My continued thanks as always to all who have reviewed: whitem, CajunBear73, JCS1966, Mr. Wizard, Eddy13, and Katsumara. And to everyone for reading! And now for the conclusion ...
"Quick, Ron! Get behind me!"
Kim activated her battle suit's force field, and not a moment too soon. The dragon's flame struck her head on, only to bounce harmlessly off of her powerful shield. The dragon was clearly surprised that Kim and Ron weren't immediately incinerated, and swiftly launched another fiery attack.
Kim noticed right away that her power levels were starting to drop. "I don't think my suit can take too much more of this, Ron. Any ideas on how we can defeat this thing?"
"Well, if I had a sword, I would defend fair maiden, slay the evil beast, and win her hand in marriage."
Kim cooed, "That's ferociously romantic of you, Ron, but I don't think having a toasted boyfriend would be too much fun."
"It wouldn't be for me either, KP."
Ron continued to crouch behind Kim as they endured another withering attack. He snapped his fingers as he suddenly came up with an idea.
"But forsooth, a magical sword would be totally coolio!"
Recalling his adventure back at Yamanouchi, he closed his eyes and concentrated, calling for the one mystical item that might help them. A few moments later, his earnest wish was granted. The Lotus Blade appeared before him, glowing blue with otherworldly power.
He smiled victoriously. "It's time for the Year of the Monkey to defeat the Year of the Dragon, KP!"
He plucked the sword out of the air and immediately tried to rush the dragon, but another burst of dragonflame once again forced him to take cover behind Kim.
"My power's down to less than 50%, Ron. I'm afraid we're going to have to retreat, at least for the moment."
Ron snarled, "Not on my watch! But I think I may have another idea."
Holding the Lotus Blade tightly in his grip, he next tried to change its form. First, he tried a crossbow. He fired a magical bolt at the dragon, but the dragon easily incinerated it before it could reach him.
"Wow, that used to work all the time in Everlot. But maybe if I try fighting fire with fire …"
Turning it into a mystical flamethrower, he shot a powerful blast at the dragon. Again, the dragon deflected it with another fiery blast of his own.
Ron grimaced. "Well, that didn't work. You have any ideas, Rufus?"
Rufus nodded as he pulled out a marshmallow, a piece of chocolate and a graham cracker, skewering them together onto a small, sharp stick. At the next breath of dragonflame, he held out his tiny concoction which was immediately toasted to perfection by the dragon's fiery breath. Popping the delicacy into his mouth, he declared, "Mmm! S'mores!" and rubbed his tummy in satisfaction.
"Not exactly what I meant, little buddy …"
Kim warned, "My suit's down to 25%, Ron! You've got one more chance before that dragon toasts our biscuits!"
A sudden brainstorm hit Ron. "Of course!" he declared. "Why didn't I think of it sooner? Up to now I've only been thinking about how to attack it instead of just trying to disable it. Time for me to snuff this dragon's candle, KP!"
Changing the form of the Lotus Blade one last time, he stepped out from behind Kim and fired. But this time a torrent of effervescent water shot out, immediately extinguishing the dragon's flame in a terrific cloud of smoke and steam.
"Ron! A fire extinguisher? That's totally spankin'!"
"Just the power of imagination, Kim. Booyah!"
Rufus chimed in with his own tiny booyah as the dragon unsuccessfully tried to restart his flame. Frustrated at being unable to continue his attack, he took off into the sky with a terrifying roar.
"Great job, Ron! I'll just have to start calling you Ronald the Great, Dragonslayer of Middleton!"
Ron bowed deeply to Kim. "I have defeated yon dragon, m'lady." With a grin he continued, "Now let's go kick some villain butt!"
Suddenly, they heard a strange howling in the distance. And it was growing closer.
Rufus froze with fright and stammered, "Werewolf …"
Kim asked, "Werewolf?"
Ron shook his head and pointed alternately in the direction of the howl, then at Drakken's lair. "No Kim, there wolf. There castle. So we all better get inside quick before whatever that is catches up with us."
Kim just rolled her eyes as they both fired their grappling hooks and began scaling the castle walls.
"Okay, Dr. D. Emergency generators are online, and we should have power back right about … now!" Shego flipped the final circuit breakers, and the lights flickered back on.
Drakken rubbed his hands together in evil glee. "Excellent! We're now ready for Phase 2: the creation of my super army with which I will conquer the world!"
