~ June 16, 9:20 AM, Fey and Wright Law Offices ~
”Lottie, I’m fine,” I said, as I reached the front door of my house, phone attached to my head with a sweatband. “I’ve made it home, so don’t panic, okay?”
It only took a few days before the hospital released me, with some crutches and a very stern warning to be careful where I stood. They had no idea. Everyone took their chances to visit me before they headed back out to keep investigating.
As soon as I got the door open, I hobbled over to the couch in the back of the offices, which I wholeheartedly considered home, and threw myself as gently as possible into it. I couldn’t wait to just sit and relax for a bit. Maybe I’d see if that Signal Samurai episode that played at the hospital was getting a rerun today.
I tossed the sweatband with my phone attached aside. But right as I reached for the remote, the doors swung open and I turned quickly to see who was coming in.
“Miles?!” I exclaimed. It wasn’t like him to barge into places uninvited. He looked like a mess. “What is it?!”
He rushed over to where I was and grabbed the remote. He flipped through the channels until it got to the News. “You need to look at this, Phoenix. They’ve already made a mess of things.”
I stared at the screen in surprise and horror.
Best Friend Falling Out? Butz Attempts Murder On Wright At Library!
“They think Larry is capable of this?!” I shouted. “When did this even happen??”
“On the same day that we dragged you off, only an hour after.”
”And they chose to air this now?!” I sighed. “Jeez, is this going to be my first case all over again?”
Miles turned to me in surprise. “’All over again’? What do you mean by that??”
“Oh yeah! The Rookie Killer was prosecuting that one. Larry was accused of killing one of his girlfriends, because of the sole witness, but it turns out that the witness did it - Frank Sahwit.”
“Why’d he do it?”
“He panicked. He was stealing from homes and Cindy just happened to come back and see him there. So he hit her with this custom clock Larry made for her.”
“You mean the one that had killed Mia, correct?”
“Technically its copy, but yeah.”
He sighed. “Will they even let you defend him this time, however? You are the victim in this case, after all. They could believe you to be biased about his innocence.”
And somehow the ‘us being friends’ part didn’t bother them... “You’re probably right. But who will we get to defend him, then?”
Miles straightened back up from where he’d been leaning over the couch. “We will sully ourselves elves with that later. Come on, we have to go see him. We have to get him out of this.”
“Agreed,” I said. He helped me get to my feet. Then we left the office.
~ June 16, 9:30 AM, Marshall-Starr Residence ~
Marshall gave us a curious look. “What are y’all doing around here?”
I held up the list. “We’re questioning people on the list.”
“The library check out list!” Ema explained. “Everyone who was at the library that day has their name on that list.”
He narrowed his eyes. “What? I’m not a suspect. I already told you what I was doing. And besides, you saw when I came in, so my name can’t be on that list.”
Uh, Larry’s name ended up on that list and he didn’t write it there. Not exactly solid logic, Jake.
“It’s not you we’re here for,” Lana said. “We’re looking for Angel.”
“Why? I told you that she didn’t come with me.”
Maya slapped a hand against the door. “Well, her name is on this list, so either she left this house way before you came there, or left right after you did and beat you there! Either way, we have to question her!”
Marshall huffed. “Fine. Come on in, compadres.” He stepped aside. “But I’m not sure what you’re expecting to find out.”
I walked into the neat, tidy, slightly rustic home of Marshall and Angel with Lana right next to me. Maya and Ema walked in next, bringing up the rear. Marshall walked by their stairs and called up to Angel.
“Angel! Someone wants to talk to ya!”
A pause. “Who is it?!”
“Come down and see for yourself, bambina,” he said, and minutes later Angel peered out.
“Oh!” She stepped down and made her way over to us. “It’s the Skyes and the Feys! Tell me, what brings you guys here?” She smiled at us.
She was carrying some of her patented lunchboxes, some of them as eccentric as ever, while a few looked normal like the Weenie Delight. That had to be Gumshoe’s idea.
