Chapter Twenty Eight: You Know What This Means

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"What do you mean he's gone?" GoGo asked, her face showing just how incredulous she felt at the announcement. "He can't be gone. You were just with him! There's no way he could have just wandered off!" Her loud voice filled the hall like a bullhorn, causing those still in the dining room to peer out the double-doors to see what was going on.

She and Fred were headed back to their dinners when they'd run across Honey Lemon, Deanna, and Baymax. The two women had looked frantic; giving her ample reason to question what was going on.

Honey started at her tone, jumping back just a little. To say her friend was upset would be an understatement. "I don't know," she responded. "He was there one moment, gone the next. And I know he couldn't have just wandered off. We were right outside the only door."

Picard entered the hall, followed by the two Doctors, Q, and Worf. Data trailed behind them all, looking confused. "What in the blazes is going on?" he asked rather impatiently. The entire evening's events had left him more than a little unnerved.

"Hiro's missing," Deanna supplied. "We left him sleeping in the room only for a moment. Then there was a bright flash of light and he was gone."

Q stepped forward, his expression a mixture of horrified indignation. "A flash of light and he was gone? You can't be serious."

Baymax took that moment to confirm their statements. "That is correct," he asserted. "I can no longer detect his presence inside this building."

"What are we waiting for?" Fred called out. "We should start searching the house, top to bottom, just to be sure." Part of him hoped this would be just like when Hiro and Baymax had gone off only a few days ago, only to return with an unconscious Q in their arms. He didn't care of Baymax said he could sense his presence or not. At least it was something to do.

GoGo shook her head. "Won't do much good. If Baymax says he's not here, he's not here. Our best bet is to scan the city to see if we can find him."

Before anyone could make any further motions, however, Heathcliff approached bearing a silver tray with a letter on top. "Master Frederick, I found this at the front door," he said as he offered the letter to the young master.

With all eyes on him, Fred picked up the envelope and slit it open with a finger. Then, almost as if he were afraid of what was inside, he pulled out the plain sheet of paper. After a few moments of scanning it, his entire face seemed to fall. "Uh, guys..." He held out the letter for anyone to take.

GoGo was the closest as she reached for it, almost giving Fred a paper cut from the force behind her motion. Her eyes widened as she read it out loud. "Dear Mr. Whitmore, I just wanted to let you know I have taken your son. If you want him back, follow my instructions to the letter. No cops. Period. I'll be in touch soon." She handed the paper to Deanna, who held out her hand to receive it. "What kind of nonsense is this? You're the only child the Whitmores have!"

Honey Lemon let out a small gasp. "Oh no," she uttered, one hand going to her mouth as the realization set in. "Earlier this morning, when we took Hiro back to the store, Fred pretended to be his father. Maybe the kidnapper overheard and thought..." she trailed off, unable to finish.

Q stared impatiently at those gathered. "You do know what this means, don't you?" he asked in a rather presumptuous manner.

The two Doctors exchanged looks with each other. One had his hands clasped behind his back while the other had his hands thrust in his pockets. Their expressions were thoughtful but stern at the same time. Either way, it didn't look like they liked what was going on.

"Anyone?" Q said, breaking the momentary silence.

Worf glared at him. "Stop beating around the bush and tell us," he ordered, looking more than willing to tear the man apart limb from limb.

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