Rei Ryghts: Ace Attorney
Turnabout Of The Revengers
By Derald Snyder
Trial- Day 1 (Part 2)
-Crime Scene Photos
-Broken Stage Light
-Piece of Cloth
-Crime Scene Diagram
-.30-caliber Machine GunSeptember 17, 10:38 AMLastation City District CourtDefendant Lobby No. 3
"W-well, I c-can safely I d-didn't see that c-coming..." Rei muttered as she stood in the lobby with Uni and K-Sha.
"Me neither..." Uni managed to rasp out.
"I don't get it, though... what could have Mr. Downer have possibly seen?" K-Sha wondered.
"W-well, he was hanging above the s-stage d-during your shot... m-maybe he saw Reggie Wright g-get shot?" Rei guessed.
"But I'm certain he was looking down at me the entire time!" K-Sha insisted. "He's a professional, after all... he wouldn't get distracted that easily!"
Uni shrugged. "Guess we'll... find out..."
"I guess," K-Sha shrugged. "But from now on, I think you should leave the yelling to Miss Rei..."
"M-maybe you should get a d-drink of water b-before we reconvene, Uni..." Rei suggested. The goddess just silently nodded in response, before running out the door...September 17, 10:48 AMLastation City District CourtCourtroom No. 3
The judge banged his gavel to quiet the crowd. "Court is now back in session. Prosecutor Jinguji, is the witness prepared to testify?"
"...Yes, Your Honor." Kei seemed somewhat hesitant. "He seems to be quite insistent on what he saw... The prosecution calls Tony Downer to the stand!" The blond man walked up to the witness stand, still clad in his golden armor. "Your full name and occupation for the record, please."
"Anthony Downer III," the witness stated. "I'm an actor, currently playing the role of Titanium Man for the upcoming 'Revengers' film. At least, I hope it's still upcoming..."
"I assure you, regardless of the outcome of this trial, I shall do all in my power to ensure this movie goes forward," the Oracle stated in her usual monotone. "Far too much money has been invested in this project to simply back out now..."
(I guess technically, the movie could still be finished without K-Sha, seeing as she only has a minor role...) Rei mused.
"I know she's the prosecutor, but I wish Kei wouldn't act so unconcerned with K-Sha's fate..." Uni whispered, the lawyer nodding in agreement.
"Well, for now, let us focus on the trial at hand," said the judge. "Mr. Downer, your testimony please... and try to remember that this is a courtroom, not a movie set."
"R-right, of course..." Tony assented. "So... it was about when we were just getting started for the day... I was reading over my script when I heard yelling behind the door. So I opened it slightly... and that's when I saw it! Miss K-Sha, holding a machine gun, before pulling the trigger and plugging the guy in front of her! I didn't get a good look at his face, but now that I think about it, he was kinda dressed like Mr. Wright, and I'm certain he was the same height...!"
Not wanting to strain her voice again, Uni simply slammed the bench twice with her hand to get Downer's attention. "How do you know that K-Sha wasn't just practicing on a mannequin or something?"
"That's what I thought at first..." Downer conceded. "But it's what she said right after that bothered me... She was all like, 'that's what you get for insulting Noire!', or something along those lines..."
"I-insulting Noire...?" Uni grunted.
"Miss K-Sha," Kei addressed the defendant directly. "Isn't it true that, the day before the incident, you got in an argument with Mr. Wright concerning Lady Noire?"
"H-huh?" gasped K-Sha. "Oh, that? It wasn't anything that serious... it's just, Mr. Wright insinuated that Noire wanted to take Neptune behind closed doors and do... um... unmentionable things to her! Of course I got offended! We all know Noire's nothing like that! Right, Uni?"
"R-right, of course!" the twin-tailed goddess nodded in agreement.
"Regardless..." Kei Jinguji cut in, "Isn't it true that you got upset to the point where you pulled your gun on Mr. Wright?"
"Eeeeeep!" K-Sha squeaked, going pale. "B-but I only did that to scare him! I wasn't going to pull the trigger!"
