1964-08-12 - In The HQ That Doesn't Exist
Summary: Kai comes to visit Bucky, and Carol comes by to check on them.
Related: If there are no related logs, put 'None', — please don't leave blank!
Theme Song: None
carol-danvers bucky kai 

He's broken out of the Triskelion before. So here, unlike the base in Manhattan, there is no pretense at all that Bucky is anything other than a prisoner. He has a jumpsuit, yes. And no hairties at all - lest he somehow convert them into a lethal weapon. But there have been no outbreaks, no fits of madness or succumbing to programming, so he's been permitted a visitor in the form of everyone's favorite elf healer. He's sitting calmly on a chair on the other side of a clear panel….and his metal arm is limp at his side. There's something snugged on to the shoulder, just below the scarlet star, like a metal spider, complete with a ring of blinking LEDs that are almost like eyes.

Kai is all over the chance to visit his buddy. He worries about Bucky, all locked up in this scary place with on one to care for him properly. Is what he assumes is the situation. "You look different with your hair down," he says as he sits on the other side of the panel, those big blue eyes tinged with a mix of concern and joy. "But you look good. Are they taking care of you in here? Feeding you?" His glance goes to the thing on Bucky's arm. "Is that thing keeping it immobilized?"

He doesn't look as bad, somehow. More at ease, calmer….but Buck's eyes are really bright. "Yeah," he says, gently. It's long, now that it's down - he hasn't cut it since he got to New York in March, and it's past his shoulders. He's cleanshaven, at least. "They're taking care of me. I get food and water and exercise and a shower." He glances at the little metal bug, and nods. "Yeah. More accurately, it makes it not work at all. Dead weight. I can't tense it up at all." To demonstrate, he reaches over with his live hand, grasps the alloy wrist, and waves it at Kai, as if it were a doll's. Somehow ridiculous and pathetic at once.

Kai wrinkles his nose. "Just water? I wanted to bring you some whiskey but they said no. And they make you exercise?" He shakes his head sadly. And they call this human treatment. He watches the arm with interest, and its painfully clear if there weren't a panel separating them, he'd be messing with it. "You look like you're not suffering too badly. Did they say how long they were going to keep you here?"

That makes Bucky laugh, softly. "YOu're a good buddy, Kai," he says, and his expression is fond. "But believe me, I'm way better off with water. No on makes me exercise - I do what I can in my cell, but they do let me out into a larger gym, sometimes." The question of duration makes him shrug the shoulder that works. "I'm not sure. In theory, there's one more psychic who needs to verify me…." And then he leans in, "Kai," he says, more quietly. "I….I ended up part of a mission," he says. "I don't know how much I can say. But it looks like the Russians made more of me. Not just guys with augmentations," A gesture at the metal arm. "But actually me."

Kai's brows lift. Leaning in, he says quietly, "They what? So there's more Buckys out there? Do they know they're not the original?" He pauses, then asks, "How do you know you're not one of them? Your memory has been pretty spotty." He waves a hand. "Doesn't matter, you're my Bucky. What are they going to do? That's… that's a lot of brainwashing to undo."

"There are. I don't know," he says. "I think they captured one. At least one." And then he pauses and stares at Kai. "…..I don't know," he says, finally. "I don't know."

Kai's expression softens in the face of the stare. "I'm sure you're the real Bucky. You have all the memories, right? Of Steve, of growing up in Brooklyn. That's all real. That happened." Unless they implanted those memories in all the Buckys, but Kai is smart enough not to say //that/ in light of Bucky's expression.

He gives Kai that look, from under his brows. "I know what you're thinking," he says. "And….yeah. Memories. All this. But….it coulda been a long game. I won't deny it. We'll see what this psychic says."

Kai grimaces and says, "I'm not very good at lying with my face." There's an apology in there, somewhere. "It just seems like a lot of detail to put in there that's not mission critical." He's been reading up on military stuff. So proud of his jargon. He nods firmly. "Let's see what the psychic says. Maybe they can age your mind like how geologists read layers of the earth. How many years your memories really go back, that kind of thing."

"I feel like….if I were a replica, I'd be more disposable. All the stuff with Pepper, with Steve…I guess they could fool Steve." Truth be told, Steven Rogers has the heart of a golden retriever - kind, brave, and loyal to a fault the size of the San Andreas. And sometimes the mentation of a golden retriever, let's be honest. "I just….I feel like they'd've ironed that out by now?" There's a hopeful lilt to his voice, but then he adds, with that twist to his lips, "…..or I might just be a factory second they use anyhow."

