Partners in Crime
Batman quietly slipped away from Kim Possible while she was talking to some elderly Otunga women and started to make his way towards the west side of the African village. He didn't bother to explain where he was going or his reasons to Kim because he knew the headstrong woman would insist on trying to go with him and that would have severely put a crimp on his plans.
The way Kim had worded her conditions to the Bebes he knew that she could not be able to get close to where Ron Stoppable was doing some tests with a new type of Bebe without the group being alerted but he hoped he could. He had not been mentioned at all in the conditions and Batman with his experiences with machines hoped the machine women would ignore his presence because of that fact.
Not that he planned on being seen by the Bebes in the first place. The machines were a marvel of technology that was to be sure but Batman had dealt with robots before and they were not infallible.
As Batman made his was westward, Bonnie was making her way east. Although neither knew it they passed within a street of each other. Silent and still Bebes watched as they both went by. Neither Batman nor Bonnie realizing they had been seen. The Bebes didn't alert anyone to Batman's passing as it was the Leader's plan for him to see the prototype test and Bonnie was not stopped because they had no orders dealing with her. Bonnie's own protector Bebe silently shadowed her till Bonnie prepared to cross into a section of town that Kim Possible was in, at which point the Bebe silently turned and returned to Ron's group. Bonnie's Bebe decided that the new rules about not interfering with Kim's investigation temporarily overrode the orders to watch over Bonnie.
Batman reached the outer perimeter of the village but continued no farther as there was no cover for him to attempt to get any closer to Ron's group. Pulling out a pair of very powerful binoculars from his utility belt he watched as Ron and his ladies waited staring upwards. Redirecting his gaze Batman at first couldn't see what the group on the ground was watching but finally a glint of light in the sky alerted him. With great difficulty Batman tracked the object as it flitted about at high speed. Finally the object paused to hover in one place and Batman got his first good look at what it was. A Bebe robot with wings. The metal woman looked like all the rest of the Bebes but coming out from the middle of it's back were two large silvery wings. Not looking unlike an angel's spread wings.
The creature hovered for a moment and then dropped like a stone. Free falling until it was a mere ten feet from the ground before exhaust ports on its back below its wings blew out a hot wind and instantly slowed its descent.
The robot touched down as light as a feather and the wings retracted into its back with a metallic sliding noise. Small rectangular flaps on the robot's back closed and the exhaust port slid shut and the Bebe was once again identical to her fellow robots.
Harley applauded the performance.
Batman could hear over the wind her response. "I can't believe it Ronnie. You taught them to fly!"
"It was hardly my effort Harley." Ron said. "I just asked them if it was possible with all the power they had if it could be done. Me and the hive mind hammered out the design and the necessary modifications. Unfortunately only second generation non ultra Bebes can be made into fliers. So they aren't indestructible but with their speed and control they don't really need be."
Shego standing slightly apart of the rest was looking at the new flying robot critically. "So this is your solution to not harming pilots of aircraft that might be sent to bomb us?"
Ron nodded his head. "With a flying division of Bebes they can literally take a plane apart in mid air while plucking the pilots out safely. The pilots can be gently dropped off somewhere safe. Hive Mind tells me that if enough Bebes are used per plane they should be able to dismantle an aircraft in mid flight without even any small parts falling to the ground. The Bebes will of course harvest the parts to make more standard Bebes."
Batman lowered his binoculars and looked thoughtful. With a division of those things this Stoppable could become nearly impossible to defeat but what had him thinking the most was Stoppable's obvious desire to harm no one. Not even enemy pilots who would bomb him and his friends without a second thought.
Bonnie paused at an intersection. She was certain she had seen Kim go this way but she had lost sight of her and now was uncertain which way to go. Even thought her Master Ron hadn't ordered her to follow Kim, Bonnie was determined to keep Kim and the stranger dressed in the weird armor from undermining all the good work her Master had accomplished.
The fact that Bonnie had sighted Kim but not the stranger made Bonnie a little nervous and she kept straining her hearing hoping to locate him without being discovered herself.
Hearing a noise, Bonnie spun on her heel but then froze in confusion when instead of finding Kim or the 'Batman' she spotted one of the ninjas she had briefly met back at their Nevada underground home.
"When did you lot arrive?" Bonnie asked the black clad figure. Bonnie realized from the indistinct size and shape of the figure that she was probably talking to one of the male ninjas and not the female one that her Master Ron somehow knew.
All Bonnie could make out for sure was the man's eyes as they peered at her from his mask.
The man suddenly bowed and said in perfect, if not Japanese accented English. "I am sorry. Please forgive me."
Bonnie was about to ask him what was she supposed to forgive him for, when she heard what sounded like the 'paff' noise of Kim's grappling hook being fired from behind her. Almost immediately Bonnie felt a searing pain in her back as something very sharp penetrated the middle of her back. That pain, however was nothing compared the intense agony she felt as a second later something ripped back out of her back.
Bonnie helplessly fell towards the ground as if she was a puppet whose string had been cut.
As Bonnie lay on the gritty surface of the dirt road that ran between the houses of the African Village she had the terrifying realization that her spine must have been damaged.
"Oh god, please no." She sobbed as she tried to turn her head and realized even that small action was denied to her and she lay face down with the right side of her face pressed against the rough ground.
She gave a pitiful whimper as tried to summon movement into the fine muscles she had so diligently sculpted to please her Master and not a one of them would respond. She couldn't even flex the fingers of her hands.
Still able to at least breathe. Bonnie inhaled a large breath and yelled as loudly as she could for help. Which barely came out as a squeak.
