A.K.A. Crab Cakes and Sorrow

June 18, 2017:

A frazzled Jessica Jones starts interviewing the refugees from Universe B. Sally Stojespal has been dispatched to the hotel where they have been stationed in order to see to their needs, and ends up seeing to some of Jessica's as well.

//Some Nice Hotel Tony Stark Bought //

Because Tony is nicer than he wants the world to believe. SHHHHHHHHHHHH.

Characters

NPCs: None.

Mentions: Bucky Barnes, Tony Stark, Peggy Carter, Sloane, Red Robin

Mood Music: [*\# None.]


Fade In…

The hotel where Tony Stark has put up the refugees from Universe B is a nice one. And right now, a private one, housing the refugees, and the staff, and not much else. Room service serves them, the maids keep their rooms clean, and laundry facilities are open.

The last person Sally might expect to see at this hotel is one Jessica Jones. She's dressed in jeans, a black professional jacket and a red blouse. She's pulled back her hair and put on a touch of make-up.

She comes out of one of the rooms with a notebook and pencil in hand, letting the heavy hotel door swing shut behind her. It occurred to her that the case isn't over by a longshot. It occurred to her that there's nothing in her that will let her pass the buck to the Avengers or SHIELD without staying involved. It occurred to her that there were people she could talk to besides the hospitalized Holmes, even if she doesn't plan to go see the other person she needs to speak to until tomorrow. And having devoted a fair amount of the past week to trying to provide subtle background help to the case of one James Buchanan Barnes, she resolved to get back to work.

The darkling woman doesn't immediately move to the next room though. She turns to the wall, rests her head against it, and heaves a long, intensive sigh, closing her eyes.

Rusalka Stojespal is in a downright sunny mood. She'd gotten up quite early this morning and planted herself in front of a television in the communal room in the dorm, enjoying the last laps of the 24 Hours Of LeMans. And it was worth it, with a wild set of finishes and nail-biting duels right to the end. Totally worth it, and she's proud to sport her favorite black and red Ferrari-logoed shirt today after their class win.

Lightweight blue slacks, comfy socks, and a nice pair of suede oxfords finish out her outfit. Now that she's done everything she can for her end of the SIRIN project, it's up to the genius inventor to finish building it…leaving her free for the week. Summer classes start this week, though, and she supposes it's time to check in on these 'refugees' Tony Stark had told her about. Especially today, now that she has a day to spare.

Time to check in on things, and see if the arrangements she'd made were carried out - or if she needs to go Full Baroness, as Sloane puts it, and track people down and drag answers out of them.

It still amazes her that Tony Stark just outright told her to buy the hotel without batting an eye. Sally makes her way through the lobby, nodding to a few of the people there - it's pretty empty though; it seems most - if not all - of the refugees prefer to group together in their rooms, rather than open common spaces. Well, she'll just have to -

Blue eyes widen in surprise when she reaches the first wing of rooms, and runs into - of all people - Jessica Jones, private investigator. "Miss Jones!" There's a wave as the Sokovian greets her, making her way over to the tired out P.I. Then her eyebrows furrow, taking in the black-haired woman's current state. Under the accent, there's clear concern in her voice. "Are you alright? You look exhausted…um."

She glances around and takes an easy gamble. "You're here about…aah, Mr. Stark's foreign guests?" There's a little wink; she'd been filled in on a little of what had happened. "You really look worn down, come on…have you been at this since dawn? Seriously…come with me and I will make you some tea, alright?"

Sometimes it's nice being an aristocrat. You can tell people to do things, and then just go do them, knowing that they'll follow right behind you like they should.

And she does, not even aware of the training that allows Sally to speak to her most basic of herd instincts. Jessica shakes her head. "Not since dawn. I'm not cruel enough to wake anyone up at dawn. Stark got you here taking care of these people? That's good."

She doesn't even object to being called worn down, apparently accepting the offer to feed her and give her a pick-me-up. But the shadows gathering around her eyes are more emotional than physical.

It's also something about being an aristocrat that might make someone just open up, whether they strictly should or not. The PI exhales. "None of them know anything, you know? They just all have their own sad, horrifying stories. But you know what every one of these people have in common?"

The final question is almost bitter, and a little desperate. Her left fist clenches. Her right clenches hard enough to almost crumple her poor legal pad in half.

