Wow, another new story from me? What about all the other ones that I've been working on? Didn't Ash Ketchum's journey LITERALLY end already? Well I apologize for all that, but a lot has happened since the last time I wrote...probably the most notable, I'm now engaged to be married! Yes, the delightful HollyLu has accepted my proposal and soon we'll be moving in together to finally start our lives after far too long. My new job has opened that door and I intend to take it. So yeah, that's the main reason why I haven't done much lately.
The other part, sadly, is that inspiration comes and goes a lot more frequently lately. I've been sitting on this story for quite some time, and I really only started writing it because Holly really seemed to like the Big Hero 6 series after we binged it together. So that's where this one comes from.
For all my longtime followers, I'm sure that this promise is starting to ring hollow, but I swear to you, the other stories have not been forgotten. I will finish them, I WILL, darn it!
So...with all that said, let's get on with it, as we continue the Big Hero 6 series where it left off. I own nothing except the story.
"Hiro, your elevated heart rate indicates anxiety. Are you feeling…conflicted about this?"
"Yeah, I guess I kinda am. But you said this sort of thing helps to relieve stress sometimes, right?"
"Tadashi often recorded his personal thoughts during emotional times, both positive and negative."
"Good enough for me. Alright, start recording, Baymax."
Baymax's belly lit up, and young Hiro Hamada saw his image appear through the robot's ocular sensors. As he leaned back in his bedroom chair, running his hands through his wild and unruly hair with a long exhale, Hiro couldn't help but reflect on everything that happened these past several months.
Of course, that's exactly what this was supposed to help with, right?
"Hey, Hiro Hamada here." He waved at the camera awkwardly, only briefly looking up at the lens in Baymax's eyes before his eyes went downcast again. "Man, what do I even say in these things?"
"It is alright to be unsure of yourself." Baymax interjected. "Tadashi would sometimes sit quietly for several minutes before saying anything. There were even times where he said nothing at all."
"Well I don't want my first personal log to be filled with nothing…so…I guess I'll start by introducing myself." The boy took a deep breath before looking up at Baymax again. "My name is Hiro Hamada…I said that already…I'm a student at the San Fransokyo Institute of Technology, otherwise known as SFIT, otherwise known as the nerd school, otherwise known as one of the coolest places in the whole world…and I have my big brother Tadashi to thank for that." The boy frowned as he leaned heavily in his chair, each beat of his heart suddenly accompanied by a dull ache. "In only a couple months it'll have been a year since the fire. It still hurts to think about it."
"That is a very normal reaction."
"Maybe…doesn't make it any easier though." Hiro sighed, steepling his fingers as he looked right at his image in Baymax's belly, the top of his head more visible than his face. "Tadashi, for anyone watching this who doesn't know…is…was…my big brother. For anyone who knew him, you'll never meet a cooler person. If you didn't get a chance to know him, then I feel sorry for you…I feel sorry for me too, sad as that sounds, since he's not here with me anymore."
The boy took another deep breath, his eyes watering slightly. "Tadashi was a genius. More than that, he knew how to use his genius in ways that I'm still trying to figure out. Even though I'm smarter than he was…Tadashi was wiser. He knew what was best for me, even if I didn't. If it wasn't for him, I'd still be a delinquent bot fighter. Or worse, I'd be dead, with how many awful people I ticked off. Even though he's gone now, he's still teaching me things today, through vlogs of his experiences." He smiled slightly, sitting up a little straighter. "And that's what this is for too. Maybe, someone will see these someday and be able to learn something from them."
As Hiro got up from his seat, Baymax's camera followed him across the room as he revealed Tadashi's side of it, which was blocked off by the folding divider. "The very last thing Tadashi said to me before the fire at SFIT…that's…something else you can look up on whatever passes for the internet when this gets watched…Tadashi said, 'someone has to help.' It wasn't meant to be inspirational, but that's the legacy he left behind. Tadashi had a heart to help others, which is why he created Baymax in the first place. And so that's what I'm going to do too. Anything I can do to help, I will. It's what Tadashi would do…" He looked right at the camera. "And to whoever's watching this, whether it's my future kids or someone else, I hope these vlogs inspire you to do the same. The world always needs good people doing good things. Never let your ambition outweigh your conscience…that's…something I've learned the hard way…a story for another time. For now, that's all. Let's meet back tomorrow, shall we?" He waved at the camera, and Baymax took that as the cue to stop recording. "Well, buddy?"
