if the world was ending
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D-hy-n! C-n you he- -e?!” Brushing off the stray strands of her blonde locks from her face, Dahyun grimaces at the choppy voice from the other line. She yawns before begrudgingly peeling herself off from her bed with a grunt, and makes her away across her small dorm room.

“-EL-O?!” The cellular service in their area had been pretty ty these past couple of days, so the girl heads for their small balcony to get better service. She glances at the other side of the room where her roommate, Gahyeon, sleeps and finds her bed empty.

Dahyun simply thinks the girl must have slept over at her girlfriend’s again.

She lets out another yawn while opening the door leading out to the balcony, rubbing the sleep from her eyes as she leans the back of her hips on the chipped iron railing.

“! Kim Dahyun, please tell me you can hear me!” The frustration on the other person’s voice seemed to help wake Dahyun up completely from her groggy state.

“Woah woah woah, language!” The girl says, half-jokingly. “What’s gotten you in such a mood? And here I thought you got the morning person genes in the family.”

“This is not a time for jokes, Dahyun. Listen carefully because we don’t have much time.”

Tersely wrapping her free arm around her torso to shield her from the chilly morning air, Dahyun perks up at the tone being used on her at the moment. Sure, her and Namjoon weren’t really close to begin with; the siblings being characteristically polar opposites of each other just to add onto their wide , but that only makes the younger girl take what little interaction they have, seriously.

“Namjoon, what’s wrong?” She asks, more serious this time.

She hears people talking in the background and some shuffling before things quieted down. She’s assuming he found a quieter place to talk.

“Dahyun, I need you to grab whatever you can and get the hell out of the city; drive up to the southern pier if you can and I’ll meet you there. And please do it fast. I tried contacting mom and dad but I still haven’t gotten any luck reaching them. I don’t know if they got out in time or if the cell towers in their area are already down...” Confusion and worry washes over Dahyun.

She doesn’t really know much about what Namjoon did for a living; only that he did some confidential work for the government. He was usually gone for most of the year and would even skip out family events, like her birthday. He’d always been the academic genius between the two of them anyway.

Dahyun sighs, not understanding why she needs to flee.

“What the hell is going on? You’re not really making any sense.” But she somehow feels that inkling that something is definitely wrong. 

“Dahyun, I told you we don’t have much time! Please, I need you to get out of there and I need you to find and contact Yoo Jeongyeon for me. It’s important if we all want to get out of this mess alive.”


Now, that’s a name she hasn’t heard in six months. The last memory Dahyun has of the woman is of her turning her back on her and walking away after telling Dahyun they were through, out of nowhere.

But before that, Dahyun and Jeongyeon had been dating for nearly a year; the two met up through a common friend at a college party. The blonde had been a freshman back then and was eager to experience everything college had to offer. She’d expected music, drinking and maybe even getting a bit high.

But she never expected Yoo Jeongyeon.

Tall, strikingly beautiful with her long dark brown hair and thin-rimmed silver glasses, a cheeky smile on her face as she was introduced by Son Chaeyoung, a childhood friend who got into the same university as her, who also invited her to this party. The two had spent nearly the entire night just chatting and exchanging weird facts and corny jokes with each other before Jeongyeon had offered to walk her back to her dorm room and actually asked her out on a date.

Which was soon followed by more dates after the first one.

Dahyun’s reminiscing was cut short by the fact that her older brother, who she haven’t even introduced Jeongyeon to, is asking for her.

“What are yo- how do you even know her and what does she have to do with any this?”

“Look, I promise I’ll explain later. But please, you have to go now and take Jeongyeon with you.” His voice sounded anxious; the first time Dahyun has heard so in her entire life. 

“If she asks, tell her that RM from Project Zeus needs Hera.” That was a weird request, but she already figured it was some sort of code.

“Okay, I’ll see what I can do.” Dahyun responds, her mind whirring with more questions now.

“Drive safe. Oh and Dahyun?” The girl stills, her eyes trained on what looks like a brewing storm from a distance as Namjoon calls out for her; his voice dripping with desperation.



This is Dahyun’s third stop in the last two hours.

She tried calling Jeongyeon’s old number and wasn’t surprised to find it already disconnected. Driving around the older girl’s neighborhood in her pickup truck, Dahyun dials Chaeyoung’s number next.

“Sorry bro, I don’t have any contact with her anymore.” Chaeyoung says, sounding somewhat preoccupied. Dahyun hears some shuffling in the background and another voice, a woman, telling Chaeyoung to get off the phone and help her move something.

