Going Over
The wind whistled around and through the vents on Hiro's dark blue helmet, feeling very chilling and unforgiving. Immediately below, the dark forested mountains covered in wisps of morning fog came up very fast. Uncomfortably fast! But the durable nylon fabric attachments connecting from under his arms and all along his sides to his knees did wonders in slowing down his freefall, and restoring his peace of mind. The boy wonder could manage to glide to safety like a flying squirrel now, if he wanted to. However, he rather not ruin his luck by failing at navigating through the tangle of branches in the forest canopy below.
"Get in position, Baymax!" he called out to his large, red, robotic guardian ascending in a more controlled manner close by. Baymax rocketed underneath the gliding superhero enough so that the pull from the activated magnetic ports made it easier for Hiro to latch on to his robot's back.
"This should work," Hiro said, more for his own sake. The special wing like attribute he added to his armored supersuit came as more of a safeguard to put the others at ease more than anything. The one thing they had feared, had actually happened after one pursuit of a particularly clever cat burglar. The burglar had used some kind of specialized EMP on Baymax, while he was flying with Hiro. Thankfully, Fredzilla was quick enough to jump up and use his acrobatics to catch Hiro before he hit the ground. Baymax sustained damage from the crash landing, but he was repairable. Hiro, he would not be so lucky if he crashed.
Aptly nicknamed by Fred, these 'flying squirrel wings' were best for falling from a high up situation. He wasn't to sure about mid range heights, like a couple stories up, or from an out of control discharge from Baymax. The engineer had other plans for that: making a mini jet pack, and perhaps jet boots too, to add to his suit.
The two hovered a minute more over the wooded national park that stretched along the mountainous cost if northern California. Baymax awaited his next order, glancing at the brightening horizon of dawn. They had been out all night testing this, something that Baymax frequently reminded him about in addition to the vibrating buzz coming from his phone every other hour. The fifteen year old prodigy reassured him each time that today was Saturday, which meant no classes and he could sleep in later.
"Can you locate an unoccupied fire tower? Just so we can take a break before flying back," Hiro sighed, feeling his phone on the case attached to his belt buzz again.
Of course, the time it took them fly to the mountains upstate only added to the total time he was out for the night. He preferred that wooded area, apart from what San Fransokyo had, just because it was more secluded and out of the way of most air traffic. It was also perfect for flying and testing his limits.
The majestic Redwood forests were simply beautiful as well, and didn't have the kind of fire damage as the forests further south. Flying out there helped him clear his mind from all the demands of his SFIT projects, unsettling superhero calls, and everything else in between. It was over a year since the accident at the convention center, but sometimes those thoughts still haunted him. Finding acceptance about that may never happen. Yet… fire somehow still brought life, he would remind himself, upon seeing how quickly the scorched forests were reclaimed with new vegetation.
Baymax smoothly came down to land lightly on the narrow porch that skirted the small shack sitting atop a tall tower. The red robot didn't scan any signs of life there, but Hiro found himself glancing inside just to be sure so they won't get in trouble. Hiro tapped on his guardian's right wrist, the one that wasn't a rocket fist, to open the small storage space there. On these long expeditions, he learned to bring a car battery for Baymax to rechargethat way, lest they end up stranded in a bad way. That was Wasabi's idea, actually. He also put a bag of teriyaki beef jerky and a vitamin energy drink for himself, a tried effort after the persistence from Baymax to make somewhat healthier choices.
Leaning on the railing, a mouthful of jerky, the teen finally decided to let Aunt Cass know he was okay. He pulled out his phone and pushed the speed dial. "Good morning, Aunt Cass."
"Hiro! Seriously... why aren't you home yet?! All I kept getting were texts from Baymax, explaining that you were busy and would call soon."
"I'm sorry.. I was, um, doing some tests. Got a little caught up—"
"But you're not at the lab. The others told me you left the campus last night… where are you?"
"Jackson State Forest," he stretched the truth a little, as he was actually further up north in the Humboldt Redwood State Forest.
"Wh-why? Were you on a superhero run? Did you get any sleep?" her voice became more strained, instead of understanding. He wished she would understand that no news meant good news at times like this. If it was anything serious, Baymax and his teammates would be sure to let her know if things got so bad he had to go to the ER. While she knew that he moonlighted as a superhero now, he rarely explained exactly what they did on their outings.
