an escort mission, I would guess they’re waiting around the airport now”, eyes narrowing he continues, “why do you ask?”

 

Biting her lip she glances down, physically gathering her words, “Do you think, err, and I’m asking this as a friend,”

 

“Just say it”

 

She looks up into his eyes, searching for anything that might say otherwise only to find his expression carefully blank, “Chan, do you think your mother tells you everything that she has planned?”

 

At this he laughs abruptly, making a show up wiping a fake tear from his cheek before controlling his expression again, “Absolutely not. Why? What did you hear?”

 

“I overheard some of the guys talking about something they’ve got the scientists working on, BVD? VPB? Uh, something like that…” she reaches up to tuck a strand of hair behind her ear, “The name doesn’t matter, what concerns me is that the way they described it sounded… date-rapey”

 

“They’re making Rohypnol?” He straightens up in surprize, “That woman doesn’t tell me everything but I know she would never deal in that”

 

"It's just a rumor I heard"

 

Chan sighs in frustration, “rumors have to stem from something" standing up to look out of his bedroom window and grabbing his jacket from where it was carelessly thrown over the desk chair earlier he glares out at the city below. His thoughts running wild, ‘ Would she? I already know she keeps me in the dark about a lot of the gang’s business but… No, no she couldn’t possibly after everything’ Murdering people in cold blood? Working her hold into powerful companies? Dealing with drugs? Those things were standard actions for her.

 

“Chan?” At some point, Jihyo had moved to stand behind him,

 

His hands tightened into fists on their own, crunching the fabric of the jacket. Was this new drug related to the mission she sent the others on? Is that why she didn’t send him too? Because she’s testing it? What, or is it who? are they escorting from the airport then? He did overhear her mention something about potential matches found…

 

She tries his full name this time, “Bangchan”

 

His body tenses and he whips around, “What Jihyo!”

 

Stepping back a bit she points at his beeping phone, quickly mumbling, “Are you gonna answer those?”

 

Fiery eyes glance from her to the phone and back, harshly swiping it off the charger and unlocking it to read the messages




SpearB: We’ve been waiting for hours man, you’re so lucky you get to be back at base

 

J.ONE: Yeah Chan, bring us some takeout lolol no one would even notice

 

J.ONE: Well, unless you like, brought guards but just sneak out

 

SpearB: Yo don’t listen to him -_-

 

SpearB: We’ve got Kaden stationed with us, there’s no way you could come join us without someone noticing.

 

J.ONE: Dude’s got more dick in his personality than his pants >-> ffs…



The last message makes him laugh to himself slightly, Kaden is an ass. He types a quick ‘ Send me your location’ and shoves his phone into the back pocket of his jeans. Slipping his jacket onto one arm while simultaneously grabbing his wallet and bike keys from the desk he pushes past Jihyo,

 

“You didn’t see me leave” he pauses, leaning against the doorframe, “Don’t ask where I’m going, It’s better you don’t know”

 

He moves with haste after those parting words, not looking back.

 

“If this mission isn’t about that new drug then I’m interrupting for nothing, but if it is…Jisung and Changbin could be in danger”

 

The base only has cameras on important areas, and he’s memorized all the blind spots, so making his way out is the easiest part of his night.

 

The bike is outside, sleek, black, and most importantly, fast . Sliding a helmet on and securing it he throws one leg over the side. The engine hums to life as he turns the key and the base grows steadily smaller in his rearview but he isn't stopping anytime soon

 

He has some friends to save.



________________________________________




“Beautiful~”  

 

The commute back from his part-time job is a boring one, but the late time ensures there’s rarely any passengers. It’s moments like this one where the train is empty and he can sing-along to the music playing softly from his earbuds.

 

“Just the way that you would look at me~”

 

Of course, just as he reaches the chorus someone comes rushing through the door. Barely managing to pull his backpack in before it’s pinned outside. Being a daily user of the subway makes him no stranger to people running in at the last second to catch their train. What doesn’t happen daily however, is the screaming mob of girls chasing them down like their idol just agreed to marry them. Curious about the man but not wanting to intrude, he subtly tries to look at him by raising his phone a bit higher.

