His Struggle

July 4, 2013
By dudeindisguise2010 SILVER, Sunnyvale, California
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dudeindisguise2010 SILVER, Sunnyvale, California
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Author's note: An unfinished biography detailing the dark life of Kristoph Gavin, ace defense attorney.

Up to this point, my life had been a constant struggle against humanity. I was born into a world that would have preferred if my existence never came to be. My mother was less than adept at hiding her regret that she had not given birth to a daughter, and my father, well…he just didn’t like anything. But I scared my parents. I came into this world missing a chromosome. At first, my parents feared that I would be mentally or physically impaired. This baffled the doctors. The absence of a chromosome seemed to have no bearing on my everyday life, but they warned my parents that its impact could manifest itself when I reached adulthood. Of course, this made no difference to them. I suffered considerable neglect at their hands, and my only sanctuary was the solitude of my mind.
School was the only real refuge I had, and I took pride in my academic ability. But in turn, I also suffered for my superior intelligence. As a small, short boy with apparent intellectual ability, I was an easy target for bullies. I would frequently come home bruised, battered, and bleeding. The only response my unsightly appearance elicited was a disappointed sigh from my crude, crass father who believed I should have fought back against them. With little other choice, I was content to allow my tormentors their moment in the sun. Society would punish them accordingly, once those simpleminded oafs entered the real world, where neither their brawn nor their lack of brainpower would assist them.
Through all the years, I took solace in the fact that, with my intellect, I would have a clear future once I completed my education in Germany. Although academic glory was satisfying, I lacked one thing I craved above all else: friendship. I was accepted by some of the other children only because I could help them with their homework. Once they had procured their answers from me, I was forgotten, left to sit alone while they began engaging in their reindeer games. When I was seven years of age, there was one boy whom I believed to be my friend, but in the end, it turned out that he, like the rest of them, sought only an easy way out of struggling with their homework. Angered at this betrayal, I revenged myself upon him by framing him for cheating on a test. Satisfied with his punishment, I proceeded with the dull monotony that was my life.
About a year after that incident, my younger brother, Klavier was born. At first, I welcomed this new arrival. However, it soon became apparent that he was to be more of a nuisance than a comfort to me. Prone to wailing incessantly at the most inopportune occasions, I grew to hate him, despite knowing full well that he had no control over his impulses. As he grew older, I began to envy and despise him even more. He was popular and charismatic, and my parents absolutely fawned on him. Though he was considerably less intellectually capable than I was, he was no fool. He could sense my animosity towards him, and tried to befriend me, but I pushed away his well-meaning advances. I didn’t need friendship, at least not from some glamorous fop whose head was full of foolish fancies of becoming a rock star.
It angered me that someone with such a mundane, artificial personality could be loved by so many. Out of pure spite, I decided to bring an end to his superficial existence. I had it carefully planned. When everyone was asleep, I would retrieve my father’s pistol from the top shelf of the bathroom closet. Then, I would shoot Klavier and throw the weapon out the window. Immediately after I disposed of the weapon, I would sneak back into my bed, feigning sleep and preparing to put on a convincing display of grief for my dear, deceased baby brother. I had full intentions of carrying out the plan which I had concocted, but as I grabbed the pistol, a seed of doubt entered my mind for the first time. It would be too obvious, I concluded. Too obvious who had done it and too brutal a crime for me to commit. I was above such brutality. Besides, he wasn’t so intolerable. A little empty-headed and a little self-absorbed, but he was still my brother. Shying away from my brush with malice, I gradually adapted to his existence, shutting him out with the rest of my family, doing my best to ignore the praise and adulation that I deserved to hear.
One day, my father was charged with domestic violence. He had come home the night before after an evening out with his coworkers. He had had a few beers too many, and in a fit of drunken rage, he had taken an empty wine bottle and smashed it over my mother’s head. My mother had been fortunate. In his drunken state, he did not smash it forcefully enough to take her life. His loss of motor functions had dramatically lessened the impact of the blow. There was minimal bleeding, and my mother was able to retain her life and her sanity.
Klavier and I had been excused from school to witness my father’s trial. The legendary prosecutor, Manfred von Karma was doing everything he could to convict my father of domestic violence. In my heart, I wanted him to succeed, but I could not help but admire the defense attorney, Justin Case. Though the defense attorney knew he had almost no chance of stripping von Karma of his perfect win record, he believed in my father’s innocence. He was a fool in that respect, but I was in awe of his skill as an attorney.
As I watched him argue the case with passion and purpose, I knew then that when I grew up, I wanted to be a defense attorney. As expected, my father was convicted of the crime. Mr. Case had argued his case well, and were my father innocent, he would certainly have gotten off. But as it was, there was undeniable and damning proof of my father’s guilt, and he was dragged away in handcuffs, protesting the verdict of the trial. I smirked as he was led away, disgraced by the hand of justice. Some day, I would be the one in the courtroom, arguing for a client. And I would win.

I began studying for a career in the legal department once I had reached high school. After I graduated from college at the age of twenty, I had been accepted into a prestigious law school. So far everything was going according to my plan. The competition amongst the prospective lawyers was intense, but I was able to consistently outshine the rest. I quickly rose through the ranks of the law school and passed the bar exam with flying colors.
But during my time in law school, I crossed paths with an inferior being that would later degrade my existence: Phoenix Wright. Phoenix Wright was a pitiable attorney: easily flustered and mediocre to the last degree. I could hardly believe any law school, let alone one as prestigious as the Berlin Academy for the Legally Inclined would accept this pathetic excuse for an attorney. In mock trials, he would try to make the minutest discrepancy into a glaring contradiction. Needless to say, he failed more often than not, and I could only shake my head in amused disbelief as I saw him showcase his apparent lack of skill.
Once I passed my bar exam, I joined Oppenheimer and Co. Law Offices. As a rookie attorney, my list of clientele was virtually nonexistent. Within a year of my graduation from the Berlin Academy for the Legally Inclined, I had had only one client, and that client was guilty of the crime he had committed. I was able to get him off with a Not Guilty verdict, thanks in part to Prosecutor von Stein’s incompetence.
But after fifty-two long, arduous weeks of mediocrity in the German legal system, I decided to take my chances overseas. I had heard of the American legal system, and knew, from the frivolous nature of the inhabitants of America, that I would receive an abundance of clients. With violence and murder occurring left and right, even an inexperienced attorney such as me would have an opportunity to make a name for himself. While taking on cases for a variety of clients, I was able to support my livelihood, yet very few people still knew who Kristoph Gavin was. It seemed to me a great injustice that in all my brilliance and capability as a lawyer who had never lost a case, that I was still mired in obscurity, never given an opportunity to make my existence known in the legal world.
For years, this continued as I took on cases involving mostly petty crimes, with the occasional charge of domestic violence or assault. After some time, I decided to defect from the Grossberg Law Firm and head my own law office. To my chagrin, I found that I had even fewer clients than before. I remained hopeful for several months, but my financial status had been thrown into jeopardy.
Just when I began to give up hope of success in a legal career, fortune smiled upon me for the first time in my life. The state had appointed me to be the defense attorney for the trial of Orenthal James Sampson, the former NFL MVP, who had been charged with a series of murders. Despite the mounting evidence against him, I knew this would be my only chance to make a name for myself before I was forced onto the streets.
My opponent would be a worthy one, none other than Manfred von Karma’s protégé, Miles Edgeworth. Twelve cases into his career as a prosecutor, he had yet to be bested in court. I was ready to be the first to put a blemish on his pristine perfect record. This would be my chance. I would prove my client innocent, at all costs. And Miles Edgeworth would fall before my feet.
The trial went smoothly, and I had come to realize that much of the hype surrounding Miles Edgeworth was purely exaggeration. I had expected a prosecutor of his stature to be unflappable, a prosecutor who would always pose a threat. But Miles Edgeworth had overlooked several crucial points in the trial, and it was only through a desperate move that he was able to salvage the trial until the next day. The way the trial was going, it seemed as if victory was already mine to savor.
After dropping my briefcase off at the office, I went to the crime scene to investigate for more clues. When I arrived at the crime scene, I was ambushed by Manfred von Karma himself. He sneered at me and roared in his deep, rumbling tone,
“You shall not emerge victorious in the trial tomorrow. Regardless of what took place within the courtroom today, you are no match for Miles Edgeworth.”
“Oh, really?” I demanded. “And what makes you say that? I would have assumed your protégé would pose much more of a challenge than he did in court.” At this, von Karma’s gaze fell menacingly upon my eyes.
“I taught him what it meant to be a von Karma. Miles Edgeworth will find a way to bring justice to your client. He has never failed to do so yet. The guilty will always lie, to avoid being found out. It is the prosecution’s duty to incarcerate the perpetrators of injustice who weave lies to escape the tangle of their crimes. It is my duty to ensure that you do not succeed in tomorrow’s trial.”
“And what do you presume to….AHHHHHHHHHHH!”
In a split second, von Karma had used his taser to forcefully dictate that the discussion was over. He had been aiming for my torso, but I had held up my right hand in self-defense and instantly felt thousands of volts of electricity searing my hand. With a cry, I fell to the ground, clutching my hand in agony as I rolled around on the floor. I saw that there was a deep indentation on the back of my left hand that looked like the face of a demon. I could feel myself losing consciousness, and in my last moment before passing out, I glanced up at von Karma, horrified, holding back cries of pain.
“Best of luck, attorney,” he said, with a triumphant smile, before walking off, his purpose fulfilled.
They found me later that night, and transferred me to the Hotti Clinic. The taser had caused severe trauma to my nervous system and I would not be able to defend my client in the trial tomorrow. The physician informed me that another defense attorney appointed by the state would be taking my case, but the case meant nothing to me at this point. In the hands of an inferior attorney, my airtight case would fall apart. And if my case still managed to hold up, it would be another unworthy lawyer, thieving my glory and scavenging my pride.
I remained in the clinic until Thursday, and I would not pretend that I had not been expecting the headlines of that day’s newspapers. ‘Sampson Found Guilty of All Charges,’ the headline blared, ‘Edgeworth Emerges Victorious Once More.’ Disgusted, I tossed the newspaper into the recycle bin, lamenting what would have been mine had von Karma not intervened.
The only good thing that came out of the trial was the slightly increased prestige I had received from the first day of the trial. I began receiving clients often enough to afford a comfortable lifestyle. My legal career was looking slightly upwards, but I was still far from famous as a defense attorney. A year later, another case was sweeping the nation. The esteemed defense attorney, Mia Fey, had been murdered. The defendant was none other than the victim’s sister, teenager Maya Fey. The press remained completely convinced in her guilt, and many were declaring the trial over before it had even started.
I followed the case closely out of mild interest, as it regarded one of the more respected names in the business. I was shocked, but mostly pleased to see that the defense attorney for this particular case was none other than the incompetent Phoenix Wright himself. What a fool he was! What could he possibly gain from this case, other than disgrace from an embarrassing loss? Phoenix Wright may have won his first case on luck, but this time he was in over his head.
When I saw that Miles Edgeworth was to be the prosecutor for the case, I became even more certain that Wright would regret his foolish decision to defend Maya Fey. Edgeworth had failed to impress me in our lone showdown, but even I had been unable to best him in one day. Given that he had evaded defeat against me, it was all but given that he would destroy the novice Phoenix Wright.
As I watched the case progress, I could only laugh at Wright’s feeble efforts to appear competent. He had prolonged the trial by another day, but he had completely missed the mark. Instead of proving his client’s innocence, he had made a desperate move to try to accuse the witness herself of a crime which was barely related to the case. Fortune had smiled on Phoenix Wright, as he was given another day to pretend that he knew what he was doing.
When I woke up the next day, the newspaper informed me that there had been a switch in defendants. Phoenix Wright was now accused of murdering his mentor, with the motive that he would have become head of the Fey and Co. Law Offices once his mentor was out of the picture. The idea of Wright murdering someone in cold blood was laughable, but once again, the press was condemning him to the death sentence already. Although I knew he wouldn’t have had the fortitude to commit such a crime, it appeared all but hopeless for Wright. I looked forward to watching a live feed of the trial that day.
It was a slow day at the law office, so I left for home and began savoring the inevitable outcome. The trial was a dramatic masterpiece, a rare blend of comedy and tragedy. Against Edgeworth, Wright was just overmatched. It was almost pathetic, like watching a struggling child being devoured by a shark. To my utter surprise, Wright somehow pulled a victory out of his rectum and had handed Edgeworth the first defeat of his career.
Moments after vilifying him, the press was showering him in glory and praise for his ‘unbelievable turnaround.’ The reporters hailed him as a lawyer who was on a meteoric rise to fame, a person we could expect great things from in the near future. Impossible! How could Phoenix Wright luck out again? How could the second-rate Phoenix Wright, the lowlife of the legal world accomplish what I did not? Phoenix Wright had stolen my thunder, and had gained a reputation for legal brilliance that was completely undeserved. Someday, I would claim my rightful place, and Phoenix Wright would not stand in my way.

Life went on. After the trial of State vs. Sampson, I was beginning to gain respect as a defense attorney. I was considered to be something of a “competent” lawyer, a lawyer on a plane of skill slightly above the average lawyer. Average! I scoffed. As if my name could be synonymous with the dishonor of mediocrity! I was still waiting for my big chance. I would allow nothing to stand in my way, nothing to hinder me from shining on the legal stage. I thought about success every night and day. I was entranced by its seductive allure, for it seemed to promise power, fame, and prestige: the three symbols of status that gave my life importance. Then, one night, the answer to my prayers arrived in the form of a young girl.
“Mr. Gavin?” the young girl inquired shyly. “I’m Trucy, Trucy Gramarye.” ‘Gramarye,’ I thought. That name struck a chord with me. Gramarye was the name of the most famous troupe of magicians in the 21st century. Gramarye…what could he want with me?
“Yes, Trucy?” I asked.
“My daddy…Zak…he wants to see you…at the detention center.”
“Does he mean now?” I asked.
“Yes,” she said. “He insisted that a lawyer should come as soon as possible.”
I locked the door to the office, and I followed Trucy to the Detention Center. When I arrived at the Detention Center, visiting hours were almost over.
“I’m here to see Zak Gramarye,” I told the guard. He directed me towards a confined area on the other side of the hall.
“Are you sure this is a defense attorney, Trucy?” he asked his daughter.
“Yes, daddy,” she said. “It said so on the door of his office.”
“Very well,” he said.
“My name is Kristoph Gavin. I am the head of the Gavin Law Offices. I’d like to represent you in this case,” I declared. “But first before I do so, I would like to hear your version of events and how they coincide with the current known details of the crime.”
“I would expect nothing less,” said Zak. “I had received a letter from my mentor, Magnifi Gramarye. The letter told me to come to visit his room in the hospital at 11:05 PM on the night of the murder.”
“What else did this letter say?” I demanded.
“This letter told me that I was to shoot a forehead with a pistol that he had prepared earlier. Each pistol had only one bullet, so I was to make the right decision. I knew I had to go, for reasons that I will keep private.”
“I would rather you didn’t,” I said coldly. “You see, if you are to receive the ‘Not Guilty’ verdict you desire, I will have to know as much as possible regarding your motives and everything leading up to the incident.”
“You overestimate the American legal system, Mr. Gavin. Such a legal system has been faulty for generations, where the guilty party is innocent, and the innocent become scapegoats of another man’s crime. I know for a fact that it will be impossible to declare me ‘Guilty’ if I do not exist.” This man was delusional. From what he was saying, he expected to defeat the court system by feigning his nonexistence? Ridiculous! “Please continue,” I requested. “As I was instructed, I arrived at my mentor’s room at the precise time. I noticed my mentor was asleep, with his hands tucked over a small journal. I began searching for the pistol he said he had prepared, and after a few moments, I found it lying in the drawer. I cocked the pistol, and readied my aim, but as I was about to pull the trigger, I found myself unable to take my mentor’s life. At first, I was unable to see a way out of my situation. I did not dare defy a direct order from my mentor. Though he appeared asleep, I knew that he would not allow my defiance of his instruction to go unpunished. Yet, I did not want my hands tainted with murder. I looked around the room for a different way to interpret his instructions. I found a toy clown by his bedside. Taking careful aim, I pulled the trigger and blew a hole clean through its forehead. As I was about to leave, my mentor called for me. I turned around, and he told me that he had decided to leave the secrets to his magic tricks to me via a transferal of rights. “You have made the right choice,” he said. “I would have expected nothing less of you, Zak. Go now, and carry on the Gramarye tradition with pride.” He ripped out a page of his journal and handed it to me before I left. That’s all I can tell you.”
“I see,” I mumbled. “May I see the journal entry?” I asked. Wordlessly, he handed the torn out page to me.
“So I presume you will be defending me in court the day after tomorrow?” he inquired.
“Yes,” I said. “I will make it my priority that you receive the verdict you deserve.”
“Your kindness is appreciated,” he said, in an almost mocking manner. “But before you go, I wish to challenge you.” A challenge? What could he possibly want?
“What sort of challenge?” I questioned.
“It is very simple. Before you go, we will play a game of cards. You understand the rules of poker, I presume?” Poker? How could he want to gamble at a time like this?
“You must understand. I am not in a position to engage in endeavors of chance.”
“Oh, we won’t be playing for money,” he laughed. “There is much more that you can extract from a simple game of poker than financial wealth. Sighing, I consented to play his ridiculous game. I had rarely played poker before. I knew how to play, but I had never found it entertaining to engage in games of chance. Zak dealt the cards, and I noticed that my opening hand was poor. I had no pairs or straights of any kind, and I waited for Zak to declare a move.
“It is your move, I think,” he said. Slightly angered, I slammed my hand down.
“I have nothing,” I said. “Why do you waste my time with this trivial nonsense? As your defense attorney, my time would be far better spent investigating this case, and you have me play a game of cards with you?”
“On the surface, it is just a game,” Zak said mysteriously. “But within the game of poker, you can see the man for who he really is. His body language, his emotions, even his innermost thoughts can be brought to the surface by something as simple as a game of chance. I saw you for who you were tonight, and I was less than favorably impressed. Nevertheless, you have my blessing as your client. Good night, Mr. Gavin.”
I left the detention center, irked and confused. What was he playing at? He could afford to play games and wax poetic of pretending to understand that which was unfathomable, but he could not provide any more useful information than a flimsy testimony? My instincts told me that mere ability would not enable me to emerge victorious in this trial. I decided it was time to make an appointment with an old acquaintance.

