Doc eyed the heavy traffic and let out an aggravated sigh. "Great, just what I needed. Now I'm going to be late for the convention."
It would have taken him an hour tops to get there but with the heavy traffic in his way, it was going to take longer so he might as well get comfy. Getting bored quickly, his mind started to drift off to other things. His thoughts turned to his plans last night about turning platinum into cheese. It didn't turn out as well as he expected, not only did the metal not turn into cheese, but eating it gave him a bitter steel after taste.
"What else can I turn into cheese?" Was the goal in his mind.
"How about gold? No, tried that before, it gets too heavy on the stomach. What about the trees in the park? No, I don't feel like dragging the heavy cheese ray to the park. Plus Wordgirl would probably stop me before I even got to turn the tenth tree into cheese. Hmmm, what an evil genius scientist to do?"
Contemplating plans on stealing and/or turning something into cheese, his mind started to wonder about the dream he had last night. He never really thought about Steven and his past, he always assumed that he had little to no family or friends due to none of them looking for him after the accident. The recurring memories didn't bring much thought as it did today because they were usually about Steven by himself studying or completing experiments to get his Masters or Ph.D. However, last night someone else was there, not just a stranger but a good friend. A friend that could be thinking of Steven right now, wondering where he could be and never know. But why should he care? Not that it mattered anyway. No one cared to look for him or bring him back as Steven. Maybe Wordgirl would, but she doesn't count. She is a hero and heroes are always like that, helping people and stopping villains like him.
Leaving his argument at that, he looked at the clock on his van dashboard. The time read 9:45, the convention was going to officially start in about thirty minutes. Lucky for him he was almost there being only about 5 miles out.
"If only this stupid traffic could move any faster. Then I would have gotten there and had some cheese already." Two-Brains murmured in annoyance.
After ten minutes of being stuck in traffic, Doctor Two-Brains finally made it to the villain convention at a motel on the outskirts of town. "Finally I made it, with some time to spare too."
Entering the motel, Doctor Two-Brains looked at the sea of villains in attendance at this convention. He knew many villains by name, others by their reputation. However, not caring about interacting with the other villains and getting hungry, Two-Brains grabbed a plate and headed towards the cheesy macaroni on the table, passing a young child to get to the dish of delicious cheesy goodness. "Oops sorry, pardon me, on a quest of cheese here!"
"You're Doctor Two-Brains?" The young child beside him asked.
"Right, the first time." Two-Brains replied, adding the cheesy macaroni on his plate.
"I'm a big fan of your work. I read your article about "escaping the scene" in last month's modern villain monthly. Good stuff." The young boy complimented.
"Pish posh, so what's your shtick?" Two-Brains questioned, sensing a growing feeling of familiarity from the boy.
"Giant robots." The young boy answered proudly
"Catalog or homemade?" Two-Brains wondered in a growing interest.
This stopped Two-Brains in his tracks. Being a kid as young as the one in front of him not only use robots to rampage the city but also hand-made them himself was impressive. The kid's reputation sounded familiar.
"Nice… Wait a second, you wouldn't happen to be Tobey the boy genius robot…builder...kid, would ya?"
"More or less."
Taking Tobey's hand, Two Brains giving it a good shake. "Well this is a pleasure, I've been following your career."
Letting go of his hands and giving a thumbs up. "Not too shabby, Kid."
While talking to Tobey, Two-Brains couldn't help but sense that he has met this kid before but he knows logically that he hasn't. Maybe it's because of Tobey's reputation, that's probably why he feels like he knows Tobey from before. Looking at Tobey's features such as his brown eyes and listening to him talk about his love for robots, he couldn't help but get the feeling of deja vu.
"Any chance, Doctor, that you would be interested in a collaboration, " Tobey asked, pulling Two-Brains out of his thoughts.
"Tobey, can I call you Tobey." Two-Brains extended his hands for another handshake. "Why not, I got a few days to kill."
After agreeing on their newly set up alliance. Two-Brains and Tobey sat at a table far from the other villains to discuss their plans on building a robot with the newly invented metal in Two-Brains' lair, and what to do after the robot has been invented.
"We could use the metal to build a more stronger and powerful robot that could easily destroy the city and finally beat Wordgirl." Tobey proposed proudly.
"Don't you ever get tired of trying to destroy the city over and over again?" Two-Brains asked.
"Well don't you ever get tired of eating and stealing cheese?" Tobey retorted.
"Hey, I'll have you know that cheese is the best thing to ever be created, kid. Now back on topic, if we were to build a robot from your usual designs, Wordgirl could easily tip it over and destroy it. The designs of your robot's legs are lengthy and flexible, great for mobility, and agility. Defense and durability, yeah, not so much. That's why Wordgirl could easily beat them with a single punch to the head." Two-Brains analyzed.