 

A tired voice, slightly out of breath makes him freeze, “I’m not an idol, any pictures you take of me will be worthless”

 

‘Whoops, not as subtle as I thought’, He slowly lowers his phone down and pulls his earbuds down. Smiling sheepishly he says, “I wasn’t going to take a picture of you, I was just trying to see if I could recognize you without blatantly staring..”

 

Now that he’s made eye contact he figures a quick once-over wouldn’t be weird. Green jacket, white shirt, and pants that leave nothing to the imagination, the man before him could definitely be an idol with the way he’s dressed, not to mention his makeup...

 

“Actually, are you sure you’re not an idol?” He cringes inwardly, ‘ nice, way to just blurt out whatever you’re thinking....’

 

The man before him laughs, “Yeah, I’m pretty sure” he gestures up and down at himself, “I’m only covered in makeup because the background dancers can’t be too ugly”

 

“That’s fine,” he gestures at his own face, ”I’ve probably got makeup permanently engrained on here because my boss wants us to look like coffee princes”

 

This makes both of them laugh, the quiet hum of the train filling the silence that follows. He has four more stops to go.  

 

“Hey, what were you singing earlier?”

 

“I’m surprized you heard that over those fangirls” he pulls out his phone to show the album cover, fumbling slightly in his excitement before proudly showing it off, “You were beautiful! By Day6!’

 

“It was good” the other moves to sit on the bench across from him, brushing a candy wrapper off the seat, “Those girls saw me leave the stage, and rather than wait for their precious oppa’s they wanted to track me down and press me for information” He scoffs, brushing a hand through his hair, “Little do they know I’ve never talked to them”

 

“Rough”

 

“Yeah”

 

They sit in silence for a bit, the quiet hum of the train and its slight shaking after a full day of work lulls him into a daydream until the other speaks up,

 

“Hey what’s your name?”

 

He’s startled out of his daze at the sudden noise, “Uh, Seungmin” He clears his throat, “Kim Seungmin”  

 

“Lee Minho”

 

“Nice to meet you-” Seungmin begins to reply, but the lights suddenly cut and the train screeches to a halt. The two are thrown off their seats with the force.

 

A hissing noise is heard, the door is pried open with a horrible crack.

 

Seungmin feels himself scrambling backward on the ground, accidentally hitting something warm, Minho, he thinks to himself.

 

Dark figures enter the pried open door, blocking the small trickle of light that once was.

 

Suddenly Minho is pushing up off the ground and throwing himself at one of the figures, his rebellion is short-lived, however, because as soon as he makes contact with one of them another is stabbing him with a needle.

 

His body falls limply to the ground, head landing with a thump against the cold metal of the floor.

 

The attackers step over him and he’s screaming at himself to MOVE RUN AWAY but he’s frozen.

 

“Thanks for taking the same train, made our lives a lot easier” The man walking toward him pulls out another syringe, flicking it with each step

 

Clink

 

The other pins him down and he finally regains his body enough to struggle weakly

 

Clink

 

The needle is right in front of his face

 

Clink

 

Darkness. Nothing.

Chapter Text

Dim lights, screeching tires, blaring horns, shattering glass.

 

One moment he was driving home. The next?

 

White walls, white bed, white clothes, black lights.

 

He inhales sharply, shooting up from his position on the stiff bed, heart-pounding and fingers shaking as if he just woke from a nightmare.

 

‘Where the hell am I’, he asks himself amongst other questions such as, where did I come from? (no answer to that) and, what’s my name? (WJ97, his mind supplies but from where he doesn’t know)

 

He feels something fall from his shaking hands and float lightly to the floor, flipping and spinning in the air. Reaching down to grab what he now realizes is a small note scratched onto what he assumes to be a red petal? Leaf? Thank god I can still read...