It was about 11:00 PM when I knocked on their door. After a few moments of silence, I heard the shuffling of footsteps and a man mumbling softly to himself. The door swung open, and I saw the disheveled face of Drew Misham.
“Yes, Mr. Gavin?” he said. “I am sorry to bother you at such an hour,” I responded. “But I would like to speak with your daughter.”
“Vera is asleep right now,” he replied. “It’s long past her bedtime, and far past a decent hour for anyone to be calling on us right now.”
“It is important,” I said. “It is absolutely imperative that I speak, in private, with your daughter, right this instant.” Confused and slightly annoyed, Drew Misham shuffled off to wake his daughter.
He returned to the doorway, and he said, “Well, come in, if you must.” I walked into the door, and Drew pulled on the cord dangling from a dusty light bulb attached to the ceiling. “My daughter is very shy. Please be gentle with her.”
“You need not worry, Mr. Misham,” I assured him. This will be a brief discussion.
“Very well,” he said. Drew left the room, and Vera began staring at me awkwardly, while nibbling gently on her nails.
“It’s all right, Vera,” I said comfortingly. “I’m not here to hurt you. I’m your friend.” Vera continued staring at me with the same apprehensive expression, and I sighed inwardly. This discussion was getting nowhere. Unless I could persuade her to be open with me, I would never extract the service I required of her. “I’m your friend,” I repeated. “Look, I even brought you a good-luck charm,” I said, pulling out a bottle of Ariadoney nail polish.
“G-good luck?” she stammered.
“Yes,” I smiled. “This good-luck charm is very powerful and it is very special to me. I’m giving it to you as a gift. Whenever you go outside, just wear this nail polish. It will protect you from evil, and you won’t need to be afraid anymore.” She nodded, captivated by my words. “But it will only protect you if you promise not to tell anyone about it. Can you do that for me, Vera?” She nodded once more. “Very good,” I said. “I have a service I would like to request of you.” I pulled out the journal entry Zak had given me. “This is a page from a journal. I would like you to write another journal entry, but I want the writing to look the same.”
“I’ve never done this sort of work before…” she murmured.
“It’s OK,” I said. “I know you can do it. I believe in you.” She smiled at me, the first real emotion she had expressed throughout the course of our conversation. With complete disregard to the lateness of the hour, she began reproducing the writing on the journal to a blank sheet of paper. I gazed at her for a moment, and then, a stroke of inspiration occurred to me. When I had first planned to use Vera’s services to forge a new piece of evidence, I had not wanted to leave behind any witnesses who could damage my reputation. It simply wouldn’t do, I concluded, to put myself in jeopardy when so much of my ambition relied on my hidden agenda remaining hidden to the public world.
I had anticipated this, and had laced the nail polish with atroquinine poison. Atroquinine was one of the deadliest poisons in existence, and was fatal in doses of 0.2 milligrams. But I could not expect her to fall victim to the atroquinine in the nail polish. From what I had gathered, she rarely left the house, and had no reason to do so, even with her supposed good-luck charm. And when she did leave the house, she would be less afraid, all because she thought the nail polish would protect her from evil. I smiled to myself. She believed the nail polish would protect her from harm, but it could not even protect her from me. My plan depended on her completing the forged evidence before she succumbed to the atroquinine, but once she had completed the forgery, her fate was insignificant to me. As a backup plan, I pulled an envelope out of my jacket pocket.
“Vera?” I said softly. She looked up at me. “When you finish, do you think you can send the copy and the original journal entry back to me in this envelope?” She nodded. I left the envelope next to the journal entry, and wrote out the return address and the address of my law office. Before I left, I placed a stamp of Troupe Gramarye, which Zak had given to me during our meeting at the Detention Center. The stamp had also been laced with atroquinine poison, which would make my plan all but foolproof. I was confident that she would remain alive long enough to serve my purpose, but I needed to cast away all doubt that she would live to remember this night. The atroquinine poison was slow-acting enough so that she would be able to send out the letter, and once she had done that, she would have outlived her usefulness. Satisfied, I departed from the Misham dwelling and began solidifying Zak’s case.
The next day, I received the envelope from Vera. I tore open the envelope, and found a perfect replica of Magnifi Gramarye’s handwriting. I marveled inwardly at the quality of her work, for not even a graphologist would be able to detect the slightest discrepancy in the handwriting. It was almost a shame, I mused. It was a pity that circumstance dictated that a master of her art was to be put to rest. I almost wished it had not been necessary. Almost.
But then, to my stunned disbelief, I saw that the stamp on the envelope was not the stamp of Troupe Gramarye. It was a plain stamp, showing a picture of the American flag fluttering in the breeze. What was the meaning of this? Why had the stupid girl not used the stamp like I told her to? This was not good. If she had not been exposed to the atroquinine poisoning, that meant that she was still alive. What could I do? I had been relying on the atroquinine poison to erase her involvement in this case, but now, there was evidence against me, all because of a turn of events which I had failed to foresee. Alive, Vera Misham was a threat to me. I would have to watch her, investigate her to make sure that my reputation was never placed in jeopardy. And all of this would have to be done without her knowledge. There was the chance that the atroquinine poison from the nail polish would one day take its effect, but until then, I would have to remain cautious.
Removing the original journal entry, I made a copy of it and set off for the Detention Center to speak with my client.
“Here. You can have the journal entry back.”
“Why are you giving this to me?” Zak demanded.
“I have no use for it. I already made a copy of it for use in the trial tomorrow. I only wished to express to you that you can be confident that I will do everything in my power to achieve a ‘Not Guilty’ verdict for you.
“Very well,” he said. “I will see you in court tomorrow.”
That night, I was certain I had done everything in my power to ensure victory. With the forged piece of evidence, it would take uncommon skill on the prosecution’s part to prove my client guilty. Then I realized, that in my haste to create a solid case, I still had no idea who would be arguing for the prosecution. I scanned the News section of the Los Angeles Times, and quickly found an article pertaining to Zak Gramarye’s trial.
“As of now, the attorney for the defense is still unknown…” I murmured. “The prosecutor for the case is…” As I saw the name, my heart gave a sudden jolt. Tomorrow, I would be going up against my own baby brother, Klavier. I had no idea that he had decided to pursue a career in law. I had remained detached from my family since I had graduated from law school, but, from the background information within the article, it appeared that the trial tomorrow would be Klavier’s first case as a prosecutor. At the age of seventeen, he was the youngest prosecutor in the state.
I smiled. It would be a pleasure to defeat my brother in court. For the first time, I would be able to best him before a nationwide audience. For the first time, the world would know that I, Kristoph, was far superior to my empty-headed, superficial brother. Emboldened by this thought, I began thinking of how best to send Klavier’s case crushing down around him. As I sat there, lost in rapture, the phone rang suddenly. Who could that be? After a few rings, I picked up the receiver.
“Hello. You have reached the Gavin Law Offices. This is Kristoph.” It was Zak. “Oh, yes. Do you have something to tell me, Zak? WHAT? You can’t be serious!” Zak continued explaining his story, and with every word, my anger increased exponentially. When he had finished, I slammed the phone down, all etiquette forgotten.
Zak had just told me at the last minute that I would not be representing him in the trial tomorrow. Apparently, he had chosen not to enlist my services. Who had he chosen to take my place? None other than the second-rate imbecile, Phoenix Wright. I had demanded a reason for the last-minute switch in attorneys, but all he had said was some nonsense of a game of poker and the man behind the cards. I had been shafted by Phoenix Wright, all for something as petty, as insignificant, as idiotic as a card game. This would not go unpunished. I would give both Wright and the defendant what they deserved for this blasphemy. Words would have been insufficient to describe the hatred that consumed me.
I wanted to make Wright bleed. I wanted to hurt Phoenix Wright, and I didn’t care how much I was hurt in return. Only one thought controlled me, influencing my emotions and festering hatred. I realized then what I had to do. I left the office and headed for the prosecutor’s office nearby. If I hurried, I could catch Klavier before his work for the evening was complete.
When I reached the prosecutor’s office, I looked for Klavier’s office. After a few minutes, I found his office and rapped on the door. After a short moment, the door opened and I met my baby brother, Klavier, for the first time in almost a decade.
“Kristoph? Is that you?” he asked, disbelieving. “Yes.” “You don’t know how happy I am to see you!” he gushed. “We need to catch up. There’s a café just around the corner. Do you want to go and—”
“I don’t have time for that, Klavier,” I said pointedly. “I only came here because I have something important to discuss with you. The defense attorney for tomorrow’s trial, Phoenix Wright, intends to use forged evidence.”
“Forged?” sputtered Klavier, flabbergasted.
“Yes, Klavier, that’s what I just said,” I replied testily. “It will be up to you to expose him for the fraud he is. He deserves no respect. He is second-rate and a lowlife attorney. He is beneath you. He is nothing compared to you. Do you understand me?”
“Ja, Herr Bruder,” he responded. “But are you sure you—”
“Incidentally, you will need to prepare Drew Misham as a witness. Here is his address. Talk with him at his house, and have him ready for tomorrow’s trial.”
“Ja,” he said. “But how do you come to know this, Kristoph?”
“I have my sources,” was all I said. “With any luck, Phoenix Wright will receive the fate he deserves. Best of luck in the trial tomorrow, Klavier.”
I arrived at the courtroom early tomorrow. I needed to find Trucy. I could not directly give Phoenix the evidence myself, as it would raise far too much unwanted suspicion. After a few minutes of desperate searching, I found Trucy lurking outside one of the defendant lobbies.
“Hi, Mr. Gavin!” she greeted. “Hello,” I responded. “Trucy, would you be able to do me a favor?” “Sure thing, Mr. Gavin!” she bubbled.
“This is very important,” I said. “Will I be able to trust you?” Trucy nodded eagerly. “Good,” I said. “I want you to give this envelope to the spiky-haired old boy in the blue suit. You won’t need to look for him. Just go to your father and you will find him. OK?” She nodded. “Good,” I smiled. “I knew I could trust you.” I watched Trucy walk off towards her father, and was careful to remain out of sight. I was about to head back to the office, but I realized that I had the opportunity to witness a once-in-a-lifetime spectacle. I had been about to head back to the office in the hopes of receiving a prospective client, but I decided to remain behind. This was more important.
I snuck into the courtroom, and took a seat. I could see Wright acting confident, certain that he would win this trial. I watched the trial progress, and was favorably impressed with Klavier. Despite his lack of experience, he always maintained his composure. He would make a fine attorney. Better than Wright, at any rate.
At long last, the moment of truth arrived. I could see the triumphant smirk form on Wright’s hideous countenance.
“Objection!” he shouted. “I believe this evidence wraps up this case nicely.”
“What’s the meaning of this?” the judge asked, confused. “Why…this appears to be the missing page of the journal!” Wright’s smug expression grew more pronounced.
“Your Honor, I believe that the writing on this journal entry proves, beyond a doubt, the defendant’s innocence.”
“Hmm,” said the judge. “It would appear that way. Very well. At this point, I will declare my verdict. The court finds the defendant, Zak Gramarye...”
“OBJECTION!” Klavier yelled. “This case isn’t over yet, Herr Judge.”
“Prosecutor Gavin!” exclaimed the judge. “What do you mean by this?”
“We received word last night that Herr Wright would try to present forged evidence to the court.”
“Forged evidence! Explain yourself, Mr. Wright!” Wright stared at the judge, at a complete loss for words.
“Achtung!” exclaimed Klavier. “I believe the witness for the prosecution will be able to provide insight on this matter. Now, if you would just clear the court…” At the command of the judge, the crowd exited the courtroom, and I knew then that Wright’s fate was sealed.

I waited for the trial to finish so that the press would be able to confirm the fruition of my plan to frame Wright. Although there was nothing to be heard but pure silence from the courtroom, the acoustic gaps in the air filled themselves with the sweet sound of Phoenix Wright’s heart breaking into a million pieces.
Klavier had done his work well, but even he had no idea that he was condemning an innocent man to commit legal suicide. That was my handiwork. Klavier was merely a pawn in this operation, completely unaware that he was being used to fulfill my needs. It had always been better that way. For that way, there were no lingering feelings of guilt among those who presumed to be pursuing justice.
I found it interesting how people were so quick to believe that they were in complete control of their actions, masters of their own fate, when they were merely puppets, dancing when people such as I pulled the strings. While I was lost in thought, I heard the door to the courtroom swing open with a loud, creaky slam.
Deciding it was better to not be recognized, I hid my face behind that day’s issue of the Los Angeles Times, as the witness, Drew Misham, walked by, looking disheveled as usual. Through my peripheral vision, I could see Phoenix Wright trudge out of the courtroom dismayed, defeated, and most importantly, destroyed. Only hours previously, Wright had been a bird who thought himself to be a perch above all the rest. It was ironic that it had been his own arrogant intention to soar above the clouds that had clipped his wings and sent him crashing back down to reality. I went to sleep more satisfied that night than I had been in recent memory.
The newspapers were screaming from the rooftops for all to hear about Phoenix Wright’s sudden, beautiful fall from grace. Klavier had also received a lot of favorable press. Although they were laying on the praise a little thick, I would concede that he put forth a commendable effort for his first case.
I received a letter that day from the District Attorney’s office that Mr. Wright’s punishment for forging evidence would be decided at a meeting this afternoon. The message had come on short notice, but the District Attorney deemed it imperative to decide Mr. Wright’s fate as early as possible. Not wanting to miss anything, I finished up my work that morning and set out for the meeting.
About a dozen other esteemed defense attorneys had congregated, all of them glaring at a nervous looking Phoenix Wright. I took my seat next to Marvin Grossberg, my former mentor.
“Have a seat,” he said rather unnecessarily. “You’re just in time for the meeting. But I’m afraid we’re here on rather somber business.”
“Indeed,” was all I said.
“I hope the meeting doesn’t take too long, though,” he murmured. “Sitting on such uncomfortable chairs for so long is bound to upset an old man’s hemorrhoids.” Slightly disturbed, I returned the faint smile he gave me. My former mentor had always been a bit too open about his bowel functions. It had been one of the reasons I was so eager to defect from his law firm.
The meeting was structured similarly to a trial, with one notable exception. Instead of a judge declaring the verdict of the defendant (Phoenix Wright), we would be using a jury panel, except that the decision would be made by a majority vote. Wright stated over and over that he had no idea that the evidence was forged, but he could not explain more about what made him so certain in his belief.
“You have to believe me!” pleaded Wright. “I didn’t know it was forged! Just give me one more chance!”
“You had your chance, Mr. Wright,” said District Attorney Roberts sharply. “And you took that chance as an attorney to disgrace the legal system, all for personal gain.”
“But the law says…”
“The law is absolute,” interrupted Roberts. “Would we be so foolish as to let ignorant swine soil our courts? I think not. If we give you back your attorney’s badge, to what depths would you sink in an attempt to snatch victory? I’m afraid we simply cannot allow this to happen.”
“But didn’t Edgeworth…”
“Miles Edgeworth was an entirely different case. It was proven that the evidence had been forged without his prior knowledge. There was no witness to testify against him, and so he was cleared. But your case, Mr. Wright, is far more severe. We make our decision now.”
Wright glanced fearfully around the room, eyes searching for someone, anyone who would speak on his behalf. I don’t know what made me do it. Whether it was remorse or a desire to appear inconspicuous, I stood up.
“It would appear that there is damning evidence which convicts Mr. Wright of forgery beyond a shadow of a doubt. But I must disagree with you on this count, Mr. Roberts. How are we to know that this was not simply a set-up, a plot to catch Mr. Wright unaware and send his career crashing down? As a defense attorney who has convicted numerous criminals, it is clear that he would have enemies with a motive to bring about his ruin. It goes against my conscience to watch an innocent man suffer for a crime he may or may not have committed. While his guilt is not yet beyond a shadow of a doubt, I feel it is not the time to pass judgment on Mr. Wright.” I shot a sideways glance at Wright, and could see his eyes dancing with hope. But District Attorney Roberts was of a different opinion.
“You do raise a good point, Gavin,” he said. “But it changes nothing. Wright still is unable to testify as to whom he received the evidence from, and the fact remains that he presented the evidence in full knowledge that it was not documented as official evidence. Therefore, the blame rests on Mr. Wright’s shoulders, which leads us to our verdict. Those in favor of stripping Mr. Wright of his attorney’s badge?” Everyone in the room besides myself and Wright rose their hands.
“Very well,” said Roberts. “It pains me to do this, but it is my duty.” He seized Wright’s attorney badge and stamped on it with his foot, separating it into worthless fragments of shattered plastic. “It was right,” was all Roberts said, before leaving the room, glaring disgustedly at Wright. With his entire world broken with the plastic fragments that lay uselessly on the floor, I left the room, leaving Wright standing there, disheartened and seemingly unable to accept what had just happened.
I decided it would be best to keep watch on Phoenix Wright. There was always the chance that he would have made the deduction that I had conspired to strip him of his badge. I had been careful to never show any outward sign of animosity towards him, and I feigned friendship, spending far more time in Wright’s company than I would have preferred. Spending all this time in Wright’s company wore me down, but I had long since the importance of projecting a respectable appearance to the world at large.
After Wright’s exile from the legal world, my law firm began to grow. I gained some prestige from winning bigger cases throughout the years, and I took on my first understudy four years after Wright’s career as a defense attorney had ended. His name was Apollo Justice. Strange name, but he had potential as a lawyer. He was young, but determined. He caught on quickly to how the law worked, and I could see a bright future ahead of him.
One night, seven years after Wright had lost his badge, I dined with Wright at the Borscht Bowl Club. I was almost finished with the main course when I saw him. Seven years ago, he had spurned me for the man sitting not five feet across from me. He had disappeared from public view for nearly a decade, but today, he had shown his face. Hastily, I got up to follow him.
“Kristoph, where are you going?” asked Wright.
“Later,” I mumbled.
“What?”
“Later!” I hissed, rushing to follow Zak. I followed him all the way to the underground room where the shady regulars of the Borscht Bowl Club had come for criminal purposes. I could not hope to enter the room from the main entrance without being seen, so I circled around and hid myself within the secret passageway that lay behind the bookshelf. There was a slight crevice in the bookshelf which allowed me to see Zak Gramarye.
A small, timid-looking European woman was dealing the cards to Zak Gramarye and Wright himself. I watched both of the players, expressions of intense concentration on their faces. I spotted the bottle of grape juice bearing Wright’s fingerprints. Perfect. I slipped on my gloves and waited. Suddenly, Zak rose up out of his chair and motioned to search Wright’s pockets. He found nothing, and cursed under his breath.
Suddenly, he picked up Wright’s bottle of grape juice and hit the dealer over the head with it. Wright ran up the stairs, unnoticed by the enraged Zak Gramarye. Concealed within the secret passageway, I began breathing hard. Zak looked around, but saw nothing. I realized that now was the time to make my move.
Pushing aside the bookshelf, I stepped across the threshold of the secret passageway.
“So, Zak Gramarye, we meet again,” I announced. “Seven years it’s been, and I still my memory remains as clear as ever.”
“You!” he shouted. “What do you want?”
I smiled at him. “I just wanted to give you a token of my appreciation for the events that transpired seven years previously. Think of it as a gift.”
“What are you—” I grabbed Wright’s bottle of grape wine, seizing it upside down, and smashed it over Zak Gramarye’s shiny, bald forehead.
“You—” he sputtered, as blood gushed down his forehead in a lovely, crimson waterfall. He slumped into his chair, his head tilted to the side, and I knew then that he was dead. Deciding to take as much suspicion off myself as possible, I decided to doctor the crime scene before I left. I took one of the cards in the poker hands, and slipped in a fifth ace that had been lying on the table. The ace had been splattered with Zak Gramarye’s blood, and I smirked at the ironic nature of the situation. My murder of Zak Gramarye would effectively ascertain that I would not be convicted of this crime. I had my revenge, and I would still be able to project a respectable façade to the world at large.
Everything had gone according to plan, and I had my revenge at last. Taking care to close the bookshelf behind me, I retreated down the secret passageway. Just when I was about to leave the Borscht Bowl Club, I heard my mobile phone ring. Irritated, I motioned to answer it.
“Hello?” I asked. I looked at the Caller ID. It was Phoenix. What could he possibly want?
“Kristoph. I seem to be in a bit of trouble,” he declared.
“What’s this?” I inquired. “Game not going well?”
“Something like that,” replied Wright.
“That gentleman who challenged you…He turn out to be good?” I asked.
“He turned out to be dead. Someone hit him. Hard.” I gulped. Did this mean he knew? I was trembling with apprehension, but I kept my voice steady.
“You mean someone cracked that flawless bone china pate? It…wasn’t you, was it?” I questioned.
“Me? Please,” he declared, with a mocking note in his voice. “The cops should be here any minute. I’m in your hands…Should it come to that.”
“I see,” I responded. “And when will I be defending you?”
“You…?” asked Wright. “No, Kristoph, I don’t believe I will be requesting your services in court. I was under the impression that you had an understudy, I believe…?”
“How do you know this?” I demanded.
“I have my sources,” was all Wright said. “If you would be so kind as to have him defend me in court on the day of the trial…I would be most grateful.”
“Fine,” I said. “But don’t expect anything special.” I hung up, irritated. The only silver lining in the darkening cloud of this incident was that Phoenix Wright would be incarcerated for my deeds. I doubted that Justice would be able to prove Wright’s innocence.
Despite my hatred towards Wright, I had offered my services to him, but he had the gall to snub me for a rookie who hadn’t even gotten his feet wet in the legal world! I had only wanted to get us both off the hook, and deal with Wright myself, but fate had directed this turn of events. I pulled out my mobile phone, and began dialing a number I had called many times before.
“Hello?” the voice on the other end said.
“Hello,” I said. “This is Mr. Gavin.”
“S-Sir,” the voice stammered. “Is something the matter? You’ve never called—”
“Never mind that,” I said quickly. “You’ll be defending a client in court tomorrow.”
“A client…Me?” he asked uncertainly. “But are you sure…am I ready, Mr. Gavin?”
“I have complete confidence in you, Justice. You’ll do fine.”
“Well, if you say so, Sir,” he responded. “What is our client’s name?”
“It should be a familiar name to you, Justice,” I said smirking. “You will be defending a Mr. Phoenix Wright in court tomorrow.” Silence was all that met my response. “Justice?” I asked. “Are you still there?”
“Yes, sir,” he replied. “Mr. Phoenix Wright?” he asked excitedly. “The Mr. Phoenix Wright?”
“Yes, Justice,” I said, rolling my eyes. Why was everyone so hung up on Phoenix Wright? God knows he had never accomplished half of what I had done for the legal world. “Phoenix Wright has been accused of a crime I am sure he did not commit, and it will be your job to prove his innocence in court tomorrow. I presume I can trust you with this matter?”
“Yes, sir!” he responded.
“Good,” I said. “I’ll see you in court tomorrow.” I hung up, and began preparing a case for Wright. With Justice, chances were that things could go very wrong tomorrow. Very wrong.
Author’s Note: For the Turnabout Trump chapters of the story, Kristoph’s thoughts will be italicized

