High school detectives all over the world are disappearing, turning up dead two weeks later thousands of miles away from their homes. When Shinichi gets a mysterious letter and Heiji goes missing, ...
A fair warning is issued to younger readers! Although I strongly frown upon foul language, some may be used in later chapters, along with possibly A, suggestive content, B, maiming, D, violent character deaths, or C, all of the above. The rating shall remain at T unless I deem it otherwise.
This fic includes canon pairings, meaning Shinichi/Ran, Sonoko/Makoto, Heiji/Kazuha, etc. Feel free to interpret any subtext into whichever pairing you so desire. However, please do not judge a story based on its pairings.
Before you ask, no, I have no idea how long this will truly take. I have the basics of each chapter planned out, but I’m a sporadic person, and things often get changed. Rather than wondering how many chapters you have to look forward to, just enjoy the suspense while I wonder at how pathetic I am at making codes. -_-
Anyway, feedback is greatly appreciated! I love receiving reviews as much as the next person.
Sit back, relax, and enjoy Down for the Count by Santoryuu3.
Chapter 1 – In Which The Voice Speaks
“Come, Watson, come! The
game is afoot!”
-Sherlock Holmes, The Adventures of the Abbey Grange
It was dark. All dark. Cold raced its icy fingers down his back, and he shivered uncontrollably. A drop of water plopped on his head, and the pitter-patter of rats scurrying at his feet echoed in his confinement chamber. The ropes that bound him rubbed his ankles and wrists raw, and he could feel the dried blood crack when he moved. A cut above his eye pulsed, and something warm slithered across his temple.
Rain pounded outside, the droplets sliding down the small window just above his head, barely large enough for a child to get through, much less a fully-grown adult. The roof had to be made of tin; it rattled and amplified the noise external the small confinement chamber ten fold. The temperature had dropped within what felt like the last hour or so, and he shivered uncontrollably as his naked chest took the full blast of cold whenever a draft broke through the wooden supports of his cell.
It was impossible to tell the time. How many days, weeks, months had it been? How long had he been gone? Was he being missed? Searched for? … Declared dead? A stab of pain splintered in his skull as the most recent headache pounded against his brain.
The Voice hadn’t said anything for three eternities, and he was beginning to get a bit nervous. He wasn’t afraid of the dark, no. He had been in so much worse situations than this. After all, he was a renowned detective. He had to be strong. If he didn’t… if he failed… then it was all over.
His head jerked up, wincing as his tense and aching muscles creaked with the sudden movement. He couldn’t remember the last time he ate, and his stomach rumbled in protest of this.
As the last time, he didn’t recognize the language the person spoke in. It was foreign to him, and as much as he knew, he still could not determine what was being relayed to him. Fortunately, as per the norm, a computer-automated voice translated into his native tongue.
“Ĉu vi estas komforta?” said The Voice, the speech altered to a point where it was impossible to discern femininity or masculinity.
“Are you comfortable?” said the computer in a monotonic female tone.
“Who are you!?” He yelled, voice strained from lack of use. “Show yourself!”
The Voice repeated its question. “Ĉu vi estas komforta?”
“Are you comfortable?” interpreted the computer translator.
He grit his teeth. “No.”
“Bonega. Nun en la reala afero alproksimiĝis.”
“Excellent. Now on to the real issue at hand.”
The Voice understands my language, He thought. It knows what I say. That means this foreign language he’s speaking is probably a second or even a third. A light smile ghosted on his lips. Let’s try something.
“I solved it, didn’t I!?” He suddenly yelled out in English this time, straining at the ropes that bound him. This didn’t result in anything other than reopening scabs. Warm blood pooled in his fingers. “I solved your codes! I did everything you asked! Now let them go! Now! Stop with this silly charade and release me!” Although his English wasn’t good, he was still fairly confident he had been able to get his point across.
The Voice was silent for a long time. It seemed to be processing his question, whether it had to put the sudden second language into some kind of language base or what or decide to answer in English, but somewhere deep inside him, he knew The Voice would not give him a good answer whatever was causing the delay.
“Vi ne solves mian kodoj. Vi maltrafis.”
“You did not solve my codes. You failed.”
“What the hell are you dishing out!” He yelled again. “This answer was…!”
Something whistled through the air, and a second later there was a sharp stinging on his cheek, cutting him off midsentence. He let out a cry of pain instead as a fresh cut opened on his face. Blood filled his mouth as he bit down hard on his tongue.
“Chula detektivo! Vi kredas ke vi povas paroli kiam la bezono batas vin? Pensu denove!”
The translation failed to interpret the rage and apparent loathing dripping from The Voice’s tone. “Insolent detective,” it droned. “You think you can speak when the need strikes you? Think again.”
“I have every right to speak!” He said again, dropping back to his native tongue.
This time, there was no delay between language translations. “Vi perdis tiun rajton kiam akceptis la defion.”
“You lost that right when you accepted the challenge.”
“What challenge?” He scoffed. “I was forced against my will.”
The Voice was quiet for a moment before continuing. “Via tempo estas preskaŭ supren. Ion alian por diri?”
“Your time’s almost up. Anything else to say?”
He could almost see the devilish grin curling The Voice’s lips. “Temp okazas.”
His eyes widened as realization dawned on him. “No way,” he whispered. “Is that…!?”
The storm outside drowned out the sounds of screams, and anyone who did hear dared not venture near. Thunder pounded against the heavens, and lightning flashed across the sky. As the light illuminated the earth for a split second, a splash of red splattered against the glass window.