Hearing the noise of someone coming towards her she could only wildly move her left eye trying to see who it was. A moment later a figure came into view running down the street towards her and Bonnie realized it was Kim Possible.
Even though Kim had vowed to get Bonnie for stealing Ron from her and Bonnie and Kim had a life time of hostility between them, Bonnie whimpered for Kim to help her right before passing out from the pain of her injuries.
Kim in shock bent over and examined the broken body of Bonnie that lie before her. Massive amounts of blood were pouring from the ragged wound on Bonnie's back and Kim feeling sick realized she could actually seen the torn and broken spinal cord jutting out.
Kim did something she had never done before in her life. She screamed in horror at the top of her lungs.
Moments later Ron arrived being carried by a Ultra Bebe. The Bebe set Ron down on his feet and instantly he was at Bonnie's side pushing Kim away from her. Kim flew a few feet and landed on her butt on the hard packed ground of the African village street and stared in shock at Ron.
Ron's breathing came out in shocked gasps as he saw the damage done to Bonnie. The ever expanding pool of blood, The torn and ragged opening in her back revealing the broken spinal column and the almost hair like tendrils of what could only be severed nerves.
He screamed Bonnie's name and started to gather her into his arms but stopped himself and yelled towards his Bebe standing nearby. "Get Mozenberg and his Mantis and get them here NOW!"
Kim continued to watch as Ron sobbed over Bonnie's body for what seemed like hours but in fact was mere moments until Mozenberg, being carried by Ron's Bebe appeared. Moving alongside the Bebe almost as fast was the Mantis machine.
It was only then that Ron moved slightly away from Bonnie's body to allow the Mantis to examine and treat her.
As the Mantis began its analysis of Bonnie's condition, more zing noises were heard and Shego, Harley and Ivy appeared being carried by Ultra Bebes as well.
Ron turned his head and looked in Kim's direction in a voice totally devoid of any warmth he asked. "What happened?"
It took Kim a moment to realize he hadn't addressed the question to her but to someone standing behind her. Turning her head she noticed that Yori and two of her ninjas were standing there. The other ninjas remained with their faces cloaked but Yori had pulled her mask off and her midnight black hair was gently waving in the breeze coming down the street.
"I do not know Ron-san." Yori replied in a calm voice. "We heard a scream as if someone was in great agony and when we arrived we saw Kim standing over the body of your friend. Now that I think on it though, I seem to remember hearing a noise similar to that of the grappling gun used by Kim just before hearing the scream. And of course you arrived a few seconds later and saw Kim over her body as well."
Kim could almost physically feel Ron's eyes as he looked down on her and then traveled to where her grappling gun was at her hip.
"Ron. I didn't... You can't think that I would..." Kim tried to say.
Before Ron could reply the sound of heavy running could be heard and Batman arrived coming from the direction that Ron and his ladies had came from.
"What has happened?" He asked taking in the sight of the downed Bonnie and Kim sitting a few feet away looking pale.
"Screeching Red tried to kill Bonnie! That's what happened!" Harley yelled in a near state of rage.
Ron ignored Harley's outburst and also ignored Kim who was frantically shaking her head and dropped to his knees once again beside Bonnie's body and the working Mantis.
Dozens and dozens of micro-fine tendrils were coming out of the sides of Mantis along with lasers and other unidentifiable objects as the machine worked at incredible speeds. In the new silence that had fallen after Harley's outburst a beeping could be heard coming from the machine.
Kim being the daughter of a doctor recognized instantly the sound of a heart beat monitor.
"Mantis?" Ron asked in a quiet voice fearful of distracting the working machine but at the same time desperate to know the state of Bonnie's welfare. "What is her condition?"
"Massive damage to spinal cord region."
"Massive damage to nerves controlling autonomous functions"
"Damage to organs due to shock and blood loss."
"Entrance and exit wounds on back are consistent with a grappling hook device."
As the robot gave its evaluation it continued to work at lightning speed. Milky white tendrils were extending into the open wound redirecting torn nerves to their broken connections and then micro-fine mutogenic lasers connected the nerves back together.
As the nerves came back together they caused a pain so intense it woke Bonnie from her unconscious state.
"Master?!" She cried out.
Ron instantly moved to where Bonnie could see him. "I'm here Bon Bon."
"I feel so cold." Bonnie said barely above a whisper but plainly heard in the dead silence of the village only broken by the erratic beeping of the heart monitor. "Isn't it funny Master? We're in the hottest of Africa and I feel cold?"
"Don't worry Bon Bon. Mantis is going to fix you up as good as new. You'll be up and around in no time."
Bonnie tried to shake her head and only managed the slightest of movements. "I don't think so Master. I guess in the end I wasn't good enough. I failed you Ron. I'm so sorr..."
The heart beat monitor suddenly gave off the chilling sound that anyone who has ever watched a medical drama knows so well. The steady whine of flat line meaning the heart had stopped.
Everyone's eyes instantly looked to Mantis and where it was working. The damage done to Bonnie's back was gone. The horrible gapping wound was now closed. The jagged broken spinal cord was once again back together and covered beneath the regenerated skin of her back. The Mantis machine had retracted all the tendrils that had been working so frantically on Bonnie's spine and a side panel in the machine was open revealing a clear glass cylinder. Inside the cylinder was not an arm or leg being genetically recreated like Ron, Shego, Ivy or Harley had seen done before, but this time the clear fluid inside was rapidly turning pink heading towards a deep dark red.
Kim watching on in horror realized she was seeing blood being created by the machine.
