Case Closed Fan Fiction ❯ Cops and Robbers ( Chapter 10 )

[ T - Teen: Not suitable for readers under 13 ]

Chapter Ten
Cops and Robbers
“All the cops are in place in the royal wing,” Heiji said. “That way, Kid shouldn’t be able ta get near the elevator to the basement, never mind the ruby …”
“Did you check all of the guards?” Kaito asked.
“I shouldn’t think it necessary,” Hakuba muttered. His quiet, pointed comments were growing increasingly frequent as the night wore on, and Shinichi could easily guess what they meant. Problem was, as Hattori agreed, he was inclined to not give them a huge amount of weight, given Hakuba’s obvious jealously concerning Kaito’s friendship with Nakamori-keibu and closeness to Aoko. Still, it would explain Shinichi’s constant, nagging sense of déjà vu, and the guy was a magician, so Shinichi had taken to keeping an eye on him. He had made a lot of useful anti-Kid suggestions, but on the other hand, if he was Kid, he was in a prime position to control how they’d all think about Kid, as well as getting a good look at the security arrangements. Besides, it also got him past the face-tests- he didn’t need a mask when he could waltz in as himself.
No evidence, no deduction,” he thought grumpily as they headed for the control room. It was just past midnight, and he was starting to feel the greater demand for sleep that his eight-year-old body was placing on him. Why did kids need to sleep so much? The “dinner” of museum gift-shop bento wasn’t really helping, either. Ran and the others never did make it through the crowds of rabid Kid fans, and even if they did there was no way they’d get in now, past midnight. Kid hadn’t shown yet, either, but then again, he had over eight hours until the sun rose, so maybe he was just waiting for them all to fall asleep. “Sounds like just the sort of devious plan he’d come up with…
They entered the control room. About a dozen officers were watching what had to be hundreds of security cameras. Heiji looked around in confusion.
“Oi,” he said, waving to the nearest officer, “What happened ta Oyaji and Nakamori-keibu? I thought they were gonna be here.”
“They went to Osaka Castle,” she said. “They figured the line “fit for a king” meant he’ll come from there. I think Mori-sensei went with them.”
“Makes sense,” Kaito said. “But doesn’t that mean only the curator can get into the vault now?”
“Yes, but we’re not going into it until dawn,” the curator explained. “And I’m definitely staying here, so it’ll be noticeable if Kid tries to sneak in as me…”
“Good call,” Kaito said, wandering along to look over the security cams. Then he suddenly swivelled around. “I hate cheap gift-shop bento,” he declared. “Where’s the can?”
“It’s down a floor,” Hakuba said. “I think I’ll show you the way…”
“Can you say stalker?” Kaito said, leaving the room with the blond teen Tantei.
“Well, I can’t see how he’s gonna get in the vault, but that damned thief always uses some trick…” Heiji sighed. “Whaddya think, Kudo? Either of ya?”
“Hmmm… well, I’d say that the vault’s impregnable as long as those defences are active,” Yuusaku said. “But-”
Click
In an instant, they were plunged into blackness.
“Blackout!” Shinichi said, fumbling for the light switch on his watch.
“Cool it, we got a backup generator, remember?” Heiji said. “Any second now…”
“Um… actually, it should have kicked in already,” the curator said nervously. “We set it up so that it activates the second there’s a cutoff from main power… it’s still not up…”
“What happens to the defences if the power goes down?” Shinichi said. “They’re electric. They won’t work now, will they?”
“Damn!” Heiji yelled. “An’ the doors’ll come open… they’re held closed by electro-magnetism so’s they can’t be forced, but if there’s a power loss, they spring open and won’t close, so no-one gets stuck inside… damn!”
Yuusaku was already running for the door. Heiji and Shinichi followed.
Nakamori-keibu, Hattori-keibu and Occhan are at Osaka Castle,” he thought, “And Hakuba and Kaito… shouldn’t be too far… ah!
“Sleeping gas!” Yuusaku said, yanking Heiji and Shinichi back before they ran into the royal wing and a cloud of purple smoke.
