Damocles Overthrown: Chapter 6

July 26, 2015 in Damocles Overthrown, moonrise31 by moonrise31

6. Then he looked up.

“The logical thing, of course,” Sunny had said hours before, “is for none of you to go home tonight.”

Yuri had raised her eyebrows. “Are you kidnapping us, Lee Soonkyu?”

“I will throw you into the dungeon if you keep using that name.”

“Dungeon,” Taeyeon had then repeated absentmindedly as she doodled on the edge of the floorplan Seohyun was intently studying. “Why am I not surprised.”

Sooyoung had glanced around. “To be honest, we could probably just all camp out in this room and still have enough space for like…a barn.”

“A barn?” Tiffany raised her eyebrows. “Try an entire department store.”

And so, by the time Hyoyeon and Yoona had returned with their hoard of flip phones (and after only getting lost twice on their way up the stairs), the two found themselves entering a room with nine various combinations of sleeping bags, pillows, and blankets spread across the plush floor.

The arrangement had been unexpectedly comfy, but Seohyun had always been the “early to bed, early to rise” type of person. So she was surprised to sit up the next morning and not find herself the only one already awake. “Taeyeon-unnie?”

“Morning, maknae,” Taeyeon replied, not looking up from her notepad, and Seohyun took in the new nickname with a smile. “I was just thinking of going to grab some breakfast. Fancy a venture to wherever the kitchens might be in this…well, I wouldn’t call it a country, but it’s at least a very small city.”

“It’s like Hogwarts,” Seohyun agreed offhandedly as she extracted herself from her pile of blankets and began folding them neatly.

“Oh hey, you made a book reference I actually understood.” Taeyeon lifted a fist in the air and bobbed her shoulders in a brief victory dance. “And here I was afraid I was going to bore you with my variety of dull pop culture facts.”

Seohyun blinked, setting the last blanket down. “Ah, that’s right. I noticed last night that some of the files we’re supposed to have weren’t copied over to my laptop.”

“Really? More?” Taeyeon cleared her throat when Seohyun frowned at her. “Well, I’m just absolutely so excited and can’t wait. So are you saying we should go and get them from the courthouse then?”

Seohyun nodded and checked her watch. “It doesn’t open until eight. We still have a couple of hours.”

“Good. Food time.” Taeyeon stood up, glancing down at the seven sleeping bodies lying in various positions across the room. She stepped gingerly over Yuri’s arm and seemed to briefly consider poking Hyoyeon’s stomach where the latter’s shirt had ridden up slightly. Taeyeon resisted the urge, though, and made it safely to the door.

“I can’t believe none of them woke up,” Seohyun commented as she joined the elder in the hallway.

Taeyeon shrugged. “It was a long day yesterday, I guess. And to be fair, you didn’t wake up either when I had a sudden sneezing fit about an hour ago.”

“An hour ago?” Seohyun tilted her head. “When did you wake up, unnie?”

“About ten o’clock yesterday morning.” Taeyeon ducked forward, ignoring the beginning of Seohyun’s indignant protests. “Race you to the stairs!”

Thanks to Seohyun’s dutiful examination of Sunny’s floorplan, the two managed to make their way to the kitchen area with little difficulty. Upon entering, Taeyeon hummed thoughtfully and only commented, “Let’s not ever bring Soo here, ‘cause I’m pretty sure she’d actually take Sunny up on her offer and never leave.”

“I think I’ve seen libraries smaller than this,” Seohyun had to agree.

Yoona was the first one to wake up as the scent of a hot breakfast wafted into the room along with Taeyeon and Seohyun’s return. She grinned widely. “Woah, is that all for me?”

“Away, you fiend.” Taeyeon waved Yoona’s eager hand from the tray. “I thought Soo was the one with the stomach.”

Yoona switched targets and swiped a plate of eggs from Seohyun. “I’ll fight Sooyoung-unnie for that title.”

