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Big Hero 6: Silver Sunfire

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"Vision without action is a daydream. Action without vision is a nightmare."

-Japanese Proverb

Heroes aren't always noble.

Take a long, hard look at the leaders of the world. Sure, they may appear friendly, nice, and truthful in front of your eyes, but in the end, they hold dark secrets. These are the secrets that turns their honesty into cowardice as they hold onto them for a long time. In the end, when a person is at the brink of death, they reveal the image of what they truly are. The curtains part away the darkness to reveal a fragile soul even more brittle than the secrets that they hold. Once revealed, they are no longer they hero they thought they were. Every hero is the same: a protector hiding secrets so that people don't have to suffer the horrors that they experienced in the past.

For me, I am that hero.

To most people, I don't wear a cape and fly around in skin-tight suits, lifting skyscrapers and burning buildings. I don't possess superhuman strength that is stronger than a thousand suns. I don't believe that a world where justice and peace reign can be a perfect utopia. I don't look in the mirror and see myself as the shining exemplar of human civilization. No, I don't think I'm a perfect hero.

So, what kind of hero am I?

To the people, a hero can be somebody who gives their last paycheck to a starving person on the street. A hero is the person who goes against his own beliefs to protect a friend who is scorned and ridiculed under them. A hero can be the little child who gives a dying parent a last glass of water. A hero…well, a hero can be anyone. That's the thing about people: any single one of them can be a watchful guardian, regardless of what they have done or what they believe in.

A hero of the people: That's who I was to the people of San Fransokyo.

People fear that which is different to them: a proverb taught to me when I was a boy. Now, as I look upon the frightened faces that fear me, I know why they are scared. They have never seen anything like me before; a mutant who possesses the power to control the light. They saw themselves as the insects; I was the sun that was supposed to bathe them in holy fire. In time, they understood, their fear quickly dissipating. What had started off as fear turned into trust; with their trust, I gained their support. I had slowly arisen from a pariah to a living legend.

Yet, how could a monster like myself turn into a guardian? Well…it's quite simple really.

People change. No matter what comes in the future, people are changed by the actions that happen around them. On some days, there's good change; on some days, there's bad change. In the end, it doesn't matter what kind of change comes. We all change in time, regardless what happens to us. And that change has allowed us to survive in a world filled with darkness. For if we change, we will learn to endure. If we endure, we will survive.

A hero always changes.


"Nii-san, I want a story!"

"Calm down, Shingen-kun. You're not properly tucked in bed yet!"

"Mariko, are you putting Shingen to sleep?"

"Yes, Papa-san. I'll be in bed soon!"

"Nii-san, why's Grandpa-san always up so late?"

"You know Papa-san's sick, Shingen. He's busy working with his doctors so he can get better!"

"What's he sick with?"

"I don't know, Shingen-kun. But don't worry; Papa-san will get better! Now, how about that bedtime story?"

"Yeah! Tell me my favorite one: the Battle of Sekigahara!"

"Oh, Shingen, I don't know why you love that one! I made up so many details in that story, Papa-san almost sent me back to history class!"

"That one's my favorite, though! Please tell me it! Please?"

"Okay, Shingen, okay. Alright, now, do you know how the story began? There were two armies; both of them wanted control of Japan, they were…"

"The East and the West!"

"That's right, Shingen-kun! Now, the Western Army was led by a general who wanted to keep Japan under imperial rule. The people were frightened at the Western Army: they didn't want the big, scary Monkey King's rule that they lived under."

"Why was the Monkey King scary?"

"To his rich friends, he acted kind and caring. But to the people, he made them work harder than the rich people. It was unfair how he treated the other people because the rich people didn't have to work as hard as they did."

"That's mean, Nii-san! It's unfair! Grandpa-san says everyone has their own share of work!"

"Yes, but the Monkey King didn't see that way, Shingen. So, after the Monkey King died, the Western Army didn't want to lose the power the Monkey King gave them. So, they set out to reclaim Japan for themselves!"

"But the Eastern Army wanted to free the land! Ieyasu wanted everyone to be equal and fair!"

"Lord Ieyasu, Shingen-kun. His full name was Lord Ieyasu Tokugawa, and he wanted a peaceful unification of Japan. He believed that all people were the same, regardless where they came from. Rich or poor, it didn't matter to Ieyasu: all people deserved an equal chance to be happy and be rich."

"So, Ieyasu went to Sekigahara, to fight the Western Army!"

"Yes, the winner of this battle would decide who would rule the land: The East or the West. Remember who led the Western Army? Lord Mitsunari. He was the one who was the Monkey King's successor, and he wanted to keep the Monkey King's empire alive. When Lord Ieyasu went on the battlefield, Lord Mitsunari decided to send his best forces at him, hoping he would be crushed."

"So, what happened to Lord Ieyasu? Did he get defeated?"

"Quite the contrary, Shingen. Lord Ieyasu predicted Lord Mitsunari's plan, and instead of facing the main force in front of the battle, he split the army and two, and attacked from both sides. Thus, Lord Mitsunari's army fled in panic, and the soldiers that were remaining fled to the main base."

"And, so, Lord Ieyasu captured Lord Mitsunari, and everyone lived happily ever after!"

"Shingen, that's not how it goes."

"…What do you mean?"

"What I mean is that…Well, Papa-san told me to tell what really happened. It didn't feel right when I told the story to him...So, I changed it a little."

"Is it still the same story as before?"

"Oh, it is, but I think you'll like the little twist I put on it…Are you ready, Shingen-kun?"

"Tell the story, Nii-san! Tell it!"

"Alright. So, remember where we left off? We were at the part where the Eastern Army was almost towards the Western Army's main base. The Eastern Army had decided to surround the fort and wait for Lord Mitsunari's surrender. However, Lord Mitsunari was angry, refusing to give into Lord Ieyasu's demands. He never lost a battle in his life, and he wasn't about to lose this one…"

"So, what did Lord Mitsunari do?"

"In his tent, there was a black blade sitting on top of Mitsunari's desk. The person who cut his hand on the blade would awaken a powerful demon: one strong enough to bring down entire cities, destroy armies, and powerful enough to level Japan to the ground. Lord Mitsunari didn't care what price he had to pay, he wanted to win. He never wanted to see Lord Ieyasu on the throne; even if it meant his death."

"What did Lord Mitsunari do with the blade?"

"He took the blade in one hand, and opened his other hand. It didn't matter how much pain it gave him, Shingen, so he cut his hand. The blood dropped onto the blade, and the room suddenly went dark. Outside, the skies were beginning to cloud, the ground began to shake, and a low groan could be heard from the earth. The shaking began to scare the soldiers, and Lord Ieyasu was getting confused and a bit scared…"

"Lord Ieyasu scared….what was he scared of? Was it the…the beast?"

"The beast has a name, Shingen-kun, but don't be frightened by it. From the darkness, a terrible serpent descended upon the planes of Sekigahara. Fin Fang Foom: an ancient demon lizard who was once ruler of the Eastern Lands and Seas, only to be imprisoned by the Ancient Gods above. After a decade, he secretly broke free of his prison as the Ancient Gods faded through time, where the One Kami began to rule through all. Once he was free, Fin Fang Foom hid back in the Underworld, waiting for his chance to return. Sekigahara was a perfect place to wreak havoc…"

"But…Lord Ieyasu didn't lose, right? You're- I don't like this story! I know you're going to end it with Lord Ieyasu being killed by Fin Fang- Urgh, I forgot! Change the story, Nii-san! I want the old one!"

"Now, now, Shingen, we're not finished yet. I promise you, Lord Ieyasu didn't die. If you promise to let me finish, I'll finish the story, alright?"

"…Promise."

"So, where was I? Oh, right. Fin Fang Foom was a deadly monster, and when he arrived on the battlefield, every soldier trembled in fear at his huge form. He had teeth as sharp as claws, hands that could crush mountains, and his three heads breathed fire and shot out deadly smoke that could choke you until you die. When he stomped across the battlefield, everyone ran in fear as they tried to avoid the beast's breath. It was almost over for the Eastern Army, as Lord Ieyasu saw the beast approach his main camp…"

"What did he do, Nii-san? Oh, please tell me the monster didn't eat Lord Ieyasu! He's supposed to be the hero!"

"Ah, Shingen, always excited for the great part, huh? Of course Lord Ieyasu didn't lose, he had the help of his three courageous heroes: The Archer Maiden Ina, who could fire a million arrows into the sky, The Shadow Ninja Hanzo Hattori, who used the shadows to hide from his enemies, and The Great Tadakatsu Honda, the strongest warrior in Japan, who wielded the Tonbo-giri, a huge, silver halberd that could cut through anything."

"Yay, I love Tadakatsu, Nii-san! He's my favorite hero! Remember when he held off ten armies by himself? That was awesome!"

"The beast, noticing the three heroes, towered over their little forms, as it took a deep heave, charging its breath. But before the beast could fire, the Archer Maiden let loose a tsunami of arrows from the sky, raining down upon the beast. Fin Fang Foom stumbled as he tried to shield himself from the arrows, but it was no use: each arrow found its mark upon the beast's hide. With the beast distracted, the Shadow Ninja darted around the beast, trapping the body with his chains. The beast tried its best to break free, but it could not move around anymore!"

"Go on, go on, Nii-san! Come on, tell the story!"

"I'm just getting to the good part, Shingen-kun. Then, Tadakatsu, raising his Tonbo-giri to the heavens above, charged forwards, leapt high into the air, and plunged his spear into the beast's heart!"

"Woah! Did he defeat the beast? Did he?"

"Indeed, Shingen. The three heroes managed to slay Fin Fang Foom. As it roared in agony, it began to dissolve into the dark skies above. It grew smaller and smaller until it dispersed into a cloud of black dust, floating into nothingness. At last: the skies cleared, and the Eastern Army cheered as Lord Ieyasu's famous heroes walked into the Western Army's camp and took Lord Mitsunari as prisoner."

"Wait- I thought he used his blood to summon the beast! Shouldn't he be dead?"

"No, Shingen, the beast weakened Lord Mitsunari greatly. He was still alive, and he felt the greatest shame as he bowed at Lord Ieyasu's feet. As punishment for almost endangering the land of Japan, he was banished, never to return…"

"Serves him right! Lord Mitsunari is a big jerk!"

"True, but in the end, Shingen, did you know what Lord Ieyasu did? When Lord Mitsunari was sick and close to dying, Lord Ieyasu visited him on his deathbed and forgave him. The greatest thing a ruler like Lord Ieyasu could do is forgive his enemies, Shingen. We may not be the same, but we are also capable of forgiveness. Remember, Shingen: learn not to hate, but to forgive.

"You're…You're right, Nii-san. Forgive me. I feel like a jerk now…"

"Oh, silly Shingen-kun! It's only a story! Besides, I haven't told you what happened after the Battle of Sekigahara!"

"Ooh, so what happened in the end?"

"Well, with Japan finally unified, Lord Ieyasu began his reign of peace. He and his followers set out to create a stronger, equal Japan: one which everyone could be happy under. This era of peace in Japan became known as the Tokugawa Era. For centuries beyond, Japan would blossom into a country of prosperity, as it flourished under the great promises of peace. Today, Lord Ieyasu's legacy is still remembered in the hearts of the people of Japan: a ruler who learned to love and forgive others."

"What happened to Tadakatsu? And, Hanzo? And, Ina?"

"Ah, well, Shingen, I don't know how exactly they lived after serving Lord Ieyasu. It is said that they disappeared through time, vowing to return when the time is right. But that was a long time ago, Shingen. Now, heroes like Tadakatsu and Ina are in very short supply. It's rare to see them nowadays…"

"Mariko, it is late. Come, dear Shingen needs his rest…"

"Grandpa-san, I'm not tired…I'm…I'm ready for another story, Nii-san…"

"Papa-san is right, Shingen-kun. It's time for you to sleep. Hold on, Papa-san, I'll just tuck Shingen in."

"Of course, my granddaughter. Good night, Shingen. The spirits of our ancestors shall watch over you…"

"Thanks, Grandpa-san…Nii-san…I wanna be a samurai…Like Tadakatsu… I wanna be a hero…like them…"

"I'm sure you will be, Shingen-kun. You'll be the best samurai that's ever lived…"

"You promise…?"

"Of course I promise…"

"Alright…Good night, Nii-san…"

"Good night, Shingen-kun….My little samurai…"

"My shining, little Silver Samurai…"


Yashida International Flight #0593

Location: Pacific Ocean

Destination: San Fransokyo International Airport

Time: 7:00 AM

"Sir…Excuse me, sir?"

Sunrise. The blinding light shone through the boy's eyes as his eyelids fluttered open, his hand raising to counteract the piercing rays of the sun…

It was morning. Had he been sleeping throughout the whole flight?

"Forgive me, sir. We're ten minutes away from our current destination." The haughty, stern flight attendant was staring at the boy as if he was some sort of junkie. However, it was quite the opposite. "All passengers at this time must fasten their seatbelts for the descent trip to the airport."

