15630/A night off, what are the odds

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A night off, what are the odds
Date of Scene: 24 September 2023
Location: McAnally's Pub
Synopsis: Harry goes to Mac's for dinner and meets a potential new client.
Cast of Characters: Harry Dresden, Bluebird

Harry Dresden has posed:
Sunday afternoon crowd isn't as busy as a Friday or Saturday night, but there are a few people dispersed in groups at various tables. Two people set at the bar, one is a redhead who just looked at the other with wide eyes and moves down a few stools, then moves to a table.

FOr his part, the man at the bar is tall...really tall. On his right, sitting on the barstool is a long, black pile of leather that is probably a coat. He is currently nursing a bottle of the home brew.

Behind the bar, Mac is busy making up steaks for sandwiches. When one is done he takes it to a table where the lady retreated and then moves back to the grill. He gives the tall guy a smirk and the only answer the big man can offer is,"What can I tell you? I'm a people person."
Bluebird has posed:
A blue-haired faux-hawked young woman shoulders her way in past the threshold. Like many of her generation her head is bowed, showing devotion to the little monolith of tech in one upraised hand. She's well on her way to developing neck problems when she becomes middle-aged, if she reaches it without getting creamed while crossing a busy intersection while digitally distracted.

Her thumb game is on point, swiping, tapping, smudging her thumb print, and her feet do the zombie-shuffle drag, helping her towards the bar while she just has to re-verify that her semi-smart has drawn a yellow brick road for her to follow.

All those piercings in her face must be great for reception and making statements. Her teeth have captured the ring through her lip and tug on it like it was some sort of pacifier as she makes physical real-life connection with the bar and it provides resistence. "Ffffffff..." Her cheeks blow out and she raises her sour expression and pale complexion towards Mac. Her nostrils flare and she only then starts to case the place. She carries herself with all the slouch of the young generation. A grunt and she slides down a few positions towards the other stranger at the bar to snoop on what he's got going on. A bit of a curious snoop this one.

She's weighed down by a satchel that looks like it's carrying a bunch of bricks (In actuality the rewards of some careful pawing through the discarded electronics of some big-box store monstrosity. She grunts in greeting.
Harry Dresden has posed:
Harry takes a drink from the bottle again and regards the new arrival briefly. The grunt greeting is returned with a similar sound. A plate with a steak sandwich arrives infront of him as well as a fresh brew,"Thanks Mac." he offers to the man who brings it.

While the place is made to protect against magic of any sort, things can still slip through the cracks. Harry's intreference with tech has nothing to do with concious choice and is more akin to a drawback to the power he holds. The most basic way to describe it is a guy who showers 3 times per day, but still has an odor. He can't help it.

That being said, when she takes a seat near him, her phone screen fuzzes a little and a garbled sound escapes it. No harm done, just making the phone act weird. Harry doesn't always notice and is concentrating on his sandwich and so he is unaware of her potential problem, not that he can do anything to stop it.
Bluebird has posed:
Harper turns back to her phone after it behaves a bit unexpectantly. It causes her to purse her lips, freeing her teeth. Her throat works and she eyes the partially cracked screen, getting another endorphin kick, baby needing another pull at the bottle. Maybe it's taken more abuse after a recent fall than she had previously thought. Her thumb tells it to go back to sleep and she places it face-down on the top of the bar, condensation from previous cold beverages be damned.

Being the amateur detective she is, Harper catches the name dropped and prepares to wield it. "Mac? Hey Mac..." Is she having a good time just saying the name when it's actually fitting? One corner of her mouth quirks to the side, and she resists trying on a Jersey accent or some Wiseguy. Almost. "Smells good. That the special? I'll have what's best, hot and...or...carby. Please." she offers a wink and hunches her shoulders as she settles on a seat.

A quick turn to Harry, and there's a little double-take. Seated may have diminished his actual height, but being closer, she's let in on more accurate proportions, and she finds that height notable. She gives a little nod, approving of something, or perhaps the attire tickles at her. She's trying to judge a book by the cover, and finding it curiously hard to come to a conclusion. She murmers, "Is that the special?" she whispers faux conspiratorial, going all cock-eyed, her voice a tad vocal-fry.
Harry Dresden has posed:
Mac notices the phone trouble, smirking a little and shaking his head. Not really the talkative type. For the moment he cleans off the spot that the lady vacated and then looks to Harper when she asks about the special,"Steak sandwich and a home brew." he replies to her. He isn't unfriendly, just not terribly talkative. When she makes her order he goes about getting it started. He prepares the steak for the grill. She will notice instantly, the brew room temp, not cold since there is not a trace of sweat on the big guy's new bottle.

