May 28 th
'Sorry, something came up. Let’s study tomorrow, okay?’
This is the second damn time.
'Yeah. It’s fine. See you then.’
I scowled as I pressed send, then packed my notes and textbooks.
My study partner has stood me up twice now. I asked Yagami to help me study and do homework. And to my surprise he agreed to help. I pegged him as the type that liked to stay ahead of everyone, like me. So I didn’t really think he’d slow down to help.
I wanted to study with him to see where he is so that I could surpass him and be on top of the class. I got a good sample of his intellect. He’s a bona fide a genius. There’s so few of us. We’ve only met up once and that was three days ago.
I made my way to the campus cafeteria. The entire commons area was empty; usually it’s loaded with students hanging out. It was almost too quiet. I fumbled with my cell phone to check the time, but it slid out of my hand and fell in a pile of tree blossoms.
I groaned as I knelt down and felt around for it, then heard footsteps coming down the main path. I briefly looked up and saw a small blonde girl and a business woman. Out of nowhere, a group of black clad officers wearing masks stomped towards the two women. I quickly stepped behind the tree as the officers blindfolded the blonde and cuffed both women. They didn’t shout, as most police officers making an arrest would. Instead they spoke in harsh whispers in their native language.
A few words reached my ears, and I heard two completely different things that had no relation to each other. “Possession of drugs” was the first thing I managed to hear. The other was the infamous killer gone viral. Kira. Or more specifically, Second Kira.
By the time they were gone I was still standing with my back to the tree trying to make sense of what I’d just witnessed. I started walking away from campus.
Why would there be a seemingly secret arrest in such a public place? Only if the police were positive that they were arresting the right person. If that girl was arrested for such an accusation, then she must be “Second Kira”.
I thought back to the live broadcasts featuring Kira. The first thing I thought was that the actual Kira wouldn’t kill innocents and that he never even broadcasted on live television. But for this, he killed people who only spoke against Kira’s view of justice. So of course it wasn’t the same person. A copycat who can kill like the original with an entirely different M.O was the one to broadcast against the police. Someone who completely worshipped Kira.
So if they’ve managed to catch Second Kira, it’s only a matter of time before they find the actual Kira. It’s about time. The world can live without a supernatural serial-killer.
“Excuse me, I believe this is yours.” Someone said to me in perfect English.
I turned to the low voice and blinked at the man holding out my cell phone. He had the darkest of circles rimmed his equally dark eyes. His black hair was a complete mess. This dude is by far the most alien looking person I’ve ever seen.
I took the phone and thanked him.
“You’ve figured it out already.” He said matter-of-factly.
I looked at him quizzically. What does he mean by that?
“All you needed was to witness the secret arrest of Misa Amane to deduct that she is the Second Kira.”
The Kira case.
My eyes narrowed, “Who are you exactly?” I asked slowly.
“You tell me.” His eyes bore into mine.
I observed him once again, closer. Despite his ultra-disheveled appearance, his clothes were oddly crisp and clean. A white long-sleeve and baggy blue jeans, simplistic. His sneakers didn’t match. They were old, dirty, and looked as if they could fall apart at any second. The laces were barely tied. He was hunched over, as if he had a huge weight on his shoulders that he’s had for a long time.
Overall, his entire being screamed crazy hermit-man. But his expression was an entirely different story. Or lack thereof. His face was blank, but his eyes were calculating, critical, and challenging.
Besides all that, I thought about the fact that a complete stranger came up to me and talked about this case. A top-secret case I was certain was only accessible by the Japanese Police and other national organizations.
Is he an undercover officer? No, he’d be under strict orders not to disclose information about the case to a civilian. The only reason he would talk to me about the case on his own terms is if he was the one leading the investigation...And that person was made obvious a while ago… The one who openly challenged Kira on live television. But Kira didn’t kill him…or he couldn’t. But why? Was this guy really the genius detective going head-to-head with Kira? It’s highly probable...just as it is improbable. With or without evidence.
“You’re L.” I whispered.
He reached out a hand to shake, “Yes, I am. What is your name?”
“Vanessa Chavez.” I said as I shook his hand.
When we let go, he took a handkerchief from his pocket and thoroughly wiped his hand.
“Listen," I started, "I won’t tell anybody about what I’ve seen or heard today.”
Not that I have anyone to tell anyways.
“You attend To-Oh. So you are familiar with Light Yagami, yes?” He responded, ignoring what I said.
“Yeah, he’s a freshman in my criminology class.” I answered curtly.
How does he know Light? Holy crow, how else?
“He’s a suspect?” My voice lowered even more.
“There is a ten percent chance that Light is Kira.”
I looked around to make sure no one was near. “Why are you even telling me this? Why would you let me figure out who you are?”
“There is a two percent chance that you are working with Light and Miss Amane.”
I burst out laughing, and tried to keep it down. All the while, L looked at me as if I’d spat in his face.
“Oh my god. That is just – that was funny.” I managed to say after a moment.
“I need to take you to headquarters and question you.”
I sobered up at that. “What the hell are you talking about? No. I don’t even know Light besides being classmates. And I’ve never seen Misa Amane until today.”
“Nevertheless, we need a statement about your involvement in all this.”
“Involvement?” I scoffed. “No, man! I’m not going anywhere. I don’t care who you are, I’m not getting into this mess.” I turned and walked away.
“I’m afraid it’s much too late for that.” L said as he grabbed my arm in a vice-like grip.
