The six of them stepped inside the Takasaki Airport.
They got on the escalator.
"It was really sweet of you to cover all of our plane tickets," Ran said. "Thanks."
"W-well, actually, I wasn't the one who paid for this trip," Dr. Agasa said. "It was all Kanzaki-san."
Dr. Agasa had recently decided that he was going to visit his old friend Watayoshi Kanzaki, a very rich and successful inventor who lived in Takasaki, Gunma Prefecture. Conan, Ran, and the three Detective Boys tagged along, since this trip coincided with the New Year.
Across Japan it was traditional to purchase Daruma Dolls at Takasaki on New Years Day. A Daruma Doll was a hollow, round traditional Japanese doll that looked somewhat similar to a red human head. A Daruma Doll came with two entirely white eyes that had no pupils. The idea was that when you had some goal or task that you needed good luck for, you'd paint in one of the eyes. Whenever you had accomplished whatever it was, you'd paint in the other eye and return the Daruma Doll to Takasaki at the end of the year.
Last night all of them except for the Professor stayed up late to walk around Takasaki during the lively New Year's celebrations. 2018 had gotten off to a good start.
"Huh? Genta?" Conan said. "Is something wrong?"
"Man, it itches so bad," Genta whined, referring to his left hand.
"I told you," Mitsuhiko said. "You shouldn't have gone around searching in dark spaces for spiders. But would you listen to me?"
"But I saw some local kids holding spider battles!" Genta said. "It looked like so much fun, that when I saw it I even stopped thinking about food!"
Oy, oy, let's not get extreme here, Conan thought with a deadpan look.
"Do you want me to change the bandages on that, Genta-kun?" Ran offered. "I think it's been over 10 hours now, hasn't it?"
They stopped, Ran opened Dr. Agasa's suitcase, and she took out another bandage. She took off the one Genta was using and replaced it.
"There, all better," she said, and she smiled.
Conan noted that Genta was blushing, and he shot him a somewhat dirty look in response.
She handed the dirty bandage to Conan.
Why's she giving this to me? Conan thought, annoyed. It isn't mine.
"Hey, Conan-kun, would you be so kind as to throw this away for me?"
She donned a big cutesy face, and Conan just blushed and accepted the dirty bandage. He went to go throw it away in a nearby trash bin.
The Professor looked at a sign. "Security Screening should be right around this corner."
They turned the corner and got in back of the line, which looked rather long. Somebody's baby was crying obnoxiously.
Conan sighed. Just another day at the airport, he thought.
(Truth is the convergence of many facts into a beam of light that pierces the shadows!
In today's case, suspicious activity at an airport, conducted on a daily basis...right under the noses of security!
With the body of a child but the brain of an adult, his name is DETECTIVE CONAN!)
(SILVER BULLET by Egoist)
You wipe the blood off your hands, leave the body to the crows
Then you re-enter the crowd, having become a wolf among the lambs
You have made the devil's bargain, yet still you walk among the saints
You let out a sigh and you dare to believe that "nobody will ever know"
A child's cry, a sobbing promise to a dying loved one, words never forgotten
Years pass, his passion undiminished by time wasted and empty leads
He at last finds the golden key that opens the door to the closed case
In the middle of a night like any other, a thousand lights shine upon you!
As long as people continue to devise ways to hurt each other
We will remain faithful and vigilant soldiers in the war on crime
Remembering that path I swore to protect and serve I draw my gun
In a moment of clarity and brilliance the SILVER BULLET is fired!
The Dog Who Cried Drugs! Part One!
The line trudged forward about two or three steps.
"Hey, Conan, do you know what that big machine's for?" Genta asked.
"Huh? Genta? You don't know?" Mitsuhiko said. "Detective Mouri explained that what that machine's for last time, didn't he? When we were in the Tokyo International Airport going to Okinawa."
To be fair, that feels like a super long time ago for some reason, Conan thought.
"Well, Genta, that's an X-Ray machine," Conan said. "See how people's bags are being rolled into it on a conveyor belt and then they come out on the other side? When the bags are inside it, they're being scanned by the X-Ray, so Airport Security can look inside of the bag without having to go through the trouble of opening it, scrounging through it to look for contraband like drugs or guns or bombs, and making the inside of the bag all messy and disorganized. With this they can simply look at the bag's inner contents from several angles and then let it pass."
