Case Closed Fan Fiction ❯ A Face to Remember ( Chapter 82 )

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The Detective Prince
Chapter 82
A Face to Remember

The search took no longer than a minute to produce results, finding exactly what they hoped they would.

« Salomon Anderson Green, » Bruce said turning in his seat. « Is this the man you saw with Eldelmon that night? »

« I didn’t actually see him, » Tim replied. « Only heard his voice over a conmlink. »

« He’s the only registered Salomon Green who lives here in Gotham, » Bruce said. « Unless he’s using that name as an alias, this looks to be our guy. »

« Got an address? »

« His residents is overlooking the Sprang river on the west side of town. »

« Can’t say I disapprove of the view, » Tim said. « You plan on paying him a visit in the next few days? »

« Tonight is as good as any. »

« You want me to tag along? »

« I’d rather you focus in on our other man of interest, » Bruce answered. « The one they referred to as the straight shot. »

« Your call, » Tim said. « Now all we have to do is run a search on Mr. Hue. »

« And we will, » Bruce said. « But first, I wanted to touch base with you about something. »

« The carpet’s yours. »

« The main computer was finally able to pick up that virus, » Bruce informed. « The one flowing throughout the Mini Lon. »

« Any luck diagnosing what or where it originated? »

« No, but I did find something to be odd, » Bruce said. « It took days to finally find traces of the virus, when it took all but a few moments for your security system to pick it up. »

« Now that you mention it, that does present a question, » Tim said giving it some thought. « There’s a difference between instantly picking up a virus. »

« And going to great lengths to dig for one. » Bruce finished.

« Do you think this virus is regressing some how, » Tim questioned. « That would explain why it took you so long to sight it. »

« Not this one, » Bruce replied. « It was only spreading, just not in the usual way most viruses do. »

« How long before those using the Mini Lon take notice of the spread of a virus? »

« Days, weeks, months even, » Bruce answered. « It’s hard to tell, given its erratic nature. »

« I’ll take another look at it when I get the chance. »

« As will I. »

« There’s something else I’ve been meaning to, why have you been operating from here rather than down in the cave? »

The door flew open in that instance, the both of them turning to see the two of them re-enter the room.

« Finished with that TV so soon, I thought it would have taken a bit longer. » Bruce said.

« We need to talk. » Dick said walking forward.

The minutes that followed from the time they had learned of the sound recorder brought a rally of silence. Without clear evidence linking someone specific to the crime, it left them at an untimely dead end.

« I think we better head down to the station, » Rick said looking down at his watch. « It’s fifteen past three already, and I would like to get that device found examined as soon as possible. »

« I understand, » Ellson said. « Keep us informed, I’d like to know what the verdict on that thing as soon as you do. »

« That’s the plan. »

« I do have one last question, » Heiji said turning toward Ed. « That cloth, was it wrapped around that recorder when you first discovered it? »

« No, I actually used that handkerchief to haul it in, » Ed informed. « I wasn’t sure what it was and wanted to be careful as possible. »

« Well you made the right decision, » Heiji said. « Now we won’t have to worry about excluding your finger prints from any others that might be on it. »

« Do you really think you’ll find something, » Ellson questioned. « It’s not that I don’t have my trust in the process, it’s just whoever set this up has been next to flawless in their preparation. »

« There’s a possibility we won’t find any prints, » Rick acknowledged. « But we’ll hold off on any reaction until we’ve got it tested. »

« How long until we should hear back from you? »

« Before the days end, » Rick answered. « We’ll keep you up to speed on any progressions made. »

« I appreciate that, » Ellson said. « But I must know, do you beileve this whole scenario was pre meditated by the one who left the riddle for us to find? »

« It’s much too early to come to any conclusions, » Rick replied. « But it is most certainly a possibility. »

« I figured that much, » Ellson said. « Then I guess we better let the two of you get going, if anything happens from our end we’ll call immediately. »

« And we’ll respond as soon as we can. » Rick declared with a nod.

The two of them then turned for the door with nothing further, making their way out for yet another time. It was apparent most things had returned to normal on their way down, coming into contact with one of the security guards from earlier after reaching the first floor.

