Kim Possible and all related characters are the property of Disney. Buckaroo Banzai and all related characters are the property of Earl Mac Rauch and W.D. Richter.

----

It was a classic stand off; all that was missing was the obligatory tumbleweed. Warpaath stood before his sky cycle, patiently waiting for his prey to make the first move. Ron Stoppable, Shego, and Buckaroo Banzai were waiting for Kim Stoppable's signal, while Dr. Betty Director covered them. In nearby alleys and behind building were Will Du and a team of four sharpshooters, training their immobilizer rifles on the Lorwardian and waiting for the moment when they could fire.

Kim Stoppable was wrestling with herself. She knew what it was like to have her emotions toyed with, but she realized that this was their best chance of stopping this guy. She'd had Wade upload a new application to her battle suit that would allow it project holographic images. She hoped that the image she chose would throw Warpaath off just long enough for Ron and Shego to subdue him. It was a good plan, but one that didn't take an impatient Red Lectoid into consideration.

"This is taking too long!" John Ya-ya practically screamed.

"Impatient as always, I see." Warpaath calmly approached his former pet. "Tell me, John Ya-ya, why did you come here today? Was it for some form of vengeance? Or did you wish for me to put you out of your misery once and for all?"

"As the humans would say, I want my pound of flesh, Warpaath!" Ya-ya proudly announced. "You are going to pay for all the years of abuse I suffered at your hands."

"Stay out of this, Ya-ya," Dr. Director warned, catching Warpaath's attention.

"Ah, and who is this proud warrior?" Warpaath asked, impressed with Dr. Director's boldness. "The loss of your eye must have been from quite the battle. You wear the scar proudly."

"You should see what I did to the other guy," Dr. Director remarked. "I'm Dr. Elizabeth Director, head of Global Justice. I'll only warn you one more time, Warpaath; get off this planet."

"Or face the consequences," Warpaath said, repeating her past warning in a mocking tone. "I've heard it all before Dr. Elizabeth Director, head of Global Justice." He turned and sneered at the Red Lectroid. Warpaath pulled a spare blaster from his belt and tossed it at John Ya-ya. "Since you are so eager to end my life, Ya-ya, I give you that opporunity." Warpaath stood before his former captive and opened his arms wide. "I believe the human phrase is, take your best shot!"

Ya-ya did just that; yelling out years of frustrations as he shot energy blast after energy blast at the Lorwardian. He missed, forcing Buckaroo and Ron to scatter while Kim and Shego took shelter within Kim's battle suit shield bubble. But when Ya-ya was right on target, the blaster wouldn't discharge, no matter how hard he pulled the trigger.

"You programmed this not to fire on you." Ya-ya stated as he threw the weapon to the ground.

"Yes, " Warpaath replied simply. "I designed that wepaon myself. If it is aimed at me, the recognition sensors disable the firing mechanism. Call it a precaution against one such as you stealing my sidearm from me. Actually, I built that feature into all my weapons."

"You always have an angle, don't you?" Ya-ya said.

"It has served me well over the years. I was going to kill you, John Ya-ya, but I've decided that death is too good for you. I have a much better idea." Warpaath pressed a button on his gauntlet, charging up his chest mounted overthruster. The blaster assembly on Warpaath's left arm started to glow and hum as he pointed it at the Red Lectroid. "Have you ever heard of Maxis VII? It was a world of nothing but intelligent machines. The first planet I ever conquered. The inhabitants had this device called an extrapolation scanner. It could scan any damaged machine, and no matter how mangled it was, it could somehow regenerate the circuits, servo motors, and armor plating. It was their method of self repair. I claimed it as a trophy before I reduced them all to scrap metal."

"So?" Ya-ya spat.

"I used it on the overthruster, which is now fully functional and wired into my arm blaster. Have fun in the 8th Dimension." Warpaath pushed the trigger button in his glove, sending a pulse of electric red light at John Ya-ya. The pulse hit him, and Ya-ya screamed. His body glowed red and his image faded, replaced with a silhouette of the Red Lectroid that contained the maelstrom of the 8th Dimension. Within seconds, that too faded. John Ya-ya was gone; banished to the prison he had been so desperate to liberate his comrades from.