The big man looks at her from the corner of his eye first and then stage whispers,"It's is pretty special." he agrees and then nods,"Stick with it. You won't be disappointed." He eyeballs the warm brew and adds,"Don't ask for it cold if you value your life." There is a hint of a smile and he adds,"He has soft drinks and water if you want cold."
Bluebird has posed:
This particulars of the temperature of what's served and on tap has her face-fault. While youths these days are all cagey about not getting embarassed and stuff, they're not the best when it comes to Poker faces. This does not compute. In her expression, she's begging to put this to the test. She starts to reach for her phone, to verify something with the great cloud, the great repository of true and false and contradictory, and stops.

Both hands go to the counter and she drums out a little tattoo, like the thing was a keyboard, or an abacus on its side. "I'm definitely getting that. Meat and bread, hell yes. But I will need to warsh it down, saspirilla or not." she slurs in a bad cowboy accent. Sucking in past her teeth, her gut wars with her head. "When I'm in a new place, it's generally a good idear to follow wisdom or at least experience, right? But...I mean, oh frig...Yeah, gimmie a brew and we'll see then."

Her earbuds produce a weird whine and chant a word in a weird mushmouth language, like it had decided to pick up on some frequency not desired or possible. Her eyelids flutter and she does a quick head shake, catching first the left and then the right in a raised palm. The LEDs on them looking like a countdown device in some old Bond movie. "I charged these frigging things this morning." They buzz like angry bees, practically vibrating around in her palm. She scoffs, 'fffshuw' and turns to Harry, readjusting herself on the seat so she can perch better. "Nothing but weird since I got to this city. You'd think Gotham would have prepped me for anything, but I guess every city or town got its own flavour. And...temperature..." she side-eyes.
Harry Dresden has posed:
Mac, being the owner, has to check her I.D. Once that is satisfied he gets a brew for her. It is a good drink, just room temperature. He goes about his business and chuffs softly when she talkes about about charging things and seems sour at her technology.

Harry is oblivious of a lot of tech things, but when it is pointed out he sighs softly,"It's not the tech. It's me." he assures her.

He takes another bite of his sandwich and then washes it down before he explains,"I'm the guy from across the street. Private Investigator and Wizard. Technology doesn't like me. My magic will randomly reach out and attack tech newer than a breaker points system on a vehicle. I don't own a refrigerator or hot water heater. I use a lot of candles."

He shrugs and picks the sandwich up again,"It's not something I can change. The best comparison would be my wiring is a little wrong when it comes to existing around technology."
Bluebird has posed:
Harper's expression goes statuesque, staring under her messy strands at Harry as if being told some wild tinfoil hat conspiracy theory. Like she's weathering something skeptical from an older probably wiser person. At last she reanimates, resumes pocketing her I.D. and sliding into her pocket. "Uh. Huh." she offers.

She sips at her drink, peering over the rim at the tall self-proclaimed PI and Wizard. Her eyes narrow and she tilts her head to the side. She tongues the inside of her cheek as she repositions herself, questions on the tip of her tongue, more than a few to choke an inbox with. "Technology doesn't like anything. It doesn't like." She takes in a deep breath like she's about to 'splain how technology works to a luddite relative. She telegraphs, perhaps annoyingly, like a flashing billboard sign. Her hands raise to gesticulate, but their participation doesn't do much other than window-dress. It certainly doesn't summon anything. "You just need to be more comfortable with it. Listen, I had an Aunt that was the same way. Insisted on envelopes and snail mail, and it was like a mental block just using Email. But it's real easy, it's actually so convenient." She grabs her phone and hands it over. "Take this and press the little button on the side." she offers the thing like she's trying to peddle a candybar. Look! Nougat! "You've just got a phobia man, it's not gonna bite you, I swear. Trust me...I make these things do anything."
Harry Dresden has posed:
He's seen all those looks. He knows them very well. Taking another bite of his sandwich he lets her think it over, almost hearing the wheel grinding in her head.

Mac's eyes widen when she passes the phone to Harry. Not one to interject into someone's life choices, he lets her do what she will. Her sandwich arrives to her as she passes the phone to him. At least she will have the sandwich to comfort her.