The glass tube slid back into the machine with a hiss and moving rapidly two larger tendrils came out of the machine and flipped Bonnie over on to her back. They then ripped the clothing off her chest exposing he sports bra. The tendrils then formed thick looking pods on them and they pressed down just below Bonnie's covered breasts. There was a high pitched whine, followed by a 'bamf' kind of noise and Bonnie's body spasmed.
Kim realized that the machine was using a defibrillator trying to restart the stopped heart of Bonnie. The flatline pitch of the heart monitor however didn't respond. The Mantis machine tried six more times before the large tendrils retracted back into the machine's body and the sound of the monitor quit completely.
The machine rotated to face Ron. "Mantis apologizes. Patient has died. Massive loss of blood and shock to organs was too intensive. This Mantis unit has failed."
Ron stared down at the body of Bonnie Rockwaller. Outside of the rapidly drying pool of her own blood the body was lying in, there were no longer any signs of damage. Her tanned and fit body looked healthy and whole. There was just one problem. The body no longer had life in it.
Ron crumpled to the ground next to Bonnie's body, next to him Rufus with tears in his small eyes also stared at Bonnie's lifeless body.
"Ron-san, your friend has gone to meet her ancestors. It is your duty to punish her attacker." Yori stated staring at Kim.
"Nooo." Ron screamed and gathered Bonnie into his arms. His eyes glowing an electric blue as the Mystical Monkey Power surged wildly inside of him.
Yori frowned. "Ron-san." She once again said. "There is nothing more you can do for her. Mystical Monkey Power can not..." Yori halted as the glow in Ron's eyes extended down his arms into his hands and then into the body of Bonnie Rockwaller.
If Kim and the others had thought Bonnie's body had jerked while being shocked by Mantis's defibrillator, they were in for even bigger sight as Bonnie's back arched and then her entire body levitated into the air under the pressure of the Mystical Monkey Power.
Bonnie's eyes flew open and she gasped out. "Master!"
Ron's eyes ceased glowing blue and instantly captured Bonnie's floating body into his arms. Gently he lowered her back to the ground careless of the drying blood there.
Next to Yori, her ninjas dropped to their knees and then they kowtowed towards Ron. "He brought her back from the dead." One of them said, awe thick in their voice. "He truly is the Chosen One."
"Yes he is." Yori said but Batman who had been watching her noticed her frown at the seemingly miracle of Bonnie's resurrection.
With an effort Ron forced himself to release Bonnie from his desperate clutch and motioned for Mantis to re-approach.
The machine scanned Bonnie and she blinked up in confusion at it and once again the side of the machine opened and the glass cylinder reappeared. Now completely filled with dark red fluid. A tendril shot out near the base of the cylinder and like a striking cobra sank into Bonnie's arm. Bonnie cried out in shock but was still instantly as Ron placed a hand on her shoulder.
"Easy Bon Bon. Mantis is just giving you a transfusion of blood to make up for what you have lost."
Bonnie still in confusion looked around and saw the huge pool of drying blood she was lying in and glanced up fearfully at Ron.
"Do you know who I am?" Ron asked, fearful that Bonnie injuries and blood loss might have affected her memory or thought processes.
"You are and always will be my Master Ron." Bonnie said, her voice cracking with emotion.
Ron with tears in his eyes nodded his head. He then pointed at Shego, Ivy and Harley.
Bonnie turned her head to look at them. "Shego, Ivy and Harley." She dutifully replied.
"And do you know where you are at?"
"Surrounded by my family, it can only be heaven."
Ron gave a shaky laugh. "No we are not in Heaven. We are in Africa."
Bonnie shot him a look that was just a hint of her old High School arrogance in it. Reaching out her hand she captured one of Ron's and brought it to her chest where her heart was. "I said I am in Heaven."
Ron sob choked and then nodded. "Okay. We are in Heaven."
"This is quite touching." Yori called out. "But can Bonnie tell us whom it was that attacked her."
Bonnie looked in her direction and saw Kim and beyond her Yori and the ninjas. "Well so much for the Heaven theory." She replied.
"Do you know who it was that attacked you?" Ron said repeating Yori's question.
"No Master." Bonnie said after a moment's concentration. "I was hit from behind and never got a chance to see who it was."
Unseen by all except Batman was Yori's slight sigh of relief. A sigh of relief that was cut short when Ron asked his next question. "What was the last thing you remember?"
Bonnie concentrated again and then replied. "I saw Kim running up to me."
His face grew cold and hard and he stared down at the still seated Kim Possible. "What happened Possible?" He asked coldly.
"Ron I don't know what happened to Bonnie!" Kim cried. "I heard her scream and came running and found her face down in the road like you found her. I was only with her for a second before you showed up!"
"With wounds that even the Mantis says are consistent with a grappling hook fired into her back." Yori stated.
"Possible tried to kill our Bonnie. She hated her. We all heard her say she was going to get even." Harley yelled again.
Harley grew silent as Ron raised his hand in a stop motion. He continued to stare down at Kim. Kim wanted to rise to her feet to face Ron and proclaim her innocence but she found she couldn't move. It was like the weight of Ron's gaze was keeping her pinned where she was.
"Do you really believe I could do something like this Ron?" She asked.
"I see no one else here that uses a grappling gun." Yori replied with the faintest of smiles on her lips, which she was careful to hide as the others glanced at her. Ron however continued to watch Kim.
Ron finally sighed and shook his head. "No Kim I don't believe you could do something like this."
"But Ronnie!" Harley protested.
Ron ignored Harley and finally took his eyes off of Kim and looked over at Shego. "You know Kim almost as well as I do Shego. Do you think Kim could cold bloodily murder someone by shooting them in the back?"
