Hello, I'm back at what I assume is a reasonable gap between updates but in reality is like two weeks instead of one but I mean at least I'm in the right month? :D?
Anyway, for those of you who've been enjoying this story I've got a surprise for you that isn't really much of a surprise if you've been following this thing since the kink meme, but more details on that at the end.
March 17, 2:45 PM. 10th Street.
"Larry, what are you doing here?"
"I was supposed to meet up my girlfriend Vivian before she went to Paris for a modeling gig, but she kinda broke up with me before she left."
"So what, you've been wandering the city in a heartbroken daze ever since?"
"Yeah, something like that, but now that Maya's here -" he looked around for her before his eyes landed on Ludwig, "you're not Maya."
"No, I'm not."
"Nick! You jerk! Why'd you go and fire cute little Maya and replace her with some buff guy?! I'll never forgive you for this!"
(Why is that the first conclusion he jumps to?) "I didn't fire Maya; she's just having lunch with some Italians we just met, so Ludwig here is helping me instead."
"Italians?!" Larry sobbed dramatically, "How am I supposed to compete with Italians? They're like, the best lovers in the world!"
"Third best," Ludwig corrected, "Spain and Brazil beat them out, not that I keep track of those things or would know."
"Still, what's wrong with an old-fashioned American lover? Too many women are chasing after those 'exotic lovers,' completely failing to realize what a catch they have right in front of them."
"It is truly a shame," I deadpanned.
"So what brings you to DC Nick?"
"I'm working on the Jones case."
"Really? You're the idiot lawyer who agreed to defend him? Can't say I'm surprised; this case is right up your alley!"
(W-what's that supposed to mean?!)
"But man, what a freakish coincidence it is that we'd both be here at the same time."
"Yeah about that, were you here on March 10th?"
"Sheesh Nick, what's with that transition?"
"I agree," Ludwig nodded, "you could have planned that better."
"J-just answer the question Larry."
"Uh, yeah. I've been here since like, the 8th."
"Did you meet my brother, Gilbert, on the 10th?" Ludwig asked.
Chains accompanied by three locks appeared suddenly from nowhere.
(Psyche locks. Looks like Larry's got something to hide, not that I'm surprised. He usually does.)
"I don't even know who you are, West. How am I supposed to know who your brother is?"
(West? That's a strange nickname to call someone you just met, but it's familiar somehow. Where have I heard it before?)
"So, you did meet my brother."
Larry started sweating, "Y-you don't know that!"
"He's the only one who calls me West. Naturally if you're using that nickname too, it means you've met him at some point and he talked about me. In order for you to have recognized me, he must have been showing you pictures, which means he was either complaining or bragging, and if he was doing either he was most likely drunk. The only logical conclusion is you were out drinking with my brother."
One of the locks broke.
(Wait, we're doing this now? I haven't presented the magatama yet, is this allowed? I guess it doesn't matter as long as we get to the bottom of it, but still. It's the principal of the thing.)
"Well Larry," I asked, "is that true?"
"Maybe I was drinking with your brother and his friend," he conceded, "but you can't prove if it was on the 10th, can you?"
"Yeah, so I met them. But it wasn't on the 10th. I've been here since the 8th you know. We could have been out then or even on the 9th."
"We weren't even in the country until the 10th," Ludwig said, "There's no way you could have gone out with them before that date."
"Yeah, that's what you say, but international flight can mess with your internal calendar, or so I hear. Can you prove that's when you were actually here?"
"Herr Wright, do you still have the list I had Roderich give you?"
"What? Oh, yeah. TAKE THAT!"
"That," Ludwig answered, "is a list of everyone involved with this case that showed up on March 10th. As you can see, Gilbert was not here until March 10th, and the only one in the city before then was Alfred. I can personally vouch that everything on the list is fact. There's no way you could have met with Gilbert any time before March 10th."
"Yeah, alright," Larry started fidgeting, "So maybe we didn't hang out before the 10th, but that doesn't mean we hung out on the 10th."
"What are you talking about?" I asked.
"It's possible we could have gone out after the 10th right? He's still here after all."
"Larry, don't be ridiculous."
"Do you have proof otherwise, Nick? Do you? If you don't, well, you can't pin anything on me!"
(I haven't actually accused you of anything yet, you know.)
"You said you were out with Gilbert and his friend correct?" Ludwig asked, "A Frenchman named Francis, if I'm not mistaken?"
"Yeah, that's right," he nodded, "But it wasn't on the 10th."
"Just Gilbert and Francis?"
"Yup. Just the three of us."
"If you really were drinking with them after the 10th then it wouldn't have been just the two of them. It would have been the three of them, since the real Antonio, their other drinking buddy, didn't arrive until the next day. If you did meet with them after the 10th, the three of them would have been together. Since you failed to mention him, he obviously wasn't there, which means-"
"The only possible date you could have been out drinking with Gilbert and Francis was March 10th!" I concluded.
The second psyche lock broke.
"Alright so maybe it was the 10th, but it's not like we did or saw anything wrong!"
"No really Nick, do you have proof we did anything wrong?"