Herd instincts are one thing; the simple need for tea - refreshment, good taste, and a moment to sit down - is something else. Maybe she's cheating, dangling such a thing, but it's easy enough to handle. It looks like Jessica can use it, just at a glance; her thought of working since dawn is just based on what looks like a haunted tiredness around her companion's eyes.

"I would hope not, but…you know what all the TV shows say about investigators. Vampire's hours, if they ever sleep at all, you know?" She offers a grin, trying to cheer up the other woman a little as they make their way to the lobby. "And…yes, ah, after….everything settled down, and we were allowed back in the building, I got a note from Mr. Stark to pick a hotel and buy it, for…a lot of unexpected guests."

She shrugs, frowning a little. "I tried to do the best I could, but it was not as if I had much warning…at least, they are fed well, yes?" She'll look back at Jessica, making sure that the most important of the stipulations had been carried out. "I found out afterward, though…a little bit of what had happened. Their world destroyed, some kind of alternate dimension?"

Jessica opens up, and the aristocrat listens - paying close attention. Sally can hear the tension in the PI's voice, and there's a pause before she finally answers with a gesture. She can't think of what that one thing would be, herself - only eighteen, and never having been anywhere near that situation herself, it's something she's trying to 'wrap her brain around.'

English has such useful idioms sometimes.

Instead, she just shakes her head, the silent answer to Jessica's question clear. And then Sally starts gathering hot water and sifting through what passes for brewed offerings in the lobby, after gesturing to a pair of chairs. Thankfully it's still mostly unoccupied, and it's easy to start assembling what she needs. It also gives Sally time to listen; there's an ominous feeling looming that she's not going to like what is coming.

"Yep. They were in a parallel earth, which got blown up right in front of our fucking eyes," Jessica agrees, sitting down where Rusalka indicates. Others might be more close-mouthed, but Jessica gets impatient, sometimes, with the whole need-to-know basis thing. For all that she rabidly safeguards any secret entrusted to her, the woman herself is frank, open, blunt, and tends to feel people do better with all the information unless sharing that information is actively hurtful.

She shakes her head in answer to what they all have in common, and snarls, "They're all looking to me. To fix it. I don't even have the heart to tell them I'm not their 'Agent Jones.' That I'm just a god damn PI here and I don't know shit about shit, I have no idea how to keep it from happening here, I don't know how to keep them safe, that I can barely manage my own god damn personal life. I look them in the eye, and I promise them that I'm going to make it happen. I don't even know how they manage to believe in me, because Agent God Damn Jones obviously made a motherfucking dog's dinner out of it over there, or they wouldn't be here eating…"

She grabs a room service menu and glances at it. "Crab cakes and sorrow in our fucking timeline."

Frank, open, and blunt. Definitely. Though she's had plenty of experience dealing with people like that, many of them her own family. Bringing two cups of tea to the low table, she settles in on a chair facing Jessica. "Sit. And drink. Now…" Now it's time to listen.

And shudder at the idea, a whole world destroyed. In front…of our eyes? She looks up at Jessica, meeting the other woman's stare. The question is obvious - and so is the answer. Yes, she was there, and yes…Jessica Jones saw it happen herself. The thought of losing everything, living now with nothing but the clothes she has on, surviving only on the charity of the ultimate strangers, is downright terrifying.

She knows just how much could be lost. Has lost some of it, once. And now, Rusalka Stojespal, heiress and scion of an ancient noble family, puts herself in their shoes. The only thing she can do is shake her head slowly, sadly.

Sally takes a long sip of tea, before looking back up at Jessica. The latter part, she decides, is the kind of thing her mother - or, even more, her great grandmother - would address first. "They are alive. They have that. Agent Jones…a parallel world? Where…you were a SHIELD agent?" Forgive her, she has the movie-poster edition of The Story So Far. A lot of gaps to fill in, even for someone as smart as she is.

"A SHIELD agent, then. Who managed to find a way for them to…cross through a portal, of some kind, to a place that is safe. Who did not come through the portal herself. She stayed behind," Rusalka continues, meeting her companion's gaze. There's a strange hardness in her eyes, as she realizes the other realm's Jones made the kind of decision she'd heard about in the stories of her family's actions decades ago. Partisans in the War of Retribution against the Nazis, against Hydra, against so many that sought their extermination.

