Nick quietly goes about the paperwork at his desk. Mitch's murder was at the forefront of his mind. Figuring out who had killed him was still driving his unit crazy. He had pieced together that the woman Kei had told him about wasn't the one. That, however, had eliminated his only suspect. At that moment, a screen pops up at his desk, alerting him to a call.
Nick: (Last thing I need is the boss getting on my case.)
Nick touches the screen and to his surprise it isn't his boss. Rather, it was someone he knew from his own past, someone who had helped him.
Nick: Well this is a surprise HJ. Wasn't expecting a call from you.
HJ: Heh, sorry for the surprise.
Nick: Haven't seen you in a long time, how are the kids?
HJ: They're doing well. Cali's busy with summer school...again, Matt right now is kinda doing his own thing.
Nick: Can't say I'm not a little jealous of you, being single has gotten stale.
HJ: Heh. Well just gotta be patient, there's someone out there for ya. Though my wife's always busy its always nice to see her. Enough about me, how are you doing?
Nick: I'm up to my arms in paperwork, but when has that never been the case.
HJ: I see. I guess its about that assassination on the news.
Nick sighs hearing that.
Nick: Honestly the media just wants to sensationalize this story...
HJ: Right, sorry about that.
Nick: Not your fault. Its just something we want resolved as fast as possible. Surprised its even news considering the media doesn't always cover beastkin.
HJ: Yeah, its considerably interesting, but enough on that. I did have a reason to call you as well. I know you're busy with things, but this is pretty important.
Nick sighs a bit.
Nick: HJ, I really don't have the time.
HJ: Well, still hear me out on this.
Nick: If it wasn't for the case you helped me get here in the first place, I wouldn't even listen to it, but since you did, go ahead.
HJ: Thank you. I need you to meet with someone.
Nick: That's...not really descriptive HJ.
HJ: The person insisted that you take the case, after they told me the circumstances.
Nick sighs again. This didn't sound good to him at all.
Nick: And you just believed them?
HJ: ...I'm a married man Nick, besides the person had no reason to lie either. Heck if they had a secret to hide, I would've taken it on myself.
Nick: I doubt that, but fine, I'll take care of it.
HJ: Thanks Nick. I owe ya one. Here's the info I got on this, you could use it for the case itself.
Nick: Appreciate it.
Nick ends the call. Moments later, the information is printed off. He retrieves it and then looks through it. It was minimal at best. It essentially told him where he needed to go to meet the contact. He checks the clock.
Nick: Well, I guess I should get going. The meeting time isn't far from now.
With that, Nick departs from the police office. Moments later, he stood under a lit street light.
Nick: This is straight out of a movie...
At that moment, someone approaches him. Nick couldn't see what the person looked like.
???: Thank you for taking my case.
The voice gave her away. She was definitely a female.
Nick: You're welcome. What do you need of me?
???: I'd like you to investigate a kidnapping.
Nick: A kidnapping you say?
???: One Mrs. Arai.
Nick was stunned at the case he was being asked to undertake. He remembered hearing about it. The person just vanished. No clues, no suspects, the case went dead cold.
Nick: You do realize that case is so cold its growing icicles...
???: I am aware. If you can figure out what happened to her, you'd be helping some people.
Nick: (Well obviously.)
???: I'm willing to pay handsomely.
Nick: Well, I already promised someone I'd help. So I'll take you case.
???: Thank you.
Nick: I can't promise anything.
???: Your willingness to help is all I need.
The woman then walks off. Nick had no idea how to tackle this case. He quietly turns back and returns to his office at the precinct. Nick quietly begins to works his way through some papers. He puts in a call to his superior and gets the case file for Mrs. Arai. He calmly sifts through the papers.
Nick: (Not a single clue. She seemingly vanished off the face of the earth. There has to be some way of tracking her down, finding some way of connecting a line somewhere.)
Nick quietly sits at his disk continuing to sift through the papers. Nick suddenly gets an idea.
Nick: (Its a long shot, but...)
Nick asks for his old friend Mitch's phone calls in the last month. He quickly receives the papers he asks for from another co-worker. He begins working through the numbers disposing of the ones that would be normal for his line of work before stumbling upon a number that seemingly went nowhere.
Nick: Odd, this phone number...I can't find a record of it anywhere...Whoever it was, he called her at least once every two weeks. This looks like it went on for about six months. It doesn't go to any company or person in our records. It had to have been a number not easily tracked down.
Nick leaves his desk going toward the high-tech end of their building, and searches for the calls on those days he received them. Each time, the number that Mitch was called came from a different location.
Nick: Each time, the call came from a different location. Odd. And each time the call would seemingly come from a place where one cannot live. If I'm correct, this means Mitch must have been in contact with someone who was consistently relocating, to keep the location of our mystery caller hidden. If I were to follow my logic, it would stand to reason that our mystery caller here was not moving of his or her own free will. But how did this person get Mitch's number? Maybe...
