I do not own nor have rights to any of the characters contained within this story.
AN: Sorry for the long delay between chapters. This chapter will be a little short but it's a buildup to the next two (or three) chapters. I am looking to find a beta reader, as you can tell my grammar leaves a lot to be desired. Please continue to R&R I have gotten some ideas for story line altercations from the reader's comments. Again please let me know if sections of this require a higher rating. I think I'm still safe with a T for right now but I'm still kinda a newbe.
Enough of me – On with the story…
CHAPTER 12 - FIRST STRIKE
It wasn't until a slim tendril of the blue glow reached across the room and surrounded Rufus that he also relaxed into a deep and relaxed sleep. The glow continued to surround the three occupants of the room for a while until it was completely absorbed into their bodies and disappeared leaving the three in deep and untroubled sleep.
Far across the ocean a smile formed on the face of an old man sitting in the Lotus position in a small temple on the top of Mt. Yamanochi. "Yes Montgomery, it is finally done." Sensei stood and, with the smile still on his face, left the temple to gather his students for the upcoming battle.Chapter 12 – First Strike
Ron was the first to react to the sounds that were emanating from his pocket, Kim was slightly behind him but was the first to actually press the connect button and answer the call, "Hey Wade. What's the sitch?" Ron stopped reaching for the button on his own Kimmunicator and instead leaned over to peer into the small screen on the device in Kim's hand. "KIM!..." Wade started then paused for a moment as he noticed Ron leaning into the Kimmunicator's field of view, "RON!.. I'm glad you're both there, come down to the command center as soon as you can." Both Kim and Ron noticed as Wade looked to his side, the staccato tapping of Wade's fingers as they flashed over the keyboard in front of him could be heard for a moment before he continued in a whisper, "Come on baby, just a little more. You can do it, come on damn you, move, move." Wade absently looked back at the monitor that contained the view from Kim's Kimmunicator and seemed surprised for a moment that both Kim and Ron were still staring out from the screen, they watched as the surprised look quickly disappeared from his face and heard a quick, "Hurry guys" before the screen went dark.
Kim looked over her shoulder at Ron, "Did Wade just swear?" Ron seemed to almost levitate as he jumped from the bed. The sleep left him quickly as he took hold of Kim's hand and pulled her from the bed. It had taken Ron a moment to remember why Kim and he were still dressed in their workout clothes and he allowed him self a moment of sadness when he remembered the passing of Monkey Fist but it quickly took second place to the uneasiness he felt at hearing Wade use profanity. Ron noticed that even though he was the one who had left the room first, dragging Kim behind him by the hand, it was now Kim that was in the lead dragging him quickly down the stairs. Less than a minute later Kim and Ron were entering the sub-basement command center that had only recently been added to Ron's home. The display on the large central monitor confused them for a moment before certain landmarks clicked in their brains and they realized what they were looking at. It was the football field behind Middleton High School, at least it used to be, now it was a gaping hole in the ground with dark smoke billowing up from its depths almost obscuring what was left of the home team bleachers, the away team bleachers were completely gone as was most of the field.
It was Kim that was finally able to speak, "Wade! What happened? That's the Middleton football field isn't it?" Wade didn't turn as he answered while continuing to pound furiously at the keyboard in front of him, "Yea Kim, but it's not the field I'm concerned about, it's what was under the field that I'm trying to get a look at." The view on the monitor suddenly zoomed in closer to the hole that had once been the football field. The field that had played a large part in the lives of both Kim and Ron. As the image cleared Kim could make out pieces of metal and concrete scattered around the edges of the hole, it was then that Kim remembered to what Wade was referring. Kim's eyes went wide suddenly, "WADE! Global Justice headquarters was under that field, what happened?" Wade continued to scan the monitor in front of him as well as the readout scrolling across several of the monitors before he answered. "I'm not exactly sure just yet Kim, about 10 minutes ago I lost my carrier feed to GJ, I thought it may be glitch in the system here until I ran a complete diagnostic and found that everything was okay on this end. Then I noticed some weird readings coming from the seismic sensors that are scattered around Middleton because of the space center, I was just now able to divert a government satellite so I could get a look and this is what I found."
