Is he doing JAZZ HANDS at the camera!?
Location: In the closet
Rank: Decisive Witness
Joined: Mon Oct 15, 2007 11:59 pm
Our fanfic brings all the lurkers to the yard, and they're like, it's better than yours...
lol, thankyou ItaniMajere, it's great that Project Kallisti is even bringing lurkers and infrequent fanfic-comment-posters out of hiding! And hiii Blasphemy-aka-Sakuro's sister. The idea of you going up to your mom and doing *Jazz Hands!* is both cute and hilarious.
But anyway. MERRY EARLY CHRISTMAS. Chapter 4's done, people! Hope you loves it! <3 And expect fanart from Sakuro and Rii a little later, once they get online. XD
-----------------------------------------The Kallisti Project - Arc Zero - Chapter 4
"So, Nick, when do you think Mask*DeMasque is coming?" from the glint in Maya's eyes, it was like she was expecting Santa Claus to come through the skylight up above their heads.
Phoenix just put a finger to his lips, frowning at her. As boring as it was, they could only sit still and keep quiet. No doubt there were alarms and motion detectors and all sorts throughout the exhibit, especially after the first attempted robbery. They were already breaking the law by trespassing, but he couldn't have let his assistant go alone. He scratched his wing tip – if he had these growing out of his back, surely a death ray wasn't that far-fetched. Though, he hoped it was.
They'd been sitting or crouching behind some display cases for an hour or more. Maya really did have a criminal mind, figuring out where the blind spots for the security cameras were, in the few minutes they'd had during their previous visit. Hopefully she wasn't looking to join DeMasque's criminal gang...he'd heard something about a robot. Strange, considering Mr. DeLite had worked solo.
But...was this phantom thief really
Ron DeLite? Regardless of what was still happening to him – he stuffed another small handful of 'baby down' into his jeans pocket – he was still a defence attorney. And in his mind, that meant Ron was innocent until proven otherwise.
"All those dinosaur skeletons in the big hall...it'd be cool if the walked around at night or something." Nothing could silence her imagination, it seemed. But at least she was being fairly quiet about it. "Could be good training for a giant monster attack!" Nick rolled his eyes in return, but smiled a little.
If they were going to be superheroes, at least fighting a giant monster didn't involve crawling through even more air vents. Much to his embarrassment, and the medium's amusement, it seemed that the dreaded Cheeseburger Monsters had dealt a small blow to his waistline. Tightening one's belt and being on a tight budget didn't really go hand-in-hand in the modern world. But it was a really small space, he reassured himself.
It was quiet. Nobody else was around – perhaps the security system was considered so state-of-the-art, that human guards weren't needed. And yet, they had managed to get in just fine, the Heart of the Phoenix in full view. No wonder DeMasque had targeted the gem. There was its impressive size, slightly bigger than a man's fist, the beauty that seemed to glow from within, not to mention its value.
But, no – it was the way the moonlight shone in though the skylight and windows like spotlights. Practically begging for someone to reach out and try to take it. Openly bragging of how foolproof the security system was, so confident that the recovered ruby was already back on display. The thief had
"Nick!" A quick whisper from Maya, and a point straight upwards. Phoenix got up, each movement stiff after hours in the cold room, and his feathers standing on end in anticipation. Up on the roof, a tapping too quiet for reindeer, and a shadow, too skinny to be Santa Claus. The empty sack, slung over one shoulder, showed they were there to take rather than give.
On the ground, the other man jumped back at a slight flicker, a network of red lines suddenly flashing into view, one of them right near his arm. Just as quickly, the light died, the security system disabled by the anonymous helper. In the moonlight, he watched as the phantom figure uncoiled a rope, tying it to some unseen anchor point.
Any moment now, Mask*DeMasque would silently descent, like a spider on a thread. They couldn't exactly call themselves superheroes, disguising their identities with civilian clothes (or for Maya, a set of plain-looking old training robes), and costume store eye masks. So, two well-meaning vigilantes were lying in wait below, to clumsily-yet-effectively pounce on the elegant thief. Were they really
going to pull this off?
And the world took them again by surprise. There was a hideous CRASH as the skylight shattered, and would have sent the masked figure to the floor, if not for the safety line clipped to his belt. Nick's assistant screamed, and both covered their heads as shards rained down onto everything.
All at once, it was over. The chaos subsided, leaving Mask*DeMasque dangling limply like some macabre puppet. And there was nothing but the sound of more slowly falling glass as the strange energy withdrew itself. A translucent red bubble had unceremoniously dumped a heavy mailbox through the roof just seconds ago, and was now disappearing into nothing.
The pair didn't hesitate, finding themselves running through a carpet of clear shards, but it was then that something leapt from the shadowed corner of the room. A man dressed in black, a hood obscuring his face and hair, grabbed hold of the rope. A quick slash of a black-handled blade, and he was on his knees with a crunch like eggshells, a dazed phantom thief in his arms."What the devil are you two doing here!?"
