The Detective Prince
A Step From the Boarder
"My help," Shinichi questioned once more. "What do you need me for?"
"There's been an outbreak," Conner replied. "One which I'm sure you're fully aware of by now."
"You don't say."
"How much do you know about the recent heart attacks?"
"Only an estimation of a victim amount, no idea of the potential cause for the unnatural increase," Shinichi replied. "But what of it, do you have something to share that might shed some light on the situation?"
"I would hope so."
"If that is true then why not get straight to the point," Damian said uncrossing his arms. "You've already wasted enough of our time as it is."
"To be quite honest it would be best if you two came and had a look for yourself," Conner said in response. "It'd be too much for me to try and explain on these circumstances."
"Sorry to say, but we're on a bit of a tight schedule." Damian quickly declined.
"As much as I'd like to assist you, I've been told not to leave the premises until the results are determined from the blood collected."
"Mine," Shinichi replied. "We're hoping it will reveal what caused my transformation."
"I'm sure if you wait here Bruce will return soon." Shinichi said.
"Not for at least another two hours." Damian stated.
"Two hours," Conner said with the raise of his hands. "Geez, that's a long time."
"Don't know what to tell you."
"What kind of information have you collected exactly?" Shinichi asked getting back to the point.
"It wasn't me who gathered and put all the files together," Conner replied. "That was done by a friend."
"Have you seen these any of these files for yourself?"
"Yes of course."
"What should we be expecting to see?"
"Photos," Conner replied. "Along with a full report on each situation recorded."
"By report, do you mean on the condition of victims who sustained these unexpected heart attacks?"
"I'm interested," Shinichi said giving it some thought. "Where might this friend of yours be at this given time?"
"That's not something to worry about, all files are sitting at the desk back at my place," Conner informed. "They were sent this morning."
"If that is true, then why didn't you bring this case file with you?" Damian questioned.
"I don't have the exact file," Conner clarified. "I was only forwarded scanned copies through a private line, which came to me through computer."
"That's still a wasted trip to a degree," Damian said. "You could have just sent these files by email if it was that important."
"Like I said before the information given to me was sent through a private line," Conner reminded. "Most of the information given to me isn't even known to the public as of yet."
"And the problem?"
"The chance of any of what was sent to me being intersected somehow."
"Who would want to do that?" Damian questioned.
"You'd be surprised."
"I see," Shinichi said catching on. "You're hoping to keep this all self-contained, within this group that is."
"That's one way of putting it."
"Where is this computer of yours," Shinichi asked. "I'd like to have a look at what was sent to you."
"The computer is at my place, which is a ways away from here."
"Didn't you just get done saying you're not supposed to leave here until the results come back on your blood."
"Under normal circumstances, but this matter is of importance," Shinichi said. "We've been trying to tackle this from the day I arrived."
"I don't wish to deny you," Conner said. "But shouldn't you let someone know where you're going?"
"It'll be fine, I don't plan on being long," Shinichi replied. "Damian here can let them know where I've run off to when they return."
"Leave it to me." Damian said.
"Your call," Conner said. "But are you sure about the decision?"
"Lives could be at stake here," Shinichi reminded. "The way I see it the sooner we get this handled the more turmoil we can prevent, deaths even."
"I'll argue no more."
With that said he turned his attention back to the shoes still in his possession. He wasted little time in fitting them into place. He then looked at the time registered to his watch before taking the first step out past the door.
"Make sure to let Bruce know where I've gone off to when he returns."
"I heard you quite clearly the first time." Damian remarked.
It was a response that came as no surprise, almost expected. The two made their way down the outside stairs, hearing the low sound of the door closing from behind.
"So.. I see the two of you have been making progress."
"Nice to see you've been attentive."
"How do you feel," Conner asked. "As opposed to yesterday?"
"Couldn't really tell you," Shinichi replied. "I feel about the same, on all fronts."
"Good, then perhaps we won't have any wild episodes on the trip there."
"Speaking of which, what is the traveling arrangement from here to your place?"
"Partially by cab, the other by train."
"Yea, the Gotham subway," Conner replied. "One of the more popular methods of traveling around here."
"That seems to be the case with most big cities."
"That's one thing I think we can all agree on," Conner said facing forward. "Let's hurry, I don't want to keep the driver waiting."
It was then that he laid his eyes to the cab sitting just past the gate.
A large portion of the sun was blocked off at the given time of day due to several clouds that occupied the skies. It had just past the time of thirty after ten by the time he had arrived, pleased to find the line to the entrance to be a relatively small. He took a couple steps more to catch sight of the sign pinned up to the wall which read 'Mount Zomoph', confirming the location.
