Hey guys! I'm super sorry about the wait in posting, it's end of term and we've been really busy…enjoy though!
Silverfox02029: tsym! good to see you're not dead 😂 yes, the unhelpful summary was intentional, hopefully you enjoy it though! about Honey's injuries, it's probably that, while she is hurt and in a lot of pain, she refuses to show it. she doesn't want to be a burden on anyone. as for tadashi's help while visually impaired, honey's probably watched tadashi work enough times that she knows how to do things. tadashi also isn't totally blind, so he could probably see enough to help her. about the sleeping pills, baymax might be equipped with some melatonin capsules, but one of the team might also have a prescription for them (which sharing them is of course dangerous, but since when has BH6 done safe things?).
I stand behind the counter, nervously drumming my fingers on the surface as I hand out donuts to customers. I'm sure Hiro just fell asleep in the library or wherever he went, but I don't know—it really seems like something more serious. I'm so worried about my baby brother.
During a break between customers, my ears pick up on snatches of the news. Bluff Dunder's distinctive voice floats through the café, and my eyes widen at the news story he decides to share.
"Good morning, San Fransokyo. This is Bluff Dunder, reporting on the biggest story of the day—or even the month. The vigilante group known as Big Hero 6 was sighted last night on the corner of Fifth and Main, and police forces attempted to apprehend them. When officers were injured, they began firing on the vigilantes. It was nearly another unsuccessful attempt, but the San Fransokyo PD managed to shoot down and capture the robot that is an integral part of Big Hero 6. The bot appears to have very advanced security, and the police are still attempting to divulge its secrets. While no progress has been made yet, this is a significant victory for the police department.
"But with it comes devastating news—the rest of Big Hero 6 escaped, and they are believed to have kidnapped two teenagers, both fourteen years of age and pictured below. Hiro Hamada, a robotics student at the San Fransokyo Institute of Technology, and Megan Cruz, the police chief's journalist daughter, were both reported missing last night. Their families are desperate for their return, and the police urge every citizen with information about the whereabouts of Big Hero 6 to come forward and inform them of it. There will be a three-thousand-dollar reward for any information that leads them closer to the children's location. We beseech you, dear citizens, to help us in our search.
"According to Diego Cruz, Chief of Police in San Fransokyo, Big Hero 6 are a public nuisance that must be stopped. They have gone so far as to be considered criminals and are being charged with two counts of kidnapping, as well as destruction of property and causing public unrest. Again, if anyone has any information about their identities or their whereabouts, please come forward. Your contribution will be greatly appreciated.
"That's all for today, folks. This is Bluff Dunder, and we hope we'll be able to bring you better news tomorrow."
If I could see the screen, I'd be staring at it in horror. I was right. Hiro has been kidnapped. And Megan too—Hiro has told me about her, and they seem like very close friends. I hope Big Hero 6 hasn't hurt them.
As soon as Aunt Cass comes to take over my counter shift, I place a hand on her shoulder and whisper, "We need to talk."
"Why?" she asks. "It's the busiest time of day."
"It's really important," I insist. "Hiro's been kidnapped."
The café closes down for the rest of the day, and Aunt Cass and I sit on my bed together and cry, desperately begging God to bring Hiro home safely.
"I reported him missing last night," Aunt Cass chokes out. "I thought I was probably overreacting, but I was—I was right. I should have made him stay home, but now—now he's gone. And I'm so worried, Tadashi—I'm so scared Hiro's never going to come home."
"They'll find him," I whisper. "He'll be okay."
But deep down inside, I have the same fear. We have to find Hiro. The police mean well, but they never find kidnapped children.
I don't want to break the law, but I think the time is coming for me to become a vigilante.
I'd have to be very careful, because while vigilantism itself isn't illegal, almost all things vigilantes do are. Still, it can't be that hard to avoid breaking the law.
But Big Hero 6 has done just that. They were trying to protect San Fransokyo, and now they're considered criminals. They very much deserve to be apprehended.
A burning rage starts in my gut as I think of the people who kidnapped my baby brother. They need to be brought to justice, and I'll do anything it takes to make sure they are.
But something doesn't seem right.
I'm not sure it was Big Hero 6 that kidnapped Hiro. They've only ever tried to protect the city, even if there was considerable collateral damage. They may be vigilantes, but I'm pretty sure they're good people. Somehow, I don't think they kidnapped Hiro and Megan.
But if they didn't, who did?
Aunt Cass goes into her room to call the police again and provide them with a more detailed description of Hiro—people have to be able to recognize him easily. I retreat to my room too and try to call Honey, but she isn't picking up. Sighing, I roll over on my bed and wince as a slight pain flares in my upper arm. Wait—what happened to it? I don't remember bruising it.
I gently press on the tender area, discovering that it is indeed bruised. It hurts like it does when I get my blood drawn—but I haven't had that done in months. Even so, it still feels like a needle went into my skin. And that definitely wasn't there yesterday...
Did someone...give me a shot?
No, that can't be right...
But that's the only logical explanation—and yet it's completely implausible. There's no way someone could have given me a shot in the middle of the night. I would know.
Or would I?
I sigh again and flop down onto my pillows, putting my other arm over my face. Nothing makes any sense—I'm probably just trying to come up with an explanation for why my arm hurts when I most likely just slept on it weird or something. It's not like someone could come in and give me a shot. There's no way. They'd have to sneak past Aunt Cass or climb in through my window, and I definitely would have woken up. Or I hope I would—Hiro has told me that I wouldn't wake up if a bomb went off in my face and the house collapsed. I told him of course I wouldn't, because I'd be dead. Honestly, though, I think I would have noticed if people came into our room in the middle of the night to stab me with a needle.
