Chapter 26--The Trial
If the fact that the courtroom was located on the lower level already freaked you out, the fact that the courtroom looked like a graveyard the moment you entered made you feel like you wanted out, and nothing more. The entire atmosphere itself was completely gloomy and dark, and you shivered. Yet you still managed to keep looking forward, not even daring to take a look at the defendants' table, where Trudy and Robert were waiting with handcuffs around their wrists in front of them.
You suddenly felt a cold grip on your hand, and you turned to see Hiro shaking like a leaf.
"Same here, (Y/N)," he whispered to you. "This place gives me the creeps. It's like I'll never live to see another day."
"Agreed," you nodded.
"Stay with me," Hiro whispered softly now, gripping harder on your hand as you reached the plaintiff's desk, passing the rest of the gang as you did so.
You nodded again, your voice unable to work due to bubbling nerves, and you squeezed his hand. I will. I promise.
The judge then arrived into the courtroom, and everyone rose as he made his way to the head of the room.
"The court is now in session, you may all be seated," the clergyman stated, and everyone sat down courteously. You found yourself squished between Hiro and Melanie, which you didn't mind.
"Dating today the 23rd of October, we are here to witness the criminal trial between plaintiffs Ms. (Y/N) (Y/L/N), Mr. Hiro Hamada, Ms. Melanie Norimo, Ms. Gisele Norimo, and Mr. Tadashi Hamada, and the defendants, Ms. Trudy Fridgerator and Mr. Robert Callaghan, for the attempted murders of Ms. Gisele Norimo and Mr. Tadashi Hamada and the successive murders of Mr. (F/N) (Y/L/N) and Mrs. (M/N) (Y/L/N)." He then turned towards the defendants. "Mr. Callaghan, do you plead yourself guilty or not guilty?"
"Callaghan pleads not guilty, sir," Callaghan's lawyer, a thin blonde woman with black flats shouted to the front of the desk.
"Thank you. The trial shall proceed. You may all be seated."
Everyone sat silently as the judge flipped through his papers, and the jury also started to take out their pens and notebooks and prepared to take notes. You felt Hiro let go of your hand briefly as he changed his hand position now, intertwining his fingers with yours tightly. You marveled silently without looking at your hands how his fingers had fit perfectly in between the spaces of your fingers, and for the moment you felt comforted as you gently rubbed your thumb over his just to calm the both of you down.
"You alright?" Melanie asked you quietly.
You nodded, giving her a reassuring smile that even comforted you temporarily. "Hey. We'll get the justice we need."
"Attorney of the plaintiff party, please present your opening statement," the judge began.
The representative clergyman who spoke with you earlier began. "The plaintiffs in question have three separate situations, all of which ended up crossing each other. Ms. (Y/L/N) has lost both of her parents to the defendant Mr. Callaghan by means of poison for her father and blackmail and death threats for her mother. Mr. Hiro Hamada claimed to have lost his brother in a fire at the San Fransokyo Institute of Technology ten weeks ago that has been started by Mr. Callaghan, however his brother survives and remained in custody on the island where Silent Sparrow took place. Ms. Melanie Norimo claimed to have lost her sister in a car crash four years ago when Mr. Callaghan had hit her, however the same has happened to her when she remained in custody on the island where Silent Sparrow took place.
"As a result of what has happened to these three children, they all wish to testify against Mr. Callaghan and his niece Trudy for threatening to break their families apart. For all three cases they all wish to charge the defendants with homicide for what they have done to their respective families."
"Is that it, sir?" the judge asked.
"Yes," the clergy man nodded.
The judge nodded as he turned to the attorney of the defendant party-the blonde lawyer. "Attorney of the defendant party, please present your opening statement."
"Ms. Trudy Fridgerator has claimed that she had aided in the process of removing the (Y/L/N) family, however she has no knowledge of the attempted murders of Mr. Tadashi Hamada and Ms. Gisele Norimo," the blonde lawyer started, smoothing her hair down. "However, Mr. Robert Callaghan wishes to plead not guilty for the following reasons: that he has no intentions whatsoever on murdering anyone, yet rivalry pushed him to do so; and that whatever he has done he has removed his sins with God."
The judge looked absolutely confused, however he nodded curtly. "We cannot use religion completely to weigh the outcome of this situation, Mr. Callaghan. However, this trial shall proceed since you have pleaded not guilty."
Callaghan nodded silently, and you couldn't help but notice a conflicting look cross his face, and you questioned yourself now. Is he really not guilty for what he has done?
"We will now continue this trial with the testimony of the plaintiff party..." the judge said slowly, turning to your group with a mask of confusion. "Hm, how are we going to interrogate all of these individuals at once?"
