|Team Possible II: The Patchwork Man
Author: King in Yellow PM
When the Bureau for Paranormal Research and Defense fails to get their man who ya' gonna call? Team Possible II has been asked to find the creature, but isn't entirely sure why. Best Enemies series.Rated: Fiction T - English - Adventure/Supernatural - Chapters: 4 - Words: 15,000 - Reviews: 29 - Favs: 7 - Follows: 5 - Updated: 09-16-07 - Published: 09-11-07 - Status: Complete - id: 3779107
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Boilerplate Disclaimer: Disney owns the Kim Possible characters. The BPRD and its staff property of Mike Mignola and Dark Horse.
CastaS helped with German, and provided information on Switzerland and Germany. I also put in some things without consultation which are less likely to be accurate.
"Lipsky and Load," Zita answered the phone.
"Yes, my name is Donner and I'm needing to speak with the Doc."
"Do you mean Doctor Load or -"
"I mean Drakken."
"Mister Lipsky is very busy, if you could give me an idea of your business?"
David Donner swore a small oath in his mind, "I'm with the government. I need some help and I'm asking if Doc and the kiddies are available."
Zita had found his name in the Rolodex while he was speaking, "David Donner?"
"Let me connect you."
In the lab Drakken watched the temperature gauge closely. Variations as small as a single degree from his goal could damage the experiment. If all went as planned he would have achieved the perfect cup of hot cocoa. As his hand reached out to cut the flame to the Bunsen burner the phone rang, ruining his concentration. "What is it?" he snapped in an annoyed tone.
"David Donner on line one. You and Wade both have him on your 'put him through' list."
"Fine, fine, I'll talk with him. You just ruined my experiment."
"Before you talk with him, do you remember the rules?"
"Of course I remember the rules," Drakken snapped, resentful that she felt it incumbent to remind him.
"And which rule applies here?"
"Don't sign any contracts or make any verbal commitments without your approval," he mumbled. "The woman keeps forgetting her place. She was hired as a custodian, not to run my life."
"What's up?" Drakken asked as he connected with line one.
"The Bureau for Paranormal Research and Defense had a little spot of trouble. Dr. Manning, the director wanted me to bring your people in on a job."
"The BPRD couldn't handle it?"
"Not too big for them. Apparently they've got some sort of security leak. They need to question someone about something… He didn't confide all the details." Donner resented that slight, but had to live with it. "He just asked me if I could contact you and set things up. Seems to think your people can handle it without leaks. You made some friends over there."
"With friends like that…" Drakken thought. "I can't commit until I've seen more details."
Zita's voice came in on the line, "You'd better not even think of committing to anything until you've talked with Wade."
"ZITA!" Drakken complained.
"Who is that? Why is she on the line?" Donner demanded. "Do you trust her?"
"He'd better trust me," Zita informed the Fed, "Neither the blue man nor the boy genius have a lick of common sense."
"That's not true," Drakken told her. "She's sort of Jill of all trades around here," he explained to Donner. "Shego asked us to take her on and she gets into everything."
"And it's a good thing too," the Hispanic woman retorted. "This place was a mess, in every possible meaning of the term, until I got here."
"Delusions of grandeur," Drakken muttered to the Fed, who was now wondering if calling Drakken and company was really a good idea.
"I'll have a courier deliver the packet of information I was told to pass on if you might be interested. Address it to you or Wade?"
"I want to see it first- " Drakken began.
"Send it to Zita Flores, F-L-O-R-E-S," Zita interrupted, "I'll make sure Doc D sees it first."
"Zita!" Drakken protested feebly.
She assumed a soothing tone of voice, "You're always busy in one lab or another. By the time we find you Wade may see the courier and ask what's in the package. I'll just claim it's for me if he gets nosy, okay?"
"You won't open it?"
In Washington Donner shook his head in amazement. He couldn't figure out why the BPRD wanted to use this outfit, but he suspected any successes enjoyed by Drakken and company resulted far more from 'and company' than they did from Drakken. At least he had made the contact. If the blue man failed it would not be David Donner's ass in a sling.
In his lab Drakken thought, "You think you're all that Zita Flores, but you're not." He took care not to say it out loud for fear someone might hear him and tattle to her. Someday he'd tell her off, remind her that she was just a very small cog in the machinery. Perhaps after she finished her work on the prospectus for the IPO of Lipsky and Load. He didn't want to upset her while she worked on that.
