Failure Is The Only Option
"All right people, listen up!" Mr. Barkin's command elicited a collective groan from the students. The news was rarely good when he spoke those particular words.
"Your science teacher, Mrs. Feldermoss, is still in the hospital after last week's lab mishap involving flammable liquids and a certain naked mole rat." He bit out the last couple of words as he glared at Ron Stoppable, who only could offer a weak smile. "So today's class will be a field trip to the Middleton Space Museum and Research Center."
"Nice going, Stoppable!" Bonnie Rockwaller hissed.
"Heh-heh, how did I know that those beakers were so fragile?" was Ron's sheepish reply.
"Ron, I know it wasn't your fault, but you really have to keep Rufus out of the chem lab." Kim Possible tried to calm the angry grumblings of the class, but the class continued to glare at Ron.
"You're right KP, I'll try harder to keep him out of trouble." Rufus popped out of Ron's pocket and mumbled "sorree," his tiny paws still bandaged from the mishap.
As the students boarded the bus, Kim asked, "Mr. Barkin, will we be back in time for cheer practice? We have a regional competition coming up."
Bonnie sneered, "What's the matter, K? Afraid you're not practicing enough? You know I'd be happy to take your place as squad leader if you feel you're not up to it." Bonnie had been gunning for Kim's spot for years and never let an opportunity pass to get in a dig.
"So not the drama, B! I was just looking out for the team, and those who really need the practice." Kim's catty reply was rewarded by giggles from the other members of the cheer squad who were present.
Mr. Barkin frowned. "Can it, people! Save your energy for the competition. And yes, Miss Possible, we'll be back in plenty of time for cheer practice."
Ron chimed in, "So we'll also have time to swing by Bueno Nacho for some snackage, Mr. B?" At the mention of food, Rufus again popped out of Ron's pocket and said, "Mmm! Cheeese!"
Ron's question was met by an even fiercer frown, as Mr. Barkin icily replied. "Stoppable, didn't you learn anything from your disastrous ignorance of my Wheel of Good Eating lecture?" The specter of Ron's recent naco-induced transformation into a mutant giant still gave Mr. Barkin chills.
"Mysterious chemicals! Not my fault!" yelled Ron.
Mr. Barkin sighed heavily as he started the engine and pulled the bus away from the school.
Dr. Drakken was in the middle of another one of his rants, as Shego absentmindedly flipped through the pages of Henchwoman Monthly.
"Shego! I've finally done it! I've come up with an absolutely brilliant scheme for taking over the world, and this time, it's absolutely, positively . . ."
Shego quickly cut in. "Dr. D, if you say foolproof one more time . . ." She lit up one hand with her green plasma, to underscore what would happen if he were to be so foolish as to complete his sentence.
"Nnngh! Spoil sport! I hire you for your help, not your lip, Shego."
"Okee-dokee, Dr. D. What have you got planned this time?" Shego turned back to her magazine, stifling a yawn.
"A plan that will give me both absolute world power and doom Kim Possible, in one swell foop!"
Shego rolled her eyes for what must have been the thousandth time. "Isn't that 'one fell swoop' Dr. D?"
"Uh, yes, I believe you're right, Shego. Must write that down on a 3x5 card for future reference . . ." He rummaged through a drawer trying to find a pen.
A green energy blast from Shego's glove blew a small hole in the wall next to the mad scientist. "Get on with it, Dr. Drakken! I may be on the clock, but I haven't got all day."
The briefly startled doctor continued. "Of course Shego. Tell me, why have I always been unsuccessful in my plans for world domination?"
Shego's eyes glazed over as a hundred sarcastic replies suddenly flooded her mind, rendering her temporarily speechless.
"Shego? SHEGO!" he yelled.
"Wha - what Dr. D?" she replied, breaking out in a belly laugh.
"Arghh, never mind." As her laughter trailed off, he continued. "Kim Possible always manages to discover and foil my brilliant plans, even after being captured and restrained."
"You mean, after I capture and restrain her." Shego smiled.
