It's a calm day, a bit too calm for Hyunwoo's taste. His usual calm days were when he was in his office, occupied with documents that needed to be sorted, and reports that needed to be filled. Coffee cup after coffee cup were emptied and filled, a little snack between 2PM and 3PM, and sometimes he'd stay at work extra to finish up everything.
But today; not pleasing.
He was out patrolling with his partner, Hoseok. They had been close friends ever since the police school. Hoseok was the first person who talked to him, he casually sat down next to him before their names would be called out and they'd be checked in. Later they figured out they would be roomies, which eventually made them get closer.
Hoseok was slightly younger than him, a bit shorter too as Hyunwoo was tall. But the younger was more built than him, which sometimes made him look bigger with his broad shoulders. Don't get him wrong, he's still not capable of winning against Hyunwoo in an arm-wrestling battle.
They had rolled through the city in their patrolling car, finished their route a while ago and found an empty parking lot viewing the crowded shopping street. Nothing was suspicious, not even the slightest pickpocket robbery. It was boring, just sit there and observe something that was obviously okay.
This could have more than one meaning, either it was just one of the boring days of this profession, or it was the day where he'd later wish it was just a boring day. Either way he could like some action right now. The old lady calling for help with her cat, which constantly is stuck in a tree, doesn't sound like a bad idea right now. Anything just to leave the parking lot.
Hoseok next to him was far gone into his book, well it was basically reports from the newer policemen in their department collected into a book. Hoseok had complained about how annoying it was to read the freshmen's reports, they sucked and lacked the necessary information. He hated going back to their desks with a negative message, but he didn't want them to think it was ok as it is and continue writing the non-helpful report.
He clicked the ballpoint out of the pen, scribbled down notes before brining it up to his lips to nibble on it. Once every now and then he glanced up to look at the street, as if he didn't trust Hyunwoo with watching it without missing something. He knew Hyunwoo always spaced out and easily missed a little detail that could be worth seeing.
That is one reason why they shouldn't be partners. One barely pays attention and the other drifts away from reality too often. A bank robbery could happen right before their eyes and they wouldn't have realized. The robbers could wave money right up in their face, pull their masks off to stick their tongue out, call them by horrible and ugly nicknames. It would all pass by as a little blow of the wind.
There aren't other reasons to be clear, they are actually good partners on the other hand. Their relationship is good enough to make stupid jokes and fun of the other and maintain the good aura around them. They enjoy every workday with the other's company and it's more of a playtime than work to them. Sometimes, when it's completely silent (because it happens, but like this time, it's suspicious), they blast music loud in the vehicle and party like they were teens.
That's what you need at a workplace, a good environment, especially with co-workers.
"Department to car 112B," the automatic voice sounded.
Hyunwoo jolted out of his thoughts and pressed the little button to accept the call. Gosh darn, he's never going to get used to the new calling system.
"Car 112B responds," Hyunwoo answers as he looks at the blue glowing screen with their department's number.
"We've got a call about some guys with guns downtown, could you roll down there and clean up," the tired voice sounded.
"How many?" Hoseok questions as he closed the reports.
It was silent after that, rustling sounded through the mic and fingers hitting keyboard keys. It gave Hyunwoo enough time to start the car and roll out of the parking lot towards the highway to downtown. The voice hummed and mumbled something before replying to Hoseok's question:
"We don't know. The woman who called said there was maybe four, but she couldn't tell. I'll send you the location, hold on."
The GPS attached to their windshield lit up with a beep, a grey bar filled up with a green gauge as it loaded. The route showed on the little screen to guide them there, orange line paved through the bricked map. Hyunwoo flicked the button for their blue light and sped up when the traffic cleared up for them. He thanked the department and the call ended with a quick registration of who would investigate.
"I can never get tired of this view," Hoseok said, a weak smile on his lips.
"What view?" Hyunwoo glanced over fast before looking at the GPS to make sure he didn't pass the correct exit.
"When drivers slow down and make space for us to drive wherever the fuck we want," he laughed, leaned back and looked down at the other cars, not that their car was huge. "Or when they drive like they are race cars, and then they see us and act like they have been holding the speed limit since their first time in a car."
"We can't drive wherever the fuck we want," Hyunwoo chuckled, this time sliding over the lanes to exit to where the GPS's line headed.
"Oh no? Well what do you call what we just did then? Drove in the middle of two lanes, if someone else does that they gon get their ass beat," Hoseok leaned forward, swayed from side to side as to act like their car sometimes.
