"Like why you're working with Drakken?" Kim said.
"Among other things." Dr. Director said. "Kim…why do you think you've survived this long?"
"Because she's KP!" Ron said, "Why else?"
"Well…" Shego (Beatrice) commented, "Maybe a better question would be, why didn't we send a bunch of Rangers or Marine Force Recon types to your house…with guns. The kind that fire real bullets." Ron blinked.
"Or more simply." Drakken said, "How about a bomb in your mom's car. Hooked up to a remote switch…you get in to go to the mall or get the twins with her, click….BOOM." Kim abruptly shivered. They never checked the car… In fact, she'd never even dreamed that she might have to worry about getting attacked at home…
"What about those giant robots?" Ron asked. Dr. Director laughed.
"Ronald… self replicating, volitional nanotech technology…and the worst Drakken could do was build silly looking robots? Take a second and think of all the ways that sort of technology could have killed you…no way to avoid it." She paused, "replicating in your heart, eating you alive from the inside out…"
"OK, OK!" Ron said. "So why…" A laugh from Drakken cut him short.
"Because it was just enough to show how scary the technology could be. You wouldn't believe how fast governments can move to regulate something when they're scared. We didn't even have to say anything—everybody was thinking: "What if those lunatics in North Korea got their hands on it.?". Not that they could reverse engineer it—not after your father put in the safety interlocks. Right now a lot of government labs are wasting their time, thanks to him."
"I…" Kim paused ,"Dad was helping you?"
"Yes." 'Shego' said.
"Confused?" Shego added.
"Yeah… why…. Kim paused, and shook her head, trying to clear it. This had to be some kind of plot.
"How about if we go from the top." Dr. Director said. "Kimberly…what's the worst thing about dictatorships, lynchings, that sort of thing."
"Well, duh…lots of people die."
"No." Drew said, all humor gone from his face. "The worst thing, every time, is looking back and realizing just how many times they could have been stopped. Stopped without a war, without bloodshed, if people had just stood up in the beginning." He sighed, "But all too often people are unwilling to stand out in front, by themselves."
"It's pretty common, actually." Shego (Kim still had a hard time thinking of her as 'Beatrice') added. "Take a man who will run to save a woman alone, even at risk of death…put him in a crowd of other people and quite often he'll do nothing while she's being butchered."
"You know this because?" Kim asked.
"Ph.D in Behavioral Psychology, with an MA in sociology." Shego said primly. "That's how I met your mom at UCLA….and how the seed of this little idea got started."
"You know mom?" Kim said, shaking her head.
"Best friends." Beatrice commented. "Remember, we're about the same age-" She paused, "Ah, you don't need to throw that up in her face…"
"Anyway, we were interns at a conference on Ethnic Cleansing and Genocide and got to talking, and well, we wondered what would happen if more people got up, at the beginning, and said: "To hell with this!", when these slugs started their little crusades."
"And that's where I came in." Dr. Director said, "And Drew, and a lot of others, Kimberly."
"People, see," Shego continued, "they feel that the world is too big—that they cannot move out and make a difference…so show them someone who can."
"Like GO team?" Shego frowned.
"That was a bad idea, and I won't say I told you so again to Betty…"
"Oh, yeah." Dr. Director breathed. "Quick warning, Kim—if you want to make the man on the street think he can make a difference…don't have a team full of people who can toss trucks around."
"So the comet power was fake?"
"No—that was real…just like a lot of other little powers." Shego shrugged, "Heck, Drew has them as well."
"What can he do?" Ron asked, fascinated, "Fly?"
"Nope," Drew said, laughing, "I can build gadgets that just could not work in reality—they're a crutch for some form of psionic power—just like Bortell could build moodulator chips….but if you tried to make them in a factory you'd just get garbage."
"Hang on!" Kim said, "Back to this plan…what was it!"
"Why…find someone who fit certain categories….someone brave, photogenic and willing to risk her life. Someone who was just heroic enough that people admired her….but not so heroic that they couldn't see themselves in her place…someone like…you."
"After your first mission, we knew you were the one, you and Ron." Shego said, "Believe me, I was surprised…I never expected my friend's kid, out of all the millions on the planet, would be the one."
"And my part?" Ron asked.
"Sidekick." Drakken said, "But more importantly, the person who wasn't a kung-fu master, who was terrified enough to piss himself at every turn, but who still went in. If Kim was the "I can do anything", you were the "I may die and I'm scared, but I'm there anyway.""
"And…someone who kept a certain KP from getting an overly swelled head." Dr. Director added.
"But…our bad guys…." Kim said. "Killigan…"
"British SAS—or he was before he retired." Beatrice said, "And a frustrated actor… as you no doubt saw."
"Senor, Senior, Senior?" Ron asked.
"One of my old teachers…and yes, he's rich beyond belief." Dr. Director said. "Junior's day job is with INTERPOL."