Nick calls for Mitch's phone so he may look through his phone himself. It was another long-shot, but at the same time his case was so full of long-shots by now, he thought he might have a good chance to win at the lottery. He sorts through his contacts to find the number that had called Mitch, and to his good fortune, a name had been associated with the contact.
Nick: Nicole? Why does that name sound familiar?
Nick pulls out the file that had the information he needed. He was surprised to notice that Mrs. Arai's first name was indeed Nicole. His theory was proven. Nicole and Mitch had met at some point and exchanged numbers.
Nick: How it happened is irrelevant. Mitch got her number. And at some point she began calling him every two weeks for what purpose...wait...maybe that's it!
Nick quickly types into the system for when each call took place and his perseverance pays off when he discovers it.
Nick: It was no leisure call. She called him every two weeks to let him know she had relocated.
Nick begins to piece the complex puzzle pieces together, however, some vital pieces were missing.
Nick: Who was forcing her to move every two weeks? For what reason?
Nick looks back down at his documents and then notices something he hadn't bothered to look at before. The woman had two daughters.
Nick: Well now, this is interesting.
Rin Arai. Karin Arai. Clear as day, their names were written there. Neither of them had been seen in a while, except...
Nick: Kei has seen Rin. She claimed she killed Mitch. However, it seems very unlikely that she did. Not with all the evidence I've gathered.
Nick continues to think aloud.
Nick: The glass that was struck against Mitch's head only stunned him. For an assassin, they could've been more covert about it. A messy murder like that one doesn't look good for someone claiming to be a professional. If I'm to believe my own instincts here, then Rin only claimed she had disposed of Mitch because she had to. Despite all the negatives, it served her some purpose to claim it was her handiwork. Mitch's case might have just been a simple murder, but there's much more to it then that. If I'm a gambling man, I'd wager that whoever was the third party in keeping Rin's mother on a two week moving schedule, found out about Mitch, and felt he was getting too close. The person in question must have felt that Mitch was too close and made sure he was shut up.
Nick felt like he began to see the very thin string connecting everything. He also understood it could snap at any moment.
Nick: The third party must be content knowing of Mitch's death. They rubbed out, who they believe to be, the only person with knowledge of this person's movement.
Nick looks at the phone, and notices that calls had been made to it. He smiles.
Nick: Like clockwork, she leaves a message every two weeks.
Nick felt like more of the puzzle pieces had been put together, but still more questions remained.
Nick: I can reason that whoever is behind this kidnapping of Mrs. Arai is benefitting from Rin. If I am to believe the evidence, then Rin must know that someone holds Mrs. Arai hostage. I don't know if she joined the branch under that reason, or if there's more to it, but I don't think she joined the branch of her own free will. Of course, right now, this is all just conjecture. What I need are facts. I'm only playing with half a deck, I'm going to need the whole deck if I'm going to solve this case.
Nick knew that he was going to have to figure out more on his own. Mitch had left him the pieces to play with, but Nick would have to finish what he started. The questions he needed answered were easy. Who, why, and how. Who had kidnapped Mrs. Arai. For what reason did this person or persons kidnap Mrs. Arai, and how did they do it. There was also the question as to how Mrs. Arai and Mitch had met. Certainly, he thought, that couldn't be some just lucky turn of events. He leaves the room, and goes to find something at his desk. He seems happy when he finds it.
Nick: Ah, Mitch, I'm glad you kept this.
It was a folder of receipts. Mitch sorts through until he finds one that catches his eye. One with a number written on it. The one that belonged to Mrs. Arai.
Nick: So that's how she gave him her number, wrote it on the receipt. He must have done the same for her. But that begs the question, for what reason did they exchange phone numbers? Mitch was a single guy, and by everything I have, Mrs. Arai was human. Could there be...
He looks back through Mitch's file hoping to find something, anything, that could tie the two people together. He strikes pay dirt again.
Mitch and Nicole were more then just simple acquaintances that just happened to meet that day. He double-checks the information and finds it again with Nicole.
Nick: Business relationship.
Nicole had just taken over one of the companies that Mitch frequently did business with for his bar. She must have came in to explain the situation to him and they exchanged numbers then. Things were beginning to come together. There was one thing, however, that still bothered him. Why would she call Mitch? Of all the people she could call, surely they were more trustworthy people? That question, however, did not yet have an answer he could glean from his information.
Nick: Well, more or less, I've got a lead. Now its just patiently waiting. I have to keep track of each call and where they are. If I can do that much, I can put together everything I need to take care of this situation. I'll involve Kei only when I have to, or better yet, when I have the precise location where it would be good for us to take this person or people down. Act too hastily and I put Mrs. Arai in danger. As long as Rin keeps her end of the deal, I imagine the kidnapper will keep Mrs. Arai alive until she no longer proves useful.
Nick sits back in his chair at his desk.
Nick: Guess this won't be boring at all! I gotta remember to thank HJ later.