Morning came to the Lucky Cat Café before the customers began coming in for good coffee and food Hiro woke up. He rose sitting in his bed still in his day clothes then first noticed his older brother Tadashi was still asleep in his bed.
'College huh?' Hiro thought smirking. He turned to slide out of bed on his feet to begin walking out of the room while stealing a glance at Megabot. 'Well, I guess I couldn't play on the streets forever. Wait, why are my thoughts so loud?' He walked down the stairs rubbing his head.
"Hiro," his aunt Cass called running up to him for a bear hug.
"Whoa," Hiro said being smothered, "Good morning Aunt Cass."
"Tadashi told me when he brought you home last night that you want to go to SFIT," Cass explained letting him go, "is it true?"
"Yeah," Hiro said, "I had no idea how awesome their robotics lab was, and now…"
"Oh this is great," Cass cheered. "No more bail money for you, just a big old college fund!"
"Yeah," Hiro laughed, "I promise I'll make last night up to you." She grabbed his scalp to pull him in for a forehead kiss.
"You already have," Cass said. "Now go ahead and wash up, breakfast will be ready downstairs." Hiro walked off to the restroom as she went down the last staircase to open up her coffee shop.
Hiro closed the bathroom door behind him and took his shirt right off. But before he touched his pants button, he noticed a difference in his reflection.
'Whoa…' Hiro thought. While he was still skinny, his stomach had been replaced with six-pack abs, and his biceps, to him were massive now. 'I don't know what Aunt Cass has been feeding me but I'll take two more!' Hiro picked out his phone still in his pants pocket from last night and began taking pictures of him flexing and posing. 'Where did I get this bod of a god?'
That's when Tadashi, in a tank top and pajama pants holding clean clothes forgot to knock and opened the door to catch Hiro in the act. First taking notice of his posing and then looked at his brothers' reflection and smartphone.
"Uh…" Tadashi began as Hiro blushed with closed squinting eyes, "Let me know when the gun show's over." And he left seeming to not have noticed Hiro's new muscles.
'I should just wash this shame away,' Hiro thought. He showered, brushed his teeth, applied deodorant, and walked out with a towel wrapped around his waist and his dirty clothes in his arms. The brothers walked passed each other smiling, Tadashi with rolled eyes and Hiro with mild leftover embarrassment.
"Morning," Hiro greeted.
"Good morning John Cena," Tadashi greeted back. Hiro rushed back up the small stairs to their room to change into clean clothes.
'All right but seriously,' Hiro thought, 'why are my thoughts so loud and why do I look like I committed to a gym membership on Mt. Olympus?' He sat down in his desk chair to think further. 'I haven't exercised since sophomore year. I'm not a biologist but puberty and evolution don't work like this.'
"Hey," Tadashi said coming up with a clean body and set of clothes. "So, still wanna know how to get into nerd school?"
"Absolutely," Hiro smiled forgetting his thoughts.
"Good," Tadashi smiled. He went over to his side of the room to find a paper and staple gun. Over a poster of 'Battle Bots,' Tadashi stapled on the wall a flyer of San Fransokyo Institute of Technology for an SFIT Showcase. "Every year the school has a student showcase. You come up with something that blows Callaghan away you're in. But it's gotta be great."
'Something great huh?' Hiro thought. He looked at the SFIT Showcase flyer smirking.
"Trust me," the younger genius said rolling up to his desk, "it will be." He cracked his knuckles and opened a drawer to pull out a notebook. Then picked out a pencil, sharpened it, checked its quality, opened the notebook, and was about to have his pencil touch the paper. But the lead never made an impact and hovered frozen above it.
'Why don't I have an idea,' Hiro thought. 'I've been drawing my original schematics since kindergarten, what's happening to my imagination right now?'
"Already stuck?" Tadashi asked.
"What," Hiro panicked covering his blank paper. "No! Of course not!"
"Well, why don't we start with some brain food?" Tadashi suggested. Breakfast should be ready for us and the rest of the neighborhood by now."
"Right," Hiro stood up from his chair and followed his brother down to the actual café to eat. Throughout their pancakes, Hiro scratched his head in thought.
