A/N: Well, here's a fic I've been itching to write since I discovered this show. To all those who were waiting for me to update something else...sorry, I'm on it, I swear. Until then, read this. This is part one of a two-shot, which in turn will lead to the next fic in what will hopefully be a four part series.
Disclaimer: Jimmy Two-Shoes copyright Edward Kay, Sean Scott, and Teletoon.
He who lives a long life must pass through much evil - Spanish proverb
Trying to ignore the sheer anger tossing around in her head, Heloise continued to tinker inside her latest invention. It was yet another creator of misery for Misery Inc, this one a bit of an experiment in psychological thrills. This invention, if it worked correctly, would be able to increase Lucius's misery output tenfold.
While the girl genius would normally be filled with glee at the prospect of thousands suffering thanks to her hard work, today she was feeling furious. She had turned to her work in hopes of alleviating the stress of the day's events. Sadly, there was no such luck, as her mind started to wander to the day's earlier events.
"Heloise!" the voice of Lucius Heinous VII boomed around the lab as the diminutive demon entered the lab. "Where are you?"
The girl in question glanced up from the blueprints she was putting the finishing touches on, a bit of annoyance on her face. "Uh, right here. You know, right in front of you?"
Indeed, the entrance Lucius had used was a mere five feet from Heloise's desk. This fact, however, did not prevent the CEO of Misery Inc. from continuing his angry rant. "I can see where you are, what I can't see is the completed version of my machine that I told you to build!"
Heloise rolled his eyes. As usual, she had come up with the idea for the machine, designed it, and presented it, and Lucius had started taking credit for it the moment it sounded like a good idea. "Don't get yourself in a twist; I was just finishing modifying the blueprint. It'll be ready by tomorrow."
"Why isn't it finished tonight? I want my machine!" he yelled, in a tone that reminded Heloise of a bratty child rather than anyone of stature.
"Because, I'm having dinner with Jimmy tonight," she answered simply, trying not to allow the smile on her face to become too evident.
Hearing this, the dictator of Miseryville slapped his forehead with his hand. "You're putting off an invention to have dinner with that idiot? What is wrong with you?" he asked at the sheer inconceivability that his Head of R&D would even consider such an option.
"What?" she demanded defensively as she rolled up her blueprint, "You told me to take care of him. I told you, I'm trying to twist him into someone…better suited to live Miseryville."
"You said that months ago, and he's still as goody-goody as when he showed up here!" her boss yelled, tensing up. "Just scrap that plan and kick him down with everyone else! He won't be so happy under one of my inventions!"
"Thant's pointless and you know it," Heloise stated bluntly as she stood up. "The only way to stop that boy from spreading any more joy is to warp him."
"I want him miserable!" Lucius yelled, shutting his eyes in anger as he began to jump up and down quickly. "Make him miserable, make him miserable, make him miserable!"
And then he stopped and opened his eyes. Heloise, paying no mind to the tyrant's temper tantrum, had walked right past him and was halfway to the door. "Sorry, Lucius, but I have a date tonight," she replied flatly.
Lucius seethed with anger, his mind not able to even perform a coherent thought at this insubordination. Then, suddenly, his body stiffened, his eyes going wide as his mind reached a conclusion that disgusted him.
"That boy…he's making you soft."
The girl, now at the doorframe, froze at the accusation, her body tensing up. Slowly, she turned toward her boss with a look that would set any lesser demon's skin on fire. "What?" she asked flatly, a hint of the intense anger she was harboring decorating the single word.
"You spend all your free time with that boy and my worthless son. They're turning you into some goody-goody sap!"
If Lucius wasn't ruler of Miseryville, she probably would have destroyed him outright at that moment. Instead, the miniature mad scientist marched up to the tiny tyrant and looked him right in the eyes. "Maybe you've forgotten this, Lucy, but I don't do 'goody-goody'. Nothing about Jimmy has made any less a model employee for Misery Inc."
"Oh really?" Lucius responded, cocking an eyebrow while placing his hands on his hips. "Before he came along, you never offered to be a boy's bodyguard the moment he got famous, or defied my orders to get my worthless son his brain back, or tricked me into making something…fun," he spat the last word the same way one would say a disgusting curse. "Face it, you've become nothing but some giddy little schoolgirl ever since Two Shoes showed up."
Hearing what she had been compared to, her eyes flamed up, nearly literally. "Have you forgotten who I am?"
