Phoenix Wright, Adept Attorney
Advisory: This story follows the general story of the games as you know them, but... changes a number of things around. I highly recommend having played the games before reading this story―or, at least the first game.
Case 1: The Captured Turnabout
Drops of blood, falling from a dented locket held in a gloved hand.
A dead man sprawled on the floor, blood seeping from where he was stabbed.
"Dammit! Why me? I can't get caught! Not like this!"
A woman, wearing purple, standing above the dead body.
"I-I've gotta find someone
to pin this on..."
"Someone like... her!"
A flash of memory. A woman, leaving an apartment.
"I'll make it look like
SHE did it!"
~ September 2, 9:47 AM ~ District Court ~ Defendant Lobby No. 2 ~
Phoenix Wright, rookie defense attorney, stepped into the defendant lobby. A shiny new attorney's badge gleamed on his lapel, and his blue suit and spiky hair were perfectly in order. His briefcase held the file for the case he would try (and nothing else). Looking around the lobby, he spotted his boss's distinctive pink suit a little ways away.
"Wright!" said Redd White, good-hearted lawyer-in-chief of the Blue and Co. Law Offices. He waved one arm at Phoenix, gesturing for him to come closer."Oh, h-hiya, Chief," Phoenix said, walking over to where White was standing."I'm enthusified we both made it on time," White said. "And I'm inspired by your decisivosity in choosing a client! Few lawyers choose to tackle a murder trial from the beginning."
Phoenix nodded, a bit embarrassed at the high praise. His boss was prone to making up new words relatively often. You got used to it. "Thanks," he said to Redd White. "I kinda chose this client because I owe her a favor."
"A favor?" White asked, confused. "You're familiar with the defendant of this case from elsewhere?"
"Yes, actually," Phoenix said. "I kind of owe my current job to her. She's one of the reasons I became an attorney."
"Ah, I see! I wasn't aware of that," White said, smiling.
"I want to help her out any way I can!" Phoenix said. "I... I owe her a lot."
As White and Wright spoke, a yell at the other end of the lobby sent both looking off in that direction.
"How coulda it've ended like this? I loved my Franky!" screamed the woman, her green jacket and red, bushy hair neatly clashing.
White looked at Phoenix. "By any chance, is that your client causing such a ruckusness over there?" Phoenix made a face. "Yeah... that's her."
"I can't go on without him! Y'all hear me? I wanna..." (sobbing)
"She sounds quite distraught," White observed. Phoenix made the face again. "Yeah."
That was when the woman noticed Phoenix.
"Nick!" she yelled, running over to him.
"Hey," said Phoenix, bracing himself. "Hey, Lotta."
"Things don't make no sense anymore with him gone..." Lotta said. "I swear, maybe I should just end it all here!"
"What?" said Phoenix, moving back a step. "What's the matter, Lotta?"
Lotta sighed. A tear ran down her cheek, leaving its trail among those that had come just a short time ago.
"I... it's just... look at me, Nick," she said. "Ever since Frank died, I've been sadder'n a dog at a funeral." Her voice started to get louder again. "Why'd it have to end so bad? Who took my man away from me, Nick? Tell me who done it and when I find them I'll...!"
Lotta trailed off again, voice lost in further tears.
Phoenix decided not to mention to Lotta that the newspapers were saying that she was responsible for the death of her boyfriend. It wouldn't do to upset Lotta any more―and he needed to read the case notes one last time. The trial would begin soon, whether or not he was ready.
My name is Phoenix Wright. Here's the story: My first case is a fairly simple one. A young man was killed in his apartment. The woman they arrested was the unlucky girl dating him: Lotta Hart... my best friend since grade school. We've always said about her―well, she's got a Lotta heart, but not a Lotta sense. And it's true! Over the 23 years I've known her, she has a knack for getting herself in trouble. That said, it's usually not her fault. She's just always in the wrong place at the wrong time. And I know better than anyone, she's a good person at heart. That, and I owe her one. Which is why I took the case―to clear her name.
And that's just what I'm going to do!
~ September 2, 10:00 AM ~ District Court ~ Courtroom No. 2 ~
The Judge banged his gavel to indicate the beginning of the trial, saying, "The court is now in session for the trial of Ms. Lotta Hart."
The man in the prosecutor's box was short, balding, and wearing a faded gray suit. Phoenix had read in the courtroom notice that his name was Winston Payne. "The prosecution is ready, Your Honor," Payne said.