Edgeworth demanded, pulling back his hood quickly. He'd been intending to burn the wretched things, or at best give them to charity, but he just hadn't found the time. But at least the dark colours proved an advantage...evidently, neither Wright nor the thief had spotted him.
"We should be asking you the same thing!" Phoenix retorted, snapping himself out of his stupor, and getting to the problem at hand. "And are they alright? I didn't see if that mailbox hit them or not." he glanced upwards, wondering whether flying up and taking a peek would be tempting fate in the form of a large projectile.
The prosecutor reached carefully under the metal mask, intending to see for himself. Nick hoped, to himself, that it wouldn't be his former client's face beneath. And right on cue, they were interrupted yet again. CRRRRANNNG. A trash can bounced and rolled across the granite floor as Maya's spirit fist deflected it, and a distinctively evil
cackling came from above.
"Zvarri! It appears some more
pests have elegantly revealed themselves to me!" Former Ace Detective Luke Atmey descended from his position on the roof, carried by another one of his red force fields. As soon as his feet touched the ground, the sphere disintegrated, the energy returning to its home inside his red diamond ring.
"Tragically, it appears my Ace Detective skills have failed me! I was not expecting you..." he removed his magnifying glass monocle, and Phoenix found himself unable to move, an unnatural chill gripping his heart. It was like that gaze was looking through him, like he was stripped bare, unable to hide anything. "...Ace Attorney, Phoenix Wright!
Or should I say, the Blue Phoenix?"
Neither Maya nor Edgeworth had moved to strike yet. Both seemed as frozen in place as he was, as their names were called out. "...Ace Spirit Medium, Maya Fey – The Mysterious Mystic M! And former Demon Prosecutor, Miles Edgeworth..." he cleaned his monocle with a silk handkerchief, deliberately taking his time before his literally captive audience, in typical supervillain fashion. "So...it is apparent that mysterious cloud has bestowed its blessings upon others
. How very interesting."
"Nick, he knows our secret identities!" his assistant whispered, the cold grip finally releasing her vocal chords. The warmth was slowly returning to his body, as well. The Big Bang's effects were extremely unpredictable, it seemed, but he was used to thinking on his feet. If only he could move
them! "Just don't look him in the eye again!" he hissed back, the eccentric man continuing his self-serving monologue.
"...and then, Zvarri! I thought, if I can perform such feats with this pitiful little rock upon my finger, then imagine the possibilities, the power, from a Giant Ruby-!" There was a spark of greed in those dark eyes, a white gloved hand reaching forward to claim what he called his rightful prize.
"PLEEEEEEEEEASE-!!!" Atmey cried out in pain, the others following suit, trying to block out the terrible, ear-splitting shriek, which seemed to shake the very air. No human should be able to scream like that! But, now awake and on his feet, it was undoubtedly his
voice which emerged from the grinning mouth slit.
"Y-y-you can't take that gem! Dessie's been spending money more than ever since the Bang hit and...and..." The sentence trailed off into nothing. It didn't take Big Bang chemicals for Ron DeLite to be superhumanly quiet
, at least.
The phoney detective glared back at him, throwing away the remains of his monocle, which had been broken into two neat halves, over his shoulder in disgust. "And what? You'll pull the alarm again, get yourself arrested
again, just to defeat me
? You are truly a coward, boy!"
Hearing the retort, Edgeworth fought harder against the numbness still gripping him. Everything suddenly made sense. Mask*DeMasque had pulled the alarm to scare off a more dangerous criminal. One who was already
capable of throwing a car through a wall, and was more than willing to throw one at a human target!
"At least let us settle this like gentlemen!" The red gem glinted like his sinister grin. And even with his monocle gone, he spotted the quick movement just in time with his good eye. "AARGH!" His quick action cushioned the blow, but the kick sent him rolling comically across the floor, trapped inside his own protective sphere.
"You are no gentleman!
" Edgeworth spat, taking his sword from its casing and pointing it at the fallen man. He had no intention of using it in a lethal fashion, but he knew a coward when he saw one. "Your infamy reaches even overseas, so-called Detective
Luke Atmey! You are a perjurer, a blackmailer, a murderer, and now a fugitive! Surrender, or be struck down!"
Phoenix nearly found himself frozen in place again. Those words had hit something deep, something buried beneath more than a decade of terrible memories and traumatic experiences. A strong aura, an innate need to do the right thing. The fire sparked another within his own heart, and another, and yet another, and suddenly they were four unlikely allies, united with different reasons against a common enemy.
