A New Trail?
It had taken Harry some time to convince Shinichi to not try transforming back into his normal form by using the liquor. Firstly the transformation was too instable and they couldn't risk Shinichi shrinking in front of others. Secondly, they knew nothing about the reaction. Harry wanted to be sure about what had triggered Shinichi's transforming back. And with how painful the process was for Shinichi, Harry wanted to be sure he went through it only once more.
Harry also suspected that Shinichi would build up immunity to the antidote if he used it too often. Grumbling Shinichi had given in, because Harry had promised him that he would start with some experiments with Shinichi's blood from when he had first taken the poison and the liquor. Something in the Bai Ganr had triggered the transformation and he would find out what it was and isolate it.
That Akemi Miyano had woken up and had agreed to help them had also played a part in that decision. With her sister being the one that had developed the poison as a side product to another experiment they had hope to develop an antidote as soon as they could get her to safety. But they needed to be careful in contacting her. They couldn't risk tipping the organisation off to the fact that Akemi was still alive. They would do all they could to kill her, no matter if innocents got into the line of fire. So far they were going to see if they could contact her in the way Akemi said in two weeks.
Shinichi's studies were going well. He had finished third year spells and would progress to fourth year now. Harry and Sirius had also started him on duelling training, now that he could use a basic repertoire of spells. Mostly Shinichi had to dodge the spells because his shield charm was too basic to help him much. But it worked well against the weaker curses.
Today Harry had agreed to accompany Ran, Conan and Kogoro to the press conference of the Mantendo Company. It seemed one of the employees in the department where new games were created had had the idea to produce a game with Kogoro as a main character. The game was called Master Detective Mori's House of Mysteries'. The players were stuck at a house where a murder had happened and coincidentally Master Detective Mori was there as well and helped them with advice.
Harry thought it was funny that now, thanks to Shinichi making Mori famous, he even got to be the main character in a computer game. The only problem at the moment was the state said Master Detective was in.
Ran was scowling at her father. He had obviously done a 'little' premature celebration and was suffering from sickness.
"Just leave me alone, Ran. Those five or six glasses. What was it again? Gin, Vodka, Bourbon,…" He counted on his fingers.
Harry saw Conan looking surprised.
"What?" Kogoro asked annoyed.
"Nothing." Conan answered.
Harry knew what was going through Shinichi's head. He was thinking about the code names of the two men in black that had shrunk him. Gin and Vodka. He had found out about them during a coincidental meeting at a train. They had exchanged briefcases with a client of their organization and then tried to blow up the train to destroy all evidence. But using a listening device in a chewing gum he had heard their code names. But since then Shinichi hadn't found any other hints after that and he was a little frustrated.
Ran called Conan to hurry as they had to hand over their rain coats and things they didn't want to carry around with them at the cloak room.
"It's really crowded here." Ran commented.
"What did you think it would be like? The whole game industry is assembled here." Kogoro replied.
Then a man addressed Kogoro.
"You are Mr Mori, aren't you?" He asked.
"Yes?" Kogoro replied.
"It's me, Nakajima from Mantendo. I am the creator of 'Master Detective Mori's House of Mysteries'." He introduced himself.
"Oh, yes, now I remember. We met during the project meetings." Kogoro recognized the man.
"The new game is the top topic with all the journalists. But that was to be expected. After all it is the first game where a real master detective appears." Nakajima said.
"Does the game also have a 'game over'?" Ran asked.
"Yes, if the player exceeds the time limit, master detective Mori falls asleep and the game is over. The player is then caught in the house forever." Nakajima explained.
Harry had to suppress a laugh. In real life Mori only solved his cases when he slept, thanks to Conan's tranquilliser watch.
Two of Nakajima's colleagues came over and exchanged some jibes with him. Especially Koji Ueda seemed to be a bit put out with him. Obviously he had been the one to first think about the idea to include Mori in a game, but Nakajima had taken the idea and presented it. And obviously Hironobu Takeshita had lost his former girlfriend during their time at the university to Nakashima. Kogoro got his cloak room ticket. A metal plate with his number, the ninety-six, on it.
Takeshita looked at his watch and realized that time was running out and he and Ueda decided that pressing forward would be their only chance to timely get to their posts. They advised Nakajima to do the same if he wanted to avoid trouble with their boss. They all handed the cloak room employee their black briefcases and explained the briefcases were part of the Mantendo equipment their boss had thought up to ingrain the company better into the memory of their clients. But the briefcases were too unhandy, so most of the employees left them at the cloak-room.