Shego, her hands glowing slightly studied Kim as she sat on the ground. Finally she too shook her head slowly. "No. I don't. Princess is no cold blooded killer and even if she was pushed to the point where she might snap, she wouldn't hit them from behind. She would have attacked them face to face."
"Perhaps faced with a homicidal Possible, Bonnie-san turned to run and was thusly hit in the back by the attack? And her confusion from nearly dying has made her forget?" Yori suggested coolly.
"Bonnie is no coward." Harley yelled but then looked thoughtful. "Bonnie is no coward." she repeated. "She would have faced Possible and fought her toe to toe and probably would have won!"
Kim thought that was highly unlikely but was smart enough not to snort at Harley's confidence in Bonnie's abilities.
Turning from Shego to face Kim's direction once again, Ron raised his right hand and a moment later a shinning sword miraculously appeared in his grasp.
Kim swallowed nervously as Ron approached her carrying the Lotus Blade, once again Ron's eyes were glowing blue as was the sword and Kim couldn't resist a shiver. Kim gulped and Batman readied himself to come to her aid when without a word Ron walked right past her towards Yori and the kneeling ninjas. "Stand up." Ron ordered flatly.
The ninjas quickly got to their faces and stood beside Yori but still refused to look Ron in his eyes. It was not everyday a ninja met a legend bordering on being a God to them and they felt unworthy to match his gaze. Yori however calmly stared straight back at him.
"You know what this blade in my hand is?" Ron asked looking to the ninja to Yori's right.
"Yes Chosen One. It is your destiny and right as the Chosen One to wield the sacred blade of our school." Both male ninajs replied. Yori just gave a silent nod of her head.
"And exactly what standing does that give me in Yamonuchi?" Ron asked.
Both ninjas looked confused and glanced at one another and then at Yori before looking to Ron, still avoiding looking into his eyes. "Stoppable-sama?" The one on the right asked.
"Do I have your loyalty and obedience?" Ron asked, his face strangely hard and unyielding.
"Yes Stoppable-sama!" Both male ninjas replied instantly. Yori said softly a moment later. "Yes Ron-san."
"In the chain of command of the Yamonuchi ninajs do I rank above Yori?"
The male ninja to the right grew quiet and stared at the ground.
"You just pledge loyalty and obedience to me!" Ron barked causing Kim sitting on the ground to jump slightly. She couldn't remember a time hearing Ron to raise his voice like that or to sound so serious. "Is your loyalty more to Yori or to me?" Ron continued.
Both ninjas looked at each other again and then at Yori but she continued to stare forward and wouldn't meet their eyes. Finally the one to her right looked directly into Ron's eyes. "You are the Chosen One. The only person I would consider my loyalty belonging to more would be the Master Sensei in Yamonuchi."
Ron nodded his head. "As it should be. I agree completely that Master Sensei outranks me and will always be superior to me even if I live to be a hundred. So as the superior ninja here, answer me truthfully. Did Yori or either of you two have anything to do with Bonnie's attack?"
Yori replied before the man could. "Always with the American jokes Ron-sa..."
"Do you find anything funny here?" Ron roared again. "Cause I sure as hell don't. If you see something even remotely amusing please tell me cause I sure could use some humor right now! A woman nearly died this day. A woman who came to me seeking my approval and love. A woman who only wanted a family that cared for her." Ron's voice broke for a moment and he swallowed and then turned to the male ninja and continued. "I am the superior ninja here. Yori has recognized it. And now a superior is asking you a direct question. Did Yori have anything to do with Bonnie's almost death?"
The man did not turn his head but his eyes shifted to look in Yori's direction. "I asked you a question! Answer immediately!" Ron barked again. Kim wondered if Ron was channeling Mr. Barkin the way he was barking orders as if he was a hardened general addressing his troops.
"Yes Stoppable-sama!" The ninja said as his eyes snapped back to looking at Ron. "It was Yori that attacked Bonnie with a weapon she prepared during the flight over. I distracted the woman so she could line up the shot." He added almost trembling in fear at Ron's possible reaction.
Ron nodded his head and walked back to stand in front of Yori. She continued to calmly meet his gaze. She was a ninja. You walk with death everyday. You take risks and sometimes... The plan doesn't work. "She was a weakness to you Ron-san. I acted to remove it."
"Don't call me Ron-san ever again Yori. You have lost the right to do so." Ron replied in a voice that could freeze instantly water into ice.
Yori gave a brief slight nod. "Very well Stoppable-sama. The other women in your group. Shego, Ivy and Quinn are trained fighters. They are tough and strong. Bonnie played at it but she was no warrior and your enemies would have eventually taken advantage of that fact to harm you. I knew you would never rid yourself of the weakness that was Rockwaller so I did it for you."
"And tried to frame me for the murder!" Kim yelled as she rose to her feet.
Yori shrugged. "You too are a potential weakness to Ro.. Stoppable-sama. Constantly interfering. Trying to get him to return to being your sidekick. Trying to get him to deny his destiny." Again she shrugged. "It is how you Americans say...Trying to kill two birds with one stone?"
Ron clenching his teeth so hard he feared they would shatter... Shatter as his heart already had, growled at Yori. "If it was not for the respect that I carry towards our Master Sensei and the Yamanouchi school I would cleave you cleanly into two pieces with the Lotus Blade Yori. However, out of that respect and the fact that Bonnie survived your assassination attempt I'm going to let you keep your life..."
"WHAT?!" Harley screamed.
Ron didn't turn to face her but continued in a voice that carried. "The head of Yamonuchi is almost like a father to me and Yori is like a daughter to him. Out of respect to Master Sensei I give him his daughter's life but make no mistake Yori. If Bonnie had died, you would be lying at my feet minus your head!
