Ace Attorney Equestria: Turnabout Cupcakes
Borrowed for your pleasure from fanfiction.net
“Please…please don’t do this…”
The other pony giggles a bit. “Why shouldn’t I?” she asks. “It’s what I like to do…It’s fun.”
“Not for me, though…” the first pleads. The second thinks for a second.
“Well, then,” she finally says. “This will be unpleasant.”
The last thing the first pony saw was a flash of pink and a slasher smile…then darkness…
Wright and Co. Law Offices
My name is Phoenix Wright. Two months ago I was brought into the country of Equestria by a talking pony. Her name’s Twilight Sparkle. The reason why I was brought there was to defend a pegasus known as Rainbow Dash in a murder trial. After a fierce two-day courtroom battle with a magician prosecutor named Trixie, I finally proved Dash innocent of all charges.
It was hard saying goodbye to my newfound friends, but somehow…I knew we’d meet again.
Phoenix was busy with his thoughts as his hands were busy organizing his desk. Once again, business was slow at Wright and Co. Law offices, so money was somewhat tight. Maya had went to Kurain Village to do some more training, and he had the office to himself.
So he’s spending it organizing his desk.
Kinda sad, really, Phoenix can’t help but internally remark.
As such, Phoenix found his mind wandering to his other friends. Rainbow Dash, Pinkie Pie, Fluttershy, Rarity, Applejack, and—
As if on cue, the moment he thought of Twilight’s name, he feels a familiar shock to his body. Then to his mind; he knew what would happen next.
“Uh-oh,” is all Phoenix has time to say before a second shock hits his body, and he witnesses himself disappearing. Within a few minutes, there was no one left in the office.
Phoenix, to his credit, woke up rather quickly. Perhaps too quickly, as he was greeted by a familiar purple pony staring at his face only about a foot away.
“Gah!” Phoenix gasps out. “Twilight, please don’t scare me like that!”
“Sorry,” Twilight says, clearly apologetic. “But I need your help again, Phoenix. Something bad’s happened, and—Oh, it’s nice to see you again, by the way.”
“Likewise,” Phoenix says, confused. “So…Something bad?” Can we get a bit more description?
“Oh, right,” Twilight says, getting back on track. “It’s Pinkie. She’s been arrested for murder.”
“The usual, then,” Phoenix says. It takes several seconds for what Twilight said to fully register.
“I was just as surprised,” Twilight nods, saddened. “I’d have never believed it’d happen to Pinkie, to say nothing about a murder ever happening again. But it happened, and it’s bad. I mean, BAD.”
I assumed it was bad when you said it was, Phoenix thinks. “Then we need to go now. Is she at the Detention Center?”
“Yes,” Twilight says. “The others are there, already, but I had to call you down first.”
“Then let’s go,” Phoenix says, absentmindedly combing his pocket, and being shocked by what he finds.
Or doesn’t find.
“I forgot my magatama,” he says, which visibly disappoints Twilight. “I had emptied my pockets earlier, I guess…It’s probably still on my desk back home.” That face matches my thoughts exactly. How are we gonna get information from tough witnesses now?
“Well…we have other ways to solve this,” she says, still bummed out, as she really liked the tool. Then the figurative light bulb. “Oh, right!” she says. “If you’re going to defend Pinkie, you need your badge.” She rummages through a desk drawer, and after several seconds, pulls out something Phoenix definitely remembered for the wrong reasons: the Equestrian Attorney’s Badge.
Glad to see that’s still the only kind, Phoenix thinks, reluctantly taking the badge and clipping it onto his suit. “Thanks, Twilight. I should be set now.”
Equestrian Attorney’s Badge added to the Court Record!
“We’ve got a lot of work ahead of us,” Twilight nods, trotting out as she speaks; Phoenix finds he has to jog to keep up. “Let’s not waste any time. The sooner we free Pinkie of all charges, the better.”
Pinkie, arrested for murder.
That was a sentence fragment Phoenix never expected to think or even hear. That innocent, hyperactive pony…believed to be a killer?
“Can’t be,” Phoenix says to himself. “There’s more to this.”
He’s startled out of his thoughts again by a voice. This one belonging to Applejack, who was standing with Fluttershy near the dividing glass, and Dash on the opposite side, staring, waiting for Pinkie to arrive. Phoenix approaches, Twilight close behind.
“Glad you’re here, sugarcube,” Applejack says. “I’m ‘fraid Pinkie’s gonna be in deep trouble if you don’t help.”
“So what happened?” Twilight asks.
“Not sure,” Dash says. “All I heard was that something happened at Sugarcube Corner last night. Something bad.”
That must be the word of the day, Phoenix thinks. But he immediately refocuses into the conversation.
