The Hacker Connection
Roleplaying Log: The Hacker Connection
Participants
IC Details
Synopsis:

Daisy and Ulysses make secure contact for a bit of info trading.

Other Characters Referenced: Phil Coulson, Peggy Carter, Captain America, Nick Fury
IC Date: August 27, 2019
IC Location: New York City
OOC Notes & Details
Posted On: 28 Aug 2019 03:19
Rating & Warnings: G
NPC & GM Credits:
Associated Plots

The plan had been to make contact some time ago but the proverbial call had never come through. It might seem like an odd thing for someone to forget about but there's probably a reason for the delay, right? That Daisy had been spotted at the ruins of the Triskelion a few days ago at least proves that she's still alive and doing..whatever the heck it is that she's doing..out there.

When the first hint of contact is made it's completely out of the blue. Ulysses gets an odd message on his phone. Included is a location within New York City (hopefully he's still in that area…) a date and a time. Should he follow the instructions he'll find a grungy old payphone on the outside of a building in a nice secluded space, perfect for a budding spy's little information war.

And, should he wind up in that alley at the right time and answer said grungy old payphone once it starts to ring, a familiar voice will pipe through.

"Well hey there, stranger. Okay, do me a favor and look to your left. No, Uly—left..more..more..more, okay and up..higher..aaand smile. Big Sister is watching you."

There's also a grungy old security camera out here meant to make this secluded little payphone nook more 'safe.' It had been trivial to hijack.

***

A lot of things had come up between the time that Coulson had brought Ulysses into 'the fold' where other, riskier games were in play. He'd been out of the state and on a completely different coast for the first time ever. Gone through his first field mission, or maybe it was his second since he's not sure if the other counted. And then just when he'd thought that things had quieted down enough to settle back into routine and the safe confines of a glorified desk job, Daisy Johnson happened. …and then there was a quick side-trip to Markovia once his injuries were vetted as nothing serious.

He still feels like one big bruise, but being able to move around at all is probably a good thing. That doesn't mean he's all too happy about having to do so, especially when the mysterious message comes up.

The place in question makes him uneasy and question for the umpteenth time whether or not this had been a good idea. Hopefully no one finds him suspicious as he makes way to the payphone, looking awkward as ever as he casts a look over his shoulder. He actually jumps when the payphone rings, looking hesitant before finally picking the thing up. And really who wants to touch those things these days?

While it does take some discerning between lefts and rights he eventually spies the camera, the corner of his lips ticking up in a lopsided, uncertain smile. "Heeey… Good to know. Because getting sniped or something would really put a damper in my day."

***

Initially visual contact is one-sided and pretty blurry in addition but finally getting a chance to both see -and- talk to a fellow techie Daisy had used to interact with a fair deal more seems to double as a reminder of how isolated she's become with this operation. Even now it's that feeling of 'so close, yet so far.'

Maybe it's better that he doesn't see how big her smile is right now.

"So, ah..I just..wanna say sorry, for..the powered sucker-punching back at the Triskelion hole. It seemed like the best option at the time. Things got a little..dicey."

"So hey, if you want to shift this over to video take a look at the wireless signals on your phone and connect to 'Plum426,' password is 'purple crazy' with an underscore. Yah..it's through a nearby bar. The guy really liked his Challenger. So long as you stay where you are the connection should hold. We'll be safe to talk. Oh my god there's a lot to catch up on and again I am -So. Sorry.- For launching you into the air."

***

Even though he'd just seen her days ago, it's a relief to actually talk to her. Sure, Agent Coulson had told him she was still about but that last meeting he might as well have met a ghost. …okay, a ghost with a mean invisible left hook.

"Yeah. That." There's that trademark tone of his, the ever dry sarcasm that never seems to flee even in the worst of situations. "I realize how bad that could have worked out but… Okay, that really hurt. More physically than emotionally. I mean, I reasoned it out and logically, okay, it made sense so I wasn't so much feeling betrayed but my back still aches and I'm just glad I didn't land on like, I don't know, exposed rebar or something." He makes a face at the thought. "-anyway, so how are you?"

The suggestion of video, or more so the not needing to use an old grubby payphone has him set the thing down after deciding he'd rather not try holding it between his face and shoulder. Ulysses pulls out his phone and swipes about for the local wifi.

"And…okay, there we are…"

***

Sure enough, the connection links up and contact is established in glorious hi-def without any germ-caked relics of decades yonder trying to interfere. The face on the other end is still doing that 'raccoon black' around most of her eyes. Otherwise she's looking distinctly Daisy-like. The background is partly taken up by a map, one of Metropolis if Uly were to look it up. A few colored pins are stuck in various locations.

