Turnabout Tyson (Part 3)

This is chapter three. Chapter two is available here and chapter four is available here.

July 18

Defendant Lobby (part 2)

Tyson seemed weirdly ecstatic now, compared to before the trial. Phoenix had already noticed that after their short conversation mid-trial they had seemed to calm down more and more, and just wordlessly followed everything closely, before getting downright enthusiastic at the end. Having had support so loudly exclaimed for you in a trial where nothing really seemed to go your way was nice in any case, he thought.

"I'll save you, Mr. Wright! I really will. And with that Ini Sent, too. I was trying to suppress it earlier, but I realized that there is no way around it. No one else can do this for me, only I can save this trial, and I have to do this alone. If Ini and Sam both were gone from the club, it would have to close... They were the heart and soul of it! It would all end and I would have nowhere here to meet people like me any more! I ..." Tyson was almost shouting, arms raised and hands formed into fists, eyes fixated on the ceiling.

Phoenix laughed gently at the enthusiasm in full display before him. It vaguely reminded him of someone, but he had trouble remembering who. "I'm glad you're feeling so much better now."

"Oh, I do! You know, I also need to do this for my sibling's sake" Tyson said, looking at Phoenix.

– "You have a sibling? What's their name?"

"They don't like me talking about them to other people and value their privacy above all else so I can't say... but we aren't related by blood and they are so secretive so it's difficult for us to meet up outside of the club. We are like soulmates, though! Really close! There's so much we have in common. We talk every day we see each other, including ... on the day of the murder."

– "Unfortunately we still need hard evidence to support our case. Right now it looks bad for us on that front... Unless Franziska is withholding evidence again like in that one case years ago. But how could we even prove that?"

"Don't worry, Mr. Wright. I'm sure I'll be able to figure something out" Tyson said, now almost smirking.

– "Okay. I will trust you!"

"Thanks, Mr Wright! I promise I'll do my best out there!"

Not long after that, the bailiff called for Phoenix and Tyson to return to the courtroom.

July 18

Courtroom No. 2

District Court (Part 2)

"Court is back in session for the trial of Ini Sent." The judge concluded the formality with a single bang of the gavel, as always. "Is the witness of the defense ready?"

Before Phoenix could respond, Tyson had already exclaimed a loud "YES".

The judge was taken aback for a moment. "Well, then. Please take the stand, Tyson Sagurl."

Tyson walked up to the stand, hands in pocket of their giant hoodie.

"May the witness please take off..." The judge began, only to interrupt himself when he saw Tyson wince in response. "On second thought, we have had far stranger people and... beings give testimony, so I suppose an almost comically large hooded sweater shouldn't be an issue."

Tyson took a deep breath, looking around to Phoenix and Franziska once. She seemed to wait patiently for her chance to unleash hell, smiling mischievously.

"Mr. Wright, what would you have the witness testify about?"

– Phoenix, holding the competition leaflet in one hand and tapping it with the other, said: "Let's begin with the supposed rivalry between Ini Sent and Samuel Buhr. My witness, a long-time associate of both, will testify to how close the two really were."

"We'll see about that." Franziska simply stated.

"So, Sam and Ini are best friends, you hear me? Best friends." They waited a moment before continuing.

"They go way back, in fact at the club we all do. We have been there for each other for years now."

"We were just wrapping up preparations for the trip to the Meteor Crater museum on that day." Franziska continued to just stand there, leaning her head on a hand, watching. Tyson started to get nervous and began to fidget a bit again, drumming their fingers a bit on the witness stand before continuing.

"Ine was the one looking forward to the competition the most of us all! So she had no motive to do anything as horrible like that!"

– "OBJECTION!" came Franziska's steadfast and clear voice, combined with a whiplash. "Foundational issues! The witness has not explained how they would even know about the defendant's exact feelings! Even close friends will sometimes keep secrets from each other." She waved with an index finger in Tyson's direction.

"She would always talk about it whenever we meet up, in fact recently she had talked about almost nothing else! You hear me?" Tyson shouted back, exasperated.