Before Wade could continue Sheila, Yori and Hirotaka walked into the command center but remained silent when they saw what was being displayed on the main monitor. Kim continued to stare at the scene of destruction currently being displayed when, surprisingly, Drew Lipski broke the silence, "Wade, I think you should look at this." Wade swiveled in his chair to look toward Drew and nodded his head, and indicated toward a monitor in front of him. Drew hit a few keys on his keyboard and transferred data to the indicated monitor. Wade studied the screen of data for a moment before he looked up and said, "Drew, are you sure of this?" Drew Lipski looked over at Wade and replied, "I triple checked it Wade, and before you ask I cross checked against the latest inventory you downloaded from Global Justice, there was absolutely nothing on site that could leave that particular reside behind."
Ron now got into the act, "Ah… let's pretend that Kim didn't understand what you guys were talking about." This comment earned a shake of her head and a small understanding smile from Kim, Ron smiled back before continuing, "Just what did you find?" Wade looked up from his monitor, "There's a heavy concentration of cordite being detected at the site Ron and based on what we know GJ had on hand it just shouldn't be there." Before Wade could continue or Ron could comment Drew interrupted once again, "It's not normal cordite either, there are some trace elements that are extremely unusual. It looks familiar to me somehow but I just can't place it." Wades fingers once again flashed across his keyboard as he stared at the monitor in front of him, "Your right Drew, it is a weird combination. Let me compare it against by database of known compounds and…" as he was speaking Wades fingers were constantly in motion, it took only a few seconds before the result of his query scrolled across a small pop up window on the main screen, "Crap, no wonder it looked familiar. Drew was GJ holding onto anything collected from Duff Killigan?" Drew, who already had the GJ inventory up on his monitor quickly formed his own query and triumphantly pressed the enter key. A moment later he answered Wade's question, "Ah… no Wade, it looks like all materials are shipped to a secondary location, there's a notation here about not shipping any materials to the Middleton base due to their proximity to the High School. So whoever this Duff Killigan is there was nothing of his down there."
Wade had continued to refine his search while Drew had been searching the inventory database, "I don't think any more searches are necessary Drew. Take a look at the degeneration ratio of these trace elements, this stuff was made recently, at the most three days ago." Wade stared the screen for a moment longer before he turned his attention to Kim who was still looking at the disaster on the main monitor, "Kim, I don't know how but based on the data we have it looks like something blew up directly inside GJ headquarters. The explosives are defiantly the same as Duff Killigan uses only very concentrated, I'd say on the scale of about 500 times more powerful than anything he's ever used before, there doesn't seem to be much left down there Kim, with the internal sensors out of commission I can't even tell if anyone's still alive down there."
Kim was in motion before Wade had finished speaking and instantly went into 'Mission Mode', "Ron, lets get changed and get out there. Wade get us more data, I don't know how, but get it" Before Kim could leave the room Sheila stepped in front of her, "I'm in on this Kim, I owe Betty. I'll meet you in the garage." Hirotaka and Yori looked at each other for a split second before Hirotaka also spoke, "If you have no objection, Yori and I wish to accompany you also." Kim merely nodded and called out over her shoulder as she left the 'Command Center', "Garage, Five minutes people."Middleton High School
Twenty minutes later two unique looking jets, one a jet black and the other an emerald green, hovered in for a landing in the field behind the High School and five people climbed out and headed toward the dark column of smoke still rising from the old football field. Chief Hobble of the Middleton Police Department ran over to the approaching group, "Whoa people, hold on a second you can't…" A look of recognition quickly appeared on Chief Hubbard's face, "Oh, it's you Ms. Possible." Chief Hobble came to a stop in front of the group, "I'm not really surprised you came but I really don't think there was any need. We're not really sure what happened but it appears to be contained to the old football field and with school out for the summer I'm happy to say that there was no one here." Kim was at a slight loss, apparently Chief Hobble was not aware that less than 50 feet below him were the main headquarters for the most elite law enforcement agency in the world. Kim, reluctantly, started to explain to Chief Hobble, as diplomatically as she could, that there was a subterranean installation in the area. Ron jogged over to the still smoking hole and, closing his eyes, stood perfectly still for the next 10 seconds before turning and jogging back to the group.