Sadly their boss appeared that moment and heard their comments about the briefcases. He made the three men very uncomfortable when they got their cloak-room tickets. They were swiftly chased to work while the boss talked a bit with Kogoro thanking him for the help he had given Mantendo with the game.
Ran was handed the ticket with the number one hundred and made a comment about having luck because of it. Harry took his ticket with the one hundred and one.
They went into the presentation room and Nakajima and Kogoro, who was still feeling sick, presented the new game. Ran, Conan and Harry were trying different games. They went to a game where you could test how hard you could hit. Harry was the first one to be coaxed into hitting the air-bag, which measured the power you had used. Directly before Harry Nakajima gave a demonstration and got 348. He told them he had boxed during his university time. Harry then punched the bag and got 312.
"You are also regularly going in for sports, right?" Takeshita asked.
"Yes, I am training in martial arts." Harry admitted.
"Oh, I didn't know that, Harry." Ran commented. "Which kind?"
"Mostly karate but I also train jujitsu. It comes in handy with my occupation." Harry said.
"What kind of occupation?" Nakajima asked.
"He is a high school detective." Ran answered before Harry could.
"High school detective? And your name is Harry? You are not by any chance, Harrison Black, 'The Hawk', are you?" Nakajima asked.
"Yes, I am." Harry admitted and was soon swarmed by some of his fans that wanted autographs.
Meanwhile Ran was coaxed to try the game by Takeshita, he said it was good for reducing stress.
"Stress?" Ran asked and then hit the airbag. "Get home Shinichi!" She yelled.
Her result was 400. Harry saw that Conan was really pale now. When Ran asked Conan if he also wanted to try it, he said he needed to go to the restroom. Nakajima offered to go there together. When they were looking for the restroom, they bumped into a giant of a man. He wore a black suit with a matching black hat that resembled greatly the one of Inspector Megure in its making.
Both Conan and Nakajima hurt, the man just walked on.
"Does he work for a game company too?" Conan asked.
"Well, I don't know him."
At the restroom Nakajima told Conan that he and the other two men had been in the same boxing club at university. He hadn't expected to meet them again at the same game company. Ueda also came to the restroom and made some new jibes at Nakajima.
Conan separated from Nakajima and walked past the cloak-room. He watched as the giant asked for his things, he had the number 98 and got a Mantendo briefcase. Conan wondered why he didn't wear the Mantendo tie clip and why Nakajima didn't know him then. He then decided it wasn't his problem. He took a waste-bin to reach the drinks machine. He wanted to get Kogoro some tomato juice to help him get rid of his hangover.
The man was using the telephone.
"It's me." The man said. "Tequila."
Conan reacted at the name of a liquor.
"The deal went as planned. … Yes I will be careful. … Don't worry Vodka; I will be with you tonight."
Conan dropped his wallet in shock.
"Tell Gin the same."
Conan's coins hit the ground when he realized that the man was working together with the men in black he was hunting. Gin and Vodka.
"That was a damned little boy, he let money drop to the ground." Tequila explained Vodka on the phone.
Shinichi was taking action. He pulled off the sticker with the listening device from the button of his jacket.
"Excuse me, could you please take your foot away? You are standing on my ten yen coin." He asked Tequila.
Tequila kicked him.
"What do you let them roll there, stupid child?" He asked.
Conan rubbed his hurt cheek. Well, he had managed to place the device under Tequila's shoe. He wanted to follow him immediately when he paused. The last time he went after one of the men in black he had been poisoned. And this time Harry was here. He could help him. With the device they could easily follow the man. Conan took out his handy and sent Harry a message. Better to not let Tequila get away too far.
He activated the radar on his glasses and turned in the frequency to eavesdrop on Tequila.
"Curious, … What's that shit? It doesn't open. … Huh, it's open?" Shinichi heard Tequila talking from the restroom.
Then he heard a strange sound, followed by an explosion. The shock wave grazed his cheek and when he looked around the corner he had been hidden behind, he was met with the view of the destroyed corridor.
'What the …?' He thought.
Harry read Shinichi's message and left Ran to look after her father and went to the restroom. Then he heard an explosion and was worried for Shinichi. He began running towards the cloud of dust that flowed from the corridor with the restrooms.
'No, please let Shinichi be okay.' He mentally prayed.
He reached the site of the explosion and saw Shinichi punching the ground with his fist. Okay, that probably meant his lead to the men in black was done for.
"Conan, are you hurt?" Harry asked.
Conan shook his head.
Soon Inspector Megure arrived and took over the investigation. Conan had informed Harry about his findings so far and Harry knew that this was very bad luck. He had finally found a lead to the organization and now that.
