The Detective Prince
Standing back was the first move made, allowing for him to enter the room. There was much he wanted to ask. He closed the door before looking to attend to just that.
"Wherever have you been Master Kuroba?"
"I spent the night at another motel two miles from here."
"Why," Konosuke asked. "I don't understand."
"I didn't want to run the risk of them trailing me back here."
"What do you mean by they," Konosuke questioned. "You wouldn't happen to be referring to the people you followed last night would you?"
"Why am I not surprised."
"If it makes you feel any better things went fairly well," Kaito said. "Even better than I had hoped on my first night out."
"I figured that much when I saw your expression upon your return."
"I apologize if I had you worried."
"Don't mention it, I now understand the circumstances," Konosuke said. "You mentioned something when I first opened the door."
"We're in," Konosuke recalled. "Those were your first words to me."
"Oh, that's right," Kaito said. "Believe it or not we might have a chance of getting our hands on the Networks Pivotal Equalizer sooner rather than later."
"What an unexpected development," Konosuke said. "Please do explain."
"To make a long story short the guys I was following are friends of Marco Gaffney."
"That's the man you chose to frame with that scheme at the Futures Building right?"
"Correct," Kaito confirmed. "The good thing is they know nothing about that my involvement."
"And how do you plan to get a hold of the Networks Pivotal Equalizer?"
"This is where it gets interesting,"Kaito said. "The three that I was following after were joined by a fourth individual."
"If I'm not mistaken I'd say he's an outside guy," Kaito replied. "Someone who does business with them on several fronts."
"What do you mean by them?"
"The Blackgaters," Kaito clarified. "One of the more well known gangs in this town."
"You don't mean?"
"That's right, the three I encountered were all members of the Blackgate gang," Kaito confirmed. "Beesto and Jackson, those were the names of two of the members I encountered."
"And the third?"
"Oh yes, the woman," Kaito said. "Unfortunately I wasn't able to get her name… there was something different about her."
"After I allowed myself to be discovered she was the only one who showed no emotion to the situation, even when I pulled the gun on them."
"You had a gun?"
"I'll explain later," Kaito promised. "But back to the subject, it was almost as if she knew I had been following them."
"Did you exchange words with this woman?"
"No," Kaito replied. "Nor did she say anything to her comrades the whole time I watched them."
"Perhaps a disability with either hearing or speaking?"
"Highly doubtful, but not something I'd completely write off," Kaito replied. "It doesn't help when no one within the group addressed her directly."
"I wonder why that is."
"That's the least of our concerns," Kaito said. "Right now we should be preparing for tonight's meeting."
"The one I'm set to have with Beesto and Mr. Samlong."
"Who's Mr. Samlong?"
"The man I spoke of," Kaito replied. "The one to have joined the three shortly after I began to follow them."
"You say they have information to give about the Networks Pivotal Equalizer," Konosuke said. "But what's the catch, I doubt they'd be willing to give this information for free."
"You're absolutely right," Kaito said. "They want me to give them the one responsible for framing Marco Gaffney."
"But that would mean bringing."
"Yes," Kaito said before he could finish. "That would mean bringing Kaitou Kid into the center of things."
"Are you sure that is a good idea," Konosuke questioned. "There are other options that can be taken."
"None that will get us the Networks Equalizer any quicker than this," Kaito said in response. "You know that as well as I do."
"In any case have you heard from our... friend since my departure?"
"No," Konosuke replied. "There has been no word from the contractor since the last time the two of you spoke."
"What about this evidence you spoke of?"
"The evidence you plan to give them in exchange for the information we seek." Konosuke reminded.
"Video footage of what?"
"From when that diamond I left in place of the G3 Power Emitter was originally taken from the museum."
"I didn't know you had your hands on that."
"Well of course," Kaito said. "After stealing the diamond I made sure to remove all video feedback from the cameras that were rolling at the time."
"I take it you still have this footage."
"All neatly tucked away in the bottom drawer there." Kaito confirmed pointing to the right side.
"I would have expected nothing less," Konosuke said. "But aren't you concerned in the least?"
"In a sense," Kaito admitted. "There's always the chance they could back off on the deal."
"Have you put any thought into the case of that?"
"Let's just say I'm still contemplating on the matter."
"If you should know I'd be more than willing to help you with this."
"That might not be a bad idea."
"Where do you plan on meeting with this bunch?"
"At the same spot as last night," Kaito replied. "A train station where I originally confronted them."
"I think it'd be a good idea if you headed down there before tonight's occasion."
"That's something to think about."
"So, would you like me to come along?"
"I'd hate to make them uncomfortable."
"I meant only in a distant role."
"You know, that might actually prove to be beneficial," Kaito said. "
"Does that mean you agree?"
"Yes, as long as you stay out of sight."
"That was always going to be the plan."
"We have several hours between now and then," Kaito said. "We had better get started with our preparation."
