• Published 7th Jan 2012
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Phoenix Wright - Turnabout Storm! - Firesight

A famous racer is found dead in the Everfree, and Rainbow Dash stands accused of his murder. Can an Ace Attorney from another world uncover the truth and prove her innocent, or will Rainbow Dash be banished to the sun for a crime she didn't commit?

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Part 3 - The Shy Witness

June 9th, 10:30PM

As Phoenix emerged from the detention center, he was greeted by the now-familiar face of Twilight Sparkle. “Phoenix! How did it go?” she asked expectantly.

Phoenix gave his new host the answer she’d been hoping for. “I have decided to represent Rainbow Dash.”

Twilight’s ears perked up and her purple eyes gleamed in gratitude. “Oh, thank you so much, Mister Wright!”

He gave her a nod of acknowledgement. “You're welcome. She satisfied me that she didn’t do it, and whether it’s on my world or yours, I can’t turn my back on the innocent being punished for a crime they didn’t commit,” he looked back at the Detention Center as he explained.

Twilight smiled at that. “You know, you share a very similar trait to Rainbow Dash, Mister Wright.”

He gave her a look. “I do? Am I really that obnoxious?” he asked, worried he might be just that.

“No—you are very loyal,” she reassured Phoenix with a grin and chuckle, causing his more cynical thoughts to vanish. “She may not have looked it, but Rainbow Dash is probably really scared about what will happen to her. So she needs all the support she can get right now.”

Phoenix thought about that. “Now that you mention it, she did seem awfully chipper for someone who’s the prime suspect of a murder,” he noted, scratching his chin thoughtfully.

“That’s Rainbow for you. I can’t imagine what it must be like,” Twilight said, sitting on her haunches and looking sadly at the ground.

He nodded slowly. “I can. Because I’ve been in that place before,” he told her, eyes suddenly distant.

“’That place’?” she echoed, looking back up. “What do you mean by that, Phoenix?”

“I mean, I’ve been on trial for crimes I didn’t commit. So I know exactly how she feels.”

Twilight looked at him in surprise. “You have?”

Phoenix nodded and looked down at the ground, recalling all the times he was blamed for things he didn’t do, from childhood to adulthood. “It felt dark and lonely having nobody to turn to. Feeling as if the world was against me and nobody could help,” he remembered, sitting down on a nearby bench as he recounted his story, a little low for him though it was. “Once when I was just a kid, my whole class accused me of stealing and we had this stupid ‘Class Trial’. The other time… was a little more serious,” he paused, a shadow passing over his face.

“What happened?” Twilight asked.

He hesitated, but then decided there was no point in not telling her, his mind going back five years. “I was framed for murder by someone I thought cared for me,” he said sadly, causing Twilight’s mouth to fall open. “I learned the hard way appearances can be deceiving. But I was lucky enough to have friends who pulled me out of that darkness.”

He perked up as he recalled the friends and even former adversaries who had helped him through his trials, many of whom he had been able to help in turn. “A classmate stood up for me in school, and a rookie lawyer defended me at my murder trial, saving me almost in spite of myself,” he remembered, shaking his head at his remembered naivety. “It really touched me, what they did. Their examples were the reason I decided to become a Defense Attorney.”

Twilight listened in rapt attention as Phoenix continued, sitting up straighter and his voice getting stronger as he went. “A Defense Attorney is someone who is there for you when times are grim. Showing that you have someone who trusts and believes in you; that you’re not alone. Smiling to the very end, no matter how bad things may get, working tirelessly on your behalf and not letting anything from lying witnesses to corrupt prosecutors stand in the way of seeking the truth.

“It’s the most frustrating job in the world sometimes—the hours are long, eyewitnesses often uncooperative… and you somehow never know where your next case or client will come from,” he told his unicorn host with a slightly sardonic smile. Twilight grinned apologetically at that. “But I wouldn’t trade it for anything. There’s no greater calling than being a defender of the innocent, and no greater feeling than uncovering the truth and proving your client innocent in court, seeing the joy and gratitude in their eyes as they’re set free.”

