#1 Posted by Tim_Drake4444 (1086 posts) - - Show Bio

Other Chapters,

http://www.comicvine.com/forums/fan-fic/8/batmandc-chapters/617654/#1

The Detective Prince

Chapter 109

A Plan Set

Nothing but silence filled the room.He sat there for minutes after being escorted to the room, waiting for the arrival of the man he had come to see. There was no trouble with the delay in his mind, even welcoming the silence that came with the wait. The moment he least expected it the door to the room cracked open from behind.

"I appreciate your patience." James said entering the room.

"No worries, I haven't been waiting all that long to tell you the truth," Heiji said. "Besides I'm in no hurry."

"I'm glad that's the case," James said. "I'm sure you know why I asked to see you."

"I have a good idea."

"I thought you might," James said. "First I'd like to start off by thanking you for the footage obtained."

"I'm glad I was able to provide that for the investigation."

"I talked with your friend."

"My friend?"

"Yes, the officer from Keystone City who helped set up those cameras for you."

"Oh yes," Heiji said sitting up in his seat. "That's right."

"Be sure to thank him for me the next time you see him."

"Will do."

"The main reason I asked for your attendance was to inform you about tomorrow's meeting," James said. "I'd like for you to be there."

"What's the meeting for?"

"We'll be giving a full run down of information to the whole unit surrounding Kaitou Kid."

"I see," Heiji said quickly catching on. "You want my input."

"Is that too much to ask for?"

"Not at all."

"I figured you'd be up for the task," James said. "The time of the conference begins at ten thirty tomorrow morning."

"Already sealed away, I'll be there," Heiji assured. "But I must ask, what is it you'd like me to say?"

"I want you to take charge," James replied. "You obviously know this guy better than any of us, anything you may know will be useful."

"Are you saying you want me to take center stage in this investigation?"

"There's no clearer way of putting it," James confirmed. "Are you up for it?"

"If there's one thing you should know about me, it's that I never turn down a case."

"Then it's stamped in stone," James said. "Which means I better get started on preparations for tomorrow."

"Anything else you need from me for the time being?"

"For now no, you're free to go."

"Then I'll see you tomorrow."

With that he stood up from the chair, drawing his hands from his side before making his way for the door.

"Oh, and one last thing."

He stopped just inches shy of the door, turning at the sound of his voice.

"What is it?"

"Tomorrow we make it official."

"What do you mean?"

"You'll see when the time comes," James replied. "Good day detective."

He was unsure of what to take away from this. He then turned back for the door, shutting it as he stepped out.

After ten heart wrenching minutes the task had finally been seen through. He grabbed hold of it, raising a brow at what he felt. The small device was then lowered down into the bag that laid at his side, zipping all contents away before making his way out. It didn't take long for him to do so.

"Nothing but a cheap ploy." Dick said dropping down to the ground once more.

"What do you mean," Tim asked. "Where's the bomb?"

"In the bag," Dick replied. "It was nothing of concern."

"What are you saying?"

"If it had gone off at worst it would have blew maybe an extra five yards into the hole."

"Not exactly your ordinary big bang."

"I knew right away something was wrong when I retrieved it from the wall," Dick said. "Its weight, it wasn't what you would expect for a lethal explosion."

"Mind taking it out," Tim asked. "I'd like to have a look at it myself."

"As you wish."

He repositioned the bag on his shoulder, bringing forward before zipping it open.

"Here it is." Dick said reaching in to grab it.

"Thanks." Tim said taking it into hand.

The next seconds spent were taken examining the bomb uncovered. The light weight was apparent almost instantly. He then turned it to the back side where the wires could be seen that had been taken out of place during the process.

"Find what you were looking for?"

"No, but I did find what was to be expected."

"What were you expecting to find?"

"That has yet to be determined," Tim replied. "We won't be able to answer that until further examination, which is why I'll be taking it to Bruce to have a look at."

"Why," Dick asked. "There's no more use for it."

"Maybe not, but that doesn't mean there isn't a deeper significance," Tim said in response. "One which isn't visible on the surface."

"Can't argue that," Dick said. "Would you like a ride there?"

"Don't bother, I'll catch a taxi," Tim replied. "Besides one of us needs to stay here and set up surveillance, do you have any equipment in the car?"

"Of course," Dick replied. "Leave it to me, I'll have this place wired down in no time."

"With any luck the person who set this all up will return, and then we'll have them on camera."

"While I'm at it I might as well head down to the other end of this underground path," Dick said. "No telling what might be lurking down the other side."

"I can only imagine," Tim said before reaching into his pocket. "Nearly forgot to return this to you."

"What is it?"

