Journey's End @stpdgrl
November 18, 2010 No TWs necessary for this chapter! How lucky.

Near,” L said.

Near didn’t bother with any sort of greeting. “The only reason you found their hideout was because you had Kira’s help. But you don’t know how Kira found the hideout. Mello escaped, but you got the notebook back.”

That’s right. Stop being so obstinate. No matter how many times you ask me, it’s going to be the same answer. I’ve told you everything I can.”

Naomi was sitting criss-cross on the floor with files and a computer at hand, and perked up when Rester said, “Near, I think it’s about time you tell us your thoughts on the case.”

“The new L is too foolish and Kira too active.” Near wet his lip and continued to map the path of the gundams. “The L knew that every mafia member in the United States was going to die on November 10 because Kira contacted the Japanese task force and told them so. What a joke. He doesn’t want to tell us why they believed the information Kira gave them, but everyone at the headquarters was convinced by it.” He exhaled through his nose.

“Kira knew the Japanese investigation team had the notebook, but from the death of certain gangsters, Kira figure out the notebook had fallen into the wrong hands. And in order to get the notebook back, Kira offered to lend them a hand. And they succeeded in getting the notebook back.”

“It seems like a pretty consistent story to me,” Lidner said.

Naomi knit her brow as Near dissented. “Would you mind elaborating? Unless you’re implying that Kira has an in on the Japanese task force…”

“That is exactly what I mean.” Near peaked out from the lego wall, mecha action figure in hand. “And if Kira was able to directly contact them, why is Kira allowing them to keep the notebook? Kira teamed up with them to get the notebook back--that I can understand. But if Kira wanted to get the notebook back, Kira should’ve regained possession of it. Kira was able to directly contact the headquarters, so it would’ve been easy to threaten them.

“And furthermore, there are many rules to using the notebook. It’s unlikely that Kira would let anyone else have the notebook, since it would provide them with information about the murder weapon. Maybe Kira didn’t know the Japanese task force got the notebook when they took it from Higuchi. But if he knew of its existence before the gangsters got ahold of it, why didn’t he do anything? And if Kira found out about it only after the gangsters took it, why is Kira allowing them to keep it now?”

Unless Kira is on that task force, Naomi thought, and that would be the only way to keep it monitored. Providing Kira doesn’t have an accomplice, that is…

“If anyone other than Kira has the notebook and its existence becomes public, there will be people who try to get it for themselves. The government and the police could keep the notebook a secret, fearing a panic by the public, but there are millions of rumors about Kira’s methods, and no one is going to believe in the notebook unless its powers are demonstrated to them. What Kira should fear the most is the possibility that they might go to that extreme.”

“You’re right,” Rester said. “But then why does the Japanese task force still have it?”

“I’ve had my suspicions, but judging from the unbelievably convenient deal between Kira and the Japanese task force in this case, at the very least, Kira and the Japanese task force are connected.”

“Connected?” Lidner asked.

“You’re saying Kira may be on that task force?” Naomi asked.

“Yes. If Kira is actually within the task force, then the new L is Kira.”

“That’s outrageous. Are you serious?”

Naomi was uncomfortably reminded of her “unprivate detective” acquaintance, from LA. Last she heard, he was dead, dead, dead.

“Yes. But about seven percent.”

She barely suppressed a snort.

“Seven percent?” Rester repeated. “So the possibility of it is very low.”

“But it does make sense. So the problem is how to fill in the remaining 93 percent. All we did was keep a close eye on them, and Kira began to move around, and the new L began to give himself away. Luckily, Mello escaped, so the remaining 93 percent might not be as hard as it seems to fill in.

“I’ve had an uncomfortable feeling about the new L from the start. Didn’t you think it strange he was so reluctant about cooperating with us in the investigation? That’s because he doesn’t want us to investigate him.”

“But they wouldn’t trust us from the start,” Lidner said, “so I can understand them not telling us everything.”

“Near, isn’t that too much of an assumption?” Rester asked.

“Commander Rester, investigations are based on assumptions. If you’re wrong, you just have to say sorry. If you have any doubts about that, you’re more than welcome to ask Maki about her work for L in 2002.”

Naomi gaped.

“Either way, please assume this is correct and start investigating everything you can about the Japanese task force.”

Having met with the annihilation of the mafia on our shores as well as the death of our president... We, the United States of America have decided to accept Kira and will do nothing to stand in Kira’s way. I intend to suggest this to the other world leaders in the next G8 summit.”

Lidner shook her head as the press conference continued. Gevanni’s jaw dropped.

Mr President, when did you make this decision?!”

We need an explanation!”

Are you trying to say Kira is righteous?!”

