2019-09-27 - The Reverbium Price


Kelly needs help with Roy, getting time to talk with Jemma.

Log Info:

Storyteller: None
Date: Fri Sep 27 23:37:07 2019
Location: Jemma's Apartment

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Theme Song



It's a Friday evening. Most SHIELD employees should be home by this time of day, looking forward to the weekend and Not Working. Surely that was what Jemma was up to when Kelly 'called', right?

While Kelly wasn't panicked per se, she was definitely a bit distraught. If she didn't *know*, as only someone with a telepathic cheat into someone's brain can know, that Roy was OK, she'd have been much more frantic. Head wounds are messy. She reached for Jemma to either Fix It or tell her where to go. Luckily, broken noses are in Jemma's biomedical wheelhouse so Kelly brought poor, bloody Roy to Jemma to take care of.

Roy is getting cleaned up now, and thankfully Jemma brews a soothing cup of tea. The redheaded scientist has stripped off her blood-stained gloves and cups the teacup with both silvery hands, sipping it slowly. Being around violence, however brief, is still pretty new to her.

Jemma needed to go home. She couldn't spend 3 days in a row at work, could she? Well, yes, yes, she could but she really needed a shower - in her own shower and a change of clothes. So Kelly had been given the address to Jemma's apartment and asked to come over.

The biochem is sitting on the couch, her hair still damp from the shower, next to Kelly watching the redhead, eyes flicking from the bloodstained gloves to the woman. "Would you like me to wash those?" she asks quietly, meaning the gloves. "Or shall we talk about what happened, or just rainbows and unicorns for a bit?"

Kelly Dehaven wrinkles her nose a bit as she look over at the gloves as well. "No, no, it's fine. I'll get to them when I get home. We'll need to wash Roy's clothes too so we can do them all at once." Which might involve sticking them in with the drycleaning. Kelly's not terribly domestic. Those things were always taken care of for her to let her spend all her time with studying or research. It's the same reason she doesn't cook and just gets take-out.

"Thanks again, Jemma. I don't know if I could have handled sitting through the emergency room wait." Since while messy, and painful, Roy's injury certainly wasn't life threatening. Also, Roy might have just gotten tired of the wait and said forget it.

"It was stupid, really. Some guy coming on to me and mocking Roy for the missing arm." Since Roy had been in his civvies, which usually means sans metal arm. "He went to grab me and it kind of all went downhill from there."

"Alright. If you're sure." Jemma settles, wearing work out pants and t-shirt with some sciency slogan it. The slogan is so faded, it's not readable anymore. "And of course, you're my friend and you said you'd needed help." The biochem looks tired and Kelly might have felt the peaks of the fear and terror over the last few days - more than Jemma usually feels when she's on mission.

"He went to grab you and Roy decided to play White Knight?" Jemma tries to smile. "So it was … a bar fight?" And Kelly doesn't have the training that Jemma does. "Please, please tell me you at least socked the guy?"

Most of the training that Kelly *has* been doing has involved learning to use a firearm. And that would definitely have been overkill for this situation. Also, Kelly doesn't regularly carry a firearm with her and Roy can usually improvise with throwing things.

The redhead gives Jemma a wan smile at her DiD routine. "Night market with a bar. He was just *slimy* and ewww. And he was picking on Roy, so it's not like Roy just inserted himself. It didn't help that when he went to grab me I had that alarm go off in my head, you know?" She looks guilty when Jemma asks if she punched him and shook her head. "I'd say I'd have likely broken my hand but.." She holds one up, all shiny chrome. "No bones. But no."

"We'll have to teach you to punch. If you like." Jemma wraps her meat arm around Kelly's shoulder giving the woman a quick hug. "It's kind of nice though, isn't it, knowing someone is there for you. And it's good that he was, even though he got a broken nose for it. Did the other guy look worse?"

"You must be getting a blocking those feelings out though, I barely felt anything. Or is it distance that does it? I'm not sure what I would have done today if I'd felt it strongly." Jemma considers Kelly before looking at the tea cup. "Shall I top that up?" If the biochem wanted to talk about anything, she's not going to bother Kelly with it now. The redhead has just had a big scare, after all.

"Definitely was *not* on my list of new skills to acquire." Kelly admits, wrinkling her nose a bit. "But this isn't the first time that Roy and I have just… been out and something's happened. He's like a trouble magnet."

As soon as she says it, her eyes go a bit wide and she slaps her hand over her mouth. "I didn't say that. I did *not* say that." She says, with all seriousness. There's a pause, and she glances back towards where Roy went to clean up (and maybe have a lie down) and breathes out with some strained relief. There's some real worry there that she's obviously trying to pack away, because Roy's thoughts are closely linked with hers and it's easy for him to pick up on even little things.

"Distance isn't usually much of a factor unless you get several miles away, and then you fall off pretty quickly. I'm like really good WiFi." The joke is a little forced, but she still smiles. "And good. I've been working on it. Actually, I've been working on a sort of 'point of entry' to my network to see about isolating my unwanted visitor. That's given me a lot of practice sort of sectioning stuff off so people's thoughts aren't bleeding over into each other's."

