We are a panfandom featuring canon characters from nearly any live action, animated, video game,
drawn, or authored media. The Gods are fickle, toying with those deemed interesting
enough to be plucked from the world they once knew. Pandora's Box shall be your new home,
as they command.
mentions of brainwashing, maybe violence?, discussions of murder
It had been... two weeks? Slightly longer, since Daisy had been to the houseboat where she apparently lived. Following leads from the letter, to the warehouse, to...wherever she went. Ending up, in a weird sense of dramatic irony, in the very alley where she had apparently met the guy the first time. Quentin Beck, AKA William Gutenberg, AKA Victor Riviera. Who, based on the gun just left in the alleyway, hadn't been mugged at all, but had shot himself, for some reason. At least she got a free gun out of it.
Daisy knew that Bucky had made the decision to go, for some reason, but she hadn't really heard from him or Coco since. She hadn't reached out, either, so...
She had pizza as an apology?
Something was...Wrong. The houseboat felt empty, sad. Alpine, ever the cat, immediately started to wind around Daisy's legs, and she smiled. "I know you only love me because I'm carrying food, Alpine," she said, with a laugh. At least that meant that someone was here. They wouldn't leave Alpine alone. "Bucky? Coco?" Daisy called, making her way into the main living area. "Anyone here?" This was...worrying. "I've got pizza, crazy bread-free!"
Without Bucky, without any real leads, all Coco can do is take time to pick over Pandopolis for any hint of Bucky. When she isn't searching she comes to the houseboat to make sure Alpine is okay. The twelve year old doesn't want to just leave Alpine all alone.
Alpine had wandered off at some point while Coco was vaguely trying to get her hair up. She was trying to contain her growing frustrations so she wouldn't accidentally ruin another hair band by snapping it.
"Daisy-?" The bandicoot calls back out, dropping the hair band and hurrying out of her room in the direction of Daisy's call.
"Daisy!" Her green eyes widen in surprise and equal parts relief. "Bucky's gone! He's was brainwashed!" Comes out in a rush.
Finally, there's a response. "Coco," Daisy said, starting to respond before the rest of Coco's sentence cut her off.
Shit. Fuck. Fucking motherfucking cocksucking son of a bitch. She leaves for two weeks and everything's gone to hell. Daisy, deceptively calm, places the pizzas on the nearby table, and, almost robotically, pours herself a drink of the most sugary, fizzy, thing in the fridge. She took a deep gulp, and a deep breath. No time to panic, or get angry. Right now, she had to look after Coco, because.
The most likely candidate was whatever was left of Hydra. And Hydra didn't leave loose ends.
"Okay," Daisy said, opening her eyes. "Couple of things. Are you okay? When was this?" She took another, deep breath, snapping out of spy mode for the moment. "Tell me everything you can remember, but before that, are you okay?" The pizza was pretty well forgotten as Daisy focused on the bandicoot in front of her. She didn't look injured, or hurt, just... relieved and a bit angry.
"I'm fine! I don't know when Bucky was first brainwashed, but he left because of that stupid note and immediately started acting weird when he came back after. He came home and was being really squirrel-y about answering questions, disappearing randomly!" The bandicoot doesn't hesitate to lay it out, hoping out of anyone Daisy will hear her. Hear her and not act like she's too young to do something.
Daniel and Palmer had helped in their own way, pushed Bucky to actually admit something was off. Be it, admit by fleeing the scene. They weren't people Coco really knew. Hell, she didn't know Daisy that well, but the woman didn't treat her like she was dumb.
Daniel had meant well, but him treating her like that hadn't made Coco feel any better. Him forcing calm onto her by touch just left the twelve year more than agitated.
"I couldn't reach you, so I took Bucky's phone to try and find his other friends. They came over yesterday, and we tried to ask Bucky what was going on. He freaked out when one of them pointed out he was really clearly brainwashed and he ran away!"
