Is he doing JAZZ HANDS at the camera!?
Location: In the closet
Rank: Decisive Witness
Joined: Mon Oct 15, 2007 11:59 pm
This fic/AU is set AFTER the events of Trials and Tribulations. There WILL be spoilers for all three games.*ANNOUNCEMENT*
Corrected the links to the various chapters. Sorry for the confusion!*ANNOUNCEMENT*
The Butterfly Effect - the idea that one simple action can spawn a whole chain of events - appliues not only to Project Kallisti's setting, but it's creation. MercuryKitten randomly added me to MSN, and after talking for a while, it turned out we both had the same idea - Phoenix Wright characters with superpowers.
And we'd both rejected said idea, because it sounded too much like crack, but after a long weekend of plotting we ended up with this. XD Expect multiple story arcs, plot twists, and a whole lot of crazy powers, all while being (somewhat) serious.
Hope you enjoy it! :3 (<3 Team Kallisti)
----------------------------------------*ANNOUNCEMENT*Project Kallisti is now on deviantart!*ANNOUNCEMENT*
----------------------------------------Chapter IndexArc ZeroChapter 1Chapter 2Chapter 3Chapter 4Side Story: Lady LuckSamurai ArcChapter 1Side Story: Jailer's ElegyChapter 2Chapter 3Side Story: SidekickChapter 4Chapter 5
-----------------------------------------Special Thanks to:Sakuro
Sh1n1 ze FIER
Who have all contributed ideas/concept art which made the final cut. X3
And of course...
EVERYONE WHO DID FANART/FANFICS (Click here for FAN SECTION!)
-----------------------------------------"It has been said that something as small as the flutter of a butterfly's wing can ultimately cause a typhoon halfway around the world." - Chaos Theory
-----------------------------------------The Kallisti Project - Arc Zero - Chapter 1
Phoenix jumped suddenly, sitting bolt upright in his chair.
He should have been expecting it, really…Saturday morning, a little way into the Nickel Samurai show. It often woke him up at the frankly unnatural hour of 8:15, and he'd pull his pillow over his head and sleep in a while longer. But this time, he’d been there to see the opening credits.
[Let’s see…] The lawyer picked up a wad of hastily stapled papers, and rubbed his eyes. Were these last week's, or last month's
? At this time in the morning, any letters just merged into one big grey blur. But he'd had
to get up not-so-bright and early to try and make a dent in his office work, even though it felt like trying to plug a broken dam with a single cork.
Every day, there seemed to be more, recent cases or no. He often wondered whether the papers had somehow evolved into a new species, and were reproducing like rabbits.
“The Nickel Samurai will be right back after this!” The television announced far-too-cheerfully. Not even a pre-recorded message should be that energetic in the early morning.
“Ahh…another great episode so far…!” his assistant said just as cheerfully from her position on the couch. Maya always found a way to make herself the exception to most rules, and even certain laws. Including laws of nature.
It was hard to believe Global Studios had continued showing the series, and that it was still going almost a year after the Engarde case. Then again, the sudden cancellation of the Steel Samurai, and the scandal-plagued Pink Princess series (though Nick himself though it was obvious there was a man in that rubber suit), must have been a blow. But the many pre-recorded Nickel Samurai episodes in their film banks probably kept cash flowing into their piggy banks, until the next whatever-Samurai came along.
And then there were rumours, that Maya had talked about for a week straight, about a Steel Samurai revival series. They must have finally run out of ideas.
He sighed, and pulled his gaze away. Even an commercial for some sugary cereal was more riveting than the towering stacks of paper before him. [Run around in a goofy costume for a while…get fame, respect, and money...if only it were that easy for the rest of us.]
“...Wouldn’t it be cool, though, Nick? If you could have awesome Samurai powers?”
“Huh?” Phoenix looked up from his work. […Even this
early, she’s off on one of her tangents…?]
“Yeah…” Maya twirled one of her long bangs between her fingers as she lay back on the couch. Her eyes were glazed with a faraway look, picturing something other than the grubby ceiling. Once he'd cleaned the toilet for the hundredth or so time, he should maybe devote some time to that. “…it’d be so cool! To be a hero, like on TV…”
“Mm-hm…” was the disinterested reply. This was followed by shuffling as the sleepy attorney tried to find his place in the treacherous jungle of paragraphs.
“Powers like…um…psychic powers!”
Nick raised an eyebrow. This caught some of his attention, if only for its sheer silliness. “…Don’t you already have those?”
“Well, yeah, I guess…but what about being able to move things? With my mind! Telly-ker…something. Oh! And glowing force fields! And I could fly, and, and...!”
He smirked. It was like hearing a little kid on Santa’s lap, asking for a pink unicorn and a stable to keep it in. “And what? Eat 100 Cheeseburgers in one minute?” It was the first thing that popped into his head, but he nearly regretted saying it. Knowing Maya, she might take it as a challenge, superpowers or no superpowers.
“A hundred...? That’s a start, but I was thinking closer to a billion, just in case there’s an invasion of Cheeseburger Monsters from Jupiter.” She clapped her hands together, nodding in approval. To a company like Global Studios, a girl like her was a goldmine. To a lawyer...the occasional migraine. “You’re getting good at this, Nick!”
[…If that’s really the case, then I fear for my own sanity…]
Yawning, Phoenix blinked as he took another glance at the papers littering his desk. Now he was convinced
they were multiplying. Were those reports in triplicate before?
