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

Other Chapters,


The Detective Prince

Chapter 95

Preparation For the Big Dance

He sat at the back of the bus, holding the phone out in front as he dialed the number once more. There was still no response, resulting in him putting the phone away. He looked out the window to a street sign, knowing his destination was fast approaching. He exited the bus upon reaching the next stop, being the only one to do so. He immediately checked the time on his watch, coming to find it was now eight after ten.

"Only a couple miles left, catching a cab the rest of the way there seems fit."

He trailed along side the road looking to do just that.

The energy that followed was a delight. After all the twists that had passed there was now a sense of accomplishment, a feeling that seemed far fetched in the previous hours. He remained seated, going through everything in his head once more to keep it all clear to his mind. Several sounds generated throughout, even coming from the cracked window across from where he sat. None of this disturbed him in the least, he welcomed it even. The door opened without warning, not surprised to be rejoined.

"You've been sitting here in silence for over twenty minutes now, why don't you go up stairs and get some rest." Bruce suggested.

"Not just yet," Conan declined. "There's one last thing I'd like to clear up."

"Your call," Bruce said. "What about Heiji, does he still plan on stopping by?"

"From my knowledge nothing has changed from the last we spoke."

"It's been almost an hour since then, he should be here relatively soon."

"So what happens two nights from now?" Conan asked slightly shifting the subject.


"When you attend the Futures building," Conan replied. "Is the plan for me to stick to the side lines once again?"

"There's no telling what they're after, let alone what they've got planned if they're successful," Bruce replied. "I'm going to need all eyes this time around, which will require your services."

"That leads into my second question, what's the task exactly," Conan questioned. "To look out for anything unusual?"

"Simply put, which directly ties in with the main objective."

"What happens if they discover our whereabouts before hand?"

"That's something to account for, which will heavily rely on our positioning," Bruce replied. "I'm familiar with the layout of the structure and have a good lock on all known exits."

"That leaves us set in that regard."

"But only a fraction of what we need," Bruce said. "We still need to find out what they're after, the sooner we know that the sooner we can build measures for counter."

"Now that we've got the location, my first guess would be they're eyeing something that is scheduled to be revealed," Conan said. "Maybe something that was created in the Scnapp Labs below."

"I'm inclined to agree, but we need to be sure," Bruce said. "Which will be difficult to figure since they're keeping a lid on what they plan to show until the night of the event."

"Regardless, I'm sure somewhere the riddle hints at the content of interest," Conan said. "I'll see if I can at least pin point that."

"I'll do the same when I return, but tight now I have somewhere to be," Bruce said. "If there's anything to report, you know how to contact me."

"Of course."

Bruce left the room with nothing further to be said. He rested his hands to the back of his head as he leaned to the seat. There was no need for him to look to the riddles again, each line sitting with a clear distinction in his mind. He sat there for a time to come, going through everything that had been discovered up to this point.

"There's no apparent nod to what they're after, perhaps there's more than one meaning to each phrase," Conan thought to himself. "Or one complete hidden message within the riddle as a whole."

Most questioning of all was the numbers surrounding the riddles, he hadn't quite determined their complete meaning evolving around the riddles.

"Then there's the lambda figure in the most recent riddle," Conan said with a slight turn in the chair. "The relevance in that defiantly has something to do with place or distance, maybe even a hint at what they plan to do."

All possibilities laid dormant to the back of his mind as he pushed up, heading straight for the book shelf for something he'd come across earlier in his searches. He stopped just before reaching out, feeling a sudden coolness pass through his body. It was then that a bright light flashed past the window, it was brief but just enough to catch his attention.

"He's here."

He put a hold to the investigation, heading out of the room with the switch of the light. The main room was dark as it had been before. He approached the front door, hearing the sound of more than one set of foot steps heading up the stairs from the other side. The door pushed open seconds later, causing him to step off to the side.

"Hopefully I didn't keep you waiting too long." Heiji said entering along with Alfred at his side.

"I had no idea you had left the premises," Conan said. "Were you the one to pick him up?"

"No, I simply opened the gate upon his arrival," Alfred replied with the close of the door. "He pulled up in a cab."

"I thought that much," Conan said. "I saw the tail lights while in the book room."

