Boilerplate Disclaimer: The various characters from the Kim Possible series are owned by Disney. All registered trade names property of their respective owners. Cheap shots at celebrities constitute fair usage.
I won't speak of a Double-Minded universe. One story universes don't exist. Universes must be not only multi-story but also require an attached garage and in-ground pool.
Thanks to ritax91 for the Italian.
Morning Becalms Electronique
If Drakken had paid attention in English literature he would have disagreed with Mark Anthony. The unkindest cut of all came not from Brutus, but from Shego when she announced she was turning state's evidence against him and taking Kim Possible as a girlfriend.
He had little time for thought as he laid off his henchmen, fit everything he could into a hovercraft, and headed for an old family summer home on Little Mosquito Lake - just south of Big Mosquito Lake - in southern Wisconsin. (Realtors complained about the difficulty of selling lots on Little Mosquito Lake and began to circulate a petition for the county to give the lake its old Indian name, Nyannichuan, back, until they learned it translated Spring of the Drowned Maiden and decided that might not be any better for selling lots.)
Drakken spent the day after his betrayal trying to evict a colony of squirrels from the attic, as a family of skunks beneath the porch attempted to evict him. In the evening he stocked up on supplies in Kenosha. As he soaked in tomato juice he reflected philosophically he should have realized years ago that Shego had lesbian tendencies - how else had she been able to resist his charm?
The next day, having reached détente with the spilogale putorius residents beneath the porch Drakken headed to the offices of Hench Co.
"Let me get this straight," the businessman asked as he looked at his Drakken folder. "I'm sitting on a collection of your bounced checks, and you want me to recommend someone who is a world-class thief, effective fighter and bodyguard, possesses limited superpowers, and is easy on the eyes?"
"Well, he or she doesn't have to be good-looking. That was simply a bonus with Shego."
"If I knew someone like that, I would hire her for myself… Did you say Shego is available? Is she looking for work?"
"She turned state's evidence against me!"
"Nobody's perfect, although I always thought she came close. Never knew why she put up with you. If I find someone like that I'm hiring her. You got lucky once. With what you're paying I can't imagine you'll get lucky again."
Drakken left Hench's office in a huff. After a quick stop at the bathroom to change out of the huff and back into his lab coat Drakken passed the office of Villain's News and World Domination Report, a Hench Co.™ publication. He paused, backed up, and entered the office. He'd show Jack Hench that a villain of his caliber (actually, only a .22 - Drakken was definitely a small bore) could find a replacement for Shego with ease.
He rang the bell on the counter and waited impatiently until a tired middle-aged woman with a cigarette dangling from her lip came out of an office. "Yeah?" she growled in a voice hoarse from smoking.
"I want to place an ad in the Villain's News."
"Display, classified, or personal?"
"Display ad, with a picture. Comes in quarter, half, or full page. You don't look like you're gonna spring for a two page spread. Classified ads concern professional services. Personal ads are for villains looking for villains."
"A full page I think. When my name appears it will draw all the attention I need."
"What's the name, Mack?"
"Drakken, Doctor Drakken. I-"
"Hold on," she told him and pulled open a drawer and consulted a list of names. "This is on a cash only basis. You're on the deadbeat list. Five thousand for a full page ad."
"I, ah, don't have that much cash on me."
"Classified ads are four bucks a word, personals run two-fifty a word."
"I think I'll place a personal ad. It should start, 'Future ruler of the world-"
She raised a hand to stop him, "Not how we start a personal ad. You single?"
"Yes, I don't see what that-"
"Drakken, Dr. Drakken."
"Look, Drak. I don't tell you how to conquer the world, you don't tell me how to compose an ad. Personal ads, they want to know these things. Now, you single?"
"Do you like boys?"
"I like everyone. I'm really a very friendly-"
"We're talking sexual preference. Does gay, straight, or bi work for you?"
