Heathens (Part 1)
Genre: Conspiracy!AU; Action; Angst
Word Count: 2,854
Warnings: Violence; Suggestive Content
Author’s Note: Listen to “Heathens” by Twenty One Pilots as you read, if possible! I basically had it on repeat while I was writing this and it really helped me get into the story.
“In ninety-six hours, the city will be on lock-down. No one may enter. No one may leave. All citizens are to remain inside as the city is purged, unless instructed otherwise or chosen for the draft. If selected for the draft, citizens must….”
A chill ran through your spine as you walked the cold streets of your city. ‘Why the hell is it so empty out here…?,’ you thought, listening to the sound of your heels clacking against the concrete.
“Aye, Sweetheart! You know where I can find a good time around here?,” a voice called out to you from an approaching car.
“You just found one,” you smirked, walking over and leaning on the window of the navy blue hunk of metal. “Question is: how much are ‘ya willin’ to pay for it?”
Getting a good look at the guy made you uneasy and the crooked, almost devious, grin he wore made you sick to your stomach.
“Whatever the price, I’m sure your ass is worth it. Get in,” he instructed, opening the door.
You slid in and closed the door before looking at him with a serious expression. “$500 upfront.”
“$500′s a little steep, don’t ‘ya think?,” he chuckled, placing a hand on your thigh.
“I said $500. Take your hand off of me.”
“The fuck did you just say to me?!” Rough, calloused hands grabbed your arm and you sprung into action, pulling your pocket knife from inside your shirt and flicking it open to graze his neck.
“Pull some shit like that again and I’ll slice your fucking Adam’s apple.”
You made it out of that car with $500.
The feeling of money sliding through your fingers as you counted took your mind off the decreasing temperature. As you pushed forward, you noticed a van slowing down beside you from the corner of your eye. Walking a bit faster, you tried to stay calm and look for a turn to take. Seeing your opportunity, you picked up speed and turned left, only to have the large black vehicle follow you. The moment you broke into a run, you felt a sharp pain in your leg, causing you to fall to the ground.
“Hey…..Hey….Hey!,” a male voice startled you out of what you had assumed was a terrible dream. When you opened your eyes, a boy around your age came into view. He sat across from you with wild eyes and matted hair clinging to his forehead in a paste of sweat, dirt, and blood. It wasn’t until after you took note of his disheveled appearance that you realized you hadn’t been dreaming at all. Glancing around the room didn’t do much because of how dark it was and as you moved to rub your eyes, you noticed that your hands were bound by rope.
“Who the hell are you?,” you asked, clearly still in a state of confusion.
“I could ask you the same thing,” he scoffed.
“Yeah, well I asked you first. Start talkin’.”
“Name’s Jungkook. Been here for about two days.”
“And where is ‘here’?”
“My guess is we’re in the basement of a testing center.”
“Yeah. What, did they fuck up your hearing before throwing you in here? What’s your name, anyway?”
“_____. Why are we in a testing center?”
“Aside from ‘testing’ being the most obvious answer, I don’t know much more than you. We are sitting here in the dark together,” he quipped sarcastically.
“Point taken. Hey, think you can reach my pocket knife? It’s in my shirt.”
“I can try,” he muttered, reaching towards you.
You leaned back for a moment and said, “Grab anything other than the knife and I’ll make however long we have in here a living hell.”
“Don’t flatter yourself,” he chuckled, reaching into your shirt. Once he gripped the handle, he pulled out the utensil and flicked it open before tilting his head to the side as a signal for you to turn around. Following suit, you shifted so your back was facing him and he quickly slashed through the rope. You rubbed your wrists, hoping to soothe them a bit before returning the favor. After folding the pocket knife and returning it to the inside of your shirt you looked at him. “So, what now?”
“Now I can send our location to some friends of mine. They’ll have us out of here in no time,” he spoke with a smug grin as he pulled out his phone and typed something at lightning speed.
Screams echoing through the halls snatched you from whatever daydream you had escaped reality with. They never ended and you never became numb to them. Pure agony. Whatever they did to people in there…you hoped you wouldn’t find out through experience.
“’They’ll have us out of here in no time’, huh?,” you asked, mouth dry from both your tone and extreme thirst.
“Well, what the fuck do you want me to do from in here?,” he replied in frustration.
Before you could answer, the door swung opened, banging against the wall. “Two more lab rats,” a hefty voice sneered. A man with a fitting body to accompany said voice grabbed you by your hair and pulled you up.
“Hey, leave her alone!,” Jungkook yelled.
“Don’t worry, Kid. You and your little girlfriend here are going to the lab together,” he chuckled, gripping the boy’s shirt.
While he was distracted by Jungkook’s thrashing, you pulled out your weapon of choice and lodged it into the man’s thigh, severing a femoral artery. He screamed in pain, releasing the two of you as you broke into a run.