"This is defiantly the place."
He stood there for seconds to come, knowing he would soon be joined.
"You're on time, great."
He turned at his voice, glad the wait was over.
"Have trouble finding the place?"
"Not at all," Dick replied. "How long have you been waiting?"
"Roughly thirty minutes," Tim replied. "I'm glad you decided to come."
"What about Heiji, did you invite him along as well?"
"I have him looking into something else as we speak." Tim replied.
"Is there plans for him to join us once he finished his task."
"Not what I had in mind," Tim answered. "Besides he has something to do up at the station this evening."
"Regardless, I hope I didn't keep you waiting too long."
"Don't worry," Tim said. "I made good use of that time."
"Is that so?"
"I purchased a ticket to the park when I first arrived," Tim informed. "Once in I returned to the scene where that bathroom had exploded."
"I found out the weapon used in the explosion," Tim replied. "A C4 explosive."
"The news just keeps piling in," Dick said. "Which probably means a detonator was used in the blind attack."
"That's a good assumption," Tim agreed. "My first thought was a landmine or automatic bomb was used."
"I must ask, how were you able to obtain that information," Dick questioned. "It's not like the department officials to give out information like that on an empty hand, unless of course it was already public knowledge."
"You're right," Tim said. "Which is why I came prepared."
He reached down into his pocket, taking a short time for him to hold out a laminated card for him to see.
"Pleasure meeting you Officer Stewart," Dick said playing along. "When did you get the time to have that made?"
"I've had it for about a month now," Tim replied. "I had it manufactured with a few others, all for different circumstances that may come to pass."
"No need to check the main park area since you've already gone in," Dick said. "Which leaves us only with the task of finding a way down to that abandoned train station Bruce told us about."
"That won't be a problem," Tim said. "There's an entrance on the other side of the park that leads to the area just above the sewer."
"You're on top of things today."
"It was actually Alfred who passed on the information," Tim informed. "It would appear he did some research or knows a thing or two about the place."
"From what you've said it should be no more than a five minute walk from here."
"Very good estimation." Tim said taking the first step.
"I've been thinking about it all the way here." Dick said following at his side.
"Bruce brought us up to speed on this abandoned train station, but he never did tell us what we should be looking to find."
"Funny that you mention," Tim said. "I was just fixing to ask you about the same thing."
"Looks like we'll have to wait until we get there, maybe then we'll understand the hidden message within that riddle."
"I'm positive that we will."
They carried on from there, casually making their way around the large amusement park perimeter to the opposite side.
After just over an hour of driving they had finally reached the drop point, exiting the cab to find their way onto the corner of the street.
"And here we are," Conner said holding out a hand to the large green structure before them. "The Gotham train station."
"So this is it huh," Shinichi said giving it a look. "Not bad."
"Wait until you see the inside." Conner said marching on.
He followed from close behind, taking note of every small detail that came to sight. The structure of the station was long and towering. Not surprising there was already a large group in attendance.
"I assume you don't already have the tickets."
"Where is the ticket booth," Shinichi asked. "Is it close to here?"
"Closer than you may think," Conner replied. "It's located on the left after we get past the doors here."
It didn't take long for them to reach the glass doors which automatically moved off to the side upon coming within feet of them. He followed what he had said, turning to the left where he immediately caught sight of it. The ticket booth was surrounded by many who anxiously waited in a line that had already been formed.
"Hey Conan, mind waiting here while I go and get the tickets?"
"Not at all." Shinichi replied.
"This shouldn't take long."
With that he walked over, joining an already building line which was getting more and more cluttered by the minute. He found himself a place against the wall as the wait began, immediately checking the time on his watch as the wait began.
"And here we go."
A strange feeling came over him within that moment, an unexpected one. He almost felt as if he was being watched, keeping an eye on all those who passed along, including the others standing throughout the right side of the hall.
"Am I thinking too much into this, or could someone really be watching," Shinichi thought to himself. "… It's probably nothing."
He left it at that for the time being, still feeling the need to stay on alert.
After just over five minutes of walking they finally arrived to the back of the facility.
"So," Dick said giving the area a look," Where's this entryway you mentioned?"
"You're standing on it." Tim informed.
He took the time to have a step back, discovering a manhole beneath him.
"Talk about coincidence."
"Go on and give it a lift, it should already be loose."
"Am I to assume that you've already been back here?"
"That's a fair assumption," Tim replied. "It was actually the first thing I did when I arrived, even before going in to check out that situation with the former bathroom."
