"Uh, ah, Yes, ma'am?"
Betty Director rubbed her forehead with one hand, sighing. "Let's go over this again. You don't know what happened?"
"Ma'am, I gave you copies of the Wadebot's tape. What more can I say?" Wade was sweating. He had managed to start leaving his room with the help of Kim and Ron, but this was giving him serious second thoughts. The idea that two roughnecks in uniform could snatch him out of his south seas holodeck (complete with friendly tahinis) was frightening. For the last four hours he had gone over and over what happened with various people, ending up with the head cyclops herself, Dr. Betty Director.
Betty looked down at her fingers, tapping on the reports. "Look, Wade, may I call you Wade?"
"Um, sure, I guess."
"Thank you. Wade, we have four people in the hospital under observation. Completely healthy and completely non responsive. As the only witness, how do you explain that?"
Wade squirmed, "Um...I don't know?"
"Why is your tape so grainy and out of focus?"
"Ah...I don't know?"
"Why didn't you use your robot to assist Miss Possible?"
"I tried, honest." Wade paled, "But it wouldn't respond. I was lucky I could get the pictures."
"Why wouldn't the robot respond?" Betty asked.
"Um...I don't know?"
"Wade, you don't seem to know much, do you?"
"Well, I know a lot, really, it's just that..." Wade trailed off.
Betty tapped her fingers together before nodding. She turned in her chair, reaching for a remote. She turned on the screen behind her. "All right, let's watch the tape again, shall we? Maybe it will jog your memory."
The screen flickered, then a grainy picture began playing. Shego struck Kim, then went on to attack Ron. She was defeated and thrown back. Drakken stepped up, his lips moving.
Dr. Director stopped the tape. "Right there, Wade. Why is there no sound? Doesn't your robot have that capability?"
"Yes, ma'am, it does. I can only say I don't know."
"Very well." Dr. Director scowled, restarting the tape. The picture showed Ron drawing his blade, making two slashes so fast they blurred the film. Dr. Director stopped the tape again.
"Wade, why did Mr. Stoppable just attempt to murder two prisoners? And why didn't he succeed. My people have slowed the film down..."
"Yes, Ma'am, I did too." Wade interjected.
"Yes, then explain to me why a blade that my people say has all the appearance of solid steel did not take off Drakken and Shego's heads?"
"I...I don't know." Wade whispered.
Dr. Director's hands slapped the desk loudly as she came to her feet, leaning over until she was almost nose to nose with Wade.
"Mr. Load. Something is going on." She snarled, "Two of my best people have apparently collapsed, along with two of our worst criminals. Now before we leave this room, before anyone leaves this room, I am going to know what's happened. Do you understand me?"
"I...I...we...you...maybe...but...but...I don't know!" Wade wailed, shrinking into his chair.
Dr. Director straightened, sighing. "Agent Du, get Wade a large soda, please. It seems to help him think."
The agent straightened from the corner he had been leaning in. "Yes, ma'am. Diet or regular?"
Betty looked at Wade.
"D...d...diet, please." The shaken boy managed.
Dr. Director dropped back into her chair, her eye pinned on the shaken genius in front of her.
Anne and James Possible, along with the Stoppables, stood in the waiting room of the GJ infirmary. Anne was studying a folder she had been handed by the waiting GJ man.
"All right, Dr., I assume you're a doctor?" Anne gritted.
"No ma'am, merely a messenger. I'll have to have those back as soon as you're through." The agent replied calmly.
"Fine," Anne thrust the folder back at him, "I've seen all I need to.,"
The agent took the folder, nodded politely and left.
The others crowded around Anne.
Jean Stoppable was the first to speak. "Anne, what's wrong with Ronnie and Kim? Why won't they let us see them?"
Anne glanced toward her husband, then drew a deep breath before replying. "If those case studies are correct, there is absolutely nothing physically wrong with Kimmie or Ron. Those were the results of a battery of tests. The only problem is, neither is responding to stimulus. The only response they show is when they're moved apart. Then their hands gradually reach for the other." Her head bowed for a moment, before raising, eyes beginning to blaze. "As to why they won't let us see them, I am about to find out." She turned to stride toward the exit. Behind her, Dean Stoppable coughed.
"Ah, Anne, I don't think that will be necessary."
"And why..." Anne stopped speaking to join the rush. Kim and Ron had just walked through the swinging ward doors.
"Ah, yes ma'am. Thank you." Wade took another long slurp at his soda's straw.
"Fine, then if we can continue?" One brow raised in question. Wade nodded in return.
"Finally." Betty muttered to herself. Raising her voice, she turned to the screen. "All right, Mr. Stoppable just made..."
