15558/A Bad Dream or A Worse Reality

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A Bad Dream or A Worse Reality
Date of Scene: 03 September 2023
Location: A dream?
Synopsis: Jessica has the kind of nightmare dream that only a former agent of Hydra could have. Only not everything goes when she wakes.
Cast of Characters: Spider-Woman (Drew), Doctor Destiny

Spider-Woman (Drew) has posed:
Jessica is at Avengers Mansion. It's a late night, clearly some kind of celebration. Half of the people are dressed in uniform; the other half are dressed pretty nicely. Everyone's acting pretty friendly with each other and aren't questioning the drastic attire changes. It's Avengers, as she can see Steve Rogers with a blue button up shirt and black slacks. Natasha is roaming through the crowd. Scarlet which s wearing a long red dress that practically sparkles in certain lights. There's a "V" cut toward the bottom of the dress showing a little leg, but on par with someone on the red carpet. Classy with a small hint of captivation.

Nearby her is Spider-Man. He's in complete uniform. The hero is mid conversation, even takes a look at her. A small friendly wave comes forward. Turning back to his conversation he resumes for a few more moments. Suddenly, he starts to cough. A simple thing like something went down the wrong tube, but there is no drink in his hand.

That cough only gets worse, his head looks toward Jessica. "Jessss," he gets out between gritted teeth, "What rr youuu dnngg," and he starts to fall. Spider-Man sounds like he's choking, but he's trying to keep from breathing in. He's struggling.

A good chunk of the party look toward the commotion toward Spider-Man. A few even say things like, "Help him!" and it's directed toward Jessica. Something is going on with her friend and they're looking to her to help.

Spidey goes stiff and his body jerks. After a moment of stillness he starts to stand. The motions rigid, stiff and with purpose. Looking toward Jessica, his voice holds the heaviness of someone enthralled with pheromones. Her pheromones. And then he speaks in that enchanted voice, "Hail."
Spider-Woman (Drew) has posed:
Jessica isn't really one to dress for the occasion. Around the mansion, it's all about wearing what she's most comfortable in, which -- to date -- has usually been a favored pair of pink unicorn pants, fluffy slippers, and whatever sarcastic t-shirt of the day takes her mood.

Tonight though, she's dressed in a flowing red dress and heels. Not at all her usual. Sure, she dresses up occasionally for a mission, or for the sake of one of Tony's many charity galas, but exclusively when they're in mixed company, not among teammates. The oddity of it doesn't even seem to register, though.

Jess is carrying a glass of something, cold and bubbly. It probably costs more than the entirety of her wardrobe put together, but she's paying it no mind. It's a prop. Spider-Man starts to cough, and she gives him a look. "Eat too fast, bestie?" she jokes, then realizes there's no food or drink in his hands. Weird. A weird joke?

It's not until Spider-Man starts to fall and people are yelling at her to help him that she seems to register that something serious is happening. The glass of wine in hand is dropped as she lunges towards Spider-Man, trying to grab his arm, frantically trying to remember how to do the Heimlich maneuver. Just squeeze around the middle, right? In her panic, the specifics escape her.

And then he looks at her, like... like...

"No," Jessica utters, horrified. She immediately lets go, backpeddling so fast she nearly trips in her heels. "Shit! No. This is... I'm sorry!" Wide-eyed, frightened, she turns and flees. Somewhere is her room. Somewhere she can safely lock herself in. "JARVIS? JARVIS! Air filtration. Where's Clint? Tell him to shoot me with the stuff. Please, JARVIS?"
Doctor Destiny has posed:
Every person Jessica bumps and stumbles into start to cough. They go down like Spidey before them. Each one of them rise and look toward Jessica. "Hail." Each one rises, "Hail." The word repeats, "Hail." "Hail." "Hail." She can see how they all rise enthralled, rigid and their voices sound hollow. Stripped of any freewill.

By now Steve is moving through the guest rushing toward Jessica. "JESSICA!" Cap says loudly, firmly. "WHAT ARE YOU DONG?" he says firmly. There's concern, anger and confusion. "Stop! Please," he pleads with her. Oh, he's blaming her for this.