Righteous? That’s not what I said. But owing to Kira’s powers, war is now a thing of the past. And organized crime in the US, as well as other countries, is in decline.

We also found that the previous president’s death is related to his attempts to capture Kira. If we go directly against Kira, we’ll be killed, and that is a fact. That is why our government has been evasive concerning Kira.

But our country will come to a standstill if the head of the nation changes every time we try to capture Kira. We are not accepting Kira as righteous. We’re just not taking any actions, as a country, to capture Kira.”

The press continued to heckle the president, even as he walked away.

“What’s going to happen to us now?” Gevanni asked.

“We’re going to be dissolved. Thanks to that chicken of a president. But he’s not even chicken, he’s less than a maggot.” Near tugged his hair.

“Near, are you serious about dissolving the SPK?” Rester asked.

“Yes. This country’s justice system has completely collapsed. And I’m not joking when I say dissolving this organization may actually prove to be fruitful. Of course, I will continue to try to find out who L/Kira is with the information from five years ago, when the FBI tried to investigate the Japanese task force. But it will be difficult, since we can’t expect any help from Japan or the American police."

"So we have no protection from whichever agency we came from," Naomi said.

“Yes, but hold that thought. Including me, there are five of us left. The spy leaked the names and faces of the others. Or, it could’ve been their faces… Either way, they were all killed by the notebook. That’s irrefutable.”

“But that’s nothing new,” Rester pointed out.

“I want all of you to put yourselves in Mello’s position. The spy has given you the names and faces of the SPK members. Would you kill all of them, knowing there will be some members of the SPK who won’t die?”

“No, I’d keep at least one or two alive,” Rester replied.

“That’s what I think as well.”

“So we’re going to purposefully disband and wait for Mello to contact one of us?”

“It’s not a bad idea. The chances are pretty high, and it will be easy to get the vice president to announce the SPK is disbanding. Mello is all alone right now. He probably has no one to rely on. But I can’t believe he’s abandoned his desire to become number one. Since he wants to get Kira before I do, he’ll want the information we have.”

“But judging by the way Mello’s been acting, won’t it be dangerous to come in contact with him?”

“Very dangerous. So when the time comes, I want you all to do as he says.”

“Do as he says?”

Naomi resisted the urge to snort. Rester had clearly seen some things, but if she did the math right, he'd be a part of the FBI, CIA, or more right when the war on terror started. And she resisted the urge to ask, "Do you mean that we don't negotiate with terrorists?"

“Give him all the information we have. Especially the fact that the new L may be Kira, and that I have Mello’s photograph. The next move is up to him.

“Those willing to take part in this plan are going to wear a wire and come to headquarters everyday from their former residences. And, actually, I want you to put cameras in your rooms too.”

“But if we give all this information to Mello, won’t he try to kill us so we won’t tell you about him?” Rester asked.

“That may well happen. But I have faith in your excellent skills. If you’re scared, you don’t have to participate. But please don’t leave the headquarters. I’m scared, so I’m not going to go outside. What do you think? Especially you, Lidner and Maki.”

“Us?” Lidner asked.

“Let me say this plainly. Other than Rester and me, Mello should have known everyone’s information. But Mello decided not to kill either of you. And if I were him, I’d choose to get the information from a woman. Because if we met face to face, there is a better chance of escaping or overpowering you because of our physical differences. And there’s the fact that it would be unlikely, even for the SPK, to invade a woman’s privacy using wires and cameras.”

Naomi rolled her eyes and thought derisively, I’m trained in capoeira and self defence. Lidner is six feet tall, easily, and former Secret Service and current CIA. And we’re supposed to believe a man like Mello, who is at least severely burnt, could easily overpower us?

“So you’re certain Mello will contact us?”

“The chances are closer to 60-40. If the contact takes place, it’s 70 percent chance for Lidner, 45 percent for Maki, 25 percent for Gevanni, and five percent for Commander Rester.”

Naomi and Lidner mulled it over, while Gevanni immediately agreed to it.

“But with the ‘L is Kira’ theory going around, since Kira first appeared, will Mello believe this?”

“Why won’t he? Anyone who knows that the true L is dead will believe it.

“And, Commander Rester, we’re now an informal organization. I don’t mind if it’s from the general public, but I want you to gather powerful people who are completely against Kira. You can use as much money as you need from the funds I inherited from L.”

“But if they’re from the public, it’s going to be hard for me to determine if they’re trustworthy. I’ll need time to investigate them.”

“We won’t need to trust each other. From now on, we’re going to have no choice but to become an underground organisation that strives to get rid of Kira. We just need people who are willing to join such an organisation, and follow the orders of a boss whose face or voice they don’t know. The more people we have, the better it will be.” He exhaled. “That is the kind of battle we’re going to fight from now on. Now’s the time to leave, if you want.”

