It took Dr. Drakken weeks to realize that Shego would not be coming to break him out, as she had so often through the years. He needed to find his own way out. Unfortunately he had come to rely so much on Shego that he didn't have a clue how to approach escape. He remembered Shego's advice -- deception and misdirection. It appeared to him that cooperation, gaining the doctors' trust, offered him the best hope.
Drakken took the lead in group therapy sessions. In individual sessions he dwelled on his mother incessantly -- it seemed to please the psychotherapist no end. And given Drakken and his mother, there was no end to the stories he could tell. Under the watchful eyes of the psychiatric staff he even took his medication regularly.
After three weeks on his cooperation plan Drakken had a tendency to walk into walls instead of doors. They cut back on his meds.
Another three weeks and the blue man could navigate better through the building, leaning less heavily on his cane every day. But he began to introduce himself to people as Teddy Roosevelt. They cut back on his meds again.
Because of the obvious progress he was making the psychiatric hospital began to let him work with some of the researchers interested in his ideas. That actually provided Drakken with the best therapy. The fact he never finished his Ph.D. and had no claim to the title Dr. had always rankled him. But here were people with the credentials anxious for his input on cloning, robotics, and building a better coffee machine.
The joy of snarling at underpaid lab assistants distracted him from his ultimate goal -- escape. He had done so well on supervised visits around the area that the psychotherapist surprised him that autumn by suggesting he try an unsupervised weekend trip to see his mother.
“Ah, freedom,” he thought as the bus carried him to Middleton. Drakken drummed his fingers against the glass. Freedom seemed damn slow, he wanted his hovercraft back.
Drakken stood in front of the Lair, key in hand, wondering who had changed his door. He took it as a bad sign. A small side door, only used to escape the Lair when his latest project seemed ready to blow up, had not been tampered with. Drakken checked under the 'Unwelcome' mat and found the spare key.
The Lair had definitely changed. The colors were all wrong and there was more computer equipment around than he remembered. He wandered through the Lair, noting the changes. The lab appeared to be great shape. His quarters hadn't been touched; there was a vague smell of disuse as he opened the door.
He left the door open for fresh air as he changed into his blue lab coat. The clang of the front door opening and closing echoed through the Lair as he finished dressing. The interloper must be inside. Drakken cautiously worked his way through the Lair, looking for his enemy. A continual swishing sound caught his attention and he peered into one of the larger rooms and saw a young man exercising on an elliptical trainer. He stared hard, this was definitely the kid who ran Kim's website. And he had foolishly placed the elliptical trainer directly over a trap door!
Drakken stormed into the room as dramatically as possible while using a cane. Wade stopped and stared at him. “All right, fat kid who runs Kim Possible's website, what are you doing here?”
“Hey, I'm not a fat kid any more. And I've been using this for my lab since spring.”
“Well, you're not going to use it any more, former fat kid. Drakken's back!”
Dr. Drakken hit a large red button on a control panel. A trap door opened suddenly and a scream filled the lab as a body plummeted nine feet into a pit beneath the room.
Wade moved cautiously to the opening in the floor.
“All right, who moved the trap door?” Drakken demanded.
“Did you land on the mattresses? Are you okay?”
“Your concern touches me. Throw me a rope, dammit.”
“Nope, first we talk.”
“We will not talk,” Drakken cursed.
“Suit yourself. Let me know when you're ready.” Wade pushed a green button to the side and the trapdoor began to close.
“I think I'm ready to talk now.”
“Look, Shego brought me out here last January to help look for you. She paid rent and utilities for a few months. When she was afraid Global Justice would arrest her I'm the one she gave the keys to the hovercraft and the Lair. And I've been paying the rent and utilities on this place for months. When was the last time you paid any bill here?”
Wade raised one eyebrow.
“Okay, November. Cash flow in December was really bad.”
“See, if I wasn't here the landlord would have taken all your stuff and auctioned it off for back rent”
“But why did you repaint?”
