Insight Into Madness
(Another Side Story to Out There, In Here)
Hello there and welcome to another Side Story from our main Tale, "Out There, In Here". A few of you have asked if we had more of these and if so, when would they be posted. The answers to those questions are 'Yes we do', and 'Over the next three weeks', in that order. The reason none of them had been released until our Anchor Tale had gone 27 Chapters is that it would have let too many cats out of the bag on some key points many of you had been speculating about, throughout this tale.
Some of you will find out just how close your guesses have been and others just how far off. We appreciate the interest given by those who made those guesses and hope we don't disappoint or just piss anyone off in the process.
But the one thing that has nagged at many of you is what's behind GJ's treatment of Ron Stoppable while he's taken up the mantle of his missing and 'departed' best friend, Kim Possible. And to learn more of this and shed some light much of the main tale, you need to start reading…
"Well Rufus buddy, you were right about Betty. But I've got to wonder how I just seemed to be in the middle of a GJ crossfire for the second time in a row.", Ron mused. "You think it could it have been on purpose?"
Shaking his head, "Nah, why would they want to do something like that?", Ron asked as a familiar red headed surgeon entered the Guest Room carrying her medical bag.
Recovering from the surprise at seeing Ron's torn, bloody mission clothes lit up by the light held by Rufus, "Remove your shirt Ronald." Dr. Anne Possible ordered after she realized the source of the blood seeping through the garment.
Turning away Ron did so, and as the blond teen pulled his black sweater over his head he heard a gasp from behind. "What's the matter Mrs. Dr. P?"
"You've gotten more scars since you were here the last time. Ron, what has happened to your body?", she asked concerned that her third son was being abused by someone and wanted an accounting of said abuse.
"Uh, oh that, I'm just a klutz Ma'am. Sometimes I'm not as fast as I should be in avoiding the goons in D Hall.", Ron deflected the question. "You'd think with me being older now they'd find some other smaller prey to pick on, but no.", the teen shrugged, hoping his best friend's Mom wouldn't see through that lie.
"You should be more careful Ronald. I don't want to lose you too.", she told him softly as she applied a medical soap solution to the skin to begin cleaning it. Making conversation she continued, "So what have you been doing lately? You haven't been around as much."
"Well I've been doing the standard Team Possible things….you know cats out of trees and such.", his look went from wistful, to a painful grimace, "And man it would be a lot easier if the Lord had given them suction cups on their feet instead of claws. Me and cats don't seem to see things eye to eye if you know what I mean.", Ron winked back to Anne.
"Kimberly told me before she disappeared that…that…..sigh, wasn't all you were doing. And that some of it might have been dangerous. My daughter…..my only..daughter.", Anne stopped and sniffed and reached out to the teen like he was a safe harbor on a stormy sea. Ron turned around to hug the woman who practically raised him while she composed herself.
Sniffling, "Ronald, Kimmie told me that she can't talk about some of that because of some agreement she and you made with someone, but if you are still doing that I just have to wonder how you're coping. I know how capable my baby was. You haven't been trying to do any of that on your own have you?"
"Me? C'mon Mrs. Dr. P you know me better than that. I can assure you that I am nowhere near as capable as KP was, so how could I be doing anything like that?", Ron smiled his goofy grin to derail her train of conversation. That grin may not have been effective as the famous 'Possible Pout', but it could still be used on occasion when needed in an emergency, which was the case here.
"Well Ronald, promise me that you'll try to stay safe. Right now you're all we have left of Kimberly and we'd hate to see something happen to you too."
"Ya don't have to worry about me Mrs. Dr. P, I've got those mad running away skills and I'm not afraid to use them.", Ron replied as he pulled away from her so she could continue treating his latest wounds.
"Sure thing Ronald, now turn around. I want to see how many sutures I'm going to need here. I'm sorry, but I don't have anything to deaden the pain. Are you sure you don't want to go to the hospital instead?"