"Your recording has been archived." Baymax took one step closer. "Will you be recording tomorrow as you stated?"
"Well we'll see. Right now, I just wanna take things one day at a time. Besides, it's kinda annOYing-" Hiro smacked his face against his palm and growled. "When THAT happens!" He growled again, louder this time.
"Voice cracks are a normal part of the puberty process." Baymax pulled up a graphic of the inside of the throat on his belly. "Your larynx is beginning to grow, and is shifting lower into your neck. You can expect your voice to lower by several octaves in the coming years."
"Yeah, great." Hiro scoffed as he got up to close the divider again. "Can you tell me when I'm gonna hit my growth spurt? That's the part I'm actually waiting for!"
New visual aids appeared. "Signs of a growth spurt in adolescent males include change in appetite, development of the larynx, as well as-"
Baymax paused as Hiro got up from tripping over his own two feet. "Loss of balance."
"Thanks, Baymax." Hiro sighed as he rubbed his elbow. "Don't worry, I'm fine. Just…I dunno what's making me so messed up lately. It's like…all the progress I've made since the fire, it's just gone! It's not fair!"
"Emotional outbursts are another sign of oncoming growth spurts."
Hiro blinked for a few moments, realizing that he'd just snapped for no reason. "Y'know, I think I'm just gonna try and focus on one of my projects for a while. Clearly I don't know what I'm saying, so glad this wasn't being recorded." He snorted. "Not exactly inspirational, huh?"
"Observing the mistakes and struggles of others is one of the most effective ways to learn." Baymax stated with a raised finger. "Everything can be a learning experience, in some way."
"Yeah, you're right…but right now I'd rather keep my puberty problems to myself." Hiro patted his robotic friend's tummy. "C'mon buddy, time to run the mascots' diagnostics. Last thing we need is a relapse."
Hiro started walking down the steps, and within seconds he was standing in the hallway which divided the house and the Lucky Cat Café. The strong scent of coffee and pastries wafted into his nose, making his mouth water with desire for one of his own. But he quickly shook his head and got back to the matter at hand. He walked up to the counter, getting the attention of his aunt. "Hey, Aunt Cass."
"Hi, Hiro!" She leaned over the counter with a relaxed smile. "Have I ever told you how much I appreciate you giving me those bots for my staff?" She sighed happily. "It's so much easier to run the place now, it's amazing."
"Yeah, you've told me." He chuckled with a shrug. "Speaking of which…it's time for their diagnostic, gotta make sure there's no issue in their programming."
"Right now?" Cass frowned slightly. "But it's the lunch rush! Can it wait until a little later?"
Hiro looked again, and all four of the mascots were busy with customers. Hyper-Potamus was hovering around the room refilling drinks, whether it was water, coffee or something else, Hangry Panda was whirring up smoothies in her metallic mouth as fast as she could churn them out, Crushroom was assigned the clean-up duty as she picked up used dishes and any crumbs that fell on the ground, much to Mochi's annoyance.
As for Noodle Burger Boy, he was expediting the front of the house to the best of his programmed hosting ability. "Order up sis, two mango, one strawberry and one kiwi, grape and pomegranate smoothie on the double!"
After spitting her current smoothie into a glass and handing it to Hyper-Potamus, Hangry Panda gave as deadpan of a look an expressionless robot could muster. "Seriously? That's gonna be murder on their digestive system."
"That is correct." Baymax finally arrived after having to take the steps one at a time due to his bulbous nature. "Acidic fruits and sweet fruits should not be ingested simultaneously in order to maintain peak digestive health."
"What have we talked about criticizing the customers' orders?" Cass crossed her arms over her chest. "Whatever makes them happy, prepare it for them."
"Yes, Mother." Hangry Panda sighed and tossed the fruits in question into her mouth for the smoothie creation. "Hey, Noodle!" Her garbled voice called out. "What's the line lookin' like?"
"Still got a lotta orders to fill!"
