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Stark Expo - Opening Night
Rplog-icon Who: Justin Hammer, Keith O'Neil, Tim Drake, Erik Lehnsherr, Kristin Lindstrom, Kwabena Odame, Lex Luthor, Tousaint Walters, Elizabeth Braddock, Reed Richards, Volstagg, Michael Jon Carter, Warren Worthington, Doug Ramsey, Pepper Potts, Brynnhildr, Patrick, Winter Moontree, Nick Fury, Howard Stark, Jessica Drew, Fern Fiddlehead, Bruce Wayne, Bobby Drake, Gregor Raleigh, Jazmin Cullen, Rokk Krinn, Thor Odinson, Sif, David, Loki Laufeyson, Leo Luthor, Alison Blaire, Carol Danvers, Tony Stark
Skeets
Where: New York
When: August 12, 2013
Tone: Social, Comedic
What: It's the start of the 2013 Stark Expo, need I say more?

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The 2013 Stark Expo! Yes, exclamation points are required!

It's been just a few months the last Expo, and of course, this one has promised to be bigger and better than last time. The exhibits range from modest to needlessly extravagant, the foods from typical fair type snacks to truly gourmet selections catered by restaurants across New York and beyond.

It's bright, it's flashy, it's Stark.

Announcement screens everywhere are on a loop, saying that the opening speech delivered by Stark Industries owner and CEO Tony Stark will be starting shortly in the main showcase hall. See you there!



The Stark Expo, the premier place to see the world of tomorrow today. At least that is what it is for those people not from a world that is anything from 10 to 20 years ahead of this world. For Patrick, it is more a way to keep an eye on where this world is behind or ahead of his native one. It is also the perfect choice of locations for a date. Apparently dressed up for the evening the auburn haired man walks the crowds with his date, one Keith O'Neil known also as the hero Vorpal, looking over the things displayed. At the moment he appears to be wearing a pair of horn rimmed glasses that catch the light in odd ways, almost like information is being projected on them. "Just remember Keith, if one of us gets lost in the crowd and you want me to come find you just take off the ring and put it back on. It will send a signal for me to follow then. Now come on, we should hurry to make sure we get a good place to watch the opening speech from, it is always a good one from what I hear."


The crowd is already pretty thick as Fern makes her way through to the main hall, having been given tickets by her friend, Justin. While she doesn't have a real reason to be there, she's curious and always up to try something new. And one of the tickets she was given will be put in a scrap book, as the young aspiring actress decided to come alone. Skirting around what looks to be a twelve year old in a coffee can Iron Man suit, she can't help but grin as the girl talks enthusiastically to her mother about Tony Stark. Fern has opted to dress more casually, wearing a summer dress, sleeveless and brightly colored. As she moves she scans the crowd, looking for familiar faces.


While he isn't all that interested in all of this 'techie' stuff, Warren Worthington III knows when he needs to go some place to be SEEN. It's the thought, at least. After all, this is one of the larger events of the year and there will, no doubt, be many reporters and photographers. He's dressed well...if not overly formal. It's the type of casual formality of one who knows that he just might get photographed. It is, after all, probably not the best place to pick up easy dates.


Jessica is present at the expo, wearing a tank-top and jeans, in an ensemble that shows off her lush figure. She's only made the mildest attempt at making herself pretty. She's wearing some light silver lipstick and has styled her hair lightly. But that's all there is to it with her.

The place is pretty cool, and everyone seems to be having fun. People walking around with drinks and the like make it easier to enjoy, as she grabs a wine glass filled with ice water from a tray being carried by a passing waiter.


Tousaint grabs a guide to all the exhibits, and begins to mark the ones he is going to visit first after the opening speech. Before heading to the main showcase hall, he grabs a small plate of snacks to take with him.


It's hard not to see Keith, if you know him. Fern could easily zero in on his purpleness... since he is also wearing the only nice set of clothes he owns-- the purple shirt and black slacks he wore for Thor's wedding.


"How handy, an engagement ring and tracking device. Just what you've always wanted..." he jokes, winking at Patrick as he lets him lead. "This will be the first time I've attended one of these things... this was a great idea for a date." Keith grins, looking around at the moving masses of people. He wondered if anyone he knew was swimming around in the tide.


Volstagg arrives and immediately looks like a cos-player that went to the wrong convention center. He is dressed in is usual Asgardian outfit with a sword at his side. He looks around the Expo Hall, he understands none of the exhibits but he knows a town fair when he sees one and since he is new in town he decides this is a good place to meet people. Plus Lady Pepper did invite him. He walks looking in wonder at the mortal technology on display then he notices one of the food vendors and starts to head in that direction.


In a world full of modern high technology, Brynn does seem to be an anachronism most days. What folks don't normally get to learn about her is that she is from a society that makes the majority of modern tech seem rather primitive. She's here for much the same reason as Patrick though, she really isn't keeping track of stuff so much as simply being curious about how fast things might be progressing.

She showed up in her normal clothing.. a black Harley Davidson belly tee, and a pair of -well- worn bluejeans. The catch is that she really isn't a technicall minded Eternal, and while her society is crazy tech advanced, she wouldn't know how to take apart a holo-player and fix it any more than the average person could fix a flat screen TV without training.

Now, she doesn't go anywhere without a blade or two. This time, it's a pair of daggers, one in each boot. Boots covered by the legs of those jeans. The statuesque redhead is simply exploring, wandering, and peoplewatching while peeking at things that might be on the cusp of becoming ... less primitive to what she's accustomed to.


The opening of the Stark Expo is an even that Justin Hammer wouldn't miss, even if it means trusting his engineers to work on his own Expo project unsupervised. Even with his hatred of Stark and all things dealing with Stark, this is /the/ place to be if you're in the tech industry, and one hell of a networking opportunity. Dressed in a dark grey, vested pinstriped suit with a blue and black tie, Hammer moves through the crowd as he makes his way toward the main events hall where the opening speech is going to be. He's curious what the great Tony Stark will have to say, several snarky replies to it already formed in his head for later use.


Amongst the line-up of cars in front of the main 'gates' of the Stark Expo is an obvious government black sedan, complete with darkly tinted windows. Once it comes to a stop, the driver steps out of the car, and opens the back. From the vehicle then emerges admittedly one of the most powerful men in the country, and it could be argued, in the world, Director of SHIELD, Nick Fury. But, oddly enough, unless one runs in those circles? One may not actually -know- who the eye-patched man in a conservative suit may be.

Stepping to the side, Fury waits for his lead scientist to emerge; how could one go to a shindig like this without technical support? Dr. Kristin Lindstrom follows, dressed smartly in a Royal Canadian Air Force uniform, with the rank upon her collar designating her as 'Major'.

"Dr, you'll stay close, right? And should I even look the least bit confused, elbow me," Fury whispers to his scientist. "And, I have a couple of things I want you to see."


Champagne? He'd much rather be drinking whiskey.

Alas, Kwabena was here for the sake of knowledge. He's come stag, of course--it's easier that way--and is dressed in a light linen suit, black shirt, purple tie, and snakeskin oxford shoes. The fit is skinny, its patterns lending to a much more casual fair, which will hopefully enable for him to mingle with those dressed casually and those dressed to the nines without missing a beat. He meanders through the crowd, carrying with him a glass of scotch. Champagne? Screw that.


Michael Jon Carter is hanging around near the stage, mostly watching the crowd. He is actually wearing his powersuit, although it is concealed under his currently unassuming button-down shirt and trousers. The slightly jarring element of his wardrobe are his glasses, only due to their metallic blue wire-frames and yellow tinted lenses. These give him a handy HUD from his point of view, however. A little golden oval robot floats by his shoulder, but let's be real, this is going to be one of the less odd things one will see at this expo.


This is SO many layers of social strata over Rain/Winter's usual sort of thing. But why not? Despite her circumstances, nerd stuff is /awesome/. She looks out of place, sort of like an alpaca at an ice skating rink, but she seems quietly in awe of it all. She passes Warren and smiles politely. Huh, neat. And yes, Winter came. Winter is here. Just - to get that out of the way, really. She's going to quietly make her way over towards the main hall. There's a polite smile as she passes Mr. Carter. Well, then. Along, she goes.



The steady building thrum of one of pop music's most recent shots across the bow of culture in general starts to build over the nows of the crowd. House lights dim as stage lights rise, large set-pieces sliding in from their barely noticed previously at-rest position. Large, crtysalline-looking shapes that loom in from stage left and stage right as one begins to raise from the center of the stage floor itself, the build-up to the famous song thrumming as white-and-silver clad male dancers emerge from props...

And the Headliner herself, Dazzler, strutting confidently from the opening of the center structure, dressed in a white and silver 'Ironette' outfit, except her 'Arc Reactor' is a glowing starburst, and her gauntlets and boots are covered with tiny mirrors. In plce at the front of the stage, light and color swirls around her as she breaks into the opening refrain of last Summer's top-5 on iTunes hit: Dazzle Me!

Dancing and singing, once the first few lines are delivered, Dazzler greets the crowd - reaching for cheers and a little call-and-response. "Are you all ready for STARK EXPO 2013?"



Rolling her eyes a bit, Jessica shakes her head in amusement as Dazzler emerges. "If we weren't would we be here?" she quips to herself, bringing her glass to her lips to take a sip.


The Canadian Major gives Fury a light nod and an easy smile in response. "Yes, sir," she agrees. "Anything you want to know, just ask." She'll do her best to explain... though she won't promise he'll understand it. She nods to a couple of folks she recognizes from the last time she went to a shindig like this, but otherwise stays by the grizzled vet's side. Frankly, she's as comfortable there as anywhere. And he'll no doubt keep her from chasing the rabbit down the hole, should there be any particularly surprising piece of technology showing up.


Competition. This is the sole reason Lex Luthor is here. He had wandered the ground for hours and even brought in a special funnel cake cart and a churro truck that gives a small container of chocolate dipping sauce just to be safe. What kind of expo skipped on the funnel cakes? None if Lex is around.

Dressed in a custom black suit with a purple tie and a white vest he moves through the crowd. The silver "Hand of the King" pendent hangs proudly to the breast of his suit jacket. His green eyes roam over the crowd that he smiles and waves at. A salute is given to Director Fury, a nod to Justin Hammer and waves to others he may know while he sits and waits. He smiles during Dazzler's song but deep down the lady is a little too flashy for his taste, a little too poppy. Really, it took everything in his power not to say "And Stark hired another Brittany Spears rip off," but he refrains. The crowd roars and Lex keeps smiling trying hard not to give an eyeroll.


Betsy Braddock has arrived today at the Stark Expo, literally just moments ago. The violet-haired woman is, presently, walking through the exhibition with two strange men flanking her side. One is carrying a camera and the other... is chattering away into a cellphone as te make their way toward the main hall. The woman in question is dressed in a rather elegant, and expensive-looking, designer ball gown of black coloration and heels. Dangling from her earlobes are pair of diamond encrusted earrings that seem shimmer beneath the lights suspended above. The camera man himself is dressed in a plain black business suit, while the man talking into his cell wears a much more colorful, designer, ensemble himself.


Within the space of a few moments, he seems to close his cellphone and looks around as they walk toward the stage floor. "...Oh my, lovely. It's starting already!"

Patrick grins at his fiance' and shrugs a little. "If you were not always getting into trouble..." He says shyly at the comment about the ring he gave Keith being a tracking device as well. "These things are equal parts trade show, county fair, and Wonderland from what I hear. I figured you would enjoy it as much as I will. I won't even try to hack into most of the exhibits just to see how they work...tonight."


<He communicates in Afrikaans.> murmurs Kwabena in his native tongue, as soon as the pop star makes her appearance. He can't help but shake his head a little, and raises the glass of scotch to take a bit more than the usual sip. It will certainly help that nonsense go down.

When a trio of fan-girls nearby begin screaming, Kwabena is tempted to do something. You know, something prank-like with his mutant powers. Fortunately, he uses his best judgement, and simply walks away in search of a place inhabited by the least proportionate number of fangirls possible.


There's a bit of fanfare at the red carpet as a limosine pulls up with diplomatic plates and ambassadorial flags. The aide driver dismounts from the vehicle with the sure motions of a professionally trained soldier, casing the crowd, and goes to open the passenger door.

Flashbulbs go off as the Imperator emerges from the limo, waving and flashing a pearly grin at the crowd. The applause is not quite as rambunctious as it is for the models and celebrities... but no one in the crowd has the balls to boo him, either. Clad in an Armani tuxedo with a white scarf and his ambassador's sash over one shoulder, he cuts quite a figure, swinging a silver-shod cane in one hand, affecting a fashion piece long since out of vogue- and working it.

Magneto smiles and waves pleasantly, even exchanges a few handshakes, as he makes his way down the red carpet, and into the swirling melee. Even the Genoshans have a booth at the Expo, apparently, and it's to that location that he proceeds.


Having arrived at the Expo early to beat the crowds -and- get a chance to gawk a bit at the various celebrities. Dressed in a rented tuxedo for the evening, Doug Ramsey had hoped to meet up with Betsy tonight, but circumstances dictated, well, that he couldn't -go- with. So instead, he wanders through the crowd, pausing to look at various booths, pausing to applaud at Dazzler's appearance, before making a beesline for a familiar face - that of Michael Jon Carter.


Oh, what is that scent? Sure, there's tons of smells here, some of them various people but.. the funnel cakes draw Brynn's attention and she has one in hand, a large bite being chewed when Dazzler makes her appearance. So it is that she just blinks and looks up, cheeks filled up much like a human chipmunk hybrid. Now, the question is... with a crowd like this, what are the odds of -someone- doing something stupid? Well, she'll be... oh wait, is that Volstagg?

Brynn grins and buys a second cake, using the distraction of the events beginning to make her way beside the prodigious Asgardian. She doesn't say a word to the man for starters, simply holds the newly purchased funnel cake out before him, in plain view.


The nod is returned to Luthor as Justin takes a seat toward the front of the main events area. The opening number gets a raised brow as the CEO sits leaned back, arms crossed over his chest. Just like Stark to go way over the top with everything, this included. A few more snide comments are added to the list floating in his mind.


"Yeah, yeah, I get into trouble..." Keith chuckles "and water is wet. It's what makes me so endearing."

As Dazzler comes out, he grins. "Okay, that outfit is cute. Think I could get one of my own?" he says in jest. And then gives Patrick a wagging finger, "Yeah, don't try to hack anything tonight, I don't want to get thrown out of here before I've had some of those churros... hey... is that---" he cranes his neck a little "... yep that's Booster over there by the stage, see him? I guess he's still an intern with Stark despite his dimensional abduction. We could say hi..." he trails off as the Imperator makes his entrance. There was no mistaking the figure such a notorious man cut. "...oh dear...."


Stepping once more into the breach, as it were, Fury gives a grunted nod of acknowledgment. There. His six is covered, her six is covered. The rest of the night, some measure of success can be gained, he's sure of it. A hand raises against the dazzling light show from the stage, shielding his good eye, but he doesn't look away. Instead, he looks at the gathered masses, in all their form, catching Luthor. A nod of greeting is given to that particular CEO, and he turns to speak to the Major in a low tone. "We'll be speaking to him later." It's a promise!

Twisting about, the pleasant expression (such as it is) is all but wiped from the Director's face to see Magneto. "We'll be keeping an eye now." Fury glances back to Luthor with a potentially meaningful look.


Warren Worthington pretty much rolls his eyes at the 'opening act'. "Is this is what Science is coming to?" he murmurs, "Hype and flash?" But this is why he's not in that particular business. Now, taking Dazzler to a club would be totally different, but he seems unwiling to join the fans in their cheering for the pop star.



Any and all adoration from the crowd is returned with gusto, kisses blown as Dazzler and her back-up dancers gyrate and entertain to wild synth and thumping bass. Only one more verse of 'Dazzle Me!' is performed, the music blending and transitioning into something totally new.

An introductory guitar solo launches Dazzler into a song about looking towards the future, not being afraid to take on challenges, and not giving up -- some of her back-up dancers are also back-up singers, making the impending chorus more anthemic; 'Fight for your Future!'



Once more, Lindstrom nods to Fury. She glances toward Luthor and, if she doesn't give an individual greeting of her own, she at least notes his presence. Her eyes scan the rest of the playing field, noting others as well. The sight of the self-declared Genoshan Imperator causes her ears to rise slightly. She gives Fury a quick glance to see if he's noticed him, too. And, of course, he has. "Wow," she murmurs softly. "Talk about a mixer..."


Typically, Fern is keeping off to the sidelines, and when the music starts she pauses, looking toward the stage. She recognizes the song, and can't help but bob her head in time, but she's not in the fangirl category that others occupy. As she scans the crowd she sees a few familiar faces... a purple cat and his boyfriend, Justin Hammer, and the white wings of Warren Worthington. Her eyes pause there a moment, lips pursed as she looks to either side of him, then the music change draws her attention back to the stage.


Tousaint looks around the room a few times when he thinks he hears a language he hasn't heard in quite some time. Before he can narrow down the location, people start cheering and screaming. Tousaint does an awkward slow clap in appreciation. Tousaint smirks, "Billie Holiday didn't need special effects."


He's something of an enigmatic presence off to the side of the main gathering. Slipping into and out of the crowd is something that Bruce Wayne does as easily as the clad of exquisitely tailored black he wears. It's a little more openly ostentatious than what he was wearing last night, but he doesn't seem to have any trouble with it at all. With the Ironette(s... he thinks he saw another one a little bit aways over there) marching out to the fanfare of a noble 2010's beat, even the prince of Gotham is easy to lose in the crowd of millionaires, cosplayers, fangirls (and boys) and other extremely flashy well-wishers.

Just the way he likes it.

An attendant for the Wayne Enterprises booth eventually finds him. The dark-haired tech leans to him and whispers something into Bruce's ear as he watches the opening events with shining blue eyes. Hands in pockets, his expression doesn't change. "Hn?" the billionaire looks, a little distracted. The attendant repeats himself, as if to confirm.

A cold smile slides across Wayne's face.

"Then page him. It'll wait a few more minutes, I suspect."

Somewhere in the distance, out of earshot of the music and the majority of the announcements, an impatient (and perhaps a little panicked) voice echoes on the maintenance overheads, likely audible only in the maintenance areas and parking lots. "TIM DRAKE to the WE booth. Tim Drake, to the WE booth. Thank you." The Wayne Enterprises is supposed to be fully prepped and ready to go in 20 minutes. 20 minutes!! All hell is surely breaking loose down there. Damn interns.


Michael Carter is grinning at the stage, or to be more specific, he's watching Dazzler and enjoying that quite a bit. He gives Rain a nod when she passes by, although Dazzler is pretty distracting. Michael really likes shiny things. There is no way he could have noticed Doug's approach, but he turns to look at him anyway--probably thanks to a combination of Skeets and the glasses he is currently wearing. He gives the shorter blond man a finger-gun of recognition.


Funnel cake is pretty awesome! Rain will drift that way. She smiles politely at Kwabena in passing. Hey wait, is that - Oh wow, A Magneto. That's impressive. Rain feels so small now. Her purple eyes are a bit wide. She seems curious. So many famous people. But she's going to check out the main hall. Then there's a Genosha booth and - her head is spinning. Like a quantum nerd. She smiles a bit at Dazzler's show. And she got a nod from Michael! That's pretty groovy. Why not? Though, she passes a cosplayer with a polite smile.


The appearance of the Master of Magnetism is a surprise to Jessica, who while aware of t he island nation of genosha, never expected to see one of its most famous citizens here. Then again, it IS the Stark expo. She looks about, guaging reactions, and spots Nick Fury, whom she's only met once before at Thor's engagement party, and it doesn't take a well trained Ninja to see what's got him upset as Magneto arrives. Then as he throws a glance to Luthor, she quirks a brow. Granted, Lex is no stranger to scrutiny himself, but surely even he wouldn't do anything here?

Then Dazzler's song goes from pop to something akin to pop-rock, and Jessica grins. "Good grief. This isn't an expo. It's a comic book convention." she jokes to herself, passing through the crowds, looking around at the various booths.


Patrick nods and grins at Keith. He does not say anything about the cat's tendency to get into trouble again, at least not for now. "I did see Booster, I am also keeping track on a few other people I spotted. I am not sure the color on her outfit would fit you though, although the lights and mirrors fit your personality...."


Brynn just made a new best friend. No, not Volstagg, but the vendor who was trying to explain to the Lion of Asgard that despite the name no actual canines are in Coney Dogs. This wonderfully bizarre conversation is thankfully stopped when the funnel cake appears before Volstagg; the takes the plate. "Many thanks." He gives Brynn a smile, "This is quite the spectacle." He looks up to the stage, "and a wonderful bard preforming."


Betsy glances at her agent and would-be 'date' for the night, hr earrings dancing subtly as she does so. "You sound like a schoolgirl dear." She smirks at him slightly, drawing his eyes but he doesn't say much for a bit. The cameraman is meanwhil distractedly snapping photos and minding neither. The colorfully-dressed man finally replies, tugging at his neck scarf a bit before smoothing it with a hand. "Darling, anything that -looks- like /that/ I am a big fan of!"


A nod of respect is given to Magneto. The diplomat, dictator, furor, whatever he considers himself, Magneto is STILL the ruler of a country. Lex respects Magneto for the man's guts and initiative. Leadership skills would be another matter that only time can truly answer. Hopefully the mutant had diplomatic immunity here because if he didn't nothing at Stark Expo would garner more media attention than the attempted murder of the mutant rebel because someone here would do something like that. He figures Magneto had the diplomat thing covered. Still one has to respect Magneto's guts for even showing up here.


While passing Rain, Kwabena returns her smile, however, he does little to engage her in conversation. For what reason remains unknown. However, soon enough, he's found his way to one of the many high-tech information booths, which combine a mixture of touch-screen and interactive hologram technology unique to Stark Enterprises. The technology brings a grin to his face, and with one last gulp of scotch, he discards the glass on a nearby wandering server's tray.

"Let's see," he mutters to himself in English while perusing through the information menu. "Smoking area, check... technology sampahs, check..." His eyebrows rise when he recognizes the Genoshan Embassy's booth, but in shorter order, his attention is once again captured by the stage.

Blink, blink.

"Christ, he should have just brought Ozzy out of retiahment," he says to a random stranger next to him. "Didn't he write a song about Iron Man?"



The guitar comes back after the second chorus, the musician revealed in an explosion of light and color as the center stage-piece totally vanishes; a curly-haired guy in a top-hat and denim vest, only his coiled lips and chin really visible of his face. Oh yeah, Dazzler has awesome musical hook-ups, yo. Dazzler rallies round the edges of the stage, just enjoying the ferocity of his playing, then does a series of flips and cartwheels back to full view as the solo builds up to the chorus again. The whole stage is a party!



"Theef are delifus.." says Brynn, her mouth full and distorting her speech. She smiles to the Coney Dog vendor and places a hand on Volstagg's arm, trying to help direct him away from said vendor and towards the show. "The mortals do seem to enjoy celebrating such odd things, do they not?" she asks the Asgardian before taking another bite of her cake. Her clothing -so- casual. For her, formal involves -armor- so... yeah.

"It's a hell of a mixer," Fury agrees slowly. Doesn't keep him from taking a drink from one of the trays a waiter is walking around with, however. A second is pulled, and generally offered to the Major; up to her if she's going to drink in uniform or not. He won't tell her boss. "Make me wonder if he's laced the place with telepaths." Suspicious minds? Absolutely. Called survival. Running his good eye across the playing field again, the Director is searching, but nothing is coming up on the radar, as it were. Should be easy enough to spot as they'd be one of the few -not- reacting to the stage show!


Magneto flashes that bold, confident grin at Fury, easily cutting across the gap that separates the men. He lifts his cane in a mock (or mocking) salute and touches the handle to his forehead, then continues with that long-legged pace, the crowds parting for him as if a bow wave precedes his travel.

"Do I spy Mister Lex Luthor?" he asks aloud, that resonant bass carrying effortlessly across the short distance between the men. A gap rapidly presents itself, and Magneto closes to within a few steps of Lex. "Mister Luthor, I don't believe I've had the pleasure. Imperator Magneto of Bastion, Ambassador of Genosha," he says, making the introduction himself. He clicks his heels and bows- very slightly- to Lex, the gesture more polite greeting than obeisance, and offers a hand to Lex to go with it. "I've heard impressive things about your company, sir. It is a pleasure to meet the man behind the myth."

Magneto doesn't shield his eyes from the light, but he flicks an irritated frown Dazzler's direction. Something very much like a lens flare manifests in the air near his head, then vanishes.


"Hey, Michael," Doug calls out, as he falls in line, his attention shifting from Booster to Dazzler. "Good thing you're here, I was beginning to think I'd be -lost- in a crowd of unfamiliar faces. How's, um.... Rita and Missy?"

Eyes shift towards Dazzler's ferocious guitarist. "Wow..." It's not often he got to see the -glitz- quite this close-up..."


As Slash appears for the show, Warren just rolls his eyes and does his best to extricate himself from the bulk of the crowd. He saw someone with scotch. While the opening act goes on, he goes out in search of that very libation.


