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Private Puzzles and Proxies

Discussion in 'Cascade Sands & Docks' started by Futaba Sakura, Jun 18, 2017.

  1. Futaba Sakura

    Futaba Sakura Persona

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    June 17, Year 6
    @Daisy Johnson

    Login: Alibaba
    Password: ********************

    There, she was in! A wide smirk, bordering on madly wicked in its mischievousness, crossed Futaba's face as she looked at her screen. She'd gotten this laptop cheap, trading some work on another computer part for the basic setup, and then had used every little trick she knew to get it up to optimal. It was overclocked, the fans were spinning a little fast and it was louder than usual but it would work! Besides, she wouldn't even notice the noise with her headphones on, and if it bothered people they'd probably adapt too.

    Once she'd gotten herself registered, using Leo's kindly provided wifi password for Starknet, Futaba promptly loaded an IM client, whatever Starkbook seemed to be, and then began to find her way into the Dark Web. Every program and network had backdoors by necessity; they had to, for developer's sakes. And to be honest, this one was pretty good at resisting people- but she wasn't just 'people'. She was Alibaba, and she knew the secret password, just like the mythical one.

    And then she was in, proxy enabled and as secure as she could get it for a brand new system of internet in a weird half-scifi world. For hours she sat there, reading intently, dark and gothy jpop playing through her headphones, as she started to work her way around. There was so much that was new, and her curiosity was so great, that she just kept going. Morning turned to afternoon and turned to evening, and still she worked through it. Everything was becoming clear..

    And then she found it. Signs of another. A puzzle. And the girl smiled again, cracked her knuckles, quietly laughed and began. When she got through and the scoreboard appeared she narrowed her eyes, backed out without saving and started again. And again. And by only a couple hours past dinner, she was closer to the top- and had made sure that there was a chance to get there one day. Plus, she had a cool new game to play.

    With a yawn and a stretch Futaba rubbed her eyes behind her glasses, restarted her playlist. "Top three, I can get to top three," she muttered to herself while she loaded the game, just to see what it was like. Besides, her mind would thank her if she let the cognition of it all settle in before she attacked the riddle once more.
     
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  2. Daisy Johnson

    Daisy Johnson Marvel Universe

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    There'd been a lot of hits on the puzzle - more than she'd expected. So many, in fact, that she'd had to filter out the pings based on the time it took a hacker to solve her little coding maze. She hadn't been super impressed with what she saw thus far. She wasn't just looking for speed, but finesse. That was important, too. She'd done the majority of her searching in Pandora Town, but after a couple of days of disappointment she'd decided to hit the beach in Cascade Bay.

    She'd only had to wait a few hours before she got a hit, and this one was different than the others. The person's style was more sophisticated than she'd seen so far, like they'd been doing this for a while. She watched with some amusement when they backed out only to try again, and again, getting a little faster each time. Daisy had written the program so that the encryption would scramble each time it was solved, so it wasn't just a matter of memorizing the steps. They'd set up a proxy, too, and a pretty advanced one at that. It took her a minute or two to pin it down, but she managed. It helped that Cascade Bay - and more importantly, Cascade Bay's network - wasn't very big. She couldn't help but smirk a little when she found them.

    Leaning back in the beach chair, Daisy tilted the laptop screen toward her to alleviate some of the glare, then set to work. Moments later, the person on the other side would find the game they'd just opened paused, and a small message window popped up in its stead.

    trem0rz: nice moves
    trem0rz: interested in another puzzle?

     
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  3. Futaba Sakura

    Futaba Sakura Persona

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    Yesss, it was time to get her game on! And after all of this work she deserved some downtime too! A faint cackle left her mouth as she linked her fingers, cracked her knuckles and got ready to play like there was a million yen on the line-

    Then she stopped dead, hands hovering over the keyboard, brows furrowed in a mixture of offended surprise and irritation at her game being interrupted- though the former faded quickly enough. It wasn't that hard to wire a contact client into a game, especially if you were good enough to make a game and then scramble it enough to make opening the game another game too! And she couldn't fault whoever it was for wanting to know who had broken into the puzzle; she would too.

    Besides, there was every chance in the world that this wasn't a real person messaging her, and another layer of the game had just made itself known. Either way, it deserved a response, just to see what would happen.

