Yep, here we are. The inevitable Ghost Trick/Phoenix Wright crossover. I've been wanting to write this since I finished Ghost Trick, but since mysteries naturally require a lot more plotting than your average fanfic, I'm only now able to finally start posting it. Of course, there are massive spoilers for Ghost Trick, as well as the first three Ace Attorney games here. Odds are, there won't be any from Apollo Justice or Ace Attorney Investigations, but if there are, I'll be sure to let everyone know beforehand.
Prologue: Turnabout Bakery
Murder. Why was it that wherever Sissel went, there was always a murder? Sure, being the supernaturally gifted pet cat of a detective did tend to lend itself to visiting crime scenes, but this was different. Not only was he not with his usual 'owner' (a term neither of them really took seriously), but they weren't even inside the correct jurisdiction!
"They're… dead." The redheaded woman at his side said, solemnly breaking the silence. And then she suddenly broke into a huge grin that most people would consider highly inappropriate at this point in time. Of course, Sissel wasn't most people. "Well, time to do your thing, Sissel!"
Some explanations were probably in order. Lynne had recently gotten in the habit of taking Detective Jowd's cat to crime scenes with her, specifically murders. Lynne had occasionally gotten strange comments about her sudden fixation with the cat, but considering Sissel was able to go back in time and avert the murder before it happened a good eight out of ten times, such comments tended to get erased from history.
However, retroactively averting murders could only be done so many times before it started to get stale, cynical as it sounded. But just as Sissel was thinking of taking a week off, Lynne stumbled across an interesting story in the newspaper.
'Murder From Beyond The Grave!' The headline exclaimed in bold letters. Apparently, a month previously, a murder occurred at a temple located in the deep in the mountains near Los Angeles. (There were mountains near Los Angeles?) That wasn't the strangest thing, however. The news article mentioned that the spirit of a young woman was called back from beyond the grave via the "Kurain Channelling Technique" and almost took out some sort of postmortem revenge on another young woman before she was stopped - and the medium subsequently killed - by an LA Prosecutor. Now, the article didn't seem to really be taking the story too seriously and mostly only used it for the snappy headline (for one thing, even if it was true, the only murder that actually occurred was clearly perpetrated by a living man), but upon further research, the Kurain Channelling Technique itself looked like it might be legitimate. Especially since one of the few sources Lynne could find seemed to attribute their supernatural powers to some boulder in their village.
The Temsik meteorite was what gave Sissel his ability to perform ghost tricks. Could it be that there was another similar stone out there? If this Kurain Village was the real deal, maybe they could shed some light on the origin of Temsik itself. Sissel knew he had to investigate it, and it was easy enough to convince Lynne to give him a hand. It might have been nice if Detective Jowd could have come too, but he was far too busy down at the precinct to take a few days off. Speaking of which, Sissel wasn't sure how Lynne was able to convince the chief to let her leave town and investigate a bunch of spirit mediums… Sissel sincerely hoped that she hadn't just up and left. Not even Lynne would do that, right? Right?
Regardless, they were in LA now. After discovering no buses actually went to Kurain Village, (really, shouldn't have Lynne checked on that beforehand?) they were on their way to the train station to test their luck there. Unfortunately Lynne, like usual, was hungry. Seeing as there didn't seem to be any chicken restaurants nearby, they'd ducked into the nearest bakery. However, the entire place was devoid of all life; there wasn't even anyone manning the cash register. As expected, Lynne took it upon herself to figure out what going on and a quick look in the back room revealed that the bakery was indeed devoid of all life.
On the floor were two corpses, a man and a young woman, both shot in the chest. Judging from the blood, the murder had been recent and the gun was nowhere to be found. If Lynne and Sissel were anyone else, they might have panicked. But really, this was just par for the course by now.
"Take care of my body." Sissel said before entering the ghost world and jumping to a nearby tray of cookies. With his soul now inside the tray, his shell crumpled to the ground.
