Case Closed Fan Fiction ❯ The Closing Hours ( Chapter 96 )

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The Detective Prince
Chapter 96
The Closing Hours

It was just after ten upon his arrival. He wasted no time, heading straight for the station doors. The room wasn’t nearly as crowded as it had been on his last visit after entering, only two officers who stood behind the front desk were present. He made his way up to the two, placing his hand to the desk after coming to a stop.

« The commissioner, where is he, » Heiji asked. « It’s urgent that I have a word with him. »

« Who are you? » One of them asked.

« Don’t mind him, » The other answered. « He’s been lending a helping hand as of late. »

« I had no idea. »

« Gordon came in earlier today, if I’m not mistaken he should still be up in his office, » The officer replied looking back to him. « I haven’t seen him come down since. »

« Appreciate the help, I’ll go take a look. »

« Won’t you be needing a key to access the stairwell? » A familiar voice spoke from behind.

« Rick, » Heiji said turning to face him. « Just the person I was hoping I’d run into. »

« What so important that requires you to meet with the commissioner? »

« Walk with me. »

« .. Ok. » Rick said following with a look of confusion falling to his face.

They walked to the door located on the right side of the room. From there he removed the set of keys attached to his belt before unlocking the door, allowing for the two to progress into the stairwell.

« So, » Rick said snapping the keys back into place. « What is it that has you so wired up? »

« What gave you that assumption? »

« Well, you do seem to be a little more anxious than usual. »

« With good reason, Kelver Side Crafts isn’t where the thief plans to be tonight. »

« How can you be so sure? »

« The riddle would seem to point otherwise. »

« Ok then, » Rick said as the two began their ascension up the stairs. « If not Kelver Side Crafts, then where? »

« A structure known as the Futures Building. »

« The Futures Building, » Rick questioned. « You mean that place holding its grand opening? »

« That’d be the one. »

« I’ve read over the riddles several times myself, I don’t see why that’d be the place. »

« You’ll know soon enough, » Heiji said. « All will be explained when we reach his office. »

« I hope he knows what he’s doing, » Rick thought to himself. « Then again, he hasn’t been wrong yet. »

They continued onward, finally arriving to the third floor. The two advanced down the hall, turning to see his office sitting in the waits. They could clearly hear voices coming from the other side prompting them to stop.

« Sounds like he’s already in the middle of something, think we should hold off until he’s finished? »

« Nonsense, » Rick said. « Especially not with something as important as what you have to share. »

He stepped up to the door with a light knock, gaining the attention they were hoping to get.

« The doors unlocked, come on in. »

They did just that, entering to find Gordon sitting at his desk accompanied by two other officials sitting across from him.

« Sorry to disturb you commissioner, but our good friend here believes to have some important information to share. »

« Well of course, » Jim said. « Why don’t you pull up that chair from the corner there. »

« No need, I don’t plan on being long. » Heiji declined.

« Alright then, tell me what’s on your mind. »

« The riddles and the thief . »

« Then you’ve come to the right place, » Jim said. « I was just discussing that very disturbance with our guests here. »

« Major Gaffeny, » One of the men spoke turning in his seat. « From the Marple Philadelphia region. »

« And this gentleman here is Lieutenant Herman, » Jim said pointing to the man seated opposite of him. « A well respected man from West Virginia. »

« It’s a pleasure to be joined by you all. » The Lieutenant spoke.

« We’re all here for the matter you speak of, » Major Gaffeny said. « So if you would, what information might you have regarding tonights event at Kelver Side Crafts? »

« That’s just the thing, all signs point elsewhere, » Heiji said. « I don’t think that’s where the thief plans to show. »

« Say what? »

« The Futures Building, » Heiji replied. « I’m sure you’ve been informed of its opening by now, which of course happens to be tonight as well. »

« On what grounds lead you to believe that’s where this heist is to be launched? »

« The riddles, » Heiji replied. « The very same riddles we’ve all been going through for the past days. »

« I can assure you Kelver Side is the place, » Lieutenant Herman said. « I’ve gone over the riddles several times myself, as have many other trained experts. »

