Phoenix's murder trial had all been going to plan, and it was looking like Kristoph Gavin would be convicted for his latest murder after all. Except that the Judge suddenly decided to listen to Kristoph's shrilly shrieked claims about the forged ace, and the evidence was exposed as a forgery.
"As you can see," smirked Kristoph, "his entire case has been an elaborate forgery. But now his house of forged cards comes crashing down around him!"
Apollo, naturally, was completely freaking out. To avoid Apollo getting penalised, Phoenix made sure he stated to the court his full responsibility for the forged evidence.
"As brilliant a legal mind as ever, Mr Wright," mused the judge. "But all a magnificently constructed, elaborate fraud. I'm afraid I'm going to have to disregard all you claims concerning Kristoph Gavin. And the defense's claims," he continued, "which revolve around this illegal evidence. Much as it pains me, I think I'm drawing nearer to my verdict. Obviously, Mr Wright, you have spun a web of elaborate lies to conceal your murder, using all your old courtroom tricks. I now declare the defendant, Phoenix Wright.."
"HOLD IT!" cried Phoenix. Running purely on instinctive, adrenaline-charged terror, he poured out several minutes of testimony and contradictions demonstrating exactly why he was innocent of the crime and the contradictions in previous testimonies that proved it. The audience and bailiffs started murmuring appreciatively. So it was true about the fabled genius defense attorney. Surely he was innocent.
"I apologise, Mr Wright," sighed the judge, "but you are no longer qualified to make these claims. The court is forced to completely disregard the entirety of your testimony."
"I request to cross-examine Kristoph Gavin again!" cried Apollo.
"The defense's request is denied," said the Judge. "No further testimony is required."
"I request to cross examine Mr Wright!" yelled Apollo hopefully.
"The defense's request is again denied. Any further requests for testimony and you will be held in contempt of court."
Apollo didn't know what to do. This was his first trial, after all. Couldn't ask Mr Gavin for help, obviously.
"Mr Wright, I'm sorry it has come to this," sighed the judge. "Exposed as a master of legal deception, and now as a murderer as well."
Wright's poker-face momentarily slipped, replaced with a visage of pure unadulterated terror.
"Ah, I've seen that face before" smirked Gavin. "At your first murder trial. I'm glad I caught you the 3rd time. I suppose you and that Fey lawyer constructed forgeries to get you out of the first two?"
Phoenix's voice was chillingly quiet. "You ..will ...not.. insult Mia Fey in this courtroom."
"He does have a point," injected the judge. "Mr Gavin, I request that you retract your claims about Ms Mia Fey."
"Very well," smiled Gavin. "You were making your verdict, Your Honour?"
"I now pronounce the defendant, Phoenix Wright
"I request an appeal," cried Phoenix. They handcuffed him and dragged him away.
Trucy fought back a tear. It wasn't safe to cry in public. It couldn't be over yet. Surely there'd be an appeal or something? She knew Daddy hadn't done it, wasn't it obvious to everyone else with all that stuff he'd demonstrated in the courtroom?
She'd better call Maya. Daddy hadn't been allowed to contact anyone but his closest relative (her) while he was in detention. (Phoenix could have got his defense attorney to contact people, but there was no way in hell he was letting Kristoph near Maya's contact details.) He'd said not to worry Maya about the case if he was declared 'Not Guilty' within a day, but to call Maya immediately if it was going to drag to a second day. She'd probably want to come out here.
Daddy hadn't told her what to do in this scenario, but she suspected he'd want her to call Maya anyway.
Phoenix's case was highly controversial. Many media outlets speculated that most of the case Phoenix had presented in court was true, and began questioning the validity of the legal system. The Justice Department was outraged at the furore. They went into damage control. One way to end this would be to have that troublesome Phoenix Wright executed as soon as possible.
Maya desperately desired to hug poor Phoenix, but there were several layers of high-security glass separating them. She contented herself with pressing herself to the glass as close as possible, longing for more meaningful contact. Phoenix seemed to have the same idea. But still, they were forcibly so far apart.
The place was swarming with armed guards, security cameras and bars. Maya had been to maximum security prisons a few times with Pearl to visit her mother, but they still petrified her anew each time she entered them.
They'd given Phoenix the prison-regulation headshave, but Maya was delighted to see his hair was already spiking back with a vengeance. However, the haunted expression in his eyes broke her heart.
"Nick! It's okay! I'll get you out!"
"Thanks for coming to see me," said Phoenix gratefully. He attempted a smile, but it failed and he looked like he was about to cry instead.
"I'm sorry I didn't come sooner. I tried of course, but they wouldn't let me see you before now. But then suddenly I was allowed to."
Phoenix didn't think now was the moment to reveal this must have occurred because his execution status had just been promoted to the highest priority.
'You didn't do it, did you," continued Maya.
"No, I didn't commit the murder."
"You didn't knowingly present forged evidence at that Gramarye trial, did you."
"No, I didn't."
"Did you forge the card in that trial?"
Phoenix hung his head. "Yeah.."
Maya's expression was unchanged. "Nick, you're not a murderer and I'm getting you out. Somehow."
"Maya," sighed Phoenix sadly, touched that she still believed in him. The only one, surely, except for maybe Trucy.
"I'm getting you out, Nick," she repeated. "You're the legal genius. If there's anything I can do, tell me! Is there another round of appeal?"
"Uh, only in extreme cases."