"Positive Ma'am I have to ah...get home. Mom worries about me and she sorta freaks out when I get caught up in claws and all.", Ron explained hoping the surgeon would buy into that lie.
It took another fifteen minutes but Anne Possible finally had her 'third' son patched up. "Make sure you come back in about a week to ten days Ronald. I'll remove those stitches for you."
"Sure Mrs. P, uh sometime do you want to show me and Rufus how to do this some time? I mean I'd hate to intrude on your time and all. Maybe let me know where I can buy this kind of stuff...I don't wanna freak out Mom anymore than she already is.", Ron asked intending to not bother her with future wounds and to hide them from further 'public' scrutiny per instructions given him by certain people he had met a few times already.
"Sigh, I suppose I can show you and your little friend the basics as long as you let me know when you've patched yourself up so that I can check your work...Alright?"
"That's a deal Mrs. Dr. P.; uh can I ask another favor?"
"Sure Ronald what is it?"
"Uh...could I go up and sit in KP's room for a few minutes...I really miss her and..."
Anne Possible's eyes moistened, "You go right ahead. I don't mind and I'm sure that Kimberly doesn't mind either."
"Thanks Mrs. P...I mean it and thanks for not hating me..."
A pained look, "Ronald, we could never hate you for what happened that night. After we figured out what happened, it was something that was just going to happen the way it did." Then a soft smile, "Go on Ronald, I'll be up in a little while. Would you care to stay for dinner?"
"Thank you, but no. Maybe another time that is if you let me do the cooking. I have a meeting in a little while. I won't take up anymore of your time.", Ron's voice trailed off.
"Ronald, Josh called the other day to apologize, I tried to tell him that it wasn't his fault. He's also feeling guilty about going out on a date with another girl. Could you be a sweetheart and talk to him for us?", Anne asked the young man as he disappeared up the stairs.
"Yes Ma'am, I'll try to get through to him. You know this was hard on everyone...Even ole Mr. B hasn't been the same over the last couple months...I'll try to cheer them up.", Ron ducked back down the stairs to watch the surgeon's reactions. 'Somehow.', he didn't add as he turned back up the stairs to immerse himself in the memories of his long gone best friend.
Ron did a slow circuit of the room. Pulling out a handkerchief, he made quick work out of dusting off her desk, bookcase and night table. With a tear in his eye he checked her bed to make sure that it was neat, the way she liked it. Finally he pulled the chair over to her bed and sat down softly laying his hand on Kim's pillow.
'Ya know KP, today was the anniversary of you getting your braces. You were so down, and that's why I got you Pandaroo. You know Valentine's Day is coming up real fast I know that you sometimes freaked about getting me something. Well this year I do want something. I want you back home..even if it's to be with Josh. Please be safe and well. I miss you so much' Ron begged without speaking his heart past breaking again as he paused.
'Your Mom and Dad are doing better, the cheerleaders are making progress...and Bonnie is really taking over. She's really stepped up. The other girls have helped out a lot too….Listen KP I have ta go, Dr. Director wants me back at GJ now that I got patched up. For some reason she's been keeping me real busy. I...I really have to go. Come back soon, OK?', the blond got up from his chair to leave and after looking around to make sure he was alone, kissed her picture.
"Mrs. P, thanks for everything...I uh have to get going. I got something to do.", Ron called out to Anne who was in the kitchen.
Anne came out to meet the blond as he opened the door, "Are you sure you can't stay Ronald. We have plenty, even for Rufus."
"I'd love to Ma'am, but I uh have uh extra homework to do tonight, and Mr. B's really been on my case.", Ron replied not revealing what he had been up to because of the stipulations given to him by Global Justice.
"Take care then Ronald, it's a Friday night and the school had the day off for conferences...You should be out with friends.", Anne observed.
"Friday was my night with KP, I had some time with her, so it's all good.", he told her with a sad smile.
"Come on Rufus we have to go see Felix buddy."
