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Phoenix Wright (成歩堂龍一) ([personal profile] thewrightway) wrote in [community profile] aceattorneythenovel2017-02-19 02:49 pm

Chapter 1: A Shocking Arrest (English terminology)

[March 12, 5:46 PM: Seafield Airport]

“Wooaah...! Wh-what are you doing...!?”
The man shouted suddenly in a strained voice as he turned and collapsed.
“... Eh?”
I instinctively caught the man. Or rather, I was unable to hold back the great force with which he fell.
The man's body weight was a little too much for me to bear on my own. With the man's weight upon me, I fell on my rear.
The man collapsed face first and didn't move.
A sudden illness?
I only noticed when I tried calling out to the man.
Blood was oozing out somewhere around the side of his shirt.
... Eh? Why is he bleeding...?
People who had heard the man's voice were now gathering.
The very first one to run up was a man in an expensive looking suit and a pair of metal framed glasses. He got down to his knees and lifted the fallen man.
“Boss! Boss, pull yourself together! What happened, boss!?”
A man with a moustache put a hand on his shoulder to stop him.
“Stop, don't shake him! We need to stop the bleeding!”
The third person to arrive was a woman in traditional Japanese garb. She touched the fallen man and let out a scream. “Gyaaah.”
“E-emergency! He's bleeding! He's been stabbed!”
“Who!? Who would do this to the boss...!?”
The man with the glasses looked around with bloodshot eyes, before settling his gaze upon me, still sitting dumbfounded on my butt.
“Was it you!?”
“Eh...? N-no, I'd never...”
“You killed my boss! You bastard...!”
“I-I didn't. All I did was...”
The man in front of me had simply collapsed and I tried to support him.
But I doubt they'll buy that story.
“He's the culprit! Apprehend him!”
“Aah... How could this... Boss!”
The carry on baggage checking area had fallen into chaos. Airport staff and passengers were all shouting and pointing at me.
You're wrong. I didn't do it.
But– When I looked down and saw what was gripped within my own hand, I was shocked.
An ice pick with the tip covered in blood. My mind couldn't comprehend the situation.
While I was still dazed, airport staff had grabbed me by both arms.
The ice pick dropped to the ground with a hard sound.
The man with the moustache spoke as he glared at me.
“So that ice pick is the murder weapon then? Nobody touch it. Leave it as it is until the police arrive.”
“No... I didn't...!”
I finally managed to raise my voice, but it was too late. Far too late.
“Hey... You're... No way...”
A trembling voice came from behind me. I turned to look, my friend – Ramon, stared at me with his eyes wide open.
“Why... Why would you... Apollo!”
You're wrong!
No matter what, I... Apollo Justice would never stab anyone!

[March 13, 9:00 AM: Wright Anything Agency]

“Apollo killed a man? No way, there's no way I'd believe a joke like that!”
The moment she heard the news, Athena burst out in cheerful laughter.
Trucy also nodded hard enough to almost drop the silk hat she was wearing from her head.
“That's right, Daddy. It's downright ridiculous to even consider it.”
“Guess we better settle it. I mean, they're probably holding him without a shred of evidence, right? You won't even need to lift a finger, Mr. Wright...”
“I'm afraid not.”
I replied in a dejected tone.
Athena and Trucy looked at each other, then looked to me with puzzled expressions.
“What do you mean? There's no way you seriously doubt Apollo's innocence...”
“I can't believe it, Daddy!”
... Of course not. I know 100% that Apollo is innocent. I don't doubt it in the slightest, but...
“The situation isn't exactly favourable...”
I spoke heavily, shaking my head without any energy.

My name is Phoenix Wright. I'm a defence attorney in charge of running the “Wright Anything Agency”. The reason for the ridiculous “Anything Agency” name... is kind of a long story, so I'll skip that for now. Anyway, our office isn't just a law firm, from defending in the courtroom to magic shows... our agency does it all.
Supporting me in my role as chief are my three talented subordinates.
First up, our magician, Trucy Wright. She's my daughter... We're not related by blood, but due to certain circumstances I ended up adopting her. She's still only in high school, but she's incredibly level headed and mature. You could even call her the “shadow chief” of this office.
Next up, is Athena Cykes. She's a genius girl who studied in Europe and gained her qualifications as a lawyer at the age of 18. She's more active, spontaneous and easy going than the average girl, but no one is better than her at applying analytical psychology in the courtroom. She may be inexperienced, but she's reliable.
And then there's one more person supporting me– The hot blooded attorney, Apollo Justice.
The suspect of the case at hand.