Roy was told he could use the bed in the spare room. The room that Jemma uses mostly as her office come home lab. The biochem frowns at Kelly's reaction to her own words. "Is … there a problem, Kelly? Or is it something that I shouldn't be asking about?" beat "Because you're not wrong. And I know about being a trouble magnet."

"Well it's working. Have you experienced the extreme spikes in my emotion this last few days? I've had a few big scares." beat "When you're feeling up to it, I want to see if we can remove your link. See if my own control has got any better."

Of course Kelly will know how much work she's been doing to stabilise Jemma. It's not something that Jemma is thinking of, clearly something's bothering her there too.

"A Point of Entry sounds interesting. How is that going? I know that last intrusion I experienced wasn't pleasant."

The smile Kelly gives Jemma is a little tight. "Just…" She glances back towards where Roy is. "He still feels guilty." Her words are a little hushed, even if the main thing she doesn't want him overhearing at the moment are her thoughts. "But it's clear I'm leading a bit more of an… exciting life these days and I should be a bit more prepared." She gives a decisive nod to *that*.

Jemma's question gets a slight frown. "I have, but no detail and I didn't see any alerts or feel you reaching for me so I didn't want to intrude." Unlike Kelly, Jemma *does* see the field and it can be scary out there!

The bit about removing the link gets a slight frown of concern. "I'd advise against it. I still have some systems dedicated specifically to your channel." But she doesn't say she *won't* do it. She also has to sit on her mental hands to keep from 'suggesting' that Jemma really doesn't need to bother with the likely repeat of the traumatic incident that happened the last time Kelly unplugged. She looks at Jemma a bit more carefully. "Are you… worried? About my presence?" The bit about her intruder can hold on for a bit.

He did need to lay down for a few. After the pain medications and having his nose reset, Roy went to nap for a bit. But the Kelly Connection is a two way street, and when she has that moment of worry, he's suddenly awake. There's a slight groan, as he pulls himself out of the bed and stretches out. He debates pulling on the flannel shirt, deciding against it as he comes out in an 'Avenged Sevenfold' muscle shirt - not that he has many muscles to show off in it. Especially with that missing arm.

"Hey. Thanks for pushing everything back where it goes, in case I didn't say it between the colorful curse words in different languages earlier." he offers with a small grunt, and glances to Kelly. The «You good?» is a given.

Jemma's used to speaking quietly. She rarely raises her voice - except the other day when Jeriah remote controlled her. Petting Hank had been *embarrassing*. "We'll get you some training, Kelly. I'll speak to Jeriah and Agent May to help." Jeriah, not London. "Jeriah's very critical of my own skills in that respect." There's a not of resignation as she says that.

"I won't try to reach for you, Kelly, if I can avoid it. I've been … practicing trying to keep that internal. Steve turned into Werewolf and then tried to eat me. That was terrifying but causing panic would have made him worse." That's probably what Roy hears as he enters.

Kelly's question is insightful and Jemma looks at her hands. "I … uh… Jeriah … made me think on it the other day. He can make my cybernetics do things when I let him connect but you … you can rewrite my base personality, can't you?" She winces as it doesn't come out the way that it should.

"Roy. Do you need anything for the pain? There's painkillers on the side for you, I left them out. And you're welcome, of course."

Well. Yes. That's not really any great way to answer that, is there?

Kelly draws in a deep breath and lets it out, looking over to Roy as he joins them. The concern and affection that Roy can feel is all written there on her face for Jemma to see just as easily. She stretches out a hand to Roy to pull him over to join them on the couch, scooting over closer to Jemma if need be. Having Roy to touch is soothing as her mind tumbles over how to answer that question. « I'm fine. » Kelly assures Roy across the link. Certainly, the mild anxiety he's getting from her now is how to answer this without alienating Jemma.

"It… is probably possible, yes. I've never tried to do anything so… invasive." Kelly isn't sure if adding in 'and so I'd likely screw it up the first few times' would be reassuring or not, so she just leaves that bit out.

"I'll pass." A former addict - the call of the pain pill is strong. And he's not going to take himself on it. Yeah, he's got the start of a nice pair of shiners. And the headache to match. But he forces himself to pass. He has to. But spirits above, does it call to him. Going to dig a bottle of water out of the fridge, he holds it up to his head to let the cool feel of the bottle radiate.

"She'd probably try that on me first, anyway." he points out in mild amusement. "I mean, I'm like.. the perfect example of trying to fix something. Like, the mind mechanic's special."

Roy Harper pauses. "You haven't changed anything, have you?" He has been opening doors for her more lately. That's just him being nice though. Right?

"Jeriah thinks you can and it worries him." Jemma shakes her head and turns her gaze away for a moment. "Sorry, tired. There's a lot going on and … " It's a valid concern from the Hacker and Jemma seems to be putting some weight on his opinion.

It's possible that Jeriah is the only other person who knows the extent to which Jemma is compromised. On both counts.

Catching the look of fondness from Kelly for Roy, Kelly won't miss the 'pang' that the biochem experiences. It's better masked on her face but still somewhat readable.