"Anyone else want to follow him to eternal imprisonment?" Warpaath smugly asked.

It was all Buckaroo Banzai could do to keep from attacking. "You've taken the life's work of a great man and perverted it into a weapon of war!" he said in a voice dripping with rage. "Dr. Hikita never intened for the overthruster to be used like that!"

"Then this Dr. Hikita you so revere was not that great of a man, Buckaroo Banzai," Warpaath gloated. "Had he been as great as you say, he would have made this into a much better weapon than I did. You and your world will pay for his shortsightedness."

Shego glanced over at Kim. Princess, if you're gonna do this, do it now. The green skinned former villain closed her eyes and thought of her family. For their sakes, her son especially, she hoped that this plan didn't backfire.

"It doesn't have to go down like this, dude," Ron said, getting Warpaath's attention.

"Sharpshooters, standby," Dr. Director discretely said into her comm link.

Warpaath wasn't backing down. "Oh, but it does, Great Blue. You see, you will legitimize me when I ovethrow the emperor. Besides, you killed an old friend of mine."

"You mean me, Warpaath?" a female voice from behind him asked. Warpaath's yellow eyes widened in recognition. Trembling, he looked behind him, to see the face of one he never thought he'd see again.

"Warmonga?"

"Hello, Warpaath." The response was clipped and monotone. It had no emotion whatsoever. Not surprising, since her dialogue had been clipped together from recordings Wade had gotten from the Kimmunicator.

"H-how is this possible? I saw you perish at the hands of this human filth!" There was no reply from Warmonga. "Why won't you answer me, old friend? Warhok is not here, so there is no reason for you to ignore me! Warmonga, please answer me!" He was breathing heavier now, almost hyperventalating. "How I have missed you, Warmonga." He reached out to touch his childhood companion when the hot searing pain of Shego's plasma blasts washed over his back and knocked him forward, through the image of the woman he had been pleading to. "Warmonga" faded into nothing.

Kim Stoppable stood with her arms in front of her. The gloves of her battle suit had morphed into a pair of hologram projectors. She let out an audible sigh of relief when Warpaath went down. This relief was short lived as Warpaath recovered quicker than expected. He rolled onto his back and, with a feral growl, leapt back onto his feet. The Monkey Master was right there waiting for him. Ron grabbed Warpaath by the shoulders and threw him out into the open. "Don't move, war dude," Ron said, giving Dr. Director the signal she was waiting for.

"NOW!" she barked. From five different directions came strands of titanium reinforced steel cable that wrapped around the alien, covering him from shoulders to ankles, but leaving the overthruster on Warpaath's chest accessible. The cables detatched from the rifles that fired them and adhered to the coils of steel that now covered Warpaath. From their hiding places came five Global Justice agents with immobilzer rifles. Will Du, who was leading these agents, looked especially smug. "Good job, men," the chief agent gloated. "One would be alien conqueror ready for delivery to Area 51."

"How dare you?" the outraged Lorwardian demanded. "How DARE YOU!? You denied her a victorious death, you've demeaned her name by speaking it, AND NOW YOU STEAL HER VERY SELF!? I'LL RIP YOU APART FOR THIS INSULT! I'LL GRIND YOUR BONES TO POWDER!"

"I know your weakness, Warpaath," Kim said in a sad voice. "I know why you say love is a joke." A smaller hologram projector formed from Kim's glove and projected Warmonga's image in front of her. "It's because you loved her. You loved her and she rejected you. You were the dependable lifelong best friend, but she dropped you the moment a golden hottie came along. Then she did something that was so much worse. She betrayed you." Kim turned off the hologram. "What she did to you was beyond sick and wrong. It was a sign of her own selfishness. There's no reason to keep fighting us, Warpaath. It's over."

"I am a Lorwardian," Warpaath growled, still struggling against his bonds. "I am battle incarnate! I will never stop fighting!"

