School of Life

Chapter 16

Kim lay still under Ron as she tried to collect her thoughts. Every part of her body seemed to scream in pain. Her head throbbed like Motor Ed was revving one on his monster engines in it. Gingerly, she opened her eyes and looked around. The plants and trees all around them had been shredded, except for where they were laying. Her eyes opened wide as she rolled over under Ron and looked at him. She could see that his eyes were open and that he was talking to her. That familiar blue tint was fading from his eyes. His lips were moving but she couldn't hear anything. Ignoring his actions she started to check him over. His hands caught hers and held them to his chest. He nodded to her slowly showing that he was okay. He raised his hand to one of his ears and shook his head. She realized that apparently he could not hear right then either.

A hand touched her shoulder. She turned to see their guide standing there with concern on his face. As he spoke her hearing slowly started to return. There was a loud shrill ringing in her ears that slowly started to fade away. She shook her head.

"Miss Possible? Are you okay?"

Kim turned her head back to the sound. Her guide was still speaking to her. She nodded.

"I think so."

Her voice sounded like it was coming from the bottom of a can.

"KP! Are you okay?"

Kim turned to see Ron kneeling beside her. She nodded to him.

"Yeah, how about you? What was it? Some type of booby trab?"

He nodded.

"I'm okay except for my ears. They are ringing like crazy though"

Ron sat down next to Kim.

"KP, it was a landmine called a bouncing betty. I was reading some news stuff about this area and it mentioned that there were a lot of landmines around. So, I studied some of them. I heard you trip it and all I wanted to do was get you to get to the ground. I think the MMP sorta jumped in too."

Kim stood and looked all around again. It looked like a giant weedeater had been placed right over them. A few small trees had been cut off just above the ground. Larger trees had their bark nearly stripped off. Their guide motioned for them to follow him. The ringing in their ears was slowly wearing off. Their guide gestured to them.

"Please! Miss Possible, Mr. Stoppable. We need to get you back to the village and get you checked out. I have never known anyone to have survived being so close to one of those mines. Just a few weeks ago one nearly wiped out an entire family walking on a trail near here. Even though you appear unharmed there could be other damage that cannot be seen."

He reached back and pulled on her hand.

"Please, if you need we can make a couple of litters and carry you back."

Kim shook her head.

"No thanks. I think we are okay once we get back to the village I will contact our tech per…."

Kim's eyes bulged when she remembered that she had been talking to Wade just before the explosion. She started to look around when she noticed the Kimmunicator was no longer on her wrist. The familiar tones came from under the leaves where they were standing. Reaching down she picked up the device and activated the screen. Wade's frantic face appeared.

"KIM! You are OKAY? I replayed the "

Kim nodded.

"I think so Wade but I want you to scan us."

The device emitted two green beams. They played over the two of them before turning off. They waited for a few seconds before Wade came back on the screen.

"Well, considering you just had one of the most lethal land mines in the world go off well within its kill range it's amazing that you are alive. I didn't detect anything major but I bet you will be hearing ringing in your ears off and on for a little while. I also detected what can only be called a concussion to your bodies. While the shrapnel missed you, the concussion did not. You will be REALLY sore for the next few days. Now, what's up next?"

Kim sighed and rubbed her forehead. When her mother heard what had happened nothing sort of a hospital stay would satisfy her. A hospital stay along with more tests than she even wanted to think about.

"Wade, we think someone has been looking information on how to find and call the Yono. That cannot be good. We need to call Sensei and we need the fastest transportation to the school."

Wade nodded as he started to type.

"Okay Kim. I'll put a call through to Sensei and there should be a ride for you within a couple of hours to take you to the school. Get moving to the village and wait there. I should have Sensei on the line by the time you get there. I'll have some medics on the transportation to check you out. Hopefully that will placate your mother for a little while, but after that you are on your own."

Kim and Ron grimaced. She nodded at the screen.