 

[AWAKE? STAY LOW & LMK]

 

Stay low? And let who know? WJ97 had only been awake for five minutes and his world has, well, didn’t know it has already been thrown into a loop. To make matters even more confusing a door he seemingly failed to notice shutters open on the other side of the room. White light rather dramatically flowing into the room, overpowering the harsh blue of the blacklights. If there were ever a moment that he wanted to yell at himself for doing something stupid it was now, as he walks with slow, silent footsteps toward the bright door. I hope this isn’t some sick metaphor for walking into the light

 

He steps into a hallway, very obviously having been designed by the same person who decorated the rooms, his hand trailing along the doorframe in a last-ditch effort to avoid what could lie before him.

 

Moments in his peripheral attracts his attention, resulting in his second sharp inhale of the day.

 

More boys, looking to be around his age. That short time spent in his room ‘ or is it a cell?’ had him fully convinced he would have to wander around for hours only to find himself in some kind of fallout.

 

“Oh my god”

 

A sudden voice, quiet but strikingly loud in the silence of the room startles him. Whipping his head to the side he sees another dressed similarly to him. Eyes wide in shock.

 

The relief that floods BC97 when he sees one of the boys, WJ97, not acting like a total robot was enough to stop him in his tracks. Having just exited his cell after another long night of waiting and planning he was expecting the same routine. Fake vials, escort to the garden, escort to the cells, fake vials, wait for someone, anyone to wake up as he did, repeat.

 

He stumbles forward with his cart of vials and scanners, relying heavily on the sturdiness of it to keep him upright. All the while thinking, ‘Finally! Finally, today isn’t Tuesday too!’*

 

WJ grows stiffer as he approaches him though, so he bares his hands in the universal sign of, " I’m not going to stab you with anything" except that may have worked better if he wasn’t pushing a whole load of suspicious liquids and tripping over himself like a zombie.

 

WJ steps back, chin raising and eyes narrowing, wary of this newcomer and ready to fight for himself, "Who are you?"

 

"Hey" he breathes out, staring at WJ like he's just met an angel, "I'm BC"

 

his hands hover over WJ as if wanting to hug him yet holding back.

 

Sensing the caution with which BC is speaking he replies in a near whisper, "WJ"

 

"I can't explain everything right now," he whispers quickly, eyes noticeably darting to the cameras stationed In the corner of the hallway, "I don't know who, or why, but someone is making sure we're getting whatever is in these vials"

 

He licks his lips and begins his process of fake administration, "Don't move, and just go with it, act like a robot okay?" He looks into the other's eyes, "can you do that for now?"

 

WJ nods slowly, he’s not sure why he’s trusting this man but there’s just something familiar about the other that's pulling him in,  "yeah, robot, got it"

 

As BC reaches for the syringe WJ visibly numbs his expression, staring ahead throughout the process, save for a brief moment of horror when he realizes he has a barcode printed on his wrist. The machine on the cart announces a concentration of something when BC scans it, presumably determining how much of whatever is in those vials is still in him

 

WJ97 : STATUS: 20% CONCENTRATION___LOCATION: DIST5 __EXTREMERISK__

 

"Hopefully the others wake up when they reach 20%," BC murmurs, looking up through his bangs at WJ, "You were one of the lowest when I first woke up"

 

All too soon BC has to move on to the next boy, and in what seemed like seconds he finds himself leading them outside into the hedges. ‘

 

The others were around 25-30% and just last night WJ was 23%...’ The thought of one of them waking up in the hedges was cause for concern, he was lucky that WJ was so calm when he regained control. If one of them freaked out on him or started running there was no way the cameras wouldn’t notice something was up, and if all nine of them weren’t able to get out yet then… ‘ no, let’s not think about that BC okay’

 

A few rotations ago he had noticed something near the perimeter of the dome they were trapped in. That something was a bus, and that bus could be key to their escape. It was only a matter of time before they would all be awake and he could lead to them somewhere other than a white, barren cell.

