geniuswithasmartphone: (So Done With This)
Well, there was no more denying it. Their most recent ill-advised Plan E attempt had left Hardison with a nasty cold. Possibly pneumonia. Possibly consumption. He wasn't sure. It all got mixed together in a haze of coughing and sneezing and general misery. He alternated between sweating and shivering, along with that weird light-headed feeling that you got with a high fever.

Or maybe with extra-strength cold meds. One of those.

Look, the important thing was that he was dying here. Probably literally. Dying. In his prime.

He was huddled on the couch, wrapping under blankets, with mountains of Squeeze Orange Soda bottles next to him. That was practically orange juice, right? A smaller mountain (in height, if not in volume) of used tissues were next to that, because Hardison hadn't thought to bring over a garbage can before he'd sunk onto the couch and now the idea of getting up to fetch it made him whimper. His head weighed roughly fifty pounds and was throbbing in time to his heartbeat--sitting up was an impossibility, never mind actually standing. And walking? HA!

He's known the outdoors were a horrible idea. It always ended with his life in danger.

Dammit, Eliot!
geniuswithasmartphone: (Yeah Im Cute)
To say that Hardison hadn't been looking forward to the camping trip was the biggest understatement since declaring that AOL's network was a little 'shoddy.' But Eliot had insisted and Hardison and Parker loved Eliot wanted Eliot to be happy figured it was just easier to go along with it than to keep arguing. Even though it was a fact that Hardison, at least, would have a much better time in the apartment, ignoring nature and the elements as man had intended ever since he crawled down from the damn trees and into a nice, warm, waterproof cave.

But you could take the man out of civilization (dammit), but you couldn't take the civilization out of the man. Or, rather, the man (especially if he was the man) could bring the civilization along with him. At least when he's got the internet, SkyMall, and overnight shipping on his side.

And so once they'd gotten to their camping spot he'd made Eliot set up the tent, and when that was done, he disappeared inside to make it amazing!

Now this was camping.

Everyone was as excited about the tent as Hardison was. EVERYONE. )

[Preplayed with [livejournal.com profile] whoisalicewhite and [livejournal.com profile] vdistinctive due to holiday weekend travel availability.]
geniuswithasmartphone: (Playing With Phone)
Once again, Hardison was in trouble. His back against a wall, surrounded by enemies intent on taking him down, for a few seconds Hardison let himself wonder if this was really the way he was going to be taken down.

Aww, hell naw. He was not about to lose to a buncha chumps, even if he was drastically outnumbered.

"Look, Eliot, watch this!" And several seconds of furious button-mashing later, he'd managed to take out all of his opponents, using impressive combos, bright flares of magic, and a few badass items in his inventory. "Bet you was nervous, huh. Not like me. I was cool as a cucumber the whole time." Ignore the way he was sagging against the back of the couch, Eliot, he'd been totally fine.

This was the way Hardison had imagined it going once he moved to the island: no creepy zombie-horror fog outside, the three of them sharing space again, together even while they did their own things, happy and content.

"Oooh, I'm gettin' hungry. Eliot, you seen my bag of gummy frogs? Or maybe we should order more pizza after I finish up this level."

Well, he was happy and content anyway.

[For the crew & expecting one more, but open if anyone else should have a reason to drop by!]
geniuswithasmartphone: (Chin on Fist Side-Eye)
Eliot was looking pretty terrible. Despite Hardison's insistence that he wasn't going to feed Eliot again after the never-to-be-discussed Pork Rind Incident (c'mon man! There were just some things you didn't do to pork rinds! Or your friends! Even friends that tased you and tied you to a chair!), that insistence didn't mean much when your best friend looked like he was gonna keel over at any minute.

"Yo," he said, standing a safe distance back. "Eliot. You feelin' okay, man? You thirsty? I ain't gonna feed you--" such lies. If Eliot said he was hungry, Hardison was a soft enough touch that he'd try to feed him anyway. "--but I can get you something you drink?"

But that drink would possibly be orange soda, because soft touch or not, Hardison was also spiteful.

"You know, dude, this could all be over if you just told us what the heck was going on."

It was possible that Hardison and Parker didn't really have an endgame here, beyond keeping him tied up for...indefinitely?

