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Marriage of Miles

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-Wright Anything Agency, April 14, 12:14 pm-

“Thank you so much! Mr. Wright! I will forever be grateful!” Mr. Avery exclaimed, enthusiastically shaking my hand, “Thank you so much for helping my son!” I tried not to cringe as my arm was pumped up and down.

“Of course, Mr. Avery,” I replied, “We’ll do whatever we can to help your son. Now, do you have any information that might be useful?”

“Um, er, I can’t think of anything right now, sir,” Mr. Avery muttered, “Well, um, there may be something. Er, Robin worked at a manufacturing factory. That’s where his manager, Morty Fied was killed. I think maybe you could find something there.”

“Thank you, Mr. Avery. Do you- “

“Please, call me Jay,” the man insisted. I tried not to sigh.

“Jay, do you know the name of the company where your son worked?” I asked.

“Of course!” Mr. Avery exclaimed, “It’s called Fletcher Industries.”

“Fletcher?” Apollo suddenly spoke up from the other room, “I’ve heard that name before! Isn’t he that super rich dude that makes practically everything?”

“That’s him all right!” Mr. Avery replied, “Mr. Dominic Fletcher, the CEO of Fletcher Industries. He is a very influential man. My son was lucky to get the job.”

I pursed my lips to stop myself from speaking. I had heard of Mr. Fletcher before. And I had also heard of what a ruthless businessman he was. He used scare tactics to get what he wanted, or at least that’s what the rumors said. I never actually met the man. He sounded way too scary for me, but unfortunately it looked like fate didn’t give a crap about what I wanted and I was probably going to have to question him.

Maybe I could get Apollo or Athena to do that instead while I looked for clues…

“Hey, you two are coming with me, right?” I called out to my two young associates, “Help me gather clues and info?”

Apollo poked his head in from the other room. “I don’t know, Mr. Wright, I’m kind of busy right now,” he said in a fake “sorry” voice. I frowned at him.

“You’re not busy,” I countered, “This is our first case in weeks. You’ve been playing Minesweeper on your computer.” Justice bit his lower lip.

“Fine, you caught me,” he moaned, “All right, we’ll go with you.” He turned back to the room. “Come on, Athena!”

Much more prompt and perky than Apollo, Athena popped into the room with a smile. “Sure!” she said, “Where are we going?”

“Fletcher Industries,” I replied. Her smile immediately vanished and she started slowly backing out of the room.

“Oh… no,” she muttered, “I don’t want to go. I’ve heard about that Fletcher guy. He’s bad news. I’m just going to stay here and keep this old guy company.” Her retreat was halted when she bumped into Apollo. He gave her an annoyed stare.

“You’re going,” he stated, ending the argument right there.

-Fletcher Industries, April 14, 12:32 pm-

I looked up at Fletcher Industries with disdain and trepidation. It was such a huge building just on the edge of the Los Angeles city limits. The building was a dark grey and sort of reminded me of that devil demon thing from the movie Fantasia. If Mr. Fletcher wanted to make an impression, he certainly accomplished that goal. Definitely left one on me.

“Well,” I said to Apollo and Athena, “Shall we go in?”

With reluctance, we headed inside where workers were busy checking on machines and staring at clipboards and yelling at things. There were also a bunch of police trying to secure the crime scene, but the workers didn’t really seem to care.

“Come on, there’s Gumshoe over there,” I pointed out, “Maybe he can help us out a little.” Though I doubted it. He usually tried to block me. But I could often get some info out of him, even if he didn’t mean to tell me.

Apollo and Athena kept close to me as I lead the way over to where the police were blocking off the area around a large machine that to me looked like a bunch of gears that didn’t really seem to serve any real purpose. There was blood splattered all over so I guessed it was where the victim died. Detective Gumshoe was overseeing the operation.

“Hey detective!” I greeted pleasantly, “Long time no see!”

Gumshoe started slightly and spun around to see us approaching which made him relax slightly. “Oh, hey pal,” he said, “It has been a while, huh? What are you doing here?”

“We’re here for a client,” Athena told him helpfully, “He worked here. He’s the one who’s been accused of murdering the victim. Robin Avery.”

“Oh yeah, him,” Gumshoe chuckled, “Look, if I were you guys I’d give up right now. We’ve got some pretty hard evidence against the guy, there’s no way he couldn’t have done it. Decisive evidence, witnesses, motive, opportunity. It’s a pretty clear-cut case.”

I folded my arms. “I think that’s for the court to decide, detective,” I argued, “Besides, you say that about pretty much all of my clients and you’ve always been wrong.”

Gumshoe frowned. “Yeah, well, I think I’m right about this one pal,” he hissed.

“So, um, if I may ask, how was the victim killed?” Apollo asked before Gumshoe and I could get into a fight.

