15400/Hydrate and decompress

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Hydrate and decompress
Date of Scene: 30 July 2023
Location: A nice little bar
Synopsis: Harper and Nadia go out for drinks to unwind and end up talking shop and brainstorming up some crazy and cool ideas. Before they can get into world domination there's a bit of drink spillage and they have to take a break before plans to bust a move on a dance floor.
Cast of Characters: Bluebird, Wasp (Pym)

Bluebird has posed:
Girls gotta recharge when GIRL has been running on all cylinders for a long stretch. Out of the bunch, Harper is probably the most outwardly obvious when it comes to sneaking off for a Vape break or, air-quotes 'stretching her legs'. It's got to the point where she'll just start to shut down if she can't keep up with the bigger brains, especially if she's been out patrolling and learning the layout of the big city she's attempting to adopt.

The motorcycle ride was a necessity for some reason, and to save the planet, it was insisted that she should take a passenger, Nadia Pym, with her to this little bar she knows. Less of a carbon footprint if they share a set of wheels. "It's a really great place. Tons of character. No obnoxious CHADs, though it's not impregnable."

Outside the bar is an impressive array of other motorcycles all tilting in the same direction, as if the wind was high. A cornfield of chrome and blossoms of unlit headlights, leaning on their kickstands and tightly parked. "Ooooo, must be a Live act." Harper murmers and turns her head to offer a partial view of a wry grin to her passenger. The drive over she wasn't being the best Pal, taking some risks with her skills, probably trying to impress or scare and gets tighter squeezes about her middle if someone had to hang on tight.
Wasp (Pym) has posed:
It'd probably be rude to point out that Nadia's wings don't use fossil fuels and are basically way greener than anything with a combustion engine. Or that with a little tinkering they could create an electric motorcycle that can be charged via solar cells. There are probably any number of side projects they could get distracted on to make the journey more environmentally friendly.

But it kind of defeats the point of going off to relax if Nadia turns relaxing into another engineering project. And she's trying to be good. Mostly. The ideas go on 'the to do list' instead of being announced for /now/. Baby steps.

"Why would people called Chad be any more obnoxious than other people who are drinking alcohol?" she wonders. Having dressed in a red-brown summer dress, white knee socks, and a pair of combat boots. Plus packed her spy grade fake ID. "A live act like a band? Did you know Gwen's in a band? I've never seen them play though. I don't know how she finds the time between GIRL, her job, and... the other stuff." Spider stuff.

The high speed trip doesn't seem to scare her much. If anything her own driving makes Harper look like a paragon of safe road use. And even if they did crash her size change powers would mean she can become micro size and near impervious in the blink of an eye....
Bluebird has posed:
Harper switches off her zippy 'cycle and dismounts once she's sure Nadia is clear of her own booted heels. The keys to the Bike get a ceremonial flashy toss and then nab from the air like, well, like a tossed french fry and a swooping seagull.

"Gwen is in a band?" Harper's expression is surprise, and not completely a welcome one. This is data she wished she knew. And worse, she doesn't even know if they're ~good~. That would just add another tally into how cool the other vigilante is. And there must be a pecking order or else how will Harper strut about? "We're gonna find her band later, and we're gonna watch and listen." A firm nod and Harper nabs Nadia's wrist to tug her towards the threshold of the bar.

The brick and mortar isn't flashy and new, it's subdued and well-worn, like a comfortable pair of boots. The front door opens as a pair of patrons emerge to get fresh air. What they let out is a blast of heat and noise. The thud-thud-thud of a drumbeat, twang strum of a guitar and general chatter mixing into a melange of mumbled words.

Harper's smile returns. "I wonder what instrument you'd pick up if you were performing. Hey, let's find a table or a corner you like and get some hydration in us. Just let the music flow through you rather than against. If you have any fillings vibrating you know the music is at the right pitch."
Wasp (Pym) has posed:
"She said being in a band doesn't make her cool though," Nadia says, seemingly unconvinced. "But everything you ever see on TV and in movies says you join a band then become cooler so..." Also Gwen is pretty cool to begin with!

She allows herself to be lead into the venue. It gives her chance to scan her surroundings with the intensive scrutiny of a former spy /and/ a super science adventurer. Checking for routes in and out. Seeing who might be there for nefarious purposes. And idly musing about other ways to re-invent the motorcycle. Tokamak powered monowheel? That'd look good with lots of chrome. Probably less practical than skybike though.

