Well now this one's got a lot of anticipation riding on it, after all the information I gave out in the last chapter... I get the feeling it'll turn out disappointing compared to what you all expect, but really this was all for the best (at least the chapter is long). I swear this plot is actually going somewhere and isn't just weird line running parallel to a mysterious line... there's a much more complex plot line than that (in fact I got bored in math class one day and tried to draw the plot I have in mind in a somewhat linear fashion and it proved to be completely impossible.) that's right, this story is complicated, if the title didn't give you the hint.

This chapter is going to be a bit odd because for the most part this event in completely different than how it was in the original story line, for the most part this chapter is where Shinichi starts to get some doubts about blindly doing what Shiharoku says and Vermouth says some very important things.

Also I know the 'code' I've been doing is really easy, but to do anything really interesting with the code I would have to spread it through the entire chapter, and that's to much effort when I'm already trying to use the right words to make it easy to understand what's going on but hard to predict what's coming in the story (even though I've already given enough information to guess who/what E.C./Conan is, and a good portion of the final twist...) so I'll just be lazy and keep my simple code~

Well I hope you enjoy.


chapTer 11. tHe ominous revelation of ratIonality'S coming downfall

I stared down at my phone. On the screen where the weirdest instructions that Shiharoku had given me yet.

K.S. & E.C.: Go to Haido city hotel, something is about to happen there, I've already arranged to handle most of it. Go alone or take Ai with you, but if you bring her make sure she doesn't leave your sight. At some point I want you to walk up to the actress Chris Vineyard and say 'Hello Sharon.'

The entire thing seemed strange in the first place. Why go to Haido city hotel? What was going to happen there? What did he mean he'd already arranged to handle most of it? Why shouldn't I let Haibara out of my sight if she comes with me? But perhaps the most concerning question to come to my mind was; why in the world should I call and American actress 'Sharon' if her name is 'Chris'?

He must have a reason for asking me to do something like that. I mean he was probably there back when whatever is going to happen was happening the first time. If bringing Haibara along means I need to be more careful then the Black Organization is probably involved, what would they be doing at Haido city hotel... something illegal no doubt. Still... why an actress? Better yet, just why in general...

Wait... 'Chris Vineyard'... 'Sharon'... I think I may have heard that name before... no the one I've heard of is Sharon Vineyard, she was an actress too wasn't she, I met her at some point... that was back when went to visit my parents in New York, she was a friend of my mother and- no this is off topic, the person he mentioned was Chris Vineyard.

Could she be a member of the organization? I guess that's possible -perhaps even probable- but if that's the case then why didn't Shiharoku tell me to be careful because she was one of them or something like that- unless he thought that I would deduce that she was a member of the organization anyway...

Ugh this is annoying, I may as well ask directly. But then what should I ask, there are so many questions... I guess I should start at the beginning.

Me: What happens at Haido city hotel?

K.S. & E.C.: Which are you asking for, what happened, or what will happen?

Good question. Do I want to know what happened when he was going through this or what will be happening this time around (considering he intends to change it)? What happened last time doesn't really matter much since it won't be the same, I'm better off knowing what will be happening if I go to Haido city hotel.

Me: What will happen.

K.S. & E.C.: I've changed enough that it won't be the same as before, I can't be sure what will happen if you do as I've asked you to but there's a very low chance of anyone being killed or injured.

Killed or injured? I mean sure I had already assumed I was going to be dealing with the Black Organization but what on Earth happened? Who was injured or killed? I'll ask him about that some other time...

K.S. & E.C.: I know you must have more questions but in this scenario I'm a bit unsure exactly what will happen myself. As I said before I've done my best to arrange everything so that this event wouldn't end in any injury or death, and it's fine if you leave it at that and decide not to go, but I'm hoping that through what I've asked you to do we'll be able to get information that even I don't have right now. The choice is yours, but this is very important.

Information that Shiharoku doesn't have? Just when I was beginning to think he knew everything he pulls something like this one me... if the information he's hoping to get is as important as he seems to think it is then I really have no choice, I'm going to have to go.

Me: Alright I'll go.

I waited a moment to see if Shiharoku would reply but he didn't, I assumed that meant that the conversation was over.

Then I guess the only thing left to take care of is whether or not Haibara will be coming. For her own sake it's best to keep her away from anything involving the Black Organization... but I guess I should still ask her whether or not she wants to go, she can make her own decisions.

So I tried asking her and she seemed intent on going until I mentioned Chris Vineyard, but after that she seemed afraid to go (claiming to have had a dream in which the side effect of APTX4869 was discovered and the organization beat me and the shonen tantei up and took her to a gas chamber), maybe even afraid to let me go. Naturally I still intended to go no matter what she said about it being too dangerous but she of course would not be going because it seemed like that was the best option.

