Chance Meeting

Murphy and Michael First Meet.


Joe's is pretty well what you would expect at nine in the morning, not exactly packed but not shy on customers either. A few booths remain empty even now, some seated upon the bar stools others. Like Murph, reside in a booth picking at eggs and nursing a cup of coffee, or perhaps a hangover from a long night depending.

Outside, a dirty, too-loud-to-be-legal truck pulls up into one of the few spots that are open in front of Joe's Diner, the vehicle held together with more rust than anything else, and with a left window that's completely busted out save for a handful of glass fragments. A tall, lanky man pulls himself out of the truck after a moment, not bothering to lock up as he heads inside. Through the door, Michael drifts into the greasy spoon, wearing minimal clothing this morning in the form of a black tee-shirt, some jeans, and a pair of tattered snakeskin boots that've seen better days. He stops just inside to dig around in his pocket for a couple of quarters, thrusting them into the paper machine only to get rejected when it won't open. He doesn't say anything outright, but there's a squint to his eye as if to say 'You win this round'.

Interest in the newcomer is somewhat limited, carried over by the noise of the truck, and his interaction with the vending machine that foils him. Leaving the short haired tattooed man smirking faintly and shaking his head. One of the wait staff stop over at Murph's table to refill his coffee, and ask him if everything is alright. He answers with the obligitory, "Tastes like food." and a bit of a charming smile before he pauses them in filling his glass leaving a bit for cream perhaps. Or in this case as the waiter turns away, he pours a bit from a metal flask into the cup. Tucks that back into his back pocket and goes about mixing. "Paper machine hasn' worked in weeks anyway." He calls over, offering some small format of assistance.

It's clear that Michael takes note of what is said to him, and he snorts at the thought of it, but then he seemingly goes about his business once more, abandoning the paper machine and heading over to the counter. He leans in for a moment, watching the waitress, and when she takes his order he says, "..Ah. Coffee. Just black. And a slice of pie if you've got pecan, yeah?". He flashes her a short, quiet smile before digging around in his pocket again for more change. There just seems to be a phenomenal amount in there, somewhere, and most of what he slaps down on the counter is dimes and nickels. Almost as an afterthought, as he's waiting for his order, he half-slips onto a barstool that's close to Murphy's booth and finally answers, "..They should probably get a sign on it. But then, it's probably the best money they make here.". This small wisecrack is followed with a ghost of a smirk that's gone before it can even really fully form.

Murphy settles his mug back, leaves the hashbrowns and runny eggs that he'd been poking at long enough to wander over to the newspaper machine. "I'm pretty sure they will put a sign on it sooner or later." He jams his thumb against the corner of the door frame, and does a bit of something with his other hand that causes the door to pop free. "But as long as people keep paying, and the papers keep vanishing. Don't think they will care to much." Says the man with the faintly scottish accent, as he pulls free a couple of papers and lets the door slap back shut on it's own springs. He makes to toss one upon the counter before Michael, before he heads back over to his booth and meal.

"Oh look at that, a person with more sense for machines than I've got. Who knew.", Michael responds with as the paper is tossed onto the counter in front of him. He's scathingly sarcastic about it, but not in a malicious fashion. If anything, the comment seems directed more at his own ineptitude than anything else. He glances at the paper, before offering a tip of a fake hat to the man's assistance, "Thanks for that. Maybe I'll just start paying you in the future.". When the waitress brings his coffee and pie, he stops her for a moment and asks, "Can I get a pen, ma'am? Thanks.".

"Eh don't mention it, you paid for it after all." Murph mentions as he tucks himself into the booth to sit side long and open the news paper he snagged against his crooked knee. He leans out round the side leaving the paper to dog ear as they do with out support to go after his coffee. "Just call it experience, with that machine and returning a favor owed to someone else."

The tall, lanky man is quiet and thoughtful for a moment, taking a bite of his pie, and having a sip of his coffee. The pen is brought to him, just a black ballpoint, and he pulls the section marked 'Sports' out of the paper and goes about outlining something. More as if he's making small-talk than anything else, Michael eventually speaks up again, "..You come around this place often? How's the food? Can't say I've ever eaten here before, but that coffee shop down the street has a new owner and her hair is eleven different colors and shaped like a circus. Didn't want Barnum and Bailey's makin' my joe, so I thought I'd meander down here.".

Murphy pokes over the comics, and political sections as he sips at his coffee, "Yeah, pretty often. It's quiet compared to the rest of the strip all in all. Where else can you get a pile of greasy hash browns, eggs over easy, and a smile even in the middle of the night? The foods, well it's what you'd espect out of Joe's. It's cheap, filling." He pushes back his plate to make room for his mug. "You get what you pay for, here on the other hand. Nobody is gonna care if you walk in, in a bathrobe at 3 a.m. much other then to glance at you funny then go back to what they were doing in the first place. So it's got some charms."

Michael mulls over that review for all of a moment, before giving a firm nod, "Seems like the sort of place I don't mind then. I'll just have to remember to not stick coins in anything around here..". He goes back to eating his pie, and when the waitress comes by to check on everything, he gifts her with another short smile, "It's good, thanks, ma'am. No, I'll let you know if I need anything else..". He switches back and forth between his coffee, his food, and whatever it is that he's scribbling and outlining in the newspaper that was given to him, idly saying, "Good service here too. What was your name again? I don't think I caught it.".

Murphy lets his paper droop again, "Well thats as I didn't offer it up, but the names Murphy. Mostly just go by Murph and all that, and what of yourself? Might be advisable to not use the paper machine at least, least not for another week or so." He grins faintly, "If it gets left be long enough someone will fix it."