"The only music I know is Dazzler and... well just about anything you'd hear at a classical ballet. I probably know enough piano I could play keyboard? It's not something I'm /good/ at though. I'd need to spend a few weeks in the microverse practising." Which could equate into months or even years of real time learning. Time works weirdly at such small sizes! "I don't have any fillings," she assures. "They never needed to fit us with the poison tooth capsules." Is that a Red Room gag? Sadly it probably is not.
Bluebird has posed:
Harper snorts loudly. "That's something someone cool says. If you're in a band then you're cool, full-stop. Gawd, it could be anything and there's some kind of magic that happens. Maybe you're not the absolutely most Rad thing or Metal or whatever. But something happens, even if you're holding a triangle like Yoko."

The duo push deeper into the Bar, and there's a sweet and acrid scent of tobacco fighting the ventilation of the place. The scent of spilled drinks has some competition in whatever is frying in the back. Something with calories to spare. Neon signs advertising the most common brands blaze away, along with some retro pinball and arcade cabinets, their screens being invaded by things from space or robots hunting down the last human families. The stage has a trio of young try-hards hoping to make an impression on everyone's eardrums. The wait-staff are all wearing white Tee and black leggings, so as to be easy to flag down and recognize. They weave about down well-tread paths between booths hefting trays. Big leather and piercing crowd. Probably mostly the bikers and their bunnies. Harper swerves to find a table and flashes her teeth at Nadia. "I bet you could tear Beethoven a new one." The comment about a poison tooth has her snort-laughing. "Time flows weird here as well. Happy Hour doesn't obey space-time. Gotta let your head get big and not tiny for too long. Let your braincells feel a breeze between 'em. Hey what'll you drink?"
Wasp (Pym) has posed:
"Is Yoko one of your friends?" Nadia muses, standing on her tip toes to get a look at the bar area and figure out what she wants to drink. It was probably turn out to be vodka because that's what she's used to. "I think a triangle might not qualify as cool. I can't think of a single Dazzler track with a triangle on it."

Her head tilts to one side.

"A new what?" she asks. "Tearing seems very inefficient. I prefer a precision tool like a laser. Cut a nice neat hole. As for drinks... What do you recommend? I only really know the sort of awful vodka soldiers drink. Part of the training to ensure we are resilient to toxins and other drugs. So... pick something that's good I guess? And I'll have one of the same to start off with."
Bluebird has posed:
Harper sucks in air past her teeth and once again has to peer at Nadia to see if she's pulling her leg or not. That delightful way that her co-GIRL cohort has of being disarming and delivering a line never ceases to tickle and make her brain work harder. "Mmmm...not...as...such."

Harper turns her attention to the drinks on tap or serve-able. "I'd say Rum and...Bah, hang on...." And she holds up 2 fingers to the bartender. "We'll take a tray of shooters. Just give us the assorted. Hey this'll be familiar then. We'll toss 'em down and line 'em up." Harper grins.
Wasp (Pym) has posed:
"If this will be familiar," Nadia starts with a frown. "And everything I had was cheap high strength and intended to intoxicate us before combat training.... Why are we buying it?" She tilts her head to one side. "Do people drink bad things for fun?" Probably it has not occurred to Nadia that the nights activities are on a budget. Money is just sort of a thing that concerns other people. Beneath the notice of the typical super genius at the best of times. Never mind when they're trained as super spies.

"I know we're not really supposed to talk about GIRL stuff because it's 'work'... But... are there any cool projects you've been thinking of which you might need the gang to help out with? Giant robot suit, jet pack, or something along those lines?"
Bluebird has posed:
Harper accepts the small tray with the double symmetrical lines of shots assembled. The elongated tray is hoisted by one of Harper's gloved hands, but being fingerless, she's got more tactile sensitivity to keep it level and deftly swung when an oblivious head or shoulder comes in from other patrons. "Projects? Oh I got a few."

Harper beckons with her other hand to Nadia, moving down the bar to secure a space at the bar that's unoccupied where they can lean and drain liquids. The sets of shots range from pink, to clear, to some sort of film that looks (but isn't) gasoline or petrol skimming the surface. Harper rotates the tray so that she can take half, and Nadia can take half. "We're basically buying booze, plus, supporting the local act, keeping the lights on, and yeah it's overpriced but yeeeeeah, people totally drink bad things for fun."

Harper reaches for the first shot glass, lifts it to arch an eyebrow over the rim at Nadia. "People call it liquid courage so they have an excuse to let loose, and it's terrible for you, but it's like permission to let out some steam too. And speaking of steam...does your place have a steam room? That'd be a nice project after a sweaty day, right? Sauna and stuff. But like, somehow drawing the heat from the earth's core or something wild. Nothing we have to burn necessarily, all environmentally almost friendly. And of course steam-powered robot Butlers. HUP!"

