Log Title: DJ in the Mix
Summary: Naoko interrogates DJ Shatterstack
IC Date: Sat Mar 23 20:27, 2381
OOC Date: Sat Mar 23 20:27, 2019
Related Logs: Mask Off
naoko

 

 

* * *

It's several hours later after the scene is processed and statements have been gathered. Michelle is in an interrogation room, chained to the table, looking exhausted, spent emotionally, and afraid. She hasn't touched the water or coffee. The irony is, if she hadn't shot Royal, she wouldn't have been charged with a crime. DJing a party isn't illegal.

* * *

Not that Naoko would have let her walk regardless.

She shuts the door behind her as she heads into the interrogation room, having been occupied providing other updates. When she settles in across from Michelle, she looks her over with a slow blink, not bothering to pull the file on the table close to herself. She's already read it on her ONI regardless.

"I hear you've not been very talkative with my associates, so I figured I'd come see how you were doing." is as much as Naoko says by way of greeting. "I wasn't kidding before when I said I think we can help you, if you'd just let us know what's going on."

* * *

Michelle shifts forward, chains of her cuffs rattling like some ghost of Christmas past. She leans on the table heavily and exhales. "You're looking at someone that people have a lot of leverage over, officer. And I know for a fact some of the people in your department are on the same side as the people who have that leverage over me."

* * *

Elbow hitting the table, Naoko's fingertips cradle her forehead and the side of her face. She'd had too long a day to play any games. Her ONI flickers as she wearily tells the room, "End log, delete recording." and waits a few seconds to be sure the process is complete.

"We'd not be talking here if you'd not gotten trigger-happy," Naoko reminds her. Acknowledging corruption on the force on camera wasn't something she was keen on doing, but the existence of it was something that couldn't be avoided. "So you're going to have to work with me."

"For example, how is it that someone with such a clean record has so much hanging over them?" That'd make for a good starting point. "Are these people the ones who encouraged you to start taking work under the name 'DJ Shatterstack'?"

* * *

Michelle looks Naoko in the eye for a long moment. She purses her lips, and seems to be considering whether she's going to trust her. "Wasn't my idea." Which is an answer, at least. "Look, it was a gig, okay? A gig that paid way more than it should. So I knew there were strings. But I needed the money." There's something in the way she says that that suggests she really did, not in 'I really needed those pair of designer shoes' way.

* * *

"I don't doubt you did," Naoko replies evenly, her voice not quite deadpan. "But if it wasn't your idea, then whose was it? Who tied the strings to you?"

* * *

"I didn't ask questions. I just took the job. DJ the show. Get the word out with that name, Shatterstack. Do it masked. Make a quick exit instead of coming back for the last set. Then, try to get new gigs at other underground clubs with the same name. Repeat for three or four gigs, then I get paid. And I get a sleeve for my brother." Michelle seems to be finding her feet a little, or at least realizing she has to speak or things are going to get worse for her.

* * *

"For your brother," Naoko echoes back. "He sick or something?" Even as she asks, her ONI is searching for information about Michelle's family. If the girl answers, she better hope it matches up.

As for the masked shows, though, "I get it. You didn't ask questions. But who set it in motion? Who reached out to you and put the proposition to you in the first place?"

* * *

"No. He got mugged. Sleeve death. They stuck him in the only sleeve available. This old sleeve, gotta be at least seventy. Bad arthritis. Can barely walk. He was seventeen. But that's all they were gonna give him, and they never caught the guy so there's no one to pay reparations." Michelle's story checks out. She does have a brother who was stabbed and now has an ancient, broken-down sleeve. Her parents are Grounders who own a bodega not far from the street market where they had their foot chase.

She sits back in the chair, shoulders slumping. "Some guy wearing a scatter mask. Said to call him Mix."

* * *

"He give you the one you were wearing earlier?" Naoko asks, brow lifting.

* * *

"Yeah," says Michelle. She looks off at a corner of the room, face tightening. "Look, this guy iddn't have to say it, but I knew he'd hurt me and my family if I fucked this up."

