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One hour after the incident.

"Ema!"

The first thing you notice as you come to is the weight in your head. A similar pain to whenever you stayed up late. Only this time the pain seems to be ten times as strong.

The second thing you notice is that you aren't resting on a flat surface. Judging by your positioning, you deduce that someone is holding you in their arms.

"Ema!"

And the third thing you notice is that your sister has probably been calling out to you for a while.

Slowly, your open your eyes. As your vision clears, you begin to recognize the familiar shape. You attempt to speak her name, but nothing more than a small grunt escapes your lips.

She holds you closer. For a brief moment, the two of you just remain there, accompanied only by the dreadful silence hanging in the room. At last, she speaks, but no louder than a soft whisper: "You're safe now."

Then it hits you: everything that just happened. The man bursting into the room, the knife approaching your neck, how he raised his hand and-

And…

You feel your breaths grow shorter, each one desperate to grab more air than the last. Lana just holds you tighter.

"Let's go home, okay?"

Though your body feels sore, you soon rise to your feet. It isn't long before you reach the comforting familiarity of your home.


The morning after the incident.

You couldn't sleep. Every time you tried, you'd just see that image again.

Lana has given you permission to stay home from school, at least until you feel ready.

As of right now, you aren't sure if that will be anytime soon.

And how could it? You can still hear the man screaming at you to just "cooperate" with him. You can still feel his hand closing tightly around your neck. And you can still see him raising his blade, ready to stab the other man.

The other man… you couldn't get a proper look at his face. Did he know what would happen when he stepped in that room? Was he prepared to die when he charged at the man with the knife?

Does any of that really matter? You're alive, he's dead. Nothing you can do will change that.

You don't even leave your room that day.


Three days after the incident.

You've been called in for questioning.

Lana was against it. She was adamant that you stay away from the trial proceedings. It's with a reluctant look on her face that she brings you over to the questioning room.

A detective already waits in the room. Once you've settled down, he wastes no time and asks you to describe anything that you can about the incident.

You open your mouth, yet not a word leaves.

You try to gather your thoughts, hoping you could articulate what happened.

But you only see that image.

And you want to scream.

The detective hands you a piece of paper and a pen. He tells you he understands your pain, that if you let it out, it might soften.

Slowly, your hand moves to grab the pen. A brief moment passes before you recreate the horrible image as accurately as possible.

You hand it to the detective. He inspects the image, careful to pick up anything that may be of use. Finally, he thanks you with a reassuring smile on his face.

As reassuring as that smile was, the same sense of dread still lingers around you.


Five days after the incident.

You've been summoned to testify in court.

It makes no sense. Shouldn't the picture be enough? Do they really think you'll magically be able to speak about it now?

But a court summons is a court summons. It's not something you can just turn down.

You enter the courtroom. As you approach the witness stand, you observe your surroundings. On your left is Prosecutor Edgeworth in his trademark lucky jacket. To the right you see a defense attorney clearing his throat. Looking down at you from above is the judge, his gaze watching over all. And in front of you… is him.

You want to run.

"Witness. State your name and occupation for the court."

Again, you open your mouth. Again, no sound comes out.

"Your name and occupation."

Everyone's stares are focused at you, expectantly waiting for the little girl who saw Neil Marshall's demise. Yet despite your best efforts, you can barely manage to squeeze out what can only be described as a noise.

The crowd takes this opportunity to discuss the recent turn of events. Though no one voice is distinguishable, you're fairly certain where their ire is directed.

It isn't long before the sound of a gavel silences the courtroom.

"Order! It seems Detective Skye was accurate in her assessment. This witness is clearly in too much shock to be of any use."

"You must be proud of yourself, Mr. Grossberg, having succeeded in wasting all of our time. Were it up to me, I'd put in a word for your next salary review."

"I believe we've kept you here long enough. You may leave, witness. And please, try to get some rest."

Though there is a gentleness in his voice, you can sense a twinge of disappointment.

And so you leave.


Eight days after the incident.

Was Tainted Evidence Used in Darke Trial?

Insiders have leaked that the autopsy report of Neil Marshall was unofficially altered from its original form.

Joe Darke, 42, was convicted last week for-

You shut the TV off.

You were useless.

Neil died right in front of you and you couldn't even describe what happened.

You can't even honor his memory properly.

If you had died, he would have testified without hesitation.

You're weak.

Lana wouldn't have needed saving.

Neil is dead because of you.


Twelve days after the incident.

You feel ready to step outside your home.

Though hesitation briefly takes you, it isn't long before you reach Gourd Lake Park.

You remember your parents taking you here when you were very young. Later, you would often come here with Lana.

Today, you came here alone. You need time and space to sort out your feelings.

You find an empty bench to use as your base of operations. Its position near the edge of the lake makes it an optimal spot for relaxing.

It's a cold morning in March. The area isn't as populated as it is during the summer.

For a moment, you close your eyes and take in the familiar sounds: the trees dancing in the gusty winds. The small waves gently creeping at the shore.

A dog barks somewhere in the distance.

Your eyes follow the sound to find a large brown dog wagging its tail beside a man in a burgundy suit.

Of all the people it could have been…

You can't let him see you. You don't need someone else to drive home how useless you are. You're doing that just fine on your own.

Perhaps if you don't make eye contact he won't notice you.

When has that ever worked?

Not that it would have had a chance to work, because the dog ran up to you regardless of its owner's consent and continued to bark.

Unlike other large dogs you've seen in the past, this one hasn't deemed you a threat to its master at first glance. Almost instinctively, you reach down to pet it before its owner regains control.

"My apologies, Ms. Skye. Pess is usually better behaved."

"Oh, Prosecutor Edgeworth, it's no big deal," you say, trying to force out the faintest semblance of a smile.

Picking up on your weak façade, the prosecutor folds his arms. "You seem troubled. May I assume it's about the incident?"

Of course he had to ask about that.

"…yeah." You can barely hear the word leave your mouth. And yet the prosecutor heard this and invited himself to sit down next to you.

"Tell me. How did it feel?"

How did it feel, he asks. So many words arise to answer the question. Horrifying, dreadful, disillusioning, but one word echoes louder than the others.

"Powerless."

"It's a natural response. You were but a young girl who had come face to face with an armed killer. No one can hold it against you for acting how you did."

A moment of hesitation passes before he continues. "In some respects, I can understand what you're going through. I've been through a similar experience in the past."

Immediately, your head shoots up to look at the prosecutor. Through folded arms and closed eyes, he tells you a tale from his childhood, one filled with grief, misery, and the same sense of powerlessness you feel.

Once he has finished, he takes a deep breath. Another moment of hesitation passes before you decide to speak up.

"Does it ever get easier?"

"That depends on you. The pain may not dull, but you can become stronger. You're still young. There's no rush for you to decide where your life is headed."

And for the first time in what felt like an eternity, you feel ready to talk.

"Well, I've been thinking about becoming a forensic scientist. I've always been interested in science, and I feel I can make a difference by joining law enforcement."

"An admirable goal," he responds. "I'm sure you'll become a fine investigator."

He isn't exactly smiling, but you can sense the genuineness in his voice.

"Now, if you will excuse me, I believe I've kept Pess waiting long enough."

As he stands up, he offers you his hand. You respond with a firm handshake.

You were powerless then. You're probably still powerless now. But it doesn't have to remain this way.

As Edgeworth walks away, you wave to him one last time.

He didn't look too bad in a burgundy suit.