Science Fair

April 20, 2015:

A Science Fair at the Baxter Building..

New York

The Baxter Building


NPCs: None.


Mood Music: [*\# None.]

Fade In…

The Baxter Building is massive, in part because it actually supports a large staff of scientists and research teams dedicated to making the world a better place. And also, at least a little bit, to turning enough of a profit to keep supplying the scientists with research grants and the Fantastic Four with operating expenses. The insurance premiums are ridiculous.

Today, there's a sort of science fair going on, though the students involved are at the graduate level. On one of the lower, public floors of the building, several teams of university students are displaying the fruits of their research, in hopes of earning one of the grants available from the Future Foundation.

Sue is standing at a table displaying a polymer system for helping to rebuild severed veins and arteries, smiling warmly at the students there. "It's very innovative," she agrees. "I'll be interested to see where you go with it from here."

"I like it too," echoes Reed Richards. For once he's not wearing his blue Fantastic Four outfit, nor is he wearing a labcoat. Instead, he's donned a simple polo and trousers. He smiles to the student, "Real world applications that make things better for people. Nice work."

Mind you, GoGo Tomoga isn't a grad student. With four PhDs under her belt, the nineteen year old's not seeking a fifth. Not anytime soon. Still, she heard about the science fair and she's got nothing else to do in the city right now. Besides work on her wheels over at THINK. And, you know, beat the local street racing champions on the road.

So, here she is.

GoGo stops in front of the booth on vein and artery rebuilding. She leans in and peers at the systems. "Good stuff." She says, echoing Reed and Sue's praises. "Needs a different compound to keep the molecular bonds stable. Go with carbon."

J'onn is a people watcher. He enjoys watching people, watching humanity as it goes about its life. It gives him understanding- and today was no different. Invisible, intangible, like a ghost he floats among the crowd- listening in on thoughts and feelings even as he looks on curiously to the science of Earth- still, by Martian terms, in its infancy. Its like watching the past unfold in front of him- extremely rewarding, extremely interesting- these 'little brothers' of the Sol System.

J'onn simply watches for now- a curious bystander not far from Reed, Gogo, and Sue.

Gwen happened to be among the graduate students that was showing off some of their research at the science fair that was going on. After working with Sue Storm a little to help smooth out some of the edges, she had been able to develop a biochemical compound that would replace tape and was completely re-useable.

The only problem was, the 'Invisible Tape' as she had called it, only seemed to work some of the time. She had been demonstrating its various uses, claiming that once it stuck it would never unstick unless you wanted it to.

Just as Gwen is explaining this, a young woman who was using some of the Invisible Tape to hold her outfit together has a wardrobe malfunction.

Gwen explains a bit embarrassed, "Still some kinks to work out!"

"Mmm. Depending on the intended application," Sue nods to GoGo. "For emergency services, something that could dissolve on its own, like stitches, might be preferable. For more long-term solutions, you'd need a stabilizing agent, yes." Turning toward GoGo, she flashes a brief smile before offering over a hand. "Are you a member of the team here, or just visiting the fair?" she asks, though the unmistakable sounds of college students witnessing a wardrobe malfunction draw a look toward Gwen's team.

"Dr. Leiko Tomago," Reed says to Sue, before he reaches his hand towards the young scientist. "I read your recent article in Experimental Vehicles. To be honest, I'd never considered some of your thoughts on the future for brakes on motorcycles." Back to Sue, "Miss Tomago studies in San Francisco. Excellent weather; I never get back home as much as I'd like."

"GoGo." Doctor Tomago insists. She hates using her first name. She accepts Reed's hand. Perhaps she can be forgiven for prodding it a bit. She's never had a chance to meet a man essentially made out of organic rubber before. "Using sonic waveforms for braking systems just makes sense." She glances over at the wardrobe malfunction. "That's Gwen Stacy. She works part time for Howard Stark. Just started. Me, too."

Gwen is smiling, taking advantage of the wardrobe malfunction for more people to see the project and then when it's all over she starts to shoo away the gawkers, "There's plenty of other amazing projects to go look at, I heard Tony Stark sponsored a few students and built them a booth complete with Booth babes." That gets some of the less enthused running and she takes the opportunity to walk over to where everyone else is, "Hello Doctor's Storm and Richards!" A smile for Gogo and she produces a bottle of mineral water from behind her back, "The bottle of water I owe you. Didn't expect to see you so soon." GoGo might notice, the seal on the water had been broken and it was 3/4 full.

