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ACT I: THE PURGE

Chapter 1: Run

 

“Just remember all the good the Purge does.”

 


It's raining and she doesn't know where to go.

Running.

Drops are soaking her clothes and street lamps barely light her way.

Running.

Strands of hair stick to her face and shivers are running down her spine.

Running.

She holds the child close underneath her dripping wet coat.

Running.

The small alpha doesn't say anything, her tiny clenched fist pressing against her skin.

Running.

The rain drowns both their panicked scents.

 

The laughs and voices sound more and more muffled, far away. Maybe they have finally outrun them.

"Ah !"

The impact with the body throws her to the ground.

"Trick or treat !"

Jiwoo looks up, rain blurring her sight. The clown mask hiding the purger's face is horrendous.

"An omega and her pup, huh ?"

She holds the child for dear life.

"Now that's my kind of treat."

The purger leans down, coming face to face with her.

Jiwoo tries to kick her in the shin but the woman blocks her, holding her ankle. She thrashes about and the other pulls her by the leg and punches her in the face.

She can barely breathe as panic chokes her. She's paralyzed, blood running from her nose to her lips. The child whimpers against her chest, probably because of her raging heartbeat.

The purger grabs a fistful of her hair and pulls her up.

She yelps in both surprise and pain, her legs shaking.

"Pretty face."

A mix of blood and musk fills her nostrils. An alpha.

"It's gonna be fun."

It's dizzying.

"Ah !"

The alpha pulls her hair, dragging her behind.

"No !"

Her scalp hurts and tears unwillingly well up in her eyes.

"Stop !"

She trips on her own feet, but the alpha doesn't care for a second. Her knees scratch against the wet concrete.

The child is screaming in her arms.

"Let me go !"

The alpha turns around and pushes her to the ground. She has a weapon attached in her back: a spiked mace.

"Alright ! You win." She snorts and pulls out butcher scissors from her belt. "I'm letting go."

Jiwoo freezes, staring at the spikes then the scissor blades.

"Aren't you gonna beg ?"

Her eyes are brimming with tears.

"Okay." The alpha shrugs and forces her head to the ground. She tries to fight back, flailing her legs as much as she can.

"Let go !"

The purger grips her thighs around Jiwoo's waist to lock her in place.

"Ah !"

She pulls her hair to lift her head up. The cold steel of the scissors is pressed against her cheek. She holds back a grunt as it slowly cuts the skin. The scissors then slide down to her neck.

She closes her eyes and awaits her fate. The child is wailing.

The blade squeaks against her hair and cuts her other cheek. Her head hits the concrete.

Is it done ? Is she dead ?

Cold air caresses her ear and she opens her eyes. The child hasn’t stopped crying.

She glances to the side. A few strands of hair, her hair, are on the ground, mixing in blood and water.

A sigh of relief escapes her lips. She tries to get back to her feet but the fear of letting the child fall slows her down.

Suddenly, she's grabbed by her hair.

"No !"

Her back hits the ground and she is dragged down before having the time to get up.

"Not done with you yet."

"Please no !"

At this point, her face is drowned in tears as sheer terror takes over her. And she hates it.

She hates how weak she must look. She hates how she won't let go of that child while they're both being brought to a certain death.

The purger laughs.

She has never felt so helpless, her body failing her when she needs it the most. The cries of the small being in her arms are deafening. They ring to her ears, the light of the street lamps is blinding.

She has never wanted to be dead as much as right now. She wishes she was dead so that these freaks could not hurt her anymore.

There's a hissing sound and her head hits the ground again. A throbbing pain fills her skull.

 

Tiny hands gently slap her face as Jiwoo quickly comes back to her senses. There’s disappointment as she realizes it’s still the same street, the same night, the same life.

She rolls on the side and ends up on all fours.

What used to be her hair forms a floating mass in a puddle next to them and now she understands why her neck feels so cold. Lying a meter away, their captor looks dead, but doesn’t seem like she’s been butchered like most corpses tonight.

She looks up and freezes: another purger is there, cleaning her machete.

A surgical mask hides only the lower half of her face. All over her hands and naked arms: blood.

Jiwoo brings the child to her side and takes a few steps back. It’s finally their chance.

The purger looks up and their gazes cross.

Jiwoo doesn’t think twice and run to their captor’s corpse to get the scissors.

“Ah !”

The purger has locked her head with her arm, almost choking her.

“I wouldn’t do that if I were you.”

She smells of beta.

“Le-let me go.”

“Then don’t try to kill me.” Her voice muffled by the mask. “I saved you here.”

She then releases Jiwoo who bends forward, gasping for air.

The child starts to cry, again.

“You’re gonna have to keep her quiet, the night is still young.”

Jiwoo checks her watch: only 11 PM. 8 hours left. She then goes to the child and holds her tight, attempting to release a calming scent but probably failing. The young alpha manages to quiet her sobs down to small whimpers.

“What’s her name ?”

“I don’t know.” Jiwoo shrugs, caressing the girl’s hair. “Found her alone on the street. She never replied to me.”

The purger nods. “Anyway, take that.” She takes the spiked mace from the corpse and hands it to her. “We have to move.”

“What ?!” Jiwoo gasps.

Distant screams can be heard.

“Another squad is close.”

Jiwoo stares her down. The child hides behind her.

“Don’t wanna come ?” The beta scoffs. “As you wish. I wouldn’t want to be around when the squad gets here.”

Jiwoo sighs and takes the spiked mace from her.

“That’s better.” She then starts walking.

Jiwoo takes the child’s hand in her free hand and follows in her steps.

“By the way, my name’s Somin.”

“Jiwoo.”

Chapter Text

ACT I: THE PURGE

Chapter 2: Downpour

 

“Just remember all the good the Purge does.”



“Sorry.”

They have stopped in a dark alley, Somin checking around the main road.

“Why ?”

“For chopping your hair off.”

Jiwoo rubs the fabric of her black collar, a little self-conscious to so much of her nape being exposed. She has no idea how her hair looks now, but the beta couldn’t have cut them that short. It seems to still be framing her face, strands licking her cheeks and sticking to clotted blood.

“Does it hurt ?”

Jiwoo pauses and thinks for a second. One cut on each cheekbone. They burn and itch and sting.

“Yeah…” She shrugs. “I guess it could’ve been worse.”

“Well… That’s the spirit.” The beta nods. “At least for tonight.”

Jiwoo looks down to the little girl hiding underneath her coat. It’s still raining and the cold air on her soaked clothes makes her whole body shiver.

“Put these on.” Somin is handing them surgical masks.

“Hm… Is it really necessary ?”

“I don’t know.” She gives an exaggeratedly long shrug. “I’m the purger here, but you do you.”

Jiwoo flinches at the word but manages to roll her eyes before taking them.

“Come on, pumpkin.” She looks at the child. “We’re gonna put these on, okay ?”

The small alpha responds with a scared look.

“I’m putting mine first, then you too.” Jiwoo says. “As if we’re spies.”

Pumpkin doesn’t seem that convinced but eventually lets her put the mask on her mouth.