"Heeey, so this is a familiar change of pace, huh. Aside from the whole 'digging through the ruins' bit it's been okay," she offers with a wide eye-roll. "It seems to have quieted down for now, I don't know if they're planning another big hit somewhere or if everyone's taking their vacation time while the weather's nice. You've spoken to Coulson by now, right? Did he fill you in on the Amon Bell situation? It took some doing but I've found a way in, let me zip that IP to you."

A slight turn and some tapping on a keyboard and another message will pop up on Ulysses' phone. Then she returns to the camera. "For the work involved I was kinda hoping there'd be more dirt on the guy but here's what I've got so far."

"So a couple of years ago there was something called 'Project Endgame' which Bell had been quiiite involved with. The Project was exposed back in '16 through the Daily Planet, but..Bell somehow managed to avoid the spotlight. A 'Director Bones,'" she squints while reading off of a nearby monitor, "of the DEO went and mothballed the Project but Bell took a parting shot via email, something about 'werewolves in the village' and 'throwing away their silver bullet.'"

"The purpose behind this Project had been to identify metahuman DNA and swap it out with 'clean' samples. They were touting it as some sort of cure. Seriously unethical, if you ask me."

***

"It's so nice talking to someone on the other end of a screen," Ulysses says with an only slightly exaggerated sigh of relief. "I don't suppose you'd be so inclined to tell me why you made off with what you did. Then again maybe it's better the less I know the less I can say about it."

He flicks a look around through the dingy, scratched up panels of the booth, nodding as he follows along with Daisy. "Yeah, talked to him just before my trip to Alaska. We went fishing. Like, actual fishing, with bait and a pole on a boat? …also the Alaska trip and the fishing trip were two different things." One had more shooting and being shot at than the other.

"He gave me the rundown on what all you're up to, so I've just been… waiting on that end, mostly because of other stuff that came up." There's a bit of a pause as he pulls up the message she pings him with, which he quietly copies onto a memo file so he can delete the message itself. "I'd be surprised if nothing came up on him at all. Someone like that doesn't just…appear, right?" Although he may as well have for the impression made that fateful day. He frowns and taps out a few quick notes as Daisy continues. There's a brief quirk of his lips. "Haha, parting shot, silver bullet. …okay I'm done."

Clearing his throat, he refocuses, frowning again. "Oh yeah, that doesn't sound fishy at all."

***

With the matter of what it is that Daisy took from the Triskelion's remains she opens then closes her mouth and forces a quick nod when he decides he probably shouldn't know about it. "Yah, that. Let's..go with that."

Of course, in her excitement to have established contact and having the chance to dump all of the juicy data that she's managed to compile over the weeks it's easy to get caught up in the moment. It's also easy to forget that Ulysses had a life during that stretch, too.

"-Alaska,- you seriously went to Alaska? And—" she slowly breaks out in a grin, one which is quickly covered by a hand as if trying to be polite. "Fishing? With -Coulson?- Oh my god I would -love- to have seen that." Though her expression does sober a fair bit when he mentions having been shot at. "Oh, ah..-wow.- Okay. So I'm glad you're doing alright."

When Uly catches the pun Daisy offers a sheepish smile. "I've gotta make my own fun over here. Anyway that's only the first half of it. Backing up to 2013 there was a case involving some metahuman who had been arrested but died in holding. Bell was actually under investigation for this one."

"The metahuman had cuts on both of her wrists, hallmarks of a struggle, but they blamed the knife that was in her cell as having been smuggled in -by her powers- and that she had committed suicide. I'm totally not buying it. Oh, and..the battering that her head and shoulder took was claimed to have been during the arrest because of -course- it was. Four months later the case is dropped and Bell once again walks free. Kinda seeing a pattern here?"

Daisy turns back to the monitor and taps at the keys a few more times, then "He's not exactly clean in his personal life either. Go figure, right? Married of thirty years, three kids, aaand a mistress whom he regularly sees out in -Dumbo,-" she emphasizes the word with a goofy voice and a face to match. "Like..half of his nights are spent there, so on top of being a murderous jerk he's also a total creep. Total package here."

"Bell also does a lot of golfing at the 'Van Courtland' course in the North Bronx, often buddying up with some state legislators, city council members who are notably -against- the mayor, and at least once with the governor of New York State. This creepy murderous jerk is -well- connected. Might be worth checking out on your end."

***

"Yeah, I don't know if you heard about the whole…well, someone was going after metas with psychic abilities and such and we managed to nail down that they were in Kiev, Alaska. There's absolutely nothing out there by the way so I wouldn't recommend it as a vacation spot." Probably the most excitement the place has ever seen. Ulysses is just glad they found everyone and got out in one piece.