Footsteps could be heard behind you as you came to a split in the hall. Giving each other a look of confirmation, you parted ways, hoping to throw the person following you off. “Hey, Dickhead!,” you heard Jungkook scream, followed by the sound of breaking glass.
‘He must be trying to distract them so I can find help,’ you figured as you kept running. Before you could get any further, you ran into something solid. Looking up, you came face to face with a boy with mint green hair. He remained calm, but you could still sense nervous energy from him.
“Are you looking for Jungkook?,” you asked frantically.
“Yes, where is he?” Without another word, you grabbed his arm and led him back in the direction Jungkook went. Following the sound of a struggle, you found the room he was in. Just as he was about to be tackled by a much larger man, a gun went off behind you.
“Holy fuck! You have got to teach me how to do that!,” Jungkook exclaimed, wiping blood from his face as the man fell to the ground.
“One day, Kid. One day,” the green haired boy responded, placing his gun back into his pants pocket.
“Can someone please tell me what the hell is going on?,” you asked, staring blankly at the body on the floor in front of you.
“No time, We gotta get out of here,” the older boy said, turning around to walk out. Jungkook followed and you figured you had no choice but to do the same. Moving swiftly and quietly, the three of you got to what you assumed was an exit.
“It’s locked,” you huffed, trying to push it open to no avail.
Without a word, the green-haired boy nudged you back and pulled out his gun, shooting the lock. Breaking the lock set off an alarm and you immediately heard hurried footsteps coming your way. “The van’s outside. Run,” he ordered.
The three of you exited the building and ran towards the black van parked about a block away. Two men were close behind and one almost caught up to you, but was met with a bullet to the head.
“Thanks,” you breathed.
“Don’t mention it. Run faster.”
“Drive, drive!,” Jungkook yelled as you piled into the vehicle.
“Nice to see you, too, Kid,” the brown-haired boy in the driver’s seat laughed, shoving his foot into the gas pedal. Looking around, you saw that you were surrounded by seven boys.
“Who’s the girl?,” a red headed boy asked Jungkook.
Before he could answer, you replied, “The girl can speak for herself. My name is _____.”
“’Scuse me,” he chuckled, slightly impressed with your spunk.
“Guys, this is _____. Met her while we were, uh…detained,” Jungkook said.
“Wish they’d locked me up with a cute girl when I was in there,” the red head joked.
“That’s not funny, Jimin.”
“Eh, laugh to keep from crying, y’know?,” he shrugged in response before turning to you. “How’d you get caught?”
“Well, I was in the red light district-”
“I thought you looked familiar,” the mint-haired boy muttered.
“The red light district? You’re a hooker?,” Jimin asked.
“No, I’m a con artist,” you replied, holding up a twenty dollar bill. He gave you a confused look before patting down his pants pockets.
“Damn, you’re good,” he laughed, taking back the money.
“I work in that district as a hitter.” Upon seeing their confused faces, you figured you should explain your position. “Safety precautions. I help keep the girls safe, make sure they get paid, and pick off the creeps. The madams slide me the extra money and I keep scum out of the red light district. Even pocket some of their cash if I can. Doesn’t pay as well as actual prostitution, but the clientele skeeves me out, so I wouldn’t be able to do that, anyway.”
“So, hypothetically speaking, if you had better clientele, you’d fuck for cash?,” green hair asked nonchalantly.
“Yoongi!,” Jungkook exclaimed.
“What? I said ‘hypothetically’,” he shrugged.
“No, I will not sleep with you for money. Or for free,” you quickly added, seeing his eyebrow quirk at the end of your first statement. “Anyway, I got shot in the leg with something while I was out there and then I passed out. Woke up in that basement with Jungkook. Now can someone please tell me what the hell is going on?”
“MKULTRA. Montauk Project. Ever heard of them?,” a boy in a black beanie with blonde hair beneath it asked from the passenger’s seat.
“Heard the names. That’s about it.”
“Well, just know that they were fucked up. Government experimentation on innocent people. I don’t know exactly what they’re doing it again for, though.”
“Probably some type of war tactic. It’s about time they got into another one for an economic upturn,” Yoongi suggested. Just as the blonde haired boy was about to speak again, static was heard over the radio.
“In forty-eight hours, the city will be on lock-down. No one may enter. No one may leave. All citizens are to remain inside as the city is purged, unless instructed otherwise or chosen for the draft. If selected for the draft, citizens must comply. If citizens fail to comply, they may be terminated. Thank you and have a nice night,” the stoic female voice spoke.
“What the fuck?!,” you exclaimed.
“Exactly,” Yoongi replied.
“If we don’t get out of here before the lock-down, we’re fucked,” Jimin said.
“You’re all leaving town?,” a mix of confusion and fear laced your tone.
“You’re staying here? They’ll only find you again. They usually take DNA samples from their victims.”
