2020-07-14 - Cyber Conference


A visit to a conference gets Jemma and Jeriah some interesting information

Log Info:

Storyteller: None
Date: Tue Jul 14 03:49:22 2020
Location: New York

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Theme Song



"Even the old folks never knew why they call it like they do. I was wonderin' since the age of two, down on Copperline. Copperhead. Copper beach. Copper kettle sittin' side by each. Copper coil, copper Georgia peach, down on copperline. Half a mile down to Morgan Creek. Leanin' heavy on the end of the week. Hercules and a hog nosed snake down on copperline…"

Jeriah is singing. And playing a guitar which he does not often do. He's sitting on one of the planters outside of SHIELD and two of his dogs are nearby. They followed him. He was slightly annoyed but he can't get rid of them and they well and truly act like dogs at this point so when he's not actively using them as weapons his direct influence over them is slightly limited. It's… well. It's a thing.

At least they aren't interrupting him.

Jemma leans against one of the columns, watching Jeriah play and listening to him sing, metal hand scritching the head of a third metal dog. This one, Shep, has taken to following her around. She doesn't complain, along with Spot the holographic cat, Shep is good company most of the time.

She's been there a good couple of minutes already and though she's not said anything, she'd be surprised if Jeriah doesn't know she's there.

Jeriah does know she is there but that's mostly because he can track her location and does so. All the time. He has a program set to alert him if she gets so near, or so far or if her movement patterns vary from a set of defined parameters. Maybe he's a little paranoid. But it's hard to blame him for being so.

"You know the seats are much better over by the singer." He says as he strums. They might be going somewhere after this. Or he might just sit here and play for a bit. It could go either way, really. "Are you enjoying the show?"

Jemma might be a little miffed if she knew that Jeriah tracked her so closely - at least initially, until she'd had time to think about why he would.

"Are they now? And why is the singer playing outside the Triskelian?" The cyborg biochem pushes herself off the post and moves towards to him. "Would the company be welcome?"

She looks … nice. Again. Her hair is done, the dress rather vintage. The look might be a little at odds with her implants though.

"And always …" She blushes, Shep following as she takes a seat.

Maybe they're going somewhere after this - if Jemma doesn't decide that an experiment or test needs her attention.

Jeriah pats the planter near him as he finishes up the song and goes into another one. She can already tell he's thinking that he'll play for a few more minutes and then they can go. "Well maybe he was hoping to catch someone's eye as they left work. And maybe all he had was his guitar and his robot dogs." Ah the hard life of an average mercenary. Such difficult. Much pathos. Wow.

"You look nice today." She's been looking nice a lot. Her style of dress has become very 1940's and to be honest she makes it work quite well. He might almost imagine her during the war as she is. Maybe working for SHIELD's predecessor, the SSR.

"What were you working on today?"

"And who's eye were you hoping catch?" Jemma asks quietly, folding her hands in her lap and then having to move them when Shep puts her robotic head there. "Was it Michelle down in payroll? Or perhaps Richard from engineering?" She's teasing, even as she colours a little more.

Because if he wanted to get her attention, he'd just have to speak to her. Or send an email …

"Thank you." If it's one thing about Jemma, she's still so very reserved. Compliments, particularly now, aren't easy for her. "So do you. I like that colour on you."

"Today? A variety of things. There's a sample of ooze that Agent Mendoza bought in from Mexico. It's fascinating. It's … bio-reactive when exposed to electricity."

"Maybe Marissa in legal." Jeriah teases back. That would be the world's definition of a bad idea. Almost as bad as asking trying to catch Melinda May's eye. Risky in a slightly different way but still.

"It's a color other than black." It's blue. It's a darker blue and yes he wears it well. The soldier makes a bit of a face when she talks about exploding goo. "I thought you were a bio-chemist not EOD. What on earth is your organization doing bringing back samples of heretofore unknown biological goo?" That explodes. Because let's not forget the part where it explodes.

"Marissa in legal would be a good one to ask out." Jemma says in a deadpan sort of way. She's trying to imagine that - and sending Jeriah images of how she thinks it would go.

"And yes, it's a colour other than black. I think you need to branch out some more. Maybe try magenta or yellow." At least Jemma is in a good mood?

"I am a biochemist and I work for SHIELD. We didn't know it went bioreactive until we started testing it. It has some interesting properties that … well, they might have been seen on Earth before. And who else is going to look at this stuff?" She gives Jeriah a questioning look. "You do know that my job can be dangerous, right?"

It probably wouldn't go well. And Jeriah doesn't have much interest anyway. She wouldn't look nearly as nice in period dress. And Jemma gets that. In detail. "It's less that it's dangerous and more that it's weird. Bioreactive goo? Really?"