Nineteen-year old Shingen Yashida rubbed his eyes as he finally came to his senses. The silent hum of the cabin reverberated in his ear drums, as Shingen noticed the shuffle of passengers readying their seatbelts. The smell of coffee made Shingen's mouth salivate in pleasure; the scented aroma of the coffee beans easily made his way towards him, rushing into his nostrils and filling him with thoughts of thirst. Ah, first class. Where the seats are soft, the coffee exquisite, and some of the strictest flight attendants available. Thank God his sister, Mariko, was working on reorganizing the staffing…

"If you are unable to put on your seatbelt, sir," the flight attendant continued, "I would be happily available to-"

"Wha- Oh, no, no! It's fine, really." Shingen chuckled nervously as he quickly put on his seatbelt, giving a cheeky grin as he put his hands behind his head. "Sorry about the delay, ma'am. Mornings. Heh, jet lag's really gonna do a number on me, huh?"

He only earned a sigh and a roll of the eyes as the flight attendant moved on to the other seats, making sure that the seatbelts were properly fastened. Shingen sighed in relief as he stretched out his arms as best he could. Sleeping while sitting wasn't really his style: it would sometimes make his back sore for about a few hours. However, the young prodigy could just jog it off with a tour of the streets of San Fransokyo, the place he was heading towards now…

"Ladies and gentlemen, we will now be making our descent towards San Fransokyo National Airport. The time is now 7:04 AM, and we have a lovely view of the San Fransokyo sunrise, if you look to your left. We will begin our descent shortly. At this time, please refrain from moving about the cabin, and be sure to fasten your seatbelts."

San Fransokyo. He had heard tales of the city when he was a kid.

The vast coast opened to shining shores filled with crystal waters, illuminating the ocean above. The sun shone brighter than any light, such purification was heartwarming to the soul. Across this barrier of water was a gate: the gate towards Shingen's future destiny. He hadn't planned to stay in Japan for very long. Shingen wanted to explore, go places. There would be no stopping his progress, even if it meant going the distance…

BZZT!

Taking a quick look at his watch, Shingen sighed as he remembered something crucial: time for his daily reports. He always kept a short summary of his day and what would be coming in the future.

He wore a light, white hoodie that had shortened sleeves. However, inside the jacket, were numerous pockets that Shingen occasionally stored his inventory. Opening the zipper, Shingen reached inside and pulled out a paper-thin tablet. Technology these days: computers could now be wide as a single sheet of copy paper, and almost as durable as adamantium. Huh, an adamantium-plated compute. Sharp.

But too feral.

Shingen, chuckling at the thought of the invention, pressed his finger on the middle of the tablet. A small hum resonated as he placed upon his lap. In a low fuzz, a holographic screen materialized into a Japanese symbol. It was the kanji honor: the new logo of Yashida Industries. Shingen remember what his sister had taught him about honor: always show it to everyone around you. Remembering these words, Shingen silently remembered the vow to restore his company's honor. It would not only be his sister's duty, but his as well.

It was one task he couldn't fail.

Voice confirmation required. Please speak clearly in a firm voice.

Shingen knew that something was coming: an event that would change the course of his entire life. Out of all the billions of moments he could think of, this was the diamond in the rough that stood out to him. For, the beginnings of a hero started from small steps. This adventure was just the gateway for many events to come. Each one of them will define his actions, shape his self, and most importantly, transform him into the man he is destined to be.

Shingen Yashida.


Every hero needs a beginning.

This is Shingen Yashida's.

The boy who would eventually become…

The Silver Samurai.


Chapter Text

Location: San Fransokyo Slums

Destination: Unmarked Alleyway

Time: 5:00 AM

"…I don't like this, it's too quiet-"

The young recruit's question fell on silent ears as his mentor raised a hand to stop him from talking. The cold, brisk wind pounded against the young recruit's jacket, causing him to shiver. Incessant honks of cars echoed in the alleyway as commuters started their daily routine. Shops and cafes opened, providing warm breakfast to hungry customers. Speeding across a magnetic rail, the bullet trains rocketed towards their destination. Across the city, it was as if a mental alarm clock activated the entire city to life.

Mornings in San Fransokyo were always active. If they weren't, it wouldn't be called a "City of Progress".

"Erm…How long are we supposed to wait here?" The recruit muttered, trying to avoid the wind by keeping against a brick wall. Yet, he recoiled as he felt the damp moisture from last night seep onto his suit. He decided to just shrug it off, keeping his arms folded and his teeth chattering.

The mentor just rolled his eyes as he replied in a brisk tone, "Kid, when our contact gets here, he'll get here. Besides, the deal should be short. Just in time for us to catch breakfast."

"He better get here soon…I don't want to do some dumb courier work for the next few weeks; I wanna beat some punks up!" replied the young enforcer, rubbing his tired eyes.

WHACK!

The recruit yelped as the sudden slap sent him tumbling to the wet ground. "W-What the heck did you do that for?" He squealed, rubbing his head to null the pain, "What's wrong with-"

"The thing wrong with you is how you tend to start premature actions as the final resort." The mentor continued, "You're Yakuza: you don't beat up street punks for nothing. We protect the House: that's it."

"But…But how are we supposed to show an example if we don't fight now and then? I…I mean…"

Suddenly, the enforcer slapped the recruit's shoulder as he noticed a pair of cloaked figures slowly approach them, each carrying a box in their hands. "Well, one thing you can do now: look sharp. Act like you're professional." The enforcer muttered those last words as the two approached from what appears to be their contract: or, yet, contracts.

"I am X." The first hooded man spoke as they arrived to the two Yakuza members, who bowed in respect to their contracts. After bowing back, he motioned to his companion, as he continued, "This is my companion, Y. Your House requested a…trial period for our equipment?"

"Indeed." The enforcer crossed his arms as he moved closer towards the two men, "I hope these weapons are as good as you say they are."

"I can assure you, the Yakuza will be very pleased with our goods. Y, follow me into the alleyway. We will show our compatriots just how powerful these weapons are."

With that, X and Y went deeper into the dark alleyway, with the Yakuza Enforcers on their trail. As they came to a secluded dead-end that was deep enough through the alley, the two hooded men dropped the boxes and quickly began to unlock them. The two Yakuza members turned around to make sure they weren't being followed, then turned back to keep an eye on their contracts.

"Who are these guys, anyway?" The recruit whispered in the enforcer's ear, as he looked at the pitch, black darkness of their capes. It seemed to almost resemble a void, gaping and consuming all light in its maw. "Those capes look too dark for our tastes…"

"Shush!" Another hard nudge to the recruit's shoulder made him shut up, as the enforcer quickly whispered back, "It's the Brotherhood of Shadow."

The Brotherhood of Shadow was a criminal branch that had powerful ties to various criminal organizations such as the Sinister Six or the infamous group H.Y.D.R.A, responsible for various robberies around San Fransokyo. Although operating on its own separate occasions, the Brotherhood mainly serves at the behest of H.Y.D.R.A's call; since the two groups had a powerful connection over the past, they mainly work in close tandem to cause mayhem wherever they go.

Now, with the Brotherhood of Shadow beginning to operate in San Fransokyo, it would not be long until they get involve with the Yakuza…

"Your whispers fail to become clandestine: but it is common among Yakuza." X chuckled in a smug tone as he finalized the unlocking, standing up to look the enforcers in the eye. "Yes, it is true." He continued, "We are from the Brotherhood of Shadow, for such actions in this city require our…immediate attention."

"Yeah, things have changed since then." The enforcer replied, as he cleared his throat. "While you guys were in Japan, San Fransokyo has had a change in the way they deal with criminals like us. They stick to costumed vigilantes now: I hear they call themselves the Big Hero 6."

"Yes, we have heard of their exploits." The tone on X's voice showed disinterest, as if he was anticipating this response. "Let me guess: have your attempts to quell the interlopers fail in great defeat?"

"You make it sound like you could do better." The enforcer retorted, raising an eyebrow.

Laughing, X chuckled as he adjusted his hood, making sure his face was cloaked under the cover of darkness. The light revealed his true self: it was a face he didn't want to show the Yakuza. Not now, at the least. "A man's extent of his power is only challenged by his limits." X simply replied back. "You are only human; yet, you allow a bunch of high-school children make you look like cannon fodder to the citizens of San Fransokyo."

"Why you little-"The recruit cracked his knuckles as he tried to charge at X, only to be held back by the Enforcer, "I'll make you regret those words, ya little-"

THWONK!

"Excuse my colleague, he's a bit irritated today." The recruit groaned as he meekly retreated behind the enforcer, ashamed at his outburst. "He's new, so cut him some slack."

"As expected." X shook his head disappointingly as he turned back to Y, who had just finished setting up the preparations. If this was the caliber of the Yakuza, they'll need more than firepower to bring down Big Hero 6.

Turning a stern eye towards his recruit, the older Yakuza looked back towards the mysterious cloaked figures as they were busily finalizing the weapons. However, something about their behavior was…inconsistent. Their furtive movements made it difficult for them to analyze what they were doing. It all seemed very suspicious, as if they were hiding something darker. Yet for the Yakuza, it was common to think that way. They not only had a family to protect, but an organization to uphold.

"So…" The Older Yakuza Enforcer began to stall out his response as he slowly tried to peer over the cloaked figures to see the weapon, "When do we-"

CLICK.

His words were quickly interrupted by a hard shove of the barrel pressing tightly against his stomach. He looked up in horror as he saw the two dealers, their guns trained on him, fully charged and ready to fire. These weren't simple assault rifles: improved energy carbines, capable of shredding a man to tiny pieces. At close range, he would be eviscerated in a mere fraction of a second, without any time to utter a last breath.

He should have known better to trust these mercenaries.

"You obviously think we'll give these weapons to criminal scum such as yourself?" X replied with a sneer, "Your pathetic and feeble attempts to control this city have only ended in complete failure, it's time somebody else took over."

"Nobu…What…What are they-"The younger recruit could only watch in horror as his superior was captured at the behest of two criminals. Without guidance, there was nothing he could do except watch…

"Taki…Run…Go back and tell the others…Tell them-"

BZZT!

In a blinding flash, Nobu, the loyal Yakuza enforcer, felt his body separate into millions of pieces as the carbines disintegrated every fiber in his being. The burning light illuminated the floating silhouette of a once, tall standing mentor towards a young recruit, who had entered the Yakuza in hopes of making a name for himself. Now, one of his closest companions lay dead, the very man who took him in when no one else would.

This would be the path towards his future. A path that would only end in darkness…

"That's right, little boy, tell them." X and Y lowered their guns as they began to walk towards Taki in a menacing pace, "A new age is coming; and for sinners and harlots such as yourself, you will be consumed by darkness. So, go and run home: tell your masters-"

Taki couldn't bear to hear this anymore: he sprinted out of the darkened alleyway and into the cold morning of San Fransokyo. As fast as his legs could carry him, he could still feel the darkness surround his every step. And that voice; it couldn't be ignored. All Taki could do was run, tears flowing down his face, as he remembered the final words of the demons he met in the alleyway…

These were the first words of a terrible beginning…

"Tell your masters…The Brotherhood of Shadow has arisen."


Location: San Fransokyo International Airport

Destination: San Fransokyo Technical Institute

Time: 7:23 AM

"…Have you anything to declare, Shingen Yashida, for entering San Fransokyo for the first time?"

Shingen Yashida chuckled at this little statement made by the officer. Indeed, ever since the Industrial Ages, not many security officers said that. "Well, to make it simple, I'm glad to be living in this Golden State." Shingen finally replied, as he gave a slight grin at his response.

Golden State. Somebody ought to trade mark that.

"Nice choice of words, Mr. Yashida." The officer chuckled as he removed the lock on the gate. "Welcome to San Fransokyo. And, to the only place we hope you call home!"

Security checkpoints: San Fransokyo was indeed strict about their security.

However, before the San Fransokyo International Airport was diverted near the Port of San Fransokyo, the original place for security was actually located on the abandoned islet of Akuma Island, which was shut down due to KreiTech's infamous Callaghan Accident; a failed teleporter experiment that resulted in the supposed death of Abagail Callaghan, daughter to the renowned professor Robert Callaghan, currently jailed for masquerading as a supervillain named Yokai. For most reasons, the island was considered to sparse and lacked adequate places to set up a linear security outpost: the terrain was too rocky and plateaus often eroded, leading to unstable ground. Thus, it was more efficient to place an airport close to the seaport, as the hybrid implementation of air and sea made it simpler to track all of the departures and arrivals in one place. After construction, there had been rumors of separating the airport to a more remote location, so that port activities could run more smoothly.

Looking outside the large, landscape window, Shingen saw the Port of San Fransokyo, brightly lit with luminescent bulbs, directing ships to their ports. The sunrise had been blocked by the enormous skyscrapers that were facing the east, so some parts of the port remained shadowed by darkness. As Shingen collected his things, he couldn't help but notice the majestic view of the port shining through the morning dark. It was indeed a sight to behold; Shingen had an affinity to light. It was warm, calming, wrapping around him like a thick blanket, giving him protection and safety. No matter what it was, he could always look to the light to brighten up his day.

Well, most of the time.

It was that time again, passing through the scanners and depositing his belongings to be scanned. Shingen was aware of these mandatory policies, as every new visitor was to walk through these checkpoints. Taking his time to put his belongings in the box, Shingen was motioned into the scanner, as he held his arms up for them to scan his body.

"Alright, kid, this'll only take a couple of seconds." The guard pressed the button on the scanner, as it began to emit a low energy wave that began to revolve around Shingen. The young adult began to watch the wave as it scanned for any abnormalities. Granted, he hadn't brought contraband onto the plane…

However, there was another abnormality that they hadn't figured out.

