Damocles Overthrown: Chapter 10

August 23, 2015 in Damocles Overthrown, moonrise31 by moonrise31

10. The sword of Damocles, they say, is not to be taken lightly.

“She did it.” Seohyun smiled, leaning back and stretching her arms above her head. “Hwanhee’s sent all of the video footage.”

“Yes, and obtained in the most legal way possible,” Sunny deadpanned, but she glanced at Seohyun’s laptop screen anyway.

Seohyun shrugged. “This case has at least been mentioned in the news. It makes perfect sense for a hacker to get into the company’s server and release information that was previously hidden. So we’re covered if they come asking whether we searched this out for ourselves. Granted, we’re technically only supposed to look at the evidence presented during trial, but since no one else seems to be playing fair, that doesn’t mean that we have to.”

“Wow.” Hyoyeon whistled as Seohyun scrolled down the page of files. “That’s a lot of cameras.”

“It was a pretty big building, unnie,” Yoona reminded her. “Oh, there!” She pointed, and then sheepishly removed the tip of her finger from the screen when Seohyun made a disapproving noise. “It looks like that’s the one where Seo Jisoo’s leaving her desk.”

“Ah, then…” Seohyun narrowed her eyes as the defendant walked out of the frame. “Okay, she’s headed out, which means it should be…this hallway.” She selected another file, pulling up a video that showed Seo Jisoo walking down the hall toward the elevators.

“Which floor, then?” Tiffany asked once Jisoo had entered.

“I’m looking, unnie…” Seohyun trailed off as she clicked through a series of clips. “Oh, she didn’t go down? Which means that she had to go…up…ah, here.”

“The nineteenth floor?” Hyoyeon raised her eyebrows, remembering the earlier visit to the Woolen Incorporated building as they watched Jisoo exit. “Isn’t that where…”

“She’s got a folder in her hand,” Yuri pointed out. “Maybe she’s giving them to Director Nae?”

“Except she never went in…” Seohyun narrowed her eyes as the rest of them watched the clip unfold. Jisoo paused in front of Director Nae’s office, the door slightly ajar. She raised a hand to knock, but then hesitated.

Seohyun fast forwarded the clip, but Jisoo remained in front of the door for another ten minutes. Then she jerked back and quickly turned on her heels, passing the elevators in favor of the stairway. “Where’s she going now…?” Sooyoung murmured.

After a short search through the clips, Seohyun found Jisoo back at her desk, the files thrown haphazardly across her otherwise clean workspace. She sat down heavily, resting her head in her hands. Another thirty minutes passed.

Tiffany straightened as another figure stepped into view. “That’s the director?”

“Yeah,” Yoona confirmed grimly as they watched him approach Jisoo’s desk. She sat up with a start. Her back was to the camera, so they couldn’t see her facial expressions, but Director Nae’s didn’t change from his usual polite smile. After a brief talk, he held out his hand, and Jisoo gave him the files. Then she stood up, bowed, and left the office. This time, Seohyun was able to follow her, through the camera footage, all the way to the parking garage.

Sunny straightened, crossing her arms. “Do you have a feed into the director’s office?”

“I should…” Seohyun took a few moments to find a different file. “Here. You want to look at when Jisoo-sshi was eavesdropping, right, unnie?”

The camera, placed in one of the front corners of the room, gave a shot of Director Nae sitting at his desk, facing the camera as he talked into the phone held to his ear.

“That’s not his office phone,” Yuri commented. “It doesn’t even look like a regular smartphone.”

“Actually…” Taeyeon shifted her weight to one crutch and pulled out her flip phone with the other. “It’s kinda like the ones we have, right?”

Sooyoung frowned. “You’re right. So…clearly he’s not up to something good here.”

“Hm.” Seohyun pulled up another window and played both clips at the same time. “Okay…Jisoo-sshi arrives about two minutes into his conversation. Then she runs off as soon as he hangs up…” She watched as the director stilled for a moment before relaxing into his seat. “But I think he heard her.”