Drakken carefully dialed in the proper settings, and after a few careful adjustments, threw the main switch. Cauldrons of syntho-goo began to bubble, flowing through transparent pipes and into the cloning chamber. Huge arcs of electricity shot out between the machine's two gigantic electrodes as the process began. The ding of a simple timer indicated that the first clone was now complete.
"A kitchen timer? A little anti-climactic, don't you think, Drakken?"
Drakken spun around in surprise. "Kim Possible!"
Kim smirked, "Yup, still my name, and still your nemesis."
"How did you get in here? I just installed a state-of-the-art intruder alert system!"
Shego grumbled, "Which was completely off when the power was down, Dr. D."
He shrugged in resignation. "Hmm, that explains it, I suppose. Well, Shego, go do, that voodoo, that you do … so well!"
Shego launched quickly into the attack with several kicks and slashes which Kim deftly avoided. She noticed right away that Ron wasn't present, and couldn't help making her usual snarky remark.
"So, Kimmie, no luck trick-or-treating tonight with the Fearful Ferret?"
Taking one look at Shego's hair, Kim shot back, "Looks like we had better luck than you had at the hair stylist, Bride of Drakkenstein!"
Shego responded with a yell, along with volley of plasma bolts. Kim swiftly performed a backflip onto a table, easily avoiding Shego's attack.
"So, where's your boyfriend, Princess? Tummy ache from too much Halloween candy?"
A muffled yell was heard from the air vent above.
"Aaah! Spiders and bugs! Get 'em off me!"
Ron fell through the rusty air duct and onto the floor, covered from head to foot with dust and cobwebs.
"Eww! When was the last time you cleaned your ventilation ducts, Dr. Drakken? You know all that dust wreaks havoc with my allergies!"
Drakken replied apologetically, "Well, we just moved in, and I really haven't had time to give the place a good cleaning yet, especially with everything else that I've been …"
He stopped just as soon as he realized who he was talking to. "Arghh! I don't have to explain this to you, you're just the sidekick!"
He snapped his head toward the super soldier and its newly created clone. "Grab them both! Quickly!"
With blinding speed, the two creatures lunged at Kim and Ron, grabbing them tightly in their viselike grip.
Drakken gloated, "Hah! So it appears that my new creations are all that, Kim Possible! Shego, chain them up!"
Ron moaned, "Sorry, KP. Those super dudes were just too fast for me."
Kim sadly replied, "Me too, Ron. I just hope Markab's help arrives soon, or this will be so the drama."
"Yes, this will indeed be so the drama, Kim Possible," Drakken cackled. "Especially when I turn you and your boyfriend sidekick into mindless super soldiers. How ironic that you will both shortly become part of my army of world conquest! Ha-ha-hah!"
Just as Shego finished chaining them up securely, a sudden loud pounding was heard at the front door.
Expecting to see more trick-or-treaters, Shego took a look at the monitor. Instead, she was surprised to see a rather motley group of strange creatures trying to break down the front door.
"Looks like an angry mob, Dr. D." She took a closer look. "They don't have torches or pitchforks, but they do look pretty ugly in those Halloween costumes."
Ron could also see the monitor, and did a double take. "Those aren't costumes, Shego. Those are mutants! Very bad mutants!"
With a huge crash, the door was splintered into tiny pieces by the mutants as they rushed into the laboratory. Ron gasped as he recognized each and every one, his worst nightmares now a terrifying reality. The first was the werewolf they had heard earlier, followed by a frightening creature from Level 13 of Mutant Ninja Zombies IV. A dozen mutant squirrels angrily chattered away, their enhanced claws ready to slash him to ribbons. Eyes blazing red with anger, Bobo the mutant chimpanzee shrieked wildly.
Ron only managed to squeak out one word. "Wannaweep …"
Following them in was the last person that Ron ever expected to see again. His scaly body glistened wetly as his red eyes glared at him in triumph.
"It's been a long time, Skweeb."
Ron began to regain a little confidence, recalling that he had defeated this particular nemesis twice before.
"Not long enough, Gill!" Ron angrily replied. "I thought your dad had turned you back into a human. But here you are, all mutanty again. What happened?"
Gill's large fishlike mouth opened wide into a ghastly smile. "I found out about the Ultra Genomic Sequencer from one of my dad's friends at the Middleton Institute of Science and Technology. It sounded like just the ticket to help me regain my mutant form. Then I figured, why stop there? Why not create some friends who would help me exact my final revenge on you? We've been chasing after you all night, and now we find you and Kim Possible here, all tied up like a wonderful Halloween present!"