His assistant, meanwhile, was watching The Nickel Samurai again, with familiar eye-glazed joy. She seemed able to lose herself in the fantasy, forgetting the man in the rubber suit had played a large part in her own kidnapping. Now, if only she’d lose herself in some paperwork, like he was trying to do. But ‘thou shalt not interrupt the sacred Samurai hour’ was the first commandment, in the Holy Book of Maya.
Maybe he’d try and persuade her during the next commercial break. Until then, there was his own epic battle against office work, where the pen was mightier than the sword.
8:30 was time to wake up, as it always was. If you didn’t wake up, someone would come banging on your cell door until you did. Flexible hours were a freedom. and freedom was a privilege not granted to prisoners.
Things ran like clockwork even in the minimum security wing of Lockeforge Prison. The same thing, the same hours, day in day out...and this was what rewarded those with good behaviour. To someone used to near-unlimited flexibility in life, up until just over a year ago, it was especially mind-numbing. Everything from his waking hours to his choice of degree had been flexible until he'd made that choice, out of panic, on the spur of the moment.
Richard Wellington, dressed in the same orange jumpsuit as the other inmates, sat down at his usual breakfast table, staring into his usual cold cereal. Everything about his life had changed since he'd been found guilty, and yet things never really changed here. It was always routine. And, like every Saturday morning, he could almost count down the seconds. Five…four…
“Ahh! Welly, my boy! How are we this morning? Been swimming lately?”
“…You’re early, Mr. Gant…” Wellington replied, smiling grimly into his bowl. A few seconds meant a lot, when they were spent in the company of one Damon Gant. When the former Police Chief had first approached him, he'd been tempted to ask for a transfer, straight back to the Max Security cell he’d come from.
But...when life gives you bananas…
“Couldn’t help it, Welly! Ho ho ho!” the man laughed heartily. You could always tell who the newer inmates were, from who gave his compulsive hand-clapping a sideways look. Like so much else, you just accepted it, over time.
Suddenly, he felt an arm around his shoulder, surprisingly powerful despite the man's age. The former student physically shuddered, and dropped his spoon with a quiet clatter. Gant was in a good mood
“There’s change in the air, m’boy!" Richard visibly flinched as he saw a finger, pointed right between his bespectacled eyes like a pistol. "I can feel it. Something big is about to happen! Very soon, too! Oh ho ho, yes!”
The younger man shook his head, and brushed the blonde streak from his eyes as he slowly inched away. Prophetic visions weren’t a usual topic of conversation, but that didn’t mean he wanted to talk about it. Or, indeed, wanted to talk about anything at all. Ever. At least with him
“This is prison, Mr. Gant…the only thing that changes here are the lunch menus.”
And yet the words were already out of his mouth. Why
didn’t he just smile and nod, like every Saturday…?
“…Are you entirely positive
this is the correct location?”
“SIR! I am completely sure this is in fact the correct location, SIR!” Mike Meekins lowered his saluting arm and his megaphone slowly, realising his mistake. “…S-sorry, sir…”
“That’s…quite alright, officer…” Edgeworth said exasperatedly, and a little louder than normal, to speak over the sudden ringing in his ears. His expression betrayed his words, but Officer Meekins seemed just as oblivious as ever.
The prosecutor rubbed his temples. Of all the incompetent idiots on the force…he would have preferred Detective Gumshoe. But the scruffy scatterbrain just had
to take a day’s leave, on the same day this
hot potato of a case had landed in his lap. A homicide in which the body was disposed of in an acid bath, and now he was stuck with the one man on the force most likely to faint at the sight of blood. Deary, deary me.
Maybe Gumshoe was due another pay cut for his impromptu day off, announced just the day before. But maybe, just for once, he could let it slide. For lack of a better word, it had been quite...touching, the previous day. Talking about his upcoming ‘date’ with former Officer Byrde, the Detective made a cup of coffee and a walk sound like prom night, and had looked suitably nervous.
It was hard to believe it had taken such a formidable-looking man such a long time to pluck up the courage, just to ask that. A part of Edgeworth wished him luck. Another part, meanwhile, was adding up the exact amount to deduct from another
His other companion seemed to notice his slightly icier demeanour, and how he was glancing, impatiently, at his watch. It was just past 8:45, and he had better things to do than stand around.
“You…should probably open the door now, Officer Meekins.” She slipped her pink goggles over her eyes.
Forensics prodigy, Miss Ema Skye…his other, actually competent ally. From what he’d heard, her feet had only just touched American soil for the first time in two years, and here she was, picking up cases. It had been a while since they last met, but he could tell she’d grown during her time in Europe…no longer a girl, but a young lady.
“I can’t wait to see what’s inside…!! It’s a good thing I brought extra Luminol…” She glanced up at the dilapidated, abandoned warehouse towering before them. “…from the size of this place, we’ll need it!”
But some things never changed...even now, she still maintained her usual quirkiness. The prosecutor was, however, very thankful for her presence. It had been a lifesaver, even if the life was that of a certain officer, who was giving another overzealous salute.
“Right away, sir!” ever the dutiful officer, Meekins opened the door.
The inside would have been pitch black, if not for the shafts of light filtering down, through the numerous holes in the corroded roof. It was hard to pick out any real details; just piles of boxes, barrels, and what appeared to be gas canisters. Contents…unknown. But probably of no relevance to the case at hand.
Luckily, the police department had equipped them with the latest weaponry in the fight against semi-darkness. The trio each armed themselves with a cheap-looking flashlight.
“Sir! Permission to enter and check for potential dangers, sir!”
