3. Claims

Kim stood at the warden's desk. Dr. Director was seated there, writing furiously as she ignored the object of her displeasure.

This is a new spot for me. I've heard about this the time I had detention. You'd think that at this level they'd come up with a new game.

Dr. Director sprinkled something on the page. She ripped it out, folded it and put it in her pocket. Her single eye glared at Kim.

"Ashes and a few bone fragments! Nothing else left but zippers and a few snaps. Spectrum analysis revealed nothing unusual, for someone who had spent so much time around sub-standard reactors and chemical stews. The nerd boys are babbling about an interaction between Shego's body chemistry, the Lorwardian fuel, and cryogenic freezing. A sort of spontaneous combustion. I don't believe in spontaneous combustion."

"Interference with an official Global Justice investigation. Tampering with evidence, DESTRUCTION of evidence, conspiracy with a known felon, misuse of Global Justice security clearance in commission of said felonies. A nice day's work, apparently you can do anything. I have no proof, of course. No evidence of entry in the morgue, or movement in Level Four for that matter. We even lost the interrogation footage from the moment you stood up. Don't look surprised, of course we recorded your session! If you had wanted privacy, you'd have asked to use a visitor's room, but you knew that we would never allow that."

"I know you did it. When I can prove it, you will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. You might want to confess now, while I can't try you as an adult. Our legal restraints are more stringent than most nations. Just wait until next year, and you'll be a neighbor of Drakken's until you're both rather old."

Kim said nothing. Dr. Director exhaled angrily.

"There are only two things I can do right now. I'll take Shego's ashes to her family when I leave after completing my investigation, and I'm reducing your security clearance to level two. From this point on, you'll need escort in any sensitive Global Justice area.

She stood up, came around the desk, brushing by Kim as she went to the door.

"Agent Du, escort Miss Possible to her flight. If her boyfriend is monitoring, I want you close enough to her to make him jealous."

c

Seven time zones later, Kim felt something in her pocket. She drew it out cautiously. Drakken never got that close. She opened the paper.

It was a folded sheet from a Global Justice claims ledger. She had to sign such a form for her backpack and belt when she picked them up after the investigation. It was in Dr. Director's handwriting.

Kim:

I know that you did it. Understand that I will keep my promise, so it is vital that you never admit to anyone what you did. Deny it as firmly that I will deny having ever written this.

I am proud of you. You did out of decency and humanity what I urged Global Justice to do out of self-preservation. In doing so you honored a fallen foe, took pity on a helpless enemy, and upheld the highest standards, not of any organization, but of the human race.

It is my fear that we have lost you as an operative. I mourn that. I have plenty of fearless agents. I even have enough intelligent ones. But people who do the right thing, for the right reason, regardless of risks or costs, you dream of finding those people, and your nightmare is losing them. But I would rather lose you than have you be anyone else.

And so, with what I am sure would be Dr. Drakken's blessing, I return to Kimberly Ann Possible, a portion of her immortal soul.

Good luck with the rest. I think you know where you can find it.

Remember, I did not write this.

The paper glittered with whatever Dr. Director had sprinkled on it. Suddenly it burst into flames, and Kim was left with nothing but a fine ash on her gloves. The only proof she had read the letter was in her heart.

a portion of her immortal soul.

Tears fell, but for the first time in a long time they were cleansing rather than caustic. She let them fall as she looked closed the shade to the window beside her.

Good luck with the rest.

She was tired. Sleep pulled at her. Gently this time. It would be Sunday morning by the time she would get home. There would be a lot of words to say, tears to shed.

She leaned against the window. Sleep came.

"Ron." She breathed softly. "Mom, Dad."

I think you know where you can find it.