"Not right then and there, maybe, with everyone watching," Kei suggested. "But your intense... infatuation with Lady Noire suggests that you wouldn't just let go of such an insult to her that easily..." She then slapped her hand on the bench. "So you just bided your time, waiting for the opportunity where you could discreetly avenge Lady Noire's honor, and kill Mr. Wright apparently unobserved!""Noooooooooo!"
wailed the ex-yandere, causing the gallery to erupt into chatter.
"Order! Order!" the judge banged his gavel to quiet everyone. "Well, now... it seems that the defendant actually had a compelling motive to kill the victim!"
"Which would make it not manslaughter, but rather, first-degree murder,
would it not, Your Honor?" Kei stated."AAAAAAHHHH!"
cried Rei in shock.
"Nooooooo!" Uni wailed in a similar manner to K-Sha. The crowd started murmuring again, though the judge quickly silenced them with his gavel.
"Oh, man..." Tony Downer muttered. "I didn't wanna believe it... She seemed like such a nice girl, too..."
Uni then slammed her hand on the bench again. "I *don't* believe it! I know that K-Sha's not the trigger-happy yandere she used to be! And Rei and I will prove it, with your cross-examination! Right, Rei?!"
"Huh...? O-oh, right! Yes, of c-course!" The horned lawyer nodded vigorously.
"Very well, then," stated the judge. "Ms. Ryghts, you may begin your cross-examination of Mr. Downer."
"Y-yes, Your Honor!" Rei assented, before clearing her throat. "Mr. Downer... surely it couldn't be just because of K-Sha's words that you thought it was a murder! After all, how do you know she wasn't just getting herself in the right mood for her role?"
"B-but I did see something else!" Downer insisted. "I went back a little later, and I saw what appeared to be blood on the curtains!"
"Blood?!" gasped the judge.
"Y-yeah! Little red spots all over the lower curtains!" the actor asserted. "And when I heard that Mr. Wright wasn't killed where his body was found, that's when it all came together!"
"So that's why he didn't come forward until now..." Uni muttered.
(Spots over the curtains? I wonder...) Rei pondered. "Mr. Downer, would you mind telling us exactly where you saw this supposed murder take place?"
Downer blinked, before scratching his head in confusion. "Um, let me think about that, for a moment... Oh! I remember now! I think it was in that storage room near the back!"
Rei's eyes went wide at this, before she bowed her head. Suddenly, a sinister chuckle admitted from her, which soon progressed into outright diabolical laughter.
"Oh no!" cried the judge. "Someone call security! Rei Ryghts is going berserk again!"
The former goddess quickly cut herself off. "Gkkk... heh heh heh... No, Your Honor, I'm fine. It's just, it's been a while since I've had a witness whose testimony was so easily discredited!"
"D-discredited?!" gasped Downer.
"That's right," Rei nodded, still sporting a sinister smirk. "If you had bothered to pay closer attention to the detective's testimony earlier, you'd have heard that he and his team didn't find blood spatter anywhere in the studio... save for one false alarm! TAKE THAT!" She presented the photo of the red spots. "Is this the 'blood spatter' you saw, Downer?!"
"Yeah, that's it!" the actor nodded.
"Well, sucks to be you then," muttered Uni. "Because Detective Thomas already did a luminol test on these spots... and it came back negative!"
"N-negative?!" Downer grunted, sweating. "But... that means..."
"It means these red spots are nothing more then paint stains!" Rei concluded. "Which means the scene you saw in the storage room really was just K-Sha practicing on a mannequin!""Grraaaaaghhh!"
cried the actor as his head and arms jerked and spasmed, as if his robot armor was malfunctioning, the gallery once again muttering in confusion...
"Order! Order in the court!" cried the judge as he banged his gavel several times."Mr. Downer, I hope for your sake that you were simply mistaken, and not just trying to garner headlines!"
"O-of course not!" Downer insisted. "But, y'know, now that you mention it... I remember hearing that errand boy talking to the director about accidentally spilling some paint and trying to clean it up, but that he couldn't get it all off the curtains..." He chuckled nervously. "Guess I goofed... sorry about that..."
