One of Every Color
Friday, September 20h, 2019.
"You don't look so well…Mr. Wright."
"Good. I'm…looking forward to the trial." She turned toward the courthouse with a slight smile. "Shall we?"
"Go get'm, Wright!"
Lotta's familiar voice carried. But she
wasn't the only photographer gathered on the steps that morning; in fact, there
was a flock of reporters, and as
"Mr. Wright! What made you take this case?"
"Mr. Wright--are you really working for the mob!?"
"Do you have any comment on the fire at the Prosecutor's Office?"
Urami didn't miss a beat; she nodded politely and stepped easily around him. "Good morning, Detective…"
Gumshoe watched her pass with a careful eye. "Miss Shikabane."
"Shouldn't have taken
this case, Pal," Gumshoe said, matching him step for step, even when
It was a low blow, really,
Gumshoe grabbed him by the
elbow, jerking both of them to an abrupt stop.
His tough guy act had already failed, and gived way to honest concern. "He finally came home," he told
Not until we've had a long talk, at least.
He caught up with Urami just outside the Defense Lobby. "What was that all about…?" she asked lightly.
They entered together and
there met with
"Do you like it…?" Urami moved around to Chassie's side, taking her hand in both of hers. "It's a big day. I thought she should…look her best."
"Nervous," Chassie replied. Though her face was still, her hand was clenched around Urami's. "Will I testify today?"
"Maybe. It depends on how long April's testimony takes, and if the Judge is convinced by our evidence." He managed a reassuring smile. "Everything will be fine. You trust me, right?"
Both girls nodded. "We're counting on you, Mr. Wright," Urami said.
It's finally starting.
The door opened. "Mr. Wright, Miss Gander--the court is ready for you."
Chassie was guided to a
separate seat closer to the Judge's podium, but as
"You usually have co-council, no…?" Urami smiled up at him. "I want you to feel comfortable."
Opposite them, Miles was getting
settled behind his own desk--Gumshoe had left him to instead watch from the
gallery. He looked as prepared and
confident as ever, for which
The Judge entered then, and everyone stood as he made his way to the bench and settled. It took a few hits of his gavel to quiet the overly anxious crowd. "We have quite an assembly here," he remarked, glancing around. "Well, we might as well get started. Court is in session for the appeal of Chassie Gander, for five counts of murder. Is council ready?"
"The prosecution is ready, Your Honor," Miles said easily.
"The defense is also
ready, Your Honor,"
"Very good. The Prosecution may begin."
Miles tilted his chin up. "Due to certain circumstances, Miss Starr will not be able to appear in court today to repeat her testimony. If the defense has no objection, I will be reporting on the particulars of the case myself."
The Judge looked to
"Mr. Edgeworth, you may proceed."
This is it,
Miles shifted the police
report to the top of his evidence files.
Miles snorted lightly and continued. "The intensity of the fire destroyed most forensic evidence in the building. But thanks to remaining chemical evidence, and the bits of melted glass discovered in the basement, our scientists deduced that the fire had been set using bottles of alcohol that came from Mr. Hoff's apartment."
"And how did the police determine it was Miss Gander that started the fire?" the Judge inquired.
"Several pieces of evidence," Miles replied precisely. "An eyewitness who was at the duplex that night placed the accused at the scene. When police visited Miss Gander's home to confirm, they discovered her in a state of confusion, with fresh lacerations on her hands and traces of alcohol on her hair and clothing. She could not provide an alibi for her whereabouts the night of the arson, and once motive was confirmed there was little doubt."
"Motive was never
Miles straightened, but this
time his hard gaze was on the woman accompanying
Urami tilted her head down
slightly, staring back at Miles from across the court. Her eyes were narrowed in the closest to real
Miles crossed his arms irritably, but at least he wasn't glaring down Urami anymore. "It was enough to convict her."
"Mr. Wright," the Judge cut in. He glanced between the two of them curiously, as if able to sense the unusual tension. "If you have no more objections, I'll let the prosecution call its first witness."
"The Prosecution may proceed."
"The Prosecution calls Miss April May to the stand."
A quiet buzz filled the
courtroom as April stepped down from the gallery, clad in a familiar pink
blouse and too-short skirt. She winked
Miles looked rather calm, and
for a moment
"April May, personal assistant," April replied, somehow able to make even her introduction sound coy. "Long time no see, Your Excellency." She blew the judge a kiss.
The Judge blinked, too baffled for a moment to reply. "Ah, yes. 'Your Honor' will do, Miss May." A chuckle rose from the crowd, and the Judge was quick to quiet them with his gavel. "Please tell the court once more what you saw the night of the arson."
"Sure thing." April leaned forward slightly against the podium; she seemed to be enjoying the attention even more than the last time Phoenix had cross examined her, now that she wasn't a suspect in the case. "I went over that night for a little party time with Mel and Libby, bless their souls. We worked together for Bluecorp at the time. I don't think Mel was particularly cute but with Libby around every night was a party."
