Armageddon

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"So why does Callaghan want to hurt Krei?"

Tadashi's leg bounced anxiously as he fired up his little brother's garage computer, his friend's questions spinning like a whirlpool in his head. He had tried his best to explain why Callaghan had to be the masked man, but he had been so frazzled that it probably just sounded like German to the group.

"Callaghan seemed to be furious with Krei when he talked to Hiro at the showcase," Tadashi explained, typing in Hiro's password and mentally rolling his eyes. GummyBear113 isn't a password, bonehead.

"Yeah, but why?"

"Something had to have happened between the two of them to make them hate each other so much," Gogo said. "I've known Callaghan a whole year and I've met Krei a few times, but they're still the nicest people I've ever met, at least until they're in the same room together. Whatever that machine was has to be what caused it."

"I'm sorry, I still don't get it," Wasabi said, shaking his head. "How could Professor Callaghan be the masked man? He's dead!"

"But do we know that for sure?" Tadashi asked, spinning around in Hiro's chair. "Think about it. No bodies were recovered from the showcase fire, no inventions either. They only determined that Callaghan was the only victim because he never came out. What if he never came out because he used Hiro's microbots to escape? We saw those microbots on the dock. He must have started the fire to steal Hiro's microbots and then tried to drag Hiro into the fire to make it look like they both died. He failed the first time because of the explosion, but...It makes perfect sense. The threats, the plate number. 'R' stands for Robert."

Honey Lemon gasped and covered her mouth, her eyes as wide as dinner plates.

"But what could have driven Callaghan to want to kill Krei? And what about those men that took Hiro? Who were they?"

"When I went to see Yama, he told me that they're private detectives. Robert must have hired them to take Hiro to maintain his cover."

"It's classic villain," Fred said with a wave of his hand. "Callaghan fakes his death and uses Hiro to take down his nemesis. Hiro must have been the one to build more of Callaghan's microbots and build whatever that thing on the dock was."

Tadashi's head perked as the computer behind him opened to the home screen, and he frantically went to the browser and began searching for islands near San Fransokyo.

"There!" Honey said, leaning forward and pointing at the screen. "It says...Aku...Akuma Island!"

Tadashi's eyes were fixated on the photo of the island, which appeared to be about three miles offshore of San Fransokyo. It was large, and he could barely make out a wired fence surrounding it but it wasn't enough to make him rip off a piece of paper from beside him and frantically scribble down the name and the coordinates.

"This is it," Tadashi swallowed thickly, his heart thumping loudly in his ears. He swiveled to face his friends, looking to each of them with determination. Rage still threatened to overcome him at the thought of his professor torturing Hiro somewhere and his grip on the paper tightened as he licked suddenly dry lips and cleared his throat.

"This...this is Hiro."

.   .   .

Hiro fluttered his eyes open slowly, pain immediately overtaking his thoughts. His throat suddenly constricted and a brutal convulsion ripped through his small frame as he lurched forward, a terrible coughing fit so vicious it made his entire body tremble and quake.

He finally regained himself, grimacing and gripping his throat. He looked to his elbow that he had been coughing into and gasped at the sight of blood, his heart thumping loudly at the sight. God, what was happening to him? He looked down at himself and sighed in defeat.

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