2020-05-30 - Shadows in the Night


Woken rudely from sleep, Jemma ponders the changes she's experienced

Log Info:

Storyteller: None
Date: Sat May 30 20:21:21 2020
Location: 58 Water Street - Apt 404

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Jemma hasn't been sleeping well for a while now and since her recent operation, her dreams are even more vivid.

It's rather early, the sun isn't yet risen, when she jolts awake - her skin clammy and her heart beating a tattoo. "It's so pretty …" She's not fully awake as she speaks and she's somewhat disoriented as she floats between sleep and waking.

Where did Jemma go to sleep? Her place, probably, and Jeriah just arrived there with a gun and two dogs. He opens the door slowly and peers around, then sends one dog padding in while the other one stands guard at the door and he himself goes in the opposite direction to clear the room. Why is he doing that? So very early in the morning?

Well one thing is for sure Jemma will probably be a tad confused as she floats between sleep and awake and sees the 'so very pretty' purple haze around Jeriah as he moves into the room.

Jemma gets notice that her alarm system was deactivated and she struggles to come fully awake. With the sound of the dog patrolling the apartment and the purple haze she can see enter the room, her heart beats all that much quickly.

"Who… Jer Jeriah?" She asks, voice husky with sleep. "Did you pick up the dress that I had ordered?" Yes, very confused.

"Shhhhh." Jeriah says touching finger to lips as he opens her closet with the barrel of his gun. His dogs check in negative on any possible threats. The hacker pads into the bathroom and clears that too before coming out and holstering the weapon.

"Your alarm went dead and I picked up movement near your apartment on the cameras." He says as he sits down at the edge of the dress.

"And no I did not pick up the dress. It's two thirty in the morning. The boutique is not open."

"What dress?" Jemma is totally confused. She had been dreaming and was still doing so when she asked that question. "What? Didn't you turn off my alarm? I … " No, she can't get the timeline straight. Dream and Waking are melding together as they often do.

Oh, yeah, he told her to be quiet. The biochem rubs her one good eye and tries to wake up properly.

What do you mean you saw movement? Are you sure it wasn't a cat?

Yes I'm sure it wasn't a cat. I know what cat movement looks like. Got an algorithm for it and everything. Of course he does. The two hounds now come into the room. The front door got hip checked shut by one of them. They push their big metal heads up to Jemma for pettings and Jeriah rolls his eyes as he stands.

At least his weapon is holstered. "Whatever it was, it doesn't seem to be here now and it isn't in your house which is the only thing I couldn't verify remotely. I think everything is safe. Now what were you dreaming of? Dresses apparently."

Jemma huffs as she wriggles to sit up in bed. She's wearing a T-Shirt with Jane Goodalls face on it because of she is.

"Hello Shep. Hello Potsy. Want to come up and keep me company?" Petting the big metal heads, Jemma glances to Jeriah "Or would your controller like somewhere more comfortable to sit."

That Jeriah saw something that he thought needed checking is no small thing and Jemma knows it. "Are you going to want to check the street, then?"

She doesn't ask what. He's said he wasn't sure.

"Me? I uh … " There's rueful look at her metal hand. "I … was dreaming I was whole once more."

"Already did that on the way in." Jeriah says. The dogs are very useful for this. Both dogs look up at Jeriah but he shakes his head. They are steel and alloy constructs. They are heavy. The bed MIGHT support one of them but that's a pretty big might and it definitely won't support two of them.

"No you two stay off the furniture. Come out front, I'll make you a cup of tea."

And then he goes out front. By the time Jemma gets there he's putting the kettle on.

"Whole again, mmm? And what was that about a dress?"

"I don't want to get out of bed …" Jemma grumbles as the dogs and Jeriah head back out to the kitchen. It takes her a few moments but when she joins him, she's in shorts and the t-shirt, hair still tussled from another night of dream filled slumber.

"I think there's shortbread in the cupboard." She says. Meaning she'd like some if Jeriah's making tea.

She's quiet for a moment, watching her hand again. "I was dreaming that I was going to a dance. A ball in fact …" Jeriah will get the glimpses, Jemma isn't trying to not broadcast them. A Regency ball? My she has some interesting dreams.

""A ball, huh?" Jeriah is getting the images. He gets her (slightly flowery) china out of the cupboard and finds the shortbread. In short order there is tea and shortbread for Jemma and tea for Jeriah. The dogs lay down where there is space and the hacker takes a seat at the table.

"And who were you going to the ball with? Such an interesting period of time, the Regency."

