When Kurain's famed artifact is stolen from an exhibition hall, Phoenix ends up defending the very man claiming to have taken it. But why doesn't Ron still have the Urn, and why does he want to be found guilty? And who is this mysterious new prosecutor, Godot?
Date: September 11th
through 14th, 2018
Maya and Pearl show up at Phoenix's office. Apparently there's an art exhibit being held at Lordly Tailor Department Store, and the Kurain Urn is going to be on display, so they have special passes (if you remember from PW2 case 2, the Urn was said to have held the spirit of Kurain's founder, Ami Fey. Though supposed to read "Ami" when Pearl accidentally broke it and pieced it together again, she confused the letters to read "I Am,").
Phoenix and the girls visit the exhibit and meet the person in charge in the basement, who happens to be Adrian Andrews from JFA. She's much happier now than she was before. In addition to the Urn there's also a statue of Ami Fey present, carrying a seven-bladed sword (called the "Shichishito").
The next morning, Phoenix gets a call from Maya--the Kurain Urn has been stolen by the famous Thief, Mask DeMasque, who specializes in stealing valuable art objects. The Urn marks his fifth heist. Phoenix goes with Maya and Pearl to the exhibit, and meet with Detective Gumshoe, who tells them there was supposed to have been a guard on duty that night: famous detective Luke Atmey. Atmey has been hot on Mask DeMasque's trail since he appeared, and even managed to recover the last item stolen.
Phoenix and the girls head to the basement and meet up with Atmey. He tells them he was asked by Adrian to come guard the exhibit 20 days ago, and 10 days ago they received an advance notice from Mask DeMasque claiming he was coming to steal the Urn (sending notices ahead of time is typical of "Phantom Thieves"). Once Atmey realizes that they are all "Aces" in their profession, he gives them his respect leaves to let them search the crime scene for themselves. Phoenix finds a security camera which took one photo the night of the theft, the sword from earlier (bent, as if having struck something), and a pink paint stain. He returns to the office.
(Take note that Atmey wears a ring with a red diamond on it. He claims it was a gift he received from a museum, after having recovered one of its treasures from Mask DeMasque).
Phoenix then gets a call from Gumshoe, who claims to have caught Mask DeMasque. Phoenix and friends head to the detention center and meet Ron DeLite (who, despite appearances, is a guy). He confesses to having stolen the Urn, but when Maya demands he give it back he says he can't. He lost it. He asks Phoenix to go to his "secret lair" and meet with his wife Desirée. Phoenix agrees, and finds the "lair" to be more of a fanboy's paradise with Mask DeMasque paraphernalia everywhere.
Desirée, in contrast to her husband, is a beautiful women who loves racing motorcycles. She tells Phoenix that Ron can't possibly be Mask DeMasque--he's just an overly enthusiastic fan who works as a security guard--and asks that Phoenix defend him in court. When Phoenix returns to Ron and tells him that Desirée insists he get a lawyer, Ron agrees. Phoenix takes his case, which upsets Maya and Pearl, since they're technically the "victims".
The three return to Lordly Tailor, where they meet with a very upset Adrian. She apologizes profusely to the girls for having lost their valuable treasure. Not that the Urn was actually worth anything; being old and broken, it's not really the sort of thing Mask DeMasque would usually steal.
Phoenix then pays Atmey a visit, and after breaking through a few psyche locks gets Atmey to admit that the night of the theft he was knocked unconscious (by the Sword) and didn't see Mask DeMasque steal anything. But the security camera did snap a picture of MM leaving with the Urn. Atmey tells Phoenix to check Ron's lair for proof that it was him in the costume.
Phoenix returns to Ron's lair and finds a green envelope with a letter inside, which reads: "If you don't want the world to know your secret, come to KB Security at 1 am. Bring $50,000." Just then Larry shows up. He found Ron's wallet outside KB Security the night of the theft and is here to return it, since both of them work there (and also to hit on Desirée, no doubt). There's also a security card in the wallet that grants access to KB's president's office. Larry says that if Ron used the card it would keep a record, but he can't provide Phoenix with evidence. But the wallet being there is proof enough. Since KB Security and Lordly Tailor are half an hour apart, Ron couldn't have stolen the Kurain Urn if he was already at work.
