And once again, my eternal gratitude to A Markov, for flogging me repeatedly until I finally managed to turn this into something reminiscent of fiction.
The characters in this story are the property of Disney. I make no monetary gain from their use (so don't sue me).
No Means No
(a Kim Possible fanfiction)
"Thanks for the lift, Mr. Geminini." Kim looked over to the man in the pilot's seat next to her and smiled.
"Least I could do, Miss Possible. I'm just glad you didn't have to bring your brothers along again. Last time they nearly crashed my plane, and me along with it!" Mr. Geminini laughed uneasily at the memory, his eyes hidden behind his aviator sunglasses.
"Yeah, sorry again about that," Kim apologized sheepishly, remembering.
"Sorry?" he echoed, laughing. "If you hadn't fixed that hydraulic line, we'd have all died!"
His laughter faded quickly into a scowl. "The hydraulic line they disconnected…"
"Don't worry," Kim reassured him, smiling with her own relief. "The Tweebs are off at Rocket Booster Camp. My parents took them this morning. They'll be gone all summer."
Mr. Geminini laughed again. "I wonder what it would be like to have those two in the vicinity of something like a rocket!"
Kim, thinking much along the same lines, shuddered. She knew what that was like all too well. They were silent for a few moments, Kim watching the blinking red dot representing their destination move toward the center of the Kimmunicator's screen.
"And what about the other one – that nervous blond fellow?" Mr. Geminini asked.
"Oh, you mean Ron," Kim said, shaking her head slightly. She didn't know why it was so hard for people to remember her boyfriend's name. "I'm not sure, exactly. It is summertime; he's probably off 'marinating' someplace."
"'Marinating?'" he repeated, looking at Kim over the top of his sunglasses.
"Yeah," Kim confirmed. "'Marinating.'" She used air-quotes the second time.
Mr. Geminini just stared at her. Kim sighed, waving a hand. "It's no big, really."
Kim was annoyed that she hadn't been able to reach Ron. She had called him about four times while Mr. Geminini was on the way to her house, but each time the call went to voice mail.
Then again, Kim thought again, it might be better to go solo on this one.
She liked having Ron and Rufus as backup, but her current plan called for surprise and, well… while Ron certainly had his strengths, stealth wasn't among them. Changing the subject, Kim looked at the blinking dot again, then back at Mr. Geminini.
"We're getting close. Are you sure they can't see us?" Kim asked.
Mr. Geminini smiled, turning his attention back to his instruments. "Miss Possible, don't worry. Even if they had an active radar array pointed right at us, all they would see is empty sky. You know, this thing isn't called the Wraith for nothing!"
Somewhat reassured, Kim looked at the blinking dot one last time before standing up. She grabbed her helmet and small parachute rig, quickly donning both.
"Thanks again," Kim said, pulling the last strap tight. "This is where I get off."
"All right," the pilot replied, pressing a button. Kim felt the change in pressure and knew that the bomb bay doors had been opened.
"You know, I don't have anywhere to be today. I'm just burning fuel and logging hours. You want I should circle around a few times, and wait in case your friend calls?"
"Please and thank-you," Kim answered gratefully. If things didn't go well, she might need a quick exit.
"Ha! For you," he agreed, grinning. "Anything!"
Kim stepped toward the back of the plane, securing the fabric wings of her squirrel suit to her wrists. She took one last look at the blinking dot on the Kimmunicator's small screen before leaping out into the open air.
"Okay, let's see," Doctor Drakken said quietly to himself. "The red wire with the white stripe goes here, and the white wire with the red stripe goes –"
A bright flash cut off his words.
"AAAAAAAAAAAH!" Drakken screamed, dragging himself out from under the machine he had been trying to repair.
His black hair stood out from his scalp, dark smoke wafting up from it. If Shego had been there, he knew, she'd have some wisecrack to make. As it was, the handful of henchpeople who remained just stood around, looking anywhere but at him. Too afraid to laugh, and too stupid to do anything useful, they simply waited to be given some menial task or another.
At least they're loyal, he thought to himself. He shifted his gaze from the slack-jawed henchpeople to the smoking gizmo in his hand. A multitude of brightly-colored wires hung from one end of the ruined device.
"How am I supposed to tell these apart?" he demanded of no one in particular. "White wire, red stripe. Red wire, white stripe. They all look the same!"
He dropped the thing on the floor and kicked it as hard as he could.
"AAAAAAAAAAAH!" Drakken screamed again, this time at the sudden jolt of pain from his right big toe.