Some of her family did the same thing. Held an exit, to let others survive. Last stands, sacrificing themselves to hold off the greatest evil their world had known. "Agent Jones gave her life to bring them here. That is what they have. Yes?"

As to the first part of her argument? Rusalka simply smiles.

Honestly, Jessica only feels like she's got the blurb on the back of the book herself, and she's been working the case for months. She simply nods to Sally's deductions. They're all correct.

Jones opens her mouth to address what Sally's saying, but closes it. The young noblewoman has neatly reframed the whole thing. "I'm sure she'd have jumped through if she'd had time," she grumps. "I'm not completely devoid of survival instinct."

She picks up the tea, sparing it a glance. And takes a sip without putting anything in it. Meh. Not bad. It's not coffee, but it's not bad. She decides to drink it. It's warm, and it'll do. It probably has some caffiene in it, though without the sharp burn traveling all the way down to her stomach she can't entirely tell.

"But she also knew about the problem for awhile. She was old. Apparently I age pretty slow, cause Peggy was ancient, but she was older. I think anywhere from 30 to 50 years passed between our first contact with B— which is a dumb thing to call it cause the number is infinite, but I can only wrap my brain around two at a time— and the big event. She had decades to solve it, and she didn't."

She glowers down at her tea. "The same thing is coming for us here, eventually, if we don't solve this shit. Failing isn't an option, and these idiots are placing their trust in me."

She grimaces. "Sorry. This is probably a bit more than you signed on for as an intern." She doesn't know, after all, that she's addressing someone who actually is a SHIELD Agent in this world. "Don't mean to scare you. Of course I'll fix it. I won't give up."

Realizing she ought to be the comforter, the source of hope, not dumping all over this kid who is just trying to feed her some tea.

"Perhaps. But she did not." And she was clearly there, apparently, if everyone in the hotel knew about her and trusted her so much. "And well…perhaps that's true, but what do they say? You said they keep turning to you for help, for answers." She smiles a little, the accent softening a little as she drops her voice. "I should think that a SHIELD agent, someone they all still look to for respect…did not abandon them for herself, in the end."

Maybe it's a little poetic, or patriotic, or simply misinformed. She doesn't know. But it fits, at least at first glance, and it isn't as if they can go ask. It'll have to do - and, as far as Rusalka Stojespal cares, it is. There's such an assurance to her words that she's almost daring Jessica to defy her pronouncement.

The tea at least is warm. Has some soft flavor, isn't harsh and isn't deeply acidic. And does have, at least a little caffeine. It should help, in some way. Sally takes a long sip of her own, frowning a little - it's rather generic, not at all her favorite Russian Caravan blend, but…it'll do.

Peggy? Ah, the founder of SHIELD perhaps. If she was 'ancient' it would make sense; her own great grandmother would have been a contemporary. And Dragana Stojespal is in her nineties. She nods, though ther'e s confusion on her face; what Jessica describes is nothing but a few scattered puzzle pieces. They don't go together on their own, and just have to sit around…waiting for something else to connect them.

"Mr. Stark said that it was Avengers business. That, ah, Peggy Carter here, she…the SHIELD founder's granddaughter perhaps?" She's not sure about the young Peggy's status, only that she's SHIELD and apparently related to her namesake. It must be a traditional family name, just as Rusalka is reused through generations. "If it is going to be something that happens here…we will stop it. Don't worry. We won't fail."

She grins again, and fishes something out of her purse - a leather ID case. "You are not Agent Jones. But you are still Jessica Jones, and…you still have an Agent in your pocket." Her badge is flipped open, showing the SHIELD medallion's near chromelike polish. "I think I have graduated merely being an intern lately. And Mr. Stark, as I was saying, also says that SHIELD is aware of the situation. Well then? I suppose, in this world, they will have Agent Stojespal on their side."

Jessica leans over and takes the badge. She nods, it is Avenger's business for sure— but also Jessica's. And also SHIELD's. She doesn't explain Peggy's status though. She isn't really clear on her story itself, rather assuming that she got frozen like Steve and Bucky (which is wrong).

"Engineer, huh?"

Jessica tap-taps the badge. She has no authority to order Sally around, but she's never shy about pushing people into positions where they are needed. "I can tell you this much. The minions of the world eating thing are lousy with what they call god blood. But he's a machine god. His 'blood' is just lousy with nanites. Nanites suck, by the way. You will never get me to go, oh, you want to inject tiny robots into my bloodstream? Where the fuck do I sign up?"