“The incident occurred shortly before six o'clock last night. It was in the carry on baggage checking area at Seafield Airport.”
As I was beginning my explanation, Athena cut in.
“Seafield Airport is that new airport that was built in the last few years, right?”
“Yeah. It may be small in scale and about 40 minutes from the city by car, but they're fully equipped. Although since it's inconvenient to catch the train there, they take on less passengers than they were hoping.”
“So that airport is where Polly...”

I nodded in response to Trucy.
“That's right. Apollo was taking a vacation and was planning to travel on his own. He was planning to leave from Seafield Airport on his own, but there's a friend of his who lives near the airport.”
“Ramon Berger, right?”
Athena confirmed his name while looking at the documents she had on hand. I nodded.
“That's right. Ramon runs a ramen shop not far from the airport. Apollo took the rare opportunity to catch up with Ramon and hang out and chat before departing the following day.
Apollo arrived in Seafield city the day before the incident – that is, March 11th. He visited his friend Ramon Berger and had dinner together.
He stayed the night at Ramon's house and they enjoyed a drive around the neighbourhood the following day.
Then, as the time of departure approached, Ramon drove him to the airport around 5:30 PM.
At the airport, Apollo went his separate way from Ramon and headed to have his carry on baggage checked.
That's when the incident occurred.
The man in front of Apollo in the queue suddenly shouted “What are you doing” and collapsed.
“Apollo tried to support the man when he fell. But the man had lost all strength and collapsed completely. People came over to help the man back up, but he was already unconscious. Apollo was apprehended and by the time the police arrived, the man was already dead.”
“And he was arrested? But that's so weird...”
Athena spoke unsatisfied.
“I mean, it's normal to try and support someone when they collapse right in front of you? Anyone would've done the same thing.”
“But, the victim had been stabbed. And on top of that, Apollo was holding an ice pick in his hand.
“... What!?”
Athena and Trucy raised their voices in unison. “What!?” is exactly what I'd like to say about this too.
“The wound wasn't too deep, not typically a fatal injury. But the tip of the weapon was coated in poison.”
“The poison spread through the victim's body and killed him. The ice pick Apollo was holding had both the victim's blood and the poison on it.”
Athena and Trucy were lost for words.
I quietly spoke the decisive words.
“–The wound in the victim's left side perfectly matches the shape of the ice pick Apollo was holding. The only fingerprints found on the handle of the ice pick were Apollo's too.”
“Then that means...”
Trucy spoke with a perplexed expression.
“That Polly is 100% the culprit behind it...?”
“I'll never believe it!”
Athena shouted.
“No matter what the situation was, Apollo would never kill anyone! He just wouldn't!”
“Yeah, that's right. I believe in Apollo too.”
Trucy nodded to my response.
“Which means that Polly was framed by someone – and they're the real culprit.”
Though the turbulence in my heart hasn't settled down quite yet, I lifted my head.
That's right – For now, I'll believe completely in Apollo's innocence. No matter the reason, Apollo would never kill anyone.
The true culprit must have tricked Apollo somehow.
That's all the reason I need to take this case. No matter the odds against me, I will protect Apollo!

[Same Day, 10:35 AM: Detention Center]

