(2018-09-28) Upon Arrival
Tech rising giant TechEase arrives at OktoberFest, to no small fare

NPC by Jack

Jackfield Stadium Hamrock Hills

The outer fence is preserved, old wooden fence that looks like pallets from cattle chutes, while within the rodeo arena and stands are modern steel fancies. With large 5' posts, the fences are easily four and a half feet tall and open, easy to climb in or out of the arena. On one side are stands covered with a corrugated steel awning for shade on long rodeo days, the stands are of a similar steel construction, enough to act like bleachers for visitors. The opposite end contains a number of chutes, above which are a few stand boxes for announcers and VIPs alike. Several cables hang over the rodeo with old lights and a mix of banners which change from event to event.

The green space outside allows for more seating for bigger events held in the rodeo arena. Allowing for picnic like accommodations for families. The hills surrounding are bowl shaped to accommodate easy viewing from this grassy area, but not as shaded as the actual stadium stands are. The food vending area is near the stands and is generally restaurants from town providing food carts and cold beer. The only permanent structure on the premises are stables for the animals and restrooms.

The festivities are going great, one booth that is off center and a little big is kept covered as the festivities are underway. Up until Friday the 28th. Then 10 PM on the ball, pyrotechnics near the canvased area. The canvas drops, a small stage. A man there introduces himself as Shane Stronghold, some may know him as the youthful founder of TechEase, a fast growing fortune 500 tech company that provides in home services. They use a gimmicky car. Its on stage even, Focus 2019's, not the ST, but made to seem like ST's. Painted up white and red, sort of police car like, so you know TechEase is on the way. Its stage lights and sound effects and talks about how good TechEase is, but over the top. It might fly in Chicago or LA, like trying to hard to be trendy. The focus of the quick speech is on their new apps to help get the support one needs, nothing about the lookout for their new headquarters. Then he introduces a band as the Focus drives off stage, down a ramp for people to look at the support offered via their mobile support centers. The band may or may not go over well, Elephant Revival (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uApmDAoEIBo), who at least has Colorado roots.

After that showing, he lets the band play and jumps off stage to start walking through the crowds, late 20's-something Shane Stronghold. The band plays on, the car is opened to show off their gadgetry, and he has an award winning smile. "Hey, Shane," he says to anyone nearby, "Hope you're having a good time." As if all of OktoberFest was secretly planned by TechEase, which it most certainly wasn't.

Kate has been walking around, looking to see what is going on within the festival. She stops by the booth where Shane is showcasing a car, as it is driven off the stage she blinks and watches the band start their music, glancing around to see what other people might think of the car, the company and the man who seems to be showing off his charisma in a heavy fashoin.

Luke's been manning a booth this evening, offering coupons for a free pet check-up in exchange for $5 for three attempts at successfully tossing a ring around the tail of a giant stuffed dog. Luke has found a newfound love in coupons (both giving AND receiving), so this was all great fun, until the crowd flocked to the stage for the pyrotechnics. He loitered behind, closing up his booth, until the Focus was driven off stage and curiousity got the better of him. Which means he comes into the area with a gigantic stuffed dog tucked under one arm and a beer in his free hand, walking a circle around the Focus in a curious sort of way. It was there that he comes across Kate, offering her a big smile. "Hey Kate. This is cool, huh?" he cants his head to the Focus.

After hanging around in the first aid tent for awhile, Abby starts to wander around after her relief comes in. And look, there are pyrotechnics! She finds her way to this flashy display by TechEase, drawn like a moth to the flame. She stands in the general milling of the crowd, her expression fixed into something dubious as the show goes on. Her mouth slowly presses into a line and like Kate, she starts to glance around the crowd to see exactly how this is being received by everyone else. Spotting her and Luke over that way, she lifts a hand to grab their attention before moving along in that direction.

It was a festival for the community and being such, members of the city council are out in full force. Becca doesn't look to be there in professional capacity though, she's holding a cup that likely has beer served from one of the other tents. Laughing at something someone nearby her was sayinng, it takes her a moment before she realize the larger tent was making themselves known finally. Turning, she pays attention to the announcement and the amount of overkill with it. Still, the pyrotechnics were interesting and she hears the introduction. "Shane, with TechEase. Interested in putting down roots in the community?"