She peered at him for a minute, then wrote something on the form. "You say you want to conquer the world, you evil genius, mad scientist, or super-powered?"
"Um, mad scientist?"
"Works for me Drak," she said, flicking ashes from her cigarette onto his coat sleeve. "Now, whatcha looking for?"
He brushed off the ashes. "An apprentice, I think. Yes, that will be perfect. I'll train him or her up to my-"
"I don't need the speech. Your ad reads, 'S. .m.m.s. seeks apprentice. Apply Dr. Drakken, box 65000.' That's twelve dollars and fifty cents."
"How will I-"
"Leave your phone number, I'll call if you get an application."
On the day the next issue arrived Drakken waited impatiently for a call, which never came. He worried that he had left the wrong phone number and called the Villain's News office.
"Villain's News, this is Doris. How can I help you?"
"Yes, this is Dr. Drakken and I—"
"I told you, I'll call you if anyone answers your ad."
Drakken called the next day, and the day following that. "What happens if no one answers my ad?" he wailed.
"You can take out a new ad. You may need to do better than offer an apprenticeship. That's entry level position and no self-respecting villain will apply."
The personals in the next issue contained: 'S. .m.m.s. seeks junior associate'.
When his number came up on caller ID Doris didn't answer the phone for the first two days after the ad.
"No one?" he asked incredulously.
"No one," she assured him.
The personals in the next issue contained: 'S. .m.m.s. seeks evil associate'.
And the issue after that: 'S. .m.m.s. seeks partner'.
The waiting began to tell on tell on Drakken. Or rather, the combination of waiting and the fact the skunks now demanded six pounds of dry cat food a day to keep him 'protected'. A raccoon syndicate had offered to 'take care' of his skunk problem, but Drakken feared they would end up costing him more than the protection payments to the skunks. He developed a slight twitch in one eye.
"You mean no one wants me?" Drakken whimpered over the phone to the unsympathetic Doris.
"Maybe your problem is listing yourself in the personals," the gravel-voiced woman told him. "That's usually for villains seeking villains in a, ah, less than professional capacity."
"But you told me-"
"I told you it was cheapest. And you were on it like a dachshund on a hamburger patty that hit the floor."
"Okay, I'll try the classified."
"And lose the mad scientist. No one trusts mad scientists any more. Evil genius sounds more professional."
The squirrels attempted to move back in to the attic. When Drakken complained to the skunks that they weren't offering him sufficient protection they raised his rates and sub-contracted the job out to the raccoons.
"Still nothing?" he whined to Doris over the phone. "I'm at my wits' end."
"That was a short trip." "Look, maybe instead of running a 'help wanted' ad you need to be reading the 'positions wanted'," she suggested kindly.
Drakken had been reading the 'positions wanted' listings. They all demanded more than he could pay, and everyone was a specialist these days. It would take three people to fill Shego's job description. In desperation he turned to the column he had avoided so far, 'will work for jail break'. The combination of a prejudice against anyone already in jail (How good could they possibly be at keeping him out of jail?) and the lack of practical experience in jail breaks (it had been Shego's job) had kept him from the listings, but desperate times called for desperate measures. He reminded himself he had spent short periods in prison, and it didn't reflect on his genius. And he could call in a favor for a jailbreak. With that thought in mind he found an interesting ad in the listings and wrote a short letter to the woman who placed it.
Three days later, just after midnight, the huge robot stepped over the wall surrounding the Illinois State Penitentiary at Joliet.
"There," Drakken said excitedly, "a pillow case tied to the bars, that's her cell!"
Sirens went off as the robot smashed open the side of the cell block and a woman in prison orange stepped onto the metallic hand and then, after being lifted to the top of the metal construct, clambered in the hatch on the side of the control booth.
"Let's get out of here," Drakken called.
"On it, seriously," Motor Ed answered as he put in the clutch and popped the robot into second gear.
Electronique ignored Drakken and gazed with appreciation at the muscles on the blonde man behind the wheel. "Doktor Drakken," she purred, "you look better zhan I had imagined."
