Turnabout: Behind Locked Doors

Chapter Four: Psyche-Locks

*Time: 12:34am, Place: Hottie Clinic*

"Nick…Nick?"

"I'm here Maya. I'm here."

"Wh-where's Pearly?"

"…She…She's still missing Maya."

"No…How's sis?"

"She was taken away, court will be continuing tomorrow."

"Nick…"

"Don't speak Maya. You've had a tough time."

[Maya laid down sully her eyes slightly far away tear stained and misty. I sat by her hospital bed, Maya hadn't been shot; she had fainted from the shock and the terror of the experience. I took her hand in mine in an act to comfort her, Gumshoe and all the police force was after the gun man and Pearls, the last thing I remembered in court was Von Karma insisting that Mia Fey could still be behind this. But I doubted that, Mia would never do such a thing. I held my head trying to make sense of it all. This was the last day of investigation, and tomorrow would be the last day in court. And yet I had no idea who the killer of Diego was.]

"Nick" murmured Maya.

[I looked up taken out of my train of thought.]

"What is it Maya?"

"You have to see sis. Who knows what she must be thinking right now. I'll be alright."

"…Okay Maya. Sure." [I have a trial tomorrow and Mia and I need to be ready.]

"I'll catch up with you later."

"Okay."

*Time: 1:30am, Place: Detection room No. 3*

[What must that guard think of me when I stormed into here telling him I had to see my client? He must of thought of me as a nutter. As I sat behind the sheet of glass waiting for her, I felt sweat and heat fall off of me even if it was a cold room. The guard stood at the door barely awake, the light also struggled flashing so fast it made my eyes twitch. I tried to keep my mind on these trivial matters and not on my upcoming interview.]

"…Wright…"

I jumped, my mind had been so fixed on the detention room that I did not notice Mia sneak up to the desk silently and sit across to me.]

"M-Mia" I stuttered, "How are y-"

"Wright!" she snapped, I had never heard her so angry at me before even when I messed up on evidence or my filing was poor. "Maya. Pearl. What happened to them? Where are they?" she demanded.

I tried not to swallow. "Maya is fine. She's not injured but she is badly shocked. Pearl…" my voice trailed away. I could see her eyes widen and then fill with tears.

Mia held her head. She let out a sob. "…It's…All…My…Fault…" I heard her sob.

"What do you mean Mia?" I asked putting my hand on hers.

She drew away from me so suddenly she nearly fell off of her chair. "Phoenix!" she snapped I had never seen her so angry. "Why did you defend me? I asked one thing from you Phoenix. One thing! I want you to renounce your position as my defence attorney and clear out of my office!"

"…Chief…"

"No! I want you out! Get out!" She pointed to the door.

I looked at her defiantly "…No."

"What?" she said taken aback.

"You didn't do this chief. You didn't kill him. You and I both know that. Why are you lying?"

Mia turned her face frowning.

BOOM!

CLANG! CLANG! CLANG!

BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG!

?

[A…A Psyche-Lock?]

Mia blinked at me but then turned away.

I slowly stood and left. I had work to do.

Time: 2:30am, Place: Grossberg Law Industries

[Dang it!

The secretary says Mr Grossberg is sleeping and might be some time. Good thing she let me sleep on his couch in his office before leaving. At least Grossberg isn't short on work; she must have stayed up late every night to type up all of his trials and evidence used. I remember when the chief…Mia made me work here for a fortnight as she was going on holiday to visit Maya in Kurain Village. I was run off my feet following Grossberg as he ran from one trial to the next. He sometimes had three in one day. I got so mixed up with the trials I kept offering him evidence from different cases. It was a wonder how he had kept that weight, all the exercise he did in one day he should be skin and bones.

I was trying to get my mind off of the subject of the chief's trial by wondering why Grossberg had not turned up. He had said more or less he'd defend Mia…Maybe he'd just forgotten or his timetable had gotten mixed up…I somehow doubted that too, why would he just forget Mia…How could anyone forget Mia Fey.

