" fine. Right now it's the thing keeping me alive. I'm in an lot pain so please if you would, leave."
He carefully leaned against the wall near Hiro, watching and studying him. The thing keeping him alive? And this same thing glowed red. The only thing he knew that glowed red like that was a machine. But, what type of machine?
Eventually the glowing dimmed and Hiro got up " ouch.." he said sarcastically
Malcolm snorted, still watching him.
“Explain the red glow,”Malcolm bade.
" I don't even know that so quit pestering me!" He snapped slightly
“How about, what makes the red glow?”he asked with an annoyed snorted.
Hiro soaked his head using his power again to grab some water " overusing this and stress.."
“Alright, part one is explained. Now for part two. What, in your back, makes the glow?”he asked sternly.
" imy father always said something about bots pf some sort but I was eight and didn't pay attention"
Bots? As in nanobots? Now Malcolm had to know, had to study him, but first…
“What’s your name, kid?”
" hiro.. hiro shimada.."
“Malcolm Harkolar. Now, these ‘bots’, what do you know about them?”he asked. His eyes were narrowed with concentration.
" utterly nothing. " He said and tried to full stand
Malcolm didn’t move to help.
“That’s helpful. Anyway, I have a lab back home. I could look at your back and figure out what the bots are,”he offered, his voice even.
" you know what.. fine let's go." He said
Malcolm walked out without another word and headed back home. He didn’t bother to check if Hiro was following, though a part of him did hope the kida was. He didn’t like that little part of him.
When he got there, he unlocked the door, jiggling the handle a bit, then stepped inside. It was an old jewelry store, though the window were covered and reinforced, the display cases had been modified into cabinets, and all the shelves had either unfinished mechanical projects or vials full of what appeared to be beads. A few chairs were spread about, appearing pristine, and the lights worked well.
“Don’t touch anything on the shelves or dig through the cabinets, unless you have death wish. I don’t have to be in the room to kill you,”Malcolm warned.
He walked through a door in the back of the shop and vanished.
" ahm okay " he said an looked around. Hiro could have sworn he heard movement behind him " the fack?" He mumbled
It was peacefully quiet in the shop, with no obvious signs of movement anywhere.
Malcolm returned a few minutes later. He set a bag on the counter, then dragged a chair into the open. He waved for Hiro to sit.
“Back facing out, if you would. Now…”Malcolm trailed off, mumbling to himself and looking around. He was clearly searching for something.
Hiro sighed and slipped his tankop off to expose his hole back. He sat on the chair just like Malcolm said
Malcolm tapped on one of his unfinished projects and it came alive, revealing it to be fully functioning. Malcolm grinned at the rat sized spider-like machine.
“There you are, old friend. Being stealthy again, are you?”he asked, amused.
A blue light flashed from the machine. Malcolm smiled.
“Alright. Go back to it.”
The machine flashed again, then crawled away. Malcolm watched for a moment, then turned back to Hiro. He grabbed another chair, then the bag, and sat behind Hiro. Malcolm scrutinized Hiro’s back, searching for the ‘bots’.
Hiro watched the small thing move " I've seen that thing before. Now that I think about it, you kinda seem familiar too.."
Malcolm rose an eyebrow.
“I already mentioned that this is my fucking neighborhood. If you’ve been here long enough, you’ve probably seen me scavenging. And that little machine you call a ‘thing’ happens to be one of my oldest projects, or pieces of him are. He’s gone through several rebuilds over the years,”he snorted.
Malcolm then grabbed a magnifying glass, holding it up to his mechanical left eye as he looked at Hiro’s back.
" no, I meant like when I was young kinda familiar" he mumbled something before his back flashed. He yelled at the sudden pain p.
Malcolm snorted,”Why in the fuck would you have known me when you were little? I don’t fucking like people, particularly organic folks, and I doubt you’re from a family of cyborgs.”
Malcolm rose an eyebrow at the sudden flash and Hiro’s yelp. He hummed, not caring whatsoever that the boy was in pain.
“What does the red light mean? Yes, I know it’s linked to stress or overuse of your abilities, but what exactly does it mean?”
" I'm not sure! You try having this all explained in one day at eight years old and the world go to shit!" He snapped