Screams echo a few streets away.

“Great.” Somin huffs. “We gotta move.”

 

They walk out of their alley and run, Jiwoo holding Pumpkin close. The street is empty so far. A few corpses lie around the sidewalk ahead of them. Butchered.

Somin stops her and looks at the crossroads lit by several flickering street lamps. Rain is pouring down at this point and Jiwoo can barely see past her.

“There’s a squad further down.” She says, pulling her machete out. “But if we cross here, we have more chance to find an anti purge ambulance.”

“A what ?!”

“You should carry her, that’s quite a run.”

Jiwoo’s eyes widen as she does as ordered and lifts Pumpkin up in her arms.

“We’re going…”

“Wait ! How am I supposed to hold her AND the mace–”

“Now !”

And she runs off. Jiwoo shrieks but mindlessly follows the beta, raindrops blurring her sight and wind slapping her face, Pumpkin heavy on her side and the spiked mace on her wrist.

They run straight ahead, the downpour blinding their senses. The only smell reaching her nose is a mix of rain and Pumpkin’s contagious fear.

“Jiwoo ! Jump !”

“What ?!”

She almost trips on a corpse in the middle of the road but steps over it last minute, losing her balance in the process.

That’s when she sees it through the rain: a SUV illuminated by string lights, further down the road. Parked cars are burning on its path. It drives straight against them.

“Jiwoo !”

She snaps out of it and resumes her run.

The closer the SUV, the louder the heavy metal music.

A silhouette in front of her.

“Som–”

“Hey, baby girl !”

She stops. She can’t smell her but that’s not Somin.

The biker-like silhouette slowly comes closer, a dagger in hand. Without thinking, Jiwoo runs against the purger and hits her in the head with the mace.

“Ah !”

She falls on her knees, her helmet cracking open. Jiwoo doesn’t think twice and hits her again. The woman falls on the ground and Jiwoo runs off.

The heavy metal sounds closer and closer.

“Where you’re going, babe ?”

The voices too.

“We just wanna have fun !”

Her lungs burn and her legs keep running out of reflex. She feels like a deer in a den of lions.

The sound of boots.

Pumpkin lets out a whimper.

She hears them right behind her.

“Ah !”

A body crashes in her back and she feels herself falling, her hand letting go of the mace. Arms circle her waist and before she can take a breath, her feet aren’t touching the ground anymore.

“Put me down !”

Pumpkin’s screams burst her eardrums, the flickering light of the street lamps sends flashes before her eyes and this purger has her nose in her neck, right against her collar. She is, Jiwoo realizes as her scent hits her, an alpha.

She kicks her, she has no idea where, but the purger won’t budge.

“We’re gonna have a good time…” She rumbles. “Little omega.”

Jiwoo gasps and kicks her again. The alpha loosens her grip and she falls to the ground, Pumpkin still locked to her side somehow.

“So that’s true when they say omegas won’t let go of their pup.” The purger laughs. “Sorry though, at some point, you gotta cut the cord.”

She kicks her. Jiwoo immediately puts herself on all fours, covering the child from the hits. The alpha kicks her on the side and she cries out. She goes for another kick when Jiwoo grabs her ankle and pulls with as much strength as her body allows her to.

The alpha loses her balance and falls on her back.

Another pair of boots stops in front of her as she tries to push herself up. She looks up: big eyes stare at her through an American flag makeup.

She looks so petite. She’s an omega.

Jiwoo pulls Pumpkin closer. The omega raises her arm and Jiwoo feels liquid being poured on her. Gasoline.

“No !” The alpha from before has got up. “She’s too pretty for this.”

The omega scowls. “Yet.”

“Yeah. Where are the others ?”

That’s a good question because Jiwoo is now reminded that she’s run over there with someone else, and that someone else isn’t there anymore. She should’ve known you could never trust a purger, why has she thought the beta would help them ?

A shout.

The alpha freezes, a blade piercing her chest then sliding out, bones cracking.

Jiwoo crawls back, Pumpkin to her side, as the tall figure falls to her knees. The US flag omega screeches and pulls a gun out, shooting in the void.

She then runs off to the idling SUV. The car door opens and slams her to the ground, unconscious.

“Jiwoo !” The person on the driver’s seat calls.

Jiwoo stands up and grabs her mace in panic.

“Jiwoo !”

The purger comes out of the car. It’s Somin.

Jiwoo breathes out in relief.

“Over here !”

Pumpkin grabs her hand tightly and they run to the car. There are two other bodies sitting in a puddle of blood next to it.

“Hurry !”

Jiwoo closes the door and makes Pumpkin sit on the floor between her legs.

She looks at Somin who’s starting the engine. The three of them are completely drenched in water and a rest of gasoline washed off by the rain. But Somin’s face and hands are covered in blood. The beta glances at her and she looks away.

“Well…” Somin says in a chanting voice while driving off. “Off we go !”

Chapter Text

ACT I: THE PURGE

Chapter 3: Reek

 

“Just remember all the good the Purge does.”


They drive across a few streets without seeing anyone. The vibrations of the car and the lapping of the rain lull them. Somin has turned the heater on and Pumpkin seems to be dozing off, her head against Jiwoo’s thigh. All three of their scents start peeking through the mix of blood, gasoline and rain.

It almost feels like a normal night.

“So what happened ?” Somin asks, eyes on the road.

“Huh ?”

Almost.

“If you wanna tell.”

Jiwoo glances out the window. “They broke into my apartment.”

“Oh.”

“Yeah.”

“Sucks.”

“Yeah…” She sighs, gently stroking Pumpkin’s wet hair.

Somin looks at the street signs. “We’re not too far.”

From where, Jiwoo doesn’t know.

 

Somin slows down at a crossroad with an illuminated avenue.

A cabriolet cuts them up at full speed, passengers standing and shooting or waving blades in the air. Somin hits the brakes.

The cabriolet is followed shortly by another car with blood on its doors. Somin turns the headlights off and parks the car on the sidewalk.

Jiwoo furrows her eyebrows.

“What are you doing ?” She asks in a low voice to avoid waking up the child.

“I have something to do.” The beta answers while adjusting her mask on her mouth. “I’ll be back soon.”

The cabriolets have stopped further down the road. The music playing is loud. The half a dozen purgers all have the same red skull mask and Jiwoo notices just now that there are corpses tied to their bumpers.

The car door unlocks and as Somin is about to grab her machete, Jiwoo takes it away.

Somin scowls and sends her a glare. Jiwoo’s heart speeds up. She holds the beta’s gaze, trying really hard to fight her instinct telling her to stop.

“Give it back.” Somin’s voice deepens.

Jiwoo doesn’t say anything but keeps the machete.

Somin holds her hand out, growing impatient.

Jiwoo gasps. She can smell the child waking up.

“Look.” The beta looks more and more annoyed. “Don’t make me hurt you in front of her.”

Jiwoo gulps and surrenders under her harsh glare, handing her the machete.

Somin takes it back and gets out of the car.

“I’ll be quick.” She says before shutting the door. “Lock the doors.”