"The SSC." Tim said handing it back to him.

He took that time to place the device into the bag along with the rest of the bomb kit that he had brought along.

"Need your light back as well?"

"You can hang on to it," Dick replied. "I brought down the spare remember."

"That's right."

"I'll call you and let you know if anything is uncovered once I've finished my search of this place," Dick said. "Including the other end."

"Then I'll leave you to that." Tim said before turning back for the tunnel.

"Good luck with that bomb."

"Thanks."

He took off with nothing further needing to be said, holding the light out in front as he headed down the dark path.

The tempo had drastically changed from the time he had begun the cross referencing process. Each sheet looked over took at least five minutes to dissect. No words had been spoken between the two since this had started. Interested in any progress that might have been made he laid a hand down to the table to try and gain his attention.

"So what do you think?"

Nothing was said in response, not even a gesture to show acknowledgement.

"He must really be into this whole research thing, I better leave this one alone for the time being."

He leaned into the chair for further comfort, figuring it would be a long wait before all was completed. It wasn't long after that he peered over once more to see him looking over at him.

"Did you say something?" Shinichi asked finally looking his way.

"Oh.. yes," Conner replied. "I was wondering how things were coming along."

"My view on things has widened significantly," Shinichi admitted. "But there still seems to be something missing."

"Mind elaborating?"

"It's all too erratic," Shinichi began. "The first element to consider is the several different backgrounds, there is no set age for who might receive one of these unexpected heart attacks."

"I see."

"The information you were able to gather does help to a degree, that I'm not denying."

"I thought it might," Conner said. "And were you able to conclude anything from this information?"

"As insightful as the files may be it didn't provide too much more than we already knew," Shinichi replied. "Four out of the sixteen entries I've gone through thus far show that the victims had prior heart complications before suffering the fatal one."

"That defiantly gives you the vibe something is causing this outbreak."

"That's been my belief since day three."

"Now what?"

"I'm going to go through the rest of these files," Shinichi replied. "Once that is completed I'll set up our next branch."

"That makes it sound like you might have a plan."

"Perhaps."

"So from what you've observed, what would you say tempted these heart attacks?"

"I can't say for sure," Shinichi replied. "At least not yet."

"There has to be a cause… but what."

"The sooner we find out, the better."

"Something I think we can all agree on," Conner said. "How long do you think it will take you to get through the rest of those files."

"Not sure, but I'm moving as fast as I can."

"Whatever pace works for you."

"You don't have to sit around here you know," Shinichi said. "After all it might be awhile before I finish getting through the rest of this."

"I have no problem waiting, there's nothing more I'd like than see this thing through."

"Let's hope there's a positive solution to come."

"I have a feeling there will be."

Dust had collected through the hours of the day, leaving him with something to do as the evening began to roll around. He had finished with the kitchen counter, lowering the dust cloth as he made a move for the door. The doorbell could be heard at that very moment.

"This is unexpected, I wonder who could have come for a visit at this time of hour."

Not wanting to keep them waiting he exited the kitchen, heading straight for the front door. He jerked it open to see him standing on the other side.

"Hello Alfred," Tim greeted. "I hope this isn't a bad time."

"Most certainly not," Alfred said. "Come on in."

"Where's Bruce?" Tim asked upon entering.

"Right here."

He turned at the sound of his voice, finding he had just come from the book room.

"Glad I was able to catch you on such short notice."

"How did things turn out at Mount Zomoph?" Bruce asked.

"That's exactly why I'm here."

He then reached into his jacket, pulling out something he was unable to identify at first glance.

"What is that?" Bruce asked.

"A disarmed bomb," Tim replied. "Dick and I discovered it while investigating the underground site you told us about."

"Now that was unexpected, what were the circumstances?"

"It was set to explode in less than eighteen hours."

"What would have been the span?"

"Not harmful," Tim replied. "It was planted in a wall that had already had been opened with an explosion."

"How deep was this hole in length?"

"A good couple yards in," Tim answered. "It was almost as if someone was making a path of some kind."

"But if that were true, why have a timer set?" Bruce stated.

"True."

"Is there anything else of significance you have to report."

"From what was uncovered on the surface, no," Tim replied. "But we did take some photos which I'm assuming Dick will go through some time tonight."

"Where is he now?"

"Before departing he had the intent on bugging the place in the case the one who left the bomb returned."

"A move I think we can all agree is warranted." Alfred said.

"It wasn't just the bomb," Tim said. "But the positioning of where it was."

"Where was the location of where you found it?"

"Underground," Tim replied. "Right beneath the center of the amusement park."

"That's very ironic."

