Deputy Andy slowly got used to his new abilities. Besides his vastly increased strength, ability to fly via his new leg jets, super hearing and telescopic vision; he also had a developed a higher IQ and a strong desire to defend and protect. In short, the nanites that Dr. Tenma had originally designed as a sort of "anti-body" and self repair system for his original super robot design, had transformed Andy into a close clone of Tenma's super robot. Andy was, for all intents and purposes, what Tenma had planned on creating up until the moment when Tobio had met his fatal accident, and the project shifted to being a replacement for his son.
Tenma came by the sheriff's office looking for Andy.
"How's it going Deputy?" he asked.
"I'm getting better day by day." He said. "Somehow, I think I'm a completely different robot now. Maybe I should find another name for my new self, at least when I'm doing 'superman' like stuff?"
Carter sat behind his desk at looked up at his Deputy.
"You know, as far as I am concerned, and probably the whole town as well, you'll always be Andy."
Tenma smiled. "I'd have to agree with that. But you know, I did have a name picked out for the prototype super robot before it was rebuilt as Tobio."
"What was that?" Andy asked.
"I was going to call him Cobalt. You could always use that name if you like." Tenma chuckled.
"Yeah, I like that. Andy Cobalt." he said.
Tobio was still in the recovery room in the Eureka medical research facility, and Dr. Tenma figured it was about time to take him home. He had been worried about how to explain to his son what had happened in the time between his fatal accident and him waking up in Eureka, however the boy had figured out a reasonable story all by himself.
"Dad, I guess I was in a coma for a long time after the accident. You probably had to bring me to America for treatment, that's why we left Japan and ended up here in Oregon."
"That's close enough to the truth, son" Uma agreed.
Ochanomizu sought Tenma out alone.
"Aren't you going to tell him the truth?" He asked.
"I've been thinking it might be better if I didn't. I can program his autonomic systems to hide his super human abilities from him until he is in dire need of them. Sorta like adrenaline on steroids. If I didn't have the super robot project as an available bootstrap, I'd probably never had built a robotic replacement for Tobio with such abilities. I mean what was I thinking, a ten year old boy with enough fire power to take out an entire army? I must have been nuts."
"Well, in a way Uma, you were. You were crazy with grief. Still you can't keep the secret from him. Just the fact that he won't grow up like a normal child will give away the fact to him that he isn't human. And there are, er, other issues that will come up."
"You would have been correct about that Ochanomizu, except for the nanites. Tobio's systems are now filled with the little nano machines. They will keep him in good repair without any help from myself. They have also been programed to mimic the growth patterns of a human child. He WILL grow and reach a normal height for a human male child. His body will also change in ways that a human would while reaching puberty. And that other issue that you were thinking of will also be taken care of."
"You could do that?" Ochanomizu asked.
"Yes, his body will be nearly 'anatomically correct' when the nanites have done their work. He might be biologically sterile, although I think I could eventually fix that, but he would still be able to perform correctly." Tenma explained.
"I don't know Uma. It seems like a shame to deny him the abilities that he had. He could be a tremendous asset to mankind."
"We have time for that. I'm not going to destroy his advanced systems. I'm only going to keep them off line for now. Let's give Tobio a chance to just enjoy being a kid. That's what he was trying to do all this time. He didn't want to be a hero. He was forced into it." Tenma said. "If Tobio finds himself in a situation that demands it, he will still be able to rise to the occasion."
"Yes but wouldn't that be quite a shock to him when he discovers the truth?" Dr. Ochanomizu reasoned.
"No, his programming will accept it. Besides, it is still possible that his amnesia is not permanent, and he may yet remember the missing events. In fact, I suspect that is what will happen if he does experience and 'adrenaline event' that triggers him to discover his abilities
Eureka was notified about Tobio's condition. When he returned to school his classmates realized that he'd have to meet them for the first time all over again. Kevin Blake was more than happy to befriend Tobio for a second time. He fit right in with his classmates, his IQ was just as sharp as it had when he knew he was a robot.
Once again, Sgt. Brown started his PE class by having the students do their push ups, and he waited until the last student gave up from exhaustion before going on. Once again, Tobio was the last to give up, and not until he was told to.
