The woman that Neke and Michael captured is down in containment and has been for a few days. Well, strike that. The woman that assaulted Neke and Michael is down in containment and has been for a few days. She’s got court dates and soon but the Fifth Column interrogators have been having a time with her.
It hasn’t been easy. Her mind is a mess to begin with and getting specific details out of her is almost a lost cause. She is CERTAIN that Michael and Neke are responsible for the loss of her family, though she cant say how, when or who. Not that this stops her from being fervent in her beliefs, though.
Michael is outside the containment cells, reading a report and waiting for Neke to show. It’s been a long few days. The window only got replaced this morning.
When Neke arrives she’s got two cups of coffee, one that she hands to Michael and one she keeps herself. She’s been quiet since that night – apart from the attack, there’d been some interesting truths come to life. “That looks like an engrossing report.” She says quietly, eyes tracking to the facility.
“Are they ready for us?”
“Totally and utterly engrossing. Riveting. Five stars, says the New York Times. I couldn’t put it down. Similar platitudes.” Michael waves his hand in an airy fashion and looks up with a smile.
“Ah. Coffee. Thanks.” He takes the cup and takes a sip.
“Yes, they’re ready for us. The question is, is she? And I don’t know. She’s been violent and combative the entire time. We’ve got her restrained at the moment. I’m not sure how much good either of us are going to do in there.”
But they do have to talk to her. TRY to get some information out of her.
“I was just trying to see if there was anything in this profile that might help us snap her out of whatever mindset they’ve got her in.”
“Is that so. So a definite, will visit again?” Neke smiles as she sips her coffee. She’ll ask about that report later, maybe. Though Michaels good at telling her things when she needs to know.
“It’s possibly just going to set her off and make things worse but it needs to be done.” The spirit caller murmurs, looking back towards the cells.
“Do we have any footage of Bash’t we can show her? I don’t know if it will help, but it might. Whatever Killmonger has done, it’s centred on us.”
She gestures “Lead on the if they’re ready.”
“Very much so.” Michael says taking another slip of his coffee. “I’ve got some footage of Bash’t, yes. We can show her though I am not sure what it’ll do. She might think it’s her. The resemblance between the two is uncanny. You think it might snap her out of it though? Or at least confuse her enough that we can make some progress?”
Michael pulls that up and sends it to Neke’s wearable. Then he opens the doors.
“She’s all yours.” Says the interrogator as he’s coming out.
The woman’s cell is a plain white room. She is presently restrained on a table. She had to be or she’d attack anyone who came in. She’s awake and alert though and starts struggling and glaring as Michael and Neke come in.
“Good afternoon.” Micahel says mildly which seeems to set her off even more.
Neke touches Michael arm as they enter the cell, taking a deep breath to centre herself. “She might or she might see the differences. They don’t sound quite the same. I think it’s worth trying, don’t you.” She knows the footage is on her wearable.
As Shuri, that’s what Neke has been calling her, starts to struggle, the spirit caller remains silent. After a moment, she steps forward, close to the woman “Shuri, isn’t it? You’re think we killed your daughter, Bash’t, don’t you?”
Names. Names are important.
“Daughter?!” The woman yells. “You killed my brother! You killed my mother! You killed my people!”
Michael quirks his brow. She’s… loud. Very loud for how small she appears.
“But you are Shuri, yes?” Michael knows she isn’t but he asks anyway.
“Yes. I am Shuri. And my name will be the last one you ever hear!”
She struggles again, trying to get out of those restraints but they have her tied down tightly. There’s a sigh from behind Neke. This hasn’t started well.
Neke frowns, stepping closer still, trusting in the restraints, her own ability and Michaels if things go south. “Your Brother. He was Black Panther, was he not. Why do you think we killed your people. You mean myself, specifically, don’t you?”
This hasn’t started well and Neke is trying to keep things simple but there’s something about that just seems wrong. Killmonger has probably used a Framework to achieve this but what she doesn’t know is what //this// is.
“I remember you. In the palace. Stalking. Killing.” She snarls. “I remember you. I saw you push my brother down and drive your claws through his heart. And you!” She looks at Michael.
“I remember what you said to me before I escaped. I’m never going to be what you want.”
That makes Michael quirk his brow. “Projecting much, is he?” The panther shifter murmurs.
Yes, Killmonger has probably used a framework to brainwash this… clone? Is it a clone? Probably. Seems odd to clone a specific woman though. Human woman.
“So it seems. Do we have the med results from her? Does she any markers that might indicate she is cloned?” Neke asks Michael quietly.
The woman gets a sad look, though. “That was not us but I know you won’t believe us. Shall I show your daughter, talking to us?”
Neke doubts it will help but she’s going to try anyway. The footage of Bash’t is still displaying from her wearable.
“What do you know of a man named, Killmonger?”
“I… I don’t have a daughter.” She’s staring, the woman who thinks she is ‘Shuri’. “That… that’s me. That’s not… what have you done? You’re trying to trick me.”