"No, I really was just.. testing some things out. Don't worry, Aunt Cass… Baymax is making sure I'm okay," Hiro said, around another mouth full of jerky. "I brought breakfast."
"Hello, Aunt Cass," Baymax felt the need to supply as well, to prove he was with Hiro.
"I'm coming straight home after this, I promise," the youngest Hamada continued to reassure her.
"That would be in an hour, I hope."
"Yeah, about that much."
After the formal well wishes, Hiro pocketed his phone with a sigh. Nimble fingers popped open his can of energy juice, and he took a long drink. His tired eyes stared out at the darker grey horizon, opposite of the glowing sunrise, and tried to make out where the sky ended and ocean began.
Until something unnaturally small and bright marked itself higher up in the indigo colored sky. Something too big to be an incoming plane.
"Baymax, is that.. a meteor?" Hiro decided to ask, noticing how much bigger it was becoming the longer he watched it.
"My scanners indicate it is not. It resembles a space ship."
"What?" Hiro squinted his eyes, trying to make it out as it came in closer some distance away on his left.
"A metallic feline.. space ship."
Upon hearing his more detailed description, the boy genius finally could see the legs and head on the giant robotic cat. It was curled up on itself, keeping its back against the burn up from the friction of the atmosphere.
"But.. why?" he had to ask next. In all practicality, designing a ship to be a four limbed creature with a head and tail did not make sound sense.
"Should we ask it?" Baymax looked to Hiro, tilting his head.
Hiro looked back at his tall red companion, narrowing his gaze. "Are you trying to be funny?"
"I am a robot, I do not know how to be funny."
"Sure…" the teen shifted his dark eyes back to watching the glowing bright UFO ascending closer to earth, briefly reminding him of those movies about giant alien transforming robots. He was very certain now it was going to crash land somewhere in the forested mountains south of them.
"We should check it out though," Hiro put his helmet back on and grabbed his other things to pack them away. He also found it ironic how the watch tower served its purpose well for them.
Thin trails of smoke rose from a peak from one of the sparsely wooded mountain ranges, marking the UFO's location. Hiro banked Baymax in to the right as he circled over to look at the small crater it formed. The mixed smell of the smaller burnt pine trees and something else he couldn't identify filled his nostrils. Fortunately, there wasn't much actual fire around it now. He and Baymax weren't exactly equipped to put out major fires.
"The surface is too hot to touch," Baymax advised him when Hiro unlatched and jumped down. He nodded, stepping over the disheveled terrain to get closer to it. When he was a few feet away, the young superhero pulled out his phone to take a couple pictures. Just in case he had to alert the rest of his team, and, for some reason, they did not believe him. It was barely seven in the morning, afterall.
The robotic cat was huge, like about the size of a metro bus. A bus curled up on its side, more like. Despite the black scorching, he could see that most of it was a green color, with some accents of white and silver around the head and legs. The darkened eyes on it started to glow a soft amber, brightening for a moment and otherwise giving him a start when he noticed a weird blue grid shimmering around them. Then all of it faded away.
"How is this a space ship?" he backed up a little. Hopefully the creature's eyes weren't also lasers.
"I detect two life signatures. One is from a human inside, the other is unknown," Baymax responded, staying where he stood to keep watch. That statement could meant two things… either the human was eaten, or the human was the controller. He hoped for the latter, since Baymax insisted it was a space craft.
"Could this be something top secret?" Hiro wondered out loud, looking out around the area. If this was an alien craft, that alone should make it highly sought after. He did not hear anything like helicopters or sirens coming after this yet. "I wonder who else saw this?"
"The park rangers will see the smoke."
Hiro crept closer to it and crouched low to study how each panel connected along the side of the body. Where was the access port located to get inside? If there was someone inside, and if he has not come out yet, then was he too injured to do so? In observance of health privacy laws, Hiro had tweaked Baymax's programming to not immediately announce people's health information and ailments until prompted by the patient. Of course, in the event of an emergency, the healthcare bot would supply general data for Hiro's sake.