"I take it you can handles yourselves from here, if needed I'll be up stairs." Alfred said before making his way along.

"Have you leaned anything since the past hour?"

"More than we could have asked for."


"And Ran," Conan asked. "Did you get a hold of her?"

"She didn't pick up, but I'm certain she'll call back at her earliest convenience."

"Did you leave a message?"

"I'd rather I speak with her on the matter rather than leave a message."

"So tell me, what did you come across on your searches?"

"The Futures Building is the place, I'm sure of it," Conan said in response. "Bruce seems to agree."

"Alright then, what closed your decision between the two?"

"The riddle of course, but not just the riddle itself," Conan replied. "The distribution of the last riddle played a hand in our belief."

"I thought that might prove to be a deciding factor."

"With that in mind we looked to the cause of each, the audience can be just as important as the product."

"No disagreement there."

"What I came to find is the event being held at Delmore Industries is targeted at the locals, while the other has sparked an interest on a global level," Conan continued. "Why else spread the riddle across and out of town, it was a hint to where they plan to be."

"Clever, and their motive?"

"Still unclear," Conan replied. "I've gone through all the riddles an uncountable of times and can't seem to pin point what they're hoping to gain."

"Thankfully we've got time on our side."

"Not much."

"But it'll have to do," Heiji said. "Any analogy to what the lambda represents in relation to the location?"

"Haven't quite figured that out either," Conan replied. "Nor have we been able to deduce the role of the numbers."

"What if it's not dealing with location, but rather time and position?"

"Perhaps, but then there's also the deceptive nature of the individual in question," Conan said. "Instead of trying to understand what the numbers represent, why don't we try leveling our minds within a zone relative to theirs?"

"Putting ourselves in their shoes?"

"We have a small understanding on how the culprit thinks, that gives us a tweak of light to exploit," Conan said. "From what we've learned thus far, if you were the fugitive what would the numbers be used to symbolize?"

"That's a good question." Heiji said giving it some thought.

Neither had an answer, both diving deeper to try and gain an understanding of what they should prepare for. He looked to him with the shake of his head, seeing he to had nothing to say concerning the angle.

"Trying to match our psyche with whoever we're dealing with isn't exactly an easy task." Conan thought.

"There has to be something," Heiji said. "It doesn't fit the criteria for someone to give us a time and location but no hidden cause."

"Maybe not, but that might be the point," Conan said. "Instead of figuring out what we don't have, why don't we keep our focus to what we do."

"What are you thinking," Heiji questioned. "That this might lead to what they're hoping to obtain?"


"Not what I had in mind, but we're thin on leads as it is."

"I was thinking we should start with the location, the Futures Building," Conan began. "That's one known fact we now know."

"As well as the time."

"What if we inserted the location into the riddle itself?"

"Insert the location?"

"the Shows beginning shall proceed with all λ_0-(-30) 105 accounted in (Y)," Conan repeated. "The zero aside the underscore is what caught my attention."

"Why so?"

"Zero is usually the starting or center point on a coordinance, what if that point in this case is the Futures Building?"

"Ok, let's say this is true," Heiji said. "What about the -30 and 105?"

"Maybe two important locations aligned with the Futures building, or even something within it."

"Clever, and there's no telling since we don't know what the distances represented here are," Heiji said. "It could be miles, yards, even inches from point zero for all we know."

"Taking into account we still don't have a confirmed position for point zero, we should also look into other potential sites."

"Any that may be of interest, perhaps Starlest," Heiji said. "That's where this whole thing began."

"Then of course there's the center of the city itself, don't know what the odds are of that being the main point of focus."

"It's up in the air right now."

"How to narrow the list down from here is the question."

"How about starting with the first part of the last riddle," Heiji suggested. "(X) the prosper of growth isn't fostered within the past or present, for the Diamonds eye is for all to see."

"That first line seems to pack a message of its own."

"I got the same feeling while reading over it on the way here." Heiji said as the sound of his phone buzzed from within his jacket.

"Who is it?"

"One moment." Heiji said pulling it out to have a look.

He held the phone out in front of him, getting a clear view of the incoming call.

"Who is it?" Conan asked once more.

