2019-11-29 - RESCUE Coding Academy


Hank comes to RESCUE with Sharon to visit Veronica and ask for some help with his new nano-armor.

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Storyteller: --
Date: 2019-11-29
Location: RESCUE Campus

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Hank has been working on a new costume, the interface though, that's been giving him some issues and so he thought it would be good to seek help from someone who's VERY good at such things. It won't quite be a mental interface, but it does have similar structure. So…road trip! He packs up some samples, and of course the data, and once he found out if Cat was available he packed her off with him too. Sure, she's going to school soon, but she's still his assistant at present.

On the drive over they talk about her classes, scheduling, and Hank shares insights into the teachers he knows. 90 minutes actually passes pretty quickly, and then they pull into the parking structure at RESCUE, and that's where things get a little hairy - because he is a lot LESS hairy!

Sharon just sighs, looking over at Hank. "Not saying 'I told you so', but…" She produces her ID for the guard. "Transmutagenic compounds exist, yes? Took Dr McCoy years of research to reverse the induced secondary mutation, restore original appearance. Will be happy to sit in parking lot, wait for escort. Much better than blocking the driveway, yes?"

When Hank drives up to the gates to the RESCUE campus, he is asked for ID. His ID is on the approved list, and that should be enough. But this is RESCUE, and his appearance does not pass the facial recognition scans established during his earlier visit. Sharon's does, so no one is aiming any weapons. But Hank is escorted to the parking structure by two security guards, who then follow him as he exits the vehicle and approaches the Spire.

As both guests would likely expect, word is passed along, and when they come towards the spire they are greeted by the rolling form of Dr. Veronica Kelsey, in her lab coat and aboard her wheelchair. And those keenly perceptive eyes of hers are behind those smartlens glasses, seeing and recording all, while also analyzing. "Dr. McCoy?" she asks, curiously, as she rolls closer. The guards look tense; that's their boss, so of course they are concerned.

"You enjoy being right, dear Catseye." Hank says with an utterly calm acceptance and a warm smile. She DID say I told you so, just not in so many words, and that's fine. He waits with Cat until they're escorted first to the parking structure, then to the Spire. He even lets them go through the case he brought with, though the contents are likely a little esoteric for the guards to parse well.

He smiles at Veronica, and since she'd read a lot of his work Doctor Kelsey might just recognize him from his college days. "Hello, Ronnie. Yes, it is me." The voice is the same, the eyes are identical, his teeth…much the same, the body layout has not changed…he's just without fur and claws. "Thank you for seeing us."

Catseye smiles at Veronica. "Hello, it is good to see you again." She is careful about her grammar, trying to make a good impression, but it's difficult. Most telling however, is that her tail is up and curled, indicating she's not in distress. That tail shows her mood more clearly than anything else.

"You might have called, Hank." Roni offers, a wry twist to her lips. She glances to Sharon and nods. "Hello, Sharon. Good to see you again." And then her gaze shifts to the guards. "Thank you, gentlemen. Tell Ava everything is fine. It matches his voiceprint, and subdermal measurements match. I'll ask him later where his fur went, but this is Dr. McCoy in the … no longer blue flesh."

That said, Roni pivots her wheelchair and gestures towards the automated doors to the Spire. "Welcome to RESCUE again. To what do we owe the pleasure of your company today?" she inquires as she rolls along inside.

"I … should have, actually. I apologize, Roni." Hank's actually a bit embarrassed by the oversight, he is usually meticulously courteous. "Well, actually I wanted to consult with you about a sticky little problem I've been having with a new armored costume I've been working on. The nano-interface is being a bit of a devil and I was hoping you might be able to offer a fresh perspective." He's carrying a case, metal, and the guards would know it contains some very weird armor components, and is heavier than it looks.

"Have you ever worked with unstable molecules, Roni?"

He's definitely pleased to see Cat's tail isn't wound in tight, the last visit here she was much more tense, this is a definite improvement! Like orders of magnitude better.

