2010-06-26: The Japanese Job



Guest Starring:


Date: June 26, 2010


Things don't look good.

"The Japanese Job"

Tech Lair— Stanford's Apartment

"My point is, if there's info to be known, Hax will know it— " Sam insists as he leads the way down one of the busy downtown New York streets towards a rather none-descript apartment building. He's dressed rather relaxed for an FBI agent or an NYPD officer— a blue button up shirt, blue jeans, and a black belt at his waist. A brown leather coat rests over his shoulders.

As they reach the building he turns to Maggie and pushes the button in the elevator, "I swear, Powers, I dunno how you got Mason onboard. Or why he's doin' it, but regardless know that this is my case." He presses his lips together irritably. "The flow of information 'ere is bad. Beyond bad. Anythin' you learn stays 'ere. NYPD doesn't need ta be privy to it…"

The second half of this reluctant partnership is not an FBI agent, but Detective Maggie Powers, who — like Sam — is dressed fairly casually for the job. And, as it happens, similarly: the jeans, brown leather jacket, belt — they could match, if it weren't for the bright red of the woman's t-shirt. "I'm not a child, Sam," she says calmly — with only the slightest edge, a hint, maybe, for Sam to stop whining — as she waits for the elevator to lift them to their destination. "I can follow instructions." Her sidelong look warns against response.

The second the door slides open, Maggie's striding out, heading straight for a particular apartment number. She pauses only briefly, lifting a fist, ready to knock. "This is our guy?" she questions but, having the address memorized, gives the door a few succinct knocks anyway.

"Goddammit Leroy!"

That would be the voice that belongs to none other than the legendary hacker known throughout both sides of the law: Stanford. He's currently very much focused on the huge monitor in front of him, his fingers rapidly wailing away on the keyboard in front of him, while some crazy raid of WoW fame is going down on the monitor. "Go! Go! Cast now! Come on! Uh, hello? Am I doin' this by myself?! SOMEBODY KILL THAT THING! IT IS ON MY ASS!" At this point, Stanford has pushed up from his seat and is rapidly typing away. His headset is barely staying on. Somebody's overexcited.

Knocking. Why is he hearing knocking? There shouldn't be anybody knocking. Everybody he knows is on this raid right now. Must be the landlord. Better get rid of 'em. "Yo! Mr. Papodopolus! I'm paid up 'til like September! Ask your wife!" Fingers are way too busy mashing for him to stop and go check out the door.

It's Unlocked.

Sam rolls his eyes a little. "Can you? Really, Mags?" He smirks as she knocks on the door, but his eyebrows furrow at the yeling on the other side of the door. He goes for the knob (and his gun), opening it to reveal the tech haven. Stepping into the room, he holds his gun out, only to lower it, after glancing about and beckons Maggie follow him inside. "Hax!" His eyebrows furrow as they scan the monitor. "Remember me?" Agent Wright issues him a broad toothy grin as he rolls his eyes at the game. Games. Always games.

"We need an info drop. You game or… are you too busy… gaming…" He blinks.

Despite the excitable, life-or-death sounds coming from the apartment, Maggie is unconcerned. "Aren't you a little trigger happy there, Agent?" she comments, few steps behind Sam, with a smile more good-natured than his smirk. She falls in line beside him, calmingly holding up a hand in the direction of Stanford. For the unconventional informant, the detective smiles, warm and friendly. "Hello," she holds out one of those hands in greeting, "I hope we're not interrupting anything…" A few wondering glances take in the computer screens.

It's not the sound of the door being opened that causes Stanford to stop dead in his raiding tracks. Oh no. It's the sound of Sam's voice that has Stanford letting go of his keyboard and reaching up to pull the microphone closer to his mouth. "Guys. I'm out. Just got… unexpected visitors." Within the next second, he's got the game logged out and he's tossing his headset off to the side.

"You gonna' pay me this time or am I doin' another favor? Because, straight up, I'm startin' to feel like a White House Intern." Stanford is already moving over towards the Video Wall, where there are way too many damn screens hooked together. There's a table and chairs in front of it, which has Stanford dropping down into the center chair. "Interruptin'? Oh noooo. I was just tryin' to lead a raid on — nevermind. You wouldn't understand." Apparently, he's upset about his game and thus the lack of shaking hands with whomever is Sam's friend.

"Okay. What we got?" He's already loading up a bunch of different (illegal) programs across the wall of screens, in preparation.