"I haven't forgotten who you're supposed to be. But apparently you have. Maybe I should find someone else to head R&D."
"You're dreaming, Lucius," Heloise said bluntly. "I remember how well it worked out for you the last time you fired me. As I recall, you were begging me to come back. Face it, Misery Inc. is nothing without me."
Lucius kept his gaze, but tensed up in anger, clenching his fists so tightly his claws dug into his palms. Still, no word left the demon's mouth.
For a few moments, it hung in the air, the two equally willed opponents staring off. Finally, Heloise realized the lack of a response was a sign of surrender. Not changing her expression, she turned and walked out the door, leaving the dictator alone, grinding his teeth.
Remembering the accusation, the girl felt herself tense up with anger. She was not getting soft, sure she was infatuated with Jimmy, but that didn't mean she was any less the girl she was when she met him.
As much as she told herself that, she still felt a nagging doubt in the back of her mind. Everything Lucius had cited was something she had indeed done, and she couldn't deny it was because of Jimmy that she had done those things. But she needed to get close to him so he could twist him into someone more suited to be her partner.
But she sighed, knowing how stupid that sounded. Deep inside, she knew it was more complicated. She loved Jimmy, deeper than she had loved anything before. While that notion disturbed the usually violent girl, what disturbed her more is the simple fact that she didn't know why she loved him. It was a mystery, one she had poured a lot of thought into.
At times, her behavior toward Jimmy flat out disgusted her. The picnic incident came to mind, when she tried to have a private lunch with him. The attempt to win his heart was ruined by Beezy and Cerbee's party crashing, but the damage had already been done. She had served him, cooked him food and waited on him like royalty, and she enjoyed every minute of it. After the whole incident was over, she nearly retched at the thought. She never did anything for anyone unless she had something to gain from it. Even her job spreading misery was one she wouldn't have taken if a six-figure salary wasn't attached.
She sighed. Speaking of serving Jimmy, her thoughts drifted to the attempted dinner with her crush.
Heloise smiled as she brought the tray piled with what appeared to be tentacles over to her dining room table where Jimmy sat, sipping his drink. The blonde-haired boy took a whiff of the platter, sighing happily. "This smells good, Heloise, can't wait to taste it."
Despite herself, the girl giggled. "I really hope you like it, Jimmy, especially since you didn't get to taste my last meal." Then she paused, a frown coming over her features. "Cerbee and Beezy aren't here, are they?"
"Relax," Jimmy said with a wave of his hand, "Cerbee's at home sleeping."
Heloise perked up, clasping her hands together in hopefulness. "Great! The main course will be ready in just a minute, and then we can have a nice, quiet dinner."
"Sounds good," another voice cut through the air.
Heloise tensed up, her left eye twitching. She spun around to see her fears confirmed. Beezy J. Heinous was standing in her dining room, rubbing his hands together in anticipation of a free meal.
"What are you doing here?" the girl genius snarled angry, clenching her fists together in anger at seeing her rival for Jimmy's attention in her house. "Get out!"
"Aw, come on Heloise," Jimmy said happily, oblivious to the reason she wanted him gone. "The more the merrier!"
"But it was going to be just us," she said sadly, slouching down. Then she straightened back up in panic. "Get away from that!" she screeched.
But it was to no avail. Beezy lumbered over to the table, grabbing the plate and downing the contents in a single gulp.
"Those were for me and Jimmy!" Heloise screamed, raising her arms into the air.
"Guys, guys," Jimmy said, sensing that his two best friends were about to start another chapter in their battle over his friendship, "let's calm down and talk this out…"
But Beezy ignored his friend, turning to Heloise. "Aw, lighten up, you've got plenty of food left."
"But it's for me and Jimmy!"she screamed, her teeth seemingly becoming jagged in anger. Beezy was not intimidated, but merely stood his ground.
"And why should you get to spend more time with Jimmy than me?" the large demon said angrily.
"Guys, come on, can't you too get along for once?" Jimmy said, remembering the last time the two got into a fight over him. He was in no mood to share his house with two bickering friends for another two weeks.
"Because I'm his best friend!" Heloise yelled. Jimmy placed his palm on his forehead. Now there was no stopping the humongous fight.
Well, nothing he could do anyway. At that moment the timer in Heloise's kitchen went off, signaling that the main course was ready.
And Beezy had heard it. "Food's ready!" he boomed.