Twilight was smiling by the story’s conclusion, sensing the human lawyer’s true strength and fighting spirit for the first time. “You know, Mister Wright? I was going to study some law and justice books and be Rainbow Dash’s Defense Attorney myself if you declined,” she told him, very impressed. “But I see now that there is knowledge out there even books can’t teach. It was no mistake choosing you to be Rainbow Dash’s lawyer!”

Despite the compliment, Phoenix was caught short again. ‘Choose’? Didn’t you bring me here by accident? he asked her with his thoughts, increasingly certain that she knew of him long before he was dragged into this world.

“So, did you learn anything else from Rainbow Dash?” she asked before he could pursue the train of thought any further.

“Yes. She said the crime scene was in a clearing of the “Everfree Forest” near… ‘Busterfly’s’ house,” he recited, not completely sure about the name.

“Busterfly?” Twilight looked confused for a moment before it hit her like a brick. “Oh-oh! You mean Fluttershy!” she exclaimed with a smile.

“Fluttershy, sorry. Do you know the way to her home?” Phoenix asked, suppressing a grimace at how badly he mangled the name.

“Sure do!” she confirmed with an eager nod.

“Let’s go then,” he invited, letting her lead him down the darkened street.

Fluttershy’s Cottage
June 9th, 11:16PM

Phoenix followed Twilight out of town along a country road, eventually arriving at a very cozy-looking cottage fronting a vast and foreboding-looking forest a little further away. As they reached the side path that led to the front door, Twilight halted them both. “Phoenix, we should stop here.”

“Why is that?” He looked at the cottage and realized something. “Oh! This must be Flutterguy’s house. We can probably question her to see if she saw anything last night,” he noted as he quickly scanned the grounds around the house, noticing a lot of flower gardens and animal pens.

“Her name is Fluttershy,” Twilight corrected him again, distracting him from his sightseeing. “And those were my thoughts exactly. Please wait here for a minute, Mister Wright,” she requested.

While Twilight went up to the front door alone, Phoenix looked around outside for a bit. The cottage roof and sides seemed to be partially covered in green moss, and there were several bird houses hanging from the trees. Nearby the cottage was a large chicken coop, and next to that, a small house where several more animals apparently resided. Huh. This pony must be a zookeeper or something?

Looking back to the cottage, she saw Twilight talking to a new pony standing on the porch. A pretty-looking yellow pegasus mare with greenish-blue eyes and a long pink mane and tail, she gasped when she saw Phoenix, shying away from him.

“Hey Fluttershy, meet Mister Wright! He’s Rainbow Dash’s Lawyer.” Twilight introduced him to the canary-yellow pony, who was obviously a friend of hers.

“Hello, there. Nice to meet you, Miss Fluttershy.” Phoenix came up and greeted her, trying to be friendly as possible, but the only response he got was awkward silence. Not getting a reply, he tried to make small talk. “So… Ponyville is a really nice place, huh?”

But again, he was only greeted with silence. Talk about quiet. She certainly lives up to her name!

He had no sooner had the thought then the bashful pony went close to Twilight and whispered something in her ear, watching Phoenix warily out of the corner of an eye. “Oh. Uh... okay,” Twilight answered.

Phoenix became curious. “What’s she saying?”

Twilight looked uncomfortable, but answered anyway. “She’s saying that suits and ties intimidate her.”

He gave the pegasus mare a sympathetic look. Trust me, they scare me a lot too!

“And, uh… never mind.” Twilight held back the last thing Fluttershy said.

“Tell me! She can rest assured, she has nothing to fear from me,” Phoenix insisted. You never know—it might be a piece of useful information regarding the case!

Twilight looked embarrassed, but did as he asked. “She says she’s afraid that if she gets too close, that, uh… ‘pointy beast’ on your head might… poke her eye out,” she told him apologetically.

Or so he thought. Seriously, the hair jokes are getting REALLY old! he grumbled under his breath. “So she’s not gonna speak to me?” he asked Twilight.

“Sorry. She’s very shy, especially around those she doesn’t know,” she answered apologetically again.

