Alright, I know it's been a minute since we've posted (and by a minute I mean a month and a half)…but the hamada boys are FINALLY back. As usual, Hiro perspectives are by me, and credit for Tadashi perspectives goes to tadashinfj.
Thanks to Dr Kineil D Wicks and silverfox02029 for reviewing!
I'm sick of this.
If there is one thing I hate, it's being helpless. And I've been stuck at Basemax for days waiting for my stupid pulled back muscle to get better so I can hurry up and break Baymax out of jail.
I slide out of my bunk and go to the kitchen/dining room/living room/makeshift chem lab, where Honey is stirring something on the stove/Bunsen burner. I think it's food this time. She's using this room as a lab until Fred can get a real one installed.
"Hi, Hiro!" she chirps. "Do you want some cream of wheat?"
I run a hand through the mess of bed hair on my head, even more unruly than usual after sleep. "Sure."
I don't understand how she can be so cheerful at six fifty-four in the morning. I'm a night owl in every sense of the term. Or at least most. There might be some senses I don't know about.
I almost fall back asleep while I wait for Honey to finish cooking. I really want to, but I'm up now and I have to stay awake so I can eat the cream of wheat because if I don't eat the cream of wheat she'll be sad and she won't tell anyone but she'll be sad inside and I'll feel bad so I have to eat the cream of wheat.
The rest of the team is awake by the time breakfast is ready and Wasabi has chopped up some fruit—the only healthy food he could find— to go with it. Fred doesn't exactly have anything in here besides chips, candy, and red meat.
I finish the cream of wheat—and the half a bag of sugar I topped it with—and shove my chair away from the table to go suit up. "Comm me if I'm not back in an hour."
"Where the [bleep] do you think you're going?" GoGo demands.
I turn around. "Getting my suit on."
"And what the [bleep] are you doing that for?"
I flinch. She's been stressed, so she's swearing a lot more lately, but two in ten seconds might be a new record.
"GoGo," Honey says gently, "he's only—"
"You're not getting Baymax by yourself," GoGo cuts her off, watching sternly as I pull on the lighter layer of my armor. "No excuses."
"Then one of you needs to man up and come with me!"
GoGo's face relaxes into a stony glare.
"I mean woman up?" I offer weakly.
The glare grows darker.
Forget rescuing Baymax. I fling open the door and dart outside before GoGo can kill me.
Eight hours later
After twelve failed attempts to hack into the police database and see where Baymax is, I give up. They've tightened security by about two thousand percent. It's not even difficult codes—I just keep abandoning it halfway through because I'm awful at concentrating. So I decide to take a different approach.
I leave the police station and start walking to SFIT, trying to keep a low profile. I put on the lightest armor I have so I'll be protected but can keep my hoodie over it so no one takes notice of me.
I have an untested tracker connected to Baymax in my lab at SFIT. I'm 98.33% sure it works—they always work—but I haven't been able to use it much with the growing conflict between BH6 and the SFPD. And there hasn't been much of a need for it up until Baymax's arrest.
The sky has darkened by the time I reach the school. I weave my way through the buildings, taking care not to pass by the building where the fire was. The memories are still painful.
Without Baymax to use as a trampoline, the only way I have to scale the wall is my magnets. They're not designed for climbing, so I hope they hold up. It'd be pretty loud if I fell from up here.
I make it to the second floor, where my lab is, and pry open a window. I try not to let the carbon fiber of my suit hit anything in case it makes a noise. If I get caught, I'm screwed. I might have a chance of getting away with this if I was dressed like a student, but in my suit, purple and red, shiny, and loud at times, I'm practically screaming I'm part of the vigilante gang that kidnapped Chief Cruz's daughter come arrest me.
The tracker is right where I left it—second drawer from the top in my desk. It's not quite finished, so I take a miniature toolbox with me to finish. I don't have time to do it now in case I get caught.
I quietly shut the door and creep down the hall toward the window. And then I do something incredibly stupid.
I drop the tracker.
And then I trip.
A resounding clang echoes through the halls as I tumble to the floor and my hastily put on helmet falls off. I grab the tracker and scramble to my feet, panicking. Alarms blare further down the hall, and I can hear something that sounds vaguely like…scuttling?
