Short notice this time; I just wanted to let my lovely readers know that I took some creative liberties with the Skye family history, for the sake of both my sanity and the sake of the plot. I have also given both parents names; Arthur and Alice Skye. I hope you can understand my position, considering no details were given to us about the topic in question. Also, small reminder, check my profile for details concerning the creation of an original character for the sequel of this Fanfiction. Lastly, after this chapter, there will be one more and an epilogue, and that will be that for this story.
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Chapter Eight : Ironic, Hypocritical Things
1 : 12 P.M. - Downtown Los Angeles, Central Park
Ema Skye found herself, not for the first time, in the park where she and her family had frequently visited before her parents deaths when she was just a few years old. Some of her first memories had been in this park, complete with its own playground, tennis court, picnic tables, and even its own pet walking trail. (Ema had once seen a peculiar, old man in dressed in a peculiar, pink coat toting around a colorful tropical bird on the very same trail. She saw the same man in the news back in December, being arrested for murder. It seemed it is a small world, after all.)
Her very first memory, however, was back way before she even knew the park existed in a new world, a world just outside her home just a few miles away, just outside Los Angeles so far back in her memory that Ema would have believed it all had just been a dream- except that sister had told her the story herself, from her point of view.
That couldn't be a coincidence, Ema told herself firmly. It was scientifically impossible.
The memory was of an incident that happened while she and her older sister were playing together in the fields that were once owned by their parents. (Their parents, as far as she remembered, and as far as Lana would elaborate on the subject, had been land-developers for the city. That was how their parents had met; in a class for such things.) During one of these things, Lana and Ema had fallen victims to a series of unfortunate events, one right after another.
First, as unbelievable as it sounds, the sisters had gotten lost. Not 'lost' as like some children do, pretending they were lost and then 'miraculously' finding their way home again. (Lana had, on countless occasions, described to her younger sister the aforementioned events, and how it had been one of their favorite games.) They were actually 'lost'. Even Lana had no idea whatsoever where they were. Later, Lana told her that they had traveled almost a mile-and-a-half from their house.
Next, they had stumbled onto a small creek filled with tepid water, which was a breeding ground (unbeknownst to even Lana at the time) for snakes, frogs, mosquitoes, and other critters. (The frogs, Lana had told her sister, Had not frightened either of them. In fact, Ema wanted to bring one of them home to their mother.) While Ema endeavored to catch a frog, Lana explored their surroundings until she heard a loud hiss; and realized that, somewhere hidden in the wet and untended grass, lurked an angry snake. Instantly realizing that she and her sister were in considerable danger, she called out to Ema, who instantly panicked and ran off- without waiting for Lana to catch up to her.
Which turned out to be a very, very bad thing to do, and the reason that the two had later been banned from exploring the fields ever again.
Ema, at almost three years old, was new at running and very clumsy. Although Lana was several yards (perhaps twenty) behind Ema, she theorized that Ema had not been looking where she was going, in her haste to get away from whatever danger Lana had spotted, and her foot was caught by a gopher-hole. It twisted, and Ema fell down, yelping in pain. Lana was still a ways behind her.
And that was about when Ema heard something snarl. It was a loud snarl, to be sure, but weak. Ema looked up and, not thirty feet away from her, straight ahead, was a scruffy-looking dog.
The sight of the dog would normally have excited Ema, and had the situation been different, she would have asked Lana to help her find its owner; the poor thing was surely lost. But the dog had this...look about it. It looked like death warmed over, and even from her distance away from it, she could see it was frothing at the mouth and its fur and skin was crawling with critters, eating it from the outside in.
That dog, Ema had learned, years after this event, was rabid, infected with a disease that created madness, and was a much larger threat than an angry snake (or, at least, in her personal opinion it was.)
Any bite of an infected animal could cause terrible sickness if not taken care of, Ema could remember her mother telling Lana as-a-matter-of-factually. The bite, in some circumstances, could be deadly.