He grinned even wider. "It's trick-or-treat time, Ron. Except it's now both my trick and my treat!"
Drakken harrumphed, "Now, just a minute, Bill. These are my prisoners, and if anyone is going to be exacting any revenge, it's going to be me."
Gill shot back, "That's Gill, not Bill, and just who in the heck are you?"
Drakken puffed out his chest and declared ostentatiously, "My name is Dr. Drakken, mad scientist and soon-to-be world conqueror, and this is my sidekick, Shego. And this is my castle, and you will be paying for that door you just busted down."
Gill mocked, "Oh yeah? You and whose army?"
The kitchen timer dinged once again, and a third super soldier stepped out of the cloning chamber, joining the other two who had just stepped up beside Drakken and Shego.
With an evil chuckle Drakken replied, "How about these for starters? Soldiers, attack!"
At the same moment, Gill also commanded, "Attack them, my minions!"
The forces immediately squared off against their opposite numbers. The two super soldier clones promptly engaged the ninja zombie and the werewolf in hand-to-hand combat, while Gill took on the original.
Emitting an ear-piercing scream, the enraged Bobo attacked Drakken. Within moments, his blue coat was torn to shreds as he furiously tried to bat away the crazed simian. Meanwhile, a dozen mutant squirrels assaulted Shego, who promptly dispatched several of the evil creatures with a few well-placed plasma bolts, but not before several had gotten into her new beehive hairdo. Screaming in frustration, she desperately tried to shake them loose, but to no avail.
Kim and Ron could only look on helplessly as they futilely struggled with their chains.
Ron bemoaned, "Well, KP, it looks like we're either gonna get changed into mutants or mindless super soldiers, depending on who wins this fight."
Kim growled, "Not if I can help it, Ron."
By now, Kim had been able to free one hand and proceeded to carefully retrieve her laser lipstick case. She quickly began burning through her chains, melting her bindings into red hot slag.
"Just a few more seconds …"
But no sooner had she cut through her own chains and started on Ron's, when the clock struck midnight. As each chime sounded, an amazing sight began to form before their eyes. A scintillating glimmer appeared next to the Ultra Genomic Sequencer, and swiftly coalesced into material form. The beautiful creature emitted a brilliant white glow, and neighed softly as it touched its single horn to the device.
Ron whispered, "Kim, don't look now, but I think Markab's help has just arrived."
Kim could only look on in wonder at the amazing apparition. The unicorn lifted its head to look directly at Kim and Ron, and quietly neighed once again. Ron neighed back in thanks.
The battle immediately stopped as all eyes turned toward the unicorn. The sequencer immediately began to glow softly, then ever brighter, accompanied by a loud, steadily increasing hum. It then began to emit a slowly expanding bubble of rainbow-colored energy. As soon as the bubble touched one of the mutants, the creature immediately disappeared, evaporating into thin air. The fierce battle was over almost before it started, and the mad screams of Bobo and the squirrels echoed into nothingness. The original super soldier met a similar fate, while the clones created from it simply dissolved into a puddle of bubbling green goo.
Only three people were left standing before Team Possible: an astounded Drakken and Shego, and one very surprised and frustrated teenage boy, now back in his human form.
Gil looked down at his now human hands and cried out bitterly, "No! It can't be! What's happened?"
Kim smiled in triumph. "Looks like Halloween is over, Gil."
"And that makes our running score Good Guys 3, and Gil zip," Ron smugly added.
Shego turned to Drakken and acidly said, "And that makes you zero for … well, I've lost count of how many of your clones have bit the dust in the past, Dr. D. I knew I should have gone to that party tonight while I still had the chance …"
Ron continued, "And all thanks to Artemus, of course."
Kim was amazed. "Ron, you speak Unicorn, too?"
Ron shook his head. "Not really. He's got a different dialect from Pegasus, and his accent is terrible, but I can still understand him pretty much."
Kim laughed. "Well, thank you, Artemus. We really appreciate your help."
As Artemus whinnied back, Ron smiled. "He says to think nothing of it, KP."
Artemus trotted over to Kim and rubbed his head against her hair, also allowing Ron to scratch him beneath his bearded chin. He suddenly lifted his head and sniffed the air as he cantered over to Drakken and buried his head into what remained of his coat pocket. Within it Artemus found several lumps of sugar left over from his morning coffee. He didn't seem to mind being right next to Drakken, but when Shego approached him, he reared up with a mighty whinny and refused to let her approach.
