Case Closed Fan Fiction ❯ Lead Into The Ashes ( Chapter 83 )

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The Detective Prince
Chapter 83
Lead Into The Ashes

Gaining further access to his file wasn’t hard to accomplish after some extra searching.

« He’s got a little nice history there, » Tim commented. « No run ins with the law at all. »

« That, or he’s extremely careful about how he carries himself. » Conan said.

« His billing history shows little to no activity within the past four months. » Bruce said.

« There must be a good reason for that. »

« He received a check for thirty thousand, only to deposit that same amount two days after, » Bruce said. « That was three months ago. »

« Which would explain why there hasn’t been any recent activity in his account, » Tim said. « He must be living off of that thirty two thousand for the time being. »

« Which makes it difficult to track his whereabouts, » Conan said. « That also means every transaction made within the last few months was done through cash, meaning we won’t be able to check for any of his recent spendings. »

« One thing we do know is that he was recently working in Michigan. » Tim said.

« What part? » Bruce asked.

« Don’t know, » Tim replied. « But it sounded like he was out there on business. »

« With the lack of information regarding his recent activities, there’s no telling how many other cities he might have inhabited for a period of time. » Conan added.

« He’s now here in Gotham, » Bruce said. « Which means it’s time we tracked him down. »

« And how do we do that, » Conan asked. « We have nothing on him. »

« The easy way. » Tim said lowering him back to the ground.

« The easy way, » Conan questioned. « I’m betting more complicated. »

« Isn’t that the fun part? »

« Didn’t say I was complaining. »

« Fair enough, » Tim said before turning toward Bruce. « Looks like we have more on our hands than at first glance. »

« Then we better get started. »

« Which means it’s time to hit the road, » Tim said turning for the other side of the room. « I’ll contact you with any information in regards to Hue, if I’m able to dig up anything additional. »

« Wait up, » Conan said following after him. « I’ll walk you to the door. »

The two of them exited out from there, heading straight for the front door.

« What’s up, » Tim questioned. « Is there something you wanted to ask? »

« It’s about your friend. »

« You mean Conner? »

« Yea, that’d be the one. » Conan confirmed.

« Ok, what about him? »

« I found out about his secret, » Conan said. « Well, sort of. »

« That’s more than good to hear, » Tim said. « Because we had a little wager on how long it’d take you. »

« He didn’t really tell me anything, » Conan stated. « We were in the mist of parting ways before he could, so I didn’t get any real details. »

« And he told you to ask me, right? »

« Pretty much. »

« I’m in a bit of a rush myself, » Tim said stopping after reaching the front door. « But here. »

He reached into his pocket, pulling out a mini device before turning and tossing it to him.

« What’s this? »

« A web database if you will, » Tim replied. « It has anything you may want or need to know. »

« A database? »

« I spent months renewing it from the old one I had created, it has all the names of everyone in good status, » Tim informed. « As well as profiles of the lower branched criminals all the way to the high level ends. »

« So why are you giving it to me, » Conan asked. « Don’t you need it for yourself? »

« I’ve got it set up on my main computer, » Tim replied. « Not to mention a couple of spares. »

« So why give me a copy? »

« For a couple of reasons, » Tim replied. « But none more important than for the task at hand. »

« What do you mean? »

« I want you to go and search through each profile, » Tim answered. « If we’re lucky maybe he’s already on our radar of fugitives. »

« You mean the guy from the bus I encountered? »

« That’d be the one. »

« So what happens in the case that I do pick him out, » Conan asked. « Do you have a way of tracking him down? »

« That’s the plan, » Tim said. « I thought you might want a little something to do, beats sitting around with nothing to do? »

« Of course I don’t mind, » Conan answered. « Anything note worthy you need to let me know, perhaps with the navigation process? »

« It’s all pretty self explanatory, nothing you shouldn’t be able to figure out on your own. »

« Sounds simple enough. »

« If any questions may arise, be sure to give me a call, » Tim said before opening the front door. « I’ll do my best to answer anything that may come to mind. »

He exited from there, only taking a couple steps out before turning around to face him for a final time.

« What’s wrong? » Conan asked.

« Typing in his public name won’t produce you any wanted results, » Tim informed. « If you wish to know more about Conner, you’ll have to type in his classified name. »

« Classified name? »

« Kon El, » Tim informed. « That being with a ‘k’. »

« Gotcha, I’ll keep that in mind. »

« Gotta get going, but I’ll be stopping by soon enough, » Tim said. « Good luck hunting down our guy, if you’re unable to reach me you can always ask for assistance from any of the others. »

He nodded in response, watching as he walked off from there. He closed the door in the seconds that followed, turning back for the house in the process.