"If you were a White House intern, somebody would be fuckin' you. We both know that ain't true," Sam quips back all-too-easily. "And yeah. You'll get paid. I'll do it myself this time if I have tah." His eyebrows both raise as he leans against one of the nearby wall. "In fact…" he reaches into his back pocket and extracts a small wad of cash. "A little goodwill money to grease the wheels."

"Takahashi crime family. Untouchable. I want them to become… touchable. Haven't been able to lay charges let alone make arrests— Natsumi Takahashi seems to be base of operations leader here in New York…"

Maggie's hand is left to disappear into the pocket of her jacket, giving a little lift of her eyebrows when she concedes to no handshake. After giving Sam a mildly surprised — definitely objectionable — glance, starting at his comments, ending at the exchange of cash, she moves to the table and chairs. She doesn't sit down; everything in the lair of technology is still being given studying looks, not the least of which is settling, now, onto the video screens.

"They're in a turf war with at least one other gang that's moved into the city," the detective adds. "And they're almost certainly linked to a gambling ring in Chinatown — among other things." Many, many other things. "Including murder and a missing woman." She's not going to forget her case for the bigger picture. "Just not on paper. So what exactly do you do to find… information?"

"Now that's what I'm talkin' 'bout. Some respect. Some monay! Some—"

Pause. This is the part where Stanford looks at Sam and those eyes of his bug out of his head.

"Please tell me you didn't just say who I think you said. I know you ain't say who I think you said." Eyes cut over to Maggie. "He didn't just say who I think he said, right? Stop playin'!"

Stanford's hands leave the keyboard at which he was just using and they get to waving around in the air. "See, here I am, over here mindin' my own business, right? Just playin' some World of Warcraft. Not hurtin' nobody. Not doin' nothin' illegal." Pause. "Ever." That should help. "And then Bond and Moneypenny come waltzing into my life and throw me in the middle of some gang war that's going to have me killed so many times I'm Mario." He's talking to himself, at this point. But then he's finally hearing Maggie's question and that gives him a chance to change the subject and not start poking around into stuff that he shouldn't be poking around in.

"What do I do? What /don't/ I do. These hands? Like David Blaine and Criss Angel combined. I work magic. Ask your buddy over here. I make things happen." Oh and he's so modest too. But back on topic! "But! I ain't makin' nothin' about no Takahashi happen! Can't do it! Kinda' wanna' live! And breathe. Breathin' is good. I like breathin'. And you two should do the same. Just sayin'."

"Hax— buddy, pal, amigo, c'mon! Throw us a freakin' bone here! It's just one woman. One woman." Sam issues Stanford a broad toothy grin. "And believe me, I'll be able ta keep ya safe. No one will be able to trace it to ya, and even if they did… blame me instead. Stupid narc 'n all. Tell 'em I just wanted ta join 'em or somethin'. 'Sides, I'm sure they'd be after us and ye'd be safe. I'm sure of it!" He bites his bottom lip before tugging on the bottom of his leather jacket.

"Don't worry bout me 'n Powers. We kin keep breathin'. And besides, anyone could give us the information we need— I came 'ere because I thought you were the best… but if yer too chicken…" Sam shrugs a little. "I guess ye'd rather be on the wrong side of the law— ye know we turn a blind eye to 'lot of what ye do…" Ironically, Sam's accent thickens as he lays it on just as thick.

As Sam has gotten the talking — lots of talking — covered, Maggie is quieter, only easing closer, studying the screens even minus the information they're meant to bear. "If you get too close," she says with none of her colleague's attitude — or accent, "… if you think you're going to put a red flag on yourself, you can back off."

Now see, there's a big problem with all of this. The problem happens to be the fact that Stanford doesn't have issues with all of this. Not until there are words that could be considered digging at his pride. Pride is a big thing for someone as amazing as Stanford considers himself to be. And now? Now! Now Sam is making digs at it. Not cool! Not cool at all!

"You didn't just say that." Stanford is already back in his seat and spinning around to the keyboard. "Please tell me, you didn't just say that." Calmness makes way for Cocky Bastard as his fingers dance across the keys on his keyboard, as if he's too good to even look at what he's doing. "I've got this whole nation wired. I can find out anything about anybody at any time. As long as their on the grid." There's a few clicks more and then Records of Natsumi Takahashi starts sliding onto the video screens, including pictures and perhaps even some less than flattering ones of known associates or those she has been photographed with. Who knows.