Jiwoo takes a deep breath as she stares at the beta running over to the Red Skulls purgers. Her machete beheads one and Jiwoo quickly looks away.

She locks the car, shivers running down her spine. As much as she tries to calm down, Pumpkin’s already woken up by the warning and stress in her scent.

“Hm ?” The child’s eyes are full of questions and fear. They’re searching Jiwoo’s eyes.

“Hey, Pumpkin.” She strokes her cheek. “It’s alright.”

Pumpkin’s eyes are still looking for that reassurance.

“I’m here, okay.”

She doesn’t know if it’s her brain or if it’s all instinct, but she pulls the little alpha on her lap and holds her close. The girl immediately nuzzles her neck and deeply inhales her scent in between choked up whimpers.

Jiwoo scents her like this as long as the child needs it, while screams erupt further down the street.

“Close your little eyes, go beddy-bye…” She starts to sing, her voice a murmur. “My baby, please don’t cry...”

Pumpkin’s fingers entangle themselves in her now shorter hair.

“Close your little eyes, go beddy-bye…”

More screams meddled in loud music. Jiwoo keeps her voice as soft as possible.

“My baby, please don’t cry…”

Pumpkin breathes in her neck, huffing and sighing.

“Close your little eyes, go beddy-bye… My baby, please don’t cry...”

Her scent sweetens, and Jiwoo feels calmer knowing the small alpha doesn’t feel as scared.

“Close your little eyes, go beddy-bye…” Her voice slightly cracks at the end. “I’ll stay right by your side.”

 

The rain has slowed down. Jiwoo looks out the windshield: Somin is walking back to the car, covered in blood. Bodies lie around the two cabriolets.

She unlocks the car but doesn’t stop scenting Pumpkin and with her, everything inside the car.

Even when the beta opens the door and cold wet air laps her face.

Even when the reek of blood and anger fills her nostrils.

Even when the beta puts her bloody machete on the dashboard.

Somin locks the doors and takes a deep breath. Jiwoo glances at her hesitantly. Her breathing seems to be calmer.

She inhales deeply again before starting the engine.

They drive off and turn right on the illuminated avenue.

“So…” Jiwoo doesn’t know if she should, but she asks anyway. “Did you find who you were looking for ?”

“No.”

“Hm...” She nods, cradling Pumpkin.

“Can you stop ?” Somin says a little too fast.

“What ?”

“I’m sorry... but your scent fills the whole car.” She adds, softer.

“I’m sorry but it’s so that your scent doesn’t fill the whole car.”

“It’s just…” Somin chuckles awkwardly. “It’s distracting.”

Jiwoo feels her face heating up. “O...kay…”

“Yeah.”

“But you reek though. Pumpkin… she doesn’t need to smell... that.”

“Ah !” The beta exclaims. “Okay. Fair enough.”

 

They stay quiet for a few minutes, Somin focused on the road and Jiwoo on Pumpkin who has fallen back asleep.

They drive past other purging squads, by car or on foot. Torturing… raping… killing.

Their SUV goes unnoticed.

“Who were you looking for ?”

Somin frowns. She bites her lip but doesn’t say anything.

“I mean, there’s a reason you stopped here and ran after these guys, right ?”

“None of your business.”

“Okay… I was just wondering…”

“Let’s just say that…” Somin shrugs, “I have unresolved beef.”

Jiwoo raises her eyebrows.

“With someone from the Red Skulls.”

She nods. “Okay.”

“Do I have to answer more questions ?” The beta scoffs. “Do you need my social security number or..?”

“Well that’s great you’re talking about it…” Jiwoo chuckles, “because I was about to ask !”

Somin lets out a giggle which completely clashes with all the blood sticking on her. But she quickly clears out her throat.

“How’s Pumpkin ?”

Jiwoo snorts. “So you’re gonna call her that too ?”

“Well !” Somin laughs. “You call her that, I’ll call her that !”

“Okay !”

“Unless she told you her name ?”

Jiwoo slowly shakes her head. “Nope.”

“Has she spoken to you ?”

“She let out a ‘hm ?’ after you left, and that’s it.”

“Hm…” The beta frowns. “Doesn’t sound too good.”

“No.” She sighs. “It doesn’t.”

Chapter Text

ACT I: THE PURGE

Chapter 4: Safe

 

“Just remember all the good the Purge does.”

 

Somin stops the car in a dark alley. The rain has finally stopped.

“We’re here ?” Jiwoo looks around, Pumpkin still passed out in her lap.

“Almost. We have to wait for an ambulance.”

“An ambulance ?” Jiwoo frowns. “The night of the purge ?”

“An anti-purge one.” Somin replies. “Come on.”

Jiwoo isn’t too reassured but still opens the door and carries the sleeping Pumpkin in her arms. She bends down to grab the mace from the floor of the car.

“You need help ?” Somin asks.

“No I’m g–”

The mace slips out of her hand.

CLACK.

“Jiwoo ?”

Jiwoo’s eyes are wide, shock keeping her from moving from her car seat.

“Ji–what the ?!”

On the ground outside the vehicle, the mace. Stuck.

“What-what-what…” She stammers.

In a bear trap.

“It… it could-could’ve been my-my-my…”

She can’t breathe.

“Jiwoo, calm down.” The beta says, but there’s a ringing in her ears.

Pumpkin’s waking up, she knows it.

“Everything’s okay, Jiwoo.”

Her body’s shaking all over. A bear trap ?

“Jiwoo !”

The pup’s choked up whimpers.

“Jiwoo !”

Hands grab her shoulders.

“Jiwoo, look at me !”

Her eyes try to focus, but it’s all a blur. A bear trap, a bear trap, a bear trap !

“Hey, hey !” Her voice… A whisper... “Breathe in, Jiwoo.”

She closes her eyes and inhales... deeply. This scent instantly fills her nostrils, this calming scent, this soothing scent. Somin ’s scent.

“You’re fine, Jiwoo, you’re fine.”

Somin’s left hand is gently stroking her back, her right one in Pumpkin’s hair.

Jiwoo can feel her entire body slowly relaxing.

“There, there…” The beta says in a soft voice. “It’s okay… I’m here.”

Jiwoo takes a deep breath. The little alpha is still in her arms, quiet.

“Feeling better ?”

She bores her eyes into the beta’s. Then nods slowly.

“Let’s go.” Somin breathes out.

 

They walk out of the alley after checking for any more traps. The street is almost as dark if not for the only functioning street lamp. It looks empty too.

“That’s where we’re headed.” Somin points at it.

Jiwoo scowls. “The… street lamp ?”

“Yeah, the anti-purge always have an ambulance check around at this time of the night.”

“So…?”

“So you want them to see us.”

Oh.

“You wanna put a light sign over our head, ‘COME PURGE US’ ?” Jiwoo spits. “Oh sorry, I meant: yeah sure, let’s just wait under the only light of the street and DIE !”

“Would you shut up ?” Somin glares at her. “It’s your screaming that’s gonna get us killed !”

