Three a.m. and I'm still awake writing something... Weird. And crazy. Review, but please don't flame me. You hate, I cry. And, warning, this is gonna be REALLY LONG and overreaching. I have no idea how long it'll last-also, OC galore!
And before you all get upset about me posting this and not updating my other stories:
1. I've been working on this for awhile, and just thought I should post it.
2. I've been going through a really rough time, and haven't gotten much of anything done; so I wouldn't mind a bit of patience and support. I'll get around to the others, I promise. I haven't forgotten.
If anyone had asked Phoenix Wright what he thought of Marek Fey prior to the events in Kurain Village, his first response would have been 'Who?' In fact, for their first few meetings, the man had made it very clear that he had no intention of identifying himself to the attorney—that was, until Phoenix befriended Pearl Fey.
"M-M-M-M-M-Master Marek!" She'd squeaked, then announced she'd channel Mia 'right away.' Marek had desperately tried to stop her, but it had been too late, and Phoenix had been privy to the siblings' reunion.
Yes, that was right. Marek was Mia and Maya's brother.
At first, Phoenix had been confused by the fact that neither of them had ever mentioned this, but as he listened to Mia's spirit argue with Marek, he quickly discovered the reason:
Several years ago, it seemed, Marek had abruptly dropped off the map, disappearing from the village without a word. He hadn't contacted them at all, even after Mia left the village herself, for over five years. It had been upon Mia's prevailing that he had gone with Phoenix to see Maya, who had been just as distressed when she saw him. While he had apologised profusely, he had failed to produce a reason for his absence.
Maya, bubbly girl that she was, had since forgiven him, but whenever Mia was channeled in his presence, Phoenix could sense a rift between the man and his dead sister. What Marek had been doing for the past five years was something that he was determined to keep a secret, and for that, Mia would not allow him off the hook.
And neither would Pearl, it seemed, who lost no opportunity to make a dig at Marek about his disappearance. For all the man's stoicism and serious nature, Phoenix was always able to detect a slight flinch whenever she did this, or a hurt expression. Sometimes Marek's eyes closed, like he was in pain, just for a moment. But Marek was extremely skilled at ignoring the insults and the prods, and he never responded to any of them. Even through introducing his best friend, Gerald Swift (who Phoenix soon discovered was just as hard to get rid of as Larry Butz, and of a similar personality, despite being infinitely more intelligent), he maintained strict silence on his past. Even while helping with investigations, even while displaying abilities that were entirely abnormal (then again, he was a Fey…), he refused to tell them where he'd been.
He did, however, make one promise: that he would never, ever disappear again.
While everyone in Los Angeles knew the name Miles Edgeworth, fewer in the states were aware of the name of his older sister, Mari. She, too, had been at the court the day their father died, but she hadn't been able to reach her father and brother in the elevator in time. While dashing to catch up with them, she had come across a small, bespectacled boy, crying for his parents.
"Are you lost?" He had nodded tearfully to her, and she had taken his hand. "Come with me. My father works here. We'll find your parents in no time."
While her promise was eventually carried out, it was not in the way she had intended.
Just outside the elevator, the quake struck, bringing down a part of the ceiling above them. In a moment of bravado, the boy threw his full weight into her, knocking her from the path of the falling rubble. She hit her head, but he took the full weight of the collapsed ceiling. He survived, but suffered a crushed arm and leg, and a fractured back. Stumbling to her feet, Mari crawled to him. She could have left him there and gotten out, hoping that the rescue teams would find him later. She could have done that. But a groan from the damaged roof above them made her pause. The hallway was still collapsing, and, in all likelihood, the boy wouldn't live long enough to be found. So, in desperation, she elected to take a risk on his injuries.
She carried him. Away from the hallway as the rest of the ceiling came down, down the fire escape, and out of the courthouse. It wasn't until they were a safe distance away that she allowed herself to sink to her knees.
When rescue personnel reached them, the child clung to her, refusing to let go. She held his good hand through the emergency procedures, but informed him that she could not go to the hospital with him.
"My name is Mari Edgeworth." She told him. "If you ever need something, just find me." she tucked her hair clip into his hand to hold, and smiled and waved as they carried his stretcher away.
She didn't know that her whole world had just been uprooted. She didn't know that her father was dead.
Three years older than Miles, Mari had fought the Von Karma's offer of adoption. There was something she disliked about the proud, cold man who had been so cruel to her father in court. But Manfred had the influence and the money, and he wanted Miles.
After her brother was taken to Germany, Mari was shuffled from foster home to foster home. Losing her father and her brother within weeks of each other had made the girl blank and clueless; she hid her emotions behind mask of ditziness and foolery. By the time she was eighteen, she had lived in five different homes, gone to three different schools, and her trauma had yet to wear off.
But it was also at the time she was eighteen that she saw Miles again.