Kim was astounded. "Well, Drakken, I would have never guessed." She began to giggle. "Strike that, I actually should have guessed that. So, it looks like Ron and I aren't the only ones here who can handle unicorns."
Drakken wasn't sure if he should be embarrassed or not at this rather personal revelation. "Well, uh, it's just that my past relationships have been rather, er, well …"
For her part, Shego simply crossed her arms and tsked, "Yup, I should've known." Then she huffed, "And by the way, Princess, that just means I've got a little more experience than you in certain areas, that's all."
Not wanting to press this obviously touchy issue any further, Kim turned back to Ron. "So what's the sitch with Artemus and Markab? They're obviously real, and not a mutation created by the Ultra Genomic Sequencer."
"Let me ask." After a brief back and forth conversation, Ron said, "You're right, Kim. They're absolutely real. But since the sequencer can create any conceivable DNA sequence, that would include a Pegasus, a Unicorn, or any of their enemies. And that would have threatened both their mythical status and potentially their very survival. So, they were assigned to either disable or destroy the sequencer. Artemus was about to do just that when we spotted him back at the institute."
"And that was just when Drakken and Shego grabbed it. So what do we do now?"
Artemus neighed a few times in response, and Ron translated. "No problem, KP. He's already removed the programming of any potentially dangerous DNA sequences from it, so he doesn't need to destroy the sequencer now. We can keep it."
"That's spankin' news, Ron! Now all we have to do is return the sequencer to Dr. Allenford, and turn these villains over to the authorities, and …"
Kim looked up, but Drakken, Shego and Gil were nowhere to be seen.
Kim frowned. "Uh-oh. Looks like they've given us the slip."
Artemus whinnied in a way that almost sounded like a laugh.
Ron smiled, "Not quite, Kim."
Just outside, the three defeated villains were quickly making their way across the drawbridge.
"Hurry, Shego! If we can just make it across, you can flame the bridge with your plasma, which should slow down Kimberly Ann and crew just long enough for us to make our escape. And I don't think we'll need to worry about this little pipsqueak either, now that he's human again."
Gil just glowered back in silence. However, something else was glowering back at them from across the bridge, something huge and scaly. With a terrific roar, the dragon sent the three scurrying in total fear back into the castle.
White as a ghost, Drakken whimpered, "We surrender! Just don't let that thing eat us!"
Kim and Ron had a good laugh as she activated her Kimmunicator. "Mission accomplished, Wade. We've got the sequencer and captured Drakken and Shego. Oh, and Gill too, who was the reason behind, uh, most of the creatures."
Wade beamed, "That's great, Kim! And Global Justice just called. They've just made their hoverjets operational again, so I'll have them come by and pick you all up. They should be there within just a few minutes."
Kim turned to Ron, who strangely seemed a little down. "Well, that just about wraps it up, but why the long face, Ron? We recovered the Ultra Genomic Sequencer and captured the bad guys."
Ron sighed, "I know, Kim. But now it's past midnight, and Halloween is over. No more T&T action for a whole 'nother year."
Rufus moaned sympathetically, realizing that he was out any additional treats as well.
Kim pulled Ron close and kissed him on the forehead. "Cheer up, Ron. You know that Smarty Mart will have its half-off sale on Halloween candy tomorrow, and that's even on top of your employee discount."
Ron shrugged. "Yeah, but it's just not the same, KP."
Kim chuckled. "Maybe not, but at least I don't have to worry about us wearing that unicorn outfit at any time in the future. Not after Shego fried the only one in town."
Ron looked over at Artemus, who simply smiled and nodded in agreement, then vanished in a sparkle of light.
Ron began to perk up a bit. "I guess you're right Kim. And we found out that unicorns, dragons and pegasuses, uh, pegasi, are real! Booyah!"
"Yeah, Ron. I have to hand it to you, you were sure right about that. But it's probably best not to mention this to anyone else, especially now that there's no physical proof left."
Ron smiled as he nodded in agreement. "Yup, Kim, it'll be our little secret …"
As the GJ hoverjet arrived, no one noticed a few of Markab's burnt wingfeathers being blown by its backdraft into the calm and clear moonlit skies over Middleton.
A/N: And with a tip of the hat to a few of my favorite Mel Brooks movies, we've reached the end of this zany romp. And in case any of you were wondering where I came up with my mythical creature's names, Markab is one of the brightest stars in the constellation Pegasus. Artemus is the male spelling of Artemis, the Greek deity whose chariot, according to some myths, was pulled by eight unicorns. Not tiny reindeer. But that's another story …
So until next time, keep the faith, gentle readers!