Lightest of Nights: A Deck of Minds
Signal in the Sky
As fast as the gas had come, it withered away just as swiftly. Lowering his arm back to his side Conan looked toward the glass case to discover the expected. "It's gone.."
"Inspector Ginzo! The Elephant Revenant has been taken!" an officer alerted.
"You don't think I can see that?!" Ginzo exploded in response. "Alert everyone on standby, let them know Kid has made his move!"
Ginzo then turned to another officer who stood nearby. "Send a call to the chopper, I want eyes on the roof as well."
Jirokichi who was near came to his side, showing a look of unconcern on his face. Ginzo was surprised by this. "Is there something you would like to share with me?" Ginzo asked.
The smirk on Jirokichi's face widened. "Tonight is going to be different, that is a certainty." He took another step forward. "He can run, but no matter how far he goes.. he will not be able to hide."
"What do you mean? Forgive me for not understanding," Ginzo apologized. "What is so different about tonight than any other time we've attempted to apprehend Kid?"
Glancing over his shoulder with a bold of confidence Jirokichi replied. "You'll see."
Standing a short distance away Haibara listened to every word that was spoken between the two. With their conversation seemingly coming to a close she turned to Conan whose attention was focused elsewhere. "Shinichi.." When he didn't respond she tugged him. "Hey, are you ok?"
Finally acknowledging her, Conan responded. "Sorry about that, it's Kogoro."
"What's he doing?" Haibara asked looking across the room herself. Both watched as Kogoro made his way toward the exit. "He's leaving."
"He's going after Kid," Conan noted.
"Only reinforcing that detective Mouri has figured out what Edy wants," Haibara concluded.
"Haibara I want you to stay here for now," Conan voiced.
"So, you're going after him?" she paused given the circumstances. "Not that I want to question the decision, but what about Kaitou Kid?"
"Kogoro is just as important to the puzzle as anyone else, we need eyes on him too," Conan explained. "Whatever Edy has planned both he and Kid are main factors to his hidden agenda. I believe there is going to be a crash course where everything Edy has set in play comes crashing-"
"You're leaving too much to chance," Haibara argued. "You still haven't determined how you're going to hand Kaitou Kid over to Edy, let alone catch him."
Conan grinned as his head swayed in the direction of Jirokichi who stood a short distance away. "Like the old man said, tonight is going to be different."
From this Haibara knew there was something more going on then she knew. Not wanting to waste any more time Conan followed Kogoro who had since made way to the exit. "Haibara, you will hear from me soon," Conan promised as he departed.
She watched as he walked, knowing if there was anyone who could uncover the truth behind what awaited them it would be him. "It's all up to you Shinichi."
It was now a showdown of two knights. Since locking sight neither had shed an eye. The two studied each other with high intent, calculating what the other would do given the circumstances. A strong wind blew in from the east, streaming from behind Kaitou Kid into the direction of Batman. Kid's most viable option of escape was covered, he knew it and so did the opposition. Towards the right a handful of barrels could be seen lined up against one another. Could he possibly use them as a distraction to make an opening? There had to be another means for departure.
Things were only going to get more complicating. From beneath their approach echoed from the ground. "The stairwell.. they're coming." How many officers were in pursuit? Ten? Twenty? It was now his move to make. Breathing nervously through his gritted teeth he knew whatever he was to do needed to happen soon. Without warning a bright light appeared from above. Raising his head, Kaitou Kid sighted a helicopter hanging from a distance above. "And here I didn't think this situation could get any more complex." Looking back across Batman was nowhere to be found. "What.. Gone?"
Not a second more the door to the roof was kicked open as several armed police officers stormed the rooftop. "This is it Kid thief, you're completely surrounded and with no way out," dispatched a woman from the helicopter above. "Get down on your knees and place your hands behind your head!"
A smirk formed on Kaitou Kid's face. "No way out she says." He took this as a challenge. Turning his back to the officers Kid raced toward the opposite end of the roof, dropping down a trio of smoke bombs as he did to cloud his movement from all others. "Jii-chan, release the glider," Kaitou Kid radioed. "It's time."
"Will do young master," Konosuke dispatched in return.
Not far behind many police officials stayed in pursuit of him. "Stay on him! Kaitou Kid must not be allowed to escape!"
Knowledge from what was going on above reached the art room in a short amount of time. "Inspector, Inspector Nakamori! We have an update on Kid!"
Hearing this Ginzo turned around. "Where is he?"
"Well, he was on the roof.. but he-"
At that moment Ginzo caught sight of a certain white glider he knew all too well flying past the window on the far side of the room. "Damn! He's getting away!" Ginzo realized. "I want all available officers in our unit in pursuit!"