Suddenly, the scanner wave seemed to shut off completely, as the guard looked at the screen with confusion. "Huh, the thing musta' shut off- Hold on, kid, wait a mo'." Motioning for another guard, Shingen silently observed as they scratched their heads, trying to reactivate the machine. Should he tell them now? If they didn't ask…then he didn't tell.

"Thing's busted already; I though you said Tech fixed this!"

"Try the reboot again; it seems to kick in every sixth passenger comes through. We're still in need of a software update on that thing."

"Alright, gimme a sec- Got it, its back up. Alright, kid, hold those arms up again."

Rolling his eyes, Shingen held his arms up again as the familiar wave of energy swept over him. It wasn't as piercing and heated as light, but, a good laser could be enough to heat things up. After a few intervals, the energy wave suddenly disappeared in mid-scan, as if it blinked out of existence.

He'd seen worse; such as going through a metal detector in a skeleton of Adamantium.

"Uh…I'm fine with the pat-down, y'know." Shingen replied calmly as he kept his arms raised.

"Alright, boyo, come on out."

Walking out of the scanner and into the pat-down area, Shingen held up his arms, as the guard patted him down, from waist to bottom. As the guard got to the arms, he noticed small elbow patches on Shingen's coat that were carefully laced with silken fabric. "I know that design." The guard commented, patting down Shingen's sides, "Almost looks like kimono cloth. Tohoku Providence, right? You from there?"

Chuckling, Shingen shook his head, and replied, "Nah, I'm from Iga. This coat used to belong to my father, but the elbows were a little ripped, so my sister, Mariko, sewed them with her old kimono."

"Iga? Huh, pretty far from here. Your sister still lives there?"

"Nah, she's from Tokyo. I was adopted, actually. I moved to Tokyo after my parents passed away, where I went to stay with my adoptive sister and her grandfather, Shingen Yashida. Heh, fitting my father name me after his dearest friend, considering the two fought in the war…"

The guard pulled back once he heard the name Shingen Yashida, as he finished patting Shingen down, but looking at him with an awed face. "Wait a sec- You're the Shingen Yashida? As in, THE Shingen Yashida?" Extending his hand out to Shingen, the guard bashfully smiled as he bowed his head, "It's so awesome to finally meet you! I mean, your grandfather was a pioneer in medical advancements! He…He saved my brother, that's the guy working the computer over there."

"Hey, bro, who you talking to over there?" The other guard had noticed his brother talking to the person in an excited manner, intriguing his interest.

Motioning to come forward, the first brother cried out, "It's Shingen Yashida! It's the grandson of Old Man Yashida!"

Rushing forward, with his prosthetic leg clanking on the stone floor, the other brother bowed, as he also extended his hand. "Well, well, well, Mr. Yashida." He chuckled, "If you'd had told us your identity, we would have let ya pass in a jiffy."

Trying hard not to chuckle at the sudden fan-boy excitement of the two brothers, Shingen shook both of their hands before replying, "Yeah, well, don't faint on me at once, guys. I'm the younger version of my grandpa, y'know." Quickly looking at them to and fro, he noticed that they were identical twins. Huh, any more identical, they'd be clones of themselves.

"Ah, where are my manners? I'm Hikaru! A pleasure to meet a Yashida!" Hikaru bowed towards Shingen once more.

"I'm Kaoru! Yeah, my prosthetic's a bit…clunky." Kaoru's leg tapped the ground with his metal foot, but then turned back to Shingen. "But it's worth it; haven't broken it in a few days, thanks to your grandpa's awesome design!"

His grandfather…Shingen couldn't help but feel a twinge of rage pass through him, causing his breathing to hasten. Sure, his grandfather did well by people…but the cost it took wasn't noble. Indeed, sins were powerful influences his grandfather left for the young Shingen; and it was up to Shin to, as it were, bear his "family's" burden. It wasn't the right way, and Shin was left with the bitter aftertaste of his adoptive grandfather's lies; underneath that cloud of righteousness and justice, only sin was corrupting the core of his entire ideals.

Justice, for young Shingen, came through absolute goodness of the heart. Nothing more, nothing less.

The secrets his grandfather kept from him…they'd have to wait for another time. All he could do was endure…

"Yo, Hikaru. Shingen all patted down and everything? I think it's safe to let him go!"

Nodding, Hikaru motioned for Shingen to pass through the checkpoint, and into the item retrieval unit. "Kaoru and I gotta scan some more passengers! It's a pleasure to welcome you into San Fransokyo, Shingen!"

"Don't overdo it, Hikaru, we've got work to do."

The guards slowly went back to their posts, as Shingen began to look for his box that contained his items. Noticing his tablet in one of the plastic bins that rolled on the belt, Shingen began to quickly put on his shoes, making sure to quickly rush along so that he wouldn't hold up the line. Putting on his sneakers, which were reinforced with tabi cloth to make it more comfortable for him to move around. As such, Shingen was constantly moving, from place to place. So, he had to design his clothing to make him more accustomed to the weather that shifted during the day.

If the clothes made the man; then the gadgets made Shingen.

All of his little gadgets and inventory were neatly arranged in his box just as he left them. His tablet was sticking out as it stood vertically in the box. Shingen's electronic wireless tablet was his go-to for keeping information; it was his bread and butter for all the data he obtained in the field. Mostly, he used it to create new programs and updates for his special projects, which he had left behind back in Tokyo, where Mariko was busy running Yashida Industries. Thus, it was fitting for Shingen to have satellite communication on his tablet to communicate with Mariko from time to time.

There were two downsides to having the tablet. One: Shingen hated to charge the tablet, even though the charge rate was pretty fast. Two: Mariko called. A LOT. Talk about having a loving, adoptive sister that watched over you like a hawk…

INCOMING CALL: MARIKO

Speak of the devil: he barely had time to put on his watch.

Quickly dashing to pocket his remaining items, Shingen was able to press the call button on the tablet, as he carried the rest of his items down the escalator, quickly pocketing them as he began the call with his dear sister.

Mariko was more than just a sister to Shingen; she was almost like a mother to him. A caring, strict woman, she was the right person to take over her grandfather's company after he suddenly died from an illness. With the help of a mysterious hero Mariko refers as "The Kuzuri", she was able to help remove the Yakuza influences that were plaguing the company and Tokyo. However, she became more protective of Shingen when he went…missing for a couple of days. Because of her devotion to family, her conviction extends her grasp of protection to help guard Shingen from the darker horrors of the world.

Shingen had seen worse things. Yet, how could he refuse such help?

"Shingen! How was the flight, Nii-san?" Her voice was calming and sweet as it was before when he left, but Shingen could detect the level of silent concern in her voice. Heh, typical of Mariko; she'd be freaking out if she saw him eating ramen.

"Y'know, Mariko," Shingen chuckled as he stepped off the off the escalator, and into the baggage claim area, scanning around for his briefcase, "I'd tell you about the flight, but since you called so quickly, I barely had time to think about it."

"A good sister never forgets to care for her loving brother, Shingen! Besides, I wouldn't want to send Kuzuri after you, right?"

"Couldn't she just call him by his regular nickname?" Shingen thought in an amused tone. It sounded cooler when he heard it the first time. "Eh…Yeah, you got me there, Mariko. I'll try to be a good boy for you in San Fransokyo."

"Ah, Shingen. Don't forget why you are here." Shingen could feel another repeat of what she told him before he left Tokyo. "I promised Grandfather you'd continue your education, so I enrolled you in-"

"The San Fransokyo Institute of Technology; I know, that's like the…umpteenth time you said it."

The Institute of Robotics: Shingen was familiar with its institutions. The place was originally built for young scientists as a simple chemistry lab to develop various medicines and small-type inventions. The dean of the facility saw that the potential for future advancements was great for these young students, so he offered a proposition to the board of education for further funding and access to better, futuristic equipment. In about a few years, the chemistry lab had turned into a full blown R&D department for other scientists to experiment and utilize their knowledge for new robotic technology.

Back in Tokyo, Shingen had been a part of Yashida Industry's R&D Branch of Technology. The Robotics Department flowed in great abundance under Shingen's guidance: it was an impressive feat for a prodigy at such a young age. Simply put, the advancements in robotics had led to a new creation of robot: V-Xs. Virtual Experiments, as Shingen calls it, are robotic inventions capable of transforming into another form of robot with other useful capabilities. With this new enhancement into robotic, Shingen hopes to accomplish more with these robots in San Fransokyo…

With the rise of V-X technology, San Fransokyo would be a powerful city…

"You have to take this seriously, Shingen: Grandfather didn't want you to grow up unprepared for the challenges you'll be facing in the world ahead."

"He sure left a "proud" legacy for us to watch over, didn't he, Mariko?" Shingen almost spat out the word "proud" with such spite, it almost felt like the poisonous bite of a snake…

The silence that followed was even more painful for Shingen. He sighed, almost regretting what he had said. But in the end, it was true. There wasn't any way to sugarcoat the mistake to ignore it; it is what it was. "Look, Mariko…I'm just…I shouldn't have said that."

"No, you're right, Shingen. Papa-san…he lied to me too. It was selfish of him to think like that. But, Shingen, he did love you…He and your father would have been proud of what-"

"Don't bring my father into this, Mariko. Compared to that…man, my father had a more noble cause to fight for…"

"Shingen…"

In the silence that followed, Shingen quickly took his suitcase from the baggage claim. Clearing out of the crowded room, he cleared his throat before continuing, "….Sorry. It's true. Mariko…Why did he do that? Why did Grandfather lie to me?"

"He wanted to protect his company; and the only way he could do that was through Kuzuri's immortality. It's funny, Shingen: some people…they just don't want to die. They want to live forever: no limits, no restrictions, just do whatever they want to do." A desperate tone almost made Shingen regret those insults he said about his Grandfather. There goes Mariko again, making him feel like a monster…

"And, look what happened to Grandfather." Died a sinner, even to his own children. Good news for Shingen: he was adopted. So, he didn't have the luxury of being attached to his grandfather by blood.

"Shingen, I know it's tough…But, please, you must forgive-"

"I'll never forgive him. I'm sorry, Mariko, I…I just can't." Shingen grunted as he pushed passed a touchy tourist who almost ran into him. He really didn't want to suffer any more pity for his Grandfather anymore. He wanted to move on.

"Alright…I understand…" It was hard, but Mariko had accepted Shingen's own decision on the matter

"So…Erm, you said I was staying at a mansion, you said?" Lucky him, no cheap hotel with bad room service. But then again…there was always a spooky vibe to old mansions.

"Oh, yes! I actually got in touch with the old man that was a friend of Kuzuri's! He said you're welcome to stay as long as you want! His name is Stan, so be sure to behave as properly as you can!"

Well, with a friend like Kuzuri, as least he had some friends he could trust, right?

"Great; hope the house isn't filled with cats." Shingen tried to make light of the situation as he rushed outside into the crowding terminals outside. Buses and cars honked as they tried to push past the traffic…

"Oh, he's also got a son with him! He's a bit older than you, but, I believe you two will get along. His name's Fred!"

"Fred and Stan…Huh, interesting. Sounds familiar…"

"Hmm, Shingen, did you say something?"

"Wha- Oh, nah, I was just talking to myself. Heh, the flight musta got my brain in a jumble. Alright, I'll head to the front terminal right away after I pick up my suitcase. Then, I'll just probably phone for a taxi to get me there…"

"No need, Nii-san! I got the driver and car all taken care of for you! He'll take you to the mansion quickly before lunchtime. So, don't hesitate to take a little tour of the city! And, don't forget to eat lunch too! You need to eat, unless you wanna grow old and thin like Papa-san!"

So, nice school, nice mansion, and he even gets a chauffeur to boss around the city. If Mariko weren't alive for Shingen, he'd still be washing the latrines back in Iga…

"Shingen…there's something else I want you to promise me…" Surprised at this sudden change of tone, Shingen let out a small laugh before responding.

"What's that?"

"Don't…Don't go back to what you did in Tokyo." Oh. That thing.

That thing he did in Tokyo.

Yeah, that thing he did in Tokyo was kind of…embarrassing. Firstly, he had come home to Mariko in a dirtied trench-coat, bruised and battered face, and a sore body that almost paralyzed him to the point of where he couldn't move without a wheelchair. But who could blame him? He did actually face off against a massive horde of Yakuza enforcers. Not to mention an assortment of rogue robots and a squad of attack helicopters. Without Kuzuri and Yukio, he'd be sushi for the sharks.

Hmm, sushi. That'd be a good choice for- Shingen shook his favorite thought off as he continued on the conversation at hand.

"Mariko, I-"It was tough to make an excuse. This was caught between a rock and a hard place: a situation where Shingen had to make up evidence

"I mean it, Shingen! I know what they trained you in back when you were in Iga, and I don't like it! Shingen, I know you…What you, Kuzuri, and Yukio did…I-I can't bear the thought of…" Oh, there she goes again. She's faking those tears, surely. She rarely cried, but she almost tried to in order to make Shingen feel bad about himself.

But, what he did in Tokyo…millions of people were saved from a potential massacre. He had saved lives. Sure, at the cost of making himself a vigilante, but…

Wasn't it enough? He wanted to be a hero; this is what he thought was noble.

"Mariko, did I die back there? And, do you think I'd make some stupid mistake that would let my guard down? Heh, you worry too much, y'know." It wasn't enough…but, it was true. He did survive. If he could do what he did back there, he would do it again. And, she did worry too much. Why wouldn't she?