"Baymax, is the.. person hu-" Hiro could not finish his sentence when the cat's angular eyes glowed a bright yellow again. The giant robotic feline moved, rolling slightly to shift its weight to its front feet and rock back onto its haunches. He backed away quickly, just in case lasers started to fly. But then the sudden presence of a blue net-like force field stopped him from going further.
The startled superhero was trapped inside the translucent dome when he found he could not get though it. "Baymax!" Hiro turned, pounding on the shimmering field between them.
Baymax had taken action by firing up his rocket fist, but had just as suddenly stopped and stood at ease outside the grid.
"What's happening? Baymax?!" Hiro did his best to appear calm, even though he was completely freaking out as he turned to face the alien craft again. At that moment, the teen became captivated by the intensity of the robot's yellow eyes. Through this way, the Green Lion introduced itself through a series of mental images. It was part of a team of four other robotic lions, that combined to form a powerful robot warrior called Voltron.
Hiro blinked, shaking his head clear when the strange hallucinations ended. It was absolutely awesome to know now that there was this great robotic savior to rescue worlds from the evil in the universe, but he still had to deal with this situation at hand. He also decided the force field dome was a form of protection from whomever else may come to investigate. The lion did not wish for any harm to be done to him.
"So you are an alien…" Hiro whispered. But before he spoke his next thought that he was there to help, the lion crouched down to ground level and opened her mouth. A ramp came out next, inviting him to come inside.
Hiro rubbed his neck, stepping back just to look towards Baymax first. Hopefully he was still functioning properly after how he acted earlier. He tested that with a question. "Baymax, can you stand watch outside there. Just let me know if someone is coming, okay buddy?"
"Yes, I will, Hiro," the red robot complied, his voice also echoing through the comm-link in Hiro's helmet.
Here goes nothing… he thought before climbing up the ramp that went up inside the Green Lion's head. Maybe his thought about the pilot being eaten wasn't that much from being a far fetched idea.
After reaching the top, Hiro turned around to see a large cockpit area with wrap-around control panels. Some of the view screens were translucent, and the touch panels glowed a with green back-lighting and neon-esque buttons. An LED kind of blue-white light glowed from a strip circling overhead, so he could see clearly the real reason why he was there. In front of the white pilot's chair, on the floor against the base of the control panel, lay someone who looked smaller than he had expected. Much to his relief, he also looked very much human.
Hiro moved over quickly, taking note that the person wore a helmet, and white armor with green highlights worn on top of a black body suit. The pilot looked surprisingly young, but there was no sign of bleeding from anywhere at least.
"Hey, are you okay?" he shook the boy's shoulder. Since he didn't get an immediate response, Hiro pulled off his bulky gloves to check the pulse on the pilot's neck. There was one, fortunately.
Hiro decided to move the kid from the tight spot between the chair and the controls by pulling him out with his hands under the armpits. That action had finally stirred the pilot awake.
"Wh-what happened?" the pilot weakly asked, eyes squinting now.
"You crash landed," Hiro held the boy up on his legs as he knelt on the floor. The young superhero still had his helmet on, the visor still darkened, which could explain the fearfully uncertain look on the pilot's face.
"Who are you… Keith?"
"Just someone who wants to help," he responded with the scripted answer he gave whenever he was in his supersuit.
The pilot sat up more, away from Hiro. "Wait… how'd you get in here…? Where am I?"
"The.. um, your Lion? It.. uh, she invited me to come in," Hiro stayed in his kneeling position as he explained himself.
The young pilot seemingly ignored him then, calling out to something else. Maybe a radio in the cockpit, or something in the helmet. "Allura? Shiro… Keith?! Anyone? Guys, can you hear me?" After no response, he thunked his helmet on the side a couple times, "Anyone able to hear this?"
Hiro just watched, trying to understand this himself, when the pilot took off the helmet to look at it. Medium-length, wavy, red hair was matted down all over, some sweat evident on the boy's forehead now. The longer Hiro looked at him, the more he started to second guess himself about this one's gender. "What's your name?"
The pilot looked up at him, looking evermore flustered and annoyed. "Pidge. But who are you and where are we?"
Hiro sighed, not really able to figure out the gender with that name. So much for that idea. He finally gave in and turned off his visor so his face was visible. He, she? Either way, the pilot sounded like a legit person he could trust. However, he wasn't willing to give his own name yet. "Um, we're in northern California."