He nodded his head in agreement, knowing this was a crucial stage in the process.
An hour and ten minutes had now passed from the time he had found his way to the station. When he was to arrive was the question of the day. He stood with his back rested to the wall, looking up in time to see detective Gates rejoin him.
"That didn't take long at all."
"I told you it wouldn't be," Rick said. "You sure you want to stand around here, we've got chairs in the waiting area if you would prefer."
"No thanks, I'm fine."
"You asked me about my involvement before."
"Do you plan on taking the floor when all is set up as well?"
"There would be no real reason," Rick replied. "As far as I know I'm only a spectator for the day."
"And here I thought you might have wanted to put in a word on the situation," Heiji said. "After all you've been working this case from the beginning yourself, even before I arrived in town."
"I've never been good with words," Rick admitted. "I'll leave the public speaking for you to handle."
"Do you know what you're going to say?"
"You know, I haven't really given much thought to that," Heiji replied. "Then again I'm not sure which grounds they wanted me to cover on the matter."
"It's no big deal," Rick said. "I'm sure Commissioner Gordon will let you know ahead of time."
"That's what I was thinking."
"Anyhow I fished up with another case I had been working for the past week."
"Is that right?"
"With the extra time on my hands I should be able to help more with the ongoing case involving this thief."
"That's good to know," Heiji said. "The more people involved with this the better."
He looked down at his watch once more to check the time, hearing the sound of the entrance doors slide open. He looked across the way to see several officers walk in, the last being the commissioner himself.
"Here we go," Rick said. "Maybe now things will get started."
The two of them watched as the group headed all the way to the far side of the room before finally coming to a stop. Conversation ensued amongst the group almost immediately after.
"What do you think's going on over there?"
"Can't really say," Rick replied. "My guess would be that they're collaborating on any last minute adjustments to be made before we're to begin."
"That might be the case."
"Regardless they're here," Rick said. "Which means we won't have much longer to wait."
"You're most certainty right."
"In the mean time I'd like to hear about your most recent episode."
"What's that?" Heiji questioned with the lift of a brow.
"Nano High," Rick replied. "I want to know what happened, from your perspective."
Ten minutes had now passed from the time they had spoken. He patiently awaited the call that was soon to come, spending those passing minutes to continue his analysis of everything laid out in front of him. The information being processed sealed further into his mind the more he went through, diagnosing it to the core.
"It's all here, the symptoms all the way to the after affect," Shinichi thought. "The only thing that now remains is to pin point a cause."
Through the thick of it all he eased back in the seat, looking to the ceiling as if to find an answer, one which would seemingly never come. The vibration of his phone caught him by surprise, reaching out to the table to grab hold of it.
"I'm still here." Shinichi said glad to hear back from him.
"All is ready to go with the system," Alfred informed. "The only thing that remains is for you to give me the names that you wish for me to run through the search engine."
"Loud and clear," Shinichi said reaching down for the file case. "I have an idea that would speed up this process."
"I'm open to any ideas you may have in mind."
"Do you have an email?"
"Well of course."
"Good, then we're good to go."
"What did you have in mind?"
"Give me the name," Shinichi replied "You'll understand the rest soon enough."
He listened to what was told for those next minutes, becoming more interested by the second.
"I had heard detective Galldon was there, I guess it was true."
"He was on top of the situation the whole time," Heiji said. "You couldn't ask for more out of someone."
"I'm shocked to hear that Grahm was the one to set that all up, then go as far to kill his own brother," Rick stated. "That there is some twisted stuff."
"That's how most felt."
"What do you think will happen to the girl?"
"That is yet to be seen," Heiji replied. "Only time will tell."
"How did everyone else take it?"
"It's going to be a long road for recovery, longer for some," Heiji replied. "Positioning at the company is another thing to look out for going forward."
"Which is to be expected."
It was at that given moment that they looked across the room in time to see Commissioner Gordon heading into their direction. They didn't say anything further, simply waiting for his arrival.
"Good afternoon gentlemen."
"To you as well." Rick said in response.
"I'm glad to see you were able to make it here Hattori."
"No way I was going to miss this."
"How long have the two of you been waiting?"
"A good enough time," Heiji replied. "But I'm ready whenever all is set to go."
"We're still a couple minutes from getting everything in line before we can begin."
"We thought that much."
"There's a couple things the lieutenant would like to address first before you take the floor."
"Since we're on the topic I wanted to know what you wanted me to say exactly," Heiji said. "There's a number of ways I could go with this."
"What did you have in mind?"
"Going through all details once again in this case is what I had in mind," Heiji began. "You can never nitpick at something too much when it comes to certain situations, Kaitou Kid being one of them."
"And the other?"
"Another route to take would be to focus strictly on the thief, from known interests to common tendencies."
"I don't see why you can't cover both topics." Rick said.
"He's right," James agreed. "The more familiar people are with this Kid thief and the situation the better."
"What about time?"
