He had been sleeping when he heard the doors to his "room" open. Wearily, he let his right eye open to reveal a honey coloured orb to the white world. It was a single guard. She only needed one guard for him. He was obedient. He had to be.
"Number 014, stand up."
Like the good little doll he was, he allowed his body to come to a sitting position in the thing he called a bed. He got up slowly, knowing that any fast movements could be his downfall. Facing the guard, who's face was covered by a helmet, he stood to his full height, as little impressive that was. He waited and stood in place, staring ahead with no emotion apparent of his face as he awaited for orders.
"Turn around. She has a mission for you."
He expected this much and so he turned around, facing the white wall. The only time She wanted to see him was when She wanted something. 014 closed his eyes and let out a silent sigh, his ears twitching at the sound of the approaching guard. Dutifully, he held out his hands behind him, wincing slightly at the cold cuffs biting into his scarred skin. He grunted at feeling the harsh gloved hands of the guard turn him around and shove him through his prison.
014 walked slowly at first, knowing that the guards preferred for him to walk at this pace, but he quickly opted for a quicker one once feeling baton grating at his back. He schooled his face into one of apathy, knowing that the guards at the other doors were hoping to see him in pain. They were already staring at his scarred throat, smirks evident on their shadowed faces. All the people around him seemed to wish the same thing. At least his bangs protected his face from them.
His mind went blank, his body moving on autopilot. It was easy to ignore something that occurred so often to him, it similar to ignoring the chaffing his old dirty clothes made with his skin. Missions were the only reason of his existence after all.
Eventually, they had reached the lower levels of the United Ark Federation, where She worked. Better, where the Black Market worked.
Her name was Cassie Quinn. Such an innocent name for one who was anything but. As Her last name suggested, She was of Irish descent, well as Irish one could be on the Ark after 97 years of mixed breeding. Her hair was a pale blond streaked with silver that was cut smartly at Her chin, giving Her fae like features a more serious look. Her eyes were a brilliant blue, always decorated with the black makeup procured from the Market. Her thin lips were always coated in scarlet pigment, making Her look even more sinister to 014. She was always dressed in brightly coloured suits that were acquired from the Market, making Her stand out with the rest against the sea of brown and navy that was the Ark.
The Council knew of Cassie Quinn. How could they not? They knew She was the Shadow of the Black Market. They knew what she did to Her Boys. They didn't care. Or if they did, they could do nothing. She was too powerful, She knew too many people that could easily dispose of people who went against Her. Hell, even Nigel left Her alone. Thus, they did nothing. They left Her alone. They left Her Boys alone.
014 wasn't always 014, he had a name, once. Though he's been with Her for so long, even She doesn't recall his name. His earliest memory was his faceless parents selling him to Her for food rations. He was three at the time. That was the only memory he had of them. That's how She collected Her Boys, desperate families would sell their sons to Her, She preferred for them to be male. That was also how She gained so much influence in the Black Market.
She trained them, Her Boys, to complete missions for Her. She would use them to gather information, infiltration, kill those not loyal to Her, or to cater to Her customers' needs to gain their loyalty. She knew this could be considered as "rape", but She didn't care. Who was there to stop her? They were merely tools to Her, regardless of their ages.
She started collecting Her victims around when 014 was two. Once getting a boy, She would rename them to the number that he joined in. Hence why 014 was 014, he was the fourteenth one to join Her collection. After they were named, they would then be branded like cattle of their number, the placing depending on what the boy specialized in. He had been well trained, at one point he had even worshipped the woman, making him one of the few that was able to a variety of mission. His brand of his number, with the others who were Jacks of the Trade, was on his tongue. It had hurt, but it was nothing compared to the one on his back. The tattoo encompassed everything from his undercut to the small of his back. The black geometric designs marking him as Her favourite. He had been the youngest of his batch sold to her, making him more malleable to Her needs. She learned from him that She needed to take young boys to better train them, they wouldn't know any better after all.
They couldn't resist, if they did, they would be punished. Most times, punishment equalled death, hence why many didn't stay in Her collection for long. In fact, he was the oldest in Her collection standing at twenty-five years old.
