The klaxons sounded menacingly within the compound, making the already furious activity amongst the paratroopers intensify even more. Their Super Black Hawk jet/helicopter hybrid aircraft that had been specially built for Team Possible operations started to rev up, being primed for takeoff from the main hangar. Slick suited operatives, masked and gloved, were finalizing their preparations, checking their weapons, girding on ammunition belts. Black uniform and webbing were now the order of the day along with night vision capability after it was revealed that this was to be a nocturnal operation. Those orders had only come down from the top about fifteen minutes ago. The scuttlebutt was that a major coup attempt was going down somewhere in the world. As the men got themselves ready for the task at hand, the far door opened suddenly and the mission commander stepped out smart and purposeful, followed by the primary team in similar manner, all in mission ready gear.
"Attention on deck!", yelled the support team leader. Everyone snapped to, lined up in two rows to either side as the mission commander strode quickly between them towards the lead bird, followed by the primary team. The din died down somewhat but not much as the non-combat personnel continued at their own hectic pace to get the aircraft ready for the mission.
The mission commander approached the lead aircraft and turned around to face the men. The primary team kept going on past to the chopper and boarded it, quickly strapping themselves in, all except for a taller blond man who stood directly behind the mission commander like a personal bodyguard.
"Listen up, people!", the commander barked, "You'll get your direct orders from your individual squad leaders once you are airborne. The immediate mission is to stop an attempted coup of a Southeast Asian nation, the location of which you will get once you are in flight."
There was a pause as if to invite a query, but no one raised a question, knowing that security demanded measures like this. Everything was on a need to know basis.
The mission commander continued, "Remember that the primary team will focus on the lead elements of the enemy attack. They are all in possession of laser rifles, which is why the government called us in for this job. Your job is to neutralize and capture the supporting enemy troops. Stay in touch, follow your orders, and remember your training. I have faith in you. You'll do fine. Squad leaders! Any questions?..."
No one spoke up.
"All right, dismissed!"
The support team leader shouted:"All right, men! Let's get it going! Go! Go! Go!"
Everybody scrambled for their rides. The lead bird started its engines, following the others before it. As the rotors slowly began to turn, a nearby side door opened up, and a woman in a lab coat came through followed by an attendant nurse. She was holding two small bundles. The Mission Commander and her body guard turned to see, and they smiled hugely, hurrying over to see the woman and the new arrivals...
"They just woke up, Kimmie. I had to bring them to say hello before you left."
Kim Possible took the first bundle and gently hugged her daughter Kim and kissed her hello. The baby cooed and clucked in response, as did Mim when she gathered her into her arms and kissed her also. Ron was there right behind Kim, holding the babies and bussing them as well.
"Gosh! They are so big for three months.", Kim said with a huge smile, "And look at them! They aren't the slightest bit afraid of all this activity."
"Well, I think it's because they take after their mother.", said Ron.
"Thanks, honey.", she said appreciatively, smiling at him, "That's so sweet. But Mom, they need to be fed."
"I know, dear, I've got the bottles ready. If you come back early enough, you can take the next feeding.", her mother replied, handing off one of the twins to the nurse waiting with her.
"Huh! You'd do it all yourself if you could.", Kim needled.
"Well, can I help if I just love my little grandbabies to pieces?", she said, chuckling.
"Of course not, Mom.", Kim said, smiling again.
The klaxon blared once more and Kim briefly glanced back at her aircraft, rotors coming close to take off speed. She looked back to her mother.
"Well, we've gotta go. The chopper's ready."
Dr. Possible said, "You know. Every time you go on one of these large scale missions, you sound more and more like that old teacher of yours."
Oh, what was his name?", mused Dr. Possible, "Oh, yes! Mr. Barkin."
Kim's face fell.
"Yeah. So I've been told.", she answered, a little irritated, "It's no big."
Ron looked bemused as he interjected, "Gee, she's right. You really do, Kim.".
"Who do you think first told me that?", she replied in monotone.
"How'd he know?"
"He heard me addressing the operatives on the news that one time the press were allowed to interview us here on base and observe operations. You know, it was a couple of years back?"
"Oh, yeah.", Ron replied, recalling the incident.
" Sheesh! Never again!", Kim griped, "He called me up complaining I wasn't 'properly' addressing the troops!"