Lana had known that. Something about that knowledge- "The fear, perhaps," Lana had later admitted- caused her to begin to yell like a madman, very effectively distracting the canine from her sister. The canine inched toward Lana, who instantly dashed away, incensing the sick dog to lunge, beginning a sort of deadly game of chase. Ema, meanwhile, yelled helplessly, desperately, at her sister.
Suddenly, Lana appeared at her side, grasping Ema's shoulders roughly and forcing her up and over her own shoulders and sprang into a powerful stride. The sick dog chased them, but Lana seemed too fast for the animal.
Ema would have enjoyed this sensation, had circumstances been different- this sensation of flying, of absolute speed. But the sharp, feral howl seemingly close behind she and her sister brought back the reality that both of them were in very real danger.
"I think my ankle's hurt!" Ema remembered yelling at her sister at one point.
"One emergency at a time!" Lana yelled back.
At fifteen years old, Lana was, to three-year-old Ema, the very definition of 'cool'. Even back then, even before their parents had been killed in the accident, Lana had taken care of her little sister, with or (more often) without their expressed wishes. Lana, not their parents, took her to school, helped her dress, fed her, the list went on and on.
It occurred to Ema now, as she sat, staring at nothing as she relived the memory, sitting under a bench under a shady tree in the park, that Lana had run over a mile without a single break. The dog had stopped chasing them long before they reached their house, but Lana had continued to run, holding Ema as though she were a newborn all over again. Although she was in pain because of the ankle she had hurt, Ema had, from the instant Lana had picked her up, felt completely safe. Even with that rabid dog chasing Lana as she ran through the field of long, dead, yellowed grass, she had felt safe.
Their parents had, obviously, grown extremely worried with their prolonged disappearance. A long-agreed curfew had been set into place whenever Lana took Ema outside for the day, and that curfew was simply to be in perfect eyesight range before the sun went down. This night, of course, they had not, but since Lana had never broken the curfew before, their parents, Arthur and Alice Skye, simply believed the elder sister had forgotten and expected a sincere apology for her mistake. However, as the sky grew darker and darker, their worry grew more into a panic. Alice phoned the police, and Arthur, an accomplished outdoors man, hunter, and very well-versed in the land surrounding his property, went out looking for their daughters.
Lana had told her sister that she distinctly remembers three things about that night, above all else. Ema remembered this part of the conversation the most simply because of the pure honesty her sister had given her.
One, Lana remembers the fear. The fear at realizing a snake may have been hidden in the grass; the fear that Ema's ankle was not sprained, but broken (which, unfortunately, it had been) and the fear that the rabid dog would catch her and bite Ema, and the fear that usually accompanies a teenager when they realize they are completely and utterly screwed when they finally get home.
Two, Lana remembers the feeling of shame that coursed through her when their father found her, gasping for breath and shaking from exertion, on the steps of their house when he opened the door to begin his search for them. His harsh demeanor toward the incident, whenever it was mentioned, and his words made it clear that he blamed her for what had happened, and for what could have happened. Lana claimed that she did not hate or even resent him for this- "I was, after all, the one in charge of you."
And third, Lana remembers the feeling of absolute horror when her father came back the morning after and wordlessly handed her a dog's collar. It was rusted and bore the scent of earth, blood, and death.
She still had that collar, Ema thought, She still has it. I've seen it in her bedroom before
A sick kind of keepsake from their late father.
All in all, all Ema really remembered about that evening in the fields (without Lana's prompting) were the consequences; that her ankle kept her in bed for several weeks, and that Lana never took her out 'exploring' again.
:: - Grey Skyes - ::
1 : 23 A.M. - Downtown Los Angeles, Central Park
There were entire lists of things that the world did not know about Prosecutor Miles Edgeworth. For one, as one could plainly see this afternoon, he owned a dog. His name was Pess, and it was Pess that he had brought with him to the park this fine, sunny afternoon. At the moment, as the two walked toward the entrance of Central Park, the purebred golden retriever was curiously sniffing the air.