"Shall we begin with the most urgent of cases? The case with the (Y/L/N) family?" a member of the jury shouted. "After all, this is three cases in one trial!"
"No! It should be the Hamada who should be interrogated first!" another juror cried in disagreement.
"The older one! The one who ran in the fire!"
"No! What about the one who took the mask?"
"Wasn't that the same Hamada?"
"NO! Gods, are you idiotic?"
Suddenly the entire jury panel was in chaos.
"Hang on, what about the Norimos?'
"Ah, screw them!"
"We can't just say that! Gisele's attempted murder is important to us!"
"But the (Y/L/N) case has been going on for years!"
"And what about the Hamadas' case?"
"What does it matter right now? We're on a tight schedule, we don't have much time!"
"Guys, every single one of these cases-"
The judge's voice rang out loud and clear over the courtroom, and everyone fell silent.
"That's a first," you heard Tadashi murmur with a slight hint of shock in his voice, and you turned to him and nodded, surprised.
"Please call Ms. (Y/N) (Y/L/N) to the judge's stand," he said.
All eyes turned to you as you squeezed Hiro's hand for the last time and rose, walking over to the judge's stand with shaking legs, taking deep breaths as you walked. You then sat down in the chair provided, and the judge then held out a bible.
"Do you swear upon God Almighty not to lie in the process of the court trial?" the judge asked you.
You nodded and raised your right hand, placing it lightly on the cover of the bible. "Yes. I, (Y/N) (Y/L/N), henceforth swear not to lie in the process of the court trial, and I understand that doing so would result me being convicted for perjury."
The judge removed the book, and nodded at the clergy man. "You may begin the interrogation."
The clergyman bowed and rose now, approaching you. "Hello (Y/N) (Y/L/N). How are you feeling?"
You decided to be honest instead of just passing things off with a simple "I'm fine."
"Um...scared," you admitted.
There came a slight ripple of laughter in the court now, which made you smile just a little bit. You caught Hiro's eye, and he gave you an encouraging nod which you returned.
"That's it, (Y/N), nothing to be scared of," the clergy man smiled. "Now, (Y/N). You are currently the last of the (Y/L/N) family alive, is that correct?"
You nodded. "Yes sir."
"Please explain what happened the night of your parents' death. Start with your father's. Then explain your mother's. And do not leave out any details."
Just like that night at the police station all over again, huh.
You nodded and began. "It was about a month ago now, on the 5th day of September. My father was at a business party for his company, (Y/L/N) Tech. I was not present at the time, however, my guardian, Mr. Lacitier, claimed that he somehow drank in poison that was mixed with the wine."
"Is the poison present?" the judge interrupted.
You nodded. "The evidence is in the vials and the notes sent by one of the members of the general public in this room."
"Ah, so a member of the audience," the judge observed, holding up the vial of wine and the vial of raw poison, taking a look at the sheet of notes that you asked Honey Lemon for a while back. "Very well. Proceed."
The clergyman nodded. "Proceed."
"That evening, my father came home with Mr. Lacitier, my guardian, absolutely ill. I remember my mom trying to give him some food to eat-I think we were eating dinner at this point-but my father refused. He ran to the bathroom and continuously threw up. He looked ghastly when I dropped by into his room-"
"What was his state?" the clergyman asked you.
"He...he looked pale. Weird retching sounds came from his throat," you recalled. "And he looked famished. I never would have thought I would see my father like this but...saw him like this I did. And it freaked me out."
"Freaked you out?" The clergyman nodded. "So you are telling me that he never looked like this until then?"
"The next morning, I remember waking up at sunrise just to get a project finished. But first, I went to check on my father. I went into his room on that morning to find him completely wasted. His eyes were sunken and completely blank, his body was cold, his face was white, and...he wasn't breathing." You felt the tears come back, yet you tried your best to hold them in, what with Hiro being just a couple steps away from where you were and you didn't want to start blubbering in front of the entire court.
"What was your mother's reaction?" the clergyman asked you further.
"She wept hard. Tears just kept shaking her entire body. She was...broken. Just as I was," you whispered.
"Shaken. Broken. Wept hard. Make a note of that!" the judge cried, glaring at the jury, who was just about to cry at your story.
You giggled just a bit, but then you rubbed your hands together slowly, completely unsure now of your brief moment of bravado.
"Well...the funeral was three days later," you continued without the judge or clergyman prompting you to. "And then after that, my mom retreated to her room and never came out."
"Was that also when you have applied for employment at the Lucky Cat Cafe?"