"I hear that, K.P. That sounds like Barkin."
Dr. Possible said, "I don't care. I think it sounds very commanding, and it works."
Kim sighed, smiling again, "Thanks, Mom. I guess that was the only role model I had for it. But you're right. It does work."
She heard the chopper's rotors start to whine at the right frequency, telling her they were at takeoff speed at this point. She had to go, and so kissed her mother as she turned to leave.
"Be careful, dear.", Dr. Possible called after her, "Okay, Kim and Mim, wave bye-bye!"
She held up baby Kim's little hand as the nurse held up Mim's, and they both waved.
Kim waved back, smiling yet again as she and Ron rushed back to the chopper. Climbing on board, they settled into their seats. Jos was already there, stationed in the second in command's chair, the others strapped in and ready. She was studying a monitor screen displaying the target area and punching some control panel buttons to magnify the map.
"Okay, Kim. We're good to go.", she said, looking back at her cousin,"From the mission intel Wade gave us, this ought to be easier than roping cows in a box canyon."
"Sweet.", Kim replied, a confident look on her face, "We should be able to avoid any injuries then. Is stealth mode available?"
"On this bird and most of the others. We have the others back ordered, so three or four of these choppers still don't have them installed."
Ron frowned, "They should have been delivered already. Don't worry, Kim. I'll take care of it when we get back."
Kim nodded thoughtfully, "I know you will, honey. In the meantime, Jos, have those birds fly the back end of the mission. We need to go in with as much of an element of surprise as we can."
"Roger, cuz.", answered Jos. She got on the mike to com the other choppers with the new arrangement orders.
Kim turned to the back of the craft where the other six members of the expanded primary team were buckled up.
"You doing okay, Shego? Got everything you need?"
Shego looked up with a huge smile, "Let's do it, Kim! I've been spoiling for a good fight for weeks! Haven't had one since the twins were born!"
Her face was suffused with excitement. Eric was seated behind her, calm reassurance virtually etched onto his face. Shego's brothers were seated further back and were just as eager.
"We'll soften them up for you before you go in, Princess.", she added, a sly grin now settling on her face.
"Thanks, Shego.", said Kim, smiling her appreciation to her 'big sister'.
"And I've got your back.", said Ron softly to her, seated behind and to her right.
Kim looked back over her shoulder at him, her face beaming with pleasure as she replied, "As always, lover boy."
Then she leaned in and softly kissed him.
Shego smiled wider as she watched them, and then reached behind for Eric. He grabbed her hand and squeezed, leaning forward and kissing her softly on the cheek before sitting back down.
Kim lingered a moment face to face with Ron, still smiling, just drinking in the pleasure of the kiss, before she turned to the display in front of her command chair and commed Mission Intelligence.
"What's the sitch, Wade?"
Wade piped in, his booming bass voice filling the helicopter bay, "Well, as you know, word of the coup was leaked out by the American ambassador. He was in the palace seeing one of the government ministers when the attack started. Fortunately he slipped out of the compound before anybody noticed. We activated the satellites to get a better view."
"Has the data been collated for the mission?"
"Yep. XO's already got it.", replied Wade, referring to Jos who nodded in confirmation.
"The squad commanders have been briefed on operational details?", Kim added.
"And they have the local maps of the palace grounds also."
"Good", she said, "We should be set then."
"Yeah. This data gave us a big head start..."
Wade started going over details of the mission with Kim. As he did, Ron watched her, thinking. As usual, he let the women lead the mission. That was fine with him. His job was protecting her back. But it struck him as he observed Kim hammer out the last details of the mission, musing deeply about how she was the most adept and effective crime fighting human being on the planet, and also seeing how beautiful she was just then. She had recovered quickly from the birth of the twins and was back in peak physical condition, and you could never tell this woman had given birth to a child at all, much less two sets of twins. Her body was rock hard from the training she put herself through to get back into that kind of shape. She looked so good in her standard mission mode garb of cargo pants and bare midriff tank top, her belt holding her hair dryer grappler. That made him smirk briefly. She didn't need to carry that particular model anymore, but the hair dryer was still a sentimental favorite, as it was with Ron and Jos. In fact, the only difference in her mission mode uniform was the decal stitched into her left shoulder with Team Possible's emblem.