Kim ignored this statement. "I am so sorry, Warpaath. I didn't want to do this to you; to toy with your emotions like this. I know what it's like to have your heart used against you."

"Then you know why love is a joke," Warpaath said in a low voice. "I almost started to respect you, fiery one. You found an advantage and exploited it. Then you had to show your own weakness by apologizing. This is war, child. There are no apologies in war!"

Will Du, meanwhile, was standing beside Dr. Director, admiring his handy work. "Misison accoplished," he said in a voice loud enough for Kim to hear. "You see, Mrs. Stoppable, this is how professionals do it."

"Yeah," Shego snorted, "you wait for us to do all the hard work, then you swoop in and take all the glory. Whoopee for you. Maybe if you're a good boy and you eat all your veggies, we'll give you a parade."

"There's no need to talk to me like I'm a child, Shego," the chief agent said in a threatening tone of voice.

"Then stop acting like one," the former villain snorted. "My little boy's more mature than you are, and he's still in diapers."

"You have not won," Warpaath growled, straining as he fought the metal cables holding him. "YOU HAVE NOT WON!" Warpaath screamed to the heavens as he pushed against his bonds.

Buckaroo, who was about to sedate Warpaath for transport, saw the restraints start to fray. "He's getting loose! Take cover!"

Everyone scattered as Warpaath broke free, lest they be torn to shreds by the metal tendrils that were whipping wildly around. Even though he was small for his kind, Warpaath was strong; much stronger than even Hego. They had underestimated Warpaath's physical strength, and it would cost them dearly. "You took a gamble, fiery one! It is a gamble you have lost! NOW YOU WILL PAY FOR THIS OUTRAGE WITH YOUR PATHETIC LIFE!!!!!!"

"Sharpshooters regroup!" Du ordered.

"All right, boys, listen up!" Dr. Director yelled. "This has become an extreme situation. Switch to live ammo! Lethal force is authorized against the alien! Spread out and take aim!"

The sharpshooters fell back to a better vantage point, switched to their laser rifles, and prepared to fire.

"I think not!" Warpaath snarled as he punched a series of buttons on his gauntlet. From far overhead shot a yellow beam from the Lorwardian ship. It created a barrier that cut Global Justice off from Buckaroo, Shego, and Team Possible. "I will deal with you soon enough, my dear Elizabeth! But for now, stay out of this! My wrath is for the Great Blue and his flame haired consort."

"Fire!" Du ordered. The sharpshooters fired off a quick round of laser pulses that bounced off the barrier, forcing the agents to take cover "Dr. Director, you need to call in an air strike," Du said after it became clear to him that they couldn't shoot their way through the barrier. "We need to take out that ship!"

"Negative, Du!"

"It's the only choice we have!" he insisted. "We fall back to a safe location, and then call in the big guns."

"I said no, Will!" Dr. Director yelled. "Our nearest hover jet squadron is over an hour away! They won't get here in time; something you would know had you paid attention during the mission briefing instead of lecturing Kim!"

"Ma'am," one of the sharpshooters said. "I suggest we look for higher ground. The barrier isn't all encompassing. If we take position on the higher rooftops, we might be able to drop him!"

Dr. Director smiled at the gunman. "Good thinking, Agent Larson." She looked over at Du and the others. "You heard the man! Pick a building!"

"I am the chief agent here, Dr. Director," Du snarled. "Agent Larson is under my command and I feel I should get a say in this!"

"Well I'm the director of Global Justice, and you're under MY command," Dr. Director replied. "Keep this up, Du, and I'll bust you to janitor for insubordination. You heard the order, Chief Agent. Carry it out!"

"Dr. Director, wait!" Buckaroo called, running up to the barrier. "I know your guys are good shots, but I've seen what happens when a stray bullet hits the overthruster, and I'm pretty sure a stray laser pulse will do the same thing. Trust me when I say that trips through a pan temporal vortex are not fun! We can handle this! We need your people to get aboard that ship! According to Kim and Ron, there's an off switch in the main engine room. Hit that switch and you'll bring the barrier down along with the ship."