"It makes you wonder more than anything."

"May I have a look at the bomb?" Bruce asked jumping back into the conversation.

"Of course," Tim replied walking. "That's what brought me here to begin with."

He held out his hand to accept the deactivated bomb, taking those first seconds to examine it.

"Think you'll be able to find out the time for when it was originally set?"

"No doubt," Bruce replied. "But of course I'll have reactivate it."

"Great," Tim said. "Though I'm not sure how much significance it will present to our investigation."

"Every detail matters as it stands," Bruce said. "On another subject have you heard from Shinichi, I haven't been able to get in contact with him since arriving back."

"He's with Conner."

"What's he doing with him?"

"Working the case of the heart attacks," Tim informed. "The original plan was for him to come to me."

"Come to you for what?"

"It appears Conner has some additional information surrounding the case," Tim replied. "When he wasn't able to get a hold of me he had the intent of coming here to present the information to you."

"I see," Bruce said. "And where are they now?"

"In Metropolis."

"You would have thought he'd have let one of us know where he was going before taking off."

"I'm sure there was a reason for that."

"When you spoke with him were you given details on the information collected?"

"I didn't actually speak with him," Tim clarified. "Everything given to me was through a message he sent to my phone."

"Have you tried reaching him since you received the message?"

"Of course," Tim replied. "Didn't get a response though, that must just mean they're busy."

"I wouldn't doubt it."

"So what now?"

"Contact Dick and ask him for an update on his searches."

"Will do."

"In the meantime I'm going to go and begin my examination of this bomb." Bruce said before turning for the other side.

"Wait," Tim said stopping him in his tracks. "What about the blood collected from Shinichi, have the results come back?"

"Not yet, but I'm working on it," Bruce replied. "And it's not just that we need to stay on top of."

"What else?"

"Finding and apprehending Pamela."

The final file had finally been placed off to the side, relived he had finished with the examination. It didn't take long for him to take notice.

"You're finally done."

"Yet there's still no defiant answer to what the cause is."

"I was afraid that'd be the case," Conner said. "What do you plan to do now?"

"There are a couple actions we're going to need to take," Shinichi replied. "The first is to widen our view on things."

"There's a lot that could mean."

"What I meant is that we need to look into other areas," Shinichi elaborated. "We've been so fixated on their medical histories and x-rays taken, I think now would be a good time to make a loop on what we should be focused on."

"What did you have in mind?"

"Similarities," Shinichi replied. "Maybe something several of the victims shared in common."

"Habits perhaps?"

"Yes," Shinichi replied. "Anything ranging from work environment to daily routine."

"That's not going to be easy to figure," Conner said. "Especially with the amount of victims there are to account for."

"I realize how time consuming this will be, but it's one of the few options we have yet to exploit."

"It seems you've got it all figured," Conner said. "Is there anything I can do to help?"

"Yes, there's an important call I need to make to a good friend of mine," Shinichi replied. "If it's not too much to ask do you think I could use your phone?"

"Of course."

He reached into his pocket, tossing him the phone within that instance.

"Will I be able to reach someone long distance?"

"You're good to go." Conner said giving him the nod.

There was no waiting to come, instantly dialing the number to the person he sleeked.

"This might just be the opening we're looking for."

The time had come where all was finalized on what he was to wear come the nights beginning. He made the decision to turn off the TV, wanting to keep a clear vision on things to come. The sun could clearly be seen making its round to the other side by this time, making him more anxious than before.

"You've been pacing in that same dreadful path for the past hour," Konosuke stated from where he sat on the bed closest to the door. "I don't see the problem in you having a seat."

"I'm thinking."

"And that requires the unnecessary movement?"

"Maybe not," Kaito said in partial agreement. "But it has helped with the process of me dissecting what must be done moving forward."

"And what is it you plan on doing," Konosuke asked pushing for further information. "Ever since last night you've gone dark on the matter."

"With the G3 Power Emitter things weren't quite as complex."

"I don't understand?"

"The newly given task," Kaito continued. "The contractor once me to obtain some device known as a, 'Networks Pivotal Equalizer'."

"Yes I know," Konosuke said. "You told me after receiving the information yourself, but you still haven't told me where this item is located."

"That's the thing, I don't know."

"What do you mean you don't know where it is," Konosuke questioned. "It's obviously a high prized piece, shouldn't the location of something of that caliber be documented?"

"True, but it was misplaced while being transported between two cities," Kaito informed. "Between here and Chicago."

"Misplaced?"

"Stolen would be the exact description," Kaito clarified. "Though it did turn up once more after that incident."

"And where was that?"

"At an auction," Kaito informed. "One which was held not even a mile from here."