(I still haven't accused you of anything!)
"The 911 call, the one we have the transcript for," Ludwig stated, "That's our proof."
"Oh, right. TAKE THAT!"
"How does that prove anything? I'm not the one who made the call."
"Even if you weren't, which I'm starting to suspect you were, we've already proven that you were with Gilbert on the night the call was made. Gilbert has already admitted to being in the call, which means that he was at the crime scene, along with anyone else who was with him that night, meaning you."
The final lock broke and the chains disappeared.
(I still feel like I cheated somehow. Ludwig can't even see the psyche locks and he broke them all.)
"Alright! I confess!" Larry sobbed, "I made the call! But I didn't kill him, honest! I didn't even realize he was dead until I heard about it the next day! You've gotta believe me, Nick, I didn't do it!"
"I believe you, I believe you! But you still left the scene of the crime, Larry. Why did you do that?"
"They dragged me away," he admitted, "Gilbert and Francis. Apparently they didn't want that Jones guy to find them there."
(That matches what Gilbert said, at least.)
"Do you remember what you saw in the alley that night?" Ludwig asked.
"Uh, yeah. I'm pretty sure I still remember."
(Pretty sure?! We're going to need a bit more then pretty sure.)
"It's better than Gilbert at any rate," Ludwig sighed, "That will have to do," he pulled out his phone and started dialing.
"Who are you calling?" I asked, but before he could answer the other end picked up.
"Ja, Franziska it's me."
(F-Franziska?! I thought you were on my side! I feel so betrayed!)
"We found not-Antonio and he remembers, well, something, I suppose."
"Good job, Ludwig. It's good to know I can count on one of you. Who is he?"
"A friend of Herr Wright's, Larry something."
"Butz?! Larry Butz is not-Antonio?! Please tell me Larry Butz is not not-Antonio."
"Ja, what's wrong."
"Is that Franzi?" Larry asked as he leaned in towards the phone, "Tell her I said hi!"
"Change of plans, Ludwig. Gilbert's testifying instead."
"What? That's ridiculous! He can't remember anything."
"I'll make him remember. Have Larry come here and jumpstart his memory if you must. Trust me this is the lesser of two evils."
(I'm going to have to agree with her on that one. I'd like to avoid the headache that is Larry's testimony. Memory or not, Gilbert can't be worse than that, I hope.)
"If you insist. I'll bring him over right away. Auf Wiedersehen," He hung up the phone and grabbed Larry's wrist, "Come on, you need to help my brother remember what he did last night." With much protesting by Larry, he began dragging him back to the hotel.
They both stopped and turned to face me. "What is it?" Ludwig asked.
(Larry could hold vital clues as to what actually went down. I can' just let him slip away.) "I, uh, we were supposed to investigate this together! We had a deal."
"You can come too, Herr Wright. No one's stopping you."
"Yeah, quit whining and c'mon Nick."
(I don't want to give Franziska anymore advantages, but it looks like that's unavoidable. She's been talking to Gilbert all day, and if Larry's going to kick-start his memory I should at least be there.) "Alright, then I'm coming too."
March 17, 3:00 PM. Westin Arlington Gateway Hotel, Lobby.
"Phoenix Wright! What are you doing here?" Franziska asked.
"Investigating," (Just, you know, my job.) "What about you?"
"Just, you know, my job." She turned and snapped at Gilbert, "Well, do you remember anything yet?"
"Calm down Franzi, I'm just getting reacquainted with the guy. You've got to give it some time for the awesome memory juices to begin flowing. So, not-Antonio-"
"It's actually Larry."
"Whatever floats your boat. What exactly do you remember us doing, and was it as awesome as I recall it to be?"
(You don't recall anything that's the problem!)
"It was pretty awesome, yeah," Larry scratched his head as his eyes wandered around the lobby, looking as if the action of thinking physically pained him, "Uh, we went to a bunch of bars in the area, got kicked out of all of them, robbed a liquor store-"
"Gilbert!" Ludwig barked, "You told me you didn't commit a felony!"
"I also told you I remembered what I did that night, and we all know how that turned out. But it's starting to come back, continue not-Antonio."
"Uh, we fled to the rooftops and hung out there a bit. There was a gunshot-"
"One or two?" I asked.
"One. Or two. Maybe three?"
"Fool!" Franziska whipped him, "You were right there! How could you not know!?"
"Ouch! Easy there, Franzi. There was a lot of echoing and I was pretty gone. I can't be too sure. Anyway, we looked over and saw a guy bleeding, so I called the cops. Then that Jones guy showed up and we high tailed it out of there."
"Alfred showed up after the gunshot?" (That means he couldn't have fired it!)
"Yeah, pretty sure - ouch! Franzi, why so cruel?"
"You said it yourself; you were drunk. A compromised witness is a useless witness. Are you sure that's what happened?"
"Yes! Sheesh, that's what I said happened so that's what happened! Is that so hard to believe?"
(Well, you're not exactly known for your honesty, but compared to some of the other things you've testified to, this one is actually plausible.)
"No," Gilbert said suddenly, uncharacteristically serious. It was, well, very off-putting seeing him like that, "That's not what happened. I remember it now."