"Off switch?" Du asked incredulously. "Do you really expect us to believe that?"

"He does because it's true, Du," Dr. Director said, having read ther reports on the Lorwardian power systems. "All right, boys, new plan! Larson, I want you to stay here and go with your original idea, just in case. Morgan, Du, and Cole; you three are with me. Get to get to the hover transport and prep it for immediate take off! We have a ship to board. Let's move it, people!"

Within the barrier, the battle had resumed. Warpaath lunged at Kim, only to have his feet knocked out from under him by Ron Stoppable. "You wanted a piece fo me before, dude." Ron called forth the full intensity of the Mystical Monkey Power, sheathing himself in a monkey shaped blue aura. "Well come and get it."

Warpaath saw that glowing blue visage and snapped. Forgotten were his plans and back up plans. Gone was his cool demeanor. Now there was only rage. "I will do to you what you did to the woman I loved!" Warpaath charged at Ron and grabbed his arm. With all his might, Warpaath swung Ron, only to have the Monkey Master grab his shoulder and bring him along for the ride. Ron made a perfect landing, swung the Lorwardian around a few times, and then threw Warpaath ten feet straight up into the air. Ron leapt after him, and his fist caught the Lorwardian in the midsection when Warpaath started to fall. Ron floated slowly to the ground as Warpaath hit the street with a sickening thud.

"I don't wanna do this," Ron said as Warpaath slowly staggered to his feet. "Warmonga and Warhok didn't give me a choice. Don't go out the same way."

"Give me the overthruster, get in your ship, and leave," Buckaroo said. "Too many people have died because of that thing."

Warpaath fought to control his rage. That's twice that they have used my emotions against me. No more. It's time to end this. I still have one more option at my disposal. He looked down at the now cracked armored shell of the oscillation overthruster and sneered. "You want this so badly, Buckaroo Banzai? Then you may have it." Warpaath tore the device from his chest plate. "Normally I would destroy this rather than return it, but that is what you plan to do with it. Instead I shall do this!" He pressed a button on the side of the shell, causing the overthruster to hum and spark. "I added a self destruct mechanism to your overthruster. It's just a simple power booster that will triple the power cell's output. Of course, the dampening buffers won't be able to contain that much energy. I don't know what will happen when the overthruster explodes, but I'm betting that it won't be pleasant." Warpaath threw the overthruster at Buckaroo. "Stop it, if you can, Buckaroo Banzai. Prove to me which of us has the superior intellect. You have only minutes before the build up overpowers the dampeners."

Buckaroo quickly tore the overthruster from its new shell and opened it up, desperately trying to get to the inner workings. "This is the coward's way out, Warpaath," he said.

"Who will know, Banzai? You won't be around to tell the story. Besides, I'm sure you know me well enough by now to know that I have a way out. And even if I didn't, and I do die today, at least I'll gave the pleasure of taking you all with me! Even in death I will be victorious!"

Shego charged her hands and prepared to attack. "Don't!" Warpaath warned. "I can shut down the dampening buffers and detonate the overthruster at any time." He held a threatening finger against his control gauntlet.

"You're bluffing like you did with the hypermatter bomb," the green skinned woman said.

"Are you willing to take that risk?" Warpaath taunted. "Now, Great Blue, I believe you were going to surrender yourself to me."

Kim came up beside her husband. "Why would he do that?"

Warpaath glared at Kim. "If he does not, then I will detonate the overthruster and destroy this entire planet. But if he does, I will terminate the self destruct."

Kim gasped in surprise as Ron closed his eyes and powered down. "Ron, what are you doing?"

"I'm sorry, Kim."

"No, Ron, you are not giving up!"

"If I don't, everyone loses." Ron sighed. "We knew it might come to this someday, KP."

"You can't trust him!" Kim argued.

"He has no choice," Warpaath spat. "There are six billion hairless apes infesting this mud ball. What is one compared to billions? Is your mate worth more than the world itself, fiery one?"