I sighed pinching the bridge of my nose with my fingers, whatever was going on; I was still the chief's sole defence. And she needed me. I still felt myself desperate to leave her to her own devices though…Not because she had been mad at me but…because a part of me didn't want to go into that night.

What had happened?

Either way I didn't see the chief walking out of it without a scar on her reputation. I shouldn't have thought scars. The scars on the chiefs back had been so deep, maybe she had been stabbed or scratched or…No! Get a hold of yourself Phoenix Wright! You don't know that for sure…It could have been one of her straps or nothing at all. But it had never been nothing with me, I was the one who always had to walk in it, even when I had turned into an adult and was in university and training to be a lawyer.

I knew she hadn't chosen to defend me because of my alibi or the simplicity of defending me, it was about her. Dahlia. The chief had never really seemed that interested in me. Even when she had finished defending me and we no longer had anything in common, I still doggedly walked to her office with my resume and references trying to get her of all people into taking me on.

~::~

She looked both surprised and confused as I knocked on her door for a second time. "Mr…Mr Wrong. What are you doing here?" she suddenly looked suspicious "you're not in trouble again are you?"

"No!" [Who does she take me for?]

Mia waited with a raised eyebrow. I started on this long winded speech about experience and a job to pay for my education, my mouth feeling horribly bare and my suit a little too tight as the heat of the room started to go up. I had chosen my best suit which I had only wore once before two years ago and I had taken cold and cough pills for the last month to stop the tiniest traces of a cold. She almost didn't recognise me as she flipped through my file trying to hide her impressed raised eyebrows.

The room went horribly quiet as I finished my long rehearsed speech; the only sound was the banging in my ears and the soft flip of the chief turning the pages of my titanic sized resume. I slowly ran my fingers through my hair wondering if my hair would have suffered my chances at all if I took the advice to change it for this interview.

Ms Fey looked up from her reading. "You want a job" she stated.

"Yes…No!...I want the experience."

She raised her right eyebrow but then put my references and resume down. "Mr Wrong-Wright, I'm sorry, but I'm barely past the rookie stage and I've barely getting enough pay to pay for my salary let alone another's-"

"I don't need a salary."

"Really? What are you going to live on? Sour bread and carrots?"

"I'll get a job in a shop."

"Mr Wright-"

"Please call me Phoenix."

"Mr Wright, I can't do it. Try in Grossberg Law Industries or Smith and Cos, they are bigger and better and would love a hand."

"I'll do paper work, I'll water your plant, I'll take notes for you, I'll scrub your floor with an inch of its life. Please I need the experience."

Mia raised her eyebrows again. "Fine, I'll give you a trial run for 24 hours, then you'll see how dead it is here."

[And it all stemmed from that. She never has called me Phoenix, until today. Mia and I stayed together, I often kept out of her way because of my shyness to her and she was often too busy. I earned my keep though, I fixed her filing system, I made her coffee, I watered her plant Charley, and I asked for zero pay working for Larry with his latest get-rich-quick-schemes. After a month or so Mia had warmed up to me. And when I told her I better leave she said:]

"You don't have to Wright."

"Chief, it's about time I went into the big bad world now I've got experience."

"Experience? What experience? All you have done is writing up my cases and made coffee for me; you haven't done a single trial solo."

"You don't let me."

Mia laughed carelessly making me blush, "okay, put your money where your month is. I've got a case tomorrow, your friend Mr Larry Butz, he is accused of murdering his girlfriend Cindy Stone, open and shut domestic not worth my expertise."

[I knew she was lying and that any case she got nowadays was something she leapt at, but it was very sweet of her to think of me like this.]

"If you can spare it-"

"Oh no! I will get full payment."

"…"

"I'm joking! I'm kidding!"

[Back then it was oh so simple, she and I a team, I had developed a slight crush on her, we had gone out to dinner to celebrate often but never really a relationship thing, nobody seemed to question it though, Mia was way out of my league.]

"AHEM!"

[That over the top clearing of throat, it can only be-]

"My boy, what are you doing here?"

