Feb 20, 2011

Chapter Sixteen

Chapter 16

Unexpected Help

Ran's POV

There was a knock on my door, so I rose to answer it. Surprisingly, Kazuha-chan and Hattori-kun had already come back. They'd only left about five minutes ago.

"Kazuha-chan, did you forget something?" I asked her, trying to think if I'd seen a foreign object in the office within the past few moments.

"No, not at all, Ran-chan. This little girl said she needed to see you." She gestured to a small girl with light tea colored hair. Her eyes were an icy blue color, and she glared when she spoke to me.

"It's very important." Her voice was cold as well, not a little bit of warmth in it. Like a windy winter night that freezes you t the core. "I can tell you who murdered Kudo Shinichi, and other things. That's why I came here, I want to help."

Who murdered Kudo Shinichi…? Shinichi! Do you have any idea who this girl is? I asked him in a panic.

I've never seen her in my, well can't say life, existence. Just play along, like usual, Ran, he advised.

So, I took the course of my instincts. "Who are you?"

"Miyano Shiho," she answered. She looked back to see Hattori-kun's and Kazuha-chan's reactions. They were as stunned as I was. "The poison that killed him was the APTX 4869, a poison that causes apoptosis."

"Miyano Shiho," I repeated. I had heard that name before. I had heard it when… I gasped. It was that woman who was killed just a day ago. 'If you see someone named Shiho Miyano, please help her,' she had begged, as her eyes started to fade over. 'She's my sister.' "You're that woman's sister, aren't you?"

"You knew Akemi?" I had broken through her shield with just six words. I saw tears starting to come out of her eyes, and the ice melted.

"That was her name?" I said. "I tried catch her after the bank robbery, but I couldn't find her. Then, I saw her in a parking garage. A man with long silver hair had just shot her. I tried to help her, but the bullet pierced her lung." I started choking up. "She asked me to help a person named Shiho Miyano, because that was her sister's name. That's how I knew Akemi."

She remained silent for a couple of minutes, and during that time, Hattori-kun and Kazuha-chan seemed to recover from the earlier shock.

"Hey, Mouri," Hattori-kun whispered in my ear. "How does she know what happened to Kudo?"

Because her sister and her must have been part of that Organization, Shinichi commented. The only reason he would have shot her when she didn't have the money on her would be because she was a traitor. That must have been why this girl Shiho ran away. But to put an elementary school student in a mafia group…

Your deductions are amazing as usual, Shinichi.

"I have no idea," I lied to Hattori-kun. "Shiho-chan, can you tell us what you meant when you mentioned Shinichi earlier?"

She nodded and started the story. "I am the creator of the poison APTX 4869. More accurately, my late father started the project, but I completed it. I was a scientist in a mafia known as the Black Organization. My sister was a thief. She asked the boss if they would let us go if she stole one billion yen. He said yes, but he didn't mean it. That's why Gin killed her."

Gin, Shinichi said angrily. Is that the bastard's name?

"The next day, Gin came to get me and put me in a prison without food or water. I was desperate. I took the poison, the APTX, in order to commit suicide. But it didn't work. It shrank me. That's why I look like an elementary student."

We now had more clues than we had had before. And this girl was probably a treasure of many more. "Thank you so much, Shiho-chan." I kneeled down and clasped her hands. "I'm trying to catch Shinichi's murderers, to give him peace of mind. You've given me so much help."

"It's fine," her voice sounded strangled. She was obviously uncomfortable with me being so close to her. "If you want to solve the murder of Kudo Shinichi, then I can tell you as much as I can. However, even though I was quite high up in the rankings, I didn't know much at all."

Over the next hour, Hattori-kun, Kazuha-chan, and I listened to what Shiho-chan had to say. She told us about the code names, all alcohols: Gin, Shinichi's murderer, Vodka, his subordinate, Vermouth, a master of disguise, and the Boss, whose code name was unknown to nearly everyone. Except for Vermouth and Gin. She started on what the Black Organization did, murder, theft, blackmail, all sorts of crimes. That their ultimate goal was to bring the dead back from life. She told us about where she had worked, and how we might be even be able to get back.

"Let's go now!" shouted Hattori-kun. "We should go inspect the place where you used to work. We might be able to catch one or two of them."

"I wouldn't go if I were you," Shiho-chan said. "If I really escaped, then they'll be setting up the bombs right now."

"Bo-bombs!" Kazuha-chan recoiled in fear. "Why would they use bombs?"

"Destroy the evidence, and if I came back, maybe kill me or bar off the information that I had kept there. Don't risk it; they're fast workers."

Hattori-kun sat back in his chair, but he was shaking from the want to go. Then, he stood up. "I don't care if it blows up, I'm going now!" He ran out of the room, slamming the door behind him.

"Wait, Heiji!" Kazuha-chan ran after him.

Before I could say anything, they had already left. What if there really were bombs, then what would happen? What would happen to Hattori-kun and Kazuha-chan?

"By the way, Ran-san," Shiho interrupted. "Could I stay here for tonight at least? I don't have anywhere to go."

"Sure, I'll just have to tell my dad when he gets back from Mahjong. And just call me Ran, it's simpler." I looked anxiously at the door.

"I'm sure you won't have to worry. There's something about that kid that makes me feel he's invincible." She smiled slightly, and walked off, leaving me there, silent and ultimately confused.

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