Back at Atmey's office Phoenix finds a large duffel that wasn't there earlier. Phoenix reaches inside and feels something hard but before he can take a look Atmey stops him. Atmey warns him that tomorrow he'll be facing the mysterious prosecutor Godot.
In the defense lobby Ron still insists that he's guilty, but since he doesn't have the Urn neither Phoenix nor Desirée believe him. Court begins, and we're introduced to the "undefeated" Prosecutor Godot.
Phoenix isn't impressed. But Godot does reveal that he knows Phoenix somehow, and claims he "returned from hell" to face him in court. The first witness is called: Gumshoe explains the crime, and Phoenix objects, saying that it's unusual that Mask DeMasque would steal something like the Kurain Urn, since it has virtually no monetary value whatsoever. It must have been someone else simply dressed as Mask DeMasque. But then Godot introduces a broach off of Mask DeMasque's costume which was left at the scene, bearing Ron's fingerprints.
Atmey is called to the stand, and claims he was the only guard at the scene the night of the crime, but he wasn't able to fight Mask DeMasque because he was struck unconscious. Phoenix objects--if Atmey and Mask DeMasque didn't fight, how did the broach get torn off the costume? Atmey recants, saying he was confusing this fight with MM with one of his earlier encounters, but Phoenix quickly presses through more false testimony. He boldly declares that Atmey is really the Mask DeMasque, and the gallery goes wild. After all, he was the only one on guard that night--it would have been easy for him to slip into a costume, pose for the security camera, and fake the heist.
Atmey almost admits to it, but then Godot objects (and throws his coffee at Phoenix's head). There's no solid proof that Atmey did it. That's when Desirée shows up with the duffle from Atmey's office. She wanted to help Ron, so she snuck in and stole it. And guess what: the Kurain Urn is inside. Godot argues they can't prove where it came from--even Atmey's fingerprints on the Urn wouldn't prove anything, since Atmey was guarding the Urn. But Phoenix remembers having touched the Urn when it was in Atmey's office, and asks they check the Urn anyway. If his fingerprints are on it, it must be the same bag that was in Atmey's office.
Atmey breaks down and confesses--he was the Mask DeMasque all along, in search of fame. He stole the Urn. He gets taken from the stand laughing like a madman. But just before the Judge declares his verdict Ron jumps onto the stand and pleads guilty, too!
Godot allows him to testify, and Ron confesses to having stolen the Urn. He claims the broach got pinched in the door and that's how it was ripped off. He doesn't even have an alibi! But then Phoenix shows the proof he got yesterday: Ron's wallet and security card, which Larry discovered at KB Security, along with the blackmail note. Ron couldn't have been at Lordly Tailor if he was at KB, 30 minutes away. In a short recess Godot isn't able to get a hold of KB's President to confirm any of this, but they do confirm that Ron's card was used around 1 am the night of the theft. Air tight alibi.
The Judge declares Ron innocent, and they celebrate in the lobby (except for Ron, who's still upset). But then Godot shows up to tell them that Ron's under arrest AGAIN, this time for murder. It was discovered earlier that morning that the president of KB Security, Kane Bullard, has been murdered, and the estimated time of death is 1 am, the night of the MDM heist. He thanks Phoenix for proving Ron was with the president that very night. Way to go, Phoenix!
After the trial, Pearl takes the Kurain Urn, saying she's taking it back to the village. It seems a little different: the kanji on the front is back to reading Ami, and there are some strange pink spots on it. It might be a fake. Meanwhile, Phoenix and Maya visit Desirée and then head to KB Security, scene of the crime.
Gumshoe is there, and he explains the crime scene. Bullard was killed the night of the heist, but they didn't discover him until that morning because he'd been shoved in a huge safe in his office. He was killed due to a blow to the back of the head. Gumshoe also says that Aiga confessed to all of MDM's crimes, and shows off a newspaper report of the first theft. There's a security guard in the picture that looks an awful lot like Ron. Also in the President's office is an emergency buzzer (which is very loud but apparently not used the night of the murder) and a book containing information on Mask DeMasque, including all the items stolen and how much they cost. Bullard had provided guards for several of the MDM heists, and due to their ineffectiveness lost face in the industry.
