Wow, that's pretty extreme! I'd say try using a Pico if your USB-TTL converter doesn't work - the flashing code for http://www.espruino.com/ESP8266 actually sets a Pico up as a pass-through.
With Puck-Puck there's a bit of a catch-22. The serial port takes power, so won't initialise itself if the Puck is powered on without serial connected (the RX pin pulled high). Obviously if you connect 2 Pucks together neither will initialise, so you'd have to manually enable serial on one first with Serial1.setup.
I actually fixed a whole bunch of HID-related bugs just recently, so first it might be worth trying the attached zip file.
I'm still trying to get it working stably, but the attached build just happens to work fine by the look of it. There are 2 issues that might cause problems that the recent build fixes:
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