HERE IS PART TWO!
hooray! i hope you like it!
warning: blood! loss of limb! concussions! all that stuff
it's not so bad I promise
plz review everyone! i'd really appreciate it!
signing off for now...I have to turn in my school computer tomorrow and i may not post for a while. I'm so sorry! i'll get back as soon as i can, but i don't know if my stories will even be saved...we'll see. this could be potentially catastrophic...but you can rest assured that i will be back, i promise.
The soft crackling of flames reaches my ringing ears, and for a moment, I think I'm back at SFIT just after the explosion. After all, my surroundings closely match those of the fire—the darkness, the burnt-orange firelight, the screams, even the throbbing pain in my skull where I hit the ground. But then I remember what happened, why I'm here, and terror shoots through my body.
I force my eyes all the way open, taking in everything going on. For the most part, the air around me is still, but explosions echo in the distance. I can see several dark figures slumped on the ground, and I can hear heavy panting and soft, almost silent sobs. That's probably my team—I need to help them.
I struggle to push myself up, but I only get halfway there before pain forces me back to the ground. My vision blurs as I move, and I know I have a concussion. The fact is reinforced by the throbbing goose egg on the side of my head, which I somehow still got even with my helmet on—I must have hit my head pretty hard. I take off my helmet to find that the visor has again shattered, but the rest of it is still operational. The broken Plexiglas has cut up my face pretty bad, though. The whole rest of my body feels bruised and scraped, and I remove my gauntlets to discover that my right wrist is swelling slightly and turning purple. Awesome—it's broken. But I've fared pretty well for having just been in a bombing—there are no missing limbs, no lost senses. Everything hurts, but at least I'm in one piece.
A soft groan disturbs the now-quiet air, and I recognize Megan's voice. That's it, I'm getting up. Hooking my gauntlets and helmet to the clip on my side, I try to get to my feet, but my body decides to remind me of the fact that I'm injured, and I only manage to make it to a crawling position. My wrist doesn't really work for that, though, so I end up half-crawling, half-dragging myself toward Meg.
My best friend is motionless on the broken street, her eyes open and terrified. Like me, she has armor, so she doesn't seem too badly injured, but she still looks pretty beat up.
"Are you okay?" I whisper, my voice choked by dust and ash. I burst into a coughing fit as I clear the particles from my lungs, then continue when I'm finished. "Is anything broken?"
Meg doesn't seem to want to move, but she can talk. "My ankle. And maybe my collarbone. I've probably got a concussion, too. But it's not that bad, nothing like I'd expect from a bombing. What about you, are you okay? Did you get knocked out?"
"Only for a few minutes, I hope," I whisper, my voice still hoarse. "I think my wrist is broken, but that's the worst of it. Meg—we have to get to safety, do you think you can make it to the café?"
"Yep," she says through gritted teeth, sitting up slowly. "Is the rest of the team okay? And—" Her eyes widen and she calls out, "Dad!"
I look around and can faintly make out President Cruz lying on his side in the street, unconscious. He doesn't have any major injuries that I can see, but I can't really tell without examining him more closely.
"Let's get you inside," I tell Megan. "Then I'll come back out for your dad."
"But you're hurt too!"
"Yeah, but I'm pretty sure I can walk if I need to. I don't think you can."
Meg gets to her feet, her jaw clenched and her face pale. She stands with almost all her weight on her left side, but she wears an expression of grim determination on her battered face. "I can walk. Come on." She stretches out her hand, and I take it with my uninjured one. My head throbs again as I stand up, but I try to ignore it and manage to stay standing.
I wrap an arm around Megan's shoulders, and she grudgingly accepts it. Together we limp over to President Cruz, and I can see dark blood glistening on his face and chest in the firelight. It looks worse in the dark, though, I think—there doesn't seem to be a lot of it.
"I think he's okay," I whisper. "He's breathing normally, and I don't see a ton of blood. Of course, I'm not a doctor, but I've seen far too many injuries for my own good."
Meg laughs weakly and nods in agreement. "He'll probably be okay. We need to go check on your team."
I want to collapse onto the asphalt, but I know that if we sit down, we might not be able to get up again, so we make our painful way over the broken asphalt toward the spot where the rest of Big Hero 6 were last.