“Hmm…” Twilight muses. “I didn’t hear anything…Must’ve been late at night.”
“Phoenix?” Fluttershy asks, timidly. “You’ll help her, right? I mean, if you can…”
Phoenix looks towards the yellow pony. “I’ll try my best,” he says.
Just then, Twilight notices something. “Say,” she says. “Has anyone seen—”
The newest addition to the voices startles everyone. Pinkie was directly against the window, staring at everyone from her side, smiling.
“I’m glad you came!” she says. “I bet you’re here for the party, right?”
“…Party?” Phoenix asks. How can one think of a party at this time?
“Of course, silly!” Pinkie says, slightly surprised at his question. “That’s gotta be why I’m here, right? I mean, I was here all night waiting, and some nice guards asked me lots of questions a few times—”
“Pinkie…” Twilight tries to interrupt.
“…And then this pony—his name was Tech—came in, talked with me for a while and left, and it’s been like that all this time! I bet they’re making a super big party for me and they’re just keeping me busy—”
“Pinkie,” Twilight says with more force.
“—But I just can’t wait! I’m so excited for it to come! Do you think there’ll be a big cake? I sure hope there’ll be a big cake! Ooh! And cookies! That’ll be great for a party—”
“Pinkie!” Phoenix finally snaps. “You’re here on murder charges! Not a party!”
This little outburst makes Pinkie flinch back quite a bit, and makes her lose her smile.
“…Really?” she asks.
“That was a bit harsh, buddy,” Applejack disapproves.
Phoenix sighs. “Look. I’m sorry I yelled at you there. But this is seriously important. I need to know what happened last night.”
“I don’t know,” Pinkie says, putting a hoof to her face in thought. “I was working late, and I had a customer. When I came back out…some guards brought me here.”
“So you weren’t involved,” Phoenix verifies.
“Yep,” Pinkie says. “But…You’ll help me through this, right, Feenie?”
Phoenix has to think for a moment.
I know nothing about this incident, he thinks. Pinkie is completely blind to it. What if she’s wrong?
A few seconds of pause.
What if she’s not?
“Pinkie,” Phoenix finally says. “I will do everything in my power to help you out of this.”
Pinkie smiles a bit. “Pinkie promise?” she asks. She puts her hoof to the glass. Phoenix can’t help but smile, and places his hand on his side.
“Pinkie promise,” he says.
“YAY!” Pinkie cheers. “Nopony breaks a Pinkie promise, so that means you’ve GOT to win! I believe in you, Feenie!”
“Right,” Phoenix says. “I’ll check on the crime scene, and see if I can find something. But is there anything you can tell me?”
“Um…” Pinkie thinks. “Oh yeah! Rarity was working with me last night!”
“Rarity?” Phoenix asks. “Doesn’t she work at the Boutique?”
“Yep!” Pinkie says, bouncing up and down. “But Mrs. Cake was sick, and Mr. Cake couldn’t watch the store and take care of her and the twins, so I took care of the store! But it was hard work alone, so I asked Rarity if she would help and she said yes!”
As long as there were plenty of pens… Phoenix remembers, shuddering.
Pinkie’s Testimony added to the Court Record!
“Speaking of…” Twilight says, thinking. “Where is Rarity?”
“Huh?” Applejack says, surprised. “She didn’t come out here with you two?”
“Nope,” Twilight says. “I wonder where she is.”
“I knocked before,” Dash says. “No answer. Is she home?”
“We need to check,” Phoenix says. “She could help with this case.”
“First things first,” Twilight nods to Phoenix. “Priority is getting a good look at the crime scene. But we need to find Rarity and figure out where she is.” She thinks as she walks. “Hopefully we can do both quickly.”
Still, Phoenix thinks. There’s a few things I don’t understand. How did she not see the murder? And she mentioned a name, Tech, I think…This is going to be an interesting case. Aside from being about ponies, of course.
The first thing Phoenix and Twilight noticed was the yelling.
“But she’s innocent, I tell you!” one pony, a short and squat light-blue mare, had yelled to another, this one a lanky pony wearing a helmet perhaps two sizes too large, enough that it covered his eyes. He sported a white coat, with a dark blue mane and tail. He also wore a set of armor, clearly indicating he was part of Celestia’s guard force. Yet he acted like he was fresh off the streets, with the minimum confidence needed for guard duty, and an otherwise nervous demeanor.
“Sorry, ma’am, but I’m following procedure,” the guard says. “Now I need you to please leave the room, we’re conducting an investigation, ma’am.”
“I’m practically involved in the inve-” the light-blue mare is about to say, but begins sneezing heavily; seems the stress encouraged this to happen.