It's not every day a young sister has to take care of three mutants herself.

"Shingen, it's not just that…I-"

"Mariko. I can't be your little brother forever. The path I took…I feel as if it's the start of something new. The start of something…better. Please, Oni-chan. It's my only way of redeeming myself. I…I can be something greater than this…I know it." She had to believe, she had to. If he wanted to grow and live, Mariko had to let go of his hand…

A long sight came with a painful silence that followed. Shingen was a little worried that his words had taken too far back. That memory in Tokyo…It was a nightmare for Mariko.

After a long pause, Mariko replied in a soft voice over the tablet, "Just…be careful, Nii-san." Shingen grinned as he chuckled. Phew, no need to send in the Imperial Bodyguards this time…

"I'm always careful, Mariko." Words he never meant, but always said.

"I hope so…Well, I got to get back to the meeting. Remember, Shingen…Be safe." Click. Phew, at least that conversation was finished.

"Well, in a city like this…I think being safe's the second thing on my mind right now."

And, in a place such as San Fransokyo, evil lurks around every corner…


Location: Unidentified Yakuza Warehouse

Place: Storage Room 1A

"Taki…It's your turn now. Time to talk to the boss." An older enforcer edged Taki onwards, as he gave him a sad look on his face. A member of their family had died, and it couldn't be more painful enough.

The young enforcer's eyes were wide and panicked as he was led toward his co-boss's quarters. Indeed, the pounding of his still, beating heart made it even worse to bear with as he pushed onward. He had seen his friend, his mentor, slaughtered at his own hands. These…criminals…who could be leading those relentless killers…

What was worse…they would come after his entire Criminal Family too. He would be their first target.

It was the agonized screams emanating from the door at the end of the passageway that gave him second thoughts. Wrenching cries through the claustrophobic halls of the enormous, black warehouse located in an abandoned wharf of San Fransokyo that filled the air with fear. Rarely anybody would dare venture far from such dark alleys. Criminals and scum sang their songs as they made themselves merry on greed.

At the end of the hallway stood a dark, oak, wooden door, finely furnished with gloss that gave it a gleaning sheen upon Taki's eyes. Once through those huge gates, he would have to explain towards his boss about what had happened. About the two figures, cloaked and blackened with the color of evil. The screams of his comrade as he was turned to dust. No turning back now, it was time the truth be told.

However, in place of a Yakuza guard, there was something more menacing. A dark, menacing Samurai towered over the boy, with pitch black armor, a shining Katana in his right hand.

Was he Yakuza? He hadn't learned of this change of guard in the warehouses. And, who on earth wore Medieval Samurai armor in this era? Yet, it was strangely terrifying…

"What do you want, boy?" The thundering voice made Taki shake with fear. "Speak now."

"I'm…I'm…" Taki could barely keep a cohesive sentence together before finishing with a high, pitched squeak, "I n-need to speak w-with…m-m-m-my….boss…"

Crossing his arms, the Samurai darkly chuckled as he casually opened the door to the room. "Follow me, I'll lead you to him…"

It was true; the boss was there. However, some other dark figure filled the room with fear and dread as Taki and the mysterious Samurai Guard marched in, the oaken doors slamming with a painful thud.

There, slouched on his leather, bloodied seat, was Taki's co-boss, moaning viciously as two sharpened Katanas were painfully lodged in his stomach, causing him to slowly bleed to death. Taki gasped in fear and slowly backed away as he backed into the doors with a frightening thud. There, standing in front of his boss was a young man, dressed in a thick, black trenchcoat, raven hair as dark as the night sky, and skin lightly tanned by the summer sun. A scar ran down the man's left cheek, lowering down towards his collarbone and encircling his neck. In his hand, tightly gripped, a small wakizashi, painted with his boss's blood as it slowly dripped to the stone floor...

"This young boy works for this Yakuza Boss here, sir." The Samurai grunted through his darkened visor.

The young man still didn't speak, raising the wakizashi to his eyes, as his fingers ran over the slickening blood…

Taki still stood in fear as his co-boss started twitching, raising hand to Taki as he began to breathe raggedly. Blood coughed out of his mouth as his lips mouthed one word…

"Run…"

Chuckling, the young man turned to the boy as he approached him in a quick fashion. Taki blinked, and in a quick second, the man was crouched down to his height and was staring at him directly in the eye. His gaze had the sharp edge of a burning Katana, with eyes clearer than the purest ocean water.

"Ah, such young men go to war so easily." The dark figure began to speak in a slow, steady voice. He showed unnatural calmness as he stared at the boy with interested eyes. "Indeed, the greed and corruption of the Yakuza extends even to children such as yourself. Fortunately…"

The man stood upright, heading over to his bleeding victim. Slamming the blade of the katana in the metal desk, embedding it upright, his free hand tightly gripped one of the handles of the katana as it sank in deeper into the Yakuza boss, earning a stuttering choke from the boss…

"Mercy is easy to dish out." The young man continued, as he began to slide the blade even deeper into the victim, "And, I have enough mercy to go around…"

With his final words, the boss begged for salvation. For the pain to end…

"No…It's…It's so….dark-"

A painful squelch in his stomach reverberated in his vocal cords as the boss let out a shuddering gasp, his body jerking in one swift motion. With one slow heave, the intruder shoved the last of the blades into the Yakuza's stomach, swiftly ending his life. A solemn, last breath came from the boss, as he slid down in release. He was dead.

"Remember these words of wisdom," The young man briskly said. "Mercy isn't given lightly to those who defy the path of righteousness. True mercy is given through darkness. Once you embrace it, there is no need for anything else. You are devoid of fear since you learned to master the darkness which people fear. For mercy…It is the cold silence of darkness…"

Taki could nod back in reply, as he stood frozen to the doors…

Ripping the blades from his victim's stomach, the young man motioned over to the tall Samurai, and ordered, "Take his body and burn it. Once you have the ashes, bring them to me. They shall be utilized for…something more precious."

Bowing, the Samurai took the dead corpse, and slung it over his shoulder. Pushing the child out of the way, the doors swung open as the Samurai exited, closing them with a slam as he was back in the hallway.

Now, instead of his boss, the young man casually slid into the seat, admiring his blades as he sat with his legs upright on the desk. "Now, young man…What is it you…wanted to tell your boss?"

"My…My mentor died…It was…by two cloaked men. They…They had…guns…."

"Oh, yes." The man gave an evil grin as he smiled at the boy with malicious intent. "You see, I couldn't have anyone else to blab about the Brotherhood's entry into San Fransokyo. Too risky. You on the other hand…I trust you can keep secret."

Taki still was glued to the door as he looked at the man with shocked eyes. Such a monster…Such darkness.

"I'll take that as a yes. Now, first things: I am now in charge here. You work for me now. Simply put, betray me, you die. Work for me and serve well, you live. Let's start off by learning your name. Tell me, don't be shy…"

"T-Taki…Who…Who are you?"

Smiling, the man put down the blade and looked at the boy with fierce eyes. "You may refer to me as Ebon. Well, Taki, since you no longer work for the Yakuza, you are now part of the Brotherhood. I assure you, your comrade's death was not in vain. Nor for your boss. With me, I will avenge their ideals in my conquest of this city. And, when I-"

"Why?"

Ebon was startled at this outburst. Taki was now shaking with fear as tears began to flow down his cheeks. "Why did you kill them? Why? They did nothing wrong!" Taki couldn't hold back; he hated Ebon already. The way the man plays with life is already sickening, so he would never serve a person like him…

Chuckling, Ebon got up slowly, pushing the rolling chair away, as it slammed in to the wall behind him. Crouching once again to Taki, he smiled as he placed a tight hand on Taki's shoulder. Taki was beginning to shake even more…

Was this the end?

"I'll tell you why, dear Taki." Ebon continued, "Because I couldn't let them interfere with my plans. You must understand, I…have plans for this city. Too long have I hidden in the shadows, embraced their strength. Too long has the world been blinded by the piercing light, burning and corrupting the innocent. With my rule, I will enlighten you and everyone else to follow in my dream. And when it is complete…." Ebon pressed his forehead to the young boy's, deeply gazing into his eyes…

"You will be freed."

"You…" Taki was nervously sobbing as he tried to continue, "You killed my mentor. You killed…my…my boss. Even though…you captured me…I'll never let you win…I'll never let…you…destroy the Yakuza…I'll…I'll never let you…destroy the Yakuza…"

Laughing, Ebon shook his head as he clenched his fist, holding it up to the boy. It was a sign of darker times, as it began madly pulsating….The energy…The power…

From out of darkness…there came Evil…

"Ah, Taki. Darkness destroys all…It is inevitable…"

Chapter Text

Location: East 87 th Yamaguchi Street

Destination: San Fransokyo International Airport

"Ah, come on! Late already, and now I've got to deal with traffic-"

Seventeen-year old Miles Morales quickly dashed hard on the brakes as yet another taxi cab drove through the intersection. On his green light. When the other light on the right side of the intersection was red.

It was just another busy day on the streets; where it came alive with the honks of cars.

Taxis: in a city such as this, the road belonged to whomever drove the fastest. Which was presumably the taxi cab.

"Oy, pendejo!" Rolling down his window, Miles began to launch an angry tirade at the taxi cab as it sped across the intersection, "Watch where you're going-"

HONK!

Behind Miles, an angry line of other cars impatiently waited for Miles to pass the intersection and into the road that led to the airport. Road rage began to bottle up every second the drivers were not moving. Angry at this sudden stop, the honks became more incessant, urging the young driver to speed on. Embarrassed at this sudden amateur move, Miles quickly stepped on the gas, dashing forward and into his proper lane. So much for a great morning; now, he had to deal with angry drivers.

"Move faster, ya moron!" Screeched an angry elderly woman as she sped past him, before calling out, "Where did ya get your license; a cereal box?"

Jeez, even the grandmothers were just as fierce.

San Fransokyo was home to a variety of people, including those that seem to defy the laws of existence. If there were any more psychos like the old grandmother, this city would be a scarier place. However, San Fransokyo was a vast melting pot of cultures; race, skin color, or look molded itself into this great city. With each new citizen, each new person brought a plethora of ideas to the city.

Miles was no exception; born and raised in the mid-town of San Fransokyo, this young boy had lived the hard life. Money was in short supply for his family, so every member of the household chipped in to earn a decent living. His father ran a construction worker's union, helping build huge skyscrapers in record time; his mother was the owner of where he worked, FastTaxi, one of San Fransokyo's popular taxi chains; his sisters and brothers, they too were also drivers. Even his baby sister was at work, but she was more for eye candy for potential customers as she played around the room. And, here Miles was stuck, as a simple taxi driver.

Yet, there was something more to him than just being a cabman. Miles possessed ingenuity; most commonly seen in the youths of San Fransokyo.

When attending his classes in SFIT, Miles finished his sophomore year with high honors for his technical achievements in computer programming. Morales was a computer junkie, knowing every basic root command and crafty hacking methods he had learned from class and…other "notable" parties. In fact, he was crowned SFIT's Hacking Whiz of The Year for almost shutting down San Fransokyo's Tram System just under 30 minutes.

Boy, what Mom would do to get her hands on that kind of tech.

Miles quickly turned the roundabout that followed into San Fransokyo International Airport. Honks reverberated all around the parking lots as passengers were zipping to and fro, trying to get from one place to another. Miles had driven many passengers before, and he remembered each and every one of their faces. His newest clientele, however, was new to him; a Shingen Yashida, who had arrived earlier today who was to be dropped off in Downtown San Fransokyo. Yashida; it was a name that was most familiar to Morales; he had heard it in the news, about the great Old Yashida's death back in Japan. The medical magnolia had been one of the chief pioneers in medical treatment and emergency medicine.

Yashida Industries had gained Mile's gratitude; their technology had saved his father after a construction deal gone badly.

If chance permitted it, Miles thought it would be a good idea to bring up his father's survival to his client. After all, he knew how to give thanks and to make easy friends out of people. For Miles, making friends was one of the easiest things he did in his life. In fact, he made a lot more friends as he did enemies, expanding his whole life. If this Shingen Yashida was related to the Yashida Zaibatsu, he would make it his top priority to make sure he got there safely…

HONK!

Peering out the window, Miles flashed an angry glare at the same grandmother that was driving behind his cab. "If you don't mind, you old coot, I'm driving here!" Miles shouted out angrily as he sped off the first chance he got…

"Just wait 'til I call yer Mother, Morales! I'm gonna have a chat with your reckless driving-"

Her words were drowned out as Miles shut the window, smirking as he drove through the parking lots and into the terminal zones.

He couldn't wait to meet Shingen Yashida.

Unless another old lady got in his way. Again.

"…So, ya think I should invest on that Zeppelin?"

Shingen gulped down a mouthful of his soda as he listened to the hot-dog vendor. With one ketchup-drenched hot-dog in one hand and a cold soda in another, it was hard to listen. Even when this hungry. The vendor chuckled, as he noticed the ketchup dripping the young man's hand. "Need some napkins with that dog, kid?"

Shingen jumped as he chuckled nervously, putting the dog down on a bunch of napkins the vendor ordered. "Hehe, sorry, just so hungry right now." He commented, taking another bite out of his dog. "Didn't know you guys actually serve at this hour."