« I don’t know who we should be more worried about, » Conan thought. « The hooded woman who seems to be in every direction we arrive, or the mystery man running rabid with no clear motive at this given point. »

This remained on his mind as he made his way back in the direction of the study. There was no one to be seen upon his return, only the sight of the laptop computer which still sat in place was present in the room.

« That’s strange…. where, » Conan thought. « I don’t recall him leaving the room, and I’m more than certain I would have seen if he had gone by. »

He looked from one end of the room to the other before laying his eyes back to the desk.

« Everyone seems to be in a hurry today, » Conan said placing the device given to him into his pocket. « Everyone but me that is. »

He gave the room a last look as he stepped out, closing the door behind him. The next hours were spent accounting for everything laid out, piecing it all together was the difficult part. He wrote down every detail that had been learned in the process, adding anything that came to mind in relation to each case. Before he knew it another hour had passed, hearing the subtle sound of the crooning clock in the next room.

« Nine O’clock, » Conan said checking his watch. « Which makes it just past eleven in Tokyo. »

He pulled up his phone which rested at his side, wasting no time in giving her the go ahead call. It rang for the first few moments, waiting it out till the sound of her voice spoke from the other end.

« Hello. »

« Haibara, it’s me. »

« I was wondering when I’d hear from you again. »

« It hasn’t been that long since our last discussion, » Conan stated. « Two days if I can recall. »

« That sounds about right. »

« Anyway, I called on behalf of your message received last night, » Conan said. « Is everything ok? »

« A message, » Ai questioned. « I never sent you a message. »

« Are you sure, » Conan asked. « The message I received was transmitted from your phone. »

« What did this message say? »

« I remember it clearly, being how far field it was, » Conan said. « A day to commence. »

« A day to commence? »

« That’s right, » Conan confirmed. « That’s what the message read. »

« That’s strange, I don’t remember sending out any messages like that, » Ai said. « Let alone anything to you. »

« At any time did you lose sight of your phone, » Conan asked. « While out of the house perhaps? »

« I don’t recall, no. »

A brief moment of silence ensued.

« It »s probably nothing, » Conan finally said pushing the topic aside. « So, how’s everyone else been doing? »

« They’re doing fine, » Ai replied. « They stopped by just yesterday in fact. »

« What about Agasa, » Conan asked. « Is he currently available, there’s something I’d like to ask of him. »

« He’s not here now, but I could forward the message to him. »

« That will work, » Conan said. « Here’s the thing, I’m going to need a little insurance. »

The higher up he went, the more daring the nightly wind pressed. His destination was well within grasp, pulling his way up to the top of the large city building he climbed to see the grand mansion across the way. He stood there for minutes to come, not because there was a problem per say, but to observe the very layout of its perimeter. It didn’t take long for him to pin point all security measures, knowing he’d have to carefully move in at the point of attack. It was within that moment that the common light shined bright from the far distance, signaling for his attention.

« Looks like I’m needed at the other end of town, don’t have time to answer the call, » Batman said looking back toward the mansion. « I have an important meet here to attend. »

He relocated the few security cameras from where he stood, three to be exact. He took note of this as he planned what his next move would be.

« Two on the right, one on the left, » Batman said completing his scour of the area. « I’m betting there’s more around the front side of the house as well. »

He looked on for a time to come, every seconds used to plot out how he’d get in undetected. It was the cameras in particular that had the luxury of his attention, watching their every movement as they pivoted from one side to another.

« There’s about a twenty second gap in between the time where none of the camera’s have the mid section of the yard accounted for, » Batman said reaching to the side of his belt. « From this given spot I’m approximately 56.6 meters away from the mansion, which is about sixty two yards. »

He held the line gun out in front of him, taking aim at the roof across the way.

« If I can get a decent initiation I should be able to zip over there in under fifteen seconds, » Batman said. « Timing will be key. »

Finding the right spot was the question, keeping his eyes set to the mid section of the roof.

« There, that’s about as clear of a path I’m going to get. »

He kept his eyes to each of the cameras as he took aim once more, knowing his timing had to be second to none. He waited for their routine rotation to pass once more, wanting to be sure about his earlier observations.

« Only have one shot to make this work. »

He took aim once more, steadily holding it in place. He kept his poise up until the moment it was time to release.

« Now. »

He launched forward with the spring of the hook line, precisely connecting with the chosen spot of the roof as he found himself soaring down to his destination. He touched down with little to no sound, pleased after looking back to see he had beaten the rotation of the security cameras.

