Lightest of Nights: A Deck of Minds
Coming to a Collision
She looked into his eyes, anxious to learn what he had uncovered. Conan grinned, but before he had the chance to speak the phone rang.
"It is mine," announced Hiroshi who reached across his body to grab hold of the phone sitting atop the computer table.
The conversation that came was a short one. Once done Hiroshi placed the phone back down before focusing on the computer again. Conan looked his way. There was an enquiring look on his face. Seeing this Hiroshi questioned him.
"Shinichi, is something wrong?"
"Who was that who just called a moment ago?" Conan asked. "I heard you mention something about tonight's show."
"Oh yes," nodded Hiroshi. "That was Mitsuhiko-kun, he was calling about Kaitou Kid's planned heist scheduled for this evening. He was wondering if I could give him and the others a ride to the Midtown Tower to watch things unfold."
"And what did you say?"
"Given this current predicament I told him I would be busy with an important project," replied Hiroshi. "And that of course would prevent me from being able to provide the ride."
"Call him back," Conan said to their surprise. "Let him know that you can give everyone a ride to the Tower."
This was unexpected to say the least. A sentiment shared by both Ai, and Hiroshi who responded. "Don't tell me, you believe that-"
"What Eddy seeks is Kaitou Kid? Yes. And I don't just believe it," Conan confirmed. "I'm certain that is what he wants. But before we go, there's an important call I need to make."
"To whom?" asked Haibara.
"To someone who will assure that I'll have my meeting with Kid."
Looking down at the coordinance for a final time she brought the vehicle to a complete halt. There was no mistake in her mind. "This is it, this is the place." She stepped out from the driver's side, closing the door as she did.
"Sato-san, what exactly are we doing here again?"
Miwako looked over as the one to accompany her stepped out from the passenger side of the car. "As I said before, we're here in investigation of that drug that has been spreading throughout Tokyo Takagi-kun," reminded Miwako.
Now parked near the front lawn Miwako marched forward. Wataru followed from a short distance behind. "This house, who does it belong to?" asked Wataru.
"It is registered to a Sunshine Aldor. According to flight records he has done a lot of traveling in and out of the country over the past couple of months," Miwako briefed.
"And you believe this man is somehow tied to the investigation?"
"A possibility," Miwako replied. "I won't know for sure until I've spoken with him."
"And if he isn't involved?"
"There are still four other persons of interest," relayed Miwako.
The front door of the small was reached soon after. She rang the doorbell once. No response came after several seconds. "Do you think he's home?" questioned Wataru.
Opting for a second attempt Miwako rang the doorbell twice more. When no one came she stepped back. "He must not be here."
"What now," Wataru asked as Miwako began her journey back to the car. "Are we going to turn our focus to one of the other suspects?"
"According to the profile I pulled on Sunshine-san, he works for a company known as Fun Entertainment Inc."
"I've heard of it," Wataru noted. "One of their facilities is located-"
"Here in town, I know," acknowledged Miwako. "That is where we are going now."
"You believe Sunshine-san is there?"
"Sunshine-san's typically works evening according to his schedule," Miwako informed. "If he's not home, then there's a good chance that's where he is now."
"That makes sense," Wataru said finally following after her. "Fun Entertainment Inc, here we come!"
Phase one of his plan was now complete. In that instance his ear device vibrated, alerting him of an incoming call. "It's me."
"What's the situation young master?" inquired a voice of familiarity.
"My disguise is complete, I've just stripped one of our kind fellow officers of his suit," replied Kaito proudly who looked down at the man who was lying in the trunk of a car tied up. He had nothing on but a pair of socks and underwear. "Don't worry my friend, once all is said and done I will return to you your belongings."
Following that he slammed the trunk of the car shut. "We have exactly forty minutes before I make my move. Jii-chan, are you in position?"
"Indeed I am."
"Good," Kaito said pleased to hear. "How are things looking from up there?"
"Clear as the nights wind young master."
"Then we shall commence," Kaito said ready to make his next move. "If all goes accordingly expect to hear from me within twenty."
"A night sightseeing will keep me entertained for the time being."
