June 9th, 10:05PM
Phoenix walked alongside Twilight to the Detention Center, a bit uncomfortable at the attention he was receiving from other Ponyville residents. “I’ve never felt like such a minority in my life!” he whined as they neared their destination.
“Oh, it wasn’t that bad!” the violet unicorn suggested.
He gave her an incredulous look. “All those ponies were gawking at me the whole way here!” Still feeling out of place, he glanced back over his shoulder only to see even more ponies staring at and whispering to each other about him.
“Mr. Wright, humans have almost never been seen in all of Equestria,” she said solemnly. “In fact you may be the first one in Ponyville! You should be honored!”
Honored? Strolling around a town infested with candy colored equines? Yeah I’d feel honored if I was… oh I don’t know… A FIVE YEAR OLD GIRL! he silently groused. “So how did you know I was a human?” he asked, curious.
“I read a lot!” she answered eagerly. “I’ve read almost every book in my library five times over and I’m familiar with a lot of different species: Chimeras, Trolls, Basilisks, Goblins, et cetera, et cetera.”
Wait?! You’re telling me she had read every book in that gigantic library FIVE TIMES?! he thought in disbelief.
“Anyway, we’re here Phoenix.”
Snapped out of his thoughts, Phoenix had no sooner looked up to see the Detention Center then the pair were greeted by two pony sentries, one black and one white, each wearing armor and headgear that made them look like the equine equivalent of Roman soldiers. Phoenix barely had time to register their presence before the first one spoke out.
“Halt! Only a lawyer can enter the Detention Center!” the white-furred pony guard announced in a thick, royal-sounding accent. A stallion, he was much bigger and brawnier than Twilight, his head coming up to Phoenix’s chest.
Twilight gave Phoenix a little shove forward with her hoof. “Well, go on…”
He gave her a momentary glare before looking back at the two guards uncertainly. “Uh… hey guys, I’m a lawyer…”
“Identification!” This time, the equally large black stallion spoke, snapping out the order in a very gruff voice.
“Ah… right here!” Phoenix reached into his inner jacket pocket and pulled out a familiar and treasured object: An ornate silver medallion with a raised edge and a recessed symbol of judicial scales in the center. Never leave home without it! he thought, proudly showing his attorney badge to the two guards.
“What is that?” the white pony guard asked, looking at the odd artifact the man/creature was showing to them.
“Is that a toy? You look a little old to be playing with toys,” the black pony guard said sarcastically, sounding a bit irritated.
Next time, I’m leaving it at home! an embarrassed Phoenix thought.
“You cannot pass without valid Equestrian Identification,” the white pony informed him.
“But I don’t have any…” Phoenix protested.
“Then beat it, spiky!” the black pony dismissed him, shoving him back with a hoof to the chest and barring his entrance.
Frustrated, Phoenix turned back to the violet unicorn watching from further back. “Twilight, they’re not letting me in!”
“Oh! That’s right, Mr. Wright, I was suppose to give you this,” she replied, floating him something. “The princess ordered me to give you this earlier today. It’s a permit to defend in Equestria.”
“I see… wait…” Phoenix’s brow furrowed, his suspicions rekindled. “I thought you ‘accidentally’ brought me here. How could your princess have had that prepared for me?” he demanded to know.
Twilight appeared to briefly panic again before coming up with an explanation—or was it an excuse? “O-oh uh… what I meant was… I had my assistant Spike prepare it before we left,” she offered.
He gave her an askance look. “Spike? I didn’t see anyone else in that library,” he pointed out, more suspicious than ever.
“He was sleeping, it’s late as you can see; I had to wake him up and have him prepare it. That’s why it took a little while to leave. I’ll properly introduce you to him later…” she spoke quickly, trying not to give Phoenix a chance to interject again.
Phoenix raised a brow. “You prepared a permit in twenty minutes? I find that a little fishy…”
Twilight thrust the badge into his hand with her magic. “Save the questions for my friend, just take the badge!” she insisted.
This isn’t helping me accept your request, you know… Phoenix growled at the unicorn with his thoughts, examining the pink and frilly object in his hand. “A heart…” he said as he recognized the shape of the girlie-looking thing. I feel my masculinity going… going… gone…
Twilight grabbed his attention back. “Come on, hurry up! Visiting hours are almost over!” she reminded him, motioning up at the clock in front of the Detention Center.