"Have you gone down yet?"
"That I haven't done."
"You sure this thing doesn't lead straight to the sewer?"
"Only one way of finding out."
"Right you are."
He took another step back before dropping down to a knee, finding the manhole top to be loose just as stated. He removed it with absolute ease, finding a ladder attached to the wall which lead to complete darkness.
"You going first?"
"I'd prefer it."
"Need a light?"
"No need," Dick replied. "I've got one of my own."
"I figured you would."
"Stay here until I reach the bottom," Dick instructed. "I'll call you down once all is clear."
He reached into his pocket, taking just seconds for him to pull out a small flash light. He took little time in switching it on, flashing it down into the dark.
"Can you see the bottom?"
"Just barely," Dick replied. "I think we're looking at about a thirty five feet drop from here."
"That's a good ways down." Tim said as he watched him get in position to head in.
"See you soon."
With that he began his ascension down, moving carefully in his motion. Much rust could be seen, not only on the ladder that he moved upon but the surrounding walls. As faint as it may have been nearly halfway down he heard a sound from below, almost as if something had darted past in one quick drive.
"What was that?"
This alert made him even more aware than he had been before, moving slower in his progressions the rest of the way down. He finally reached the bottom, dropping down with a splash from below. He aimed the light downward to find only a puddle of water.
"Now let's see what we have here."
He raised the light, flashing ahead just in time to see a large rodent dart across from the left side all the way to the right.
"I guess it was only a rat."
It was at that moment that a light flashed down on him from above. He looked up to see him still at the top gazing down at him.
"How is it down there?"
"Come on," Dick replied. "We're having a party."
"I'll tell you when you get down."
"What in the world is he talking about?" Tim muttered.
Not wanting to waste any time, he began to scour the area with the use of the flash light, finding he was in the tunnel they had been informed of. It was too dark to see what was ahead, limiting him to the surrounding area. He heard yet another sound, flashing the light to the ground once more.
"Just another tunnel critter," Dick said. "This place isn't as abandoned as you may think."
It was only moments after that he heard the soft drop from behind, knowing he had been joined.
"Did you close the top of the manhole on your way down?"
"Of course," Tim said replied coming to his side. "What was all that commotion about a couple seconds ago?"
"Just a couple of rats."
"Yea, I prefer the bats myself," Dick said making a move deeper into the tunnel. "Come on, it would appear we have much ground to cover."
"You keep your sights on the right," Tim said. "Leave everything on the left to me."
"Why's that," Dick questioned. "You afraid someone else might be down here besides us?"
"Those rats for starters." Tim reminded.
They began their journey down the wide dark tunnel from there. The focus level was now at a max. The sound of something tapping down to the ground could be heard a short distance up. Curious as to what it was he flashed his light into that direction to find it was only a portion of water sliding down from a pipe upon the wall. He then flashed the light to the right wall to see the same thing in play.
"You alright there," Dick questioned. "You seem rather uneasy."
"Just having a look around," Tim replied. "That's why we're here after all."
"Any idea where this tunnel ends?"
"It depends on which way we take," Tim replied. "If I'm not mistaken we should arrive at an intersection relatively soon."
"And which way leads to the out of service subway station?"
"The route to the left," Tim replied. "Which is the one we're going to take."
"Not that it really matters, but what if we decided to go right," Dick questioned. "Any idea what's down that end?"
"Not a clue," Tim replied. "Neither Alfred nor Bruce said anything on the matter."
"I think we better go check it out," Dick said. "If we're going to spend a marginable time down here I don't see why we can't check out the whole place."
"I see no harm in that."
"Then it's settled."
It was just as he said, taking just a few more steps before they came into view of the intersection of mentioned. The decision on which way to go was spontaneous, both heading straight for the left without anything needing to be said.
Fifteen minutes had passed since the time they had left the checkpoint. Not much had been said over the duration of the time. He found himself watching everything they passed as the train continued to move on, one heavy question still weighing down on his mind. He turned in the seat looking across to where he sat opposite of him.
"You still have yet to tell me where this train's destination is."
He had been looking up at the ceiling, clearly juggling with something that was on his mind. He looked down to face him after hearing his voice.
"What was that?"
"How much longer until this train comes to a stop?"
"You might want to sit back and relax for a bit," Conner advised. "Because we still have another couple good hours to go."
"A couple hours to go," Shinichi questioned before sitting up straight. "Where exactly do you live?"
"You make it sound like you have something important to attend," Conner said. "Don't you like a surprise from time to time, besides you can check your ticket."