"I could ask you the same thing! You were supposed to defend Mia Fey today your old apprentice."

"Well um…

BOOM!

CLANG! CLANG! CLANG!

BANG! BANG!

[Wah! Oh no not another. What can I do? I've got no evidence…I better use my initiative and use circumstantial evidence, it's the best I can do for now.]

TAKE THAT!

BOOM!

CLANG! CLANG! CLANG!

BANG! BANG!

[Okay Phoenix, there's only two locks…Gulp!]

Psyche-lock

-Why I couldn't defend-

"Mr Grossberg, there is a reason why you don't want your face in this case."

"My boy, I don't know what you mean…I over slept! I missed the trial completely! Yes! Ask my secretary if you don't believe me!"

[I won't have too…]

"Mr Grossberg that's a lie! There is only one reason why you wouldn't want to have your face in this murder trial."

"!"

TAKE THAT!

"The…The murder weapon!...I didn't kill him!"

"No, no, no, I'm talking about how violent the real murderer is, and you don't want to have your neck on the line."

"*Gulp*!"

[Ha, ha! Got him there…Why aren't any of the locks broking?]

"Ahem. I believe dear boy you have no proof of that. You have merely taken a shot in the dark and blown up your own foot."

"!"

"I need more. I am a professional and all. I need more evidence than that!"

[Hmmm…I need evidence to prove that he is scared…aha!]

TAKE THAT!

"Who is that person?"

"She was a witness, who got shot in this trial when it had to be extended, and here! This girl was kidnapped by the killer! You knew this would happen! Didn't you Mr Grossberg!"

"AHHH!"

SMASH!

[One down, one to go…]

"O-okay…So what if I decided I didn't want to have death threats on my neck! That has nothing to do with you or Ms Fey!…If only it was that simple."

[He's still lying! But about what? Okay I don't need to fully think this one through! As he said I need to shoot in the dark and prays it sticks!]

TAKE THAT!

"That's…That's…."

"The Victim Diego Armando! You knew him! And you also were deeply involved in his personal life! To the point you were getting threats from his killer."

"…Ahem…NO!"

SMASH!

UNLOCK SUCESSFUL!

"…Ahem…You're right. I was slightly involved in Diego's…Problems…"

"Tell me what problems!"

"…He broke the first rule of law…He fornicated evidence getting guilty men off the hook and innocent men into prison. Not on his own mind! Phoenix…My boy, not all defendants are perfect, everyone has a speckled past and well, defence attorneys and prosecutors alike, often need a little splash in the court room to make the tide turn…There is a special place down the road…the Janus café…there you can trade money for evidence. And Diego was hooked as it were. He seemed to relish in the glory, taking an impossible case and blowing it open with his 'evidence'. I confess when times get rough I use it myself as well…But Phoenix! Don't get involved with these people! They are common criminals; if you cannot pay they'll break your legs."

[I felt sudden hope go through me] "So they could have killed Diego!"

"It's possible…But it still could have been Mia…"

"Wah! What do you mean?"

"She was heavily against Diego when he started to…cheat as it were. She left him a number of times, often only returning because he promised to her he had stopped…But there was always one case that he needed a little push…Just a little helping hand…And once the door opens it's rare to close. But then…People found out…I don't know how but they did…And Diego was stripped of his powers of both a defendant and prosecutor, that's when he started to…to…Change…"

"What do you mean?"

"It…It's not my place to say…you have to ask Mia Fey about it…"

"Why Mia…Is this about her scars…Has-was Diego harming her?"

"Mmmm….Oh my! Is that the sun! I've got to go!"

Thump!

[He just slammed the door in my face…well I better go to this Janus Café and then to the Current Affairs Office in the police station to find a certain prosecutor friend of mine for some more answers about Diego, I have to also ask him a favour to find a certain kidnapped eight year old girl and…and…I've got to confront Mia. I need to break her locks…]

To be continued.

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I will be on holiday all of next week DX

But afterward I will be fully refreshed and ready to do some serious writing!