Not a moment later laughter could be heard. Turning to his right Ginzo found Jirokichi who stood a few feet away. "I hardly see what is so humorous."
"He can run, but he can't hide," Jirokichi reminded.
"You said that before. When do you plan on revealing your master scheme?"
He smiled. "Soon," promised Jirokichi.
"Well." Ginzo turned for the other side of the room. "I don't plan on sticking around for that. I'm going after Kid."
Ginzo raced toward the exit, accidently bumping into a man in a green dress suit as he ran. "Excuse me," Ginzo apologized. "I didn't see you there."
"All is forgiven." Tipping his hat to the inspector the man in green proceeded to make a move toward the window as Ginzo moved past. Now in place the man in green peered out to see the glider fading into the distance afar. It was soon after that the expected buzz came to ear. "Everyone's favorite Jack clocking in," Jack said answering the call. "How may I be of service?"
"The Boy Thief has made his move," Queen relayed. "We have all eyes on his glider."
"As I can see for myself," Jack noted.
"There's just one problem."
"And that is?"
"Our thermal goggles aren't picking up anything," Queen informed.
Silence fell between them. "I see," Jack realized. "The Kid must have attached a decoy dummy to his glider.. clever. And since that appears to be the case, where is the beloved thief himself? One can only rationalize that he is still near."
"Disguise is one of his known specialties," Queen reminded.
"What are you trying to imply my lady?"
"Only that the boy thief could very well be making his way back to you, given the circumstances," Queen hypothesized. "Keep in mind.. he could be anyone in that room."
Turning away from the window Jack looked to those who still filled the room. "I'll retain a sharp eye," assured Jack. "The Revenant Elephant will fall to the Royal Flush Gang. That is my guarantee."
Conan trailed from a short distance behind. The objective was clear, following Kogoro without being spotted and ultimately determining what brought him to the Midtown Tower. The elevators were reached in those next moments. Kogoro decided to advance past them, opting to continue walking. Conan was surprised by this. "If he's not planning on leaving the building, then where is he going?"
That was certainly something to question. Remaining silent Conan kept a safe distance behind Kogoro who he continued to follow. At the end of the hall Kogoro stopped after coming within range of a door. Checking to see if anyone was near the famous detective surveyed the area. Conan stepped behind a large trash bin when Kogoro's eyes traveled in his direction. "That was close."
Peeking out Conan looked across the way to see Kogoro was now gone. "No doubt he walked through that door." Not wanting to fall too behind Conan hurried over. Once the door was reached he slowly opened it to discover what was on the other side. "A stairwell.."
Conan stepped in, quietly closing the door behind. He looked to the staircase leading up and then to the path going down. In both cases there was no one in sight. "Which way did he go?" Not a moment more a sound came from directly above, answering the enquired. "He went up a level. But why didn't he just take the elevator?"
This and much more resided on his mind as he quickly marched up to the next floor. Conan opened the door after reaching it, there was no one to see at first glance. "The coast is clear." Stepping out the same question from before arose once more. "Where is he?"
Conan looked to the end of the hall, Kogoro was nowhere to be found. He looked to the right to find a large soda machine sitting in front of the wall. On the left was yet another door to be found. "That must be where he went." Conan approached the door to find a sign above it which read 'Authorized Personale ONLY'. This brought a sudden doubt. "This must be where Inspector Ginzo's unit is operating from," Conan figured. "But why would Kogoro come here? Could it be that he's trying to seek help with-"
Conan's thoughts would be interrupted by the sound of several footsteps approaching from the other side of the door. "Someone's coming." Turning around Conan headed toward the soda machine, choosing to hide beside it. As expected a short time later four officers walked out from the room, engaging in conversation as they walked down the hall towards the elevators. "No doubt they're going to the gallery."
After all was clear Conan stepped out. Making his way back to the door Conan realized he was still in possession of something that hung from his shoulder. "I can't believe I forgot about this bag. I should have left it with Haibara, I'm pretty sure that guy has returned by.." Conan paused after hearing a sound, one which came from inside the bag. "That beeping sound, what is that?"
He wasn't one to look through someone else's personal belongings, but there was a gut feeling that pressed him to do so. Relieving the bag from his shoulder he placed it on the ground. "Maybe I shouldn't." After a seconds thought he decided to proceed. Dropping to a knee Conan zipped the bag open, laying eye to something he could not of began to expect. "It can't be! Why.. why is this here?"
Back on the rooftop the smoke that had once clouded the area had finally blown away. To no one's surprise the target was gone.
