I ran away from the courtroom... and wandered the streets alone…
The "miracle" never happen. Maybe it was never meant to.
Because a "miracle" is something that doesn't exist.
ON BROKEN WINGS
"Well," purrs the assassin, "seems Mr Wright has stepped up to save you."
"Nick?" I choke. Or would. I'm bound and gagged, so I can't form the sounds.
"He has indeed achieved Mr Engarde's full acquittal. So our business transaction is, I believe, over. It's likely my contractual obligation to release you."
Then again, he could be lying.
"Then release me!" I snap. But fighting the guy is hard. I'm so weak I fear I'll pass out again - he's been withholding water, too, the past few days. The assassin seems to get the type of thing I'm saying though.
"Oh, I can't just release you. My obligation is to return Mr Wright's precious item to HIM. Surely he'll come to collect it?"
I'm not sure Nick even knows where I am now. I can't channel Mia to tell her. She'll be asphyxiated.
I think I'm underground, or in some kind of sewer or stormwater drain. The air is terrible – I can barely breathe. There's an artificial light. By now it hurts my eyes. I have no idea if it's day or night anymore and I can never sleep, anyway.
Some hours have passed. I'm not sure where Mr DeKiller is. He ungagged me and let me have a tiny sip of water, but I bit him, so now he's just left a radio here instead of talking to me directly.
"What?" I snap. It's not as forceful as I'd like. My throat is parched again already and I think I'm still dehydrated.
"Oh dear. It seems you aren't as precious an item to Mr Wright as I had thought."
It's a while, but the radio crackles again. "Well, seems your 'handsome prince' has arrived to save you after all." He elicits a mechanical, grating, laugh. "He's coming in now."
"Nick?" I cough eagerly.
I recoil in confusion at the subsequently appearing figure.
"W.. who are you?" I enquire, just a little intimidated. That toaster mask is freaky, and for all I know, he's just another kidnapper or assassin.
"Godot." He smirks. "But your sister, Mia Fey, knew me as Diego Armando."
"Um." Is this a trap? The name is familiar. Mr Armando is slashing through my bounds with a knife.
He senses my incredulity. "Good. Less gullible than your mother - NOW, anyway. Kittens fall prey running to paper tigers! (Or maybe a wet sock.) I hope this has taught you discretion. But – you can trust me."
He flashes something from his pocket whilst still slashing the ropes with the other hand. "I'm with the Justice Department, I've just qualified as a public prosecutor. And," he continues, "I was a practicing defense attorney at Grossberg Law Offices, along with your sister." My hands and body are now free, and he extends a hand to shake. "A pleasure to meet you, Mystic Maya Fey."
My arms are totally numb and lack all feeling. Severely irritated I'm too weak to even lift them to reciprocate his gesture, I just snarl "Mr Grossberg betrayed us all."
But Mr Armando just smirks again.
"Ah! The little kitten has picked up something from her sister, and wants evidence!"
He's showing me a photo. He and Mia have their arms around each other. It all looks very intimate and happy. Vague memories are coming back. "But she just stopped talking about you! Did you.." He's already shoving another newspaper article in my face. Something about how he was poisoned working on a case, and fell into a coma…
It's all too much. Suddenly I can't even care. I have other things firmly on my mind.
"Nick? Where's Nick?" I just repeat. I still don't really believe it. "Is he okay? Where is he?"
"Phoenix Wright." My voice wavers. He wouldn't really just abandon me, would he? Of course not! DeKiller was lying.
"Ohhhhh. Trite." He laughs denigratingly at the name. "Well, that cowardly farce has at least had the sense to see he doesn't have the right to face you, after what he did.."
"No! Nick was going to save me! What did they do to him?"
"Nothing. He simply betrayed you and your trust and ran away. I'm sorry, Ms Fey. You yourself reminded us of the sorry saga of Mr Grossberg. The mud in the coffee mug turned to dust, choked you, and blew away!"
"NO! Nick wouldn't betray me! You're lying!" I can't walk, so Mr Armando is now carrying me. It's such a relief to get out in the fresh air, I have no will to fight it. "Nick wouldn't betray me. I trusted him…" Damn it. I think I'm going to pass out again. How long was I locked up anyway? Mr Armando is shoving another article at me. It's a newspaper article about how Phoenix Wright forced the obvious murderer's acquittal with every dirty trick in the book.
"If you need better evidence, we can watch the tape of the court proceedings at the Justice Department." He's matter of fact. A second article is proclaiming how another woman's been sentenced to death, despite controversy of her being clearly innocent.
It's my fault. I know it.
"I trusted him. I want to know why…"
It's such a relief to get something into my stomach. I gulp it down in one go, uncaring of the scalding of my throat. The hollow gnawing of my stomach is replaced with a comforting warmth. But now it's no distraction from the hollow gnawing of my heart.
"Nick…" I just choke. I can't hold back the tears. It's a little pathetic, but I soon pass out.