"You've got it." Lynne said, scooping up the apparently unconscious black kitten. Of course, if Sissel succeeded, there really wouldn't be much 'taking care of' to be done. Besides, his shell was immortal anyway. Really, the only reason they did this was in order to make sure Sissel could find it again. He'd already seen what could happen if one left their body unattended.
Now the question was who to save? Sissel wondered, eying the two bodies. Odds were if he could prevent one of the deaths, he could likely prevent the other at the same time, but it was likely whoever he specifically chose to save would end up remembering the experience. In the end he chose the man, who was probably less likely to be traumatized by the memory when compared to the girl laying near him who was probably in her late teens. Besides, he was closer.
(Here goes…) Sissel thought, reaching out to the man with his spirit.
An instant later, he was in the world of the dead. Before him was the familiar blue flame of a soul that hadn't taken a form. Was the murder so recent that the man was unconscious? That might save a lot of trouble, actually…
"Hey, you awake?" Sissel asked.
"I… I think so." Came a voice from the soul. Well, it wasn't really a voice, more like a projected thought, but the effect was the same. "What's happening? Who are you?"
"My name is Sissel." The cat replied. "And you're dead."
"I see…" The soul replied.
"So you believe me? You're taking this rather well." Sissel observed.
"A talking cat just appeared and told me that I'm dead." The soul continued. "I might as well take him at his word. But as for me 'taking this well…'" He paused. "I guess I wouldn't be a lot more worried if I could actually remember anything."
"So I see your memory hasn't returned yet." Sissel observed, his sympathy for the soul suddenly increasing. "Take a look at those two bodies there. They might jog your memory."
"So that there on the ground… is me?" The soul asked. In a bright flash of light, it was replaced by the image of the girl, sans bullet wound. She was wearing… well, Sissel didn't actually know how to describe it. It was some sort of robe, with an odd bead necklace as well. Her long black hair was tied up in an… what was that? Sissel had heard the word "topknot" once before, figured that was probably close enough. (Huh… why am I suddenly in the mood for burgers?) The soul thought.
"Better than chicken." Sissel muttered.
"Huh? How did you do that?"
"You read my mind, or something!"
Sissel sighed, or did whatever the approximation was when one wasn't actually breathing. "There are no secrets in the ghost world." He said that phrase so often that it was now starting to sound rehearsed. "Either way, though, that's not your body." He nodded in the direction of the other corpse.
"Oh!" There was another flash and the image of the girl was replaced by one of a man in a blue suit with a red tie. On his lapel was a small circular golden badge and his black hair somehow stood back in large spikes. Sissel might have commented, but compared to Yomiel, this man looked like the epitome of normalcy. "I… I think I remember now!" He declared. "I'm a lawyer… a defense attorney. My name is… Nick? No… Phoenix Wright."
"That's good." Sissel observed. Knowing who one was often helped with remembering the basics. It certainly would have helped him during that fateful night…
"HOLD IT!"Phoenix suddenly shouted, pointing dramatically at the cat. When Sissel recoiled in surprise, the man sheepishly responded, "Sorry, I'm not sure what came over me there. What was this 'fateful night' you were talking about?"
"Never mind." Sissel replied. "Do you remember how you or this girl died?"
The suited man shook his head. "No, sorry. But I feel like we were in the middle of something really important…" He lowered his eyes sadly. "And I can't help but feel that it's my fault the girl got killed." He brought his hand to his chin. "Ugh… if only I could remember!"
"Well why don't we find out?"
"I'm going to take us back four minutes before you died." Sissel explained. "That should help us answer some questions, and, if we're lucky, I should be able to save you and that girl."
"R-really?" Phoenix shouted. "Then let's do it! We've got to save Maya!"
"Maya? Is that the girl?"
"Yeah… yeah, I think it is." Phoenix looked thoughtful. (This feeling… that I need to save her at any cost… it seems familiar somehow…)
"Alright then." Sissel declared. "Let's get to work."