    With a course of action now in mind her smirk returned and she began to type.

    Alibaba: Huh?! SURPRISE PROTAGONIST!
    Alibaba: Sure, I'll play again. Bring on level 2!
    Alibaba: OPEN SESAME

     
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  4. Daisy Johnson

    Daisy Johnson Marvel Universe

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    She let out a low chuckle, brown eyes crinkling with amusement. Style and personality. Was the alias a reference to Aladdin? She could dig it. With a lingering smirk on her face, she typed out a quick reply.

    trem0rz: this one is kind of a scavenger hunt
    trem0rz: follow the crumbs and you get a tasty prize.

    With that she signed off, but not before sending a little package. Daisy's expression was just this side of smug, though she felt she was entitled to a little bit of self-satisfaction. The 'scavenger hunt' was a custom program she'd put together herself. It was location-based, meaning that Futaba would literally be walking around Cascade Bay if she chose to follow it. The way it worked was deceptively simple: each encryption would unlock a new navigation point. The next encryption would only be unlocked once Futaba physically traveled to the first. There were no satellites in Pandora space - yet - but Daisy was still able to use the Stark towers to ping specific locations. It was a way to test the extent of the stranger's curiosity, as well as their patience. Both would be vital traits for anyone that Daisy enlisted for her personal mission.

    It also gave Daisy time to get her stuff together and head to the final checkpoint - a quaint little ice cream shop on the pier. Her phone would get an alert each time Futaba hit a checkpoint (six in all, weaving a slightly random pattern down the docks so the next location couldn't be guessed), allowing Daisy to track her progress. She closed her laptop and gathered up her things, hoping the positive vibes she'd gotten from the person on the other end would hold true. It wasn't that Daisy couldn't do what she needed to do herself, but having the help of one or two more brains would make the task go by much more quickly.

    She estimated it'd take Alibaba two hours - tops - to hack her way to the finish line. Daisy would be comfortably settled in by then, sitting at a table on the dock with her laptop in front of her and some kind of tasty milkshake in hand.
     
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  5. Futaba Sakura

    Futaba Sakura Persona

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    Chaotic Neutral
    Crumbs? Tasty treat?! With a little whine Futaba pouted as the text box disappeared and she realized just how hungry she was. She hadn't eaten anything since her usual breakfast of a handful of cereal and can of soda. Well, that just meant she had to solve it for sure! And if there wasn't some kind of snack, she was going to make sure whoever trem0rz was knew how bad it was to lie about having cookies! ...The edible kind.

    The new puzzle appeared and, pushing aside all of those other distracting sensations like tiredness and hunger she got to work. First, she looked it over, every side she could find, looking for the trip-ups, and snags. And there it was. A conditional input, somewhere deep, that was not being met. A little poking, a little prodding, and she could at least find the nature of it. Coordinates. A GPS ping- no, there wasn't a chance. Something planetary, and more rooted to the fundamentals of the system- her wifi. She needed to login at another spot.

    And it wasn't here. That meant walking around in the world, and toward the stranger who was setting up these challenges. For a moment she stopped, a tiny furrow appearing between her brows. She didn't know this person, they could be anyone, it could be a trap. They could be a creep. It was not advisable to get into cars with strangers, so it couldn't be advisable to walk where they wanted you to, not knowing, could it?! For a moment the old anxiety took hold of her and she clenched her fists, lips pressed together thinly as she shut her eyes tightly. The world was frightening.

    No. She was brave. She'd faced Shadows and monsters and her Uncle, and her mother's murderer. This was just a hacker's game.

    With a huff she focused on standing up from her chair, pulling up her hood over her head and picking up her laptop in a death grip. Time to start on the path.

    It took her a little longer than someone used to all of the activity, especially carrying this nearly-antique early-2000's laptop, but she made it in two and a half hours. The docks stood there, and so did Futaba. There were a lot of people here and she did her best to only give them a few nervous, wary glances as she looked for her contact. Well.. they must have a computer..

    She found a woman with one, and walked over, setting her laptop down carefully, then sat down gingerly, giving Daisy a long, unblinking look.
     
