The Secrets of Capricorn

If he had the choice between changing a single person’s life and changing the world, what would he choose? If it means giving up all that he’s ever loved, would he really take that place for the one person he cares about the most and stand in the front row, armed and ready to fight against the Last Apocalypse?

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All Junhyung had to do was get out of Capricorn laboratory. That wasn’t going to be such a hard job, right?

He tightened his arms around the boy and hurried over to leave. Before he opened the door to SO-1’s freedom, he looked back at the room that had been his home for the past 16 years. He knew that anyone living in that sort of place would have suffered every waking minute. Even if he didn’t really know much, it was pretty obvious that being in that state would have caused SO-1 to be so broken and so lonely. He didn’t deserve such cruelty, after all, he was still a human being, and even though the world was in a serious state of poverty and crisis, SO-1 deserved to lead a normal life.

He twisted the doorknob, pulled the old piece of wood towards him and silently headed out of the claustrophobic room. His fast footsteps through the deserted hallway were as quiet as he could make them. He felt the walls inching nearer together, closing in on him. Junhyung couldn’t breathe. Well, not properly anyway. The state of his surroundings was making him feel uncomfortable. He would usually brush them off, and carry on, but since it was his last time in such a place, he wanted to preserve what the image of the laboratory before he left it behind.

When he came to the staircase, Junhyung hurried up to the ground floor of the laboratory, climbing up two steps at a time, rather than one. It was quicker that way, and SO-1 was actually quite light, so he didn’t have any problems practically running up the stairs.

Probing his way through different corridors and hallways, Junhyung decided that leaving through the entrance of Capricorn would not do. He thought that it would be better if he exited the building through one of the windows, rather than the way he came in. After all, it seemed like a less risky option for him to take, and the chances of him getting caught were pretty slim.

Junhyung sighed in frustration. His mind was running away with the complications and the possible consequences of his final judgement, slowing his body down. He knew that he needed to get out of the building as fast as he could, but his conscience constantly decided to drip anxiety onto the floors with each step forward he managed to take. It was no use. He had to keep on moving, not for his own sake, but for SO-1’s sake. The boy didn’t need to be punished for his prolonged actions. His life was already a punishment in itself.

It took him only a couple of minutes to enter the indoor greenhouse of the first floor, the nearest room from the staircase. He breathed a sigh of relief when he examined the fluorescent environment surrounding him. As far as he could see, there was not a single scientist around. Although surprised at the lack of security infestation, Junhyung could not let it turn into a distraction. As an extra precaution, he snaked his way through the intoxicating scented greenery, making sure not to let his and SO-1’s body come into intimate contact with the plants. After all, he had no idea if these were contaminated cuttings, since they were sealed off from the other labs.

His legs carried the both of them to a pair of sliding glass doors. He was truly lucky that they were not automatic, because if they were, he knew that the loud noise that would eventually erupt from them would attract unwanted attention. He removed one of his hands from around SO-1’s waist and curled his fingers around the metal handle parallel to their bodies, gradually pulling it open. He replaced his full grip over the boy’s lower body. He slipped through the gap, which could just fit both of them out, and headed towards the closest potential exit.

To his satisfaction, Junhyung had finally found an abandoned room containing a window big enough for him to jump out of. Just as he was about to delve further into the room, towards its heart, an unexpected voice boomed through the outside hallway.

“How much more did the boss say we needed?” The male’s unnecessary shouting made Junhyung jump in surprise.

“Fifteen gallons, he also said that we needed to transfer more of the foetuses from the main warehouse to the basement.” Another person had joined the man in conversation.

Junhyung wrinkled his face in repulsion. What was Capricorn up to?

Before he knew it, Junhyung’s body had led him and the helpless boy into a pine coloured cupboard. He was thankful that even though he wasn’t in his right mind, a part of him still knew what to do. He closed the doors that were in front of him and crouched down on the floor in fear.

Yong Junhyung was not a fainthearted man. If anything, he was the complete opposite. He always though that being strong was his role in life, not only for himself, but for his mother. He needed to stay strong for the aging woman, to care for her and to protect her. But Junhyung was scared, so scared. He had never been so terrified, so petrified of what could happen to him. He was so close to the end, and the start of a life no longer dominated by the pain of his past, but at the same time, he was so close to losing everything. His family, friends, freedom, even his existence was now in the hands of Capricorn. If he was caught, it would be the end of the road for Yong Junhyung.

The only thing he could do in that single moment was clutch SO-1 as close to him as he could, like a child afraid to leave their mother, in hope that he would not be caught by the approaching scientists.

His breath became ragged and heavy, signalling his increasing anxiety. He placed his right hand at the back of SO-1’s head and pressed his face closer to the crook of his neck. The fear was consuming him whole, diverting his mind away from the boy’s half parted lips on his skin.

Junhyung heard the door creak open, followed by the quick and weighty footsteps of the scientists. Their muffled murmurs approached strongly as if they were the voices of Death himself ready to collect the unprepared souls of his ill-fated victims. The oxygen that was being inhaled through his quivering lips had suddenly clogged up his lungs. He needed to let out a small, fain cough, but he couldn’t. He rested his forehead against SO-1’s slender shoulder and held his breath.

The voices had gotten considerably louder as the men headed nearer to Junhyung and SO-1’s hiding place, but ended up dying away when the door slammed shut behind them, indicating that they had left the room.