Phoenix visits the building's security room and runs into Larry, who was working the night of the murder. Or, supposed to be--a couple psycho locks pop up. It turns out that Larry left the night of the murder to see his girlfriend, and ended up getting smacked around by her "new" boyfriend. The emergency buzzer was pressed the night of the murder, but no one was around to hear it. Larry does provide some useful information, revealing that Ron was one of the top security guards at KB until he was fired a year ago.
Phoenix visits with Ron, who confesses again to being Mask DeMasque, and that he was at KB that night. He came to see the president because of the blackmail note he received, but when he entered the office got knocked out. When he woke up Bullard was dead, and in a panic he shoved the body in the safe and ran. He tried to plead guilty to stealing the Kurain Urn because that would have given him an alibi.
Phoenix shows him the newspaper article he got from Gumshoe. The night of Rob's first Mask DeMasque theft he almost got caught, and had to change into his security guard uniform to escape. Atmey must have found the costume he left behind, and that's how he was able to use it at Lordly Tailor. Ron didn't know it was Atmey at the time, but at that point on he started getting blackmail letters. He would be instructed to steal certain items, and leave them in a predetermined safe deposit box. He was paid handsomely so he didn't care. He needed the money after losing his job as a security guard (Desirée is a big spender and he wanted to keep her happy). Ron really was Mask DeMasque. It was Atmey pulling the strings. But he claims he didn't kill Bullard.
Pearl returns from Kurain and tells them yes, the Urn is authentic. But that doesn't explain the pink spots. Phoenix and the girls return to Lordly Tailor to talk to Adrian, who after some psycho-unlocking confesses she dropped the Urn and broke it (again!) and got paint all over it two weeks before the heist (remember the stain?). You can still see the paint stain by the door. Pearl points out you couldn't see that huge stain the night before the heist, because the statue of Ami was hiding it. That statue arrived the day before the heist, and Adrian used it to cover the stain. Whoever moved the statue must have done it the night of the heist, but who?
Court is back in session. First up to the stand is Ron himself, who reluctantly testifies to having gone to KB that night in response to a blackmail note but won't say what the blackmail was for. Through his testimony Ron eventually admits the reason he was fired in the first place was for stealing company information and selling it (as a security company KB had information on security for dozens of businesses, which apparently Bullard took advantage of as well). Bullard discovered what Ron was up to and fired him, though he didn't report him. Ron, who had been doing it for the extra money to spend on Desirée, never told his wife.
Since Atmey is being tried in the court next door for the crimes of Mask DeMasque, Godot doesn't accept that was the cause of the blackmail. Phoenix argues it could have been because of the incident that got Ron fired--Ron would have done anything to keep Desirée from finding out about it. Once again Phoenix has proven Godot's case for him by supplying motive for murder. Way to be, Nick.
Ron goes on to testify that he was knocked unconscious when he entered the office. When he woke up and found Bullard dead he realized he'd be a suspect and hid the body in the safe. It took a long time because he was dressed in his Mask DeMasque costume, and he got his cape stuck in the door. At that point the emergency buzzer should have been sounding, so why would Ron hang around the scene so long? As a former head guard he would have known that someone would come running at the sound of it (of course, he wouldn't have known Larry was gone). The only way for Ron to have not noticed the buzzer and run off immediately would be if he were unconscious, just like he testified.
Phoenix claims there had to have been someone else in the room: Bullard's prints aren't on the buzzer, and Ron wouldn't have pressed it himself, so who pressed the button? Someone must have killed Bullard before Ron appeared, knocked Ron out, and then hit the buzzer so that the guards would appear and think Ron did it. That third person must have been someone who knew about the real identity of Mask DeMasque--Luke Atmey. He confessed to being Mask DeMasque because it provided him with an alibi (same as what Ron tried to do, really). Being convicted of theft will get you prison, but being convicted of murder gets you the death penalty. That's why Atmey pled to a lesser crime.
