your hint is in the title. that's all i'm saying. this will be long and semi-confusing but EVERYTHING is explained in the end. if you still need clarification, drop me a note, babe. ;) 3 otherwise, i am...INCREDIBLY proud of this fanfic. incredibly. ffffffff
also, warnings for strict system but if you watched the Hunger Games, this is nothing compared to that. as well as some language, indication and shit. a suicidal thought after some point but no actual suicide. minor character death [not important characters to the overall thing]. :) and i do not mean to offend anyone, or anything by the writing of this piece. xP.
"No, don't take him! He's just a child! Please, take me instead! Take me! Not my son! Not my son!"
It had been five years since the system took control when Kurt was in New York. Kurt hadn't seen Burt Hummel for nearly seven years of his life. He could not call his Father, because the system destroyed any form of technology he did have. Every piece of technology had a tracker for h history and sites. All sites were marked by the system's surveillance. Most people had the ability to see their parents, lived with their families in the cubic zones that were checked daily by an agent of the system, but others were not so fortunate and were ripped apart from their homes. Some of them were soldiers, but others were taken into the system. Nobody knew what happened to them.
Nobody really knew about the system unless they were in the system. They didn't know that the system was made out of two parts: the Elite and the Isolate. The Elite was the main system, the one that controlled everything. The Isolate worked under Elite control, and was just as victimised as any other citizen. Thee Isolate was part of the less fortunate, the ones that weren't allowed to see their families. Kurt was part of the Isolate. Everyone hated him, and supposed that he was just as bad as the Elite. He had not seen his Father in seven years and unless the Elite will fall any time soon, he wouldn't see his Father again in his life.
The Elite's ruling was something that seemed to happen out of nowhere and wasn't so gradual. They took in full-force with new technology and threatened the ending of the world. The Elite did not care about dying and they would've wiped out civilisation on Earth to prove the point. Kurt's last memory before being taken by one of the ruling was his Father calling him. Kurt was pulled into the back of one of their moving vans, chained to a shackle and the phone sitting in the middle of the van, taunting him. A black-haired guard laughed as Kurt watched his Father call repeatedly for three hours and just as they emerged the centre, the guard had smashed the phone into pieces. That was the last time Kurt was allowed to cry. If he showed any emotion in the centre, they would kill him. One of the agents, Seam, took Kurt in and taught him to hack into a person's brainwave through the technology he had. He taught him the colour-coding. It took Kurt two years. Every year, the Elite randomly stabbed and killed an agent to make the Isolate fear the Elite even more. Kurt was bound to their power completely and one small mistake will cost him his life. Begging would mean torture. Protesting would mean hours locked in the chamber, at a violent degree until he died. Kurt would rather have a painless death now, a pleasant one.
How funny. Ten years ago, Kurt told himself that no death was pleasant, but right now, standing behind the centre programme, he found himself categorising deaths. Some of these agents were taken to a room, watched their family get tortured and lived a life of guilt. Kurt would rather not live at all if he had to be the one prodding iron-heated rods into his Father's body. The Elite had many tasks, many of them, and so many of them were carried out by the Isolate. Three months ago, the Elite had perfected the programme centre completely and Kurt was one of the best centre programmers. He hacked into people's minds, erased their precious memories and made them empty, a vessel for things to put in. Then other parts of the Isolate would build on it, making them cold, hateful, spiteful and blood-thirsty. The Elite was building an army because Kurt knew that the world was creating an army to fight against the Elite. That army that countries had to work together to create Kurt knew was called the Defiance. The Elite's army was called the Order.
Three months ago, Kurt was assigned to create the Order. Kurt made the base. He was the reason any of these people became blood-thirsty. Kurt had fought for survival for years unbeknownst to the rest of civilisation. Even in the Isolate's lair, there were so many death traps. Kurt's intake in food and drink depended on how well he performed. At the beginning, Kurt only had a bottle of water and half a roll of bread for the entire week. Now, Kurt was fed a complete meal a day, and had two bottles of water for the day.
Ten years ago, he would've wrinkled his face at this mediocre amount of food and water but after a year of surviving on half a piece of bread and a bottle of water for a week, this negotiation seemed like Heaven. The only reason he hadn't died then from being so malnourished and underweight was that Seam used to give him a Daquate he'd stolen every few hours. Sometimes, Kurt would have to ingest it orally but other times he would have to have it injected in him. The Daquate gave him a few nutrients and even kept his weight steady. At his lowest weight of a hundred and eight, they kept him from dying from his low weight as well and even gave him a bit of warmth considering there was nothing on Kurt's skin to give him the insulation he needed. Kurt had enough since then to keep him alive, but not enough to make him look pretty. He laughed at the days where he thought that you can't lose far too much weight. Kurt thought he was far too revolting and unrecognisable. Gone were the days of song, dance and happiness.
Kurt wore whatever they'd given him. Now, it was enough to keep him warm even. Right now, his Hell wasn't lack of food or drink, or even coldness or the inability to be free. His Hell right now was having to rip apart people from their homes to be part of the Order. That was the hardest part.
"No, don't take him! He's just a child! Please, take me instead! Take me! Not my son! Not my son!"
Kurt Hummel watched with supposedly stoic eyes, pressing his lips together in a tight line as Skye pulled a brown-haired boy Kurt recognised from his memory. It took him a while to put together the face, the green eyes, chocolate-brown hair and the pale skin, far too pale. Kurt watched as his Mother begged for him not to be taken away, offering her life instead of her son's.
Green eyes stared at the dismay. Kurt knew it would kill her to know her son was being taken away from her. Marshall tapped at Kurt's shoulder and had given Kurt the gun. Kurt knew what to do. He was a precise shot now. The Elite would be angry if he wasted bullets. Just as Kurt was aiming right, he shot the blonde-haired woman straight into her skull, as Sebastian's last memory of his Mother was of the bullet soaring and ripping across her skull, and for what? For offering her life for his own. A small gasp fell from Sebastian's lips, and a look of shock filled his eyes. The Father pulled himself in front of his wife's dead body. Kurt looked away and his eyes fell onto Sebastian as he had been pushed to the back of the truck with some of the guards.
Kurt had no time to think about how he'd killed Sebastian's poor Mother, as he had a truck to drive. If he missed a turn, Marcus would've shot him and Marcus was quick with his gun. Kurt wouldn't even know he was dead. Kurt's head looked back to see silent tears falling from Sebastian's eyes. Kurt's heart hurt him, realising that that would be the last time Sebastian would be allowed to cry, because he was in the system. And in the system, nobody got out alive. He remembered what Seam said to him before he died.
You only delay death for as long as possible, and then it'll come. You will die. And everything you would've done would be for nothing.
Kurt stared at Sebastian from the glass. He could do this whenever, considering the training centre was only a room away from the programme centre. The wall was made of glass. If Kurt turned around, he would've caught a glimpse of Sebastian without even trying. "Get up, you useless whore!" Marcus called Sebastian. Kurt composed himself, trying not to flinch when he heard those words otherwise Kurt would be in trouble. He'd glanced and seen that every scrap of Sebastian's skin either had a bruise, a wound or a burn. There was a large gash on his forehead and shoulder that was making Kurt feel like throwing up. Kurt tried not to look at him but it was difficult. Marcus was just doing the first part, the easiest part, inflicting hard pain on Sebastian. Now, that he was so physically broken, he wouldn't be able to fight back. Most of them couldn't. After being physically beaten continuously for seven hours, Marcus shoved Sebastian to Kurt.