"I understand Wade. You might as well put in a call to her as we make our way to the village. At least I can be the one to tell her and not let her hear it from the news or anyone else."

Wade smiled as he finished typing.

"Okay Kim. It's all set. A GJ hovercraft will be at the village in about an hour. Sensei will be waiting for your call. Good luck."

Kim groaned as she stood up.

"Come on Ron, let's go. If we are moving and acting like nothing happened then maybe mom won't freak."

Ron gave Kim a knowing look.

"KP, we just survived a blast from one of the most lethal landmines in the world. Do you REALLY think she is not going to freak? As soon as we hang up if not before she'll be on Wade to get those scans from him and she has enough hold over him that he'll fold like a house of cards and give her anything she asks."

Kim groaned as she headed off through the jungle as their guide blazed the trail in front of them. She waited a few minutes until they were moving at a good pace before she pressed the button to call her mother. After a few seconds her mother's smiling face appeared on the screen. The smile quickly vanished when she got a look at her daughter.

"Kimmie, WHAT happened? Are you okay? Is Ron Okay? Where are you? "

Kim held her hand up to the screen.

"Slowly mom and not so loud. To answer your questions in reverse order. We are headed to Japan to visit that special school. Ron is okay and I am okay."

Anne waited for the rest of the answer and when Kim didn't elaborate she raised one of her eyebrows.


Kim fidgeted.

"And what?"

Anne's face filled the screen.

"And what happened to you to make you look like you have blown up?"

Kim giggled.

"Nice call."

Before her mother could say anything else Kim continued.

"Mom, please don't freak out. There was an explosion. Wade has already checked us out and I'll have him send you the scans."

Anne settled back.

"You aren't telling me everything Kim. I can see it in your eyes. This was not just an explosion wasn't it?"

Kim sighed.

"It was a landmine. I think Ron called it a "bouncing betty". We think I accidently tripped it and…."

Kim got a good look at her mother's face on the screen. It had turned deathly pale.


Anne forced herself to speak.

"You said you tripped it? How…how is that possible that you are even alive? And before you say anything I KNOW what a "bouncing betty" is. If you tripped it, it is beyond a miracle that you are alive."

Kim nodded.

"Well, Ron had a lot to do with that. He grabbed me and pushed me to the ground."

Anne paused for a moment.

"I would like to take a look at the scans Wade made before I ground the two of you. However, I know that whatever you are doing must be important so I will not order you home right now. HOWEVER, you will come back here IMMEDIATELY after you are through is that clear YOUNG LADY!"

Kim swallowed. Her mother rarely used that tone of voice but whenever she did there was no argument.

"Yes mom. I'll call as soon as we finish up."

Anne seemed to relax and her eyes softened slightly.

"Okay Kimmie, I'll take you on your word on that. I'll wait for your call. Now put Ron on."

Kim handed the Kimmunicator to Ron.

Ann winced at the image of Ron. He looked worse than Kim did.

"Ronald, I suggest that you prepare yourself for the hug of your life when I get my hands on you. But before that I'll give Kim permission to thank you in the best way that she can. Just not…"

Kim grabbed the device back from Ron.


Anne smiled at the two who had just turned a decided crimson shade.

"It's okay okay Kimmie. Now get going so that you can get here. Take care of yourselves."

The screen went blank as the two of them relaxed. Ron looked over at Kim.

"I think that went as well as expected."

Kim rubbed her forehead. Her head still hurt and the headache seemed to be coming back.

"Yeah, let's put in a call to Sensei and let them know what we found."

Bates barely held his fury. At the moment, he didn't know which one he wanted to kill first; the fat woman or the muscle-headed idiot. Amy had been unbelievably perky and over the top happy. She was fixed that her "Monkeykins" and she would soon be together. Her abominable creatures were more of a hindrance than any help. The only help he could really count on were his master's own creatures. They had been the ones to find the temple that the group had been looking for. The brute that still accompanied them had a continuous litany of complaints. However, he had the common sense to shut his mouth when Bates asked him if he preferred prison to the jungle. They were taking a momentary break as they made their way through the jungle. He knew that they had to keep moving because Team Possible would no doubt find out about their searching for the temple and would not waste time getting there.