Genta nodded. "But last time we went, I think I remember there being one other thing we had to do."
"Ah, you mean the Baggage Carousel?" Conan said. "The X-Ray machine lets them look inside the bag and it provides some basic information on this composition of the substances inside, but on the Baggage Carousel the bag's taken to a private room where another machine specifically tests for drugs and bombs, again without having to open the bag."
"But not guns?" Mitsuhiko asked.
"Well, there's no need for that," Conan said. "Bombs and drugs can take on deceptive appearances so that you think it's something else, but it's very hard to make a gun not look like a gun, so if someone's got something like that on them they'll be stopped here."
"But what if the gun's not in their bag?" Mitsuhiko asked.
"Do you see how those people are taking off their belts and shoes and putting them in those plastic bins?" Ran pointed out. "The stuff they have on them is searched by a guard, and then they step through a scanner to ensure they aren't hiding anything."
Ayumi shrunk back. "Y-you mean I have to go through a scanner?"
"Huh? What's wrong?" Dr. Agasa asked.
"I-I just don't want some guy behind a desk seeing me naked," Ayumi said bashfully.
Conan chuckled. "Nah, it's just a metal detector, since guns are either composed of metal or they have some metal parts which can be picked up by the scanner."
"Hey, Ayumi-chan, If it makes you feel any better I'll go first," Ran said.
It was their turn. Ran cut in front of the Ayumi, took off her belt and shoes, put her baggage on the conveyor belt, and passed through the metal detector.
After that, Ayumi felt better and went through the procedure without hesitating.
They walked into the Food Court airport and put down their bags at a table.
The Professor looked at his watch. "Uh, okay, we can all grab something to bite as long as we eat fast. Here's 800 yen for each person to buy themselves something."
And so they all went to pick out some lunch.
Conan and Dr. Agasa ended up gravitating towards a sushi shop.
Dr. Agasa was first in line.
"How may I help you?" Choi Soo-geun, age 36, the owner and employee up front, asked.
"Uh, yes," Dr. Agasa said, mulling over the menu. "I'd like a number 5, please."
And afterwards everyone sat down with their stuff.
Dr. Agasa took a bite and then grinned. "Mmm, this is good. It's like...it's like they make their sushi from scratch."
"Like a true chef ought to," Conan said in concurrence. "With rice and vinegar and other base ingredients."
"It's a real shame that Haibara-san couldn't come with us," Mitsuhiko said. "This turned out to be a really fun trip."
"Y-yeah," Dr. Agasa said, a bit disheartened.
The night before the trip, Dr. Agasa couldn't sleep so he decided to do some serious late night cleaning around the house. He filled a small pitcher full of bleach for this purpose and set it on the kitchen table.
When he was using the bathroom, Haibara woke up. She was feeling thirsty so she walked into the kitchen, saw the pitcher, poured herself a glass, and ended up being rushed to the emergency room to have her stomach pumped. She was currently recovering at Beika Hospital. The Professor felt it was best to cancel the trip, but she insisted that he go and have a good time, and to give Ran her ticket.
Ayumi, having been reminded about Haibara, took the Daruma Doll out of her backpack.
"Ah, so you bought one too, Ayumi-chan?" Mitsuhiko asked.
Ayumi nodded. "Daruma-san, please help Ai-chan make a speedy recovery."
She used a marker to fill in one of the Daruma's eyes.
"Nanakorobi," Ran said, "Yaoki."
You fall down seven times, you get back up eight times.
Mitsuhiko took his own Daruma Doll out and filled in one of its eyes.
"Daruma-san, may Haibara-san get well soon," Mitsuhiko said.
Genta didn't buy one because he blew his money on snacks.
They looked at Conan.
"Uh, Conan, didn't you have one too?" Mitsuhiko asked.
"I-I think two times is enough for Haibara," Conan excused.
They looked at Ran.
"M-mine's already filled out," Ran said.
She took hers out of her bag and showed it to them. "See?"
On the night of New Year's Day, Conan had seen Ran standing by herself in an empty street. She was filling in the eye of her Daruma Doll and muttering loudly, "Please bring Shinichi back to me, if only for my upcoming birthday."