It is perhaps not appropriate to just *appear* from no-where during a science fair- so J'onn doesn't. He floats to just behind some barrier where eyes won't spy his appearing from nowhere act. Still, a large green man is probably not the weirdest thing that's ever walked through the halls of the Baxter Building. J'onn J'onzz, the Martian Manhunter, steps around that barrier and with his feet touching the ground he walks quietly among the exhibits. He approaches the group of Gwen, Gogo, Reed and Sue to look at whatever it is they had been looking at. "This is an important step in early medicine, as I recall, a similar advancement led to a great number of saved lives on my home planet."

"Yes, I've met Gwen," Sue says with a rueful smile as she looks back toward the group. "She and Johnny went to high school together, actually. I hadn't heard she'd taken a position with THINK, though. We really should stop by some time, Reed," she adds with a glance toward him. "Gwen, you didn't tell me you'd been talking with the Starks," she chides the girl, teasing. Before she can say anything else, though, there is a large, green man by the group. "Hello," she greets. When in doubt, settle for something polite.

"Yes, of course, Sue. I have been meaning to stop by, but have not had the chance. I have heard Mr. Stark is very busy." The most important questions Reed has have to deal with Stark himself and the LMD.

Reed's eyebrow raises impossibly high at J'onn J'onnz' appearance almost immediately he stops and observes.

"Huh." GoGo stares up at J'onn. Bubble blown out. Bubble pops. She tosses Gwen back the bottle of water. "Don't know you well enough to share germs." She looks back to J'onn. "Who are you?" Her gaze is more appraising than apprehensive.

Gwen looks a little confused for a moment, Stark, Think? Oh! "Well, I haven't filled out the paperwork yet. I just wanted a lab space so I could try and do some more research into the potential reversals or curing of mutations through repairing or restoring the different protein cells.." She grins, "Sorry, I'm rambling." When the Martian Manhunter appears she looks up, way up at the big Martian and raises her eyebrows, "So wait, you're saying this invisible tape would be better put to medical uses?" She would have been surprised at Manhunter, but she had seen him on TV at that JLA thing.

"I am J'onn J'onzz." J'onn replies, first to Gogo. Then he looks back to Gwen. "No. The vein rebuilding polymer. I do not recall if invisible tape had a place in our ancient technologies. There are many ancient technologies, however, that live out their life and have great purpose without lasting into the far future. I will say, that it does resemble a wound-closing technology that we once used." He then nods his head to Sue. "Greetings. I admit, I came to speak to Doctor Richards."

"Well, you've found him," Sue smiles faintly to J'onn. "I'd be interested in hearing what you remember of these ancient technologies, Mister J'onzz. It sounds as though there are many opportunities to improve the quality of life here on earth." Knowledge is more useful than telling the nice green man where he can shove his ancient technology, flickers over her mind.

Reed smiles, "Well, Mr. J'onnz, I'm glad to meet you." He puts his hand out for the Martian to shake. "I can assure you that I am looking to speak to you, too. Though I did not realize this to be the case until just now." He smiles. "Welcome to the Baxter Building."

"Huh." GoGo files away J'onn's name. She'll google him later and learn the many conspiracy theories that surround the Martian Manhunter. Maybe later she'll ask him what he drives. Instead, she focuses on the matter at hand. She turns to Sue. "Can I take apart the Fantasticar?"

"Like a bandaid or something, right, right. That might be a much better use of it, I'll have to re-examine the stuff I've worked on.." Gwen looks at Sue, "With Doctor Storm's help later. She's been an amazing mentor." Opening the bottle of water GoGo had handed back to her she opens it up and takes a sip, waiting to hear if GoGo is going to get to take apart the Fantasticar. She was also wondering if Johnny was /ever/ going to play the new Pokemon with her.

J'onn quietly accepts Reed's hand, giving it a friendly shake. "It is a pleasure, Doctor Reed." He looks then over to Sue quietly, "I can only offer guidance and information, but not the technology itself. Human beings must grow and develop their own path to the future with as little outside interference as possible. It is only recently that I have decided to step forward as humanity has recently passed the evolutionary barrier that will lead to the stars."