"I already have," Shinichi said. "MET is all it says, is that a town here in Gotham or another city all together?"
He sat back in the seat with nothing further to say.
"You'll know in time."
From this he knew there was no further use in pushing for further information, finally deciding to sit back in his seat once again.
"A couple hours to go, great," Shinichi thought. "Now… how to help pass some time?"
All had gone as hoped. He went through the paperwork on the ride back, making sure all files were lined up in the correct order. After setting the folder aside he looked to the front of the car. The front of the mansion had finally come into view, coming to find the gate to be open.
"I could have sworn the gate was closed when I departed."
"I'm sure it's nothing to concern ourselves with," Bruce said. "Damian would have contacted us if there was a problem."
"Perhaps you're right."
They drove in past the gate, bringing a stop to the car shortly thereafter.
"You can go ahead get out here," Alfred said. "I'm going to take the car around to the garage, I'll see you inside in the next minute."
"I'll be waiting."
He stepped out past the door, locking it on his way out. The car could be heard heading for the garage as he made his way for the stairs. His phone began to ring halfway up, choosing to ignore it for the time being. He pulled out his key for the door upon reaching it, finding it to already be unlocked.
"First the gate, now the door."
This development put him on alert, slowly opening the door as he pushed his way in. He closed it as calmly as it had been opened. His first instinct was to scour the room, checking to see if anything had been tampered with in the least. This process took only moments to complete.
"Everything seems fine."
It was then that the first door on the right at the top of the stair case fell open, looking up as Damian appeared with a towel sitting around his neck.
"You're back," Damian said walking down the stairs. "I thought I heard something."
"What's with the towel?"
"Just finished with my pre mid-day routine."
"Why was the front gate open," Bruce asked. "Did Dick happen to stop by?"
"I thought it was you who left it that way," Damian replied arriving down from the stairs. "It has been that way all morning."
"Perhaps it didn't close correctly when the remote was used this morning," Bruce said. "I'll have to give it a look tonight."
"Did you listen to the radio on the way back?"
"No, we drove with no audio," Bruce replied. "Is there something I should know about?"
"That probably means you haven't heard the breaking news that passed in the last hour," Damian said. "That footage you collected and gave to Hattori to hand over to the police has been aired."
"Something that was expected to come very soon."
"But don't you think that will aggravate the situation," Damian questioned. "In the least it might cause Kid to make another move sooner than planned, maybe even as quickly as tonight."
"Which means going after him," Damian said. "I'd like another shot at him."
"You may have to hold off on that opportunity for a while."
"What are you saying," Damian questioned. "That you plan on leaving me behind, for a second night in a row?"
"That's not what I meant," Bruce replied. "The fact of the matter is he's not going to make an appearance tonight."
"What makes you so sure?"
"If you were in his shoes and found that your presence had been compromised, would you?"
"But it's also a known fact that he craves the attention."
"Yet he has shown no signs of such behavior," Bruce replied. "At least not for the past couple months, which has been reported."
"So how are we supposed to find him?"
"We start from the bottom up," Bruce replied. "Which means looking into the many possible uses the G3 Power Emitter may have."
"By the time we've determined all of that who's to say Kid doesn't skip town by then?"
"Doubtful, but a possibility," Bruce acknowledged. "Which is why we need to work quickly, where is Shinichi?"
"No idea," Damian replied. "Haven't seen him all day."
"Are you sure?"
"Why don't you try checking the upstairs room," Damian suggested. "Maybe he's yet to awake."
"At this time of day, I wouldn't suspect that to be his routine," Bruce said heading for the stairs. "I'll be back shortly."
He watched as he made his way to the next floor, a devious grin coming to his face in the seconds that came.
"Sorry Kudo, but this is just the way the dice rolls."
A time had passed from their start down the dark tunnel, sighting several scraps along the ground as they walked. This ranged from paper flakes to outdated newspapers. He began wondering how much longer they had to go, increasing with every move made.
"We've been walking for over six minutes now," Dick said flashing his light down upon his wrist to confirm his claim. "How much longer until we reach this place?"
"It's a little over a half mile from when we made the turn," Tim replied. "And judging by the pace we're moving at we should be there within the next minute, two at most."
"Think there's another exit we could take from this side?"
"I'd hate to have to walk all the way back to the other side to return to the surface," Dick said. "Then again we have to head back anyway, I almost forgot we have another whole section to check out."
"That is true."
He flashed his light ahead once again as they continued to walk. All discussion had been dropped by the two moving on. It came as no surprise in the next minute when the tunnel had finally come to an end.
