Villainy waits for no weatherman.
At least, that's what Dr. Drakken believed, which was why he was outside, in the rain, fiddling with the locks on his newly 'acquired' evil lair, and getting soaked to the bone. The five-story castle was built during the 12th century but moved to this remote island by Senior Senior Senior or some other villain in the last few years. The space was advertised as 'hero-proof,' 'secluded,' and 'exceptionally evil,' which seemed to mean it had an unsolvable hedge-maze, was impossible get to even by helicopter, and the provided keys didn't fit the deadbolt.
"Cursed mechanical locks," shouted the angered mad scientist as he jiggled the small brass key in the cast iron fixture. "This is the last time I get my lair off online auction."
A quiet click sounded as the key finally twisted in the lock and Drakken kicked the door in confidently. Plumes of dust quickly rushed out of the opening and dusted the doctor with a fine layer of soot before quickly dissipating in the heavy rain. Eager to be out of the cold wetness himself, Drakken quickly ducked inside and swung the heavy oak door closed. The bang of ancient wood slamming against stone echoed neatly through the vacant abode.
"Ah, home sweet home," mused Drakken as he wandered through the foyer. His dripping uniform left a dotted line with every step he took. Shivering once, he moved at a faster pace, hoping to come across a stove or fireplace where he could take the edge off this cold. He quickly came across one of the latter but found his wood supply non-existent and all his matches were soggy.
"Where is Shego when I need her," said Drakken, angrily. "She always requests vacation when we're between lairs." Shego, his personal ninja-like side-kick had been on almost permanent vacation since the Bueno Nacho incident. She'd not been pleased to have been left out of Drakken's plans last time until the last minute, and even less pleased that Kim Possible defeated them in the end.
"I'll be around," she'd said simply, and then added, "probably a beach or perhaps a spa. Let me know if you come up with a plan that doesn't suck." She emphasized that last word. "'Cause I'm not coming back for anything less."
Drakken knew he could trust Shego to help him take over the world once he had a suitable plan, and he couldn't come up with a suitable plan without a suitable lair. The dust covered catacombs before him, however, were stretching that definition just a little.
"A little elbow grease and it'll be good as new," Drakken concluded to himself, then tripped over a furry lump on the floor. He flailed about once before examining the pile and felt squeamish. "Eww. Maybe I 'oughta make some syntho-drones to do the cleaning for me."
Picking himself off the floor, he stalked back towards the helipad.
A sudden clatter echoed through the castle and Drakken paused, mid step. He looked around frantically and noticed the deep, consuming shadows that crossed every which way across the long corridor before him. His flashlight failed to penetrate the creeping black.
The castle was supposed to be empty! Drakken quickly began running faster towards his transport and, he thought, safety. As he ran the 'ki-klack' of his boots echoed louder and louder in his ears. He could have sworn that it was multiplying as well, being joined by dozens more. His running descended into scrambling and his breathing dominated all the sound in his ears.
A flash of lighting outlined the door ahead, the bright white light searing itself in Drakken's eyes, destroying his night-vision. He pressed forward still, blind, and too scared to hear anything but his own breath, he could do nothing more but flee, his hands stretched out before him desperately hoping to reach the door.
A moment later and he was there, his hands pressed into the rough wood surface and he ran them swiftly in circles, looking for the knob. Eventually his small fingers found purchase and he yanked with all his might, hoping to tear the door of its hinges and bathe the hallway with the dim, but at least present, evening light. His muscles were nothing compared to the hinges, but the door still swung wide and Drakken turned excitedly to stare back at his would-be pursuers.
The empty hall mocked him with it's stillness. Drakken sweated even as the rain beat against his back. Was he going mad? Was this castle haunted and that was why it was such a steal?
As he pondered the possibilities his shadow, stretching forward from his feet into the hall, began to grow. It didn't get longer, but it grew to the sides, until it showed the outline of a sizable, stocky man. Dr. Drakken turned slowly.
"It was quite a feat to track you down, Mr. Lipsky," a deep, gruff voice said from behind the doctor. "Or is it, Drakken?"
"Doctor Drakken, to you," the blue skinned scientist said as he took in the form before him. Not tall at all, actually, but solid, and menacing. Behind the figure stood at least a half-dozen men, all dressed alike. "What is this? Some sort of shakedown? I bought this castle fair and square!"
