Cutscene: The Meticulous Process

November 07, 2017:

Jessica Jones continues to evaluate the scene at Jane Foster's last known location.

173rd and Fort Washington, NYC

On a day so cold hands stick to metal.

Characters

NPCs: None.

Mentions: Jane Foster, Luke Cage, Zatanna Zatara

Mood Music: [*\# None.]


Fade In…

Luke wanted a ride back to his bike; Jessica had a crime scene that was going cold. In the end she paid for a cab in a move that she figured would be more relief for him than anything else. He said he was going to see a man about a bear; Jess had to wonder who he'd go see. Maybe it didn't matter. Maybe he was helping, and maybe it was just an exit for him.

And in the end none of it mattered, because she'd made her decision, and she had work to do.

She wondered if she should be ashamed that her emotions weren't engaging more than they were. She was worried, of course, but her brain had kicked into analytical high gear instead. But maybe she'd gotten desensitized, a little, or at least had become aware of the fact that the only thing that could ever help friends in trouble was action. Not panicking, not being afraid, not giving in to emotion. Just making the next thing the next thing, and doing it.

Staying in the moment.

In this case, the next thing was to carefully walk the fire escape she'd seen Jane go tearing down in the video footage. She was rewarded for this diligence by finding a bit of skin right where she'd seen Jane grab it, in the video. It had been icy; her hand had probably gotten stuck. Jessica knelt on the balcony and pulled her evidence collection kit out of her phone, then carefully went about the delicate process of both tweezing up that skin without tearing it or dropping it, and scraping the ice away from it until she could get it loose. Then she put it into a vial and capped it, texting the group:

Got skin if wizards can use to track.

Onward to the roof where Jane had come from, which happened to be atop the Columbia University trustee building. There, she found a mess of equipment. Jane's equipment. A laptop and something. Sensors, maybe? Nothing looked burned, broken, or damaged, though she was already concerned about the light rain that had fallen and taken all the blood away from the scene. Still, everything appeared to be running, still. Jessica squinted at the readout.

Technical. Mostly numbers. Some sort of home-grown software. Words like: "positive event." "Casimir pressure." "Vacuum Fluctuations."

And a ping, something noteworthy the sensors had picked up on minutes before Jane got chased away by the strange bear.

"There's never anything good behind the space holes, Jane," Jessica muttered. That may not have actually been what happened. Jessica tried Googling Casimir Force just for the sake of due diligence, but made a sour face when she couldn't even make heads or tails out of the Wikipedia entry. What was a neutral parallel plate conductor? F=PA? Virtual particles? Zero point energy? The difference in the density of the zero point energy of empty space inside and outside of a cavity made by…

Yeah, she had no idea. She was reminded of the first way she "met" Jane, reading her papers in the waiting room at Metro General to try to understand the woman who Hydra had taken, whom everyone had (rightly) spoken so highly of. Doggedly highlighting the thing to try to understand it, getting only the barest of the barest gist. It probably didn't matter.

Meanwhile, there was the matter of this equipment, just sitting here where it could get damaged, or where anyone could take it. Jess shuddered to think what might be in Jane's laptop. She considered using the 'STUFF' app to suck it all into her phone, but thought better of it. She had no idea how any of this casimir force stuff might interact with Zatanna's magical app. She had no idea if Jane's equipment was on the verge of making active…somethings. Spewing bears all over the place, like cats flying out of someone's body in an Oatmeal comic.

So instead, she knelt down and examined the program till she could figure out how to save all of Jane's work. She was relieved that no warning boxes popped up, something like, 'Warning, if you shut down the program now all of reality will collapse, do you still want to perform this action?'

She didn't really feel something like that was outside the realm of possibility.

Then she carefully shut down the computer and disconnected everything, before bringing it all back to her car with equal care. She locked all of it into place in her trunk and exhaled. Worth it to case the neighborhood in the direction Jane ran, or was this a magical problem that really just sort of required the wizards?

No, fuck it, due diligence was due diligence. She was gonna case. Who knew what she might learn?

Pulling up a photo of Jane Foster on her phone, Jessica began the meticulous process of talking to every shop owner and resident in the area, just to see if anyone could give her even a scrap more information.

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