"Maybe, Roy. And if it was just Kelly, I'd accept that. It's been bought home very succinctly lately, that Kelly's systems are accessible and through them, us. It … might not be her decision in the long run."

Well LONDON is certainly not endearing himself to Kelly! Really. This is about Brutus, isn't it? He's just grumpy that Kelly keeps making off with his Canine Death Machine.

Roy gets a Look and a smirk. "Yes. I've decided to muck with your head so you like grape jelly. But NOT for something important. Like picking your clothes up off the floor."

While Kelly's tone is light, the reasoning given does have Kelly thinking, and she nods a bit, slowly. "Certainly it's a possibility. Though if I can get this entry point ironed out, that should be less of a problem…"

"But I always liked grape jelly?" Roy asks in some confusion. Didn't he? Maybe Kelly really did rewire him! "And your kitten keeps using his death machine as his own personal mecha." the archer points out as he cracks open the water to drink from it.

"What type of entry point were you looking for?" he asks Kelly curiously. But he catches Jemma's look from the corner of his eye, and keeps his distance from Kelly for now.

"I offered to remove my link. I know she likes having it there - but if it means that I am a weak link in breaking into Kelly's mind.. I don't want to be the reason." he shrugs his shoulders in thought as he gives his amputated arm a little roll of his shoulder in thought.

Jeriah endears himself to everyone, Jemma's sure. Even the biochem is prickly with him - he has a way of rubbing her the wrong way. Not like that! That's what Jemma did to Hank, under Jeriah's prompting.

Not even thinking about Brutus, Jemma nods slowly. "What does that have to do with the problem?" That's to Kelly "Kitten mecha, I mean? I have grape jelly and bread in the fridge if you want it, Roy."

He'll have to make it himself and clean up the mess.

"It doesn't change that you could though, right? Maybe … it will help … I … " Jemma shakes her head again. Why does she *care* what London thinks? He's just a contractor, right? "What are you thinking, Kelly?"

Kelly Dehaven rolls her eyes a bit, reaching over to rub Roy's knee with a slight smile. "I was *joking*." She points out.

"To my brain." The redhead clarifies. "So I can route the incoming connections to a secure point that won't let it any further into my network without clearance." She also shakes her head at Roy. "You're not a weak link at all. You're just vulnerable to anyone that can use me as a conduit."

The bit about Brutus gets a wave of her hand. "Oh, I was just thinking Jeriah is likely annoyed with me. But I probably *could*, yes." Kelly won't lie. Especially to someone on her network. She doesn't bother to say she wouldn't. If Jemma thinks she might by choice well, no objections from Kelly are likely to change that.

As to what Kelly is thinking? "Oh, just if I could take care of my security issue, then you wouldn't be at potential risk."

Knock knock knock. That's a tap at Jemma's door which the inevitable camera will show to be none other than… well. Speak of the devil and he shall appear. Holding something on a lanyard that might look rather familiar to Jemma. And rather important. As in, not the kind of thing one should leave laying around. As in, soooort of a high security item. As in, this might be slightly embarrassing.

Roy starts to reach for Kelly's hand. Then realizes bottle. No spare arm tonight. Setting down the bottle, he gives Kelly's hand a squeeze before Roy takes the bottle again after releasing. He's got an impressive set of shiners going. He could have his own domino mask!

Then there comes a tap-tap-taping on the front door, and Roy's glancing up. He lifts a brow. "Pizza? Chinese? Indian?"

Unfolding from the couch, the biochem answers the door, peering through the security port. "Jeriah? Why do you have my …" the door is opened, letting the hacker-soldier in. Jemma grabs her bag, rifling through it in a slight panic "Did I leave that in the lab? I don't believe it."

It's her security pass. That Jeriah has it, is all sorts of bad. And here Jemma was just lamenting to Kelly about security and her head …

"Jeriah's annoyed with everyone. We're just make believe soldiers to him, I think…" Good on you Jemma. Fuel that fire.

"Did he bring Indian?" Kelly asks teasingly. And also hopefully. Because mmm. Indian food.

Kelly gives Roy a soft smile as he squeezes her hand, chuckling a bit as he does the mental juggling of 'not enough hands'. While Jemma opens the door she leans in to kiss his cheek. Carefully and then grimaces. "You're going to look awful for a while." She says, somewhat apologetically. It also helps her give the pair at the door a moment of privacy for Jemma's little faux pax.

Jeriah is leaning on the door frame, dangling the pass from it's lanyard in a very 'are you missing something' kind of pose. He COULD have just turned it into security and reported it. In fact he SHOULD have just turned it into security and reported it, strictly speaking. That he actually brought it to her house means that no one should be the wiser about it's being missing which is a very good thing, while at the same time being a very bad one.

"Break room near the kettle but yes." He says, tossing it to Jemma as he steps in. "Harper. DeHaven."

Oh look. The whole Collective is here.

"You're not soldiers at all. That's why I got contracted. And why am I annoyed with everyone? Um…"

Kelly and Roy get side eyed. "… the Indian should be here in five minutes…"

It should? Why yes. It should. It just got ordered from a place that does ready to go food and isn't far away…

Hope people like Tika Masala and Naan though.

