Kriminalist

By Rhiannon D'Averc

Mystery / Romance

Chapter Thirty-Two: A Lesson in What Must Be Done Part D

NEAR

“It is clear that more must be done,” I say, and Gevanni nods.

“Of course, it would be a great defeat for us to lose one of the three heirs of L.” He replies, and though I must concede this point, I feel a flicker of irritation to be reminded that the three of us were once considered equal.

“In that light, I think it best that the members of the team each utilise their own special abilities to their utmost potential. You realise what I am saying to you, Gevanni?”

“You want me to go back and do more surveillance on the Mafia.” Gevanni responds, and it is clear that this comes as no surprise to him.

“That is correct.” I tell him. “It is impossible for you to go undercover again, so you’ll have to keep your distance and stay to the shadows. However, it is extremely important that we find the whereabouts of Mello and that we are able to rescue him before any lasting harm is done.”

“I understand.” Gevanni replies, and I feel confidence in him. “I will leave immediately and restart my operation.”

So, that matter is dealt with. But as much as we need to find Mello, that is only our secondary objective. In the previous case, many lives were sacrificed in order to catch Kira, and it could be that the same is true of this case. We have already lost one, and although it would be preferential to lose no more, the case comes first in front of personal safety.

That said, I have no doubt in my mind that we will catch this Kira. I can feel it. We will be successful. Sooner or later he will slip up, and that is when we will catch him. Already with this Mafia business he is untidy enough to leave a loose end; if he, Kira, attempts to kill Mello while we are aware of his whereabouts, we will have caught him immediately.

However, today dawned with unpleasant news. It seems that more criminals than ever before have died at the same time this morning, the majority of them in jail but a good many out on the streets as well. It seems that Japan’s media have gone into a frenzy, deliberately re-showing details of past cases that were considered to be severe to ensure that Kira does not miss them. Every petty crime is being reported, from muggings all the way up to rapes and murders, and although the amount of crime committed on the streets has gone down, there are still a large amount of prisoners for the Kira worshippers to feast on. I am surprised that those offending channels are not shut down or made to stop, but I suppose that in this age of hysteria even those in charge have succumbed.

Those in charge; this gives me pause for thought. I think back to my own earlier musings, and wonder again whether or not it is possible for Kira to be one of the members of the team. As unlikely and unpleasant as it seems, it is nonetheless highly possible. Yamamoto, whose real name is known, was killed; Mello, who uses an alias, was simply captured when Kira leaked information to the Mafia. If the new Kira really is one of the team members, this would mean that Kira does not have the Shinigami eyes, because he is unable to kill Mello directly.

But who among the team is capable of such a thing? Aizawa, certainly, has always been seen as a pillar of justice, one of the many reasons behind his promotion to Chief in the late Yagami’s place; yet, is there something that he is hiding? I recall that his daughter, Yumi, is growing up. Perhaps a father’s need to protect his child has caused him to wish the world a better place? If that were the case, he certainly has the opportunity to discover the names of criminals and to write them down; he even has Matsuda collecting the names for him! Although this does make sense, I cannot help but feel that such a person as Aizawa should really be beyond suspicion, and I do not think of him as capable of mass murder, no matter his justification.

What of Matsuda himself, then? Playing the classic victim as he is; no one can corroborate that he and Yamamoto were genuinely lovers, now that Yamamoto himself has been murdered, and the pity this evokes in his fellow investigators no doubt makes him innocent in all of their minds. If it is a ploy, then writing the names down every day is a certain way to kill all the criminals he wishes. However, there are no dates on the papers he faxes to Aizawa - I’ve seen them with my own eyes - and he really is a simpleton, incapable of truly clever thought. I doubt highly that someone like Matsuda could get away with a thing like that right under our noses for all this time.

Matt and Mello themselves are in no way under suspicion. It’s true that Mello may be faking his disappearance, and that Matt showed duplicity by returning to the headquarters instead of going to England, but Matt’s worry over Mello is genuine. I know Mello well enough to know that, were he to disappear in such a way, he would make sure Matt were far away and out of danger, even if he had to tie him up or break his heart to do so. If he was acting as Kira, Mello would also, I have no doubt, target me first, bargaining for the Shinigami eyes. The fact that I am still alive is testament to their collective innocence. I am not naïve about their feelings towards me.

Lester, of course, is my guardian, and as such I know him better than anyone else. Just as it was impossible for Watari to be Kira, so it is impossible for Lester to be Kira. Since we work together during the day, and his rooms are fixed with cameras, he would have no opportunity to write in a Death Note in any case, and so I do not afford him any suspicion.

Gevanni and Lidner, I admit, are slightly less trustworthy. Gevanni was working outside of my reach for a good deal of the case, and his actions were unmonitored. Not only this, but it was his leaving the Mafia gang after supposedly being discovered that placed Mello into the position of being captured, and this could easily have been manufactured by him from an early stage. His questionable past - which I have thus far been confident is behind him - is also a matter of concern, but would he really go so far as to become the new Kira, killing thousands upon thousands of criminals - the very men he used to work with?