I feel myself waking up. Maybe it was all just a bad dream. I'm in a strange bed. Maybe I'm at the hospital. The police found me in time, and Nick is coming to see me…
No, this is somebody's apartment. That guy from yesterday, Mr Armando, is sitting in a chair beside me.
It wasn't a dream.
I panic. I'm in a strange man's apartment, worse, in his BED?
"NICK!" I panic again. Maybe *parts* of yesterday were just a dream?
There's a phone near the bed. I seize it, and dial Nick's number.
I dial the law office.
No answer either.
Wirth that mask, it's hard to read Mr Godot's expressions, but his mouth is deadpan.
"Mr Trite has disappeared. I believe he abandoned his phone in the courthouse."
I want to run and escape the apartment, disappear too, but my legs annoyingly don't seem to work properly.
"Let me see those articles again," I demand, managing with effort to keep my voice steady. They're just as bad as I remembered. Worse, actually.
"They're probably LYING. I want to hear it from Nick himself." I remember what happened with Mother. Not exactly, of course, but Mia was furious about it for the rest of her life…
"Well, he doesn't seem to have the respect to do so. Isn't that enough?"
"I'll wait. Maybe he'll come back. He'll come back!"
Suddenly I flash back. It's a bad memory. Mia and I would talk about how Mother would come back soon, and when she did we'd…
Then one day, Mia stopped talking about her coming back. Since I was too young to really remember her being there, it made little difference, but in hindsight, I could see it hit her hard. Then she started going to the city, studying stuff other than spirit training…
I'm crying again. Worst of all, I know I'm being childish. Mr Armando offers me more coffee. I'm relieved he's not tactless enough to comment.
"I want to see the court proceedings." That's what Mia would do. But even knowing this, somehow I can't bear to see that… that…
"I want to see State vs Andrews," I amend.
It's been two days. I keep my phone with me at all times. I check for new messages obsessively. I've left a note telling Nick to call me at Wright and Co. in case he decides to go back there. I feel sick constantly.
I've watched State vs Andrews a second time, hoping it will somehow change. (It doesn't.) I've watched most of State vs Engarde. It's almost unbearable. Mr Armando declares we need a break, and takes us to the café for coffee and cake.
I didn't want to believe it, but it's exactly like in the papers. Nick's using every unethical trick to get Engarde free and pin the crime on Ms Andrews. It's so obvious, the crowd even can see it, and is furious.
Watching Ms Andrews' trial is possibly even worse. There's not much her defense attorney can do (perhaps DeKiller or Engarde also paid him off?) Ms Andrews breaks down and cries at her guilty verdict. I cry too. I know she's dying in my place. I almost feel like a murderer myself. Why was I stupid enough to follow the guy with the phone? Why did I *ever* make Nick think I asked him to rescue me? Why didn't I force DeKiller to kill me, when I knew what was happening?
I'm still holding out hope he'll send a message, but hope is waning.
Nick wouldn't betray me.
But then I remember. I knew Aunt Morgan didn't like me, but I never thought she'd betray me that way. Mother thought she betrayed us, and then she just disappeared and abandoned me. Even Mia left, even if she didn't really abandon me. And Mother trusted people, and they just betrayed her.
Ms Andrews is going to be executed, and I feel it's all my fault. I would have died to stop that, even. To stop Nick having to do that. I would have died for you. I guess it meant nothing to him.
"It's my fault. Ms Andrews.." I can't help gasping to Mr Armando. Maybe Nick was too dumb to read my message properly? Maybe I should have spent less time demanding rescue. I should have told him over the radio instead of crying for help.
"No," growls Mr Armando. "It's all that coward Trite's fault. He was only using you."
I face him, shocked, incredulous.
"There's a lot you don't know about Mr Wright," he continues. "I've known him since before he even began law school. And he's had some VERY dubious associations. But don't feel bad. Even your sister was deluded. Mr Trite knew all about Mr White's little plot against Mia, but he failed to lift a finger to stop it…"
I refuse to believe it,
"Nick's a clueless idiot he had no.."
"Couldn't have expressed it better myself!"
"He knew all about her project against White, and he knew the phone was being tapped. But he just blindly sat there and answered them anyway."
"He didn't know!"
"Then what exactly did that idiot do at his little desk all day? Adjust his hair?"
"Mia thought he was great!" I defend. "She told me he was a genius!"
"Do you think he's a genius?"
"No," I'm forced to admit.
I have a sudden idea.
"Maybe the phone wasn't tapped until just before the crime."
I get the sense if he could, Godot would roll his eyes. "No. And maybe he didn't get a known murderer acquitted. And maybe he didn't date a mass murderer and help her hide evidence."
"What? Of course he didn…"
"I take it you have never read State vs Phoenix Wright , take 1, Ms Fey?"
I have a feeling I'm about to.
"It's probably overwhelming. More coffee?"
I could swear I'm becoming addicted.