May 2nd, 10:00am
There was a crowd up in the gallery chatting and whispering. There were the bailiffs making the last preparations.
It was the beginning of another trial, exactly like I had been used to them for years now. Except for one thing…
My eyes were nervously wandering from one side to the other and back again. Rinse repeat.(Ungh… Judge to the left, Witness stand to the right… I am sooo not going to get used to that anytime soon… Hm. I have to be careful. If I don't watch out for my reflexes, I might end up finger-pointing the judge instead of the witness… Also…)
I turned my head to the right. Franziska von Karma was just making herself a home there, by neatly placing her whip on the desk and brushing all eventual wrinkles out of her clothes. Afterwards, she stood up straight.
She suddenly turned towards me.
"What are you staring at?"(Not what you think I was staring at, trust me.)
Great. The trial hadn't even really started yet and she was already at it again.
"Oh, I know what you are thinking!" she pointed at me with her index finger. "You think having a woman by your side is humiliating! Oh, what a foolish, sexist fool of a rookie you are!"(I'm used to having a woman stand here, you know. What I am not used to is having the woman in question beat me to a bloody pulp if I do as much as open my mouth.)
Hoping that my hand would stop pulsing with pain, I shook it around wildly and mentally cursed Franziska von Karma.
"But don't worry." She, again, stretched out her hand dramatically. "By the end of this trial, which will be in no more than five mere minutes, you'll have witnessed the true power of Von Karma!"
She didn't win me off more than a sigh with this one.(No thanks. I'd rather witness the power of actual 'Karma'. Yours.)
I decided not to think too much about what was next to me anymore and focus more on what opposed me. In the Defense's Bench – the place I would have really preferred to be now – I found a very nervous Miles Edgeworth, who had seemingly just arrived there. The place next to him in the bench was empty, causing me to wonder whom he usually had for a Co-Council and why this person wasn't present now- Then, the name "Dahlia" popped into my thoughts and I quickly dismissed them again.
Edgeworth's face was already wet enough for the room's lights to reflect in it… First I thought that he was probably sweating like this because of Lana's suicide attempt barely an hour prior to the trial, but then I noticed that he was staring over to my bench for some reason… Not at me, however. I quickly figured out that the one he was actually looking at was the person regrettably standing next to me: Franziska.
And, conversely, Franziska was glaring at him…
They looked like they were trying to shoot each other down with laser beams… I was slightly baffled when I finally realized that those two were apparently already in the middle of an… argument. Yes. Without even talking. A wordless
argument. As weird as it sounds, that was the only logical explanation for those looks they were throwing each other.
was at loss of words…(W-What? What is going on…? …Don't tell me those two still know each other?)
The Judge had apparently taken his place on his seat already, since I heard his voice all of a sudden… somewhere… in the background…
I wasn't really listening.(Edgeworth and Franziska… now that I think about it, I never really understood the relationship of those two… Edgeworth always gave off kind of a big-brother vibe when he was talking to her, but that's about it…)
Speaking of Edgeworth, his voice was saying something. I could hear him stating something rather formally, but I was still not really paying attention…(… But I guess he was probably the only one who ever even remotely understood this girl… Well, not anymore, that's for sure…But then again, how do they know each other here? I wonder if this has anything to do with their fathers…Manfred von Karma and Gregory Edgeworth…)
"AHEM! Mr. Wright?"
Just now I noticed that the judge was addressing me. I quickly raised my head and became alert.
I jerked up when Franziska's whip hit.
"He asked you if you were ready!" she stated enraged. "Can't you even respond to such a simple question? Useless Rookie!"
I realized what must have happened and quickly tried to correct the mistake.
"Uhm, the Def—eh, I mean… The Prosecution is ready, your Honor!"
Trying to ignore how all my alarm bells went off when I said those words was incredibly hard and I started to wonder if I had maybe subconsciously spaced out on purpose, just to avoid saying this one sentence.
The judge – it was the same judge I had known in all my three years as lawyer, plus my own murder trial in University – was looking at me with slight worry.
"This didn't sound very convincing…" he finally stated, after closing his eyes. He opened them again. "Are you alright, Mr. Wright? You seem a little absentminded."
"Eh, no, Your Honor!" I lied. "I am fine, really. Just a little lack of sleep recently, maybe... Ehe…"
"Ah, a lack of sleep, I see…" He shook his head, again looking somewhat worried. "You should really watch out for your health more, Mr. Wright."(He's probably right about this, considering that I'm currently counting roughly around twenty bruises on different parts of my body. Ouch.)
The next one to speak was Edgeworth.
"Your Honor, if I may ask a question…" He looked just as nervous as he had when I had caught a glance of him minutes before and was now slowly raising his trembling hand to point at the whip-happy prosecutor next to me. "What is this woman doing here?"
I could tell by his voice that he already knew the answer and didn't like it.
"Why, Mr. Edgeworth, wasn't it you who requested the Prosecutor's Office to provide Mr. Wright with support in the form of a Co-Council for this trial? At least this letter here says so…"
Edgeworth's pointing finger was up.
"I asked for a young Prosecutor to provide minor support! This person hardly meets those con-"
He quickly pulled his hand back, as Franziska did the same with her whip, rolling it up neatly again, just to pose with it a second later:
"Be careful where you point that finger! It might come off." Franziska told him. A grin then passed across her face. "So, it was you who requested an aid for this rookie? I think I owe you my thanks in this case."
As Franziska bowed gracefully, Edgeworth just stared at her in cold sweat.
"And as for your cute, little conditions…" she continued and started waving her finger in front of her face. "I am nineteen years old. Is that not young enough for you?"
There was a kind of electric tension in the air between those two, giving me the chills down my spine. Edgeworth's nervousness seemed to be much to Franziska's pleasure and satisfaction when he didn't respond to her last sentence.
"Miles Edgeworth!" Franziska continued. "I have been waiting for this day for a long time!"
Edgeworth, in an apparent attempt to regain some of his own composure, crossed his arms.
"…So, you were waiting for the day you would be hiding behind another Prosecutor like a coward?"
And gone was aforementioned regained confidence again, replaced by an expression of pain.