'Come on brain,' Hiro thought, 'what's wrong with you? Have I been bot fighting for so long I forgot to come up with new ideas?'
"You know you're going to get hair in your syrup if you keep brainstorming like that," Tadashi interrupted his thinking. Hiro sighed and bowed his head.
'Wait,' Hiro thought and slightly looked up at his brother, 'there's an idea.'
"So…" Hiro began, "what did you do for the showcase?"
"Sorry little brother," Tadashi apologized, "but I've helped you out as much as I could. This is your chance to do something with that big brain of yours. All I can do now is get you your sign-up papers so you can participate." Hiro nodded with a tired and disappointed frown. "I gotta get to class."
He dawned on his satchel and stood up.
"I can't wait to see what you've come up with when I get back tonight."
"Thanks," Hiro appreciated weakly, "see you when you get back." Tadashi nodded and began walking out of the café.
"Bye Aunt Cass," Tadashi called.
"Bye sweetie," Cass called back. Hiro finished eating and took both their plates to the kitchen to clean and went back upstairs to his desk, pencil, and blank paper.
'Alright,' Hiro thought, 'they'll want something that would benefit society right? So what would people need? I need an idea, an actual thinking cap?' He draws in the journal a baseball cap with technological details and a light bulb on top. 'Oh my gosh Hiro, that's terrible!'
He rips out the sketch to crumple it up and tosses it on his desk.
'Okay, it has to benefit society and blow Callaghan away… so what would impress him? He was impressed with the magnetic bearing servos I used for Megabot. Maybe something with magnets could come in handy. Like magnetic gauntlets!' So he drew schematics for a pair of gauntlets with padded armor on the back and a red circle centered in the palm.
'No, maybe not for the showcase, not enough panache.' He ripped out, crumpled, and threw the paper.
"Hey future college man," Cass said coming into the room. "I thought you could use some lunch." She set on his desk, a plate with a cheeseburger and fries.
"Wait," Hiro took in with wide eyes, "lunch?" He turned around to see the time on the giant clock on his wall with the robot pointing at the time. "It's already half past noon? I've only had two ideas in the last four hours. Aw, man!" He slammed his forehead on the desk.
"It-it's okay sweetie," Cass patted his back awkwardly, "you'll come up with something. Look you've been cooped up in here anyway, why don't you eat and take a walk to help get the ideas flowing."
"You want me to take a break?" Hiro asked in shock. "No way, I don't take breaks." Cass dropped her concerned look and sneered at her nephew. "Of course what could some fresh air harm?" Hiro began with a French fry as Cass rubbed his head and returned downstairs. After eating, he dawned his jacket, took his plate downstairs to give to Aunt Cass, and went out.
'Now,' Hiro began again on his stroll, 'what will make a great show and be the future of society? A robotics project for sure.' Ahead of Hiro down the sidewalk, a man with a goatee and sunglasses was bitterly walking out of his home with a bitter face with a stuffed duffle.
"Hey jerk face," a woman shouted from the second-floor window, "You forgot a few things!" She pulled herself back in to chuck a through-the-window frame of an acoustic guitar. As the wooden instrument descended, Hiro was still deep in thought as he was half passed her house.
'Maybe a suit or…' A ringing in his ears and a pull in the back of his head interrupted Hiro's thinking. As he looked up, his arm raised and his spread-out hand caught the back of the guitar that almost hit his head. 'How did I…?'
"Oh dude," the ex-boyfriend sighed in relief, "thank you so much."
"Uh, yeah no problem," Hiro said confused. The ex walked over to take back his guitar by the neck but Hiro could not seem to part from it.
"Are you going to give it back to me," the ex asked.
"I'm trying but," Hiro said trying to yank his hands from the back of the guitar, "my fingers are stuck!"
"How are your fingers…" the ex-boyfriend began to ask? But another crash was heard and he let go of his favorite instrument to investigate. "Come on!" As more of his possessions were tossed out the window, Hiro continued struggling with his sticky situation.