Ron leaned in and kissed his wife. "I'm sorry, Kim. It has to be this way. Tell Hana I love her. And stop beating yourself up over the 'what if's.' At least we got three years together. I wouldn't trade that for the world. I love you, KP."

"No, Ron," Kim pleaded. She looked over at a frantic Buckaroo trying to defuse the bomb that had once been the oscillation overthruster. The look on his face told her that he had a plan, and to not give up. Kim steadied herself and embraced Ron. "Do you trust me?" she whispered into his ear.

"With my life," he replied.

"Then we do like we did with Erik."

"Kim?"

"You said you trusted me. Please, just do it."

Ron said nothing as he honored his wife's request. He did trust her, and he trusted Buckaroo Banzai. Ron released Kim and started walking slowly towards Warpaath; a thin jagged line of blue light connected him to his wife. "Come to me, Great Blue. Come to me and help me inaugurate my reign." Warpaath raised his arms and called out to the heavens. "I am Warpaath, son of Warcryme, and my time starts now!"

"I think not," came a calm reply. When Warpaath opened his eyes he saw Kim Stoppable, her eyes and hair were now as blue as the aura surrounding her. Once again, Ron had shared the Mystical Monkey Power with her.

Warpaath was taken aback. "What trickery is this?"

"This so isn't trickery," Kim said smugly. "This is just proof that love is a strength and not a weakness. Ron shared his power with me. You take one of us on, you take us both on!" Without warning she struck the Lorwardian, sending him flying back against the energy barrier. He hit hard and bounced off, falling into a heap on the ground. Kim stalked up to him and scowled at the alien. "That's for threatening my planet and trying to kidnap my husband." She looked over at Ron. "Honey, if you'd be so kind."

"With pleasure, KP." Ron, now powered up again, tore the control gauntlet from Warpaath's right hand as Kim leaned in to do the same to the cannon on his left gauntlet. Just for good measure, Shego came in with her hands aflame. She pulled Warpaath to his feet and nailed the Lorwardian in the face with a devastating right cross.

"That was for threatening my son, stringbean," Shego growled at the alien as he wiped the orange blood from his now split lip. Shego didn't take too kindly to threats made against her family, and the hypermatter bomb and an overloading overhruster were definitely threats.

Kim grabbed Warpaath by the throat and slammed him back up against the wall of yellow energy. Her strength was now greater than his.

"How is this possible?" Warpaath croaked. "How can you be another Great Blue?"

"Because of love, Warpaath. Ron's heart and soul are a part of mine. He can share his power with me because of that! Our love makes us stronger! Just as your own bitterness made you weak." She tightened her grip on Warpaath's throat, just as he had done to her. "How's it feel, Warpaath?" she demanded. "A flick of the wrist is all it'll take."

"Then do it, fiery one," he rasped. "End this, as I would have ended it for you."

"No," Kim snarled. "Because I'm better than you."

Warpaath tried to laugh. "Your mate isn't 'better.' He murdered the woman I loved and that common thug she tethered herself to. He's as much of a monster as you think I am. Is that not right, Great Blue?"

"I didn't murder anyone," Ron said calmly. "I understand that now. They were gonna kill KP, and probably most of the planet, too. I didn't want to do it, but I had no choice."

"It's over, Warpaath. You've lost." Kim threw the alien to the ground. "Get off our planet and never come back."

Warpaath grolwed at her, and reached for his belt. "I think not." He pressed a button on his belt buckle which made the barrier shoot beams of yellow energy at Kim and Ron, knocking them back. Then he reached into his harness and pulled out a small handheld cylindrical device. "I commend you on separating me from my gauntlets, but they were not my only means of detonation." With a smile he said, "Farewell, fiery one! Perhaps we will meet again on the Fields of the Eternal Battle!" Warpaath pressed the button at the top of the cylinder to trigger the detonation, and took off for his sky cycle.

"I wouldn't count on it, Warpaath!" Buckaroo Banzai stood up and held the blaster from Warpaath's gauntlet in front of him; it was again wired into the now glowing overthruster and pointed right at the Lorwardian.

