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Linkara had never meant to get into science.

He’d seen what it’d done to Insano, seen him descend into trying to kill people with Push 'n Eat macaroni and moonlighting on the Super Villain Shopping Network, but he had been desperate.

The first time it had worked, he’d just been relieved to have his friend back. He’d only added the Revolution of the Mask conditioning as a joke, he’d not meant to go any further with it, but when he’d seen the review, and realised it had worked, the little thrill running through his body had been impossible to ignore.

He’d tried more experiments, seeing how far he could push his angry streak in reviews, how much control he could exert over the new clones he’d made. The first robot had been an accident, created as a result of idle tinkering in (the lab) his room. The feeling of success as it rolled along the mat unsteadily had felt amazing. The laugh bursting out of his chest had been unexpected, but felt right, felt appropriate for this kind of thing.

He’d kept it quiet, this newfound hobby of his, scared that the others would laugh, or worse, be suspicious. (It wasn’t like he was dangerous, after all, not like Insano; he was just curious.) He took to wearing a trenchcoat to conceal himself as he went looking for parts; the pockets were useful for keeping tools and scraps of paper in. The gloves came from a need to keep clean, to prevent oil and ink from marking him, proving his night-time activities for all to see.

He broke into Spoony’s house one day and stole the goggles from the basement. The sensation of triumph was fading, dying, and he needed a little extra to keep going. He’d decided to test his latest toy outside, and he needed a disguise. The newest clone had been programmed to lower people’s defences, to seem harmless until the right moment. He’d made sure that Spoony was out of the way with editing, then set up a night out with Nostalgia Chick and Goggles. If he (it) could get past them then the clone could get past anyone.

He waited in his lab all night, waiting for the results. When the clone came back with video evidence, the rush of success had almost been drowned out by the little voice calling him a monster, a sick twisted freak messing with his friends. Nostalgia Chick had been crying. You did that. Linkara sat down heavily, ignoring the clone still in front of him. He hadn’t meant his experiments to hurt anyone. But they did. He wasn’t dangerous. Your toy broke your friend. Sounds pretty dangerous to me. He lifted his hand to wipe shakily across his eyes, but was stopped by the goggles he was still wearing. He took them off and held them in his lap, staring into the spirals. It wasn’t his fault. He hadn’t known. Hadn’t taken precautions, more like. But I can help with that. He gulped, briefly. Linkara looked down, once.

He looked back up, put the goggles back on.

Linksano sat up. He’d never meant to get into science, but he was looking forward to it anyway.