« Every one who has read the riddle including myself agrees that Kelver Side Crafts is the place, » Major Gaffeny added. « Not only does it fit the category, but  also has cause for interruption. »

« By that, he means the bidding to be held, » Lieutenant Herman clarified. « That would be an idle scenario for a thief to want to make an attempt. »

« If you let me explain you’ll see that. »

« We’ve already set up for tonights event, which we’ve intensely prepared for in the last twenty four hours, » Major Gaffeny interrupted. « Pulling out now isn’t an option, especially with all departments lined in to see this all come to an end. »

« Unless you can present to us solid proof of your claims legitimacy I’m afraid we aren’t looking to move elsewhere. » Lieutenant Herman said. « There’s too much riding on this. »

« I understand your uncertainty, but if no one is there to scale the Futures Building the thief may get away again. » Heiji declared.

« Which could also be the case at Kelver Side Crafts. »

« I’m not suggesting an overhaul of all units transporting from Kelver Side Crafts to the Futures Building, » Heiji clarified. « But if we could at least get a sum of men on both ends that would be of great help. »

« Like I said, everyone is already in position for what is to come. » Major Gaffeny restated.

« Lieutenant Herman and Major Gaffeny, do you think I could have a minute alone with these two? »

« Well of course, » Lieutenant Herman said standing to his feet. « Take all the time you need. »

Major Gaffeny nodded, following Lieutenant Herman who made his way out. He waited for the close of the door, looking to the two of them as he stood up from where he sat.

« You seem pretty certain about this. » Jim said.

« I am. »

He turned to the window side, placing his hand to the wall. He stood there for a time to come, neither aware of what was running through his mind.

« Four.. six men. »

« What? »

« I’ll have six men from this department join you at the Futures Building tonight, » Jim said turning back to face him. « One which will include Mr. Gates here. »

« Thank you, » Heiji said. « You won’t regret this. »

« Will you be joining us? » Rick asked.

« I’m afraid I won’t be able to join you, as you know my presence is expected at Kelver Side Crafts. »

« I understand. »

« If anything does happen to unfold from your end, don’t hesitate to contact me, » Jim said. « We’ll get all units in your direction if you are indeed correct. »

« Loud and clear. »

« Good, now you’re free to go, » Jim said. « I’m sure you have some setting up to do before tonight. »

« Yes, of course. »

« Detective Gates would you send both Major Gaffeny and the Lieutenant back in on your way out? »

« I’ll see to it. »

The two turned for the door, stepping out into the hall to see the two of them standing against the wall across from the door.

« We’re done here, » Rick said. « The commissioner would like to resume talks with the two of you. »

« We’ll head right on in. » Gaffeny said in response.

They did just that after the two passed. The two of them continued down the hall, heading back in the direction of the stairwell.

« I’m surprised. »

« Surprised, surprised at what? » Rick questioned.

« Not once did he ask about the details surrounding my claim, » Heiji said. « You would have at least thought he’d have wanted to know my thought process on the matter before giving the nod for this to take shape. »

« That was rather unexpected, but your deductions up until this point have been stellar, » Rick complimented. « That might have played a hand in his decision. »

« Doesn’t sound too far fetched. »

« Besides there will only be six of us, if you’re wrong we’ll only suffer a small margin of miscue, » Rick said. « But if you’re right, you’ll be the hero after all is said and done. »

« I wouldn’t put it that way. »

« It doesn’t matter how you choose to view it, that’s what the headline will label, » Rick said in response. « Now come, we have some arrangements to see through. »

The sound of the bell could clearly be heard from his position in the kitchen. He hurried along, making his way to the front door with the check of his watch.

« I wonder who this could be, I’m expecting any visitors at this time. »

He pulled the door aside within that instance.