"Kid out," dispatched Kaito. After stepping past the patrol car he made his way toward the largest building in the clear. "The Midtown Tower.. what a show this going to be."
The countdown had begun. Thirty five minutes was all that remained before the show was to begin. Standing decked in a three piece suit he observed all that was going on from the farthest corner of the room. As expected there were a number spectators to be found. Positioned throughout different parts of the room were the notable security guards who looked on as well. The question now became, how would Kid attempt to steal the Revenant Elephant?
His eyes traced toward the center of the room. Sitting atop a desk and shielded by a gun proof glass case was the miniature Elephant warrior statue. Blocking its area off was a line of yellow tape that circled around the desk, measuring out at sixteen inches all the way around. If anyone was to step within the circles range a net trap would launch, trapping anything or anyone in its range. That was one of three defensive mechanisms put into place that he was aware of.
In the moments that followed a ring came to his ear, there was no mistaking who was calling from the other end. "Not much time remains, where are you now?"
"In the south-east corner of the art gallery just as we discussed," radioed Damian.
"Keep a sharp look out," Bruce dispatched. "I suspect it won't be long before Kaitou makes his first appearance."
"Yes, from the intel we gathered it is a known fact that Kaitou Kid takes a general liking to the art of disguise," Damian took note of. "I have been keeping a close eye on all spectators that have entered the gallery since it became open to the public twenty minutes ago. There is a limit to how many people can enter, that alone will limit how many people Kid can attempt to hide behind."
"More so than the civilians I want you to key in on the security guards monitoring the room."
"Do you believe the probability of him dressing up as one of the guards is more likely?"
"I do," replied Bruce. "Be on the lookout for anyone who is not only observing the activity of everyone, but also has an eye for the layout of the room."
"And if I am to determine Kid's position?"
"You'll do nothing."
This was not what he was expecting to hear. "Do nothing?"
"You'll simply observe him," Bruce responded. "I want you to watch his every move. If he does anything unexpected divert him back to where we want, try avoiding direct confrontation if possible."
"And what purpose would that serve?"
"The mission," Bruce reminded. "We stick to the plan. There is only one ending for Kaitou Kid tonight."
"Alright, stick to the plan," Damian repeated. "I understand."
Immediately after cutting communication Damian focused his attention on all security guards within view, analyzing each from top to bottom. "Where are you Kid?"
Taking a step away from the corner he broadened his line of sight. His eyes coursed over men, women, old, and young; knowing very well Kaitou Kid could be hiding behind any face. His search of the room would however be stalled after hearing his name addressed.
Turning, Damian caught eye of the one who had called his name. "It's that girl from Teitan Elementary and her friends," Damian discovered. "Not anyone can just enter the gallery tonight; they must have been given clearance by someone. Furthermore, what are they doing here?"
Traveling with the five was an older man he had not seen before, prompting him to question the obvious. "Who is that with them?"
Now in range, she spoke his name once more. "Damian-kun," Ayumi said stopping before him. "What are you doing here?"
"I'm here on behalf of my father. Unfortunately work prevented him from being here tonight," explained Damian as his eyes continued to survey the room.
Conan noticed this as he neared. "What's he looking for? Is he expecting someone?"
"Cool outfit," Genta complimented as the rest joined the two.
"Given that I am a co-host of sorts, dressing in a suit for this.. formal occasion was only fitting," Damian responded. He then looked up at the man who stood in attendance with the group. "Who is this with you?"
"Oh yah, it is only right that we introduce him," Mitsuhiko said looking back at him. "This is Professor Agasa."
"Nice to meet you Damian-kun," Hiroshi waved. "I've heard a little about you from what they have told me."
"I see," responded Damian who proceeded to study him. It didn't take long for him to drop suspicion. "This Agasa doesn't appear to be hiding anything, and besides I doubt Kaitou Kid would risk his plan to take the Elephant by allying himself with childrenwho could very well handicap his efforts."
No longer suspecting the good professor for being linked to Kid, Damian looked away as he returned to examining possible candidates throughout the room. "So why are you all here?" Damian asked choosing to keep conversation. "Did you come to observe the many arts?"