– "I do hear you, witness. But did you also hear what I was saying earlier? It is fact that the defendant locked up the door to the stairway on the day of the crime. Is that a normal occurrence in the club?"

"No, usually we could always go up and ask for or volunteer help, but..."

The prosecution desk got another whipping. "No but here, witness! Something was evidently different on that day. Perhaps indicative of a secret change of mind of the defendant? Maybe she no longer wanted to go but the victim was pressuring her into going anyway, leading to an argument."

"OBJECTION" Phoenix interrupted. "In that case, wouldn't she have crossed out her name on the bus trip bookings if she were no longer planning on going?"

"Hehe." Franziska chuckled slightly. "Thanks for bringing that up again and reminding the court what the most incriminating piece of evidence against your client is. We are now back to where we were before, not that I expected anything else. Neither you nor your witness have so far been able to disprove the most logical interpretation of the victim's crossed out name here – that she wanted to go alone and when the victim didn't agree to it, she tried to get rid of him."

"Oh, right..." Phoenix blurted out, clenching his teeth and breaking out in a cold sweat. "About that..."

(What should I do now? I don't have much to present aside from this thing in my hand)

He looked down at the leaflet, not even expecting it to help, just to not have to look in the direction of the other bench.

"Dance Competition at Meteor Crater! Teams from all over the country will meet up to show off their dances, moving to their own beats! Please register your music composer, your choreographer and all other team members at least two weeks in advance. You must use your own choreography and music."

(Wait, this means... if she really wanted to go there's one thing she had to avoid at all costs!)

"Mr. Wright! Quick! Tell her how wrong she is or the judge will bang his gavel for the last time." said Tyson in a hushed voice, pointing with their head towards the judge who, now with a stern gaze, was already getting ready to swing the gavel.

"HOLD IT!" Phoenix shouted. "Franziska, I want you to look at this leaflet that your detective brought to my attention."

Franziska's smug smile collapsed into an angry grimace Phoenix hadn't seen yet. With her brow deeply furrowed and teeth gritted, she threw Phoenix a fiery gaze, who was now in his element, and unrelentlessly pushing forward, holding the leaflet with his arm extended.

"Do you see where it requires each team to bring their own composer and choreographer? With Sam gone, the team of Cross Club has no choreographer left and would be disqualified immediately! Your theory of her wanting to go alone therefore goes against all evidence!"

Franziska was for a moment trembling uncontrollably, her arms pressed tightly against her body as if cradling herself. But then she closed her eyes, took a deep breath and seemed to regain composure, even smiling again.

(Did she... did she really already think of a counter? Have I underestimated her?)

– "Phoenix Wright." she began, eyes now opening, arms still crossed. "Tell me... would the absence of a clear motive really make a difference here?"

"W-what? Of course it does! Every murderer has a motive, after all" he responded.

– "You think so? But if it wasn't Ini Sent... then who do you suppose it was? Who had motive to murder Samuel Buhr?" She didn't wait for an answer, and immediately continued, now smirking again. "Because... remember, there was no one else at the crime scene at the time of the murder. Only the defendant. People don't always act rationally, so perhaps the argument simply lead to a crime in the heat of passion!"

Phoenix was momentarily silenced, unable to gather his scattered thoughts, heads ruffling his spiked hair.

– "That is... unless you can prove the existence of a third person! With evidence of course." She said, gesturing towards the defense bench with an open hand. "If not, finally admit your defeat! I have perfectioned prosecuting and done so elegantly as only a von Karma could! Better call your boyfriend to come pick you up now!"

Phoenix tried to avoid her gaze.

(She can still be as mean as ever... was that last bit really necessary, Franziska?)

He looked to his witness, whose eyes were darting, seemingly at a loss of words, too. A moment later, one that felt like an eternity to Phoenix, Tyson's eyes went large briefly, and a large frown appeared on their face, followed by a look down, as if some terrible realization struck them. They rummaged in a pocket of their cargo leggings and produced a phone.