"Unstable molecules?" Veronica parrots, and shakes her head. "No, never. I have not had the opportunity to ever work with Dr. Richards. But we do have some experience with nanoprogramming and control systems. We use them in some of our surgical efforts. We only have a rare few very carefully controlled subsystems, but I am happy to review them with you and see what we may be able to do to help you." She considers. "We should head to the Wellspring. That is where my lab is, and I have been the one with the most experience in programming the nanite systems, limited as that has been. Toni helped to perfect the bots themselves, and has been improving them for additional use cases."

That said, Veronica inquires, "How have you been, Sharon? I can clearly see how Hank has been." So no need to ask him.

Sharon's tail twitches with amusement. "Programming unstable molecules is… interesting. My needs for a shifting costume were much more straight forward than what DoctorHank is attempting." Interesting in this case means 'Fit to drive most scientists mad'. "Doing well, will be leaving the Institute and starting at Columbia in January. Looking forward to living in the City full time, having more time with family."

"Unstable molecules." Hank confirms with a nod as they walk. "As Catseye stated, we made a morphing suit for her, but my needs are a bit more complex. I wanted to compensate for some of my weaknesses in a fight - specifically cutting, piercing and ballistic attacks. Also wanted a multivision visor, and that's where the controls are."

He nods about the nanite systems. "The problem is a thorny one, I wanted the suit to be actively morphable, and unstable molecules can actually be out of phase and anchored to stable molecules as it were, so in the design the anchor is the visor."

A grin as he taps the side of his reading glasses, and they morph into an amber see through visor which adheres to face. "The visor is mostly working as intended, but the interface is a bit tenuous at times, and I'm unsure why."

He looks to Catseye. "Cat suggested it might be something to do with the nature of the molecules themselves, but…I'm hoping we can find a way to work around that."

"Well, the expert in particle physics is Toni, not me. But let's see what we can find." Veronica offers, as she leads the way through the Spire and into the Wellspring, then towards her lab.

"Congratulations, Sharon. I am an alumna of Columbia University, and of their medical school. If you ever have need of some help or guidance regarding the school, please don't hesitate to contact me." Roni offers the purple-haired and be-tailed beauty. She seems very, very proud of her history with her Alma Mater. And one imagines she had to do a lot of hard fighting to stay in medical school for a surgical residency as a paraplegic. "I strongly encourage all of the family time you can scrape together. I miss mine more every day."

Once they badge into Veronica's lab, she leads the way to an isolation table where they can lay down pieces of Hank's tech for microscopic examination and scans, and connect that to computers that will be isolated from the rest of the RESCUE systems for safety's sake. "Let's see what we can find. I'll do what I can to help, but I cannot promise anything."

Sharon smiles, "Thank you. MotherFrost has been working with me to prepare for the transition. Thankfully first semester will be classes that require little in class discussion so difficulties with English grammar should not come into play." The fact that she's an obvious mutant… well, that she can't really hide.

"Don't expect promises for tech, just fresh set of eyes could help a lot…" She starts pulling up the code and… she actually DOCUMENTS her code. And has the previous version and the results of testing them neatly documented. Either she is slightly obsessive about coding or safety, or her mindset really is alien.

"I have studied there as well." Hank says with a smile, and the letter or recommendation he sent in hopefully helped with her admissions. Of course, Columbia is a fine school and very tolerant of mutants. They have him speaking there fairly often, after all. It really comes as no surprise to Hank that Cat got accepted - first, he knows how damn smart she is, and second, the school is fairly liberal.

He smiles. "Family is the heart and soul of civilized life." Hank says without hesitation. "Also, fun to mess with on the holidays." This said with a bratty grin.

Hank opens up the case and lays out the armor pieces with care, and even removes the visor since /it/ houses the control elements. He also provides a thumb drive with his own work, he's not as meticulous about the coding notations as Cat is, still, he does have enough notations made so his logic and trials can be traced.