Ashamed, Conan had then proceeded to go down to the crowded marketplace, bought one of his own, filled in its eye, and prayed, "Please don't permit me to let Ran down." He knew that it was foolish to put any stock in superstitions, but he felt that matching her moneyed investment in a doll would be a small way of making amends. And who knew? Maybe Daruma-san really would lend him a hand.
"Eeehh?" Ayumi said, pointing to a dog.
"Ooh, that's a service dog, right?" Mitsuhiko asked.
A security guard was standing in the food court with a K-9 dog on a leash, talking to Choi Soo-geun.
Genta got up and began to approach the dog excitedly.
"Genta, stop!" Conan said, getting up sharply.
Genta stopped in his tracks and looked back at Conan.
"Huh? Why?" Genta asked, a bit disappointed.
"Genta, it's important that you never pet a service animal," Conan said. "That could confuse it."
"Confuse it?" Mitsuhiko repeated.
"When a service animal is on duty, petting it could distract it and cause it to think that it's no longer on duty," Conan said. "For instance, some service dogs are used to alert people to oncoming seizures. If someone pets such a dog, it might not alert its owner when it detects one, and that could be fatal. In the same vein, K-9s are used to detect drugs and explosives. If a terrorist or drug trafficker passes by, but somebody's petting the dog at that moment, it might let that person get away. You don't want to be responsible for something like that, do you Genta?"
"N-no," Genta said sheepishly, sitting back down.
"I didn't see any dog at the airport security back there," Ayumi said.
"That's probably because the dog's involved in checking bags behind the scene," Conan said.
"B-behind the scene?" Ran asked.
Conan nodded. "I'll explain it to you guys later."
Suddenly, three men in sunglasses sat down at a nearby table, laying down three large bags at their feet. Conan thought they looked kind of suspicious.
After they had finished eating, they all grabbed their bags and headed deeper into the airport.
They arrived before a conveyor belt. People were putting their bags onto the conveyor belt and it was drawing their stuff into a hole in the wall.
Dr. Agasa, Conan, Ran, and the Detective Boys put their bags onto the conveyor belt.
"I take it this is where the dogs sniff the bags?" Ran asked Conan.
Conan nodded. "Yeah, probably. Nowadays many airports use advanced scanning technologies, but those generally aren't as reliable as K-9 dogs."
"Huuh?" Mitsuhiko said. "Really? Even in the 21st century dogs are better than machines?"
"Yup," Conan said.
"Hold on though," Genta said. "Couldn't you fool a dog by masking the smell with heavy perfume or something?"
"With humans, maybe," Conan said. "If you lump a bunch of different smells together, a human will just smell that one combined odor. But dogs can distinguish between many different smells in a group, just like you can look at a photograph and spot lots of different things in it. In short, a dog's nose cannot be fooled so easily."
"So my guess is the Baggage Carousel takes the bags past the K-9 dogs, which spend maybe two or three seconds sniffing each bag," Ran said.
There was a loud thud.
"Ah, sumimasen, mister!"
Two of the men in sunglasses from earlier had slipped on the partially wet floor after bumping into a 10 year old boy. Subsequently, their bags spilled open, revealing nothing but dark-colored soft drinks.
They scrambled to pick them up, muttering unintelligible curse words under their breath.
"Hmm, I wonder where that kid's parents are," Dr. Agasa said. "Huh? Conan?"
Conan's gaze was dead fixed on those three men.
"Conan-kun? Is there something wrong with those three men?" Ran asked. "Conan-kun?"
The men looked at Conan. He averted his gaze to the side.
The three men walked over to where they were, put their stuff on the baggage carousel, and walked away, glancing left and right suspiciously as they did.
As soon as they were gone...
Conan jumped onto the baggage carousel and ran after those men's bags.
"H-hey! Conan-kun!" Ran called out.
"Conan!" The Detective Boys all cried out in unison.
But it was too late. Conan disappeared into the hole in the wall.
"W-why...?" Ran began.
There must've been something in those men's bags that set off red flags for Shinichi, Dr. Agasa thought. In any case, our flight home's gonna have to wait.
Inside the narrow tunnel, Conan caught up with the three bags belonging to those men.
If I'm right about this, he thought...
"Huh? What's this?" a security guard asked.
His colleague stood up. "What is it?"
