In Their Darkest Hour
By: recon228

Part One - Just Another Tuesday

- Los Angeles Intl. Airport -
Tuesday – 5:45am

"Attention passengers; Southwest Airlines Flight 214, non-stop to Oakland is now ready for general boarding at Gate A-17. All passengers please report to the ticket counter for boarding. Once again, Southwest Airlines Flight-"

Kim turned her attention away from the gate attendant behind her and watched as Ron came shuffling down the isle with two McDonald's bags and four cups of steaming coffee balancing in his arms.

Despite the numerous navigational hazards that occupied the baggage-strewn space between the two rows of seats, Ron managed to maneuver it without tripping or dropping any of their breakfast. That was an impressive feat considering both teens had been up since 7:00am… the day before!

Reaching Kim's seat, Ron dropped one of the bags in her lap and bent down to let her grab a cup of coffee from his arms. "Here ya go, KP. Sorry but they don't have breakfast burritos like Bueno Nacho does."

Kim smiled and popped the top off of her cup to allow it to air-cool. "No big," she replied as her partner set his own cup and bag on the empty seat next to her. "At least it's something. I feel like I haven't eaten in days! I'm so hungry that, for a minute there, Rufus was actually starting to look appetizing." She opened her bag to pull out her food but paused, noticing that something was missing. "Speaking of whom, where is Rufus?"

Hearing his name, Ron's McDonald's bag burst open and Rufus tumbled out with a deep, satisfied belch. The now-empty bag rolled off the seat and onto the floor. Not even the ketchup packets were left intact.

"Hey, some of that was mine!" Ron whined, giving his pet molerat a stern glare.

"Hmm… sorry," Rufus shrugged.

Kim just shook her head, thankful that the surrounding seats were empty because no other passengers had been willing to sit near them.

"Well great," Ron sighed. "Now I'm gonna have to go back and get something else." He placed the molerat back into his cargo pocket and started to head back in the direction of the airport's food-court with the two additional drinks still in-hand.

"Hey sidekick, what about my coffee?" an irritated female voice called-out after him

Ron sighed again and turned to face the source of the voice.

Across the isle from Kim, Shego and Dr. Drakken sat staring at him with bitter, yet tired looks on their faces. The raven-haired villain was impatiently tapping her foot on the ground and glaring daggers at the blond teen.

"He's not a sidekick," Kim corrected the hostile woman. "And don't order him around like that!"

"Whatever…" Shego muttered. The pale-skinned woman slumped back in her seat and attempted to cross her arms, but the stainless-steel handcuffs locked to her wrists dug into them, causing her to wince slightly. "Sidekick or Buffoon, either one works for me," she added with a shrug.

Kim opened her mouth to argue further but Ron gestured for her to stop. "Sorry about that," he replied with a grin, walking back and holding out one of the cups for Shego to retrieve. "Here you go."

As she reached up to take it, however, Ron 'accidentally' lost his grip and dropped the near-scalding beverage right in Shego's lap. Before she could react, the top popped off and dumped its contents all over the villain's white prison jumpsuit.

"Oops," Ron said innocently. "My bad."

"You little son of a-" Shego hissed, jumping up and igniting her hands. She tried to make a move toward the grinning teen, but immediately found herself looking at the receiving end of a police-issue Taser.

Kim was staring back at her from the other side with a harsh, determined look in her eyes. "It was an accident," the teen declared as she tightened her grip on the stun gun. "Sit back down!"

Shego only glared back at her as Drakken and Ron watched nervously from the sidelines.

"I said sit down" Kim ordered. "GJ says this thing is completely non-lethal so I have no problem using it on you."

In reality, non-lethal or not, she still wasn't all that comfortable with the idea of using something that so closely resembled a handgun, but Global Justice had insisted on her carrying one of their Tasers while she and Ron transported their prisoners back to Middleton for incarceration in one of GJ's facilities.