“Ahem,” Phoenix says, not sure how to step in. I could get arrested five seconds into the investigation here… “Is this a bad time?”
“Phoenix…” Twilight sighs, stepping in (Phoenix’s cheeks become red in embarrassment). “Mrs. Cake, are you okay?”
The mare—presumably Mrs. Cake, to Phoenix, turns. “Oh, Twilight!” she greets. “Sorry for the problems, it’s just that…”
“This is a crime scene, ma’am,” the guard says again, lifting the helmet up a bit, so his eyes were visible. “You need to step out please. You too, sir, ma’am.”
“We’re actually here investigating…” Phoenix weakly says, taking a brief glimpse at the scene. Evidently forensics hasn’t taken the body away, as there was an orange-colored pony laying on the ground; the surrounding area was soaked with blood.
“Oh, my…” Twilight says. “I’ve never seen anything like this…”
Phoenix looks to Twilight, about to raise a question, but recalls the logic behind this: Rainbow Dash’s trial. The victim was electrocuted. No blood.
“Please, sir, we can talk later, sir,” the guard says, looking even more nervous. “Let me have five minutes to put the ticker-tape down at least.”
“Not until I know why Pinkie is under arrest!” Mrs. Cake demands. “She’d never-(ACHOO!)” The sneezing fit again. Twilight shakes her head, then walked over.
“Come on, Mrs. Cake,” she says, leading the older mare towards the kitchen. “You should wait in here. At least until they finish.” Mrs. Cake was about to protest, but decides to calm herself as she walked.
Phoenix, not wanting to be left out, follows.
Mrs. Cake still looked quite frustrated after being shepherded out of her own bakery’s lobby, but nevertheless, she still tries to give a weary smile.
“Well,” she says. “It’s nice to see you, Twilight. You too, um…”
“He’s Phoenix Wright,” Twilight explains, before Phoenix can get even a word out. “The human attorney from Rainbow Dash’s trial.”
“Ah,” Mrs. Cake nods. Then it sinks in. “Ah! So YOU’RE the lawyer! Oh, Pinkie’s in good hands, then…”
Way to place the pressure, Phoenix thinks. “Um…We haven’t really introduced yet…”
“My name’s Mrs. Cake, and I co-run Sugarcube Corner,” Mrs. Cake nods. “It’s a great job, r-(Aachoo!)”
Whatever she was about to say was interrupted by a brief sneezing fit. When it finishes, she tiredly takes a napkin and wipes her nose.
“Are you sick?” Twilight asks in concern. Mrs. Cake shakes her head.
“Not all the way,” she admits. “I usually hate to not go to work, but that morning I could barely get out of bed, so I had no choice…Most of it’s gone now, of (Aachoo!) course.”
“That matches what Pinkie said,” Phoenix nods. “I know you weren’t actually there, but is there anything you can tell me about the murder?”
“Only that Pinkie’s as clean as you’ll find!” Mrs. Cake insists. “She’s been living here for quite a few years now, and she’d never—NEVER-do something like tha-(Aachoo!)!”
“Mrs. Cake, please calm down,” Twilight says, worried for the kind baker’s health.
“It’s just horrible…” Mrs. Cake says, head lowered. “What Pinkie’s going through…And then there’s the rumors…”
“Rumors?” Phoenix perks up at this.
“Yes, rumors. Things about how Pinkie’s crazy, or that we make our cupcakes out of ponies, or calling this place things like Slaughtercube Corner…” Her head suddenly shoots up. “None of it true, of course! She’d never (Aachoo!) do something so (Aachoo!) evil!”
“I believe you, honestly!” Phoenix says, backing up. Sooner or later, I’m getting covered in icing. “I’ll be working as hard as I can to acquit Pinkie.”
Mrs. Cake smiles. “Thank you, Mr. Wright,” she says. “For taking care of Pinkie. Here, have a cupcake on the house.”
Next thing Phoenix knows, he’s holding a pink-frosted cupcake in his palm. It’s like a little powder-keg of cuteness.
“Those are some of the best cupcakes we have,” Mrs. Cake explains. “Creampuff Delights. Nevermind the name, but these are the best. Usually they’re for frequent eaters. They’re also very hard to make…” She looks a bit embarrased. “Lots of attention. You save that for when you’re hungry, okay?”
“…Okay,” Phoenix says, unsure as to where exactly he’ll put this. Please don’t make me put it in my coat. I just had it washed.
Luckily, Mrs. Cake had that covered, as she already pulled out the perfect box for the perfect cupcake. “It’s made with artificial love,” she continues. “Still haven’t found out how to get the real thing, but oh well!” Soon enough, the cupcake is boxed, and placed into Phoenix’s hands. “Savor the flavor, alright?”
Creampuff Delight added to the Court Record!
