Expo: Jitters

Characters: Linda Danvers, Toni Ho
Rated: PG
Summary: The Expo continues, and Linda decides to check in on one of the many people she has sponsored to the Expo, Toni Ho. They discuss the young inventor's plans for her booth and demo.
OOC Date: 2018-03-12
IC Date: 2018-03-12
Where: Metropolis Convention Center - Science and Technology Expo

Business District - New Troy - Metropolis, DE.
This area is almost always busy, the hustle and bustle of businesses open all hours of the day and night seeming to never end and keeping people coming and going constantly. At best, there's lulls in the crowds and traffic but it seems as if it never truly ends.

Here is where you'll find some of the businesses that are most associated with Metropolis, such as LexCorp and The Daily Planet. Any living areas here are set up mainly above the multitude of shops that line the streets. To find a house here is a rare thing indeed though there is the occasional stacked condo buildings.

As always, trees have been planted and occasionally a well manicured patch of grass can be found. Mainly, however, this section of New Troy is the epitome of 'urban jungle'.

Metropolis Convention Center
Taking up almost three entire city blocks, the Metropolis Convention Center is a tremendous edifice connecting its three segments with fully-enclosed skybridges and tunnels, gleaming apparently glass fronting main entry and a shimmering fountain across its open plaza, its upper rear floor actually extending out over the Hobb's River and looking over Hamstead in Bakerline.

The convention center includes several tremendous exhibit halls and spaces, some in fact larger than a football field, and most with three stories of vertical space. The convention center also includes numerous smaller exhibit halls, meeting rooms, eateries and other amenities.

Science and Technology Expo
Sponsored here in Metropolis by StarTech, Inc., the often groundbreaking science and technology company established by one-time teen STEM wunderkind Linda Lee Danvers, the Science and Technology Expo is intended as a showcase for companies to demonstrate their own efforts to improve the world with their pursuits of new science and technology; as a showcase for brilliant researchers and students pursuing efforts to expand humanity's understanding of their world through science and make their world better with technology; and as a showpiece for the world as to what science and technology can do for the people.

The Expo has three major exhibit halls. The largest of these is dominated by the large booths and exhibits of a lot of companies. The second largest is equally dominated by a large stage and the smaller booths, tables and exhibits of students and researchers from around the country and the world. The smallest of the exhibit halls has been partitioned off into several smaller spaces for hosting panel discussions on various topics including the possibilities and consequences of various technologies, the ethics of science and technology in the modern era, and the benefits of Open Sourcing scientific discoveries and technologies.

+view expo to view specific booths and spaces.

  • +view startech
    StarTech, Inc.
    StarTech, Inc. is the main driving force and sponsor behind the event, and as such has the largest presentation space in the main exhibit hall. That space is broken up into almost a dozen (actually 10) different booth spaces, covering a wide array of technologies the company is working on and supporting, including consumer electronics (AR smart glasses and smart watches, sensors, etc.), apps and programming; materials sciences for new lighter and stronger construction and vehicle parts; corporate-funded space flight; neural network drone fleets working on anti-pollution recycling efforts; and much more.
  • +view stark
    Stark Industries
    SI is definitely here in force and has a substantial booth presence in the main exhibit hall. Most of the center of the booth space allotted to SI has been set up as a battle bots arena for middle- and high-school aged kids with their own bots to compete, either against one another or on obstacle and other challenges to prove their mettle and gain recognition. The bot competitions are being filmed to closed-circuit and projected on a massive Jumbotron set up on one wall of Researchers Hall.
  • +view-eridirons
    Erid Irons
    A placeholder. Erid Irons is one of the more impressive presenters in the Researcher's Hall, and noted as on the schedule for the main stage in Researcher's Hall towards the end of the Expo. Her booth and presentation are both on broadcast (wireless) power transmission.
  • +view waynetech
    Wayne Enterprises
    A placeholder. WE is definitely here in force and has a substantial booth presence in the main exhibit hall.
  • +view lexcorp
    A placeholder. LexCorp is definitely here in force and has a substantial booth presence in the main exhibit hall.