“Oh, this is one of the most brutal kills I’ve ever seen,” Gumshoe replied, perking slightly, “The victim, Morty Fied, was pushed into this here machine and mangled to death.”

“That sounds horrible!” Athena gasped.

“It is! Wanna see a picture of the body?” Before any of us could answer, Gumshoe shoved a large, full color photo of the victim’s body in our faces. All three of us screamed out loud.

“Holy cow!” Apollo shouted, “Look at all that blood! And those guts!”

“Is that even a human?!” I wondered in shock.

“How could you even identify him?” Athena asked, trying not to retch, “He doesn’t even have a face anymore! Or hands! Or a body!”

“There’s a security camera that we used to identify him,” Gumshoe explained, finally putting away the offensive picture, “It shows him clearly standing by the machine arguing with someone moments before being shoved into it.”

I felt something start to twist in my gut, but I had to ask. “And was that person Robin?” I questioned.

Gumshoe scratched the back of his head and coughed. “Well, admittedly, the person who pushed him was wearing a coat with the hood up and had his back turned to the camera the whole time,” he muttered, “B-But we’ve got plenty of other evidence to determine that was Mr. Avery, pal!”

Humph. I’d be the judge of that. After getting an autopsy report, we decided to look around the building a bit to give the police time to clear out. Also, we wanted to talk to some of the employees.

“Maybe we should talk to the guy who got promoted over Robin,” Athena suggested, “He would probably be able to tell us something about our client and the victim.”

“Good idea, Athena,” Apollo praised.

“I was going to suggest that too,” I muttered under my breath.

After asking around we found out the man who got promoted was named Buddy Guy. He was a tall lanky youth with blond hair and grey eyes. He was wearing the standard factory uniform with a hardhat and overalls and also a pin with his name the word “supervisor” under it. He was smiling way too much considering a murder had just happened the day prior.

“Hiya! The name’s Buddy Guy!” he greeted, shaking our hands in a way that gave Jay Avery’s arm pumping a run for its money, “How can I help you fine folks?”

“Er, you’re the one who was just promoted, right?” I asked, carefully rolling my arm to make sure it was still attached to my shoulder.

“Yessiree!” he exclaimed, “I sure am! But gee, I wonder now that Morty is dead if I’ll be promoted again? That would be swell, wouldn’t it? Not that I’m saying it’s a good thing Morty is dead. He was a great manager.”

“Did he really just say ‘swell?’” I heard Apollo whisper to Athena behind me.

I tried to ignore them. “We wanted to ask you about your co-worker, Robin Avery,” I said. Buddy made a faux tsk-tsk sound.

“It’s too bad about him,” he said in sympathy, but sounding way too cheerful to actually sound sad, “He’s really nice but he’s a little shy and has a wicked temper. I wouldn’t get on his bad side, if I were you. He probably didn’t mean to push Mr. Fied into the machine. He probably just lost his temper.”

“So, you’re convinced Robin did this?” I asked.

“Oh definitely!” Buddy replied in that ecstatic way of his, “It couldn’t be anyone but him!” Apollo stepped up next to me.

“Why is that?” he wondered.

Buddy opened his mouth like he was about to answer us but then he suddenly closed it. He gave the three of us suspicious looks. “Say, who did you say you were again?” he asked, pointing an accusing finger at us.

Uh-oh. He figured us out. “We’re um, Robin’s lawyers,” I responded.

A grin broke out on Buddy’s face. “Nuh-uh! I’m not saying anything else!” he taunted, “If you want to hear what I have to say it’ll be in court! They’re calling me as a witness!”

“Really? You saw what happened?” Athena asked in surprise. I noticed a strange look flashed before his eyes before it was gone.

“Uh, yup! I totally did! Gonna talk all about it at the trial,” Buddy explained, “Gee I hate to be testifying against Robin, but it’s my civic duty to tell what I saw!” He shifted his feet nervously. “Um, if you excuse me, I have to get back to work. See you at the trial!”

The three of us stared after him as he walked away. I waited until he was out of earshot before speaking.

“Did that seem strange to either of you?” I asked.

“Yeah, he seemed rather dodgy,” Apollo noted, “Did you notice the look on his face when Athena asked him if he saw what happened? I don’t trust him.”

“Maybe we should get out of here and talk to our client,” Athena suggested.

We walked back by Gumshoe to ask him if he had anymore clues for us (“No!” he barked us, “Get out!”) before we headed over to the police station where they were holding Robin.

-Detention Center, April 14, 12:55pm-

Robin Avery was a young man with black hair of a medium length. He was quite pale and had green eyes and was looking rather despondent. But that was understandable. He was in detention after all. He was wearing a black hoodie and a red shirt.

He looked at us with nervous eyes as we sat down across from him. “What do you guys want?” he mumbled.