 

‘A matter of time that was slowly ticking’ Although not physically holding one he could practically see the sand draining from the hourglass. So far it’s been five, maybe six days that he’s been trying to keep the guys off that liquid (hey, it’s hard to keep track when you’re living the same day over and over without ever seeing daylight okay?). Nothing bad has become of it yet but soon someone is bound to notice. There wouldn’t be drones flying around and cameras drilled into walls if someone wasn’t watching them. He’s had his suspicions that the hallway ones were down, or at least poorly functioning for some time now. But the ones outside the facility have a tell-tale flashing red light on the bottom to signifying they’re recording everything within range. Possibly even sound too.

 

He walks toward WJ, feigning supervision in the guise of talking to the other. WJ raises an eyebrow as if saying, ‘ Finally going to give me some answers?’

 

“I don’t know why we’re here,” he says, walking slowly, “but I have a plan of escape, I just need everyone awake so that nobody gets left behind”

 

“So you were the first?” WJ asks, plucking a lead off the hedge and tearing it up as he speaks, ”Are we the only ones here?”

 

“Yeah, as far as I know,” he pauses to check for any incoming drones, “But I know there must be people watching us, what with all the cameras”

 

WJ nods almost imperceptively, “I noticed those right away”  

 

“Do you have any memories of before you woke up?”

 

“Nothing good, probably just moments before whoever is holding us here managed to catch me,” he laughed bitterly then, “I’ve got a wicked feeling of jamais vu looking at you though”  

 

“Same, If I had to guess that drug they’ve been giving us erases memories”

 

“We need to wake everyone up faster somehow,” WJ says, turning his head to make eye contact, “You’ve been awake for how long? And now me as well”

 

“I know but I really hope nobody wakes up out here”

 

“Why not-”

 

*WHUMP*

 

WJ stops abruptly, as at that moment HJ crushes BC’s hopes by crumpling to the grass.

 

‘Shit shit shit’ Before BC can even move HJ is scrambling to pick himself up off the ground, eyes roaming wildly and breath coming in gasps as he backs away from the hedge. There’s grass stuck uncomfortably to the palms of his hands but he doesn’t even register the feeling because all he can think is get away

 

WJ, watching from his own place in front of the hedge, steps forward in an attempt to calm the scared boy down only to have the opposite effect,

 

“No, stay back!” HJ yells, pointing in accusation he continues, “I- I know your plan! You won’t get us again! I won’t let you!”

 

‘That’s why’ WJ thought

 

“Calm down we’re on your side!” BC says, trying to keep his voice at a soothing level, “Look at us we're all wearing the same thing and I guarantee it’s not a fashion statement”

 

HJ seems to pause in consideration, very clearly not trusting the two standing before him but not quite as ready to attack or run as he was before.

 

“You said ‘us’ just then,” WJ said slowly, “What do you mean by that”

 

“I’m not crazy or anything,” He says suddenly, “I was with someone before this”

 

As if forgetting his fear of the others he starts looking more closely at the faces of the other boys, scanning each detail with intense concentration until his eyes light up in recognition. He rushes over to the boy, IN, and turns him around by his shoulders.

 

What he expected was a smile, or anything mirroring his own feelings. What he got were a blank face and a dead, unseeing gaze.

 

“Ya- Busan boy, right?” He shakes him stiffly, “Come on what’s wrong? Say something man”

 

It’s like he doesn’t even know that I’m standing in front of him’ His head drops, hands still gripping the shoulders of the only familiar thing in this whole situation like a lifeline. The others must have moved closer while he was distracted in his attempts to wake up the younger boy because suddenly there’s a hand being placed on his own shoulder.

 

“What’s wrong with him,” HJ looks back to BC, shrugging his hand off of his shoulder as he demands answers, voice cracking slightly as his throat closes up, “What’s wrong with all of them”

 

‘All of them’ referring to the other four that were mindlessly picking through hedge leaves, searching for something they couldn’t find and probably never would, judging by their current level of awareness.