"He is useless if you break into his mind now, but he understands now that when we mean pain, we mean pain," Marcus said the word with emotion. Kurt remembered Seam once said that it was like disciplining a child – they show you what happens when you disobey them, make them fear you, because fear was the only way you were ever going to get to a person, by making them fear you. Kurt had heard Seam chuckle and say: there is a stronger pain, by making them love you and then breaking them. It is the best kind of pain, because that kind of pain is everlasting. "Take him to Sector B. Clear his wounds and when they heal, he's all yours for the emotional bit."
Now they've proven the point, Kurt can take care of him. Kurt would have to. "Get up."
Sebastian had leaned against Kurt all the way to Sector B. Kurt had straightened him out because if Sebastian fainted on Kurt, Marcus would kill him for being so weak and useless. The first time around, Seam had to whisper into Kurt's ear that they will kill you, Kurt, they will hurt you if you cry. Do not cry. When Kurt was still looking close to tears, he said don't cry, Kurt, because it'll hurt me. And do you want to hurt me? Kurt's ability to cry suddenly stopped afterwards. Whenever he did, Seam's words made him unable to. In Sector B, he was safe to cry. He just could not.
Sebastian can pass out when he was in the room…Kurt clicked the doorway open. Sebastian stared at the small empty room. "This…this is the room? I'd rather be in prison," Kurt shut the door behind him as Sebastian complained just in case one of the agents were in patrol and they'd catch Sebastian complaining. Right now, Kurt's mind was only set to keeping Sebastian alive for as long as possible.
The room was too small, plain, and there was literally nothing in it. It was just a small plain room before decoration. "At least in prison, they have beds."
Kurt locked the door, as he positioned himself in the corner of the room to show Sebastian the most comfortable way he can fall asleep. Kurt used to sleep on his back but that put a lot of strain on his neck. He curled up against the corner, and Sebastian raised an eyebrow. "You are joking. You really do sleep in some corner like a fucking bat, don't you?"
Kurt looked up at him with hard eyes. "Get your butt down here, Sebastian. You aren't getting a five-star hotel room. Honestly, you're lucky you have me as your advisor and not anyone else—"Kurt stopped talking now as he paid attention to Sebastian's condition. Sebastian was close to either throwing up or fainting. Kurt quickly stood up as he himself had been trained by Seam and was quick enough to catch Sebastian from falling in and breaking his face. Kurt pulled Sebastian towards the corner of the room,, as he laid down beside him. Kurt sat on the corner, staring at Sebastian. He had a nice, warm bed waiting for him in his room right down Sector B but he could not leave Sebastian alone. Kurt pulled up his jacket. He got out some hydrogen peroxide, gauze, water and then bit down his lower lip. "Take off your clothing, Sebastian."
Sebastian smirked. "You're having sex with me, Hummel?"
Kurt's eyes were serious. Sebastian wiggled his way out of his clothing but he seemed to wince and flinch every time anything came in contact with his wounds, bruising and burns. This will be horribly painful then, Kurt mused to himself. Kurt allowed Sebastian to sit as close to him as possible. Kurt pulled out a bottle of hydrogen peroxide, and then splashed the peroxide on one of his more-so exposed wounds on his arm before rubbing it off with the water. Sebastian was about to make a sound so Kurt just pulled his hand around Sebastian's mouth.
"No, Sebastian," Kurt instructed. "You cannot scream. They will find you and they will kill you." Kurt was being serious. "There isn't a cam in these rooms but this is just about the only room that isn't full of cameras, alright? And if you scream, it will alert their attention to us and you will end up dead."
"For screaming?" Sebastian murmured against Kurt's hand. "I guess loud sex is out of the question."
"Well, considering I am part of the Isolate, they can kill me if I show emotion so yes, they will kill you for screaming," Kurt explained, causing the blood to drain from Sebastian's face. Kurt finished off the rest of the job with a silent Sebastian staring at Kurt work his way through the cuts, and wrapped his skin around with the gauze. Kurt kept the jacket off, not wanting to feel the heaviness of the things he had to carry inside the jacket. The bottles and gauze that always pressed against his skin. Kurt sometimes wondered those days where the peroxide would spill and splash slightly on his skin when he hadn't bottled it up too properly. Those days were long gone, but Kurt can remember the pain as searing as it was.
Kurt sometimes hated memory. He always remembered things more gruesome and violent than they were. He could remember his cuts, but the level of pain he remembered them was more painful than they actually were. Sometimes, he remembered his Father. He only remembered all the good times when he missed him like this, but when they fought, all Kurt can remember was picking apart the man's horrendous qualities to feed his emotion. He wondered how it would be like to have no emotion at all, to be able to pick apart people just as they were, analyse them without the emotion in the way of how they fell about them.
Sebastian began to realise that Kurt probably didn't wear anything but his very thin jacket despite the climate when Kurt had asked him for his clothing. Kurt had to dispose of Sebastian's clothing later. They were all in uniform here, all victims of the system and nobody deserved the individuality. Kurt sometimes was vaguely aware that ten years ago, there was no way he could've allowed them to take away his fashion sense, but what was he against this whole system? They were people, without guns, defenceless. They didn't care about ruling or power. They hated the very core of civilisation. If it meant them dying as well, they will blow up the Earth. When their villains had no fear of death, then there was nothing to fight against.
Sebastian stared at the shirtless Kurt pressed against the wall and Kurt didn't quite understand until Sebastian asked, eyes grazing on Kurt's skin. Sebastian wondered how it must be like to touch skin like that, so fragile. He thought he'd be met with bone rather quickly then. "Did they starve you to death or something? I can count six of your ribs and I suppose I had a concussion or something."
"Yes," Kurt finally said, his voice not craving for attention but only to hit Sebastian with a full-blown force of his soon to be reality. "They will do it to you too. You'd have to sadly live off the occasional stale piece of bread and a singular water bottle for a week or so."
Sebastian snorted. "So, really, what do you eat?"
Kurt stared at him for the longest of time. He had never felt this bad in a long time. This bad that can surpass weeks of surviving on slices of stale or rotten bread and small amounts of water. This bad that can surpass training until he physically bled from how badly he was training, from how fast he tried to dodge, and from how quick he had to kill, until his palms so sweaty that the only reason that gun or spear would fly out of Kurt's hand was that because he was so physically ill—he hadn't felt this much pain in such a long time. It was funny how some emotional pain was worse than the physical pain. In the end, the physical pain disappeared but the emotional pain sometimes never left. This pain that was condensing in his heart, this emotional pain that he'd trade for that physical horrid pain. They will break Sebastian, and they will hurt him, until he became just another one of them. They will wipe the smirk off his face. Funny how Kurt was dying for that to happen years ago. Right now, the fact that Sebastian hadn't changed despite everyone changing made Kurt have hope.