Reluctantly, Phoenix went back to the two guards. “Okay, guys… here it is…” he flashed the heart-shaped pink badge. This is so degrading!
“Permission granted. You may enter,” the two armored ponies announced in unison, stepping aside to allow him access.
Relieved, Phoenix turned back to Twilight. “Phew… alrighty! Come on Twilight, you can go and speak with your friend now,” he invited, motioning her forward.
Twilight stayed where she was, sitting back and looking down at her hooves almost apologetically. “Sorry, Phoenix…”
“Sorry? About what?” Phoenix gave her a confused look
“I’m not allowed in. Only attorneys are allowed to speak with the suspects,” Twilight explained, leaving Phoenix with a sinking feeling in his gut.
“But you said…” he began to sputter.
“I know what I said…” Twilight cut him off in mid-sentence. ”I said that I’d talk to her… but it’d be better if you got all the details about the crime to make your judgment.” She looked towards the building, sighing as she continued. “Just please hear her out. If you still don’t want to do it after that…” she paused, as if making a hard decision. “Then I promise to send you back to your world.”
“But I…” he couldn’t continue, feeling trapped, knowing that if he did as she asked, he’d likely end up taking the case and wouldn’t back out until it was done. Should I really be doing this? Should I really be meddling in some other world’s affair? he asked himself. Maybe I should at least hear what this fuss is about… His decision made, Phoenix let out a huge sigh and gave the violet unicorn the answer she wanted. “Fine…”
Twilight stood up with a huge smile on her face. “Thank you so much Mr. Wright.”
June 9th, 10:15PM
Phoenix was escorted back to a dimly lit room filled with cubicle cells separated by clear partitions and metal bars; looking around, he was surprised at how similar it appeared to the detention centers he knew back home. “Okay… so where is Twilight’s friend?” he wondered aloud as he looked inside the cell blocks, belatedly realizing he had no idea what the violet unicorn’s ‘friend’ looked like… or even what her name was.
As he passed a particular cell, someone called out to him. “HEY!!”
Startled, Phoenix jumped as he looked back to where the voice came from. “Eh?! What did I do?” he asked the voice.
At that moment, a striking and exotic-looking equine appeared behind the cell partition in front of him: a winged pony with cyan fur and feathers, a prismatic mane and tail, and ruby pink eyes. “I don’t think they allow animals here; you should get out before they toss YOU in here too!” the pony prisoner told him. Judging from the voice and the owner’s softer-looking features, the human lawyer guessed the pony was female.
“Look, I’m not an animal, I’m a human being!” he corrected her, trying hard not to stare at the young mare, wondering if her mane was naturally all those colors and if her wings really worked.
“Oh… I’m not talking to you, I meant that THING on your head!” she said with a mischievous grin.
Phoenix began to grind his teeth at that. If someone makes fun of my hair ONE more time…
“So I’m guessing you’re my lawyer, huh?” the rainbow-maned pony asked, appraising him.
“Yes, Twilight Sparkle sent me.” Just after saying that, Phoenix caught himself. “Wait! No! I haven’t agreed to anything yet!” he protested.
The exotic-colored equine rolled her eyes. “Jeez, Twilight sure knows how to pick ‘em’!” she said in annoyance. “What are you doing here then?”
“I just want information regarding the crime you are being accused of,” Phoenix stated, all business as he pulled out his pen and pad to take notes. “Let’s start off with your name…”
She was only too eager to give it. “I’m Rainbow Dash, best flier in Ponyville! Soon to be a household name in all of Equestria! Line up for my autograph starts right over there!” she boasted, putting a front hoof to her chest.
Phoenix was unimpressed. Twilight Sparkle? Rainbow Dash? Is it me or are their names staring to sound like flavors of ice cream? “I’m Phoenix Wright. Best attorney in the… universe… apparently,” he replied, introducing himself back.
“Phoenix?” she looked up, tilting her head as she thought about his name. “Sweet name… but it could sound cooler…” she mused while studying his face.
“Uh… ’cooler’?” Phoenix had a bad feeling about what was coming next.
