Lightest of Nights: A Deck of Minds
The Shows Beginning
Several Months ago, When it began
After time and preparation the day finally arrived. The stage was set, and with a week’s notification the chase was about to begin. There was no real secrecy in his approach as he entered the secure room to find the glass case in the center, concealing the prized possession he had set out to obtain. Another step only triggered the alarm, something that came as no surprise. There was no stop in their step as they diligently proceeded forward. Its announcement ignited soon after, the echoing sound of footsteps traveling through the walls on all sides.
A notorious smile came upon his face. “They’re on their way, excellent.”
The clarity in its tune only heightened, an indication they were nearing. With another step the glass case was finally reached. Swaying his left hand up he reached into the right side of the worn jacket, reeling out a paddle of some kind. “Batter up.” He chorused grinningly as he took one clean swipe at the top of the glass case. It didn’t shatter, something he had anticipated.
“Just as I thought.”
With those words leaving his lips the room was raided from the doorway behind. Glancing over his shoulder he came to find several armed officers standing in the clear with guns pointed directly at him.
“Hands in the air, and turn around,” One of the officers in a suit of armor demanded. The opposition’s smirk only widened as he complied with the given command. Feeling a level of control the officer sighed in relief before speaking her next order. “Now, put your hands behind your head and get on your knees.”
All weapons in hand were held tightly, keeping locked onto the target as they waited for his move to make.
“As you wish, fellow officers,” He responded by dropping to his knees all while raising both hands to the back of his head in a circular motion. The assurance in his voice only put them on full alert, sensing a deception in the mist. “So what happens now.. is this the part where you arrest me?”
His indirect taunt was ignored as the officer with the sway of her hand signaled for two of the others to walk over and apprehend the sitting target. Even with things seemingly at a breaths success there was still a looming tension. The distance between them and him came to within a few yards before a booming sound launched; one which sounded as if something was being sprayed from an unknown area of the room.
“What is that?!” Another officer exclaimed.
The grin from before was replaced by a look of testimony, a given look which was followed by the drop of their arms back to their side. “The call of test is complete, now onto the Prince’s saddle.” The captive dispensed to all.
That moment brought a blinding dust of smoke that filled the room, taking away all sight from those who dared to gaze at its arrival.
“No, don’t let him get away,” The head officer exclaimed. There was no way of acting on this given their current predicament. After seconds of a fog infested room the smoke cleared out in gradual fashion. Their biggest fear came into fruition with their vision now clear. The man they sought was nowhere to be seen. The leading officer hissed in disgust. “Dammit, he got away!”
Her surge of anger was soon weathered down, replaced by an undoubtable confusion. The targeted diamond was still in place, securely sitting behind the glass case. But why… why hadn’t it been taken? It was in the thought of this that she noticed something lying on the ground directly in-front of the table where the glass case resided.
“What is that,” She questioned as she marched over. Once in distance she dropped down with an obvious curiosity. Once in range she grabbed hold of what had caught her attention, bringing the item to eye to find it was only a card, one sporting the so very iconic insignia many had come recognize. A tap fell upon her shoulder the next second resulting in her turning around.
“Officer, Officer Sato,” One called from where they stood. “He’s gone, what do we do now?”
She stood back to her feet, turning to face him as she did.
“Search the room, the entire facility.”
“If he’s still here there’s a chance we can still apprehend him.”
“But shouldn’t we call it in?”
“Leave that to me, you just worry about getting that search started.”
He did as instructed, turning back to command the others who were clearly waiting for further instruction. This left her the chance to sink back into her thoughts, but instead of choosing to do so she reached for something in her pocket, taking little navigation before recovering her phone. A number was immediately dialed, raising the phone to her ear which brought the tune of a ring.
“Hello,” A soft and lively voice answered moments later. “This is the Tokyo Police Headquarters, how may I help you?”
“This is Officer Sato,” She informed. “I’d like to speak with the superintendent; we have had an unexpected turn of events with the… thief.”
“Please hold, I’ll see if he’s around.”
With those final words the wait began. It was also in this time a rehash of thoughts flooded to the surface, particularly pertaining to the card found on the ground. Why not take what he had come here for, why leave behind a card with no explanation to give? But above all there was one thing that loomed above all else in her mind.
“How did I get myself into this?”
Even with the absence of several clouds that had been present the night before the scent left in its wake could still breathed clear. The crack of dawn had finally arrived. After what seemed to be an endless trial of escaping the unavoidable the run seemingly came to a halt. They extended their arm outward in attempt to lean upon a light pole that had been reached. The rush could still be felt from the lengths traveled, the distance an uncertainty.