"Mr. Stark has certainly gone for full spectacle this year, hasn't he?" Keith says. "I wonder if the substance is going to be just as mind-blowing? Probably... hey! I think I see Fern over there.. and..." he squints "Brynn? maybe?..." the cat gives a few waves- just enough for them to see he has spotted them, but not enough that he looks like a crazyperson trying to whack at invisible brain-sucking beetles. "There's the Wayne Enterprises booth... I met Bruce Wayne at Thor's wedding, I don't think I told you. He was nice... then again, I guess everybody is on their best behavior at the wedding of gods, not a good gauge of personality." the cat chuckles, ears twitching rapidly due to the music, since his hearing is so sensitive. At one point they're almost all the way back to protect him from the loudness once the guitar comes back in. "--he said he liked my color. I think he probably had had too much mead at the time." the cat grins. Patrick knows how little he thinks of his unusual appearance.


"Rita's great. Missy... doesn't really want to talk to anyone who's super-anything, if you get my drift," Michael tells Doug. "I'm hoping I can visit her once she's recovered a little bit." He looks back up towards Dazzler's performance, then arches an eyebrow and returns his focus to Doug. "By the way, I kind of mentioned your name to Mr. Stark, when I explained my absence. Since you were able to bring in a little SHIELD help, I mean. I'm sure you're not on a list or anything, though."


A fan of somewhat quieter music, the jarring guitarist just makes Fern blink a few times. Well, the place is pretty well set for sound, so she probably won't miss anything if she wanders off. And she needs to look for where Anita Bella is set up. She'll be filling in some time working while the Expo is going on. Just before she turns, she sees a purple hand wave, and she gives a little jump to be seen as she waves back to Keith. Being short doesn't really make the show any better, she can't really see a lot except the backs of people's heads. Yes, a wander is in order, and she turns, heading toward the food.


Gregor Raleigh, late of MI-6 and current of a martial arts school in Brooklyn, is relatively innocuous and inconspicuous as he ambles through the crowd. Tall, yes, but he's dressed in drab colors and battered work boots. As anonymous as he may be, though, his watchfulness might actually set him apart. He's watching everything. Listening to everyone. The flash of the Expo is /interesting/, certainly, but as aimlessly as he seems to be walking, he's keeping an eye and an ear out for anything more than the usual pleasantries and oohs and ahhs. Which means his steps start taking him over in the direction of Luthor and Magneto. After all, the latter can't tell he's a mutant just by looking... Can he?


There is a spark of mischief in Patrick's eyes as he looks over at Keith after spotting some of the more notorious people at the party. "Ok, no hacking the displays...but what about Magneto, Lex Luthor or the SHIELD agents?" The whole sense of humor thing, it is new to him but the mental image of doing such a thing is amusing to the clone. "The mead probably only loosened his tongue, you are a great shade of purple. Bright enough to be distinctive but dark enough to hide in shadows better than a pure black suit. You want to wander over to the fried dough stand and say hi to Brynn?"


Somewhere during the spectacle of a Dazzler show, Betsy catches the faint sound of a familiar voice and turns around. "...Michael?" She says, to no one in particular, before turning away from the stage and wading into the crowd in an attempt to find Doug. She isn't about to try searching the crowd with her telepathy though, not wanting to risk overload, and so her wandering is a bit... aimless. Her agent fails to notice until she's walked well away.

"...Darling?? Where are you going, we have photos to shoot in a bit! Hello!"


While all this is going on, Jessica has decided to relax, and is looking over things at the WE booth, mostly for the fun of it. As it is, she's not the most scientifically minded girl. Or at least she isn't when she's outside of the costume she prefers. She picks up one of the demo phones WE is working on, and looks it over. It's smaller than most cell phones, but can 'fold out' as though it were compact in on itself and thus make for a larger screen whith virtual buttons and the like.

"Huh. Nice." she says to herself more than anything. "This could be a useful little gadget."


Two more people arrive: a young woman, poised and confident, recognisable to some as Jazmin Cullen, Leader of the Legion of Super-Heroes, accompanied by a man in his thirties-- Rokk Krinn. They're both dressed properly for an Occasion, and both in dark purple and black. He's carrying what looks entirely like some kind of tablet computer, and he's flanking her, clearly deferring. He's also, even as he leans in to tell Jazmin things and more things, looking straight at Magneto.


"I'd love to say hi to Brynn, I haven't seen her since she made me moon half of Brooklyn when she floated me out of the clinic." Keith grins, and raises an eyebrow "...okay... SHIELD agents, maybe, after that idiot agent called me a C-Lister. Magneto... no. Stay away from men with egos bigger than a city, love." he rolls his eyes a little and sticks his tongue out "I'm glad you like my color, hon... but I think you know that I've always hated the color purple... just one more thing the Cheshire Cat must find funny after all this. C'mon, let's say hi to Brynn, then we can swing by Booster and then Fern..."


Extending a hand outward toward "Ambassador," Lex says with the utmost respect. "I can say the same about you. It's nice to meet the man behind the myth as well," the compliment about Lexcorp is not unnoticed. "In two days' time there will be an event hosted here by yours truly. You're welcome to attend," his green eyes look over the mutant with the deep voice. "When you have some time I'd like to know more about Genosha. The news only says so much and it's not every day you get to speak to the Bastion of a nation," the words are very friendly and clearly he respects the mutant.


Either way, the guitarist is at least a little bit more in line with certain types of music Kwabena enjoys. It's less obnoxious than the pop music, even though there is a decidedly "over-commercialized" twist to it all. Snatching up another glass of scotch, the African starts making his way along the area again, only now starting to keep his eyes peeled for familiar faces.

Mere moments after spotting the encounter between Magneto and Lex Luthor some distance away, he's distracted by Jessica, who happens to pass nearby. Leaning over toward the booth, a grin forms on his face. "Jessica?" he asks, uncertain at first given he's only met her once. "Dat you?"


Lindstrom takes the glass Fury offers, giving a nod and smile of thanks. She's not strictly 'on duty'. So a glass isn't likely to be a problem. But, she'll likely end up nursing it until it's too warm to really enjoy. It's just what she does.

"Who?" she says in response to the Colonel's comment about telepaths. "Magneto?" A soft snirk. "I wouldn't put it past him." She nods to a banner down one of the aisles. "He's got a whole contingent here, after all."


Tousaint makes his way to Justin Hammer, "Mister Hammer, a pleasure seeing you, again." Tousaint looks around the room, nodding his head a few times, "This is quite the spectacle. I can honestly state that I have never seen anything close to this." Tousaint peers at his exhibit guide and states, "So what are you going to visit?"


The passing of Magneto, and the salute offered earns the man a stare from the Director as the man passes, following the self-styled Impirator's path to Luthor. There, his gaze lingers before he turns away to take a swallow of the champagne he'd grabbed. "Yeah, saw that too. Should be interesting to see what sort of arts and crafts they've got going in their booth." Read: Definitely have to check it out.


"Ahh... it's got to be rough on poor Missy," Doug says sympathically. Eyebrows arches as Booster mentions Tony Stark. "It's nice of you, though I got my ticket from someone else. She's somewhere in the crowd doing contract obligations..."

Tilting his head to watch Dazzler rocking, Doug grins, turning back to look at Booster. "How'd the rest of the commercial filming go...?" Doug asks, his voice trailing off as he notes Betsy approaching. "Oh, excuse me," he says, bringing his hand up to wave at the incoming model. "Betsy, over here!"


Well, funnel cakes are pretty awesome. Rain'll head that way, since she looks lost and overwhelmed in the sea of Very Important People. She's definitely not one of them and the Kwabena fellow she passed found the person he was meeting up with. Hmm. (Funnel) Cake beats death, so let's go that way! There's maps being given out over there, so why not. Better find which booths she wants to go to before she gets lost at sea.


Someone just said her name! And the voice is a familiar one. Turning towards said voice, she breaks out into a wide grin. "Kwa!" she says, waving to him. She's clad in a tank top and jeans, with silver lipstick (for those who weren't aware of it before now.) and other than that, seems to just be enjoying herself.

"I thought I heard your voice a few minutes ago. What brings you to the Expo? Haven't seen you since that day at the book store." she says. Then holds up the demo of the new concept 'folding phone' that We has out. "What do you think? It's a phone that folds like paper to be whatever size you need it, but unfolds when you need a larger screen to almost end up like a tablet. Think it'll catch on?"


Patrick shrugs. "Ok, but because you asked. That, and because I don't have any of the specialized tools I would need if it came to a fight." He follows along with the purple cat with a small smirk on his face. "You really should let me make the man's life interesting for saying that to you. Not that someone that rude isn't likely to have a few people doing that anyway."



When it's done, the music coming to a head, Dazzler takes a few moments to soak up the applause and the attention. "Thank you! Thank you! And now, without further delay.... here's TONY STARK!" As her dancers and various stage-hands race around either disappearing or moving things in place for the impending appearance, Dazzler gives them cover in a swirl of light and color - direct all attention in the direction of the sky above: It looks like an Air Force squadron flyover..crossed with a rock concert. "Thunderstruck" by AC/DC begins to play, and just as the heavy guitars kick in..

Iron Man lands center stage. And behind him..?

Another. And another. And Another.

All in all, there are seven armors that have landed in that (patent pending) three point stance that the Armored Avenger has become famous for. All of them offering a wave, or pointing towards the cheering crowd.

Then a hole opens in the floor, and rising up in front of the front and center armor, and the six backing that one up, is none other than Tony Stark himself, looking like a walking, talking GQ cover in a custom tuxedo, sharply appointed accessories, wind tunnel tested hairdo and a goatee so sharp it could cut diamonds. There's a reason he's twice been selected as People Magazine's Sexiest Man of the Year.

Flashing a million gigawatt smile to the standing-only crowd, he waves to the crowd, then turns and bows to his Iron Entourage, which then in turn one by one, launch into the sky and out of sight. The AC/DC song ends as the last one launches, and the CEO turns back to the crowd, he exclaims in a voice that's casual, confident, and is used to speaking to a large number at once - "Here we go again, ladies and gentlemen -- welcome to the STARK EXPO!!!!"



Again, Lindstrom nods, lips pulling to one side. She gets the subtext: Go check out the Genoshan booth. That should be interesting. Idly, she wonders if anything they have on display is cribbed from those Sentinels they stole. She's not a big fan of the giant robots, truthfully, but she can't deny their utility. She turns her head, however, toward the stage, as Stark finally makes his grand entrance.


This is why e-cigarettes were invented. All vapor, no nasty smell, and it gives a man a reason to stand still. Gregor's not the only one whose attention is caught by the Iron... Men... landing on the stage. If Stark knows how to do anything, it's how to go over the top. He smirks a little, but he's still keeping his ears peeled for anything going on near him.


Magneto inclines his head to Lex again, giving his hand a soft, single shake- a peculiarly European habit, one the globetrotting CEO would probably recognize. Clearly, there's a level of estimation here that places Lex a hair above the rest of the filthy humans infesting the plaza. "I appreciate the invitation. I've been following your innovations in high efficiency transmitters. I understand you've achieved a transciever that outperforms the competition by, what, nearly an order of magnitude?" he asks, his face guileless. In fact, it's substantiantially more than that.

He hoists his cane and gestures towards the Genoshan banners, waving proudly in the low breeze of the air conditioners. "Our own research labs are unfortunately not /quite/ up to date, but we're making some remarkable strides in electronic engineering and rocket systems. I am determined to see Genosha become a dominant force in the advanced engineering manufacturing industry." A twinkle crosses his eyes. "We'll never match your production capabilities, of course, but I like to hope someday we will be a comparable technological power."

Magneto joins the applause at Tony's entry, his clapping more polite than enthusiastic, one hand gently striking the back of the other.


"Hon, if you went around making life miserable for people who are rude to me, you'd run out of time in the da---" Keith blinks as the armors appear, still making his way to Brynn with Patrick when Tony gives the greeting. "... I need to take classes with him on making an entrance, alright!" he claps.


Howard Stark is not particularly impressed with the pop concert atmosphere of opening the Expo. However, he's come to accept that it isn't his company anymore, and it hasn't been for quite some time. It's Tony's legacy - he can tart and spectacle it up any way he likes. That doesn't mean however, that he has to like it. He's off to the side of the stage, arms folded over his chest, lips pursed into a thin line. He's wearing a nice suit - as he usually does.

There's a wince and a hand pressed to his temple as the music swells. As the suits all thump down, Howard's pinching his nose. Oh, good grief, son. Kids these days and their music and their power suits.


Justin looks from the stage when he hears his name, squelching the growing list of awful one liners in his mind. He offers his typical car salesman grin when he recognizes Tousaint. "Mister Walters, fancy running into you here. Yeah, quite the... Presentation, that's for sure." He gives a bit of a snorted chuckle, glancing back toward the stage briefly. "Stark certainly hasn't spared any expense on the entertainment portion of the evening." He shrugs lightly at the question about the exhibits. "Going to try and get around to all of it. Gotta scope out the competition, ya know? Though I'll be spending a lot of time at my own exhibit hall. Got a big spread this year."

When the music ends and Tony makes his appearance. Hammer can't help but scowl lightly. /Self-absorbed show off,/ the rival CEO thinks to himself before looking back to Tousaint. "Well, hell of an entrance, hell of an entrance... That guy, now he really knows how to work a crowd, doesn't he?"


Pepper Potts watches where she's standing next to Howard out of the way of the dancers racing off, bag on her shoulder as always and her arms crossed. She'd known Tony would not be arriving in his suit like last time, but she had not expected seven of them to show up anyway. This would explain why he'd been holed up in his workshop avoiding her for the past week or so. But, it's over and done with now. Glancing at the younger-looking Stark, she can't help but offer him a commiserating smile and a pat on the arm, then a pair of earplugs from inside her bag. Yes, she carries them around with her. If you're surprised, you shouldn't be.


The arrival of Tony draws Jazmin's attention, even as she manages to snag a drink along the way. There's quiet conversation between herself and Rokk, too quiet to carry to anyone else, even before the music means that they could be yelling. She moves her way through the crowd, wending her way towards where Justin Hammer chats with Tousaint. "Evening, gentlemen."


Uncertainty is banished when Jessica turns about. Kwabena's grin is a bit less wide, more spry in a sense, and he pardons himself by a passing guest to close the distance. "Yeah, it's me," he answers. "What brings anyone to de Expo? It's de hottest spot in de five boroughs tonight."


Eyeballing the phone, Kwabena's mis-matched eyes of brown and silver seem curious. "Hey, may I have dat?" he asks, holding out a hand in the hopes that she'll share the phone. "I wondah about it's durability," he admits. "I mean, if it's constructed of something durable enough to survive sitting on, falling on, or, you know, all of de oddah things that usually crack cell phone screens? I bet it'll be a hit."


He's about to ask Jessica a question, when it seems that all eyes in the place turn toward center stage. Kwabena is one of them. He turns to the stage, and as soon as Thunderstruck comes on, an extremely wide grin forms. "Dat's more like it!" he calls over the noise.

"He sure does know how to put on a show," he remarks aside to Jessica, before tucking the glass of scotch under his arm and joining in the applause.


"We finished getting footage, I guess they're still editing--" Michael is telling Doug, but Tony Stark's entrance draws his attention away for the moment. He applauds; that entrance is one of the reasons Michael wanted a job with Stark in the first place. Over the top swag. With a bright smile, he points at his floating robot companion and remarks to Doug, "Skeets is getting holovids of everything. Pretty neat, huh?"


Patrick watches and then applauds the entrance of Iron Man. He shrugs a little once more at Keith. "You forget how efficient I am. Considering the types that are rude to you most often it might leave me with more free time once I set things in motion." There is a small laugh and a shake of the head. "Grandiose, but not quite the creativity you put into it. I think you would be better getting tips on making entrances from Batman."


Earplugs are almost as necessary as coffee when dealing with the Stark men - Howard would be the first to admit. He takes the earplugs from Pepper with a grateful look and stuffs them into his ears. There's no way that someone who looks like he does should look /this/ irritated with the spectacle in front of him. He should be the key demographic, by appearances. "Liberace could take a few lessons on flash from Tony," mutters the crotchety old man in a young man shaped-suit.


Fury whistles, "Damn the man can make an entrance," is murmured. "But if he's got tin cans to waste on something like this? Bastard's been holding out on us." It's said good naturedly enough, a hint of a rise to look vaguely like a smile could be noted. Still, it's only half in jest. His attention isn't far from Luthor and Magneto- obviously more Magneto than the good businesman and scientist. "Hope you have the coffee pot plugged in, Major. After this, it's gonna be a long night."


"So it would seem." Jessica replies, clapping as well after setting down her wine glass full of ice water. Then she hands Kwabena the demo. "It's a demo. I dunno how well built it is. We'd probably have to ask whoever's running the booth about that." she shrugs. "Come to think of it, whps' even running this booth?" she says, looking around.


Keith shudders visibly at the mention of Batman. "... yeah, I don't see him giving me lessons anytime soon. Nightwing was very nice to me, though... said he was tossing an idea around of getting young heroes under his belt and training them in a group... that'd be neat, wouldn't it?" he squints "Where'd Brynn go?..." he looks around, suddenly getting a Where's Waldo moment. Did she elude him? It looks like it.


Betsy's emerald green eyes wander all over the place, the woman completely ignoring the calls of the man she came with. She continues to wander a good bit more, with him almost completely catching up to her. "Honey, what are you looking for? If it's food, that's what I get paid for why don't you...", he starts before she cuts him off, "...Doug!" And then darts away energetically in the direction his voice came from.

Her agent sighs, looking off in the direction Tony Starq's voice came from, and adjusts his rose red shades, "...Never seen a finer man in my life." Then he remembers what he was doing, "...Elizabeth, darling, wait!"

...But waiting she is not, despite wearing heels she seems to run quite handily. Straight toward Doug and... a mysterious stranger. "I see you came." She gives the slightly younger man a warm smile.


From above the Expo a pair drift in, moving lightly on a zephyr, Thor flies in, moving slow over the gathered masses, looking for a clear space for himself and his lady, the Goddess Sif. He cradles her in his arms, so the green flowing silk of her gown can flutter - stark contrast - against the red of his cape. ((Sif's Dress: http://www.newyorkdress.com/Alyce/6090AD.html?color=Envy+Green )) He seems not to have Mjolnir in his hands as he lowers the pair toward the ground, still looking for a a landing place.


"..." Rain does politely clap, although the sensory overload is reaching critical levels. She is now armed with funnel cake and quiet, nerdy enthusiasm. Now to find someone to glom onto so she doesn't drive away. Wait, is that Pepper? Huh. Who's the fellow - oh geez. Who is she going to - hmmm. Rain looks terribly lost, her dark purple eyes reflecting her baffled condition. Her engineering experience never said anything about /this/. Wait, it's Thor! Rain will wave cheerily in passing. But hmm, who to talk to since the Asgardians are probably gonna be crazy busy.


Pepper Potts smiles and nods to Howard. "And Elvis. At the same time." She watches as Tony soaks up the cheering and noise then adds as quietly as possible while still being heard, "Did you know he was going to bring those suits to this?"


Warren Worthington does manage to find the scotch and glances over at the crowd as Stark does seem to make his appearance. There's a brief frown before he lifts the glass to his lips to take a very long swig of the drink. Blue eyes do catch some very familiar red hair in the crowd though and he pulls out his phone. As it's quite loud, he deftly thumb-texts and sends a message to Fern's phone:

'Hey! Are you here too?'


Lindstrom chuckles softly. "Probably," she says good naturedly in turn. "And you know I've always got a pot on." In the lab, of course. She watches the sparkle and flash for a moment, before she sets her glass down on a passing tray. She'd sooner have her hands free than nurse the alcohol further. "Did you read my report on the updates to the flyer we came up with?" We being Stark and she after her fairly successful test flight a few weeks back.


Taking the demo, Kwabena eyes it, even goes so far as to bend it a little, but he doesn't do anything to break it. "Yeah, and I--" he starts, before looking at the booth in question. A holographic image pops to life, having recognized Jessica's question, and begins to spout off answers in a manner that borders on AI.

"That is running de booth," he answers, laughing aloud before setting the demo phone down and poking at the holographic image.

"Hey!" says the image, pouting at Kwabena. "That stings!"

With a smirk, Kwabena gives Jessica a sideways glance, before motioning toward the stage. "Want to go find a bettah spot?" he asks. "I hear he's got something abnormally impressive up his sleeve."


Noting the Euporean nature of the shake Lex adapts to meet the man's customs. Green eyes move over the banners, "I hate to sound clich Ambassador," again the term is said with the utmost respect. "You and I are alike. I say clich because I'm sure you've heard too many people say this line to you, but you and I are similar." He pauses letting the words sink in, "We saw an opportunity to change the world and we did it. Mine with technology and yours with the mutant beacon of the world, the communications how's will have to be a company secret, but we are advancing far more than anyone else on the planet." And while this may sound like a boast to Lex this is just fact. When a company works with sensitive material like he then people would understand why his IS. THE. BEST.

"What is the technological situation like on Genosha?" the question is one of complete curiousity because you don't hear about these situations on the news. "What about entertainment? Movies, plays, productions?" again more about the small sparks of life have Lex curious.


There's someone else here who's Distinctly Not Listening To Magneto And Luthor, though it might well have taken an expert to notice. Gregor is, luckily. His eyes flick over to Nick Fury and stay there for a moment; a smile crooks the corner of his mouth, and he shifts his stance. There's drinks somewhere -- he sees people with them -- but the temptation to grab a glass of scotch is slightly less than the temptation to keep an eye and an ear out. He tilts his head as he glances over at Lindstrom, observing her too for a moment. If for no other reason than anyone talking to Nick Fury is interesting.


The page echoes through the back halls of the Expo, unheard, because Tim Drake is cutting through the crowd like a very well-dressed shark, avoiding jostles and elbows like only a Gothamite can.

You think New Yorkers are rude? Wait til you visit his side of town.

He appears like a very well-dressed shadow at Bruce's side just before Tony Stark makes his grand entrance, looking thoroughly nonplussed by the current goings-on. Sort of like a mini, male-version of Pepper Potts, with a custom WayneTech bluetooth piece in his ear and a matching tablet grasped firmly in his hands. For all the crowd-surfing he almost engaged in, there isn't a hair out of place on top of his head.

"Mr. Wayne," he says, politely, as he offers the tablet out for the man's e-signature.

Ah, the life of a billionaire. Always something needing signed.

"We just finished the last test run for the maglev demonstration, so that's a green light on all of the WayneTech exhibits. Our on-site generators are running near full-capacity, though, so I took the liberty of having an extra half-dozen brought in." Update given, Tim pauses to watch Tony Stark on the stage for a moment, then excuses himself to check in at the booth before he joins in the mingling himself. Always work to do.


Tagging along after Jazmin, Rokk continues to catalog people on his tablet, bringing up faces and the public identities that go with them for quick reference, occasionally leaning in to make note of people; once the two Legionnaires come up by Justin Hammer and Tousaint, he gives them a quick businesslike smile, but doesn't put his tablet away-- just passes his hand over the screen to turn it off for the moment; he takes a half step back and brings his ring up to his face, speaks into it briefly.


Volstagg starts to eat the funnel cake, he makes short work of it and as he disposes of the plate he looks up and catches the arrival of Thor and Sif.' He smiles and watches them enter. To no one in particular he chuckles and says, The Odinson does know how to make an entrance." He then moves over towards them.


"Honestly, I tried to stay out of this entire spectacle," says Howard to Pepper. He's still got his arms folded over his chest grumpily. "I'm interested in the science part of this expo, if there is any under all the flash." Such a supportive father he is! "It used to be enough to just showcase groundbreaking technology. Now there's got to be a rock show just to get people to rip their faces off their smartphone screens." He looks around and notices the number of people recording everything. "...not even then."


Patrick shrugs once more at Keith. "Maybe, maybe not. The man apparently has had more prot'g's than most if you listen to the rumors. Although a group that will train together and keep an eye on newer heroes is a good idea. Make sure no one is going to get themselves...or a large number of civilians killed."


Thor spots Rain and gives her a nod of his head and a light smile. THere's a place, somewhere sort of near the middle of everything, more or less. because there was a space and as people saw him coming in they moved back. Once on the ground, the Thunderer very gently sets a very pregnant Goddess of War on her feet, and keeps an arm about her to keep her steady.



Tony looks around, comfortable in command and knowing he already has the crowd eating out of the palm of his hand. This is definitely in his wheelhouse, and it shows. "You know, a few years when I re-started the Expo, there were a lot of questions that were asked. The main questions being Why -- and how does this serve the legacy of Expos that your father established with it. I allowed it to speak for itself. We accomplished more - as a whole, as a community - than we had in years previous. Real world problems were met and solved. Heretofore unreachable goals were now within reach." he pauses for a effect, and looks around. His voice lowering, as if sharing a secret with the crowd, "Then..after I started them as an annual event, I realized I lost sight of their purpose. I..I made a mistake.

He lets that soak in so that everyone can realize what he just said.