Potential dangers…? From what Edgeworth could see, there were few, if any. The roof had obviously seen better days, and rain pouring through the holes had rusted some forgotten barrels beyond recognition, but it didn’t look like it would fall in any time soon. And what would be lurking around a place like this except, perhaps, the occasional lost rat?
“You go right ahead, Officer Meekins, sir!” Ema interrupted, smiling and giving a salute in return. Adjusting her goggles slightly, she pointed her Luminol bottle like a kid with a water gun.
[Oh, for Christ’s sake…don’t encourage
him…and especially don’t imitate him
!] He could feel a migraine gaining momentum already.
He followed the others, their feet disturbing a thick carpet of dust on the floor. Areas where homicides had taken place were never pleasant, but rarely this filthy. This place hadn't seen a broom, or maybe even a human being, in a long time...perhaps, even a decade or so.
Miss Skye had already started her investigations, her pen darting back and forth across her notepad, taking down every detail in words. She stopped as quickly as she’d started, and busied herself with strategically spraying her luminol onto any suspicious areas.
Meekins, meanwhile, seemed to be intent on making as much racket as possible as he explored the back of the warehouse. Every footfall sounded far too loud for the inches of dust on the floor, and his loud requests for any suspects to come quietly weren't helping his case.
The man leaned against a large crate behind him. The two extremes of the Police Force…it was no wonder the city was more of a mess than this crime scene.
Feeling slightly bored, Edgeworth aimed his flashlight's barely adequate beam at a nearby barrel, and something piqued his curiously. He blinked, and squinting in the weak light - there was something printed in black letters, but what, he couldn't tell. As much as he disliked soiling his hands, he brushed away the layers of dust...and stepped back quickly, his eyes wide.
Even after years of neglect, the message was clear as day…and they must be surrounded...!
Looking around, he knew where Ema was, but where was that fool Meekins? Hearing the creak of floorboards, he saw the man had made his way up onto a rickety balcony, dust pouring down with each footstep. Another
precarious situation was the last thing they needed!
“Listen to me, both of you! We have
to get out of here, NOW!”
“Sir, commencing to get out of here right now SIR!” with one hand on a rusting guard rail for balance, the officer pulled the wrong hand up to salute.
“GAK!!!” he choked, wheeling round, his hand caught in the ID around his neck…and time seemed to slow to a crawl. He stumbled backwards, tripping over his own feet…and his back slammed into another barrel...which broke through the brittle metal barrier, the wooden floor crumbling...
Surely, it wasn’t…!
The eternity the barrel took to fall was less than a second, but he still had time to see it was the same as the barrel he'd just seen. Identical, right down to the words “EXTREME CHEMICAL HAZARD
” printed on the side.
Edgeworth didn’t think, there wasn’t any time. He just reacted
There was a loud CRACK as it hit, contents spraying its surroundings. A thick, murky vapour started to fill the air, as the chemical ate through the other boxes and rusted barrels.
Still very bored and half-asleep, Phoenix glanced at the clock, tapping it with the end of his pen, willing the hours to pass more quickly. The minute rolled over, leaving two perfect zeroes. He dropped his pen onto the desk, and sighed, leaning back in the chair. There was no rest for the wicked...even when he opened his eyes again, there'd still be work to do.
The pen jumped and rolled off the wooden surface at a sudden, slight tremor. The lawyer's eyes shot open and he steadied himself, getting ready to duck under his desk. The monthly earthquake drills in grade school were burned into his mind, even after all these years.
Then…nothing. Not even a slight quiver. Just the sound of a few car alarms going off, and a dog barking excitedly. It was almost melodramatic. “Hey Maya, did you feel that just now?”
"Huh?" Maya had never even looked up, seemingly hypnotised by the rolling credits onscreen. “What, you mean that little quake?” she smirked at him. “Are you worrying about Mr. Edgeworth? It'll give you wrinkles, and we both know you don't need any more of those
“Maya…” The lawyer rolled his eyes, and stepped over to the window to look outside. The tremor had been so small, maybe Edgeworth didn't even feel it. That set his train of thought rolling...he hadn’t seen much of the prosecutor recently. No doubt he was busying himself with cases…and, Phoenix turned to face the stacks of paper still haunting him, keeping his
office as infuriatingly organised as ever.
[One day, I’ll catch whoever keeps breaking in here and dumping their case files on me…]
As he headed towards his desk, he missed the strange, thick, purple-tinted fog. Rolling down the street like a silent express train, blotting out the sun.
But he couldn’t miss the fact he’d left the window open.
Edgeworth leaned his back against the plastic wall, alternating between coughing and trying to catch his breath. Whether it was from what remained of the fumes, or from fearing for his life, the floor beneath him shaking with a series of violent explosions, a few tears had escaped his eyes.
[Calm down, Miles…you’re still alive…and they’re
It seemed the contents of the warehouse – once some kind of hidden laboratory, he'd deduced - had been a double-edged sword. The mixture of dangerous chemicals had nearly killed them, but a large fume closet, with a still-functioning extractor fan, was what saved them. They were safe, in their oasis of clean, breathable air.
But for how long...?
He bent over double in another sudden choking fit, and spat into the corner of the enclosed space. There was no meaning in even the most basic of manners, in this situation. Spitting, disgusting as it was, probably meant a little less poison to do him harm as his breathing slowly returned to normal.
But then there were his shoes, and the legs of his trousers, stained beyond all recognition by brightly coloured sludge. And after tackling Ema, getting her away from the falling barrel, and bringing her in here, the last thing he'd wanted to do was go back outside. And yet he'd waded ankle-deep through a toxic soup, blinded by smog, chemicals mixing and reacting and an explosion imminent.
