Nobody Cares About the Receptionist

BY : sashocirrione
Category: Death Note > General
Dragon prints: 949
Disclaimer: I do not own Death Note, and I do not make any money from these writings.


Yes, L thought, the case is closed, but there are still so many questions.

L sighed, clasped his knees to his chest, and started another questioning session with Ryuk as all the other task force members, even Ukita, sat and watched. They were all back in the hotel suite temporary headquarters, and every bit of evidence they needed to convict Kira was now in their possession, except that it was pointless, because Kira was obviously dead. L only hoped that this questioning session would yield better answers than the previous ones. He knew it as a good technique to use in interrogations, at least for human subjects. If you kept asking the same questions in slightly different ways, you sometimes got changed answers, or at least more information.

L held up the page Light had been using, now sealed in a clear plastic evidence bag, and said, "There are still seven people written here who haven't died, including Naomi Misora and Sachiko Yagami, and in the killing notebook there are nineteen criminals with deaths still scheduled for the future. How do we save them? If we destroy the paper where their names are written? If we erase the instructions and write that they'll live?"

Ryuk said, "There's no way. Once a name has been written, the human always dies. If you'd caught it soon enough, you could have crossed out the instructions and written a different way of death, but now you can't even do that much. If you can prevent the instructions from being followed, they'll die of a heart attack instead, but that's all."

L said, "Matsuda, he's your shinigami. You ask him. He sometimes tells more to you."

Matsuda repeated the question and Ryuk gave basically the same answer.

Aizawa jumped to his feet and said, "This is pointless. Either there really is no way to save those people, or it's lying to us and we'll have to experiment to see if anything we do will save them."

L said, "I believe it thinks the game is over and so it has no motivation to lie. We should experiment but we need more information first."

L turned once again toward Ryuk and said, "There are times when the killing notebook doesn't work. Am I correct?"

"Yes," Ryuk said, "the rules can't be broken. It doesn't work on babies, anyone 125 year old or older, anyone with less than twelve minutes of natural lifespan left, or if you write down the same person in two death notes at basically the same time, or if you misspell the name or think of the wrong face when writing the name."

Ukita said, "None of that helps us save those people."

L said, "I am interested in something else. If the instructions are prevented, such as a suicide being made impossible for the victim to perform, then it always reverts to heart failure?"

"Yes, I told you that before."

L said, "The officers Light controlled only shot at the wall, not at each other or at anyone who was not controlled. Why?"

Ryuk said, "You can't cause the deaths of others that way. If you try, the instructions become void and the original person dies of a heart attack, while the other person doesn't die at all unless their name is also written, and then they just die of a heart attack too."

There was a way... probably a way... to save the victims. To create a paradox, where one rule clashed against another rule. Then, either they wouldn't die at all, or something completely new and unexpected would happen.

L said, "So, if the death that is written for a victim would cause the death of one or more others, it reverts to heart failure, but what happens if heart failure in a written victim would cause the death of another person who wasn't written? Then it reverts to heart failure, but it still clashes with a rule, so what happens?"

Ryuk said, "How could one person's heart attack kill someone else?"

L said, "If the victim with a written death was completely sedated so they couldn't do anything, and hooked up to a machine that monitored their heart rate and would give a lethal injection to another person if their heart stopped."

Ryuk said, "Shinigami don't do things like that. I have no idea what would happen."

So, it was an untried experiment. There were only a few possibilities. The written victim might die anyway with the machinery to kill the other person suffering a coincidental failure at just that moment. Using a back-up power supply in case of an electrical failure and having the machines extensively examined beforehand should minimize that possibility. There was a chance the written victim's death would be completely avoided, which was the goal. There was also a possibility the written victim would die anyway, their death simply being delayed until the moment they were removed from the machinery. The last, and least likely, possibility was that both the written victim and the person who tried to save them would die.

L said, "From the criminal deaths written in the killing notebook, it seems that twenty-three days is the limit for death. If you schedule the death too far in the future, they die within the twenty-three-day limit."

"Yeah," Ryuk said, "Light discovered that. I didn't even know it."