"So it's four against one, is it?" Atmey responded through clenched teeth, getting slowly to his feet. "How very gentlemanly of you indeed, to even the odds!" He grinned madly, holding up the Heart of the Phoenix like a badge of honour. How he'd managed to grab it was of no relevance, though, as he threw a shield around Mask*DeMasque! "Sing, little canary, sing!" he laughed mockingly, Ron desperately repeating the same gesture captured on tape, but struck into silence by the barrier.
Ron covered his head as his prison was flung through the air, only to be caught by a glowing catcher's mitt. "You're horrible! You-you dirty cheater!
" Maya shouted angrily, throwing a fist in return, which simply bounced off his strengthened shield. Even flaming kicks and punches, anger setting the very air alight, were met with painful resistance. "Ow, ow, ow..." Nick moaned, holding his bruised knuckles under his arm.
The villain laughed at their fruitless efforts, picking up a couple of display cases and hurling them in different directions, like a toddler bored with his toys. The medium got lucky and managed to deflect one, but at the cost of shaking up the still-captive Mask*DeMasque, leaving him a bit worse-for-wear. With the Star Ruby in his possession, Luke's barriers lasted much longer.
Sparks flew through the air as Edgeworth's blow deflected the other case, and the two halves blade immediately and cleanly re-joined. The impact was still enough to throw him to the side, sliding across the smooth stone. He crouched amongst the debris, bleeding from a few minor cuts and abrasions, and catching his breath.
The little bit of practice he'd somehow managed to squeeze in, along with his paperwork and walking Pess, must had paid off. But he still felt it was just sheer dumb luck, the same which followed Wright around. He...they
might not get so lucky next time. The prosecutor got to his feet - this had to end!
"Just attacking isn't going to work!" Really? He was noticing that now?
Even with an aerial attack, already made more difficult by his loss of feathers, all Phoenix got for his effort was stubbed toes and a bruised ego. "You - Wright! Mask*DeMasque!" Edgeworth commanded - for such a reluctant hero, he was really getting into things, pointing with his sword and giving orders like a cavalry general. "Try to take that ruby off him! We'll provide a distraction!"
'Mystic M', who had been gawking for the past few seconds at Ema's invention repaired itself, finally realised 'we' meant her as well. "You got it...uh....Broken Edge!" Seemingly satisfied with her new superhero nickname – admittedly a little
more creative than 'The Blue Phoenix' - she leapt into action.
But, pushed back towards the large hall at the heart of the museum, their enemy was already looking to retreat. With a smirk and a mocking "Zvarri!", the heart-shaped stone flashed and created another impenetrable bubble right over the doorway. "Maya, give it up!" her companion shouted as she pounded her energy fists on the wall. By the time they'd find a way through, Atmey would be long gone. And besides... "We've already caused enough property damage! You don't want to-" THUMP. THUMP. CRASH.
"...Break...the wall?" his warning turned into a question, as concrete suddenly exploded inwards, some distance away from Maya. A mixture of a human's battle cry and the roar of an engine accompanied the falling concrete, as something straight out of a manga stepped into the fray. Highly polished metal formed red shoulder pads, an impenetrable armour which continued down their arms, and a shell on their back.
But...wheels? And were those handlebars?
The blinding light of a single headlamp surveyed the darkened interior, finally coming to rest on the captive Mask*DeMasque. He seemed to recognise the wild-haired stranger, suddenly waving his hands and pounding his fists, redoubling his efforts to get out. "RONNIE!!"
"DESSIIIEEEEEEEE!" the man responded, the shield finally weak enough to be shattered by his Sonic Whining. He immediately ran over, grabbing her in a hug. "I-I-I didn't think I'd ever see you again...I thought...Luke Atmey...!" Ever the doting husband, he
was worried about her
, even though she'd come to rescue him.
"And there's Nicky-boy! And Maya!" straightening up and taking her goggles off her eyes, Desirée's smile was as friendly as ever. Phoenix had initially thought the worst, thinking the chemicals must have created a fusion between woman and machine, but as she drew closer the divide became more apparent. "How do you like my motorcycle exo-suit? Since the Big Bang hit, I just can't stop building things all the time. I went to give my bike a tune-up, and I ended up with transforming battle armour."
Stepping towards them, she still seemed to move pretty fast, despite how heavy it all looked. "It's pretty crazy, what that stuff did to me and my Ronnie." She tilted her head, and Phoenix felt his cheeks flush slightly, much to Maya's amusement. "And to you, too. Wings look good on you, Nicky-boy."
"If you are quite
done fraternising with criminals, Wright-!" SCHWING. His Ninjatō bounced off the red energy uselessly, as much as he'd been trying. His eyes were cold and impatient as he stooped to pick up the fallen blade. He didn't like it, but he'd have to work with thieves if it meant catching a murderer. The lesser of two evils.
