Chapter 9 The White Lotus
James Possible leaned against the steel wall in a far corner of the landing bay. The main lights were dim with small maintenance lights adding to the weak illumination. It had been just a couple of days since they had seen the Count's video on the TV. Anne Possible had calmed herself after a few minutes after the video. The sight of their only daughter, beaten, bruised and left hanging for the world to see had affected both of them deeply. Anne had then stepped over to help Mrs. Stoppable as Mr. Possible had left the room. Mrs. Stoppable had regained consciousness after a few minutes and clung to her husband weeping. The sight of their son had been hard on both of them. Tim and Jim had disappeared to their room, locking their door. When Mrs. Possible approached the door, she could hear them talking quietly, planning some device to get back at the Count. Drakken had left the kitchen area and returned to the lab to continue his work. Shego had disappeared in one of the single person hovercraft, leaving a note on the door to the landing bay.
"Kimmie and Stoppable are in trouble. I am going to try to help. If I make it, I will be back, we still have a deal. If not, tell Dr. D it's been fun."
Dr. Director and Wade had retreated to the communication center to scan for her craft as well as Kim and Ron's. Dr. Director watched as Wade relentlessly scanned satellite after satellite. The young tech genius's hands flew over the keyboard so fast that you could barely hear the keystrokes. Betty scanned the airwaves for any signal from Kim, Ron, or Shego. She closed her eye for a moment, remembering the video feed she had seen. She then remembered what she had told her assistant that time in the command truck.
"Terri, I feel like I have just sentenced those two wonderful young people to their deaths." She spoke under her breath, "Kim, Ron, if you somehow make it out of this, if you two work your somehow work your magic again, I'll see to it that you get a vacation you will never forget."
Dr. Director thought of how Kim and Ron had survived the first part of the mission. Through explosions, assaults and many dangers, the two of them had come out with only a few bruises. Now from the looks of the video, they were in the biggest trouble of their lives. She could only hope that their luck and skill would hold out.
James now stood, days later, in the darkness of the landing bay when two soft hands came down on his shoulders. He wiped his face and turned to see the concerned eyes of his wife.
"James, what's wrong?" She asked.
"Oh, nothing." He mentioned with forced gaiety.
"James Possible, don't pull that macho deal with me. Tell me what is wrong." Anne said sternly.
Mrs. Possible stared back into her husband's eyes as he turned back to her. She saw something she never thought she would ever see: a broken spirit. This man who was always so strong, always ready to face whatever life placed before him, was lost in grief.
"Anne, I tried to be a good father. I tried to protect her. I wanted to keep all the boys away from her. Then Ron came along. I always trusted Ron, even though I joked with him. Now of all the times she has been on these missions… Of all the times, I have had to worry about her going off on a date with a boy. One of the times I really contribute to one of her missions, I send her off into a trap. A trap that …that gets my beautiful daughter captured, beaten and who knows what else."
He stopped for a moment and turned away from his wife trying to hide the tears that were forcing their way out. Mrs. Possible turned him back to face her, her own tears streaming down her face.
"James, you look at me. You didn't know. We didn't know. We all were trying to help. However, Kim and Ron knew the dangers. We can only hope that the two of them deal with the situation. Shego said she was going to help, maybe she can. Right now, we can only hope. And remember anything is possible for a Possible."
Mr. Possible nodded as she pulled him into a hug.
Ron sat at the controls of the hovercraft as it sped through the morning sky. After taking a sponge bath in the bathroom on board, he had changed into clean mission clothes from a supply on the craft. 'At least I smell better.' he thought. Most of the grime from the dungeon had come off, but it would require a nice, long shower complete the job. Kim was in the rear of the craft now changing clothes and cleaning up. He leaned forward to check the navigation computer when two soft hands came down on his shoulders. Ron slid back into his seat and spun it to the side. Kim slid into his lap, putting her arm around his neck. She pulled his face to hers as she gazed at the freckled face. There was one bruise under his right eye courtesy of the Count.
"I've got suggestion Ron."
"What's that, KP?"
"Next time we get an invite from a Count, Baron, or Lord, we decline." Kim stated firmly.
"Yuck, Counts. Pbbbbbbttttttt!" Rufus said, popping out of Ron's pocket and then blowing a big raspberry.
"What's the plan, KP?" Ron asked.
"I guess we need to contact Wade." Kim reached down, took the extra Kimmunicator out of the storage box, and activated the device. They had to wait a couple of moments until their tech guru answered. The screen came on to a joyous Wade.
"Kim, Ron, you're okay!" he beamed. There was sound of cheering in the background, the camera slew to the side.
"Kimmie, Kimmie-cub" exclaimed the elder Possibles as their faces filled the screen. The twins were jumping up and down in the background. "Hi, sis!" The camera pulled back showing all assembled. The Stoppables leaned in.
"Ronald, son. Are the two of you okay?" They asked.
"We are a little bruised up, but other than that, we are okay."
Mr. Dr. P's face turned brilliant red, his anger evident.
"If I ever get my hands on Nicky, I'll make death by black hole seem pleasant. Kimmie, what happened?"
Kim smiled into camera.
"Shego showed up and helped us escape. Mom, I think she is on the way back to the base. She got beat up bad again. Take good care of her. We owe her a lot."
