Behind the closed door of their new office, Michael and Diana were arguing about whose cell phone ringtone was cooler. Michael was sitting comfortable in his new desk chair while Diana was perched on the edge of the desk. “I mean seriously, listen to mine!” Diana said, pressing play. The Steel Samurai theme song rang through the room. It was in the style of Phoenix Wright’s ringtone.
“That’s nice, but mine is so much cooler!” Michael replied, pulling out his phone. The Nancy Drew theme played loudly and Diana frowned.
“That is pretty cool,” she admitted grudgingly.
Just then the door opened and Miles Edgeworth entered. “Prosecutor Edgeworth!” Diana exclaimed, jumping off the edge of the desk where she’d been sitting, her cheeks pink. She took up a position next to the desk, hands folded behind her back.
“Good afternoon, Miss Gray,” the burgundy suited prosecutor responded. Then he turned his attention to Michael, who was sitting behind the desk trying to look somewhat professional.
“Can I help you, Prosecutor Edgeworth?” he asked politely. Edgeworth dropped the folder he was holding on the desk, and both Diana and Michael stared at it.
“Prosecutor Gray, this is your first case.” The pair looked at each other, eyes wide.
“A-a case? Already?” Michael stuttered.
“Yes,” Edgeworth replied matter-of-factly. “We are all currently occupied with at least one case…or four or five,” he muttered under his breath. Diana felt a surge of sympathy; it wasn’t his fault that he was the greatest prosecutor in the area.
“We’ll take it!” she interjected enthusiastically and Edgeworth gave her a funny look.
“Miss Gray, you don’t really have a choice.”
“Oh…” she trailed off awkwardly, turning and shuffling some random papers on her desk.
“Mr. Gray, the case goes to court in two days. I expect you to use tomorrow to investigate. All the information you need is inside the case file. Be sure to give it a good read before you do anything, understood?” Edgeworth was getting slightly more menacing by the second. It seemed obvious that he didn’t like leaving a case to rookies.
“Y-yes, sir,” Michael stammered, feeling a bit overwhelmed. Edgeworth could apparently sense this.
“Don’t worry too much, Gray. It’s a fairly open-and-shut case.” Michael nodded weakly and Edgeworth shook his hand and exited the office without another word.
Michael and Diana looked at each other. “We got a case!” they both said at the same time, but with very different emotion behind it. Diana sounded excited, while Michael sounded scared to death.
“Well, let’s look at it!” Diana said happily, dancing over to the desk and snatching up the case file.
“Hey, don’t I get to read it first?” Michael asked, trying to take it from her, but something in her face stopped him. “What is it, Diana?”
“Oh my goodness,” she muttered, her hazel eyes wide. She handed him the file. “You should probably read this.”
He opened it to the first page. “What!”
Case Number FJ-7
Victim: Beard of Mr. Paul Franzen
Defendant: Mr. Alex Jedraszczak (in custody)
“So Paul’s beard was murdered, and Jeddy’s the prime suspect?” Diana asked incredulously.
“And we’re the prosecution,” Michael completed grimly.
“Oh no…” Diana murmured faintly, collapsing into a chair. Michael couldn’t believe this was happening. “What do we do?” she asked him.
“I need to talk to Paul, find out what happened,” Michael replied. Diana nodded.
“Call him,” she said. “I’m going to go talk to Edgeworth.” She hoped Michael didn’t notice the faint tremor in her voice. She couldn’t lie; the prosecutor intimidated her quite a bit.
“If I can convince him that we have a personal involvement in this case, maybe we can get out of it.” Michael nodded and pulled out his phone, searching for Paul’s number.
Diana stepped out into the hallway, sighing. She thought that they’d been adjusting rather well to life in the Ace Attorney universe, until this huge setback. She’d barely taken a step when another thought stopped her in her tracks: if they didn’t prosecute this case, what if a competent prosecutor took the case? She paled; what if Edgeworth took the case? Jeddy would be in big trouble.
“Miss Gray?” A voice rang out through the hallway. Diana turned to see Madeline coming toward her. “Are you alright?”