When I woke up the next morning, it felt just like any other day. But this would be one of the most important days of my life. For better or worse, I did not yet know. I arrived at the courtroom, and waited for Justice. He had said he would be here at nine-thirty, but it was nine thirty five, and I had seen no sign of him. Poor dolt. He had probably arrived in the wrong courtroom. Just then, I saw him, and he rushed up to me.
“Ah, good morning,” I said.
“Good morning, sir,” he responded, looking nervous.
“You look tense, Justice. Wound up tight.”
“W-Wound up, sir? No! I’m loose! I’m fine!” he replied, unconvincingly.
“That screeching noise…Is that your voice? I suppose it’s to be expected. Your first trial, and it’s a homicide. I guess “Justice” doesn’t start small, eh?”
I smirked at him, and he replied indignantly, “I’m fine! I got up at 5 A.M. to do my “Chords of Steel” voice workout! I’m fine!”
“Ah, that explains it,” I sighed. “I did detect a certain rasping quality to your speech.” He gazed at me, frightened. “As you know, your client today is a good friend of mine. I wouldn’t want to let him down…if you get my drift,” I said calmly.
“Drift gotten, sir!” he shouted, in response.
“As it happens, I dined with him the night of the murder. We can’t let this case fall through.”
“Yes, yes! I’m fine, sir!” he insisted.
I felt compelled to add, “One more thing. Don’t say you’re fine quite so much. People might take you the wrong way. I’ll be preparing our case. You might want to introduce yourself to the client.” I left Justice and Wright alone and set off to the courtroom about ten minutes before the trial was to begin.
At ten o’clock, both Justice and the prosecutor for the case, Winston Payne, were at their respective benches. The judge pounded his gavel.
“The court is now in session.
“The prosecution is ready,” squeaked Mr. Payne.
“The defense is, uh fine. I mean, ready, Your Honor,” Justice rasped. “Your name was…Mr. Justice?” the judge asked. “And this is your first trial?”
“Y-Yes, Your Honor! But I’m fine! Really!” he insisted.
“Are you quite sure?” said the judge, with a patronizing expression on his face. “Your voice sounds a bit strained. Ahem. Mr. Gavin?”
“Yes, Your Honor?” I responded.
“I was under the impression that you would be heading up this case…?”he inquired.
“That was my intention, yes,” I replied. “However…a defense attorney must always cede to his client’s wishes. And my client specifically requested Mr. Justice.
“Well, of course he wants justice!” the judge replied, as if this were an obvious statement. “But to entrust his case to this greenhorn…Why? I do not exaggerate when I say that you’re the best defense attorney in town, Mr. Gavin.” I beamed inwardly, in spite of myself. “Then let’s begin,” the judge declared. “The defendant may enter the courtroom.” As he said this, Phoenix Wright walked in, looking tired and disheveled.
“This is truly an unfortunate turn of events,” the judge lamented. “I’m sorry we had to meet again under these circumstances. Long time no see, Mr. Wright.”
“Let’s put the past behind us, shall we?” said Wright. “These days I’m merely Phoenix Wright, piano player.”
“I won’t speak of it further, then,” said the judge. “If the prosecution would be so kind as to explain the charges. Mr. Payne?
“To think,” squeaked Mr. Payne. “I saw you enter this room a fresh attorney, and now I’ll see you leave in chains.”
“Ah, Winston Payne. Subtle as ever I see,” Wright rebutted.
“Ahem,” coughed Mr. Payne. “The crime occurred at the Borscht Bowl Club…a Russian restaurant. The defendant, Phoenix Wright, took the victim, a customer…and he hit him! Wham! On the head! Smack! Killed him cold!
There’s no need to be so dramatic, Winston. I think we get the point.
“Hmm…” the judge mused. “A customer at the restaurant, you say? And the defendant, you say he was…?”
“The pianist for the club, it seems,” responded Mr. Payne.
I heard Justice gasp, “Phoenix Wright, a pianist?”
“This is the weapon that took the victim’s life,” continued Mr. Payne. “A bottle of grape juice. Grape juice is apparently our defendant’s drink of choice.”
“The court accepts the deadly bottle as evidence,” said the judge.
“Something to note, Justice. All evidence is filed in the Court Record. Make a practice of checking it frequently,” I advised. “I’m confident in your ability to handle this.”
“So, the victim was a customer at this restaurant,” the judge said. “But just who was this, erm, “Shadi Smith” fellow?”
“We believe he was a traveler, Your Honor,” answered Mr. Payne. “A…traveler?” the judge asked slowly.
Mr. Payne replied, “According to his passport, he had been out of the country for a number of years. He had only returned to this country recently, though his place of residence is unclear.”
He resides in his rightful place now.
“And he had some sort of connection with the defendant?” the judge inquired. “That, too, is unclear at present, Your Honor,” admitted Mr. Payne. “We believe they first met at the Borscht Bowl Club the night of the murder.”
Wrong.
“If they had only just met, then why murder?” the judge said blankly. “Perhaps the victim had slighted the defendant’s piano playing?”
Mr. Payne replied slowly, “That…doesn’t appear to have been the case. No, the motive had nothing to do with the defendant’s lack of playing skill. At least not piano playing. I’ll let this photo explain what I mean. As we can see, a game of poker was in progress at the scene of the crime.”
“Wait a second!” exclaimed the judge. “Isn’t poker gambling? That’s a crime in and of itself!”
“Indeed,” chortled Mr. Payne. “It appears our defendant…has fallen to become the basest sort of criminal!”
“Objection!” I shouted. Much as I hated Wright, my chance of getting off the hook would be greater if Justice could establish Wright’s innocence. It was therefore vital that I did not allow Mr. Payne to dehumanize Wright any further. “It is true that the defendant was engaged in a game of poker with the victim. Yet it was only that: a game in the purest sense,” I declared. “A competition, Your Honor,” I added, in response to his blank stare.
“A…competition?” Mr. Payne asked dully.
“Yes,” I replied. “A test of wits, a silent clash of passion. Only the cards, their backs wreathed in blue flame, know its final outcome.”
“Err, come again?” said the judge.
“The cards on the table had blue backs, Your Honor,” said Mr. Payne. “I believe the defense was waxing poetic in an attempt to mystify those present…and impress women.” The judge nodded.
“That will be our first order of business here then,” he declared, “to find out more about this fatal game of cards. Very well, defendant. You will testify to the court about the poker competition held the night of the crime.”
“My pleasure,” responded Wright. Wright began to testify.
Witness Testimony
I am a pianist by trade…yet I can hardly play at all.
My real job is to take on interested customers over at the poker table.
The room where we play and the competition in there are the club’s main attractions.
The rules are simple: we play a game of poker using two decks of cards.
That’s all it is…a game.
And it keeps our customers happy.
“Hmm,” the judge said, as Wright concluded his testimony. “A pianist who can’t play piano?” he demanded skeptically.
“Better than a defense attorney who can’t defend,” smirked Mr. Payne.
Or a prosecutor who can’t prosecute.
“Very well,” the judge said, ignoring Mr. Payne’s joke. “The defense may begin the cross-examination.”
“R-right, Your Honor!” said Justice, in a feeble voice.
“Are you alright?” I demanded. “You’re sweating bullets.”
“Bullets…!? Where!?” he almost shouted. I sighed.
“It’s a figure of speech, Justice. Your voice sounds strained and raspy, too.” “My brain feels strained and raspy, sir.” I sighed. This was not looking good. “Look,” I said, trying to reassure Justice. “You’ve watched me perform cross-examinations many times. Though you’ve never done one yourself, have you? Care for a refresher?”
“No need for help here, sir!” he said, with renewed confidence. “I think I’ve got this one covered!”
“I think you’d better do more than think,” I responded. “You know it, or you do not. Find any inconsistencies, any lies in the testimony, and reveal them to the court. That is cross-examination. Learn it. Know it. Do it,” I commanded.
“The defense may begin the cross-examination,” the judge repeated. Mr. Wright testified again, as Justice stood there, sweating profusely.
Cross Examination:
I am a pianist by trade…yet I can hardly play at all.
“Hold it!” yelled Justice. “You can hardly play…?”
“Oh, I play sometimes,” Wright responded. “When customers demand it. So I play them one song. That’s usually all they want. The title of “pianist” is a mask—a respectable face I wear for the world at large.”
“Then why are you really at the Borscht Bowl Club?” the judge demanded. Wright continued with his testimony.
My real job is to take on interested customers over at the poker table.
“Hold it!” Justice yelled. “They pay you just to play poker?” he asked, with an incredulous expression on his face.
“That would seem to be the case. I am a professional, after all,” answered Wright.
“Bah!” snorted Mr. Payne. “Do I detect pride in that statement? It’s just hard for an honest, hard-working member of society like me to imagine…”
“Yes,” replied Wright. “Your imagination was always a bit limited, Winston.”
“Wh-What!?” demanded Mr. Payne. “I’ve played poker for seven years in that little room. And I’ve never. Lost. Once,” Wright boasted.
“Wha--?” I heard Justice say.
“You see why the customers come now?” asked Wright, as if he were explaining this to a four-year-old. “Defeat the undefeated poker champion…it’s quite a draw. That is, I’m quite a draw.”
“Wait, you’ve never lost once?” demanded Justice. “Not even one time!?”
“As I said, I’m a professional,” answered Wright. Following this, Wright continued with his testimony.
The room where we play and the competition in there are the club’s main attractions.
“The room in the crime scene photo…is an attraction?” asked Justice.
“It has quite a history, actually,” Wright explained calmly. “The Borscht Bowl Club used to be a gathering spot for the black market types back in the day.”
“B-Black market?” Justice asked.
“All in the past,” Wright said. “Things like the black market are only on the silver screen nowadays. Suffice it to say that there were a lot of deals being made under the table. Right there in that room.
“A smoky room, gambling hoods,” said the judge. “You know…just looking at this picture makes me feel “bad”!”
“The bosses gather around the table,” continued Wright, ignoring the judge, “cutting deals, safe from the eyes of the law…Meanwhile, a goon keeps watch through the small window…I can practically picture it now. The room had a few other tricks to it. Though it was common knowledge to our regulars. At any rate, they come to play poker in a room steeped with history. Despite the dark past, it was all just good, clean fun.” Wright resumed his testimony.
The rules are simple: we play a game of poker using two decks of cards.
“Hold it!” screeched Justice. “Two decks of cards?”
“A simple measure to prevent cheating,” replied Wright. “If you alternate between two decks, no one can slip in cards.” The judge nodded.
“There’s something else I’ve noticed…” he observed. “In addition to the cards on the table, there are some lying scattered on the floor.
“Precisely,” I responded. “Cards on the table, cards upon the floor…Each one forming a complete deck. A crime scene painted blue by a sad sweep of cards…It’s poetic, really.”
“Hmm,” the judge mumbled. “As I recall, in poker, you made five-card “hands. I can see how it would be easy to cheat.”
“Heh…Yes,” chuckled Wright. “A game of ‘hands’.” Continuing with his testimony, Wright said
That’s all it is…a game.
And it keeps our customers happy.
With no reaction from Justice or Payne, the judge pounded his gavel. “This competition you’re talking about…I believe the court understands the nature of the game sufficiently,” he stated.
“Th-That’s right!” stammered Justice. “It was a simple game, after all.” The judge shook his head.
“Are you sure?” he asked.
“Huh?” Justice replied dimly.
“People are not murdered over “simple games”, Mr. Justice,” the judge responded. “Defendant. You were in the room the very moment that crime occurred. Yet you claim no connection to the crime?”
“Now that’s strange,” Wright said.
“What’s strange?” demanded the judge.
“I was testifying about the competition that night,” Wright pointed out. “Asking me about the crime at this point is against the rules, Your Honor. Of course, I expected to hear a cry of “Objection!” from the defense…” I turned to look at Justice, who had an astonished expression on his face. I groaned softly. This was going to be a long day.
“Don’t despair yet, Justice,” I said encouragingly.
“S-Sir?” he responded.
“Wright,” I said. “There’s something I’d like made clear. Namely, your connection to the case at hand. And I’d like to hear it from you.”
“Sure,” shrugged Wright. “Why not?” The judge pounded his gavel.
“Very well,” he said. “The defendant will amend his testimony. Wright added:
I plead silence regarding the murder. But I will say I never touched the murder weapon.
“Objection!” shouted Justice. “So you say you didn’t touch the murder weapon…this grape juice bottle?...Right?”
What was Justice doing?
“So I said,” responded Wright.
“Hee hee hee,” Mr. Payne chuckled. “Too bad our new defense attorney never learned how to play dumb.”
“What’s this, Mr. Payne?” the judge demanded.
“I examined the bottle in question,” said Mr. Payne. “And it was covered with the defendant’s fingerprints!” The courtroom stirred excitedly.
“OBJECTION!” Justice yelled. “No need to shout, Mr. Justice! I can hear you just fine!” the judge exclaimed. Justice turned red.
“Excess yelling can damage the judge’s ears…and our case,” I reprimanded. Justice nodded, and continued.
“Any…Anyway! What’s so strange about fingerprints on a bottle in a restaurant?” he demanded. The judge nodded.
“Well, that’s true,” he conceded. “The prints alone don’t prove he did it.”
“Oh, they wouldn’t prove a thing,” Mr. Payne interjected, “…if they were normal fingerprints!”
“Huh!?” exclaimed Justice.
“But the fingerprints on the murder weapon were upside-down!” Mr. Payne shouted.
“Upside down? What does that mean?” asked Justice.
“It means he was holding the bottle inverted!” Mr. Payne snapped impatiently. “And there can only be one reason for that…Yes. To brain someone with the bottle.”
“Auuuuuuuuuuuugh! M-Mr. Gavin! I think things just took a turn for the worse!”
“Oh?” I replied. “I see no problem, Mr. Justice.”
“Huh?” he said blankly.
“The only thing that matters is the truth,” I said. “There’s a good reason for everything. You’ll see.”
“Defendant!” the judge yelled. “Can you explain your fingerprints on this bottle to the court!?”
“I stand by my plea of silence regarding the murder…For now,” Wright said unhelpfully.
“Hmm…not very cooperative, are you? This could hurt your case,” the judge warned.
“I’m sure he’s uncooperative because he’s hiding something!” squealed Mr. Payne. “There must be some reason…”
“Objection!” I interrupted. “Your Honor. You seem to have forgotten something.”
“And what might that be, Mr. Gavin?” the judge responded.
“On the night of the crime, who was it who reported the murder to the police?” I demanded.
“Reported…?” the judge asked slowly. “Well, that was the defendant, Mr. Wright. But still, that…” said Mr. Payne.
“R-Really!?” the judge yelled.
“Erm, yes, well,” said Mr. Payne, looking slightly put out. “According to the case file…The murder was reported from the scene, by a call from the defendant’s cell phone.”
“Near the scene?” asked Justice.
“Let’s take a look at the murder scene, shall we?” said Mr. Payne. “The victim was murdered in a small room in a basement two floors down from ground level. Of course, cell phones can’t get reception so far down. The defendant used the stairs in this hallway to go above ground…The call came from the first floor of the restaurant.”
“I see…” the judge mused. “And this is the phone that made the call?”
“The defendant could have just fled the scene of the crime if he so chose,” I interjected. “Yet, he fulfilled his duty as a citizen and reported it to the authorities. And you claim he is being “uncooperative?””
“Urk,” was all Mr. Payne had to say. I continued.
“I think the prosecution has toyed with our client enough for the time being.”
“T-Toyed?” Mr. Payne stammered. “I assure you, no one is more serious about…”
“What was it you said?” I interrupted. “The defendant was “in the room the very moment that the crime occurred”. How can you possibly know this?”
“That’s a good question!” exclaimed the judge. “How indeed!”
“The answer is simple, Your Honor,” I replied. “The prosecution has a decisive witness.”
“Hee hee hee,” chuckled Mr. Payne. “You’re as good as they say you are.”
I turned to look at Justice. “Everything up until now has been a warm-up, Justice. Are you ready?”