Dr. Director leaned in.
"Kim, Ron, I can't tell you how good it is to see you well. When can we expect you back here at the base?"
The two teens paused for a moment and did not answer.
Dr. Director caught their hesitation.
"You ARE coming back here aren't you?"
The occupants of the room were quiet as they waited for Kim and Ron's answer. The two mothers's grabbed the hands of their husband's when they noticed their children looking at each other then turning to the screen.
Kim spoke up.
"We aren't returning to the base. We are heading straight for the Space Center."
Mr. Possible stepped forward, his face filling the screen of the Kimmunicator.
"Kim Possible, now both of you need to return to this base immediately. You are both injured and probably need medical care. Then we can to make plans for our next move."
Kim sighed as she spoke to her father.
"I'm sorry Dad, but Ron and I have already decided to head straight to the Space Center. The Count is not going to wait for us to have a plan and we have no doubt that he has already or will find out soon that we have escaped. When he does he will do everything he can to finish his act of infamy ahead of time. Those missiles at the center have to be stopped… HE has to be stopped. We are going in."
Dr. Director spoke up.
"Team Possible, when he finds out you have, escaped he will be expecting you. You will not have much of a chance."
Ron's face moved next to Kim's.
"We know, Dr. Director, but we have a score to settle and besides, Kim and I have a few surprises for the Count too."
"Ron, what do you mean by that?" Mr. Stoppable asked.
"Just watch whatever cameras you have at the center, Dad. Let's just say that Kim and I have grown closer than we have ever been or hoped to be." Ron answered.
Dr. Possible's face started to turn red.
"And it is not what you think, Mr. Dr. P." Ron added.
Kim turned the screen toward her.
"Daddy, we also found the antidote to the goo. We grabbed several spray cans of it as we left the castle. We are transmitting the formula now. You should be able to manufacture it very quickly. We hope that all of you understand, but this is what Ron and I have to do. Some things have happened lately that show the two of us just how well Ron and I can rock in life and on this mission. Please understand. Daddy, the main thing you can do now is make the antidote and get it out to as many people as you can. If you really want to help, just get the antidote out. We are signing off now. We love you all. Goodbye."
Kim turned off the Kimmunicator and the screen went blank.
Wade typed several commands into his computer, then shook his head.
"She's not answering. The Kimmunicator is on; she is just not answering."
Mr. Possible stood and stepped out of the room, heading for the lab. Drakken was working there as he entered.
"I heard over the intercom."
"Then you know what we have to do."
"Indeed I do, ready?"
"Like I never have been before."
The two scientists turned and started to work.
Kim put the Kimmunicator in the pocket of her pants. She lifted her hand and touched Ron's face. His face broke out into a grin. "S'up KP? What's the plan?"
Kim slid out of his lap to the seat beside of him.
"Ron, what happened back at the castle showed me why we can do what we do. It's not the Kim Factor or the Ron Factor. It's not 'anything is possible for a Possible' and it's not just Ron-shine. It's the two of us together. The 'us' factor, the 'we' factor. That is what it is all about. That's my plan, as we have always done it, side by side, now hand in hand. We make it up as we go. You ready?"
Ron knelt in front of her taking her hand.
"Let's do it."
Kim stood, pulling him up with her. She wrapped her arms around him, sighing as she buried her face into his neck. She felt the beating of his heart against her chest, the slow steady movement of his breathing. Again, she thought of the two of them and felt at peace.
"Ron?" she asked. She pulled her head back to gaze into his eyes.
"We sort of cut off our folks. I think we need to leave a message for them, just in case. We can send it to them before we get to the Space Center."
"Okay, KP, do you want some time to write to your folks?" Ron asked.
Kim shook her head. "No, this one we do together."
Middleton Space Center.
Count Olafinski strode back and forth across the floor in the main office of the Space Center. He felt wonderful; everything was going to his plan. Soon the missiles would fly spreading his formula in all of the air and the main watercourses of the world. Then most of the globe would answer only to him. The others would have no choice but to surrender to him. The Armed Forces of the world were for the most part at his command. He knew that they would not attack him. Now that the troublesome heroine and the sidekick were out of the way, there was no one to stop him. It was a shame he had to leave before the fun started in the dungeon. He was sure that the girl was at least an inch taller now and totally at his disposal.
The phone on the desk beeped. He swaggered over to answer it.
"This is the Count. Oh, Miss Rockwaller, I take it you had your little fun with Miss Possible. My, what a sneeze. WHAT? WHAT DID YOU SAY? PUT VINCENT ON THE LINE!" He screamed.
He stopped and stood rigidly at the desk.
"Vincent! What is this that Miss Rockwaller just told me? How did that happen? Oh, no matter. It looks like I will have to deal with them myself. Report here to me immediately, you fool, and bring the little brat with you. I'm sure I can find something rather nasty for the two of you to do."
The Count slammed the phone on the desk with such force that it cracked. He threw his cane across the room and then picked up the phone, hurling it against the window.
"GILL, get in here!" He yelled.
Gill entered the room warily.
"Team Possible has escaped and is headed here. Set up the anti-aircraft launchers we stole from the army base. Blow those BRATS out of the sky!" The count screamed, his face turning vivid red in his anger.