"I made a mistake. I realized that the Expo needs to be taken back to it's roots. I'm sure my father would agree if he were here. In fact, it's why I'm not opening the Expo with his original greeting, because I've lost sight of what we're here to do. So with that said, I'd like to announce some changes: After this year, the Expo will be held once every five years, and last for six months. Companies that are participating will get a year's notice to prepare their agenda, as well as what they wish to present at the expo. Cooperative efforts will also begin at this time, and last through the duration of the expo."



It's not a party, until the Trickster of Asgard puts in an appearance. And speaking of, this time at least, Loki has decided to be a little low key about attending the expo. Dressed right off the cover of GQ magazine (literally), he's wearing a designer suit and a long green scarf. The Trickster wanders through the crowd, using his short cane when necessary to part the mortals for himself, as he takes in the sights with a huge grin on his face.


Figuring she probably wouldn't be able to hear her phone in the din of the Expo crowd, Fern tucked it into her skirt pocket so that she'd feel it vibrate. And vibrate it does. The redhead takes the device out, sliding the keyboard out automatically, since that was the vibration pattern of a text message. It's read quickly, and she turns her head, looking toward the last spot she saw white wings. But they aren't there any more. She taps back a reply:

'At the Stark Expo? Yeah. You're here?'

As if she hadn't already seen him.


Pausing to applaud Stark's entrance, Doug gives Michael an apologetic look, and greets Betsy, taking her hands in his, and bringing his lips to her cheek briefly. "Wouldn't have missed it for the world," he smiles.

Turning his attention back towards the man he was chatting with, Doug does the introductions. "Betsy Braddock, Michael Jon Carter. You remember, I told you about him when I was helping out with the actress being grabbed by the six-armed lady?"


Of course there's coffee brewing in the tech labs. And in the intel labs. And that's why Fury has 'round the clock assistants. To be damned sure there's a fresh pot of coffee on. Oh- and to take dictation, should the situation require it.

Finally, Fury allows himself to disengage from the pair speaking so civilly, and the Director goes back to crowd watching. He's getting a copy of all in attendance this evening (easy enough!), and he allows himself a hint of ease as the roster is being read into his small earpiece. His words, however, are for his lead scientist. "Yes, and if you didn't see it before, you are scheduled with the Colonel at the Joint Base again next week for Phase 2." After all, Fury would like to go back, too. He has a tank waiting for him!


Given the phone is meant to bend and fold, Kwa doesn't really do much of anything to it. So when Jessica takes it back, and sets it down. She shrugs.

"I dunno. I think if we get any closer, we might lose some hair to the pyrotechnics he's got set up all over the place." Then she notices some familiar faces. Thor and Sif. "'scue me a sec, Kwa. I've got some friends to go say hi to." That said, she heads over to the Thunder God and his fiance-- or is it wife now? Jessica isn't sure if she missed the wedding or not. But either way, her duties as Spider-Woman have kept her busy and now's as good a time as any to say hi to the few friends she has who DON'T know her only by her costumed identity. (In fact she's pretty sure she's never met them as Spider-Woman at all.)

"Thor! Sif! Been awhile. How's life treating you?"


"You are having your own expo. Do all the business run their expos around the same time each year?" Tousaint looks down at the exhibits and says, "I hoping to find some information of different types of ways to improve mundane engines that are not too expensives." Tousaint says, "I also heard that they I get to see some equipment dealing with sub-atomtic energies, or other forms of energy that you only get to see, when you are about to be rescued by a super-hero, or running from your life from someone trying to attack the city.

Tousaint looks around the room and raises his right eyebrow, "Is that Nick Fury over there? "


"Woefully underequipped," Magneto admits frankly to Lex, resting his hands on his cane. "Naturally, American cinema is the entertainment of choice. I have yet to appoint a Director of Entertainment, so... well. We have movie nights once a week?" he offers with a negligble shrug. "I understand this... 'file-sharing' is popular. I've endeavoured to install high speed internet, but it's an expensive and laborious process. Our mainland connection is barely sufficient to handle the needs of my governent, let alone mass recreational use. We have all the problems of an isolated island nation, combined with austere environmental factors. We make do with what is available. Until we can be properly equipped with internet access that is reliable and consistent, we are rather limited in the entertainment options available." He chuckles ruefully. "Still, we're an industrious people- my subjects work hard and seem to find that gratifying. A ruler must recognize the need for a recreational outlet more than most managers." He adjusts his posture minutely. "Still. It's on my 'to do' list, so to speak."


Keith hms. "Well... I'm not really sure I fit in there. I don't know if I fit in -anywhere-, but..." he shrugs, good-humoredly. His reaction to Stark's announcement is to raise his eyebrows. "Well, now that is a surprise..." he takes a step back as he sees Thor and Sif floating down, waving at them with a grin... and unfortunately stepping back into Loki as he walks around with his cane.


Justin looks over when he hears a familiar voice. He smiles, spotting Jazmin and her companion. "Miss Cullen," he greets with a broad if not completely trustworthy smile. "Excellent to see you again." He glances toward Tousaint, then back toward the stage. He listens to Tony's words, putting the information into the back of his brain, then looks back to those he's speaking with. Glancing toward where Tousaint indicates, he nods. "I think it is," he comments quietly.


Thor turns to look at Jessica, a smile on her face. "Indeed, Jessica. It has been some time. Life? Has been? ..interesting," Thor says pausing to pick his words carefully. And he managed only to glance at Sif once throughout that. "It is good to see thee," adds the Asgardian, voice booming, as usual.


Patrick is distracted by Tony's speech, it was not something he was expecting at all. Actually, it was more like the sort of thing the older Tony Stark he knew in his world would do. Hmm, next thing he knows there will be an announcement that the man is going to AA. "That is...interesting."


Tony Stark grew some humility? Will wonders never cease? Gregor starts moving along as Magneto continues to talk. Subjects. The word makes his eye twitch. He ambles through the crowd, passing Nick Fury and giving him a polite nod before gazing up to the descending... gods. Aliens. God-aliens. Alien-gods. But he's fascinated, no matter what they really are, and the old agent gets a boyish grin that he doesn't bother hiding.


'Yeah, I'm here. Had to get a drink. Pretty flashy.' is texted back even as Warren looks up in time to hear the announcement about the Expo going 'retro'.

"Like the old expos a century ago. Interesting tactic," is said to whomever is nearby. He glances over as Thor and his entourage arrive and there is a scowl before he downs the rest of his drink.


'May not stay too long,' is texted back. 'Will check on things we sponsored then will probably leave.'


"Mister Hammer. Honey." Jazmin greets Justin warmly, ever so faintly amused. "Have you met Rokk Krynn?" She gestures to her tablet carrying assistant, walking with her. She turns to follow Tousaint's glance over and then returns her attention to Justin. "So, as its my first time to one of these, what should I see first?"


Pepper Potts blinks in surprise at Tony's words, then glances at Howard again, silently asking if he was also unaware of this turn of events. She's honestly used to surprises from her boss, but not on this scale. And she's not sure if it's setting a good precedent or not. And, unrelated, she makes a mental note to make sure Howard gets to see some of the exhibits, since he was just complaining about the lack of them.


"Nice to meet you, Ms. Braddock," says Michael, and although his tone is formal enough to be polite, he gives her a grin and a wink. "Pardon me, a moment..." Rather than dealing with his earpiece, he bring his hand up, shiny 'L*' ring gleaming, and speaks to it in Interlac. I've heard that earplugs are a good idea, if you're sensitive. He looks to the stage, where Tony is making his announcement and muses aloud in English, "I wonder if that'll prompt other companies to like, do their own things in the years in-between."


Oh hey! It's Loki! Rain drifts over that way, waving. Well, Winter does. They don't like it too much if you try to buy tickets with just a code name. Ahem. "So many people." It's sort of nerd purgatory. So much tech! ... so many people ... At least none of them are nude Greeks, marching around following a blank banner. "Hello!" Oddly, Winter's greeting for Loki is more that of respect and from a peon to a boss.


Another father might beam with pride, or at least crack a smile. Howard's eyebrows simply raise up higher as Tony speaks. "He /does/ have a tremendous talent for making you think he doesn't listen to you, and then surprising you, doesn't he?" he says to Pepper. And that is a rare truly kind word from the grumpy old CEO. Too bad Tony's too far away to hear it.


Lindstrom chuckles again. "Of course, sir," she says softly. Yeah. She knows how much Fury wants his tank. In some respects, the man's never quite gotten past the tank pushes in WW2. But, that doesn't mean he hasn't moved with the times when it comes to upgrading his favourite field weapons, by any means.


With a laugh, Kwabena gestures toward his bald head. "What hair?" he asks, with an absolutely mischievous smirk. "But, good point. No need to re-enact dat Michael Jackson Pepsi Commercial. I don't think you'd look good bald."

When she excuses herself, Kwabena nods politely. He was familiar with Thor and Sif, having spent some time in their apartment a few months back.

Noting that Jessica's wine glass was filled with water? The African eyes his glass of scotch in a questionable way. It wasn't his particular type of whiskey, after all, so he discards it on a passing waiter's tray (how many of them did Stark hire? Geeze!) and hangs back, though if Thor and Sif were to notice him, a polite bow of his head would be given.


It's not like Fern was waiting for a reply. She's just got good reflexes, and when the phone buzzes she has it up and flipped open in one fluid motion. Chewing her lip, she stares at the little screen a moment before thumbing out a response.

'Want company?'

Granted, Warren has the company of a warm scotch, but it can't be a very good conversationalist.


Bruce Wayne's been paying attention to everything but the spectacle, to be honest. Though the dark-clad billionaire has the vigor and spice of a man innervated by the pulse-pounding beat of the music--especially AC/DC, in truth he's not giving it a moment of thought, instead absorbing random snippets of conversation from the crowd. There are many people he's heard to be here that he'd have an interest in, after all.

Tim shows up not too many moments later.

With a pointed pause for the stunning arrival of Tony Stark and his Iron Army, Bruce Wayne regards the latest intern of the company with the same warmth he might a long and trusted colleague. Some people appreciate that about him, that sense of philanthropy that he apparently inherited from his father. Still, given Drake's unique position and meaning to Wayne, it's not entirely off-putting for someone like him. "Ah, Tim. Good to see you. Phillip was beginning to think you'd been kidnapped," Wayne notes, absently setting his signature to the tablet with only the barest of percursory glances. "They're going to need you back at the booth soon," he says. "But I think we can spare a couple of minutes to find some friends in the crowd, don't you agree?"

Wayne's already wandering off, chasing some snippet of conversation he'd heard or another.

It was the exact sort of cavalier reasoning that would give the staff at the booth apoplectic fits.


"Oh great....someone invited /him/...." Loki mutters to himself as he spots Thor and Sif in the crowd. Kinda hard to miss his brother, with just the sheer amount of agitation the Thunderer causes to the astral. "And of course, there would be SHIELD agents about. Wonder if I should have some fun." he says, sticking his cane under one arm and rubbing his hands together. Then...Rain. No no no...I wasn't just plotting anything nefarious. "Apprentice." he greets in return, nodding his head.



Tony Stark looks out at the crowd, "This year, we're lucky to have representatives from such esteemed corporations such as Wayne Enterprises and LexCorp, and we'll even have a presentation from Hammer Industries! How about that - way to go Justin!" he gives a chummy thumbs up, and points out to the crowd, "I know you're out there!" before continuing on - "Of course, there will be one or two sizeable announcements coming out of Stark Industries, but I'll talk about those when the times comes."

Once again, another pause for dramatic effect.

"Of course, no opening of the Stark Expo would be complete without a fully loaded, one hundred percent quoteable and quantifiable sound byte so here it is: Lex, Bruce, Justin, and anyone else who is running a company worth more than a dollar right now...I'm calling you out. There are things you do to make a profit, and things you do because they're the right thing to do..this is one of those things: I'm calling you out to work with me. Work with one another - work togetether. I am laying down a challenge now, that in five years when we hold this expo again we can report progress, and again at the end of the decade we can say definitely..that we have worked to and have achieved a cure for the plague of our time. Ladies and Gentlemen, I am putting to you the challenge of working together from now until it happens..to work for and effectively cure all forms of cancer by the end of the decade. I'm wlling to put my money where my mouth is on this - which we all know isn't small - and I'm throwing down the gauntlet for you to do the same."

Another pause, "I will await your answers so that I can inform the world on this stage at the end of the Expo, of who will join me in this endeavor."



"Back atcha big guy." Jessica says with a smile. "I think the last time I saw you was when you'd announced your engagement. I've been kinda busy lately, so I have no idea if your wedding came and went already. If I missed it, I'm sorry, since I was really hoping to attend. But if it hasn't happened yet, then I'll try to make sure I clear my schedule for it. But, well, you know how life gets in the way sometimes." she says with a helpless smile and shrug.


"This is why so many leaders have built coliseums, why French philosophers believed theaters were built. Everyone understands the need for some entertainment," Lex responds noting the bits about file sharing. "There is an impressive bootleg market if you look in the right circles. DVDs for pennies on the dollar, projectors are a cheap means of showing entertainment to the masses. Most come with a type of flat surface." For a second, Lex is taken back to childhood with one of the house staff and watching movies in the park while dad was over in European for business purposes.

"A blanket, a park, a few grills and a projector would keep many happy for hours." A sigh for the few moments his childhood was actually bearable escape his lips. Green eyes look back to the diplomat, "Perhaps we could talk at some point after the Expo when it comes to internet. Are you okay with satellite connections?" Some people aren't with the problems weather can bring but it would be the most effective way to get fast internet to the Island.


David makes his way to the Expo, going through weapon check and all the things, having left his weapons hidden from the expo and hands over the survival knife he always carried. He moves about the Expo and seems to be looking for people. Lets hope none with military channels find him.


Betsy's smile broadens as Doug kisses her cheek, and returns the favor in kind. It's after her painted lips have left his cheek that she casts a sidelong glance at Michael. "Charmed, naturally.", comes her reply in her usual deep tones before she turns her attention back to Doug. "...I am still here with 'you know who'... but..."

...and 'you know who' comes running up shortly behind - trailing her like a technicolor stalker. "...Darling, why are we busying ourselves with..." and he eyes Doug's attire momentarily, before letting a soft 'ugh' pass his lips and softly shaking his head, "...this fashion disaster when we have other obligations? We can play boyfriends and girlfriends later honey."


'Sure,' is texted back, but Warren does pause as he is addressed. Sort of. His frown doesn't really fade, but it changes to one of disgust to one of...confusion. There isn't an immediate answer to Tony's quasi-rhetorical question but a quick text is then sent to his father. He might want to come to this now.


Hammer grins broadly as the young heroine uses the term 'Honey' for him. No matter that her behavior may make people wonder. "No, I don't think we have met. Good to meet you, Mister Krynn. Justin Hammer, founder and CEO of Hammer Industries." He offers his hand to the tablet-carrying man. "As far as what to see, you have to come by and check out my pavilion. I've got a pretty nice set up this year, if I may say so my-" Justin's prideful remarks about his own Expo layout are stopped short at Stark's words. He turns fully toward the stage and stares at Stark. The expression on his face is hard to read- somewhere between confusion and anger.


After Jazmin introduces him, Rokk sketches a brief and quite cursory bow in Justin and Tousaint's direction, then swipes the black screen of his tablet again and brings up the display, scrolling through. None of it's in English. "Pardon," he says apologetically to the two, then shows her something on the display and whispers a quick patter of information. He's either a really /good/ PA or a really pushy one. As he's straightening up again, he asks audibly, "Do you want ice in that?" He also briefly glares at the back of Booster's tall blond head, way over there.


Standing with Jessica, Thor smiles and nods to her as Sif lifts her head slowly from where it was resting against his chest. The goddess looks a bit washed out and tired, and far too large to only be two months along in her pregnancy.

"Yes. The knot was tied on Midsummer's Eve, so thou did miss the fesitivie. However, it would please us if thou would come by the apartment as thou would like, so join us for a meal," Thor says to Jessica. Sif nods lightly to back up the Thunderer's words. ((OOC: Sif being posed ightly by permission from player who is putting the 2yr old to sleep and can't type for herself ATM.))


Fury nods at the passing Gregor, though it's courtesy more than actual recognizing. As of yet. The one, oneS that get his attention are the Asgardians. Thor. Sif. Loki? Thorki? Loor? Gives him a freaking headache just trying to keep things the same. Still, he looks to the Major and murmurs, "One moment," before stalking off to the general direction of Thor. Loki. Last time he'd heard.

"What the hell are you doing here?" is growled. Fury looks to Sif for a moment, and offers a nod of greeting before he stand very near toe to toe with the Thunderer. "If you make any trouble, I swear your ass will be impounded." Again?


Tousaint nods his head in greeting to Jazmin and Rokk. He looks over at the table before turning back to Jazmin, "So, I guess I am the only person that decided to look a complete noob by taking an exhibit guide." Tousaint extends his hands to the duo and says, "Tousaint Walters, a pleasure." Tousaint looks at his exhibits and says, "I was hoping to find something dealing with enhancing energy outputs in...Tousaint turns his attention back to Stark, then shakes his head a few times.

He leans into Justin and whispers, "This is some sort of joke, right.


It is indeed a Loki! Rain smiles, pausing. Wait. Was Loki rubbing his hands together? And she's actually kinda dressed up. Someone in hell must be pissed that their frozen salesmen ice road now has an extra layer of ice. "How are you?" Beam. "Er, funnel cake?" She'll share. It's mean not to. "I came to see some of the stuff but this is so much more vast than I thought."


The mention of Hammer Industries pulls Fern's attention away from her phone, and she smiles brightly, and claps awkwardly as she tries not to drop it. She almost loses that battle when the phone buzzes again. 'Sure.' Is that like 'I don't have anything better to do' or 'If you must' or 'That would be great'? It shouldn't surprise her. Her attention is brought up again as Tony goes on speaking, and there's a hesitation before she types back to Warren.

'Where are you?'


Volstagg makes his way through the crowd and clasps the Thunderer on the shoulder, "It is good to see you booth out." He then adds, "Some kind mortal introduced me to a confection called funnel Cake you should most definitely try it." He then nods to Jessica, "Greetings."


"Satellites provide an issue for Genosha," Magneto admits candidly. "We have unique problems with cloud cover and weather patterns that makes satellite coverage tenuous at best. An underground pipeline would be the best bet, but the cost is a bit... prohibitive," he frowns. He listens with half an ear to Tony's speech, listening to Lex's ruminations on his past- and then, eyes Lex closely to gauge his reaction to Tony's spoken challenge.

"But as you say- perhaps I've been approaching this the wrong way. A 'low-tech' solution might be a more satisfying alternative to a multimillion dollar investment in recreational technology." A thoughtful look crosses his face at that rumination.


Pepper Potts looks genuinely shocked by Tony's call out to the big names of the major industries, and can't help but look out toward the crowd to tryand catch reactions from the others. Hammer, Luthor, anyone.


"Cancer?" Loki laughs outloud. "You pathetic creatures can't even cure cancer? Too much time developing pills to improve your breeding habits I suppose." he says, shaking his head and thumbing at Tony as he leans in closer to take a small bit of Rain's offered funnel cake. He pops it into his mouth and chews, before giving the girl a smile. "Not bad."


"I'd be honored." Jessica says with a grin. "And congratulations on the wedding. I'm just sorry I missed it. I hope it was at least a fun day." she adds. Then Fury makes his entrance and starts chewing out the Thunderer and blinks in confusion. Okay something odd happened. Then she nods to Volstagg. "Hi." she says with a smile.


Eyebrows goes up as Michael speaks a language that seems... somehow evolved from today's Esperanto, but Doug doesn't comment on it, aside from a knowing look. "I think that's a good thing, though - might as well put the companies that have -real- financial muscle to do something about cancer."


His attention shifts towards Betsy's... flamboyant companion, and then down towards his tuxedo. Sighing, Doug looks towards Betsy once again. "Where did they get him from, anyway? One of your co-workers?" As an aside, Doug notes for Booster, "She's working for a modelling agency. Apparently her agent thinks I'm bad for her image."


Well, Kwabena is about a hair's width from going on over and greeting Thor himself. He didn't want to be rude, given that Jessica had excused herself, but his first step forward is halted when Colonel Fury comes out of nowhere and begins berating the God of Thunder. Blinking, Kwabena decidedly hangs back, his eyes suddenly a bit wary. He casts his mis-matched eyes about, briefly studying the exchange between Magneto and Luther (of which he can only read body language), before casually moving back toward that holographic info booth he'd encountered earlier.

This just might be a good time to make himself somewhat invisible for a time.


Loki's comment elicits a snort from Gregor, who snags a glass from a passing waiter. He takes a little sniff and smirks: trust Stark to provide good liquor. But he's as surprised as everyone else when Tony starts talking about... cooperation? Working together? "If he can make it work," he mutters. It'll be a miracle.


There is a minor amount of obvious pleasure at being regarded so warmly by Bruce Wayne, and while there is some small truth in it- Bruce is as trusted and respected a mentor as anyone could ever have, in his opinion- at the same time, Tim is putting on an act for the public. He knows exactly where he stands with Bruce, and he has absolutely no doubt in it, which isn't fitting for a recently hired intern. He's playing the part flawlessly, though, as befitting someone trained by Batman himself.

"Phillip worries too much," Tim says, pleasantly, and waits for Bruce to finish signing off on a myriad different forms and proposals, before he tilts his head in acceptance. "I need to check on a few things, but I'll join you in a moment."

And then he's off, with the single-minded determinance of someone who absolutely means he will be back in a moment, and he makes his way through the crowd in much the same manner as he did before, towards the direction of the WayneTech booth. When Bruce is so publically called out, Tim doesn't stop, but his attention shifts to keep the stage in his peripherals nonetheless.


Howard's eyebrows go higher. "There's that surprise thing again," he murmurs to Pepper. "Cancer. Well. Never let it be said that Tony thinks small." Ever heard grudging admiration mixed in with disapproval? That was it, right there. He reaches into his jacket for a leather covered flask. He takes a swig.


Warren Worthington finishes the text to his father before he can answer Fern's text. Looking around, he finally texts back what booth he's near. It's behind the bulk of the crowd but not too far from one of the bars. He does go back to texting his father though, no doubt mentioning that they weren't specifically called out, but they might want to take up the challenge anyhow. Even if it's just to prove a point.


"I'll leave you to deal with /that/." Jazmin reaches out to touch Justin's elbow as he turns to listen to Stark. She smiles easily to Tousaint at his words, a bit of a chuckle. "I didn't bring a guide, I did bring my assistant. Similar, but not quite the same thing. If you'll excuse me." She nods and starts moving off into the crowd as she leans in to speak with Rokk again. The pair are moving with some degree of purpose, heading through people, tracking on Thor and Nick Fury, perhaps unwisely coming up upon that little declaration.


Michael looks rather thoughtful now, after Tony makes his challenge. He blinks, then, rising from his thoughts and he gives Doug a grin. "Oh, I didn't realize you guys were seeing each other." Michael gives Doug a rather hearty slap on the back. He then asks Betsy, "What agency are you with? I have a contract with Looker, Inc. myself."


Lex's face is unmoved. Holding a nearly unreadable poker face he ponders a few possibilities. Inwardly he thinks, "Coulson wanted us to do this after the attack on New York yet nothing happened. What changed?" A finger presses to his chin deep in thought. To what purpose or end is another thing he wonders about. What would they work on? Defense? Communication? Hybrid planting? Ending GMOs yet doing something new with agriculture and beef? The options are limitless and the offer is a bit open ended. Still, this would take some time to ponder.

Looking back to Magneto, "Maybe not an underground pipe and line, but you're onto something with the low-tech thoughts. What about putting up a few signal towers and bouncing it off of an existing towers signal or using those to pick up the satellite signals to avoid the cloud problem?" His mind starts to work thinking on the new solution for the Ambassador.


As Fury heads over toward the Asgardians, Lindstrom finds herself left to her own devices. She straightens some and glances around. As the challenge is belled out from one millionaire to another, a blonde brow arches faintly. That'll be an interesting contest to watch. She drifts, now, to one side, moving to investigate some of the displays.


Keith 's ears twitch as he hears Loki behind him... being Loki. He picked up Rain's voice as wel, and while he enjoys Rain's company, he doesn't think he would care for Loki's. Even after the body-changing event, he doesn't think Loki would give him even a gnat's notice. And then Keith's mouth would shoot a barb at Loki, and then it would all be over.

Taking Patrick's arm gently, he starts leading away from the Kill Zone that is Loki's immediate surroundings. "I'm dying for a churro, ever had one? Let's get you one!" he says. Snaglepuss exit stage right. If he cuts towards the Wayne booth and then hangs a right, it is likely Loki would't notice.

That was Keith's life, a constant struggle to avoid being a trouble magnet. And failing.


"Never." Pepper snags the flask from Howard before he can put it away again and takes a sip of the contents herself before letting the younger-looking man take it back.


Some walking about and he finds his target, one Mr. Stark. As he approaches, he pulls his ballcap off and clears his throat. "Mr. Tony Stark?" He calls to the man as he tries to come close enough to talk to him. "Pardon my interruption but there is something I need to discuss with you. It is to your benefit."


Attention pulled from Jessica, Thor turns his blue eyes to Nick Fury. His chin tilts down to look at the Director. His face is alive with confusion.