"Th-there's a foreign object inside the Baggage Carousel! I think it's a person or something!"
His colleague grabbed his two-way radio. "Hey, there's gonna be a stow away coming your way amomgst the luggage!"
In the other room, with a man, a K-9 named Clifford, and a conveyor belt, suddenly there was...
"Water?" the man asked. "No, wait, that's...a kid?!"
Conan emerged from the hole in the wall. He was holding an opened bottle of Dr. Popper upside down. The liquid had formed into a puddle on the conveyor belt.
Conan was looking inside the bottle when the guard lifted him up.
He looked at Conan angrily. Conan chuckled nervously.
The man shook his head. "You're in big doodoo this time, brat."
"I need a knife," Conan said.
"Anything that'll help me cut open this bottle. Look, there's something inside! And I don't think that's supposed to be there."
He gave the bottle to the guard, who took a good look at it. "H-hold on! Is this...?!"
Clifford didn't react.
The man looked at Clifford and sighed. "Well, since he's not barking I guess it can't be..."
"Black Tar Heroin," Conan finished. "Mister, whatever it is, it should be regarded with the utmost suspicion, since someone tried to smuggle it past airport security inside drink bottles. I recommend you send it to a toxicologist for examination."
The guard was kind of hesitant whenever...
The door swung open. Dr. Agasa, Ran, and the Detective Boys entered this private room.
"Conan-kun!" Ran said, taking him in her arms from the guard. "We're terribly sorry if he caused any..."
"No, on the contrary," the guard said, a shocked look on his face, still staring inside the plastic bottle.
Sitting in detainment in a backroom, they saw the door open. A police officer stepped inside.
"The kid...was right," he said. "We've conclusively identified the substance as Black Tar Heroin. The three men to whom the bags belonged have been taken into police custody."
"Huh?" Ran asked. "Conan-kun, how did you know that?"
Conan just chuckled childishly in a lame attempt to dissuade Ran's suspicions. "I, uh, well, you remember watching that documentary on drugs four night ago, Ran-neechan? It was that special playing on Nichiuri TV!"
"Four nights ago," Ran repeated. "Hmm. Wasn't I out doing karate training with Wada-chan four nights ago?"
"Oh yeah," Conan said childishly. "I guess you didn't see it then."
One day someone's gonna call me out on all these bulls**t excuses, he thought with a deadpan look.
"W-well, now that this case has been settled, we're free to go, right?" Dr. Agasa asked.
"No. This is far from over."
Conan stood up. "This isn't the end of your investigation. Rather, it's just the beginning. More questions have been raised than answered."
"Like?" Mitsuhiko pressed.
"For starters, why Black Tar Heroin?" Conan asked. "It's produced almost exclusively on the American West Coast region, or so that documentary claimed. But it's the second thing that puzzles me the most."
"Second thing?" Dr. Agasa repeated.
"The K-9 dog," Conan said. "Why didn't it bark? I saw it on the documentary: a good police dog should be able to sniff out any kind of heroin. And it wasn't just back then: in the food court, the K-9 dog back then didn't bark either, though the three men with their bags were standing and then sitting but a short distance away."
It's clear, he thought, that the security of this airport has been compromised from within...on a fundamental level!
To Be Continued
(Kimi to Yakusoku Shita Yasashii Ano Basho Made by La PomPon)
Kimi ga tetsuzen inakunaru yume wo saikin yoku miru no yo to
Utsumuku watashi ni nanimo iwazu ni
POKETTO no naka de tsuyoku te wo nigirishimeta kimi
Iro wo kisoiaisaku hana you ni
Monougena ame ni sae mo yori seno sugata ga kagayaku you ni
Kimi to yakusoku shita yasashii ano basho made
Ima wa mada futari otagaihashiritsudzuke you ne
Kimi to azayakana iro ni naru seno toki made
Aenai hibi ga iteshisa wo mashiteyuku yo seshite itsu no hi ni ka
Kimi to yakusoku shita yasashii ano basho made
Nigemichi wo fuyaseba yokei meiro ni hamaru yo ne
Tatoe hyoushiki no nai michi ga tsudzuita toshitemo
Shinjiau kimehi wo michishirube ni yuku yo yasashii ano basho made
NEXT CONAN'S HINT: Vinegar