“If she wants to stay here and become a guinea pig, let her. It’s not like we have much room to spare,” another nameless brunette answered as the vehicle came to a halt.
“We can’t leave her here,” Jungkook interjected before turning to you. “We’re not leaving you here.”
“Jungkook, I’m clearly not wanted here and it’s within reason. I’m a complete stranger to you all, so I can’t really blame them. Thanks for helping me escape, but I’m sure I’ll be fine going back home.”
“Well, even if you don’t skip town, you probably shouldn’t go back to your home. Chances are they’re raiding it as we speak. You don’t live with any family or roommates do you?,” the driver asked.
“No, I live alone.”
“Good. They’d probably be dead by now, anyway. Alright, everybody out.”
As everyone got out of the car, you finally got a good look at the odd bunch of boys who saved you. “If you want to stay here, we won’t try to convince you otherwise. Just sleep on it. We’re gathering provisions tomorrow then heading out before nightfall,” the blonde said before walking ahead of you.
You looked around at the secluded area and followed the seven boys into what looked like a run-down house.
Jungkook’s clothes weren’t exactly your style, but they were clean, so they would have to do. After wringing out your freshly washed clothes, you hung them over the towel rack in the bathroom and made your way to the living room.
“Here, I saved you some,” Jungkook said, handing you a bowl of chili and a piece of bread on some aluminum foil. You thanked him and sat down before eating a spoonful.
“So, I know that the redhead is Jimin and Yoongi is the one with green hair. Who are the others?,” you asked.
After taking a huge bite of bread, he dusted the crumbs from his mouth and answered. “Uh…The blonde is Namjoon. The driver was Jin. Hoseok was-”
“The one that clearly doesn’t like me very much.”
“Don’t take it personally. He’s just really cautious, that’s all. It takes him a while to warm up to people because they have to earn his trust.”
“Well, I won’t have to worry about that since I’m going home tomorrow…,” you said nonchalantly, taking another bite of chili.
“If that’s the case, then why’d you bother asking?,” he smugly quipped, one eyebrow raising slightly.
The sound of clattering from the kitchen caught your attention. Looking behind you, you noticed the boy with lighter brown hair who hadn’t spoken at all when you were in the van.
“And the quiet one?,” you mumbled just low enough for only Jungkook to hear.
“V?,” you asked skeptically.
“He doesn’t remember his real name. Whatever they did to him, it really fucked him up, but he won’t talk about it…He doesn’t talk much at all, to be honest.”
You watched V open the breadbox, only to find it empty. Noticing the disappointed expression on his face, you grabbed your slice of bread and walked into the kitchen. Tapping him on the shoulder startled him, but he quickly calmed down.
“Here. You can have mine,” you smiled softly, offering it to him. He looked down at it, then back at you before slowly grasping it. When he reached towards you, his sleeve shifted slightly, allowing you to see some kind of tattoo on his wrist. ‘V101’ was crudely etched into his skin in black ink.
“Thank you,” he said, just above a whisper as the corner of his mouth twitched in what you figured was an attempt at a smile.
“Rise and shine, kids!,” Jin called as he made his way through the hallway. Still a bit drowsy, you sat up and shook Jungkook’s shoulder, attempting to wake him. He swatted your hand away and rubbed his eyes. “I’m up, I’m up.”
“Jungkook, have you seen my first aid kit?,” the older male asked. Instead of answering, he simply pointed underneath the coffee table.
“Ah, there it is,” he said, kneeling down to grab it. He opened it up and scanned over all of the equipment, making sure everything was there.
“I’ve never seen a first aid kit that was so…extensive,” you trailed off, eyes catching sight of a few sharp utensils.
“Well, most civilians haven’t,” he chuckled before going on. “I, uh…I’m a professional.”
“So, like a doctor or surgeon or something?”
You gave him a confused look and he smiled a bit as he spoke. “I didn’t want to say anything about my previous occupation because I figured it would make you want to leave…I used to work for the government on these…projects, for lack of a better term. A few years ago when they first started…and only on willing test subjects.”
“But you don’t work for them anymore. Why?”
“Eventually, the subjects weren’t willing anymore…and neither was my best friend when they took him for testing. I helped him escape and every time another city goes on lock-down, we move on to the next.”
Namjoon walked into the room, stretching as he spoke. “Everyone should be ready to go in about twenty minutes. Pack the essentials and we’ll pick up anything else we need when we leave.”
“Got it,” Jin replied, closing the kit and standing. Namjoon nodded and left to collect the others. Before Jin could follow, you lightly grabbed his wrist.
“Why don’t you want me to leave?”
He looked at you with a sincere expression and sighed. “Because I don’t think you should risk being captured again. I’ve seen what those people go through, what most of these boys have gone through…and it’s not something I would wish on anyone.”
“What did they go through?”
“I’m afraid those aren’t my stories to tell,” he shrugged slightly.