Lightest of Nights: A Deck of Minds
Meet Kogoro's Fan Boy
All eyes resided on him. It was clear everyone was waiting for him to speak once more. Damian finally did just that. "I look forward to familiarizing myself with each and every one of you."
Sumiko added on to the spoken. "Now that you all know his name, why don't we take the time for you all to introduce yourselves to Wayne-kun?" A cheerful reaction by the majority of the class erupted. She smiled. "Then let us begin."
Starting from the left side of the classroom to the right each student introduced themselves. He listened, familiarizing himself with each name and face. After a short time Conan was up. All attention was now on him. He stared into the eyes of Damian who did the same in return. This wasn't a genuine look, no. Was he being analyzed? Conan flicked an eye. Damian didn't budge. The wave of the teachers hand was what brought his attention back.
"Edogawa-kun," Sumiko called. "It is your turn to introduce yourself."
He smiled brightly. "Oh yea." Conan faced Damian for a second time. "Hi, my name is Edogawa Conan."
Damian's eyes casually rolled over to the next student. Was he truly studying each of them? "Maybe I'm just over thinking it," Conan thought to himself. "It has been a long couple days."
The remaining students introduced themselves within the next minute. Once that was complete Sumiko took the floor. "Now that you all have introduced yourselves to our guest we will now begin today's lesson."
"Ok!" chanted the children cheerfully.
Hearing their enthusiasm Sumiko smiled. "Alright class, go ahead and open your text books to chapter six." She looked back down at Damian. "If you'd like you're free to explore the classroom. You can even look over what the students are doing if you'd like."
"Duly noted," replied Damian.
Sumiko then faced the class once again. "Ok, so who wants to start us off by recapping what we discussed last period?"
Four, twenty two, eleven; those were the magic numbers to unlock the locker before him. After rolling through the code Kaito pulled the door open. "There you are." He reached in for the science textbook that was sitting in the right corner of the enclosed space. Once in his hand he closed the door to find one of his female classmates now standing beside him. It was none other than the school witch, Koizumi Akako.
"Kuroba-kun," Akako greeted.
"Akako, what are you doing here," Kaito asked as he looked down at his watch. "Class begins in less than two minutes."
She frowned as if to show little care of that fact. "You haven't attended class since last Thursday."
He shrugged. "I've been busy." Kaito simply put. A grin formed following this. "Did you miss me?"
She rolled her eyes, ignoring his remark. "Were you so busy that you didn't hear about Tanakai Rio?"
The sharp grin on his face faded after hearing this. "Tanakai Rio?" Kaito took the next second to think about it. He shook his head. "Should I know who that is?"
"He was an upper classman who was enrolled here at Ekoda High."
"He was found dead two days ago, a few miles from here," Akako informed. "From reports they're saying he died due to the effects of a new drug that has been going around. Prior to his death the last place he was seen was here at school."
This was an unexpected surprise. Even still the question had to be asked. "Why are you telling me this?"
She turned away with the sway of her long black raven hair. "I had a very telling vision. This is only the beginning," Akako conveyed as she began to walk away. "I foresaw a creature of the night, a demon that seeks you. A Red Demon. It will soon appear, and when it does you must avoid it at all costs."
She looked back at him for a final time. "Because if you don't, I fear your end will come."
With nothing more to add she trotted off, leaving him more confused than before. "A Red Demon?" He paused at the thought of it. "Could there be some truth to her vision?"
Seconds passed. He began snickering at the thought of it. "Akako has always been a little fool of herself," Kaito laughed. Relief came following that thought. "I'm sure there's nothing to worry about."
With that he too made his way to class.
Their eyes followed as he paced from the front of the classroom to the back. It was a trend that had gone on for a majority of the period. There was only one thing on his mind, the mission.
"I was sent here to uncover the truth behind Scarecrow's operation. I only have one legitimate lead to work with," Damian mused taking another step. He stopped in that instance as he reached into his pocket to grab hold of a tracker device. "Father placed a tracer on a crate that was shipped here from Gotham, a crate filled with materials to produce the fear gas."
