Chapter 12: Other Angles
Krei cleared his throat and raised his glass slightly. The attendees all turned towards him and hushed for his speech.
"This beautiful new campus is the culmination of a lifelong dream. But none of this would've been possible without a few bumps in the road. Those setbacks made us stronger, and have set us on the path - To a Bright Future!"
The crowd cheered. The crowd screamed.
Krei looked around in confusion. "What?"
A figure creeped over the roof of the building, revealing himself to Krei. He was made all the more terrifying by the rattle surrounding him. Krei squinted. Are those the Hamada boy's Microbots?
The figure approached, and Krei ran. He didn't get very far. The bots entrapped him in an iron grip, which he struggled fervently against. He stopped when he realised they were rising, not wanting to become a stain on the rapidly receding ground below. The figure rose with him, sliding the mask up.
"Was my daughter a setback?" he hissed. He started circling Krei like a shark.
"Callaghan..." He couldn't believe it. This man was dead. Apparently not. "Your daughter, that... that was an accident." He twisted, trying to follow the elderly man's movements. "I-"
"NO!" The bots tightened around him and he groaned in pain. "You knew it was unsafe. My daughter is gone because of your arrogance." He looked sharply to Krei's left and raised an arm. Krei turned with him.
A stream of Microbots raised up a section of a familiar piece of tech. To Krei's dread, two more just like it were also ascending, supported by black scaffolding. Callaghan lowered his arm.
"What are you doing?" Krei was afraid but he needed to stall, at least a little.
Callaghan gritted his teeth. "You took everything from me when you sent Abigail into that machine. Now I'm taking everything from you." The sections clicked together above them, and the portal opened.
"No, no, you can't!" Krei watched in fear as the building was being pulled apart, grasped into the empty space of beyond the portal.
"You're going to watch everything you've built disappear. Then it's your turn."
"Professor Callaghan!" A young voice yelled. The men turned towards it. Callaghan faltered when he saw who it belonged to.
The team of students landed on a flat portion of the building's roof. The smallest member pulled off his helmet, revealing thick, spiky hair. "Let him go."
Callaghan glared at them.
Tadashi gestured to the wreckage. "Is this what Abigail would have wanted?" he asked sincerely.
"Abigail is gone!" the ex-professor exclaimed.
Hiro looked up at his brother's old mentor. "This won't change anything. Trust me. I know."
Callaghan didn't have a reply. Maybe... maybe he's right... I could still stop now... It's not too late...
"Listen to the kid Callaghan. Please, just let me go. I'll give you anything you want." Krei finished with a smile. His smiles could get him out of anything.
Callaghan tensed. Wrong. "I want my daughter back." he growled. The mask slid down, accompanied by a beam of Microbots shot towards the team.
They jumped in different directions to avoid the attack; Tadashi fell with his friends, while Hiro and Baymax had split to the other side.
Hiro turned on his comms device, leaping onto matching magnets. "Go for the mask!" They flew right at Callaghan and Krei.
Oh, come on! Krei's day couldn't get any worse.
Callaghan split the tower of Microbots and reached out as the giant red suit zoomed past. Microbots grabbed onto its feet and swung it around, hurling it into the side of a building.
Baymax took the brunt of the hit while Hiro crashed through a window, rolling to absorb the impact. Hiro recovered quickly but before he could stand, gravity flipped. He fell upwards. Baymax moved to retrieve him, but was once again grabbed by a tether of bots and slammed forcefully into the ground. He didn't move.
"Baymax!" Honey screamed.
Callaghan faced the distraction. The remaining five students ran at him. Tadashi jumped off the edge of the building and activated his board.
Fred jumped too. "Leaping into action!" He spat fire at their opponent. It was blocked by a black wall.
Hiro looked for a way out of his predicament. He couldn't escape from the building or he would be pulled into the sky. The ceiling cracked beneath him. Oh, nonono. It crumbled and he fell through about five more floors before his hand struck a piece of rebar. He grasped onto it.
GoGo raced around, looking for a weak point to throw a disc at. She skated down the inside of the building and pumped a disc towards Callaghan. He caught it and her both in a rapidly sealing sphere. Daylight flickered out in the ball, leaving GoGo alone.
Fred recovered from his jump and breathed fire all around him, screaming in excitement and fury. He jumped again, only to be shoved into the wall behind him. The Microbots holding his suit pulled him forward and into their trap, effectively chaining him in place. The bots started pulling him apart, limb from limb.