Jiwoo rolls her eyes at the comment, but instinctively strokes Pumpkin’s hair to reassure her. The small alpha is abnormally quiet, her eyes intensely staring at Somin’s face.

“I have friends among the anti-purge.” The beta adds. “You’ll be safe there.”

Jiwoo doesn’t ask the question which burns her lips: what does a purger have to do with the anti-purge ? But then again, not all purgers help an omega and a pup stuck among the chaos.

Somin stops her and pushes them behind a tree, not too far from the street lamp.

“Look… we’re gonna wait here. As soon as you see an ambulance, run. You don’t wait, you run !”

Jiwoo nods.

 

They’ve been waiting for 15 minutes when screams erupt a few streets away. Pumpkin’s nose is in her neck, her tiny palms clenching around it.

Somin’s looking at the time on her phone.

“They should be there soon.”

Headlights appear at the end of the road. An ambulance.

“Run !” Somin pushes her forward. “Straight to the street lamp !”

Jiwoo’s mind is blank as her legs move on their own. She only hears the sound of her own heartbeat and Somin’s boots hitting the ground beside her.

The ambulance has the logo of the New Founding Guardians on the side, crossed out in red.

That street lamp seems so far away. Why is it so far ?

Jiwoo’s panting, her chest hurts.

The ambulance passes by the lamp.

“Faster, Jiwoo !”

She can’t feel her limbs anymore.

The ambulance is close to turning on the corner of the street. They’re gonna miss it. They’re gonna miss it. They’re gonna miss it !

“HEY !” Jiwoo yells out. “HEYYYYY !!”

They stop under the lamp and she waves, lifting Pumpkin up.

“WE HAVE A CHILD ! HEYYYYYY !”

The ambulance disappears at the corner of a building.

“NO !”

Jiwoo falls to her knees, her legs giving up. Now that it’s not raining anymore, she can smell Somin distinctively. The beta is nervous. Very nervous.

“Wait here, I’m gonna get it !” She runs after the vehicle, her machete in hand.

“Somin, no !” Don’t leave… Don’t leave us here…

The beta disappears behind that same building.

Jiwoo is in alert now. She’s vulnerable. They ’re vulnerable.

She holds Pumpkin close and pushes herself on her wobbly legs, looking for a hideout.

The sound of an engine. Headlights blind her.

Relief washes over her.

It’s the ambulance. And it’s Somin getting out from the back.

“Get in !”

 

“The cuts aren’t too bad. You shouldn’t need stitches.” A brown haired beta looks at Jiwoo with wide eyes as she examines her at the back of the moving ambulance. “But I can’t do much about the bruises here, so you’re gonna have to wait.”

Jiwoo nods as the woman cleans the wounds on her face. She looks at Somin from the corner of her eye but she’s looking out the window, Pumpkin between her legs.

“Where are we going ?”

“Somewhere safe. You and your pup will be fine.” The beta says. “Oh by the way, I’m Hyoeun.”

“Jiwoo. But she’s not my pup…”

Hyoeun scowls. “Oh… I’m sorry.”

Jiwoo shrugs, not knowing what else to say.

“Somin, you okay ?” Hyoeun turns to the other beta.

“Hm…”

“Are you joining us ?”

“I have things to do. But I knew they would be safe with you.”

“Ah.” Hyoeun sighs. “I see.”



The door to an underground parking lot opens and closes behind the ambulance. They park down there and follow Hyoeun and the driver behind a barricade.

“That’s Junyool.” Somin points at the driver. “She fights well.”

“Alright, but why are you telling me this ?” Jiwoo frowns, holding on Pumpkin’s hand.

“It’s safe here…” Somin mutters, “you two will be safe here.”

“Are you leaving us here ?” Jiwoo breathes out.

“If you stay here, you’ll survive the night.”

They stop near a mattress and Jiwoo barely hears Hyoeun’s explanations or the commotion of doctors and nurses helping wounded and traumatized people.

Here, you’ll survive the night .

She sits Pumpkin down on the mattress. The child looks exhausted, tear stains on her face.

She glances to the side: a few meters away, Somin’s talking with Junyool who’s frowning.

“There are less than 6 hours left.” Hyoeun says. “You guys should be fine.”

A woman with a long chestnut ponytail stops by Somin and tells her something. Somin doesn’t look pleased.

“Is that Park Sojin ?” Jiwoo surprises herself asking.

“Yep.” Hyoeun answers. “The leader of the anti-purge rebellion.”

Jiwoo nods understandingly. She has seen Park Sojin several times on TV even with the NFGA’s attempts at keeping her away from the public eye.

She goes back to wrapping Pumpkin in a blanket, when a familiar smell joins her.

“I have to go.” Somin’s whisper tickles the shell of her ear. “Stay safe.”

“You too.” Jiwoo murmurs.

The beta is about to leave when a tiny hand grabs her leg. Jiwoo’s eyes widen in surprise. Pumpkin. She’s holding onto Somin, not saying a word, but her eyes begging her to stay.

“Hey, Pumpkin…” Somin kneels down in front of the pup. “It’s okay. It’s safe here. You’re safe with Jiwoo. Be good, okay ?”

Jiwoo crouches and takes the kid in her arms, softly patting her back. She gives Somin a nod and the beta leaves.

Pumpkin’s eyes are filled with whys Jiwoo doesn’t have an answer to.

She should feel safe. But as she looks at Somin’s figure leaving through a back door, she doesn’t.

An explosion.

“EVERYBODY DOWN !”

She throws herself to the ground, covering Pumpkin as much as she can.

“WE’RE UNDER ATTACK !”

Chapter Text

ACT I: THE PURGE

Chapter 5: Silence

 

“Just remember all the good the Purge does.”

 

“EVACUATE THE CIVILIANS !”

“Jiwoo ! Follow me !” Junyool grabs Jiwoo’s arm and pulls her up.

She drags her and Pumpkin to the back of the parking lot.

“EVACUATE THE CIVILIANS !”

She opens the door to a large storage room. Other people are already in there and Junyool  pushes her and the pup inside.

“Wait here !” She says. “Do not get out !”

Her alpha scent is strong and Jiwoo’s instinct tells her to obey.

Junyool shuts the door and the place is completely dark.

Pumpkin whimpers and Jiwoo tries to calm her down as the sound of bullets and shouts echo everywhere. People around them are dead silent, their breathing the only sound she can hear. But the entire room reeks of fear.

Jiwoo checks her collar is tied properly, just in case. But she doesn’t want to think about what could happen if they find them.

 

Minutes pass, Jiwoo doesn’t know how many, when the door opens abruptly. She hides Pumpkin behind her as a backlit figure fills the frame of the door, a machete in hand.

The smell of terror skyrockets everywhere around her and her nostrils are itchy, overwhelmed with bitter scents, whimpers and gasps filling her ears.

“Jiwoo !”

She gasps. Somin ?

“Come on, we’re leaving.” The beta says. “Everyone else, stay in here. The situation is being handled !”

Jiwoo is too shocked to move. Somin pulls Pumpkin up in her arms and grabs her arm, dragging them out.