The next morning an FBI agent felt a vague resentment at being used for courier service when he arrived at Lipsky and Load. Still, the order came from the office coordinating the US intelligence services so the material must be of high importance. A pretty woman sat at the receptionist's desk when he got in the building. He made a mental note to ask for her phone number on the way out after he made his delivery.
"Got something I need to deliver to a Rosita Flores, personally. I'll need her signature. Can you direct me to her office?"
"You're Zita?" "I'm delivering packages to receptionists?"
They stared at each other for a few seconds. "Well, are you going to make your delivery or not?"
He almost blushed, "Sorry, I, ah, thought I had something important to deliver."
She glared at him, "What makes you think you don't?"
He managed a real blush and a stammer, "Sorry, it's just, I don't know, I thought this was something really classified."
"How do you know it's not? You think I'm nothing because I handle phone calls and deliveries? Leave your stuff and get out. You can forget this drop ever happened if it makes you feel better."
He took a deep breath. She wasn't wearing a ring on her left hand. "For the third time. Sorry. You're right, I shouldn't make assumptions without information. But I'd rather not forget being here. Can I take you out for a drink to make it up to you?"
She looked him over, "You work out here in or DC?"
"I'm stationed out here."
"I've got a couple months until my divorce is final. I don't go out with jerks. Those are the facts. Your invitation still stand?"
He shook his head yes. She took a business card off the desk, "I'm writing my home number on the back," she explained. "Call me in a week if you're really interested, here or at home. Any of my housemates will take a message."
She handed him the card and he tucked it in his wallet. "I'll call, be seeing you," he promised as he left. Zita doubted he'd call; 'the divorce isn't final' line was the killer. She sighed; he was cute.
He had not delivered a single package, instead a large, thick manila envelope with a BPRD seal; a second, much thinner manila envelope with a seal reading 'travel documents'; and a business-sized envelope addressed to her personally and requesting 'read me first', sat on her desk. She started with the letter.
Since you seem to be running things I'll offer this explanation to you. The larger package contains information on the requested mission. I have not seen the details myself, but know that if the group takes on the assignment they need to head to Germany as quickly as possible. I put together the second package with travel documents and materials, should they be interested. Please inform me about their decision as soon as one is reached.
Zita passed the information on to Drakken, who spent the afternoon in his office. As she was getting ready to leave that evening he paged her on the intercom, "Could you call Jim and Tim and ask them to be out here at six tonight? I've asked Wade to call Joss and Bego."
She sighed, "Why can't you call them yourself?" "I'm on my way home. I'll tell them if I see them, or call one of them if they're not at their place."
As she drove home she wished Drakken could understand the concept of a forty-hour week or being off the clock. Still, even if she wasn't paid for all the work she really did there she knew she had no reason to complain. He had taken her on without question, and she enjoyed the responsibilities she had taken on herself. She sighed as she turned in the driveway at Possible Manor. She had stayed here longer than she should, she had more than enough saved to rent her own place, and accumulated enough stuff the last few months that she needed a larger space. But it was nice to be with friends, and she knew it drove Bonnie into a rage when she flirted with Ron. Zita and Ron knew they were only teasing each other, but Zita could tell it bothered Bonnie even though the once most-popular-girl in high school worked hard to keep it from showing to Ron.
Before going into the house she went up the stairs to the apartment over the garage. Jim answered the door when she knocked, "Hey, Zita."
She wrinkled her nose in disgust, "You two need to learn to clean… Sorry, Doctor D asked me to tell you he'd like to see you tonight at six."
"Cool. Hey, we like our place to have a lived-in smell."
"It has a died-in smell," she laughed over her shoulder as she headed down the stairs.
Joss didn't finish dinner until after six, but by six-thirty everyone had gathered in the old Lair's kitchen. Wade and Joss sat side-by-side on one side of the table. Jim and Tim, tall and thin from a growth spurt in their junior year of high school sat on the other, and the Bebe who had some of Shego's appearance and a copy of Joss's brain sat at the far end, by Joss. Drakken stood, feeling height gave him a psychological advantage, as he addressed the young people.
"I suppose you're wondering why I asked you here," Drakken began.
"Well, yeah," Jim snorted.
Drakken glared and Tim shushed his brother.
"It seems that the BPRD needs our help, and-"
"Not them," Wade moaned. "If they can't do a job do you really think we can do it?"
"Got to second the real Doctor," Jim chimed in. "What those guys work with is real trouble."
"No it's not!" Drakken interjected.
"You wait until you've been stripped naked and tied to a stone altar for a squid god to eat," the young black man commented.
