Talk to the Hand

Chapter 14: Epilogue: Hello, Hamadas

”A massive cleanup continues today at the headquarters of Krei Tech Industries.” A male reporter babbled. “Reports are still flooding in about a group of unidentified individuals who prevented what could've been a major catastrophe. The whole city of San Fransokyo is asking: Who are these heroes, and where are they now?"

Hiro greeted his friends at the small cafe table. Upon seeing him the group of students got up to leave while Tadashi returned their dishes to the kitchen, wearing grey sneakers, jeans and a white button-up shirt with the sleeves rolled up. Honey waited for him and started chatting to Hiro.

"Hey Sweetie." Aunt Cass brought out lunches for her boys and placed them on the table. Hiro hugged his aunt and picked up his lunch, heading out. Tadashi grabbed his own bag and hug, following shortly after. Aunt Cass turned away to tend to her customers when she felt thin arms wrap around her waist.

"Last hug."

She squeezed Hiro back until he slowly pulled away. She waved after them and they left the building.

"Bye!"


They released a collective sigh of relief as they entered the campus. No-one seemed to recognise them. That was good. Very good.

They were able to get back into old routines almost as easily as they'd slipped out of them. A few people here and there asked where they were the day before, but they gave a simple excuse; they had been helping Tadashi catch up on schoolwork together, and it took them all day. Luckily he hadn't been assigned any projects, so it was mostly just 'notes' and 'catch-up questions'.

They entered their open lab and got to work, modifying their old projects and creating upgrades for their suits - not that anyone outside the team cared. Tadashi and Hiro were allowed to share their office, which they were excited about. The brothers could help each other with troublesome projects and inventions, and could spend most of their day together. It was when Hiro brought his tools into the office that he went quiet.

Obviously Tadashi noticed, and could feel something was off. He stared at the back of his little brother's head intensely.

Hiro shivered. "Could you not?"

Tadashi chuckled. "Not what?"

"Stare at me."

"I can't help it. You're so ugly."

Hiro didn't even roll his eyes. They were set on a closed cardboard box.

"Tadashi?" he asked, resting his hand on the box.

"Yeah?"

"Do you hate me?"

He was stunned by the question. He knew this was what had been bugging his brother as soon as he said it, because the feeling increased dramatically.

"Why would I hate you?"

"Because of Baymax."

"Hiro, that wasn't your fault."

"But I could've let go of the portal long enough to use the pod's thrusters, and then-"

"Baymax knew you couldn't. He saved you Hiro. Don't regret it, please. Be thankful he did when he did. I am."

Hiro kept his back to his brother, and his gaze on the box.

Tadashi turned to leave before an idea came to him. "We could rebuild him, if you wanted. Even if it took another eighty-four tries, we could get it right together." He infused his voice with hope.

"It wouldn't be the same. He's not that replaceable." Hiro mumbled.

Tadashi sighed, knowing his brother was right. It wouldn't have the same experiences as the old Baymax; it would be a copy. It wouldn't share their memories in its recorded data. They would have to re-teach it their handshakes and expressions. They couldn't do that to Baymax.

"I'll, uh, go get our schedules then."

Silence. Before he left, he heard a metallic thunk come from the other side of his door accompanied by an "Ow."

Was it sad that he half-expected Baymax to activate?

"Tadashi!” GoGo screamed. “Fred used my indefinite refinement laser and left it on a shelf! Do you know what he used it for?" GoGo's voice dripped with hatred. "He used it to cut the crust off a sandwich!"

The elder Hamada chuckled to himself and went to help his friend, who was short in both temper and stature. The office door closed behind him.

Hiro exhaled loudly. I can't just leave the box here. Might as well take it out now.

He opened the box that encased a giant red and black gauntlet. He lifted the empty piece of armour, grunting softly, and heaved it onto a storage shelf. He rested an arm on it and admired how much it had done for him. This was a creation he would never lose. He smiled.

Bump.

"Bah-a-la-la-la." He shook his head in amusement and wandered away to unpack the rest of his things. He turned back for a final look.

Something gleamed in the palm.

What-

He uncurled three huge fingers and a thumb, eyes widening at what he found.

A simple doctor's face smiled back at him underneath the name, TADASHI HAMADA.

“Tadashi!”

He heard a thump followed by heavy footfalls before his brother burst through the door. "What is it?" he panted. He rubbed the back of his head but he looked ready for a fight.

