"Did you think I had forgotten about you, Phoenix Wright?"
The defense attorney quickly glanced up from his desk; his eyes growing wide. There was no one in the office with him. "Who's there?" he called out.
"Behind you, you incompetent fool."
Wright spun around in his chair. Almost immediately, he felt all blood drain from his face. A ghastly, phantasmic image of a man stared down at him with intense hatred in his cold gaze.
"V-Von Karma…?!" Wright gasped. Swallowing hard, he furrowed his brow. "But… you're dead. How did you end up here?" He paused. "Wait. I'm probably dreaming."
"In a sense, you are. But I didn't show up here to chat idly about such trifling matters." The old man shook his head and wagged his finger - something Wright remembered him doing often. "I merely wanted to ask you a favor… though whether or not you agree to it is of no concern to me."
Wright could feel his heart beating fast. Just what was this all about?
"Since there is nothing left for me to hide in this state," von Karma continued, "I might as well make it very clear. I wish to inhabit your body for the time being."
A pause. Wright stared at the man for an uncomfortable amount of time. "Excuse me? 'Inhabit?' What are you talking about, von Karma?"
Again, the man shook his head. "Tsk, tsk… and here I assumed such a thing as this would be simple knowledge to you, Mr. Wright." A devilish smirk came on his face. "Didn't your foolish spirit medium assistant teach you anything?"
Wright took in a deep breath. "Y-yes," he quickly stuttered, "but I can't let you do that." The young man narrowed his eyes. "I would have to give you permission to do something like that first, wouldn't I?"
"Ahh, but that's where you're wrong, Mr. Wright," von Karma objected. "You see, you really don't have control over your soul, do you?" A sinister chuckle escaped his lips. "But I, being nothing but a spirit myself, have many more liberties." His eyes darkened.
"I say you will subject to my command. You have no other option."
"O-objection!" Wright loudly exclaimed; pointing a finger at von Karma. "You said I was dreaming, didn't you? I can just wake myself up before you do anything." He frowned. "And what exactly would you accomplish by being… me?"
Von Karma grew quiet. Folding his arms, he closed his eyes and raised an eyebrow. "Now, now… if I told you, what good would that do?" He leveled his gaze at Wright once more. "I simply wish for your cooperation in this. That is all."
Wright could feel his gut twisting at the man's words. In defiance, he tried his hardest to wake himself up.
"No, you can't…. I won't…." shaking his head, he squeezed his eyes shut and sharply breathed in. Opening his eyes, he noticed that von Karma's image had vanished. All that remained was a tiny, white light that hovered innocently before him.
The light dove forward. Wright clenched his teeth when he felt the man's spirit penetrate his own heart and mind; his chest glowing brightly for a moment before the light disappeared underneath his skin.
"This… isn't happening….! It's just a dream!"
"Oh…" von Karma's sickening voice echoed in his brain. "But is that all it is…?"
Phoenix Wright shot up in bed; sweat dripping from his forehead as he gasped. He stared at the wall for several moments before running a trembling hand through his damp hair.
"What the… hell?" He whispered. What was that all about? I never have nightmares this vivid. Shaking it off, he reached over and turned on the lamp on his nightstand. His entire body was still shaken up even though he tried his hardest to calm himself down.
Should I tell Maya about this? He wondered with a shudder. Maybe she would be able to explain it to me… if it means anything at all.
After about a half hour of contemplation, Wright decided to try and fall back asleep despite the ill feelings he got when thinking about the dream. He would tell Maya about it the next day at work, seeing as how she knew so much about the spirit realm. If anyone, she would be able to tell him whether or not it was, in fact, von Karma's real ghost that came to him. The thought alone sent a chill up Wright's spine.
Just calm down, Phoenix. It was probably nothing. He shut his eyes and turned over on his side. As he was falling asleep, quick images flashed through his mind.
There was a date accompanied by a specific time. The next image was a place - one that was familiar to him, and….
A face. A face he knew far too well. But the face in his mind seemed… different. Wright's expression changed to one of confusion as he finally realized what was happening.
One word swiftly came to the forefront of his brain. Murder. This person had been killed in cold blood….
And Wright was the one who did it.
"Hey, Nick," a bright voice piped up. "Did ya get any burgers?"
Wright rolled his eyes slightly and shoved a bag of fast food across his desk. A squeal of delight came from the young woman's mouth as she happily dove forward to take the bag into her hands. Wright shook his head.
"You know, Maya - it'd probably be best if you started eating something healthier than burgers," he teased. His assistant merely pulled the burger out of the bag and shook her head - causing her long hair to swish around her face.
"Nuh-uh!" she cried; taking a large bite out of the bun. "We've already gone over this, Nick. There's nothing better in life than a good burger." She giggled and sat down at the desk as she happily ate her lunch. After a few moments, she noticed that Wright had been staring at her the whole time; his gaze rather vacant. Her eyebrow shot up and she frowned.
"What?" She cocked her head slightly. "What's wrong? Why are your eyebrows all scrunched like that?" Wright shook his head and sighed.
"N-nothing. It's nothing, Maya." Placing his head in his hands, he let out another sigh. "I just… I didn't get much sleep last night. I'm really tired."
"It shows." Maya licked her fingers after finishing her food. "You kinda have little dark circles under your eyes, you know." She folded her arms. "Maybe you should try aromatherapy. That helps me relax right before bedtime."
Wright glanced back up at her. "Oh…?"
"Yeah. You just burn a candle by your bed as you fall asleep. I could give you one to try out!"
"Uhh… that's okay, Maya. I think I'll be fine."
The young woman raised an unconvinced eyebrow. "Alright, Nick. If ya say so."
Their conversation lapsed for a moment. It was obvious that Wright's mind was wandering elsewhere. Maya pursed her lips and grabbed a small stack of papers - setting it down in front of him as if to give him an obvious cue. He blinked several times before glancing down at the work he was supposed to be doing.
"Okay, you better tell me what's going on," Maya's stern voice cut into his mind. "You're acting really weird today. What's bothering you?"
Wright let out a deep breath and rubbed his temple. "Maya, I… I think I was visited by a ghost last night," he finally whispered. Her eyes grew wide.
"Really? Who was it?"
He opened his mouth to respond; his voice faltering sightly as he spoke. "It was von Karma."
Maya was slightly taken aback. "But… why would he just suddenly appear after all this time? And to you, no less!" She looked Wright in the eyes. "Are you sure it was him?"
"Not really," he replied. "But it seemed like the real deal."
"Well, what did he do?"
"He… he talked about using me like a pawn, in a sense." Wright shook his head. "It uhh… it freaked me out pretty bad." Maya bit her lip.
"So he was talking about possession? But… that doesn't make sense. I thought only spirit mediums could control that!" She held up a finger. "Professional spirit mediums."
"I… I don't know, Maya. He seemed pretty adamant about it. He said I had no choice."
Maya shuddered. "Umm… that's a bit freaky." Furrowing her brows, she folded her arms and pressed her palm underneath her chin as she thought about it. "No, I've never heard of something like this happening before. The spirit usually doesn't take control unless given permission." She narrowed her eyes. "And plus, the channeling technique is only native to the Fey clan. No one else is qualified to do it."
"I doubt it had anything to do with that."
It grew quiet once again. Maya tapped her fingers against the tabletop and placed her cheek in her hand. After a few moments, she glanced over at Wright once more.
"You're not telling me the whole story, Nick." She let out a frustrated sigh and brushed her long hair behind her ear. "What else is bothering you? It's all connected, isn't it?"
Wright's eyes darted down to his hands that were folded on the table. For several seconds, he didn't speak. He almost didn't want to.
"D-don't worry, Maya. I'm gonna work it all out." He looked up and gave a soft smile. With that said, he immediately got to work. The young woman huffed; her face scrunched in a pout. He had obviously avoided her question.
Well, it doesn't matter, I guess, she thought with a mental shrug, I'm sure he'll tell me eventually.
Golden sunlight streaked into the room; casting its warm rays across the neatly-kept desk directly in front of the window. The light played on the different articles that furnished the tidy office.
Regardless of the sunlight that was cast on his face, Miles Edgeworth reclined on the plush sofa; his eyes closed in a much-needed catnap. He had almost an entire half-hour of free time, and what better way to spend it than to catch up on lost sleep?