“Mauve and teal are so nineties. You really needed to move this place into the twenty-first century.”
“The nineties was a very nice decade,” Drakken pouted.
“If you recognize you owe me I'll let you out, I have some more serious things we need to talk about.”
“Okay. Thank you for keeping the Lair open. If this is about paying you back I'm a little strapped for cash right now.”
“I wasn't going to ask you to pay me back, but you bring up something I want to talk with you about.”
Drakken climbed the rope ladder Wade tossed down as Wade continued, “I've been doing some good work out here. I recognize this was your Lair, so I want some sort of formal partnership -- I don't want you claiming I stole your ideas.”
“Well, have you?”
“Okay, I finished up a few things you had laying around --”
“Aha! I'm good, aren't I boy? You're a genius and you wanted to finish up my work.” Drakken appeared more flattered than offended by Wade's disclosure. “Do you think they would they have worked to take over the world?”
“Umm, I was curious about a couple of them. I programmed a computer simulation to try and project how some of your plans might have gone. You can plug in different variables and see what might have happened. It turns out that a couple of your plans over the years might have worked -- if you leave Kim Possible and a couple other variables out of the equation.”
“Could you show me?”
Wade led him over to a computer dedicated to the simulation. “Of course, you put Kim in the equation and most of your plans end real fast. Oh, and do you remember an old plan to threaten the nations with destabilizing the earth's magnetic core?”
“Well, it worked. But so much damage was done to the earth's orbit that six months after you became ruler of the world the earth plunged into the sun. I have to tell you, any plan that ends up with the earth plunging into the sun is a bad plan.”
“So, are we planning to take over the world? Is that your offer?”
“Sorry Dr. D. I don't want to take over the world. I was just curious. I thought if anything I might persuade you to stop trying.”
“Can I run my own plans on it?” Drakken asked eagerly.
“Sure, have fun. But seriously, I want a formal partnership in terms of financial arrangements. I'm using the lab you established -- but I've brought a lot of my own equipment and ideas. I recognize you have some rights here and want to spell out the finances. I just want to make money from my work.”
“I may be able to agree to that -- what sort of financial arrangement did you have in mind?”
“I'm thinking a sixty -- forty proposition.”
“No, this is my lab. I want at least seventy-five percent.”
“Actually, I had you in mind for the forty percent. I'm going to be doing all the work.”
“You're using my tools and parts. You already said you've worked on projects I started.”
“And when was the last time you paid rent on this place? I've brought in my own equipment too. Everything you owned would have been sold at auction if I hadn't been paying the bills.”
“Okay, I'll take the sixty percent.”
“No, my offer was forty.”
“Okay, but that's only until I'm eighteen. We renegotiate then. And I need a few more things from you.”
“What do you want?”
“When I hit sixteen I can legally hold a part-time job. I need your signature on company letterhead authorizing me to fly the hovercraft if I get picked up.”
“The partnership, remember?”
“Wait! You're only fifteen? Is any of this legal?”
“Nothing legal going on here. Since I can't legally have a job here my fifty percent will be on the books as money for research, parts, and overhead.”
Drakken wiped an imaginary tear from his eye, “My boy, I've sadly misjudged you. You have real talent.”
“Of course, this means I can't trust you to give me accurate accounts, I'll have to hire an accountant to look over the books.”
“You mean you might have trusted me?”
“Well, aren't you supposed to be one of the good guys? Don't you take an honesty oath or something?”
“For a super villain you are really naïve, you know that?”
“There are two more things I'd like, if that's okay.”
“What do you need, Wade. Or should I call you partner.”
“I would prefer Wade. Do you remember the computer-generated image you had of me -- when you had Kim steal something for you from Prof. Dementor? Do you still have that around?”
“You need a computer-generated image of yourself?”
“No, Dr. D. We need to make one of you.”
