Log Title: An Exchange Made For The Sake of a Favor
Summary: Wisteria Tau drops by BCPD to contribute their testimony to the Longbow case.
IC Date: March 13, 2381
OOC Date: March 13, 2019
Related Logs: Door to Door, Fatale



"…I'm asking that that information be made available to this GPPI. I think his insight could be valuable, and he can't offer it if he's left in the dark."

BCPD Fell St. Station

The Fell Street Station of the Bay City Police Department is one of the larger branches, but it still has an outsize jurisdiction. The higher you go up, the more and better resourced the police are - and the less they're actually needed. Many connect 'Fell' with the fallen, or those who can never rise off the Ground.

For the most part, you wouldn't know how underfunded and overworked the station is from its general level of upkeep and technology. Holo displays are everywhere, and partnered cops face each other with a screen between them. The bullpen is a wash of blue-green light reflecting off the old worn wood that seems ubiquitous of police stations. Architectural details like high roman columns and checkerboard floors lends gravitas to the space.

It's mid-afternoon when Dr. Wisteria Tau arrives at the BCPD Fell St Station, stepping inside to present themself to give a statement about an open investigation. They were one of many present at the Panama Rose on the night 'Fatale' was unmasked as a clone of Ariana Longbow who then destroyed her own stack. They're likely low down on a witness list somewhere and would have eventually been called in when the name above theirs was checked off. But it seems the psychosurgeon has decided to jump the queue. They're dressed in a black suit with pink pinstripes, their button down shirt of a pink to match said pinstripes. After Winter explains why they've come, they're sent to a bank of chairs to sit and wait for someone to help them. They do so, glancing around at the station and its myriad of holo displays and roman columns.

"Dr. Tau," comes the surprised voice of Naoko Perez, not long after Winter has been seated. For her part, she's dressed in a white work blouse, a leather jacket over it. Well-worn slacks accompany the look, her badge pinned to her hip. Her look is vastly unchanged from their last encounter, save her hair which is done up in a messy bun. She tilts her head as she waves a hand for Winter to follow. "Come on back." Usually, this could even be said with a joking air. Like they'd just been called on The Price Is Right or something.

This case has disturbed her, though.

Winter is lead back past the bank of desks most officers work at, into a glass cube that serves as a meeting space. When Naoko pulls the door shut behind them both, she lays a hand on a panel, the glass around them frosting to provide a semblance of privacy for their meeting. They may still be only feet away, but at least they're not sitting in what looks as well as feels like a goldfish bowl.

"You were there at Panama Rose the night of the … incident?" Naoko asks, trying to lean into the subject carefully. She gestures for the doctor to have a seat, and does so across from them, after adjusting another setting on the panel by the door. In the corner of the room, a tiny lens shifts its focus, monitoring the interaction and recording it for posterity.

Winter cants their head and smiles faintly at the detective who comes to fetch them. "Hello again, Detective Perez. I didn't think I'd see you again so soon. Were you ever able to find that fellow from the security camera feed?" They stand and follow after her into the small glass space, smiling appreciatively as said glass frosts over. They take the offered seat, glancing briefly up and over at the little lens recording everything. "I was, I'd won one of the lottery tickets," Winter replies. "Are you on the Longbow case as well?"

"No," Naoko says with some regret. "We've not been able to track him down yet. It's unfortunately been a little busy around here. Though, I'll still hold out hope we track him down before he seriously injures someone."

When asked if she's on the case, she shakes her head at first. "Everyone's pulling double duty right now. The case is passing hands right now, information being collected by a team of people rather than any one individual. I have a feeling I might get pulled in officially after this, though." A small, knowing grin accompanies the statement before she becomes more serious again. "Let's start from the beginning, from your perspective. What happened that night, starting with when you arrived?"

"This?" Winter asks, their hand lifting to gesture between them and the detective, back and forth. "Um, well. As I said, I had a lottery ticket, and I arrived a few minutes before the first fight started, took my seat. I was about midway back so had a pretty good view of the fighting cage. There were a couple unremarkable fights before the main attraction which placed a fighter called Galen Sparks against a masked woman who only called herself Fatale."

