2020-03-18 - Upgrades


Agent Flumm is in the wind and the Deathlok project has news for Jemma

Log Info:

Storyteller: None
Date: Wed Mar 18 07:12:56 2020
Location: The Triskelion

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Theme Song



Jeriah is in the gym, sparring. He has gone through two sparring partners in the last ten minutes and is working his way through a third, with an audience. Tactical agents, many of them. A couple of high level 'operative' types.

His partner hits the mat, hard, thrown there over Jeriah's shoulder. He rises and the hacker plants a kick on him dead in the center of his chest, sending him stumbling before a leg sweep sends him down again. When he rises a second time, Jeriah swipes a padded stick across his gut. "You're dead."

The agent puts both hands up and backs away. "Jeeze. Three for three. How do you do it London?"

"I've done this my entire life." Jeriah chuckles as he goes to get a towel. "I'm a terrible spy and not a great intel analyst. But I'll kill and break my way out of any situation. I've been doing it for twelve years."

"It's like watching a cat play with its dinner." Jemma says to the agent next to her. She's dressed rather nicely - better than the jeans and jacket she usually wears. A nice straight skirt with a blouse - rather 40's styling and her hair is pinned up, almost pinup fashion.

"Trust me, he'll shoot anything that moves. And if that fails, he'll try to hack it."

That's sort of how they met.

Tossing Jeriah a bottle of water, the biochem comes over to where he's standing "Do you feel better now?"

The crowd is breaking up. Jeriah takes the drink and chuckles. "Does it make me feel better to wipe the mats with veteran SHIELD agents? Yeah, a little."

He wasn't lying or being cheeky though. SHIELD agents have a lot of jobs but NONE of them are pure soldiers. Jeriah is, and has been nothing else his entire adult life. Which may give Jemma cause to… think about him at some point. Not only is he a warrior, but he is a man of war. He has never, in his adult life, known peace. There's never been a time when there wasn't another battle, another mission, another hellhole to go into. It takes a unique kind of man to thrive under those circumstances.

"You're looking nice. Done with work?"

"I wasn't going to say that. I *was* going to say showing off." The biochem murmurs. She knows he's a man of war, it shows in the little things he does and the fact he never really settles. It was also the reason the agency had contracted him. "Anyone would think you were trying to look good for your woman…"

And now she's teasing. A throw back to that strange situation they'd experienced the other day.

The blush comes, just as Jeriah would expect it. "Mostly. I've experiments running and reports to review but I thought I could get some take out and curl on my couch to do the latter. What about yourself?"

"I'd do something with actual challenge if I wanted that." Jeriah says with a slight smirk. "But dinner and reports and netflix does sound ni-"

"Agent Simmons. Mister London." They're being interrupted by another agent and this one isn't in workout clothes. She's holding a tablet, offering it out to them.

"Can I help you Agent…?"

"Carlisle. We've just gotten a report. Former Agent Flumm was being moved to Federal custody when his prison transport was hit. He's missing."

Meaning very likely 'he's escaped'.

Of course Jemma's blush gets rosier as Jeriah teases back. The blush is still there when Carlisle approaches. "Agent Carlisle…" She says, very politely, so like a Brit she is.

"I'm sorry. Could you say that again, please?" She says slowly, sure her hearing is defective. Her meat hand grips Jeriah's arm as she processes.

"What do you mean it was hit? Was there a car accident?"

He can't be free. That's just … dangerous.

"The prison transport was ambushed outside the city limits. Tires were shredded, guards were disabled. It was a professional job. And Marvin Flumm was nowhere to be found when our people got there." That should be a bit more clear.

Jeriah grimaces. "You mean that someone helped him escape. Tell me his access to the SHIELD network has already been revoked."

"It has but Doctor Mura wants to speak to you in the, er, special labs."

Doctor Mura is one of the chief researchers in the Deathlok project.

"What is being done to recover him?" Jemma says, her heart falling. Jeriah is catching parts of her thoughts - and they're not good. "I'm not sure it matters if his access was revoked, Jeriah …" she says quietly, going even more pale at the request.

"Now, I suppose, you mean." She says to Carlisle, looking at Jeriah with a wan smile. "I'll assume that was for both of us but if you'd rather not … I can call you when we're done." So much for curling on her couch and reading reports.

"Thank you Agent Carlisle." She says again. It's not his fault the news was not good. Jemma makes her way to the special labs, her heart pounding and already concocting reasons why Mura would want to see her.

"I'll go with you." Jeriah says, slinging the towel over his shoulders. They'll just have to deal with him in a tee shirt and workout pants. Smelling like victory. Which is totally what he smells like. Victory.

The special labs are deep, secure facilities under the Tri and require special clearance to access, but surprisingly Jeriah and Jemma are both let in. Doctor Mura, a Japanese woman in her 50's, is working at one of the workstations. She looks up when they enter.

"Doctor Simmons. Mister London. You're here. Good."

Not very big on social niceties, is she?

Smelling like sportsball more like it. Jemma doesn't tease Jeriah on their way there, too concerned about the fact that Flumm has escaped.

"Doctor Mura. You wanted to see me, us? Is it to do with the fact that Agent Flumm has escaped?"

She's looking a little green, Jemma is.

"It does, yes. Please. Be seated." Jeriah pulls out a seat for Jemma, which she may or may not notice him doing. Once she's seated he sits also.

"I imagine you're worried, Doctor Simmons. After all Agent Flumm did appear to be somehow accessing your hardware remotely and with him on the loose, even with with access to our network revoked, that would appear to be a risk once more."