They run over to a flight of stairs.

“I leave for a minute and they manage to get themselves attacked !”

Gunshots can be heard through the smoke.

Somin pushes the backdoor open. The street is empty.

“You’re gonna stay with me. We’ll go somewhere safe.”

She guides Jiwoo to a car and helps her get in, settling Pumpkin in her lap.

“But first…” she checks her watch, “I have something to do.”



“Wha-what about Hyoeun and Junyool, and everyone else ?” Jiwoo stammers after staying quiet for a few moments.

“I helped them out, they’re almost done.” Somin answers, eyes on the road, driving. “They got this.”

She looks at the time. She’s been doing so every minute since they’ve left.

“Somin, what’s wrong ?” Jiwoo asks.

“I don’t have much time left. This is making me late, very late…”

“This ?!” Jiwoo scowls. “Sorry we’re such a burden !”

“You don’t understand !” Somin cries out. “I’ve been looking for this purger for years ! I’m so close but there are only a few hours left !”

“Why do you have to absolutely do it ? Why do you have to kill her ?”

“Ugh, seriously…” Somin’s jaw tenses. “She killed my family. Every single one of them, dead !”

Oh. Everything makes more sense.

“I’m sorry…”

“We’re almost there, we’re almost there.” Somin says, more to herself than to Jiwoo. “Come on, come on, come on !”



Half an hour later and Somin parks the car down a building, at the corner of a street.

“Wait for me here.” She takes a deep breath. “I’ll be back.”

Jiwoo tightens her fingers around her wrist.

“Please, don’t do this…” She whispers. “Please, we can just go where you said, be safe and wait for this nightmare to end.”

“I have to…” Somin’s lips quiver. “This is how I can cleanse my soul.”

Jiwoo’s whole body tenses.

“Somin, you–”

“After I kill her, I’ll get revenge for my family.” Her hands shaking. “They’ll finally get to rest in peace… and I will be free from all this… hatred…”

“You… speak just like them…” Jiwoo breathes out. “All those purgers who claim killing people is their right and it’s helping them release all the hatred… Those people who killed your–ah !”

Somin’s grip is strong on Jiwoo’s wrist, their faces millimeters from each other.

“Do not talk about them.” She hisses, her scent intimidating. “I don’t expect you to understand how I feel. I just want you to wait for me in this car.”

Jiwoo nods and Somin releases her.

“I’ll be back.”

She grabs her machete and gets out of the car. Jiwoo locks the doors and stares at the beta’s figure disappearing behind a building.

 

The minutes feel endless.

Sometimes, they hear screams coming from another neighborhood.

Sometimes, someone passes by in the street perpendicular to the one where they’re parked and Jiwoo bends down, covering Pumpkin with her body.

Sometimes, there’s an explosion elsewhere.

But mostly, everything is quiet. Too quiet.

The city is wrapped in silence. The silence of death.

 

A knock on the window glass makes her jump in panic, her heart stopping.

It’s Somin. With more blood on her body.

Jiwoo unlocks the door and lets her in.

The beta’s completely quiet, but her expression is harsh.

“Did-did you…”

“No.” Her hands violently shaking. “I was this close, I had her ! But then… I didn’t do it !”

She rubs her bloody face in frustration.

“I didn’t do it, why ? Why didn’t I do it ?”

So there’s still hope for this girl.

“But that’s good.” Jiwoo says. “It wouldn’t have made you feel any better… your family wouldn’t have wanted that either !”

Somin’s fist clenches.

“What do you know ?!” She snarls. “That’s all your fault ! I shouldn’t have stopped, I should’ve never stopped !”

Jiwoo feels all the color leaving from her face.

“You made me doubt, YOU made me doubt !” Somin cries out. “And then I didn’t do it, I let her live when she DOESN’T DESERVE TO !”

“You-you…” Jiwoo’s face is heating up in rage. “You’re right, you shouldn’t have stopped… ”

She takes Pumpkin in her arms and the mace in one hand.

“What are you doing ?” Somin huffs.

“I’m solving it for you.”

“What ?”

“You won’t have anymore burden.”

The beta huffs. “Jiwoo…”

“You can just go kill the whole town for all I care !”

“Don’t be stupid.”

“I’m the one being stupid ?” Jiwoo snaps, choked up. “Sorry you had a bad night, but I did too so if you’re gonna let it out on me, let’s just stop…” She stares into Somin’s eyes, “whatever this was.”

She then pushes the door open and walks away.

“Jiwoo ! Jiwoo, stop !”

If Somin regrets saving them that much, then she’s going to find a place safe on her own.

 

“Only 3 hours left for this annual purge.” The announcement voice says. “Blessed be the New Founding Guardians for letting us purge and cleanse our souls.”

Her monotonous tone echoes through the city, clashing with the events of the night.

Jiwoo feels tired but the fear keeps her awake.

She can make it. They can make it.

Her apartment isn’t too far from here… although it probably isn’t the safest place, maybe the purger who broke in won’t come back after she escaped at the beginning of the night. Maybe if she watches the door, they can survive until the siren from 7 AM.

She walks down the street leading to her building, a little hopeful but in alert. Pumpkin to her side, holding on tight.

Everything is quiet.

Someone grabs her arm and she screams, kicking her in the legs.

“Aaah !”

Chapter Text

ACT I: THE PURGE

Chapter 6: Mad

 

“Just remember all the good the Purge does.”

 

The purger, a beta with a black eye mask, holds onto her knee, groaning in pain.

Jiwoo’s about to lift her mace up when a pair of arms stops her and locks her head, choking her. The mace falls to the ground.

Another beta.

“Ah !” She gasps for air but it doesn’t reach her lungs.

She kicks, as strong as she can, but the purger won’t let go.

Black Eye Mask grabs onto Pumpkin and tries to pry her off. The child screams and Jiwoo holds onto her for dear life.

“Let go !” She chokes out.

She stomps on Black Eye Mask’s foot and snatches the pup back. The lock around her neck tightens. Pumpkin slides down her body to the ground and Jiwoo wants to tell her to run, but she can’t.

Black Eye Mask comes closer to her, so close that her scent mixes with her accomplice.

“What are you doing here on your own ?” Her lips brush against Jiwoo’s nose. “Didn’t your parents tell you it’s dangerous outside for an omega ?”

The other beta releases her and the air fills her lungs again.

Black Eye Mask pushes her against the wall, grip tight on her jaw and wrists.

“Let me go !” Jiwoo shouts.

“Kendra, look at that pretty face.”

‘Kendra’, her accomplice who’s sporting white and blue paintings on her face, joins them. She rubs her nose in Jiwoo’s neck.

“She’s unmated.”

Jiwoo’s heart is pounding.

“Oooh, that’s even more fun !” Black Eye Mask says, excited.

Kendra slides her hands around her neck. Jiwoo wants to break her wrists.

When she realizes what Kendra’s fingers are doing to her collar, she kicks her in the shin. Kendra loses her balance and falls to the ground. Black Eye Mask slaps her with the back of her hand and Jiwoo hits her head against the wall, the taste of blood in her mouth.

