SOSHI: Aesop’s Twisted Fable – Chapter 1

August 6, 2013 in Aesop's Twisted Fable, moonrise31, SOSHI by moonrise31

Chapter 1: Transfer

Transfer: n. An act of moving something or someone to another place. (New Oxford American Dictionary)

 

Taeyeon sighed and tossed a thick file folder onto her desk, the papers slapping loudly against the wood. “I’m not liking the fact that the first time I get to see you again in four years, you bring a whole new workload along with.”

“Hey, I’m supposed to be in charge of that case.” Sunny leaned back in her chair and winked. “No need to worry yourself sick, Kim Taengoo. I’ve got it covered.”

“Ah yes, how I’ve missed you,” Taeyeon affirmed without any emotion in her voice, and Sunny laughed at the other’s expression of mock pain once her old nickname had resurfaced. “The odds of you getting transferred here, of all places?” Taeyeon let out a dramatic sigh. “I’m already starting to question my luck.”

Sunny flashed the other a thumbs-up, making sure to pitch her voice higher than what was comfortable for most human eardrums. “Thanks for the love!” She ignored the exaggerated choking and gagging and strangled cries of “the aegyo, it burns”, continuing in her normal tone, “But in all seriousness—sorry for the trouble, Taeng.”

“It’s nothing.” Taeyeon waved a hand. “I’ve got another case going, but I’ll split my team to give you enough people.” She lifted her chin in the general direction of the outer office. “You’ve met them?”

“The ones out there.” Sunny jerked a thumb over her shoulder. “Uh, let’s see. Jessica, Yuri, Sooyoung?”

Taeyeon snorted. “Oh, those jokesters.” She looked down at Sunny’s feet. “That would explain why you’re not wearing any shoes.”

“I knew it.” Sunny groaned. “None of them had their shoes off.”

Taeyeon laughed and opened the door. “Points for going along with office dynamics, though, my dear Soonkyu.” She ducked out before Sunny could protest the use of her full name. “Hey, Sica! Stop bullying the new girl.”

“I don’t get why you automatically assume it’s me.” The woman in question spun around once in her chair as she gestured airily. “I’m just a tech.”

“Me too!” The woman next to Jessica piped up as she scribbled something onto a yellow post-it and added it to the collage of similar notes decorating her workspace. “Look at me, Taeng. I’m the hardest working one here.”

“Oh please, Kwon,” a tall woman scoffed, mug of coffee in one hand as she leaned against the cubicle wall. “Don’t pretend that you haven’t been wanting to do the same thing we did to you the first time you joined.” She lifted her other hand, Sunny’s shoes dangling from her fingertips. “Sorry for the trouble. All in good fun, Agent Lee?”

“Thanks, Sooyoung,” Sunny laughed, accepting the proffered footwear. “I won’t go along so easily next time.”

“You guys are all lucky Sunny wants to be friends with you.” Taeyeon narrowed her eyes at them. “Back when we were attending the academy together, she did some scary stuff to people she didn’t like.” She shivered at the memories—the others noted Sunny merely sporting an innocent smile—and then Taeyeon recomposed herself. “How’s the BAM case coming?”

“Fany, Hyo, and Yoong are coming back from recon,” Yuri reported. “Our mole’s been feeding us locations, but he can’t do much more at the moment.”

“Okay.” Taeyeon pinched the bridge of her nose. “We’re going to be spread a little thin, but we can do this. Agent Lee here is gonna be the lead on another case the director just handed to me, so she needs people. Soo, can you spare Sica, Fany, and Hyo? If you want an extra hand with BAM, I’ll jump in. Anything’s better than all this office work.”

Sooyoung raised her mug. “Sounds good, boss.”

“Taeyeon-unnie.” A young woman in a white lab coat walked in with a sheaf of papers in hand and a pair of goggles hanging around her neck. “The lab results are back.”

“Ooh, perfect.” Taeyeon rubbed her hands together. “What’ve you got for us, Seohyun?”

Seohyun shook her head. “They’re inconclusive, unnie. I need more samples.”

Taeyeon’s face fell, but she brightened quickly and gave the taller woman a firm pat on the shoulder. “It was a slim chance anyway. We’ll get you those samples. In the mean time, have you met our newest member? Sunny, this is Seohyun.”

The two exchanged bows and “nice to meet you”s and then Taeyeon looked at the clock. “Alright, next thing on the agenda is to get everyone caught up with what’s on our plate. First, Sunny and BAM. Soo, do the honors?”

Sooyoung drained her mug and set it down on one of the few clear spots on Yuri’s desk. “BAM is a gang in the area that we’ve been wanting to get our hands on. At this point, we’re trying to get a crack at their drug trafficking—no pun intended—so Fany, Hyo, and Yoong are doing a lot of street roaming. Yoo Youngjae is our inside guy, but he has to tread carefully or he’s done for, so you’ll have to meet him later.”

Sunny tilted her head to one side. “Drug trafficking? I thought we expressly handled homicides. I mean, this is the Special Operations for Seoul Homicide Investigations, isn’t it?”