"Fatale," Naoko repeats back, shaping the sound of the fighting name out. She gestures to Winter idly. "From your vantage, even if the woman was masked, were there clearly identifying features you could describe for the woman? Did these features change at all during the time she fought and when she unmasked herself?"

Winter shakes their head. "No, not really. She wore a leather getup and a mask that obscured everything but her mouth and chin. Everything I saw of her remained consistent through the fight, and she never disappeared from view or from the cage that I recall. But, I did find the fight to be… unusual."

Brow popping up in interest, Naoko presses, "Unusual? Could you describe what made it unusual?" It's asked patiently, smoothly, giving the impression that everything is at Winter's pace and there is no stress behind how much or how little the good doctor is able to provide.

Nevermind all the department has to go off of currently are statements like these, given the lack of footage of the event — given the lack of evidence provided.

"Well, I don't really know whether the fights before the main one were rigged, it's possible. But they didn't seem that way. Both fighters appeared to be giving their all, competing earnestly. Fatale, though, was more flashy, but her actual fight moves were poorly chosen, pretty obviously intended to put on a show but not cause any real damage. It seemed to me that she intended to lose, and it had been announced as the fight opened, that if she did, she would be unmasked. But, she'd been in something like ten other fights prior, winning each of them, so presumably she knew how to fight well. She chose not to because she was asked, or for her own reasons."

"Given what I've been made to understand about the event, that she incapacitated herself following the unmasking, I would agree with you there was definitely a reason behind the loss." The words buy Naoko time to think on the implications of the circumstance of the loss, following such a winning streak. "Could you describe what happened then? Following the loss of the fight?"

"Mr. Sparks unmasked her as promised, and seemed surprised that Fatale's sleeve was a clone of Ariana Longbow. She began to laugh, and then purple froth started coming from her mouth and she died," Winter replies.

Naoko tilts her head as she asks firmly, but not unkindly, "And do you know if any words were passed between Galen Sparks and the unknown masked woman? Did she make any statements before her death?"

Winter shakes their head. "None that I heard or saw. She just started to laugh."

The detective shifts in her seat, eyes shifting off of the doctor while she puts together what she's heard around the station and combines it with Winter's firsthand recollection. It's not enough, she decides, but she questions what else the woman before her can offer. Naoko looks back to Winter with a firm nod to show acquiescence. "Is there anything else you'd like to add to your statement? Any additional bits of information you believe could be helpful, however small?"

"Well," Winter's tone turns a touch wry, "after she began frothing at the mouth, Dr. Gray made her way into the fighting cage and proceeded to remove the clone's stack in an attempt to preserve evidence. I left my seat and came down onto the main floor to assist her."

Naoko sits up a little straighter at that, but her expression otherwise remains deadpan. She slides her arm off the table to tap into her ONI, information flitting across her retina quickly while she searches for a 'Dr. Grey' along the list of witnesses. "That was forward-thinking of you," the detective remarks. Her gaze refocuses, settling on the doctor. "And dangerous, but I'll spare you the lecture for the sake of time." Her lips firm into a thin smile, however brief.

"What did you find down there?"

"That would be much appreciated, detective," Winter replies. They let out a soft breath. "Not a great deal. We were able to convert the DHF to a clean stack, but it had already been badly corrupted. We went to my office to see if anything had been salvaged, but what we spun up was not… especially coherent."

Maybe this information was known to her colleagues, but it's the first Naoko's heard of it. Or, hell, maybe it was the first anyone had heard of this development. Nevertheless, she keeps an external calm, questions forward but not urgent. "Do you still have that copy? Were there any motifs to what the frag was saying? Repeated phrases or ideas in particular?"

Quite possibly, it's that latter option. "There's a recording of the session, the stack itself and what remained of the DHF on it was returned to police custody, I believe," Winter says. "The DHF, when it was comprehensible at all, kept repeating 'designation nineteen alpha thirty'. Like some sort of military designation. Beyond that, it spoke in riddles and nonsense. But, it retained the capacity to corrupt the virtual environment it was in. We weren't able to interact with it long due to that."

