Chapter 34, everybody! We're officially halfway through the fic! :D
So I've been asked if Obake is taking over the team's role and…yes, apparently. X'D Is it for selfish reasons? Yes. Are the end results the same? Also yes.
So a quick looksee has the average top speed for a shark being around forty-two miles per hour as Tadashi says—this is an average, looking at fastest sharks gets you the Mako Shark speeding along at sixty miles per hour, with Salmon Sharks clocking a top speed of fifty miles per hour and Great Whites clocking twenty-five. However, like most predators, they spend most of their time going at a leisurely pace to conserve energy and reserve these speedy moments for when they have to nab a meal.
In other news, Obake is moderately offended at the suggestion that he sell his designs as toys. Also reasonably sure that Obake and Wendy Wower (and Trevor Trengrove) went to school at the same time so now we get to play with that some. Also headcanon that Wendy Wower is big on Streisand musicals, mostly because I was listening to a lot of that music a few years back when I was getting big into the series. And no matter what the iteration Obake is always going to find the idea of Trevor Trengrove being competent funny.
Big Hero 6 © 2014 Disney
Stepping up his game against him required Obake to start playing a bit more aggressively than he had been.
Hence him sitting in an internet café, headphones on and hoodie pulled up as he worked on his laptop, scan jammer secure on his wrist as he monitored his drones tracking down and harassing various ne'er-do-wells as modified scavenger drones lifted their ill-gotten goods to repurpose them for his own ends. Did this involve screwing Yama over yet again? Yes and he was more than willing to call this a win.
Pull up the list of what he had gotten so far, considering…more drones to monitor everything, yes…what if he sabotaged the base? On the one hand, that would have him scrambling on the back foot, trying to find a new base. On the other…it would have him mobile, where he couldn't keep track of him, and aggravated and vicious enough to do something drastic. No, better not.
Phone buzzed—look at it, sigh, answer it. "What, Tadashi."
"Hey get your butt over to Fred's we're going to test the drone!"
Right. This other nonsense. Well, it kept the children happy and allowed for a little distraction so he could go back to this fresh.
And he had to admit, it was entertaining to do this, to test the drones as they steadily improved, him working on his own aquatic drones and implementing the suggestions the brothers offered. Sometimes they served no purpose, but he was starting to acknowledge that keeping the Hamadas happy was important to him.
"I think we're going with this version of the drone's locomotion," Hiro said, keeping his drone ahead of Obake's barracuda in Fred's Olympic-sized pool. "It'll probably be fast enough to catch up with any shark how fast do they go?"
"According to a search they can go up to forty-two miles per hour," Tadashi said, reading off his phone, shoes and socks off and feet in the water. "But they usually cruise around at about a mile per hour to conserve energy."
"That makes sense," Honey Lemon said, toying with the jellyfish drone. "They have to be ready for when they can get something to eat. This is a really cool idea, by the way."
"The lights were my idea."
"I only added them to shut him up," Obake said.
"Oh come on, they're cool and real jellyfish have bioluminescence."
"Not in rotating rainbow colors they don't."
"I did the wiring too," Tadashi told Honey Lemon.
Gogo took the jellyfish and turned it over, considering the turbines on the bottom. "I can guess the one regulates depth—does the other do direction?"
"Put it in and I'll show you," Obake said, pulling the barracuda out.
"Oh this one's cool," Hiro said, diving for the laptop. "Put it in watch this."
Obake swapped controllers and sent the jellyfish on its way. "Okay yeah I see the different turbines," Gogo said.
"And," Hiro said, turning the laptop so they could see. "You saw those four shapes under the jellyfish dome? Those are cameras."
"Oh wow that's an incredible view!" Honey Lemon said.
"Yeah, that'd be a really great experience if we could get it in a reef somewhere," Wasabi said. "Actually it'd be cool just to toy around with it period."
"It's why I suggested the lights," Tadashi said, as Hiro steered his remora over to show how the cameras worked. "Helps with the marketability."
"Excuse me?" Obake asked, raising an eyebrow at him. "Are you proposing I sell this as a toy?"