The china is only a little bit flowery and it matches. Which is probably more than can be said for Jeriah's dishes. Jemma blushes as Jeriah mentions the details "I guess I can be sure that you haven't been blocked from my mind." She shrugs, drawing the cup and plate towards her. "Me, I guess. I'm not sure … I barely remember it, really. But Regency, yes. In Devon. It wa more … I wasn't a cyborg, I was me … Jeriah."

Jeriah can tell it's hard for Jemma to put words to this, but it's not the first time he's seen her 'look normal'.

"You've thought about that for quite some time." She misses it. Wants it. It's understandable. In ways at least to Jeriah's understanding Jemma is mourning her lost humanity. Or at least what she sees as her lost humanity. He takes a sip of his tea and smiles subtly. Well. He does a lot of things subtly. It's just that warfare isn't one of them.

"You didn't tell me who you were going with though." And he had asked that. She'd glossed over it and just… blushed.

"Not … deliberately." Jemma answers, a little defensively. "I … Am I really human anymore, Jeriah? What *am* I? It's … it's stupid I know. I never thought anything of how I looked before. Now that I don't have it …" She sighs, looking at the liquid in her cup. She's yet to take a drink.

The blush deepens though as he asks that question again. "I uh … " If there's one thing about Jemma it's that she doesn't lie well. "… a sea captain. One that I'd met a house gathering…" She's evading the question.

"A sea captain? How dashing and scandalous." Jeriah teases. Seamanship was not always held in high regard and even captains might be considered… dregs. Of course they were also dynamic men and successful captains could be quite rich, so they might be good matches for someone during the regency.

Or so he's read.

"I don't think, if you weren't human, you'd really be able to ask the question. So the fact that you can…"

"He was very dashing …" Jemma says with a blush and it was quite scandalous really." Jemma shakes herself and finally takes a sip of her tea. "That … is nearly perfect. You've been taking lessons, I think." It's a light tease.

"That's not true, Jeriah. If I had been programmed to ask it, I could. You know there's VI and AI tech that can do it - ask questions like that. And mostly in the right context as well." There's the scientist - it's hard to suppress that.

She sighs again and meet his eyes "Do you think I'm being stupid about it?"

"No, it's hard to be stupid about things that you feel. But I wonder what you're really asking yourself. And what it is you're missing. Is it just that you don't fully look normal anymore? Or is it something deeper. Because lots of people get augmented. Soldiers aren't less human if they lose a limb and have it replaced, after all."

Jeriah takes another sip of tea. Of course it's good. He has a world of tea information at his disposal.

It's a good question that Jeriah asks and Jemma is quiet as she thinks about it. The dogs have lain at their feet under the table - the ex-soldier will be rolling his eyes. "Not everyone is given augments that are meant for dead people." She says slowly but shakes her head again

"I … it sounds vain when I say it aloud, Jeriah. I never cared for my appearance before, so why now? I look in the mirror and see the implants looking back and I feel more machine than person, I guess." It probably doesn't help that she works so much and having trouble sleeping won't be assisting that.

"I'm sorry. You came round to check in on me, not play counsellor… I'll just put it down to being early, shall I?"

"I woke you up with a gun in my hand. I can play counselor a little bit. Are you going back to sleep then?" Jeriah is fairly sure that whatever was here either isn't any longer or never was. And he's got her alarm resecured but he may stay a little while and just make sure that it stays that way. It wouldn't do to leave and have something come back and cause problems.

"And it isn't vain. You're coming to grips with changes. It's just I don't think they're as… fundamental as you seem to feel they are."

"You didn't wake me up, my dream did." Jemma corrects, shaking her head again. "Not immediately, you should sleep if you can though. I might put a movie on and check my mail, review some reports, before I sleep again."

She won't ask him to stay, but she would like it if he did.

"I think I saw something about Flumm in one of the reports. I thought I'd check up on that."

"I don't know why I feel like this Jeriah - I … it's silly, I know it is."

"I'll stay a bit. Maybe lay down on the couch." Because he HAD gotten up early to come here and while he's glad that she's not in any danger, Jeriah is tired. So he'll just… go to the couch. Lay down.

"It's not 'silly'. Well it could be. But it isn't yet. Give yourself time. It'll come."

"Let me get a blanket and I'll join you … " Jemma says. "I'd … I'd like some company." He can sleep, she'll put a show on quietly as she reads her email.

"I will, Jeriah. I'm sorry … sometimes … It's just a bit much sometimes."

As Jemma moves past him, Jemma places a kiss on his cheek.

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