"It's Ran, keep it quiet for a second," Heiji said. "You speak with her as soon as I'm finished explaining."

"What are you going to say?" Conan asked with skepticism in his tone.

"Relax, I'll keep this as straight forward as possible."

He took his word for it, taking a step away as he watched him bring the phone to his ear as he answered the call.

"Good to hear from you, I heard about your adventure to that camp."

"How'd you find out?"

"From a mutual friend of your fathers," Heiji replied. "So, how did you like it?"

"It was a wonderful experience," Ran answered with high energy. "There's a plan for another around this time next year."

"And you plan to return?"

"Possibly," Ran replied. "I saw that you had called, why didn't you leave a message?"

"I was in the middle of something at the time, still am."

"Am I to assume it has something to do with a case?"

"You hit it right on the nail." Heiji confirmed.

"Where are you anyway," Ran asked. "When you called earlier your number registered as long distance."

"That's exactly what I wanted to speak with you about," Heiji said. "I'm actually on a trip of my own, been out here for the past week or so."

"Past week, where are you?"

"We're currently here in Chicago, but plan on taking our investigation to Ohio in the next two days."

"We, what do you mean we?"

"Well you see," Heiji laughingly said. "The kid's actually been accompanying me on my travels."

"You mean Conan," Ran questioned. "I was told he was in Gotham."

"That was the case four days ago."

"So you've been with him this whole time?"

"From day one."

"And why are you dragging him along on this case you're working?" Ran asked becoming short in her tone.

"Sightseeing was the planned agenda, things just happened to take an unfortunate turn."

"Where is he now," Ran asked. "Can I speak with him?"

"Of course," Heiji said dropping a hand down to his shoulder. "He right here next to me, I'll put him on right away."

"I'd really appreciate that."

He lowered the phone down to him taking a step off to the side after doing so. He immediately brought the phone to his ear, standing there for a brief period time before finally bringing himself to speak.


"Conan, are you ok?"

It was only shallow at first, increasing with each moment that passed..


The surging streak coolness from within took over, rendering him speechless. His sense of feel became lost to which resulted in the phone releasing from his grasp. His vision followed as he toppled forward into what could have been a pit of darkness.

The sound of the drops trailing along the window side served as a lullaby, even while his mind was closed off from all else around. A flash of light passed from afar, doing just enough to alarm him. He was unsure of where he was, only feeling a sharp pain on his left arm and the smooth surface below. His eyes slowly opened, rolling to his side to see the rain pouring down from outside. He then pushed up, taking little time to look to his left arm to see something wrapped to the upper half. He was back, back to the room registered to him from the day he had arrived.

"My arm.. I wonder what happened to it." Conan said slightly moving his it to test it.

He quickly stopped in response to the expanding pain. He then brought his right hand to his head, trying to recall what had put him in his current position. Bits came back little by little. He then looked to the window again to see the sun making its descension to the other side. It seemed to have gotten lighter from what he remembered.

"I wonder how long I was out?"

He looked down to his wrist to answer that very question only to find his watch no where to be seen. Before another attempted move could be made the door opened.

"I see you've finally awoken." Alfred said closing the door upon entering.

"What happened?"

"We're still in the process of figuring that out."

Feeling light he leaned back to the headboard of the bed as he looked to the ceiling.

"How long was I out, about an hour or so?"

"Afraid not," Alfred replied. "You were out for nearly twenty four hours."

"Twenty four hours?"

"We've been monitoring your condition ever since your unexpected fall."

"What about my arm," Conan said focusing his sights downward. "Why is it wrapped up, did I hurt it on my fall to the ground?"

"As I said before we've been monitoring your condition," Alfred stated. "After you didn't awake by noon of today we decided to extract blood from your system to have a closer look."

"And the results?"

"Master Wayne hasn't gotten around to that just yet," Alfred replied. "He and the others are down stairs discussing the plans for tomorrow nights big event."

"That's right, the Futures building." Conan said making a move to get out of bed.

"I strongly object, in no way should you be up and about at this time," Alfred said. "The last thing we'd want is for your condition to worsen."

"How long do you propose I sit it out here?"

"At least until the morning," Alfred replied. "If you show convincing progress I see no harm in you rejoining the others, but until then it would be wise for you to rest for the time being."