"Keep your foolish comments to yourself, you foolish fool!" Franziska shouted all across the room, pulling the ends off her whip. She then whipped it against the desk, producing an incredibly painful noise- though not as painful as the whip itself. "Naturally, I would have greatly preferred to face you directly… But this next best option will do for now as well!" She grinned. "Mark my words, Miles Edgeworth! No mere rookie will hinder me from crushing you under my heels today!"
"We will see about that… Franziska von Karma…" Was the reply she got from the opposing bench.
I could only watch and sweat.(Oh my god. What have I gotten into again?)
It was probably obvious how nervous I was, but, thankfully, the people weren't paying any attention to me anyway. They were much too drawn in by the 'Edgeworth-VS.-Von Karma' thing which was, for whatever reason, currently going in here.(Edgeworth doesn't look like he was feeling much better than me…)
I thought, seeing how strained he was staring at Franziska and how he needed to support himself with his elbow on the desk.(No wonder, actually. After all, he had asked for a rolling pin and what he got is a steamroller…)
The judge was watching the whole spectacle more or less baffled, continuously blinking, as if he wasn't quite sure of what was going on.
"Ms. Von Karma…" he started. "…I have been watching your… ehm… interesting method of support for a few minutes now and… do you really think whipping Prosecution and Defense like this is necessary?"
Somehow, the Judge managed not to fall out of his chair when he lost his balance upon being hit by Franziska, but his face made it obvious that he didn't really manage to dodge her.
"Absolutely necessary." Franziska stated. "True Perfection is the fruit of perfect preparation and perfect discipline! And as long as I am here, this whip will ensure that the Prosecution is provided with the latter!"(Somebody get me out of here…)
I begged to the sweet heavens' above upon hearing this.
"Eh… In any case…" After blinking a few more times, the judge finally let his eyes off of the posing Franziska and turned towards me. "Mr. Wright?"
I stood up straight.
"Y-Yes, your Honor?"
"Your opening statement, please."
"Alright…"(The opening statement… I just have to sum up the case and explain the Prosecution's claims against the defendant. That shouldn't be difficult.)
Remembering what Edgeworth had told me just an hour prior – how I had to start supporting the case against the defendant, no matter my personal feelings – I took a deep breath and started.
"The victim is Ema Skye, a high school student. She was discovered in an apartment with a stab wound in her chest yesterday, past 17:00. She died from the blood loss just a few minutes later. Meanwhile, her older sister and Chief Prosecutor, Lana Skye, was discovered unconscious after apparently attempting suicide in the bathroom of the same apartment. The Prosecution is thus… in the impression that Miss Skye… attempting to end her own life, had wanted to take her younger sister with her, making the intended crime murder-suicide and the crime itself sororicide."
"Hm… Sororicide… the act of murdering one's own sister…" the Judge thought aloud. "That there are people capable of something like this… How tragic... But, Mr. Wright, tell me, why is the Prosecution so sure that the Defendant was planning on killing herself as well?"
"Because of the suicide note which was found next to her. It is among the registered evidence for this trial."
"Oh yes…" The judge took a look at a list on the desk before him. "I see it now… Hm?"
All of a sudden, he seemed quite surprised: "Excuse me, but if I understand these documents right here, the ones to discover the victim were… you Mr. Wright and Mr. Edgeworth!"
"This is correct, Your Honor." I nodded. "The crime was committed in my Apartment when I was out for a meeting with Mr. Edgeworth."
"I would like to add that both of us have an alibi." Edgeworth said, holding a paper, which I recognized as the Autopsy Report, in his hands. "The victim has been bleeding for at very least twenty minutes before she died, making the latest possible time of the crime approximately 17:00, at which time me and Mr. Wright had not even arrived at the building yet. Two children who saw us on the sidewalk around 17:10 can confirm this."
"Also, you would obviously not be defending Miss Skye if the two of you were trying to frame her for the deed, right?" The judge shook his head. "The Prosecution and the Defense both being witnesses of the crime in question… how unusual. I cannot remember having had this situation in my court ever before."
"Unusual or not, the case should be as clear as crystal to you, your Honor." Franziska von Karma's voice said from beside me. "The facts are unambiguous. The defendant confessed to the crime and there is a witness who states that doubtlessly nobody but the victim and defendant entered the apartment in question around the time of the crime. Additionally, the victim left a note clearly spelling out the name of her killer and sister, 'Lana'!"
Franziska held the plastic bag with the note in question in her hand and presented it to everybody in the room.
"This makes it easy, doesn't it?" She asked with a satisfied smile.
"Hm…" The judge took yet another look through all his documents, before he looked down to us again. "What is your opinion, Mr. Wright?"
"My opinion…?" I replied quite surprised that the Judge actually seemed to care for what I was thinking about this… Did the side of the courtroom I was taking really matter that much? Talk about favoritism!
"Well…" I took a deep breath, taking a quick glance to my right, where the ice queen herself was still watching me closely with her freezing cold stare, but turned back at the Judge again immediately when I reminded myself that thinking about how she'd react to every one of my actions wouldn't do me any good. I had to focus on my goal now, Franziska or no Franziska…
"I personally think… that there are still a lot of open questions regarding this case." I said. "Even though there is a huge possibility that the defendant actually committed the crime, there is still some room for error in this accusation, which I'd like to get out of the way before a verdict is decla-"
I had expected this. I had known that she was going to do it. I had been aware that saying those words was gonna make her whip me with all her force.
But, tell me, did I have any choice? Did I?
"Your honor, I think Mr. Wright here is slightly confused." Franziska said right after rolling her whip back up again. She crossed her arms and clenched her sleeves, while stating.
"This so-called 'Room for error' he mentioned is no more than a small collection of irrelevant details, which should in no way distract us from the facts of this case. And those facts all point to one unambiguous conclusion: Miss Lana Skye committed sororicide, a crime she even admitted to."
"Hm… Irrelevant details?" The Judge opened his eyes wide. "For some reason, you got me curious now."
"Believe me, there is nothing to be curious about in this case, Your Honor." Franziska denied.
Edgeworth's finger had risen along with his voice:
"Your Honor, despite what Ms. Von Karma may claim, I think the 'Room for error' which Mr. Wright was honest enough to mention, does, in fact, exist. And if you would allow me to elaborate on it, I could prove to you how exactly these mentioned 'details' do greatly influence the case."