"I'll have to take a look for that information, then," Naoko concedes in a slower voice than previous, eyes narrowing for a moment. She resists the urge to scan the inventory of evidence pertaining to the case immediately — Winter was still here before her and that would be rude, after all. She looks back to the doctor with a small smile that masks the discomfort niggling at the back of her mind. Hadn't she seen — heard something similar in some of her scans of the 'net recently?

"It's a shame to hear that, but I'm glad you've shared with us what you have. Your statement will be invaluable, especially given your unique interaction with the deceased." She tips her head forward in a nod, almost a bow, to show the proper polite thanks. "Is there anything else?"

"I'd compare that designation to the one in the Ariana Longbow TBT," Winter advises, "I assume the police have a copy of that by now." They consider, letting a soft breath out. "There is something else. Two somethings. The first is that I'd like a favor from you. Or from the team working the Ariana Longbow case of which you may soon be a part, to be more specific."

Naoko arches an eyebrow at that, gesturing loosely to Winter. "Go ahead," she confirms with caution and curiosity both. "If I'm not brought on the taskforce myself, I'll at least make sure your request gets passed on appropriately."

"I'm consulting for a GPPI working the same case. His name is Dante Taylor, but he tends to go by 'Royal'. My understanding is that the police have been… less than willing to share information with him. Particularly in regards to the sample of the corrosive chemical collected from 'Fatale's original stack, what they've learned about it, and how it compares to a similar substance found on the threatening, broken stacks left on the doorsteps of various persons in Bay City. I'm asking that that information be made available to this GPPI. I think his insight could be valuable, and he can't offer it if he's left in the dark."

Naoko considers the information carefully, given who it comes from. Given what they've already provided the BCPD with. "I'll make sure to pass your request along," is all she says, and sounds like all she can do. For now. "What was the second something?"

"Okay," Winter replies, not sounding especially impressed with Naoko's offer, but also not exactly in a position to push for more. "After the stack was removed from my server and returned to the police, several days after, in fact, I became aware of corruption, similar to what I experienced when speaking to the fragmented DHF, still present on my server. Left behind." Their brows lift slightly. "That's not something Aubergine does."

Blinking twice, Naoko presses carefully, "Would you be willing to submit your server for inspection so we can corroborate what you've seen? Get a sample of the code?" All in a more secured environment is implicit and needs not be said. The techies responsible would ensure to keep everything quarantined and safe. Surely.

"I'm a psychosurgeon, detective," Winter replies. "My server is my livelihood and also contains all of my sessions with my patients, protected by doctor patient confidentiality. I'm afraid I'd need an extremely compelling reason to put my reputation and potentially my life at risk in such a manner."

"Given it sounds like your livelihood is currently infected, I'm not sure it would do you much good where it currently sits." Naoko makes no attempt to mince the words, and considers continuing down such a rocky path of conversation before her tone eases. "I can assure you our interest would be in investigating the compromised area only."

What she says next: "Realistically, we've got too much on our plates to go digging through the rest of your files." might even be true.

"It was fairly weak residue, and easy enough to eradicate once I found it," Winter explains. "It's only that it was there at all that was alarming."

At this, it's Naoko's turn to look slightly disappointed. "Knowing about it, and knowing what it is are two different things. The note will be added to your statement, of course but…" she trails off, shrugging her shoulders. "If it crops up again, be sure to let us know."

"There's an analyst already consulting with a GPPI working with the police who might be able to help," Winter replies. "He's attempting to reconstruct the code within the substance found on the delivered stacks. I'm afraid, when I found corruption on my own server, my primary concern was in protecting my files, and I wasn't sure how the code could be safely stored, considering it was already somewhere it shouldn't be."

"A very protective stance to have taken," Naoko assures Winter with a thin smile. There were at least those other leads that could still be pursued. "The best one for you and your clients both." She pushes back from the table and rises, gesturing to the door with a polite movement of her arm. "I won't keep you any longer than necessary. Thank you for stopping by, Doctor Tau."

"Just not the best for you," Winter allows with a small nod. "I hope those you speak with will be receptive to a more open exchange going forward." They get to their feet and give a small nod. "Good afternoon, Detective."