He hopped for a few minutes, clutching his aching foot and issuing a constant stream of unintelligible mutterings. When the pain finally subsided to a throbbing ache, he calmed down and tried walking on the hurt foot. He wasn't sure, but the toe felt broken.
Drakken sighed, suddenly morose. That had been his last somato-parthenogenetic signal modulator. Without it, his new cloning machine was just a very fancy paperweight. He was grateful that Shego, in her anger – over what, he really couldn't fathom – had focused her attention on the obsolete syntho-cloning machine. It meant that she had only given his new, mitotic cloning machine a cursory beating.
But without the master thief there to steal a new signal modulator from the genetic research facility in South Korea, he was stuck. Of course, he could just reverse-engineer the thing and build one himself, but that would take time he didn't have. With Shego gone and his first (and so far, only) successful nympho-clone out who-knows-where, he figured it was only a matter of time before Kim Possible tracked him down.
Drakken limped back and forth, pacing across the floor of the lab. Frowning, he tried to decide what to do next. There was no way he could get into that research facility himself, and there was no way – he looked at the rabble of henchpeople in the room – he could send anyone else to do it for him.
Who else is there? he asked himself, slipping quickly into despair. Another brilliant plan, snuffed out in its mere infancy.
He hated Dementor too much to even ask for the man's help, not that the Professor would have given it anyway. Fiske was still in prison, he knew. And Killigan – well, Killigan would certainly agree to help, but if he acquired the modulators he was likely to simply demand more money for them, threatening to auction them online if Drakken didn't pay. He could always try the Villains' Temp Agency gain, but he knew that with a freelance mercenary there was still no guarantee of delivery.
Delivery? An idea…
"Aha!" he cried, snapping his fingers. "If I can't go get a somato-parthenogenetic signal modulator, I'll simply have one brought to me!"
Giggling in evil excitement, Dr. Drakken rushed off, hobbling on his injured foot. His henchpeople watched him go, pausing in their work cleaning scorch marks off the less-damaged pieces of equipment. Dr. Drakken spared them hardly a glance as he went. He had some very important phone calls to make, and he wanted to make them before a certain red-haired hero came calling.
The wind slapped Kim in the face the moment she left the plane. She tumbled once before leveling out. Her arms spread wide, she felt the wings of her suit catch the air. Getting her bearings, Kim pointed herself toward her objective.
Drakken's mountain lair loomed ahead, deceptively serene.
Kim pressed her thumb against a button on her Kimmunicator. She turned her wrist, holding the device out at arm's length to preserve her flying position.
"Can you give me a tech scan of the lair's defenses, Wade?" she asked when his face appeared on the screen.
"Already on it," he replied smugly. Kim thought she could hear the sound of rapid typing over the rush of wind in her ears.
"Nothing," he said after a moment. Kim looked back at the Kimmunicator's screen.
"What do you mean, 'nothing'?"
"I mean, there's nothing there," he repeated, shrugging. "There are no defenses."
"No way Drakken would leave his lair unguarded," Kim argued. "There has to be something –"
"If there is," Wade cut her off, "I can't see it." He paused, then shrugged again. "I know, Kim. It doesn't make sense. I'll keep looking. You be careful."
"Thanks, Wade," Kim said sincerely.
She switched off the Kimmunicator and concentrated on the task at hand. Gliding through the air in her winged suit, Kim was rapidly approaching the apparently undefended lair. It was just one more wrinkle in an already bizarre sitch. Kim's eyes scanned ahead, looking for some sign that she'd been noticed.
There was none, at least not that she could see. No henchmen, no synthodrone patrols, not even so much as one active security camera. As she drew near the mountain, Kim found a suitable landing spot, a narrow shelf jutting out from the rocky face, and angled for it.
The squirrel suit slowed her descent from one hundred twenty miles per hour to less than thirty, but it did so by channeling the downward force into forward velocity. It meant she didn't strictly need a parachute to land, but she did need to slow down somehow.
Swooping down to just a few feet above the ledge, Kim jerked a ripcord, releasing a small drag chute. The silk stretched out behind her, and she felt the tug as it caught the wind. Kim hit the ground and tumbled, rolling nimbly into a crouch.
She seized the drag chute, balled it up, and quickly stuffed it back into the container. She didn't want some roving guard to find it and raise the alarm.
Not that anyone seems to be looking for it, she thought, her unease growing.
She had the distinct impression that she was walking right into a trap. That impression was only reinforced as Kim recalled how she had found the lair in the first place.