A sudden noise attracted his attention, which in turn pulled him out of his rest. Edgeworth sat up and rubbed his eyes in frustration. What on earth had woken him up?
He heard the noise once more, only this time clearer. Someone was knocking.
Of course I never get a moment to myself, he thought in exasperation as he stood to his feet and walked over to the door to answer it. To his surprise, there was no one there. His eyes quickly scanned the hallway before turning back around and closing the door behind him.
"I… must have been imagining things," he muttered quietly to himself. His gaze slowly turned to the window as he spoke, and he abruptly let out a shocked cry. There, in the window, was a girl; her long hair and scarf billowing behind her in the warm breeze. A large grin was plastered on her face as she laughed and waved at him.
Edgeworth sprinted over to the window and opened it; his eyes wide.
"Hey there, Mr. Edgeworth!" She exclaimed once she jumped inside the room. Cockily, she leaned her head back and rubbed her nose. "Miss me?"
"Wha- how did you climb all the way up here?!" Edgeworth asked. "There is a door, in case you've forgotten."
"Aww, but what's the fun in that?" The girl whined. "You really need to lighten up, Mr. Edgeworth. You look so serious all the time, and I don't think that's very good for your health." She smirked.
"If anything, you should be really happy right now!"
Edgeworth frowned and closed the window before turning back around to face her. "And why is that, Kay?"
"Because it's your birthday!" she exclaimed; her jet-black hair bouncing around behind her as she danced in excitement. Edgeworth's eyes popped open in astonishment and he took a step back - his mouth slightly ajar.
"H-how did you know…?!" he stuttered. Kay put a hand on her hip and giggled; winking.
"I have my ways. I just wanted to wish you a happy birthday, since… you know… no one else will."
"Well…" Edgeworth cleared his throat. "I… umm… thank you, I suppose."
"Oh it's not over yet. Gummy and I got a present for you. He should be here soon." The bright smile was still on Kay's face as she stared up at the man expectantly. Edgeworth sighed.
"You pulled Detective Gumshoe into this, as well?"
Almost as if on cue, a loud knock sounded from outside. The door swung open - a scruffy-looking man appeared on the other side.
"Hey there, Mr. Edgeworth Sir!" He jovially exclaimed. There was a small package in his hand. "How's everything going, pal? Didn't expect to see Kay here, did ya?"
"N-no," Edgeworth slowly said, his voice taking on a slightly quizzical tone. "It was a… pleasant surprise." Kay let out a laugh and turned to the detective.
"You should have heard him scream when he saw me in the window, Gummy!" She shook her head and wiped her eyes. "It was priceless! He sounded like he was going through puberty again!" Edgeworth's cold eyes narrowed.
"We will not be bringing that up," he hissed. "I was only a tad surprised, is all."
Kay and Gumshoe exchanged glances of disbelief. With a shrug, Gumshoe handed the package to Edgeworth and grinned.
"Anyway, here ya go, pal. Kay and I got this for you. It's not much… but we wanted to at least give you a present for your birthday." Edgeworth slowly took it into his hands and inspected it. Kay rolled her eyes.
"Just open it!" She urged. Edgeworth took off the brown paper wrapping only to find himself holding a keepsake box. On the outside was carved a familiar symbol - one that he recognized immediately. Inside, a small silver keychain sat encased in soft velvet. It was engraved in the shape of what looked to be a samurai head.
"We both know how much you like the Steel Samurai, so we thought this was a fitting birthday present." Kay smiled wide and spread her hands out. "Happy birthday!" She sang.
Edgeworth was completely caught off-guard by the simple gift. In truth, he was rather impressed at the authenticity of the keychain, but his adoration for the Steel Samurai television show was not something he openly expressed.
Gumshoe's face fell. "You… do like it, don't ya, pal?" Kay snorted.
"Please. He's just pretending to be formal about it. We both know that inside, he's squealing with excitement."
"Excuse me. I do not squeal," Edgeworth corrected. "But… I do appreciate the gift. Thank you." Kay happily bit her lip when she saw a hint of a smile peek out from the corners of his mouth. Swiftly, she dug into her knapsack and pulled out an identical box.
"Look, look, look! I have one, too!" She exclaimed. "…Even though I still think that the Jammin' Ninja is way cooler than the Steel Samurai. I just wanted to have matching keychains!" She laughed. "It's kind of like a friendship charm."
Gumshoe let out a tiny sigh and scratched the back of his head.
"Sorry we couldn't do much else, Mr. Edgeworth Sir. It took us a while just to find that gift, you know."
"It's quite alright, Detective. No need to apologize." Edgeworth's eyes wandered over to the clock, and he let out a sigh. "However, I better get back to work. If you both wouldn't mind…?" Kay nodded in understanding. She gave a thumbs up and let out another laugh.
"We'll stick around outside. Gummy promised to take us all out for dinner tonight for your birthday. So you better find us once you're done!" Gumshoe's eyebrows shot up perplexedly.
"I… I did?" He let out a hearty chuckle. "Well, uhh… heh. I guess that sounds fine. Anyway, we won't keep you any longer, Mr. Edgeworth Sir. See ya later, pal!"
The two left the room; leaving Edgeworth alone once again. Running a hand through his hair, the prosecutor sat down at his desk and fingered the keychain tenderly. It had been some time since anyone had given him a gift for his birthday… or even remembered, for that matter. A small smile came to his face as he put the keychain back in its box. Not wanting anyone else to see it, he placed the box inside a drawer in the far corner of the room - where only he knew of its existence.
I can't forget to meet them after work, he reminded himself as he pulled out several case files that he was required to study. With a small sigh, he turned his attention to his work; hoping silently that in doing so, the hours would tick by much faster.
With Maya out of the room for the time being, Wright was busying himself in finishing up the work he started earlier. He had his laptop out simultaneously - every now and then checking it for potential e-mail updates.
Without warning, his eyes seemed to flash momentarily; his mind blanking out immediately afterward. Wright's hand moved forward and pulled the laptop close, beginning a web search. His eyes scanned the various pages until he found what he was looking for.
He dug around in his pocket. Pulling out his cell phone, he began following what was said on the page; dismantling it and re-wiring the entire thing. By the time he was finished, he had successfully turned his seemingly innocent cell phone into nothing other than a timed detonator - one he could set with only the press of a button.
Closing the search, he slipped the phone back into his pocket. His eyes flashed once again, and his head landed limply on the table with a loud thud.
Several minutes passed. Wright hadn't moved. He appeared as though he were unconscious. After time, he could hear a faint voice speaking to him through the darkness of his mind.
"Nick…? What's happening?! Can you hear me?"
A tremor. Somebody was shaking him.
"Please, wake up…!"
A small moan came from his lips as his eyes opened. He slowly looked up to see Maya standing over him, her eyes wide with fright. She had one hand over her mouth; the other on his shoulder.
"You… you really scared me, Nick," she gasped. Her voice was trembling. "Are you okay?"
Wright sat up straight once again and rubbed his aching forehead. "Uhh… yeah." He winced slightly when his fingers rested on his head. There seemed to be a slight bruise where it had hit the table. "Nnngh, I think I passed out or something." He frowned. "I don't remember anything out of the ordinary. My mind just…. blanked."
Maya bit her lip. "Maybe you haven't had enough to eat?" She suggested. "That's kinda normal, you know. Low blood sugar does that." The young woman folded her arms. "You should probably take a break or just go home early. Today's been an off-day for you, huh?"
"Well, not much has happened anyway," Wright mentioned. "As far as work goes, I mean. It's been pretty slow."
"Hey, I can cover for you for the rest of the day, if you want. I think you just need a lot of rest. You never know - it might be a virus or something."
"I have been feeling kinda weird today…."
Maya sternly looked at him. "Nick. Really. If you're not feeling good, you should have said so earlier." A smile appeared on her face and she clasped her hands together. "Like I said - I can take over for you. I know what to do."
Wright finally agreed. Standing to his feet, he slipped out of the office and found a taxi outside. He got in the back seat and stared blankly at the building; his mind wandering back to what had happened.
I don't get it, he thought with a frown. Shaking his head, he buckled himself in as the cab driver pulled out of the parking lot. I don't feel sick. So what's really going on here?
Tsk, tsk, tsk… Wright clenched his fists in fear. Von Karma's voice had returned. What did I tell you, my boy? You should have figured this all out hours ago.