The mixture hadn’t been as corrosive as the first barrel, thank god. But what other effect might it have, especially with so much exposure? He might have killed himself, just to save Mike Meekins, now lying unconscious on the floor next to Miss Skye…
But no…no, there was no ‘just’ here. Not when it came to life and death. Meekins…as infuriating as he was, and despite being the cause
of this whole accident…was a human being. And despite being known, once upon a time, as the ‘Demon Prosecutor’, so was he. Miles Edgeworth wasn’t a hero. It was what humans did
, going against every self-preservation instinct nature gave them.
Slowly and unsteadily, his palm pressed against smooth plastic for support, the man got to his feet and looked through the small viewing window. The air outside had been thick with a purple fog and the occasional flash of another explosion, but now, blinding sunlight was pouring in.
The broken and charred remains of boxes and barrels were strewn about like forgotten toys. And the roof was all but gone; a swimming pool-sized hole had been punched in it, remains of jagged metal littering the floor. One of the concrete walls, also, had an empty space one could easily drive a car through, if it didn't look on the verge of collapse.
Edgeworth’s heart immediately sank. Without the confines of the warehouse…such a huge explosion could have spread the cloud throughout a good part of the city. And curiosity, that was another part of human nature. How many had marvelled at the colourful smoke, unintentionally poisoning themselves just for a look? And how many had run, only to not get away in time?
He slumped to the floor, and took out his cellphone. The emergency services would be on their way, but they wouldn't be expecting three survivors.
“It’s ALL SECTORS!!" The sound of breaking glass, and some loud cheering...if only this were as harmless as a drunken brawl. "Send EVERYTHING down here – police, SWAT, the army, EVERYTHING
The lanky Tom Keyes, known around the prison as ‘Skeleton Man’ or just ‘Skelly’, was ducking with some difficulty under his desk. Every alarm in the place was screeching in his ears, but the emergency telephone, his only lifeline to the outside world, had just gone deadly silent.
YOU!” he yelled, throwing the handset at the floor. It bounced, and clattered across the hard tiles. He brushed his dark dreadlocks back with his hand…hardly a standard hairstyle for a prison guard. But a certain amount of informality was allowed, around prisoners with good behaviour. “They must have severed the lines or something…”
SLAM. The man yelped and curled up as much as he could at the sound. He couldn’t tell if the thing thrown against the bulletproof glass was some kind of projectile, or even one of his fellow guards. All he knew was any ‘good behaviour’ had been thrown out the window, and that he really
didn’t want to look up…
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~“Put me down, I said!! Do you hear me!?”
The alarms weren’t the only things shrieking around the prison yard. Richard Wellington, former student and current inmate, was quickly becoming an involuntary escapee.
He still couldn’t quite piece together what had happened, in his mind. There’d been some sort of thick, choking fog out in the prison yard. Then there was screaming, people running, and his already not-so-peaceful Saturday was all but gone as all hell broke loose.
“We’ve got to stick together, Welly-boy! Prison buddies until the end! Ho ho!”
And this was where the 'involuntary' part came in. Amidst the chaos, and still slightly damp from his morning swim, Damon Gant had grabbed the smaller, lighter man, and made a run for it. Even with the distraction of the scrawny creature under his arm, squealing and struggling like a stuck pig, his reflexes were as sharp as ever. Gant ducked suddenly to avoid an unfortunate guard, who'd been flung through the air to join an impressive pile of his KO’d comrades. “See? I told you something was going to happen, Welly! I just didn’t think it would be this
His shell-shocked companion said nothing in return. But two anonymous guards, jumping out in front of them, did. “D-don’t move! We’ll shoot!!”
A command, but a little hesitant. Although they were armed with guns, a good percentage of the prisoners were now armed with things much stronger. Whatever happened in the last few minutes, their own bodies had become weapons, that they weren’t hesitating to use.
Gant, however, was feeling slightly vulnerable. If he had some new-found power, he couldn’t for the life of him figure out how to use it. Though his face remained stoic, he panicked slightly as the guards drew nearer…
“Don’t come any closer, or I might just use Welly-boy here! The things he can do…well, do you really want to find out, gentleman? Because I am sure
it’s something unpleasant…”
Gumshoe fumbled with his car keys, sweat running down his reddened face. Why wouldn’t his stubby fingers work
when he really needed them to!? His breathing was unsteady, but fast-paced…it had damn near choked him, but he’d still found the strength to run all the way. But it was what he'd had
to do...otherwise...he didn't want to think of the consequences.
Just looking at Maggey’s unconscious body in his arms, it made him want to cry. Even though she’d quit the force some time ago, it felt like one of his own was hurt. He hoped he'd never have to face this, especially with someone who looked up to him, someone who he really cared about in return. The two words nobody on the force wanted to hear, shouted over the radio or in the field…officer down, we have an officer down.
He'd never realised how small and light she really was, until he'd scooped her up...and she was as limp now as she was then, like a rag doll. A big guy like him could probably take whatever nasties were in that cloud, but Maggey...she'd been overcome within seconds. If only he'd had a little more courage, to hold her hand in his, maybe he wouldn't have lost her amidst the fog.
He had no way of telling how badly hurt she might be, but he knew he had
to get her to the hospital. Even if he used his radio, an ambulance would take too long.
Swearing loudly, Gumshoe finally jammed his keys into the lock. He flung open the door, laying Maggey down on the back seats, and scrambled into the driver's seat. Starting the engine, he got ready to drive like he’d only done once before...