"Dammit!" hissed the commanding officer. "We let him slip away."
"Not to worry commander," another assured. "The guys in control of the helicopter are staying on his trail, and we also have another unit in pursuit on ground level. All hope isn't lost."
"Come, let's head back inside," the commander instructed. "I need to speak with the inspector; he'll give us our next call."
With nothing more he turned attention to all others before instructing everyone in uniform to head back into the building. Everyone moved quickly, falling in line with what was ordered of them. In a short amount of time outside of the commanding officer, there was only one other that remained on the roof. "Hey, you there!" the commander called to a woman who stood a few feet away from the edge of the roof. "Didn't you hear? I want everyone to return to the gallery."
The female officer looked over at him. "But sir, you know as well as I do how unpredictable Kaitou Kid is. What if he reroutes back this way? Wouldn't it be wise for one of us to monitor things from here?"
This was certainly something to consider. He thought hard on the matter, weighing everything in mind before responding. "You know, that's not a bad idea," he accepted. "Not to mention the Midtown Tower provides the perfect vantage point. You keep an eye on things from here, if you see anything, alert me."
"You have my word."
Nodding his head, the commander too made his exit. The moment the door to the roof closed an accomplished grin formed across her lips. This feeling of obtained success withered away just as fast as it had come by a shadow that toppled upon her. "Enough, the game's over," someone spoke from behind.
She gasped. Spinning around she leaped back as a look of fear surfaced. "It.. it's a giant BAT!"
Batman glared into the eyes of the terrified individual. "Drop the act, I know it's you."
The look of terror quickly faded, replaced by one of amusement. "Oh, was it that obvious?" Kaitou Kid responded using a feminine tone before reverting to his actual voice. "Batman-sama?"
Doing a quick spin Kaitou Kid tossed off the worn disguise, revealing his usual apparel beneath. "So it would appear Gotham's home town legend holds some truth," Kaitou Kid said as he placed his hat atop his head. "To what do I owe the honor for this special visit?"
"We need to talk," responded Batman who took a step toward the thief.
The smile on his face dropped. "About?"
Batman stopped, staring down into eyes of someone who hid just as much mystery within as he did on the outside. "What were you doing in my-" He stopped after hearing a booming sound.
A moment was all it took to learn the source of the uproar. Ascending from all four corners of the Midtown Tower; Ace, King, Ten, and Queen of the Royal Flush Gang all appeared, each levitating in place on their hovering boards. There was no mistaking it, Batman was just as surprised to see them as they did him. "What the hell is the Royal Flush Gang doing here?" Batman wondered.
"Well, well," King said being the first to speak. "If it isn't the thorn in my side I can't seem to dispel."
"King," Batman said facing him directly. "What are you and the Royal Flush Gang doing here?"
"Something that does not concern you," Queen interjected. She then looked into the direction of Kaitou Kid. "Our interest is with the boy thief."
"I suspected that much the moment they appeared." Batman figured as he looked over at Queen before his eyes rolled back into the direction of King. "Well that's a problem, because Kid is coming with me."
He laughed. "You're in no position to be making such claims Batman," King retorted.
"If you haven't already forgotten you, you're completely surrounded," Queen reminded.
Kaitou Kid clapped his hands, gaining the attention of all. "Gentlemen, ladies," Kaitou Kid spoke. He looked each of them over. "There is no need for you to fight over me."
"Enough!" King shouted. "We will have what is ours, and nothing or no one will get in our way!"
King peered over at Batman in anger. "Especially not you. Royal Flush Gang, apprehend Kaitou Kid and take out the bat!"
"Then, let the dance begin." Queen launched forward with her hover board.
All other members moved in as well, firing lasers from their boards at both Batman and Kaitou Kid who lunged into opposite directions in attempt to dodge the incoming onslaught. "Lasers? They've got lasers?!" This was not something Kaitou Kid was expecting. "Hovering boards is one thing, but lasers too? This night just keeps getting better and better."
Leaping over another directed shot Batman noticed the lack in their numbers. "There are only four of them," Batman realized. ".. Where is Jack?"
Not only was he alert, Batman was now weary. A surprise attack could come at any time. The question was, from where? The space covering the rooftop wasn't enough for him to work with in his mind when dealing with four opponents zipping by in attack on their flying vehicles. The playing field needed to be widened, even if that meant separating himself further from Kaitou Kid. Before the opportunity arose for him to make a move a bright light appeared in the sky from a distance away.. no, several lights. Using the zooming capabilities of his cowl Batman was able to determine what was incoming. "Choppers, seven of them in all," counted Batman. "And they're headed this way."