But anyway, he personally believed that the reason for this was because the people around here (or at least, the people he was forced to be surrounded by, thanks to his profession) saw in him what they wanted to see. But then, all minds are different, so it is only natural that different people saw him in very different ways. Usually, that meant these people could be sorted into one of three groups.
Some saw him as the 'Demon Prosecutor', a corrupt man using any methods he needed, all to get his guilty verdict. To their credit, at one time this described the 'real' Miles Edgeworth. These people were usually fellow Prosecutors, Defense Attorneys, and others connected to law, such as judges, Defendants and local police. Not altogether coincidentally, this group was by far the largest.
Others saw him as a tragic hero of some sort. His father had been murdered by Miles' mentor, Manfred von Karma, and turned him away from his boyhood dream of becoming a Defense Attorney, just like his father had been, before his untimely death. In short, they blamed his mentor for the way he turned out. These people were usually people who read the morning news, and most of them seemed to just so happened to be young women.
The last group was the smallest group, comprised of people who did not believe that he was truly the person he presented to the world. And like the first group mentioned, it was not a coincidence that this group was comprised of the few men and women he saw as his friends and allies. Included in this short list was his adopted sister, Franziska von Karma, Defense Attorney Phoenix Wright, and his assistant and spirit medium, Maya Fey. Quite oddly enough, her elder sister, Mia Fey, was quite comfortably settled in the first group. Miles could never really figure that one out.
A more recent addition to this list was Chief Prosecutor Lana Skye. Although, Miles reflected, as he continued down the stone path leading into Central Park, She was, unfortunately, more of an ally than a friend. She seemed to have distanced herself even further from those who otherwise would befriend her, since the State Versus Edgeworth trial two months ago. It seemed whatever shadow that has plagued her after the SL-9 Incident still follows her.
Miles himself had connections to the SL-9 Incident. He was a bit blurred on the details, as it was a rather quick matter for him, but knew from the moment the trial had begun that something was off. He did remember, however, that the Chief Prosecutor had been a witness. But there was also someone else that had been a witness, too...someone else...
Wait, he remembered now. But why had Lana- "Ah!"
Suddenly, Pess darted off, dragging a surprised Miles with him.
Miles had obviously trained the dog very well, but as Miles was aware, even the most trained, the most perfect of anything, had flaws in its own right. Miles commanded the retriever to heel, but instead, Pess continued to dash between civilians, still dragging along a rather helpless Miles...
...until, that is, Pess seemingly reached his destination and sat in front of it- or rather, her. His tail was waving about wildly, small whines emanating from him, looking up at a young woman. She was dressed in a white laboratory coat, which was decorated by many strange buttons, and dark blue jeans. She carried a small book, which had been abandoned, laying on the bench she sat at under a shaded tree. She looked surprised, as Miles had himself when Pess had suddenly jumped into action.
She, however, took the turn of events better than he did, and simply lowered a hand to allow the dog to sniff her hand. Overjoyed by whatever it is he caught the scent of, Pess took the opportunity to greet the teenager with a happy bark and a very wet greeting. She did not seem disgusted, which an embarrassed Miles was eternally grateful for. When Pess finally backed off, she stood up, smiling.
"Well," She said cheerfully, "That was scientifically unexpected!"
Miles rose his thin eyebrows. "Good afternoon to you, too." The girl looked somewhat familiar. Perhaps she was a relative from a Defendant he had Prosecuted in the past...
"What's his name?" She questioned curiously, oblivious to his thoughts, "A golden retriever, right?"
"Pess," He replied, "And as you guessed, he is a purebred golden retriever. He is usually very well behaved." He threw the dog a small glare. Pess, if dogs could show such expressions, was smirking back up at him. Shaking his head, Miles continued to speak and introduced himself. "I'm Miles Edgeworth." He did not expect a teenager to recognize his name, but this cheerful teenager was full of surprises, and her eyes widened almost comically.