That opinion given, she says, "We need focused EMP pistols that can deliver a localized shock to all the nanites in a person's system for the shooters, and something similar in maybe like a glove for me, something that can quickly fry the godblood right out of someone. You good enough to build shit like that?"

Tis better to beg pardon than ask permission, and she's fresh out of what Red gave her. She knows Red could build them, but she also knows that his cup runneth over as much as hers does, and they're already partnered on the other world-eating thing. And here's someone right here who wants to help and can probably use more to do, works for Stark and for SHIELD, who probably has the chops. And probably the ability to find the resources to get that stuff made and issued too.

Jessica is, as her professors would put it, 'less wrong' with her freezing theory. At least she's aware that the SHIELD legend and the british woman who can order Tony Stark around are the same person. Meanwhile Sally lets her take the badge wallet, and grins - almost bouncing her knees excitedly like a girl on christmas, surprising someone with something unexpected and wonderful. To the question of being an engineer, Sally just nods.

"Yes. I was just recently signed on, but…I signed on to do good. To be the shield, to protect people." She gestures to the rooms in the distance. "I am here. They are people. I will protect." So simple, in her mind. But then again, maybe it really is that simple.

God blood? For a moment there's a horrified twinge in her soul as once more that subject comes up - but then it's defined in a very different way than she'd expected. A small sigh of relief slips past her lips at the explanation. "Nanites. Microscopic machines? In his blood? What do they do?" She's heard some ideas for applications - cleaning plaque from blood vessels, repairing wounds, things like that. Nothing that Sally is aware of being done…yet.

She crosses her hands, thinking a moment, and chews on her lip gently. "Maybe. If they are small they should be easily overwhelmed. You cannot build sufficient shielding on something that small, without…" Shrug. "Alien materials, perhaps. But electromagnetism has limits, especially on the miniature scale. EMP weapons…not hard. Hrm." She'll have to talk to Tony, but there's ideas forming. He's already working on such things to bring down a black god of the skies; it shouldn't be too difficult to adapt his concepts.

"Gloves? Simple. Deliciously simple. Ah, what is … heart defibrillators. That. You know of them, yes? The device to provide an electric shock, to stabilize a heart? Gloves like those would be easy. Not so powerful, of course, but. If you could punch someone up close, say…in each shoulder, or in the stomach, or wherever." She's only half paying attention to Jessica; right now her mind is running down the possibilities, speaking so that her companion may follow. "With the right frequency, and ample capacitor, electrical current flowing at even microamperages would generate enough of a field inside the body. I am sure of this." She looks up, finally, grinning a moment as she realizes something extra.

"It could even work like a taser. Incapacitation, again, if the frequencies are right. I would need test samples to be sure, but…conceptually?" She mimes a boxer's double punch, laughing. "Absolutely yes."

"As best as we can tell? They give 'em powers and they make 'em crazy as fuck," Jessica says wryly. "Though maybe crazy as fuck is more a symptom of the kind of person who says yeah okay sure, let me have a big old god damn dose of that. Holmes is in SHIELD's hospital under guard, maybe you can get a sample of the dead ones out of his blood, if they think your clearance is high enough."

Clearance Jess just blithely ignored. Level 3 isn't very high. Oh well. She returns the badge.

Jessica listens quietly as the engineer starts talking about how she might solve the problem Jessica put before her. She seems to more or less follow the thread, though she has no skills or abilities which might contribute. It's still a mystery to her, really, how a circuit board inside of her cell board makes things happen, the bridge between a raw scientific principle like magnetism or electrons then translates into a tool that harnesses these things.

So what she says is, "Great. See what you can do. Cause we can't do area effect if we can help it. That would say, fry Tony out of commission, or some of the others who rely on technology to do what they do, and that's not what we want. If I could somehow wear the glove and activate it when I wanted so it's not doing the zappy thing every time that would be good too."

There's half an eyebrow raised at Jessica, when she mentions the kind of person that would want power like that. Yes…she gets it, though not everyone who gets powers ends up turning out that way. For example, Jessica. For example the second, Sally's rad water dragon friend. But she doesn't comment; she understands. And waves off the suggestion. "If it is not, I will simply give everything I have conceptually, and make sure someone who does have the appropriate clearances handles it. It will not be difficult."