* * *

"Te entiendo, Michelle," Naoko insists, her voice softening in its edge. She's no less straightforward, no less persistent in her pursuit for answers, but there's an empathetic layer to her words that wasn't there previously. "Y por esa razon, tienes que trabajar conmigo, con nosotros, para que todo vaya bien, okay?"

After onlya beat, she nods and asks carefully, "This guy — Mix — did he sound anything in particular? He have an accent? Did you see his hands at all, maybe, see what color he was?"

* * *

"He was wearing gloves. But listen, I know my neighbourhood. I know the gangsters that work in my neighbourhood." Michelle seems to grow more talkative after the Spanish, or at least a tiny bit more trusting. "So I know these guys are from uptown." And by that, she means vertically. "Which means they got the resources to pop into another sleeve and mask his face before he came to talk to me. He might not even be a he."

She reaches for the small cup of water and sips it. Her jaw clenches. "I'll make you a deal. You make sure my family's safe. Not the department. Not through official channels. You, personally. And I'll do everything I can to help you find Mix."

* * *

If the department being stretched thin currently had a personification, Naoko was a good representation of it. Her brow furrows as she looks at Michelle, wondering if there's any way she could make the girl understand how impossible what she's asking is.

Still, she keeps her composure. If this is what it takes, this is what it takes.

"Entiendes que soy humana, si? No puedo hacer todo yo mismo." Naoko holds up a hand to fend off any argument. "Pero, el tipo que estaba conmigo, the one you shot — he'll also help. He's not a cop. He's a PI on his own, but he's got resources."

It was a lot to presume of a man she'd only met for five minutes, but she doesn't feel it's a huge stretch to assume he'll assist. It's an imposition, certainly, but he'll have to pull his weight here too.

"Le hablare, and we'll see what we can do to improve your family's safety. De acuerdo?"

They can't exactly shake, since Michelle's hands are chained to the table how they are, and Naoko wouldn't anyway. She raises her brow instead as she seeks acceptance of the counteroffer.

* * *

"I shot him. Why would he help me?" says Michelle. Her tone is defensive at first, but then she backs off. "Tell him I'm sorry, by the way. I just freaked out. I thought he was rushing me." She looks down at the table. After a moment, and after a deep inhalation, she just nods.

* * *

"I'll see if we can't get you slapped on the wrist with lesser charges before anything else more serious gets filed," like by Royal's associates, various as they might be, "and get you in a position where you can make good on your word about pinning down Mix." Naoko pushes herself to her feet, brow still furrowed as she looks Michelle over. She hates everything about the position she's currently in, but it would do no good to say it. Regardless, she's going with her gut, and willing to try and cut Michelle loose in the hopes of catching whoever's pulling her strings.

And… somehow avoiding whatever crooked cop might have it out for the girl at the same time.

"One last thing — you said you were worried about people here, as well. Other cops." Her fingertips drum on the table before she tilts her hand to the side. "Off the record, you willing to name any names so I can do my part to keep you safe?"

* * *

"Listen, I don't know the names of your detectives on the take. But I know that your beat cops patrol my neighbourhood. And they don't exactly look out for everyone equal." Michelle glances towards the door, then back to Naoko. "If we cross the wrong person or make too much noise, we're getting written up for stupid shit other people get a pass for. So that's a symptom. And I know it has to go deeper than that."

* * *

"If you can't point fingers, I can't do more than chalk your concerns up to 'the system has it out for people like me', which it has it out for everybody who lives this far down." Naoko snaps in reply, giving her a swift shake of her head. Realizing just how that sounds, she lifts her hand and rubs at her forehead. "Look, I'll do what I can. You've just got to start helping me out in return, or there's only so much I can do."

Which is something Michelle's going to have to think about between now and the next time she sees Naoko, because she's heading for the door. "I'm keeping up my end of the bargain, after all. Don't let me down on yours." is the last thing she says, looking back to Michelle expectantly before she sees herself out, leaving the girl alone with her thoughts.

* * *

Michelle looks conflicted, jaw clenched and shoulders hunched. Just before Naoko can open the door, she blurts out, "Talk to Gracie Deluxe at Club Charon. She met Mix too."

* * *

A comment that makes Naoko pause in the door, looking back. She nods stiffly, some of the tension in her own shoulders lessening before she closes the door behind her.