Chapter 6

        February 24, 2015.
        A white inflatable robot clad in red protective armor was with a young black-haired man in purple armor. The robot, well-known as Baymax, and the boy, named Hiro Hamada, had been invited by Madoka a week beforehand over the phone. As agreed, they met up at the mysterious inhibitor room to help Madoka talk to someone in emotional distress, though she refused to tell them it was the Fugitive.
        Baymax placed his gloved hand onto the frontal column.
        Linked up to the inhibitor's dual touch-thought interface and its scrambling signals, he began to analyze its stored data over a one-year search range.
        "Database downloaded," Baymax declared in his distinct methodical voice. "Treatments include contact with friends and loved ones."
        "Well, other than the teammates I usually talk to," the Fugitive tried to explain, "I don't know if they're friends, or..."
        Silently, Baymax confirmed the Fugitive's voice and matched it with his own recorded data files from November 29, 2014. He ran a secondary search taking a man he talked to that day into account, but "NO RECORDS FOUND" appeared in the results.
        Hiro noticed Baymax just standing there. "Uh, what are you doing?"
        Baymax went back to his primary search and narrowed its own results down based on inhibitor data. The data included whether certain people were available or in headshot-induced comas, as well as whether they provided assistance in recent battles or met up at particular gatherings over the past year.
        "I am contacting them now," stated Baymax. Although the projection display on his chest showed icons of allies who have talked to the Fugitive and Madoka, it was blocked by his armor.
        Short bursts of comm feedback sounded on Madoka's phone.
        "Your friends have been contacted," declared Baymax.
        The Fugitive replied, "Y-you know what? Thank you. Thank you for the help. But there are still... people who want us dead."
        "What?!" yelped Hiro.
        "And, and..." The Fugitive stopped rambling and sighed loudly before he could put his thoughts together.
        "Being rattled can be stressful. I suggest sitting down with friends and loved ones," repeated Baymax.
        Madoka leaned in toward the viewscreen and spoke up. "If something's ever bugging you, you can always talk to me if you want."
        Baymax continued. "Other treatments include compassion and--"
        Baymax and Hiro faced Madoka as she answered her phone.
        "Hello?" asked Madoka.
        On the other end of the line, Mami hummed a tune, which seemed to be a familiar leitmotif that subconsciously came to her. The Fugitive seemed to get her reference, as they heard a chuckle from the inhibitor.
        But suddenly, an electric bolt shrieked within the inhibitor room.
        The next thing Madoka knew, Baymax and Hiro had been swallowed up by a time-screw portal that just faded away in front of her eyes.


*   *   *

        Meanwhile, at the black void, Mami had also heard the time-screw teleport over her walkie-talkie that was attached to her hip. She wore her glasses once more, and had been with Homura all day. Both of them were in their school uniforms.
        "Now that's just messed up," groaned the Fugitive over the walkie-talkie. "Okay, you know what? The sooner we defeat the Opposition, the sooner we can fix that busted inhibitor machine and stop it from zapping out people like that."
        "Well, we aren't getting anywhere," Mami told Homura. She took a look around and saw Strength, walking by in the distance. The metallic-armed Opposition Member was with the pink-pigtailed humanoid girl who flew away from Mami and Engineer over a month ago.
        Pew pew POW!
        Three bright flashes summoned Baymax into the area.
        "Hiro..." he called. But the sudden teleport they went through had separated the two.
        While Baymax turned his helmet-clad head to analyze his new surroundings and locate people in the immediate area to assist, Homura leaned toward Mami's walkie-talkie and spoke.
        "I'm sorry, Madoka," she said.
        "Homura...? What are you doing?" was Madoka's reply over the comm lines.
        "Hello," Baymax greeted, drawing Mami and Homura's attention. He kept his introduction brief, though. "Is this causing you distress?" he asked as he pointed to Strength and the humanoid girl.
        Homura began to reach behind her shield once more, but the instant that Mami looked at Strength and the humanoid, she froze. And then, instead of focusing on the Opposition Member, she stared intently at the humanoid.
        "That's right... but then..." said Mami.
        "What seems to be the trouble?" asked Baymax.
        Mami felt like she recognized that humanoid girl... and suddenly recalled a monstrous worm with a black body and a menacing grin.
        Madoka continued to watch the action on the primary inhibitor, but the signal suddenly cut out.
        "What, what is this?" exclaimed a new excited voice over the inhibitors.
        The voice belonged to a girl on the viewscreen with blue hair in twin bunches. She appeared to wear a black headset, blue diagonal ink-like stripes on her cheeks, a long-sleeved blue jacket, and a black skirt and leggings. But her legs seemed to dissolve into pixels, giving her a footless appearance.
        Madoka couldn't come up with what to say about the girl on the viewscreen, so she tapped the frontal column a few times.
        "Yeah, I'm seeing it, too... Uh, her," the Fugitive announced as soon as he came back on the comm lines.
        "You're no fun," groaned the girl on the viewscreen to no one in particular.
        "Look, Madoka, I gotta mention something." continued the Fugitive. "I said once, a long time ago, that nothing would stop you from meeting up with someone who sounds like you. Well, I think it's happening again."
        "Why?" replied Madoka.
        "That tiny humanoid girl... Her name is Charlotte. And this blue-haired girl here... I think she's called Ené, but... I don't really know about her."
        "Take a look at this, see?" Ené proposed as she literally pulled in an archive image from offscreen as if it were a stiff curtain. Sure enough, the image was of Strength and Charlotte from a few moments ago, and was discarded during Baymax's data-search at the inhibitors from even earlier.
        "These two might be connected to the Opposition Member Strength." explained the Fugitive. "And if this is another case of people meeting up because they sound almost the same, then we have trouble on our hands."
        Madoka worriedly but calmly thought about her next course of action. She remembered seeing Charlotte before, though she almost remembered seeing two alternate forms of her....
        Ené, however, either seemed oblivious to the Fugitive's explanation or forgot about her groan a few moments ago; she began to wave her sleeved arm in a friendly manner in front of her.