« Tim, » Bruce said a bit surprised. « Why ring the bell, you could have just walked in. »

« The door was locked, and I just so happened to leave my spare back at the house. »

« I see, » Bruce said moving aside to make a path for entry. « So, have you acquired any new information? »

« It’s just as we thought, » Tim said stepping in. « The Starlest that was first victimized by the thief is completely aligned with the police headquarters. »

« And were you able to determine what was located directly in between the two? » Bruce asked shutting the door.

« There was nothing but a road intersection, but catch this, » Tim said. « If driving at a pace of thirty miles per hour further to the west from that spot you will reach a theme park known as Mount Zomoph in a time of exactly an hour and five minutes. »

« 30, and 1: 05 minutes could be referring to the 105 in the riddle, » Bruce said. « The key numbers in the latest riddle. »

« It doesn’t end there, believe it or not Mount Zomoph is in the location where the first Starlest was planned to be built four years ago, » Tim informed. « I happened to come across that bit of information upon my deeper searches. »

« One hour and five minutes, what are the details surrounding that, » Bruce asked. « Does that include traffic estimation as well? »

« Using a computer simulation I eliminated all turns and disturbances that were present and created a straight line from the road intersection all the way to point B. »

« Long night I presume. »

« I’d say, » Tim admitted. « But I still don’t know how Mount Zomoph relates to this all. »

« Only one way to find out, » Bruce said. « You’ll have to make a trip down there, taking a closer look at the grounds might lead to something insightful. »

« Maybe even a hint to what they plan to steal or do tonight. »

« Tell me, how long has this theme park been in fruition? »

« This will be its second year in business. »

« Doesn’t sound like an important detail. »

« You plan on coming along, right, » Tim asked. « There’s plenty of ground to cover. »

« You’ll have to collaborate with one of the others in that regard, » Bruce replied. « I still have some final arrangements to make before tonights big event. »

« The others are busy with a lot as well, looks like I’ll be tackling this one solo. »

« Trip, what trip? »

The two turned at the sound of his voice, looking to see he was already half way down the staircase.

« You’ve finally come from your room, » Bruce said. « How do you feel? »

« Remotely better, » Conan said stepping down to the main floor. « Did you get the results back on my blood. »

« Not yet, but I’ll get to it soon. »

« So this trip, » Conan said directing his attention to Tim. « Where exactly are you going?

« To a theme park located a little over an hour from here, » Tim replied. « We think it might have something to do with the thief has on their agenda. »

« I’d like to hear how your searches mounted up to that. »

« It’s nothing more than a hunch at this point, but we’re looking at everything that comes our way. »

« Mind if I come along, I could use a breath of fresh air, » Conan said. « Especially after being stashed in here for the last day. »

« Are you sure you’re feeling up to it, » Tim questioned. « You don’t plan on falling unresponsive on me do you? »

« I can assure you I’m fine, I’m feeling more than up to the task. »

« Alright. »

« An alright as in yes I can come? »

« Yea, just be sure to alert me if any of those unusual symptoms resurface, » Tim said. « Or anything else strange for that matter. »

« So, when are we leaving? »

« As soon as possible, » Tim said checking his watch. « If we were to go now we’d get there at around three thirty. »

« And the grand opening at the Futures Building is set to take shape at six this evening, » Bruce added. « We don’t have much time, only a matter of hours. »

« Which means getting a move on, » Tim said looking back to Conan. « Is there anything you need to do before we head out? »

« No, but I do have one last question, » Conan replied. « What is considered this cities greatest structure? »

He had done his fair share of traveling that morning, finding himself standing in wait for the arrival of yet another bus. Without realizing he leaned back to the light pole, feeling the vibration of his phone around the same time. He looked down, taking all but a few moments for him to recognize the number before taking the call.

« Mr. Fournier, » Heiji said. « I was wondering when I’d hear back from you again. »

« I have more details concerning the matter we discussed. »

« Have you gotten any closer to finding the employee in question? »

« Not quite, but I have a lot of information to share with you, » Lonard replied. « With your expertise I’m sure you’ll have this under wraps in no time. »

« I’ll do my best, » Heiji said. « When would you like to meet to discuss these new emerged details? »

« As soon as tomorrow, » Lonard replied. « Between the times of eleven and noon, sound good to you? »

« Works perfectly. »

« Great, I’ll get back to you later on with information in regards to a meeting place. »

« Take your time, we’ve got a full day ahead of us. »

« Of course, » Lonard said. « Pleasure speaking with you again detective. »

« With you as well, » Heiji said. « Until tomorrow then. »

Their conversation ended with those final word. He put his phone away just in time to see the bus heading his way from the end of the block.