 

“We only know it’s got something to do with what they’ve injected us with, it’s wearing off now,” WJ says from behind BC, “It’s only a matter of time before we’re all awake and out of here”

 

HJ reaches up with a sleeve over his hand to wipe tears he didn’t even know were falling, “Okay, so it’ll wear off” He laughs cynically to himself while brushing the grass off his hands, “I really shouldn’t be trusting you but you’re all I’ve got here so...”

 

WJ fully understood how HJ was feeling. He only woke up to BC and was scared of one guy, to be confronted by two and finding your only friend in the area to be reminiscent of a living corpse had to be even more stressful. Not to mention the fact that it seemed they all could recall short moments of their capture. If WJ had to make an educated guess, he would say for sure none of the boys came here willingly.

 

As if sensing the somber mood BC tries to add something encouraging,

 

“Don’t worry, we were brought into this together” he says, gesturing to not just the three of them but the whole gang, “We’ll get out of it together too”  

 

...We can worry about what lies outside these walls after that







Chapter Text

The airport they've been stationed outside of is poorly illuminated, strangely empty, and immensely boring. There's no traffic in or out. Not a single plane has landed in the past three hours of their assigned surveillance. 

 

“Binnie, this sucks," Jisung says, lips pursed and eyebrows drawn in as he peers intensely through a pair of binoculars at the scene, or lack thereof, below.

 

"What?" Changbin quips sarcastically from somewhere behind, squinting his eyes in a poor attempt to see anything of the runway below them, "The fact that we're still here while that dick of a teammate left an hour ago or the fact that chan still hasn’t shown up with your nuggets?” 

 

"...both," Jisung, upon noticing the other's ridiculous imitation of Brock, lowers the binoculars and offers them back wordlessly.

 

The other takes the smooth device with a nod in thanks, "I wouldn't worry J," he pauses to fumble with the binoculars (the eye spacing never quite worked on this particular pair), "knowing chan he'll have found out where we are and is sneaking out here as we speak" 

 

Jisung, who has moved to sit on the ground, turns over his shoulder and sends a toothy smile back to Changbin, "nothing can separate 3racha...Except like, his mom" 

 

he quiets then, eyes downturned as he studies the ground. There’s a gum wrapper half-buried in the ground, its foil crinkled yet shining brightly in the fading sun regardless. 3racha was their unofficial turned official team name. Chan was essentially born into the gang, but Changbin and Jisung joined after they all met in high school. The trio quickly became friends after soiling a niceguy ’s attempt to hurt his girlfriend in the back of the school. 

 

They hadn’t been together at the time. Chan was about to get into his vehicle escort back to his home, (read base). Jisung was just leaving the east exit and changbin the west when they all heard a sharp scream. Each of them turned toward the sound and took off at the same time. Shoes grinding against the pavement and heartbeat pulsing in anticipation of what they were getting themselves into. All three of them made it at the same time, the sight before them making them skid to a stop. 

 

“Chad stop!” A young girl, probably 14 or so, was struggling against what must have been a third-year. Her arms were pinned over her head against the wall, her face turned to the side and eyes squeezed shut in fear. Her breath came out in whimpers as the ass holding her gripped her chin and harshly turned her to face him. That’s when she looked past him and saw the three guys watching. Her eyes pleading for help. 

 

Jisung had seen enough. 

 

He lunged forward and roughly gripped this Chad by the shoulder, turning him around to introduce his fist to his face. The attackers head snapped back, nose gushing red. He spits the blood out of his mouth, holding his nose gingerly, 

 

“Haha, okay I see,” he says, “Are you lot more of this slut’s so-called friends” he accompanies that line with a quick punch to Jisung’s stomach, making the younger hunch over in pain. Changbin pulls him back quickly and throws his own punch right back. 

 

The girl is cowering behind the fight as Chan steps around and leads her out with a quiet, get somewhere safe, if you ever need help you can call me whipping out a business card from his pocket and he hands it to her. 

 

By the time he had turned around, Changbin was sporting a swollen eye and Jisung a split lip. Chad was much, much worse for wear. He laid on the concrete, struggling to stand up when Chan walked forward and calmly kicked him in the stomach. Disgust openly displayed on his face as he glared down at the scum whimpering before him.