"Indeed you did," said the man as he stroked his chin. "But I have no interest in the property. My interest... is in you."
"Me?" said Drakken, quizzically. He furrowed his brow. As he pondered the statement, the stocky man's soldiers surrounded him. "I'm sorry, I'm not your type."
The man laughed as lightning crashed around him, causing the shadows on the man's face to retreat for just a moment. Drakken only caught half of the figure's face, enough to notice the black pit of the man's eye. Even in the brightness of the lightning, the shadows stuck around the menacing socket.
"Even so," the man said as the light faded. "I'll insist you come with me."
"You're kidnapping me?" Drakken said with disbelief. "You can't kidnap me! I'm a villain! I'm the one who kidnaps others!"
The figure remained still as his men grabbed the blue suited doctor by the arms. "Not today."
Disney's Kim Possible in
By Adam Leigh
Part I: History Lesson
"Ah, can you smell it, KP?" said Ron Stoppable, the blonde haired, jersey wearing, freckled sidekick and now boyfriend to the world renowned heroine Kim Possible. He took a deep breath as he and the red-headed cheerleader walked together down the sidewalks towards Middleton High School.
"Uh, the growing level of smog from all the SUVs that have just passed us?" asked Kim noticing the sixteenth truck-like vehicle to speed past them in the last few minutes. "I wonder what's going on at the school?"
"No, no, no, KP! It's the smell of Seniors on their way to their first day of class after summer break." Ron put his hand in front of himself dramatically and pulled Kim closer to emphasize the motion. "That, is the smell of us."
"Okay, really grossing me out now," replied Kim as she wiggled out of Ron's dramatic grip. "It's just the first day of classes, no big."
"Way big!" exclaimed Stoppable. "We are SENIORS now, KP. Top of the food chain! We can leave school grounds for lunch! Ditch last period if we have a study hall!"
"Uh, park our own cars at school?" said Kim slowing her pace.
"Exactly!" said Ron. "Although you'd have to have a car, technically, for that be helpful."
"And a spot to park in, apparently. Look."
Ron, momentarily lost in his vision of Seniordom, focused on the school up ahead and noticed the jam. The whole street leading up to the school was packed tight with cars, all apparently trying to get around to the lot on the side. From the look of it, all the spots had been taken twenty cars ago and things had descended to yelling matches between teens from the windows of their vehicles.
A nearby truck, stopped near the sidewalk in the long line, suddenly coughed a huge cloud of smoke as the driver got fed up and turned around to find alternative parking. Ron and Kim coughed violently as the black wisps drifted past.
"Something tells me these people have never heard of a carpool," commented Ron.
"I don't remember this ever happening before," mused Kim as she picked up her speed again. "I guess it's not such a bad thing not to have a car."
"Are you kidding, KP? The speed, the wind in your face, the feeling of power, it's all worth the extra time in traffic."
Kim raised an eyebrow. "I thought you were all about you scooter."
"Oh, that thing?" Ron motioned disgustingly. "Not only did it not survive the modifications your parents made to it during the Bueno Nacho thing, it was totally unsuitable as a getaway vehicle."
"Now, I know running is not really your thing, KP, but sometimes, you know, we gotta put some distance between us and the villain and, well, Rufus can run faster than my two-wheeler."
Rufus, Ron's naked mole rat, stirred in his leg pocket and stuck his head out. "Uh-huh! Uh-huh!" he agreed.
"I wouldn't want us to get caught and hurt because of my silly obsession with scooters," admitted Ron, looking down.
Kim blinked, then smiled warmly. "Ron, you don't have to give up your silliness just because we're together now. We were an unstoppable team before, we still are now, don't worry." She stepped closer and kissed him on the cheek. "Besides, I like your silliness."
Ron, sighed and looked back up at Kim, smiling now. "Sorry, KP," he said. "You know I don't have a lot of experience here."
"No big," she said and continued into the school. Once they were heading towards their lockers, she continued. "Anyway, I never asked about your classes this year. Do we line up as well as we did last year?"
Ron rubbed the back of his head. "I'm afraid not, KP. We've got math, lunch, and photojournalism together, but I've got English where you've got history, history where you have Physics, and accounting where you've got English."