"With great pleasure." Gill hissed as he slithered out of the room. Within seconds, alarms rang throughout the facilities. Anti-aircraft missile launchers were brought out of hiding around the perimeter of the base, their radar dishes and scanners sweeping the sky.
Dr. Director continued to scan for Kim and Ron's craft. However, with the transponder off, the stealth craft was very hard to locate. She and Wade continued to hope that Kim and Ron would contact them one more time before arriving at the center. Wade's computer beeped and he glanced down at the screen.
"It's a message from Kim and Ron on the burst transmitter."
Everyone ran into the communication center. Shego limped in with them. She had arrived just hours before. Mrs. Possible took her to the infirmary to treat her injuries. Now, they all gathered again in the room as Wade typed a couple of commands into the computer. A video picture of Kim and Ron displayed on the wall screen. Kim was sitting in Ron's lap with Rufus on his shoulder. Wade moved the cursor and pressed the play button. Kim started to speak.
"Hi, everyone. Wade, don't even try and track us. By the time you get this, we will be at the center. Ron and I just wanted to tell everyone a few things. Mom, Dad, Tim and Jim, if something happens, please know that I love each and everyone one of you. Mr. and Mrs. Stoppable, thank you for letting Ron be a part of my life. You are my other parents and I love you so much. Daddy, I am sorry you might not get to lead me down that aisle. But, I think I know who would be waiting for me."
Kim and Ron looked at each other for a moment, then Ron spoke. The two mothers held on to their husbands.
"Mom, Dad, thanks for letting me lead the life I have had. I know that what I did scared you. I also know that in many ways I have disappointed you. I am so sorry about that. If we make it through this, I hope that I can do better. Mr. and Mrs. Dr. P, thanks for being my other parents. Kim means more to me than anything. You trusted me to be with her and I thank you for that trust. Dr. Director, Wade, thanks for all that you have done. Without your help, we would not have made it long ago. Drakken, Shego, if you are still there, thanks for your help. Especially you, Shego, I hope things work out for you."
Kim spoke again.
"Ron and I want to thank all of you for your love and support over these years. We both know that our chances are not good. We don't know exactly what we will be facing when we get to the Space Center. However, we are not expecting to be welcomed as nicely as when we arrived at the castle. We figure they are working up quite a welcome for us. Everyone, we are getting ready to attack the Space Center. Tell everyone that we will do our best. Let them know that Team Possible will go in and win or not come back. Remember that Ron and I are together. Together, we are Team Possible, and together, we are unstoppable. Whatever happens, we will be from this day forward, the Unstoppable Team Possible. Goodbye."
The video ended with a burst of static. The families stood in the quiet of the room. Then small alarms started beeping. Wade checked them out tapping on the keyboard.
"The defenses of the Space Center have detected something approaching their airspace. It's them; they are going in."
Kim and Ron were strapped into their seats at the controls as their hovercraft flew over the landscape toward the Space Center. The sun was high in the sky and they could see many rockets lined up for launch.
An alarm sounded from the control board as a brilliant yellow light began to blink. Kim glanced down at the warning screen.
"Ron, we are being scanned by an anti-aircraft system. The computer says it is some type of missile."
The alarms changed tone and the alarm lights went red.
"Ron, they are shooting at….."
She didn't get to finish her sentence when there was an explosion and the hovercraft jerked to one side. More alarms and lights flashed across the control board. Ron struggled with the controls to keep the craft in the air.
"We've been hit!" Ron yelled.
"DUH!" Kim yelled back.
"KP, this crate isn't gonna fly much longer." Ron struggled to say as he worked with the controls.
"Ron, we are going to have to eject. We'll use the Jetpacks attached to the seats to land." Kim said as she worked the other controls.
"Right behind you KP, right after I get ready this thing ready to take out some of those missiles."
"How are you going to do that?" She asked as she checked the straps of the seat.
"I'm going to crash this thing right on top of them." He answered.
"Let's just make sure that we don't go with it." Kim gasped.
Ron set the controls and locked the autopilot.
"That should take out some, KP."
The first line of rockets loomed large in the windscreen. The hovercraft shuddered again and started to yaw to one side.
"Time to leave Ron, on three." Kim called out.
Both teens pulled on the eject handle next to their seats. The roof of the craft flew off and the rocket motors under the seats blasted them clear of the craft. The seats fell away, the wings of the jetpacks slid into flight position, and the motors to the packs ignited. Kim and Ron flew toward the ground amidst a hail of laser fire. The hovercraft, burning and trailing smoke crashed into the first group of missiles. Two missiles crumbled from the direct impact of the hovercraft, as they fell, the pieces took down three more. Kim and Ron's jetpacks tumbled in the air as a tremendous explosion rocked the area. Pieces of the exploding missiles and hovercraft flew out and cut down more missiles, and damaged even more. A ravaging fire started from the leaking fuel. Soon the entire first launch area was a raging inferno.
The Count stood in the Main Control Center of the complex. The staff worked feverously to finish preparing the missiles for launch when an alarm sounded. Gill looked up from a nearby screen.
"It's them. They are coming in low from the southeast."
The Count smiled.
"Follow your orders."
"With pleasure" Gill hissed.
