Author's Foreword: Practically everything I write, goofy or grim, fanfiction or otherwise, has an underlying message, and this was no exception. When Japan suffered a real nuclear crisis, I began having problems with this story, feeling as if it now trivialized that event. Despite the advice of many in the Kimmunity, among them Codename Blue Eyes and SirSebastian, I withdrew it. However, after consideration, I have decided they were correct and I was too hasty. Certainly both Joseph Stefano and Inoshiro Honda created powerful stories using scifi symbols of this particular grim reality; I do not place myself in their league, but I recognize their freedom to tell the tale.
So here is Radiation Situation, in which Kim and several other characters, both good and evil, encounter a power which, even when apparently submissive, is never less than lethally dangerous and awaits only a crisis – an "act of God", if you will – to careen beyond control. The story won't suddenly disappear this time, and I apologize to all who gave it their time only to have it vanish incomplete. We must all learn our lessons; I learned one here.
Disclaimer: If you saw it on TV, even in 1963, then I don't own it. And with this chapter, at least, there is a chance of that.
Prologue: April 26th, 2006
Drakken had finally connected the last wire to the last clock; giddy with excitement, he somehow undulated his way out of the complex maze he'd built. "Behold! This device, my own invention, will finally rid the world of the accursed Kim Possible." He struck a victory pose that could have come out of a comic book. And probably did.
Lying under the tanning lights, Shego watched, seemingly without much interest. "I stole the clocks, the wires, even the big maypole whatchamacallit in the middle."
Annoyed, Drakken angrily defended the maypole. "Chronoton cluster generator, Shego!"
His sidekick continued, nonplussed. "I stole the Hobart equations from the museum vault. You invented that thing about like a kid invents an airplane with his Tinkertoys."
"That's not very nice," he snarled, testily.
"Wasn't meant to be. So, ok, I'll bite – what does it do?"
He cackled malignly, both hands in the air, held like claws. "With this device I can tilt time and bring back the dead as they were before they died."
"Did I ever tell you," asked the green-tinted beauty, languorously rolling over, "that I have a highly developed Shego-sense that tingles in the presence of stupidity levels bordering on suicidal?"
His interest was piqued. "No, no, I don't believe you have."
"That's because, really, I don't. But if I did, I'd in the throes of a grand mal seizure about now. Who, exactly, are you planning to bring back 'as they were before they died?'"
"I've thought about that long and hard," said the mad scientist, finally tracing the web of wires to its end and attaching an extension cord to the tangle. "It must be someone who can finish our enemies once and for all."
"Did I mention that the 'before they died' stuff seems particularly goofy, even for you? Is that supposed to, I don't know, be scary or something? "
He ignored her question. Sometimes he dreamed that she was impressed by his plans, really impressed, without a compliance chip pasted on her brow. Sometimes he dreamed that she helped him build things, even making improvements as they worked, without sarcasm, spite, or disdain. In those dreams he proudly stood beside her: emperor and empress, king and queen, even –
Sometimes he wondered, waking up in the wee hours of the morning, what dreams like that could mean.
He pressed on.
"And I have decided on no one less than..." He plugged the thing in; the clocks began ticking, hands spinning, as the wire web took on an eerie, iridescent glow. "Jack the Ripper."
Shego was up and in Drakken's face in under a second. "Whoa – whoa – whoa! Hold the phone! " With effort she collected her thoughts, continuing a bit more calmly. But only a bit. "Tell me why you thought that was a good idea."
"Shego! Isn't it obvious? The name is synonymous with evil. 'Jack the Ripper.' Brrr! His reputation has lasted over a century. Never caught. His identity a mystery to this day – but the time tilting device will find him. Think of the evil tips he can give us. To learn at the feet of a master – "
The demoniac ticking of clocks filled the room, a cloud of noise, making it difficult to speak without shouting. "Have you considered, even for a moment, exactly what he did to get that reputation?"
"Of course! One more reason to summon him from the past. Our greatest enemy is Kim Possible – "
A quantum singularity, a rift in time began ominously spreading from the central pole of the device; through it could be seen, dimly, the streets and buildings of Victorian London. Over a hundred years away, a police whistle was blowing.
"– and Kim Possible is a girl. You see? You see? You thought I hadn't done the research."
Sometimes Dr. D's crazy schemes were more dangerous than Kim Possible could ever be. Was he really that naïve? If Possible was a 'girl,' what did he think she was? She glanced again at the temporal vortex, suddenly aware of the sweat trickling down her forehead. At any second a red-eyed, misogynistic maniac might spring from its hazy depths, knife held high. And the wild-eyed, blue-skinned maniac before her thought that would be an advantage.