"Yes, yes, of course!" he quickly continued. "But this time, I will dispose of her at the same time as I set my diabolical plan in motion. Oh, it will be a victory that I will richly savor!"
"Uh huh, uh huh. Details, Dr. D."
"It involves the Pan-Dimensional Vortex Inducer, which I will need you to steal, Shego."
Her pale green skin turned a shade paler as she remembered the device, and the time it trapped them within a series of TV shows, along with Kim, Ron and that naked mole rat. The device also had nearly ripped apart the very fabric of space-time, threatening to leave them all in eternal limbo.
"Uh, Dr. D, do you really want to mess with that particular device again? Not only did Kimmie wreck your plans, but we also got stuck on the set of that blasted kiddie show for days! You were 'moopy' for weeks, even after your arm healed after being broken by Mr. Sit-Down."
"Of course I do, Shego! I'm no quitter. Once is never enougher, but twicer is nicer!" he cackled to himself, proud of the new adage he had just created.
"Actually this would be the third time, if you remember our little adventure with Dementor in Las Vegas …"
"Shego, you always rain on my parade. Very well, third time's a charm! Happy now?"
"Yeah, sure Doc." Shego crossed her arms as she continued. "So what's different this time, O great wise one?"
"We'll use it to take complete control over the entire world's broadcasting network! Just imagine, Shego: News! Weather! Sports! All at my command, along with every form of video entertainment known to man! And at the same time, I'll trap Kim Possible within its electronic web! Hah! Hmm. And maybe even unload my remaining Brainwashing Shampoo and Cranial Rinse on QVC. And then there's all of those leftover cupcakes . . ."
"Wandering again, Dr. D. And speaking of 'Cupcake,' how are we going to deal with Possible and her sidekick when they show up?"
Dr. Drakken answered, his eyes hooded in conspiratorial glee. "Ah, this it where it gets good, Shego. Even as we speak, Kim Possible's father is analyzing the Pan-Dimensional Vortex Inducer at the Middleton Space Museum and Research Center. Dr. Possible was so sad that I didn't 'include' him when I kidnapped the world's smartest scientists. So when I pop my electronic 'silly hat' on his smug head and reduce him to a blithering idiot, he'll now get his wish! And when dear Kimberly Ann comes to his rescue, we'll activate the device and transport the whole kip and catoodle into the airwaves! Bwa-ha-ha-ha!"
"That's 'kit and caboodle' Dr. D," Shego corrected. "But I've gotta say Doc, you've really thought this through this time. I'm impressed!"
"Why, thank you, Shego. I must say, that Red Cow energy drink really gets my creative juices flowing!"
Shego heaved a heavy sigh as she said to herself, "Yeah, until the caffeine and sugar rush wears off and you totally crash . . ."
"What was that, Shego?" Ignoring her comment and warming to his rant, he continued.
"I've also combined the Quantum Reverser and Dimensional Compiler into one device, so we will have complete control of the . . . 'remote,' so to speak. If we need to enter the dimensional vortex, we'll be able to choose the programs we wish to enter. No more random channel-flipping!" Dr. Drakken gloated evilly as Shego's eyes widened in amazement at his sudden detail-orientation. "And, just to add insult to injury, I will remove all Bueno Nacho commercials from the airwaves, just to spite the buffoon, uh, whose name just escapes me now, um, drat . . ." Drakken's mind began to wander as he tried to recall Ron's name.
Shego sighed as she put her head in her hand. "Focus, Dr. Drakken! The buffoon's name is Stoppable, for the hundredth time! Jeez Louise, you would think that his name would have been burned indelibly into your mind after all the times he's accidentally ruined your plans with his crazy antics!" She laughed inwardly, as she thought to herself, "Yup, same old Drakken . . . oh well. But think: has he missed anything?"
"Uh, Dr. D, won't we need more than just local cable to reach the whole world?"
Dr. Drakken raised his index finger as he replied. "Ah, but we won't be using Komcast anymore, my dear Shego. I've gotten . . . a dish!"
Shego's jaw dropped. "Yup, he has thought of everything this time . . ."