Pandemic

In an alternate reality, the first "contagious mental disease" is sweeping the world. A group of teenagers are on the run from an organisation that are never seen, but all they know is that they have to find something called the honeypot.

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1. Introductions (Four different ones)

~ Clara ~

She looked up slowly with big doe eyes. Although a certain dopey weight hung on the lower lashes, the sharp acute movements of her head made it certain that she was not to be toyed with. Before her, a table of men, overlapping and folding, all hung on the moment, waiting for the words to come toppling out of her pretty mouth. The whites of her eyes were barely visible as the words escaped from her.

"Fine, I'll tell you where the honeypot is."
There was no scramble, there was no fuss amongst the faceless men, the families they were working to support were long forgotten, and their coffee wasn't the only thing keeping them awake at night.
She flicked her eyes up and down before she spoke again.
"I don't seem to recall a one sided bargain though."
The men moved as a whole, and retrieved the case, metal, light and was placed at a perfect angle on the table. It opened with a satisfying click.

A smile spread across her face, as she looked up coyly.
"Oh I do hope that's all for me." She fluttered her eyelashes at the expressionless dozen. Her smile promptly disappeared and she reached forward with an acrylic touch, running her fingers lightly over the smooth paper, biting her lip and occasionally looking up at the unmoving faces. She slowly closed her hand around one of their bundles of paper and the case lid slammed. Her lips formed a silent scream as the lid was pushed down with almost unnatural force. She looked up with eyes like a deer in headlights at the man in the suit.

"Where is the honeypot?"
"Wouldn't you like to know."
His iron force pressed down harder as he watched her squirm under his indirect touch, his eyes fixed on hers with no feeling to extract from either end. She gasped a little, as she looked down to see the crimson red trickling down her ring finger. The man smirked, expecting tears to spring from her eyes. Instead she stood from her chair, tossing auburn hair and resting her other hand on the table. She came nose to nose, breath to breath, empty soul to empty soul.

"Big fucking mistake."

The smirk dissolved from his face as plaster erupted behind her. She moved her lips to him and stole a kiss before she slumped back down to her chair, a coral smile playing across her face. Men in black armour an from behind her and each launched themselves at a man in a suit. Looking around, she opened the case like a cookie jar, and took the bundles out, smelling, relishing.
She closed her eyes, and her teeth found their way over her lip to the sound of bullets ringing through skulls.

* * *

~ Max ~

"I'm fucking telling you, this stuff will blow the old stuff out of your arse." Max flung his head back up to check his appearance in the mirror. Scrunching his nose and raising his eyebrows, he deduced he looked fucking marvellous. His friend's head came up seconds after, hurriedly dabbing his nose as he sniffed vigorously. Their bodies bobbing, feeling the white lines on their mind.
The toilets were filthy, smelled like decaying dignity and the faint moans of a couple could be heard from a back alley.

"Well," announced Max, grinning uncontrollably turning to the friend, "Are we gonna fucking do this or what?"
"You are, you're fucking mental enough." The boy smiled back in an almost honourable fashion. Max sniffed deeply and narrowed his eyes at the mirror. While fixing his hair, the young man turned to Max, with one eye still on his mirrored image.
"Look, come on, she's never looked at you like that before, in fact, I don't even think she's ever looked at you."
"Fuck that shit, she's obviously too intimidated by my ravishing good looks and riveting personality. She'll notice me tonight, and if she doesn't, I'll make her fucking notice, you see." His thick Glaswegian accent penetrated the cold air and the friend turned back to the mirror and fixed his frazzled hair.
"And how the fuck are you going to do that?"
"Courage my friend," claimed Max rather pompously as he unbuttoned his shirt and looked at him with his signature smugness.
"Courage," he smiled, "and high grade crack!"

Max felt like he was looking through a kaleidoscope as he walked through the club, he was sure he'd never seen so many colours before. His eyes snapped to and focused on so many unimportant faces, and he began to feel a sweating in the palm of his hands. Still, he followed the neon curves he so very much lusted for. His sweaty palms found his way to them, touch assured him it was very much real.