The man looked behind him quickly. Although her voice was strained, and her arm, reaching out, looked weak and shaky…she was awake. She was alive. Taking her delicate hand in his clumsy, calloused paw, that was all that mattered.
“It’ll be okay...I’m gonna get you some help, pal…”
Gently, Maggey squeezed his hand, a faint smile on her lips.
“Ugh…” Phoenix murmured…drinking his coffee too fast had brought on another small coughing fit. At least, though it had taken several cups, the disgusting taste in his mouth and the burning in his throat seemed to have gone. Maya was still rinsing her own mouth with water - he could still hear her in the bathroom. It calmed the worried feeling at the back of his mind, if only a little. Mere minutes ago, her coughing had been so violent, she’d run in there to be sick.
“…no harmful effects aside from respiratory irritation, but the emergency services are advising…” He looked up. The TV was still on from before, the Saturday morning cartoons replaced by a female announcer at a desk. Whatever had just happened, it made sense there’d be a newsflash about it. Now comfortable in the spare wooden chair, and reluctant to move, Nick leaned on the back of it as he faced the screen.
“…unknown why the Police haven’t yet determined the source of the explosion.” The woman was about to take another breath, when her hand, with its elegantly manicured and painted fingernails, went to her ear. The look on her face was one of shock as she mouthed something like ‘are you sure’.
The lawyer gripped the hard surface, gritting his teeth, every muscle in his body tensing at once. He felt pretty much okay, and Maya seemed to be recovering. But who knew what that stuff could have done to the both of them, that they might not see or feel right away?
“…I do apologise.” The announcer said quickly, as if she'd suddenly realised they were still live and on the air. “We’ve just got word of a security breach at Lockeforge Minimum Security Facility…”
Phoenix relaxed, but only a little. They were safe, from the look of things, but it figured the Police would try to hide bad news behind a façade of jargon. From what he could tell, the English translation was a jailbreak, at a prison just outside the city limits.
“The current severity of the situation is unknown, but the Police have advised citizens not to panic, and remain indoors as a precaution.”
Lockeforge Prison Complex handled varying levels of security in its different buildings, from Minimal to a handful of Supermax cells. If they were advising people to stay indoors, when it should
only be low-risk criminals escaping…
[…Then how much of that is really the truth?]
“That was quite the feat, Welly! I didn’t know you had it in you!”
Gant was smiling again, pulling at his jumpsuit collar habitually, in absence of the necktie he'd worn as a free man. Resisting the urge to clap, while out here, was paramount. In a dark alley, crouching just behind a dumpster may work in the movies, but in reality it was a far from perfect hiding place. And there wasn’t just the police and the guards to contend with, but some of the inmates…! It put what his prison buddy did to shame!
“…I wish I didn’t
have it in me, Mr. Gant.”
Being thrown in prison had quashed Wellington’s spoiled brat attitude almost as soon as the cell door had slammed shut. And with his mask of arrogance stripped away, what remained was quiet, withdrawn…and downright cowardly. Prison had been safe, at least...but now he was out here, and with Max-Security inmates running loose, he didn’t want to be alone. Even if not
being alone meant being with Gant, of all people.
He petted the grey scarf looped around his neck, and a small wave ran through the material in response. The end drooping down past his shoulder wrapped lightly around his other hand’s fingers, and a sound somewhat like a purr reached his ear. Richard smiled sadly at the gesture of affection.
“First a drifter and con artist, then a murderer, and now a freak…I don’t think I can sink much lower.”
“…Well…‘freak’ is a little extreme, I think, Welly m’boy.” The man said, his rose-tinted glasses sliding down just a little. Richard shrank back slightly, the scarf wrapping around his neck. Maybe he’d never looked at Gant this close up before, but there was a sudden, unmistakable hint of malice about him. It penetrated everything, from his glittering green eyes and his predatory smirk, to the way he held his posture even when crouching down.
“Some of the…freaks
…might get a little upset, don’t you think…? I mean, we don’t want to make any more enemies
, do we?” Even his tone of voice had gained a certain edge to it. Every word, even every pause, was a thinly veiled threat.
“N-no…Mr. Gant, sir…”
Gant pushed his glasses up with one finger, and adjusted his collar again, smirking to himself. Ever since he'd laid eyes on him, he knew Wellington was pathetically spineless. All it took was a single glance down his nose, a few choice words, and the boy was cowering at his feet, ready to lick his boots at a moment’s notice.
“Good boy. Now, let’s you and I have a little heart-to-heart…”
A man always did feel more confident, with a weapon in the palm of his hand.
“I can’t believe this is happening…” Phoenix muttered, running his hair through his spikes. The shattered concrete and smoking craters on the news were always half a world away. In some distant country, in a war-torn city with an unpronounceable name.
But this was right in his backyard…his
city, his home
, had been turned into this war zone. The shot showed, in the background, what used to be a large storage shed or warehouse of some kind…almost completely destroyed by a massive explosion. And through the gaping hole in the concrete, there were workers in bright yellow HAZMAT suits, picking through the debris. If the fog had no significant effect on people, then why were they dressed like that!?
“This is as close to the scene of the explosion as we’ve been allowed to get…” a flustered reporter finally spoke up, a bar at the bottom of the screen introducing him as John Jackson. Looking at his flushed face, he’d either been running, arguing with the clean-up crew, or both. “There are still dangerous fumes from other spilled chemicals in the area…officials have assured
us, however, these did not become airborne...” the man took another deep breath, running a hand through his short brown hair.
“There were, however, three people found at the scene…”
“…but they are currently confirmed as being in a stable condition. And now, back to Jack Johnson in the newsroom.”
