"You cannot understand what is like," he said, to nobody in particular. "To be genius, greatest mind in cosmos, creator of Time Key. And to be madman, incapable of remembering own name. Is terrible. Is hell.Who knows what happens if I try to remember something? Maybe remember perfectly. Maybe add on and make brilliant, make scientific discover. Or maybe twist it, and crush the thought, until it barely resemble any rational idea."
Alex didn't know what to day. He considered some sort of kind response when the Maddest of Scientists launched into another rant.
"Nimue! Oh, Nimue, why you leave? Am nothing without you. Cannot remember anything. Cannot remember my own name. Why you leave me? Leave Dr. Demented to rot. Was accident, Nimue. I did not realize the Time Key formed unstable resonant coupling with your hydrokinetic energy field. Minor error in calculation. Was third order interaction. My love was killed by third order interaction." Dr. Demented sighed.
"And now look what I do. Use Time Key to create divergent unstable timeline. Just to bring you back, Nimue. Find my Timeline unstable, so what I do? Launch invasion. Try to impose impostor timeline on real one. Foiled by my own failing mind, so what I do? Try again. Am trying new scheme, crazy scheme. Risk stability of spacetime in all of galaxy. Just for you, Nimue. Just for you."
Alex wasn't quite sure how to respond to that. To be honest, he wasn't really paying attention. He was a teenager, and he had better things to do than listen to the scientist's ramblings. The room was full of interesting equipment, but it would disappear whenever he tried to touch it, so that was frustrating. He had phenomenal power at his disposal, but when he'd tried to cause a nuclear reaction by squeezing air with his hands, Dr. Demented had been quick to stop him. "This look like playground? Is not playground, is scientific laboratory. All sustained nuclear reactions need to be contained by magnetic field, or else endanger equipment."
Alex decided he had had enough of being locked in a mile-high laboratory hidden by time warps. "I'd like to leave," he said. Did he need the Doctor's permission to leave? He didn't know. Probably not. Although the Doctor was the one who controlled the way home, so...
The mad scientist waved his hand, and a door through reality opened in front of Alex. On the other side was the cold emptiness of space. Alex wondered how it was possible that the air wasn't flowing out of the laboratory. After a few seconds, he gave up and walked through.
The wormhole dropped him just a few hundred miles from Earth. It only took Alex a minute to reach the surface of the blue planet. He took a look around. It seemed to be a desert. He looked off in the distance and saw a small shop. He considered flying, but instead decided to run there. His internal speedometer told him he was clocking Mach six.
The sign read '7-11.' Alex recognized the name. It was a common chain that sold food and other small items. Alex realized he had never had food before. His cosmic heart meant that he didn't need the calories of nutrients, but he was curious about taste. Alex decided upon a course of action. The door was open, and the attendant had his nose buried deep in a book. Thus, Alexander Star's first act upon Earth was to steal three candy bars and a bag of chips.
As he stood out in the middle of a road, Alex pondered the night sky. It was awe-inspiring. Alex realized that he was just as isolated on Earth as he was in that vast panorama of stars. He'd been on Earth for an hour and the height of his interpersonal contact was robbing a convenience store. With heavy heart, Alex flew back to his wormhole and returned to Dr. Demented.
"I'm back," he said.
"Oh, so you were gone?"