There was a hand wave, not that it was for Shane. It was Abby meeting friends, and he's turning as if he was going to offer her a business card or a greeting, erringly. Good thing off duty council woman Becca is there at his introduction. "Totally interested," he says, a grin to Becca, and the nearby group that is just seeing what's going on. "You know, I heard there is some great kayaking opportunity in the Saminaw, I'm looking to check that out?" He leaves it open with his curiousity in said river, and clearly never having been near it other than maybe the fly in/drive in over said river to Jackfield Stadium.

Kate shoots Luke a grin and then gestures to the booth. "It looks really neat, do you think they're giving the car away?" She asks quietly, her eyes still wide on the booth. She spots Abby and a warm smile is shot in her direction. "Evening, what did you think of the car, huh?" She barely catches Becca's words and her lips purse as her eyes narrow. "Think having a big business like that will be good for the city? I mean, it's more money but.." She trails off, her brows furrowed slightly.

"It's pretty cool, but I dunno about the paint job," Luke says of the red-and-white-stripped Focus, chuckling to himself. As Abby comes by, he flashes her a bright smile, lofting his beer in greeting. "Hey Abby. You want a giant dog? I don't know what I'm going to do with this thing," he tilts his chin down to the stuffed dog under his arm, chuckling to himself. Shane's comments to Becca makes him tip his head, and he looks over to the city councilwoman and the slick businessman, brows lifting. But he says nothing for the moment. "Don't know if all this flashy stuff is really Calaveras' thing," he says to Kate and Abby with a small shrug. "I wonder if the car does anything cool."

Abby looks genuinely confused when it seems like Shane with TechEase is going to give her one of his cards. She lowers her hand from waving and peeks down at the card before taking it, looking it over front to back. "Thanks." Her attention and her feet have her shifting a little closer to Kate and Luke, "It's a nice car. It's in better shape than my car, so I really can't go judging paint jobs." That previously serious look transitions to a half-grin and she tucks the pocket into the pocket of her flannel shirt. "Oh, no. I don't think I need that in my house. Maybe you can give it away to a little kid that comes into your practice? I've heard parents /really/ like it when people give their kids oversized stuffed animals."

A hand deftly reaches out to pluck the business card from the hand holding it when she thinks the other person isn't going to, but she's too slow and it's already taken.Amusement twisting her lips, I'd like a card." Not missing a beat, she continues. "There is kayaking." After a rather deliberate look over his form she gives him a careless shrug. "If you're up to that sort of challenge. But I want to know more about your business. What sort of services do you offer? We've got some great small town tech companies already here. What makes yours better?" Lightly digging into his reasoning, if she can.

Hands move like a magician, but less showy and not really sleight of hand. Just a lot of card handing out by Shane, as he pulls another from one pocket and over to Becca, while saying "You're welcome," to Abby. "We're forward thinking. Not to say the local companies are not. In fact, I'd like to meet a few of them, maybe we could synergize." He looks around as if the whole nearby group is listening, making eye contact with all. "We offer tech solutions. Whether adaptive API to take a company from spreadsheets to interactive phone apps, or seeing what we can do for cloud data solutions at affordable prices for companies on the grow. Or just coming to homes to solve pesky bandwidth problems." THen he turns to Luke, "Funny you should mention that, we've really updated the car, its Focus 1.13, the tail light is QR compatiable, just scan a tail light and it can be anything. The driver could set something, we can update it from headquarters if we want." And, of course, if anyone does it now after hearing that, they get a coupon for a 20% discount on their smart devices, it notes itself as 'stackable' with currnet groupons for TechEase. Why someone would randomly QR scan a tail light is another question, but there it is, OktoberFest visitors can scan a coupon

Kate stands still near Abby and Luke, and she's so mesmerized by Becca's questions to Shane that she doesn't offer any of her own. A busty blonde in Oktoberfest gear comes around with a tray a beer and she winces, shaking her head back and forth when she's offered one. There is a brief shift of her eyes to the stuffed animal, and then back to Abby, trying hard not to let out a laugh while there is a serious discussion going on. "Sounds complicated." She finally states, her voice quiet.