"Why not?" Tadashi asked, twitching a shoulder. "Not every invention has to totally shake the world—sometimes it's enough to just improve people's lives in a simple way. This is the sort of thing that'd make a lot of people happy, and it's already got safety precautions in place."
"The grate over the turbines is to keep seaweed out of it."
"And it keeps small children out of it too."
"We should probably put the GPS tracker in the jellyfish too," Hiro said. "In case it gets caught in a current and lost. Isn't that how real jellyfish travel around?"
"My dude I would totally fund making these jellies," Fred said, laying on his belly with his arms in the pool, waving as Hiro steered the remora around him. "You know, after the squid and the kaiju—I've decided that yes, I want the life-sized kaiju."
"Question: why?" Wasabi asked.
"We're still working on the articulating tentacles," Hiro said, watching the jellyfish motor by. "We've got the cameras for eyes and the working beak and the ballast system and the turbines and the skin, it's just the tentacles tripping us up. And deciding whether or not we want lasers."
"Yes—the Fredilus should totally have lasers."
"Do they fire out the beak or the other end?"
"Both—both is good."
"About you guys making a robot squid," Wasabi said.
"Again, coolness factor, but also because we've got plans to make a monster movie with it I've already done up the script for school and I'm doing the storyboard for my midterms."
Oi midterms again—tempted to put the barracuda back in to bite Fred for reminding him, didn't need the pointed timeline right over his head to have another neon sign indicating it.
"Also might have cast you guys in it so I need to know when you're available," Fred continued.
"Not tomorrow," Tadashi said. "Remember the science workshop tomorrow?"
"Ooh right I forgot about that cannot miss it I am super stoked for Wendy Wower."
Obake looked up at that—Wendy Wower? No wait of course she'd be hosting a science workshop she had been working on that AI thesis when they had been attending—was probably daft to think her life had been put on hold just because his awareness of her had ended, also daft to entertain seeing her for the same reason he was avoiding Granville. On the list of people he didn't need seeing him, those who would remember him from when he really was this age were high up there on that list.
"Uh…yeah sure Fred," Hiro said, looking bemused before nudging Obake. "You need to come too, it'll be cool."
"I'll think about it," Obake told him.
"I'll think about it meaning no," Gogo said.
"Now don't go giving the game away. I have my reasons and I have other plans."
"We don't know," Tadashi told her. "He never tells us."
"I will when it starts concerning you, Tadashi Hamada," Obake said.
"Ooh, full name."
"He has a middle name too," Hiro said—squawked when Tadashi got him in a headlock.
"You tell people mine and I start telling people yours," Tadashi threatened.
Obake looked at Gogo. "It's a shame, being the mature ones, isn't it?"
"It's a burden you learn to bear," she agreed.
Okay so honestly Obake had every intention of not attending the science workshop at SFIT, there was just too much of a risk of running into Granville.
Except the newspaper announcing that SFIT was now hosting the largest dynamo on the west coast reminded him that there was a reason for him to be interested in poking around there, meaning that eventually Obake was going to have to figure out a way around Granville. Could rig up his scan jammer to alert him when she got close, could hook it up to SFIT security cameras so he could monitor when she was coming….
Which, unfortunately, meant he needed to go to SFIT.
Sigh as he got off the trolley, wince a little as he walked through the gate, eyes finding the labs that he had blown up once—last he had seen it, barring his little trip here with Hiro, had been when he was borne aloft by the repurposed Buddy Guards, watching it fade into the distance as he went on to his supposed triumph.
Shake his head—didn't need to be distracted by that, he was here on a mission. Also probably shouldn't be distracted by the thought of peeking in on Wendy Wower's lecture. It'd be awkward telling her how her AI research had inspired Trina when firstly Trina didn't exist in this timeline and secondly she'd be hearing it from someone who had apparently not aged in the last twenty years and ooh boy he was not explaining that one.
And then Hiro tackled him.
"Oh good you're here," Hiro said. "You gotta help me sneak in."
