POSSIBLE LEVERAGE - Chapter 1
I do not own Leverage, Kim Possible, or any related characters. They are the property of their original owners. This is a non-profit work done for fun only. No copyright infringement intended, no money made, please do not sue me. Penne Teum and Mister Exe are original characters.
Location: 10,000 feet about Middleton
Name: Possible, Kim
Function: Team Leader
Kim Possible stared across the aisle of the private plane. "You want me to what?"
The man looking at her smiled. "I understand the idea is... startling. However, I don't see any option."
The man opened a folder and laid it out. "I created the Electrostatic Transducer in an attempt to create clean energy. Jack Hench and his company are going to turn it into a weapon and sell it to anyone with the money."
"How did they get their hands on it?" asked Kim.
"I.. trusted them." admitted the man. "He had some of the technology I needed for the Electrostatic Transducer. Before I could patent it, however, he stole all the records and information. Without those files, there's no way I can recreate the research or even prove that I was the one who created it.".
"But why contact me?" demanded Kim.
"I am a wealthy man." said the man, gesturing at the plane around him. "But I trusted one criminal already and got burned. For my plan to work, I need more criminals. But I need someone to watch them, And that's you."
"I don't work for money." said Kim.
The man shrugged. "If you want to donate the hundred thousand I'm offering to charity, that's fine. But think about what the Electrostatic Transducer can do in the wrong hands... either Jack Hench's, or the people I'm going to need for this to work.".
Kim Possible reached down and picked up a folder, opening it. If she had looked up, she would have seen the man give a small, cold smile.
* * *
Name: Shego (Real Name Unknown)
Function: Infiltration, Close Combat Expert
Shego sipped at the offered glass of champagne and glanced around the plane. "Nice."
"Thank you." the man said. "As I explained over the E-vil-mail, the reason I need you to infiltrate Hench-Co is..."
Shego raised a hand. "I don't need to know. I just need to know the target and how much I'm getting paid."
"And your other employer has no problem with you taking a side job?" asked the man.
"Dr. Drakken?" Shego snorted. "After that last disaster, I don't think I'll be going back to work for him. And with the money you're offering for one job... well, that will keep me in champagne for quite some time."
* * *
Name: Camille Leon
"Say that again." demanded Camille Leon.
"One... hundred... thousand... dollars." repeated the man, leaning back in his seat as clouds flew past the window. "For one job. Get in, get what I want, get out, get the cash."
Camille Leon smiled. "Normally, I don't like the idea of work. But just this once..."
* * *
Name: Lipsky, Ed "Motor Ed"
Function: Mechanical Engineering, Driver
"Seriously, dude, this plane could be so tricked out." said Motor Ed, sipping his beer. "I'm sure." said the man. "However, about the job..."
"What about anything else I take from Hench Co?" demanded Motor Ed. "They've got like, some serious hardware."
"Yes, yes." said the man. "Anything else is yours. But the electrostatic transducer and the hundred thousand..."
"Hey, man." said Motor Ed. "You had me at anything else. Seriously."
* * *
Name: Penne Teum
Function: Cyber Hacker, Electronics
"The job pays one hundred thousand." said the man. "You'll need to be able to slice into Hench Co computers and get the files. The mission will be... can you put that down?"
"No." said Penne Teum. The pimple faced geek, his dirty blonde hair pulled into a thin pony tail, never looked up from the game unit in his hands. His thumbs flew, pressing buttons. "There's a world record for playing Tetris and I aim to beat it. Don't worry, I multitask very well."
"Anyway, I'll need you to..." the man stopped, then hesitated. "Out of curiosity, who set the current Tetris world record?".
Penne Teum reached down and sipped at a large Mountain Dew. "I did."
* * *
Location: Rented office building, one quarter mile from Hench-Co Tower.
Shego walked in, carrying a large black duffle bag. She was dressed in a tight black fitting sweater and pants, flesh-tone makeup disguising her pale olive skin. "You're in my chair." said Shego.
Camille Leon looked up from where she was leaning back. The conference room featured eight leather chairs around a rectangular table. The one Camille was sitting in was at the head of the table. "I didn't see your name on it." said Camille arrogantly.