"A drink for the smashing lass."
"What the fuck, you prick, get your fucking hands off me!"
She looked just too perfect to Max. A fake daydream. Extensions galore, nails that could open a tin of beans, yet she was perfect to Max's pickled mind.
"Oh come now love, don't play hard to get, it's me, Max, you know, I come here most nights."
"Look, I ain't never seen you in my life, so how about you just fuck off." And with that she turned her back on him, accepting applause from her friends about being a 'feminist'. Max felt like he'd just been delivered a smack to the face. He felt insulted, angry and strangely turned on at the same time. The tips of his head of curls were beginning to stick to his forehead and he sudden to became aware of the sweltering heat. He tried to settle his hands on her curves again, feeling suddenly sick to the stomach. He whispered in her ear.
"Come on baby, lets not put all the effort and fake tan to waste eh? I'm just as desperate as you are, lets not pretend we have any standards now." His hands found their way all over her body, feeling so many ways to touch with his quaking hands. He closed his eyes but as soon as he opened them, he heard a cat chorus of "rape" and he was lifted off his feet by numerous men.
"Oh what the fuck? People get off in clubs all the fucking time!" He was by now screaming at the top of his lungs. Tis was the biggest kick he could ever get, feeling free. He saw his friend in the corner, he waved, it wasn't returned. "It is just cause I'm the man eh? Is it just cause I'm from Glasgow?" He screamed after the face he'd make sure he never saw again.

Seconds later, he felt numbing pain round his back as he found himself on the pavements on London. The cobbles were cold and uncomfortable, but years of sleeping on floors had given him a certain hardiness. Reclining on his back as he felt the come down, he looked up with tear brimmed eyes at the remaining stars and he thought to himself,
'This must be the only place, in the world, where a man can lie flat on the cobbles outside a club without anyone giving a flying fuck.'

* * *

~ Tibs ~

The windows of the service bus were dirty, and the grime and dirt obscured her view. She could vaguely make out a gliding overlapping landscape of water and trees. Tibs' rubbed the window with her hands to get a better view, but the world became further distorted than it already was. She looked over shoulder as if she were still being followed, and instead made eye contact with a unshaven man. She smiled politely and turned back to her privacy without waiting for a response.

She was a pretty girl, to everyone but herself of course. Pale face, pale lips an easily describable person physically, but the extent to which she thought through her life inside was an expanse of intricate, pretend conversations with people shed never spoken to, and band lyrics. Tibs was a lonely child, a baby wrapped in a blanket in the middle of a field. She looked out directly and the bushes became horizontal hues of green and yellow.

Her dizziness allowed her the luxury of forgetting where she was for a split second, but then she remembered.

The snow falling to the earth was the same that fell on her eyelashes as she hurriedly left with a suitcase before her broken father returned. The bus squeaked to a halt as the driver announced it was the last stop. Tibs was happy that she had gone far enough by bus, and now it was the time to start on foot. She stepped off of the vehicle and it sped away without her. She took a few seconds to review herself, her nail polish was chipped, her hands were bitten red by the cold, and she cursed to herself for forgetting gloves, a hat, or a scarf. Then, taking one last shuddery breath, she made her ascent to freedom.

The land was perfectly flat, and all around her the snow was falling, flurrying and settling on the ground, on the grass, in her mind. The colour of the sky was hard to make out, but the violent hues of her pink shoes were visible as she looked down at her feet. She could not remember how long she had looked at them for, but when she looked up, she was at a crossroad, with no sign posts, or white lines on the road. She smiled to herself as she took in the sheer beauty of the settling snow, and suddenly, her bruises and red fingertips didn't seem to matter anymore.

