Chapter Thirty Eight: Begun To Suspect

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Hiro couldn't believe he was actually doing this. Part of him knew he'd done this multiple times before, though not quite like this. Instead of rebuilding the microbots, he'd decided to go a completely different route. He was just having a hard time deciding if it was really a good idea or not.

When he'd woken for this incarnation, shortly after dying at the hospital, he'd come to the less than awesome realization that no matter how many times he reincarnated, or whatever it was, he was going to start each timeline over with some kind of malady or other. And this time was no exception. The sad thing was that with each new incarnation, his mind seemed that less organized and able to handle what was going on.

This time around, he'd come to with a really bad case of pneumonia, of call things. Pneumonia! He could have sworn he'd either been vaccinated or had a case as a child. Either way, it sucked to go through it again. His chest had felt tight and he had off and on hot and cold chills. Though the coughing was the worst part. He'd felt like he couldn't get enough air in his lungs, like they were constricted or something.

But, even with all the difficulties associated with the disease, Between Tadashi and Aunt Cass, the two had patiently nursed him back to health. Sadly, it had taken a good two weeks to get back to some semblance of normal, though he was still short of breath at times, even though almost a month had passed.

Having realized the showcase was the triggering incident that took Tadashi away from him, and maybe his microbots as well, he'd opted to go for a different route. Instead, he'd stolen Baymax and recreated their hero gear. Now that he stood at the brink of fully instigating his plan, however, he couldn't help but wonder if he was making a huge mistake.

"Your heart rate has increased dramatically," Baymax said as he turned to observe his companion. They stood just outside the secret military base on Akuma Island, somewhere Hiro wasn't sure he should be. From the get-go, things had been decidedly different than in previous timelines. But he still had to do this. If he could fix the Portal and bring Abigail back, Callaghan wouldn't set the fire that would kill his brother.

Ignoring his robotic companion's warning, Hiro activated the laser cutter he'd brought with him, slicing the bolts on the large steel door. With Baymax's help, they moved it to one side, opening up the inner cavity of the secret base. "So far so good," Hiro breathed as he stepped into the walkway. Even though he knew this was a bad idea, he couldn't help but feel a sense of excited anticipation.

He remembered every step as if ingrained into his mind as he walked down the corridor. He probably should have tried to get the team back together, but hadn't actually been introduced to them this go around. It just hadn't come around. And with Tadashi working on some project for one of his teachers, he'd been too busy to bring him to his lab. That and Hiro hadn't shown any tendency towards a bot fight, probably giving Tadashi a false sense of security.

After a while, Hiro came across the sliding door that revealed the Portal area. He carefully slid it open enough to admit himself and his companion, before sliding it closed behind him. So far so good. He hadn't come across any signs that anyone else was there. Despite that, he couldn't help but feel a sense of foreboding. Something wasn't quite right.

Baymax tilted his head as he watched his young charge. "Hiro?" he inquired softly, not wanting to startle him. It was obvious the teen was tense, his body prepared for instant fight or flight mode. He didn't even need his sensor to detect that. The boy's body language gave it away.

Breathing accelerated, Hiro turned to look towards the two portals, one partially destroyed, the other intact. They were exactly where they should be. He turned towards the control room to his left and headed up the stairs leading to it. Why did he feel things were off? And what was off in the first place?

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