"Hey, Green." said Motor Ed from where he was sitting at one side of the chair. He was reading a motor magazine, a stack of similar magazines in the chair next to him.
Penne Teum, sitting in the corner, just grunted. He was still busy playing his video game. In addition to a disheveled plaid shirt, jeans, and sandals, he was wearing a large yellow plastic helmet. Strapped to each side of the helmet were two large bottles of Jolt cola, thin plastic tubes running from the bottles to Penne's mouth.
Shego ignored Motor Ed, knowing from experience that aggression only encouraged him. Instead, she pointed at Camille Leon. "Out." she said. "Or we see if I can melt that plastic face of yours."
"Settle down." a voice snapped from the door.
Shego turned, startled at the familiar voice. "Princess?".
It was, indeed, Kim Possible. However, a Kim Possible dressed in a black business suit, her hair drawn back in a tight, prim bun. "Shego, sit down. Camille Leon, find another seat."
"Why should I?" demanded Camille.
"I think I can think of a hundred thousand reasons." said Kim Possible. "If you want to get paid, that is."
Camille pouted, but moved to the next seat to the left. Shego sat down in the seat across the table, leaving the head seat vacant.
Kim Possible sat down in that seat, placing a briefcase on the table. "Mister Exe has placed me in charge of this... operation. I do have the authority to cancel this operation, which means that none of you will get paid."
"If I don't get paid, I'm taking that hundred thou' out of your cheerleading ass." grumbled Shego.
"Look, I don't work with you people anymore then you want to work with me." said Kim. "But if we're going to get the Electrostatic Transducer, we have to work together as a team. And I'm the coach."
Camille, Shego, and Motor Ed glanced at each other. Penne Teum hit pause on his game and, for the first time since entering the room, looked up. "So, what's the plan... 'coach'?" he asked.
Kim Possible flipped open the briefcase, activating the holographic projector inside the case. She didn't know who Mister Exe had bribed to get the schematics for Hench Co Towers, but Mister Exe had assured her the plans were trustworthy.
"Hench Co can afford some of the most complex security sensors around." said Kim Possible. "In addition, once you get past a certain point, the defenses switch to being lethal. Hench and his company will kill to protect their secrets. If we do this right, Hench will never know what hit him. But it will take perfect timing and teamwork."
Kim Possible took out a remote control and pressed a button. She had been studying the plans for weeks, working out the main plan and several contingencies. Calmly, she began explaining her plan, reaching in to point out details in the holographic display. Occasionally, one of the four criminals chimed in with a suggestion or question.
"Ok, I think that's it for now." said Kim. "I'll make the modifications, then have Penne upload the information to the VR Training Equipment Mister Exe provided. We will NOT be doing this until you can do this mission in your sleep."
"This is turning out to be a lot of work for a hundred grand." muttered Camille.
"That money won't do you any good in prison." said Kim. "Or the grave, which is where you could all wind up if this goes wrong.".
Kim stood up, turning off the holoprojector and taking out several hard copies of the building plans. She handed them out. "Building blueprints. Study these. Learn them. Know them."
"Great, homework." said Shego, sarcastically. "Will there be a pop quiz later?".
"More like a final exam." said Kim. "Lethally final."
Kim turned, heading to an office which had been outfitted with a cot. Until the mission was started, Kim and the others would be staying here. She heard someone following her and turned.
"What is it, Shego?" Kim demanded.
"I just wanted to see something for myself." said Shego. "Something I never expected to see."
"What is that?" demanded Kim.
"You're enjoying this. Being the black queen instead of a white knight." said Shego.
Kim snorted. "I don't know what you're talking about."
"On some level, part of you is loving this." said Shego. "Figuring out how to break in. Being the bad girl general instead of a soldier for right."
"Shego, I don't have time for this." said Kim. "This is a mission. Once it's over, you're going right back to helping Dr. Drakken and I'm going back to stopping you. Things are going to go right back to the way they were."
"Just keep telling yourself that, cupcake." said Shego. "But you've crossed a line. And once you've crossed it... you'll never want to go back.".
On that enigmatic utterance, Shego turned to the room reserved for her stay, still carrying her black duffle bag.