Franziska whipped the desk.
"Your Honor, the Defense is obviously bluffing. Listening to his claims would surely turn out to be a colossal waste of time."
It was Edgeworth's turn again.
"If what I had were mere claims with no base, I would probably agree with you. I, however, find that some of the evidence that was found has rather curious qualities, which I would like to highlight."
"What do you mean, Mr. Edgeworth?" the Judge asked in obvious interest.
"Let us take a look at the murder weapon, for example…" Edgeworth started, opening a little book, which I suspected to be an Organizer of some kind. "Lana Skye's private knife, which was on her, is thought to be the weapon which took her sisters life. Yet, it is in spotless conditions. So spotless, in fact, that there are not even finger prints on it."
"A clear case of ill-conducted research." Franziska stated from besides me. "The defendant tried to commit suicide in a bathroom. It would have been easy for her to clean the knife of all blood and fingerprints there in a short time-span with a little liquid soap. In this case, not even Luminol would cause a reaction."
"Which brings us to yet another question." Edgeworth smiled confidently. "And this question would be: 'Why'?"
Clearly not understanding what he meant, Franziska reacted rather confused.
"Why would the defendant do this?" He reformulated the question. "She admitted to the crime and the suicide note, given that it is real, proves that she never had any intention of hiding the deed. So why would she clean the knife as thoroughly as this? It makes no sense."
"Easy." Franziska pointed at Edgeworth with her whip. "The defendant was clearly shocked when she realized the horrible act she had committed, so she tried to wash off her guilt by removing the blood from her hands and knife. Remember Lady Macbeth, Miles Edgeworth!"(Uhm… I don't think, you, of all people, should be comparing anyone else to a Megalomaniac like Lady Macbeth...)
I thought to myself, slowly getting bored. Franziska had completely taken over the Prosecution's part, leaving me job-less. I was doing nothing here. Absolutely. Nothing
"Of course, this would be a possibility." Edgeworth stated. "However, there are yet more problems with the discovered evidence. "
"More Problems…?" Franziska seemed to become nervous and I knew why… She was obsessed with perfection. And Edgeworth was just not the type to say something like this without meaning it. Which meant that, in case he was right, Franziska had managed to overlook flaws. That's something she wouldn't take lightly.
"Yes… I will explain those problems in detail, once the corresponding evidence is of relevance." Edgeworth stated, his regained confidence not faltering. "In the meantime, I will first listen to the witness's point of view, as usual. They are the only missing information I still need in order to make sure that my drawn conclusions won't turn out to contradict any facts later on."
The Judge watched everything calmly from above.
"I see… it appears the Defense is well prepared. Of course, this was to be expected from you, Mr. Edgeworth."
"Thank you, your Honor."
The Judge turned towards me. I raised my head.
"Yes, your Honor?"
"You have been awfully quiet for some time now… don't you want to say anything?"
' would have been the most obvious answer, but what if he had said 'No' and I would have ended up with a greatly aggravated Franziska von Karma less than a meter aware from me for the whole remainder of the trial? Still… she had already made it quite clear that if I wasn't going to hinder Edgeworth in any way, she would just do it herself. I could just as well have stayed in the hotel today…
The only option left to me was to just get on with the trial, hoping that Edgeworth would know how to deal with Princess Merciless.
"Well… I guess the Prosecution would like to summon the first Witness to the stand."(…This hopefully gives Edgeworth the chance to take the evidence apart a little bit more…)
"It is the Detective who is in charge of the investigations on this case… Dick Gumshoe."
The Judge nodded. "Very well. He may come to the stand now."
This said, it took the bailiff no more than five minutes to fetch the Detective from the gallery and lead him to his destination. As always, Detective Gumshoe seemed a little nervous when he entered the stand.
He looked at me, then the Judge, and then Edgeworth. Then at me again.
Meanwhile, I just kept looking at him, waiting. A few seconds passed like this.(Huh…)
I slowly got nervous as well. (..Why aren't you testifying Detective…? …Wait. I have the feeling that there's something wrong… )
I noticed that something seemed to be missing here, so I pondered about it for a few moments. I mentally went through all the points: So, what usually happened once a witness has been summoned to the stand? Easy. First, the witness takes place in the stand. Then the witness is asked for their name and occupation by the Prosecu-(…Argh!)
I jerked up and quickly corrected my mistake by slamming the desk, getting everyone's attention.
"Eh…W-Witness! State your name and occupation, please!"
"N-No need to shout, Pal!"
Great. We weren't even past the first cross-examination, and I had already forgotten my lines twice and Franziska was in complete control of everything. This was definitely not my day.
I had never before noticed how much routine-talking the Prosecutor was actually doing during a trial… Hopefully I wouldn't forget even more necessary lines.
The Detective, in any case, had shrunk away when I had addressed him so suddenly. Probably I had done it a little bit too excitedly…
And just when he had finished his sentence, he got yet another reason to shrink away.
Once again, the reach of Franziska's whip surprised me. Even from the position of the Co-Council, she still could hit the witness stand and everyone in it with accurate precision.
"Answer the question and refrain from commenting on the Prosecution's unpleasant voice, Witness!"
I was still trying to figure out whether I was supposed to feel supported or offended now, when Gumshoe answered.
"Y-Yes, Sir… My name is Dick Gumshoe. I am Detective of the Homicide Department."
"Ah, Detective Gumshoe… "The judge was apparently recalling something. "You were already entrusted with a case again? So soon after the last one?"
"Yeah, two murder cases in a week. I guess that's just my tough luck, Sir." He stated, obviously not happy about it. "But then again, ever since Detective Fey is… you know… everybody in our department has to take extra hours anyway. Without her, things are moving a whole lot slower, I tell you."(Oh, yes, now I remember… The Mia of 'here' told me that she was a Detective before her arrest…)
Mia… What she had told me the day before came back to me now. 'Do what you think is right'
she had told me…'What I thought was right'
… I looked over to Edgeworth.(I want to know the Truth...)
I thought to myself. (I want to know who did this to Ema… and why. This trial won't end until Edgeworth and I figured this out. And, in the end, Lana will be free… I promise.)
"Detective Gumshoe." I started. "Please tell us what you and your men found out at the crime scene."
"You got it, Pal!"
