Chapter Thirty Four: You're Going The Wrong Way

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When Hiro could see again, he realized he was still in the underground cavern, but Picard, Q, and the others were gone. The ground shook underfoot and he almost went down. "I gotta find a way out of here," he said aloud, more out of habit than anything.

He still remembered how Q had said the place was going to essentially blow to high heaven in only a matter of hours. But if the space traveling group hadn't been able to find a way out of there without Q's help, how was he going to on his own?

"Okay, Hiro," he said to himself, "there's gotta be a way out of this place. Just look for a new angle. You can do this." At least he wasn't in pain anymore, though it was still cold. The icicles were growing in size all around him, slowly encroaching him. They were deep blue inside, telling him just how cold it really was. Why hadn't the others been shivering like he was now? His teeth practically rattled with the violence of his shivers.

"Focus on what's important," he admonished himself. "Now's not the time to think about that kind of stuff." He had to find a way out of there before the thing imploded or he froze to death, whichever came first. "You've got this." Man, he really wished Baymax was there, in full out armor. That way he could just punch a hole in the rock and they could fly out. Of course, once that was accomplished, he'd still have to figure out how to get off the planet.

Not sure what else to do, Hiro started walking down another tunnel, heading away from the cavern he'd just visited. After all, doing something was better than doing nothing. He kept rubbing his arms across his chest to try and keep warm, his three-quarter length khakis exposing the bottom part of his legs. Those parts were covered in goose bumps, but there wasn't anything he could do about it. They would soon feel the kiss of frostbite, if they weren't already. He couldn't tell.

"You're going the wrong way, Knucklehead."

Hiro stopped, quickly turning around but didn't see anyone. "T-tadashi? Is that you?" His voice quivered from shivering, his teeth chattering with both fear and cold.

"Over here," the voice called out again and Hiro turned to see his brother standing in front of an empty space. "If you want to get out of here, you have to go this way."

Hiro moved closer, trying to peer past his brother. But if there was anything to see, he couldn't see it. It was almost like someone had thrown indigo ink at the wall, leaving a giant blotch large enough for him to stand next to it without reaching its top, except he could feel a draft of air coming from that blotch. "I can't see anything," he complained as he took a step back.

Tadashi turned to look in the same direction as his brother, though his body seemed somewhat transparent, now that Hiro thought about it. "If you want to get out of here, it's the only way. You do want to go home, don't you?"

The teen genius couldn't help but feel some misgivings. "Yes?" He sounded far from certain. Everything that had happened since waking in that warehouse prison somehow felt off. Even now, he couldn't be sure he was actually awake. "I just... I just don't want to go alone."

He felt Tadashi cuff him on the shoulder. "Hiro, you've never been alone. Remember? I've always been here. Right here." He pressed one finger against Hiro's chest. "I never left. You just never asked for my help until now."

"But I didn't ask," Hiro protested as he took a few more steps back. His eyes felt a bit fuzzy. It took him a moment to realize it was because they'd misted over with unshed tears. "Why can't I ever see in you something that isn't a dream or make believe? It's not fair!"

Tadashi let out an exaggerated sigh. "Haven't we been through this already? Remember what happened when you wished for the chance to bring me back? You can't change fixed points in time, Hiro. It destabilizes the whole universe. You almost died."

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