The policemen that analysed the explosion site told the Inspector their first information.
"A terrorist attack?" Megure asked.
"Yes, Inspector. The bomb was placed in the toilet on the window side of the building. We assume that the blasting composition was put at the door, or at least very close to it." The policeman answered.
"So it was an attack without a certain target…" The inspector mused.
"There was only one victim, a man." Was the next the policeman said.
"Do we know his identity?" Megure asked.
"No, there isn't much left of him. We don't have anything to identify him yet." Was the answer.
"Did you see anybody suspicious? After all you were the first to reach the site?" Megure asked Ueda, Nakajima and Takeshita.
"N-No." Takeshita said.
"There was nobody." Nakajima added.
"I know something." Conan piped up.
When Megure turned towards him, he continued.
"I didn't see anybody who was suspicious, but I saw the victim." He informed him.
"Is that true, Conan?" Megure asked surprised.
"Yes, it was a giant of a man with a height over two meters. He probably was from the Kansai region. You saw him too, didn't you Nakajima?" Conan asked.
"Huh?" Nakajima wondered.
"I mean the big man we bumped into on the corridor." Conan explained.
"Ah, yes, now I remember." Nakajima said uncomfortably.
"Why do you think he was from the Kansai region?" Megure asked.
"It was his accent. He said some things which sounded similar like how that high school detective from Osaka spoke. He said: 'Curious, What's that shit? It doesn't open. … Huh, it's open'. Probably he meant the door of the toilet." Conan told him.
"Yes, and it would also indicate that the explosion composition had been placed close to the door." Megure agreed.
While Conan deflected comments about his luck not to be caught in the explosion because he had been so close to it to hear the man, Harry was thinking what the motive could have been to blow up a member of the organization.
"Do we have any idea, why this attempt was done, Inspector?" Harry asked.
"No, not that I know of, Harrison." Megure answered.
"May I say something to that?" The president of Mantendo said from the opening in the wall.
"Boss?" Ueda and Nakajima asked surprised.
"Boss?" Asked Megure.
"Yes, I am the president of Mantendo Company, my name is Ishikawa. We wanted to hold a press conference today for our new games. Well, two days ago I got this strange letter." He said and opened his briefcase to take it out. He handed the letter to Megure.
"I had brought it with me today, because I wanted to show it to my colleagues for entertainment. I-I didn't think that it could be something serious." He admitted.
Megure looked at it and was shocked.
"A threatening letter?" He shouted. Harry looked over his shoulder to read the content of the letter.
'Cancel your press-conference or we will blow up the press-conference.'
"Why didn't you inform the police of this?" Megure yelled at Ishikawa.
"I thought it was just a bad joke." The president apologized.
"Inspector, we found those in the debris." A policeman held out a round, bended plate and a small key.
Harry looked at both and immediately identified the plate as one of the Mantendo briefcases. The key was also for one of the briefcases as the president confirmed. Harry noticed that the plate was bent outwards. That shouldn't be possible if the bomb had been placed at the door. It had to have been inside the briefcase to bend in that direction.
He looked at Conan, who obviously had come to the same conclusion. Ishikawa asked if the victim had been one of his employees as he had had one of their briefcases. Harry looked at Conan and signalled him to come out of the room with him. He took him aside and whispered to him.
"Don't do anything stupid. I know that you are yearning for another hint of the organization, but we still have a chance here. If the giant wanted to make a deal with somebody here and all the visitors and employees are still in the building we can still catch the other party of the deal. From what you told me, he took his briefcase from the cloak room. Do you remember the number?" Harry asked.
"It was 98." Conan answered.
"Are you sure?" Harry asked surprised.
"Yes, why?" Conan asked.
Harry took out his cloak room ticket with the 101. Shinichi understood.
"Then the one whose briefcase exploded, the one who wanted to kill the giant was one of the three that pushed between Ran and Kogoro." He realized.
"Yes. I don't know which one had the 98, but the culprit of the bomb explosion is either Ueda, Nakajima or Takeshita. If we found out which one has another ticket now, we would know who was included in the deal." Harry confirmed.
They went to the cloak room and asked if the giant was the only one to take away his things. They also found out that the cloak room assistant fount it strange because he had got his briefcase back just after all the visitors had handed over their things. Harry nodded towards Conan. They had a good chance to find the other party of the deal now. With the police locking the building and nobody getting his things the culprit still had to be in the building.
"Something is curious though." Conan said. "Why would the one to make the deal with Tequila choose this place if he wanted to kill him? The press conference of his company was here. He would risk becoming a suspect as he knew the location and could have planned it. And it would be logical that Tequila would check the content of the briefcase immediately."