"And we'll fill every last one of them!" Hyper-Potamus exclaimed.
"And Crushroom will make sure place is spotless after! Even if Crushroom makes mess and not guests!" Crushroom added as she took the tall tower of dishes into the back to be washed. Seconds later, a crash was heard, causing everyone in the café to flinch. "It okay! Crushroom only lost two plates this time!"
"Well, that's progress." Aunt Cass sighed good-naturedly.
"Sorry, Aunt Cass."
"It's fine, Hiro." Cass waved it off. "Believe me, I can afford to lose some china here and there with all the extra income we're making. We've never been so efficient with getting customers in and out!"
"Excuse me, Cousin Hiro?" Hyper-Potamus hovered right up to Hiro's face, causing the boy's eyes to widen in apprehension, not that the robot could tell. "I was wondering," Her eyelids lowered slightly as she tapped her hooves together. "Do you think…you could give me a makeover?"
"Yeah!" Hyper-Potamus exclaimed. "Now that I call the Lucky Cat Café home, I wanna reflect its casual and comforting aesthetic!"
"Ooh, Crushroom want a makeover too! Less yellow, more green!"
"I'll uh…I'll see what I can DO!" Hiro's voice cracked again, and he flinched as he quickly realized what that meant for him. "You didn't hear that!"
"Aww, your voice is changing?!" Cass reached over and hugged her nephew tight, cutting off his air supply to some extent. "My little boy is becoming a man!"
"Aunt Cass, you are preventing Hiro's brain from receiving the necessary supply of oxygen."
"Oops, you're right, Baymax." Cass let go and rubbed her arm self-consciously. "Sorry, Hiro…it's just…it's hard to believe that you're gonna be 15 in just a few days!"
"Wait a minute!" Hyper-Potamus suddenly shouted. "Does that mean…it's going to be Cousin Hiro's…birthday?!"
"Oh no." Hiro saw the song coming a mile away, as Hyper-Potamus started singing and putting all eyes in the café on either him or the hyperactive hippopotamus. His cheeks burned at all the smiling and laughing faces, so he grabbed Baymax's arm and started dragging him out the door. "As much as I wanna stay and enjoy the song, I gotta meet up with Fred and the others at school!"
"School? Isn't school out?" Cass asked.
"Weeeell yeah, but…we've got access to their lab for certain projects and we agreed to work on one today soooo, we'llbebacklaterbyeeveryone!" Hiro ran down the street, pulling his inflatable companion with him as fast as he could. "Maybe I should make a few more tweaks to their programming after all!"
"Hiro, I have questions." Baymax replied as he bonked his head against a light pole. "Birthdays are supposed to be a day to celebrate someone's birth. Why do you not want yours celebrated?"
"It's not my birthday that's the problem, Baymax!" Hiro finally slowed down and stopped running after putting several yards between him and the cafe. "It's Hyper-Potamus. Last thing I want is her planning my party. It would be…a disaster!"
"Hyper-Potamus is a state-of-the-art animatronic, specializing in birthday celebrations."
"But, Hiro. You are a kid."
"Little kids, like five-year-old kids. That's not what I want for my birthday!" Hiro put his hands in his pockets and started walking again, Baymax squeakily following behind him. "Honestly, this year, what I really want is to just spend the day with my friends, doing whatever I feel like doing that day, whatever it is."
"My research on birthdays indicate that they often involve a large group of family and friends, even if the one who is being celebrated does not know them very well."
"Yeah, that uh…that happens sometimes." He shrugged. "But that's usually not a good thing…trust me, I speak from experience." Hiro had a sudden flashback to his extended family from New York coming over and ruining his childhood birthdays. "The only thing that made those birthdays bearable were Tadashi and Aunt Cass. I didn't have any real friends."
"But now you have many friends." Baymax pulled up a picture of Hiro, and lines extended outward from it which connected to pictures of Honey Lemon, Go Go, Wasabi and Fred. Even Mini-Max, Globby, Megan and Karmi made it onto the circle, concluding with a flourish as a heart beat on the screen.
"Guess you're right." Hiro smirked a bit. "Although I know one of those friends won't be able to make it." He frowned again. "Much as I'd…want her to be there."