Kurt once thought that the most hopeful thing in the world was knowing that people loved you, but they can take that way too. They can tamper with your memory. Nothing you remembered was good enough but sometimes, even just the thought of something not changing, something constant, made Kurt find this glimmer of hope.
"You're fucking serious," Sebastian pulled himself against Kurt's shoulder. "Shit."
Kurt felt hot tears threatening to fill his eyes, but they didn't fill and nothing felt from his eyes. He was trained to supress, to oppress these real feelings. Seam said that emotion was shallow, but your mind amplifies it. The more you think you are a certain emotion, the more your mind fixes on it, until you become it. If you seem to believe what you are, you will become it. He placed a hand on Sebastian's bandaged hip and Sebastian curled up against Kurt, head on Kurt's shoulder. "Don't move, Hummel because there is no fucking way I am sleeping next to a wall if I can use your helluva bony shoulder as a pillow."
Just as Sebastian fell asleep, Kurt rubbed Sebastian's hip. There was something so wrong about feeling the bandage right now instead of raw flesh. Sebastian seemed to be a quick sleeper but he hadn't stirred in minutes. Kurt had lost sight of time, but that was okay. He'd lost sight of time a long time ago. What a paradox.
Kurt confessed his sins as if Sebastian was a priest. Funny. How he never believed in a God, but in those times of fear he was in, he was turning to someone, begging for God, screaming for him to make this all right. He can hear Blaine's voice, telling him it was all a test. Blaine. He hadn't heard that name in such a long time that he was almost sure that Blaine was a fabrication of Kurt's mind, that he never really truly existed. People would forget him. He will only become a name that nobody will remember, in memory, but even memory was fragile. They can take away your memory. They can take away everything. Your soul, spirit, mind, and body. You will have nothing. Seam chuckled as he explained this. Sometimes having anything is better than having nothing. Sometimes, I try to remember what I do have…they could've chopped off our will to think, but we're still thinking. I think that's the real torture really. If we keep on thinking, we'll run across paradoxes and circulate our theories. Everything is a circle. You start from point A, think you're going somewhere but you go against the same point you always do. I don't know how to feel about that. Maybe it's supposed to give you hope, but really, what's hope but a feeling, right?
Kurt stared down at Sebastian's face. He slept. "I'm sorry. If you forgot or you're just in so much pain you don't really want to bring it up but I am so, so sorry I had to kill your Mother."
The room was silent, quaint, and Kurt's mind sped off in a distance, running away from the reality that he was in. Then Sebastian spoke.
"Shut with your sob story, Hummel. I get it. They would've put a gun to your head too. Now sleep."
Kurt liked how strong Sebastian was being but Kurt never pointed out that there were hot tears pressing against his shoulders, as he allowed Sebastian to silently cry again for his losses. Kurt idly ran his hand down Sebastian's hip, against his side. Sebastian fell asleep. Kurt didn't have a watch so he didn't know how late it was, but he knew that his watch will beep when he had to wake up. Other than that, his watch was black and had nothing on it. It just reminded him when he had to get up. He had lost all ability to tell the time and with that, he barely even realised how slow or how fast a day was going. He just knew that usually after dinner, they went to bed. The day was divided into breakfast, lunch and dinner. The cafeteria kept tabs. Certain people of the Isolate got all three meals, like Marcus, others like Kurt only got one, and most of them had to lived off scraps of food here and there.
Seam laughed, the thing about time is that they want to take that away from you too. You look back and think: maybe it's time to do something, but if you can't tell the time, when do you know when you're supposed to do anything, right?
That morning, Kurt shook Sebastian awake and explained the watch to him and how he had to wake up when it beeped. Kurt wondered how the word managed to slip away from his fingers. The word Choice had become extinct, a thing of the past. There was no choice. There were only obligations. Kurt was vaguely aware of days where he did have a choice. It was only years, but years felt like eons, centuries, and the real verdict right now was feeling. Time was not reliable. Time was only measurable, and Kurt couldn't measure that either. Sebastian actually listened to Kurt talking about the watch, but afterwards, had bluntly stated that the watch was a piece of useless crap. Kurt wore his jacket, putting everything back in place, the bottles, the gauze, the bottle of water that he still had a bit left over of.
"Do you want your week-long roll of bread now or sometime other than this week?" Kurt asked him as Sebastian stared at him. His voice was bitter, and there was a silver of contempt.
"Fuck." Sebastian groaned. "Can you give me like all of your food?"
Kurt gave him a long, hard look. "I have one meal. I am not giving it to you."
"You…you're serious?" Sebastian asked, hitting hard to his reality. "You have…one…"
"Yes, one six-hundred calorie meal for the whole day." Kurt suddenly realised that he sounded a lot like his old self. He remembered being grateful for that one meal but right now, it was hard to be grateful for anything when they've taken so much from him. "And this is after I've been here for quite a while. They just don't like me. However, you learn to appreciate that singular meal when you've survived on just bread."
"Ha." Sebastian shook his head at the idea of appreciating anything from the system that tore him apart from his family. Kurt forgot when that logic had lost itself. He'd been so long he'd never seen someone quite bluntly stay so strong against system orders. "How about no?"
"Good. Don't eat anything at all."
"Fine." Sebastian crossed his arms over his chest like a twelve year old that could not get his way. Kurt was shocked Sebastian can even walk properly after the beating he took, but didn't notice that Sebastian was somewhat supporting himself on Kurt's shoulder. Kurt went to get Sebastian his food but Sebastian shook his head. "That piece of bread isn't gonna do shit. You have it."
"Me?" Kurt then asked. "But—"
Sebastian gave him a hard look before he shoved the roll into Kurt's hand. Kurt had contemplated, but Sebastian gave him a hard look. Kurt had taken a few bites of the bread, but he felt guilt rising as he offered Sebastian the rest of the roll every few minutes but Sebastian shook his head. He remembered those days where he could not sleep because the hunger was just too much. Hunger is physical, Kurt, Seam told him. In reality, you just miss the memory associated with the food, not the food itself. You miss the sense of familiarity. You have to let go else they'll use that against you too. Kurt had a way to make the bread last for a few more minutes. Since Kurt was Sebastian's advisor, Sebastian was stuck sitting on a chair when Kurt was programming everything for a few days.
Sebastian kept on prodding and asking questions. "When was the last time you've seen sunlight? You're as pale as shit."
"Considering I have to recruit people quite regularly, I do that in the night, so it's been some time to say the least," Kurt answered as he was hovering over a few of the buttons. Sebastian watched as Kurt probed through a boy's mind, looking through all of these good memories with him and his Father, erasing every last bit of them. Sebastian was busy playing with a rubber band he found on the ground that probably was of no use to them.
"What about your parents?" Sebastian finally asked.
Kurt answered that easily. He'd masked emotion all of his life. "My Mother's dead. I haven't seen or heard from my Father in years."
Sebastian seemed to know not to prod on that subject as he stared at the machine. "What happens if I touch the red button?"
Kurt scrunched up his nose. "Then I'd have to kill you so steer away from the red button."
Sebastian sunk back to his chair. "You never told me what happened if I touched the red button."
