Hiro watches his computer as emails flood in from different tech companies. If only they knew he was a superhero. He isn't sure whether that'd just boost the requests or cease them. He closes the tab out, opening a new one. He does a reverse search on Celine, it's crazy how once someone is added to the database you can view their whole ancestry. He never really considers whether something's 'possible' or not but he likes a heads up if something is at least going to be difficult or take up more of his time than it should. He has tons of unfinished projects on the side that he just gets distracted from and leaves on the backburner. In fact, this one isn't too unfamiliar. Being that it falls in line with Silent Sparrow, he knows virtually everything surrounding it but according to Sirque, he'd only scratched the surface.
This would go a lot quicker if he had someone like her to work with. An untapped gold mine of geniuses, all in prison. But that was okay, Hiro was fine with working by himself, it was just always with a team that he truly shined. He would've never finished the microbots if it wasn't for his friends...and his brother.
The man's name is, or was, Henry Duquesne. Simard must've been a married name.
The next step would be to visit Krei, ask him about the project and see if it has any legitimacy.
"Was Silent Sparrow originally a weapon?" He just comes out and says it. The aura of Krei's office seeming a little too formal and organized.
Krei acts coy. "True it was funded by the military but a weapon? It was meant for travel. That benefits everyone." Including the military.
"But it didn't start with Callaghan, did it?" Hiro asks, trying to get some sort of extra bit of information or at least a reaction to tell if he's on the right track.
Krei clearly doesn't know what to say. "Neither were jetpacks. Did you know that the Germans experimented on-"
Hiro interrupts him, he's heard the story before. "Who started it?"
"It was repurposed. The original long forgotten. I barely know anything of it myself but does it matter now-" His voice adopts a violent tone that says to drop it. "It's dead."
"Has- Abigail come to see you yet?" His voice sweetens up as he stands, swiping his hand along his multi-surfaced desk. It's his attempt to change the subject but Hiro lets him, he's not going to give up more information than he has to anyway. Besides, Hiro was wondering the exact same thing. Abigail might've come to Hiro but Krei could have just as much, if not more, power to make or break Callaghan's release, just like his involvement with Silent Sparrow.
"She has." Hiro says, keeping his cards close to his chest. "What do you think?" He asks.
"He tried to kill me." Krei says bluntly.
"He could've but he didn't." Hiro downplays. He could've destroyed the entire city too as reckless as he was. But then again, he didn't.
"Because you were there and I'm willing to invest in a few more people like you because of it." That's true, Krei has been funding projects from all over the place, mainly to influence San Fransokyo but to increase security.
"He's not the only one either." Hiro mumbles. Krei was singlehandedly the most targeted person in San Fransokyo, he would know. It was also probably the reason he funded so many security projects, even working with the police in order to protect his own self.
"Implying?" Krei palms one of his awards as if to show it off saying 'Do you know who you're talking to?'
"Nevermind." Hiro drops the subject but keeps thinking about it anyway. "It's not like I'm trying to defend him." He adds embarrassingly. It becomes clear he's not going to get any support from Krei, opting to leave.
Maybe he was right though, maybe Callaghan was still a menace and still a danger, even now his blueprints are being used to make a new device. Maybe the circumstances will be simpler next time but he can't imagine bringing it up to Cass again after last night.
Callaghan wouldn't be able to achieve much. He stole a kid's science project instead of creating a new one so there's no way he'd be able to be a professor again. In Abigail's universe, Hiro accepts her job offer, her dad gets out of jail, and there's no hard feelings but it's not that simple. She only came because she wanted something, causing trouble and distress not only for him but Aunt Cass. He shouldn't feel bad for not helping this time.
Hiro procrastinates, pacing back and forth in his formal wear. Does he go? Does he stay and forget about it? He goes to bite his thumbnail but shakes his hand away. A bad habit. Baymax watches the whole thing.
Callaghan wouldn't be apart of his life, he'd make sure of it, if he stayed his distance then what's the difference? It'd make Abigail happy. So, why can't Hiro bring himself to decide one way or the other?
"I can just watch. I can just spectate, right?" He wishes he could send Baymax in his place and record the trial so that he can watch it without any confrontation. If he really tried, he could set up a stream- No, that won't work, who's going to let a robot into a courthouse? If he wasn't allowed in the prison, he wouldn't be allowed there. Hiro's one comfort, his anxiety reliever, and he can't bring him.
"That settles it." Hiro starts unbuttoning his shirt. "I'm not going."
He ends up going. Late but present. Luckily Hiro was the only one disturbed. He walks in to see a set of lawyers in the plaintiff's chair and Krei in the witness'.
"He cannot be left alone. He faked his death, went off the grid once already, people mourned for him, who's to say he won't do it again and bring me with him." Krei folds his arms, sour. It's true that they'd be fools for not suspecting him if Krei went missing but Callaghan wouldn't make the same mistake of being caught.