He smiled, showing that he was ready to testify.
~*~The investigative results
"We received the call reporting the crime around 17:10. A young girl told us she had heard screams in the apartment next door.
When we arrived, the victim was already dead. She was lying there just the way you see her in the crime photo.
Mr. Wright and Mr. Edgeworth were there too and had just discovered the defendant in the bathroom. Except for them, nobody else was present, Pal.
The doors don't open without the right keycard and there were no fingerprints on the doorbell. The only one who entered after Ema could have been her sister.
Also, the two notes found make it pretty clear what happened… I'm sorry, Pal, but it looks like Ms. Skye really did it."
I just heard something I wished I'd heard sooner. And apparently, I wasn't the only one with this opinion…
My aching back could now confirm this last suspicion.
"Why didn't you inform me of the lack of fingerprints on the doorbell, rookie?" Franziska asked, her eyes closed and the corners of her mouth pulled as far downwards as earthly possible.
"…Because that's the first time I heard it myself…" I answered.(And cut it out with the 'rookie'!)
I looked over to Edgeworth… judged by his face he didn't hear of this yet either.
"Detective…the missing fingerprints on the doorbell…" he started with slightly strained voice. "…How do you know of this?"
"Uhm… the forensics analyzed it along with the doorknob, just to be sure… didn't I mention that before, Sir?" Gumshoe replied to him.
"No, you didn't." Edgeworth stated.
"Same here." I added.
Gumshoe looked alternately at the two of us, his nervous laughing getting more and more noticeable, until it finally cultivated in a single word.
Edgeworth had only one thing to add to that:
A baffled stare and an ellipsis of silence.
"… Eh… Never mind that now!" I quickly tried to kill of that awkward moment. "After all, we still have a cross-examination to do, haven't we? Ehe…"
For some reason, I just couldn't seem to calm down. Probably because I noticed how right Edgeworth had been with his claims about me not having prepared myself for the trial enough. Well, at least all those little flaws were buying us time… Franziska wouldn't be able to turn this into a five minute trial if it was obvious that my case was far from perfect. Of course, the lack of prints on the doorbell was actually to the Prosecution's advantage, but who said that Gumshoe didn't miss out on even more small details? Judged by Edgeworth's expression, that was probably what he was hoping for right now…
With a nod, the judge turned towards him. "Mr. Edgeworth, you heard Mr. Wright. You may cross-examine the witness now."
"Thank you, your Honor."(So, that's it… My first cross-examination from this side of the courtroom… That reminds me, this is also the first time I actually see Edgeworth holding one.)
My interest became even greater than it already was and I focused my eyes on Edgeworth in the Defense's bench.(I wonder what this will be like…)
~*~ "We received the call reporting the crime around 17:10. A young girl told us she had heard screams in the apartment next door."
" This 'young girl' you mentioned… You are, of course, talking about the Prosecution's witness, am I correct?"
"Yup!" the Detective stated with a grin. "She's going to testify right after me, as far as I know, so, if you've got any questions about what she saw…"
"Detective…" Edgeworth crossed his arms and started wagging his finger up and down. "May I inform you that said witness is twenty three years of age and does thus, in fact, not qualify as a 'young girl'?"
"Wha…WHAT?" The Detective seemed rather shocked, "Y-You're sure, Sir?"
Is there any need to explain who caused Edgeworth's use of a simple adverb to end like this?
"Twelve, Fifteen, Twenty three… The Witness's age is of little relevance!" Franziska explained in a harsh tone. "The Defense is just wasting our time with this kind of 'information'! I demand him to refrain from 'sharing' it with us."
"Hm…" The Judge still seemed to be not really happy about what Franziska was doing. He turned towards me. "What is your opinion, Mr. Wright?"
"Uhm…" My eyes caught a glance of Franziska's whip.(Well, if you think about it, that brat's age really doesn't matter much anyway… )
"Yeah…Whatever she says… your Honor." I stated flatly.
"I see… In that case, please move on from particularly this statement, Mr. Edgeworth."
The addressed attorney was still shaking his hand from the pain when he answered.
"Y…Yes, your Honor…"
"But I'm still sure that she was a teenager, Sir…" I heard Gumshoe muttering from the Witness Stand.(Hm… But didn't Gumshoe originally call the witness a 'young woman', before finding out about her so-called 'identity'? … Well, given what Heatherd looks like, it's no wonder he thought her to be a teenager, once he saw her…)
I thought. (Hey, wait a moment. I just noticed…Is Gumshoe still calling Edgeworth 'Sir'? That… That's no fair!)
Suddenly, I wished I hadn't allowed him to call me 'Pal' again…
"When we arrived, the victim was already dead. She was lying there just the way you see her in the crime photo."
Edgeworth was studying the mentioned photo rather closely.
"What is it, Mr. Edgeworth?" the Judge asked.
"It is just that the victim's position confuses me, Your Honor…" He stated. "I distinctly remember her sitting against the wall when Mr. Wright and I first found the body. I actually assumed that she must have fallen over when the police started the investigations, but this contradicts the Detective's statement…"
"Eh, actually, that's my fault." I said, feeling somewhat glad that I got a chance to open my mouth again. Sitting still during a cross-examination was really not my thing… "I was trying to give the victim first aid, your Honor, but she died while I was applying bandages to her. That's when the body fell over."
"Bandages?" The Judge took a look at the picture himself. "But I can't see any bandages on her…"
Detective Gumshoe raised his hand. "And that was us. We had to remove them again, Sir. They were blocking the view on the wound."
"Ah, I see. So the moment she died, the victim was sitting upright and she only fell over once she was actually dead…" With a nod, the judge confirmed having understood this. "And Mr. Wright had applied the bandages before she fell over? Where were he and Mr. Edgeworth when you arrived, Detective?"
"Mr. Wright and Mr. Edgeworth were there too and had just discovered the defendant in the bathroom. Except for them, nobody else was present, Pal."
"Your Honor, if your might recall, the victim died rather soon after Mr. Wright here started applying his first aid. Also, we know that she had been bleeding for at very least twenty minutes. So, while it is definitely true that at the time the police arrived no one except the two of us were present at the crime scene, this does not rule out the possibility that someone else left the apartment earlier than when we arrived. Wright and I reached the 20th floor via the elevator. If a person left the building taking the stairs, they would have been easy for us to miss and would also have had plenty of possibilities to hide as soon as the police approached."