“So why does he stay in his office for another half an hour?” Yuri asked.

“To let her stew?” Hyoyeon suggested. “Wow, that’s harsh.”

Seohyun sighed. “If only there was audio feed with this footage. Then we might be able to figure out what he was actually talking about on the phone, and maybe with whom.”

“Oh, Seohyun,” Jessica called from the couch, holding up a ringing phone. “It’s for you.”

No one moved for a second, and then Yoona relented and walked over to take the device and hand it back over to the youngest. Seohyun flipped it open and pressed the “speaker” option. “Hello?”

“Juhyun! I’ve been hacked.”

“What?” Seohyun almost dropped the phone. Her friend continued to babble incoherently. “Hwanhee, slow down.”

They heard Hwanhee take a breath. “Okay, I don’t know what exactly you’ve got yourself mixed up with, during jury duty of all things, but you need to be careful. The people you asked me to hack have an entire team on my ass, and they’ve basically blasted through everything I put up. I don’t think they’ve gotten into your computer yet, but they know I’ve sent the files to you, so wherever you are, I’d be really, really careful. Stay safe, please.”

“Thanks. I will. I promise.” Seohyun snapped the phone shut.

“Well, it wasn’t like they didn’t know where we were before,” Hyoyeon pointed out after a few tension-filled seconds.

“But now they know that we’re actively trying to pull one over them,” Sunny countered. “They’ve been leaving us alone here so far, but now they might actually decide to — ”

A knock sounded at the door.

Sunny inhaled sharply. “Yes?”

“Sunny-sshi.” The butler poked his head inside. “An intruder has climbed over the front gates and is currently making his way across the premises.”

“Speak of the devil,” Sunny grumbled. She turned to Taeyeon, who had sat down on a nearby ottoman. She grabbed one of the crutches. “Mind if I borrow this?”

“I’m not using it at the moment.” Taeyeon raised her eyebrows. “What’re you gonna do, though?”

Sunny’s jaw clenched. “I’m tired of sitting around waiting for them to come to us. So we are going to go after them instead.”

The butler cleared his throat. “Sunny-sshi. If I may, I do think that plan is ill-advised. We have security guards for this sort of thing, and they’re already taking the appropriate actions.”

“Then they can be our backup.” Hyoyeon stepped forward. “I’m with Sunny on this one — it’s time we really fought back, yeah?” She blinked as Taeyeon’s remaining crutch suddenly appeared in front of her face.

“Take it.” Taeyeon bumped Hyoyeon’s nose gently with the padded handle. “There’s an extreme lack of baseball bats around here, and I can’t really run anywhere anyway. Besides,” she glanced at the woman standing beside her, “Fany will carry me if needed, right?”

Tiffany nodded, straight-faced. “Bridal style.”

“Thanks.” Hyoyeon accepted the proffered crutch.

“So I’d just like to make sure,” Yoona interrupted, “that none of you unnies find any of this insanely crazy. Or crazily insane.”

“Pretty sure it passed that point around the time we got gassed out of that courthouse room,” Sooyoung commented drily.

Yoona grinned. “Good. I see we’re on the same page then.”

Seohyun leaned back in her chair. “Yes, I think this is the only way.” She looked up. “But be careful please, unnies. I understand the need to do something, but…”

“We’ll be back. In one piece,” Hyoyeon promised. “Now let’s go!” She stabbed her makeshift weapon in the air, and then jogged after Sunny, who was already halfway to the door.

“Sunny-sshi!” The butler called after them, holding a finger to his earpiece. “Security says the intruder is currently trying to climb through one of the east wing windows.”

Hyoyeon let out a puff of breath. “So how far do we have to run then?”

“Maybe a kilometer or so,” Sunny replied with an expression that said she was teasing, but a tone of voice that said she was not. “I hope you did some cross-country skiing in addition to your downhill.”

“If I fall behind, it’s because your carpet is horrible for gliding on,” Hyoyeon shot back, pulling forward so that she and Sunny were shoulder to shoulder. “Lead on!”