Warpaath couldn't stop himself from laughing. "You prove your own cognitive inferiority, Banzai! That weapon will not discharge if aimed at me!"

"Who said I was going to shoot it at you?" Buckaroo pointed the blaster at Kim. "Kim! Jai alai!" A burst of red light shot out of the blaster and flew at Kim Stoppable.

The right glove of Kim's battle suit quickly morphed into a cesta basket and caught the burst in its containment field. Without missing a beat, Kim spun and hurled the glowing red orb directly at the retreating Warpaath. "Heads up!" she yelled.

Warpaath stood with his eyes wide and he howled in a surprised rage when the blast caught him in the chest. Within seconds the energy surrounded him, causing Warpaath to fade into the maelstrom of the same prison he was going to inflict on his own people. His lingering wail continued to echo long after he was gone.

"Live by the overthruster," Kim said.

"Get zapped into the 8th Dimension by the overthruster," her husband finished. "Boo and ya!" Ron powered them both down, and caught Kim as the fatigue hit her.

"That is so much worse than the Bebe thing was," she said. Kim didn't crash as hard as Ron did after using the MMP, but the exhaustion she experienced was bad enough.

"I know what you mean," Ron groaned. "I'm gonna be down for days after this."

"Nice move, Doc," Shego said approvingly. "What did you do?"

Buckaroo set the blaster down. "Rewired the self destruct. I disconnected the booster, shut down the power cell, and redirected the excess energy already built up through the gun. I did to Warpaath what he did to John Ya-ya. Now he gets to see firsthand what he was going to subject his own people to." Buckaroo wiped his brow. "It got hairy for a minute, though. I didn't know if I'd have enough time to pull it off." A satisfied smile crossed Buckaroo Banzai's lips. "So much for my 'cognitive inferiority.' I guess that means that mine is the superior intellect!"

"Okay, I guess that makes sense," Ron said. "But why did you tell Kim to go high and dry?"

"Not high and dry, Ron," Buckaroo clarified. "Jai alai. It's a game."

"I don't know all the rules, but I do know it involves catching and throwing balls with specialized handheld baskets." Kim morphed her glove back into the energy catcher configuration. "It's what Wade based this on."

"I thought Nerdlinger based it on that one game in the movie Tron," Shego said. Kim and Ron gave her blank stares. "Never mind," she grumbled. "God I feel old."

Buckaroo sighed and looked at the overthruster. "This thing's going into the incinerator as soon as we get back to the Space Center."

Shego charged up her hands. "Why wait? I'll melt it for you right now."

Buckaroo thought about it for a moment, but decided against it. "I appreciate the offer, Shego, but I don't know how your plasma will react with the power cell. I don't want anyone else getting a one way trip to the 8th Dimension."

As if on cue, the overthruster started to hum as it the power build up resumed. "What now?" Kim asked in an annoyed tone.

"I think you spoke too soon, Doc," Shego said as she backed away.

"I think you're right." Buckaroo tightened his grip on the still overloading machine and looked over at Shego, realizing there was no choice. "Ever shoot skeet?"

"No, but I'm a fast learner," Shego said. "Pull!"

Buckaroo tossed the overthruster into the air and Shego blasted it with her plasma. Instead of being blown apart by the blast, the vortex gathering around the overthruster redirected the energy back to its source.

"Move!" Shego yelled. Her burst, as well as the overthruster itself, landed just inches from where everyone was standing.

"So now what?" Ron asked. He was already starting to feel the crash from repeated use of the MMP, but fought to stay conscious.

"It'll blow," Buckaroo said simply. "It must not have discharged enough energy when we sent Warpaath on his one way trip to the 8th Dimension."

"And that's a bad thing," Ron surmised.

The overthruster started glowing even more brightly. Shego could feel a wind starting to blow from the vortex. "It won't be as bad as it could have been, right? I mean, that booster thing was turned off."

The wind was getting stronger. "That depends on how much power it's built up!" Buckaroo shouted over the rising gale. "That booster is alien technology! There's no way of knowing how it affected the overthruster's power cell!"

