Case Closed Fan Fiction ❯ Breaking It Down ( Chapter 91 )

[ T - Teen: Not suitable for readers under 13 ]
The Detective Prince
Chapter 91
Breaking It Down

The tune from above struck in response to the hand moving once more, signaling the arrival of the next hour. He looked up to the clock to see it was now five, knowing he didn’t have long until the chosen time was to arrive in a short time.

« Hate to cut it short but it’s about time I headed out. »

« Where are you going, » Heiji asked. « I thought you were in on this one. »

« And I’ll let you know if anything comes to mind while on my travels, » Tim said. « But right now I have to return to that cavern in the city, if that woman shows up I’d hate not to be there to greet her. »

« Hopefully all goes well, it’s about time we caught this woman in her tracks, » Conan said. « In the mean time the two of us will handle this. »

« Good, then I’ll be going, » Tim said turning for the door. « If either of you unravel a location of interest wait for my return before making any moves, we need to be as careful as possible with this. »

« We wouldn’t have it any other way. »

« Then we’re all clear, » Tim said. « Keep your phones close, I’ll call with any updates on the situation. »

« And if we find anything, » Heiji questioned. « Would you like us to call. »

« I might not respond depending on the situation, » Tim replied. « In that case take your findings to Bruce. »

« Sounds easy enough. »

« Good to know we’re all on the same page. » Tim said continuing on.

They stood aside which allowed him to make his way to the other side.

« I probably should have informed him about that Steve Matthews I was alerted about while visiting Living Green, » Heiji thought. « But then again.. I didn’t exactly learn anything, chances are he finds her tonight, leaving that whole scenario irrelevant. »

He quickly refocused himself back to the task at hand, looking down to his side to see Conan closely reading through the riddle once again.

« From your expression I’d say you’re onto something. »

« Maybe, » Conan said in response. « These numbers, there’s something about them. »

« Yea, I noticed that as well, » Heiji said. « Coupled in with the x and y, it does seem to pertain to a hidden location. »

« Or a broader area, » Conan added. « 0, -30, and 105 can all be found on a map of the earth drawn out in a longitude form. »

« That did cross my mind, » Heiji said. « But wouldn’t that be a little too wide spread, it’s obvious this person is focusing in on a particular area. »

« But they’ve spread their message, » Conan reminded. « Let’s remember this isn’t the only city to receive the riddle. »

« You’re right. »

« But let’s not let that blind us to the sought out prize, » Conan stated. « The vocal point is defiantly here in Gotham, after all this is where it all began. »

« And it’s our job to find out the who and why. »

« Let’s take it a step back, » Conan said reverting back. « We have two parts of the first riddle figured, ‘a tune to Hear with a misdirection Red (1)’ and ‘i am solely for the eye beyond all affiliated kins’. »

« They both happen to be the first part of the riddle for each separate sequence. »

« Then we have the follow up in each, » Conan continued. « ..’superior to my the Deceiver’ and ‘at the Affair shall I appear’. »

« I’ve given both some thought, and have a good feeling neither has yet to occur, » Heiji said. « If what I believe is true, those parts of the riddle are referring to what will happen the day or night of the planned heist. »

« Which then leaves us with this most recent riddle. »

« Let’s not forget, we still haven’t accounted for the ‘1’ inclosed in between the two brackets right after ‘a misdirection Red’. »

« That’s something that can easily be over looked, » Conan said. « It’s always the subtle points that hold the deepest meaning. »

« It’s referring to one of two things, either a reference to the location of where they plan to hit or something about them in particular, » Heiji said. « All riddles up to this point have showcased these elements. »

« That’s a good analogy, but let’s be sure to keep our minds open to anything, » Conan said. « A curveball could be handed to us at anytime. »

« Which wouldn’t be surprising, » Heiji said. « The thief in question seems to have a nag for deception, yet another theme within the riddles. »

« There’s still no telling when the thief will launch their spectacle for all to see, » Conan thought. « Which just means we’ll have to pick it up on our search. »

« With all the thought we’ve put into the riddle involving the Lambda, we’ve almost neglected to talk about the first part of the riddle. »

« the prosper of growth isn’t fostered within the past or present, » Conan read. « for the Diamonds eye is for all to see. »

« The second line fits the criteria for all the riddles we’ve dealt with up to this point, » Heiji said. « But there’s something about that first arrangement of words, it doesn’t quite seem to fit in. »

« Past and present are the key words, » Conan said signaling them out. « So in the since we’re dealing with time and distance. »

« In some twisted form. »

« No one ever said this was going to be easy. »

« And from your expression I’d say you’re taking a delight to that. » Heiji commented.