Manfred had returned to the states for a case, and had brought his now-fifteen adoptive son along, when Mari came across them downtown one evening, while passing outside the courthouse. It took her a moment to recognise her brother, he had grown so much. But he looked too much like their father for it to be a mistake, and there was no way to miss Manfred. She'd stopped walking, tried to catch Miles's eye, tried to smile at him. He was standing stock still at Manfred's elbow, his face blank, eyes cold, dressed in a fashion similar to that of the older prosecutor, and he made no move to acknowledge her.
In fact, he looked right at her, made eye contact, and then deliberately looked away.
It did not escape Manfred's notice. The older man's eyes lighted on the young woman, and then he took Miles's elbow, almost possessively, Mari thought, and steered him into the courthouse, casting a demeaning glare over his shoulder at her.
That was the day Mari Edgeworth resolved to become a defence attorney.
It wasn't easy. She wasn't stupid, but it was hard to fight past the fog that her years of pain had created to focus her mind. If it hadn't been for her two roommates, she might never have gotten into law school—but once there, the fight was even harder. She saw Miles more often, yes, was given more chances to force him to acknowledge her, yes, but the mask she had created for herself was quickly becoming her undoing.
Just when she was at the point of giving up, Roy Hale walked into her life.
They were, quite truly, an 'odd couple.' Roy was studying to become a prosecutor, but was fascinated to learn of her motivation for attending the school. It was Roy who cracked down on her studying habits, Roy who pushed her to work. While he was occasionally harsh, he cut through the thick armour she had set up around herself.
It was Roy who pointed out that the only way she could ever face Manfred von Karma in court was to get to work.
And it was because of Roy that she was hired as an intern by the Cross Law Firm, run by Jasper Cross, a defence attorney who had not lost a case in his twenty years of work—a man often referred to as the 'Von Karma of Defence.' While his record was not as extensive as Von Karma's, Cross did have a leg up on one thing: he was certain that the people he defended were innocent. It was something he set his firm to work hard for, investigating the case even before agreeing to take it, grilling the potential client himself every time. It helped that the man was intimidating, tall, and thin, with black hair going silver and an icy blue stare behind black-rimmed glasses. Sure, he had a gentler side that those close to him knew, but not a single client saw that until Jasper was satisfied of their innocence. Mari looked up to him, and fought her way through the lower ranks until she became a senior member of the firm, determined to face her father's last opponent in court. Through all the whispers and rumours that surrounded Manfred von Karma, Mari Edgeworth saw only one thing: a jerk who had stolen her younger brother from her. Her goal was to beat him in court, fairly and honestly, just like she and Roy did when they faced one another.
This was never to be.
On September 19, Mari Edgeworth abruptly resigned as a defence attorney, after a six year career, thirteen years after her father's death. Her last case was a loss against Roy Hale, defending a woman accused of treason. It was a high profile trial, and all information about it was entirely confidential.
Whatever happened in that courtroom, however, it ruined her career. She dropped off the face of the earth, and though there were rumours about her and Prosecutor Hale's 'relationship,' no one had any proof. She was the topic of tabloids for a few months, but then they forgot and moved on.
It was two years before Mari got up the courage to approach her brother again, the day he was released from the Detention Centre after being tried for murder twice. He was surprised to see her, sitting in the visitor's lobby.
"… I suppose you knew all along?" There was an accusation in his voice that she couldn't miss. She also couldn't be wrong about what he was talking about. Miles's lawyer and childhood friend had managed to prove that Manfred von Karma, his mentor and her sworn enemy, had murdered their father.
"Don't be ridiculous." She snapped. "How could I have?" He levelled his gaze at her. In court that glare had caused so many to duck and cover, but she was his own sister.
"Then why did you hate him so much?" Her laughter echoed through the Detention Centre lobby.
"Miles. Honestly. I hated him because he was a conceited asshole who stole my brother." She straightened, meeting him glare for glare. They stood there for a moment before she saw his lip tremble, and her own resolve broke as well. "Gods, Miles, I've missed you!" She cried, running forward to hug him, tears stinging her eyes. Though his only response was to awkwardly pat her shoulder, Mari knew for certain this was going to be a new page in their family, a reconciliation. She was certain everything was going to be alright.
And, for about two years, she was right.
October 27, 10:47 pm
12th Floor, Miles Edgeworth's Office
Mari was organising the files in her brother's office late that night; she had forced him to go home and rest, but had only been able to convince him to do so by assuring him she would handle the filing. It was almost Halloween, but Miles would not hear of any sort of holiday. She sighed, smoothing the folder out before picking it up and moving over to tuck it back on to the shelf. That done, she returned to the desk, gazing at her purse as it rested on top of it. After a moment's hesitation, she opened it and pulled out her phone, dialling and crossing to the window to gaze out, her phone at her ear.
"Miss Mari?" The young, male voice on the other end identified her before she could speak. She laughed.