Hyunwoo chuckled once again, earning a wide smile from the other. Usually Hoseok comments how bad of a driver Hyunwoo is. Always makes fun of him while they share a cup of coffee with their co-workers. But whenever Hoseok drives they arrive ten minutes later than they could have. The latter also screams at the other cars. Not because they don't move, but because he's nervous and scared. It's actually quite funny.
They reached downtown, the tires screeched as Hyunwoo hit the break a bit too hard. Both climbed out of the car and jogged up to the café where the reports came from. An old lady sat under a desk, shaking while clutching her phone. She flinched when the bell above the door rang, but when she spotted the two uniformed males she relaxed.
"Thank god, they were here…" she mumbled, stumbling to her feet while staring at the door.
"It's okay ma'am, are you hurt?" Hoseok softly asked while taking a step closer.
She shook her head, "No, but they took the USB."
"Do you by any chance know how many there were and how many had guns?" Hoseok continued to speak with the soft voice, motioned for Hyunwoo to look at the missing USB the woman talked about.
She shook her head harshly. "About three, or four. And they all had guns, big ones, bigger than me," she gestured with her hand, holding it high above her head.
Hyunwoo walked over to the backroom, he heard the woman loud and clear and could already feel the raven-haired man's tired eyes on him. They couldn't fully believe such stories, not that she lied, but it was her adrenaline talking. Adrenaline tended to make things sound worse or less logical, they exaggerated a lot which made it harder for them at times.
Hoseok continued to ask questions while Hyunwoo looked through the office looking room. A computer screen sat peacefully on top of a desk, he rolled the chair away from the desk to peak at the system unit. His brows drew together as he looked at the two different USBs connected with the machine. There were no other inputs for USB, she must be high on adrenaline.
They made sure the old woman's son came to help her home before they left. The little hunt for the armed-unknown-amount-of-guys resumed. The description they got from the woman was hard to follow. They wore black clothes, face hidden by masks. The masks were theatre masks, but she couldn't go deeper in explanation.
However, the woman said they wore a red badge on their shoulder. It had the shape of a shield from the medieval era, an eagle with spread wings, claws reaching for its prey inside. They knew who it was from that description. They have been wanted behind bars for years, but their identities were hidden so well and there were no clues that could ever lead the police departments to them. Although, they knew very well where they hid, but they couldn't be separated from the other criminals as easy.
The woman had told them just when they got ready to leave, that the suspects had moved up the alley behind her café. So the next thing they had to do was search there before rolling down to the Criminal Street. Kind of a must do before the investigators could be called, if needed, anyway.
Slowly they snuck around the first corner, guns pointing ahead. There were no one there, a stray cat and a ton of cockroaches. But no black clothed males.
Their hands fell, guns put back into their pockets and they moved back.
"Oh, come on. I really hoped we'd get some action," Hoseok whined and stomped with his foot.
"I'd rather focus on finding these three-four, black dressed, masked and armed males before complaining about action."
"You're such a party killer," Hoseok continued to whine while he walked behind Hyunwoo to their car.
"No, I'm doing my job, I'm not in the mood for injuries."
"Well I mean… I'm not either, but…action, go get sum villains, get them behind bars, I haven't done it in a while."
Hyunwoo just sighed, climbed into their car with the other following. They fastened their seatbelts before Hyunwoo drove the far too familiar way to the street.
It took about fifteen minutes, mostly because the GPS, that was supposed to help avoid roadwork, had the worst route ever. It led them straight into a roadwork that occupied the whole street. He had to turn and drive all around the city. They reached the part of the city they hated, where all the criminals or freshly released from prison stayed, which was where it got the name Criminal Street from. It was a whole different atmosphere there. Not pleasant.
Hyunwoo could see Hoseok shrink in his seat from the corner of his eye. People that were out in the street stopped to stare at them, someone stuck their tongue out and grimaced to them. Hoseok, who looked like someone who would push their faces into the rough surface of the ground, actually feared them.
The reason why was unknown for Hyunwoo. He only knows that something happened in Hoseok's rookie period and after that he didn't enjoy being close up with such criminals. He barely dared to bring prisoners to their cells. He was okay with running after them and jumping on them, but as soon as they began to use violence he'd back out.
The street they rolled through was more or less built up by houses that needed restauration immediately, and tall buildings that could fall down at any moment. And still the government let them stay there.
Hyunwoo pulled up into just another alley, they got out and walked up the road. Both pulled out their guns when they reached the corner, they heard sounds, shoes crunching gravel under the sole. They pressed up against the wall, communicated through their eyes while listening closely.