"Well, kid, San Fransokyo's a fascinating place." The vendor commented, "Sometimes, you just gotta suspect the-"

SKREEE-

As if coming out of nowhere, a taxi cab suddenly slid in front of Shingen and the hot-dog vendor, the tires suddenly kicking up a rain puddle that was behind the two. Up the water went, drenching the vendor and Shingen in cold, dirty rain water. No one was hurt, except a soggy dog, a fuming vendor, and one surprised Shingen.

But that didn't stop Shingen from taking a bite out of the dog, and replying calmly, "The unexpected, right?"

"For pete's sake, Morales," The vendor angrily lectured as he threw away another set of buns drenched by the young taxi driver: His fourteenth set this week, "Would it kill ya to drive cautiously and not drench my customers?"

"Oh, shoot, sorry! Aww, man, I didn't see you coming-"

The taxi driver jumped out, and Shingen was surprised to see a young Hispanic teen, wearing casual khakis, white shirt, a worn-out SFIT cap, and brown boots, driving the cab. His short black hair was long enough to cover his eyes, as he quickly opened the trunk, getting out a wad of paper towels. Probably, for him, Shingen thought…

"Sorry, old man!" Morales chuckled, as he went over to Shingen, offering to dry him off, but stopped as Shingen held up a hand, signaling he was fine. He was still drenched, but his coat would dry off soon. Turning towards his attention to the vendor, Morales fished in his wallet to pay back the vendor for the fifteenth time. "I keep forgetting about that puddle! Really kinda sneaks up on ya, huh?"

Grumbling, the vendor took the money Miles offered, and shoved it in his pocket. "I oughta call your mom about this, but, seeing as you didn't drench my stove…" The vendor darkly replied, "I'll let ya go."

"Got it!" Miles then turned to Shingen, and tried once again to offer a towel. "Sorry, sir, I was actually in a hurry to pick up somebody." Miles explained quickly, trying to look for his passenger, not knowing he stood right in front of him. "Do you know where I might find Shingen Yashida?"

Shingen chuckled, as he took a bite out of his hot dog and took one swig of his soda. After chewing thoughtfully and gulping, he smiled and calmly replied, "Well, there's only one Shingen Yashida here, and I guess that's me!"

Mile's jaw dropped in amazement. No way: Shingen Yashida was this young? He thought he would be faced with…with somebody older!

Taking off his hat, he ruffled his hair with his free hand before holding out to Shingen. "Dude, you're younger than I imagined!" Miles chuckled, as he grinned happily, "The name's Mile's! Miles Morales! I'll be your designated driver for today!"

Shingen took Mile's Hand and shook it firmly. Now, there's a face he could trust easily. Casual, easy-going. Just like him. "Well, I'm glad you have the honor. Let me just get a moment to get my bags-"

"It is not necessary, sir. We'll take care of the rest."

One of the Baymax Airport models carrying the bags casually placed them in the open trunk. Chuckling, Shingen went up to the robot, and gave him a firm tap on the shoulder. "Thanks, Baymax. I don't suppose you accept tips, eh?"

"We are here to serve, not to accept tips. Thank you for your compliment, sir."

Miles chuckled, as he pointed his fingers to the car. "Well, Shingen, get in! You can ride shotgun with me! We'll be at your friend's place in no time!"

Shingen chuckled as he threw his trash into the bin, clearing his hands of filth. "Well, sir, thanks for the dog and drink. Oh, yeah, the wet coat too." He then offered another bill as a generous tip, to which the vendor thanked gladly.

"You've got Morales to thank for that, young man!" The vendor chuckled, as he tipped his hat to the two. Before Morales got in, the vendor called out, "Hey, Morales!"

"Yeah, old man?"

"Try to get him to his place in one piece."

"No problem, sir!" Morales slammed the trunk secure, before zipping into the car. Shingen was just putting on his seatbelt when Morales revved up the ignition. "Alright, Mr. Yashida. You better hold on to something tight!"

"Wait, a minute, we're leaving already?"

VROOM!

Shingen was thrown back in his seat immediately as he and Miles drove off, leaving behind another jet of water that drenched the vendor. Again.

"I swear, one of these days, I'd like to drench his car…"


Location: San Fransokyo Institute of Technology

"Hiro? Are you in distress?"

Hiro Hamada was sitting down on the cold cement as he looked up to see Baymax standing over him, tilting his head in concern as he looked at his patient. Hiro had been looking at Tadashi's memorial for quite some time, as the statue towered overhead. It was a symbol to Hiro; of perseverance, bravery, and true determination. Without his brother, he couldn't have accomplished everything he had built for. Tadashi had touched his life in a way that changed it for the better; and Hiro still missed him every single day.

Those words…those last words almost made him tear up…Remembering that horrible day…

I'm never giving up on you…

"N-No, I'm fine, Baymax. Just…remembering." Hiro sighed as he stood up, still gazing at the statue of Tadashi. He was still smiling, even after that fateful event, "Baymax…what did you mean when you said…Tadashi is here?" Hiro calmly asked, as he turned to Baymax. It meant something more, but he couldn't deny that other meaning. "Could he…Could he still be…alive?"

"Tadashi is here." Baymax pointed towards his chest, where Hiro saw the memories of his brother. Those memories were Hiro's only connection to seeing his brother again. "He is still here…I do not know the proper way to say it to you, but my programming tells me…Tadashi is here."

"Yeah, I know that, Baymax, but there's gotta be something more!" Hiro scratched his head confusedly. "I mean…You get how cryptic that is, right? Maybe…No, I don't think he's back…"

"Sometimes, denial is used to suppress a painful thought or memory." Baymax stated, as he scanned Hiro for any abnormal conditions. Nothing interesting, just decreased dopamine levels. "It's best to just voice your opinion so that your feeling of denial will fade away, once you start letting your true emotions out."

"I…Yeah, I guess you're right, Baymax." Hiro simply stated, crossing his arms, "I'm just…unsure. Could Tadashi still be alive? I mean…we didn't find the body in the rubble…"

Or, it could have simply burned in the fire…

"It's unhealthy to let past experiences ruin your present condition." Baymax calmly replied, "Shall I call some of your friends to help cope with these experiences?"

"No, I think I'll be fine, Baymax, thanks for asking." Hiro smiled as he looked up at his buddy, fist bumping his big chest. "So, what's the story today, any criminals the Big Hero 6 needs to beat up?"

"I am currently scanning the news for any interesting facts." Baymax stated, as his chest was rapidly flashing images of various news stations around San Fransokyo. "I have found an interesting story; Shingen Yashida has landed in San Fransokyo."

Shingen Yashida…Wait, Yashida, as in the Yashida Zaibatsu? Hiro had learned of the Yashida Zaibatsu from Tadashi when the older brother first started SFIT. They were a medical company of sorts, but the old leader had died out. Could Shingen the next boss?

"Well, Baymax, you know where he's headed?" Hiro curiously questioned.

"Currently scanning…It may take a while with the new database you implanted in my system." Baymax stated.

"Heh, don't worry, Baymax, not expecting you to be a miracle worker." After the incident with Yokai and Alistair Krei, Hiro had decided to get some upgrades for Baymax, mainly pertaining to faster information processing, including a map of San Fransokyo. Indeed, for the Big Hero 6, they had a lot of ground to cover after becoming an official superhero team. However, crime fighting and school seemed to intersect Hiro's paths, and it was difficult to focus on one or the other. Crime in San Fransokyo, although subtle, was slowly decreasing, but was still rampant on the streets.

"Hiro, I'm detecting an alert. It's the San Fransokyo Police; they are on the chase of an armored van, carrying stolen amounts of money from the San Fransokyo International Bank."

Shingen Yashida would have to wait. There was a chase to be had.

"Well, Baymax. Since the rest of the team is busy, I guess it's just you and me!" Hiro smiled, as he rushed back inside the Institute, heading back to the Labs…

Time to show those criminals the awesome powers of Hiro and Baymax!


Location: West 74 th Roadside Avenue

"…And, that's how my father swore for the third time never to eat hospital food again!" Miles finished, as he was busy telling Shingen the story of how his father was cured using the technology from Yashida Tech. "Hehe, well, to tell ya the truth, amigo, reason he'd go back was because of the stuff you guys made! Seriously, how do ya do it?"

Ah, his grandfather's technology. It was the reason Shingen's family was renowned through San Fransokyo. Yashida Industries has a proud history of technological advancements in the field of medicine, pharmaceuticals, and surgery. It was one of the first companies to offer The Cradle, a revolutionary machine in tissue regeneration through use of bionic nanotechnology, to the public. First introduced in North Korea, it was given to the Avengers for initial testing, but Yashida Industries were able to broker a deal with the developers in North Korea to develop a more streamlined use for public hospitals. Yashida's Cradle wasn't as powerful as the Cradles given specifically by S.H.I.E.L.D and The Avengers, but it was strong enough to repair life-threatening injuries.

For Mile's father, half of his body was damaged in a gas explosion. Badly scarred, it would take months for tissue to manually regrow on the flesh. Fortunately, Mr. Morales had the luxury of having it repaired in a few days due to Yashida's Industries Cradle.

It was almost as if the explosion never happened. Mr. Morales would walk out of there unscarred and recovered…

Miles took a quick glance as soon as he stopped at a stoplight. Shingen, suffering light jetlag from the flight before, was busy sleeping as he let out a light snore, his cheek pressing against the window. Jeez, talk about a heavy sleeper, Miles thought. Not wanting drool to come out of his passenger's mouth and ruin his window, Miles gave a light push before looking up to a green light. No response came from Shingen, as he merely snorted and continued sleeping…

Well, guess I'll have to clean the drool off, Miles thought as he continued through the intersection, seemingly clear…

WHIZ!

A sudden flash of grey that erupted right in front of Mile's car caused him to slam on the brakes, stopping in the middle of the intersection. Shingen's body, still held back by the seatbelt, lurched forward, causing Shingen's head to slam on the dashboard. The young Yashida awoke with a yelp, as he held his head in aching pain, as he shouted out, "Hey, kid, you could have just doused me with cold water! Was that really necessary-"

"Dude, look!"

Shingen rubbed his eyes as he saw two police cars whiz right past him, in pursuit of an unknown assailant. "Wha-"Shingen stopped as he saw a chopper soar overhead, blaring its sirens in tandem with the police cars. Turning in the direction the police cars were chasing, Shingen was able to take a quick glance at the armored van that was escaping the police. The back was hastily thrown open, and two guards were opening fire on the police cars. The sound of rifles thundered in the air, as the police officers driving did their best to duck under the incoming fire…

No, these were not ordinary criminals…

These were Yakuza.

Criminals.

Scum.

Shaking his head off quickly, Shingen turned to Morales, as he quickly asked, "Uh, kid, what's your name again?"

"Miles."

"Miles, right, listen. You've seen those cop shows right? The ones with the high-speed chases and stuff?"

"Well, yeah, but what does that have to do-"

"I want you to chase them. Cut them off before you can escape. NOW."

Sweet Mother Mary. Shingen Yashida had just asked him, Miles Morales, to engage in a hot pursuit chase that would end up getting both of them in jail. Was he insane? More so than likely, they would get run over by those Yakuza before they had a chance to block them off! Not to mention, damaging this taxi would result in Miles being confronted by an angry Mom…

And, Mile's mom was renowned in San Fransokyo for being terrifying when mad.

"Look, man, that's insane!" Miles instantly argued, as he held up his hands in refusal, "Bro, do you know who you're facing up against? It's against the Yakuza, and those guys will tear you to shreds if we-"

Something landed on Mile's jeans, as he looked down. It was a crisp wad of cash; $10,000 dollars to be exact. His jaw dropped immediately, but suddenly closed as he was grabbed by the collar by Shingen Yashida.

Either he was trying to bribe him, or offer an ultimatum.

"Look, Miles." Shingen impatiently growled, as the sirens got weaker, "Those policemen you saw; you know they can't beat the Yakuza's armament. Now, we may not got much, but we have one thing: The element of surprise. I know these criminals, Miles, and they only care about making other people's lives miserable. Wouldn't you want the chance to give 'em a taste of their own medicine?"

"W-Wha-"

Shingen pursed his lips as he drew Miles closer. Miles could see the intensity of Shingen's eyes; it was a burning rage that couldn't be easily quelled. That look of conviction on his face solidified the idea that Shingen wasn't going to let those criminals get away with their plans. That one look gave Miles one realization; Shingen hated the Yakuza.

But...could it even work? Could Shingen stop the Yakuza?

Miles quickly pushed back, and shoved the cash back on the dashboard. This was going to be one of the worst mistakes in his life.

"Oh, Mom's gonna kill me-"Miles muttered before turning to Shingen, "Alright, let's do it! I always wanted to one-up those criminal punks!"

"Drive hard, and do exactly as I say!" Shingen tightened his seatbelt, readying himself for the furious ride ahead. "If there's one thing I know how to do, it's taking down Yakuza!"

With that, the cab sped off through the road, and onto the open streets, in close pursuit of the police cars and criminals. For Shingen, cleaning the streets of criminals was one of the things he had learned back in Japan. In a city filled with Yakuza, the only way to make them stop crime altogether is to show them who protects this city…

Shingen Yashida was on his way of making a name for himself in San Fransokyo. Unbeknownst to Shingen, he will enter a triad war with enemies all around him…

In the end, it's him against the world.

Best odds yet.