"We need to call Betty!" Kim yelled. "She can use the ship's energy barrier to contain the blast!" The overthruster's hum turned into a loud rumble as it started to vibrate.

"I don't think we have time for that, Kim!" Buckaroo said. "It's going critical! We have have only seconds before it blows!"

"Then what?!" Shego asked, not really wanting to know.

"I don't know!" Buckaroo replied. "But I don't think we're gonna like it!"

"Wade!" Kim yelled into her suit's Kimmunicator. "Can my suit's energy containment field be extended around another object?!"

"Not without a quick modification!" Wade quickly punched in a few keys and changed the configuration of the containment field generators. "You're good to go, Kim!"

Let's hope it's enough. Kim quickly ran towards the overthruster and activated her containment field. A bubble of blue light shot from cesta basket on her right hand and encased the glowing object.

"Way to go, KP!" Ron shouted.

The housing of the overthruster was starting to crack. The blue areas of Kim's battle suit lit up as more power was funneled to the straining containment field. Kim's left glove morphed into another basket and projected its own field to the bubble. Suddenly, sparks started shooting from Kim's suit and the blue of Kim's suit turned red. "The suit's overheating! I don't think I can hold this much longer!" Without a loud pop, the containment field collapsed. "Everyone find cover!"

"KP!!!!!" The Monkey Master ran to Kim and scooped up the overthruster. One more time, Stoppable, he thought as he again tapped into the Mystical Monkey Power, trying to focus his blue aura around the malfunctioning device. That aura intensified as Ron attempted to seal the overthruster off from Kim and the others. He could only hope that this mystical shield would be enough to protect the everyone from the impending conflagration. "Everyone get back!" he yelled, right before the overthruster exploded into a swirl of red and blue light that poured through the magic barrier like water through a burst dam.

"RON!!!!!!!!" Kim screamed. She ran headlong into the kaleidoscope of light, right before a shockwave tore through Ron's collapsing shield and knocked everyone off their feet. Then, just as quickly as it started, the light collapsed back into a pinpoint and faded. The winds, too, died down, as if they were never there. All was eerily calm.

Shego sprang to her feet and sprinted to the last place she saw Team Possible. "Kim!"

"Sh-Sheila?" Kim Stoppable had been knocked on her back. She slowly sat up and rubbed her temples. "Okay, I so don't want to repeat that."

"What were you thinking!?" Shego demanded. "Were you trying to get yourself killed?"

"Like you'd be any different if Drew and Joey were in danger?" Kim shot back bitterly. Pulling herself to her feet. "Where's Ron?" Where Ron had standing, there was now only a black scorch mark. Around it were the smoldering chunks of the overhruster, and a pair of grey cargo pants. Three feet away from those pants was one Ron Stoppable being helped to his feet by Buckaroo Banzai.

"You all right, Ron?" the older man asked.

"I... I think so. Why's it so drafty all of a sudden?"

"You didn't wear your halfaversay belt, did you?" Kim asked with an amused grin.

Ron looked down at his lower body only to see a pair of red boxer shorts with white polka dots. "Aw, man! I knew I forgot something this morning! I thought I was done with the missing trouser moments."

"Better to lose your pants than your head, Ron," Buckaroo said. "That having been said, I'm glad you weren't going commando."

"Yeah, for all our sakes," Shego added.

Buckaroo went back to the overthruster wreckage. "I suppose I should start picking up the pieces."

"Wait, Doc, I thought you wanted this thing destroyed."

"I did," Buckaroo said. "But I don't want to leave what's left of it lying around where any super villain can find it."

Shego thought about that for a moment. "Okay, good point." She looked at the yellow energy barrier that was still fencing them in. "But it'll be a moot point if we're stuck here. Hey, Princess! Any chance you Super Mario jumping us over the wall so we can fly the coop?"

"Sorry, Sheila," Kim said, "but my suit's out of power." The blue areas of her suit were now black. "And Ron's not up to monkeying around." As if to emphasize his wife's point, Ron fell over as he tried to put his pants back on. "It looks like we're stuck here for a while."

