"This is the end of the road, detective."
The clopping sound of a pacing horse echoed around the warehouse. Shadows slipped about in the edges of a fluorescent light shining from above, illuminating a thirty-foot wide circle. It was pitch-black outside that circle, but that was nothing compared to the darkness within.
Nine people in the blackest of attire were focused on two children in their midst. Except they weren't children.
High-school detective Shinichi Kudou had been shrunk one year ago when he came across criminal dealings by an organization that clothed itself in black. Of the two men he had discovered, Gin and Vodka, Gin had decided to kill him with an experimental drug. Instead, after they left, he began shrinking until he became the size of a child. He came up with the alias Conan Edogawa and devoted himself to the organization's downfall.
At his side was Shiho Miyano, a scientist prodigy who had been a member of this organization with the code-name Sherry. She had invented the poison that had shrunk him, but used it on herself to escape after Gin killed her sister for causing trouble. She now called herself Ai Haibara.
Standing in front of nine armed and dangerous people ordered to kill them, neither of their odds looked good.
The white horse came to a stop in front of them, the man on top looking down. He was the right hand of the organization's boss: Rum. He had a strong gaze, a strong physique, and a strong presence.
"You betcha, Gin. These here troublemakers just about threw a wrench in the whole kit and kaboodle, don'tcha know."
He also had a strong accent.
"You young fellas were mighty overlooked by us in this here organization. Lucky for us, your secret got spilled to one of our own."
At the reminder, Conan turned to look at Yoko Okino. He had felt betrayal when the pop star they had come to know showed up and revealed that she was the reason the organization found the two of them. He noticed an implication that she hadn't meant to, but it didn't matter. She was Marsala, a ranking member of this group of murderers. No saddened look she sent their way made up for that.
"This here matter will have to be dealt with delicately, what with the kerfuffle it would cause for this boy to go missing. What should we do with ya, eh?"
Of course, Gin had already decided what to do with them. Holding his gun up, he took his time to choose between his targets. He smirked and pointed at Conan, cocking the pistol for a shot to the chest. "You've reached the end of your line."
Haibara let out a whimper of fear. She had already accepted her death some time ago, but she'd come to care for all those who had taken her in after her escape, Shinichi especially. She knew that after this, everyone they knew would be hunted down as well. Such was the way expected of the organization.
Conan simply glared at Gin. He showed no fear, and did his best not to flick his eyes towards anyone he should not. Gin was smart, and Conan couldn't afford to reveal that there was a traitor in the group. So the miniature detective simply held the monster's gaze and kept himself calm, waiting for the end.
His work would continue with the traitor in the bad guys' midst. His only regret would be Ran, to whom he had not yet revealed the truth.
Gin smiled and started to pull the trigger.
Conan closed his eyes and held his breath.
A shot rang out.
After a long moment, Conan opened an eye, confused.
Gin was grasping his arm, and everyone in the room had a gun up. There was something odd about the different directions they were pointing, though.
Before he could process what it was, he noticed FBI agent Shuuichi Akai, who had once been the traitor Rye, on a catwalk above the room. He had a rifle in his arms.
"FBI! We have you surrounded!"
Conan's eyes widened as FBI agent Jodie Starling's voice came from the shadows of the warehouse. The crates surrounding them kept the agents out of immediate view, although he did notice some movement. The clicking of guns were the biggest indicator that the FBI did not come unprepared.
Vodka stumbled back, exclaiming, "What?"
His sudden movement had apparently worried his colleague a few feet away: Kir. She pointed her weapon at him and shouted, "CIA! Don't move!"
Guns around the room started bouncing their aims to different targets, confusion rippling across the group of killers.
Shocked, Chianti shouted, "C-CIA?!"
Across from her, Bourbon smiled. "Does that surprise you? Huh."
He then pulled out his gun, aimed at her, and gave a feral grin. "Japanese Secret Police. Hands up!"
"Oi, oi!" Chianti lowered her weapon with one arm and slowly reached into her jacket pocket with another. She pulled out a paper badge that read "SVR" and waved it. "I am with Russian Intelligence!"
Conan's eyes bugged out. Russian Intelligence?
Bourbon was blinking in surprise as well.
Chianti then pointed to Korn. "And I happen to know he's Interpol."
Mouth dropping, Conan stared at the two of them. How many double agents are in this place?
The thought was echoed out loud by Rum. "This is turning into quite the shindig, eh?"
Gin, mouth hung open, quietly said, "You are all rats? Just like-"
"Me." Suddenly, Vodka cocked his gun, and Gin turned to see it pointing at him.
"I've been waiting the past year for a situation where you would be off your guard. I can hardly believe it would be like this."
