The pitter-patter of footsteps resonated throughout the building as orders were shouted out from the other side of the door.
The young man was shaking, wondering what was happening and fearing that they’d come to get him again. He tried once more to concentrate on the noises he heard, focusing on the thoughts that filled his head.
Suddenly, the orders turned into screams as their thoughts yelled inside the boy’s brain:
“It hurts! Make it stop! Please” the voices pleaded to no avail.
The young man let out a choked whimper and tried to not listen, putting hands on his ears to stop the voices intruding his head.
He removed his hands slowly, curious about the situation.
A faint smell of smoke made its way to the door, filling the terrified man’s nostrils, making him cough slightly.
Turning his eyes towards the door, he noticed black smoke coming inside the room before it burst open in a black and purple cloud.
Coughing was heard as strangers entered the room.
“I swear to god Suga, this is the last time I’m letting you burn shit down,” said a muffled voice in the smoke.
“Shut up” responded another one.
Finally, the black smoke dissipated, leaving two people standing in the room.
The first one was tall and slightly built. His light brownish hair fell into his eyes and a black mask was covering his face. He wore fully black clothes, a hoodie hiding most of his head. His eyes, barely peeking through his bangs, seemed determined.
The other one was a lot shorter, with blond hair and similar attire. The only difference was the snap-back he was wearing. His size didn't make him less intimidating, however.
“There’s one more here J-Hope” the blond one said in an earpiece.
The tall one approached the cage in which the boy was, cautiously.
“Hey there,” he said in a soft voice “We aren’t here to hurt you, we’re here to save you”
“Move RM, I’ll melt the bars”
The other stepped aside while the one named Suga put his hands on two bars. The bars reddened at a fast pace, heat coming out of the man’s hands before he easily pulled them aside to leave space for the boy in the cage to come out.
However, after multiple attempts to make the boy move, he stayed in a corner, clearly frightened.
RM made his way inside the box, making the boy whimper slightly.
“shh you’re safe” he murmured.
Seeing the man continue to fidget, RM sighed before his eyes started glowing a pearly white.
“Calm down” he ordered.
The boy calmed down immediately.
“Now come to me and come out of the cell” he continued.
After the boy had obeyed, RM’s eyes stopped glowing, the boy coming back to his senses again.
He turned to RM, clearly scared of what had happened before trying to back up into the cell once more.
Out of nowhere, Suga gave him a hit on the nape, causing him to fall unconscious.
“You didn’t need to do that you know?” sighed RM.
“Yes I did, now help me carry him and take his files”
RM picked up the files on the table in front of the cell before putting them in the bag Suga was carrying.
“Jeon Jungkook uh”
When he woke up, Jungkook was in a place he couldn’t recognize.
Panicking, he started trying to get up and leave when a hand touched his shoulder delicately.
“Hey hey hey, it’s okay, you’re in safe hands,” said a voice.
He turned towards an older looking woman smiling at him with gentle eyes. She had long straight black hair and dark eyes.
“You’re okay sweetheart” she murmured calmly, moving a strand of hair from Jungkook’s face making him flinch slightly. “Welcome to Bangtan, we’ll explain more when everyone is awake alright?”
Jungkook seemed to calm down slowly, his tense shoulders relaxing as he sensed no danger coming from the woman.
“Are you hungry love?” she asked “If you follow me I’ll lead you to the living room, a buffet is installed”
The young man nodded, getting up, his legs wobbling in the process.
“Can you talk?” she continued.
Jungkook hesitated, not really knowing how to answer.
“Are you scared to talk?” her eyes softened.
The boy nodded once more, slowly, seemingly embarrassed.
“It’s okay, take your time. When you feel like you can talk to us, don’t hesitate. We’re your new family now”
Jungkook let out a small smile at that before taking in his surroundings.
He was in a light brown room with a big window, letting Jungkook see the forest outside. The room had two big dressers in front of two beds -one of which Jungkook used- as well as a dark brown rug in the middle between the beds. On the side next to one of the dresser, was a door that probably led to a bathroom. It smelled like freshly cut wood as the window let a soft breeze in.
“Oh, I didn’t even present myself. People call me Eomma here because this is my mansion. It is also my code name.”
Seeing Jungkook’s confused face, she continued:
“The boys will explain to you more in detail in about 30 minutes or so. Now get up, shower and get dressed. There are some things in the wardrobe for you to wear, take whatever you like. I’ll be waiting outside the door.”
The floor creaked as she got out the door, shutting it with a light click.
Jungkook sighed before advancing towards one of the wardrobes.
When he opened it, he noticed a mirror on the inside of the door.
He exhaled loudly upon seeing himself. He still wore the hospital gown and boxers they had given him. He had dark circles under his brown eyes and his hair was starting to become too long for him to see without moving his fringe to the side again.
Wanting to shower badly, after being forced not to for a few days, Jungkook took the first things he found in the wardrobe before rushing to the bathroom.
The water felt so nice as it trickled down his skin, making him sigh contently. The minty smell of the soap soothed him as he poured it in his hand.
Wherever he was, it was far better than the rehabilitation camp.