He was still gloating, oblivious to her mounting concern. "Jack the Ripper will annihilate her for us. It's in the bag, Shego. In the bag."
He grinned, the big crazy Drakken grin.
The Ripper's no danger to me, she told herself. She was an expert martial artist with a deadly power. She knew that. But the time tilting device was opening a door to the past, and she was wearing nothing more than a bathing suit, and the Ripper's victims had all been – "Dr. D, he doesn't 'annihilate' namby-pamby, do-gooder teenagers! He annihilates –"
"I'm ok with 'do-gooder', but 'namby-pamby?" came an all too familiar voice from overhead, on the catwalk. "I know you can do better than that."
Shego winced as he roared the name right in her ear.
"You've got nothing," continued the blue man. "I've done nothing wrong."
"Professor Stefano would beg to differ. He's still ticked over losing those rare magnetic wires."
"Yeah," shouted Ron Stoppable, still trying to extricate himself from the overhead airvent, "and Dr. Stevens was pretty wired about getting those atomic clocks back, too."
"Nice." The green woman's hands suddenly crackled with supercharged plasma. "How long did you rehearse that routine?"
"What routine?" Kim spun down from the catwalk, somersaulting through the air; Shego slung a bolt of seething emerald energy that missed her adversary by a mile, exploding deep in the bowels of the time tilting device.
Horrified, Drakken screamed something that might have been "No."
Within the machine's confines, the era of Jack the Ripper blurred, faded, was replaced by ravening dinosaurs, a trio of sailing ships, an Apollo space capsule, an Old West ghost town. Beams of light flared from within the wires and clocks; electrical arcs stabbed the air. The vortex of chaotic time began expanding, spilling out of the ruptured containment field.
The redhaired teenager and the green brunette looked at each other, at the machine, and bolted to their respective partners. Probably the shortest fight they'd ever had.
"Come on, Dr. D," Shego shouted, "the plan's gone belly up. Let's get out of here."
"You did that on purpose," wailed the mad scientist, surrounded by the oily smoke of his quickly disintegrating creation. "You didn't even try to hit her. You threw that into my time tilter on purpose! You were jealous! Jealous of my success! "
"Yeah, well, we'll discuss that some other time." She hustled him, kicking and flailing, into the hovercar. " When we're not in mortal danger." The little vehicle lifted off, spun around, shot down the tunnel to the secret exit. On the catwalk Possible and Stoppable were following suit, escaping the lab via the same ventilation duct that had granted them admittance. The scientists would have to do without their magnetic wires and atomic clocks. The devil was always in the details.
Flying south, Shego considered the silent man beside her, his arms crossed, face fixed in a pout, refusing to meet her gaze. Though she would never admit it, she had been impressed by that machine. Someone with common sense and the power of time travel could do anything. Even take over the world.
Common sense. That was the problem.
Sometimes she dreamed that he was as competent as he was determined. Sometimes she dreamed that he was really as smart as he thought he was, really as logical as he wanted to be. In those dreams she proudly stood beside him as his feared enforcer, as loyal protector, as –
Sometimes she wondered, waking up in the wee hours of the morning, what dreams like that could mean.
The hovercar vanished in the clouds, leaving the self-destructing time tilter behind. At the same time two ultralight craft lifted off from the far side of the island, bearing the teen crimefighters to safety.
And so it was that no one saw the final moments of the time tilter's destruction. No one saw the glowing, burning figure leap from the quantum singularity vortex just before it imploded; no one saw the big man hit the floor, rolling until the flames were quenched, getting slowly to his feet.
One second he had been transfixed by the lethal fury of Reactor Number Four; the next the void had opened before him and he had jumped through it. Without hesitation, without fear. His Spetsnaz training had taken over. Now he had no idea where he was, but he knew what he must do: get back to the Soviet Union and report on the disaster.
Andrei Dmitryevich Asafiev walked out of the ruined lab, out into the tropical island wilderness, not knowing that twenty years had passed for him in the twinkling of an eye. Many things had changed since that day at Chernobyl. It would be some time before Asafiev knew the extent of those changes. It would take even longer for him to accept them.
At the moment he was simply glad to be alive. "Хіба це рука Бога," he sighed. Is this the hand of God?
He walked into the forest. In his wake, lush plants and brilliant flowers sickened, withered and died.