"Then I would erase all of the boy's memories and give him a clean slate. He will be useless. The thing about that button is it is last resort. We erase their memories only to our full advantages, to keep the stronger parts of them. Your personality is built on your memories, which help make you stronger or weaker. I look through your life and am assigned to choose which memories restrain you and which amplify your stronger qualities. That's how we build an army. The Elite doesn't have any time to work on a completely clean slate person. It'll take ages to rebuild them. I push that button when a project goes wrong, so they can use him as a worker here doing menial tasks, like giving you your bread, or checking and rechecking dorm rooms on every sector but B. Sector B itself is a dangerous sector. If someone is caught doing something wrong, they can blow it up in seconds because it's completely segregated form the rest of the sectors. That's why they don't need cameras there. They can blow you up best you please so you should be intimidated."
Kurt was completely relieved when Sebastian didn't bring up last night considering there were cameras around. Sebastian stared as Kurt erased every single good memory. The boy woke up looking confused as Marcus howled him over.
"Are you going to do this to me?" Sebastian had no emotion in his voiced.
"When your cuts heal," Kurt said. There was nothing good in sugar-coating anything and Sebastian knew it too. It wasn't cold. It was the truth. What's the difference anyway? Seam said. When someone insults you, they will use something that's true about you—that's how they hurt you, because if it isn't true, it wouldn't have bothered you as much. "Then I'm inclined to. Yes."
Sebastian said nothing to it, as he looked down at his lap before he stared at Kurt. "What are you gonna take from me?" he asked coolly as if it was nothing.
"Your most precious memories." Kurt answered after a while, noticing that Sebastian barely responded to this, as if he had expected this all along.
Sebastian slowly nodded his head. "How bad does it hurt?"
Kurt's heart was twinging now. There was no rebellion. Kurt, Seam's eyes glittered to a softer shade of grey, the people that are in most pain will not rebel. They are in too much pain to rebel and are too smart to fight. They will ask the question as appropriate. Those are the ones whose deaths are truly perfect because it seems like they've planned it. Even dying in the system, they still have their control because the system did not break them.
"It's like a dream," Kurt said after a while of thinking about it. He remembered being sedated, but Seam couldn't bear to do it. That killed Seam. Kurt thought it would be stupid to do the same mistake as his advisor and possibly refusing to erase Sebastian's memories. He'd have to do it. Seam wouldn't have wanted him to die because of the same mistake. Is it a mistake if you will not regret it? Kurt saw the flash of fear in those grey eyes before he was killed. "A horrible dream, that you remember these beautiful things, and then to know they're going to be ripped away from you."
"Do you still remember?" Kurt slowly nodded his head as Sebastian stared at Kurt.
"What if they took your precious memories away from you?" Sebastian murmured. He was honestly inquiring things, as if they were a story, and not real, not fabricated right in front of him where he could see.
Kurt shrugged but he knew the answer. "I wouldn't be able to do my job as efficiently. I wouldn't know what to take out then, would I?" he asked Sebastian whom just nodded his head, understanding. He had to be able to be in pain to recognise pain, or to be happy to recognise happiness – at least the purer kind of happiness.
Sebastian stared at the boy on the table from across the machinery. "But I was wondering what you would've felt like if they'd taken them away from you."
Kurt thought about this from the moment. "You're working in a paradoxical loop, Sebastian. If they took my memories from me, I wouldn't know how to feel about them taking away my memories because I don't have those memories so I wouldn't really know. It's like asking a person how being dead was like. They're dead. It is pointless."
Sebastian took a stab at guessing. "I bet you'll feel like a big chunk of your life is missing but you don't know what. Kinda like a big empty hole is in your chest."
"Do you want to check?" Kurt annoyingly answered, raising an eyebrow.
Sebastian smirked. "Can't. You'd be working in a paradoxical loop because if you took out my memories, I'd have no fucking idea what you're talking about if you asked me how bad it hurt to have them being torn away from me."
Kurt gave him a cold, hard glare for a moment, before he sighed. "Dear convicted Prada, Sebastian. Can you stay silent?"
Sebastian didn't talk after that, which was surprising because Kurt honestly didn't think that Sebastian was going to really stop talking. Sebastian was honestly staring at what Kurt was doing – which was erasing another subject's memory now, but he was in the process of seeing the memories and jolting down dates. Sebastian then asked, "Would it be easier if I just told you the dates of my precious memories?"
Kurt paused the memory playback as if it was a movie and took out the huge headphones with a look of intrigue. "It'll speed things up. Yes." Kurt found this confusing. Sebastian obviously didn't want Kurt to know all of his life, either due to shame or embarrassment if he was giving specific dates. "You are aware I'd still have to go through your life, but I'll keep these dates in mind then. How can you memorise dates anyway—"
Sebastian smirked slightly. "Hummel, if they're so goddamn precious memories, then you'd remember, wouldn't you?"
Kurt shook his head. "I suppose what made my memories precious was that I barely remember time, or dates, just the fluffy feeling in my heart and this…feeling of invincibility," this seemed so stupid now, considering that Kurt was so under the system. He'd never feel that way again, not as long as the system still went on. "The thing about time is that it is measurable, dates can be recorded but true happiness makes you forget the world. You cannot measure happiness, or fill your mind with it. Happiness is something that is beyond our recognition, like hope, stars, and God, but I suppose the thing about happiness that makes it truly powerful is that you don't know what it is. If I was told of to describe you, I can use words like I do when I'm describing stars. I can strip you down biologically, physically, characteristically, and I can write books about you, but even then I wouldn't really describe you. Sometimes, there aren't words for things you want to describe, and that's what makes you so different, because even if I pull out a dictionary and spend years describing you, there's still part of it missing. Memories are just images, but images with those feelings, the ones you can't really describe with word, or feeling – it is something beyond this world. That's why when you take away a person's memory – you strip away a bit of them, each bit by bit until they are not themselves anymore."
Kurt looked up at Sebastian, chuckling slightly. "You are like a bracelet, Sebastian. If I take too much of red or blue, it loses the same feeling or atmosphere it first had. You convey a completely different emotion, vibe and aura. Ultimately, taking away your memory is an indirect way of destroying the foundation of you. You don't really understand, but even a singular memory of you seeing a woman in the street can change everything. Your mind is a story filled with words with meanings in between, and if you delete enough words, it writes a completely different story."
"Yeah, yeah, yeah, I'm not a writer or any of that shit," Sebastian murmured, causing Kurt to glower at him. "Anyway, May 23rd, May 27th, June 2nd, 18th of August, 18th of September, 5th of November—"
Kurt jolted down these dates and then blushed considerably as he remembered the sequence of these dates. "Are…are these all from V for Vendetta?! Sebastian!"
"Is he annoying you?" Marcus suddenly asked, breaking apart their conversation. Kurt blushed. He had explained Sebastian the philosophy of life in a second when he was working on erasing the memories of his new subject but at least it wasn't something that could've gotten Kurt tortured—if Kurt said a word about the system, he would be gone by now. "Get back to fucking work, Hummel, or you won't see the light of day."
Sebastian snorted, as he pulled his head to his knees, tucking his chin between his knees. "He hasn't seen light in years so…"
"Sebastian," Kurt said, angrily now, urging the brunette to shut up before one of them became Marcus' new play-toy.