“My name is Phoenix Wright, defense attorney,” I introduced myself, “These are my young associates, Apollo Justice and Athena Cykes. Your father asked us to represent you.”

Robin seemed to perk up at this. “Really?” he asked, “Glad my old man is still looking out for me. He can’t work anymore since he was crippled. So, I do all the working for both of us.”

“If you answer a few questions for us it would really help the case,” I pointed out.

“Sure.”

“What was your relationship to the victim?” I asked, “What was he like?”

“Morty Fied? He was all right, I guess. A bit uptight. He always got mad about every little thing,” Robin explained. He let out a sigh. “I don’t think he liked me very much. Probably why he picked Buddy over me to get the promotion even though I needed it more and Buddy is really annoying.”

“This is just a standard question,” I pointed out, “You didn’t kill him, did you?”

“What?! No!” Robin exclaimed, “I didn’t even see Morty at all that day! After I found out I didn’t get promoted I had to take a bit of time off to cool down. I swear I didn’t do it!”

“All right, calm down!” Athena said, holding up her hands, “We always ask this of all our clients. Just an obligation thing.”

Slouching down in his seat, Robin frowned. “Sorry,” he muttered, “You’ll probably hear that I have a bit of an anger issue. I’ve been trying to work on it, but I can’t really afford to see a therapist or anything to help me. And my job doesn’t offer any benefits. The pay is kind of crud, honestly, which is why I was really hoping for this promotion. It would’ve greatly helped my dad and I.”

“If the pay is so bad, why don’t you just get a different job somewhere else?” Apollo wondered. Robin bit his lower lip.

“It’s not easy to get a job in this town,” he explained, “And my shyness and temper usually are a turn off to interviewers. I was, er, kicked out of high school which does not look good on a resume. Fletcher Industries is the only place that’s really willing to overlook all my faults. I was trying to be a hard worker so I could get that promotion. But what’s the point? Now I’m going to jail and my dad is probably going to starve.”

“Not if I can help it!” I declared, “Don’t worry, Robin! We’re taking your case! And we won’t let your father starve. We’ll get to the bottom of this! I haven’t lost a case yet!”

Beside me, Apollo gave me a bewildered look. “Really?” he asked, “What about that one time when you- “

“Shush. Anyway, we’re already working on it. When is the trial?” I wondered.

Robin counted on his fingers, trying to remember. “In two days,” he replied. I blinked at him in surprise.

“R-Really? Usually when the trial is the day after arrest,” I noted. Robin shrugged.

“Well, I heard that apparently the prosecutor has something big he has to take care of and get sorted out so they pushed it back a day,” he said, “But that could be a good thing, right? It gives you more time to look for evidence to prove I’m not guilty?”

“That’s true,” Athena piped in, “We didn’t really get the chance to look at the crime scene at all, what with the police guarding it. Maybe we’ll get a better chance tomorrow.”

“Good call, Athena,” I agreed. I turned back to Robin. “You didn’t happen to overhear who the prosecutor on this case was, did you?” Sadly, he shook his head.

“Sorry, no,” he replied.

“Eh, that’s all right,” I told him, “We’ll find out soon enough.” We stood up to leave, but then I thought of something. “Oh! Before we go Robin, I have one last question.”

“What’s that?”

“What is your boss, Dominic Fletcher like?”

At the sound of his name, Robin’s eyes widened. “He’s a terror, man! He’s like the reincarnation of the devil himself!” he breathed, his eyes wild, “Stay away from him! Whatever you do! Don’t get mixed up with him!”

-Police Precinct, Lobby, April 14, 1:10 pm-

“So I’m guessing all the rumors about Mr. Fletcher are true,” I mused as Apollo, Athena, and I left the detention center, “Hopefully we can avoid him while working on this case.”

“It’s not like he had anything to do with the murder,” Athena pointed out, “Besides getting permission to go somewhere in the building or something I can’t see any reason why would ever need to interact with him.”

“I really hope you’re right about that,” Apollo muttered, “I don’t want to meet anyone described as ‘the devil incarnate.’”

We were about to leave the building when I suddenly heard someone call my name. I turned around and saw Miles Edgeworth striding towards us. He was looking as dapper as ever in his typical dress. For some reason, it seemed to be getting hotter in here. Ah yes, and my heart seemed to be beating faster. I wondered why?

“Ah Wright, I was hoping to catch you here,” Edgeworth greeted (or didn’t greet?) “Gumshoe told me I could probably find you here.”

I smiled warmly at my old friend. “What can I do for you, Edgeworth?” I asked.

He didn’t speak until he was right in front of me. “I wanted to tell you this in person instead of you finding out by the papers,” he said, “I thought it only fair since we are… friends.”

I got a strange feeling in my gut as he spoke. “What is it, Edgeworth?”

He sighed deeply. “Wright,” he paused dramatically, “I am getting engaged.”