"I have come to support my friends, Tony Stark and Justin Hammer, and to see the wonders Midgard doth-" Thor starts to answer before Fury is in his face. Blue eyes widen in what has to be honest surprise.

"Yes, Sir," says Thor simply. Sif sighs fatiguedly and rests her head back against Thor's chest. She just doesn't seem to have to oomph to comment right now.


Justin blinks several times then looks back toward Tousaint, the expression on his face still one of disbelief. "Knowing Stark, no," he replies flatly. Great, now if he /doesn't/ say anything, he'll look like a fool. That bastard really pulled a fast one on all of them. At Jazmin's touch he turns toward her and nods. "Come by my pavilion and say hi when you get a chance," he says with a grin before the leader of the Legion takes her leave.


That makes Howard crack a smile. He carries the good stuff, so Pepper gets a swig of what's probably 18-year-old scotch. "I'm guessing you didn't know about this little challenge of Tony's? You /do/ realize what a PR nightmare it'll be if Stark fails to make significant headway in the next five years?"


Wisely, Rain remains silent to Loki's quip. "Wonder if my magic'd work on that. It's good to see you," She remarks. Nomf, funnel cake. Rain's no model, though she might do well modeling gothic clothes, given her violet eyes and slender build. She smiles back up. "Yeah. Are you thirsty?" She seems to look over at Tony, though, peering. "I feel so small here. Everything is leagues beyond and if you're beyond that, it's baffling." Scale: It boggles.


Fern almost has to do a full circle before she spots the booth Warren named, and she starts to wind her way through the crowd in that direction. There are more familiar faces that she remembers from their visits to Anita Bella, more friends that she hadn't spotted before. She spies Warren's wings again as she nears, slowing her pace a bit, offering him a tentative smile, waiting until she's near enough to not have to yell to be heard. "Hey... I at least wanted to say hello, if you're busy." Both hands grip the strap of her messenger bag, resting at her stomach.


Patrick eeps a little as he is suddenly snagged and drug off. He knows that somehow he missed something, and probably something dangerous by the way he is being pulled away but tonight is supposed to be an off duty night so he just lets it happen. Unless people actually start throwing lightning bolts and balefire around. "No, I have not had one. They look...remarkably unhealthy. Nothing but oil and carbohydrates."


"Interesting." Magneto blinks at that, his face going as blank as Lex's. "It occurs to me that a laser-optical system, properly calibrated, could handle that light load. Fibre optics might be a bit ambitious, but a direct carrier wave running at, say, four hundred nanometers and in the, oh, let's say ten megawatt range- call it a five picosecond carrier pulse..." Magneto gets lost in some fairly complicated techspeak, but the gist of it should be readily translateable for someone of Lex's expertise. "Synchronized using guidance systems, it wouldn't be difficult at all to set up laser relays at twelve mile intervals on stationary locations to relay the information to the coast. Aside from the cost of building the beacon islands, how much would you expect the refraction technology to cost?"


Pepper Potts tries valiantly for several moments to NOT cough and tear up at the swig of scotch she just drank, but then at Howard's comments it's either cough or faint from lack of oxygen. So she inhales, coughs a few times, then wipes at her eyes. Thank god for waterproof makeup. "I swear, Howard, I'm goinig to kill him if this doesn't work out," she says a bit hoarsely.


Huh.

Wait a second. If that was Loki, he'd have given him argument. Right? The Director leans back from his posture, and stares at the Thunderer, Sif, and back once again. His single, good eye narrows, and he twists around to find Loki.

There. And he looks Loki-ish.

Well, the warning's been given, and the men are in place, at least a few should they be needed. Not likely. Not this evening, anyway.

The Director spins around once again, searching out Lindstrom, though he does catch the tail-end of the challenge. Polite golf clap, though he'd much rather use that technology to rid the world of another type of cancer.

Of course, Fury's rounding brings him in contact with Jazmin and Rokk. Stepping forward to side-step, he inclines his head in a nod to the pair.


"You are much to humble apprentice. You are a wolf standing in a herd of sheep, and they know not of your presence. Don't let the sheep that bleats the loudest impress you with his toys. In the end, they are nothing compared to the magic." Loki explains, half lecturing half trying to sound encouraging. "Soon, petty things like this cancer disease will be meaningless to you. And yes...a drink would be lovely. What do you recommend?"


Thor turns his attention from Nick Fury for a moment to look at Volstagg. His smiles, but hte expression doesn't quite reach his eyes and so the smile looks tight and strained. "Ah, yes. It is good to be out, Volstagg. Funnel cake? I had some the last time. Thou should try it with iced cream," comments the Thunderer before turning back to look at Nick Fury again, blinking as the mortal just walks away. COnfused Thor is Confused.

There's a quick handshake and a returned grin for Justin, before all the distraction-ness; it's also given Tousaint; then when Tony's calling people out, Rokk takes Jazmin's excusing of them and trails after her once more. And hey! Thor and Sif! They're right there by Fury! The elder Legionnaire-slash-PA, therefore, has a huge grin on his face as Jazmin leads the way-- it's quickly turned to concern at Sif's exhaustion. "Hey-- sorry-- Highness, do you need someplace quiet to sit down for a few?" He gives Thor and Jazmin a look like D: is that okay, then sort of a practiced deer-in-headlights look at Fury. The Director will no doubt recognise the acting.


"Yes, actually." She replies, softly and completely matter-of-factly to Doug's question. "He's a retired male model..." She looks over her shoulder at her agent then, and raises her voice a bit, "Henry, let's try not to offend anyone." And though this is said rather pleasantly, it is meant to serve as a reminder that she makes him money. "...Why don't you and Kyle go snap some photos of the show? I'll meet up with you two later." And then she turns her back to him, expressing finality without really saying it. "I work for Models 1, an agency that's rather big in Britain. Not so much here." She admits to Michael.

'Henry' scowls, visibly, giving Doug a dirty look before turning her nose up at him and turning to walk away. "...Fine dear, but we won't wait forever. Do hurry." ... The camera man, Kyle, meanwhile is still busily snapping pictures elswhere. He doesn't look as though /he's/ in too big of a hurry...

"They are. Deliciously unhealthy. Don't worry, having one will not kill you. We'll share, right?"


The purple cat looks around, making sure the God of Mischief hadn't noticed him. With the crowds, the cosplayers, and everything around him, it might just be possible that one purple cat would go unnoticed.

"So what do you think of that challenge? I wonder what Wayne and Hammer are going to say about it... or Luthor."


Howard pats Pepper on the back and flags down a passing gofer to get a bottle of water for Pepper. He even uncaps it for her when it arrives and hands it out. "If you actually killed him every time you said you'd kill him, he'd be dead enough for a dozen cats with nine lives each." He sighs. "Well. I suppose I better switch the focus of my research from prosthetics to something cancer-related."


Jessica watches as Fury looks about, and while it seems to be a curious bit of action, she's no mind reader. Shaking her head, she gives Sif a curious look, noting how tired she seemed to be. Then the reason seems to hit her between the eyes with all the force of Mjolnir itself, and her smile widens to practically eat her face. "So it looks like more than a wedding went on since I saw you last. Congratulations. Any idea when you're due?" she says, and it's clear she couldn't be happier for the Asgardian couple.



Tony clears his throat again, "In closing, I declare the Stark Expo OPEN! Welcome, and perhaps we can come closer to the theme I've set for the expo - Technology Unchained - using our advances to further us all. Thank you! Now..let's party!" - he motions to the stage, and another well known music act starts up, the lead singer of which briefly shaking hands with Tony as he walks off stage.



Warren Worthington looks up again as Fern greets him, "Hi! No, I'm glad you did. I'm...I think I'm set. I just had to send something to my dad about that challenge. We're not really into pharmaceuticals, but...it's a lot to think about."


Pepper Potts takes the water bottle from Howard with a nod of thanks, then as Tony approaches she makes sure to say loudly enough for both Stark men to hear, "Let me rephrase that to say if it fails he'll WISH I'd killed him." She takes a sip of the water while giving Tony one of those 'we need to talk' looks.


Rain seems uncertain about that. All of these people, who are worth vastly more than - She mentally shoos the number off. "I see. Well, I figured even though I can't really do electrical engineering stuff anymore, it might be fun to see," She smiles a little. She appreciates the trying. "Um. Depends on the flavor you like. Lots seems to be going around," She peers. "There's definitely champagne," And this bodes ill for her pronounciation. Actually, somewhere in France, someone French probably just got offended. "And wine and water... But I think stuff is open now if you wanted to see anything." Although, somehow she has a feeling Loki wants to do more than sight see.


It's only the start of the Expo. Lindstrom will have lots of time to explore. She keeps half an eye on Fury and notices him stalking away from the the so-called God of Thunder. (She's not much inclined to accord him true godhood, though she'll concede he's very powerful and long-lived.) Thus, as he starts seeking her out, she drifts back towards him, giving a small smile as she does.


Glancing in the direction of Rain and... whoever that mentor of hers is, familiar as he looks... Gregor clears his throat. The man's obviously more than just a /user/ of magic. He very possibly /is/ magic, and meddling in the affairs of wizards is... something something, probably Not Good. Still. "Being a wolf's not all it's cracked up to be, lass," he calls her way in that rough Mancunian accent. "Eventually, all your life's scrabbling amongst other wolves to be on the top. Not that there's no fun in that, but it's hard to get a nap in edgewise." He takes a quick sip, adding: "The scotch is good."


"That was quite an entrance, and quite a gauntlet," murmurs Howard to Tony as his son gets off the stage. He reaches into his coat for the flask again and hands it over. Enabler? Well, yes. "Curing cancer. Couldn't you have picked a bigger goal?" Sarcasm.


"You've done your homework, impressive," Lex gives a slow nod to Magneto. Another way that Magneto has earned Lex's respect, still the business man says, "Wait two days and ask me that question again." Tony isn't the only billion dollar showman. Lex looks over the crowd and the others, "How does it feel to look upon an island from a similar view?" Seeing everything from a downward view and so many it's quite a sight. Magneto does the same every time he goes to make a speech or so Lex imagines.


Patrick smiles and actually laughs. "Yes, and for once I can forgo the mandated diet that made me what I am for a night." Or at least the diet made the man he was cloned from what he is. Either way, even a Super Soldier should get dessert now and then right? "I do not know. Father was always rather unimpressed with Hammer, but I think both Mister Luthor and Wayne would have been on his list of people to steal from or sell to if they existed there. Outside of changing the way the whole world makes and delivers energy and getting everyone on the same diet and exorcise plan I was raised on I am not sure it is doable...but will be interesting to see what comes about from it."


Thor looks at Rokk as he comes over. It takes a moment before the Thunderer smiles and nods his head. "A place to sit for my Lady would be appreciated, yes. My thanks to thee," he says as Sif gives a smile to Jessica. A tired hand comes up to rest on her belly. Sif shakes her head, then leans into Thor more, signalling him to answer. He has to blink a few times, look between Sif and Jessica and finally catches up.

"Ah, no, not exactly. The Healer has had to... speed things up, so... soon?" Thor doesn't sound completely certain. Things have been weird and then DIrector Fury, so yes. Confused Thor is still confused, and clearly about more than one thing.


"Thor, good evening." Jazmin greets the god as they approach, her expression gentle for Sif, a little smil. "You look tried, your highness. I hope it's just all the people?" She turns then towards Nick Fury and nods, offering him a little smile. "Good evening. I'd be interested in meeting inlater, somewhere that one can hear themselves think. Fair?"


Tony Stark is handed a bottle of water, which he takes a brief sip of before setting it down and taking the flask from his dad. "Well, we start with cancer and we work down to the common cold." he looks to Pepper with his usual 'What'd I do?' expression. "What, is there a law against aiming high? Besides, this is like Christmas for smart people. If the brain trust under the roof right now can't get the job done, we don't deserve our salaries."


Kwabena's idle perusing of the information hologram comes up with something most fascinating. It happens to be a little prototype social media application, invented by one of the Stark Industries partners, created just for big events like the Expo. As sophisticated as it may seem, it's little more than a take on the 'Missed Connections' concept. Tapping the app, it takes a scan of Kwabena's face, then matches it up with the impressive security network in place at the Stark Expo (which, we should add, is quite the deterrent to crime and tomfoolery). As soon as he sees a security video of himself speaking with Jessica at the phone booth, his face curls inot a grin. Tapping the image of Jessica's face, a little text box comes up, into which he types a message.

-Had to step out for a while. See you 'round. Kwa-

There's no telling if the technology is going to work. It was a prototype, after all, but if it does, the next time Jessica wanders near one of those info booths, it will chime at her and reveal the text box, along with the ability to send a response. Safe, secure, and completely optional.

Laughing to himself, Kwabena hits the 'send' button and walks off, seeking the smoking area, reaching for his pack of smokes as he goes.


Watching 'Henry' go, Doug blinks slowly. "Guess I don't need to worry about whether -he- has interest in you," the blonde observes in a dry tone, making a face. "He's just -fabulous-."


Doug glances at Booster, shrugging. "I'm not up to date on British model agencies myself, but I can't say I think very much of their... uh, fixation with image over, well, substance." And Doug wrinkles his nose at Betsy. "I mean, really...? Is anyone going to believe you're dating -him- when he's making goo-goo eyes at Tony Stark?"


David approaches where Tony Stark walks off to if able and looks to the woman and man with him. "Mr. Stark. I am afraid I have to talk with you, I am sorry but it is relatively important I speak with you. It could change things." He says to the man and looks between Howard and Pepper.


"That brain trust is currently working on projects meant to turn a profit, Tony. Are you going to hire more people to start up new projects, or are you going to ask people to abandon their work for something new? I know it's hard to remember, but not everyone can switch gears as easily as you or I." Leave it to Howard to be sympathetic with a dash of arrogance.


Fern nods to Warren, her smile gaining some strength, "Yeah, sounds like something your family would qualify for." They're certainly worth more than a dollar. She has to step closer to Warren as people pass behind her, starting to drift away now that the Expo has been officially declared open by Tony Stark. "Does your family have an exhibit here?" she asks, not stepping back.


Krinn gives Thor and Sif a quick nod, then moves to support Sif; he gives Fury an apologetic look. "It's an honor to almost meet you, sir: this is Jazmin Cullen, Legion Leader; I assure you, for what it's worth from -me-, the meeting would be worth your while. Please excuse us-- Jaz, you'll know where to find us. Here, take my omni--" And the tablet's handed over, before he gently steers the exhausted (and quite pregnant) goddess away toward one of the smaller rooms, which no doubt has a quieter room somewhere beyond it.


Keith chuckles "Maybe not... but I know I'm eating better than I ever have since getting together with you. Then again, not being able to taste sweets anymore has helped..." he gets closer to the churro stand. "He wasn't impressed with Hammer? Did he ever say why?"

Keith sounds very curious about that. Then agian, he knows that what happened in Patrick's world is not necessarily what would happen here, so if the other world's Justin was a scoundrel, nothing really said he would be the same in this world.

Keith O'Neil, twenty years old, and old enough to know better, but too naive to do so.


"Well. I attribute that to my instructors at Cambridge," Magneto says, offering a gamin smile at Lex. "I haven't walked those halls in a few decades, but I think they gave me a good start in applied physics and engineering." He half turns, looking out over the crowd, and inhales deeply. His face is supremely confident and relaxed, utterly at ease despite the throngs and hordes. "This is quite a gathering. Still. These are not 'my people'. It's a question of apples and oranges," he says, with a dismissive flick of his fingers. "Speaking to Genoshans... or mutants here in America... well. It presents unique challenges, ones that a gathering like this simply cannot compare to." He glances sidelong at Lex. "When your audience is capable of levelling a mountainside with a moment of attention- or inattention- it makes one a great deal more cautious in choosing words."


"Speed things up?" Jessica looks a bit confused, and somewhat concerned. "I hope things are okay." she says. But then smiles again. "Well, in any case, I'm still happy for you." Then Jazmin makes her way over and so does Rokk. She gives them a friendly grin. "Hi. I'm Jessica Drew." she says, offering either of them a hand to shake if they want.


When someone else starts addressing his apprentice, Loki turns and glances at him a moment before snorting softly. "Better the fight to the top, than being crushed beneath those that rise." he snarks back, shaking his head and 'sizing' Gregor up. "But a scotch will be perfect. Neat." he says with a nod to Rain.


"Image over substance is how it is for all modeling agencies, Dougie. That's kind of the point of models." Michael explains this to Doug, in a patient way. He then offers a hand to Betsy, apparently feeling that a handshake is more substantial than that wink he gave her earlier. "I actually do know of that agency. That's cool that you're here, maybe we'll get to work together sometime, eh? And I know how it is, my agent is... incredibly strict-minded too."


Acting around Fury always raises the flags for him. Feigned emotion? Usually the harbinger of something bad <tm>. Still, no one would be stupid enough to try anything. And, if so..?

Jazmin's approach to him has the Director slowing a little, and there's no hesitation in the man when he answers easily. "Absolutely, Miss Cullen." He knows her name? "Though I'm not certain what I can help you with, I'm always willing to listen." Beat. "If you will excuse me, however."

Stepping past now, the Director makes his path back to his lead scientist, and taking her elbow, whispers something to her. With that, the pair begin to head to the door, ready to pick up their sedan that remains parked out front. Business before pleasure, even if the business is pleasurable.


Stark's closing words get a snort from Hammer. He once again turns from the stage, and this time he doesn't really look back. The musical act, while popular, is just not that interesting to the CEO. It's about time that he makes his way to his own pavilion to shake hands and show off his own achievements. Not to mention that Stark's stunt in calling out the other CEOs present has soured his mood. "Good seeing you again, Tousaint. Be sure to stop by my pavilion, if you get a chance," he offers to the other business man before starting to walk toward the direction of the exhibit halls.


"Naah...we aren't into Scientific innovations," Warren puts his phone back into a pocket as he turns his mostly-full attention to Fern. "I mean, we might buy companies who are, but we're more of the investing-types. We've sponsored a few of the exhibits though, from some companies we own." He even points out a few nearby.


Patrick shrugs a little. "Mostly just that he was not impressed with the man's technology. From what I have seen though that is likely vastly different here. Really most of the tech I know about came from Stark or Rand so I can't say much."


Rain is - addressed! Well, she hears Gregor, rather. An owlish blink. She smiles politely. "I see. I understand. Well, I'll find the server with the scotch then. I take it-" That applies to Gregor too? She doesn't seem to mind helping fetch a drink. It likely only takes her a little while to return with a couple of the glasses.


Halfway toward the smoking area, it would seem that Kwabena's attempt at not drawing further attention is about to be shattered. Bending around a group of businessmen talking animatedly about Stark's challenge to cure cancer, he finds himself face to face with Doug Ramsey, Elizabeth Braddock, and party. One might almost hear the screeching of tires as he comes to a halt, taking a moment to look each person in the eyes.

Well, that's awkward. And what is Doug wearing?

"Doug. Betsy." A smile forces its way onto the African's face, and he gestures slightly with the cigarette in hand. "Still haven't kicked de habit!" he chimes out, with no shortage of sarcasm in his tone.


Tony Stark nods to Howard, "Matter of fact - yes. I do. I already have a small group in mind to bring in on this. Including yourself." he grins at him, "How about it? When's the last time you swung for the fences?" he says, in that way one futurist can to another when he's trying to goad them. When David speaks, he looks to him then back to Pepper and Howard, then back to David. "Whatever you want to discuss can be done in front of these two - what's your name?" he asks, taking another nip from the flash before handing it back to Howard.


The Lion of Asgard is confused by the exchange between the one eyed mortal and Thor and then he grins and teases the thunder god some. "You know the only other being I have seen you back down that easily to also only has one eye." He is of course referencing Odin.


"Well, some kind of advance notice would have been nice," Peper tells Tony. And then David approaches to speak with Tony and she gives him that almost shark-like assessing stare. The one that silently demands 'who are you, how did you get this far, and do you plan to do anything untoward that would require me to dirty my shoes kicking your butt?' even as she's reaching into her bag for her tablet.


To Tim's equally cavalier response about Phillip and his blood pressure, Bruce only has a subtle, knowing grin for him. Of course, even when his words are warm, there's still a desolately cold edge that Bruce never really manages to fully shake off, even as Bruce Wayne, a man with nothing at all to worry about. "Ah, well then I won't keep you too long," he responds, running the gauntlet of legalese armed with nothing but a stylus and superior penmanship, before letting Tim meander off.

Bruce doesn't wait too long for him, as he has no doubt that the young man can find him again in the crowd, before Tony finishes his speech with the most tantalizing of challenges for all their companies, the kind of challenge that actually draws Wayne's attention to what's being said as opposed to the finer details. He smirks, briefly, before moving on. It might be time for a little bit of a show of his own... Bruce Wayne turns and quietly begins to make his way towards the backstage areas.

As he does so, the tall man passes pretty close to Jessica Drew, probably only a few feet from bumping shoulders with her. Though it barely slows his stride, something about the woman does tug at his attention, a certain sixth sense that draws one sharp eye to glance over her for a moment. "Excuse me," he says simply, as a form of explanation, before he passes. Then, just like that, he's gone like a ghost into the crowd.


Nodding Lex understands perfectly well. While Magneto has lived in a sea of mutants he has never felt the pressure of a board meeting. They have the means to make contracts go away instantly. Sometimes the same caution needs to be aired. "I have an understanding of what you're saying. " Pausing for a moment Lex extends his hand, "A pleasure Ambassador Magneto." Once the simple shake, the proper European greeting, he hands the man a card. "Do not be a stranger. I do need to cut this short as my son has just arrived." He gives a nod to the mutant leader then turns to leave his spot heading down to where Leo is standing and probably oogling the Ironettes. "Son. I am about to make my leave. Mingle, meet people, and try not to use your name to get into places. Use your wits," and on that note he gives Leo a hug. "Make me proud son," and he starts to leave.


Betsy practically bursts out laughing at Doug's comment, "N-n-no..." She keeps laughing for several moments, unable to speak, until it finally dies to a soft chuckle. She then smiles even more broadly than before. "That wasn't the idea! He's not my date so much as my attendant, really. He came with me as a matter of conveinance. I had business here too."

She then offers a nod to Michael, "Image is important! Image how dull a world we would live in without attrctive media." She then accepts Michael's handshake and nods, briefly, "Yes, I hope so. It would be a pleasure."

...Then she hears Kwabena's voice, and looks in his direction, "Kwabena, it's nice to see you again!"


"Former Special forces, David Earl LeGraize. I admit I am not much of a technology expert, but everything here is quite impressive and your goals are indeed....noble." He says, almost choking the word out. "But I cannot help but notice that despite these advancements, the technology used for animal care, treatment and habitat is still quite incredibly primitive compared to all this. What are your thoughts on this? What advancements will be made concerning non-human lives?" He asks curiously.


"You do realize we can't be as conventional as simply going the medication route. That's treatment. You said cure." Howard lifts a finger and wags it at Tony, then takes the flask back to take a swig. He's trying to hide it, but he does look rather energized by the challenge. He's a proper scientist, after all. He gives David a look when he approaches. Subtly, he looks towards security and gives them a nod so that they pay attention.


Gregor doesn't flinch, meeting Loki's gaze with a tiny smile. When he sees the man's face, hears his voice, really gets a good look at him... the realization dawns visibly as recognition clicks, but he doesn't back down. If anything, he actually just smiles a little more. "It's true there'll always be some bastard who thinks he knows what's best," he agrees. But his head tilts toward Magneto when he says it. It doesn't even need to be /said/ to Loki. "And it's as well to be prepared to defend oneself. Best defense might be a good offense, but you know, opinion's divided there." His expression is calm, polite, faintly smiling, but his eyes are serious. But the whole thing changes when he looks to Rain: he smiles broadly and honestly, eyes crinkling with warm. He raises his glass: "Got my own, thanks. Try it for yourself; not usually a lady's drink. I had a friend once who thought it tasted like window cleaner, but I think gin tastes like floor cleaner. But the best scotch-drinker I knew was a woman. You never know what someone's capable of by looking. Isn't that so?" he finishes, eyes flicking back up to the trickster.


Fern nods as the exhibits are pointed out, and she looks around at the crowd, the music still pumping from the speakers on the stage. "Let's go see one," she suggests, reaching to put her hand on his arm so they won't lose each other. With Warren leading the way, the pair make their way through the people. They can do more catching up with others later, when the excitement dies down a bit.


Leo Luthor is...not wearing his usual expensive casual gear. Rather, he looks like he is showing up for a party than a convention. Fashionably late is an understatement, but he heads through the Stark Expo, seeing the mass gathering of people. Ah, good, he missed the speech! Luckily, he didn't say that out loud.

His blue eyes search intently through the crowd for the figure he knows well, his Father, Lex Luthor.


And Tim's secret is discovered as he passes by the Starks and Ms. Potts backstage. He murmurs a polite, "Excuse me," without giving any undue attention, obviously someone who works around the rich, famous, and genius on a regular basis, and then disappears through a random door.

It's like using the Gotham sewers as a shortut, except about 1000% less smelly and disgusting.

Business at the booth concluded- really, all he had to do was pop in to assure everything is going according to schedule- he merges back into the sea of people as easily as getting on the Gotham Turnpike.