"My father said I needed to take it."
"Well, that's at least half of the day together," she said. "And I'm sure you'll find a way to survive English without me."
"I don't know, I don't seem to have a teacher assigned," Ron said eyeing his schedule. "I have a pretty good idea what that means, given my luck."
"Definitely." Ron shivered. "What about you? I don't remember there being a teacher assigned to your history class either."
"I don't know," shrugged Kim. "I haven't heard anything, I guess I'll find out." She paused. "You know an awful lot about my schedule for me never having brought it up during the summer."
Ron smiled. "A master never tells." A bell rang in the distance as nearby students scrambled. "Well, there's the death toll. See you at lunch!"
"Good luck with Mr. Barkin," said Kim as she waved to Ron.
Ron. Her boyfriend. Three months later and still it felt strange to her. She wasn't sure what it was that made her feel so awkward lately. It was a little bizarre, of course, dating someone she'd been so close to for so long that he was practically a member of her family. Not that it gave her vibes in the "dating family" area, she had no problem viewing Ron as potential dating material.
She guessed it was just that it was so relaxed. With Josh and other guys she'd dated, she always felt on edge, nervous. Like she was going to screw up any second and they'd run away laughing. Erik wasn't like that, from what she could remember, but she also wondered how much of her relationship with that Synthodrone was artificial. Ron, though, was just like a slight modification of what was already there. Dating him was like being friends with him.
Plus kissing. She wasn't ready to think of anything else beyond that.
Finding the classroom number on her schedule, she slipped in, hoping she hadn't dawdled too long outside and missed something.
The class was large, probably at least thirty people were already seated and a few more were still milling around and chatting to friends. The front of the classroom had a briefcase on it, but was surprisingly absent of a teacher. Kim glanced around the room quickly and spotted Monique.
"Hey, girl," said her close friend as Kim took a seat behind the fashion trendsetter employee of the local Club Banana designer store. "Can you believe the luck we've got?"
"Hey Monique," said Kim. "What luck?"
Monique leaned on Kim's desk to make sure her message was heard. "Mrs. Bainesweather was supposed to teach this class but she got into a car accident, she'll be out for the whole 1st semester."
"Er," started Kim. "I didn't care for Mrs. wrinkle-face either, but isn't it a little cruel to say that's lucky?"
"No, no, that's not the lucky part. I do have a heart, girl."
"The lucky part is that apparently we're getting some young, hot professor from that university in Upperton to sub for her!"
"Edwin Garris University? I don't know, Monique, I heard they don't have the best teachers there. This guy could be really boring." Kim looked skeptical. Then turned slightly, looking past Monique.
"Hey, if this guy is as easy on the eyes as they say, I don't care if he's a snoozefest."
"Uh, Monique," said Kim, transfixed on something behind the dark-haired girl. "I think it's as they say."
Monique turned in time to see the whole class - well, the female contingent anyway - staring at the tall, thin man with surprisingly long flowing brown hair and emerald eyes stride into the classroom and stand behind the desk at the front. Half the room sighed at once.
"Uh, sorry," the man, whose voice was smooth and tenor, said. "I'm still getting used to this place. I didn't mean to be late." He ran a hand through his wavy mane and then opened the briefcase on his desk. "My name is Dr. Richard Vedas, I'm a professor of Central American Archeology at Edwin Garris University and I'll be teaching this class until the faculty is able to find a permanent replacement for Mrs. Bainesweather."
He stood for a few moments awkwardly and then turned and started writing on the chalkboard. "I don't tend to stand on ceremony that much, so if you don't mind, you can just call me 'Dr. Rick.'" He wrote his name on the board and then turned around, smiling. "Or just Rick, if you'd like."
As Dr. Rick dug into his briefcase again for a class list Monique glanced back at Kim. "Score!" she whispered.
Kim shrugged with a smile. Dr. Rick was handsome, and she was glad Monique was happy, but she was more worried that the university instructor would start assigning college-level assignments. She had a hard enough time juggling honors classes with saving the world as it was.
This is the life.
Shego sighed deeply as she felt strong hands massage her bare back. She hadn't felt this wonderful in months, certainly since last being thrown in jail and even before that she couldn't remember the last time she was able to get onto Juarez's schedule. He really was an artist when it came to massages, but word had gotten out and only the 'inner circle' could ever see him regularly anymore.