"Great," the former villain muttered. "We're waiting for Will Du to save us."

----

Seventeen hours later, as the last overthruster fragment went into the Middleton Space Center's incinerator, a profound feeling of relief washed over Buckaroo Banzai. It's finally gone, Dr. Hikita. No one will ever be able to use your invention for evil again. Buckaroo's thoughts turned to his parents and his friend Rawhide. No one else would die because of the overthruster. Finally, it was over.

"Buckaroo? Are you all right?"

Buckaroo smiled and nodded. "I'm fine, Kim. Great, in fact. I feel like a weight's been lifted off my shoulders."

"I can imagine."

"Where's Ron?"

"Still asleep," Kim said. "That little trick of his takes a lot out of him. He'll be out for at least another day. Maybe more." Kim herself had slept for over ten hours, but felt like she could sleep another twelve. "Are you getting ready to go?" she asked, noticing the duffle bag by Buckaroo's feet.

"Yeah, it's time to head back to New Jersey." Buckaroo reached into his pocket and pulled out the Kimmunicator he'd been using.

"Keep it," Kim said. "As far as we're concerned, you're part of Team Possible."

"In that case." Buckaroo put the device back in his pocket and produced several pins bearing the logo of the Banzai Institute for Biomedical Engineering and Strategic Information. "As far as I'm concerned, you're a part of Team Banzai." He extended his hand to the redhead. "I hope to work with you again someday, Kim."

Kim happily embraced her mother's former teacher. "Same here, Buckaroo."

Buckaroo smiled as his old student Anne Possible walked in with her husband and twin boys. "It was good seeing you again, Anne."

"It was good seeing you too, Buckaroo," she said as she hugged him.

Buckaroo looked over at the Tweebs. "Boys, how would you feel about an internship at the Institute next summer?"

"Hickabicka boo!" Jim excitedly said.

"Hoosha!" Tim added. "Can we, Dad?!"

"We'll talk about it," James Possible said. Looking at Buckaroo he added, "I hope your insurance is paid up."

----

Dr. Betty Director was waiting for Buckaroo when he arrived at the Space Center's main gate. "Trying to avoid me?"

"Not at all," Buckaroo replied.

"Don't lie to a spy," she joked.

"Okay, maybe I was hoping to slip out unnoticed," Buckaroo said with a smile.

"Sorry it took so long to get you out of there," Dr. Director said. "We should have figured that Warpaath would've taken out the off switch. We had to resrot to trial and error to shut the blasted thing down." Dr. Director gave Buckaroo a grin. "Speaking of the ship, I have a business proposition for you."

"I'm listening."

"A joint Banzai Institute/Global Justice examination of the Lorwardian vessel. Nothing classified, nothing held back. Full disclosure of everything we learn about the Lorwardians and their technology, just in case they come back again."

Buckaroo regarded Dr. Director for a moment, and returned her grin. "Let's talk."

----

It is part of the universe, but at the same time cut off from it, accessible only through freak occurances and artificial portals. For centuries, it has been used as a prison by the Black Lectroids of Planet 10. Now, in addition to those Red Lectroid criminals, the 8th Dimension had a new resident.

John Ya-ya had turned the tables on his former master. For the Lorwardian, it was almost a return to the days of his youth; he was again overwhelmed by superior numbers. And since the Red Lectroids knew the terrain better than he did, the strategic advantage belonged to them alone. Warpaath's brilliant mind could come up with no possibilities for escape.

"Now, my new pet," John Ya-ya sneered, "I believe I was going to pay you back for over a decade of torture. I'm going to show you why sending me back here was a really bad idea."

Warpaath growled as the Red Lectroids gathered around him. This would not be the end of him. He would return somehow, and all those who wronged him would pay; the green one, the Great Blue and his fire haired consort, and most especially, the hated Buckaroo Banzai. They would all pay for imprisoning him! That is, they would pay as soon as he could escape from the mob of Red Lectroids now surrounding him.