The Good Drugs

September 05, 2017:

Melinda May catches Jessica Jones on her way back from her excursion at the Wakandan border. She offers a few case details, and decides to sneak a little TLC in the detective's direction.

Birnin Zana

Definitely not really a vacation spot.


NPCs: None.

Mentions: Jane Foster, Bucky Barnes, Elektra, Daredevil, Zatanna Zatara

Mood Music: [*\# None.]

Fade In…

A lot has been going on. Assassination attempts, investigation attempts. Jessica Jones is recovering from the former and trying to handle the latter. She walks back into the hotel at Zana after a long morning spent in the south of the country with one Dr. Jane Foster, looking a little peaked.

She's moving like she's in pain, taking off her sunglasses as she comes in towards the elevator. She had touched base with May at some point to apologize for taking off in S'yan, explaining the situation, but other than that had left May to go pursue the leads she'd asked her to pursue, figuring the SHIELD agent knows what she's asbout and will catch up with her when she needs to.

She had gone ahead and gotten May a hotel room, accepting that cash reimbursement, so at least they don't have to be uneasy roommates. The hotel in Zana serves as a fairly easy central point for most of the team, though not everyone is staying here, for whatever reasons they have for changing their locale. And Jess has invested in finding at least one other place to stay in S'Yan, as often as she's there.

May has indeed been doing some investigations of her own, finding a way to make use of the non-monetary currency to collect additional intel. She's returned to the hotel and the moment that Jessica steps out of the elevator on their floor, she nods to the pale woman from where she'd been sitting in one of those usually strangely placed groups of seating in hotel hallways.

"You look like the third day of a two-day vacation." She tilts her head toward the door to her room. "Let's chat." If Jess follows her, the quasi-friendly demeanor disappears as soon as the door is closed after them. "Sit. Or better, lie down." She goes to her only partly unpacked suitcase and pulls out a firmly-packed zippered case that resembles a DVD wallet.

She is dressed in Starkweave, jeans and a black tank top. She has a plaid shirt bundled under her arm, as if she'd been wearing it and had pulled it off for some reason. She looks distantly surprised to see the woman sitting in the lobby.

She'd never even known anyone ever actually used those things ever. May was waiting for her? Or just sitting around in the hallway? Either way Jessica raises her fingers to wave to May, taking her sunglasses off. She lets May usher her into her own room, and finds her way to the sofa, not wanting to risk messing up May's bed. She lies down with gratitude, exhaling. She maybe should have stayed in bed one more day, but she just couldn't bring herself to do it, not when there was work to be done.

She looks with curiosity at the DVD case. She tucks an arm and a pillow under her head and finally asks, "What's in the case?"

Opening the case, May reveals a densely packed but still thoroughly complete medical kit which she then hands to Jessica. There are at least no visible signs of blood on the pale woman so she lets Jones indicate whether or not she needs medical attention. For her part, May goes to fill a glass with water from the sink.

"I discovered something interesting today. You?"

Jessica sort of roots through it to see if there's anything good. She touches her lower abdomen gingerly, but doesn't feel anything wet. Nothing's broken open. She's not sure about infection though, and she's in pain.

What she does is go rooting for painkillers and antibiotics, figuring a SHIELD medkit might be better than the one she bought from the Army Surplus Store by an incredibly good margin.

"I helped dissect a head," Jessica says flatly, but in a way that indicates she's telling the truth. "But it shook out a shit ton of leads. What do you have?"

"Dissect," May says flatly, perhaps a bit skeptically. "As long as you learned something."

Offering the glass of water, she takes the medkit back from Jessica and with just a moment of searching pulls out a narrow tube that turns out to contain small, round pills. "Turns out there are people in this city that will talk if you offer them something shiny enough." She must be referring to the alternate means of currency she brought along.

"Have you heard of something call the Staff of Orisha?"

"Yeah, it was a Hydra head with a microchip in it," Jessica explains. "Piked out on the border."

She takes the water, and the pills are accepted with equal gratitude. "I clearly should have called you in to take care of me." She tosses it all down and leans back with a sigh. She perks up at the Staff of Orisha.

"Yeah, Daredevil said that there was a lot of chatter around the Aikili offices about something called that. We couldn't figure out if it was a weapon or a ritual or what."

She looks up at May hopefully. "But… it sounds like you know?"

She drains the rest of the water, eyes the painkiller thoughtfully, but decides it's probably nothing she's taken before and she should take it easy. She ends up curling right back on the couch.

Closing up the kit, May takes the glass back and lets Jessica curl up where she is. She stands and walks away, her footsteps almost completely silent as she moves around the room. A minute or two later there's the rustle of fabric and a blanket settles over the woman and then May is settling into the chair next to the sofa.

"I also figured out today that Wakandan computer systems are almost ridiculously advanced." She would say 'Stark-level advanced', but she's actually not sure if Stark is truly still more advanced. "I might have found a way to circumvent that, but whether or not I succeeded remains to be seen." She's long known that the easiest way around advanced normal computer systems is to go completely old school on them — the newest computers don't even notice when someone hacks in using DOS. Thus, she's attempted to set up something similar, and hopefully when she checks in on it in a day or so, it will have collected some useful data.

"And dissecting a head wouldn't cause abdominal injuries," she notes. Of course, if Jess has fallen asleep, she won't try to press for an answer.