"Are you referring to Megan, or Karmi?"
Hiro paused, suddenly pondering the question. He hadn't heard from Karmi since the second Hardlight incident…but Megan, she'd been M.I.A. pretty much the entire summer, and he had no idea where she went. But Chief Cruz was still around, and…dating Aunt Cass, which made him shudder at the implications. He didn't seem worried about her, so it's not like she was missing. But the question made him think. Did he miss one more than the other? And if so, why? No, that couldn't be it. "I-I meant, both of them, Baymax. They're both my friends, and I haven't seen them in a while."
"Megan has been absent longer."
"Yeah, Megan's been gone longer, but that doesn't mean I miss her more than I miss Karmi. I mean, Megan is awesome, and Karmi…I used to think she wasn't awesome, but she's changed a lot. Like, a lot, a lot. And…part of me wants to say that I had a lot to do with that?"
"Professor Granville instructed you to make friends with Karmi to help improve her social skills." Baymax pulled up a picture of him and Karmi that was taken right after their victory over Hardlight. "That has been accomplished."
"Hmm," Hiro chuckled through his nose, his heart beating just a little faster at the fond memory. "So I guess I can take credit a little bit…but, as much as I wanna pretend it was all me, dealing with Karmi taught me a few things too."
"Yeah, Megan's taught me a few things too. Like what it means to be a normal kid…relatively speaking anyway."
"Yeah, Megan is awesome in her own way."
"Well gee, Hiro. Why don't you tell me how you really feel?"
Hiro's pupils shrank, and he slowly turned around to see a dark-skinned girl standing there, an amused smirk playing on her lips as she crossed her arms over her chest. "M-Megan?"
"Hey, Hiro, long time no see."
The villain's mind is a fascinating one. What levels of arrogance or disregard for morality one must have in order to take the actions they take. Sure, some criminals are simple thieves, trying to make a living because life dealt them a bad hand, or perhaps they're simply people starving for attention or acceptance, and they're seeking it out in all the wrong ways.
But some supervillains have no such innocent goals. Some are so unhinged, so set in their ways, so diabolically evil, that they don't care about anything except the accomplishment of their own insane goals. If innocent people got hurt? That was irrelevant. Acceptable losses. Breaking eggs to make an omelet.
Or, in the case of some truly psychopathic individuals, hurting people was entirely the point.
San Fransokyo's Rogues Gallery was a varied one, featuring villains that exemplified all walks of the evilness spectrum. But they all had one thing in common. They were ultimately brought to justice by Big Hero 6. The superhero team that came on the scene out of nowhere during the Yokai incident almost a full year ago, and they instantly became known as the city's protectors.
Even during their brief stint as fugitives of the law, thanks to the misguided ambitions of newly christened police chief Diego Cruz, San Fransokyo still looked to Big Hero 6 as a symbol of hope, role models who did everything they could to help people, no matter how big or how small the task.
They were an inspiration…and a royal pain for anyone who had aspirations of wrongdoing in San Fransokyo. It would be so much easier to just go to another city, or another state altogether. Big Hero 6 worked solely within the San Fransokyo boundaries. They didn't meddle in the affairs of other villains elsewhere unless they caught wind that their city was in danger.
But then the chance for revenge would be passed up. And very few villains, regardless of their underlying motivations, could pass up a chance at revenge. That, more than anything, drove villains to act and create some of their most diabolical plans.
"Defeat at the hands of Big Hero 6. Not acceptable. Everything I've worked for, everything I ever wanted, torn apart by Hiro Hamada." A fist slammed into a sparking computer console, its systems barely functional as it showed the face of the boy in question. "All that time invested, and all for nothing."
The villain scowled in the darkness, thoughts racing with anger and resentment. "I've lost everything. And now it's time that Hiro learns what that feeling is like." Slowly, the villain went over and took a seat in a chair that was half shredded and was barely still functional. Hunched over, the villain glared hatefully at the boy's face. "San Fransokyo will fall, Hiro, one way or another. I'll see to it personally."
The villain got up slowly, haggardly, and soon began gathering scrap metal from around the room to begin construction on the tools they would need to exact their revenge plot…all the while, a bright pink glow shining from the left side of their face.