The Judge grants a 20 minute recess, and Phoenix rushes to the courtroom next door where the judge is about to sentence Atmey guilty of theft. Phoenix dramatically interrupts accusing Atmey of murder.
Back in Ron's trial, Atmey is called to the stand. He still insists he stole the Urn and there's no proof saying otherwise. This is true, but was the Urn really stolen the night of the murder? Phoenix shows off the picture from the security camera. There's no way the picture could have been altered or the timestamp rigged, but there is something wrong with it: the pink paint stain is clearly visible. Just that afternoon Adrian had covered up the stain with the statue of Ami, so the only person who could have moved it was Atmey. Why? Because he forged the photograph. He dressed up as Mask DeMasque and posed stealing the Urn a few days before the actual crime, right at 1 am, back when there was no statue. That night at Lordly Tailor he moved the statue that Adrian had placed so that the stain was still visible, just as it had been days ago. He needed the crime scene to match his doctored picture.
Which all comes down to Atmey's alibi doesn't stand up. No one saw him all night, and he didn't report the theft for hours after it happened because he was "unconscious." He could have been at KB.
Motive time. Atmey says he had nothing to do with Bullard, and that the blackmail note was written to Ron anyway. Phoenix presents the note back at him: in the note it says "if you don't have enough money, give me your red diamond." Mask DeMasque never stole a ruby, so he must have meant Atmey's ruby ring, his reward for thwarting Mask DeMasque in an earlier case. The note was addressed to Atmey, threatening to expose him. Atmey merely passed it off on Ron know he'd fall for it. After all, Atmey had been blackmailing Ron all along!
The gallery goes nuts again, but Godot objects. He points out that even if Atmey wasn't at Lordly Tailor at the time of the murder, even if he threatened Ron, there's no proof that puts Atmey at KB. Atmey can't be proven guilty, and once Atmey returns to court next door and is declared guilty of theft he won't be able to be charged with the murder anymore (I don't think the law really works that way but oh well). There is no more testimony to be given, and just when Atmey is about to be released back to his original trial (declaring that Ron is the murderer, not him!) Maya summons Mia, who objects.
Mia argues that Atmey's words just then constitute testimony, and as such the defense has a right to cross examine. Godot, who seems shocked to see her, stutters and concedes. In his testimony Atmey relates all the reasons he believes, as a detective, it had to be Rob: he had motive, he had access, and there were no fingerprints on the emergency buzzer because Ron was wearing his MM costume, which has gloves.
Phoenix objects--Atmey could not have known Ron wore his costume to the scene, because they'd learned that for the first time in court that very day, only a few hours ago. Ron didn't tell anyone until then, and since no one actually witnessed him at KB (Larry was gone and Ron was able to avoid the security cameras thanks to his history with the company) the only people that could have known he was in costume were those in court at that very moment. The only way Atmey could have known is if he was at KB at the scene of the crime.
Atmey breaks down and confesses, laughing madly (again). He gets hauled off, and as the Judge is about to pronounce a not guilty verdict Ron tries to interrupt AGAIN, claiming he really is Mask DeMasque. But he was already declared not guilty for that, so he can't be tried again for the thefts. Ron is declared not guilty on all counts of theft and murder.
In the lobby, Ron is upset, fearing that Desirée won't love him anymore now that she knows he really is a criminal. But Desirée assures him she's only upset that he didn't tell her sooner--she loves adventure, and wants to be a part of his Mask DeMasque exploits. She may hate criminals like Atmey, but Ron always sends advance notice and plays fair. Therefore he's not really like a criminal (sort of >.>).
And a happy ending is had by all.
|The career of Mask
DeMasque began a year before the trial of State vs DeLite, when Ron
decided he wasn't making enough money as KB Security's top guard to keep
up with his wife's spending habits. He stole information from his
own company and sold it to competitors, which quickly got him fired.
He kept it a secret from Desirée, and decided the only way to make enough
money was to be a Phantom Thief.
Mask DeMasque's first heist was stealing a jewel known as the Tear of Emanon. He got it easily enough, but in the escape was chased by Detective Luke Atmey into an alley. In desperation he changed into his security guard uniform, dumping his costume. Atmey was fooled at first, but once Ron left the scene Atmey discovered the costume and figured out his identity.