Slowly, the others in the room emerged from their blankets, blinking slowly at the plates of steaming food Taeyeon held in front of their faces.

“So let me get this straight,” Sunny spoke up once they had all consumed a respectful amount of breakfast. “You and Seohyun want to go back to the courthouse and grab the evidence they apparently forgot to give us.”

“I can call the judge in advance,” Taeyeon offered. “And we’ve got our shiny new phones with us now, too.”

“But if you guys go, how can we discuss the case?” Tiffany asked.

Taeyeon shrugged. “We need all of the evidence to make an informed decision. Having me leave won’t take away much, and we do need Seohyun to go since she’s the only one who has any idea of what we’re actually trying to get back.”

“Taeng has a point,” Hyoyeon agreed. “We definitely won’t be losing much if she goes.”

Taeyeon paused, considering, and then flashed Hyoyeon a thumbs-up and a smile anyway.

“Okay, fine.” Sunny sighed. “But call us when you get there, okay? And when you leave.”

“Of course, unnie,” Seohyun promised. “We should be back in two hours, at the most.”

Following another round of goodbyes and well-wishes, the two exited the room once more. After an impressive journey back to the entrance of the mansion, they made it to Taeyeon’s car, and the elder hopped into the driver’s seat and held out a hand once Seohyun had gotten in on the other side. “Give me your phone, Seohyun. You can call the judge while I drive us there.”

“Sure, unnie — oh, don’t press the dial button.”

Taeyeon raised her eyebrows, handing the phone back with the typed number still on the screen. She started the engine. “Do you think the call is going to be traced?”

“My number will probably be recorded when I call him, unless…” Seohyun paused, adding a few extra digits in front of the judge’s number. “This way, it’ll just show up as ‘unknown caller’ when we call.”

Taeyeon laughed and began to back out of her parking space. “Let’s hope he picks up.”

“Hm. That’s strange.” The judge’s assistant (he hadn’t really called himself an assistant, but the actual title was so long that Taeyeon figured it couldn’t actually mean anything else) returned from the file room, looking down at his clipboard as he scratched his head. “Judge Lee said it would be in there, but I can’t find it.”

“Mind if we take a look?” Seohyun asked. “The situation is extremely delicate, so it’s crucial that we find those files.”

The assistant shifted from one foot to the other, but then shrugged. “I suppose that should be alright, as long as I’m there with you. And don’t look into any cases that aren’t yours.”

“Believe me,” Taeyeon commented as she passed him to enter the room, “I have about 99 things I’d rather be doing. Oh hey, can I borrow that?” She plucked the clipboard from his hand. “Thanks. I concentrate better when I’m drawing something.” She glanced down at the half-filled page and raised her eyebrows. “And I see I’m not the only one.”

The file room wasn’t exactly what Taeyeon would call organized, even by her own admittedly low standards. The shelves were all packed to full capacity at the least, and the labels were half accurate at best. Just looking around the room made her suddenly feel the urge to return home and finally clean her coffee table.

Taeyeon glanced down at her borrowed clipboard once more. She frowned and stopped in her tracks for a few moments. Then she jogged over to where the other had stopped. “Hey, Seohyun –”

“Oh, what about this?”

Of course, Seohyun had somehow managed to find what she’d gone there for in under five minutes. Taeyeon ducked under a rather long box jutting out from a shelf at her eye level. “Maknae, I’ve decided that you are either so incredibly organized that nothing would ever not make sense to you, or this is all a lie and you’re actually so disorganized that this actually makes sense to you.”

“I only found it because the rest of this shelf was strangely empty,” Seohyun defended. She rested her elbows on the shelf, flipping through the contents of the folder she’d just discovered. “Yeah, it’s all here.”

“Um, excuse me,” the assistant called, making his way towards them. Taeyeon stiffened. “That’s the prosecutor’s personal files. You aren’t allowed to look at those.”