I was relieved to see Apollo in higher spirits than I'd expected. Having not slept all night, his eyes were a little drooped, but otherwise he was his usual self.
“Sorry to make you worry like this, Mr. Wright!”
His voice was as loud as always too.
“No, it's fine. Anyway, it's time I heard your side of the story.”
Apollo and I were separated by a transparent acrylic barrier. I could hear his voice from the other side of the 'communication hole'.
It was an odd feeling.
It's normal for me to speak to my clients here in the detention center like this, but it's not common to have one of my employees on the other side of the wall.
“I'd arrived at Seafield Airport ready to depart for my vacation. My friend Ramon Berger was there to see me off... I've told you about Ramon before, right?”
“Yeah, your friend who runs a ramen shop.”
“He's a little short tempered, but a good guy. So we parted ways and I headed to the carry on baggage check... Then... Oh right, this might be unrelated to the incident, but.”
Apollo seemed to recall something.
“Before I went to the baggage check area, Ramon and I stood around talking for a bit. I was thanking him for his hospitality... Which is when something interesting occurred.”
“What was it?”
“There was a man heading over to the baggage check on his own, when Ramon took notice of him and went over to say something.”
“Did he know the guy? What did he say?”
“He was speaking quietly, so I didn't hear him. But I thought it was odd, the serious expression Ramon had. The man seemed to ignore him, but Ramon grabbed his arm to hold him back. The man just shook him off and kept walking without saying anything.”
Apollo knitted his brows as he continued.
“The thing is, that man became the victim.”
“The politician who was killed, Truman Goodwin.”
“Hold it right there.”
Unrelated to the incident...?
Apollo's vague wording may be his fear to suspect that his friend Ramon may be involved.
But it was right after this that the victim collapsed and died. I need to hear more details about this.
“The victim Mr. Goodwin was a prominent politician in Seafield city. I hear he spent many years on the local council, had the trust of the public and was quite outspoken...”
“Sounds about right. However, I had no idea what Mr. Goodwin even looked like, I had no idea who he even was at the time. I asked Ramon 'Is something wrong?', but he told me 'It's nothing' and wouldn't elaborate further. He was looking kind of pale, but despite my concerns I didn't have time to ask him in detail as my plane's departure time was coming up. So I said my goodbyes to him and went to have my carry on baggage checked.”
The carry on baggage checking area is a place where any luggage passengers take onto a plane is examined. If you have any dangerous items like a knife, they'll be confiscated there.
“It was a weekday, so there weren't that many passengers. So the man in front of me in the queue was the same man Ramon went after – Mr. Goodwin. Just as I was about to put my bag down for inspection, something fell near my feet.”
“What was it?”
“I just picked it up without thinking about what it was. I figured it must have been dropped by the man in front of me, but...”
Could it be that was...?
Apollo continued with difficulty.
“At that moment, Mr. Goodwin screamed 'Woah!' followed by a shout of 'What are you doing?' as he turned around and collapsed right in front of me. In my shock, I tried to support him, but I wasn't able to and fell over. That's when I noticed. Mr. Goodwin had begun bleeding through the left side of his shirt.”
“Hold it for a moment.”
I interjected.
“The victim shouted 'What are you doing?'. So was that the moment he was stabbed...?”
“But I was the only one near him. The other passengers had already had their bags checked and were waiting at the departure gate. I mean, the inspection officer was there, but he was on the other side of the inspection bench, he never touched the victim.”
Nobody had touched the victim other than Apollo.
Yet he had shouted “What are you doing?”... I wonder what that was about.
“After his scream rang out, the people in the departure gate came running to try and help the fallen Mr. Goodwin. And that was when I finally realised that I was holding the ice pick.”
“So you'd picked I up just before that.”
“Yeah. Then people started pointing to me saying 'He's the culprit'. I didn't have any chance to explain myself. Even Ramon doubted me...”

Apollo covered his face, it was as if he lost all his energy at once.
Even his friend doubted him – There's nothing harsher than that.
The pain and fear of when nobody will believe in you, I experienced it back when I was a kid. A theft had occurred in my classroom, and everyone blamed me for it.
Not even our teacher believed me. It was that painful experience that inspired me to become a defence attorney. To be there for the lonely people without anyone on their side when they plead their innocence – That's what I want to do.
“Apollo. No matter what, I believe in you.”
Apollo raised his head, life returning to his face with my words.
“Mr. Wright...”
“Of course. Trucy and Athena are 100% behind you as well.”
Apollo broke into a smile.
“I believe in you too. I knew you'd say something like that, Mr. Wright.”
... He said.
The situation is unusually tough. From an objective point of view, there's no possible suspect other than Apollo. But the evidence has to exist. The culprit has to have left a loose thread somewhere in their twisted tapestry that I can pull to break this case apart.
All I have to do if find it.

[Same Day, 11:40 AM: Wright Anything Agency]

After listening to my story, Athena crossed her arms to think.
“Hmmm... So basically, the victim shouted 'Woah, what are you doing?' without anyone even touching him. I wonder what that was about.”
Trucy said.
“Maybe the killer attacked from a distance? The killer threw the ice pick from the other side of the room and it stabbed the victim.”
“I'm not sure that's actually possible...?”
“You're always a perfect shot though, Trucy. Except when you miss.”
... If she misses, then she's not always a perfect shot.
Athena spoke vigorously.
“Even if it didn't stab him properly, as long as it scratched him, the poison would circulate through the victim's body. The culprit threw the ice pick, it lightly wounded the victim and fell on the floor at Apollo's feet...”
“No, the order doesn't add up.”
I shook my head.
“According to Apollo, the ice pick fell by his feet first. It was after that that the victim shouted 'What are you doing?' and collapsed.”
“Hmmm... Then maybe the would was small enough he didn't notice the moment he was stabbed? Which is why he had a delayed reaction...”
“Sitting around here making wild guesses isn't going to help our case. I'm going to the crime scene. Athena, you're with me. Trucy, you take care of the office while we're gone.”
“Got it!”
I stood up and left the office with Athena.