Hoseok leaned closer to peak over, then looked back with a nod.
"Gotcha," Hyunwoo whispered.
Hoseok's hands clutched around his gun a few times, he took a few deep breaths before throwing himself from the wall to the open road. Hyunwoo jumped out a bit after, pointing his gun towards the armed males.
The two males seemed shocked, gasps were heard and the items they held fell out of their hands. Fast to react, they began to run. Both frames disappeared before the officers could react. Hoseok and Hyunwoo cursed and ran, fumbling with their guns to stuff it into their holsters. They ran so fast they could feel the wind whip at their faces, their feet began to hurt as they hit the ground with such harsh force.
The alley opened up at the end, the black clothed frames turning sharp to the left. Hoseok slid around the corner, Hyunwoo used a bit more time to slow down, before picking up his pace and following right after.
Damn those turns.
It took a blink and then suddenly Hoseok stopped, it was so unexpected that Hyunwoo ran into his back. One of the guys had grabbed a person, a young boy. He couldn't be older than him and Hoseok, a bit younger if so. His eyes were blown, hands holding around the arm that held him against the other man. The other guy pointed his gun at Hoseok.
"One movement," the voice said, he reached behind his back and took out his gun, pointing it to the boy's head.
The tallest of them, the one who didn't hold the boy, wore a white theatre mask, the sad one, Melpomene if Hyunwoo remembered correctly. His figure was slim, legs long and lanky. His upper body wasn't wide, quite narrow. The other wore the cheery one, Thalia, was shorter and less lanky. The boy that was trapped against his chest was smaller than the both of them, his skin was slightly pale, most likely because of fear. His hair was a bright orange, reaching Hyunwoo's eyes brightly with the dark background.
"Let the boy go," Hoseok said, but the masked boy laughed. Hoseok tried to grab his gun, but the tall man clicked with his tongue.
"Nah-ah, don't move."
Hyunwoo was on the verge of panicking when the two males walked around them and down into the alley, the young boy dragged with them. What are they supposed to do? He looked at Hoseok, he looked just as terrified as the boy. Their eyes met, both letting out the breath they held.
"What now?" Hoseok whispered, as if he was scared the others heard him. "We can't leave the young boy in danger, we have to do something."
Hyunwoo nodded, turned to look over to where the frames had disappeared. He moved slowly towards it, peaking just enough to look around the corner. They weren't there.
"We gotta get him," Hyunwoo said, slipped into the alley. Hoseok followed behind, steps hesitant and slow.
Hyunwoo walked faster, glanced around the next corner, empty. How fast were those guys?
They neared the destination where they first got their eyes on the suspects. Voices reached them, Hyunwoo couched next to the short fence. The voices mumbled and hissed, he heard footsteps on hollow metal bars. He looked up, and there they were, climbing the fire escape platform. They still hadn't seen the brunet, which gave him time to shuffle over to hide behind a trash container.
His partner had stopped far behind, knowing he'd blew Hyunwoo's cover if he would follow. Hyunwoo saw the young boy standing between the masked males, and then his eyes connected with Hyunwoo's. As an instinct he gestured to him that he was going to be okay, a little nod. But it was all just thought too early.
The tallest got an eye on Hyunwoo now, just as he rushed away from his hiding spot, gun already harshly secured between his hands, a bang sounded.
The platform they stood on, was about three stories above the ground, three stories with approximately 10 meters drop. A drop right to the hard surface of the old asphalt.
The orange haired boy stared at Hyunwoo, a surprised sound as his hand clutched towards the soaked spot on his stomach. The boy's mouth was open, shaking as no words or screams escaped his shocked body. Then he was pushed, pushed with such force that he stumbled over to the short banister, and tipped over it.
Hyunwoo panicked, his hands let go of his weapon, a clunk sounding as it fell to the ground, and he ran the fastest he could to save the boy. He could see it all in slow motion, how the little body crumbled into a little ball, holding tight over the injured spot as the gravity dragged him down.
Hyunwoo stopped, eyes scanning the body that landed just before his feet. His eyes were blown wide, breath racing so fast that he could barely breathe. He fell to his knees, hand immediately pressing down to find the pulse of the male. His heart stopped, no sound was buzzing in his ear as he desperately tried to find some sort of movement through the artery.
"Car 112B to department, we have an injured person, send the ambulance!" Hoseok shouted in the distance.
Hyunwoo could feel his hands shake, still searching around for a sign that seemed to be fading as the time went by.
Both officers regretted ever saying they wanted action.