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  6. Daisy Johnson

    Daisy Johnson Marvel Universe

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    It took longer than Daisy had expected, but it wasn't because Alibaba stumbled over the hacks. If anything, they breezed through them with obvious skill that probably rivaled Daisy's own. It was the in-between stuff that took the longest, the getting from point A to point B. Daisy only pondered over the issue for a moment or two before shrugging and diving into some research for her project in the meantime. She'd find out what was up soon enough.

    Movement in front of her drew Daisy's dark eyes away from her computer screen. She blinked in mild surprise at the young, ginger-haired girl that stood before her. Leaning back in her chair, Daisy lifted a brow as the girl perched on the chair opposite her and proceeded to simply stare. She returned the look for a long moment, her lips quirking upwards slightly. When she finally spoke, her tone was both impressed and amused.

    "Your skill is pretty impressive." She reached out to push her laptop shut so she didn't have to look over it to see the girl. "How long ya been hacking?" It couldn't have been long. A few years, tops? And the girl was already this good. That didn't just take smarts, it took drive.
     
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  7. Futaba Sakura

    Futaba Sakura Persona

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    Female
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    Chaotic Neutral
    In the moments between 'trem0rz' noticing her and deciding to speak, few as they were, Futaba was able to observe a few things. Firstly, this woman was older by at least a decade- not just some teen, but an adult, and therefore possibly more dangerous. Not necessarily, but the chance was there. Secondly, she didn't pull out a weapon, or jump, or even frown and seem annoyed that her directions had actually been figured out, so it wasn't some kind of jealous, spiteful thing. And lastly- mostly because the teetering ledge of anxiety at the unknown had distracted her- that there wasn't any snack on the table for her. Huff.

    But, other than that one small and annoying thing, Futaba had to admit that her instincts weren't sending her any distress signals or putting up an alarm- at least not more than they did in any new situation. That helped a lot more than most people would have realized and helped her to steel her nerves a little more, which showed in small ways. Her arms were wrapped loosely around her knees as she crouched, rather than being tense and clenched, and while her expression was stoic it wasn't stiff as she waited for the conversation to start.

    Well, she was right. Futaba was good, and she knew that; it was probably the one thing about herself she was sure of when it came down to it. "You're pretty good too, if you found me," she returned in a matter-of-fact tone, sincere in the fact that it stated the obvious but without any flattery whatsoever. "I thought I'd set it up better, but.." She shrugged at that, somewhat awkwardly given her current pose, then released her knees and slid down into a seated position in the chair. At least now she could reach her computer if she wanted to..

    "I probably haven't been hacking as long as you, but it's been a long time for me," she continued, pushing back some hair, and was about to say more when she was interrupted by the growling of her stomach, and then gave Daisy a reproachful look. "You said there's be a 'tasty prize'," she reminded her, just as matter-of-factly, and waited to see if the woman would deny it or not. Adults could be liars at times, but if this one wasn't it would go a long way in earning Futaba's respect.
     
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  8. Daisy Johnson

    Daisy Johnson Marvel Universe

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    ((Sorry for the wait!))

    Daisy studied 'Alibaba' as she spoke, noting that the younger girl didn't seem entirely comfortable with the situation. Daisy could understand that, and even had a brief flash of worry that she might end up having to explain herself to a protective parent or guardian. Child predation was no joke online, and it would be perfectly reasonable for someone who didn't have the context to misinterpret the situation. Daisy made a mental note to do a little more digging in the future before contacting another user... she just hadn't expected her little puzzle to dig up someone so young.

    But should she be so surprised? She obviously wasn't the only one to get into hacking as a kid.

    The girl's reminder that bordered on accusatory brought a grin to Daisy's lips. "Hey, I deliver on my promises," she said, holding her hands up in a gesture of peace as she leaned back in her chair. "I don't exactly know what you like, though." She gestured toward the ice cream shop with a jerk of her chin, indicating that the teenager should go pick whatever she wanted. A few coins appeared on the table, pushed over to Futaba's side.

    "Get whatever you want. When you get back we can chat, if that's okay with you." She smiled encouragement, then settled in to wait, her expression turning thoughtful. She needed talent like Alibaba's, but she wasn't totally keen on the idea of involving a kid in this mess. Still... she'd get a feel for things before making a decision, or asking Alibaba to make one. It wasn't like the ginger-haired girl was totally young and clueless. Hacking opened your eyes to things, whether you were ready to see them or not. And a hacker that good would have seen a lot.
     