"London. Paris. Istanbul not Constantanople?" Roy asks after leaning in to the kiss on his cheek. "I'll probably look like a raccoon for a couple of weeks." he admits, before stretching. "Going to go lay down and meditate for a bit. Take my mind off of things." he mutters. "No offense." he offers to everyone. And yeah, he needs some sleep.

At least Roy didn't leave Jemma's kitchen a mess, that's something. The biochem sets her bag down and snags the pass from Jeriah's hand. "Thank you … you … didn't report it? You should have." It's a terrible breach of security and with all the things going on with her, that's something that's not needed.

"I …" Jemma takes a breath "… mentioned to Kelly that you had some reservations about her link to me and I was discussing trying to remove it. Though I think Kelly thinks you're upset about Brutus. You're not are you?"

That's said with all innocence.

"Did you order Butter Chicken? That's my favourite and wait … you ordered food to arrive here? Were you expecting an invitation?"

Kelly watches Roy head to Jemma's spare room to lie down, touching his mind to get a better idea of how he's feeling and grimaces a bit. She glances to the others as the door closes and she closes the mental 'door' between them a bit more so he isn't bothered by the content of her words but can still feel the pulse of her thoughts. "Being in pain makes staying away from drugs a lot harder on him." She tells the others softly. His 'colorful' past isn't a secret, not even something he tries to hide in the closet so she's not ratting him out or anything.

Jemma's 'innocent' comments get a roll of Kelly's eyes. "I think 'annoyed' was the term I used." Suuuure, throw the telepath to the wolves! Or Canine Death Machine wrangler.

"Eh. You've been through a lot." Jeriah watches Roy leave and then looks between Kelly and Jemma as Kelly talks. He seems to be sans robots which… makes some sense. Walking around with pony sized combat machines might draw a lot of attention after all.

"You did, did you? Did you mention the part of the conversation where you told me that your implants are designed to control corpses and I retracted all of my concerns?" Because that is ALSO a thing that happened. He glances to Kelly to see how she reacts to that bit of information. Mostly the part where the implants are a corpse control system. Did she know that?

"Did I order butter chicken?" … tick. "Yes. Yes I did. And no, I'm just magical like that. Returning lost passes. Bringing delicious Indian food. Being the topic of a rather interesting conversation…"

"Anyway. Annoyed is a bit strong of a word. Miffed? Vexed, perhaps. Irked might be good too. And that's mostly about having to regularly clean up the prefire chamber of an electro-plasma grenade launcher because Pixie did a whoopsie in there."

Roy's departure gets a sliiiightly concerned look. His colorful history isn't a secret, no. And while the guy is on the straight and narrow at the moment there's always going to be some question on if he can take the strain without reverting to type. Unfair it might be, but sadly reasonable.

Jemma's tired, give her a break! And been stuck in her lab with a super serumed Werewolf. Not to mention, Hank on top of everything else.

"You're magical? Maybe I should transfer you to WAND, then." Jemma mutters, gesturing for Jeriah to come in and sit, the door closing behind him.

"No, I didn't mention that because you still think it's a risk." Jemma says stubbornly. "And I told you I would talk to Kelly about it." There's a look to the room where Roy just disappeared. "I don't have any solutions for that, I'm sorry Kelly. Anything I could create might be an issue."

"Anyway!" The biochems nose wrinkles at the thought of having clean out Brutus, maybe Jeriah should be a little miffed - isn't the kitten litter trained? "Kelly was just saying she's been think about how to slow her attacker down. Something like a intrusion detection system and giving him layers to get through … or something."

Kelly Dehaven gives Jemma a small smile and shakes her head. "It's fine. I mean, I could cut off him noticing the pain but that could have it's own problems." Namely that Kelly's help could become his addiction. She's probably *already* an addiction. Shhhhh.

The redhead looks back and forth between them almost like it's a tennis match and blows out a bit of a sigh. "Yes. I could probably rewrite her or any mind I can gain access to. And no, I don't think disconnecting from Jemma is a good idea. I still have a not insignificant amount of resources dedicated to not overwhelming her. And the last time we tried, it wasn't much fun to watch." Luckily, she was disconnected at that point, and didn't have to suffer through it.

"Right. I've been trying to work on a mental version of routing incoming connections to a secure space before it can access the rest of the network."

"I don't either, especially given that her hardware is as big a risk as your link if not more so and we know for a fact that her hardware is compromised." Not by him though. Someone else has clearly been using it and Jeriah has gone over how much knowledge that person would need to pull it off.

"However, speaking as someone who has machines in his head, those are the sort of risks that I consider. They are literally a matter of life and death for me." And have they been for anyone else here? He's not sure.

Jeriah does sit down as Jemma gestures and makes himself comfortable, sitll listening.

"You want intrusion detection. Maybe a mental version of a router/firewall so that you can approve or deny incoming connections? That's sound network architecture. Have you considered routing connections through Roy's arm?"

That's partly a joke but partly serious as well. Roy's arm doesn't have a whole lot of processing power so anyone getting into it wouldn't be able to do things very quickly. And because it's hardware based and not brain based the ways of segmenting it off are a lot easier.