Of course it was the note. Of course it was the fucking stupid note. Daisy swore under her breath and slumped into the chair a little. Coco was clearly not fine, stressed to fuck and angry as shit, which was fair. If it started at the note, at least, Dairy knew who was behind this, which meant she had to get in contact with Spider-Man again.
Daisy looked at Coco, and listened. Wait, so these friends of Bucky's had just...left her here? Learning a friend was brainwashed was traumatic at the best of times, and they just... ditched her? What the hell. Daisy took a deep breath. "You did well, Coco," she said, voice solemn. "You did really well. I promise we'll find Bucky. I already have a suspect."
Quentin fucking Beck.
"I'm sorry, Coco," Daisy said, taking another sip of whatever this soft drink was. "I wasn't here when you needed me to be, and now everything has gone to sh--crap." She stood up, shot a look at Alpine, who kept staring at the pizza, and stretched. "We need to leave. Whoever is behind this, they're willing to take away someone else's free will to achieve their goals. Which means they won't want loose ends, which means you're in danger. You're strong, Coco--" incredibly strong, mentally and emotionally, "--but you won't win a fight with the Winter Soldier."
The bandicoot's expression cycles through relief, anxiety and back to determination. "Anything would be great right now. Because I was trying to follow leads I had, but Bucky's crazy bread powers are a pain!"
Coco had hacked into what she could to get an idea of where Bucky was, but, whoever had him was laying low.
"I could take him." Coco says with determination that should be laughable. The bandicoot knows what she can do. "I just need to find him first, and punch him a lot for being so dumb!"
"You're looking in the wrong place," Daisy said, any harshness in her words softened by her tone. "Bucky's impossible to track, it's like trying to hold water. The way to do it is to track whoever's behind this, and wait for Bucky to report to them." The only way to ensure that they encountered him was to hang around somewhere he was sure to go.
Daisy took a deep breath, moving to the couch and slumping into that. "You should sit down, Coco," she said, and though her words were almost an order, there was pleading in them. She didn't want to break Coco's innocence. But... Bucky would never forgive her if he snapped out of Winter Soldier with Coco's dead body at his feet, and she'd never forgive herself. "It's not his fault. Hydra is deeply, deeply evil. This... isn't the first time I've encountered their brainwashing. You're smart, Coco, and incredibly resilient. But you don't win a fight with the Winter Soldier. You survive it, if you can. Hydra had Bucky for decades. Decades to turn him into what they wanted him to be. By any and every means they had to hand."
The table started to shake, and Daisy clenched her fist and shot it a look. "And what they wanted was a killing machine."
"I was hoping I could see Bucky, and then see whoever he was going back to." She says simply enough with a scrunch of her snout. "Hacking into camera feeds is easy, but he's got crazy bread powers."
The twelve year old crosses her arms over her chest, watching Daisy for a moment. She doesn't doubt the seriousness of the situation, but she knows Daisy doesn't know what she can do. The mutant knows she can square off at Bucky if she has to. She leans against the couch, not sitting just yet.
"Bucky told me about it. Not everything, obviously." The bandicoot says simply back. Coco never pushed, trusting Bucky to tell her in his own time. He told her about the killing game honestly enough. "Do you really think he's the only person experimented on by weird evil scientists for super soldiers?" She questions back with a frown. "He and I have that much in common, though the brain washing didn't stick for me."
"Mood," Daisy said, sharing the hacker solidarity. "But I know who he's going back to, I traced the letter." Sort of. She traced the warehouse, through who had purchased it, to their aliases, ending up with Quentin Beck. Made her wonder if Spidey knew that he was in Pandora. "Remind me later to teach you how to program automatic facial recognition," she said, shrugging.