November 19

It wouldn’t be an overstatement to say that Naomi wasn’t too keen on this idea.

“This is going to get someone hurt,” she had said. “This is a terrible idea.”

Lidner had shrugged and said, “So long as Kira gets put behind bars or six feet underground, I don’t care what we have to do.”

And now there she was on the monitors, with Mello holding a gun to her head.

Naomi was going to shake her, given the chance.

“Wh-what’s going on? You were right about him making contact, but…”

“Please let him in.”

“Drop your weapon!” Rester barked.

On a scale of one to “I’m going to quarantine you so you can’t carry this idea out” of bad ideas, I think this day really has been a seven, Naomi said to herself. She stepped around the back of the room, preparing to tackle Mello.

“That goes for everyone. It’s meaningless for us to shed more blood here,” Near said.

“Sir, all due respect, Mello’s killed the other members of the SPK and killed the director of the NPA,” Gevanni said. Naomi held in a sigh.

“We don’t have proof of that, and Kira is likely the one who killed the director. However that’s not important. Don’t make me reiterate. Our goal is to catch Kira. There is no reason for us to kill Mello. He got the notebook and was able to get closer to Kira than any of us. Pointing a gun at him, at this point, is just plain rude.”

Rester finally obliged, and Gevanni with him. Naomi halted her approach as Mello moved the gun from Lidner’s head.

“So everything’s gone as you imagined?” Mello asked.

“Yes. Though, I didn’t expect you to come all the way here. And thanks to you, I’ve been able to greatly reduce my list of suspects,” Near replied.

Mello, in a moment of rage, held Near at gunpoint. “I’m not just a tool for you to solve the puzzle.”

Naomi poised to lunge and disarm him, but Lidner shook her head.

“Rester, don’t make me repeat myself. Lower your gun. As for you, Mello, if you’re going to shoot, then go ahead.”

Naomi was roughly two feet away from Mello and really was about to pin him down as the hammer clicked. Lidner pushed herself between Mello and Near. “Stop.” They caught each other’s eye, and Naomi asked herself why Lidner was speaking to Mello and her. “If you shoot him, the rest of us will shoot you too. Kira wants you both out of the way, and if you pull the trigger, you’ll do his dirty work for him.”

Mello paused, then finally lowered the gun. “She’s right. I just came to get the photo you have of me.”

Near picked it up, pinched between thumb and index finger. “This is the only remaining photograph. No copies have been made. For the record, the surveillance cameras here only monitor--they don’t record. I’ve contacted all the members of Wammy’s House and anyone else from your past who would know your face. It’s not a hundred percent perfect, but it’s safe to say you won’t be killed by the notebook.”

Mello inspected the back and front. “Near, I have no intention of joining forces with you.”

“I know.”

“But I owe you. The murder notebook. It’s owned by a Shinigami. Whoever can touch it can see it.”

“There’s no way…”

"Who the hell would believe in something like that?" Gevanni snapped.

“I do. There’s no advantage gained by coming up with something like a Shinigami as a feint for genuine information," Near said.

“The notebook I had belonged to a Shinigami named Sidoh, who dropped it in the human world. He came to get it back. But another Shinigami had it before," Mello said.

“And we know that because there were rules written in English inside the notebook for human use, right? It would be odd for a Shinigami to write rules down for humans to use when he wants to get it back…"

“And one more thing. There’s one fake rule hidden among the rules written in the notebook. But that’s all I can tell you.”

He paused. “Oh, and Near.”

“Mello.”

“Which of us is going to get to Kira first, I wonder.”

“The race is on.”

“I’ll be waiting for you, at the finish line.”

Raye said Osoreda had appeared to hallucinate, saying something about it maybe being ketamine or LSD. Could he have touched the notebook, or even a page or a shred of a page, without realizing? And then she hit herself upside the head. Of course he had. Raye said that the kid he was surveilling had dropped a piece of crumpled paper.

Worry about your lost love later--my question is why Mello was so buddy-buddy with Lidner. My guess is they’re allied. But why stop me…

That left two answers in Naomi’s mind: concern for her wellbeing, or trying to pacify Mello.

That left two answers in Naomi’s mind: concern for her wellbeing, or trying to pacify Mello.

November 22

“Near…,” Rester said, as Demegawa declared himself Kira’s spokesman.

Naomi didn’t like this one bit.

November 23

If I had to guess, Near’s still thinking about the fake rule Mello mentioned.

And the sneaking suspicion that Lidner and Gevanni had picked up on the discrepancy between their information didn’t help matters whatsoever.

“Gevanni, please connect me to L,” Near said. Once they were connected, he said, “L, I’ve caught Mello. … But he escaped. I was able to question him, however.”

