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GTA: Japanifornia

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“Okay you two, here’s the plan.” 

It had become something of a tradition for them, whenever Maya could get some time off. 

“First, we steal a cargobob from one of the usual locations. Phoenix, you’re the pilot, codename Papa Whiskey.”

This time, however, there was something a bit different- the inclusion of a certain frilly prosecutor, who had declared himself on board with “whatever it is you do on weekends like this.”

“…Maya, isn’t that just my initials in the phonetic alphabet?”

“…Irrelevant. Anyway, Edgeworth, while Papa’s acquiring the chopper, you’re going to find an armored truck somewhere in the city and box it in with cars. Codename… Ruffles.”

They found that planning heists was quite enjoyable, so Phoenix and Maya had traded off being the mastermind. Now, they supposed, Edgeworth might have to be added to the rotation.

“’Ruffles?’ Really? I think I have a tad more dignity than that.”

They had been a tad surprised to learn that the Chief Prosecutor had both an Xbox and a copy of Grand Theft Auto V, but hey, everyone needs a way to blow off steam.

“Quiet, Ruffles. The boss is talking.”

“Et tu, Papa?” 

The latest heist had been hastily reworked to accommodate the inclusion of Edgeworth, and all three were now hooked up to their headsets. 

“A-hem. Now, while you two identify the target and get transportation, I’m going to set up on the roof of the parking garage next to the convenience store, sector G6. See it on your maps?”

“Got it.”

“Yes, I see it.”

Phoenix’s heists tended towards the conservative, focusing on getting everyone out alive with the money. Maya, however…

“Okay, so Papa is going to fly over to where Ruffles has the armored car trapped. Ruffles, you’re going to get into his bird and the both of you will hook the car and bring it to my rooftop. You set it down, I open it up, and then we all get in the cars I’ve placed up there and ramp off into the streets. From there we’ll split up, lose the cops, and meet back up at the top of Mount Chilead. Agreed?”

One could practically hear Phoenix massaging his temples over the line.

“Sure.”

“This promises to be interesting. Shall we begin?”

“Awesome! Oh, and my codename is…”

“Burger Queen.”

“You suggest that every time!”

“Hasn’t gotten any less appropriate.”

Children. May I suggest ‘Princess’?”

“…I am okay with this.”

“Okay, sure.”

A few minutes later, Phoenix was in the air and Maya was putting the finishing touches on her setup on the roof of the parking garage. 

“I have located an armored truck,” came Edgeworth’s voice. “Driving aggressively in front of it… now. Hmph. It thinks it can get away. It’s never driven in LA traffic, obviously.”

“Roger that, Ruffles. Papa Whiskey is on his way.” 

The chopper landed on the freeway next to the stranded armored vehicle, allowing Edgeworth to get into the gunner’s seat. 

“Okay, Ruffles- as soon as I pick this thing up, we have three stars. That means enemy choppers, and that means I need you to defend me.”

“Some faith would not go amiss, Papa,” said Edgeworth, drily. “I am combat-ready.” 

“Okay, hooking the truck in three… two… crap! The truck is moving! I repeat, the target just booked it out of here! Ruffles, I thought you had it contained!”

“I did! Your landing must have jostled the blockade! Dammit... Follow him. I’ll be right back.”

“Where could you possibly be going?!?”

And with that, Edgeworth jumped from the chopper. 

As they had been preparing to hook the truck, the fall wasn’t fatal. The prosecutor glanced about as he separated himself from the pavement. “That will do,” he muttered, spotting a likely vehicle. “Papa. Do you still have the target?”

“Yeah, I’m on him, but he’s still hard on the gas. I can’t get him like this.”

“I will be right there. Just a few… more… seconds…”

If the driver of the armored car had been human, rather than an assemblage of subroutines crammed into a character model, they would have been very surprised indeed when the semi crashed into the side of their car.

“Holy shit, Edge- er, Ruffles!”

“What? What happened?” came Maya’s voice. 

“He just crashed a big rig into the target!”

“Holy shit!”

“While your surprise is quite entertaining,” said Edgeworth, “perhaps you might hook this thing now?”

“What about you? How will you get in if you’re keeping it pinned there?” 

“Do not worry about me. I will cover you from the ground. Go.”

Phoenix, with the skill of long hours of practice, snagged the truck and took off, making a beeline for Maya’s location. 

“Princess, I’ve got the target and we’re on our way to you. Ruffles also has the cops on him from ramming it.”

“I told you not to worry about me.” Suddenly, the ground below the chopper was a light show, red-and-blue lights fading as the police cars crowding around the semi exploded. “The situation is under control.” Phoenix raised an eyebrow- he knew that tone. That was Edgeworth’s smirking voice.

A stream of bullets arced upward from the ground where Edgeworth had apparently acquired a new form of transportation, blasting the gunners out of the seats of police helicopters. Several explosions sounded below- apparently Edgeworth was keeping the police on the ground busy simultaneously. 

“Er… not to complain, Ruffles, but when did you get so good at killing cops?” 

There was a low chuckle in Phoenix’s ear. “You underestimate me, Mr. Whiskey. In this world, I’m good at killing everybody.

Protected by his somewhat-disturbing-if-highly-efficient new bodyguard, Papa Whiskey arrived at his Princess’ castle mostly unmolested. Their ruffled friend joined them on the roof soon after, as Maya was in the process of blasting open the car’s doors. Phoenix approached his friend as he made the roof- on foot, strangely.

“Er… what happened to the car you were driving?”

“I had to use it as an improvised barricade to stop the police from getting in,” Edgeworth responded. “Fortunately this place only has one ground-level entrance. Good choice, Princess.” 