Gill pressed a number of buttons on his console and flipped the cover of another one.
"We have lock and launch." Gill said as he pressed the button.
"Missile is tracking. HIT!" Gill yelled.
The Count watched in fury as the craft smoking and burning crashed into the first area of rockets destroying all of them. Before it crashed, he saw the roof of the craft peel back and two objects launch out. The objects sprouted wings and flew to the ground. The floor of the Control Center vibrated from the explosions of the first missiles.
"AGGGHHHHHH" The Count screamed as he watched fully half of his strike burning and exploding on the ground. He whirled and pointed his cane toward Gill as he screamed.
"YOU FOOL! Look what they did. Now they are in the complex. Get out there and KILL them. NOW!"
If Gill's green skin could have turned white, it would have as he fled the room.
The Count whirled to face the remaining workers.
"Finish your jobs; I will fulfill my destiny, and nothing will stop me."
Kim and Ron struggled with the controls of their jetpacks. The explosions of the missiles had tossed them around in the air like a couple of leaves on a windy fall afternoon.
"Aaaaaa" Kim screeched as a heated blast flipped her over just as a laser blast burned through the air where she had just been.
"KP, EEEeeekkkk" Ron screamed as he swooped to help Kim and had to roll out of way of another laser blast. His pack jerked and slammed to one side.
"Kim, I'm hit!"
Ron struggled to maintain his flight as he dove for the ground.
"Ron!" Kim dove after him, dodging most laser shots.
Ron flared his jetpack and landed with a solid thud. He fell forward and rolled out of pack as it caught fire. He jumped to his feet and leaped behind a line of parked cars. His jetpack exploded as he hid behind a Lexus.
Kim flared her landing just as a stray shot hit one of the wings and spun her into the ground. She dropped her pack and did a flip landing at Ron's side.
"Ron, are you ok?" She asked concerned as she checked him over.
"Well, KP, you know that old pilots' saying: "any landing you can walk away from…" He said jokingly.
"Funny, Ron, if I remember you had to run and jump from that landing!" she said crossly.
"You ready?" she asked, her voice going business like.
"Ready to rock, KP!" he said.
Ron peeked in his pants pocket.
"Rufus, you are up!"
Rufus popped out of Ron's pocket with the spray can of antidote.
"Okay, little buddy, you know what to do. Get to the main vent and release the mist. The vents will spread it through the whole base. Then they can get out of here before things get rough."
Rufus saluted and hopped into the nearest vent and disappeared. Kim and Ron waited for a few minutes giving Rufus time to get to the correct vent.
"OK, KP, so what's the sitch?" Ron asked.
"We have to get to the main control center."
An alarm started to sound, Kim and Ron noticed people running from the other buildings and the main center.
"Looks like Rufus did his thing." Ron stated.
"Now it's time for us to do ours. We might as well go in the front door. They know we are here."
The two teens turned and walked right in the front door. Ron opened the door for Kim and bowed graciously for her to enter. Kim stepped through the door as Ron followed her. The main atrium ceiling soared over them. The light coming through the glass roof varied as the smoke of the burning hovercraft and destroyed missiles floated by. Kim and Ron walked quietly toward the center of the room. It was almost completely quiet except for the thump of their footsteps. Alarm lights flashed from the walls.
"Well, well, well, if it isn't the squeeb and Miss Possible."
Kim and Ron whirled to the side to see Gill standing up from behind the reception desk. He had placed a Tour Guide hat on his slimy head.
"I'm giving you a final tour, a real final tour."
"Ugh, what happened to villains' witty banter, KP?" Ron asked in mock concern.
"I know, no one appreciates the little things anymore. It's 'kill the heroes, rule the world'". Kim answered in equally sarcastic tones.
Synthodrones appeared from behind desks, through doors, from behind beams in the ceiling and from air conditioning vents. They soon surrounded the two teens and proceeded to advance. They raised steel bars, Stun sticks and other weapons. Kim and Ron noticed that the stun sticks were crackling with so much power that they could smell the electrical charge.
"Ron, those stun sticks, the charge in them?"
"Worse than the shock rocks candy?"
Gill smiled as the drones advanced on Kim and Ron.
"Die." he said simply.
The two teen heroes were back-to-back watching as the drones moved closer and closer. Kim felt the warmth of Ron's back. She thought of the fight in the dungeon. A smile crossed her face as her green eyes took on a bluish tinge.
Ron took a step back and felt Kim behind him. Her hair brushed his neck. It was one of the things Ron loved the most about Kim, her wonderful hair. He felt her settle herself against his back, then felt the force that they had activated in the dungeon. He extended his arm and called for the Lotus Blade in his mind.
Gill had climbed a maintenance scaffold on the edge of the atrium. He did not plan to miss one blow or cut on the squeeb or the girl. He was going to enjoy this.
The drone troopers continued their advance for the moment only to stop. The two teens surrounded themselves in a pale blue light that gained in intensity. Soon Gill had to shield his eyes from the brightness of the glare, what he saw in the glare of the light sent a chill through him.
Kim extended her arm as her necklace dissolved into the now familiar liquid. It ran down her arm and formed the short blade that she had used only once, but felt like it had been there since birth. She again felt the power of their bond flow through her. Ron's love and trust filled her heart. His knowledge completed the link and she readied herself.