Her long red hair hung so seductively down her back, as brilliant as ever. These days, she no longer wore the battle suit. It had been retired years ago due to its tendencies to break down. But she really didn't need it anyway. Her skills were superb enough to make up the difference, and he couldn't help thinking how she really was at the top of her game right now. It was true. She really was even better at this job now than when they were in high school.
He sat there and shook his head in wonder, and thought not for the first time, 'Man, I really have got to be the luckiest guy on the planet."
Born in the year of the Dragon under the month of the rat, shall come she whose time will ring with the dragon's wars.
Born in the year of the Dragon at the hour of the monkey, shall come she who shall thwart all evil.
Born in the year of the Dragon and of the earth shall come she whose soul shall be the monkey and whose friend shall be the rat.
Born in the year of the Dragon enveloped in fire and full knowledge from birth shall come she of the great Trine, and all three shall save the world.
In pain, the old man repeated the words in the manner of a mantra, which was how he learned it, trying to steer his attention away from his injuries. The rebels had been unmerciful in their questioning of him and had no concern for his age in doing it. Finished with him for now, they threw him into a small closet of the palace. He lay in the dark there, his hands tied behind his back. His fingers had been broken and possibly a couple of ribs also as they had tried to get him to confess to 'crimes' and pump him for valuable 'state secrets'. He groaned again from the twinges of pain he experienced with each breath, and went on with the recitation to dull his mind to the fact he hurt so badly.
Born in the year of the Dragon under the month of the monkey, shall come the Chosen One, he who shall inherit the great simian powers.
Born in the year of the Dragon at the hour of the rat, shall come he who shall enable the dragon in her struggle against evil in the dragon's wars.
Born in the year of the Dragon and of the earth and a far away land shall come he who is the soul of the dragon and whose friend shall be the rat.
Born in the year of the Dragon enabled in amber light through love of the dragon shall come he of the great Trine, and all three shall save the world.
In his youth, he had studied to be a monk, a disciple at a Shaolin monastery, and had learned the words there. They were supposed to be the words to a great prophecy for which the masters had high reverence, related to tales of great warriors of the past, all women, whose responsibility it was to ensure the safety of the world throughout history. But when he asked who the champion was, he was told only that she was not yet come. Yet the tales specifically hinted she had already appeared. This only confused him, and the masters would not elaborate further. Still, he studied hard and tried his best to understand, to be worthy of becoming an acolyte. One thing students learned early on was how to meditate, and the students were taught to do it often using chants of verses of the ancient texts as a focusing mantra. These verses in particular were popular with the students of his day for that purpose. And so, he worked diligently toward his goal. But despite his best effort, he did not possess the ability to wield the magic.
Suddenly, the old man's fingers flared in agony as he accidentally moved them the wrong way. Again, he concentrated on the words to relieve the pain.
Born in the year of the Dragon under the month of the rat, shall come the Friend, the one who shall stand by the Chosen One, his comfort in time of need.
Born in the year of the Dragon at the hour of the rat, shall come the one who through great friendship shall bear up the dragon and the monkey.
Born in the year of the Dragon and of the earth shall come the one whose heart shall be known as true, the love of his friends their salvation
Born in the year of the Dragon emboldened by faith, through steadfast commitment shall come the Friend of the great Trine, and all three shall save the world.
He continued to chant the verses, deflecting the pain to a bearable level. He only wished he were better at it. Yes, he had disciplined himself to the rigors of the training, but his talents did not match his zeal, and he found he was unable to advance any further. In time he came to doubt the magic existed at all, and the verses were only so much mysticism with no usefulness beyond how he used them now. So he left the monastery to pursue another means of living. In time, he found his way into public service in another way, able to channel his skills in dealing with people into a political career. He dedicated himself to raising the standard of living of his country, facing down military would-be tyrants, arousing the people with him, enduring the hardships and the violence that usually came with a peaceful attempt to change the rulership of the country despite trying to avoid it. Yet in time, after many years, he had succeeded, and in large part thanks to the disciplines he learned as a young man in the temple. He had become the duly elected president of his country in its first democracy ever, a notable event in this part of Southeast Asia which had hardly seen any democracy at all. But it was so fragile, and he had only been here a few months before the sudden rebellion came upon him and his government. Almost crying at thinking how quickly he had lost what took so many years to build, he continued to chant the words.