Edgeworth seemed rather confident while making this statement.
Franziska had, of course, quickly found a reason to disagree.
"Miles Edgeworth, I clearly expected more from someone with your reputation!" she stated loudly so everyone in the room would hear it. She then demanded. "Scruffy, explain to him why his conjuncture is flawed beyond compare."
"Uhm…" Gumshoe looked upset. "…Are you talking to me, Sir?"
"Of course I am talking to you, or do you see any other scruffy people in here?" Franziska shouted "Now talk!"
"Y-Yes, Sir! …Well, you see, Mr. Edgeworth…"
"The doors don't open without the right keycard and there were no fingerprints on the doorbell. The only one who entered after Ema could have been her sister."
"So Ema opening the door, allowing a third person to enter is out of question, because this third person would have rang the bell… Is it that what you are trying to tell us, Detective?" Edgeworth asked.
Gumshoe nodded. "Exactly, Sir! And since there are no prints on the doorbell's button, she obviously let nobody in! Easy!"
Edgeworth seemed far from satisfied with this explanation.
"And what if this possible third person didn't ring the bell, but knock?" He asked. "Also, the doorbell's button is quite small. It wouldn't take more than a single wipe to clean it of all prints! A task requiring four seconds at most!"
"Well, I don't know about the knocking… But the button wasn't wiped off, Sir." The Detective stated.
"And how do you know this?"
"It was really dusty before the forensics laid hands on it, that's how we know this, Sir." Gumshoe answered. "Like nobody had touched it in months. Seems like not a lot of people were visiting Mr. Wright."
Well, that was good to know.(Nice. So not only am I a jerk, I'm also a friendless jerk… Uhf…)
" 'cept for the ones with his keycard, of course."
"And those would be…?"
"He himself, his former girlfriend Iris Fey, Ema Skye and Lana Skye. No one else had the key."
The Judge looked down at me. "Is that correct, Mr. Wright?"
"Uhm… Yes, your Honor!"(…Not that I would know, of course…)
"And why should the killer have knocked if there was an easily cleanable doorbell in reach?" Franziska asked full of confidence. "You see, your honor, the killer obviously had access to a keycard… like Lana Skye! Also, there is something pointing towards the fact that the victim and the killer spent some time in the apartment together, allowing the killer to draw closer without sneaking up from behind. This would only be possible if victim and killer knew each other… like siblings, if you will."
Detective Gumshoe nodded. "Yeah, Sir. Ms. Von Karma is right. 'Cause, you see, there obviously had been a struggle before Ema died. The second Crime Scene Photo proves that. And… well, that wouldn't be possible had the killer struck before she even noticed them, right?"
"Your Honor, I believe this statement just now was very important." Edgeworth said. There was a certain shine in his eyes.(Hm…)
I paid closer attention to him. (…I wonder if he figured something out…)
"If the witness could please repeat it once more…" Edgeworth asked politely.
The judge nodded agreeing. "Detective Gumshoe, please add the details about the struggle to your testimony."
"Well… alright. If it helps..." Gumshoe replied."She wasn't hit by surprise. Look at the photo, Pal. The place was a mess. Ema obviously fought with the killer before she was stabbed."
I was surprised when I heard Edgeworth exclaiming this word. I saw him smiling as he pointed at Gumshoe, exclaiming:
"I am sorry to tell you, Detective… That there is a huge problem with the statement you just made!"
"…A… A huge problem, Sir?" Gumshoe asked upset.
"Yes, in fact, an enormous one." Edgeworth picked up one of the pieces of evidence from his desk and presented it to the court. It was one of the three crime scene photos.
"Your Honor, take a look at this and recall what Detective Gumshoe testified just a few seconds ago. Can you see how this picture contradicts what he claims?"
The picture he held was Photo No.1. The one showing the dead Ema.(...Did he find… a contradiction?)
Baffled, I quickly browsed through the evidence, getting out my own copy of the picture… and suddenly, I understood.(…Y-Yes! How did I miss that? Edgeworth… Great work!)
"Hm…" The Judge, too, took a close look at the photograph and pondered. "…Well… now that I think about it… The victim looks a little too neat for someone who just fought for her life, doesn't she?"
And that was it. I still didn't know why I didn't notice this sooner… But the Ema on the picture didn't look like someone who's been overthrown in a direct confrontation. Her lab coat, her shirt, her skirt,and even her hair… all neat and clean, except for the blood.
Edgeworth nodded. "Exactly, Your Honor. The only damage on her clothes does, in fact, belong to the very wound which cost her life. Aside from this and a single badge coming loose, there is not a hint of a struggle on her."
"Take a look at the autopsy report, Miles Edgeworth!" Franziska told him. "As you will read there, the victim did indeed have yet another wound!"
Edgeworth smiled, picking up said report.
"Yes, indeed… 'On the back of her head'
. Do you see the next problem here… Franziska von Karma?"
While Franziska seemed slightly confused, I could only grin.(Well, I do see it, Edgeworth.)
I thought. (That's it… the first step to turning this case around.)
"If I might explain, Your Honor…" Edgeworth said. "Had the victim actually struggled with the killer, not only would her clothing have surely carried away more damage than this, she also quite surely would not, in no case, have just turned her back on her attacker… especially not with a wall right behind her. However, the wound on her head, which probably was strong enough to rob her of her consciousness for several minutes, was dealt from behind. Also, the ribbon which the victim was almost constantly wearing to tie some of her hair up in a style resembling the Japanese 'Odango' was undone."(Oh, so that's what that thing is called…)
"This are all signs that the attacker approached her from behind, rather than from the front. Meaning that this person snuck up on her. This leads me to one conclusion:"
He stretched out his finger and shouted.
"There never was a struggle between the victim and the killer! The crime scene has been manipulated in order to hinder the investigations!"
Loud chatting immediately flooded the room like a tidal wave and the Judge swung his gavel twice.
"Order! Order! Mr. Edgeworth..." He turned to the man he addressed. "You're meaning to tell us… That the Crime Scene was messed up for the sole purpose of confusing the police?"