The table stopped shaking, and Daisy relaxed her hand. Fucking... Coco was stubborn, Daisy had known that, but she hadn't realised how much. "I know he's not," she replied. "Hydra tried to replicate Captain America...a lot. And I got my powers because, millennia ago, alien evil scientists needed weapons in a war. But that doesn't matter, because I'm not only talking about an all out fight, and I don't want to find out if you're bulletproof." She needed Coco to understand the stakes here. "I'm not talking about Bucky coming at you with a knife, I'm talking about the Winter Soldier--" Daisy cut herself off. She didn't need to terrify Coco, and Coco didn't deserve that, so she took a breath, and sighed.
"It doesn't matter, this guy is clearly pretty stupid anyway," she said, sitting crosslegged on the couch. "Otherwise you and Bucky's other friends would be dead." When she had time, Daisy would process the brainwashed 12 year old, and probably destroy a tree or five. "Stupid and overconfident."
The bandicoot scrunches her snout again, "I'll take you up on that later." Coco would never turn down the possibility of learning something new. Especially if it made her life easier. She and Crash were fairly isolated in N.Sanity isles, so anything new was a good thing.
The shaking table thing was, hard not to notice, but Coco was trying to vaguely stay on topic. Her concern for Bucky outweighed a lot of things. The bandicoot files it away for later, because she does want to know. Maybe it has to do with the alien stuff?
Daisy cutting herself off makes Coco's frown deepen a little. "I know what I can handle, it wouldn't be the first time I was shot at. I doubt it'd be a perfect fight, but if I have to, I will." Coco can guess the Winter Solider could get sloppy, he had to deal with her irritating him for two weeks, so she could lean into that.
"Whoever it is didn't do basic research on who Bucky was beyond the Killing Game stuff." Coco speculates in turn, still standing for now. Her expression settles on something more thoughtful. "HYDRA already knows I exist, given I kicked one of the guys in the face. If it was HYDRA, they would have cleaned up completely. No loose ends." Cortex tried to be that ruthless, but it never quite worked out how he wanted it to. N.Tropy and Uka Uka were more ruthless than Cortex ever could be.
Daisy grinned. There was nothing like learning a new way to make someone else's life harder, or yours easier. Coco was a good hacker, but she didn't have Daisy's years of life experience, or the need to meet the strange demand of SHIELD. She was clever, though, and adaptive, so she'd pick it up pretty quickly.
Daisy sighed, quietly. "I know you can look after yourself, Coco. Just... if he comes after you, tell me. I can..." She trailed off, looking at her hands for a moment. Daisy couldn't explain how much she hated the idea that just came into her mind. It was a good idea, too, which made it worse, because she knew she had to try it. "I have an idea," she replied. " It should work, but first we have to find him."
A 12 year old shouldn't be this aware of how Hydra would respond to this. But she was right. "If it was Hydra, the Soldier would've had discovery orders. I've seen it before. But I think the person we're up against knows more about Bucky than we think." Daisy got up, quickly, and pulled out a tablet from her room. The tv turned on, and her hands flew over the tablet screen. "Quentin Beck. Someone I met warned me about him, a month or so ago."
"Alright, an idea is better than no idea." Coco concedes on that much, loosening her crossed arms to finally shift over to settle down on the couch with Daisy. The twelve year old still seems ready to spring up and into action. Coco wants to do something now. She knows she needs a plan, but she wants to help Bucky.
She waits as Daisy heads off to her own room to grab her tablet. Coco uses the moment to try and get her long hair up and out of her face.
"He has a really punchable name." Is Coco's initial response, frowning openly. "How much does he actually know? That's kind of one of the big questions besides 'where are they?'."
Daisy sighed, and pulled a hairtie off her own wrist. She didn't use them much, anymore, because her own hair was pretty short and there was no point in putting extensions in just to tie them back in a ponytail. But she keeps them anyway, because it's a habit. "Have you considered a plait?" she asked, offering the hairtie to Coco.
Daisy laughed, slightly. "If you think his name is punchable, wait until you see his face," she replied, sending a picture of the guy to the TV. He was giving his best "I'm a good person" grin, and Daisy carefully drew a stupid looking moustache on the picture on the tablet before moving onto Coco's next question. "Beck's from the same world as Bucky and I, and unfortunately, there's a bit of information publicly available on Bucky." Taking a deep breath, Daisy switched into spy mode.