I'm going to leave the actual punishment up to Master Sensei when Yori returns to him. I can't help but think he is going to be angry and upset with her as well. As for what I'm going to do?" He turned to the nearest Bebe. "These ninjas are no longer welcome here. One of your sisters are to take them in the airplane back to Japan and the moment they disembark from that plane you are to return here to us. If after you return, any Bebe seeing this woman even attempting to approach me or any of my family again is to execute her immediately."
Ron turned to look at Yori. "I mean it Yori. I may have given your life back to you but as far as I am concerned. From now on, You...Are...Dead...To...Me... If Master Sensei wishes to contact me he can do so from the Astral Plane or himself in person but never do I want to see your face ever again. And don't fool yourself. You maybe an expert in ninja techniques but you can't beat my Bebes and if by some miracle you do get past them..." Ron was so angry he was shaking in rage. "I will kill you with my own hands."
Yori thought about trying to say something but in the end decided it was safer to just accept Ron's terms and leave.
"It is time for you as well to leave Kim." Ron said turning his back and refusing to even watch the ninjas leave.
"But I had nothing to do with the attack on Bonnie!" Kim protested.
"In my mind I know this." Ron stated. "But in my heart I can't help but feel if you hadn't come to this valley Bon Bon would never have been in danger. Don't forget Yor...That ninja woman prepared a weapon similar to your grappling hook to kill Bonnie. I'm not saying she wouldn't have attempted to kill Bonnie in any case but she knew you would eventually come to this valley and made plans to take advantage of that fact. We...Are...Done...Kim. Accept it and move on. I have."
Ron started to walk back to Bonnie and his group but paused near Batman. "We are sending the Joker's body back to your dimension today. Drew Lipsky arrived about two hours before you and Kim did and has made modifications to the Transdimensional Vortex Inducer so we can 'aim' it to where we want to go. Do you wish to go back with the Joker's body?"
"What?" Kim yelled. "He's not going anywhere. He has to stay here with me."
"For god's sake Kim. This world, and other dimensions don't revolve around you! Batman came to this world to stop the Joker. The Joker has been stopped. He has friends and loved ones back in his own dimension and they have to be wondering what happened to him. Its unfair of you to think of keeping him here. Not to mention that the Joker wasn't the only villain in his world. He is a protector of his city and without him who knows what the other villains have done or will do to it."
"He's right." Batman surprised Kim by agreeing with Ron. "Its time I returned. But I'm taking Quinn and Ivy with me."
Ron slowly shook his head. "Not happening. I'm not losing any of my family so forget it!"
"You say you are about justice and fairness?" Batman asked Ron. "But Quinn and Ivy are criminals in my dimension and need to serve their terms."
"So they are in jail in your dimension?" Ron asked.
"No. They are mentally unbalanced and need to return to Arkham Institute for the Criminally Insane."
"Oh." Ron replied. "For the rest of their lives?"
Batman frowned. "Of course not. My dimension is not barbaric. Just until they are cured of their mental problems and can be productive members of society instead of threats to it."
"So, sometime in the future... When they are 'well' of course, they will be released?"
"Into a world that will forever know them as Harley Quinn, the Joker's girlfriend and Poison Ivy, mad botanist? Into a world that will be constantly watching them. Waiting for the slightest slip up so they can send them back to the insane asylum. A world that sure as hell won't let them be productive because it could never trust them with their past? Never let them forget it. And in all probability would drive them back to their old ways with all the suspicions and mistrust leveled at them?"
Ron gestured to the town they were standing in. "look around Batman! These people are alive because Ivy created a fast growing plant that could feed them. Harley is teaching their kids how to do gymnastics. They are already productive members of society, here! And here no one knows of their past. No one will hold it against them or mistrust them because of it. They have changed and deserve a second chance at life."
Kim snorted and Shego flared her hands in anger.
"They robbed a casino here and are helping Ron to break the law." Kim said anyway.
"Ah. Yes the casino where I borrowed the money to save these people." Ron looked at a Bebe standing by. "Bebe # 43, please tell Kim about the casino and our arrangement."
The Bebe replied. "The Leader Ron has made arrangements with the casino to return every penny of money he took plus interest."
"But.. How?" Kim asked.
"The Bebes." Ron replied. "Some of them are excavating bases for me in undeveloped parts of the world and while doing so they have hit many pockets of gold, silver, jewels and like any prospector I'm filing claims on the lands through proxies and shell corporations and legally claiming them. It did bother me the robbery of the casino so when these monies started coming in, I contacted the casino owner and started repayment. Bebe please tell Kim what the law abiding casino owner has done."
"While accepting Ron's payments, the casino owner has not contacted his insurance company nor the police about this. He has claimed insurance money and also Ron's payments thusly enriching himself twice."
"Why didn't you go to the police... Oh." Kim said realizing that was a foolish question. Ron nodded his head. "Exactly. I don't care what others think of me as long as my own conscious is clear. Which it now is."
"They are still helping you to defy the rightful government of this country." Kim tried again.
"The rightful..." Ron started but then shook his head. "The government here was to rotate among all the different tribes. This government was not voted in. They refused to give up power and have abused the other tribes to maintain it. They are not 'rightful' in any sense of the word. Rebel or Freedom Fighter are just words depending on what side of the coin you are standing on."
"Just because they are doing a few good deeds in this dimension does not absolve them of..." Batman began.