Damian raised the device to eye level. "And still no movement of the crate." He placed the device back into his pocket. "Just how long do you plan on waiting before making your next move Crane?"
Damian began walking once more, this time looking over the students seated before him. The purpose for why he was here rushed to mind in that instance. "Due to what occurred at this school yesterday, my father saw to it for me to be stationed here indubitably. The task is clear, find out how Scarecrows toxin ended up in this school." His hands clutched at the thought of it. "This is not where I belong. I should be on the main lines, I should be searching for Scarecrow.. Not standing here in the service of adolescents."
The more he thought about it the more irritated he became. The schools bell rang seconds later, igniting a cheer of excitement from the students. This could only mean one thing. "Schools out!" chanted a boy seated at the back of the classroom.
As the children made their way out of the classroom Sumiko relayed a final message to each of them. "Don't forget this coming Friday is show and tell," Sumiko reminded. "So be sure to keep that in mind with the coming days."
"We will!" many of them responded.
In a matter of minutes the five of them made their way out of the school. It was here that the question was asked. "Before I forget, has anyone heard anything about Eilji-sama's condition," asked Mitsuhiko. "I hope he's doing ok."
Conan took no time in delivering the good news. "He's perfectly fine. I got a chance to visit him yesterday along with Kogoro-ojisan. Thankfully Eilji-sama was in stable condition."
His peers couldn't be any happier with the news. "What did he say?" asked Ayumi.
"Did he tell you what happened to him?"
"I didn't speak with him directly," Conan informed.
"Well, at least he is ok," Mitsuhiko said relieved to hear. As they continued to walk he decided to flip subjects. "So have any of you decided on what you're going to bring for show and tell this Friday?"
"Hmmm.. I'm not sure yet," admitted Genta.
"Isn't keeping what you plan on bringing a secret the best part?" questioned Conan before any of the others had a chance to speak.
An inquiring look came to his face. "How so?" asked Genta.
"By not telling us what you're going to bring you leave room for surprise," Conan simply put.
The five soon came to a stop upon reaching roadside. Within moments of this Ayumi pointed to the opposite side of the street. "Hey look guys, it's him!"
Each of them looked into the pointed direction to find him standing under the shade of a tree with his eyes closed. "Isn't that Sumiko-sensei's class assistant?" asked Genta.
"Wayne, Damian," reminded Mitsuhiko. "And yes, that appears to be him."
A concerned look could now be seen on Ayumi's face. "He looks lonely," observed Ayumi. "Do you think we should go over and see if he is ok?"
"We shouldn't bother him," objected Haibara. "For all we know he could be waiting for someon-"
Before she could finish Ayumi raced across the road that was free of traffic. Both Genta and Mitsuhiko followed after her almost immediately. Conan shook his head before doing the same.
Damian's eyes peered open at the sound of their approach. He pushed up from where he leaned against the tree all while uncrossing his arms as he faced the girl now standing across from him. Looking down at her curiously he spoke. "Is there something I can help you with?" inquired Damian.
The others arrived in the seconds followed. "It.. it's just that you looked lonely," stammered Ayumi.
Damian did not respond, simply looking her over as if to wait for her to continue. There was now clearly a light tension that resided. When neither spoke Genta decided to jump in. "Wayne-san, I take it this is your first day here in Tokyo?" Genta smiled. "If you'd like, we could show you around. I know of some really cool places you might like, especially where we can eat. I'm starving!"
"But we don't have time for that. You haven't forgotten about the investigation have you?" Mitsuhiko reminded.
This sparked a small level of interest. "Investigation?" asked Damian.
He was uncertain if he should reply. When none of the others did he responded. "Yes," Mitsuhiko answered. "I don't know if you are aware, but one of the teachers at our school was poisoned yesterday. It is up to us to figure out what caused it."
