Hiro nodded slowly, and you could practically hear the gears in his head turning.
"I couldn't afford to pay them, of course," he said, gesturing up to the computer lab where Hiro assumed their dead bodies were still lying. "Still, they waited for just the right moment to attack, but there was someone in the way. Someone else was having you followed, Hiro."
Hiro's eyes widened, and he wrecked his brain for an explanation. Why were so many people after him, and why now? Why were they all hunting him at the same time?
Hiro, still preoccupied with his own shock, narrowed his eyes in anger. Couldn't these geniuses just leave well enough alone and invent something themselves? Something original? Because of their greed, Hiro may not ever see his family again, and the frustration in his heart flourished into something violent as he tried once again to break free from the ropes slicing into his skin. Robert, however, paid him no mind, continuing with his monologue.
"Well, eventually, my guys got around whoever else was after you and captured you first. So, here you are."
Hiro, who continued to struggle, finally spit off the duct tape sealed on his face, gulping in air before bracing himself to speak.
"I don't get it," Hiro croaked, his voice hoarse. "How could you do this to me? To my family? What could have possibly driven you to become some kidnapper? A criminal?"
"Do you remember the question I asked you?" Robert asked, choosing his words carefully. "About wanting to undo something terrible?"
Hiro nodded slowly, causing Robert to sigh and drop down to Hiro's level. He stood in front of Hiro, glaring down at him.
"This is it," he said, gesturing to the portals. "I had a daughter. Her name was Abigail. She was my world...she was my only family. She was smart, like you. She went bot fighting, like you. She was my everything. But then..."
Hiro leaned forward in anticipation, never once taking his eyes off of the old Professor as the man seemed to struggle for words beneath his mask.
"But then, she was taken from me," Robert continued through gritted teeth. "She was taken from me in the most...unfair way imaginable. A way that could have been avoided if ego and money weren't at the forefront of Krei's mind."
Once again, Hiro shook his head in confusion. What exactly went down between Krei and Callaghan that caused all of this to explode? And how could Krei have been responsible for Abigail being taken?
"Taken?" Hiro asked, licking suddenly dry lips. "C-can you get her back?"
"She's dead, Hiro," Robert spat, and Hiro's heart sank at the implication.
"She was killed by Alistar Krei," he growled, physically having to force the name out of his throat like it was a snake. "If he hadn't been so foolish and reckless, none of this ever would have happened, but...but it did happen. And you are going to help me undo it."
Robert slithered closer to the large portals, studying them carefully before directing his gaze back to a disoriented Hiro.
"These are portals," he said, examining the black marks stretching across them from an explosion of some kind. "They're the result of a government experiment called 'Silent Sparrow.' Alistar Krei was the so-called mastermind behind the project, and my daughter Abigail was its test subject."
Hiro listened intently, slightly cowering into his shoulders at the realization that Robert was becoming agitated behind his mask.
"But they were destroyed after the first test," he continued, his voice shaking. "When Krei finally got the General to come down to this lab to see what the portals were capable of, he didn't let anything stop him. Not even a...a slight irregularity in the magnetic containment field. That slight irregularity killed her!"
YOU ARE READING
After the SFIT showcase, nothing was ever the same again. Tadashi thought that it was a one-time thing, that his little brother would be safe. But after being proved horribly wrong, Tadashi has to fight through fire and rain to save Hiro's life, wit...