"Are you saying the one to have taken the device sold it?"

"It wasn't just one person, but a group," Kaito informed. "The Networks Pivotal Equalizer wasn't the only thing taken, but everything else that had been stocked."

"Stocked," Konosuke questioned. "Where was this stuff when it was taken?"

"In the truck all accessories were being transported in," Kaito replied. "It was at night after the truck had been parked in a reserved area that their move was made."

"You seem to know a lot about this."

"I've been keeping tabs."

"Does this group you mentioned have a name?"

"The Sonnue," Kaito replied. "One of the lesser known gang groups from the south side of the city."

"And they were the ones to auction off that device?"

"Yes."

"But why steal all that stuff only to turn around to sell it within a blink?"

"There's always money to make," Kaito said in response to this. "I don't think you need a better explanation than that."

"You might be right," Konosuke said. "In any case where is this device now, do you know who came out as the lead bidder?"

"I do not."

"That puts a notable dent in the process."

"It's true that I may not know who purchased it, but the list is limited."

"Say what?"

"All in attendance at the auction were street dealers," Kaito informed. "Which means there's a chance it's mixed in somewhere in the neighborhood."

"Let's say this is true, how do you plan on finding it?"

"Like I said before, I'm going to have to take another approach," Kaito said. "With the city aware of Kaitou Kid along with the current circumstances this is the best option."

"You said you plan on going dark," Konosuke said. "You still have yet to tell me what you plan to do, your only hint coming from your choice of clothing."

"Isn't it obvious," Kaito said. "It's a means of folding into the fold."

"You don't mean?"

"Yes, it's time to expand on our connections," Kaito said. "It's time I became one of them."

To Be Continued

#2 Posted by Jackson_Hartley (161 posts) - - Show Bio

Pretty good... I'll have to catch up on the others.

#3 Posted by Tim_Drake4444 (1086 posts) - - Show Bio

The Detective Prince

Chapter 110

Stroll of the Neighborhood

The sound spawned throughout the room, traveling a ways to the upper floor. It wasn't until the fifth ring that the sound of the phone drove him from his sleep. He held out his hand to grab hold of the light switch of the lamp beside him. He then looked to the phone sitting right next to it, adjusting his eyes to see an unfamiliar number.

"I wonder who that could have been."

He checked the phone to find that whoever had called had done it three times prior to the last one which awoke him.

"Whoever called probably had the wrong number."

He turned the light off before making a move back for the sheets. Just as his head dropped down to the pillow the ring of the phone could be heard once again. Thinking quickly he rolled back to his side before sitting up once more. He switched the light back on to see the same unknown number registered to the caller ID. He was unsure if he should answer or not, deciding to do so after a few seconds in.

"Hello?"

"It's good to hear your voice again, I had meant to call you sooner."

"Shin… Shinichi?"

"I guess I have some explaining to do."

"Your voice, what happened?"

"It's a long story."

"With plenty of time to spare, I'd like to hear about it."

"And I'd love to go into detail," Shinichi said. "But the truth is I'm not completely sure how it happened."

"I don't even know what to take from that."

"You'll be the first to know when new information arises."

"I didn't recognize the number when you first called," Hiroshi said. "Where are you at this given time?"

"At a local library, I borrowed a phone from a friend."

"I see."

"I hope I didn't call too early," Shinichi said. "I know it's only a little past seven in the morning there."

"Not at all, you can call whenever you feel the need," Hiroshi said. "You know that."

"Of course."

"What is it that warranted the call," Hiroshi asked. "Surely you didn't just call to alert me of your current state."

"I need your help with something."

"I'm all ears."

"No, it has something to do with what has been going on," Shinichi replied. "Not just here in Gotham, but on a global scale."

"It sounds like you've got yourself tangled in another case."

"You guessed right," Shinichi said. "It's a situation surrounding a gradual increase in untimely heart attacks in certain individuals, I'm sure you've heard about it by now."

"Of course, it's been all over the news," Hiroshi confirmed. "Have you found a lead to the source of the problem?"

"That's where you come in," Shinichi replied. "I need you to gather some names for me, for information."

"I'm listening."

The last hour had passed with a flash. By this time he had found himself a seat at a chair located near the glass door, one which lead to the balcony. The sun was nearly out of sight, looking down at his watch to check the time.

"It's almost eight O'clock," Kaito said. "Not too much longer until the time comes."

"How much?"

"Anywhere from eight thirty to nine," Kaito replied. "That's the time frame where everything should be in full circle for business."

"Are you sure about this?"

"Do you have a better idea?"

"I guess there is no use in me trying to convince you otherwise."