Lidner, too, has a past that makes me uneasy; her work as a spy created an excellent liar, and I have no doubt that she could directly lie to my face any number of times and escape detection. She too has seen a lot of injustice; could it be that she has fallen into the same thinking as Light Yagami, that the world needs to be bettered for the good of everyone in it? Her activities are freer than Lester’s, though her rooms hold cameras just the same; I wonder, still, if she may have some way of slipping things past me, secretively writing down all those names without attracting attention.

It is all very perplexing. I may well be barking up the wrong tree entirely, but I can only try. Something in my blood tells me that I am looking in the right direction - all I need is proof, something unmistakeable that will tell me who is Kira. There is no time at all to waste.

MATT

I can’t take it any more, being shut up in here doing nothing, while the only thing Near will do is send Gevanni to do surveillance. Surveillance! While Mello is captured by our enemy - a dangerous enemy who could even now be torturing him - killing him - the only action Near is willing to endorse is to watch. I can’t just stand by while this happens! I have to do something!

It takes me a while to think of it, but finally I know what I can do. All of my equipment is here in mine and Mello’s rooms, so I set up my laptop and everything else and get ready. Once I start, I have to work fast to disable any warning messages and avoid being caught.

I flex my hands, cracking the knuckles, and take a deep breath. Then I begin.

It doesn’t take a genius to locate and begin to hack the high-tech security cameras they have installed at the Mafia headquarters. They’re too high-tech for their own good, really - something simpler I wouldn’t have been able to hack from this distance because of the range, but I could hack this one from the other side of Tokyo. It’s time to take over Gevanni’s job for him. I override our own systems and link the Mafia cameras up to the screens in the old surveillance room where I was hiding, so I can watch them at my leisure. Then it’s just a case of watching and waiting.

I’ve read Arik the Viking’s files, so I know what he looks like, and I know he must have an office somewhere in the building. After that all it takes is to locate it and hack my way in through the security system so that I don’t set off any alarms. Sure enough, after a few hours one of the cameras picks him up, heading through an unmarked door. Unmarked - that’s clever. Even if the police were to break in they wouldn’t find his name anywhere. They would have to search the building to find his office. Unfortunately for him, I’m not the police.

I quickly create a map from the front door to Arik’s office, and print it off, folding it and putting it in a pocket with my cigarettes. The next task is the security system. From what I can see, there are three points I’ll need to disable: the back door access, the lift controls, and the entrance to the office itself. First, though, I need to be a lot closer to the building. There’s no use hacking a system if you can’t get in and out of the building before it resets.

Today is no use; Arik is already on the way out for the night. I will have to start tomorrow, which means breaking out of this building while Near is awake and alert. It’s not going to be easy, but I never expected any part of this case to be. Besides, I’m willing to risk everything to get Mello back in one piece.

MELLO

After what must be hours I feel myself growing calmer. This situation will not be made any better if I have a breakdown now. The fear is there, yes, of course it is, and I don’t think I’ll ever get away from it, but at least I can try to ignore it, or work alongside it. I keep working on the rope, always working, trying to twist and turn my way out of it. It’s so tight. I can feel the rope burns on my wrists, but just like the fear I push the pain to one side and concentrate on what I have to do. I’m almost at the brink of giving up, it’s taking so long, but when I think of that door and the bombs and the fire I get enough energy to keep going again.

Eventually I feel the rope fall away from one side, and I realise that I’ve done it; it’s loose. Pulling harder, quicker than before now that I know I’ve won, the rest of it drops to the floor and I finally pull my hands around in front of me again, massaging my aching and cramped muscles and rubbing the red marks left by the rope. At least I’m unrestrained. That’s one big step towards getting out of here.

After a few moments I stand up, taking stock of my surroundings as I turn in a full circle. It’s almost completely dark in the warehouse, I think it must be the middle of the night outside. At least that means that no one is probably going to come round here looking for me without drawing attention to themselves, with torches and lights, and noise instead of the utter stillness that surrounds me right now. Maybe if I know they’re coming I can warn them, get them to stop before they open the door and kill both themselves and me. No, I can’t think about that. I don’t want to think about that. Not about the bombs.

I look around a little more but it’s so dark I can’t tell what I’m looking at. The small amount of light I do have only makes things more confusing, weird half-shapes created by shadows looming on every wall, and I decide I can’t do anything yet. I sit down on the chair. Then, reconsidering, I lay down on the floor with my hands behind my head, and close my eyes. It’s cold in here, but I need to sleep so that I can think straight in the morning. Too many crazy things have happened since I was last asleep, and even then I wasn’t really asleep but unconscious. I start to drift away, calming myself with thoughts of Matt and cigarette smoke and a striped shirt.

When I wake up, shivering, it is morning and the pale light of dawn is just visible in that high window. It is too high and thin for me to reach even with the chair, and even if I could get to it I can see the silhouette of a wire stretching across it. It would blow the whole place if I so much as attempted to smash it.

I go to the door, but the tell-tale disappearing wire shows me that the door is rigged on both sides - even if I managed to hold it still on this side and kick the door outwards, the wire on the outside would trigger the bomb and I’d die just the same. The walls themselves are sturdy and there’s no way I could, for instance, kick my way out or throw the chair against the walls to break them. Out of options, I sit down again, sinking into despair. How can I ever get out of here?


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