Part 63: Farewell, Busan Police Precinct
[BGM: Feast Away]
The most expensive BBQ restaurant in Busan was located two blocks away from the Busan Police Station.
It even had a Presidential Suite that was large enough for over 40 people.
The sergeant of Unit 1 was standing on the stage with a bright red face.
He was fondling the few surviving hairs on his head, while singing horrendously off-key karaoke of some crass internet viral songs.
Below the stage, however, the entirety of Unit 1 was cheering him on.
Officer Ji-Yeon and I were the only two people sitting quietly in the corner, feeling completely out of place.
It was the send-off banquet for Sergeant Jeong.
Sergeant Jeong had to move away from Busan due to family reasons, and he had applied to be transferred to the Incheon Police Precinct.
Starting next week we would have a new sergeant.
For me, it had been the best news I had heard in a long time.
The old fart had never truly considered Officer Ji-Yeon and I to be members of his unit, because of our history in Unit 4.
Ever since we had been transferred here, all I had gotten to do was fill out reimbursement forms for his traveling expenses.
Officer Ji-Yeon had been treated even worse. She had been doing all kinds of chores, like making coffee or cleaning the office.
Sometimes he even had her clean the trash cans.
Even the new interns had never been treated this way. It was totally sexist.
We had been here for a month, but we had yet to meet the lieutenant of Unit 1.
In fact, everything had been under Sergeant Jeong's command, long before us.
Contrary to popular opinion, the members of Unit 1 were not so-called elite police officers.
The most important part of their jobs was to figure out how to suck up to Sergeant Jeong, not to solve more cases.
Some of the most senior officers here had completely checked out a long time ago. All they ever did all day was browse travel websites or do some online shopping in the office.
It was a textbook example of a waste of taxpayers' money.
In any case, Sergeant Jeong had enjoyed more than a few drinks tonight. His face was completely red and he looked like he was having a great time.
Don't worry! Although I will be leaving you soon, the new sergeant is a close friend of mine and he'll still take good care of every single one of you guys!
Sir, we will keep up the good work!
Sir, I will fly to Incheon often to visit you!
Sir, don't forget to send us souvenirs from Incheon!
Hahaha, of course! I will never forget you people! Sergeant Jeong held up a cocktail glass.
I will miss you all very much!
I chugged another bottle of beer.
Sir, you are the police officer that I always admired the most!
Everyone, including Sergeant Jeong and Officer Ji-Yeon, were staring at me.
Knowing that we were unpopular with the sergeant, most of the members of Unit 1 had never interacted with us that much, so that they wouldn't offend the sergeant.
So hearing me say that I admired the sergeant must have felt as shocking as witnessing a nuclear bomb being dropped.
But there was nothing shocking about it.
The sir I had been referring to had nothing to do with that mostly bald old fart.
I was thinking about Lieutenant Kang.
I still remembered the night when Kim Jeong-Ho had been officially arrested. Lieutenant Kang, Officer Ji-Yeon and I had a small celebratory dinner in a small BBQ restaurant completely unlike this one.
I had thought that the ideal police career I had always hoped for would finally begin.
However, Lieutenant Kang went missing just a few days later.
Even now we still had no idea why he had left us, where he had gone, or if he had run into some danger.
After Lieutenant Kang disappeared, the entirety of Unit 4 was only Officer Ji-Yeon and I, and the captain had no choice but to transfer us into Unit 1.
The whole of Unit 3 was under intense investigation, so there were no other places for us to go, either.
But I would have never guessed that Unit 1 would turn out to be so different than what I had imagined.
Maybe once the old fox left, things would get better?
Maybe I would still have a chance to be a real police officer, instead of submitting phony reimbursement requests for fake expenses?
I was feeling dizzy from the alcohol, and all I could think about was the memories from my days in Unit 4.
I was about to open another bottle when someone slapped me on the shoulder.
Hey! I would have never, never ever realized in a million years that you, a kid from Unit 4, would admire me so much. I am so pleased! I... I've made a decision... I'm not leaving anymore!
I thought the old fart was just drunk and speaking nonsense.
As it turned out he really did eventually withdraw his transfer request, and stayed on as the sergeant of Unit 1.
Life had not changed at all.
I was still submitting fake reimbursement forms every day.
Officer Ji-Yeon was still making coffee and cleaning the office.
I should not have said that to him.
I could have just missed Lieutenant Kang in my head. He couldn't hear me, anyways.
The game decided to give us one final breather with a lighter-hearted puzzle, even when the end is in sight. There's only two other outcomes we can get here, and it's pretty straightforward.
First, let's get the other Bad ending.
These people and their disgusting flattery.
