poisonous creatures

Manfred von Karma was escorting his daughter Franziska to the Zoological Gardens as a little reward for her good first performance in court. She had insisted on dragging Miles Edgeworth along as well, but the boy had shown a sense of what was proper, and politely wandered off to look at the aviaries, leaving Franziska to bask in her father's approval.

The day was pleasant. The crowds were few. The animals were well-behaved. Really, it was as close to perfect as one could expect.

"Father, who is that pretty girl?" Franziska asked, breaking Manfred's reverie.

Manfred glanced in the direction that Franziska was pointing. A young backpacker, barely sixteen if that, was staring into a snake enclosure. Franziska was certainly accurate to describe her as pretty; the girl had long red hair, perfect pale skin, and an elegant pose that somehow combined youthful innocence with demure acquiescence. As Manfred looked at her, she raised her eyes as though she could sense his gaze, tossed her head delicately, and lowered her eyelashes modestly.

Metaphorical little butterflies played around her head.

Manfred snorted. "An orchid," he diagnosed, grasping Franziska by the shoulder and moving her on.

"An orchid, father?" Franziska asked as she trotted along beside him, unable to match his longer stride.

"A parasitic plant," Manfred clarified, "that grows on decaying vegetation, but is prized for its beauty."

Franziska glanced back over her shoulder. "But she looked so perfect."

"Child," Manfred said, "you are a prosecutor, but you still have much to learn. You have yet to truly internalise that all who come before you are guilty. They lie. Some lie obviously. Some conceal the lie in the core of their being. That woman is a thief and a liar, and in time she will be a murderer. I see that in her, and I am never wrong. Sometimes I almost regret that you must come to understand this."

"But you have always said that a von Karma never regrets, father," said Franziska.

"Very true," said Manfred von Karma.