Which is to say, not easily at all, but Tim's faced worse armed with less. And he's absoluely cheating by tapping into the Batnet on his phone for Bruce's current position.

Tim darts by Jessica in pursuit of his mentor, a few polite words here and there as he manuevers through the crowd, and then just like that, he's at Bruce's elbow again, with a botter of water he wordlessly offers the man.

"How unsurprising," is all he says, but Bruce can probably infer that Tim's talking about Tony's challenge.


"Mister Luthor." Magneto returns the handshake and swings his cane up onto his shoulder, turning and heading for the Genoshan booth where a handful of mutants have gathered, curiously eying the multiple exhibits on the new 'Mutant State', advances in X-gene research, and a prototype mass air engine recently produced by Genoshan Manufacturing, Inc- a remarkable improvement in thrust capability over many engines currently for sale.

The Imperator collects a wine glass from a passing waiter and takes up a post a few paces from the exhibit, close enough for visitors to speak with him if they wish, or to simply bask (or quail) in his presence as they take a closer look at Genosha's newest contributions to science.


"One churro, please..." he says, getting one for him and Patrick to share. "Hm... I see." He enjoys being by the churro stand. It's a little respite from being in the tide of people. He is not entirely comfortable with large crowds, and tonight he notices that it is actually worse for him than it was before. Perhaps it was his acute feline hearing that kept getting soundwalled by the masses of people talking at once, or the paranoia that someone was going to step on his tail. Whatever the cause, being by the stand instead in the mimdst of the stream relaxed him a little.

"So, what would you like to see first?" Keith says.


"No problem." Jessica says as Bruce passes her. She blinks, turning back to where Bruce walked off. Like him, there's something that tugs at the back of her mind. Something about Bruce Wayne seems familiar to her, and not because he's been on a magazine cover she might have seen. But then she turns back to Thor a moment. "I'll see you later." she says to the Asgardians, and decides to follow Bruce, trying to figure out just what it is about him that makes her feel like she's somehow met the man before.


Thor nods to Krinn, and moves to follow. His arm never slackens from supporting his fatigued Goddess, and by the look on his face, there's little else that is important right now. Well, and VOlstagg. Thor gives his Warrior a light grin. "Indeed, Volstagg. It has sometimes amused me to imagine Father and the Director staring each other down. The thought is promptly folllowed by a sense desire to not be in the same Realm should they begin glaring hatefully, which then leads to a strong desire to avoid their meeting at all costs." And then Thor sobers, the smile fading to a frown. "If the attacks continues, however, such a meeting may not be long in coming..."


"An attendant?" Shaking his head, Doug casts a baleful look after 'Henry'. "Hey, it's not really their business, but..." Holding his hands up, Doug glances at Booster. "Ahhh, sorry. I just..."

Eyes shifting to Kwabena, Doug's eyes light up, then frowns. "Kwabena! What're you doing here...? Where have you been?"

After a second, Doug notes, "Michael, this is Kwabena Odame. He, uh... worked at the institute I'm currently working at."


Loki takes his scotch and shoots it back before grinning to himself. He makes a quick 'shooing' motion towards his apprentice and the man she is speaking with, to get them to step back a few steps as he chuckles. Uh oh. He's about to do something. Like Besty said, Image is important. Loki takes the scotch glass and throws it down to the floor, loudly yelling a single syllable in ancient norse. Brilliant green lightning bolts cascade from the sky and strike the Trickster, who then vanishes in a puff of acridic smelling smoke. Entrance...nope. Exit, sure. Why not freak the normals out a little.


And Lex actually finds Leo! Course, it's to give him a hug...which actually causes Leo to practically beam with smug pride, and an order, which then causes him to deflate. "Yes Father." And then...of to work! He will only complain about it silently, forced to socialize!


Aforementioned cigarette is tucked promptly behind his ear, and Kwabena's awkward smile warms a bit. It was still damned weird to be encountering this 'new' Betsy, what with the different body, not to mention the different mind. Their usual chumminess simply wouldn't be appropriate. "Hey, de feeling's mutual." His smile glimmers with mirth. "Good to see you ah still doing so well."

Turning back to Doug, there seems to be no shortage of relief upon his shoulders. So, it would seem that word of his recent, shall we say, decisions hasn't yet reflected upon all of the X-Men yet. Reaching out he takes Doug's hand, gripping it for a moment, before breaking out in laughter and pulling the poor sod into a hug. "What else would I be doing heah?" he asks, boisterously. "It's de hottest pahty in New York."

Stepping back, Kwabena looks over toward Michael, nodding his head promptly in greeting. "Nice to meet you," says the Ghanaian earnestly. "So," he says, turning back toward Doug and Elizabeth. "What have you two been up to lately?"


"Nice to meet you, Mr. Odame." Michael offers Kwabena a handshake. "I know Doug from a few interesting incidents, he was just introducing me to his beautiful lady friend, Ms. Braddock." Skeets, Michael's attendant golden robot, hovers a little higher into the air. He seems to be turning and concentrating on watching the vast crowd.


Tousaint spends time looking at the different energy amplifying equipment and eating some snacks. Occasionaly, he looks around for someone he recognizes.


Volstagg watches Thor and sif and they head off then looks around at the various faces in remaining at the expo perhaps feeling a bit lost in the sea of mortals. He then does what comes natural, funnel cake.


Rain pauses, smiling at the two. She keeps the scotch, nodding as she listens. She'll move away as she's 'shoo'd' then. Rain is pretty good at listening to orders and really, when Loki says to scoot, one generally wants to scoot. Once she's out of the way, she'll give the scotch a try. She sort of blinks a moment. "Huh. Not bad." A peer at the cup. Though, she's briefly startled by Loki's bang of an exit. "... he does that," She smiles weakly at Gregor. If anyone senses it, Winter is definitely a witch. Why, you could even cover her in bread.


Justin makes it back to his own pavilion, pausing to speak with the employees that are stationed there. He starts looking everything over for the fifteenth time since it was set up, ordering an intern to straighten up one part of the display that really doesn't need any attention. A few people start filtering in, since the Expo is officially open now, and the CEO busies himself with shaking hands and giving sound bytes to a couple reporters who have stopped in.


"No, it is his business Doug. You wouldn't understand but being in this business can be a bit, well..." She affords Michael a glance. And then back at Doug, admitting, "...taxing." And she smiles at the 'beatiful lady friend', giving Michael a playful grin before regarding Kwabena again. "I appreciate it. I am doing about as well as I can be." And, at the question of what the two of them have been up to lately, she gives Doug another glance, "...getting friendly." She chuckles softly.


Patrick hmms as he slips into a place he can stand with his back to something and watch the crowds flow around him while eating the churro with Keith. "Not sure yet, I want to see everything. There are a few booths on micro electronics that I am rather interested in, just to compare."


The grand exit elicits another snort from Gregor, but he's still smiling crookedly despite it. "Flashy," he says. "If he ever starts snarling about anyone /else/ being overdramatic, just you remember that he wasted perfectly good scotch in zapping his way out of a party." He winks at Rain and gives her another smile. "Far as I remember, he's not the sort to take apprentices. Or even make friends. Did he pick you? Or did you pick him? And I'm being really rude; I'm Greg." He extends a hand to shake Rain's.


Keith nods, "Hmm, we can stop by the Hammer booth which is over there, then the Wayne one, and we could slip a little bit further down this side, go around and do the other." the cat gestures with his head. "... I do like the six months expo that Stark launched as an idea. Like the old world fairs of yore... now that would be a sight to see, wouldn't it? We live in interesting times."


Regarding Kwame, Doug doesn't quite know what to make of it. Still, it -was- a party, and whatever questions the young man had could wait until later... something that's conveyed with the look that he shares with the Ghanian.

"Oh... uh, visited a dimension out of the 80s with Michael here, getting things ready for an expedition, and..." Flushing a bit at Betsy's comment, Doug shrugs sheepishly. "What she said."


Pepper Potts's eyes flick toward Tim and makes a note of the young man's presence as he slips past on his way elsewhere -- he's not dressed like the rest of the backstage staff and the only reason she noted his presence -- and then her attention returns to David even as her phone (with help from JARVIS) is pulling up all the data quickly found about the man. David Earl LeGraize. Wanted by the US military for murder, desertion, and some other things that make her eyebrows quirk. Last known location: Africa. She passes her phone to Howard so he can read this data as well and to see what else he can glean about the man.


Jessica is still silently following Bruce. Her ninja training coming in very handy here, able to follow him without looking like he's following him. Along the way, she spots Tim trailing in Bruce's wake as well, and that draws a curious eye his way briefly.


Tony Stark nods to Howard, "Well, I wouldn't have done this if I didn't have a plan." he smiles brightly to Howard, "Trust me." he says, reaching out and patting the younger man's shoulder. Then he nods to David and extends a hand, "Pleasure to meet you, Mr. LeGraize." he says, "I'm not sure I understand the angle of your question but if you're asking if there will be animal testing for this cancer cure, I can assure that there won't be. Technology, specifically my technology anyway, has come to the point where computer simulations and virtual environments are far easier to work with and don't endanger a live test subject, human or animal."


Rain looks amused. "He did drink some of it, at least," She offers. "And I tend not to correct him," She admits. "Unless it's something major," She looks thoughtful. She smiles at Gregor's wink. "He was sort of impressed by something I did once," She's doing her best not to out herself too much, though from her tone, it was a magical feat. "One of my spells, anyway." Oh what the heck, it's so loud and no one pays attention. She carefully accepts the hand. "Not at all rude, it's a very unusual arrangement," Rain has the gift of perspective. Most days. "I am Winter, though I prefer to go by Rain, if that's okay. Rain's my day to day name because my real one is -" Pause. Well. "... awful." Yes. "It is a pleasure to meet you, Greg. I came to check out some of the booths, but this was unexpected."


Patrick laughs and nods. "You know that was meant more as a curse than a blessing right?" He asks of the comment about living in interesting times. "It will feel less of a...crowded mad house when they do one that is 6 months as opposed to just a few weeks."


Normally, Kwabena Odame possesses an awfully convincing poker face. That being said, his tell goes flying. Reaching up, he scratches the back of his head for a moment, looking between Betsy and Doug with a touch of awkwardness in his eyes. The cigarette falls from his ear, which is a perfect distraction.

It's snatched out of the air by quick reflexes, and promptly replaced.

Doug's look is noted, and he provides the subtlest of nods. Sure, he'll talk later. "Well," he says, doing his best to just sort of ignore that little revelation. "I was just about to have a smoke." Beat. "No jokes." Another beat. "I've been trying to cut back, but with a crowd like dis, it's enough to set even a cool Ghanaian on edge."

Meanwhile, an info booth springs to life as Jessica moves past. "Jessica Drew," says a voice. "You have a Stark Connect message!" So, the technology does work! Sadly, it might not be the -best- time for the sleuthful girl to respond to such advanced, and perhaps frivolous technology.

"I hope things at the Institute are well," says Kwabena, moving for a change of subject.


Leo is looking about, examining a few things from a distance before he finally selects a location. The man that was speaking with his Father earlier is selected, attending Magneto's booth. Leo studies some of the X-Gene data and information, but he appears more interested in the engine system displayed. Alright, maybe he cheated and used some X-Ray vision, maybe just a little. "Efficient," he says, almost absently as he studies it openly, thumbs hooked into his front jean pockets; iffy is Magneto heard him over the general noise level however.


"I'd love that, really. More time to see everything!" His ears remained almost flat against his head... and then he looks towards the stage area. And there she is, in the distance. Miss Pepper Potts. "Heey, before we go that way, let me introduce you to Miss Potts, she's absolutely lovely." The cat leads Patrick, churro in hand, giving a little wave in the general direction of Pepper as they start moving that way. Of course, he meets with the security border "Oh... right, hah!" he says, laughing a little as if he had forgotten where he was and what was going on.

After participating in some of hands on demonstrations, and asking more than enough questions in the exhibits dealing with energy enhancement, Tousaint decides to mingle with the crowd for a bit.


She's glowing and she doesn't care who sees - Dazzler has finally, finally, disentangled herself from an endless parade of press. And Slash. Though she hasn't found time for an outfit change - at least not yet. Still in her hybrid-ish ironette outfit, Ali sneaks backstage to find Tony Stark and basically springs a hug on him.

"This is the best night ever! Ever!" Ali tells him excitedly. "Thank you so much!"


"Winter? Winter's necessary," Gregor replies, his broad brow wrinkling. "Winter gives the world a bit of a rest before spring starts. And everything that dies in winter feeds the explosion of green in spring. It gives us a contrast, and makes us really appreciate the warmth when we get it. Rain, though; I can see why you chose that." He doesn't seem horrified or displeased by the idea of her being a witch; indeed, he seems pleased if unsurprised. "We're all of us a little unusual," he says. "Life's a lot better when you embrace it. Own it. And take what everyone says with a grain of salt--including me. I'm just a grumpy old bastard." His eyes crinkle again in another smile. "Lucky you've caught me in a good mood."


David takes the man's hand and shakes it firmly. "What I am asking, Mr. Stark, is why aren't you making animal lives easier and more comfortable as well? There are many many things which exists available to humanity but animals in captivity are still quite treated like they were back when the processes were developed, as well as methods which could help police and law enforcement track down abusers as well as other people who make a profit on the suffering of animals. Quite simply I can see the use of a lot of your technology used to aid animals anywhere, and that's not including the potential medical development. Recently in Africa smuggling and poaching ring was stopped, and it wasn't even because of technology, or even vigilance of the forces over there."


Magneto's expression is not distracted- it's /focused/. It seems very likely there's precious little about the Expo that he's /not/ noticing. Baby blue eyes lock onto Leo with laser like focus, narrowing minutely. "Lex Luthor's son," he declares, after a moment. He examines Leo much, much more closely for a long moment, considering, then smiles beatifically at the boy. "Twelve percent more efficient than our closest competitor," Magneto clarifies, gesturing at the compact engine prototype. "We've made a breakthrough in our magnetic engineering that allows us to take a standard induction coil and gain nearly thirty percent more power per pound of fuel. Granted, we lose a bit going to a more outmoded design- but," he says, gesturing again, "the end result is a net gain."


Jessica is a bit surprised to recieve a PA call, but files it away for now. She'll check the phone demos later. She's more intent on sating her curiosity. Why does Bruce seem familiar to her? She'd have remembered meeting him before. Or at least she'd like to think she would. He's pretty hard to forget. Or so one would think. She weaves around the writhing masses of people, keeping her eyes on her target.


Howard has a look at Pepper's phone, frowns, and then passes it on to Tony. "I'm afraid there's no rest for the wicked. I've got to go and check on the status of my own contribution to the Expo. Tony," He pats his son on the arm, in a way that's a bit warmer than his usual clasp. He looks Tony in the eye and says, "Maybe a couple of dancing girls next time, huh? Dancing suits don't have the same appeal." And then he's winking, and moving off towards the exhibits. He pauses a moment to have a word with security who start to move in a bit closer.


Tony Stark hugs Ali when she springs on him, "I'm glad I could help. I'm really glad you could be part of this." he slips an arm around Ali, comfortably and looks to Howard and Pepper before looking back to David. "You raise a very good point." he thinks a moment, "This is the exact reason why we have the expo - to bring to light things like that which might get the attention slower, or less fully than it has or usually does." he looks to Howard again and grins, "Been there done that. I'll see ya around old man." he says warmly, enjoying the exchange, before focusing back on David, "Would you be willing to a meeting during the Expo where we could discuss this and perhaps put an initiative into motion?" - it's not a blow off question. Tony has been quick to emphasize Genius, Billionaire, and Playboy - now he's out to accent Philanthropist. "I could see bringing you on board to spearhead such a thing. You're certainly the first to approach me with a problem that I haven't turned my attention towards yet, and that's rare."


"And you didn't even make a Winter is coming joke," Rain beams at Gregor. She likes this guy already! Winter smiles. "Well, thanks. I appreciate it." She is probably careful with her real name due to that whole sympathetic magic business. Icky stuff, that. "... that's very kind of you to say." She seems surprised, and flattered. Most people think of terrible Stark jokes (no, no, not those Starks) or freaking snow or angry Canadians. She seems quietly amused. "I will count my blessings today, then." Really, she's glad. "And it's alright. I understand well enough. I just don't have a very competitive personality," Whereas, Loki... y'know. She shrugs. She seems happy for now. "... um, was there - something here you wanted to see? I feel a bit bad keeping you."


A hint of a smirk, as Leo tilts his head to look sidelong at Magneto. "Leo," the young man supplies with youthful confidence. He then asks, "Why did you decide on the outmoded design?" He makes a mental note to look up magnetic engineering in more detail.


Michael gives Betsy another smile, and Doug gets another pat on the back, although not -too- hard. He seems a little distracted, although he grins at Kwabena, saying, "It's cool though, isn't it? All this." He gestures vaguely, indicating the Expo at large. It is small talk, because a lot of his attention is on his HUD, which shifts and scrolls depending on what he is looking at or what kind of data Skeets is giving him. He's just a little on edge; people like to do unhappy, wacky things at big events like this. It makes it difficult to relax.


To be honest, it takes only moments for Bruce Wayne to get backstage--credentials are not hard for the richest man in Gotham to come by, and all possible excuses are made in advantage for members of his entourage (of which Tim Drake is explicitly named, if anyone cared to check) so it shouldn't be much of a surprise at all when instead of the uniforms of security get a little bit closer to the gathering of David, Howard and Potts that it's instead the tall, dark form of Bruce Wayne that slinks up to the gathering, absently shaking hands with and distracting one of the guards through two parts misdirection and one part piercing blue-eyed gaze. "Ah, excuse me, a pleasure to meet you. Here to see Mister Stark--Tony, Stark, that is."

He doesn't have a problem inserting himself into the conversation quickly. "There's not much space to be had between philanthropy and flair for a person like this," Wayne comments towards David as he comes a little closer.

As for Jessica--well, if she manages to track him this far, it might not be clear that he notices her, but there is still a nagging sensation that she's being at least, for the moment, watched, no matter how distracted Bruce seems to be. There is a certain 'realm of attentiveness' about the man, where details don't seem to really pass underneath his attention easily.


Betsy blinks twice as a curious expression takes hold of her features. She was visibly surprised by Kwabena's reaction to their little revelation. It struck her as curious that didn't seem happy to hear it, but she doesn't say anything about it openly at this point. "I do hope you can kick he Kwabena. Killing yourself with tobacco is no good." There's a touch of genuine concern to be found, somewhere in her tone. "They are well, I think though I have not been around much myself. You missed one of Bobby's interesting parties."

She then gives Michael another look, smiling again, "It certainly is. Though, it's events like this that can drain you rather quickly if you aren't careful."


"The basic flaw in the inline design was the loss due to magnetic friction," Magneto explains, gesturing at a cutaway. The eager scientist supplants the towering dictator, for a moment, and Magneto's entire body language changes at his chance to explain the new engine to Leo. "Hence the transition to compression jet technology, and then, magnetic hoverinversion. By going to an older design and improving the materials and manufacturing, we can produce an engine that requires less fuel and simpler power sources- an ideal product for developing countries that are richer in petrochemical reserves than, say, arc energy reactors."

The explanation goes on for a few minutes, just shy of being boring. Without resorting to an excess of technobabble, in short order, Magneto manages to give an explanation for the engine design that a teenager would understand, and be able to repeat coherently if asked later. Apparently, being a tyrannical dictator lends itself to being an instructor of minds.


Patrick is lead along by Keith smiling till they run into the security and shrugs a little at him. After a second his attention seems to go elsewhere and he gives a little shake of the head. There is a moment or three of him concentrating on something but apparently nothing happening other than the lights playing across his glasses before he sighs. "Keith, I am sorry to have to cut the date short but...there is something I have to take care of. Go ahead, keep checking out the Expo, I will be back as soon as I can but...it is something I have to run and do." He waits a second to make sure that Keith understands it is most likely a job for his other identity, and one he has some reason to want to keep the more public or at least more noticeable Vorpal out of.


"I would be willing however I have...legal trouble with the United States Military. Quite frankly Mr. Stark, I honestly wasnt going to approach you, but I figured before any action is taken, a peaceful solution /should/ be approached. If you will sincerely look into this however, I will be willing to listen." He says calmly. When Bruce Wayne comes, he turns to the man. "It is easy to talk but action is needed, not talk."


Volstagg finishes his second funnel cake and starts to browse the strange and wonderous exhibits. He is being careful not to touch anything though. He makes a quick tour of the room.


Keith blinks, quickly catching on to what Patrick is hinting at. "Of course, hon, you have to do what you have to do. Do you want me to come along with you?" he asks. Asking if he needs backup.


"Not really," Gregor replies. "'S my day off. Sort of. I mean, I only work as much as I want, and I'm not doing it today. Word to the wise: throwing a ball of fire's all very good and that, but nothing quite beats kicking someone in an uncomfortable place. But I don't want to be keeping you," he adds, taking a quick sip of his drink. "There's lots for you to see. I've seen about as much high-tech military ordnance as I've ever wanted to, and unless I want to poke the next biggest lion in the room -- and that'd be the Imperator or whatever he's calling himself over there -- I'm really just mingling."


Pepper Potts claims her phone back from Howard when Tony ignores it in favor of giving Alison a hug, then glances over when movement out of the corner of her eye distracts her for a moment. She waves a distracted hello back to Keith and Patrick then this time all but shoves her phone in to Tony's hand even though she knows he dislikes that kind of treatment immensely. "The news is already rolling in," she tells him in hopes that that'll get him to look at the phone and the screenful of really not very promising data about this David person. Of course, then Bruce Wayne steps in to make things even MORE distracting, and gives David time to admit to what her phone is displaying.


Hammer remains at his pavilion, grinning broadly again as he shows off the exhibits he has on display to the throng of people that has gathered there. Along with a host of military and defense items, there's also a large section dedicated to something called the 'Safe at Home Initiative' that seems to be getting quite a bit of attention. It's unusual that Hammer Industries flaunts any of it's civilian advancements.


Tousaint pauses to listen in on the conversation that Magneto and Leo Luther. Tousaint listens to his explanation, and interrupts the duo, "Have you done any research on using magnetic engineering to increase the output of subatomic energies?"


The security is an issue, so Jessica opts to avoid them by trying to remain unobtrusive as possible, sliding between people and, in general acting like she's not out of place in the hopes that nobody will notice that she IS out of place so that she can get to a spot where she can watch Bruce a bit more easily. She can feel that he seems to notice her presence, but that's an issue to worry about if it -becomes- an issue. For the moment, she's staying in the shadows. Such as they are in this place. A tactic Bruce might well appreciate.


Alison Blaire sort of just hangs there for a moment on Tony's arm, still full on concert-high and sparkling like she just doesn't give a damn. Because she doesn't. Listening to the various bits of business going on around her -- oh look, it's Bruce Wayne! Leaning in on Tony a bit, she gives a bit of a nudge, "Looks like you're in high demand tonight, Tony."


Tony Stark reaches out to shake Bruce's hand, "Bruce Wayne, nice of you to make it out to my little soiree. It's not often that we get to see much of each other." there's a wink there, a knowing wink and Tony reaches out to take the phone from Pepper and glance down at it, looking to Alison briefly, "Well, there is always plenty of me to go around..and that includes for you, too." he smiles, looking again at the phone, as he gives Dazzler a squeeze.


Tilting his head at Shift, Doug doesn't quite know what to make of Kwabena's reaction. He hadn't been terribly acquainted with Betsy before her return, as he'd been in SHIELD at the time, but he had remembered Kwa's reaction to Betsy when they'd been together for the first time. "Uh... yeah, cutting back would be a good idea," he says awkwardly, going with the change of subject.

More relieved when Booster interjects his thoughts, the young man smiles. "It is. You mentioned Skeets was recording this...? I'd like to see what he's caught while we were busy. Skeets is Booster's robotic friend, by the way... where is he now?"


"Sure is," says Kwabena to Michael. "I undahstand dere are people who have a thing for dis," he notes, motioning about. "Take vacation days and all, just to be at de Stark Expo. As for me? I think the opening night is enough."

Noticing the surprise on Betsy's face, along with the tilt of Doug's head, Kwabena is forced to quietly chide himself and force that poker face back onto his face. "Well, I've put fah worse behind me," answers the accented Ghanaian without missing a beat. "For now, I'll let dose battles rest for anodah day." Indeed, sucking on a cancer stick wasn't nearly as bad as, say, putting a needle in one's arm. He visibly winces, however, when hearing that he missed one of Bobby's parties. "Damn," he curses. "I always did love his pahties."


Once again at Bruce's side and in Mr. Stark and Ms. Potts' presence, Tim lifts his head long enough to offer both a brief, pleasant nod of greeting before he becomes once more absorbed in his tablet. Or looks like he is, at least. His earpiece is tied in to the WayneTech booth employees' radios, so he can monitor their activity as he runs things remotely.

He's a paid intern, don't worry.

He's got all of Wayne Biotech's cancer research info pulled up on his tablet, angled in such a way that Bruce can reference it if he needs it. Not that the Bruce he knows would have to, but, appearances.