We've only gone a few steps before a scream bursts forth from a jagged pile of rubble. Yelling follows it, and I recognize the scream as Honey's and the second voice as GoGo's.
"Stay calm, Honey! Stay calm! It's okay, we'll get you a medic—oh no, don't even start, Wasabi—"
"Help!" Wasabi shrieks. "We need a medic! Help!"
I shot a horrified glance at Meg, and we break into the closest thing to a run we can manage. The scrape on my knee stings painfully, and I conclude that it's probably torn open again. Even so, I ignore it and continue on.
"Hiro!" Fred's voice calls, and we limp faster. "Do you have a first aid kit? This is bad—really bad!" His normally cheerful voice only contains terror, and I know something is seriously wrong.
"It's in Skymax!" I call back. "It should be somewhere around here…"
I let go of Megan for a moment to press the button that will call Skymax, trying to avoid using my broken wrist. Hoping against hope that this will work, I hit the button and then wrap my arm around Meg's shoulders again.
Sure enough, Skymax comes soaring over the flaming wreckage. The robot drifts to a stop next to the pile of rubble, opening its hatch. GoGo reaches into it and grabs the first aid kit, then kneels down by a dark shape that I guess must be Honey.
Megan and I stumble up onto the pile of rubble, and I take in the scene. Fred has turned away and dropped to his knees, retching. GoGo and Wasabi are kneeling by Honey's supine body, their faces bruised and bleeding and creased in worry. Honey's fist is clenched and her face twisted, her breathing far faster than it should be—
Wait. Back up.
Her one fist.
Dread building in the pit of my stomach, I let my eyes travel over Honey's bloody chest and face and come to rest on the place where all the blood is streaming from.
And there, where Honey's right arm should be, is a gaping, bleeding wound. A stump.
Honey's arm is gone.
My already swimming head spins wildly, and the world swirls into a blur of fire and shadow and blood.
And I pass out.
What is probably only a few seconds later, I come to my senses in Megan's arms. Her face swims above me, and she says my name worriedly, then somewhat frustratedly. "Hiro! Seriously, wake up! I can't carry you!"
"Sorry," I mumble, shaking my head to try and get the world to stop spinning. "Ow."
"Maybe you should sit down," Meg tells me, taking my uninjured hand and easing me onto the broken asphalt. "Just don't look at it. GoGo and Wasabi will take care of it, and then we can get back to the café."
"We need Baymax," I whisper, shaking violently. "Or Tadashi. But there's no way we can get to either of them."
More explosions echo through the city, and I know we have to get to safety as quickly as possible—another bomb could hit at any time, possibly even closer than the first one.
"We're just gonna have to try and take care of each other," Meg tells me, gently taking my injured hand in hers and rubbing it. "And we will find Tadashi and Baymax, I promise. No matter what, you and I will always keep trying."
I give her a weak smile and feel two sudden, overwhelming desires: first, to burst into tears, and second, to kiss her. I'm not sure why I'm feeling either of them, but my emotions are really strained right now, so I opt for the first one. I don't allow myself full sobs, but I think if I don't shed a few tears, I might explode from the strain of trying to keep them in.
Meg puts her uninjured arm around my shoulders and pulls me into a side hug as silent tears start to drip down my face.
"Hey," she whispers. "It's okay. We're here, we're together, and we are going to win this war. We'll be okay. I'm absolutely certain of it."
And then, to my surprise, Megan leans over and plants a swift kiss on my filthy, bloody, tearstained cheek. My eyes widen, and I instantly feel a blush creeping up my face.
"Thanks," I whisper. "You're the best."
I laugh a little, happy that the stubborn, headstrong Megan is still here, despite everything. Nothing can break that indomitable spirit.
"Hiro," comes another voice, and I turn to see Wasabi standing over us. His hands are covered in blood—which I'm fairly certain is not his—and his face is scraped and bleeding. "Do you think you can make Honey a prosthetic? There's no way she can be a superhero with only one arm."
"Then there's no hope of—you know, reattaching it?" I ask, trying not to throw up or pass out again at the sight of the blood on Wasabi's hands. "I thought doctors could do that kind of thing now. But yeah, I'll make a prosthetic. Once we get back to the café, I should have it done in maybe a day or two."