Chief Hobble was just coming to the awareness that the small redhead in front of him was privy to information that he did not have when Ron jogged up next to him and interrupted Kim's less than totally truthful explanation. "We'll have to find a drop tube KP, it looks like everything around there is completely collapsed but I'm sensing intact corridors further in." Ron's thumb was pointing over his shoulder at the hole in the football field as he spoke. Chief Hobble had never really seen Team Possible in action before and, being unaware of the Team dynamic, was surprised when Kim immediately stopped her explanation and excused herself and, with practiced ease, reached to the small device hanging from her belt and turned away from him as she started speaking into the device. Chief Hobble turned to the tall teen beside him about to demand an explanation when the teen addressed him first, "Chief, I think you should get some more emergency teams out here, from what I could tell there are a lot of injuries down there." Just as he was about to demand just who this young man thought he was when a small pink form scampered up to sit on the teens shoulder, recognition hit him quickly, "You're Ron Stoppable aren't you?" Although Ron was slightly shocked that not only had Chief Hobble recognized him but also got his name right he answered almost immediately, "Yes sir I am, and I assure you there are injured people down there. As soon as we can locate an entrance to the facility we'll need as many people as you can get to evacuate the area and get help to the injured…" Kim interrupted any further explanation when she walked back over to where Ron and Chief Hobble were standing.
"We're in luck Ron, there's a drop tube in the school's auto shop as well as a kind of loading dock so we'll be able to get people in and out a lot easier." Turning to Chief Hobble Kim continued, "Chief, I think its best if 'Team Possible' goes in first, there may still be a dangerous situation down there and we're the only ones here familiar with the layout of the facility. As soon as we're inside we'll get the loading dock door opened so your people can get staged to respond as soon as we can determine it clear, is that okay with you?" Chief Hobble was amazed at the sound of authority in Kim's voice and could do nothing other than shake his head in the affirmative, what followed shocked him even more. While he had not had the opportunity of working with 'Team Possible' before all of the reports he had read indicated that Kim Possible herself was the one you dealt with, sometimes her tech man, Wade, would give direction if Kim wasn't available but none of the reports he had read had mentioned Ron Stoppable in anything other than an aside, like he was there but not really important. What shocked him was when Ron spoke up with all of the authority in his voice that Kim herself had just moments ago. "KP. You take Yori, Hirotaka and Sheila in with you, I'm better suited to find and open the loading dock doors and then I'll help the Chief here organize his people until you call." Chief Hobble noticed that Kim merely shook her head and immediately turned and started getting her people moving toward the high school without missing a beat.