“Oh, yeah, yeah, I’m fine,” she replied absently. “Just, you know, got our case.”
“Oh yes, Miles told me he was giving you the Franzen case,” Madeline said conversationally. “Are you excited? Your very first case, huh?”
“Yeah,” Diana said unwillingly. Madeline looked a little concerned, but decided not to comment on it. Diana continued on. “Well, I’d better get back in there. Michael is hopefully getting in touch with some of our friends now, so we have a place to stay tonight.” She winced inwardly. She probably shouldn’t have mentioned that she didn’t have a place to stay, especially judging from the look on Madeline’s face.
“You don’t have a place to stay?”
“Yeah, coming here was kind of…unexpected,” Diana replied slowly. Madeline gave her a strange look again, but her expression softened into sympathy.
“Well, I’m not letting you stay with a bunch of guys – they are all guys, right?” she asked, tilting her head. Diana nodded sheepishly. “You can stay with me tonight, if you want.”
“Really?” Diana said in surprise. She had written Madeline to be generous, but she hadn’t imagined anything like this.
“Sure,” Madeline replied, grinning. “Truth be told, I get kind of lonely sometimes. It’d be nice to have another girl around.”
“As opposed to…?” Diana said curiously. Madeline fell suspiciously silent. Diana decided to ignore it and continued. “I’d love to stay with you. And I promise, it’ll be for only a few nights at most.”
“Don’t worry about it, Miss Gray,” Madeline replied, smiling. “Just meet me in the parking lot at around six.”
“Oh, um, you can call me Diana, if you want,” Diana said quickly. Madeline nodded.
“Then I’m Madeline,” she replied, then disappeared down the hallway. Diana grinned happily, then slipped back inside the office to find Michael hanging up his phone.
“Paul didn’t pick up,” he said, discouraged.
“Why don’t we try some of the other guys? Nathaniel or Christian?” Diana said hopefully.
“Ok, I’ll try Nathaniel.” There was a tense pause, then Michael spoke again. “Nathaniel? Hi, it’s Michael.” Diana let out a breath she hadn’t realized she’d been holding. So they were here! “Where are you?” Michael asked. Diana quickly realized she was at a disadvantage, as she could only hear one half of the conversation.
“Really? You’re there? And you have-” Diana was dying. Her naturally curious side wanted to know what was being said. “And is everyone… uh huh…” Michael paused for a moment, listening to Nathaniel. “OK, Diana is with me, so we’ll be over a bit later. We’ve got news.” He said goodbye and hung up. “Everyone except Paul and Jeddy is at a room at the Gatewater with Larry.”
“Larry Butz?” Diana asked excitedly.
Michael nodded. “So we can go stay with them-“
“Oh, actually, Madeline said I could stay at her place…so you guys don’t have to put up with me,” Diana said, unable to hold in her excitement.
“Oh, ok then,” Michael replied. “I guess I’ll meet you here tomorrow then, so we can investigate.”
“Sure thing,” Diana said, checking her watch. 5:45. It would probably take her 15 minutes to find the parking lot. “You gonna be okay?” she asked, looking at Michael worriedly.
“Yeah, I’ll just catch a taxi and head to the Gatewater,” Michael replied, twirling the keys to the office around his finger.
“Okay, let’s go!” And with that, the pair left the office (Michael carefully locking the door behind them, case file shoved under his arm), and proceeded to wander around the Prosecutor’s Office until they stumbled upon the parking lot.
A bright light shattered the darkness. “Ow,” Jeddy muttered, shielding his eyes.
“Oh, sorry, pal.” The light was quickly adjusted so it was not shining directly in Jeddy’s face anymore.
“Thanks.” The light barely illuminated the small room; the only thing visible to Jeddy was the shaky table in front of him and the silhouette of the detective who had arrested him. Jeddy knew it was Detective Gumshoe.
“So pal, you know why you’re here?” Gumshoe asked gruffly.
