2019-11-07 - Unusual Results


Jemma's loud thinking encourages Jeriah to go visit her

Log Info:

Storyteller: None
Date: Thu Nov 7 07:37:06 2019
Location: Jemma's Lab

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Theme Song



It's late in the evening and Jemma is still at work. That should be no surprise to anyone, really. Throughout the day, she's touched Jeriah's mind though - not deliberately but his presence becoming familiar and she's getting used to that.

Of course, he's probably picked up several stray thoughts. Not the least of which is something about blood, reverbium tech and Kenneth.

Drifting beneath the horizon.
Body is weak but I'm trying
To make it to shore, but I'm falling short
I need You more.

The biochem is playing music again, loud enough to filter out into the corridor. It's not Abba - which many are probably thankful for.

Jeriah opens the door and yes at least it's not Abba. He slips in and leans on the doorway, watching what she does as she moves about the lab. Yes he figured that she might be working on something relevant to him. She'll figure out she's there when she picks up on his amusement.

Probably. Sometimes she gets a little stuck in to her work.

There's a 3d model turning slowly above Jemma's workbench, the biochems back to Jeriah as she works. The image is moved to the side and second one joins it, points being mapped between the two. "That's … interesting and worrying." Jemma mutters to herself, absorbed in her work that she doesn't notice Jeriah join her.

What's amusing you at this time of night? She asks through their link. I've got some results on Marcus if you're still in the building.

She's *really* not paying attention to her physical environment.

"If I were a snake I'd have bit you by now." Jeriah says out loud, not bothering with the messy mental-technological link the two of them have right now. He has been logged into her head for weeks now keeping certain ports blocked and it has proven rather enlightening as to her work process but also slightly maddening. Because now he can HEAR her work process. And she talks to herself. A LOT.

"So. What is it that's so interesting and worrying?"

Jemma starts at the voice. At least it wasn't completely silent in the lab so the noise wasn't quite so shocking. "How long have you been there?" She asks, turning to glare at the hacker-soldier. He delights in tormenting her, of that Jemma is convinced.

"Kenneths blood sample has revealed some interesting things about the nanites that power his tech. Was he having trouble with it when you fought him?"

"Mmmm. He might have been." Jeriah thinks back and replays his memory a few times. "He definitely was after I shot him. I thought maybe he was being affected by his own device but now that you mention it he did look like he was functioning at reduced effectiveness."

The soldier had been more focused on shooting, naturally. And staying alive. Both of those things are important.

"I've been here long enough." He doesn't say that he just got here a couple minutes ago. That would spoil the fun. "And yes, I love tormenting you. It gives meaning to my humdrum life. So. What do you have?"

"If you don't stop reading my thoughts, I'll give you something to read…" Jemma offers a smile and beckons Jeriah over. There's no comment about the fact that she's been picking up his thoughts quite inadvertently and responding to them.

"I wondered. It's a pity you couldn't record it, I would have liked to see the effects. From what I can see though, his tech is degrading or has degraded and something is affecting the power supply."

That should be impossible, shouldn't it?

Pointing at the models before them "That's your scan from when you let me examine you. That's Marcus'. See the lower outputs on his results …"

"I might stop if you didn't read them aloud to me regularly." Jeriah snorts as he comes on over. He peers over her shoulder which he gets away with mostly because he's taller. Also it's entertaining. She doesn't know he's there all the time when he does it.

"I did record it and could show you but since it's just my visual input I'm not sure what it will tell you." He says as he peers at the graph. "Hrm. Interesting. Do you have a theory as to why? The power core should be self sustaining. Nothing should cause it to degrade unless someone has opened it up and tried to modify it." Beat. "Which… does sound like something he would do."

"I could read other thoughts aloud to you." Jemma mutters, sending Jeriah an image that is only *just* SFW - she's playing with fire, she knows. It's funny that she doesn't seem bothered by his proximity as he stands close enough to peer over her shoulder.

Normally she likes to keep some space about her.

"It will tell me if the problem was occurring before you shot him or if it got worse after you did." because d'oh.

"They should be, right? We're not sure how though. I suspect they take something from the blood to do that. Now… look at this…" The images change and the blood panels are displayed. "This is Kennths blood panel and this is what I would expect from a 'standard' adult male."

"Do you see the white cell count is higher, as well as these readings here and here?" Jemma waits as Jeriah takes it in. "It looks like his body is fighting an infection but there's no sign of one, at least not in the usual panels. It's like his body is rejecting the nanites, maybe…"

"What would he have done to try and modify them? And why?"

Jeriah sends the memory to Jemma as a video file. The fact that he can is probably a bit frightening since odds are good that he can record anything he can perceive and he can perceive an awful lot. He waits for a couple of minutes for her to review it.

"He might have tried to increase the power output. I'm not sure HOW you'd do that but you'd have to open the main housing to even try and that'd involve cutting your spine open. Some of my own limitations are tied to the device's power output but unlike Marcus, I'm not crazy enough to let anyone mess with a generator that's grafted into my spine."

It's not a lot different to having an 'in suit' camera. Well, ok, maybe it is - given the camera doesn't have the perception that Jeriah does. "Thank you…" Jemma turns the music down as the song ends, another one starting - by the same group - and concentrates on reviewing the file.

"You didn't tell me you got a name. Moreau. We should see what comes for up that." She says absently, frowning. "See here… 5 minutes and 45.6 seconds, when you shoot at Kenneth. His shield shimmers and then seems to break into a million bits." Jeriah can share the view through their link.

She's quiet again as the clip keeps playing. "And here, when he heads out the window. Have you ever seen that before?"

Her attention turns back to the models she's looking at. "What if these anomalies in the blood panels are related to it? Amping the power might cause an overload, I suppose but …"

She's still frowning and Jeriah can hear her thoughts - that shouldn't cause the white blood count to be so high.