Near, Mello didn’t escape. You let him get away, right? Or do you still have him in custody?”

“No, he really did escape. I’m pretty impressed that he managed to escape from under our noses. He did tell me a few things of interest, and I would like your opinion on them, L. Mello claimed a Shinigami possesses the notebook. Have you been able to confirm such an existence?”

Yes, Shinigami truly do exist. But I kept it a secret because I thought you’d never believe me.”

I'll take blatant lies for $500, Alex, Naomi thought.

“Well, I’d like to have a talk with that Shinigami. And what’s bugging me the most is that there’s a fake rule among the seven rules you told me about earlier.”

A fake rule?”

“Yes.”

This is Mello we’re talking about, he might just be trying to confuse us.”

“I’d still like to hear your opinion. If one of the rules is fake, which one do you think it is?”

A pause. “By process of elimination, it’s likely to be the one that says the writer will die unless they write another name in the notebook within 13 days.”

“Yes, that’s what I thought too.”

Shinigami, is there a fake rule written in the notebook?”

Naomi’s eyes widened. Near smirked.

“It seems there’s no fake rule. I can only assume Mello’s lying. And if we write a name down in the notebook, that person will die, so there’s no way of testing it.”

Except someone on death row. I can think of a couple who’d deserve it, Naomi thought.

“So, you have the Shinigami there beside you?” Near twirled his hair.

Yes.”

“You said the notebook is being held at the Japanese task force headquarters. That means you, L, are also at the headquarters. This is just a long way of asking… are there people other than you listening to this conversation?”

Yes, there are.”

Near’s smirk grew wider as he asked, “Did you see the original L’s face?”

L shut off the connection without a response.

“Well. Their refusal to answer is the same as admitting they’ve seen L’s face.”

L returned. “It’s true there are some members here who have seen the original L’s face.”

“So you’ve seen him.” He flipped one tarot card over. “Then, let’s assume--and as I said, this is only an assumption--that one of the people who’s seen the original L’s face is Kira. Then why is Kira, who killed L, keeping you alive? Don’t you think it would’ve been easier to kill all of you along with L?”

Near, your assumption doesn’t make sense. The task force has been through many situations where we could clearly tell Kira wasn’t among us. That’s why we’ve come this far together. The fact that we’re all still alive is the greatest proof that one of us is not Kira. Our assumption is that Kira got ahold of L’s information by some means, and killed him.”

“Now, is that really true?” He held the tarot card for death between his fingers. “I believe the 13 day rule is a fake. If so, do you still think my assumption doesn’t stand?”

The Shinigami claims all the rules are true. Are you saying the Shinigami is lying?”

"Yes, I believe Mello over a Shinigami. It’s a Shinigami, for goodness’ sake. How could I believe in such a thing? And if my assumption stands, then Kira is among you, and making the Shinigami lie.” He held the tarot card for the devil now.

Near, I understand your theory, but we can’t just write someone’s name down just to find out whether the rule is fake or not. We talked before about testing the notebook, but we’ve always concluded we must respect human life, and therefore testing the notebook is something we never do.”

“Then, how about this? I write Mello’s name.”

Naomi raised her eyebrows.

“Of course, that’s providing you know Mello’s real name. Obviously, Mello will get the death sentence if he’s caught. So, I’ll take responsibility for writing his name down since I let him escape after getting my hands on him. If Mello dies, and I die 13 days after writing his name down, Kira wins. And I have no problem with that.” He cited the rule stated, and added, “Testing this rule may turn out to be a plus for our Kira investigation, and it could never be a minus. I’ll do the test myself.”

Please wait a minute. We want to talk about your suggestion.”

Moments of silence.

“You’re not serious about this, Near,” Rester said. “We do have to respect human life.”

“Tell that to Scott Peterson,” Naomi muttered. She shook her head. Lidner snorted.

“I’m not, Commander Rester. That’s not the way we do things.”

Near, we can’t test the notebook, whatever the reason. We promise you that we’ll take full responsibility for protecting it," L said.

“Very well, as expected.” As he took the headset off, he smirked.

“Very well, as expected.” As he took the headset off, he smirked.

“Very well, as expected.” As he took the headset off, he smirked.

Lidner’s phone beeped. “Near,” she said as she knelt by Near, “it’s Mello.”

“Near, the man’s here. He only has his phone, but no camera or bugs,” Gevanni said.

Near dialled L. “Yes, Near?”

“Sorry, I called the wrong number,” he said, and promptly hung up. Naomi frowned. “Let him in.”

His mic’s not turned off, she thought, as Mogi came in and Near introduced himself. Then what’s he playing at?