Jeddy briefly wondered if playing dumb would be a good idea. He decided to go for it. “Not really,” he said nonchalantly, or so he thought. There was still a faint tremble to his voice.
“Hey pal, don’t pretend you don’t know!” Gumshoe said loudly, leaning forward. Jeddy finally saw him for the first time and was surprised. His eyebrows were just as impressive in real life as they were in the game. “You’ve been arrested for the murder of the beard of a Mr. Paul Franzen. Ring any bells, pal?”
“I didn’t do it!” Jeddy said defensively. Gumshoe smirked at him.
“Hey, pal. The murder weapon was found in your pocket. You can’t get much better evidence than that.”
“What murder weapon?” Jeddy asked in confusion. He had no idea what was going on, and to be honest, he still wasn’t convinced this entire thing was even real.
“There was a razor found in your pocket, pal. Highly incriminating,” Gumshoe said, frowning and raising an eyebrow.
Jeddy stifled a laugh. “Is this a joke? This can’t be real,” he snorted. “You can’t be taking a “murder” of a beard this seriously.”
“I assure you, this is very serious,” Gumshoe replied darkly. His tone sounded far graver than it ever was in the game, even if he was only text. He shuffled through some papers in front of him. “We have more questions for you later, so don’t even think about relaxing. But you have a visitor.”
Jeddy’s hopes soared. Maybe it was Paul and they could get this whole thing straightened out. A guard came in to escort him to the visitor’s room as Jeddy allowed his thoughts to run away with him. Or maybe it was Michael or Nathaniel or any of the other GameCola guys, who’d heard and come rushing to help. He took a seat and looked out the clear window. His jaw dropped. The man in front of him was unmistakable. Blue suit, red tie, small gold badge on the lapel, black spiky hair. Phoenix Wright was sitting in front of him.
“Hello Mr. Jed-… Mr. Jedra…” Phoenix looked uneasy, looking down at the papers in his lap, maybe the case file or something.
“Y-you can call me Jeddy,” Jeddy said helpfully. He couldn’t believe this was happening; the famous attorney, Phoenix Wright, was sitting in front of him? He jumped as a brown eye peeked around the edge of the window, framed by dark black bangs.
“Hi Jeddy! I’m Maya!” came a voice Jeddy could only assume came from the owner of the eye.
“And I’m Phoenix Wright,” the attorney said, a bit anticlimactically, as Jeddy already knew who he was. He just… couldn’t believe it.
“Nice to meet you,” Jeddy said faintly, still trying to figure out how this was happening. Phoenix and Maya were characters in a videogame, for crying out loud!
“So, we saw what happened,” Phoenix said. “We want to defend you.”
“Well, sure. We think you’re innocent, so… Can we ask you a few questions?” The look in Phoenix’s eyes was earnest.
“Sure,” Jeddy replied. He was really surprised that Phoenix would even consider defending him, but as Phoenix pulled out a pen and notepad and Maya slid fully into view, fiddling with the chain of her Magatama, he finally got the sense that maybe, just maybe, he’d get out of this mess.
Nathaniel, Matt, Christian, and Meteo opened the door to their room in the Gatewater. According to Larry, he’d had to do a lot of wheeling and dealing to get a room for them tonight, but he’d pulled through. And the room was nice, very nice. It had a front room with two couches and a large television. Connected to it was another room with another couch and a small kitchenette, leading to two more bedrooms with two twin beds each.
“Wow, Larry. I’m impressed, this is really nice,” said Matt, raising an eyebrow. Meteo let out a low whistle.
Larry put his hands in his pockets and tried to look like it was no big deal. “Yeah, Charice is really into me. She gives me practically anything here, in return for… certain favors,” he said with an attempt at a casual air. Everyone rolled their eyes.
“Hey,” said Meteo suddenly. He’d been examining the T.V. and probably tuning them out entirely. “There’s some games here.” He picked some up, examining them. “Steel Samurai, Steel Samurai Strikes Again, Steel Samurai: Revenge of the Evil Magistrate.” He snorted. “Someone seems to have an obsession with the Steel Samurai.”
