Chapter 36, everybody! A little late in the day but my batteries kinda went blaah today, sorry.
Moving on…Obake regrets Fred knowing his phone number, and yes that's the same mace but I don't recommend using the spray in your cooking. Also no ironing silk it doesn't like that and yes talking it out does help I've had more than one instance where I was chatting about a story with someone and going 'well if this happened it would have to be because this and this happened and—wait where's a pen.' XD
In other news I don't know if Orso Knox is a professor or not but for some reason my mind defaulted to that and refuses to be moved. Looking up his information on the wiki, he's a rich guy who likes Shakespeare a lot, so I'm not sure where me thinking he's a professor comes from. Ah well, he needs something to do. Fred's channeling Finbar Wrong from the Skulduggery Pleasant series there, by the way, specifically book 2 (don't read past The Dying of the Light if you look into this series, by the way, quality after that drops so fast it makes a whistling noise). In other news, I'm mainly a pantser with some planner overtones but I do enjoy it when I actually take the time to write an outline (gotta do that more often).
Moving on, continuing coverage of the remora robot and some well-deserved salt thrown at Game Freak. Also yes it was a thing on the original CSI—a blind guy gave an account of a murder on a plane, which I remember because he played by Uncle Phil from The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. Hiro also references Kung-Fu Panda 2 and Fred quotes the first Back to the Future movie. The why would you bet that/it's a sure thing exchange is something my parents have done before, as is the you said it, not me exchange—that one was my Mom at one of Dad's more problematic coworkers.
Also what do you mean Dr. Amara is in her twenties I figured she was at least a decade older did everyone in the BH6-verse eat their Wheaties or what.
Big Hero 6 © 2014 Disney
The next several days settled back into an almost comfortable routine that made Obake long for the summer, when he thought that all he really had to do was adjust to this new life. If only he didn't have that looming catastrophe hanging over his head, he could almost enjoy it.
Because he was starting to enjoy himself, working with Hiro on his project, helping the brothers with the squid (and the giant kaiju, Fred hadn't been kidding)…even movie night had been…not terrible, National Treasure had been intellectual enough that he had enjoyed the whole thing for once.
Less enjoyable was Fred calling him and insisting on discussing 'his fic.'
"Fred, not now," Obake groused.
"Is he calling about the squid again?" Tadashi asked, busy with the dishes.
"You hush," Obake said, flapping the notepad he was supposed to be taking inventory with at him.
"My dude, just letting you know that I got a hold of some of those comics, my online contacts didn't fail me," Fred said. "Although the good news is, what I was able to get from the online summaries is about what they say, so we're not entirely operating without that information. Any thoughts on the third thing? And then if the protagonist loses the third thing what does the protagonist do about the question mark? Like if you can do anything to slow the baddie down I think you should, otherwise it leaves the question of 'well why didn't they just do this?' and you don't want your readers asking that question my dude."
It took Obake longer than he cared to admit to realize that Fred was still talking about his so-called 'story' that he was writing. "Fred, I don't really feel comfortable discussing this over the phone."
"Dude, why not?"
Why indeed—can't exactly explain that there was a chance the 'antagonist' could be listening in, scanning for any mention of Shimamoto whatsoever. "Let's start with two eavesdropping brothers who'd never let me live this down if they knew."
"What?" Tadashi called. "You mean I could use this as blackmail?"
In response, Obake grabbed a container of spice, leaning out of the pantry to brandish it at Tadashi. "Don't make me find out if this is the same mace that goes in the defensive spray."
"It is, be careful with that," Cass said, breezing by as she attended to the dinner rush.
"Ah," Fred noised. "My dude I'm sure they'd be cool with it—I mean they are friends with me and you are writing a superhero story starring them so…."
Very doubtful, but it sounded like Fred got interrupted on his end. "Hold on my dude—just ironing my cummerbund! Okay so we're probably going to have to cut this short but maybe Noodle Burger for lunch tomorrow so we can go over this because from experience, my dude, talking it out helps and you can tell when the person has talked themselves into figuring it out because they get this look and then they go 'oh crud I need a pen and paper'—"
"Firstly, Fred, you don't iron a cummerbund, it's made of silk," Obake said. "Secondly…why."