“Thanks for the treat and the information,” Twilight says. “But we kinda…Well, we need to investigate.”
“Oh, my, yes, of course!” Mrs. Cake nods, giving off another sneeze. “Don’t let me keep you from your job. I wish you both the best of luck!”
The baker pony, unsure of what to do, decides to clean the kitchen area. And Phoenix and Twilight go back into the lobby.
When Phoenix and Twilight walked back into the lobby, the guard’s helmet was once again covering his eyes.
“Sorry, ma’am, but I still can’t let you—” he starts, before lifting the helmet up to see just who he was talking to. His tone changes instantly. “Oh, it’s you two,” he greets. “Thanks for helping me there, sir, ma’am. This was a crime scene, and she couldn’t be there, sir.”
“That’s fine,” Phoenix says. “But we need to get a look, too.”
“Hey, also,” Twilight says to the guard pony. “I didn’t get your name.”
The guard awkwardly salutes, knocking the helmet back down again. “Private Conn Stable, ma’am!” he announces. “This is my first investigation, ma’am!”
Twilight was taken aback by the overenthusiastic greeting, especially considering how ‘by the book’ he was earlier, but nods. “Twilight Sparkle, student of Celestia,” she introduced back.
“Phoenix Wright, defense attorney,” Phoenix follows suit. “So…about seeing the crime scene?”
“Hmm…” Conn muses. “I was ordered not to let anyone in, sir…But you ARE an attorney…This is tricky…”
“Allow me to make this decision, then.”
The newcoming voice makes the two other ponies and one human turn towards the entrance, where a slick figure walked in. He was an average-sized pony, of dark blue color and with a brown mane, with reflective goggles covering his eyes. On his back appeared to be a robotic hand, currently resting at his side. He carried an aura of intelligence, but also one of pride and confidence. Coolly, he strides towards the group, keeping his head turned to face Phoenix especially.
I’d have never thought ponies could make me nervous, Phoenix thinks. Then I went to Equestria…
“Now then,” the new pony says. “I believe you are Phoenix Wright, human attorney involved in the Ace Swift case?”
“Um…yes?” Phoenix says, unnerved by the knowledge kept behind those lenses.
For several seconds, the pony says nothing, until eventually…he smiles. “It is a pleasure to meet you,” he says. “Technic Gear, or Tech for short. I will be prosecuting this case.”
A nicer prosecutor, Phoenix thinks again. Pinch me, I’m dreaming.
“Wait a second,” Twilight notices something. “You’re the prosecutor? What about Trixie?”
Trixie. Phoenix’s opponent in court during Rainbow Dash’s trial. Haughty, confident, boastful, and generally a pain…but there were hidden depths within that one-pony-show. Twilight’s comment makes Phoenix think as well on her whereabouts.
“She’s busy attending to business in Canterlot,” Tech explains. “Negotiations for an Equestrian tour. She won’t be back until tomorrow afternoon, I’m afraid, so I’ve stepped in for this case.”
“Oh,” Twilight says, then nods. “Okay. That makes sense, I guess.”
Tech nods back, then faces Conn. “Private,” he addresses. “Any new clues?”
“None, sir,” Conn says. “All I found before was it.”
“Still a suitable amount, I suppose,” Tech says, thinking.
“Uh,” Conn interjects, hesitant. “These two want to look through the crime scene. I wasn’t sure if I should…”
“Let them,” Tech immediately says. Upon registering Phoenix and Twilight’s surprise, he smiles. “I like to make sure the defense is on the same footing as myself. It’s only fair, after all.”
“So we’re free to look around?” Twilight asks. Tech nods.
“Yes,” he says. “In fact, if you wish, stop by my house later. I’m done my investigation here, and after I collect more data, I’d be glad to share what I can.”
“That’s…very generous,” Phoenix says, still stunned by this charitable prosecutor. A nice change of pace from whips and hot coffee, anyway.
“Now, then, I must go,” Tech says, turning away. “Good luck in your investigation, and see you later.” He starts trotting off.
“Wait,” Twilight says, raising a hoof. Tech turns his head in response. “That arm on the side…”
“This?” Tech asks, pointing his hoof at the odd mechanical arm he had attached to himself. “This is one of my inventions, designed with the anatomy of a dragon’s claw in mind, and powered by both unicorn magic and my own mind.”
As if on cue, the arm activates, giving a small wave to the human attorney.
“So you built that?” Phoenix asks; Twilight was busy staring at it in fascination.
“Oh, yes,” Tech smiles. “In addition to being a part-time prosecutor, I am also a full-time inventor.” A pause. “Now, I really must be going. Make sure to drop by later.” He trots out for real this time.