"WHAT?! My robot designs are flawless! Sure Wordgirl can beat them with a single punch but that's because she has super strength and speed. Something man-made couldn't stop her with her amazing skills, her pristine techniques, and—" Tobey then continued to drone on, complimenting Wordgirl rather than complaining.
Cutting off Tobey's love rant about Wordgirl, Two-Brains decided to add in his two cents about why his analysis is correct. "Alright, listen here, loverboy. I have lived longer than both you and Wordgirl's age combined. I also graduated with a Ph.D. in science, so I know what I'm talking about."
"LOVERBOY?!" Tobey sputtered in shock.
Turning a little red and trying to defend himself, Tobey snapped. "I dislike Wordgirl as much as the next villain and I—"
Ignoring Tobey's defense, Two-Brains continued on his explanation. "Yeah, yeah." He interrupted, waving his hand nonchalantly in the air.
"Anyway, back to our robot design. We need to build a stronger base for the bot so it can easily stand its ground. We also need to add in extra attributes for better and efficient robbing and destroying."
Tobey let out a quiet sigh, wanting to move on from the loverboy comment. "Fine. Going off on both of our motifs, I assume that this robot will have a mouse theme to it since my theme of robots is already there."
"You assumed right, kid. We could add a storage space inside the mouse for storing stolen cheese. The mouse tail could be used as a vacuum sucking up the cheese, storing it inside the mouse. I wonder what else we could add? Hey Tobey, how long does it take you to build your usual robots?"
"About two days, a day and a half if I push it. However, since this is a new project and not my usual robot designs it could take me a couple of days. I also suggest that we reinforce the paws of the robotic mouse, making it stronger and heavier. That way it can easily destroy buildings, making it easier to steal, for you, cheese, and for me to finally defeat Wordgirl." Tobey explained.
"Hmmm, that's a great idea, Tobey. We can work out the minor mechanics later. However, I think we should build the robotic mouse in my lair. I have more space and supplies there. Would you be fine with that?" Two-Brains asked.
Tobey thought about it for a moment. "I have no problem with that. I just have to notify my mother that I would be visiting an acquaintance for the next couple of days."
Looking at the clock on the wall, Doctor Two-Brains saw that it was 2:50. The villain convention was about to end soon. Scanning the dining hall, he noticed that most of the villains that were in attendance have already left. He turned to face Tobey and saw him talking to his mother on the phone, which he presumes is at work. Two-Brains turn to look at the window and patiently waits for Tobey to finish.
"This is ridiculous," Two-Brains thought.
"I'm a grown man. I don't need permission from another adult like a child. Then again I don't want to add a child kidnapping charge to my already "flawless" record. I only take cheese and things to turn into cheese, not kids. What would I even do with a kid if I took one? Kids are loud, annoying, and—"
"Doctor Two-Brains," Tobey called out, breaking Two-Brains from his train of thought.
Tobey, seeing as he got Two-Brains attention, continued with his announcement. "My mother said I can stay with you or in this case an "acquaintance" for today. I don't think telling my mother that I'm staying with another supervillain will go over well so you're just another acquaintance from school. A teacher assistant or a school club host and were also at the school hanging out."
Crossing his arms and giving Tobey a confused look, Two Brains nodded. "Okay, but why are you telling me this?"
Giving a nervous glance, Tobey raised his phone, which was still on-call. "Well, she is on the phone right now and wants to talk to you and see if you're alright with me staying with you. I hope your acting skills are good because you might need them right about now."
Acting cool and collected, Two-Brains takes the phone from Tobey's hands and puts it by his right ear. He may be looking calm but inside he was panicking. What if he messes up? What if they get caught before they even start anything? He only had one chance at this, channeling all the acting skills he had learned throughout his life which was little to none. He was an evil scientist, not an actor. But he was a good liar, being a villain taught him that. However, was he a good enough liar to fool a district attorney, people who have faced liars and see through those lies daily. Well, he was about to find out.
"Hello, is this Tobey's Mother." Two-Brains casually started the conversation.
"Yes, this is she. My name is Claire and I was wondering if it was okay for my son to be coming over to you at the school for the next couple of days?" Claire asked.
"Yeah, it will be fine. I'm Mr. Steve Smith and I decided to start running the robotics club at school. Your son has taken an interest in joining and wanted to help kickstart the club too." Two-Brains lied on the fly.
"Really? He did? Hmmm, that sounds unlike him but I'm glad that he's interested in robotics that is used for something good. I don't think I ever heard of you before. You must be new to the city." Claire commented.
"Yes, yes, I am. I moved to the city about three months ago and started working at the elementary school for about two weeks now."
"What would you guys be doing at school for the next couple of days?" Claire asked.
"Oh, we would be creating and placing fliers about the club around the school. We would also be doing robotic related activities." Two-Brains answered.