"Oh yeah, I even caught a fish. He was nice enough not to try teaching me how to clean it. Anyways, still alive, that counts towards all right, right? I even crashed a van into a plane to help Agent Carter and Captain America. …I'm not so sure I'm cut out for field work."

More details on Bell. It sure saves him the trouble of doing his own digging, but the more he hears about the guy, the more he has to wonder… "How does someone like this still manage to be put in charge of anything? Although I guess the same goes for lots of people in politics," he amends, scowling a bit. "…wait, there's an actual place called Dumbo? We're not talking about the flying elephant? -never mind, given the context that just. Agh. I wish my brain hadn't gone there."

He sighs as he adds to his notes. "Called it on the politics. Yeah. I'll see what I come up with. How do we keep in touch? Or is this like James Bond and I gotta wait for a ring from your end all the time?"

***

Daisy shakes her head, "Hadn't heard about that mess. That..actually sounds pretty terrifying. In that case I should probably be thanking you for helping save the world," she decides with a smile. "We've really come a long way from being 'bottom of the bin' techs, huh."

The fish story gets another snicker from the hackerette but it's once again quickly replaced by a look of surprise when he mentions the van crash. "No way. -You?- I didn't know you knew -how- to drive, that is totally awesome! I'd better hurry up or I might be taking orders from you soon," she teases. "Hey—c'mon now, seriously Uly. You -helped Agent Carter and Captain America,- that gives you total bragging rights, like..-forever.-"

How does someone like Bell still manage to be in charge? "Money, power, connections," Daisy says with another eyeroll and a frustrated sigh. "And yah..my mind went there too. Somehow makes it that much more wrong that he's cheating on his wife at some place named after a Disney character. That's a whole new level of class."

How do they keep in touch? "Okay, so I'm running a pretty slick setup over here. It's mobile but it takes me some time to set things up if either location changes. I should be able to keep the link on my end running for a while but I'm not going to ask you to keep going into the armpit of the city just to talk to me. Find somewhere safe that you'd like to use then get me the details and I'll make the switch. Like the -least- I can do is give you a chance to work on some of your own terms. I feel bad having to keep you at arm's length like this, but..at least we can catch up again."

***

"Oh, it was. People getting kidnapped. Turns out someone was working on a way to suppress those specific abilities. I hardly did it alone, I was more of a tag-along, really. I think most of the damage was done by the X-Men. I wish I could say it was awesome working with them but I was kinda in a different group so I…didn't really…"

Okay, Ulysses looks a little proud at being able to say he'd helped two S.H.I.E.L.D. heavy hitters, although his expression wavers then. "I know how to drive! -in ways that don't involve crashing into airplanes! I keep worrying that Fury will give me another promotion. I feel like everything's just been non-stop since the last one."

He drums his fingers on the side of the booth as he considers possible places for a communications set-up before making a disgusted face as he pulls his hand away. "Yeah, relocating will be great. And being somewhere less…skeevy will be a plus. Maybe even with a chair and a nicer view? That aside, it's good to hear from you. And to know you're not…" Awkward gesture. "…dead or something." Since the Trike had fallen things had come one after the other, but it had been concerning that Daisy Johnson had fallen off the radar, and back then he could only imagine the worst had happened considering the timing.

***

Working on the same mission as the X-Men. Helping Carter and the Captain. Fishing with Coulson. -Getting promoted by Fury?!-

Daisy's jaw is left gaping open.

'Worrying that Fury will give me ANOTHER promotion'…

It takes a physical act of shutting her eyes and giving her head a quick shake to break free of her stupor. "Okay, so..I'm pretty sure that you already outrank me," she quietly suggests.

To think that her life had been more peaceful while working with the Brotherhood! She has got some hardcore catching up to do at this rate…

A second 'flinch' seems required to reboot her mind. "Yah—sure, I mean pick wherever you like so long as it's secure. I don't want the rest of SHIELD edging in on our conversations. It could even be right to your phone from your living room, just understand that wherever we sync up will be a static location. That's like a five foot circle that if you stray outside of we'll lose connection. Any time either of us decide to pick somewhere else it'll take me a couple of hours to recalibrate, so please try to make it a good one."

Another quick breath is released before the lady going by 'Quake' smiles. "I'm glad you're doing well, Uly. Coulson's next on my list, I'm sure he'll have some questions for me after ..what happened."

***

It's another thing he's neglected to realize until he sees Daisy's face. "…oh yeah. Uh. A lot of stuff happened after the Triskelion collapse," he says. As though that hadn't already been apparent.

"Uh-huh, got it. I…yeah, maybe not my living room but I have some ideas." Ulysses nods his understanding of the situation. It has to be a tight, secure spot, but it might be good to consider back-up locations as well.