"Hello, Glenn. It's good to hear your voice." Then, her smile faded. "Listen, I wanted to talk to you about that case. I was wondering if you could meet me at Miles's office in about ten minutes?"
"As you wish, Miss Mari."
"Please stop saying things like 'as you wish.' It makes me uncomfortable, and I'm not your boss anymore. It's unnecessary."
"As you—yes, Miss Mari." She sighed, but hung up in concession. She dialled another number then, but this time only received a recorded message. Once the tone sounded, she bit her lip and talked quickly.
"Hey, it's Mari. You remember that case I told you about awhile back? Well, I want you to take a look at some witness testimonies for me. I'm not sure if your sixth sense works on the written word, but you've always been very shrewd with testimonies. If you get this message, call me back, and we'll arrange a meeting." She hung up, then stood and stared out the window for awhile, cradling her phone in her palm.
Even with her back to the door, she heard it creak open. She didn't turn right away, however.
"Miles, I told you to go home."
"I'm not Miles." The deep growl was edged with anger. She turned slowly, not wanting to alarum the new arrival.
"… Then you'll have to come back in the morning. Prosecutor Edgeworth has gone home. He won't be back until tomorrow." Her eyes narrowed. "I could have sworn Miles locked that door. He must have forgotten." The man took a step towards her.
"I'm not here for that. Not yet." She frowned, moving toward the desk, and her bag, slowly.
"What do you mean?"
"Oh, come, come, Miss Mari. You don't recognise me? I'm the man whose fiancée you failed to protect." She stopped in her tracks.
"… I didn't recognise you without your scar." The man chuckled coldly.
"Scars are easy to hide, Miss Mari." She reached up and tugged at the scarf she wore around her neck nervously.
"Wh-what do you want?" The man tilted his head, gaze at her from the corner of his eyes.
"Isn't it obvious, Miss Mari? Revenge." Her eyes widened, and she took a step sideways, putting the desk between them.
"H-hey… I took her case, didn't I? I took her case!" He moved towards her again, more carefully.
"That means nothing. The intent and not the deed is useless." He put a hand in his coat, drawing out a large knife. She inched forward, taking the risk of getting closer to him to move nearer to her purse. He was still talking, his eyes roving around the room in a mentally unstable fashion. "You must pay for what you could not do. Must pay with all the others, yes, must pay…" His voice trailed off, and she started to reach for her bag. Suddenly, his focus switched to her again. "Get the hell away from that firearm!" He bellowed, brandishing the knife and making her flinch back. There was a moment of tense silence between them.
"… You have a good memory. Not even Miles knows it's there."
"I also happen to remember you're almost as good a shot as Agent Fey." She swallowed, backing up as he came around the desk. "This is the end, Miss Mari. You are the first on a list."
"A list?" He grinned.
"Of course. You, those two agents, Prosecutor Hale…" Her eyes widened.
"No…" He laughed. She gritted her teeth, her fingers tightening on her cellphone. "… G-get out of here now, before I call security!" His eyes swivelled to her face.
"Oh? You do that, I just might wait around for your brother after I finish here." She dropped her phone.
"You stay away from him!" She shrieked. He chuckled again.
"Make me!" He started towards her with a new ferocity, forcing her to move away from the file cabinet by the window, holding up her hands.
"N-now, see here—No! No! Get away from me, you-" Her voice dissolved into a furious screech, followed by a crashing as the struggle knocked her brother's Steel Samurai figurine to the floor. It ended with a desperate, frantic scream.
She was silent after that.
"You failed, Miss Mari. And failure must be punished."
It was 10:55 pm.
October 28, 7:30 am
12th Floor Hallway
Miles Edgeworth stood outside his office, setting down his briefcase and pulling out his key.
"Is there a particular reason you're following me, Wright?" He muttered to the defence attorney who was hovering by his shoulder, arms folded.
"Until you give me an answer about the party." Edgeworth rolled his eyes, moving to unlock his door. Wright had been bothering him about a Halloween party that Maya and Pearl had insisted he throw. Phoenix had been trying to convince Edgeworth to agree to come, but the Prosecutor was not at all interested. With a groan, he turned back to his door, only to discover he had accidentally locked it.
Weird. It should have already been locked…
He put the key in again and turned it. The door clicked open, and the two attorneys peered into the dark office. Edgeworth stepped in first, closely followed by Phoenix, who stepped further into the room while Edgeworth searched for the light switch. The defence attorney wrinkled his nose. "Edgeworth… Do you smell that?" The prosecutor glanced over his shoulder, sniffing.
"Indeed, it does smell like…" At that moment, he flipped the switch, and the lights flickered on.
And both men froze at the sight that greeted them.