The Judge looked expectantly at Phoenix. There was nothing to do but follow Payne's lead. "The, er, defense is ready, Your Honor."
The expectant look changed to a quizzical one. "Mr. Wright?" the Judge asked. "This is your first trial, is it not?"
Phoenix tried, unsuccessfully, to keep his voice steady. "Y-yes, Your Honor. I'm, um, a little nervous."
The Judge looked sternly at Phoenix. "As a defense attorney, your conduct during this trial will decide the fate of your client. Murder is a serious charge. For your client's sake, I hope you can control your nerves."
Now Phoenix was even more nervous. "Thank… thank you, Your Honor," he finally said.
The Judge hesitated for a moment, thinking things over. Finally, he said, "Mr Wright, given the circumstances and your apparent state, I believe we should have a test to ascertain your readiness."
"Yes, Your Honor," Phoenix said, expending quite a lot of willpower to remain standing straight without his expression crumpling. "What do I need to do?"
"The test," said the Judge, "will consist of a few simple questions. Answer them clearly and concisely." He paused to clear his throat. "First, please state the name of the defendant in this case."
Phoenix fell silent. The defendant… he'd heard that one before, he was sure of it… it had something to do with who the important people of the case were… not the defense attorney, that was Phoenix himself. The one he was defending.
That was it.
"Lotta Hart, Your Honor," Phoenix said.
"Correct," replied the Judge. "Just keep your wits about you and you'll do fine. Now, for the second question. This is a murder trial. What is the name of the victim?"
Phoenix knew this one! He'd read the case report several times, cover to cover. It was… wait… what was it again? He couldn't be drawing a complete blank now! It had been something catchy. He thought it had started with 'Frank'… yeah, that was it. And the last name began with 'St'. Frank… st… Frank… st…
"The victim's name is Frankenstein, your honor."
In the viewing galleries, everyone cracked up. After banging his gavel for order, the Judge shook his head. "The person in question was a victim of murder, not ill-conceived naming, Mr. Wright."
Standing beside him, Redd White nudged Phoenix and whispered in his ear, "Wright, if you find yourself graspening for details, don't forget to check the Court Record. It's just to the left of where you stand. If you make this kind of mistake in the future, I suspect the Judge won't be so leniable."
"Again," said the Judge, watching Phoenix flip quickly through the case file, "what was the victim's name?"
Looking the Judge straight in the eye, Phoenix said, "Frank Stone, Your Honor."
"Correct." The Judge nodded. "Now, tell me. What was the cause of death? He died because he was...?"
Phoenix did know this one, not least because he had just reread the case file a few moments ago. "The victim was stabbed in the back, Your Honor," he said.
The Judge nodded once again, and prepared to bang his gavel to denote Phoenix's success before thinking better of it. "Correct," he said. "You've answered all my questions. I see no reason why we shouldn't proceed." The Judge gave Phoenix a small smile. "You seem much more relaxed, Mr. Wright. Good for you."
Phoenix decided not to mention that he had merely internalized his anxiety. The Judge's gaze turned to the prosecutor. "Now then! First, a question for the prosecution. Mr. Payne?"
"Yes, Your Honor?" Payne replied.
"As Mr. Wright has told us, the victim was stabbed in the back. With what was he stabbed?"
"The murder weapon was this locket." Payne held up a large, dented heart-shaped locket, now safely ensconced within a plastic EVIDENCE bag. "It was found lying on the floor, next to the victim."
"I see," said the Judge, motioning for Payne to put it on a small table halfway between the defense and prosecution benches. Either lawyer could walk to the table to look at the available evidence. "The court accepts it into evidence."
Redd White nudged Phoenix again. "It's never a terrible idea to examinate new evidence added during the trial. You'll almost certainly require it later."
The Judge, satisfied with the evidence, banged his gavel and looked at Winston Payne again. "Mr. Payne, the prosecution may call its first witness."
Payne nodded. "The prosecution calls the defendant, Ms. Hart, to the stand."
Phoenix whispered to White, "OK, what do I do now?"
"Listen to your client," White answered. "There could be some useful information in her verbiloquy. You'll gain a chance to respond to the prosecution later, so make sure you're ready. Oh... and hope your client doesn't say anything too damaging."
Phoenix mentally groaned. Lotta had a tendency to say all sorts of things when she was worked up, and she was worked up now. He'd just have to see what would happen.