He grins a little then. "Better you than me. Every time I get questioned by Coulson I feel like I'm back in high school getting a pop quiz. Also I hope your new job's less exciting than mine." Does he ask for details? She hasn't really divulged any, but given her new affiliations he figures it's safer for the both of them that way. "Maybe one day they'll be able to talk again without a screen and without you hurtling me into a pile of painful rubble." He's not necessarily trying to rub that in, he's just… That's just how he always is.

***

"So I've gathered," Daisy deadpans about 'a lot of stuff' having happened. "I don't even know where the new base is located, but let's keep it that way for now. Listen, one of these days I will be coming back and you can help me get up to speed in person, okay? I promise."

To the matter of Coulson she has to smile again, "He does have that effect on people, doesn't he. Even when I'm not in trouble I kinda feel like I am. Maybe it comes with the territory but I'd rather be talking to him than to someone like Fury."

Following this is another apologetic look complete with a slight wince. "Yah..hey, uh..I'll owe you ..like..lunch, or..something," she stumbles with a showing of hands covered in those fancy hybrid gloves. "The last thing I wanted was to freeze up and leave you with dozens of Agents all hammering you with questions about why you didn't try to stop me. Believe me, I -totally- did not expect you to be there."

"Just..let me know what you come up with for a secure link, okay? Like it or not you're kinda going to be my lifeline out here. I don't even have regular contact with Coulson. He keeps insisting on going all 'oldschool spycraft' with this," she grumbles with air quotes and another silly voice. "I mean it's interesting as a sort of history lesson but it is -so slow- compared to modern tech." Now she's slouching forward and looking weary with the thought.

***

"Fury is frightning. I wasn't even alone when I had to talk to him but it's like he'd burn a hole through your head if you said your own name wrong." That might just be the way the man carries himself but he's still the most intimidating person Ulysses has ever met. "Hey, maybe Coulson will take you fishing some time. Or… I don't know, what did people do in his time? Harvest chicken eggs?"

He waves a hand. "It's fine. Better I be a victim than an accomplice, right? Not like I expected you to be there either. Maybe they'll let me stay in the office instead of scavenging the wreckage." He can always hope anyway.

Another nod, and a little chuckle. "Eh, I think it's kind of cool. The old school spy stuff. And I guess it doesn't hurt to be too careful. Also I think that's just Coulson's thing. At least he's not sending you messages via carrier pigeon." That would be kinda funny though. "So is that all you have for me? No other juicy gossip or fun new memes?"

***

Daisy grimaces slightly with the thought of Fury being..well..Fury. Though she can't help but feel like having a meeting with him would be some sort of validation of having 'made it' within the Division. Not that she would be looking forward to such an encounter but it does kind of have that rite of passage feeling about it.

Then she about loses it when thinking about Coulson picking eggs out of a coop. "I won't tell him you said that," comes through a fit of laughter.

When Ulysses mentions carrier pigeons she groans and momentarily hides her face in both hands. "Don't give him any ideas." Sure, she gets Phil's paranoia and wanting to play it safe. For her it's been interesting to learn about but a difficult adjustment to practice.

Regarding any other gossip Daisy shakes her head. "Wish I did but I've been in something of a lull here. Memes..well, did you hear about the Sentinel photobombs? People have been Photoshopping those crazy robots into all sorts of images. Then there's the parody animations. For a while someone was making a fully voiced cartoon series based off of them but those might have been taken down due to copyright issues or something. You haven't lived until you've seen a poorly animated purple robot crushing a beer can against its own forehead."

Clearly she's looking impressed here. So..so very impressed.

"If I dig up anything more I'll let you know. In the meantime I'm just glad to not be leveling any more buildings on top of people."

***

"Please don't. He might actually make me do it," Ulysses pleads, while trying very hard to keep a straight face.

"I guess Photoshopped Sentinels are better than seeing the real deal around. Proof that anything horrible can get its weight of megabytes in fame." He wonders when people will be freshly reminded of the terror of those things, his hope of steering clear of that mess instantly dissipating as he reminds himself that he's looking into the guy that's been promoting them. Holding in a groan, he lets the thought pass as he nods once again at his phone and his fellow hacker on the screen.

"That makes two of us. Not that I've personally been in those buildings but all the same…" He shrugs. "Okay then. Guess that's it? I'll get right on the whole Bell thing, provided I'm not shipped out of the country again." Not that being out of the country will necessarily keep him from doing some digging, but if he's busy trying not to get shot or something, that just makes things more difficult. Looking a little reluctant to do so, he knows he should probably get going.

"I'll catch you around, Daisy. You be careful out there."

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