Kurt shoved the notebook back on the page he was on, putting on his headphones and writing things again. Sebastian was still smirking and staring at him with a raised eyebrow. Kurt couldn't look at him without wanting to spit into his mouth or throw up on his shoes. That act could've really killed them but Marcus was nice today. Well, as nice as Marcus would ever be. Kurt went across the memories over and over and Sebastian watched, completely paled, as how Kurt erased the boy's happiest memories with a few buttons and a completely stoic facial expression.
Back at Sector B, Kurt had walked inside after the sixth shift was over and he did his patrol duty on Sector G. He'd found a few things that were slightly rebellious but Kurt did not have the heart to report them. However, if they found out Sector G was planning some sort of demolition, they'd kill Kurt, Cade and Killian, considering they only patrolled Sector G and even if they were completely faithful to the system, the system did not take the risk. Kurt had shut down the door only to find Sebastian sitting there with a smirk on his face. Kurt didn't understand why until he was being hit by a sea of loaves. Kurt had stared down to see twelve or thirteen rolls sprawled against the ground and more sailing from somewhere. Just before Kurt can say anything, Sebastian threw a butter knife at him. Kurt had managed to catch this quickly, along with a few jars of jam, marmalade, honey, butter and peanut butter that Sebastian sent sailing across the room.
"I told you this uniform was so fucking large I can hide a kitchen in it," Sebastian finally said after Kurt caught a whole breakfast from Sebastian.
Kurt looked down at the feast of food. He wanted to eat it all at once. All of it. He hadn't seen this much food in such a long time. He sat down with Sebastian, carrying the rolls of bread in his arms, along with the jars, causing Sebastian to raise his eyebrow. Kurt was trained to be able to be able to balance everything at once so all of this bread was barely anything for the brunette. He sat down in the corner, with Sebastian leaning against his shoulder. Kurt cut the roll in precisely, adding in a substandard amount of butter. At the taste of real butter, Kurt's taste buds danced.
"You can have the rolls to yourself. Don't think I totally didn't eat three plates of pasta with tuna when I was stealing from the fucking Elite. It's so easy to camouflage and hide shit. You have no idea. I thought the cameras would be a challenge too, but nope. They have truckloads of food. Hell, they won't notice if I take an entire table and bring it back here." Sebastian snickered. "How's the damned butter?"
"It is amazing," Kurt said, feeling like he was close to orgasm. "It's the best thing I've ever tasted. It's so delicious and fluffy. It's amazing. I can…I can remember my Father used to beg for me to have butter on my toast every lazy Sunday brunch and I quite refused with iron-clad strength. I used to be so afraid of gaining thirteen pounds a week. I never realised how horrid the opposite direction can be. I almost wished you were begging for me to have a slice and I would decline."
"When you don't eat some shit for a while, you kinda taste it like it was an orgasm," Sebastian said. "If you eat it all the time, then it just becomes breakfast or lunch or a two am snack or whatever. The thing about precious memories, Hummel, is that if they happened too often, they aren't precious. They just become stuck in fucking routine or some shit."
Kurt nearly choked on the bread now. Sebastian gave him a bottle of chocolate milk, which Kurt practically melted drinking from. Now that Kurt was seeing all of this food, some sort of hunger him that he had never known before. Suddenly, it seemed as of those years of staying in here, with barely any food came crashing to him and he'd grown an appetite that he had never had before. After the rolls (some of them weren't even spread), were finished, Kurt was eating the jars from engulfed his fingers. When he was done with them, everything, Sebastian shoved the empty back into his clothing (his very tight boxers which he complained to Kurt about) so he can throw them away tomorrow. If Sector patrol found all of those jars, Kurt was dead. Kurt was shocked at how quick Sebastian understood the system, and at how he had gone around it. Sebastian's pants were just so baggy and big on him that it didn't even seem like anything was hidden behind it if he stood up.
Kurt allowed Sebastian to lay on his lap. Sebastian was convinced it was warmer than his 'bony shoulder' and Kurt ran his fingers through Sebastian's hair. Kurt thought about memories, dates, and then facts, the taste of the butter on his lips that so heavenly. Right then, the thought of declining the food made Kurt almost want to laugh, but ten years ago, he would've declined the same thing. Kurt had always wondered about memories, sometimes they were only precious at that moment in that time, and then they become meaningless. Kurt was working in a paradox. If he took away the person's current precious memory, it didn't mean that they couldn't make new ones. They will find some sort of light even in the darkness they were at, then that new light will become precious. They'd have new precious memories. If Kurt took out certain memories, then it meant that the person's personality would change anyway. That change might let them see some other memories as more precious than they were before. Like the story, if enough words were deleted, it was writing a new story, creating a new personality, and in every story, even small ones, there were precious things you can't take away.
Even erasing the slate wouldn't work, because the system will still write and engrave things in people's minds, and as long as there were still words, memories would still exist and if memories still existed, there will be good ones and there will be bad ones. There will be darkest memories and most precious of the memories. Kurt Hummel was working in a loop.
"Hummel, if they're so goddamn precious memories, then you'd remember, wouldn't you?"
That day that Sebastian got him food that meant nothing ten years ago, that day that Kurt found butter precious, was the fourteenth of September. Kurt didn't know time or the date. He just knew it felt like the fourteenth of September, because that was the day when the climate was not too cold, not too mild, and then he'd always smelled a rose on the fourteenth. It was a bit more lively on the fourteenth. It was his Father's birthday. Kurt didn't really know the date, but in his mind, no matter what anyone said—it was the fourteenth of September. If it was the fourteenth of September, then Kurt was happy, because that day can only be associated with happiness.
Come on, kiddo. It's my birthday, you better smile or I'm not gonna smile. You wouldn't want that, would you?
There were no roses around, but Kurt can smell them just as if he was holding them in his hands. The roses that Burt had on the table on his birthday when they were having lunch on the patio of his aunt's house. Those roses were because his Mother used to love them, pink ones. He didn't need to know genus or species to know what they were when he saw them. Familiar roses. He can smell them now, and they smelled beautiful.
Sebastian's wounds were healing too quickly. It had been nearly a month, but they were still healing far too quickly for Kurt's taste. Sebastian had gotten him food other than bread by now and Kurt had chocolate for the first time in years. Sebastian brought him truffles, quiches, cheese and food Kurt thought he'd never see again in his life. He indulged and probably had gained many pounds of weight. Ten years ago, he hated the thought of gaining a pound, but now, Kurt realised if he'd gained twenty pounds, he'd still be far too thin for his liking. As Kurt finished off a bite of Irish cheddar – which Kurt deemed as an astounding amazing form of cheese – one he'd never even tried before, Sebastian was lying his head on Kurt's shoulder now.
"You finally look human," Sebastian murmured against Kurt's skin.