How hypocritical did one have to be to be able to even stomach those words?
I was beginning to feel sick.
I could feel a swell of anger in my gut.
If I didn't do something quick, I was going to explode!
I grabbed my empty bottle and pushed through the crowd.
What are you... hey!
The pretentious senior officers unwillingly made a way for me to pass through, while anxiously waiting for some drama.
Let me give them what they wanted, then.
I walked up to the stage, and smashed the beer bottle next to Jeong's feet.
Then I punched him right in the nose.
He fell over and rolled off of the stage before he could even utter a word.
Cries of surprise and anger erupted off stage.
Chang Gyeong-Min, what are you doing?!
I squinted my eyes and looked at the crowd.
Everyone had a shocked expression on their faces, but as soon as I looked into their eyes they immediately turned away.
I couldn't help but laugh out loud.
I had made up my mind before I had even thrown that punch.
It would be a total waste of time to stay here any longer.
I grabbed my jacket and walked straight out of the restaurant.
As long as I had justice in my heart, I could still be a hero.
So.... obviously it's bad to have him punch a senior police officer out in front of the entire unit. So let's get the last ending that doesn't involve him doing that, as much as it is great to see him storm out like that.
Everyone, including Sergeant Jeong and Officer Ji-Yeon, were staring at me.
What did you say? Officer Ji-Yeon wagged her finger in front of my eyes, trying to confirm that I was still sober.
I said I will miss you all when I leave... You... and Captain Gong... and... that's probably it. I can't stay in this stupid Unit 1 for one more second. All of these hypocritical idiots. I have had enough!
I slammed the empty bottle on the table and stood up.
The moment when I left the suite, I felt like a huge burden had finally been lifted off of my back.
I went back to the office wing of Unit 1.
I turned on my computer and finished a resignation letter in only 30 minutes.
Then I printed it out and tossed it onto the old fart's desk.
It would be the first thing the new sergeant would see next week.
I sat at my desk for a long time before leaving.
I kept staring at the phone. I felt completely at a loss.
I imagined the phone would suddenly ring and that it would be Lieutenant Kang calling.
I tried to imagine what he would say to me, and what I would say to him.
But the phone never rang.
It was all just in my head.
I couldn't understand why he would simply disappear without even leaving us a message.
If he had run into something that had forced him to leave, why wouldn't he come and discuss it together with us?
Maybe we had never been as close as I had always thought.
Surprise, there's no S ending for this one! Strange, though, that we'd get orange text this late into the game- we've gotten every ending for every letter Chang has given us... Maybe we should go back to the Letter menu and see what we can do.
[BGM: Lost Memories]
Still got quite a lot of time on the clock, so let's take a peek at Chang's profile here:
There's a slot still missing for him, which shouldn't be the case if we'd gotten everything for all of his letters... which means there's one hidden letter we haven't encountered yet.
The final hidden letter in the game, to be exact.
The one situation with an outcome that could lead to our two men developing a stronger connection with each other, in fact.
That's right, fuckers, the Z ending is canon!
NEW MESSAGE: Farewell, Busan Police Precinct
[BGM: Broken Dream 1]
Farewell, Busan Police Precinct
The weather was awful again.
But I had decided to take a walk. A real walk.
When I had learned that I needed to write two more pointless reports, I calmly went back to my seat.
I created a new document and typed in Resignation Letter.
[Honorable Sergeant Jeong, I...]
[Honorable Sergeant Jeong, I want to resign.]
Too bad the stupid old fart wasn't here, otherwise I'd print it out and throw it in his face right now.
I was sitting in the hall of the embassy, waiting to apply for my visa to another country.
It was packed with people. Because of the weather the floor was covered with muddy shoe prints.
I took a waiting ticket and put it closer to my eyes so that I could see the number. It still felt a little warm in my hand.
Since the fight in the woods my sight had become terrible. Although, since I didn't know how to fire a gun anyway, it didn't really make that much of a difference.
The number on the screen was still in 3-digits.
Really? Were there so many people going abroad every day?
I had no choice but to find an empty seat and wait.
Hmm... Korean gingseng... hmm... kimchi... and what? Oh, spicy sauce... Yes? You want to make kimchi yourself? Then why do you need me to bring kimchi?
Sitting next to me was an old, grey-haired Chinese man who was on the phone.
He was speaking loudly in a foreign language, which had attracted some attention.
But his husky Chinese had triggered some of my memories.
I was going to China this time, too.
A big bald monk I knew lived there. He was about the same age as the old man next to me.
There were also a bunch of men of different ages who were training with him. They all had the same haircut, but they were all so different and vibrant.
In that place there was no flattery or disdain, no cheating or lying.
