Case 4: Turnabout Mirror
Chapter 5: A Missed Meeting
Once again, the defendant's lounge was quiet. No one had anything to say at a time such as this, however, Phoenix had a few more questions that were burning at his throat, and this was the only time available to ask them. "Laura," he said softly, gaining the girl's attention, "Did you have any idea that your brother was out to get this information from the Yatagarasu, or was the letter really all you had?"
"All my brother told me was that he had to do something important, the day after that is when he disappeared. This wasn't the first time we had been to this amusement park?"
"It wasn't?" asked Maya.
Laura shook her head, "No, we went to see our father. We never got past the gate, the guards wouldn't let us in, and it's not like we have the money to afford the tickets."
"How did you get into the park this time?"
"I bought the tickets," said Kay, "It was nothing next to the thousand bucks I spent on the plane ride over here."
"My ticket was left with the letter, did you deliver it Ms. Faraday?"
"No, your brother took you that letter personally, I wasn't even in the country. I can only assume you weren't here when he dropped by, so he left you a letter. My goal was to find any dirt on your father and his assistant that I could, but in the end I couldn't connect your father with anything. My only guess is that he had nothing to do with the terrorists, but... that doesn't mean that he wasn't aware of his assistant's activities. You remember what Mr. Taylor said the other day, don't you Mr. Wright?"
Phoenix nodded, "When Pearls asked him why he abandoned you two, he said he didn't want either of you getting caught up in this mess."
"This mess being the Five Eyes," confirmed Kay. "Mr. Wright, I think you should know something."
"And what's that?"
"I didn't find those files in Mr. Taylor's office."
"I kind of figured you didn't, you were overseas, right?"
Kay nodded, "That's right. Mr. Wright, if I were you I'd be very careful how I handled that information. The Five Eyes don't take threats lightly, they know that those files are missing, and they don't know that the Yatagarasu was the one to take them, I don't send out my card unless publicizing information. This cell has eyes everywhere, I wouldn't be surprised if there is someone in that court room keeping a very close eye on you and Edgeworth."
"This sounds risky."
"It comes with the territory of being a great thief. Edgeworth told me you two are also pursuing the cell, be careful Mr. Wright."
Phoenix nodded, "Point taken."
'This doesn't make any sense...' thought Phoenix.
"The trial for Laura Hackley will now resume." The Judge slammed his gavel down.
'Why not just kill the siblings and Yatagarasu? Why leave one alive? If James Hackley was killed in a different location, what was he doing there? I can only think of one thing.'
"The prosecution moves that Laura Hackley is indeed the killer," said Edgeworth, "The fact that she had to go inside the funhouse has no bearing on her case, she was still the only one capable of murdering the victim. With Mr. Taylor's testimony and the remaining evidence, it is clear that nothing else could have happened, unless..."
"Yes Mr. Edgeworth?" asked the Judge.
"Unless we are not aware of all the players," he said with a shrug.
Kay nudged Phoenix, "Mr. Wright, I recognize that look in Edgeworth's eyes, he's onto something."
'Another player in this murder, but... that could only be...'
"The defense moves to have Benjamin Hackley take the stand."
"Is Mr. Hackley somehow related to this case Mr. Wright?" asked the Judge.
"I believe that will become clear through his testimony Your Honor."
"Hmmm, Mr. Edgeworth, do you have any objections to this matter?"
Edgeworth smirked, "None at all your honor."
"We know two things, one is that the amusement park itself belongs to this man, who better to call as a witness, and the second is that the defendant has claimed that they are related to Benjamin Hackley. We cannot possibly reach a sure verdict with the information we have now," said Phoenix.
The Judge nodded to the bailiff and he went to retrieve Benjamin from the stands. A few seconds later saw him standing as a witness, and looking grumpy to boot. "Mr. Wright," said Kay, "He looks like he's ready to tear your head off."
"Erk, don't say such gloomy things Kay."
The Judge looked down at Benjamin, frowning sternly, and Benjamin returned the gesture. This went on for a moment of complete silence. The Judge's frown grew deeper, as did Benjamin's. Suddenly, the Judge nodded, "I like this man," he said firmly.
Edgeworth raised an eyebrow, "Erm... if you would... Your Honor?"
"Right, excuse me Mr. Edgeworth, witness, you will testify at the request of the defense."
"What about? I haven't got all day!"
'But you're in the stands watching the trial,' thought Phoenix, scratching the back of his head. He cleared his throat, "I'd like you to testify about your assistant, if you would..."
"Alright fine, but this better be quick! Mr. Taylor and I have been working together for years now, he's the best assistant you could ask for. I didn't know he was in with this whole terrorist thing, but I know for a fact that he didn't murder that young boy. He was in his office when the murder took place, he never set foot in that funhouse."
'I can't disprove that he was at his office,' thought Phoenix, 'Nor can I prove that he ever entered the funhouse, I need to approach this from a different angle.'
"You said you didn't know he was involved with the Five Eyes?"
"Nope, not a clue."
"I find that kind of funny, usually people keep a closer eye on their assistants."
"I don't like to pry into people's personal lives."
"Did you talk with Mr. Taylor the night of the murder?"
"Yes I did, why do you ask?"