“…Utter drivel…” Edgeworth muttered to himself, flicking the television off from his hospital bed. He had
been glad to get the ‘all clear’, and to hear the same for Meekins and Miss. Skye, of course. It was just the getting to that verdict which had vexed…no, humiliated
Firstly, he’d been hosed down, like a dog, with a sickly sweet-smelling foam…another chemical cocktail. Next, he’d been forced to take off his contaminated clothes…no doubt for disposal, and custom-fitted magenta suits didn’t grow on trees. Then
, he’d been made to wear a flimsy, backless hospital gown - much to the amusement of the female staff, it appeared - and endure a battery of tests from curious doctors.
So, after being squeezed, poked, stuck with needles and asked to say ‘ahh’ far too many times, the prosecutor was understandably in a rotten mood. The phrase ‘insult to injury’ had never rung more true.
He leant back against his pillow, sighing. [I hope those two were
completely ‘out of it’…] A faint smile followed. [The Police Department would probably try to force another blasted trophy on me, if they found out. As if the first time wasn’t bad enough.]
And besides, he had work at the office that needed attention. Nothing was going to get between him and finishing it...and then, perhaps later, one of the fine Belgian chocolates he kept in his desk drawer. It had
been a hard day. He’d see if there were any strawberry creams left.
Looking towards the door, the prosecutor didn’t just feel tempted to discharge himself. Once a doctor or nurse came in to check on him, he’d insist
on it. Medical law, including patient’s rights, was second-nature to him. The only things stopping him from jumping up and marching down the hallway right then and there were his clothes, or the lack thereof.
Normally, he was a patient man. But it bothered
him. There was a bee in his proverbial bonnet that was making him restless, and he’d felt that way since he’d arrived. Every little sound seemed more noticeable…not louder, but more like the times he’d skim through a law book, and the information he needed would jump out. But it was happening all the time
And then there were colours, shapes, numbers, patterns, faces. Like the falling barrel, it was as if time itself had slowed just for him, giving him time to drink in every detail. And somehow, until a nurse was taking a blood sample, he’d barely noticed what he was doing. He'd got to several hundred individual dots on the ceiling tiles, before the needle went in mere seconds later.
Edgeworth shook his head dismissively. It was probably the last scraps of his adrenaline rush. The accident at the warehouse, combined with being treated...albeit somewhat against his will...was making him jumpy. That was all. And he wasn’t exactly afraid
of needles, but he wasn’t too fond of them, either. He leaned back against his pillows and closed his eyes. A nurse should be arriving any time.
“Doctor, be careful!!”
His ears pricked…a loud crash, but quite distant. About five...no, six doors down the hallway, just around the corner. It must have been a trolley carrying equipment, plastic and metal clattering as it hit the floor…and more voices, shouting.
“Calm down, calm down!!! Sir, you have to stay calm-!”
Smack, thud. The prosecutor’s eyes opened. That was the sound of a punch connecting, and that person who just hit the ground was probably the doctor. He could hear rapid footsteps drawing nearer...the aggressor was running down the hallway, and his door was open…
“Stop him, now
!! He could attack one of the patients!!”
He sat up. Time seemed to slow to a crawl again as his door was kicked in, revealing an unknown figure, a doctor’s white coat draped over their shoulders and face. They made a quick sweeping motion of their arm, and something sharp was flying towards him-!
The man went down like a ton of bricks, and his disguise suddenly made a lot of sense as it fell away. All over, sticking out of his skin, were purple, crystal-like spikes. Some, like on his face, were short and curved like rose thorns, whereas the ones on his forearms formed lethal scimitar blades.
But Edgeworth found himself staring at his own hands, more than anything, as security quickly dragged the disfigured man away. Somehow, he, a prosecuting attorney, had plucked a projectile out of the air, just inches from his face. He’d thrown it right back, side on, and without hesitation. And he's hit his attacker squarely in the forehead for a perfect, one-hit knockout.
“This…this can’t be true
A certain defence attorney was still glued to the television, looking like he was trying to strangle the back of his chair. Phoenix’s grip on it was so tight, his knuckles were turning white, and for a good reason. “The Police say they can't issue a list of escapees at this time...many inmates were injured during the ensuing riot, which is making it difficult to keep track…”
And then there was that report from before...that, in fact, all security levels had been breached. Phoenix felt betrayed, like they really had lied. But then again, with the confusion caused by the Big Bang (as the sensationalist media was so creatively calling it) maybe they just didn’t know right away. But…even the Supermax
cells? Home to the worst of the worst, with solid steel walls, and state-of-the-art locks that would put Fort Knox to shame. Prisoners had escaped from there
He just couldn’t believe
it…it made his normally cool temper flare, thinking of all the hard work attorneys had done, putting those criminals behind bars. Maybe even some of his
hard work…being on death row could take months or even years to process. And he knew some of the murderers he'd put away had got life sentences instead, because of age or circumstances.
Just the thought of all those criminals…those murderers
, back on the street made his blood climb to boiling point. Where was the justice in this!?
It just wasn’t fair…to their victims, their victim’s families…not to mention the civilians they’d been unleashed upon. The anger burned inside him, but he felt so useless, taking it out on the back of a chair. He couldn’t take this, but what could he do!?
Nick’s yell changed pitch as suddenly his feelings switched from anger to fear. The back of his chair had suddenly burst into flames, blue
flames, flaring up towards the ceiling. There was no time to wonder whether it was spontaneous combustion or what, he just had to put it out before it spread! Quickly, the lawyer grabbed a fire extinguisher from the wall, and at the same time, his assistant finally emerged from the bathroom…but what was that!?