Chapter 7 Turnabout Trump Pt. 2
“Very well,” the judge said, punctuating the brief silence. “The prosecution may call its first witness to the stand!” A small, timid-looking Russian woman dressed in a hat and coat made her way slowly up to the stand. She began trembling and sunk below the witness stand.
“The witness will state her name and profession,” declared Mr. Payne.
“H-hold on just a moment!” the judge stammered. “Where’s the witness?”
“I surmise that she has been frightened by the defense’s demonic-looking horns,” chuckled Mr. Payne.
“Have no fear!” the judge exclaimed. “If any horns point in your direction, the court will cut them off.”
“You…are…sure?” the witness said slowly in a thickly accented voice. I was taken aback. I had been expecting a squeak.
“I swear it on my gavel! Please, come out,” the judge said, trying to reassure the witness.
“Well, if you are sure it is OK…” the witness mumbled.
“Ahem,” continued the judge. “Now, the prosecution…” Just then, the witness whipped out her camera and took a photograph.
“W-W-Wait a minute!” the judge said, flustered. “Would the prosecution care to explain the witness’s…erm…paraphernalia?
“Er…yes,” said Mr. Payne. “She is a professional, Your Honor. Those are merely the tools of her trade.”
“And that would be…?” the judge inquired.
“My name…is Olga Orly,” the witness said thickly.
Oh really?
“I am employed as waitress in Borscht Bowl Club restaurant,” the witness continued.
Obviously not for your English-speaking abilities.
“Then…why the camera?” the judge asked slowly.
“Of course, it is my pride to serve borscht that is naming restaurant,” the witness responded, “but I also perform—how is it said? Other service.”
Um…
“I take it one of these other services is taking the customer’s pictures?” said the judge.
“Dah, dah,” said Ms. Orly. “Like, for example…this one.” As she spoke, she pulled a picture out of her coat pocket which depicted Wright next to Zak Gramarye, or for all intents and purposes, Shadi Smith.
“Th-That’s the defendant!?” the judge wheezed.
“Indeed,” said Mr. Payne. “On the night of the murder.”
“Man in white hat…is one who has gone kaput,” said the witness.
“Indeed…” the judge mused. “That is the victim.” The courtroom began chattering excitedly.
The judge pounded his gavel. “Order! Order! This is quite a piece of evidence to casually drop into our laps!”
“It is same way as I drop cold bowls of borscht on laps of customers…casually,” the witness explained.
“Hmm…Then the court will casually accept this new evidence,” the judge replied.
“Now, witness,” said Mr. Payne. “Where were you at the time of the murder?”
“I was in room,” said the witness. “The Hydeout, we call it.”
“Excuse me?” Justice demanded. “The Hydeout?”
“It is room where famous gangster “Badgai” was arrested. Is room where murder took place,” the witness stated. Justice recoiled, an expression plastered on his face which caused him to assume the appearance of an autistic monkey.
The witness smiled and took a picture of Justice. “Your look of utter surprise…It is lovely,” the witness laughed. “I will post by courtroom door later for you! Dah, dah, photos will be numbered, and you will write which ones you want copies of.”
“Very well,” said the judge. “Witness! You will testify to the court about that night’s events.” The witness began her testimony.
Testimony:
That night, customer asked me to deal cards for game.
It was cold…Both players with hats on, dah.
The victim, he plays whole time with his hand on locket at his neck. Then, last hand is done! But something terrible has happened, dah!
That man flew at victim, and is strangling him to death!
As the witness concluded her testimony, the judge said thoughtfully, “Hmm…Incidentally, who won the game?”
I saw the witness draw in breath, but Mr. Payne was too quick. “Isn’t it obvious?” he chortled. “The winner was the victim…Mr. Smith!”
“Objection!” shouted Justice. “That’s ridiculous! Um, because…Mr. Wright can’t lose!”
He can’t be serious.
“Ahem. Justice?” I said. “Maybe you can come up with a more legitimate objection?”
“But! He hadn’t lost in seven years!” Justice exclaimed. I sighed exasperatedly.
“Take it from me kid,” said Mr. Payne. “It happens. I didn’t lose a case my first seven years as prosecutor, either.
And you haven’t won a case for your last seven, either.
Incidentally. I have some evidence here. These are the poker chips as they lay the very moment of the crime. The hand and chips on this side belonged to the victim, Mr. Smith,” continued Mr. Payne.
“Chips…you say?” the judge asked.
“Dah,” said Mr. Payne. “Er…I mean, yes! Imagine that poker is war…Your hand is your army, and the chips are the spoils.
“I-I know that,” the judge stammered. “After all, in my youth, I was known as…the “Poker Head of Courtroom No. 3”!” I turned to look at Justice. Even he was shaking his head.
“Hmm…” the judge continued. “Looking at this picture…it does seem that most of the chips are on the victim’s side of the table. Very well. The defense may cross-examine the witness.”
Cross-Examination
That night, customer asked me to deal cards for game.
It was cold…Both players with hats on, dah.
The victim, he plays whole time with his hand on locket at his neck.
Then, last hand is done! But something terrible has happened, dah!
That man flew at victim, and is strangling him to death!
“Objection!” cried Justice. “Oh really? “Strangled”, you say. That’s odd.”
“Dah,” said the witness noncommittally. “Normal customers only choke on borscht.”
“No,” replied Justice. “I mean this report shows that the victim died of a blow to the head!”
“Aaack!” the witness screeched. Justice banged his fists forcefully on the defense bench, like a primitive caveman.
“Ms. Orly!” he exclaimed. “Really now…did you witness the crime!?”
“Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeek!” was all the witness had to say in response. The courtroom stirred excitedly.
“Hmm…” the judge said slowly. “Looking at the picture, it doesn’t seem like he was hit. He’s still wearing his hat and everything.”
“Yet it is a fact that he was hit, Your Honor,” replied Mr. Payne. “Here’s a photo we took of the victim with his hat off during the investigation.” Mr. Payne presented a photo to the court of Zak Gramarye, his large, bald, shiny head glittering ever more brightly with the crimson stream of blood running down his forehead. I suppressed a laugh as I glanced at Zak Gramarye’s expression, forever frozen on his lifeless countenance.
“Well, that’s quite shocking isn’t it?” the judge exclaimed. “This head certainly was hit.”
“B-But…! I have seen it happen!” the witness insisted. “The defendant, he lunge at victim, his neck…” Justice stood there, idiotically, looking triumphant as if the case were already won.
“Justice,” I said. “I admire your enthusiasm, but perhaps you should think this one through more.”
“Wh-What do you mean? I found a contradiction!” he exclaimed.
“There’s one more thing in her testimony that…troubles me,” I told him.
“What is it?” he whispered.
Figure it out for yourself.
“You’ll see,” was all I said, before turning away again.
“Very well,” said the judge. “It seems we should continue the cross-examination.”
Cross-Examination (cont.)
The victim, he plays whole time with hand on locket at his neck.
“Objection!” shouted Justice.
“Mr. Justice, would you care to explain what it is you’re thinking so intensely about?” the judge demanded.
“Recall, the testimony, Your Honor,” Justice explained. “The victim played with his “hand on locket at his neck”, I believe she said?”
“I hope you aren’t about to raise an objection to the witness’s grammar!” squeaked Mr. Payne.
“No, but look at this photograph,” Justice said commandingly. “Do you see a locket on the victim’s neck?”
“Well done, Justice,” I praised, with genuine sincerity. “I’m impressed. I knew you’d be able to handle this.”
No I didn’t.
“B-but what does it mean?” asked Justice. Just then, the judge continued to speak.
“If we are to believe the witness’s testimony as-is…Then the locket “disappeared” following the victim’s death.
“Lockets don’t just “disappear”, Your Honor!” Justice responded.
“It’s quite simple when you think about it,” I said to Justice. “If the locket is gone, someone must have taken it off, no?”
“Taken it off…?” said Justice slowly, the wheels spinning frantically in his mostly empty head. “Wait, you don’t mean…!”
“The defendant wasn’t strangling the victim at all. He was taking off his locket!” I responded, with a touch of impatience in my voice.
“Aah!” exclaimed the judge.
“Urk?” Mr. Payne murmured. Wright stared at the pair of them. It was the judge who finally shattered the painful silence.
“Say,” he said.
“Yes?” asked Wright.
“I just noticed this, but…You have something hanging around your neck, don’t you?”
“Oh? You mean this?” said Wright, gesturing towards the locket hanging around his neck. “Yes, it’s a locket…with a photograph inside. A photo…of my daughter.”
The fact that Wright had mated greatly disturbed me.
“C-Come again?” said Justice.
“Mr. Wright!” the judge exclaimed. “You have a daughter!?”
“We confirmed it at the time of the arrest,” said Mr. Payne. “The picture in the locket is indeed Mr. Wright’s daughter.
“Well now,” the judge said awkwardly. “If the results of this poker game led to the murder…Perhaps we should hear a bit more about the outcome of this game?”
“Further testimony won’t really be necessary,” Mr. Payne declared confidently. “It’s clear that the defendant lost. Badly. The witness beamed at Mr. Payne.
The judge shook his head in dissent. “Ms. Orly! You will testify to the court about the game played between the victim and the defendant!” “D-Dah…” the witness mumbled.
Testimony
The game began with 3,500 points in chips for each man.
House chips come in two size: small and large.
The one who was winning…dah, it was victim!
For last hand, defendant play with all chips on table and lose.
The moment loss was decided, defendant grabs bottle from table and…
“Indeed…” the judge said after listening to the witness’s testimony. “Looking at this picture…It does seem to be a one-sided game.”
“As the court knows, poker was the defendant’s life!” shouted Mr. Payne. “Failure must have been a bitter pill to swallow!”
The judge nodded. “Ah, how many times I have heard these words: ‘I done it in a fit of anger, Yer Honor, and now I regret what I done’…a common tale, but true. The defense may now begin the cross-examination.”
Cross Examination
The game began with 3,500 points in chips for each man.
House chips come in two size: small and large.
“Hold it!” Justice interrupted. “Are the chips in this photo all the chips that were used?
“Da…Dah! Of course!” squealed the witness.
“Maybe you could explain a bit about these “chips”?” Justice asked.
“E-Explain?” the witness scoffed quietly. “What is there to be explained?”
Mr. Payne was of the same opinion. “Objection!” he yelled. “Poker chips are poker chips. They’re not fish and chips, not a chip off the block, not a motorcycle cop, not a…”
“Thanks…” Justice interrupted. “I think we get it now. But what are these chips worth? Are they in dollars? Or rubles, even?”
“Nyet,” replied the witness. “As I have been saying before, it was game, not gambling. Hard perhaps for capitalist to understand. Two types of chip: 100 points chip and 1,000 points chip. It is not money, dah.” Justice just stood there, staring blankly.
“Justice,” I said.
“Sir!” he exclaimed.
“Don’t you find her comment…interesting?” I demanded.
“In more ways than one, sir,” he replied.
“I’d have it added to her testimony, myself,” I advised.
“Well?” asked the judge. “Does the defense want the witness to add to her testimony?”
“Yes, I do think this deserves further scrutiny,” Justice answered, as if it had been his intention. “Add it to the testimony!”
“Very well,” agreed the judge. “Witness, if you would be so kind.”
“D-Dah, Your Honor,” the witness whimpered.
One kind of chip is worth 100 points, other kind is worth 1,000. Two kinds in all.
“Objection!” Justice shouted. “You’re sure it was the victim who won? Absolutely sure?”
“Objection!” Mr. Payne rebutted. “It seems our new attorney is a bit confused…A glance at the picture is enough to tell you who won! If you’re not in kindergarten.”
“Um…” the judge mumbled. “Just for safety’s sake, could you please explain the problem to the court?”
“Of course, Your Honor,” replied Justice. “In this photo, I see small chips and I see large chips. Tell me…which were worth 1,000 points?”
“Why, the big ones of course! Duh!” scoffed Mr. Payne.
“Oh, I thought so too…” smirked Justice, “but then the totals don’t add up.” “Th-The totals…?” Mr. Payne stammered.
“Let’s review what the witness told us, shall we?” Justice asked rhetorically. “Each man started with 3,500 points in chips. And the combined total value of the chips was 7,000 points.”
“Yes…if my calculations are correct! Let’s see, three plus one, carry the five…” the judge murmured.
“Um, they are, Your Honor,” Justice interjected. “Now! Look at this photo that allegedly shows all the chips. If the big chips are worth 1,000 points, and the small chips are worth 100…And you add them up…”
“How much is it?” Mr. Payne demanded.
“Ten thousand six hundred points,” Justice answered. “The chips don’t add up!” He banged his fists hard on the defense bench. “This clearly contradicts the witness’s testimony!” The courtroom buzzed anxiously, like a swarm of confused hornets.
“B-But why!?” shouted Mr. Payne. “How could this be!?”
“Exactly…” I said to Justice. I was slightly impressed that he had made this observation on his own.
“Justice. Now that you know the “what”, you must determine the “why”.” “Each man began the game with 3,500 points,” continued Justice. “If all the chips are indeed shown in this photograph…Then there can only be one answer.”
“Well, what is it!?” the judge said impatiently. “The value of the chips…was the other way around!” Justice shouted.
“Wh-What!?” squealed Mr. Payne.
“Want to know what I think?” Justice asked, once again, rhetorically. “The small chips were worth 1,000 points, not the big ones!”
Exactly. Six small chips and ten big chips. I couldn’t see why everyone else was so slow on the uptake.
“Madness! Utter madness!” Mr. Payne shouted wildly.
“Show me that photograph of the chips again!” the judge demanded. “There are six small chips and ten large chips…Why that does make 7,000 points when you add them up!”
Got there at last, have we?
“Excellent work, Justice,” I said. “It’s almost as though you figured it out by yourself.”
Whether Justice caught the jibe or not, he replied nervously, “Well…I’m just glad I was the one who said it.”
“Objection!” squeaked Mr. Payne. “B-But wait! The value of the chips may be different, but that changes nothing!!”
“Indeed…” the judge said blindly. “The victim did have the larger number of chips still…Ah!”
“Exactly,” smirked Justice. “If the small chips are 1,000 points and the big chips are 100…Let’s do a little math. Add up the points for each side of the table.
“Ah… Auuuuuuuuuuuuugh!” Mr. Payne bellowed.
“The victim, Mr. Smith had 2,900 points and the defendant had…4,100 points!” the judge exclaimed. “Well now…It seems that Mr. Wright was winning that night after all!” Justice declared.
“That’s…impossible,” Mr. Payne said cluelessly.
“My client had even less reason to kill the victim!” Justice asserted. “After all…he was winning!”
“Yeeeaaaargh!” Mr. Payne cried animatedly.
“Now…Ms. Orly,” said Justice, turning his attention back to the witness. “You must have known the true value of the chips. Since you were there at the scene of the crime…weren’t you?”
“Ah… Eeeeeeeeeek!” the witness screamed.
“Order! Order!!” the judge demanded, slamming his gavel. “It appears our defendant has lost his “motive”. And Mr. Wright’s supposed defeat…never happened.” The witness groaned softly.
Justice said, “We must now ask ourselves whether we can trust the witness’s testimony at the time of—”
“HOLD IT!” the witness yelled, in an unusually commanding voice.
“E-Excuse me?” Justice said disbelievingly. “What is it, Ms. Orly?”
“I…I did not want to be saying this,” the witness said, her bravado vanishing on the spot, “but…Actually, you see, erm…”
Get to the point.
“See what, Ms. Orly!? What do we see!?” Mr. Payne demanded, with desperation in his voice.
“In the last hand, there was cheat!” the witness declared. The courtroom stirred once again, even more confused than before.
“A ch-cheat?” asked Mr. Payne. “You…You don’t mean…a trick!?”
“Wait, or do you mean…a scam!?” the judge demanded.
They’re the same thing!
“Yes,” the witness replied. “There was cheat in last hand…That is why game ends with chips as they are!”
“Well,” I said to no one in particular, “this case certainly has taken a turn…for the interesting!”
“Witness!” the judge boomed. “You will testify to the court! Tell us about this cheating in the final hand!” Chapter 8 Turnabout Trump Pt