Four minutes before death…
The bell above the entrance to bakery signaled the arrival of one Phoenix Wright. He stepped inside the establishment, followed by his longtime assistant Maya Fey. Despite it being the middle of the day, the entire building was empty save for a large man in a chef's hat behind the cash register. In fact, he looked a lot like another chef Phoenix had met once before, only with a lot less pink. And a lot more masculinity.
"Ah, welcome back, Mr. Wright." The chef said boisterously. "Any luck with your investigation?"
"Sort of." Phoenix replied. "I was wondering if I could ask you a couple more questions." He noticed Maya glance over at him, but Phoenix ignored her and instead kept his focus on the man. In another situation, he might have commented on her remarkable restraint, especially considering all of the pastries she'd attempted to pilfer the last time they were here. Of course, he was pretty sure she had a good idea of what he was thinking. If he was right, then this was no time for Maya to be thinking of her stomach.
"But I've already told you all I know." The chef, Christopher Saant, replied, looking a bit nervous.
"I'll be the one to decide that." Phoenix declared. "Now, where exactly were you when the murder took place?"
Immediately, Phoenix heard the familiar sound of rattling chains as his perception of everything, save the chef himself, faded and five red locks appeared between the two of them. "I… I was here, like I said before." Chris said, hesitating only for a moment, not that it mattered. The locks were all Phoenix needed to see.
(Just as I thought.) Phoenix dug into his pocket and felt the familiar smooth surface of the Magatama. "TAKE THAT!" He shouted, presenting the green gem to the chef.
"Ah!" The chef shouted in surprise, grabbing a baguette off of the counter and holding it in front of himself as if it could protect him from Phoenix's words. "W-watch where your shoving that thing! I almost had a heart attack!"
"You say you were here during the murder…" Phoenix began, not acknowledging the man's outburst. "Why do I get the feeling you're not telling me the whole truth?"
"I have no idea." Chris replied, composing himself. "If I say I was here, then I probably was. Why? Do you think you have some proof that I was somewhere else, or something?"
Phoenix didn't bat an eye. "As a matter of fact, I do."
"Really?" Chis looked skeptical. "Well then let's see it."
"TAKE THAT!" Phoenix shouted, flashing a photograph of a young woman. "It's not so much an it, as a who." He conceded. "Do you by any chance know who this person is?"
The chef shook his head so furiously that his hat almost fell off. "No. I've never seen her before in my life." He said, looking rather triumphant.
Phoenix smirked. "No, I suppose you wouldn't have. This young woman is the one who discovered the body in the bakery across the street." Chris' smile faltered for just a second. Phoenix continued. "At the trial today, she testified that she came in here first, and that no one else was around. When she was unable to get anything here, she tried visiting the other bakery, which is when she discovered the fresh corpse. In other words…" He dramatically slammed the countertop with both palms. Chris jumped in surprise. "Since the timing of her visit coincides with the murder itself, you clearly were not here at that time!"
One of the locks shattered as the unfortunate chef recoiled as if he was struck. "B-but it's possible I was in the back room, right?" He said, recovering. "Yeah, that's where I was! I must not have heard the bell over the door!"
"Sorry, but that's not possible." Phoenix said, resisting the urge to perform a cocky finger wag reminiscent of more than one prosecutor he'd faced in the past. Instead, he reached into the pocket of his blazer to produce a sheet of paper. "TAKE THAT!" He yelled, displaying the sheet.
"And what's that supposed to be?"
"I'm glad you asked. I believe you remember that there was a motion sensor installed in the back room, correct? I have the records of said sensor right here."
Chris suddenly looked nervous, twisting the baguette uncomfortably. "Where did you get that?"
Phoenix didn't bother answering. "According to these records, there was no motion in the back room for a fifteen minute gap that coincides with the murder!"
The second lock shattered. "S-so what?" Chris shouted angrily. "Maybe I was sleeping back there!"
(There are SO many things wrong with that that I'm not even going to justify it with a response) "There's more."
