It All Begins
“Don't you know by now? You can't turn back.”
Fences | Paramore
Five chairs were arranged to form a circle around a conference room in the Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency headquarters. Usually, this room was for meetings amongst the staff to discuss the cases for the day. However today, four suspects filled the room. Each and every one of them, male, had heavy eyes and were agitated at being up at such an early hour. They were all dragged from the comfort of their beds as officers had barged into their homes.
At every corner stood a police officer with menacing looks in their eyes, the young males just shrugged it off—being completely used to the animosity received from authority figures. And at the double-door entrance of this conference room stood two more officers with their arms folded across their chest. One of the boys, Lee Howon scoffed when his gaze met with one of the officers.
Suddenly the double-doors opened and revealed another officer bringing in another young person—except this one was female. The gazes of the four boys sharpened as they focused on the girl who walked in with a bored expression etched onto her features. They immediately registered her face into each and every one of their brains. Lee Howon eyed the girl as she wordlessly sat down on the chair next to him. He instantly turned away the moment her dark orbs shifted onto him.
The conference room was then enveloped in a tense silence. Those five pairs of eyes stared into each other, mentally asking for an explanation as to why they were pulled out of their respective beds and forced into this room all of a sudden. However every single one of them came up short. The tension was getting to them though. The fluorescent lights somehow acted as the sun, beating down on each of their heads. Dagger-like glares where tossed around, not caring if it landed on a fellow delinquent or one of the officers. Each of them wanted to say something but they didn’t want to be the first to speak up.
Then the doors flung open once again to reveal a face every teen knew all too well, it was the judge who sentenced them to attending the damned classes—Cho Baksang—nicknamed as the Admiral. With dismay shaping his face, he cleared his throat before proceeding to speak up. “I bet you children are wondering as to why we have woken you up at this time… Well, I’ll just stop beating around the bush and come out with it: Father Choi Siwon from the Jungdongwon Church has been murdered –”
“And we’re all suspects, am I right?” Lee Howon interrupted, giving a humorless smile. “This is bullshit.”
The other four had mentally agreed. Sure, it was a shock that the man who would go on and on about the words of Christ was suddenly dead. But why did they care? They were sent to the church because of petty crimes. They didn’t ask to be a part of Father Siwon’s class, let alone his last class of the day.
“You all obviously have yet to fully grasp this situation at hand.” The Admiral sighed. “The man who’s been teaching you all has been murdered. The least you can do is show respect for someone who’s been taking time out of his life to help you –”
“We didn’t ask him to. And it was our fucking parents who signed us up for those useless sessions anyway.” Nam Woohyun leaned forward as he rested his elbows on his knees being completely emotionless.
The only female, Kim Jooyeon rolled her eyes. “Just let the man finish talking already,” she snapped at Woohyun and Howon. The two smirked at being able to make their fellow detainee speak up in annoyance. The petite teenager grunted as she folded her arms over her chest, not really caring if all eyes were on her.
“Do you mind if I take over from here, sir?” Detective Tablo coolly entered the conference room with Tukutz behind him, writing down everything that they have heard from waiting outside the other side of the door.
The Admiral nodded, speaking in monotone, “This is Head Detective Lee Seonwoong. Each of you are expected to follow orders, answer questions, and respect him and his team. Understood?” he ended firmly, looking around the circle of teenagers to make his point clear.
A grumbled chorus of “yes, sirs” rang in the ears of Cho Baksang and he exited without another word. Tablo suddenly ordered that all officers are to exit the conference room. Tukutz thought that this was a risky move, having the possible murderer in this very room which was full of young crooks however he put his fate in the team’s head detective and continued to write down everything on his pocket sized notepad. He observed the behavior of the five teenagers and noted everything from how often one will blink to the impatient bouncing of the knee.
“We seem to have started off on the wrong foot. Plus, we haven’t really introduced ourselves properly,” Tablo began speaking in a gentler tone in comparison to how he ordered the officers out. “I’m Lee Seonwoong as you might’ve heard, but I’m also known as Tablo. I’ll be the lead investigator of this particular case.”
“I’m Kim Jungsik or Tukutz. I’ll be a part of this case as well.” Tukutz looked up briefly and continued to scribble on his notepad.
“Now, why don’t we go in a circle and introduce ourselves? Starting with you, with the blond hair.” Tablo pointed to the young man directly on to his right.
He cocked a brow at the detective. “What? Are we in preschool now?”
“Just do it. It won’t kill you,” Tablo persuaded, being informal as he knew how to handle those in the younger generation.
“Jang Dongwoo.” His sandy blond hair was a mess and his eyes were puffy from being suddenly woken up. He was in a black wife beater and gray sweatpants. The laces of his Nikes were messily tied into a knot. Dongwoo bit on his plump bottom lip as he tried to calm himself down a little.
“Lee Howon.” Howon was dressed exactly the same as Dongwoo, except that his top was white. The laces of his high top Supras weren’t even tied; they were just tucked into the shoe. He ran a hand through his short hair, annoyed.
“I’m Nam Woohyun.” He donned a half-zipped, blue heather hoodie that revealed that he wore nothing under. His uncombed, dyed dark brown locks were concealed under a black slouch beanie. He tapped the bottom of his classic-style Vans against the carpeted floor impatiently. His hands were in the pockets of his hoodie and clenched. He puffed a lungful of air out in agitation.
“Kim Myungsoo.” He took Tablo by surprise as this dark and mysterious aura surrounded him. He too was in sleepwear with a pair of sneakers, but he didn’t show the least bit of emotion. His face was expressionless and his eyes were unreadable. Myungsoo stuffed his hands into the pockets of his sweatpants, scoffing.
“Kim Jooyeon.” Unlike the boys, she wasn’t in her nightwear. Instead, she was clad in ripped denim skinny jeans, a stylish sweater, and a pair of black Chuck Taylors. She swept her long wavy locks over one shoulder and stared the head detective in the eye, as if challenging him. Either she was out all night or was given the luxury of changing—whichever way, the four boys secretly felt embarrassed of how they were presented.
Tablo and Tukutz noticed the behavior. The head detective simply turned to his partner and gave a nod. Tukutz understood right away and left the conference room, leaving the young adults confused. Tablo forced a smile as he’s undecipherable gaze met with each inmate. “If you all don’t mind, shall we begin?” All of them were unsure of what exactly was going to happen next. However they did know that they surely can’t go back now.
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