Gin stared at his stocky partner. "Vodka?"
Vodka pulled a badge out of his pocket and spoke in a thick, British accent, "Scotland Yard!"
Conan started swaying on his feet, his head getting dizzy. Scotland Yard was local police; they shouldn't even have an external affairs department.
Rum whistled. "Well, now. That leaves quite a number of traitors in this lineup. Rye of the FBI, Kir of the CIA, Bourbon of the Secret Police-"
He was interrupted by a knife sticking to the wood of the crate next to his head. He looked over to Yoko Okino.
She crossed her arms and leaned back, looking deadly fierce. "Mossad."
Rum nodded his head, adding her. "Marsala of Mossad. Chianti of SVR, Korn of Interpol, Vermouth of S.H.I.E.L.D.-"
Vermouth shouted in indignation, "Hey, that was between you and me!"
Ignoring her, Rum yanked off his black trench coat, revealing a red tunic and dark blue breeches beneath. He pulled out a light brown Mountie hat and plopped it on his head, before pulling out a badge that read "RCMP."
"And myself, Rum, of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police."
Everyone stared at him.
Eventually, Vodka wondered aloud, "How did I not notice that? I've even seen him without the trench coat from time to time."
Rum shrugged. "Looks like, when it comes down to it, the only person here not a double agent is Gin."
Gin raised an eyebrow and looked around at his ex-colleagues. He then started laughing, a somewhat humorless laugh. "What makes you think I'm not?"
The sound of a rifle being cocked drew everyone's eyes up to Akai. He was glaring daggers at Gin, daring the man to try to get a pass out of justice. He had loved Shiho's sister, Akemi, that Gin had murdered.
Vodka, however, was the one to do the questioning. "What do you mean, partner?"
With every gun in the room pointed towards him, Gin very slowly removed his own badge.
In shock, Vodka almost fell backwards after reading it. "0047 of… MI6?!"
Gin nodded. "On Her Majesty's Secret Service."
He couldn't take it anymore. Conan shouted in a sputter, "What?! How could you possibly… you can't think we'd… you could never…."
His mind died on him and he sat down, putting his head in his hands.
Gin shrugged. "I have a license to kill and instructions to get to the top of this organization. I wasn't going to let any one person's life endanger that."
Vodka growled. "That's cold."
"If it makes you feel any better, I faked deaths when able. After all, that's why I gave Kudou that Apotoxin."
"You- you knew it wouldn't kill him?!"
Gin glared at his partner. "Of course I knew the pill wouldn't kill him! I had sabotaged Sherry's experiments specifically so that everyone would believe it was an untraceable poison. I needed something that would not kill, but would allow me to deceive the organization."
Conan's head was spinning worse than ever. "Gin…" he whispered, "a good guy?"
"In truth, I've done everything I can to secretly hinder us." Gin turned and pointed at Rum. "You, on the other hand, could have taken down the boss at any time! I don't even know what he looks like!"
Rum waved his arms in front of him. "Whoa, now, mister. I may be his right hand man, but even I don't get to see him in person."
At the surprise in everyone's faces, he added, "Besides, Vermouth is his favorite, don'tcha know? Wouldn't she have seen him?"
Shrugging, Vermouth played with her hair. "Hardly. He knows I'd kill him if we ever met. Our relationship has always been… unusual. Nobody wanted to take down this organization more than me."
Gin made a grunting sound. "I wouldn't bet on that."
Kir shouted, "I would be first in line for what they did to my father!"
Vodka stuttered, "H-hey, I had also struggled against them!"
Korn looked agreeable.
Rum crossed his arms. "I've been trying to take it down longer than anyone."
Finally snapping, Conan raised his head up and shouted, "Is there anyone in this organization that isn't trying to destroy it?!"
Chianti raised her hand, to everyone's surprise.
"Technically, Russia was hoping to take it over intact."
Akai raised an eyebrow, questioning his superior.
"It is the percentage of agents in the entire organization who were placed there as spies. Almost all of them were upper level in ranks." Sighing, James Black pulled his glasses off and started cleaning them as he explained what he had learned over the past few weeks.
The two of them were strolling along a park just starting to show signs of spring. Birds were chirping loudly, as if celebrating the end of winter. There was little activity around them, but occasionally some children would skate by or a mother with a stroller would pass. The sky was beautiful as the sun began to set.
"Most of them thought they were the only spies. A few knew of one or two others, which is how we found out Pisco was Hydra and Tequila was United State's Naval Intelligence. We've also just received information from an unknown source that Calvados had been a member of a U.S. sanctioned black ops team, which is classified to us."
James shrugged. "All we know is the name Suicide Squad."