"You stay away from my kitchen!" the scientist screamed, but to no avail. The youngest Heinous pushed past her and into the kitchen, where he flung open the oven, revealing a freshly cooked bird. Before Heloise could stop him, and faster than her eyes could follow, the large demon wolfed the whole bird down, spitting out the bones.
Heloise's eye twitched. Then, she put on her angriest scowl, fire dancing in her eyes. "You idiot!" she shrieked, jumping on top of him and violently pounding him with her fists. And it hurt, if the girl had a weapon he would have feared for his life.
"That's it!" Jimmy yelled, finally standing up. "I'm sick of you two arguing every time we try and hang out. I'm leaving." With that, he headed toward the door.
"What?" Heloise asked, panicking. She jumped of Beezy and chased after him. "But, it's not my fault, he's being an idiot!"
"I don't care," Jimmy said, waving his arms with uncharacteristic anger. "I'm sick of you two getting into an argument every time we try to hang out. I don't care whose fault it is right now, I just don't want to have to put up with this right now. I'm going home."
"But…" Heloise said desperately. But Jimmy slammed the front door, on his way to his own home.
Heloise just stood there in shock, frozen at how far south her plan had gone. Her eye twitched a little.
"Now look what you've done!" Beezy said.
In a flash the girl whirled around, looking very intimidating despite her size. "Get out! Now!"
Beezy jumped two feet into the air before dashing out of the house in fear, leaving Heloise alone. She just stood there, breathing deeply in anger, before letting loose an anguished scream that all of Miseryville heard.
Just thinking back to that incident caused her body to tense up with anger. Why did that big oaf Beezy always have to monopolize all of Jimmy's free time? Why did Jimmy never tell the youngest Heinous off for his boorish behavior? Why did there seem to be times that the blonde-headed boy didn't even seem to notice she existed, despite her being insanely loyal to him? Well…except the few times she had to knock him around on Lucius's orders.
As soon as that thought entered her brain, her shoulders drooped, and her work slowed to a stop. She had just answered one of her own questions. As often as she had defied her boss's orders, she had also followed them, even when it meant hurting the boy she cared so much about. But…she couldn't lose her job to weakness, could she? Besides, Jimmy was so happy-go-lucky that by next week it was like nothing happened. It wasn't like it was a big deal.
But Heloise knew that was a lie. She was terrible to Jimmy at times; of course he'd be adverse to her. He was the most innocent guy he had ever met, while she was the meanest girl in Miseryville.
After mulling over this for a few moments, she got angry again. Her work continued with renewed vigor, hoping to channel her anger into something productive. Alas, her thought process was just too infuriating. She hated being this confused. Her life had been simple before Jimmy showed up, all she had to do was build things and spread misery. Now…she wasn't sure what to do.
She hated Lucius for being such a spineless child, for pushing her around and for making her hurt Jimmy. She hated Beezy for sabotaging her alone time with Jimmy, for getting in the way of her attempts to win him over. She hated that dumb dog Cerbee for giving Jimmy something to take his mind off her. And most of all, she hated Jimmy for making her fall in love with him, for throwing her thought process into disarray, for everything!
Unfortunately, all her anger took her attention off her work. As a result, she wasn't watching what she was doing. So naturally, the explosion that occurred as a result of her neglect caught her completely off guard.
Before she knew it, a loud boom rang in her ears, and a strange silver substance sprayed all over her. The shocked knocked her clear off her feet, sending her across the room. She hit the steel wall head first, causing her to black out instantly.
Heloise moaned, slowly coming to her senses. Or at least, so she thought. Though her vision was coming into focus, all she could see was white in all directions. She wasn't in her home; she might not even be in Miseryville.
Rubbing her smarting skull, she stood up. Her mind, sharp from several years of invention and calculations, was already assessing the situation, almost robotically. She had been working in her personal lab when there had been an explosion. She remembered silver goo spraying over her. She scanned her memory, trying to remember what she had been building.
"It was…a psychological method of spreading misery," she spoke out loud, a habit of hers whenever she needed to think straight. "A machine that would allow us to enter the victim's psyche, to find out what made them tick…"
"It would allow you to force anyone to face what they didn't want to face," a new voice rang.
Heloise tensed up in surprise. In a flash she whirled around reaching for the weapon she always carried with her. Normally this would be a ray gun of some sort, but having a weapon like that with you on the work floor where explosions where there were several highly inflammable objects she could accidentally hit made that a bad idea. No, her current weapon was a pair of nunchaku, the same pair she had used on Jimmy and Beezy during the hiccup incident a few weeks ago.