"Mr. Downer..." Kei heaved a sigh as she put a finger to her forehead. "You may be a good actor, but as far as being a courtroom witness... your performance deserves to be panned."
"Boooooo! Booooooooo!" the gallery chorused.
"Forgive meeeeeee!" Tony Downer yelled, even as he ran out of the courtroom in embarrassment.
"Order! Order! Order in the court!" The judge ordered as he repeatedly banged his gavel. "Miss Jinguji, that was uncalled for! I would advise you not to provoke the gallery any further!"
"My apologies, Your Honor. That wasn't my intent," Kei lamented. "I will endeavor to not let it happen again..."
"The audience probably remembers Downer's previous fall from grace due to drug use," Uni suggested to Rei, who just shrugged in response.
"Still, Prosecutor Jinguji," the judge continued, "for your first day back in court, you aren't doing too well... Two witnesses, both of whom have been completely discredited by the defense!"
"May I remind you that Mr. Downer volunteered himself as a witness," Kei countered. "And under normal circumstances, I never would have allowed him to testify to begin with..."
"Then why did you?" the judge inquired.
"Because of a certain yellow journalist by the name of Razzie Porter," the Oracle pointed out. "I refuse to give that man any ammunition to claim a cover-up of any sort..."
"So you allowed Downer to testify, so you could claim that you've left no stone unturned..." Rei observed.
"Precisely," the platinum-blonde nodded. "However, I had another witness I was about to call, before Mr. Downer interrupted..."
"And who would that be?" the judge asked.
"The prosecution calls Director Iceberg to the stand!" Kei declared without any further ado."Wh-what?
The director?!" Rei gasped.
The man in question walked up to the stand, wearing a baseball cap on his head and glasses over his blue eyes, heaving a sigh which caused his long grey-brown beard to ruffle slightly. "Your full name and occupation," Kei instructed.
"Steven Iceberg. Movie director," the director stated bluntly, looking like he wanted to be anywhere but here.
"W-why did you call *him* to the stand, Kei?" Uni demanded.
"To testify about the victim's whereabouts and movements before the time his body was discovered," the prosecutor answered. "Mr. Iceberg, if you would care to begin."
"Just a moment," the judge interrupted. "Before we go into that, I'd like to ask the director about why he wanted to use real bullets in the scene to begin with!"
"Wow, I'm surprised he remembered that," Uni muttered.
"Oh, that. Well," Iceberg began, "I wanted to show off how Titanium Man's armor was immune to bullets, and you can't exactly do that with blanks. Of course, we tested the armor on a mannequin first, before Mr. Downer wore it in the shoot. As I said to the detective yesterday, we took every conceivable precaution..."
"But as Lady Uni herself said earlier, the ceiling wasn't exactly conceivable, was it?" Kei finished. "Anyway, now that we have that cleared up, please tell the court about what you saw before the shoot..."
"Yeah, OK," the director sighed. "The truth is... I saw Reggie just before that scene with K-Sha..."
"Y-you saw him? A-as in 'alive'?" Rei gasped.
"Correct," Kei Jinguji nodded. "Now you see why I didn't want Mr. Downer to testify..." The crowd started murmuring at this.
The judge then banged his gavel. "But, if the victim was seen alive by the director, that would mean..."
"The only time that Mr. Wright could have been killed... would be right when K-Sha fired into the rafters during the scene shooting!" the Oracle declared, slapping a hand on the bench for emphasis.
"Nooooooo!" Uni wailed again.
"HOLD IT!" cried Rei. "Director, I demand a more detailed testimony about the victim's movements prior to the scene shoot!"
"Sure, no problem," Iceberg nodded. "That is, if it's all right with you, Oracle..."
"...The prosecution has no objection," Kei deferred. "It doesn't matter how detailed a testimony Ms. Ryghts requests, for it will still not change the basic facts..."
(That's what you think, Jinguji!) Rei thought to herself. (Even the smallest detail can turn a case on it's head! I did it before with the cloth, and I'll do it again now! Just watch, maggot!)
