Age of the Geek
Alec Hardison age_of_the_geek
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The New Headquarters of Leverage, Inc, (The Apartment Above Lukes), Thursday
So, after their discussion in the diner, Hardison had grudgingly agreed to go off to the cliffs with Parker. In case there was ever any doubt how much he loved that girl, let this be the evidence against. That and volunteering to go slug Eliot; he wasn't entirely sure which of those ideas was more stupid, truth be told. Or more dangerous to his soft, squishy manly bits.

Before he left, he got out the hard drive that had the Black Book on it and hooked it up to the Dark Web. Tonight was his night for making super-secure backups, just in case anything happened to the original hard drive. The Black Book was Interpol's most secret file: the name of every person who'd contributed to the global financial crisis and a summary of their criminal activity. It was like a Who's Who of the rich and powerful from almost every country someone could name. Individuals, banking institutions, hedge fund groups--every single person that had helped bring the world's economy to a screeching halt had their name and information in that file.

Interpol and various international agencies had all agreed that they couldn't pursue any of these people, even though their crimes were staggering enough to make what the Leverage crew did look like kids playing pretend. But the combined wisdom of the officials was that it was better to hide the information and try to rebuild trust than to make sure any of their cronies saw the consequences of their actions. Leverage, Inc didn't necessarily agree, which was why they'd stolen the Book. But since that put them directly opposite, oh, damn near every government in the world, Hardison made sure to make semi-regular backups and hid them all over the darker edges of cyberspace.

Couldn't ever be too careful.

Which was why he was leaving the hard drive out on his desk, attached to his computer while he went cliff-jumping with his girlfriend. No, it's not something he'd ever think of doing in any of their other bases, but this was a tiny town spied on by squirrels. What were the odds that anything could go wrong here?

[For two, at least at first! All details of the break-in is NFB, please!]


2015-03-12 11:33 pm (UTC) (Link)

See, the great thing about being a radio host in a tiny town that was spied on by squirrels was that you knew how super easy they were to bribe to keep quiet with a whole bottle of rum to split between them. Sparkle had one in hand as he approached the address that Mr. Gaunt had written down, and he was coasting along on a decent amount of the stuff, himself.

He was hiding it well, sure. But Sparkle was maybe a bit stressed out tonight.

"Front door first, then a window," he said as he looked up at the apartment over Luke's. If neither of those is unlocked, we resort to smashing something. Then we just get in, find the thing, and take off. Easy."


2015-03-12 11:42 pm (UTC) (Link)

"Smashing something?" Kathy was looking distinctly more concerned about this. "Even if these guys did steal from your friend, I don't know if smashing into their place is a great idea."

She sighed, dug into her pocket, and pulled out her lockpicks. "Let me at least try with these first? I don't want to do any more major property damage than we strictly have to, all right?"

This felt like a terrible idea. But Sparkle needed her help! She couldn't say no to Sparkle.


2015-03-12 11:48 pm (UTC) (Link)

Sparkle huffed a little at the thought of spending any more time here than he had to, and there was the possibility that whoever it was that lived up there had the place alarmed, at that. But he nodded, even if he was frowning as he did so.

"Yeah, sure. If it makes you happy."

He had his own lockpicks, Kathy. But you'd come this far with him, even if he had to lie to your face for that to happen. Sure. This could happen your way, at least unless it all went to hell.

"Either way, we have to do this fast. Last thing I want is to deal with them if they come home while we're in there."

Because he would probably die.


2015-03-13 12:20 am (UTC) (Link)

Well, Mr. Spencer wasn't here, which was good because there was no way that Kathy would have agreed to steal--err, repossess anything if Mr. Spencer was involved. Hell, if she found out that Ms. Parker lived her, she'd pull the plug and bail immediately, too.

"Well, maybe we'll be lucky and they'll have left everything open," she said. "Umm, how do you know they won't be there?"


2015-03-13 12:25 am (UTC) (Link)

Sparkle might have coughed and looked distinctly uncomfortable.

"I maybe bribed a squirrel with three more bottles of rum in exchange for keeping an eye open to make sure nobody would be home. They're willing to do a lot of pretty iffy stuff for alcohol, did you know that?"