* * *
Shego cat-crawled through the ventilation mock-up, using her fingers and toes to push herself along. Behind her, Penne Teum struggled to keep up, pushing a large pack in front of him. Both were wearing elaborate goggles which fed them an artificial view of reality.
At the control console, Kim Possible watched silently, twirling a black stylus with her fingers.
"Can't you move any faster?" hissed Shego.
"I'm a software type of guy." complained Penne. "I leave the hardware for the users."
Kim Possible growled. "Keep it quiet. No chatter on the job."
"Oh, come on. When we go in, no one is going to be within three floors of us." complained Shego.
"No one we know about." said Kim. "What if someone stays working late? A guard alters his routine? No chatter."
Shego mouthed something too low for Kim to make out, then continued crawling through the simulation.
* * *
Camille stared at the computer screen. "I'm sorry." she said, pitching her voice lower then she usually did. "I didn't order any pizza."
On the computer, two windows popped up. One showed a prerecorded sample, the other showed Camille's latest attempt. Several sections of the sample flashed red. The computer buzzed and displayed the message "INSUFFICIENT MATCH."
Camille growled and then tried again. "I'm sorry. I didn't order any pizza."
This time, the computer beeped approval. The next audio sample appeared. "This is 22 Holmes Street." she repeated. "Sherlock Street is about two miles that way.".
On the counter, by the computer, a pizza cooled in its cardboard box.
* * *
Motor Ed was busy working under the hood of a car. He was using an experimental pneumatic power tool; instead of an air compressor, it used a compressed CO2 cylinder build into the handle. He finished unscrewing the lid of a plastic box, revealing a tangled spaghetti of colored wires. He reached in with a pair of needle-nose pliers, trying to undo one wire, and accidentally disconnected another. The car's horn began blaring, causing Motor Ed to jerk upwards and bang his head against the hood. Swearing loudly, he reached into the box and ripped out a handful of wires, silencing the horn.
"Nice." commented Kim, from where she had silently entered the garage. "I liked the swearing; it made sure security would know something was up, even if the horn didn't."
"Look, red..." said Motor Ed. "These tools are a joke."
"These are the types of tools Hench Co mechanics use." said Kim. "They're what you'll have. Adapt."
* * *
Kim leaned back in the chair. Unlike the cot, the chair had come with the office. It was luxurious and well padded, almost sinfully comfortable. She spoke into the phone in calm, reassuring tones. "I know, mom, it's just two days. I'll be back home in plenty of time to pack for college. No, I can't tell you what I'm doing... Yes, I'll be careful. Give my love to dad and the tweebs.". She hung the phone up and sighed.
"See, that's why I don't keep contact with my brothers." said Shego.
Kim looked up and glared at Shego. "I thought I'd locked the door."
Shego smiled. "Thief, remember?"
Kim growled. "You're supposed to be in bed. It's the big heist tomorrow."
Shego shrugged. "So why are you up? Can't sleep for the excitement?"
Kim glowered as best she could at the taller thief. "Unlike you, I'm not getting a kick out of this."
"Don't kid a kidder, girl." said Shego, turning. "You're loving this."
Kim had had enough. Weeks of being away from her family, working with the others, had taken their toll. Between Camille's complaints, Motor Ed's comments, and Penne's geek speak, she was ready to snap. She lashed out at Shego with a punch to Shego's midriff.
Shego's response was fast and automatic, deflecting the strike with an elbow block and lashing out with a high kick that Kim blocked with crossed forearms. The two women rampaged around the office, throwing punches and kicks at each other. None of the blows landed solidly; both women were too good at dodging and blocking. Soon the office was in shambles, furniture and papers scattered to the floor. Eventually, the fight reached a lull, the two women facing off. Both were breathing heavily, chests rising and falling. Sweat gleamed on their athletic bodies under the fluorescent lighting of the office. Shego suddenly smiled and threw a mocking salute at Kim. "Thanks for the work out, boss." she said. "I think I can get to sleep now."
Before Kim could say anything, Shego had turned and walked out of the office, closing and locking the door behind her. Growling, Kim righted the cot and flopped down on it. Much to her surprise, she found herself drifting off to sleep immediately.