Krei stands up, pointing his finger, had he not had a stand in his way, Hiro's sure he would just walk right up to Callaghan and yell in his face. "I understand I wronged you but it wasn't just me you put in danger, it was all of San Fransokyo, something I hold near and dear to protect-" Now he's just using his mission statement, good propaganda for his company. "You agreed to the risks, you both did." To Hiro, it sounds like he's just defending himself.
Just looking at Callaghan makes Hiro's stomach drop. He'd rather shield his eyes but seeing him take the brunt of an attack like that with no defense-If it were literally anybody else, he wouldn't hesitate to jump in there and help him.
"Someone with a mind like his? Like mine? I wouldn't trust. Once you use it for evil, and show your true capabilities, how is anybody supposed to trust you again and give you the tools to do it again."
"So, he should die in prison?" Abigail stands, defending her father when he wouldn't defend himself. In fact he doesn't fight back at all, not even for his own daughter. Does he want people to pity him? Even if he's fighting a losing battle, he shows no dignity. At first the judge seems complacent but then speaks up.
"We all know what he's done Mister Krei but the question is, does he show remorse for his actions? That's what's being judged today." The judge says. Luckily he seems competent. The fact that Abigail stepped in might've tipped him off to balance it out.
But that's how the rest of the day goes. The trial will proceed tomorrow. Krei unknowingly extended the trial by talking so long, being the only one to actually make any case. Hiro doesn't stick around for any greetings, he wasn't even sure why he was there in the first place. He didn't speak, he didn't defend or attack, he couldn't, he just watched.
He heads back to the garage.
"Baymax! Miss anything? Any big action for a big hero?...Actually that was stupid, forget I said that."
"While you were gone, I scanned for informalities. Consensus:" A visor appears on his chest. "None."
"Good." Now that's over with so onto the next thing. He surveils the room, not seeing anything constructive. He lets his arms ease down before eying Baymax.
"Wanna play checkers?" Baymax has his built in screen on his tummy but Hiro prefers picking up the pieces himself, it adds another dimension to the game reminding him that he's in control and provides something to focus his attention and keep his hands busy. He used to play this with his brother all the time. Hiro was never convinced that he actually won because there's no way he could be smarter than Tadashi, he probably just let him win. But now he was playing against a bot with a more advanced skill level.
He slides his first piece forward. Baymax follows soon after. Each consecutive move reminds him of the court room. The whole reason he wanted to play this game was to get his mind off of it. He looks at one of his pawns like it was Callaghan, just sitting there. Suddenly Baymax jumps it. Hiro looks up, he let his guard down. The pawn wouldn't act on its own, Hiro had to watch Baymax take it away. "No!" He finds himself saying.
He broke one of his rules. You can't talk during a board game, it forces the other person to think without distraction but Hiro's always viewed his moves as the words, the game as the conversation. He'd always ask his brother to play when there was something he didn't want to talk about. What if- "Baymax, hold on."
If Krei wasn't going to help, Callaghan would be the only other one who might know more about the original project. Keeping him away would also keep away rescuing Duquesne. But still...he almost destroyed the city because of his failure to stabilize it. But so did Sirque. Urgh! All this back and forth is starting a headache.
Krei and Callaghan were heads of the project, they would have the necessary means. The general who was involved wouldn't give him any access, maintenance and control operators wouldn't know, it had to be one of them. The difference is that Krei isn't a scientist, he's just a businessman who funds these projects and recruits people to invent under his name. There's nothing wrong with that but Hiro just sees it from a different light, having been behind the scenes, Callaghan would be the better option.
The more Hiro thinks about it, the more reasons he gets to bring Callaghan on board and the more it disturbs him.
Giving Callaghan a chance to redeem himself, is that what he really wants? He did all that to get revenge for his daughter and now that she's back, he can barely see her. It wouldn't be Hiro he'd be redeeming himself to, it'd be the public, it'd be Krei.
It's not even up to Hiro.
When he's usually about to make a rash decision, he doesn't ask anyone's opinion about it and keeps it to himself or else he wouldn't make any rash decisions but this time, he's pulling all the stops, looking for a reason not to help Callaghan.
He snaps out of it, finding himself at Fred's mansion.
"I think I decided guys. I'm going to focus all efforts on bringing Sirque's grandfather back." He announces.
"It'd be a scientific discovery of the century." Wasabi says.
"So would he." Gogo says with gloom in her eyes. Taking him back alive would imply all sorts of things but that's better sorted after the mission is successful.
"What isn't these days?" Hiro flips a pen around in his hand. "So, are we in agreement? Can we do this?" He asks, gauging everyone's opinions. Everyone nods affirmatively.
"Good..." He smiles sheepishly. "One last request."
They've been avoiding the subject, hoping that if it was on Hiro's mind that he'd bring it up. "I need your opinion on the Callaghan thing." Everyone retakes their seats, leaning in to meet Hiro's shying eyes.
"You've come a long way from wanting to kill the man." Wasabi comments. "But forget what Abigail wants, nobody can speak for Tadashi, so what do you want?" His figure takes up the whole arm of the couch.