He was hesitant but found it in himself to stash himself back under the sheets.

"Is Heiji here as well?"

"They all are." Alfred confirmed with a nod.

"Before he leaves do you think you could send him up, there's something I'd like to ask."

"Of course, I'll gladly let him know," Alfred said. "If there's anything you may need, call and I'll be here."

With that he turned for the door, exiting as swiftly as he had entered.

They all stood gathered around the table, watching as a large sheet was placed out in front for all of them to view. Each section was just as complex as the other in form.

"This is it," Bruce said. "The floor plans for the Futures building."

The next moments were taken to familiarte themselves with each divided section, taking note of the marked areas.

"What do the red areas represent?" Heiji asked.

"Where each of us will be positioned, I also circled in all the exits in blue," Bruce pointed out. "Knowing all potential escape routes is just as important as finding out what they're after."

"So besides Grayson and Damian the rest of will be in attendance?"

"Correct," Bruce confirmed. "They will be watching the outer boundaries as we discussed."

"Why don't we go over the fine details once more just so we're all certain everyone is on the same page." Dick suggested.

"Agreed," Tim said. "We've only got one nab at this, we've gotta make it count."

"Then we'll start with the perimeter," Bruce said. "Our other sites to account for."

"Which means referring back to the riddle," Heiji said. "We've all come to agree the zero is the vocal point, being the Futures building."

"Then there's the -30 and 105, and with the lambda attached it points directly to longitude," Dick added. "With that known fact the Futures building should be viewed as the Prime Meridian, for this case."

"The only given coordinates are a -30 and 105," Tim continued. "All numbers east of the Prime Meridian are viewed as positive, on the flipped side all numbers located west of point zero are negative."

"And exactly 0.0597 of a mile to the east of the Futures building you have the Starlest that was originally targeted," Bruce said. "While 0.01704549 of a mile to the west of the Futures building is where the original Starlest facility is located, and exactly thirty miles to the north of that is the Gotham City Police Head Quarters."

"0.0597 and 0.01704549 when converted into yards amounts up to 30 and 105 yards respectively." Heiji added.

"Though each of those locations have played a prominent role in our investigation, we still don't know what their relation is to the planned heist." Dick said.

"Which is why you'll be covering the west side within a two mile radius from the Futures building," Bruce said. "I'll leave the east end for Damian to watch."

"And what is it we should be looking out for?" Damian asked.

"Anything out of the ordinary," Bruce replied. "Remember to keep your sights on Starlest, if anything comes your way be sure to radio before pursuing after anything."

"Sounds simple enough."

"Which leaves the rest of us to occupy the insides of the chosen target." Heiji said.

"You almost sound displeased." Dick commented.

"Not at all, I'd take this over sitting in wait any time of the week."

"So now that we've got everything lined up, what happens next?" Heiji asked.

"We keep digging until there is nothing else to find, starting with what is directly located in between the first Starlest hit and the Police headquarters," Bruce said. "The connection between the two as opposed to the Futures building may prove worth while."

"I'll look into it as soon as I touch base with something else I've been working on." Tim volunteered.

"Good," Bruce said turning his sights elsewhere. "The police seem adamant this thief will make their move at Kelver's, Heiji I'd like for you to have a word with Gordon."

"What do you want me to say?"

"Present to him what we've discussed," Bruce replied. "At less we'll get a small margin to attend the Futures building tomorrow night."

"I'll head there first thing tomorrow morning."

"Will that be all?" Dick asked.

"I'm going to call their center to check for scheduling, but other than that it's a wait and see approach." Bruce replied.

The door opened just as they were closing up, all looking over to see Alfred enter in.

"I've come with some pleasing news," Alfred informed. "The boy has finally awoke."

"How is he?" Heiji asked

"He seems fine, but advised for him to stay put until tomorrow," Alfred replied. "He asked to see you, you're welcome to go up any time."

"I think I'll do that."

"I'll come with you." Tim said.

The two of them left the room in that given moment with Alfred following in their trail. That left the three of them as the only to remain in the room.

"I must say, I'm surprised in your decision to have Heiji talk with Gordon on the subject rather than going to him yourself."