“No kidding.” He looked back again at the beautiful yet bashful pony beside her, her eyes almost completely hidden by her long pink bangs. “Let’s just go to the crime scene, then. We’re not going to get any information here if she’s refusing to speak to me,” he said with a sigh.

“You’re right,” Twilight reluctantly agreed. “The crime scene is in the woods, Phoenix. I’ll take you there,” she told him, leading him back to the main path.

“Okay,” he said, a little leery about entering the darkened forest but turning to follow her.

At the mention of his name, Fluttershy looked up in surprise and started to approach him.

“Huh?” Phoenix looked back, seeing the cute canary-yellow pony was coming closer.

“Uh… ‘Phoenix’?” she repeated tentatively, suddenly looking at him with far less fear than curiosity.

“Uh, yeah, that’s my name,” he confirmed.

With that, Fluttershy immediately perked up and began to talk to him. “Oh, my! I’m so sorry. I didn’t know!” she apologized to him in a soft but beautiful voice. Phoenix almost melted over her cuteness, but he maintained his manhood strong and steady in the face of such overwhelming adorability.

“K-know what?” he said shakily, his internal cuteness meter still pegged at ten.

“That you were a Phoenix! I have only seen one phoenix in my life!” Her gorgeous greenish-blue eyes glittered, now greatly interested in him. “This is so great! You can speak!”

Though still very taken by her, Phoenix was increasingly confused. “Come again?”

“No wonder you look so homely and sick. Don’t worry though. Soon you will be able to rise from your ashes into a beautiful bird of fire!” she reassured him.

Phoenix’s confusion was starting to override her cuteness. Did I just get insulted? “But I’m not a—”

”Phoenix!” Twilight interrupted him in a sharp whisper before he could finish his sentence.

“What?” He looked back at Twilight.

“She’s speaking to you! Just go along with it!” she suggested strongly, making his eyes widen in realization.

“Oh! That’s right!” He looked back at Fluttershy, drawing himself up a little straighter and giving her what he hoped was a winning smile. “Yup! I’m a Phoenix, Firefly!”

She gave him an odd look that quickly turned into another shy grin. “My name is ‘Fluttershy’, Mister Phoenix. But you can call me whatever you want…” she cooed to him, her smile making him start to melt all over again.

“Ehh, right…” he said agreeably, trying admirably to maintain his professionalism. “So, Fluttershy—I take it you know about what happened to your friend, Rainbow Dash?”

“Yes, I do,” Fluttershy replied, her ears folding back and smile dropping almost instantly. “Oh, poor Rainbow Dash! She must be so scared right now.” She looked back towards the town in worry.

“That’s why I need your help,” he implored her.

“How can I help, Mister Phoenix?” she asked eagerly, turning her big teal eyes back on him.

Phoenix gathered his thoughts carefully, trying to keep himself focused on the matter at hand and off the endearing equine in front of him. “You live near the crime scene. Did you see anything odd last night?”

“Oh! Um… yes. Yes, I did,” she confirmed to his great surprise.

Sensing a lead, Phoenix got excited. “That’s great! Tell me everything you know!” he instructed, pulling out his pen and notepad again.

“Well, I saw—” she began, only to catch herself. “Oops! Oh, I’m so sorry, Mister Phoenix. The other ponies told me not to say a word to anypony about last night until I was on the ‘stand’,” she apologized, looking away from him. “Whatever that means.”

Phoenix’s eyes widened at the implication, and Twilight spotted at as well. “Wait a minute—you’re a witness?!” he realized.

“I don’t even know what that is, Mister Phoenix,” she said, making Phoenix wonder if she was completely oblivious to any and all legal terms. "They just told me to not say anything until court tomorrow."

You sure your name isn’t ‘FlutterNaïve’? he asked silently, her cuteness factor dropping quickly in his eyes. “It’s okay, Fluttershy. It’ll be our little secret. Just tell me what you saw!” Phoenix was persistent, anxious to know the facts straight from the horse’s mouth—or in this case, the pony’s mouth! he quickly corrected himself.