After the many turns, twists, roads passed, and intersection crossed had the race finally come to an end? As time passed their heart tabbed down to normal levels. They breathed out in a sigh of relief as they pushed away from the light pole with a tiring grunt.
“Finally, it’s over.”
They pressed on from where they stood, feeling a growing stress in their legs. The pain was blocked into the far reaches of their mind, feeding into its pain would do them no good. Even as they continued to trot along they remained weary, constantly looking from one end of the street to the other, glancing behind every so often to make sure nothing lurked.
Without warning their heart began to dance once more, triggered by something from above. A chill fell down their spine as they looked to the sky to find nothing soaring in the clear. This only heightened the tension within. Was it paranoia, had they lost all reason? Through instinct they ran once again. The end of the block was coming in range; however they chose to stop due to a sudden sound that whistled from their blind side.
“What was that?”
There was nothing to spot on hindsight, however there was a subtle growl that wisped as they slowly turned and locked eyes with the beast which flashed its fangs as if to present a challenge.
“No, not again!!!!”
Not waiting for its move to make they raced forward only to catch eye of a large snake slithering down a light pole at the end of the block. Panic soared in wake of this. Fear reached its max with the roar from the skies above, looking upward as several ravens zoned in on him from all sides.
There would be no giving in, attempting to run only to trip over something at ground level. A means to an end closed in immediately with the hiss of the snake, the bark of the beast, and the calling of the ravens above. They were to weakened to move, knowing their fate was now sealed. The fear had run its course, finally exceeding the breaking point as they reached across their body to clutch their chest. They coughed out with one last breath to give, feeling as all life was sucked from within.
With every success loomed a fail. Of all assignments given to them since taking the next step in progression this was the first met with fail. But regardless of this there would be no backing down in light of a single slip. The mechanical doors to the building were reached, watching as they automatically slid off to the side upon her arrival.
The front desk was the place of destination, holding up ID for the clerk working the lobby to see as they passed.
“Welcome back Sato-san, the boss has been expecting you.”
She simply nodded, heading straight for the elevators that resided further up. Contemplating on what she was to say once she came face to face with the boss was something that had been on her mind since the previous night. After entering the elevator they made way to the third floor, exiting to see the door to the office clear down the hall. It took small time for her to fall within range of the door. Once there she reached out with a moderate knock, gaining the response from the person on the other side.
“It’s open, come in.”
The invitation was accepted. She walked in to find him standing by the window side left of the room. He shifted with the turn of his broad shoulders to lock eyes with her own, stepping away from the window to greet her in full.
“Superintendent, I tried getting in contact with you last night,” Miwako began as she closed the door she had entered through. “Unfortunately you had left the office by that time.”
“Yes, this information was conveyed to me earlier today,” Kiyonaga replied. “And while your efforts might have come up short in your assignment in assisting the SCU, don’t let it discourage you.”
“I will not,” Miwako assured. She paused for a moments time before taking another step deeper into the room. “And by now you’re probably already aware the mission was a fail, despite the SCU’s set up and reactive efforts we were not able to catch Kid.”
“Yes, I’m fully aware of that,” Kiyonaga acknowledged. “But you shouldn’t be disappointed as you seem to be, Kaitou Kid never makes it easy for whomever is coming after him, and besides last night had you out of your element.”
“I know, but...”
“But the details of how he got away aren’t as interesting as what was left behind,” Kiyonaga began as he leaned back against the wall. “The jewel in question, has anyone been able to determine why Kaitou Kid left it behind?”
“Not as of yet sir,” Miwako replied before pulling something out from her top pocket. “But that wasn’t the only thing left at the scene, but this as well.”
He walked forward, holding out the item which had been sealed away in a plastic covering. “A card.” Miwako informed before handing it over to her superior.
“I see, and one with the insignia of the kid thief himself,” Kiyonaga analyzed while flipping it over to the opposite side to find another marking. “A check mark?”
“Yes, none from the SCU were able to determine the relevance behind it, what do you think,” She stood in silence for seconds to come, wondering if he would be able to make something out of it. “Well?”
“The checkmark is obviously hinting at something,” Kiyonaga answered giving eye contact once again. “I’m sorry to say, but admittedly I’m just clueless as to what it represents myself.”
With that said the card was handed back to her before he stepped around his desk to have a seat on the other side.
