Flashback time. Chapter 2 starts with Shaka's arrest six weeks before the events of Chapter 1. It's the second time Shaka has been arrested.
He's just turned nineteen, and he's facing a murder charge.
Shaka finds out he's going to Wayne County Jail. The place pretty much sounds like The Hunger Games, with everyone out to get everyone else.
As he's waiting in a holding pen with a bunch of other prisoners, Shaka wonders how he ended up here.
He remembers telling his mother years ago that he wanted to be a doctor when he grew up. Shaka thinks that he just needs one more chance, and then he could turn his life around.
Then we get some backstory. Shaka has thought this before.
Once he was sent to juvenile detention for drug possession and felony-level assault.
Afterward, he promised his dad he would change, and it worked for a while.
Shaka went to a job program in Kentucky, earned his GED, and did carpentry.
The trouble was, Shaka kept selling drugs while there. He also managed a loan-sharking ring. Those weren't quite the management skills the program was hoping to teach him.
When Shaka got caught, the program sent him home to Michigan on a Greyhound bus.
Shaka's father is not thrilled about this development.
More backstory: Another time, Shaka took a trip to Ohio. Sounds fine, right?
What's not so good is that he went to sell drugs, and his car was chock full of drug profits in cash on the way back.
Not to mention the guns in the trunk. When the police pulled Shaka over, he was arrested.
He decided to clean up his act after that, but when he succeeded at winning the case and went back to Detroit, he went back to his old patterns.
Basically, Shaka was stuck in a bad cycle at that point of his life.
If it looked like he might end up in jail, he got scared and resolved to change his ways.
But as soon as the threat to his freedom was gone, he went right back to his old patterns.
Spoiler alert: Shaka tells us it would take ten years and a whole lot of trouble before he was really ready to change.
Why isn't Shaka ready to change? He actually loves living in the streets.
He likes the money. He likes the cars. He likes the attention he gets from women.
And he likes his reputation—nobody wants to mess with him, because they know he'll shoot if he feels threatened. And that gives him a sense of power and control over his life.
Okay, backstory done. Shaka is in the holding pen when he notices some other guy glancing at him.
In the highly charged world of prison tensions, that in itself can be a threat. Fortunately, in this case the guy just remembers Shaka, because he lived on the same street as Shaka's sister at one point.
They talk for a bit about old times, and Jimmy says he's overheard the officers talking about Shaka.
He says the officers are pretty disturbed that someone as young as Shaka did something as violent as he did.
Older prisoners start listening in. They're fascinated when Shaka brags that he can beat a murder charge.
Shaka says that the attention made him feel like a celebrity, in a weird and twisted way.
Eventually, Shaka is transported to Wayne County Jail. He's strip-searched in a humiliating way, and then he has to change into a green prison uniform.
The prisoners are allowed to keep their socks and underwear, but the rest of their personal clothing is taken away.
Shaka sees this as just the beginning of a long string of things prison does to wear away at someone's sense of their own humanity.
The chapter ends with the steel prison doors clanging shut. That, and a reference to Dante's Inferno, a book about a guy who takes a trip through hell.
The Ominous Meter should be off the charts right about now.