Wright's hands began to tremble violently as he listened to what von Karma was saying. He kept his eyes out the window.
So then you tell me, Mr. von Karma. What happened when I blacked out? What did you do?
The old prosecutor's deep laugh resonated through his mind. You'll see soon enough.
Wright finally asked the driver to pull over; at this point, he was feeling quite ill. He was seeing the same images flash through his mind once more: the time; the place. In an act of fearful curiosity, he glanced at the digital clock on the dashboard. It was almost the same time he saw in his mind.
How about you look outside. Tell me where you are, von Karma calmly spoke. Wright quickly obeyed, and bit back a gasp. He was outside of the prosecutor's building - the same place he had pictured in his mind.
But… he's not inside, right? The horrified defense attorney gulped and stared hard at the building; as if doing so would help answer his question. Von Karma let out yet another dark chuckle.
That is the plan, Mr. Wright. You know what is going to happen. Unfortunately for you, there's absolutely nothing you can do about it.
Wright let out a sharp gasp as his eyes flashed a bright white. Only seconds later, his irises had both changed from their usual chocolate brown to a dark green tint. His lip curled upward into a chilling grimace. The man stepped out of the car and casually adjusted his dark blue suit; handing the taxi driver several dollar bills in exchange for the ride. Once the car drove off, Wright turned toward the prosecutor's building.
It's almost a shame you don't see this coming, Edgeworth.
5:00 PM. Edgeworth rubbed his forehead and shoved aside his work before getting out of his office chair. He had done everything necessary for preparing his case the following week. As of now, he was officially finished work for the evening.
He neatly put away his files and was busying himself in tidying up the desk when he heard yet another knock on the door. Thinking it was either Gumshoe or Kay, he answered it.
"Wright?" He exclaimed, "is there… something you need?" His eyes narrowed in quiet contemplation when Wright didn't reply. The attorney stepped into the office and closed the door solemnly behind him.
Edgeworth immediately grew suspicious. Tilting his head back slightly, he picked up on a rather minute detail - something that seemed extremely off.
I could have sworn his eyes were brown…. The prosecutor stepped back; his eyes slowly growing wide. "What on earth happened to you, Wright? Is something the matter?"
Then he heard it. The deep chuckle that he had heard so many times before - like a haunting whisper from his past coming back from the dead. Wright's gaze darkened as a cruel smirk spread across his face.
"It doesn't take you long to pick up on such nuances, does it?" von Karma's unmistakable voice came out of the man. Edgeworth swallowed hard; shock visibly written on his pale face.
"Sir, how did you-?!"
A loud click cut him off mid-sentence. Wright had snapped his fingers sharply. It was a common action for von Karma to do when he took control of a situation.
"I don't want to hear your worthless babbling, boy. I merely decided that it was high time I finish what I had intended to do years ago." He wagged his finger. "And as for Mr. Wright…? That man will pay dearly for exposing me in front of the entire court."
Edgeworth's gaze quickly darted for the door. Before he had a chance to reach for the handle, Wright's hand shot out and locked it.
"Ah, ah," von Karma chided. Edgeworth instantly felt a fist collide with the side of his head. The blow caused him to stagger back; his vision wavering.
Don't black out, Miles! he mentally cried, trying to keep himself conscious. Narrowing his eyes, he glanced up at Wright. The attorney dashed forward and pinned Edgeworth against the desk. Edgeworth began to fight back the moment he felt Wright's hands wrap around his neck.
"Enough!" he choked. "Let… let me… go….!"
In an act of self defense, the man reached down into a nearby drawer and pulled out a shiny object. He pressed a button on the side - revealing it to be a small pocketknife. Wright's eyes locked onto the knife, and with his left hand, he effortlessly snatched it from Edgeworth.
The prosecutor's clear grey eyes shot up to look at Wright with an appearance of complete dismay and surrender. He found he couldn't move. Panic had temporarily paralyzed him.
"For once, I don't need to remove all evidence of a crime." Von Karma laughed. "Wright won't have an alibi. No one will be able to prove his innocence."
Sweat trickled down Edgeworth's neck and forehead as he struggled to breathe. "N-no, please…." He could feel his arms going limp from lack of oxygen. "Please, Sir… don't….!"
A short scream leapt from his throat. Sharp pain flashed through his body as the small blade penetrated his skin. Blood spurted from the fresh gash, splattering Wright's hand in the warm liquid. Gasping in agony, Edgeworth slowly collapsed to the ground; gripping his side as he curled into a ball from the immense pain.
Wright took a step back and folded his arms. Raising an eyebrow, he nonchalantly reached into his pocket and found the cell phone. It only took one click. The detonator had been activated. Without saying another word, he gently placed it in the corner of the room - right up against the wall.
There is no way Wright can get away with a multiple murder charge, now can he? von Karma sadistically thought. Turning back to Edgeworth, he laughed.
"You shouldn't have let that bastard Wright take your case, Edgeworth. If you had simply accepted the guilty verdict, none of this would have happened."
That was all he said. As quickly as he had come in, Wright disappeared. The door had been locked behind him. Edgeworth shuddered and lifted his head slightly. A shrill beeping was the only thing he could hear, other than the quiet sound of his own blood dripping onto the floor coupled with his erratic breathing.
Is that… a bomb…?! His eyes shot open wide and he gripped the floor in a frantic attempt to pull himself up. The man let out a cry of anguish immediately afterward; his arms buckling. Another shockwave of pain shot up his entire right side, causing his mind to black out for a few moments.
There was nothing he could do. He couldn't go anywhere. With a bloodied, shaking hand, he pulled his phone from his pocket and searched through his contacts. He could barely concentrate from the blood loss. As quickly as possible, he dialed one of the numbers on screen and set the cell phone down on the floor in front of him.
"P-please answer," he whispered as he closed his eyes. He didn't know how much time was left before the detonator went off, but he knew it wasn't much.
The phone continued to ring. A wave of relief washed over Edgeworth when he finally heard someone pick it up on the other end.
"Hello? Who's this?"
"I-it's Edgeworth," the man hoarsely replied.
"Heya, pal!" Gumshoe's cheery voice blasted through the small speakers. "We're still waitin' on you out here. Hey, where are you, anyway?" Edgeworth gulped and squeezed his eyes shut tight.
"Detective, call…" he coughed; causing more blood to gush from the large wound. "Call the bomb squad. I don't… have enough battery on my phone to explain anything to them."
"The… bomb squad?" Gumshoe echoed. "Wait. Are you alright, Mr. Edgeworth Sir?"
The prosecutor found that he could barely hear Gumshoe's voice. The only sound demanding his attention was a high-pitched ringing in his ears. Before he was aware, he had slipped into unconsciousness; leaving a concerned Gumshoe on the other line.
"Hey, what happened? You okay, pal?"
Edgeworth didn't respond. He was out cold.
"… Mr. Edgeworth?"
The detonator ticked to zero.
Kay Faraday stood on her tiptoes to listen in to the conversation Gumshoe was having with Edgeworth. She could only make out bits and pieces.
"What's he talking about?" She nosily inquired. When she noticed the detective growing serious, she bit her lip. "Is everything okay?"
Before Gumshoe could respond, a loud explosion sounded in their ears. Kay let out a shriek of terror and wrapped her arms around Gumshoe; burying her face in his trench coat as a good chunk of the building was transformed into a massive, gaping hole. Instinctively, he pulled her close and protected her the best he could. Pieces of debris scraped his face. Once he was sure it was over, he glanced back at the building and pressed the cell phone to his ear.
"Mr. Edgeworth!" His heart was beating fast. Kay grit her teeth to keep herself from crying as she ripped the phone out of Gumshoe's hand.
"Just hang in there, okay? We're gonna come find you." The girl ended the call and shoved the cell phone back to Gumshoe. Without saying anything else, she sprinted toward the building; her gaze intense. Gumshoe reached out and quickly grabbed her arm to keep her from running.
"No, Gummy - let me go!" She cried. "I'm serious. I can help him!" Her eyes narrowed as she stared hard at him. Instead of trying to make him release her arm, she decided to pull him along with her into the dust-filled building. Smoke was pouring out of the hole that had been created as a result of the blast. The smell of fire quickly spread.
Kay squinted the moment they stepped foot inside. Her eyes immediately began to water. Coughing, she pressed her scarf up against her nose and mouth to act as a temporary filter from the smoke.