Desirée's eyes almost seemed to flash red for a moment. It seemed the feelings of distrust and suspicions were mutual. "Your...friend is a prosecutor, isn't he? I've seen his face in the newspapers." It took a moment, but the two sides of the law seemed to silently and begrudgingly agree to a shaky alliance. She replaced her goggles over her eyes to the sound of a revving engine. "Well he should get out of the way unless he wants to pay for a new paint job!"
Ducking her head and throwing up her armour-plated hands, smashing straight through the energy barrier and into the main hall. They were on the second floor of a three-floor arrangement, designed to show off the museum's former centrepiece – a huge Spinosaurus skeleton, reaching from the basement floor to the ceiling. The same skeleton that Luke Atmey was using as a ladder to escape! "Get down here and fight like a real
man, you rat! You can pretend all you like, but you'll never be half
the gentleman my Ronnie is!"
Even with his precarious position, clinging to the neck of the extinct beast, the man was still an actor. He put his hand to his heart, closing his eyes. "My dear lady, I could hardly call myself a gentleman at all if I were to strike a fair maiden such as yourself." When he opened them again, that evil gleam had returned. "But your words wound me, and that is far
from ladylike! Zvarri!" His last word was more like a 'take that', as his ruby-fuelled powers flung the creature's skull towards the rag-tag group.
"AAH-!" With his monocle gone, the ex-detective's aim was anything but Ace. He may have hit the wrong target, but he hit hard
. While the others went to escape, Maya was sent flying back into another set of old bones, which collapsed on top of her in a cloud of dust.
Phoenix couldn't tell if he was calling out her name. Words, whether from his own mouth or from Desirée's as she helped to dig, were as meaningless as white noise. He couldn't forgive himself if she was hurt, he'd only played along with this insane stake-out idea to protect her...
Meanwhile, the test-run of Ema Skye's grappling hook gun was a complete success. Edgeworth and Mask*DeMasque, who had settled instead for a rope and a few years of practice, were quickly closing in on their quarry. With nothing left to throw, all Atmey could do was climb higher, and yet he still taunted his pursuers. "DeLite, you are still the same delusional fool! You were nothing before, and you are
nothing now, without my guiding hand! Why don't you just be a good little boy and turn yourself in?"
not the one who's delusional, Atmey! I
didn't kill someone, just to fuel some pathetic fantasy! Everything I did and everything I do now is for my love, my wife, Desirée DeL-AAAAAAAH!
" Ron nearly found himself standing on air as the spine he was standing on gave way. His hands slipped on the rope, and all at once, he was falling. He thought of her. Dessie. The day they'd met. The day they'd wed. And her smile...he'd miss that the most.
And just when he'd surrendered himself to never seeing that smile again, he felt something dragging him back to reality. A firm grip on his hand – it was the prosecutor from the newspaper, the man who could have put him in jail if Dessie hadn't broken him out. He was saving
him. It was all he could do, to stare in awe.
"Don't let go, you idiot!" Edgeworth snarled, struggling not to let himself
drop as he felt the thief's grip weaken. The slightly built man was heavier than he looked. He would need dense, wiry muscles to scale the sides of target buildings, but in this situation it could be the end of both of them. Especially with the villain standing right above, smirking down, his polished boot edging closer to the fingers just holding on...
Then, there was a clatter from down below. Luke found himself looking up, over to the elegantly carved handrail of the third floor, to find something he considered far more elegant. A woman he vaguely remembered seeing before in a photograph, with dark grey eyes and shoulder-length brown hair. She was clad in a knee-length black or charcoal grey kimono, and a black hood and cape with a pale lining, joined by a string of large beads across her throat. And, tied around her neck, a cream-coloured scarf, with a charm similar to the one that younger girl was wearing.
Mia Fey surveyed the scene from her perch. It had been chaos in the afterlife, the dead fretting over that purple explosion and their loved ones. She'd been watching her former protégé and her sister, but hadn't once considered what might happen if Maya summoned her. But now, with a perfect copy of her original body right down to her hair colour, and a new outfit, she knew.
And as she summoned a Kendo Stick forged from silvery energy, she found she knew what to do. She gripped the handle, an otherworldly breeze breaking the stale museum air, whipping through her hair and clothes. "Luke Atmey, you just hurt my little sister."
"Zvarri...!" was all the lovestruck detective managed to get out. Such a beautiful and deadly creature-! And the world went black.
"Are you alright, Phoenix?" There were a lot of things he wanted to say, that he wanted to ask, as Mia helped him up. It had been years since he'd been her like this, with her own hair colour and everything. Not even the Big Bang could bring the dead back to life, but the chemicals must have affected Maya's channelling skills somehow.
"Uuurrgggh..." he groaned, putting his hand to his head. Having a deceptively heavy Ace Detective fall on him from that great height had added to his already numerous bumps and bruises. But it could have been worse. As Edgeworth approached, he was looking more than a little worse-for-wear, clothes torn and cuts bleeding from the broken glass.
