Case Closed Fan Fiction ❯ New Trail ( Chapter 87 )

[ T - Teen: Not suitable for readers under 13 ]
The Detective Prince
Chapter 87
New Trail

The time seemingly dragged along, patiently awaiting his return. He looked to the clock hanging from the wall several times over in the time that passed.

« How much longer must we wait for? »

He lowered his eyes from the clock, looking just in time to see him heading back into their direction.

« The results are finally in, » Harold said upon his return. « It took some time to distinguish what kind of wood was found on his arms and back. »

« So what’s the verdict, » Rick asked. « Are the wood chips found on his arm the same as the one found in the wound? »

« Negative, » Harold replied. « The two samples are different. »

« Just as expected. »

« What are the differences between the two? » Rick asked.

« The wood found in his surrounding wound was that of red oak, » Harold informed. « While on the flipped side the wood present on his body was poplar based. »

« So now we have two different types of woods, that probably means there were two attackers after all. »

« I don’t think so, » Conan said stepping from behind the table. « The wood chips around his body weren’t deep enough to imply he was hit. »

« The boy’s right, » Harold said in his agreement. « The poplar found on his back and arms seem to imply something less than force. »

« Like what? »

« Maybe his body dropped , or was stalled away in something made of poplar, » Conan replied. « That would explain why there were several wood bits covering his body. »

« Exactly what I had in mind. »

« But how can we be sure, » Rick questioned. « Do you have anything additional that supports this claim? »

« Then you’re not looking at the details hard enough Mr. Gates, » Harold said. « Everything is laid out in front of us. »

« What do you mean? »

« Isn’t it obvious, » Heiji said. « The poplar found on his body doesn’t appear to have been forced into his skin, unlike the oak. »

« They said that before. »

« Which in affect could imply after his death the body was laid away to be hidden, » Conan said. « Perhaps in a coffin or crate. »

« Made of poplar. » Heiji finished.

« Ok, maybe you two are onto something. »

« I’ll have to examine the body further before we can draw any conclusions, » Harold said. « But at least we’re making progress. »

« That’s a plus, » Conan thought. « But if his body was really stalled away in a poplar crate, what was it doing in Salomon’s home? »

« What about this guy here, » Heiji said looking back to the body. « Was there atropine found in his system as well? »

« Most certainly not, » Harold replied. « But there is something else, I have not yet diagnosed what it is at this point. »

« So we have a guy who was tortured and another who suffered a fatal blow to the chest, then both are left to explode postmortem, » Rick said. « Why? »

« The simple answer would be to destroy evidence, » Heiji said. « But I get the feeling there’s more to it than that. »

« As do I. »

« I’ll continue my assessment of both bodies, » Harold said. « With any luck maybe something we missed will turn up. »

« I better be heading back up, » Rick said after checking the time. « I still have that other unsolved case file on my desk. »

« We’ll come with you, » Heiji said. « There’s not much more we can do until more is learned, which will take some time. »

« You’ll be the first to know if anything additional is learned. »

« I look forward to that, » Rick said. « I’ll try to gain as much ground as I can. »

With that the three of them made their way out past the door.

« That went well, considering. »

« I’d say so myself, » Rick said. « But to avoid any unwanted confrontation with any of the others, I’d tuck your little pal back into hiding. »

He stopped in his tracks, looking back to see him trailing from behind.

« You know.. he’s got a point. »

The skyline fell darkened from the scouring clouds in the surrounding area. They had little difficulty finding there way to the window side of the apartment regardless of the little light. He reached for the window, finding it to be unlocked like it had been from his last visit. The two of them dropped into the dark room, making little to no sound.

« Everything looks the same, it’s clear no one has been here post my last visit. »

He quietly moved forward, following the path of the visible light from where the moon flashed. He walked on, looking to the contents laid out upon the kitchen table on the left side of the room.

« You still haven’t told me why we’re here. »

« To investigate the disappearance of Danielle Walden and his daughter Mera, » Batman replied. « This is a missing persons case. »

« Several people go missing every day, what’s so important about this case in particular? »

He stopped after taking another step, standing there for seconds to come.