« One thing still doesn’t add up, » Conan said looking up from the sheet. « How did the thief get all of those riddles distrubuted around from city to city, let alone have them all discovered at the same time? »

« That’s a really good question, » Heiji said. « Another thing to think about is the acceleration in their agenda. »

« What do you mean? »

« Starlest wasn’t the first company to be targeted in the past two months like I said before, » Heiji reminded. « In each case after one riddle was discovered at a facility another wouldn’t appear for at least another week. »

« But with this last, only a matter of days, » Conan said. « Their trend has defiantly picked up speed. »

« This whole thing started off with some no named small shop as the first target, then escalated to a common convience store throughout the city, » Heiji said. « Their trend is quite obvious at this point. »

« Moving right up the ladder, » Conan said catching on. « And it appears they’re closing in on their ultimate target. »

« Through all of these phrases and messages there seems to be one key element absent in each, » Heiji said. « What is it they’re after, or want for that matter? »

« Maybe it’s not what they’re after per say.. but rather » Conan said with a pause. « What they have to gain. »

« You know, you might just be on to something, » Heiji said. « That would explain the lack of any known motive. »

A distant surge of energy erupted from within, sending an impulse of proportions throughout. He reached for his chest, feeling the staggering pain from the other end.

« Kudo, » Heiji said taking notice of this. « Are you alright? »

« I’m fine, » Conan assured lowering his hand back to his side. « It’s nothing to worry about. »

« I wouldn’t hold off on that, I think you’d better go in and see a doctor, » Heiji suggested. « Have you experienced any other complications since coming here? »

« I’m fine, I promise, » Conan said. « What matters right now is to solve this riddle, we have to. »

« Alright.. so we’ve got a list of numbers from the most recent riddle, and the known companies associated with Starlest, » Heiji said. « Between the two I believe lies our answer to where our thief will launch their finale. »

« Good analysis, » Conan agreed. « Now comes the part where we piece this whole thing into clarity. »

« Starting with familiarizing ourselves with the layout of the city. »

« Key points or popular features should be a main focus, » Conan added. « It’s possible the numbers could also be referring to an important structure. »

« I had the same thing in mind. » Heiji said. « Now, how do you propose we gather all of this information? »

« We could use the internet, » Conan answered. « But with a database of limitless information in our corner, I’d say that’d be even better. »

« What database? »

« The Library of course. »

The hours quietly drifted along, bringing a clear sky in the wake of the night.  There was little disturbance from where he sat, continuing to monitor the screen in front of him. Occasionally someone appeared as they passed by. He also keyed in on all sounds fed back to him.

« It’s almost here, this is what it has all mounted to… from the day upon my arrival. »

Through the darkness of the room a door cracked, listening to the sound of someone approaching from behind. He wasn’t startled in the least, fully aware of who had come to his services.

« I wish not to disturb you, only to have a check in on the progress. »

« We’re set, on all fronts. »

« And the subject? »

« Not to worry, he’ll most certainly be there… they’ll all be there. »

« As anticipated. »

« Only one final phase remains.. then the true test will begin. »

The room was silent, which it had been for several minutes. There was a feel of distance and uncertainty,  though the voice continued to play back in his mind.

« The devil dances, till dawns beginning. »

This laid within the presence of his conscious. He knew so little about him, yet there was a level of something common. He took to the computer, bringing up the faint image of the man he had crossed on that night. There was nothing to gain, but he still felt the need to do so.