“Hey!” I called out in slight alarm. I resisted the urge to take him down, I didn’t need to give him a reason to arrest me. He pulled me down the sidewalk towards the parking lots. There was a limo parked close to the exit.
“Let me go.” I growled as I stubbornly pulled away.
“You’ll be able to leave after I question you.” He stopped in front of an old man. “Besides, if you really aren’t working with Kira then you shouldn’t have anything to worry about.”
I looked at him irritably.
As much as I don’t want to be interrogated, the sooner I get this over with the better.
So I climbed in and sit all the way on the other side of the seat. The only thing on my mind was answering their questions as honestly and quickly as I could.
It had been three hours since I was brought into the interrogation room. I haven’t heard from L or anyone else. Exhausted, my arms and head lay on the cold metal table. I was somewhere in between sleeping and zoned out. I sighed and lifted my head.
“Can we please just get this done? You can’t keep me here forever!” I called out to the camera attached to the ceiling ahead of me.
This is ridiculous. I’ve been kidnapped…and he’s analyzing me behind a screen. What is he looking for?
“When did you first come into contact with Light Yagami?” L’s voice rang out from hidden speakers above my head. It gave the illusion that he was in the room.
“Finally.” I let out an exasperated sigh, “Look, I only actually talked to him last Friday. I wanted his help to study.” That was a lie, but I needed a sane excuse.
He hummed shortly and asked, “On what days did you two study?”
“We were supposed to meet yesterday and today before lunch but he’s had other things to do.”
“And why did you choose to seek his help? He is a freshman, after all.”
“I’ve been losing focus for the past year and I needed someone who’s as driven in academics as he is.”
There was a long pause. I looked at the lens with fake impatience and real apprehension.
Does he know I’m lying?
“I’d like to test your skills of deduction.” He said randomly.
“…Okay.” I answered, although it wasn’t a question.
What the hell for?
The door opened and in came L’s assistant. He held clear folder pockets with photos inside. He placed them on the table in a neat pile and moved to stand in front of the door.
“Watari has given you evidence from Kira, a message he left for me. I’d like you to analyze the messages and tell me your conclusion based on the information that you’ve gathered.” L explained. “You may begin.”
I send a little glare at the camera lens. Then I took the pile and set them in a row on the table before me. There were four weird messages written in Japanese but with different handwriting. On the backs were numbers 1-3 for each message.
L said that this was sent by Kira. There must be a code in each message.
In the order by numbers, I set the pictures chronologically and looked for any patterns. Almost instantly I saw the message. It read: L do you know love apples Shinigami. Compulsively, I rearranged the messages so that it was grammatically correct: L do you know Shinigami love apples.
L would not mislabel evidence by mistake. Maybe I’ll use this obvious trap and taunt him with it. I wonder if he’ll react at all.
“I found the hidden messages in each picture. Chronologically, it would say: L do you know love apples Shinigami. But grammatically, that doesn’t make sense. When it’s rearranged the message is: L do you know Shinigami love apples. It seems you didn’t label these right. Kira is obviously taunting you, though I don’t fully understand what the taunt itself is supposed to mean.”
“Incorrect.” He shot me down and told his assistant to pulled out another picture. “The evidence is in fact labeled correctly. There is also a fourth hidden message I didn’t tell you about.”
Watari handed me the fourth message. I added it to the others in the order. I read the message aloud, “L do you know love apples Shinigami have red hands.”
Does he seriously think I would fall for this? He’s obviously lying. Two can play this game, detective.
I looked up at the camera lens, “Okay, I was never great with Japanese grammar.” I mumbled. “I take it you already know what Kira meant by this message. Am I supposed to figure that out too?”
“No, but your deduction was actually quite brilliant, considering that you answered within fifty-two seconds of analyzing the evidence.” He answered. “I tested Light with this evidence a few days ago. He answered with a brilliant response as well, although incorrectly, saying that he hadn’t considered a fourth message. You both gave the answer that ‘L do you know Shinigami love apples’ could be a probable conclusion. This rose my suspicion of Light being Kira on that day from one to three percent. Then, later in the conversation it would raise to seven percent. And just today, it’s up to ten percent.”
“So what’s your take on me?” I asked a little apprehensively.
“You are obviously an intelligent woman. You take every possibility into consideration. At the moment, my suspicions of you being involved with Light Yagami and Miss Amane are at two percent.”
I nodded pensively. “That’s fantastic. Can I go now?”
“It would be beneficial for you to join the Kira Task Force.”
…What the damn hell? Why would he say that? I mean, it’s not like the world’s greatest detective actually needs my help. Although, he wouldn’t have proposed the situation if that was the case. But he’s proven to be a liar. He knows how to play people. But this is a once in a lifetime opportunity. There’s also the chance that Kira can find and kill me…although, there is a greater chance of him getting caught. It’d be great to share that victory, at least a little bit…it would look incredible on my resume. Maybe I'll even get paid. I should put up a bit of a fight though...
“So you want me to join an investigation where I am a questionable person of interest?” I asked.
“You will work with the rest of the Task Force in the investigation. Observe and analyze just as any detective would. We will bring Kira to justice.”
“And I’m qualified based on one test any kid could figure out? The message was barely hidden…”
Oh, of course.
“No…you just want to keep an eye on me." I scoffed, "You know what? Fine. I’ll join the hunt. I’ll show you I’m not involved with Kira or his lackey.”
“It’d be a shame if you were, Miss Chavez."