Thankfully, Juarez had made an exception for Shego, having been one of his original clients. Still she had to wait no less than three months for an opening. At the time she was irritated, but it wasn't like she had a reason to leave the tropical beach anytime soon. Now, she was thankful for her own patience.
"Ahhh," she sighed again. She could feel his fingers working her tense muscles around her shoulders. He worked her back hard, and she liked it that way. Too many of the other masseuses Shego had been to were too timid with her. Probably put off by her pale, slightly greenish skin, scared it was contagious or some other nonsense. Juarez dug right in. He was bold in just the right ways.
"Flip, please," Juarez said curtly but softly so as not to break the dazed feeling his clients always had when he worked them over. He'd told Shego that he'd found the accumulative effect to be ultimately more relaxing. Well, he told her something like that, he wasn't exactly fluent in English.
Shego turned onto her back and Juarez draped a towel over her breasts and hips. A few moments to re-oil his hands and he was back to work. Shego closed her eyes and felt like she was in heaven.
And then it stopped.
Rather abruptly, actually. Shego opened one eye and glanced around suspiciously. "Juarez? What's the hold up?" She noticed the tall, tanned and muscular man standing beside her, his hands paused just above her skin. He was staring at something behind Shego, something that had startled him.
Swallowing, Shego slowly began to turn around, feeling the tingling around her hands as the energy built for attack. Looking past her long raven hair she gazed at the sudden intruder and gaped.
"Shego, was it?" said the intruder.
Shego shivered to the core of her being in response. She eventually found her voice and spoke.
"What the hell are you doing here!" she said. "In... THAT?"
"What?" Mama Lipsky asked looking down at herself. The old woman, who couldn't possibly be have been younger than 60, was wearing a two piece bikini and the wrinkled, pitted, and mole covered flesh that was showing was enough to give Shego nightmares for days. Maybe years. "This is a beach, isn't it?"
"Uh..." Shego tried to process this situation and her brain broke. "Yes?" she said, experimentally. "I'm... busy now, and Dr... err... Drew isn't around. I mean, at all. So, you'll go off and look for him now, right?" Shego felt all of Juarez's time consuming, careful work quickly undoing itself.
"Actually, I was looking for you," said Mama Lipsky, adjusting her cataracts.
"Just my luck," muttered Shego. "I don't suppose this could wait until AFTER my massage, could it?"
"Oh," the elder woman said. "Well, I suppose it could. I'll wait for you over there. Oh, and Shego, you really should put some clothes on. You wouldn't want some boy to get the wrong idea about you."
"Whatever, just GO!" Shego hollered and laid back down and prayed for the woman to go away.
"No need to be rude," she heard Lipsky's voice say, growing distant quickly.
Shego sighed. It was too much to expect heaven to last. "Hey, Juarez? I don't suppose I could pay you double to have you start from the beginning again, can I?"
Juarez was silent and Shego opened her eyes again to look. The man was still standing, just as he was minutes ago, but had moved his hands to his side. Shego just blinked.
"I need to go," he said suddenly. "My eyes aren't working anymore." He started stiffly moving away from the table and towards the exit of the topless grass hut that served as a privacy screen for his clients.
Shego hung her head and grumbled. "I hope that woman has something really important to tell me or I will make her pay dearly." Grabbing her green and black colored bikini and tossing it on, she stormed out to find the soon-to-be-dead woman.
The elder Lipsky was sitting out on a recliner, wearing a floppy hat now and reading a sizable book. She was still in the bikini -- there is no god, Shego thought -- and every inch of exposed skin on the woman made Shego hope that she died before ever getting near Mama Lipsky's age.
"What is it?" said Shego, sharply. She sat down quickly in the recliner beside the woman and folded her arms. "You're ruining my vacation."
"Drew is missing," she said quickly, putting her book aside.
"Ooo-kay," said Shego, caught a little off guard. This woman was starting to do that on a regular basis. "What makes you say that? He's a very... mobile person." Shego paused. Why was she covering for Drakken's lies anyway? Shego didn't care whether Dr. D's mother thought he was a radio psychotherapist or not.
"Oh, he always calls on Sunday," nodded Mama Lipsky, ignoring Shego's strange stares. "Every Sunday, 52 weeks a year, without exception."