Edgeworth nodded. "This is exactly what I think, your Honor. It is obvious on the first glance that the Defendant is physically stronger than her sister was, so it would, of course, have been easy for her to overthrow her in a direct confrontation. I would never doubt this. The situation, however, changes if the killer was actually just as frail as Ema Skye herself, if not even weaker. In this case, it would have been necessary to stun her before inflicting the deadly wound… And this is where the wound on the victim's head comes into play!"
"I see what you mean… So according to your theory, the killer snuck up on the victim from behind, stunned her with a hit on the head and stabbed her…"
"Yes." Edgeworth agreed. "And after this deed, the criminal altered the crime scene, in order to produce the illusion of a struggle having taken place. This was done in the intention of framing the Defendant, Lana Skye, of the murder!"
The amazed eyes of almost everyone in the room, including me, were on Edgeworth, who appeared to be quite satisfied about how things were going.(I… I couldn't have done that better.)
I thought to myself, smiling.
Franziska, however, was less pleased.
Pulling her whip so hard that I actually wondered why it wasn't ripping, she turned to me and hissed.
"Why are you grinning, Phoenix Wright? Fool! Can't you see that he is ruining everything? Do something!"
Franziska's reaction surprised me. Usually, this was the point where she just stayed cool and pulled her next ace out of her sleeves, laughing at the Defense in the face with it. Now, however, she seemed rather… concerned. Franziska von Karma was a woman who was usually ready for everything, even the most unlikely case, so I first didn't understand why the only thing she did now was vaguely tell me to 'Do something'. That's when I finally realized: No matter how much she made it look like it till now, she actually wasn't the Prosecutor for this trial. That was me. And all the information she had was coming from me as well. After all… How useful would Maya be in a trial without having investigated on the case with me beforehand? To say it bluntly: Not more useful than your average cheerleader. Well, except for her ability to channel Mia, of course. But Franziska had had no chance to study the evidence herself, neither to manipulate it or the witness. She probably hadn't even heard of this case until this morning. She… simply wasn't prepared. And no matter how many times she swung that whip of hers around, without her "perfect preparation" Franziska von Karma was… harmless. At least before a court of law.
I couldn't help but smile even more. This was my chance to finally take over…
"Oh yes, I will do something, Ms. Von Karma…" I ensured her.(And how…)
So, what had Edgeworth said? Don't rest until we found the absolute truth? In that case…
I took yet another look at the evidence. There was one more thing Edgeworth hadn't mentioned yet…
"Your Honor!" I raised the judge's attention. "If I might add one more thing to what Mr. Edgeworth said: You should take a look at crime photo No. 3 as well! It shows the vandalized crime scene."
"You are calling it 'vandalized' like you were also sure that the destruction was caused intentionally, Mr. Wright!" The Judge answered with eyes bulging as if he didn't understand where I was going with this or why.
"Because I am sure that the destruction was intentional! Look at the places which where messed up… and now, try to draw a line which way the struggle between victim and killer would have taken according to this picture. Do you notice something?"
"Hm…" The Judge stared at the picture for some time until he finally gave in. "I… I can't draw a line! There are… too many spots which are completely undamaged!"
"Yes!" I agreed. "It makes no sense! If we assume that Ema really had been waiting for me when her sister arrived, that would make her starting point probably the sofa… Which is knocked over, while the table right in front of it, containing a lot of fragile objects, is completely okay. The shelf right behind this table, however, was emptied. Then, much more importantly, look at the victim's shoes on the other photo! They are clearly muddy. The prints the shoes left behind are clearly visible on Photo No.3, however, for some reason they only lead from the door to the sofa and not further. Had Ema really been chased around the whole apartment, her dirty shoeprints should be everywhere! This way, it looks more like somebody had carried her to the wall. There's a lot more contradicting points like this. Combined with what Mr. Edgeworth showed us just now… Well, let's say it in the words of a very good Judge I once knew: 'One coincidence I can believe. However, two coincidences at a time seem more like a pattern.'
Edgeworth is right, Your Honor, this Crime Scene has clearly been tampered with!"
Silence befell the room. People were staring at me in confusion. No wonder… after all, I had just strengthened the Defense's case.
"Uhm… This Judge you mentioned…." Said our Judge amazed. "…You really have to introduce him to me sometime, Mr. Wright. He sounds like a good person."
"You would like him, Your Honor." I agreed.
"But… Why are you pointing this out?" He stared down at me. "I mean… this is clearly to your disadvantage."
What should I have answered to this? After all, I was just glad that Edgeworth had already managed to open the first hole in this case.
While the judge was still waiting for me to say something, I just looked over to the opposing bench, where Edgeworth was smiling satisfied. I returned this smile to him… We both knew that, as long as we kept digging deeper into the facts of this case, everything would turn out alright. Franziska, however, didn't seem to agree.
"Rookie! Are you out of your mind?" She asked me. I decided to ignore her. After all, all she could do was whip me… And a few bruises more or less didn't really make a difference anymore. There were more important things I had to care for now.
However, I had also promised Edgeworth to do my best in this trial, regardless of my personal feelings. So there was one other thing I had to do now, even though I hated it.
"To my disadvantage? I don't think so." I finally, after an at least a minute long gap, answered. "What we found out here only proves that the struggle never happened, your Honor. This doesn't necessarily mean that the killer wasn't Lana Skye." I said trying to appear confident. "If we, for example, go by Ms. Von Karma's logic rather than Mr. Edgeworth's, we could also come to the conclusion that Ms. Skye set up the ruined Crime Scene in order to provide herself with the illusion that she at least gave her sister a fair chance to escape. In this case, the Defendant would have been the one to sneak up on Ema Skye from behind and stun her with a bump on the head. Keep in mind that Ms. Skye loved her sister above all else and that people don't act logical in extreme situations like this one after all. In any case, the lack of a struggle before the murder does not prove the Defendant's innocence."(Even though I wish it did…)
"This sounds surprisingly… likely…" The Judge stated after listening closely. "A good alternate explanation… Mr. Wright."
"Thank you, you Honor."
Franziska spoke to me from the side, her voice sounding a little calmer again.
"Good. You saved the situation after all. Maybe you do have some abilities… And now, I don't want to see another slip-up like this one, do you understand?"