"Oh—oh so that's good to know no wonder Heathcliff always gives me a weird look about that," Fred said. "Anywho, dinner date with a dude named Orso Knox, apparently he's a Shakespeare nerd which is good because like he teaches the subject at SFU for funzies so that's nice—wait what'd I do with my cummerbund."
"I hope you're not asking me, because the last time I saw it you were wearing it."
"Same, dude. Okay so it's not on me now…."
"Fred, if this is going to be the extent of the conversation I'm hanging up."
"Oh right—so I'm guessing by this point in the story we're really feeling the repercussions of the changes and stuff so we're like…in uncharted territory, mostly."
"Mostly." Ever since he had saved Tadashi, if we were to be brutally honest.
"Okay so do we have like a plan or are you more of a pantser?"
"I'm sorry, what did you call me?"
"Pantser—it's short for 'seat of your pants.' Like there's two schools of writing, outlining and planning and the other end, writing by the seat of your pants. A lot of people are somewhere in the middle like it's nice to have a plan but when the story throws you a curveball you've got to be ready and—"
Obake yanked the phone away from his ear at the sound of something crashing, Fred exclaiming, and some deep voice bellowing "What's past is prologue!" Glare at the phone, put it back to his ear. "Fred, what are you watching?" he demanded.
Fred took a beat to answer. "My dude I'm gonna have to call you back."
"Fred—Fred." Glare at the phone and the call ended note, stuck his head back out the pantry. "Tadashi Hamada, you have weird friends."
"And yet they have your phone number," Tadashi teased. "So what does that say about you, I wonder."
It said that in retrospect, he should have kept all this to himself. Oi vey.
So in other news, Hiro was thrilled to death that Obake agreed to come to school with him, at least for his lab hours—this was important to his working scheme of getting Obake to start attending SFIT and it wasn't for lame reasons like Tadashi had it was for cool reasons because every time they worked together was awesome and having this at SFIT which was fully-stocked was even better. Besides, Obake was the one always telling him that if he wanted something he should figure out a way to get it, so technically this was Obake's idea.
Not that he was telling him this right now—maybe once he was in properly he'd be all smug about it, but until then he was too busy enjoying this.
"Okay so we've got the locomotion down and the coating," Hiro said, poking at his notes. "Still stuck on the biometric sucker—like I could render down Baymax's stuff but that's more visual-based." Grumble, resting his chin on his notebook. "The worst part is Karmi made something that actually covers it perfectly, but I'd rather take an F than ask her for help."
"We could always steal it," Obake pointed out.
"Pretty sure Granville would fail me. Plus then Karmi would know, and I'd rather rub being better than her in her face."
"And understandable," Obake admitted.
"Oh hey, Obake!" Honey Lemon exclaimed, startled. "What are you doing here?"
"I invited him," Hiro said. "We're trying to figure out the biometric sucker."
"How's that going?" Wasabi asked, heading by.
"It's a work in progress," Obake supplied.
"Yeah pretty much," Hiro admitted.
"Don't worry, you'll get it," Honey Lemon said. "Also," she added, tugging a sheet out of her purse. "I couldn't find any barracuda stickers, so I decided to make some and print them out."
Obake took it, looking it over with a studiously blank face; Hiro leaned over to see a lot of smiley-faced barracudas, many with hearts.
"That's…really something, Honey Lemon," Obake managed finally.
"Yeah," Hiro agreed. "You know Arrokuda exists right?"
"Yeah, but apparently the Pokémon Company hasn't made stickers for them yet," Honey Lemon said.
"Look, after they stopped including every Pokémon in the games my trust for them has bottomed out," Tadashi said, looking over the data for Baymax again.
"Pokémon and Disney—seems that's your childhood ruined," Obake observed.
"Yeah, it sucks," Tadashi sighed—looked up sharply when Fred came barreling in.
"My DUDES I got some important news!" Fred exclaimed, waving a handful of papers everywhere. "San Fransokyo has a bona-fide MONSTER!"
"We're still working on it, Fred," Hiro told him.
"Dude no—I'm talking like, flesh and blood monster," Fred said, waving everyone over to the table Hiro and Obake were sitting at. "It looked like someone took a dinosaur and a whale, put it in a blender, poured it into a human-shaped mold, let it thaw a bit and slapped some hair on it. Here I drew pictures so we can start going around and questioning people."
