Hanging up the phone, and putting it away in my bag, I was hit by a wave of fatigue. I let out a sigh.
When I closed my eyes, my sight went dark, and it felt as if there was no one in the world at that moment but me.
I took a moment of rest alone. A cold wind blew across the roof.
… This was the last spurt. I’ll try a bit harder.
Opening my eyes, I looked up. There was a single security camera fastened to the wall, taking in the surrounding scenery.
The security camera’s lens was focused on the viewing platform, and looking in that direction, there truly was a familiar scene.
It was the exact scene from the footage. If I had to state the difference, it was only that when I last saw it, it was monochrome, and this time it was in full color.
There was a set of binoculars with a toll, and if you paid 200G, you could see far-off scenes for a minute and no more.
There was a black parapet beyond the binoculars, but nothing beyond that. I leaned on the handrail to see far away.
… It really was a picturesque view.
I strong wind blew from the front, but even so, I couldn’t take my eyes off the scenery. The viewing platform that let you look over the entire mountain range surrounding the country was worthy of being a tourist attraction.
How much time had passed? My spine shuddered at the cold wind, as I lowered my field of vision. I noticed.
There was barely any space beyond the viewing platform’s handrail. Once you surpassed it, you’d instantly fall right off the roof.
It was hard to see from so high, but right below the platform was the park from before.
… Once he fell from here, the victim hit that statue, his arm was cut off.
Based on what I could see on the surveillance camera, I thought that was correct.
But when I looked at the park from the platform like this, I couldn’t help but wonder.
… Isn’t it a bit far?
I hadn’t done the calculations, so I can’t tell, but in most cases, where a person fell from the sky, they’d fall straight to the ground.
Of course, if they had some starting forward velocity, their fall would shift proportionally to that vector.
The security camera footage had no such scene. He just fell over the parapet, and without any running start, fell straight down.
If he fell like that, wouldn’t he have fallen before the statue, a little closer to the hotel?
And there were other questionable points. The floor right below this one had a veranda, and while it was only by about 50cm, it did just out.
… In the case he fell straight from the viewing platform, wouldn’t he have fallen to the veranda right below?
I’ve no basis. No evidence. But once that supposition passed through my mind for a moment, it wouldn’t go away. More than that, it started looking like the truth.
The roof was the thirteenth floor, so below should be the 12th.
The height was around two and a half meters. I’m sure it would hurt, but it probably wasn’t enough to kill.
Right. Falling to the 12th floor wouldn’t kill someone. And the body wouldn’t have been found in the park.
I felt I was getting somewhere. Right, what if…
When Claudia attacked Hal Anderson on the 10th , the victim cut across the back didn’t accidentally fall over the handrail… he was trying to flee from the roof to the 12th floor?
If those thoughts are true, then Claudia wouldn’t be the culprit. Well, she wouldn’t be able to avoid the crime of inflicting bodily harm, but she wouldn’t get first-degree murder.
And on the 11th, at 21:30… someone else attacked Hal Anderson, who was hiding on the 12th floor, and pushed him off of the viewing platform. If he fell from a place further out than the roof- the jutting veranda for example- it wouldn’t be strange if he hit the statue, losing his arm.
I don’t know why there was a space of a day. I don’t, but by this logic, I could resolve the contradiction in the footage.
“Haha,” for some reason, a laugh leaked from my mouth. “I solved it. That’s right. If that’s how it is, it all works out.”
The existence of the third party, the contradiction of the security camera, the discrepancies in testimony, all of it could be logically explained.
There was only one mystery that remained. How did they alter the surveillance camera footage?
As long as I could solve that mystery, defending Claudia would be easy.
I felt as if I’d finally found a light in the darkness.
As my heart danced at this new truth, the sound of cell phone rang out.
As it wasn’t the satellite phone, but my normal phone, it was clearly not Jessica. Wondering who it was, I looked at the number and found it was from the district court. I picked up at once. “Hello?”
‘Is this the correct contact information for Daniel Lockhart the defense attorney?’
It was a business-like tone. I responded, ‘Yes, you’ve reached Daniel.’
‘The date for the second hearing has been decided. December 11th, in the district court. Please be there by 12:00.’
After briefly giving the main points alone, the line was cut. Without another word, I put the cellphone away in my breast pocket.
Today was December 9th. I still didn’t have all the evidence I needed to prove Claudia was innocent.