"That wasn't a slip-up." I replied, without even looking at her.
I finally paid her a glance. Franziska was looking at me like I had just told her that pigs were going to rule the world tomorrow, but I didn't care. No matter how afraid I was of her and her whip… I had stayed back and kept shut up for long enough. Even though I found this thought still a little bit disturbing, in this trial I was the Prosecutor… not Franziska. And I was not going to let her take control again…
"Franziska von Karma…" I said, using her full name on purpose "…I said everything I said just now on purpose. This is how I am going to conduct this trial. As the Prosecutor. You are just here to give me support. Not to do my job. That's what I am here for. And if you don't like how I do my job…. Well… That's too bad for you!"
"Y-You…" Shocked, she stared at me. "But… you can't…"
"Your Honor!" I went on to ignore Franziska again and turn towards the Judge. "My theory is, of course, based on the evidence against Miss Skye, which we found. So if we could clear up the validity of this evidence, we could determine which conclusion is more likely: Mr. Edgeworth's or mine."
"I agree with Mr. Wright." Edgeworth said. "It would surely be helpful if the Detective could testify regarding this subject."
"Hm… Alright." The Judge agreed and nodded. His next look went down to Gumshoe. "Please testify about the evidence found against Miss Skye, Witness!"
"Alright, your Honor!"
~*~Why Lana is the murderer
"Well, first of all, Ms. Skye herself confessed to the crime. This is pretty much a dead giveaway, isn't it? Enough to get her convicted in any case.
But we've got more, Pal! The only possible murder weapon was her knife, which she wore on her when we found it.
Then there's the suicide note she wrote. Nobody else could have written that, right, Pal?
Finally, there's a witness who states that she was the only other person entering the apartment at the time of the murder."
The Judge, who had carefully listened, nodded now.
"Hm… I see. This is all pretty incriminating. Actually, if the Defendant even confessed to the crime… I don't really see a reason to continue this trial any longer."
I almost would have given in to my urge and objected, but, thankfully, Edgeworth beat me to it.
"Your Honor, you are forgetting that I have yet to cross-examine the Witness." He said. "And before you ask, yes, there is a point in this testimony which I think could turn out to be more meaningful than it seems!"
"You think so?" The nervous blinking of the Judge made it obvious that he had no idea what Edgeworth was talking about.
But I knew.(I know what Edgeworth is on to here. I saw that one too, back when we found Lana. If he uses this piece of evidence right now, it could really cast some doubt on Lana's 'confession'… But is it enough? I wonder…)
"Well, in this case… You may start the cross-examination now, Mr. Edgeworth."
Edgeworth just nodded, indicating that he was ready.
~*~ "Well, first of all, Ms. Skye herself confessed to the crime. This is pretty much a dead giveaway, isn't it? Enough to get her convicted in any case."
"But we've got more, Pal! The only possible murder weapon was her knife, which she wore on her when we found it."
"Before I go on, just out of curiosity, I'd like to know why exactly you are so convinced that this knife is the only possible murder weapon." Edgeworth said, pointing at Gumshoe.
Gumshoe shrugged. "Well, the victim's wound was rather deep and wide and fits the measures of Ms. Skye's knife quite well. We didn't find anything else at the crime scene that could have dealt it."
"Did you also search the kitchen?" Edgeworth then asked, earning him a nod from the Detective.
"Of course! But… to be honest… well, let's say, I found out the one similarity between my kitchen and Mr. Wright's, Sir."
"And that would be?"
"He's obviously not doing a lot of cooking there." The Detective stated. "We found a total of three dull knives and four forks. All of them quite dusty. I guess the kitchen is only there for the sake of having one. Ehe…"
I didn't find that quite as funny.(We got your point, Detective. Now please stop it before the people in the gallery get the idea I was too lazy to cook… The truth is that I just can't. At all.)
The one advantage about Maya's constant burger binges was that this perfectly covered up that little detail about me. After all, you could hardly catch me accidently setting an omelet on fire when I never had a reason to make one. Simple.
Edgeworth continued his line of questioning.
"So the Defendant's knife was the only object on the crime scene which could have caused the deadly wound?"
"Yes, Sir." The Detective answered. "And if that wasn't already enough to prove her guilt…"
"Then there's the suicide note she wrote. Nobody else could have written that, right, Pal?"
"Ah, the suicide note that we found… On what facts are you basing your claim that no one else could have written it?"
"Well…" Gumshoe grinned nervously. "It was… signed by the Defendant?"
"Oh, and also, the way it is addressing her sister!" Gumshoe quickly added, as if to de-awkward his statement. "I mean 'The shame and pain'
… That's clearly referring to what Mr. Wright figured out in the Fey case, isn't it?"
My attention doubled.(…The Fey case?... He must be talking about the conviction of Mia and Dahlia. But what has this to do with Lana and Ema? Argh… So many questions I can't ask… I want to go back to my own bench…)
Edgeworth apparently knew what it had to do with them
"Yes, of course I remember… It was quite tragic… But, Detective, do you really think that those old wounds would have been enough to drive Ms. Skye to suicide?"
"Well, the note says so, Sir." The Detective answered, not getting any less nervous.
Edgeworth was quiet. I knew what he was thinking, at least regarding this note…(…He'll bring it up now… For sure…)
"Then there's the suicide note she wrote. Nobody else could have written that, right, Pal?"
Edgeworth's right hand's pointer finger was up. In his left hand, he held the… suicide note itself.(I knew it.)
He was about to bring up exactly what I thought he would bring up… I prayed that this would help.
"Your Honor. The Witness claims that this note could have only been written by my client. I, however… disagree."
He showed the note to the judge. "Take a good look at it. This note wasn't written by hand. The writing is clearly the computer-font 'Calibri', proving that this note was probably written on a PC using Windows Office software!"
The Judge stared down at Edgeworth for a few moments… before finally opening his mouth.
"…Pee Zee? … Also, I'm not quite sure why somebody would have a 'Window Office'. You have to explain this to me, Mr. Edgeworth."
The courtroom was silent and Edgeworth was beyond dumbstruck. And my face sunk into my palms.(Question of the day: Would the Judge cringe and collapse if we ever brought him out to the daylight of the modern world?)