« Now, » Batman said standing from where he hunkered. « To get some answers. »

The stream from nearby echoed past his ears, picking up its fresh scent throughout the air. He took note of something at the right side of the roof just as he was to walk. It was too dark to tell what it was from his position.

« What do we have here? »

He strolled over to come across something he was not expecting to find, kneeling down to give it a closer look.

« Just as I thought, a velux, » Batman said turning to see another further up. « Now to see if it’s unlocked. »

He placed his hand onto the window, feeling his way around to become familiarized with its set up. He felt something standing in place as he outlined the right side of the window, uncertain of what it was.

« It feels like some kind of handle, maybe if I, » Batman said giving it a tug to pull it aside. « It doesn’t get any easier than that. »

He looked down into the dark room below, unable to see anything from where he stood. He switched the cowl’s lenses to night vision, coming to find what appeared to be a storage room of some kind. With that in mind he dropped down with a light thump, standing to his feet soon after.

« Now to have a word with Mr. Green. »

Even with the lenses set to night vision it was still difficult to make out several of the items scattered throughout the room. Crates were stacked on each side, doing his best to carefully manuver around each with little to no sound. He finally reached the door at the opposite side of the room before turning back to notice something printed on one of the crates.

« What’s this? »

He moved in to get a closer look, focusing in on the visible print.

« Ocean Sea Bound Labs, » Batman read. « I don’t believe I’ve heard of this company. »

He then checked the other crates, confirming they as well had the same name stamped upon them. More than curious he stepped up to one of the crates, giving the top a slight tug to remove it. What he found inside was nothing short of the unexpected.

« Gnome yard decorations and several pounds of enclosed cocaine, » Batman said before laying the top back into place. « Not exactly your common heavy artillery, I wonder if this is the case with the rest of the crates. »

He turned back for the door, reaching out to grab the handle with a turn.

« Don’t have time to check them all, but I’ll make it a priority to ask Salomon about his pricey collection he’s got concealed here. »

He quietly closed the door after stepping out, finding himself standing atop a fleet of curving stairs that lead to the lower levels. He moved with care, as not to make any sound on his way down. Though he had not detected it upon entering, the further he descended the more he felt something was off. It was then that he picked up the faint scent, knowing something had happened.

« That odor… could it be? »

He reached the base of the stairs a short time later, stepping down to the next floor. He turned to the right, following the scent which continued down the long hall. His guard was now higher than ever, glancing up at a portrait on the left wall as he walked. The odor only became stronger, coming to a stop after reaching a door on the right side.

« This is it, it’s coming from inside this room. »

He turned the handle to find it unlocked, slowly cracking the door open to have a peak inside. The light generated from the moon gazed in from the left window, lighting a small portion of the room. It was then that he saw it, looking to the center of the room to see someone strapped down to a chair. He didn’t have to move in any closer, already knowing it was too late.

« Not exactly the encounter I was hoping for. »

He took a step in, caught by the surprise of a splash from under foot. He wasn’t sure what it was, more concerned with the condition of the dead man tied to the chair. He reached the body with a couple steps taken, wasting no time in beginning his examination.

« No clothes, and strapped down with barb wire, » Batman said leaning in for a clear look at his face. « This is Salomon Green alright, but what could have conspired that lead to this? »

He knelt down to a knee to give the rest of the body a look. And just when he thought things couldn’t get any worse he took notice of the disturbance from below.

« His genitals are missing, that changes the outlook of of this whole occurrence. »

The sound of something touching down to the ground grabbed his attention. It was then that he noticed a tube hanging out from his right rib, watching as what remained of his blood continued to drip down to the ground. Everything became clear at that point, knowing what he had stepped on upon entering the room.

« He’s nearly been drained dry, with the floor being filled with his blood, » Batman thought. « But who would do this, and why go to such extreme lengths. »

The bitter smell continued to kick in with each second. He slightly leveled his head up to see something had been drawn out along the wall, wasting no time in recording a shot of it with the use of his cowl. As he stood back to his feet to go and give the drawings a closer look he took note of other shoe prints embedded in the blood soaked floor besides his own.

« There’s at least three different sets of prints there other than my own, » Batman said. « Which means there was more than one person involved in this little episode, now to try and determine the time of death. »

He turned to face the body once again, laying his hand on the side of his neck to check the temperature of the body.

« Algor mortis has long kicked in, » Batman said. « I’d say he’s been dead for at least an hour and a half, maybe two. »

Yet another odor came to his senses within the next moment, though not quite as potent in its scent as that of the blood.

« That stench….. gasoline, » Batman thought. « But where, where is it coming from? »

He then looked to the ground once again, reaching down to swap a portion of the blood into the palm of his hand. After giving it a smell it was clear where he had picked up the additional aroma.