"Look." Hiro whispered, moving aside.

Tadashi took in the scene before him. The empty, open box. Baymax's rocket fist. The green chip.

"He was here the whole time." Hiro smiled through teary eyes.

Tadashi adopted his signature face-splitting smile that he wore whenever his work was finally complete. "Then what are we waiting for?"


“Tadashi!”

GoGo started as the elder Hamada jolted on the step-ladder, hitting his head on the shelf above him. He bounded off the top step and raced to his office, cursing to himself. He practically kicked the door down. "What is it?" she heard him yell.

Hiro said something to him, to which he replied, and their office door clicked shut behind him.

She shook her head. I'll just ask Honey to get it.


Every fifteen minutes one of the brothers would sprint out of the room and yell, "Need this!" before racing back with someone else's tools.

They were almost late to their first lesson; a general class that every mechanic was required to take. Honey and Fred were the only ones missing.

The brothers ran in, with only thirty seconds to spare, and collapsed into their chairs. Tadashi had only brought his textbook and a blue pen, and Hiro only had time to grab a spare notebook and a red pen. Without hesitating, they split the stationary between them: Tadashi laid the textbook in the middle of the table and they both placed their pens above it, then Hiro ripped out several pages of his book and handed them to his brother.

Wasabi shook his head. It was almost scary how cooperative they were now. Then he remembered a certain involuntarily offered tissue on the trolley the other day. He shuddered. Please tell me I did that.

He squeaked when he heard a cheeky voice answer, “Hehe, nope. S-Sorry. I didn't mean to, I swear.”

The space still felt open, so he replied. “Not cool, man. Not cool.”


It was nearing lunchtime, and Honey's Enhanced Chemistry class always ended earlier than the others' classes. She set down a tray of her namesake tea and turned back to get the cookies.

She jumped when the lab's double doors burst open with a bang and two figures sprinted in.

"Tadashi? Hiro?"

"Thanks-Honey-Lemon-but-we-have-something-we-need-to-do-right-now-so-maybe-later!" Hiro shut their office door behind them.

She shook her head. Those boys were up to something. It seemed pretty important to them, so she let it slide. But, by her collection of three-inch heels, she was going to give them tea. And it would be the best tea they'd ever had.


Fred tossed away his comic. He couldn't concentrate with all the noise coming from the Hamada office. He decided to do something about it.

He strolled up to the door, but froze when he heard the conversation on the other side.

"Hiro could you test it?"

"Just a sec... ow, ah! No, no, no, no. The left arm's completely messed up!"

"Sorry, sorry!"

The door clicked open. Fred found Hiro massaging his left shoulder while Tadashi fiddled with some wires from their project. They hadn't noticed him come in.

"Hey guys, could you keep it down-" Fred began.

"Sorry, not now." Tadashi, still absorbed in his task, waved his hand and the door slammed shut in Fred's face.

He stood there in shock. Whatever they were doing must've been really important to risk exposure like that. He was sure they didn't know it was him, yet they'd used their powers in the face of a possible stranger.

Fred shook his head. They were lucky the last few students had left over an hour ago, or they would all be in some serious trouble.

GoGo sneered at him, having seen what went down. He stuck his tongue out in return and tried getting back to his comic.

The voices continued from the office.

"Try it now."

"It would be nice if it had legs, don'tcha think?!"


Five-year-old Tadashi glared dangerously at his project, giving it the best death-stare that he could manage for a pile of scraps and screws. He crossed his arms with a loud huffing breath, achieving nothing but a single, small nut to roll free of the heap. Right into the proximity of a tiny, pudgy hand.

Bright brown eyes gleamed as the hand reached out for the shiny object. Tadashi didn’t worry about it. He was too frustrated with the manual and besides, Hiro already knew not to eat small, shiny objects.

Hiro knew they weren’t food, especially the pieces that could fit in his hand. Sometimes he saw Dashi and Ma and Dad using shiny things to eat, but they didn’t eat the shiny things themselves, so neither would he.

Anyway, he didn’t want to ruin Dashi’s toy. It didn’t look like a fun toy, why was Dashi just looking at it? Hiro, slipping the nut onto a finger, half crawled-half slid over to the manual – happy that Ma had chosen his soft, light blue PJ’s that day - and stared at the picture. He decided that it looked funny, and a partially-toothed grin broke out between his pale pink cheeks. He looked up at Dashi, who sat in front of him on the floor, and tapped a palm on the picture, wanting to share the joke with his brother.