“Were you at the library today?” Ema asked bluntly.
Angel raised an eyebrow, looking a bit nervous. “No, I wasn’t - I had deliveries to make today. You can ask the prison guards; I had to stop there and cater for a while.”
“At the prison??”
“Hey, no one said they ever made sense around here!”
Marshall rolled his eyes. “See? She wasn’t there.”
I wagged a finger at him and held up the list for Angel to see. “Why is your name on this list?”
Angel looked a mix of surprise and realization, the latter hiding under the former. She didn’t say anything.
”If I didn’t know any better, I’d reckon you’re trying to frame her for this whole mess.” Marshall glared at me. “Look, Larry’s name is on that list too, and you’re convinced it’s not him. So why is it that you think it’s her and her name is on the list?!”
I took a few deep breaths, in order to calmly say the next words out of my mouth. “First of all,” I told him, “no one’s framing anyone for anything. We’re just investigating based on the evidence we were given.”
“You call that evidence?! It’s probably more forged than a dizzy side-winder!”
“But that is her handwriting!” Lana snapped. We were all surprised; she hardly if at all raised her voice. “Second of all, we know it’s not Larry because we saw him the whole time. Not once did he leave our sight. So accusing him is pointless! All we want to know is if she was there; she could be a witness!”
Marshall opened his mouth to say something, but Angel raised a hand to cut him off.
“No,” she said. “There’s no point.”
Everyone was confused, even Marshall.
“I’ve been so scared of what he would do to me,” she continued, and we didn’t know if she was talking to us or herself. “But it’s only fair if I can vaguely warn you.”
“Warn us?! About what?!” I asked. Angel looked so alert and on edge, it reminded me of my old boss, Marvin Grossberg.
“He was supposed to be in prison... he broke out... I don’t know how...” Tears came to her eyes as she muttered to herself. My eyes widened in horror. This was exactly like my old boss's case.
“Angel!” I cried out. “You don’t mean...?!”
She nodded sadly. “Yes. He’s out. I saw him after I made a delivery to Ms. Oldbag at the library. He made me swear he wouldn’t tell or he’d ruin me...”
“Why was he there?!”
She shivered. “I don’t know. It was 9:30 or so when he came. I thik he was the one who shaved down the bookcase so that the paper would go there. Ms. Oldbag went on a lunch break by then, and no one else was paying attention, so I thought I could stop him. But he threatened me. He threatened to hurt me or Marshal if I took him him or even told anyone about it.”
Maya caught on to who she meant, immediately texting Lotta, Phoenix, Miles, and Gumshoe about the sudden development. Meanwhile, Marshall and the Skyes continued to be confused.
“Who is this guy?” Ema said. “Why are you so scared of him?”
I wanted to answer. But I didn’t wish to relive old memories either. Old nightmares of being dead. I wonder if he feels like this, he’s not awake yet...
I was snapped out of my thoughts by Ema, who pointed by the bookcase.
”Look there! What’s that?!” she said. She ran over and plucked the flashing thing she saw from between books. "It's a camera! What's it doing here?"
Angel started to hyperventilate. "Oh no... no, no, no... do you think he was watching all that?!"
Before anyone could answer the question, she ran back up the stairs, screaming and crying. "Angel!" I yelled. "Angel, wait!" I chased after her.
I knew it was too late when I heard the loud thump.
There was a door open, the sound of the wind coming in.
I pushed the door open... and saw a familiar sight.
Angel was laying against the bottom edge of the window, motionless. There was a card in her hand, and although there was no blood, there was a message written there. Beside her lay the Thinker, which had taken yet another life, covered in a mix of red and green.
"NOOOOO!! ANGEL!" I screamed, rushing over to her. I heard the frantic footsteps as I frantically tried to read the card. Maya and Ema gasped, Lana was stunned to silence, and Marshall couldn't stop crying as he knelt down beside her, staring into her permanently pained face.