"That wasn't even a BPRD job! We found that one all by ourselves."
"Well they were the ones who did the clean-up afterwards - and who told us to stay off of their turf," Wade reminded him.
"We should at least give Doc D a chance to explain what this is all about," Tim protested.
"I'll second Tim," Joss said. Without a word being said everyone knew Wade had just changed his vote.
"It. seems. only. fair."
"Thank you, Bego," Drakken said, nodding at the blue girl. "There appears to be a security leak at the BPRD. They wanted to question someone, but their quarry was tipped off. They want us to locate the missing person, and hold him for questioning."
Bego frowned slightly, "Does. that. really. require. us? It. would. seem. to. me. that. regular. police. or. security. services. would. be. more. appropriate. if. the. individual. is. a. criminal. And. if. not. it. sounds. very. much. like. kidnapping."
All eyes turned to Drakken and the blue man prepared to dazzle them with his knowledge. "Not in this case," he assured them. "You've all read 'The Modern Prometheus', I assume."
"When I was four," Wade told him.
"When. we. were. in. the. eighth. grade."
"We skipped eighth grade," Jim reminded them.
"But we saw all the Sickle Films from the fifties and sixties on TV," Tim added.
"I hope you realize that Prometheus is how the author referred to the creator. The monster had no name, so everyone ends up calling him Prometheus."
"Um, Doc," Joss asked politely, "where are you going with this?"
"Mary Godwin wrote the story in eighteen-sixteen while in Switzerland. She claimed to have based in on a true story she heard while staying there."
Jim snorted in derision.
"Look up Konrad Dippel in your Wikipedia," Drakken snapped. He pulled a photocopied sheet from the folder he held and put it down on the table, "Frontpiece of the first German edition, eighteen-twenty-five. Artist claimed to have known the doctor and seen the creature."
"Publicity stunt," Wade suggested.
Drakken pulled another photocopy from the folder. "Sketch by a Robert Walton, who encountered both creature and creator in the Arctic."
"Copied from the German edition probably," Jim suggested.
"Found among his sister's possessions at her death, but dated some twenty years before the German edition."
Drakken pulled out two photocopies, and put one down on the table, "Prussian army unit, photographed after the victory at Sedan-"
"Pardon?" Tim asked.
"Big battle in the Franco-Prussian War, fought in eighteen-seventy." None of those sitting at the table believed Drakken knew any of this on his own. But he delighted in appearing on top of things and they humored him by pretending he had gathered the research by himself. He pointed to one portion of the picture, "Here is a blow-up of that individual," and put down a second picture.
"Now. that. is. weird," Bego admitted.
More than a dozen other photos spanned the decades between the Franco-Prussian war and the present. All showed a tall, strongly built man with oddly asymmetrical features and a vaguely jaundiced appearance - more pronounced in the modern, color photos. The most chilling of the photos, in Drakken's opinion, showed the tall man sitting with other roughly dressed men at the feet of prison guards who wore armbands with swastikas.
"What's this all about," Joss asked, pointing to the photo.
"Capos. Prisoners the Nazis used to help keep the other prisoners in line. Some were more brutal than the Nazis to show their loyalty. Some killed themselves in shame for having been used."
"He. appears. to. have. survived." Bego noted, looking at the more recent photos.
"Unless Captain Skeptical thinks we're dealing with many generations of different individuals with an amazing family resemblance," Drakken said, staring at Jim.
"Okay, assuming the request was legit," Jim answered, "this thing is a murderer many times over according to the book, and might be guilty of war crimes. It's supposed to be tremendously strong and doesn't appear to have aged much in the last two hundred years. The BPRD, which is supposed to be able to handle stuff like this, can't even find him or bring him in. So they call us? I don't know why they think we can do it, or why we would want to."
"Be kind of a kick though if we can pull it off when they can't," Wade remarked.
"This was the first artificial life. I'd love to be able to examine him - see if I could learn anything," Drakken murmured.
Joss and Bego looked at each other. Bego shrugged. Joss looked at Drakken. "Bego and I are good to go."
Tim raised a practical matter, "It sounds like fun, but a whole ton of work for somebody. And by someone you all know I mean Wade. Is he just starting from scratch or did the nice monsters at the BPRD send along any helpful information to help?"
"As a matter of fact," Drakken said, holding up the rest of the fairly fat folder. "The Bureau has kept a loose eye on him for a few years. He appears to have been living peacefully in Germany, but when they wanted to ask him some questions he suddenly bolted." He plopped the folder down on the table in front of Wade. "Here is a copy of the Bureau file on him."