“Well, do you know anyone who might have it?” The blonde quickly asks, wanting to get out of her friend’s hair already.

“I-I’m sorry, I really don’t know anymore. It’s like she dropped off the face of the earth after you two split-“

“Chaeng! We need to leave, now!” The same antsy voice from earlier says, louder this time.

“Dude, I gotta go. I’m really sorry.” Click.

Dahyun tuts; she’s not having much luck. She’d already gone to Jeongyeon’s old apartment, the bakery where she used to work in and even the café they used to always have their study dates in. She racks her brain for anything else, glancing at the gray skies above her.

It looks like a bad storm is coming.

She turns on her car stereo, hoping it’ll somehow help her think but is only met by static noises.

That was weird.

Pressing the auto-scan button, the static noises continued in between short pauses until it finally stopped in one particular frequency.

”A series of unforeseen tsunamis has formed at the coasts of Fragum City as we speak. Citizens living in the nearby buildings and homes are currently evacuating and fleeing from the surrounding area. We are now getting reports that residents have started flocking towards Arklay Bridge to cross Fragum City to Persici Province for safety.”

Dahyun nearly slams on the brakes when she remembers that Chaeyoung had told her last Friday that she’s visiting back home for the weekend.

In Fragum City, where her own parents also live.

She panics and decides to dial both her parents’ numbers and then Chaeyoung’s again; all without any answers.

“.” Dahyun mutters, gripping on her steering wheel harder. Knowing she can’t do much at the moment, she returns her attention to the radio again, turning up the volume this time.

“Following the unexplained extreme heat wave that hit Deus City late last night, which triggered multiple gas lines to explode and torching most of the city, the current situation in Fragum City is added  to what seems like a series of unexplained natural disasters happening worldwide since yesterday afternoon.”

Deus City is just two cities north from where Dahyun is now, Alben City.

What the actual hell is going on right now?

Dahyun turns on a corner and decides to park in front of Jeongyeon’s old apartment again to rest and think for a moment. Even after dating for quite a while, she feels like the older girl was still some form of enigma to her; a puzzle she has yet to solve, and never got to when she decided to just up and leave, much to Dahyun’s chagrin.

A flash of light followed by a loud crash breaks Dahyun from her daze, her pickup truck shaking from the impact. She feels herself getting out of her car as she tries to see what had just happened.

Her jaw drops as she sees just a few meters away from where she stood, a large crater that ate up the entire street; its surface steaming with bits of fire strewn all around. Chunks of asphalt are scattered and broke some of the car windows and store fronts near the crater, Dahyun looks back and breathes a small sigh of relief to find her car relatively unharmed.

Everyone around her seems shell-shocked, their eyes searching the skies for whatever it is that made this.

Their questions were answered right away when a very evident sound of crackling made its way in the air; the now darker and grayer clouds above them blocking out the midday sun as flashes of lightning soundlessly happen behind it.

A big flash and that’s when all hell broke loose.

Dahyun will never forget the giant lightning bolt that came out from the sky and hit the highest building in their city, just four blocks away: Twice Tower. The blonde watches in horror as the bolt connected to its very top, shattering all the glass windows that made most of it, followed by its sudden and gruesome collapse.

Everyone began running in different directions, not knowing if and where another lightning bolt would hit and Dahyun feels herself frozen on the spot and trying to remain steady as the ground beneath her rumbled from the still ongoing collapse of the tower, debris free-falling on its surrounding buildings.

Another static crackling fills the air and Dahyun doesn’t register it through the screaming and panicking of everyone around her. A flash of lightning happens, but this time, on the east side of the city, before another bolt strikes on that area.

Feeling her knees turning to jelly, the blonde snaps out of it and begins to scramble to get back in her car but stops when she sees a familiar face looking at her like a deer caught by the headlights from the opposite street.

Yoo Jeongyeon.


“Get in!” Dahyun yells as soon as she revs up her car engine and Jeongyeon nears her pickup truck.

“Buckle up.” The blonde basically commands, the other immediately doing so as soon as she slips into the passenger seat.

“We need to get out of the city.” Jeongyeon says matter-of-factly, her hands clutching her rucksack on her lap and her expression, unreadable.

“Gee, you think?” Dahyun could help but scoff. She’s fully aware that this isn’t the time, but she can’t help it. The girl sitting beside her had left her without any decent explanation, without returning her calls and messages, and just completely disappearing from her life. But she doesn’t ignore the fact that Jeongyeon looks a lot different from six months ago.

