Green Silk, Black Satin
Chapter 5: C226
Disclaimer: I do not own Kim Possible or any of the characters there within save those of my own design. Kim Possible is property of the Disney Corporation.
Dr. Drakken sat at his work desk before a stack of computer screens; his hands folded before his mouth and a frown wrinkling his unibrow.
Each of the six screens were linked to the security cameras Drakken had installed around the lair. But instead of looping the live feed, the screens played back videos of late night activities recorded over the last three months.
Shego was pictured on every last display.
In one screen, a pony-tailed, pajama-clad Shego raided the fridge for a late night snack of milk and strawberries. In another Shego returned from her excursion to Silicon Valley and deposited the molecular analyzer Drakken requested she acquire in the lab; idly prodding the materials he'd left on his work table. When she couldn't make sense of the mess, she walked off screen and he assumed to her quarters. In another she was still in her jumpsuit, assaulting the assault course. She tore the boxing dummies to shreds and at one point she kicked the punching bag so violently it broke free of its suspension chain and collided into the far wall.
But none of these disturbed Drakken so much as the recording of Shego aimlessly wandering the halls. She was dressed in her pajamas, black hair askew as if she had tossed and turned in her bed, a pronounced slouch in her shoulders. She paused in a doorway. Turned back and retreated a short distance only to stop and wander forward again. She braced against one of the walls and passed a hand over her eyes and Drakken could feel her exhaustion, her weariness. The time on that particular video read 3:16 a.m. But Drakken felt it was more than just a random case of insomnia keeping the most capable of his henchmen up at an ungodly hour.
Drakken's brow knit with concern as he watched.
The woman looked so vulnerable. So lost.
Shego eventually wandered out of the shot and into the hallway adjacent.
He rewound the film and saw the lethargy of her expression. Again and he saw her disheveled hair telling of a rough night tossing and turning. Again and he saw her hands clench and unclench.
"What's wrong, Shego?" he muttered over the quiet work desk. "What's made you so upset?"
"Nothing at the moment, doc."
Drakken screamed and scrambled to pick the mouse and keyboard up off the floor, banging his head on the desk as he dropped and clicked like mad to force close all the screens as Shego came around to peer at what had so captured his attention.
Mercifully, the screens had all gone black.
"Sh-Shego! Y-you're back! When did you fly in? Where did you go?" Drakken wiped the beads of sweat off his forehead, grinning sheepishly at his sidekick as he messily deposited the mouse and keyboard back on the desk.
"Miss me that much?" Shego folded her arms and arched one eyebrow in such a way that suggested she had caught a glimpse of the screens before the program shut down. Drakken swallowed. Curse her and her ninja stealth. The mad doctor made a mental note to somehow rig a bell around the woman's neck to save him her surprise entries which, he realized, Shego frequently did.
"Where were you?" Drakken tried again, hopeful to distract her and sate his consuming curiosity. He stood precariously posed between Shego and the offending screens—in the direct line of fire.
"None of your business." She frowned.
"Shego…" Drakken's voice took on a warning tone. They must have had the harboring secrets conversation a thousand times, but Shego was having none of it.
"Look doc, you don't ask where I've been and I won't ask what you were watching."
"It wasn't just you—I was watching for the henchmen who…Oh." Drakken nibbled his lower lip and wrung his wrists together. "Okay."
Shego sighed, her arms slipping from their tight hold over her torso.
"Whatever. Did you finish that…molecular-jiggy yet?"
"As a matter of fact it's nearly done." Drakken said with some measure of relief.
"Let's get to it then." And Shego began walking toward the laboratory. Drakken sat back in surprise. Shego rarely, if ever, entertained Drakken when he tried to include her in their latest world domination ploy; she ridiculed his ideas more often than not with sharp words and biting sarcasm. Shego was impatient, but hardly impatient to ever begin one of Drakken's schemes. Then again, Shego's behavior of late did strike Drakken as out of the ordinary. Her late night drifting and somber attitude were no doubt consequences from a lack of proper rest.
Folding his hands behind his back, Drakken stalked after Shego down the hallways.
Drakken stopped at an intersection in the lair when the villainess turned the wrong way.
"Uh, Shego? The lab is this way."
The woman paused and turned back to him, surly.
"Can I freshen up a bit first?" She snapped. "I did just get back."
"In the…gymnasium?" There was a small locker room equipped with showers on the far side of the court, but Shego wanted to wash up there? At her hostile expression, Drakken backed off. Perhaps she had clothing and shampoo and whatever else she needed in the lockers—she did spend a good deal of her downtime in there anyway. "I-I'll just…be in the lab then." And the mad doctor beat a hasty retreat. He heard her grumble something about "incompetence" and "wasting time" as she strode off.
Drakken did not puzzle over this odd conduct that had overtaken his sidekick's demeanor until he reached the lab and stood over his molecular reorganization device. Wherever her adventures had taken her, she appeared no worse for wear.
Shego turned up twenty minutes later, showered clean and smelling fresh. She sauntered into the lab and Drakken had to consciously avert his attention from her glistening black hair. She joined him by his desk, the sour expression dampened a bit by the refreshing shower. Drakken was enveloped by the sweetly fresh scent of chamomile and his mind went blank.
