So this is the last of the prewritten chapters. Updates will be slower now but I promise I'm doing everything I can to make time to write more. For those of you reading and enjoying this story, I thank you, and I hope you continue to provide feedback in the future. Without further ado, let's begin. I own nothing except the story.
"Hello and welcome to Tuesday." Hiro paused as he laughed at his own introduction. "Sorry, I'm still trying to figure out how to do these vlogs. Anyway, so I have two days before I have to tell Megan my final guest list for my birthday party. That honestly might be the hardest project I have on my plate this week."
Hiro turned to his desktop in the garage and pulled up some designs for a new set of armor, one codenamed 'Motholivia.' The initial blueprints implied a much sleeker build than her male counterpart's. Whereas the Fredzilla suit was designed with a high-flexibility vacuum-molded shell for Fred to be contained inside, Olivia's armor was more akin to the others.
"I think I'm making some progress on the designs for Olivia's armor. Still hard to believe that Fred is okay with his girlfriend not only knowing his secret identity…but actively joining the fight!" Hiro laid his elbow on his desk and held his head in his palm. "Doesn't he worry about the possibility of her getting hurt?" He gestured wildly towards the screen. "No matter how tough I make this armor, there's no guarantee she'll be totally safe!"
Hiro sighed as his fingers manipulated the interface, rearranging possible alloys and solutions to Olivia's wishlist. The wind gusts were the most challenging aspect. If Olivia wanted to be able to fly, then in order to aim gusts of wind, she couldn't use it as her means of propulsion. or she'd go flying every time she tried. "I just don't get Fred's logic."
Hiro pulled up a diagram of Hyper-Potamus, and took the maglev propulsion system that allowed her to fly and put it on the back of the hypothetical armor. Then Hiro extended the wings on the back of the suit, inserting high-powered wind turbines that would blend in with the moth-design of the suit. With the maglev acting as propulsion, Olivia would theoretically be able to maintain stability when using them. "Then again, my friends and I ultimately decided to become superheroes on our own, and if Olivia wants to join the fight, do I have the right to tell her no?"
Next he focused on the projectile deflection system. Once the news came out that Hardlight was actually one of the KreiTech R&D scientists, it didn't take long for Hiro to reverse-engineer the forcefield technology and repurpose it into a reflective shield for Olivia, activated via a small device on her waist. "Thing is…we're not being heroes just for the fun of it…we're doing it to honor Tadashi's memory. Does Olivia know that? I feel like Fred needs to tell her…and if he doesn't, then I will."
The last step was adding the antennae beams. Just a couple of stun beams from the Buddy Guard project attached to Olivia's helmet put the last piece on Olivia's prototype armor. All that was left was to run the design through the 3D printer and put the finishing aesthetic touches on it. "There," Hiro pressed the complete button, and the printer got to work weaving the armor together. "That takes care of the superhero update…now onto new business. Whoever is watching this, I'm just gonna say this…take your time finding the right person for you…that's what Aunt Cass says, anyway. I get the feeling it's gonna be a lot easier said than done."
Hiro got up and turned off his desktop screen, allowing the computer to continue working on the armor without prying eyes. He then started rearranging some things to hide the mess. "Aunt Cass says I'll need to set some boundaries. But does that mean no hugs? Like, friends hug all the time…Globby is like a hug monster."
"Research shows that hugs have many health benefits," Baymax interjected. "Hugs cause a decrease in the release of cortisol, a stress hormone, and other research indicates that hugs decrease blood pressure and heart rate in stressful situations."
"Straight from the expert himself," Hiro laughed. "Maybe it's all the extra stuff I need to watch out for. The hand-holding, kissing, stuff like that. Because the last thing I want is to reject someone, and maybe they would have been the right choice, but I let myself get caught up in the moment. I need to make my choice with a clear head. Whoever is watching this, you do the same. Let's meet back tomorrow, shall we?"
Baymax shut off his cameras, and waddled over to give Hiro a hug in that moment. "Your cortisol levels are currently elevated."
Hiro sighed and let himself relax in the robot's embrace. Sometimes he was convinced that in spite of Baymax's apparent lack of emotions, he loved him, and it did wonders for his spirit. "Thanks, buddy. I just…I wanna make sure that whether it's Megan, Karmi, or maybe even neither of them…I don't want to make the wrong choice, because what if I lose one of them?" Hiro's voice cracked. "They're both my friends, I don't wanna be forced to choose between which one I want in my life!"
"Yep, that's definitely a conundrum my friend."
"Gah!" Hiro nearly fell to the ground from the shock of the Fredmeleon suit popping into view out of nowhere, but fortunately Baymax was able to catch him. "Fred! Seriously! You're gonna make me put a tracker on you that beeps whenever you get within 10 feet of me!"
Out of the head of the suit popped Mini-Max in his armorless form. "But no tracker will ever stop Mini-Max from ferreting out trouble wherever it may hide!" He then lowered his voice somewhat. "It usually remains close within my vicinity."
"Not liking the implications there, but I'll let it slide." Fred was quickly distracted by the movement of the 3D printer. "Ooh, is this Olivia's armor?!"
"Yeah, it is." Hiro took a deep breath and approached the rich man-child. "Fred, about Olivia joining the team…does she understand why we do this?"
"Of course! Hiro, you're talking to a veteran superhero here." Fred wrapped a blue arm around the boy's shoulders. "Olivia and I are cut from the same cloth, we both see the need for San Fransokyo to be protected from evil, in whatever form it may take. We also see the extreme responsibility that is placed upon us, as we're gifted with this amazing power. It's like, hero lore 101."
"That's not what I mean." Hiro removed himself from Fred's grip, much to the comic nerd's surprise as his smile disappeared. "Fred, does she understand why we decided to become superheroes, why it's so important to us?"
It took a few moments, but Fred eventually smiled, much more sincerely this time, and nodded sagely at the young genius. "Someone has to help." Fred was rewarded with a relieved smile from Hiro. "Our hero backstory was part of the whole breakdown I gave her. She totally cried at the part where the original Baymax sacrificed himself to save you." Fred placed both his hands on Hiro's shoulders. "I promise, as awesome as being a superhero is, I've never forgotten why we got started. Olivia will do her part to honor Tadashi's memory."
Hiro wiped a tear from his eye, before diving in to hug his friend who was all too happy to return the affectionate gesture. "Thanks, Fred."
"Anytime. Superheroing is about doing the little things too."
"If I had tear ducts, they would most certainly be flowing with Mini-Maximum waterfalls of tears!" Mini-Max exclaimed. "Fortunately I am now insulated against water damage!"
"That is quite fortunate." Baymax agreed.
The two eventually separated, and Fred started taking off the Fredmeleon suit. "Can you get Skymax to take the suit back to the base?"
"Sure thing." One press of a button from Hiro, and Skymax appeared outside the garage door, waving as Fred stuffed the suit into the compartment, and the robot flew into the sky.
"Man, that makes things soooo much easier." Fred grinned. "So, now that we've established that my girl is on the right path, when are we gonna get Megan up and running?"
Hiro reeled back. "Um, w-what?"