Chief Hobble was still looking at the four dwindling figures running toward the high school when Ron's voice sounded from next to him, "Chief? Could you get all of your emergency personnel headed toward the auto shop? As many medically trained people as you can get should be the first ones through." Chief Hobble had been confused several times in the last few minutes and it seemed as though his moments of confusion were not over because as soon as he assured Ron Stoppable that he would get his people moving Ron simply said "Thank you Chief." And then… well he simply disappeared, one second he was standing there and the next second he simply… wasn't. Ron hated the drop tubes, always had, but there hadn't been any other choice. He had been able to find the hidden entrance to the 'loading dock' easily enough, he had simply looked around when he had reached the auto shop and noticed that one wall just didn't 'feel right' to him and was able to spot the doorway shortly afterwards. He also discovered that he somehow instinctively knew that the controls for the doorway were not to be found on this side of the wall so he made his way to the drop tube that Kim had left open for him and was currently making his way into the depths of the GJ headquarters below him. Once he was deposited in the arrival chamber he simply walked in the direction he knew the larger entrance was and found the 'loading dock' elevator room just two doors down, the controls were simplicity itself, a simple lever labeled 'UP' and 'DOWN' was the sum total of the control mechanism. Stepping into the elevator Ron moved the lever to the 'UP' position and felt the elevator rising toward the surface and, hopefully, the waiting rescue Underground Headquarters
Kim was going to split her team up once they left the drop tubes but decided that since no one at GJ knew either Hirotaka or Yori and since she was not quite sure if all of the agents had gotten the word on Sheila's conversion it was better if they all stayed together to avoid the possibility of mistakes. Even though Kim had never entered the facility from any of the school's drop tubes she quickly recognized certain landmarks and was able to orient herself quickly. After walking quickly down the first few silent corridors Kim was sure that whoever or whatever had done this was no longer present so she called Ron and gave him the all clear to bring in emergency personnel as soon as he could. After a few wrong turns Kim was sure the group was now headed toward Dr. Director's office, it seemed the best place to head to in order to get further information. Turning into yet another drab grey corridor Kim stopped suddenly at the sight in front of her. Seated on the floor next to an open doorway was Will Du with one arm hanging limply at his side and the other gently brushing the hair on the head cradled in his lap, the head of Dr. Betty Director. Will seemed to take no notice of the four newly arrived people as he gently stroked Dr. Director's hair and when Kim slowly walked closer she could hear him muttering softly. Before she could make out what he was muttering the sound of heavy footfalls could be heard approaching from the corridor they had just vacated, the four members of 'Team Possible' turned as one and each fell into their respective ready stances. Kim only maintained her stance for a moment before she relaxed, "No problem people, its Ron and some of Chief Hobble's people." Sheila relaxed her stance followed quickly by Yori and Hirotaka. Ron rounded the corner moments later followed by five members of the Middleton Fire Department, each carrying emergency medical packs. Ron stopped as soon as he rounded the corner, "Gus, you'll be needed here, Charlie, take the others down this corridor, you'll find about 10 more casualties through the third door on your right, two seem to be in pretty bad shape." Then with a small smile on his face he added, "Don't forget to announce yourselves before you go in."
Charlie was a lieutenant on the Middleton Fire Department and had been a paramedic for 8 years now. He was not used to taking orders from civilians but over the last 20 minutes he had seen this tall blonde headed teen that had introduced himself simply as "Ron" lead them through a maze of corridors and directly to small groups people who were in need of medical care. Their group had started out with 20 First Responders and Paramedics, all but the remaining five were now taking care of the injured they had found along the way. He knew for a fact that the teen he had at first been reluctant to follow had saved lives today, how he knew just where to look, just what door to open, just what pile of debris to look behind Charlie didn't know and truthfully, right now, didn't care. As he reached the doorway Ron had indicated he stopped, for a moment he recalled their second stop today, after seeing the condition the first group had been in he had rushed forward intent on finding anyone else that needed attention when he heard the teen calling from behind him. He had just rounded a corner when suddenly the teen was in front of him holding what appeared to be a large dark blue shield, suddenly several shots rang out and Charlie could hear them impacting the shield the teen held out in front of them. "Hold your fire, this is 'Team Possible' and we're here to help." The shooting stopped immediately and Ron had turned to him somehow no longer holding that weird blue shield and placed a hand on his shoulder, "You alright Charlie" was all he said. Charlie knew that the teen had not only saved his life but had done so by placing his own in jeopardy. Charlie also knew that now was not the time for reminiscing so he simply followed the blonde teen's instructions and called out loudly, "Hold your fire. Emergency Medical team, we're here to help." And as soon as he heard the weak "Thank God" he rushed into the room motioning the others to follow him.