The two sprinted up the stairs - rushing past the flood of people who were frantically trying to get out. They finally reached the twelfth-floor hallway where Room 1202 was located. The door was blown off its hinges, and the Los Angeles skyline could clearly be seen from the hole that had been left behind in the corner.
Kay bit back a yelp. The right side of the room was on fire. A large pool of blood was still slightly visible on the burnt floor. Gumshoe rushed forward into the burning room and knelt beside the sofa. Kay bolted after him. A blackened body was smashed up against the wall. It took Kay a moment to recognize it as Edgeworth. Gumshoe didn't waste any time in trying to move the unconscious man to a safer location, with Kay trying her hardest to help.
No… please don't be dead, Mr. Edgeworth…! Beads of sweat accumulated on her forehead as they carried Edgeworth out of the office. The two were met by several firefighters in the hallway who quickly took the prosecutor from both Kay and Gumshoe, and rushed to make sure they all got out safely.
Once outside, the paramedics handed a small oxygen mask to Kay. She greatly took it and pressed it over her face; taking in large gasps of air. They had given oxygen to Gumshoe, as well.
Kay's wide eyes happened to catch the paramedics placing several people on stretchers and wheeling them into the many ambulances that had arrived on the scene. She lurched forward and threw off the mask when she saw Edgeworth among the others.
"No, wait!" She called out; dashing forward to catch the ambulance before it drove away. "Let me go with him! Please!" To her surprise, no one objected when she climbed into the vehicle. She hadn't even warned Gumshoe before running off - leaving him bewildered at the fact that she had simply vanished right under his nose.
Kay could feel hot tears stinging her eyes as she watched the paramedics work; sticking several IVs into Edgeworth's wrists and placing a mask over his nose and mouth to get him to breathe clean air. The only thing that Kay could smell at the moment was leftover smoke and the salty stench of blood.
Without thinking, she gently reached out and took one of Edgeworth's limp hands into her own fragile ones. A lump formed in her throat as the medics continued to work quickly; talking rapidly to each other in a confusing language of their own that the girl did not understand.
She took in a deep breath when she noticed small tears glistening in the corners of Edgeworth's tightly-shut eyes. It was obvious that he was beginning to come out of his unconscious state, as he was in a massive amount of pain. Kay brushed some hair out of her face and patted his hand softly.
Quietly, she reached into her bag and pulled out her small keychain. She opened Edgeworth's palm and pressed the metal into his hand; forcing him to close his fingers around the object.
"Just hang in there, Mr. Edgeworth. Everything's gonna be alright."
"Kay? Where'd you go?" Gumshoe frantically stood to his feet and glanced around and the rather large crowd of people. He didn't see the dark-haired girl anywhere. "Kay?!"
Oh man… this isn't good. He quickly set out to ask around if anyone had seen her. Every response he got was a 'no.'
After several minutes of searching, he finally came to the conclusion that she had, indeed, left with Edgeworth. The confused detective wandered through the crowd in a zombie-like stupor as he attempted to take in the sudden trauma that they were all experiencing.
A screech of shock came from someone in the crowd not seconds later. Gumshoe whipped around to see where the sound came from. There were several people huddled around something on the ground; their faces white.
Gumshoe wormed his way through the crowd to see what was happening. His eyes grew wide when he noticed none other than Phoenix Wright face-down on the pavement. Instantly, the detective reached out and tried to wake up the attorney - who appeared to have passed out only moments prior.
"Hey, pal… c'mon, wake up!"
Wright's eyes slowly fluttered open. They flashed for a brief moment before revealing their familiar, deep brown color. His breath suddenly came in short gasps as he stared back at the many terrified faces with a similar expression of his own.
Gumshoe held out his hand for Wright to take, but immediately recoiled once the man stretched out his blood-covered hand. Wright audibly gasped. His frightened gaze turned to meet Gumshoe's once more.
"What happened?!" He shrieked. Glancing behind him, Wright noticed the ambulances and firefighters, as well as a coroner.
Wait. He… he actually did it. Wright grit his teeth and gripped his head with both his hands. "No, no, no!" he wailed. "T-this wasn't supposed to happen…!"
The world around him was a blur. Voices sounded faint and hollow in his ears; as if he were trapped in a winding tunnel.
Edgeworth's eyes slowly opened halfway. The light was blinding. He had the sensation of being moved around, although he didn't feel any pain.
"Is he going to be okay?" he heard a familiar voice whimper.
"We can't be certain, miss. There's a possibility of minor brain damage occuring due to not enough oxygen-"
"N-no, that can't be right!" Edgeworth could see a blurred image of someone shaking their head beside him. Long, dark hair flicked back and forth from the motion.
"Listen. Once we get him to the hospital, we will try to get him in a more stable condition. Just stay calm."
Edgeworth felt his throat burning as he attempted to take in a deep breath. His labored gasp quickly turned into a horrible coughing fit - which grabbed the attention of the medics. They quickly sprung into action when the stab wound opened up again, despite them stitching it up earlier.
Kay shuddered as she watched them repeat the procedure. She didn't have a weak stomach by any means, but to see them carefully sew together the bleeding gash caused her insides to flip slightly. To her relief, Edgeworth had lost consciousness once again. She didn't want him to be awake while they were working.
"He's not gonna… die… right?" Her feeble question almost wasn't heard amongst the commotion. One of the paramedics glanced up at her.
"It kind of looks that way right now, doesn't it?" He gave her a soft smile to lighten the mood. "Don't worry. We won't let that happen. He's not as stable as we would like, but I think we can straighten things out once we get to the hospital." Raising an eyebrow, he cocked his head. "You two related?"
Kay finally let out a tiny smirk. "No, I'm his assistant." Her attitude slowly started to change back to her normal self. "I'm the second Yatagarasu; descendant of the Great Thief!" Holding up a finger, she shook her head. "But I only steal one thing: the truth. That's how Mr. Edgeworth and I work together - I help out a lot when he's investigating crimes."
The medics exchanged amused glances. This girl was nothing like what they had expected. With a sigh, Kay clasped her hands together and stared at them in her lap.
"Today's his birthday, you know," she slowly continued. "Something like this shouldn't happen to anyone… especially on their birthday." Her eyes drifted back to Edgeworth's bandage-covered face. The man was still shuddering in his unconscious state, even though they had given him medicine to help with the pain.
His left side was severely damaged from the explosion. The majority of the burns covered his face and neck, stretching down across his upper back. Kay chewed her lower lip nervously and looked up at the paramedics once again.
"How long's it gonna take for that to heal?"
The medic who had just finished stitching up the gash took off his bloodied gloves and shrugged.
"I'd say several weeks," he muttered. "Unfortunately, the chances of him getting his feeling back in that side are slim."
Kay narrowed her eyes. "Why do you say that?"
"Like I mentioned earlier: lack of oxygen for a prolonged period of time can cause moderate to severe brain damage, depending on how it effected him."
That kept Kay quiet for the rest of the ride. She faithfully stuck by Edgeworth's side by the time they reached the hospital; trepidation in her bright eyes.
As they were busy getting Edgeworth admitted, Kay's cell phone rang. She got several glares from the workers as a result.
"Sorry," she mouthed before slipping out of the room; still keeping an eye on what they were doing with Edgeworth. Answering the phone, she cocked her head.
"Kay, you did follow Mr. Edgeworth, right? I just wanted to make sure because you just disappeared without telling me!"
"I'm sorry, Gummy. I didn't think they would let both of us in the ambulance so I just didn't waste my time telling you. You would have wanted to come along, as well."
"Is he doin' alright?" Gumshoe sounded extremely concerned. Kay bit her lip and sighed.
"Well, they, uhh…. they mentioned something about brain damage…." Her voice faltered. Squeezing her eyes shut, she swallowed hard on the lump that appeared in her throat. "But they haven't said if it's true or not. It's… it's just a possibility."
Gumshoe went quiet. Kay could only picture his eyebrows jumping up in confusion as he thought about what she said. After a long pause, he sighed.
"Things aren't looking too good on this end," he finally muttered.
"What do you mean?"
"The police investigated Mr. Edgeworth's office and found his pocketknife on the ground. There were fingerprints on it, and there was still blood everywhere. I didn't realize that he had been stabbed when we found him! I was really worried about that fire eating me alive!"
Kay furrowed her brow and clenched her fists angrily. "So there was someone out there who tried to murder him?! Who would do that?"
