Hero Speech


No published newspaper in the world neglected to flash that headline. Hiro had been so caught up in the joy of Aunt Cass recovering from breast cancer that he could hardly comprehend the ensuing whirlwind of recognition and praise. It took loads of dedication and hard work, but Hiro finally figured out a way to upgrade Baymax with safe medical procedures to properly deal with cancerous cells.

For his great accomplishments in the field of medical science, and for championing the benefit of mankind, Hiro became the recipient of the prestigious Nobel Prize in Physiology and Medicine. Never in his wildest dreams had he ever imagine that this would become a reality. The sheer gravity and magnitude of the occasion didn't quite hit him...that is, until he stood frozen and weak-kneed before thousands of people in the City Hall of Stockholm, Sweden.

Scores of brilliant scientists, philanthropists, peacemakers, and incredible contributors to mankind had been at the very spot where Hiro stood now. He had received his prize at the extravagant awards ceremony, and now, at the crux of the Nobel Banquet and as the highlight of the event, Hiro would give an acceptance speech in return.

Hiro felt the beat of his heart thunder in his ears, and the palate of his mouth go dry. He clenched his jaw and visibly swallowed. Did he really deserve this award? He got the nagging feeling that he didn't. He wasn't ready for this speech. He didn't prepare anything. What he could he possibly say?

Hiro's eyes darted to his family and friends; Aunt Cass, GoGo, Wasabi, Fred, and Honey were invited as VIPs to the Nobel Banquet. They beamed back at him and gave him a collective, silent thumbs-up, which kindled a tiny spark of courage within him.

Feeling all too small in the face of the huge honor he'd received, Hiro took a bold step forward. Careful not to get too close to the microphone like the last time he showed off his Microbots, he stuttered aloud, "I-uh...this award should have bone to my brother Tadashi." The nervous awkwardness of his voice resonated in the hall. Hiro quickly backtracked and went on, "I-I didn't mean that I'm not grateful for getting the Nobel Prize. I am, actually. This...this is a huge honor." He turned to the Nobel committee. "Thank you...thank you so much for this." He cracked a tiny grin. "Senpai noticed me."

Hiro's impromptu joke made the assembly of Scandinavian scientists and socialites, a group of very cultured and stately-looking individuals, smile and chuckle in response. It did much to lighten the formal, tense atmosphere.

Hiro straightened his back and cleared his throat. "What I really meant was...I'm just continuing the wonderful work my brother had started. It was Tadashi who built Baymax. It was Tadashi who wanted to help people." Then he jabbed a finger at his chest. "Me? Back then, I was just a punk kid who only wanted to get a kick out of Bot-Fighting. I didn't know any better. I was living life without really living. That all changed when Tadashi died." Memories of the fire, and memories of the loss, resurfaced like old wounds. Hiro closed his eyes for a moment, feeling himself sway on his feet a little.

He struggled to continue: "My brother's death opened my eyes. I went to his school, just as he'd want for me, and tried to pick up where he left off. I have to be honest...what made me want to upgrade Baymax with the ability to cure cancer wasn't out of some grand, abstract stirring in the heart to help people I didn't know. It was a lot more personal. A few months ago, my Aunt Cass was diagnosed with breast cancer." Hiro went on despite the fresh wave of pain that hit him. "All I could think about was saving the only family I had left. I was so determined not to lose her...not while I still had a working brain, and the best healthcare robot ever built."

Hiro looked down and flashed a brief soft grin at Aunt Cass, who smiled in return with eyes filled with tears and pride.

He felt tears prick at the back of his own eyes. "Long story short, Baymax and I did it. With new and safe procedures I've programmed into his chip, Aunt Cass was able to recover. She recovered against all odds, even despite the advanced stage of her cancer, and the slim chance that she'd survive. Five months strong, and the cancer still hasn't relapsed. I can only hope with all my heart that it'd never return. Of course, the movement to cure cancer won't end just with Aunt Cass. Baymax's procedures are meant to help other people in need, too. Cancer is a problem we want to make history. We want people to survive. More importantly, we want everyone to be satisfied with their care. That's our number one goal."

Hiro briefly turned to Baymax, who nodded in agreement.

Hiro turned back to face the audience, lowered his head, and said softly, "My brother would be proud to see me come this far, but I could have ever come this far without him." He lifted his head as his voice rang with confidence and with no evidence that he had been nervous before. "I dedicate this Nobel Prize, and tonight's Nobel Banquet, to my brother Tadashi Hamada. Tadashi, the world wants to take this chance to thank you."

"To Tadashi Hamada."

Aunt Cass and Hiro's friends were the first to raise their glasses, and a ripple ensued throughout the hall as everyone joined in commemorating the deceased creator of Baymax. Hiro concluded his speech with a modest bow, and the City Hall of Stockholm rang with applause. Hiro distinctly heard whistles from Fred and Wasabi, and cheers from GoGo and Honey Lemon. Then he felt the soft, pillowed arms of Baymax envelop him, and a big hand patting his head.

"I sense that you are both happy and sad," Baymax stated. "Is it appropriate that I give you both a congratulatory pat and a hug of comfort?"

Hiro buried his tear-streaked face into Baymax's chest. "Of course, buddy," he murmured. "Just what I need."

Thanks for reading! If you liked this, feel free to check out my other BH6 oneshots:
-In the Hospital

-No More Cold Doctors
-Crazy Asian Driver
-Diagnosis: Puberty