POP/STARS – 1

[“Why are the cities in the US so damned far apart?”] Akali complained, lounging on the couch in the tour bus, poking at her phone and browsing Inven. The young girl was wearing skinny jeans, a tight top, and a baseball cap. They were due for a concert later tonight, but that didn’t mean she needed to be dressed up already. They were hours outside of Chicago still… she didn’t need to be dolling herself up already. She’d rather be comfortable.

[“Because its a hell of a lot larger than Korea, you know,”] Ahri answered, her nose buried in her book. Ahri wore just a skirt and a shirt that stopped short of her midriff, but even though she wasn’t in anything resembling costume yet she still had her ear clips in. She rarely look them off these days… it would look bad when the tabloids inevitable got a shot.

[”So why are we driving then?”] Akali asked, annoyed.

[”Because it’s a beautiful drive,”] Evelynn answered from the other side of the bus, where she was staring out the window at the woods. [”Which you’d know if you got your nose our of your phone.”] She just a tank top and shorts… small ones. Ever since their video had come out, she had rarely been seen anywhere without her shades.

Akali rolled her eyes. [”Ok mom,”] she said. She didn’t put her phone down, however.

[”Leave her be, Eve,”] Kai’sa said where where she sat on the floor, stretching. She was always stretching, the fitness nut. Unlike the others, she wasn’t taking any care with her appearance whatsoever… she was just wearing sweatpants and a shirt. It couldn’t make the girl look less than sexy, because nothing could frankly, but she didn’t seem to be thinking at all about a photo opportunity.

[”How many times do I need to tell you not to call me that?”] Evelynn said, annoyed.

[”You let Ahri call you Eve,”] Akali chimed in.

[”I’ve known Ahri since she was in diapers,”] Evelynn responded.

[”Hey!”] Ahri protested.

Just then, a song came on the radio, and Akali laughed. [”Hey, we’re showing up on American radio now… we must be making an impact,”] she said as the opening bars of their lead single played. And she started to sing Ahri and Evelynn’s part of the song… badly. ”You know what it is… coming home again… you want a dose of this…”

Kai’sa and Ahri chuckled, Ahri going so far as to pick up a pillow and throw it at the teenager. [“Stoooop. How am I supposed to sing in concert if you make me deaf first?”]

”I’m on fire with the blade, you’re about to hear my name, ringing in your head like wooOOOoOoOOOOooOO-”

[”Where are we going?”] Evelyn asked suddenly, still staring out the window before turning to look at the driver. [”Ahri, I don’t think this is the right way. Ask him where we’re going!]

While the song continued to play, Ahri got up and walked over to the bus driver. He was a man their agent had hired in New York, who had driven them to Boston, Philidelphia, Pittsburgh, and Cleavland, and he had gotten them where they were going, but he hadn’t been big on conversation. Of course, the fact that mostly they spoke Korean on the bus hadn’t helped. Of the four of them, only she and Kai’sa spoke English fluently… the others could speak it, like most South Koreans, but they weren’t especially good at it.

“Excuse me, sir… where are we going?” Now that she was looking, she had noticed what had gotten Eve’s attention… they had left the mainroads behind. Quite possibly far behind. The forest was thick here, and while the road was still paved, it seemed like it hadn’t been for a long time.

The driver looked up at her… no. The driver leered up at her. Severely enough that she actually flinched a step back. He turned left, off the road and onto a gravel parking lot. The tour bus ground to a stop in front of a compound. The building wasn’t all that notable… perhaps an old country club. And he turned off the over as a group of men started running out of the woods towards the bus. “Where are we going? Your new home.”

The bus door opened, and men with guns ran into the bus. Some held rifles. Others handguns. “Off the bus, sluts!” one of them growled. When they didn’t immediately start moving, he pointed the rifle at the ceiling and fired.

The four girls screamed, almost in unison. “I said out!” he shouted. Even the girls that didn’t understand English very well understood that just fine. The piled out of the bus, grabbed by men as they did, and pushed towards the buildings. “Pick your favorites, boys. We’re going to have one hell of a party…”

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