"Getting in contact with him these past two days has been difficult, being with the schedule I'm on," Bruce said. "He also wasn't in his office when I stopped by yesterday night, he was probably out making preparations for what he believes is to occur at Kelver Side Crafts."

"I really don't see the use in police force involvement," Damian said. "This is a light task, one which we should be able to handle with little to no problem."

"Having an extra pair of eyes isn't always a bad thing," Dick said in response to his comment. "Not to mention having areas watched we're not able to account for with our small numbers."

"Seeking the help of anyone to increase our numbers far exceeds what is required," Damian said. "My instinct tells me we're dealing with nothing but a push over, one which will fold easily once discovered."

"Never doubt the unknown boy," Bruce warned. "As soon as you do, it will run circles right past you."

"That works both ways," Damian said. "They too have no idea what they're dealing with."

".. Maybe."

Every minute that past brought a higher level of comfort, easing back down as he looked to the ceiling once again. He laid there for a small amount of time, remembering almost everything that had happened before he had fallen under. He turned his head at the sound of the door, sitting up as he watched the two of them enter.

"Look who finally decided to rejoin us," Tim said. "How do you feel?"

"A little light headed," Conan replied. "But other than that, I'll live."

"That's good to know, we were worried about you there for a second."

"How much did I miss?"

"We believe we solved almost all elements of the riddles," Heiji replied. "Only a few minor points remain to be addressed."

"Any change on where we think the thief will appear?"

"No, the Futures Building seems to be the place," Tim replied. "Though other locations have been added to the mix, we're still in the process of determining their relevance."

"And where are these other places located?"

"Why don't we save that for a little later, now's not the time to over load your mind with anything," Tim said. "We came up strictly to check on you."

"Alfred said there was something you wanted to ask," Heiji said. "I'm guessing it has something to do with the moments following your fall."

"That's exactly what I wanted to ask about," Conan confirmed. "What happened with Ran, what did you tell her?"

"Nothing," Heiji replied. "I hung up."

"You what?"

"That was the best decision that came to mind at the time," Heiji said. "I didn't want to come up with something on the fly, I was more concerned with your condition more than anything else."

"Please tell me you've called her back since then to clarify what happened?"

"Of course," Heiji said. "I simply told her the battery to the phone juiced out during your conversation."

"I guess you can't go wrong there, did she ask for me when you recalled?"

"I told her you were asleep," Heiji replied. "Which worked out for the best since she tried reaching you through your phone as well."

"I better call her back within the next twenty four hours before she becomes worried."

"We've got a lengthy road ahead of us," Tim said checking the time. "Is there anything you need or want before we take off?"

"A sheet of paper and a pen would be nice."

"I don't think so, no riddle solving for you tonight," Tim said. "What you need is some shut eye, we'll evaluate your status come tomorrow."

"Why do I get the feeling I'm being punished?"

"Laying it low isn't always the funnest of things," Tim said. "But it's a good idea at this point, at least until we know what you've come down with."

"Don't worry Kudo, we'll keep you filled in every step of the way." Heiji added.

"I'd rather be a part of it, not just as a spectator." Conan mumbled.

"Well, it's about that time." Tim said. "You should expect my return some time tomorrow morning."

"You plan on coming as well?" Conan asked sitting up even further.

"Don't know," Heiji replied. "I have a trip to make to the police station, how much time that will take up is uncertain."

"And I get to camp it out here, what a joy."

"It might not be for much longer, but until then try to keep a limit on your activity." Tim said turning for the door. "I'll be back no later than ten tomorrow."

The two left the room with nothing further said, shutting the door on their way out. He dropped back to the pillow, setting his sights to the ceiling once again.

The coming hours brought a brightening sky, no clouds to be seen within the seeable distance. He sat there in the quietness of the room, finding it hard to hold back a sinister grin that found its way to his face. He stood up from the chair in the coming moments, pulling an envelope from his jacket as he did.

"It is near."

What was laid away within the envelope was quickly unraveled, staring down at the invitation before him. He traced his finger along the letters, following all the way through to the final line which read out as 'Grand Opening Of The Futures Building'.

"Only one day remains, then the domino will be set in motion."

To Be Continued

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

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."


"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."


"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.


"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.


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