The Hitchhiker

Based on characters and situations from Disney's Kim Possible.

Written by Adam Leigh.

Summary:

Kim wakes up one day to find the whole world has completely forgotten her. With no support, Kim hitchhikes across the country to find a way to restore her world. Then, one night, a bright green sixteen wheeler truck stops to give her a lift, and everything begins to change.


Day 12

Okay. I might as well start from the top.

I'm keeping this diary because to make sure I remember all of this, so I can know it's all REAL. I might have doubts some day, worse than the ones I have right now, and I'll need this record to remind me that this DID happen to me. That I didn't imagine it.

I figure paper is the most reliable way to store my thoughts since I can't depend on having power available, and I've already seen the Kimmunicator's battery indicator go down dramatically since arriving. Dad told me once that a regular cell phone uses up more power when it can't find cell towers to talk to than when it can. I wonder if the Kimmunicator is the same way because I know that Wade said its power cells were good for years, but here we are, twelve days after I woke up and it's completely dead.

So, I might as well call it Zero Day, the day I woke up here, since that's how I'm numbering the entries in this diary. It started with a regular mission, at least, it seemed that way at first. Wade called me, I called Ron, we met up in Zurich, and found Drakken there, as zany as ever, collecting precious metals and gemstones out of safety deposit boxes. He said something about the largest untracked collection of platinum and diamonds being in safety deposit boxes at the Zurich Cantonal Bank. I have no idea if that's accurate, but once Drakken gets an idea in his head...

Anyway, Shego and I fought while Ron tried to shut down Drakken's strange vacuum cleaner machine. Business as usual, I thought. But, well, it wasn't a vacuum cleaner in the traditional sense. After Ron started pulling wires, Drakken started making a commotion about the vacuum using point-singularity power to generate micro black holes to suck the contents directly out of safety deposit boxes without even opening them I have been thinking about this for the last two weeks and I still have no idea what he was talking about.

The machine started to make weird noises and Shego quickly abandoned our fight and ran. Drakken was close behind, and Ron followed suit. I... I have no idea what I was thinking. I ran towards the machine. I thought, maybe, since Drakken mentioned black holes and everything, that it could be bad news if it exploded. I wanted to try and find a way to shut it down. Or at least dump the thing into the Limmat River to reduce the damage.

I had nearly pushed the vacuum to the window when it suddenly began imploding in on itself. The sound of twisted metal was loud and felt like a sharp blade to my ears. I barely had a second to be afraid before I felt the sudden jerk of motion and I tumbled into darkness.


With a tight yank of her arm, Kim tightened the rope around the man squirming beneath her, causing the latter to let out a squawk and glare angrily up at the girl. She smiled down at him with satisfaction, her one brow arched strategically to convey her incredulity at the escape attempt.

"Who ARE you?" the man growled. He thrashed about once more to test the knot but made no appreciable progress at getting free.

"Nobody," Kim said with a shrug. "I was just passing through. Thought I'd help out."

The rope was a bit of a dramatic touch, she recognized, but she didn't want her knot tying skills to atrophy. She just as easily could have used the large plastic zip ties she kept in her back pocket, or the duct tape in her sling bag, but the old braided rope was just lying there at the loading dock, and she couldn't help herself but grab it and fashion it into a lasso. She at least managed to squash the urge to throw the end of the rope over the nearby lamppost and leave the thief dangling.

She gestured her head towards the black bag lying out of reach of the criminal. "What's all that, anyway?"

"You don't know?" said the man, surprised.

"Knowing you, it's probably a component of some world destroying device," said Kim then wished she hadn't.

"Knowing me?" said the man in a confused tone. "Have we met?"

"Ah, no," Kim shook her head. "Not in this life time." She smiled halfheartedly. "You've got a reputation, though, Lipsky."

"I do?" asked Lipsky. "That's news to me. And it's Doctor Lipsky."

"This would be your opportunity to bask in the glory, Doctor," said Kim. "So what's in the bag?"

