Phoenix Wright sighed. He still didn't understand why he seemed to be reliving his life over and over again, but it was still an enormous pain. For one thing, whatever was controlling this couldn't make up its mind on when he started. One time he started at his very first Trial, defending Larry against a guy who, in retrospect, was painfully obvious as the guilty party. The next, he started all the way back during the Class Trial, when he and Edgeworth had become friends. A couple of times, he even started back in college, when he had first been put on Trial!
The first time it had happened, he had written it off as a dream of some kind, and while it seemed a bit eerie that his dream was forecasting reality, he didn't pay much attention to it. But when it happened again, he knew that something had gone wrong in the Universe, and as usual, he was the one it was picking on.
It was getting frustrating, having to explain this to his friends over and over again. Sometimes, they ended up thinking he was crazy and avoided him. Other times, he ended up being too hasty in playing his hand because he knew how it would turn out, only for him to lose anyway. Still, he persevered through, remembering what Mia had taught all those years ago back in his first life. "The only time a lawyer can cry is when it's all over."
This time around, he had a plan in mind, even if the whole world would reset the day after the Phantom was caught in his first life. He had realized a long time ago that a lot of the problems that had happened in his first life had arisen mainly because of the structure of the Legal System. He had attempted to fix this with the Jurist System, but because of his disbarment and the public's loss of faith, it had never seen the light of day asides from the one Test.
What he figured, was if he could prevent the Dark Age of the Law, he might be able to get the reforms passed much sooner, thus ensuring a more fair Legal System by the time Apollo and Athena became lawyers. Edgeworth was already pretty much guaranteed to be Chief Prosecutor again, so all he needed to do was not get disbarred. And who knows! Maybe THIS is why he's been reliving his life over and over again.
Still, he needed to get through this Trial first. He had stuck it by ear the entire time this life, making sure that everything had gone as it did back during his first life. And now, here he was again... the Trial of Shadi Enigmar, better known as Zak Gramarye.
"Incidentally, don't even think of showing us this diary I've just shown the Court. Now that we've come this far, I hope you have something a little more...decisive. Show us evidence that the victim continued writing in his diary!" were the words from Rookie Prosecutor Klavier Gavin. It was here that everything had gone wrong all those lifetimes ago. Now, it was time for him to get it right!
"I'll admit, it's not exactly decisive in a way that I'd usually go for," said the Turnabout Terror. "But then, this case requires a little out-of-the-box thinking. You'd agree, Prosecutor Gavin, that Magnifi Gramarye undoubtedly would have written on the last page if he had the chance?"
Gavin smirked. "Naturally, Herr Wright. But even if he did so, the last page is still missing!"
Phoenix stayed with a neutral look on his face. "I'm aware of that, but if he did write on that last page, then he would have had to use a bit more force, since only the cover would have been behind that page, right?"
Gavin's smirk started faltering as he processed the information. "Y-yes, of course!"
It was then that Phoenix let a smile grow on his face. "In that case, let's be a bit more old-school with this. Why don't we examine the back cover of the diary, and do a pencil-rub of it to see what he wrote on it? There, I'm not using the diary as you presented it to the court earlier." It was a neat loop-hole that he hadn't seen the first time around, but really, prosecutors should NOT be allowed to just out and deny the use of evidence like that.
The Judge...whose name still escaped Phoenix even after all this time, saw no problem with this, and ordered a Baliff to bring in a pencil and rub the back of the Diary, revealing...
"I hereby give all rights to the secrets, staging, and performance of my magic to the recipient named below.
Recipient: Zak Gramarye"
Klavier was flabbergasted. He had no doubt expected falsified evidence, like his brother had warned him about. But no, Phoenix Wright had gotten Shadi Enigmar off without using anything but the evidence discussed in court.
The Judge had this to say. "Well...I believe that's that! It's clear now that the Defendant would have had no reason to kill the Victim. While Valant Gramarye's own role in this is still suspect, I am now ready to hand down my verdict."
"This Court finds the Defendant, Shadi Engimar..."
"That is all. Court is now Adjourned!"
Phoenix was calm on the outside, but inside... "YEAH! FINALLY, I GOT HIM OFF! IN YOUR FACE, KRISTOPH!" After all this time, he was finally able to get Shadi Enigmar off the hook without getting disbarred in the process. While it would still be a while before everything could be fixed, at the very least, he wouldn't spend 7 years playing Poker.
Almost 9 years later...
Phoenix Wright woke up after groping around for his alarm clock, remembered what the date had been yesterday, and checked the calendar.
August 3rd, 2016
As the wedding ceremony started, his mind couldn't avoid thinking again about how things had spiralled out of control.