It didn't take long for the Royal Flush Gang to take note of this as well. Queen hovered over to King's side who was staring into the direction of the incoming helicopters. "What do we do now? They're going to be here shortly."
"We have no choice but to retreat," replied King. "We can't be tied to any of this. Our contractor would certainly be less than thrilled, and that would be bad for future business."
"What about the Elephant?" asked Ten who joined the two. "Are we really going to abort the mission?"
"We must," replied King. "But make no mistake, when the time comes we will retrieve the Revenant Elephant warrior. Come, let us go."
Queen focused her attention on Ace, gesturing a hand signal into his direction he too joined the four of them. With nothing more the Royal Flush Gang flew away, disappearing as fast as they had appeared. Kaitou Kid looked on in disbelief. What could have possibly provoked their unexpected departure he wondered.
Not a second more the door to the roof was kicked open as someone in full body police tactical gear stepped out. "FREEZE!"
"Well, looks like you and I have another," Kaitou Kid began as he turned to find Batman too was now gone. There was now denying his ultimate surprise. But where had gone? "Him too?"
Now positioned behind the barrels on the far side of the roof Batman kneeled in a crouched position. "I can't risk getting seen, it's time for plan b." Following this he pressed down to his communications ear piece. "Robin it's me. There's something I need you to do."
Kaitou Kid grinningly turned to fully face the newcomer, raising his hands above his head as if to surrender. "So officer, am I under arrest?"
The officer moved forward, firmly holding their weapon in hand as they approached. "Kaitou Kid, I.. I need you to come with me," stammered the officer.
There was fret to be heard within their voice, something Kaitou Kid immediately picked up. Were they afraid? There was something else that didn't seem right. Why was this police officer alone? If they had suspected he was on the roof wouldn't more troops been sent in pursuit? "In the least you would think this guy would radio for reinforcements." That was the first thought that registered to mind. "Surely he doesn't believe he can capture me on his own?"
As they neared Kaitou Kid lowered his hands. The officer in question wore a helmet, making it impossible to identify who they were. "Hey, who are you?" Kaitou Kid enquired. "Have we met?"
"Don't move!" he shouted. He didn't stop until coming within a few feet of the notorious thief.
Kaitou Kid could see it in the way he walked, in his demeanor even. There was something wrong. But what could it be? As the man approached a bright light shined down on the two from above. He gazed up to find one of the choppers hoovering from many feet above. It didn't take long for the remaining six to close in. "Things are starting to get really tight." Not a second more the door leading to the roof was forced open once again as several more police officials stormed the pavement. "And things just got a whole lot more interesting."
"There he is!" one of them pointed.
"Kid will not get away!" another declared.
Just as they were set to make their move their efforts were brought to a halt from an unlikely source. "Stop!" shouted the man who stood closest to Kaitou Kid, whose weapon was still drawn a few feet away from the thief's head. "That means all of you! I don't want anyone taking another step!"
There was a split moment Kaitou Kid could have used to escape, but opted not to. There was a high concern to be felt for this individual, and he would not attempt to leave until he knew what it was they wanted of him.
"What do you mean you don't want any of us to take another step?" one of the other officers questioned. "Our objective is to catch Kid. Are you suggesting that we let him go?"
Their words were ignored entirely. Still pointing the gun at Kid the man in the full body armored suit lowered his left hand down to his pocket. "Don't even think about moving."
Kaitou Kid blinked an eye. "That voice.. where have I heard it before?" Taking a moment to think about it he asked that very question. "Who are you?"
Not responding the officer held up a phone, pressing the send button before placing the phone to his ear. Kaitou Kid looked over at him curiously. "Who is he calling?" Kaitou Kid could only imagine.
"I have him, I have what you want!" The officer screamed into the phone. "Now tell me where my daughter is!"
Kaitou Kid's eyes widened. "Your voice?" It was then that he finally recognized his voice. "You, you're detective Mouri."
"You're wrong!" the officer denied.
The pressed response.. the shake in his shoulders, there was no doubt in Kid's mind that the man behind the helmet was none other than the renowned Sleeping Kogoro. "Listen to me, I can help," Kaitou Kid said. "But you have to tell me, who has your daughter?"
"Look! There's something in the sky!" one of the officers standing a distance away shouted as she pointed up. Kaitou Kid gazed into the pointed direction just as everyone else. There sitting in the sky was a bright light, one in the form of a green question mark. "What is that?"
Batman who still hid behind the set of barrels had looked up as well, his eyes locked in on an insignia all too familiar. There was no mistaking its origin. Grinding his teeth he spoke his name. "The Riddler."
To Be Continued