The lady was patiently waiting outside the door, a book in hand and glasses on her face when Jungkook opened the door.
He ended up liking the shirt he had on: yellow with a white rabbit/alien. It reminded him of his old home and the cute rabbit he used to own.
Cookie must be lonely without him now. How long had he been gone for? How many years had passed by?
He couldn’t know. They never let him look at a clock and always had him in a cell when they weren’t leading him to that room.
Suddenly, he wasn’t in the corridor with Eomma anymore. He was back there, screaming for help, stuck on this weird machine restraining him as they shocked him over and over and over-
“Jungkook, hey, look at me! You’re okay, you’re not there anymore” a voice called out.
Suddenly, he opened his eyes, not realizing when he had closed them and removed his hands from pulling at his hair. His breathing was erratic as he tried to inhale, choking on air.
In front of him, Eomma raised his face in her hands.
“Look at me, look at me!” she said, trying to catch his attention “Follow my breathing”
Jungkook did as he was told, taking shaky inhales as thoughts came to his mind.
They yelled in his brain. He didn’t realize that it was his own voice screaming at him.
He tried his best on controlling his thoughts by concentrating on Eomma’s.
“That’s it, slowly. What has happened to you poor boy? I promise on my life that you’ll be okay from now on.” They said.
His breathing slowed down as he let the lady’s thoughts sooth his mind.
“See? Nothing to be scared of. You’re not there anymore okay?”
Jungkook nodded, a small thankful smile staying on his lips as he shyly avoided eye-contact.
“If you’re good now, follow me and we’ll go eat okay?”
The thought of eating something made Jungkook’s stomach flip. He hadn’t had anything correct for months. Would he even be able to eat?
As if sensing his distress, Eomma laid a hand delicately on his shoulder, smiling at him.
“It’s okay if you don’t eat much, don’t force yourself. But try to eat something okay?”
Jungkook hummed softly as a response, making her face brighten up from knowing that he would be able to talk eventually.
As she led him through the long corridors and down the stairs in one of the living rooms, she talked to him about her life.
They were situated in the middle of the forest in Busan in a manor she owned. She was a very successful fashion designer and her husband -nicknamed Appa- was the CEO of a company.
They weren’t happy with the world they lived in, however.
Being under a dictator’s orders who tried to control as much as he could of the population was a nightmare.
The “authorities” were an even bigger issue.
In this world, you didn’t have a choice between being yourself or following orders.
Because being yourself, when you were a magic user, was considered unacceptable.
Many people just lived with it. But when the “authorities” were granted the power to use their own magic, the world disagreed. But compared to the rest of the population, they were trained and knew how to use their powers. So they used it. They used it to discriminate. They used it to abuse people, to blackmail them, to steal from them.
While some cowered in fear and did what they were told, a small minority were starting to plot against the authorities. The same authorities that took away their children when they “didn’t behave” to send them into “rehabilitation camps” never to be seen again.
No one knew what had happened to their children. No one knew what happened in those camps.
Some of them came back, brainwashed and turned into members of the authorities. Most never came back.
Having a child in this world was difficult. So Eomma decided that enough was enough when her kid started to show signs that he was a magic user. She decided to teach him how to be like everyone.
What she didn’t do, however, was to teach him to stop using his powers forever.
No, she trained him at home where the cameras in the streets couldn’t watch, where there were no computers or phones or anything that could be used against them. She trained him to be strong, to help others, to never give up his powers and to fight back when needed. However, she also explained to him how to be unnoticeable, how to look like anyone and everyone, how to never use his powers in public.
While Appa was a human without powers, Eomma was not. She was a magic user that had barely noticeable powers: she could feel people. They emitted an aura of some sorts, whether it was of their mood or intentions, she knew what people felt or what they had in mind without intruding their thoughts.
Before she had time to explain some more, they had arrived inside one of the living rooms where laid an enormous amount of food, making Jungkook’s stomach growl with want.
As they were both taking plates with food, Eomma explained that they’d have to go eat in a conference room with more people where “the boys” were going to introduce themselves and what this place fully is.
The idea of being in a crowd of people made Jungkook’s blood turn cold and his hands start to sweat.
Immediately noticing Jungkook’s change of behaviour, Eomma patted his head in a friendly manner.
“You’re going to be okay, we’ll sit in the corner as far away from people as you need alright?”
Jungkook smiled lightly, trying to show her that he was fine but she wasn’t really convinced.
She sighed before leading him to the conference room.
There were so many people.
About 20 people were sitting around a big round table.
Some of them seemed calmer while others were fidgety like Jungkook, never looking anyone in the eyes.
Jungkook guessed that they were all from the same camp as him.
There were people a variety of ages, from small children to adults mostly.
The old people in the camps were probably dead on their first day there.
Jungkook’s breathing accelerated as his vision got dark on the corners, making him feel trapped, unable to escape again.
“Let’s go sit in a corner, okay?” asked Eomma quietly sensing his distress and pulling him out of his thoughts.
They both sat at the end of the table and started eating slowly, taking their time as they waited for “the boys” to arrive.
After a few minutes of waiting, an elegant young man entered the room.