 

“I would tell you not to treat women like that but I have a feeling you still won’t listen,” He says, pulling his phone out of his pocket and snapping a picture of the mess below, “My guys know your face now though, so maybe you’ll think twice” He leans in closer to whisper, “ We’re everywhere ” 

 

He turns back to the other two face light and smiling, “We could use people like you though,” He hands them cards as well, “My name’s Chan, let’s go somewhere and talk, my treat” 

 

Jisung smiles at the memory, glad that saving the girl lead to such a friendship. 

 

“J? You good?” Changbin asks, having walked over to sit next to him 

 

“Yeah…” He says softly, grabbing a nearby pebble and turning over in his fingers, “I just, don’t you think things have been turning, I don’t know, bad?” 

 

“What do you mean?” 

 

“Think about it! This mission is super sketchy!” Jisung exclaims, voice raising and arms gesturing wildly, “We’re supposed to watch, from super far away I might add, for this plane to land and this empty airport so we can escort some unknown item to a place we don’t even know yet!” He throws the pebble in his outburst, chucking it against a tree. 

 

It hits off back into the forest behind, and a soft “ow” is heard. 

 

The duo quickly stands up and whip around at the sound, bodies alert as a figure draws nearer. 

 

“Chan!” Jisung shouts suddenly, rushing forward to hug the other tightly, “I knew you would come to save us from this boredom!” He’s gripping the older’s shoulders now and shaking him back and forth when Chan reaches up and puts a steadying hand on Jisung’s shoulder. 

 

Changbin notices the worried expression painting the newly arrived Chan’s face and walks toward the two, “Chan, don’t take this the wrong way but uh, why are you here?" 

 

"Codenames please, you guys don't know who could be listening," he sighs, scrubbing a hand over his face, "I'm here because I don't trust this mission at all" 

 

"Same here, I was just telling spear that it seemed off from the beginning" Jisung, j.one, replied, easily slipping into the use codenames after so many years of practice. 

 

"You didn’t have to tell me,” Changbin says with a scoff, “I knew that as soon as the boss sidelined you CB”

 

 “Yeah well, something tells me I made it just in time to see what’s really coming out of that plane” 

 

Sure enough, coming in on the horizon was a small plane, unassuming in color but still the only sign of life since the addition of Chan that they’d seen in hours. Both tension and relief flooded Jisung at the sight as he grabbed the binoculars from where they had been hanging around Changbin’s neck. 

 

“Finally!” Jisung said, his voice quickly being shushed by the others, “Come on B! I don’t care if there are aliens on that plane you gotta admit it felt like no one was ever going to show up!” 

 

Changbin squints at the road below before pulling the binoculars from Jisung and holding them up to his eyes, “Looks like there’s more than just the plane,” he says, pointing at a white bus speeding toward the landing, “They never said anything about a bus showing up... Chan that’s not ours is it?” 

 

“Not that I’ve seen before” He mumbles 

 

“This is wack guys let’s leave they’ve probably sent us here to get executed or something” 

 

“You idiot why would they execute us!” Changbin said, smacking Jisung lightly, “we’re 3racha the best team they’ve got” 

 

A small beep startled the trio only for Chan to realize it was his phone, A message from Jihyo?

 

2iceJI: hey used your computer for some uh.. Research ;)  

2iceJI: Okay so I actually was hacking into the science team’s database to look into that drug they’re making. I only got so far before they noticed and locked me out but I read that they’ve got a facility in the south, it’s unmapped and super hidden from what I can tell. They’ve used est subjects and they’ve all got um, “fails” if you know what I mean…. all but one...

 

BC97: Who was the one that didn’t fail

 

2iceJI: Uh, don’t freak out but it codename was listed as BC97, which is uh, you... I would assume

 

2iceJI: I really think you should get out of there, all of you

 

His blood runs cold and he grips his phone tighter, eyes widening in shock as he looks up at the other two staring at him. How would they have tested it on me?! 

