In the resting hours of a restless summer morning, a small figure pushed his bike out of a wide-mouthed garage. The streets were damp, the allies were dark and the sky that hung was a smoggy blue-gray as the nine-year-old boy wheeled his well-equipped bike around his home. The light from the streetlamps reflected it as a dark green as he pushed it up to the streetcar tracks below the high incline by his house.
He didn't climb on to ride, but instead raised the brim of his colbalt ballcap;
The new streetcar had stopped to let on a passenger just one block below his.
With a daring smile, the boy pulled out a ginormous remote controller that fit in both his hands. He also pulled out a big, black cord from the front of his bike, attached it to the front of his analog controller and then waited as the streetcar passed him towards it's normal ascent up the hill. The boy flipped the switches outwards, aiming for the top of the streetcar. He pushed his bike with his knees up behind the car, fitted his arms and legs it padded, velcro cuffs and flipped the switches inward. People let out a scream as the trailcar plowed up the hill at 60 miles per hour, the boy laughing as he trailed along behind it. The cord didn't break and he controlled it.
Once the streetcar had successfully been re-polarized so it would return to the point of hijacking, it's nine-year-old abducter biked casually up to a partially-lit university.
S.F.I.T. read it's sign in a swirled, outdated design. It even glowed a faint neon.
The boy rode his bike with some difficulty around the front, never bothering to steal a glance at the actual entrance, and headed for the back of the big, brick-and-glass building. It was lit by three hanging lamps with a typical dumpster and metal drums containing staff-only-knew-what. The boy got his gear and headed for the big wall.
"Taku," Someone whispered.
Surprised, the thin boy with kempt black hair turned to his bike.
It didn't move... and it didn't say anything. Had he put the kickstand down?
With some real hesitation this time, Taku started to scale up the brick face.
"Taku." The voice was distinctly another boy's.
"Hasaki?" The older boy approached his bike and lifted the top where he kept all of his supplies, snacks and portable Betamax player. "What'd you think you're doing?"
"Heeyyy." Hasaki waved sheepishly.
Taku frowned at him.
"You were going away..." The shaggy-haired, wiry-built boy looked up.
"I told you, I was only going to college," he gestured upwards.
"Well... not for three more years. Mama said so."
"Get up," Taku pulled the pouting five-year-old out. "Okay," he looked into the gold-orange eyes of his little brother. "You can stay, but only if you're going to help." The smaller boy smiled and made his way over to circuits embebbed into the brick wall.
With a little direction, and the help of Taku's cord shooter, they improvised a lever and pulley system to get all of the older boy's equipment up. Taku smiled and gave Hasaki's hair a ruffle as the strong little boy finished pulling him and the remote up.
"I did good?" the boy's returning smile had some teeth missing. Not all having fallen out naturally. Taku nodded and said for his brother to help him into the raised glass ceiling of the roof. "I don't get it," Hasaki complied, "What're we doing here, Gēgē?"
"You're here cause you snuck out," he said, devising a similar set-up as before.
Once the brothers were inside, they viewed large, light-yellow and white machines that were half-hidden in the shadows or by covers. The middle of the lab was wide and clear. Taku's trained eyes peered around until he spotted one of the biggest of the machines. He excitedly gestured for Hasaki to follow him as he lead his young brother over to the machine. Pulling out his laptop, Taku sat down cross-legged and directed Hasaki in what to hook up. The little boy wandered back up to him, curious.
"Taku, what are you building?"
His brother's eyes never looked up. "In a few years, San Fransoyko is going to be revolutionalized Hasaki. We're going to see some spectacular change and I want in."
"You mean like flying cars, re-gener-re-rating food and better healthcare?"
He tried to guess what Taku would tell him. The older boy then grinned up at him.
"No, Ani, like robots." Taku ruffled his hair once, picked up his remote and pushed forward on the toggle switches. Suddenly a light green screen flickered to life on the laptop and then over on a larger, indented screen in the middle of the long machine.
"Wow, Gege, it's like NASA!"
"Hmph, yeah, well. NASA hasn't dealt with me yet." he brought up a panel of coding, typed in a sequence and made the machine come to life. Hasaki gaped. "See? See! I told you." A large, armored design moved in time to a sequence of moves. "We don't have to take years to learn martial arts or build things, not with my robots to help."
"Taku, you know what Yéye and Bàba said!"
