The next morning after a quick shower, change of clothes, and breakfast, Hiro took his Megabot to the workshop in his garage. He set the little robot on the counter and began working on his newest project for the SFIT Showcase. For the next two weeks, the genius prodigy spent his time designing, programming, welding, and constructing. Sometimes he would use the abilities he gained from the spider to work on his tablet upside down from the ceiling. After the second day Tadashi paid a visit to assist him, keeping his powers secret he stayed on the ground with company present.
The day after he had a trash can filled with the product, but Hiro felt he needed more so he continued working. The process became second nature to him so on the fourth day he managed to fill two trash cans with the product. But it was still not enough. However, after filling the third trash can Hiro crashed asleep at his computer desk in the garage. The next morning, he filled only one trash can as he decided to work from another angle to improve the product.
Following for the remainder of the two weeks, Hiro's new friends from San Fransokyo Tech; Gogo, Wasabi, Honey Lemon, and Fred would visit to assist him with Tadashi. In the end, Hiro had a total of twelve trash cans filled with the at-last finished product. Hiro and his brother celebrated by blowing up a fist bump before heading over to campus. The two brothers and their four friends took and rolled the filled trashcans into the building. Inside were inventors showing off their life's work in their booths.
"Wow," Tadashi said rolling his trashcan next to his brother, "a lot of sweet techs here today. How ya feeling?"
"You're talking to an ex-bot fighter," Hiro bragged, "takes a lot more than this to rattle me."
"Yep," Gogo said rolling her trashcan behind them next to Honey Lemon, "he's nervous."
"Oh," Honey Lemon said sweetly.
"You have nothing to fear little fella," Fred said with his trashcan behind them next to Wasabi.
"He's so tense," Honey Lemon finished.
"No, I'm not," Hiro smiled.
"Relax Hiro," Honey Lemon told him, "your tech is amazing! Tell him Gogo."
"Stop whining," Gogo told him, "woman up."
"I'm fine," Hiro smiled.
"What do you need little man?" Wasabi asked. "Deodorant, breath mint, fresh pair of underpants?"
"Underpants?" Gogo asked as they reached the main stage at the far end of the building. They all set the trashcans around the stage as they did with the other six earlier. "You need serious help."
"Hey," Wasabi defended with a smile, "I come prepared."
"I haven't done laundry in six months," Fred bragged sitting on the stage. "One pair lasts me four days. I go front, I go back, I go inside out, then I go front and back." Wasabi threw up in his mouth as the girls looked at Fred while the Hamada brothers rejoined them.
"Wow," Tadashi commented, "that is awesome and disgusting."
"Don't encourage him," Gogo told Tadashi.
"It's called recycling," Fred smiled.
"Next presenter," a voice in the intercom said as a spotlight shined on the stage as the other lights dimmed, "Hiro Hamada."
"Oh, yeah," Fred smiled hopping off the stage, "this is it."
"Guess I'm up," Hiro uttered.
"Okay, okay," Honey Lemon said pulling out her smartphone, "photo, photo." They all gathered around in a huddle to fit in the frame. "Everybody say 'Hiro!'"
"Hiro," everyone said as Honey Lemon took the shot.
"We love you, Hiro, good luck," Honey Lemon said as she joined the rest of the crowd standing in front of the stage.
"Don't mess it up," Gogo said following her.
"Break a leg little man," Wasabi cheered following them.
"Science yeah," Fred roared following them.
"Alright little bro, this is it," Tadashi said staying behind for a fist bump. But Hiro stayed still looking at the stage. "Come on, don't leave me hanging." That was when he noticed Hiro was no longer smiling but moping rather. "What's going on?"
"I really want to go here," Hiro explained.
"Hey," Tadashi rested a hand on his shoulder, "you got this." Hiro gave a small smile as he walked up the stairs to take his grab a microphone and take his place on stage. But the smile was gone again once he was in the spotlight holding the microphone with both hands.
"Uh hi. My name is Hiro…" Hiro said into the mic, but his mouth was too close to it and it caused a screech in the speakers. "Sorry, my name is Hiro Hamada and I've been working on something that I think is pretty cool." He reached for his pocket but forgot something. "I hope you like it."