"Finally," Dick said holding the light out in front. "We're here."
"The lighting is next to nothing down here," Tim said. "Any photos that we take won't come out very well."
"Not to worry," Dick assured. "I came prepared."
He stopped without warning, using his free hand to reach for something in his pocket.
"Here we are." Dick said pulling out the desired objet.
"A pen," Tim questioned. "I hardly see how that relates to our current situation."
"Then you're not paying attention," Dick said. "Can't you see the unnatural bulkiness of it."
"Yea, I noticed," Tim replied. "What of it?"
"This isn't just your everyday write your warden a complaint kind of pen," Dick remarked. "But rather a highly advanced SSC 4.0."
"Scenery Screen Capture 4.0," Dick replied. "Stand back as I give you a demonstration of this little gizmo."
"You seem rather excited about this thing."
"As would you if you were familiar with its capabilities."
"Alright," Tim said taking a step back. "Blow me away."
The first thing he did was hold the pen up for him to view, bringing his free hand around which he brought to the top of the pen.
"The first thing you'll want to do his turn the top of the pen to the left three times," Dick instructed. "A full three sixty."
He then took the same hand used and lowered it to the opposite end of the pen, turning the bottom side two times to the left.
"And last comes the final touch," Dick said handing him the apparent pen. "I'll leave the honors to you."
He accepted it, unsure of what to do next.
"Mind dropping me a hint or something," Tim asked. "I'm not seeing how any imagery can be gathered with this thing."
"The bottom," Dick replied. "Give it a tug downward."
He did as instructed, not surprised when it extended by an inch or so.
"Now," Dick said coming to his side. "Push it back into place."
He did just that, watching as a mini screen crept out from the side of the device. It was about three inches in length, with the height being at about five.
"Nice," Tim commented. "Where did you get a hold of something like this?"
"I had Vic whip it up for me on his spare time," Dick replied. "This is about the sixth attempt at it."
"I'm all for the fancy tech," Tim said. "But why opt to make something like that when you can use a regular digital?"
"For under cover purposes," Dick replied. "There are several instances where phones or cameras aren't allowed, the SSC was created for that sole purpose."
"Not a bad idea," Tim said. "But it's next to pitch dark down here, does this thing have a flash or something?"
"Not only does it have a flash, but a light you can use as guidance."
"And how is that activated?"
"By pushing down to the cap twice."
He gave it a try, watching as a light emitted from the tip of the device.
"Anything else I should know about this thing?"
"Going for the full round house I see," Dick said. "The top, hidden beneath the cap."
"What is it?"
"A joint that gives off a signal," Dick replied. "One which is linked to my computer."
"In other words any photos taken will be automatically saved to your hard drive when taken."
"I've got to get me one of these."
"I'm sure that can be arranged, but right now we have a scene to break down."
He held the flash light up once more as he began to wall, turning it to the right as he did. He immediately took note of what appeared to be the edge of the floor they stood upon. With that in mind he headed further into that direction, aiming the light to the ground as he did.
"Looks like I've got something."
"What is it?" Tim asked heading his way.
"Tracks, train tracks," Dick replied. "This is defiantly the place."
He came to his side, immediately looking down before taking a couple shots of what was laid out before them.
"This is actually rather ironic."
"What do you mean?" Dick asked looking his way.
"Our position," Tim replied. "We're directly under the center of the Mount Zomoph."
"Which would be under the Ferris wheel as well right?"
"The question now becomes," Dick thought to himself. "Is there relevance to this?"
The time milked away with each cut made, looking over to the other sleeve to make sure all was in proportion. This round of trials had lasted for a time to come. The finished product was held up high for a visual before being laid down across from another completed piece. He stood up once finished, looking over his finished work.
He turned from where he sat in front of a computer at the sound of his voice. He stood up from the chair, walking over to his side to see what he had laid out across one of the motel beds.
"Master Kuroba, what is the meaning of this?"
"I have yet to finish the final touches," Kaito replied. "I'll need to head back to the black shop to pick up some yarn, though sewing has never been a strong suite of mine."
"I don't understand," Konosuke said. "Why buy all of this clothing only to ruin it with the many clippings you have made?"
"Custom," Kaito replied. "I wish for my apparel to be custom, not easily recognizable."
"Why is that?"
"The whole city now knows of Kaitou Kid's venture, and the next task won't be as easy as the last," Kaito replied. "For the easiest path possible, I've chosen to go dark."
"I don't like the sound of that."
"Trust me," Kaito assured looking to him. "It's not as bad as you may think."
To Be Continued