This was now more than just a group of students that had approached him, but also ones who shared a common ambition as himself. Finding out how Eilji Amou was poisoned. However this was not something he was going to reveal to a group of 'adolescents'.
"That sounds like a job for the police," replied Damian. "Children shouldn't trouble themselves with such a task."
"But it's our job," Ayumi defended.
Damian eyes rolled back into her direction. "What's that?"
"We're the Detective Boy!" Ayumi finally revealed. "It is our job to unravel mysteries."
"Something none of you are obligated to do," Damian retorted.
"Doesn't mean we can't lend a helping hand," challenged Genta in response. "We have solved many cases on our own you know."
This didn't change his mind in the least. "Word of advice," Damian began as he turned to walk away. "Let the adults handle public affairs. And for all of you.. Go and be children, while you still can."
Damian spoke not another word on his departure.
"He doesn't understand," Mitsuhiko stated.
"Yea!" agreed Genta clutching his fists.
"Hey, hey," Conan said stepping in front of his friends. "Don't let what he said bother you."
Following this Conan began to stroll away from the group. Noticing this Haibara questioned him. "Where are you going?"
"I'll be back shortly," Conan promised. "There's something I need to ask Kogoro-ojisan."
"Where do you want to meet us?" asked Mitsuhiko.
"I'll call you." Conan replied.
With that he too made his exit.
Adrenaline was on the edges brink as they coursed through the night streets. They were now moving at a speed two times of the speed limit. The sirens of the opposition were no longer in sight. Had they finally gotten away?
"You see them?" asked the driver behind the wheel.
"Na," the man in the passenger seat responded shaking his head. "I think we finally lost em."
A smirk registered on his face. "Marvelous." The driver couldn't be any more satisfied.
The moment following this brought a dark shadow that casted over them from high above. "It's him!" one of three gunmen sitting in the back shrilled.
"Who?!" the man seated in the passenger seat asked.
"The.. the Batman." another fretted.
"Dammit," the driver spat. "We need to lose him!"
In that instance a loud thump was heard from on top of the car.
"That's him, fire!" the driver instructed.
Without hesitation they began firing at the roof of the car. Now with their attention focused upward Batman smashed his arm in through one of the windows, watching as the scattered bits of glass soared away. Now with an opening he tossed a smoke bomb into the car before leaping off of the top of the vehicle just as the bullets began penetrating through.
"I can't see!" the driver coughed.
Steering with a blind eye the driver drove off path before crashing into a light pole which brought them to a complete halt. The man sitting in the passenger side immediately forced the door open before falling down onto the side of the road as he coughed out. Within moments the shadow of a bat loomed over him.
"Oh shit," the man spat as he felt himself lifted up from the ground.
He now stared into the eyes of the bat, feeling a tremble within himself that had never been felt. "It… it's really you."
"Where is Scarecrow?!" glared Batman.
Not satisfied with the given response Batman charged forward, pinning him up against the light pole with ample force. He shrieked from the sharp pain that ignited from his back on contact.
"Not the answer I want," Batman declared. "Do you want to try again?"
"I don't know man, I swear!" he wailed in fear. "We were only hired to help with tracking Scarecrows stuff, that's all. I promise!"
This bit of information interested him. "What stuff," Batman asked pressing him tighter against the pole. "What is Scarecrow trying to track?"
"His own product," the minion of Scarecrow clarified. "Someone stole one of Scarecrow's ingredients for his latest toxin and has been not only producing it, but selling it on the wider market. That's the truth man, I'm not lying. That's all I know, I swear!"
Batman's eyes tingled after learning this information. But what did it all mean? The approach of police sirens came to ear in that instance. He stepped back, tossing the man who had been in his grasp to the ground. He then reached for his grappling hook, now in hand he used it to propel himself to the rooftops.
He now looked on from above, observing as the five men who he had chased were now in handcuffs and being placed into separate patrol cars. But above all what were the ramifications in light of the surfaced information? "If Scarecrow isn't the one who has been shipping the toxin overseas, then who is it?" Batman stood in thought for several moments before hearing a buzz of the communication device within his ear.