As Lotta took the stand, Mr. Payne stood a bit straighter. He cleared his throat. "Ms. Hart. Is it not true that the victim had recently dumped you?"
"Hey, watch who yer insultin'!" Lotta replied, face matching her irate tone. "We were great together! Just like those two in the movie, ya know! Romeo and Juliet!"
Phoenix decided not to mention what had happened to Romeo and Juliet at the end of the play. It wouldn't help any.
"And listen up: I wasn't dumped!" Lotta said. "Frank was just really busy, is all. Too busy to see me. Or even grab the phone when I tried ta call him."
Payne smirked a bit. It wasn't pretty. "Ms. Hart, what you describe is generally what we mean by 'dumped.' In fact, he had completely abandoned you… and was seeing other women!"
A shocked buzz in the courtroom! It died down before the Judge had to bang his gavel.
"The victim, Frank Stone, had just returned from overseas– where he had seen one of his other girlfriends– the day before the murder!"
Lotta's reaction didn't help her case any.
"Now hang on just a minute. Whadda y'all mean, 'one of his other girlfriends'? Yer making things up faster than a politician on campaign!"
Payne smirked again. Phoenix shifted his gaze so he was looking at the evidence table. "Your Honor," Payne said, "the victim's passport." He held up an ordinary-looking passport tagged with an EVIDENCE label. "According to it, he was in Rome until the day before he died."
The Judge accepted the passport from Payne, looked it over, and nodded. "Hmm..." he said. "Indeed, he appears to have returned the day before the murder."
"But... but..." Lotta spluttered.
"The victim was a male model, and was apparently quite popular with members of the opposite sex," Payne explained. "It appears he had several mistresses in different cities around the world."
"Now you wait just a―" Lotta said. Smiling, Winston Payne cut her off.
"We can clearly see what type of man this Mr. Stone was. Tell me, Ms. Hart. What do you think of him now?"
At this point, White nudged Phoenix again. "Wright," he said. "Are you sure want her to answer that one?"
Phoenix was sure that he didn't. Lotta was 'fired up', to use her own phrase, and it wouldn't look good if she shot her mouth off against the murder victim.
"My client had no idea the victim was seeing other women!" Phoenix yelled, banging the table. "That question is irrelevant to this case!"
Payne grunted, looking almost like he had just taken a punch. Lotta wasn't pleased.
"Nick! Whadda ya mean, 'irrelevant'? That cheatin' slimeball... if I do get a guilty verdict, and if I die... I'm gonna find my Franky in the afterlife and he is not going to like it!"
sWatching from his bench, the Judge banged his gavel for silence. "Let's continue with the trial, shall we?"
Payne nodded, explaining to the Judge, "I believe the accused's motive is clear to everyone."
The Judge nodded in reply. "Yes, quite so."
Phoenix looked at White, mildly crestfallen. Hopefully, things wouldn't keep going the way they were going.
"Next question!" Payne said. "You want to the victim's apartment on the day of the murder, did you not?"
Suddenly, Lotta looked like she had swallowed something bitter.
"Well, did you, or did you not?" Payne pressed.
"Not tellin'," Lotta said, looking irate. Phoenix groaned. She'd gone there. If she hadn't, she wouldn't be beating around the bush like this. For a second, the thought of letting Lotta clam up about it entered his head, but if she did, it'd probably be even more damaging later. Through glaring and what body language he could muster, Phoenix tried to communicate the following:
TELL THE TRUTH
"Ms. Hart―" Winston Payne began, but Lotta cut him off.
"Oh… all right. I went there."
Sensation in the courtroom! The Judge banged his gavel and called for order.
Looking at Lotta, he asked, "You went there, and…"
Lotta's irate streak resurfaced. "Why are y'all looking at me like that! When I went there, he wasn't home."
It was Winston Payne. He was smirking again. "Your Honor," he said, grinning broadly, "the defendant is lying."
"Lying?" asked the Judge.
"The prosecution would like to call a witness who can prove Ms. Hart is lying!"
"Well, that simplifies matters," the Judge said. "Who is your witness?"
"The woman who found the victim's body, Your Honor. And just before making this gruesome discovery… she saw the defendant fleeing the scene of the crime!"
There was a small uproar. It only died after the Judge banged his gavel."Order! Order in the court!" the Judge repeated. "Mr. Payne, the prosecution may call its witness."Payne nodded. "Bring Ms. Cindy Sahwit to the stand!"
To be Continued...