"Here," Shego said with a smirk. In her hand was a small slip of paper with some numbers written on it. Coordinates, Kim quickly realized.
Whatever suspicions Kim had before of Shego's motivation to help her, the ease with which she was now proceeding only confirmed that the whole thing was a setup. Kim knew that she could handle whatever Drakken had planned for her on the mountain. What worried her more was how she'd left Shego and the clone at her house.
That could be the real setup, Kim thought again. She closed her eyes and let the sudden wave of panic at that thought wash over her and pass.
After all, what choice did I have, really? There's no way I could have trusted the clone enough to bring her along, and if what Shego said about her strength was true…
Kim reminded herself once again that leaving the clone with the one person apparently able to control her was the only thing she could have done. It still nagged at her, though. Kim had learned the hard way not to underestimate her old enemy. Drakken was weird – definitely crazy – but he was by no means stupid. It would be totally Drakken's style to try to replace Kim with a clone while she was away.
But why would he tip his hand so early? Kim wondered once again. It just didn't make any sense to send Shego to Kim's house, to let Kim see the clone. But if Shego wasn't under orders from Drakken, then…
Why should I trust you, Shego?
Kim could only shrug, mirroring the exact gesture Shego herself had given in answer to that question four hours ago. Quite simply, Kim didn't really have much of a choice in the matter. The only thing that made any sense at all was Shego's explanation, and that was just…
"Weird," Kim said to herself.
She was looking at an air vent set into the rock wall. There was a laser grid guarding it, but a second check with the Kimmunicator confirmed the lasers were inactive.
"Definitely a trap, then." There was no way Drakken would just leave his lair unguarded.
Kim pondered her next move for a moment, unsure of what to do. She considered just going back to Middleton, but a vision of hundreds of nymphomanic Kim Possibles running loose decided her. She had to go ahead, she knew that, but one detail remained.
How do I get in?
"If it's a trap, then they're expecting me," Kim said, thinking out loud. "So, sneaking in through a vent won't work. That's what they're expecting me to do."
As Kim talked softly to herself, she swung her backpack off her shoulders and began rummaging through it. "And I can't just walk up and knock on the front door. Sure, that'd be totally unexpected, just… also totally dumb."
So, Kim decided, smiling suddenly as she pulled a small case out of her backpack. The only option left is to make my own door.
Shego sat on the floor of Kim's room, her back pressed against the wall. She'd agreed to stay and watch the clone while Kim went looking for Drakken. Kim had practically begged her to and, truth be told, she didn't really have anything better to do at the moment anyway.
Shego yawned again, looking slightly enviously at the clone as she lay sleeping – honest, natural sleep, Shego hadn't had to knock the girl out for once. Shego found it awkward enough just to be in Kim's room, but the clone had no qualms whatsoever with flopping right down on Kim's bed.
"It's not going to take Kimmie long to mop up Dr. D and sort all this out," she said softly.
She felt a little guilty about sending Kim Possible after him, but Dr. D really needed to learn this time. His first failed adventure in cloning apparently hadn't taught him a thing. But Shego knew that Kim would find Drakken, break his toys, and send him to jail again. Shego would let him stew for a while this time before breaking him out, just to make sure he knew she was serious about the damned cloning.
But in the end, everything would go back to normal. After all, she actually liked working for Dr. D – more than she let on, anyway. He was a little batty, but not many bosses in her line of work would be as easy to work for, or let her get away with as much. She'd steal things and beat people up, and he would find new ways to fail at world conquest. Kimmie would find new ways to beat him, and so the cycle would go.
"Then everything will be settled," she finished aloud.
Except… what to do with you.
In spite of herself, Shego had actually grown fond of the neurotic little clone. Not enough to want to get stuck with her – the girl's libido was positively infuriating – but at the same time, Shego didn't want any harm to come to her either. It wasn't that Shego necessarily hated clones; it was cloning itself that she hated – the very idea of it made her sick.
The thought of growing people, made-to-order humans, it just seemed so wrong. Now that the girl was here, though, it was a tough question, what to do with her.
But, Shego decided, yawning again. That question will still be here after I get some sleep.
A green eye cracked open, watching as Shego slowly drifted off to sleep. Once the woman's breathing had slowed to a steady rhythm, the clone rose quietly from the bed. Making about as much noise as her shadow, the living Kim Possible doll crept out of the room and down the stairs.
When she swung the front door open, she was surprised to see the handsome young man standing there, his finger reaching out for the doorbell.