She was slumped against the back file cabinets, her shoulders hunched forward. Her black vest and white blouse were soaked with blood from numerous stab wounds, one hand was in her lap, while the other lay prone on the floor. A smear of blood marked the corner of her mouth, and one of her shoes had come off. Edgeworth moved first, dashing to her side, practically skidding on his knees. "Mari! Mari!" Phoenix fumbled with his cellphone, calling the police. The prosecutor hesitantly touched his sister's chin, tilting her head up—her grey eyes were blank and glassy, her blood dry.
She was cold. She'd been there awhile.
"Yes, I said the Prosecutor's Offices—just get over here, alright?!" Phoenix hung up while Edgeworth tried to check her pulse.
"She's not breathing… Wright, she's not breathing…!" The defence attorney came over to kneel beside him, putting a hand on his shoulder.
"Edgeworth, try to calm down. The police are on their way." Edgeworth swallowed, gritting his teeth.
We will find who did this. He vowed silently. And not even Phoenix Wright will be able to save him…
The police arrived in good time, and, at the suggestion of Homicide, Phoenix dragged Edgeworth downstairs to the lobby and pushed a cup of tea into his hands. He sat beside the prosecutor as he drank it slowly. Though Edgeworth mostly just stared straight ahead, he became aware that the defence attorney foot was tapping nervously.
"… It's not fair!" Phoenix suddenly burst out, voicing exactly what had been going through Edgeworth's mind. "First your dad, then that whole thing with Von Karma, now Mari…!" He shook his head, running a hand over his spikes. "It's just not fair." He looked over at the prosecutor, then put a hand on Edgeworth's shoulder again. "We'll figure out who did this." He promised, gripping his old friend's shoulder. Edgeworth felt a surge of gratitude toward the defence attorney.
This. He thought. This is why I'm friends with this man.
At that moment, Detective Gumshoe appeared. Both lawyers looked up at him, and Edgeworth stood eagerly.
"Have you found anything, Detective?" Gumshoe made the shifty-eyed face that usually signalled a messy testimony.
"Well, sir… We were just starting to investigate the room when… Er…" He rubbed the back of his neck nervously. "… When Interpol showed up." Edgeworth very nearly dropped his teacup.
"I… Interpol? Why? This is a domestic incident. Interpol has nothing to do with this." Gumshoe looked at his shoes.
"I don't know. They just, showed up. There's this really creepy guy heading the investigation, though. Said his name was Black Mars or something." The detective frowned. "Now that I think about it, they showed up awful quick, pal, with all their equipment, too. Like they knew there'd been a murder or something." Edgeworth brushed past Gumshoe.
"I'll see to this myself." He announced, heading to the stairs while Phoenix and the detective raced after him.
Just like Gumshoe had said, the room was crawling with suited Interpol agents, who were altogether too prepared for a mere emergency appearance. They had not made it two steps when a tall, dark-skinned man appeared in front of them.
"… I'll thank you not to disturb the evidence." His voice was deep and slow, not to mention entirely unnerving. Phoenix let out a yelp.
"Aah! Wh-where'd you come from?!" The man tilted his head, and for a moment, it seemed like his eyes were flashing red.
"… I've been here for awhile…" He squinted at the defence attorney. "… Mr. Wright." Phoenix ducked behind Edgeworth.
"Wright, what are you-"
"This guy is far too much like Viola Cadaverini for my comfort!" Edgeworth scowled.
"You coward." The man ran his fingers through his hair, not really looking at them. "Who are you?" The burgundy eyes moved back to the prosecutor, and though he'd never admit it, Edgeworth did feel a chill run down his spine at the blank gaze.
"… Assistant Director of Interpol, Black Mars."
"And, what are you doing here?" The Assistant Director tucked his hands into his pockets, staring at the wall for a moment.
"… We might've got a call."
In Phoenix's eyes, the world suddenly flashed negative, and chains criss-crossed in front of him, six red locks appeared. Then, after a pause, it happened again, this time with four intricate black locks.
This surprised the defence attorney enough for him to come out from behind Edgeworth. Seeing him staring, Black looked at him.
"… Do you need something… Mr. Wright?"
"I… Uh…" Damn, he's creepy!
"Black. Stop being so cryptic." Both lawyers and Detective Gumshoe jumped when the crisp, vaguely British voice spoke, looking around for its owner. Black, however, merely turned his attention to a small radio attached to his collar.
"… My apologies, sir." The crisp voice sighed, then addressed the three men.
"I am the Director of Interpol. I'm sorry for my second-in-command's behaviour. He's a bit… How shall I put it… Odd."
Like you're much better, Edgeworth thought. "I want to know what's going on here. Why are you here? This is domestic."
"We have a reason to believe that this is related to another case we're working on."
"My sister was murdered here! I think I have a right to know!" Both Black and the Director were silent for a long time.
"Mr. Edgeworth's really good at investigating, pal. Do you think maybe you could let him in on the act, so to speak?" Detective Gumshoe asked, grinning sheepishly. There was still more silence before the Director spoke.
