By the hands of the Gods, you have been plucked from your time and from your world, dropped into the box.
Only the box is a world of its own.
We are a mass crossover based on the concept of Pandora's Box. Characters from nearly any fandom can be played here. Because of the endless character possibilities, we are canon only here at Pandora. Take a peek at our rules and plot information before starting your new life in Pandora.
She wasn’t late. Not yet, but Tseng wasn’t always the most patient of men. Then again, perhaps he was feeling more antsy about all of this than he would ever want to admit. Dying was not a simple thing. Dying was not an easy thing when you were the one taking your own life, and the simple fact of the matter was that there was no absolute confirmation that those who entered Valhalla returned after twenty-four hours. The facts were there. All that they knew of had done exactly that. But what of all they didn’t know of? So many disappearances in Pandora were simply written off as the gods willing their victims home once more, but they were assumptions.
The truth was, nothing about what they were doing was an absolute certainty. And Tseng had never died before. Natasha, he wondered of, but it wasn’t his place to ask either.
Finally, there was a knock at his office door. Tseng exhaled quietly and rose from his seat behind the desk, crossing the room and pulling the door open to come face to face with the red-haired spy who had agreed to help him with this particular endeavor. A group of demons bent on summoning a creature of devastating power, and yet they lacked all of the tools required to do so. Word was, one had been hidden in Valhalla for safe-keeping.
”Ms. Romanoff. Come inside. Make yourself at home,” he offered as he stepped aside and gestured vaguely. There was the slightest ghost of a smile at the corners of his lips. There was something admittedly grim about telling somebody to make themselves comfortable for the inevitable death that they had both agreed upon. ”Margaret will be looking after us after we’ve gone under to ensure no disturbances to our persons.” A small woman - Margaret - wiggled her fingers in greeting in the hallway just before Tseng closed the door, leaving the pair of them to their own devices.
”You know the risks,” Tseng began as he turned toward her, his hands clasping behind his back. ”You’re here, so I trust they haven’t scared you away quite yet.”
In all fairness, it had occurred to Natasha that she probably shouldn’t have been so… ready, so willing, to die—on purpose—for ARMOUR. Not that it was just for that particular organization, considering the possible and incredibly far-reaching consequences of failure if they weren’t able to accomplish their goals. And it wasn’t as if she’d never risked death before—it came with the territory, after a while, when one ran about trying to save the world alongside demigods and superhumans—but there was something a little different between taking a risk, and… well…
Launching herself off that metaphorical cliff. Again.
Of course, in this case, in theory at least, they would be coming back after twenty-four hours. That was what most of the reports indicated, anyway, once news of Valhalla had begun to spread. But this was Pandora, and one thing that she’d learned since her arrival—including the memories she’d gotten of the time she’d been here before—was the fact that nothing was guaranteed.
Maybe they would wind up in Valhalla. Or maybe, for whatever reason, Pandora would decide her number was up, and she would just be dead. And then sent back home, where… she would also be dead.
It wasn’t like she had all that much to lose.
Which should probably have concerned her a little more than it did, this idea of being so blasé about her own potential demise. But the fact was, she’d already—more or less—come to terms with the fact that she was living on borrowed time. She had friends here, sure, but she’d had friends before, too—and they were mostly gone. Clint was gone. And it was feeling less like she had a life here she was stepping back into, and more like she was… pretending everything was fine, when somewhere deep down, she knew she was supposed to be dead.
If she wasn’t, did her sacrifice even mean anything?
Did her life?
But all of that was, ultimately, immaterial. She’d agreed to take this job, and she wasn’t about to back out now, no matter how unsettling it should have been that she didn’t particularly mind the thought of dying. So she knocked on the door of Agent Tseng’s home, adopting her trademark crooked smirk as he opened the door and stepped back to allow her entrance. “Home?” she said, arching one eyebrow as she looked around the room that was evidently going to be the site of her death this time. “Interesting choice of words.” Her tone was dry, but not bitter, and she offered Margaret a brief smile of thanks before turning back to her host, hands tucked in the pockets of her leather jacket.
“I’m sure you’ll find this out eventually, but I don’t scare easily. And please, call me Natasha,” she continued, her smirk returning as she gave him an appraising look. “We’re going to be dying together—I think we can dispense with formalities, don’t you?”
There wasn't a single doubt in his mind that Natasha Romanoff did not easily scare. He knew the demeanor of an agent with experience and while she had not wholly devoted herself to ARMOUR, that didn't make her any less valuable. For the number of problems there were in Pandora, and there was an exceedingly frustrating number of problems judging alone by the amount of paperwork that Bones liked to drop onto the surface of his desk, the faction could find themselves understaffed. That was where Tseng's specialty came into the picture.
Only, Agent Romanoff was a hard one to pull in full-time. They got what they got, and she was valuable nonetheless when they utilized her skillset. And her bravery, as it was. Not everybody out there even in positions such as theirs had the stomach for what it was they were about to do.
"Home," he repeated with a faint smile. "Perhaps just as well a reminder for myself that we'll be coming back." Tseng had never died before, but there had nobody else up for the task. Surely Natasha wouldn't have taken this risk alone and two sets of eyes were far better than the one.
Moving toward his desk as he listened to her words, he pulled open a drawer, placing two small vials on the wooden surface before glancing across to her, the nonchalance in which she carried herself despite the circumstances both admirable and terribly curious. Tseng, of course, had questions, but they were undoubtedly of the personal variety. "Natasha, then. Even in death, we'll be spending the next twenty-four hours together. I suppose we'll have plenty of time to ease away the formalities, won't we?"
Another drawer opened and he pulled out a couple of glasses and what was unmistakably a bottle of vodka, lifting it slightly for her to see. "The drug is gentle, or so I've been told," he said, nodding to the small vials in question as he poured a bit of the alcohol into each glass. "But I thought this might be as good an excuse as any." Taking a seat in his desk chair, he gestured vaguely toward the chair he had already pulled up for her on the other side as he offered one of the glasses toward her.
Under normal circumstances, Tseng hid his nerves expertly. These were not those circumstances, even subtle as those nerves may have been.
WHAT!? YOU NAMED THE AMPHITHEATER AFTER ATHENA!? But she's not even an artist! She's a boring stick in the mud! What do you do there? Watch old women weave all day? This is egregious! Egregious I tell you!