Taeyeon, her back to the assistant, cleared her throat. But Seohyun only frowned, still examining the file in front of her. “But this evidence was presented at trial. This is the exact copy presented to the jury.”

Taeyeon blinked, shifting closer. “How do you know that?”

“Coffee spill.” Seohyun fingered the corner of one of the pages, stained a dark brown.

“I’m sorry, but that’s the prosecutor’s. No one else is allowed to look at that,” the assistant tried again, taking another step toward her. Taeyeon did the same, remaining between him and Seohyun.

“That can’t be right.” Seohyun closed the folder and straightened, backing away from the shelf with the files in hand. “I think it’s best if we take this. You can ask Judge Lee what he thinks, but I’m sure he’ll approve.”

Taeyeon held up a finger, cutting off the assistant’s impending protests. “Hey, hey, wait. Do you hear that?”

The other two fell silent.

Creak.

Taeyeon glanced up. Her eyes widened. “Seohyun! Look out!”

“I hope they’re okay.”

Tiffany reached over to pat Sunny on the shoulder. “They literally called two minutes ago. And it’s the courthouse — what kind of horror are you expecting, exactly?”

“Need I remind you that we were almost suffocated to death in that very courthouse,” Sooyoung pointed out, setting aside a packet of files in favor of the last muffin on the plate next to Hyoyeon.

“Unnies.” Yoona had commandeered Seohyun’s computer in the latter’s absence, and now she waved them over. “Take a look at this.”

Jessica was the first to look over Yoona’s shoulder, if only because she was already sitting next to the younger woman. “Oh, those are the transcripts of the interrogations with Seo Jisoo.”

“Yeah, except…” Tiffany frowned as Yoona continued to scroll through the file. “I don’t remember those chunks being censored that heavily.”

“Maybe they only showed us the uncensored parts,” Sunny suggested, but she brought her face closer to the screen as well.

“No, wait, Yoona, stop.” Hyoyeon pointed at a line of the transcript, bordered by heavy blacked out paragraphs before and after. “I remember they showed us that section, but the other words were definitely there before.”

Sunny tapped her chin. “This must be what Seohyun meant by ‘missing evidence’. So let’s hope they find it.”

Tiffany jumped as a rather canned ringtone suddenly sounded. Sooyoung reached over to grab the source, and then tossed the phone to Sunny. “Seohyun’s calling.”

“Unnie!” Seohyun hissed, voice pitched much higher than normal. “Oh my goodness…unnie. Unnie! I can’t — it just — we were –”

“Calm down.” Sunny held up a hand, as if the other could see it. “What’s going on? What happened?”

“Seohyun. Maknae, give me the phone.” Some shuffling, and then Taeyeon’s voice became much closer. “Hey, Sunny. We got the evidence. So we should — hey!”

“Unnie!” Seohyun choked back a sob. “Unnie, Taeyeon-unnie is stuck under a shelf and I don’t know how to get her out. It’s too heavy and the manager of judicial reviews and manuscripts ran off to get help but — ”

“Oh so that’s what his real title was,” Taeyeon commented in the background. “And no worries, guys, it’s just my leg that’s trapped right now, and I can’t even feel it, so…”

Unnie!

“Okay,” Sunny interrupted. “Seohyun. Seohyun, are you there?” She waited for the other to manage a strangled “yes” before continuing. “As soon as you get her out, get back here.” She glanced up at Sooyoung. “We can’t afford to bring her to a regular hospital, but I’ve got some facilities here and we’ve got our very own ER nurse on the jury, so I think we can make do. All you have to do is get Taeyeon back here safely, okay?”

“Okay, unnie,” Seohyun whispered.

“And — ”

Seohyun’s voice steadied slightly. “Yes, I’ll be careful.”

Sunny flicked her phone shut and closed her eyes, as if the following silence made her eyelids unbearably heavy.

Hyoyeon coughed. “At least…they got the evidence?”

But no one could even manage a halfhearted agreement.