"When SHIELD fell, Captain America and Black Widow dumped all of their files online. They weren't hard to find, either, and though I cleared most of them out as much as I could, nothing is truly gone on the Internet. That, and there was a big... kerfuffle later that was on the news. Between that and the second killing game, he knows enough to make Bucky's life fucking awful. Lucky for us, he's also overconfident and stupid. With me so far?"
She accepts the hair tie, attempting to wrangle all of her hair into a ponytail. "I have a lot of hair here, and usually Bucky braids my hair." Bucky and Crash were always the ones who knew how to actually braid all of her hair. Coco generally stuck to a ponytail when she needed to get things done.
The addition of the mustache on an already questionable picture startles a brief laugh out of the bandicoot. "I don't think even additional facial hair could save that face."
She goes quiet for the moment as Daisy lays things out. Coco isn't thrilled by this, but its what they have to deal with. The internet was forever, and Coco knew trying to stop the internet from holding onto something was pretty impossible.
Daisy winced inwardly at the mention of Bucky braiding Coco's hair. Coco's reaction, the anger and the certainty she'd get him back wasn't unusual, but Daisy was worried about what would happen if they couldn't. Daisy knew, better than anyone, that sometimes people were just... unreachable, and it wasn't like Hydra was the type to let their supersoldiers go. Beck seemed like the type of guy to do that sort of shit in a tantrum. "Lemme finish this, and I can braid it back for you," Daisy offered. She used to do it a lot, at the orphanage. She was the oldest person there, pretty much, and spent a lot of time helping out the younger ones.
"A black eye could, though," Daisy said, grinning. It wasn't a nice grin. It was mischevious, and angry, more teeth than any smile should be. She took a deep breath, a brought up a scan of the letter, and a picture of the warehouse mentioned in it. "This I'd the letter Bucky got, and this is the warehouse where they were supposed to meet. Now, this warehouse was rented for the night by a Victor Rivera, who paid in cash. Technically unreachable, except that the warehouse office had CCTV, which was... laughably easy to hack. And..." Daisy pulled up an incredibly grainy picture of Beck entering the office. Despite the poor quality, the resemblance was there. "Victor Rivera, aka William Guterberg, real name... Quentin Beck. Has an enemy in Spider-Man, and now us, and has a husband, by the name of-- son of a bitch." Daisy said, staring at the picture of Quentin and his 'husband'. "I'm going to kill him."
She pulled up the picture so Coco could see, but what she had spotted was easier to see on the tablet. Despite the fact that Beck's 'husband' was wearing a hood that made it hard to discern his face, the thing that had grabbed Daisy's attention was the distinct gleam of metal on the hand. "Motherfucker."
"I'd like that." Coco admits quietly back. She liked Daisy enough to trust the woman to braid her hair. Anyone else trying to handle her hair wouldn't have a very warm welcome.
She snorts a little at that additional comment, just focused on the data on the television screen for now. She wants to know what is going on, so her own commentary can wait until Daisy is finished speaking. Coco can be patient.
Well, she did intend to be patient until Daisy showed just who Beck's 'husband' was. The twelve year old clicked her teeth together, unable to stop anger from rising back to the surface. Her shoulders stiffen as her hands curl into fists at her side.
Coco knows Bucky, she recognizes the gleam of metal on his hand and the odd slouch Soldier has taken on around the houseboat.
"I don't think motherfucker is enough to cover it." She says carefully, ears flattening tight against her skull as Coco bristles.
She was going to make Quentin Beck regret this. All of this.
Daisy smiled, but not for long. It was nice to know that Coco trusted her enough to let her braid her hair, and she'd happily do it, she just had to get this out of the way. Before they made any plans, Coco had to know everything that Daisy could possibly tell her, or else she might rush into things, get herself hurt or worse.