"Not quite," replied Mitsuhiko. "We came to see Kaitou Kid!"
"What is it he is going to steal again?" Genta asked.
"He won't," stated Damian whose eyes were focused elsewhere. "Tonight is going to be different."
"What?!" exclaimed Ayumi. "You really think he's going to get caught?"
There was now a worried look to be found on her face.
"He will," Damian replied.
"What makes you so sure of this?" asked Mitsuhiko.
They would then be interrupted by someone who approached up from behind. "Hello kids, I have something I think you might all be interested in."
Each of them turned to find a man in a baby blue suit standing before them. "There's a show happening this weekend that I'm sure you would all love!" he stated before reaching into his jacket to pull out what looked to be flyers of some kind.
Curious as to what this man was speaking of Hiroshi stepped forward. "What is this show that you have mentioned?"
"Oh yes," the man in a suit of blue said facing him. "I presume you are the caretaker of these children? Anyway, there's a show that I will be cohosting a few miles from here. A live action Kamen Yaiba show, one coming to you all this Saturday!"
Excitement erupted from Ayumi, Genta, and Mitsuhiko all at once. Seeing this, the man in blue couldn't help but smile. "I take it this is something the children would be interested in?"
"It appears so," replied Hiroshi who accepted one of the flyers handed over to him.
"You folks enjoy the rest of your evening, and I hope to see you all at the show this Saturday." Tipping his hat the man in blue turned away before walking into the opposite direction.
Moments after his departure there was a subtle growling sound that could be heard, a sound followed up by Genta rubbing his belly. "I'm hungry, are there any snacks around here?"
"I believe I saw a table of collations near the entrance," Hiroshi recalled. "I'll take you over there if you'd like."
"For sure!" Genta pumped his fist.
"To the snacks we go," added Mitsuhiko as Hiroshi lead the way.
As they walked Damian moved in the opposite direction only to stop after hearing his voice. "Hey."
Turning around Damian faced the boy in glasses. "It's you."
"Before, you said tonight would be different for Kid," Conan noted. "What did you mean by that?"
"It's simple," Damian said as he turned to walk. "Tonight Kaitou Kid will fall to fate."
Conan watched as he walked off, listening as she came to his side. "To fall to fate is for one to meet his match, perhaps you?" Haibara implied.
"You didn't go with the others?"
"If you haven't forgotten we have a deadline to beat," reminded Haibara. "You need my help. But first, I think it would prove beneficial if we went over everything that we know thus far."
Showing his agreement Conan nodded. "Bring to me the Light of whose hands are unclean to which he touches," Conan began. "That portion of the riddle is directly referring to Kaitou Kid, I'm certain of it. He's the 'light' of tonight's show, the star if you will."
"Hands unclean to which he touches hints at a thief," Haibara added. "That backs our assessment further."
"But why," Conan questioned. "What is the link between Eddy and Kaitou Kid? There must be a reason why he wants Kid. I feel like there is something we're missing."
"Maybe his reasoning for wanting Kid is simpler than you're leading yourself to believe," Haibara pointed. "Perhaps he feels Kid is in debt to him from a previous encounter?"
"It's far from being that simple, for starters Kaitou Kid has almost always returned what he has stolen. So a grudge because of something taken at this juncture seems farfetched," Conan stated. "And secondly Kogoro is just as much of a player in this as Kid. If there is a connection to make it's between the two of them."
"Nothing within the riddle seems to link the two directly."
"If there is anything this riddle symbolizes, it is evolution," Conan stated. "At least for the first half."
Haibara looked over at him in questioning fashion. "Evolution?"
"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," Conan rehashed. "The message in that part of the riddle is referring to a certain element, one which will clearly change by time the deadline is reached."
"And what could this element possibly be?"
"I'm not entirely sure," Conan admitted. "I have a hunch, but I don't want to jump to any conclusions prematurely. But whatever it is, I don't have a good feeling about it."
A few moments more passed before Conan took notice of a suspicious man in a trench coat and brown top hat roaming the grounds a short distance away. "Who is that?" Upon further inspection he recognized who it was after catching a glimpse of the side of his face. "Kogoro?"