"That's something I've seen before yes but not at quite that charge level. He'd need to dump a lot more power into his disruption field to do that. I can't because I'm constantly running my netware implants, which he doesn't have and anyway he doesn't have to have drones connected to it all the time."

Jeriah finds something to lean on. He likes leaning, hip on a table, arms folded as he watches.

"It's possible he's got something that's affecting his systems but a common illness wouldn't do that. It'd most likely be something artificial. Maybe a side effect of so much reverbium. Or a hypothetical attempt to improve himself."

"That's where I had got too, when you came in." Jemma watches as Jeriah leans against her workbench, raising her one good eyebrow at him. "So if we were to disconnect your drones, you could dump more into your disruption fields? Is that what you're saying?"

That's academic at the moment but it interests the biochem.

"Could the implants themselves be causing that?" she asks. "I can do some testing to see if they do interact with a standard blood sample. Try to create a baseline between his and yours."

She's thinking, looking worried as she does. "Would you be able to access their programming if we got any?"

"No, at this point you'd have to disconnect my netware and doing that might kill me." Jeriah says with a shake of his head. "But in theory, sure. If I weren't powering it I'd have more power for other things."

The question about nanites has him thinking a little bit. "Perhaps. Acessing them isn't as easy as all that. They're as chemically controlled as they are electronically controlled. But I could give it a chance. It's possible that the implants might be stimulating his immune system either accidentally or purposely. Though I can't think why."

"I didn't say we would, Jeriah." Jemma answers absently, arms wrapped about herself as she looks at the results still. "But that makes sense. No matter how wondrous that power source of yours is, it is finite." Vaguely she wonders if illness affects it. Possibly not but that's a variable to consider.

"Neither can I but who knows what this technology could do if tampered with. We know that you're in the peak of health, so that's something. Let me take another blood panel from you and compare it to your baseline, just in case."

Turning towards Jeriah, the biochem draws in a breath "You are feeling ok, aren't you? Nothing untowards since meeting Kenneth?"

"Other than from having been choked? No I'm okay otherwise." Even the scramble on his implants has gone away. Whatever that was, it was tied to a device that Ken was carrying. Which is disturbing because Ken still has it but at least it can't affect him here.

Though he should probably devote some effort to figuring out how to cut through the jamming.

"Anyway yes, you can take that sample now if you like." He says as he sits down and rolls up his sleeve. Not like he hasn't done this quite a lot.

"Alright then." Jemma offers a wan smile and gets the straws she'll need. Jeriah really is a good patient for things like this. If he was giving him a medical, she might even heat her stethoscope up today.

"Let me work this through. The power is transferred via your blood stream. If he's been tampering with the implant in his spine - and I can't begin to highlight how stupid that is - then he might have introduced some of the reverbium or other foreign matter into the blood."

"The results that I'm seeing would indicate a virus, so maybe that's what it is."

"Is it *even* possible to access that implant?"

"Correct. Or the modification might have actually failed and be interfering with the power transfer somehow. We're just guessing at this point but if he's having problems with his shield then the power core or the power lines are the most likely culprit."

Even so this is a mountain of speculation built on less than a molehill of evidence.

"Mmm? Oh sure it is. But you need surgery to do it. Or at least ideally you need surgery to do it."

"Well, I suppose that's what I asking. You need to get access to the spine to do that, so if he's been tinkering, he's had help." Maybe that Moreau person had something to do with it. Jemma shakes herself and takes the samples of blood from Jeriah.

"Well, I can look at the samples again and see what particulates are in there. That will take a me a little time to do." Take three vials of blood, Jemma gestures to the hacker soldier "Would you like a lollipop for being such a good patient?"

"Do you think you could some research on Moreau? See whether SHIELD or your other sources have anything on them." Heavens she doesn't know if that's a man or a woman.

"I can but I suspect that Moreau isn't his real name. If he's smart it's not even an alias he's used before." It might be. People can only remember so many names. So Jeriah might get a hit but one reason he hadn't pressed that too hard is that it isn't much to go on for something that will in all likelihood turn out to be a dead end.

"Do you have taffy instead of lollipops? I like chewy candy better." The hacker sticks his tongue out at her.

"Do that. You don't know the answer till you try." Jemma murmurs, preparing some of Jeriah's blood to test. "We should also have alerts for Kenneth on the desks. Hopefully they'll pull up something. I don't like they want you back."

"Taffy? If you're exceptionally good, I might have good English taffy somewhere." The biochem shakes her head at his antics.

"These tests are going to take a while to run. I'm going to leave them overnight and head home soon. What plans do you have for yourself?" Jeriah, at least, seems to have some life outside of work.%r

"Not much. I was just headed home myself when I overheard you thinking. I am likely on my way home now as it happens." Dinner and bed and all that. Well. Unless he finds something better to do. Which he might? Jemma knows some of what he does for fun, because she's seen him do it or she's heard him do it while he was doing it.

A lot of it is in fact quite active.

"When you overheard me thinking…" That gets Jeriah a look over Jemma's shoulder. "You should becareful listening in to my thoughts." It's a tease but she still blushes.

"Come to dinner with me. It won't be anything special and then maybe you can show that game you were playing the other night." It was quite active, she could tell that but not quite how it was played. And it raquetball or basketball either.

Maybe she'll learn to play herself or maybe Jemma will just cheer from bleachers. Stands. Whatever.

Jeriah smiles. "Oh you want to learn to play that do you? Alright. Sure. Let's do dinner." The hacker levers himself into a standing position and tilts his head. "Shall we?"

After all, who wants to spend any more time at work than they have to?

Jemma. That's who. Jemma does.

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