"Tell me again, what is this thing supposed to do?" She peered over his arm. Drakken was quiet. A frown pressed one corner of Shego's mouth. "Hello?"
Drakken shook his head and cleared his throat as he held up the device.
"The Atomozer works at a subatomic scale rendering atoms to change their molecular structure. Carbon chains become compacted and create whole new materials!"
"Uh huh, and what does it actually do?"
"Can it turn coal into diamonds? Iron into gold? We could retire."
The woman took the item from Drakken's hands and examined it with doubtful eyes. Drakken tried to snatch it back, but Shego evaded his grab, not once taking her eyes off the device.
"It's not meant to do that and I have no intention of retiring!" Drakken snarled. "It's always been about my simple dream: To rule the world!" Shego chimed in to his last statement with a roll of her eyes.
"Why not just buy the world?" Shego put forward.
She flipped the laser-gun-like device into the air to Drakken's high-pitched squeal.
"Be careful, Shego!" Drakken flapped his hands. "It's armed and there are still kinks to work out! The first experiments left me with some melted lamps. I haven't had the chance to properly reset the parameters and test it yet."
Shego caught the grip in one hand and leveled the weapon at Drakken.
"Test subject one."
Kim unclasped the last buckle on her chute and set her helmet aside, tossing her bright red hair over her back. The teen heroine leaned over the precipice of the building roof and peered down the cliffs of the lonely island settled in the calm waters of the Caribbean. The odd gale and random wind shears winding their way up the cliffs made for some tricky chute handling, but Kim weathered the flight. She rolled her sore shoulder. It had died down to a buzz, a spiteful numbness for Kim taking so long to correct the injury. A spiteful reminder of her last encounter with Shego.
Soft lights lit the high windows of the lair and the noise from the ventilation shafts warred with the keening wind.
Thank goodness Drakken lacked the foresight to install cameras on his unguarded roof. For a mad doctor, Drakken ignored details that could have made him a formidable foe. Kim expected this would be a straightforward mission. She gripped the homing beacon in her pocket.
Her shoulder ground a bit in its socket and Kim winced.
"Ready Ron? Ron?" She said.
Ron had become hopelessly entangled with his parachute that Rufus started to chew through the strings to free him. Kim frowned.
"C'mon, Ron," Kim said as she fumbled with the knot of strings to loose the clasps holding him prisoner, "we don't have time for this!"
"Sorry Kim, this whole thing with GJ has got me stumped." Ron mused aloud as Kim and Rufus tag-teamed on the chute. "I mean Shego?"
"We'll figure it out." Kim said, hauling her dazed companion to his feet.
Together, Team Possible shimmied down the chimney on the roof and dropped into the main hallway where they quickly made their way toward the room Drakken and Shego were most often found plotting: The lab.
Kim ducked between a pair of steel beams and yanked Ron after her as a pair of guards walked up the hallway. The oblivious henchmen went on about the most recent football match stateside as they wandered by. Kim ducked out the instant their backs were to her and hurried quietly down the remainder of the hallway.
The door to the laboratory hissed open and Kim trotted in low, having only a moment to ascertain the weapon in Shego's hands was pointed at her and dodge the blast. Her shoulder screamed angrily when she landed on it, but she ignored the pain as she witnessed the steel girder melt and harden into a mottled mixture of steel and rock.
Drakken's new toy could cause some problems.
Kim gasped and pushed herself to a kick flip as Shego fired at her again; Drakken cowering on the floor at the woman's feet, his arms over his head. Three more reports bounded off the stone walls to the mad doctor's taut cries—his precious laboratory! Those holes in the walls were going to create a terrible draft.
Ron chose that moment to join in the chaos with his own cries of shock at what unraveled before him.
"You see, Kim? You see?" He shouted, accosted at Shego's behavior. "She's a bad lady!"
Shego rounded on Ron and made ready to fire just as Kim kicked the weapon out of her hands. The device went skittering across the floor and Drakken scuttled after it.
"Get it Ron!" Kim ordered as she squared off with a grinning Shego. The boy darted off after Drakken and the apparatus as it came to rest under a bookshelf.
The two women circled each other. Kim's mind, still full of their last fight, and the mild ache of her shoulder gave her pause. She frowned. At their proximity, Shego usually fired up her plasma to engage Kim, impatient to begin; but now Shego hung back and waited. Waited.
This was all too weird. Shego had gone from violence incarnate to patient veteran.
"What's wrong, Kimmie? Was I a little too rough last time?" Shego sneered.
"You tell me, you were out the window faster than last season's capris." Kim braced for the attack, but it did not come. Confused, Kim dropped her guard as Shego still balanced on the balls of her feet. A knit pinched Kim's eyebrows. She was certain the fashion jab would have incited the villainess' ire into making the first move.
Her Kimmunicator rang.
Kim started and Shego launched.
The device in her pocket continued to ring as she and her adversary exchanged blows.
Kim and Shego's fights had a measure of professionalism beneath the raw kicks and punches they threw at each other. They could match each other kick for block, sweep for dodge. Theirs was a fluid dance built upon years of conflict.