Daisy hoped, prayed, that this was just a legal thing. That the marriage was just a... pretense, a cover story. Becaise if she was wrong, if it wasn't, she was going to break Beck's kneecaps, arms, and spine, and throw him in the ocean. Or something like that. Coco was angry, rightfully so, but Daisy found herself hoping that Coco didn't understand the possible implications of this. She was...wayyy too young. But Daisy couldn't...
She took a deep breath, and laid a hand gently on Coco's shoulder. There was a voice in her mind that sounded suspiciously like May, telling her that wasting anger was useless. Control. "I understand how you're feeling. Trust me, I feel it too," Daisy said, voice deceptively calm. "But if we get angry now, we'll rush into things, and someone who doesn't deserve it will get hurt." She paused. "But if you want to beat up a pillow with Beck's face on it, that can be arranged."
Coco glances up at Daisy, just quiet for a moment before she speaks, "Oh, I can be angry and plan." Her mind is already reeling with possibilities. Anger slides into determination, making her stand up just a little straighter now.
She was happy to hear Daisy out on her explanation, but now she needed to do something. The bandicoot pats at her pink pouches at her hip, flipping one open to pull out her tablet. The pink tablet unfolds from its closed postion to a full sized tablet in her hands. Coco taps at the screen, expression settling into something thoughtful as she works. "Give me a second." She can drudge up a bit of manners given Daisy has been extremely helpful this entire time.
Now Coco has a name, and aliases, that made her life so much easier. Even criminals used their name for everything internally because they feel secure. Everyone thinks they're safe until they aren't. Bouncing through security cameras isn't too much of a problem. While she doesn't see Beck, she does find something else interesting.
She finds the drones flying around Pandopolis easily enough. His signature is all over the drones. Getting her way into Beck's systems isn't too hard. He and Cortex have a similar idea of cyber security. His passwords are a bit more complex, she'll give him that, but he hasn't added enough protection to keep prying hackers from trying to pull things apart. Maybe he was rushed? Maybe he just hadn't thought of it? Who knows.
Coco has no idea what Beck is searching for, but she's going to make herself a problem for him.
"Did you know, he has drones?" Coco says conversationally, her attention still focused on the tablet in front of her. "Or, he had drones."
He really should have built their cooling systems just a little bit better. Who knew drones could overheat enough to explode like that?
That quiet, angry determination wasn't something Daisy had expected to hear from the mouth of a 12 year old. Then again, she had known Coco wasn't a normal 12 year old. This just proved it. Daisy watched over her shoulder as Coco...
Oh, that was a very pretty piece of hacking.
Smooth, taking advantage of the holes in his security. Of which there were many. He was an engineer, not a hacker. Not for the first time, Daisy missed having Fitz on side. Between the two of them, they would've turned his drones-- oh. That wasn't an option anymore. Huh.
"I did," Daisy said, shrugging. "I broke into his apartment and found the wreckage of one. So I got this." Reaching into her pocket, Daisy p pulled out a torch, offering it to Coco. "This isn't a torch. It's a localised EMP, but you're going to need it. Beck cheats."
"Just don't press it now. Or else we're all in trouble.' Because hacking was traceable, and Quentin Beck wasnt that.stupid. "Did you still them all at once?" Daisy said, smooth and calm tone hiding her real concern.
The bandicoot accepts the EMP, placing it into the pouch she's wearing at her hip. Coco balances the tablet in her other hand.
"Well, now he definitely has less of them." The bandicoot states easily enough. "He had a few flying around the city. I was able to catch onto two doing a patrol around a specific block. I waited until they were away from people to make them overheat and explode." Even with how angry she is, Coco isn't about to get anyone else hurt.
She wanted to find Bucky, not get anyone undeserving hurt.
Hi friends I want to apologise for my absentness of late; work is crazy right now and I'm just feeling like poop.
Thank you to everyone I'm plotting for being so patient with me and everyone in general for just being so lovely, you guys are the best