« That couldn’t have been timed any better. »

The voices carried throughout, from those standing in line all the way from the other side of the wall. They had been waiting in line for a little over three minutes, quickly finding their way close to the front.

« Things are moving along much quicker than expected, just a minute ago we were near the back. » Conan said.

« They must have good transitioning. »

« What time do you have? »

« Thirty two after three, » Tim replied. « Right on schedule, with time to spare even. »

« How long do you envision this search lasting? »

« Any range from an hour and a half to an hour, » Tim replied. « That leaves us with a tight window, but still enough time to get back and prepare for the journey to the Futures Building. »

« Now the question becomes what to look for. »

« I’ve been contemplating that the whole way here. »

That very questioned loomed largely as the line continued to move forward. They arrived to the ticket booth shortly there after, purchasing their tickets before joining all others who had already inhabited the inside of the park.

« So this is Mount Zomoph, » Tim said observing the surrounding area. « Now, where to start? »

« So what’s the plan, » Conan asked. « Do we look around together or split? »

« We’ll get this done a lot sooner if we take our searches in separate corners of this place. »

« My thoughts exact. »

« We’ll keep in contact by the minute, if you see or hear anything give me a ring, » Tim said. « Even a gut feeling about something. »

« I’ll take everything to the right, » Conan said. « I’ll leave everything on the left for you. »

« Either way, let’s just try not to leave this place empty handed. »

« That never crossed my mind. »

« Then it’s settled, » Tim said turning for the left. « Keep your eyes peeled, I’ll check back in with you soon. »

« I’ll be waiting. » Conan said before turning for the right.

He casually headed in his chosen direction, passing by a set of slot machines where another line could be seen. He stopped not too much further ahead, looking from one side of the park to the other in hopes of finding something that might relate back to the riddle. He saw nothing of this sort, only that of much amusement on all fronts.

« Nothing yet, » Conan thought. « I need to keep looking, there has to be something. »

The premises had finally come into view after a time of driving. The cab came to a stop upon reaching the gate. He stepped out, giving him the wave to see the cab head back in the direction they had come.

« Time to report in. »

He headed toward the gate only to have it open before reaching it.

« Looks like they’ve been expecting me. »

The gate automatically closed behind him after stepping in. He made his way across the lawn to the fleet of stairs in the short distance away. He trotted up to the top before coming to a stop after reaching the door. He lifted his hand to give it a knock, only to have the door open before an attempt could be made.

« Come in, » Bruce greeted. « I’ve been expecting you. »

« You don’t say, » Heiji said accepting his invitation in. « I presume it was you who unlocked the gate. »

« Using the remote, » Bruce confirmed. « How did things go at the station? »

« A couple of the guys were skeptical as expected, » Heiji replied. « But regardless of that Gordon made the decision to have six of his men attend the grand opening for the Futures Building tonight. »

« I would expect no less, » Bruce said. « I’m familiar with several of the employed officers in town, did he happen to mention who he’d be sending? »

« Detective Gates will be there, as for the others no idea, » Heiji replied. « Does it really matter? »

« In these parts, yes. »

« I could call to find out if you’d like. »

« Don’t bother, it’s not as important as seeing the mission through, » Bruce said. « As long as we keep our positions as discussed we should be in good condition, regardless of any other outside elements. »

« Just so we’re clear, where is it you wanted me to be? »

« You’ll stand in the foyer along with the other guests, » Bruce replied. « Your objective will be to scour the crowd for any suspicious people or out of the ordinary ongoing activity. »

« Sounds easy enough, » Heiji said. « And where will you be? »