Now, Kurt was just eating one of the raspberry truffles Sebastian had gotten him, when he stopped to think. "I thought about it," he said, mind still in the clouds. "If they took away my precious memories, then I would be in a paradoxical loop but then again, in the darkness, I'd find light, something to hold onto. Even when my Mother died, my Father was there. Those lonely nights of doubting my Father's own existence…I suppose that those were one of the worst, considering the thing that nobody ever tells you is that when someone's missing, or you haven't seen them in a while, you doubt their existence but not knowing is worse than knowing they are dead. It gives room for false hope, even at the back of my mind…but now that I see it, those nights I was just happy I was alive. Selfishly gleeful at my own existence. They can take my most precious memories, but they can't take what's precious in my life. The only way to truly break someone is take away all of their memories, is to expose them to nothing but darkness, but then that will never work either, because in darkness, there'd still be light."
"You're alive," Sebastian mumbled.
"There is no real darkness," Kurt finally concluded. "Nor any real light. Even if they torture you, the light of how hard your body can take before you die, the idea that those before you….had gone through worse. That's the light in the dark. It is dim, and it cannot guide you unaware but it exists. Everything is a paradox. The word darkness is a paradox because it explains complete and utter darkness but even in a completely unlit room, you have senses. You can feel and touch. You have this ability to guide yourself through an expansion of darkness. In pure white light, you still shield your eyes from it, and still go on through. You don't realise this, but darkness and light, are absolute paradoxes. I was supposedly made to create absolute darkness in someone's life, to make them an absolute monster by taking away what is precious to them and then Marcus trains them to a blood-thirsty machine."
Kurt shook his head. "Also, if I take away the person's precious memories, they'd find light in other memories and they'd still have the category 'most precious memories'. It's like me enjoying cheese but my favourite thing ever being chocolate. If you take away chocolate, then the most precious thing I'd have is cheese. There is no way around it. If take something away, it will be replaced whether you know it or not. It's a subconscious action. It makes an entire new personality but that personality is still human. You cannot take away the humanity in a human, Sebastian. You cannot do what it is impossible. You are not a deity. The only thing that makes me do the things I do is fear of a life, but what kind of life do I have? Nothing, yet I'm still afraid to lose it. I realise the only reason I still go on year after year is because I still hope, even when I realise it. It's why a suicidal person doesn't end their lives and go against all odds, how strong they are when they do not care about death or dying – it's because somewhere, even when we don't realise it, there is hope. That hope creates humanity. You cannot take away that light from a human. If you do, they are no longer human."
Kurt then stopped eating his truffle, and had hot tears filling his eyes, tears that can never really fall. Kurt laughed. "Do you know what that means, Sebastian?"
Sebastian shrugged. "That you're Plato?"
"No," Kurt's voice was thick. Kurt took a deep breath as he finally truly understood how useless he was to the system, how replaceable, how easily they can kill him off, how fragile his life was at the moment. "That every soldier the system has made can go against the system itself. If they discover they can still see the glass as half-full, considering they still have the emotion, that the system could not get it through their minds that the world is corrupt…It means that when they will realise this, the coward system that takes no risk – they will also realise it's a weakness. The system cannot take risks. If they do, there will be a chance for rebellion. If they realise that the army they're creating is useless, futile and…risky, then I will die, because I am of no use to them. The army, that disgusting army, that is all of my work, all of the pain and torture I've gone through and everything I've taken away from them and everything they've taken away from me. Those memories and things I've done and gone through, it will be all…all…"
You only delay death for as long as possible, and then it'll come. You will die. And everything you would've done would be for nothing.
Kurt's realisation had made him nearly jumpy. The system can easily find out that all of Kurt's work was substandard. Kurt had never thought about it before but now, it was scaring him endlessly. He could barely sleep and he could barely keep an appetite up after he'd just found it. Kurt had shoved all of his meals away, and survived on rolls of bread for the day instead of a real meal. Sebastian didn't speak. The Elite will blame Kurt if the soldiers weren't strong enough, or if they didn't get through the first phase. The first phase was a battle between themselves. A sect of themselves. The Elite was monstrous to put their army, their soldiers against each other to test their strengths and limits, and now, Kurt was overseeing that assimilation as well. He would get to see what he'd created. Sebastian stood next to them.
"Is that Santana Lopez?" Sebastian muttered against the glass.
"Yes," Kurt said, staring at his former friend. She was barely recognisable, geared in uniform, devoid of any make-up, living on a diet of meat, water, and bread. Her weight, strength and appearance didn't seem any different, but Sebastian somehow found her to look strange, different – inadequate. Something was definitely off. Something in her eyes. There was no word for it, and maybe Kurt thought that was all for the better because if he had to find a word for what Santana was harbouring in her eyes, it would not be vile or horrific enough.
"What was her most precious memories?"
"Running her hand through Brittany's hair, the satisfaction she got when she had strutted down the Dalton halls to own your ass, birthday cake on her birthday from the same store given to her by her Mother who cannot cook to save her life, sitting with her grandmother and just listening to the rain sometimes—"
Sebastian cut Kurt off. ""She did not own me."
Kurt raised an eyebrow. "I beg to differ from what I've seen. I'd say she completely owned you."
Kurt stood there to stare for a moment as the soldiers mounted their weapons in perfect sync. It was almost like some sort of music, some horrible music that was about to play, everything falling into pieces to create an elaborate image of something – something that kept Kurt late at night, just wondering how the image would look like when everything was sewed together and in effect. Kurt's eyes then glanced back at Sebastian, only to notice his physique. "Your cuts are almost completely healed."
Sebastian looked down to notice this, but then shrugged. "Yeah. Whatever."
"…assimilation unit 1 will go through phase 1 in ten seconds…"
They counted the seconds, and after that, everything was bloody and violent. Kurt didn't even understand how there was a light in the darkness. Before, he thought there was a light because Kurt still was lucky enough to exist in this world – but seeing those people tear each other's faces off, end each other violently, some even biting flesh of others, tearing each other with their own hands and weapons made Kurt sick to the stomach, to the point where he wished he did not exist at all. There was nothing in that pit, nothing, nothing but darkness. These people were driven by anger, by impulse, by something that spun darker and darker with each waking moment, something that he could not grasp.
There was it again, the paradox. If they barely had any precious memories, then they wouldn't know what precious was, much less try to find it. They wouldn't know lightness or happiness. They would only know darkness. They would only recognise the dark, only attracted to the shadows. Kurt took away all of their light. They could not recognise light. It was not an understanding feeling to these people. Kurt had turned to look at Sebastian, whose skin had turned so pale he sported a sickly grey pallor realising he will be just another one of them. Kurt looked back at the pit, saw a man tear off Santana's face with her pair hands, and now, Sebastian was hyperventilating. The assimilation started five minutes ago. They were all dead. Every soldier was a mangled carcass. This pit. It was pure darkness.
And Kurt created it.
Kurt can only say one word as he pushed through agents, not looking at other subjects, nobody could stop him and Sebastian tried to keep up with him. His mind was swimming with a thousand thoughts that could be summed up with one statement:
"I made that."
"Come on, Hummel, don't—"
"You saw that!" Kurt had gone to their room and Sebastian followed. Kurt could only blow up in that room, their room. It had no camera. They were safe and Kurt didn't care if he was found out or shot to death. He was tired of trying to hide it all. This pain. This horror. This hatred and contempt. It was all too much.
"Don't yell like that. You don't want to be caught. They'll kill you." Sebastian reminded him. If they heard Kurt screaming and bitching at whatever hour this was, he'll be dead.