Kai shakes his head and says, "I don't care either way. You're my Bucky, and everything we've done, including literally going through Hell together, really happened." He waves a hand. "No, forget I said anything. It doesn't matter." He regards Bucky intently. "Do you hear me? It doesn't matter. You're my friend, and I miss you, and you'll get out of here someday and we'll go have some adventure."

It reassures Bucky. That face is as transparent as the panel between them. "That's true," he says, quietly. "Even if I'm just something grown in a Soviet lab with a dead man's memories….none of them did that. None of them will see Asgard."

"Right," Kai says. "None will see Asgard, and none will have overcome death itself. None of them will be the guy who comes over and cooks dinner, and the guy who gets drunk with us on satyr wine." He smiles warmly and puts his hand up to the panel. "Doesn't matter where we come from, man, only where we're going."

Bucky puts up his own hand in turn, the only one that currently works. IT's disturbing to see how crippled he looks when the metal arm's locked like that - a broken toy, indeed. HE simply nods at that, and his smile is weary, but relieved.

Kai's smiles broadens, and his features soften around his eyes. "There's my Bucky," he says quietly. "I could pick you out of a dozen. No one looks at me like that. I love you like a brother, do you know that?"

"I should hope so," he says, teasingly, and there's that impish light in his eyes. "Otherwise, someone might be jealous." Then he nods, letting the teasing go. "I do know. YOu're one of the few friends I've made since I was the Winter Soldier. Steve and Peggy and the Commandos, they remember James, and they love me for his sake. But you….Scarlett…you're the family I've found since."

Kai's cheeks dimple. "I think he was, briefly, til he realized that's not how I see you." He blinks a few times, his eyes glistening. Emotional hippy artist. "Don't give up on them loving you," he says quietly. "Or the idea that you're still you beneath it all. The're rooting for the man the Reds haven't managed to erase no matter how hard they've tried."

Bucky nods. "YOu're right. It doesn't matter how I started." And then his lips thin out again. "But if these guys are really human, and not just….real robots with my face pasted on….Kai, that means I've got at least a couple dozen brothers."

Kai lets that sink in. A couple dozen brothers. Exact copies, like twins only dodechatuplets times two. "You're going to need to make a name jar," he says slowly. "Because you can't all be James. That would just confuse everyone." He blinks a few times. "They might be robots?"

He gives Kai a startled look for a moment, and then he's laughing. "Man, yeah. I hope they're robots. Because if they are my brothers, or sons, or however we end up looking at it…I'll have to rescue them. And make sure they can't makemore." James Buchanan Barnes proposes to go to war with the entirety of the Soviet intelligence apparatus. Great idea.

After facing off with Hela, really, what's the Soviets? "Oh, Bucky," Kai says, and he smiles so softly, with tender affection. "Let Loki and I come too so we can raze their operation to the ground and leave nothing but smoldering ashes. Because that's what they get for hurting you in the first place."

He whistles at the idea. "I don't wanna start a whole war, but…..that's tempting as hell. Though I kinna wanna see what Loki does when he's working flat out."

Kai says, features alight with pride and awe, "He's so groovy. Though it's best not to provoke him, man, and if he does get provoked, pray it's by the Reds. The problem is you never know which side he's going to find the most entertaining. I think, though, that in this case, he'd make quick work of them."

Groovy. Kai and his slang. "I figure, yeah," he agrees. "Good to know if it comes down to it, he's someone I can call on." He almost never names Loki. Somewhat superstitiously.

Probably wise. Say his name three times and he might appear. "He favors you," Kai says. "I think he might take it personally if people who aren't him are messing with you. Besides, I'm not above putting in a good word." Normally chipper Kai's expression darkens. "They can't keep doing this. Not to you, not to your possibly robotic copies. It's not right."

He bows his head in assent, oddly formal. "Exactly," he says. "It's my life, my face, they're using. It has to stop."

"So we'll stop them," Kai says quietly. "I'm sure these Sh— people whose function I've no idea about are invested in stopping them, too. One way or another, this will get solved. You'll get your life back, and we'll be here waiting for you."

"I'll talk to Steve, when I get out of here. IF anyone's likely to sign on to this damnfool crusade, it's him," he notes, resting his forehead on his hand, for a moment.

Kai grins. "You want me to tell him? We could get wound up and raving in advance so all you have to do is waltz right in and lead the charge." He tilts his head, then asks, "Is there anything you want me to tell Steve? I worry about him. The weight of the world weighs on him to heavy sometimes."

Bucky's expression is rueful. "Take care of him," he says. "There's all that mythology stuck to him like shit on a shoe. I don't think he ever lets himself really get out from behind the shield anymore, you know?"

