|Di-Jun Huang (body double)
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|Di-Jun Huang (body double)|
|There have been countless attempts on my life. Not just once or twice. Countless! And yet, why must I be the only one to face the danger? When I stand before the people, I garner the same respect as the president does. Tell me, just what is the difference between him and me!?|
An unnamed body double of President Di-Jun Huang of Zheng Fa was hired due to the hazards of the real president's job. However, having to put up with the dangerous nature of being the president with none of the perks caused the body double to develop a growing resentment towards his employer. Despite their similar appearance, the body double was nothing more than a cowardly and inferior shadow of the man he impersonated for over 12 years.
Assassination and identity theft
- Main article: SS-5 Incident
Resentful of having to put his life on the line everyday without having the power and respect of being the real Di-Jun Huang, the body double resolved to have his employer assassinated and then assume his identity. With the help of corrupt Chief Prosecutor Blaise Debeste and Happy Family Home orphanage owner Patricia Roland, the body double began to put his plot into motion. Knowing that Huang would be visiting the Happy Family Home orphanage in order to visit his secret lover Amy Marsh, the conspirators hired the deadly blind assassin Sirhan Dogen and sent him to murder the president. While Huang was at the orphanage, the body double had a meeting with Huang's head bodyguard, Dai-Long Lang, at the Zheng Fa embassy.
After Huang's successful assassination, Debeste and Roland planned to betray and kill Dogen, but a boy at the orphanage named Simon Keyes (who had been saved by the assassin when he was younger) overheard and warned Dogen so that he could escape. Meanwhile, after the meeting with Lang, the body double headed to the orphanage to meet up with his co-conspirators. As he approached, he saw photojournalist Jack Cameron at the orphanage entrance, watching the body double's co-conspirators moving the president's body. The body double promptly killed Cameron via a blow to the skull with a nearby brick.
To cover their tracks, the three conspirators removed Huang's body and replaced it with that of Cameron in order to obfuscate where the photographer had been killed and to disguise Huang's bloodstains on the surrounding snow, with Debeste going on to use his influence to tamper with any blood tests. As the president's shoes had left footprints in the snow, the body double stepped over them and then planted his own, identical shoes onto Cameron's feet. It also turned out that Cameron had sent a voicemail message claiming to be witnessing a kidnapping, so the conspirators staged a kidnapping, using Cameron's camera to forge a photo of "Huang" being threatened just outside the orphanage by a mysterious assailant (actually Roland in disguise). The government of Zheng Fa paid the supposed kidnappers a hefty ransom, and the body double returned and began his new life as the president of Zheng Fa. However, the body double, along with his co-conspirators Blaise and Patricia, had become the subject of a strong resentment within Keyes.
The body double's greatest fear was being found out, and he became increasingly paranoid about those around him, even the Zheng Fa police. Because of this, he cut off the real president's closest friends, the Lang family, and used private bodyguards for protection. While the imposter was able to ride on the real president's legacy and popularity for the next 12 years, he was actually nowhere near as adept a leader as the real Di-Jun Huang had been. By 2019, his approval ratings had declined significantly, which had not been helped by the appearance of an international smuggling ring that smuggled counterfeit money into the country and crippled its economy. Fortunately, that particular problem would eventually be solved by the intervention of prosecutor Miles Edgeworth, who brought down the ring by having its leader arrested.
A fake assassination
- Main article: Turnabout Target
Eager to capitalize on the smuggling ring's downfall, "Huang" travelled to Gourd Lake in his private seaplane in order to personally thank those who had helped save his country via a speech. He again hired a private security firm for protection, with Ethan Rooke leading the team and Horace Knightley acting as second-in-command. Feeling that he was in the shadow of the more skilled Rooke, Knightley came up with a plan to boost the president's ratings back home in an effort to show that he was more loyal and useful than his superior. However, Rooke was against the idea, causing the other two to pretend to call off the plan.
Two days before he was due to give his speech, the infamous assassin Shelly de Killer made an attempt on the life of "Huang" by infiltrating his bodyguards, but was foiled by the quick actions of Rooke, who managed to seriously injure the assassin's arm. Unfortunately, this was not before de Killer was able to grasp Knightley by the throat so tightly that the latter was forced to wear a neck brace afterward. This injury meant a slight adjustment to the security plan for the upcoming speech due to Knightley being unable to turn his head to the right. Moreover, the other bodyguards were removed, leaving only Rooke and Knightley, so that de Killer would not be able to use the same tactic again.
Upon arriving at Gourd Lake, "Huang" exited his private plane onto an already set-up podium and proceeded to give his speech to the awaiting crowd, wherein he thanked those who had helped bring down the smuggling ring and promised to bring the remnants of the organization to justice. At the climax of the speech, Knightley put the staged assassination into action by surreptitiously firing into a nearby balloon. Although he was well aware that it was not a real assassination attempt, "Huang" was still frightened at the sound of gunshots. His bodyguards quickly escorted him back into the plane and into a special panic room, where he proceeded to cowardly hide under the bed and cover his ears. He was still there when Rooke was found dead inside his plane, and thus had no idea what had happened to his subordinate.
The plan falls apart
The body double's "strategic retreat" under his bed was soon interrupted by the arrival of Miles Edgeworth, who was investigating the "assassination" and Rooke's murder. Accompanying him was Kay Faraday, Nicole Swift, and Shelly de Killer with a knife to Horace Knightley's throat. The assassin had taken the bodyguard hostage partially in order to get on board the plane, but was also forcing Edgeworth to continue his investigation. Once inside the plane, de Killer knew that the security cameras around him would be linked to the panic room, and so announced to "Huang" that if he didn't come out then Knightley would die. Valuing his own life above that of his bodyguard, "Huang" did not respond. De Killer eventually gave up, cut the power, and escaped in the ensuing confusion.
