"Oh sure. Just a second." Jessica reached around in the pockets of her coat for a few moments. She eventually produced a small, copper-colored gemstone. She held the gemstone out to Erica and said, "Just hold this tightly and think out a message you want to send me when you want to contact me. The magic in the stone will do the rest."
Erica nodded as she stood up, stepped over to Jessica and took the stone, slipping it in her pocket for the time being. After blowing a dejected sigh, she said, "Goodbye for now then..." She tried to force herself to smile, but couldn't do it. Instead she extended her right hand towards Jessica.
Jessica held out her hand and shook Erica's, having to be extremely careful while doing so. "I'm sorry for your loss Miss Erica. I know this must have been hard on you. I'll see you again soon." She gave a nod to Valentine, both acknowledging her and as if to say, 'Don't let Erica forget about this'. She then left Erica's home, giving her and Valentine a wave as she was leaving, then left for her own dimension.
Valentine had moved into a corner once Erica had stopped crying, having her own sorrow at losing an acquintance to deal with, and had been doing her best to do so silently in an effort to not bring down Erica further. She weakly raised her hand in way as a greeting when Jessica waved at her before leaving. When Jessica left, the two would spend some time comforting eachother before returning to Winterhold to inform those that concerned it of Tophat's passing.
A portal opened up in the portal room of Ness' laboratory, depositing Jessica before it closed. Really wishing I'd bothered to go outside both times I came here...Not easy to announce your presence as being something peaceful with this kind of transportation... She looked around the room, hoping there wasn't anyone pointing a gun at her or otherwise threatening her that she couldn't see.
Jess would indeed find a gun pointed at her, but the person holding it wouldn't be who she expected to see.
"...Who are you... and how did you get in here?" The fedora girl said calmly as she stared at Jess. Her aim wavered slightly as she felt a little pinch in the back of her mind. As it had been 9 months since respawning, she'd gotten used to the pain of her memories slowly getting pieced back together, but this pain was a bit larger than normal.
Noticing the gun barrel pointed at her before the person who was holding it, Jessica put up her hands in the traditional 'I surrender' gesture. "I don't want any trouble, I just came here because I have to..." After a few moments, Jessica realized who she was being held up by and simply stood there stunned, unable to say anything. ...Have I just gone completely insane now?... She started to shudder and tremble as she stood with her arms above her head.
Ness let out a small sigh before dropping her gun and digitizing it. "I swear I told Rex to run people he brings in by me first... Ugh..." Slowly rising up from the gadget she was coding at the moment, she stood up and crossed her arms as she looked toward Jessica, slightly annoyed. Seeing that the girl was shuddering a bit, she relaxed a small bit.
...I... think I can trust this catgirl. Most of the assassins sent at me are loudmouth blowhards. Either they're taking the better and smarter approach or she's innocent. Added to the fact that she wouldn't know about this room unless Rex... or I showed her in...
"Okay then... What did you come here to do? I'm not going to fire on you unless you give me a reason to. Relax." Ness said finally, taking a slightly less annoyed tone.
"I-I came here because...because...I had to tell everyone here that someone had died...t-that you had died...b-but you're not ...I...what's going on?!" Jessica placed her hands on the side of her head and continued trembling as her gaze slowly shifted down to the floor.
Ness suddenly felt an even worse pain in her head, eventually driving her to wince audibly and double over as she clutched her head. Still trembling, she looked up toward Jess, gritting her teeth against the pain as she shakily explained to the catgirl in front of her. "Alright... c-calm down... I can explain that. I'm assuming you know how... d-digistruction works if you've been... in this room. There was a... large machine.. that was... able to hold... a copy of my body... within it... to digistruct if I died. Lucky me... it broke when I supposedly... died 9 months ago..."
She flopped into her seat still clutching her head, not looking at Jess at the moment and keeping her voice as calm as possible through the pain she was experiencing. "...Now, you REALLY need to answer me: Who are you and how do you know that I had died?"
Jessica slowly calmed down and let her hands flop down to her sides as she listened to Ness' explanation. Now that I think about it, I do kinda remember her mentioning something like that at some point... She stopped trembling as she looked back over at Ness. "Well, uh, my name's Jessica. Dr. Jessica Broca. And, uh, I guess it was about a year ago or so at this point, back before you...died...you went to a dimension I was investigating and researching. And while you were there, I, uh...felt you die..." Does she not remember anything that happened back then?...
Ness blinked blankly after listening to Jess, still clutching her head, feeling like a small fire had been lit in her skull. She simply closed her eyes as she continued to try and remember things. ...Is that what that pain was those first two months...? My last moments? "...Could you elaborate a little bit on that? You felt me die? And I can't deny assisting someone's research while on a vacation sounds a lot like me..." She muttered, sighing a bit at the last part.
Jessica started wringing her hands together out of nervous habit. "Uh, sure. Well, after a while when we were there, I made a mental link between the two of us. When you...died, I felt it break in an irreparable way, so I just kinda knew..." She started to shift her gaze around the room as she continued. "I always did think it was a little funny how many times you went out of your way to help me when you were just on vacation..."