“Please sit down, there are lots of things I want to talk to you about.”

A look of recognition crossed Mogi’s face as they locked eyes. He clearly chose not to voice it, though, and didn’t answer as Near asked to confirm his name.

“All Mello wants to do is capture Kira, just like we do. I’m sure you understand that. Won’t you cooperate with us?” He continued, paying no attention to Mogi’s taciturn-ness, “You’ve met the former L--the real one--right? Is there anybody in the current team who L suspected even in the slightest of being Kira? A yes or no would suffice.”

Near frowned. “Mello, there is a chance that this investigator is already being controlled by Kira. He’s not saying anything.”

She wished she could hear the other end of the conversation.

“The writers will not die even if that person does not write anything down for more than 13 days. Is there anything about that strikes you as odd about that, Mr Mogi? Even the slightest thing will do.”

More silence.

Is he really this loyal to a task force with Kira potentially on it? Naomi thought.

“All we want to do is get Kira, so there’s no reason for us to lie to you. I’m sure it’s uneasy for you to have one of your members suspected of being Kira. Then it should be much easier if we talk about it and settle this problem once and for all.”

“All we want to do is get Kira, so there’s no reason for us to lie to you. I’m sure it’s uneasy for you to have one of your members suspected of being Kira. Then it should be much easier if we talk about it and settle this problem once and for all.”

November 25

I, Demegawa, have finally discovered the hideout of the evil syndicate that plots to capture our God, Kira! I have surrounded them along with our comrades! I have just received information that the remaining members of the SPK, who have been secretly active, are hiding in this building! Behold the power of the people! The power of justice!

“Near, if we stay here, we’re going to be dragged out,” Lidner said.

“We’ve got no choice but to bring in our men…,” Rester muttered.

Naomi shuddered at the thought of brushing the shoulders of those people on the street.

What’s the problem, Near? I knew that Mello sent our investigator Mogi to your place, and we asked him to remain silent while we listened to what you had to say.” L filtered in concern and anxiety, and added, “But if this goes on, Mogi will be…

He piled on the mock distress, and added, “Is this a plan of Mello to get rid of the SPK? Or was the SPK so poorly organized that even the public was able to find out where your hideout was?”

She brushed aside the irritation of having them be insulted like that and thought, … Does Mogi’s phone have a tracking device in it?

She ignored the monitors of Demegawa and squatted in front of Mogi, and asked, “Does your phone have a VPN?”

Mogi paused. “It does.”

It must’ve been used to avoid giving away the location of their headquarters. There’s no way for us to have been tracked. My phone has a VPN, and all the lines here are secure… Doesn’t everyone else keep a burner phone on them for secure contact?

Unless Kira is the one who found out our headquarters. I think only L’s the one who has the ability to track things that well. But this is all entirely circumstantial.

Lidner stared in surprise. “You got him to talk?”

“I think if we ask him about Kira and his working with the task force, he won’t say anything.”

“I think if we ask him about Kira and his working with the task force, he won’t say anything.”

My comrades, fellow supporters of Kira! Don’t rush into the building all at once! The rebels might try to escape by mingling with the crowd! As Kira’s Spokesperson, I order you to slowly but surely hunt them down, so that we may get them on camera and offer them up to Kira!” Demegawa crowed.

Naomi wished someone could’ve taken him out.

Near, you must escape.”

Throwing all sense of formality and politeness away, Near responded, “Look who’s talking, Kira.”

What? Are you still going on about this? If you don’t do something, Mogi’s going to be killed too. You must escape.”

“All this happened right after Mogi showed up. There are only a handful of people who could’ve known he was coming here. There are other organizations in other countries that are also trying to capture Kira, so I find it hard to believe this is a mere coincidence. You are Kira. And you did this all with the intention of killing all the SPK members and Mogi. And once we all die, you’re going to kill everyone else on the Japanese task force. That’s your plan.”

Wh-stop joking, Near, you’re making a mistake and assuming it’s correct.

“Everyone on the Japanese task force, Kira is among you at the very least. Please think about that.”

“Everyone on the Japanese task force, Kira is among you at the very least. Please think about that.”

The first group--break through the door and enter! The second group will wait to enter until 20 people from the first group are in!”

“Near, we have to do something fast,” Rester urged.

Oh, are you kidding? He’s taking time to psychoanalyse all these Kira supporters? Naomi thought.

“I am not surprised that some people support Kira. But those people hope Kira will bring justice to an evil world. The people who are storming this building are a completely different type--far more hopeless than the former.

“They either end up as killers, acting completely opposite from Kira’s true values they worship so blindly. Or, they are the ‘if you can’t beat them, join them’ type, who followed the worshippers here. Or they’re idiots who want to rampage and enjoy themselves. And only a few of them are actually against Kira.”