Location: An Abandoned Warehouse in San Fransokyo

"Hey there, Hiro. Can you believe it? This is my 100th test on Baymax! Well, I'm making this video just to commemorate this moment…but, I'm dedicating this to you, Hiro. Everything. Because, I know that you can do anything in life. All this bot fighting, I know, it means a lot to you. But, your potential could amount to something greater…Something more powerful than you thought you can't achieve…"

"Tadashi, have you activated my recording function?"

"Woah-Baymax, I- um- I didn't know you were activated-"

"My apologies. My power capacity is now at one hundred percent. The surplus power is returning me to Active Mode."

"Oh, huh. That's funny…You sure nothing else activated you?"

"I detected a sign of distress."

"Oh, right, right, just remembered- spilled my coffee."

"Will you be finished with your recording, Tadashi?"

"Hold on, give me a few more words!"

"Understood."

"Yeah, sorry about that, Hiro. Rambled on a little bit- anyway! Remember this, Hiro. I'll always be with you, no matter what happens. I'll never give up on you, even when everything seems to go against you. You're my kid brother, and I love you too much. Don't worry, Hiro. You and Baymax…You're going to change the world…"

"Tadashi?"

"Alright, Baymax, that's all. I'm satisfied with my-"

Click.

The Doktor shut off the video after watching the final seconds, closing the computer screen. Hope: it was a common thing in his line of work. As a scientist and a doctor, the dirges of life were at his command. Thin strands of heartbeats depended on his expertise to survive, even the undead could be transcended back to life, if he tried hard enough. For the Doctor, life was a gift he gave to his patients, for those who deserve it and for those who are not fit for a second chance…

Tadashi Hamada, however, was different.

The young man's life…it was to be reborn.

Before he was named The Doktor, he worked at SFIT alongside Professor Callaghan, before his descent into Yokai. The two were close friends, working side by side, amazing the scientific community with their feats of grandeur. However, Callaghan decided to pursue robotics, a profession the Doktor did not take interest in. Feigning life itself through a cold, metal shell was blasphemy, as such actions could be mimicked through computer programming. With biology and medicine, he truly felt alive with his work; he was creating life, a vision he alone created.

There were worse visions the Doktor saw. The incident at KreiTech was one of them.

Brokering a deal with Alistar Krei, The Doktor promised the young CEO to take the blame for Abigail's fall. It was a hard decision to make, but nevertheless necessary: The Doktor owed much to Krei for funding his individual experiments. When Krei himself professed his interest in the Doktor's work, he took it upon himself to befriend the fellow scientist. The Doktor saw that Krei was indeed young, but underneath that charming personality that may be mistaken as "narcissistic", he saw potential in the millionaire. Underneath all that money, there was a small part of Krei that deeply cared for his friends.

Robert, on the other hand, took the betrayal very poorly. Angry at his friends turning on him, Callaghan condemned him as a monster, the murderer of his own daughter. Like a pawn controlled by his king, the Doktor played his part well: he recited his lines without hesitation; a mere variable in the experiment, the sympathetic words he professed about what more he could have done to save Abagail. However, Robert had enough of his betrayal. With these last words, Robert Callaghan donned the mask of Yokai, and disappeared in the dark cloud of nanobots created by Tadashi Hamada…

The Doktor still could remember those last words…

"You'll pay, Ivann. All of you. You'll all pay for your sins."

And, here, the Doktor stood, looking at the one sin Callaghan had failed to remove.

Tadashi Hamada.

"Doktor. We have guests." One of his assistants, dressed in a sturdy lab coat, rushed through the sliding doors, panting.

His gaze slowly turned towards the assistant, his glittering eyes focused on the sudden appearance. They twinkled with the interest of a scientist: observant and interested. He had known about the incoming party for quite a while; he met with the benefactor a few weeks ago, in a dark alley. That young demeanor was masked with ambition; a desire to reveal to the world…the truth.

It was time for him to entertain his guests.

The Doktor, slowly advancing, motioned for the boy to follow, as he replied in a brisk tone, "Walk with me, my friend. If you soon wish to continue my work, it's best if you follow me."

The assistant nodded, and the two exited the lab. The open elevator patiently waited for the two to enter, as the Doktor walked in, closing the door as soon as the assistant was in. One push of the elevator button, and the elevator sprung to life, slowly ascending upward.

"Doktor, can we trust these people?" The assistant questioned, as he turned to his superior. "The organization they serve: The Brotherhood of Shadow- I've heard only myths…"

"Child's tales, I'm sure." The Doktor chuckled, still keeping his gaze stoic. "Reality is more brutal than the stories that surround the monsters."

"What does the Brotherhood want from us? We're more than just scientists: we're teachers, leaders, and caretakers. You said it yourself: we have no affiliation, nor allegiance to any nation. So, why should we take orders from them?"

"Indeed, think of this as a mutual agreement between two parties interested in the same thing. In the end, we'll both go our separate ways, once this is done."

"Which is-"

"Tadashi Hamada. It's been more than three years. His body…I couldn't believe what I saw…" Even if it was possible, there was another possibility. Tadashi could have been born with that…condition.

"He's still alive, Doktor?"

The Doktor was about to respond, when the elevator stopped. They had arrived back at the surface. The elevator opened, and standing in the storage area, stood his contract.

The enigmatic Ebon Samurai, with his two guardsmen at his side.

The Doktor and his assistant calmly exited the elevator, both of them walking towards Ebon. "Forgive me, my friend, it seems that my work has kept me busy." The Doktor replied in an apologetic tone, as he offered his hand to Ebon in greetings.

"Doktor. I trust you have put the money to good use?" Ebon took his hand and shook it firmly.

"Indeed. I won't question where you obtained such an amount of money, but it has been a help to us." The Doktor motioned to his assistant, who proceeded forward. The Doktor whispered a few instructions in his ear, and with that, the assistant made a quick dash for the elevator, heading inside. Once he was gone, the Doktor continued his conversation. "I assume you wish see our progress on our…friend."

"Yes. The one you found during the incident at the San Fransokyo Institute of Technology. The fire…a few years ago." This was the man he had been searching for, he was certain of it.

The Doktor chuckled, as he pointed at the two guards. "Forgive me, I prefer to keep this conversation private, so, if you don't mind-"

With a sharp grunt, Ebon cocked his head to the left, motioning to the guards towards the exit. Bowing in respect, the heavily-clad samurai exited the building, going outside to guard the premises. "Shall we?" He asked plainly.

The ding of the elevator was heard, and the elevator was back open. Now, the Doktor and Ebon entered, closing the doors in front of them, as they descended down to where it was kept…

"A word of curious intention, Doktor." Ebon asked as he patiently waited for the elevator to descend. "Why did you keep him, after all these years?"

A long silence fell on the elevator ride down. With a heavy sigh, the Doktor replied in a somber tone, "I consider it penance for my sins. You see, that student was a dear friend to an old comrade of mine…"

"And?"

"Let's just say that…after that fire…I knew what during that day… The day when I lied to him…About everything…All of this was somehow my fault."

"The Big Hero 6 thinks otherwise. They knew it was Krei all along. It was Alistair Krei that sent Abagail Callaghan to her impending doom. Robert has reason to hate you, Doktor." The Doktor thought Ebon said it just to spite him. But, he knew the boy spoke the truth

"Indeed, I would not be surprised if he cannot forgive me."

"However, what Callaghan did to his cherished student…Don't you think revenge would be sweet?"

The Doktor turned a stern face to Ebon and frowned. "Vengeance doesn't concern me, boy. What concerns me is that he is brought back into this world. Such a life needn't end with such…tragedy."

"You see the potential in him too, yes?" Ebon could see it now; a vengeful spirit, bent on getting revenge on his former master…

"Not as the same as you, I think. When I first saw him, I thought he died in that fire. The body was too charred to be made out as a living thing. But, once I felt the slow thump of his vein move within him…I knew he could be saved."

"And, he was here. Under your care, for three years. All I had to do was look in the one place no one would care to notice."

Another ding rang through the elevator, as The Doktor turned to Ebon with a small smile.

"We're here." He replied, pressing the button, as the doors swung open.

"If you do not recognize his face yet…I'm still working on it. It's so hard to recreate an unforgettable face such as Tadashi Hamada."

There, in the corner of the lab, was a man.

Tadashi Hamada had been one of the Doktor's latest creations; carefully preserved through cryogenic stasis and kept alive through the use of beneficial parasites that repaired the scarred body at will. The body was, as the Doktor said, barely recognizable; it hardly resembled the young college student he knew and admired. It pained the Doktor to have to repair the damage that had already been caused; knowing that his real face could not be restored to full life.

However, Tadashi was still alive: the only thing that mattered to Ebon.

"This is…him?" Ebon looked to the Doktor with a confused face. Indeed, the damage almost looked…irreversible. "You can barely even notice him…"

"That fire was no ordinary fire." The Doktor approached the containment tube that he held Tadashi. The open panel that controlled the tube slowly raised to the Doktor's hands, as he began to check Tadashi's vitals. Nominal, still within acceptable conditions. "You see, the Institute is connected towards an assortment of reactors to power its facilities. Callaghan…blew up the one that was located in the showroom: a small fusion reactor. The explosion caused a catastrophic meltdown, almost similar towards a nuclear bomb, but only of a microscopic measure."

"Radiation poisoning? So, his body…how is it-"

The Doktor held up a hand to the body, as he motioned for Ebon to look closer. "As you can see, this liquid contains beneficial bacteria that helps restore skin cells and provides nutrients to the ruined body. The two work together in tandem; the body is a host for the bacteria, the bacteria helps the body recover. A mutual relationship. Unfortunately, I haven't found a perfect strain of bacteria that can withstand radiation. These bacteria, are actually from the Robotics Division, before the lab was blown up. Mechanized parasites, or microscopic nanobots, as they put it."

Ebon pursed his lips as he took another glance at the body. Such a feat to survive…how one continues on living, even with its mortal shell collapsed…

The body was badly scarred, reminiscent of burns and scrapes during the fire. It had to be hooked to millions of and electrical wires to monitor its current status. Shallow breathing could be heard through the speakers as the hiss of the air canisters reverberated throughout the room, fresh air being slowly pumped into his body. Inside the tube, a blue liquid engulfed the body, it was reminiscent of a healing liquid that had been used in SFIT's Hospital, but its healing capabilities rivaled that of its counterpart. The man's upper face was covered with a mask that allowed air to flow inward, along with a tube inserted into his mouth to provide the essential nutrients needed to survive. Each part of the body was fully exposed, except the lower extremities, which were covered with a dark waterproof brief to fully mask the skin.

"Magnificent, isn't he?" The older man chuckled as he turned to Ebon, flashing a disgusting grin with his rotten teeth. "In all my years of medicine, the willpower of the human mind still amazes me. It's almost inhuman how this body still manages to survive, even after the explosion..."

"His current condition is my concern, Doktor." Ebon curtly noted, turning towards the man with a stern gaze. "Can he be revived? Resurrected?"

"Resurrection? Ebon, he has never died. I found him in the rubble after the fire started; it was such a pity. He was the best student of my old colleague, Professor Callaghan. Yet, I knew what the professor truly wanted. And, he was willing to sacrifice even him to achieve it."

"Now, here he stands, still alive. Which goes back to the question..."

"Yes, Ebon, he can be revived. It is time he was given a second chance..." The Doktor gave a small smile as he turned to Ebon. "There's…" he continued, placing a hand on his chin, "…one vital piece of technology needed to complete the process."

"What is it?" Ebon frowned as he crossed his arms, finding the Doktor's requests a drain on his resources. "Do we really need it for Tadashi?"

"I assure you, Ebon, we do. The Cradle. Yashida's Industries Cradle is the final component to this puzzle."

Yashida…That familiar name lingered on Ebon's ears for quite a while…

Wait. It was him.

"Catch me if ya can, Shingen!"

"Ha! I'll catch up to ya first, Ichiro!"

"You two! Stop this nonsense and get back to work!"

"Hehe…Hey, Ichiro! You and me: partners for life?"

"Yeah, Shingen…Partners!"

"Ebon?" The Doktor frowned as he saw the young man stare off into space for quite some time. It was as if he was reliving a memory from long ago…"Ebon, are you listening?"

Suddenly, Ebon let out a sharp gasp as he shook his head, turning back to the Doktor with a solemn look. "Nothing." He muttered, shaking off the thought, "Forget about it; just must have gotten distracted."

"I understand I am asking much of you…" The Doktor continued, his face shifting to a solemn gaze, as he put a hand on Ebon's shoulder, "But you must understand; as a doctor and a scientist, the common code of our profession places the lives in our hands as our own; therefore, they deserve our absolute treatment and decision on the matter."

Ebon nodded, as he looked at Tadashi one last time. Yes, in a few days, a supernova will explode on this Earth. "Then, it's settled. The Cradle will be in your hands soon."

The Doktor nodded, turning back to see his creation float unconsciously in the tube. "Callaghan…" His thoughts sadly went back to that fateful day…when he betrayed his comrade, "May his resurrection help you see light again…"

He died in the fire long ago. Now, like The Phoenix, he is reborn from the ashes...

Sunfire.

Chapter Text

Location: 64 th Eaton Drive, En Route to Tsuchinoko Slums

"Can you make this hunk of junk go any faster?"

The tires of the van made a sharp squeal as it turned a sharp corner on one of the streets that led downtown. Just behind the armored van, police sirens incessantly wailed and howled in the cool afternoon air, chasing the robbers to the ends of the earth. San Fransokyo cops were renowned for their ability to never lose the trail of wanted criminals, as their technology allowed them to track any sort of fleeing vehicle within their radius.