'What is going on?' Hiro asked. He tried pushing it off with his other hand but the result was even worse. 'Great now all my fingers are stuck!' Hiro found a set of stairs with a house sans bad break up to sit down on. He lifted his foot, placed it between his hands, and pressed against the guitar while trying to pull and push.
The result was Hiro breaking the guitar in two, still connected to the strings and still stuck to his hands.
'Seriously?' he asked.
"Dude, you broke it anyway," asked the guy getting dumped.
"I-I-I'm sorry," Hiro apologized, "I don't know what's…"
"Are you still not paying attention to me you putz," the girl screamed from the window. "Well, then how about this?" And she continued throwing out his prized possessions.
'Maybe I should just go,' Hiro thought standing up to run as he continued trying to shake off the guitar from his fingers. He ran far enough from the breakup and jerked into an alley where no one could see him. 'What is going on here? Is it the guitar sticking to my fingers or my fingers sticking to the guitar?' Hiro then ceased waving his arms and hyperventilated until he heard his heart rapidly beating.
'Okay Hiro that's enough,' he thought. 'You're smarter than this. Take a breather and calm down.' And once he took his first long exhale, the tension in his fingers vanished and the broken guitar fell and slightly bounced on the concrete. 'What?'
Before making the mistake of picking up the guitar again for examination, Hiro first studied his fingertips. He noticed a small difference in his ten digits then pulled them in closer to his face and squinted his eyes to see fully. All his fingers had immeasurably small stems sticking out the base of the tips.
'Those look like…' Hiro began thinking, 'Spider legs? My Spider bite from last night! It must have come from some biotech lab on campus. Whatever experiments were done to it, it passed its traits down to me through its venom! I passed out to get through the metamorphosis painlessly.'
An epiphany struck and he looked up at the wall behind him. 'I wonder…' He raised his arm and placed one set of fingers up on the wall. He pulled himself up to stick his other five fingers further up while pressing his feet against the diagonal surface. Then limb after limb, he slowly climbed up the wall.
After climbing enough Hiro stopped to slowly look back at the ground smiling. He looked back up and accelerated his climbing until he reached the edge of the roof. For support in pulling himself up, Hiro grabbed onto a chimney pipe but with the smallest strength he crushed it.
'And these new guns aren't just for show,' Hiro flexed back over the street smiling. He hopped onto the roof and pulled out his smartphone for a web search on spider traits and abilities. 'I wonder what else I can do that a spider can. Sticking to walls, check and my new proportionate strength is… a hundred seventy times my weight? And it looks like I managed to catch that guitar with enhanced reflexes and sense of sound.'
'Here's something else, if it was a jumping spider then that means… 'The force on the legs at takeoff can be up to five times the weight of the spider.' Hiro crouched on the roof flexing his thighs and calves. 'Ignition and… liftoff!' Hiro jumped with the wind in his hair longer than when he normally bounces.
Once he reached his maximum height he crouched and landed with his freehand on the floor without any backlash or impact noise from his shoes.
'Incredible,' Hiro thought, 'that had to have been at least three dozen feet!' He stood back up to examine the row of buildings and houses he was on. Pocketing his phone and stepping back to the edge he pulled himself up on, he pressed one foot against the ledge with his other foot kneeling forward. With a smirk, he dashed forward sprinting across the roof. Reaching the other side Hiro took one last step and with the added pressure in his leg he lunged up aiming toward the next building.
But Hiro overstepped and ended up crouching again on the next house over. Slowly the boy turned his head with a rather goofy smile at the distance he had crossed.
"Wahoo," Hiro cheered as he jumped again to the next building with better success. And he hopped to the next and the next, repeatedly crying 'wahoo.'
'This…' Hiro thought racing with his heart, 'is… amazing!' The excitement did not last long though as Hiro reached the last of the chain of houses and small buildings. 'Whoa!' He skidded his shoes to come to a stop on the final edge to look over the street. 'That's a little more than thirty-six feet.'
'I guess it's time for me to… wait.' Hiro pulled out his phone again for a web search; 'where do spiders sprout their webs.' 'I know they don't come out their butts; so… ah so it's called a spinneret. Oh gross, that's what it looks like?' He pocketed his phone again to drag his hands across his entire body.