And it will get handled, her voice tone says with utter assurance.

"Should not be hard. Might…take a couple days, at most, if I can get my hands on a taser." She doesn't mind those so much. Her ICER would be potentially ideal, but it doesn't do anything against these sort of micro-robot nanites. Only biological targets. Still a potential fallback. "At the very least, something that works like that. Though, you would need to use both fists. Conduct from one," she raises her right fist, "to the other," then her left, "through the target." And reaches out to gently touch both fists to Jessica, making the point.

"Like hospital paddles. Current flows, a field is created between your fists - in the bad guy. A taser's frequencies, at least, would immobilize. To be sure…" She frowns. "I would definitely need to have something to test it on." She considers a little more. "I could make it stronger, where it could conduct to the ground. But…that would be hazardous, possibly fatal. It would let you use one fist," she adds, shaking her head, "but the current would be too much I think. This is a better solution. Safer to the person."

Then she pauses a moment, looking at Jessica. "A control switch…simple enough. Make a tight fist twice to turn it on, twice again to turn it off. I will make a prototype with that." And then she's back to biting her lip for a moment, before nodding. "Three days. Though…" A wry grin creaks past the corner of her mouth. "I suppose with your strength, I'll need to build it very tough."

It's not the powers. It's the crazy-making nanites that Jessica is referring to. The ones that bind someone to a big old world eating god. But Jessica is too tired to even read the eyebrow quirk for what it is, too distracted by all the worries tugging at her tired brain. She says careless shit all the time, and this? Is really no exception.

What raises her eyebrows is 'oh sure, a couple of days and done.

"You genius types," she snorts, fondly. "I can't even fix my god damn garbage disposal, I gotta find a maintenance guy." But she likes hanging around the genius types, enjoys glimpsing their world, even if she can't really share it.

Use both fists. "Left hook, right cross, right cross, left hook?" It's a statement that brings a bit of a sad smile to her lips, but at least the concept of both fists is quite familiar to her. "Might need a few crash test dummies to punch to get the hang of it specifically though. I don't want anything potentially fatal, though. My hands are already potentially fatal without help. A tight fist, one after the other, like a double click? That's workable. And yeah, tough is good. I pull most of my punches but…force is force."

Not that this was about getting toys for herself, but then again Sally knows that. She did ask for a line up for the shooting types, after all. It's going to take way more than her, for all that she is (really quite typically) putting the weight of the world on her own shoulders.

But having gone from problem to partial solution and having nowhere else to go, she changes the subject, asking, "How's your Water Dragon?"

In all truth, Sally doesn't mind. She's just a little sensitive where her friend - and people like her - are concerned. Then again, she remembers what the PI said at the science fair. Angry about the sound of term itself, angry against the bigotry. It marked a very large point in Sally's mental little black book for Jessica…then again so did getting rescued from some kind of swarming nanoplastic plague.

"Hah. Hm…I suppose I could be convinced to look at it. In exchange for dinner. Thai, probably. From a family restaurant." No chains allowed. And in all fairness, Sally likes hanging around her too - it's a curiously refreshing honesty, an unwillingness to bite her tongue lest she offend the delicate sensibilities of the nobility, and perhaps a determination that the Sokovian shares, in some ways.

"A few days for a prototype. I don't know if it would work for sure against the nanites without a test, but against a person? I promise." An amused grin crosses her face, and she can't help a little embellishment in her tone. "It will hit like using brass knuckles to jumpstart a car." Now that's a situation she's pretty sure Jessica's been in before, and can get a good hold on mentally.

She nods, especially at the idea of crash-dummies. "That might be good. Mm…a punching bag would work. A little mesh over it, to conduct electricity - oh. Hell. My fencing jacket. Perfect. It'll light up if it gets a shock, so it'll be just what you need. And…well, you might not even need that. Just, like this." She reaches out and cups Jessica's hand in hers, as if catching a fist, then extends her other arm as if to make a slow punch. "Contact one…and tow. Even just grabbing someone, if I worked it into the palm, would be enough for a shock. You'd have to be more careful, though…"

She's not even built the damn thing yet and she's already working on upgrades in her mind.

"Sloane? She is well. Ish. Her family has not been supportive, and well…she is getting much more control over her powers. I think she's getting used to it, perhaps? Thank you for your advice; it's helped. Honest."