After making sure the coast was clear, "Huang" finally emerged. He introduced himself to Edgeworth, but immediately had him surrender his investigative authority and evidence, and then declared that this was a Zheng Fa matter thus was none of the prosecutor's business. "Huang" did all this in an attempt to prevent the truth of the "assassination" being revealed. However, after a quick battle of wits, Edgeworth proved that he still had the right to investigate since the "assassination" had taken place outside, thus rendering the extraterritoriality rights of the presidential plane irrelevant.
"Huang" reluctantly agreed to testify about the speech. He told Edgeworth about the round red balloon that had burst from the gunshot he heard, and that when his two bodyguards attempted to escort him to the plane, a second gunshot had hit Rooke. However, it turned out that the red balloon that had burst was a modified Steel Samurai balloon, which should have been obvious to anyone who saw it. "Huang" then claimed that a flag flapping in the wind had blocked his field of vision, but this ended up proving instead that Knightley had been the one who had shot the balloon, due to a bullet hole in said flag. Upon having his fake assassination plot revealed, the body double was shocked into dropping his proud, commanding, and muscular persona to reveal his true self: a cowardly, overweight, and pitiful man. Edgeworth would go on to discern that it had been Knightley who had murdered Rooke, due to being jealous of his fellow bodyguard's superior abilities.
With the case resolved, "Huang" reverted back to his presidential persona and thanked Edgeworth for solving the case and exposing his most trusted bodyguard as a murderer. He went on to state that he believed that his own anxiousness about the plan had given Knightley his impetus for Rooke's murder. "Huang" assured Edgeworth he would take responsibility for his role in the fake assassination and his subordinate's crime, but (with Debeste's assistance) instead had the incident covered up and Knightley indicted for what "Huang" claimed was a real assassination attempt.
- Main article: The Grand Turnabout
Almost two weeks after the Gourd Lake incident, Justine Courtney requested a meeting with "Huang", revealing that she wished for him to meet his son, John Marsh, whom the real president had fathered with Amy. Fearing the implications of John's existence for him, the body double arranged for the meeting to occur on the viewing platform at the top of the Grand Tower. He ordered that no one else was to have access to the viewing platform during the meeting, not even his bodyguards. Once there, Courtney gave the body double a bouquet of lion lilies, a present that the real president had given to Amy on their first meeting, to prove that she was telling the truth.
During the meeting, the body double spotted a hot air balloon rapidly heading towards him. In a panic, he told Courtney to go ahead and leave before him. He then drew a pistol that he had on his person and fired at this oncoming threat. Unfortunately for him, he failed to stop it; the balloon flew into him, with its basket crushing him to death. The bouquet was also crushed and left a stain on the body double's clothes, as well as traces of pollen on the balloon basket. The pilot of the balloon was none other than Simon Keyes, who had not intended to meet the imposter there. He later speculated that the body double had intended to kill Courtney to prevent the existence of the president's son from exposing him as a fraud.
Because Keyes had set a different murder in motion at the Grand Tower, he transported the body double's corpse to the walk-in freezer of a warehouse near Sunshine Coliseum. The following night, Keyes looked for a place to dump the body, and found a filming lot at the base of the Grand Tower which was being used by Global Studios for the movie The Great Monster Moozilla vs. Gourdy. The president was supposed to make a cameo in this movie, with John as the lead actor in it. Seeing that John had accidentally caused a large prop Moozilla head to fall to the ground, Keyes decided to dump the body there, hoping that it would seem that he had been crushed underneath it. Unfortunately for him, Miles Edgeworth became involved in the case and not only figured out the true identity of the "Di-Jun Huang" he had met earlier, but also that Keyes was the one who had murdered him. The decisive evidence was the bouquet of lion lilies, which had left traces on both the body and the balloon basket, connecting Keyes to the incident.
Despite his initially fearsome appearance being identical to that of the real president, the body double was a cowardly, deceitful individual who was only a shadow of the man he impersonated. Despite being a body double and later the acting president, the sounds of gunshots terrified him greatly. His bravado was simply an act designed to intimidate others, and could be easily stripped away by careful negotiation to reveal his obese and unimpressive true appearance. Because of his secret identity as an impostor, he distanced himself from Zheng Fa police, preferring bodyguards from private businesses. He had no qualms about betraying his employer for power, nor did he cooperate with the orders of an assassin who had been holding a knife to Knightley's throat to come out of his hiding place, proving he has no regard for Knightley's life and was willing to risk it for his own protection. Despite this fundamental disregard for human life, however, he was quick to call out Knightley for bad-mouthing the late Rooke, showing his sudden change of heart to be nothing more than paying lip service after the fact. The sheer cowardice that he displayed is likely what caused de Killer to begin to question whether or not he was the true president.
- There are deliberate design and personality parallels between the body double and his subordinates and chess pieces. The body double himself is the king (due to his authority and seemingly commanding presence; however, Blaise Debeste could alternatively be seen as the king due to his own authority as chief prosecutor and head of the Prosecutorial Investigation Committee), Patricia Roland could be considered the queen (due to her gender and the seemingly extravagant furs she wears), Ethan Rooke is the rook (due to his hairstyle, head shape, name pun, and his desire to protect his "king"), Sirhan Dogen is the bishop (due to his prayer beads, Buddhist-like leitmotif, his "fallen priest" nickname, and even the shape of his head), Horace Knightley is the knight (due to his mane-like hair, name pun, and his desire to protect his "king" by "leaping" over others, such as Rooke), while everyone else could be considered mere pawns to him.