“Stop fighting it ! You know what your instinct tells y–AH !”

Pumpkin’s teeth are in the beta’s leg. Jiwoo punches her in the face and pushes her to the ground. She goes for a kick in the gut when Kendra grabs her arm from behind and twists it in her back.

“AH !”

This pain in her shoulder.

Gunshot.

Black Eye Mask’s head is covered in blood.

Gunshot.

Splashes of the hot fluid hit Jiwoo’s face as Kendra slowly falls to the ground, a bullet in her eye.

 

Jiwoo falls to her knees and Pumpkin throws herself in her arms, whimpering.

“Jiwoo, finally !”

She looks around for the source of the voice when a familiar Captain America costume comes into sight.

Her heart drops.

 

The door to her apartment exploding.

“Jiwoo !”

“Tyler ? What are you doing here ?!”

“Jiwoo ! You need to come with me !”

"What ? Why ?"

Tyler aiming at her with her rifle.

“Cause you're my favorite neighbor.”

 

“Jiwoo ! I’ve been looking for you for hours.”

The alpha is coming, her dark hair bouncing, her slow steps bringing her closer.

Jiwoo stands up with her last bit of strength, Pumpkin on her side and runs as fast as she can. But where to ? She can’t go back to her apartment, she’ll follow her. But she has nowhere else to go...

She frantically looks behind her and the other is slowly following her on a motorcycle. No ! She’s trapped, trapped !

She wants this nightmare to end, she wants to vanish.

Her legs are running on their own, Pumpkin’s weight is on her wounded arm and she can barely feel them anymore.

The motorcycle is getting closer.

“Jiwoo ! I can protect you tonight !”

Running.

“I’ll make you feel real good. You just have to stop !”

“Please, leave me alone !” She desperately yells, tears streaming down her face. “Please !”

The motorcycle speeds up.

“You know I can’t !”

She’s right behind her.

“Cause you’re my favorite neighbor !”

“NO !”

The crossroads isn’t too far.

The motorcycle is at the same level as her. Jiwoo can smell her strong alpha scent. She’s aroused. Hunting her makes her aroused.

“I love when you play hard to get…” the alpha scoffs, “but enough playing.”

They reach the crossroads.

She extends her arm and Jiwoo dodges it.

The sound of an engine.

Jiwoo looks to the side: a car is driving straight onto them.

She backs away.

Her pursuer avoids the car and loses her balance. The motorcycle falls to the side and skids to the ground, ending up hitting a dumpster.

The car stops and Jiwoo’s about to run for her life when the driver opens the passenger door. She gasps.

“Somin ?! What are you–”

“Get in that damn car, Jiwoo.” She says through gritted teeth. “Now !”

Jiwoo doesn’t need to be told twice.

 

“So–”

“How did you find me ?!” Jiwoo cries out.

“How ?” Somin scoffs. “The smell of terror was so strong, I’m pretty sure everyone could smell it in the whole neighborhood.”

Jiwoo’s eyes widen and she looks away.

“So, who was that crazy ?” Somin asks, driving.

Jiwoo sighs, her hand stroking Pumpkin’s hair. The child is in her lap, quiet, dozing off as the omega’s scent is lulling her to sleep.

“Tyler…? She’s my neighbor…”

Somin furrows her eyebrows. She’s quiet for a minute before speaking again.

“She’s the one who broke into your apartment ?”

Jiwoo nods quietly.

“We’re going to my apartment.” Somin says. “It’ll be safe for the two remaining hours.”

“Why did you come back ?” Jiwoo suddenly asks.

The beta keeps her eyes on the road.

“I couldn’t let you two get killed.”

Jiwoo looks at her hands on the wheel. They’re slightly shaking.

“I’m still mad.” She says.

“Ah !” Somin scoffs. “Don’t you worry... So am I.”


They stop in front of Somin’s door on the last floor of the building. The metal shielding protecting it makes it clear she put her apartment on lockdown before leaving for her purge night.

She types her password on her phone. The shielding opens and she unlocks her door with her fingerprint. Jiwoo doesn’t want to think about how much this whole system must have costed. Probably way more than she could ever afford.

“Make yourself at home.” Somin says as they get inside.

Jiwoo hears the creaking of the metal shielding as Somin locks the front door behind them.

The windows also have the same kind of shielding. There are two TVs on the living room wall, one showing different camera angles from inside and outside the building and the other one the news channel.

“Lockdown completed”, Somin’s phone says.

“You can either take the room or stay here with me,” Somin says while unfolding blankets on her couch, “I won’t sleep until the ending siren anyway.”

“I…” Jiwoo breathes out. “I’ll stay here.”

“Suit yourself.” She shrugs. “I’m gonna take a shower. There’s water and food on the coffee table.”

On these words, Somin leaves.

Jiwoo settles Pumpkin on the couch and takes her shoes and jacket off. She’s sound asleep, the noise of the TV not disturbing her in the slightest.

Jiwoo sits down next to her.

“Less than two hours remaining of our annual purge.” The presenter says on TV. “We don’t have the final stats yet, but it seems the participation was high this year, again. As for the death count, it is still unknown. We’ll know more later in the morning but it should take its toll like every year...”

“I brought clean clothes for you two.”

“Huh ?” Jiwoo startles.

Somin raises her eyebrows. “It’s not good to sleep in your blood.”

Jiwoo nods and takes them.

“One of my T-shirts will make a dress for her but well…” Somin shrugs, looking at Pumpkin.

“It’ll be fine… Thank you.”

 

Jiwoo is wearing clean clothes, Pumpkin is sleeping with her head in her lap, Somin is on the other side of the couch. The news the only sound filling the apartment.

“Purgers downtown are still going strong as we’re close to the last hour of our annual purge. And we’ll be on air with you until the last minute. Have a good cleanse !”


 

 

END OF ACT I.

Chapter Text

ACT II: THE AFTERMATH

Chapter 1: Nausea

 

“Blessed be America, a nation reborn.”

 

“–woo ? Jiwoo ?”

Jiwoo opens her eyes. The rising sun is blinding her as the shielding blinds roll up the windows. Somin is standing in front of her, Pumpkin by her side.

Jiwoo only remembers the siren blasting around the city at 7 AM.

“What time is it..?”

“8 AM…” the beta purses her lips, “I have to go check on my friends…”

“Wha–okay...” Jiwoo stands up abruptly. “Let me just… get dressed.”

“You can use the shower, you know ?”

“No, no, no, you’re in a hurry, I get it !” she squeaks, grabbing her clothes, “Come on, Pumpkin, let’s… go ?”

Pumpkin already has her clothes from last night back on.

“Hm… okay ! I’m gonna get changed.”

 

The walk down the stairs of the building is awkward. And in complete silence. Somin is quiet. Too quiet. She smells of a remainder of anger. But so does Jiwoo, sort of.

The corridors don’t look too bad, except for a few bullet holes.

They reach the gate of the building and walk back in the real world.