"Don't worry," Kaito assured. "I'll be fine, besides if anything goes wrong I've got you to cover my back."

"Will your phone be on?"

"Most likely not at all times," Kaito replied. "But if warranted, you can rest assured that it will be."

"In the case that I'm unable to get ahold of you, how would I be able to find you if something in fact went wrong?"

"This will assure that doesn't happen."

He held out his hand, rolling up his sleeve to reveal a small circular gizmo clamped into place.

"What is that?" Konosuke asked.

"A tracking device."

"Not that I'm against the idea, but what if you're apprehended," Konosuke questioned. "Then they'd be able to trace the signal back to our base."

"A possibility," Kaito acknowledged. "But highly unlikely."

"How so?"

"The signal that will be transmitted will only give off a boost every seven hours," Kaito informed. "So in the case that I found myself in a situation unplanned for they wouldn't be able to detect it, unless of course they analyzed it for an extended period."

"I doubt anyone would put that much time into something that appears minor."

"Exactly."

"You've really thought this all out."

"It's the only way any of this is going to work."

"Are you sure seven hours is a favorable time for an update on your whereabouts?"

"You're still worried?"

"A lot could conspire within seven hours," Konosuke said not looking to stop there. "What happens in the case you're driven out of the signals range?"

"That wouldn't be good." Kaito said with a smile coming to his face.

"Do you even have measures that can be taken in the case that it does happen?" Konosuke said less than humored by his expression on the matter.

"Of course," Kaito said in response to this. "If I find myself out of range I'll just have to boost the signal to its max."

"How do you plan on doing that?"

"I've got a method or two, but I don't see it coming to that," Kaito replied. "Being that I never plan on being caught, no matter what the situation may be."

"Just keep your head up."

"Don't you worry, I intend to."

He raised his wrist to check the time, watching as the minutes continued to milk away.

He had been patiently been waiting in his seat from the time the conversation had ensued. It wasn't until the sound of something sliding across the table that it caused him to look across. He dropped his hand down just in time to grab hold of the phone.

"I see you're all done," Conner said placing the phone back into pocket. "Did things go as you had hoped for?"

"Yes," Shinichi replied. "He's going to look into the matter we discussed."

"And what about you?"

"I'm going to do the same from this end."

"And once that's completed?"

"We cross reference," Shinichi replied. "That should clear up some loose ends."

"Is there anything I can do to help?"

"I don't believe so," Shinichi replied. "To be quite honest I'm not even sure there's much I can do in this regard, we need a connection."

"For more information on this heart academic?"

"Not just that, but for more details on each victims individually."

"That might not be a bad idea."

"It's something I've been thinking about all day."

"Well in that case you should try contacting Bruce," Conner suggested. "He's one of the few people who could widen the field in that regard."

"Which I plan on doing when I return to Gotham, but I'm not done here."

"You're not," Conner questioned. "What more could you possibly want to do?"

"Not do," Shinichi stated. "There's something I want to see."

"What is it you wanted to see?"

"I'd like to visit one of the hospitals," Shinichi replied before standing to his feet. "Preferably one of the larger ones."

"That can be arranged." Conner said sitting up from the chair as well.

"I'd imagine visiting hours are nearly up, which means we'll have to wait until tomorrow."

"Whatever works for you," Conner said. "You haven't eaten since the time we began the trip here."

"I hadn't really been paying any attention to that."

"Come on, I know this place that you may like." Conner said heading toward the gap in between the bookcases.

"Sounds good to me." Shinichi said following after him.

After nearly two hours from the time the analysis had begun results had been finally received. He double checked to make sure all wiring was in place, wanting to make sure it was more than a red herring.

"Everything appears to be in place."

After this was accomplished he took a seat back in front of the computer. The door to the room fell open in the coming moments.

"You've been awfully quiet in here sir," Alfred said upon entering. "Have you made any progress with that bomb?"

"As a matter a fact I have."

"I was hoping to hear some good news," Alfred said. "What is it you were able to determine?"

"The length of the time given before the bomb was set to explode."

"Which was?"

"Fifty five hours, fifteen minutes, and thirteen seconds," Bruce replied. "To be precise."

"Very interesting."

"There has to be more to it," Bruce said. "Why set the bomb to go off after such a long period?"

"That would usually make sense in the case of someone sending out a demand or message to someone in particular."

"But there wasn't, and if it had exploded it wouldn't have called for much concern," Bruce said. "What was the person who set this all up hoping to achieve, what was the motive?"

"That's a really good question."

"If we're not able to shed further light on this situation soon I will return to that abandoned train station to have a look myself."

"I for one see no harm in that."