By the way his collar was pulled up, and how his head was slouched over it was clear he did not wish to be noticed. Haibara noticed him as well seconds after.
"So, Mouri-san is here as well," Haibara spoke. "He must have deciphered the first part of the second portion of the riddle just as we have."
".. Maybe," Conan said. He looked over at Kogoro as his eyes narrowed. "Something doesn't seem right, why is he trying to shield himself off from everyone else? Is it possible that something else led him here?"
He looked down at his watch to check the time as they traveled. Almost twenty minutes passed since the two began their journey to Fun Entertainment Inc. Currently backed up in traffic he turned focus on the driver.
"Quite the jam in traffic tonight," Wataru voiced. "I wonder if something special is going on around here."
"You clearly haven't heard the news," Miwako realized.
"Kaitou Kid announced the latest valuable that has caught his interest," Miwako informed. "There's an art show being held at the Midtown Tower right now, also where Kid plans to appear tonight."
"The Midtown Tower isn't even a mile from here," Wataru said in realization. "That would explain."
Within the minute the two came in view of a building with a large sign which read 'Fun Entertainment Incorporation'.
Weaving through traffic for a short time more the two finally made it to the parking lot of the Fun Entertainment facility.
"So, about this Sunshine guy," Wataru began as the two exited the car. "What is his position here at Fun Entertainment?"
"He works in the clothing branch of the company," Miwako replied closing the driver side door.
"As designer?" Wataru asked. "Does he play a hand in producing his own work as well?"
"Why don't you ask him when we see him?" suggested Miwako.
The two reached the entrance soon after. Walking in past the automatic doors a woman standing behind a service desk across the room could be seen. The woman noticed the pair as they advanced toward her.
"Hello there, and welcome to Fun Entertainment Inc," the woman greeted. "I am Ami Sulmon."
"Good evening Sulmon-san," replied Miwako. "Could you point us in the direction of the elevator? That would be most appreciated."
"Well of course," Ami nodded before pointing toward the right. "If you go that way you're going to make a left at that corner, and the elevators will be right there."
Following what was instructed the both of them took off. The elevators were reached in short time. Clicking the button to signal for the elevator Miwako took a step back as the elevator directly behind them opened. After entering Wataru looked over at her as he asked the obvious. "To which floor?"
"Level three," replied Miwako. "That is where all the D-section rooms are located."
"And also where Sunshine-san's office is located?"
"That's right," confirmed Miwako.
The two stepped out from the elevator once the third floor was reached. "The room number is D-31."
"Which means Sunshine-san's office will be located on the left side," Wataru pointed out after taking note of the even numbered rooms lined out on the right side.
"Time to pay Aldor Sunshine-san a visit."
"Right behind you," Wataru followed.
The two progressed down the hall, moving from one door to the next. The end was reached in short time, bringing a bit of a surprise. It wasn't what they saw which was surprising, but rather what they didn't. They looked to one another before speaking the same inquiry. "Where is room thirty one?"
Just as he had said, there was a table of refreshments to be found next to the door leading into the room. It was only after reaching the table that Hiroshi noticed that their group was incomplete. "Where is Ai and Shinichi?" he wondered. Looking back into the direction they had come there was no sight of either of the two. "They must be attempting to determine the whereabouts of Kaitou Kid."
His inner thoughts would be cut off after having someone tug at his jacket from below. "Professor, aren't you going to have something to eat?" Ayumi asked.
"I'm not all that hungry," Hiroshi replied tilting his head downward. "I already had something to eat not too long ago."
"Hey, where did Conan and Haibara-chan go?" Genta asked upon noticing their absence.
"Umm, well on the way over they took a liking to a collection of paintings that were posted on the wall," Hiroshi quickly announced. "We'll rejoin them as soon as you're all finished here."
"Sounds good to me," Mitsuhiko said in agreement as someone bumped into him.
"My apologies young lad," a man in a top hat and dark green dress suit apologized. "I didn't see you down there."
"Apology is accepted," replied Mitsuhiko with the bow of his head.