“Ah, yeah, totally why I picked it.” Maya sounded slightly concerned. “Um, Ruffles… when did you get so good at GTA?” 

“Right around the time I realized that you could kill the both criminals and the police without consequence. It’s very… soothing.”

Silence prevailed over the line for a minute, broken only by Edgeworth’s occasional chuckle as he watched the police trying to get past the car wedged in the garage’s entrance.

“Um… okay, I’ve got the cash,” said Maya, in a somewhat worried voice. “Your rides are by the ramp.”

“…Dammit, Princess. Does it always have to be motorcycles?”

“MOTORCYCLES ARE COOL.”

“Also, there are only two of them.”

“Well yeah. I planned this heist for two people, remember?”

“You changed every other aspect!”

“Whoops, gotta go. Later!” Leaving the two of them in a cloud of smoke, Maya ramped her cycle off the roof of the building, leaving the pair looking at the single remaining motorcycle.

Phoenix cleared his throat. “Um…”

Edgeworth was already mounting the bright pink vehicle. “Get on, Whiskey. It’s your turn to protect me.”

“By the way, boys,” Maya chimed in, “you might want to check your feet.”

“…WHY IS THE ROOF COVERED IN EXPLOSIVES!? SHITSHITSHIT…”

Phoenix jumped on the back of the motorcycle with all possible haste, and the two zipped off the roof just as it became an inferno. Maya’s giggles were audible over the line. 

“DAMMIT MAYA! WHY DO YOU ALWAYS HAVE TO MAKE EVERYTHING EXPLODE! Edge- dammit, Ruffles, police on our left. Two squad cars and a motorcycle.”

“I see them. Taking the next exit.”

The giggles were now full-on cackles as Maya listened to the pair trying to shake the cops.

“Shit! More of them! Choppers up top!”

“I have an idea.”

“What are you- moving into oncoming traffic is NOT a good idea! This thing is not stable, if you- oh! Trucy! Sorry, sweetie, I didn’t mean to wake you up- um, this? It’s, ah… it’s nothing. Just, um, something Daddy does with Aunt Maya. No you may not stay and see. Back to bed, Daddy will be quieter.” Phoenix heard the guffawing in his ear and turned his attention back to the game. “Oh be quiet, the both of you.”

“You’re such a bad influence on that girl, Papa,” said Maya. She tutted. “What kind of household are you running?”

Edgeworth tutted as well, that special I-don’t-even-know-why-I-associate-with-the-likes-of-you tut that always made Phoenix’s eye twitch. “Really, Whiskey. One ought to know better.”

“Oh, I’d like to see either of you as parents. No, Princess, Pearls doesn’t count, not least because I’m practically raising her too, what with all the time she spends down here trying to convince me we’re perfect for each other.”

Maya giggled. “We’ll always be her OTP.”

“Incidentally, Wright,” cut in Edgeworth, “I think your daughter may have started shipping you with my sister. Oh, and I think we’ve lost them.”

“Me and Franziska? Where the hell did she get that idea? And yeah, but next time could you do it in a way other than ‘jump off a mountain?’”

“Oh please, it wasn’t a mountain, it was barely a hill. And I’m not sure, but your young magician was asking me some very pointed questions last week about why exactly Franziska has returned from Europe.” 

“That’s odd. Oh… wait.”

“What?”

“I should check her browsing history- she may have looked up our cases after meeting her. “

“Why would that give her any ideas?”

“No offense, Edgeworth, but I have never had a more passionate relationship with a prosecutor than I did with your sister. And if she just read the transcripts…”

“…Ah. I see how she may have gotten the wrong idea. It must have read like an issue of Tsundere Courtroom Monthly.

“An issue of what?

“Oh look, Mount Chilead. Everything go smoothly, Princess?”

Maya recovered from her gigglefest. “Hi, guys. Good to see you’re not dead.” She paused. “Jeez, Papa, you can put the gun away.”

Phoenix shook his head- a gesture somewhat lost over the voice-only chat. “Nuh-uh. The last few times you’ve tried to put a hole in my head before the cash could be split. Thus, my little friend from level 120.” Phoenix had pulled out an almost comically oversized minigun. The barrel spun up with a threatening whiiirrrrrrrr. 

“Wait, that’s an option?” said Edgeworth.

“Not for you, she still has to share the cash from the jo-“ BOOM

Phoenix cut short as his character’s dead body flew into the air and started tumbling down the side of the mountain. Back at the top, Edgeworth and Maya were both leveling weapons at the other’s head. Edgeworth spoke first. “This doesn’t have to end badly, Princess. There just really didn’t have to be three of us, did there?”

“…Go on.” The two of them ignored Phoenix’s indignant protests.

“If I kill you now, you take the money to the grave. If I kill you after it’s shared, I don’t get the rest of it, so there’s no profit for me. And if you attempt to kill me, I will certainly make sure you go down with me. So.”

“I share the cash, we both walk away?”

“Precisely.”

“I like a man with business sense. And one who shares my love of TCM.” Not lowering the gun, Maya transferred the money.

“Very good doing business with you, Ms. Princess,” said Edgeworth. And with that, he opened up on full auto.

Maya was so taken aback that she was dead before she could pull the trigger. As the game informed her that she had been ”WASTED,” she stammered out a question. “But… you said… why?”

Edgeworth stood above his victim, planting an explosive charge. “I said there was no profit in killing you, Ms. Fey.” One could practically hear the feral glint of his smile in his voice. “I didn’t do it for the money. 

“I did it because it was fun.”

He pulled the trigger, and Maya’s body went sailing off the precipice into the night.