Kim and Ron spoke in hushed tones as Gus finished his initial examination of the pair of Global Justice agents. Ron was just finishing his initial report on what he had found on his way to Kim's location, "… and with the ten down that hall that makes 102 we've been able to get to so far. There are about 20 more on the lower levels but they seem to be physically okay, just trapped for the moment." Ron stopped his report for a moment and lowered his head while his voice choked up a little for the last part of his report, "I've found another 50 or so near the caved in sections KP, bu… bu… but medical attention isn't going to do them any good. " Kim was trying to understand just what Ron meant when Sheila's voice sounded from beside her, "My God Ron, you mean they're…" Ron looked at Sheila before he answered, "Yea Sheila." Sheila's mouth opened in shock for a moment, in all of the attempts she and Drew had made to take over the world she was positive that no one had ever been killed, hell, she made sure that things played out that way. Of all the things Sheila had been during her time as Shego one thing she was NOT was a killer. Now it looked like whoever had been responsible for the attack had taken that step. Sheila remembered the feeling she got when Kim had been shot at in the Russian warehouse and it scared her, the rage that had boiled up from within her had pushed her to the edge, it made her want to kill.
Sheila was fighting with her emotions when she felt a hand on her shoulder, looking up she saw a misty eyed Ron staring back at her. "I know Sheila." He said softly, "and before this is over we may have to, but that's what makes us different from them, we may have to do it before this is over but for us it will remain a last resort to us, not a means to an end." The rage left Sheila as quickly as it had arrived and she leaned forward and wrapped her arms around Ron resting her head on his shoulder. As Ron's arms held her gently she whispered into his shoulder, "I hope it doesn't come to that Ron, I hope it doesn't come to that." Then it struck her, she hadn't said anything, Ron knew what she was thinking, leaning back and holding Ron at arms length she stared up into his face, "You're doing your mind thingy again aren't you Stoppable." Just as Sheila was going to rip into Ron for what she considered 'invasion of privacy' Ron explained as a tear ran down his face, "I didn't mean to Sheila, but right now I've had to kind of open myself up a bit so I could ah… well… locate people." Sheila stopped as she saw for the first time the tears that had been digging tracks in the dust caked on his face and knew that Ron had been scanning for people with his mind, feeling the pain of the injured, feeling the pain of the dying. Pulling Ron in close again she softly whispered in his ear, "It's okay Stoppable, but if find out you've been digging around in my sex life I swear to god I'm gonna…" When Sheila heard Ron chuckle she knew he was going to be okay.
Kim was the last to leave the underground facility. Six hours had passed since 'Team Possible' had first entered .Wade had gotten the internal sensor grid back up using an emergency generator and assured her that all of the personnel had been evacuated, Will Du and Dr. Director had been whisked away to Middleton General by the trauma team that had arrived lead by Dr. Gubberman. As soon as Kim exited the drop tube into the Middleton High auto shop she was reminded of the viciousness of the attack by the body bags that were lined up along the far wall. Just as Ron had indicated there were 52 of the bags lying in 4 neat rows, each with a small plastic bag containing the personal effects that had been collected to facilitate identification of the body zipped tightly into the identical black bags. Kim had stayed with Dr. Director and Will Du until they were loaded into an ambulance. She had then gathered a team and led them through the underground maze toward the site of the worst devastation. Each member of the team was carrying shovels, cutting torches and other equipment, their purpose was the solemn task of attempting to unearth the bodies trapped beneath the debris. As soon as she had rounded the last corner a sight greeted her that she hoped she would never see again. Ron, Sheila, Hirotaka and Yori had been seated lotus style in front of a line of bodies lying in the corridor, each body had their hands folded gently across their chests as if they were simply resting but a look at the injuries quickly told another story.