Now then, I'm sure you're tired of me talking about my plans, I'm sure you'd much rather me just go ahead and go to the hotel already. Fine, we'll just skip the rest of the planning stage, I didn't really do much anyway.

Having arrived at Haido city hotel I quickly realized that was supposed to be some kind of memorial meeting or something and that there was supposed to be a slide show presentation.

Apparently the event that had originally occurred here on this day was an assassination by the Black Organization that Shiharoku had been unable to stop which through some odd twist resulted in Haibara's being kidnapped by Pisco (a member of the organization) and using paikaru to escape only to be cut off by Gin and Vodka on the roof, Shiharoku managed to save her but was unable to save Pisco who was killed by Gin for having had his picture taken while killing their target. Of course knowing all of this was fundamentally meaningless as the event that alerted Gin to my (or Haibara's though she isn't with me this time) hadn't occurred and Shiharoku had already arranged for their target not to appear at the hotel and somehow devised a way to cover all the tracks so the Organization would believe that he had been killed by Pisco.

My only business here was to walk up to Chris Vineyard and greet her as 'Sharon'.

Seems simple enough. Right?

She was pretty easy to find, of course it wouldn't be that difficult to find an American actress in a crowd of random high class people. I'd searched her on the internet before coming so I would know what she looks like (after all it would be extremely embarrassing to do this to the wrong person).

And so at last I came to the moment of truth, all I had to do was call an actress by the wrong name and then tell Shiharoku how she reacted later, sure there's definitely more to it than that but that's all it is on the surface, I don't know why I'm doing this only that it will be able to help Shiharoku in some way.

Alright, here it goes.

"Hello Sharon," I said, keeping up the childish facade just in case.

Chris Vineyard -no Sharon- stopped for a fraction of a second just to look down at me before a staged smile crept across her face, "It's rude to call a person by a name that you know isn't theirs, Shinichi."

Of course that would be her response, if you just walk up to a person and call them the wrong name anyone would would simply point out that you made a mistake an- hold on a minute, did she just call me 'Shinichi'?

Does she know who I am? How could she possibly know who I am? Maybe she really is with the black organization... but then why am I not dead if she knows who I am? Ugh, why didn't Shiharoku warn me about this? ...Shiharoku probably just thought it was implied... he really should have told me what to expect.

"But you messed up my name too onee-chan, I'm 'Edogawa Conan' not 'Shinichi'," I stated, trying to sound like I really was just a cute little even year old and totally believed what I was saying.

She didn't seem convinced as her smile grew wider, "So I did, I'm sorry, Conan-kun."

The actress then told the people she had been talking to when I'd walked up that my mother was a friend of her's and that she was going to call my mom to make sure she knew I was here- which was of course a complete lie she was just using as an excuse so she could go up to the roof with me so we could have a confrontation of sorts.

After several moments of staring at each other in the snow she was the one who broke the silence.

"You and I aren't that different you know."

I wasn't sure how to respond to that so I just stood there without saying anything in hope that she would elaborate on her statement. Unfortunately for me she didn't and instead moved on to a completely different and possibly random topic.

"How much has he told you about us?" She asked. It seemed like she had more motive than just curiosity in asking, but it still didn't really seem to be especially purposeful.

"Not very much," I replied, deciding to keep my responses vague just in case she was actually fishing for information.

She smirked as though I was playing right into her hands, "Oh, so he hasn't told you our goal yet?"

"No," I frowned, I had just assumed that he didn't know their goal or that it was something generic like taking over the world and he didn't really feel the need to tell me... is she implying that it's something important? If it's important he would have told me right?

She crossed her arms, greatly increasing the smugness of the look she was giving, "Has he at least given you our name?"

"No..." I answered. He'd called them the Black Organization once or twice but every now and then he would just call them 'them' which hinted that they weren't truly called the Black Organization... but he'd never told me their true name. What did it matter anyway, the more information I knew about them the more likely I am to die.

Still the way she keeps saying 'our' is somewhat unsettling.

"Then has your friend told you anything about our leader?"

There's that 'our' again... Shiharoku had only ever mentioned the Black Organization's member to me once, he'd referred to the leader as 'Anokata' so I've pretty much assumed that he doesn't know who 'Anokata' is because he'd probably have been clearer on that and either used a name or just said 'their leader'... still Shiharoku seems to enjoy keeping me in the dark.

I hesitated a bit before answering, "... No."

"Then you know almost nothing about us," She chuckled, pausing a moment as I gave a deject nod, she continued, "Do you want to know about us Silver bullet-kun?"

What on Earth is she doing?! Is she offering me information on a secret criminal organization that she's a part of? And what's with the 'Silver Bullet-kun' thing?

I nodded again and she spoke up again, "Then I'll tell you something that your other self in the future doesn't know... or maybe he does and just refuses to admit it to himself..."