"… Very well. I suppose we were going to have to call you in anyway. Black, show the gentleman the ropes." Black nodded, stepping aside, and following them when they moved back over to where Mari was slumped.
"… She fought." The Assistant Director put in suddenly, making them all look at him. "A figurine got smashed during what we assume was a struggle. She didn't go down easily." Though it was an odd bit of comfort, it was still a bit. Edgeworth crouched down beside the Interpol agent who was already examining the area. "This is Agent Leon Garcia. You'll probably be interacting with him more than me on this case." The agent snorted, but didn't look up.
"No, he'll just hang over our shoulders like some sort of forlorn ghost." Black glared at him, but elected to move off rather than argue. Leon tilted his head to look at the lawyers. He was Hispanic, and slightly older than them. Still, he seemed to have a permanent smile that made Phoenix unsure wether to like him or distrust him. "… You Miles?" Edgeworth blinked.
"… Yes?" The agent moved over a little and indicated Mari's right hand. Her index fingernail was worn down, with splintered wood engrained in it, but beneath the hand, there was a message, scratched into the floor of his office:
Edgeworth frowned. "What is that?" Agent Garcia shrugged.
"I was hoping you could tell me. I can't think of why she would-"
"Oh, I don't know." Snapped one of the other agents. "Why would she think of her brother in her last moments?"
"She did more than think of him." Even Garcia started at the Director's voice. Black had come back over, the radio on his collar flashing again. "She carved his name into the floor with her fingernail. It would have taken effort. It would have hurt. She's leaving us a message."
"Sure, sir. But what does it mean? We know who Miles, is, but what Roy is she talking about?"
"It could be…" Edgeworth suddenly snapped his fingers. "Hale." Agent Garcia frowned.
"Roy Hale. He's a prosecutor who is an old friend of my sister's. They met in school." Garcia nodded to one of the other agents, who pulled out a phone. Garcia stood, nodding to a group of other agents. The rest of them followed him to the desk, which Mari's purse was still sitting upon.
"We've been going through her bag, too, but haven't come up with anything. Except for this." He pulled out her phone, flicking through the menus. "She had the recording function on for whatever reason." He hit play and held up the phone. Mari's voice, a little gravely with recording, sounded through the air: 'Hey, it's Mari. You remember that case I told you about awhile back? Well, I want you to take a look at some witness testimonies for me. I'm not sure if your sixth sense works on the written word, but you've always been very shrewd with testimonies. If you get this message, call me back, and we'll arrange a meeting.' They were all silent for a moment.
"Does the number have a name in her phone?" Phoenix asked, but Edgeworth shook his head.
"Mari just got that phone." He explained. "She hadn't finished transferring numbers. Her old one fell in a lake."
"It's overseas, wherever it is. I don't recognise the code. Looks to be a cellphone." Phoenix frowned, folding his arms and looking away.
"A sixth sense with witness testimonies… Hm… I wonder…" Edgeworth rounded on him instantly.
"Do you know something, Wright?" But the attorney merely jumped slightly, then shook his head.
"No, nothing concrete." The prosecutor groaned, looking back down at his dead sister. At that moment, the agent who had been on the phone came over.
"We found Hale. He was in the middle of a trial, but when I mentioned it involved Ms. Edgeworth, he said he'd be her in a few minutes."
"Did you… Tell him?" Agent Garcia asked quietly. The other man shook his head.
"Didn't get the chance to. He hung up too quickly when I started to say something had happened to her. He sounded real bent up about it, too." Garcia frowned.
"Huh." He looked at Edgeworth. "How well did they know each other?" Edgeworth shrugged.
"Alls he told me was that they met in school—there were always the occasional rumour about them in the tabloids, but the media always found Mari rather boring." Garcia shook his head, looking around.
"I wish the tabloids found me boring. My job takes me away from my wife a lot, and they always seem to be accusing one or both of us of affairs."
"Hm?" Phoenix blinked. "You're married?" The agent held up his left hand—the ring finger of which did, indeed, bear a golden circlet. He ran the hand through his hair.
"For several years now. But we're both busy—I work with Interpol, and she's a manager at a Law Firm. Don't see much of each other. Especially not since-" At that moment, there was a commotion outside, and the door burst open to admit Roy Hale, followed by several Interpol agents who he was just shaking off—he looked like he'd rushed over in a hurry, his blonde hair wild and his brown leather trench coat misbuttoned.
"What's going on? Where's Mari? Is she-" He stopped suddenly when stepped around the men assembled to see her, and his face froze. "Mari? Mari!" He rushed towards her, but Garcia and Wright both caught him by the arms, pulling him back. Hale continued to strain against them, shouting at the body. "Mari! Ri-ri! Answer me!" He yelled for a while longer, then sank to his knees, shaking.