Jeriah nods mutely. That had appeared to be a significant risk. It is the first thing he thought of when he heard what had happened.

"We have been studying how to make your systems less vulnerable and believe we have something that will help, but it will require Mister London's assistance."

Jemma sort of notices, touching the back of Jeriah's as she takes a seat, crossing her ankles as she does. "Very worried, Doctor Mura. It wasn't a pleasant experience and to know that he could … " Jemma shudders and doesn't continue. It could have been so much worse.

Jemma listens to Mura, processing the information, weighing it against everything she knows.

« Can we trust her, Jeriah? » It's strange that she would ask Jeriah about trusting another SHIELD agent but they really have no idea who was involved with Flumm to begin with.

"Do tell me more, Doctor?"

Probably but… let's listen carefully. Jeriah responds. He's quiet otherwise, since this mostly involves Jemma and since he doesn't want to call too much attention to himself otherwise.

"There is a software patch, essentially, that we can make to your implants. That coupled with a small new implant to help regulate outside signals should cut your risk down to close to zero. However due to the nature of your implants it will be necessary for someone with Mister London's level of access to install it and it is likely to interact with your subconscious in the same manner that a dream would during the patching process."

"What are the risks?" Jeriah asks.

"Surgery, even minor surgery, carries largely the same set of risks. The risk of the patch itself is minimal but the patching process is a very large unknown variable. We have never attempted anything like this on a live system before and do not know how it will interact with Doctor Simmons' mind."

« I wouldn't do anything but …» Jemma responds, sitting very still and not looking at Jeriah - picking up that he doesn't want to draw attention to himself.

"The nature of my implants, Doctor Mura? Because they were modified from someone else and to work with a living body, not a dead one?" Jemma deliberately lets slip that she knows the implants have been … regifted … to her.

"And you're telling me that the patching process will make me hallucinate."

"Let me see if I have this correct. You haven't tested the patch and don't know if it will work or what will do. On top of that, you want to give me more hardware. Will you provide me with the design documents and source code for all of it?"

"Not those implants. The ones that were put in to improve your cognitive function. Those are the ones with the concerning external interfaces after all." Doctor Mura says. "Though the patch will also be to your Deathlok implants, yes. And yes, part of the problem is that subjects usually have very different mental function, having been at one point deceased." Even if it was 'relatively' briefly.

"But yes. I have all the information here for you to look at, and provided you have a machine that meets the information security requirements I can release it to you. There's not much point in trying to hide it from you after all, you're going to be running it."

Jeriah nods slowly. Also he's going to be looking at it and he could take it apart given enough time, but he doesn't say that.

Those implants. Jemma stills, not particularly happy with her brain being messed with again. "We'll need all the source code, Doctor Mura, to review it and try simulate it. We have a system configured that meets the Information Security guidelines."

« We can store this on the framework can't we? » She asks Jeriah. It will give him time to review it and they can both see what a simulation will do.

"What will the new implants do, exactly? I'm aware of the concept of a crunchy exterior for best practice IT protection."

Tentatively yes. Whether or not we can do anything with it is another question.

"It's a router, essentially. It's function is to prevent external signals from directly interfacing with the parts of your brain that control things like motor function. That way, no one can attempt to stab Mister London without you having a say in the matter. Or rather, without you having more of a say in it."

"Why was that not part of the original design spec?" Jeriah asks, rather reasonably.

"Because the original design spec did not call for any network capability at all. That was added when the cognitive upgrade implants were. Those weren't designed for use with the Deathlok systems. They had to be modified to handle the extra processing load so that Doctor Simmons brain didn't have to. Just as the Deathlok implants had to be modified to work with them."

So it really was very much a jury rig.

« You wanted a look at my source code. » Jeriah might get the hint of a smile in the comment, not that it shows on Jemma's face, she's concentrating on what Mura says.

"That makes sense. Is there anything else these implants will do?" Jemma's eye switches to blue meaning she's scanning in I/R, watching the good doctors physical response to the questions she's asking … or rather the answers she's providing to those questions.

"Yes, in an absolute sense. No in a broad sense. It is a buffer, it is designed to separate your physical self from your mechanical self and make sure the latter is under the control of the former." If Doctor Mura is lying she's very good at masking it. There's no physical reaction at all. Jemma can see her medical implants though. The good doctor is definitely not cleared for field work.

I did yes, and this is a good opportunity to do just that. Hopefully things will go smoothly this time since he suspects people are operating in good faith or at least as much good faith as can be expected from an intel agency.

"I'm not saying no, Doctor Mura. But I am saying, not yet. I really would like to review everything - I … didn't have time before they went in, and now … I do. In some degree, anyway."

Jemma is very quiet and still quite pale.

« I think I should do this, but I want to be check it first. » Jeriah might not blame Jemma for that.

"I know time is limited with Flumm in the open, I'll let you know tomorrow or the day after…."

"Then I will look forward to hearing your reply. I will, if it is all the same to you, schedule use of the surgical rooms and prepare a briefing for Mister London." She's assuming Jemma will say yes and wants to be ready to move - quickly - the moment she does.

Jeriah nods once more and stands. "It looks like we have a lot of work to do ourselves. Jemma?" That's 'Jemma, shall we go?'

"Of course, Doctor Mura." Jemma doesn't need telling twice and rises herself with a nod to Jeriah. "We do. Will you give Doctor Mura the access to download the software, please Jeriah."

It's going to be a long night for the pair of them.

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