Assistant manager Harry Gunderson walked away from the hotel bar holding a glass of wine in each hand. It was 1 am Thursday morning so he had to walk past a bevy of drunken con goers on the way to his table.
One of them, particularly inebriated, backed up his chair right as Harry walked past, bumping Harry in the thigh and almost making him spill his drinks. Harry wanted to smash the glass of wine on the drunkard’s head but continued on, only acknowledging the event with a muffled grunt of pain.
At his table he sat the wine and his sore thigh down in front of a cute but aging cosplayer dressed as The Little Mermaid. Well, kinda. She wasn’t just the Little Mermaid, she was doing that crossover bullshit where she was two characters in one – she was the Little Mermaid in Manhattan. She wasn’t very good at this whole thing he thought, but she was the only female at the con who had seemed impressed that he was an assistant manager and so he would have a few drinks with her, talk some talk, and hopefully end up in her room before he had to deal with any more of these con goers who had invaded his hotel.
Harry loosened his tie and took off his name tag, placing it on the table so that the words “Assistant Manager” were carefully positioned to face the Little Mermaid.
They toasted and clinked their glasses and as Harry brought the drink to his lips a loud explosion went off somewhere in the hotel.
This time Harry did drop his drink. “What the hell?!” he blurted standing up as the wine splashed onto his white, wrinkled shirt. He didn’t have to wait long for an answer.
Hastings the bellhop ran into the bar.
“Where’s Harry?” he shouted. “Where’s Harry?!”
“I’m here.” Harry said walking quickly to the front, dabbing his shirt with a purple, cloth napkin.
“Where’s Harry?” Hastings shouted again as he rapped his hands on the bar.
“I’m right here Hastings!” Harry shouted, almost at the bar.
“Where is he? He’s probably drunk, ain’t he!” Hasting said to the bartender.
“I’m here, goddammit!” Harry shouted as he grabbed Hastings by the shoulder and spun him around.
Hastings wondered for a brief second if Harry had heard his last remark, but another blast sounded, louder than the first and that snapped him back to order.
“What the bloody hell!” Harry remarked for a second time.
“It’s the Halo cosplayers and the Destiny cosplayers,” Hastings shouted. “They’re fighting over the grand ballroom.”
“Son of a bitch,” Harry said looking back at the little mermaid. One of the drunken congoers had walked over to his table and was speaking to her. “I ain’t got time for no goddamned turf war.” Harry tucked in his shirt and threw the purple napkin on the floor. He’d be damned if one of these idiots was going to muscle in on his mermaid. He raised his chin, bowed out his chest and marched back to his table.
“But Harry…” Hastings started.
Harry turned and pointed a finger at Hastings. “Get security over to the Grand,” he said and then turned his attention to the new suitor.
“Already on it, but Harry, wait!”
“What?” said Harry, wheeling around.
“Right now they’ve just got their guns on respawn, sending everyone over to the Wellington with a 30 second time out.”
“Yeah?” said Harry not surprised. Nobody wanted to walk back from the Wellington. And for a second he thought the problem might solve itself. Being transported three blocks away after a night of drinking tended to cause headaches and sometimes vomiting. Harry grinned at the thought of the Wellington’s Manager (and Harry’s arch nemesis) Bill Normburger having to clean up all that puke.
“So what’s the problem?” Harry asked.
“Well, some Fallout cosplayers showed up and called them all pussies,” Hastings said. “The Fallout players are threatening to reboot and turn on hardcore mode.”
Harry’s eyes widened.
“Jesus fucking crack on a cookie!” he said, and ran towards the sound of another boom.