Still the same dark brown hair, but now chopped shorter up to her shoulders. Bags under her eyes were evident, as if she hasn’t been sleeping for weeks and her cheeks a little bit more hollowed out. The usual sparkle in her eyes are now gone and replaced by a peculiar emptiness.

“I know you’re still pissed at me, and that’s okay. I had to do what I did.” The older girl says, still not looking at Dahyun. “I can’t tell you why but just know that it’s important and- WATCH OUT!” The car nearly tips over to its side from the sudden swerve that Dahyun did to avoid an incoming SUV that drove into their lane after getting clipped by another lightning bolt.

Dahyun lets out a loud curse as she glances at her rear view mirror and sees the SUV now exploding fully behind them. She steps on the gas and hopes to God she can get them out in one piece.


After a few more minutes, Dahyun has surprisingly managed to dodge most of the cars and people that got in their way. The thunder bolts continued to strike at different parts of the city, destroying and sending most of it into rubble and dirt.

They were nearing the city borders and were about to crossover to the next city, when heavy raindrops started splattering on to the pickups windshield.

“What in the ?” The blonde mutters, turning on the windshield wipers.

Dahyun nearly jumps from her seat when the brunette next to her suddenly speaks after a long while.

“Just keep driving, we need to get ahead and get to the next town. Does this still work?” Jeongyeon distractedly asks, pointing at Dahyun’s car stereo.

“Yeah, here.” Dahyun reaches over and voices immediately come out as soon as she turns the radio on.

“This just in: Multiple casualties have been reported in Alben City as a freak thunderstorm had hit the area. Correspondents on site that have fortunately evacuated the city are currently experiencing heavy rains as they cross over to the neighboring town.”

“I knew it. I ing knew it.” Jeongyeon mumbles under her breath, opening her rucksack and taking out a familiar black laptop that Dahyun often saw the former using.

Dahyun glances at the other girl who was readjusting her glasses on her nose as she waited for laptop to boot up, the rain still loudly splattering outside. It was getting more difficult to drive now, the roads are extra slippery and there’s now a stronger chill entering the car from the outside.

The younger girl has been getting increasingly anxious, not just from the weird things happening around them but also because of the girl beside her. She felt like a total stranger to someone she shared a bed with for nearly a year, and it annoys her to no end.

She wants answers, and she’s getting them now.

Peering through the pouring rain, Dahyun recognizes the highway they were on and figured it was safe to park on the side for a bit. Panicked confusion immediately shows on Jeongyeon’s face as soon as the car stopped.

“What are you doing, Dahyun? We can’t stop, we have to keep driving!” Her eyes are now wild, and Dahyun knows she can’t back down now. Not anymore.

“No. We are not moving until you tell me what the is going on.” She says firmly. The brunette looks at Dahyun as if she just grew another head and removes her glasses in frustration.

“Who are you really, and how do you know my brother?”


“What the is Project Zeus and why does RM need Hera?” The last sentence triggers a different expression to come out of Jeongyeon’s face. Dahyun couldn’t place it, but it was something along the lines of relief and surrender. 

Without another word, Jeongyeon quickly types on her laptop before showing the screen to the younger girl.

Dahyun tries to understand what looks like a virtual simulation happening on the screen; tens and thousands of satellites covering Earth and looking like a whole network as it floats in space.

“This is Project Zeus, a satellite network controlled by an artificial intelligence named after the god of the gods himself. Project Zeus has been a top secret project concocted by the world government in order to control the effects of global warming and the thinning of the ozone.”

Jeongyeon presses another button, opening a sequence of videos from all around the world that shows drought, typhoons, blizzards and other natural calamities and disasters that have happened over the last decade.

“This A.I. is the first of its kind and that means it still has its flaws. A lot of it, to be exact.” Dahyun still couldn’t wrap her head around the idea, but she gets the gist.

“So what exactly does this thing do and what does it have to do with you and this RM?”

Jeongyeon looks at her, visibly nibbling on her lower lip; a habit she does when she’s nervous or stressed out.

In this case, she was both. “I don’t know where to start…” 

“Well then start with how you know my brother and why you never told me about it?” Dahyun snaps. She’s had enough of being left in the dark.

“Your brother is one of the scientists that worked on the project along with my older sister, Seungyeon. They represented our country in the project in the coding and structural aspect of it all and have been doing so for years.” The brunette finally says.

“I never really met your brother, but my sister has mentioned him a lot whenever she came home or called me when she could. Inside their facility, the coders used code names in order to identify and tag who did which one did which part of the system. My sister went by the code name, Athena and your brother, RM.” Jeongyeon starts.

“Most of the time, Seungyeon showed me nearly everything they were doing up there and that got me

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