2019-11-30 - Ghost In The Implants


Another nightmare for Jemma that ends with something more horrifying.

Log Info:

Storyteller: None
Date: Sat Nov 30 03:40:52 2019
Location: The Triskelian

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Theme Song



It was a late night at the Triskelian, analysing May and trying to work things through. They hadn't come up with much at all, which is unsurprising. Very little of what's referred from WAND, Jemma can do anything with. Still, it's intriguing.

Jemma had eventually dropped into a fitful sleep. Her sleep hasn't been great since the conversion but some nights are worse than others. This mornings dreams - it's still early enough that it's dark outside - have been particularly bad and Jeriah might find himself roused from his slumbers. Giant green cats rampaging through a battle zone that he might be familiar with. Those are faces of men he recognises flashing through the shared 'memories' - and faces of people he doesn't recognise at all.

Jeriah blinks as visions of emerald cats dance in his head and Agent May snarks disapprovingly from somewhere unseen. He shakes himself and sends out an electronic poke. Where is Jemma. Ah. Still at her lab. She must have gotten out the cot. Silly girl.

Wake up and no more strong cheese before dinner, mmm?

The electronic poke doesn't rouse the biochem. The dream spools on as dreams do. A face of one of Jeriah's squad mates looms large, as weapons fire peppers the ground. Jeriah recognises this, this is one of his missions - somehow Jemma has tapped it and weaved into her own dreams.

Wait, no this isn't. Some of these faces are people he recognises, but others are not. And where is this place? This is nowhere Jeriah has been … or Jemma.

I have to get back there. Save them … She's still just dreaming, isn't she?

Calling Doctor Simmons. Paging Doctor Simmons. Jeriah tries, mimicking hospital announcer voices. You are needed back in reality.

He shakes himself. Jeriah has enough nightmares of things that he has done and things that he wishes he had done. Or not done. He doesn't need to add the fictional to it. He's quite capable of handling that on his own.

"Come on Simmons." Jeriah says as he throws his own blankets off and slips on his jeans and a shirt. He may have to go shake her at this rate.

Is it all fictional? There's something about this dream that has feeling of reality to it. Jeriah will recognise the tell tale signs that mark this as much memory as it does fantasy.

Jeriah … Jemma heard him and she's trying to push through the haze of sleep. … where am I? Where is this place? Why do they want me here?

Quiet girl. Comes a gruff voice. Initialising Primary Protocols. Jeriah hears that plain as day. He might recognise the silhouette that begins to form, as a Deathlok Cyborg.

Get out of my head. That's Jemma and Jeriah can feel her trying to push the cyborg out.

Woah. What the? He does a location check. No, she's where she should be. This is in her mind though that doesn't mean it's not real. Jeriah does a check for connections but there are none but his.

That leaves the implants themselves.

Hang on. I am rebooting you. That's going to be a headache and he'll have to keep a close eye on her as this proceeds but it's the only thing he can think of to stop this right now.

Yes, close other applications and REBOOT!

Jemma is in her lab. Jeriah can be sure of that. That dream though … the silhouette seems to coalesce a little stronger, becoming more 'real' in Jemma's dream as Jeriah can sense a number of new processes being started.

Begone. The hacker soldier can feel something trying to sever his connection. It will likely hurt, at least digitally. Not long now …

Slowly responding to Jeriah's commands, Jemma's systems start rebooting. Applications and applets shut down, even as the other ones start up.

Which will … win?

Sorry you two bit glitch. You're in my domain now. Jeriah says. He's had a lot of time to figure out how these implants work and when he unleashes the programs he's put in place to keep people from locking him out of Jemma, they're tailored to just what is going on right now. Well. Mechanically speaking anyway.

You have the worst second hand implants… Jeriah mutters to himself as he starts locking down functions. Jemma may find herself unable to move when she comes to.

The connection goes dead for a moment. Jeriah might be wondering if he succeeded when the connection restarts and interfaces with him again. Jeriah?

It's Jemma and she sounds scared.

I can't move and I have such a headache. What … what are you doing?

The instance has gone, that's something at least. But is it gone or just dormant? And why did it assert itself now?

I've suppressed your motor functions. You had a nightmare and something activated in your implants. I'm unlocking you now but I'll be over in about thirty minutes. He's already headed out his door, grabbing his keys.

It doesn't take too long for him to get there. Twenty minutes more than thirty. He straight away bangs on her door. He's fairly sure she's still in there but her implants are all over the place and he's not really sure what to expect. Or what kind of condition she will be in.