Tadashi glanced over at Hiro and his face softened slightly. Returning his gaze to the metallic heap, he recrossed his legs to temporarily cure the weird pins and needles feeling and thought about whether he should stop trying and relax. Then he wouldn’t be so stressed. Yeah, it would be easier just to stop. Holding his head in his hands, elbows on knees, he groaned in defeat and rubbed his face.

Hiro’s smile faded when he saw that Dashi didn’t laugh with him. He looked down at the instruction book again, tapping a short, beatless tune on the floor with his hands. He’d never seen writing that looked like this before. He twisted his head one way, then the other. The letters seemed better sideways, to Hiro. Doing his best to keep balanced on just his legs and bottom, Hiro used his thin fingers to knock the book sideways over and over until the letters looked the best he could get them. Suddenly, the toy looked more normal, better like the letters did. Hiro slammed the book again with vigour, making quite the racket against the polished wooden floor, but stopped when Dashi spoke.

“Hiro, please, quit it.”

Hiro smiled again. Dashi sounded funny, talking into his hands. Hiro hit the picture once more because it looked like the best way to get Dashi’s attention. When that didn’t work, Hiro tried another tactic. With as much strength as he could muster in his chubby arms, he leaned over and pushed the book towards Dashi, but that plan went downhill. The manual ploughed through the half-assembled toy, effectively shattering and scattering the pieces. They made a pretty tinkling sound as they tumbled.

“Hiro!” Tadashi screamed. What was wrong with his brother? Didn’t he see that he was working hard on building the toy? And then he just breaks it!

Hiro jumped at Dashi’s sudden temper. Dashi was acting weird. He never shouted like that before, and at Hiro too! Did that mean he’d done something bad? Hiro knew he should say he was sorry; Ma and Dad always made Dashi say he was sorry when he broke stuff. Now if only he could talk. He didn’t care much for talking. People could understand him good enough without words, so why bother?

Hiro ignored Tadashi’s yelling while he thought about how he could say he was sorry. The solution came to him suddenly. I know! He got to work gathering the pieces and shoving them into a pile. He was gonna build the toy for Dashi, and make it the best-ever ‘I’m sorry’ present. Dashi kept shouting but Hiro didn’t know a lot of the words, so he wasn’t paying attention. Then, something in Dashi’s voice made him stop and turn around.

That something sounded familiar; Hiro knew he made that noise a lot when he was sad. Was Dashi sad? He couldn’t tell. Dashi had his knees curled up to hide his face, with his arms linked together tightly in front of his legs. Every so often he would shake suddenly but Hiro couldn’t see any tears, so he guessed Dashi was okay. He continued organising the pieces in a heap.

Tears of frustration soaked into Tadashi’s jeans, staining the already dull-blue material. He knew Hiro was just a baby, but why would he break Tadashi’s toy for no reason? It was unfair! Each sob felt like a punch to the chest, jarring and unexpected as they came.

Light yet clunky footsteps sounded from the corridor but Tadashi kept his head down and tried to steady himself. There should only be one baby in the room, he reminded himself.

The footsteps stopped nearby and Tadashi could practically feel the decisive gaze coming from his father. He heard the rustle of clothes amid Hiro’s disruptive tinkling as the man sat beside Tadashi.

“Hey, buddy. What’s up?” called a familiar voice from Tadashi’s right. Tadashi turned his head away, burrowing deeper into his left elbow. His exposed cheek felt cold without the heat from his knees and breath.

A moment passed like this until he felt his father move again. The tall man stood and stretched his back, evident by the muffled pops that signalled cracking joints. Tadashi blinked away a silent tear. He heard Hiro giggle at something and suddenly he was staring into bright green eyes. Did he mention that the head they were attached to was upside-down? His father, still standing on Tadashi’s right, had doubled at the waist and was now leaning over Tadashi’s small frame. His dirty-blond hair, which normally sat neatly atop his head, flopped towards the ground revealing its full, three inch length. His black, square-framed glasses slowly tilted towards the floor and would have fallen if not for the forehead in the way.

“Hel-lo sir,” his father, Thomas, began in a dramatic accent. “Have you seen my son?”

Tadashi buried his head between his knees once more, trying to hide the grin that was slowly creeping up on his face.

Thomas continued. “Black hair, brown eyes and the biggest smile you’ve ever seen?”