Had she finished reaching for them, she would have realized that they weren't there. But what she saw was enough to override anyone's mind, even one as smoothly operating as hers.
The person that she saw in front of her was herself.
Or at least, it looked a lot like her. She had the same face, the same height, the same dirty blonde hair. But the similarities were offset by differences. The other Heloise's hair was let down, allowed to hang freely at her waist. Instead of a blood red dress, she wore instead on that was pure white, so white it blended in with the surroundings to the point where Heloise had to strain her eyes to see it. As a final touch the scar that should have decorated her forehead was gone. This girl looked less like Heloise and more like an angel.
The genuine article was tense for several more seconds, her brain processing the current situation. Then, finally, realization crossed her features, and she relaxed her body. "I get it…I'm inside my own mind, right?"
"That's what you invented the machine for, isn't it?" the other Heloise responded. "Send someone into their psyche, force them to bring up inner demon, childhood trauma, repressed memories and force the poor souls to suffer through their greatest tormenters: themselves."
A cruel smile crossed the scientist's features at the accurate description of her invention. The thought of just how much someone could suffer under her technology, and how much longer the emotional scars would last than any physical ones could, was enough to make her giddy. But the happiness was short lived as further realization swept over her. "So, I take it you're something that's going to torment me."
The other Heloise shook her head, putting on a sad smile. "I am something you've been running from for a long time, something you've been foolishly fighting for years. Something you tried to cast aside years ago."
"Weakness," Heloise answered quickly, visibly disgusted by the motherly tone the other her spoke in.
Again, the other Heloise shook her head. "I'm Love. I'm compassion and humanity, I'm humility and kindness."
"Like I said, weakness," Heloise said coldly. "I don't need you, I never did."
"Oh really?" Love said with a smirk. "That's not how you think around Jimmy."
At the mention of the blonde-headed boy that she loved, Heloise flew into a rage, fire appearing in her eyes. Giving an anguished cry she dove at the representation of her discarded emotions, but only succeeded in passing through her. She did a roll on the ground before leaping to her feet. She turned and lunged at Love, attempting to punch her several times, though she might as well have been punching air.
"It's your fault!" she shrieked. "You made me fall in love with Jimmy! You turned me into this mess! Make it stop! Make me hate him!"
"Is it my fault?" Love asked with a warm smile, still talking in a motherly tone despite her human's murderous rage. "I'm merely an emotion. I count on you to give me power. I cannot do anything unless you allow it."
"Then I'll stop giving you power!" Heloise snarled. She had given up harming Love, but she was still standing tense, her hands in fists.
"If it's that simple, then why haven't you done it?" Love asked simply.
If anything, this comment made Heloise angrier, causing her to tense up further. "I…I…you…."
"As much as you fight me, you don't want to get rid of me. As much as you deny me, you want me in your life." As Love spoke, the area around them became black, all the white gone. Despite this, Heloise still saw clearly. "There wasn't always a time when you refused me."
"Oh really?" Heloise answered, trying not to sound to unnerved at the scenery change. "I can't remember any time when I was like you."
"Of course you don't," Love retorted as the black began to fade into some actual scenery. "This is your first memory, isn't it?"
Heloise looked around at the new scenery. It was a plain metallic room; the walls were made of the same metal as her laboratory. There was no decoration, no furniture, no windows; nothing was in the room except for one figure.
It was Heloise…or rather, the younger her. She was younger, twelve as opposed to seventeen, and she was wearing something other than her trademark red dress. Instead, she wore a red tank top with blue jeans, with plain white tennis shoes. The one thing that Heloise focused on, though, was the fact that the younger self was lacking her trademark scar.
The past Heloise was looking around the room nervously when the sole door in the room opened and in walked four figures. One was Lucius, with Samy following next to him holding a clipboard. Flanking them were two of Lucius' minotaur soldiers.
"So, this is the new arrival?" the seventh-generation Heinous questioned, arching an eyebrow. "And Dr. Asimov wants her as an assistant?"
"Th-that's correct sir," the goblin replied, looking at the clipboard. "He has requested that she be brought to his lab after she's been fitted."
"Hmm, well, he is a bit crazy," the diminutive ruler mused as he walked up to the girl.
"Who are you?" the younger Heloise asked. The younger girl was rewarded with a slap across the face from the one questioned.