"M-more…?" Chris was positively sweating now, and that baguette didn't look like it was going to last much longer.
Phoenix nodded. "Not only were you not here, but you were somewhere else you shouldn't have been. TAKE THAT!" He displayed yet another sheet of paper.
"Stop doing that!"
"I'll stop when you stop lying."
"I'm not! So what if I wasn't here? Where I actually was has nothing to do with the murder!"
"Oh really? Then could you explain why your fingerprints were found on the counter at the crime scene?"
"This sheet of paper is the fingerprint records for the crime scene. They very clearly say the prints of one Chris Saant were found on the countertop!"
"Ugh!" Yet another Psyche-Lock shattered, leaving only two left. "Look, it's no secret there was some bad blood between me and Pat." Chris began carefully. "But I still sometimes would stop by his shop for one reason or another. Heck, I think I went last week to yell at him for stealing the recipe of my famous 'Chris Saant's Crescent Rolls…'"
(Wouldn't it fit more to call them croissants?) Phoenix thought, raising his eyebrow. Maya probably made a comment as well, but Phoenix often found himself unable to hear her when he was focusing on Psyche-Locks. He supposed it was possible that she was just really quiet and enjoyed watching him work but, really, what were the odds of that?
"…Those prints were probably from then." Chris finished, breaking Phoenix out of his reflection.
Phoenix shook his head. "I'm sorry, but that's impossible. TAKE THAT!" He flashed another photograph, this time of another chef. "The victim, Pat Stree, was a well-known clean freak. Customers frequently mentioned they saw him meticulously wiping down the counters. In fact, the last witness to see the victim alive stated that he was cleaning the counters at that time. Therefore…" He pounded the counter again. "You could only have been there during the murder itself!"
The fourth Psyche-Lock shattered, leaving only a single crimson lock between Phoenix and the truth. Not that he didn't already have a good idea of what it was…
"I…!" Chris began, but Phoenix interrupted him.
"But that's not all!" The attorney continued. "Not only were you there during the murder, but you were the one to commit it!"
"P-prove it!" Chris shouted desperately, by now wringing his own sweat out of the baguette. "Yeah, I was there, but it was because I saw that defendant of yours… what was her name? Barley Waheet, right? I saw her stabbing Pat to death!"
"Really." Phoenix said skeptically. "Any reason why you didn't go to the police?"
"I…" Chris paused. "It was so traumatic that I must have blocked it out. But you just jogged my memory. Yeah, that's it!"
"I bet it was traumatic." Phoenix said, nodding his head before putting his hands on his hips. "I can only imagine how horrible it must be to kill a person."
"…Eh? I told you…"
"TAKE THAT! During the course of today's trial, I already proved that the defendant was suffering from a severe allergic reaction to a poppyseed muffin." Phoenix kept going, softly hitting the medical report he had just presented. "She was barely conscious at all, hardly in the condition to perform a murder." He slammed the counter for a third and final time. "Which means, the only one who could have done it was the only other person who was there!" He swung his arm forward, leveling his pointer finger right in the unfortunate chef's face. "You, Chris Saant!"
The baguette finally broke in half, just as the final Psyche-Lock shattered. Chris slumped down on the cash register as Phoenix smirked triumphantly. There. Now he could finally rest easy…
"Way to go, Nick!" Maya shouted as the rest of the world faded back into Phoenix's vision. "You sure showed him!"
(Strange…) Phoenix thought. Some of the items behind the counter seemed to be in different positions than they were before he started work on the lock. (Did those things… move?) He was about to ask Maya if something had happened while he was busy solving the locks, before…
"Heh… heh… heh…"
"I guess you figured it all out…" Chris Saant jumped back up, tearing a small pistol from the inside of the now-ripped baguette.
"H-huh?" Maya gasped.
"W-where did you get a pistol?" Phoenix added. (That doesn't even make sense! Did he bake it into the baguette or something?)