*   *   *

        Pew pew POW!
        Meanwhile, Hiro was thrown into another part of the black void, still with his purple armor intact.
        "Baymax?" called Hiro.
        But then, it wasn't Baymax he heard.
        "If it takes an extra year or two, it won't make much of a difference...." It was Asuna, the blonde-haired girl Baymax told him about last November who had been seeking help in finding a lost sword of hers.

        Asuna was even showing that "Missing: Lambent Light" poster she had to a girl with a yellow bow in her vibrant purple hair.
        "But someone like me? I'll just get in the way," claimed the girl. She was joined by several others, including a tall shy-looking girl with mint-green hair, and another girl with purplish-gray hair who had a stoic look on her face.
        "Everyone expects great things from you now," explained Asuna. "And guess what? So do I. Talk about pressure, huh?"
        Hiro stood there, not knowing what the girls were talking about, nor who most of them even were. But he didn't need to wait any longer, as he heard distinct rocket thrusters landing nearby.
        Baymax reunited with Hiro after cross-referencing his latest medical scans and pinpointing his location. The armored healthcare robot was about to voice a greeting but was interrupted.
        "Quiet!" shushed Hiro.
        But Asuna and the other girls were looking at Baymax and Hiro anyway.
        "Hey, are you okay?" the purple-haired girl asked.
        Nobody in the area seemed to notice another girl passing by. This girl had pale blue hair, a desert-green futuristic outfit, and a white scarf. She softly gasped to herself upon seeing Asuna, but quickly continued on her way.