"Here's something you're going to have to get used to," Lucius snarled to the girl. "This is Miseryville, and I rule here. I ask the questions, and you answer them. You don't ask anything of me."
The younger Heloise cringed at his glare, and indeed the older was taken aback. By now she was indispensible to Misery Inc. and enjoyed tormenting him. She had forgotten there was a reason why he was still running Miseryville centuries after freezing his father.
"Now, what's your name, my dear?" Lucius asked with sincerity that was easily identifiable as false.
Shaking nervously, the younger Heloise answered. "Heloise."
Lucius gave a wicked smirk and nodded. "Good. Now then, how about a last name? Or a hometown? Names of parents? Best friends? Anything?"
A look of thought crossed past Heloise's face before she looked back at her tormenter. "I…I can't remember."
The young girl winced, as if expecting another slap, but Lucius just smiled. "Excellent. No further memory, as usual. Now, we can begin the fitting." He brought up his hand and snapped his fingers.
Before the past Heloise knew it, the two minotaurs were on either side of her, holding her arms to keep her still. The younger girl tried to struggle, much to Lucius's amusement.
"Now, now, my dear, you're only making this harder on yourself," the dictator taunted. He licked one of his fingers, which caused a distinct hiss. He then brought the finger up to the struggling girl's forehead.
Suddenly the younger Heloise stopped dead as Lucius's claw cut into her forehead. There was no struggling, no screams of pain as her skin and skull were cut open. "Samy, hand me the device," the red ruler ordered, not taking his eyes off his work.
Samy, who still was nauseous even after seeing this ritual repeated several times, weakly handed his boss a small, metallic cylinder, no bigger than an inch long. Not taking his eyes off his victim, Lucius took the device and slipped it in the open wound. Licking his finger once again, he ran it across the cut, his saliva apparently cauterizing the wound.
"There now, that wasn't so bad, now was it?" Lucius said with mock sincerity, patting the younger Heloise's cheek. He turned to his guards. "Take her to Asimov, and tell him this girl better be worth what we traded to get her."
Needing no other orders, the two minotaurs picked the girl up and carried her out of the room, with Lucius and Samy following. The room faded and became black again, leaving Heloise and Love alone.
Heloise brought her hand up to her forehead, feeling the scar she had become so accustomed to all these years. "Why'd you have to remind me of that day?" she said, trying to sound angry rather than sad, an attempt that failed.
"We sometimes have to face painful things to face the truth," Love answered simply.
"What are you, a fortune cookie?" Heloise snapped. "What is this supposed to prove?"
"You'll understand soon enough," Love answered as the black faded in to a new scene.
Heloise recognized it as her lab…or rather, it would be her lab. At this point in time, she guessed, it wasn't hers yet. This was confirmed as the door to the lab opened and the minotaurs stepped inside, carrying the still twelve-year-old Heloise.
"Alright, doc, here's the human you wanted," the first minotaur said. "And Mr. Heinous wants some results out of her."
"Tell him not to worry," Dr. Asimov said as he walked onto the scene. "I've kept my eyes on her when she was up above, she'll be sufficient."
In many ways, Dr. Asimov looked very much like a mix between Lucius and Samy. He was short and goblin-like, with dirty and wrinkled yellow skin. He had sharp, bull like horn on his head, as well as ears flopped down behind his head. He wore goggles, making his pitch-black eyes appear larger than they really were, which rested above a large beak which held a row of incredibly sharp teeth. He wore a white lab coat with black pants and boots, as well as a pair of dark rubber gloves that covered his clawed hands.
"Now, leave us, I must initiate my new pupil," the scientist said, waving his hand in a dismissive notion. The guards seemed a little put off by being blown off so casually, but did as instructed.
The younger Heloise stared at the scientist. She contemplated asking a name, but remembered what had happened with Lucius and opted to remain silent until spoken to.
"Man, I was such a wuss back then," the current Heloise muttered. Love didn't respond.
"I take it you've already been fitted?" Asimov asked.
Past Heloise responded with a nervous nod…but then paused in contemplation. "I guess you mean that they put that thing in my head, right?"
"Yes, my dear. That's just a formality, you can't live in Miseryville looking like that," the doctor said, looking the girl over. The past Heloise inhaled sharply, something Asimov just ignored. "That device is implanted in everyone who arrives in Miseryville, where you now reside. In a few years you'll be transformed into a less…human appearance," he explained, saying human as if the species as a whole were nothing but vermin.