If she's able to look at herself Jessica would see the outfit change. She's in the costume, but it's different now. The thick black accent lines are the same. There is no more red, it is now a deep jungle green, the military green. What is yellow is now a rich and bright red. Like someone dipped her uniform in hydra colors. However, there's no mask so she can see herself in this costume. How it fits perfectly on her frame.
Spider-Woman (Drew) has posed:
Jessica is exceptionally athletic, thanks to her genes -- not her human ones. And yet she's stumbling, bumping into people she's trying to avoid. Every time they cough, she flinches. Every time they greet her with that old Hydra saying, some part of her dies a little.

And then there's Steve.

"NO! I'm not, Steve, you have to believe me!"

He's the one person who always has, always does without question. The one person who believes in the inherent goodness of everyone. Even a former Hydra spy like Jessica Drew.

"Please." The plea echoes his own, Jessica making a distraught noise as she looks down and sees her outfit change. "Oh. No, nono. This isn't... this isn't real. Steve. Please. Help me." She's never been one to beg. But in this moment, she feels utterly helpless, her heart thudding with terror at the inevitability of this moment. She doesn't really think about it. That Steve is still /him/ seems right. He's the strong one. He's the one who would be able to resist all this, and so she reaches for him. "Get me out of here, get me away from everyone! They'll come back to themselves, I promise."

Jessica desperately needs to believe that's true, even though the dread in her heart says otherwise.
Doctor Destiny has posed:
Steve will stay close and it's like he is reaching down for something. "Don't make me do this," he says in a pleading whisper. As she begins to speak another person coughs and goes down. If she looks at Steve, holds holding his shield. Like that is what he snagged from the ground.

"CLANG!" a metal thud rings out as cape takes a swing while holding the shield. Using it as a weapon, like a gauntlet. Jessica will go down hard.

Pain runs through her chest and where Jessica's body hits against the floor. By the time she shakes off the cobwebs, Steve is in a coughing fit. He starts to go down. Like everyone else, he'll rise up slowly, methodically. And in the same voice he says, "Hail Hydra," staring at Jessica.

Jessica can hear a voice, like the computer system finally kicked in. "Isn't this what you wanted? Everyone bending to the will of Hydra?" the voice is strange. In some points it sounds like a voice she can't remember. Like a memory she can't quite remember, clawing at the surface of Jessica's mind. But then the voice changes at parts. A British accent, one she hasn't heard before.

And she'll even see a flash of herself. Deep into the hydra infiltration mission. She's completely in uniform, but there's a seriousness to her face. However, the eyes are too calm. Too ready. Like they're the eyes of someone that wants to be there. "Isn't that what you wanted, Jessica?" and that's when she will wake up.

Any future scans of Jessica mind will show an increase of trauma. Like something has further strained her mind, maybe even worsened that mental minefield.

But those results won't be seen right away. What can be is when Jessica looks at her chest. An ugly maroonish purple bruise lingers and it looks exactly like the kind of bruise Cap's shield would leave behind. It even matches where Steve struck Jessica in the dream.
Spider-Woman (Drew) has posed:
"It's okay. You have to stop me. Stop this." Jessica's looking at Steve, practically begging him to save her. It's what he does, right? The shield strikes her and she goes down, hard. It hurts. But she's borne worse, and it's worth it, if... if...

...but then Steve starts coughing. "No," her strangled protest escapes her. "No, Steve, NO!" And then he says the words. Hail Hydra. And her heart turns to ice.

"No!" she screams the protest against the voice. Normally British accents are a comfort to her: they remind her of her parents, even if she can't really remember them, even if in hindsight their voices shouldn't bring comfort. They do. But this one doesn't. This one only brings more pain.

Jessica sees herself. She remembers playing the part. Remembers how /easy/ it was to be that again: to play at being Hydra. /Because it's what you are, what you are meant to be./ The voice that she always fought to ignore.

Then she wakes, screaming. It isn't the first time, and it won't be the last.

"Would you like me to call anyone, Miss Drew?" JARVIS' voice is normally comforting; this time it makes Jessica shiver, even though she doesn't know why.

"No, JARVIS. Please, lock the doors. Don't let anyone in or out for twenty four hours." The bruise she'll find later. It feels like a thing she should talk to someone about, show someone. But she's too scared to leave her room. By the time she does, over a day later, the bruise has healed entirely.