"Fred, we're coming up on Halloween," Wasabi said as Hiro looked at the sketch. Okay so Fred wasn't half-bad at drawing but still. "Think maybe it was a guy in a costume?"
"Dunno man, it just slammed straight through my wall," Fred said, gesturing broadly. "Just slammed through it, yelled—wait I wrote it down it seemed important—yelled 'what's past is prologue' and then ran back out. Not sure what that's supposed to mean."
"Wait," Obake said. "Is that what I heard over the phone?"
"Yeah!" Fred said, pointing. "See my dudes? I have a witness."
"I didn't actually see this, you realize."
"Yeah, but you're like…an earwitness."
"That'll never hold up in court."
"Actually it would," Hiro told him. "It's been a thing on CSI before."
Obake's retort was cut off by Gogo coming in. "Guys, brace yourselves—Granville's coming and she's acting really weird."
"Oop gotta go," Obake said, ducking out.
"Hey," Hiro protested—too late, gone. Look at Gogo. "What kind of really weird?"
That—was answered by Granville sliding into the room, looking giddy. Granville never looked giddy, this was either an imposter or a bad sign.
"Woah, Professor—" Tadashi started—squawked when she started straightening him up.
"Look sharp, everyone!" she barked, still too gleeful for Hiro to fully make the connection between regular Granville and whatever this was. "The Liv Amara, CEO and founder of Sycorax, is coming here!"
"Dr. Liv Amara?" Honey Lemon asked. "I've heard a lot about her, she's really accomplished for being so young!"
"And not a total fake like Trengrove turned out to be," Gogo muttered under her breath.
"She's funding SFIT's new bio-tech center," Granville said, moving on to straightening Hiro's hair—a losing battle, from experience. "We'll be naming it in her honor at a ceremony later in the week, I expect to see you in your Sunday best, and she's heard about Baymax and wants to meet him and yourself, Mr. Hamada."
"Really?" Tadashi asked, looking and sounding a little floored.
"Yes, so I expect you all to be on your best behavior while she's here, if all goes well you will have a sponsor for your invention, so again, I expect all of you to be on your best. Behavior."
"And, she's back," Hiro said—also relieved, but probably better if he didn't say anything.
"Indeed," Granville said, arching an eyebrow at him. Directed her attention to Fred. "Mr. Fredrickson."
"I swear I'll wear my cummerbund just as soon as I can find it," Fred assured her.
"I suppose I'll have to accept that," she sighed. "Now if you'll excuse me, I have to greet Dr. Amara, she should be arriving any minute." Sped out. "Best! Behavior!"
"So…that was something," Wasabi said.
"But Baymax could be funded—that'd be great!" Honey Lemon said to Tadashi.
"Yeah," Tadashi said, unconsciously straightening his clothes. "Baymax, hang on, we've got to polish you up real quick."
"Tadashi, your heart rate is elevated," Baymax said. "Scans indicate that you are: excited."
"Well yeah—Dr. Amara—"
"Dr. Amara is coming here!" Karmi cheered. "She is the leading bio-engineer in the world and she is coming! Here!"
Okay so that took all the excitement out of meeting Dr. Amara for Hiro. "And you're telling us why?" Hiro demanded.
"I'm making rounds, Zero—you're not special," Karmi countered.
"Have you ever considered majoring in Broadcasting?" Fred asked her.
"Anyway hopefully I'll be able to show her my extradermal nano-receptors," Karmi continued. "By the way, how's the knockoff version going?"
"Get lost, Karmi," Hiro bit back.
"Hey, kids, play nice," Tadashi ordered. "Karmi, Dr. Amara is coming here to check out Baymax, you can get your project and a number and come back."
"Tadashi," Hiro protested. Come on, you'd think his brother would be on his side!
"I've already got it," Karmi said, patting her purse. "I didn't want to be caught flatfooted."
"Okay then I'm going to have to ask you two to play nice so the impressionable CEO doesn't walk in on you bickering," Tadashi said.
"We do not bicker—this is him in the crushing grip of reason," Karmi said. "A CEO of a bio-engineering company would be more interested in a bio-tech major's project."
"Tadashi is a robotics major," Hiro countered.