Testimony
The one who was winning…dah, it was victim!
For last hand, defendant play with all chips on table and lose.
The moment loss was decided, defendant grabs bottle from table and…
Testimony:
The last hand…both men had “full house”.
There is four of each card in deck, from ace to king.
If you look at both men’s hands, cheat is more obvious!
The next moment, game becomes argument, dah! The defendant’s trick was exposed!
He took bottle in his hand…Poor Mr. Smith
Justice banged his fists on the defense bench. “Ms. Orly!” he exclaimed. “Why did you not tell the court about this from the very beginning?” The witness stared blankly at him.
“Hmm…” the judge muttered, “A full house is a very high-scoring hand. Not easy to make, in my experience.”
“That alone is enough to suspect less-than-scrupulous tactics!” Mr. Payne interjected.
Obviously.
“Um, Mr. Gavin…What’s a full house?” Justice asked tentatively.
You’ve got to be joking.
“Lawyers these days…” scoffed Mr. Payne, “You don’t know your poker?”
“I can’t say this bodes well for your case,” the judge added, “or your career.”
“Justice,” I said, “You know the terms “one pair”, “two pair”, and “three of a kind”, yes?”
“Uh, yeah!” Justice mumbled. “No problem! Two cards with the same number makes a pair and three makes a three of a kind!”
I nodded. “Good. Now picture a hand with one pair, and one three of a kind. That’s a full house.”
“You can see each player’s hand in this photo,” said Mr. Payne, cutting through our discussion. “We forget,” he continued, “there’s an easy way to make a full house…and go undefeated for seven years. You cheat.”
“Ahem,” said the judge, “the defense may now cross-examine the witness.”
Cross-Examination
The last hand…both men had “full house”.
There is four of each card in deck, from ace to king.
If you look at both men’s hands, cheat is more obvious!
“Hold it!” Justice shouted. “How was it “clear”?”
“Dah, well…” the witness muttered, “The defendant…he played a fifth ace!”
“A f-fifth ace!?” Justice sputtered.
“I still remember both hands very well,” the witness responded, with more confidence in her voice. “Mr. Smith’s hand had three aces…and Mr. Wright’s two.”
“Obviously, cheating was afoot!” snorted Mr. Payne. “Or perhaps I should say…a hand!”
Ha. Funny.
“Your Honor,” I said, “perhaps this can be added to the testimony? Without Mr. Payne’s joke, please.”
The judge nodded. “Very well. The witness will add this detail to her testimony, please.
Mr. Smith’s hand has three aces and Mr. Wright’s two…It is five aces in all.
“Objection!” yelled Justice. “It appears the witness is mistaken!”
“Miss…Taken?” the witness murmured. “But my name…”
“Look,” interrupted Justice, “This piece of evidence clearly contradicts what you just said in your testimony!” He presented the photo of the poker game to the court
. “That’s…the photo of the chips, is it not?” the judge asked.
“Justice,” I advised, “perhaps you ought to explain your point in a way that even the judge can comprehend…”
“Yes…” the judge responded, “Please point out the contradiction in this photo. What particular “point” contradicts the witness’s testimony?”
“Ms. Orly…” said Justice, “in your testimony you made the following claim: “Mr. Smith’s hand has three aces…” But as you can clearly see, the victim’s hand only held two aces!”
“Eeeeeeeek!” the witness screamed.
“Objection!” squealed Mr. Payne. “Well…Well maybe the witness was simply confused! Perhaps it was the defendant’s hand that held the third ace in question…”
“Objection!” Justice rebutted. “Take another look at this evidence! As you can see, the defendant also had two aces in his hand. Where’s this fifth ace? I see cheating alright, and it’s going on right here in this courtroom!” A murmur of shock rippled through the courtroom.
The judge pounded his gavel. “Two aces in each player’s hand does make four aces total. Hardly proof of cheating…” the judge asserted.
“Wait! Please!” the witness shouted. “It is true…I have seen it! The fifth ace! There was cheating! I swear to you!”
“You’re right to trust your instincts,” I muttered to Justice.
“Mr. Gavin?” he asked.
“Who knows what lies in store for us in the trial ahead…” I muttered. “Your Honor, if I may. I have a suggestion.”
“And what might that be, Mr. Gavin?” he demanded. “If you don’t mind…perhaps we might examine the actual cards?” I requested.
“The cards…?” he stammered.
“Mr. Payne,” I snapped.
“Urk. Yes?” he replied.
“The players’ hands that night were set aside as evidence, were they not? The defense would like to request that the cards be shown to the court,” I said.
The judge banged his gavel. “Very well, the prosecution will submit this evidence! Which will you examine? The victim’s cards…or the defendant’s cards?” I looked at Justice, waiting.
Make the right decision.
After a few seconds, Justice said, “The defense requests time to examine Mr. Smith’s cards!”
The judge nodded. “Very well. Mr. Payne if you would…”
“Very well,” snapped Mr. Payne, clearly dissatisfied by this turn of events.
“Well, time’s a wasting,” I chided. “Get to it, Justice!”
“Y-Yes sir!” he stammered. “Your Honor! Look at this! One of the victim’s cards… The back is a different color!”
“Eh…? Ehhhhhh!?” Mr. Payne said, baffled.
“Th-That’s impossible!” the witness stammered. “I put that card in Wright’s hand…Ack!” the witness screamed, covering her mouth.
Got you.
“What was that, Ms. Orly?” I demanded. “No…” the witness screamed. “Ny-Nyet! Er, I merely said, eh…Dah, I have, eek!”
“Your Honor?” I said to the judge.
“M-Mr. Gavin, yes?” he asked.
“Tell me,” I asked, “what is the easiest way to cheat at poker?”
“To…cheat?” he replied blankly.
“I’ll tell you,” I said, sighing. “One merely needs a friend, a “comrade”, shall we say…The dealer!”
“Ah…Ah!” the judge responded, finally reaching the point of comprehension.
“Wait,” said Justice, “so you mean…This witness…Ms. Orly…”
“She’s the cheater,” I said impatiently. “A professional, I’d wager.”
“Nyeeeeeeaaaargh!” yelled the witness. A babble of interest broke out among the courtroom.
“Order! Order!!” the judge roared.
“Your Honor,” said Justice, “please recall the testimony we have just heard!”
Flashback
“Th-That’s impossible!” the witness stammered. “I put that card in Wright’s hand…Ack!” the witness screamed, covering her mouth.
End Flashback
“…Therefore!” yelled Justice. “Ms. Olga Orly conspired to cheat, not with my client…but with the victim, Mr. Shadi Smith!”
“Ooooooogh!” the witness groaned.
“Whaaaaaaaaat!?” Mr. Payne shouted in disbelief.
“Wait,” said the judge, “you don’t mean…The defense isn’t accusing the witness, Ms. Olga Orly…are you?”
“…I am,” Justice responded. “The defense accuses the witness, Ms. Olga Orly, of murder!” The witness’s face went pale with shock, and she collapsed.
“Mr. Payne,” said the judge. “Where is your witness, Ms. Olga Orly?”
“Erm,” Mr. Payne replied nervously, “it appears she has lost, eh, consciousness, Your Honor.”
“Hmm…” said the judge. “Mr. Justice?”
“Your Honor?” he replied.
“It seems you’ve presented a new possibility to the court,” the judge stated. “One suggesting a connection between the witness and the victim, Mr. Smith.”
“And that means…!?” Justice asked.
“This court cannot pronounce a verdict for the defendant at this time!” the judge declared.
“What?” yelled Mr. Payne in disbelief.
The judge pounded his gavel and glared at Mr. Payne. “I see no point in prolonging the trial this day,” he declared. “The prosecution will need to make further inquiries…”
“Objection!” a voice yelled. I turned to see who it was. It was Wright. What was he doing?
“M-Mr. Wright?” stammered Justice.
“You can’t end this trial here, Your Honor,” Wright said. “Not yet.”
Shut up, Wright.
“What nonsense is the defendant spewing now!?” Mr. Payne sputtered.
“Think,” Wright commanded. “One of the cards had a different colored back. Don’t you wonder what it means?”
“Objection!” yelled Mr. Payne. “Wh-What do you think you’re doing, Mr. Wright?” Raising objections right when you’re about to get off the hook!? Ridiculous!”
I agree with rat-boy.
“Mr. Payne!” the judge shouted. “You of all people should know…Mr. Wright has a talent…for the ridiculous!” He pounded his gavel and continued to speak. “Perhaps we should get to the bottom of things. Let’s clear up the facts about the game that fateful night.”
“As was said before…” continued Wright, “we alternated between two decks of cards that night.”
“That was said before!” Mr. Payne shouted impatiently.
“The two decks at the club have different colored backs,” said Wright, “blue…and red. One color per deck.”
“Why use different colored backs?” asked Justice.
“If we used the same color, the two decks might get mixed,” explained Wright. “We used the red deck for the last game.”
“Hmm…” said the judge. “I see. But…that’s odd. For some reason…I have this impression that you were using the blue cards!”
“Whatever,” Mr. Payne scoffed. “In the end one card of the wrong color got into the mix…Which means there was cheating.”
“Yes,” nodded Wright, “ a card slipped into the deck would seem to indicate cheating…Yet…this card raises two serious questions…Apollo?”
“Y-Yes?” he stammered.
“Let’s consider the first question, shall we?” Mr. Wright asked rhetorically. “Think. In the last game…when was the card swapped? There are three broad possibilities here. It could have been swapped before the murder, during the murder…or after the murder.”
“Well, yeah!” said Mr. Payne. “Thanks for the news bulletin, Mr. Wright! Of course it was swapp—”
“Oh?” replied Wright. “It might be as simple as you think, Mr. Payne. Or it might not be. I’d like to hear what Apollo thinks first…When do you think the cards were swapped?”
“Perhaps it happened…after the murder?” Justice replied with uncertainty.
“Wh-What’s that?” demanded Mr. Payne. “Ridiculous! What’s the point of cheating after the hands have been shown? That’s silly!”
Silly like a female president.
“Objection!” Justice yelled confidently. “Yes,” he said, “but tell me…How do you swap cards during the game!? I’ll take “silly” over “impossible”.
“Objection!” squealed Mr. Payne. “Take it from me, son. There’s a lot of silly in this world…
They’re called homosexuals, Winston.
…but very little impossible.”
“Oh?” replied Justice. “Even when the backs of the cards are a different color!? If you pulled that during the game, you’d be caught in no time!”
“Ah!” the judge exclaimed, unnecessarily.
“Quite true,” agreed Wright. “That would mean that the blue card in question…was swapped after the hands were shown…after the murder!”
“Objection!” Mr. Payne said, sweating profusely. “OK, this is going past silly and straight on to crazy. I ask again: what’s the point of cheating after the game’s over!? Who would do that!?”
“Who indeed?” Wright said mysteriously. “That’s one of the mysteries before us.”
“Th-There’s another?” the judge demanded.
“Yes,” said Wright. “A simple, yet decisive question must be asked: Who swapped the red card for a blue card?
“Wh-Who?” stammered Justice.
I’m surrounded by morons.
“The game, and murder is done,” I explained to Justice. “The victim is dead (as he should be).Only two remain in the room. Alive, that is. The defendant, Phoenix Wright, and our witness, Olga Orly.”
“The one who swapped the cards wasn’t Mr. Wright, of course,” Justice declared. “And, well, it doesn’t seem like it could have been Olga Orly, either…”
“Wh-What are you suggesting!?” the judge sputtered.
“That’s hardly a logical conclusion, I’ll admit,” I said to Justice. “As the defense, I think it only makes sense for you to name Ms. Orly at this point.
Unless you want to die.
“Yes, yes, I know!” Justice replied belligerently. But…But she was the one who dealt the cards, right? I…I just can’t believe she would make the mistake of swapping the wrong color card!”
“And if the card was swapped during the game, it’d be obvious…” the judge said to no one in particular.
“Heh,” Wright chuckled moronically. “Heh heh heh heh.” I was reminded forcibly of the show ‘Beavis and Butthead’.
“Something you’d like to share with the court, Mr. Wright?” the judge demanded.
“Oh, my apologies, Your Honor,” said Wright. “I was just thinking about how much fun all this is.”
“Objection!” yelled Mr. Payne. I tensed with surprise. I had almost forgotten there was even a prosecutor in the courtroom. “Fun!?” scoffed Payne. “How about confusing!? I have no idea what the defense is claiming, Your Honor! If the one who swapped the cards wasn’t the defendant, and it wasn’t Ms. Orly…Then who was it!?”
“Er, yeah,” said Justice, “well, that is the question, isn’t it?”
“Precisely,” said Wright.
“Huh?” Justice replied dimly.
“I believe we’re about to see this case take…a new direction,” declared Wright.
“A new direction?” asked the judge.
Wright nodded. “We’ll find that, indeed, after the murder…someone swapped one of the cards in the victim’s hand. And that someone made two critical mistakes.”
“I’m sure you’re going to tell us that the first was swapping the wrong color card,” I asserted.
Wright nodded in agreement. “Because the one who did the swap didn’t know the two colors of the cards being used. The other mistake…was the number on the card.”
“Right,” agreed Justice. “The person replaced the fifth ace with a king.”
Wright replied, “I’m sure whoever swapped it wasn’t expecting there to be a fifth ace, after all. All they knew was that the game had been won with a full house. So they picked up a king from the table, and swapped it in.”
“Objection!” squeaked Payne. “B-But! There’s one problem! According to our case record this person doesn’t exist!!”
Well, he’s here, right in this courtroom.
“True,” said Wright, “not until now. But you have to admit the possibility of a fourth person. Though it’s more than a possibility. There was someone else there that night at the scene of the crime.”
“Wh-Whaaaaaaaaaat!?” Mr. Payne yelled, astonished. The courtroom stirred excitedly.
“I believe the judge spoke truthfully earlier,” I said coldly. “You do make trials…ridiculous, Mr. Wright.”
The judge pounded his gavel, looking shocked. “This trial has proceeded on one central assumption,” he gasped, “namely, that, at the time of the incident, there were only three people in the room.”
Wright replied, “I believe this new evidence, shall we say…overturns that assumption?”
The judge pounded his gavel again. “The problem is that you chose to conceal this information from the court!” yelled the judge.
“…I suppose that is a problem, yes,” said Wright, looking completely unconcerned
. “Very well!” snapped the judge. “Court is adjourned for a brief recess! Mr. Gavin, I’ll see you in my chambers during this recess!”
“Certainly, Your Honor,” I replied. “Very well!” the judge yelled again. “The trial will resume in twenty minutes!”

I decided it would be in my best interest to have a discussion with Wright. He was stumbling dangerously close to my well-guarded secret, and I needed to ensure my survival.
In the defendant lobby, I commented, “That was quite…unexpected, Mr. Wright. To suddenly claim there was another person at the scene of the crime like that…I must ask…is it the truth?” I touched my glasses menacingly, an innocent but threatening gesture. Wright was unfazed, however.
“Well now…” said Wright, “I’d think you would know the answer to that?”
I shook my head in mock disbelief. “Ah, being mysterious are we?” I said. “Sadly, I’ve no time for mysteries. I’d only ask that you leave the defending to your defense, in the future. Otherwise…I cannot guarantee the outcome.”
Get the picture?
“I see you haven’t mellowed out one bit, Kristoph,” he laughed.
“Justice,” I mumbled.
“Y-Yes sir!” he stammered.
“The judge has summoned me to my chambers,” I explained, “so carry on without me.”
I knocked on the judge’s door, and a voice responded, “Enter!” I turned the doorknob and walked into a large, luxurious room. “What kept you, Mr. Gavin?” the judge demanded.
“There were some important things I needed to discuss with my understudy,” I lied.
“I see,” the judge said, with equal pretense. “Well, have a seat; we haven’t got much time.”
“You wanted to see me?” I asked.
“Yes,” the judge answered. “I’ve been thinking about this trial…”
You’ve been thinking? Will today’s surprises never end?
“…and I would like to discuss the supposed fourth person that was present at the crime scene.”
“Please, Your Honor,” I scoffed. “While I am no doubt partisan towards the defense, we cannot give credence to this wild claim just yet. The possibility has been raised, yes, but until we are presented with more concrete proof, we cannot ascertain the presence of a fourth person.”
“That’s all very fine, Mr. Gavin,” the judge responded, “but I have come to the conclusion that the possible fourth person could have been…you.”
Oh snap, I did not just hear such a truth. (obscure reference)
I knew it would be best to play it cool, however. “Me?” I scoffed, with phony derision. “Please. What do you base this claim on?”
“Well,” said the judge, “I know it could be a huge mistake on my part to accuse you of involvement in this crime, but the facts are clear. You were there on the night of the murder. I received an eyewitness account from a reliable source. You knew the defendant prior to the night of the crime. I find it necessary at this point to name you as a suspect.”
“I just don’t understand, Your Honor,” I replied. “Yes, I was there, but that proves nothing. I shouldn’t be accused of murder every time I walk into a restaurant. I understand the possibility, however slim, does exist, but this is rather irrelevant, in my opinion.”
“Is it, Mr. Gavin?” the judge asked. “You are perfectly right, of course, that there is no evidence whatsoever to cast suspicion on you, but in the unlikely event that you are named as a suspect or witness to the crime by the court, I must ask you to testify.”
“Very well, Your Honor,” I said, seething inside with baffled rage. How could he, the only judge north of the border with a double-digit IQ, have stumbled upon my secret? This was going in a most unpleasant direction.
“Well,” the judge said, interrupting my silent fit of rage, “it is now 12:10. I suppose we should resume the trial.”
“Yes,” I replied, “we should.” At 12:14, the trial resumed.
The judge pounded his gavel. “Court will now reconvene,” he declared. “Has our witness, Ms. Olga Orly, recovered?” “Y-Yes, Your Honor!” replied Mr. Payne. “Er, well, she’s regained consciousness.” “Perhaps we can hear her version of the events again?” I requested.
We have to take advantage of her, er…I mean, her mistake.
“That’s the thing,” said Mr. Payne. “You see, she’s quite fatigued.”
“You’re looking a bit fatigued yourself, Mr. Payne,” the judge remarked. I looked at Mr. Payne. He was sweating and his face looked haggard and withdrawn.
“Sadly, fatigue is insufficient grounds for refusing to testify…or prosecute,” I said coldly. “The defense would like to request that Ms. Orly take the stand.”
The judge nodded in agreement. “Very well. The witness will take the stand!”
Ms. Orly walked up to the witness stand, shaking.
“Perhaps you could repeat your name and profession,” I commanded. The witness stared blankly. Taking advantage of my opportunity, I proceeded aggressively. “Or perhaps you’d rather admit that you’re a poor liar, and a poorer loser,” I said smoothly.
“Ny-Ny-Nye-!” the witness mumbled. “…Not.” To my great surprise, she removed what had been an incredibly convincing disguise. She stood up straighter and glared fiercely at the courtroom. There was a wild, fierce look in her eyes that I had never seen before. The courtroom’s stunned silence told everything there was to tell about the sudden, unforeseen transformation. “Name’s Olga Orly,” the witness boomed. “That’s the truth. I’m a pro dealer. People call me…Olga “Quick-Fingers” Orly!” The judge gaped at her. “Want to know something else?” the witness continued. “I’m not really Russian! And my last name sounds like “Oh really”! There, that’s the truth! I hope you’re satisfied!”
“Witness!” yelled Justice. “You will tell the court what you were really up to that night!”
“Fine, I’ll talk,” the witness replied. “We had a plan, see.”
“Let me remind you that you are currently under oath,” the judge warned. “Any further fabrications will have serious consequences.”
“Fine,” the witness said apathetically. “Like I said, I’m a pro. That guy, Smith, hired me to do what I do best. I was planted at the Borscht Bowl Club several days prior to the night of the game. As a waitress.”
“So you were in cahoots with the victim!” exclaimed Justice.
No, really?
The witness nodded in affirmation. “Not that he needed my help,” she continued. “Smith is a well-known poker player in some circles. But winning wasn’t the main purpose of the game. It was about destroying a legend: the unbeatable Phoenix Wright!
You’re about seven years too late for that.
“The plan was simple,” the witness explained. “Elegant, really. You see, we set up a trap of sorts…I was to plant a card in Wright’s pocket beforehand…and then deal five aces during one of their games. When their hands were revealed, Smith would call him out and search Wright. He would then pull out the planted card and the trap would snap shut!”
“You swapped the cards!” Justice yelled, to nobody’s benefit.
“Exposed as a cheater and losing on top of it!” exclaimed the witness. “It would have made a great double play. Just like that, the legend would be dashed to pieces!”
“Indeed…” the judge murmured. “Getting caught red-handed at cheating would cast doubt on all his prior wins…”
“A seven-year legend, destroyed by one little card…That was the plan!” repeated the witness. A ripple of surprise spread throughout the courtroom.
“Oh really, Orly”? I jibed. “How droll. But…it appears you made quite the mistake.”
Now or never…
“A mistake?” the judge asked blankly.
“Hey, that’s right!” exclaimed Justice.
“He’s lucky, I’ll give him that,” the witness conceded. “You’d have to be to slip free from a trap laid by Olga “Quick-Fingers” Orly!”
“Oh really?” the judge responded. “The witness would be much cuter if she dispensed with the evil mastermind shtick.”
“Cute…?” the witness scoffed. “Who wants to be cute? I’m not cute! I’m bad! You hear me? Bad!!”
“Well,” said the judge, “when you’re through being bad, perhaps you could testify to the court? Tell us about this “trap” and how it was sprung.”
Testimony:
That night, I planted the card like I was supposed to.
And Wright lost the last hand, just like he was supposed to. Then Smith searched him!
But the planted card was gone. The trap failed!
The next moment, Wright picked up a bottle and swung it!
It wasn’t me who hit Smith! It was that no-good, cheating defendant!
“Hmm,” the judge mumbled. “A surprisingly frank testimony that still leaves us mostly in the dark.”
“The trap was perfect I tell you, perfect!” the witness yelled. “If that rotten cheater hadn’t messed it up…”
Look who’s talking.
“Well,” said the judge, “the testimony, for what it’s worth, is all yours, Mr. Justice.”
Cross Examination
That night, I planted the card like I was supposed to.
And Wright lost the last hand, just like he was supposed to. Then Smith searched him!
But the planted card was gone. The trap failed!
The next moment, Wright picked up a bottle and swung it!
“Hold it!” interrupted Justice. “Wait…isn’t that a little odd?”
“Wh-What’s odd!?” the witness demanded. “You searched Mr. Wright, er, thoroughly,” replied Justice, “and found nothing? Which means he didn’t cheat…Which means he had no reason to strike the victim!”
“W-Well…” the witness replied nervously. Just then, Justice tensed and stared penetratingly at the witness, as if he had sensed something.
“Something wrong, Mr. Justice?” the judge asked.
“No…nothing, Your Honor,” gasped Justice. “Ms. Orly…!” he exclaimed. “You’re hiding something!”
“What are you talking about!?” the witness snapped. “Y-Y-You1 M-M-M-Me!? “Quick-Fingers” Orly, hi-hi-hide something?”
“Objection!” Mr. Payne squealed. “The defense will refrain from baseless accusations!”
“I have one question for the witness then,” said Justice. “You say you saw the moment the defendant hit the victim. Is this true?”
“O-Of course it’s true!” the witness yelled. “I d-did see it, honest!” Justice stared penetratingly at the witness again, as if he had sensed something else. “I saw it when Wright hit him,” the witness claimed. “With my own eyes, I saw it!”
“Ms. Orly,” smirked Justice, “perhaps you are unaware of this yourself…” “Un-Unaware of what?” the witness asked nervously.
Yes, get to the point already.
“Whenever you get to a certain part of your testimony,” explained Justice, “you touch the back of your neck with your left hand!”
“My…My neck?” the witness demanded. “So…So what?”
“What indeed, Justice?” I inquired. “I hadn’t noticed anything of the sort…”
I felt as if the roles were reversed as Justice began to explain: “When she says that part of the testimony…She’s subconsciously recalling something…Her body reacts to the memory, and she touches her neck! I’m sure of it!”
“A memory?” yelled Mr. Payne. “Would someone care to explain what he’s babbling about?”
The judge pounded his gavel. “This is highly unusual,” he declared, “but let’s ask the defense. You claim the witness is remembering something. Maybe you have evidence of this “memory” to show us?”
“Ms. Orly,” said Justice, “whenever you recall the crime that night, you scratch your neck. I’ve noticed it happens when you think about the moment of the crime. There must be some reason behind this “habit” of yours. I believe the weapon that left an inerasable “impression” on your neck is this! Whenever she talks about the moment of the crime, she touches her neck…And what reminds us more of the moment than this bottle, the murder weapon!” The witness tensed. “But…” continued Justice, “something doesn’t fit. If you were the only witness to the crime…why would that make you touch your neck like you’re in pain.”
“Wh-What’s he talking about now!?” Mr. Payne demanded, baffled.
“It was Mr. Smith, the victim who was hit,” said Justice, “not you!” The witness began to turn pale and glanced shiftily around the courtroom.
“Objection!” squeaked Mr. Payne. “This is a cross-examination, not a cross-wild conjecture! Th-The witness’s…“habits”!? They’re completely irrelevant!”
“Justice…” I said, “I’ll admit, I’m a bit confused myself. This is certainly a…unique cross examination.”
“I’ll explain later!” snapped Justice. “Just trust me. Now’s our only chance to break her!” He banged his fists. “Ms. Orly! Please testify, in detail, about the moment of the crime. The very moment!”
The witness answered in her phony accent, “Ny-Nyet. I am knowing nothing.” The courtroom stared at her.
Finally, Justice spoke. “Um, we know you’re not Russian.”
The judge pounded his gavel, breaking up the awkward silence. “The witness will testify, please. Now.”
“Fine,” the witness grumbled.
He’s the one who did it! I didn’t let him out of my sight until the cops got there!
“Hold it!” exclaimed Justice. “You seem…uneasy.”
“You try sitting up here!” the witness retorted.
“Tell me…” said Justice. “After the crime, what was the defendant like?” “Uh,” replied the witness.
“Well…He must have been stunned by the weight of his crime! He sat in a daze at that table…until the cops came.”
“Intriguing,” I murmured. “I believe you’ve gotten all the testimony you’re going to get out of this witness. So, what do you think about her testimony?”
“I’ll tell you what I think!” replied Justice. “Her testimony is…is basically bogus. It contradicts the evidence!”
“Wh-What’s that!?” squeaked Mr. Payne.
The judge pounded his gavel. “Well…Show us this evidence, Mr. Justice!” he ordered. “This evidence that you claim contradicts the testimony.”
“Ms. Orly!” shouted Justice. “We have a record here that clearly contradicts what you just said! It states that the police were alerted by a report from the defendant! And we know that the defendant left the room, climbed the stairs…and made that phone call from the first floor of the Borscht Bowl Club!”
“Ack!” the witness screamed.
Justice banged his fists on the table. “So,” he said, “explain how you kept your eyes on the defendant…when he left the room entirely! The witness screamed in shock. The courtroom stirred, confused and excited.
The witness exclaimed, “Wait! The man who picked up a bottle and swung it that night…wasn’t the defendant. Smith grabbed the bottle from next to Wright…and he hit me! When I came to…”
“The victim was already dead…Is that it?” the judge asked. The victim nodded.
“That’s why I couldn’t reveal who I really was. If it came out that I was in league with Smith, I’d be a suspect for sure!”
“Well,” the judge said, “where does this leave us?”
“M-Madness!” yelled Mr. Payne. “Th-This is madness! I’m dreaming! It must have been me who was hit with a bottle and I’m imagining all of this!”
The judge shook his head. “It appears our prosecution is at his wit’s end, and frankly, I can’t blame him. Mr. Gavin, what do you think about this turn of events?” I continued to stare at the witness, thinking of the best way to bring her down.
“M-Mr. Gavin?” Justice said nervously. “Sir?”
Go away.
I replied, “I believe that, as the defense in this case…we are compelled to call Ms. Orly a ‘big, fat liar’.”
“Wh-Whaaaaat!?” the witness wailed.
“Three were in that room the night of the murder,” I continued, “the defendant, the victim, and her. …And she has a motive.”
“A motive?” Justice inquired.
I explained, “Her plot foiled, the witness got into an argument with her client, Mr. Smith. And the denouement of that argument…was murder!”
“What!?” the witness shouted. “I didn’t…I’m no killer! It’s a trap! Someone’s trying to frame me!” As the members of the courtroom murmured with interest, Wright appeared on the witness stand.
No.
“Such a hasty conclusion…” he said, “it’s not like you, Kristoph Gavin.”
“What are you saying?” I demanded.
“Why not consider the other possibility?” asked Wright. “That there was another person in the room at the time of the murder? A single card was swapped into the victim’s hand after the murder. And the one who swapped the card didn’t know two colors of cards were being used. …A fourth person.”
“Objection!” yelled Mr. Payne. “Hah, this theory again! Your “fourth person” doesn’t exist!”
“Indeed,” Wright responded. “why I decided to bring this case to court. Here, where there’s no escape, and no chance for deception…The perfect place to catch the real criminal.”
Go to hell, Phoenix Wright.
“The r-real criminal?” the judge stammered.
“And we’re in luck,” said Wright. “A clue to the real criminal’s identity was kindly provided for us. And right at the beginning of the trial no less.”
I knew I shouldn’t have said that…
“Apollo,” Wright said suddenly. “Perhaps you know what I’m talking about?”
“Um, no, sorry,” mumbled Justice.
“Remember what I said,” replied Wright, “The fourth person who swapped the cards made one critical error.”
“He or she wasn’t considering the color on the back of the cards…” responded Justice.
“Yes,” Wright confirmed. “But how could such an obvious mistake occur? The cards used for the last game were red. Yet, there is one person, here, in our court…who thought those cards were blue. Well, Apollo? Think you can figure out who it was?”
No.
“I-It’s not me, I swear!” squealed Mr. Payne.
Shutupshutupshutupshutup…
The judge pounded his gavel. “Who is this fourth person!?” he demanded.
“Let’s hear what the defense had to say,” Wright said to the courtroom. “Who was it? Who thought the cards used in the final game were blue?”
Justice thought slowly. In all my life, I had never willed anyone to fail as much as I did now. “It was…Mr. Gavin!” he exclaimed.