Because there is nothing that could possibly go wrong from brining that into your headquarters and running electrical current. The soldier finishes playing and puts his guitar back in its case.

"I've got some leads in the city that we should run down soon. There's a possibility that Flumm is making efforts to build some influence here and I'd like to know why. You're due back in Rikers soon, yes?"

"It's … weird." Jemma looks at Jeriah and shakes her head. "Says the man who has implants in his head that lets him control drones to the woman who is part cyborg from tech that was used to bring back the dead." Because that's not weird at all.

"You do? I wondered when you were going to mention that." Did she know already? "When do you want start that? Tonight? And yes, back in Rikers in the next couple of days. The serum I'm working on should be ready about then. Why?"

"Yes but cybernetics is science. Exploding bio-goo is a day time TV show." He doesn't opine on the acting in such shows. Sometimes it's best not to say anything.

"I do. You don't think I just sit around annoying SHIELD supervisors all day do you? I do SOME work." Of course SOME of the work he does off the books. He has his own resources and ways of finding things. For him sifting through people's computers to find information regardless of whether or not they want him there is second nature.

Really if they don't want him to find it, don't store it on a networked device.

"Just wondering what kind of time we had. How was the first round?"

Jemma snorts "Oh yes, science. With goo that brings people back from the dead." The biochem won't watch those shows, Jeriah knows that after painful experience. She'd paused a show for half an hour to expound, rather loudly, on why the science was wrong.

The look she flashes Jeriah in answer to his question though is a mischievious. He should get the impression that's exactly what she thinks he does - not that it's true but she does enjoy teasing him.

"Maybe you should see me more often and you wouldn't have to ask." It's another sassy tease, with the blush to go with it. "But … alright. What's a little worrying is we haven't identified patient zero - and that means controlling the outbreak is problematic."

"You didn't answer my question though, when did you want to start?"

"Well. Tomorrow night possibly. After work." Which means this is possibly off the book. Otherwise he'd be trying to do it with SHIELD support. The Soldier smiles. "I figured tonight we could do something more enjoyable. Or at least less likely to result in being shot at." Winston Churchill once said that there was nothing more invigorating than being shot at and missed. This may be true.

"I see." Jemma answers slowly. Jeriah seems distracted so there's that.

"Well let me know if that's the case so I can be ready."

"Tonight I figured we could go do this…" Jeriah sends a file over to Jemma. There's a bio-technical expo going on in one of the city's several convention halls. It's an industry expo so not the sort of thing that she'd usually go to which is more focused on medical applications but it is very much in her field and she might recognize several of the names that are going to speak.

"Possibly either preceded by or followed by dinner." Because hey. That way neither of them have to cook. "We might even be able to have the dogs walking around." Lord knows it's not like the won't wine if they're left behind.

Jemma looks at the file and smiles a bit. "And here I was hoping you would take me dancing again." She's teasing. Jeriah can see it's got her interest. "Though Doctor Espinoza's talk on the relative uses of polymer fibre for limbs sounds fascinating. It looks like they've found a way to address the machine / body interface."

Jemma does catch herself as she starts to babble, going on about the issues of connections and binding.

"Are you sure you want to go to this? It's not really your thing, after all." with a pause, Jemma looks Jeriah over carefully. "What am I missing here." beat "Dinner would be nice. I feel like burgers or something and I'm sure your dogs will get some comment if you bring them."

See, totally not weird.

"I'm an amateur cyberneticist. I'll find it interesting I promise." Jeriah doesn't have the formal education that Jemma does but he has a lot of hands on application experience and she knows that he maintains his own cybernetics. And he's quite good at it too. So it's perhaps not too surprising that he might be interested and willing to assess her.

"Burgers would be good. In fact I know just the place." He does too. "Well. Shall we?"

An hour later they've both had a burger and they're strolling into the expo hall with two very large robotic dogs in tow. Those immediately get attention. As do Jemma's cybernetics. And her sense of fashion. She might be a little unused to it. At this rate they may attract enough attention to make the expo organizers come over.

"More than amateur cyberneticist. You know that I think you could go through the academy. I just know you think my types are dry and dusty." There's a smile and Jemma offers Jeriah her arm. "I want blue cheese dressing on my burger."

Which is indeed what she does get.

"Over there is Gina Frienze. She's demonstrating augments for sight. Said to be next for corrective lens technology." Jemma can see the attention they're garnering and blushes faintly, nodding to the people that she is aware of and familiar with.

I didn't think about the fact that we'd draw so much attention. I suppose you did.

