Oops

Summary:
April 25, 2014: Oliver Queen finds himself stuck with a tech problem, so brings it to BSSC for assistance. It doesn't go as well as it could.

Brooklyn Superhero Supply Company

<Location Description>


Characters

NPCs

  • None

Mood Music:
[*None]


The streets of New York are slick with a day's worth of rain, and soggy visitors have been coming and going at Brooklyn Superhero Supply for a good part of the day despite the weather. Mostly tourists, but earlier there was one sidekick hopeful filling out an application in the back room under Annie's watchful eye. With the dinner hour coming the store is just about cleared out, save for a couple of obvious superhero fans, one sporting a Captain America logo shirt, the other boldly bearing a Superman S on his chest.

"Well, you know, you can't believe everything you read on the internet," Annie is saying as she bags their purchases. "No one has officially said that he's dead. He's Superman. He's not dead." It's said with a note of reassurance for the customers, but they don't look to be buying that as readily as the gallon of Immortality that she picks up to hand off to 'Captain America' as she moves to walk them to the door. "Never lose hope over something you read on the internet. And have a nice day!" With the pair gone, Annie turns back to the shop, not yet locking the door even though closing time is near.

The last 24 hours have been taxing for the Green Arrow, to put it mildly. A routine patrol turned into a game of cat-and-mouse with a man who seemed to be able to control technology on a whim. When the perp was subdued, all he had on him was a cell phone.

Now in his civilian guise, Oliver Queen has used his considerable resources to try and crack the phone's encryption software and anti-intrusion countermeasures, but with no luck. It seems that even the wealthy are forced to outsource from time to time.

This brings him to Brooklyn Superhero Supply. He hesitates at the door just long enough to smooth his hair into place and tug the lapels of his suit before he steps inside. A quick glance around the shop, but no browsing or perusing. When his eyes come to rest on the only other person around, he raises a brow and tips his head a fraction to the side. "Nice place," he says. "You work here?"

Back behind the counter where the cash register squats, Annie looks up from a pile of receipts that she'd been rifling through. Everything is totaled electronically, but she likes to double check and make sure the software hasn't glitched. It never has, but can't be too careful. Her smile comes automatically, the way of a good salesperson, replying as she notes the clothes which are a bit more upscale than their typical customer. "Thanks! I do, is there anything I can help you with?" Her eyes drop a moment as she tucks the receipts into a folder, before they're up, back on the visitor attentively.

"I've heard good things about your tech department," Oliver opens. "I was hoping you could help me."

He pulls the phone from an inner jacket pocket and sets it on the counter. It's black, fairly small, and carries no brand logo or insignia anywhere on it. Despite this, it looks like a piece of quality equipment rather than a cheap knock-off.

"A friend of mine left this at my house after a party," Ollie explains. "He was using it to control the lights, the TV, even the security cameras and the alarms. I was hoping to find out how he pulled it off before I returned the phone, but it has pretty impressive security on it. Willing to take a look, see what you can do? I'm dying to know how he did it."

One hand raises, pushing her glasses up on her nose, covering the brow raised in momentary surprise at the man's words. Being the 'tech department' for all intents, and knowing that only a certain part of the population is privy to such information, Annie studies Oliver for a moment longer before her eyes drop again, settling on the phone. The hand falls to rest on the counter, but she doesn't reach for the device as she listens.

Without lifting her head, her eyes drift back up, over the rim of her glasses, giving her a view of a now fuzzy Ollie. Human shaped, but not quite as useful as seeing him clearly, so her head tilts up and she refocuses. "He's probably gonna be mad you're peeking at his tricks," she says mildly. "Can you step over and flick that lock on the door? Close enough to closing, and I think we'll need to go in the back." But, even as she says this, she's ducking down behind the counter, a rattling coming as she starts rummaging through whatever is down there. After a second her voice drifts up, "Yeah… I think with this and …. *rattle*rattle* … this." She pops back up, a couple of mechanical somethings in her hands.

Oliver doesn't hesitate, he locks the door as requested and follows his new partner in crime. "My friend will be fine. He's got a good sense of humor."

The phone is scooped up in passing and passed over along with a warning. "Careful. It gave me a nasty jolt when I tried to get it going without a proper passcode."