“That was amazing,” Twilight says. “The design! I’ve never seen anything like it!”
“It’s really something,” Phoenix says, deciding not to mention the other, more superior inventions in his world. Though come to think of it…Unicorn magic? How did he get that when he wasn’t a unicorn?
“Well…” Conn says, trying to get back into the conversation. “He gave you the word, sir. You look around here as much as you want.”
“Thank you, Conn,” Twilight smiles at the young guard, who blushes briefly. Then she looks towards Phoenix. “Alright, let’s get started.”
First to begin with the body.
The same orange-colored pony was lying there in permasleep, a pool of blood underneath. The source seemed to be multiple cuts on her body, the biggest being a large stab wound in her forehead.
“This is disgusting…” Twilight gasps out. “Phoenix, you mind if I…”
“You don’t have to look,” Phoenix says, bending down, slightly more collected. I understand. I was like this during my first few investigations. Plus this is the first blood-soaked corpse she’s seen, probably.
“Thank you,” Twilight says, backing up and staring at the ceiling. “Just shout if you need anything.”
“I will,” Phoenix says, inspecting the body. Aside from the obvious, there didn’t seem to be anything unusual…
“Conn?” Phoenix asks, getting the guard’s attention; the oversized helmet spins a bit farther, landing over his eyes again. “Where’s the murder weapon?”
“Oh, Prosecutor Gear took care of that, sir,” he says. “Maybe he’ll tell you about that if you ask him later.”
It would’ve been nice… “And who is this pony?”
“We’re not sure,” Conn admits. “Prosecutor Gear’s looking into that too, sir. But I do have the autopsy…” He shows off the familiar police folder containing the details of this death. “Time was somewhere between 7:10 and 7:30 PM,” he continues. “Cause of death was that big wound up there, though the other cuts didn’t help, sir. We’re still finishing this thing up, so I’m afraid I can’t give it to you yet, sir.”
Am I going to be empty-handed all day? Phoenix internally questions. “Alright…Is there anything you CAN give me?”
“Hmm…” Conn thinks. “Well, I do have this diagram, but…I don’t really need it. This store is really simple to memorize, so you can keep it, sir.”
“Um…okay…” Phoenix says, a bit off-put that a guard pony is willingly giving away important information like this. He still takes the schematics, however.
Sugarcube Corner Diagram added to the Court Record!
Phoenix inspected the diagram. Then he compared it to how Sugarcube Corner looked at that moment.
“Nothing out of place,” he notices. “Meaning there’s no clues in that…” How can it be this hard to find something to work with?
Twilight had ended her squeamish mood and had focused on a large shelf containing various icings. Or did, anyway, as all the topmost icings were tipped over, spilling onto the other shelves and floor.
New question: How did I miss this? Phoenix thinks. “So this is where they kept the display icings?”
“Yes, but something’s bothering me about this,” Twilight says. “Like this huge mess.”
“…Maybe somepony spilled it?” Phoenix asks.
“But Rarity was helping here,” Twilight reminds the defense attorney, who’s surprised. “She’s extremely cleanly; she’d have never left this mess here if she could help it.”
Come to think of it… Phoenix nods. But why IS it there is Rarity was here?
“And further…” Twilight continues. “Look at the floor.”
Phoenix looks down, and notices something interesting. While there’s a good amount of icing on the floor, there’s a wide circle in the center. “Now why…?” This is getting interesting. “You don’t suppose the killer…?”
“I don’t know,” Twilight shakes her head. “It’s still too early to say, but this is pretty interesting.”
Icing-Stained Shelf added to the Court Record!
The last thing Phoenix expected was getting blinded while in the streets, but that was exactly what happened. One minute, he’s walking towards Carousel Boutique, the next, some random pony lets off a camera directly in his face.
“Aaah!” he yells. A little courtesy, please?!
Once Phoenix’s vision recovers (and once Twilight finishes being amused at Phoenix’s reaction), he takes a good look at the mare who took his picture. She had a light green coat, and a dark green mane, with what appeared to be a press cap on her head. She happily held a rather large camera, which had just printed out the photo.
“Score!” she says. “Another one for the folder, I’d say! The paper’ll pay by the hooffull for a shot of this!”
“Excuse me,” Twilight says. “Why did you just take a picture of Phoenix?”
“Who?” the photographer asks, before getting a good look at a slightly-irritated Phoenix. “Oh, that guy, huh? Whassee…Oh, yeah, a human, right?”
“Double-score!” she says. “A human in Equestria? Oh, the editor’s gonna flip!”
My picture in the paper as a freak show…joy, Phoenix thinks. “Ahem…I’m sorry, we don’t know each other. My name is Phoenix Wright, an attorney. And you?”