One shot is taken and slugged back. Ooooh, liquid candy! Sickeningly sweet!
Wasp (Pym) has posed:
"It's almost impossible for me to get drunk without mixing in things to compromise my system," Nadia laments. "So there's no chance I'll get tipsy." Which sound more like a challenge than an assessment of her powers. "My place? You mean my necklace?" She give a little nod. "Yeah it's got the full spa treatment. Well everything but a masseuse, have you ever tried train a wasp to give a massage? It's an awful waste of time they just don't have the limbs for it."

Or any interest in it.

"The waste heat from my power system heats the water. There's a steam cave under the plunge pools I showed you and Gwen." She slugs back her first drink. "Or did you mean GIRL? I didn't plan on having a sauna at the main HQ site. I don't think there is space and I can always bring people to my necklace lab after a hard days science to relax."

Whatever her novelty drink tasted of she doesn't flinch if it's bad. Maybe that's a sign she got the pleasant tasting end? Or maybe it's the super spy training. (Probably it's the training...)
Bluebird has posed:
A muscle under Harper's left eye spasms, surprised that the drink didn't have much kick at all. Not that she's totally aware of how much Nadia can take. "That was only number 1 anyways. By 3 you'll be calling for Mommy." A boast of her own, or over-estimating the drinks and underestimating her GIRL ally.

Turning over her glass and plopping it down on the tray with nary a drop, she puts pinchy fingers towards number two. Pink and giving off a pert scent that says ~more alcohol~. "I don't think I'd let a bug put its hairy legs on me. Well, probably not." She considers her drink. "The only proper masseuse is a person one. I never did take a course but I think I got it down to a science. I haven't had any complaints if someone puts their feet or anything else in my hands. These hands...they may not kill, but they'll kill knots in any muscle. Promise."

There's a pause as she raises the glass to her lips. "Next shot, next project. Ready for this?" She bobs her head, meaning the next shot and the next idea. "Auto-cuffs!" She tosses it back and this one burns more, to her at least. For all its pretty pinkness, it could clean a carberator with a lemon zing-a-ding-ding. KARF! "You fling or shoot these things, and they are partially...oof...partially drone-like. They'll crawl up to latch on, clamp down, even make 'em like ambush bots waiting to pounce."
Wasp (Pym) has posed:
"I'd say you could use some kind of expanding adhesive but that really sort of feels like it's encroaching on you know who's you know what," Nadia says with a grin. "As for saying Mommy that.. uh... isn't a name I'd ever use. 'Mother' at the Red Room was... The person in charge. She's the one who ordered those guys to try kidnap me..."

She slugs back a second drink. This one must have been mixed with a hot pepper of some kind because she pulls a 'bleh' face after drinking it. "That is. Different. The alcohol really brings out all the... Everything."

She shudders a little.

"Eugh. So portable drones seem viable. But it'll be tricky getting them to be light enough for you to carry them around. And strong enough that they can climb a person and get to anything they can latch on to without the person just throwing them off." She chews at her lip and then grabs for a coaster she can doodle on. "I /do/ have a microdrone idea which could be neat though. Inspired by this nasty drink. It's a little sphere robot which moves by adjusting the centre of gravity. Rolling around with omnidirectional cameras for scoping out a criminals nefarious lair." She sketches a robot as she talks. "By making it roll around we can make the surface light up to blind people and, by fitting little vents, it can dispense a cloud of pepper spray if anyone gets close."

"You'd be able to throw them in by hand or use a simple CO2 tube launcher for added range. It won't /catch/ people like your idea but they'll be really distracted and you can just run in and put regular cuffs on them!"
Bluebird has posed:
Harper has to smack her lips more than once to try and banish whatever that aftertaste is. The way it clings to her taste buds is oddly on point considering the topic of adhesives. "Gaaaah, that one is not my favourite."

"Yeah I hear ya. I just get the terrible creepy-crawlies thinking of getting swarmed over by robo-bugs and centipedes and stuff. It feels like an awesome distraction gadget too, if it inspires those feelings. But mah gawd, yeah, probably easy to swipe off unless there was a lot of 'em. And that's expensive and impractical."

Harper wipes her fingers on the bar top before reaching for the third drink. It has a stupid amount of gold flecks in it. Oh these stupid novelty drinks. She lifts it and gives it a swirl to make it snowglobe a bit. "I like the idea of a Bad-ass drone like that. Call it a BOrb or something. I like that a lot. OMG hey...after this, if we can walk straight, or not, I've got some movies we'll sample together." Harper waggles her eyebrows. "Phantasm! Movies 1, 2, 3 and 4." Down the hatch. Gold fleck make her lips and tongue sparkle!
Wasp (Pym) has posed:
"Some day when I get around it I'll work on an insect communication device so I can bring wasps as part of my super suit," Nadia declares. A bold claim when so far all her wasp related projects have generally resulted in the wasps doing.... basically nothing useful. Except her wings but that just uses part of the wasp."