The younger Heloise's eyes went wide with shock. "What! How could you-"
In a flash Asimov had her hand around her neck, effectively stopping the outburst. "I suggest you remain silent," the doctor threatened. "You best be grateful, many humans we get down here don't get the opportunity I'm giving you. An eternity of forced labor or incomprehensible torture awaits anyone who doesn't work for the Heinous family. But I've taken a special interest in you."
Asimov dropped Heloise to the ground before continuing. "You don't remember much before you came to Miseryville, and I'd advise you not to ask too many questions about that topic, but you're quite the prodigy when it came to science, and you had quite the right attitude towards life. Both of those qualities are what's needed to serve as my assistant. You'll live a life of privilege and luxury, safe from the horrors most residents of Miseryville have to face. So I suggest you get used to working for me…it's as good of a deal as you'll ever get down here."
As the scene faded to black, Love spoke. "You were intimidated by him back then."
"I was weak," Heloise responded bluntly. "I wasn't aware of the way things really are in the world."
"You mean, the way things are in Miseryville," Love corrected.
"There's no leaving Miseryville," Heloise reminded. "How things work anywhere else doesn't matter to me."
"That's what Lucius and Asimov told you, isn't it? And you chose to believe it."
"No one's escaped Miseryville after being brought here," Heloise reminded. "Anyway, what's the point? No one remembers anything before coming here. I might not even have anything beyond this town. Besides, I love it here, I get to cause misery and get a big fat paycheck for it!"
"Do you really love it here? Are you really happy?"
"Of course I am!" Heloise snapped. "Why would you ask that?"
"I'm a part of you, remember?" Love responded. "You're asking that question, somewhere inside of yourself."
Heloise suddenly felt silent, her eyes going wide as she took in that very valid point. Then, just as quickly as it happened, she returned to her angry self. "You're Love, an emotion that disturbs logical thinking. Why should I listen to anything you tell me?"
Love just put on a smug smile and shook her head. "Trying to rationalize me away again? You've tried that for months, you know it doesn't work."
Again, Heloise was silenced. Love went on as the lab faded back into the picture. "Besides, you can't deny your first few months in Miseryville weren't happy ones."
As the scene faded in, the sound of pained screaming filled the room. Heloise soon realized they were coming from the younger her, who was currently withering on the tiled floor, screaming bloody murder despite being untouched. Looming over her was Asimov, who was clutching a small remote, holding down a red button. After a few seconds he released it, and the younger Heloise stopped her cries, breathing heavily to catch her breath.
The younger version of the girl was no longer in the casual clothes she had worn when she had awoken in Miseryville. She now wore a stereotypical white lab coat with black pants, boots, and gloves. It wasn't the most original uniform, but Asimov had made her wear it nearly every day. Only during formal occasions, Lucius' events that the two scientists were required to attend, did he allow her to wear anything else.
"I really wish you would quit making incorrect calculations, miss," Asimov said slowly. "Rise to your feet. Now, or I'll shock you again." The younger girl did as she was told, grasping the blackboard she had been writing calculations on in an effort to stay upright. "You know, every time I have to use it to punish you, my marvelous device has to take attention away from mutating you."
Heloise didn't answer, obviously still recovering from the pain that had been inflicted on her. Whenever the device in her brain was activated, it felt like her skull would split in two. The pain was so intense that it always turned her into a pathetic mess, withering on the floor. And since it left no damage afterward, it could go on forever without killing her, meaning Asimov could use it on her without any worries of losing the young girl.
"You mustn't lose your focus, my dear, you must become a perfect calculating machine," Asimov continued as he flipped the chalkboard over, revealing a blank slate. "Now try again, and remember: one false calculation means another use of my marvelous device."
Past Heloise weakly picked up her chalk and began writing out a very long calculation as the scene went black.
"It was worth it," Heloise said before Love could get a word in edgewise. "It sharpened my mind like nothing I've ever tried. It made me a genius."
"Weren't you already a genius?" Love asked innocently, tilting her head sideways. "Isn't that why Asimov wanted you?"
"I had potential," Heloise clarified. "I was already great with science and machines…how, I don't exactly know. Something in my life before Miseryville made me a child prodigy. But whatever it was, it didn't reach its full potential until Asimov trained me."
"Training? Is that what you call it?" Love countered with a lifted eyebrow.