"How do you know her?" Jeriah is steering them in that direction. He has to push a bit through the crowd and she can hear some of them in voices she recognizes murmuring. "Jemma? Jemma Simmons?"

Okay she hasn't been to one of these events in a bit and yes. They are a bit shocked at the… style.

A little bit. I knew the dogs would get attention. Surely they've seen attractive British women before though. Or maybe they haven't. Are all your colleagues dowdy old fussbudgets?

That is probably intended to get a snicker. Gina is even now turning to look Jemma's way, wondering what the commotion is about.

"She was a contractor of a DoD project a few years back. SHIELD were asked to consult and they sent myself and my friend from the academy." Jeriah likely knows by now, that Jemma and her friend were rising stars from the Academy and their inclusion on those sorts of projects - might not be so strange.

Jemma tries to ignore the whispers and murmurs of her name. It's difficult though with all the stares. "Doctor Hodgins, how nice to see again." The biochem nods and keep them moving.

Jeriah, you know very well what they're responding to. I'm a freak and you've got eyes - those women are anything but dowdy.

Shep is walking beside Jemma, and the biochem rests her hand quite naturally on its head.

None of them are rocking a calf length skirt and a 40's pinup hairstyle. Just saying.

"Uh. Jemma." Doctor Frienze greets Jemma as she and Jeriah and the two dogs come to a halt nearby. "I… didn't know you were attending this conference. Now I feel a bit bad not knowing what you're speaking on."

The good doctor can't seem to decide whether to stare at the dress, the cybernetics on Jemma or the two LARGE robot dogs that are peering up at her. Jeriah feels amused. He looks normal but Jemma knows when he's taking trollish delight in something.

The good doctor is trying hard not to stare at Jeriah as well. The man really is fit and rather good looking. "This is Jeriah London, Gina." Jemma breaks that small amount of ice. "And I'm not talking. We just thought it would be nice to come down and have a look."

The biochem smooths her dress and fidgets a little. "I'm sure you know who's speaking on everything here. " Jemma really is wondering if this is a good idea or not, to be here. She's drawing a lot of attention.

Stop smirking and not everyone appreciates my sense of fashion. If that's what you call it. I'm glad you do though.

"Pleased to meet you Gina." Jeriah says.

"Oh. Pleased to meet you Mister London. What is your area of expertise if I may ask? What institution did you meet Jemma at?"

"I met her at SHIELD. My area of expertise is marksmanship." Jeriah says with a small smile. "Though a dabble in cybernetics and robotics."

"Marksmanship?" Clearly Gina is having trouble wrapping her head around that as a degree which is still the mode she's in.

"Jeriah." Jemma sighs. "Jeriah was a soldier, Gina and is contracted to SHIELD. He's developed quite a lot of expertise in cybernetics and robotics. The dogs are his and it's been rather useful with … " Jemma gestures. Clearly there's more between her and Jeriah but the biochem doesn't address that.

"What is it you're demonstrating, Gina? Last I saw, you were working on something that helped correct vision that couldn't be corrected."

"Oh! A soldier. But the dogs…" Those are big dogs. And Gina is looking at them realizing that they might be weapons. But they act so much like dogs. SO MUCH like dogs.

"Uh, sorry. I am demonstrating a new ocular interface technology that shows great promise in side stepping damaged nerves and degenerated tissue. It's a bit like a computer. Trying to put the light-data directly into the brain which is the thing that interprets it and 'shows' the rest of you a picture anyway."

"Fascinating. And how were you going to demo this?" Jeriah asks.

"Oh we have some ocular tissue here. It's not like I'll be doing a surgery on the podium."

Which would probably be unwise. "Will you two be staying to watch? Perhaps you'd like to, um, give some impromptu remarks during my segment?"

Jemma has wondered about the dogs and since she's known Jeriah, they've become more and more dog like as well. "Are robots, yes." Weapons, not that Jemma says that. She doesn't want to get kicked out because of that and no one really needs to know the truth.

"You have ocular tissue here?" Jemma is fascinated and very much aware of the implant for her left eye. "I would very much like to see that. How are you going to show the results? You have a mind machine connection?" She flushes slightly at the request and shakes her head a little "I … uh … don't know if that would be wise, Gina."

"Why don't you two come with me… I'll show you." Gina says, waving the two along with her. "Think about it. Remarks that is. If you change your mind let me know. Now to answer your question we are still developing that part of the interface. We have something we think works but it needs more testing. I was going to do the demonstration by hooking up the nerve tissue here to a machine that goes to a projector unit and then running signals through it to show how our technology translates those signals."

