This feature was submitted by GameCola superfan Diana Gray (aka Diana141). Check out the previous chapters here if you missed them!
A general freaking out began amongst the staff as the room continued to shake. There were startled cries from above and Maya, Phoenix, and Larry half-jumped, half-fell down the ladder. “Hey!” Meteo yelled: they’d practically landed on top of him. “What the heck?”
“Sorry,” Phoenix said quickly, disentangling himself and standing up. “But you might want to look up there.” Everyone tripped over each other in an effort to look out the opening in the ceiling. Horrified gasps filled the air; what had once been a room above was now just a blank white space. Christian hesitantly reached a hand up to touch the space, but his fingers hit nothing but air.
Diana hurried toward Payne, snatching the paper from his hand. He let out an indignant squeak as she scanned the cramped handwriting. “This is interesting,” she murmured. Madeline frowned, then, giving in to her curiosity, she moved behind the authoress to read over her shoulder. “Look at this,” Diana said, tapping a passage with her finger. “This paper explains everything, even how to get us here. Something about using the moon and a DS. It’s kind of confusing. I obviously didn’t write this.”
“Speaking of writing,” Matt said. “We’re all together now, aren’t we?” The staff looked around, mentally counting each other.
“Yeah, we’re all here,” Jeddy replied.
“Oh, yeah, I can write us home! That would probably be a good idea,” Diana said quickly.
“Yes, it would,” Edgeworth agreed, frowning. The author made a face at him, then tried to focus.
Diana searched her pockets, but finding no paper, she reluctantly spread out the old paper on the table in front of her. Sighing, she spared another glance at the plain white square in front of her. Diana allowed herself to be wrapped up in the philosophical thought that always struck her whenever she started a new project: a new beginning, endless possibilities. But now was hardly the time to be thinking about that, she thought in irritation. Not when so much depended on her right now. She stuffed her hands in her pockets again, but Edgeworth shoved a pen at her, looking annoyed. She hid a smirk and bent down over the paper.
“Let’s just keep this simple,” she muttered to herself, tapping her pen against her chin, a habit she’d developed when she was thinking.
The GameCola staff and the author suddenly appeared back in their own place and time.
There, she thought with satisfaction. Can’t be simpler than that. Then she realized that nothing was happening.
Diana wrote the same thing again. Still nothing. She changed word order and style, growing more and more desperate. But their bleak surroundings didn’t change. “I’m sorry, guys,” she whispered. “It’s not working.”
“What do you mean, ‘not working’?!” Nathaniel said incredulously. Diana held the paper out. Jeddy took it from her and everyone gathered around it, reading the many scribbled words on the back.
“Well, what do we do?” Meteo asked, frowning.
“We need to figure out why Diana’s writing isn’t working,” Madeline said suddenly. Her eyes flicked over to Payne, and Edgeworth caught her eye. He nodded and walked over to the villain.
“Payne, what do you know that we don’t?” the prosecutor said coldly, glaring at the man in the chair.
Payne squirmed uncomfortably for a moment, then he began to smirk. “It’s almost over, Mr. Edgeworth. Just a few more minutes. Maybe you should spend them with your girlfriend. I’m sure that’s what the young author over there would want.”
“Hey! Don’t drag me into this!” Diana called indignantly from the other end of the room. She had taken the paper back and was studying it, trying to figure out what she’d done wrong. Madeline was looking over her shoulder, frowning. The staff members were grouped together uncomfortably, unable to do anything except wait.
“What’s going to happen, Nick?” Maya said quietly. She, Larry, and Phoenix were standing in the corner, uncomfortable witnesses to everything that had been going on.
“I don’t know, Maya,” the attorney replied, looking worried.
Edgeworth looked around the room at all that was happening, then took another step toward Payne, growing even more threatening. “Tell us, now.”
Payne shrunk back. “Her writing doesn’t work because she’s not leaving something in this universe.”
Edgeworth leaned in. “Explain,” he growled.
“It’s very simple, Prosecutor Edgeworth. If the young author here wishes to send herself and her friends home, something, or rather, someone, must stay here.”
There was pure silence for a second. Everyone was trying to process the meaning of this statement. Finally, Diana spoke. “Michael, take this.” She handed him the paper. “Read it,” she prompted him, smiling. But there was something in her face that wasn’t right. Michael looked down and started to read, but Diana stopped him, a hand over the words. “Aloud,” she said. He nodded.
As Diana watched, the GameCola staff disappeared from sight, reappearing in the hotel room where they had been what seemed like a lifetime ago.
They all looked up at her in shock. She smiled, but she had tears in her eyes. “Bye guys,” she whispered. Then their vision faded to white, then black.
As the staff disappeared, Diana collapsed into another chair, tears spilling down her cheeks. She knew she’d never be able to get home now. Madeline put a hand on her shoulder, patting it. Diana wrapped her arms around her OC and Madeline stroked her hair as the author cried softly. “It’ll be fine,” Madeline murmured. “We’ll find a way to get you home.”
“I don’t think I can, Madi,” Diana whispered between sniffles. “I don’t think I can.”
The GameColers came to in their hotel room. They all were a little groggy, but immediately sat up, remembering what had happened. The first thing they noticed was Diana’s pink DS, still open and powered on, sitting on the table. They all crowded around it, looking down.
“Do you guys see that?” Christian said. The game looked like Ace Attorney Investigations, with the zoomed out view of the scene. The people were all in the same positions as when the staff had left, but there was a new figure, the one Christian was pointing at. A brunette was hunched over in a chair, being comforted by what was undoubtedly Madeline.
“She’s still there,” Michael said quietly.
“But what can we do?” Paul asked, looking around at the staff. Their blank faces were the only answers he got.
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