Wasabi sliced away at the rapid attacks from Callaghan. Each spike of Microbots ended up scattered on the roof beside him. Callaghan changed tactics. He pulled up a panel on either side of Wasabi and pressed them together, sandwiching him. Wasabi deactivated his blades as his arms were pushed closer to his head. "Getting a... little tight." he gasped.
Honey was glad she had taken gymnastics as a child. She jumped and vaulted over Microbot attacks, throwing jelly bombs at every one. A spike came at her from above, and she blocked it with a plastic-cloud bomb. Another spike broke through. Before it could hit her, she created a bubble dome and hid inside of it. Spikes pounded relentlessly on the dome. A couple broke through.
Tadashi watched as one-by-one, his friends were trapped. He couldn't do anything to help. He glanced around in a panic, gaze resting on the Kabuki mask.
Hiro's hand slipped and he was pulled closer to the portal. He grasped at the air, glove sliding over a thick piece of wire. He gripped it, sliding almost all the way to the end. He was helpless as he watched his team struggle with their traps.
"It's too strong!"
"No way out!"
Tiny pieces of debris clicked on his visor, humming smoothly as they flew past. He looked back at them as they were pulled upwards. "That's it! I know how to beat him!"
He faced the ground. "Listen up! Use those big brains of yours to think your way around the problem. Look for a new angle!"
Tadashi grinned when he heard the advice.
Go for the mask, Hiro had said.
The neurotransmitter must be in his mask. We get the mask, and he can't control the bots. Game over.
The mask holds the neurotransmitter.
While Callaghan was focused on Honey’s trap beneath him, Tadashi swerved over to Wasabi, holding a finger to his lips. "Need this." he whispered.
He snatched off the red cloth around his friend's hair. Wasabi didn't have the strength to complain. Tadashi dove behind a wall of the building where Callaghan couldn't see him.
Robert had finally trapped that pink menace. Where was the last one? It was too bad, really. His favourite students just had to go ahead and discover his plan. Now he had to get rid of them. And they were so promising, too.
He scanned debris for the final, black suit. Where is he?
A body came flying towards him. An armoured arm reached out for his mask.
Robert directed a bar of Microbots at the hoverboard, effectively stopping Tadashi mid-air.
The student looked down at his old teacher and grinned through his visor. "Surprise."
His other hand - which had been in a fist at his side - suddenly unclenched. The Microbots engulfing his board shattered away, releasing him back into the sky.
Callaghan caught a glimpse of a band around the boy's head.
Another transmitter? But how?
He was enraged. He threw multiple shots at the moving target but each was deflected with the wave of a hand. Each block felt like a slap to the face for Robert.
Wasabi looked around. Another angle?
Then he mentally slapped himself. We live in three dimensions, genius.
He dug downwards with his blades, evading the pressing panels and leftover Microbots. "Haha!"
Why should I stay in here? Honey concentrated as each spike penetrated the dome. They hit at regular intervals. She created two sticky bombs and, holding one in each hand, timed her escape.
The orange glue encased her hands and the spike, pulling her out along with it.
"My arms! I can't go any further! Ah - wait a second." He laughed at his own stupidity.
"It's a suit!" He pulled his arms out of the sleeves and looked through the suit’s mouth.
"Hello, sign." He grabbed up the stray piece of metal. "Care to go for a little... spin?"
He flipped the sign and bashed away the bots holding the suit's left arm, throwing it into the air. As it spun, he relocated his left hand into the suit and cut away his restraints with the metal.
"Double spin! And back spin!" He thrust the metal into the ground, dodging the attacking bots.
"Yeah!" he leaped back into action.
GoGo glared at her trap. If enough pressure is applied in one spot over the right amount of time, anything can be moved.
Her gum popped. She stuck it to her helmet and flipped down her visor. She held out her arms and legs, and she spun.
She was getting slightly giddy from the building centrifugal force, yet she continued to spin. She yelled over the pressure, bringing her ankles and wrists together.
A few more spins cut open the ball and she jumped out. It took a moment for her to regain her senses.
Tiny, black robots were slowly encasing his body. It was getting difficult to move.
"Baymax! Ow, woah!"
Baymax found the source of distress.
The darkness closed over his vision.
I must help my patient.
He sent a rocket fist upwards, breaking the thick barrier. He followed after it, catching up and reattaching the gauntlet. He raced towards his patient. To Hiro.