Mind machine interfaces are of course things that exist but the technology is tricky and not freely available so while the principles are understood a lot of people are still working from scratch on them. As apparently is Gina and whomever she is working for.

"There are rumors that someone is selling such a thing but… also rumors that it might not be on the up and up."

Jemma gives Jeriah a quick look to make sure that's alright. She's sure it is, they came here to mingle after all but still, he's her companion and it's nice to do that.

"That's one of the trickiest parts, that interface. I'm not a programmer but I know the number of permutations you need to consider are astounding. In a way, that coding has to live on its own. Jeriah can talk more of that side of things though." Without really thinking, Jemma takes his hand and laces her fingers through his as they walk.

"Who are you working for, Gina? I confess I haven't kept up. This is pretty advanced stuff you're working on here. Exciting isn't it?" Jemma does frown at the last piece of information "Rumours? What do you know?"

Anything you've picked up, Jeriah, in your poking around?

"Brighton Innovations. They're an English multinational that recently started partnering with US development firms for this kind of thing." Gina says as she hooks up the machinery. "And yes the coding has been quite complex…" She trails off looking at Jemma and noting her hand but doesn't comment just yet.

Mmmm. Looking.

"Oh word has been that a Canadian startup has come up with some very advanced MMI technology but that they don't have the funding to do much with it and they're looking for a deal. But folks are kind of questioning how that could be. It was, uh, Marston Technical, I think."

That's a hit. Ooooh. Possibly associated with Flumm. No points for guessing where he might have gotten the tech.

"Brighton Innovations. You're working for the mother country, Gina?" Jemma is teasing. She's so very British and most around her are not. "Or are you with one of the partner companies? That's quite exciting, really. Particularly this technology - if you can get the interface, you'll change people's life."

"You haven't had any interactions with this company, Gina? Marston. Not a name that immediately jumps to mind but then, it's hard to keep up with all the startups, isn't it. Any particular names associated with that company? Like their lead scientist?"

At the mention of Flumm, Jemma squeezes Jeriah's hand reflexively, remembering what the man had done to her already.

"I haven't no and I don't think anyone at Brighton has either. And yes I'm working for the people whose tea we dumped in the harbor. Mmmm Harbor tea." That makes Jeriah snort even as he squeezes her hand back.

"Their lead scientist was… Peter Nagle as I recall. No one I've ever heard of but then this field is large enough that's not unusual."

Known alias for Paul Ebersol, an associate of Flumm's. Yeah this is looking like something we should look into.

Jemma sniffs at the reminder of why America is an Independant country. "Still can't make a decent cup of tea, though." She smiles. "Peter Nagle. Not one I've heard and yes, it is unusual. Might be something that SHIELD will want to look into. I don't suppose they've reached out to you at all?"

Jemma might not lie well, but there are times she can get little white lies out without fluffing it.

"This type of technology, in the wrong hands …" she shrugs. It could be very bad. Of course, they're looking for Flumm and this is a lead.

"We are the only game in town for harbor tea though." Gina smiles. She's a bit like that but it is after all, all in good fun.

"This type of technology in the wrong hands could be bad. I'm not aware of anyone there reaching out to us but I'm also not on our procurements team. So maybe? I would expect to be brought in sooner rather than later if that were the case though, so I suspect not."

That's good news. Jeriah glances to Jemma. He's already making plans to go check it out. But in the mean time.

"So uh. New wardrobe, Jemma?" In the mean time, yes…

Jemma is a little disappointed that Gina hadn't been approached. They might have been able to use that as an introduction. Oh well. She can tell Jeriah is making plans and she returns the glance with a small smile. They'll discuss this a little later and flesh that out.

"If you like harbour tea, then yes." She smiles, squeezing Jeriahs hand again, watching as Gina completes her work. It must be nearly time for her presentation. "And … uh … yes. I suppose it is." Nervously she smooths her skirt with her metal hand and stops awkwardly. "I …. uh … " she doesn't want to make excuses but she's not sure how to proceed.

"Looks good on her doesn't it?" Jeriah says. So helpful is he.

"It does have a certain charm to it." Gina agrees. "Oh! It's almost time. If you'd like to grab seats you're welcome to stay but I need to finish getting set up." And with that she starts to bustle. Jeriah points to a couple of seats at the end of the row. Might as well. After this they can wander a bit and then go elsewhere if they'd like. This is a fun evening after all or it's supposed to be.

"Jeriah…" Jemma mutters, blushing all the more now. "I'm looking forward to it, Gina."

Taking the seat, she settles in to pay attention, at least she can talk at Jeriah without disturbing the crowd.

And yes, this will be a fun evening full of Science!

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