They turned two more corners before almost bowling over a security guard running in the opposite direction. Sunny grabbed his wrist. “Sungmin. What’s going on?”

The guard held a finger to his lips. “Lower your voice please, Sunny-sshi. The intruder is just around the corner. Donghae is taking this side, and I’m going to cut him off from the other.”

Sunny nodded. “Okay, we’ve got this.” She turned to Hyoyeon. “I’ll go with Sungmin. You go with Donghae. Tell him I sent you, and that I won’t take ‘no’ for an answer.”

“Glad we’re on the same wavelength.” Hyoyeon grinned. “Alright, see you on the other side.”

After Sunny and the guard had run off, Hyoyeon turned to the crouched figure several meters in front of her. He didn’t seem too thrown when she tapped him on the shoulder, so she knelt down next to him. “Hey, Sunny told me to tell you to let me go on ahead. Sound good, guard-sshi?”

Donghae turned to stare at her. “And you’re using that as your weapon?”

Hyoyeon shrugged. “I owe someone a beating for hurting my friend.” She smirked. “Alright, I’ll leave first.”

She hefted the crutch in her left hand before rounding the corner. She spotted a shadowy figure about fifty meters ahead. “Hey, you!” The intruder stiffened.

Never one for subtlety, are you, she could already hear Sunny say with a sigh. Her smile widened at the thought, and she put on an extra burst of speed just as her target realized that he’d been found. He turned to run in the opposite
direction —

— and almost into Sunny, who held her crutch horizontally in front of her. “You have some nerve breaking into my house,” she growled through gritted teeth.

“‘House’?” Hyoyeon repeated as she slid to a stop, lifting her own crutch up like she’d seen people do with staffs in martial arts movies. “I think you and I need to have a chat about building definitions.”

The intruder’s eyes flicked back and forth between them, the mask covering his nose and mouth hiding the rest of his expression. His right hand twitched as it reached towards a holster on his belt.

Hyoyeon saw something sleek and black flash across her vision. She swore. “Sunny, dive right!” And then she swung her crutch at the intruder’s head.

He staggered to the side, although he managed to keep his grip on the gun. Sunny, from her place now crouched on the floor, brought her crutch up, the metal leg jarring his wrist. The gun clattered to the floor. Sunny wasted no time swiping it behind her, where it spun to a stop at Sungmin’s feet.

“Goodnight,” Hyoyeon said, and then brought her crutch down on the top of the intruder’s head.

“Sunny-sshi,” Donghae admonished as he caught up to them. “That was incredibly reckless. He’s fully armed, and you had nothing more than a hospital instrument — ”

“Are there more?” Sunny interrupted. “Or was it just this guy?”

“The rest of the team is combing the premises,” Sungmin piped up. “We haven’t found anyone else so far.”

Sunny nodded once, and then let out a long exhale, dropping the crutch she’d been squeezing in her white-knuckled fist. “Yeah, that might’ve been the dumbest thing I’ve done in my life.” She looked up at Hyoyoen.

“Um, well,” Hyoyeon started, flinching a little at the other’s hard gaze.

“I owe you one.”

“I mean, but at least it was fun — wait, what?”

One corner of Sunny’s lips quirked up in a lopsided smile. “There was no way he would’ve missed if he’d had the chance to pull the trigger. If I can’t thank you, I can at least thank your lightning reflexes.”

“Oh.” Hyoyeon cleared her throat. “Yeah, well, that’s just from skiing. And snow. And stuff.” She brightened. “But if you want to cancel that debt, you could let me crash at your summer house whenever I want. Or even like, at one of those backyard storage shacks, because you should have those, right? Actually, I bet even an outhouse of yours would be better furnished than — ”

The intruder, hands cuffed behind his back, groaned as Sungmin hauled him up. Sunny’s glare came back full force. “We’ll discuss the details later, Hyo. Right now, I’ve got a few questions for our guest here, and I’m more than willing to bet that he’s got at least one answer.”