The Science and Technology Expo is a big hit, and thousands upon thousands of people have been coming through. Setting it in the City of Tomorrow rather assured that a large percentage of even normal civilians whose lives don't focus on such matters would be interested enough for a visit, and StarTech was smart enough to make sure that the price of a visitor's ticket is pretty low, minimizing the barrier to entry.

So too, the constant presence of StarTech's founder and CEO has been a pretty big draw. Linda may play it smooth and 'aww shucks' as if people shouldn't be so moved and interested in meeting her, like she's not all that special. Nevertheless, Linda Lee Danvers is here, and not just hiding out at the StarTech booth. She is moving around the exhibit areas, checking them out just like an interested civilian might, if with a much better grasp of many of the scientific principles involved. Motivating this kind of forward-thinking effort and creativity is a huge part of the draw for her, and she wants to meet the people - young and old - behind that thought.

Toni has set up one of the larger, and better protected, demonstration areas. Also one of the larger power draws. A good-sized area, maybe twenty feet long and about ten across has been cordoned off, with what look like some sort of emitters being set up inside the cordon, linked together by cables and all leading back into a large battery system, with a smaller cable split off to plug into a laptop currently gracing Toni's lap as she works.

Perhaps more concerning is the person shaped dummy standing about midway down the space from her…and the large looking cannon-thing currently pointed at it. There's a variety of smaller devices pointed that way too, but definitely the big one stands out.

Linda stops by the booth, looking it over with a critical eye. "I trust you have sufficient safety protocols in place to assure your demonstrations won't endanger the visitors?" she asks, softly spoken yet her voice carries in spite of that. And she really does trust that to be true; she knows this young woman, and has been supporting her research. But it's also encumbent upon her to ask the question and get an answer. "Is there anything else you need?" The tall blonde offers a little smile to the purple-haired asian woman while staying well clear of the demonstration area.

"Well…" Toni says distractedly as she pulls the pen she's chewing on out of her mouth. "Since part of the demonstrations is emergency forcefields, it'd be REALLY embarrassing if that part didn't work. But other than that, this is all non-lethal." She idly points the pen backwards over her shoulder towards the large weapon looking thing. "I wrote a routine where if the power is interrupted in the force field emitters for any reason it automatically sends a kill order to the prototypes though, and I have a discharge line that should pull any power in the capacitors down to safety levels automatically. That's kinda the tricky bit." she says absently. '

Linda nods, noting each point in turn and clearly tuned in, listening actively. "All good and sensible measures. I'm glad. And I know the point is non-lethal. I just want to be sure." It's her insurance rates, after all. "So. Is there anything, Ms. Ho? Anything at all I can do to help?" Heck, she might even be up to offering a hug of support and encouragement. But only if it wouldn't upset the very person she'd be trying to help.

Toni hesistates a bit, then sets down her laptop so she can get to her feet, letting the pen drop. "Well." she says, as she frowns. "I was going to actually be in here to demonstrate the devices. In…safety gear, but I don't think I can use that with Stark here. Which is limiting my control options because I built them to be engaged from the armor. I mean, for prototypes it's better to have them separate still, but I'm having to kludge the control systems a bit as a result." She mms. "..I'm also not sure exactly if the expo halls power systems can take it, so I have the battery there, but it's going to be pretty limited. So I might have to space out the demonstrations while it recharges."

"That's not at all unreasonable." Linda offers, nodding. "Just put up a sign on the front table outlining timeframes for your demonstrations." She's not sure why Toni is avoiding having the armor here, but she's not going to get pushy, either. "Given the delicate balance, I am assuming an additional power subsystem won't be as helpful as it might be. Do you need any help with the control systems? I am a fair programmer, and I would be willing to bring in someone else if you need a hand."

Toni nods, running her finger through her hair absently. "Having additional power batteries would be good, it would let me do a coherent demonstration instead of having to space them out. But it would make the setup a bit more complex to monitor and override." she admits. "…actually…it's more…I'm a little unsure how best to demonstrate my field emitters. I went with just shooting things at it, but that's because it's the simplest visually, but there's a lot more it can do. Just, I don't have something like a raging fire or avalanche or lava or anything like that to use on it." she says with a faint frown.