"Nice to meet you, Murph. You work at one of the casinos around here? Seems like everyone I meet works at one of the casinos. It's crazy how many people they employ..", the man responds with, leaning forward off of his barstool and extending a hand as if to offer it to shake, "Name's Michael. Mostly, folk just call me Michael. I don't care what y'call me, so long as it's consistent..". There's a good-natured sort of lightness to the man's demeanor, something not commonly found at this time of the morning in a city that stays up all night and hides away during the day.

"Sort of." Murph responds to the question, "Michael it is." He flops a twenty down onto the table, leaves the paper but collects his coffee and spoon to make the short walk over to settle at one of the nearby stools. "I have worked for quite a few of the casinos now and again, I do. Well I do odd jobs to make ends meet but mostly work in the realm of personal safety. I like to joke about it being a protection racket."

"The realm of personal safety? That's vague.", Michael says, scooting to the side a touch as if to give the man some room. From this angle, it's clear that he's been scribbling something on the sports section that is beginning to resemble the words, "OUT OF ORDER". He goes about filling it in and darkening it some more, "..So you're what? A bodyguard? A safety advisor at Wal-Mart? The Diner Mafia? Am I going to be extorted for letting you protect me from the fight that newspaper machine would have inevitably beat me in?", he asks, arching his left brow just so, but still with a good-spirited tone to his voice.

The answer that comes at first is a simple, "Yes." In a plesant deadpan before he cracks a smile and continues, "Personal security, and safety. Bodyguard is a short form of it I guess, as I've done that bit before yeah. Generaly when I do get hired on it's for events, such and such big wig happend across my name. Pays me a chunk of change to keep them nice and safe at a location for x amount of time. It uh, can entail anything from single protection duty at a single location. Up to team selction, instilation, and I'll cut it there. I won't bore you with all the details. In general if I'm careful, it keeps me in my wee bit of an apartment till the next job comes up."

"Huh..", Michael responds with, taking all of that in and seeming to just sit on it for a moment. His eyes get a distant sort of look for a second, that 'thinking' look that he evidently wears all over his face when he's doing it. Then, all of a sudden he snaps out of it before going on, "Interesting. That's real interesting. I think you're the first person I've met in Vegas that has a real job that doesn't involve flipping cards, serving drinks, or rubbing their naughty bits everywhere. You get a lot of work around here? I imagine this place has got all sorts of people with too much money and too many people that want to kill 'em.".

"I spend alot of time taking public transportation." Murph answers over the top of his mug before he drains the last few sips, "I make ends meet, most of the top crust want. Well they want someone on hand to babysit them, got a slew of bodyguards or the like already. Freelance, not wanting to really be stuffed into a suit all the time. Well as you could imagine has ups and downs. What about yourself, with that lively ride outside and all?"

Michael nods, "I can get behind that. Not wanting to be stuffed into a suit. And I know all about making the minimum..". He glances out the window and at the truck that is spoken about, and offers the old vehicle a fond smile, "I've had that thing since High School. Right now, she's my office, since I just got back into town after a couple of years. Still haven't found a place to settle into yet.". He sits up a bit, searching around in his pocket before digging out a badly-made business card on crumpled paper, "I work for myself. Mostly, tracking down women and kids that've gone missing. Unless everyone's all accounted for and rent is due, in which case I sometimes spy on cheating wives and husbands. But I hate that sort of work. Tacky, really. None of my business, either, but you have to pay the bills sometimes..". He offers the card, "You know anyone that needs anything, let me know, yeah? Work is slow.".

Murphy plants a finger tip on the card and drags it over to look at it a moment in thought before speaking again. "Yeah, you know what. I'll keep you in mind long as you do the same for me. Catch wind of any of these galla events going on, or the like. Let me know so I can try and see if I can ply my services and I'll return the favor. Mutual arrangement and all that, here is a good enough place to catch up with me. Or, can I borrow your pen? I'll give you my cell, just in case."

"Yeah. I'll do that. You scratch my back, I'll scratch yours. Maybe you'll pick my business up a little bit for me. You'd think Vegas would have more missing women..", Michael says, sliding his pen to Murphy. He's quiet for a moment, pondering something, before he adds, "Truth is, Vegas -does- have a lot of missing women. People just don't want 'em found.". That statement in and of itself seems to trouble him slightly, but he brushes it off as best as he can.

Murphy scribbles down his number on a corner of the newspaper, "Yeah, well.." He offers up the pen, "Most of them turn up someplace or another, alot of them run from a poor situation, or find a worse one to get into by choice. Trust me on one thing mate, the one thing I've learned over the years and it's been a hard lesson. You can't save everyone, no matter how you try. Some of them simply don't want to be saved, found, or otherwise. The other thing to recall." Murph offers up another faint smile, "Don't always need to get paid to go looking, right?"

"No, you can't save 'em all. But I'd feel like a cad if I didn't try. It's just one of those things..", Michael says. He reaches over and tears off the piece of the newspaper with the number scribbled on it, and stuffs it into his pocket, "I'll keep in touch if I catch wind of anything that needs bodyguardin', Murph..". Slowly, he pushes out of his stool and rises to his full, considerable height, before digging around for a tip to leave for the waitress, "It's about time for me to be gettin' on with my day. Not that I've got much of a day, but I need to get some footwork out of the way. You take care, yeah? And thanks for the company over coffee.".

Michael walks out with Murphy, leaving as the door is opened for him and again tipping an invisible hat in thanks. He digs around for his keys, before sliding himself back into that old, rust-eaten truck, but then he pauses. Just before the man is out of ear shot, he calls out, "You're right though! Don't always need to get paid to go lookin'!". That seems to put a cheery smile on his face.

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