The Lotus Blade formed in Ron's hand. He felt Kim's love and power flow through him and join with him. His body seemed to move as Kim moved. The knowledge of 16 styles of kung fu filled his muscles. He settled down and smiled at the oncoming drones.
"What do you say KP?" he asked aloud.
"After you Ginsu-boy."
Ron moved forward in a blur and sliced two drones in half, then turned and drove a kick into a third that knocked it into several more. He flipped into a one handed handstand, avoiding a blow from a stun-stick. He flipped and landed on his feet to leap straight into the air. Three drones drove their stun-sticks into the space he just vacated and ended up frying each other. The extreme charge of the weapons melted the drones. Ron came down upon two others and drove the Blade downward through both of them. The Blade changed into a shield to take a blow from a steel pipe. Ron raised his hand and a bolt of blue light flew from his hand and struck three drones, popping them like balloons.
Kim moved the instant Ron started. She ducked a blow from one drone by doing a split. She spun on the floor slicing the legs off two drones including the one that had just tried to brain her. She jumped to her feet and ducked a blow from a pipe. She opened her palm and threw a blue force ball that ripped four drones to pieces.
She paused and looked at her hand.
"Spankin, I'll have to show Shego that one!"
Kim leapt into the air to avoid the two drones coming up behind her. She turned over in the air and cut both of them in two. Kim came down again regained her footing. She turned and delivered a kick that sent another drone sprawling.
Gill watched as the two teens tore through the major part of his drones with only a little effort. He charged in behind Kim. "URRRPPPP" A wad of goo flew at Kim. Ron saw the goo flying at Kim and his eyes flashed brighter. Kim's sword changed to a shield as she held it backwards over her shoulder, not even looking. The goo blast hit the shield harmlessly. Kim whirled around to face Gill, the shield changing back to the sword.
"Regroup, defense plan bravo."
The drones disappeared into the ceiling and down the hallways.
Kim stood just slightly out of breath, her eyes traveled around the room until they settled on her boyfriend. He was wiping off the Lotus Blade with some paper towels he had taken off a desk. He approached her, smiling that goofy grin and holding the roll of paper towels. Kim took some sheets off the roll and wiped her face.
"Ron, think we can use that pipe tunnel we used to surprise Dad when we were ten? I don't think using the halls would be a good idea."
Count Olafinski stood at the rear of the Control Room, overlooking the synthodrones preparing the second group of missiles for launch. Gill entered the room and approached him.
The Count turned to face him.
Gill looked around nervously.
"Those two went through the first group of drones like they were not even there. I knew the squeeb had a sword, but Miss Possible has one too. Something strange is going on, I can't explain it but….."
The air duct on the other side of the room blasted off the wall in a flash of blue light. When the dust cleared, Kim and Ron stood in the room side-by-side, their swords in hand.
"Knock Knock!" Ron said imitating his favorite movie star, John Wayne.
The Count turned and gave Gill a withering stare. Gill glared at the two teens. He pulled his head back. "BURRRAAAPPP". Kim and Ron leapt into the air dodging the goo blast.
The drones turned to face the two teens as they attacked. Ron flipped over the first two rows to the main launch controls. He split one drone in half then fired a plasma blast into the launch panel. Sparks flew everywhere. He turned and bisected another drone, and then hacked at the next control board, turning it into so many spare parts. Alarms started to sound.
Kim leapt over the rear row and decked a number of drones with a flying kick. She spun and sliced two control consoles. More alarms started to sound as she fired a blue blast from her hand. It bounced off the ceiling and went down behind another row of screens to fry a number of drones waiting in ambush.
"Ooh, Kimbo fires a bankshot!" Ron yelled from the front. He turned and started into a series of cartwheels with the Lotus Blade flicking out severing and slicing many drones.
"Keep up moves like that and we can put the first man on the squad." Kim called back. The two moved through the room destroying drones and controls alike.
The Count stood glancing around the smoke filled room. He understood now what Gill had started to say. The two teens moved as with a single mind yet two bodies, each moving independently, yet with a singular purpose. They were destroying the drones and the launch controls for the second wave of missiles. Alarms showed a short circuit had caused the fuel pumps to start in the missiles yet no ignition was coming. Out on the launch line, fuel started to pour from the engine bells. A small spark arced across a damaged sensor. Flames spread over the launch area. The Count watched as his second line of attack missiles ignited in flames.
The room became quiet except for the muted explosions of the missiles on the flight line. Smoke filled the room as the Count's eyes surveyed the shambles of what had been his dream. Gill stood at his side with a number of remaining drones. Two shadowy figures approached them though the smoke. Cuts and scratches appeared through the tears in the two teens' clothes.
"Well, well, well, you two seem to think you have beaten me. Well, let us see you stop Gill and my drones as I take my leave. Gill, deal with this problem." The Count ordered as he disappeared into the smoke.
"With pleasure." Gill hissed as he approached the two teens. New and bigger drones spread out from behind him.
"Head's up, Ron." Kim tossed Ron her sword.
Ron snatched the sword out of the air as Kim bounded over Gill and his drones and chased after the Count.
Gill watched her go as they advanced on Ron.