"What did you see in his office? Was anything misplaced, or did something look strange?"
"He was showing me this new model knife he bought a while back, it had a sharp blade and everything, he's always been into collecting stuff. When we left his office he put the knife on his desk and we locked up behind ourselves."
"And this was after the murder had taken place?"
"DON'T YOU OBJECTION ME SON, I'VE GOT HALF A MIND TO BEAT YOUR ASS!"
Phoenix raised an eyebrow, 'What's with this guy?'
He cleared his throat, "There's something very strange with what you just said Mr. Hackley."
"Oh yeah? What's that?!"
Phoenix smirked, "Mr. Taylor didn't set the knife on his desk, he put it in his desk drawer, to be specific, the third drawer down on the left side!"
"Objection! Wright, that doesn't prove that he wasn't in his office at the time of the murder, Mr. Hackley could be mistaken!"
"Objection! This happened very recently Edgeworth, and I wasn't trying to prove that he wasn't in his office at seven o'clock, I was trying to prove that he wasn't in his office for the time period that the murder had really taken place!"
'I think I've figured it out,' thought Phoenix, 'I know where James Hackley was killed, I know why he was moved to the funhouse, and most important of all, I know HOW!'
"The murder didn't take place in the funhouse. If you think about it it's logically impossible. The victim was to meet up with his sister and the Yatagarasu at seven in front of the funhouse, why would he be inside when the letter clearly specifies otherwise? The victim was murdered in a different location and the body was moved to the funhouse through use of the workers! Somewhere in those supplies they were carting into the funhouse was the body of our victim, James Hackley. I can think of only one reason why the killer would put so much effort into hiding the body, it was to frame my client, Laura Hackley, for the murder!"
The court room erupted. The conversation reached peak level before the Judge finally slammed his gavel down, "Order, order in the court!"
"That isn't possible!" shouted Benjamin, garnering the courts attention. "I keep my workers closely supervised."
Phoenix smirked, "Exactly my point Mr. Hackley. You were in on it weren't you?"
"Objection! Wright, badgering the witness will do nothing to help your case, unless you can prove otherwise, Mr. Hackley had nothing to do with that murder."
Phoenix shook his head and leaned forward on the defense's bench. "You're right, I don't have any evidence to solidify this theory, however, if you would just humor me for a second. It is the defense's belief that Mr. Hackley was well aware of the arrangement between his assistant and the Five Eyes. It's the only way my theory makes sense, the killer would need an accomplice to do what he did, and that accomplice was none other than Mr. Hackley himself."
"Are you implying I helped murder my own son?!"
"No, I'm implying that you helped to move the body. The Five Eyes have something on you Mr. Hackley, they're using you. The killer murdered your only son, and then forced you to cooperate in moving the body. This explains why the workers stopped at six thirty, it was all a ruse for the cameras in order to move the body to the funhouse. The great thief Yatagarasu has a bunch of nasty files on the Five Eyes, and they can't stand that at all, James Hackley was the one who requested the help of said great thief, and in doing so his fate was sealed. Witness, I want you to testify again, and I want you to tell the truth to this court, you are sworn under and oath Mr. Hackley."
Benjamin looked around the court room and frowned, "I killed my son..."
'No!' thought Phoenix, 'I thought I had him!!'
"I killed him, and I used my workers to move the body to the funhouse, it is just as the defense attorney says. I used my assistant's knife, when the deed was done I returned it to the drawer in his office, I hope I never see that wretched thing again."
'This isn't right,' thought Phoenix.
The entire court froze.
Edgeworth smirked and shrugged, "Come now Mr. Hackley, you're clearly forgetting one important part in this tall tale of yours."
Benjamin gritted his teeth, "And that is?"
"Tch, you're forgetting the broken mirrors in the funhouse."
Phoenix's eyes widened, 'Edgeworth is right, the broken mirrors, there's still a huge chunk of the time line between moving the body to the funhouse and Laura arriving on the scene. So if it wasn't the killer and the victim who struggled... who was it?'
"Think about it logically, how does all this tie together?"
"There had to have been two killers," said Phoenix, "there's no other way for my line of logic to play out. So if it wasn't the victim and the killer who struggled... it was the two killers themselves!"
"Bailiff!" shouted Edgeworth.
"I need you to go fetch the reports on that shard of glass I found in my investigation."
"Yes, right away sir!"
By the time the bailiff returned and handed a file to Edgeworth Phoenix had nearly ground his teeth into dust simply through anticipation. Edgeworth smirked and laid the files out on his bench, "I had a blood test done on all people involved with the case, just to be safe. It turns out that the blood on the glass shard matches our witness, Mr. Hackley."
Benjamin visibly paled.
"Mr. Hackley," said Phoenix, "Unless it was to your advantage to throw yourself around the room of mirrors, then I think the court can safely presume that you did have an accomplice."
"This is rather troubling news," muttered the Judge.
"Indeed Your Honor," said Edgeworth.
"The defense would like to request another investigation be conducted, we are at a stand still as to who murdered James Hackley, and unless we have more info a fair verdict cannot be declared."
"Very well," said the Judge, "Another day will be granted."
The sound of the gavel slamming caused Phoenix to breathe a sigh of relief.