"I mean it only makes sense." Fred shrugged. "She already knows our secret identities, and having her on the team makes it so that we have a reporter on our side! She could even double as our PR person! You two make a great team! You should totally make her your girlfriend, just like Captain Fancy and Rita Rampart!"
Hiro's eyes narrowed. "Fred, no."
"No means no, Fred!" Hiro exclaimed. "No to Megan on the team, and no to making her my girlfriend just because she knows my secret identity!" His expression softened a bit. "Whoever I end up choosing, I want it to be because I know that's what's right in my heart, not for any other reason."
"Fine." Fred pouted. "Can I at least get something to eat in the café? Heathcliff took the day off and…the leftovers in my fridge are too gnarly even for me."
Hiro sighed and gestured for him to follow. "Maybe if we're lucky, the mascots will be taking their recharge break and Aunt Cass can take care of us instead."
"I hear ya, Hiro. Every time Noodle Burger Boy takes my order, I feel like I should either be ordering a noodle burger, or getting ready to super jump away from a ketchup blast." As Fred sat at one of the tables, a slender hand put a glass of ice water in front of him.
"Can I take your order, Freddie?"
"Yes, Honey Lemon, I will have a-" Fred's eyes snapped open, and he stared up at the tall girl smiling down at him with her long, strawberry-blonde hair tied into a bun, and a notepad and pencil in hand. "Honey Lemon?!"
"Uh," Hiro also looked positively stunned at seeing Honey Lemon acting as their waitress. "What's going on, Honey Lemon? Aunt Cass short-staffed again?"
"Oh, no. I'm working here part-time now as a barista!"
Fred narrowed his eyes and stared harshly at the chemistry genius. "Why?"
Honey Lemon was totally unfazed. "Well, I needed a part-time job until I figure out where I could apply that would give me an opening in the future to achieve my dream, and there are a lot of people who come in here for their morning coffee. Who knows? Maybe a high-ranking executive will come in and I'll be able to chat them up and make a connection! You know what they say, it's not what you know, it's who you know!"
"Right." Fred looked down at his menu for only a moment before glancing at his unexpected waitress. "I'll have pancakes."
"Sounds good!" Honey Lemon collected the menu and turned to Hiro. "How about you, Hiro? You hungry? It's always on the house for you!"
"I'll uh, have eggs and bacon. Aunt Cass knows how I like them."
"You got it! I'll be right back!" Honey Lemon headed to the register to punch in the order, a bright smile on her face and a song on her lips.
After a few moments to make sure Honey Lemon wasn't listening, Fred gestured dramatically at Hiro. "When did this happen?!"
"I dunno, maybe she's been working something out with Aunt Cass." Hiro shrugged. "Why does it bother you so much? If anything it means she's staying a while longer."
"Indeed," Mini-Max's eyes narrowed at Fred. "Your lack of enthusiasm over our extremely tall compatriot's civilian occupation is most befuddling."
"Seriously, I'm not that tall, guys." Honey Lemon sighed as she placed Fred's meal in front of him. "Here are your pancakes, Freddie. Aunt Cass made them fresh just for you!" She then turned to her younger customer. "Oh, Hiro! Crushroom wanted me to ask if you could take a quick look at the servo in her right arm. She says she's struggling to get full range of motion, she's waiting in the garage."
"Great." Hiro sighed. "A roboticist's work is never done." As Hiro got up from the table to head to the back, he briefly glanced over his shoulder. "Call me when breakfast is ready?"
"You got it!" Then as soon as Hiro was out of earshot, Honey Lemon's smile vanished instantly, as she glared fiercely down at Fred, who stopped midbite as he felt a cold chill go down his spine. "Fred!"
"Why are you trying to influence Hiro's decision?"
"About breakfast?" Fred raised an eyebrow. "I mean, I know he usually likes pancakes too, but I figured you'd approve of his choice since it's supposedly healthier."
"Not breakfast." She lowered herself to his eye level. "Don't try to convince him Megan is better than Karmi. He needs to make his decision on his own!"
The accusation - regardless of how true it was - brought Fred's suspicions back to the forefront. "I would never! I'm hurt, truly! That you would think so lowly of me!" He exclaimed dramatically. "But since we're so carelessly handing out accusations, I think the only reason you're working here is so that you can be close to Hiro so you can steer him towards Karmi! I expected better of you, Honey Lemon."
Honey Lemon's eyes narrowed in raw anger as she got uncomfortably close to Fred's face, her jaw tightly clenched. "For your information, I asked Aunt Cass about a job here two weeks ago! And I would never, ever try to be so dishonest and cheat like that!"
She grabbed Fred's fork and harshly stabbed his pancakes to punctuate her point. "Never."
As Honey Lemon walked away to get back to work, Fred couldn't help but feel the nervous tingle all over his body that came from a close brush with death. "Wow. That was like, no honey, and allllllll lemon."
"There is an old saying that warns of the anger of a gentle man." Mini-Max spoke up. "Clearly that warning applies even more so to gentle women."
In the garage, Hiro was applying some lubricant to Crushroom's right arm, the bot's legs kicking as she sat on the worktable and waited for Hiro to finish. "Crushroom probably overworked from time spent crushing…"
"Well, you're built pretty sturdy, Crushroom. I think you'll be okay." Hiro finished applying the lubricant and took a step back. "There, how's that?"
The mushroom robot hopped off her seat and flexed the servos. "Much better. Crushroom ready to get back to work."
"Glad to hear it." Hiro turned to put his things away, when he felt a tug on his sleeve. Apparently Crushroom was trying to get his attention, but for whatever reason she seemed to be avoiding eye contact. "Is something wrong?"
"Cousin Hiro?" Crushroom slowly turned her head to look at the boy, somehow looking sad in spite of not being able to emote. "Are Crushroom and others invited to your birthday party?"
Hiro reeled back and nearly fell over as a jolt went through his body at the innocently-asked question. Imagining the mascots at his birthday party filled Hiro with potential doomsday implications, such as the laser tag arena being burned down and Chief Cruz arresting him and the team for allowing it. "I'm…not sure that's a good idea."
Crushroom looked down to the ground again. "Crushroom understand." She nodded slowly. "Crushroom have reputation, Crushroom have to prove Crushroom reformed before Crushroom can enjoy full benefits."
"I-It's not that! Well…actually, it kind of is…" Hiro sighed as he face-palmed with guilt. He briefly wondered when he started to legitimately think of the mascots as family. "Tell you what, let me think about it. Maybe I'll be able to swing something."
"Oh, thank you, Cousin Hiro!"
Hiro felt some bones crack from the hug he was on the receiving end of, but at least he dodged one bullet for now. "You're…welcome!" He wheezed.
"Crushroom can't wait to tell everyone!"
"W-Wait!" But Hiro's cry came out as a breathless squeak, and Crushroom zipped away at full speed back into the cafe, knocking over the trash can outside on her way. "Great. Good job, Hamada." He berated himself as he fought to get his breath back. "Now I've got four potentially deadly robots who wanna play laser tag!" Hiro couldn't help but imagine what Noodle Burger Boy's version of laser tag would be like. "I gotta focus on one thing at a time. First, I have to get Karmi here, which means I gotta get Rishi here."