"You're… not gonna believe this, Kay. The forensic guys were able to find out who it was." Gumshoe stopped talking and took in a deep breath.
"It was Phoenix Wright. They didn't find any other fingerprints on the knife other than Edgeworth's."
"Uhh…who's Phoenix Wright again?"
"He's a defense attorney. Edgeworth met him way back in middle school."
"So, they're friends?"
"I thought they were. I mean, there's been a lot of times where they stood up for each other like real pals."
Kay rubbed her forehead. "But if they had nothing against each other, why did he try to kill Mr. Edgeworth? It doesn't make sense!"
"Hey, is he awake?" Gumshoe suddenly asked. Kay raised an eyebrow.
"You mean Edgeworth?"
"Yeah. Maybe you should ask him what happened."
The girl sighed. "Well, I guess I could once he does wake up." She shrugged. "Don't worry, Gummy. I'll call you again to update you on what's happening here. Be sure to keep me informed, too."
"Can do. I'm sure between the two of us, we'll get to the bottom of this!"
"I really hope so. I need to let you go now, though." Pursing her lips, Kay put a hand on her hip. "Talk to you later, Gummy." With that said, she ended the call and quickly ran into the room that the doctors had wheeled Edgeworth into. To her surprise, the man was awake.
"You… followed me all the way here?" he weakly asked. Kay nodded and brought a chair over to his bedside.
"I had to. I was too worried." She nervously fingered the strands of hair that fell against her shoulder. "How are you feeling, by the way? This is the first time you've said anything for like, an hour."
Edgeworth's tired eyes seemed to convey exactly what he was feeling. "To be honest, Kay… I feel as if I'm going to be sick." He closed his eyes and took in a slow breath.
"Drugs not agreeing with you?" the girl suggested.
"No, I'm afraid not." He opened his eyes to look at her once again. With a small smile, he shakily extended his hand; his fingers closed tightly in a fist. "Here. You can have this back."
Kay reached out and placed her open palm underneath his hand. The keychain landed softly on her skin. The girl fingered it before letting out a wide smile.
"It's not only a token of friendship," she chuckled, "but it's also a good luck charm." Her grin slowly vanished when she noticed Edgeworth's eyes drooping. "Hey… you gonna be okay?"
"I should be fine if I just rest," the man whispered. "Kay, I'm terribly sorry you had to see me in this state. You should probably leave before…." He stopped. The last thing he wanted to tell her was that there was a possibility he wouldn't make it. Her wide, expectant eyes stared at him as she patiently waited for him to finish.
"I'm not going anywhere, Mr. Edgeworth. I need to seriously talk with you the moment you can stay awake for longer than three minutes."
Edgeworth flinched visibly. He knew she was going to ask about what happened.
"I suppose I have no other option, do I?" With a sigh, he let himself fall back asleep. Kay leaned back in her seat and crossed her legs; tapping her foot in the air as she thought.
He's probably not going to talk about it, she mused. If his friend really did do it, he wouldn't want the blame to go on him.
Her eyes drifted to the window. A frustrated sigh escaped her lips.
But why would a childhood friend do something like that? Was it really him who did it…?
"Nick. Tell me this isn't true." Maya bit her lip and fidgeted in her seat as she looked at Wright from behind the glass window at the detention center. "Tell me you didn't kill those people."
Wright let out a sigh and placed his head in his hands. He wasn't at all surprised at how fast the police had arrested him - since traces of his DNA were left behind on the crime scene. He didn't know how to answer Maya, either.
"I… I didn't do it," he stuttered. "I was going to explain everything to you, but I honestly didn't think he would act this fast."
"Von Karma." Wright lifted his head and took in a deep breath. "He took complete control over me, Maya. I honestly don't remember anything about what happened." The young woman had a hand over her mouth as she thought about his words. After several seconds, she clasped her hands to her chest.
"You did hear about Edgeworth, didn't you, Nick?" Her voice was quiet. Wright's eyes popped open wide and he leaned forward in his seat.
"Is he dead?!"
"No, but from what I've heard, he's in critical condition."
Wright scratched the back of his neck. "What… happened?" he slowly ventured. Maya sighed and turned her head away from him.
"Apparently, you went into his office and stabbed him, then left after placing a bomb in there." Her eyes were brimming with tears. "The bomb killed three other people… at least, from the last report I've heard." Briskly wiping her eyes, she looked up at him once again.
"Are you sure you don't remember anything?"
"Maya. If anyone, you should know whether or not I'm lying. I swear I was out the entire time."
She stared hard at him for a moment. After a few seconds, she pursed her lips and leaned back.
"You're right. I don't see any Psyche-Locks."
Maya closed her eyes and bit back another sigh. "But… Nick, you do realize something like this won't hold up in court, right? How would you convince them that you didn't mean to kill anyone? There weren't any witnesses." Wright swallowed and tapped his fingers on his knee.
"Actually, there was." He held up a finger. "Only one. Edgeworth is both a victim and a witness. There has to be a way to take his testimony into account during the trial." His eyebrows scrunched in deep thought. A crucial fact then occurred to him: he didn't have a lawyer. Maya seemed to have thought the same thing, and brought it up. Wright shrugged.
"I can't think of anyone," he murmured. Maya folded her arms.
"Well, what about this: you know how you can hold a video conference from anywhere in the world? What if we could do something like that for Edgeworth? So he can be in the courtroom without having to leave the hospital." Wright let out a dry laugh.
"I doubt he'd like that. He would be too concerned about his appearance." He shook his head once more. "But… if it's the only way…."
"And if he's in good enough condition to do it," Maya continued, "he could also pose as your lawyer. He's played the role of defense attorney before. He knows how to do all that stuff."
Wright considered her suggestion. He finally turned to look at one of the guards and asked for a piece of paper. The officer quickly handed him a pen as well. Wright began scribbling on the paper; his gaze intense. After a few moments, he finished up writing and glanced down at his lapel, where his attorney's badge was pinned. Wright quickly took it off and placed it with the note before handing it to the guard.
"Can you give that to her?" he asked; pointing at Maya. Once she received the paper, she cast Wright a curious glance.
"It's a letter of request," he explained. "You would have to give that to Edgeworth for me… since I obviously can't go anywhere." His shoulders dropped in a sigh. "I don't know what I'll do if he declines." Maya smiled.
"I don't think he'll refuse. He's not that mean, Nick." She finally stood to her feet and smoothed out her wrinkled dress. "But I was planning on visiting him after talking to you. I should probably head out now, since visiting hours are almost over." Her eyes instantly conveyed a clear sense of worry as she stared at her best friend. "I really hope we get this fixed, Nick. It makes me upset to see you like this."
"I'll be fine, Maya. They can't do much to me at this point - not until after the trial, at least. And even then, it all depends on what happens." He shrugged, trying to keep his composure. "You know how it works. Just try not to freak out, alright?"
She nodded slowly. "I'll try." Turning around, she began to walk off, but glanced back over her shoulder once more. "Hopefully, I'll visit you again tomorrow. The trial is the day after tomorrow, right?"
Wright dipped his head in confirmation. Maya gripped the letter tight in her hands and gave him a soft smile.
"It's all going to work out, Nick. I promise." She held up the note. "You're going to have a lawyer before tomorrow, anyway!"
Wright's eyes followed Maya all the way out the door. Once she was out of sight, he placed his elbows on the table in front of him; covering his face with his hands.
I really hope you're right, Maya.
Carefully and quietly, Maya knocked on the door to Edgeworth's room. Her face was solemn as she stepped inside. To her surprise, there was already another young woman in the room with him. It appeared as though she had been caught up in the events that transpired - as there was still soot from the fire all over her clothes and skin. She hadn't had enough time to change her clothes.
The girl whipped around when she heard the knock on the door. Her bright green eyes lit up, and she pressed a finger to her lips to signal Maya to be quiet.
"He just fell back asleep," she whispered. Maya cautiously found a chair to sit in and tried to be as silent as possible as she pulled it close to where the girl was sitting.
"I don't think I've ever met you," she murmured. "I'm Maya." The other girl smirked.
"Call me Kay, 'kay?" She giggled softly. "Good. Now that that's settled, are you a friend of Mr. Edgeworth?" Maya shrugged slightly.