A criminal's best chance to escape? Head to Tsuchinoko Bridge.

Tsuchinoko Bridge was nicknamed "The Poorman's Bridge", not because of the dense layer of rust that ate at the metal that was barely holding the bridge, but due to the number of civilians that decided to make this place their home. Originally designed as a looping, vertical bridge that spiraled downward towards San Fransokyo's Downtown Slums, this hub served as a means for cars and trucks to pass down to the lower levels. However, KreiTech's Tram System eliminated the means for this bridge, as the tram covered the whole of San Fransokyo entirely. Merely waste money on demolition and renovation teams, the Mayor decided to keep the bridge for "recreational purposes". Now, it's one of the most populated hamlets for homeless men and unemployed workers to reside in. Due to its severe density, activity in the Tsuchinoko Slums is uncontrollable, and police find it difficult to wade through all of the shacks and makeshift housing people set up.

Just the sort of cover the criminals needed.

The rev of the van echoed loudly through the streets of San Fransokyo, as the criminals did their best to avoid the cop cars on their tail. Car after car, light after light; the van carefully swerved out of the way to avoid a serious collision. It would be almost a few more yards before they would be close to their destination. Inside the van was money; a pack of gold bars, stacks of dollars and yen, along with an unopened safe that belonged to one Alistar Krei.

The cops had reason to chase these criminals to no end. They couldn't let the Yakuza obtain more wealth.

"Faster, you fool! Head for the bridge!" One of the lead criminals began to shoot a fully-loaded plasma carbine submachine gun at the cops, causing them to duck and swerve madly to avoid the bullets. "We're almost at the bridge!"

"Hehe, just give me a few more seconds!" The driver starkly chuckled as he pressed on the gas as hard as he could. "We'll lose 'em, no sweat!"


Meanwhile…

If Miles were a professional race car driver, he wouldn't mind a few scrapes and bumps on his car. Unfortunately…making it through the streets wasn't easy.

Mile's cab swerved to and fro, almost hitting a number of cars down the crowded streets. Cars angrily honked as the cab cut them off, disgusted at the unsafe driving conditions. Crazy kid, they thought; he's gonna get himself killed…

"Move out of the way! Ey, beat it!" Miles had to resort to using the horn and shouting out the window to alert pedestrians to move out. Unfortunately, it succeeded halfway, as only some pedestrians were able to successfully move away.

"Which way does this lead to? Gimme a destination! Shingen peered out the window, as he tried to find the Yakuza, hopefully not back in the slums yet…

"The old bridge! Maybe if we cut them off, we'll-WHOA!" Miles turned a hard right to avoid hitting an elderly lady walking her pitbull. It barely managed to scrape through, as the pitbull began barking loudly. Miles shook off his shock, and turned to Shingen, "Is that what you want me to do? Head for the bridge?"

"That's our best lead so far!" Shingen replied, quickly taking out his tablet. He did his best to focus, as he bent over, facing the tablet on his lap. "Come on, Miles, let's speed things up!"

"On it!"

Miles didn't have to be told twice as the cab revved up, pushing to the limit…Until they reached the gate towards the old, spiraling bridge. In fear of slamming hard into the gate, Miles stepped hard on the brake, hoping for a soft landing.

He got quite the opposite.

SLAM!

The rusty chains gave way, and the gate broke open, causing some of the homeless citizens living near the gate to jump out of the way, in shock. Slowly, the cab skidded to a stop, as both Miles and Shingen were left breathless, and also shocked at the overheating car…

"Argh…Guess we took things a little too fast, huh?" Miles did his best to push away the air bag, but he didn't notice Shingen get out of the car, and started heading towards the side of the bridge.

Shingen took a good peer downward towards the depths below. It was a long way down, but something caught his attention out of the right corner of his eye; the getaway van, overturning rickety shops and stands, not caring about the pedestrians that went in their way…

The fools. How little they care for others, even for those who suffer more than them.

"Shingen…" Miles coughed as he pushed his way towards the young prodigy, not caring that a group of homeless people suddenly began to surround the car. Even with all those people and the heavy abundance of smoke, Miles had to get out of there. "I…" He started to falter before, looking towards him with a crestfallen gaze, "The cab's busted. We rammed into that gate too hard."

"Take a look over there. That van. That's our target." Miles had to squint to see the van that was moving down below. Shingen placed a hand on his chin, and stroked it in thought, continuing, "Where do you think that van would go in a dump like this? What would be the getaway route?"

Taking a deep breath, Miles pursed his lips as he quietly gave a small thought to the situation at hand. "Well…The Slums really don't have that much clear roads around…Judging by their route, I'd say they'd take…the alley routes. They're the only clear roads there."

Shingen looked down, and found out that he was looking down on a maze of alleyways. It would only be a matter of time before the van would quickly get away…

"Shingen, how are you gonna stop them now?" Miles cried out in fear, as he saw the van getting closer towards its escape route, "There's no way that you can reach them in time!"

Shingen chuckled, holding on to the edge of the railing. It sure was a long fall down. But that van was getting away, and who knows what the criminals would do next if they succeeded in their plan. Yet, that hasn't stopped him yet…

And, it's not stopping him now.

"Shingen?" Miles looked at him quizzically, confused at the sudden grin on his face. "What are you-"

"Sometimes, Miles, it's not about how far something is." Shingen turned to him with a plastered smirk, almost believing that these were the best odds yet, "All we need…is a leap of faith to get us there."

"I don't get what you're-"

Giving a quick salute with two fingers, Shingen vaulted over the edge, as Mile's mouth dropped in horror. He madly gazed down at Shingen, who was slowly free-falling down to the ground. This was mere suicide; had Shingen gone crazy? There was no way a regular person could be able to survive a fall like that!

But, then, for a brief second, his eyes caught something mysterious. A silver light, whizzing out of the corner of his eye. It was like a brief flash of pure energy, zooming across his irises in a mere instant. Then, as he looked down below the bridge yet again, Shingen was gone. Miles quickly turned back up to see a silver jet of light zoom through the alleyways, heading towards the direction of the van…

Who…

Who exactly was…Shingen Yashida?


Location: Tsuchinoko Slums

It was almost too good to be true. The criminals had finally lost the trail of those pesky cops.

Back in the storage area of the van, the Yakuza Enforcers began to gloat over their newfound treasures. The van still was on the move, going along the rickety roads of the slums, wheels bumping over trash and junk. However, the criminals felt assured that the police wouldn't dare risk their precious vehicles or the safety of the civilians for a mere van filled with stolen goods. It would give them enough time to head back to base and return with spoils of their victory.

Just wait until the other Enforcers hear about this heist! They'll be the envy for all of the new recruits wanting to join the Yakuza!

"Hey, hands of the merchandise!" The driver angrily called as he did his best to keep the van steady as they tried to head towards the alleyways. "It's difficult enough that you're making my job a pain in the ass!"

"Hey, lay off, buddy!" One Enforcer sneered, tossing a gold bar casually in his hand, "We're in the clear! Those damp cops couldn't chase us in the alleyway!"

"Yeah! Well, stop touching it, anyway!" The driver found it hard to concentrate as a flicker of light was shining on his eyes. It was getting a little annoying, even for a driver.

"Something up?" His co-pilot, raising an eyebrow at the driver's irritated gaze, was a bit confused as to why the driver was still edgy. "We lost the police, chill out. Almost a few clicks to the storage house. You can drive slowly now."

"No, it's this…light…almost…blinding my eyes!"

Light? The co-pilot frowned, looking out in the front of the van as it entered the alleyway. All he could see was the headlights that were shining on the dark corridors of the alley. "You're seeing things, man, lay off. Look, we're homeward bound-"

"I'm telling you, man, this light's pissing me off!" The driver's edgy tone was beginning to worry the co-pilot, could the driver be seeing things? "Look right at the front of the van, it's bugging me out!" The driver cried out in an angry tone.

"What light are you talking about? Knock it off! Just keep driving-"

"You're not listening! The light! IT'S THERE!"

"WHAT LIGHT ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT?!"

"THAT LIGHT-"

It all happened so suddenly. But in those few seconds, not even the criminals could comprehend what went on…

First, it started off with a loud crash. The front bumper of the van collided with something heavy, even though there was no object that stood in front of the van. Then, a bright, silver flash erupted in front of the driver and the co-pilot, causing them to raise both their hands up in shock. The light pierced their eyes, and they could feel their vision searing to the point where it almost blinded them to look at the light. In just a matter of seconds, the front bumper was completely flattened, and the van slammed into a hard stop…

With that, the van flipped over, gracefully tumbling through the air…

Then, the impact was a combination of a painful crunch of metal and bone, along with the squeak and screech of the scraping van, as it bounced a few times before eventually sliding. The end of the slide resulted in the van crashing into a solid brick wall, the metal pushing against the brick as hard as possible. Now, all that was left of the van was a broken wreck, windows broken, passengers unconscious, doors flung open…

Only the driver was conscious to witness the aftermath of this terrible accident.

His body was more than beaten. It was broken all over; bruises, sores, broken bones. One of his legs had bent under the impact of the crash, but his other leg was still functional. The driver looked over to his co-pilot; unconscious, with a bleeding forehead. He looked behind to see the three Enforcers; also unconscious and bleeding. The trickle of blood poured down a heavy cut on his forehead…

And, the horrifying thing? There was nothing in the alleyway that they saw. All the driver saw was that silver light…and then, the van crashed…

Groaning, the driver fell out of the open door, hitting the wet, cold alley floor with a thud. He let out a painful grunt as he tried to stand on his broken leg; there was nothing he could do to fix it. So, the driver resorted to crawling, painfully scraping across the darkened floor…

He wouldn't have gotten far, anyway. If it weren't for the mysterious figure that stood in his way.

"Stealing from a bank? You Yakuza are all the same." The cold, harsh tone of the figure's voice wasn't as deep like a police officer's. It sounded almost…like a young college student…

"You…Did you…crash our…van…?"

The mysterious figure let out a low chuckle, as if he was almost laughing at the Yakuza. How dare him…if he wasn't weakened, he would show that impetuous youth respect. "Nah. I call that my own version of "free parking". However, since you're Yakuza…You get the special treatment…"

The driver grunted, as he was able to get on one knee, getting a better glance at the figure that stood over him. Indeed, he was young, his full complexion was hidden by the darkened shadows of the alley, but his apparel was bright enough to be seen. A white hoodie, snow-white jeans, dirtied sneakers…

Had he been taken down… by a street rat…

"You're…You're gonna regret this …The Yakuza…We never forget a face…And we won't forget your- HNK!"

SLAM!

The driver could barely feel his breath coming to him as the tight grip on his throat began to strengthen. Suddenly, he could see the eyes of this mysterious youth. They glowed, with the same light that he saw. The familiar sensation of his eyes burning almost returned to him instantly, as he choked out a scream, as his vision was disintegrating before him. The scream; it was a plea to end the suffering, to end this…unjust pain…

For Shingen Yashida, however, the only way for the Yakuza to learn: is through the way of pain.

"Then, remember my face. Remember my name. For I am…Shingen Yashida."

All the driver saw in his last moments was a light.

Then, unconsciousness.


Location: Fred's Mansion

A Few Hours After the Police Chase…

All of it happened so fast.

The police were baffled as Shingen walked out of the alleyway, his hands casually stowed in his pockets. The commissioner, a young woman named Yukio, almost mistook him as a criminal, if it not for the Yakuza that was thrown at the policewoman's feet, still alive, but blinded. The van was towed back to base, as the contents were quickly returned to the bank. However, most of the police were baffled at its current state. To them, it almost felt like something tore it apart…

The only thing that mattered to Yukio: the criminals were safely stowed away and heading to jail.

In all her years in the police force, the one thing Commissioner Yukio hates is the Yakuza itself. At a young age, she lost her older brother, who was a police officer, to a Yakuza raid. Ever since that fateful day, she hated criminals, especially Yakuza, with a passion. By the time she became a police officer, her reputation as a ruthless cop struck fear into any robber or shoplifter. The Yakuza started to notice her when she single-handedly arrested one of their raid leaders, barely making out of the jail alive with a bunch of fractures and broken bones. Indeed, Yukio had fought the scum of San Fransokyo for years, and she wasn't about to let the Yakuza take control of her city.

And, with this…new development…she might get the chance to rid the city of Yakuza once and for all…

"That forehead looks pretty beat up." Commissioner Yukio took a hard look at Shingen Yashida's forehead. It was slightly bleeding on the left side, but he shrugged it off as if it was nothing. "You might wanna get that looked at, kid." She commented, her lip frowning as a drop of blood slid down his cheek.

Shingen chuckled, wiping the blood off of his cut and cheek, and slowly leaned back on one of the pillars of the mansion. Fred's place, he assumed. The police officers were gracious enough to tow Mile's vehicle to the mansion, as the two rode in the back seat of the police car. At least for now, they weren't getting arrested. Yet.

"So, you wanna give me the rundown on how a young man like yourself was able to crash a van like that?" Yukio questioned, taking out her notepad. She had an affinity of questioning people involved in her cases. It helps to…shed light on some unusual things.

"I'm afraid, officer, it simply crashed." Shingen replied, as he yawned lightly. "Man, these Yakuza are easy to catch…"

THUNK!

"Do you require assistance, sir?"