"Wasn't Ron." Wade interrupted.
"Wasn't Ron. Kim said he was somebody called 'Justice'."
Dr. Director massaged her temples with both hands. "And why are you only now mentioning this?"
"Nobody else accused Ron. They just asked me what happened." Wade answered innocently.
Betty massaged harder. "All right, how did Mr. Stoppable become this 'Justice'. Mind control? Hypnosis?"
"Not real sure. Kim just said he wasn't himself, that he was somebody named Justice and we had to stop him before he killed Shego and Drakken."
"Wade," Betty slumped back into her chair. "Why haven't you mentioned this to the other people you talked to?"
"All they wanted to talk about was the tape and why didn't I help." Wade answered semi-apologetically. "I guess I got stubborn."
"There are going to be a lot of people going for remedial training." Dr. Director muttered to herself before turning her eye to Wade.
"All right, Wade. If you would, please tell me anything you think would help." Betty smiled tightly. "I'm not their enemy. I really am trying to understand what's happened and help."
Wade nodded. "Ok. Kim thinks you're the good guys but Ron..." Wade halted.
"Yes, Wade? Ron what?"
"Well," Wade rubbed his neck nervously, "Ron isn't too big on secret agencies, if you know what I mean. He really doesn't trust you. And Ron's generally much better than Kim at picking up on the bad guys."
Dr. Director flushed, whether in anger of embarrassment, Wade couldn't tell, then straightened her all ready tight shoulders. "I can...understand that, Wade. In return for your help, I will answer any question you have about what is going on with Team Possible." At Wade's skeptical expression, she expanded. "You have my personal word. Now, why didn't a hardened steel sword slice Drakken and Shego's heads in half?" She resumed the tape.
"I really don't know, ma'am."
"Then, here, they just collapse. Any ideas?"
"Right. Miss Possible now reached for Mr. Stoppable." Dr. Director paused the tape. "She looks like she just grabbed a high voltage wire. She also looks like she's screaming?"
Dr. Director looked a question.
"My Wadebot was transmitting, just not recording the sound for some reason."
"Ok. That's where the tape ends. Now, can you tell me what happened?"
"Not really." Wade hesitated. "I think when Kim touched Ron it generated an EMP. It's the only thing I can think of that explains my Wadebot being fried."
Betty nodded encouragingly. "Go on."
Wade shrugged. "That's pretty much it. When I lost contact, I called you people with the last coordinates I had and asked for help. Then, a couple of hours later, two of your goons burst into my room and kidnapped me." Wade's chubby face was set in resentment.
"Yes, well, we needed to find out what you knew. Those two agents will be disciplined, and reminded of proper procedure. Forcibly."
"But that doesn't help with the question. What happened? Why are the four of them comatose? And I still want to know why Drakken and Shego aren't dead!"
"I don't know."
Agent Du held his hand up to his ear transmitter, nodding silently. He walked over to the desk. "Dr. Director, the amateurs, Possible and Stoppable, have awakened and are attempting to leave the facility." His last words were to empty air as Dr. Director,followed closely by Wade, rushed from the room.
"It's not like it's the first time we've been knocked out. No big." Kim was trying to calm the parents as Wade and Dr. Director rushed into the room. Spotting her tech genius, Kim grabbed him in a furious hug. "Are you all right, Wade?"
Wade pulled his head back in astonishment. "Me? I'm not the one who's been out!"
"No big, just a little sleep, that's all." Kim grinned. She turned to Dr. Director. "Why can't we leave now?"
Before Dr. Director could answer, a phalanx of outraged parents stepped up.
"We are leaving. Right now." Jean Stoppable announced.
"Unless you're prepared to file charges, we are leaving, understand?" James Possible growled.
"And while we're leaving, I believe we'll take Wade with us." Dean Stoppable said mildly. "Unless of course, you want us to call his parents too."
Jean Stoppable grabbed Ron, her husband snatched Wade, and James Possible pulled his daughter. Anne paused only long enough to glare at the one eyed commander. "I and people I trust are going to examine these two. If any injury has occurred because of your neglect in calling qualified medical personnel...you won't like it." Anne whirled to catch the rest of her party.
Betty blinked at the closing doors. "Agent Du...Will, what just happened?"
Kim lay in her bed, unable to sleep. Departing GJ, they had first dropped Wade at his house, with a whispered promise to explain later. Then she and Ron had been whisked to Middleton General where her mother and a crew of medical personnel ran them through a battery of tests and scans, quite a few of which she had never heard before. Slumber eluded her as she attempting to rationalize what she recalled. A task made more difficult by memories fading like a dream.