He pulled out of his back pocket a metal headband that he dawned on his head. He pressed a button on it turning on five light blue lights. Then out of his front pocket a small diamond-shaped gizmo that he held up with his index and thumb.
"This is a Microbot," Hiro presented, and the small insignificant device bowed to the three judges, including Professor Callaghan. They squinted their eyes to try and see it better as one spectator awkwardly looked to the side and began walking away. Knowing he was losing the crows, Hiro looked to his brother standing with the others and their Aunt Cass. Tadashi simply signaled him to breathe. Acting out the advice, Hiro grew a more honestly confident smile.
"It doesn't look like much," Hiro continued, "but when it links up with the rest of its pals…" The trashcans all around the building began to rattle until they fell open unleashing a swarm of Microbots moving across the floor under the feet of everyone who came to attend. All looked to the stage as the Microbots came together and formed a tall and wide rectangular structure. "Things get a little more interesting." Hiro released the Microbot in his hand for it to join its pals in the cube.
The crowd began to 'ooh and awe' as they gathered around the stage. A woman with a tablet nudged the attention of the man she came with who was looking at a strange helmet. He looked at the stage with her.
"The Microbots are controlled with this Neuro Transmitter," Hiro explained. He lifted the headband off and the tower of small robots collapsed. The boy wore it back on and the structure was rebuilt amazing the crowd. "I think what they want them to do…" the Microbots began to swirl as they changed from a tower to a giant hand, "they do it!" The hand waved at the audience and Aunt Cass waved back with a smiling gasp.
The man also smiled intrigued as he set the helmet back down to join the crowd with the woman assisting him.
"The applications for this tech are limitless," Hiro continued. "Construction," breaking off from the hand formation, the Microbots swerved into a pillar. "What used to take groups of people working by hand for months or years…" Hiro walked behind his invention, and when the product dispersed again Hiro was standing atop a silver and blue tower, "can now be accomplished by one person!" Further amazement excited the crowd as they looked at the presenter.
"And that's just the beginning," Hiro continued. "How about…" he lifted a leg over the edge of the tower, concerning the crowd, "transportation?" The Microbots swarmed again into stalagmites to support each step their inventor made over and across the audience. "Microbots can move anything anywhere with ease." His invention now had him moving upside down on a light stand stretching across the one long room.
'This is awesome,' Hiro thought as he high-fived his brother overhead, 'I'm not even trying to stick up here!'
"If you can think it," Hiro continued as his Microbots set right side up again as they lifted someone else's invention with its creator inside its bubble on a pedestal. He gave Hiro a thumbs up while he took back center stage, "Microbots can do it."
"The only limit is your imagination," Hiro said back onstage ground as the Microbots collapsed and formed a giant version of themselves. "Microbots!" The audience cheered with screams and claps as Hiro and the giant Microbot bowed. Even a robot arm in someone else's booth was clapping.
"That's my nephew," Aunt Cass cried as she began shaking a stranger's arm. "My family,
I love my family!"
Hiro hopped down to meet Tadashi with multiple high and low fives while being surrounded by Gogo, Fred, Wasabi, and Honey Lemon.
"They loved you," Honey Lemon declared as the others cheered for him, "that was amazing!"
"Yes," came a new voice. They looked to see it come from a tall, handsome blonde man in a blue suit accompanied by the woman with the tablet. "With some development, your tech could be revolutionary."
"Alistair Krei," Hiro said flabbergasted as all but his brother backed away.
"May I," Cray asked. Without a word, Hiro handed a single Microbot for Cray to examine, holding it up to the light. "Extraordinary. I want your Microbots at Krei Tech."
"Shut up," Hiro said excitedly while worrying Tadashi a smidge.
"Mr. Krei is right," Professor Callahan joined in. "Your Microbots are an inspired piece of tech. You could continue to develop them, or you can sell them to a man who's only guided by his self-interest."
"Robert," Mr. Krei called the professor, "I know how you feel about me. But it shouldn't affect this young man's…"
"This is your decision, Hiro," Robert interrupted. "But you should know Mr. Krei has cut corners and ignored sound science to get where he is."
"That's just not true," Krei calmly denied.
"I wouldn't trust Krei with your Microbots," Callahan continued, "or anything else."
"Hiro," Krei focused, "I'm offering you more money than any fourteen-year-old can possibly imagine."