Kurt's eyes hardened darkly. If he got shot, who cared? Kurt was no longer afraid of death. Actually, he wanted to die rather than live in this everlasting disgusting revolting guilt. "I don't care. Sebastian, do you realise that you will become one of them?" he said, voice icily.
Sebastian suddenly paled, probably at the memory, the dark, dark memory, of what can happen when you take things that kept you sane. Sebastian slowly slipped backwards into the corner, and Kurt sat down beside him right now, petrified, disgusted, but mostly, disgusted. He was revolted at how he could've created such things. They were barely human. They were so inhuman and monstrous that Kurt could harbour no remorse for them, only hate. He'd seen Santana murder three people, all of which were young children. No humanity. None of it. They had the flip to kill and they just did.
Sebastian's lips pressed tightly. "You don't care?" he repeated.
"What is death after you witnessed that?" Kurt finally said. "There is no light, Sebastian, only an endless void of darkness in that room. You saw it too. That's what the system will feed the public. That's how they'll finally end us in. That's what'll kill them, all of them, wipe them out. After they've done that, there will be nothing. Nobody will love. Nothing will exist. It will all be for—"
"Everything," Sebastian murmured. "It'll be for everything because there will still be bodies. You'll still bury them in the ground and in a fucking thousand years, we'll make up the trees and there will be things. You are not nothing. That's a fucking paradox. If you were nothing then I'm nothing, and then what is this world? What is it made of?" Sebastian smirked at the end of this, as Kurt looked up at him with sad eyes.
"Maybe in a few years, I'll even be a real fucking meerkat or something," Sebastian offered him the visual.
For the first time in years since Kurt had been taken, he'd broken down into Sebastian's arms, tears burying into Sebastian's chest.
"Do you trust me?" Kurt murmured against Sebastian's chest, burying himself in the fabric of his clothing.
"Yes?" Sebastian raised an eyebrow.
"Okay," Kurt said nothing more, pressing his head in Sebastian's chest, trembling under the weight of the world suddenly on his shoulder. He wished nothing more than to throw himself on his own table, strap himself to the machine and erase every bad memory he'd ever had. Then everything will be precious, and he'd want to live. Now, Kurt wasn't sure if life was worth it. Maybe Sebastian was right. If he died, it would be for something. Right now, his existence only made monsters. Maybe he had to die to make a good difference. Maybe he can help make a few apple trees or grape vines. Maybe he can be something beautiful, but right now, he was nothing more than a monster…a monster creating monsters.
Seam sometimes told him about his story. I was in love with a lane was.
Kurt had asked him. What does that mean?
Seam chuckled and explained. They took away a part of her. In what used to be remains of Britain, some people lose letters of their names when they've done a misdeed. Layne lost one letter of her name. It's unsafe to tell you who she was, or what she was, but they took away her letter, and I don't know if I recognise her anymore. I can't see her as Layne.
If they take away a letter from my name, how would I sound like? Kurt finally asked.
They will take out the K, so you are Rut instead of Kurt. They will take away your beautiful name and they will tear it. The thing is, Kurt, you're not so different, Layne and you. Seam told him and that was when Kurt realised he had given his heart to the advisor that will never love him.
Do you know why they call her Layne? Some people write it as Lane. Do you know what a Lane is, Kurt? It is a narrow road. Seam ran his hand down Kurt's cheek. Do you know what a rut is? It is a sunken track made by vehicles. Do you know what they have in common? They lead to somewhere and you both wanted so desperately to be led.
Kurt hadn't said anything. When do you last remember of lane?
Seam answered that thought softly. That she didn't love me back.
Kurt heard the sound of beeping, scratching – something mechanical. He tossed to one side, body under strain.
"Then I would erase all of the boy's memories and give him a clean slate. He will be useless. The thing about that button is it is last resort. We erase their memories only to our full advantages, to keep the stronger parts of them. Your personality is built on your memories, which help make you stronger or weaker. I look through your life and am assigned to choose which memories restrain you and which amplify your stronger qualities. That's how we build an army. The Elite doesn't have any time to work on a completely clean slate person. It'll take ages to rebuild them."
Kurt gasped out. He heard a voice that sounded a lot like Seam talking to him.
He can hear Seam being told by the Elite – by Marcus, we can create an army, a blood thirsty army. We can do it quickly. It will take no time. You can insert memories inside of your subject, implant them…see how that works. If it works, I want you to erase their memories, and then implant dark ones, ones that will help create a blood-thirsty killer.
Kurt's eyes snapped open as he stared back into those eyes, those fake grey eyes. "You."
Seam sometimes invited him into his story. I was in love with a lane was.
Kurt had asked him. What does that mean?
It was Blaine. It was always Blaine, Kurt. He never loved you. Seam will never love you.
Seam chuckled and explained. They took away a part of her. In what used to be remains of Britain, some people lose letters of their names when they've done a misdeed.
Sebastian Smythe –
They will take away your beautiful name and they will tear it. Sebastian told him.
Kurt can remember, waking up, strapped under the table with Sebastian behind the memory machine. Sebastian stared at the confused Kurt bound to the uncomfortable surface. Sebastian knew that the Elite could not take any risks, that they would not have an army that can turn against him. The Elite could not have an army that potentially had humanity – this new experiment – the one that Kurt was under right now – was all about implanting memories. Sebastian knew how to erase them. He was trained to erase memories, but this time, they were trying to create a memory, a memory that did not happen. Sebastian toyed with Kurt's mind, creating memory after memory. This was the safest way for the Elite to create an army. Kurt was just a test drive to their invention. Sebastian knew it worked now. He can see Kurt staring at him, as if he was in love with him. After he fed him all those lies. Seam. What a stupid name. Layne. There was no Layne. There was only Blaine and Sebastian tried. Sebastian tried to save Blaine. He couldn't remember who he shot to protect Blaine. Blaine was so misguided. Blaine couldn't follow the lane and he ended up hurt. Sebastian tried to stop the Elite, but Blaine was dead and in his arms, immobile. Beautiful. Blaine was dead. Blaine begged for them to take Sebastian instead of him, but they took Sebastian and they hid him away in the Isolate. Blaine begged for them not to take him, fought for him, what a wrong, wrong move.
Soon, Sebastian had to work on Kurt. He had to take Kurt, erase his memory and make him into a soldier. It was the fourteenth of September when Sebastian had done to Kurt as they did to him. They tore Blaine away from him and Sebastian tore Burt away from Kurt. Burt who begged for them not to take Kurt, to replace him, anything but his son. Sebastian thought he could not love again after. Kurt was just so broken, so in shock. He said things about paradoxes. When the Elite heard Kurt mention that the army they were building was risky, because they can still find something precious and beautiful even after they extracted their most precious memories—they found it intriguing. Kurt didn't really understand what his words meant, how seriously he'd be taken. The Elite realised that the only way they can completely eliminate human love and light, was to create a black slate and shove darkness in them. No light, just darkness. They would implant the memories. It would take a little amount of time, building those memories. A lot less than training them from the start.