L said, "For each written victim, we need someone to volunteer to attempt to save the person by being hooked up to a machine like the one I described. This would need to be from shortly before their death is scheduled until twenty-three days from the time of writing has passed. If that cannot save these victims, then I think nothing can. There is a small possibility the volunteers will die too, but if nobody dies within the first few days of this experiment, then we can conclude it is probably impossible for that to happen. I will volunteer for Sachiko Yagami. It is entirely my fault her death was written."

"No," Soichiro said, "I will."

"Then," L said, "I'll volunteer for Naomi Misora."

Suddenly, everyone was volunteering to save their fellow NPA officers.

L looked at Light's page and said, "Only Daichi Kimura written here and the criminals written in the notebook are left. I'm sure I can get enough volunteers to save them all by asking my contacts in the FBI, the CIA and elsewhere."

Ukita said, "Daichi Kimura is Ide's best friend. I'm sure he'll volunteer if we tell him."

L look at the paper once again and said, "Watari, some of these people don't have much time. Can you get the machines ready fast enough?"

Watari said, "It's a simple modification of existing hospital machinery. I could have ten of them ready within two hours if I start now."

Watari left to begin the arrangements for everything, and then, it was just a matter of deciding what to do with the killing notebook. L didn't want it to be handed over to Interpol or any government agency, or to anyone at all; it would only get abused. It was a terrible weapon of mass destruction that shouldn't be in human hands.

At the same time, he didn't want the shinigami to go away yet in case there would be more questions that needed answering. So, they made plans for burning it after the experiment was done with trying the save the victims.

Everyone, all the volunteers and the victims, were placed into a small hospital-like building reserved just for the experiment and they were all hooked up to the machines. The victims were sedated into drug-induced comas so they wouldn't be able to unhook themselves from the machines, but the volunteers were simply lectured on the seriousness of the situation and how, once hooked up, they should be willing to go through with it and never back out. Otherwise, they shouldn't even start in the first place.

Watari and a small medical staff ran the place. L was bored being in a hospital bed all the time, but he started working on a few new cases through a laptop computer he usually kept in his bed. Within a day it was clear the method worked at least as far as delaying the deaths, as several scheduled times of death went by with none of the victims dying. There was still no guarantee the victims wouldn't die of heart failure the moment they were removed from the machines, but L hoped that waiting past the 23-day limit should prevent that from happening.

Then, the day came. The day when the experiment would truly succeed or fail. L watched with a sick fascination as one medical worker unhooked Naomi Misora's unconscious body from the machine that monitored her heart rate and was also primed to give him a lethal injection, while a second medical worker was unhooking him at the same time.

L almost held his breath. This was the moment. Even sedated, she should look like she was having a heart attack if the experiment had failed. L hopped out of bed and stood next to her, holding her hand, placing one finger on her wrist to feel her pulse. Yes, she was still alive. The drugs would wear off soon. Would the control be gone, or would she once again think of nothing but suicide and try to kill herself? The medical workers left. They had to do this to each pair of victim and volunteer.

Then, after a time, Naomi's eyes were fluttering open. She looked at him, uncomprehending. She blinked twice more, and then said, "Ryuzaki? What?"

L said, "How are you feeling? What would you like to do?"

She pulled both hands up to her face and rubbed it, saying, "I have a terrible headache."

Suddenly she sat up and looked at him. She said, "That case, the Los Angeles BB murders. L never shows his face except to people who don't know it's him. You're L, aren't you? You have to be."

L said, "You no longer wish to kill yourself?"

Naomi said, "No, I... Raye is gone but... Kira made me do that. Light Yagami is Kira."

L turned to leave.

Naomi said, "Wait! What happened?"

L said, "We found a way to save you. Kira is dead. Most of the information on the case will remain classified. Please stay here. There will be a meeting to debrief you soon, to tell you which of your experiences you are allowed to tell others and which you aren't."

Naomi nodded, and then, as L turned to leave once more, she said, "Thank you. Thank you for saving me, L."

L replied, "We'll talk later. You did an incredibly good job, to help us catch Kira even while under his control."

And then he left, to check on the other victims and tie up the last loose ends in the case. Once L had assured himself that all the victims were alive and well, he went straight to the safe where the death note was concealed, took it out and set it on fire.


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