Trying to put the matter from my mind, I try texting all my friends, but none of them respond. Then I resort to calls—first Hiro, then Honey, then Fred and Wasabi and GoGo. None of them pick up. And where the heck is Baymax? I hope the kidnappers didn't take him too.
I bury my face in my hands and try not to cry. I have no idea what's going on or where my baby brother is or if my friends have all abandoned me. I don't know what to do.
Sighing, I pull off my do-rag and let the faint light shine into my eyes. I can see a little better now, with silhouettes and shadows filling my vision. At least it's getting better—I don't know what I'd do if I was permanently blind. The realization that my vision is slowly but surely coming back calms me slightly.
As I lay there on my bed, I wonder for the umpteenth time why Hiro went out last night. I'm absolutely certain he didn't go to the library to study—so where the frick did he actually go? It's almost like it was planned—Hiro left at just the right time for Big Hero 6 to kidnap him. I mean, he wouldn't do something like that on purpose, but the whole thing seems really well put together. Why did Hiro go out at exactly the wrong time? Was it a coincidence, or...
Then it hits me.
The last time Hiro went out on his own, there was a Big Hero 6 sighting near Good Luck Alley. Before that, there was one at KreiTech.
Every time Hiro goes to "study," someone manages to spot Big Hero 6—which means he's involved with the vigilantes somehow. I can see two possibilities—either Hiro is a top-secret agent and is spying on Big Hero 6 to help the police catch them, or...
Or he's a vigilante himself.
And given Hiro's stubborn, brilliant, protective nature, I can see it. My baby brother would go against anything and anyone to protect his city and the people he loves.
But if I'm right—and I'm almost never wrong—then Hiro doesn't understand the consequences. Vigilantes would be prosecuted by the police if they broke the law in any way, even if they did help save the whole city.
I need to talk to Hiro. I have to find him. I need to tell him to be safe, to be careful. To come home. I'm sure he feels like he has to sort things out on his own, but he needs to understand that it's not his job to stop all crime in San Fransokyo.
If he doesn't...
The streets of San Fransokyo are dark and deserted, and a light rain begins to fall as I walk home from the police station. I wouldn't be walking if Big Hero 6 hadn't run off with my cruiser—those blasted heroes decided it would be a good idea to use it as a getaway car.
Honestly, we lost a lot last night. The car is nowhere to be found, several officers are injured, half of Main Street has been blown apart...and my daughter is gone. Big Hero 6 obviously kidnapped Megan, as well as Hiro, her best friend. Both of them went missing last night, and I can think of no other logical explanation for their disappearances. I hope Big Hero 6 hasn't hurt them—they don't seem like they would, but one can never be too careful.
I finger the gauze taped over my forehead as I trudge along the cracked sidewalk. Almost all the officers in my division were injured, some of them badly. I escaped most of the damage, but so many officers didn't. Thankfully, no one was killed, and the attempt to capture Big Hero 6 wasn't a complete loss. I feel a small twinge of satisfaction at the fact that we managed to capture the vigilantes' robot. I don't know where their leader went after we shot him and his robot down, but what we have is enough for now. We just need to find out how to hack into the bot and bypass its security, so we can retrieve all the information we need.
When I finally reach my house, I catch sight of two figures standing in the shadows. I stiffen and peer into the darkness surrounding my front door, wondering who these people are and what they want. The rain begins to fall more heavily as I call out, "Who's there?"
Two people step into the faint glow of the streetlamp, dressed in dark clothes and looking suspiciously like burglars.
"Hello, Chief," says the one on the right, a tall, angular, dark-skinned woman. "We've come to offer you information on Big Hero 6."
"We believe you will find it quite useful," adds the figure on the left, a pale man with dark eyes and high cheekbones. "After all, the information we have is...extensive, and we believe we may have discovered the identities of the heroes you are so desperately seeking."
"Have you really," I murmur. "Well, I'm anxious to know about it. But first—who are you?"
"We'd prefer to remain anonymous," says the woman. "But we would still like to assist the police department in their search for Big Hero 6 and their captives."
"I'd appreciate any information you can give me," I tell her. "Please, come back to the police station with me—we can arrange an interview."
I'm kind of annoyed that I have to walk all the way back to the police station, but if I can get the information I need, it doesn't matter. I'll do anything that brings me closer to finding Megan.
When we reach the station, I lead the man and the woman into an interviewing room. They both sit down and pull out two manila folders, one very thick and one seeming to contain nothing.
The woman opens the thick folder to reveal pages and pages of files, maps, idea webs, and neatly written notes. The man's folder contains a single chip, dark purple with a strange symbol outlined in red. It almost looks like a dragon's face, with one eye and its mouth wide open, showing bared teeth.
"Does this room have a computer?" the man asks in a silky voice. "All of my information is stored on this chip, but I can plug it in to access it."
"Of course," I tell him, gesturing to the ten-feet-across holographic computer mounted on the wall. "There's a port on the side."
The man pushes the chip into the port, and I watch as the computer lights up with what looks like a digital conspiracy wall—complete with red yarn. There are pictures of Big Hero 6—still masked, though—and maps of their sightings, articles and even detailed scans of each member.
"This is incredible," I whisper. "How have you come by this information?"
"We watch," the woman says simply. "We observe. And we do not let them see us."
"We'll explain everything to you," the man tells me. "But first—we'd like the police department to promise to assist us in our investigation of Big Hero 6. We believe that we could all work together well, and we'd like to combine your authority with our information. I promise you, there is no one with more information on Big Hero 6 than us. What do you say, Chief Cruz?"
"I'll ally myself with anyone who helps me find my daughter and Hiro," I agree. "You have a deal."
The man stretches out a hand, and I shake it, then do the same to the woman.
"Now," says the man, and a jolt of horror runs through me as the left half of his face glows. "Where to begin?"