“Shutter Speed, at your service!” Shutter responds. “Freelance photographer for now, but just you wait, fellas, I’ll be Equestrian Daily’s top photographer for sure with this!”
“Good for you,” Twilight nods, playing along. “Now, we need to get going. We have to see Rarity-”
“Hang on, hang on,” Shutter says, raising a hoof. “You’re seeing Rarity? As in, THE Rarity?”
“Um…yes,” Phoenix says. Oh, boy.
“She’s AMAZING!” Shutter cheers. “That mare knows how to strut her stuff and show off style!”
“Oh, I take it you’re a fan of hers?” Twilight asks, surprised and amused.
“You know it!” Shutter is very excited. “I’ve snagged snapshots of a bunch of her modelings and stuff! She’s a legend!”
Looks like we’ve hit a good spot, Phoenix thinks. “So you’re a photographer, huh? You wouldn’t have happened to hear about an incident last night?”
“Are you kidding?” Shutter says, confident. “Saw the whole thing!”
“You…You witnessed the crime?!” Phoenix is very surprised. Shutter just gives a nod.
“You better believe it, Spikey,” she nods. “Got a photo and everything!”
“May we see?” Twilight asks, concerned for the safety of Pinkie…But Shutter shakes her head.
“Sorry, Twi,” she says. “But I already had a talk with Goggles about that. He said not to show anypony the photo or tell anypony about what happened until court tomorrow. Otherwise it’d be my photo in the newspaper today.”
“Goggles?” Twilight asks, before raising her head in realization. “Oh, you mean Tech, right?”
“That’s the one,” Shutter says. “So I can’t tell you what I saw. Sorry.”
And thus, the prosecutor makes my life harder, Phoenix says. “Is there anything else you COULD tell us?”
“It’s locked tight,” Shutter insists. “I can’t say a word about what I saw.”
“Can we at least probe a bit?” Phoenix leads. “Maybe if you saw anypony else there?”
Shutter pauses, before shaking her head. “Nope, I didn’t see anypony else.”
“Wait, what did you say?” Twilight says, staring at Shutter with a look of intent. Shutter looks confused.
“All I said was I didn’t see anypony else,” she repeats. Twilight nods.
“Thank you,” she says, though she still looked concerned. Phoenix catches it, but Shutter’s nodding.
“Glad to hear it,” she says. “Now, I gotta prep up for my court debut. See you fellas later!” With that, Shutter trots off, no doubt looking for another scoop to photograph.
“What was that about?” Phoenix asks Twilight, who pays no attention, but rather continues trotting towards Rarity’s.
“I’ll tell you later,” she only says. “But this is important.”
There wasn’t so much as a soul outside of the Boutique, which notably confused Twilight. Seeing the CLOSED sign on the door only baffled her more.
“She rarely closes up,” Twilight explains to Phoenix. Hoping to get a response, Twilight tapped on the door.
“We’re closed, darling!” Rarity called from inside. “Terribly sorry, you’ll have to come back later!”
“Rarity, it’s me,” Twilight calls back. “I brought Phoenix Wright with me. Remember him?”
The boutique was silent once again, but after several seconds, the door slowly and slightly opened. Rarity peeked through, looking very nervous and disraught.
“Come in, quickly,” she says, backing away.
Not weird at all, Phoenix thinks, as he walks in with Twilight.
The boutique looked roughly the same as always, with rolls of fabric against one wall, and mannequins against another. An elegant sofa was in the center, no doubt for Rarity’s dramatics.
“I’m very sorry for the secrecy, but I’m deeply worried,” Rarity explains, closing the door. “About the incident.”
Phoenix raised an eyebrow. “You mean to say you-”
“Phoenix!” Twilight jabbed Phoenix with her horn, cutting him off. “There’s no way Rarity did it!…Right?”
“I’m innocent, darling, I promise,” Rarity reassures, though her stress stayed consistent. “But I know Pinkie could never strike another pony like that. And now she’s incarcerated! Out of all the things that could happen…”
“Here it comes,” Twilight says to herself, bracing for it.
“…this is THE! WORST! POSSIBLE! THING!”
Once Rarity calmed, Phoenix speaks up. “I’m, well, defending Pinkie,” he reminds her. Maybe she should take up acting too? “She’ll be fine.”
“Thank you…” Rarity says…still downtrodden. “I’ll try to help as much as possible.”
“Okay,” Phoenix says. “Now, Pinkie says you were at Sugarcube Corner last night?”
“Yes, I was,” Rarity nodded. “Fortunately, I had finished my current queue of dresses early, otherwise I wouldn’t have had time to help.”
“So what did you do?” Twilight asks, to which Rarity gently tossed her mane back.