It took them a while to get him calmed down. His hands were trembling so badly, that every time they brought him a drink he'd spill it. He just sat there, mumbling her name over and over, staring at the wall. Eventually, they brought him around, though his breathing remained nervous and shallow.
"Mr. Hale." They were sitting in the lounge, the three of them across from Mars and Garcia, though Mars was really just staring out the window like someone had hypnotised him. "Mr. Hale, I'm going to need to ask you some questions."
"I know." Roy's voice was rough, but at least it was at a normal volume. "I'm a prosecutor. I know how this works."
"Then you won't mind me asking about your connection with Mari Edgeworth?" Hale inhaled deeply, then spoke.
"We met at Law School. She was… Well, she was an interesting case. All messed up but determined and more stubborn than a mule. She… Amazed me. Kept saying she wanted to face Manfred von Karma in court. We sort of… Hit it off." He swallowed before continuing. "Anyway, a lot of what happened is history. But, after she retired, we…" He trailed off, his hands start to shake again. He closed his eyes, and took deep breath through his nose. "… We were involved." Garcia frowned.
"Involved?" Roy appeared to be searching for the right words, glancing uncomfortably at Edgeworth, then at his shoes, swallowing loudly again.
"I guess you could say… Intimate." Garcia sat back, raising his eyebrows.
"… How intimate?"
"Like… We were… Dating." Mile couldn't resist a double take. He had known that Hale was very dear to Mari—she always spoke of the prosecutor in glowing terms; 'you should take a leaf out of Roy's book,' 'you two should talk sometime;' but never once had it occurred to him that the connection was deeper than that of normal school friends. Garcia remained reasonably calm.
"Alright, and how long had this been going on?"
"Well… I suppose it started just after we graduated from Law School and kind of went from there." Hale shook his head again. "I would have done anything for her. Even kill." Tears pricked in his eyes again. "Goddamnit, Mari… Why?" Garcia sat forward again, taking out a photograph of the scene.
"Mr. Hale, I'm very sorry for your loss, but I'm afraid there's another reason we called you here." He set the picture down. It was of the words Mari had carved into the floor. "Does this message mean anything to you?" Roy squinted at the photo.
"That's mine and Miles' names alright and…" He trailed off suddenly.
"Mr. Hale?" But Roy's eyes were zoning out, somewhere very far away.
"… B64…" Phoenix jerked forward.
"Do you know it?" There was another moment of silence, and then Roy suddenly shot to his feet, disrupting the table and everything on it.
"No! No, I don't!" Though from the panicked edge of his voice, it was clear to everyone else that he did, Phoenix received another assurance. The room darkened, chains appeared from nowhere, and Psyche Locks dappled the air around the prosecutor. He frowned. Whatever B64 was, Roy Hale wanted to hide it. Badly. Garcia rose as well.
"Mr. Hale, if we're going to figure out what happened, we need-"
"No!" Roy shouted, even louder now. "No, you don't! There's no way I'm digging that up again!"
"I thought you said you didn't know anything about it?" Miles asked quietly, and Roy stopped, going pale.
"I… I… I can't. I…" He let out a defeated sigh, looking at the floor. "The truth is… I'm not at liberty to say." This time, there were no locks. Garcia folded his arms.
"This is an Interpol investigation. We should have access to any and all information." Once again, Roy looked ready to be sick.
"I… Can't do it to her. Not now. Not… Not ever. That case…"
"So it was a case?" Once again, Roy faltered.
"N… No… I… It…"
And then everything was interrupted by the gunshot.
One of the lobby windows shattered, and, for a moment, time seemed to slow down for Miles Edgeworth. His eyes followed the bullet as it exploded from the shattered glass and careened across the room—to hit Roy Hale square in the chest. Time went back to normal as Roy fell backwards, landing hard on his back on the carpet, blood seeping through his shirt. Miles and Phoenix ran to him as Agent Garcia barked orders. Wright pulled off his suit jacket and tucked it beneath Hale's head before putting pressure on the wound. The injured prosecutor was coughing and gasping as Edgeworth tried to hold him still.
"Look at me, Roy! Look at me!" But Roy's eyes were wild and unfocused—Edgeworth reached over and grabbed his face, desperate to get some sign that the man might recover. "Roy!" After what seemed to be an eternity, the roaming brown eyes found his. Hale tried to whisper something, but choked on blood that had begun oozing from his lips. Miles leaned down, trying to hear him, glad only that the other prosecutor seemed to be focused. "Roy? Roy, what is it?" The older man spoke again, and this time, Miles could just barely hear him.
"Omega… Ask about Omega…" He coughed again, but fought through it to speak one more time. "… Scar…" Then his head fell back against the floor, and he was unconscious.
Edgeworth and Phoenix were ushered away when the ambulance arrived. They weren't alone for long, however. Agent Garcia appeared at Wright's elbow.