"Awesome," Wasabi replies with no excitement in his voice. "And no, I don't think we can reattach her arm—not when we can't find it. It was probably blown to pieces."
I nearly lose my toast from this morning just thinking about that.
"Wasabi, come back here!" GoGo snaps. "I need you to help me carry Honey to the café—it's not safe to stay out here, another bomb could hit at any time."
"Can you two get President Cruz?" Wasabi asks as he turns to go help GoGo. "We need to get everyone inside."
I struggle up to standing again, pulling Meg with me, and I help her limp over to her dad. Together, we pull the unconscious president to his feet and slowly start to drag him down the street to the café. We're not very fast, since Megan's ankle is injured and I'm still pretty shaky from passing out twice.
Eventually, though, we get there. I open the garage with my uninjured hand, and Meg and I drag President Cruz inside, then gently set him down on the ground.
As soon as we're done, I flop down in a chair with a groan. Now that most of the adrenaline has worn off, my head is absolutely killing me, as is my wrist. I feel like I just got hit by a truck.
Meg sits down in another chair, looking exhausted. I want to go over and make sure she's okay—and I still kind of want to kiss her—but I hear the rest of the team start to come into the garage.
"Can you guys close the doors behind you?" I call out. "And maybe lock them?"
"Fred will do it," Wasabi replies. "Fred, if you would be so kind—"
"For sure. Then can we go to bed?"
"No," GoGo snaps. "We have to get into the basement. That's the only part of this building that's not gonna fall down if a bomb hits it."
She and Wasabi appear, carrying Honey between them. Fred follows, having locked all the doors—I hope. I drag myself out of my chair and go to open the basement door for the team, then get Meg up and help her take her dad inside too. When I shut the door, we're all plunged into total darkness. I flip the light switch beside the door, and the weak lightbulb sputters to life, casting a faint yellow glow over the stone walls.
GoGo and Wasabi set a now-unconscious Honey down against the wall and then lean over her again, murmuring softly. I try not to look at Honey's now-bandaged wound, fearing that I might throw up if I see any more blood.
I limp down the stairs and collapse against the wall next to Megan, clutching my broken wrist. Thankfully, it doesn't seem like a bad break—there's no deformity, just swelling. It's definitely a closed, simple fracture. Still, I have no doubt that it is indeed broken, and it still really hurts.
"You okay?" Meg asks sleepily, her eyelids drooping. "We probably have to get that patched up."
"We've got to wait till the bombing stops," I whisper back. "I think we've got more medical supplies upstairs—I mean, Tadashi is a doctor—but it's not safe to go up there."
"I'll go up there," Meg says immediately. "You need treatment, Hiro. Everyone else needs it too."
"But what if the café gets bombed while you're up there?" I hiss. "I'm not risking your life for medical supplies, Meg! We need to wait until the bombing is over!"
"You shouldn't wait, Hiro," Megan argues. "You're hurt enough as it is, you're only going to make it worse if you wait to splint that wrist. I'm going up."
But Megan has heaved herself to her feet and started limping up the stairs. I can tell her ankle is causing her a lot of pain, but she's determined. When Meg decides to do something, you'd better have an entire SWAT team ready if you want to stop her.
I jump up—ow—and follow Meg up the stairs, then turn back to the team. "We're going to get more first aid supplies, okay? Don't leave the basement while we're gone!"
As soon as the door swings shut behind us, I remember something completely obvious that I really should have thought of earlier. Of course, we were kind of dragging Meg's unconscious father to safety earlier, but still…
"Meg," I whisper. "We have wings."
Megan's eyes widen, and she claps a hand to her forehead. "Oh my gosh, yes! How did we not remember this, like, forever ago?"
"Well, they wouldn't have helped us carry your dad," I remind her. "We didn't exactly need them. But now we can just use them to get up the stairs."
We both press our phoenix buttons, and I'm relieved to find that the wings haven't been damaged. We drift rather erratically across the café and up the stairs, then into my bedroom. I grab one of Tadashi's spare first aid kits from under the bed—he has way too many of these—and Meg grabs the other, since I can't use my other hand all that well.