"No? Well, it's an idea. I don't suppose Jemma that you know of some safe place in the brain to shunt traffic like that to?"

Of course Kelly is an expert in mind/MACHINE interface. So the 'arm' suggestion might not actually be a bad starting point.

If they suggest one of his dogs though…

Jemma wonders about the connection between Roy and Kelly, Jemma's thoughts about … bodies … had been a real problem for Roy before Kelly put that block up. Not that she's thinking on that in any great detail at the moment, as she curls in a chair, dragging her feet up under her and hugging her knees.

"I hadn't mentioned that to Kelly." Jemma sighs as Jeriah talks about her hardware being compromised. "There's so much of me that's broken…" It takes a moment for her to refocus, at least they're giving her something else to focus on.

"There are several regions of the brain that have no idea what they do, or if they do anything. Subgenual cingulum, midcingulum, medial parietal, retrosplenium and posterior cingulate cortex. We could try any of those. That might be entertaining. Roys arm - if you do that, make the speaker play Abba."

"I'm not sure how well that would work… I'm sort of the go-between of mind and machine. Shoving a mind directly into a machine? Who knows what that could do. Also, if Roy's on assignment and is out of my range then I'm down that option. Though if it's more a gateway than a foyer…" Kelly's got a slightly distant look now as she thinks through several possibilities.

Giving herself a shake she brings herself back to the present. "Sorry. Originally I was thinking of trying to set up a… mirror or something so that when our visitor tries again he's somewhere that he thinks is my mind but isn't that I could trap him. I also need to figure out how to track down rogue pieces of me so that we could find however he's getting in."

Kelly finally looks over to Jemma. "Should I ask about your compromised systems or wait until you tell me something?" Because they could potentially get from Jemma to her, so she does have a stake in it.

"Okay so there's two questions there. How do we store a 'clone' of your mind and how do we make sure it's the first thing any visitors get to?" Jeriah says, also clearly thinking. "Jemma with our work on that VR simulation framework we've done a lot of brain scanning. Do you think what we've got could be adapted to creating a copy of Kelly's consciousness?" That's step one. He thinks it's possible but he's not the one with the doctorate or the expertise in the human body OR mind, so…

"If we can get that far we can probably digitally store the copy of the mind but if as you say Kelly that you have to shunt any visitors into the machine that rather defeats the point. So… would it have to be a biological storage device then?"

The wheels in his head are turning but the others might have ideas there too.

Jeriah looks at Jemma and then back to Kelly. Then back to Jemma. Sheeeeee should probably tell that story. It seems important to the Borg Queen.

Whom he does not remember as being a redhead but eh, details.

"I should have told you." Jemma admits, looking down again, the flush climbing her cheeks at the ommission. "Someone has my access codes and has been getting into my memory, stealing my research and giving it to AIM. We didn't realise till two things happened. The first being my research turning up in raided AIM facility. The second being my freezing when I was on mission, it seems the access makes me black out."

Jeriah can add to that explanation but Jemma adds "Hank and Jeriah have coded in some trojans that have already given us leads. We'll be following them through soon. I … don't want to tell SHIELD about this, Kelly. I … don't know who to trust - the only people who could have this access are those on my operation team and people in the tech branch." Which means they really don't know who to trust.

Alice Krige was amazing as the Borg Queen.

"We could yes … make a copy for a 'framework'." Jemma thinks. "We'll need a lot of computing power to make it work though."

"And I'm going to guess these are hardcoded somehow, so we can't just change them." Kelly surmises, since between Jemma, Jeriah and.. Hank, whoever Hank is, should be able to cover the easy stuff. She frowns as Jemma explains, nodding. "Definitely not good. If you'd let me know I could have opened the link a bit more and kept watch for you." Of course, that would just make her more of a potential target as well. It goes both ways.

When Jemma says she doesn't want SHIELD to know, the redhead sighs but nods. She doesn't have the fanatic loyalty that some have for the organization. "And you were wondering if it might be me, hmm?" She looks at the two of them. "I feel like we're all standing around pointing guns at each other, trying to figure out who the traitor is." She jokes.

As to the Framework, Kelly hurms. "It doesn't need to be *real*. Just look like it to a cursory examination. And I mean, shunting them to a specialized computer system *might* work? But I don't know who I'd want to experiment on because what if they don't come back out quite… right?" More thinking, and then Kelly looks back to Jemma. "What about the psisteel? Could we use it as a base for a… simulated brainspace? It interfaces with human minds."

When Jemma leaves off Jeriah picks up. "We've traced the break ins to a computer system IN this building but I haven't been able to figure out whose yet. Its not one of the large labs, those computers would be easy to trace. It's one of the office workstations."

Jeriah's increasingly thinking it's someone in the tech division and he's had that conversation with Jemma already.

"Yeah. They're the stuff that the tech is based on. Believe me if I could have plugged the whole by changing the settings I'd have done that by now." Jeriah confirms to Kelly. "We've got some leads and we don't think the target will be eager to try again after the last time but it's still a risk."

Trying to predict what an adversary is doing is almost always an exercise in futility after all.