« How did things unfold up there, were you able to see who took the diamonds from the videos? »

« Unfortunately not, » Rick replied. « But the good news is we found something that might be viable to solving who did. »

« That’s better than no leads. »

« How’s everything been holding up down here? » Rick asked

« We’ve sharpened up security, we even called in another guy from our unit, » The security guard informed. « He’s outside looking on for any unusual activity while we’ve got everything covered inside. »

« Couldn’t have planned that better myself. »

« Well good luck with whatever it is you uncovered, we hope to hear back from you soon. »

« And you will, » Rick assured. « Thanks. »

The two of them moved on from there, finding a clear path to the exit. The sky had slightly darkened from the time they had arrived, finding a horde of clouds floating across the way.

« What an affair this has turned out to be, » Rick remarked as they walked. « One of the most fluctuant cases I’ve handled in awhile. »

« Which one, » Heiji asked. « The first, or the second? »

« What do you mean, » Rick asked. « There’s only one thing we were brought here to solve, and we let that thief skip right past us to their chosen prize. »

« There was not one thing that happened here today that convinces me that the note left behind was related to what just occurred. »

« You don’t mean? »

« I believe this was a separate incident, » Heiji said. « Our riddle leaving culprit has yet to play their card. »

« How can you be so sure? »

« If you read in between the lines of what was written, none of it adds up to what just conspired. »

« So you’re saying we’re dealing with two thieves, » Rick said not quite convinced. « And they just so happen to be targeting the same company, that can’t be coincidence. »

« Maybe not, but here, » Heiji said reaching into his pocket. « The sound recorder found is yours now, I trust that you’ll get it into the right hands for examination. »

« Of course. » Rick said accepting the device.

He wasted no time in storing it away in his jacket. He then pulled out a pair of keys from within his pocket.

« Need a ride. » Rick asked as they neared a car aside the road.

« I’d hate to put a hold on anything. »

« Don’t mind yourself, » Rick stated. « Besides, I’ve got a little time to spare. »

« .. Sure, » Heiji accepted after a seconds thought. « Why not. »

He listened to what he had to say, which didn’t take long. He then compared it to what he had come across the previous night.

« So, what’s the final verdict? »

« It sounds like we’re dealing with the same shooter, » Bruce replied. « It’s not often you have two separate individuals intentionally leave behind the weapons used in a murder all in the same night. »

« My thoughts exact. » Dick said.

« Might I suggest a timetable, » Tim said adding his input. « That would give us a correlation of the time in between each sequence. »

« The three dead men were found a couple blocks away from Amusement Mile, » Dick informed. « The time of death is estimated at twelve after nine. »

« Which is a solid length after the first set of deaths, » Bruce said. « That would have given the killer plenty of time to travel across town to commit the next set of murders. »

« I failed to ask earlier,’ Conan said. “But did you happen to run a background check on any of the deceased men, it could prove key.”

« Why’s that?”  Dick asked.

« The nine men found outside of the sporting complex were all members of the Sprang Bridge Soldiers,” Bruce informed. “If the three men you found are part of the same group that would give us a direct connection.”

« Now I see,” Dick said. “I haven’t quite looked into any of that as of yet.”

« What about the weapon used in the assault,” Tim asked. “Have you attempted to trace it back to its owner?”

« Haven’t got to that either,” Dick replied. “Like I said before, I planned on cracking down on things as soon as I pay a visit to that hospital.”

« I’d go with you,” Tim said. “But I have something to attend to myself.”

« Now all we have to do is gather enough information to dish out a list of suspects.” Dick said.

« We won’t have to start completely from scratch,” Bruce said. “Conan encountered someone last night.”

“Someone involved?”

« A possibility is where we stand. »

« It was a man I saw while riding the bus, » Conan said. « It didn’t take much for him to attract my attention. »

« What was so eye grabbing about this individual? » Dick asked.

« Besides the handle I saw hanging from out of his boot, the redness on his sleeve, » Conan replied. « From my angle I’d say it was blood that had dried recently. »

« He sounds more than suspicious, » Dick said. « Please tell me you put a tracer on this guy. »

« I didn’t get the chance to, » Conan said. « I took my eyes off of him for one second, and the next moment he was gone. »

« That always seems to be the case doesn’t it. »

« Where again did you say these murders occurred? » Bruce asked.