"Well, kinda. More like acquaintances, I guess." She held up the letter. "I had to give him this, so that's why I'm here." Her eyes happened to land on the bandages that covered most of Edgeworth's face. "Also, I didn't know how he was doing and I got really worried." Kay's smile vanished at the words.
"He's doing a bit better, I guess. Although, before he fell asleep, he told the doctors that he couldn't feel almost his entire left side. That's probably what they're most concerned about right now." Her eyebrows wrinkled in distress as her voice dropped down low. "They said that if he never gets his feeling back, they might have to…." she slowly dropped her sentence as her gaze quickly caught on to Edgeworth. The man was waking up. Maya stared at Kay, waiting for her to finish. The girl merely shook her head and discreetly hinted at Edgeworth with her eyes. Maya assumed that whatever she was going to say hadn't been discussed with him, and Kay didn't want him to hear about it.
Edgeworth finally opened his eyes and frowned. It seemed as if even the most subtle noise was loud enough to penetrate through his subconscious. Maya shrunk back in her seat.
"I… I'm so sorry, Mr. Edgeworth. I didn't mean to wake you," she feebly whispered. The man shook his head, although the motion was very limited.
"It's not worth apologizing over." His eyes darted over to look at her. A flash of frustration briefly flickered in his gaze before he quickly glanced away. "What is it you want, Maya?"
"I just… I had a letter to give to you," Maya stammered in reply. She could tell that he was even more irritable in this state, so she didn't want to push him too hard. His eyebrow shot up at the mention of the letter, and he pursed his lips.
Calmly, she handed the note to him. He quickly skimmed over the writing and took in a deep breath after he finished. The small attorney's badge fell out of the folded paper when he had opened it.
"Maya… I don't…" He set the letter down on the bedsheets and rubbed his temple. "I can't do this." The man grit his teeth and waved a hand at himself. "Just look at me, Maya! I'm in no state to be getting involved in such matters!"
Both Kay and Maya seemed rather hurt at his sudden outburst. Maya sighed inwardly.
He's kind of right. She pressed her lips tightly together as she stared hard at him. She quickly recalled the time in which he had been framed for a murder - when she and Wright visited him in the detention center. Edgeworth had let his guard down in that situation, much to his own disappointment. Maya immediately picked up that he had looked distraught; frightened.
She found that the same expression was in his grey eyes once again. Letting out a sigh, Edgeworth shoved the paper aside and leaned back into his pillow. He closed his eyes.
Maya tilted her head. "You're… you're scared, aren't you?" she softly muttered. "Of what?"
"It's nothing," Edgeworth simply replied. Maya's eyes grew large as chains suddenly wrapped around the man; one giant, red lock appearing in front of him. To her, this wasn't anything new. She was used to it. The charm she wore on her neck - what she called a Magatama - granted her the ability to see into a person's heart. These were the Psyche-Locks that Wright had mentioned earlier that day, and fortunately, they were only visible to her.
"Mr. Edgeworth," Maya sternly spoke. "Now's not the time to be lying to me. Nick really needs your help, and you know that no one else will take his case. With what really happened, it's near impossible to explain."
"Precisely the reason why I can't help."
Kay frowned. "Ugh! Why do you have to be so rude?" she cried. Maya narrowed her eyes.
I need to find a way to make him change his mind. What can I say that will break this lock?
"Look. I understand you're not at your best point right now, but we all know how important this is." Maya placed her cheek in the palm of her hand. "If no one stands up for Nick in court, they're immediately going to pass the guilty verdict. He'd be charged with mass murder, Edgeworth!"
The prosecutor winced at the words. Kay kept her mouth shut as Maya continued.
"You and I both know that Nick would never do that. And he didn't." She paused. "You are aware of Mr. von Karma's involvement in all of this, aren't you?"
"Then why can't you testify? They're going to want to know a first-hand account on everything that happened, anyway!"
"How would I do that from here?"
Kay let out a laugh. "You really need to get caught up with technology, Mr. Edgeworth!" she exclaimed. "I'll just get you a laptop or something and you can be in the courtroom even if you don't move an inch!"
"So that's how Wright wants me to defend him?" Both girls nodded, and Maya frowned.
"I guess my question is this: why won't you be his attorney? I know you can do it." Instantly, Edgeworth clammed up. His eyebrows furrowed in determination as he grit his teeth. Maya shook her head.
"Is it because… you wouldn't have enough evidence to prove him innocent?"
Crack! The lock shattered abruptly. Maya watched as the chains vanished from her view. Edgeworth seemed taken aback by the comment and took in a sharp gasp.
"You are… correct," he finally spoke. "It seems that from the very beginning, von Karma had planned for this to be an impossible case. Even though Wright himself didn't do anything wrong, von Karma still committed the crime through him." He purposely avoided eye contact with Maya as he explained.
"My testimony won't hold up in court. It will only make things worse for Wright."
"But… you can still try to defend him, right?" Maya clasped her hands. "Please, Mr. Edgeworth! He's counting on you right now."
Edgeworth closed his eyes once again. Almost ten seconds later, he finally looked back up at Maya.
"Tell Wright that I accept his case. Have Detective Gumshoe report to me of the department's findings and evidence." His face was grim. "I would have to prepare before the trial. Would you mind enlightening me on when it takes place?"
"It's in two days," Maya replied. With a small sigh of relief, she bit her lip. "Thank you so much. You have no idea how grateful he'll be." Edgeworth gave a small nod.
"I will try my hardest to prove his innocence."
Maya grinned and folded her hands together against her chest.
"I'm sure you will, Mr. Edgeworth. If anyone, you wouldn't let us down."
Los Angeles District Court. 10:46 AM. Courtroom No. 2.
A young woman stood at the prosecutor's stand, watching blankly as a small team of officers worked to place a decent-sized computer monitor on what would be the defense's side of the courtroom. With a sigh, she fingered the long, coiled whip in her hand as she impatiently waited for them to finish.
"Excuse me," she called out; her sharp, German-accented voice grabbing the attention of everyone in the courtroom. "We are about to start with the trial. You foolish fools should have had this set up already."
"We're sorry, Miss von Karma, but we were not aware that the defense would be joining us online until only a few hours ago." One of the bailiffs bowed slightly. "We're almost finished with getting it to work."
Soon afterward, the screen flickered, and an image of Edgeworth appeared. His eyes quickly enlarged when he saw who was waiting on the other side of the room.
"Franziska?!" He couldn't help but cry. "I must admit… I was not expecting you to be part of this case." The young woman smirked and put a hand on her hip.
"I merely found it to be a good opportunity to prove who is better. After all, Miles Edgeworth, you are fighting a losing case." She cocked her head. "I should hope that you're well-prepared to accept defeat today."
Edgeworth kept his cold gaze on her but didn't say anything in reply. Even from a hospital bed, his glare was extremely condescending.
It's going to be particularly difficult exposing Sir von Karma of this crime when Franziska's here, he thought with a small mental sigh. The sound of the judge's gavel broke him out of his musings. "Since we have everything working properly, the trial is now in session."
Franziska stood upright. "The prosecution is ready, Your Honor." She glanced over at the monitor to see Edgeworth straighten himself up as well.
"The uhh… the defense is ready, Your Honor."
"Mr. Edgeworth." The judge stared hard at the screen. Edgeworth tried his hardest not to show any sign of nervousness.
"Yes, Your Honor?"
"Given your current physical condition, are you absolutely certain you wish to continue?"
Edgeworth quickly glanced at Franziska. She had a horribly smug grin on her face as she waited for his answer. She knew exactly what he was going to say.
"My physical state should not hinder me from proceeding with the trial," he calmly replied. "So my answer is yes, Your Honor." The judge nodded and turned to Franziska.
"Will the prosecution give her opening statement?"
"Gladly." Franziska gave a small curtsey before continuing. "Two days ago, the defendant, Phoenix Wright, visited the victim, Miles Edgeworth, at the High Prosecutor's Office; five o'clock PM sharp. The victim was stabbed in the abdomen, and the defendant left behind a bomb that subsequently killed three other prosecutors nearby."
"And you have evidence to state this claim?" The judge pressed. Franziska nodded.
"Absolutely. We have the knife used to stab the victim, as well as fragments of the makeshift bomb. Both pieces of evidence point directly to the defendant as the killer."
The judge seemed content with her statement.
"Evidence accepted into the Court Records. The court will now allow the prosecution to call in her first witness to the stand."
