Chapter 35, everybody! Time for Obake's showdown with Trevor. X'D
In case you're wondering…yes that's the "I fear nothing" kid. The thugs, meanwhile, are referencing the "Bruce you get to be the fake prostitute" Tumblr post and Mabel from Gravity Falls. Yes, parody and other transformative work is under severest technicality protected by US copyright law, hence why parody and satire numbers exist and Obake's attitude toward Streisand is my attitude whenever Disney gets stabbed by parody—ironic since they're the ones who screwed up copyright law so badly to begin with. In other news, Streisand did indeed pick on some geologists who were doing a survey of costal California because she didn't want her house being shown, which then resulted in everyone wanting to see her house, which then led to the Streisand Effect—in sum, not wanting people to look at something guarantees that EVERYONE will see it. For a modern example, please consult Hogwarts Legacy. And yes, geologists classify ice as a rock and I was infinitely happier before I learned of this because it drives me nuts and thus I pass this on to drive other people insane.
Big Hero 6 © 2014 Disney
So the initial plan of barging straight in and accusing Trengrove of chicanery wasn't supported by the front doors, which were locked.
"Told you," Hiro said.
"Well we had to confirm," Obake said, leading the way around the building. Probably a good thing it didn't work, he needed some time to figure out just how he was going to get away with this particular murder. Also, should probably also not tell this to Hiro when he asked what the plan was. "First we're getting in—we can see how dramatic we need to be once we're inside."
"So I'm not too sold on this," Hiro said—stopped abruptly when Obake backpedaled. "What? What is it?"
"Security goons," he told him, letting him peer around the corner. "From the looks of it, some of Good Luck Alley's finest."
"Hey I recognize that guy!" Hiro hissed. "He works for Yama—what's Yama doing here?"
"Good question." Let's see, what did he remember about this particular part of the past…okay mostly he was busy with the data Noodle Burger Boy had gotten for him on Big Hero Six, so all he really did was keep track of their antics. At some point Big Hero Six had fought a big robot that Yama had made (as in, had someone else make it), but other than that he had other priorities at the time.
"So," Obake said, dragging himself back to the present. "We're going to need a distraction so we can get in…any suggestions?"
Hiro's expression was what he was starting to jokingly refer to as his 'thinking face,' mouth twisting and nose scrunched up, scanning the area—
Pointed. "Wait I've got an idea," he said, tugging on Obake slightly to get him to follow.
"Ah, so we're endangering small children," Obake observed, spotting the cluster of children first—
Slammed to a halt at the sight of Wendy Wower.
Okay, clinically he understood that expecting her to look exactly like she had when he had left SFIT in disgrace had been idiotic, but if we wanted to be technical her taste in clothes and hair color hadn't exactly changed much.
Of course he looked exactly the same as he had twenty years prior, which made him heel back and avoid interacting directly with her—tug up his hood to keep her from noticing him, glare at a little kid with too many goggles staring at him. "What?"
"You have too many years," the kid said.
"Ah, so we both agree." Ignore the kid, listen to Hiro explaining to Wendy that they needed to get to Tadashi really quick but the guys at the door wouldn't let them through. Somewhat fair.
She also showed why she had made such an impression on him all those years ago, considering her first instinct was to ask the goons to help her corral the kids also you guys know how to play some instruments right I'm going to need some backup guys on the 'Hello, Matter' number. Wasn't sure what to make of the one big guy posing dramatically and announcing my time has come.
"So that worked," Hiro said, sounding dumbfounded as he came over to Obake. Watched with him a few minutes as the two goons got way into the performance, set to the tune of "Hello, Dolly." "It makes no sense, but it worked."
"To be fair, she's a big Streisand fan," Obake explained, trying the side door—locked. Well he had a workaround.
"That…really doesn't explain anything though?" Hiro said as Obake pulled out the ghost copy of Hiro's SFIT ID, which had necessitated sneaking down to the garage in the middle of the night for. "What is that?"