Just as we turn to float back downstairs, I hear a loud boom, and before I can do anything, the glass of the window blows out, flying into the room. Thankfully, Megan and I are too far away for it to hit us, but it's still extremely dangerous to stay up here. Dust starts to fall from the ceiling, and I know that a bomb has hit dangerously close to the café.
"We should get back down," I whisper urgently. "I think the bombs are getting closer."
"Yeah," Megan agrees. "And we should probably hurry."
Another explosion shakes the house, and we fly down the stairs as fast as humanly possible without crashing into the walls and hurting ourselves worse.
We burst back into the basement and slam the door behind us, shooting down the stairs and crashing painfully into the concrete floor as a third explosion sounds outside.
I retract my wings and roll onto my back, panting. "We've got more first aid supplies. Who needs them?"
"Fix yourself first," Wasabi tells me. "You're our leader. You come first."
"No, I don't," I argue. "I'm the leader, so you come first. All of you. And have we stopped Honey's bleeding yet? It kind of seems imperative that we fix that before anything else."
"It's slowing a lot," GoGo replies. "Seriously, Hiro, splint that wrist. You aren't going to be making any prosthetics or armor anyway if you don't treat it."
I sigh and open one of the first aid kits, fishing out bandages. "Fine. But I'm splinting Meg's ankle first."
"I can splint myself," Megan tells me, pulling out a length of gauze and another of self-adhering bandage. "You take care of you, Hiro. You don't have to play sacrificial lamb all the time."
I laugh and start to gently wrap gauze around my hand. When I'm done, I tape it in place and then wrap the heavier splinting bandage around it. I carefully try to flex my wrist, relieved when it barely moves. I'm no doctor, but I've watched Tadashi splint people multiple times. Sometimes he practices on me and Aunt Cass, too.
A lump comes to my throat as I think of Tadashi—I hope he's okay. I'm certain that he's alive, because I really think I'd feel it if he was dead. It's like some kind of link between us—Tadashi has always somehow been able to sense when I'm in trouble, and I've done the same for him.
Poor Tadashi, all alone in the labor camp, probably injured and darn near helpless. There's no way he wasn't hurt in the jet crash—how would my brother get to us, even if he did escape?
I sigh and lean my aching head against the wall, wanting nothing more than to go to sleep. Meg, having finished splinting her ankle and fashioning a makeshift sling out of her jacket, passes the first aid kit to Wasabi and scoots over to me. "How're you doing?" she asks, the worry evident in her face.
"Fine, I guess," I mumble. "Just tired. And my head hurts. And I just wanna go to sleep and I'm scared that my house is gonna fall in and I'm really worried about Tadashi—" I take a deep breath. "But I'm fine. Other people have bigger problems."
"Those sound like pretty big problems to me," Megan says. "I don't know of many that are bigger."
"Well, look at Honey," I tell her. "She's just lost her arm—that's going to be so hard to adjust to. And Tadashi is her boyfriend, so she's got to be just as worried about him as I am. And she's been starved for a week and half—same with the others. If anything, they've got it worse than I do. If I'm being honest, I'm kinda selfish. I shouldn't be worrying about my problems when other people have so much bigger ones. Tadashi never does that."
"But you're not your brother," Megan says firmly. "And that's okay. And I'm absolutely certain that Tadashi does worry about his own problems. Maybe he doesn't talk about it, but he can think of himself sometimes. Everyone does, Hiro. You're not selfish for it."
I shoot Meg a half-smile. "Thanks. For, you know, being here. Listening to me. It really helps."
Megan smiles too. "Anything for my bestie."
My eyelids start to droop, and I curl onto my side, using the cold concrete floor as a pillow. Cradling my injured wrist against my chest, I say a silent prayer to God that my home, my family, and my friends will all be protected tonight and for the rest of the war.
I fall asleep to Meg's soft breathing and the thundering roar of bombs.
My eyes snap open abruptly, and I realize that the air is still and silent. The bombing is over. But is the café still standing? Our tiny basement is intact, but I have no way of knowing if the rest of my home is still here.
As quietly as I can, I stand up. Every muscle in my body shrieks in protest, and my head still hurts a little—okay, slightly more than a little, but not that bad. Thankfully, I feel much better than I did yesterday.
I trudge up the stairs and open the basement door, terrified of what I'm about to see. Is my house gone?