A gadget that looks like a robotic spider rounds the corner and is followed immediately by four others. I yelp and dodge as one of them shoots a beam of red light at my face.
"Stand down!" calls a familiar voice, and I relax a little as Professor Granville follows the spiders. She sees me and her eyes widen. I step back.
Granville slowly pulls a controller from her pocket, her eyes never leaving my face. I glance around, looking for a way out, but the nearest window is past Granville and the spiders.
Granville presses a button, and I stop hesitating. I turn around and sprint the other way as fast as I can.
An invisible force slams into me halfway down the hall, knocking me to the ground. I wince as the impact sends a jolt of pain through my bruised, sore chest.
I hear the spiders scuttling closer, so I suck it up and run, ignoring the ache in my leg where the stitches strain. Running does no favors to my pulled back muscles, either, but I can handle it.
I feel a laser beam singe my hair. That one sounded like it could burn, not just stun me.
I throw my shoulder into the window and it swings open. I use my thrusters to guide me to the ground and hit the pavement running, spiders beeping incessantly behind me as I sprint away.
I shoot up in bed with a gasp, panting and sweating.
Running, falling, terrifying robots chasing me. Bullets flying through the air, the ground coming closer and closer. Driving, speeding, dim forest, crashing, pain, darkness.
What was that?
I've only had a nightmare like that once—when Hiro was out for the night and I dreamed about getting beaten up. When I woke up, my baby brother had somehow managed to anger the leaders of the most dangerous bot-fighting ring in San Fransokyo. I barely got Hiro out of there without killing us both.
Was this anything like that? Am I seeing what Hiro sees? If so, heaven forbid he's running, falling, and crashing a car all at once.
In all honesty, though, those probably weren't all happening at the same time. At least I hope they weren't.
I'm confused now—where the flip is Hiro? The dream suggests that he's not tied up in someone's basement, he's moving around. If he really is a vigilante, that would point to him having gone undercover—which would make sense, given that the police are after Big Hero 6.
I curl up under my covers and try to go back to sleep, but my brain is racing so fast there's no way I'll be able to do it. Where could Big Hero 6 have gone? Even if Hiro isn't a vigilante, maybe they'd have some answers as to where he is. There's no doubt that he's mixed up with them, maybe even a member.
My eyes—healing quickly now—fall on the faint, fuzzy shape of Baymax's charging station. I wonder—
And then it hits me.
I don't know why I didn't see it before—I guess Baymax interacted more with Hiro than with me, so I haven't been feeling the pain of his disappearance as acutely as Hiro's. But Baymax goes with Hiro to his "study" sessions, and now they're both gone.
The police captured the vigilantes' robot. Baymax is gone. Hiro is gone. It all adds up—Hiro and Baymax are both members of Big Hero 6, and they've had to go underground because the police are after them. Hiro couldn't very well come back without Baymax—he'd have to explain to me what happened, and he wouldn't want to put me in danger for knowing who he was. He's staying away to protect me.
But what about Megan? Hiro wouldn't kidnap his best friend.
When the police took Baymax into custody, the kidnappers escaped with Hiro and Megan in a stolen police car—the chief's car, actually. But Megan just turned fifteen—she'd have her learner's permit. She could drive. And she'd have access to that car.
Their getaway car.
Oh my gosh.
It all makes sense. I'm sure of it now—I know what happened to Hiro and Megan.
But I can't tell the police! That would be incriminating Hiro, possibly getting him arrested. And Aunt Cass—she wouldn't be safe if she knew. That's probably why Hiro didn't tell us.
So all I can do is try to find them myself.
But I'm still basically blind! Or at least in desperate need of glasses! What am I going to do? Is there anyone else who knows the identities of Big Hero 6?
Well, even if there was, I'd hardly be able to ask them. There's too much of a risk. Who would know?
There's nothing I can do for now. I squeeze my eyes shut and pull the covers up to my chin, wanting to go back to sleep, and murmur a prayer to God.
Please let Hiro get home safe.
The next morning, I have another appointment with Dr. Armstrong. My eyes can now distinguish color and shape, it's just a bit fuzzy. But soon, my vision will come back completely, and then my life will be back to normal.