'Why does he have to see Felix?', Anne wondered, 'Maybe he's getting help with his studies over there since Kimberly isn't here to help him anymore.' Anne rationalized then tears came unbidden again as she realized the depth of the blond teen's own personal loss. Silently Anne began to sob as she heard the old crappy scooter of Ron's cough to life.
'I'll call Mrs. Renton up to let her know to keep an eye on Ronald's mental state and to let me know if he starts acting low.', Anne mused as she went over to the phone to look up the number.
"Hello, Mrs. Renton?... This is Anne Possible...Yes Kimberly's Mother...Oh thank you for the support, um Ronald Stoppable was just over here and he seemed a little down. When he comes over could you keep an eye on him as a favor to me please?...What do you mean? Ronald told me not five minutes ago he was going to your home...Your son isn't home tonight? Oh I'm sorry I must have been mistaken."
The blond teen opened the door to his home and went upstairs not even checking to see if his parents were there. They had notified him of a convention that they were going to be attending over the weekend, so he didn't expect to see them until Monday.
Lately they had been away from home more often than not. 'Oh well, I guess it's for the best. At least I won't have to explain to them where I'm going tonight.', he thought as he climbed the stairs to his room.
Opening the closet he pulled out the gear he knew he was going to need and stuffed it into his pack. He quickly removed the blood stained mock turtleneck and pulled another one from the closet. "Come on Rufus let's slice up some cheese and sausage for you to munch on buddy.", the teen offered.
"Hnk cheese!...Yay Ron!", Rufus squeaked suddenly waking upon hearing the magic word as Ron pulled out the mole rat's warm winter coat from the lower part of his closet where he kept Rufus' things so that the rodent could get his own stuff if needed.
After they got downstairs Ron pulled out his Kimmunicator and pushed the connect button, "Well did you go to the hospital to get stitched up Ron? That goon with the knife got some cuts in while he tried to kill you.", Wade observed.
"I had Dr. Possible fix me up Wade, go ahead and send the transport. Where does GJ want me?"
"At Headquarters for a briefing." Then taking a long look at Ron, "Ya know, you might want to ask Dr. Director why they didn't provide First Aid for you.", Wade advised.
"I really don't know if I can trust them that much. I mean it seems like there are more accidents then there used to be when Kim was leading...But I don't know, maybe I'm wrong."
"I think you're right Ron, it seems like they're careless or something and I have no idea where they want you guys tonight. Besides, they usually don't give you two missions in less than forty-eight hours...so it must be important.", the genius reasoned.
Then he had an idea, "Ron do me a favor, I know they have you turn in your Kimmunicator before you leave for GJ missions, so if you could, don't do that anymore. At least not tonight and not until I can come with something so I can keep track of what's going on with you on these GJ missions."
"What happens when they demand it?", Ron asked.
"Lie to them and tell them you left it home. Shut it off and stuff it under some equipment in the pack.", Wade suggested.
"Cause you've been getting hurt…a lot, that's why. And I want to get an idea of what happens on these missions GJ's been sending you on these days, too."
"But Dr. Director told me that being a good agent, I should do everything they tell me to do. KP had to turn in her Kimmunicator too."
"Ron, I don't know what you're talking about. Kim always had it with her...Ron I think they're playing you for some reason."
"Why would they do that?"
"I don't know, but you've been getting hurt a lot on these missions GJ's been sending you on. Kim never came that close and I'm telling you I'd know if Kim ever took solo missions. So what Betty's telling you just isn't right for some reason. And over the last couple months your mission total has far surpassed hers.", Wade informed him, "Anyway turn the thing off, then when you're on the ground and by yourself get it out and turn it back on."
"I don't know Wade…."
"Ron I'm telling you to do this, if you respect me and Kim do this.", the African-American pre-teen urged.
"OK, turning it off."
"Good, now your ride will be there in ten minutes. Don't admit to having your Kimmunicator and whatever you do don't let GJ have it."
"Alright I won't, but I doubt if Director's going to buy it. She's been pretty adamant about the 'secrecy' thing. For some reason she doesn't want outside sources to know what I've been doing."