"Alfred, have any calls come in from the hospital in the past couple hours?"

"Not from my knowledge, why do you ask?"

"I'm expecting one."

"From whom?"

"For updates on Ms. Fournier's condition," Bruce replied. "If she awakens from the diagnosed coma there's a chance she might be able to lead us into the right direction of what to look for with these heart attacks."

"You're right," Alfred said. "She could give us information on any symptoms leading up to what happened."

"It's a possibility, but I wouldn't count on it."

"Why is that?"

"The trauma leading up to all that happened," Bruce reminded. "Not only did she lose her fiancé but later found out her father was the one to have been killed, that's a lot to take in."

"Especially in one day," Alfred agreed. "Where was her mother during all of this?"

"Divorced from Lonard," Bruce informed. "But she did fly in from Florida when notified of the situation."

"That's good to know, at least she won't be alone if she awakens."

"Something I think most would agree on." Bruce said getting up from the chair.

"Going somewhere?"

"No," Bruce replied. "There's just a call I need to make, I haven't heard from Dick since this afternoon."

"I'm sure he would have contacted you if there was something additional to report."

"Maybe so, but even then I'd like to be sure."

"Then I'll leave you to that," Alfred said turning back for the door. "If I'm needed you know where to find me."

He left the room with nothing further.

The time had come, the wait was finally over. It was now twelve after nine. By this time the sun had completely fallen out of sight. He did his best to look as casual as possible. The hat worn covered the top half of his face, slightly tilting his head forward in attempt to look casual as possible in his steps taken. The chain connected to the wallet could be seen hanging from his right pocket, swaying back and forth as he pressed on. The sound of something roaring by from the left side caused him to look that way, only to see a pickup truck driving down the roadside.

"Just another vehicle."

He quickly refocused himself to the task at hand. Tonight's agenda wasn't just to find the opening he seeked, but a means of familiarizing himself with all things of importance. He stopped shortly after reaching a billboard which was clamped down to the side of a public gas station.

"What do we have here?"

He repositioned the hat to the back, giving him a better view of what was showcased on the wall. It didn't take long for him to find that it was a map of the city itself. He stood there for a time to come, taking much time in studying the many different routes that could be seen. It wasn't until he heard the sound of footsteps that he dropped his sights from the billboard, turning to see a smiling man in a jogging suit skipping toward his direction.

"You need help finding some place?" The man asked upon reaching him.

"Nothing in particular."

"Are you sure there isn't anything I can help with?" The man asked resulting to jogging in place.

"Well since you're here, would you happen to know a good place where I could get a hold of some fishing equipment?"

"About three blocks from here," The man replied holding out a hand. "There's a little place called Deco Scales, no way you can miss it."

"I appreciate the help."

"Anytime kid."

With that he skipped off to where he was headed, smiling brightly as he had been when he arrived.

"That there is one happy fella."

With the information given he looked back to the billboard once more, hoping he'd be able to pin point the place mentioned. It didn't take long for him to notice it wasn't marked.

"Looks like I'll have to do this the old fashioned way."

He continued his journey down the street from there, easing up in his posture as he walked. Unknown to him there was a dark figure from above, watching his every move in anticipation.

"My, my, what will he do next?"

Not surprising to him there were still several others occupying the streets. He arrived at the end of the block soon after. The light was red at that time, making him wait in his attempt at making a move for the other side. Once all was clear he was the first of the bunch to walk to the other side. Once there he reached out to a woman who had stopped.

"Excuse me," Kaito said laying a hand down to her shoulder. "But would you happen to know where a place called Deco Scales is?"

"Sorry, but I've never heard of it." She replied after facing him.

"I'll try asking someone else."

"I know where that joint is." Someone else said from behind.

He turned to see a man in overalls with a cap upon his head standing a couple feet away.

"You know where it is?"

"Of course," He replied. "It's not far from here, I'll take you there if you'd like."

"You sure that's ok with you?"

"Of course, I have nowhere to be," He stated. "By the way, the names Philon."

"Then your offer is accepted, Philon."

"Right this way."

They headed toward the left most like everyone else, taking a right after reaching the end of the block.

"So do you go fishing a lot?"

"Not very often," Kaito admitted. "I was just looking to get some supplies for a friend."

"Whatever you're looking for you are bound to find."

"That's good to know."

"This place has anything you may be hoping to find, I've been there several times myself when the season has come."

"The more I hear the more intrigued I'm becoming," Kaito said. "I almost forgot about the time of day, do you think this place would be open at this hour?"

"With Thomas running things I wouldn't bet against it, the guy keeps shop open almost twenty four seven."