Miles grunted as he gave a huge heave on the front bumper, doing his best to jam it back into place. Fred's manservant, Heathcliff, stood idly by, watching the boy intently as he stood quietly. "No, no, I'm fine, I got it!" Miles chuckled, as he gave another heave.

"Well, sir…" Heathcliff drawled, "If you don't mind, I shall relieve you of Shingen's belongings and place them in the mansion."

Click. In an instant, the trunk popped open, and Heathcliff made his way over to retrieve Shingen's suitcases. Meanwhile, Miles gave the bumper one last shove, before an audible clunk was heard. Miles panted, as he turned his attention towards the open hood of the car, which was smoking. It was a miracle that the cab had survived. However, the cab was the least of Mile's worries…

"…Alright, that should- get it- IN!" Down came the hood, as it slammed down towards its correct position. Finally, that should be enough to secure it…

Heathcliff returned with the two suitcases that Shingen had packed into the trunk of his cab, casually heading back through the entrance to place it in the. In the aftermath, the front bumper of the car looked as if it had been completely obliterated, barely holding on by a single rivet or two. But as far as damage was concerned, the cab was able to make it for one final drive back to home, where he could repair it before his parents could notice. As Miles walked up the steps towards Fred's house, Shingen was busily chatting with Commissioner Yukio, who was busily taking notes on Shingen's account with the criminals. With some of the Yakuza captured, it wouldn't be long before Yukio was on the trail for their main hideout.

"…You said you saw a black kanji on their arm?" Yukio mused, as she clipped her notepad shut, finalizing the note taking process. "Not many Yakuza members tattoo those on their arms; he's probably part of some elite group."

"Shadow." Shingen confirmed, as he took his hand from his chin and crossed his arms slightly. Something familiar came up about that symbol to Shingen, as if he were remembering…"Yes, it represented the term 'shadow', or 'darkness'. You ever come across any of those guys on your patrols?"

"Not that I remember, no." Yukio replied, wiping the dirt off her brow as she cleared her throat. "Most of the criminals we pick up get arrested for petty crimes, misdemeanors, and assault charges. Simple gang related actions. But a full-scale robbery on one of our safely, guarded banks…The Yakuza are getting bolder here."

Shingen pursed his lips as his eyes closed in deep thought. One bank robbery could lead to another, he instinctively thought. If these criminals were getting bolder by the minute, the police could be overwhelmed. San Fransokyo had a criminal problem that was growing by the minute, and if not stopped immediately, chaos would run rampant across this city. It was his obligation to uphold the protection of not just his family's facilities, but the safekeeping in the city they reside in. "Yukio." Shingen suddenly blurted out, as the commissioner looked at him with interested eyes. "I don't suppose you've heard from your superiors in Japan…about…my involvement in quelling the Yakuza problem."

Yukio chuckled, as she tipped her hat to Shingen, acknowledging the statement. "Almost everyone in San Fransokyo has heard of the name Yashida in some way or another." She replied, thoughtfully remembering how many citizens use medical equipment from Yashida Industries. "But, I guess you're the odd one out of the bunch. Yeah, I've heard how you took down your own Zaibatsu that your grandfather was secretly building up. Almost the entire police force here was shocked. I knew better to trust that old geezer." She cleared her throat before shaking her hand and replying in an apologetic tone, "My apologies…I know his passing must be hard on you."

To Yukio's surprise, Shingen merely shrugged, his frown still on his face as he heard about his grandfather again. "Hmph, quite the contrary. The old geezer should have died a long time ago. All he cared about was his empire, nothing else."

"So, who takes over after your grandfather? Did he leave an heir?"

Shingen nodded. "My sister, Mariko, handles all of the operations now. She leaves the management of our foreign operations to me; I'm just here for a routine inspection of our medical facilities."

Yukio nodded in admiration, a small grin forming on her lips. "Well, well, can't believe a kid like yourself is in charge of all of our medical facilities here." She complimented.

Shingen smirked, winking as he replied, "Only the facilities that bear the equipment of Yashida Industries."

POP!

The two turned their heads towards Miles, who groaned in frustration as he kicked the front bumper of his car, suddenly realizing a sharp end had punctured part of his left tire, deflating it. Both of them tried not to laugh at the angry tirade of Latino curses spewing out of Mile's mouth, catching a quick "pendejo" or "puta" here or there…

"Miles, it's alright!" Shingen called out, as he took out his phone, "I'll just send someone to tow it-"

"No need, I'll tow him." Yukio held up a hand, as Shingen quickly closed his phone, placing it back in his pocket. "Plus, I gotta get back to HQ. Gotta report on my findings; they could be just what we need to nail their leader."

Shingen gave a quick salute, as he gave a thumbs up to the officer. "Happy to help, officer. I'll be glad to join you guys on the hunt soon. But, I gotta take care of some business first."

Yukio chuckled, returning the salute with her own. "Take your time, kiddo. If there's anything interesting that's developing, you'll be the first know." With that, she straightened her hat, and walked down the steps towards Miles. "Alright, Morales! You know the drill: back of the car!" She shouted, gripping Mile's shoulder tightly, "Can't have you driving in that hunk of junk!"

"Ey, lady! That's my cab you're talking about!" Miles growled, as he looked up to Shingen with worried eyes. "Shingen!" He called out frantically, thinking he did something bad, "Is she arresting me?"

Yukio couldn't hold back a laugh, as she casually placed him in the back of the police car. "No, ya doofus, I'm towing you back home!" She chuckled, looking back at Shingen with a grin. "I'll take him home, safe and sound! You be careful in San Fransokyo, Shingen!"

"Same to you! Make sure my friend gets home safely!"

It wasn't long before both cars left, Mile's cab hovering as it was towed by a gravity chain from Yukio's police cab. Poor Miles, Shingen thought, as he went back up the stairs towards the open entrance, where Heathcliff was waiting. Hope their first encounter wasn't as terrible as the next one, Shingen hoped quietly. As he got to the entrance, he bowed politely at Heathcliff, as he spoke in a considerate tone, "My apologies. Business took longer than expected."

Heathcliff shook his head, bowing in response. "No apologies are needed, Master Yashida." He replied, his hand pointing to the inside of the mansion. "Shall we head inside? The weather tends to get chilly in the afternoon."

Shingen eagerly nodded, and the two casually went inside, first meeting the elegant beauty of the Main Hall. It was as any hall would be decorated; a grand staircase spiraling that split in two different directions towards a variety of rooms. Below, vases, portraits, tables, cushions, and chandeliers were all organized in their rightful places, with the light above glowing with a warm hue. It wasn't as pompous as Shingen thought; it was refined and simple, as any regular elegant mansion would be.

"Our main Sitting Room is upstairs, sir. If you would follow me, please." Heathcliff led the way, with Shingen following suit. "I must say, sir, it is an honor to serve a member of the Yashida family." He continued, his pace never dulling even for a short second.

"I get that a lot from almost…everyone." Shingen commented, as he kept his hands in his coat pockets. "It's getting kind of scary…Does everyone in San Fransokyo hear about my family?"

"Yashida Industries has been growing for some time here, sir." Heathcliff decided to take the left staircase that led towards the Main Sitting room, as Shingen casually trailed behind. "Indeed, we owe much to your success in the medical business. Many lives have been saved because of your technology."

"Glad to hear it." Shingen nodded, as the two reached the end of the stairway, continuing on to the East Wing. "Saving lives has been one of our organization's goals. As it is also one of my own."

"Indeed, I must say, you hold on to such honorable traditions, sir."

The two reached the Sitting Room, as Shingen casually entered, taking a moment to study his surroundings. "Well, then, sir, Master Fred should be with you shortly." Heathcliff stated, as he stood outside the doorway. "Do you require anything else? Maybe some refreshment?"

Shingen groaned as he felt a searing pain hit the top of his forehead. Ah, right. The punch from that burly Yakuza. Looks like the pain was coming back. "Erm, maybe some tea, to help calm the nerves. Builder's, preferably." Shingen shakily replied, as he slumped onto the couch. "Oh, and an icepack. Definitely an ice pack."

"Right away, sir." Heathcliff was already off, heading downstairs to the kitchen to fetch the young Yashida the tea and icepack…

And, as soon as he left, Shingen could have sworn he heard a faint voice in the hallway…

"Ah, Master Fred. We have a guest in the house."

Oh. Shingen guessed it must be…

"SHINGEN YASHIDA!" Fred flamboyantly jumped inside the room, as he strode over to the couch with a grin. Shingen jumped up, quickly backing away to see a 25-year old man, dressed in a dirty red t-shirt with gray sleeves, a green beanie on his head, along with a pair of sullied jeans that might have seen better days.

For a moment, Shingen thought his concussion was giving him hallucinations. But, he carefully reminded himself to keep his opinions silent.

"Hey, bro, don't just stand there looking all shocked!" Fred grinned, as he held up a hand, as if he were waiting for a high-five. "Top shelf!"

"…Fred…I presume…Yeah?" Shingen's eyebrow arched in suspicion as he stared at the man before him. Surely, this couldn't be Fred…right?

"What?" Fred dropped his hand to look down at his clothes, suddenly turning towards a bulge in his left jean pocket. "Aw, man, forgot to do the laundry! Were you looking at this?" A huge pair of sullied underwear flopped out of his hand and into the air, landing near Shingen's feet.

"…I don't recall having owned a pair of dirty underwear." Shingen confusedly replied, as if trying to go along with the situation. "Are…Are you-"

"That's right, man! The name's Fred!" Fred chuckled, before picking up the underwear and holding his other hand to Shingen in a handshake. "Jeez, man, what took you so long? Oh, wait, don't tell me!" He held up both of his hands to his head, as if he were some mystical fortune teller. "That coat smell…that bruised forehead…that…musty smell of somebody's lunch…You were in the alleys, right?"

Okay. Seriously getting creeped out now.

"Yes…Um…I kinda got lost in the alley…" Shingen replied, as he slowly raised a hand to meet Fred's own. "But, don't worry, I found my way here."

"Got lost? Or, beating up some bad guys?"

Seriously. Now, just beating up Yakuza gets me the whole attention of the city?"

Fred chuckled, shaking his head as he took Shingen's hand and gave a firm handshake. "They're talking about you, man. Everyone in the news got your face plastered on a camera. Apparently, you were presumed missing…for like a few minutes." He busted out laughing, as he held his stomach with glee. "Dude, the mayor was gonna send a rescue party to find you!" Shingen rolled his eyes as he simply sat back down on the couch.

"Jeez…A few minutes into San Fransokyo, everyone treats me like I'm some god…" Shingen muttered.

"Well, yeah. I mean, you did beat a couple of Yakuza. Now, everyone's got their eye on you." Fred casually sat next to the couch by taking a seat on one of the plush chairs that surrounded the table. "Me on the other hand…There's something I wanted to ask you."

Shingen chuckled. Guess this was gonna be a long stay.

"Ask away then…Fred."


4 Hours Later

"...You guess correctly. Yes, Fred, I am a mutant."

Fred let out a triumphant hoot, as he punched his fist into the air. "Yes, I knew that reading all those comic books for ten years would amount to something!" He cheered, slowly calming down, as he crossed his arms. "I gotta say, dude; that was some pretty cool stunts you pulled back there."

Shingen chuckled as he sat on the couch, holding an ice pack to his bruised forehead, as he listened to Fred. He's a good man, Shingen thought, almost felt as if he was a long-time friend, even though they just met. "Yeah, well, something tells me that you saw something there that gave you the impression that I was a mutant."

Fred slumped back in his chair, holding a hand to his chin. "Yeah...you know...to tell you the truth, it was that bright light that was in one of your punches. Is that some sort of...energy?"

Shingen held up his other hand, emitting the same bright light that had been used in the fight. It enveloped his hand with a silver glow, vibrating gently across the skin. "I call it the Silver Light." Shingen stated, as the light began to fade back into his body, showing his hand once again, "When I discovered my powers for the first time, I found out I can manipulate energy; kinetic and potential. Once I made contact with it, I could redirect it into my body into a form that I can use. So, I could turn the impact force of a bullet into my body into a light shockwave that could stun enemies."

Fred's mouth widened in an interested grin. "Now, that's deadly, bro. You could have multiple bullets flying at you, and you could just blow them all away with one big blast..."

Shingen chuckled as he put the ice pack down on the table across from him. "Well, it does have its limits. Sometimes, the Mutant Gene in my body takes away more energy it's supposed to, weakening it. So, for in order for my powers to work, the gene feeds off the power from my body, and my body absorbs all the power it can get."

"Without the battery, your body can't activate your powers."

Shingen turned to Fred with a nod. "Exactly."

Fred, standing up, took the seat opposite to Shingen, and looked at him with an excited look. "So, a superhero like you needs a team, right? I think I know just the type of people who could take you in."

Shingen raised an eyebrow as a grin came to his face. "And, who might these people be?"

"Big Hero 6."

Shingen laughed, as he stared at him with incredulous eyes. "Get out, man!" He chuckled as stared at him with disbelief, "You know the Big Hero 6? And, you can get me a spot on their team?"

Fred let out the same crazy grin when he first found out Hiro was creating a superhero team. It was starting to feel like the first days again. "Well, I should know, Shingen. I'm part of the team. I have a proposition for you."

"What might that be, dear Fred?"

Fred placed a firm hand on Shingen's shoulder. "Join the Big Hero 6, Shingen. San Fransokyo could use a few more heroes like yourself."

Guess this was going to be a long stay indeed.