*   *   *

        March 4, 2015.
        As the days passed, the Resurrection Movement's members became anxious to fight the fourth Opposition Member. Some of the team's Codename Fortress mercs had heard that Spy returned from his trip, though they were too scattered around to do anything effectively for the moment. The Holy Quintet girls, on the other hand, had several of their own plans in mind, though they didn't all meet up to discuss them.
        Soldier had teleported his blue-uniformed self, with his glitchy Tux penguin on his belt and Demoman's stolen red hat on his head, into the operating room at Drogentote Medical Hospital. For once, he wanted to pay a visit to his fallen coworkers Heavy and Sniper.
        "You were good, sons, real good; maybe even the best," he said.
        He then heard two people outside the nearby doors and went into the waiting room to check. There, Demoman had drunk himself silly once more with several spilled bottles of scrumpy around him, and Pyro tapped his foot impatiently.
        Soldier only wanted to leave in haste.
        "Boy, I have something I want to tell you about the Engineer. Call me later, pal," he muttered quickly to Demoman.
        With that, he threw Demoman's hat onto the ground, then squeezed the penguin on his belt and whooshed away.
        The loud whoosh drew Demoman's attention enough for him to mumble and chuckle in delight as he saw the hat that Soldier finally returned to him after two years.
        "Not bad, eh?" said Demoman.
        Pyro could only mumble in disdain.
        Soldier found himself at the snow-covered outdoor fountain area. It felt a bit odd to be outside with nothing on his head.
        He heard the team's ringtone nearby. It was followed by a young girl's voice, and that was something that got him very excited.
        The girl, who had blonde hair and a black string-like ribbon, picked up a thin white flip-phone she had.
        "Poi?" she answered.
        The phone that Homura once kept with her was given to Madoka last May. And now, Madoka had placed it in the hands of a young girl named Yuudachi for a small recon outing at the outdoor fountain, as suggested by the Fugitive. Satisfied with that fact, Madoka sent out the call through the primary inhibitor. She didn't feel like taking her phone out for this small task.
        Madoka then opened a comm channel to the Fugitive. As she smiled at the viewscreen and its internally-embedded cameras, she placed her finger over her mouth to shush the Fugitive before he could greet her.
        "Hey!" Madoka exclaimed once she heard Yuudachi's greeting.
        "What is it that you need?" asked Yuudachi brightly.
        But before Madoka could reply, she and Yuudachi heard radio-filtered voices.
        "Inject. Pressure."
        "All units, lock your position."
        The gasmasked Time Police scouting party had arrived at the fountain area, and Yuudachi was completely unarmed. It would take too long for Madoka to reach her, even if she could induce one of the unpredictable time-screw teleports.
        "Fire," commanded the group leader.
        "Aah!" Yuudachi screamed. She took a look at the group and saw that the group leader was carrying a futuristic stun baton, while the other two were shooting their pistols.

        Yuudachi quickly hid around a nearby building, where she noticed a chuckling Soldier pulling off one of the grenades he had on his chest.
        "The Great Eagle Scourge returns, hippies!" Soldier exclaimed as he threw the grenade into the path of the oncoming officers.
        The explosion blasted away one of the officers with pistols.
        "Cover me, I'm going in!" ordered the baton-wielding leader.
        The other officer began to fire at Soldier, who managed to hide behind the fountain.
        "I have a match on APB likeness," noted the leader as soon as he focused on Yuudachi.
        "Dauggh, no..." groaned Soldier. He prepared his second and remaining grenade, and tried to throw it at the officers.
        But a well-placed shot onto Soldier's arm made him drop the grenade as soon as it exploded. On himself.
        "Aaaaaaggghh!" yelled Soldier as the explosion sent him further away from the others. He barely had time to get up before an electric bullet struck him in the head.
        The pistol officer quickly landed a shot into Yuudachi's leg.
        "Aaaaaahhh!" shrieked Yuudachi as she collapsed to her knees and dropped the flip-phone.
        The leader then struck her with his baton.
        "Poiiii..." moaned Yuudachi.
        "Vacate citizen," the leader declared as he placed his free hand onto Yuudachi's back.
        Yuudachi shrieked in terror as a time-screw portal swallowed her up.
        "Final verdict adm--"
        Madoka was in shock over the carnage she just heard on the inhibitor. Despite this, she knew that the final amplified gunshot was a result of Homura, a fellow magical girl, using a gun while time was stopped around her.
        The Fugitive had heard it all.
        And apparently so did Engineer, who opened his comm channel during the Time Police ambush.
        "Soldier's a goner!" cried Engineer.
        The Fugitive began to speak, while relying on his assumptions. "Soldier...? O-kay... that's completely messed up. It looks like the person who tried to kill Heavy and Sniper is still going around blowing people's heads off. And, Madoka, this plan pretty much convinced me that we should be fighting the gasmasked officers."
        "Madoka, why can't you understand?" interrupted Homura, who finally spoke up. "You don't have the luxury to fool around."
        "Homura," interjected the Fugitive, "that's why I want you folks to fight the Time Police now. You know what? Madoka here needs some cheering up, and I want all of you to meet up somewhere, anyway. The thing is, Spy's back from his trip."
        "Whoo-wee!" cheered Engineer.
        "I want him to show you his set of knives, and I think I know which one we should use on the Opposition Member Strength."
        While Madoka remembered Strength's vulnerability to weapons that dealt more damage to an opponent's back, Homura retrieved her phone, deliberately ignored the red hologram from Soldier's Reanimator device, and left his and the gasmasked officers' unconscious bodies behind.
        The Fugitive continued to speak. "I'm just gonna call Medic right now and send him to where Soldier is. Soldier never did get a phone or headset to send distress signals with."

Chapter 7 >