"Yeye and Baba aren't here." The boy never looked up as the model moved faster. It was a few more moments before he said. "Now we're both gonna build this big guy."
"Yep." Taku smiled at him.
Just then the sounds of feet running were heard down the hall. Both boys scrambled to gather their things and run for the open window 40 feet up in the air. They stood looking up, looked at each other and then rushed for the back door. Hasaki carried most of the equipment when sudden he heard his brother fall. The boy clutched his knee. "Owww..." Hasaki looked between Taku and his one final chance at freedom.
"Go!" Taku commanded him, pushing the laptop towards him. "Don't let'em get it."
It only took Hasaki a moment to know what to do.
"So what'd you do?" Fred, bouncing in place and noticeably free of his finger trap for the first time in four weeks, looked anxiously at Hasaki Yu-Hamada. The man grinned.
The entire team leaned in closer to hear what he would say. That is, all except Aunt Cass who kept herself busy in the back. Baymax squeezed an intrigued Hiro slightly closer to him and Hiro did the same; they both looked at each other in suspense and turned back to the uncle Hiro had met only yesterday. Hasaki raised his brows with comical suspicion, shifting his eyes from side-to-side, then shrugged as if not caring.
"They made me take my first language arts program." He leaned casually against the store's glass counter. "Sent Hiro and Tadashi's father to a dōjō. Of course," his eyes lowered to Hiro and he smirked. "Science camp would've been the real torture."
The team laughed with him, Hiro chuckled and looked at his uncle in admiration.
"Now Hiro takes after Taku's embracing of his Japanese heritage," Hasaki continued more seriously, straightening up and becoming more like an adult. "But my father-,"
"Now, wait wait." Wasabi cut him off, gesturing. "How does this all work?"
"Right, how does you being Chinese confirm that your Hiro's uncle?" GoGo added.
Aunt Cass and Baymax were the only ones to pick up on her actual suspicion.
Hasaki nodded and turned to Hiro with a smile, addressing their concerns as well as informing his nephew, "That's because you are 1/3 Chinese, Zhízi. On both sides."
Hiro's eyes widened as most of the team turned to a once-again stubborn Aunt Cass.
Baymax looked down at his best friend. "Should I swab and send for a DNA test?"
The teen gave him a squeeze, knowing he could do it at home, and walked forward.
"Uncle Hasaki," He awkwardly tried crossing his arms. "I'm not sure I get all this."
His uncle nodded. "I understand it's confusing."
"Hiro, you are not Chinese!" Aunt Cass stormed around. Hasaki gave her a look that said come-on-now. Honey gave her shoulder a pat as she looked at Hiro helplessly.
"Aunt Cass," he prodded gently.
The woman closed her eyes and sighed. "I'm a quarter Chinese, Hiro."
"And Chihiro," Hasaki mumbled.
Hiro lowered his brows doubtfully. "Why didn't you just tell me?"
It was his aunt's turn to give a come-on-now look as their rotund robot waddled up.
"We are needed in the industrial district." Baymax said, showing a pin-pointed map.
"Oh!" Hiro said in surprise as everyone snapped to attention. "Right, let's go. Uh..."
"Just becareful," Aunt Cass told him when he sought her permission.
"Right." The teen grinned and turned to his team. "Ready, guys?"
They all looked at each other, pretending to be uncertain.
"Girls," Hiro only half-kidded.
The four reached out to rumple his hair and proceed out of the café.
Hasaki raised a brow and turned to his sister-in-law. "Aren't you going with them?"
"I have a café to run," She said as she intently cleaned a glass more then necessary.
"Uncle Hasaki, do you wanna come?" Hiro turned to him, his suit under one arm.
"More robotics, I presume?" His nephew nodded. "Bùyào. I keep fights non-artifical."
Hiro smiled slightly as he noticed his uncle turn to Aunt Cass when he said this.
"I'll see you later, then. Bye Aunt Cass." He headed out with the others.
Hasaki chuckled. "That boy has a lot to learn." When he turned back Cass was gone.
GoGo edged closer to Baymax as the team got their suits on in Lucky Cat Café alley.
"Baymax, I need to take Hiro aside and to talk with him." She said in low voice.
The half-suited robot looked at her.
"It's important," GoGo whispered.
He seemed to understand that she was asking him to lead them. The robot nodded wordlessly as Hiro climbed on top of him and led his team for the first mission in weeks. There was a real thrill despite quiet friction; they were all together again!
To be continued...
~ Lavenderpaw ~