Every day all I needed to do was practice and train, nothing else.
I remembered that Master liked spicy food, too. Maybe I should bring some kimchi as well?
Actually, never mind, there were too many mouths at the Shaolin Temple. If I brought something just for the Master I might be better off not bringing anything at all.
Well, I could bring some spicy sauce myself, too, so that I could make kimchi for them. It would be more convenient, anyway.
The first time that I had met Master, he had been practicing in the bamboo forest by himself.
I was in the middle of Mount Song, on my way to the temple.
He was the first Shaolin monk I had ever met, and he knew kung fu!
The 14-year-old me was so in awe that I thought I had just met a god. I immediately dropped to my knees and asked him to take me on as a disciple.
Master didn't have a lot of words. He simply asked me, Why do you want to learn kung fu?
I said, To fight for justice!
He said nothing except to tell me go go hold a rock, and left.
So, I held a 25 kilogram rock, and struck a horse stance in the bamboo forest for a whole night, to show him my dedication and determination.
Not until later did I learn that Master was not particularly senior in the temple.
Even so, I was still very lucky.
The way the temple trained their disciples was pretty similar to a regular school. They had some training in martial arts, as well as regular school work.
The kung fu they learned this way would be more than enough for self-defense, but way too basic for fighting crime.
But my Master was not like the others.
Not only did he teach me for free, he also taught me so many more things than the paying students had ever had the chance to learn.
We would meet in the bamboo forest outside of the temple every day before the sun even came out, and trained until sunset.
I had always fantasized about learning the incredible art of Chinese kung fu.
So, I learned Chinese on my own and watched tons of Chinese kung fu movies.
I was always particularly fascinated by the skill of Pigtail Fighting. I had even grown out my hair so that I could learn about it.
If Master hadn't told me that he didn't know it, the tail I had would probably still be growing out of my head.
By the time I was old enough to enroll in the police academy, I said goodbye to Master and left the temple.
I hadn't been back for five years.
The number kept rolling on the screen.
Although it didn't seem to be going any faster just because there were so many people waiting in the hall.
These damned officials, can't you guys be a little more efficient?! the woman to my left complained. She threw her ticket on the table, then left.
I took a peek at the number on the ticket. It was..
Wow, a low number!
I was just about to reach for it when the old man next to me grabbed it first. Then he gave me a smile.
Oh, well, he should have it then.
I was in no hurry to go back anyway.
Go back for what?
To help the old fart make up stories about where he had gone for business (vacation), how many conferences (tours) he had attended, how much he had expensed for receptions (sauna and bars)?
If Lieutenant Kang had been there, he would have said that it was all bullshit to his face.
If he was still here...
I clenched my fist so tightly that without realizing it I almost crumpled the ticket entirely. I had to stop myself and unfold it.
After who knew how long, it was finally my turn.
By the time I was finally done it was way past business hours.
I went back to Unit 1, where half the lights had already been turned off. Only Officer Ji-Yeon was still there.
She was cleaning the trash cans in the office.
I let out a sigh, rolled up my sleeves and took the trash cans out of her hands.
Before I left the office I threw the resignation letter onto that old fart's desk.
Farewell, Busan Police Precinct.
The puzzle here is just changing the numbers on the ticket that the woman threw away; there's only two other numbers besides 149 that get us a different ending, so let's start with the middle one- 419.
Although I didn't have any memories about one night stands, it did remind me of the night when Kim Jeong-Ho had been arrested.
Lieutenant Kang had summoned everyone and we had held a celebratory party at Blue Lady.
That night, Jeagal Wan-Yeom had declared that everything was on the house. It was an absolute riot in the bar.
After I told a drunken Jeagal about the story of what had happened to me after I left Blue Lady the other day, he cried.
He put up a picture of Lieutenant Jeagal Seok on the table, pulled me up from the seat and made me bow to the picture, all while weeping uncontrollably.
He told me that we would be brothers from now on.
Only then did I finally learn that he was the younger brother of Lieutenant Jeagal.
No wonder he had been such a close friend of Lieutenant Kang.
Lieutenant Kang and I didn't leave Blue Lady until it was almost daytime.
We left Jeagal sound asleep in the bar.
On our way back Lieutenant Kang was telling me lots of stories from the days when he had been in Unit 2.
I was so excited by his stories when he suddenly said to me,
There was a transfer request mixed in the middle of the reports you turned in earlier.
I was stunned.
I had written a transfer request, but there was no way I would have turned it in. Then I remembered.
It can't be mine! I never printed mine!
Hahahaha! So you did write one. Lieutenant Kang burst out laughing and kept walking ahead.
Then I realized I had just been duped.