One of his master's creatures along with one of Amy's creatures had remained behind to watch over the temple to see what happened. Within a day of their leaving the area, the creatures reported that the two young people of Team Possible had arrived and reached the temple. Then as they left the temple the two blundered into a mine that the warring factions had left behind. Bates hoped for a moment that the two annoying brats had finally met a most deserving end. While Bates had hoped to be there when the Yono defeated them knowing that the two had been shredded by the blast would have been sweet revenge. But, the two brat's luck had remained at the same incredible level. His master's minion reported that the two appeared to the slightly injured but were moving well and had already been picked up.

Bates stopped for a moment to take a drink from his canteen. They would have to start out again soon, then the flight to another hidden lair to hide for a short time. It was not the proper time yet to call the Yono and they had yet to prepare the football player for his part in the action. Bates smiled inwardly wondering if the rock-headed idiot really knew what he was getting into. All he cared about was to have the girl "kneeling before him" at least that was the thought that he could stomach. The rest of the young man's tirades made him nauseous. He placed his canteen back in its sheath that was hanging from belt as he stood up.

"Okay everyone, let us get moving again. We only have a certain amount of time to spend before we reach the point where our transportation will pick us up and take us to the next lair."

Wayne scowled at the short dapper man.

"Dude, I was not expecting to be hauling my backside through all this crud. Besides what does it all have to do with Possible. You said that she would be mine."

Bates sighed.

"Yes Mr. Kingston, I did, however to make this happen certain steps have to be taken. Raiding that temple back there was something that will surely gain the attention of Mr. Stoppable and Miss Possible. But we had to gain the information within in order for our plans to go forward. Now we must lie low for a short time. After that we will bring our full plans to fruition and you and I will have what we want. If you don't wish to continue I can arrange for you to return to that place you seemed to enjoy so well. Besides, when we return to civilization we will need to start our other campaign to smear that oh so perfect image of Miss Possible. I assure you when we finish with her she will be yours at her own free will, that it what is left of it."

Wayne's face split into a grin. Bates knew just what to say next. The boy was too easy to play.

"That is what you want isn't it Mr. Kingston, to have her on your arm as your eye candy? With only the will that YOU give her? Now, let me play our little game and it will happen."

Wayne stood up and put his pack on, then reaching down he picked up Bate's pack also.

"You look a little tired there partner. Let me take this for you. After all if I scratch your back, maybe you'll scratch mine."

Wayne strode off slinging Bate's pack across his chest.

"Alright everyone, you heard the man. Let's move."

Bates just smiled.

"Soon my master, soon."

Ron gently stroked Kim's hair as she lay dozing with her head in his lap. They had flown straight to Yamanouchi to meet with Sensei. After making their way to a private room they told Sensei what they had seen. Sensei thought for a few minutes then called a number of students including Yori into the room. After speaking with them they turned and left the room. Sensei returned to speak to the two of them.

"It is very disturbing to know that someone will attempt to unearth the Yono again. We can only hope to prevent them from approaching the temple. I have sent operatives to the Simian valley in order to keep them from the shrine. We need your help in finding just who is doing this and what we need to expect from them."

Kim took Ron's hand.

"Is that all? I mean shouldn't we stay here to help? We stopped the Yono before. Well, Hana stopped Monkeyfist and the Yono. But.."

Sensei nodded.

"Yes, Kim Possible. However, I fear that Hana is not the target this time. It appears that whoever is doing this in only interested in the Yono and not the Han. We can only hope that they will concentrate only on the Yono and not Hana. However, if they do it would be better if you were nearer to Hana than you would be here."