'Why am I so stressed?' he thought. He had saved all of his friends. All those crimes had been avoided. As an unexpected bonus, he even had finally managed to marry his childhood sweetheart. 'Why can't I be happy about this?'
Everything had started with a simple change...
When he discovered that he could safely change things when his life repeated itself, one of the first things he wanted to change was Mia's death. On that fateful night, he hid inside Mia's office, and waited for the right moment to call the Police and barge into Redd White before he started attacking Mia. Even at the cost of a broken arm, thanks to the Thinker statue, he had managed to stall Redd until Mia escaped and the police arrived. Redd's face when he realized all was lost was even more sweeter when he had not managed to remove Mia from his life.
But then he started thinking; Why stop here? Why couldn't he save not only those wrongly accused of murder, but also those who were actually murdered? Did he not have the duty to act on his knowledge of the future to prevent those crimes?
Armed with foreknowledge, and aided by the bizarre luck that made him be around many of the crimes he had helped solve in the future of the past, he tried to prevent the murders where he was able to, even at the cost of his Law career.
But even when he resigned from Mia's law firm, she had managed to help him find a way to help him pursue his chosen path. When she discovered that Phoenix had knowledge he couldn't have obtained by normal means, she assumed that he was a natural medium, and introduced him to her estranged family.
Phoenix was saddened to discover that, as Mia didn't die, her spirit couldn't help Maya develop her spiritual skills by summoning her, and thus her place as the Master of the Fey family was at peril. Still, he could see that Maya wasn't happy being the Master, and he thought that she would actually be happier if she could have a normal life living with her sister. Also, even if Morgan was an evil, manipulating bitch, he knew that her daughter Pearl had a good heart and would be the best Master the Fey family could have.
Even if all the spiritual tests and training proved mostly negative, he showed a remarkable skill using spiritually charged objects, and his 'precognition' was still proving as the real thing, so he was accepted as a medium of sorts.
He kept preventing murders whenever he could, and also assisted Mia at the law firm using the Matagama that revealed Psyche-Locks in the new cases he didn't have foreknowledge of. He started getting recognition as a powerful medium, and even Morgan started respecting his skills, so she ended up arranging a marriage with her daughter Iris, who was delighted when she met Phoenix again.
But, at the wedding ceremony, he couldn't help but feel uneasy. And his fears proved true when he saw the strange smile his future wife had.
"Er... Master Pearl?" He asked. "Could you perform the Kurain Exorcism Technique? I think Iris has been possessed by her sister... again."
Phoenix Wright woke up...and immediately knew something was wrong. For one thing, this looked nothing like either his Ivy U Dorm, his old childhood bedroom or his own apartment. He quickly got up, and took in his surroundings. He seemed to be in some kind of classy apartment of some kind, but he could never afford something like this. The closet contained his blue suits, in the same style he wore during his first few years on the job every repeat. But something felt eerily wrong...
It was then that he noticed it: that oh-so familiar badge that didn't belong to him!
And that was when the memories set in. Mia and...Dahlia?! Jailed because of dirty tactics he used. ...as a prosecutor. A dark secret that he didn't want anyone to know. Edgeworth...Maya...Iris...
Phoenix then proceeded to faint.
1.4 (Dimensional drift)
Phoenix Wright gazed through the one-way window at his client. His beaten, manacled, and shock-collared client. What the hell were they thinking, treating a kid like that?
Ah, but this was a colony of Britannia, where the strong ruled. Phoenix couldn't stop the grimace from working its way onto his face.
He'd spent his entire life - his entire lifetimes - defending the innocent from those that would oppress them, would abuse them, would use them as shields to protect their own dirty dealings. They may have been powerful, they may have wielded influence, but they had to at least pretend to follow the straight and narrow, because the system and country ultimately believed in those ideals, in justice and fairness and "innocent until proven guilty", however poorly those ideals may be implemented. To find himself in a country where such abuses were not just commonplace, but applauded; to live in a world where being weak was, itself, the biggest crime of all... It was absolutely nauseating.
At least his former self in this world had, apparently, managed to see past that, and live much as he himself did... although that may have had to do with how he, himself, was treated with suspicion. He was pure-blooded Britannian in this world, was even born in the homeland, but he looked like he could be Japanese (whoops, sorry, Eleven), so he'd apparently lived under quite a cloud since moving here, having to fight for what was given to those that were clearly Britannian. Ugh.
Fortunately, he had fought, and had apparently assembled a fair reputation for himself. As such, when they'd arrested Suzaku Kururugi about a week after Phoenix had woken up, he'd been able to ask to see Lord Jeremiah Gottwald, and politely ask (no matter how much he wanted to demand) the chance to defend the boy. Gottwald had been suspicious at first, but had ultimately agreed after seeing Phoenix's record.