"Hold it!" they shrieked. "There ... there was in fact another person on that day on the second floor, and I can prove it. Thanks for jogging my memory, Ms. von Karma." The earlier enthusiasm was now entirely gone, replaced with a flat, almost regretful sounding tone.

She only stared blankly at the witness stand and could only bring out a single "Huh?" before collecting herself and giving the prosecution bench another whipping.

– "What are you waiting for, witness? Show it!" she boomed.

"One moment!" Tyson was fidgeting with his phone and tapping around.

The judge banged his gavel twice, eyes as if throwing daggers to them. "Witness, you will refrain from sending messages while on the stand! The court demands your whole attention!"

"Yeah, of course, just... so, here it is!" Tyson held up their phone in Franziska's direction.

Phoenix could only observe silently, still in a cold sweat.

(Wait, is it ... is it really the evidence we need to make a breakthrough in the case? But then... why does Tyson look so conflicted? I have a bad feeling about this...)

"My sibling was up there with Ini the entire time, sending me messages about it."

– "But that doesn't prove anything! They could have been sent from anywhere!" This time, Franziska got dangerously close to Tyson with her whip, or so it felt to Phoenix at least.

"I know, I know, but in those messages they talked a lot about things that they couldn't have possibly known otherwise, like about the argument Ini and Sam had."

Franziska was now leaning and making it very clear that she was listening attentively. "Ah, so you agree there was an argument between the two, right? Great, continue please."

Tyson was taken aback for a moment and hesitated before speaking up again. "W-well, I guess. But the point is, they sent me a photo of a letter talking about that argument that they were going to give Sam! Something about how they are going to give Sam a better deal than Ini or something. It wasn't entirely clear."

"Bailiff! Provide for the photo of the witness to be printed out!" the judge commanded.

"Your Honor, I'm sorry, wouldn't it be faster to just load it on one of the screens here?" the bailiff responded.

The judge blinked. "Oh, uh yes, do that then, of course. Until then, court is in recess." A single bang with the gavel formally dismissed everyone for the time being.

July 18

Defendant Lobby (part 3)

Phoenix was determined to use the short break to get as much information from Tyson in private as he could, so he could be ahead of Franziska.

"So... tell me more about this sibling. You mentioned them earlier, but I didn't get the idea they were so confrontational. With how close you said you were, I thought they would be as shy as you usually seem to be."

– "Yeah, I guess they are a bit my opposite. I made the...ir acquaintance two years ago, when I first started going to the club. They helped me get comfortable and settle down. Made it possible for me to slowly open up, over time. And then I got this key chain with a special charm on it!"

Tyson took off their backpack and showed Phoenix a small charm hanging from the zipper of the front pocket. It was a dark grey meteor with a fiery red-yellow streak of light behind it, and the name Tyson engraved at the bottom.

"Oh, they got you something with your name engraved on it? You really must be close."

– "Yeah, something like that." Tyson smiled nervously. "Anyway, we were also in touch on the day of the murder. I don't like the sound of my voice much, so I actually prefer talking through text. And while I have their phone number I mostly use instant messaging apps, like this one called Harmony, because they let you easily share photos, too! And so on that day I could easily take photos and save them, and... and then send them, and they did the same. And that's how I got a photo of that letter that I will present now!"

"Sounds like proving Ini's innocence should be easier now." But Phoenix still felt uneasy for some reason. He knew he was missing something big here. Even if he couldn't say what it is, the dissipation of Tyson's enthusiasm was enough of a sign to him. And it wasn't even the same nervousness as before the trial. Tyson still seemed much more composed than then. Which could only mean one thing, really: His friend was hiding something. But he didn't want to undermine his trust in them and their trust in him, so he didn't push the issue. It would probably come to light sooner or later.

Not that he had time to ask anyway, as the bailiff was already walking up to him.

"Please return to the courtroom at once." he exclaimed. And so Phoenix and Tyson left the defendant lobby, Tyson not realizing that they had just gotten a message on their phone.