"Very well then. Welcome to Fair City. However, just to warn you Tobey can be a handful, so keep an eye on him and call me if he starts misbehaving. Also, make sure that he gets home before dinnertime. I don't want him coming home past his bedtime." Claire warned.
"Alright, Clair. Thanks for the heads up." Two-Brains concluded.
Handing the phone back to Tobey to let him finish the phone call, Two-Brains stood up and threw his empty plate in the trash, and started to walk out the doors of the motel, ready to leave.
"Alright then. Goodbye, mother." Tobey answered, finishing his phone call.
Seeing as Two-Brains has already left the convention, Tobey left as well. Getting up, exiting out the doors, and heading to his parked robot at the side of the motel. He was about to reach his remote to activate his robot until he was suddenly stopped by a voice behind him.
"And where do you think you're going?" Two-Brains asked questionably, eyebrows raised, and crossed arms.
"Uh, to my robot, of course. How else would I get to your hideout? By using the helicopter on the roof?" Tobey answered sarcastically pointing at Mr. Big's helicopter on the motel roof.
"No, you will be riding with me in my van." Two-Brains answer sternly.
"And why is that? I am more than capable to make it back to your hideout unassisted. Plus, why would I want to get in that weird dirty van of yours?"
Two-Brains pinched the bridge of his nose in annoyance and ignored Tobey's insult to his van. Sighing, he explained, "And here I thought you were a boy genius. Think about it, if you head into the city on your robot, people might think that you are about to attack the city. Am I wrong? No, I'm not, and if people start to panic and run, you know who comes to check on the frightened people of this city? Wordgirl. You could say that you weren't doing anything, that you are just using your robot for transportation, which would be true. However, the main thing is, would Wordgirl believe you and move on or would she follow you, coming to my lair unknowingly? Catching us in the act of building a robot to rob and destroy the city. Yes, this could all be a possibility but it's a possibility I don't want to risk. Understand?"
Getting upset at being talked down like a five-year-old, Tobey aggravatedly answered. "First of all, I'll have you know that I am a boy genius. Do you know any other 10-year-old boys who can build a robot like the back of their hands? Secondly, I don't like being talked down like a toddler. I understand what you're saying, even though I don't like it, you did bring up some pretty good points. Thirdly, I still don't want to get in that dirty van of yours."
Letting out a deep sigh, an idea popped into Two-Brains head. "Ooooh, it's okay, Tobey, I get it now. I may be intimidating but I don't harm children. Well, maybe Wordgirl, but she's my nemesis and she can easily defend herself. I know being in a closed space with another evil villain as amazing as me, could be nerve-racking but I'm not scary."
"Pfft, like I'll be scared of you. I'm standing here talking to you right now, I'm not even shaking or slightly afraid." Tobey scoffing at Two-Brains ridiculous accusation.
"I said in a closed space, meaning just me and you. We're only in front of the convention doors, and back there, are a couple of low-level villains that you can easily outclass. However, being in my presence, the greatest villain in the city could make you nervous." Two-Brains pushed, hoping that his reverse psychology would work.
"As if I could be nervous around you. You're only the greatest villain right under me." Tobey sternly defended.
"Are you now, you can't even get into my van without complaining. Seems like you're just lying to protect your reputation. Not like you can prove yourself by getting into my van's passenger seat." Two-Brains crossed his arms.
"You know what, I'll show you. You know who's not scared of you, me. I can do it right now." Tobey shouted in frustration at Two-Brains. Walking towards Two-Brains van which was not far from his robot. Tobey opened the passenger side van door, hopped inside, and loudly slammed the door, proving that he wasn't scared of Two-Brains. He rested his leg over his other and crossed his arms, looking away.
Two-Brains let out a small chuckle under his breath. Tobey may be a boy genius but he was still a kid, always trying to prove himself.
Having Tobey get into his van voluntarily, Two-Brains opened the driver side door, got in, and started the van, heading in the direction of his lair. While on the road, Two-Brains gave small glances at Tobey who was looking away from him.
"I can't believe you tricked me," Tobey whispered in frustration.
"Well kid, that's life for ya." Two-Brains answered nonchalantly, eyes still on the road.
After their small exchange, Tobey remembered something and spoke up. "Doctor Two-Brains, I need to make a stop before we go to your hideout."
Two-Brains let out a sigh of annoyance. "Really, kid? Why didn't you use the bathroom before we left on the road?"
"I don't need to use the bathroom, I'm not three. I need you to make a stop at my house so I can pick up some tools for our mouse robot. I was going to make a quick stop to my house on my robot before I left to go to your lair, but you see how that went out, so now we have to go to my house to get my supplies." Tobey answered.
"Hmmm, fine, but we have to hurry it up, we're wasting precious daylight here." Turning the van to the nearest exit, Two Brains started driving towards Tobey's house.