"I must do nothing," Obake told him, dusting himself off. "You attend this school, you're allowed access."
"Not this time!" Hiro groused, spinning away and throwing his hands in the air. "This was supposed to be awesome! But nooo, stupid Trengrove has this age restriction, and—"
"Wait, what?" Obake asked, suddenly invested.
"I know, right? Like learning has an age restriction HELLO I am the YOUNGEST TO EVER ATTEND SFIT—"
"Hush," Obake ordered, waving a hand. "You don't mean Trevor Trengrove, do you?"
"Uh, yeah? Big name in robotics? Did a lot for AI advancement? Ringing any bells?"
Obake blinked, processing this…nope.
"Oh-kaaay," Hiro said, looking very confused at his laughing breakdown. "I don't see how this is funny, but okay…."
"Ahh…I guess this puts some support to that one theory," Obake mused—definitely supported an alternate universe, Trevor Trengrove was less than incompetent when Obake went to school with him.
"What theory?" Hiro asked.
"You're better off not knowing. And seriously? Trevor Trengrove? Not Wendy Wower?"
Okay he had no idea how to translate that expression. "Wendy Wower and the Woweroos? Don't tell me you're a fan of that show too."
"That explains it," Obake said drily. "I'm sorry, why is Wendy Wower not the one over there giving the lecture?"
Okay, Hiro's confused expression made no sense. "Because Trengrove is the one who wrote the big awesome thesis on robotics?"
Oh brother. "And can you show me this big awesome thesis, or am I to just take your word for it?"
"I—hold on I was the one who ended up with it after Tadashi gave it to him to sign—here," he said, tugging it out of his pack and handing it over. "There's a lot of good stuff in there."
A lot of familiar stuff, more like—flip through, looking for what he expected; the typo on page four, a lyric from a Barbara Streisand musical made from the first word of every line on another page, yet another page where the first letter of every line spelled out Obake is a nerd. The sort of thing where a person who knew their beans could pull it off and was so tickled at their own cleverness that they had run it by him, where he had been able to get back at them by pointing out that typo.
That person was not Trevor Trengrove.
"Good news, we're breaking in," he announced, rolling up the thesis into a tight bundle that he planned on hitting Trevor with. Repeatedly.
"Great! How?" Hiro asked, following him.
"I'll think of something."
Yama was pacing back and forth nervously, drumming his fingers against his biceps—dangit he had hoped he had worked his way out from under his debt with Obake by now, but every time he thought he had bought him off that ghost was ready to dig the knife in again, twisting it and snarling everything up and at this point he figured the guy was just torturing him for kicks. Toyed with the idea of taking this robot and using it against him, decided against it as he remembered how the man had turned every electronic against him. He was not risking that.
But he was enjoying twisting his own knife into Trevor Trengrove, mostly to remind himself how it felt to be powerful. It had been so long, thanks to being under that ghost's shadow, and he needed that reminder. Plus this weasel was so easily intimidated that he was able to talk him into just about anything.
But then again, blackmail was a powerful motivator.
"Is it almost done?" he asked, making Trengrove squeak in alarm.
"Hey hey hey you can't rush perfection," Trengrove tried—squeaked again when he picked him up by the scruff of the neck. "Yes it's almost done."
"Good," he said, dropping Trengrove, who scurried away as soon as he recovered.
"A-and when we're done here you give me back that dirt you have on me," Trengrove tried once he was out of snatching range.
"Sure." It wasn't like he hadn't already made copies—had even offered a copy to Obake with the news that he was blackmailing the top scientist Dr. Trevor Trengrove into making something nice, which had resulted in the man laughing so hard he had hung up. In other news, mirth did nothing to make that ghost less scary.
"Right," Trengrove said, like he suspected Yama wasn't being truthful. "So. I'll just go…put the screws to everyone, put the finishing touches on everything…I'll be right back."
"You'd better," he said. "I've got men watching you—don't try any funny business!"
Yes, it was good to be the one on top, he reflected as Trengrove scurried off.
Now if only he could get out from under that ghost's shadow.