Michael sighs. “Yes, definite cloning markers, but not any of the corp processes. Something home brew. High tech but it’s a one off. Probably designed specifically to clone her.”
Michael gets a glare. “I am not a clone, I am Princess Shuri. And yes, I know of N’Jadaka. My most loyal servant and…” She pauses and leaves that there. “He’ll find me. He’ll punish you all.”
“You don’t, hmmm.” Neke glances to Michael, shaking her head. “What else was mixed into her DNA?” She’s not certain this woman is truly human, they’ve seen N’Jadaka do some horrific things.
“Clone her and make her dependant on him.” That seems to prompt something, though the woman seems to have been created to attack Michael and herself.
“Your lover? Is that it? N’Jadaka is your servant and lover?”
It makes some sort of sense, Neke supposes.
“Quite a cocktail.” Michael murmurs. “Definitely some mutant DNA in there but very targeted. I think NJadaka was trying to bring out specific attributes. And yes. Clone her and make her dependent on him.”
Not only was she created to Attack both Michael and Neke but has very specific ideas about both.
Shuri… colors. “You… that’s none of your business.”
That’s a yes, in essence. She’s stopped yelling though.
“Only mutant DNA? No animal?” The animals they’d seen had been engineered. From Neke knows of Kilmonger, she wouldn’t put it past him.
“Right now, anything I deem is my business.” Neke says quietly. “You shot up my house and tried to kill me. I’d say that makes many things my business, wouldn’t you, Miss Shuri?”
“Were you trying to have children?”
“You deserve it!” She’s back to yelling. “You killed my BROTHER!” And now she’s struggling again. Michael sighs behind Neke. He’s wondering if he doesn’t have to break out the sedative. Or a taser.
“No, nothing Animal. Not that’s showing up on the reports. The chemical treatments may have been to simulate that. Trying to give her reflexes like a cat, for example.”
The woman finally calms down again enough to be glaring. “Who doesn’t want children. But no. I’ve never tried. I’ve never had a child. And no one can have them now anyway.”
“She doesn’t know anything about Bash’t. Interesting. N’Jadaka isn’t as worried about her as he is about us. Unless she got her own dedicated clone.” Michael murmurs.
“We didn’t kill your brother, not that you can believe that.” Neke murmurs. She doesn’t think a sedative is necessary. Shuri might hurt herself but not badly and they want her alert. “Maybe that’s what they were for but I wanted to know what type of animal we’re dealing with.”
“Mutants can and you’ve got mutant dna in you.” It’s blunt. Neke isn’t pulling any punches at the moment.
“Did you escape from N’Jdaka or did he send you after us?”
The dark skinned corp cop considers Michaels words. “What if he’s creating an army of these women? It doesn’t make sense though, Shuri was a scientific genius not really a fighter. Why is he trying to clone her?”
Neke keeps going back to //he wanted her// but that just doesn’t make sense, either.
“I don’t think so.” Michael shakes his head. “The notes we recovered indicate that he’s created a number of them, but only ever one at a time. Something always goes wrong and…” Well. Something violent happens.
“He told me where you were. I told him I was going for a walk. Like I needed him to send me after you after what you’ve done to my family.”
Michael sighs. “Shrui what year is it?”
“W… what? What is that supposed to mean?”
“Wakanda fell almost sixty years ago. Do I look over sixty years old to you?”
Shuri stares and then glares. “You’re lying.”
“There’s no reason she’ll believe us, Michael.” Neke murmurs. There’s a reason she hadn’t mentioned the year. Now though. “Are we Shuri? You were out and about, didn’t things look different than you thought? It’s been sixty years since Wakanda fell.”
“Pull up some footage, Michael. Let’s see if we can convince her.”
Neke regards the woman on the table though. “You didn’t need him to send you after us? Let me ask you. He keeps you under close watch doesn’t he? Then he showed you where we were and … your guard wasn’t as strong as it usually was, was it?”
“He… he doesn’t keep my under watch. The guards are there for my protection…” She sounds less sure as Michael pulls up some archived footage from the last World War. It includes dramatic footage of a man calling himself Apocalypse destroying the Wakandan palace and killing the Black Panther before being obliterated by the palace guard.
“That’s… that can’t be true. I SAW you. Both. YOU chased me. Said… you said…”
She’s looking at Michael and starting to hyperventilate.
“Of course he doesn’t keep you under watch.” Neke answers. Michael might be forgiven for thinking his partner is rather cold. “And of course the guards are for your protection. You just had to get a little creative, didn’t you, to be able to leave where he had you. Because it’s all for your protection.”
She lets that settle, watching the woman take in the footage and start to hyperventilate. She doesn’t like the way ‘Shuri’ is looking at Michael.
“What did we say, Shuri? Think on hard it. Think on the accents and the way we formed the words.”
“You… you laughed as you killed my brother. You said it was what he deserved for…” She shakes her head and looks at Michael. “And you told me… you told me that you were going to leave me alive so…”
She doesn’t finish that either. Tears shimmer in her eyes but she angrily blinks them away.