"You think so? Maybe. Or maybe I could raffle it off or something," Luke chews on the corner of his lip as he seriously considers what Abby's suggested. After all, maybe parents really /do/ love having giant stuffed animals given to their kids! Spoiler: they don't. He turns his focus back to Shane as the man starts rambling, and there is definitely a moment where all these tech words make Luke's eyes glaze over … until the magic words are spoken. "Sorry. Did you say coupon?" Luke sparks at that, straightening and setting his gigantic dog down by his feet so he can fish his phone out of his pocket. "What do I need to do to get this coupon? I have a whole binder at home waiting to be filled," he looks back to Abby, flashing her a small grin. "Somebody stuck it in my door this morning. I don't know who would -possibly- have done that, but they clearly know me very well."

"Synergize," Abby repeats, her eyebrows lifting ever so slightly and begins to echo Kate, "Wow, that does sound complicated. What makes your cloud better for file storage than someone just backing it up to Google? Apple or even Amazon? Is it just affordable pricing?" She wonders, pulling that card out again to give it a second look over, eyes moving from the text to Shane and then back again with a nod of appreciation for Becca and her questions. Her expression is once again thoughtful before she replaces it. When Luke starts going bananas for coupons, she stifles a laugh, "Whoa, someone put a coupon binder in your front door? That person sounds like a gift giving genius. I hope I get to meet them some day, maybe they can give me some hints."

"Interesting." Becca reads over the card and tucks it nicely into somewhere. Oh a blinged pocket on her jeans, slipping it there in her back pocket. "Perfect. We have discount coupons for different adventures the city boasts at the City Hall, if you're interested in playing tourist. Perhaps you could get someone on the council to show you around as well, there's quite a group of them there." Somewhat attempting to sound welcoming to the corporation representative. Catching the look from Abby, Becca offers a wink over towards her in return. Just a playful look. At the question asked by Abby, she only adds one other. "How soon are you looking to join the community?"

"Its pretty simple," says Shane with an award winning smile, in some states at least, "We have a film over the tail light that helps with matrixing of the leds." Though, like most QR's, it could take a couple scans to get it. Easy when not moving, hopefully they have extra bumper insurance in case drivers behind their peppermint cars try to scan while driving. "A binder of coupons?" He throws similar curiousity as Abby to Luke, while showmen explaining, "You just hit at the core there." He makes a chopping motion into an open hand towards Abby, in his mind it cutting an apple to get to the core, but his TechEase sign language may not translate. "Why only store, why not be adaptive to manage all cloud apps, you can include your google sign in to access your google drive, your Amazon prime account, our cloud can merge for extra strage and translate between systems. And yes, I'd love to look around town more. We're hoping to get a good feel for our role in any community we're looking to join. We love the river, the mountains, the progressive warrior vibe." Warrior courses, outdoors stuff, like most city folks, what's old is new, its the new new, outdoorsing?

"Really? A coupon binder?" Kate can't help but laugh at that, distracted from all the tech talk for a moment. "I mean, I clip coupons for groceries, but I haven't needed a binder for it." She glances back at Shane and listens quietly while he explains. "So basically what you're saying is that your …tech can help corral and control other tech?" She uses her computer for finances only, so she does look mostly lost still. "Well welcome to Calavaras, I hope you enjoy exploring. I'll take a coupon, I guess." She folds her arms over her chest and frowns.

"Yes, an entire binder for coupons. Apparently I'm going to be the World's Greatest Coupon King," Luke informs Kate in an all too matter-of-fact sort of way, lifting his shoulder in a vague shrug. "It says it right there on the binder, so it clearly must be true. I intend to hang onto them for a decade or so, and then slam my coupon book upon the counter of some unsuspecting clerk, demanding they honor my deals." He says it all with an incredibly straight face, but there's a single glance to Abby, and he loses it, breaking out into laughter. So much so that he has to walk away for a minute to calm himself down, taking the opportunity to try and scan the QB code with his phone. Which, between the laughing and the whole figuring out technology thing? Takes a couple of attempts. But dammit, he gets it. "HA! There. Where do I get my coupon?" he looks to Shane expectantly, though he does add there at the end, "I wouldn't mind talking with you about some technological advances for the vet clinic. I mean we're using tablets now for intake and record keeping, but I imagine there's a lot more we could be doing."