//What… // Jeriah is getting flashes of the dream as Jemma replays what happened. She's unsettled and a little upset.

When the hacker soldier arrives, the door to the lab is unlocked of course. Entering he finds Jemma looking wan and huddled in the corner. The cot has been upturned and benches knocked out of position, the contents of their counters askew, in some cases spilled onto the floor.

It looks like she grabbed at least one with her arm.

"Jeriah… It was trying to take control of my implants …"

"It was your implants. Or was in them." Jeriah says as he rights the cot and moves over to help Jemma up. He looks around at the mess… no he doesn't want to clean that right now. They can do it later. in the morning or… something like that.

"I had you though. It wasn't going to get you while I was there." Indeed he'd examined what happened the last time and was ready.

It will take a bit to tidy things up. Jemma might have lost some samples or experiments in the scuffle though it doesn't seem like anything acidic or the like has been spilled. Small mercies, right?

"What was it? I was dreaming … about Hulk May Cat and being in Afghanistan or somewhere like that. People I didn't recognise but it … seemed so real."

It's morning now - just OMG it's early - the sun had been trying to peak over the horizon as Jeriah drove here.

"You did … you had me. I… woke you though, didn't I?" she sighs and pushes her hair back from her face. "I was going to get a couple of hours sleep before looking at Mays results again. Now … I just want a shower and a blanket to curl up in."

"Yes. I got flashes of Hulk-Cat-May. Which would have been funny had they not been so bizarre. You'd clearly pulled some elements from my head." There's no other good explanation to Jeriah for the fact that she had the faces of people whom she had never met but he had. "And then whatever that thing was tried to boot up some kind of protocol in your implants."

He looks around at the mess and sighs. "What were you doing here so late anyway. You should be at your place. In bed, not sleeping on a cot."

"I do that a lot, don't I?" Jemma murmurs. "Pull things from your head." It should be worrying that she does. He hadn't thought the connection could do that. "I'm sorry if they disturbed you… I'll …. try not to do that in future."

"I don't suppose you got what the protocol was?" Jemma should be able to pull the memory and replay it, but right now, she's too shaken. "And why now? Tonight?" Is it to do with the fact that she's tired? Or is it something else?

"I was going to go home, when you left and then I had a thought and wanted to test that before I left. It … just got late and I figured I'd stay here."

Because why not?

"It's not like I have pets or anything that are waiting for me at home."

"No, I would have to let it run to figure out what it is and that does not seem to be a good idea." Jeriah says as he gestures for Jemma to start moving. He will take her home. They can come back here and deal with the mess later.

"Because sleeping on a cot in your lab is miserable? Because being a workaholic is bad for your sanity?" He is not wrong about that nor about the fact that she tends to bury herself in work.

"I'd like to get a look at the baseline specs of your implants but there is no way in hell SHIELD will let me so, no idea why now."

Jemma scrubs her face "Could you let it run under the right conditions? I'm glad you didn't this time, though."

Getting her bag and making sure her workstations are all powered down, the biochem waits for Jeriah to exit before locking the lab and following him out.

"I'm not a workaholic." She protests, not arguing about sleeping on the cot though. "We could ask for access to the baseline specs. I… I don't know… could log the anomalous readings and say we're investigating."

"I think I'm calling out today."

Koa Turner says, "If we could isolate it, in theory yes. But given that the implants are in your head and linked to your brain I am not at all sure how we might go about that." Normally he could evacute everything he needed onto another drive or another machine but… well there is no such thing for a brain is there?

"Good. You need the rest. Come on now I am parked just outside. Don't think about it right now. You just need to relax. You're wound tighter than a mainspring.""

"If you could isolate me when it happens. Put me somewhere I won't hurt anyone, you could let the process run. I think I would be scared but it might be worth it."

Jemma is still thinking despite Jeriahs words.

"You dont have to take me, Jer. I can catch an Uber…" She's not stopping him though. "… I'll have a bath and some hot milk when I get home."

"I…" the biochem falters "… There's a dinner dance tomorrow night. I… was going to ask you if you would like to go."

"Not a good idea. There isn't any way to be sure we could get you back when it was done." When Jeriah said isolated he meant from Jemma. Not isolating her from everyone else.

The request for his presence has him looking at her when he helps her into his car and chuckling when he climbs in. "You asking me out on a date, Jemma?" He is teasing a bit. He knows the question will make her blush.