"Shut up!" the younger girl snapped. "Asimov taught me to focus my mind. Even under the most stressful situations my mind makes perfect calculations. It's second nature now."
"Yes it is, I suppose," her emotion countered. "And now you have a reflex that causes you to flinch every time you make a mistake."
The young scientist only grumbled at that point. "Okay, maybe it did do that, but you have to make sacrifices to be the best."
"And I suppose that's what you'd say to Asimov if you saw him now?" Love said as the lab faded back in. "To explain why you did what you did to him?"
At this, Heloise put on a wicked grin. She turned and found to her glee that the next memory was one of her favorites.
The younger Heloise, now thirteen, was working with absolute precision, tightening bolts and connecting wires with a speed unheard of in a human. Asimov's brutal conditioning had the desired effect, her mind was now as sharp and quick as a computer.
The device she was working on looked simple enough, a large metal hoop, about teen feet in diameter and a foot in width, supported by a larger base. It looked like a stereotypical portal machine from a Saturday morning cartoon show, not that Heloise would even remember what a cartoon was, seeing as how Lucius would never allow something as fun as that in his town.
The young lab assistant finished her work and closed the panel she had been tinkering with. From a distance, Asimov smiled. "Excellent, my dear, my newest work of genius is now complete," he said as he walked toward it, with the remote for the newest device in hand. As Heloise walked to his side, the evil doctor pressed a button on the remote.
In an instant the hoop surged with electricity. Lightening jumped across the opening, moving quicker than either scientist's eyes could follow. Before either one knew it, the inside of the hoop was a wall of electricity.
"Excellent! The newest torture device actually works! I'm a genius!" Asimov congratulated himself. The machine he had just completed was designed to punish those who crossed Lucius. It was a mere electric conductor, except that it had been modified so that electricity could cause more pain with less damage. It was far from the most efficient thing Asimov had invented, but the dictator of Miseryville liked variety in his torture.
"Now then, we may have gotten this prototype finished, but it still doesn't work the way it's meant to," the yellow-skinned monster muttered as he rubbed his chin. "This setting might be set up too high to effectively provide continuous torture. It will probably simply kill the subject outright. Heloise, fetch me a test subject from the dungeon," he finished, waving the girl away.
However, to his surprise, Heloise simply put and hand on his back. "I don't think that will be necessary."
Heloise saw the whole memory play out before her, but in her mind there was little transition. In one moment Asimov was standing in front of his invention.
In the next he was suddenly in his invention, having been pushed into it by his assistant. Asimov withered and screamed, intense pain coursing through every vain, while Heloise ran from the portal and ducked behind a lab table. Once under cover, she checked her watch. The second hand ticked down. 57…58…59…
The following explosion shook the laboratory, knocking beakers off the tables and books of the shelves. Despite the chaos and destruction, Heloise could do nothing but laugh. Asimov was a fool, thinking he had her in the palm of his hand, testing what could potentially be a volatile machine without blast shields. It was her who sabotaged the machine, rigged it to explode, allowing her to rid herself of her jailer and receive his position in the process.
The shaking stopped, but Heloise had only been dimly aware of it through her giddiness. She stood up, collected herself, and tried putting on a panicked look. Everyone would assume Asimov died messing with something he didn't understand, but she didn't need her happiness making anyone suspicious. After successfully collecting herself, she ran out of the lab, ready to put on her act.
"You're so charming," Love smirked as the scene faded once more. "You'd give Samy a run for his money."
"Don't give me that," Heloise grunted. "There was no way I was going to stay under Asimov forever. He may have given me this amazing mind, but I still hated him."
"And yet you've become just like him."
"Because it's funny when I do it," the scientist responded.
"So you tell everyone, as is the way in Miseryville," Love droned. "And yet, there's always this little lingering doubt in the back of your mind, isn't there? One little thought that you hate what you're doing, it's been gnawing at your mind since you got promoted."
"Nothing more than leftover weakness," Heloise dismissed. "It's been getting weaker over the last few years."
Love once again shook her head. "So you've told yourself, time and time again. You're still rehashing the same thing you've been telling yourself for years."
"Yeah, and I lasted years with that mentality," the girl genius responded. "It got me to the top in Miseryville. I can get anything I want."
"No, you only thought you could get anything you want. I think you know what I'm talking about."
At that, Heloise tensed up again. She knew this memory was coming up. It was that happened months ago, yet she remembered as clearly as yesterday.
The day she met Jimmy Two-Shoes.