“Near, this isn’t the time to analyze the people down there.”

“On the contrary. Originally, Kira supporters were observers who didn’t want to be hurt themselves. The ones rampaging down there are egocentric people who just want to enjoy themselves. Right?” Rester nodded. “Then we’ll use that to our advantage by using L’s fortune and all the anti-Kira people we hired.”

“On the contrary. Originally, Kira supporters were observers who didn’t want to be hurt themselves. The ones rampaging down there are egocentric people who just want to enjoy themselves. Right?” Rester nodded. “Then we’ll use that to our advantage by using L’s fortune and all the anti-Kira people we hired.”

“But--that plan is just a stopgap measure.”

Near shrugged. “Let’s do it. We should be prepared. It’s going to be fun.”

“L must’ve been loaded,” Lidner said. Gevanni turned off Mogi’s phone.

“Rester, get everyone in their gear and tell them that they will receive rewards far greater than those they see right now… It will be better to have some of them completely blinded by the reward.”

Naomi shook her head and adjusted the last of the riot gear.

Naomi shook her head and adjusted the last of the riot gear.

November 26

“Gevanni, do you think you can recover the connection with Watari and L?” Near asked. Miraculously, his toys were saved from the riot.

“Yes, within a couple of days.”

“Near, it’s no use. Mogi won’t say a word,” Lidner said.

Near glanced at Mogi. “If he isn’t going to say anything, we’ve got no choice but to try and get someone else. It’s impossible no one finds the new L suspicious after I made such controversial statements, and in light of recent events. If they didn’t they’re worse than preschoolers. I don’t know how many of them there are, but I’ll make sure at least one of them comes over to our side.”

“For some reason, I find that disquieting,” Naomi said.

“If Mr Mogi isn’t going to say anything, then I think we have no choice but to set things up so that someone on the Japanese task force talks.”

Naomi resumed her guard of Mogi. “How do you know me?” she quietly asked.

Mogi paused. “The original L said you went missing. That you helped him in LA.”

“... Oh.”

“Did you?”

“I did, to the last one. My… fiance died and I stayed in the house for a while.”

“Near, it took a while, but we can talk to Watari with scrambled codes now,” Gevanni said.

“Good. Please contact him at once. Commander Rester, please cover Mogi’s mouth.”

Near! Is everything okay?” L asked.

With a smirk and a twirl of his hair, he said, “Mr Mogi has died of a heart attack. I’ll be sending the body over to Japan within the next couple days."

Naomi, Rester, and Mogi's eyes widened.

“To those who are listening to this conversation, and have even the slightest suspicion that Kira may be a member of the Japanese task force, please call the number I am about to give you. It will put you through to me.”

L paused. Sounding like it was being pried out of him, he said, “Anyone who wants to cooperate with Near may do so. I’m not satisfied with continuing on with the investigation in this situation either. I feel the ideal thing is for us and the SPK to cooperate in a way that will satisfy us both.”

Not even a bit later, Gevanni’s phone beeped. Without a response, he put the phone to Near’s ear.

“Near. Will you come here under the condition that you won’t tell the Japanese task force our whereabouts? Of course--that is after we make sure you are not Kira or one of Kira’s spies. … Also, there is one more thing I must tell you. Mogi is alive. I lied to give incentive to those people like you. … Yes.”

Gevanni passed the phone to Mogi.

“It’s Mogi,” he said, looking more relieved than he’d been since he arrived here. “Yes, I think that would be a good idea.”

“So you can talk. You’re very impressive, Mogi,” Near said.

Naomi rolled her eyes, though she fought off a smile.

“They’ve arrived,” Rester said.

“Mogi, is that Aizawa?” Near asked. Mogi nodded. “Please let them in, Rester. Nice to meet you, Aizawa. I’m Near.”

“Mogi, is that Aizawa?” Near asked. Mogi nodded. “Please let them in, Rester. Nice to meet you, Aizawa. I’m Near.”

“It’s not much of a nice to meet you when I have a blindfold on, you know," Aizawa said.

He sounds familiar, Naomi thought. That’s it! I bumped into him outside the police station, when I’d just gotten away from Light. He had very different hair back then.

“Well, if you can answer a couple of questions truthfully, then I think we’ll be able to take it off. I see you were close to the original SPK headquarters location, but why is that?”

“Well, if you can answer a couple of questions truthfully, then I think we’ll be able to take it off. I see you were close to the original SPK headquarters location, but why is that?”

“During that time, you were of course connected to L--the new L--with a wire, right?”

“Yes. A wire to communicate, and a transmitter to tell L my whereabouts. I also had a camera with me. But I don’t have anything on now. Like you told me.”