By the tune of the ringer he knew exactly who it was. "What is it Robin?" Batman answered.
"Father, there has yet to be any movement from the shipments you tagged at Skytale," dispatched Damian.
"Continue monitoring the situation."
"Wouldn't it be sufficed if I went to Skytale to take another look?" suggested Damian.
"No, I want you to keep a look out from afar," Batman shot down. "The last thing we want is to tip our hats to the enemy that we're on to them."
"Maybe there is something you missed," argued Damian. "Taking another look is only beneficial to us."
"You will remain out of costume until I say otherwise, that's an order," Batman retorted. "It would be too convenient if Robin is spotted in Tokyo."
"You just started as a student assistant at Teitan Elementary today," Batman reminded. "If you cause any kind of noise that only leaves room for someone to tie Damian Wayne to Robin, by committing yourself to being patient we can avoid that all together."
"I won't get seen," Damian reasoned.
"This discussion is over," Batman concluded. He then pushed focus to the other given mission. "Robin, how did things go at Teitan Elementary? Did you look out for anyone suspicious as we discussed?"
"Yes, of course."
"Nothing noteworthy," replied Damian.
"The mission remains the same. Find out who used Crane's toxin on Eilji Amou," Batman stated. "You do that, that brings us one step closer to the truth."
".. Yes father."
"Unless there is something else you would like to bring to my attention, there is a matter I need to attend to."
The link between the two shut off in that moment. This left him to sail within his thoughts once again. "If Scarecrow isn't the one behind all of this.. then who is? Just what the hell is going on?"
The phone rang once, then a second time. It rang a few times more with no one answering. All this meant was that they would have to leave a message, something that didn't bother them in the least.
"King, it's me. I would first like to thank you and your comrades for setting another of the so valuable Revenant Warriors within my lap. While unfortunate the other fell into the hands of another, it is now a point of less impact, for I know where the Kid thief will appear next." They took a sip of tea from the cup in hand. "Tokyo, Japan. Your Gotham's famous Bruce Wayne is having an art show put together; and one of the items on display, the Elephant Revenant Warrior. Kaitou Kid will no doubt make a move in attempt to retrieve it, and when that happens you will intercept him. In affect you will not only obtain the Elephant, but the Dragon statue that Kid managed to get away with in your last encounter. Good luck with your new mission, Royal Flush Gang."
With their message relayed in full they hung up the phone before easing back in their seat. "The time is near, just a little longer."
Back in Japan
Not a single stop was made on his way back to the detective agency. Conan pushed past the door to find the one who he sought staring out past window side. Upon hearing his entry he turned around. "Oh, it's just you," noted Kogoro.
"Hmmm, are you expecting a visitor?" asked Conan out of curiosity.
"Yes, a client," confirmed Kogoro stepping away from the window. "He should be here any minute now."
It was at that moment that Conan took notice of the headline on the TV which read 'Breaking News: Kaitou Kid name's his next prize of interest!' He then looked back at Kogoro. "Before your client arrives, can I ask you something?"
Kogoro looked down at him in a questioning matter. "What is it?"
"It's about yesterday," Conan began. "You talked to Eilji-sama when you were at the hospital, what did he say?"
"What was spoken between us is none of your concern," Kogoro replied.
"But it wasn't me who wanted to know," Conan lied in reaction to his response. "Sumiko-sensei is a friend of his, so she's the one who wanted to know."
The expression on his face changed completely after hearing this. Just as he was to respond the sound of someone ascending from the staircase on the other side of the wall was heard. There was no doubt in his mind who it was. "That's my client. We'll talk about this later."
Given the situation Conan was content for the time being. In a matter of a couple moments the expected knock came from the door. Given that he was the closest Conan walked over and opened it. There standing on the other side was a man with red hair wearing a dark blue three piece suit. He was a foreigner, there was no mistaking it.