It was then that she heard it, the shrieking tyres that she knew too well, she looked behind her and saw a silver car tearing through the snow. Without a doubt of what was behind her, she began to run as fast as she could, tears stinging her eyes, terrified of what would happen if she were caught. She cradled the suitcase to her body, but out the corner of her eye, she saw the car slow down beside her, and the familiar face of the man she feared most. She continued to try to run but within a few seconds she heard the crunching of feet behind her.
"You never were very good at running, were you, you fat bitch?" She turned to face him, and was not disappointed when she did so expecting a slap. The cold stinging the red patch on her cheek, she looked up at the face she had hoped she'd never had to see again. His face was drained of all colour, and his eyes never seemed to blink unless sleeping. She opened the suitcase and let her useless necessities fall to the ground as she took out her own fathers gun. Taking it in a numb, shaken hand she pointed it at him.

"I was wondering where that was, hand it over Tibs, come on." He said, his voice was soft and mesmerising, like the voice he used to read books to her when she was small. Closing her eyes, she shook her head vigorously.
"Come on now Tibby, hand it over, daddy knows what to do with it." He pronounced her name this time with venom injected into every syllable. Still Tibs kept her hand as best she could from shaking as she held the gun up to him with frost-bitten hands. He shook his head,
"Don't test me you-"

At first beating Tibs to the ground was on is brain, now, his brains were on the ground.

Tears rolled down her cheeks, dropping the gun as if infected, her hysterical screams tore through the empty fields and nobody noticed.

* * *

~ Julian ~

He rose as he did everyday, not due to his own desire to do well and seize the day of his ever shrinking lifespan. But due to some godly force pulling him up, dressing him. The only think he did for himself anymore was dragging fumes through his body. He stood on the balcony of the council flat, gently exhaling smoke from his lips. He was an odd looking boy, but strangely attractive in his own right. With one hand he fondled the cigarette and with another he rubbed his hand against his cheek to see if the four days without shaving could go unnoticed. He felt the prickly texture but left it, deciding he had no one to shave it for.

Satisfied this section of the morning was over, he removed himself from the outside world and sealed himself in his flat. A message was left from his mother on the phone, the black plastic told him that she couldn't continue to pay for him living there anymore. Suddenly, a flurry of thoughts flushed his mind, what if he'd gone to university, what if he made something of himself, but he ignored them, as he usually did, and beat himself down to the sofa.

He had lived in this room for so long he could describe every detail to any of his Internet friends. The neatly stacked issues of NME, the beaten leather sofa that lay in the centre of the room that he felt he had grown up with, and how there was a patch of mould behind his Klimt measuring exactly 6.37 centimetres horizontally and 7.93 centimetres vertically. Although he lived in a diverse city with 104, 221 people, 561 inhabitants in the block of council flats, and 22 beings on his floor, he preferred to live in forums. To be exact, forums discussing the human mind. Hour after hour he would scroll, absorbed in the surreal feeling that he could be face to face with insanity, but never have to experience it his whole life.

That was when it happened, the unfamiliar beep of a person addressing him on chat. A girl person, cheekygirl118. Almost immediately Julian's hands began to sweat and his heart rate became unsteady. The message read:
- Heyy, just saying that I found your post on the Milgram experiment amazing - He swallowed a dry throat before he slowly dropped his hands to type back.
- Er thanks. Nt used to contact on here -
- haha, I'm surprised, you're so clever -
Julian smiled and stared with unblinking eyes at the screen, wondering if this was real, or in fact, the scrolling had turned him completely mad.
- Thanks. Done a lot of posting on here yourself? -
- Yeah, I was researching some really interesting stuff about the Stanford prison experiment a while back! :P - Julian smiled, she was pretty, kind, and liked the same things he did. Maybe they could meet up and she would become his girlfriend. He blushed gently as he imagined a life with her, he forgot all about rejection. Tears sprung to her eyes as he imagined the faceless name in a white dress. He decided he would take the first step towards his life of happiness, believing that she could save him from his suburban purgatory. His heart was a hummingbird as he typed the next sentence.
- Do you want to meet up and talk about it more? -

Two hours later of sitting at the screen staring, and there was no response. I was too forward, the smiley face was too much, I wasn't interesting enough, I'm not attractive enough, I'm not funny enough.
He spent the next hours of his life crying himself to and early sleep.
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