"California!" Pidge stood up in surprise. "I'm back on Earth!"
"A helicopter is approaching," Baymax's voice echoed in Hiro's helmet.
"Who was that?"
Wow, this one doesn't miss a beat. Hiro also rose up, smiling hesitantly. "Baymax… one of my friends. He's outside standing watch. Who are you with?"
Pidge knit his brows, more concerned about what was going on outside. "Who's coming? Can he tell?"
"Probably the authorities," Hiro responded right away with a guess. His other internal debate still continued, only because he was not going to ask that question. Okay, maybe Pidge's a girl. The voice sounded really feminine there, and then her cheeks, and lips… Baymax could verify that though.
The young pilot slid back into the chair and quickly touched a series of buttons before grabbing two handles in front of the seat. "Doesn't sound good either way. I can't let them see my lion."
The biggest screen in front of them revealed a clear view of the forest surrounding, and the morning sun rising higher over the tree tops. Hiro quickly grabbed the back of the padded chair when it lurched backward and sideways a little as the Lion rose up on its feet. It occurred to him again just how super insane this was, to be inside a giant alien robot.
"I know… I know, girl. You need to run damage diagnostics, but we gotta hide. Like, now."
Pidge must be talking to the lion, Hiro concluded. He followed suit with his guardian too, "We're moving, Baymax. Take cover!"
The motion became shifty again when the robotic lion began a low crawl through the tall trees for a few minutes. Once the woods looked dense enough, the lion lowered to the ground. "I have the invisibility cloak up... should be okay now. Maybe," she sat back into the chair, rubbing the bridge of her nose now.
Hiro moved to one side, leaning back against the edge of the controls (but without touching them) so he could face the pilot better. "Seriously though, are you okay?"
There was noticeable silence for a moment before Pidge responded. He saw her wince sharply after she tried to exhale after holding her breath. "I got to find the others… hopefully they are not clear on the other side of the galaxy!"
Hiro nodded, gripping the side of the console he half sat on. The vision from earlier gave him insight about that. "Your teammates?"
"Yeah…" the pilot looked over to him, straightening up now. "You haven't said who you are yet… or are you part of a secret service?"
"Eh, not really," Hiro smiled modestly, showing his gap-toothed grin. He was fully aware that he avoided giving her his own name again. "I'm the leader of a scientific superhero team, Big Hero 6. Baymax is my robot… his primary directive is a medical nursebot. He can check you for injuries."
If Pidge wasn't sitting at attention well enough before, she was now. "A medical.. robot?"
"Yep!" Hiro stood up as his dark eyes meet with her intrigued ones, then thumbed to the exit. "We should probably get going… maybe leave this area."
"Baymax can fly," the teen said rather nonchalantly. He paused long enough to pick up his large magnetic gloves. "Just in case they are looking for us, using scanners… so we should get out of here."
"Wow…" despite her unmistakable curiosity about Baymax, Pidge still looked hesitant about leaving. It could also be that she wasn't been able to reach the others too. "We will be back later, right?"
"Of course… will your Lion's cloaking shield hold up that long?"
"It has before," she stood up more slowly now.
"Can you walk?" Hiro was quick to offer a hand for her support, noticing how she didn't want to put weight on her right leg. He stood a little taller than her, but he himself wasn't nearly as big as most other fifteen year olds yet.
"I'm okay… I must have been thrown into my control handles," Pidge feigned a brief smile, her hazel eyes wanted to dart away from making contact with his again. She stopped and knelt down by the back to grab a khaki green backpack tucked away there before continuing on.
"What happened to your team?" Hiro still shadowed closely after her down the ramp. He couldn't blame her for being upset about that. The young genius would be just as distraught, if not more, if his teammates just disappeared.
"We went through a wormhole.. that was warped by something unknown… which spun us out of control," came her paced reply.
"And so you ended up here?"
"Yep. The last place I want to be… really."
"Just… a lot of reasons," she kept her answer purposely short.
Hiro could only imagine what that could be. If Pidge was part of Voltron, then obviously she would need to be with the others, where the action was. Not here, sitting like a duck.
Outside the lion, Hiro noticed that the grid was invisible too. It displayed a weird shimmer when the wind blew across it though.
