Legal Legend: Turnabout Beginnings - Part One
Date: 20th of Hunting, Y16
Time: 12:30 P.M. NST
National Neopian Bank, Neopia Central
The explosion rang out across Neopia Central, causing the denizens to stop in fear.
???: "Has... has it really come to this?"
The bank was quickly filling with smoke and fire. The tellers and the manager were busy evacuating the panicked Neopets and calling the Defenders of Neopia.
???: "Did I really just set it off?"
The building was beginning to crumble. Pieces of the ceiling were raining down. Sirens and spells could be heard; the Defenders had recruited some water and air Faeries to put out the flames and clear the smoke.
???: "No! This can't be for naught! I can't go down, not yet. There has to be a way out of this. There HAS to!"
The spells continued to fly, diminishing the flames and clearing the smoke. Through the waning smoke, a green figure could still be seen inside the bank vault where the bomb was detonated.
???: "Hmm hmm hmm, I know exactly what to do now, but I've gotta get out of here."
Everyone wants to be a hero. To be the one who will bring down Dr. Frank Sloth or Jhudora or some other villain highly sought after by the Defenders of Neopia. Those are the big name criminals and are the ones that Neopets assume a "hero" will vanquish. By that definition, I am no hero. But looking at it from another perspective, heroes defend the innocent. That is where I come in.
My name is Alexander Starr, a Red Kyrii. Most might not call me a hero. In fact, there are some who even claim that I could be a villain. I don't call myself either of those things. I just call myself a defense attorney. Villains aren't what I'm after. The only thing I go after is the truth. My job is to get my clients a Not Guilty verdict in a court of law. The only clients I defend are the ones I can have faith in, the ones who are truly innocent and were brought to court under false charges. That's what I want to do and why I became a defense attorney; to defend the innocent.
The only problem with that is that I am a complete rookie. I've only just finished Neo Law School. Recently, I found employment with the Mantour Law Offices. My first case is going to start tomorrow. I know how to do what I need to do within legal means to get my client declared innocent, but only in theory. Tomorrow is my first time in court since I became an attorney. It's when I'll see if I can put those theories into practice.
Date: 21st of Hunting, Y16
Time: 9:45 A.M. NST
Defendant Lobby No. 1, Neopia Central Courthouse
???: "So, Alex, ready for your first day in court as an official lawyer?"
I was so lost in my own thoughts and nerves that the female voice nearly made me jump out of my skin. Standing behind me and smirking at my reaction was the blue Usul, Charlie Mantour, owner of the Mantour Law Offices, making her my boss. She was actually quite a successful and prominent defense attorney. I studied under her while I attended law school. She told me that I had potential and kept me under her wing, teaching me most of what she knew: Different techniques for getting information, how to work with certain people, that kind of thing. But that all pales in comparison to what she says is the only way someone can be a good defense attorney. A good lawyer has faith in their clients, a principle I hold near and dear to my heart. Since this is my first case ever and someone's life is on the line, she is going to stay at the defense's bench and try to guide me through the court proceedings.
Charlie: "Alex, you hear me? Are you ready for this?"
Alexander: "Y-y-yes. I'm ready."
Charlie: "Really? Not nervous for your first day in court?"
Alexander: "N- not at all, Boss (She can read me like a book.)"
Charlie: "Really? Because you're shaking like a leaf and your fur is standing straight up."
Alexander: "... (I've got to calm down before the trial begins.)"
Charlie: "Anyway, since this is your first trial, I will be there to help you. But! The majority of the work will be up to you. It's your case and your client. His life is in your capable hands."
Alexander: "Ugh... (As if there wasn't already enough pressure.)"
The scream tore through the nearly silent lobby. It sounded like a mix of someone screaming and crying, like a baby having a tantrum. The building felt like it was shaking, almost causing the guards to panic after what happened yesterday at the bank.
???: "I'M DONE FOR! PUT ME IN A CELL AND DON'T LET ME SEE THE LIGHT OF DAY!"
Charlie: "Looks like the guards just brought our client from the detention center."
Alexander: "It... it would appear so. (Why did I have to take this as my very first case?)"
Standing a few feet from me was my client, Riley Kraid. This green, glasses-wearing Skeith towered over both me and Charlie. It was kind of embarrassing to see a monster of this size bawling like a baby. Mr. Kraid was arrested on the suspicion of being the one who planted and detonated the bomb at the National Neopian Bank yesterday. A mutual friend brought Mr. Kraid to the office. Since it was my friend who brought him to us, Charlie felt that it was the perfect opportunity for me to try a case. My friend swore Mr. Kraid had nothing to do with the bombing. He seemed slightly calmer than he did today, so I took the case. But now, after seeing his tantrum, I wonder why I didn't just leave this case to a court-assigned attorney.
Kraid: "Put a fork in me, I'm done."
Alexander: "(Well, thanks for the confidence boost.)"
Charlie: "What seems to be the problem, Mr. Kraid?"
Kraid: "What's the problem? I was arrested on the suspicion of blowing up half of the bank! You cannot say that there is no problem here!"
Charlie: "I'm sure my junior partner here will be able to handle this."
Alexander: "That's right, sir. (Wow. She believes in me more than I do.)"
Kraid: "I need to ask: How many clients have you gotten declared Not Guilty?"
Alexander: "Umm, zero. You're my very first case."
Kraid: "...Could I just plead guilty and get a lesser sentence?"
Alexander: "(How can I believe in my client if he doesn't even believe in me?) I guess it depends. Are you guilty? I can't defend you or in good conscience enter a guilty plea without knowing the truth."
Kraid: "No. I didn't plant the bomb at the bank. But what difference does it make? They must have had a good reason for arresting me in the first place. And now I've got some newbie lawyer who looks more nervous than I do. It's already over for me."
Alexander: "(I really need to get my fur and nerves under control.)"
Charlie: "Don't worry, Mr. Kraid. If you truly are innocent, we will be able to prove it. The answers will be revealed in court."
At that moment, the blue Elephante bailiff announced that the trial of Mr. Riley Kraid was to begin shortly and that the defendant and his attorneys were to report to Courtroom 1.
Kraid: "I swear I didn't do it. Are you sure you can prove me innocent?"
Alexander: "It's like what my boss told you; if you truly are innocent, then we will be able to prove it. (For my client's sake, I hope she's right.)"
We quickly walked into the courtroom. It was eerily silent in the large, cavernous room. We all made our way past the gallery where there were a lot of Neopians sitting, hoping to find out who was the real criminal in this case. The boss and I took our place at the defense's table, which directly faced the prosecutor's bench, while Mr. Kraid took the defendant's seat next to us.
Bailiff: "All rise for the honorable Judge, Dee Sizion."
The bailiff's booming voice caught me off-guard. The entire courtroom stood up as a small Elderlyboy Yurble entered the room and sat in the judge's chair. Judge Sizion is a hard man to understand. Even after at least 15 years as a judge, he is still easily persuaded by the opinions of others. He could be a moment away from giving a guilty verdict, then something new could pop up and cause him to completely change his mind. It seems odd that such an indecisive Neopet could hold such a position for as long as he had. The judge then banged his gavel on the judge's bench on our right hand side.
Judge: "You may be seated. Court is now in session."
To be continued...