Without looking up, Tadashi pointed over at Hiro, who was now laughing hysterically at their father’s antics, the toy all but forgotten.

“Hmm,” Thomas strode over to Hiro and swept him up into the air, holding the little boy above his head. Hiro squealed in delight as Thomas turned him around, getting a good look at him all over. “Why, yes, this is one of my sons but I’m looking for the other, and,” he held Hiro in the palm of one large hand and presented him to Tadashi like a trophy, “I distinctly remember him being taller.”

Tadashi’s face remained hidden while Hiro leaned back and fell onto Thomas’ forearm, reaching out for his father’s head.

Thomas’ smile faltered when he received no response. So he tried again. He caressed Hiro’s chest in one hand and supported the baby’s legs with the other, quietly walking over to his oldest son and doubling again at the waist. Now Hiro was level with Tadashi’s head.

Hiro wiggled his arms in glee – it felt like he was flying! – and reached his arms out to show Dashi. Little fingers curled in thick, dark strands and held tight.

Tadashi’s head lifted enough to peek his eyes out at Hiro. He couldn’t move much farther with his scalp being pulled off.

The hand beneath Hiro’s legs slowly came away and pried the persistent fingers out of Tadashi’s hair, with a soft “Gentle, Hiro.” being whispered behind the small body. Hiro let go and instead opted to squish Tadashi’s cheeks, which eventually brought the rest of his face into view.

Tadashi’s cheeks were red from rubbing against his jeans, and his eyes a little less so from tears. Another was following a track that ran alongside his nostril, which he swiped away with irritation. He sniffed again and felt Hiro’s hands pull away suddenly. Looking up once more, he found his brother’s plump face cast with worry. It seemed weird on a baby; normally he only saw that expression on their parents when they thought he couldn’t see them. Why did it always seem to be aimed at him?

He heard the rattle of keys and the front door opening, and the flap of flat shoes against the floor. “Sorry I’m late boys, that Matsuda lady kept me in the car park at work today. Trying to talk about the latest fashion in one-piece swimsuits, at her age?” she muttered. Their mother tossed her keys on the shelf by the door and hurried towards the kitchen, only to pull back at the sight that met her in the living room.

The mess of parts, an upset boy and her goofball of a husband trying to help. When he heard her walk in, his head twisted over his shoulder with a desperate plea on his lips, mouthing the word ‘Help’.

Maemi’s face softened and she shuffled over to the trio. “Tadashi, what’s wrong?” She took a better look around and spied the instruction manual beside him. So it was something about the toy. She picked up the book and inspected it, kneeling down in front of Tadashi. Her fitted, black pantsuit crinkled quietly as she settled.

Tadashi finally spoke, his voice wavering in supressed agitation. “It’s too hard to make, an’ then I was halfway done, I think, an’ Hiro went an’ broke it for no reason!”

Maemi looked again at the front cover of the manual. “Tada, honey, this set is for ages twelve and over.”

Now Tadashi had calmed down mostly, but was still clearly bummed about his problem. “I know.” he sniffed. “I finished all the other ones.” He was muttering at this point.

Thomas took a seat next to his wife, placing Hiro on his lap. Hiro squirmed for a moment and put his feet on his father’s calves, doing a strange little bouncing-dance when Thomas supported him under his arms. “Well, how did those turn out?”

“I made ‘em okay. They don’t do much.” Tadashi found a screw and fiddled with it, balancing the head on a knuckle. His eyes focused on the screw, instead of on his parents. “Maybe I’ll jus’ go back to those. This one’s annoying.” He glanced briefly at Hiro before returning his gaze to the screw.

Thomas smiled sadly, understanding his son’s grief. “Tadashi, you shouldn’t give up on something just because it’s annoying. How long did those other toys take to build?”

“An hour or two.” came the mumbled reply.

“And how long have you been at this one?” continued his father.

“Almos’ two hours.” The screw fell from Tadashi’s finger. “An’ I’m back at the beginning.” An arm flew out, gesturing to the pile of parts, before returning to hold his knees.

“Hey, buddy, come on.” Thomas settled Hiro into sitting on his thigh and bounced him gently. “You knew this one was going to be tough, right?”

Tadashi nodded minutely.

“Then why’d you want to make it in the first place?” His father’s tone was more curious than scolding; it was a simple, placid question.

“I dunno.” Tadashi shrugged. “The other ones were easy, an’ I wanted to see if I could make the harder one. But every time I try, I’ve either done it wrong or it breaks.” Another pointed glare at his brother.