"Tadashi also made a functioning healthcare robot—you're still stuck on the scanner that's supposed to read biometrics."
"I'm working on it," Hiro replied, aware he was sounding huffy.
"Friendly reminder that it took me almost a hundred tries to get Baymax working," Tadashi called over.
"Guys it's not a competition," Honey Lemon said. "Whatever Dr. Amara decides, that's on her, not you."
"But she'd totally pick mine," Hiro shot at Karmi.
"Oh really?" Karmi asked, arms crossed. "Let's make a bet then—if she picks your project over mine I'll give you one of my nano-receptors to reverse-engineer."
Hiro blinked at that, thrown. "Why would you bet that?"
"Because I know it's a sure thing," she said, way too smug for his tastes. "But if she picks me—which she will…oh gee, I don't know, I'll think of something."
"Don't take it," Gogo counselled from her workbench. "Never take a bet with open-ended payouts."
Okay that was a point. "If she picks you…eh…I take back what I said about your fanfics?"
"Nope," Karmi said. "It has to be an equal trade."
"Like you want any of my tech."
"I didn't say that."
Oi vey—debate, didn't want to actually commit but dangit he wanted to see the egg on her face—
A locker door behind her eased open, Obake slipping out and up behind her—leaned in next to her ear, hands laced behind his back. "Boo."
Okay that was probably petty but Hiro couldn't help but share in Obake's cackling at Karmi shrieking and spinning around—ah right, they hadn't met yet. Settle in to watch the show, regretting that he didn't have popcorn handy.
"Do you mind?" Karmi demanded. "Who are you, and where did you even come from?"
"No, I didn't mind," Obake said, straightening up and looking down his nose at her; he was maybe a couple of inches taller than her at best, but he acted like he should be towering over her (Hiro was going to have to ask how to pull that off later). Look her up and down before looking at Hiro. "So this is Karmi. I've heard quite a bit about you," he told her.
Karmi squinted at him, looking between him and Hiro before settling back on Obake. "None of it good, I'm guessing."
"You said it, not me."
"Obake, play nice," Tadashi called over.
Karmi made a face at him. "Seriously? Ghost?" Looked at Fred, who had somehow produced chips for watching the show.
"My dudette, I am flattered that you think I'm responsible for every cool name out there, but he was thusly named when I met him," Fred said.
Karmi didn't look like she believed that, looked like Obake's aura was making her increasingly uncomfortable, especially as he paced around her and dug another barb in. "Let's be real here, Karmi, your particular choice of majors just isn't interesting in comparison—doesn't lend itself to anything particularly useful."
"Excuse me?" Karmi demanded—nerves from Obake warring with him baiting her. "Studying viruses and pathogens doesn't strike you as useful? I'll remember that the next time you're sick because you were too stupid to get a vaccine."
"So you admit that you poisoned Hiro earlier in the year."
"It was cold and flu season!" Karmi spat.
"How convenient, the perfect blind, and if anyone asked it was just the common cold."
Karmi was obviously running hot at that—was cut off by Honey Lemon intervening and steering her away. "OKAY we're breaking away and cooling off now," the chemistry major announced.
"And just when I had her in the crushing grip of reason too," Obake sighed.
"So that was fun to watch," Hiro said, grinning. "I especially liked the part where you accused her of weaponizing her viruses against me, mostly because I'm sure it's true. Fred, what are you doing?"
"I'm writing this down, this is good stuff," Fred said, jotting something down in a notepad. "Now to come up with a good supervillain name…."
"In the meantime," Obake said, holding something out to Hiro and waving it a little.
"Oh," Hiro noised, recognizing one of Karmi's nano-receptors. "Oh that's tempting."
"Nope," Tadashi said, snatching it away and crossing the lab. "Karmi, you missed one."
"Your brother is no fun at all," Obake told Hiro.
"I know," Hiro groused. Blinked at Obake's watch beeping. "What's that?"
"Granville—gotta go," Obake said, checking his watch.
"My dude, I'm pretty sure she'd be cool with you," Fred said.
Something about the way Obake looked at him said he found that statement ironic. "Ah, but if she never sees me, she never has to decide yay or nay."
"You realize you're hiding in a closet," Gogo pointed out.
"And I reserve the right to tease you for it."
Obake rolled his eyes at that. "Like I've never heard that before."