“I think I’ll call you… ‘Nix’. That sounds cool!” she pronounced, satisfied.
Inwardly, Phoenix sighed. Another strange name I can add to my nickname checklist! “Hmmm… so you’re an… earth pony, correct?” he guessed.
Rainbow Dash looked insulted. “What the HAY are you talking about? I’m not an earth pony! I’m a PEGASUS!” she corrected Phoenix, raising her voice at him.
“Uh… never mind that, why are you here?” he asked, flustered. It’s kinda sad I couldn’t get down a book with twelve words…
“Well, I guess I could tell you all I know…” she offered, turning serious again. “You see, last night, a pegasus named ‘Ace Swift’ was killed in the Everfree Forest.”
“Do you know anything about him?” Phoenix asked, jotting down the name.
“Sure do! He was a hot shot racer expected to win the Equestrian 500!”
“’Equestrian 500’?” Phoenix prompted.
“A grueling race for pegasi, enduring a five-hundred mile journey around Equestria. He was the top pick to win the whole thing. Don’t worry though!”
“Don’t worry? About what?”
“I still would have won even if he were still alive, HA!”
Phoenix rubbed his eyes at the gratuitous display of ego. “Let me guess, you were planning on entering that race as well?”
“Of course! The winner gets special lessons from The Wonderbolts!”
The human lawyer blinked at yet another unfamiliar name. “Who are ‘The Wonderbolts’?”
Rainbow’s mouth dropped open. “You don’t know who The Wonderbolts are? You living under a rock or something?!”
“Hey, I’m new here, give me a break!” Phoenix countered, increasingly annoyed.
Rainbow Dash let out a disappointed sigh before she explained. “THE Wonderbolts are only the most coolest ponies in all of Equestria! They are Princess’s personal aerial acrobatics team; the stunts they perform are nine degrees of cool!” she squealed like a teenage fangirl as she remembered the performances she’d seen. “You see, I’ve been trying to get in their group forever and the Equestrian 500 is my ticket to show off my slick moves to them. I’d do ANYTHING to get that chance!”
Phoenix cringed at that. Thank you for effectively establishing motive for yourself Ms. Dash, this helps your case SO much… “So how did this guy die?” he asked, keeping the thought to himself.
“Pony,” Rainbow corrected.
“’How did this PONY die?’ is what you mean Nix,” she clarified.
Well EXCUSE ME, I didn’t take ‘Hooked on Ponyics’! he thought sarcastically, but kept his irritation out of his voice. “The point is, how did he die?”
Rainbow just shrugged. “How should I know? I didn’t do it…”
Phoenix was confused. “Then why did they take you in?”
“I just happened to be flying near the Everfree Forest that night… then those chuckleheads burst in to my house and brought me in here saying I did it!” she raised her voice a bit, getting visibly angry at being accused. “They even said that they had lots of proof, but I would never do that to another pony!” she insisted.
“They just took you in just like that?” A dubious Phoenix asked, thinking there had to be more to it than that.
Rainbow Dash looked down at that, her cockiness suddenly gone. “They said they’re going to banish me…”
“So I heard…” Phoenix replied, subdued.
“Everyone thinks I did it, everyone!” she said, tearing up. “The Wonderbolts probably hate me…” she wiped her eyes and looked up to Phoenix, “But you believe me, right?” she asked, all but begging him to say yes.
Though still uncertain, Phoenix obliged her. “Well… I-I guess… but not everyone thinks you did it…”
“Huh?” she gave him a tilt-headed look.
“Your friend Twilight seems to have faith in you, otherwise I wouldn’t be in this mess,” he told her.
She smiled a bit. “Heh, you’re right, I guess. Twilight’s a real pal! But what do you mean by ‘mess’ anyway?”
“You see… as you can probably already guess I’m not from Equestria,” he motioned down at his decidedly not-equine body and exotic attire to make his point. “Your purple friend pulled me out of my world because she accidentally called upon ‘The Greatest Attorney’… and that just happened to be me.”
Rainbow’s rose-colored eyes lit up at that. “AWESOME!!!! It’s only fitting that the best pegasus ever gets the best lawyer ever!” she boasted. “You were DESTINED to defend me!”