"Please stick to what's relevant to the case," Miles reminded her shortly.
April glared at him, but only briefly, before falling back into character to continue her story. "Hmph. Anyway, around Libby and I went outside for a smoke and some fresh air. That's when I saw Chassie. Jackie must've left a window open, because the little thing crawled right in, Goth boots and all! I was kinda drunk so I didn't think much of it."
She finished, and smiled sweetly at the Judge. He cleared his throat. "And that's all you saw of Chassie Gander?" he asked.
"Sure was. It was around two in the morning. I left about thirty minutes later. If I'd stayed over like Libby wanted, I would've burned up, too! Thank God for Yellow Cab."
"Yes, well…if that's it, the defense may begin its cross examination."
April looked to
"Of course I'm sure!" April puffed herself indignantly, though it might as well have just been a chance to show off more of her cleavage. "I may be a delicate lady, but I can handle my liquor. Besides, I'd recognize that little weasel anywhere."
"So you'd met
"Not really, no," April admitted. "But I'd seen her picture before. Bluecorp and Shikabane were like cat and dog in the old days. Mr. White insisted we know our enemies."
It wasn't a very flattering
picture of Chassie, but April probably wasn't lying.
Miles was looking impatient,
but before he could say anything
The gallery murmured
excitedly, and even Miles looked a little taken aback by the revelation. Though the impact was good for him,
When the Judge had gotten the court under control, April finally answered. "No, actually. I hadn't heard that. I only met him after he started dating Mel's sister, Ann."
"So it's possible she was there that night to see Mr. Hoff, not to kill Mr. Arky."
April folded her arms in a pout. Now that she wasn't sure where the questioning was going, she didn't seem to want to be a part of it. "I suppose. But she did climb through the window."
"That only makes her more suspicious," Miles finally returned to the proceedings. "Climbing through the window of an ex-lover in the middle of the night? You can't say her intentions were pure."
"We can't really say anything about it,"
Another round of murmurs, and
this time Miles' fists clenched against his desk. I'm
April jumped. "Y-Yes. So?"
"Well…yes, I guess that's what that means."
"And what relevance does that have?" Miles challenged.
"It doesn't make much
sense, does it?"
Miles' hand came down loudly on his desk. "Isn't it obvious? It wasn't until after this witness left the scene that Mr. Arky and his guest went to sleep! If she set the fire while they were awake, they would have been able to leave the building before the smoke became thick enough to suffocate them!"
"He's rather good," Urami remarked.
"Don't compliment the
The Judge nodded thoughtfully. "It's as the prosecution says. Unless the defense can prove the accused left the scene before the time of the fire, the time is irrelevant."
Here we go. "Your honor, I do have proof."
"This is…" The Judge accepted the photo, taking his time looking over it as Miles gnashed his teeth. "Why, that looks like the defendant!"
Miles handed the photo back, absolutely livid as he glared at April. "And more importantly, why you didn't offer this photo four years ago?"
April shrugged carelessly, which didn't help Miles' temper any. "I forgot about them. I take a lot of pictures, after all. But this one…" She squinted at the photo. "What do you know, she is there!"
"When were they taken?" Miles demanded.
"My, so angry. It was just a few minutes before I left for
the night." She handed it off to
the bailiff, who returned it to
"And you didn't see her
when you left?"
"Objection!" Miles pounded again on his desk. "Chassie had already broken in. She could have easily snuck back in the same way! What Miss May should have seen is not the issue!"
"He's going to hurt his hand that way," Urami said quietly in amusement.
"Moreover!" Miles talked over him. "This evidence is irrelevant! Not only has it been concealed from the police until now, but it proves nothing! Chassie could have gone in and out of the duplex as many times as she pleased before starting the fire. It still doesn't prove she left the scene."
Miles wilted a little as the
crowd burst again into curious murmurs, but this time his expression was not
one of surprise. He'd known exactly what
"What exactly am I
looking at?" the Judge asked, drawing
"It's a report from the
Hotta Clinic, Your Honor,"
The Judge frowned
"Objection!" Miles predictably followed. "The prosecution does not accept this as viable evidence. Four years after the fact, this magical 'clinic report' appears that can fully exonerate the defendant?" He lifted his hands in a gesture of disdain. "It's preposterous. There's no telling if this document is even legitimate."
"Are you implying it isn't?" He can't really think I'd forge something like this. "If you think it's faulty, present your evidence!"
"Ha! With pleasure!"
"In fact, the prosecution would like to call its next witness," Miles continued boldly. "If we're through with Miss May here."
"Very well." The Judge pounded his gavel. "This witness is excused. The prosecution may call its next witness."
April hopped gratefully down
from the stand, and cast a quick, hard glare at
Miles straightened, and called his next witness.