"DARPA's experimental automated oil mole," said Lipsky. "Nobody was supposed to know it was here, but... well, I've got my ways." The man smirked, forgetting briefly he was tied up and beneath the heel of his captor.

Kim adjusted her bag and pulled out a cell phone, looking briefly at the screen. "What's an oil mole?"

"Been living under a rock?" asked Lipsky.

Kim laughed. "Trust me, if I were, I'd probably know more than I do." She looked behind herself and then waved towards the beleaguered campus cops that were just coming into view. They were breathing heavily and clearly sweating but jogging closer.

She'd seen them chasing after Lipsky while she was walking across the campus of the Applied Physics Laboratory at Johns Hopkins University and instinct told her to get involved. She hadn't really heard about him since arriving, but Kim assumed that in a race between a would-be Drakken and the police, she'd want to help the police.

This Lipsky was, of course, different than the one she was used to, but that was nothing new. Lipsky here had normal colored skin and no scar, but otherwise looked the same. He was short, stocky, with tiny hands, and had wild black hair with a rat tail in the back. The labcoat was white instead of blue but she recognized him as Drakken in an instant.

"The oil mole seeks out cheap micro-repositories of buried oil and collects them for refinement," said Lipsky. "Completely automated! Uses ultrasound to find the oil and a collapsible bag for transport. It's a brilliant piece of machinery!"

Kim grimaced. "Sounds cool, I guess. Why do you want it? Found some oil in your backyard?"

"For the battery of course," said Lipsky.

"You stole a robot for its battery?" asked Kim. "Wouldn't the grocery store be a better place to go for a AAA than a secured laboratory?"

"It's not just ANY battery!" said Lipsky. "It's an atomic power cell! It uses waste fuel pellets from large scale nuclear reactors! Anyone who figures out how to mass produce that technology is looking to gain a fortune."

"You stole a battery so you could sell it," said Kim, slowly.

"So I could reverse engineer it and dominate the market!"

Kim shook her head. "So, you're not going to hold the world ransom?"

"Ransom?" asked Lipsky, looking up at her strangely. "How would I even do that? Who would I ransom the world to? Aliens? What a silly idea."

Kim sighed. She was so used to the way things played out before arriving here. Now she was always confused. At least she captured the right person this time, unlike earlier in the year when she accidentally attacked Senior Senior Junior.

The trio of campus cops finally reached her and Lipsky and paused for a second to catch their breath. "Thank you," said the lead cop, a portly man with a graying mustache. "He would have lost us at that first fence if you hadn't shown up."

Kim smiled and nodded. "My pleasure. It's just a good thing he didn't have his hovercar with him."

"Hovercar?" asked Lipsky. He was eyeing Kim weirdly now.

"Er, yeah, I guess," nodded the cop, slowly. "Do you... know him?"

Kim shook her head. "We've just met. I've only heard of him by reputation."

"Who is he?" asked the cop, surprised.

"Drew Lipsky," said Kim. "You know, evil plans, builds strange things, a mad sci-er, criminal."

"Mad criminal?" asked the cop.

"Well, uh... I mean, aren't they all?"

"That's the truth," said one of the other cops, a taller, younger man who was standing Lipsky up.

Kim nodded and looked back to the lead cop again. "There, you see. Truth."

The cop frowned now and looked Kim up and down suspiciously. "Who are you?"

"I'm nobody," said Kim, as she typically did. "Just a good Samaritan who didn't want to see a thief get away." She shrugged. "if you've got everyone under control here, I'll just be on my way, then." She tightened the strap on her bag and slid it to rest in the small of her back.

"Yeah, sure," said the cop. He was still visibly uncomfortable and Kim didn't want to linger if he was about to jump to some strange conclusion… like she was somehow in cahoots with Drakken. After a moment he half-smiled. "Thanks again."

"No big," said Kim brightly, then turned on her foot and began jogging towards the road.


Day 369

It's been over a year now since I arrived. I guess that means I'm twenty now. Happy Birthday to me! I would have celebrated but, there's hardly any point. Nobody knows or cares here. If I ever get back home I'll just have a mega birthday party to make up for all the years I missed.