"You are right, but what if it wasn't the one who was the second party in the deal who placed the bomb, but a third party, that wanted to kill the second party of the deal? I mean think, the key didn't fit into the briefcase from what you heard over your transmitter. He was surprised that the briefcase wasn't locked. That makes sense if we assume he wanted to open the briefcase and not the door." Harry speculated.
Shinichi looked shocked. It made so much sense. Then Ran and Kogoro appeared, Kogoro still looked sick. Ran fussed over the cut on Conan's cheek, but didn't say much as he had been with Harry. Harry decided today wouldn't be a day for the sleeping Kogoro to appear. The guests went to the cloak room to get back their things. Harry and Conan were positioned close to the counter to watch the three suspects.
Finally they handed over their tickets. Takeshita had the 99, Ueda the 97 and Nakajima the 124. Harry and Conan now knew who had been part of the deal. Conan understood how the exchange of the key and the ticket had been done. Nakajima had bumped into Tequila and then exchanged both with him, pretending they had fallen down or just put them into Tequila's pocket. Harry also spotted that Takeshita wondered shortly about something when Nakajima's number was called.
Harry's eyes widened slightly when he thought back to the game where he had punched the airbag on the machine to measure his power. Takeshita had held Nakajima's jacket then. This could be the thing he had looked for, but right now he couldn't exclude Ueda from the suspects of the bomb in the briefcase as well. He had had a chance to exchange the tickets too when Takeshita hadn't noticed. But it would be easy to find out.
Megure was about to send the visitors home with the request to them to call the police if they remembered anything about the bomber. Harry decided now was the time to interfere. He couldn't let the culprit escape.
"Inspector Megure, I would like to wait before everybody goes home." He called out.
All eyes were on Harry now. Shinichi, knowing this time he wouldn't have to present the solution as sleeping Kogoro, watched.
"Harrison, what are you talking about? We have to evacuate the hotel. We are dealing with a crazy bomber terrorist." Megure asked.
"There was no crazy bomber, Inspector. To be precise, there never has been placed a bomb in this hotel. If you let the people go, the one who brought the bomb with him today will escape." Harry announced.
Many were now recognizing him and whispers about 'The Hawk' flew through the crowd. The visitors were excited to see the famous high school detective solve a case. Most thought that the 'Sleeping Kogoro' had to be excused this time as he was obviously sick.
"Do you know the culprit, Harrison?" Megure asked.
"No, but I have a strong suspicion and can easily prove who the bomber was. He will reveal himself. The culprit helped a certain somebody to the briefcase, which he wanted to kill. Look at the plate with the Mantendo emblem. It is bend outwards. If the bomb had been placed at the door of the toilet the shockwave would have bend it inwards. That only leaves one conclusion. The bomb was in the briefcase."
Shocked shouts came from the spectators now.
"This case will be solved as soon as we inspect one thing. I am speaking about the contents of Mr Nakajima's suitcase." Harry pointed at the man, who was shocked to be the centre of interest.
"Nakajima, not you?" Ishikawa asked.
"No, I don't have anything to do with the bombing attempt." Nakajima denied.
"Then would you be so kind to open your briefcase?" Megure asked.
"N-No, that is impossible." He refused.
"But what if he has new ideas for a game in it?" Takeshita asked.
"R-Right." Nakajima confirmed. "I have notes in there and don't want anybody to see them."
"And instead you want to be suspected as the bomber? Just open it." Ueda demanded.
"Let go." Nakajima demanded of Ueda, who was holding onto the briefcase.
"S-Stop it." Takeshita said.
Then the briefcase opened in the struggle.
Takeshita screamed out. And covered at the ground with his hands over his head shaking madly. All eyes were concentrated upon him now.
"Takeshita?" Ueda asked confused.
Meanwhile bundles of money fell out of the briefcase. Harry was smirking. Now Ueda noticed the money too.
"He, he, now the case is absolutely clear. Mr Takeshita, you are the bomber." Harry accused.
"Huh?" Ueda asked.
"What do you mean, Harrison? Why did he shout out like that?" Megure asked.
"Because he thought the bomb that he had placed in the briefcase would explode." Harry explained.
"The bomb in the briefcase. You mean that the bomb that exploded in the toilet and killed the giant of a man was placed by Takeshita? Then the things Conan heard: Curious, … What's that shit? It doesn't open. … Huh, it's open … were related to the briefcase?" Megure realized.
"Yes, Inspector." Harry confirmed.
"So he gave the briefcase to the big man?" Megure asked.