"Uh, that's my cousin. I'm Drakken."
She turned and stared at what she had assumed was a hunchbacked assistant named Igor. "Oh. You look razher worse zhan I had imagined. Still, freedom is freedom."
The trip north proved slower than the trip to the prison.
"What's wrong?" Drakken demanded. "The police cruisers are keeping up with us."
"Can't say, Cuz, it's like something is draining the juice from the batteries."
Electronique laughed nervously, "Sorry. Zhey keep me away from electrical sources in prison and I zhought you wouldn't mind if I drained a little power."
Ed glared at her, "No problem, as long as you want us all to end up in prison."
The power drain ended and Drakken beat the Illinois Highway Patrol to the border. Highway construction kept him safe from the Wisconsin patrol.
"I'll leave you two to get acquainted," Ed told them as he let them out in front of the Lipsky summer home. "Man, I need to check out that sign I saw for the Bong Recreational Area, seriously."
She repeated her mantra, "Freedom is freedom," as she stood outside looking at the cabin and slapping at mosquitoes. "So, zhere is a laboratory hidden deep beneath zhe ground here? Or vill some underling arrive in a limo to drive us to your lair?"
"Well, I've had some professional disappointments recently… You know how that goes… At least I didn't end up in prison." Had Drakken been more observant and thoughtful he might not have rubbed that fact in Electronique's face – or he might have interpreted the look that crossed her face.
"You vill pay for zhose vords," she thought. (Had she thought in Hungarian she could have thought without an accent.)
But a Drakken who was more observant and thoughtful would hardly have been Drakken. "This is my old family cabin on the lake. I'm laying low until I decide the best way to get back on my feet."
She looked unhappy. An evil start up. There was no way to tell how long it would take to turn a profit, still she reminded herself, "Freedom is freedom, and I'll want at least fifty per cent of the profits."
"You have your own room, of course," he assured her. "I think a good night's sleep is in order. Don't pay any attention to the skunks. They told me I could have guests."
She stared at him, her already low opinion of his fragile mental stability slipping even further.
"A woman has needs," she told him.
"The bathroom is in the back, on the right-" he began.
"I've been in prison for months. I need a good meal to take zhe taste out of my mouth."
"I have mouthwash."
She considered slapping him, but decided it could wait until later. "A good meal," she commanded.
"I supposed I could cook something, I'm a-"
"You are taking me out to eat. And it must be somevhere special."
Drakken sighed. He knew he should say no; it was like training puppies. You had to keep evil assistants in their place. He hoped he hadn't wasted his time breaking her out of prison without a good sense of what she could do other than drain batteries… He wondered how he could use that proven ability to conquer the world. But, it was important for him to show his compassionate side as well as the power he (or, more properly, Motor Ed) had shown in breaking her out of prison. "Come around back, help me take the tarp off the hovercraft."
She looked the craft over with approval before climbing in beside Drakken. She regarded it as the first sign she'd seen of intelligent life from him – unless he'd simply stolen if from someone competent.
After she entered the hovercraft Drakken took to the air. Minutes later they were in one of the wealthy northern Chicago 'burbs.
"There's the restaurant," Drakken said, pointing to a place called Dante's.
She looked it over carefully, "Eediot," she hissed.
"What's wrong, it's the nicest restaurant I know."
"Zhe restaurant is fine. But a woman has needs. I can't go into a good restaurant dressed like zhis!"
"The stores are closed."
Once again she weighed slapping him, but the pleasure of delayed gratification stayed her hand, "Eediot. Ve are criminals, I vill steal a dress."
"I, ah, was never good about breaking into places. That was always my assistant's job. I don't know much about alarms."
"Fortunately I know everything, dahlink. Take me to a good store and let me pick out something nice."
With her abilities over electrical circuits the two of them were inside a Boston Store within minutes after Drakken set down the hovercraft.