The judge then banged his gavel. "Very well, then. Director Iceberg, you may begin your testimony about the victim's movements that day."
"Yes, Your Honor," Iceberg assented, before clearing his throat. "I first came in about 6:00 AM, to get things ready. Reggie was already there, leaning up against the heat register. I asked him what was wrong, and he said he'd caught a cold of some sort. He sure didn't sound too well... I offered him a day off, but he refused. 'I can still do my job!' he insisted. And sure enough, the lights were put in position like they were supposed to be. I kept going back to check on him, and he was still by the heat register every time... Up until the shoot with Miss K-Sha."
"Was he in the same position every time?" Kei asked.
"Not exactly," Iceberg shook his head. "Every time I went to see him, his position was different..."
"Which would preclude any argument by the defense that the victim was already dead," the Oracle nodded. "That *was* going to be your argument, wasn't it, Ms. Ryghts?"
"Urk!" (How did she know...?!) Rei freaked.
"That's Kei for you," sighed Uni. "Cool as a cucumber, but sharp as a knife..."
"So, the prosecution is arguing that Mr. Wright was alive, up until the scene shoot with the defendant," The judge mused. "Which would mean..."
"That Mr. Wright was killed when Miss K-Sha fired into the ceiling," Kei finished. "Of course, whether she did it with malicious intent or not is still a mystery..."
"B-but I didn't know he was up there! I swear I didn't!" K-Sha insisted.
"I'm inclined to believe you, Miss K-Sha," Iceberg cut in. "Even I didn't know Reggie was up there... and I still stand by my assertion that he would have gotten off the rafters by the time shooting commenced... even if he *was* sick!"
"OBJECTION!" declared Kei. "In this courtroom, we deal in facts,
Mr. Iceberg, not assumptions!"
"OBJECTION!" Rei retorted. "Mr. Iceberg and Mr. Wright were well-acquainted with each other, friends through thick and thin! So Director Iceberg would have at least some idea about what Mr. Wright would do in certain situations!"
"Order! Order!" the judge banged his gavel. "Mr. Iceberg's assertion about the victim's actions will be noted in the record. But for now, how about you cross-examine the witness's statements, Ms. Ryghts, not the prosecution's!"
"Y-yes, Your Honor," Rei bowed her head.
"I don't like doing this to the director," Uni muttered, "but we gotta find some way to break his testimony! Otherwise, K-Sha's as good as convicted!"
"I-I know, I know," the lawyer nodded. Taking a breath to clear her mind, she began, "Mr. Iceberg... You said Mr. Wright didn't sound too well. Did you ever, like, check his forehead or anything?"
"Yeah, about noon, I did," Iceberg nodded. "He did seem a little cold... and I when I tried to talk to him, he only mumbled... I got the feeling he was a little uncomfortable with me being so close."
"But how did he look?" Rei pressed. "Did he have a red or runny nose or anything like that?"
"Not that I could tell..." the director admitted. "But he said it was more of a cold
cold, than a nose cold... I was inclined to believe him, seeing as he was wearing a red vest over his normal clothes..."
(Wait... a red vest?) "HOLD IT!" the horned lawyer said aloud. "Take a look at these crime scene photos, Director! Do you see a red vest anywhere?!"
"Oh my!" gasped the judge. "You're right, Ryghts! The only red thing in these photos is the victim's blood! Although the rest of the victim's clothes seem remarkably clean..." The crowd began to mutter in confusion...
Rei then slammed her fists on the bench. "So, Director, would you mind telling me what happened to this red vest the victim was supposedly wearing?!"
"...It's at the laundromat," Iceberg stated simply.
"Yeah, I found it laying next to the stage right after that shoot," the bearded man explained. "My errand boy offered to take it to the laundromat to get it washed, so..." He heaved a sigh. "I felt kinda bad for the kid, since Reggie had already gone to the laundromat last night, to wash the costumes from that day's shooting..."
"Last night?" Uni pondered. "But I thought that laundromat closed early..."