« No known name or alias, » Bruce thought. « Who are you? »

They stayed hard at work from the other room, checking for anything that registered to them as a possible sight of interest.

« I’ve circled all local parks, big named facilities, and even the bridges, » Heiji informed with the look over his shoulder. « What is that you’re reading there? »

« Digging further into the city’s history, » Conan replied. « The answers we seek may lie within the past rather than in the present. »

« There may be some truth to that, let me know what you find. »

« Annotating as I go along. » Conan said adding another line of notes to the sheet of paper.

It was then that his phone sitting across the table began to buzz, ejecting him from his searches for the time being. He reached across, wondering who could be trying to contact him at this hour. He brought the phone to his sights, not surprised at the incoming call.

« I’ve been expecting to hear from you doc, » Conan said. « I wanted to thank you for sending the accessories I asked for. »

« I wouldn’t have had it any other way, I’m sorry for the delay it took for me to respond. »

« No worries, » Conan assured. « I’m fully aware of the time difference between us. »

« I appreciate the thanks, but what about you? » Hiroshi asked.

« I’m coping along just fine, » Conan replied dropping down from where he sat. « Enjoying myself even. »

« That’s good to know. »

« Do you have any updates for me on the matter we discussed before my departure? »

« No, there has been no sign of him, » Hiroshi replied. « I even past by the agency yesterday to take a look for further measures. »

« Still laying it low I see. »

« You’ll be the first to know if any of that changes. »

« I appreciate that, » Conan commented. « Next time the others are around, be sure to give them my best. »

« As always, » Hiroshi said. « Hope to hear from you soon. »

« I’ll be in contact. »

He hung up with the close of the phone all in one motion, wasting no time in heading back to his position to pick up where he had left off. Nothing was said for the first moments, simply looking across to see him skimming through the materials laid out in front of him.

« Who was that you were just speaking with? »

He put a hold to things once again to give him his attention.

« That was Agasa, » Conan replied. « It was merely him checking up on me. »

« I figured that much, » Heiji said. « But I heard you mention some kind of disturbance, is there something I should know about? »

« So you heard. ». »

« Is everything ok? »

« I can’t tell you to be honest, » Conan replied. « Just someone we’ve been keeping a look out for. »

« Some kind of stalker? »

« That could be one way to put, » Conan confirmed. « But he’s only made two appearances, so any label at this point isn’t set in stone. »

« Where and when exactly did you see this guy? »

« The first was across from the detective agency, which was months ago, » Conan replied. « I saw him talking with Kogoro, they were obviously discussing something business related. »

« And that’s what lead to your suspicions? »

« It had more to do with the way they talked, » Conan clarified. »Of course they were open with one another, but everything seemed so discreet. »

« And you’re expecting this guy to make some kind of return? »

« That’s what we’re anticipating, but not in the case of that, » Conan said. « Which leads into the second time I came across him, a day or two after seeing him the first time. »

« And where did that happen to be? »

« At some pre-opening event we were attending for a company, » Conan informed. « He was sitting towards the back of the room in the final row, and since I recognized him I decided to go and investigate. »

« Were you able to find out what he was doing there? »

« Not fully, but did pick up some small details here and there from a device I planted under the table, » Conan replied. « He was talking with someone over the phone about some.. project, I still have the recording saved away if you’d like to hear it for yourself. »

« At any point did you catch the name of the man in question? »

« No, but I did gain that of one of his acquaintances, » Conan said. « …Valden, if I’m not mistaken. »

« Which is most certainly a code name. »

« That’s what I made of it. »

« And you believe this project they spoke of some how relates to Mouri? »

« It wasn’t him he had his eye on that night, » Conan said. « It was Haibara he had his sights set on. »

« And you’re sure of this? »

« He was looking directly at the table, it had to have been her. »

« Am I to assume this has something to do with that organization? » Heiji asked.