She paused for a moment, the tension building with every second.

Something that Shiharoku doesn't know? I guess stuff like that is common enough but he always acts like he knows everything that's going on. I wonder what it is she's going to tell me...

I was too lost in thought to realize that as she paused she'd pull out a gun and was now pointing it right at me.

"If I killed you right now, then our organization won't be able to exist."

Again with the 'our'... What does she even mean by that anyway? The organization already exists, killing me wouldn't make it unable to exist... that's just theoretically impossible. She must have just said that to confuse me...

She was still smiling, "You can go ahead and tell that to your friend if you'd like, or don't if you'd rather keep it from him for now since I'm sure he's keeping plenty from you."

Yeah he does seem to be keeping a lot of information from me but that's just because it's stuff that I don't need to know right? There's no way he wouldn't tell me something if it was important... right? Then again... he didn't warn me about Chris/Sharon at all, that's pretty substantial evidence that he doesn't really mind completely keeping me in the dark about pretty important matters...

I found myself reaching for my cellphone in my pocket, but not actually doing anything with it. Should I tell Shiharoku all of what she just said? This is probably the kind of information -if not more- he was hoping for when he sent me to do this. Still it doesn't seem like this information would be useful in any way.

"Of course if he's still focused on his original goal right now then the best course of action for him would be just to politely ask you to commit suicide," Chris/Sharon continued to speak, "Then our organization wouldn't exist and most of the people who've lost their lives because of it would still be alive, sure there would be a pretty serious paradox involved and Angel would have to find some way to live without you but all in all it would be a fairly happy ending for almost everyone."

Why do I get the feeling that there's probably a lot more to this than what she's telling me? I mean who's 'Angel' and what 'original purpose' is she talking about?

Still it's possible that she's just making this all up to just to mess with me, from what I've seen that seems like something she would do.

I finally gathered enough curiosity to break my streak of silence, replying to one of her obscure statements, "And what proof do I have that you're telling me the truth?"

After a few seconds had passed she spoke up, "That's why you're the Silver Bullet...," She laughed for a moment before falling silent. Eventually she answered me, "If you're still alive next time we meet then I'll show you something interesting."

Without giving me a chance to say anything in return she walked away leaving me alone on the roof. I didn't bother following her, if she wanted to get away I had no doubt that she would be able to outrun me (considering my size) or find someway to mingle into the crowd.

I pulled the cellphone that I'd been holding tightly out of my pocket and looked at it blankly for a moment.

What would I do if I told him what she said and he actually asked me to commit suicide for the greater good... I mean I know that I wouldn't want to kill anyone but if killing one person can save countless I'm not sure what I would do (of course I still don't intend to kill myself but still...) . Not to mention that even if I died he still has Kaitou Kid that he can get to change the past for him.

Who knows how everything that's happened to Shiharoku has changed him since this time period, he might be so desperate for a better future that he wouldn't mind killing a few people to reach it. He knows what event's will happen when, if he really wanted to he could probably send me into some ridiculous situation completely unprepared if he wanted me dead... I've just been blindly doing whatever he's asked me to... I mean for all I know he's not even actually me just some other random guy in the future that's using my name or something...

"So... What am I going to do..." I sighed. I wasn't sure. Should I tell him everything she had and trust him? Should I just ignore him altogether and just help Haibara look for a way to turn me back to normal? Should I just not tell him and keep going as I have been but think more carefully about what he asks me to do?

I typed up a text message, thinking long and hard about whether or not it was the right thing to do before pressing send.

Me: She smiled and chided me saying that her name is 'Chris' not 'Sharon' then she called me 'Shinichi'.

The reply was immediate as though he had been standing by waiting for hours for me to give him this report.

K.S. & E.C.: She really called you 'Shinichi'?

Me: Is there something odd about that?

I had already thought that it was a bit odd but if that's the first thing he picked up on then it must be more odd than I initially thought.

K.S. & E.C.: Yes, very odd. As far as I'm aware Vermouth has always called 'me' by the name 'Silver Bullet-kun' in any timeline... to be calling you 'Shinichi' is strange.
Perhaps the Vermouth that you talked with was a her from before she'd begun to call me/you 'Silver Bullet-kun', but then there are a few inconsistencies in the order of events... and even still it wouldn't make much sense that she knew that you were indeed 'Kudo Shinichi'.

I got the felling that the last part wasn't so much his attempt to explain anything about this situation to me but rather just him subconsciously writing his own train of thought into the message, otherwise he probably wouldn't have said so much.

For a moment I was tempted to tell him that she had not long after that refereed to me as 'Silver Bullet-kun' but then that would make it clear that more happened than what I'd told him (which would make him suspicious if he wasn't already). So I shrugged and continued to reply as though the only response I had received was what I'd already mentioned to him.