“As I expected,” praised Wright. “Your eyes and ears are as sharp as your hair.”
“I-I was right?” gasped Justice.
Wright nodded. “Kristoph Gavin,” he said sharply. “You were the fourth person that night.”
“B-But of course Mr. Gavin knows the color of the cards!” protested Justice.
“How would he?” demanded Wright. “As you can see, the photo of the crime scene is black and white. You can’t tell which of the cards are blue: the ones on the floor, or the table.”
“B-But look!” exclaimed Justice. “You can see the colors in this photo!”
“Yes,” agreed Wright, “but when he said the cards were “blue”…it was well before this evidence came to light!”
Just stop talking.
Flashback
“It is true that the defendant was engaged in a game of poker with the victim. Yet it was only that: a game in the purest sense,” I explained. “A competition, Your Honor,” I added.
“A…competition?” asked Mr. Payne.
“Yes,” I said, “A test of wits, a silent clash of passions…Only the cards, their backs wreathed in blue flame, know its final outcome.”
End Flashback
“Well, Kristoph?” smirked Wright. I glared at him hatefully. For once, I was at a loss for words. Nothing seemed to matter anymore other than the monster raging within me, awakening from a seven-year slumber.
“Mr…Gavin?” Justice asked nervously.
GO AWAY.
“Mr. Gavin!” the judge shouted. “I-Is something the matter?”
EVERYTHING.
“Hmm?” I replied. “N-No, nothing. Excuse me; it was just so…sudden. Wright. You aren’t seriously accusing me…are you?”
“Oh, Kristoph?” replied Wright. “You know even I’d never take a joke this far.”
“Objection!” shouted Mr. Payne. “This has gone beyond, ridiculous, beyond dumb…This is insanity! The defendant accusing his own defense attorney of murder?”
Yeah, listen to baldy.
“I assure you, I’m quite sane,” replied Wright.
“But what possible connection could Mr. Gavin have to the victim?” demanded Mr. Payne.
“I wasn’t aware that I had a connection to Mr. Smith, either,” responded Wright.
Touché, you bastard.
“Yes, but Mr. Gavin and the victim have never even met!” Mr. Payne rebutted.
“Well…What if they have?” said Wright.
The man who knew too much…he died a horrific death, a tragic accident, if I recall.
“Huh…?” Mr. Payne said blankly.
“There is a possibility, after all,” continued Wright. “They may have met that night, before the game started.”
“What are you suggesting!?” the judge demanded. “Mr. Wright!” shouted Justice. “The defense would like to request that you testify to the court!”
Shut up, Justice.
“Objection!” I interjected. “The defense would like to request no such thing.”
“Mr…Gavin?” said Justice, looking shocked.
“Testimonies must relate to the case,” I asserted. “How could anything happening before that game of poker be related?”
The judge pounded his gavel, as a buzz of excitement spread through the courtroom. “I’m not sure I follow, Mr. Gavin,” he said.
They are all against me…
“As I explained before, the defense believes that Ms. Orly…” I said, before the judge interrupted me.
He shook his head vehemently. “Am I to assume you speak for Mr. Justice in this? He is the defense, not you.”

“Mr. Justice!” the judge exclaimed. “The matter of Mr. Wright’s testimony is up to you!” Justice turned to look at me nervously.
WHAT?
The judge asked, “Does the court, in your opinion, need to hear Mr. Wright’s testimony?”
To my chagrin, Justice nodded. “The defense would like to request that Mr. Wright testify to the court!” yelled Justice. I glared at him, hating, despising, loathing him for the first time.
“Et tu, Justice?” I asked. “You would betray me, your teacher?”
“I’m sorry, Mr. Gavin,” he replied. “This isn’t about loyalty…This is about the truth!”
Truth, schmuth. Somebody’s going to pay for this.
“Very well,” said the judge. “The defendant…Mr. Wright will take the stand, please.”
Testimony:
That evening, Kristoph and I had dinner. We sat at the table in this photograph.
Shadi Smith walked in five minutes after Kristoph left.
When the “trap” failed, Smith hit the waitress.
The girl was knocked out cold, and Smith was uncontrollable. I had to call the police.
When I returned, he was dead, blood streaming from a cut on his forehead.
That’s when I made another phone call…To Defense Attorney Gavin.
“This confirms it!” the judge exclaimed. “You were at the Borscht Bowl Club the night of the murder!”
“I dine with him rather frequently,” explained Wright.
“A-And he talked to the defendant on the phone directly after the murder!?” asked Mr. Payne.
“Quite against my will, I had become involved in a murder,” replied Wright. “I thought I might be in need of a lawyer, so I called him.”
“You were planning this all along, weren’t you, Wright?” I hissed. “Just because you wanted to drag me into your little murder trial…”
Wright shook his head. “The only thing I want…is the truth,” he said. “As I did back then…and now.”
I shot a look of pure venom at him. “I thought my office was doing you a favor when we took on your defense,” I replied menacingly. “It appears that I was wrong.”
The judge pounded his gavel. “Very well,” he said. “The defense may cross-examine the witness.”
“Justice,” I said.
“S-Sir!” exclaimed Justice.
“He’s lying and you’re going to expose him,” I commanded.
Or else…
“Uh…Understood, sir,” replied Justice.

Cross Examination
That evening, Kristoph and I had dinner. We sat at the table in this photograph.
Shadi Smith walked in five minutes after Kristoph left.
When the “trap” failed, Smith hit the waitress.
“Hold it!” yelled Justice. “About this failed “trap”…This is the same “trap” that Ms. Olga Orly mentioned?
Flashback
“The plan was simple,” the witness explained, “Elegant, really. You see, we set up a trap of sorts…I was to plant a card in Wright’s pocket beforehand…and then deal five aces during one of their games. When their hands were revealed, Smith would call him out and search Wright. He would then pull out the planted card and the trap would snap shut!”
“You swapped the cards!” exclaimed Justice.
“Just like that, the legend would be dashed to pieces,” smirked Ms. Orly.
End Flashback
“Yes…” said Wright. “A harmless prank, in essence. It was by a quirk of fate that I happened to discover it…”
Dumb luck. It brought you a lifetime of undeserved success, and it brought me a lifetime of misery. You will pay…
“A “quirk”…?” Mr. Payne questioned.
“I happened to put my hand in my pocket…and found a card,” Wright answered.
“The card she planted!” exclaimed Justice.
“Yes,” replied Wright, “I snuck a peek at it and found it was the Five of Hearts. I had a feeling something might happen so I disposed of the card…before the game.”
“Disposed?” the judge asked. “Where!?”
“There was an empty bottle of grape juice I had been drinking right beside me,” said Wright. “I threw the card inside the bottle.”
“An empty bottle of grape juice…” Mr. Payne muttered.
“The murder weapon!?” shouted Justice.
“Yes,” said Wright. “I rolled it up and shoved it in. The colored glass makes it hard to see.”
“Hmm…” the judge murmured. “A battle of wits between the deceiver and the would-be deceived! That sounds like terrific drama…” The judge pounded his gavel. Mr. Wright! The “Poker Head of Courtroom No. 3” approves of this battle of wits! Please revise your testimony with this new information.”
I discovered the “trap” during the game, and disposed of the card in the bottle.
The girl was knocked out cold, and Smith was uncontrollable. I had to call the police.
When I returned, he was dead, blood streaming from a cut on his forehead.
“Objection!” yelled Justice. “Mr. Wright, if I may.”
“Yes?” Wright asked, smirking.
Justice continued. “Take a look at this photograph of the crime scene. See the victim here? He’s wearing a hat. …I wouldn’t think you could see blood on his forehead.”
Screw the pleasantries and shove it back in his face!
“Good point,” was all Wright said.
“Justice,” I snapped. “Next time you point out an inconsistency, put a little more “oomph” into it.”
“Mr. Wright, can you explain this to the court?” the judge demanded.
“Ah…” said Wright. “I forgot to mention something. I was the one who put that hat on his head.”
“You put the hat on the dead man’s head?” the judge asked in disbelief.
“He wore it the entire poker game,” said Wright. “After calling the police, when I returned to the scene, his head was in full view. Shining bright…Just like in this photograph.”
“And…?” the judge asked.
“I picked the hat up off the floor and put it on his head,” replied Wright.
“Wh-Wh-Why’d you do a thing like that!?” whined Mr. Payne.
Wright ignored Mr. Payne’s query. “All I can say is…I’m sorry. But that’s the only thing I touched at the crime scene.”
“So…Ms. Orly didn’t see it?” demanded Justice. “ ‘It’ being the victim’s ….er, his head.”
“I’d think not,” responded Wright. “She was out cold. I believe I was the only one who witnessed his head.”
“Ah, here we go again…” I sighed.
“Mr. Gavin?” Justice asked.
“Ahem,” I coughed. “Pardon. It just seems that our client is determined to lie his way through this case.”
“Hmm…” replied the judge deep in thought. He pounded his gavel. “In any case, please continue the cross-examination. I’m afraid decisive contradictions call for decisive evidence.”
“Push him harder, Justice!” I commanded, trying to keep the desperation in my voice to a minimum. “Break him! It’s just you and the witness in the ring. Go for the KO!”
My life is in the hands of a moron.
I discovered the “trap” during the game, and disposed of the card in the bottle.
“Objection!” shouted Justice. “Um, Mr. Wright, if I may?”
“Yes?” he demanded.
“I’ve examined the bottle,” replied Justice, “and I don’t see any card in here.”
“Hmm? No,” was all he said.
“What, Mr. Wright?” the judge said incredulously. “Surely that isn’t all you have to say for yourself!?”
“I can’t say that I know what happened to that card,” replied Wright. “I did put it in that bottle, however.” Justice remained motionless, looking completely confused.
“Perhaps a fifth person came and took it out?” I scoffed. “Oh, and a sixth person could’ve helped.
“Mr. Gavin…Mr. Wright is your client!” the judge exclaimed, looking scandalized.
“…My apologies, Your Honor,” I replied instinctively.
“I won’t have you disparaging our investigation, either!” squealed Mr. Payne. “We looked inside that bottle. There was nothing!”
“I believe that’s enough of that,” I said coldly. “This witness’s “testimony” is more like a “travesty”. It’s riddled with lies. I’m beginning to see how you came to lose your attorney’s badge seven years ago.”
“Well,” retorted Wright. “You certainly have a unique way of treating your clients, Kristoph. I never knew.”
“I believe it was you who threw the first stone…?” I replied.
Justice interrupted our quarrel by banging his fists primitively. “Mr. Wright! If you intend to ever tell the truth about this case, it’s now or never…!”
“Don’t be misled…I haven’t told a single lie here,” Wright responded. “When I noticed the “trap”…I put the card in the bottle to dispose of it. And when I put the hat on the victim’s head…Let’s just say I had a reason for doing that as well.”
“A…reason?” Justice said dimly.
“That reason…is right here,” Wright answered.
“Your…cell phone?” gasped Justice.
Wright nodded. “That night…Recall that I spoke with Defense Attorney Gavin after calling the police. Just in case, I recorded our conversation.”
“What’s this…?” I demanded.
“Now that we’re all here, I see no reason why I shouldn’t play it back for the court,” declared Wright.
Flashback
“Kristoph,” said Wright. “I seem to be in a bit of trouble.”
“What’s this?” I responded. “Game not going well?”
“Something like that,” replied Wright.
“That gentleman who challenged you…” I asked, feigning ignorance. “He turn out to be good?”
“He turned out to be dead,” Wright stated, matter-of-factly. “Someone hit him. Hard.”
“You mean someone cracked that flawless bone china pate?” I gasped. “It…wasn’t you, was it?”
“Me? Please,” scoffed Wright. “The cops should be here any minute. I’m in your hands…Should it come to that.”
“Bone china plate…?” asked Justice.
“A kind of porcelain, very smooth and shiny,” answered Wright. “And not “plate”, but “pate”. I believe he was referring to a certain gentleman’s balding forehead.”
“Hmm…” the judge said, his forehead shining. “The court appreciates the defendant’s discretion in not indicating my forehead.”
Justice asked, “So, after Mr. Gavin ate dinner with you…he left the Borscht Bowl Club?”
“Most certainly,” replied Wright.
“Then…then how did he know?” demanded Justice. “When did he see this ‘bone china pate’?”
“Yes…” Wright murmured softly. “That was when I began to see my good friend in a different light.”