Stepping off the ramp had caused Pidge to buckle in, when her knee gave out. She breathed an obscenity in pain while straightening up again, this time allowing Hiro to put his arm around her.
"Baymax, we're going to need a lift out if here," Hiro alerted his robotic counterpart. Before he asked, again, the lion dropped the force field long enough so Baymax could come inside.
"Wow," she commented when the robot flew down vertically and landed. He walked toward them as the grid reappeared, only noted by the slight shimmer before it went completely invisible.
The tall, red healthcare robot automatically greeted the pilot in his scripted way, before proceeding with diagnosis. Except Pidge interrupted him when she moved in closer with her own prodding.
"What kind of armor is this? Is he hollow, or is the extra space inside for storage?" she was practically under Baymax's armpit, looking at the joints on his arm before walking around the back. Her hands ran over the surface of the red armor and electromagnetic ports as she spoke. If she was still hurting from her injuries, Hiro couldn't tell now. In fact, he never really seen anyone (well, someone who wasn't a five year old) be that interested in Baymax before.
Baymax appeared amused (or more accurately, curious), looking down at the small pilot person inspecting him. "It is protective armor that Hiro made for superhero missions. My original body is a non-threatening, huggable design."
"Ooh.. an interactive A.I. as well," she noticed how engaged the robot was with her queries.
Hiro cleared his throat, trying to get them back on track. "Yeah, he's crazy awesome. But we really should get going."
Regardless of this fact, Baymax concluded that Pidge shouldn't be standing, let alone walking, in more or less words. "You have injured the Posterior Cruciate Ligament.. also known as the PCL.. in your right knee. Possibly a grade 2 sprain, since there is some tearing and bruising that happened from hard blow to your bent knees."
Pidge just raised her eyebrow, looking over to Hiro. "At least it's not broken."
"It is recommended to apply the RICE method: rest, ice, gentle compression and elevation." Baymax continued.
"Can you dispense an ice pack?" Pidge asked him, rather expectantly.
"No, but I can apply a cold compress," the red robot began to pull off one of his red fists. The palms of his own hands underneath could become very cold for that purpose.
"Oh, no, no! Not now, buddy!" Hiro suddenly interrupted them, stopping Baymax in his tracks. He also gave Pidge an apologetic look, only because the sound of the helicopter hovering near that area was making him nervous. "Sorry… We should get away from here first, then we can take care of that."
"Would they see us if we flew out?" Pidge didn't wait to ask her other concern. The younger leaned a little bit on Baymax to take the weigh off her affected knee.
"Yes," Hiro nodded, looking once at his bulky gloves that he still carried. "We'll walk to the other side of the ridge before taking off. You can ride on Baymax's back, using these."
"Electromagnetics," she accepted his gloves, recognizing the connection between the ports on the robot's back and the circular conduits on the palms of his purple-blue gloves.
"Exactly," he tried to not smile in just realizing how much she knew about that. The teen also had his shoes, but he wasn't going to go that far in asking her to swap shoes with him. Even if it looked like that they practically wore the same size. "Just to lock you on."
"Are these blasters too?" the pilot already had one glove on and was looking at it closely.
"Um, yes. Careful," Hiro eyes grew wide with some concern, lowering them away from her face. That came as a cautionary habit after experiencing Fred's overzealous curiosity, combined with Wasaibi's paranoia. "Electro-blasters. I designed it so the blast was not as dangerous as laser fire, but still can stun an attacker."
"You made these?" Pidge looked at him.
"Yes..?" Hiro smiled modestly.
She just nodded further approval and pulled on the other glove. After getting into position, and otherwise not requesting his help, she activated her jet thrusters on her back to lift herself up onto Baymax's back.
"Let's go then."
Sweet.. I want- no, I need those! Hiro thought after noticing the thrusters on her suit.
My apologies for those who are waiting for me to update my other Big Hero 6 stories. I will get to those next, promise! But this plot bunny came to me, and it had to be written!
I also the stole flying squirrel wing idea from HTTYD2, my bad. ;p
Don't worry, HiroGo fans, I still prefer that BH6 pairing more! But…yeah, this had to be done. Two geniuses butting heads!
Next chapter will kick off from Pidge's point of view.
Thank you for reading!