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  9. Futaba Sakura

    Futaba Sakura Persona

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    She did remember, and she wasn't annoyed that Futaba had remembered too. After the horrible things she'd imagined in the split second between what she'd said and what Tremorz had said that hadn't occurred to her, but she was happy to be surprised. Not enough to completely trust her in an instant, but enough to relax a bit more and look at the coins with some eagerness rather than wariness. It had been a clean contest after all, and she'd earned that money fair and square. She deserved it.

    With that in mind, confidence slightly bolstered, she reached over once the coins were close enough and took them in hand, looking them over. Not yen, but she hadn't really expected them to be. How much it was, she couldn't tell, but they'd probably let her know at the counter if she ordered too much. "Thanks. BRB!" she chirped with a bit of a smirk as she hopped up from her chair and headed toward the snack bar.

    It didn't take long to order what she wanted, and with a little wheedling she even got a cherry on top of her ice cream, no charge. She had no idea why, but she wasn't about to ask and lose the bonus either. And she even had a little change left over. Not that she was going to give that up right away. After all, earned was earned, even if it was a prize and not a wage.

    Banana split in one hand, soda in the other, she came back to the table- realizing she'd left her laptop there the entire time- and fought down a moment's worry before setting her purchases on the tabletop and sitting down. This time she didn't even crouch, and she took a long drink before returning her attention to Daisy again. "Alright, ready to talk, if you are," she said, trying for magnanimous and probably coming across more nosy, completely inadvertently. "You didn't take all of the time setting that puzzle up for nothing, right?"
     
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  10. Daisy Johnson

    Daisy Johnson Marvel Universe

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    The girl was likable, that was clear enough. Maybe a little on the reserved side when the conversation had first started, but she'd seemed to warm up quickly enough. Daisy wondered if it was simply that Alibaba was an introvert, or if maybe she just didn't really trust people. Daisy certainly hadn't at Alibaba's age. She'd learned the hard way that she couldn't count on people, that she had to take care of herself. Getting bounced around from foster home to foster home, never staying in one place for more than a year... yeah, it had definitely given her some trust issues.

    She couldn't help but grin as Alibaba came back with a big sundae in one hand and a soda in the other. Daisy was still leaned back in her chair, her posture relaxed and relatively open with her arms resting on the table in front of her. She tapped one finger softly against the tabletop, chewing the inside of her lip while Alibaba drank her soda.

    "I was hoping to get to know you a little bit, actually," she answered after a moment. "I'm working on a project that I could use a little help with, but I can't ask just anyone, you know?" Because it was that kind of project. The kind that would change people's lives - hopefully for the better. But some of it was dangerous, especially if the wrong people heard about it in the early stages. Daisy wouldn't involve someone as young as Alibaba in the truly risky stuff... but all of it came with risk. And... well, Alibaba's youth didn't necessarily mean she was trustworthy.

    "I'd like to give you a chance to get to know me first, though. I can't tell you any details about the project just yet, but I can answer any questions you have about me. Anything at all." She meant it, because it was important to her that she earn the girl's confidence, and eventually her trust. "To start with, my name is Daisy. Daisy Johnson. Hacking isn't my only skill."

    At that she raised a hand and curled her fingers toward Alibaba's drink, manipulating the natural vibrations within the liquid until it started bubbling fast enough that it would shake the entire cup. Not violently, but intensely enough that Alibaba would feel it if she was touching the cup, or see and hear it if she wasn't. Daisy's hand dropped after only a few seconds, her dark eyes intent on Alibaba's face to watch for a reaction. It was something of a test... first, to see if Alibaba had encountered such abilities before. Second, if Alibaba hadn't, then how would she react? Would she immediately fear what she didn't understand, or would she be intrigued? A mix of both, perhaps?
     
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  11. Futaba Sakura

    Futaba Sakura Persona

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    The soda was sticky, sweet and filled with sugary goodness and caffeine that Futaba sorely needed it. The ice cream, though, was clearly the most perishable of the things she'd chosen and she scraped off a bite with her spoon and stuck it in her mouth as trem0rz spoke. Daisy. She was giving a name. That was a surprise and Futaba blinked at it, committing it instantly to memory and making sure she connected the face, voice and typing style together in her mind. Most hackers didn't go by anything more than their handle unless there was a good reason. Futaba herself had only done it once- when meeting the Phantom Thieves before coming here. Could this be that kind of serious?