In the background, the Batnet, disguised as a simple word processor, is running background checks on every face Tim's managed to snap a picture of in the general backstage area. Which is a lot of people. Tim is very good at stealth photography.


"I admit, I'm not really here to mingle," Michael says, to Betsy. "Although I've gotten a chance to do a little of that. My regularly paying gig is my internship with Stark Enterprises." At Doug's question, he points upwards, then beckons. The little robot flies down to hover closer to his boss. "Sure, Doug. What type of holo-player do you have? I can get the data to you in a format you can use." He seems pretty certain that -everyone- must have access to holo-players.


Patrick shakes his head as Keith asks if he needs backup in his way. "No, I am good. You stay, enjoy yourself. Maybe find Booster and say Hi for me."


And Leo appears to grasp the meaning quickly. "Essentially, opening new markets and as they say 'spreading the wealth'. Don't tell Father, but I actually like it," and a quiet chuckle comes from him. "It's inventive, efficient, and has the potential to be financially sound. The potential social effects it could also have if properly utilized would also be interesting to see become a success."


Keith nods. "Alright... be careful, ok? We'll pick up later with sushi and a movie. Love ya." He smiles, though he is a little disappointed that Patrick will have to duck out. The purple cat feels very ill at ease in such a crowded area, the noise hitting him like a wave. "Now go, don't be late."


"I see," Winter considers that as she listens. "I just figured I'd see some of the tech. I have - well, did a lot of engineering stuff until-" Until she freaking sprouted powers and Hell Boar, Inc doesn't care for your CVs. She shakes her head. "Til I found out that 9-5 really isn't going to work for me anymore," She smiles faintly. She looks amused. "I'm bad at kicking things, so I'll trust you." She offers. "You're hardly keeping me. I thought I'd see some of the booths," She admits. "And mingling is fine. The expo goes on more than a day," Rain shrugs. "It won't kill me to be a little social I guess." She nods. She genuinely seems fine with staying or going to a booth.


The benevolent scientist is replaced by the shrewd tactician, and Magneto eyes Leo appraisingly. "That was quick," he compliments the boy. "Most would not look much past the basic application and sale of the engine. Fewer still would actually investigate the long-term ramifications of such an invention. You're rather clever, aren't you?" he asks the man, facing him and studying him intently. "I admire cleverness. Someone who leaps to conclusions intelligently, rather than being led to them by the nose, is a rare gift."


Patrick nods at Keith running a hand over his cheek a little before disappearing into the crowd. Once he can find some place that no one is looking and no cameras he disappears in a literal sense becoming invisible and then finding a quick exit out of the area.


After seeing the sights to be seen at he Expo, Volstagg decided ot track down where Sif and Thor wnet to he exits the hall. With a smile on his face. He has seen many wonder this day.


"Of course," Wayne counters the eco-concerned citizen easily, as if he did this all the time. There is a glint--the faintest glint--of recognition in his eyes as he moves to try and shake David's hand first. "People seldom last in business by sitting on their laurels," Wayne explains simply. "The only time a problem is a problem is when people don't work together to solve it. Forgive me, my name precedes me. Bruce Wayne, Wayne Enterprises. It's a pleasure to meet you. Oh, and speaking of laurels--"

Consummately smooth, Wayne segues his attention to Tony. "Interesting challenge you put out there on the stage," he says, returning the handshake firmly, his eyes reflecting very little in comparison to Stark's own charming demeanor. There is a shadow of darkness about him, and the only meaning he shows for that first few moments is the glance he gives to David. "Kind of like the company you like to keep."

The meaning would have a lot of relevance for Tony--and everyone else gathered, if Wayne didn't follow it up with an appreciative glance at Alison and Pepper at either side of Mr. Stark. "I'm sure that the lights have gone out everywhere else in the Expo with the radiance you're keeping cooped up back here, Stark. I can't help but feel a little jealous."

Speaking of ladies.

He seems to be being watched. "Still, Wayne Pharma and Biotech's divisions are working quite a bit on the fight against cancer already. I'd love to put your people in touch with mine--thank you, Tim--" he says quietly, taking the tablet from Tim and making a few business-related notes in the margin before handing it back. "When would you like to meet up?" he asks--Potts, actually.

She's the one in charge of Tony's schedule, if he remembers right.


Keith stands with his back to the security cord and watched Patrick leave. For a moment he is really tempted to see what is up... but he trusts his partner. And besides, of the two of them, Keith was always the one most likely to come back injured.

"Well... what now?" he asks himself. Then it dawns on him... Patrick took the rest of the churro!


Pepper Potts is loathe to step away from this little gathering because there are all kinds of 'DANGER WILL ROBINSON!' warning bells going off in her head right now. Alison's presence isn't part of it, but she doesn't really know how much help the pop singer would be if things started to get ugly. And of course, then Bruce Wayne starts introducing himself and she /can't/ escape. She offers the man a smile and nods, reaching to pull her own tablet from her bag. There's something ... creepy about him. Predatory? Something.


"Do you think he works nine to five?" Gregor nods in the direction of... well, of Tony's stage, since Tony's not on it anymore. "But magic and technology; not friends, from what I recall. Tends to get all tangly." He's about to say more, but the phone -- no, possibly not a phone as he pulls it out; it's a little odd to be a phone -- starts trilling at him. He grimaces: "Sod. I'm sorry, Rain; I have to be off. Catch you around though, yeah? Only seven million people in this city; still..." And as he backs off he gives her a wave and another of those big grins, friendly but worried as he looks back to that odd device. He manages to get behind a display before he disappears in a flash of light.


Jessica keeps an eye on Bruce for a bit. When he takes teh tablet only to hand it back, her eyes narrow. He knows she's there. She can practically sense it. For now, it may be better to withdraw. She slowly makes her way back the way she came. If Bruce, or his assistant-- Tim, she thinks she heard to be his name-- wants to find out more about her, they'll have to come to her, rather than the other way around. For now, she slips back into the expo proper, and heads to a random booth.


"It was quite the blast." She replies to Kwabena, and chuckles, "...I was a little surprised by the snow though. Not too comfortable in swimwear." She rolls her eyes upwards a bit, before turning to Doug and Michael, "...Well, gentlemen, I have to depart for a bit. I have an appointment. It has been a pleasure." And she avoids kissing Doug's cheek for the time being, for want of not bothering Kwabena again. Instead, she simply offers him an, "I'll see you later." And turns to depart.


"David LeGraize." David says to Mr. Wayne and he shakes the man's hand. "And No. Businessmen dont last when they sit on their laurels, but the methods I am suggesting tends to put a rather drain on resources, it is simply not profitable nor as glorious as say saving people. However, I am trying to give people the chance to prevent the incidents that is to come if the current path of humanity is not changed, more then what was given by humanity to the animal kingdom." He says calmly to Mr. Wayne before turning to Mr. Stark. "Mr. Stark you said you want me to arrange a meeting sometime during the Expo concerning my thoughts? If your sincere then I will hold off on anything rash till after the meeting. I thank you for your time, gentlemen." He says calmly, nodding his head.


A light snort comes from Leo, "Sometimes when you say something Mangeto, I'm not sure if it is a compliment or insult." Obviously, it's the way Magneto says it, with that sheer level of arrogance that is just so...him. Rather than appear insulted, Leo actually appears vaguely amused. "I'm a Luthor in either case, and I am quite aware of the weight of my responsibility to my Father and to society." But then a grin starts to spread across his face, "Though of course I'm aiming for the next level. Why merely fulfill a role, when you have the potential to change the world for the better?"

Leo then nods at the engine before him, "Things like this can only be a beginning if properly utilized. Even curing cancer will mean nothing, if it not properly wielded. There needs to be an affordable and efficient cure, and if this is obtained and properly released, the head of it would be considered more a hero than the entire Avengers combined; and then sadly forgotten, if not tended to." Perhaps the undertones will be caught, perhaps not...maybe Leo will only sound like an arrogant youth, and the suggestions of what he truly means will be missed.


Tony Stark glances at the phone, looks up and gives Pepper a brief, momentary nod. It's curt and no nonsense. "Let One Eye know we'll talk about that." he looks back to Bruce and David, nodding to David first and then to Bruce, "I understand exactly what you're saying, and I'd love to have a meeting with you and perhaps get the ball rolling. I know we've all been working on the problem for quite sometime but maybe if we work on it collaboratively we can finally get the traction we need to beat it."


Ali has to remind herself internally to play nice, but being schmoozed on by two billionaire playboy philanthropists was /not/ something she'd planned as a dear diary moment. "As charming as the rumors, how nice to not be disappointed." Dazzler's brows incline briefly, but she snags a drink from a wandering tray and casts her eyes out boredly. Soooo much delicious sound available, and so many people who seem lost in it... nobody will miss it if she bleeds off some of the worst of it here and there, will they? Conversations shouldn't be affected, except in the sense that they might be heard better. For her hidden efforts, Ali just seems to glow and sparkle all the more merrily for it.


Rain pauses and looks over. "That's true." She pauses. Then there's a faint smile. "Sure thing, be well. And totally. I hope to see you around," She waves to him. She doesn't seem to mind that he has to go. She looks quietly concerned and doesn't protest. Now, then. Maybe - hmm, which booth looks a little less crowded.


Did Kwabena just accidentally cock-block Doug? That was not the goal!

Oh well. Shift happens.


Tony Stark looks to David, "I'm very sincere. If you'd coordinate with Miss Potts here, she handles my schedule, and we'll find a window to get together and discuss this." he says, "I certainly hope you won't to resort to anything rash in the meantime. That could be.." he looks to Wayne, then Potts, then Alison, back to David, "Unfortunately." - there's a flat tone with some subtext to the word that even Bruce might appreciate.


Pepper Potts nods to Tony and takes her phone back, then with a few quick taps has a schedule planner on her tablet screen. "What days and times are best for you both?" To her credit, despite her internal freak-out, she still looks and sounds completely calm and composed. And yes, she is addressing David and Bruce Wayne equally here. No preferential treatment for billionaires OR people threatening rash action.


"I'll probably be checking out the rest of the exhibits for the week, if I can," Doug replies. "There's a lot of things Kitty and I could work with, maybe..."

That Booster brings up holo-players draws a strange look from Doug, but since he -had- been working on such a thing as a project with Kitty and Harper... well... "Uh, I'm not sure what format. I'll get you the specs later," he comments, before turning to Betsy as she announces her departure. Pausing as she leaves, Doug nods briefly, a quick glance at Kwabena. "I'll see you later, Betsy," he says, just leaving his azure eyes to communicate what they weren't saying.


Magneto inclines his head to Tousaint, distracted by Leo's words for a moment. "Your pardon, young man," the Imperator says, all polite courtesy. "As a matter of fact, I have several teams working on subatomic monopoles right now." Hardly an uncommon research goal, if a lofty one. "I think we might be quite close to a breakthrough, as a matter of fact." He smiles minutely at Tousaint. "I daresay- with no braggadocio intended- that I am the world's foremost authority on magnetic particle physics. I think you can expect something from Genosha in the next... six months?"

Magneto turns back to Leo, not excluding Tousaint from the conversation. He carries on in a grand manner, the ultimate host and entertainer and lecturer, all in one. He inclines his head to Leo in acknowledgement of the point, which is not missed upon him. "Skill and will, my young friend, skill and will. Archimedes could move the planet, if given a fulcrum and a place to stand. I share his sentiment. The ability to act is, in of itself, nothing. The /will/ to act, then, is everything- but like the storm, raging in the night, sound and fury, signifying nothing. Will and skill, will and skill," he murmurs. "The lever and the fulcrum to move a world."


Kwabena quietly tucks the cigarette back into its pack. Perhaps this was not the night to go smoking a square, especially after he quietly notes that he just made an arse of himself.

He does, at least, afford an apologetic look toward Doug.

"Well, dere are some few more connections I should make before finding a quiet bar and drinking off dis social nightmare," he quips. "You folks take care of yourselves."

Excusing himself, he decidedly begins making his way toward the area represented by the Genoshan Embassy. He'd noticed Magneto before, and there's no way he's not going to make some face time with the Imperator.


"For the moment the only thing I have done is ascertain a means to negotiate. Nothing rash." David says to Mr. Stark. "But I do want to point out, regardless of the meeting, certain things will not be ignored no more." He says calmly as he bows his head. "Now if you will excuse me, I do not wish to keep up your time."


"No problem, dude," Michael assures Doug. "It was great to meet you, Ms. Braddock. Maybe our Agents can talk or something! Good to meet you too," he adds, to Kwabena." After Betsy turns away to go, he leans over and very quietly says to Doug, "Dang, dude. Just, dang. You are a lucky dog."


The tablet is passed back and Tim nods in the appropriate places. "Of course, Mr. Wayne," he says, and then turns his head to the side. His hand raises to his earpiece and he murmurs, "Pull Williams from the maglev demo, I want him in charge of monitoring the generators," and while it is a perfectly respectable thing for him to do, bossing around the booth crew, it also gives Tim a chance to check his peripheral vision and, yes, they are definitely being followed. Or, rather, Bruce is.

She's gone when he casually checks again, and that's one less thing to worry about, because now Tim's tilting his tablet again. Batnet facial recognition search results.

"If I push back your 4 o'clock and reschedule the quarterly financial meeting to next week, you have an opening this Wednesday," he says. To both Bruce and Pepper, because Tim's in the know here, too.


Tony Stark nods, "I understand.." and then waits for David to start away before adding, "ANY more, by the way." giving on a brief pause, "Certain things will not be ignored /any/ more. If you're going to make threats, at least have the decency to be gramatically correct."


Keith looks around for a bit, and then he realizes that the discomfort that the crowds are causing him can be fixed easily, just by focusing.

He focuses for a second. All he needed to do was just focus a little, and weave a sonic illusion around him to dampen the noise. That should work, he thinks...

Now, if he could just focus properly with the constant assault on his ears....

Yes... that's the ticket, stop the sound, stop the sou--

Suddenly, and to Keith's immediate mortification, three women in rather glorious doo-wop fashion appear around him and start singing, like some sort of Greek Chorus:


~You can't stop the beat! Ever since we first saw the light
A man and woman liked to shake it
On a saturday night---~


"...shaddupshaddupSHADDUP!" just what he needed, a backfiring illusion. With a frantic wave of his hand he finally manages to dispel the three women as they're launching into the bit about shaking and shimmying. And then he just looks positively mortified, looking around to make sure that wasn't witnessed.

Darnit.


Pepper Potts tilts her head a bit in what Tony would know is her falsely innocent expression. "You don't want to schedule a meeting, Mr. LeGraize?" She's got her tablet with a scheduler on it open and ready. Then she winces as Tony corrects the guy's grammar. Please, just keep walking away. And then Pepper abruptly startles and turns to look at Keith and the now disappearing trio before she blinks and turns back to Tim. "Oh, right. Wednesday..."


David stops. "Threats?" David asks as he turns to look to the man. "I have been in the military all my life Mr. Stark. While bluffing is a good strategy at times, I dont bother with it. In that matter, I dont make threats." He says as he begins to approach Pepper now. "When will be a good time?" He asks as he regards her seriously. The way he looks to her though, it is almost as if he is considering an enemy.


Well, Rain remembers Sue and - wait. Hmm. Bet they have a booth here! Rain finishes her funnel cake and drink, eyes watering a bit. She politely disposes of the trash and moves towards Reeds' booth. Why not? She remembers liking them. Granted, an electrical engineering witch is probably something like the circuit fairy. Why!? Either way, at least she's heading that way. She passes a male model, escorting some rich lady. She blinks, smiles politely and scampers past. Was that Fabio? Can he still believe it's not butter? Whatever. At least Reeds' booth is being witchified.


A slim man dressed in a blue hooded sweatshirt, hood up and hands in the pocket pouch, wanders the expo aimlessly examining each booth. Only stopping long enough to read the materials and examine each of the Expo's contributions. He drowns out the sounds of the crowd the only way he knows how: With the Best of Def Leppard compilation playing on a custom designed music player. As he moves about the man hums, and even sings softly, along as each song comes and goes on the play list. Stopping long enough to say something like. "Hmm very intriguing concept." to himself before moving onto the next booth.


"I look forward to it then, well...as long as it isn't used to blow up a country." Leo then nods at Magneto's latter words, "And let us not forget the wisdom." The young man then glances over toward the crowd about Tony Stark, specifically David, and frowns slightly. But he then shakes his head as if to shake a thought from his head, and turns his attention back to Magneto's table, before there is a twitch of his lips of amusement. Leo is working to focus on what is around him, rather than a distance away. To do this, he acts, pulling out a business card from a back pocket and holding it out toward Magneto. "I am curious about some of your business proposals if you are willing to indulge me. Please consider." Leo did nod slightly toward Tousaint during his slight 'distraction', but has done nothing further to draw the other man's attention to him at this time.


Justin finally manages to pry himself away from his exhibit. Most of his overconfident, cocky attitude has returned after having several reporters gush over some of his displays. The 'Safe at Home Initiative' seems to be going over well. Blending back into the crowd, Hammer meets with a few high profile people, shaking hands and talking lightly. The sounds of a chorus catch his ears, and the CEO steps away from his short conversation with an older gentleman. He spots Keith a short distance away, and starts toward the Cheshire. "Trying to outdo Tony Stark on the entertainment front?" he asks when he's close enough to greet the feline man without shouting.


Keith hides his face in his hands as Justin appears. "Oh god, you saw that, didn't you.... how embarrassing." This was twice now that he had done that around Justin.


"In six months, that is truly impressive." Tousaint nods his head and says, "I might have to travel to Genosha to see that." Tousaint says, "I didn't think that was possible."


As it so happens, the booth Jessica has found herself at places her right next to the odd guy listening to Def Leppard.

"You think so?" she asks. "I'm not exactly the most tech minded girl, but I gotta admit, some of this stuff looks like it could be good."


Pepper Potts tilts her tablet so David can see it as well, the calendar on the screen showing zero useful data, just a few colored areas indicating where Tony's schedule has room for a meeting or two. She glances at Tim to see if he wants to check the calendar as well.


"I hope that's all the rumors say about me."

Bruce Wayne, for all intents and purposes, seems to be paying more attention to Alison and Potts than the moody environmentalist at his flank. He seems to be completely comfortable in the situation, even as the word 'rash' is bandied about like a sharpened sword. He especially lingers on Alison for a moment as she seems to sparkle. It's sort of hard to wrap one's mind around to think on it--the playboy seems calm and cool, at ease in the dark. The type to look out into a twenty story drop and smile. Still, the man's brusque nature seems to set Bruce off a little. "Ah, a little too gloomy for my tastes, Mr. LeGraize," Wayne reflects. If David doesn't run off too quickly "I prefer to think of it as the dawn of mankind's best hour. You'd be amazed at what people can do when they set their minds to it." He doesn't share the same 'work together' ethic that Tony expounds, but he does crack a dark smile when Tony uses the word 'unfortunate.'

"I'm sure that we can make it work out," Bruce explains to Tim calmly, as if the particulars simply didn't interest him. "The stuffed shirts at Santotech can wait a couple of days," he says of his 4 o'clock. "Besides, the affairs at that company ... and a couple of others, need a little bit more investigation, I think. Actually," he says quietly, looking over the tablet Tim shows him. "..I want you to look into it a little further," he says. "Maybe it might not be the right direction for the company to go in light of Tony's new friends. Report on the desk in the morning, yeah?"

It's not really .. 'his' desk, one would imagine.

Work tends to pile up on desks. So Wayne doesn't technically have one.


Hammer chuckles lightly as he looks toward Keith. "Yeah, I did," he says. "But don't worry, I think it was only me, and half the Expo." He smirks, his tone is meant to be joking but it's often hard to tell with Justin. "So, enjoying the events so far?"


"Well. I can make no promises about what Genosha does to defend herself," Magneto says, his eyes glittering at Leo. Still, he takes the card and nods cordially at the younger man, accepting the card. "I should think we have much to discuss. You seem a capable young man and clearly have some gifts of your own. Perhaps we can come to some mutual arrangement." Magneto pockets the card and nods farewell at Leo. "Until we meet again, young master Luthor," he says, his tone all polite business.

Magneto gestures at a 'Welcome to Genosha!' station at the booth. "If you're interested in a short-term tourists visa, there are a few options available. It's certainly not outside the realm of possibility to arrange a visit for you to Genosha."

Magneto smiles at Kwabena as the Ghanian approaches, shaking his head ruefully. "Poor timing, my friend," he informs Kwa. "I'm just preparing to leave. Perhaps you'd take a moment and tell these two gentlemen a bit about your experiences on the island so far?" he asks of the mutant. "I'm sure they'd love to hear about it." With a polite nod to the trio, Magneto turns to take his leave of the group.


"Mankind only does things when something forces it. You would be surprised the amount of cruelties go on hourly, and are simply overlooked." David says calmly, staring at the schedule. He then looks to a spot that seems to be free and somewhat recent and moves a finger over it. "How about there, any time is good really." He says to the woman, his mannerisms seem almost...off. As if he didnt know how to interact with people properly.


"Somewhat. I don't like the noise... I've gotten a little more sensitive to the noise since I transformed." The cat rubs his ears, which remain thrown back. "Kinda wish there were a nice little soundproof booth. I tried to make myself one with my illusions, but you saw how that turned out." He grumbles, leaning against some of the security cords. "And Patrick had to leave. How is it going for you?"


A similarly coy smile is given to Magneto, to whom Kwabena bows his head just so. "Perfectly undahstandable," he says, and turns to glance toward Leo and Tousaint curiously. "Well, if you insist," he says, clearly intending to inject some humor into the request. Offering a hand to the two, the well-dressed African introduces himself. "Kwabena Odame. I am a citizen of Genosha." And he has one eye that is quite clearly silver, a mutated color. "And an unregistahd mutant, I'll add. We don't require such things in a country dat is so accepting of my species."


Leo nods at Magneto, and then moves to take his leave. He can still 'listen in' to the conversation once he attunes himself to the voices even from a distance away with the general swell of chaotic conversation and noise about the convention center. It is good practice anyway.


Justin nods, slipping his hands into his pants pockets. He glances around again, his ADD-mannerisms in full swing. "Good, good, I think," he replies. A quick glance goes toward the stage and he recalls Tony's little speech. His expression darkens for a second before he looks back to Keith. "Patrick? Isn't that your boyfriend?"


Tim looks utterly unperturbed by his surroundings. People making vague threats are nothing new for Bruce Wayne and therefore nothing new for Tim Drake. "Absolutely, sir," he says, ignoring David- or rather, giving the man a smaller percentage of attention as he deals with the Santotech meeting and makes the appropriate changes to his schedule.

One more email, and just like that, Bruce Wayne's people have reached out to Tony Stark's people.

"Your place or ours, Ms. Potts?" Tim asks, a moment later, aiming a pleasant smile her way. He's just an intern and she is the Queen. Respect where it is due.


"Yeah, we came here on a date, but stuff happened...." Keith shrugs. Being the totally clueless person that he is, he asks, "What did you think about Stark's speech? I didn't know you were planning to work with him."


Tony Stark looks to Ali and smiles, "Looks like I might have to be careful, if Bruce here is setting his sights on you." and gives her another affectionate squeeze. He looks at the tablet, then back to David, "Well, you'd also be surprised at the amount of ways mankind combats those cruelties. We'll talk." he says, glacing back at the time the former SpecOps soldier chooses and looks to Pepper and nods at the time. "That's fine. Have that block of time cleared for me."


Tousaint nods to Magneto, "I will have to look into that, either way I will look forward to seeing any technological advances coming from Genosha. Tousaint turns his attention to Kwabena Odame and says, "Tousaint Walters, a pleasure to meet you. Odame, are you native Genoshan, or there native Genoshans. I am afraid I am not familiar with that country's history.


"... Ummm... yeah," Doug replies, watching Betsy go before turning his attention back to Booster. "Anyway, I'd love to see those, uh... holo-files." And at the least, getting that sort of information could help him figure out where he -was- going wrong. "I'm going to check out the rest of the exhibit. Give me a call whenever." And the blond linguist turns to head to check out the rest of the exhibits.


The hooded man looks from side to side as someone actually answered his own self musings. "Yes!" he answers Jessica loudly before coughing softly and composing himself. "Well the concepts are sound as are the designs. Some need some work but that's understandable. But you don't have to be 'tech minded' as you call it to understand any of it. You need to see the bigger picture. What can these devices or inventions do for mankind." the man pauses as he pulls out his ear plugs and pulls down his hood. "Thats what this event is really about. To help us imagine how much further we, as human beings, can lift ourselves up from the slime we crawled from. Amazing isnt it?" He really needs a sticker that reads, Hello my name is: Reed Richards Nerd Extraordinaire.


Pepper Potts nods to Tony and uses her stylus to quickly mark the indicated spot and add David's name to it. "Thank you, Mr. LeGraize." She doesn't offer to shake the man's hand, either because he weirds her out or because she's 'just the help'. Difficult to say. Then she's stepping around toward Tim to coordinate with him on the schedule. "Tony, do you want to host the meeting with Mr. Wayne?" She knows that means rolling out the red carpet, but doesn't mind at all and it's nice actually having Tony decide for himself for a change.