"So it was all fake?" Kim said, and suddenly hated herself for the way her voice seemed small. But all those times she was scared, all those times she'd thought she did good…
"No." Drakken said, "Kimberly, it wasn't all fake—oh, we didn't send in marines with guns, but when you and Beatrice were doing your moves, if you'd missed and landed on your head, you'd be dead, dead, dead."
"Monkey Fist?" Ron asked.
"That lunatic is real." Beatrice said. "We considered neutralizing him…but you and Kim handled him just fine—but yeah, he was a real bad guy."
""Adrianna Lynn" was another one," Dr. Director supplied, "Nasty piece of work that, and Kimberly, you did save lives with that one— it was only good luck that nobody died before you stopped her."
"And you were watching?" Kim said. The three adults nodded.
"But we couldn't do anything…" Beatrice said. "Not that we had to—you handled her very well."
"What happened to her, anyway?" Ron said, "I figured she'd want payback."
"She did…until a little birdie mentioned to her that blonde TV stars with attitudes, really, really want to say, do their time at a minimum facility prison…instead of getting put in a Federal lockup with the real bad girls." Beatrice said and for a moment her face was one hundred percent Shego.
"And you have had an effect." The older women, Kim's nemesis (as old as mom?) Kim's mental voice continued asking, said. "Not just for the big stuff, but all the little stuff you do…although I hope you've learned the benefits of delegation…super shoes aren't something you can hope for every time." Kim blushed.
"How many percentage points is the Ronster worth?" Ron asked, grinning. He'd evidently come to terms with everything, but looked taken aback when Beatrice laughed.
"Ron…Ron, we're talking about changing a system involving about six billion people—believe me, we're no where near "percents"—try possibly, if we're lucky, tenths, or hundredths of percents." She shrugged, "But multiply that by those six billion…and it ads up, slowly, but it does. Multiply it by every person who watches as someone is his neighborhood is turned into a pariah, or Judge Lynch starts baying…and thinks, that if you can do all that…he can stand up to this."
"So why are you talking retirement?" Kim asked.
"Because there comes a tipping point…" Drakken said. "A point where you start becoming too much of a larger than life figure, and you start having the opposite effect—Kim's too heroic…I can't even try to emulate her… even Ron becomes too big."
"Hey!" Ron said. Drakken looked apologetic.
"Sorry, Ronald…but would you be interested to know that while Kim appears on more locker walls, your name comes up in debriefings a lot more?"
"Yep— people look at Kim for the example of what to do…at you for the example of how to do it in the face of fear…. Of how to find courage. They don't think Kim is afraid, so they need to go elsewhere for that."
"This last adventure was to bring completion—nobody will wonder why Drakken and Shego no longer are running around…and for you, Kimberly, and You, Ronald, it gives you a perfect opportunity to, retire…have a normal life."
"Take the website down?"
"No." Beatrice said, "Not unless you want to—but expect the assignments to stick to the ah, prosaic end of the spectrum."
"Or…." Drakken said, and trailed off.
"We're going back to our lives—Beatrice to her class, me to my lab." He shrugged, "So the process starts over again…and every hero needs a nemesis." Kim paused, thought then blinked.
"You're asking us to…"
"Not right away." Dr. Director said, "Not for a few years yet—if you agree we need to let Kim Possible fade a bit in the public conscience, think of a slight disguise for you…"
"It won't be much—I mean, come on, look how far I got with black lipstick and a light green tint." Beatrice said.
"And to give you two time to think about it," Drakken added. "It's a lonely life—blowing the secret would be destructive to the entire program, and so you really will be wanted by just about everyone—when you're caught, and you have to be caught, you will spend time in jail." He paused, "And when all is said and done, you'll never be able to tell anyone else about it—maybe your closest family members, but nobody else."
"You'd have to be careful—while "Ron" and "Kim" won't vanish, you'll have some cover identity that explains away long absences… probably something with GJ or INTERPOL….but you'll always have that secret." Beatrice added.
"But you won't be alone." Dr. Director said, "'Drakken' has to go, but Dementor, (or John Michelson), and the others will stick around for a while, before you start assembling your "new" team of villains. We'll be around for advice and support, of course."
"And people might die." Beatrice added, "And as a scientist in this field…I can tell you that at the end of the day, there won't be any final confrontation, no rolling the credits… no way to know for certain that this is helping."
"Then why?" Ron asked.
"Because it's something I can do." Beatrice said, "And we all have kids… and the world is full of monsters who would take every piece of technological development, everything created over the last six thousand years…and use it to build a better death camp." She paused, "I've seen their future, when your mother and I were helping out with the war crimes investigators in Rwanda, Bosnia, Serbia, Iraq. But in every case, they needed the help of ordinary citizens, who were willing to stand aside, because 'they couldn't do anything'… this is our way of trying to show them that yes, they can make a difference."
"Which is why there was real danger…and why much of what you did had no connection to the program." Dr. Director added, "Kimberly… don't let yourself think it was all smoke and mirrors. You did good, in a real way, beyond anything we set up." She paused, "Now, we're asking you to keep doing good…even if nobody knows it."