“Hm so…” Jiwoo feels very weird. Very very weird. “Thank you for saving us and for your hospitality…”

“Yeah.”

“Goodbye.”

Jiwoo then takes Pumpkin’s hand in hers and leaves as her and Somin go their separate ways.



“I hope you’re hungry, Pumpkin ?” Jiwoo asks the small alpha, careful not to let any negativeness sip through her tone. “Because we’re gonna eat something.”

The sirens of the ambulances and firefighters resonate in the air but she tries to ignore them as she pushes the door to a diner.

There are a few groups of people. Some of them have clown masks on their table. Jiwoo chases the memories of the night and drags Pumpkin away.

“Hello guys, what will you have ?” The bartender asks them as they pass by.

“Hm… pancakes ? And fries, please,” Jiwoo answers, glancing at the little girl. “And tap water.”

The bartender nods and they go sit at a free table. Pumpkin goes into the seat on the window side. Jiwoo is about to sit in the one facing her when she feels tiny hands pulling on her sleeve.

“Oh, you want me to sit next to you ?”

Pumpkin doesn’t say anything but her eyes scream yes.

“Sure.”

 

“Here’s everything,” the bartender, a young beta with short black hair, says while putting the food on the table. “Will you pay by eye check ?”

“Yes.” Jiwoo nods.

The bartender presses something on her control bracelet.

“Open wide.”

Jiwoo does as told and the beta scans her left eye.

“Payment completed,” the metallic voice of the control bracelet says.

“Enjoy your meal, happy Purge Day,” the bartender says in a monotonous voice before going back behind the bar.

“Thanks...” Jiwoo mutters. “Eat well, Pumpkin.”

The small alpha doesn’t move, snuggled against her side.

“Look,” Jiwoo takes a bite from a pancake and hands her another one, “you can eat it.”

The child hesitantly takes it but eventually starts eating.

What is she going to do with her ? Jiwoo doesn’t know. She doesn’t even know if she has a place to come back to.

The smell of blood. She freezes.

“My favorite neighbor…” The fingers that push her hair behind her ear. “I’ve been looking for you.”

“Tyler please, leave me alone,” she whispers.

“You have her scent all over you.”

The alpha’s fingers trail alongside her cheek.

“Did you give yourself to her ? You know you’re mine.”

She smells of anger. The scent of alpha is so strong it wraps around Jiwoo, it grabs her by the throat and won’t let her utter a word.

Small growls. Pumpkin is glaring at Tyler.

“Aw, cute. You still have the pup with you.” The alpha smirks. She then lets out a low growl.

Jiwoo feels her insides twisting. Pumpkin looks like she’s about to cry but she won’t back down.

“That’s a bold one,” Tyler chuckles.

She is still standing by them. She is just too close and her scent too overpowering. Jiwoo can barely think, it feels like she has a knot in her throat.

“Tyler…” she says, her voice low, “Please, go away.”

“You didn’t answer my question.”

“I don’t owe you an explanation...”

“Oh yes, you do !”

“Hey, are you consuming or not ?” the bartender calls out.

“Coffee please !” Tyler answers shortly.

“Tyler, if you don’t leave us alone,” she mutters, “I’m gonna call the police.”

“Oh really ? And what will they do, huh ?”

Jiwoo glances to the side: the alpha is blocking her way out of the seat. They’re stuck.

“Here’s your coffee,” the bartender says, handing her the cup.

“Thanks.” Tyler takes it and slides into the seat facing them.

Jiwoo quickly looks down to her fries, giving some to Pumpkin. The child has a faint scent of anger but it’s drowned by Tyler’s.

The alpha quietly sips on her coffee. Her wicked gaze doesn’t leave Jiwoo who tries her best to ignore her. They could leave now, but they still have food on the table. Also, why should they be the ones to leave ? They were there first.

Tyler slowly finishes her coffee before getting up. Her vicious smile is unsettling.

“See you home !”

She then leaves. Finally.

Jiwoo sighs. The alpha’s scent lingers in the air around them.



Jiwoo gasps at the sight. The waiting room of the Purge Victims Office is filled with around a hundred people.

“Hello, happy Purge Day ! How can I help you ?” the young omega who welcomes her at the entrance asks.

“Hello…” she stammers, “I… I found this child during the night…”

The other omega types something on her tablet and scans her left eye.

“You’ll be called when it’s your turn.”

“Thank you…”

“You can go sit in the waiting room.”

“Excuse me... do you know if it’s gonna take long ?”

The omega checks on her tablet and smiles.

“You’re quite early, so it shouldn’t be too long, no.”



“Jiwoo Jeon,” the automatic voice vibrates through the speakers.

Almost an hour has passed, hour during which Pumpkin dozed off and snuggled against Jiwoo. She stands up and carries the small alpha across the room.

“Hello, happy Purge Day,” a tall beta in a suit greets her.

She leads her up a flight of stairs and into an open space with a dozen of desks, with other people in suits talking to victims.

“You may sit.”

Jiwoo obeys and settles Pumpkin in her lap.

On the beta’s desk, a plate reads ‘Missing children service’.

“So, how may I help you ?”

“Hm… well...” Jiwoo stutters, “I found her last night… I don’t know what her name is…”

“Tell me what happened.”

Jiwoo doesn’t know where to start.

“Hm, so… what happened is…”

 

Running.

The wind slapping her face.

She looks behind her.

She did it.

She outran Tyler.

“MOMMY !”

A child’s voice.

“DADDY !”

Jiwoo stops.

Horror.

A man. Dead on the ground.

Rain.

A woman a few meters away from him.

Fear.

Two purgers hitting her with axes.

Blood.

The lacerations on her body are so deep. There’s no way she’s alive.

Nausea.

A small being underneath the man’s corpse. She’s screaming, crying, stuck.

Jiwoo doesn’t know what gets into her when she runs to get her.

 

“And she hasn’t said anything ?”

“Not a word since I got her out…” Jiwoo answers, her voice hoarse. She feels so sick she might throw up.

“You did the right thing by bringing her here,” the beta says, “we’ll take care of her until her relatives come and get her.”

“O-okay…”

The beta takes a device.

“Open wide, sweetie.”

The child looks at Jiwoo with unsure eyes.

“Do as the lady says, Pumpkin, it doesn’t hurt.”

The small alpha turns back to the device and the lady scans her eye.

“We’re all done, now come with me sweetie, I’m going to show you your room,” she says as she gets up. Jiwoo follows suit and puts Pumpkin down on her feet.

“Perfect,” the lady smiles, “let’s go.”

Chapter Text

ACT II: THE AFTERMATH

Chapter 2: Sirens

 

“Blessed be America, a nation reborn.”



Pumpkin has not left Jiwoo’s side for even one second.

Through every corridor.

Through the medical checkup.

Through the psychological checkup.

And even through the tour of the refugee quarters.

Every step of the way, Jiwoo has seen the Purge Victims Office lady wants her to leave but doesn’t want to shake the child up.

Not that Jiwoo wants to stay the whole day. She actually needs to go back to the main hall to apply for a bed in the refugee quarters. But first, she will have to go back to her apartment and assess the situation.