Jessica blinks. Reed is well known, and she's heard of his heroic works thanks to the Clan. This doesn't stop her from laughing in surprise. "Doctor Richards. Pleasure to meet you." she says, offering a hand to shake. "Jessica Drew."


Tiptoeing up to give Tony a quick peck, "Let him look all he wants, I know what side of the bread my butter is on." That said, she DOES give Bruce a nigh-obnoxious and not at all subtle wink. Let people read into it as they may. Finishing off the rest of her glass, Dazzler pulls away from Tony with an air kiss. "I'm going to drift outside, see if there's some fresh air to be had - never know, maybe there'll be someone out there who didn't get a picture. Make your playdates." She wiggles her fingers at Bruce and gives Pepper a very sympathetic look before looking to see where else she can put her nose for a bit.


"Pleashah to meet you," answers Kwabena, after shaking Tousaint's hand. "Well, oddly enough, I am originahly from Ghana, not Genosha. But yes, dere are some few Genoshan natives, but given de current state of affairs and an openness to de Homo Novus race, dat numbah is quickly diminishing." He shrugs. "De same could be said of America, de great melting pot. Of course, citizens of Genosha hold no ill will toward native Genoshans, which is something dat sadly cannot be said of de United States." Perking a head, he asks, "So, what could I tell you about my new home?"


There's a bit of a snort from Hammer, though he tries to cover it up with a chuckle. It doesn't work well. "I thought he worked the crowd pretty well," Justin replies to the feline man, stalling a bit as he searches for a way to dodge the comment about working with Stark. He's stuck- if he doesn't rise to the challenge then he looks like a heartless bastard. If he does, then he's forced to follow through and dedicate resources to working with the man he most wants to see at the bottom of the Hudson. "Well, ya know, nothing's really set up as of yet..."


Michael points upwards, and his little golden drone buddy rises into the air again, staking out that bird's eye vantage point. His own people-watching is interesting, since he does have access to a form of x-ray vision, but to be honest it gets pretty gross watching bones and innards parade around. He uses it very sparingly.


Right then. Rain blinks, and glances up a moment. She rubs the back of her head and will head out then.


David nods as he then begins to walk off, cap put on his head and he tilts his head so the cap hid most of his face from front view as he begins to leave. Will he be followed or simply let go?


"Ah, I see, so you're here to go speak to Mr. Stark?" The cat says, looking up towards the area. "There's Miss Potts over there, I can catch her attention for you!" he gives Pepper another wave, as he grins, eager to do his friend a favor. "I hate to sound like a fanboy, but it was cool that they got Dazzler to perform here..."

One of these days, Justin is going to strangle Keith. Or have a mech stomp him into grape jelly.


"Ghana, I have been through there in my travels, but I digress." Tousaint says, "I was just looking for information about technological advances that were coming out of Genosha. I am surprised to hear about some of the advances." Tousaint looks down as his watch and sighs, "I am afraid I have to see about a shipment tonight. It was a pleasure meeting you, Mister Odame.


"Well, I can tell you it is a young place, and it holds many challenges, but you will see great prosperity in Genosha in de coming seasons." Kwabena bows his head respectfully to Tousaint, bidding him farewell. "Be safe, and enjoy de Expo."


Tony Stark returns the peck, smiling at Ali, "Have fun, dear. I'll be with you shortly. That is if I don't get waylaid on the way. Enjoy yourself." he says warmly, "You've earned it." he grins as she heads off and he looks to David, watching him leave before looking back to Bruce and simply cocking an eyebrow, before looking to Pepper, "Let's schedule it for the Tower. I'd like to show Bruce a few things I have cooking in R&D." he says, smiling softly.


Pepper Potts nods to Tony again, offering Ali a smile -- she chose this, really -- and adds it to Tony's schedule with a few more quick taps on her tablet. "Wednesday, 4pm, at Stark Tower. Confirmed. I'll make sure the conference room on the R&D floor is set aside." She looks at Tim to make sure he's caught up with her.


Pulling a hand from his pocket pouch, Reed shakes Jessica's hand. "A pleasure to meet you Miss Drew. I hope you are enjoying the expo. From what Iv've seen there ae many incredible things to see." he states as he smiles to the woman. PR is not his thing, but he does his best.


"Well, I may not know art. Or science. But I know what I like." Jessica says. "And it looks like you guys all went full tilt in trying to get people interested and involved. And I'd say that kind of initiative is always good step to getting people thinking. Plus, the place is kinda a blast, entertainment-wise." she says with a friendly shrug and a grin.


"Actually I was just...." And before Justin can stop him, Keith is waving to Miss Pepper Potts. He sighs, glancing down, then back up. "Keith, it's OK, it's not necessary, I-I can make arrangements later. I'm sure Tony is plenty busy right now...." He trails off with a nervous chuckle.


For a few more moments, Kwabena entertains the questions given to him by a few of those curious to the affairs of Genosha. However, PR was never his strong suit, either. The questions very quickly drive his nerves beyond the spiking point, and he excuses himself to feed that tough habit to quit.

Finding the smoking area, he retrieves the not-forgotten cigarette and lights up with the click of a zippo. The smoking areas are not secluded, of course. Stark Technology seems to know no bounds, and the poisonous smoke is lifted up by air displacement and disappears into the scrubbers above. One would have to be awfully close to even catch a whiff of the second hand smoke.

Idly, he wanders over toward one of those info booths present in the smoking area. Curiously, he calls up that little app, then offers a quiet sigh. "Bettah luck next time, Odame," he quips to himself, before turning aside to offer his zippo to another man stricken by the same addiction as his.


And of course, Leo just cannot resist! He is moving toward Tony's little 'group'. As he approaches the security, he clears his throat, "Pardon the intrusion Miss Potts, but it appears Mr. Hammer and his associate are attempting to draw your lovely attention." Here is an almost lazy smile on Leo's face as he looks at Pepper. "You appear to be in high demand, not that I blame them for finding your company delightful. I have only heard wonderful things about you." Alright, so Leo thought it be funny to torture Hammer. Hopefully he won't be caught at it. Leo's blue eyes then flickers about quickly, evaulating Tim, Bruce, and Tony, before returning to Pepper.


Heads metaphorically bowed together, Tim comes to an agreement with Pepper on getting their respective billionaires at the same place at the same time. Not an easy feat. "Wednesday at 4," he confirms with a few taps of his own stylus. A brief look towards Bruce and it's added to the schedule.


"Oh, c'mon, it' not a big deal. After all, this is the expo, isn't it?" He looks to Justin, "Has everything gone well for you so far yet?" Keith looks towards Justin's booth.


Rain is - quietly hunting a bit, debating on shuffling out or towards a booth.


"Looks like it's pretty serious. I wouldn't be so presumptuous," Bruce laughs at Tony, nodding to Alison politely. "Besides, I know trouble when I see it." He's poking just a little bit of fun at (or for) Dazzler, smiling appreciatively after her as she takes her leave. His attention slides smoothly over to Tony and Potts as they decide where they'd like to host. He doesn't interfere in that end. "By all means. I'd love to spend a little more time in the city. I'm sure Tim would appreciate the opportunity to see what sort of things Stark Industries has cooking, as well. I've heard incredible things. My only regret is that I can't put you up at my own hospitality."

He absently watches David recede into the distance in the corner of his eye. "I'm going to have Tim here settle the details with our people. I'm sure I don't have to trouble you to come drop by the booth whenever you get a chance. We'll have a bottle of Krug chilled for you. If you'll excuse me, I've got some business to attend to," Bruce regretfully asides, with a dark sparkle to rival Dazzler's own in his eyes. He'll take a moment to shake hands with Tony and Pepper only briefly, before slipping off, if there's nothing else too pressing.

It seems a lot like he's got some business to attend to.

Woe betide the people at the center of his attention.


Pepper Potts nods at Tim's confirmation, then notices movement out of the corner of her eye again and turns, and this time smiles and waves back to Keith. It's at this point that another young man appears seemingly out of nowhere to tell her that Justin and ... oh. Keith. are wanting to talk. She smiles and nods her thanks to Leo, then waves back to Keith and gestures for Justin and him come on up and join them.


"See? She's seen you." Keith grins at Justin and pats him on his shoulder, and pushes him towards the path. "You go and talk to Mr. Stark... I think I saw some Coney dogs I'm eager to try." He wasn't a business bigshot, and he knew his place, after all. And those dogs looked delish....


"Oh, Jesus Christ..." Justin mumbles to himself, moving his right hand to rub at his forehead. Who was that kid? Was that Luthor's boy? He can't tell. At Keith's contact Hammer's head shoots back up and he looks back over at the cat with a light scowl. "Why don't you join us?" he says, putting on a grin though his tone of voice is just a bit too dark for the expression. "C'mon, buddy, let me introduce you to the great Anthony Stark." He throws an arm around the Cheshire's shoulder and starts marching him toward Stark and Potts.


And then, retreating while he can, as Bruce's group which just grew slimmer is about to swell up with one very annoyed Justin Hammer...well, Leo knows when the getting is good. Though if anyone was paying attention, they may catch an expression of great amusement on his face before he high tailed it out of there with a lazy grin.


Leo's eyes scan the crowd as he looks for new potential interaction material to honor his Father's request. That is when his eyes land on Reed Richards, and then Jessica. Alright, geek moment to notice Dr. Richards first, but wow on the Jessica Drew. That is exactly where Leo heads.


Keith's eyes bulge when Justin drags him along. Bearing a terrified expression of 'fish out of water', the Cheshire is dragged towards the group, not quite having a say in the matter.


Oh hey wait. That's - didn't Sue mention Reeds once? Rain will drift over that way, carefully. Though, it's a bit tough being around all these models and stuff. Rain feels a bit awkward, fidgeting for a moment. Right then. At least try to go over and listen. Or interact. Whichever.


Jessica has grabbed another wine glass filled with ice water. (How does she keep finding them?) And is enjoying a sip of said water while she's looking over the tech at the booth she and Reed are at, so at first, she seems not to notice someone's looking her way. But she has a certain sixth sense about it, thanks to her training. But whoever it is, there's no aggression. She doesn't even need her Spider-Sense to tell that. So she lets it be, for now.


And that, is when Reed gets distracted by something shiney and high tech most likely. Alas. Leo will have to geek out later. Still, least the hot number is still there. He smiles easily at Jessica, raising a hand almost lazily in greeting, "Hey," he says in a relaxed manner. "Forgive the boldness," he says with no real self-consciousness or humility, "but I admit wanting to introduce myself to you and hopefully be returned in kind." Leo moves to offer a hand to Jessica's hand not holding the glass of ice water, "Leo Luthor," he says easily.


Well, well. Isn't he the bold one? Though the name does catch her attention. "Jessica Drew." She replies, sounding completely at ease with meeting new people, and shaking the offered hand with a bright smile. "Luthor....as in Lex Luthor?" she asks. Quick on the uptake, this one.


Pepper Potts smiles as Justin drags Keith over to say hello. When it's aimed at Justin it's strictly professional, not a whole lot of warmth behind it. When she smiles at Keith, though, there's a defininte hint of reassurance to it.


The smile that Hammer returns to Pepper is just as cold, though less professional and more just... Well, his usual sort of grin. "Miss Potts," he greets once they're close enough. "What a pleasure, what a pleasure... I honestly expected you to be too busy to have a moment to chat." He drops his arm from Keith's shoulder, motioning between Pepper and the feline man. "So you two know each other already? Keith, my friend, you're sure starting to expand your social circle."


The hand his shaken firmly, but not overly intimidately (perhaps) surprisingly. "A beautiful name. It means rich, and god beholds if I remember correctly." Leo hrms thoughtfully, "I suppose to bless the child with good fortune." Then a curve of the corner of his mouth go upward once more from the thoughtful expression, "I can believe it," apparently that Jessica is blessed.


The young man then nods, "Yes, of the same family, though I'm still in my college years." No point in making it too obvious, right? Leo then adds, "Alright, I have to ask," releasing Jessica's hand, the only revealment of interest other than words and tone was a slight lingering of the handshake, but as stated before nothing overly intimiate. "Why Stark Expo?" It almost seems like a word game, or perhaps a test or challenge.


Keith 's ears droop a little more, feeling out of place again amidst all of the high-rollers, movers, shakers and candlestick makers.

Well, not those last ones. They usually were covered in wax so they were a little shabbier and not as intimidating. But the fact that even his narration was derailing just goes to show how unease Keith was in this particular setting. "... misspottshowdoyoudohopeeverythingsfine!" he says, giving her a little shy grin. If he could become invisible, he would.

Well, he can, that's one of his powers. But it'd be pointless doing that while people were staring at him and would know exactly where he was standing.


"I'll take your word on it. I never looked too much into the meaning behind my own name." Jessica says with a light laugh. Very well educated, this leo. She'd never even given any thought to the meaning behind her name. When he asks her why she's here at the Expo, she looks around and shrugs lightly.

"Why not?" she replies. "I'm more a sci-fi girl than actual science, but a lot of this kinda tech is going to be hitting the market sooner or later, and I was curious."


Rain is in it for the genuine nerdery. She was an EE major, after all, before unwittingly summoning Phil, tormentor of those who use cell phones at inappropriate times and spoil things for others. Hmm. Rain looks around then, as others seem busy. Well, then. Let's find...


Pepper Potts smiles to try and reassure Keith that he's NOT being fed to the wolves here. "Keith, wonderful to see you." She reaches to claim the purple felinoid's arm and pull him around to meet Tony and Tim and whomever else is still here. "Tony, have you met Keith? Keith, this is Tony Stark." Duh, but still, formalities. "And this is Bruce Wayne's assistant, Tim..." uh oh.


"Merely curious?" A bit of a lazy grin there from Leo. "A pity. You should at least try to come up with fun and creative ways to make use of it. Not that I dare try some of my ideas; attaching Magento's engine to a car would likely be a very, very bad idea. Well, unless I was on Mythbusters, then maybe I could get away with it legally." Humor, of course. And after a brief pause, "My Father might still try to strangle me, but it would so be worth it." His grin turns a little wicked there. "Though I confess, mystery guy myself. I'm proficient at science, but it's not my passion." Leo's body language is unrushed and mildly amused, nothing particularly intimidating or predatory (like -cough- Bruce Wayne, who -cough- likes terrorizing Pepper).


"Drake," Tim supplies for Pepper, with a forgiving smile. "And technically, I'm the Wayne Enterprise intern in charge of public events. I am, however, functionally Mr. Wayne's assistant for the duration of the Expo." He's met Keith before in entirely different circumstances, but there's absolutely nothing in his expression or posture to suggest it. "Pleasure to meet you," and he offers his hand.


"Hmm. Well, I put my curiosity to use in more ways than you'd think." Jessica says with a mysterious smile. "But that's no big issue. I honestly don't know much about Magneto's engine or anything, but I think I might have to look into it now just for the sake of finding out what you're talking about." she says with a light laugh. Then nods. "Well, if you like mysteries, maybe you should try to make your skills at science work for you on mysteries. Or just become a mystery novelist." she jokes. She can read Leo's body language and it's fairly open. Interesting. His father's a much harder book to crack. Oh yes. She's no fool. How many other Luthors can there be? Lex almost has to be his father.


Michael floats up a few feet, clearly not shy about flying when he is not in costume (or, as it were, visibly in costume). He flies up and around to stay out of the way of the act on stage, and drops down near the security line. Walking up behind Pepper, he says, "Sorry to interrupt, Ms. Potts. Just wanted to see if you needed anything." He gives Keith a wave, and a casual, "Hey." A moment later, Skeets shows up, bobbing just behind Michael.


Tony Stark turns and smiles, "Justin! Good to see ya, man." he says offering a hand to the fellow CEO. Then he offers a hand to Keith. "No, I haven't. Nice to meet you, Keith. Tony." he says simply. If he's put off, which it really appears that he's not, it wouldn't show anyway.


"-pleasure to meet you, Tim..." Keith's voice is surprisingly soft at this point. "Mister S-stark, hello, it's a pleasure..."

When Booster flies in, he gives him a little wave and a smile. It was hard to say why he felt so jittery.


Hmm, where to get her nerd on. There's a polite smile at Jessica and Leo in passing, though the purple eyed Winter (who is already here!) is considering her next destination. She seems to have a pretty good idea of how some of these things work. Or at least making a note to figure it out later. She's being careful not to interrupt, or step on people's shoes. Ooh, something mathy.


Pepper Potts stows her tablet and phone back in her bag now that they're no longer immediately needed, and looks over to smile at Michael as he approaches. "Michael, hello. We're doing fine, though maybe we should consider relocating to somewhere a bit further away from the stage?" She IS still wearing earplugs.


Tony Stark looks all around, "We could all head to VIP area, grab a seat and a drink - take a load off?" he suggests and smiles, "Mr. Carter - good to see you!" he gives his intern a wave. "Enjoy the Expo?" he asks.


"It's interesting, actually using magnetic engineering while gaining nearly thirty percent more power per pound of fuel than engines of the rest of its class. It permits more affordability and application in third world countries. So other than it's 'blow up worthiness', it actually potentially has interesting social influences if properly applied in its marketing and uses." For those moments, Leo's expression is actually intense, but he then blinks, "Uh...sorry," as if he just realized he did a geek-out moment. He doesn't look sheepish exactly, rather just acknowledges what he did with a slight smile of apology. "Let me rephrase that. It uses a unique application of harnessing energy to give more power, and uses technology more affordable by lower-income countries." And he actually -corrects- himself in a practical manner. "And could blow things up great of course," a boyish grin appearing at the end there.


"Okay, Ms. Potts. I'm glad everything has been going so smoothly," says Michael. He gestures to Skeets, then, as he tells Tony, "Yeah, it's pretty great, Mr. Stark. We got some great holo-vid footage of everything, including your entrance and speech. No one seems to know what I'm talking about when I say that, but it's pretty awesome."


"Anthony! Quite an opener you had got going on here," Hammer replies, his atitude having done a complete 180 from just a moment ago. Now he's almost acting like they're old friends, not what you would expect from the man who wants to see Stark Industries crumble. It is, perhaps, even a bit over the top. He looks between Pepper and Tony, assuming he's invited along on the relocation. He gives Mister Carter a nod, but doesn't say anything as of yet.


Jessica laughs a but. "Someone's a bit of a tech geek." she says. But there's no malice in it. She's purely being playful for the sake of having a little fun at Leo's expense without being mean about it.

"Remind me never to get on a roll about Godzilla. I may not know all the people involved in making the movies, but you can bet your last bottom dollar I know the movies themselves backwards and forwards."


"Well. I got interdimensional cell phone reception. I can understand some of this, surely," Believe in yourself, Rain. Believe! Winter pauses. Wait. Hasn't she seen Jessica somewhere? While she glances over at Jess and Leo, she looks so owlish that someone comes up and asks her about lollipops. Hey wait. "Oh- hey wait -" Totally wasn't thinking! And trying not to be rude. People get upset when you forget but then waving at someone you don't know is /also/ weird.


For all his being a successful powerful player in the world of business at the tender age of 17, Tim is... well, 17. And he can tell when he's sticking out like a sore thumb. "There's some business I need to attend to back at the Wayne Enterprise booth, if you'll all excuse me. Congratulations on another successful Expo, Mr. Stark. We'll see you this Wednesday." He turns to Pepper and smiles at her. "And I hope I'll be seeing you there too, Ms. Potts. It's been a pleasure." Handshakes all around, once again, before Tim politely bows out and makes his way through the backstage areas to the booth.

Time to earn that intern paycheck!


"Ya, confession time," and Leo pretends to make a very pained expression. But he is then chuckling. "I've heard of him, Godzilla, but never saw the movies." Gasp, shock! Yes, totally a lead opening, most likely on purpose, though Leo does speak truth. His head tilts slightly as he steals a look toward a very bouncy Rain who seems to talk to herself nearby, but most of his attention is on Jessica.


Tony Stark nods to Tim, shaking his hand, "Wednesday, Mr. Drake - have a good evening." he says pleasantly. He glances around to everyone else gathered - Pepper, Justin, Bruce, Keith, Michael and anyone else gathered around them - "Shall we to the VIP, then?" he asks, taking a step back and motioning?


Jessica gives a lock of mock horror and points dramatically. "Heathen!" she says in a manner that is deliberately over the top and not at all serious. But she ends up shaking her head in disbelief anyway. "Honestly, someone who's never seen the movies and at a science expo. For shame." she says. Then spots Rain and again has that odd feeling of deja vu. "Why do I get t he feeling I know you from somewhere....?"


Pepper Potts smiles as she shakes Tim's hand. "It was good to meet you, Mr. Drake. And you'll be seeing me for sure." She'll be around the Expo grounds a lot for the next several days, making sure everyone's exhibit spaces and displays are all working out as they should. Then she hooks a hand into Keith's arm to keep him from trying to flee as she nods to Tony and leads the way toward the VIP lounge. "So, Keith, how is Patrick doing? Oh, and did I tell you that I met a very friendly young man named Van?"


Keith blinks for a second, and looks at Tony as if his head had suddenly opened and a thousand pod spiders had erupted. Him? at the VIP? He'd never even see-- oh, Tim was saying goodbye. "Bye, Mr. Drake, it was nice meeting you." So Tim was younger, obviously... but still, he was working for Bruce Wayne and he was a C-List vigilante. Respect where respect is due.

"P-Patrick?" Pepper's question brings him out of it, and he says "He's doing better, Dr. Richards cured him o----V-van?" gulp. "You met Van? I mean..er.. you know he is Patrick's .... er, his brother, right?"


An owlish blink from Rain. She rubs the back of her head, "Yeah, I was wondering the same. And I was going to feel like a right proper butt for forgetting. Something about books..." She looks thoughtful. "Miss --" Shoot. "Um, Miss --" Aw bananas. "I really need to remember names like I remember equations," She looks awkward a moment. "So I apologize. I owe you one for forgetting," She looks so sheepish, you could make yarn from her. There's an apologetic look towards Leo. "And I just - stole your friend's attention, sorry."


Hammer nods to Tony, and moves to follow the group to the VIP lounge. He doesn't especially want to spend time hanging out with the Stark folks, but he may learn something. Plus, he can't turn down the potential publicity. "Drinks sound wonderful, Tony," he responds in a tone that's far too friendly to be natural.


Michael lifts a hand in farewell to Tim, although they had not technically met. He then says to Justin, "Hi, I'm Michael Jon Carter, one of Mr. Stark's interns. I also go by 'Booster Gold' although... technically not at the moment," He gesture vaguely at his distinctly non-shiny clothing. "This is Skeets," he introduces the small floating robot. More quietly, he says to Keith, "I didn't even know you knew Ms. Potts."


"Drew." Jess says with a grin. "Jessica Drew. And for some reason I keep thinking of a bookstore when I try to place where I've met you before." she says. Then she smacks herself in the face lightly. "Of course. You were there that day with Carol Danvers and the others. We all kind of ended up there at the same time and went out for brats afterwards."


"Drew, it is Miss Drew," Leo helpfully provides. "And I'm Leo Luthor." He then nods, "It's fine. Though no promises I won't try and steal it back," and a bit of a playful smile there. Then his grin widens a bit as he peers after Hammer. "Man, that was evil of me," Leo comments mostly to himself with humor, before turning back to the conversation at hand. "In either case, your name miss?" He is looking back at Rain or whoever she is at the moment.


Pepper Potts smiles and nods to Keith, then reaches her other hand to snag Michael and drag him along. "Yes. So he told me. So Patrick is doing better, then? A huge relief."


Leo then nods toward Rain, "It's fine, though no promises I won't try to steal it back," Jessica's attention that is, and a bit of a playful smile appears on his face. Though the grin widens a bit as he peers after Hammer, "Man, that was evil of me," he comments mostly to himself. Leo then turns back to the conversatoin at hand, "Ah, memories stir. In either ase, your name is miss?" He is looking at Rain.


"Yes, h-he's going to live. Dr. Richards cured him..." he smiles at Pepper. When Michael talks to him, he says quietly "Sort of... there was Asgard stuff happening..." he wasn't sure whether Thor wanted anyone to know about the switcharoo, so that's all he can say at the time.


Leo then nods toward Rain, "It's fine, though no promises I won't try to steal it back," Jessica's attention that is, and a bit of a playful smile appears on his face. Though the grin widens a bit as he peers after Hammer, "Man, that was evil of me," he comments mostly to himself. Leo then turns back to the conversatoin at hand, "Ah, memories stir. In either case, my name is Leo Luthor, and your name is miss?" He is looking at Rain. (final repose)


Oh no. Names. Winter Moontree - hesitates. "I usually go by Rain. My real name is -" She looks pained, "... Winter Moontree. So just Rain, pretty please." Another sheepish grin. And she never busts out the middle name. "Pleased to see you again, then." They gave her their names. It seems only fair, even if it's apparent Rain would run screaming from hers. "And I remember now," She pauses. She looks to Leo. "It's a pleasure to meet you, too." She nods. "And that's okay, I don't mind," She smiles at mention of him trying to steal it back. She seems pretty easy going. "How is the expo treating you?" She asks, quietly.