“I… NJadaka found me. He grieved with me. He told me we’d have our vengeance when the time was right. Him and me. The guards were for my protection…”
She repeats that, like she’s trying to convince herself of it.
“You… you spoke as all do of your kind. Outsiders.”
“Stereotype much?” Michael mutters.
“And I speak like an outsider now?” Neke pounces on that. Michael had noted how close her accent was to Bash’ts when they first met her. She lets that sit again, lets it sink in.
“He killed your brother for what he deserved … for what?” The spirit caller is really forcing Shuri to face what was done. To verbalise it. It might break the programming.
“And Michael was going to have you, when it was all done? Instead … M’Jadaka has taken you, hasn’t he.”
There’s more though. “And if you were going to get vengeance //together//, why did he tell you where we were and let you come to us?”
“I…” Shuri falters again. “You’re trying to confuse me! He warned me you would. Trying to… to…”
She starts sobbing again. Michael looks at her biometric data but physically she’s healthy. It’s just mentally.
It’s possible that the clones in general have mental stability issues. That might explain why there have been so many, if only ever one at a time.
“I… why are you asking me these questions?”
Mental instability in clones isn’t unknown. It’s just incredibly rare in this day and age. Neke frowns as the woman starts sobbing, looking to Michael to see if he is indicating she should stop. He doesn’t seem to be.
“Trying to … what, Shuri?” Nekes voice is firm but gentle. “All I want you to do is think. Think past the lies you were told.”
“And I want to know what you and N’Jadaka are up to. What it is you want from us.”
“You’re… you’re trying to trick me. Trying to make me help you. Trying to pretend that you didn’t do all the terrible things that you did. That I saw you do…”
“We haven’t done anything to you.” Michael says quietly.
“Why…? Why would he lie to me? Why would he tell me those things about you if they weren’t TRUE? Why do I remember them all but… but…”
She’s sobbing again, nearly incoherant. But Neke is breaking the seemingly hastily constructed history that this ‘Shuri’ has in her mind.
“I… who am I if not Princess Shuri of Wakanda?”
“Why would we try to trick you? Despite you trying to kill us and shooting up our house, we haven’t harmed you at all.” Well, not much. “If anything we’re trying to help you.” Neke keeps her voice calm and low.
“You were programmed by him and that’s what we’d like to know as well. Why is he doing this. Why Shuri… why you.” The woman crying again is starting to get to Neke. Now she’s starting to break, it’s devestating.
“You are Shuri. Just not Princess of Wakanda. Let’s say you … are her daughter. That will work.”
“Why do I remember you then? Killing my brother. Chasing me. Destroying our home…”
“Because he wanted you to. We have machines now that can do that. You probably spent a long time hooked up to one.” Michael says.
Shuri, well, that’s not really her name but it will do for now, she sniffles. “What do you want to know? I can’t tell you why. I… I only know what he told me. What I remember. We… he said we were going to kill you. But I wonder if that was just another lie…”
“Do you think he let you go? To come after us?” Neke asks. It seems strange that he did. Then again if Shuri had succeeded, it would just be her that was implicated, she and Michael would be neatly out of the way.
Or not so neatly.
“He wanted you to hate us. To want our deaths. I … just don’t really know why. N’Jadaka is trafficking in illegal materials from Wakanda… ”
“What did he tell you, let’s start with that.”
“I… maybe. Yes. It was easy to slip out.” She seems deflated. Like she’s not sure what to think or believe anymore. Her eyes are shining with tears still and she won’t make eye contact.
“He told me that he’d saved me from the ruins of our palace. I remember that, vaguely. He told me that my brother had been killed and that their killers were still out there. That our kingdom was gone but that he would help me, the last Royal, build a new one. After we’d had our revenge.”
“Build a new kingdom. I wonder if that isn’t actually what he wants.” But why Shuri? Well perhaps the man is just obsessed.
“It’s possible he’s trying to raise funds. We’ll have to take a closer look at his known associates. See if any of them spend an unusual time around what’s left of Wakanda.”
Shuri won’t make eye contact and Neke won’t release her. Not yet. The woman is unbalanced and the spirit caller knows it. “Get Belinda down here and get her a medical assessment. I don’t want to keep her restrained any more than we have to.”
There’s a certain distaste to how she says that.
“I’m sure it is. And I’m sure the infatuation is because of her.” She frowns though. “Check the interviews we did with Bash’t. Didn’t she mention something about a sacred family … duty? That was genetic?” Bash’t hadn’t been easy to get information from, but she had started to open up the last time they spoke with her.
“Thank you, Shuri. We’ll make you as comfortable as we can.”
“She did.” Michael confirms. “I’ll see what I can pull up.” He gives ‘Shuri’ one more look and then turns to go. She’s clearly… slightly traumatized by his presence. Hopefully Belinda and the psychological team can help that.
“I… thank you.” Shuri says, watching Michael go. Then she slumps in her restraints, until Belinda comes.