"Well, that was… Sudden." The Hispanic mumbled, then looked at Edgeworth. "What did he say to you?"
"He said 'Ask about Omega' and then 'Scar.' That was all." Garcia's lips twisted, probably in thought. Then he turned to a man nearby.
"Hey! You heard the Prosecutor! I want to see anything you can dig up on 'Omega,' 'Scar,' or 'B64' that involved both Mari Edgeworth and Roy Hale, got it?"
"Yes, sir!" The agent hurried off.
"You think whoever shot Hale is also the one who killed Mari?" Phoenix asked. Garcia shrugged.
"It's a reasonable assumption, I'd say." At that moment, another voice interrupted.
"Nick! I've been calling you all morning!" All three men turned to see Maya Fey picking her way towards them. Wright turned a little pink, going instantly sheepish.
"I… Uh, sorry Maya… Um, there was…"
"The situation is more my fault, Miss Fey." Edgeworth said quickly. "You see, my sister Mari has been…" He paused as he fought to get the words out. "Has been… Murdered." Maya's hands flew to her mouth.
"M-Mari's been…!" Her eyes widened, and her expression filled with sympathy. "Mr. Edgeworth… I… I'm so sorry…" Phoenix reached over and put an arm around her. She looked around at the blood and glass in the lobby. "B-but then…"
"Prosecutor Roy Hale was shot whilst we were talking to him about Miss Edgeworth. He's at the hospital now" Agent Garcia explained. "We… Believe the two cases to be related." Maya's hand slipped over to clutch at Wright's lapel nervously. He patted her shoulder.
"Is there a security system in the building?" They all jumped once again when Black Mars suddenly spoke, appearing like a shadow beside Garcia. Edgeworth answered first.
"Yes. There are guards at the entrance, and they just installed a camera system. It's not complete yet, though." Garcia clapped his hands together.
"Well, who ever did this got past the guards, so let's see if that incomplete system had better luck."
Maggey Byrd was even more discomforted by Black Mars than everyone else, but she managed to stay reasonably calm as she logged in the information.
"They hadn't gotten around to putting up cameras in that hallway." She explained shyly. "But they did put in microphones." Once it was set up, she sat back. "So, uh… When are we looking?" No one knew.
"What time did you leave?" Garcia asked Miles.
"Around nine thirty. She made me go." A sharp pang of realisation hit him. Oh god, I left her there for him. Garcia leaned on the desk.
"Alright, so start then, an we'll see where that takes us."
It took about an hour, but finally, there was a sound—a phone dialing.
"These are good microphones." Garcia muttered, but stopped a voice came from the speakers—or at least, started to. There was a moment where it sounded like Mari was speaking, but then the recording skipped to another dialling, and the voicemail they had heard her leave earlier.
"Sounded like something was edited out." Edgeworth mused.
"Probably just a glitch." Mars disagreed, his voice briefly sounding even more focused than normal. Miles shot him a look, but then another sound came from the system—one of thick, heavy boots striking the floor, of a door creaking open.
"Miles, I told you to go home."
"I'm not Miles." The voice was a deep, threatening growl, and Edgeworth's stomach lurched. In response, Mari carefully recited the typical speech about him not being there, though she threw in a line about his locking the door (which he distinctly recalled doing).
"I'm not here for that. Not yet." There was creak of floor boards as weight shifted.
"What do you mean?"
"Oh, come, come, Miss Mari. You don't recognise me? I'm the man whose fiancée you failed to protect." For a moment, Mari was silent.
"… I didn't recognise you without your scar."
"So she knew him…" Phoenix whispered.
"Scars are easy to hide, Miss Mari."
"Wh-what do you want?" Her voice sounded almost… Frightened.
"Isn't it obvious, Miss Mari? Revenge."
"H-hey… I took her case, didn't I? I took her case!"
Garcia snapped his fingers. "That case! Could it be B64?"
"That means nothing. The intent and not the deed is useless. You must pay for what you could not do. Must pay with all the others, yes, must pay… Get the hell away from that firearm!" There was a moment of tense silence
"… You have a good memory. Not even Miles knows it's there."
"You're damn right I didn't!" Edgeworth exploded, then recovered himself. Why did Mari need a gun?
"I also happen to remember you're almost as good a shot as Agent Fey."
At that, everyone looked at Maya, who held up her hands.
"This is the end, Miss Mari. You are the first on a list."
"Of course. You, those two agents, Prosecutor Hale…"
Garcia leaned harder on the desk. "So Hale was a target…"
"No…" Mari's voice sounded stunned and heartbroken—then she found a focus. "… G-get out of here now, before I call security!"
"Oh? You do that, I just might wait around for your brother after I finish here."
"You stay away from him!"
Edgeworth's heart twisted. Had fear for him really prevented her from calling help?