The boy genius froze. "Oh no…oh nononononono…Rishi and the mascots in the same room?" Hiro's mind flashed to images of Rishi hacking the mascots and having them wreak havoc. "Alright…time to be the tough guy and set a few ground rules…after I beg him to come so Karmi can come." Hiro sighed as he steeled himself and made the call. Within moments, Rishi answered, looking extremely bored as he scrolled through his tablet. "Hey, Rishi."
"Hey, Hamada." The boredom was palpable in the child's voice.
"Thanks for hooking Baymax up with those safeguards. I checked out the programming and they're fantastic."
"Of course they are, I came up with them." Rishi smirked in spite of his apathy. "You know you owe me now."
Hiro held back an annoyed grunt as he flexed his off-camera fist for a few moments. "Well," He started after taking a deep breath. "I can probably take care of that right now."
"Oh yeah? How's that?"
"As it turns out, my birthday's coming up! And I'm getting my friends and family together for a day of pizza, desserts, gaming and laser tag!"
Rishi finally turned away from his tablet, his eyes widening slightly as his childish instinct took hold. "Yeah?"
"Yeah!" Hiro smirked. "And, considering I'm your mentor, I thought it would be a great experience for both of us if you came too! We'll have some fun and just have a great time!"
The younger genius actually dropped his tablet, now fully taken in by the idea of a party. "I'm so in! Can I choose toppings for one of the pizzas, please?!"
Hiro actually laughed at the boy's enthusiasm. Clearly, in spite of his supergenius status, Rishi was still very much a kid. That's when Hiro got an idea to leverage this advantage. "Tell ya what, you promise not to get us into trouble by hacking something you shouldn't," Hiro's smirk grew. "And I'll let you get your own pizza as well as choose an ice cream flavor."
Rishi's eyes grew three sizes as they sparkled with excitement. "You're officially the best! I totally promise! Thanks for inviting me!" He hung up his phone, but he called back seconds later. "Where is it again? What day? What time?!"
Hiro chuckled. "It's this Saturday at the new laser tag arena opening up near Fish Town. As for the time, I'll let you know as soon as I let my party planner know the guest list."
"Cool! Awesome! Thanks again!"
Hiro smiled as he hung up on his own mentee, shaking his head in amusement as he briefly went over to the 3D printer to get it started on Olivia's next piece of armor. "Ah, to be young again." As satisfied as he was with how that whole discussion went, Hiro couldn't help but focus more on the next person he had to talk to. Someone much more aesthetically pleasing. "See you soon, Karmi."
"Hiro!" Honey Lemon poked her head into the garage. "Your breakfast is ready!" Then she saw Hiro leaning over the 3D printer and she grinned. "Ooh! Is this Olivia's armor?"
"Funny, that's word-for-word what Fred said." Hiro laughed. "Yes, this is Olivia's armor. I hope this all works out."
"Oh I'm sure it will!" Honey Lemon placed her hands on his shoulders from behind. "Olivia is just like Freddie! She's gonna take to superheroing like the chemical bonding of molecules!"
"You're probably right." Hiro turned around. "It's so surreal. I always thought it would just be the six of us, now so much is changing all at once, it's honestly a little overwhelming."
"That's why we're here to help." Honey Lemon nodded. "We'll always be a team no matter what." Her smile suddenly vanished as her expression became apprehensive. "Although…"
Honey Lemon walked around the garage, seeing all of Hiro's various gadgets strewn about the room. "Well, I was just thinking…there may be a time where we'll only be able to be there for you in spirit, not in person…we may not be around to protect you."
"I don't need protection though." Hiro rolled his eyes. "I thought we went over this? I'm a superhero, remember?"
"I know. But some of our villains are getting really tough…and if Freddie is right about Phase 3, then things are only going to get tougher from here." Honey Lemon picked up Hiro's Sonic Gauntlets, the ones he used teaming up with Momakase. "You've upgraded everyone else, and now you're making brand new armor for new team members…but have you thought about using some of the gear you've made to upgrade yourself?"
"I've…thought about it." Hiro admitted with a shrug as he looked at his old shorted-out nanodex. "It's just that I haven't really had time to work out the bugs. Between school, being a superhero, and my attempts at building a social life…things like this tend to fall by the wayside."
"I understand." Honey Lemon picked up the nanodex and looked it over for a few moments. "You know, the nanodex really was a stroke of genius. If you could just figure out a way to control the output, you'd be able to add super strength back to your bag of tricks!"
"Except that the only way I was able to ever get it off was to have Fred's kaiju almost crush me!" Hiro snagged it from the tall girl's hands and tossed it aside. "I can't crack that code, believe me I've tried."
Honey Lemon stared intently at the abandoned project for several moments, scratching her chin in thought until finally she smiled. "You know, it's possible that the solution to this problem isn't robotics-based."
"What do you mean?"
"Your nanodex directly influences the human body to do things it shouldn't normally be able to do. It was an ambitious project! But maybe you need input from someone who's more in-tune with the body and how science can affect it."
"Guess that makes sense. Did you have someone in-" Hiro froze midsentence, and his face morphed into a deadpan stare as he crossed his arms over his chest. "Really, Honey Lemon?"
"I knew it!" Fred suddenly appeared, and he seemed to be stuffing his face with Hiro's breakfast. "And you said you wouldn't cheat!"
"What is going on here?!" Hiro exclaimed in disbelief. "Is that my breakfast?!"
"It was getting cold and I didn't want it to go to waste!" Fred replied as he chomped down another bite of scrambled eggs. "But as for you," Fred pointed the empty fork at Honey Lemon. "What happened to 'never,' hmmmmm?!"
"Okay, that's it!" Hiro threw his hands up. "Since I'm obviously not going to get an answer, I'm going to get myself a snack and go literally anywhere else!"
"Hiro, wait!" But Fred's call went unanswered as Hiro walked back to the café without even looking back. Fred turned his attention back to the newly-minted barista. "For shame, Honey Lemon! For shame!"
Honey Lemon just smiled through the embarrassment. "I know you won't believe me, but I swear I didn't mean it."
Grabbing what was left of Hiro's breakfast bacon, Fred shoveled it into his foodhole and intensely stared into the young woman's soul, slowly backing out of the room with bacon bits flying out of his mouth. "For shaaaame."
Resources were becoming scarce, and soon action would need to be taken if more progress was going to be made. Even the greatest of geniuses couldn't make brilliance come out of thin air. Lenore Shimamoto herself required ample amounts of raw material and time. Modern-day scientists needed the same today.
But to gather these materials, it needed to be done methodically. Each action needed to be calculated and timed in such a way that Big Hero 6 wouldn't catch on to what was happening. "It's time to collect the first pawn."
The first step to building a team was making sure the police had more important matters to attend to than guarding the incarcerated villains of San Fransokyo. The pitiful attempt by Supersonic Sue to escape using her dimwitted grandson had proven that on their own, there was no hope of getting away. Thus, a distraction would be required not only for the police, but for Big Hero 6 and their allies.