He looked tired, too tired to even be shocked by Mia's re-appearance. Prosecution probably wasn't such an active job either. And after seeing his friend and occasional rival sprout wings, the dead walking around may not have been that shocking. The Star Ruby was clenched in his fist as he gave the comatose Atmey, with a nasty-looking bump on his head from the Kendo Stick, a sour look. "He won't be able to use this again. Not where he's going." Then, his gaze moved, looking right at Nick. "The Heart of the Phoenix. Maybe it wouldn't be so easily stolen if you didn't wear it on your sleeve, Wright."
...It took him a minute to realise Edgeworth actually made a joke. He sighed, shaking his head, and laughing a little nonetheless. Sometimes, all you could really do was laugh. When the fake detective woke up, he'd remember their 'secret identities', and that would be it. Maybe nobody would believe him, initially, but suspicion would grow. They'd be exposed for who they were, what they were. It was over, but they may as well go out laughing.
"...Aaagh...my head...where am I...?" In fact, that time seemed to be now. The man covered his eyes as he came to, resting his palm on his forehead as he sat up. He couldn't get up and fight again...even if he wasn't too badly hurt, surely he wouldn't be that stupid. "Zvarri...zvarri? What does that
mean?" His hand went to the bump on his head next, the look on his face a mixture of pain and confusion. "Is it my name? Or...or...why can't I remember!?"
Phoenix immediately burst out laughing, genuinely this time. It was just like when he'd been hit with that fire extinguisher – he couldn't remember anything
, let alone someone's secret identity! Even Edgeworth was smirking. "What is
it with you and miracles, Wright? I mean, honestly..." He shook his head, and soon he was laughing at the sheer absurdity, the pure unlikeliness of it all. "Honestly
"It's just a shame that good luck doesn't rub off on everyone..." Mia interrupted, glancing worriedly towards the ceiling. It seemed Luke Atmey wasn't the only one who'd forgotten something important.
"I-I-I don't think I can get down!!" Still clinging to the decapitated Spinosaurus, it seemed Mask*DeMasque, the great Phantom Thief, had picked the worst possible time to be struck by vertigo. "C-can someone come up here? Please..? Anyone..?"
"Ronald DeLite!" Desiree put her hands on her hips and frowned, creating an unnaturally stern appearance for her. "If you meant any
of those things you said just now, about you and me..." she held out her armour-plated arms, suddenly smiling again. "...you'd stop being silly and jump down here so I can catch you."
Her husband's face flushed as he made a sound like a stepped-on mouse, even though it was impossible to tell with his namesake mask. Shakily, he stood up. "O-Okay...I'm coming down...right...right..." He stepped forward. His foot slipped. "NAAAAAAA
-OW!" And his safety line, still hooked along with his rope to a rib bone, held true.
"B-bonjour, Dessie..." he said, comically dangling a few feet from the floor, upside-down.
"Bonjour, Mask*DeMasque..." she replied, with a playful smirk, reaching up. Gently, she pulled down the spandex and metal which disguised the lower half of Ron DeLite's soft, boyish features. Leaning forward, she cradled his head in her hands, and whispered in his ear as her eyes fluttered closed: "Savez-vous...je t'aime?"
His eyes were closed, too. It didn't take sight for them to find each other. As if he'd ever had any doubt, that the giddy feeling of the day they first met would ever leave him, but in their kiss he felt it more than ever. She replaced his mask, and he was more than just Ron DeLite again. "...Je t'aime, aussi."
Edgeworth was fuming. His extensive vocabulary would even go so far to say livid
. He was already furious at himself, for letting himself be dragged into this whole mess, for letting that heady mixture of adrenaline and retribution against a wrongdoer go to his head. Catching Mask*DeMasque wouldn't have changed the fact that he'd lost the State vs. Payne case. And He had failed even at that, even if he had caught an escaped murderer. Once again, life refused to be simple black and white.
And the DeLites proved there was no honour amongst thieves, when they threatened to blackmail them. Wright seemed especially shocked, arguing that the couple were once victims of blackmail themselves, but he relented. Both sides had enough 'dirt' to send the other to jail, so they had no choice but to let the thieves go. Miss Fey, now returned to her original form, had stopped to reason with them. He himself had left in disgust.
He'd had enough of this 'hero' thing. This stopped now. Wright could do as he damn well pleased, but he wasn't going to be a part of this vigilantism a moment longer. And no more blackmail from anyone, including Miss. Skye. He was glad he'd taken the stairs to get to her apartment, or their reasonable argument could have easily turned into a shouting match.
He hesitated before knocking, double-checking the number. The voices and music coming from within were muted by the unassuming wooden door, but they were there. If she was throwing a party, it would not be good grace to enter uninvited, but he had to talk to her now. Before that insanity from the previous night overtook him, and he changed his mind. Someone turned the music down in response to the three sharp raps.
