At the Mecha-Chuchets University of Science and Technology, the sun was starting to set. Some students were socializing, some had plans off-campus, but one was working on a private project. He was hunched over his desk, a pale hand in his oak brown hair as he focused.
The green metal that would become the body of the watch laid on the desk as Henri dipped the pipette into the concoction of chemicals he mixed together. Said chemicals seemed to glow a neon green. It bubbled as it made contact with the metal, and two lines of the same color traced the watch, giving it a bright glow.
“Interesting,” Henri muttered. Shame the glow would soon be covered.
A light haired person with green eyes watched him from the computer screen, and Henri adjusted the camera and pointed it so he could see the progress. The other scientist, Michael, looked on in amazement; he never seen the inside of a watch glow so brightly before.
“Is the metal supposed to do that, Henri?” Michael asked, confused but curious.
“I tested this metal earlier, but it seemed normal when I used any other chemicals on it,” Henri explained.
Michael nodded, still unsure about it. Maybe it was just a simple reaction.
“HEY HENRI, I BROUGHT SOME FOOD!” His roommate’s voice boomed from the other side after he banged on the door.
Henri winced but recovered. “Just leave it on the kitchen table, Ace,” Henri groaned. He could hear a loud sigh.
“Fine… just don’t fall asleep at your desk. Again,” Ace called from behind the door.
Henri rolled his eyes. 'I may finally be able to put this watch on a test run.’ He thought to himself as a grin grew on his face. He adjusted the camera, “Again, I can’t thank you enough for helping me out with this, Mike.”
Michael smiled, “It’s nothing Henri, just happy to help,” he sighed and thought to himself, 'Mostly for science, but, hey, it'd be nice for a new superhero to be around.'
“Anything to help a friend out. I would’ve asked Dr. Light, but…” Henri replied.
“You scared of the Santa Claus lookalike or are you just too nervous to ask?” Michael joked.
“Shut up,” Henri sighed as he drilled in holes for the exterior. He had prepared the metallic, white shell a couple weeks ago, using Michael’s own watch as a reference. Henri gently placed it on the watch, and one by one, he lined up the holes and placed in the screws as he talked to Michael, “Besides, you’re the only one I know who’s good with things like this.”
“Awww, you’re gonna make me blush,” Michael joked again, laughing at his own dumb tease. “In all seriousness though, I could have gotten Dr. Light for you.”
“...I know,” Henri grabbed a screwdriver and started to attach the shell. He became lost in his work. Even with the clock on his screen, he wouldn’t have known how much time passed.
“Hey Hit Points, have ya eaten yet?” Ace’s voice snapped Henri back to the present, along with a loud knock on Henri’s door.
Henri internally groaned, “Can you leave me be?”
“Hey, maybe if you ate, you wouldn’t sound like you got a stick up your-”
“That’s enough, Ace,” Henri retorted.
“Fine…” Ace groaned, as he walked away.
“Hate to agree with him, but it’s almost 10 PM,” Michael spoke up.
Henri looked up stunned. He checked his computer clock, and Michael was right. His stomach growled, ‘Ghh, and I was making good time, too.’ He looked at Michael, “I’ll be right back,” He sighed as he pushed out his chair and unlocked his door, 'I'll heat something up and go straight back to work.'
“Alright,” Michael said as he watched Henri leave the room. A loud crash caught his attention. 'Oh, for God’s sake!’ Michael thought as he bolted away from his computer as he wondered what broke.
While both scientists were gone, the watch began to fully react to the chemicals. The watch glowed and pulsed, like a heartbeat. The surrounding area around it began to bubble and melt, as if the watch was made of acid itself. It kept pulsing, as the green glow intensified. The sound of sizzling wood could be heard as it ate away more of the table. Before long, the watch fell to the floor. The pulsing stopped. The acidic reaction, gone. It just laid there, quiet as a mouse as it glowed gently.
When Henri came back, the watch on the floor. He walked over and picked it up, only to drop it. “OW!" He looked at his hand to see traces of a burn mark. 'How did that happen?' He went to the bathroom to run cold water on his hand. Maybe a small reaction happened? No, it was possible the metal simply got too hot. He didn't know how, but it didn't matter. He walked into the kitchen to grab an oven mitt.
“Jeez, what happened?” Michael asked after Henri aimed the webcam at the damaged table.
“The watch fell on the floor and it burned me when I tried to pick it up,” Henri responded as he wrapped his hand in the gauze from his first-aid kit.
“It burned you?” Michael asked, “How did that even happen?”
Henri held up his wrapped hand as he asked, “It ended up on the floor somehow,” He gestured to the table, “and it burned through the table, too,”
“Henri, are you sure you tested the metal thoroughly? Because metals aren’t just supposed to burn through tables!”
“It didn’t do anything when I tested it before. Maybe the mixture I was working with was more volatile than I thought…” Henri guessed.
“Yeah... maybe finish the watch in a lab. With safety equipment,” Michael suggested.
“It’s not doing anything now, though. It seems normal, just hot.”
“Hot? Like, 'burning' hot or like 'warm' hot?”
“I don’t know!” Henri shouted. He let out a sigh, as he ran a hand through his hair. “It’s fine. The watch isn’t doing anything weird now. I’ll just tough this out and finish it.”
“Suit yourself, but maybe you should wait until after the watch cools off.”