Kim held back a gasp as Ron squeezed her hand painfully. A low growl came from the back of his throat. He quickly released the pressure on her hand. He glanced over to her sheepishly.

"Sorry KP. It's just that when I think of someone harming Hana. I just short of get upset. Just like I did when someone threatened you."

Sensei nodded.

"That is another reason I wish that you not remain here. It would be better if the Chosen One was in a better position to move where ever he may be needed. My advice would be to go back to your school and lie in wait. Farewell, if we need your help we will contact you. If you find out anything more please contact us as soon as possible. Until then remain on your guard."

Ron's mind came back to the present when Kim stirred and yawned. She stretched as she sat. After the long stretch and the accompanying sigh of relief she leaned over to give him a very satisfying kiss.

"Where are we?"

Ron looked at the readouts on the repeater next to them. The Global Justice hovercraft had picked them up at the school and delivered them to Middleton Medical Center. The tests by Kim's mom went quickly as everything had been at the ready the moment they landed. The full results would not be back for a day or so but the preliminary results were clear. They had some bruising and still some ringing in their ears but that was it. The audiologist that checked them out said they were lucky that they didn't have ruptured eardrums. The only bad part of the trip was some orderly or nurse ran off at the mouth and the media got wind of the blast. The rumor mongers had their injuries ranging from the loss of limbs to being blinded. They were able to duck the media types by using the hospital landing pad to take off but once they landed back at school they would not be able to duck the press that easy. The same hovercraft that had delivered them to the hospital was now taking them back to Vandercraft.

It looks like we should be landing within a few minutes."

Kim groaned.

"At least we were able to get some sleep and get a good shower before we get back. I'm sure we'll both have enough work to keep us busy. I so don't look forward to dealing with the press. You know they are going to be there in waves."

Ron groaned as he laid his head back in his chair.

"Yeah, I know. I've got a big quiz coming up and don't you have a game?"

Kim shook her head.

"Nope, we don't have as good a basketball team as we do a football team. I guess you can't have everything. We'll still do some practices and Glenda wanted me to show the group my new routines."

Before Ron could say anything the pilot called back to them.

"Miss Possible, Mr. Stoppable? We are approaching the campus. Where and how would you like to land. You may use your paragliders, you can rappel or we can physically land."

Kim rubbed her head as she thought. Ron glanced at her with a concerned look.

"You don't have another headache do you?"

She shook her head.

'No, still tired. What do you say that we rappel down between the dorms? That will be quick and easy and no jumping."

Ron nodded.

"Sounds good to me."

Kim turned back toward the pilot.

"Can we rappel down between our dorms?"

The pilot nodded.

"Yes, that will be fine. Go ahead and get you equipment from the locker. We should be over your dorms in just a few minutes."

Glenn and Lauren waited under a tree at the end of the open area between the two dorms. Kim had texted Lauren telling her that the two of them would be returning to the school and asking if there were any news crews around. Lauren texted Kim back and told her that she didn't see anyone around. But, they could be hiding somewhere out of sight. Glen glanced at his watch.

"I guess they should be here any minute. Looks like the coast is still clear."

Lauren thought she saw something and looked back at the far corner of the dorm that Ron and Glenn lived in. That was when she saw him. Ian Quisition was peeking from around the corner of the building. Lauren poked Glenn with her elbow.

"Don't look directly but I think I just saw that Ian Quistion guy peek from around the corner of your dorm."

Glenn looked straight across campus like he saw someone but he was looking out of the corner of his eyes. That was when he saw the sneering face of that idiot that was always chasing Kim and Ron and digging up any dirt that he could on them. It had been awhile since he had been seen on campus but Glenn had no doubts that it was him.

"That's him alright. Great what do we do? Kim and Ron will be coming in any moment and the last thing they need is to have to face that dude."

Lauren thought for a moment.

"Wait a minute. Isn't Blake Gibson in the room on the far corner?"