"No actually I ruled you out." Jeriah says with a chuckle. "You wouldn't have needed to compromise her in that manner and you - uh forgive me Doctor - lack the clearances to have had access to the information in the first place. I think Jemma didn't tell you either because she wanted to minimize the number of people in the know or because she was shy. I'm betting on shy."

Jemma gets an impish grin at that.

"I don't know a lot about psysteel. Can you two walk me through it?"

"What?" Jemma raises her head and looks at Kelly, tears brimming in her one good eye. "No! Never. I knew it wasn't you … I … never even thought of that." She hugs knees tighter. "I'm … just stupid for not coming to see you." Did she say something about emotional control being shot?

"I can think of a few prisoners I might like to experiment on." There's a few AIM scientists in SHIELDS custody. "But you're correct, we'd need to work on that. Psi-Steel could work, how much of the stuff can you generate? I've deliberately steered away from asking you too much about it."

"What?" Jemma raises her head and looks at Kelly, tears brimming in her one good eye. "No! Never. I knew it wasn't you … I … never even thought of that." She hugs knees tighter. "I'm … just stupid for not coming to see you." Did she say something about emotional control being shot?

"I can think of a few prisoners I might like to experiment on." There's a few AIM scientists in SHIELDS custody. "But you're correct, we'd need to work on that. Psi-Steel could work, how much of the stuff can you generate? I've deliberately steered away from asking you too much about it."

Jeriah's impish grin doesn't do anything to lighten Jemma's mood. It's been tanked since yesterday mornings incident with Steve.

Since she's *right here* with Jemma, Kelly's got the connection opened a bit more than usual. She doesn't need to see the brightness of Jemma's eye to catch the spike in her emotions and reaches out to touch her knee much like she did Roy earlier. "Hey, hey, it's OK. Calm down. I'm not upset! It's logical I would be on the list." Though once Jeriah gives his reasoning she nods. That… makes sense there too. She chuckles at the bit about her clearance. "I have more than enough to do without the added burden of more secrets."

Kelly's had her gloves off since Jeriah got here, her chrome-silver hands on display. She holds them up. "Both of my arms to the shoulder. I'm… not really sure how fast it regenerates. I haven't lost a significant portion of it before. But if this is something we could set up? Would likely be work the investment if it's not crippling in the meantime."

Looking over to Jeriah, she explains. "It was a research project I was doing, to create a mind/machine interface. I was young, it was late, I was stupid, and cocky and… yes. I used myself as a guinea pig." Thanks to her coloring, she can't really hide the blush that touches her cheeks. "And when it fused with me it became something *entirely* different. It's what I use to link to people's minds and to machines."

"What is it with scientists and doing that?" Jeriah mutters. This is not the ONLY scientist he's heard of testing something on themselves with unfortunate side effects in the last 24 hours. Quite to the contrary rather and unless he's missing some advanced science courses that they only teach at the doctorate level, he's pretty sure that testing untried substances on YOURSELF isn't how it's all supposed to work.

"So you leave bits of your hands and arms?" Jeriah quirks a brow. And then gets a little curious and stares at Jemma. Wherever she put it, it must be well hidden. Since he's never seen any unusually placed silver patch on the biochemist. Granted… in her particular case with all the implants it might be hard to tell.

He pauses and waits for Jemma to stop sniffling. It's not that he's emotionless, it's that he's a soldier. He is not especially good with comforting people. Especially not highly emotional people.

"Okay so that settles how to store it. And even how to get it in there. We can just create the copy of Kelly's mind in Jemma's implants and then let Kelly transfer it over to the psysteel. So that's the box. How do we make it a cage. If it were a matter of programming I could do that, but I'd need some help on both the interface in and the biological end." Which means he'd need to ask a lot of long, somewhat tedious questions to both Kelly AND Jemma to get it all right. That's IF it's a matter of programming. If it isn't, he can't be much help.

"You can test it on me. I can do some chicanery to make sure that any drastic changes get factory reset when I get back into my own head. And I can go hide in my dogs if I really need to."

He can what? He's never mentioned ANTHING like that before.

Jemma keeps hugging her knees, curling into a little ball. Kelly's touch has her looking up again and sniffling a bit. "Sssorry. Iii …" She knows what's wrong and a good sleep will likely help some of it. The rest? Well, that's why Kelly is saying she doesn't want to disconnect.

"We need subjects. We know the risks are great. But so are the potential rewards. Generally, we cover a lot of the bases … so the risk is greatly reduced. In my field though, our field, the human body doesn't always respond as we planned. Nature is chaos."

Kelly's remarks gets Jemma thinking again "I can set up a containment area, Kelly and you can make deposits. It would be good for you to know that data anyway, I think. Once we get a feel for the time it takes to regenerate, we'll be able to plan better." Jeriah gets a look.

"How often do you hide in your dogs when I'm talking to you?"

Kelly moves over so she can be the one to put her arm around Jemma this time to offer comfort. "Because it was at the stage that nothing else could be done. It was drop it, or see if it worked." Kelly says sigh a sigh. She's yelled at herself a number of times over it, but she couldn't have stood just letting the research sit and never see if it worked.