Annie rounds the counter, shifting the pieces in her hands into one hand, accepting the phone with the one newly freed, warm fingers brushing against his hand briefly. There's a light frown as she immediately studies the phone, walking with the confidence of being in her domain and being intimately acquainted with the floor plan.

"No markings," she says thoughtfully, leading the way down an aisle between twin metal cabinets displaying variously sized canisters with labels like 'Intelligence' and 'Gravity' (on special today! buy some for your honey!). She falls silent, pushing through a black door at the end of the aisle, into a storeroom. There's a work table along one wall, and she steps to it, putting down everything but the phone. Then she just has to do the inevitable, and try thumbing a button on the side. "Gah!" The phone clatters lightly to the work space as she pulls her hand back, giving it a shake. "You little…."

"I warned you." Oliver almost completely manages to stifle a chuckle as he leans against the table and faces his hostess. "Also, careful with the 'home' button. At least I'm assuming that's what that is. My friend used it to set off some… fireworks."

He narrows his eyes and gives his surroundings a thorough once-over. "Nice place," he says for the second time. "Very interesting. What's your name, anyway? I should know who I'm about to thank."

"You did," Annie acknowledges with a sheepish glance. She reaches for the phone and flips it over, hand then raising to flick on a light to better illuminate the counter, her focus now solely on the little problem before her. Or seemingly so, because she does answer the question posed. "Annie. And don't get ahead of the horse and cart," she mangles, "I haven't done anything to be thanked for yet." Yet.

There's a little bit of clutter on the counter, and she reaches and plucks a small device that looks like a screwdriver from the tangle. There's a cord running from the end to an outlet. "Sometimes the direct approach is the one they least think someone will use." She presses a button on the 'screwdriver' and a small blue flash arcs at the tip. "This shouldn't do anything to the inner workings." Shouldn't. The tip is pressed into a barely noticable divot, the button pushed for another second of a jolt.

The phone's display lights up, goes dark again, and then flashes to something like a home screen. There are only five icons, which is a little odd. 'Keypad' and 'Messaging' seem benign enough, but 'Detonator' is less so, as are 'Countermeasures' and 'Electronic Intrusion'.

"You were saying?" Ollie quips. He offers a crooked smile and leans over Annie's shoulder to inspect her work. "I'm Oliver. And… be careful, yeah? My friend, he's a bit eccentric. It's anyone's guess what this thing can do."

Annie barely even flinches as the phone flashes, although she tenses for a moment, until it settles on the five icons. Then she relaxes visibly, letting out a soft sigh, turning her head to smile up at the looming man. "Nice to meet you, Oliver." She hadn't asked for a name and won't press for anything more, which many of their clientele prefers, although she probably should have asked for some sort of ID. But, he's not exactly entirely unidentifiable even without questions.

"Well, 'Detonator' doesn't look very promising." She reaches over for one of the little black pieces she'd gotten from the front counter, then flicks some other things out of the way to reveal another little bit. The two are fitted together with a plastic snap, and she scans the workspace again. "Makes me not really want to dive right in there, but maybe there's a way around." She pauses, looking around, then turning to look across the room. "No…" The word is soft, more to herself than to Oliver, and suddenly she turns back to the workbench and reaches unerringly for a little pocket calculator that was hiding under more rubble. "There you are." She brings out a piece of wire with it, winding one end around a screw on the calculator's back, before the other end is wound around a similar screw on the parts she's pieced together.

The wire is bent, then, and she resourcefully nips a piece of the coating off with her teeth, rather than rummage again for something else on the desk. The bare center is hooked into the jaws of a tiny alligator clip and her attention is back on the phone itself as she flips it over and looks for a seam to get the backing off. "I should be able to get a little data and see if there's another trigger before we touch anything else."

Some people might remove themselves from the immediate area at the sight of the word 'Detonator'. Not Ollie. Curious, he narrows his eyes and bends down to watch Annie pry the phone open. "Seems like a good idea to me. And you've gotten further in five minutes than I got in my first five hours," he admits good-naturedly. He shrugs and shifts to the side so he can look Annie in the eye. "Go ahead, do your worst."

