Film Projects And Lightbulb Salesmen

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Where: Pearlies Diner

When: September 3, 2012; Lunch

What: Acquaintances discuss some of the finer points of things they learned following the technology conference.

It's mid-day and the diner is as popular as ever. A certain Latina regular is sitting in one of the booths near the front of the restaurant, eating a burger and fries, with a cup of coffee to drink. Every now and then she glances down at a newspaper that rests next to her plate, the main article of the page entitled 'Rich Getting Richer?' Overall, she seems pretty unimpressed with what she's reading. That or she just bored. It could be either at this point, really.

Another regular face belongs to the mayor's youngest son. Though it's earlier than he usually shows up, he still get a small wave from the counter staff. As he hitches his backpack higher onto his shoulder, Zan turns from the entryway to start along the rows of tables and booths to one he most often occupies. He gets just a few steps in before stopping again, gaze resting on Bailey. His brows draw together, a small crease forming between them, however he takes another few steps closer. "How are the Rebels looking this season," he asks her, once near enough to talk over the din.

The door opening is hardly anything for Bailey to notice today. Taking a sip of her coffee, she flips the page over, her eyes flitting over the page. It's not until a voice, practically right next to her, asks about the UNLV football team. She glances up, then back at the paper. "Don't know. Don't care. I'm a UNO Privateers sorta gal." Taking a one of her french fries and popping it in her mouth, she looks back up at Zan. "I suppose you'll be expecting me to invite you to sit." Though by no means inviting him yet. After staring him down for a few more seconds, she nods to the seat across from her, by way of silent invitation.

"Close enough," Zan replies ambiguously. He doesn't seem too concerned with sitting at first. As soon as he's asked about the teams and gotten some semblance of an answer, he's leaning toward finding his own seat. That, of course, is paused when she speaks again, brows rising at the assumption he'd want to join her table. While scrutinized, he regards Bailey just as evenly, a brow ticking upward when she relents.

"Thanks," he offers, sliding into the seat. His pack is set onto the bench beside him. "So how've things been since the conference? Anymore invisible men showing up?"

"No. No invisible men. That was a one time deal." Bailey leans back and picks up her coffee cup, taking a sip. With her free hand, she digs through her pant pockets, pulling out the thumb drive and tossing it across the table at Zan. "You can have that, by the way, if you really want it." She lets out a little humourless chuckle. "Not that it will do you any good. Seems like that Justin guy, whoever he was, wiped it clean." She rolls her eyes. "I mean, there was no way for me to access it anyway. But it pissed me right off."

Catching the drive, Zan turns it over in his hands. "Wiped it clean," he says, deadpan. "How kind." The drive, regardless, is tucked into a pocket. He, in turn, opens his pack and pulls out his laptop. Some pawing through the other contents in the bag produces an SD card. "You still have that file on your phone? I'll make a trade, copy of mine for a copy of yours."

"How so very, very kind." Bailey sighs and shakes her head. "Wonder if he made himself a copy of it too." She places down her coffee cup and rubs her eyes. "This is all too strange. I ain't never expected anything like this. I've seen the dark side of the city, but it never cared to tell me about this sort of stuff. Life sorta likes fuckin' with a person, throwing invisible people, techno-something people. What's gonna happen next? Someone who can fly? Maybe someone who can read minds or turn into a giant ball of electricity?" She rolls her eyes and pulls out her phone. "Yeah. Sure. Go ahead and trade. I've put my list onto my computer already."

"I wouldn't put it past him," Zan says. He sets up his laptop, and digs out a cord while it starts up. Bailey's phone is accepted and attached to the computer, and every so often he glances up at her. "So you thought what he did was pretty weird," he asks, casually and without much concern of being overheard. There's enough noise from the lunch rush to mask their conversation, hopefully. The memory card is put into his computer next, but it's the phone's system he accesses. "Being able to text us without actually using a phone and getting into that drive?"

"Weird? I don't know! Just…different!" Bailey picks up a few fries and munches them down quickly. "It's not exactly something you see everyday, now is it?" She offers up a shrug. "I'm just saying, what else is out there? First thing I know, this invisible guy is forcing things out of my hand, then I've got techno-wizarding taken to the extreme. I mean, seriously. I thought I was an unusual duckling."