Abby watches as Shane begins to chop at an imaginary apple, her expression not exactly readable there for a moment. After a second or two, she shakes it off and smiles politely, "Well, that all sounds very ambitious. I look forward to seeing how this pans out for your company. I'm sure you have several interesting months ahead of you, at least." Her next distraction comes in the form of Luke explaining the coupon binder that was left at his front door, at which point she passes on a /completely/ innocent expression in Kate's direction, "As you can see, he's very serious about his coupons…" She makes until about the end of the sentence before she starts having to cover her mouth to keep the laughter in check. But after he scans the code against the car and returns demanding the next coupon, her shoulders start to shake again. It's clearly too much.

There was plenty to listen to, between those that are obvious friends and the salesman talking about his company. While she listens, Becca takes a look around, from the things at the tent to the car and the taillights. The couponing joke is lost on her but her lips twitch simply from contagious laughter. "The city hall is located downtown near the police station, you're welcome there any time." With that, she glances around as if seeking someone and not finding them.

"In a manner it can help, why store passwords all over, on sticky's, in files. Log in through the app once to any other cloud storage and its saved there. All your storage in one location," grins Shane to Kate. He sort of brow furrows at the gag run by Luke, but laughs himself. Its hard to say, it could be a social laugh to seem to fit in, and it could be well practiced laugh as if he doesn't get it at all, but its there from Shane. "Accept the contact, it will store our toll free number, when you call for support of any kind, the discount will be applied." He explains to Luke, then points to the tail light as he glances Kate, "Its just a quick scan, I could help." A hand goes up as if ready to take her phone to do the scanning with. Even as he offers the assist he does return to the business woman, "I'll have to come by City Hall, see how we might fit in the city's infrastructure."

Kate settles her gaze on Luke as he speaks of his coupon obsession, and it's clear that she already has an idea who gave him the present. The innocent look cements it, and she simply shakes her head back and forth, her lips pressed together. She manages a straight-faced nod at Abby and takes a breath. "He'll make a lady very lucky one day, with all of his saving money and organizational skills." She coughs to cover her laughter, turning her dark eyes back to Becca and Shane. She pulls her phone from her back pocket and she holds it out to Shane. "So how much does something like this cost, because I run a small business and I've made do without all sorts of technology thus far."

"Oh yes I will," Luke agrees to Kate with a knowing tap of his finger to the tip of his nose. "Particularly in ten years when I go demanding my out of date discounts. The ladies will fall head over heels then," he winks, looking back to Shane with a dubious squint as the man laughs along with the both of them. There's a shift in his step, and he sort of leans into Abby to share a private whisper, before he straightens. And then Shane goes and drops the bombshell about accepting terms and calling phone numbers. "You mean.. there's not a physical coupon?" Luke looks positively crestfallen at the revelation. "But what will I put in my binder?!" It takes about two seconds into the faux dramatics for Luke to lose it again.

Abby is dragging her hand down her face now, regaining her composure through strength of willpower alone. "And what woman doesn't love a long game of at least ten years?" She clears her throat and sighs, at least one more quick laugh escaping her before she's shaking her head, "I think I better get back to the first aid tent. I was just out for a little break. You all enjoy the rest of your night. Good luck with your business venture, Shane from TechEase." The group gets a mock salute, index and ring fingers to her temple before she wanders back that away, out of the sight of pyrotechnic-coupon-cars.

"Not to seem to favor on one side or the other, but making do is far from making yourself comfortable or finding more time in a day.. for coupon collecting if that's what one is in to." Becca slides in there evenly, eyes dancing her mischief. With little show, she walks over to scan her own phone, and content now that she has her own copy of the business card, she finds she has no further business with the man. "Good luck at the festival."

There he is, holding a hand flat, phone on top like a cutting board maybe, and mid cutting the apple, "Well, that's the core." A pause, a look to Luke, "That's not a bad idea, a utility to organize digital coupons." The apple core cutter hand goes to put a pin in it (Bolt) appropriated to TechEase sign language. "See, Calaveras, it was like a summoning." He gets back to scanning the tail light, "Thank you, the luck is appreciated," to the parting Abby as it takes him two tries to scan, he's on his QR scanning game. Handing it back, "All there 20% discount. But the basic app, that's free. Like most cloud storage, its all there. The cost comes in for security or other features. If you're traveling, say, oversees and want your access secure, we have features to protect the information. Popular among researchers due to Homeland Security restrictions on data sharing abroad." He takes the card from Becca, "Thank you, its a great festival, great spirit here in Calaveras." Seeing she is on city council now that he has her card.