"My sister talks about you a lot." That was certainly not the answer he was expecting. Perhaps her sister was of his second group of people... "I'm sure you know her, Mr. Edgeworth- Lana's the Chief Prosecutor, after all!" Okay, perhaps not. Miles must have given away his shock and surprise in his expression, because the teenager laughed good-naturally. "I'm Ema Skye, high school student. But I prefer to think of myself as a forensic scientist in the making."
The instant Miles heard her name, the blurry memories of the SL-9 Incident came flooding back to him.
The Joe Darke serial murder cases, in which a murderer of the same name killed no less than four people in a panicked, desperate effort to conceal a simple hit-and-run.
The death of rising-star Prosecutor Neil Marshall inside the very walls of the Police Department offices,.in the joint office of the legendary Detective duo, Damon Gant. He had supposedly died protecting someone from Joe Darke, and that certain someone later became the witness the Detectives on the case needed to put together a case for their Prosecution, of which Miles headed.
"I-I see. Your sister does great work." Even before the death- or murder, as it was- of his father, Miles had never been the most socially-aware of people. He preferred to be alone most of the time, though two certain people made the saying 'even lone wolves know they work better in packs' come to life. Nowadays, he blamed his lack of social tact on the same man who took his father away from him.
Something about what he said caused a peculiar change in Ema's expression- from cheerful to sad. "Lana is the greatest," Ema said, her voice hinting to something Miles did not understand, "At Prosecuting." Her expression changed again, back to almost unbearable cheerfulness. "But the ceremony tonight is going to prove me wrong though, huh, Mr. Edgeworth?"
Miles rose his brows. Just how many people were aware of his 'victory'? Though, he was talking to the younger sister of the Chief Prosecutor herself, so her knowing the recipient of the 'King of Prosecutors' award was easy to imagine. Miles said, crossing his arms in his usual impatient manner, "I'm losing a day of work to receive that toy of an award." It was true; he had been ordered to take the day off to 'prepare' for this highest honor.
"Don't look a gift horse in the mouth, Mr. Edgeworth." Ema advised, ever-cheerful. Despite himself, Miles found himself smiling slightly. Her cheerfulness was contagious.
"I suppose," He allowed, still smiling his slight smile, "That at the very least, the thing will be a worthy addition to my office decorations."
"Well, there you go! I'm sure it will, Mr. Edgeworth! I've seen it myself, it doesn't look too bad..." Ema laughed, and Miles felt his mood lift higher than it had been in months. Something about her cheerfulness, as he had noticed before, was contagious...
...Which begs a question- since her elder sister, Chief Prosecutor Lana Skye, lived with this cheerful girl, what had happened during the SL-9 Incident that had drove Lana's 'true self' into hiding?
Somehow, he knew Ema would not take the question well. Keeping that particular question to himself, he asked instead, not quite able to allow his curiosity with the Skye sisters go, "Your sister, she is your guardian?"
Obviously, he knew the answer. Lana had inadvertently told him this, when he had met with her to discuss the then-heavy rumor about 'them'. Miles had, even then, realized, quite by accident, after leaving her office, that he had a- what was it? Ah!- a crush (a silly as it sounds) on the Chief Prosecutor.
It seemed an ironic, hypocritical thing, everything considered.
Ema answered, again oblivious to his thoughts, "Yes, she is." Was Miles imagining it, or was that resentment in her voice? "Our parents died in a car accident when I was four. Lana fought the state or Child Protective Services or whatever for custody. That was her first time in court." As quickly as it had come, the resentment vanished, replaced, again, with an overbearing cheerfulness.
A cheerfulness, Miles was beginning to think, That hid something more than a little resentment.
"She's a natural for court stuff. I remember this one time..."
As their light-hearted and friendly conversation continued, Miles decided that, for the sake of Ema (at least, that is what he told himself) he would find the answer- the truth!- to his question: exactly what about the SL-9 Incident had changed Lana Skye so dramatically?
As it turned out, Miles would not have to wait long for his chance to uncover her truth.
:: - Grey Skyes - ::