Soon after that, Ron received a blackmail letter from a stranger (Atmey). It instructed him to do just as written if he didn't want his identity exposed. In the letter, and those that followed, Atmey instructed Ron on what to steal, how to avoid getting caught, and where to put the object afterwards. He paid Ron well for each theft, and on one case even returned the stolen item to raise his reputation as a detective. For his heroism he was given the large ruby ring he wears in the game.
At the same time, however, Bullard, President of KB Security, was losing face. He had deployed guards to the scenes of Mask DeMasque's crimes, and because they were so ineffective his reputation was taking a dive. Not unlike Redd White he often used the information he gathered through his security dealings against his customers, and using his connections was able to get as much information as there was to be had on Mask DeMasque. By following the money amounts of each treasure stolen he was somehow able to determine it was Atmey behind it (how, it's never really explained). He sent a blackmail letter to Atmey demanding he pay up $50,000 yen or hand over his diamond ring, or else he would expose Atmey for the fraud he was.
Atmey, who feared being defamed more than anything, devised a plan to kill Bullard. When Adrian asked him to guard the Kurain Urn he wrote up an MM advance notice and sent it to the department store that would be holding the exhibit. But as soon as Adrian received the notice he told her not to show the police, to assure that he would be the sole guard assigned to the Urn.
Two weeks before the exhibit took place, Adrian dropped the Urn along with a bucket of pink paint in the storage basement, making a spectacular mess. She was able to fix the Urn and sealed it up in a wooden box, but there was now a huge pink stain near the door.
A few days later, Atmey was ready to set up for his heist. He dressed up in the Mask DeMasque costume he had stolen from Ron during the first MM heist and posed, with the box, in front of the security camera, right at 1 am. The picture was able to catch the pink stain behind him. Atmey then saved the picture for later. Meanwhile, he passed on the letter of blackmail that Bullard had sent him on to Ron. Ron, believing it was the same person that had blackmailed him all along, planned to answer.
The afternoon of Atmey's plan a golden statue of Ami arrived at Lordly Tailor. Adrian had it placed next to the door in the storage area to cover up the huge pink stain.
That night, Atmey went to the storage basement as "the only guard in charge of the Urn." When he saw the golden statue he quickly moved it to show the stain, so that the crime scene would match the photo he'd prepared earlier. He then bent Ami's Seven Blade Sword and planted the Mask DeMasque broach to indicate he'd been knocked out, and to strengthen the case against Rob.
Atmey slipped out of Lordly Tailor a little before 12:30 am to rush to KB Security. Just before 1 am he met with Bullard in his office, as the blackmail note had indicated, and beat him over the head with a statue from his desk.
At the same time, Ron dressed up in his Mask DeMasque costume and headed to KB, thinking he was the one being blackmailed. Because he used to work there, he knew how to get in unseen and made his way to Bullard's office. When no one answered the door he used his old KB card to get inside (why it wouldn't have been reset a year after he was fired, I have no idea). As soon as the door opened he was attacked from the side and knocked unconscious, dropping his wallet and security card just outside the door.
It was, of course, Atmey. Atmey then hit the emergency buzzer, planning to slip away before security showed up. He returned to Lordly Tailor to pretend to be unconscious and hide the Urn away.
Security never showed up, because the guard at the time (Larry) was out getting dumped by his girlfriend. Ron was unconscious while the alarm buzzer went off. When he woke up he saw Bullard and panicked. He opened the office safe and shoved Bullard's dead body inside (why the safe combination wouldn't have been changed after the head guard was fired - fired for stealing company information, no less - I also have no idea). But when he shut the door he got his cape stuck, and had to reopen it to free himself. It took ten minutes for him to hide the body before he made his escape.
By then Atmey was back at Lordly Tailor, reporting the theft of the Kurain Urn. It was a pretty good plan: Mask DeMasque would be blamed for the Urn. There was no evidence linking Atmey to Bullard's murder, and even if it came up (which it eventually did) he could always plead guilty to being Mask DeMasque, thus freeing him from a murder verdict. If he hadn't slipped up in his final testimony he would have gotten away with it.