"Sounds like an independent business."

"You guessed right."

"Does anyone else work at the store with him?"

"It's pretty much a family business, so you'll see some of the other guys subbing in here and there," Philon replied. "Not to mention a couple close friends he's got employed, why did you want to know?"

"Just curious."

"I see, you hoping to get employed."

"Not at all," Kaito replied. "Besides, I'm already wrapped in a job of my own at the moment."

He continued to follow him down the sidewalk, taking nearly a minute before the two finally came to a stop. They had finally arrived. He looked up at the sizeable structure, the first thing coming to sight being an emblem of a fish with the bold words 'Deco Scales' right below it. The electricity surrounding the sign sparked every few seconds in the time he stood there.

"Well, this is it."

"Thanks again for pointing me in the right direction."

"Any time, hope you find what you're looking for."

"Thanks Philon, I intend to."

That was the final words spoken between the two. He shifted his head to the right, watching as the stranger he had met walked back into the direction they had come.

"Maybe I'll see him again some time."

He turned back for the building soon after. A lighted sign which read 'Open' could be seen through the window, letting him know Deco Scales was in fact open for business. He walked forward after confirming this, pushing the door aside to hear the sound of a bell overhead. It only took a few seconds for someone to appear from the back end of the store, walking out past a large shelf which was in the center of the room. There standing before him was a large man, wearing what appeared to be a blue jump suit of some kind.

"I wasn't expecting to have any visitors at this time of night."

"I was told this place would still be open at this given time," Kaito said having a quick look around the room. "And judging by what I see this is defiantly the place."

"That's good to know."

"You're Thomas correct?"

"You know my name, how?"

"I heard it from the same guy who helped me find this place."

"Hmm, must have been one of the usual's."

"Does the name Philon ring a bell?"

"I had a feeling it was that young lad, comes in every few weeks or so."

"I got that vibe."

"Very well, now onto the matter at hand," Thomas said closing in further. "You must have something you seek, why else would you be here at a time like this."

"I need some equipment."

"Name it, there's almost nothing here that we don't sell."

"Fishing wire."

"One of the more popular purchases," Thomas said. "Will that be all?"

"I'm also going to need a dozen Orca Lures, a vest, and a net or two."

"Those items can be provided."

"Would you also happen to have water proof bags in stock?"

"Like I said before, anything you may be looking to find we have." Thomas smilingly replied.

"I'm liking this place already."

"Come on around back," Thomas said heading back to where he had come. "Why don't we start with the fishing wire of your choice?"

"That's a good place to start as any."

They made their way around a path of shelves on the way to the back end of the room, coming to find a glass case in the far right corner once reaching the back wall. It was pinned firmly in place, what was on the other side was very apparent. There were several brands of fishing wire, ranging from the thinness of statures to the more eye grabbing thicker types. This ranged from top to bottom, with the wider brands being toward the bottom.

"Love the set, though I never thought fishing wire would be locked down like seen here behind this glass case."

"That's only because this is for display," Thomas said. "Once you've made a decision on which type, I'll go into the storage room to retrieve the preferred type."

"That makes sense."

"Of course I'll also need the desired length of your choosing as well."

"The third one," Kaito said quickly making up his mind. "I'll go with the third one down."

"Not a bad choice," Thomas commented. "And the length?"

"1 828.8 centimeters."

"Give me a couple minutes to go and grab that for you."

"Take your time."

"If you'd like I could point you in the direction of the Orca Lures you were hoping to find."

"Where are they?"

"The right wall next to the register at the front," Thomas replied. "No way you can miss them."

"I'll meet you there."

He then took that time to make his way back to the front of the room, following the same path he had on the way back. He arrived to the wall soon after, looking at all contents hanging from the wall. There were several bait types to see, more than he had been expecting. They came in different forms, shapes, and sizes. He brought a hand to his chin as he began to skim his eyes over the selection, feeling it would be a difficult choice to make.

"Which one to choose."

He was looking for something small in size, nothing larger than four inches in width, length, or height. His searches continued all the way to the final row. He leaned down to have a closer look at the selection, finding them to be the smallest of the lot.

"Three of these should do," Kaito thought to himself. "I shouldn't need any more than that."

He grabbed three baits of his liking, examining each before standing back to his feet.

"These will do."

It wasn't long after that the sound of one of the doors toward the back end of the store could be heard flying open, taking only seconds for Thomas to reappear to the front.

"I see you've decided on a set of baits."

"They'll work just perfectly for what I set out to do."

"I'm glad to hear that," Thomas said placing a well strapped together line of fishing wire next to the register. "Any other fishing tackle you were hoping to find?"