"To leave it up to someone else." Hiro replies, defeated. He wishes Baymax had a sense of law, telling him what's good and bad but then it might get too complicated and he attacks the wrong person. He's seen too many anime to know where that goes.
"Then don't show up, I don't believe you're required to go to court unless you feel one way or the other." There's Wasabi feeding the 'don't do this thing because I wouldn't' voice.
Hiro looks down. He can't be bothered to tell him that he already went.
"It broke my heart but I think over time we've seen so many bad guys do terrible things, and not to say that what he did wasn't terrible but he didn't know Tadashi was going to run in there either." Goes Honey with the light-hearted pity for everybody.
"Dude, I don't know. Like he did more than just burn the building. I know he'd always stay a bad guy in my book and I've seen countless villain to hero scenarios." Fred delivers with his comic book insight.
And Go-Go with either her brooding silence or negative outtake, today seems to be the former.
"Go-Go?" Honey looks her way, urging her to give a response.
"I wouldn't send him to death's row or anything." She rests her hand on her head. But Hiro knows it's not a life or death situation, if he was denied release then he could try again in a few years.
"The thing is...if we want to make this portal and find Sirque's grandfather, we're going to need him."
"What?!" Everyone freaks out, as expected.
"I've gone over it all. He was there, he helped build the thing; He knows how to do it!" Hiro elaborates enthusiastically.
"Couldn't we just build it?" Gogo asks, shocked that he'd even suggest such a thing.
"Of course we could, Sirque did it, but I don't know how to keep anybody from figuring it out." Akuma Island was destroyed and it's not like there are any other private islands they can just set up shop to keep from endangering civilization.
"So, what? You're saying Callaghan could get us a place where people wouldn't notice?" Gogo says, trying to wrap her head around it. She wanted to deny involving him from the start but she knows Hiro wouldn't say that without something to back it up.
"Better, Callaghan could make it go unnoticed at all. How did somebody not catch him? All that time moving crates and parts from one point to the next, he knows how to stay in the shadows. Nobody believed me when I told the police about it but now they've probably heard it all, because of us."
They want to think of a rebuttal but acknowledge that he's correct.
"He got it to activate. Think about it, he had to have experimented with it before we caught him. He wasn't going to let his chance slip away." It was a one-shot plan.
"He could've just beaten Krei on the head with the portal. You never know." Fred adds.
"No, I think there was more." He couldn't help unless he was out of prison, there was no way he could give notes off the top of his head, he needed a lab, equipment, a team and most of all privacy. Hiro can't go into a prison asking for how to reboot his project. He never implied he was going to try it when he went to see Sirque plus it made sense to question her about a recent crime but Callaghan's research would have to be dug up which might come across as suspicious. "The original was stabilized too but there was something unaccounted for, some sort of anomaly."
"Watch." Hiro pulls out his laptop and plugs in the flash drive with the Akuma Island footage from all those years ago. Everyone crowds around.
The 'exit' portal explodes.
"Well, look at the blueprints." Wasabi suggests, a hand on the back of the couch.
"Can't." Hiro bites his tougne, wishing he'd investigated it sooner. "Krei locked me out. I guess he didn't like me asking about it."
"Then we work with Krei to...yeah, maybe that's not the best idea either." Gogo retracts.
"How do we contain an anomaly? Do you think Callaghan would even know?" Honey asks.
"He was the only other one there. Abigail was just there as a pilot. Krei was just there to sponsor it. He has to know." Or at least have an idea. He spent all that time in jail, so if he's anything like Hiro, that's all he's been thinking about, where it went wrong and what he could do better to fix it.
"If he wasn't the source then maybe he knows the source and has the original documents." Wasabi points out.
"There's that too." Hiro says. It's really just selling itself at this point, the question is 'how'.
"I don't like this but no harm in trying, right? If he tries something, he'll just ship him back to prison." Wasabi says. Everyone seems to be in a close enough agreement.
Back at the garage:
Now that Hiro knows he has to get involved, he checks online for the time of the proceeding tomorrow.
He looks at the judge's name. Odd. It's not the same one as yesterday. "Krei." He remarks. Krei must've requested or even paid for a new judge. If he was willing to go that far, he'd do everything in his power to prevent Callaghan's release and he'd probably succeed. At least Hiro couldn't blame himself if he didn't get released. He looks down. Half relief. Half guilt.
Then a thought. A nasty one. It'd be a win-win too. If he got Krei arrested, he'd have access to the data and be able to get Callaghan out.
It was never really a fair trial to begin with, Hiro would just be providing swift justice.
Hiro pulls up some proof. Just enough to incriminate. It's not hard to find after everything he's seen as an intern. Krei might do good to cover it up publicly but privately he's sloppy. Plus it wouldn't be a lie.
He neglects telling anyone about it, it'd be his little secret, his rash decision for the day. He just hopes it's worth it. He'd effectively be trading one man for another, but chances are that Krei will be out sooner rather than later because that's usually the way money works. And if he's lucky, he might gain an extra man in return.