“The royal wing,” Heiji said, slightly muffled as he covered his mouth with a handkerchief. “Fit for a king. Dammit.”
The smoke was already mostly dissipated, though, and they could make out the snoozing forms of a dozen police officers, although on closer inspection, two of them appeared to be Hakuba and Kaito.
“It’s been about four minutes since the power went off,” Heiji muttered. “Running, he could be in and outa there by now… It’s not that far if ya know the route.”
“And I think he did,” Shinichi said, kneeling next to Hakuba and the other limp form. On much closer inspection, it was a dummy. A really good dummy, but a dummy. The real Kaito was elsewhere. For that matter, so was Yuusaku.
“Hey… where’d yer Oyaji go?” Heiji asked, looking around.
“He must’ve gotten an idea of where Kid was and gone after him,” Shinichi said, standing up and looking around. “Damn… he could’ve said something…”
“Like father, like son,” Heiji muttered.
“Shut up. Which way to the roof?”
{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{ }{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{} {}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}
Kaito was panting heavily, but he didn’t have time to stop and catch his breath and, anyway, the cold December air was cooling him down fast. Jii had left the door to the roof unlocked, Kami bless him, and hidden behind one of the statues was the life-size dummy that had done some aerial acrobatics for the entertainment of the crowd a couple of minutes before. He checked his watch. He still had five minutes minimum before the sleeping gas wore off, and he needed to switch places with the dummy before that. He primed the smoke bombs hidden within this one and let it loose. Then he held the ruby up to the light of the half-moon.
It was still clear red. It was also clearly not a doublet. No dice.
“Don’t move, Kid.”
He froze up, but out of the corner of his eye he could see him, gun raised. A small smile turned up the corners of his mouth.
Fifty-nine, fifty-eight…
“This isn’t what you’re looking for, you know,” he said, not lowering the jewel. “Snake-kun.”
{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{ }{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{} {}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}
Shinichi caught up to his father at the top of the stairs. Yuusaku was fumbling with the fire door to the roof.
“Did Kid lock it behind him?” Shinichi asked. Yuusaku shook his head.
“Why would he? This is his route back,” he pointed out. “No, this was someone else’s doing.”
Pressing his ear to the door, Shinichi could hear a faint murmur of voices, but he couldn’t make out the words. However, there were definitely two voices. He looked down at the door. It was a fairly old one, with a padlock and a small gap underneath.
The bug just squeezed through. Praying that neither Kid nor- whoever- would notice the tiny object in the darkness, he pressed in the earphone as Yuusaku apprised Hattori of the situation.
“There’s gotta be a key ta this thing on here somewhere…” he muttered, fiddling with the keyring.
… hoping it would be the Pandora. Then I could kill two birds with one stone. Still, at least one of them’s not out of my sights yet…
Going to kill me again, Snake-kun? Or is it Sake? So many codenames. Still, one that isn’t an animal is certainly new. Your subordinates need to exercise more subtlety.” came Kid’s voice. Shinichi felt his breath stop.
Sake? As in…
What will it matter when I kill another of you?
“Found it!” Hattori said, jamming the key into the lock. He, Yuusaku and Shinichi all burst through.
At the far edge of the roof, still recognizable under the black cloak concealing his costume, was the Kaitou Kid. Closer to them was a man who swung around with his gun raised. Black hat, black coat- even his handlebar moustache was black. Shinichi saw a flash as the Kid shoved the ruby into his suit. Yuusaku grabbed the man’s arm, forcing the gun to the ground before he could shoot them. Shinichi popped out a football, ready to stop Kid before he could run and find out what the hell was going on.
Kid was holding up three fingers. He lowered one as the ball popped out. As Shinichi clicked his shoes to life and the man pulled away from Hattori and Yuusaku, he lowered another. As Shinichi drew his foot back and the man raised his gun again, Kid lowered the last one.