"Ron you've been getting hurt a lot...a lot more than when you were running with Kim.", Wade informed him, "I have the spread sheet laid out for you. Kim never got hurt like you have..."
"She was better Wade, she was always better.", Ron argued.
"She wasn't that much better and I know dammit, I know. Dr. Director has something up her sleeve, don't trust that woman."
"But she told me that she was KP's confidant...more than I ever was and that they looked at things the same way. She also told me that since I was a guy KP really couldn't trust me like she did Dr. Director.", Ron paraphrased what the Director of Global Justice had told him, not really understanding the meaning.
"What are you trying to say Ron?"
"I don't know Wade, I'm just a clueless kid remember."
"Well if you're a clueless kid, then guess what I am." Then sighing, "Look Ron, I'd know what Kim was involved in if it war related to missions with GJ, but I'll tell you this, I think that Dr. Director is playing you, so be very careful of her. If you have anyone you can trust who's an adult let them know, because I think she's trying to eliminate you."
"Why would she do that?"
"I don't know, but give me a call when you are wherever you are going, I want to monitor.", Wade told his friend.
"Ok Wade, I will, and thanks."
"Remember I promised Kim that I would keep track of you guys, let me do my job and trust me."
"Communications devices.", Betty snapped holding out her hand.
"We haven't used them lately so I left mine back at the house, so do you really need it?", Ron asked, "I'll have to go back for it."
Tersely shaking her head, "Never mind. Alright we want you to land by hover and hike to this point here.", she pointed on the map, "Professor Dementor, has goons stationed around his new facility."
"What is the purpose of this mission Dr. Director?", Ron asked not being told to retrieve anything.
"You are to observe Agent Stoppable that is all you are required to do at this point. If we need you to enter the lair you will do so at that point. Do you understand me?, the one eyed Director of Global Justice directed.
"Seems to me you could have air dropped a sensor to do what you want me to do. I'm confused by this.", Ron commented.
"That's because you don't know the whole picture Agent. Miss Possible always took these missions because they were vital. I can see her and our trust in you has been misplaced.", Betty Director masterfully applied the guilt trip to her young audience.
Sigh,"I'll do what's required Ma'am."
"Good, I'll take into consideration that you didn't really understand Miss Possible's involvement in our activities. Try not to make this a continuing occurrence or your use to this organization will have to be curtailed.", Dr. Director warned.
"Your activities? Don't you mean Global Justice's activities?", Ron asked.
"Of course, what did you think I meant?"
"I wasn't sure Ma'am."
"You were implying something Ronald."
"Actually I wasn't Ma'am and I don't understand what you are talking about."
"Good, otherwise I think that would count as mutinous behavior.", the one eyed woman warned.
"Why would that be mutinous behavior?", Ron asked confused.
"Agent Stoppable please go to the hangar, your aircraft is waiting.", she coldly told him hoping she didn't give too much away.
As Ron Stoppable walked out of the room Agent Maximus Gast entered. "Well Max is everything laid out for our little Agent.", Betty smirked.
Shaking his head in amusement, "He has to be the luckiest kid on the planet Ma'am."
"Well his 'luck' should run out in about six hours.", Dr. Director smiled, "Now make sure he gets on the hover jet I'd hate for him to get lost and have to set this up again."
"Yes Ma'am, I'll make sure. After all you assigned me to ride to Austria with him."
"You'll go far in this organization Max.", she told him.
As Ron was escorted to the hangar by a junior agent the hair suddenly stood up on the back of his neck.
"Hey Stuckable wait up.", the Senior Agent yelled from behind.
Ron turned, "Yes Sir."
"I'll show you the way; I'm riding with you."
"Hey thanks Agent.", Ron smiled.
"You can call me Sir, son.", Gast informed the teen.
Unknown to Ron several aircraft were on the way to the target area.
"WSO to Pilot. Babies are ready to be dropped.", Captain Sidney Shepard told the aircraft commander.
"Roger. Radar Navigator, distance to target?"