Sixteen styles of kung fu aside, Dr. Director made it clear she did not want a running fist and plasma fight through the LAX terminal. If either prisoner got out of hand or tried to escape, Kim had been told to take them down quickly and harmlessly in order to avoid unnecessary injuries to bystanders.

After a few more seconds of tense silence, Shego finally extinguished her hands and sat back down grumbling. With a satisfied nod, Kim re-holstered the Taser and sat down as well.

"Is everything all right, Miss Possible?" a male voice called out from the direction of the ticket counter.

Kim turned around in her seat and saw a young airport police officer standing several feet away from them. While his posture looked relaxed, she noticed that his right hand was intentionally resting on the grip of his sidearm and his gaze was locked on the grumbling woman in handcuffs.

"Yeah, no big," Kim assured him. "She's just upset 'cause she spilled her coffee."

"I see," he replied, removing his hand hesitantly and pointed toward the ticket counter behind him. "I'll be right over there if you need any help."

"Okay, thanks," Kim replied before turning back toward Ron, who was struggling to keep from laughing at the damp, seething villain. "Weren't you going to get more food?" she asked teasingly.

"Yeah, I'm going," Ron chuckled as he got up and walked away. "You guys want anything?" he called over his shoulder. "Another coffee maybe?"

"I will destroy you…" Shego mumbled.

"I guess that's a 'no'," Ron laughed.

"Do me a favor and double-check our flight's status will you?" Kim yelled.

"Sure, hang on a sec," Ron yelled back.

On his way out of the lounge he stopped to read the digital Arrival/Departure board mounted above a bank of TV's. After a few seconds of searching he found the flight he was looking for.

"Southwest Airlines Flight 228… on-time; 6:15am!" he yelled to his friend.

Kim gave him a thumbs-up and turned to say something to Drakken.

As Ron turned to head off in the direction of the food-court, he noticed that the board also had the date and time displayed across the top of the screen: Sept. 11, 2001 – 05:52 am…


"Southwest Airlines Flight 228… on-time; 6:15am!" Ron yelled.

Kim nodded and gave him a thumbs-up.

"Since when does the Buffoon have a backbone?" Drakken sneered from across the isle.

"Since always," Kim shot back. "We just usually defeat you before he gets a chance to show it."

"I highly doubt that," Drakken snorted. The blue-skinned mad-scientist shot a glance at his assistant, who was still seething over Ron's prank, and smirked. "He should know, by the way, that he's just sealed his own doom."

"As if," Kim scoffed. "Only thing Ron 'sealed' was a round of Grande-sized Nacos, on me."

She couldn't help but giggle as she recalled the look of shocked surprise on Shego's face when the cup landed in her lap.

"Oh fine, laugh now," Drakken began to rant. "But just wait until I get loose and devise a new plan. Then we'll see who's laughing!"

"Probably still us," Kim stated dryly as she reclined back in her seat.

"Argh!" Drakken growled. "You think you're all that Kim Possible-"

"But I'm not," Kim finished in a mocking tone. "Yeah, those one-liner's are really getting old y'know."

"I'll have you know… wait, why am I even having this conversation with you?"

"Cause you're lonely?" Kim offered snidely.

"I'm not-" Drakken slumped back against his seat and stared out the terminal window, grumbling under his breath. "I despise you," he muttered after a few seconds.

"Then I guess the feeling's mutual," Kim responded as she retrieved a magazine from the seat next to her and began thumbing through it absently.

After a few minutes she closed the magazine and took a moment to look around the terminal. Glancing over in the direction of the food-court, Kim noticed that a small group of passengers were starting to gather around the Arrival/Departure board at the front of the terminal lounge.

'Wonder what's got them so interested?' she thought absently.


Ron was on his way back from the food-court with a new bag of food when he noticed a group of about six people gathered around the Arrival/Departure board in the front of the terminal lounge.

As he approached the gathering of passengers, one of them, a teenage girl about his age, turned and started walking off.