"The owner's a friend of a friend," Iceberg pointed out. "He gave me the key to use the laundromat after hours, so we wouldn't get swamped by raving fans or reporters... But yeah, sorry, Rei... if there *was* any evidence on that vest, it's been washed clean away..."
"Too bad for you, Ms. Ryghts," Kei shook her head. "Unfortunately, your case-breaking contradiction has turned out to be a dud..."
"Urk!" the lawyer grunted, sweating slightly.
The judge shook his head. "It would seem the defense has been unable to find any holes in Mr. Iceberg's testimony. Which would mean that the prosecution's assertion, that Mr. Wright was killed when the defendant fired into the ceiling during the scene shoot, is the correct version of events..."
"No! That can't be right!" Uni insisted. "Do something, Rei!"
"Ugh..." (Something does seem suspicious about Mr. Wright's actions, but...)
"Well then, I believe it's time to pronounce my verdict," the judge declared, banging his gavel. "This court finds the defendant...""HOLD IT!"
cried Rei. "J-just a minute, Your Honor! I'm n-not done yet!"
"Ms. Ryghts, enough," the judge shook his head again. "The witness's testimony is ironclad. Any further deliberations would be a waste of this court's time..."
"Now, now, Your Honor," Kei Jinguji suddenly cut in. "Why so hasty to hand down your verdict? Or have you forgotten about a certain yellow journalist... who will take any opportunity he can to claim a cover-up?"
"J-just what are you insinuating, Prosecutor Jinguji?!" The judge grunted, looking a bit flustered.
"Nothing, Your Honor," the Oracle responded. "But in the interest of fairness, why not give the defense one last chance?"
The older man heaved a sigh. "Miss Jinguji, as far as I'm concerned, you've already proven your case. But, if you insist, I'll give the defense one last chance to counter-argue. Just be advised, Ms. Ryghts, you had better not entertain any wild fantasies that belong in a movie rather than the courtroom!"
"N-no sir!" Rei insisted. "I j-just need a l-little time..."
"...very well," the judge agreed. "But my patience is not infinite. I can tell when someone's just stalling for time, after all..."
"I understand, Your Honor," the lawyer acknowledged. (If I'm ever going to get K-Sha off the hook... I need to figure out when and where Mr. Wright was actually killed!) With that, Rei closed her eyes and went into deep thought...
(OK, let's start with when the body was discovered, and work backwards. Reggie Wright was found shot dead in the light fixtures above where K-Sha's scene was being shot. But a piece of his shirt being torn off a few feet away suggests the body was moved. Which means the victim was likely killed somewhere else. So, first question: Where was Mr. Wright seen before his dead body was discovered?
*Standing by the heat register*
(Right. The director, Steve Iceberg, testified that he'd seen Mr. Wright standing by the heat register keeping warm, though it wasn't really cold at all in the studio that day. Is there any discrepancy between Mr. Iceberg's testimony and how the body was found?)
*The victim was wearing a red vest*
(Mr. Iceberg testified that he saw Reggie wearing a red vest when he was sitting by the heater. But it was nowhere to be found when the body was discovered. So what was the purpose of the red vest?)
*To hide the bullet wound*
(Wait, what if Mr. Wright was already dead when the director saw him, and the vest was just hiding the fatal injury? True, Mr. Iceberg heard him talking, but maybe that was the real killer faking his voice. But if that's the case... why was the body propped next to the heat register?)
*To keep the body warm*
(Of course! The body was being kept warm in order to throw off the real time of death! Which means... Mr. Wright must have been shot dead long before his death was discovered. So when was Mr. Wright actually killed?)
*The night before*
(And just where was the victim supposed to be last night?)
*Washing costumes at the laundromat!*REGGIE WRIGHT WAS KILLED AT THE LAUNDROMAT!
(That's it!) thought Rei, (That explains why the victim's clothing was so clean! It was because after killing the victim, the murderer washed his clothes right there, to get get rid of most of the blood! Of course!) Her eyes opened, a triumphant smirk on her face.
"Did you figure it out?" Uni asked in near desperation.