Harry looks at the phone and looks at her again. His right eyebrow raises slowly as he regards the future paperweight. Taking a deep breath, he sighs slowly and reaches for the phone. The mood in the room quiets as everyone seems to be interested in the exchange.

When his hand is inches from the phone it starts to spark and spit fire. His hand touches it and the smoke starts to roll, black smoke and tech death. He picks it up and something inside makes a popping sound and he drops it back to the counter before the battery can bleed on him,"I tried to tell you." he says softly and picks up his brew like this is the most normal thing in the world to him.
Bluebird has posed:
Harper is pretty convinced she's just gotta get Mister scaredy-cat to have a little win and everything will be sunshine and rainbows. Surely this is just fear of change. The twinkle in her eyes as she'll usher in a new user to ~teh futurz~ and before she knows it, it'll be grumpy birbs and crushed candies scores to compare.

Luckily she didn't get both paws on her sammich or be in the process of swallowing. The hand that ~is~ on the sandwich squelches its fingers into the bread as the folly she's committed registers. The smell of the smoke, the sound of a digital death knell, her jaws drops and flashes a glint of her tongue piercing. "Whuuu...Whuuu..." She sounds like a confused owl.

Her free hand wants to snatch at the brick of dead tech, but there were literal bloody flames coming off that thing. It invokes some bad memories of batteries in badly charged laptops touching off. Her teeth flash in a grimace as her pierced lip curls and she leans away from the sacrifical offering to her ignorance. "Ohmigawd....Oh...gawd..." Her drafts of bad science fiction, angry letters to big Corps, the funny doodles of dinosaurs! "What did you do?!?" Her brain can fill in her own answer but she's so wrong-footed.
Harry Dresden has posed:
The woman that was sitting next to him had opted to take her food to go. She is making her way out of the place and she regards the dead phone with a sigh,"He touched it honey. Never let me do that." She then looks towards the door and heads out.

Around the room, several ooo's, oh's, and ouches sound from the regulars. Aside from that, they move their attention back to their own food and discussions. Everyone other than Harper seemed to know what was going to happen.

Harry takes another bite of his sandwich and lets her get her fits out and lets her absorb what just happened. He points towards the woman leaving and replies,"What she said. I literally don't have electricity in my home, no cell phone, most basic of landline phones, no answering machine, no refrigerator, no television..." he provides. Washing the prior bite down a little he adds,"...so to your point, I don't fear technology, it fears me."
Bluebird has posed:
"Jesus...Bald headed Christ...on a crutch." Harper whispers out raspily. The phone is treated as an expired rod from some Chernobyl reactor. She's going to let that one simmer down before touching it herself. Her other hand relaxes a little on her sandwich. Her free hand, hovering over her old phone, reaches for her drink. She gives it a grim salute with the glass and then tilts it back. Her throat works to drown her disbelief and drain her drink.

Placing the glass down, she stifles a bit of gas and points. "Another please and thanks." She smacks her lips, not in distaste, but in sour admission that this is all on her.

"That's quite the curse man." That seems to tickle a brain cell and she mutters, "Harper, by the way." she offers a mock salute. "Technophile and collector of many beeps and boops." She pretends to stretch and moves her satchel off her shoulder and to the floor, farther away from Harry.
Harry Dresden has posed:
A look of amusement when he watches her reaction, but he doesn't rub it in. Instead he nods to Mac and tells him,"Second one is on me." Mac looks at the dead phone and shakes his head before bringing another bottle of the homebrew to her and setting it down,"Word to the wise, the people that frequent this place are rarely what they appear to be." With that he goes to start three more steak sandwiches.

"It makes sure you don't get to reliant on things like that." Harry offers with a shrug,"It also comes with the caviat of being able to throws beams and balls of fire, heavy waves of force, and other such things. It's a good trade off in my mind. Keeps the door to door types away."
Bluebird has posed:
Harper upends her empty drink just before it can be refilled or replaced. Tonguing the last dregs of liquid like she'd crossed the desert. And then she's on to the second one. It's tangible, real and doesn't have to obey magic or rely on a charge of battery. The sandwich is next and she chomps down on it for a mouthful to add a stronger foundation to her stomach. The chewing helps get the hamsterwheels in her head turning again. An opportunity to listen and absorb and digest.