“The Kid is no longer our problem regardless,” Kiyonaga said looking to shift topics. “Now onto why I specifically had you summoned.”
“There’s something else you wanted to discuss?”
“Yes there is, a problem I’m sure that has been brought to your attention at some point this week,” Kiyonaga began. The change in tone and the altered look in expression called for her full attention. “There is a new drug on the street, one which has taken the lives of over fifty eight people from what has been documented.”
What had started off as a quiet beginning to the day had now shifted to what most would consider less than typical. But in his case answering to a call such as this was considered protocol. The sun looked on from above, hanging high to reveal all to the eye. There was only one thing in mind, what would they come to find? Shortly thereafter up to four police patrol cars could be seen, letting them know they had arrived. Crime scene tape masked off the area from the general public.
Their vehicle came to a halt soon after. He was the second to ascend from the cab, choosing to stick to the rare as the two made their way over to where the activity was underway. They weren’t engaged until reaching the first patrol car, greeted by a welcoming and familiar smile that could be found upon his face.
“Good to see you Mouri-san, we’re glad you could make it on such short notice.”
“Luckily you called when you did; I was just getting ready to head out at the time.” Kogoro notified.
“Nothing of importance I hope?”
“Not more than this,” Kogoro assured while surveying the area. “Where’s Inspector Megure Takagi-san, I thought for sure he’d be here.”
“He just received the call ten minutes ago,” Wataru replied. “It shouldn’t take long for him to make an appearance.”
It was after this the he took notice of him standing down at his side.
“Conan-kun,” Wataru said with surprise to be heard in his voice. “I had no idea you’d be coming as well.”
“He insisted, I agreed only under the condition that he doesn’t get in the way,” Kogoro said glaring down at him in a suggestive matter. “Something we’re both completely clear on.”
“You have my word Oji-san.” Conan smilingly promised.
“I’ll hold you to it,” Kogoro murmured before turning back to face him. “So what’s the deal, the details of this case given to me over the phone were pretty vague.”
“Come, I’ll explain after you get a look for yourself.”
He directed the two of them with the wave of his hand, both stepping past the crime scene tape as they followed him around a patrol car sitting before them. It was after breaking this barrier that the body in question came into view, lying just feet away on the sidewalk face down.
“Who was he?” Kogoro asked immediately.
“Rio Tanakai,” Wataru replied. “According to the ID taken from his wallet.”
“Cause of death?”
“It seems to be a heart attack,” Wataru replied. “One which was triggered by something.”
“Was he intoxicated?”
“Yes,” Wataru confirmed. “But not by alcohol, but rather a drug.”
“Yes, a new drug that has come to our attention within this last month,” Wataru continued. “It appears this drug affects the mind in particular, causing anyone to use it to experience… how should I say, terrifying episodes.”
“What do you mean?”
“The people found alive after taking or being exposed to this unmarked drug have shown to fear anything or anyone near them, even the subtlest of sounds seem to rattle anyone under the influence.”
“A paranoia?” Conan questioned.
Wataru nodded in response. “More or less.”
“Not what I was expecting to hear,” Kogoro admitted. “How many cases have been called in involving this new drug?”
“Well over a hundred,” Wataru replied. “Two hundred fourteen deaths in all thus far; fifty eight of them occurring here in Tokyo.”
There was a curiosity after hearing this. “What other cities has this drug been reported to have been used in?” Conan asked.
“Sendai and Nagoya, respectively.”
“What about the drugs origin, do we know where it came from?”
“Given the compounds found in the drug we believe it’s being shipped in internationally,” Wataru answered. “Though we’ve yet to confirm that.”
“And you’re sure the deceased died from this mentioned drug?” Kogoro asked.
“His blood was tested with the results coming back green,” Wataru confirmed. “There’s no doubt about it.”
“And the person to have discovered the body?”
“Over there,” Wataru said pointing to the left. “I’ll take you over if you wish to speak with her.”
“I’d ask for nothing more.”
“Alright then,” Wataru said heading that way. “Follow me.”
With the two leaving the immediate scene this left him alone to reflect on all details known. A hand found way to his chin as he walked forward.
“While speaking of the drug itself officer Takagi mentioned the word ‘exposed’… that’s a detail in itself,” Conan thought. “That would imply the drug wasn’t taken by injection, but rather through inhaling or absorption through the skin.”
The body of the victim was reached in those next moments, beginning examination right away. They were covered from top to bottom in clothing, from the sweatpants and sweatshirt to the sneakers and black gloves upon their hands.