Jessica goes blank when Sally says she could be convinced to look at it, until she realizes the young agent means her garbage disposal. She smirks at the price. "I might know a good spot," she says, dryly but warmly enough.

She pays attention as the girl starts talking about how she might have to use the gloves, mimicking the motion, smirking at the imagry of simply punching a car to jump start it. In truth, she's never jump started a car before. "We might have to make do with a field test when one of those jokers is bouncing around going 'look at me, I'm a crazy asshole who thought it would be a good idea to serve a machine god,' but."

She smiles wryly when Sally said her advice was good, and says, "I'm glad. There might be a point where she just needs to give the family she was born with the finger, and focus on the family she's made instead. Family's more than blood. Way more."

Her mouth gives another wry twist. That was more advice, slipping out, and she really still doesn't feel all that qualified to be in the advice business. Still. It is what it is.

The price is agreed, and Sally grins. "Excellent. I haven't eaten from Hell's Kitchen yet. Though I understand it's quite good with local ethnic restaurants. So, we will fix your…nasty machine, admittedly, and then dine well." There's a momentary pause, before Sally looks back at her. "If I do work on it…I won't find anyone, will I? A hand, a foot?"

She's joking, right?

But then when Jessica brings up her description of the machine-god's enslaved crazies, Rusalka just cracks up laughing. In truth, Jessica has a fantastic deadpan for telling jokes, and the seriousness of it combined with the absurd statement just catches Sally sideways. It takes her a few moments to catch her breath and settle down, before subsiding with a soft giggle. "I would definitely like to see that. I trust it should be an interesting experience."

There's a nod, before a snort of laughter. "Sloane would like that. Very punk, very rock. She does love her music, after all." Well, that outfit she'd been in…definitely something the kind of girl who'd headline a college rock band would wear. "I told her. Friends are the family you choose. And if she is not welcome in her own, then I guarantee she will be welcome with mine. Baba would probably be amused to no end by her."

A woman who, in her teenage years, gleefully put high terror into the Nazis in ways that Sabaton sings heavy metal songs about? Yeah, she'd just adore Sloane to bits. They have got to meet, Sally decides. Maybe make some new songs.

Taking a long deep breath, the Sokovian relaxes a moment, then glances back towards the various rooms. "So. We have some things to try. You have a SHIELD agent at your call, for whatever you might need. The Avengers are working on this problem. And your sink will soon be fixed. I think, for us, today is a good day." She turns her head, finally looking back at the hallway where the refugees have encamped. "Now…we tackle their needs. Have they received clothes, bedding, and the like? Food is being provided, yes? What needs to be done?" It must be easy when you're young. Line problems up, knock them over one at a time. Like doing a test, checking off the right answer and moving on to the next.

Jessica looks flatly at Sally when she asks if she's chopped up any bodies there. "If I needed to dispose of a body," she says grimly, "I wouldn't do it where it would stink up my tiny little apartment." She's joking too, right?

She gives a very tired grin when Sally makes it seem so simple. In Jessica's experience, solving problems is more like picking at a knot. Made of yarn. That someone totally got wet.

"It's a hotel, so they have bedding and it looks like the staff is taking care of them for food. As best as I can tell they're still pretty much in need of clothes, toys. Some of them need prescriptions…I haven't really taken an inventory, I was trying to get their stories, not their needs, but it would be useful for you to go around and do just that. All of them probably need some heavy duty psychological counseling and shit."

She drains her teacup and says, "At some point they'll have to transition. Find jobs, start new lives. But I don't think that's for awhile yet."

"I was joking! Really. As long as it's nothing terrible, it will be fine. Besides, don't people go to butchers for that? Or chainsaws or something?" God, Americans love horrible movies. "Fortunately, I have tools. A small set always travels with me, just…in case." Not that she's ever had car trouble, of course. Ever.

Maybe sometimes the problems that seem so big aren't quite as massive in another point of view. Perhaps it just needs a fresh look at the situation, from a different mindset, to untangle the knot. And there is always the Alexandrian solution, if it comes to that.

"Good…good. -Not good." A muttered moment of Ukrainian swearing, before she starts to fish her phone out - and changes her mind. She'll set someone's hair on fire later. And prescriptions? "Hm. Alright, then we will do that. An inventory. What they have…" A very small column, she's sure with a frown. "And what they need. Keep talking to them. They trust you," she adds with a smile. "And…I suppose, like Sloane? They need a friend as well. I will handle the Agent-ing."