"One seven minutes Sir, we are twelve seconds behind schedule.", Captain Timothy Bardon informed him.
"Roger.", the reply came over the intercom then a switch was turned and the mic keyed again."One Eye, the load is yours on my mark.", Major Chris Smock called over his radio.
"Thank you Tango One, Tango Two what is your status?"
"One Eye this is Tango Two, we are zero five minutes behind Tango One and Tango Three is zero two minutes behind Tango Two.", Colonel Jimmy Dudley informed the head of the police agency; not at all happy with her being part of his mission chain-of-command.
"Very good Tango One, Two and Three upon your drops vacate the area and return to base. Only call when you have made your drop. Do not, repeat do not mention this mission to anyone without One Eye approval. Do you copy?"
"Tango One copies."
"Tango Two copies."
"Tango Three copies."
"Hey Stuppable, do you want something to eat?", Agent Gast asked.
"We're about forty-eight minutes out. So eat up while you can.", he suggested. Then added, 'Consider it your last meal kid.'
"Will do.", Ron frowned.
The first bomber came in low. The pilot and aircraft commander both kept their hands lightly on the control yokes as the computers flew the large multi-engine warplane into the area designated. The Radar Bombardier kept his hands on the controls as he monitored his own computer.
"Ten seconds to drop.", the Bombardier called out, "Everything is green.
Behind them and off each wing were two more aircraft. Their job, to make sure the whole area was covered.
"OK Subbable we're going to flare, then you go. We'll be gone right after that. Keep your radio link open. Remember just watch, do not enter the lair until ordered.", Gast told the teen, relaying information from the 'Top'.
"Yeah I know.", the blond teen replied uneasily. 'Man I can't believe that KP had been doing this under my nose all this time. Where did she find the time...OK head in the game.', he mused as his aircraft slowed and began to flair
Ron crouched behind a large boulder as he scanned the area below him again. 'There's absolutely no one here. I wonder if they dropped me in the wrong place or if their intel was crappy?', he mused as muted his GJ coms, then removed his pack and rummaged until he found his Kimmunicator.
After turning it on, he slipped it into his cargo pocket with Rufus. "Rufus buddy keep listening, we might have trouble."
"Hnk OK.", the muffled squeak came from Ron's pocket.
He had had enough and decided it was time to call for direction. "One Eye this is Buffoon, we have no, repeat, no traffic on site.", Ron keyed his mic.
"Buffoon.", Betty Director grinned to herself at his handle she had picked out for him, "Maintain watch for two zero minutes then contact again."
"Well we'll just wait a little longer and then you won't have to worry about 'competition'.", one of her advisers told her.
"Make sure to record the audio for my own entertainment; I might want to replay his screams for help to relax me when I'm having that time of the month.", she smirked. "Oh and before I forget, please edit my Official Condolence note to the family. I'm afraid my personal feelings may get involved and we don't want any agency looking into this and finding anything unusual.", Dr. Director cautioned.
Ron called again, "One Eye this is Buffoon. No activity."
"Buffoon, you are authorized to investigate the lair. Begin second phase.", the Director of Global Justice instructed.
"Roger.", Ron replied as he slowly rose and slipped around the boulder and began to make his way towards the cave opening.
"Let him get a little further.", one agent advised.
"Less cover further down the slope and it will look more like a screw-up, than something deliberate, Ma'am.", he replied.
Elizabeth Director looked at her watch, 'He's had long enough. Goodbye sidekick.',before the one eyed woman reached under a Plexiglas plate, turned a key and pushed a button.
The blond teen tripped over something and fell flat on his face. While placing a hand to steady himself, he grasped a hand sized object. 'What the hell is this?', he mused as he flicked on his penlight and noted the object was olive drab with yellow letters. Something clicked in his mind and the teen threw what was an anti-personnel landmine as far as he could when he heard two pops close by.
Spinning and diving at the same time, the Monkey Powered teen began a dance with death as he moved out. Not caring if he was seen or not Ron turned on his large flashlight to help light a way to safety as the whole hillside suddenly erupted in yellow heat.