Perhaps she'll learn to keep her mouth shut. No one messes with me! I have connections, you know! And I will get my revenge on Phoenix Wright - that is a fact.
~ June 16, 9:41 AM, The Prison Yard ~
"Were those cells always empty?" I asked myself.
As one of the temporary chiefs-in-charge, beside Meekins and the new girl (jeez, have we really fallen that low?), I was tasked to spend a day in the prison, watching the inmates. But was this really necessary? Who has actually escaped from this place?
I recognized everyone in the cells I had passed by - all in a row. Smoke oozed from one as Dee Vasquez simply spared me a quick glance from her bench. I saw some hair and foam on the floor of the cell of Frank Sahwit, as he stayed hidden beneath the bottom bunk, foam still emanating from below. Sal Manella sat facing the back wall in his own, constantly drawing things in chalk on it. Probably trying to come up with new ideas.
Waaaaait... Dee and Sal were in here? Weren’t they supposed to be out? How else would their names get on the library sheet? Sure, someone could have wrote it there, but that would imply they knew the two of them had been out. I wanted to ask... but I didn’t want to disappear either, if you knew what I meant.
I kept going to the next set of cells. The first two were empty. The next one had squawking noises coming from it, and when I turned, I saw Polly the parrot sitting atop a perch, trying to signal to her owner, Yanni Yogi, laying in the top bunk above, uncovered and throwing a ball at the ceiling, to throw it to her. He didn’t stop, of course, and continued to throw it up. A girl I didn’t recognize turned up as well, and she stood in the middle of her room, holding an umbrella, practically motionless. The last cell was also empty.
“SIR!” A loud sound startled me, and I turned to see Meekins there.
“You can’t scare me like this, pal!” I said, scolding him. It felt so weird considering I was used to only being scolded. “Hey, do you know about these empty cells? Aren’t we supposed to fill all the cells we can?”
Uh oh. Meekins looked embarrassed. “They were filled, sir, but... someone paid to set them free.”
“Who paid for them?!”
“Uh, I can’t remember, sir - but they must have had a lot of money.”
“Okay, follow up question: who’d they pay for to get out?”
Meekins tapped his chin with the mike. “I think... I think it was von Karma, White, and May, sir!”
What?! Those three?? Miles was not going to be pleased. And Phoenix definitely wasn’t going to be either...
I ran past Meekins. “Take over for me!”
“W-What?!” He looked so confused. “W-Where are you going, sir!?”
“To do some reading!”
~ June 16, 9:45 AM, Detention Center ~
“Nicky! Edgey!” Larry pushed his face against the glass. “You got to get me out of here, guys! I didn’t do it! I would never hurt one of my best friends!”
Miles and I sighed, in fond exasperation. Yep, that’s Larry, all right.
“We know you didn’t do it, Larry,” I said, “but someone’s going to have to convince the court of that. Miles could prosecute, if he convinced them, but of course he’d try his best to make you get to that innocent verdict you deserve.”
“I just hope the defense is even half as good as you are, if they let me prosecute,” said Miles. “And if they get Payne on this, then I’m pretty sure any fool could do it. Not that you’re a fool, of course.”
“My, my, did Miles Edgeworth just give me a compliment?” I said, snickering. Miles rolled his eyes, but I could see him try to hide his smile again. The moment broke when Larry knocked on the partition, so hard that my crutches fell off from where they were propped up on it.
“Wait, what?!” He pointed at me. “Why can’t you defend me, Nicky?! You did such a good job the last time!”
I shook my head. “I’m the victim in this situation. No way is the Judge or any of the legal system going to let me get away with that.”
"Why can't Edgey do it, then?!"
"Have you lost your mind?! I'm a prosecutor! That's just not my job, Larry. We've talked about this," Miles said, all with his arms crossed and an annoyed look.