“Well, we can't have a fifteen year old as the figurehead of Drew Theodore P. Lipsky Enterprises. We need to tweak an image of you for the public.”
“My name, we keep my name?”
“At least until I'm eighteen.”
After an hour of work the two had an image of their new CEO, DTP Lipsky.
“You said there were two things you still wanted. What is the second?”
“Well, I've looked around the Lair a little, and checked your computers. I can't seem to find any information on how you created the Bebes.”
“Why do you want information on them?”
“Well, it’s a big lab. The Evil Lair Cleaning Service is expensive. I thought a couple Bebes might help keep the place clean and work as lab assistants.”
“You know those things are dangerous, they can think for themselves.”
“I can put in safeguards.”
“You're sure this a good idea? Should we run it through your simulation.”
“I'm not trying to take over the world. I just want a couple around the Lair. Maybe we can call them Bebes 2.0.”
“Why not a new name, like CeCes?”
“Sorry, Doc. The name has already been taken, DeeDees too, I'm afraid.”
“Well, it would be a lot more than 2.0, make it more like 5.1.”
“So, you'll give me the notes?”
Drakken scowled at him, “Only because we're partners. Wait here.”
Drakken returned a few minutes later with a box of photocopies. “ I started the Bebes before I had my own PC. The original notes are all longhand. I've made copies through the years because my labs have a way of blowing up.”
“Why is the kitchen so bare?”
“I don't live here, I just come out and work during the day.”
“Well, now that I'm back I'll restock.”
“No, Dr. D. You need to go back to the institution.”
“I do? Why?”
“Because, if you don't they'll come looking for you. They might ask Kim to look for you -- and you know she always finds you. And you don't have Shego now… No, you need to go back to the institution until they release you. Hopefully by then DTP Lipsky may have made you a millionaire. You can buy your own island out in the Pacific and run it any way you want.”
“My own island? Really?”
“Okay, maybe not when you get out, but eventually -- I'm sure of it. And when you show them you are trustworthy they'll let you have more unsupervised visits. You can visit our Lair more often and work on any projects you want until you're free.”
“You won't change the lock on the side door?”
“If you promise to go back to the Institute we can even program the front door to recognize your voice and retina.”
“You have a retinal scanner on the door? I'll bet Professor Dementor doesn't have one at his hideout.”
Wade congratulated himself as he rode the bus home. Despite the old saying, possession is not nine points of the law. Drakken might have been able to charge him with trespassing -- although as a minor the crime would not have caused serious problems for him. The idea he was trespassing had been a nagging thought in the back of his mind. Now he had at least a quasi-legal right to be there, and it made him feel much better. Under the circumstances he would have been happy with the forty percent Drakken had proposed -- after all, DTP Lipsky Enterprises would report all Drakken's income to the IRS. Since he could not even legally hold a job Wade was not certain how much of his income before age sixteen would be reported.
And, best of all, Drakken had promised to help him on a new generation of Bebes. Wade couldn't quite decide if they were one of Drakken's greatest inventions or if the man had somehow just gotten lucky. But a robot capable of independent action and development appeared to offer possibilities he was sure Drakken had never considered.
Dr. Drakken congratulated himself as he took the bus back to Innsmouth. His lab hadn't been seized for failure to pay rent and was being upgraded. Not only was upkeep on the Lair costing him nothing, but it also promised to make money for him as Wade developed his own inventions under the DTP Lipsky label. He hadn't even told Wade about his work for Kitchen Aide and other companies which was already generating a small income for him. Under the circumstances he would have been happy with the forty percent first mentioned.
Developing a new generation of Bebes struck Drakken as potentially dangerous. The ability of the robots to act independently and re-create themselves meant they could never be trusted to follow directions the way Wade would need in lab assistants. Hopefully Wade would take those qualities out of the next generation. He wondered if he should have told Wade the full story of their origin, that the original concept had been companionship for science nerds? No, Wade was only fifteen. What could he know about romantic frustrations?