    Yes. Yes, it could. Swallowing, she stuck the spoon back into the banana split and considered. ".....I getcha. Important IRL stuff. Futaba Sakura, AKA Alibaba. I'll listen. Squid pro quo." she agreed, pushing her glasses up her nose a little as she took a look around, just to be on the safe side. She'd dealt with conspiracies before; they never worked alone. If Daisy was a part of someone bad she was more likely to have backup, statistically, than someone who was being honest and sincere, because sincere people expected the same thing. It was why Futaba had come alone too. And wanting to get to know her- that was a good sign as well. But she was wary. No matter how much her logic and instincts told her that this was above board that didn't mean it was.

    Despite that, there was curiosity. What did she mean 'not her only skill'? There were too many variables! How was she supposed to guess that part of this riddle contes-

    Fortunately she didn't have to. Daisy's empty hand was safe enough and she watched it for a moment, intrigued, until the sound of the soda bubbling drew her attention back. How. What. Immediately her eyes widened, but not in fear- in utter and total intrigue. Reaching for the glass she felt the vibrations in it, but not so much in the table or her seat, and the whipped cream on her banana split didn't even jiggle. And then, just as fast, it was gone. Picking up the drink she looked down into it- except for the remaining foam, the effect was gone. Instantly her mind went to the possibilities. A chemical reaction, like Mentos. Something mechanical, like a joy buzzer. Nope, no traces remained. Tapping the glass, had no effect so, throwing caution to the wind, she sipped the drink. Flat, eugh! She grimaced and set it back down- but there wasn't any chemical taste that wasn't usually in this kind of drink. Not even smelling it told her anything than now had a flat drink.

    Looking back at Daisy she caught the hint of an expectant expression on her face. So it was a test. Mission 3: Puzzle of the Bubbles. There was a thrill of excitement at that though; if you kept getting harder puzzles, you were progressing. She'd never seen powers this fundamentally material before, but.. then again, Akira had his Persona here and that could have easily destroyed something if he wanted it to. "Badass! How did it work? Not magnetic.. Molecular vibration? Temperature flux? Didn't even see it," she said, impressed and interested. "...Ghosts or other entities of cognition maybe?"
     
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  12. Daisy Johnson

    Daisy Johnson Marvel Universe

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    Daisy's eyebrows shot up when Futaba came pretty close to guessing the nature of her powers almost immediately, though she went on to suggest some other theories - each wilder than the last. Ghosts or other entities of cognition? There was a time when Daisy might have said she didn't believe in ghosts, but after rolling with the one and only Ghost Rider, and after events surrounding the Darkhold... well, she was a little more open-minded.

    "You had it at molecular vibration." She grasped the edges of the table, gesturing with a dip of her head for Futaba to touch it. If the girl complied, she'd feel a series of fine tremors reverberating through the wood. "I tap into the natural vibrations in the world. I can weaken them, enhance them, manipulate them. All because of a little bit of alien DNA I inherited from my mother." Inhuman. She didn't use that label here very often, because there didn't seem to be a need for it. Pandora certainly had its share of prejudices, but they were rarely centered around one's species. It wouldn't make sense, given the diversity of the worlds from which the pantheon plucked its subjects. She also didn't go into the full potential of her powers - how destructive they could be. Futaba could likely work that out on her own.

    "What about you? Any bonus powers along with that hacking savvy?" She tilted her head in curiosity, hoping Futaba would be willing to open up about that much, now that Daisy had already done so. If there was one thing she'd learned about establishing trust, it was that she had to be willing to take the first step, make the first gestures. She'd learned that when she was first taken in by S.H.I.E.L.D., except it was her trust they'd been after. The concept was the same here, though Daisy didn't plan to mislead the girl sitting across from her.
     