“Wait... get Mia to do it, then!”
Miles and I looked at one another in exasperation. We were not giving Larry any chances to try and fall in love with her. Knowing him, he’d be sooooo grateful to her that he’ll feel that he should be indebted to her.
”No!” we both shouted in unison. Larry looked surprised, then just pouted without any demands for an explanation. That’s not like him at all, but it saves us the headache.
I tapped my chin, then leaned into to whisper to Miles. “Maybe we should get Mr. Grossberg on this.”
“You mean Mia’s old boss, correct?”
Miles pushed his fingers together on his hand. “Let us just hope that he won’t have a reason to say no this time.”
I grimaced. Redd White. He had dirt on Grossberg so he wouldn’t defend Maya. And he killed Mia. Now that’s he’s in prison for life, there can’t be anything holding the two of them back.
I turned back to Larry as Miles went to pick my crutches up. “We’ll be back. We know a guy that’s a defense lawyer. We will convince him to take your case.”
“Hurry, Nicky! You and Edgey gotta bust me out of here!!”
~ June 16, 10:37 AM, Fey and Wright Law Offices ~
“I can’t believe we have to use these tubes again...” I said, hugging myself.
“We have to!” Maya said, loud but still sorrowful. “It’s the only way to preserve her body before we have to get everything for the ritual.”
I sighed, and looked up to the four cold, metal tubes that stood on the farthest back wall of Fey and Wright Law Offices, running from floor to ceiling, width of a door. All of them had a blue liquid in them, that often bubbled when the machines where on.
It had been months since we had to turn any of them on.
And now the far left one was buzzing with activity.
Poor Angel... she didn't deserve this...
~ June 16, 10:51 AM, Global Studios ~
"What? Me?" Penny Nichols said, shivering in on herself. "You think I would do this to Mr. Wright? I don't even know him all that well besides from that Will Powers case."
On the set of Global Studios, Ema and I decided to ask the remaining suspects about what they were doing. Since Dee and Sal appeared to still be in prison, that left Penny.
"Look, Penny, we're just doing our jobs," said Ema with a sigh. "What were you doing at the library, anyway?"
"I was reading the Samurai comics like I always do," Penny answered. "I only get to go there once or twice a month, you know. You know how Dee can be."
"What are you talking about Miss Vasquez for?" asked a voice. When we turned around, Ema gasped. I, on the other hand, was just surprised.
"Hey!" I said. "You're Will Powers!"
Ema looked at him again. "Really?!"
The larger-than-life werewolf lookalike tilted his head slightly, with a look on his face. Not in offense, but in a sad understanding.
"That's me," he said, waving at us. He turned to Penny. "What's going on? What do they need Miss Vasquez for? She's in prison, you know."
"We know," I said. I held up the library list. "But at one point, she was out. Her name and Sal Manella's names are on this list."
Will was confused. Penny, on the other hand, was subtly surprised.
"But that's not possible!" she cried. She pointed an accusatory finger at me. "Are you saying that they escaped and were thrown back in jail immediately, Lana Skye?! And your saying no one would have caught that? No one?!"
I narrowed my eyes and shook my head. "Phoenix, Maya, and Gumshoe all told me that Miss Vasquez had ties with the mafia. They silenced that man 5 years ago with the accident, and then they almost silenced them for getting to close to that case!" I marched up to Penny and crossed my arms. "Are you telling me, Penny Nichols, that this couldn't be a possibility!?"
She jumped back. "Aaaaah!"
Will and Ema just stared. I had a feeling that they thought we were in a courtroom here.
"You're hiding something from us," I said. "Like it or not, we will find out what it is. Come with us."
Penny didn't say anything. Ema took her by the arm and started to lead her out of the studios.
"Do you want to come, Will?" I asked, turning back to him.
He nodded. "Sure. I have no reason to be around here any more today."
As we walked out, I stared holes into the back of Penny's head.
What was she hiding?