The thought of allies was infuriating, triggering a pink flash as rage threatened to take over. That infernal pink glob randomly switching from villain to hero ruined everything. The number of times Big Hero 6 were bailed out by this pathetic mutated purse-snatcher was already more than what was acceptable. Globby would pay for his treachery.
But first, the distraction which would facilitate the escape of the first pawn in this grand spectacle of a scheme. With the press of a button on the haphazardly put together console, a remote signal was sent across the city, soon stretching all across San Fransokyo.
No one could tell anything was wrong. Everything seemed completely normal. The streets were still bustling with cars and people, traffic signals were operating smoothly, and all the robots in the city were still operating within expected parameters.
Even the animals were completely unaffected. Normally sensitive to abnormal frequencies, the dogs, cats and various creatures of San Fransokyo remained completely oblivious.
All except for one artificially-created species.
After grabbing a granola bar from the personal kitchen, Hiro sighed heavily and flopped himself back on his bed.
As frustrated as he was with his friends for trying to push him in either direction, Hiro couldn't deny that Honey Lemon had planted a seed in his mind. If anyone could help him get the nanodex working as intended…it would be someone like Karmi.
But even with that aside, why hadn't he properly integrated his personal innovations into his repertoire? The sonic gloves, the thrusters on the modified flight suit, both highly effective and yet he'd only used them once and never utilized them again. "Maybe it's time I started looking at the resources I already have."
He hopped off the bed and turned on his desktop, pulling up diagrams of both sets of his own armor, making the attempt to renovate the design to make room for everything at once. "I'll have to come up with a new way to insulate the magnets so the thrusters don't make them lose their charge over time."
He was about to get into a zone when he got a text from Go Go.
Turn on your TV. Now!
The urgency in the text alarmed Hiro, as he ran downstairs to the café and saw Bluff Dunder on the TV with a Mayoi on his newsdesk. "Uh oh."
"The cutest monsters ever to attack San Fransokyo, the Mayoi, are once again invading our city, and our hearts." Dunder petted the trilling green creature. "Reports of sightings of several Mayoi are coming in all across San Fransokyo. How long will the Mayoi stay this time? And will they eventually attack the city again, or will they simply peacefully coexist with humanity without a psychotic tiny man controlling their every move? Only time will tell." Dunder gestured to his side where a graphic appeared. "Coming up next, the top 10 tips for caring for your Mayoi."
"Honey Lemon," Hiro turned to the tall barista. "Didn't you and Go Go adopt a Mayoi after Di Amara got arrested?"
"Kind of?" Honey Lemon shrugged noncommittally. "Go Go vetoed letting the Mayoi live in the apartment just in case it started growing again. But we do play with it whenever we see it outside."
"Fine, so it's a stray Mayoi. Is it acting strangely?"
"Not that I'm aware of. But the Mayoi aren't exactly normal to begin with." Honey Lemon hunched her shoulders with worry. "Do you think…Mr. Sparkles is behind this?"
"There's only one way to find out!" Hiro pulled out his phone. "Calling Skymax, we'll meet in front of the garage!"
"Hiro, wait!" Honey Lemon exclaimed. "I…I can't go."
"Why not?" Then Hiro realized she was wearing the Lucky Cat apron. "Oh, right. Well, that's why we started recruiting, right?"
"Right." Honey Lemon nodded. "Good luck you guys, I'll be there in spirit!"
"Much appreciated, Honey Lemon!" Fred exclaimed. "And away we go!"
After gathering Go Go and Wasabi, Hiro activated his commlink, and instantly he heard a voice echoing over the line.
"-Won't this thing work?!"
"Globby, we're reading you loud and clear!"
"Oh, finally! I was starting to think I'd have to look all over San Fransokyo to get a hold of you!" The relief in Globby's voice was obvious. "I was watching the news with Felony Carl and I saw the report! Are you guys looking for Mr. Sparkles?"
"That's the plan. Baymax, scan for Mr. Sparkles."
"Oh I can tell you guys where he is." Globby said nonchalantly.
"Let me guess." Go Go spoke up. "He's at the Pizza Partytorium."
"Go Go is correct." Baymax spoke up. "Frank Sparkles is currently located at the mold-filled Pizza Partytorium. Also, Felony Carl. Also, Globby."
"Baymax, I told you not to talk about the mold!" Fred exclaimed. "Wait…Globby is there already?"
"More importantly, there was mold in that place?!" Wasabi looked at his hands in horror. "I rode that ferris wheel! Baymax, how could you?!"
"I was explicitly told not to discuss the mold."
"Guys!" Hiro interjected. "What've you got, Globby?"
"Well I knew that the first lead would've been the person who last used the Mayoi, but from what I'm seeing and what Felony Carl has told me, Frank is just doing his job here…although I will admit, it is adorable watching these little guys ask him for hugs."
"Keep us posted, we're on our way." It didn't take long for the team to reach their destination, as they landed at the front door and saw Mr. Sparkles working around some playing Mayoi while Globby watched. Once they went in, Hiro took the lead and approached their new teammate. "What's the situation?"
"Well for starters, their pizza has taken a serious downturn lately." Globby shoved a whole piece of pizza into where his mouth was perceived to be, and the pizza swirled inside him as he patted his tummy. "I think the love is missing."
"Y'know, I've been getting that impression too?" Fred replied. "I think poor Sarah may have had her heart broken by evil mascots one too many times."
"Fred, Globby, focus." Go Go rolled her eyes. "We were referring to the Mayoi situation, not three-day old burnt pizza."
"Oh, right." Globby shrugged as he looked at all of the scittering creatures, many of which recognized Sparkles and were clamoring for his attention even as he walked around cleaning the room. The rest were playing with the kids that were there. "Nothing evil happening here that I can see, unless you count the inside of those tubes in the play area. And I thought I was globby."
"Fecal matter, staph, and other bacteria that can lead to meningitis or gonorrhea are quite common in indoor play equipment." Baymax scanned the tubes. "I detect-"
"Nope, stop right there!" Wasabi cut off the robot. "I used to love those tubes as a kid! I do not need to know what I exposed myself to in there!"
Baymax blinked. "It is still there, but I shall again not discuss it."
"Don't worry, disinfecting those tubes from top to bottom is on my to-do list!" Sparkles came up to greet the heroes, holding a washcloth in one hand and a Mayoi in the other. "Hey, guys! Guess you're here about the Mayoi, huh? Can't say I blame you. I know I caused a lot of trouble with these adorable little guys."
Ignoring the cute trilling of the plant-based creature, Hiro focused his attention on Sparkles. "Would you mind if we did a little digging?" Hiro asked. "If nothing else, we'll at least be able to clear your name if you're innocent."
"That'd actually be great!" Sparkles nodded eagerly. "Please, any way I can cooperate, I'm all for it! I've been thoroughly enjoying the freedom and appreciation that comes with being a decent human being!"
"I know, isn't it awesome?!" Globby wrapped a gooey arm around the short man. "If I'd known being a good guy was this great, I'd have done it years ago!"