Glenn tried not to look back at the dorm while he thought about it.

"Well, yeah. But his window faces…."

A grin spread across his face.

"His window is directly above that guy."

Lauren was already sending a text.

"I am sending a text to Kim telling her to delay coming in for a minute. You call Blake. See if he can get some help and take care of those guys."

Glenn whipped his phone out and dialed a number.

"Blake, hey dude listen remember when you said that if I ever needed help taking care of Ron and Kim to give you a call. Well, it's like this man, you remember that Ian Quistion dude? Yeah well apparently he is back on campus and getting ready to ambush Kim and Ron when they get back to campus. Yeah man they are almost here. We can delay them a bit but if they delay too long that Ian dude might think something is up. You got an idea. Who is with you? Ohhhhh dude…. that is …that is perfect. Tell them to hurry."

Glenn snapped his phone shut and started to look in the direction that he knew Kim and Ron would fly in. Lauren joined him in looking.

"I just got a text back from Kim. They will delay just a minute and then come in. What did Blake say?"

Glenn got a wicked grin on his face.

"Blake said a couple of the guys from his chemistry class were in his room. He said they could come up with something really quick and really nasty."

Lauren waited for a moment and asked.

"What could they do?"

Glenn shrugged his shoulders.

"I don't know but I know Blake and the guys in his room are as good at chemistry as Kim is at martial arts. There is no telling what those guys will come up with."

After a few minutes, a dark craft came in over the dorms and hovered over the empty space between the two dorms. A hatch opened in the bottom of the craft and two ropes dropped to the ground. Just as Kim and Ron appeared in the hatch there was a lot of screaming and shouting from the other side of the dorm. Kim and Ron rappelled to the ground and unhooked from the ropes. Glenn and Lauren jogged up to Kim and Ron.

"We had a little help with dealing with Ian and his cameraman. They should be out of commission for just a bit, long enough for the two of you to get in the dorms. After you are inside they can't do anything. By the way, it's good to have you two back and in one piece."

Ron put his arm around Glenn's shoulder as Kim and Lauren shared a hug.

"It was a close thing dude. It's good to be back but both of us are a little worse for wear and would really just like to get back to our rooms."

Ian and his cameraman stumbled up. They appeared to be covered in an oily, slimy goo. The cameraman was trying to work his camera but it appeared to be dead. He shook his head at his companion. Ian turned and snarled at Kim and Ron.

"That was a several thousand dollar camera. I'll sue. Some of you friends did this to us. I'll.."

A deep voice introduced itself to the situation.

"You will live this campus immediately Mr. Quistion. Unless you have forgotten there is a restraining order that says you are to stay off this campus. You get one warning and this is it. Now leave this campus."

Ian whirled around to face several campus police officers standing with Chief Parkingson.

"I have the right to report the news and…"

The Chief shook his head and motioned the officers forward.

"Place them under arrest for trespassing. Confiscate their equipment and hold them until the local police can take them in."

Ian held up his hands and started to walk off in disgust followed by his cameraman. The Chief shook his head at his officers and motioned for them to follow.

"Follow them off campus and make sure they leave."

The squad of officer nodded and turned to follow the two as they stomped out of sight. Parkingson turned to face Kim and Ron.

"It's good to have you two back and in one piece. I can't stop all of the press but I did have an order against those two. You'll have to deal with the rest yourselves. I would suggest that you set up a news conference and give the reporters something to work with."

Kim nodded she took Ron's hand.

"We are planning on it. We just haven't had time to set it up. Right now we just want to get back to our dorms and get ready for classes tomorrow."

The Chief tipped his fingers to the brim of his hat.

"Well, good night then, just let the office know when and where you want to have the news conference so that we can have some security there."

Kim turned and gave Ron a quick kiss on the cheek as the Chief walked away.

"You get your work done and get some rest. I'll get in touch with Wade and get him to set up the news conference tomorrow morning between classes."