"Can I have a minute with Ron?" Kim asked. The others nodded and left the room.
"Wow." Ron said, and for a moment, Kim was silent.
"I…" She started, "I don't know what to do… all this…"
"I know what to do," Ron said, "Take the offer."
"Ron… you heard what they said! We would have to leave home, all of our friends…"
"And we'll make new ones, KP…or have secret identities…. You heard what Sh-ah, Beatrice said."
"Why?" Kim asked.
"Well duh." Ron said, "Kim, you'll go nuts without some crazy to fight, and you always want to do big stuff…and it doesn't sound like it gets much bigger than this…in fact…" He grinned, "You've already decided to say yes, you just don't want to come out and say it."
"Well, I'm going to say yes too…but one thing."
"Yes? Whoever we deal with—we remember the sidekicks name, OK?" Kim laughed, and gave Ron a kiss. He was right. She had decided to say yes. Why not? Kim suddenly realized how addicted she'd become to the action…and this… She paused.
"Why Eric?" She asked when the others had returned.
"Because before we made this offer, we had to be certain that you could endure the psychological pressures. "Eric" was an acid test. One which you passed." Beatrice answered.
"Oh." Kim said, and took Ron's hand in hers.
"OK…" Kim Possible said, "We're in. What now?"
"Get ready for a lot of training… starting with a villainous laugh." Beatrice said.
"What's so hard about that?" Ron asked.
"Not bursting into giggles when you do it, or hear your friend do it." She answered. Suddenly she sobered. "And get ready for a few trips."
"Old mass graves in Africa and Europe, Auschwitz…places to remind you why we're really doing this, when all the histrionics are said and done…places to see what happens when people don't stand up." She paused, "There may be good times, hell, even hysterical ones…but remember, you are fighting against a villain like none you've ever fought before…" Kim nodded, seriously.
"I understand." She said.
"Hurry up, Jessica!" Hank said as he ducked a spin kick from Lady Kali, Dr. Kodos' crimson haired assassin. He managed to sweep her feet out from under her, as her green eyes blazed up at him in fury. The fifteen year old gulped as he looked down, feeling his face redden at the look of her brief vest and halter combo, her shorts seemingly sprayed on.
"What's a matter?" She said, sarcastically, "Never seen a girl before? I don't think Jessica counts, given her nerd factor."
"Hey!" The slim Latina said in annoyance.
"Kali!" Her master's voice shouted. "The Trans-phase inducer cannon is ready to-" Jessica cut him off as he pointed to the ominous looking collection of technology.
"No it's not!" Jessica said, and hit a button on her controller unit. Abruptly, the cannon started whining, the sound growing louder and louder.
"You…" He paused, "You overloaded the CANNON! It's going to blow!" The blue scientist screamed in panic and ran for the door, as fire started spraying from control panels. Kali backflipped away from Hank and grinned.
"Looks like the Nerd squad is finished here, Hankie…." She winked, "Maybe next time…See Ya!" With that, she followed her master out the door.
"Grrr…." Hank said and started forward.
"No time!" Jessica shouted as she grabbed him, and pulled him for the last clear door.
"I'll get them both…" Hank muttered.
"Oh, yeah, we'll get them…." She paused, "But should I tell Monica about your new girlfriend?" Hank glared at her.
"No…and we need to get back in time for that test, remember?"
Leaving the site in the VTOL, Kim watched as the fortress exploded, the pyrotechnics doing exactly what they were supposed to do, and waiting until fifteen seconds after the teens had cleared the building.
"A bit much, "Dr. Kodos?" Kim asked.
"It was their first fortress of evil." Ron said, "It should be memorable." Kim laughed softly and leaned back into her husbands arms. Nobody would have mistaken them, Kim thought, for Kodos and Kali right now…Beatrice was right, it was 90 percent acting. Well, that and a different wardrobe, and the fact that at 21, she was a bit, well, a lot more shapely than she'd been at 16. Ron obviously agreed, from the way he kept looking at her…or maybe it had something to do with the fact that she'd doffed the halter and only had the vest on right now.
"So… Hubby of mine." Kim purred, "Those two will be occupied for the next few weeks."
"Yes…." Ron said as she sat in his lap, the VTOL's autopilot keeping it on the level.
"And we have nothing to do…"
"Except have some fun making wild, passionate, love…"
"Oh Boo-yah…" Ron grinned, he had no problem understanding his wife's happiness… because he shared it right now, as well. As Kim's vest was tossed, followed by other clothes, they fell over the LA Times front page, laying on the floor of the cabin.
NORTH KOREAN GOVERNMENT OVERTHROWN. The headline read. Underneath, it the rest of the story described the bloodless fall.
The unprecedented actions of the people of North Korea left the world speechless, as over the last three weeks, gigantic protests, all peaceful, successfully appealed to the North Korean military to remain in its barracks. Kim Cho, one of the protestors, summed up what seemed to be the attitude of the crowd.
"If we didn't do it, who would? And why can't we do it." He said, before joining the ranks of protestors in Pyongyang….