"It is terribly middle-class," she sniffed. "But it vill do for now. Find something nice for yourself vhile I find somethink for me. I vear a perfect size two."
"What's wrong with my lab coat?" Drakken demanded.
"Dahlink, a woman has needs. Vhen she goes to a restaurant her escort should not look like zomethink to be scraped off the bottom of one's shoe."
As Drakken headed to the men's department she scooped up a load of size eights to try on.
When they met again twenty minutes later she nodded approvingly. "Good, you know better zhan to draw attention from the woman you are vith. Now, zhe restaurant."
The hostess found a table for them, and left them with menus. Dante's boasted an impressive menu, but Electronique felt that on such a night nothing that anyone could walk in off the street and order would do. For a night such as this morning she required something special. Drakken's eyes drifted down the price column, and the blue man blanched as he looked for something he could afford.
While Drakken continued to search the menu for peanut butter and jelly the waiter asked if he could take their drink order.
Electronique frowned and put down the menu, "Questo va bene per gli Americani, che pensano che gli spaghetti siano il culmine della cucina Italiana. Che cosa mi consiglieresti che non c'è nel menù?"
The waiter smiled, "Per una bella donna che se ne intende di cibo, io suggerirei scottiglia."
"Che cosa c'è questa sera?" she asked.
"Oggi abbiamo deliziosa carne vitello o anche di faraona, e sono stati scelti gli spinaci questo pomeriggio."
"So, you speak French," Drakken said, trying to make small talk.
"Yes, how did you know?"
"Well, you were just speaking to the waiter in French."
She rolled her eyes in exasperation. "That was Italian." It appeared that simply slapping around might not be enough. While she hated to appear ungrateful for the rescue she would need to impress her competence on him, and perhaps her initials.
"I am fluent in German, Hungarian, and Italian. My French and Spanish are almost as good. I apologize for my English and Russian. Vhere did you study?"
Drakken studied the menu, pretending he hadn't heard her.
The two said little as they waited for their orders to arrive. Drakken spent the time looking for exits. Electronique reveled in the fact the only bar anywhere close to her was made of mahogany. When their orders arrived she realized she would need to know something of why her rescuer wanted her help if they were to work together.
"Vhat are your plans?"
"Vell, er, Well, I plan to conquer the world and I-"
"Vait! Vhat kind of eediot tries to conquer the world?"
"One like me… I mean, I'm not an idiot! I want power. I could make the world a better place."
She finished chewing, swallowed, and looked at him. "Zhere are only two zhings vorth my effort - money and revenge."
"But the power to-"
"Do you really vant to try and settle zhe world's problems? Do you care if zhere is a new bridge built in Outer Mongolia? If you haff money you haff power."
She smiled, "Zhere are some pleasures as great as-"
He comments were interrupted as the chef came out from the kitchen to ask her opinion of his cooking. She gestured to a chair, which he pulled up to the table, and she poured him a glass of the 1990 La Villa Langhe Rosso, which Drakken had noted cost two hundred dollars for the bottle.
As the two chatted in Italian, ignoring Drakken, the owner came over and joined them. He gestured to the waiter who brought another bottle of the 1990. As they drank, talked, and laughed Drakken tried to remember if he had any credit card which wasn't over its limit.
As she finished her scottiglia with obvious relish the owner and chef stood up to leave. She blew them kisses. With more than a half bottle of good wine in her Electronique felt mellow; her urge to hit the blue man had temporarily faded from her thoughts. "I vas saying somethink…"
"Money and revenge," he reminded her.
"Yes. Zhe only goals for a villain to pursue.
"There's nothing else?" he asked in amazement.
"Zhere are other zhings," she patted him gently on the cheek. "Zhey are for everyone. For villainy only money and revenge. Drop your plans to conquer zhe vorld. Money is power. Vhy did you need help?"
"Well, my old associate quit me recently and-"
"He probably realized zhere is no future in conquering zhe vorld."