The door swung open – and it was not Miss Skye who answered. "Well, it's about time you got here! Everyone's been waiting for you Edgey-boy!" Edgey-boy
? This woman - Desirée DeLite, wasn't it? - standing there with her hands on her hips, had just met him the previous night. He didn't even consider this thief's accomplice an acquaintance, let alone a friend, and she was calling him Edgey-boy
? And what did she mean by 'everyone'?
Taking a glance over her shoulder, it seemed she really did mean everyone
. But what were they doing, to bring about such a bizarre scene?
? On that case?
" Maya looked shocked, as Ema nodded silently in return, adding a test tube of blue liquid to a conical flask on her desk. Not the stuff of a store-bought chemistry set, but Edgeworth had found out last night that her ingredients were on a don't-ask, don't-tell basis. The dark-haired girl glanced over her shoulder with a cheeky smile. "He never tells me anything
! But it figures that he'd be completely lost on his own...I mean, what's a sidekick without someone to...someone to sidekick for?"
Phoenix rolled his eyes in return. With his arms stuck out like a scarecrow, it was all he could do, since any slight movement caused him to be jabbed by pins. "Actually, looking at you two now, I was worried the universe might explode." He winced as he felt one of them prick him, just for turning his head...this
was why all his suits were 'off the peg'. He really didn't know how Edgeworth could put up with this. How many pins were needed
anyway, just to satisfy Maya's silly idea? And moreover, what was this going to cost
"S-sorry...it'll be done soon, Mr.Wright..." It hadn't been easy for Ron, picking it up again after so long. It took him back to High School. His passion for theatre and art. The way he wore his hair. Even things he couldn't help, like his shyness, stuttering, and boyish looks. It had all helped to nourish the rumours, which grew around him like weeds and strangled his aspirations. But after designing and making his own Mask*DeMasque costume, and then Miss. Fey's request for 'hero suits'...a few preliminary sketches, and it was like he'd never given up on fashion designing.
And Edgeworth was still stood at the door. This...this was insane. Everyone, everything, the whole world had gone completely insane. Or had he
gone insane, and was in denial? With Mrs. DeLite still looking at him expectantly, stepping to one side and holding the door open, he gave a simple "Thankyou." and entered. The various conversations still continued unabated, as if he wasn't even there.
"What about this one, Mr. Detective? Mystic Maya's going to look like a princess!" Gumshoe smiled, and carefully took the sketch page from Pearl's hand. Mrs. DeLite had threatened to turn him in as an accomplice to Mr. Edgeworth when he'd taken his cuffs out. So, his chances of being a hero crushed, he'd been stuck babysitting Pearl, who was still on her impromptu visit from Kurain.
But it wasn't all that bad. After fussing over how soft and springy Mr. DeLite's hair was, she'd calmed down, and was back to being surprisingly quiet and well-behaved. "Yeah, that one's real pretty, pal. You wanna see something-?"
"NO. Not the gun. Don't you remember last time, Detective?" the attorney interrupted, followed by an "Ow!" as he received due punishment for moving again.
"Hey, pal, I'm not a complete idiot! That was just one slip-up, okay?" he retorted angrily, before giving the surprised little girl a comforting smile, showing her a photograph. "I don't think you've met her, but this is Maggey. Maggey Byrde. She used to work at the precinct before...well, before she got unlucky. I bet she'd really like to meet you."
If only he could meet her again, get a fresh start. He'd been busy with Mr. Edgeworth, and worrying about these weird powers he had now...after that big fight at the museum, maybe they weren't that weird, but it'd seemed that way at the time. And every time he used those powers to locate Maggey over the past few days, she'd been in her apartment, mainly in what he guessed was her bedroom.
Maybe she was sick, but he didn't know, he could only tell so much without actually being there. He felt like such a jerk, worrying about himself when she needed him. But now he was so afraid of what she might say, he couldn't even bring himself to call her, which made him feel like an even bigger
"So she's your special someone?" Pearl spoke up. He blushed immediately in response...what was it with kids and figuring this stuff out? He cleared his throat, putting the photo away and clasping his hands together. If it weren't for his imposing figure, he'd be the perfect image of a schoolboy with a crush. "...Yeah. I guess you could say she's...she's kinda like my sweetheart." ...Maybe he should
call her...then he looked up into a pair of scowling grey eyes.
Some people would try their best to ignore the proverbial elephant in the room. But there was no ignoring the prosecutor in the room, which was quiet as a morgue once he stepped into the fray. "Sorry to break up this little soirée
of yours..." his words dripped with sarcasm, but his face was deadly serious. "...but have we read the newspapers this morning?" He threw the paper he was carrying under his arm onto the small table in the centre of the room, treating it like the rag that it was.