Sue laughs suddenly at GoGo's question. "That is Reed's baby, you'd have to ask him about that. But I imagine if you let him help, it would be a possibility. Johnny would probably be thrilled to have you look at the racing fleet, though. And thank you, Gwen," she adds with a small smile. "I appreciate that. Though I wish I had more time for it. There never seems to be enough time for everything." At J'onn's words, she nods. "An admirable position, Mister J'onzz. Though one that might go down more smoothly without reminders of how far behind others we may be, yes?"

And, the drawback to being left in charge of the Future Foundation so often: Johnny has to come to the science fair to listen to eager young geeks, who all adore Reed and Sue and think he's just some kind of a jerk. Because Johnny has to sign papers to give them their grants.

"Yeah, HERBIE, I know I'm late." He's wearing a business suit. It looks less uncomfortable than it should, because it has a different collar style. More futuristic.

"Sue! Reed! Hey, Gwen. Hello, DOCTOR Tomago. Didn't expect you'd show up here." Yes, he knows who she is. He doesn't ASK if she's slumming because clearly she's here to fangirl on Reed.

Reed seems transfixed by J'onnz presence. He's seen odd life forms before, of course, but never any that can communicate with humans in such an easy way. "I understand," he says about the Manhunter's philosophy. "Tell me, what did you need with me?"

Gwen nods to Sue and brightens up immediately when Johnny arrives, she gives him a friendly hug because it felt like she hadn't seen him in ages and exclaimed cheerfully, "I was wondering when you would show your face Johnny Storm." Eyebrows raised, she asks, "Did you ever get your handheld back from your bosses daughters?" Gotta catchem all!

"You have seen me once before, at an showing of portal technology. A technology that is quite dangerous. However, as you are among this planet's highest minds I wished to speak to you regarding said technology, and come forward with a plea that you urge the scientific community to slow its research in those fields. I believe that exposition proved the danger of these technologies- and, as I recall, you were there with the same idea. The danger, the risk, is great. It is not my place to tell humanity how to evolve technologically- but as a resident of this planet, I do feel it appropriate to give the warning to someone I hope will hear it." J'onn states simply, with little reservation, all that is on his mind. "It is clear, however, Doctor Richards that you have questions. I will gladly answer what I can."

J'onn then looks to Sue. "I apologize if the statement came off arrogant, it was not intended to be thus. You must understand, that such technology eventually led to the Martian people exhibiting total and conscious molecular control of our bodies- but to look at it, not even in use, is to look at it in its most primitive form. It is what flint knapping is to space travel- connected, but so distant." He then eyes Sue again, "I apologize, again, however if it came off as rude."

"Agreed, Mr. J'onnz. In fact, I have spent a great amount of time trying to slow that process. Even going so far as speaking to President Pershing, himself. May his soul, be at rest." Reed tilts his head, considering a billion of the questions he has. Clearly, this is not the time or the place. "Perhaps we could meet sometime. Here, or wherever you feel comfortable. I have many things to ask, but I must continue with my duties here for the event. But I would very much like to discuss it with you."

Hugs are exchanged with Gwen, and possibly a handshake with GoGo who is right there, with Johnny being much more gentlemanly than is normal (according to the Bugle).

"The daughters of my racers, whom I pay to drive on my racing team? No, I had to buy a new one," he replies, about the Pokemon game. And, it's time to stop ignoring the giant green elephant in the room.

He looks up at the very tall fellow talking to Reed, and tries to compare him to the races Reed and Sue have shown … Skrull? Maybe. But they're all about the conquest, and this guy isn't giving off a "ur planetz r mine nao" vibe. Besides he doesn't have vertical frown lines on his chin.

The Torch soon finds his eyes glazing over as the green man and Reed start talking… it's like listening to the adults in the Peanuts cartoons, mwawawaWAwahwU? Wawmwuawaw, sound goes in one ear and out the other without stopping in between. He sighs, and looks at his phone/HERBIE-terminal.

"OK, HERBIE, who am I supposed to be congratulating, or is it too early to know that yet?"

"Too early," HERBIE replies. Yes, Johnny should have been a half hour later.