"N-now, see here—No! No! Get away from me, you-" They heard her scream, and then there was a thudding, the sound of glass breaking, an done more loud, torturous cry.
And then there was silence. Finally, the deep voice spoke again.
"You failed, Miss Mari. And failure must be punished." Footfalls, the door closing, and that was all.
There was silence in the booth.
"I…" The thin, quavering voice was Maggey's. "I've never… I've never heard someone die before…" Gumshoe was immediately by her side, hand on her shoulder. Edgeworth was only vaguely aware of Wright patting his own shoulder as he stared at the speakers his sister's screaming had come from. Mars was already gone as appeared to be his wont by the time they filed out of the security booth, but the others all stood in a thoughtful circle.
"So she knew her assailant." Garcia murmured.
"And it seems so did Prosecutor Hale."
"And then there's this 'Agent Fey' character." Edgeworth looked at Garcia.
"Is there-" But the Interpol Agent was already shaking his head.
"So far as I know, there's no record of anyone by the name Fey in Interpol. I'll run a check, but I'm not usually wrong about these things." There was another moment of silence before Maya suddenly cried out.
"Marek!" The other two men turned and stared at her, bouncing on her toes and clasping her hands together, but Wright only seemed confused for a moment before whatever it was occurred to him, too.
"Holy… Maya, you're right!"
"Right about what?" Garcia demanded.
"Marek Fey, Maya's older brother. He disappeared from her and Mia's lives about a decade back and they heard nothing from him for ages. And still would have, if I hadn't run into him couple years back. Pearl Fey forced him to reconnect with them, but we still have no idea what he was doing for around seven years." Now Miles caught on.
"You think there's a possibility that he's Agent Fey?" Wright nodded. Garcia took a deep breath.
"The man on the tape said 'those two agents' were on his list. If Miss Fey's brother is one of those agents, I suggest we locate him quickly. Our culprit has already murdered Miss Edgeworth and severely injured Mr. Hale—I fear his intentions for Mr. Fey." Maya was already fumbling with her cell, dialling quickly, and hitting speaker phone when Phoenix motioned to do so. After a few rings, the phone was picked up.
"Maya?" A general breath of relief was released—Marek sounded fine.
"Hey, Marek! Uh… Listen, I'm calling because… Well, Mari was just murdered, and we think they guy might be after you now…" There was a moment of silence.
"… Mari Edgeworth?" Marek's voice sounded strange. Uncomfortable.
"Y-yes." More silence.
"… Roy Hale okay?" Edgeworth frowned—he'd only met Marek Fey a few times. How did the man know Roy? Garcia stepped forward.
"Mr. Fey, this is Agent Leon Garcia of Interpol. Prosecutor Hale was recently shot by someone we believe to be the culprit. He is alive last I heard, but his condition remains critical."
"Shit." Marek said, not seeming to care Maya was listening. "Interpol? Shit, shit, shit."
"What's shit, Marek?" Phoenix asked firmly. Marek hesitated again.
"Everything. Everything is shit. What the hell has Interpol got to do with this?"
"Never mind that right now, Mr. Fey. I want to ask you something. Collectively, Mr. Hale and Miss Edgeworth have left us with the clues 'Scar,' 'Omega,' and 'B64.' Do any of those mean anything to you?" This silence was even longer than the other two.
"I knew it. Damnit, I knew it! Can't put the bloody past behind me, can I? It always comes crawling back! Shit! I just got over that crap! Now you want me to bring it back?"
"So you do know something?" There was mumbling on the other end, like Marek was talking to himself.
"… Hell no." A pause. "There is no Omega."
"There. Is. No. Omega. It doesn't exist. Forget about it."
"Marek-" Maya started, but her brother cut her off.
"Shut the hell up, Maya!" Both she and Phoenix jolted in surprise—it was the loudest the attorney had ever heard Marek shout, especially at Maya. There was another moment, and then he spoke again, more calmly. "I'm sorry, I… I don't want you mixed up in this. These people… You don't know what they're like…" His voice twisted on the last word, as if it were trailing off into some horrible memory. Garcia took it upon himself to break the thick silence that followed.
"Mr. Fey, where are you?"
"That the Interpol guy? Oh, no, no. Hell no. I'm not telling you. She's got fingers everywhere. If they got to Mari and Roy, they'll becoming for me and Two next… I… I need to move. Need to…" He was silent for a moment again. "… B64. Last case Mari ever worked. Last case I ever testified in. That's all I'm giving you. That's all I can give you. Goodbye. And… Maya?"
"… Love you, kid. Always have, always will." He hung up. They all stood around for a bit.
"Well." Garcia said finally. "That was a strange phone call."
Phoenix wasn't sure whether to dub him Captain Obvious, or name the comment as the understatement of the century.
Soooo... Yeah. That's that for now. And... I'm really tired. So... If you don't mind, I'm gonna sleep. Love you and everyone!