"I have," Rei nodded. Director Iceberg! When you talked with Mr. Wright at the heat register... you said his position changed every time you went back to check on him. But did you ever actually see him move? Did he nod or gesture with his hands?"
"Uh... no, actually, now that I think about it..." the director muttered in confusion.
"Just as I thought," Rei asserted. "Mr. Iceberg, I really hate to break this to you, but... I'm afraid you were talking to a dead corpse."
"W-w-what?!" Iceberg gasped.
"OBJECTION!" Kei declared. "Just what are you basing this on, Ms. Ryghts?"
"I call your attention back to the red vest from earlier," Rei answered. "Contrary to what the director, the vest wasn't being used to just to keep the body warm... it was also used to cover up the fatal bullet wound in Mr. Wright's chest!"
"To cover up the wound?!" gasped the judge.
"HOLD IT! What did you mean just now, saying the vest wasn't 'just' used to keep the body warm?" Kei asked.
"That's why the body was propped next to the heat register!" the horned lawyer asserted. "To throw off the medical examiner's determination of the time of death! It was all part of the killer's plan to make all believe that Reggie Wright was alive until the scene with K-Sha! When in fact, Mr. Wright was already long dead before then!"
"Is that so?" said Kei, not looking the least bit perturbed. "Then tell us, when and where was the victim killed?"
"The director already told us!" Rei answered. "He said that Mr. Wright went to the nearby laundromat last night, to wash the costumes! That's
when he was killed!"
"OBJECTION!" Kei retorted. "If the victim had been killed at the laundromat, then how did the lights get put in their proper position, without Mr. Wright to move them?"
"Th-the real killer m-moved the lights himself!" Rei shot back. "And I have circumstantial evidence to back up my assertion!"
"And what evidence would that be?" inquired the judge.
"TAKE THAT!" Rei declared, presenting the broken stage light. "My evidence is this stage light that fell at the time the body was discovered!"
"OBJECTION! Come now, Ms. Ryghts," the Oracle shook her head, "That light was knocked down by Dogoo Man by accident! He even admitted as much himself!"
"OBJECTION!" the former goddess retorted. "Sure, Dogoo Man may be stronger than your average... uh, Dogoo, or your average human, for that matter... but what if the light wasn't knocked down because of his clumsiness... but because it was hung incorrectly?!"
"Incorrectly?" the judge blinked.
"Exactly," Rei nodded. "Which is a mistake an experienced light technician like the victim would never have made!"
Kei Jinguji began to tense up slightly. "Even *if* what you say is true about the stage lights, if the victim had really met his end at the laundromat, don't you think somebody would have noticed blood left behind by the victim by now?!"
"Uhhh..." Rei sweat-dropped. (Crap, didn't think about it that far...)
"Um, actually," Director Iceberg interrupted, "There is one place where he could have been killed..."
"Wh-what?!" gasped Kei, beads of sweat now starting to form on her brow.
"And where would that be?" the judge inquired.
"There's an old red rug that lays in front of the washers and dryers," Iceberg explained. "If... if Reggie got shot and his body collapsed there, his blood would have blended in with that rug, and no-one would be the wiser...""Nggoooooh!"
the Oracle visibly recoiled.
"HAAAAAA-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha!" Rei laughed triumphantly. "Looks like your star witness ended up working in MY favor, Jinguji!"
"Hrrrrrrgggh!" Kei groaned, now hunched over the bench, propped up on one elbow. "It can't be... I've... I've been hoist on my own petard...!"
The crowd went into a tizzy at this. "Look at Oracle Jinguji!" "I've never seen her so flustered before!" "The defense's argument must have really gotten to her!" "Does this mean the defendant is innocent after all?!"
"ORDER! ORDER! Order in the court!" The judge yelled, banging his gavel several times. "Miss Jinguji, I implore you, please pull yourself together!"
"I've gotta second the gallery on this one," Uni said. "Even *I* don't recall seeing Kei all out of whack like that..."