She is the more technical minded after all; lists and requirements come easy to her. And one of those requirements, she starts on immediately. Fishing her phone out finally, she starts tapping away - sending a message to her direct supervisor, giving Phil the address of the hotel and requesting a nurse or three from medical. "There. That solves the prescriptions, though I will want a list of them ready when they arrive." She knows Phil will take care of it.

"Meanwhile, let us see what there is to see. Jobs…lives…" Shrug. "Maybe. But that is tomorrow; right now we will find out what else they need. And Miss Jones will be the one, of course, who makes it all happen. With her special magical helper, of course." Time to hack a few knots apart.

"I have to keep talking to them," Jessica says wryly. "They're all witnesses in my investigation. Here's a fun one. Some of the prescriptions they're asking for I don't believe exist over here, so you might have to drill it down to what's wrong with them and find out what it is they need to be taking. I couldn't find Jevexartil on the Internet, for example. Don't know what that was, but the young man in 302 says he's nearly out and he needs it terribly so…"

She spreads her hands, shaking her head helplessly. "But maybe SHIELD biologists can do something about that one."

"Teddy bears," Jessica adds. "All the kids need teddy bears at the least. Some other toys and books would be good, but I mean given what they've gone through? Comfort bears."

Sally is probably trying to make her feel better by saying Miss Jones is the one who made it all happen, but she just grimaces. The problem is, after all, that she thinks they're insane for placing their faith and trust in her. But whatever makes them feel better, whatever makes them feel like they're going to be cared for. If that means her, then…that's what it means. Even if the reality is there are bigger, better people on this. Even if the reality is it's going to take a whole big team to end this clusterfuck. All she can do is what she does. Investigate. Bring information back to others. "Agent Carter is someone they probably trust just as much, and she's, you know, actual SHIELD, so maybe make that connection too."

She stands. "I should get back to it."

Sally perks up a bit at the mention of an investigation, but she doesn't pry. The PI is probably unable to talk about it anyway; aren't investigations covered by such things? She doesn't know, just the same as she doesn't know about the medication. "I've never heard of it…but, I'm sure they'll be able to find something. SHIELD medical facilities…" She grins a little. "They are very impressive. A friend of mine was badly hurt in a crash, but she's up and around already." The details she leaves out, mostly because she doesn't know them herself.

"I'm sure they can. Teddy bears?" Hrm. …Yes. 'Put your money where your mouth is' is a famous statement. She can afford it. The phone is fished out once more, Sally furiously tapping away. "How many?" She pauses, waiting for an answer - and as soon as it is given, she hits one button. "Done." And very pointedly does not look at the cost; it might be a dent in her personal finances but Sally doesn't care.

Good is at stake.

A ping from her phone gives her a smile. "Khorosho~ Within two hours, just in time for lunch. I love same-day delivery, don't you?" She can't help the giggle of excitement at making all this happen. "Now I know how Mr. Stark feels."

She doesn't understand the reason for the grimace. Instead, Sally just nods at the mention of Agent Carter, and makes a mental note to meet her later. Didn't Tony mention her, she thinks? "Well, you know. Just because you are not SHIELD does not mean you are incapable of making SHIELD take notice. I did, didn't I?" With that, she will pluck her badge back off the table, tucking it away. It would be very bad to lose it.

Jessica stands, and Sally follows, gathering up the teacups and sliding them into a nearby dustbin. And then the Sokovian stands there, frowning. "What. You? Hmpf. We, Miss Jones." The frown slips into a grin. "We should get back to it. Columbia girls, yes?" And her fist raises for a bump.

"No being SHIELD for me. I'll be a consultant all day long, but I have plans for Alias that don't involve my ass carrying a badge and a title," Jessica grumbles. "Agent Jones already screwed up. The world is just going to have to settle for Jessica Jones, PI."

But Sally is saying 'we', and Jessica gives her a weary smile. "Columbia girls," she agrees, meeting fist bump for fist bump. "You're good people, Stojespal," she says. "Don't change."

She will. Change is inevitable. Scars and callouses, bittersweet moments and loss, along with the occasional soaring triumph, the occasional sweet moment of happiness. She'll change.

But hopefully not for awhile longer.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 License