Henri shook his head. “No. I’m almost done.” He could hear Michael groan from the screen.
“It’s your hand, Henri. And your room. Just don’t burn your place down,” Michael said.
“I won’t; I have you to help me out!” Henri responded.
Michael didn’t seem convinced, but nodded, “Yeah.. just wait a little bit and maybe take a nap. It’s almost midnight, Hen.”
“You sound like Ace,” Henri commented, going back to the watch as he thought, ‘Besides, I’ve stayed up later.’
“I'm so sorry for worrying for your health,” Michael’s voice dripped with sarcasm.
“Besides, I don’t have classes tomorrow,” Henri added.
“You mean ‘later today’?” Michael asked, rubbing at his eyes.
“Yeah, later today,” Henri said quietly.
Michael yawned as he watched Henri finish the watch. He keep dozing off, 'God, I’m not used to this,’ he thought, leaning back in his chair.
“FINISHED!” Henri shouted with joy, as he smiled brightly and startled a half-asleep Michael.
“Whuh? Oh, uh… Congrats!” Michael shook his head as he tried to look like he was awake.
“Finally...after three months…” Henri tried to hold back his tears of joy.
“Well, if you're so happy about it, put it on,”
Henri nodded and put the watch on. As soon as he did that, the watch burned him again. He yelped in pain, and tried to pull the watch off. When he got it off, he looked at his new wound. Something green laid among the blood of his new wound. He place the watch on the desk, studying his injury.
“Did it burn you again?!” Michael shouted.
Henri nodded and showed Michael, “It doesn’t look that bad.”
“‘Not that bad’?! Henri, you’re bleeding!” Michael yelled.
Henri winced, and ran off to go treat his wound. This time it caught Ace’s attention.
“Do I even wanna know why?” He asked.
Henri kept quiet as he washed away the blood and the green junk on his wrist.
Ace walked over and grabbed his wrist, visibly cringing as he looked at it. “Yikes. How'd you get a burn that bad?” he asked, walking to the bathroom’s first aid kit.
“Um… An accident?” Henri half-lied. It was an accident, well, he thought it was, “I’ll be fine.”
Ace looked back at him, studying the injury. “Are you sure? It looks bad,” He said, grabbing the gauze and alcohol.
“Yeah…” Henri tried to smile to convince him.
Ace just shook his head, and went to work on patching up his roommate. ”It’s late, dummy. You should sleep to avoid another accident.” Ace said.
“I don’t have-”
“I DON’T CARE IF YOU DON’T HAVE CLASS!” Ace shouted, startling Henri. He had to take a deep breath to calm his nerves. “Just… please rest.” Ace said as he finished up.
Henri kept quiet. He didn’t know what to say. ‘Stop being so worried for me' was all he thought.
It didn’t take long for Ace to patch him up. After he was finished, the two said good night to each other and left for their rooms.
Henri studied the new watch. It had a white, metallic shell on the face, with a neon green sensor outlined with a purple trim that halved the white shell. In the trim, the same green glow peeked out. Once he made sure the watch wouldn’t burn him, he secured the purple strap around his left wrist and clasped it on.
“So, how does going into that super form work?” Henri asked as he eyed the glow.
“Oh, you mean Robot Master mode?” Michael replied, “It’s simple: you just put your fingers on the sensor and say: ‘Magnet: Power Up’!”
He did the actions as he described them, and after a bright red flash filled the screen, it faded and left a red Robot Master in its place, “Like that.” Magnet Man then placed his right hand on his left arm, “Magnet: Power Down.”
Another flash later, and Michael was standing behind the screen again, “Of course, you have to use your Robot Master mode’s name to change.” Michael sat down so he was at the screen’s level, “Speaking of, did you think of one yet?”
Henri eyed his table. Specifically, the hole burned into it, “How about Acid Man?”
Michael leaned back in his chair, “That seems fitting for it.”
“Yeah…” Before he could do a test run, he had to check on something first.
After they said their goodbyes, Henri closed the video chat and left his room. Even in the hallway, Henri could hear snoring as he made his way to the door.
In another part of Mecha-Chuchets, red energy blasts flew through the streets, being shot from the arm cannons of a group of green armored robots, as well as a handful of black robots with yellow hard hats. A yellow-colored Sniper Joe, who seemed to be the leader of the group of the other Sniper Joes and Metalls, shot at a dark-colored Robot Master with a red scarf covering his mouth.
“Gack!” The red scarf robot slid underneath, not only dodging an energy blast, but also a burst of fire that hit one of the robots’ shields, “Watch where you aim that, bro!”
“Stay sharp, Oil Man!” A gray and red Robot Master replied as he shot another burst of fire at the Joe, prompting Oil Man to duck and roll away.
'I'd ask why Wily decided to attack so late at night, but it is Wily we're talkin' about here,' He took the opportunity to kick a Joe in the chest while he got up and shot oil in its face, “Let’s just get this over with so we can go back to sleep.”
"You could say that again, partner. FIRE!" Fire Man shouted as a Metall got engulfed in the flames.
Henri’s guard wasn’t down until he set foot on the concrete in front of the dorms. ‘Wait...I could still get caught standing out here…’ He thought as he ran behind the building. Once he was sure the coast was clear, he placed two fingers on the sensor of his new watch:
“Acid: Power Up!”