014 remembered, he remembered the day of his worst punishment. He had been forced to pleasure Her many times as he was Her favourite and felt so disgusted afterwards, but he would still take that over the Punishment. The one that took his voice and love away at the tender age of sixteen.
His mission was to spy on the man Zachary Brougham by infiltrating his normal life. He had easily done so by befriending his son, Kelton. They had easily became friends, true friends. 014 enjoyed Kelton's company, he went by the name Brad for that mission. He enjoyed it so much that it was the first time he had made love with someone. He even started to grow out his hair, Kelton loved 014's dark hair. He couldn't help himself, it was the longest he'd ever spent with someone not a part of the Black Market.
In the two months and half he spent with the Brougham family, he had learned through Kelton that the wife, Shelly, was sick. She needed medicine, medicine that the Ark couldn't afford to give to them. In response, Zachary went to the Market and used his meager food stamps to trade for the medicine. 014 felt bad for the man, he knew from personal experience that once one interacted with the Market, you wouldn't be able to get out.
The Market had already sank its claws in Zachary as 014 had predicted. By the end of the mission, the man had traded all of his ration cards until he no longer had any more to give. In the end, he was willing to barter his son for medicine for his wife. Kelton was older than what She would like, but at sixteen, he was still young enough for Her. 014 wanted to stay, he wanted to protect Kelton from Her, but Her guards were already patrolling the area. They were waiting for him to return.
And so he returned.
When She had asked for his report, he would not give it to Her. He didn't want to deliver Kelton into Her clutches. He wouldn't betray his love. She was so mad. Her favourite boy finally went against Her. She had him tortured to gain information from him, but 014's feelings for Kelton was stronger than the loyalty to Her. He endured and didn't let a word out. Protect him. She found out the next day of Zachary's offer, She wouldn't accept it, She was too livid for that. In retaliation of 014's betrayal, She had the whole family floated as 014 watched.
He screamed at Her after this, he called Her every vile name he knew. He hated Her with all of his corrupted heart. Deep down inside, he hated himself too. If he hadn't been such a good tool normally, She would have had him killed. Instead, She took his voice by burning his throat with acid. Her toy couldn't argue with Her now. He learned his lesson after this.
Don't fall in love.
His musings were quickly cut short by arriving in Her office. He subtly took in a deep breath, preparing his nose for Her overwhelming perfume. He entered the office, Her desk was positioned in front of the door so She could start "smiling" at him right away. Behind Her in the shadows, Her two bodyguards stood tall. If he didn't know they were there, he would have never noticed them, despite their size.
"Oh hello darling! How are you this fine evening?" Red lips curled up in a cruel smile knowing that he couldn't answer. He merely nodded and clucked his tongue, the black barbell that pierced his tongue hitting the roof of his mouth in a familiar manner.
"Have seat." Her soft voice echoed throughout the room. Quite frankly, 014 was more afraid of people with soft voices than people without. So, he sat down in the uncomfortable metal chair placed in front of Her desk.
"Tell me, do you know how much longer the Ark has?" The Ark has? Is my mission to find out? He shook his head.
"Originally, the Ark was intended to sustain life for 200 years, they believed that the Earth would be habitable by then. Today, it is the year 2149 CE, ninety-seven years since we've been on Earth. By the year 2148, the repair estimates stated that the work on the Ark is taking longer than the system can keep the population alive. The Ark is dying with us on it." She paused in Her speech, allowing 014 to soak in the information. By the widening of his eyes, She saw that he understood what was going on. Yes, he remembered the incident of Jake Griffin.
"As you know, there are 100 children locked up in the Sky Box. To provide more oxygen for the citizens of Ark, Jaha plans to send them down to Earth. He believes that Earth is now habitable." 014 couldn't help but have his face show his surprise. Earth. His eyes then widened again at realizing what his mission was.
"Oh? You've gotten my point already? Smart boy, you are my favourite for a reason." She smirked. "You will be joining the 100, 014. With a little bribing, the guards won't mind another prisoner on the drop ship. If you survive, your mission is to secure a place down on Earth for me. I'll not be under the Council's thumb longer than I need to. Befriend the 100's leader and use them." She's sending me to my death! A cold sweat formed on his body. She stuck a slender hand underneath Her desk and pulled out a large clear bag full of black clothing and something bulky, shoes perhaps? She set it on her metal desk and pushed it towards him. He looked down at the package then looked back up, raising a black brow up in question.
