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May 27, 2019, 12.47PM, a lovely warm late spring day Emerald City, Oregon, waterfront, annual MarsTech Science Fair "Wow, Meridian! Amazing! If you hadn't stopped those robot ninjas, my MarsTech Olympus-class air-scrubber would be in the hands of evil! Our ozone and oxygen are safe yet again!" Max Mars, standing beaming like a happy child while surrounded by smashed bits of cyclopic glossy-black robots dressed like ancient stage hands, seemed for once even smaller than his five feet next to the towering heroine. His curly red hair, peppered with grey, had caught plenty of the debris from the magnificently-staged mock-combat, and his lovely deep-blue suit and bearded face had caught a full blast of smoke from an all-too real electrical fire, but the grin on his face wasn't damaged or dimmed in the least. The West Coast's favorite source of super-science had been urging for something like this ever since meeting Sophie Powers, and evidently it had lived up to all his dreams at once. The rest of the dock had been cleared and meticulously calculated to allow for the fight to happen without causing any real harm, while the stands stood close enough to the action to let the Emerald City munchkins feel the vicarious thrills. The platform Max and Meridian stood on was two-level, letting the real point of the show make an imposing backdrop-a monolithic black wall marked out with the red planet logo of MarsTech-keep up a presence. The Olympus was some kind of greenhouse gas-condenser, and had been busily proving its worth since its unveiling. By processes Max had been very happy to explain, but which relatively few people understood, it had been drawing carbon and other heat-trapping airborne substances from the air and converting them into other, less harmful solid forms. To hear Max talk, one could be forgiven for thinking the entire ecological crisis was solved for all time. Emerald's favorite son swept a hand to the crowd "A big hand, everybody, for Meridian, today's greatest hero!" The request wasn't necessary, since Emerald citizens weren't yet jaded enough to not be amazed by the sight of people punching robots in front of them, but it did get a standing ovation going! The only less-than-enthralled response was from the Emerald City South Girl Scouts box, in which several hundred uniformed girls busily scribbled notes onto tablets or inspected fragments of metal that blown their way, the wall of uniformed older women around them clapping politely but with veryobvious skepticism. By tradition, the Emerald City North Girl Scouts box was as far from the South's as reasonably possible, and was resolutely and coolly silent. The flying news-drones swept closer, circling to capture the moment, their human counterparts chatting with the MarsTech company reps and snapping photos. Except for the skinny, greasy woman in the grey 50's suit and 'PRESS'-carded trilby who'd been politely put behind the security line after trying to reach the stage and ask questions. She just scribbled and glared from time to time.