« Because I made a promise, » Batman replied. « A promise I’d find them. »

« Am I to assume this is where our missing pair lived? » Robin asked.

« Which is warranted for a second search. » Batman confirmed.

« And what is it we should be looking for? »

« Anything, from the most apparent portrait to the single scrap of yarn, » Batman replied looking his way. « Every subtle detail must be taken in as a piece of an incomplete puzzle. »

He then turned for the other side, heading towards a door on the far right. Each step taken was in proportion with the last, scanning the room from top to bottom as he moved.

« If they are truly alive there could be something here, something I may have missed shadowing to their whereabouts. »

He stopped once reaching the door, wasting no time in examining the door nob, looking to the hinges to check for any damages. He found nothing out of the ordinary in the process.

« The lock and door are in well condition, this is looking less and less as a break in. »

He then focused his sights to the other sections of the room, seeing his partner was already hard at work in his search.

« I think I’ve found something. » Robin declared upon reaching the center of the room.

He kneeled down, holding out his hand to grab what was before him.

« False alarm, » Robin said hearing him approach from behind. « It’s just a loose button and a patch. »

« Let me have a look. »

« I don’t see the importance, but if you insist. »

He handed him both items with nothing further said. He looked them both over for a short period, placing them into an empty slot in his utility after doing so.

« You’re not serious, » Robin questioned. « Do you really think those have any relevance to their absence? »

« To the single thread of yarn. » Batman said in response.

« I’d hardly call that evidence, they could have been laying there for months for all we know. »

« Well noted, but needs to be taken in for consideration regardless. »

« Where do you want to check next? »

« We go. »

« What, » Robin questioned. « You find two little specs and we’re already on our way out? »

« We have what we need, » Batman said. « Besides, everything in here looks unchanged from the last time I visited. »

« And you’re positive this was the last place where they were seen? »

« That is according to the complex cameras, » Batman confirmed. « There was no footage captured of them leaving this building. »

« And where are these cameras? »

« The parking lot, front entrance, and the elevators. »

« What of the stairwell? »

« Where I’m assuming they exited or were apprehended, » Batman said. « That is the only section of this department without the luxury of surveillance. »

« And you’ve checked the stairs for yourself? »

« Enough not to feel the need to look again, » Batman replied. « Come, we’ve spent enough time here as it is. »

He turned back for the window, exiting just as quietly as they had upon entering. He did just the same, following in his foot steps.

« What a waste of time this turned out to be. »

After a lengths time of navigating the skies, the clouds released a shallow rain which lightly touched down with a soft grace. This lasted for several hours, mellowing down into the phase of dawn. He awoke with little sun to be seen, already seated in place as he continued his examination of the samples obtained. Another sweep was ran, not taking long for the results to feed back to him.

« Still nothing. »

In some ways it was what he was expecting to receive, the same results again and again. He was joined shortly there after, hearing the sound of the door crack open shortly there after.

« You’re up awfully early, I expected you’d be in bed for at least another hour or so. »

« I can’t put this on hold any longer Alfred, » Bruce said. « Finding out the connection between the blood and the emblem left on the wall is most staggering. »

« Have you gotten any closer to uncovering what it means? »

« Unfortunately I’m still in the process of that, » Bruce replied. « I’ve already scanned through multiple species, ranging from insects to even bats. »

« It’s only a matter of time. »

« I’ve launched another scan, which will account for all reptilian DNA. »

« And if that’s not a success? »

« That would leave one final group to search, » Bruce replied. « Birds. »

« I wish you the best of luck, » Alfred said. « But that’s not why I’m here, I’ve come with another subject in mind. »

« I’m listening. »

« I received a call this morning from a representative at the Halloway Future’s building, they wanted to thank you for the endorsement. » Alfred informed.

« I see. »

« They also wanted to know if you would be interested in attending the party opening in the coming weeks, » Alfred continued. « As far as delivering a speech of your own. »

« I’ll look at my schedule and then get back to them, later this week of course. »

« I’ll let them know right away. »

« Thank you. »

He left the room from there, leaving the door open. The scan went underway in the seconds that followed. He closely watched as more and more reptiles were blacked out from the list of possibilities.