 

“We gotta go,” He says quickly, moving away from the bus and plane with a speed that rivaled his earlier attempt at getting to their stakeout

 

“Chan what’s happening,” Changbin asked, following closely behind, when the other stays silent he asks again, voice sharper, “Chan tell us what’s going on” 

 

“We’re in danger , actual, serious danger Changbin,” He says, only pausing for a moment to send what looked to be an angry glare back at him but having known Chan for so long the other members of 3racha were able to decipher the muffled fear pushing through. 

 

Why,” Jisung asked this time

 

“Because I found out that my mom is testing some drug and she needs nine people and I have strong reason to believe she’s tested it on me ” 

 

“Who are the other eight then?”

“I don’t know but whoever it is, I’m gonna take a wild guess and say they’re either on that plane or on that bus” He leaves the unsaid which is where we will probably be if we don’t run away now

 

“Shouldn’t we help them” Jisung ran ahead of the other two to hold his hands out persuasively, “remember that girl? The one we saved from that scumbag?” He said desperately, “We didn’t run away then, why should we leave now!” 

 

Chan stopped where he was at that, memories flooding through him. He looks between the two, decision made after seeing their determined expressions. 

 

“Fine. Okay we can try” He said

 

“Yes! I knew you would say that”

 

Chan sent Jisung a half-hearted glare before turning in a direction that would take them to the bus. 

 

Not ten minutes later the trio found themselves squatting behind an abandoned car, close enough to the bus that they could see that the windows were tinted, and close enough to the plane to watch a middle-aged woman wheeling a bright pink suitcase toward the said bus. With a wheeze, the doors open, and out steps a figure clad entirely in black. The two exchange words, a wad of cash, and the woman walks away. 

 

“You three aren’t supposed to be here” the man looks in the direction of the dumpster, “Especially not you, princess” 

 

The way that man said princess differed entirely from the way jihyo said it. Princess has dripped off his tongue as if the word were trash itself, full of bitterness and disgust. 

 

More men file out of the bus, enough to make Chan regret ever bringing Jisung and Changbin into this gang. However, the person that stepped out last made Chan’s heart freeze. 

 

“Mom,” He said lowly, only just loud enough for the two beside him to hear

 

“Bangchan honey, why did you have to come out here,” She said, voice laced in disappointed as she continued, “I tried to keep you out of this but I should’ve known you’d never leave your friends alone” 

 

“What is she going on about” Changbin muttered before she continued her monologue

 

“You’ll have to forgive me sweetie but I just can’t let you go back now,” She says, hand beckoning men with guns forward, “I know that troublesome Jihyo was digging around where she shouldn't have, but don’t worry, she got a taste of what we’ve been working on” She tisked then, “Too bad she wasn’t a match” 

 

Chan saw red at those words, ‘ Fails if you know what I mean’ 

 

Jihyo, gone. 

 

He strides forward, fully intending to punch the daylights out of whoever stepped forward to stop him when his mother issued a command, “Take out his sidekicks” 

 

Before they could even react two darts hit them from the side, knocking them cold to the ground. 

“Bangchan don’t fight this,” She said, as men started to surround him, “We were having difficulties finding another match anyways” 

 

He glares her in the eye, voice strong despite his crushing adrenaline at having his friends shot behind him and Jihyo... no don’t think about her, they’re probably... bluffing. Except he knew that his mother was fully capable of doing what she had just described.

 

“You’re not going to get away with this, I’ll stop you somehow” 

 

“Okay, you do that hun” She laughed with a knowing look, she knew what the science team had created, there was no way her test would be ruined, “Now go meet the others” 

 

He was manhandled roughly toward the bus, men surrounding him on all sides as he struggled, throwing petty insults left and right. He watched as the suitcase opened to reveal an actual boy, and in his squirming, he was able to glimpse his friends being carried toward the bus with him. 

 

Inside, there were five others, strapped into their own seats and wearing white. 

 

I’ll get us all out of here

 

He made one final show of struggle before someone pulled out a syringe. 

 

Somehow