Chapter Twenty Nine: You Awake In There?

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Hiro felt weird. He just couldn't put an exact name to how he felt. His eyes felt heavy and foggy. And his body felt weak and useless. He hadn't eaten anything since lunch. In fact, the last thing he really remembered was sitting at the dinner table, pushing peas around his plate. That's where things went blank. Maybe he'd been drugged? The sensation almost reminded him of something he'd experienced before but he couldn't remember what.

With an effort, he managed to make his limbs move, rubbing at his eyes to clear them. When he was finally able to open his eyes, he felt his body tense. This was not a room he recognized. In fact, he was pretty sure it wasn't any room in any place he'd been before. Where was he? And how on earth had he gotten there?

He felt his chest tighten as a sense of panic filled him. What was going on? Where was he? Why was he there? The panic threatened to overwhelm him, making it hard to breath. It didn't help that his chest constricted like it had when he'd broken his ribs. And it hurt just as much.

Calm down, he told himself. Just calm down. There has to be a logical explanation. The weird thing was he wasn't sure how he was thinking so logically when whispered memories told him he shouldn't be. He was still stuck in the body of a two-year-old. Shouldn't he be acting like one? His friends had said he was regressing. Shouldn't his mind also have regressed then? Or were they wrong? Had something else happened instead?

After several minutes of talking himself down, Hiro felt his chest loosen. Calmer now, he moved to sit up, realizing he was in a nest of rough blankets. The walls around him were dark, kind of industrial in feel. There were no windows and only one door. It was made of metal. His nest of blankets was on a hard floor that looked like it was made from cement.

Overhead, industrial lights hung, though they weren't turned on. Maybe they couldn't be turned on. The room smelled musty, like no one had used it in a long time. And it smelled a little damp too, if he was being honest.

What time was it? He had no idea. Getting up onto somewhat shaky legs, he toddled towards the door. There wasn't a handle on his side. And when he pushed against it, it didn't so much as budge a millimeter. Either he just wasn't strong enough or it was locked from the other side. That wasn't good.

Hiro felt his breathing come more rapidly again. He had to force the panic back down. Obviously he wasn't in any place he knew. Chances were good someone had taken him, though he had no idea who or how. With his friends practically standing guard around him, he couldn't see how it was possible. Unless...

No. That couldn't be, he thought. Why would Q's powers remove him from his friend's home? There wasn't any logical reason behind it. Just like there was no logical reason behind why it had turned him into a child. Maybe he was looking at this the wrong way. Too bad he didn't have Baymax to spot him so he could look for a new angle.

The screeching of metal broke into Hiro's train of thought and all sense of logic fled his mind. He backed away from the door, his heart suddenly pounding. He kept moving backward until he ran into the nest of blankets, falling onto his rear.

The sound came closer, like someone was dragging something across the floor. Then it stopped. There was some shuffling from the other side of the door. Then a rattling of what might have been keys. With a squeak of protest, the door slowly moved outward.

"You awake in there?"

The voice was decidedly not familiar. Definitely masculine. And, for whatever reason, it made the panic rise in Hiro once more. He scrambled back into the nest, pulling the blankets up around him.

"Don't be afraid," the voice continued as the door closed once more. "I'm not going to hurt you."

Hiro shuddered in his little ball, head covered. He could hear heavy footsteps coming closer. His mind seemed to fragment with the panic as he felt a hand pull at the blanket. "No!" he cried out, trying to get away from the probing hands. "Max! Dashi!"

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