Ron raised a hand to stop him and then rubbed his head. "I've had a very trying day Mr. Wayne. I nearly lost someone I loved today by betrayal of someone I thought was a dear friend. I am permanently ending another life long friendship and may have destroyed an alliance with a school that meant a great deal to me. I'm not sure my actions are the correct ones by no stretch of the imagination and I may have ruined my relationships with Quinn and Ivy and maybe even Shego by my decisions today. Hell, I may even lose the respect of the Bebes? I don't know but I do know one thing. You are not taking Quinn and Ivy with you Mr. Wayne unless they want to go with you."
Batman blinked. "You called me..."
"That's right Bats." Harley called out. "He knows who you are. He and Shego figured out who you must be after only talking to us for about ten minutes."
"He's wrong Harley. As you and Ivy are if you believe that I'm Bruce Wayne." Batman tried.
"I don't think so." Ivy said. "I think he nailed it. And I think if we return to Gotham that we'll find that Bruce Wayne has not been seen the entire time you were in this dimension."
"So you are going to blackmail me with this information to stay in this dimension?" Batman stated not bothering to deny it any longer.
"No. If we chose to go back with you, neither me nor Harley will ever mention it." Ivy stated.
"Because in your own way Batman you are trying to do the right thing like Ron. You may have different ways of going at it but you are both so alike it is scary. Neither one of you can stand to see someone suffering while others just stand by and let it happen. You both just can't stand to see injustice going on and are willing to take it on themselves to do something about it when no one else will.
And if we were to spread around Arkham or Gotham who you really are... It would cripple your ability if not absolutely kill it all together to do that good. And because of our time here with Ron, neither I nor Harley want to see that happen any more."
Batman studied Ivy for a moment and then did the same to Harley. "You both have changed." He finally said.
"That's right. We have." Harley said softly. "And we are not leaving Shego or Ron without a fight. Just like Bonnie we've learned what it means to have a family now and nothing is breaking us apart."
Ron nodded and went to kneel beside Bonnie. Reaching out he gently brushed her bangs away from her face and stared into her eyes.
"I just can't understand it Ron." Kim spoke. "She tied you up and took your virginity and yet... You love her, you really love her don't you?"
Ron sighed. "Bonnie can be rude and in the past she might have acted like she was better than everyone else but Kim the night she broke into my house and did those things I suddenly realized she was a desperately lonely woman looking for love and acceptance she wasn't getting at home. I forgave her for taking what I would probably have given her willingly if she had only asked. She was a broken person whom we..." Ron vaguely gestured with a free hand at Harley, Ivy and Shego and then back at himself. "We broke more. I had feelings for her then and yes in the beginning I just wanted to try and repair what we had done. But yes, I love her dearly now." Ron looked to Shego, Ivy and Harley. "As I love all of them."
Kim looked to Shego to see how she was taking Ron's confession and to her surprise she saw some tears in her eyes as well. Even Harley and Ivy had tears. She wanted to ask if they were tears because Ron admitted he loved Bonnie but suddenly she realized she didn't have to ask. She knew. Ron, Shego, Harley, Ivy and yes even Bonnie loved each other. It was a love Kim had never experienced because she wouldn't let herself have such a thing. And the fact that hurt the most at that moment was Kim knew she could have had it if only she had let Ron into her heart when he was hers.
Batman watched the scene for a moment and considered. Harley and Ivy had been gone from his dimension for a while now and most already considered them dead.
He could try to take them back with force but with Stoppable's Bebe force, not to mention the ninja skills the young man had been trained with, Batman might fail. And Batman was under no illusions. If he attacked Ron's 'family' he doubted the young man would show him the same consideration he had shown the ninja woman.
But all that didn't even enter into Batman's considerations.
The plain simple fact was...
Batman thought Ron was right.
Harley and Ivy had changed and taking them back to Gotham and Arkham would do nothing but make everyone suffer unduly.
So with a stern face hiding his decision he merely nodded and said. "This isn't my dimension. Whatever authority I have was left behind in Gotham."
Kim opened and shut her mouth several times without saying anything. Finally she managed to gasp out. "You are leaving them here?!"
Batman sighed. "When my parents were killed by criminals even as a child I had a choice. I could have left the matter with the police. Thrown myself into the privileged lifestyle that my inheritance left me and ended up becoming the rich playboy that I now use as a cover for my crime fighting activities but I decided justice was more important than procedures. That right was more important than following the norm."
Batman gave Ron a hard look. "I still believe your killing of the Joker wasn't the right thing to do but... I can understand why you thought it was necessary." He then glanced over at Kim. "And unfortunately, your Stoppable is correct. No matter how much Ivy and Harley have changed, they wouldn't be given the benefit of the doubt in Gotham. They would be hounded and pursued constantly by news, gossip mongers and legal authorities just waiting for them to make some slip."
"But they are breaking the law!" Kim tried again.
Batman sighed again. "And I break speed laws when I chase criminals in Gotham. Sometimes... Rarely but sometimes. The ends can justify the means."
Batman slowly looked at Harley, Ivy, Shego, Bonnie and finally Ron. "I too hope that I am not making a mistake this day that I will regret."
Ron nodded and moving over to where Bonnie was he helped her to her feet. Even though Bonnie was physically feeling fine, after Mantis's work and Ron bringing her back, she was still a little wobbly on her feet. Dying and being resurrected can do that to a person. Gently he directed her and the rest away from the intersection pausing only to say to a Bebe. "Thank you for keeping the town's people away. After all they have been through they didn't need to see even more violence in their town. Will you have some of your sisters clean the streets?"
"Yes Leader." The Bebe replied. As Ron started to walk off, the Bebe's eyes flashed and she reached out and touched his arm. "And Ron? You have not lost the respect of the Bebes this day. If anything we respect you even more than we did before. We Bebes are proud to call you our leader."