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  13. Futaba Sakura

    Futaba Sakura Persona

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    Futaba smiled a little smugly when she heard she got it right, despite Daisy's look of skepticism beforehand; she was used to people finding the things she said impossible, unbelievable or weird. At least she was listening enough to have a reaction at all. "Passed the puzzle!" she said proudly, then watched Daisy for a second, putting her hands on the table and feeling the spreading vibrations that ran through it, a furrow appearing between her brows as she considered this. Wood was, for all intents and purposes, very forgiving of vibrations, being an organic material. Use even this kind of pressure on glass and you'd have a shrapnel bomb. And that was only the beginning. What a cool power to have, especially if you were smart with it.

    That's about as far as her thought process got before the 'alien DNA' part sank in and her eyes widened slightly, a moment of shock and awe passing over her face. True, she was friends with and rooming with a demigod, but that was different. It wasn't aliens. She had a certain fondness for them, it was true, and even before becoming a shut-in she'd always been intrigued by them. Was she saying that was what let her make molecules do this funny little dance too? And that maybe Futaba was an alien too if she had weird powers? She considered the question as she took another bite of her ice cream.

    "Mom wasn't an alien, know that. Pretty sure anyway. Maybe dad, never knew him. But I don't think I'm lucky enough to be an alien, just weird," she admitted, the corner of her lips turning down slightly in a sad kind of nostalgia before she moved on from it. Maybe that would cover the hesitation she felt at confessing her own powers- even though from the quiet way Trem0rz demonstrated hers it was a secret too. "I can remember everything I read, and I read fast. I never forget. My IQ is high too, they say. And I can stay awake for 4 days at a time, but I have to sleep for 3 days afterward." Reaching over to her soda she took a very long drink, needing another moment to cover up the fact that she was steeling her nerves.

    "The other things are all about cognition. Do you know anything about the study of cognitive psience? With a 'psi' at the front, not an 'sci'. Things like the collective unconscious." She asked next. If she didn't believe in that stuff, or think it mattered, then it didn't matter. Her gaze on Daisy was solemn and unblinking, her expression warily blank.
     
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  14. Daisy Johnson

    Daisy Johnson Marvel Universe

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    Futaba's overall response was encouraging and uplifting for a lot of reasons. The biggest was that it was the first time Daisy had ever heard someone sound regretful that they didn't have alien DNA. In Daisy's world, Inhumans were viewed as dangerous beings. They were distrusted and in many cases outright hated. But Futaba's reaction showed only curiosity and genuine interest, with no hint of fear or disgust.

    Daisy's smile was warm and wide. As much as she missed her team, her world, there were many things about Pandora that she was growing to love. This - this open mindedness and lack of inherent prejudice - was one of those things.

    She listened with growing admiration for the girl's skills. The kid was smart - possibly Fitz-Simmons-level smart. She shook her head, a little amazed. "I wish you could meet my friend Fitz. You'd have a lot to talk about." Her smile turned a bit rueful, though she did her best not to allow the extent of her grief and worry to show through. When she'd left her world, Fitz and the rest of her team had been trapped in a twisted virtual reality version of the real world, and Daisy had been preparing to hack her way in to get them out.

    "I don't know much about that stuff, just the basics. But try me - I'll let you know if it goes over my head." Daisy really wasn't the brainy sort, not like Fitz and Simmons. She might be a hacking genius, but her intelligence was pretty average in all of the other areas. If Fitz or Simmons were here...

    But they weren't.
     
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  15. Futaba Sakura

    Futaba Sakura Persona

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    Chaotic Neutral
    Talking to Daisy was becoming nicer and nicer by the moment and Futaba had a feeling that would have been true even without the soda and ice cream. Even without the game and the brain teaser, even. It reminded her of talking with Akira or Yusuke, who listened so closely to what she said and didn't think any of it was too weird to acknowledge as real or valid. That was probably a good thing; she was so used to keeping the secret of the existence of cognitive psience to herself that it was hard to reveal it and she'd only recently managed to acknowledge knowing it consciously. Fortunately her Shadow had remembered it when Futaba had forgotten.

    She wasn't sure what to make of this mention of someone called Fitz, save that the woman was seeming to say he was smart and knew something about things like cognitive psience- and that they were a friend who wasn't here. Probably a good thing; in Oracle's experience, people who knew something about it were either Persona users, or evil people who wanted to use it for their own devices, sent assassins to kill anyone else who knew about it and then framed other people for the crimes. While she really wanted to believe that Daisy wasn't the latter, and she didn't seem like the former either, so maybe it was just science.