Hiro grinned as he watched his team escape, but quickly turned to worry as he saw one that couldn’t break free. “Baymax!”
A piece of rubble flew at him, hitting his arm. Hard. "Ow, woah!"
He heard an explosion. A giant, red suit of armour was approaching him. Baymax.
He let go of the wire and flipped to face the portal, arms outstretched. Baymax caught him on his back magnets and dove, circling to face upright once again.
Krei watched in horror as Callaghan heartlessly discarded his old students.
He was delighted when they each found an escape. Krei twisted in his own trap and tried to get out. He spotted a red suit being overtaken by Microbots. Oh, no. The suit was completely covered.
As quickly as his hopes were shattered, they were reignited by a blue flame. And a nursebot in pursuit of its own arm.
The red suit arced up and twisted, allowing the purple suit to catch on to the magnets that bonded them.
"Ha ha! I love that robot!" Krei exclaimed.
Callaghan - well beyond furious - shoved him into a wall, wrapping metal around him. If only he had a suit.
Baymax touched down with Hiro and the rest of the team raced over to meet them. Tadashi hovered to his brother's left.
"Okay, new plan!" Hiro ordered. They closed the distance between them and Callaghan. "Forget the mask! Take out the bots, they'll get sucked up into the portal."
Wasabi nodded his approval, activating his plasma blades. "Now that is a plan!"
Hiro turned to the others. "Honey, Fred, can you give us some cover?"
Fred jogged sideways, somehow managing to shrug through his suit. "Like you have to ask!"
Honey produced four blue bombs and made them air bound. "Let's do this, Freddie!"
Fred jumped up, spouting fire. "Smokescreen!"
As predicted, the bombs blinded Callaghan. He had to rise higher if he planned to attack. He ascended to an altitude above the thick smoke, giving him the appearance of walking on air. Hiro and the red suit flew up above him, arcing back once more.
Callaghan spread his fingers, firing off multiple hits of Microbots at the pair.
Baymax dodged and weaved through them, heading straight towards the portal.
"Ready?” Hiro held his body close to Baymax to avoid any lucky hits. “And... dive!"
Baymax spun and twisted, flipping so that he faced the ground, suddenly activating his thrusters and pushing away from the vacuum. He punched through the amalgamation of black bots, shattering their formation and sending them hurling towards the portal.
Wasabi slid down a broken pillar of Microbots, searching the smog for the team. It was pretty hard to see down there. He could only hear them over his comms device.
He vaulted over a pike, and glided gently to the floor while twirling. "Woah, gravity's gettin a little weird here, guys. Wait, let’s use this!" He unsheathed his blades and rebounded himself off of a wall, floating straight towards a black pillar. He sliced through it.
He was a double-bladed hurricane, carving beam after beam of bots. "Green Blades of Fury! Ha! Ha!"
GoGo jumped and twisted over and around forgotten Microbots. She reached the ground on a black rail, swerving around and jumping onto a pillar. She used her momentum to carry her skywards, scraping her discs along the side of the pole. "Woman, up!"
Fred had picked up another slat along the way. "Double-sign spin!" His dextrous claws expertly twirled the slats. He added a touch of Fred. Fwoosh. "Now my signs are on fire!" The burning slats cut through pillars like a hot knife through butter.
This was officially Fred’s best day ever.
Honey threw a glue bomb at her foot and jumped as high as she could. She soared. She bounced herself off of pillars to gain more height, noticing when she started to slow.
She jammed her purse into a pillar and produced a pink bomb. Honey caught it and, as she fell back, threw it with all her might. It hit true, causing an ear-shattering explosion. It blew out more than one pillar, to say the least.
"Whoo! Now that's a chemical reaction!"
Tadashi's blood was pumping. He hadn't felt this rush since his first hoverboard flight through the city. And he loved it.
He heard his friends' cries of excitement and freedom as they dispatched Microbots with their supersuits. He narrowly dodged around spontaneously-rising pillars, mulling over a way to help, and found one over the comms. He chuckled.
Baymax was reciting the names of each karate move as he smashed his way through. Good thing Tadashi was a black belt.
He deactivated his board and looked up, and couldn't see Krei. Therefore, Krei couldn't see him, and even if he did, he could always play the 'spare transmitter' card.
Tadashi followed along with his project's gentle voice, throwing out hits strong enough to shatter concrete.
Tadashi took delight in how the team destroyed Hiro's creation, and he couldn't be any happier.
Until the commands stopped coming.