"You're completely right, Mr. Wright…" Chris said, the hand with the gun shaking furiously. "But I can't go to prison! Not after I finally got my crescent roll recipe back!"
Phoenix gulped. He'd thought Chris' Psyche-Locks were easier to break than most killers. The man was unstable and Phoenix had just backed him into a corner. (A cornered fox is more dangerous than a jackal…) Phoenix recalled hearing that statement recently, but his mind was a little preoccupied to remember the details. "Just… calm down… we can figure something out…" See, this was why he'd stopped confronting killers outside of court. That time he'd gotten tazed was supposed to be the last time, but he'd ended up getting carried away using his usual court tactics without any bailiff around to protect him. (Great. I get a little carried away and now there's a crazy man pointing a gun at me. Just my luck.) "Look, just let Maya go, okay?"
"You only need to kill one of us, so you can let her go." Okay, that didn't make any sense, but Chris didn't really seem to be thinking straight anyways. Maybe they could still get out of this without anyone dying. Besides, there was a pretty big glass window in the front of the bakery. If someone just looked closely…
"Y-you probably think I'm pretty stupid, don't you?" The chef shouted. "I can't let either of you screw this up for me! Get in the back room!" He motioned at them with his gun, shuffling along with them from behind the counter.
And then something happened that none of them expected.
Just as Chris got in front of one of the cash registers, it spontaneously opened and slammed him in the stomach. "U-uh!" He grunted in surprise. His grip must not have been very good either, because the gun went flying right out of his hand. As it flew through the air, time seemed to slow down and both Phoenix and Chris looked at each other. Their eyes locked for a split second before they both made a break for the firearm. However, Chris only made it two steps before he stepped on a rolling pin that had somehow ended up on the floor. (How did that get there?) He tumbled backwards with a loud crash, the impact of which made a stack of ceramic bowls fall off of the shelf above.
By now, Phoenix had reached the gun and watched in amazement as the bowls hit Chris Saant on the head and seemingly knocked him out. Either way, Phoenix had gotten his gun away from him, so it looked like he and Maya were safe.
"That was lucky…" Maya said, clearly shocked at the recent turn of events.
"Really lucky." Phoenix said, just as dumbfounded.
"Really really lucky-"
"I get it, Maya."
"That was… amazing!" The soul of Phoenix Wright shouted… or thought… or whatever he was doing. He sure felt like he was shouting.
"It… it was nothing." Sissel replied.
Phoenix blinked. That was odd. The cat sounded… strained. Oh well, maybe it was just a common thing. "Do those tricks of yours usually tire you out this much?"
"That's not important." Sissel said. Even so, Phoenix thought he sensed the start of a denial before he so adamantly changed the subject. "Now that your fate has been averted, it's time to return to the new present."
"Oka-" Phoenix began before he suddenly felt himself being sucked forwards in time. As he flew, he could feel all of the little details about his life returning. He'd remembered many things when Sissel was saving him, but there were a lot of intricacies that he could only now remember. His childhood with Edgeworth and Larry for example. Or, on a much less pleasant note, the time he was on trial for murder. Even so, he welcomed them all back, realizing he'd had a similar experience once before the last time he had amnesia. However, now he had two completely conflicting sets of memories about what happened in the bakery that day. Even though he knew he was alive, and could now clearly remember the mad dash for the gun that he had just witnessed his past self performing, he also had the very real memory of his death…
There was a lot that Phoenix still didn't understand, but he was grateful for the mysterious cat giving him a second chance at life. He smirked, or at least felt like he was. There was no way Maya would believe this!
Actually, she probably would.
(Maybe I'll just keep quiet about it…)
And there's the prologue! I'm still a little worried about the characterization (especially of the GT crew), but this should be manageable, I think.
Man, there was way too little Maya and Lynne and way too much Psyche-Lock, wasn't there? I apologize about that, but I was trying to capture the general feel of your average mid-game AA case here. Don't worry, though. Next chapter will be soon and that's when the story really begins!