"Being on the side of justice is always the right way to go!" Mini-Max exclaimed. "Although evil often gives the illusion of prosperity, Mini-Max is ever vigilant, ensuring that crime doesn't pay!"
"You keep doing that!" Sparkles gestured finger-guns at the tiny robot. "Never stop following your dreams!"
"Words to live by." Go Go deadpanned with a bubble pop. "Let's move things along here."
"Right." Hiro nodded. "So, Frank, if you don't mind, I'm gonna have our robot scan you for any abnormalities. If it comes back clean, then that'll do a lot to prove you have nothing to do with this."
"Alrighty!" Sparkles spread his arms out, dropping his rag and the Mayoi in the process. "Scan away!"
"Scanning now." Baymax's scanning beam enveloped Sparkles from top to bottom, and after a few moments, it receded back into Baymax's eyes. "Scan complete. Frank Sparkles' DNA is fully human, no mutant abnormalities detected. However, I detect a birth defect that prevented the proper amount of human growth hormone from entering his body during adolescence."
"That's a little personal." Sparkles replied with a scowl. "This guy doesn't have a lot of tact, does he?"
"Sorry." Hiro rubbed the back of his neck. "But, you're clear in our book. Is there any insight you could give us in how the Mayoi react to commands? Are there any similarities to how they reacted to you and how they are now?"
"All the brainpower came from that creepy Sycorax lady, she told me what to do and I took it from there."
Fred suddenly gasped. "Guys, do you know what this means?!" Fred waited for someone to ask, but got no responses. So he took it upon himself as he raised a clawed hand and used it as a puppet of sorts. "'No, what does it mean?' Glad you asked!"
"Was that supposed to be me?" Go Go groaned.
"Well if you'd asked the question yourself like you usually do, I wouldn't have been forced to do an admittedly lacking imitation of you." Fred said matter-of-factly. "Nevertheless! The only logical conclusion is that Di Amara has escaped from prison and is using the Mayoi to diabolically turn the population of San Fransokyo into lethargic pet lovers who are easy to defeat so she can rule San Fransokyo!"
"That's the only logical conclusion?" Globby raised an eyebrow.
"Well duh, who else could control the Mayoi better than the one who created them in the first place?!"
"Diane Amara," Baymax spoke up. "Is currently incarcerated."
"Or so we think!"
"O-Okay, we'll check up on her." Hiro gestured for his team to follow him out. "Thanks, uh, Frank. We'll let you know if we have any more questions for you."
The team, now including Globby, gathered outside the building, where Hiro immediately started coming up with a plan of action. "There's got to be something controlling the Mayoi. They've been scattered across the city all this time and now out of nowhere they're just coming together? I'll call Megan and have her get me in touch with Chief Cruz for an update at the prison just to check on Di Amara. You guys spread out and monitor the city. The Mayoi aren't doing anything evil yet, so until we can find some more clues, we can't do much besides keep an eye on them."
"Hiro," Baymax raised a finger. "A majority of the Mayoi are gathering in Night Market Square."
"Sounds like we know where we're going." Go Go raced off, followed closely by Fred and Globby, the latter of whom was carrying Wasabi - much to his discomfort. "We'll round up the Mayoi. Hiro, you do your genius thing and figure out what's making them react."
"Got it, good luck." Hiro pulled out his phone and made a call, and seconds later he was greeted by Megan, who seemed to be in a dark area somewhere. "Megan?"
"Hey, Hiro!" She whispered. "I kinda can't talk right now, I'm in the middle of some hard-hitting journalism!"
"What?!" Hiro then narrowed his eyes. "Wait, where are you right now?! And…is that the stealth suit I made you?!"
"Yeah, it's awesome, it helped me get to Night Market Square and now I'm here getting some amazing shots of those cute but weird Mayoi things for my next story! I'll talk to you later!"
"Megan? Megan!" But the boy was ignored as Megan reactivated her invisibility and hung up the phone, leaving Hiro high and dry. "Guys, Megan is somewhere in Night Market Square and she's wearing the stealth suit I made her, please make sure she's safe!"
"Don't worry, little buddy!" Fred exclaimed heroically as he super-jumped towards their destination. "We'll make sure your lady friend is safe and sound!"
"Fred, she's not my-" Hiro groaned loudly as he smacked his hand against his face. "Just keep an eye out for her. I've gotta come up with some answers before it's too late."
"It may already be too late!" Go Go increased her speed towards the square, as she observed the Mayoi all gathering in the same area, and their trills were growing louder and more aggressive in tone. She came to a stop behind a building corner, with the others right behind her. "Am I having a moment, or is there a Mayoi ringleader?"
"You mean the Mayoi are going rogue?!" Fred exclaimed. "The adorable minions coming up with an evil plot all their own?! We're witnessing a spinoff in action here, people!"
"But didn't these things get super huge last time?" Globby asked. "Why are they still all small and cute? They can't do much damage like that."
Then as if on cue, the one Mayoi who was standing on a platform above the thousands of others, raised its paws in the air as the tufts of fur (or fungus, depending on who you asked) on the sides of its head began vibrating rapidly, and soon the rest of the Mayoi followed its lead. "Whatever's going on, it can't be good!" Wasabi exclaimed.
Then the Mayoi began advancing on the assumed leader, and before they knew it, the Mayoi were disappearing into the main Mayoi, and the leader's voice grew louder as it rapidly increased in size. "You were saying about them being small?" Go Go deadpanned.
"The Mayoi are mostly plant and fungi in their DNA, right?" Wasabi asked.
"That's what Karmi said when she examined them." Go Go replied.
"That means they're conglomerating all into one supercell structure!"
"Okay, let's rephrase that in terms that normal humans can understand please." Fred said. "You know, for Globby's sake."
Go Go rolled her eyes. "It means, this thing's not gonna stop growing until there are no more Mayoi left to absorb…which means it could end up making Mega-Max look like Mini-Max by the time it's done."
"I take offense to your derogatory implication!" Mini-Max exclaimed, watching as the Mayoi surpassed its previous maximum size, even still keeping its normal adorable appearance as it grew ever larger. "With that said, in the words of my larger counterpart…oh no!"
"We've gotta do something!" Globby exclaimed.
"Globby," Go Go turned to her teammates. "You keep it busy, the rest of us will try to keep the other Mayoi away as best we can." She skated into the fray, cutting the Mayoi off with her speed and stopping them in their tracks. "Fred, we need a firewall!"
"Hope Honey Lemon doesn't mind me taking her border wall job!" Fred leaped into the air and unleashed a fire blast that immediately caused the Mayoi to back away in fear, as a wall of flame ignited in front of them. "Ho ho, you don't like fire, do ya?! Well…I guess in hindsight, since you're plant monsters, that makes a lot of sense." But as the Mayoi cowered, Fred suddenly felt a jolt go through his heart as he froze in place. "Guys, I have a problem! I don't wanna hurt them, they're still too cute!"
"Stay strong!" Go Go shouted. "Evil isn't always ugly!" The speedster zoomed back and forth through the fire, forming a trail to round up the Mayoi and keep them away from the leader. But she was quickly thrown off her feet by the stomp of the giant Mayoi that had its teeth bared in anger. "Something tells me it's not happy about being cut off from its growth supply! Globby, where are you?!"