She hasn't. "No, an assassin caused that," Jessica says, as if assasins were just every-other-Tuesday for the detective.

Then again, assassins are kind of every-other-Tuesday for this detective. Or things that are just as bad.

"She's running around trying to kill us all so watch yourself. I've suggested traveling in pairs, though I dunno, you are probably like some sort of ninja too, I don't know anything about you, don't mind me. She likes sniping though. I guess if you tangle with her try to take her alive if possible, we don't know if she's mind controlled. Cause we think good old Hydra sent her." Said more for Daredevil's sake than out of any real conviction; she hasn't seen any of the same symptoms that tipped her off about Barnes, and the woman seems to make all sorts of decisions about who she'd like to kill. But…knowing what she knows…

"Hydra sucks," she also opines.

"And…um. Be careful breaking Wakandan laws. I don't think they're going to put up with a second arrest. Tech espionage bothers them especially, so."

The blanket is a nice touch, and Jessica offers a grateful look that bypasses what for her is normally something of a neutral expression, or one that looks vaguely anxious, angry, or sad. "You were telling me about the Staff of Orisha though," she prompts.

It's worth noting that Jessica does let her eyes droop closed as the painkillers start to take blessed hold, but she stays sharp to try to keep up with what May has found on this case. This case drives her like nothing else could drive her.

"What I've gathered is still patchy, but here's what I have so far. The WIS were apparently expecting everyone to try and use the conference to learn as much as possible about this country, and they put a few measures in place to try and mitigate it. One I know about for sure that some of their anti-espionage tech went unaccounted for after the fire, and they're trying to find it." She shakes her head. "My sources tell me that it is by no means normal for things to go missing, so the WIS is taking it extremely seriously."

"Light panthers," Jessica says instantly, making the connection. "Light panthers, which is some sort of like laser drone weapon— I have the specs written up in my case file, I'll shoot it over to you— disappearing into the west, where Jane has pinpointed some sort of violence." If there's one thing May might have learned about Jessica Jones through all of this is the woman keeps case files as obsessively and carefully as any conscientious Agent writing reports.

It's coming together now. The connections are being made. Puzzle pieces are clicking together. She still doesn't see the path to acquittal, but she sure sees something. The shape of something is starting to form. What rough beast is slouching now towards Birnan Zana to be born?

She almost sits up again. She needs to make a timeline. She needs to scribble this all down, she needs to…she needs to lie her ass down, remembering what Daredevil said. She won't solve the case by jumping up now.

"Did you learn anything else?" she asks hopefully.

May is quiet for a moment, trying to coherently piece together the snippets of gossip and conspiratorial chitchat she's picked up lately. "There was some gossip I picked up about enhanced people. Something about a special contingent of WIS people with powers that were at the conference. No one knew why nor were they willing to speculate."

She shakes her head ruefully then continues. "What they did seem to want to gossip about, though, were the arrests that followed — foreign visitors detained and held for varying amounts of time, and for reasons that seemed to all be speculation. A few haven't been seen to leave Wakanda at all."

"Yeah, they aren't fond of us. Foreigners. The ones who got out of the country were very happy to whine about their treatment at Wakandan hands. For. Hours."

Jessica pulls a face without ever opening her eyes. And adds, "I gotta find someone named Amandla. I think he might be Dot Hacker Says Love." Randomly, really, as she tries to make sense of the new evidence, not realizing yet that Amandla isn't a person at all.

"Still gotta find the chemist. The chemicals on the firebomb were all…fucking basically welding chemicals, but the way they were mixed was apparently an unknown way. The bomb mixer surely isn't the same as the hacker."

Just running down this mumbly checklist. These are great painkillers.

"Someone paid someone else for unrestricted access to the conference. Who paid, and who recieved the payout?"

Pause. Beat. "Can you pick one of those to tackle?"

And then…"Was good of you. To come down. To help with this. SHIELD's always been good to me. You're a good organization. Good people. Don't tell anybody I said so. People are getting the idea there are unicorns. In my chest. Well, only Zatanna has that idea. But you know what I mean."

She…at least is really convinced. May knows what she means about the unicorns.

Ok, so the Good Drugs are starting to get to her a little, even if she's trying to solve the case right through them.

May can only smile to herself as Jessica starts becoming random and mumbly. Yes, she very intentionally gave her the good drugs. And, as amusing as it is to see the normally serious woman succumb to the medication, she's seen a similarly stoic senior agent under the influence as well and … it's never NOT funny.

"I'll look into the chemist." She's done that sort of thing before. "Now, you should sleep."

Jessica gives a thumbs-up from under the blanket. She then pulls the blanket over her head until only this one black tuft of hair sticks out, sort of curling up and over the thing.

Then she gives another one, forgetting she gave the first one.

And then? The woman is out like the proverbial lamp on May's couch. At least…if Agent May wants the room to herself it won't be hard to get Jessica's room key and let herself in the other one? Then again, the drugs and her own healing body ensure that Jessica's habitual nightmares probably won't keep them both up tonight.

And… well, even— perhaps especially— the stoic Jessica Jones can appreciate someone taking the time to take care of her a little bit. She might not even say anything about it directly later.

But stuff like this? It's stuff she'll remember.

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