“Tadashi,” his father began. “When I went to school, I wanted something very much. But it took a lot of time and patience to understand.” Hiro twisted around to lean on Maemi, a powerful grip placed on her forearm. “At one point, I thought it would be easy to give up too. Then I realised, if I gave up, everything I’d done would’ve been for nothing. I’d be starting from step one, with no clue what to do next. It was a very confusing time for me.”

Tadashi listened to Thomas, wide-eyed. But Dad’s never confused. He’s smart, he always knows what to do.

“So I decided to keep going. First, though, I needed to take a step back and think. I had to ask myself, ‘Do I really want this?’”

Tadashi lowered his knees, straightening his legs slightly and leaning forward. “An’ whadid ya say?”

Hiro squirmed into their mother’s lap, almost tumbling in but reflexively being caught by Maemi. She settled him in a pose that was comfortable for both of them, and Hiro tapped the book again.

Thomas smiled. “Yes. I wanted it so much.” His eyes gleamed as he shared a knowing look with Maemi. “And you know what?”

Tadashi crossed his legs, thinking about his father’s story. Half distracted, he blinked and answered, “What?”

Thomas dove forward and pulled Tadashi towards him, rolling onto his back and lifting the boy into the air. He used the bottoms of his huge feet as supports for Tadashi’s stomach. “I wanted you too.” He turned his head to the rest of his family, one of whom was smiling supportively while the other was flailing the manual around and squealing. Holding onto Tadashi’s arm with one hand, he reached out with the other and held his wife’s hand briefly. “And I wanted you,” and when Maemi took a small, pudgy hand and placed it around his thumb, Thomas felt warmth bloom through his chest. “And you too.”

Tadashi grinned madly, his sadness forgotten as he tried to stay balanced on his tummy. Hiro absolutely screamed, in that happy way that babies do, and proceeded to hurl the manual at his father’s face. It was met with a muffled “Ow.”

Tadashi eyed the book, the object of his torment over the past couple of hours. It had landed open, covers facing up, on the bridge of his father’s nose. “Took a step back…?” he mumbled.

Hiro pointed at the book and giggled maniacally.

The front cover, on the left and upside-down, displayed the toy as it would look once it was completed. The back cover, on the right, showed steps on how to connect the joints. They were also upside-down.

Tadashi’s eyes widened. “Wait, wait, wait.” He pointed his feet to the ground and Thomas lowered him down, sensing the shift in weight and not wanting to drop Tadashi. As soon as he touched down, Tadashi snatched up the booklet and knee-slid to the pile of parts, sorting them once more by size and shape.

Thomas blinked at the sudden brightness revealed by the manual and sat up, fixing his glasses which had been knocked askew. He sidled up next to Maemi and helped her stand with Hiro still in her arms, then they turned to face their toy-possessed son. Hiro struggled for a moment until Maemi placed him on the floor and he eagerly crawled over, holding out a hand. Tadashi delicately plucked the nut from a tiny ring finger and donned a heart-stopping smile. He picked up a large block – the literal centrepiece of the toy – and got to work.

Maemi placed an arm around her husband’s waist and he did the same with her shoulders, brushing his hand over her head to muss up her work-perfect, raven-black hair. Her soft brown eyes rolled in mock annoyance and returned to meet his own apple greens. She gazed fondly at her sons and smirked. “I guess he’s seeing it from a new angle.”

Two hours later and the toy was complete. Except, to heck with the manual! This was even better!

Where the toy was supposed to walk and move its arms, Tadashi had connected parts that Shouldn’t go there but fit all the same and I guess this could go here where the motor had inputs. Now, with the flick of a switch on the motor (which should have been the toy’s back), the new toy pulled its limbs in and transformed into a skeletal base of a car with wheels that moved. The switch moved to a position that looked like the car’s radio antenna.

Tadashi played with the toy-car for the rest of the afternoon.

Best. Robotics kit. Ever.


Tadashi awoke to someone talking.

"Hey guys? It's getting pretty late, so I just came in here to check up on you. Good thing I did, 'cause they would've locked you in here. Its past eleven, dude. You going home?"

Tadashi reached up to cover a yawn, surprised by the screwdriver that fell from his hand. The noise woke Hiro from his sleep on the revolving desk chair, kicking forward slightly as he came to consciousness. He snorted away a snore, abruptly closing his mouth.