"No, the victim got the briefcase from Mr Nakajima who made a deal with the man. Am I right?" Harry asked taking the shocked face of Nakajima as proof.
"A deal?" Megure questioned.
"Yes, my cousin Conan overheard the man talking to somebody on the phone that the deal had gone over without problems. It was really easy. Both arranged to leave their part of the deal at the cloak room. Then, after some time they met and exchanged their cloak room tickets. It happened when Conan and Nakajima bumped into the man on the way to the restroom. And it's easy to prove. My ticket is the 101. Mr Mori had the 96 and Ran the 100. Between us were Mr Takeshita, Mr Ueda and Mr Nakajima. Therefore they got the 97, 98 and 99.
"Coincidentally Conan heard the ticket number of the victim, it was the 98. That narrowed down the suspects to those three. Of course I couldn't determine the second party only by that. But as I knew that it had to be one of them I listened in when they got back their things. Interestingly Mr Nakajima had the 124. From that moment I knew he had been the second party in the deal the giant had spoken about. But I wasn't sure if he was the bomber. After all, why would he place a bomb to kill his business partner in the building where he worked? He could have easily become a suspect.
"Mr Nakajima was talking with Mr Mori while we were waiting to leave our things. Mr Takeshita, who didn't stand in the line at that moment, noticed that Mr Mori got the 96. Therefore Nakajima, who he wanted to kill, would get a number in the nineties as well. If he had a number over hundred, it would have been suspicious once they took their things back after the press conference. So he pushed between Mr Mori and us to make sure he also got a ninety. Exchanging two numbers with the same first number wouldn't be noticed.
"When the man tried to check the content of the briefcase at the toilet, the bomb went off. He was surprised that the key didn't fit; well, it couldn't as it was the wrong briefcase. The man became an unintended victim. I assume Mr Takeshita also sent the threatening letter to deflect any suspicion from himself and the briefcase. The most probable opportunity for him to exchange the tickets of him and Mr Nakajima was during the punching game. Nakajima took off his jacket and Takeshita held it."
"Do you have any proof for this, Harrison?" Megure asked.
"Of course. The briefcase Mr Takeshita has with him right now should be the one the key you found at the toilet will open. Additionally it was an original Mantendo briefcase that exploded. If you inspected all the briefcases left in this building you will find out that only Takeshita's briefcase is missing, because of his only dust and ashes are left." Harry stated.
"Really, to think I got the wrong man." Takeshita said. "And I even sent the threatening letter to make it look like a terrorist attempt."
"T-Takeshita?" Nakajima asked.
"Yes, it's true Nakajima. You are the one who should have snuffed it today." He shouted, pulling Nakajima's collar of his shirt. "You miserable pig killed Yoshimi." He shouted while two policemen restrained him to keep him away from Nakajima.
"Yoshimi?" Megure asked looking at Ueda.
"She was the manager of our boxing club at university. She was met with a refusal by Nakajima and killed herself." Ueda explained.
"Suicide?" Megure asked disbelieving. "But why would he want to take revenge?"
"Because she had been Takeshita's girlfriend since they had been at middle school." Ueda answered. "Obviously he never got over it.
Nakajima stood there pale like a sheet. He obviously was shocked how close he had come to death.
"You were lucky to cheat death today, Mr Nakajima. But now why don't we talk seriously? The man who you made the deal with, who was he?" Harry asked.
His piercing green eyes tore into Nakajima. With a swift compulsion charm he took care that he didn't have to reveal anything that he knew about the organization. He didn't want that they would come after him when they found out he had questioned Nakajima. Right now it was just a logical question regarding the case.
"I don't really know anything. I only know the place where they always met, the bar 'Cocktail' at the Big Black-Building in Beika." He admitted.
Harry and Conan took off towards the Big Black-Building. They knew they had to act fast to find a clue. When they were waiting for the elevator doors to open, another explosion happened to their right. They ran out of the elevator.
"The bar exploded!" They heard shouts.
Harry had to restrain Shinichi from running inside. He knew there was nothing that could be found there anymore.
The only thing Harry managed to find out later while he attended the questioning of both Nakajima and Takeshita at the police station was that Nakajima had tried to sell a list with all the world's leading programmers for a massive sum to the men in black.
In the newspapers the next day, Harry's newest success was celebrated. But he was worried about Shinichi. He had been close to finally find out more. Now all hints that he could have found were blown up with the bar. He suspected that they had blown up the bar to destroy all traces of them. They wouldn't give up and one day they would find them.
Okay, that's it for this time. Hope you liked it.