Ema was the first to reach for it. "Supers' second stealing spree shocks sitty...I mean, city..." Ron clasped his hands, trying to shut out the guilt rising within him. He hadn't meant to get anyone else involved. "...thousands of dollars in property damage, irreplaceable dinosaur skeletons to be repaired..." Now it was Desirée's turn. Some of it was Atmey, but...she couldn't deny she'd been overzealous.
"...Detective at scene waited to call police, said to be terrified by winged creature photographed leaving the scene, thought to be possible accomplice..." Gumshoe covered his eyes with his hand, wishing it would just all go away. Phoenix turned away, gritting his teeth, the young scientist's words and the stabbing pain of yet another pin feeling one and the same.
"Well..." Maya looked at the others, and clapped her hands together, smiling broadly. "...for a first mission, it could have gone a lot worse!" The words died as soon as they entered the toxic atmosphere, outside the medium's protective bubble of fantasy. And if looks could kill, she'd be a pile of smouldering ashes. She swallowed, hard. "I...I mean...there's no way they can prove that was us!" She protested, bunching her fists.
"That may be so." Edgeworth had his hands behind his back, and was looking through the glass doors, which lead onto a small balcony. The epicentre of the Big Bang, just on the outskirts of town, was somewhere out there. It was so far away, and here they were, still caught in the aftermath. But who was to blame for many of those troubles but themselves? "But people believe what they read, even in the tabloids. If we continue doing these...insane
things, they won't need
evidence to convict a bunch of mutants."
He turned to face the others, still scowling, but his posture had changed. "They won't be grateful for any good that we do." He gripped his arm, now more than just a nervous habit. Some of the lacerations had been deeper than he'd thought, but finally having too admit the truth cut him deeper. He thought he'd avoided that fate three years ago, becoming something other than human. "Not when they hate us for what we now are."
A sombre silence filled the room. But Ema, smiling as she adjusted her pink goggles defied it as she typed away on her laptop. "I thought you were better informed than that
, Mr. Edgeworth. Whatever happened to 'correctly prepared evidence is one's sword and shield'?" Nobody even cracked a smile at her lousy impression, but a few faces lit up as she pulled up a news website, reading off the screen for those pushed to the back of the sudden rush.
"Escaped murderer Luke Atmey declared during questioning that a group of superhumans were responsible for his eventual capture. Mr. Atmey suffered mild amnesia after a blow to the head during the ensuing struggle, but has admitted responsibility for both the incident and the string of heists following the Big Bang."
"Mia!" Phoenix suddenly spoke up. She'd taken a minute or so to leave the museum, but he'd assumed it was so she could change back into Maya, and levitate her way out. Scratching the back of his head, he couldn't believe what he was thinking, but it made sense
. "She must have convinced Atmey he
"A-a-and my powers broke the security cameras in the Gem Exhibit...!" Ron added with a thoughtful head tilt, and a squeak as his wife grabbed him in a mad embrace, his hair spirals suddenly dishevelled.
Edgeworth was dumbstruck, dumbfounded, flabbergasted, beside himself...and before he could finish running through the rest of his extensive vocabulary, he felt a little hand take his own. Unused to physical contact beyond the occasional handshake, he instinctively wanted to pull away. But his whole being felt pleasantly warm and relaxed. In his mind, he may as well have been lounging in a well-deserved hot bath following a particularly difficult day.
Still caught in a dreamlike state, he looked down to see a pair of big brown eyes, a friendly smile, and a complete lack of scratches on his hand. "Feeling better, Mr. Ed-ji-worth?" she asked, her hair pretzel bouncing as she excitedly awaited his reply, the pale glow fading from her hands. The man blinked back, looking as if he were dealing with an unknown species. "Ah...yes...thankyou."
With a giggle, the little girl skipped off. If there was a God, he certainly had a sense of humour, teasing a man with faith in nothing but his own convictions with miracle after miracle. Part of him was convinced he was going to wake up, eventually. Another part was just annoyed that things just wouldn't
go like they should
, even if the more unlikely outcome was the favourable one. The universe was toying
Then he suddenly felt a pull on his sleeve. On both
sleeves. "Come on, Mr. Edgeworth, Nick's all done being measured for his hero suit." Maya grinned like a Cheshire Cat, giving another tug.
"So that means that it's time for you to get yours. You can't call yourself a superhero without the proper uniform!" Ema added, both girls banding together to drag the reluctant prosecutor across the floor.
"What!? W-wait, wait a moment
! That's what I came here to say! I'm not a bloody superhero-!
"I-I know it's not much..." Ron hesitated shyly. "...I...the jacket was 'off the peg'...and the jeans...and the shoes..." his sentence trailed off deliberately, for once. He was probably just digging himself into a deeper and deeper hole. "The shirt was my design, though...a-and Dessie helped a little..."