Stanford is smirking, listening to Maggie and then spinning back around in his seat, as if he'd just cracked the national security administration's security protocols. Which, by the way, he has done. But not recently. "I don't believe in red flags." is tossed in her direction, since he's quite sure he's managed to just open their eyes wide. Granted, a lot of the information is public. "All that back there? That's mostly public knowledge. Could be out of date. If you want, I could run her pretty mug through my facial recognition software, cross-check it with NY's street cameras and see if anything pops up." He's talking like it'd be a piece of cake. It would be. For Stanford, anyway.

And the pride is what Sam was counting on. He smirks smugly as Stanford spins around in the chair. "Alright, let's focus on known associates and pictures of people she's been photographed with…" He watches over the screens, his eyes scanning carefully. With a shift of his gaze he points to a random photograph, "Bet you can't even identify all three of these people in the next ten minutes— our machine back at the office can do it in ten minutes flat…"

The detective's eyes do widen slightly — though mostly they search, running thoughtfully over the images of Natsumi that appear. It's Sam she addresses with a turn of her head. "So can he do anything the FBI can't?" They're here, aren't they. Still, it's a legitimate question, not goading or challenging, like … someone's. "So you can find her anywhere— " Maggie's arms fold as she watches Stanford work. "Is this legal?"

"You don't have a machine at the office. You've got Fred Flintstone." Stanford is already doing some highlighting and dragging and within the next forty five seconds the video screens have flipped and switched to bring up three simultaneous searches. Stanford is already picking up the remote and moving off towards the fridge, located in the corner. "Anywhere there's cameras. And hell, depending on the locations, I could probably track vocal signatures and do matches, but that'd take longer and the return rate on audio is so much less reliable than video." While running off at the mouth about all that, Stanford's pulling out some Orange Soda (2 Liter!) and screwing off the top. "Especially in this city. There's so much background noise, it's like trying to find a needle in a haystack… of foreigners." Eyes shoot over to Sam, at those words. "No offense."


"Oh, would you look at that. A minute thirty four. Huh." Stanford chugs some of his soda and then proceeds to click the remote. A black haired Asian man's picture shows right up on the screen, next to a general profile. "Ricky Tan. Suspected Triad, but we all know what that actually means. Can't really pin anything on him, but that ain't stop cops here and cross the water from trying. I'd give him high end, mid-level boss status with room for breaking through glass ceilings. His business is pretty standard for his type: Guns, Drugs, Pretty Ass Asian Women." Shrug.

Another click and a crazy looking Asian man, black hair with blond streaks (don't ask) fills the screen. His profile, too, is right next to the picture. "Romeo. No last name on record. Not even sure if that's his real name. But! What I can tell you is that you don't want to be locked in a room with this man. He's got knives that make Mutes start singin' the blues." There's a pause so that he can guzzle down some more of his orange fizzy deliciousness. "Then the bodies get found and who knows what happens after that. Obviously, nothing, since he's walking around with your femme fatale."

One more click and there's a profile and photo of… "Vincent Salvatore. If you don't know who he is, then you probably shouldn't be in law enforcement. Kingpin? Hand in just about anything you can think of?" Pause. "Allegedly, anyway." There. That'll cover his tracks, just in case. "Looks like he was recently put away… then recently let out. Somethin' tells me it wasn't for good behavior." Stanford shrugs and clicks again, reading something on the huge screens. "Looks like both he and the Queen of Mean were hanging out near Central Park. Same night. I can't actually see inside the park, but I'll put my money on 'suspicious activity'."

Smug and Thirst Quenched, Stanford looks back at the Law Enforcement Personnel. "There you go. Information Brokered." He grins and winks at Maggie. "Still care if its legal?"

"Legal or not it gives us leads to pursue and then we'll deal with the finding legal ones later…"

Blinking madly, Sam holds up a hand. "Wait wait wait, Poindexter! Are you tellin' me that Vincent Salvatore is out? Since when is Vincent Salvatore out?!" His eyes narrow now as he backs up and reaches for the phone in his pocket. "God Dammit! We are— dammit!" He's dialling but every time he tries he fails. His brain is firing a million miles a seconds. With a small frown he turns to Maggie for a second before he pales just a little.

Answer: yes, Detective Powers still cares if it's legal. However, she's more than a little distracted by the information that's cropped up, the pair of high-powered criminals — in fact, she goes so far as to lean suddenly into one of the empty chairs surrounding the table, staring at the screen that bears the name and photo of Vincent Salvatore. "Wait, what?" Maggie's softer exclamation is just as sharp with surprise, slipping right under Sam's, on cue.