"Welcome," Kogoro said making his way over. "You must be-"
"Eddy," the man in the suit of blue interjected as a look of excitement came on his face. "I can't believe it, you're him, the myth, legend.. I'm now standing before the famous renowned Sleeping Kogoro!"
Uncertain on how to respond Kogoro chortled in pride. "Yep, that's me!"
Eddy reached out to shake hands with Kogoro who accepted. "Wow, just wow. I'm shaking hands with the Sleeping Kogoro," Eddy said as his excitement continued to rise. He then placed his left hand over Kogoro's right while continuing to shake. "Wow, incredible."
"Ohhh kay then," Kogoro said finally breaking away from the handshake.
Conan couldn't help but laugh inside. "It would appear Kogoro has met his ultimate fan boy."
It was only then that Eddy took notice of the boy standing down at his feet. "Well hello there, you must be the Sleeping Kogoro's sidekick I've heard so much about, Conan right?"
"Sidekick.." muttered Conan as he rolled his eyes.
"Go on Conan, don't be impolite," Kogoro pushed. "Introduce yourself."
"There is no need," Eddy assured. "I know all about little Conan."
"Well I certainly hope not," Conan spoke under his breath.
"You say something?" Eddy smilingly asked leaning in.
"It's nice to meet you!" Conan cheerfully replied.
"Why thank you Conan-kun." Eddy then stood up straight as he looked back at Kogoro.
"So, about the case we discussed over the phone," Kogoro began.
"Oh yes, that is after all why our paths have crossed on this fateful day!" Eddy hollered happily with the snap of his finger.
"Come, let's have a seat over by the couch," Kogoro motioned with the wave of his hand as he walked over. "No need for you to stand any longer."
"Your hospitality is well appreciated," Eddy complimented as he followed.
The two took seats on opposite sides of one another. Now comfortable Eddy reached into the left side of his jacket to pull out a silver colored envelope. He placed it atop the table before sliding across. "What's this?" asked Kogoro grabbing hold of it.
"As I relayed to you in our initial conversation over the phone, I'm here on the behalf of a friend," Eddy reminded. "Unfortunately he cannot show his face at this time."
"As you said before," Kogoro recalled. "Though, you were vague about the details of his problem."
"Now that I'm here we can go over the details in full," Eddy pleasantly announced. "So this friend of mine, we'll call him 'Adam' for the sake of discussion. You see Adam is an honorable guy, good looks, hard worker, and very respected by his peers. Some even see him as the greatest thing to come since the creation of light!"
Eddy fell back into the softness of the couch before continuing. "With success such as Adam has seen in this period of his life you're bound to manifest peers in your presence that view your success as a roadblock or even challenge to their own." A saddened look fell upon Eddy's face. "This is the unfortunate case when it comes to my dear friend Adam."
"How do you mean?" asked Kogoro.
"Tell me detective, in the face of challenge what do you do to defeat the opposition?" After a brief pause Eddy answered just that. "You break them. And what is the psychologically quickest way to break any man? Simple, you go after his children."
"What are you trying to say Eddy-san?" asked Kogoro.
"Adam's daughter has been taken," Eddy finally revealed. "Kidnapped if you will."
"What?!" exclaimed Kogoro. "What do you mean his daughter has been kidnapped?!"
From where he spectated from a close distance away Conan's eyes narrowed in light of learning this.
"It is as it sounds, Adam's daughter has been kidnapped," confirmed Eddy.
"Then if that is the case then why not go to the police?" Kogoro asked.
"Because if we do Nar's kidnapper will kill her," Eddy conveyed.
"Nar," Conan asked finally joining the two. "Is that the name of your friend's daughter?"
Eddy nodded. "That is correct."
"How come you can't tell us your friend's real name?" Kogoro asked out of curiosity.
"He must remain anonymous for the time being," Eddy replied. "That is why I am here to reach out for help on his behalf."