"Your Honor!" Rei slammed her fists on the bench. "I believe we've discovered a new possibility in this case! There is a potential crime scene that has not yet been investigated!" Pointing her finger, she insisted, "This has to be looked into!"
"Hmmm... while I'm reluctant to concur with Rei Ryghts on anything," the judge began, "the defense has made a surprisingly good case for the laundromat being the actual crime scene. This possibility should indeed be investigated thoroughly. Does the prosecution have any objections?"
"N... no, Your Honor," Kei grunted, having managed to straighten up. "I'll have Detective Thomas close down the laundromat and begin investigating at once..."
(We... we did it!) thought Rei, (Somehow, I managed to find another place the crime could have been committed... And with that, K-Sha should be well on her way to a 'not-guilty' verdict!)
"Well then," said the judge, "I suppose we'll adjourn for today...""HOLD IT!"
a voice suddenly cried out.
"What? Who said that?!" the judge exclaimed.
"I d-didn't say it..." Rei denied.
"Nor did I," said Kei.
"Don't look at me!" exclaimed Iceberg.
Then, the sound of someone slapping the bench was heard. Everyone turned toward the sound...
To see Lastation's CPU Candidate, raising her hand, again rubbing her throat. "It was me," she rasped out.
(Uni?!) thought Rei.
"Bailiff, get Lady Uni some water!" the judge ordered. The bailiff complied, giving the twin-tailed goddess a water bottle, which she took a long pull from.
"You had something you wished to say?" Kei prodded.
Uni nodded as she swallowed. "*gulp*- Yeah, I did... it's just, I wasn't sure of a good time to bring this up... but now that court's about to be adjourned..."
"J-just s-spit it out already, Uni..." Rei groaned.
"...The crime scene photos," Uni clarified, holding up the very pictures in question. "I keep looking at them, and something keeps bothering me about the blood spatter on the victim's chest..."
"The blood spatter?" Kei muttered in slight confusion.
"Yeah," Uni nodded. "It's almost like... someone drew some sort of pattern or symbol in the blood, then tried to wipe it away... I have no idea what it could mean, though..."
"Now that you mention it," Kei began, "I also recall thinking something was suspicious about the pattern of the blood, but I dismissed it as coincidence."
"Well, I happened to dabble in calligraphy back in law school," the judge stated. "May I see the photos? Perhaps I can discern the pattern..."
"Sure thing, Your Honor," Uni agreed, handing the photos to the bailiff, who walked over and handed them to the judge. The robed man then adjusted his glasses as he closely studied the blood pattern, his brow furrowed...
"...Well, Your Honor?" Kei inquired after a few moments.
"Hmmm, well... I can't be 100% certain, but..." the judge straightened up. "It appears to resemble a Japanese Kanji... more specifically, the kanji for the word 'ryuu', or 'dragon' in English."
"D-dragon?" Rei grunted."AAAAAAHHHHHH!"
K-Sha cried out. "It... it can't be...! Not him...!"
"Miss K-Sha?!" the judge gasped. "What's the matter?!"
"D-do you know what the symbol means, K-Sha?" Uni asked urgently.
"It's... it's..." the former mercenary swallowed hard. "It's the calling sign... of the Dragon Killer!"
"WHAT?! The Dragon Killer?!" Kei recoiled again.
"The Dragon Killer?!" the judge cried in shock. "You mean that infamous serial murderer that the police have never found?!"
"S-serial murderer?!" Rei yelled. The crowd began chattering excitedly.
"Yes," K-Sha nodded. "It's him... I'm certain of it! He must have killed Mr. Wright and then tried to frame me!"
*Crime Scene Photos updated in Court Record.*
"F-frame you?!" Uni gasped.
"HOLD IT!" Kei interjected. "Miss K-Sha, why do you believe the Dragon Killer would frame you, of all people?"
"That's simple," the brunette muttered, her voice having dropped several octaves. "I was the one that got away... I was supposed to be one of his victims!"
"WHAAAAAAAAT?!" everyone cried out. The gallery was thrown into such a ruckus, the judge had no choice but to adjourn the court for the day...
*To be continued...*