"Oh yeah?" Zan sets a transfer of information between the phone and card, copying the file Bailey had received. And once that's set up, he digs into a smaller pocket on his pack and pulls out another couple of cards. He considers the two of them, then passes one off to Bailey. "I've seen some pretty weird things, too. Got pulled through a wall and out of a runaway elevator once. How're you so unusual?"

"Oh, I don't know." Bailey looks around for a minute before motioning to the table, where one hand rests. She yawns, taking up her coffee cup with her free hand and lifting it to her lips, taking a sip. Her hand, on the table, is apparently glowing. "Can't say as I've ever been pulled through a wall, but I don't have trouble finding my way in the dark." She has a smug smirk on her face. Once she is sure he's seen the glowing hand, the light immediately blinks off and her hand is back to normal.

Zan's eyes flick toward the table and toward Bailey's hand. If he's at all surprised, he keeps it well hidden by continuing to work. The second card is put back into the pocket it came from and progress on the transfer is checked. "Bet that's handy when you go looking for something under the bed," he murmurs, sitting back some. "How long've you been able to do that? When did you first discover you had a talent?"

"Known for about nine…nine or ten years." Bailey eyes him. "Better not mention this to nobody, either! But, since you've apparently seen stuff, I ain't so worried." She glances about once more before her attention rests on Zan again. "It's different. But it's helped me out a lot, that's for sure. Can't tell you how many times it got me out of a jam. Or helped me out in general. When you don't gotta worry about carrying around a flashlight, it's something you can just put aside when digging through storage, or walking through a suspicious park."

"Like anyone would believe me," Zan says with a chuckle. "I've seen stuff, that doesn't mean I've told anyone." Apparently Bailey's an exception, since he's told her one of the secrets he's carried for a while. The sort that would get most people committed if they went public with it. His eyes tick over to the computer again, watching the transfer animation. "…Want to see something cool?"

"You know who'd believe you? The Colonel. He's a homeless guy. He's kinda crazy, but I like him." Bailey can't help but smirk a little bit. "But yeah, invisible people, techno-people, going through walls. It's all a little crazy. We might wanna consider checking ourselves into a psych ward or something, you know?" She tilts her head. "I…might want to see something cool."

"The Colonel," Zan asks. He glances toward Bailey, but briefly. He pulls up a file on his computer and sets it to playing. It appears an awful lot like a youtube video that had made the news a couple of months ago, though at a different angle. A desert setting at night, with the camera following something flying through the sky. Something glowing. As it begins playing, he looks at Bailey, brows raising slightly.

"You know who'd believe you? The Colonel. He's a homeless guy. He's kinda crazy, but I like him." Bailey can't help but smirk a little bit. "But yeah, invisible people, techno-people, going through walls. It's all a little crazy. We might wanna consider checking ourselves into a psych ward or something, you know?" She tilts her head. "I…might want to see something cool."

"The Colonel," Zan asks. He glances toward Bailey, but briefly. He pulls up a file on his computer and sets it to playing. It appears an awful lot like a youtube video that had made the news a couple of months ago, though at a different angle. A desert setting at night, with the camera following something flying through the sky. Something glowing. As it begins playing, he looks at Bailey, brows raising slightly.

"Yeah..the Colonel." Bailey says in a matter of fact tone, as if there's nothing strange about knowing a homeless guy named The Colonel. She lifts up her burger and takes a bite as she gazes towards the computer. "Something flying through the sky. So? It looks familiar. Think I've seen it somewhere before."

"Who's the Colonel," Zan prompts, allowing the scene to play out a little longer. Eventually he stops it and pulls up another video. This one is the more familiar youtube clip though it's hatched out of one of the news outlets. "Looks a bit like this one, doesn't it." It's more statement than question, the angle is different but the timing seems to be about right.

"As I say, he's a homeless guy, a little nuts. Got to know him a little bit over the years. He's got his nose on the button, though. Often seems to know what's going on." Bailey shrugs, paying more attention to the computer. "Yeah…those look a lot familiar." She looks up at him. "So, what's up with the videos, dude?"

"How do I meet him?" Zan pulls the SD card out of his computer and passes it over to Bailey, complete with a copy of his list. Her phone is detached next and returned as well, followed by the closing of his laptop. "Just a video project for school," he says smoothly, though he looks at her while zippering his computer into his backpack. Brows tick upward, more being said than what's actually spoken, if Bailey can put two and two together.