“Come on, Fluttershy. We need to know,” Twilight added in a kind but insistent voice, hoping Fluttershy would tell a close friend if not a stranger.

But Fluttershy shook her head, looking downcast again. “I’m sorry, Twilight, but those ponies were very insistent that I not speak to anypony. And I don’t want them to get mad at me.”

Phoenix sighed and put his hand to his face, rubbing his eyes and exasperated anew. Why can this never be easy? he asked the universe at large, deciding to try a different approach. “So what do you do here, Fluttershy?”

“I take care of my little animal friends, of course,” she said sweetly, batting her eyes at him.

His cuteness meter pegged again. “So you’re good with animals, huh?” he asked rhetorically. Just as I thought. I don’t find it surprising though, since she is… well… an animal herself. Or is she? he suddenly wondered, taken with her anew. Can I call a creature who can talk and reason an animal just because she walks on all fours? He put the question aside for later.

“Why, yes! I can introduce you to them now if you want?” she offered hopefully.

Though tempted, he forced himself to say no. “That’s alright, we’re kind of busy,” he apologized, but meant it—he was an animal person himself, but knew he had a job to do first.

He was surprised when Fluttershy reacted badly to that. “Oh my! I’m so sorry, Mister Phoenix. I didn’t mean to bother you.” She hid her head behind her bangs again.

Phoenix got a bit uncomfortable with her constant apologizing, unsure if he found it endearing or simply annoying. “It’s alright… no need to apologize,” he offered carefully with a glance at Twilight, who gave him a slightly rueful smile back.

“We have to get going, Fluttershy. We’ll talk to you later,” Twilight intervened, sensing that Phoenix was both entranced and uncertain in Fluttershy’s presence, and not sure how she felt about either. “Let’s go, Phoenix.” She began to gently pull him away, tugging him by the arm with her aura.

“Alright, bye, Twilight! Bye, Mister Phoenix!” After bidding them farewell, Fluttershy went to the coop to check on her chickens.

Phoenix waved back, forcing his eyes to leave her retreating form and turning them back to Twilight. I think I like her, even if I’m not quite sure why? “At least I got her trust. That will make it a lot easier to cross-examine her when we’re in court,” he noted, still somewhat taken with the demure pegasus. “Speaking of that—when is the trial, anyway?”

“Tomorrow morning,” Twilight replied instantly.

“Oh, tomorrow morning,” he echoed, only to realize...

“TOMORROW MORNING?!” Phoenix yelled, making Twilight and Fluttershy jump, the latter giving a startled squeak. “As in… ‘tomorrow’ tomorrow?!” he asked again, praying he had heard her wrong.

“Yup, ‘tomorrow’ tomorrow,” Twilight confirmed, much to his dismay that was accompanied by a sudden sinking feeling in his stomach.

“So I only have tonight to gather evidence and present a case?!” he said to her, panicking at the realization that the trial was only a few short hours away. Phoenix, what have you gotten yourself into?!

“Ohmygosh, I totally lost track of time! I’ve been trying to find a suitable lawyer all day long; I was going to give up after you!” Twilight belatedly realized, her own face taking on a look similar to Phoenix’s.

Phoenix tilted his head. “Give up after me? You mean I’m not the only lawyer you’ve spoken with today?”

She nodded, sitting back and looking downcast again. “Far from it, Phoenix. All the pony lawyers I contacted declined as soon as they learned the charge was murder. That’s why I was forced to resort to a summon spell,” she explained, visibly saddened by receiving so many refusals over the course of the day.

Phoenix quickly brought himself back under control, reminding himself that he couldn’t appear weak or worried in front of a client, witness, or potential assistant. “Don’t worry, Twilight. Murder cases aren’t anything new to me; I have a lot of experience with them. Rainbow Dash couldn’t be in any better hands,” he assured her.

“Thank you again for accepting this case, Mister Wright!” Twilight told him gratefully again. “But as you say, time is short. We’d better hurry to the crime scene.”

“Right!” he agreed, falling in behind her again as they left Fluttershy’s cottage and headed down the main trail straight for the nearby forest.

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