This was the routine. They had done it, literally 80 times already. Out running an exploding villains lair was what they did. So why was it going so wrong?

Kim tried to look through the flames. She hoped that hint of blue was the aura of Ron's still breathing body. She hoped that glint of brown meters away was the sparkle in Ron's eye. The blonde tresses in the other direction. The gray of mission pants. The black of his shirt. Anything. Anything to deny what she knew-he was as dead as she was.

Ron screamed at the top of his lungs. The legends of monkeys that surrounded him when he needed them most mourned for him. Kim couldn't find him. He had her back...until now. Why couldn't have he at least bought her some time? That's what the side kick, the distraction, he did. Too busy blaming himself, he fell from enlightenment. The primates of primordia let him go.

Fire. Only fire. Then the end.


Yori quietly sobbed. Even from this bath house, any of her junior students (those that were paying attention) could hear a cry. But still she sobbed.

Ron had ascended, if only briefly. And he had done that with a woman who would never serve him. Never be pleased to be led. One that did not realize who was the Monkey Master, and who was merely mortal.

Yori knew that Yaumonoughchi would require leadership after Sensei-so she trained another. Yori knew the world needed the Monkey Master-so she did not reproach Kim. Yori had met her responsibilities the moment Ron had ascended. Even Sensei knew it would be better to 'deliver' the impending warning of the Lawardian invasion himself than force Yori to come so close yet so far to the chosen.

Now Yori allowed herself her first luxury in her entire life. And as the last of her blood seeped from her wrist, she wept for that too.


"Shego!", Dr. Drakken screamed.

"Chill out, Dr. D.", Shego replied. "You always get the remote. I'm using the TV tonight. If going straight is this stressful for you, why don't you just blow off some steam and rob a bank or something?"

Then she knew.

"It's happenning again.", Shego whispered.

Dr. Drakken eyes responded with horror, then sadness. Only now, he could bear to tell her what he had come to tell the empty space she left behind. "Good luck."

Shego smiled, then nodded. The top of her head, eaten away by some unseen force, had already vanished.