Well, close, anyway. I need Hiro back for anything to be normal—even though my baby brother is anything but normal.
Dr. Armstrong seems to sense that I'm worried, because he whispers, "Hiro will be okay, Tadashi. He'll come back—they'll find him."
"But what if he wasn't even kidnapped?" I blurt out. "I just don't think Big Hero 6 would do that. They've always tried to do good for our city—maybe it doesn't always work, but everyone makes mistakes. Maybe Hiro's connected to them in some other way."
I can practically feel Dr. Armstrong grasping at an explanation. My suspicions have been confirmed—he knows something. If Hiro ever got injured doing work for Big Hero 6, Dr. Armstrong would know. And he wouldn't tell anyone, because he's required by law to practice patient confidentiality.
"Well—maybe someone else—" the doctor mumbles. "Surely—I don't think—"
I go in for the kill. "Dr. Armstrong, I know he's part of Big Hero 6."
"You—but how—" Dr. Armstrong splutters.
"I guessed," I say apologetically. "Do you know where Hiro is?"
"I'm afraid not," he replies, shaking his head. "But we can safely assume that Big Hero 6 hasn't kidnapped their own leader."
"He's their leader?!" I exclaim, my eyes going wide. "How could he do something so dangerous?"
"He's Hiro," Dr. Armstrong laughs. "How could he not?"
I sigh. "You're right—this is totally something Hiro would do. But how do I find him? He isn't answering his phone and I don't know how to get his coordinates."
"You might just have to wait, Tadashi," Dr. Armstrong says heavily. "It's not safe for him to come back, so he's not going to. Not yet, at least."
I sigh and bury my head in my hands. "I know. But I just want to know he's safe."
"I'm sure he is," Dr. Armstrong soothes. "Hiro's tough. He'll be okay."
"But I had a dream," I whisper, my eyes threatening to well up with tears. "It was just flashes, but—I know I wasn't in my body. I was looking through Hiro's eyes, Dr. Armstrong. There was a car crash, and robots, and he was running...I'm scared for him."
"He's going to be alright," the doctor says, putting his hand on my shoulder. "I promise you, Tadashi, he'll be alright. Just keep him in your prayers, and God will bring him back to you. He is notgoing to let you down."
My tears spill over, and I break down. Dr. Armstrong wraps his arms around my shoulders, rubbing my back and whispering, "It'll be okay, Tadashi, you'll see."
I stand up, and Dr. Armstrong guides me gently back into the waiting room, where Aunt Cass has come to pick me up.
"He's much better, Cass," the doctor tells my aunt. "Take care of him."
"Thank you," Aunt Cass whispers. "Thank you, Lionel."
She leads me out to the truck, putting an arm around my shoulders. "What's wrong, baby?"
"I'm just worried about Hiro," I mumble, trying to process this new development of my aunt and my pediatrician being on a first-name basis. "I need to know he's safe."
"I know it's hard," Aunt Cass murmurs. "But the police will find him. I know they will, Dashi, it's just a matter of time."
But how can anyone find Hiro if he doesn't want to be found?
The next day, Chief Cruz calls us into the police station to "reveal confidential information about the case." Have the police found something?
"Please, have a seat," the chief says, and Aunt Cass and I sit in two chairs behind his desk.
Chief Cruz places the tips of his fingers together in a steeple. "Miss Hamada, Tadashi—we've had a few individuals come forward with information on Hiro's case. They've provided us with all of Big Hero 6's sighting locations, their possible bases, even security footage—everything we could have wanted. We're close to locating Hiro and Megan, I'm sure of it."
"Oh, thank goodness!" Aunt Cass exclaims. "Thank you, Chief!"
"We have teams spread out around the city," Chief Cruz says. "They're waiting for Big Hero 6 to show up, and we have a plan to force them to do so."
"What is it?" I ask, squinting to try and make him out. My eyes are much better, but the chief is still all blurry.
"All we have to do is stage a crime—a fire, a robbery, even a shooting," Chief Cruz says with an air of satisfaction. "They'll come right out—those blasted vigilantes can't resist protecting the city. It's a good quality to have, but they need to be taught a lesson—that the police force does that job. We'll have them locked up in no time, and I feel certain that we'll be able to find our kids after that."