"Yeah, yeah we're coming. Thanks, Wasabi." Tadashi grimaced as he slowly stood up, tailbone aching from its time between the hard floor and the wooden desk. He did a few stretches and ruffled Hiro's hair. He was half-asleep.

"Come on, buddy. We still have tomorrow."

Hiro jumped awake again and his eyes immediately drooped. Nevertheless, he got up from the chair and stifled a yawn, shivering. He picked up his spare riding helmet with his left hand and massaged his sore shoulder with his right. He blearily stumbled out of their office as Tadashi flicked off the lights and locked up.

They still had tomorrow, and they were so close.


They stared at the red transport case.

"You think it's ready?" Tadashi fretted.

Hiro shrugged. "Seems charged."

"Is it active?"

"It's humming, so probably."

They stared some more in silence. Tadashi turned to his brother.

"You do it."

Hiro was startled. "A-Are you sure?"

"Why not? You found the chip. You were the last face he saw. You should be the one he sees when he comes back."

Hiro's face remained blank until a small smile graced his lips. "Okay. Here goes."

He faced the container and Tadashi placed a hand on Hiro's right shoulder.

"Ow?"


His cameras activated as his body inflated.

"I am Baymax, your personal healthcare companion."

The boy placed a hand in his hair, smiling in disbelief. The older male grinned in relief.

"Hello, Hamadas."

Hiro laughed and dropped his hand. Baymax stepped out of his charging station into the swift embrace of small, bony arms. He leaned into the hug and closed his eyelids, wrapping fresh vinyl around the figure. He uncovered his cameras to see Tadashi smiling gratefully at him.

"You are one smart robot, you know that, Marshmallow?"

"I am not a marshmallow. I am Baymax. You programmed me to take the best course of action that would cause my patients the least amount of harm. I did so."

"Yeah," Hiro sobbed lightly. "You did great." He smiled in contentment, happy to remain in the nursebot's hold. Tadashi joined in, leaning over Hiro and crushing him into the soft white belly.

That's how the team found them when they walked in that morning.


He walked down the many blank hallways that led to the prisoner's solitary confinement chamber. Of all the people who could have occupied the cell, it had to be a world-renowned roboticist. He was such a good man too.

The guard sitting outside the cell straightened up at the sight of him, standing from the plastic chair and saluting. He nodded in return and the guard opened the eye slot in the thick door.

"This better be good, Robert, or I'll have your sentence extended indefinitely."

"That's technically impossible, General. I'm already in here for life." Callaghan joked through the slot. "But, I promise you, this will be well worth your time and more." His eyes gleamed.

The General waited patiently for him to continue.

Callaghan glared at his guard as he would a troublesome student. "I suggest the information I am about to give remain in the hands of the highest class of personnel. It isn't for the faint of heart."

The General eyed the guard until he got the message. He walked down the long hallway and turned into a small office. Not a security room, more like a staff room.

"Continue."

Callaghan nodded. "I suggest you take a seat." His gaze flickered to the plastic chair.

Getting impatient, the General stuffed his frame into that of the small seat. It looked almost comical. "I don't have all day, Robert, unlike you."

Callaghan took the remark pretty well, barely rolling his eyes. "I summoned you here regarding the group of unidentified vigilantes that have recently surfaced among the streets of San Fransokyo. More importantly, two of these members have... uncanny abilities."

The General stiffened. This conversation just got a whole lot more interesting. "Do you know their identities?"

"You could say that. You might even say I have solid proof. But what kind of prisoner would I be if I didn't bargain for my rights?"

"Rights?" the General laughed. "You barely have the right to defecate freely, and you're discussing your rights?"

"Indeed I am. They're simple requests, I won't ask for much. But you will have so much in return. What do you say, General?"

He considered Callaghan's offer. "And what are these requests, exactly?"

"Minor things, General. You'll barely have to lift a finger. But I'm resting this all on your word, and my own. As hard-working, honest men, I humbly ask you to accept my proposal. You will learn so much, it's almost pitiful what I would like as compensation."

The General mulled it over. To stall for a bit, he commented. "You can hardly call yourself honest."

Callaghan shrugged indifferently.

He finally gave in. It was his duty as a military official to obtain any information that would benefit his country, and this seemed to him as such. He couldn't refuse. He nodded in acceptance.

Callaghan's eyes shone. "Wonderful. General, I’d like to reinstate Project: Kinetic Energy."


To be continued.
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