"I understand," Sue nods to J'onn smile faint. "But you should be aware, too, that you're in fertile fields here. Just by discussing the existence of certain types of technology, you may give the right mind the right idea to bring them into being. You're striking flint in a tinderbox here in the Baxter Building," she explains, gesturing around them at the groups of budding minds. "And that was neither an invitation nor a suggestion, Johnny," she adds with a smirk for her brother, leaning in to try to catch him in a hug.

GoGo will shake Johnny's hand. "Saw your last three races. You need to work harder." A simple truth, in her mind. She'll ask Reed about taking about his vehicle the next time he's not talking to a visitor from another world.

"Here will be fine, Doctor Reed." J'onn offers simply, "I will visit another time, when you are less busy." He offers, before looking to Johnny. "J'onn J'onzz." he offers, in introduction. "Pleased to meet you, Mister Storm." He then returns his attention to Sue. "Yes. It has. An idea is not a blueprint, however, it is only an idea. And in this room? Ideas are indeed a beautiful tapestry." J'onn almost smiles. Almost. A slight tugging of the lips.

Gwen grins a little at Johnny and allows him to make introductions with the Manhunter aka the Giant Green Elephant. She looks to GoGo for a moment and asks, "You and Johnny ever race? You totally should if not, make it like a charity thing. Johnny Storm vs GoGo."

"Well I look forward to it," Reed says to J'onn. "In fact, I hope it is sooner rather than later." He gives a wave to the others and goes to assist and judge other exhibits.

"Oh, uh, pleased to meet you, Mr. Jonez," Johnny says, not entirely mangling the pronunciation, just mostly. And then the focus is off him again. Good.

He grins at Gwen's question. "No, we race entirely different cars, entirely different styles. She's right, though, I do have to work harder if I'm going to advance. Trouble is, I have too many distractions. Which is why I hire other drivers. Keeps Storm Front running as a concern. If we did race publicly, we'd have to throw in a few special conditions. Like, no superpowers."

He's already trying to figure out what they'd have to do in order to race fairly. She'd probably end up winning - her reflexes are more trained for high speed car work, while his are trained for speed flight. But it would be kick-ass fun.

"The Fantastic Four does take a certain amount of time," Sue says ruefully, pushing a hand through her hair as she looks around the hall. "As does the Future Foundation. I personally can't imagine another life, though. I wouldn't give up what we can do now."

"Stock cars." GoGo says. "You'll need to buy them. Out of the box. One mile on real street. Ten obstacles. Five ramps. Three walls. Two pits. I don't wear my suit. He can use his powers if he wants. Him setting his car on fire won't help him." She blows a bubble and then pulls it back into her mouth to pop it with a crunch of her jaws. "You can sell tickets for charity."

J'onn bows his head to the remaining group. "I'm afraid I must take my leave. There is trouble in South Africa. It was good to meet you, all of you." he states simply, before he suddenly rockets up towards the ceiling, only to phase through it as if the building itself simply didn't exist. Disappearing into the distance.

Gwen was about to say goodbye to Manhunter but he just disappears, what a card. Looking with interest between Johnny and GoGo she offers, "I'd be willing to help with any of the details if you two seriously do it and for the record, despite never watching a single match of racing in my life I'd watch it and so would others." She nudges Sue, "What do you think Doctor Storm?"

"I'll see if we can get that funded," Johnny answers. He blinks as the green man ghosts through the ceiling just like that one Space Ape that showed up a few years back, and hopes the force-field defenses know not to zap him. But then, HERBIE probably does know that. He's pretty smart for an AI.

"Also we need to find an appropriate charity."

"Which I'm sure we can," Sue laughs softly at the talk of charities, shaking her head at Johnny and GoGo before looking back to Gwen. "I'm always in favor of the right charity. That was…interesting," she says, looking after where J'onn phased through the building. "He did say South Africa, didn't he?"

"Done." GoGo agrees. "Call me with details." She pulls her phone and holds up the screen so Sue can see it. The numbers are displayed there in large, bold letters. She's guessing a genius like Doctor Susan Storm can memorize a phone number with a few seconds of eye to screen time. "Going browsing." She waves at Gwen. "See you at the Tank."

Gwen waves to the others, "Let's talk more later, there's some people over at my booth!" She's rushing off to explain the benefits of invisible tape to some scientists who were examining it!

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