Both men took a turn that put them on a path leading outside of the park. It was getting late, and there was still work to be done. Such great destruction required an equal amount of cleanup.
"Most members of the organization that you would have met had similar connections." James shook his head. "No one had guessed the scope of the infiltration, which had started over twenty years ago."
Akai whistled. "So long?"
James nodded. "The Canadians had started it, but many others seemed to have had similar ideas. In recent years, the effects became noticeable. Even though many members still operated in a way that suggested their devotion, they would sabotage their own efforts."
"So, the organization was already set on the path to failure?"
Snorting, James looked at his colleague. "Considering that the bulk of it has been running on people dedicated to its destruction? Our estimate is that our infiltration could have taken them down over two years ago, had all the traitors known about each other."
Akai glanced down, staring hard at the floor.
James looked at him in surprise. "Akai… is it possible you haven't been told?"
Again, Shuuichi Akai gave his superior a questioning look.
"Miyano Akemi had also been an agent of SHIELD. Nick Fury forced her to fake her death for the past two years. Once they've finished debriefing her at their helicarrier, she'll probably come looking for you."
No words could describe the look of absolute shock that came over Akai's face. He completely froze in his movement, James having to stop and turn to face him. His mouth hung open and his eyes were as large as softballs. He seemed incapable of doing anything other than staring straight in front of him.
"That's why Vermouth was so intent on Shiho's death. She had a false method ready that would allow her to claim Sherry was dead and then take her to her sister. Between the interruptions of yourself and Edogawa- er, Kudou Shinichi-kun, she kept having to put the plan aside."
Slowly, Akai started breathing again. "Director, with your permission…"
James waved a hand dismissively. "Go, go, I'm sure you have much to catch up on."
As he watched his most skilled operative run into the sunset, James Black smiled. "A worthy ending."
He continued on his previous path, his smile turning contemplative. "But in the end, who was the boss that had built such an impossible thing? A group that continued to be run by even its enemies for so long?"
"Ugh! How can you eat so much!"
He ignored the whine in favor of slurping the slushy in his right hand.
"You shouldn't have taken that man's half-finished bentou!"
Grimacing, he looked in anger at Ayumi and responded, "Barou! He was leaving it behind, wasn't he?! It would have been wasted if not for me!" He shoved a thumb to his chest to emphasize, and followed up with a large bite from the food in his left hand.
"He was going to the bathroom, Genta-kun!"
Genta rolled his eyes at Mitsuhiko as they walked. The man was probably going to leave after that. They didn't know he would finish the meal.
"What's gotten into you recently, Genta-kun?"
Ayumi nodded her head in agreement, not even noticing the doll shop she adored passing by. "You've never eaten this much before!"
Genta thought about that. It was true, he was being more gluttonous than usual. However, he couldn't explain to them why. How could two children comprehend losing more than a lifetime's amount of work?
He'd built his global organization from the ground up, only for dozens of nations to pick it apart until nothing was left. He knew bringing in so many obvious infiltrators would be risky, but he had been confident that their considerable skills would get him to his secret goal before the situation was revealed.
It would have worked, too, if it hadn't of been for those meddling teenagers!
Genta rolled his eyes. He should have dealt with Kudou-kun when he first figured out the truth about him. It had been interesting, though, watching the shrunken detective run about in his search and completely overlooking the mastermind right under his nose. Genta didn't get much real entertainment in this childish body. Everything was giant monsters and collectable cards.
Shaking his head, Genta tried bringing his mind back to the plan. A new organization would be needed; bigger and better! With fewer traitors! It would have to have all new code-names, of course, with all new members. He might even give a call to that friend of his, searching for that stupid gem, and try to pick up some talent from there.
Luckily, he still had many hidden assets tucked away. He could even pull from some extraneous funds, if necessary, such as the one paying his "parents." In the end, he would have enough to start operations again by the end of next year.
Once that happened, he would immediately set his sights on-
Genta jerked his head to the shop the three kids were passing. "Hey! Free samples!"
As he ran inside, Mitsuhiko and Ayumi gasped and shouted after him.
He didn't listen. There were toothpicks attached to different bits of eel, sushi, shrimp, and many more foods that were being offered to draw attention to the newly-opened buffet. They were delicious, each and every one. And a buffet at that low of a price?
It almost made up for everything that had happened the last month.
Genta smiled. He suddenly had an idea as to a new set of code-names….
This was a quick story I made that was heading into my "stories I write but never publish" pile, when I got the news that the DCTP is being shut down from translating. With that heartbreak, I decided to just go a ahead and toss a few finishing touches on and publish.
This story is for the amazing folks at the Detective Conan Translation Project!