"If Wade has that much to start with he can find anyone," Joss said.
Wade knew that wasn't true, but wouldn't admit it in front of Joss. If she had faith he could do it he'd do anything to avoid failure in her eyes.
"Assuming Wade gets a lead-" Tim began.
"An' he can!" Joss spoke up.
"It looks like we're willing to go."
"I still have questions," Jim protested.
"It. was. a. day. like. any. other, and. you. are. a. pain. in. the. rear. The. vote. is. to. go."
Drakken looked annoyed, and Tim stepped in to mediate. "Jim has a right to ask questions. I have a few myself," he addressed the larger group. He turned to Drakken, "You wouldn't mind if we stayed and got a few more particulars, would you?"
"Not at all," Drakken murmured. "Oh, this came through David Donner, and he-"
"Donner? I thought you said this was BPRD?"
"Look, if the Bureau has a security leak of some sort they don't want everyone there to know we've been asked. The director at the Bureau thought we were a good idea and sent the idea through Donner so there's less chance of our mission being known."
"Shego doesn't like him," Jim pointed out.
"Well, that's her problem," Drakken retorted. "Look, profits at Lipsky and Load look like they'll be up three hundred percent this year - most of which is from government contracts - and Donner has contacts everywhere. I want to impress him with how well we get things done."
"Could you let Doc finish his next sentence before you interrupt?" Wade requested.
"Even though we aren't officially connected with the Bureau, and no one but Donner and maybe a couple people under him know we're involved-"
"That will make it easy to limit potential sources if there's another leak… Sorry, force of habit," Jim apologized.
"Anyway," Drakken resumed, "Donner has some airline reservations made for us this next weekend, if Wade says we're ready to go. He sent along cover stories, identities, and a couple passports."
"Can I be blond and Swedish?" Wade asked solemnly. Joss giggled and gave him a push. He responded by tickling her.
The twins realized a problem with their plans at the same moment. "Ah, man, this stinks," Jim complained. "I have a date with Erin on Friday night."
"And I have a date with her on Saturday night,"
"And I had a date with her for Sunday," Wade added, then exclaimed a loud, "Oww!" when Joss poked him in the ribs.
"Not funny," she told her boyfriend. She looked across the table at her cousins, "If she's datin' you two she's used to disappointment."
Bego tried to laugh as best she could. Laughter was on the list of things she hoped Doctor Porter could help her do more naturally.
Drakken cleared his throat and called the meeting back to order, "I think you might like this." He tossed Joss and Wade two new passports. "You keep your names, but you each just got two years older, and you're on your way to Germany for your honeymoon."
The twins chuckled and made kissing sounds
Wade grinned broadly. Joss blushed and looked a little nervous, "I'm not sure what Daddy's gonna say 'bout that."
"Don't worry, you have the room next to me and my daughter," Drakken assured her.
Drakken tossed another passport down the table to Bego. "You lost a year. You are my daughter, Anna Lipsky."
"As. long. as. no. one. hears. me. talk. or. can. see. my. eyes."
"We can always claim you are mute," Wade suggested.
"The perfect woman!" Tim laughed.
Joss looked disgusted, "Did anyone not know he was gonna say that?"
"I've got some acrylic shells that fit over your eyes," Drakken offered. "They should give your eyes a human appearance."
Bego wondered if it might make her more attractive to Brendan.
"What about us?" Jim asked.
"You two are easy, you go as yourselves. Destruction Inc. has just received an invitation to attend an armament show in Munich. If we get things done quickly you two will probably stay on a couple days to attend."
"And that will be our cover to get our equipment shipped over?" Tim asked.
"Exactly. But remember, anesthetics. The point is to capture the monster, not harm it."
Jim pointed to the evidence on the table, "Strong, guilty of multiple murders, possibly mass murder… If we're looking for a monster I want to bring something that will drop a monster."
"Could. we. refer. to. him. as. something. other. than. monster?" Bego requested, "Prometheus. was. not. his. name, so. what. do. we. call. him? I. find. monster. an. offensive. term."
"I'll second sis's point," Joss added.
Wade had been quickly flipping through the file in front of him. "I suggest we refer to him was the Patchwork Man," he offered.
Jim and Tim rolled their eyes at each other. Joss would accept the term because Wade suggested it, and Bego still thought so much like Joss that the two almost always supported each other.
"Not my idea," Wade said, "seems to be the current name he's going under, Emile Flickmann. Flickmann - Patchwork Man."