There was a huge flash that obscured everything. The ball collapsed and deflated, unkicked, as Shinichi covered his eyes. He sensed someone move past him. By the time he opened his eyes, Kid was gone, and the man was also disappearing across the roof. As Shinichi watched, one of the police- apparently police, anyway- helicopters swooped past and the man leapt in.
That was what made him certain. A man in black. A codename after an alcoholic drink. Associates who had infiltrated the police.
Kid was also up against the Black Organization.
{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{ }{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{} {}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}
Kaito was changed in fifteen seconds. Thanks to Snake, he was rapidly running out of time. Running through the mostly deserted halls of the museum, he made a quick detour to drop off the bag containing his costume and the ruby. Even as he was leaving the room, he saw Jii scurry past and pick up the bag, hiding his own police cap as he did so.
Some of the guards were already beginning to stir, but thankfully, Hakuba, who’d been at the dead centre of the sleeping gas-bomb, was still snoozing peacefully. Within seconds, the dummy was deflated and in his pocket, and he’d slumped down next to Hakuba. Not a moment too soon, either. He’d barely composed his Poker Face into “sleeping” when he heard the patter of three sets of running feet, one considerably quicker and lighter than the other two.
Snake must have legged it,” he thought. “Damn… I was hoping he’d get arrested…
He sensed someone moving closer to him, but kept his Poker Face still. Someone was poking him all over-If I didn’t know better, I’d say it was a patdown, and I don’t think I know better– but he was careful not to react- at first, anyway. After a few, he winced slightly, and a few more and he started to stir. Not reacting forever would suggest either a coma or acting, and he really couldn’t afford to give Tantei-kun and his friends any more suspicions…
“Whuh…?” he muttered, letting his eyes slowly flicker open. “whuzzup?”
He caught Edogawa Conan’s piercing glare. He’d seen it before, as Kid- a little too piercing, as if the boy could see right through him, too damn sharp for a kid- and had to exercise a little more control than usual on his Poker Face to deflect it. A long moment later, the kid stood up and called over to someone, “Hey, Kaito-niichan’s up. How’s Saguru-niichan?”
“Comin’ around,” Hattori called back. “Oi, Hakuba, you alive?”
“What happened?” Hakuba said, jerking upright. “Sleeping gas! Damn that-”
“Sleeping gas?” Kaito asked, sounding deeply confused. Then he rearranged his face into disappointment. “Hey, don’t tell me we missed it!”
“Yeah you did, Ba-Kai-to.”
“Ran-neechan, Kazuha-neechan, Aoko-neechan, Yukiko-oba- ahh, neechan?” Conan said brightly, stuttering on the last word as Kudo Yukiko glared formidably at the boy. Kaito could only remember meeting the woman once, but that evil glare was hard to forget. “When did you get here?”
“The fans cleared out when Kid flew away and blew up,” Kazuha said. “So we came ta read you guys the riot act.”
“You let him get away! All of you!” Aoko raged. “How could you?”
Out of the corner of his eye, he saw Hakuba glaring at him. The blond Meitantei opened his mouth, but Yuusaku cut in.
“When Kid cut the power, the ruby’s defences went offline,” he explained. “I’m presuming you saw him fly in beforehand?”
“Yeah,” Ran said, “he had to do some pretty nifty aerobatics to get past the helicopters, but he made it. About five minutes later, he flew off of the roof and exploded about a minute after that. There was this bright flash, so I couldn’t see well, but by the time the light had died down there was just confetti left.”
Conan, Heiji and Yuusaku all exchanged glances, Kaito felt his insides flip over. “So Kid flew in, cut the power, got past the inactive defences and knocked out the guards, Hakuba-kun and Kuroba-kun with sleeping gas-”
“Huh?” Hakuba said in shock. “Kuroba and I were-?”
“We passed this room on our way to the roof,” Yuusaku said, “and you were both sleeping peacefully at that time.” Out of the corner of his eye, he saw Conan watching Yuusaku with a contemplative frown on his face. Hattori looked confused but was remaining silent. “We followed Kid up to the roof and were just in time to see him leave. There are a couple of points that I need to discuss with Nakamori-kun and Hattori-kun, but I’m afraid that, overall, this heist was pretty cut-and-dried.”