"Last weekend he didn't call, and the number he gave me didn't work. I think something's happened to him. But I always saw him with you, so I thought you might know."
"Makes sense," mused Shego instinctively then froze. "Woah woah, waitaminute! You lost Drak-- Drew, and instead went looking for me? How did you even find me? I never gave you my number and I didn't tell Dr. D where I was going!"
"Oh," said Mama Lipsky and she shrank a little bit. "Well, actually, I never wanted to tell Drew, because he seemed to have such a bright future and I didn't want him to get caught up in the wrong crowd, but I didn't always used to be a nurse."
"You... didn't?" Shego didn't like where this was going.
"It's all ancient history, really, but I used to be a bit of a--" she paused and leaned in close. Shego reciprocated, instinctively. "A criminal."
"You?" said Shego, trying to restrain her laughter. "A criminal? What, did you shoplift once or twice in your greaser days?"
"Actually -- and it's all very embarrassing -- but I used to be what we called a villain." She quoted with her fingers in mid-air. "'Atomic Andy,' was my name."
Shego's urge to laugh died and she paled ... well, paled more. "You were, wait, lemme get this straight." Shego furrowed her brow. "You, Dr. D's mom, used to be the famous villain Atomic Andy?"
Mama Lipsky nodded. Shego almost exploded. "What happened to you? You were famous! 'One trick short of dominating the world,' they used to say! What happened... Jesus! What happened to your figure? The pictures of you are statuesque!"
The elder woman laughed briefly. "All the same thing, actually! Oh, I shouldn't be so jovial about this; I caused a lot of trouble in my youth. The truth is I met Drew's father and gave it all up."
"Drew's father?" Shego felt let down, like she'd somehow been betrayed by an idol. She knew of Atomic Andy, and her reign of crime in the early 60s, one of the few female super-villains of the era. She was respectable, from a feminist point of view. To find that she turned down the world for a MAN was somewhat... disappointing. Shego didn't really want to believe it. "The accountant?"
"Oh, well, Julian wasn't really just an accountant either." Mama Lipsky energetically shook her head. "In actuality he was--"
Shego held up a hand. "You know what? I don't want to know. Let's get back to the matter at hand. I'm finding history to be a depressing subject." A headache was building in the back of her brain which only reminded her how nice Juarez's massage was before it was rudely interrupted. "How did you find me again?"
"A couple of Julian and my contacts are still around, doing villainy or justice, or what have you. I called in some favors to try and locate Drew and when that failed I had them look for you." She leaned in close again. "You sure don't keep a low profile."
"It's not my way," she said with a wave of her hand. "Anyway, as shell-shocking as this conversation has been, I don't know where Drew is. He usually calls me when he needs my help." It occurred to Shego that Mama Lipsky should have known about Dr. Drakken, if she was who she claimed to be. Then again, maybe the whole family is as thick headed as Drakken, who, even after 3 years of fighting Kim Possible, has only remembered her buffoon's name once.
"You'll help me look for Drew though, right?"
Shego frowned. "Uh, that's also not really my way."
Mama Lipsky frowned and stared. "I mean, I'm worried about him, don't get me wrong, but he'll probably turn up. He's like a bad penny."
The woman continued to gaze scornfully at Shego.
"It's possible he's just been held up and he'll call any moment now."
Her will was being crushed by a senior citizen ex-super-villain but she tried to resist anyway. "Any moment now," she repeated.
"You know," said Mama Lipsky after a long silence. "I found out some things about you when I was searching."
"Oh really?" said Shego, nervously. "What kind of things?"
"I'm pretty sure you've told my boy you're a thief, but how about where you were before then? As a member of a team of heroes."
"Oh, he knows all about that," said Shego, looking for escape options. The beach was crowded but there was plenty of room to run. She plotted a route through the people in her head.
"It seemed to be a closely guarded secret," said Mama Lipsky, tauntingly. "Or at least, so my one source says." Somehow all of the 'motherly' aspects of the woman had melted away and exposed something dark and sinister. Her voice, normally nasal, sounded strangely strong and evil. "I don't suppose you'd mind if I had this information distributed freely so everyone knew."
Shego wilted. "I'll help you find Drew," she muttered.