« I haven’t been given the full schedule for this evenings events, but I’d imagine I’ll be dinning in more than one spot over the course of the night. »

« Which means the rest of us need to be at the top of our game, » Heiji said. « Anything else I should know? »

« Nothing else that concerns your task, I’ll handle the rest. »

« While we’re on the subject, where’s Drake, » Heiji asked. « He said he’d be stopping by hear at some point today. »

« He left to check on a lead that was brought to his attention. »

« And Kudo? »

« He went with him, » Bruce answered. « That was over an hour ago, I don’t expect their return until at least five. »

« That’s a tight window, that must mean they plan on meeting us at the Futures Building, » Heiji said. « Speaking of which I better head back to the house. »

« For what? »

« My apparel, » Heiji replied. « I need to dress in something more presentable than what I have on now. »

« Don’t bother, we’ve got a wide selection of clothing here, » Bruce said turning for the stairs. « I’m certain we have something in your size. »

« Are you sure about this? »

« Of course, » Bruce replied. « Besides, it’ll save us some time. »

« Alright, » Heiji said following his lead. « Right behind you. »

Every activity had been looked into, from the many rides that filled the park to the additional side ploys that occurred off to the side. He had completed his search of things on his side of the theme park, coming to a stop after reaching a gift shop he had passed by just minutes prior. He stood there for a time to come, now focusing his sights to those moving about. This lasted for minutes to come, finding nothing out of the ordinary in anyones behavior.

« I’m starting to think there’s nothing to find here, » Conan thought. « He might have been off on his deduction all together, but could it be coincidence that this location is where Starlest was planned to be built? »

He tried keeping a flexible view on things as he leaned to the wall, finding his eyes staring to the large ferris wheel that occupied the center of the park. In the brink of the moment he saw it, standing high and vast as it had been his first time seeing it.

« Nano High, » Conan said pushing away from the wall. « I had no idea we were on this side of town. »

He found himself in that position for seconds to come, thinking of any other possible areas he might have neglected to check in the process.

« The bathrooms, I have yet to check any of them, » Conan said with the snap of his finger. « Now.. where to find them. »

It didn’t take long for him to spot one, looking over to the left from where he stood to see them in the near distance. He casually made his way over, dropping his hands to his pockets as he did. About half way across he was stopped in his tracks, blocked off by a man in an orange jump suit and cap who stepped in front of him. He had no idea who it was, staring up to have a pair of dark blue eyes gazing down at him.

« You looking to use the bathroom kid? »

« .. Yea. »

« Sorry to say, but this one’s currently out of order. » The man informed.

He then took notice of something hanging from out of his pocket, an antenna of some kind.

« Who are you? »

« Janitor Garrett. » He replied pointing to the badge upon his shirt. « If it’s urgent there is another bathroom on the other side of the park. »

« What’s wrong with this one? » Conan asked.

« Trust me, » Janitor Garrett said standing tall. « It would be an awful sight to see, a deadly experience even. »

« That doesn’t sound good. »

« It isn’t, but I should have this trash taken out in the coming minutes, » Janitor Garrett said with a deepening tone. « But I think it would be best if you didn’t wait around, I can’t guarantee a quick finish. »

« Alright, » Conan childly responded. « I’ll just let my dad know. »

« See you around kid. »

With that he turned back from where he had come, and that’s when he saw it, a sinister smirk finding its way to his lips.

« What was that all about? »

He stopped after only a few steps taken, looking back to see the janitor smilingly waving to him. He smiled back before moving forward once again.

« It’s probably nothing.. but I can’t help it, » Conan thought. « I feel like I’ve seen him somewhere, just can’t seem to quite pin point the place. »

This quickly dropped from his mind as a young man could be seen heading his way, moving at a rather fast pace with his hand clutched to his chest. He didn’t know what to make of this at first glance, simply stepping off to the side to allow him a clear path by.

« His eyes, » Conan said just barely getting a peak at them. « Were they blood shot? »

He decided to follow his every move, watching as he made it all the way to the bathroom without being confronted.