"Your division didn't know Salvatore was getting back in business?" she asks Sam with something akin to blame — he should have known. "Sam, if he's working with Takahashi— " Maggie doubts the dire look she gives the agent goes misunderstood. Unwilling to delve deeper while in the informant's lair, however, she looks back to the screens and brings her knuckles against her mouth, her thoughts also rapid-fire. "Sir. Can you get on there and find out what he's been up to since he got out? My guess is he's not using his real name to do it."

Maggie pulls back this line of thought to focus. "Those first two men — I recognize one of them. Tan. He was at an illegal gambling parlor in Chinatown." She retrieves a folded paper and hands it out in Stanford's direction. "This is a list of people who were all busted at the same game. Their records— are spotty. Some are clean. Some aren't. All of them potentially have ties that go back to Takahashi." Her list is Suspicious Persons Only. "Can you find out who they've been spotted with? What they've been up to. I know it's a lot to ask— "

So this is what happens when he gets involved in stuff that doesn't concern him. Stanford just kind of looks from Sam to Maggie and then back again. He can't exactly put his finger on what's going down at this moment, but he's pretty sure that it doesn't mean anything good.

"Whoa whoa whoa! Hol' up. Ya'll ain't gonna' be usin' me up like some kinda' natural resource. I did what you wanted. I'm already riskin' my life, and my business, talkin' to ya'll at all." Stanford looks to the side, shaking his head. "Somebody prolly saw ya'll come in the building. I'ma' have to move and everything." Words are trailed off, before he looks up and over at the paper that's being held out in his direction. He looks at it and then back up at the blonde woman that's trying to get him even more dead. "Seriously? Seriously?!" He's getting a little bit overwhelmed by the fact that he keeps being asked to do stuff. Already, his nose is turning up to not do it. But there's a damn problem.

Stanford is -50 against Blondes.

"A lot to ask my ass. If my place gets shot up tomorrow night, ya'll payin' for all my new gear." Stanford is dropping back down at his table and keyboard, snatching the list and throwing it on the table in front of him. "Gone come in here, interrupt my game, askin' for favor after favor, ain't even sayin' thank you, flauntin' badges and lookin' all fine and hard to say no to. Can't believe this." Mumbling to himself, Stanford just works some magic on his keyboard. One by one, a 'family tree' style image builds onto the screen, lines connecting names to Suspicious Names to other names and it just keeps growing and connecting. Natsumi and Vincent, both, have the most lines going to each of them, as well as one connecting them together.

"There. I ran the facial recognition in the background, while crossreferencing names with the faces popping up. That's what I got. I could try and get you matching dates and times, but that would take me at least another five minutes and I don't think I like you two enough to do that. Besides, I'm bored."

"Well someone in our division had to've known," Sam quips back holding up a single finger to Maggie. "That paperwork would've crossed someone's desk— it has to it, but it was never common knowledge although it ought t've been— " He outright scowls now, his mind intent on something, weighing the options again. It's unclear what he's thinking, but whatever it is certainly has him pissed off. "We're boned!" He reaches into his back pocket and pulls out another wad of cash that is promptly tossed towards Stanford. "Dammit." His jaw tightens and he nods at the men on the screen.

"We need to question them and get more info on what Takahashi is doing with Salvatore. Beyond that, we have… other concerns. Thanks for your help, Hax… you know I'll be back…" another time. Another day. Irritably, Sam turns on his heel towards the door before reaching into his pocket and flipping his phone open. "Wright here, we've got a problem…"

Maggie rushes a notepad and pen from her pocket — there's just too much information to be committed to memory. "Can we get a printout of this list?" she asks pleasantly enough as she does.

Pressing the loaded topic of Salvatore very much to the background for the time being — which means paying no more mind to Sam — she looks up to smile to the hacker. "Thank you, you've been a tremendous help," she says with the utmost sincerity, already starting to step backwards.

Stanford catches the second roll of money and it gets tucked away into his pocket, before he snatches up his Orange Deliciousness and is heading over to where piles of different tech savvy machines are l located. "Now she wants physical evidence. Figures." He's not really upset. He can't be. Stupid Blonde Weakness.

Paper is snatched off the printer and shoved at the Detective. "Don't come back unless you bring Gummi Frogs!" That is said to both Maggie and Sam. Just in case.

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