He saw Maya’s expression turn to horror, through the violet-tinted, glowing thing, which almost seemed to be attached
to her, somehow. Slamming into him, it grabbed hold like a giant hand, forcing the air from his lungs…and sent him flying into the glass behind.
The window shattered on impact, and the crushing force released its captive into open air.“NICK!!!”
Phoenix wasn’t sure how long he’d been falling when he heard her voice. The wind streaking through his spiked hair, he thought he’d already let himself go, just giving in to the inevitable.
His body already felt strange…lightweight, and somehow extended, like he had feeling where he didn’t before…
…Was this…what it was like, dying...? He’d never asked Mia about it…while he’d been alive…“NICK!!!”
“Huh…?” Phoenix was suddenly aware he had solid ground against his back…his eyes flicked open to see the office ceiling, and he blinked slowly. He remembered falling...but was that just a nightmare or hallucination, caused by the fog? And there was a vague awareness that his muscles were aching…but he couldn’t tell which ones…
Maya immediately grabbed him in a hug, her face streaked with tears. That would never fail to wake him up. “Nick, you’re okay!! I mean, you’re better
than okay!! I mean…!!”
Maybe he had
been passed out. Even before the bear-hug, his back already felt weird. Sort of painful and knotted, like he’d been sleeping in an odd position. And yet he couldn’t find the strength to detach his assistant…he was exhausted, but from doing what? Lawyering wasn't usually a physically demanding job.
“I mean…I don’t know if I wished too hard or something, but wow…” Finally letting go, the spirit medium sat, her hands covering her mouth, as she watched him sit up slowly. Nick just looked back in confusion. The look on her face, it was like she was watching some rare and beautiful flower opening for the first time.
"I know you were worried about me, Maya...but I'm fine, really." He reached back to crack his aching spine into place…and his eyes went wide. His hand touched something, and that something definitely shouldn’t
have been there.
“W-wh-what in the hell-!?
” was all he managed to get out, as he scooted back across the floor, trying to get away from the alien thing invading his field of vision. There was an unmoveable lump in his throat, stopping him from saying anything more...when he moved, it
moved. And the more he tried to speak, the more the shock constricted, strangling his words like a noose around his neck.
Last time he’d felt like this was when Mia had re-appeared, in Maya's body; the room had started to spin, and he’d blacked out. But the awe that accompanied it this time was keeping him right here. Here, where new nerves moved muscles that hadn’t even existed that morning, but which now ached from strenuous use.
He wasn't sure how he did it, but he moved one, to get a closer look. Each feather, from short, fluffy down to long, elegant flight feathers, looked like it had been spun from strands of glass. Not just the feathers, but the whole of each wing appeared completely translucent...coloured a blue just a little deeper than sky, matching his eyes. Wings...he had wings
...he could move them, they were his
Phoenix suddenly found himself in another crushing Maya-hug. “I know, they’re beautiful!! And you can fly
, Nick!! You flew right back through the window!”
Nick managed to force his assistant off him this time, trying to straighten things out in his head. He still wasn’t sure if they’d both died, or if he was dreaming or hallucinating. And, though his wings were
beautiful... “...Can I make these go away or something…?”
It was all he could think of saying. His assistant looked at him open-mouthed, like he’d just suggested something obscene...like watching the news during the Samurai Power Hour. “Make them go away!?
Despite all appearances, it seemed his wings were actually solid. He could feel Maya’s fingers against his soft down feathers, rubbing them like it would somehow prove her point. He wondered how long she'd spent fretting about him, and how long she'd spent giggling over how fluffy they were. But either way, if this was a dream, it was a very vivid one.
“You got lucky, Nick! I got superhero powers, too, but all I can do is this…”
“GYAAAH!!!” He remembered now. The re-appearance of two large hands, formed from a glowing purple energy that now surrounded Maya like an aura...he remembered them well
. In fact, he’d shot across the floor to avoid them, his back against the wall, and his feathers standing on end like a cat’s fur. “Th-that was what pushed me out the window!!”
“Yeah…I kinda panicked and it just happened
…” Maya lowered her arms dejectedly, the lifelines of energy connecting the shapes to her own hands vanishing. She grinned suddenly. “But hey, if you look at it one way, Nick…I guess I helped you learn to fly!”
[…I can’t believe I’m hearing this…] Nick thought…his eyes were starting to look a lot like Edgeworth’s, on a bad day in court. He ran his hand through his spikes again. [I wake up and I've suddenly grown wings, and Maya
...I can’t believe any
of this…this is crazy
He held his head in his hands. [It’s finally happened, all that deskwork must have finally driven me insane…!]
[…I don’t believe
Edgeworth was understandably annoyed. And though he loathed to admit it...he was scared. He knew
there was something wrong with him, and yet those quack doctors still insisted he was perfectly fine. They'd said he was more
than fine, that he was one of the healthiest patients they'd seen in a while. It wasn’t normal
, having this sensory acuity, this quickness to react, that just wouldn’t leave him
. But that unfortunate soul who attacked him…that was as about far from normal as one could get.
The man had been scared. And the medical staff, they
were scared, too…what kind of illness would do such bizarre things to the human body? No doubt, like they had with the comatose man, the hospital would silently cover up any further incidents and hide them away. A new disease, that could turn men into monsters, would cause national panic.
The prosecutor pulled back his dark sleeve, to uncover his hand. Just his own, slightly pallid complexion, greeted him. But with the changes inside his head…would he soon end up like that man? And if this had something to do with those chemicals…and he’d been standing
in them…did he face a fate even worse?