« Not this time around, » Conan said. « From the way they spoke, it seemed as if they wanted her for something rather than to cause any harm. »

« That clears out a few scenarios from the equation, » Heiji said. « And this mystery man has yet to follow up with anything talked about on that night? »

« That’s been the story, » Conan confirmed. « But we’re staying alert. »

« I’d like to hear that recording whenever you get the chance, » Heiji said. « I’d like to evaluate it myself. »

« An evaluation of what? »

The two of them turned at the sound of his voice.

« Well if it isn’t my favorite little sword expert,. » Heiji commented upon seeing him aside the door. « Talk about a stealthy entrance, how long have you been standing there for? »

« Not long at all, » Damian replied walking their way. « I’ve only come to fish from you any information you may have gained on the matter at hand. »

« And you plan on catching this thief yourself? »

« If that’s what it comes down to, I’ll see to it that I’m successful. »

« What a delusionist. » Conan muttered.

« So are you going to fill me in or what? »

« That all depends, » Heiji said. « How much do you know thus far? »

« Very little, which is the only reason I’ve come to you for insight, » Damian replied. « Now if you would, the sooner I’m caught up, the sooner we can sketch out a plan of counter. »

« Alrighty then, » Heiji said. « What do you say we start from the ground up? »

« I’d prefer to see the riddles for myself, anything further can be discussed after I’ve made my analogy. »

« Your call. » Heiji said reaching into his jacket.

« I can’t believe we’re actually collaborating with him, especially one with a stretched ego such as his. »

He sat in place for the next moments in silence, watching as Damian laid his eyes to the riddles presented before him.

« I don’t get it, he showed no signs of interest in the case prior to now, » Conan thought. « Why the sudden change… could he possibly be up to something? »

He finally found it in himself to regain focus, looking back to the books stacked out in front of him.

« Each degree in the form of longitude is sub divided into sixty minutes, with each accounting for sixty seconds. »

He tapped the pencil to the side of the desk, continuing his deep accession of of all points.

« This of course presents it in a sexagesimal notion, written out as 23° 2730″ E, » Conan said jotting it down to the piece of paper. « That could be a hint in relation to the thirty. »

He then focused to the other numbers.

« The Prime Meridian is defined to be 0°, » Conan said. « And we’ve also got a zero placed in the riddle, that could be pointing to the main point. »

What remained was the 105, staring down at it for seconds to come. Nothing came to him at the top of his head.

« 105, could it be referring to a western location.. one within this city? »

This and much more circulated throughout his mind as he continued to think.

« We have everything we need from city statues to museums accounted for, then you have the location based riddles, » Conan thought to himself. « With all parts lined up there’s only one thing left to do, to piece it all together. »

The sky remained clear for hours to come. It was just another typical low end night. He continued to observe from where he crouched, his findings mounting up to nothing from his time spent. A gust of driven wind blew from behind just as the a ring came to his ear piece. He wasted little time in pressing down to activate it, keeping his eyes to the grounds below.

« Nightwing here. »

« Where are you now? »

« The east end, no luck here either. »

« I was afraid that’d be the case. »

« I even checked in on a few of his contacts, he hasn’t tried to reach any of them. »

« Keep searching, we need to find Dent before he plays his hand. »

« You really believe he’s got something planned, don’t you? »

« He’s not one to stay hidden with nothing in mind. »

« At this point I’m not sure who we should be more worried about, » Nightwing said. « Harvey, or the person who busted him out of the asylum. »

« Find one, we’re bound to have both, » Batman said. « Then we won’t have either to concern ourselves with. »

« My thoughts exact, » Nightwing said. « What about you, find any leads on the case you’re working? »

« I’m currently standing watch in front of the Iceberg Lounge, » Batman informed. « If  Cobblepot was truly involved with the death of Salomon Green, I’m bound to find my answers here. »

« See anything out of the ordinary? »

« Few have come in and out over the past hour, most customers looking for a night out. »

« Sounds normal enough. »

« Besides that, a few of the employees have been carrying in crates, »

« Crates huh, sounds promising. »

« They’re importing them in from a pick up truck that arrived roughly thirty minutes ago, » Batman informed. « Already traced all production back to an electronics company which confirms its legitimacy. »