2015-03-13 12:35 am (UTC) (Link)

"Ohhhhh," Kathy said, looking around to see if she could spot any of the squirrels. "Are they acting as lookout, just in case they decide to come back?"


2015-03-13 12:50 am (UTC) (Link)

"Yeah... Yeah, sure..." Sparkle looked around, and then shrugged. "I mean, maybe. For all I know, they passed out drunk somewhere. Either way, the faster we get this over with, the better."

A beat.

"You can, um, you can still take off if you aren't feeling up for this, you know."

Just saying.


2015-03-13 01:10 am (UTC) (Link)

"I know," Kathy said. Oddly enough, his permission made her less inclined to do so. "But you asked for help. If these people have someone else's property, then the right thing to do is get it back to the rightful owner. Even if we're, umm, using slightly less than legal methods to do so."

But she'd done the same with the drug store, hadn't she? Sometimes you have to do something illegal to make sure you do something right.

"Besides, I'm just mostly keeping watch, yeah?"

And possibly picking locks.


2015-03-13 01:32 am (UTC) (Link)

"Mostly, yeah. If someone's going to be rummaging through this place, it's gonna be me. That'll be my mess."

He didn't want Kathy leaving prints around. He didn't want anyone to be able to connect her to this at all, really.

"But if you, like, stay on a rooftop and whistle or something if someone starts heading toward the place... that would be perfect."


2015-03-13 01:37 am (UTC) (Link)

"The rooftops are pretty much my thing," Kathy said, grinning. "Though you know what's even more useful than whistling? Cell phones. If you call mine now and just carry it with you while you go, if I see anything I can just tell you."

Be practical, Sparkle. Come on.


2015-03-13 01:43 am (UTC) (Link)

Practical? Sparkle was scared shitless and barely managing to hide it, and now he had one of his best friends covering his ass while he performed a B&E, which he was doing, in turn, to cover his ass because he'd been busted shoplifting. Shit was rolling pretty steadily downhill here, and practicality had been thrown out the window at about the same time he'd spotted an ugly little ceramic frog.

"... That would work too." He reached into his pocket and dug out his phone. "If you want, you can take the roof now, and I'll pick the lock. You'd be a way better lookout, and while we're out here in the open, we're way more likely to get busted."


2015-03-13 01:48 am (UTC) (Link)

Kathy nodded. She didn't want to admit it, but she felt better knowing that her participation would be strictly limited to keeping a weather eye out for the returning thieves. It wasn't that she didn't want to help Sparkle and his friend recovery the property, but...even for a good cause, it felt a little wrong.

Not that she'd ever tell Sparkle that. It meant a lot to her that he'd even asked her to help.

A few well-placed flips and bounces and Kathy was up on the rooftop of the building. She pulled her phone out and called him. "If you set it up as a video call, I might be able to help look?" she offered. "You'd be surprised what you can do with a video call."

Like walk someone through surgery.


2015-03-13 01:53 am (UTC) (Link)

"Yeah, I might be able to do that," Sparkle agreed, frowning that the door didn't open when he tried turning the doorknob. He sandwiched the phone between his shoulder and his ear, and then made a reach for his own lockpicks.

He'd probably be able to pick the lock faster than Kathy could, anyway. He had years of experience.

"Let me get in first, get an idea of the layout, and then I'll set you up if we need to? Right now I'd be happy with someone to talk to while I'm in here."


2015-03-13 02:07 am (UTC) (Link)

So much faster. But she still thought her slow lock-picking was a much better option than breaking a window.

"I can talk," she said, cradling the phone close. "I'll regale you with the stories of me patrolling with Dragon--sorta--which did a lot for my superhero cred back home. Which is a thing I have now. Cred. I was even in the newspapers."

Again, sorta.

"By the way, do you know who these people are? I just realized it might be tough keeping watch if I don't know who I'm keeping watch for."


2015-03-13 02:14 am (UTC) (Link)

"No clue," Sparkle admitted, frowning as he stuck one of his lockpicks in the corner of his mouth, getting to work placing the first. "I just know that this thing is important, like, hugely important, and... I dunno. Keep watch for anyone. Like. It'd be shitty if I was caught in here by anybody, you know?"

Witnesses were bad. Nobody liked them.

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