AP Productions: Formerly Known as Brain Boy #2

Ryan took a drag from his vape, “I remember the time Cady took me to the Student Dean. He grabbed my arm and marched me across campus like I was going to the principal’s office. Pretty inappropriate, all things considered, but it’s always been hilarious to me and that wouldn’t end up being the worst thing he ever did. At any rate, he barged into the Dean’s office and the guy was on the phone with someone, so had to tell them he’d call them back then hung up quickly because Cady was already mid-rant. He was shouting, ‘I can’t do it, Phil! I’m a Harvard professor, not a goddamn kindergarten teacher’. The Dean was trying his best to calm him down, but nothing worked. Cady started complaining how I thought his theories were bullshit, which they mostly were, and the Dean tried to placate him by telling me, ‘Ryan, surely a young man with your talents and privilege could have found a more productive or academic way to express yourself’. I remember…,” Ryan chuckled to himself a bit, “… I remember saying that it was productive because someone should tell Professor Cady his theories were bullshit so he could improve and it was academic because I said it in Latin,” Ryan began laughing loudly, “The best part was that, initially, Cady didn’t even speak Latin so I had to translate it into English in front of the entire lecture hall. He was so embarrassed,” he took another drag, “Ah,… it’s no wonder why he wants to kill me.”

Dr. Ansari smiled politely, “Guess you had to be there.”

Ryan slouched back in his seat across from the therapist, “But really, the guy was a crackpot and how he became a professor at Harvard, I’ll never know.”

“And this was the professor whom you exposed, correct?,” she glanced at her notes.

“Right, so he thought the human mind had the potential to expand to the point where a human could become telepathic. We just had to find ways to remove our mental blocks and yadda-yadda. He had all these different methods of supposedly unlocking the human mind’s potential that included everything from hypnosis to sleep deprivation, to psychotropic drugs…”

“Ryan -“

“Electroshock therapy too, of all things… I’m sure he mentioned trepanation at some point.”

“So Ryan -“

“I mean, trepanation was already a debunked concept in the 70s that only weird hippies got into but there he was 20 years later…”

“… Tell me why you think he’s trying to kill you.”

“Right, sorry. Cady claimed he was displaying telepathic powers during his lectures but, of course, refused to test those powers in class. I decided to expose him as a fraud by playing a prank on him. Remember, I hadn’t even hit puberty yet so… Anyway, my proof was that if he could sense and read minds, my prank wouldn’t work. He’d see me coming.”

“What was the prank?”

“I was going to sneak into his office early in the morning and rig an elaborate system of… Well, long story short, he was gonna get silly string in his face. I was going to record it all on video. Here’s where things got interesting… After sneaking into his office, I heard him talking to someone down the hall, so I just jumped into his closet with all my stuff. A few seconds later, he comes in with a female undergrad. Scandalous, right? I started using my camera to record his little tryst because, honestly, he should have read my mind and knew what I was doing, right? He didn’t, which proved that I was right.”

“Was being right more important than exposing an unethical professor having an affair with a young university student?”

Ryan choked a bit, “No,… Certainly not. A-and it was more than that, I found out. He was going on about his mental powers and the young woman was eating it up. Whatever. What’s interesting is that he began explaining how he couldn’t read minds or anything yet but he realized he could control them. It was around that time that he ordered her to stand still, which she did. I wasn’t sure what was going on until he ordered her to start undressing, which she also began to do, then I ran out of the closet and down the hall. I turned the evidence over to the authorities and he went to prison. It was later revealed that he had visited an underground Neutronium lab that was all the rage back then, which proved he was a hack. So,… going by his sentencing and how much good behavior he might have exhibited while in the pokey, I’d say there’s a fair chance he’s out by now and I’m pretty sure he tried to kill me based on what I saw.”

“So how does this make you feel?”

“Honestly, I don’t feel much. It’s not like he’s the first person to ever try to kill me.”

“So why come here?”

Ryan sat up, wide-eyed, “Wow, I assume you would, at the very least, be happy for the business.”

“What I mean is, we haven’t had a session in a very long time. When I asked how you were, you told me about this professor who wants revenge. To me, it seemed like a run-of-the-mill superhero problem.”

“In fairness, your expertise is in metahumans and superheroes…”

“It doesn’t seem like this Professor Cady person is a problem.”

“He’s not,” Ryan stopped abruptly once he realized what he had said, “… He’s not a problem at all. I already kinda have a plan on how to beat him, in all honesty. Maybe. Probably.”

“So you didn’t come here to talk about this professor?”

“I guess not.”

“So then let’s explore why you’re here. Last time I spoke to you was a few months ago and you were nervous about your upcoming wedding.”