Born in the year of the Monkey under the month of the Dragon, shall come the twins, descended of the Dragon and the bearer of her legacy
Born in the year of the Monkey, at the hour of the rat, shall come the twins, mirrors of each other who shall face different quests as they assume the mantle of the Dragon.
Born in the year of the Dragon, in the month of the Rat shall come the emerald one, descended of the Dragon's enemy to challenge the Monkey and through them, the Dragon.
Born in the year of the Dragon enabled in emerald power, shall come he to join with the Monkey and the Rat, and all three shall save the world.
He had lost so much now, and did not know what would happen to him or the members of his government, but feared the worst. He had badly misjudged the colonel and his troops, thinking they were completely dedicated to him and the ideals he professed, so he was utterly dismayed at the break of dawn to find the army supposedly loyal to the cause overrunning the palace and taking him and the government ministers into custody, beating and denigrating them while proclaiming to everyone around and all the world that they were 'freeing' the country from the 'demagoguery' of the President and his 'dictatorial rule'. He grimaced again, his pain coming more from the thoughts of how his country was about to suffer. Trying to keep his composure, he continued the mantra.
Born in the year of the Dragon under the month of the dragon, shall come the Great Dragon, she who will inherit all the gifts, who will bear them against the greatest trials.
Born in the year of the Dragon, at the hour of the dragon, she shall come, the ultimate defender, to complete the defense of the world, guided by those who came before her.
Born in the year of the Dragon, and of the earth, she shall defeat the great enemy, in the footsteps of her namesake, and in the counsel of her predecessors.
Born in the year of the Dragon enabled in full emerald power, she shall come, and with those of her blood they shall all save the world.
Over and over he repeated the words, keeping himself calm, until there was a clatter from the door being roughly pulled open, blinding him with the harsh light that intruded inside the closet. Two men in military uniform reached in and brutally wrenched him up from the floor, forcing him to scream in agony as they dragged him off.
"Colonel! The sentries have confirmed the sounds of helicopters coming our way!"
Distressed, the colonel, a rough looking Asian man with a goatee, adjusted his fatigues as he got up from the table. The coup had gone smoothly and they sat in the main ballroom of the presidential residence. It was nighttime and the countryside was quiet with the sounds of the jungle outside softly coming in on the breeze. The ballroom was the largest chamber in the palace and was being used as a temporary holding area for his prisoners. There were about twenty of them here, consisting of the President, his cabinet, and his primary advisers. He himself had about thirty troops in the room, and over five hundred around the palace grounds. Pacing impatiently, he waited until the guards came into the room dragging the old man between them, rudely slapping him down into a chair in front of their commander. The old man bent over in pain and groaned his distress. The colonel walked quickly over to him and glared angrily at the pathetic figure.
Grabbing him by the hair, the colonel wrenched the old man's face up and spat on him.
"Who is coming, Mr. President?", he shouted, "Who is coming? I warned you what would happen if there was any rescue attempt!"
The old man's face wrenched into a look of worry and concern, "I do not know! I have given you my word I would not resist as long as nobody got hurt! I have sent for nobody. I swear! I know nothing of this!"
Sounds of fighting and laser fire began to filter in from the outside. The palace grounds were obviously under attack.
The colonel sneered at the man, "And you expect me to believe that? Guards!"
The two guards who had brought him in quickly stepped back up.
"Throw him in the river! I've had enough of this!"
They picked up the President by his arms and started to drag him out of the room, moving towards the rear entrance. The palace was located near the main river of the country and was an easy walk to the river bank. It was full of crocodiles this time of year.
""No! I beg you! I know nothing!", he blubbered as they dragged him away.