Kate takes back her phone and she slides it back into her back pocket. "It looks interesting, but I'll probably never use it, we'll see." She glances at Luke to see his reaction to being able to organize his digital coupons. "Hear that, imagine how many of those you can get in ten years." She comments, before she turns to smile at Becca. "I've heard of you, but we haven't met yet, I don't think. Kate Stone, I own the B&B up in Oak Ridge."

"I don't know," Luke purses his lips, thinking through Shane's idea. "I mean, there's really something.. meaningful about having physical coupons, you know? I mean dropping a binder full of aging, ancient coupons that are completely uncategorized on some unsuspecting clerk is far more dramatic than pulling it up on your phone." He flashes Shane a wide grin as he chuckles. "But sure, whatever man. Go for it." He waves to Abby as she drifts back to the first aid tent, looking to Kate with a big grin. "This sounds absurd, but I have a sinking suspicion -she- sent me the binder," he snickers, before he glances to Becca and extends his hand. "I'm Luke Wright. I own the vet clinic."

Putting the name together with the business, Becca smiles all warm like. "Stone Bed and Breakfast. I've heard all good things about you. Especially during the storm when you offered the asylum for the masses. Very much appreciated from the responders and the towns people." Before forgetting though, she adds, "I'm Becca Reynolds, lived here all of my life. I've seen you in passing before." A look to the Vet then also. "I'm sure you know my parents, my dad is Samuel Reynolds from Reynolds Ranch out in Granja Basin," Her hand given over to shake as she smiles in response. "And me, I am always looking for sponsors to advertise on my race car, if anyone is ever interested."

"Maybe, if you do you do," says Shane to Katherine as he hears Luke discuss couponing again. Then a grin from Shane. Not his practiced one or that good laugh, but maybe a real one. "Hey now, I've seen some of those extreme couponers, its a way of life. So good, the stores pay them money when they go shopping." True story, at least for some. He does offer though, "We could send someone by to see if they can help get more functionality for you." He recalls Luke's question about better utilization of tech in the clinic. Then as they turn towards the council woman, he nods, "A pleasure, I'm sure we'll see each other around. Maybe on the river." Cause he thinks everyone in Calaveras goes kayaking on weekends or something. He turns to help another person with scanning the taillight, explaining something about nanotechnology in a film over the taillight to reduce glare to help with the matricing for the scanner of most phones.

Kate flushes as Becca speaks of the storm. "Well, I enjoy helping, and the storm gave me an opportunity to do so." She brushes her hair out of her face and shrugs. The name sparks recognition and she laughs. "Now I feel like an idiot, we graduated high school together. Though, I spent most of those four years with my head in a book, and my mind in the clouds." She blinks and glances at her watch, frowning a bit as she backs away from the group. "I've got to get home and check on my sister. It was nice to see you guys, and Becca — I'll be in touch about sponsorship!" She raises her hand over her head to wave happily as she walks back to her vehicle. Her purse is held close to her body, she heard the news about things disappearing.

"Ah, I do know your parents. I do a lot of visits up to the ranch for them," Luke says to Becca with a wide smile, before he looks back to Shane and nods a little bit. "Yeah, feel free. I can't see how it would hurt," he says of tech utilization and Shane sending somebody by. "But uh.. yeah. I'm sure we'll see each other around. Probably like, at a coffee shop or something rather than the river though." There's another dubious squint in Shane's direction before he just shakes his head, turning back to Becca as he stoops to grab the giant stuffed dog he put down at his feet earlier. "I should probably head home. It was nice meeting you though, Becca. I'm sure I'll see you around," he smiles to her.

With everyone going their own way, Becca smiles mostly to Kate, recognizing her now that the dots were put together. "That feels like so long ago. I feel the age creeping on now." She gives a sort of whimsical smile that completely belies those words though. "I'll see you later, Kate." Releasing the hand of the vet, she grins easily. "It was good seeing you again too. I'm almost certain I remember you too. Almost." She says one last goodbye, and that's to Shane. "See you on the river this weekend. I am getting in all the outdoor fun I can while I can."

(feel free to tag the log with character names of those involved!)

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