"A drone that size should be small enough people won't spot it when you're out and about in Gotham. Everythings so gloomy it'll blend right in and until it's time to blind people. Or you just let it roll up to someone, they'll probably stop and pick it up wondering what it is, and then you spritz them with pepper spray. Technically it's pretty borderline on the no weapons policy. But if you think of the chemical element as an anti-theft measure for a recon drone...."

This is the problem with being a super genius. Even when you come up with sensible rules to stop anyone trying to take over the world using tech you helped them make it doesn't work if you come up with loopholes for your own rules because a project seems fun...

She eyes the remaining shots she has left. "Or you stick a drinks ticket for this place to the drone and let them poison themselves.."
Bluebird has posed:
Harper runs her tongue along the roof of her mouth, her lips momentarily pursing. Her tongue feels ticklish, and she extends it in a flat pink wedge, trying to look down her nose to the tip where the gold flecks make a moist pattern of goldrush fever.

A girl nearby is shoved accidentally in amongst Harper and Nadia, her pupils dilated and a Barbie doll grin plastered over her features. "Oh! Hey!" She breathes cotton candy scents over both vigilantes off-the-clock. Her wrists have enough bangles and bands and faux jewelry to approach New Orleans levels of festival fun. The stranger eyes the drinks, notes how X are gone and the remaining to go and yells to be heard above the music. "They put your name on LCD screens if you finish 'em all!" She swallows hard and beams, "I've been up there once, and I was super super super popular on the dance floor for the entire night!" She spills a drink down Harper's side, ice clattering to lap and floor, the sound of it completely unheard over the ambient noise.

Harper coughs as the interruption to all this fun tech talk. Her expression goes from dorky intense interest (warring with a need to seem cool), to a glower as she's given a clumsy christening with alcohol. "UUuuuuuugggghhhh..."
Wasp (Pym) has posed:
Nadia holds perfectly still as the stranger suddenly intrudes into their personal space. The only motion a flick of her eyes as she instinctively scans the room checking for threats. If there's even the barest of hint the girl might be some sort of covert agent with a poison needle she'll find herself in a world of trouble!

Thankfully there probably aren't any Red Room operatives in a joint like this.

Probably. You never can tell.

"You should be admired on the dance floor for your sweet moves," she points out earnestly. "Not for how many icky drinks you can consume." There's a giggle. "Also I already have my name up on plenty of LCD screens at work." Because at GIRL they wouldn't do anything as boring as have a physical sign anywhere. And then. Shock of shocks. There is a spillage!

The petite Russian pokes the spill with her finger. "I think this may stain if you don't rinse it out soon," she muses. "But I can probably mix up a special stain remover if you need me to...?"
Bluebird has posed:
Harper straightens at the bar and raises an arm to peer at the damp stain that's got her from kidney down to her thigh on one side. "Uh, yeah, better head to the washroom and give it what for. This is one of my favourite crummy shirts..." she murmers as their friendly stranger pushes off drunkenly and heads into the crowd to become a human pinball.

"But first...Life hack...avoid spiked drinks and wasted drinks." she says with forced chipperness. Her hands take a remaining shot in both hands and pounds one back, and then the other. Oh boy, it's a chemistry lesson! One cools, and the other is strangely...well, it didn't have a kick at all. How clever, it's some sort of smooth sailing on that one. Silken, with a sweet taste. "Oh...Oh I'm having more of ~those~. C'mon Pym, let's go freshen up in front of a mirror and a sink." Harper ~yoinks~ at Nadia's wrist to coax her along. "Never go alone. Buddy system!"
Wasp (Pym) has posed:
"I need to finish my drinks," Nadia points out. Remarkably strong when it comes to resisting being hauled around despite her size. "One moment!" She slugs them back one by one. No mixing for weird results. Gulping each shot down like it's air. "And now we are done."

Really if you want to be certain your drink isn't spiked you pour yourself into a glass coated with chemicals that change colour if the drink is poisoned. And you bring your own alcohol from a secret source. There are too many ways for a spy to poison someone if they really want.

Which is why Nadia maintains her regular Red Room rescheduled anti-toxin & anti-venom treatments. To maintain a healthy tolerance to most known conventional poisons.

"I meant it about the super strain remover," she assures. "I can bioengineer some bacteria to only consume the elements in the stain and they'll just gobble it all up!"

Of course now the drinks are gone she allows herself to be dragged along. Clearly if there is a formal buddy system here the ladies rooms must be really deadly. Or very unclean.