"Do you at least have any information for who the kidnapper might be?" Kogoro questioned.
"I do not know his or her name, so we'll simply refer to them, the kidnapper as 'Goliath'," Eddy replied. "After taking Nar the kidnapper taped that silver envelope onto the window of Adam's home. Inside is a hint to where the girl may be, along with what Goliath seeks."
Kogoro then opened the envelope, pulling out a folded up sheet of paper that had been tucked away inside. He unfolded it only to have a questioning look come to his face. Noticing this Conan couldn't help but inquire on the matter. "What's wrong?"
"It looks like nothing but a several characters randomly placed together," replied Kogoro who handed the sheet of paper over to him.
Conan looked it over only to come to the same conclusion. "It certainly looks that way."
"I thought the same at first until I looked at it backwards," announced Eddy.
"Backwards?" Kogoro was unsure of what was meant by this.
Eddy reached into his jacket to pull out a small mirror. "Give it a go little detective. Tell us what you see when reading the note in the mirror."
Conan complied with what was asked, holding up the sheet of paper in the mirror which painted a clear message. "The silver blade placed into your chest I pull out into creation of Gold. Come tomorrow's fall of dawn the Gold shall flow with waves towards its destination of multiply. Bring to me the Light of whose hands are unclean to which he touches. Midnight's deadline waits at the Eye and Hand overlooking all."
Conan lowered the sheet of paper down to his side after reading through it.
"Sounds like some kind of riddle," Kogoro noted.
"I share the same sentiment," Eddy agreed.
Conan looked up at him. "Eddy-san, when did your friend receive this letter?"
"He found it attached to his window this morning," Eddy replied.
"Which means tomorrow midnight is the deadline," Kogoro pointed out. "Did you happen to bring with you any pictures of Nar-chan with you?"
"I did not, but I will see to it that you have a photo of her shortly," Eddy replied before standing up from the couch. "With it I'll send you all of my friend's personal information that you might need."
"Of course," Kogoro said as he too stood back to his feet.
After walking past the couch Eddy stopped. "Oh yes, I had almost forgot." He reached into his pocket to pull out a deck of several bills. "Here is one thousand up front. Of course if you are successful in locating Nar there is much more where that came from."
Kogoro smiled as he accepted the payment. "I won't let you, Nar, or her father down."
With that Eddy made his way toward the exit. Just as he reached the door he noticed a picture of Ran a short distance away. "Cute girl," Eddy commented. He then stepped out, closing the door as he did.
And with that a new investigation was now underway.
After the passing of several hours, night fall finally struck. It was now ten after eleven, also marking the end of her shift for the day.
"Have a good one Sato-san." One of her associates called.
"I'll see you tomorrow," another spoke as Miwako came within feet of the door.
As she stepped out she waved to the two to have acknowledged her. Miwako made her way to the underground parking lot in short time. Once in her car she took off. There was only one thing on her mind as she drove, the list.
"Of the twelve people that have been traveling in and out of Japan at an alarming rate there are still five whom I have yet to make contact with. No matter how many times I call," Miwako thought to herself. "Sukia Lemnai, Sandra Wu-San, Aldor Sunshine, Tiasa Herman, and Lonnie Machin. There is no doubt in my mind one out of the five has been playing a hand in the distribution of the drug that has been circulating throughout the streets."
The next stop light was now in view several feet ahead. Before the light was reached a dark figure dropped onto the hood of her car, blocking Miwako's view of the road for a split second. "Dammit," Miwako cursed as she swerved off to the left. After regaining the wheel she glanced out the window to see what appeared to be someone flying through the air towards the rooftops above. "Who or what the hell is that?"
After roughly ten minutes of grappling from one rooftop to the next, the building with a sign which read 'Skytale' was now finally in view. And though this went against everything that was ordered of him there was no turning back now. "Forgive me Father," Robin said analyzing the Skytale building from top to bottom. "But I can't subject myself to being just a spectator. I want answers, and I will have them."
To Be Continued