He had short brown hair and wore a black suit, hugging his broad shoulders, his dark brown eyes looked gentle yet firm. He had a mask on the lower half of his face, hiding it.
“Hello everyone, my code name SJ, I am the son of the owners of this mansion, “Appa” ”
A man wearing a similar mask in the other corner raised his hand and waved it.
Eomma copied the man -who was most definitely her husband- and smiled at the people looking at her.
“Apart from Appa here, all of us are magic users. All of you come from a rehabilitation camp in Busan where we rescued you. I’m going to let the rest of the group introduce themselves first and then we’ll explain what we are.”
SJ stepped aside to signal some more people to enter.
The first one to enter was RM, the first man that had rescued Jungkook from his cell.
He looked even more serious than before: his eyes were sharp and concentrated. It took a lot of will power for Jungkook not to look into his thoughts as he was curious about the man.
“Welcome everyone, I am RM, one of the founders and the leader of this organization that we’ll introduce in more details in a few minutes.”
Coming in next to him was Suga.
He looked so much like a cat that Jungkook kind of wanted to squish his cheeks. However, he seemed really bored yet even more serious than RM. Jungkook was intrigued by the guy, but he knew that he’d probably never approach him.
“Welcome. My code name is Suga. Second founder of the organization.” he said briefly as if he had done it a million times.
Next to him, a boy with brown hair had sneaked in out of nowhere. Even if he smiled at the people in the room, something seemed to be bothering him. His eyes weren't smiling at all, making Jungkook very uncomfortable.
"Hi everyone!" he said excitedly "My name J-Hope. I was saved like you by RM and Suga, so I know how confusing this must be but we’re nearly done with the presentations"
As he talked, he seemed to notice something in the back of the class and panic crossed his eyes before they became blank again.
Jungkook was perplexed.
Next, a younger looking boy entered the room. He had ashy blond hair and a beret on his head. As he talked, he looked mostly at the ground or the back of the class, never making eye contact with anyone.
"Good morning everyone, I hope you had a pleasant sleep here in the mansion. My name is V, I am the newest addition to the organization, apart from you guys of course. Hope you have a fantastic stay and welcome to the organization”
“Now that we’ve introduced them let me explain what we are.” started RM “We are Bangtan Sonyeondan a group that rebelled against the authorities to protect magic users and the rest of the population. We operate within Busan as of right now to liberate people from the rehabilitation camps and bring them to differently protected habitations that Appa and Eomma had the pleasure of letting us have”
“You have three choices, it’s simple: you can join Bangtan and help us save more people after having had some training or you can be safe and sound in the habitations that they lent us. It’s on one condition: no contact with people you know. You are dead to them. If you want to start a new life and live peacefully then join the habitations. But if you d rather risk your life to meet people you knew before, feel free to leave. However, if you leak any info about us, we will find you and execute you mercilessly” explained Suga.
Jungkook felt slightly fidgety from Suga’s speech. He wanted to see his family again... After those long years, he missed them.
But he understood, he understood why they shouldn’t: if the authorities somehow knew they were out, they would try to capture them again, or worst, kill them and their family. Plus, they didn’t know how their families would react from seeing them again.
“If you plan on joining us to fight, you will stay in this manor with us so that we can train in the soundproof basement. If you’re too scared to be on the field but want to participate in a way, you can guard the habitations while disguised as staff members. You would be in charge of taking care of any roaming authority: try to distract them or show them that it's a normal building. If it doesn't work, kill them. For those who join us, since we made sure to take the files of each and every one of you, you shouldn’t be recognized. So we infiltrated the “normal world” with normal jobs to have some money to buy things and to hear what the authorities are doing all around. At night, however, when we plan an attack, everybody needs to wear a mask and a hoodie or a hat." continued J-Hope.
"While most of us stay at the base or work outside, some of us go steal resources so that we can feed and give clothes to everyone as Eomma and Appa can’t provide everything to us" added V.
Appa got up and faced the crowd:
"We own a building complex where you can all hide. It appears like any normal building complex close to the city so the authorities won't be suspicious. Plus, my company is close to the authorities which makes it easier for us."
“You have a week to make your decision on where you want to go. Small children are not allowed on the fields as well as physically disabled people for obvious reasons.” continued Eomma from her chair “When you’ve made your decision feel free to tell one of the boys or my husband and I.”
She then proceeded to give everyone a map of where they were allowed to go in the manor before dismissing everyone after asking if anyone had questions and no one responded.
While Eomma went towards her son, Jungkook observed.
He noticed the frown on SJ’s face as he seemed to be scolding her about something.
“Ma’, I told you to wear a mask! What if one of them flees and tells the authorities about it? You may have not given out your name but they’d be able to recognize your face pretty easily!” he whisper-yelled.
“I forgot SJ... But come on, do you think one of these poor souls would want to sell us out to the authorities?”
Jungkook stopped listening, too busy thinking about what he should be doing.
Jungkook didn’t know what to do.
He didn’t want to stay with nothing to do in a building complex nor did he want to stay with that many people -and from what he had heard, they were not the first ones to be saved, which meant even more people-. However, he didn’t think he’d be of any use on the fields.
He only had a week to figure it out.