    "Sorry your friend isn't here," she said simply, with understanding for the deeper meaning of the statement. A lot of her friends were missing too; she understood. If Yusuke were here, he could offer perspective, if Makoto were around Pandora would feel safer, if Morgana were here he'd say the right snarky thing to bring a grin to everyone face. Maybe everyone here felt like that.

    Yet, she was willing to try and understand- for what that was worth. Futaba wasn't sure if she hoped to go over her head or not; it was interesting stuff, and Daisy had told her secrets, but was it really a secret anyway? It was all so close to Futaba's heart she couldn't let herself trust easily. But she'd try. There was no harm in that. After all, it was all 'theoretical', right? "Cognitive psience a theory that all minds are joined together in certain ways- by cognition, what everyone agrees is 'real' shaping what becomes real. Society says one thing, everyone says the same, and it becomes what is expected. Acting against it results in being ignored or being punished by instinct, since everyone is so uncomfortable with the distortion- even if that distortion is more 'true'." She let that sink in for a moment and took a bite of ice cream before continuing. "It can shape you, or people's expectations of you, along with the world. But if you know how to do it, you can hack it."
     
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  16. Daisy Johnson

    Daisy Johnson Marvel Universe

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    The more Futaba spoke, the more cognitive psience sounded eerily familiar. Of course, Dr. Radcliffe had called it something different, but it was all essentially the same. The thought of what he'd done with that science brought a surge of disgust and anger, though none of it showed on her face. Someone who knew her well might have noticed the hints of the shift in her mood; slightly increased tension in her hands and the set of her shoulders, the way she tilted her head slightly to one side and chewed the inside of her lip. Anyone who didn't know her well would probably take it as nothing more than thoughtfulness.

    "Yeah, sounds familiar." There was a little bit of sardonic irony in her tone as she sat back in her chair, her arms resting on the table in front of her. She picked up a bit of straw wrapper and began to twist it between her fingers. There were a lot of reasons that theory struck a chord with Daisy, least of all the events she'd experienced just before coming to Pandora. "There's a guy in my world - genius scientist-type - who used science like that to map and replicate the human brain. I mean, he actually replicated people's minds, their consciousnesses, and put them into Life Model Decoys. None of us knew any different when they were switched out." Until they started shooting. Logically, she'd known that it wasn't really Coulson and Mack that were unloading bullets into her shoulder and leg. She'd known it wasn't them when she blasted them into pieces with a massive seismic shock-wave.

    Still, it was hard for her mind to erase the image of Mack's face disintegrating to reveal a cold, metal skull underneath.

    "Radcliffe - that's the mad-scientist-guy - he constructed this whole... I guess you'd call it a virtual reality. It was based on the collective subconscious of the people he put inside of it. He used their own memories and personalities to make it real and keep them complacent. He called it the Framework. Nearly my whole team was trapped inside of it when those creepy black vines snagged me. I was supposed to hack in and get them out." She had no idea if they'd made it out, or if they were still trapped in the Framework. It was something she tried not to think about too much, because there was nothing she could do about it from here. That had taken her a long time to accept.

    Daisy realized she'd gone off on a bit of a tangent, and shook her head once as if to refocus. "So, you saying you know how to hack people?" There was no judgement, just interest. She'd save judgement for later, when she knew more about Futaba's specific skills.
     
  17. Futaba Sakura

    Futaba Sakura Persona

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    Huh, it did sort of sound familiar. Using computers to map the human brain was something that, in other circumstances, or before she'd been to the Metaverse, might have been right up Futaba's alley. If that process could be refined it could have so many possibilties- not just for AIs, but for people with mental illnesses, dead loved ones- even for making people immortal in one sense or another! But of course some jerkass adult had taken something that could have been so cool, so good, and turned it into a selfish thing for his own purposes! Futaba's brow furrowed at the thought and she stared down at her soda for a long moment. It seemed like every world had the same problem with apathy and selfishness that her own had.

    And then- to put them inside a fake world?! That was worse! Maybe the Metaverse wasn't a place most people could go, but at least it was a place of the unconscious mind, where it could run free- not a prison for it! People in the Metaverse could change; could the people stuck in that world? For a moment her lips thinned and she thought very hard about things. It showed in her features, the way they hardened for a second, and the way she blinked. Her mother's research- this was the sort of thing Shido would have done with it. And that in itself was a perfect sign of just how awful and wrong this felt to her.