"Okay so I've never actually considered his orientation before but if I had to guess it'd be that one meme," Wasabi said as Obake tugged the door shut.
"What meme?" Hiro asked.
"Swings both ways. Violently. With a baseball bat."
"Sounds about right," Obake called.
"Wasabi that's my orientation," Gogo said.
"And while I don't doubt that, you haven't exactly cornered the market on it," Wasabi told her.
"Give me a couple of days."
Tadashi was coming back over and looked like he dearly wanted to comment—was cut off by Granville coming back in, a blonde lady in a red dress trailing behind.
"Ooh, it's the lady in the Matrix simulation," Fred observed. "Where's Hugo Weaving?"
"Mr. Fredrickson," Granville said sternly, in her no-nonsense tone. "Attention students, I have the distinct pleasure of introducing Dr. Liv Amara, CEO and founder of Sycorax. You'll recall our earlier conversation."
"Oh come on, Grace, you don't have to be so stern," Dr. Amara said, patting her arm. "So which one of you is Tadashi?"
"Uh, yeah, that's me," Tadashi said, stepping forward and offering his hand—winced at Granville arching an eyebrow at him. "Oh right, etiquette—"
"It's all right," Dr. Amara said, shaking his hand. "I heard you made quite the healthcare robot—"
"Oh yeah Baymax—right over here—"
"The other students here would like to show you their projects as well," Granville informed her. "We can do a quick run-through before giving you the tour of the new bio-tech hall."
"Sounds good," Dr. Amara said, flashing her a winning smile.
Hiro couldn't help but drum his fingers nervously as Tadashi presented Baymax, answering every question Dr. Amara had—he was so tempted to run over there and blurt out his own ideas but he knew how important this was to Tadashi, and maybe after he got in good with Sycorax he could mention Hiro's project—getting Dr. Amara's input on the biometric scanner would definitely sting less than getting Karmi's help—
"And this is the other Mr. Hamada, Hiro," Granville said, alerting Hiro to the fact that Tadashi's presentation was over and Dr. Amara was standing next to Granville, looking studiously polite. "Mr. Hamada."
Hiro immediately had his project up. "So—the uh—my project is basically a non-invasive way to monitor shark populations and—"
"And that's nice," Dr. Amara said, checking her watch. "Grace, we're going to have to pick this up if we're going to tour the bio-tech hall today."
Hiro blinked as Dr. Amara breezed on to the next person, barely registering Granville's apologetic glance.
"And it'll be a great way to learn more about sharks and keep them safe from jerks who cut off their fins for stupid soup," Hiro muttered, dropping his project on the table. "Great chat." Immediately felt bad about dropping it, cracked it open to make sure he didn't jostle the wiring—
Stared when Dr. Amara walked back out, a grinning Karmi in tow.
"So…that was something," Tadashi said, coming over once they had left. "You okay?"
"Me? Yeah, fine," Hiro said, focusing back on the wiring and ignoring how the edges of his vision started going fuzzy. "Yeah, why wouldn't I be? She just totally shut down my whole presentation. I'm peachy."
"She shut down everyone who wasn't doing something bio-related," Gogo said. "Don't feel special."
"My project had bio-tech involved!" Hiro squawked—dangit don't get worked up over this. "Forget it, it's obvious she has no taste."
"Uh, hey," Tadashi said. "She liked Baymax, so she has some taste. Hey," he said, putting a hand on Hiro's shoulder and crouching a bit to look him in the eye. "Your project is a good idea, if she doesn't see it that's her loss, don't worry about it."
"I'm not worried about it."
"You're worried about it," Gogo said, heading for the 3D printer.
"I'm not," Hiro protested.
"I mean to be fair you didn't actually commit to the bet with Karmi," Fred offered.
Hiro groaned, thunking his head on his worktable. "Thanks, Fred, I didn't need that reminder."
"You'll be fine, Hiro," Tadashi said, rubbing his back.
Glad someone thought so. Laid there, eyes closed, focusing on getting his emotions back under control—
"You know, so long as we keep it to ourselves, revenge isn't completely off the table."
Roll his head a little to look at Obake. "Revenge on Karmi, or on Dr. Amara?"
"Who said we had to choose?" Obake asked.
Ooh that was tempting. "I'll think about it."