"Call it a skeleton key." Mostly because he had doctored it to open doors denied to students which reminded him he needed to erase Bob Aken from the working student IDs. Push the door open and tug Hiro in, since he was getting derailed by the song again. "And seeing as how parody is protected by US copyright law, that song pleases me as much as it irritates me."
"You're weird. Have I told you that lately? Because it needs repeating."
"Look, Streisand thinks too much of her music and she picks on geologists, who have enough issues going on seeing as they believe ice is a rock."
"Wait what? Ice isn't a rock, it's a form of water."
"See? We agree." Reach an intersection and look the directions up and down…let's see, since Trengrove was a nasty sneak and currently working with Yama, it was doubtful he'd be up front where he'd be easily found. "You go that way, I'll go this way."
"Now hold it—what is the plan?" Hiro asked, stopping him.
Okay, needed an excuse to get rid of Hiro. "Currently, we're looking for the others and getting them out of the building that most likely has the big mountain of a man in it. Whoever finds them first sends a text to the other and then gets them out."
"And after that?"
"After that involves scurrying to G—the dean and telling her the big cheat in the auditorium also brought a notorious criminal onto school grounds. That should be fun, right? I vote you."
"You suck. I need you to know that."
"Understood. Now shoo—before we find out that he was smart enough to have a patrol." Doubtful, but at least it got Hiro hustling away. Turn and trot the other way, listening carefully….come on those goons had to be somewhere—
Twitch at the sound of Yama's demanding, carefully slip that way as he heard Trengrove respond with "Okay it's done—now, the flash drive?" Found the room as Yama handed something over.
"Like I kept everything on the one drive," Yama said, making Trengrove balk. Ah, he could use this. "I've already sent the information to someone who's definitely interested in using it against you."
"Y—you can't do that!"
"Says who? You?" Obake slipped into the room in time to see Yama laugh and shove Trengrove a little. "That'd be a threat if you weren't a huge sham!"
"I'll make you regret this," Trengrove muttered as Obake eased himself into a swivel chair and toed it around to face the two idiots.
"Oh trust me," Obake said. "Anyone who's ever met you has regretted it."
It was nice, seeing these two idiots leap back in a panic, spotting him and not quite able to process it.
"Wait—Bob?" Trengrove squawked. "Wait, how? No it can't be you don't look any different—"
"I'm the ghost of theses past," Obake said, unfurling Tadashi's thesis and tapping it. "You know the one, with the typo on page four? The one you stole from Wendy Wower?"
"That's old news," Yama growled, stalking forward. "Now who are you?"
"Oh I wouldn't do that if I were you," he said silkily as Yama loomed over him. "I can think of at least one ghost who'd be very cross at you if you harmed me." Mostly because he didn't doubt that he wanted first crack at him, but details. At least it succeeded in getting Yama to heel back, blood draining from his face.
"W-what are you doing here?" Yama demanded. "How did you get past my guards?"
"That wasn't too difficult," Obake told him, tugging out his phone when he felt it buzz. Responded to Hiro's found them with get the dean. "Although I suppose you're not as dense as I thought you were, seeing through this faker."
"Now hold it," Trengrove said, pointing—seemed to have come to the conclusion that he was in reality 'Bob's kid.' Funny and not at all accurate, but he supposed with the limited information that was the best he could do. "I'm not going to stand here and be insulted by some kid."
"There's a chair behind you, if you'd prefer."
Trevor made a face at that—Obake figured he was trying to process the insult.
"What do you want?" Yama demanded.
"Hmm, good question," Obake acknowledged. "Maybe I'm curious as to what the racket is. I know Trengrove isn't smart enough to actually be of any use."
"Hey," Trengrove barked. "I'll have you know I'm responsible for Yama's new robot!"
The simple, bored comment was enough to bait him into revealing a monstrously big robot. "See? The new Mega-Yama."
Oi vey. "Oh yes, very pink."
"Why is it pink?" Yama demanded.
"I'm going to say because he outsourced the actual construction of it to the students attending his workshop," Obake told him, fiddling with his phone. "Did you remember to put it on a closed circuit?"
"I don't have to take this from you," Trengrove said, glaring at him.