Phoenix had read through Gottwald's attitude towards the end, though. Gottwald was convinced that Suzaku would be found guilty. That was probably part of why he'd let Phoenix represent Suzaku - let the guy who looked Eleven take the blow of defending a prince-killer, rather than someone obviously Britannian. But this wasn't the usual "the guy's guilty, you're just gonna end up proving that" attitude he got from guards, prosecutors, witnesses, etc. This was "he's gonna be guilty, no matter what you bring to court".
Phoenix knew all about that. It was Redd White all over again... No, that wasn't fair. It was worse. Redd White had lost because he'd had to save face, had to hide what he was doing. This was about saving face, about quickly finding a "killer" to mollify the Britannian public. It was the very definition of "kangaroo court". They wouldn't care about if Suzaku was innocent or not, they would only care about finding someone guilty.
...Find a killer that had managed to infiltrate one of the most secure vehicles in the country to kill the Prince, and then had eluded the entire nation's police and military forces for over a week now. All in a day's work for Phoenix Wright.
With that thought, Phoenix relaxed and approached the cell door. He cracked a smile after the guard had checked him for weapons (again…) and let him in. Hardest times, and all that.
Suzaku looked over at the new entry, then blinked a few times. Whatever he'd been expecting, an Eleven-looking man in a suit and tie clearly wasn't it. "Um...?"
"Hello, Suzaku Kururugi. My name is Phoenix Wright, defense attorney. I was hoping to represent you in your trial tomorrow."
Suzaku blinked again, before perking slightly. "You're going to defend me...?"
"If you want," Phoenix replied with a smile. "I mean, it's not like you were actually involved in Prince Clovis's death, right...?"
"N...No! Of course not! I never even went near his command center, never even fired close to it! How could I have...?"
"Then that's all I need. I'd be happy to defend you," Phoenix said as his smile broadened. No Psyche-Locks. I was right about this kid.
"Th...Thank you very much, Mr. Wright!"
"Please, call me Phoenix. Mr. Wright makes me feel old," Phoenix laughed. Can't make him that comfortable in his state, but I'll do what I can. "In that case, I'd like to ask you about what you were doing on the day Prince Clovis was murdered."
Suzaku was apparently feeling somewhat better now, as he nodded, then straightened up and faced Phoenix fully, his gaze strong and unflinching. "Of course! I was fighting off the terrorist forces in the Shinjuku ghetto."
Phoenix nodded. He'd heard about the attack on the news, and had read in Suzaku's dossier that he was enlisted in the Britannian forces as an Honorary Britannian. "So you were out fighting with your unit, then?"
He was mildly surprised when Suzaku fidgeted slightly, and the familiar rattle of Psyche-Locks rang as two appeared in front of him. "Well... at first I was, yes." The Locks faded away as Suzaku continued, "But after that, well... I'm not sure I'm allowed to say... but you can't serve justice if you don't know, so I'll tell you. For the main part of the battle, I was fighting alone, in the Lancelot."
Phoenix frowned. Lancelot? Is that related to the Knights of the Round? ...Tackle that later. "Did something happen while you were with your unit?"
Clank went the Psyche-Locks again, as Suzaku's gaze drifted to the side. "I was... shot, Mr. Wright."
...Wait, what?! "How did you survive!?"
"The bullet hit a pocket watch I was keeping in my vest pocket. It saved my life."
...Sounds like Suzaku has my kind of luck. "...Can you tell me anything more about that, Suzaku?"
The Psyche-Locks remained, refusing to budge. "...I'm sorry, Mr. Wright. It's... private."
Why do my clients always have secrets they have to keep from me?! "Suzaku, look at me. Can you at least tell me it doesn't have to do with the prince's murder?"
The Locks finally faded away as Suzaku looked back at Phoenix, his gaze resolute once more. "I'm sure, Mr. Wright. That was long before Prince Clovis died, and I can guarantee it didn't have anything to do with his death."
Phoenix breathed a sigh of relief, the lack of Locks confirming Suzaku's assertion. I don't like it, but... I guess I can leave it alone for now. I may need to come back to it later, though. "All right then. So, after getting... shot... you were fighting in the... Lancelot?"
Suzaku grinned sheepishly. "Not right after, I was out cold for a while, and then had to do a crash test on the controls. The Lancelot's a lot touchier than normal Knightmare Frames, or so Lloyd says."
...So it's a Knightmare Frame. Those things are kind of cool. "The Lancelot is... special, then?"
An eager nod answered that question. "Yeah! It's a seventh-generation prototype! Lloyd said it was incredible that I'm able to handle it, apparently most pilots don't have the skill or reflexes to do so."
Phoenix had no idea how far ahead "seventh-generation" was, but the statement still got his mind going. A prototype? An Honorary Britannian handling a prototype of the most important weapon in Britannia's arsenal? ...Seems Suzaku wasn't just chosen as a random scapegoat.