"Hey," Ron called to the girl. "What's going on?"

"Damn flight's been cancelled…" she grumbled.

"Which one?"

"All of them!" she replied, giving Ron an irritated look and gesturing toward the board behind him before turning and walking off.

Looking through the rapidly growing crowd, Ron saw that the girl wasn't joking; every flight coming in and going out of the airport was listed as either 'Cancelled' or 'Delayed'

All except for one…

Amongst the cascading panels of delay and cancellation, American Airlines Flight 11 from Logan Intl. had 'See Attendant' flashing next to it. What that meant though, Ron had no idea.

He glanced down at Rufus who was looking back up at him with worried eyes. Even the molerat was able to detect that something wasn't right.

"I think we better get Kim, buddy," Ron informed his friend.

Rufus just nodded and disappeared back into his master's pocket.



Kim looked up as Ron came jogging down the isle with a worried look on his face.

"Something wrong, Ron?" she asked in a concerned tone.

"Something's very wrong! I just checked the board on my way in, and it looks like every flight has either been cancelled or delayed!"

Drakken and Shego both exchanged perplexed looks.

"Every flight?" Kim asked skeptically.

"Every flight," Ron repeated. "Coming, going, domestic, international… the entire airport seems like it's just shut down!"

"Okay, don't get worked up," she tried to reassure him. "Let me ask that officer what-" She turned toward the ticket counter where the police officer was supposed to be, but he was nowhere to be found. As she looked around the terminal for him, Kim began to notice a considerable amount of travelers gathered around various news monitors located throughout the lounge.

The others, apparently, noticed them too.

"What's going on, Possible?" Shego asked. Her normally snide and sarcastic tone was noticeably absent, replaced by a small hint of dread and apprehension.

"Stay here and watch them," Kim ordered Ron. "I'm gonna see what everyone is looking at."

Before Ron could even respond, Kim ran over to the nearest group of passengers and tried to get some info from a middle-aged woman in a dark-blue business suit. When she got no response from her, she looked up at the television monitor bolted to the wall.

Even from fifty feet away, Ron could see his friend's face pale as she stared up at the monitor with a horrified look on her face.

"That can't be good," Drakken commented nervously.

Ignoring the fact that he was supposed to be guarding two Global Justice prisoners, Ron took off across the lounge to where Kim was standing.

"Kim, what's wrong? You-" he turned his head toward the monitor and gasped.

For close to a minute nobody said a word. Both teens stood among the growing crowd of horrified travelers and watched in numb horror as the television displayed a live-feed of thick black smoke billowing from the north tower of the World Trade Center.

"Oh my god!"

Ron pulled his eyes from the horrendous scene illuminated on the TV screen and saw Shego standing near the back of the group. Her mouth was open slightly and she was staring wide-eyed at the monitor above her. Drakken was standing a few steps away from her with a look of equal shock and confusion.

Despite their obvious opening for escape, neither villain seemed willing to take advantage of the opportunity. In fact, Shego actually shoved her way into the crowd and came to a stop next to Kim.

"What happened?" the villain asked. "Was it a bomb?"

Kim just shook her head.

"They think it was an airplane," Ron informed her.

"Was it an accident?" Drakken asked, having managed to force his way into the crowd as well.

"I don't think so…" Kim said in a shaky voice.

None of them realized that in less than four minutes they would be witness to one of the most violent images ever broadcast on live television…

To be continued...

- With footage of the terrorist bombings in London all over the news last month, most of the conversations at work were about terrorism and September 11th. At one point during lunch, most of the swing shift guys were in the break room discussing 9/11 and, specifically, what we were all doing when we first heard the news.

For most of us (Myself included), the story was more or less the same; we were working/sleeping/showering when, through one source or another, we were alerted to news of the attacks.

One of us, however, had a dramatically different story; he was extraditing a prisoner back from Southern California when the attacks occurred. His account of the events that day illustrated just how much that tragedy united our country and its people and is the basis for this story.