Stunned, Ron ran as he never ran before when the whole hillside shook with a vengeance trying to knock the young man down.
Betty Director sat back in her chair with her feet up on her desk, sipping on a soda, tossing popcorn kernels into the air and catching them in her mouth.
"Well when do you think we should call Ronald to see how he's doing?", she chuckled sarcastically.
"Oh give him a few more minutes. Then when he doesn't respond we'll send a hover jet over to investigate. We'll try to make contact…and that is when we'll learn about this terrible tragedy. You can then inform his family of the accident and offer your concern about what happened and vow to get to the bottom of this unfortunate event. Case closed.", a Sub-Director told her.
"Works for me. Now, how is that other project going?", as Betty shifted to another topic of her interest.
"We are working through another ten dimensions as we speak. Hopefully we will find out soon enough.", he replied.
In the eerie quiet two wide brown eyes peered from behind what was left of a boulder. Reaching into his pocket the shell-shocked teen pulled out an equally stunned mole rat that was, somehow, still holding onto the Kimmunicator. "Ron! Ron! Are you all right?", Wade yelled.
"Huh, what?...Yeah Wade just a second!", Ron shook his head to get the ringing in his ears to stop. "Do you know what happened?"
"Yeah you walked into a minefield...a big one and it seems like they all went off at the same time.", Wade explained as he noticed some damage on the Kimmunicator through his monitoring system.
"One Eye to Buffoon, One Eye to Buffoon, do you copy? What is status of lair?", Dr. Director's voice came through his ear bud.
Not keying his mic Ron spoke into the Kimmunicator, "Wade keep quiet and monitor. Dr. Director is calling."
"Sure Ron.", Wade replied.
"Buffoon to One Eye, Buffoon to One Eye, lair is empty, repeat lair is empty. Send pickup.", Ron keyed his mic still in shock, barely able to stand.
Nothing came through for about thirty seconds.
Then another voice came through, "Understood, pickup is on the way. Out."
The blond teen slid down using the boulder as a backrest and sighed, "What a night, huh Rufus?"
"Hnk, bleah Ron.", the mole rat squeaked as he puked all over Ron's pants.
"Yeah me too buddy.", then he keyed his mic, "Wade did you record everything?"
"Yeah I did, but are you alright?"
"Yeah, but Rufus is feeling under the weather and I have a brown stain in my boxers.", Ron quipped as he began to calm himself.
"That… Bastard!", the one eyed woman screamed as she grabbed her desk and flipped it over, the computer somehow stayed hooked up and ended up on the floor.
While Dr. Director was seething, stomping her furniture and equipment, another agent spoke, "We have to pick him up Ma'am, if we don't the Press might find out and have a field day over us leaving him there."
Suddenly caught in a one-eyed glare, "Ma'am, might I also suggest that we find someone else to do the deed, so-to-speak."
"Yes, we'll find a way. Get me the personnel files and get Dumbable back here for a debriefing! Dismissed!", she grit her teeth as she plopped down in her chair, the only remaining piece of office furniture that wasn't completely destroyed.
Hope this answers some of the questions posed about GJ's, and Betty's, attitude towards Ron Stoppable. And just when you thought it couldn't get better…'Wait There's More!... Next week, Chapter 28 will come online and some threads will be tied off and others will become apparent, or frayed…
And the Ninja Protection Team makes their last appearance in this tale. Like many of you, I'm sorry to see them go, but their final performance will be overshadowed by mischief from one of the team. So stay tuned for that.
Now the legal stuff: This is the non-monetary works of two fellows who have nothing better to do than to write fiction based on the Kim Possible Series, something owned by the Disney Company. All others mentioned within are our creations and aren't connected to the series and are shielded from threats by the Mouse Ears Lawyers.
See you next week with Chapter 28 of "Out There, In Here", preceded by the "Third Stepping Up" tale Larry cooked up. And a fourth one will be posted the week following just prior to Chapter 29.
See ya'll there!