As to the psisteel, Kelly pushes her sleeves up to expose more of her arms, and then her hands and arms… change. It's like watching the old Terminator movies with the T-1000 as she shapes them into long sword-like things, and then back, and then something forms that looks a bit like a thumbdrive on one finger and she sets that down and it gets left behind cleanly. "Originally, Roy had a small ear cuff. It was close enough to his brain that I could make the connection." Roy usually still wears that ear cuff. But it's not his primary connection anymore.

That Jeriah can 'reset' his mind back to factory settings gets a blink. "What?" And he hides in his dogs? "WHAT?" And he gets on her for experimenting on herself!

Jeriah sighs with a wry smile. Okay. That's more of a reaction than he was expecting. "Firstly, I don't hide in my dogs while you talk to me, Jemma. You'd know if I did. I'd look vacant. And maybe start to drool a bit." Of course now that he's told her that, she has to wonder if he might not do that on purpose when she speaks to him just to troll her.

He is slightly distracted by Kelly doing her best Terminator 2 impression. "Oh wow. That's got potential." He's imagining combat applications, naturally. Why wouldn't he. Jemma and Kelly don't need a connection to see that. He shakes himself after a moment and gets back on track.

"My brain is augmented to function like a computer. My memories are indexed and recallable, I can squeeze a lot of raw data into me and process at speeds that are the envy of anyone who doesn't have a budget bigger than the Department of Defense's. Part of that functionality is read-write. So I can take a snapshot of my own head, or at least the parts of it responsible for my personality and ethics, and tell my implants to reset me to that if I come back looking too different." That's the easy part. Explaining the other is… well. That has him scratching the back of his neck. Something Jemma will have learned is a sign he's explaining something a bit tricky, uncomfortable or sensitive.

"I can shunt critical thought processes into the robot's brains. Basically I can possess them but only sort of. The computing devices in there aren't made to hold human consciousnesses so I can only shove parts of my self in them. But it's handy if I need to, say, sidestep a physiological limitation that's preventing me from thinking clearly. Like being gassed, for example. Or if I need to personally direct one of the bots to do something."

Which means he probably has some manner of partial defense from telepathic intrusion as well. How effective that would be is an open question, but it's something.

"So you have a little patch or cuff too, Jemma? And presumably the guy who tried to get into you has a piece as well. A piece not connected to him otherwise you'd know who and where he is."

Jemma leans into Kelly for just a moment, the sniffling stopping. "I'm alright … just everything and …" Jemma's so good at personal stuff, really.

Jeriah gives her something to focus on though and her dry humour asserts itself at last. "So nothing different really?" That he'll look vacant and start drooling. She might be getting the troll in before he does.

With Kelly demonstrating, the biochem watches, eye moving between that and Jeriah. "Kelly would like some hand to hand training, by the way." Maybe she's reading the Soldiers mind. Or maybe it's a similar thought she's having.

"I do, Jeriah. I'm surprised you hadn't noticed." It's on her implant, the one on her cheek, the one that's usually covered by her hair.

"It's actually an access port to her hardware, so it serves double-function for me." Kelly notes of Jemma's psisteel link. It's pretty unobtrusive, since from the outside it just looks like a cap over that port. "It keeps it from getting knocked off accidentally or something." Which is why Roy's is now subdermal.

"I can shape fairly quickly, as long as I have an idea but kinda like the movie, no chemical reactions or moving parts." Like a bomb or a gun. "Once it's separated from me, I can't shape it anymore until I can come in contact with it again." Kelly says as she touches the 'thumbdrive' and reabsorbs it into herself.

The redhead leans forward a bit as Jeriah explains how he's able to keep a 'copy' of his mind. "Fascinating. And this come up before then? When you've had to 'reset'?"

Jemma gets a slight smirk as the other woman points out Kelly's need for some combat training. "Apparently, I'm where trouble is recently."

"No, nothing different at all." Jeriah deadpans to Jemma. The question of additional hand to hand training gets a small chuckle. "Probably not a bad idea all things considered. I can teach you while I'm teaching Jemma. She's got a long way to go so you won't have to do much catching up."

Teasing is how he says everything is going to be okay, apparently. Or at least… returning to normality in that it's normal for him to tease her.

"It's come up a couple of times yes. Once when I was undergoing a rather lengthy… unwilling stay at a rebel camp in Central Asia." WHERE in Central Asia he does not say but 'Rebel' probably means 'terrorist'. "Rebooting myself was a way of making sure they couldn't make any permanent progress on me."

That's probably a desperation move on his part but necessity - even horrific necessity - is often the mother of invention.

"Okay. So your arms are made of this stuff, you can shape it into relatively simple shapes and it can link directly to your mind." Quite the material. "So what we want to know for our purposes is 'can we make this into some kind of protective antechamber for you."

He glances to Jemma and now spots that implant. And… yeah. It looks exactly like everything else. Well concealed.

"I'm good, Jemma but I'm not THAT good. But my lack of ability to tell one shade of silver from another aside, can we make the psysteel do what we want here? If it means securing the both of you against further intrusion I'll help however I can."