Linda nods sagely. She does indeed understand where Toni is coming from. "I'll have the additional power unit brought in, then." she offers with a tiny smile. Anything she can do to help. "Beyond that, I might suggestion actually leaving it up to those who visit the booth to test the field as they see fit. Let that be their challenge, their way of learning, and of asking questions." She's imagining more than a few other demonstrators will come forward as well, trying to bring in their own equipment from their exhibitions to test them against the emitters.

Toni ponders. "Well. I guess?" she says, a little uncertainty. "As long as they keep it inside the secure area." As if anticipating where Linda's thoughts are going. "Maybe I can ask some of the other exhibitors to try out their devices on it too…" She does have that personal forcefield she's been meaning to stresstest too, then again…hmmmmmm. "What are you going to be showing off this year?" she wonders curiously.

Linda nods, letting the other woman's mind work through the permutations. Meanwhile, she quickly dashes off a message, and then reads off the response. "The extra power units will be here in less than an hour. They have cycle adjustments onboard, so you should be able to match them to the rest of your setup."

That said, the tall blonde CEO smiles. "Me, personally? Or the company?" she inquires. To be fair, even Toni is, in a way, one of StarTech's presentions. She is one of those StarTech has empowered to pursue her goals, after all.

Toni looks relieved. "Oh good, that'll make it easier." she says. "Oh, well…I mean, either, I guess? Are you presenting something of yours too?" she asks curiously. "I mean…I know you do stuff. And unlike Stark you actually run your company too."

Linda smiles and nods. "Both true." she offers, pleased at least that her reputation precedes her. "I do have a project that is near and dear to my heart. I'm working in tandem with another specialist to upgrade the capabilities of the WorldWatching platform. But I'm not sure we're ready to present this year." She shrugs. "The company has ten different projects on display." She gestures towards the collection of booths under the StarTech banner. "Pollution-cleaning drone fleets. The mag-launcher for satellites. The improved polyceramic materials. We have a lot to go."

Toni wrinkles her nose. "I'm sorry I couldn't add the new power system to that…but I'm nowhere near a prototype, or even a workable one yet." she admits. "Some ideas, but nothing I"ve been able to get working to my satisfaction yet."

"I'm not complaining, Toni. I want you to succeed. That doesn't mean I have due dates in mind. These are not term projects at school." Linda smiles. It's not as if she has anything against school; just arbitrary deadlines for real scientific discovery. "If you need any other help, I hope you'll be sure to ask. But take all the time you need. I mean that."

Toni is fairly aware of this by now, so she just nods and smiles. "Sure, well…I'll take the time I need to get it right anyway." She mmms, hands on her hips. "Have you had time to look around the expo yet? Anything else interesting? I know Hammer has those crappy Hammerdroids of his on display..even painted them in American camo colors." She rolls her eyes a bit. "Really wants to sell those to the Army, Air Force, Navy, whoever will take them."

Linda nods. "I have been looking around quite a bit. I like the presentation on WayneTech's latest communications protocol. Much higher fidelity thanks to the vastly improved compression and decompression." she answers. "The Hammerdroids are … I don't even know what to say about that." What more is that to be said? "I'm very interested in Irons' presentation, but I want to understand the side effects there. There are at least a half-dozen medical science presentations I think are amazing, though the fact that's not at all my speciality probably predisposes me to be more impressed."

Toni nods thoughfully. "My friend Dominique was trying ot work out if she coudl present as a foreign national. Her country has really strict patent laws and what can be shown outside the country, especailly because she's part of the nobility there." she admits. "Mmm…the Waynetech display sounds interesting though. I wonder what the medical science stuff is about. Any cybernetics?"

The blonde CEO nods. "Yes. I spoke with Ms. Thiebaut personally after the opening ceremonies. She explained some of the challenges, and I encouraged her to pursue them. I would really love to see her work." Linda smiles. "There are at least three different cybernetics presentations. One of them was particularly interesting: sensor systems to overcome handicaps. Another for improved limb replacements."

The purple-haired young woman mulls something over in her head. "…do you know a lot about cybernetics? You do mostly programming, right? MOre the…man-machine interface side of things." she asks. "I have another friend who could use some advice there…and I'm good at the mechanics side of things, but not cybernetics as much."

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