"Your Honor, there is only one witness here… and that is the victim. I wish for him to testify despite being the defense in this case." Edgeworth could feel his heart beginning to pound faster. Unfortunately for him, the constant beeping from the heart monitor in the hospital room was picking up slightly on the laptop's microphone, and he was certain everyone in the courtroom could hear it.
"Seeing as how the defense cannot move to the stand, he will testify what happened from where he is. Also, because of the nature of his position, he will not be allowed to cross-examine his own testimony. Understood, Mr. Edgeworth?"
"Understood, Your Honor."
Phoenix Wright sat on the sidelines; sweat rolling down his forehead as he waited on baited breath to hear what Edgeworth was going to say. He knew that the man couldn't lie, and that what he witnessed would certainly tie in with the evidence that the court held.
Edgeworth took in a deep breath. "It was precisely five o'clock PM, as the prosecution has proclaimed. I was finishing up my work in my office when the defendant knocked on the door. I let him inside, thinking he had something to ask of me.
"Instead, I found that he wasn't acting… himself. His appearance had even changed slightly, enough for me to notice."
"If he was trying to disguise himself, than that was perfectly foolish of him," Franziska cut in, "as you still knew who he was, did you not?" Edgeworth sighed.
"Of course, but I highly doubt it was a disguise." He narrowed his eyes. "Now, back to my testimony…."
Maya bit her lip as she watched along with Wright. So far, nothing that Edgeworth had said would remotely help them in their case.
"Wright began talking about 'finishing what he intended to do,' though at the moment, I wasn't entirely aware of what he truly meant." Up until this point, Edgeworth had kept his steady gaze on the camera, but he suddenly glanced away. "To be honest, I was… terrified. He sounded nothing like the defense attorney I know."
"So then he attacked you, correct?" Franziska prodded, leaning on the desk with a cocky smile on her pale face. Edgeworth glared at her.
"I'd appreciate it if you would cease interrupting me, Miss von Karma," he spat. The judge pressed his lips together as he thought back on Edgeworth's previous statement.
"Witness, would you care to explain to the court what you mean by the defendant 'sounding nothing like the defense attorney you know?'"
Edgeworth swallowed hard. This was it; he had to explain everything right then and there. Franziska let out a small chuckle when she heard the heart monitor beeping faster than normal. She had him cornered.
"O-of course, Your Honor."
Wright clenched his trembling fists. You can do it, Edgeworth.
"It completely tied in with his physical appearance. When he walked into the room, I noticed that his eyes were a dark green color… although the defendant himself has brown eyes. That was the first contradiction.
"The second contradiction was the sound of his voice. Unfortunately, I am the only one who audibly heard the difference."
"But he could have used an alteration device," Franziska countered. Edgeworth shook his head.
"No. There was no such device on his personage. I would have seen it instantly and put it in my testimony." Edgeworth turned to the judge; his expression stern.
"Your Honor, my only explanation for this case is that the defendant was, in fact, possessed. And I know exactly who is at fault!"
The courtroom went into an immediate frenzy. Wright grimaced from the reaction and kept his eyes on his shoes. Maya reached over; gently taking his hand to try and comfort his shaken nerves. Frustrated with the response of the court, the judge brought down his gavel.
"Order!" He called out. "Mr. Edgeworth, what is the meaning of your explanation? Are you implying that the defendant was directly involved, and yet did not have control over the situation he found himself in?"
"That is correct."
"And who do you believe is responsible for this?"
Edgeworth kept his eyes straight ahead to avoid glancing in Franziska's direction. "… I believe it was the late Manfred von Karma, Your Honor."
All eyes turned to Franziska. Her lips were curled upward in a twisted snarl as she snapped her whip in agitation. "Leave my father out of this, Miles Edgeworth. You have no evidence to prove your claim!" She calmed down slightly and extended her hand. "But I should have expected a theory like that - coming from a foolishly foolish fool such as yourself." Turning to the judge, she leaned her head back haughtily.
"Your Honor, I believe this witness' testimony has dragged on long enough. Allow me to bring in the defendant at this time." Before the judge could make a decision, Franziska cracked her whip loudly. "No delays! Bring the defendant to the stand!"
The judge quickly obeyed and had the bailiff fulfill her request. Franziska folded her arms and tapped her foot slightly as Wright made his way to the stand.
"Defendant, state your name and profession," she flatly spoke. Wright nervously scratched the back of his head and quickly glanced over at Maya, who from a distance, gave him a discreet thumbs up.
"Phoenix Wright. I'm a defense attorney at Wright and Co. Law Offices."
Franziska raised an eyebrow. "Please elaborate on what happened two days ago."
Edgeworth let out an inaudible sigh. She's taking much longer than I thought she would. Perhaps she's giving me a chance to try and prove my claim… only to come down hard on me later when I have no evidence to back it up.
Wright nodded. "During work, I was feeling kinda sick so I decided to take the rest of the day off. When I was on the way home, I had to tell the cab driver to stop, because the sickness seemed to hit me full force."
"And what exactly does this have to do with your plot to murder Edgeworth?"
Wright slammed his palm against the stand. "I swear - I don't have anything against him! I wouldn't ever try to kill him… or anyone, for that matter!" The man let out a small yelp when Franziska flicked her whip in his direction; causing it to strike him across the chest.
"Enough! I don't want to hear your worthless babbling." The young woman raised the whip above her head and snapped it. "Your claims are immediately rendered worthless unless you have proper evidence to support it." She leveled her chilling gaze on him. "I demand you complete your testimony so we can call this trial to an end."
Wright could feel his face burning. He was sweating all over. Briefly, his eyes flickered in Edgeworth's direction, though it was next to impossible to read the expression on the man's face. The only cue Edgeworth gave him was a slight nod to signal him to continue. Wright let out a slow breath to compose himself and made direct eye contact with Franziska once again.
"Alright. Well, after I got out of the cab, I realized that I was standing in front of the prosecutor's building. From then on, I don't know what happened. I blacked out and eventually woke up to a whole bunch of people staring at me."
Franziska smirked. "Hmph. Your Honor, the defense is clearly lying. I have heard defendants give a better alibi than what this man has just thrown up all over our perfectly polished courtroom of justice." She then turned to Edgeworth.
"So tell me, Miles Edgeworth… how will you manage to win this case when your client has no alibi?" Her eyes flickered with a glint of malice.
For once, Edgeworth had no words to say. He collectedly looked over at the judge; whose eyes were closed in quiet contemplation. Since no one spoke up, he opened his eyes and shook his head.
"I am ready to give out my verdict based on the evidence presented and both the witness and defendant's testimonies," he announced. "Mr. Edgeworth, do you find any objections in the statements given? If so, you are allowed to raise them at this time."
Franziska wagged a finger and laughed. "That won't be necessary, Your Honor. As you can clearly see, the defense is left speechless at my perfect presentation of the truth." She gave yet another curtsey. "After all, a von Karma must be perfect in every possible way."
"Your time is up, Mr. Edgeworth." The judge raised his gavel. "I hereby declare the defendant, Phoenix Wright, guil-"
Maya folded her hands together and exhaled slowly when she heard Edgeworth's abrupt cry. Her entire body was shaking, and she could clearly see that Wright's hands were shuddering violently as well. The entire courtroom turned to the small monitor on the defense's stand.
Edgeworth's head was lowered. His hair fell down over his eyes in a way that cast a dark shadow across his face - creating the impression that he was much larger and more terrifying than he truly was. In that moment, everyone in the courtroom had almost forgotten that he was, indeed, still in the hospital.
"You still haven't taken my testimony into account, Your Honor. Have you considered the possibility of my theory being correct?"
Franziska clenched her teeth and gripped her whip tight. "Objection!" she shouted. "Like I have stated before, your assumption is only just that: an assumption; a theory." She straightened herself and stroked her finger along the whip's smooth cord. "Other than that, you have no proof that my father's ghost - if that's what you choose to call it - is in fact involved in all of this!" She held out her hand once again and lifted an eyebrow.
"Where's your evidence, Edgeworth? Show me, and perhaps we will take your little idea into consideration."
Edgeworth set his jaw firmly. Do I have proof…? Is there really a way I can turn this trial around in my favor?
"Unfortunately, I cannot show you evidence when it comes to phantasmic beings," he explained, shaking his head. "But the only proof I have is in both me and the defendant's testimonies." He pointed at her and tipped his head back slightly.
