You're about to grab for a paper cup when you remember that they're out because Sean—*scoff* neat freak—decided to use them to hold all of the components you had lying around your solder station. You reach over and unceremoniously upend the one holding a dozen 555s.
As you're filling it, your stomach growls, so you reach over and pull a Hot Pocket out of the fridge. You slide it into the little reflector case thingy and open up the microwave. You use the little tape markers you've put on the base to position it about 130mm from the left inside edge. After a month of
screwing around intense science you've determined that that's as close as you can get to optimal with this microwave's awkward resonance.
You hit start, then turn around and lean against the counter as you mentally review your notes for the presentation. It shouldn't be too bad. You've given the same basic spiel a billion times; you're the engineer—your part doesn't need to change much. You and Ali usually just end up reciting enough technical bits to make it seem like you've got everything handled. Sean and Kara have the hard parts. It's just that, well...
Presenting to this particular group had been Kara's idea. She said her parents know—well, knew, you guess—a couple of the higher-ups. She seems to think that this might give us a little sway. But they're GC. Like, the GC. Even with Kara's connection, you still aren't sure how you got a meeting at all.
You glance at the prototype you were tinkering with last night. It's not exactly pretty, and Ali hasn't even seen it yet, let alone worked an interface, but taking it with you and showing it off might lend you some much needed... tangibility. You've developed the opinion that everyone who's rejected you has done so because it didn't feel "real" enough. There isn't much else for GC to actually see beyond some mockups and pretty pictures in the slides.
The microwave dings. You turn back around and grab the Hot Pocket. You bite into it. You wince as your tongue meets boiling hot lava. Ahh, science.
You think you hear a car pulling up.