"Your Honor…" I started hesitantly. "What Mr. Edgeworth is meaning to say is… This message was probably typed with… uhm… a certain type of typing machine."(Not exactly the truth, but close enough and probably something he can grasp.)
"Even though I'm not exactly sure why he is bringing this up like this…" I added mumbling… and immediately heard a word from my side.
I turned to my right… Franziska was clenching her sleeves nervously. Just now I realized that she had been very quiet ever since the start of this second cross-examination. Probably because I had shut her up just like this before it started… Now I wondered why she had uttered that one word all of a sudden.
I was hesitant to ask, but finally, my curiosity won. "What… is it?"
"…You foolish fool of a fool… Do you have any idea how much you just damaged our case?...Oh yes, now I remember. You don't care, do you?"
"Oh, just keep ignoring me. I'm just an insignificant co-council after all, am I correct?"
This last strike with her whip was, by far, her most powerful yet, even though she was keeping her voice low. She was apparently still mad because of the lecturing I gave her before… I got the feeling that once she made her comeback, which she was surely gonna do like I knew her, she was going to make me feel sorry for ever talking to her like that… The new bruise on my shoulder was just a preview of the things to come for sure.
Apparently, the fact that Franziska had just whipped me for apparently no reason went past everyone else in the courtroom since all the attention was still at the Defense's Bench.
"What Mr. Wright explained just now... is pretty much what I wanted to tell the court, you Honor." I heard Edgeworth say, while I was still recovering from the pain. "A type of 'typing machine', commonly available to public with this default font-setting since the year 2007. However… The Prosecutor's Office and all its attorneys use a different 'type' of 'typing machine'…"
"…!"(…I get it…)
"The computers of this district's Prosecutors are without exception Linux PCs using the 'TextMaker' software! This software uses a different default font from the one we see on this sheet!"
Franziska had apparently recovered a bit since she, even though still a little quieter compared to her usual composure, was already fighting Edgeworth's claims again.
"What a foolishly foolish pile of foolishness… Miles Edgeworth, I hope you are aware that changing the font-setting on a Word Processor is easier than using a simple whip? Even our technologically inept judge here could do it…Probably."
"…I beg your Pardon?" The Judge said rather confused..
"Why should she have changed the setting?" Edgeworth asked with a smile on his face. "I took the freedom to look at some letters which Mr. Wright received from his mentor. None of them were written in the Calibri-font seen here. And seeing how she had no intention to hide the crime, changing the font would have made little sense. Also, there is still the question why the note was written on a computer in the first place… If you were to write this kind of last apology to your loved ones, wouldn't you want it to be in your own handwriting?"
Franziska didn't seem to have an argument against this.(Exactly…)
I thought. (Nobody would write their suicide note on the computer without a good reason… like to avoid showing that the handwriting doesn't match up with that of the alleged author, for example. And then there's still something else…)
"Also, there is the content of the note itself… Basically an apology addressed to the victim, Ema Skye."
Edgeworth looked at the note skeptically. "Don't you find this to be quite strange? After all… how would the Defendant's sister be able to even read this apology after being killed? The written text doesn't make much sense, considering the intended crime was apparently murder-suicide… except if this note was written with the intention of framing Ms. Skye of the murder in mind!"
Seeming quite sure of what he was saying, Edgeworth concluded his speech.
"Just as the Crime Scene was altered, this note is a fake! Lana Skye neither fought her sister, nor wrote this letter!"
"As interesting as your conclusions may seem, Miles Edgeworth, how are you intending on proving them?"
Edgeworth remained silent, giving me the feeling that he had nothing up his sleeves in this regard.
Franziska grunted dissatisfied and shook her head:
"Without solid proof, your theories are nothing more than baseless conjuncture… I am sure both Mr. Wright and the Judge agree with me in this respect… correct?
I really didn't want to say 'Yes'. I just hated it when this 'Baseless Conjuncture' stuff came up. After all, it had always incredibly annoyed me that material evidence counted more than basic common sense in our system.
The Judge, however, wasn't that doubtful regarding this. He nodded.
"I am afraid Ms. Von Karma is right, Mr. Edgeworth. After all, you are lacking proof to underline your conclusions…"
"…"(This isn't looking good…)
I thought. (If this goes on for much longer, Edgeworth won't have a chance to pursue what he found out further… Hm… Wait. Maybe this will help.)
"Well… Your Honor, I think the real problem with Edgeworth's claims is that they are impossible. At least from the current status of the investigations."
I put my hands to my hips and smiled. "After all… there's a witness who can confirm that only Ms. Skye entered the apartment after her sister did, right? Of course, without this testimony, there would be nothing contradicting what Mr. Edgeworth just claimed, but, well, as long as it stands, his claims won't do him any good… am I right, your Honor?"
"Uhm… Well, yes!" The judge nodded. "Of course you are right, Mr. Wright!"(Thought so.)
"Well, I think it is about time to call in the next witness! The young woman who saw the Defendant entering the Crime Scene before the murder was committed! Her testimony proves that nobody except her could have done the deed!"(Or that the Witness is a dirty liar. I can't wait to see how Edgeworth takes her apart… Actually, I wish I could do it myself, but, well… As Franziska said, 'The next best option will do for now as well'!)
"The Defense agrees." Edgeworth stated with a nod. "The testimony of the next Witness should provide insightful information which could prove crucial."
"Aww…You're going to call the next witness in already, Pal?" Detective Gumshoe on his stand looked and sounded upset. "...But it just got exciting…"
"He told you to leave, Scruffy!" Franziska shouted. "So stop wasting our time and make room, before I have to show you the way out of the stand myself… with this!"
She whipped the desk much too hard, like she was using it as a dummy for her rage. If she did this just one or two times more, I'd probably have to pay for the repair works… Detective Gumshoe, in any case, was impressed enough to quickly turn around and flee the stand as quickly as he could.(I wonder how this will develop now…)
I thought. My eyes wandered to my right. (Franziska is already back in action, and it doesn't look like she's going to give up on trying to regain her dominance over this trial again. I'll have to stay strong, I guess… Uh… Hey. Wait a sec… Did I just summon that Heatherd brat to the stand?)
I could downright feel my face turning white when I realized what that meant.(So with this girl on the stand and Franziska right beside me… Uh… I think I'll need an Aspirin…)