“Please take the blindfold off, then.” Near twirled his hair. “The fact you had a camera may mean L is Kira, who wanted to see Mello’s face. But it means you are not Kira’s follower with the ability to kill people just by looking at them.

“It is very unlikely you made a deal with Kira after that, so I will believe you have come here for the sole purpose of cooperating with us.”

Aizawa paused. Whether it was surprise or not stumped Naomi. “Even though I’ve come here to cooperate, that doesn’t mean I completely trust you. I’m still a member of the Japanese task force, so there are limits as to how much I can cooperate.

“The reason I came here is that I felt your assumption isn’t possible. But something does bug me about your story that L is Kira.”

“Why did it bug you? What about it is bugging you?”

“It all depends on whether I can believe in Mello’s story. I can’t say anything unless it’s really true.” Aizawa shrugged.

“Mello’s story? You mean the 13 day rule?”

“Yes.”

“Yes.”

“To be clear,” Lidner said, “Mello is trying to get to Kira before Near does.”

“For Mello and I, L was our idol, and the only person worthy of respect. Everybody at Wammy’s House longed to be like L. And it is obvious that our idol, the person we respected, as killed by Kira. Therefore, we’ll use any means necessary to capture Kira. Don’t you think it’s only natural for us to think that way?” Near asked.

Ah, he’s speaking Mello’s language now. Just as he did when Mello came in. Ire rushed to the front of her mind at Lidner’s actions. She still had to get a moment alone to shake Lidner or rip her up one side and down the other.

Ah, he’s speaking Mello’s language now. Just as he did when Mello came in. Ire rushed to the front of her mind at Lidner’s actions. She still had to get a moment alone to shake Lidner or rip her up one side and down the other.

“Anyone would think of the notebook as a way to capture Kira, once they find out it is Kira’s method of killing. Therefore, Mello risked joining the Mafia to use them, and though it was over the top, he got the notebook.”

“That’s putting kidnapping rather lightly,” Naomi said. Mogi agreed, just by looking at his reactions.

“Mind you, Maki, he’ll do anything to get Kira first. Even if that includes kidnapping and murder. Keep this in mind, please.

“Once you get the notebook, you will definitely test it out. The Mafia was the perfect chance to try the notebook out. I’m sure he didn’t even have to bother writing the names down himself. I think it was the wrong way, but it was all to capture Kira. We will never know if that rule is fake or not unless we actually test it out, but the Japanese task force won’t allow it. But if the 13 day rule is fake, a problem arises. Isn’t that right, Mr Aizawa? So then, what is that problem?”

Rester told me there was a period of confinement roughly two months long. Near knows this. So then what’s he trying to get Aizawa’s opinion for? Unless he’s trying to see how truly competent the task force’s members are… Not sure I like this.

“L placed someone in confinement after suspecting them of being Kira. Then after 50 days of that confinement, that person was released and their innocence was verified when we found out about the 13 day rule when Higuchi was captured,” Aizawa said.

“And that person is the present L. Right?”

Aizawa paused. “Yes.”

So this was the information he kept from Lidner and Gevanni. So then why have me helping Rester out? Unless he deemed me as useful and… No, doesn’t make sense. He knows I’m useful. So then… has Mello’s admission of my identity underlined something I don’t know about? Some invisible criteria he only understands?

“Well, to be exact, there was another person confined, too. The one who was called the Second Kira. The one that gathered a lot of attention with Sakura TV.”

“If the 13 day rule is fake, then that’s it. They’re the guilty ones. The fact L confined those two is proof enough…”

Proof enough that he violated international law?

“I think it’s a little premature to say they’re guilty because L confined them.”

“Kira’s killings didn’t stop even though they had been confined for more than 50 days without even being able to move their hands freely. It’s only natural to assume they were not Kira and therefore should be freed.”

“And it wasn’t L who brought up the idea of freeing them, right?”

“Yes. We forced L to…”

“And did L simply consent to it?”

“No. L got Deputy Director Yagami, who was the chief back then, to put on an act. Chief Yagami released them. L told them that we’ve come to the conclusion that those two were Kira and the Second Kira, and they were going to be executed. On the way, Chief Yagami pulled his gun out and pointed it at them. He said he was going to kill Kira and then himself.

“L’s assumption was if they were each Kira, they’d kill the chief. But because he didn’t die, we assumed they were innocent.”

“L’s assumption was if they were each Kira, they’d kill the chief. But because he didn’t die, we assumed they were innocent.”

Near paused. “Back then, you didn’t know of the existence of the notebook, so if those two didn’t have the notebook with them, that was meaningless.”

“Kira really is something. But that means Kira used the confinement as a way to prove himself innocent.”