"Well that explains a lot." Jemma mutters, still curled on the chair but not sniffling now. Jeriah's assessment of her abilities gets a filthy look though. She's checked out for SHIELD so she's not that *bad*. "I think that's to do with your choice of companion, Kelly."

Unlike Jemma who seems to just find trouble.

"Oh well for you to notice it, you'd have to look." Jemma shrugs, already onto the next problem that's posed. "Kelly, can we? Have you ever tried to do that? Transfer a consciousness to a segment of your psi-steel? My mind boggles at the thought but from everything I've seen, it … might well be possible. Jeriah will need to protect us, I think. That last time was all we could do to stave him off… the intruder, I meant."

"I've honestly never really poked that hard at it." Kelly admits. "Being able to do a mind/mind interface was never the *intent*. Unless it's the machine so it's technically mind/machine/mind…" She wrenches herself back on-topic. "And until Roy I didn't really *do* much with it. That's why when I put you on the network there was all that bleedover. So I honestly don't know if it's possible or how hard it might be. But it seems theoretically possible? Especially if it's attached to some serious storage?"

See? Now Jeriah's going to help with the self-experimenting! "But yeah, I think we need to try it. If so, it might be able to re-route any sort of unauthorized access to anyone on the network."

"Then we should set it up. Somewhere safe. I'd say somewhere isolated from outside network interference but absent tracking down the missing part of you that doesn't seem possible…" Jeriah falls silent thinking and stays that way for a couple of minutes.

"Unless… Unless we can isolate you technologically. Jemma might be able to fit you with something temporary that accesses the relevant part of the brain. I could then program it to refuse any connections coming in that don't match specified brain patterns. It's crude and you wouldn't want it when we're not testing because it would interfere with your ability to interact with just about EVERYTHING but for the purposes of isolating your network… it might work?"

The hacker-soldier drums his fingers on the arm of the chair he's in and watches the two scientists…

"Anyway if you DO need a test subject I'm probably the only one you guys know who can be fairly well assured of being the same person when it's all done no matter what happens. Knock on wood." Where is… ah. That's wood. Knock knock.

"Well. In theory we could do that to Roy but he'd need invasive brain surgery for the required parts. Which I would have to steal. From the Department of Defense."

He shakes his head at the thought. "But yeah. And we should probably do this sooner rather than later, mmm?"

Sometimes self experimentation is the only way. Jemma knows that.

"I … could certainly try to create something that will isolate Kelly. Well, I can come up with the biological parts, you'll both need to help me with the hardware parts, if they're needed." She's a biochem, not engineer.

As to a test subject, Jemma looks to Kelly. This is, she knows, something very personal.

"I haven't figured out how to just… home in on the piece of me and every time it's gotten close to a mind, well. Yes." They've been attacked. Kelly lets out a sigh. At Jeriah's thought of isolating her, she nods slowly. "I'm sure there's some work that's been done to block telepathic intrusion that we should be able to build on." Because that's what 'wavelength' she's on. As far as she knows.

Kelly shakes her head. "No, no. We're not going to go putting Roy through any more surgery. It sounds like the risk factor is fairly low to use you as the guinea pig and you're willing so… yeah."

"We're not getting a weekend, are we?"

"Probably not. The good news is that…" Ding-dong. "The Indian food is here. And there's more where that came from." AND it's being delivered by adorable little robots who just sort of leave it on the doorstep before retreating to a van on the street. Fancy, that.

"Now there is one condition to all of this." He pauses and looks very seriously at the two women. "Nobody tries to make another one of my dogs a cat-carrier."

This is, in his mind, a not insignificant risk. A bit more seriously he adds. "When do we start?"

A Weekend? Jemma snorts. "I'll settle for a couple of hours sleep at this point. Between this, Steve and reverting Hanks extra mutation, I … no, I, at least, am not getting a weekend." As for the other two, that's up to them.

This is important though.

"That Indian will be … here now. When … do you want to test with him?" Him, being the hacker-soldier.

"I don't have any pets, so that's not up to me. As to what others will try, I make no guarantees." Jemma really does live a … sterile … life.

"I only have the one cat." Kelly assure Jeriah. Unless Roy brings home another stray. But he's not awake to swear to this Dark Pact.

Jemma gets a frown from the redhead. "Jemma, get some sleep. Jeriah and I will get started. I think I'll need to do a bit of a download to bring him up to speed on what I know and we'll sketch out a few things then you can review them after you've gotten some rest." Kelly's being nice and making it a suggestion. She could be more forceful, and that wouldn't be bad, right? It's not like re-writing Jemma's base personality or anything… "Well. After food. Since you've already paid the Blood Price. Iron Price? Kitten Price. Whatever."

"Reverbium price." Jeriah says as he grabs the food and helps to set it out. "Well. Let's eat then. I'm starving. Save some for Roy… I suppose."

That last is mock grudging. But seriously the food is good and it's good that it is. Because they have a lot of serious, tricky and possibly painful things to do when they're done. But hey, at least Jeriah gets to see the Borg Collective in action.

He wonders if resistance will indeed be futile.

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