I peer out into the dusty light and let out a sigh of relief. Dust is still drifting through the air, and most of the windows are broken. The curtains are pretty torn up, and chunks of plaster from the ceiling are strewn across the floor. But my home is still standing.
The stairs seem intact as well, so I head up them to use our bathroom. After relieving myself, I catch a glimpse of my reflection in the mirror and sigh. I'm not even surprised anymore, just resigned to my fate. Blood, dirt, tear tracks—those are the main attractions on my face. I've got some pretty bad road rash, too. Awesome.
I splash water on my face, washing the grime off. It takes a few rinses before I manage to scrub it clean, leaving all the scrapes and cuts red and raw. It doesn't look so bad once I've cleaned myself up.
I grab a few band-aids and a tube of bacitracin out of the medicine cabinet, then smear the gel over my face and arms. After I add the band-aids, I consider myself sufficiently patched up, although I still look totally beat—I'm exhausted.
Heading back to my bedroom, I change into my regular clothes, which feels awesome. Then I descend the stairs to the garage to discover that only a few things have fallen off the shelves, none of them breakable.
I sit down in my chair and pull up my first scan of Honey, copying the dimensions of her right arm. This is going to be the coolest prosthetic ever. It'll have to be super light, but also durable, and I really want it to be able to shoot chem balls.
About two hours later, I've produced a satisfactory carbon fiber frame and wiring for the prosthetic. I'll probably equip it with the same mechanisms as I did Honey's chem purse.
It takes me another hour to print those in, and when I'm done, I lift the prosthetic and examine it. I've made the frame sleek and black, with two thin lines of pink running down it. The fingers are pink-tipped, too, and they can be pressed to activate the chemistry mechanisms. I really hope Honey likes it.
I stand up and carry the prosthetic down into the basement, where everyone else is awake, excepting Honey, who is still unconscious.
"Hey, Hiro," says Megan as I come down the stairs. "Is everything okay up there? And—wow, is that Honey's prosthetic?"
"Yep," I say proudly. "And yes, the café is still standing. A few pieces of ceiling came down, and the windows are all broken, but it's nothing we can't fix. Any idea when we can attach this prosthetic?"
"The wound won't heal for about three weeks," Wasabi informs me. "Unless you've got artificial skin printed, we won't be able to attach it for a while."
"Well…" I rub the back of my neck. "I might be able to print some artificial skin. I'd just need some of her, you know, skin. For a reference."
"We could get that for you," GoGo informs me. "In fact, we could do that right now." She pulls a Q-tip out of the first aid kit, then sprays Tadashi's sterile saline solution on Honey's remaining arm. GoGo swabs the area a couple times, then hands the Q-tip to me. "Go ahead."
I run back up to the garage and print off a layer of what can hopefully pass as artificial skin. It only takes about twenty minutes, and I hurriedly run it back downstairs.
"Can you guys, like, actually stitch this on?" I ask GoGo and Wasabi. "Do you have any medical training whatsoever? Because I got the impression that you know what you're doing, but are you qualified to perform surgery?"
"Well, no," Wasabi admits. "But Tadashi wanted to teach us in case of a real emergency. He showed us how to do basic suturing, and I think I can attach the prosthetic with some lasering. It'll be pretty risky, though—maybe we should wait until we find Tadashi."
"But that might be a while," I whisper, trying to keep my voice from cracking as I think of what could be happening to my big brother. "We need to do it now. It could be weeks until we find him."
"He's right," GoGo tells Wasabi. "We have all the supplies. I think we should perform the surgery now."
Wasabi sighs. "Okay. But we'll need to work in a more sterile field."
"Sorry, but I don't think anywhere else in this house is any more sterile than this basement," I say apologetically. "You might just have to do it here. The future of NATO might kinda sorta depend on it. Anything could happen—I mean, what if we need the chem balls to take out a giant gun or something?"
Wasabi sighs again. "Okay, I guess. Let's do it."
GoGo herds Fred, President Cruz, Megan, and I out into the café, and the door slams with awful finality. This could go horribly wrong in so many ways.
I sit down in a chair and put my head in my hands, praying desperately that Honey will be okay, that she'll live through the surgery and hopefully come through with a working arm.
Please, Tadashi, we need you…