Phoenix hid his thoughts with a smile. "That's very impressive. You should be proud."
The smile dimmed as Suzaku once again looked askance. "Well, yes, I'm very happy to be praised like that, but..." Suzaku looked back, but his eyes were... harder now. Focused. "It's not that important. I'm proud to fight in the Lancelot, not because it's impressive, but because it helps to stop the fighting."
Phoenix blinked slightly at the look in Suzaku's eyes. That's an old outlook for a kid of... how old is he? Sixteen? "That's very mature of you, Suzaku. It must be very important to you, huh? Stopping the fighting."
"It's stupid. Fighting only brings death, destruction, and misery. I get that the people don't like how things are, but you can't fix things by breaking them apart. You have to work with the system to make things better."
Normally Phoenix might have accepted such sentiment, agreed with it even. As it was, though, he was rather distracted... by the five Black Psyche-Locks that had clanked into being as Suzaku spoke. "I... I see," Phoenix replied dumbly as he tried to settle himself. What the hell happened to this kid?!
Any further thoughts on the matter were cut off as the cell door opened abruptly, revealing none other than Lord Jeremiah Gottwald himself. He nodded curtly at Phoenix, with a quick "I heard you were in here," before turning to Suzaku. "Up, boy. Time to get you to your... trial." Turning back to Phoenix, he continued, "You'll be coming along, of course, Mr. Wright."
Phoenix frowned, "You told me the trial was tomorrow."
A small smirk played across Lord Gottwald's lips. "Did I, now? My mistake. Terribly sorry about that."
Uh-huh. Next you'll be calling Suzaku "Japanese", you big softy, you. "I'll go along with Mr. Kururugi. I still have some aspects of the case to go over with him."
Jeremiah's eyes narrowed as he turned back from where he'd been about to address Suzaku again. "I suppose you could, but... you realize there will be armed guards around, yes? And the trip will not be terribly suitable for conversation."
...Of course. They want to parade Suzaku in front of the public, make sure everyone knows they "caught the killer". "Regardless, I must insist, Lord Gottwald."
If anything, Jeremiah's eyes narrowed yet further. "You've been awfully sympathetic to a suspected crown-killer, Mr. Wright."
An eyebrow was raised in reply. "He is my client, Lord Gottwald. It is the principle of the matter." Technically true, although I mean something very different than what you think I mean by that.
Jeremiah just shook his head at that, but at least he wasn't glaring at Phoenix anymore. Apparently he assumed it to be some (presumably non-Britannian) empathetic quirk of his. "Fine, then. Get out – we need to get the accused out of his chains."
Phoenix nodded, deigned not to note Jeremiah's rudeness, and left the cell, allowing the guards outside to enter. As he waited, he thought on how he could never have just a straight-forward client, but even then, black Psyche-locks meant that Suzaku was even less straight-forward than most. Still, it didn't ultimately matter. Suzaku was innocent of Prince Clovis's murder – that fact remained inviolate, and that was all Phoenix needed to keep defending him, regardless of Suzaku's personal issues.
And he damned well wasn't going to let Suzaku face the ravening hordes out there alone.
1.1 - Admit it; you desperately wanted something to happen so he didn't become a hobo.
1.2 - The consequences of saving Mia. Hopefully, she doesn't end up like that on the wedding night…
1.3 - A variant Loop, based on Complete Turnabout by Nenilen. Because quite frankly, that world is even more of a crapshoot than the Canon World!
1.4 - Code Turnabout: Part 1. Of course Phoenix's luck lands him in Code Geass defending Suzaku.
This is yet another branch of the Infinite Loops, where characters from across the Multiverse are forced to repeat their lives over and over again. Here are some basic details:
One person in a Loop, often the main character, is an Anchor. They are the person who first starts time looping.
There is always at least one Anchor present in a given Time Loop snippet, though it may not be the local one.
The standard pattern for a loop is that the Anchor (and whoever else is Looping there) come to awareness in a loop at a particular point in the story. From there, events will play out as influenced by the Loopers present, acting with the benefit of their foreknowledge, until either a predetermined end point is reached or all the Loopers have copped it.
To be Awake is to be aware of the time loops (that is, to have gone back in time this time.)
The Anchor is the only character guaranteed to be Awake. Even after others have started looping, it is mostly random as to whether they will be Awake this particular loop.
Crossovers, fusions, and alternate pasts can also take place. It is perfectly possible, for example, to have the characters Awaken into a loop which conforms to a fanfic universe rather than reality.
Loops do not have to be in chronological order, but it is strongly preferred that they not require a mutually contradictory order (where A must be before B and B must be before A.)
Just about every Looper is very, very stir crazy.