As the man in green walked off he answered his phone after hearing its ring. "It's me," he grinned happily. "I've managed to make it into the gallery, quite a sight of décor if I should say so myself."
"Keep a clear view Jack, there is only one item we're in contract to seize."
"I am aware Queen," Jack responded. "What of King and Ten, are they ready?"
"On standby," informed Queen. "He'll only act if need be. Don't screw this up Jack. Kaitou Kid must get past the first line of defense; the Revenant Elephant must be ours."
"It will be so."
Across the way Conan continued to keep an eye on Kogoro who was now casually moving throughout the room, clearly more focused on those who occupied the area more so than the several arts that were being presented. It couldn't be any clearer in his mind. "He's looking for Kid, there's no mistake about it." Conan was almost certain of this. "The question is, did the clues of the riddle lead him here? Or was it something else entirely that brought him to this point?"
It was the possibility of the latter that brought an interest. Not only that, but given the way Kogoro was dressed it would also seem to imply he did not wish to be noticed. But why? All of this and more ran through his mind as he heard his voice.
"Your interest doesn't seem to be on any of the art."
Turning to his right he found him standing at his side. "Damian-kun," Conan said. It would be a lie to not say he was a bit surprised.
"That man over there, the one you have been watching for the last minute or so," Damian began. "He seems rather suspicious."
Conan gulped, if he didn't act now he knew things could go south from here. "He.. he's from around the neighborhood," Conan finally responded.
"You know him?"
He nodded. "Giaho-ojisan," Conan quickly made up. "A lot of people know him. He always shows up to art shows like this."
".. Is that so?"
It was at that moment that it began, the sound of its tune fading in through the walls. Yes, the 'Kid' chants were now in full play. Damian looked down at his watch, finding only ten minutes remained before the thief was believed to make his move. As he lifted his head upward there were a number of additional security guards who entered the room, all following in the path of two men who Damian was unfamiliar with. "Who are they?"
"The guy on the right is Nakamori Ginzo-sama, an inspector," Conan informed. "He's always on the scene whenever it involves Kaitou Kid."
"And the other guy?"
"Oh yea, the old man," remarked Conan in a childlike manner as he turned focus to the second subject. "Suzuki Jirokichi-sama. He's just as enthusiastic about catching Kaitou Kid as anyone else!"
Damian's eyes dropped from the two men and security guards who approached to Conan who stood at his side. "For his age he is quite knowledgeable," Damian thought taking a mental note.
The chants grew in strength. The show that was to come was near, and there was no one that could deny it.
Right or left, there was not a door to be found with the number 31 attached. There was however a single door directly across from them, however it was unmarked.
Rubbing the top of his head Wataru questioned that very fact. "Are you certain thirty one was the number for Sunshine-san's office?"
"I'm positive." Miwako reached into her pocket, grabbing hold of a notepad that was stashed away. Turning it to the third page she came within all information that had been jotted down in regards to Aldor Sunshine. She shook her head in confirmation. "Yes, according to his profile room thirty one-D is where his office is located."
"Clearly there isn't a room matching that description," Wataru pointed. "I say we return to the front desk and speak with Sulmon-san, no doubt she'll be able to clear this all up."
Nodding, Miwako looked to him in agreement. "Let's go."
Just as the two turned to walk away there was a sound that prompted them to stop. "What was that?" questioned Wataru. Before she had the chance to respond it was heard for a second time. "It, it sounds like someone is laughing."
Miwako turned back to lay eye on the numberless door. "It's coming from there."
"Is someone inside?"
"Only one way to find out." Marching forward Miwako knocked on the door. "Hello, is there someone there?"
The laughs from before turned to low pitched giggles. Hearing this she knocked for a second time. "Hey! Can you hear me?" The giggles then turned into hysterical laughter. Turning the door knob Miwako pressed forward. "I've had enough."
"No, wait!" shouted Wataru who was against entering.
The moment the door was forced open everything fell to a dead silence. The room was dark, which made it difficult to see what was inside. Miwako immediately looked back at him. "Takagi-kun, I left my flashlight back in the car. Did you happen to bring yours along?"