Ugh. "All the years." I can't believe I just wrote that. I remember back when I thought I'd get home in a few days. I wish I had this journal then, I could go back and experience my naiveté again. No, it's obvious now that nobody is coming for me. Either nobody knows where I went or they don't know how to follow. Regardless, I have to find my own way home, and that means I'm definitely in for the long haul. I just hope I get home before I'm thirty.

Still, it's not so bad here. Not quite as exciting as home. No heroes or villains in the news, no radical technologies changing people's lives in sudden ways. It's like there's a dial on excitement and someone turned it down to 1 in this world. Nobody seems to notice. I guess their lives have always been this slow, they'd never notice.

Chasing down Lipsky last week was the most excitement I'd had in months. I hoped that it would make the news. I checked for a few days but I don't think it ever showed up. It's funny, I never really cared about the press when I was home, but now I'd really love to see at least a mention of me. It would at least mean somebody knew I was here and cared.

I'm getting depressed writing all this. I need to stick to the task at hand.

I made it to Columbus thanks to Lawrence Fletcher, a very nice man who picked me up around Wilkes-Barre. He reminded me of my father, a little eccentric, but an intelligent older man, who seemed very calm and collected. He was an antiques dealer but talked excitedly about dinosaurs. I got the impression he had a very loving family at home.

I miss MY family.

No. Not going to get depressed again.

I roamed about the city for a day, using up most of my remaining cash looking for information and buying some shipping maps. Columbus seems to be the ground shipping center of the Midwest. I'm hoping tomorrow I'll be able to find a ride all the way to California. There's an engineer at Caltech with a very promising last name I'd like to meet.


Kim pulled out her cell phone and stared at the blank screen. Dead. There was not much use in complaining about it, she knew it would happen eventually. Public outlets were not very common along an interstate highway. She was just hoping she would have been able to get a ride by now.

It was late on a fall day; the sun had dipped below the horizon which meant it would become dark rapidly. It wasn't too cold, she judged, and it wasn't the time of year yet where she couldn't sleep in the woods by the road, she just tried to avoid it whenever possible.

Columbus was still on the horizon behind her. Despite walking since before sunrise this morning she still hadn't made all that much progress. Again, that wasn't unexpected, just depressing.

Zipping up her jacket, Kim stuck one of her hands in the pocket and held the other aloft as she spotted another group of cars coming around the bend in the road behind her. She would hold out for another hour or two, up until the point where she would be in danger of getting accidentally run over, and then duck into the woods and look for a relatively undisturbed place to sleep.

The group of cars sailed past quickly without any sign of slowing down. Damn. She would have thought that hitchhiking would be easier in the Midwest than on the East coast - which is where she'd been for the last year - but that was turning out to be a bad assumption. Never had she gone so long without even a single person stopping to see if she was just trying to get help for a stalled car.

Headlights appeared around the bend again and Kim held her hand aloft. The lights were high and large and Kim recognized them as belonging to a semi-trailer truck. She held her hand up higher, hoping to grab the driver's attention. She had hoped to get picked up by someone in shipping, the odds were better they were heading where she wanted to go.

The headlights dipped suddenly and began to slow much to Kim's delight. She bit her lip, trying not to get too excited at the prospect of not having to sleep in the woods. The driver could just as well been slowing down to be cautious about running her over.

The hazard lights of the semi truck came on and Kim's heart sped up as the truck slowed down. She stepped further off the road to let the driver pull over onto the shoulder. The truck itself was newer, fairly clean, and a bright green color. The windows appeared tinted because Kim couldn't see inside at all until the driver turned on the cabin light and rolled down the passenger window.

"Hey, where you headin'?" asked the driver.

Kim stared.

"Hey?" repeated the driver. "You all right?"

Kim opened her mouth slowly. "You're..." she started, then stalled, uncertain how to proceed. She looked at the driver, and then looked at the truck. "Green. I mean, in a green truck," Kim finished.