« There’s gasoline mixed in with his blood, this whole visit is becoming more complex by the second, » Batman said. « The question is, why drain him of his blood? »

He then took notice of something stretched out across the ground toward the darker ends of the room., moving in closer to find what appeared to be two cords.

« I wonder where these lead to. »

He followed the trail of the cords, glimpsing over at the drawing on the wall as he did. They eventually lead him to a closet in the far right corner. He reached out to pull it open, finding it to be rather stiff as he did. The path of the cords came to an end, coming to find that they were connected to two separate fairly large propane tanks.

« So I see, they’re not cords after all, » Batman said. « But rather thick wires connected to these tanks. »

It was then that all fell into place, gaining a spark of realization within that very moment.

« A murder scene, gasoline mixed blood, and a batch of loaded tanks, » Batman thought. « This can only mean… »

The sound of the door cracked open from behind, almost instantly spinning around to see someone standing in the doorway. His view of the figure was something of a blur, memorizing what details he could as he watched them raise a hand.

« Who are you?! » Batman demanded.

He received nothing in return, only that of the figure switching on a lighter which they held in their left raised hand.

« The devil dances, till dawns beginning. » A soft voices poke.

The mystery man then tossed the lighter into the air before falling out of sight back into the hall. He had no time to chase after him, darting straight for the window on the left side before the lighter could reach the ground. He lunged forward with a leap, shattering the glass on his narrow escape out. The mansion exploded on his descend down to the river below, holding his breath just before crashing into the water. He resufaced moments later to see the whole area had disbursed into flames from the explosion, knowing he had just let one go.

« Looks like I was more than late. »

He continued to gaze up at the sight of destruction as he flowed down stream.

« Who was that man, and what was he doing there, » Batman thought. « I may have failed tonight, but… this is far from over. »

The night had come and gone. Only fragments and the ashes remained of the Green mansion come that next morning, small portions being carried away by the daily breeze come dawn.

It was an early start for him that next morning, navigating from page to page with an increased pace every minute that past. He leaned back in the chair after observing yet another page.

« Giving in so soon? » Damian asked from aside one of the many book shelves.

« I’ve looked through many of the profiles on this device for over an hour now, and haven’t found anything, » Conan said in response. « I think a break at this point is warranted. »

« I would take over, but I have no idea what this guy looks like. »

« I’m having a hard time remembering myself, » Conan said. « Everything happened so fast. »

« I still don’t see how you didn’t get a clear view of his face, » Damian said. « Being that you were on the bus with him for a period of time. »

« Like I said before, he had a ski cap over his eyes, » Conan reminded. « That made it difficult to see his face. »

« What about his arms, any distinct details, » Damian asked. « Scars, tattoos perhaps? »

« Can’t say for sure, he had on a jacket, » Conan replied. « He was basically covered from head to toe. »

« And going off of his choice of garbs isn’t going to gain anything, » Damian said. « That is unless he wore anything custom made. »

« No depth there either, » Conan said. « Nothing he wore from what I could tell had his name sewn on it. »

« Not even initials? »

« No, but even then that would have been pushing it, » Conan said. « For now we’re stuck with a sketch, and this database of possible suspects. »

« And to think, you couldn’t even plant a tracker on this no named bloke, » Damian remarked. « Can’t get anymore incompetent than that. »

« That didn’t take long. » Conan muttered.

He quickly brushed this off, attending back to the profiles just as the door to the room slid open.

« I thought I might find the both of you here in the book room, » Alfred said stepping in. « What is it you’re working on there? »

« I’m using this computer to navigate through a series of profiles within a database that Tim set up. »

« May I ask why? »

« To see if anyone within this database resembles the man I saw the night before last. »

« If there’s anything I can do to help, just let me know. »

« Of course, » Conan said. « Speaking of which, have you heard from Tim anytime today? »

« Oh yes, he’s currently at Wayne Enterprises awaiting an important meet. »

« What about my father, » Damian asked. « I haven’t seen him all morning. »

« He never returned from last nights occasion, he only called, » Alfred informed. « He said he had something important to look into. »

« So he never returned, at all? » Conan questioned.

« If he did it would have been after I turned in for the night, » Alfred replied. « Which would have been after two some time. »

« Any idea what happened last night, » Conan asked. « I mean, he must have a good reason for not returning. »

« The man he had hoped to speak with was found dead in his home last night, » Alfred informed. « Salomon Green. »

« And there goes our link, » Conan thought. « Right down the drain. »

To Be Continued
Converting /tmp/phpYF7LQD to /dev/stdout

A Face to Remember
Unexpected Results