“SOSHI usually jumps in when there’s been murder,” Taeyeon confirmed. “We don’t normally deal with your run-of-the-mill gang violence. But lately, BAM has been active to the point where civilians have become involved and in the worst cases, killed. It’s a big task that no one’s really made headway on, so the director shifted it to SOSHI.”

“You won’t have to worry about it too much since you’re not directly on the case,” Sooyoung assured her, “but counting you, we only have nine people on this entire team, so we might as well be aware of what everyone else is doing.”

Sunny nodded. “Thanks for the head’s up.”

The door swung open and three more women filed in. The tallest one was in the middle of an amused protest, giggling even as she exclaimed, aghast, “Unnie, that’d be a terrible alias!”

The blonde behind her laughed and gave the younger girl a good-natured elbow to the ribs. “You just don’t want to admit how brilliant I am.”

“All hail Hyoyeon, the person who’s awesome at everything,” the third woman sang before adding, “including coming up with the worst undercover names imaginable.”

“The party has now arrived,” Sooyoung announced with a grand sweep of her arm. Then she walked over to Sunny and draped her other arm around the shorter woman’s shoulder. “Yoona, Hyoyeon, Tiffany, this is Sunny, my new armrest. Fany, Hyo, you’ve been switched over to help with her case instead.”

“Soo, stop exploiting people who happen to not be as lengthy as you,” Taeyeon scolded with mock sternness, and then squeaked when Sooyoung reached out with her free arm to hook her next victim into a headlock.

Sunny laughed and raised a hand. “Hey, guys.”

Hyoyeon and Yoona grinned and waved hello, and Tiffany gave Sunny a cheerful smile. “Welcome to SOSHI, Sunny!” She clapped her hands together. “So what’ve we got?”

Sunny opened the folder in her hands and skimmed through what she’d already read a few hours before. “I’ll give you copies later, but basically, we’ve taken on Kim Kwangsoo’s case.”

“Wait, Kim Kwangsoo?” Yoona interrupted. “The billionaire CEO of Core Contents Management?”

“That’s the one,” Sunny confirmed. “One of his daughters, Ryuhwa, was assaulted last night—she’s in a coma now, so thankfully it wasn’t homicide, but he’s big and important enough to request special operations and get what he wants, I guess.”

“What’s in a name, anyway?” Taeyeon beckoned the three in the doorway over so they could get the case files from Sunny. “SOSHI is SOSHI, no matter what the letters stand for. It’s all in English, so no one really cares.”

Tiffany put her hands on her hips. “Hey, I spent a lot of time coming up with that, and only because the director asked me to. You know how hard it is to get an English acronym into something sounding even vaguely Korean?”

“Okay, okay, you’re amazing as always, Fany,” Taeyeon placated, giving her a winning smile. “What I’m trying to say is, whatever the case, SOSHI’s gonna crack it, yeah?”

“You got that right.” Sooyoung finally removed herself from Taeyeon and Sunny’s shoulders and retrieved her mug from Yuri’s desk. “But first, I’m feeling like a lunch break. Anyone up for it?”

Yoona immediately bounded over. “Ooh, I’ll come! Can’t fight crime on an empty stomach.”

“Get me an iced tea,” Jessica called after them.

Sooyoung peeked into the room again. “And by ‘lunch break’, I mean ‘debriefing time for the recon team’,” she prodded.

“We’re coming,” Tiffany snickered, grabbing Hyoyeon’s hand and following the other two out the door.

“Unnie.” Seohyun walked over to Sunny, pulling the goggles over her head and tucking them into the large pocket of her lab coat. “I’d like to visit the hospital and examine the victim.”

“Go for it.” Sunny glanced down at the papers in her hands. “But shouldn’t the medical reports be included already?”

“Never hurts to check twice,” Taeyeon commented before Seohyun could reply. She patted them both on the back. “Stay safe, kids. I’d like Sunny’s first day to end not-tragically, if you could.”

Seohyun nodded, and Sunny looked around the room, taking in the muffled bustle that had picked up after her briefing. She had been worrying about how her transfer would go ever since the day the director had quite suddenly informed her that she was being moved to another branch of Seoul’s extensive investigating forces. It was a normal thing to be nervous about, she knew, because change was never a comfortable feeling. And yet, as soon as she had stepped into the room, she’d realized that her concerns had been unnecessary. The people might be strangers for the moment, and the setting was slightly different from what she was used to, but she recognized the clatter of computer keyboards, the rustle of mission files being studied over and over again, the quiet but persistent hum of determination to get the job done, and plenty of banter on the side in the meantime.

Then Jessica came up and handed her another stack of papers—profiles of individuals possibly involved in the case—and commented that Kim Kwangsoo had better be paying for all of their printing expenses. That was when Sunny chuckled in agreement, silently deciding that she would be able to fit in very well here after all.

An alternate definition—

Transfer: n. A seemingly inconsequential event, after which things start to get a little more interesting.