“Look,” Jiwoo says, “she looks tired, maybe it would be better to put her to bed. She’s quite a heavy sleeper.”

The PVO agent nods and guides them back to the children’s dorms.



“Your family will come and bring you home...”

The little alpha is ever so quiet in her arms, nuzzling and sniffing her neck.

“And it’s not always gonna be easy, but they will be there to hug you when you’re scared.”

Pumpkin looks up to her with her eyes full of questions.

“I don’t know if we’ll see each other again…”

Jiwoo strokes her back gently.

“But if you think of me real hard, it’s going to be like I’m here with you…”

Pumpkin’s eyes are brimming with tears.

“Even if I’m not.”

She whimpers, crushing her in her small embrace.

“Close your little eyes, go beddy bye…”

The child won’t let go, and Jiwoo tries to conceal her own emotions as much as possible. Just trying to keep a reassuring scent.

“My baby, please don’t cry…”

Jiwoo holds her tighter, her song a barely audible whisper. 

“Close your little eyes, go beddy bye…”

She gently lays them both down on the mattress.

“My baby, please don’t cry…”

Pumpkin’s grip on her loosens.

“Close your little eyes, go beddy bye…”

She closes her eyes and Jiwoo looks at the muscles of her face slowly relaxing.

I’ll stay right by your side…

 

Jiwoo waits a few more minutes before softly slipping out of the bed. She removes her jacket and uses it to cover the sleeping child.

The PVO agent is staring at her intently. She makes a gesture in direction of the dorm’s door and Jiwoo follows her out.

“Thank you for bringing her here, you made the right decision.”

Jiwoo nods. “I just hope someone will come and get her.”

“Don’t worry about it, we’re gonna handle everything from now on.”

“Good, that’s good.”

“And don’t get too attached.”

Jiwoo furrows her eyebrows.

“She has relatives who’ll take care of her.”

“Sure…” she looks away, pausing for a while. “Can I still apply for a refugee spot ?”

“Of course ! Go back to the main hall and apply now, and you can just send us the assessment of your residence through eye check.”

“Thanks… and…” Hesitation in her voice. “Will I be able to see her again ?”

The agent keeps her face, her body, her scent neutral.

“I’m sorry, I can’t say.”

Awfully neutral.

“But don’t get your hopes up.”



When Jiwoo leaves the Purge Victims Office after applying for her refugee spot, it’s the middle of the afternoon. The sirens haven’t stopped all day.

She takes a bus to her neighborhood.

As every Purge Day, everything is a mess. There’s blood on the facades of the buildings. Broken glass from windows. Destroyed gates.

The elevator is still broken.

Jiwoo walks up the stairs in alert. Those stairs she ran down just the night before.

Some of her neighbors’ doors are smashed open. There are bullet holes in the walls.

 

When she finally reaches her floor, the ghost of Tyler is leaning on her as she walks past her apartment. Flashbacks from the night before try to invade her mind. She pushes them away.

Wood debris cover the floor of her entrance, remains of what has been her door up until last night.

She takes cautious steps inside. The place reeks.

Other people have been there after her and Tyler. There are tags on the walls, and they’ve been through her stuff.

The windows are shattered.

The floor is soaked in rainwater.

The couch is crashed in the wall, the TV screen is broken.

 

“My favorite neighbor.”

Jiwoo grabs a knife on her table.

“Stay away !”

Tyler lowers her weapon.

“Or what ?”

The knife looks ridiculous in Jiwoo’s too small hand.

“Come to Apo,” the alpha snickers, her body hugged in a Captain America costume. She takes a step towards her.

“Stay back !”

She hates how panicked she sounds.

“I’m gonna make you scream all night...”

Her smirk. It makes Jiwoo shudder. 

“In pleasure... or in pain.”

She looks around. It might be crazy, but reaching the front door is probably her only getaway. “Haha, who am I kidding…”

Right behind Tyler.

“It’s gonna be both !”

Jiwoo throws the knife at her and runs for it.

“NO !” The alpha shouts.

The couch slides across the room and crashes into the wall, blocking her way.

Jiwoo barely realizes what has just happened that Tyler grabs her by the neck and presses her against the back of the sofa.

“You.”

She wraps her in her angered scent.

“Stay.”

She wants her to submit.

“Here.”

Her breath is hot against her neck. 

“You’re mine.”

Jiwoo’s body tenses up in her grip. Tyler licks her skin excruciatingly slow, her collar the only obstacle against the alpha’s teeth.

“AH !”

Jiwoo has scratched the back of her head with all her strength. The alpha backs away in surprise and Jiwoo bolts, grabbing her jacket in her escape.

“JIWOO !”



Jiwoo zips up her bag and walks out.

A door flings open and she flinches. The alpha’s strong scent fills the corridor.

“Welcome home, babe !”

“Leave her alone, Tyler.”

Jiwoo looks around to their neighbor from the floor above, Liliane. An old omega that you don’t wanna mess with.

Tyler’s scent intensifies.

“You can quit that asserting dominance bullshit,” Liliane scoffs, “doesn’t work with me.”

The alpha rolls her eyes.

“Anyways, there’s enough room in my bed if you need somewhere to sleep.”

She winks at Jiwoo and on these last words, shuts her door.

“Thank you Liliane,” Jiwoo whispers.

“Nah, no problem,” she waves it off, “rough night ?”

Jiwoo heaves a sigh.

“Yeah…”

She glances back at her open apartment.

“Quite rough.”

“Did you get a spot ?”

She nods. “It’s only for a week, but it’s better than nothing. Hopefully I can get some of my insurance money by then…”

“That’s all I wish for you.”



When Jiwoo comes back to the PVO with some of her stuff, it’s already dark outside. Sirens are still blaring somewhere in the city.

An agent sends her to a room with half a dozen other people. More waiting.

The news channel is playing on loop on a TV screen.

“The government wants to make us believe this barbaric practice is going to help our nation when all it is is a calculated state-run mass murder targeting working class people.”

Jiwoo furrows her eyebrows. The banner under the blonde white woman with glasses who is being interviewed says: ‘Senator Charlie Roan’.

“And lots of people who support the party think it’s normal, it’s okay, as if it’s not already hard enough being poor the other 364 days of the year !”

“What does she know ? She’s a bloody Senator !” An old alpha groans from her seat.

“She lost all her family during Purge Day,” a younger one replies, “and she was only 16. So yes, she knows.”

“This day doesn’t cleanse anyone’s soul, it only cleanses our society from what the elite considers the weakest. This needs to change, and this needs to change now !”

“Hello everyone,” a PVO agent enters the room. “Follow me please, I’ll show you to your dorms.”

 

As the group follows behind the agent, they walk past a wall of screens in the main hall.

Faces. Hundreds of them. With one bigger screen in the middle flashing pictures of children every few seconds.

Jiwoo freezes.

Pumpkin’s face.

Hana Lee, 5.

Jiwoo stares at her face until the screen flashes to the next kid.

Hana Lee.

Hana.