Kim feeling surreal with all that was going on followed along with the rest as Ron guided them to a flat empty space outside of town. The ground there had been leveled and pounded flat by the Bebes making an airplane landing field. Sitting at the edge of the runway was a small jet. Kim noticed Yori and her ninjas were boarding the plane. Yori looked to Ron but for his part Ron ignored the plane and the leaving occupants completely.
Looking around more, Kim spotted a man in a business suit holding the metal cylinder of the Transdimensional Vortex Inducer in his arms. She had to look twice to realize it was Drakken. She had seen for herself how his skin color had changed from blue to normal skin coloring at the Nevada lair of Ron's but Drakken had also cut off his mini ponytail and restyled his hair. Combined with the lack of a lab coat and gloves she hardly could believe it was him. He looked... Almost respectable.
"Have you made the modifications we discussed?" Ron asked as he walked up.
Drew Lipsky nodded his head and held the device out. "It was the damnedest thing though. I studied the internal x-rays the Bebes had taken of this device and made the control device and was trying to figure out the best way to cut into the device to make the necessary connections and..."
"As soon as you touched the control box to the side of the device it melded on its own to it?" Ron prompted.
"You knew that would happen?!" Lipsky asked in shock
"I suspected something like that might happen." Ron corrected. "I've thought a lot lately about that machine and I've realized a few things about it."
"There were two separate Transdimensional Vortex Inducers made in two separate dimensions. Correct?"
Lipsky nodded his head. "They became active at approximately the same time in the different dimensions and ended up in this dimension where they fused into one."
Ron smiled. "Did you notice any overlap of circuits in the X-rays?"
Lipsky frowned. "No. Now that you mention it. I didn't. What does that mean?"
"It could only mean one thing." Ron stated. "That both versions of the device had gaps and internal openings for the other half. Even I know that two things can't occupy the same space at the same time... Unless there are matching openings for them to do so. Its the reason the thing was so unstable. It wasn't complete."
Lipsky blinked. "But how is that possible?"
"I have a better question for you. Did you notice in the X-rays that there are voids still inside the machine... As though waiting for even more Inducers to join with it?"
Lipsky looked nervously at the device he was holding as if fearing it was going to suddenly come alive on its own.
Ron eyed the metal cylinder as well. "I have the feeling you are hiding many more secrets." He said to it. "And I also have the feeling in the future that I will learn what they all are..." Ron redirected his attention back to Lipsky. "But for now, let's see about getting Batman back home?"
Drew Lipsky nodded and careless of his fine clothing he sat down on the hard packed earth with the vortex inducer in his lap and drew everyone's attention to the slight bump of the new control device on the cylinder. Flipping up a protective metal covering he revealed that there were two buttons, a dial and two joysticks visible. It looked a bit like a remote control device for one of those flying radio controlled planes that were popular with hobbyists.
"By pressing this button we activate the device but in a 'view only' mode. Lipsky said pushing the button. There was a slight whine more felt than heard and suddenly a portal appeared a few feet away from the group. A perfectly round opening floating a few inches off the ground. The opening was large enough a person could stroll comfortably through it without touching any edges of the portal. Everyone staring into the portal could see a kind of jungle scene with what looked like a temple just visible in the distance.
"Now this is going to be a bit tricky." Lipsky said unconsciously sticking the tip of his tongue through his lips as he concentrated. Kim found herself idly thinking that he reminded her of Ron when he used to play video games when they were younger. Kim once again ignored the sharp pain in her chest at the thought that she would never again see that look on Ron's face any more and concentrated on observing what Drakken was doing with the device.
Lipsky put pressure on the joystick and the image in the portal blurred as it moved at high speeds across the surface of the distant dimension. "Oops." He muttered as he took his finger off the joystick. The image cleared and everyone could now see bright lights of a major city at night. People were walking past the portal window and in one case right through it without seemingly noticing it was there or disrupting it. "View only mode." Lipsky reminded everyone. "To the people of that city they see nothing while we are watching. We are like ghosts with no substance. If I press this other button..." Lipsky said as he pointed at the second button on the device. "It would open the portal to travel mode and people there could see it and walk through to our world." He touched the other joystick and moved it. The image in the portal spun as Lipsky tried to 'look' around.
"Stop." Ordered Batman.
"Did we get lucky this quickly and hit your Gotham?" Kim asked him.
Batman shook his head. "No. But I thought I recognized something. Go back very slowly." He told Lipsky.
"I really need to calibrate these controls." Lipsky muttered as he tried to touch more lightly on the second joystick. More slowly the image rotated and Lipsky halted instantly when Batman put his hand on his shoulder. Framed in the hovering portal was an image of a large building. Over the main entrance to the building was the name Daily Planet.
"You are in Metropolis." Batman stated.
"Oh get out of there." Harley muttered. "The last thing we need is to have to deal with 'him'."
Batman nodded his head as well.
Ron, Shego and Kim looked between Batman and Harley but neither seemed willing to explain.
"Well which way do I go?" Drew Lipsky said almost pouting. "This isn't like driving a car you know."
Batman, Ivy and Harley alternated in shouting out directions to Drew, some of them contrary to one another by the way and after about another twenty minutes of intense concentration on the part of Lipsky and many a backtracking, they finally zero'd in on Gotham City. Glancing up Kim realized somewhere during it all that the jet containing the ninjas had left and none of them had even noticed. She also noted standing silently behind the group were four Bebe robots carrying a... Kim swallowed nervously when she realized it was a plain pine coffin.
"That's it!" Harley shouted excitedly, causing Kim to jump a bit and taking her attention away from the silent Bebe pallbearers and she presumed the Joker's coffin. "That's Gotham City park. We're almost there now."