Their world erupted into chaos as two fiery blasts of green plasma blew the floor out from under the two guards. Their bodies careened away as the president landed roughly on the slick marble. Stunned, he looked up to see a woman dressed in green and black tights with a long, gleaming mane of black hair jumping from the high windows which had been blown out during the coup attempt, deftly somersaulting onto the floor. The air filled with laser rifle fire. Immediately landing next to the woman were five men. Four of them were in tights similar to hers but with different hues of blue, purple, and red mixed in with the black. The last one was dressed in standard nondescript jungle fatigues, bearing a stun rifle. But it was her glowing hands which distinguished her as she began throwing bolts of energy into the rebel troops, throwing them into a panic. As if by magic, they avoided being hit by any of the lasers, easily ducking the beams. The man in blue and black, a huge specimen, began to wade through the rebel troops nearest him, tossing them around like sacks of rice. The one in purple disappeared and then reappeared where he wasn't expected, striking with efficient swiftness. The two in red suddenly multiplied in number, becoming more than he could count, rushing and overwhelming the colonel's men through superior fighting and sheer numbers. The man with the stun rifle stayed close to the woman, repeatedly firing at anyone who came close to her, although it was a wonder to him that anyone could be a threat to her.
From above came a blond man and a woman with dark red hair, both dressed in black tops and cargo pants, swinging in on lines attached to grappling hooks that had been fired into the ceiling. They landed amongst the prisoners and began to free them. Something popped out of the blond man's pants pocket, some sort of rodent, and it immediately started to chew through the bindings of the prisoners as fast as it could. The President stared in awe as he saw that the colonel's men were in the fight of their lives with these unexpected saviors. The rebels would have turned their weapons on the prisoners, but their new enemy had anticipated that. The two younger men in red and black and their multiples specifically targeted anyone who barely looked cross-eyed at the captives.
Another figure moved above. The President looked up and saw her there. She stood in one of the high windows, shrewdly observing everything that was occurring. Her emerald eyes flicked back and forth, assessing, deciding, clearly the one in command of this rescue. Like the previous two he saw, she was dressed in a black top and cargo pants, a flowing crimson mane cascading down her back. She had the sense of taut steel in her stance, ready to act at any moment. But it was her face and her eyes that stunned him more than anything. It was the aura he saw shining from them, piercing him like a lance.
A vague outline appeared around her, and he gasped.
It was a vision he knew well from his studies in the Shaolin temple before he became a leader for his people, the same vision he was taught to expect each time he heard the verses, the same ones he used in his meditations that just a few moments ago he had uttered yet again. He had learned very young what the vision would be, drummed into his mind by his teachers at the temple. Yet for so long now, it had been no more than a myth, a children's fairy tale of hope. But now, in reverential awe, he stared as the ephemeral creature around the woman reared back and roared with indignant fury at the wrongs it saw, coiling its scaled body, unfurling its wings, and then springing to strike, to make all who opposed her fear who and what she was, and he saw that she had indeed finally come. The Dragon had come to save the world as prophesied.
Tears of joy in his eyes, the old man gazed at her as the colonel, as shocked as his troops, turned and saw that his men were no match for these newcomers. Seeing the coup now dissolving as rapidly as it occurred, he angrily turned on the President, drawing his pistol and aiming at him.
"If nothing else,", he growled savagely, "I'll get rid of this buffoon!"
A grappling hook slammed into his hand, knocking his weapon to the floor.
In an acid tone, the woman said, "You know, I really... ...really hate the word 'buffoon'!..."
Grasping his wrist in stunned surprise, the colonel looked up at the woman swinging in on a line right at him, brilliant red hair streaming behind her, and the last thing he saw before he blacked out was the look of righteous joy on her face as he was slammed unconscious.
...and the beginning...
To all of those readers who have enjoyed my story, I give you my heartfelt thanks. I like to think that like all of us here who have watched Kim Possible through the years and have admired the ideals and principles represented by her even through the medium of being a cartoon character in a cartoon series, I have always seen her as an ultimate hero who represents the best of us in the human condition, able to rise to the occasion under extraordinary circumstances while at the same time dealing with her normal human failings in day to day life, accepting and trying to improve on her own limitations while accepting and forgiving those in others. Yes, it is not a new idea by a long shot, but the variants of how heroes are created and how they succeed can keep the idea fresh and new each time it is done. That is what keeps us as human beings to keep yearning and reach out to surpass ourselves and achieve our dreams in the unyielding world that we live in. I think that was the original purpose that Mark McCorkle and Bob Schooley had in mind when they first created her. And with StD, I felt the need to finish the story (before we knew Season Four was coming anyway). Writing and rewriting this story has been a great catharsis for me over the eight months it took me to do it. It was just one of those things, something that one just had to do, no matter what.
And now that it's finished, I will have more stories to tell. I didn't expect that, but I welcome it. So until then...