"Not at all," James replied. "You can take whatever time you need."
"Then it's settled," Heiji decided. "I'll do a full round house."
"Good," James said. "I have a few things to get cleared up, but I'll be back to let you know when you're up."
"And I'll be here."
"As will I." Rick said.
With that he made his way back to the other side of the room, rejoining the others he had entered the headquarters with.
"Not much longer to go, pity Kudo isn't here," Heiji thought. "This is right down his alley."
The sky was just as he heard it'd be from watching the morning news. The sun was partially blocked by a group of clouds to his delight, making for a cooler journey up the roadside. The destination came into sight soon after, picking up speed after passing a bump in the road. He arrived at the front gate soon after, surprised to find it open.
"It's open, that must mean someone's here."
He drove in past the gate, parking off to the left side before stepping off of the bike with the removal of the helmet. He immediately made his way toward the house, taking his time up the long fleet of stairs. Once at the top he gave the doorbell a ring. After waiting for nearly a half minute he gave it a second ring. Still there was no response.
"Maybe I should have called first, but with the gate open you'd think at least one person would be here."
Wondering if something could be wrong he reached out for the door knob. Before his hand could make contact the door slid open.
"Well look who it is."
"Damian." Tim said less than enthusiastic to see him.
"What are you doing here?"
"I have some information I'd like to juggle with the others," Tim answered. "Is anyone else here besides you?"
"Pennyworth is in the book room."
"You missed him about twenty minutes ago," Damian informed. "Him and Grayson went out to look into something."
"Any idea when they'll be back?" Tim asked walking in past him.
"Didn't ask, don't care."
"Never mind," Tim said heading for the bookroom. "I'll worry about that later."
Curious as to what brought him to the house he decided to follow him. They arrived to the door soon after, walking in to find him sitting in front of a computer that had been set up at the desk.
"Hope you don't mind me joining you."
"I thought I heard voices," Alfred said looking up to see the two. "What brings you here?"
"There's something I wanted to go over with Bruce," Tim replied. "But since he's not currently here I thought I'd go over this with you."
"I'd love to," Alfred said. "That is after I'm done here."
"What are you working on?" Tim asked moving further into the room.
"Something that detective friend of yours has him looking into." Damian replied finding a spot to stand near the wall.
"What does he have you searching up?" Tim asked finding his way to his side.
"A list of names," Alfred replied before looking back to the computer. "Names which were gathered from the case file he currently has possession of."
"I see," Tim said. "And what is the content of your searches on each?"
"I'm still in the process of figuring that out," Alfred replied. "The key is to find common ground between all victims."
"I see, you're trying to pin point a cause."
"In short, yes," Alfred confirmed. "Though the possibilities are wide as of now, there's no telling if the cause is by an activity these people have participated in or even a location they might have visited."
"When's the last you talked with Shinichi?"
"No longer than ten minutes ago."
"And did he tell you what he came by after looking over those files given to him?"
"No," Alfred replied. "He only sent me a list of all the names through email and asked for me to run a background check on all."
"Guess I'll have to contact him to find out."
"That's not a bad idea."
"Damian said Bruce left with Dick a short time ago," Tim said looking to change the subject. "Would you happen to know where they took off to?"
"I don't know where they went, but I do know why," Alfred replied. "It would appear something has come up in the case of Salomon Green."
"Hold on, isn't that the guy who was found dead in his home last week?"
"That is correct."
"I wonder what they could have possibly come by."
"Whatever it is I'm sure it was something of importance."
"What makes you say that?" Tim asked looking back his way.
"Upon his arrival it took only a minute for the two to head out for the road," Alfred informed. "Master Bruce said he'd call once all was taken care of."
"I wonder what that could mean."
That given moment brought the ring of his phone from below. He reached down to grab it, answering to hear a familiar voice from the other side.
"I saw that you called, sorry it took so long to get back to you."
"What do you mean?" Tim questioned.
"You tried reaching me yesterday right?"
"And I did," Tim said. "We already spoke sometime after three, don't you remember?"
"That would have been impossible, being that my phone was out of power at that time."
"… Where are you?"
"I just returned home, I was out in New York for the past two days."
"I told you that'd I'd be out there for a day or so the last we talked, don't you remember?"
"That must mean…"
"The sound in your tone, is everything alright?"
"Keep your phone on, I'll be contacting you soon," Tim stated. "Something isn't right."
"Mind telling me what?"
"You'll know as soon as I do."
"Get back to me as soon as possible."
With that he hung up, frozen with one question on his mind.
"What is going on?"
"Master Timothy," Alfred said regaining his attention. "Is everything alright?"
"It would appear not to be."
"Who was that you spoke with?" Damian asked.
"It was Conner." Tim replied turning to face him.
"So what's the problem?"
"He claims he had been in New York for the past two days," Tim informed. "If that is true, who was the man who accompanied Shinichi to Metropolis?"
To Be Continued