« What I don’t understand is the use of blood completely unrelated to the crime, » Bruce thought. « Something’s got to give. »

He sat in the company of his thoughts for a time to come. The sound of the door bell came clear to his ears while he sat in observation. He stood up, pushing the chair in as he did. He quickly left the room, heading directly for the front door.

« It’s only ten after eight, who could possibly be here to see me this early? »

He reached the door after a couple more steps taken, opening it to find someone standing from across.

« Special delivery. »

« A special delivery.. I don’t remember ordering anything. »

« All I need is for you to sign here Mr. Wayne. »

He received a clip board and pen, doing as instructed before handing both items back.

« Will that be all? »

« That’s is it, » He confirmed with the shake of his head. « I hope you find your purchase to your liking. »

It was then that a box was handed to him.

« You’re free to call our office if there is anything wrong with your item, until next time. »

He turned away, heading down the fleet of stairs he had come. He watched him for the first few moments only to focus his attention to the package given to him.

« Now, what do we have here? » Bruce thought with the close of the door.

The sound of someone trotting down from the floor above could be heard. Dropping the box to his side he turned to see who was to join him.

« You’re awake. »

« Who was that at the door? » Conan asked.

« A special delivery. » Bruce replied.

« For who? »

He looked down at the package, coming to find who it was addressed to.

« Perfect timing, » Bruce replied. « Says here it’s for you. »

« For me, » Conan questioned. « From whom? »

« Here, why don’t you have a look for yourself, » Bruce said holding the box out in front of him. « If you’re unsure of who sent it I could examine it first. »

« Let’s see here. »

He dropped down from the staircase, walking over to have a look at the box himself.

« It has no return address, » Bruce informed handing him the package. « Were you expecting to receive something from someone? »

« Now that you mention it, I was expecting a little mail, » Conan said looking down at the box in hand. « Just not this soon. »

« What have you been expecting to get? »

« A couple supplements, as some would call it. » Conan replied.

He removed the tape from the sides of the box, feeling a sudden weakness come over him. His fingers dawdled in the moments that followed, hearing the sound of the box touch down to the ground.

« Are you alright? » Bruce asked in concern taking a step toward him.

« I’m fine, » Conan assured. « Just a little tired is all. »

He reached down for the box, bringing it back into his possession. He opened the box with little effort, revealing the contents from within.

« A pair of shades and some shoes, what do you needs those for, » Bruce asked. « If you wanted, we could have gotten you some from the store. »

« These aren’t your ordinary shoes or every day shades, » Conan stated. « They both allow for useful enhancements, like a gadget if you will. »

« I see, » Bruce said. « But why no return address? »

« I don’t know, » Conan replied. « I’ll have to ask him about that. »

« I’m going out on a little drive, » Bruce said. « Would you mind keeping a watch out for the results? »

« Not at all, » Conan replied. « I was just about to ask about that in fact, where do we stand on the matter? »

« All that is left to account for are reptiles and birds,. » Bruce replied. « The scan is in affect now, so we should know soon enough. »

« I’ll keep an eye on it. »

« If I’m needed, just call. »

« Of course. »

« Good, now if you will excuse me, » Bruce said turning for the other side. « I have something I must do before I head out. »

He moved aside, allowing for him to make his way to the kitchen. He then placed both items back into the box before making his way toward the study.

« Talk about fast shipping, I’ll have to call and thank Dr. Agasa, » Conan said. « There’s no telling when I might need these. »

Not much went on from the spot he worked, occasionally hearing the sound of someone moving past from the other side of the wall. Just as he was to have a seat in front of the computer the door could be heard pushing off to the side. This prompted him to turn around, coming to find the two of them entering the lab.

« Back so soon, you two must be very anxious to learn the conditions surrounding this case. »

« Indeed we are. »

« Where’s your other little friend, » Harold asked. « I was half expecting you’d bring him along again. »

« Not this time, he has somewhere to hang for the time being. »

« Have you learned anything since the last we met? » Rick asked.