    After this type of talk Futaba winced at Daisy's phrasing, regardless of how accurate it could have been considered- and despite the fact that Daisy didn't sound angry or judgmental. "Not in computers. It doesn't work that way on my world, because that is disgusting," she said firmly after a moment, shaking her head. "...The idea is there though. A different world, like a shadow over this one, where minds and thoughts are all interconnected. Knowing how to hack helps, because people are complex but simple, clear but all muddled and mixed up with codes and language." Looking up she met Daisy's gaze with an expression of determination. "Could help your friends, or teach you how to help them, if you want. That kind of program needs to be broken."
     
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  18. Daisy Johnson

    Daisy Johnson Marvel Universe

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    She watched Futaba's reaction closely, noting the way the girl was very obviously disgusted and upset by what Daisy had just described. That was good. That told Daisy a lot about the kind of person that Futaba was. Futaba's offer to help was met with a sad but genuine smile.

    "Thanks for the offer, Red, but they're out of my reach now." Besides that, Daisy knew how to get in. They'd even programmed a back door to get everyone out. She'd just been snatched away from her world before she could go through with it, leaving her team in that hell. Some people theorize that individual worlds went on as normal even when people were taken from them. According to those theories, there was a copy of Daisy still in her universe, doing everything the way she would have before. That was a nice thought, and one that she clung to (even if it sort of threatened to break her brain with the sheer impossibility of it).

    Futaba's description of her abilities - or potential abilities? - was intriguing. There were a lot of implications in a world like that - one that was connected to this one, but separate. She wanted to know more about it, but a quick glance at her wristwatch showed that it was getting close to the time when she'd have to excuse herself.

    "There's somewhere I have to be soon, but I'd love to get together again. There's something I could use your help with." She smiled, the expression touched with the hope that Futaba would agree to another meeting. She leaned forward and slid a card with her contact information across the table, a little bit of irony entering her expression because she knew someone of Futaba's skill could have found her without all that. It was more of a symbolic gesture than anything. "It was nice meeting you. Is it okay if I get in touch, soon?" She raised her eyebrows inquisitively, hoping that the answer would be yes. There weren't a lot of people in Pandora that Daisy could claim to trust, but Futaba seemed genuine enough.

    That, and Daisy liked her, and was the kind of person that tried to hold on to what few connections she made with people. She knew all too well what it was like not to have them at all.
     
  19. Futaba Sakura

    Futaba Sakura Persona

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    Nothing sucked worse than not knowing where your friends were or what was happening to them, that was something she knew very well. Being stuck here, with no Metaverse to access and no way to get back to the Earth she knew, hurt her more than she could say. And yes, she had new friends and people who were being really awesome to her- Leo, for example, and now Daisy too, who could have easily been a total creeper but now was almost like some quest-giving badass in a video game. 'Take this information and this mission, it will help you level up and get higher stats you can use to help this world.' It was awesome, and a good distraction. But it didn't take away wanting to do more, and help her people.

    Maybe that was why she couldn't help the furrowed brow and the momentarily sad look as Daisy confessed that her friends were beyond her reach. It was true. No matter how long your arms were, sometimes you just couldn't reach what you needed to.

    When Daisy glanced at her watch Futaba blinked in surprise, which only expanded to cross her normally relatively flat features as she said she had to go. Well, that wasn't too surprising, it was late- but yet, Futaba wasn't sure she wanted this meeting to be over so quickly. It needed to be, since it was supposed to be this covert job opportunity arranged via hacking places no one except the official developers were supposed to go, and who knew who could be watching- and yet, it was nice to finally meet a decent adult here. Or anywhere. And this one seemed to be so much like her.

    But that wasn't the point, and she knew it. People needed to do what they needed to do, and honestly after this ice cream and soda wore off Futaba knew her internal batteries would be burnt out. It had been a long day. Besides, she was being slid a card, and that meant she was openly offering contact, and for Futaba to contact her, even before the question came out of her mouth. "Yeah, sure. I'll keep an eye on my phone," she replied with a half-crooked grin as she took the card. "Don't have any fancy cards though, so I'll text you my number. Promise."