“It’s a relatively warm day, the amount in apparel worn by the deceased supports that they were afraid of something, why else wear so much clothing,” Conan detailed. “They might have truly believed someone was after them which in turn made them feel the need to conceal their identity.”
He lowered himself to a knee to have a look into the victim’s eyes which were still open, able to see an anxiety and exhaust within them. After sighting this he took notice of the deceased’s right arm buried under his body. With further examination he was able to find the victim had been gripping the area around their heart.
“Consistent with the determination of a heart attack just like he said,” Conan noted as he stood back to his feet to search the terrain. “But why here, what caused it all to end here at this very spot?”
With that question looming his eyes fixated on a crack in the sidewalk a few feet away from the body, now starting to get a visual of how things might have unfolded.
“No doubt he unintentionally tripped in attempt to run after passing that crack in the ground,” Conan determined. “Given the position of the body and the crack in the ground that must mean he was traveling from the west, which means there’s a high possibility he walked through the mall center.. if that is so one of the city camera’s is bound to have caught him on tape.”
But finding out the details of his last hours wasn’t enough, not in his mind. And to top it off, there was no way he was going to crack the case by what was here. He’d have to investigate elsewhere.
“To truly solve this would be to go directly to the source to prevent further incidents,” Conan stated before reaching into his pocket. “Which means finding out who is manufacturing and shipping the drug.”
The navigation to what he wanted was grabbed in no time, pulling out his phone to call the person best suited to help him figure out just that. Within moments his voice spoke from the other end.
“Dr. Agasa, I need your help,” Conan announced. “There’s something I need you to look into for me.”
“What’s going on,” Hiroshi questioned. “Does this have something to do with a case?”
“Yes, apparently some new drug has found its way to the street,” Conan began. “One that is deadly.”
“Are you speaking of the drug that has sent its users into a paranoid frenzy?”
“You’ve heard of it?” Conan asked almost surprised by this.
“It was being covered on the news late last night; I knew it would only be a matter of time before you learned of it and took interest,” Hiroshi informed. “Which is why I took the liberty of investigating the matter myself.”
“I can always count on you,” Conan said as he came upon a cross intersection. He made sure all was clear before making way to the other side. “So what turned up in your search?”
“As I’m certain you already know the drug has turned up in Nagoya, Tokyo, and Sendai,” Hiroshi began. “Taking in the possibility that the drug was shipped in from out of state I looked into all international purchases that were sent into each city.”
“Mongolia and Novosibirsk Russia,” Hiroshi replied. “But nothing that would call for suspicion.”
“I thought that much, being that the police came to the same conclusion,” Conan said. “Let’s think of it this way, if someone was sending out drugs wouldn’t they want to keep their business concealed with some kind of insurance, that can be done by shipping it through various locations before reaching its true point.”
“That makes sense.”
“Furthermore according to Officer Takagi this episode began a month ago, which gives us a timeline to work with.”
“Here’s my thinking, whoever is sending the drugs isn’t doing it through direct connection, but possibly from a third destination,” Conan theorized. “Which means our answer lies within finding out shipments sent to both Russia and Mongolia from other locations within the last month; and if all goes right we should find the site of origin.”
“Which has been done.”
A look of surprise fell upon his face after hearing this. “What, you already looked into the possibility?”
“Yes, admittedly it was Ai’s initiative which led to this,” Hiroshi credited. “She thought you might come to the same conclusion.”
“Why am I not surprised,” Conan spoke softly. “And what did the results amount to?”
“Of the two possibilities Novosibirsk is the one we believe there is a connection to be made.”
“While there is several shipments to be documented sent from place to place worldwide Novosibirsk has seen an increasing amount of goods sent in from two locations in North America,” Hiroshi informed. “All which began just over a month ago.”
“Is that right,” Conan said taking an obvious interest. “And the names of these two places?”
“Tampa Florida; and a city further north of there known as Gotham.” Hiroshi informed.
“That’s a start,” Conan commented. “This gives us a foundation to work off of, thank you Doc.”
“What now Shinichi?”
“Wait there,” Conan replied. “I’m on my way.”
“Then I’ll see you soon.”
With that the conversation came to an end. And though there was still much to discover, his confidence couldn’t be any more leveled.
“Not matter the distance away or deception used by the ones responsible, only one thing is certain… truth will prevail, and I’ll be there to see it through.”
To Be Continued