“Cleaning, mostly,” she explained. “Sugarcube Corner looked nice otherwise, but there was a GHASTLY amount of dust on the countertop, the shelves, anywhere high up. I simply couldn’t allow Pinkie to work in such conditions!”
“Oh…kay,” Phoenix says. At least she keeps things from being a mess…Wait a minute…
“So you were cleaning shelves?” he asks, earning a nod from Rarity. “So you didn’t notice anything odd?”
At those words, Rarity immediately tensed. “No, not a thing,” she quickly said. “Next question?”
Twilight looks to her friend in concern, almost the same look she gave to Shutter. Phoenix still didn’t understand why, but continued.
“I think I can guess why you don’t want to be seen,” Phoenix says. “Because you’ll be a witness otherwise.”
Rarity’s eyes widened. “Exactly,” she nodded once more. “You’re very astute, darling.”
“Thank you,” Phoenix says, hand behind his head in modesty. “Anyway, you don’t want to testify against Pinkie, so you’ve barricaded yourself in here, right? The prosecutor must not know about you yet, then.”
“And I intend to keep it that way,” Rarity says, gaining more of her usual confidence. “I simply could not stand there and talk about how ‘Pinkie killed somepony’. It’s simply not right!”
“I can’t say I blame you,” Phoenix says, and Twilight nods. “Still, it’s not really right to conceal a witness…Rarity, you’re sure you didn’t see anything like that?”
“Positive!” she answers, determined. “She would never commit murder!”
“That’s all we needed to hear,” Twilight says. “We should get going; we still need information, and Prosecutor Gear’s the best pony to get it from. Be careful, Rarity.”
“Thank you, Twilight,” Rarity nodded. “And Phoenix, darling? See to it that Pinkie is released, would you?”
“Of course,” Phoenix says, nodding back. “See you later, Rarity.”
Phoenix and Twilight then leave Carousel Boutique, Rarity quickly closing and locking the door behind them, so as not to be seen. Phoenix gives a brief glance to his assistant; that’s the second time she’s given a pony an odd glance, and he didn’t know why.
I’m still feeling left out here, Phoenix thinks, helplessly.
The large metal house seemed like the best place for Tech to be in. Hesitantly, and a bit curious, Phoenix knocks on the door. Within seconds, it opens automatically.
“Enter,” Tech calls from a different room.
Following the sound led to what appeared to be a study, but not one for solely books. There were a variety of tables, each one strewn with finished and unfinished gadgets alike. At one such table was Tech, who was fiddling with his claw-arm. He looks up when Phoenix and Twilight approach.
“Do you like the door design?” he asks. “I constructed it so I can open the door wherever I am in the house through a series of buttons and plenty of string.”
“Very nice…” Twilight says, admiring all the devices throughout the room.
“We were here to take up your offer,” Phoenix explains. “About information.”
“Of course,” Tech nods, smirking. “Arm yourself with what I can give, by all means. A brain as sharp as your hair is nothing without ammo.”
I can’t tell if that was a compliment or an insult, Phoenix thinks. “First things first. Who is the victim?”
“I had only just received word about this myself,” Tech explains; as he speaks, the arm gestures with the index finger up, as if orating…which was technically what he was doing. “Evidently she’s Canterlotian. Her name is Sherbert Shiver, and supposedly she’s an ice cream salespony.”
“So what was she doing here?” Twilight asks, suspicious.
“That’s still unknown,” Tech admits. “I had contacted investigating guards in Canterlot about this, and while the mailpegasi are fast, they’re not as fast as lightning, so I don’t know.”
“I can understand that,” Phoenix says. “But how was she killed? What was the weapon?”
“Come, now, Mr. Wright, I can’t give those details away just yet,” Tech chuckles. “They haven’t fully established everything about them. Further, as a prosecutor, I can’t give the defense everything.” A pause. “All I can say, however, is that it was a knife from the store.”
Worth a try, Phoenix shrugs.
“Why did you suspect Pinkie, then?” Twilight demands. “If you haven’t seen how the knife is, what makes you think Pinkie did it?”
Tech tosses his mane back, tilting his head back; the whole motion came across as conceited. “It was her store that night, and furthermore, her knife. That’s all that will be said until court tomorrow.”
I can’t shake the feeling he’s mocking us the whole time, Phoenix thinks. So much for kindness. He begins thinking of anything else to ask. “So…What about you? Why are you prosecuting instead of Trixie?”
“As I said at Sugarcube Corner, she’s away at Canterlot until tomorrow afternoon,” Tech says. “That left me, and I’m not exactly a slouch at the prosecutor’s bench, either.”
“You mean you’ve prosecuted before?” Twilight asks, earning a shrug from the claw.