"Well, squeeb it's just you, me, and my friends now. And when we finish with you, I'm sure we'll have fun dealing with Miss Possible."
Ron smiled as he held both swords. "Bring it on, Fathead."
Kim ran down the hall where she had seen the Count disappear. Her eyes traced every corner as place where an ambush could be waiting. She saw the Count moving through a door at the end of the hall. She flipped down the hall and kicked the door opened. When she stood, she found herself facing a wall of fully charged shock prods.
Ron was surrounded as the drones and Gill slowly moved around him. Then he heard something that made his heart stop. Kim's screams. The sound reverberated down the hall and in his head. He could no longer sense her.
Gill smiled. "Well, it seems we no longer have to worry about your little girlfriend."
Ron reached within himself. He thought of Kim's kiss the night of the prom, the look she gave him as they escaped from her home, the touch of her hand, the smell of her hair, and the glow in her eyes. He called for whatever power he had within him.
"Her name is KIM!" he screamed, and he attacked with both swords flashing through the air.
Ron was on his knees gasping for air in the fetid, smoke filled room of the control center. He slipped off his knees and lay on the floor. The remains of all the drones lay splattered over the room. Gill lay insensate against a far wall. His goo blasts were smeared all over the walls and ceiling.
The Count slowly walked into the room, glancing around.
"Well, Mr. Stoppable, you seem to have done well. However, you are too late. Oh, you stopped all of my other missiles, but you missed the biggest one. It is my masterpiece. It is designed to reach the upper atmosphere before detonating, spreading my wonderful spray over the world. Within days, most of the globe will be contaminated."
"We will stop you." Ron said as he struggled to stand.
"WE?" mocked the Count. "Surely you heard Miss Possible scream. If you did not hear the scream, then let me give you a little show."
The Count pulled a remote from his pocket and pressed a button. The screen filled with a shot of Kim overwhelmed by many drones hitting her with shock prods, her screams spilled out of the speakers. The film went into a loop as the scene and her screams replayed repeatedly.
Ron crawled to his knees, closing his eyes. "Kim." He whispered.
The Count strode around him. "How does it feel young one? How does it feel to lose the one you love? Why do you do what you do? What has the world ever done for you? Made you the buffoon, laughed at you, given the credit to Miss Possible. Now the world has taken the one thing you care about the most. We are not so different, Mr. Stoppable. The world has taken the same from you as it did me. It took my reason to live. Now make your choice, join me and punish the world for what it has done to you. Or, try and stop me and die the same pitiful death that little wench died."
Ron's eyes flared with blue light.
He stood straight up with the swords in his hands. His skin turned blue as his hair stood. A blue pulse wave shot out from him wrecking the room and knocking the Count over one the control panels. Ron slowly strode over to the Count lying on the floor.
The count coughed as Ron towered over him. A small trail of blood seeped from his mouth. "Very well, you made your choice. You won't kill me and you can't stop the missile." The count pressed another button on his remote and the screens changed to a countdown. Two screens revealed a large missile on the main pad.
Ron's foot flicked out and crushed the remote along with the Count's hand.
"I'll stop it or die trying. If I die, I will be in the one place I want to be anyway, with Kim." Ron turned and ran from the room, leaving the Count to his screams of shock and pain.
Kim pulled herself into a sitting position and leaned her back against the wall. Her hand touched her side where one of the shock prods had burned a hole in her shirt. Her breath hissed through her teeth as pain wracked her body. Her eyes saw one of the hall monitors showing a large missile on the main launching pad. She saw Ron run up to the missile and start to climb up it.
"RON!" She thought as she regained her feet and ran to where her jetpack was. Tears started to flow and she forced herself to run faster and faster. She ignored the pain of the cuts and burns flowing through her body. All she could think about was Ron, his touch, his kiss, his smile. Kim's arms flew out as she straight-armed the door to the parking lot. She jumped and ran over the top of a parked car and landed near her jetpack. She screamed as her leg collapsed under her. Kim rolled to her feet and buckled the jetpack on.
Ron ran out on the flight line toward the last missile.
"30, 29, 28…." a disembodied voice announced.
Skidding to a stop at the base of the missile, he thought as fast as he could.
"Come on, you have blown up or self destructed stuff before, just not this big."
Rufus poked his head out of Ron's pocket and looked up.
"EEEK" he squealed and dove back into his pocket home.
"Well, little buddy we got a job to do."
With that, Ron leaped onto the side of the missile using the swords to climb up the side. The engines ignited and the missile flew into the air. Ron slowly gained the top and cut a hole in the warhead. He leaned his head and shoulders in and reached down to grab Rufus. Rufus leaped from Ron's hand into the wiring of the warhead. Ron used Kim's sword to slash open the inner workings of the warhead and Rufus crawled into the main wiring.
Rufus pulled and bit wires in wild abandon as Ron smashed the inner workings of the missile guidance. Rufus found the main wire heading to the guidance systems, he bit the wire in two, and the guidance system began to malfunction. Ron grabbed Rufus and pulled himself from the interior of the missile. The engine of the rocket stopped and it began to cant over. Ron kicked himself clear, he did not know what his altitude was but he could barely breathe. He cradled Rufus as they began the fall back to earth. Rufus chilled by the temperature at the high altitude and numbed by the lack of oxygen curled against his master, shivering. Ron held his friend tight.