Even evil has standards. So then at least one of the suspects was family to Chief Yagami. Which means…

“What’s the reasoning behind that?” Aizawa asked.

“What’s the reasoning behind that?” Aizawa asked.

“Obviously, everyone saw the rules in the notebook after capturing Higuchi. If people saw the 13 day rule before that, then it would’ve looked fake. Therefore, Kira predicted the confinement and wrote the 13 day rule within the real rules. Then, Kira gave the notebook to someone else and waited for L to capture the person and read the notebook.”

“But the rules-the rules inside the notebook were written with a substance that doesn’t exist on earth.”

“Then, Kira got the Shinigami to write it, or borrowed something to write it with.”

Mogi and Aizawa let the information sink in.

“By some chance, did the Kira suspect voluntarily come out and encourage you to carry out the confinement?”

More silence.

“If the suspect encouraged you to do so, then it closes the case. That suspect believed in L, and waited for L to capture Higuchi and read the fake 13 day rule in the notebook. As it so happens, the suspect was freed before the notebook surfaced. But even if you hadn’t freed the suspect, the outcome would’ve been the same.”

“But--Near, what you just said is all assumption. There’s no proof.”

That’s generally the definition of assumption, yes, Naomi thought.

“That’s right. But once I start centering my investigations on the suspects who were confined, then I’ll surely… Who are those two people?”

Aizawa started. “I’m sorry, but I can’t tell you that. As I said before, I’ve only come here as a member of the Japanese task force, and I work under L.”

He didn’t make this guy sign an NDA, right? His allegiance to L is surprisingly strong. But weak enough he came here to consult with Near. But that brings up another question: how does Aizawa know L? Besides police work. Maybe they knew each other through Chief Yagami… Light mentioned solving a couple cases, if I remember correctly.

“Okay…”

“Thank you very much for all the valuable information. You two may go back.”

“Thank you very much for all the valuable information. You two may go back.”

“Now that you’ve heard our story, it’s goodbye for us?” Aizawa's brow knit.

“I thanked you for all the valuable information you gave me. Especially the part about the Shinigami, and then the Shinigami Eyes that the holder of the notebook can obtain by trading half their lifespan for. It was the first time I heard about it, and was very useful. I don’t know how it is now, but at the beginning, Kira didn’t make a deal with the Eyes, and the Second Kira did. That I’m sure of.”

“Is that all?”

“It’s going to be hard to investigate the new L, so we’re going to have to investigate the Second Kira suspect. If I can get the notebook during the process, that will be hard evidence they are Kira.”

“Right.”

“And there’s nothing you can do about it?”

“Not for the time being. I apologize for talking so big. If there is anything, I will call upon you once more, so please contact me secretly at the new phone number I just gave you.

“Gevanni, please drive them to the station or the airport. I feel bad for the Japanese task force that I’ve kept them here for so long.”

“Gevanni, please drive them to the station or the airport. I feel bad for the Japanese task force that I’ve kept them here for so long.”

“I’m sorry, you must wear the blindfold,” Gevanni said, guiding Aizawa by the shoulders.

In a split second decision, Naomi followed. “I’m coming with.”

“All right. I hope traffic isn’t too bad.”

They pulled up to the airport. “I’ll drop you off here.”

Both men nodded.

“So what do you know that I don’t?” he asked. The window had barely been rolled up.

“Information, Maki. Lidner and I aren’t stupid.”

“You could've timed that better, for God's sake. And if you’re trying to bargain with me about what I know and you don’t, it won’t happen. Near had me keep things between us for a reason, and I’m not about to throw it away.” She paused. "And I don't think either of you are stupid. If you were, I'd be questioning Near's judgement."

“So then are you and Rester on the same page regarding information?”

“So then are you and Rester on the same page regarding information?”

She paused. It’s not about the information verbatim--the instance of what broke the 13 day rule, moreso--but it’s… Ha, clever bastard.

“Mostly. The both of us know things you don’t, but he knows more than either of us. Who told you to ask me?”

He raised his eyebrows for a moment, though a smile pulled at his mouth. “Lidner.”

His eyebrows raised for a moment. And he said nothing.

Though Naomi was glad to see Demegawa had dropped dead, she also was left wondering one thing:

Though Naomi was glad to see Demegawa had dropped dead, she also was left wondering one thing:

I'm sorry for being a day late. I got sucked balls first into The School for Good and Evil again and burned through four books in two days.
1. December 31, 2009 720 0 0 2. March 9, 2010 3447 0 0 3. October 11, 2010 5901 0 0 4. November 18, 2010 7936 0 0 5. December 1, 2010 9724 0 0 6. January 6, 2011 7872 0 0 7. January 28, 2010 3504 0 0