Instinctively she reached to stop Ron from his murderous intent, knowing even as she tried she was too late. The moment she touched his shoulder her mouth opened in an involuntary scream as the most pain she had ever felt ran up her arm and spread throughout her body.
Opening her eyes, at first all she could see was a gray, featureless plain. As her vision came into focus the grayness resolved itself into a dry desert plateau. Blinking furiously she saw a blurred mass some distance away. "Where am I?" She wondered.
"You are in Stoppable san's mind, Miss Possible, as am I."
She turned her aching head to see the solemn features of Sensei. Her eyes questioned him. He nodded in understanding. "Do you remember the vision we saw of Ronald?"
"Very good. At that time Stoppable san was able to deny us access because the Justice spirit was in control. Now, the battle that is about to be waged has caused those guards to weaken."
"Battle?" Kim whispered, horrified.
Sensei's head bowed in solemn confirmation. "Yes, Miss Possible. Look closely."
As if she had instantly been transported closer, Kim could see that the mass she had barely seen was a cage, it's bars twisted and warped, as if a giant had twisted it in two. In front of the cage stood Ron, dressed in a white gi with a black belt, holding the Lotus Blade. Facing him stood a man of his own height and build. The stranger wore ancient banded armor, his hair was long, his beard thick almost to his chest. In his hands was a strange, heavy looking weapon.
"What is that?" Kim whispered.
"It is called a sickle sword." Sensei answered. "It was the preferred weapon of the Judges of Israel."
"That's a sword?"
Kim's attention sharpened as she watched Ron suddenly give a short bow to the warrior. The warrior made a salute with the sword. She heard Ron snarl, "You hurt KP."
The warrior replied, "She tried to interfere with..."
Before he could finish, Ron attacked.
"Sensei!" Kim gasped in panic.
"There is nothing we can do, Miss Possible." Sensei mourned, "We are only here as spectators. Ron san does not know we are here. If he did, we would undoubtedly be ejected."
"But, Sensei..." Kim winced as a loud discordant clash announced the meeting of the blades. "If that's a Bronze age weapon, shouldn't the Lotus Blade cut through it?"
"This is Stoppable san's mind. His image of his forebears. The swords are only representative of the will of the two spirits."
Kim started to argue, but her attention was captured by the battle below erupting on to a new level of savagery. She gasped as the curved sword bit into Ron' side, at the same time as the Lotus Blade slid between the warrior's ribs. The injuries did not seem to slow the two combatants any, as the swordplay increased in speed and power. She could feel the tenseness in Sensei as he stood beside her.
She fought to hold back the tears as she saw Ron's blood dripping into the sand, joining that of the warrior. An endless time later, she saw Ron suddenly skip back barely out of the range of a chopping blow, spinning to bring the Lotus Blade down, cleaving the warrior from scalp to chin. The warrior collapsed, the body disappearing before it could touch the ground. Ron's legs seemed to cave in as he sank to the sand. Wearily lifting his head, he appeared to see his audience. He waved his hand. Kim fell into darkness.
Kim bolted upright in her bed. She snatched the Kimmunicator.
"KP? Are you all right?"
Kim relaxed at the sight of her BFBF on the screen. "Yes, Ron. I'm fine. I just had a question."
Ron looked at his bear clock. "Kim? At three thirty in the morning?"
"Can't wait Ron. You never told me, what happened to Shego and Drakken? I was so relieved when I found out they were alive then in all the excitement and double talk, I forgot to ask. What did Justice do?"
"He judged them, KP. And he punished them."
"This had better be important, Du. If it's not I hope you like inventorying all twenty GJ main supply depots."
An audible gulp came over the line. "I...ah...I think you really need to see this, Dr. Director. The prisoners Godolphin and Lipsky are awake and..."
"Du, they woke up shortly after Team Possible left. If that's all..." Dr. Director's voice lowered threateningly.
"NO, ah, Ma'am. If you'll turn on your number two and three screens, I'll show you."
"This had better be good." Betty thought as she turned on her screen, splitting it between view two and three. "What am I supposed to..." Her jaw dropped in surprise.
"Yes, ma'am. Our reaction exactly." Du said, seeing her image.
On screen two, a pale woman was flicking her hands trying to light something. On screen three a pale man with a scar was holding his head moaning.
"What's he saying, Du?"
Sound came over the speaker. "I know it, I know it. Einstein's theory...ahhhh, the pain. The pain."
"For six months, KP. That's how they'll be. Justice took what they cherish most. In Shego's case, her plasma power, in Drew's, his scientific intellect. For six months."