"You really wanna meet the Colonel?" Bailey actually seems surprised. "I mean, that's cool and all. But, why?" She shakes her head. She furrows her brow as she looks at him, now taking a bite from one of her fries. After a few moments, her eyes go wide. "Wait…you mean…that…huh. I guess I better watch what I say, or I might just find out something exists after all."

"You said he'd believe me." Zan clasps his hands together and rests them on the edge of the table. "I'm curious enough to wonder what he knows." His face remains fairly impassive while Bailey seems to grasp at the idea behind his videos. "Nah, it's all just a really strange dream. Nothing like that could ever exist."

"Don't get me wrong, I'm sure he would. I do to. But if you're wondering what kind of things he knows, he's probably not the most reliable source of information on these topics. I could be wrong, but…he's not all there, you know?" Bailey leans back and looks at Zan with curiosity. "Oh yes, of course. Just a dream."

Zan's shoulders push upward and he shrugs. "Sure, he's not all there. But sometimes those are the ones who seem to know or see things that people like you or I would otherwise overlook. It's just a request. If he's not taking visitors then there's little I can do." He watches Bailey for a moment longer, a frown beginning to form. "I can trust that you're not going to tell anyone about my film project, right? Program I'm in is pretty competitive."

"I'll see if I can find him, ask him and all, if you'd like." Bailey offers a little smile. "And of course I won't tell anyone of your lil film project here. It's all hush hush. CIA, secret agent man, sorta thing." She nods firmly, a serious look upon her face. "How long have you had an idea for this…film project of yours?"

A grin tugs one corner of Zan's mouth upward, slightly and briefly. "I appreciate that, thank you." To both talking with the Colonel and keeping his secret. He considers her question, gaze touching the table for half a moment. The frown returns, a crease settling in between his brows. "Few months. Came to me this past spring."

"So, it's just a fresh, youngin' of an thing, ain't it? Ain't that sweet." Bailey seems to have a little smug smile on her face. Yes, perhaps she is being a little patronizing. "It's quite something though. An interesting idea." She smiles. "At least it's not gonna be a movie about a lightbulb salesman. That would just be plain ol' boring!"

The smugness only seems to solidify Zan's frown, but he doesn't rise to any bait, intended or otherwise. "Yeah. Anyway, now you've got as much information as I have. I'm hoping to catch up with Raleigh next and get the last bit. With any luck we can figure out what this list is all about." He pauses for a second, then motions toward Bailey. "Where'd you get the drive? How'd you come by it?"

"Once we've got all three of are lists together, we'll have at least a bit more of a complete picture." Bailey furrows her brow again. "I'm still confused about what the names and cities and statuses are suppose to tell us, though." She lets out a long sigh, putting her phone back in her pocket. "I'm just as confused as I was when I had no clue what was on the device." She raises one eyebrow and shrugs at the question. "To be honest, I've got no clue how I got the thumb drive. Somebody slipped it into my pocket without my knowing. Initially made a copy of it. The original got stolen from me, but the copy was good enough, I suppose." She shakes her head. "Whoever these names belong to, they do not want them getting out, and they're willing to use violence to keep them secret."

"You don't know where you were or have any thoughts on when it happened," Zan asks. His hands lift off the table, elbows taking their place. His knuckles tap against his chin. "I have no idea what the list is about, but I'm hoping something will make sense." Especially since he's on the list. He leans back, arms clasping behind his head. "Wonder if there's any way to trace the drive back to its owner. Or origin. —Any idea who the guy that stole it was? What'd he look like?"

"It either on my way to or at work. But I can't say anything otherwise that's for certain." Bailey explains. "And I doubt we'd have any luck tracing the origin, seeing as the thumb drive you now have was the one I used for the copy, and not the original drive. Plus, the guy at the conference wiped it clean." She rubs her eyes in a tired fashion. "The guy who stole it, technically, was invisible. The guy who shot me was somewhat dressed like my contact I was originally supposed to meet."

"Good point." Zan mulls over what's already known while he listens to the rest of Bailey's answers. "Well, there might be something embedded in the list that we haven't seen. It's not impossible. The next question is why did you come by it, and why is it being hunted." He leans forward again, after a moment.

"Where'd this guy and his invisible counterpart find you?"

"Somehow they knew that I'd been in touch with my contact about a thumb drive that I couldn't get into, and needed help with." Bailey explains about how she was found. "Beats me how they knew about that. I haven't been able to be in touch with my contact since. I don't know if he's dead or just avoiding me or what! To be honest, he was always a secretive guy anyway. Never even actually knew his name. But I can be certain that who ever shot me, was not my usual contact." She takes a sip of her coffee before continuing.