"It's easy to get lost in one's work," Kai says. With a straight face, even, the self-proclaimed kept elf. "I'll make sure he relaxes with a beer or something. He needs friends who aren't after something. People who like Steve, you know? Not just angling for some face time with Captain America."

"Exactly," Bucky says, sitting back in his chair. "Thanks, Kai. You're a good guy."

Kai shrugs a shoulder and says, "I like to keep my friends cheered up. They're more likely to buy me satyr wine if they're in a good mood." He winks. "There's a thought. I might invite Steve to Saganaki. I don't see how anyone can't be put in a better mood by eating fried cheese. Just knowing there's fried cheese in the world makes me happier."

So, while Buck's very much a prisoner here in the Triskelion, he's not being badly treated. Oh, he's in a plain jumpsuit, and there's a device clinging to the shoulder of his metal arm that's clearly rendered it about as useful as a lead balloon….but he's having a face to face with Kai at the front panel of his cell. The elf's said something that has him grinning. "Do that," he says. "Lamb's a great cook, and a good guy. And I think a few bowls of that wine'd do Rogers a world of good."

"A few bowls of that wine pretty much fixes everything," Kai says. He has a hand to the glass, watching Bucky with a grin on his face. "I'll ask them if they'll let me bring you some saganaki and baklava. I can't imagine they'd have a problem giving you some real food."

Carol's voice echoes from behind Kai, "Nope, as long as you get me some of that saganaki and baklava, Kai." She grins and leans against the wall, "Sorry, didn't mean to eavesdrop, just was coming over to check on things. Though, no wine for me. I quit that a while ago." She smiles a bit wider at Kai, "You settling back in alright elf?" She might still think he has questionable taste in boyfriends, but hey, she did help save him from a crazy Russian God of Evil.

Bucky turns a grin on Carol and says, almost cheerfully, "Hey there." Then, "She saved me," he confides to Kai. "The Russians were broadcasting some of the words they use to control me…..them. Us. She got me out of range, and helped destroy the speakers. I was this close," And he holds up thumb and forefinger a coin's width apart, "To getting lost in the programming again."

Kai looks over at Carol and perks up. "You got it," he says. "It's okay about the wine, Lambert serves a nice apple juice, too." He nods then, curls bouncing. "I've decided, like, the best revenge is to live well, man. I'm not going to let any of that heavy stuff get me down." To Bucky, he says, "Remind me to get her something nice." Then, to Carol, "Let's go out to Saganaki sometime, on me. I'm an artist now and my patron keeps me quite comfortable."

Carol nods, and smiles at Bucky, "After the pain in the ass it's been to get you back over with the white hats, I'll be damned if I let you go back over. Sorry if I startled you with that, but I guess I never really fully explained what I can do." Sure, there was Niflheim, but that was also her in costume, and Bucky was half Winter-Soldiering at that point anyway.

Then she smiles at Kai too, "Sounds good to me. Especially since I don't have a rich slimeball of an ex-boyfriend to pay for meals out. Government salaries aren't as good as you might think."

Bucky whistles through his teeth at that. "Fair enough," he says to her, amused. "And no, you didn't. But no wonder ou've never been afraidof me. Good, good." And he winks at Kai. Patron indeed.

Kai's brow furrows. "He's not a slimeball," he says. "He's a romantic from a culture that's different from Earth." Never mind that, in that culture, he's also not all that popular with the authorities. "It was a huge misunderstanding." Which Loki will never apologize for, but that's okay, there's Kai to do it for him.

Carol Danvers blinks, "Kai, sorry, I was talking about /my/ ex." She blushes a bit, "I… damn. I mean, Loki did alright in the end. Even if he did nearly get me fired." Because, well, that was not a fun time being on unpaid leave while that was all going down, and then she looks at Bucky with a wry grin, "Yeah. I have to admit, you were pretty adorable with your reactions when you thought you might actually hurt me before." She winks at him at that. "But if it makes you feel better, I was pretty spooked of you ten years ago when we had to take out that HYDRA cell together."

There's that beat of pause, that vague look, while he riffles through Winter's mental files. Then he snorts. "What happened in the interim?" he asks, with interest. Then, "Sorry about all that. Both times."

"Oh," Kai says. "Yeah, that makes more sense. Loki's not my ex." With a dopey grin, he says, "We're in love." Oh, the elf has it bad. So, so bad. He sighs, and he looks between the two of them. "Hey, is SHIELD hiring?" A pause, then, "I mean that organization that doesn't exist and I'm not even sure where I am, la la la?"