"No, Shego said-"
"Shego!" Electronique exclaimed in surprise, "Pale voman, slightly greenish skin - vith her brothers zhey made up Team Go?"
"I really don't know her brothers."
"Oh, zhis is excellent," Electronique smiled. "I vill help you get your revenge."
"I really didn't want revenge. She quit to start dating an enemy, a girl named Kim Possible-"
"Keem Possible? A young, red-haired girl vith a blond boyfriend?"
"Yes, do you know them?"
Electronique gave a low, evil laugh, "Shego, Keem Possible, and ze blond youth… I may hate zhem more zhan I hate Team Go. I vill help you get revenge on zhem."
"But I don't want revenge. When I rule the world I can have them—"
"You vill never rule zhe vorld, you eediot!" she spat. "Ze vorld is a big place. Vhen you haff a few billion dollars you may start zhinking about zhe vorld. Do you haff a few billion dollars?"
"Zhen you vill help me get my revenge, and I vill help you become rich."
"But I have plans for a device to take over the world!"
"Tell me about it, dahlink."
"I have a plan to turn oxygen atoms into fat molecules. I can threaten to annihilate all life on earth if they don't recognize me as their ruler."
She sighed. "And vhat happens to you if you turn zhe vorld's oxygen into olive oil?"
"Any plan vhere you lose your hat is a bad plan."
"An old Hungarian saying. Now, ask for zhe check," Electronique instructed him.
Drakken had been about to suggest running for the exit without paying. Maybe they'd believe he left his wallet in his other pants. Apprehensively he signaled to the waiter, who nodded and headed over to the adding machine.
The blue man nervously counted the number of employees. He felt reasonably confident he could overpower the busboy if necessary, but didn't feel right about asking Electronique if she felt up to handling the three waiters, a bartender, hostess, and maître d'.
Drakken's life flashed before his eyes as he handed the waiter a credit card he knew was over the limit. He was almost up to the good part of his life, dissecting a frog in seventh grade biology, as the owner approached, credit card and bill in hand. "I gave you the wrong card," Drakken began lamely.
The owner looked puzzled, and handed the card back. "There is no charge for a woman as beautiful and discerning as madam," he nodded at Electronique. "We look forward to your returning to us."
Drakken indulged in a pardonable swagger as they left the restaurant. He'd pulled it off. He had taken her to a fine restaurant and emerged unscathed. He felt powerful, larger than life, he could do anything.
His confidence would soon be put to the test.
As they pulled the tarp back over the hovercraft she licked her lips, "I haff been in prison a long time. Women have needs…"
"Anything you want," he promised.
"Good," she purred. "Oh, dahlink, do you haff such a zhing as a riding crop?"
"And you von't hate me because I'm just a little teeny weeny wee bit bloodthirsty, will you?"
She smiled at the look of panic in his eyes. "If you do not haff zhe riding crop zhat will be acceptable for today. Zhe first time should be hands on. Besides, I do not know if you haff iodine and bandages in stock."
A few days later Kims answered their Kimmunicators simultaneously, "What's the sitch?"
"There was a personal ad addressed to Shego in the latest issue of Villain's World today-"
"Why do you read that trash?" they demanded together.
"There are sometimes important leads in there. Anyway, I was wondering if Shego should be told."
"Better not," a Kim answered. "She's worried about the Jello wrestling with Warmonga tomorrow and I don't want anything to distract her. You can tell her later."
"But just for my own curiosity," the second Kim asked, "what did it say?"
"It reads, 'Shego, Please come back. All is forgiven, Doctor Drakken'."
- The End -
Yes, Wisconsin really has a Bong Recreation Area. Would I invent something like that? Perhaps, but why attempt to invent something bizarre when reality provides you with that?
And I lifted a phrase from Gilbert and Sullivan's Ruddigore and a line from The Mikado - as I'm certain everyone noticed. And a line from the Foglios' Girl Genius.