« That’s strange, I wonder where Janitor Garrett disappeared off to in such a hurry. » Conan said as the sound of his phone rang below.

He wasted no time in answering the call, not surprised to hear his voice from the other end.

« Anything? »

« Nothing to report on the matter, » Conan replied. « Just a couple off task encounters, what about you? »

« I spoke with Alfred just before contacting you, I had him look into something, » Tim replied. « Looks like we might have the answer to what we were looking for. »

« Which is? »

« Meet me at the entrance, we no longer need to hang around here, » Tim replied. « I’ll tell you everything on the way out. »

« Be right there. »

« I’ll be waiting. »

He hung up from there, dropping the phone back into place.

« I guess that about wraps up business here. »

With those words spoken a booming sound of high proportions ignited from behind, soaring in all directions. An anguish of many screams quickly followed in response, ringing loud for all to hear.

« That noise, an explosion? »

He spun around, looking to see the spewing flames flashing to his eyes. No longer could the bathrooms be seen that had been there moments ago.

« You’ve got to be kidding. »

Almost all adjustments had made, the only thing remaining was to button the loose sleeves. He looked himself over in the large mirror once finished, nodding his head in acceptance after doing.

« What do you think? » Alfred asked from where he stood on the other side of the room.

« Perfect, » Heiji replied slightly tightening the tie in place. « It fits perfectly. »

« I figured it would. »

« We’ve got roughly an hour and thirty until six, » Heiji said checking the time. « How much longer do you propose we wait before heading out there? »

« I’ve already removed the car from the garage, I thought it might be in our best interest for one of you to arrive early, » Alfred said. « After all you’re supposed to meet with those folks from the police station, correct? »

« You make a good point, and could prove beneficial, » Heiji said. « What about Bruce, is he coming as well? »

« He’s in his room making final preparations for his speech, » Alfred replied. « He’ll soon join you at the Futures Building once he’s finished. »

« That’s fine with me, I should be able to hold off on my own for the next hour or so. »

« I’ll go down and bring the car around front. » Alfred said turning for the door.

« Hold on, » Heiji said following after him. « I’m coming with you. »

« Very well. »

He exited the room at his side, feeling they were just hours away from closing this chapter that had plagued them for the last week.

« Futures Building, here I come. »

The attention it had brought in the aftermath was to be expected. The flames continued to sway, steadily declining in strength from the water that fell down upon it from the water hoses that were being fired. Observing the efforts to put out the fire became the least of his concerns as he focused his attention to those standing amongst the crowd.

« Where is he? »

His searches came to a quick end after re-sighting him, standing across the way in between a large group of people.

« Janitor Garrett, there you are. » Conan said pleased to relocate him.

He witnessed a devilish grin slip to his face in the coming seconds, one which he took full note of.

« I don’t know what in the world just happened, but I’m certain this guy is the center of… wait. »

The same feeling from before came back to him within the heart of the moment, a sense of familiarity he couldn’t quite key in on. He stressed the matter deeply, tightly closing his eyes. That’s when it opened up, rehashing where he believed to have seen him before.

« That’s him, » Conan thought springing his eyes wide. « The one from the other night, the man from the bus! »

He was most sure of this, wasting no time in raising his hand to take aim.

« Confronting him directly will only produce false claims from his behalf, » Conan said. « But placing a tracker to him will assure me of his whereabouts, maybe even leading to whoever he’s working with. »

He extended his arm out in front of him, steadily holding it in place as he chose his point of attack.

« There. »

He pressed down to the gizmo, watching as the tracer spiraled toward its intended target. It touched down with light force, connecting to where he envisioned it would. He lowered his arm in succes, finding it hard to hold back a smile of his own. It was at that moment that the man he came to know as janitor Garrett slowly faded into the depths of the crowd. He showed no sign in following after him, simply clicking the side of his glasses to activate the display screen to see what direction he was headed in.

« You can run, but you most certainly can’t hide. »

To Be Continued

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Preparation For the Big Dance
Face of The Unknown Revealed