Ness scratched the back of her head as the pain in her head began to subside a small bit. She looked toward Jess with an eyebrow raised. "Dr. Broca, honestly, I'm always like that. Finding and researching new things is always an large interest to me, no matter what it is or when I find it. Seeing as you're a doctor, you know the kind of feeling I'm talking about. ...Though I don't see how I died helping someone out with research, unless you had some enemies who were after your life..."
The fedora girl leaned back in her chair for a moment before putting her hand to her chin. "We had a mental link...?" ...No... there was something else...
"Yeah, you always did used to act like that..." Jessica replied to Ness, letting out a sigh that sounded half nostalgic and half regretful. She scratched the back of her head as she looked back at Ness. "It...wasn't exactly helping me out with research that got you killed. ...I know now that what happened was me getting sidetracked from my real goal...what I should have been focusing on..." She sighed and dropped her hand back down into her pocket before continuing. "...You died trying to help me kill a dictator. ...I should have just listened to you and given up."
"And yeah, we had a telepathic link with each other. After a while I had mentioned that it was something I could do. You seemed interested in it so I set one up so we could communicate more easily."
Ness nodded toward Jess a little as something seemed to click into place for her. The pain subsided a little more as she sighed a bit before muttering under her breath. "I remember now... The anomaly..."
Shaking off her sudden realization, she looked up toward Jess with her eyes beginning to shimmer with a small bit of life.
...I could learn a bit more from her... But if I died, it may just be good for me to not dig too deep. And bring back some painful memories... "Telepathic links? ...I really could use something like that here. At least then, my associates would actually listen to me... And killing a dictator does sound a lot like me... It is what I'm working on right now..." Ness said before noting Jess' sigh and putting on a faint smile. "You say that as if I'm some long lost love or something... though the fact that... I... died... kind of makes that not so surprising..."
"Well, unfortunately I can really only form mental links between myself and others." Jessica replied to Ness, somewhat avoiding the other topics. Jessica started to blush and look away from Ness as she noticed her smile and heard what she said. "Um...well..." Should I tell her about us?...She might just think I'm trying to be creepy or take advantage of her... Her inner conflict was readily displayed on her face.
Ness blinked a bit as she noticed Jessica blushing. "...Is something wrong, Dr. Broca? And I see... that's a bit of a shame you can't help with that linking." ...Why is she reacting like that..?
I'd better not take any chances...I really don't want her getting angry at me... "Oh! Uh, no, nothing's wrong. I, uh, just forgot about what I was going to say." Jessica stammered back to Ness as she tried to regain her composure. "And sorry I can't help you out or anything."
Ness tilted her head a bit. "It's fine, Dr. Broca. If it comes back to you, feel free to tell me. ...I could use all the information I can get..."
"...Alright." Jessica managed to get her complexion back under control after taking a few deep breaths. "So, is there anything else that you want to ask me about?"
Ness put her hand to her chin before sighing and shaking her head. "...I... think that's it... There are still a few blanks, but to fill those in... I think I'd need to go back there, even if I'd be a public enemy's ghost..." She seemed to pause for a moment before looking toward Jess. "Thank you, Dr. Broca... Do you have someway we'd be able to keep in touch... in case I remember anything more?"
"Well I still remember the place pretty well. I could see about taking some time to show you the place if you wanted." And to make sure you don't get into too much trouble... Jessica offered to Ness. She reached around in her coat and pulled out a small pouch, which she walked over closer to Ness and handed to her. Before handing Ness the pouch, she pulled out a single copper-colored gemstone from the pouch. "You can use these gems to contact me. Just think about a message you want to send to me and hold the stone in your hand. The magic in it will do the rest."
Ness nodded toward Jess before digitizing the pouch and clutching the gemstone in her fist. "...Please do. I'll contact you when I can. ...I'm gonna get some answers."
She gave Jess a small smile before giving the catgirl a small bow of gratitude. "Well... thank you for helping me out with everything again. If you ever want to come back here, feel free to. I'll put you onto the whitelist for the campus here, so... y'kno... people won't be aiming guns at you."
"Don't mention it. I'll do whatever I can to try and help you get your memories back." Especially since it's my fault you don't have them to begin with... "So if there's anything you need, just ask." She bowed back to Ness and chuckled a little. "And thank you. I'd really appreciate not having to worry about that."
Ness nodded and sheepishly scratched the back of her head. "You'd be surprised how many of our clients say that the first time we bring them here... But I'll keep in touch, Dr. Broca."
Jessica chuckled a little. "This was, well, a lot more pleasant than I was expecting it to be. Thank you. And I'll hold you to that." She playfully pointed at Ness as she conjured up a blue set of glyphs around her head, and eventually a portal opened up behind her. She waved to Ness, then turned around and stepped through the portal. I'll just have to try and be patient...
OOC: @Dot & @Drak: Whacha doing guys?
Ness gave Jess a little wave before watching her teleport out. She sighed before sitting back down and getting back to her work. ...I'll have to wait a bit until I go back there. ...Still, I'm basically going to walk into even worse territory than I'm in now. I'm going to have to keep myself alert...
The fedora girl would work hard into the night on her current project and a few others, though the inspiration was fueled more by anticipation more than anything else.
BTW, I suppose Tanner ended up staying with Lyra and that crowd...Unless they ejected him from the ship or something.