"Just like you didn't have to take having all your assignments deleted, or being duct-taped to the ceiling, or having your phone rigged to play showtunes in the middle of class. Good times, am I right?"
"Listen, kid, I don't know what your dad told you but he was the failure—at least I finished school instead of blowing it up," Trengrove said irritably. "Honestly thought he died."
"Oh, Trevor," Obake sighed, propping his head up and grinning—let his face flare, savoring the looks of horror on their faces. "I did."
Hit a button on his phone, causing Mega-Yama to come to life, further startling them—
Grabbed them both, Yama pinned to the ground and Trengrove held aloft.
"I'll leave you for the police to find," Obake said, getting up and walking out. "I'm sure that'll be a fun thing to explain to people, you consorting with a known criminal. Have fun."
Okay, so this wasn't exactly how he intended to spend today, but he couldn't deny that it was enjoyable.
Professor Grace Granville had many concerns, mostly related to a convicted criminal being on school grounds.
Also worth noting was what came to light about Trengrove's actions, both current and past—questioning Wendy Wower revealed that yes, that was exactly what happened, making Granville regret resigning when she did.
But at the same time…she also had to question what else Trengrove said, about another former student of hers.
Granted, he was panicked and rambling, desperately throwing Yama under the bus, but what she could get was that he apparently thought what was likely the next generation was a ghost come to haunt him. Knowledge of prior actions was easily explained away; half the face glowing in a skull pattern was not.
But it was enough to make her wonder: she had been required, by her lawyers and by SFIT lawyers, to not inquire after the student in question. At this point she had no idea if he was alive or dead. But with everything she was hearing….
She had concerns. Plain and simple.
She needed to get to the bottom of this.
Obake had taken advantage of all the commotion to get everything he needed, accessing SFIT security and inserting his own programming into it so he could keep track of everything and looking in on the dynamo as well. Debated on sabotaging it, decided to do some minor tweaks so they'd think twice about better security. Anything to trip him up.
Now, however, he had wandered back over to watch the carnage, cackled a little when he saw Trengrove bussed away.
"You're weird," Hiro announced. "I've told you this, right? Because I feel like you need to be reminded."
Obake tapped a finger to his lips in a shush moment. "Now, Hiro—I am eccentric. There is a difference."
"Yeah, rich people are eccentric. Unless you've got a windfall you've been keeping to yourself, you're just weird."
"Details," Obake said, shrugging as he scanned the crowd. There was Granville, still discussing things with the police, saw that guy that Cass had invited over that one time—
Spotted Wendy Wower, separate from the group and focused on keeping the kids entertained. Her backup band kept eyeing the cops nervously, he noted.
Hiro looked over as well. "Yeah, that…I talked with her earlier," he told Obake. "Granville had me helping her after Trengrove wouldn't let me in." Muttered would have been a waste anyway under his breath. "She said it wasn't where she saw herself, but she enjoys what she's doing."
"She deserves better," Obake said flatly. If he had still been there, if he hadn't blown himself up, if he had been more careful…she could have been so much more.
Hiro considered him. "Well…after all this, maybe she'll get the recognition she deserves." Watched her start up another song, "Put on your Science Clothes," set to the tune of "Put on your Sunday Clothes." "But she seems happy."
Huff at that—like a person could be happy after having their life's work snatched away from them.
Although…look at Hiro. He, Obake, had his life's work snatched away from him, by this boy no less. And yet now, if it weren't for that looming catastrophe before him, he'd label himself as somewhere in the region of happy now. Maybe it was possible. Look back at her, now with a larger crowd of SFIT students listening in as well. Her work wasn't exactly earth-shattering…but maybe Tadashi was right. Maybe it was enough to entertain, and in entertaining elucidate as well.
Not that he was ever going to tell Tadashi that.
"So…listen," Hiro said, arms crossed and hunching in on himself. "When I was talking with Wendy…Granville taught here before."
Obake nodded. "About twenty years ago."
"Huh?" Hiro noised. "Wait, I just found out today—how do you know?"
Oop. "I looked at the yearbooks when you first started here." Which wasn't a lie. "It's not like it's some deep dark secret."