His eyelids slowly parted in ease, but he was careful not to let his confidence get the better of him. He still needed to get out of the building and he still needed to smuggle SO-1 into his house without his mother finding out about the boy, but he knew that it was going to be harder than he could imagine, especially since his mother knew nothing of his whereabouts, and with their bodies soaked in the scent of formaldehyde, he knew that it was going to be quite difficult worming his way out of her awareness.

Junhyung slowly stood up and stuck his hands back on the sides of SO-1. He turned his body around and backed up into the doors, pushing them open, careful not to disturb the boy. Once he was back into the deserted, cluttered science lab, Junhyung placed the tips of his fingers underneath the experiment’s chin and tiled his face towards his gaze. He thought it was only common sense to check on him and make sure that he was still alive. He was already trespassing on illegal grounds, and disposing of a dead body would not only cause more problems for him, but would also gift him with a one way ticket to a certain hell on Earth, which was addressed by ordinary people as jail.

To his pure and genuine luck, SO-1 was still alive, just resting his tired self and Junhyung didn’t blame him for falling asleep. Being imprisoned in a container of formaldehyde must have been exhausting for such a frail looking human, who looked as though he was severely underweight.

Without further distraction, Junhyung headed towards the large, steel framed window. He positioned one of his gloved hands on the rusty latch and pulled it up to a ninety degree angle. He removed his hand from the corroded handle and pushed the glass away from him with as much strength as he could muster up. He peered over the window sill to see what was waiting for him and the boy at the bottom.

Junhyung swung his leg over the ledge and steadied his body while he stretched his arms out to grab onto the plastic drain pipe a few inches away from him. After acquiring a tight hold on the flimsy tube, Junhyung hauled himself forward and began to climb down the weak structure supporting the outlet as if it was a ladder. He made sure to close the gap between the plastic and SO-1’s back to prevent the boy from falling out of his arms.

As soon as the bottom of his foot came into contact with the concrete beneath him, he began to run as fast as he could through the abandoned alleyway. He successfully dodged the endless amount of rubble and waste that seemed to have been put there to slow him down.

When Junhyung reached the entrance to the deserted street, he headed straight for his car. His soles skimmed over the lumps and bumps of the road, occasionally getting scuffed from the small stones under him.

Using the last of his strength, Junhyung released SO-1 from around him and stood the boy up, letting his arm lifelessly droop over his shoulder. From his back pocket, Junhyung pulled out his key and poked it into the keyhole and twisting it clockwise. Once his glossy black vehicle was unlocked, he jerked the handle up and opened the door, stuffing the sleeping boy into the front seat. He proceeded to strap SO-1 in properly and adjusted the seat so that he could sleep comfortably.

Once done, Junhyung took his place in the driver’s seat and slammed the door shut behind him. As soon as he had settled down, he quickly pulled off his black leather gloves and tossed them behind him, not caring about where they’d end up. He let out a much needed sigh of relief and buried his face in his sweaty palms. Junhyung ignored the faint fragrance of formaldehyde still shrouding the boys and opened his glove compartment to retrieve his phone.

It was after he switched on his mobile did he realise that he had quite a few missed calls and some text messages from both his mother and his best friend. He decided to leave his mother till last and deal with his best friend first. As he began to open his messages, Junhyung laughed at how much trouble he was going to be in when he got home.

From: Doojoon

Ummm, Jun…where are you? your mum called me so I told her you were sleeping at mine, but she told me to send you home so…go home!

From: Doojoon

Seriously?! I hope you’re not laying in some ditch in the middle of nowhere…Oh God! how the hell am I going to tell your mum OTL

From: Doojoon

Please reply…I’m begging you…

From: Doojoon

…I give up...when I next see you, I’ll have to remember to stamp all over your pretty little face.

Junhyung grinned to himself before replying back to his friend.

To: Doojoon

I am sincerely sorry that I’m not lying in a ditch. I’m on my way home now, so no need to worry bout me. I shall be fine…As usual…And I’ve found someone with an even prettier face ;) but don’t you dare go stamping on his.

Just as Junhyung started his car, his phone, which was resting against his upper thigh, began to vibrate. He picked it up and smiled.

From: Doojoon

WTH is wrong with you OTL I’m surprised to say that I was actually worried…but I know your mum will probably beat you to death, so I’m not fussed tbh but on a serious note, where were you? on second thoughts, don’t tell me. I know it was probably something illegal, so you better keep it to yourself. cya tomorrow, that is if you’re still alive..

 

The drive back home from Capricorn was long and exhausting for Junhyung. It was hard enough for him to keep his eyes open without the pounding headache he had acquired after being practically gassed with the scent of formaldehyde.

When it came to him getting out of the car, Junhyung’s body was sluggish, and it felt as though he had to drag himself like a stubborn dog who didn’t want to be walked.

After he unbuckled and once again lifted the boy into his arms, Junhyung locked up and headed towards his front door. If only he could somehow get inside without having to face his mother, but he knew that was impossible.

Once he had opened the front door, Junhyung pressed on, making his way up to his loft bedroom at the far end of the third floor. He hauled his body up the stairs, gripping tightly onto the banisters surrounding him and struggled helplessly as he took each step.

Before he entered his bedroom, Junhyung peeked through the tiny gap in the door, only to his gaze glued onto the figure of a woman’s body. He stumbled back in shock, nearly slipping backwards down the stairs.

Junhyung was screwed.

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