His stomach turned, and Miles pulled the hood of his sweater down a little further, covering his bangs. The very clothes on his back were gone, burned or taken away for testing. And the shop at the hospital had a very limited selection…with nothing in the way of suits. But a black ‘hoodie’ and shapeless trousers at least fit him, even if he did look like a street urchin.
But, in some way, he was almost thankful for the opportunity to hide his face. Now outside the hospital grounds, he’d be able to continue undisturbed. To get back to his paperwork, to shut out the world and try to forget any of this ever happened. He'd got Meekins and Miss Skye to the fume closet pretty fast...they should get away unscathed...
But the almost predatory awareness still
wasn’t going away. The man and woman in front of him…their body language…they were frightened, worried…they were looking for a place to shelter. But shelter from what? He almost regretted turning off the television.
The hospital had been in so much chaos with incoming patients, including guards and convicts from the jailbreak, they’d seemed almost glad
to be rid of him. And the streets looked like a ghost town…some drivers had actually abandoned their cars, perhaps in a rush to escape the fog. Or had something else
happened, while he was being treated?
Suddenly, the woman screamed, covering her head with her hands, and the man held her close as they escaped into an alleyway, keeping their eyes to the floor. Edgeworth’s eyes, however, immediately went to the source, which was continuing unabashed down the street.
“What in the world
A flash of blue and purple...but, unmistakably, two humans. Both had been altered in some bizarre way like the spiked man, which let them swoop down from the sky...but that wasn’t the half
of it. His sharpened vision picked up some familiar details…and then there was the call of “Sorry!”, caught on the wind…
[…I must be going mad…]
Maybe he was. But madness didn’t stop him pursuing the pair…maybe it even drove him to it. Regardless, he started running, with an almost unnatural quality to his new-found speed.
“Nick, you have to be more careful! This isn’t like driving, you-SIGN!!!”
Maya’s heart caught in her mouth as her companion almost collided with a large billboard. Instead, he pulled upwards at the last minute, an almost 90-degree turn, and back down the other side like a stunt pilot at an air show. “I told you, Maya, I can handle it! WA-HOOOO!”
It was almost a shame. Seeing Nick splayed like a dead bug on some smarmy supermodel’s giant teeth…funny, but painful. But he was scarily
good at flying, showing off even after only a few minutes in the air. Then again, she’d learned how to levitate the glowing purple disc, attached to her feet by that same weird energy, within the same time space. It like she just knew
, like she'd been doing it all her life.
Phoenix did a barrel-roll next, just for the hell of it, turning the sprawling cityscape before him upside down. The medium found it hard to believe he’d been dead against the idea of even going outside just a few minutes ago. And now, he was acting like a big kid with the ultimate new toy...if there’d been any more people around, it’d be embarrassing. “I don’t care if this is
a dream, this is incredible!”
But Maya was sure
this was real...it was that fog that did it. Mysterious fog, weird rays from space, nuclear fallout, or being bitten by some weird science experiment...it was where superpowers came
And of course, now they were superheroes, she’d insisted on hiding their identities. Nick had insisted ‘we’re not superheroes, we’re…’ and just trailed off there. Either he’d decided there was no arguing with her, or he was thinking about something else…either way, he'd looked defeated. Their raincoats would do until they could get capes, at least. And she’d managed to find a purple eye-mask from last Halloween, which was quite heroic-looking. “So why do you think there’s nobody around, Nick?”
Phoenix pulled his white face-mask mask down for a moment. It was the same one he wore when he had a cold…not exactly threatening, unless they faced a germophobic villain, Maya thought. But it served its purpose. “I’m thinking it has something to do with that big jail breakout…and there was that fog…” he blinked, glancing towards her. “Maybe they’re connected somehow...”
“I’m not sure, I think-LAMP POST!!”
Another near miss by the flying lawyer. Nick wouldn’t normally be this distracted, or this risk-taking…but then again, he still didn't seem convinced this was real. Did he still think he was dreaming, and he was just playing along? She continued anyway. “…That fog stuff…if it did this to us, who knows what it could have done to other people? If it's connected to the jailbreak, we could be facing a whole army
“Well, hopefully not, because we’re not superhe-”
Suddenly realising his assistant wasn’t at his side, Phoenix got a crash-course in stopping mid-air. His instincts only went so far, it seemed, as he tried to turn around without dropping out of the sky. But it at least gave him time to look at his solid surroundings, rather than the open space ahead.
“NICK! I’m stuck!” Maya shouted from a little way back, hanging upside-down...everything
was covered in the long, black fibres she'd got herself tangled in. They were draped from lamp-posts like fly paper, and criss-crossed the street like cables. Some creeping tendrils even seemed to be acting like plants, climbing up the sides of buildings.
“Nngh…why can’t I use my powers!?” his assistant protested, squirming as Phoenix went to free her. Now he was closer, the way she was tied up seemed more deliberate..almost like a person had wrapped it around her. “I can’t move my arms and legs…aggh! It’s only been a few minutes and I already
have a weakness!?”
“Well, I hope my
weakness isn’t whatever this black stuff is…hold still, Maya, you’re making it worse!” he retorted, wings flapping furiously as he pulled. “Where did all this come
The fibres all around them suddenly shifted…like they were alive
…punctuated by a sound both high-pitched and nasally.
“Hee hee hee…hee hee…HEE-HEE-HEE-HEEEEE!!!"
Last edited by ExImplode07 on Thu Feb 05, 2009 4:03 pm, edited 44 times in total.