"Would you happen to have fishing reels not yet attached to a rod?"

"Going custom I see." Thomas said taking a step around the register.

He watched as this occurred, wondering exactly it was that he was doing. Once reaching the back he stopped upon reaching one of the drawers, reaching inside to pull out a large black bag.

"Here we are my boy."

He placed the bag onto the register counter before reaching inside to pull out several individual fishing reels, all which he laid down out in front for him to see.

"There are twelve of them in all," Thomas said. "All are available for purchase, which one interests you most?"

He said nothing in response, simply reaching for the first one on the far left. Surprisingly he brought it to his ear, turning the handle while listening to the click. He lowered it back to the counter after doing this several times over. He did this for the remaining eleven, listening to the wisp each gave off in their rotation. After finishing with the last he skimmed over the selection once more, holding out a finger as if he had made a decision.

"What is it?" Thomas questioned.

"That one," Kaito replied. "The seventh one."

"Going with the Underspin reel I see," Thomas commented. "Mind me asking why you chose this one?"

"I like the way it handles," Kaito replied. "Not to mention its low pitch in sound when maneuvered."

"Will you be needing a rod as well?"

"Not this time around," Kaito answered. "But would you happen to have a selection of sinkers I could have a look at?"

"Of course, that's a given at a place like this."

"I'll be sure to get those the next stop here."

"So you plan on coming back, good."

"Though I'm going to put a hold on the sinkers I would like to purchase one of those water proof bags we discussed.'

"Wait right here, I'll go and grab you one," Thomas said stepping past the counter. "Would you like one with a strap?"

"That would be most appreciated."

"Coming right on up."

He left for the right side of the store this time, turning the corner just after reaching a shelf filled with fishing strategy books. His absence wasn't for long, taking little time for him to return with a large brown bag in hand.

"Will this do?"

"Looks sturdy enough." Kaito nodded in response.

He laid it down to the counter next to everything else he wished to purchase, taking little time in ringing it all up. He had more than enough to match the price, placing all products into the water proof bag on his way toward the exit.

"What about the requested vest?"

"I'll look into that next time as well."

"Looking forward to your next visit."

"As am I." Kaito said.

With that he pushed past the door to hear the same ring he had heard on his way in.

"That went fairly well."

He continued his path down the street, no true intent on where he would land next. He simply studied anything passed, from the standing street signs to the many buildings that filled the area. The task was clear, to familiarize himself with the city.

"It's now five minutes before ten, didn't realize that much time had passed."

Just up ahead a bus could be seen making a move to where a bus stop could be seen.

"What do we have here?"

He walked up to the side of the bus, catching sight of the number which read 127.

"I wonder where this leads," Kaito said. "I guess it wouldn't hurt to know the bus routes as well."

With that he made a move toward the front of the bus. The doors immediately opened upon reaching them. He stepped inside, tipping his hat to the driver before placing the required change into the slot.

"Nice night."

"Indeed it is."

He kept his head low as he made his way to the back of the bus, catching a glimpse of those already seated looking up at him. There were two men seated next to one another in the second row on the right. The one closest to the window had black spiked hair with a cloth tied around his forehead. The man next to him was a lot larger in stature. He had on a brown wool jacket with a matching hat. Sitting directly behind was a woman, barely catching a glimpse of her as he pressed on. He didn't stop until reaching the seat one spot ahead from the back row on the left side.

"This will do."

Once seated it didn't take long for the bus to start up. He eased back into the seat, having a look ahead to those seated in front of him. It didn't take long for him to figure that the three were together, as evident from a conversation that began between the three. He then looked to the opposite side to see a lone man seated three seats up.

"It appears this is just a typical night on the bus."

He referred back to the purchased bag shortly thereafter, looking over the additional contents laying inside. He reached in to grab hold of the fishing reel, bringing it to his ear as he listened to its tune for a second time.

"Its low pitch is just what I need; this will prove useful in the long run."

He placed it back into the bag before facing back to the front of the bus. Not much registered to his mind for the minutes to come; only the distinct sound of his name being mentioned brought his attention to the three who sat in the same row as him.

"Marco Gaffney… did they just mention Marco Gaffney?"

Now on alert he sat up in his seat, slightly leaning forward to try and hear what was being said on the matter. Unfortunately the bus came to a stop shortly thereafter. The three people sitting up ahead all stood to their feet, making way to the exit door towards the front.

"This might be the opening I was looking for," Kaito thought. "I can't allow for them to fall out of sight."

With that he strapped the bag back into place, making his way off of the bus with the use of the back doors.

"Looks like my stroll of the neighborhood is just getting underway."

To Be Continued