Carol grins, "The organization that doesn't exist but if it did it would own the building that you're sitting in right now? That organization?" She hmms, "Honestly, I'm not sure, I've barely gotten back in their good graces, but now that I'm out of the doghouse…" Then she looks over at Bucky, and smiles, "Well, I was doing some work with SHIELD at NASA, watching out for alien infiltration, when I got hit with an alien gizmo that gave me my powers. Took a little time off to learn what I can do, and… it's pretty great." To put it mildly.

Bucky just gives her that wry look. Everyone else gets to have all the fun. Me, I just get chewed up by the Russians. "…..what's NASA?"

Looking around, Kai says, "Yeah, exactly that." Then, "I'm glad you're getting back in their good books, and speaking as someone who's technically an alien, I'm sorry that happened to you, or you're welcome, whichever you jive with more." He flashes them both a cheeky smile, and he regards Carol quizzically for an answer to Bucky's question.

Carol grins, "National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Bucky. They handle space travel for the government." She chuckles at Kai, "Hey, technically that Psyche-Magnetron made me half-Kree anyway. But hey, now I'm a genuine hero, and I can do things to inspire people in a lot bigger way than just working at SHIELD alone."

That clearly takes a moment to unscramble. "Oh, right," he says, brightly. EVen as Winter insists (grumpily, in the back of his mind) that Gagarin was first. "I envy you. That sounds really wild."

"Then you're welcome," Kai says, inclining his head primly. "You're a hero in my book. Both of you are, and you've inspired me to devote my life to the service of others, and to never stop working on my art." His levity fades somewhat, showing he's capable of being serious. "It's one hell of a second chance you cats gave me. I'm not going to squander it."

Carol smiles, "That's great to hear, Kai." She grins and claps Kai on the shoulder, then looks over at Bucky, "Well, after Gagarin and Sputnik, that kinda lit a fire under America, as it should have. And… well, hoping to get to the Moon by the end of the decade."

He gets an odd look on his face at that, as if he'd heard some sound in the distance, past their voices. Buck's brow furrows, and he puts his hand to his temple, the motion of a man fending off a headache. "Carol," he says, slowly. "The words….from the speakers. Did you hear them clearly?"

Kai smiles up at Carol, and youthful and hopeful looking as ever, despite everything he's gone through, though a closer scrutiny might notice a few subtle differences, around the eyes mostly. He's not untouched by what happened, not by any stretch. He's about to say something, then looks at Bucky. "Speakers?"

Carol shakes her head, "No, not clearly Bucky… I mean, I made out a few of them, but I was kinda busy." She looks at Kai, "To control or condition the other Winter Soldiers, they had speakers set up to reinforce the control phrases on them. Which are the same ones as were affecting Bucky." She frowns, "It's why I grabbed him and hightailed it out of there."

"They didn't finish. But I could feel them working," He touches the side of his head again, delicately, as if it ached. "….there are more. I know it." He sounds tired, of a sudden.

Kai nods slowly. "That's the stuff you're trying to get out of his head," he says. "So they can't control him anymore." His brow knits, and he puts his hand to the glass again. "They'll figure it out, Bucky," he says. "You've got the top minds on this, and we're smarter than they are."

Carol nods, "I'll light a fire until Phil. Well, not literally, but… I think he was making some contacts with some people that could help. We'll get that out of your head, Bucky. I promise." And she means that, even as she adds, "Even if I have to take you to Hala to do it. Though that might be a weird trip."

"What's HAla?" he asks, after a beat. A night for questions. "And weird how." The mention of Coulson makes him look pleading. "Please do."

Kai shakes his head vaguely. He has no idea what Hala is. He glances between the two of them, and he asks meekly, "Should I let you two talk official business? I'm a little out of my depth here."

Carol shakes her head, "Oh, sorry. Um, the gizmo, it gave me instinctive knowledge of the Kree… Hala is their homeworld. It's… a pretty far ways off." She grins sheepishly, "They probably could figure out how to fix it, but I think Phil has something a little more Earthbound in mind."

"I hope so. That sounds like it's way outta this zipcode," Buck notes, wryly. "Not that I won't go if that's where we gotta, but…."

"I can't make any promises," Kai says, "but if things get desperate, if thee's something Asgardian technology could do…" Hastily, he adds, "I am in no position to even ask to be seen to request that kind of stuff, but I know a couple guys. Speaking of which, I should get going, Buck, but I'm going to come back really soon with saganaki and baklava. For both of you."

Carol nods, "I'll walk you out Kai, but I'll come back to check on you again James." She smiles over at Bucky, then claps Kai on the shoulder, "I haven't had a good baklava since I was actually in Greece. This would have been back in… oh, I guess '59…" And she trails off, her voice echoing as she relays some spook story to Kai, while sparing him the classified details of course.

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