This one’s ego is larger than Detective Gumshoe’s appetite for instant noodles! Phoenix noted, his thoughts briefly going to the poorly-paid and slightly slow police detective he often worked with back home.
“Nix, as much as I hate asking for help…” Rainbow continued, looking like she was gathering herself. “Can you PAH-LEEES be my attorney?” she pleaded, showing a bit of her ‘cute’ side to him.
Despite her not-insubstantial attempt at adorability, Phoenix hesitated. I fell kind of sorry for her, she sounds like she’s telling the truth and I want to say yes… but should I…? “Well…” Just then Phoenix remembered something in his pocket. "Oh, wait a minute!” I believe her, but I need to be sure…
With that, Phoenix took out his Magatama: a small comma-shaped green gemstone given to him by Maya, his teenaged assistant. Functioning as his own personal lie detector, it allowed him to see if someone is hiding any deep secret in their heart from him.
“Is that a toy? You look a little old to be playing with toys, Nix,” Rainbow teased, looking at the strange green amulet the human lawyer was holding in front of him.
Phoenix ignored the barb. “Look, Rainbow Dash, I’m going to ask you this and I want you to tell me the absolute 100% truth!” he instructed her, holding the artifact right in front of the pegasus pony. “Did you have ANYTHING to do with the death of Ace Swift?”
Rainbow reacted with fury to the question, rearing up to slam her hooves down hard into the clear partition, making Phoenix flinch backwards. “I told you, I DIDN’T KILL ANYPONY!” she shouted, very upset.
Phoenix waited for something to happen with the Magatama… but nothing did.
“Huh?” Rainbow looked at the suddenly silent human lawyer.
Nothing… it’s certain then, she really didn’t do it… he realized, and with that, his mind was made up. “Okay Rainbow Dash…” he began, putting the artifact away.
“What? Why did you go all silent there?” she asked him, confused.
“I’ve decided to take your case, I trust you,” he announced, standing up a little straighter before his new client.
“YES! Alright! I know you can do it Nix!” she cheered, giving a hoof pump as she finally got her defense attorney.
“I suppose the first thing I should do is investigate the scene of the crime for some evidence to prove your innocence. Where was it again?” he asked her, picking his pen and pad back up.
“A clearing in the Everfree Forest,” she reminded him.
“Yeah, it’s about fifteen minutes from Fluttershy’s house.”
“’Fluttershy’… huh…” he repeated, hearing yet another unfamiliar name. Probably another pony.
“Well good luck Nix, you may look a little strange but you’re okay in my book,” she commented.
Phoenix gave her a disbelieving look. I look a little strange?! Coming from the ‘Roy G Biv’ pony with wings, you looks strange even by PONYVILLE standards! “Oh… right, there was one more question I wanted to ask you…” he remembered, recalling something that had bothered him from earlier.
“What were you doing near the scene of the crime anyway?”
Rainbow Dash looked suddenly nervous. “Uh…”
“Well?” Phoenix waited for an answer, noticing her hesitation.
“I… I was practicing… for the Equestrian 500!” she finally answered. She had no sooner spoke than the Magatama reacted, revealing a series of chains and red padlocks surrounding the cyan pegasus. “Yup, that’s what I was doing… practicing for the big race!”
Phoenix nodded grimly to himself, his suspicions confirmed. Psyche-locks… you’re a bad liar… even without this thing I can tell you’re hiding something from me! “Look Rainbow Dash, if I’m going to defend you, you’re going to need to be honest with me…”
“I told you twelve times already, I didn’t do it!” she insisted again.
Phoenix shook his head. “I’m not saying you did it! I’m just wondering what were you doing near the scene of the crime?” he challenged, watching her closely.
“Uh… um… well… uh-oh!” Rainbow Dash struggled to find an excuse to not answer his question… finally coming up with a very weak one. “Looks like visiting hours are over! Catch ya’ later Nix!”
“Hey! No they aren’t! There’s still five minutes left!” Phoenix called after her, but Rainbow Dash had already headed back to her cell, disappearing into the darkness. She’s gone… oh well; I probably need more information to pursue that any further anyway. As long as she didn’t do it that’s all I need to know for now, he decided.
Putting his pen and notepad away, he got up to leave, intending to inform Twilight of his decision and begin an investigation to prove the poorly judged pony innocent of murder…