"Humm." Wataru reached into his jacket to find that he did in fact have one. "I do."
Pulling it out Wataru handed it over to her. Now with the light in hand she aimed it into the room to find several crates piled throughout the space. Stationed at the far wall was a desk, and sitting on top of it was a single box. But to their surprise there was not a single person to be found.
"There is no one here.."
"Then what was that laughing we heard?" questioned Wataru.
"I am uncertain," admitted Miwako who walked into the room.
".. Are you sure about this?" After a second of hesitation Wataru followed in after her. "What is this place, a storage room?"
"That might not be a bad guess," Miwako agreed as she flashed the light toward the right to see a dusty pile of racks sitting in the corner. Her focus then turned to the desk now only a few feet away. She approached it to find that the box she saw before was wrapped in purple wrapping paper with a green bow on top. Not even a moment more she noticed a timer attached to the package, one which read as six seconds. "What's this?"
The timer then dropped to five seconds before dropping to four. Miwako's eyes widened as an undeniable realization kicked in. Spinning around she launched herself toward Wataru. "GET DOWN!"
Three minutes, that is how much time remained until Kaitou Kid was to make his move. Almost all spectators who were currently in the room had been searched by security, a measure taken to assure Kaitou Kid wasn't hiding among them.
"Just about everyone has been searched," Ginzo informed. "It doesn't appear Kid is currently present."
"Maybe, at least not yet," Jirokichi huffed as he navigated the room with the turn of his head. "Are all exits accounted for?"
"Of course," Ginzo replied. "As an extra precaution I stationed a security guard on every floor in the case Kid attempts to use the elevator."
"Excellent." Jirokichi was pleased to hear this.
Conan stood a short distance away from the pair. His objective was the same as them, to capture Kid. For what purpose? That was still an uncertainty. As he stood in thought he was unexpectedly approached by an officer in uniform.
"Hello there little boy," the officer greeted.
"Hi!" Conan smilingly waved up in response.
"Do you think you can do me a favor?" A questioning look came to Conan's face as the officer removed a duffel bag from his shoulder. "I have to go to the bathroom, would you mind watching my bag for me?"
"Am hmm," accepted Conan who nodded. "I'll watch it for you."
The officer smiled as he rubbed the top of Conan's head in appreciation. "Thank you, Detective-kun."
As he departed Conan eyes followed the officer in a suspicious matter. "Detective-kun? Why did he call me that?"
Almost a minute passed as he waited for his return. Conan's focus would however fall on Kogoro who came back into view. Just as he had before Kogoro was still looking over something that he held in hand. "Whatever he's holding must be important. But what could it be?" Conan's curiosity finally got the better of him. He inched in to have a closer look, making sure not to be spotted. Now within seven feet of him, Conan could finally see what was in his hands. It was a phone, but not the one he was expecting to see. "That's Ran's phone! But didn't she have it with her when she was taken? If so, how did Kogoro end up with it?"
Before he had the chance the process what he had just learned a cloud of gas began weaved into the room from all vents, bringing limitations to everyone's vision.
"It's Kaitou Kid!" shouted Ginzo. "He's making his move! Everyone get into position!"
Conan could only place his arm over his face in disgust. "No, not now! This is too soon.. and I haven't solved the puzzle yet!"
"Jii-chan, phase one is complete."
"What a dandy."
"Floor five is being filled with the smoke as we speak," dispatched Kaitou Kid. "In a minute's estimation phase two will begin. Don't spring the extra glider until then."
"One minute it is."
"Everything is going according to plan," Kaitou Kid happily said. It was in that moment that a dark shadow casted over him.
"A fact that can't be rebutted," an imposing voice spoke from behind.
Mildly startled he spun around to lay eyes on what appeared to be a six foot bat standing a few feet away. His heart skipped a beat. There was no mistaking who it was. He had heard the rumors, the stories. "It's him," Kaitou Kid fretted inside. "But why here.. why now?"
"Young Master are you still there? Respond," radioed Jii.
Kaitou Kid stared into the eyes of the demon as he clicked down on his communication ear piece to reply. "Old man, we have a problem."
To Be Continued