"Don't worry little buddy, it will soon be over and we will be with Kim."
Jack Blackston, the lead reporter for Middleton Channel Five news was outside the perimeter of the Space Center with his camera operator, Daniel Ortega. They had set up outside of their four-wheel drive news van.
"We are standing on the outer perimeter of the blast berm of the Middleton Space Center. Hours ago, our own Kim Possible and Ron Stoppable attacked the base to stop the evil mastermind from using to the base in his act to take over the world. We do not know what is occurring on the other side of the berm or the condition of Team Possible. There have been many explosions and debris continues to fall about us."
The camera turned as the roar of a rocket echoed across the landscape. They turned to start as a large missile rose from the smoke and debris of the Space Center. The picture from the camera blurred then locked on the top of the rocket. There appeared to be someone hanging on to the rocket and cutting into it with some sort of weapon.
Jack spoke into his microphone as the cameraman followed the missile.
"I hope you can see this. It appears one of the members of Team Possible is on the rocket attempting to disable it. It seems to be Ron Stoppable; Kim Possible has not been seen."
The camera scene followed the missile into the air. Then the missile began to wobble as a speck separated from it. The missile engines shut down.
"Ladies and Gentleman, he has apparently disabled the missile and has dropped clear."
The camera continued to following the dropping speck of Ron.
"Why doesn't he open his chute? It appears that young Stoppable does not have a parachute. He has stopped the missile, and now is falling to his…."
A slight roaring sound caught his attention as a figure wearing a Team Possible jetpack rose from the fires and smoke of the center. The camera operator swung his camera around and centered on the flying figure.
"It's Kim Possible; it appears to be Kim Possible; Ladies and Gentleman, it is Kim Possible. She has launched from the blazing remains of the Space Center in an apparent attempt to rescue her partner."
The camera followed Kim up into the sky; she flew up to a point then made a dive and caught up with the falling figure of Ron.
"She's got him, she caught him."
The camera view revealed that the two figures and the jetpack were still falling but under some control.
"There…there seems to be something wrong with the jetpack. They are coming down too fast! I don't see how they are going to land without crash…."
The camera view followed the two teens back into the smoke. The close-up showed both figures clinging to one another, the jetpack engine and wings scarred and smoking. The two disappeared into the smoke of the base. Seconds later, there was an explosion.
"It appears that Team Possible has crashed."
Major Steve Barkin (USAR) scanned the berm with his binoculars. Smoke continued to roll into the sky, sometimes rolling over the hill in front of them. The occasional drone had come over the top of the ridge over the past few hours. They were dealt with immediately. The soggy remains of several littered the ridge top. His companies were part of the force surrounding the Space Center to keep the news people out and whatever remained inside in.
Steve had watched the launch of the missile and had seen Ron fall. He then had seen Kim fly up to catch her boyfriend. He had watched as the two of them fall back into the inferno that was the remains of the Space Center. He closed his eyes and remembered the discussion he had with his commanding officer just twenty minutes before.
"Colonel Reynolds, I am asking permission to lead a company of troopers over the berm and search for Team Possible."
"Permission denied, Major. Our orders are to surround and contain the base. No one or nothing is to go in or out of that center. You know as well as I do that the chance of those two surviving the fall much less the explosions is minimal."
Barkin smiled an evil little smile.
"Begging your pardon, sir, but you don't know squat about those two!"
The Colonel glared back at his executive officer. Barkin was one of the few reserve officers in the unit that had seen combat. However, most importantly for this conversation, Major Barkin personally knew the two teens they were discussing. Reynolds softened his gaze.
"Yes, Major, I know only what I learned from their files. However, you, sir, I am sure know them very well. What makes you so sure they are even alive?"
"Colonel, I really can't even start to explain, but as long as those two are together, the possibilities are endless."
"Sorry, Major, request still denied. When we get the order, you can lead the group. Until then, we will stay our current positions. Do I make myself clear? Dismissed."
Barkin snapped to attention with a grim look and saluted.
Barkin wheeled and prepared to walk out of the tent. Just as he pushed back the flap of the tent, the Colonel called out.
"Yes, Sir?" Barkin answered turning back to face his commanding officer.
"Make sure you take volunteers only." The Colonel said as he bent over his work.
Barkin smiled and returned to his companies.
"Okay, troops, I'll tell you this. We do not have permission to go over the ridge. However, I am going. I owe it to those two kids. I will only take volunteers, as who ever goes with me will most likely be court-martialed. Who is with me?"
Barkin smiled inward as every single hand in sight rose in the air.
"Very well, Company A with me, Companies B and C, watch our flanks and fill in as we move. Stop anyone who may come up."
The men snapped to attention, saluted, and began the preparations to move.
Barkin gazed through the acrid smoke coming over the top of the ridge. The platoon he was with had point. They had already destroyed a number of drones that had come out of the smoke at them. The group was nearing the top as Barkin halted the group.
"Okay men, as we cross the top be careful. Then ….."
"Major! Movement on the ridge."