« Right outside of Amusement Mile, » Dick repeated. « Why, is there some relevance to that? »

« .. Maybe, » Bruce said looking toward Conan. « Tell me, what stop did you finally get off of the bus? »

« I don’t remember the street name, but I do know the bus only had one more stop to make before completing its scheduled route. »

« And you were on the ’72’ bus, correct? »

« That’d be the one. »

« Elmer street, six minutes away from Amusement High, » Bruce stated. « And you exited the bus at about five after nine right? »

« Five exact. » Conan confirmed.

« And the estimated time of death for the three men was fourteen after, » Dick said. « Anyone who got off of that bus could have made it over to where those killings took place before fourteen after. »

« That only raises this mystery man on our list of suspects. » Tim said.

« So what do we know about this guy? » Dick asked.

« Besides a drawn out sketch, nothing, » Bruce replied before turning to Conan. « You couldn’t have gotten very far from when you got off the bus up until fourteen after. »

« That’s right, you should have heard something. » Dick said.

« Come to think of it, I did hear shots fired, » Conan recalled. « It was right after witnessing a burglary unfold right across from where I hid behind a news stand. »

« Why were you hiding behind a newsstand? » Tim asked.

« That’s a whole nother story. »

« How many shots do you remember hearing? » Dick asked.

« More than three, less than seven. »

« Close, » Dick said. « Five were fired to be exact, all connecting with the three victims except for one. »

« One missed, » Tim questioned. « Where did it hit? »

« It took out one of the street lights, » Dick replied. « Anyone who may have been standing nearby would have found it hard to see what was going on. »

« So now we have a sharp marksman and a strategist. »

« Now I see, » Conan said. « That would explain why he took off so fast after getting off the bus, he must have been anticipating he’d run into those three. »

« Tell me, at any point on the bus ride did you see him engage in any kind of activity? » Bruce asked.

« What do you mean? »

« Did he call or perhaps text anyone during the time on the bus? »

« Not at all, » Conan replied. « He was pretty mute throughout, rarely did he react to anything. »

« If he is indeed our guy, that raises  a question, » Tim said. « How did he know exactly where those three men would be if he didn’t formally contact them? »

« First thing’s first, » Bruce said. « We need to see if there is a connection between them and the other nine men. »

« Agreed, » Dick said in response. « Things will go a lot smoother if that’s determined, I’ll try and have an answer to that by night fall. »

« Be sure to let us know what those tapes reveal at the hospital, » Tim reminded. « I think it’s time we put an end to our hooded woman’s little venture. »

« Long overdue, » Dick said turning for the door. « Keep me updated on anything learned, I’ll do the same. »

He left from there, closing the door on his way out.

« I guess this is the part where we dissect what we have. »

« Right you are, » Bruce said. « Now that we have the times set out, I think it’s time we focused in on the victims. »

« Shouldn’t our attention be more directed on the weapons used? » Tim asked.

« I’ve already given that angle a peak, only to come to a dead end, » Bruce said in response. « I think we’ll have better luck confirming who did this by focusing in on their personal lives. »

« I’m inclined to agree, » Conan said. « Let’s not forget the first set of nine men knew who their attacker was. »

« And if we’re able to connect these three additional killings with the first ones that may clear up some things. » Bruce added.

« I don’t have to leave until four, which is twenty minutes from now, » Tim said checking his watch. « Would you like me to look into each of their backgrounds? »

« We’ll leave that for Dick to handle, » Bruce replied. « I want you to find as much as you can on Norio Hue. »

« Why don’t we run a light search on him now, » Tim suggested. « I’ve got plenty of time. »

« I’d like to have a look at this guy myself. » Conan agreed.

« I don’t see the problem in that. »

He closed all open programs before opening a new window. The two of them stood in wait as he launched a search. The results they were hoping to gain came to the screen within seconds after typing in his name.

« There he is, » Bruce said. « Norio Hue. »

Though he could not see from where he stood, the expression on his face was very apparent.

« What’s wrong? » Conan asked.