Sebastian was appointed to tamper with Kurt's memory, to create new memories and to see if this idea would work. Sebastian showed Kurt everything when he'd created those memories. He used to be Kurt's advisor. He was Seam. He was still Seam but he never believed they can take away his beautiful name from him. In his mind, he'd always be Sebastian.
When Kurt was happy, he said it was the fourteenth of September, as if it was a memory blank to what happened on that day, that he was torn apart from Burt, that Sebastian had shot Burt in his head. I still smell the roses. Kurt would whisper under his breath, as if he was being hopeful. Kurt did not resist the system, or deny it. He did not fight against the system, but he did not give in to the system. Sebastian clung to him, because Kurt was lost and he needed to be led, just like Blaine did. Sebastian thought his love for Kurt only spun on his love for Blaine and that was why they couldn't be together. Those were all lies, excuses…and then the Elite told him to put Kurt down and implant the memories. The only thing that Sebastian can do was create a universe where Kurt loved him, where he was just Seam, this man that helped him, this man that advised him, the one that led him somewhere, even if it was to nowhere—
He didn't know what happened then. The panel mocked him, and he watched Kurt rebel and fight. Sebastian made his own story. He made Seam the dead part of him. Sebastian hated Seam, but Seam still existed in Sebastian. He knew, and then he entered Sebastian Smythe, the boy that was taken away from his Mother – he made himself the vulnerable Kurt in that story. He wrote everything anew, something that he could not regret. He entered a fictional version of him, that fought back to the Elite, that saved Kurt, that fed him, that made him smile and remember roses. The Elite asked him to add in darker memories then, to break Kurt, so Sebastian did. He broke Kurt. He added in those gruesome images of the army, of how the army will turn out if Sebastian had continued doing what he was. He could not remember the New Directions, but he remembered Santana. Sebastian made her a monster in those memories, Sebastian made Kurt a monster…when Sebastian was the monster. He was the one that was putting all of these false memories in Kurt. He was the one that had destroyed any ounce of hope in him.
Sebastian watched as Kurt stared at him. "Why?" his voice was soft. Why did you do this to me?
Sebastian shrugged. "No fucking clue." I'm fucking petrified of the Elite. They can kill us. They can kill both of us.
Kurt can read Sebastian's body language. "You're trying to ruin me. You're trying to ruin who I am, what I am…you're giving me false memories so you can turn me into a monster," Kurt laughed bitterly. "Sebastian, I'm not the monster…"
Sebastian's stomach twisted.
"You are," Kurt hissed. "You're the monster."
"Come on." Marcus mumbled as he stared down at Kurt. "Seam, I want you to clean him out now. Every memory and then we'll build him anew. He'll be the first of the army, alpha and shit. Hopefully, he's less crazy by the time we're done for him."
"Fight it," Kurt begged. "Fight the system—"
Sebastian turned to the machine and pressed the red button, and Kurt shut his eyes, as all of those memories span by the screen, all of them being wiped out and erased. Now, Sebastian was due to write a new story. Just before the last memory was erased, Kurt whispered in a soft voice, "I still smell roses."
Like the story, if enough words were deleted, it was writing a new story, creating a new personality, and in every story, even small ones, there were precious things you can't take away.
"Ultimately, taking away your memory is an indirect way of destroying the foundation of you. You don't really understand, but even a singular memory of you seeing a woman in the street can change everything. Your mind is a story filled with words with meanings in between, and if you delete enough words, it writes a completely different story."
"Take him! Please, take my son! My son!"
It had been five years since the system took control when Kurt was in New York. Kurt hadn't seen Burt Hummel for nearly seven years of his life. He could not call his Father because he destroyed any form of technology he did have. Every piece of technology had a tracker. All sites were marked by surveillance. People had the ability to see their parents, lived with their families in the cubic zones but others were so fortunate and were apart from their homes. Some were soldiers, but others were taken in the system. Nobody knew what happened to them.
Nobody really knew about the system unless they were in the system. They didn't know the system was made out of tow parts: the Elite and the Isolate. The Elite was the main system that controlled everything. The Isolate worked under Elite control and was just as any other citizen, fortunate, the ones that weren't allowed to see their families. Kurt was part of the Isolate. He had not seen his Father in seven years and he wouldn't see his Father again in his life…
Recap: this story actually takes place in Kurt's mind. The Elite is trying to bypass their problem of creating soldiers that will not turn against the system. Kurt mentioned before in his thought processing that there's a risk that the army would rebel against the system. The Elite don't want that to happen. Sebastian was in love with Blaine (also known as Layne or Lane considering that every time you do a misdeed, you have a letter cut of your name – Blaine lost his B(Blaine becomes Laine) so now he's Lane or Layne), Blaine's only 'misdeed' which kept on being repeated here is the fact that he was 'lost'. This isn't very explained as to how he was lost, but in a disrupt, corrupt world, it could be anything. I'm leaving that for you to add. :) Sebastian of course was taken in by the Elite as an Isolate agent, ripped apart from Blaine's arms practically. Blaine begged for them to take him instead, but they killed him off as well. Sebastian was taken in, trained to erase memories and then he had a mission to create the army (aka all of Kurt's bits in the beginning).
Sebastian ripped Kurt apart from Burt on the fourteenth of September, Burt's birthday. The day that Kurt associates mostly with hope and roses (yes, they are symbolic here). Kurt eventually is in shock, and still links that day to hope, to the good memories instead of the bad ones. This can either be explained by the fact that Sebastian was so guilty he deleted the memory where Kurt was dating OR Kurt had actually gone insane. I'm implying that he went insane in the text though, that Kurt is unstable after he just watched his Father die.
Sebastian was then told to use Kurt in the new project, which instead of erasing memories, you implant them. Sebastian fell in love with Kurt, though this is lightly touched. It's said that "Sebastian pins it to the fact that Kurt is lost and misguided like Blaine but it is just an excuse" suggesting that Sebastian was giving him an excuse to not love his subject. He was Kurt's advisor. He could not fall in love with him because of the system. They could not be together. Sebastian thinks that his love for Kurt is shallow and meaningless.
Sebastian implants the memories, which is a whole different story: Kurt as the advisor, and Sebastian his subject (all of them circulating around philosophy of memory, the importance of memory)—Sebastian practically wrote a story in Kurt's mind where he cannot be the bad one. Neither Seam or Sebastian can be seen as evil in the first part, that they are strong, and that they would have died for Kurt. At the end when Sebastian had to pull Kurt out of the machine, Kurt still has the memories and realises that the implanted ones are fake. He asks Sebastian to fight against the system as Marcus tells him to erase Kurt's memory for good, so they can start building the army for real. Sebastian's character clashes with the Sebastian before. He is scared so he pushes the button and he kills off Kurt's memory, all of it, Kurt says "I still smell roses" which I want you to take any way you want to.
Sebastian erases all of Kurt's memories and starts up. Those whose that said "if you delete enough words, you'll write a different story" is to describe the ending. The ending is the beginning with a few words deleted, with a different atmosphere and tone that showed the families as evil and the Elite as generous aka Sebastian was creating monster!Kurt by creating bad memories, false memories.
Sorry for the ditzy! xD. I just really wanted to write this. Thanks for Blondie for helping me. c: any questions, ask me!
xo Peanut Butter/Sam