"A gift for you. You will need it if you survive."
014 hesitantly reached for the package and put it in his lap. With deft fingers, he opened the package, the crinkling noise filling the silence. Nervously, 014 ran his tongue over his lips, feeling slightly better after the familiar feeling of running his tongue over his hoop lip piercing. He stuck a hand inside the opened bag. The first item he pulled out was a sleeveless black turtleneck, to cover his scar and tattoos he assumed. He ran his fingers over the fabric, marveling at the softness that was so unlike his current set of clothes. He set that aside and turned the bad upside down on Her desk, not having the patience to take everything out individually. His ears were assaulted by the sound of metal on metal and a heavy clunking noise. 014 moved the clothing, and a pair of boots, to a side of Her desk and saw several daggers and throwing knives left on the desk.
"I figured you'd need some means of protection other than a tree branch. When you arrive on the drop ship, there will be a loose panel next to the door, open it and you might find a surprise." She crossed Her legs and placed Her hands in Her lap. She looked at him expectantly, wanting him to finish looking at the rest of Her gifts.
Going back to the pile in the corner, he pulled out thick black tapered pants that held many pockets, for the knives, he assumed. Next, he went to the combat boots, also black in colour and reaching to near his knees. His fingers felt along the inside of the boots, taking in pockets in them as well. Finally at the last of Her gifts was a black bomber jacket. He assumed that was more of fashion piece, She was vain after all.
"So?" She asked, wondering his judgement. He gave a nod of approval, knowing that black would help him better blend in with the shadows, even more so with his darker skin. He had a love-hate relationship with the colour black, while it would help better cloak him, it made the scars decorating his body stick out like polished silver.
"Good, I knew you would like it all being black, it will also help you retain heat on Mount Weather, your destination. You should be grateful, it cost me a lot to get those clothes tailored with pockets in them." He bent his head to show his gratitude, She didn't care if you didn't mean it, just as long as you showed it.
"We haven't got all day now, change." He got up slowly and moved to remove his old shirt, humiliation welling up inside him. With a grunt, he took his shirt off and started to slide of his shoes, tieing his waist length hair with the leather tie on his wrist. Red lips stretched into a grin at seeing Her mark on his back.
"Oh, you still have those piercings? Figured that you would have ripped them out or a client would have." She said, gesturing to his chest, She loved to refer to those who raped him as clients. He look down at the bars piercing through his nipples and shrugged at her. Honestly, he wasn't expecting for them to last that long either. It had been a recent drunk decision, he had heard that some clients liked their playthings to be with piercings. She let them do whatever they wanted to their bodies as long as it wasn't entirely mutilated.
Stripping down to his boxers, 014 began to put on his new clothing, making sure not to look in Her direction. He knew She was enjoying the show, She always did. Had he not been assigned to a mission, he had no doubt that he would have been taken to Her room. Soon, he was zipping his jacket shut and then went to hide the knives in his pockets, the clothes clinging to his muscled body in a way he wasn't used to.
"Roll up a sleeve." 014 took a second to decide which sleeve to roll up. While he was ambidextrous, he preferred his right hand so he rolled up the sleeve on his left. If whatever happened to him would hinder his abilities, he would prefer for it to happen to his lesser hand. She then got up and walked towards him, a silver object in Her hands.
"The wristbands will be monitoring your vital signs. The 100 will have their own wristbands, though the Council will be monitoring theirs. Yours goes directly to me." 014 held his wrist out to Her and She pressed a button, causing the wristband to open. His almond eyes twitched at seeing the needles lining the inside of the band. Not one to be prompted, She clasped the band over his wrist. He winced at the pain, but he could manage, he had worse.
"Guards." She called, stepping back with Her hands clasped behind him. At Her call, two guards came in. "Escort him to the dropship." The guards both grabbed an arm and began to haul him out.
"You know your place, boy. Do not fail me, 014.