Wright continued. “Troubled, I returned to the crime scene. And when I spotted Mr. Smith’s head again, I knew exactly what was wrong. Well, Mr. Gavin. The stage has been set. Perhaps you would like to explain this to the court? Exactly how did you come by your privileged knowledge of the victim’s head?”
“So, this is your “reason”,” I replied. “The reason why you put the victim’s hat back on.”
“Your point, Mr. Gavin?” Wright demanded.
“It’s come down to this, has it…Phoenix Wright,” I seethed.
A babble of interest spread through the courtroom. The judge pounded his gavel. “Order! I will have order!!” he roared. “Mr. Payne!”
“Y-Yes, Your Honor!” Mr. Payne gasped.
“I believe this court has been left with no other choice…Are you prepared to hear Defense Attorney Gavin’s testimony?” the judge demanded.
“Eh?” Mr. Payne responded. “Ah…Urk? Ahem! Well, as the prosecutor, I…”
“Very well!” the judge interrupted, pounding his gavel as Mr. Payne muttered wordlessly. “We’ll break for ten minutes. After which Mr. Gavin will take the stand for a cross-examination! …Are we all clear on that?”
“Crystal clear, Your Honor,” I replied.
“This will be the final recess for the day!” the judge declared, slamming his gavel down one last time before recess began at 2:32 P.M.
I followed Mr. Payne to the Witness Lobby. He began to open his mouth to speak, but I began speaking before he had a chance to articulate a command.
“Mr. Payne,” I said. “Winston. Let us not waste time pretending you have the faintest idea as to what you are doing. This trial is a travesty. Even an attorney such as yourself must understand that there is no evidence to convict me. None. What. So. Ever.”
“But…Mr. Gavin!” he squeaked. “It is my job to prepare a testimony which contains no contradic—”
“Shut up, you senile old man,” I snapped, allowing the mask to momentarily slip from my face. “I know what I’m doing. Your job is to stand there and try not to look too foolish. Understood?” He nodded, shooting me a terrified glance.
“Mr. Payne. Mr. Gavin,” said the bailiff. “The recess is over. Please return to the courtroom.” I re-entered the courtroom at 2:45 P.M.
How different things looked from the other side of the window.
“Court will now reconvene,” the judge declared, slamming his gavel. “Defense Attorney Kristoph Gavin, will you please take the stand. Now then, if you would, Mr. Payne?”
“Y-Y-Yes, Your Honor! Erm, will Mr…er, the witness state his name and occupation?” I rolled my eyes.
“Is this farce necessary, Your Honor?” I demanded.
“Believe me, far stranger things have gone on in this courtroom,” the judge replied, with complete sincerity.
“Fine,” I snapped. “I’ll play along.”
“First, there’s one thing we need to have made clear,” said the judge. “How did you know about the “secret” beneath this man’s hat?”
“Forgive my curiosity, but what is it about this fellow’s head?” I demanded. “Your Honor seems to have an inordinate interest in it.”
“Objection!” shouted Wright. “I wouldn’t call it inordinate, Mr. Gavin.”
I sighed exasperatedly. “What do you think you’re doing, Wright?” Wright ignored my question and began whispering to Justice.
“When Mr. Wright returned from reporting the crime, the hat was lying on the floor,” said Justice. “Mr. Wright picked it up, and placed it on the victim’s head…In other words, in order to have seen Mr. Smith’s bald head…you would have had to be at the scene of the crime…at the time of the crime!”
“In other words, you’d have to be the real killer…is what you’re trying to say,” I said conclusively. Members within the audience began mumbling excitedly. I chuckled, touching my glasses menacingly. I began to chuckle. “Eh heh heh heh…”
“Mr. Gavin?” the judge asked, with concern in his voice.
“ …I’m afraid that I haven’t been entirely honest with the court,” I confessed.
The judge looked taken aback.
Every evasion of justice begins with a stab in the back.
“Oh, I assure you,” I continued. “I had the noblest of intentions. I did it all to protect my client…Mr. Wright. Yet I’m afraid in the current situation, I see little reason to hide anything. …Very well. Allow me to tell you the truth of what happened that night.”
The judge pounded his gavel. “Finally!” he exclaimed. “You may begin your testimony. Tell us…How were you involved in the events of that fateful night?”
Testimony
The rage I sensed in that man that night troubled me…so I returned to the club.
I went down to the basement and peeked in through the little window to the Hydeout.
It must have been right after the murder took place.
The victim was dead, as appeared in the photo.
A bald head, an unconscious girl…and Wright, holding a bottle in his hand.
I sensed that was not the best place for me to be at the time so I left.
That’s when the call came from Wright.
“So…you witnessed the murder!?” squeaked Mr. Payne.
I shot a quick, subtle glare in his direction, causing Mr. Payne to recoil slightly.
I replied, “For better or worse, I missed the actual moment of the deed.”
“Mr. Gavin, may I remind you that you are on Mr. Wright’s defense team…” the judge warned, “Your testimony is clearly disadvantageous to your client!”
My heart bleeds.
“What else could I say?” I demanded. “I’m standing on the witness stand, after all.”
“So you are, Mr. Gavin,” smirked Wright.
What the hell was he talking about now?
Wright continued, the smirk growing more prominent. “And you had to testify as you just did…You had to tell them you saw the scene of the crime through that little window…You had to say that…because that was the only probable window of opportunity. Right, Apollo?” Justice nodded slowly.
The judge pounded his gavel. “Mr. Wright,” the judge protested, “the defense should do the cross-examination, not the defendant! Mr. Justice, are you prepared?”
“Yes, Your Honor…” replied Justice, sounding unsure of himself.
Cross Examination
The rage I sensed in that man that night troubled me…so I returned to the club.
I went down to the basement and peeked in through the little window to the Hydeout.
It must have been right after the murder took place.
The victim was dead, as appeared in the photo.
A bald head, an unconscious girl…and Wright, holding a bottle in his hand.
“Hold it!” yelled Justice. “Those were the only three at the scene of the crime?”
“Yes…” I replied. “As far as I saw, at least.”
“Then we’re back where we started!” squeaked Mr. Payne. “The killer was the defendant, Phoenix Wright! Who else could it have been? …But why didn’t you talk to the police?”
“Two reasons,” I explained. “First, I didn’t actually witness the very moment of the crime…Second…my office was asked to defend Wright. Even after seeing what I had seen…I couldn’t abandon my friend.”
Your Honor, did you know ‘gullible’ isn’t in the dictionary?
“Hmm…” the judge mused.
“Objection!” shouted Justice. “There must have been someone else there at the moment of the crime!”
Take a number, Justice, and I’ll kill you next.
“Justice…” I sighed. “I just said I saw no one. Not a soul.”
“B-But, that goes against what Mr. Wright said!” he protested.
“Ah yes,” I smirked, “this mysterious “fourth person”…who would conveniently be the “real killer”, I suppose.”
“Glad to see we agree, Mr. Gavin.”
Shut up, bastard.
“Let me pose a question, then,” I responded. “Tell me. What possible reason did the “real killer” have to swap cards in the victim’s hand? Hmm? Perhaps you can show us a reason why such a thing would be necessary?”
“Well, Mr. Justice?” the judge demanded. “The question of why the killer would swap out a card has been raised. Can you point to a reason?”
Ha. No.
Justice stood there, thinking. After a few moments, he said, “The defense would like to present evidence to the court…Evidence showing the reason why a card was swapped out!”
What?
“Then go ahead and point out your reason, Mr. Justice,” the judge commanded. “Why did the killer take the fifth ace?”
“My reason is…uh…This!” he replied, presenting a card to the court. I had seen that card before. But that wasn’t possible…It had to be…
“Is that an…ace?” asked Mr. Payne.
“Why…Why, it’s got blood on it! Right next to the spade!”
“Wh-Whaaaat!?” I screamed, all composure forgotten. How could this have happened?! How?!
“This is insane!” squealed Mr. Payne. “Why wasn’t I told about this!? Why!?”
“Could…this be…!?” the judge gasped. “Could this be the missing fifth ace!?”
NO!
“In-Inconceivable!” I shouted, spitting with baffled rage. “How could you…What are you doing with that card!?”
“Um, well, that’s the thing,” Justice replied bashfully.
WHAT’S THE THING? GET! TO! THE! POINT! NOW!
“Oh, that card? It’s mine,” replied Wright. “That is, I picked it up at the Borscht Bowl Club that night after the murder had occurred. I gave it to my daughter. Cards are her stock and trade, after all.”
“Objection!” I shouted. “N…No! Impossible! Unacceptable! The court can’t accept this evidence! It’s a fraud!”
“A fraud?” smirked Wright. “How can you be so sure?”
“Wh…What?” I snarled.
“I would think the only person who could claim it was a fraud…would be the one who took the real card from the crime scene…The real killer!” exclaimed Wright.
Wright…Wright…
“Allow me to elaborate,” continued Wright. “What if this trace of blood was the reason for the killer to take the card from the scene of the crime?”
“Where are you going with this?” the judge demanded.
“Take another look at the photo…and at the victim’s head,” commanded Wright. “At the moment of the crime, his hat fell to the floor…and a trickle of blood ran from his forehead down the back of his own head. Couldn’t a drop of that blood have fallen on one of the cards?” Justice nodded slowly.
“The killer then took the card to hide the blood,” asserted Wright.
“Objection!” I roared. “R-Regardless! That evidence is non-permissible!”
“Oh?” sneered Wright.
“Wright!” I bellowed. “Regardless of how you wasted the last seven years, you used to be a lawyer! You know what a serious crime it is to conceal evidence!”
“Oh, we can discuss the finer points of our legal system later…” Wright said dismissively. “What’s important now is that I’ve answered your question.”
“Wh-What are you talking about?” I snapped.
“You wanted to know why the killer would’ve taken a card from the crime scene,” he replied. “And now, I’ve told you. That one drop of blood would have been decisive evidence, you see.”
“Objection!” I shouted, panicked. “Th-This is…baseless conjecture! Baseless!”
“Objection!” rebutted Wright. “Oh, I assure you, it’s quite based!”
“Wh-What!?” I gasped.
“It’s amazing, really,” replied Wright. “How a single drop of blood on a single card can lead us…to the truth. It’s quite simple. Well, Apollo?”
“Y-Yes!?” he stammered.
“Try picturing the scene of the crime in your head,” commanded Wright. He presented a diagram to the court, showing the presumed positions of the witness, victim, and killer. There was a cupboard where the killer was presumed to be standing. “The murder took place in the Hydeout…The body of the luckless victim was found at the poker table. And, before the killer swapped a card out…there was a single card with a drop of blood on it in the victim’s hand. Given this…there is one, decisive problem with this scene. “
“Well, what is it!?” the judge demanded impatiently.
“Let’s keep it simple, shall we?” said Wright. “Given that there was a drop of blood on a card…whose position in this diagram doesn’t fit? The victim’s? The killer’s? The witness’s? The second witness’s?”
“Well, isn’t it the victim’s position that’s the problem?” asked Justice.
“I don’t follow your logic here, Mr. Justice,” the judge said.
“Well…” replied Justice. “Look, the victim was struck on the head, sending him back in his chair. You’d think any blood would fall behind the body, not on the table in front of him. Take a look at the photo again. If he bled in this position…The blood would fall on the floor, not on the cards.”
“Why, that’s right!” exclaimed the judge. “So…what does this mean?”
“Incidentally, we were sitting in swivel chairs,” Wright interjected.
“The chair was facing the other way!?” the judge asked.
“It would have to be,” replied Justice. “So, we have to assume that at the time of the murder…the victim’s chair was facing away from the table!”
“When Mr. Wright returned from informing the police, which way was the chair facing?” the judge demanded.
“When I came back to the room, the body was facing as seen in this photo,” said Wright.
“That would mean…the killer turned the chair back around.” This was not looking good.
“Let’s take the next step,” continued Wright. “We know now the victim was facing away from the table at the time of the murder. But…this creates another significant contradiction.”
“The victim was struck from the front, correct?” asked Justice.
“Indeed,” agreed Wright.
“Well, wouldn’t it be hard for the killer to hit him from the front? Sitting where he supposedly was?” asked Justice.
Wright nodded. “I would think it’d be quite hard, yes.”
“Objection!” squealed Mr. Payne. “Yes, but what you’re saying makes no sense! Why would the victim suddenly turn to face the wall…in the middle of a game!”
“I believe a sufficient reason will soon come to light,” Wright said mysteriously. “There’s something that makes far less sense, actually. If the victim was struck while he was sitting here…where would his assailant be standing? Where would the killer have to be standing to strike our victim from the front?”
“The killer had to be standing, well…uh…Here!” exclaimed Justice.
“Objection!” squealed Mr. Payne. “You get points for flair, but that’s about all you get. I hardly need to point out that standing there would be impossible. The victim is facing a solid cupboard! Or are you claiming the killer climbed the cupboard and hit him from above? Hah!”
“It’s simple logic, really…” Wright explained. “If this was the only place the killer could have been standing…then that means that, at the very moment of the crime…”
“At the moment of the crime, the cupboard…wasn’t there!” answered Justice.
“What’s this now!?” the judge exclaimed.
“I mean that’s the only explanation!” shouted Justice. “Right, Mr. Gavin?”
OK, why don’t you tighten the noose so I can go hang myself?
“Your Honor!” shouted Wright. “I have a suggestion for the defense! We should arrange to examine the cupboard in the Hydeout immediately!”
The judge pounded his gavel. “Bailiff! Send a team to the crime scene immediately! Have them try to move the cupboard!”
“Ah, Your Honor?” said Wright.
“What!?” the judge demanded.
“There’s one more thing your men should look for. Please give this to the bailiff,” said Wright, handing the judge a folded piece of paper.
“Hmm…?” the judge asked. “Mmm, yes…I see. You do belong in the courtroom after all, Mr. Wright.”
“I do my best,” said Wright. “But let’s forge ahead here while we wait. Look at the diagram once again. It’s been changed. If the killer was standing here at the time of the crime…then this cupboard wasn’t here. Look at the diagram of the crime scene once more. It appears we’ve found yet another contradiction…What I believe to be the final contradiction, in fact. Our line of deduction is rapidly approaching its logical conclusion.”
The judge pounded his gavel. “Please point out the contradicting evidence, Mr. Justice.”
Justice banged his fists. “Um, about this cupboard…Are we all OK with assuming it was moved?”
“Sure,” said Wright, “why not?”
“Well, if it was…” muttered Justice, “something really doesn’t fit. The cupboard would completely cover up the window to the stairs!” A look of comprehension finally crossed the judge’s face.
“That’s right!” exclaimed Justice. “Someone standing outside wouldn’t be able to see in. Someone like…Mr. Gavin!”
“Wh-What!?” I demanded. My fists clenched involuntarily, and my face began to contort with rage.
“Oh?” mocked Wright. “Is the “Coolest Defense in the West” losing his cool?”
I’ll get you for this. This isn’t over, Phoenix Wright. Not by a long shot.
“Don’t expect me to play along with your little game, Wright,” I sneered.
“It’s only a game until someone gets killed, Mr. Gavin,” replied Wright. “And someone was…while the window to that room was blocked by a cupboard.”
To the gentleman in the defendant’s chair, would you care to die?
“So, Mr. Gavin,” continued Wright, “perhaps you’d like to explain to the court. Exactly where did you witness the crime scene from?” I stood there, at an uncharacteristic loss for words.
“Excuse me, Your Honor!” the bailiff interrupted.
“Order!!” the judge screamed. “This is a court of law and I will have order!”
The bailiff said nervously, “We…We just now received word from our investigative team at the Borscht Bowl Club! They’ve examined the cupboard in the Hydeout, Your Honor!”
“Oh…?” replied the judge. “And what did they find?”
The bailiff replied, Well, Your Honor…It turns out there is a secret passage behind it!”
“Whaaaaat!?” the judge screamed in disbelief.
“Ah yes,” said Wright. “I believe I mentioned something of the sort before. This is one of the tricks to the room that many of our regulars know about…A secret passage is a handy thing to have when you’re engaged in illegal goings-on. Never know when you might need to duck away from the eyes of the law. The other side connects to the restaurant above…The underworld bosses could get away from the cops…And enjoy a cold bowl of borscht, no doubt. Just like our killer.”

“In other words…” said Justice, “the only place our witness could have seen the victim’s bald head…was from inside the Hydeout! …Well, Mr. Gavin?”
Please do me a favor and go to hell.
“Hmm…” the judge mused. “Dare I ask what really happened that night?”
“Actually,” replied Justice, “I think we can probably figure it out ourselves at this point. That night, for whatever reason…Our killer had a date with Mr. Smith. A date with destiny! There he crouched, hidden in the secret passageway behind the cupboard…Holding his breath, waiting for just the right moment…Then the chance came…and he took it! Ms. Olga Orly was out cold…struck by Mr. Smith. But his time was soon to come. Mr. Wright went upstairs to call the cops. Leaving Mr. Smith alone in the Hydeout with the unconscious dealer. Then our killer stepped out from the secret passage and into the Hydeout.”
“The victim must have heard the cupboard sliding aside,” explained Wright. “He wheeled around in his chair, looked, and…After the deed was done, the criminal must have seen the blood on the card. He would have, of course, realized that he needed to destroy the evidence. That single spot of blood told the whole story of the crime.”
“Too bad he didn’t linger any longer in the Hydeout that night,” sneered Justice. “If he had, he might have noticed the cards on the floor…And the fact that they were all red!”
The courtroom began to stir, and I noticed that more of them were beginning to look at me disapprovingly, as if I were some common criminal.
The judge pounded his gavel twice. “Well,” he said, “it seems this trial…has taken yet another turn. I’m truly, truly sorry I had to see this day come, Mr. Gavin.”
Me too…
“Mr. Gavin…?” Justice said tentatively.
What do you want, you backstabber?
“Mr. Payne!!” the judge roared suddenly.
“Yeeeearrrk!?” wailed Mr. Payne. “Ahem. Yes, Your Honor?”
“The prosecution will continue its investigation!” declared the judge. “As for Mr. Phoenix Wright, the defendant, he is hereby cleared of all suspicion!” Mr. Payne recoiled in shock. The judge turned to look at me with a somber expression. “Believe me when I say I don’t believe this is happening, Mr. Gavin. But I’m afraid circumstances call for me to issue a warrant for your arrest. Immediately.”
“Objection!” I shouted. “Oh, no need to apologize. I rather enjoyed myself. It’s not every day you get to witness a legendary attorney’s dirty tactics firsthand…”
“Your point, Mr. Gavin?” demanded Wright.
I replied, “Frankly, Your Honor, I’m shocked. That a person of your caliber would be taken in by such a low-grade parlor trick…”
“Erm…Excuse me?” the judge asked, looking utterly lost.
“The defendant is “cleared of all suspicion”…?” I laughed. “This is hardly the time for jokes, Your Honor. Mr. Wright hasn’t proven anyone’s guilt or innocence here. What he has done is use illegal evidence to pin the blame on someone else! And not just anyone else, but me, his own defense attorney!”
“Illegal evidence?” the judge said blankly.
“Objection!” Wright interjected. “Let me ask you, Mr. Gavin…Is there still any reason, at present, to suspect me of wrongdoing?”
“Of course,” I responded, “This bottle, for instance.”
“How do you intend to explain away the fingerprints on the murder weapon?” I demanded. “And not just any fingerprints. Am I right, Mr. Payne?”
“Er, a-actually, yes,” stammered Mr. Payne. “The fingerprints on the bottle were, erm, upside down.”
“The court and this case demand an explanation,” I declared. “I can only think of one reason a person would hold a bottle upside-down…And that is to hit someone with the bottom of the bottle. Well?”
“Perhaps the defense would care to enlighten the court,” the judge commented. “What evidence do you have to explain why the fingerprints on the bottle are upside-down?”
“It’s actually easier to show you than to explain, Your Honor,” said Justice. “Place that bottle on the floor, next to your chair.”
“Excuse me?” the judge asked. “On the floor?”
“Yes,” nodded Justice. “Now reach down and pick it up…without getting out of your chair. See, you naturally go to pick up the bottle by its neck…with your fingers upside-down! Look at this photograph taken on the night of the murder! The defendant, Mr. Wright, sat here…playing piano, bottles of grape juice on the floor to the side of his piano bench. He would have naturally picked up the bottles several times!”
“Wow! I can’t believe it was that simple!” the judge exclaimed.
“Recall our dinner that evening, Kristoph,” commanded Wright. “I was drinking my regular juice then too.”
“Basically…you used the bottle on the table to do the deed…” concluded Justice. “But then you must have remembered! So you went and picked up the bottles from under the piano…and you switched the bottles! You took one of Mr. Wright’s bottles and made it look like the murder weapon!”
The courtroom gasped and went into an uproar. The judge pounded his gavel, screaming, “Order! Order! ORDER! What do you have to say to these charges, Mr. Gavin?”
I shook my head in disbelief. “Fascinating…So this is the legendary attorney’s famed tactic of misdirection…You claim that I switched the bottles? Where is your proof?”
Justice blanched. “Proof!? P-Proof!? Well, that’s, uh…”
“As I thought,” I sneered. “More baseless conjecture. I’m afraid your “bottle” of proof is quite empty…”
“Objection!” shouted Wright. “I wouldn’t be so sure about that!”
“I beg to differ,” I responded. “You say you have evidence to convict me of the murder of Shadi Smith? You have never been further from the truth, Wright.”
“B…But I have decisive evidence!” gasped Wright, looking flustered. “The proof is…the bloody ace!”
“Hmm…” I replied. “The bloody ace whose legitimacy we have yet to prove. Your Honor?”
“What is it, Mr. Gavin?” he asked, looking apprehensive.
“The defense would like to request that Wright surrender the bloody ace to be analyzed as evidence.”
“Objection!” cried Justice. “The defense would like to request no such thing!”
The judge shook his head. “Mr. Justice. I am aware that suspicion has been cast on Mr. Gavin. But his request is a reasonable one. As Mr. Gavin has stated, this bloody ace cannot be considered evidence.”
“Whaaaaaat!?” demanded Justice. I smirked.
“Bailiff!” the judge yelled. “Take this evidence sample to the laboratory right away!”
“Yes, Your Honor,” the bailiff replied.
“Anyways,” I continued. “Where were we? Oh, yes. I find it impossible that the legal system could be flawed to the point where everyone is so quick to accept the lies of a fallen lawyer. How sad.”
“Hold it!” yelled Justice. “But, Your Honor, isn’t there enough evidence to convict Mr. Gavin of the crime. It has been proven…”
The judge shook his head. “Weren’t you listening, Mr. Justice?” he demanded. “Because the evidence has yet to be officially analyzed, I cannot declare a verdict at this point.”
“Whaaat!?” screamed Justice. “But, Your Honor!” The judge pounded his gavel. “Order! Order! Order! Mr. Justice, I’m afraid I will have to penalize you. One more outburst like that, and you will be expelled from the trial for contempt of court.”
“Your Honor!” cried the bailiff. “We’ve analyzed the evidence!”
“That didn’t take long at all!” the judge remarked. “Well, let’s hear it.”
“Well, Your Honor…” the bailiff muttered. “The blood on the ace really belongs to…the defendant, Mr. Phoenix Wright!” “Whaaaaat!?” demanded Wright.
“But…that’s…” “Mr. Wright!” the judge exclaimed. “What is the meaning of this?”
“I think I can explain, Your Honor,” I interjected. “Phoenix Wright has not yet been proven to be guilty of murdering Shadi Smith. However, he is guilty of a crime he committed seven years ago.”
The judge said, “And that is…?”
“Forgery,” I said. “Crude, blatant forgery. Phoenix Wright forged the bloody ace in an attempt to convict me of a murder which I had not committed!”
“Objection!” cried Wright. “I—I—”
“Objection!” I interrupted. “No doubt Mr. Wright, returning to the crime scene, removed the ace in an attempt to erase evidence of his guilt. He then used his own blood to create a likeness of that same bloody ace!”
“Objection!” protested Wright. “It has been proven that—” “
Objection!” I responded. “If you were not the killer and you did not tamper with the crime scene, explain how you came to possess the ‘decisive’ piece of evidence!”
“Aaahh!!” he screamed.
“I think I can explain the rest of this situation to the court, Your Honor,” I continued. “Wright is guilty of both charges I have accused him of. “Not only did he kill Shadi Smith, but he also forged the evidence in an attempt to cast suspicion on me, when my only crime was being taken in by that two-faced criminal.”
“I see,” the judge said.
“No!” screamed Justice. “Your Honor, you can’t let it end like this!”
The judge shook his head. “I warned you, Mr. Justice. Bailiff! Kindly escort Mr. Justice out of the courtroom.” The bailiff dragged Justice roughly by his collar, ignoring his physical and verbal protests.
“As you can see,” I said, “Wright’s carefully laid plan came so close to succeeding, but in the end his lies were exposed…and his web of deception reduced to nothingness.”
“I see,” the judge nodded. “It is at this point that I must declare a verdict. The court finds the defendant, Mr. Phoenix Wright, guilty. The accused party will surrender himself, and he may appeal to a higher court at a later time. This trial is adjourned!”
Phoenix Wright stood there, ashen-faced, his whole world taken from him by a single spatter of blood. The bailiff dragged him away, but he didn’t even put up a struggle. He could only stare into the empty space, his eyes bleak, hopeless, desperate. At least that’s how I would have wanted it to end…Here was what really happened.
“Your Honor…” said Wright. “When you initiated the investigation of the Hydeout earlier…do you recall I requested an additional investigation?”
“Ah, yes,” the judge said. “I have your memo about that here. “Retrieve the bottles under the piano from the Borscht Bowl Club.” And here’s one of the bottles in question.”
“Hmph!” I smirked. “What, are you going to dust that for fingerprints, too? I would be surprised if any were on that but his.”
“Wh-What’s this?” the judge demanded, as Justice presented a card concealed within the bottle: a crumpled five of hearts.
“Th-That card…!” I gasped. “It can’t be…!”
“Recall that unpleasant woman’s testimony for a moment,” said Wright.
“Err, Ms. Olga Orly?” asked Justice.
“Yes,” replied Wright, “our little swindling devotchka.”
Flashback
“That night, I planted the card like I was supposed to. And Wright lost the last hand, just like he was supposed to. Then Smith searched him! But the planted card was gone! The trap failed!”
End Flashback
Justice said to Wright, “So, you’re telling me…this is the planted card you disposed of? The one mentioned in the testimony?”
Flashback
“I happened to put my hand in my pocket…” said Wright, “and found a card. Yes, I snuck a peek at it and found it was the Five of Hearts. I had a feeling something might happen, so I disposed of the card…before the game.”
“Disposed…Where!?” the judge demanded.
Wright explained, “There was an empty bottle of grape juice right beside me. I disposed of the card there. The Five of Hearts…this is the card! The bottles were swapped! And the only one who could have done that was the fourth person in the club that night. You, Mr. Kristoph Gavin!”
End Flashback
I finally lost control. I banged my fist on witness stand in anger and let out a cry of rage that was barely human. Both Mr. Payne and the judge looked astonished, while Wright looked on, smirking triumphantly.
“That’ll be all, Your Honor,” said Wright.
“Is this your idea of revenge, Phoenix Wright?” I snarled.
“Revenge?” asked the judge.
“Revenge for the events that took away your attorney’s badge seven years ago?” I demanded.
“My past is like my logic,” replied Wright, “straight and true. Nothing’s changed. All I did was point the finger of justice in the proper direction.”
“Fine,” I said, “I’m glad we could have this little tête-à-tête, Wright.”
This isn’t over, Wright. The game has just begun…
The bailiff dragged me away, but I lacked the energy to struggle. I could only stare into the empty space into a future that had never seemed more bleak, hopeless, and desperate. I was to wait in a separate chamber and would be given my sentence following the conclusion of the trial.
As I was dragged away, I heard Mr. Payne protest.
“This…This is insane!” squeaked Mr. Payne. “What about me!? Don’t I get to prosecute anyone!?”
The judge’s response was distorted, a blur among my thoughts and time seemed to slow to a crawl until the judge came in at last to pass down his sentence. “I’m so sorry I had to be the one to do this, Mr. Gavin,” he said, “but you will be given a lifetime imprisonment in solitary confinement.” And that was how it ended. My career, my future, my hopes and dreams…everything was gone. All my successes, my fears and ambitions, they now belonged to a distant past. I had been drained of emotion, cold and empty like the darkness of my cell.