"We might not have a choice." Jemma says quietly. It's shaken her, what just happened. The dreams are bad enough but having a ghost in her system in terrifying.

Sliding into Jeriahs car, her fingers lingering on his for a moment longer than they should, the biochem sighs.

"Did I…" the blush is almost immediate "… Would it make a difference if I was? Maybe I just think you're safe." That's what every man wants to hear, right?

It is doubtless what every man dreams of hearing. That he is safe. That a woman regards him as predictable. Enough, at least, to feel confident in how he will act. "Safe, mmm? Well, I would be happy to go with you tomorrow. Maybe you will wear that dress I bought you."

It is a fairly modest dress so she could. But the blushing would be constant.

"We might not have a choice no bUt let me worry about that. Right noe it seems like i can shut it down." Even if it means rebooting Jemma.

"I'd like that." The response is quiet. "I was planning on wearing it, yes…" It's a nice dress after all but Jemma is likely to blush for most of the evening, regardless.

"I'll order the tickets when I'm home." Theoretically, she could do it now but her head does hurt and she's not up to it.

"I'm glad you were there, Jer. Thank you." He might get the ghost of the thought that she knows he's got to go to work but she wishes he could stay with her today.

There won't be many in the Triskelian after all.

"I look forward to it then." Jeriah tales a left turn ajd settles into the lane to take them to Jemma's place. It isnt opulant by any means but he has been there. It is nice. It does look as through traffic is starting, however.

"And what would you do if I did stay with you, Jemma?" Not only did he catch the thought, but he is actually going to ask her about it. Well. What would she do?

Of course Jeriah will. Ask her about it. He enjoys teasing her and that's all that is.

"I…" Jemma blushes some more and looks out the window. ".. don't know. I just don't want to be alone. It's stupid because I know I'm going to sleep for a bit." a shoulder raises and drops in a shrug. "Just… be with you, enjoy your company. Boring for you, I guess."

"What would you do if I asked and you did?' such a Jemma phrased question.

"What would I do? Hmmm…" Jeriah thinks about thst as they drive. He thinks about it for a good five or six minutes. Long enough that it seems like he might not answer.

"Probably cook something. Make sure you had lunch when you got up. Watch some netflix until you did wake back up." He might even nap himself, she will catch that thouht.

"Is that what you had in mind Jemma or were you thinking something else."

Jemma is sure that Jeriah is drawing the answer out to tease her. The blush growing brighter as she kicks herself for starting this.

It hasn't occurred to her that she didn't really. She only thought it.

"Do you think I'll sleep that long or are you planning on trying to keep me under?" she starts, growing redder still at the question. "What else would I think? Maybe we could play chess or something…"

"If you're tired, you could nap with me…" They could curl on the couch together. Right?

"If I wanted to do chess I could do that in your head." Jeriah points out. He stops at the next light and peers ahead. They still have a ways to go.

"Then maybe I would like to call in today. Would you like that, Jemma? You can have me to yourself if you would like." He imagines her in that dress and stockings curled up on the couch next to him, dozing. Thats what she wanted right?

"I suppose you could at that." The words are mumbled. The truth is there's much that can be in her head. It doesn't change the human need for having someone near you though.

"It's black Friday. We worked yesterday. No one will begrudge this and they know how to find you if you're needed."

Jemma looks at Jeriah "All to myself. As much as either of us can do that. I do like the sound of it, Jer." Not the dress and stockings - something more casual - but it's close, yes, to what she's thinking.

"Then we can do that." Jeriah says, glancing over and giving Jemma a bit of a smile. "Though you're going to need a long nap." Because he knows for a fact she was up late and then didn't sleep well. She'll probably pass out right when he gets her home which means he'll have an hour or three on his hands.

But he clearly doesn't mind that. And in only about twenty minutes - thanks to traffic mostly going the other way - he's pulling up to her residence and parking the car.

"Well, if I do. I won't know if you've stayed or not, will I?" Jemma smiles, giving Jeriah an 'out' if he wants it. Not that she thinks he will, so there's that. Besides being up late and not sleeping well are sort of her normal operation these days.

When Jeriah parks, Jemma slides from the vehicle "Thank you, by the way, for coming for me. I'm not sure what would have happened if you didn't."

"Let me let myself in and we'll get settled…." And if Jeriah wants to head out when she dozes off, then he can.

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