"For real this time?" Ludwig asked, "You're not just saying that to stop the questioning?"
"Yeah, I didn't see the actually gunshot but Alfred was there when I looked over and-" his face pale, if that was possible, "Franziska, I changed my mind. I don't want to testify anymore."
"Gilbert Wiellschmidt, you completely foolish fool of a fool!" Franzika gave him death glare to end all death glares as she cornered him into his chair, "Do you actually think I'm going to accept that after everything you've put me through today?"
"Sorry about that," he gave a half-hearted chuckle and looked everywhere but her, "but I just realized I'm too awesome for this case."
Larry and I stared at him, trying to comprehend just what was going on. Franziska was about ready to breath fire, while Ludwig looked troubled. She grabbed Gilbert's collar and was dragging him off when sound filled the air.
99 Luftballons, Auf ihrem Weg zum Horizont
Everyone stopped to stare at Ludwig, who blushed and answered his cell.
"Ja? ...Where are you? … You're where exactly? … I'm sorry about the pasta but…well where is he? … Where's Maya? … Just stay there, I'll come to you. No, don't move, I'll come to you." He sighed as he hung up.
"What happened?" I asked. At the mention of Maya, I could sense Larry listening intently somewhere behind me.
"Feliciano and Maya got lost in a park. I'm going to go pick them up."
"I'll come with you!" Larry volunteered before a well-aimed whip caught him around the neck.
"You're coming with me, fool," Franziska hissed, "We're solving this riddle and one of you foolhardy fools is testifying tomorrow if it's the last thing I do."
"On second thought, I'll go with Franzi. Nick, rescue Maya in my stead!" Franziska proceeded to drag him and Gilbert upstairs. I sent my prayers and deepest sympathies after them; it was all I could do.
"I guess I'll go with you."
March 17, 3:25 PM. Lincoln Park.
Once we got there, Ludwig and I decided to split up. The faster we found them, the better for everyone involved, and everyone not involved.
I was wandering through the park, keeping my eyes open for Maya, when I found a different familiar face.
"Edgeworth? What are you doing here?"
He was sitting on a bench, looking up at the sky as if it held all the answers, a file in his lap and a young, unfamiliar man next to him.
"Hm?" he looked at me, "Oh, Wright, you're here."
(He seems pretty out of it. I wonder how his investigation is going.)
"Right, Wright this is Im Yong Soo, he's been following me around for the past two days. Yong Soo, this is Phoenix Wright."
"Nice to meet you."
Im Yong Soo
Works for the South Korean government. Has a strong attachment to his 'brothers' Kiku and Yao. Likes the internet, games, and claiming the origin of things as Korea. Has been 'helping' Edgeworth.
"Likewise. So, what's up Edgeworth? You seem, different."
"Do I? I was just thinking."
"About what? Did you find out anything about, uh-"
"Jones? Yes, I finally found his real file. I assure you that was no easy task."
"I helped," Yong Soo added.
"He explained everything to me. Alfred that is, although some of it is quite hard to believe."
"So you know why you think he's innocent?"
"Yes, I do."
(And you've lost me.) "Huh?"
Yong Soo plugged in his headphones and ignored the rest of the conversation. Edgeworth looked back at the sky.
"The sky is still blue, the grass is still growing. Everything is still puttering on as always has." He chuckled, and he actually sounded amused, "I suppose in the end, he was right after all. It didn't really matter."
"Can you update me a little on your train of thought? You've figured out why Alfred is innocent? Mind sharing with the class?"
He smirked; there was the Edgeworth I knew, "What fun would it be if I spoiled the surprise?"
(You've got to be kidding me.) "You went through all that trouble and you're not going to tell me?"
"I told you at the very beginning: you are perfectly capable of doing your own job," Edgeworth stood up and handed me the file, "He is innocent; I have no more doubts about. You better not screw this one up, Wright. I'm feeling a bit generous right now, so I'll give you that to mull over." He turned and walked away, shouting, "Yong Soo, I'm leaving," over his shoulder.
"Ah, wait up Edgey!" He gave me a quick wave goodbye before chasing after Edgeworth.
I sat down and started flipping through the file.
Alfred Jones File:
The official file on Alfred F. Jones. Dates back to the 1970s.
Alias: Alfred Franklin Jones
Full Name: United States of America
Approximate Age: 195
Date of Birth: July 4, 1776 (official), March 26, 1607 (unofficial )
Occupation: United States of America (Nation)
Known Relations: Canada (Matthew Williams, brother), United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (Arthur Kirkland, former guardian, friend), Japan (Honda Kiku, friend), French Republic (Francis Bonnefoy).
First things first:
- Ludwig's ringtone is "99 Luftballons" by Nena. I know like two songs in German from this century and the second one will be making an appearance later.
- You may be thinking to yourself "What's Edgeworth been up to? Why's he with Korea? Wtf did he find out? What's going on with him?" The answer to those questions and more will be answered in an Edgeworth-centered 2 part side story that I will be posting later this month (or early next month depending on when I finally realize the date), so be on the lookout for that.