Paused over the phone with a small, /actual/ screwdriver, Annie looks up to meet Ollie's eyes. "My worst can be pretty bad," she cautions lightly. Her attention back down, she carefully finds a spot to pry the plastic case apart, getting as far at the metal below. "Huh." She looks back up, brows lifted questioningly.

"Very interesting," Ollie says again. One corner of his mouth tugs upward into a quirky smile as he looks back down at the phone. "Hrm. Cover's just a cover?" he postulates. "So that it'll pass a casual inspection, maybe. That looks like… Too light to be steel. Aluminum? Titanium? If I didn't know better, I'd say we were looking at a weapon."

"A well armed cover," Annie grumbles lightly, not forgetting that shock so quickly. She moves the phone so he can see it better, tilting her head in study. It's instinct that jerks her a step back as he brings up weaponry, and she softens her voice to ask, "Like a bomb?", as if she's cautious that noise might have an effect on it. "We really don't want to play with that detonate option then."

Curiosity trumps caution as she slides forward again, tipping her head to look at the phone sideways, pushing her hair back out of the light as she leans close, brows drawn in intent study. Her hand comes up, index finger out, and she scrapes her fingernail lightly on the surface. There's a slight catch, three times in the same spot before she straightens. "That might be a niche to get to the electronics. It might be nothing. It might blow us up." Her words are thoughtful, not giving any particular note to the last, least desirable option. Since it's not only herself at stake here, she looks again to Ollie.

Ollie wrinkles his nose when a stray lock of Annie's hair curls up to tickle him. He doesn't disturb it or her, though. Not after she mentions the 'b' word.

"Frankly, I'd be surprised if we didn't find a bomb in there. Anyway, I don't have anything else to do today," he says, shrugging. "I say go for it. But carefully, yeah? I have things to do tomorrow."

For a beat, Annie looks bemused, "You sure put a lot of faith in strangers." At least it's well placed, she hasn't blown anything up in… a while. Back to the work at hand, she decides to stick with her trusty screwdriver. She's not in a real hurry, working cautiously because it's not a very good policy, blowing up clients. Get a reputation for that and your business is shot.

After a few minutes she finds the right angle and carefully wiggles the phone into two pieces. "That was almost too easy," she says as she lifts the pieces apart, revealing some familiar electronics. It's not until she looks at the piece she lifted that her eyes widen slightly. "Oh. That's not usual." She tilts it to show Oliver the surprise inside.

"That's… just fantastic." Ollie lets out a long, low 'whoosh' of air from between pursed lips. "It's tiny, but it's definitely a bomb. Hmm. If you can't disarm it, we could probably just stick it in a teakettle or something and let it blow. Hardly seems big enough to hurt anybody."

Which isn't to say that he's in a hurry to touch it. He's still leaning in for a close inspection, but he's actually stuffed his hands into his pockets to keep them from wandering.

Annie lifts the piece up to eye level, hers not Ollie's of course, twisting it to get a look from every possible angle. "Big things come in small packages," she says, managing to demolish a second saying in one evening. "Yeah, I can do this. I just need to watch that," she mutters as she nods to some spot particular to her and likely vague to Ollie. Her free hand is reaching before she looks away, grasping the pieces she had already put together, putting the bomb down. "Not this, this would probably set it off. This needs to come off," she twists and two pieces part, "And then I need…."

There's another pause, the bit still wired to the calculator is set aside, then a reach for exactly what she wants, buried under a drift of old packing tape. A paper clip. She straightens it hurriedly, picks up the bomb and brings it back to eye level, absently pushes her glasses with the back of her hand and then gently pokes one end of the clip forward. Her breath is held as she prods, squinting in fierce concentration. There's a bare shake of her head and she moves to pull her hand back, mistakenly letting the metal clip scrape below the bomb, and getting another shock for her trouble. "Gah!" she repeats herself, but thankfully doesn't drop the bomb. "Now stop that!"

There's some definite clenching and unclenching coming from Ollie, most notable around his jaw and his backside. "Jesus! Don't do that. I just had five heart attacks. And did you just try to disarm a bomb with a paper clip?"

Though his words are vaguely disapproving, he sounds more impressed than anything else. He raises his eyebrows, but doesn't back away. "Just checking."

