It All Starts With A Hypothesis

January 20, 2016:

Having seemingly lost time in their journey through the 084, Jemma seeks out Thomas to start trying to piece together what happened…

Federal Building - Metropolis


NPCs: None.



Mood Music: None.

Fade In…

Since returning from Baghdad, Jemma's had a lot on her mind. Well she had a lot on her mind before that, it's just that she's got more on her mind now. One of those things is /what happened/ in the Federal building and where she and … yeah, that's another problem, right there.

Thank goodness she takes good notes and knows that Marshal Nashoba was the one she disappeared with. She … just can't remember the man, which is weird, right?

Which explains her presence at the Federal Building in Metropolis - she'd phoned ahead and made an appointment to meet with the man. Armed with a digital video camera, Jemma's going to record this interview, if he lets her.

Thomas is kind of amused by the request for the interview. It's happened before. The fact of the matter is that as often as people forget him, they also lose the things that would remind them of him. So a lot of the time it's an exercise in futility. Time, and time alone, makes people remember him. Which is bitterly ironic since time is also the problem. Still, the Marshal is waiting down at the entrance. With that… odd gauntlet.

Accompanying Jemma are two SHIELD agents, her constant companions lately. Sort of an upgrade to the Holograms … these two stick with her like glue, never letting her out of their sights. Worse, in Jemma's opinion, they keep rotating the agents … so she hardly knows them.

Recognising the man from the file she'd read on her way over, Jemma offers him a smile. "Marshal Nashoba, thank you for agreeing to see me." Gesturing to her companions "I hope you don't mind my escort. They're … a little touchy about my safety."

"Is there somewhere we can talk?" the gauntlet, of course, gets a curious look.

"Depends on how long this is going to take." Nashoba has a phone in case he's needed and the Federal Building is within walking distances of a few places. "There's a bakery that does deli sandwiches and fresh bread if you're hungry. It's this way." The dark haired man glances down at the gauntlet and then back up but doesn't comment on it or the agents. Which he's seen before, though of course not these ones.

"Not too long, Marshal. I'm sure you're busy and I've got some meetings back in New York to attend." Moving in the direction he's indicated, Jemma waits for Thomas to join her. "I'm trying to piece together what happened, the other day. What do you remember, Marshal?"

"Not much." Thomas admits. Which is true though he remembers more than Jemma, likely. He rolls his shoulder and the agents nearby may see a slight glow at the top of his spine, under his shirt, which fades quickly. "You arrived, had some questions for Valdapena. He got out of hand. I went for my gun. Next thing I know I'm on the floor, my arm's hurt and there's a bear in my interrogation room. You popped out of a portal shortly after that which closed a moment later." And that was pretty much it.

Jemma doesn't comment on the fact she can't remember him. It … might be a source of embarrassment for the usually polite and careful biochem.

At the glow at the top of his spine, her agents stiffen, ready to pull Jemma to safety. They exchange a glance as it fades. Neither say anything to Jemma though.

"That's pretty much what I remember." a hand raises to touch her hair, she hasn't cut it - the reminder that things might not be as they seem. "Did you get those scans, Agent May … " the pause is deliberate "… suggested? My brain scans came back clear, Agent May wouldn't let me out in the field till that was confirmed." she's rambling, she knows it … and quickly closes her mouth.

"Um yes, went to medical. My bosses insisted." His scans also came back clear. Not that Thomas thought they wouldn't. Well, that comes with a fairly big asterisk though. His scans came back as clear as possible under the circumstances. TM.

The bakery/sandwich shop turns out to be just around the corner and isn't busy. Thomas orders a turkey and swiss and stands back while Jemma and possibly her escorts get food. "Is that all you came to check up on?"

Jemma knew she'd been rambling and Thomas' question refocusses on her. "No…" she stops to order a … ham, cheese and tomato sandwich, of all things. Her escorts don't - they're on duty.

"I wanted to try and piece together what happened… we were gone … for a long time. Well, long time there." she's probably not doing a very good job of this "And given what activated the portal? I think it could be important that we remember."

That gets the Marshal thinking. "Are you sure we were? I mean neither of us remember anything, if indeed there's anything to remember." And yes their clothes had been worn and her hair longer… and he injured but… "I mean the side effects could just be something from wherever the portal was cut to. Er, let me try that again. What we experienced could just be the side effects of going through the portal, mmm? Or do you think we really did lose time? And if we did, how do we get it back?"

Their orders arrive and Jemma takes hers, looking over to Thomas as she does. "Not at all, Marshal. But a good theory starts with a hypothesis … and that's the best I can come up with for."

Guiding them to a table and taking a seat, Simmons considers for a moment "Hair grows at about a half inch a month. Agent May and Rain think mine is at least two inches longer, maybe three. Our clothes where pretty torn up. I'm waiting analysis of mine. But I rather suspect they'll support my theory … what we experienced was much, much longer than what happened here."

His question? "I'm … not sure we can get it back. Except to remember and honour it …"

"Well, I meant memory, not the time itself." Thomas clarifies drumming his fingers on the table as he thinks. It makes a soft 'clink clink clink.' Yeah that hand is definitely metal of some kind. "Do you think there's a way to recover our memory, assuming that there's any memory there to recover to begin with?"

"Oh…" Jemma can be quite literal at times and her eyes light on the guantlet again. "Yes, I do. In my experience, the memory is never lost. It's like an imprint that becomes part of us."

She's building up a full head steam, he … might want to stop her "I've seen attempts to mask and obscure that but there are techniques that can be used to recall it. There was one time … " if Thomas doesn't interrupt, she'll be talking forever.

"Right so, what do you need me to do?" Because Thomas has work. Metahuman criminals don't recapture themselves and while it would certainly be good to know what happened while they were away, if indeed anything did, it doesn't seem so pressing when compared to that.

He's used to people staring at the gauntlet. Now that she's close though she can see there is writing on it, on the underside. It says 'Tacitus'.

"Huh…" Jemma has the good grace to blush as he interrupts. "Work with me. When we can. I've devices, physical and otherwise, to help with recall. Maybe they won't work, but … that device, Marshal? I've been tracking those for months." she pauses looking a little uncomfortable "If we went through to the endpoint, it could give valuable information."

She pauses and looks up at him "Work with me, as we can, to work out what … happened."

"If we can work out times that don't interfere with my other work, I'll be happy to." Least he can do, and, who knows, maybe it'll give him some insight into his own condition. It's not likely, no, but, you know. "I'll give you a call later to remind you."

Jemma … stills at the last comment, choosing to say nothing. "Please do call." she's not going to admit she forgets him, not … yet…

The whole thing is important to the biochem, who seems to settle in for moment. She'll leave when her sandwich is done, back into the hum of her work.

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