'Doesn't feel like I grew one of those,' Hiro concluded with relief. 'But I guess that means I can't spin any webs. Or at least not by natural spider means, I can my spinnerets! No wait, spinnerets! I gotta head home!'
He lifted his leg over the ledge to descend onto the sidewalk. 'Wait!' Hiro pulled his leg back to the roof. 'Maybe I should try to keep this quiet. If anyone, or at least whoever was working on that spider found out you can get spider powers through their work, it could cause a hassle.'
Hiro walked back to the other side of the building and hopped wall to wall till he reached the ground and began running home at a normal pace. Returning to the Lucky Cat Café, Hiro walked up to Cass, hugging her while she was serving food at a table of customers.
"Thanks for the advice Aunt Cass," Hiro appreciated her using small force in the hug so he wouldn't crush her. "That walk was just what I needed." Hiro released her and ran upstairs.
"Told ya so," Cass called out to him as he ran and went back to work. Hiro made it to his room and sat in his chair grabbed his pencil and began sketching. When he had finished drawing, the result was a long bracelet with a long trigger where the hand would be sticking out.
'Perfect,' Hiro smiled at the picture, 'it should be more than easy to assemble in the garage. I just need… wait… an adhesive to shoot out a gadget like this would be tricky. And I have no idea how to make a formula to make knockoff spider webs.' He ripped out the paper and slid it aside. 'Maybe I could try something else, something that could swing me from points A to B.'
He lay back in his desk chair and wandered off to catch a glance at Megabot.
'Magnetic Bearing Servos of course,' Hiro realized and began sketching another gauntlet, once finished he held it up grinning. 'Now this will do! Wait… this is meant to support me specifically with my new powers. If anyone else were to use it they could get hurt if they're not coordinated enough. And not to mention I could give myself away with these.'
'Maybe I'll save these for later.' Hiro ripped out the new blueprint, took the first gauntlet picture, and brought them over to his bed. Underneath he pulled out a small case with a combination lock, opened it, and added the papers to a stack of drawings already inside. Hiro slid the case back under his bed and sat back in his chair.
'Okay,' Hiro thought with a pencil in hand and staring at the paper, 'what kind of invention can change the world?'
Closing time had come to the Lucky Cat Café and later Tadashi Hamada came in through the side door and up the stairs to the kitchen where his shared Aunt Cass was cooking.
"I'm back," Tadashi called out under the confusion of a banging noise in his room.
"Welcome home," Cass greeted. "Dinner will be ready soon, but you're just in time to help your brother out. I did all I could have him go on a walk."
"I'm on it," Tadashi said. He took his baseball cap off as he took sight of his little brother banging his head repeatedly on his desktop riddled with crumpled-up papers. Tadashi closed behind him a Japanese screen door that divided their beds and changed into his pajamas. He opened the screen, took out a magazine from his shelf, and lay down in his bed to read. "So… come up with anything good?"
"Nothing," Hiro answered still hitting his head. "No ideas… useless… empty… brain!" Hiro ceased hitting his head on the last word.
"Wow," Tadashi said turning the page in his magazine, "washed up at fourteen, so sad."
"I got nothing," Hiro, said lying back in his chair slouching as Tadashi hopped out of bed. "I'm done! I'm never getting in."
"Hey," Tadashi said spinning his chair for a face-to-face, "I'm not giving up on you." Tadashi grabbed Hiro by his ankles pulling him out of the chair. He spun his little brother around and hung his legs on his shoulders.
"Whoa," Hiro freaked. "What are you doing?"
"Shake things up," Tadashi said jumping around all of a sudden. "Use that big brain of yours to think your way out!"
"What," Hiro asked lifting his back.
"Look for a new angle," Tadashi tried explaining again after he stopped bouncing. Hiro groaned and relaxed his back with his arms down toward the ground.
'Typical Tadashi,' Hiro thought. 'If only he knew…' Before he could finish thinking, Tadashi accidentally set him up with another view of his Megabot. Hiro cocked his head at the smiling drone with another thought.
"You know," Hiro, said to his brother, "I think I might have something."