But this was just awkward.
The fight was jarringly halting as they kicked and jabbed. Shego tripped on a sweep kick and went down and, while she recovered quickly, Kim expected a rebuttal but the swipe to her face came so late it interrupted her right hook into an awkward block. They traded several blows this way leaving Kim more and more uncertain. Shego seemed almost…slow. That necklace must have thrown the woman's mental alertness into flux.
The Kimmunicator began to ring again.
Frustrated by the entire situation, Kim delivered a flurry of quick jabs to cover a low kick that sent Shego sprawling into the lab tables; tools and machinery crashing in all directions. The teenager put some distance between them and activated the beacon for Global Justice to apprehend Shego. It's blinking red eye broadcasted the signal. Kim fished the Kimmunicator out of her pocket.
"Wade." Kim said, one eye to the pile of equipment pinning the villainess on the floor. Ron and Drakken slapped at each other for possession of the ray gun. "Not the best time."
"I dug up some new information about GJ's project. You have to get on Shego now. My sources indicate she's been country hopping for a few days. Last purchase on record was at the Bermuda Triangle resort."
"I've got her."
"Huh?" Wade's confusion felt like a sock to Kim's stomach. "But…but you're in the Caribbean. Shego's on the other side of the world."
Kim felt butterflies in her stomach at the 10-year-old genius' revelation and the green-skinned woman kicking her way free of the mess, the very real threat of plasma burning her hands.
"What are you talking about, Wade? I'm looking at her right now!" Kim turned the screen toward Shego and Wade went silent.
"Wh-what? But that's not possible!" Kim could hear Wade's fingers clattering over his keyboards just as Shego's expression changed to one of horror. Kim had stopped listening to Wade.
"The Angel." The woman uttered, staring at Kim, the picture of fear. And to Kim's shock, Shego vaulted over the upturned desk behind her and ran. The teenage heroine stood aghast, bewilderment stalling her ability to process this madness. Wade's typed strokes and voice sounded somewhere far away rather than from the seat of her hand.
"My data says Shego is in G—" Wade did not finish as something black struck Kim from her left and jarred her grip on the Kimmnicator. It went flying. Catching herself, Kim looked up in time to see someone dressed all in black bound after Shego in hot pursuit, swinging a chain weapon over his head. Shego threw a haphazard plasma blast over one shoulder at the same moment her pursuer hurled a bolas at her feet. The chain caught around Shego's ankles and the weighted balls on each end wrapped tight, felling the woman with deadly efficiency. Her plasma blast struck the man's chest but he kept running. The man was on Shego like a lion his wounded gazelle and Kim was in motion again.
By the time she reached them, the man had wrenched one of Shego's arms behind her, hauled her to her feet, and wrapped his free arm around her neck. Shego scrabbled at the arm over her throat with claws and plasma, but neither seemed to effect the man in any way. His all black uniform looked as if it had been crafted by some reinforced armor plating, but composed of stuff clearly stronger than Kevlar to withstand Shego's assault.
"Stay back." He ordered as Kim approached. She noted there was no anxiety or exaggerated threat in his tone, he just expected Kim to comply. It left her with a certain disquiet. His face looked familiar, but she could not remember from where. She wracked her mind but drew a blank. She was certain she had seen him before. Her eyes traveled up the ragged scar from his ear to his chin.
"Who are you?" Kim said. The man threw her a warning glance with his eyes and promptly turned his attention to his struggling captive.
"Where is she?" The man asked calmly, ignoring the claws and kicks of the woman he had pinned to him. "You're required to know her location while on assignment."
"I-I'll n-never tell!" Shego managed to growl out of her crushed throat.
"Very well. What is your number?" He said, no change of tone, though the arm over her throat constricted tighter as Shego continued to struggle in vain. Her eyes rolling up to the back of her head. "What is your number?" He repeated more slowly. "And you may yet live."
"Now was that so hard?" The man smiled.
"…G…Go to hell!"
"In due course."
And he snapped Shego's neck.
Author's Note: Whew! I apologize for the wait. I've had this chapter sitting in my folder for a good long time and I...forgot I had it. I moved hunting for full-time employment but my part-time jobs "back home" threw a fit to have me back. So I'm going back to work. Delightfully vague, but all true. While I adore traveling, it tends to cripple my writing-for-fun time. And with NaNoWriMo looming again, I'll likely be out again for all of November as I furiously write my third novel. I hope to be back on board to GSBS by December. This story has jumped to my 6th most read story! Wow! You all have shown me you really want this story continued. I'm here to serve-however slowly that may be. Thank you for your patience and continued support!
Anyway, I actually plotted out this story (unlike most of the others because they've all been one-shots) and I swear I'm going somewhere with this. The intrigue deepens! Who IS this crazy guy? And who was this Shego? What is GJ really up to? The answer to some of these questions in the next chapter, haha!
If you liked what you read, let me hear your voice! Hazard a guess of what C226 or The Angel code means in a review and I may drop you a juicy hint. You feed me and I'll feed you! More story forthcoming, dear readers, more fame and folly awaits.