"It's a good plan," I agree. "But what if they won't talk?"
"Then we've got a backup plan," Chief Cruz assures me. "That's part of the reason I called you here—we need your help to make it happen."
"Anything for Hiro," Aunt Cass says fervently, and I nod in agreement.
"We need you two to be hostages," Chief Cruz tells us. "If the first plan fails, or Big Hero 6 won't talk, we'll bring you in. We'll tell them that we'll only release you if they tell us where Hiro and Megan are. You'll be free to go at any time, of course. But please, will you join us? I believe that our plan is nearly foolproof. If they still won't talk—well, we'll see what we can do. But there's no way they won't tell us at that point. Their moral compasses are far too strong."
Chief Cruz is correct—their plan is nearly foolproof. But the key word is nearly, because Hiro will instantly recognize that as a trap. There's no way he'll come out...until they use Aunt Cass and I as bait. Then he'll come charging in with all his fury, all his brilliance, to fight the police, and he will win.
Then he'll just disappear. Or he'll take us with him, and the police will be on the trail of Big Hero 6 with even more fervor.
I have to find Hiro first. I have to keep him from getting within reach of the police, or they'll take him into custody—there's no way they won't realize he's the leader of Big Hero 6 if he bursts in here to rescue me and Aunt Cass.
I can't believe I'm even thinking about harboring fugitives—I don't even know who the rest of Big Hero 6 are. But I know that if the police capture them, our city won't be protected anymore. Those vigilantes are the only thing keeping us all safe.
To protect them, I'll need backup. And a pair of eyes that can actually see properly...
Chief Cruz dismisses us, thanking us for our cooperation with his plan and assuring us that Hiro and Megan will be found in no time. I barely hear any of it—I need to get my friends together and tell them what's going on.
But when I try to call them—I only resort to phone calls when something is urgent, and this is—none of them pick up. I try again and again, but no one answers. Maybe they're busy, but Honey always answers my calls.
In desperation, I call Honey's parents. Mr. Rivera tells me that my girlfriend is at her dorm at SFIT, studying for her final exams. I thank him and hang up, resolving to call the dorm management to see what's going on. Why wouldn't Honey answer?
The bored-sounding woman on the other end of the line picks up. "What do you need?"
"Hello, ma'am," I say, trying to be polite and cheerful. "I'm looking for my girlfriend, Hon—Evangeline. Evangeline Rivera. She's not answering her phone, but her parents told me she was in her dorm. If it's not too much trouble, do you think you could go knock on her door for me?"
"Evangeline Rivera called in sick a week ago," the woman replies, her tone changing to sympathy. "She hasn't been here since then, sweetie. I'm afraid there's nothing I can do about that."
"What about her roommate?" I ask, my heart thundering in my chest. "Ethel Tomago?"
"Family emergency last week, hasn't come back. Come to think of it, that was around the same time your girl left. I'm sorry, but I don't think I can find them for you."
"That's all right," I say, attempting to sound upbeat. "You've been a big help. Thank you, ma'am. I won't keep you any longer."
"Of course," she replies. "Good luck."
Mouth dry, I call the boys' dorm management too. The man on the other end informs me that Wasabi hasn't been seen for a week either on account of a family vacation, and that I need to tell their mascot if I see him that they want him back.
I drop the phone onto my bed and flop down, my hands shaking. Honey, GoGo, Wasabi, and Fred have all vanished. My four best friends all left SFIT at the same time Hiro and Baymax disappeared. That would point to them all being together.
And the only explanation...
...is that they're all part of Big Hero 6.
I tell my phone to pull up a picture of the vigilantes, and though I can't see very well, I can make out the figures of each member. Their builds are all just about right, and if that wasn't enough, the colors give them away. Purple, red, yellow, pink, green—and a blue...lizard? No one would dress up as a lizard but Fred.
Trying to digest this new information, I sit up and press my hands to my temples. My best friends, my baby brother, and my robot have all teamed up to become a vigilante gang that fights crime better than the police force. Why on earth would they do that?
I wonder if it had anything to do with the fire...
UPDATE: AUTHOR'S NOTE
we have been using school computers for this and they will be gone after today, so updates will take a long time and there probably won't be very many…sorry! we will try to update when possible!