Sometimes disaster struck Eureka without any help at all from the scientists and engineers who worked at GD. While they might not still have Atom as a hero, they did have a new hero. This time, the threat crept in at 50 mph down the steel rails of the Portland and Western's Eureka spur. Loaded with volatile industrial chemicals, a freight train was making its way south on tracks just a few miles from the secret town.
On a two lane black top that intersected with the P&W tracks, a crossing signal just in front of the right of way blew a fuse and would not operate the next time a train approached. The tracks ran downhill at this point and the train picked up some speed, just as a gasoline tanker loaded with 10,000 gallons of 94 octane unleaded approached the crossing.
Deputy Andy was in the sheriff's office when he heard the horn of the lead locomotive wail in the distance. His ears increased their sensitivity to 10,000 times normal and he could hear the grinding of brakes and the cooling fans of the locomotive's dynamic breaking system rev up. Andy ran out of the office, but the jeep was missing, the sheriff was probably out with it. Andy jumped skyward, his leg jets blazing as he flew toward the impending wreck.
The driver of the fuel truck started across the tracks since the signals remained dark. Heavy foliage in front of the tracks hid his view of the approaching train. The tractor had been running rough all day and as he slammed out of first gear into second his clutch jammed and he stalled out on the tracks. He tried to get the machine moving again, but by the time he heard the horn it was too late. The engineer tried to stop his charges, but there wasn't time. The lead engine plowed into the truck, just in front of the tanker. The truck jack knifed as the locomotive slammed into the fuel tanker. The 10,000 gallons of high grade motor fuel went off like an atomic bomb. The truck driver was thrown from cab of the tractor. He was shielded from the inferno by the passing hulk of the two General Electric 5000 HP diesel locomotives. He got up and ran from the tracks as fast as he could. It was a good idea. The intense heat of the blast caused the steel rails to liquefy and several chemical tankers left the rails and stopped in a heap on either side of the tracks.
The fireball was seen from the Tesla school where Tobio was in class. He saw the mushroom cloud rising in the distance and gasped at the sight though the windows, along with his classmates. The thought of being able to do anything about it never entered his mind.
Andy arrived on the scene within seconds after the tanker cars had left the rails. Two of the tank cars held chemicals that if released and combined, would produce a poison gas cloud which would blow towards town. The flames from the gasoline tanker were spreading toward the derailed cars. Andy picked up the first of the two tankers and flew with it, placing it safely down about a mile away from the wreck. He then moved the second tank car to a safe location far away from the flames and the first tanker.
the back of the train, Andy noticed two cryogenic tankers containing
"Just my lucky day!" he thought. Andy picked one of them up and flew over the flaming gasoline. He punched a hole in the side of the tank and poured the liquid over the flames. He quickly extinguished the fire.
'Cobalt' had just saved the town.
"You owe me big time!" Zachary Smith complained. "Even though the GD wasn't blown off the map, the technology behind that reactor has been given a big smear treatment in the press."
"Maybe so, but now they can rebuild it and try again." Acetylene Lamp replied. "I don't think the syndicate is going to be happy, which means we are both in trouble. You've got a bit more to worry about than just the FBI and the HSA. I'd be more worried about the syndicate if I were you."
"So what are we going to do?" Smith asked.
"We are going to hid in the one spot nobody is going to look for us." Lamp replied. "We are going back to Eureka. While we are there, we are going to have to make sure that GD is put out of the picture for good. You are going to have to stay low and handle the hacking stuff. I will see about the inside job."
"Yeah right. You wouldn't fit in very well inside of GD." Smith laughed.
"You don't know me very well do you.?" Lamp said as he punched Zach in the forehead. The brass rat on his ring finger left an impression in the computer geek's skin.
"Ouch!" Zach cried, rubbing his head. Lamp held his fist up in front of Smith's eyes so that he could see what had hit him.
"Really? You?" he asked.
"Class of '97" Lamp said. "So who's the dumb ass now, Mr. Princeton University?"
Jo Lupo knew that it was now out of her hands. She had given the evidence on Zachary Smith that Dr. Tenma, Dr. Deacon, and Bill Greenblatt had dug up to her contacts in the FBI, and the HSA. She'd expected to have received word very quickly that Zachary Smith had been arrested, but somehow he'd managed to avoid the dragnet put out for him. She wondered if the people that Smith had been recruited by had somehow hidden him. At least he was no longer in Eureka, she thought. We can get back to normal now, whatever normal in Eureka might be anyway.