The heroes looked up to see a giant pink dragon flying above the enormous Mayoi, its eyes narrowed with determination. "Oh ho ho! Globby upped his game again!" Fred clapped in excitement. "We've gone from the animal kingdom to the fairy tale kingdom!"
"And that's not all!" Dragon-Globby opened his mouth with a roar, and a ball of fire was sent careening towards the giant Mayoi. It shielded itself, but the look of discomfort on its face made it clear the attack had an effect. "Let's see how well it does against a fire-breathing dragon!" Globby pressed his attack, making sure to stay high above the reach of the Mayoi, which was trying desperately to leap up and grab him. But as he kept launching fireballs, the pink monster noticed something off about the ginormous creature he was fighting. "Uh, it seems to be getting harder to hurt it!"
"These little ones too!" Wasabi groaned as he was suddenly run over by the determined Mayoi, and through the stampede he noticed that something had changed. "Guys! Oof! The fire! It's not-ow! It's not bothering them anymore!"
"We have bigger problems!" Go Go pointed into the stampede, and spotted a girl in a purple outfit of some kind being dragged along against her will, crying out for help at the top of her lungs. "Guys, I found Megan!"
"This is just like that movie!" Fred exclaimed in horror. "You know, the one about the thing?!"
"I'm on it!" Globby swooped down, avoiding the attacking swipes of the hyper-aggressive Mayoi as he managed to grab her in his dragon claws just before she could be absorbed into the once again growing green body of the Mayoi. "What are you doing here, Megan?! It's dangerous!"
"I-I had to get the story!" She shrieked as Globby dodged another attack. "But on the other hand, maybe from now on I'll try to be more at a distance!" Before she knew it, Megan was being brought down to the ground, right into the waiting arms of her father who was down below with the rest of the police force. "Dad!"
"Megan!" Chief Cruz wrapped his arms around her desperately. "What are you doing out here?!"
"I…I just wanted to get the story, I'm sorry."
"We'll talk about this later. Right now, I want you as far away from here as possible!" Before she could object, Cruz placed her in one of the police cruisers and locked the door, instructing the officer inside to get her to safety. With that done, he turned his attention to the rampaging and yet still adorable growing monster. "We need to get this situation contained!"
"I'm open to suggestions, Chief." Detective Kato, Cruz's right hand man, looked up at the creature with concern in his eyes. "This is starting to feel waaaay too much like one of those Kentucky Kaiju movies!"
Cruz's fists clenched as he closed his eyes in disgust. Then with a resigned sigh, the man swallowed his pride and pulled out his phone. "Support the superheroes however you can, I know someone who might be able to help."
Cruz hurried to get several yards away, well out of earshot as he watched the heroes do everything they could to try and keep the situation from spiraling any further out of control. Then he scrolled to his speed dial, and seconds later, a familiar face appeared on the screen. "Hiro, we need your help."
The young genius was still in his armor, sans helmet, and was in his garage with a very stressed expression. "I'm trying to come up with a solution, believe me! But the Mayoi are a little out of my expertise!"
"Well, you know other geniuses, don't you?! You go to a school full of them!" Cruz had to brace himself as the Mayoi crushed a small building. Fortunately his team had managed to evacuate that one and were still getting all the civilians out of the surrounding area. "There must be someone who can come up with some answers, because it looks like even your team is struggling!"
"I-I know!" Hiro sighed loudly in frustration. "Just give me a few minutes! I might have an idea!" He didn't wait for Cruz to respond as he hung up the phone, then removed the top half of his armor. "This is risky…"
"Hiro, why are you removing your armor? You will not be protected in battle without it."
"I'm not going into battle, Baymax." Hiro replied as he took a deep breath. "I'm phoning a friend…I just hope she can help." He dialed the number, and it rang for a few moments, causing Hiro's blood pressure to rise as he started to worry he wouldn't get an answer. Then just as the final ring went through, a familiar face appeared on the other end of the phone. "Karmi! Thank goodness you picked up!"
"Hiro! I saw the news! Are you okay?!"
"I-I'm fine! But Big Hero 6 needs your help!"
"Wait, they need my help? How do you know that?"
"Uh well, you know!" Hiro chuckled nervously. "Uh, Captain Cutie knew we were friends and told me to get a hold of you while he fought with the rest of his team! He remembered how you were a big help against the Mayoi the first time!"
In spite of the seriousness, Karmi couldn't help but smile. "I'll do what I can! Tell me everything!"
"Well, so far all we know is that for whatever reason, the Mayoi started to get together, and now they're all absorbing into one main Mayoi that I swear might outgrow the whole city if Big Hero 6 don't find a way to stop it!"
Karmi scowled. "Well I can tell you right now, the Mayoi aren't attacking because they feel like it. After the first incident, I did a deeper analysis and my research concluded that their nature is benign. Without outside influences, the Mayoi really are just adorable little pets."
"So someone is controlling them!" Hiro said in realization. "But I-uh, Captain Cutie told me that he already ruled out Mr. Sparkles, so it has to be someone else!"
"Could it be…her?"
Hiro sent a determined expression Karmi's way, almost willing her to calm down. "Karmi, I promise. Di Amara is still in prison. Captain Cutie checked on that personally." It was a lie, but one that had the desired effect as a tiny smile reappeared on Karmi's face. "Now, if someone is controlling them, how?"
"Well remember, plants communicate with each other through nano-chemical oscillations, and the Mayoi are more plant than mammal. Those vibrations are the way they talk to each other. So if that one Mayoi is the focal point, then someone, somewhere, is instructing that Mayoi to take control of the other Mayoi for this attack on the city!" Karmi hummed in thought. "But if the instructions are being funneled through the main Mayoi itself, then that might mean it's susceptible to other orders from another source!"
"Are you saying," Hiro shot up from his seat. "That someone could take control of the Mayoi and stop the attack in its tracks?!" Hiro's thoughts immediately went to Mr. Sparkles. "But we can't just mutate Mr. Sparkles again, not only is it a bad idea even if he's supposedly reformed, it's just not right!"
"Fortunately," Karmi smirked. "We don't have to take such drastic measures!" Disappearing from the screen for a few moments, Karmi soon returned with a tuning fork, tapping it to make it vibrate. "Theoretically, all Big Hero 6 has to do is find the right vibrational frequency, and the Mayoi will respond and do whatever they're told! End of attack!"
"Karmi, you're brilliant!"
"Yes, I know." Karmi brushed her knuckles against her sweater. "Make sure you tell my annoying cousin that it was me who helped save the city, even while I'm stuck over here instead of at SFIT where I belong!"
Hiro laughed uncomfortably. "I'll uh…be sure to do that. Now I gotta go tell Big Hero 6 the good news!"
"Hiro, wait!" Karmi shouted, eyes wide with worry. "You're not going out there, are you?!"
"I…I have to, someone has to tell them your solution."