"Yes." You nodded eagerly. "And that was also when I met Hiro Hamada."
"You mean the same one who has almost lost his older brother?"
"What happened to your mother whilst this happened?"
"According to my further findings, she has been receiving hate mail from Mr. Robert Callaghan," you responded, feeling yourself grow more confident with every single answer. "And all of those emails are in that folder over there," you added, pointing to the black folder that you placed all the emails in.
"And how did you get access to my emails?" Mr. Callaghan shouted, shaking violently as he struggled against the handcuffs.
"A simple notebook," you simply said, shaking your head. "A very poor place to put your passwords."
"Mr. Callaghan, please remain quiet while Ms. (Y/L/N)'s testimony is in session!" the judge cried sternly, and that made Callaghan shut up.
"While that was happening, I also received some taunts from Trudy," you continued. "This resulted in me losing all of my friends-that was, until I met Hiro and Melanie. But that's not important. At first, I thought all of the taunts were just harmless things she wanted to get off her chest. But I was wrong. They actually turned out to be things that Callaghan used against my mom-almost the very same-and it almost broke me. Thankfully, I was quick to notice the damage, however I cannot say the same for my mother."
"How far apart was your mother's death from your father's?"
"After my mom's death, a week after, my guardian came in. It was arranged in my mom's will and I never knew this until he moved in."
"Ahh, so that was where the irresponsible lawyer came in," the judge interrupted.
You nodded. "Yes. The same one you all caught me yelling at."
"He was unaware of your father's death, correct?"
"He did nothing to prevent your mother's death?"
The clergyman nodded. "That is all. Thank you." He then took a seat and you braced yourself now, clinging onto the chair, as the blonde lawyer from Callaghan's side approached you now.
"(Y/N) (Y/L/N), correct?" she asked you.
You nodded. "Yes."
The blonde lawyer nodded. "How is it that you came across Callaghan's evidence?"
"He kidnapped me one night while I was returning home from the Lucky Cat Cafe," you said. "He rode me up with microbots and I ended up on the island where Tadashi Hamada and Gisele Norimo were held in custody, and from there I met the aforementioned. And then we realized that there could be more evidence on the island since Gisele came back with the vial of poison in hand."
The lawyer nodded. "I see."
"So then we all returned to the island after freeing all the prisoners," you continued. "And then we found the hate mail he sent to my mother, the poison used to kill my father, and the folders outlining the demise of Tadashi and Gisele as well as total annihilation of my family."
"Had you realized the consequences of stealing from Callaghan's personal belongings?" she pressed you further.
Oh shoot. You took a shaky breath. "Yes, but-"
"Realizing that you could very well be charged right now for robbery?"
"It was for evidence!" you heard Hiro shout, and you whipped your head in time to see Tadashi clamp hard on his mouth.
"Yes," you said, thankful that he spoke up. "It was for collection of evidence. It was not due to a raid."
"And how is it that your family came to be annihilated by the Callaghan family?" she asked you. "I have never heard of this until now."
You glared at her, but somehow you managed to control your anger. "The answers are all in that green folder over there," you said. "This has been going on for generations now, starting with my great grandfather."
"And you claim to be an only child? No siblings of any sort?"
"So you understand that freeing the prisoners that same night you escaped would also cause you to be charged of-"
"I don't think there's a crime there," you spat. "Look, I don't wish to be rude, but-"
"You think you can put up with my lawyer?" Callaghan roared.
But you were luckily saved. The judge slammed his gavel down on the desk.
"SILENCE! ORDER IN THE COURT!" he cried. "Miss, we have already had enough evidence from (Y/N) on her side of the case. Thank you."
The blonde lawyer nodded coldly. "Thank you for your time."
You bowed back in response, and upon dismissal you walked shakily back to the plaintiff's desk.
"You did fine," Hiro assured you, giving you a brief hug.
"Thanks," you whispered back, returning the embrace before the next person, Gisele, was called up.
The rest of the trial went pretty smoothly to you, though it lasted forever, what with four other plaintiffs and two people of the defendant side. During the remaining time of the testimony, you kept holding onto Hiro's hand, trying to steady your breathing, though you couldn't help but feel that something would go wrong. At long last, Trudy walked off of the witness's table, and the judge rose.
"Thank you," he simply said. "The jury and I will take a bit of time for deliberation. This would take us up to more than three days, seeing that we have many cases to judge." He rose, and every one of you rose as well. "Court is adjourned till later notice."
He then walked out of the room, and you smiled, relaxed for once, as you joined the rest of the crowd and walked towards the exit, not noticing Callaghan point a gun at you and aim at you.
And shoot a single bullet into the back of your head.