Ron pulled her close as he gave her a hug followed by a kiss on the top of her head.

"Okay KP, now be SURE you get some rest too. You remember what your mom said. Don't make me have to call her."

Kim gave him a glare for a second before giggling.

"Okay, I'll be good. See you in the morning."

They parted and started to work toward their respective dorms. Glenn fell into step beside Ron.

"There was a big rumor on some blogs on the net that the two of you ran into a little trouble while you were gone."

Ron grimaced.

"Yeah, well it's probably pretty much true. Come on, I tell you about it when we get back to the room."

Ron pulled open the main door to the dorm and motioned Glenn in before him.

Kim and Ron stepped up to the podium that was set up in front of the Student Center. Several reporter started to shout questions before Kim raised her hand for quiet.

"We are going to make a statement about the mission that we recently were on and then we will take a few questions. A few days ago we were called in on mission in Cambodia near the Cambodian-Indian border. This is a very unstable area as you know. We had to investigate a number of shrines in the area looking for evidence that any of them had been broken into. As we were moving out of the area I tripped the wire of a landmine. This mine was one apparently left by one of the combative forces in the area. The mine was of a type known as a "bouncing betty". For those of you who don't know this type of mine is launched into air where it detonates above the ground. We escaped injury due to some incredible luck and the fast thinking of Ron."

Ron stepped forward to the mike.

"I heard the click when Kim hit the wire. Apparently it was an older mine and there was a slight delay before the mine was launched into the air and detonated. In that extremely short delay I grabbed Kim and pushed her to the ground. An inspection of the area showed by some miracle that we were so close to the detonation that the shrapnel from the blast passed over us."

Kim spoke again.

"We were not entirely uninjured. We were bruised by the sheer concussion of the blast and it was sometime before we were able to regain our hearing completely. We still have some ringing in our ears on occasion and we are very sore. Now we will take a few questions."

Kim pointed to a reporter in the front. She started writing on her pad.

"What exactly were you investigating in those shrines?"

Kim leaned forward.

"One of the subjects we have fought in the past had a habit of raided certain shrines in the Far East. This subject disappeared last year after a rather violent confrontation with us. He has not been seen since. As it was his MO to raid shrines of this type we were called into investigate. We were unable to find any evidence that this person of interest was the one raiding the shrines."

Ron pointed to another reporter. He stood with his recorder.

"Do you have anything to say about the fact that Wayne Kingston has been released and seeking a new trial?"

Kim hesitated for a moment.

"Ron and I stand by our statements made at the trial. We will not be saying anything else about that subject at this time as the legal process is still in motion."

The reporter continued.

"Miss Possible, in light of the incident at the basketball game, there have been a number of witnessed incidents where your mental capacity could be called into question. Do you have any comment?"

Kim's face went red. Before she could speak Ron took her hand and gave it a squeeze. He leaned into the microphone.

"Kim has been examined and cleared by not only the medical personnel at Global Justice but also by a number of specialists from around the country. Both of us have been under quite of bit of pressure recently so forgive us for being human."

A few of the reporters chuckled at the comment as Kim stepped back to the mike.

"We would like to close this news conference at this time. We are students and both of us have classes to go to. We have a full package for a news release to give all of you. Ron and I thank you for coming."

Kim and Ron stepped back from the podium and disappeared behind a couple of Vandercraft Police officers. Several of the reporters continued to shout questions, but one seemed to be smiling. He looked down at his pad at the name of Cathy Barnes.

"Well Miss Possible, maybe you will 'come out' and talk to me after I talk to Miss Barnes."

Well, it's been quite awhile since I have posted anything. I hope to keep posting on this story but still will not return to the pace that I was setting before. A lot has been going on and I have not had a lot of time to write. Enjoy the story and let me know what you think.

Check out my page over at Deviant Arts. There is some news about "The Lotus Bloom".