'Well,' Hiro thought, 'I wouldn't have built these Microbots if it weren't for this place…"
"I appreciate the offer, Mr. Krei," Hiro answered, "but they're not for sale."
"I thought you were smarter than that," Krei gently laughed. "Robert." And Mr. Krei began walking away.
"Mr. Krei," Tadashi called out to him. "That's my brothers'."
"Oh," Krei realized he still had the Microbot, "that's right." He pulled the robot out and tossed it back to Hiro, who caught it easily. He proceeded to walk away with his associate following while giving Hiro a cynical look.
"I look forward to seeing you in class," Callahan said handing Hiro an envelope with the SFIT logo on it. Hiro immediately recognized it as an acceptance letter and accepted it from the professor. The whole gang, including Aunt Cass, walked out the doors and down the steps cheering for Hiro.
"Alright genius let's feed those hungry brains back at the café," Aunt Cass called out. "Dinner is on me!"
"Yes, there is nothing better than free food," Fried cried moving onward. "Unless it's moldy!"
"Aunt Cass," Tadashi held Hiro back, "we'll uh… we'll catch up okay?"
"Sure," Aunt Cass shrugged before her excitement returned. "Oh, I'm so proud of you!" She went behind and wrapped Hiro in her arms, then wrapped her left arm around Tadashi. "Proud of both of you!" And she rejoined the others as the brothers wandered off to a small bridge that gave a view of the robotics lab.
"I know what you're gonna say," Hiro walked up to Tadashi leaning on the rail. "' I should be proud of myself cause I'm finally using my gift for something important.'"
"No, no," Tadashi said, "I was just gonna tell you your fly was down for the whole show."
"Ha, ha, hilarious," Hiro moped on the rail. But then he realized his pants did feel different and took another look. "What?" And he zipped his pants up and slugged his brother in the shoulder, sending him to the ground and knocking his hat off. "Oh, sorry!"
"It's cool," Tadashi said working through the pain. "You been eating your broccoli or something little brother?"
"Uh…" Hiro tried answering, "Something. I'll tell you about it another time. We're excited about enough tonight." Tadashi arched an eyebrow for a moment but shrugged it off and leaned over the railing again.
'I know I should tell him,' Hiro thought. 'But Tadashi's already helped me get into college and he's working to help so many others. I should try taking care of myself for once.'
"Welcome to nerd school," Tadashi said, "nerd." Hiro chuckled at the mockery.
"Hey, I uh…" Hiro began, "I wouldn't be here if it wasn't for you so… you know… thanks for not giving up on me."
Relief and pride had built Tadashi's smile; however, it was broken down at the sound of an alarm and screaming terror. With the sound being so close, Tadashi feared he knew where the sounds of chaos were originating from. The brothers ran to investigate and when they made the turn at the bush, Tadashi wished he was wrong as the showcase building was in a blaze.
All Hiro could think and do was follow his older brother running up to a fleeing woman.
"Are you okay?" Tadashi asked her.
"Yeah, I'm okay," she answered. "But Professor Callahan's still in there!"
Without thought or hesitation, nerves took over Tadashi's face and body, and began running up the stairs to the fire. But Hiro grabbed his brother tightly by the arm and turned Tadashi towards him.
"Tadashi no," Hiro screamed.
'Please be smart about this big brother,' Hiro thought as they looked at each other catching their breaths. 'I know how much you love to help but…' Tadashi broke eye contact and gave a more worried look at the burning building. And he looked to his brother again.
"Callahan's in there," Tadashi pulled his arm back, "someone has to help."
'No please,' Hiro thought. As Tadashi ran up the steps with his legs burning with passion, his hat fell off and the exhaust glided it to Hiro's frozen feet. As Hiro picked the cap up, he looked at it and recalled the words that his brother passed down to him from their parents; 'With Great power comes great responsibility.' 'Okay, you got the power, you can…' But after Hiro took his first foot on the steps, the building imploded into higher flames than before.
Hiro was sent flying back with his face planted on the ground. The boy slowly stood back up with discombobulation and looked back to the blaze. His hearing returned with the sound of the burning crackles as the sirens of the fire department arrived too late.
"Tadashi," Hiro desperately called out. "Tadashi!"