"Where?" Kim asked. "I mean we found your hometown, right? So why not just push the button already?"
Batman ignored her but said to Lipsky. "Very carefully exit the park and go down that street you see."
Lipsky sweating in the hot sunlight and with slight feather touches on the joystick moved the portal in small jerks in the direction he was told. Finally the portal stopped in front of a building that said. "Gotham City Police."
Almost afraid to breathe too hard on the control box Lipsy maneuvered the invisible window through the walls of the building.
"Can you make the portal rise?" Batman asked.
Lipsky nodded his head and gently pulled up on the second joystick. The portal began to rise through the ceiling of the Police lobby and Ron and his group watched as floor by floor began to pass by.
"You know..." Harley said. "This thing would be a secret agent or pervert's wet dream. I mean imagine all the sights you could see using this thing in view only mode. The secrets you could reveal. The mysteries you could..." She choked off as the portal rose through yet another floor to reveal a rumpled sloppily dressed man sitting on a toilet looking at a dirty magazine.
"However, what Detective Harvey Bullock does in his spare time... That I never wanted to know." Harley said as she reached out to slap Lipsky upside the head.
"Not like I know this building." Lipsky muttered sullenly. "Why didn't someone tell me we were about to go through the men's room?"
"Like how do you expect us to know where the men's rooms are located in the police building?" Ivy replied.
Lipksy nudged the first joystick control sideways and moved the portal out into the hallway outside the men's room. He started to pull up on the second joystick again to make the portal rise when Batman put his hand back on his shoulder again. "You are on the right floor. Follow the corridor."
Lipsky shrugged and being afraid of once again overshooting he barely nudged the joystick and made the portal inch along the hallway. Past several doors until he once again stopped as Batman touched his shoulder again. Without being told this time, Lipsky turned the portal until it was facing the door.
"Police Commissioner Gordon" Was the sign on the door.
Nudging the portal through the door, everyone could see a gray haired man talking to an attractive Asian woman.
"I don't care that it is quiet Yin. We both know even as scared as the inmates of Arkham are right now. Sooner or later they are going to escape and start up again."
"Still no leads on Batman or the Joker?" The woman asked.
"No, its like they fell off the face of the Earth somehow." Gordon said.
Ron stepped up on the other side of Drew Lipsky. "I think that is your cue Drew." He said and motioned for the Bebes carrying the Joker's coffin to approach. Ron had known they had been there all the time.
The others glanced over to see what Ron had motioned to and then almost as one they all looked at Harley to see her reaction to the coffin. Harley however ignored it completely. Not unlike how Ron had ignored Yori at the plane earlier. Instead of looking at the box she was looking through the portal at Gordon. "Is it just me or does poor Gordon look like he has aged years since we were there last?"
Batman frowned as he too studied Gordon. Jim Gordon looked tired. Far more than he usually did and that was saying a great deal. If it wasn't for the fact that Yin looked the same as when Batman had left, he might have thought the Vortex Inducer had opened a portal into time instead of just dimensional space.
Nodding at Lipsky he watched the man press down on the untouched last button on the controller. The portal gave a sparkling effect and suddenly Yin and Gordon were staring at them through the portal. Batman didn't hesitate but confidently walked through the portal into Gordon's office.
Gordon blinked a few times and then said. "You always have a way of making a hell of an entrance but even for you that's a new one."
Yin drew her gun and would have charged through the portal after the visible Ivy and Harley but was stopped as Batman placed a hand on her shoulder. "It's a long story Jim." To Yin Batman just looked at her.
Yin after a moment returned her gun to her holster. "I can't wait to hear this story." She muttered. "What about the Joker? Catwoman said you disappeared after him?"
Batman started to answer but was stopped as the metal Bebe women walked through the portal carrying the coffin. They silently placed the box on the floor and turning around walked back out through the portal.
Gordon looked at the box for a moment. "The Joker's?" He asked.
Yin looked at the coffin and then at Batman. "You?"
Batman shook his head and nodded at the portal. Through it Gordon and Yin could see a woman with light green skin walk up to stand beside a guy with messy blond hair. On the man's shoulder there appeared to be a rodent of some kind. Next to the blond was a man sitting on the ground holding a metal cylinder in his lap. Harley and Ivy were slightly to the side with a woman that Gordon and Yin didn't know and to the other side of the blond man was a red headed woman looking sadly through the portal at Batman.
"I got you home Batman." Ron called out. "You can tell the families of the victims of the Joker that justice finally came to the clown. Goodbye."
"I can't say me and Ivy will miss Ol' Gotham but we did have some times there didn't we Bats?" Harley called out to him.
The red head opened her mouth as if to say something but in the end she just sighed and waved sadly goodbye to Batman.
Ron looked down at Drew. "Okay Drew cut the connection."
Suddenly the portal vanished leaving Gordon, Yin and Batman alone with the Joker's coffin in Gordon's office.
Gordon walked around his desk and sat down in his chair. Leaning back he looked at Batman. "Well. Like Yin said. I can't wait to hear this story."
And so we leave Batman. I may in a future story revisit Gotham.
This chapter was one of the most difficult ones for me to write so far in this story. I did about four versions of it.
From one version where Bonnie remained dead and Ron lost it and killed Yori
To one where Bonnie remained dead and Ron was going to let Yori live and Harley killed her.
To a version where Ron had to forcibly eject Batman back to his own dimension.
In the end this is the version I ended up most happy with. Which doesn't mean I think it is perfect. Just the least flawed of my versions.
Next chapter we deal with the Tazo regime and the 'war' is on.