[Open!]
geniuswithasmartphone: (Facepalm)
After everything that went down at the docks, Hardison was more than happy to come back to the apartment and just relax. Which, for him, meant a shower, a two-liter of orange soda, and a little bit of light hacking, just to stay on top of things. Sure, surfing the Dark Net was nothing compared to hacking all of reality, hacking reality hadn't come with phat stacks of cash, either.

Hardison settled in at his work station and set his various programs to running. Some were web crawlers, keeping him abreast of current events that might prove useful, others were security programs to wipe away any traces of his online presence. Still others were just tiny things he did to amuse himself; that was one naked celebrity picture leak that he ended before it even began, deleting the pictures from the web and sending a virus back to the machine that had uploaded them to destroy that, too. There was some obnoxious GamerGater on Reddit holding forth; Hardison sent a troll-bot running an algorithm of feminist arguments guaranteed to make the idiot on the other side of the screen froth at the mouth. This program unleashed a new meme into the world to propagate, chosen from the vast library of memes that Hardison had invented and saved to bring forward at a later date.

Sure, he might not have super-powers or a fancy metal suit, but the internet was his playground and there he was king.

Hardison's sense of satisfaction was not fated to last very long, however. Not more than seventy-two seconds after he finished his circuitous path to his little corner of the Dark Net and saw the blinking notice that said--once you broke all the layers of encryption over it--that the Black Book files had successfully been updated on March 12th at 7:22pm. Normally, that would be a good thing, except--

Except Hardison was sitting at his workstation and was not seeing the hard drive. Anywhere. He remembered initiating the backup; it was the last thing he'd done before he and Parker had left to go cliff jumping like the insane adrenaline-junkies he most certainly was not. But he hadn't ejected the drive when he'd gotten home--they'd had more important things to do, thank you--and when he'd gotten up on Friday, he hadn't seen the drive out on his work station to remind him to put it away.

So the last time he could consciously remember seeing the hard drive was two days ago. That was...that was very not good. Because it wasn't here now.

"Parker!" he bellowed. "Parker, I need you!"
geniuswithasmartphone: (Age of the Geek)
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!]
geniuswithasmartphone: (Chatting on Couch (All 3))
Once Parker returned and they'd trooped upstairs, Hardison picked up his remote and started running the information gathering session.

"Ben's Chili Bowl," he explained, as an old picture of a black couple came over the monitors, standing in front of a restaurant that looked brand new. "Seen here on its opening day, August 22, 1958, with owners Ben and Virginia Ali. This little restaurant has had a huge cultural impact on DC. It opened on U Street, back when DC was still segregated, and was one of the most popular restaurants in the city. Duke Ellington, Miles Davis, and Nat King Cole used to eat there after performing at black jazz clubs on U Street."

He eyed Eliot. "Those names would be familiar if you know anything about music with soul," he jibed. "Anyway, moving on, the Chili Bowl also managed to stay open during the riots of '68 after Martin Luther King, Jr was assassinated. Most other places had to shut down and obey the curfew, but Ben got permission to stay open and fed cops and firefighters as they tried to combat the mess."

He rattled off some more of the more interesting historical facts about the restaurant before turning to their clients. "So, Eliot's friend Vance called us on behalf of the current owners of Ben's Chili Bowl, Kamal and Nizam Ali, sons of Ben and Virginia. After almost sixty years of history, one Congressman Jessup from the Norman district of Oklahoma has come forward stating he has evidence that the young Ali's have been using their company to launder money for various criminals around DC. He's facing a lot of heat for it, as Ben's Chili Bowl is pretty famous and popular, but he's not backing down which means he's either got something iron-clad or there's more on the line for him than his political career. He's calling for the original location of Ben's Chili Bowl to close down for the duration of the investigation. Now, our boy Vance thinks that there's something fishy going on and wants us to help the Ali's out so the restaurant can stay open. This is about more than just a restaurant or even a legacy, you know? This is a restaurant that the people of the community have looked to and taken pride in for years. It's practically a damn landmark."

[For the fellow thieves, please!]

Voicemail

Feb. 18th, 2015 03:52 am
geniuswithasmartphone: (Telephone)
"Hey, y'all. This is Hardison, I'm not here right now, you know what to do. And man, Eliot, read your damn email. That answers whatever questions you're calling me with right now. If it's you, Nana, sorry for cussing."

Beep

Disclaimer )

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