"Can't complain." Jessica says with a lighthearted shrug. "So far it's been pretty good. But then again, it did just start, so we have some time before the Expo closes and all and that'll probably be what settles how it was."


Tony Stark leads the group back to the VIP section, and when velvet ropes part for Tony Stark and his group, they part unlike for anyone else. They are lead to a plush lounge, about 30 by 30. A tall, lanky fellow stands DJing smooth, mellow beats in the corner while a large mahogany bar in the back is serving up drinks. It looks like the green room for the Grammys, Emmys, Oscars, and (no pun) Tonys all in one such is the A-List rubbing elbows in this room along with the elite of the science and engineering world, though they'd be harder to name. Servers, dressed in smart black and red uniforms criss cross the room with appetizers, drinks, and champagne in flutes. They are lead to a roped off, U-shaped booth where they are all seated. They are all asked for their drink orders, save for himself, who is handed a half full rocks glass of ice and scotch. Tony settles in and smiles, taking just a brief moment to relax amid the controlled chaos of the Expo.


Curious reaction to her name, Winter Moontree. But Leo doesn't test it out right now, he merely says, "It is a pleasure to meet you," making a slight, gentlemanly bow toward her. "The expo has treated me well, and though I showed up fashionably late, I have listened to my Father's orders." He then grins impishly, "I socialized. First I discussed science with a dictator, then I caused mischief with a competitor, and finally, gotten to meet the lovely Jessica Drew and yourself. Actually, let's make that treated me very well." There is just the slightest hint of sarcastic humor that subdues the supposed flightiness of his words. "Though I admit, we were just discussing Godzilla. Have you seen the movies Rain?"


Pepper Potts nods to Keith at the mention of Asgard but likewise doesn't elaborate. Once everyone in their little herd has made it into the VIP lounge, she releases Keith and Michael to take their seats at the booth but claims the outside edge of one side of the booth for herself, sandwiching her bag between herself and whomever she's ended up sitting next to. She asks the waiter for a glass of water, and if there's possibly a menu of food of any sort. She kind of missed dinner for this.


Keith sits down as well, and asks for a glass of water. He plays with his napkin for a little bit before he realizes he has to be a good guest. "T-Thank you for inviting me along, Mr. Stark." without really paying much attention, he's manipulating his cocktail napkin into little shapes.


After a few moments of speaking about Godzilla movies, Leo's phone goes off. He takes a quick look at it. His Father. He then gives his regrets as he departs, slipping a business card into Jessica's palm slyly as he departs so not to make it obvious to Rain that he favors Jessica. Then, he is gone...perhaps swallowed by the crowd?


Rain nods. She smiles at Jesssica. "Yeah, that makes sense." She asks. She looks to Leo and nods. The bow makes her pause, and carefully curtsey back, mindful not to flash anyone. Thankfully, long dresses are awesome that way. "Well, socializing is good. And do you mean- oh! The Genosha booth," She offers. She seems somewhat familiar. "I'm glad things have gone well. And yeah, ages ago," She admits. She waves to him as he goes. If she notices the card, she says nothing.


Michael perks up quite a bit, in the VIP area. It's the kind of environment he is most comfortable in. Like Pepper, he ends up ordering water for himself as well, and takes off his glasses. "Oh, Mr. Stark, kind of related to your challenge... I have some pretty cool rapid genome sequencing software in my suit goggles. If that's something that'd be handy." He then gives Skeets a poke, and says, "Save out a copy of the holo-vid data you got earlier, we can process some of it later."


Justin looks toward Micheal when the man introduces himself. He offers a grin and a nod. "Mister Carter, good to meet you." He looks up at the floating robot, "And you too, Skeets." Sure, he'll greet a robot since it was introduced. After all, he's playing nice right now to make a good impression. "Justin Hammer, founder and CEO of Hammer Industries." He offers his hand to Micheal to shake as they walk.


When they arrive at the lounge, Hammer takes a seat at the booth that the group occupies. When asked, he orders a glass of expensive wine from the waiter.


Whether or not she noticed she was passed over in favor of another, Rain will drift along and eventually out herself. It's probably for the better she's easygoing and awkward or else there might be one person at the Expo who gets newted.


Pepper Potts looks at Keith and Michael when they both request water like she did, then beckons the waiter back. She has a quick and very quiet discussion, and the waiter leaves again. Now, she's got that slightly smug smile on her face that would normally make Tony VERY nervous. But, this time it's not aimed at him.


Keith does not drink alcohol when out and about because his illusion power could be catastrophically bad for him, considering the misfires he's had when he's just uncomfortable. He looks over at Pepper, and he looks wary of her smile. He doesn't quite know why.


Tony Stark is content to sit in the booth and sip his drink and not have to be Tony Stark for five minutes, even if he is sitting there with Justin. He's content to listen to everyone else talk for a change. He does take a moment to look to Justin and sip his drink, "So..Safe at Home Initiative. I had some runners telling me about it, but I've been doing press and handshaking all night. Whatcha got goin'?"


Michael is interacting with Skeets; it is the equivalent of checking digital photos or video to get a quick look at it. In this case, the little robot does a small holographic projection, a three-dimensional display of the opening ceremonies for the Expo. It is only hand-sized with no sound, and although it is in full color it is translucent. When Michael pokes at it, the image turns or pauses or fast-forwards.


Hammer takes up his wine glass after the waiter sets it down on the table. He swirls it, then takes a sip. It's fairly obvious he's trying too hard to seem sophisticated. At the question he looks over at his rival. "Oh, just a little side project I've been working on," he says before taking a drink of his wine. "Focusing on safety and security issues in the civilian market. I'm spearheading it with the Safe Drive System, which networks vehicles to roadways in order to reduce traffic accidents and congestion."


Tony Stark hmms, watching Justin as he answers then asks, "So it advises the driver on the best route for them to take given current traffic conditions?"


When his water arrives, Keith sips it quietly, content to be a silent spectator for the time being. He was wondering what was it that had called Patrick away. He knew he would contact him if he was needed. Flexing a hand, he takes off the leather glove covering it to reveal a bandage that was covering a sizeable wound. With a slight smirk, he nudges Michael, "Hey, Michael," he says quietly, so as not to interrupt Tony and Justin. "Guess what did this?" he says, showing him the hand.


Justin chuckles lightly, shaking his head. He seems pretty confident around the guy who made a complete fool out of him several years ago at a televised senate hearing. "No, not quite, Anthony. Far more advanced than a simple GPS-style system. This system can directly control the vehicle to prevent an accident before it happens. It's gonna save a lot of lives."


Pepper Potts indicates Michael and Keith and herself when the waiter returns again with three mixed drinks. The first drink is a strange creamy off-white color with a cherry on top and set before Michael, the pinkish orange one set in front of Keith, and a carbonated clear drink with red in the bottom set in front of Pepper. She then speaks up. "Skeets? Are you in need of a recharge? I'm sure there's a port around here somewhere that will work if you do."


Michael glances at Keith's injured hand, and then muses over what he knows of this era's dangerous creatures. He then hazards, "A goat?" Some of them can be vicious. He waves his hand to dismiss the holo-projection, since it seems the footage was captured just fine. When the drink is set before him, he wonders of Pepper, "Is there alcohol in this, ma'am? I'm really not much of a drinker."


"No, but thank you, Ms. Potts," Skeets replies politely, hovering nonchalantly by Michael's head. "I'm taking in small amounts of ambient energy at the moment; I will recharge properly once we're home for the night."


Keith laughs a little at Michael, and he holds up his other hand. Conjuring up an illusion of a little creature, man-shaped, but tiny and surrounded by a bright light. "Not a goat... a fairy. If you can believe it. Those murders that have been reported in Chinatown? I went to investigate. Ran into Captain America... Patrick was with me, and Spider Man showed up as well as Miss Storm and that chick who can pull weapons out of nowhere... believe it or not, the murders are being perpetrated by some sort of... ghost-like creature, who uses these fairies to lure in his victims. And they have a -vicious- bite. They're bona fide fairies, though... they die immediately when iron touches them. Crazy, no?"


It has already been established that if something strange is going to happen in the city, it is a fair bet that Keith will be nearby.

Keith also sniffs at the drink a little... and then smiles at Pepper "Thank you, Miss Potts!" he says, taking a sip and enjoying the juice. A juice he can actually taste. he hadn't thought of that before.


Tony Stark nods, sipping his scotch and smiles at Justin. It's a genuine smile, nothing fake about it. "You're right, it will definitely save some lives, Justin. I don't have to tell you though that it's a great idea, but make sure it's ready before you take it to market. The last thing you want are systems malfunctioning and driving perfect good cars into things."


Pepper Potts smiles and shakes her head no at Michael. "I asked them to make that for you without alcohol. It's a pina colada." She picks up her own drink and stirs it with the straw to make it a more uniform shade of girly pink before taking a sip.


Michael considers Keith's story rather gravely. He is unclear on some key points, however, so he says, "Fairies are a kind of... bird?" He really has no idea. Birds are mysterious enough. Picking up the drink, he says to Pepper, "Thank you, ma'am. I have no idea what that is but I'll try it." After taking a sip, he finally says, "It kind of tastes like sunbathing girls."


Hammer offers a bit of a laugh, though there's no humor in it. Naturally Tony would find some way to needle him, either blatantly or passive-aggressively. "Of course, of course," he replies with a fake good humor. "You know I won't let the project go into production without proper testing. Sure, I get a bit enthusiastic sometimes, but..." Of course Justin doesn't mention that the idea and the tech was /given/ to him. It was pretty much engineered and tested before he ever got his hands on it.


Keith was about to explain to Michael what fairies are, when he says -that-. The cat just looks at his friend for a few seconds, and the laughs. "... only you could come up with such an apt description of a pina colada. Though for me, of course, it is sunbathing guys...."


Tony Stark nods, knowingly. "Don't I know that..the last time I got overly ethusiastic about something, I was falling from about fifty thousand feet because I hadn't anticipated icing." he sips his scotch, "That one hurt. But still, I have faith you can make it work."


Inwardly, Justin is glaring daggers at Tony and imagining ways to watch Stark Industries fall into a smoldering pile of rubble. Outwardly, he raises his glass toward his fellow CEO. "To making the world safer, one step at a time," he says, still holding that fake grin of his.


Pepper Potts laughs softly as she watches Keith and Michael both taste the drinks she had made for them, nodding at Michael's assessment of the flavor. "I have to agree with Keith." Apparently, there isn't any food being offered in the VIP lounge, but no matter. She can work with it. Digging her phone out of her bag (sorry, whomever is sitting next to her, she isn't TRYING to cop a feel, really), she sends off a quick text message, probably to someone who can bring in comestibles of the appealing variety.


"I appreciate the sun-warmed skin of a pretty lady, but I appreciate that not everyone shares my enthusiasm," says Michael, putting his yellow-lensed glasses back on and sitting back with his drink in hand. In a quieter tone, "I wonder about the calories in this--"


"You can do two extra laps on the track in the morning," Skeets promptly tells Michael, who just sighs.

Keith sips his juice, looking at Michael, "Fairies are a type of mythical being or legendary creature in European folklore, a form of spirit, often described as metaphysical, supernatural or preternatural. Fairies resemble various beings of other mythologies, though even folklore that uses the term fairy offers many definitions. Usually, though, people mean either ethereal creatures or tiny little flying things like what we experienced..." he looks at Michael... and tries NOT to imagine his sun-warmed skin for a moment. "...in any case, they took a bite out of me, and out of the Captain... Iron Spider's armor, though, gave us the hint to use iron. But the ghost got away... more like a polgergeist, really. He was intangible, but he could move this enormous butcher knife around."


Thor steps out of a side building, and glances about for a clear area to summon a tornado to take him home, but there are still too many mortals lingering about. Annoyed, the Thunderer walks from the building he and Sif and others went into not so long ago, and finds himself coming close to the VIP Booth with Pepper and Keith and... no idea? and HEY! TOny and Justin! Excellent. Maybe talking with that many friends will improve his mood before he goes home to an overtaxed Goddess of War. Thor just walks right in and rests a hand on Keith's back, forgetting completely that it's not really well known that Thor's back in his own body and that those in the know about Thor having been in Loki's body that weren't told of the switch back, probably also know that Loki was in Thor's body and that's ALWAYS going to end well. Observe:


"Keith, Pepper, Mortal, Tony, Justin. It is good to see everyone," Thor says, the annoyance that lingers from just a moment ago putting a faint edge of lightning in his tone.


Michael listens to this explanation about fairies by Keith, and with some consternation he insists, "That's -birds-." It's what he said in the first place. Gosh. When Thor gives his jolly greeting, Michael looks around then back up at the Thunder God and says, "Am I the mortal?"


Pepper Potts shakes her head slightly at Michael and swaps out her phone for her tablet (again NOT groping the person sitting next to her through her bag, really) and wakes it up. Tapping at the screen she brings up a browser search of fairy images and turns it for the future-man to see. "This is what Keith is talking about. Not birds."


As Pepper provides a visual aid, Keith feels a large hand on his back.

"Thor!" Keith says, having jumped at first when he felt the hand. "Hey, glad to see you're still around! Oh... this is my very dear friend Michael John Carter. Michael, this is Thor, of course..." he makes the introductions, waving the juice that Pepper had gotten him. This was almost as good as mead. Almost. For something that was completely non-alcoholic, it had loosened him up from his shyness.


Tony Stark raises his glass to Thor when he appears, "Goldilocks!" he says, cheerfully when he makes his way over to the table. "I was hoping you and yours would show up. I talked to some of your bondsmen a few days ago and had them swing me a couple of kegs of mead so you'd have something passable to drink while you were here. Looks like you could use some, big guy."


Even people who can fly, don't always fly. Well, people who don't put on armor and get an adrenaline rush from using repulsortech to get off the ground at least. Carol rode to the Expo and as she stepped off of her bike and took off her helmet... well after that -and- after shaking her hair out because helmet hair -sucks-. Anyhow, Carol feels the vibration of her Starkphone and reaches down to pluck the thing from her hip holster. She looks down at it and her brows raise.

(Seriously... ? ) O O o o . . she shakes her head with a smirk and is quite amused. So, Anita Bella's gets a new customer. One large, three meat. That purchased, she steps out into the crowd and uses every ounce of skill she had in the CIA to get that pizza, still hot, past most of the crowd. Finally, she steps over towards Pepper and Tony and the gang. "Imagine that, Pepper Potts... needed help acquiring something. How could I say no?" she asks as she leans over and places the fresh pizza on the table. "Just call me the Pizza Delivery Girl. Now, where's my tip?" she asks with a smirk before stepping back and unzipping that biker jacket of hers.


Justin turns his attention from Tony to Thor when the thunder god greets the table. He smiles, a bit more real than when interacting with the rival CEO, but he still remains somewhat reserved. After all, last he heard this wasn't /actually/ Thor, this was Loki in Thor's body. "Thor, buddy, long time no chat." The arrival of Carol Danvers gets a bit of a surprised expression.


Tony Stark looks past Thor, and smiles whe Carol shows up..and with pizza, no less! "Really..Carol Danvers shows up with pizza to my Expo VIP room? I'd say the tip is a top notch night on the town at the arm of yours truly!" - he is good natured and enjoying his night, now the majority of things have wound down and the press is happy for the time being. He sips his scotch, "Can I get you a drink, Major?"


Keith dutifully scoots so that the two newcomers could have a seat in the booth. Of course, with Thor's size, you need a lot of space cleared. Not so much for Carol... to whom he gives a shy little wave as he scoots... and ends up against Pepper. "Gah, sorry Miss Potts. Was just trying to make a little room..."


Pepper Potts looks up at Thor when he arrives and greets them, then smiles and moves to stand and pull her bag with her when Carol shows up with a pizza, reaching to give the taller woman a hug. "Thank you, Carol, you are a life saver. How much do I owe you?" She looks over at the waiter nearby who nods and moves to add a table up against their booth to make room for the newcomers. She's already learned that Thor and Loki are wearing their correct colors again, so she's not at all uneasy around the large man.


"Oh, I see. They're basically bugs," says Michael, looking at the images that Pepper provides. "Yeah, some of the bugs in my native era get that big, but they're a lot uglier than that." He does a snap-point Thor's way, and says, "We kind of ran into each other briefly, not that long ago. There was a trans-dimensional incident. I was carrying wrecked vehicles off of the street to clear it, I had the gold goggles and shiny blue and gold suit on. Nice to meet you properly, anyway." When Carol shows up, he just gives her a bright smile and a wink. He isn't drinking any booze, that's just how he is.


Thor smiles at Keith, the expression soft. The feline was good at getting the Thunderer to calm... when he was happy. The introductions has the Storm Lord nodding and turning to face Michael.

"A pleasure, Michael John Carter, friend of Keith. Aye, thou art a mortal by what my eyes to say to me. I knew not thy name and had no wish to make thee feel ill at ease." Thor is saying, right hand extended to shake the mortal's. Because if Thor's met MJC, he's forgotten. He does that. Too many mortals in his life. He turns to Tony, the annoyance flickering back to life at tiny hints of electricity in his stormy blue eyes.

"We did. Volstagg was here far longer than I was. He found funnel cake. I would have stayed longer, but Sif was feeling ill. She has gone home to rest. My brother plied me with mead already but I would not decline more," Thor says to Tony after exchanging his greetings with Michael.

"Justin Hammer, my good friend," Thor says then, turning from Tony to step into Justin's personal space and give the man a hug and a firm - but GENTLE! - pat on the back. Okay, maybe he lifts Justin out of the chair to do it, and he certainly puts him back down with great tender care as he does so.

"Indeed it is good to see thee with my own eyes," adds Thor with a smile, because he's starting to feel better again, mostly. He glances about for a chair, and spots Carol Danvers. His head tilts at the Pizza Delivery line, but he says nothing, and instead just smiles lightly and gives the Major a faint nod. Thor, not finding a chair that looks capable of supporting him, drops to sit on the ground instead, in that space Keith made for him. Thor murmurs his thanks to the feline.

"As always, Tony, thy hospitality is Asgardian in proportions," he compliments his friend and teammate, before smiling back at Michael.

"Ah, yes! We had not really been introduced? My thanks to thee for thy assistance in protecting my Realm," Thor says to Michael, looking more at ease now.


Returning the hug, Carol shakes her head, "This one's on me Pep. The opportunity to pick up something for Mister Stark that the great Pepper Potts needed help getting is worth it entirely." She opens her mouth to say something more, and then shakes her head as Tony speaks. Her eyes lock onto that offered drink, most notably the drink in Tony's hand, and she swallows whatever else she was -about- to say. The thing about a true addict, sometimes they don't even realize that they are about to do something stupid, or make a mistake. However, she -does- correct almost numbly. "Colonel was my seperating rank, Captain is the title I use now, so I guess Major is right in the middle, eh?" And as she says that, she's slowly extending a hand towards Tony, as if wordlessly accepting his offer.


The waiter returns after a moment with a particularly sturdy looking chair for Thor, then starts pushing a vacant table around. Soon, the booth has become a longer table with extra chairs.

Pepper snags her beverage and gives Carol the option of sliding into the booth with the two CEOs, the feline, and the future-man. "Please, Carol, join us." She gives Tony a Significant Look, then accepts the plates from the waiter and sets a slice of the pizza down in front of Tony. Justin gets the next one, then reaches to stop Carol's hand. "Do you want some pizza, Carol? It looks like there's enough." She gets the next slice, whether she wants it or not. Pepper then turns to speak with the waiter quickly and quietly before serving up the rest of the pizza for Michael, Keith, Thor, and finally herself. And... there's one slice left.


Keith adds, "They're not really bugs, Michael... they're supposed to be magical human-like creatures. With wings. And these apparently bite. Nearly bit my thumb off. Bit through Captain's armor. Nasty little gits." He shakes his head. And then looks at the pizza with wide eyes. Oh man... he was hungry, and hadn't even realized it. "This smells... like food from the gods." He smiles at Carol.


Tony Stark looks down, "All this and pizza too? I'm the luckiest guy ever. Really.." he shrugs, "I look around and beautiful blond badasses just show up with pies..it's like I'm magic or something."


"It is not, I assure thee," quips Thor as he pushes himself to his feet to take the chair. Oh, but that means he has to unclip Mjolnir. Cuz sitting with a hammer on your belt is just uncomfortbale. Thor drops it almost carelessly to the ground off to one side.


After Michael shakes Thor's hand, he says, "Thank you, Ms. Potts, but I have to decline. I need to get going shortly." To Keith, he concedes, "I don't know about the magical part, but that still describes some of the bugs we had in the 25th century." Michael is sitting in the booth, but rather than make people scoot over or get up, he hovers up and out from behind the table and rather gracefully flies over it, landing on the floor once he is clear of it. "I'm sorry to say I have to stick to my training schedule."


Justin takes the 'gentle' pat on the back as well as he can. He chuckles, looking back toward the thunder god as he straightens his glasses. This guy is certainly acting like Thor should, but Hammer still can't be sure. He hasn't spotted the famous artifact that the Thunder carries yet, so this could still very well be Loki in disguise. The pizza is set down in front of him, and he gives Pepper a nod. "Why thank you miss Potts," he says with a tone that isn't completely sincere, since almost nothing he says is. The *thunk* that Mjolnir makes when it hits the floor draws Hammer's attention. He blinks, looking between the artifact and Thor. Well, it's got to be him...


Hand reaching for the glass in Tony's hand, Carol sits down in the booth. The offer of Pizza distracts her and she looks to Pepper, distracted from the booze before she remarks, "Oh.. no I ate just before I got here. Feel free to just enjoy some more." She shakes her head like a boxer trying to clear it after being punched in the face. "Oh, I think an Orange Juice would be awesome though. Anything without alcohol."


"Take care, Michael. Let's hang out soon, okay?" Keith waves at Michael. He is nnot above eating that other pizza slice, considering he hasn't had lunch or dinner. Hungry cat.


Pepper Potts nods to Keith, apparently not terribly offended by his needing to leave. "Have a good evening, Michael. And Skeets, take care of him." She smiles, then rescues her tablet to put back into her bag. Thor gets Michael's slice of pizza, and the watier returns with a beverage for Carol. It LOOKS like a Tequila Sunrise, but looks and tastes like the liquor was replaced by Sprite.


"My thanks, Pepper," Thor says as the pizza is given to him, blue eyes warm and honest and more clear than they were a moment ago. The Thunderer starts munching on the pizza with no great fervor, eyes flicking from speaker to speaker politely. When his eyes flick between Justin and Tony, the Thunderer smiles to himself, as if pleased by something he did. Only for the reason to pull the smile away and cause his eyes to overcast again.


"That's my job, Ms. Potts," Skeets replies in a long-suffering way, to Pepper.

Michael gives the robot a shove that does nothing to thwart the way he placcidly floats in mid-air. Michael says, "See you, Keith. Goodnight, Ms. Potts. And congrats on an awesome Expo opening, Mr. Stark. Goodnight, everyone." He gives a wave and turns to head out and home.


Once more distracted, Carol entirely misses the greetings she was given by Thor and Keith. She was -so- focused on that drink at first, and now the... uh, not drink? She eyes the beverage that is delivered and looks to Pepper. See, nobody -explained- to her that it was sprite. "Uh..." she remarks as she reaches for the glass and lifts it. "Just a juice is fine." she says before taking a sniff of the thing. She leans in and does her best to whisper to Pepper....


Keith starts nibbling on his pizza. He has one of those moments where you take everything in and get a sense of perspective of things. The god of Thunder was next to him. He had just said goodnight to his friend, the man from the 25th century. Across from him were two serious tycoons, one of which was also Iron Man. Pepper was to his other side, and there was Carol at the table, too.

It was so thoroughly min-boggling that a little version of himself appeared on his shoulder, took a look around the table, and then said at Keith, " Dog, what the hell you doing here? You stole someone's invitation?" before vanishing into thin air.

Keith doesn't acknowledge that That Was A Thing. Probably because he doesn't know-- unlike the doo-wop girls, this sounded so close to his actual internal monologue that it was easy enough for him not to notice. These people were legends, movers and shakers, and he was a purple cat from the Bronx.

Keith always supected that his life was scripted by Woody Allen. Now he was certain of it.

He's not so mindblown that he doesn't see Thor's eyes getting that expression. The cat-man puts a hand on the god's shoulder in a friendly gesture.


Thor manages a wave at Michael, setting the plate on his knee. He's about to go morose again when Keith's inner monologue appears on his shoulder. Thor looks over at the voice, eyeing the small Keith. Nonpulsed, the Thunderer says to the illusion just as it is disappearing: "Keith is a cat, not a dog."


Pepper Potts listens to Carol, then ohs softly and nods, indicating a glass of water still where Carol is now sitting. The faux-Tequila Sunrise disappears and Pepper asks for a soda, still in the sealed bottle or can. And then she finally manages to take a bite of her slice of pizza. Wow, this IS good.


Tony Stark watches Carol curiously, as she goes to take his drink - which he's used to - and then not - which he isn't so used to. He shrugs as she gets something non-alcoholic and continues to eat pizza and sip scotch, not realizing how hungry he was or how much he pairs these together that it's no longer odd for him to do so. "Strange things are afoot at the Stark Expo and it's only just begun.."

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