“Hey, don’t be hatin’!” Larry exclaimed, rushing over and grabbing the games out of Meteo’s hands and pressing them to his chest. “Charice is a huge videogame fan and she LOVES the Steel Samurai, so be careful with those, they aren’t cheap!” A sudden vision of Larry and a girl in a skimpy maid outfit playing videogames in this hotel room popped into everyone’s head.
“I kind of want to meet her,” Nathaniel said, glancing at the others and attempting to send a telepathic message for them to go along with it. Apparently they didn’t receive it, as they all gave him very strange looks. But Larry seemed pretty enthusiastic as he nodded, babbling random nonsense about how they were going to love her, and ran out the door.
Everyone turned to Nathaniel accusingly. “I’m not really into the idea of meeting Larry’s latest girlfriend,” Christian grumbled, frowning. The others bore similar expressions.
“Guys, I don’t really care about meeting her either. I just wanted to get him out of the room so we could talk freely.” Expressions of realization crossed everyone’s faces. “So, how are we going to get home?” Suddenly his phone rang, a loud theme from Mega Man. He dug it out of his pocket, checking the caller ID. “It’s Michael Gray,” he said aloud, quickly answering. “Hello?”
The others tried to listen in as Nathaniel continued. “Yeah, we’re at the Gatewater… Yeah, we have a room. We met Larry Butz and he sweet-talked one of the maids into giving us a room. Uh-huh… Yeah, everyone’s here except Paul and Jeddy. You have Diana? Okay. We’ll see you a bit later then. Bye.”
He looked up at the guys, who’d been hanging on to every word. “He said he’ll be over later. He has Diana, and news.” The others looked at each other and raised eyebrows. News?
“So, back to our earlier dilemma…” Matt said quietly. “How are we going to get home?”
The words had barely made it out of his mouth when there was a knock on the door. “He can’t be back already,” Meteo muttered, going to open the door. “Can I help you?” he asked the unfamiliar face.
“Meteo, it’s me.”
Meteo looked closer. Did he know this person? “Nope, pretty sure we haven’t met.”
“What’s going on, Meteo?” The other guys crowded in around him. “Who is this?”
“Seriously? You guys don’t recognize me?” the guy at the door said. Come to think of it, his voice did sound a little familiar…
“I feel like I know you…” said Christian, thinking hard.
“Ok, seriously guys? It’s me, Paul! I found you guys by asking the hotel bellboy if there was a room under the name GameCola. Thank god you guys registered under that.”
“What? Paul?” they all said at the same time.
“B-but Paul-” Meteo began.
Matt cut him off. “You don’t have-“
Nathaniel exploded. “Your beard?”
Paul frowned. “I know, I know, my beard is my most defining feature. Well, it was. It’s a long story.” The others let him into the room and Paul filled them in on everything that had happened in the office building.
“Really? So now Jeddy is in jail for murdering your beard?” Matt asked incredulously.
“Yeah,” Paul said, frowning. “I mean, I feel bad, but all the evidence points to him…”
“This is crazy!” Christian muttered, collapsing onto a couch. “So now not only are we stranded in some kind of alternate universe, two of us are still missing and one of us is in jail. How are we ever going to get home?”
The mysterious mastermind locked the door to their own office with a satisfied smirk. Today had been a good day. The person had managed to find out the location of every single one of the ‘others’ and successfully manipulated it so they’d be here for a long time. It was a bit worrisome that they were all gathered together tonight, but odds were they’d never figure out how to get home.
The person smirked. How surprised they’d be when they found out the trick to get home was right under their noses! That girl, the person thought, frowning a little, she could be trouble. She reminded him too much of that legal aide, the one with the gray eyes. Not to mention, this girl held the key to getting the ‘others’ home. But there’s no way they’ll ever figure it out, the person thought reassuringly. And even if they do, there’s no way they’ll leave without all of their friends. And I’ve made sure that one friend of theirs will stay locked up for a long time…
For more of Diana’s fanfiction, check out her FanFiction.net page here!