|“||Ahh, the tension of a crime scene. Nothing like it, baby!||”|
Cabanela is an Inspector and head of the Special Investigation Unit as of the time in the game.
He is characterized by his odd incorporation of dancing into his movements as well as speech, which is pock-marked by occasional extensions of vowel sounds (i.e. booooooys). He also seems to have a habit of calling people 'baby' or 'man', and when there's something that he really enjoys, he says there is 'nothing like it'.
He is a man proud of his own abilities and he has the investigative talent to back it up, talent only matched by his friend and rival Jowd. He's fond of Lynne, mentoring her when Detective Jowd was behind bars and even tampering with her exam scores to ensure her acceptance as a detective.
Ten years before the game's present time, Cabanela was a fresh young detective who was taking the statement of a young programmer, Yomiel, of a case that the game hinted had something to do with the leaking of national secrets. However, being green, Cabanela was too careless and pressed the innocent man too hard on details, making Yomiel desperate and lose all hope. The then Detective Cabanela was called away by someone else after that but mistakenly left his gun behind, giving Yomiel means to escape from the interrogation room and trigger the events in this game.
Five years after that, Detective Jowd's wife Alma was shot dead in her own home, and Jowd confessed to this strange and sudden crime. Cabanela never believed the verdict, instead he started climbing the ladder of promotion to become the head of the Special Investigation Unit, motivated to prove Jowd's innocence. To many, including Lynne, it appeared that he was priding his spotless record and promotion above all else.
Through monitoring of international communications, he found out that two similarly odd incidents were predicted by a man who was looking to sell a foreign country his "powers" in a deal. In order to prove these powers of his, that man gave the foreigners two predictions and foresaw two "completely preposterous, impossible cases" - the case of a rocker who would sing national secrets during a live rock concert broadcast, the Secret Rendevous case, and the case of a curry-lover who would take the chief commissioner hostage in his own office, the Metro City Department Siege case.
This info gave Cabanela the big break he needed. In the cases this man with strange powers was predicting, the so-called "culprit" had no motive to do what they did, just like in Jowd's case. They had been manipulated into their crime. This mysterious man with powers to control others was then named the "Manipulator".
In another communication a year before the game's events, Cabanela finally received something that linked the Manipulator to the Temsik meteorite. "The source of my power is not of this world," the Manipulator had told the foreigners he was communicating with. Cabanela's realisation of what that meant led him to a retired police medical examiner with a blue pigeon who was investigating the Temsik meteorite. Together, they looked into Jowd's case, and in recreating Jowd's daughter Kamila's Rube Goldberg machine that killed Alma, they proved to themselves that the contraption that existed in Jowd's house that day could not have done what it did to shoot Alma if it hadn't been manipulated. Detective Jowd was innocent and so was his daughter, and the Manipulator really did exist.
However, Cabanela had to catch the Manipulator himself to have any solid proof, since Detective Jowd had cleverly hidden - without Cabanela's knowledge - the antique gun, the murder weapon, with Lynne in what she thinks is a music box.
After the two special cases happened, tabs were kept on further communications from the Manipulator. In addition, a full police investigation was launched on the Manipulator case.
Cabanela and the police eventually managed to pin down Point X, Chicken Kitchen, where the Manipulator was to meet the foreigners, and they staked it out in hopes of capturing him in time before Jowd's execution at 11pm on the very same day.
But then they didn't expect their rogue detective Lynne to walk in there after escaping police custody, hot on the tail of her own lead on Jowd's case. After hearing the news at the Chief of Police's office, Cabanela immediately sent Detective Rindge, the man in Temsik Park who had been watching Point X all night, to retrieve his "baby". This led indirectly to a terrible van crash, Rindge's death and Lynne's fourth death, the death by giant chicken, both deaths which Sissel averted.
Cabanela hadn't realised it then, but he already had the Manipulator. Or rather, the Manipulator's body. Earlier on when he noticed that the foreign doctor examining Lynne's so-called murder victim had no clue what he was doing, he had bought the doctor off and took the body to the pigeon man, the ex-police medical examiner he was working with.
After Lynne escaped capture thanks to Rindge's kindness, Cabanela went to mourn his friend's death at the Special Prison, because the Manipulator didn't show up at Point X. Jowd was going to be executed, Cabanela was too late.
Unknown to him however, Sissel had broken Jowd out of jail, and Jowd now ran into Inspector Cabanela on the way out, forcing the law-abiding man to arrest his own friend. Cabanela then gave his friend a present, a pocket watch, and stalled for time by taking Jowd to see the Justice Minister instead of returning him to the Prison to die.
As events went, the Justice Minister revealed he was manipulated into signing Jowd's execution order, and Lynne and Jowd provided the answer, thanks to the existence of Sissel, that the Manipulator was actually a ghost with similar powers to Sissel's. Knowing that, Cabanela excused himself hastily and went back to the junkyard office basement that he knew the Manipulator's body was to tell the old pigeon man who was trying to test the body that the Manipulator, Yomiel, was a spirit, immeasurable by any scientific method.
That's when Yomiel sat up on the table the old pigeon man was lay his body on, and after a little speech, set off an explosion that killed the pigeon man and broke several of Cabanela's bones. He then manipulated Cabanela into walking up the basement stairs, broken bones and all, to phone the justice minister and make demands in his place that Jowd's execution must be tonight or the kidnapped Kamila dies, making Cabanela look like his accomplice to everyone else. Cabanela shot Yomiel after the call in what seemed like retaliation, but he was actually shooting a signal emitter into Yomiel so that the police, namely Jowd to whom he gave the pocket watch receiver, knew Yomiel's location no matter where he went.
Then Cabanela was shot and killed by Yomiel, and he met Sissel for the first time that night. (No, Cabanela wasn't close enough to Yomiel to be in his radiation aura and get any ghost powers. It doesn't emanate very far out. Remember that Lynne also died for the first time in Yomiel's presence but didn't get any because she wasn't close enough, while Sissel got it because he was being held in a carrier within the radiation aura when he was shot, and Missile had to be kicked up into its field by Tengo's bullet.) Sissel rescued Cabanela and the pigeon man together with Missile, letting them witness firsthand the ghost powers that they had been trying to find the workings of for years. In gratitude for the saving of their lives, they tell Sissel what they knew about Yomiel, and Cabanela was left behind to nurse his broken bones after passing the responsibility of catching Yomiel to Jowd, Sissel and Lynne and clearing up all the misunderstanding.
After the timeline change, Cabanela is seen joining Lynne's detective promotion party with Missile, bringing a bouquet of roses and doing a crazy spinning dance move together with Missile.
- Cabanela's name originates from the Japanese word 屍 (しかばね pronounced shi-ka-ba-ne) meaning "corpse"