"It wasn't what I was expecting..." Phoenix smiled. Since he'd been expecting spandex, that was most definitely a good thing. It had only taken Mr. DeLite a few days, but here he was, back in Masque*DeMasque's 'lair'. Judging from the lengths of material and spools of thread still lying around, he'd been working pretty much non-stop.
Turning his back to the mirror, he spread his wings as much as he could within the confines of the room. Even with the plush lining and the slightly stiff new leather of his jacket, the two slits added to the back didn't feel restrictive or rub against his wings. This was most definitely a good thing, since his shedding had stopped, and he seemed to be getting some new flight feathers in. And the purpose of the bomber jacket, black with large patches of brown on the elbow and outer arm, had
originally been for flying...just not in that exact way. But it didn't add much weight, so he should be able to take off while looking the part.
The shirt was close to skin-tight, which might take some getting used to. But without baggy clothing slowing him down, he should be able to move a lot faster. It was a dark blue, and had a paler blue phoenix design emblazoned across the chest. The rest of the outfit was just like he'd wear when he wasn't in court or at the office – a pair of comfortable jeans and Converse sneakers. And it looked good
Desirée, who had taken the 'hero name' Road Rash, didn't seem to agree. She gave The Blue Phoenix a thoughtful look, her head tilted. "Something's missing...hold on..." opening a drawer, she pulled out a pair of goggles, similar to hers but with black leather in place of red. Phoenix felt like he was accepting a prestigious award when she placed them in his hand. "If I need mine when I'm flying on my bike, then you'll need these when you're really
flying." She smiled. "Now try them on before I do it for you, Nicky-boy."
He slipped the goggles over his eyes, giving a kind of half-joking salute. "You're a real flyboy, Nick." Maya laughed. Looking in the mirror as she thought to herself, she was, of course, happy with her own outfit. It had
been her idea, but she had to give Mr. DeLite credit for things like colour co-ordination. And for her dark purple hakama, or 'samurai pants', she'd drawn inspiration from her favourite TV hero.
But the magenta sash, a similar colour to Mr. Edgeworth's suit, and the pink, long-sleeved kimono-style top were purely her ideas. That, and the sparkly stars which covered her hakama and a little of her sash. Oh, and the purple eye-mask – she couldn't exactly risk giving her secret identity away. And, after a few minor explosions, Ema had created a spray-on formula for their hero suits which fulfilled all her (completely necessary) requests.
Admittedly, probably only Nick's outfit would need to withstand temperatures of several hundred degrees, but heroes had to be prepared for anything
. And it wouldn't look good for their public image if they ended up with clothes that didn't fit, thanks to a shrink ray or turn-you-into-an-animal potion or something. They'd probably foil the villain's dastardly plot before something like that could happen, but it was better to be safe than sorry.
Edgeworth, meanwhile, was feeling rather sorry that he had refused to contribute to his costume's design. Wright's pilot look could be attributed to his flying skills, and the last name he shared with the famous brothers. But what, exactly, about him and his powers screamed 'ninja'? He looked like an extra out of a Steel Samurai movie, but at least they'd kept his preferred colour scheme.
Under a sleeveless magenta 'ninja shirt', there was a skin-tight and long-sleeved black shirt, reinforced with kevlar. This, along with the metal arm guards and shield-shaped shoulder guard (inspired by that accursed King of Prosecutor's trophy, he'd been told) should prevent any further injury from broken glass. His black gloves and 'tabi' – traditional 'two-toed' shoes from Japan – would provide better grip and balance along with near-silent movement. The 'ninja pants', also in magenta, were simply to complete the look.
Pulling up his long, blood-red silk scarf to cover the lower half of his face, he examined the replica defence attorney's badge pinned to it. It was identical to Wright's slightly modified original, and the one Miss. Fey was excitedly messing with. He didn't think he'd ever wear one of these again, but Mrs. DeLite's technological skills had turned these tiny and easily overlooked badges into communicators. If he were to press it, his voice would be broadcast to anyone wearing the same tiny, lightweight earpiece as him, within an impressively large radius.
He was still of mixed opinion about the 'superhero' thing. It was still
vigilantism. But he knew that the others were joining this cause for the same reason which had driven him to the museum that night. Because the Police had failed. Because someone
had to stop these dangerous 'super-criminals' before they
banded together, and turned on those who rejected them.
And, as Wright put it, because they were 'bridging the gap'. Perhaps if they proved that not all these 'supers' were dangerous, that their unique abilities could be used as a force for good
, maybe the world would be more ready to accept them. Maybe they could change the world, instead of waiting for the world to change for them. It was a noble thought...and miracles had
Broken Edge raised his hand to vote that they call themselves 'Team Phoenix'. It had a certain ring to it, unlike 'Team Mysterious Mystic M'. But this was still going to take a lot
of getting used to.End Arc Zero.
Last edited by ExImplode07 on Sat Dec 22, 2007 11:53 pm, edited 2 times in total.