Annie /did/ drop the paperclip, and is sucking on the tip of her thumb where the jolt hurt the most. She looks up, rather small in comparison to the archer, tragically wounded (sorta), and manages to shrug somewhat apologetically. Her hand drops and she states the obvious. "That's not gonna work. And blowing that up might kill something useful."

Another pause, before she grouses, "Ya know, it was easier when there were more wires involved. Just a little snip." She emphasizes with a cutting motion of her fingers. Her attention shifts quickly back to the bomb. "If taking that apart triggered any counters or anything, we might have an issue." Because lets add another concern. "No wait, I got this," she says, her voice lifting a note in inspiration. She reaches and comes back up with… that zappy thing she first used. She really needs to start naming her creations. "It's a cool pulse, so it should be just enough to unhinge the signal and not set it off." In theory.

Some theories should be tested immediately, or so she apparently thinks. It only takes a second and a twist of her wrist to pick her spot on the bottom edge of the little bomb, the contact is made, and she presses the button for the spark of blue.

There's no warning, no beeping or flashing lights. The bomb just detonates.

Whoever built it was good. A last ditch defense against intrusion, the tiny charge creates just enough heat and concussive force to destroy the phone's vital components. All that's left is a titanium box that's slightly warm to the touch, a few wisps of smoke, and the distinctive aroma of burnt electronics.

Caught in mid-cringe, Ollie relaxes and wipes the silly look off of his face. "Ahem. Well. That was… anticlimactic." He studies the smoking remnants of the phone for a few seconds, then leans back and shoots a look in Annie's direction. "You look none the worse for wear. All your fingers intact?"

Having been unconsciously tensed, even the small fizzle is enough to startle Annie again, but at least she doesn't drop anything this time. She's getting better at this? The disappointment at the result is clear on her face, lips pressed tightly, and it takes a cast of dismay as she looks to Ollie. "Oh gosh, I'm really sorry. I was /sure/ that would work." Her earnest apology is almost comical as she looks back to the pathetically smoking piece she holds. "That should have worked." Now she'll be puzzling that out for days.

Ollie waves a hand dismissively. "No worries. I'm sure whatever it was, my friend can build himself another one. And hey, I know a little more about it than I did when I walked in. Plus, I talked a complete stranger into trying to disarm a bomb. Not bad for a day's work."

Chuckling quietly and shaking his head, he fans the air to disperse the last of the smoke and aroma. "Speaking of which, what do I owe you?"

Despite her sorrow at a botched job, Annie looks up and smiles at the complete stranger comment. "Well, you did come to a place where the odds were pretty favorable that you'd have done that." She twists to pick up the other part of the phone. "You can probably still learn more from these parts. I'll put them in a bag for you." And now it's her turn to wave a hand, "Psht, nothing. I didn't get what you needed out of it. You aren't yelling at me for blowing it up. Lets call it a wash."

"That's pretty reasonable. Dinner, then? I don't know about you, but near death experiences leave me feeling famished." Ollie accepts the leftover odds and ends of phone that were left lying around, then tosses his head in the direction of the door. "Plus, I bet you know the neighborhood better than me. I could use some help choosing a restaurant."

Something akin to panic flutters in Annie's eyes, although her face holds the smile stoically. Dinner. Social situation. "That's…. ah…." she stammers until her brain kicks back into gear. "I still have to close up, and make sure that everything is… good. But… thank you." Touching back on the safety of work brings some small relief, and the thanks is soft and sincere. She doesn't really look back up to his face, though, instead sticking with the familiar, "A bag. I'll get you one."

"Whoa. Relax, or you're liable to break something. I can take a rain check." Something not unlike a grin is starting to stretch its way across Ollie's face. Again, he tilts his head a fraction to the side and considers Annie curiously. "I hope you won't mind if I stop by with more odds and ends for you to inspect. My friends leave such strange things behind after parties, y'know."

She grasps for the life preserver of talking business, head nodding vigorously as she moves for the door, stepping around Ollie. "That would be great," Annie says quickly, "We rely a lot on repeat customers." Although Ollie hasn't technically been a customer to repeat yet. "And I always like a challenge." On the other side of the black door she stops, holding it open for him.

The not-so-subtle implication that it's time to go isn't lost on Ollie, but he doesn't seem bothered by it. Far from it. He nods to Annie on his way out the door. "Me too. See you later."


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