Hello, and welcome to my story! I just arrived in my fantastic boat! This is not a sequel to TMASOT. It started before the events on Fribbula I, and ended five years after; it's a different story. Our heroes' next adventure finds place on Earth this time. Let's see if Commander Keen can save the Earth... While on Earth.
There is a hellhole on Earth most Wisconsin kids can't fathom, and that's how it should be. This applies not only to kids in Wisconsin, but kids everywhere. Picture a suburb. Creepy, yes, but I'm not finished. That grey stucco house with the red Mexican roof tiles? The home of Molly, Anne and Dave McMire. That little clubhouse in the backyard? Now, there's where the fourth McMire family member spends most of his time, and incidentally, where our story begins.
Mortimer put on his lab coat. He only did if his experiments were messy. This one was nothing if not messy. Since he had given up on destroying the universe alone, he had looked around for someone to join forces with him. Everyone he had asked had told him there was an excellent place in town for people with his brand of interest. It included lots of privacy and three meals a day.
But he did not give up. Giving up is what failures do. And if you have a 315 I.Q and give up, you're a total failure. That's just basic science. But he couldn't do this alone; oh, no. he needed a partner. His rival Billy Blaze, A.K.A Three Fourteen, had a partner. He took a picture of Billy from the local newspaper, where he sat at a desk with his best friend Edie Mammon. There was an ongoing debate in Lizardstone, Wisconsin whether or not two eight-year-olds should be allowed to run their own radio station.
"Oh, Billy, I'm a girl, as if being subhuman wasn't enough. Let's be friends," Mortimer made a singular face to go with his mocking impression of Edie's Brooklyn accent. "Mortimer is crazy. And smarter than us, and we should destroy his dreams." He shifted to a send-up of Billy, who for some reason had a squeakier voice. "Yeah, because we're stupid and jealous. I'm so glad he's lonely."
Mortimer didn't hate Billy. He saw him as a worthy opponent. On the inside he was jealous of Billy, because he had a friend. Mort didn't hate Edie either, although she was nothing special; just a normal kid as all the others. For some childish reason, he wanted her to be his friend, just to make Billy feel bad. And why wouldn't it work? Edie definitely made Mort feel weak.
He unveiled a large dome of glass, and inside it rested his latest invention; the Mekiddo. Through a series of painful, invasive and embarrassing experiments, he had managed to make an organic tissue with the look, texture and design of human skin. But the tissue had no pores, and thus not suitable to revolutionize the medical procedure known as skin grafting. Instead, Mortimer had used it as a frontage of a robotic aid.
For some reason, the tissue, which he named NanoFabric, made the android appear so human it was uncanny, and so he got his best idea yet. If he couldn't get a real friend, he could build one!
Mortimer had finally struck an ore of creativity and found that building a computer chip containing the personality of the species named "girl" was an interesting project.
He looked at the contents of the chip to check if anything was missing on the holographic screen. While the diagram loaded, he threw another dart at Billy's picture.
"Vanity? Check. Petty mind games? Check. Affinity for mushy stuff? Check. Meanness? Check and checked. Now, let's see what you can do."
Mortimer flicked the switch on the Mekiddo's side to "on", and it twitched twice before opening its empty eye holes.
"Good evening, Mekiddo," Mortimer said, loud and clear. It didn't react, just blinked every four seconds and moved its unfinished arms. The software was testing the hardware, which was working perfectly, although the lower half wasn't finished yet.
"Your id chip is working fine, Mekiddo," Mortimer grumped. "You should be able to hear me."
Then he remembered something. Artificial intelligence of this class depended on a process of imprinting, as its intelligence and abilities changed and grew over time. Constant learning and different processes of learning were vital to its development, like any human. He therefore took its soft hand in his. It felt like a human hand, although missing pulse and temperature.
"My name is Mortimer McMire. Nice to meet you. What is your name?"
The android turned its head around and focused on him. "My name," it said, with a monotone voice that was unmistakably feminine, "Is Happy Melody McCormick."
What kind of stupid name was that? Instead, Mort said: "It is really nice that you told me your name."
"I look dreadful," Happy Melody said. "I wanna go to the mall, and then the salon, I need a manicure, and makeup… And shoes… I also want a new handbag. Ah!" She yelped and looked down; "What am I wearing? I want a new wardrobe; I want a new dress!"
Mortimer was astounded. It did act like a real girl.
That why he spent the following weeks with her, lavishing her with attention, which she loved. He had yet to construct a lower half for her that would be strong enough to let her walk on her own, but her arms and hands were working excellently. Her motor skills were perfect and there was no task, no matter how hard nor delicate, that Happy Melody could not handle. He constructed the sleeves of an 18th century pink ball gown with ribbons and lace, which she loved, and a wig of real hair dyed peach.
For a while, all they did was talk. Mortimer told Melody of the world who hated him, boring school days, rutabaga cubes for dinner, and of Billy and Edie, too. And Happy Melody listened. She was so curious to see the great land of Wisconsin for herself, and not a day went without her asking him if she could.
"And I'd also love to eat ice cream. My technology can handle dairy products."
Suddenly, the door to the makeshift laboratory was flung open. How the intruders had passed it without knocking and saying the secret password was beyond him. He hurried to shut off Happy Melody and covering her with a tarp.
It was a party of three lead by a stern-looking, middle aged woman. "We are from the U.S government! You have been indicted for trying to blow up the Earth, destroying the universe and enslaving humankind!"
Mortimer's eyes darted across the lab, trying to find a possible escape route. But the tranquilizer gun wielded by one of the female detective's goons was enough to keep him in line. Everything else was a blur. The jury who pointed at him, the witnesses testifying against him, Edie and Billy in their Sunday finery, and the judge who pointed at the eight-year-old evil genius, and said in a booming voice:
"I sentence you to a lifetime at Freaky Fred Memorial Institute for the Criminally Insane without the possibility of parole, and also, your allowance will be cut."
"Nooooo!" Mortimer screamed in an all-too melodramatic exit as a couple of brawny orderlies dragged him out.
His mother shed a tear, but she was the only one.