“Mostly small cases,” Tech admits. “Acts of violence, misdemeanors, that sort of thing. However, I’m referred to as the Speed Runner in some circles, for my ability to win all my trials in one day.”
“That’s…good,” Phoenix says, not mentioning that a murder trial was different than a misdemeanor trial in so many ways. Different name, same ego.
“You will certainly have a hard time, Mr. Wright,” Tech says, again giving a smug smile. “This case is rather simple. Her store, her knife, her shift. Eyewitness details. You don’t stand a chance.”
We’ll see how that holds up, Phoenix thinks.
“Now then,” Tech finally says. “I still have work to do, so if you have nothing else to ask, I request solitude.” He turns back to his plans. “You can see yourself out, I believe. Good day, Mr. Wright, Miss Sparkle.”
“Did you pick up the smugness in him?” Twilight asks Phoenix, once they’re outside and walking. “It’s like he won the case already.”
“To him, maybe he has,” Phoenix shrugs. Then a thought hit him. “Say…I wanted to ask before: why did you look at Shutter and Rarity like you did?”
“Remember how I said we had other ways of getting information from ponies?” Twilight says, smiling. “It’s true.”
I thought you were just trying to make me feel better, comes the thought. “So what is it?”
“Let’s go to the library real quick,” Twilight says, changing her course for her home. “It’s better to show you than tell you.”
“No…no…no…Ah, here it is!”
With a bit of searching, Twilight managed to find a specific book on the shelf. Phoenix managed to get a glimpse of the title before Twilight skipped through several pages worth: Super Spells: Magic for the Masterful Magician Mare, Master’s Edition.
“I did some research when you left before, and I found a spell that can help us,” Twilight says. “It’s extremely useful.”
“Really?” Phoenix asks. “What is it?”
“HyperSense,” Twilight explains. “It can let you see even the smallest detail. Most ponies twitch when they lie, so this spell can help us see the twitch and jump on it.”
“Set it off, then,” Phoenix encourages. “Let’s get ready for later.”
“I already have,” Twilight nods, giving a smile. “How do you think I noticed Shutter react earlier? I performed the spell right before I sent for you. It’s like the Magatama; you get a warning when somepony lies to you.”
“Ah,” Phoenix says. “Then Shutter was…”
“Lying,” Twilight finishes. “Or not telling the full truth. Either way, we can work it out of her tomorrow.” She smiled. “Come on, Phoenix. We’ve got a few leads; we should go tell Pinkie about them.”
Pinkie had evidently not moved from the window, or at least, preferred that spot, and immediately began bouncing when Phoenix and Twilight returned.
“Alright, you’re back!” she cheers. “Whatcha find? Something good?”
“A few things,” Twilight says. “Some leads, some holes. We’re still working on it.”
“Great!” Pinkie approved. “Then soon I’ll be out, and we can have the best party EVER! I know I’ve said that, like, a lot, but this time I mean it!”
I guess I can’t fault her for her optimism, Phoenix thinks. “Pinkie, we just have a few questions for you, if you can answer.”
“Okey-dokey-lokey!” Pinkie nods. “What?”
Phoenix considers what to ask. “Does the name ‘Sherbert Shiver’ ring a bell?”
“Sherbert Shiver…” Pinkie taps her head with her hoof in thought. “Hmm…Oh yeah! She was my last customer yesterday! She ordered a Super Sampler Stack!”
“Maybe she was scoping out the competition…” Twilight mused. “So, you say last customer?”
Pinkie nodded again. “Yep! It was REEEEAALL late, almost 8 at night, and everypony already came in before, so we were gonna close up soon.”
“Why do you suppose she came that late, though?” Phoenix asks, earning naught but a shrug from Pinkie.
“I dunno,” she says. “Maybe she wanted a midnight snack, but at 8 at night. Or maybe her sweet tooth was aching.” Her hoof hits her head again. “Actually…Huh. Before yesterday, I never met her.” She looked so disappointed then. “Oh no! She must’ve been new to Ponyville! I never threw her a Welcome party!”
A party for every occasion… Phoenix thinks again. “That should be it, then, Pinkie. Thank you.”
“Yoooooou’re welcome!” Pinkie cheers. “Good luck tomorrow, Feenie! You too, Twilight!”
Twilight looks up to Phoenix. “Are you sure we’re ready?” she asks. “We’re still missing a bunch of things.”
“It’s all we can grab just yet, until the bubble bursts tomorrow at court,” Phoenix responded. “We’ll just have to ad-lib the best we can.”
A baker, a novice guard, an inventor, a photographer, and a seamstress. A bit of an odd hand, even by my standards, and worse, a pretty airtight case. Still, I know Pinkie’s innocent, so I just need to power through this problem and find the truth…
To Be Continued…