The girl said nothing for several moments, her eyes downcast before finally looking back up and giving him an earnest gaze. "Please, be careful. If…if anything happened to you, I…I don't…"
"I get it." Hiro rescued her from her own embarrassment as he graced her with a gentle smile. "I'll be careful, I promise. I'll call you when this is all over, I have some good news to tell you anyway."
"I'll hold you to that, Genius Boy." Karmi smiled ever-so-slightly. "Don't let me down."
"I won't." He hung up the phone and put his helmet back on, activating his commlink. "Guys, I have the answer! Just hang on a little bit longer!"
"Hiro, hanging is gonna be impossible if this goes on much longer," Go Go replied as she hid behind a corner to catch her breath. "The Mayoi's already bigger than Mega-Max and even the little ones already adapted to Fred and Globby's fire attacks somehow."
"There are several species of fungi that are resistant to extreme heat and fire." Baymax stated. "The Mayoi are comprised of a vast combination of fungi and other fauna, as well as their mammalian components."
"I know I'm asking a lot," Hiro said. "But I really need you guys to keep the Mayoi occupied a little longer. I know what we have to do."
"Make it fast, genius." Go Go replied. "We're running out of city over here."
"Got it. Tell Chief Cruz I have the answer and I'll be there soon." Hiro was about to shut off the comm when another thought shot through his mind. "H-Hey, did you guys find Megan?!"
"Don't worry, Hiro. We got her, she's safe." Go Go couldn't help but smile hearing the sigh of relief over the line. "Do your genius thing, and tell Honey Lemon to get her sorry butt over here and help us! The Lucky Cat doesn't need her to give refills that badly during a monster attack!"
"Will do!" Hiro hung up and texted Honey Lemon an S.O.S., and seconds later she came running down into the garage from the café. "Sorry to pull you away from your shift, but the others need your help!"
"I know, and I'm so sorry!" The tall girl's eyes were filled with regret. "I should've gone in the first place! I should've come up with some excuse!"
"Honey Lemon!" Hiro grabbed her by the shoulders. "Listen, no one blames you for not ditching work! We've been stuck in class before when things were bad, remember?" He got a nod from her. "Now go, Skymax will be here any second with your armor, Karmi came up with the solution so all you have to do is help buy me some time!"
"Karmi did?!" Honey Lemon grinned. "You guys really make a great team!"
Hiro rolled his eyes and pushed her out the garage door. "That's been established! Now get going!" He watched as she disappeared around the corner with Skymax to get changed into her armor, then he sat at his computer as he started brainstorming ideas. "Maybe a giant tuning fork? No, too delicate." He groaned in frustration. "I really don't have time to rush through a bunch of bad ideas!"
"Hiro, I may have a solution."
"Really, Baymax?" Hiro turned in his chair. "I'm open to anything, let's hear it!"
Baymax's belly lit up with graphics. "During the last half-hour, I have been researching recent entomological studies since certain insects threaten plant-life. I found one study regarding the Tiger Moth. It has the ability to disrupt sonar using sudden bursts of ultrasound."
"And sonar is based on sound vibrations!" Hiro's eyes widened. "That's it!" Hiro looked over to the sonic gloves sitting in a box, and a wide smile appeared on his face. "That should be enough to disrupt the signal they're getting…but I'll need a little more help if we're gonna get the Mayoi out of the city."
By the time Honey Lemon arrived in her armor, the Mega Mayoi had already absorbed the vast majority of its tiny counterparts. She wasted no time in putting up a solid wall of chemballs to stop the remaining Mayoi army's advance, but any attempts to slow down the 100-foot tall creature were useless.
If the Mayoi wasn't still a squishy cute blob, the collateral damage would've been much worse. Night Market Square had billboards scattered across the roads, most of the smaller buildings had been crushed and the larger ones had chunks taken out of them from the Mayoi smashing against them.
The only one still trying to fight it head on was Globby, who had gone through his entire arsenal of transformations and was clearly getting tired. After his icicle barrage failed and the Mayoi swatted him down to the ground, he stayed in his blob form for a few moments as he caught his breath. "Okay, I need a minute…or a lot of minutes!"
He looked up as the Mayoi glared down at him, and lifted its rear paw to stomp him. At the last moment he was rescued by a Honey Lemon chem-slide that pushed him away before he could be squished flatter than he already was. "Take a break, Globby! You did great!"
"Thanks, Honey Lemon!" Globby took refuge with the police, looking up at them with his glowing green eyes. "So…anyone else have any ideas?"
"Just one...but it's risky." Chief Cruz raised his phone and pressed a button, and across the city, a signal was received that activated an army of Buddy Guardians, the very same ones supplementing the security at the San Fransokyo prison. "Backup is on the way."
"Chief," Kato said apprehensively. "You sure this is a good idea?"
"We can't just stand by and do nothing!" Cruz clenched a fist, and seconds later he looked up into the sky to see the Buddy Guardian army flying overhead. "Buddy Guardians, contain this situation!"
The Buddy Guardians hovered around the massive Mayoi, their arms glowing with blue energy as they prepared for an attack. "Please consider a peaceable surrender." One of the guardians said. Of course, the Mayoi did not agree to that plea, as it started smashing its head into the Buddy Guardians, sending several of the police robots crashing to the ground below. "Oh no."
"Aah!" Fred now had to dodge robot debris on top of everything else, as he super-jumped from rooftop to rooftop in an attempt to not get crushed. "Does anyone else think that the Baymax programming makes the Buddy Guardians less useful as police robots?!"
"For once, Fred's right." Go Go zipped away from a falling Buddy Guardian, snatching up a kitten that had been trapped in the process. "But at least they're fodder for the Mayoi."
The Buddy Guardians were now firing all their weapons at the giant creature, and the sheer amount of blasts being sent its way caused the Mayoi to stagger back as it whined and looked for cover. "Hey, looks like it's working!" Wasabi spoke too soon though, as the Mayoi's fur bristled and it hissed in anger as it pushed through the attacks and went back on the offensive. "Oops, spoke too soon…"
"Chief, we're losing all our Buddy Guardians!" One of the other officers exclaimed.
"I really didn't want to do this." Cruz reached for his radio. "I'm going to have to call in the military."
"Don't make that call yet, Chief Cruz!" The voice from above was none other than Hiro, riding on Baymax's back as the robot touched down in front of the officers. "We have a solution!"
"Glad to hear it. How can we help?"
"Just pull everyone back, I'm going to do the same for the rest of my team. The fewer people around, the better. That includes the Buddy Guardians." After receiving a nod from the police chief, Hiro tapped Baymax's back. "Alright, Baymax. Let's do this!"
"Alright, Hiro and Baymax to the rescue!" Fred shouted victoriously.
"Guys, stay with Chief Cruz, we've got this!" Hiro directed Baymax to fly closer to the Mayoi, zooming past several retreating Buddy Guardians on their way. "Closer…closer…" Once they were right in its face, Hiro raised his arms, and his gloves unleashed sonic waves towards where the Mayoi's ears would be, and the effect was immediate, as the creature closed its eyes and trilled in discomfort, obviously confused. "I-It's working! The signal's being disrupted!"
