하늘이 무너져도 솟아날 구멍이 있다
Even if the sky falls on you, there is a hole from which you can escape
Green, glowing, and thick toxic gasses circulated with dust and other debris. Squadrons 27-B and 27-C were in charge of inspecting the buildings, raiding the ones that were still stable enough to enter, and searching for clues about their history.
“Do you think this one is safe?” Junsu’s voice was muffled through his gasmask, but Yunho heard him perfectly clear through their transmitters. He held his scanner and let the device do the work, the numbers flitting across the screen in a complicated algorithm.
“I wouldn’t just guess with these old ruins,” Yunho mumbled as the result was negative. “This one is about to collapse. It can take maybe twenty kilos. Let’s move onto the next one already. The faster we get through this the faster we can fuck.” He leered at his partner and made a grab for his ass.
Junsu swatted the hand away and scowled, lifting the gun from his waist. “Stop it; we’re supposed to be working hard right now! We have to send the rover instead.” They stood still for a moment, the dust in the air flying between them, when Yunho made another quick grab. Raising his knee high, Junsu kicked his partner’s face just as the smog blocked Yunho’s vision. He got his chin, almost knocking the mask off, but the only real damage he inflicted was a split lip where Yunho’s face hit his mike.
“Fucker,” he mumbled, adjusting his headset.
A rover quickly came after Junsu signaled for it, circling around their heads anticipating a command. After some more numbers were input, the rover, R-14 raced into the building, streaming a live feed of the inside. That’s how communication worked. Numbers and feeds.
The rover documented the rusted framework of the windows and the disintegrated staircase, the corpses embedded into the layer of foundation, ashes that used to be paper, springs without a mattress, broken chairs, and nothing that could tell them how life on earth used to be.
“Well, there are sinks in one of the rooms behind every numbered door. At least we can confirm that this area also had running water. Let’s send it to the next room, there is nothing here –wait, go back for a second. What is that?” Junsu sent in delay messages, making the rover turn back to the area near the closet. “There, wedged into the hand, what is that?” R-14 zoomed in closer, revealing the black rectangle and the glassy screen.
“Better take it back, right? Scan first, and then retrieve.” Yunho commanded. The rover did exactly that, finding traces of energy stored inside, harmless energy, and beamed it up, letting it hover behind as it retreated. Back outside, the object was dropped into Yunho’s awaiting hands.
He turned it over in his hands, investigating every aspect of it. The plastic screen was cracked, the paint was scratched off, and the back fell off in between his fingers. “Whatever it is, it’s ancient.”
“No duh, Sherlock, it’s from Earth. Give me that.” Junsu yanked the object out of his grasp and thumbed over the edges and sides, swiping his fingers into the open grooves. “I think –I think this is a primitive battery. R-14, charge it. It might tell us something.”
The charging took no more than a minute, and then the screen lit up and flashed a warning of no signal. “Pff, how archaic, there is plenty of signal here,” Yunho commented, thinking less and less of his ancestors. Another message appeared, asking for a password of four digits. “R-14, crack it, quickly.” Instantly, the numbers 0218 appeared in the spaces provided, the message fading away.
Staring blankly at the screen, they tried to figure out how to work the device. It wasn’t like anything they had ever used before. “What do you think it was for?” Yunho shook his head in response.
“There has to be some sort of nanochip involved because R-14 can connect to it. Take control, R-14, show us its contents.” A flood of pictures, video and voice recordings, calendar dates, apps, and texts filled their minds. “R-14, take this back to headquarters, we are so getting a promotion for this!”
JJ: lol ^^
Max: Baby, I miss you
Max: Meet you at our spot
JJ: I made it into Uni!
Max: wish I could tickle ever cute spot on your body
Max: Sorry :( I did eat the last slice
JJ: Thanks for the lotion!
Max: The government is filled with a bunch of gits
JJ: what if we don’t get tickets for the ship?
Max: Stock up on food, ration carefully
JJ: My family was rejected
JJ: dirty water
Max: Fuck the air, I’m coming over
JJ: No! Just stay safe indoors
Max: I can’t stand to be away from you
Max: We might not be able to see each other again
JJ: My walls are caved in
JJ: I love you
Max: I love you too
Who would actually leave three young guys alone in an apartment for a month? Without someone to wash their clothes or feed them? Without someone to manage their budget?
The idiots Yunho and Jaejoong did.|
They thought they had planned it out properly, stocking up the fridge for the next two weeks and putting enough grocery money on the counter for the rest of the month as well as a few splurges. The night before they left, they snuck into each of their flat mates’ rooms and put on the alarms on their phones for nine sharp every weekday. Jaejoong even put careful instructions on the front of the laundry room door on how to wash the clothes correctly, without mixing the whites and the colors.
So why were they getting a call at two in the morning from a wailing Junsu complaining about “No food,” and “He even ate the stale crackers!” Jaejoong closed his phone, pulled out the battery, and rolled over, wrapping his head with the pillow.
“Who was it?” Yunho mumbled from the adjacent bed.
“Junsu being an idiot again.”
The dial tone echoed around the kitchen, pounding into Yoochun’s head. The were fucked. Incredibly fucked. Only two and a half weeks had passed and there was no food, no money, and all their clothes except for the few items they had outgrown were charred. “What are we going to do?” Yoochun groaned, face planted on the table. He opened his sore eyes to gaze upon the only morsels of food left, two raw eggs, some different powdery things, and a bar of chocolate.
“Why not make a cake?” Yoochun looked over at the one who spoke, the youngest, and gave him a glare. At least he was tied up so he couldn’t devour the last few eggs.
He sighed. “First of all Changmin, we would need more than this. Like sugar for one. And, as much as I would love a cake, it cannot be what we eat for the first time all day.” Junsu whimpered from the seat he was tied to. “Think of this as a punishment for eating all the food and spending our budget on video games.”
Junsu whined, scooting his chair across the wooden floor. “I just want to play my games!” The chair legs thumped on the floor, giving Yoochun an even bigger headache.
“Please Su, do me a favor and stop moving, I need to think of a solution to this mess you two caused.”
Changmin snorted, actually snorted, from the seat he was retied to. “It’s partially your fault too, hyung. You should have been doing your duty and monitoring us instead of sleeping while we were awake and sleeping while we slept. In fact, we wouldn’t even be dealing with this right now if didn’t have such odd hours! You could have discovered this in the morning instead!” He continued ranting about how humans needed sunlight and shit like that. “I bet you were fantasizing about Junsu and me tied up! Huh? Tell the truth!” The oldest sighed again, pulled out some duct tape, and started dialing Yunho’s number this time.