"If anyone can help you prep, it is Emma Frost." Hank agrees readily, and nods agreement with Cat's statement about promises and tech. "Honestly, I'm a bit stumped. I worked with simpler designs without a problem, I modified the control interface from one I use to customize holograms in our combat simulator, the Danger Room. It worked fine in simulation, but in practice it sometimes glitches, which cannot happen with armor. Not in the field, I have to be able to rely on it or this design will need to be scrapped and revamped."

Veronica taps along on the keyboard and loads up the code, then starts reading through it, asking questions about references to certain functionalities, and then following the testing parameters. She pulls up libraries that define new data types, and reads through them thoroughly, then starts packet-level analysis of the inputs and outputs of various functions when operating in isolation, determining the variances in output and measuring these against the expectations in the comments.

This effort continues as Roni continues to query Hank and Sharon on the code and the functions, and then back it up with her own tests and scans of the hardware as it tries to respond to those commands. One thing that becomes clear is that she is a very methodical programmer. She has insights, leaps forward, but she plods along step by step to connect from her starting point to her intuited endpoint to confirm her leaps before she continues. SHe has lots of compliments for Sharon's coding, and for Hank's brilliant ideas.

Sharon watches Veronica work, answering questions when appropriate and taking notes when Roni says something insightful. She doesn't need the notes, but Hank does and it's part of her duties as an assistant. "DrHank is genius… My job is just the technical details," she says, just sort of shrugging off the compliments.

In truth Hank's memory is very very good, but it is far from the flawless recorder Cat has, he'll miss the girl for that and many other reasons. Fortunately she's staying local, so they'll still be able to visit and will likely run into each other the university from time to time.

One unfortunate thing about how his brain works is that sometimes he has to painfully reconstruct the process behind his intuitive leaps. Much of what he does is done because he knows the answers are right, not always why they're right, but that that are.

He has to admire people like Roni, like Cat, who are so methodical so whatever answers Roni needs from him she'll get. Cat's self-denigration however draws a faint frown from man. "Those technical details are important, Catseye." He admonishes gently.

"Your job, Sharon, is to be your own special kind of amazing, in support of the project goals. And you have done that repeatedly. From what you've told me, you've only been living as a human for several years; accomplishing all that you have in so short a time is bewildering. It has taken me thirty years to accomplish what I have." Veronica offers to the younger woman with a supportive smile; Roni does not tolerate girls who denigrate their brilliance, as she has seen all too many of them in her own climb to her current position, those she was then unable to convince and unable to help. She cannot tolerate failing that now.

Roni continues to question and document, bit by bit. It may well take then days to work through this. BUt if they go at it hammer and tongs and keep at it, they will find the places where a leap has been made without the foundation of code to support it, or where a test of input and output is not catching a malformation that can happen. With her own style, and her attention to detail both physical and digital, they should be able to find the problems, and likely able to correct for them.

Sharon shrugs a little, "Important, yes… but not enough. Have lots of learning to do, always playing catch up it seems. And learning being human, getting along with humans is part of that. Part need to work on very much, which is why college." The Institute is sheltering but… it doesn't allow very many (if any currently) humans on campus, and those have to be very carefully screened. She'll never learn the skills she needs for the real world living there.

"Cat has a skewed set of standards, methinks." Hank offers. "I don't think she ever really got a handle on just how remarkable a person she is." No, Hank is absolutely not in any way biased! Perish the thought. Unpossible!

"Even after all my degrees I still have a lot to learn, and no doubt Roni feels the same way." A wink. "That I have a lot to learn, Cat."

The trio of Cat, Roni and Hank is an interesting amalgam, with Roni's experience and grounding, Cat's dogged methodology, and Hank's intuitive leaps to add spice. Truly, Roni is well suited to act as a bridge between the others.

Working together across the hours and eventually days, they find the gaps, the mis-steps that lead to intermittent errors. They are, as proven, very difficult to find. But once found they are not that hard to correct. And correct them they do. One at a time. Bit by bit. It's painstaking work.

Not unlike rewiring severed nerves.

But Veronica is going to need some serious downtime after all of this.

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