"Well, doy," said the driver, who looked identical to Shego. She had the same pale skin, green eyes, angular jaw, and long dark hair. "But I'm fairly certain you could have seen that before I opened the window." She smirked, then added. "It's my favorite color. Is that a problem for you?"

Kim blinked. "No! Uh, no, of course not. I like green too, actually." She shook her head as if throwing loose an uncomfortable thought. "I'm sorry. I'm heading to Los Angeles." She shrugged. "Are you... going in that direction?"

Shego looked down at her for a second, her grin still in place, then nodded. "It's your lucky day, then. That's where I'm heading too." She leaned forward and pulled on the door handle to open it. "Climb in!"

Kim sighed satisfactorily. She had a ride! It was with Shego, of course, which would be awkward, but it was only a few days. Besides, there was no telling what this world's Shego was like, maybe she wasn't an evil psychopath.

With a leap, Kim jumped up on to the footstep and climbed her way into the cab. The inside was nicely appointed, clean, spacious, with a pleasant fruity smell probably courtesy of an air freshener Kim could see hanging off of the cigarette lighter. This Shego was a tidy woman, that much was obvious.

Kim pulled the door shut behind her, and Shego slowly pulled away from the shoulder.

"I'm Kim," she introduced herself. "Kim Possible."

Shego smiled and nodded. "I'm Sharon Hedge."

"Nice to meet you, Sharon," said Kim. She hesitated for a second, a conflict brewing in her head. She had to ask, right? This world was different, she kept telling herself, people didn't seem to have very many similarities to their counterparts from Kim's world. But... Sharon? That seems like such a mundane name compare to Shego.

"Got any nicknames?" Kim asked before her brain could object further.

"Nicknames?" She looked obviously surprised.

"Yeah, you know," Kim said. "Like, my father used to call me Kimmiecub, and yooooou—I mean there were some people who used to call me 'pumpkin' because of my hair."

"Okay, sure, I suppose. I could see that. The 'pumpkin' part, anyway."

"So, got any?" Kim pressed.

"Is this how you start all conversations? Interrogating people about their childhood nicknames?"

"Well, I mean, if you've got a cool nickname, I wouldn't want to miss out," said Kim.

"Miss out? On a nickname?"

"Can it hurt to tell me?"

"I'm starting to think it will."

Kim stuck out her lower lip and made the puppy dog face.

"Wow, that's... wow. How old are you?"

Kim rolled her eyes and looked back at the woman who called herself Sharon.

"Ok, fine. I guess my brother used to call me 'Sis' and I had an old employer who used to call me 'Go Girl' on account of where I'm from, but nothing cool. Or nothing that I think is cool. Is that good enough?"

"Oh," said Kim. Well she had her answer. No need to press the matter further. None at all. They were strangers, after all, in this world. There was no need to push someone who was being nice to her into insanity because of a sudden obsession with nicknames. "So nothing like 'Shar', or 'Greenie', or..." she shouldn't. Not really. She knew better than to tempt fate like this. "Shego?"

"Geeze, Princess!" she snapped. "Are you this pushy with everyone you meet?"

Kim swallowed. "Sorry!" she said quickly. "Sorry, I got carried away."

The driver shook her head and muttered to herself. "You do a person a favor..." She looked angry now as she drove. After a moment she reached forward and turned the cab light off again, and only the reflected glow from the headlights and the instrument cluster illuminated the cabin.

A long, agonizing minute passed.

"Shego, huh?" Kim heard the driver quietly say to herself. Then she repeated it a couple more times. "Shego. Shego."

Another minute passed.

"I might like that."

*** End Part One


A/N: I dunno. Is this a good idea? Who knows! I'm just writing things that come to me at this point, my writers block is so bad.

Let me know what you think about this idea! Shego as a trucker? Got potential? I think so, but then again it's 12:30am on a Wednesday night.

In theory this story is one of a plethora of side stories to POSSIBILITY ENGINE, but that would only matter if I ever got around to writing more of POSSIBILITY ENGINE. So, yeah.