« I try never to disappoint detective Gates, » Harold replied. « I now know the true cause of death in the case of the first victim. »

« Are you saying the wooden stake to his chest didn’t do him in? »

« That was done postmortem, for what purposes I do not know at this time. »

« Give it to us straight, » Heiji said. « What happened? »

« There were high traces of orellanine found in his system, » Harold informed. « From the amount found, I’d say he received regular dose of it over a few day period. »

« Which ultimately lead to respiratory heart failure, correct? »

« Right you are Hattori. »

« You mean to tell me he was poisoned, » Rick asked. « What about the place of death, were you able to distinguish that? »

« Not an exact location, but I did find something else worth mentioning, » Harold informed. « Found surrounding his body rested mushroom residue. »

« Mushrooms, of course, » Heiji said. « Were they all of the same brand? »

« No, I’ve accounted for five different types thus far. »

« So the guy was slipped some poisonous mushrooms, » Rick said. « I hardly see how that leads us to where he was killed. »

« Then don’t look at it as a whole, » Heiji said. « This in the least narrows down the playing field. »

« Come again. »

« Like Mr. Jones said, mushroom residue was found on his body, » Heiji said. « It’s one thing to have poison in your system, but another to have pieces of the material used in the death connected to ones body. »

« I don’t follow. »

« Tell me, » Heiji said with a step taken. « How many facilities usually carry around poisonous mushrooms, particularly in an environment such as this? »

« You’re right, stuff like that is usually imported from out of state, » Rick said with the snap of his finger. « That’s not something you can easily come by. »

« Which means coming up with a list of all places in this city that carry or have access to mushrooms, » Heiji said. « Then we’ll be a step closer to finding out what played a hand in our mystery persons death. »

« And you’re certain some kind of mushroom is what killed him? » Rick asked looking back toward Harold.

« Not the mushroom, but rather a fungi, » Heiji answered. « Orellanine is a crystalline alkaloid which is found in certain fungi’s, which was most likely attached to the mushrooms the victim was forced to take. »

« Thanks for the quick run down, » Harold said. « And very true. »

« So, he died from some kind of fungi? »

« That’s right, » Harold confirmed with the shake of his head. « I hope you can put this information to good use. »

« More so than you may think, » Heiji said. « We’ll leave you to the comfort of your lab, we now have some stops to make. »

« Right behind you. » Rick said as both turned for the door.

« Be sure to drop in later some time, » Harold said. « There’s no telling what I might have for you. »

« We’ll keep that option open, » Rick said glimpsing back. « Later captain. »

He was the second of the two to make his way out, looking forward to see him gazing over something in hand.

« What’s that you’ve got there? » Rick asked coming to his side.

« The note of riddles left for the employees at Starlest. »

« Have you been able to untwine the true meaning for each one? »

« I’m still working on that, » Heiji replied. « Just thinking about it left me awake for the majority of last night. »

« Why don’t you seek some help from that little detective friend of yours? »

« You’re not serious are you? »

« Why wouldn’t I be, » Rick replied with a slap on the shoulder. « He’s one bright kid, and that’s a compliment. »

« I’ll be sure he receives your praise, » Heiji said. « But on the topic of things, where do you suggest we begin our search? »

« That’s a good question, » Rick replied. « I know just the guy who might be able to point us in the right direction. »

The last set of profiles had generated the same results as before, coming to yet another dead end. He sat back as the final scan proceeded, feeling the urge to fall completely under in the process of waiting. Ten minutes quickly turned into untimely hour. Before he knew it his eyes had closed, drifting away with little to the mind. It was then that the computer alarm ring loudly, flashing his eyes wide to see what was laid onto the screen.

« Match, » Conan read pushing up with a renewed energy. « We now have a match to the blood that was on the wall. »

He reached for the computer mouse, pressing down to view the inner details of the findings. The profile that came to the screen came as a surprise, far from what he was expecting to see.

« This is far from the left field, which raises questions more than anything, » Conan said. « I better call Bruce and let him know. »

« Let him know what? »

He looked across the way to see Alfred had entered the room.

« We now know the type of blood that was present at the scene, » Conan informed. « It belongs to a bird known as the Resplendent Quetzal. »

« A Quetzal? »

To Be Continued
Converting /tmp/phpy5eI8X to /dev/stdout

Aftermath
Stage Two