"The defendant stated that he had 'blacked out' during the time that the crime took place. Using my knowledge of spectral possession, the host is most always unaware of his whereabouts in that state."
"And where are you getting that notion?"
"Ask Miss Maya Fey. She and the rest of the Fey clan have a solid understanding of how the process works. In fact, we've seen it happen right here in this very courthouse before, did we not?" Edgeworth smirked. "So the possibility is there."
Franziska let out a low growl. Her whip slashed out and happened to land on Wright once again; generating yet another cry from the man.
"Hey! What'd you whip me for?!" He shouted. Franziska clearly ignored him by keeping her eyes on the computer monitor.
"But that still doesn't prove you're right, Edgeworth!" She narrowed her eyes to slits and folded her arms. "The only possible way to explain the change in voice and eye color would be that it was an impostor, but we ran the DNA tests on the knife and the fingerprints came back as Wright's." She let out a laugh. "Who's to say you weren't out of your mind when it happened? You did say that you were terrified, didn't you?"
Edgeworth simply glared back at her. Franziska cracked her whip again.
"Your Honor! Hand down your verdict immediately. I won't tolerate this blatant abuse of justice any longer!" She crossed her arms and frowned. "Like I have previously stated, the defense has no solid evidence to back his claim. I insist we end the trial now."
The judge nodded. "I agree. I have been sustaining my verdict to make room for any other objections, but since the defense cannot accurately present the evidence required, I cannot accept his claims."
Edgeworth's heart leapt into his throat. There had to be more he could do! To his horror, he simply watched in a state of pure shock as the judge leveled his gaze at Wright.
"The court declares the defendant, Phoenix Wright, guilty of murder." The sharp noise of the gavel echoed through the courtroom. "Court is adjourned."
With those final words, several officers escorted Wright from the room. Franziska let out yet another haughty laugh and looked straight at Edgeworth's terror-stricken face.
"It appears as though I've finally bested you, little brother. I'm sorry about your client, however - it must be quite a shock to learn that your good friend was actually a murderer."
Edgeworth ran a hand through his hair. No… he couldn't have lost. He knew from the beginning that it would be an extremely difficult case, but he wasn't planning to lose. Too much was at stake. As these thoughts flickered through his mind, he absentmindedly watched as Franziska and the others left the courtroom. After time, the feed was disconnected; leaving Edgeworth by himself in the hospital room to stare at the blank computer screen.
He knew Wright was innocent; he didn't deserve to be put to death for a crime he didn't commit. Edgeworth bit his lip hard as he attempted to hold back his emotion.
This was all my fault.
Three weeks after the trial, Edgeworth was finally released from the hospital - having regained movement of his left side once again. Of everyone he knew, only Kay had stayed with him within that period of time to try and comfort him. The outcome of the trial had weighed heavily on the man's heart.
And now, he found himself in a daze as he and a select few were to witness an innocent man's execution - one that could have been averted had Edgeworth provided better evidence.
Light sobbing reached his ears, and he turned to see Maya standing a few feet away; tears streaming down her face.
"It's not fair," she gasped; placing her face in her hands as her shoulders convulsed with sobs. "It's just not fair…"
Edgeworth forced himself to swallow. His eyes turned back to the window in which they could see the officers strap Wright down to a gurney and proceed in placing IV drips into both his wrists. Edgeworth noticed that Wright was quivering with panic, though he tried to keep himself calm. The officers quietly talked to him, and Edgeworth saw Wright shake his head.
"Just get this over with, please," he murmured audibly enough for Edgeworth to hear. Nodding in understanding, the officers started up the machine.
Edgeworth kept his eyes on the monitor used to show both Wright's heartbeat and brain activity. When his heart rate became more erratic, Edgeworth felt a small hand grip his sleeve.
"Is… is that normal?" He glanced down to see Maya's puffy eyes looking into his own. Edgeworth slowly dipped his head.
"Yes. The last drug they use in the procedure induces cardiac arrest."
"He doesn't… feel anything, right?"
"No, he does not."
Several minutes passed. Every eye was stationed on the monitor. After time, Wright's heartbeat fell flat; the piercing screech from the machine penetrating the silence. The officers waited a bit longer before pronouncing him dead, giving the coroners their cue to begin filing a death certificate.
Maya suddenly threw herself into Edgeworth's arms and gripped his jacket tightly. At this point, she didn't care about what anyone thought of her. She let out a loud wail as a fresh flood of tears sprung from her eyes, drenching Edgeworth's charcoal-colored vest.
Not knowing what else to do, Edgeworth wrapped his arms around her and gently rocked her back and forth. Her tears didn't subside. She continued to bawl even as Edgeworth tried his hardest to console her.
"I can't believe you, Mr. Edgeworth Sir," he heard a voice come from his right. The prosecutor glanced up and noticed Gumshoe looking directly at him. The detective's face showed that he had been crying, as well. "I can't believe you let that happen. I thought you cared about justice!" Gumshoe narrowed his eyes in vexation.
"That didn't seem like justice to me, pal!"
"Leave him alone, Gumshoe," Maya whimpered, pulling away from Edgeworth and wiping her eyes frantically. "He did what he could, okay?"
Edgeworth shook his head and took a step back. "No, he's… he's right. I could have done more to… to…." His voice caught. Maya thought for a moment that Edgeworth would break down in tears, but instead, he clenched his fists in frustration and closed his eyes: anger clearly written on his face.
Without saying another word, the man gradually backed out of the room - sprinting the moment he knew no one could see him. Edgeworth finally came to a stop in a deserted hallway and leaned against the wall; gripping his head with his hand.
After all that Wright had done for him - even going to great lengths to save the prosecutor's life - Edgeworth had failed him. He failed him in a way that was completely incomprehensible and inexcusable.
For the first time in years, Edgeworth covered his face with his arms and began to weep. He slowly slid down the side of the wall until he landed on the floor in a miserable pile, his entire body collapsing upon itself as his heart-wrenching sobs echoed through the corridor.
He would never be able to forgive himself. In his mind, it was as if he had taken Wright's life prematurely. How was a man supposed to live with that remorse; that bitter taste of defeat?
The man abruptly stopped crying, although his sniffing could still be heard. He didn't move. He didn't even want to see who was there.
A tender hand rested on his shoulder as a figure sank down to the ground beside him. "You know, there's nothing wrong with crying."
It was Maya.
Edgeworth took in a shuddering breath as he swiftly rubbed his eyes free of tears. He finally uncurled himself and rested his aching head against the cold wall. Maya sat down beside him; brushing her hair out of her eyes. To his surprise, she reached out and gently rubbed his hand - the one that was still wrapped in gauze from the burns.
"Listen to me, Edgeworth." Maya waited for him to look at her before continuing. "I forgive you, alright? This wasn't your fault."
"But I shouldn't have lost, Maya. I promised that I would do my best." He quickly looked away. "And I failed."
The young woman bit her lip. She knew how cruel Edgeworth tended to be toward himself. If he felt he did something wrong, he would make sure to punish himself in a way he found appropriate… depending on the situation. Her biggest concern was that he would let his intense self-hatred get the best of him.
"Hey. Can you do one thing for me?" she quietly spoke.
"It depends. What is it?"
Maya exhaled slowly. "Can you promise me that you won't be too hard on yourself? You still have a long career ahead of you, you know."
Edgeworth's eyes snapped open wide. How did she know? Maya stared hard at him and flicked a long piece of her dark hair behind her shoulder.
"You told Nick and I once that you pondered suicide before, in a manner of speaking." Her tone of voice had softened to nearly a whisper. "Please don't do it, Edgeworth. If it helps, I can become your assistant… since…" Her eyes dropped to the floor. The shock of what happened was still extremely fresh, causing tears to build in her eyes once again. "Since, you know… Nick's not here."
Edgeworth silently thought about her words. He hadn't planned on continuing with his job if the trial didn't end in his favor. In a sense, he had tried to prepare himself for this moment from the second he accepted the case. Maya's proposition was not part of the plan.
"I… suppose you could," he whispered after some time. Maya wiped her nose and let out a soft smile.
Edgeworth gave her a simple nod. The young woman's eyes spilled over once again, and she couldn't help but pull the man into a hug to show her gratefulness.
"Don't worry, Mr. Edgeworth," she choked through her tears, "we'll find a way to get through this."