“Oh,” Ryan sank into his chair, “…That.”

“And, going by celebrity gossip, you recently had a divorce.”

“Ugh,” Ryan removed his glasses and began cleaning them, “Dr. Ansari, please tell me you don’t pay attention to celebrity gossip. I’ll have trouble going to a therapist who watches TMZ.”

“I don’t but I go to the grocery store. Those magazine covers are hard to miss sometimes.”

“Print media continues to hang on by a thread, doesn’t it?,” he let out a long sigh, “Yes, I got a divorce from Sade Sterling,” he raised his hands as if imitating a headline, “Breaking News: Brain Boy Gets Dumped By One of the Hottest Supermodels in the World, Showing the World He’s a Complete Chump,” his hands dropped, “Nerdy guys everywhere thought they had a chance with a hot woman and now those hopes and dreams have been dashed. I’m probably to blame for the creation of a few incels now.”

“Think you might wanna talk about it?”

“Last I checked, the US divorce rate is around 31%. A lot of people think it’s much higher but that percentage has actually dropped in recent years. This means, of course, my marriage was abnormal and I was just unlucky enough to be involved in it. At any rate, it happens and we move on.”

“Sounds to me like you haven’t moved on.”

“I cheated on her,” he threw his hands in the air in defeat, “I mean, it was my fault. What can I do?”

“If you don’t mind me asking, how was your sexual compatibility with her?”

“Amazing.”

“Sade Sterling is a beautiful woman.”

“Gorgeous woman. And I’ve dated supermodels in the past just for the bragging rights but with Sade, she was different. She is actually a Mensa member, she speaks multiple languages, she’s a mathematician… I mean, I wouldn’t have married anyone if they weren’t someone I wouldn’t be annoyed talking to after three minutes.”

“Sounds like the perfect spouse for you.”

“She was but, like I said, I had sex with another woman. I screwed up and she divorced me and she had every right to do so. I think I have enough closure on that,” he looked at his watch, “Okay, Dr. Ansari, I’ll be honest, part of why I’m here today is because I was wondering if Professor Cady would take control of you in an attempt to kill me.”

Dr. Ansari became visibly offended, “You used me as bait?”

“You’re moderately well-known and paparazzi have taken pictures of me coming and going, so -“

“Ryan, what would have happened if Cady took over my mind?”

“Not to worry,” Ryan produced a pen from his pocket, “This pen releases a sedative gas. Almost immediate and has no side effects. You’d be perfectly safe and I would theoretically be able to track him down and subdue him.”

“I don’t appreciate this.”

“Sorry. I should’ve been upfront at the start,” Ryan stood up, “Can we make an appointment for next week?”

“I’m not going to be used as -“

“No, no. If he didn’t do anything today, he likely never will. This is for a legitimate reasons.”

Dr. Ansari took a breath, “And what would we talk about, Ryan?”

“I dunno. I think it’s always good to talk. You’re doing great work with me.”

“Will you leave your pen at home?”

“What if he turns you into a zombie?”

“I’ll take my chances.”

“Okay, but don’t complain when I have to put you in a sleeper hold.”

Ryan left her office and went outside, taking another drag from his vape. Labrat joined him, now wearing a t-shirt that read Please don’t pet me. Ryan scanned the area as his self-driving car pulled up to the curb.

“Did you see anything while I was up there?,” he asked Labrat.

“I saw lots of things,” Labrat was excited to announce.

“I’m sure you did, buddy, but did you see Cady or anything like what we saw at the bar?”

“Oh, no. Everything was pretty normal. Do you think he gave up?”

“Certainly not. He’s been following me to my usual haunts, I’m sure,” Ryan got in his car with Labrat following, “Sending civilians didn’t work out so I think he’s waiting until I’m in a more dangerous situation.”

“So you’re gonna avoid danger from now on?”

“Nope. I’m gonna swim in danger. I’m gonna get a handful of danger and use it as a face cream. I’m prepared to go balls-deep into the most dangerous situation I can think of at the moment. Remember the Dragonfly armor?”

“Yup. You made a super suit for the National Guard.”

“Maintenance checks are once every six months. I’m gonna ask for an early check-up and give the military some BS about a busy schedule so they’ll let me on base. We’re looking at a situation where, not only would I be surrounded by military personnel but The Dragonfly armor will be there as well, piloted by a guy who doesn’t like me anyway. That thing can level a city block in ten minutes flat. Cady wouldn’t be able to help himself. He’s gonna send everything he can at me.”

“And when he does, you can find him and stop him.”

“That’s the plan.”

“I hope he tries to kill you.”

“Me too, buddy. Me too.”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s