There had been several tons of debris lining the adjacent corridors, evidence of the labor it took to dig each body from the collapsed section of the base. Kim watched as the foursome rose together and faced the bodies before folding their hands before them and bowing as Ron and Hirotaka chanted something that Kim could not understand, hearing a scuffling behind her Kim saw that a few of the team she had lead down had also folded their hands and were bowing. Once Ron and Hirotaka had stopped chanting one of the GJ agents that had been bowing stepped up to Kim and bowed to her as he spoke "As head of Team Possible I wish to thank your team for honoring the fallen as you have, I now know they will rest well." He then stood and gave her a very forma salute before turning and issuing orders to transport the bodied to the surface. When Ron and the others turned to face Kim she saw the tears still running down their General Hospital – 4 hours later
Kim awoke when a hand gently shook her shoulder, "KP? I think you'll want to see this." As she blinked the sleep from her eyes she saw that she was still in the waiting room of Middleton General Hospital and Ron was standing in front of her. Kim knew that when she had sat down Dr. Director had still been in surgery and Will Du had been stable but still unresponsive, "Sorry Ron, I must have dozed off, any word on Dr. Director yet?". Before answering Ron sat heavily beside her, he had washed his hands, face but his clothes were still covered in dirt, and Kim knew that he had not yet gotten any rest. When he looked over at her she saw the fatigue written on his face, "She got out of surgery about an hour ago, according to your mother everything went as well as it could and all indications are she should be awake in another half hour or so." Kim watched as Ron shifted uncomfortably in the seat for a second before continuing, "Wade was able to recover some footage from the internal sensors, it was defiantly Duff Killigan that set off the explosions, we also have footage of Gemini, Andria Lynn, The Knights of Rodigan and Señor Senior Junior." When Ron stopped and started rubbing the back of his neck Kim knew that there was something he was not telling her. Ron was looking at Kim deciding if he should show her the video Wade had been able to recover from the security cameras, he had almost lost what little was in his stomach when he had first seen it.
Kim was about to give Ron a full strength PDP when Ron started talking in her mind 'KP, Wade recovered some footage from GJ's security camera's. I just wanted to warn you first, it's not pretty but it will show you what we're up against' Ron then looked at Kim for a moment and then handed her his Kimmunicator, "Just press play KP, it really sick and wrong but you've gotta see it to understand." Kim hesitantly took the Kimmunicator from Ron and after steeling herself pressed the play button. On the small screen she saw a corridor in GJ headquarters, there were about fifteen armed GJ agents walking forward slowly when Andria Lynn walked around a corner in front of them holding another GJ agent by the throat and holding a pistol to her temple. She was followed by a mix of henchmen and members of the Knights of Rodigan who were all armed with rifles. There was no sound but she could see Andria Lynn saying something as she pressed the barrel of the pistol harder against the temple of the GJ agent in her grasp, after a moment the other GJ agents started dropping their weapons and holding up their hands. As soon as the last agent had raised his hands Kim watched in horror as Andria Lynn started laughing and then pulled the trigger of her pistol instantly killing the agent she had held captive. The body had not even hit the floor of the corridor when the group she was with opened fire on the helpless and unarmed GJ agents who had just surrendered.
Kim felt her stomach lurch and dropped the Kimmunicator just as the first flaming muzzle blasts were shown. She felt Ron's arms surround her and pull her in to his chest. Kim was numb, she had recognized some the agents she had just seen killed… no, not killed, murdered. She remembered talking to them in the GJ cafeteria, laughing and making jokes about one thing or another. She knew she should be crying, or yelling, or something, but she couldn't, she just leaned up against Ron with her arms limp at her sides trying to cope with what she had just seen. After a few seconds she heard Ron talking softly "I know KP, I know. But you had to see it to understand what we're going up against. These aren't like the bad guys we normally go up against KP, they've changed." Kim felt Ron push her away from his embrace and hold her at arms length, when she looked up she saw Ron looking down into her eyes and as soon as he had her attention he spoke again, "We may have to change too KP, they may force us to." As soon as Ron said that he pulled Kim back into an embrace but this time she wrapped her arms around him and returned his embrace as the tears finally started.
AN: Next - Sheila's response, the consortium celebrates (Except Dementor), Wade and Drew get sneaky and Kim reaches a decision as the team continues to grow.