"Of course!" Honey Lemon grinned. "The Mayoi communicate with nano-chemical oscillations! Vibrational frequencies! He's disrupting the signal that's making the Mayoi attack!"
"Which is fine, except that he can't fly up there forever!" Wasabi exclaimed. "And even if he could, unless the source of the signal is found, we'll never be able to stop it for good!"
"That would be true," Hiro spoke through their commlink. "Except, we have an ace up our sleeve. Motholivia, you're up!"
"This is officially the best day of my life!" From above, a young woman flew down in a suit of moth-themed armor, still gray as it had yet to be painted, but it was clear what the intent was. "Okay, here goes!" Inside her helmet was a neurotransmitter, and it started to glow as the antennae on her head started vibrating, sending a different set of sonic vibrations towards the Mayoi that caused it to look at her with genuine interest. "That's right, big guy, look at me! I'm your friend!"
"There's more of you now?" Cruz asked with his arms crossed.
"Hey, we've got lives outside of superheroing," Go Go shrugged. "Someone's gotta watch the city while we're being civilians."
Back in the sky, Hiro, Baymax and the newly-christened Motholivia were slowly gaining the Mayoi's allegiance with their combination of sonic vibrations. "Alright, looks like this bad boy's ready to be a good boy!" Olivia exclaimed. "Where're we takin' him?"
"Somewhere away from the city and out of range!" Hiro replied. "Let's head for the ocean!"
"Works for me!" Olivia's antennae vibrated even more, and the Mayoi began cutely trilling as it followed her trajectory. "That's right, just come on this way, we're gonna get you somewhere nice and safe…and make sure your little buddies come too!"
As the Mayoi returned to their benign and adorable nature, they followed their leader away from the city, leaving the city as peacefully as they arrived. Once they were gone, Fred shrieked at the top of his lungs. "That! Was! Awesome!" He clapped with as much gusto as he could muster. "Ladies and gentlemen, we have witnessed the birth of the coolest, the greatest, and in my totally unbiased opinion, the most beautiful superhero ever to grace the face of the Earth! Motholivia!"
"Totally unbiased, huh?" Go Go smirked.
"I'm so happy for you two!" Honey Lemon giggled gleefully. "You guys are two peas in a pod!"
"We sure are, and I can't wait to meet up with her for victory dinner pancakes after this is all over!" Fred swooned at the thought of he and his girlfriend kicking bad guy butt together. "I knew superheroing was our calling."
Several minutes later, the three heroes returned and landed in front of everyone, but without the Mayoi in tow. "It's over." Hiro said in his best superhero voice. "Our newest team member Motholivia instructed it to find a new, isolated place to live. With any luck, the Mayoi will never attack San Fransokyo again."
"Ahem," Olivia cleared her throat as she struck a dramatic pose. "It was an honor to help Big Hero 6, and I look forward to doing everything within my power to protect San Fransokyo from any evildoers who would threaten its safety!"
"I couldn't have said it better myself!" Fred came up from behind her and wrapped her up in a hug. "That was an awesome debut! You were awesome!"
"Aww, thanks!" Olivia blushed behind her mask. "So were you."
"Aaand now it's getting mushy." Go Go groaned. "Let's get going." The speedster skated off with the rest of the team following closely behind.
Only Hiro and Baymax stayed behind to discuss the situation with Chief Cruz. "This was a close call, Chief Cruz. I'm glad we could combine our efforts and put an end to this unforeseen attack."
"Yeah, we were fortunate." Cruz pulled the young hero aside to remain out of earshot of his deputies. "Hiro, do you think we could find some time to talk, man-to-man?"
Hiro's eyes widened slightly. "Uh, sure." He answered in his normal voice. "What's this all about?"
"It's just that I'm…concerned about some things. I want to try and make sure we can come to a sort of…understanding?"
Now Hiro raised an eyebrow. "Regarding?"
Cruz was about to answer, when Kato came running up to him with a worried expression on his face. "Chief! We just got word! There's been a breakout at the maximum security prison!"
Cruz scowled. "Who?"
"According to reports…" Kato looked back and forth between the chief and the hero. "It was the robot Trina, and the gamer villain Hardlight."
"All of this…was a distraction!" Hiro growled in frustration. "Bay-er-Red Panda, scan for Trina and Hardlight!"
"Scanning." After a few moments, Baymax completed the search. "I do not detect Trina, or Hardlight."
"Well that's two more villains at large now." Cruz groaned. "Now the real question is…was this just a means of escape…or do they have something bigger planned?"
"Whatever the answer is," Hiro held his hand out. "We'll figure it out together."
Cruz hesitated to shake the boy's hand, but eventually he accepted the gesture. "I'll be in touch."
Hiro nodded and clambered onto Baymax's back. "Let's head back to base!"
The plan worked flawlessly. Amidst the chaos of the Mayoi attack, the first of many additions to the team had been made. Retrieving the imprisoned head of Trina was an unexpected development, but it could easily be worked around.
It was clear that this villain known as Hardlight harbored a certain…affinity, perhaps even affection. This could easily be exploited. And it would be. After all, it was much easier to have pawns do bidding when it was done out of love, rather than fear. "This will work out nicely. But first, a makeover." The head was placed on a table, and work immediately began on adjusting its appearance to be more…aesthetically pleasing.
Meanwhile, Hardlight had been instructed to wait in an empty room by an eerie and distorted voice. "Okay, so…I've been set free…or kidnapped…by another villain altogether, and I have no idea what they want." Hardlight was feeling rather helpless without his gear. Without it, he was just an easily overlooked scientist. "This could either turn out to be a major buff or a major nerf to my life bar."
"Oh, don't be such a baby."
Hardlight looked at the now open door, and instantly he felt his face heat up. The girl standing in the doorway was very familiar, and yet completely different. "Whoa…"
"You like?" Trina gestured to her new body. "The thing about being a robot, I can adjust myself to be whatever I want to be. I thought it was time for a change." She sauntered up to Hardlight, her now clearly adult body offering a very alluring image for him. "What do you think?"
"H-How'd you know I had a thing for redheads?"
Trina looked at her now long and red hair and smirked. "Call it a hunch, you just seem like the type to appreciate a fiery redhead." She tapped his nose. "Plus, I just wanted to make sure I thanked you for what you said back in jail. It was…very touching."
"Well…I'm glad you're more talkative now." Hardlight smiled genuinely. "So…is this where we go our separate ways or…is there more DLC to this game?"
Trina chuckled. "Well, let's just say that there's some big plans in the works. And I'd like you to be a part of it." Trina went over to a locked box, and from inside her finger came a key, which she used to unlock it and reveal the Hardlight suit, minus the gloves as they'd been confiscated by Big Hero 6. "I wasn't able to swing getting you your gloves, but a genius like you should be able to recreate them in no time, right?"
Hardlight grinned. "Just get me the materials I need, and Hardlight will happily join your party!"
"Awesome." Trina smiled evilly. "Trust me, the plans we have in store will make your video game fantasies seem boring."
"Trina, I like the way you think!" Hardlight burst out into a maniacal cackle, while Trina just watched with amusement.
And back in the barely-lit main chamber of the lair, the pink glow intensified further.