Rifles turned and leveled on the ridge top. Swirling smoke obscured any view more than several yards away. There was silence except for the clinking of the gear of the men in the skirmish line and the continued rumbling of small explosions from the Space Center. Barkin's eyes burned from the smoke as he strained to see. Then a gust of wind whipped the smoke up and two figures stood topping the ridge. A number of shots rang out.
"HOLD YOUR FIRE!" ordered Barkin as the swirling smoke hid the figures again. He walked slowly forward, his own rifle at the ready. The two figures seemed familiar. Could it be? What were the chances that his eyes were playing tricks on him? The wind cleared the smoke again and a smile crossed his face.
"POSSIBLE, STOPPABLE!" he yelled. Barkin charged up the slope, his men following; some began cheering at the sight in front of them.
Kim and Ron stood on the top of the ridge supporting each other. Kim's hair swirled in the smoke and wind of the ridge. Their clothes were torn and burned. Their faces and arms were bruised and dirty.
Barkin slowly approached the two teens, the other soldiers moving past securing the area. Kim and Ron did not seem to know anyone was there.
"Kim, Ron?" Barkin asked as he approached them.
The two teens glanced up to see Barkin standing in front of them.
"Mr.?" Kim mumbled.
"Barkin?" Ron finished.
"Kim, Ron, what happened?" Barkin asked.
Kim faced appeared distant as she whispered. "It's over."
"Mr. B?" Ron asked. "I hope you don't mind if Kim and I don't make it to school for the next couple of days. Please, no extra homework."
"And no detention." Kim added.
"I think you two have proper excuses."
"Good." Both teens mumbled. They looked at each other and smiled. Barkin stood watching as they attempted to take a step forward. Their legs collapsed, spilling the two forward. They were unconscious before they hit the ground.
Barkin knelt beside them, checking their pulses and breathing. He rolled them over and saw frostbite burns on Ron's hands and face. Kim's clothes showed what appeared to be electrical burns through holes in her shirt and pants. They both were covered in cuts and bruises. Barkin stood yelling.
Two medics ran up and began to treat Kim and Ron.
Barkin motioned for the radioman who handed the handset to him.
Barkin took the handset. "We need an immediate priority medivac, grid coordinates, Oscar, Delta, November, one, zero, niner, five. Tell those folks they are alive! Kim and Ron are alive!"
One month later Yamaouchi School
Flags snapped in the wind at the tops of the walls of the school. The practice grounds were empty. The sparring rooms were silent. Weapons were stacked in their mounts. Silence reigned over the grounds of the school. Row upon row of students and ninjas stood upon the grounds of the school before the Shrine of the Lotus Blade. The heavy wooden doors of the shrine opened, Sensei accompanied by Yori and Hirotaka stepped from inside and stood on the portico of the shrine. Before them was a wide-open aisle between the two groups of students and ninjas. Guards opened the door of the courtyard and two figures stepped into the opening. Kim and Ron stood side by side as they paused in the door. Ron was dressed in a dark blue gi, his belt was black with red and gold piping of a master. Kim was dressed in a well-fitted blue gi, yet her belt was a simple black. Her auburn hair was pulled back in a flowing ponytail. She turned and smiled as Ron reached out and took her hand and they walked forward toward the waiting Sensei. Both teens still limped slightly from the injuries they had received. The students and ninja had turned to face the open aisle. As Kim and Ron passed, each of the students and ninjas would bow deeply then turn to face the shrine. Wave after wave of students and ninjas bowed. The two teens continued toward the shrine until they reached the bottom of the stairs, which they then started up. Kim and Ron came to a stop in front of Sensei, Yori and Hirotaka. Sensei bowed as the two students followed his lead. Kim and Ron returned the bow. Sensei began to speak.
"For many centuries, the Chosen One has protected this school. Yet now, he has to do more than that. He has to protect the world. Many times, the Chosen One has had one to stand at his side to share a love bond so deep that their hearts and souls were one. It has been many centuries since the Bloom and the Blade were together. Now, as the prophecies have foretold, the Bloom and the Blade are together again joined in one spirit."
Sensei's words carried across the courtyard with the wind. Sensei nodded to Kim and Ron. The two teens turned to face the assembly and joined hands again. They closed their eyes and extended their free hands. A blue aura shone around the two teens and the swords reappeared in their hands. They raised the swords into the air, and then, turning to face each other, they crossed the blades in the air over their heads. The blades clanged together, the ringing sound echoing off the mountains. The students and ninjas of the Yamanouchi School leaped to their feet and cheered. As the swords lay crossed over their heads, a light seemed to glow from the intersection of the blades. Kim smiled wanly at Ron as she tilted her head to one side and standing on her tiptoes, she gently kissed her chosen one.
Ladies and Gentlemen, I would like to thank all of you who have stayed with me through this story. It was one year ago that Rich and I came up with the idea for this story. It has been great. Please leave me some reviews of what you think/thought of this chapter and the whole thing. I would greatly appreciate it.
I am working on my part of Darkness Within, that being Chapter 5. I have some real good plans for it.
A coupld of friends of mine are organizing the First Annual Fannie Awards. It is not something gross but quite nice. They are organizing a little award list of the best of the best. Link to my DA page by clicking on my homepage link. There will be full details there.
As always, Kim Possible and all the characters of the show are the property of the Disney Company.