I remembered wondering to myself, was Lieutenant Kang forcing me to leave? But I had just done something great.
Captain Gong has assigned more than 20 newbies to me over the years. Every single one of them, except Min-Jun and Ji-Yeon, has written a transfer request at some point. And they all eventually left.
Lieutenant Kang slowed down, but he was still walking in front of me.
The cool moonlight was shining on his back, and for the first time he seemed a little exhausted.
I stopped myself and I watched as Lieutenant Kang kept walking further ahead.
His figure looked smaller and smaller.
He almost looked like an old man.
I took a deep breath------
Lieutenant Kang!! I'll follow you until the end of days!
Lieutenant Kang turned around, off in the distance, and smiled.
I ran ahead to catch up with him when I felt raindrops on my face.
It kept getting heavier and heavier until I realized that it was actually snowing.
Snowing in June? Was something good going to happen?
On that day, I firmly believed that we would all have a great future together.
However, reality immediately gave my clueless self a cruel wake-up call.
That night was the last night we ever saw Jeagal.
A few days after he had been confirmed missing, his body was found floating in the ocean near the port.
The body was bloated, and his eyes and organs were all gone.
There was a long, stitched up wound on his chest that had started decomposing. A symbol had been carved near the scar. It looked like a smiley face.
Ever since then, Lieutenant Kang had seemed a little lost.
Sometimes he wouldn't even respond to us calling his name. A few days later he disappeared, too.
Perhaps he had found some leads as to Jeagal's death and had decided to pursue them by himself.
Or maybe he had run into some trouble.
Whatever the case, we couldn't get in touch with him anymore, no matter how hard we tried.
Two months later, Captain Gong made an announcement that he would transfer the only two remaining members of Unit 4------ Officer Ji-Yeon and I------ to Unit 1.
Joining Unit 1 used to be a dream of mine.
Everyone had told me that it was the largest and strongest unit in the Criminal Investigation Division. They had over 40 official members.
Once we became part of it, however, I finally learned how rotten Unit 1 truly was.
But unfortunately, no matter how much I missed the days in Unit 4, I couldn't go back there again.
After who knew how long, it was finally my turn.
By the time I was finally done it was way past business hours.
I went back to Unit 1.
I printed out the resignation letter and threw it on that old fart's desk.
Farewell, Busan Police Department.
Well, now we know why Kang went missing initially- this fills in a lot of the blanks. ...Though, it's debatable whether it's actually Pi, since it doesn't fit his MO; we haven't seen Jeagal do anything predatory or abusive, so it seems much more likely a rival gang killed him and is using Pi's symbol to deflect attention.
But this doesn't really connect with the ticket, nor does it actually resolve anything. For that, we need to get a solution that gets Chang out of the ticket office early, rather than in the evening like he has in the prior outcomes, if we want to get the S ending- and that solution is 914...
Wow, a small number!
I was just about to reach for it when the old man next to me grabbed it first.
But he took a look at the ticket and threw it back to where it had been.
Haha, 914. The old man must be a little superstitious.
I finished the application two hours earlier than I had expected.
It was still early.
I went back to the station.
Unit 1 still made me feel as miserable as it always had.
The senior officers, who were completely oblivious to other people, kept smoking in the office.
Officer Ji-Yeon was making coffee in the break room for over 20 people. She looked tired and bored.
The office wing of Unit 1 was probably 10 times larger than Unit 4's, and only half of the seats were occupied.
And most people who were absent were not out there fighting crime. They were simply missing work.
As soon as I sat down the old fart looked up from his newspaper. Have you finished the report?
I was almost about to throw my resignation letter in his face.
I opened the file and clicked Print.
The printer behind me started buzzing.
Meanwhile, the phone on my desk happened to ring at the same time.
I reluctantly picked up the phone.
As soon as I heard the familiar voice from the other side, tears started flowing out of my eyes.
[BGM: Evolving Mood]
The only office with its lights on was Captain Gong's.
Officer Ji-Yeon and I walked up to his desk and turned in our badges and guns.
I took one step back and gave this man, whom I had just met for the first time, one last salute.
For whatever reason it's vague here what's going on, but Chang and Kang's profiles provide the actual details- Kang left to investigate Jeagal's death on his own (again, presumably because it doesn't fit Pi's MO), and at some point ends up getting recruited/transferred to the National Intelligence Service- basically, he trades in his police badge for an official government agent's badge. He then attempts to reach out to Chang (and by proxy Ji-Yeon) offering them a similar transfer to work with him on his new investigation (and to get them out of the police, which he knows is mired in corruption), but we had to get Chang back to the office in time to receive that phone call, as if he misses it he resigns that same day.
=BGM: Lost Memories=
Profiles have updated.