Zan's jaw pushes off to one side, teeth scraping his lower lip. He's thinking hard about something, though his attention seems fixed on an obscure point outside of the booth. "What would you say if I told you I was acquiring a drive," he asks, suddenly lowering his voice though it seems unnecessary with the constant noise of a busy diner. "A drive that's still encrypted. That might be related to the one you found."

Bailey's eyes stare straight at Zan for a good few moments before she speaks. "If that's true, I'd have to say that I'm very interested in that drive. I'd want to know if it has similar info to what mine had." She flags down a waitress, indicating she needs more coffee, then turns her attention back to Zan. "How might you be acquiring this device? Or is that a little bit on the down low right now?"

"It's a clandestine operation," Zan answers. When the waitress appears to refill Bailey's cup, he goes quiet but to request a Coke. "An ad caught my attention while I was taping some newspaper over a window. Some guy looking for someone else with an invisible friend." His brows arch slightly, pointing out the strange coincidence. "So I called it. Guy told me he had a drive without me even asking."

Waiting, as well, until the waitress is once more gone, Bailey seems slightly surprised as well.
"That's strange. What's the guy's name?" There's a short pause before she says, "Though, if it's a secret operation thing, I suppose you can't quite tell me." She lifts up her newly poured cup of coffee, not adding anything to it, she sips. "Well, I'm definitely interested in this other drive. Only problem I could foresee is that it has the exact same list on it as mine, but still, that would be something, I guess."

Nodding, Zan pushes his shoulders upward to shrug as well. "I've thought of that, but the chance to have one…" He shakes his head in a what can you do manner. "We'll see where it gets us. I'm not sure who the guy is, we didn't exchange names or anything."

"I guess it's a risk that would be interesting to take." Bailey smirks. "Has he said he wants to trade the drive or anything? What's the dealio, yo? I mean, if you are willing to tell me." She definitely seems more eager to work with him today than she was on the day that they got the list. As the waitress arrives with the coke for Zan, she quiets down for the moment. Once in the clear again, she continues. "What was his purpose in telling you about the drive, anyway?"

"Steep price," Zan answers after the waitress has gone. He takes a drink from his glass then slides it aside. "But all things considered, possibly worth it." He taps a finger against the edge of the table, considering the conversation with the guy. "I don't know. He brought it up, I asked about invisible men and he started talking about this drive he had. I just went with it like that's what I was phishing for the whole time."

"Huh." Bailey shakes her head as she pops a fry into her mouth. "If he's asking for a steep price, he's probably not going to let you see it before he sees the money." She knows this much about how people work. "I wonder why he wants a lot for it." She frowns. "How much, exactly, is he wanting for it?"

Zan's shoulders rise and fall. "Because he knows he can get a lot for it. My assumption is he ran into trouble, or was threatened with trouble, over the original. He claimed having multiple people asking after it, but we negotiated." He scrapes his lower lip with his upper teeth, returning his full attention to Bailey. "Thirty-two plus legal."

"Huh. Well, someone came after mine, so…if they're similar, than I'm not surprised that there's people after it." Bailey frowns. "Now, I'm guessing that ain't just thirty-two dollars. Is there a few zeros after that, by chance?" She gives him a look as if to say she wouldn't be surprised. "So, do you have a plan for getting it? Aside from paying the money, that is."

Again, Zan shrugs, though a grin quirks one corner of his mouth upward in some sarcastic humor. "Yeah, probably has one or two extra zeros," he admits. "Still a fair bit lower than what he asked. And I do have a plan, though I won't share it until after it's been done. Probably given away too much already, but with any luck I'll pull this stunt off without any problems."

"And you sure you don't need no help in this lil plan of yours? I've got…well, maybe my skill won't help you none. Unless you want a flashlight pointed at his eyes or something." Bailey smirks and chuckles a little bit. "Anyway, good luck on pulling off this little plan of yours. I look forward to trying to discover if it's similar, that drive."

"Think I've got my angles covered," Zan says with that bit of a grin. "But thanks all the same. Might raise suspicion if I brought someone along with me." He digs out his cell phone while finishing off his Coke. Once the cup is empty and pushed aside again, he digs out some money to cover his drink and tip enough for Bailey's table. She'll have to front the money for her meal it looks like. "I'll be in touch," he says as he gathers his pack and makes to leave the diner.

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