“Yeah, pretty much Occam’s Razor,” Hattori sighed. “Well, I guess there’s nothin’ to do now but get some sleep an’ wait for Kid ta return the damn thing… He generally does, right?”
“Well, yes,” Hakuba said, still looking angry but confused. “He hasn’t kept anything yet…”
“Then let’s go sleep,” Yukiko said with a yawn. “Yuu-chan, let’s go back to the hotel. Ran-chan, when are you and Conan-kun going back to Tokyo?”
“Tomorrow morning,” Ran said, turning to head for the exit as she chatted to the older woman. “Are you coming too?”
“Yes, we’re staying in Japan for a while…”
“Arrrgh!” Aoko fumed. “Well, we might as well get some sleep before Otou-san wakes us up to drag us back to Tokyo and look for Kid…”
“Yeah, well, with any luck, he won’t find out for a while,” Kaito suggested, strolling after Ran and Yukiko. Yuusaku was leaning over and Heiji crouching down to Conan’s level, deep in discussion. The cops were wandering off. Hakuba grabbed Kaito’s arm and pulled him over to hiss in his ear.
“Someday, somehow,” he growled, “I will find the proof I need, and then you’ll rot in jail forever.”
“Good luck with that,” Kaito said, jerking away from him and jogging away. He glanced back slightly, and out of the corner of his eye, he saw Hakuba falling back to talk to Hattori and Yuusaku, Conan trotting alongside the older detectives.
Yeah, what the hell?” he thought, facing forward again. Yuusaku, Hattori and Conan must have seen Snake, he knew. But they hadn’t mentioned that, nor what they surely must have realized- both the Kid that flew away and the Kaito that had been snoozing in the royal wing were dummies. “I’ve got a bad feeling about this…
As it happened, their route out took them through the room displaying stuffed animals. Including, in pride of place, a lion- king of the animal world- which now had the additional adornment of a large ruby in its mouth.
“Hyakuju no o,” Yuusaku commented. “King of a hundred beasts.”
“Oh, you’ve gotta be kidding me,” Hattori complained. Conan didn’t say anything, but when Kaito glanced back, he saw the boy slowly and rhythmatically banging his head off of a small display case full of ravens.
{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{ }{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{} {}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}
{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{ }{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{} {}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}
Since the guy who’s after Kid has been referred to as both Snake and Jackal, I’m presuming he has a lot of contacts and uses a different codename for each one. I’m also presuming that he’s with the Black Organization, because it’s just so much more fun that way (which is why I’ve given him the additional codename of Sake, which one of his subordinates will probably have addressed him with at some point, which is how Kid knows it.)
And thanks, Silvershadowbreeze! That metaphor’s something that popped into my head pretty much the first time I read Magic Kaito, and it’s something I’ve been wanting to use for a long time. I’m glad it worked. 😀
I hope you liked Kid’s solution to the defences, AngelRoy! I can see poor Nakamori-keibu having the spaz of all spazzes when he gets back from Osaka Castle… 😛
I agree that Kid’s going to be surprised enough to drop his Poker Face when he and Yuusaku finally talk, Mel7200, but it might be a while off… things have a bad habit of not going to plan, after all…
I do not claim to own any of the characters in Meitantei Conan. They are the intellectual property of Aoyama Gosho. All characters, couples and locations, if Canon, will be faithful to the manga, so if you’re into fics with weird pairings like Ran and Heiji, the back button is at the top there. The fic may not make sense if you have not read up to chapter 679, which you can do at Onemanga.com, but I advise you to buy the official Tankoban novels (up to volume 27 are out in English at the time of writing) so that Aoyama-sensei can afford to continue gracing us with his imagination. Now, I hope you enjoy the fic! (If you don’t, please see my previous comments re the back button).
Preparations
Ambiguity