"Great!" exclaimed Mama Lipsky, back to sounding light and nasal. "I really appreciate you offering to help."
Shego turned away. So much for her vacation.
"I think it's against the law to assign detention on the first day of classes," commented Ron as he poked at his warm and strangely shimmering food. Cafeteria cuisine just wasn't the same since his own restaurant was shut down by the city Food and Sanitation Committee. "Stupid Barkin, quizzing us on the summer reading."
Kim patted Ron on the back as she sat next to him in the cafeteria. She took one glance at her food and pushed it aside, choosing to pull a pair of apples out of her backpack. She'd learned years ago to always have a backup plan to the cafeteria. She passed one of her apples onto Ron.
"It's no big, Ron. Besides, I'm sure Big Mike and the rest will be there, so you won't be alone. And I'll wait for you after cheerleading practice, okay?"
Ron nodded and bit into the apple. "How was your class? Unless Barkin got himself cloned, your sub couldn't have been as bad as mine." Ron shivered at the concept of an army of cloned Barkins. He was glad that Dr. Drakken never got that idea into his head.
"Actually, it was kinda cool," admitted Kim. "Our teacher is a professor from Edwin Garris University and he kinda made history fun."
"Fun?" asked Ron, incredulously.
"Well, he asked each person in the class to tell him about Junior Prom last year and wrote down all the stories. Then he compared the facts and showed us how perspective changes your view of history and the only way he can be sure of what really happened is by finding the same event being described in each version."
"Or he could just watch the tape," added Ron. "I understand the camera work is good on it but the editing came up short."
"Ron," said Kim disappointedly. "The period of history we're studying didn't have camcorders or anything like that. We only have their stories to understand them."
"It's a shame we can't time travel to find out," said Ron. "It would probably clear up all that confusion."
"I'm sure time travel would cause more problems than we'd like." Kim shook her head. A sudden commotion caught Kim and Ron's attention and they glanced over to see a throng of girls surrounding a tall suited man. "Hey, it's him."
Ron raised an eyebrow. "Him, who, KP?"
"The guy who's teaching my history class; Dr. Rick is his name. Monique figured he'd be the drama today." Kim blinked. "I think that's her on the right hand side."
"No way," said Ron, stunned. "I never pegged her for the groupie-type."
Kim smiled. "Sometimes, things change."
"Very true," nodded Ron, sagely.
A chime of notes drifted up from Kim's pocket. She pulled out her Kimmunicator and held it out in front of her. "What's the sitch, Wade?"
Wade, the short, roundish computer genius behind most of Kim's gadgets stared through the screen. "Hey, Kim! We've got a hit on the website!"
"First day back. Never fails," commented Ron. "I wasn't up for math today anyway."
"This one's a doozy," continued Wade. "You'd never believe me if you didn't read it with your own eyes." The figure on the screen punched a button and a bunch of text started scrolling up the screen.
"Why the drama, Wade?" asked Kim. "It's just a missing pers-- wait, is that who I think it is?" She stared at the screen in shock.
Ron blinked. "Well, now I've seen everything. I can die happy." Rufus jumped up out of Ron's pocket and looked at the Kimmunicator. He read the last few lines then fainted. "Rufus agrees, anyway."
"Angela Lipsky?" Kim echoed the name on the webpage. "That wouldn't be--"
"Dr. Drakken's mom," finished Wade.
"Drakken is missing?" said Kim. "How would she even know?"
"I'm not sure," said Wade. "But she's listed the coordinates for what she thinks is Drakken's last hideout. Although she does calls it his 'weekend home.'"
"What do you think, KP? Is it a trap?" Ron looked to her for the word.
"I don't know," mused Kim. "Drakken doesn't strike me as the kind of guy who would use his mother like this. It might be on the level. We should check it out."
"I'll get you a ride," nodded Wade before disappearing from the Kimmunicator entirely.
"Searching for Dr. Drakken. Never saw this day coming." Ron shrugged. "Any ideas where to look?"
Kim frowned. "He should be in jail after what he did to..." she trailed off. "I'm starting to wonder how effective prison is for guys like him."
"Woah, KP, you're not getting all 1984 on me, are you?"
Kim shook her head. "Of course not, Ron," she said confidently, but privately, she wondered.