"Maybe it is," Hiro countered. "Because we were told that she was a new teacher, starting this year." Look around. "Do you think she's hiding something?"
Probably—he wasn't exactly aware of all the legal ramifications of his little escapade, but he had listened in when she told Hiro about how she blamed herself for his mishap. And, judging by her expression when he had confronted her at the expo, that particular wound was still very raw.
"People aren't obligated to tell you every little thing, Hiro," he opted to say instead, crossing his own arms. "They're entitled to keep their secrets."
Hiro squinted at him. "Are we still talking about Granville?" he demanded.
Oi. "Some things are too complex to share," he told him. "Far too messy to untangle into a conversation where both parties walk away satisfied. Some things, you'll just never know."
"With you that's most things," Hiro huffed.
Consider everything in the long silence stretching between them, at the gap he was starting to feel fissure its way between him and Hiro. He needed to keep the boy safe...but he still wanted to be able to talk to him once it was all over.
"I like the color purple, but I'm also partial to red," he told him, startling Hiro. "I don't mind blueberry scones, but I've subsisted on ramen and coffee for so long that I can't say for sure what I do like eating." Consider, looking down and away. "Your aunt has been teaching me how to cook while you're at school."
Hiro blinked at him. "Aunt Cass has been teaching you how to cook?" he echoed, baffled. Blinked again, processing the rest. "Why are you telling me this stuff?"
"Friends know things about each other, do they not?"
Hiro considered this…smiled finally.
"Okay that's a start but I will defeat you," he announced.
"You already have." More than once, he reflected.
"Bot-fights don't count," Hiro said, watching the show. Well…no. No Hiro would probably never find out the full truth of his statement.
It was probably for the best.
So for the record, after having a good laugh at Yama's bit of news he actually went digging and discovered that no, Trevor Trengrove was not some big hotshot scientist, matter of fact he had stolen Wendy Wower's thesis, and if it weren't for the fact that the news just broke and he and Yama were just arrested he was going to have words. Big ones. Above Trengrove's paygrade. Well, at least he knew where he was to torment the man now. Not that anyone would survive what was coming.
Felt a little wrinkle of guilt at that, smothered it quickly. His upcoming world was for the worthy only—whether or not certain people would be invited to survive would be a bridge he burned when he got there. As for right now….
Go over the blueprints again, more and more convinced that they were incomplete. He could possibly put it together, but there had to be a second resource where Shimamoto had stored all her notes. If he went forward with this design as it was, he'd probably end up blowing himself up.
Very clever, he mused, considering. Someone of a lesser intelligence would have gone through with this and wiped themselves out. In hiding the rest of it, Lenore Shimamoto ensured that only the truly intelligent would be able to piece it all back together. Someone like himself.
I will be the one to bring your work back to the light, he thought, looking the designs over again. I will use the light of this machine to cleanse this world, rebuild it with only the best and the brightest. This city will become a beacon to the world, a true bastion of learning. If I must remove the unintelligent from the world, then so be it.
A prinkle of irritation at the nape of his neck made him glance at another screen, where the snapshots of the two drones were. Someone, possibly operating at his level, wanted to stop him. Stride over, pull up the image from the museum, glare at that familiar face.
There was absolutely no way this little brat should even exist. No natural way, at least.
Consider this as he moved on to the data he had gotten from the chips Momakase had installed, reflecting that Yama could rot in jail as far as he was concerned—it was time to cut ties with that millstone anyway, he had served his purpose and ceased to be entertaining. Working with her had things going much smoother. Krei Tech, as he expected, didn't really have anything worth noting, but Sycorax…genetics and biometrics.
The sort of thing that would cover clones.
Look back at the picture of the kid. If so, how did she get the DNA? She had to get a genetic sample to make this, and he hadn't been on the grid since he got out of the hospital—ah. He did seem to be about that age, if she had started right away and worked until she got it, that would have any potential clone in its teens by now, unless she artificially aged it.
But it did bear asking the question of why.
Well, he was willing to poke around and find out—time to do some investigating into Sycorax.