« I see, » Nightwing said with a pause. « I wanted to ask you something, about the boy. »

« … »

« I know it’s a security and trust thing to a degree, but do you ever plan on showing either of them inner parts of the mansion, » Nightwing asked. « I only ask because the resources you have to offer could prove useful in their investigation. »

« I see no need for access to the cave, that would be setting the stage to higher limits and this isn’t their battle to fight, » Batman stated. « I allowed them freedom to work the riddles because of the low danger level, and with Red Robin’s added involvement. »

« You’ve seen them in the field of play, you know how formidable they are, » Nightwing continued. « It’s true we haven’t seen how they’d fair under distress, but their work from the sidelines have proven to be most useful. »

« Was that your intent when you brought him here, to have him help crack a case here and there? »

« Not quite, » Nightwing said in response. « It was actually the spring of these recent heart attacks that originated in Japan that opted my decision, gaining his knowledge on the matter was always planned. »

« You can vouch for them as much as you want, but I won’t have any unneeded casualties under my watch, » Batman said. « As the situation stands now, I’m fine with. »

« Then your answer is.. »

« This discussion is over, but if you find anything on Harvey let me know, » Batman replied. « I’ll be active for a majority of the night. »

« Of course, Nightwing out. »

The transmission between the two finally came to an end, leaving only the sounds generated by the city to be heard. He continued with what he had set out to do, monitoring the Lounge for hours to come.

The sky remained clear throughout the night, making way for an early view of the sun. They started off on a quick note, pleased to find their way down a manageable road of light traffic.

« Now this is the way to start a day, with little distraction. » Rick said keeping a firm grip to the wheel.

« You’re sure Living Green is open for business this early, » Heiji asked checking his watch. « It’s only a couple minutes past seven fifteen. »

« They always open at eight on week days, I already spoke with one of the managers over the phone, » Rick informed. « They’ve already been alerted we’re headed their way. »

« That clears things up a little, » Heiji said. « Did you also fill them in on why we’re coming? »

« Of course, » Rick replied. « That was made clear right away. »

« Good, then that means we can skip all introductions and get straight to the task at hand. »

« Glad to see you’re as prepared as always. »

They drove for several minutes more, watching as the hidden areas of the city began to appear upon the continuing ascension of the sun. He paid little attention to what was being broadcasted over the radio, his mind still wrapped around the hidden messages locked within the riddles set for them to solve. His irritation that plagued him for most of the previous day had mellowed down into a form fascination, finding the growing challenge of the unknown to be a satisfying task. It didn’t take long for him to see the half smile across his face, resulting in a grin of his own.   

« You look pleased, has something potentially of importance come to mind? »

« I’ll let you know if anything is concrete. »

« I can agree to that, we can’t afford to be off in any of our findings, » Rick said. « Before we arrive, there’s something I wanted to ask. »

« I’m listening. »

« It’s not so much of a question as it is a clarification, » Rick began. « You know how some things may not be what they appear to be, some times stepping to higher measures to see the job through? »

« That’s the case in most fields, reworking or redefining the way you approach an unfamiliar task is a part of the job. »

« Those you collaborate with on a frequent basis is also a key component to consider, knowing who to trust can be a difficult task in itself these days, » Rick said. « People just like any case can be hard to figure at times, catch my drift? »

« What are you trying to say? »

« Your trust, » Rick replied. « I want to be certain that I have it, that I can count on you at any time. »

« If you didn’t have my trust I wouldn’t be here right now, » Heiji said. « Have no doubt, I’m in your corner. »

« Good, » Rick said looking back to the road. « That’s all I needed to hear. »

He leveled back into the seat, refocusing his thoughts back to the task in the wait.

« We’ve got the time and cause, the only thing that remains in the unanswered death of the mystery man found in Green’s home is the location it all took place, » Heiji thought. « The clear may be uncertain as it has been for days, but with the recent findings we might just be near to having that answered… yet there’s still something about this that doesn’t quite stack up. »

To Be Continued
Converting /tmp/php79gBgi to /dev/stdout

All Called to the Show
The Drain