Once her mouth is mostly cleared, she opens it for the speech. "Financial matter gotta be a pain in the caboose for you. And convenience, without a go-between, if you don't got one." She tongues a morsel of meat between her teeth and swallows it down. No mercy, no survivors for this girl's plate. "So you take weird cases then. Oh snap...You'd take ~weiiiird~ cases." A thought. "How much you charge for pest removal. Saaaaay...gremlins? Asking for a friend." she adds.
Harry Dresden has posed:
Harry moves back to finishing off his sandwich and then pushes the plate away. He chases it with some of the brew and nods to Mac,"Three for the road." Mac snorts and flips the steaks already cooking. Harry smirks a little and then turns his attention back to his new accquaintance.

"I manage." he replies on the financial matter. People have to come in and actually interact with me. I get a chance to decide what I think of them. I have an assistant when she is in town, but I tend to send her out places a lot for other jobs."

The right eyebrow raises curious and he replies,"I take most cases. I do have a lot of weird ones." He takes a business card out and scrawls his rates on the back of it with a black ink pen. Sliding the card to her it does give his name, the address (across the street), and general operation times on the front,"That should get you where you need to be on things money wise. Where is this gremlin infestatin?"
Bluebird has posed:
Harper gawks a little as her senses catch up on how many sandwiches Dresden may have put away. She follows the plates, tries to count things up in her head for calories. "Fer Chrissakes...how long you gone since your last meal?" Tact is not one of her strong points.

"My van." she swallows down the last of her sandwich and admits to the source of her troubles. "I set traps, I set cameras, I set everything I've got. It just makes it worse. Thought an old flame was just trolling me, or someone I pissed off online. I thought it was rats, because I hear stories, like the Secrets of NIMH was all up my tailpipe. Now mind you, if there are a super intelligent race of rats in the city, chances are I'd be an accomplice rather than competition, but...I'm getting off topic here. It ain't rats."

"I saw one of the things by accident, swung open the back doors late one night, and the figgen things were all over my gear. It was...an orgy...that's the only way I can describe the way it. I ~love~ gadgets. But ma-....Mr. Dresden...I've never it like they did. Little monsters...I swear they only messed up a few things that didn't impact my biz too much. Now they just go to town on my stuff. With gusto."
Harry Dresden has posed:
A laugh and Harry shakes his head,"Not all for me." he assures her,"I usually have to stop at two." He stage whispers,"These three go to the monsters that watch my home. Don't tell Mac."

Mac rolls his eyes and brings the food to Harry and money is exchanged. The big man finishes his food and gets up, pulling the duster on again,"Is the van high tech or relatively normal? It will make a difference." he tells her. He considers the affliction and admits,"It's been a minute since I dealt with gremlins, but it can be dealt with. I just need a day or two to get prepared so that I don't annihilate your van."

He considers her for a moment and tells her,"Harry is fine. When I hear Mr. Dresden I look for my dad and he's been gone for a while." He throws a little extra and tells Mac,"For another sandwich to take with her."
Bluebird has posed:
Harper's face would pale if she hadn't had so many calories and alcohol ingested. The thought of her van launching itself Michael Bay-esque if Dresden touches it, making her tummy suddenly give a lurch. She considers this and slides off her seat after rummaging out some crumpled bills. "Consider what the A-Team drove around in, and then consider if a surviving models somehow got ditched in a lot where vehicles go to rust away and die. I don't think there's a single silicon chip in the makeup of the van...it's just all the stuff I've piled into it in the months previous and found behind stores. It's the cargo rather than the crate that'll be the problem."

Harper blinks. "Maybe that's why the van still works at all, because the little bastards have eyes for the actual advanced stuff." A lightbulb goes on in her head, safe from exploding hopefully within her bone vase. "Oh jeez, thanks for this." She indicates the food. "I'll make good with the Pest fees and stuff for sure, Harry. Hey...Hey..." Harper looks like she's about to go into some meme or act. "You're a WIZARD Hhe....hh..." she aborts, gigglesnorting, her sensible side unable to claw back the Potter quotes, half-succeeding, half-groaning to itself.
Harry Dresden has posed:
Listening to her talk about the van, he nods feeling a little less on edge about it. It's still dangerous, but less than some. He tucks the food under his arm and he tells her,"All right. I have an idea, but give me a day and then we will deal with them."

Letting her figure out things on the reasons, he nods and tells her,"There was talk that gremlins were attacking the Allied Forces equipment." A few people snicker when she makes the the wizard connection. Dresden shakes his head and tells her,"Gee I never heard that one before." He isn't mad, just shaking his head and going out the door,"See me Tuesday morning and I will introduce you to Mouse, see about dealing with your gremlins."