« Why don’t you have a look for yourself. » Tim said reaching down to grab him.

He looked forward while being lifted, laying his eyes onto the image before him. Not much registered to the mind upon having his first look. It wasn’t until everything mellowed in that it finally came back to him.

« This man, » Conan said giving the image a hard long look. « I don’t know where, but I’ve seen him somewhere before. »

« Are you sure? » Bruce asked.

« No doubt. »

« He’s right, » Tim said still holding him in place. « Because I’ve seen him as well. »

They continued to move on, following the path instructed to him. The police headquaters came into view as they drove, finding his way to the parking lot before coming to a stop.

« Why are we stopping here? »

« For that device of course, » Rick replied. « I’d like to get it to the lab for examination as soon as possible. »

« Oh, that’s right. »

« You wait here, I’ll only be a moment, » Rick said. « If anyone try’s to radio me let it be, I’ll get back to them in time. »

With nothing further he exited the car, heading straight for the entryway. There was much weighing in on his mind as he sat in wait. There was the uncertainty of the riddles along with the successful heist he had failed to sniff out before it was launched. He pulled out the slip of paper once again to give it yet another read.

« i am solely for the eye beyond all affiliated kins, a tune to Hear with a misdirection Red (1). »

The seconds that followed were used to try and comprehend what it all meant. Whether the diamonds stolen had anything to do with the riddles left behind was still a mystery. He then looked to the second part of the written riddle.

« superior to my the Deceiver, at the Affair shall I appear.. »

It was at second that he really took notice, something he hadn’t given much thought to earlier.

« An affair, » Heiji thought. « What could that possibly refer to? »

This ran through his mind for minutes to come. The door on the driver side reopened a short time later, turning just in time to see detective Gates retake the wheel.

« Hope I didn’t keep you waiting too long. »

« Not at all, » Heiji said. « So how’d things go inside? »

« As planned, » Rick replied. « The examination process will begin shortly. »

« Good, maybe we’ll catch a break with some left behind prints. »

« What’s wrong, » Rick questioned. « You don’t sound all that confident. »

« Whoever took those diamonds set out with a solid plan, and executed just as well, » Heiji added. « What’s the chance they left behind finger prints on something they know would most certainly get examined? »

« ..Good point, » Rick said facing forward. « So what now? »

« We wait, » Heiji replied. « And in the mean time I’ll try to unravel the true meaning of the riddles, I’m almost certain todays events were nothing short of a side ploy. »

« You still want me to drive you across town? »

« Yes, » Heiji replied. « The best thing for us to do at this point is reevaluate all that we have. »

« Well stated, » Rick agreed. « Things have taken a turn from the moment we took on this case. »

He stuck the key into the ignition from there, pulling out of the lot with a turn for the road. The two fell quiet in that instance, both wondering what would be the next made move by the thief on their hands.

There was no mistaking it, there was no doubt in their mind that they had seen this man.

« Norio Hue, » Tim said. « I knew I had heard his name somewhere before. »

« It took a few seconds for it to come back to me as well. »

« You both seem sure you’ve seen this man somewhere before, » Bruce said. « Now where did you? »

« It was when we were aboard the Seawolf, » Conan informed. « A cruise we went on back in Japan months ago. »

« A cruise? »

« It’s a long story. » Tim said.

« Well, you can give me the scoop in time, » Bruce said. « Right now I’d like for you to tell me everything you know about Mr. Hue, what did you learn about him while on this cruise? »

« We didn’t actually talk with him all that much, » Conan replied. « He was more recluse than anything throughout the ride, though we did occasionally see him in the pool room along with a few others. »

« He never did mention his last name during the introduction process, » Tim said. « That’s what took so long for everything to finally register back to me. »

« Besides a few pool matches, was there anything else you found out about him, » Bruce asked. « Any tendencies perhaps? »

« Nothing to that degree, » Conan replied. « But we do know he has a solid military background, he said so himself. »

« That’s a start. »

« With all that in mind, it does raise one alarming question, » Conan said. « What’s he doing here in Gotham, clear across the globe from home? »

To Be Continued
Converting /tmp/phpLirfK0 to /dev/stdout

All Neatly Wrapped
Lead Into The Ashes