The last appeal had gone extremely badly. It had taken place in a higher court in a neighbouring district. The judge was one of the old boys club hand-picked by Gant, and was still seething at Phoenix's role in Gant's demise. Due to Phoenix's control of proceedings at the last trial, this time Phoenix was unable to speak or participate in the proceedings at all. The judge let Kristoph manipulate the proceedings and present the weak defense case. Mostly for show, he made a half-hearted attempt at pinning the crime on Orly, which of course ended in intended failure. Punishing Wright and maintaining his own security was almost worth the loss. Technically, it was Apollo's loss, anyway.
"How's Trucy?" queried Phoenix sadly.
Maya had immediately taken Trucy to live with her, Nick hadn't even had to ask. She was quite prepared to take over adoption of her if... no, she refused to think of that.
"Well, coping quite well, due to the circumstances. She misses you, of course. Knows you're innocent."
"She uh, hides her pain inside," whispered Phoenix, a pained expression consuming his face.
Maya fixed him with a knowing glance. "I know it, Nick. But don't worry. I'd already guessed. I'll make sure she's okay." She paused. "Should I bring her to visit you?"
"Uh, well that would probably upset her, but if things continue as they are I'll want to see her soon.."
"So there is another round of appeal?"
"Only in extreme cases."
"This is extreme! There's a bit of a furore over you case."
"That makes them less likely to grant another appeal."
"It's going to happen! Somehow! And we need a lawyer. Got any ideas?"
Phoenix sighed. "Not really. Nobody wants to touch my case."
"Can't we get some lawyer from the other side of the country or world who's never heard of you?"
"Well, that's a possibility... but we don't have much to work with now.. and I can't afford a lawyer."
"I can and will! No, don't try and reject my offer." Maya's brain was racing. "Can you start writing up stuff to support your legal defense? You're a genius, Nick, then all they have to do is read it in court. You are allowed to write stuff, aren't you?"
Phoenix sighed. "Well, sort of. I'm not sure if they censor it, though. And I can't get at my legal files or anything..."
"We'll figure something out. Write everything you can about the case and I'll channel Mia to see her perspective on what we should do. I'm sure she'll understand the urgency of the situation." Maya paused. "Thanks for standing up for her in court," she added quietly.
"Least I could do," murmured Phoenix. "Uh, are you sure we should be bothering Mia over me?"
"Of course! She wouldn't want you executed. And I don't either. What, you don't want her seeing you like this?"
"Well, uh, no. And I'm ashamed of the whole forgery thing.."
"Don't be. They wrongly accused you for 7 years before you snapped. You're only human. I forgive you, Nick. I'm sure she would too."
"Dr. Edgeworth," said Maya over the phone. (Edgeworth had recently completed his PhD in foreign legal systems.) "It's Maya Fey."
"Hi, Maya. How are you?" enquired Edgeworth politely. "This isn't about Wright, is it?"
"Well, yes actually. I'm trying to get him another appeal. Do you know what I should do? Please help me, I'll do anything. Anything at all!"
"Now, now, Ms Fey, you won't get anywhere by begging."
"Phoenix is innocent!"
"Of course Wright is entitled to a fair trial. There is no need to ask. Obviously I'll assist in the matter. Weren't the last two a farce," he muttered, more to himself than Maya. "Okay, I will be flying back in two days time. I'll contact you when I arrive. In the meantime, do track down anyone else of influence who might feel indebted to Wright."
Maya knocked on the door of Ema Skye's small office. As soon as she had told Ema over the phone that she was Phoenix's ex-legal assistant, Ema had become wildly enthusiastic, stating she was certain Mr Wright wasn't a murderer and to come and meet with her to determine any way she could help.
"Maya! Please, come in," smiled Ema, shifting a stack of assorted scientific equipment off a department-regulation chair. "Sit down. Want some snacks? These are my favourite."
Maya was as enthusiastic about food as ever, so she gratefully accepted a helping of Ema's odd snack.
"How's poor Mr Wright?" enquired Ema concernedly.
"Well.. as well as can be expected, considering he's on priority death row," sighed Maya, her eyes tortured with worry. "I'm trying to get another appeal happening, but it's really difficult. The powers-that-be don't want it."
"Yeah, the whole thing is an embarrassment for the department," sighed Ema. "I.. I have an idea. I'll see if I can get my sister to do something. She's back in the Justice Department. I'm not sure how much influence she has now, but it's worth a try. She's got to remember that she owes Mr Wright. Oh, and do send me anything you require scientific analysis performed on..."
Maya entered the Kurain Master's Retreat and locked the door with a psyche-lock style trick lock behind her. The Master's Retreat was a secure, soundproofed wing of rooms, deigned for the purposes of the Master meeting with international diplomats who didn't desire their secrets exposed.
On occasion, she'd also met with a certain disbarred hobo to discuss the intensely classified results of his own personal investigation.
Maya obviously had never revealed this information to anyone else, but tonight she penned a letter to Mia, outlining the basics of the disbarring incident and what she knew of the crimes behind it, Phoenix's situation and her requests for Mia's assistance. (She also felt compelled to plead Mia not to badger Phoenix over anything to do with forged evidence, as he already seemed upset enough over the entire business.)
She placed it with the documents Phoenix had so far compiled about the incident, and the DVDs of the Gramarye trial and Phoenix's murder trial and failed appeal. (There was a TV in the Master's Retreat, of course. On occasion, she'd lock herself in there and watch Steel Samurai marathons undisturbed.) Maya took a deep breath and began to channel Mia.