I was taken away to the district precinct in a police car. I stared out the barred window, taking my last glimpse of a world to which I would no longer belong. I was dragged roughly out of the car by a Neanderthal police officer.

"I can walk, thanks," I snapped. My insolence was rewarded with a whack from his baton. Ignoring the throbbing pain in the back of my head, I entered the precinct. I was escorted down the hall and into a large room. The police officer ushered me in, and locked the door behind me.

"Kristoph Gavin," a young, blond-haired man said. "I'm so sorry it had to come to this." I knew that voice. Who could it be but my inferior brother, Klavier Gavin, one of the so-called 'genius' prosecutors in the district?

"Klavier. This isn't the time for idle pleasantries. If you wish to make inane conversation, I believe there is a bar on Elysian Park Avenue."

"Who says I'm here to make small talk, Kristoph?" my little brother responded. "We're not here to talk about me, or talk about low-class bars. We're here to talk about you. Why did you do it?"

"Who knows why I did it?" I laughed. "Who knows why anybody does anything they do? Perhaps it was because I'm an evil, soulless creature who isn't fit to live. Or maybe it was because I knew something about the victim. Whatever the case, you will never know, Klavier."

Klavier's eyes narrowed. "You can't hide these things from me, Kristoph. I'll find out. You mark my words."

I scoffed. "Please. Dispense with the bravado. You are in no position to threaten me or coerce information out of me, and you would be most unwise to attempt anything similar. If that is all you have to say to me, I suppose I'll be leaving to enjoy the rest of my life…"

"No, Kristoph," replied Klavier. "That isn't all. I'm giving you a choice. You can tell me one thing about why you killed this so-called 'Shadi Smith,' or you can waste away your life in a jail cell with sub-Spartan accommodations. It's your choice. I have the influence to make your life in prison comfortable, or I can make your life a living hell. I can be your best friend, or your worst enemy descended from the land of nightmares. It's really your decision."

"Don't involve yourself in things that don't concern you, Klavier," I said menacingly. "You may find that you end up with more than you may have asked for."

Klavier laughed. "I'll ask you one more time, Kristoph. What's it going to be?"

"Hmm…" I said. "What else can I do but talk?" Klavier brightened.

"I suppose I killed Shadi Smith because I wanted him dead. Why else would I want to kill him?"

"That's it?" Klavier scoffed. "That's your secret?"

"Is there a problem?" I responded.

"I applaud you for stating the obvious, Kristoph," replied Klavier, but it is not what I am looking for. I need to know the real reason as to how the brother I knew could have changed so much."

"Have I changed, Klavier?" I asked. "How do you know I wasn't really like this my whole life? How can you know that I wasn't always plotting and scheming, dreaming of your death and dreaming of power and revenge? How can you know?"

"This isn't the real you, Kristoph," he gasped. "You weren't always like this, I know you weren't. Somewhere within you is the brother I once knew and loved. Somewhere deep inside you is the last vestige of the man within the monster. He's still alive, but he's there, somewhere."

I laughed coldly. "Believe what you want to believe, Klavier. But remember, dreams are nothing but a fantastical impossibility of mankind. No matter how much you may desire to, you can never change the real me."

"We'll see about that," snapped Klavier. "I'm your brother…we shared a bond, even you cannot deny that, Kristoph."

I chuckled. "Klavier, you deserve to be lied to if you still prescribe to this theory of brotherly love. We were never friends, Klavier. You were never anything to me. It would appear that you are the one who is deluded if you are willing to entertain the existence of 'the man within the monster'. How do you know that man and monster are not the same thing? One more time, Klavier, I'll ask you. How can you know?"

"I do know," he sputtered. "People can change for the better, but they can also change for the worse. No change is irreversible. No change is beyond the realm of possibility. You've demonstrated that to me over the past few years. You are no longer Kristoph Gavin."

"Anyways," I said dismissively. "What was that you said about making the remainder of my life in prison 'comfortable'? I believe I lived up to my side of the bargain, however it may have displeased you. I feel it is your obligation to live up to yours."

"Fine," spat Klavier. "Just leave me a note saying what you need in your cell, and I'll get it done."

"Excellent, Klavier," I said. "It appears you are good for something after all."

"Shut up," was all Klavier said in response.

"You always were a man of your honor," I continued. "I hope you see now how foolish it is to allow yourself to be bound by the shackles of honor and trust. Honor, trust, and empty, worthless hope. Those are the demons you must slay if you wish to survive in the real world. Maybe the next time we meet, you'll have finally wised up and left the realm of your pathetic little fantasy world."

I left the room, and was escorted to my cell. I stood there, dumbfounded. "This is only your temporary cell," the police officer explained. "You're to sleep here for tonight while your accommodations for your cell are being prepared."

"Oh," I replied flatly. "I suppose that makes sense." The police officer left as a guard came over, unlocking my cell. He slammed the door roughly behind me, and I sat there staring into the empty space. As the door to my cell closed, a door to my memory had been opened. I decided to turn the knob and enter.

Flashback

It was days after my father had been released from prison for beating my mother. She had recovered at about the same time, and tensions were running high within the household. My mother had tried to arrange a divorce, but my father was a sufficiently influential person to negate her attempts.

"You think you can get away from me, you b****?" he demanded. "I know you're plotting to kill me, but it doesn't matter. Because if you try to kill me, I'll get you first. I'll get you when you least expect it. I'll get you the one place nobody can protect you…in your dreams…"

I was scared. My father was crazy, whatever he tried to pretend. I didn't want my mother to die. After all, without her presence, we were at the complete and utter mercy of a psychopath.

"Are you going to be all right?" I asked my mother, absolutely petrified at the thought of life in this household without her.

"Don't worry," she laughed. "I'll be fine. Your father's just had too much to drink." Later that night, I had a dream. I dreamt that my entire family was sleeping in a cold hut on a slab of rock, surrounded by water on all sides. It was completely dark, save for one scene illuminated by the fire within my father's eyes. His eyes were red with inhuman rage, and seemed to glow in the pitch darkness. He had a rusty, twelve-inch knife in his hands, and he plunged it right into my mother's heart. "You think you can get away from me, you b****?" he demanded. "I know you're plotting to kill me, but it doesn't matter. I'll get you the one place nobody can protect you…in your dreams…"

My mother coughed and sputtered blood, and the stream of blood flowed more rapidly from her chest. She trembled, and then was still. My father groped in the darkness, and pulled on Klavier's hair.

"Ow, Dad, what are you—" With one swift, fluid motion, he slit Klavier's throat, rendering him motionless and speechless.

"Stupid boy," he muttered. "Always in the way, always crying for attention." I tried to remain still, but the fire in his eyes found me, and saw me witnessing the scenes of death, with horror and revulsion in my eyes. "I hoped it wouldn't have come to this. Like father, like son, everything always comes full circle. I thought they were all against me, except for you. But you're no better than the rest of them. You're all out to get me. They were all out to get me. And you're the only one left to stand in my way. He pinned me to the ground and gouged each of my eyes out, leaving me blind. I groped through the darkness, trying to find a way out of this nightmare. "You can't escape, my son," he growled. "Even in death, I will be inside you. Even in death, I will always be with you…"

I woke up in a cold sweat. I heard Klavier turn in his sleep, and I jumped. Nervously, I tiptoed down the hall to check on my parents. They were both asleep, in separate beds as they had slept for years. My mother was fast asleep, a serene expression lighting up her face. My father slept, mumbling darkly in his sleep, tossing and turning the whole time.

The recurring nightmare plagued me day and night, the fear ingraining its roots into my daytime existence. Every extended period of time where I didn't see my mother, I wondered if he had gotten her. I wondered what, if anything, he was going to do to her. But I also wondered what, if anything, he would try to do to me. I spent my sleeping moments in fear of the nightmares that were inevitable as death, and I spent my waking moments in fear of the nightmares coming to pass.

For six months, all was well in the real world. The nightmares had started to take a psychological toll on me, but my father remained insistent that we project the image of a happy family to the external world, a façade for the house of horrors that lay beneath the veil.

One night, my father had decided to host a dinner party for married couples. Many of the most important and influential people in the industrial world were coming, and my father had spared no expense in enlisting the services of a good caterer. We all ate happily and cheerful conversation washed over the dining room.

After dessert was served, the guests went to play games in the den. Apparently, they were going to first try out a new game called 'Pictionary.' It had been a family hit in the United States, and the game had recently arrived in Europe. Intrigued, I followed the guests into the den, curious as to what all the excitement was about. My father began drawing a picture on a whiteboard.

It was an unintelligible blur of scribbles and lines. "Don't you know what it is, Kathryn?" he sighed, exasperated. "Kristopher, I don't know what it is," she responded. It was then that my father lost it. "It's obedience! Complete and utter submission!" he snapped. "Don't you know obedience when you see it? Obviously not, as you've never displayed any sign of it!" A few of the guests looked at each other nervously.

"Calm down, Kristopher," said one man. "It's all right. It's just a game."

"Shut up, Andrews!" my father yelled. "She's been defying me since the day we were married!"

"Well, I'm sorry I prefer not to be brainwashed by your sick mind games!" she snapped. "Not everybody needs to follow the demented rules of a lunatic!"

A blood vessel pulsed in my father's face. Somehow, he managed to regain his composure. "I'm sorry," he apologized, in a voice with regret so convincing that I almost believed he actually felt sorry. "I tried to come up with an amusing idea for a picture, but I guess I picked the wrong choice. I'm sorry I snapped at you. I should have known it was just a game."

"That's fine, Kristopher," my mother replied with equal insincerity. "I thought you would realize I was joking around, but I guess I took the game too seriously." The guests relaxed a little, and the rest of the evening went smoothly. At about eleven o'clock, the guests began to leave, and my father was there, sending them off cheerfully and politely. He seemed almost like a gentleman. But beneath his expensive tuxedo and the open, friendly expression on his face, a monster dwelled deep in the chambers of his black, vile soul. A monster who would break free from its confines when the time was right.

After the last guest left, my parents began cleaning up. My mother and father said not a single word to one another throughout the whole process, though I could feel the waves of hatred and primal rage emanating from my father like pheromones. I went to bed that night, feeling more tense than I had ever felt.

In the middle of the night, my dreams were interrupted by a scream that pierced the night sky. The scream came from my mother's room. Horrified, I ran in and saw my mother, clutching her chest. No! NO! She was breathing heavily, and my father stood above her, a pillow in his hands. He was going to suffocate her! NO! He let out a savage cry, his eyes bulging. With an evil grin on his face, he lifted the pillow as my mother sat there in shock, her eyes wide with helpless fear. I stood there, petrified, as I felt the end of my mother's life approach. I awaited the scream of death and the desperate, dying gasp as my mother entered the void.

But just then, my father slammed the pillow down near her feet. "Oh, thank goodness," she sighed. "You got the cockroach. Thank you." She noticed me staring at her, and she said, "Everything's fine, Kristoph. I'm sorry to have scared you. You know how I don't like cockroaches." She smiled at me and went back to sleep, as my father snored loudly.

Months went by and I began to chalk up my dream to paranoia. There were times when I would even begin to believe that we all comprised a genuinely happy, functional family, but common sense would always bring me back to reality. One day, when I returned home from school, I felt more at ease than I had in a long time. Today was my parents' anniversary. It was always around this day that they forgot all the troubles of their relationship and I could truly believe I belonged to a real family. I checked the time. It was 5:00. They should be home by now. The house seemed eerily quiet. I went upstairs to do my homework, when I heard someone whimpering softly with fear. I pinpointed the source of the noise to the linen closet next to the deluxe bathroom. It was my mother.

"Kristoph, you have to get out of here," she begged. "Your father, I've never seen him like this before."

"I can't just leave you here," I protested.

"You have to," she pleaded. "for your sake."

I heard heavy panting, and I saw my father, his eyes filled with rage, pulsing red. "Son, have you seen your mother?" he demanded.

"No, Father," I responded. "I—"

"LIAR!" he roared. "WHERE IS SHE?" Instinctively, I glanced towards the closet where my mother was hiding, and his features curled into an insane smirk. He stormed the closet and ripped the door off its hinges. My mother screamed and my father pulled out a rusty, twelve-inch long knife bearing crimson stains and crusty brown patches, identical to the one I had seen in my nightmares. My mother fell to the ground, and writhed in agony as the blood flowed in a thick crimson stream from her chest.

"What's going on?" Klavier asked, peeking his head out from his bedroom door. Without thinking, my father stabbed Klavier in the back. From what I could see, the wound wasn't fatal, but it would leave some lasting damage.

"Stupid boy," my father muttered. "Always in the way, always crying for attention." Ignoring Klavier's cries, my father at last turned to me. I knew what he was going to do. In a desperate move, I tackled him to the ground. He was stunned, but he quickly recovered. He had grabbed me by my collar, and was strangling me. "Like father, like son," he growled. "Everything always comes full circle. Even in death, I will be with you. Even in death, I will always be inside you." I had no idea what was going to happen. He had already killed my mother, and it looked like he was going to kill me too.

As I felt myself beginning to black out from a lack of oxygen, Klavier cried out and bit my father on the arm. My father screamed and let go, and I grabbed the knife from him, but my father quickly knocked it out of my hand, onto the ground, with the tip facing up. My father began wrestling with Klavier, and Klavier began to scream. My father rolled around on the floor, and then he stopped moving. I looked to see what had happened. The tip of the knife had plunged itself into my father's shriveled forgery of a heart. He stood there, in shock as only the edge of the knife handle stuck out of the gaping wound in his chest. Blood was splattering the floor, dyeing the exquisite marble a rich, crimson red. Both Klavier and I stood there helplessly as he breathed in ragged gasps. Then at last, impaled on his sword, he gave a great shuddering gasp and his black heart stopped beating, and it was then that I knew for sure that he was dead.

End Flashback



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