Once she got over her initial shock of what Brotherson had told them she felt the new information click solidly into place. Things began to make sense again. Some of it was still guess work and conjecture but it fit.
"Lincoln was the product of an indiscretion many years ago. When he was incarcerated his mother came seeking my help." Brotherson explained. Kim mulled this over. She couldn't be sure but for the moment is was safe to bet Lincoln had been chosen because of this relation to Brotherson. Shego was up to something and somehow it involved Bonnie. Though it was possible Lincoln was killed to keep him from talking about the Rockwaller job Kim did not think that was the case. It didn't make sense that Shego would have waited nearly two months to take him out. Lincoln's murder only made sense as an act of revenge and that pointed to one killer.
Kim spoke "I know who killed Lincoln." Ron looked at her as if this were news to him as well.
"The person responsible for Lincoln's murder is Shego." It wasn't lying Kim told herself. Even though Bonnie was likely the one who pulled the trigger, Shego was the one wielding Bonnie like a weapon. Brotherson snapped his fingers and a man appeared next to Kim holding a manila envelope. "It seems we have an enemy in common Miss Possible, but our paths diverge from here." He said.
"What are you talking about?" Ron spoke up.
"I will take care of Shego, you have another problem that you should concern yourself with."
Kim looked at the envelope but didn't take it.
"There's something else at play here." Kim said.
"More than you likely realize." Brotherson retorted.
"Shego's abducted a schoolmate of ours…"
Brotherson raised an eyebrow. "For what purpose?"
"We're not sure yet." It was Ron who spoke this time. She suddenly felt guilty about resenting Ron for holding back Brotherson's password. After all she had held some things back from him as well.
"Can we have you're word that you won't harm her?" Kim asked. It was a bold request, too bold perhaps but since she learned that Bonnie might be alive she couldn't help feel protective of her. It may have been motivated more by guilt then concern but regardless it was there and it was strong.
"You have my word." Brotherson responded a little too quickly it seemed to Kim. But there wasn't time to figure out why. She took the folder, which was still being held out to her.
"What's this other problem?" Kim opened the envelope.
"Go ask your precious Global Justice Director. It seems she made a deal with Shego awhile back thinking she could keep her on a leach." Kim would have raised an objection except she had begun reading the files in the envelope. They were transcripts of interactions between Dr. Director and Shego. Brotherson was telling the truth.
"How did you get these?" Kim asked.
Brotherson chuckled. "Global Justice spies on us and we spy on them… I'm sure you'd rather I skip the details."
Kim nodded and stood. Ron looked up at her for a moment and then rose to join her.
"Be careful with Shego, she maybe coming for you." Brotherson merely smiled.
They arrived at Global Justice headquarters. Kim had to talk to Dr. Director. She had to hear her side of the story. Hear her justify a partnership with Shego. Kim paced anxiously while Ron sat in one of the plush red chairs. He held a Styrofoam cup between his hands.
The cup contained black coffee, which was now lukewarm. Ron tried to take a sip but aborted the attempt at the last second.
"You'd think a place like this could spring for some decent java." Ron lamented.
"Since when do you drink coffee?" Kim asked.
"Usually I don't, but do you know how many time zones I've crossed in the past two days?" Kim stopped pacing and sat in a chair next to Ron. She had been driving herself hard. Telling herself that she had to stay strong, keep moving, get the job done no matter the cost. It wasn't until now that she allowed herself to feel just how weary she was. Kim plucked the Styrofoam cup from Ron's hands and raised it to her lips.
"You might as well drink a cup of warm motor oil." Kim held the cup at arms length and dropped it into a nearby trashcan.
The Director's administrative assistant walked over to them and explained that they could go into the director's office. When they entered they knew immediately that something was wrong. The person who sat behind the large desk was not Dr. Director but her second in command Lucas Lindsay. He started out working firearm suppression for ATF and later did some work for the CIA before Dr. Director recruited him into Global Justice. He was obviously good at his job Dr. Director only accepted the best. Despite his long list of accolades Kim didn't like Lindsay very much. Actually she thought he was a pompous prick who was too ambitious for his own good. She kept these opinions to herself of course. She didn't need any more allies turned into enemies.
"My apologies for keeping to waiting so long, but I've been busy trying to clean up the huge mess out director left this morning." Lindsay said from behind the desk.
"What are you talking about? Where's Dr. Director?" Kim demanded. Lindsay looked at her skeptically.
"Then you haven't heard?" He said with a sigh. "Our illustrious leader didn't come into work today… She's not at home and no one has seen her since last night."
"Maybe someone got to her." Ron said. Lindsay shook his head.
"There's no sign of foul play, all the evidence we've found suggests she left of her own will."
"Why would she do that?" Ron asked.
"I don't know and I don't care." Lindsay shrugged. "I've got a global intelligence network to run. Do you have any more questions?" She had dozens of them but she didn't think asking would do much good. Lindsay was obviously making a carrier move. He had priorities and helping them wasn't one of them.
"No, we're done." Kim turned on her heal and walked out of the office. Behind her she heard Ron thank Lindsay for seeing them. He caught up with her at the secretary's desk.
"What was that about?" Ron asked.
"He's an ass." Kim said.
"Maybe he's just really overwhelmed." Kim looked at him with a raised eyebrow.
"Yeah, you're right… he's totally an ass." Ron admitted. "Is that why you didn't tell him about the information we got from Brotherson?"
"Those files are enough to bury the Director. I don't want anyone else to see them until I've had a chance to talk to her." Kim said.
"That could get you into trouble… Lindsay might see it as withholding evidence or obstruction." Ron counseled. Kim shook her head.
"I don't care I need to hear her side of things before I can decide what to do with the files."
"Alright, if that's how you want to play it I'll back you up." Ron replied. Kim once again found herself comforted by Ron's loyalty. The subject of loyalty got her thinking of Monique. She needed to get home. She wasn't entirely comfortable with Monique and Yori being alone together. Not because she feared they wouldn't get along, but that they might get along too well and start sharing stories that could cause trouble for both her and Ron.
"Come on." Kim said. "Let's get back before Monique and Yori get into trouble."
"You think they'll get into trouble?"
"Our love interests together in one place." Kim said.
Ron nodded. "If they don't get into trouble we will." Kim was looking forward to seeing Monique again. She wasn't looking forward to the conversation that would follow. There was entirely too much drama to deal with and as she thought about it she again felt very tired.
"We must find a way to escape." Yori said. Monique didn't argue with her, but she had serious doubts about whether it was even possible. It was hard to keep track of time in their little prison cell but Monique guessed it had been a few hours since Bonnie and Shego had left. They hadn't returned since.
"You have a plan?" Monique asked mostly out of curiosity. She didn't expect the Asian girl would actually have an idea. However, Yori proved to be more resourceful then Monique anticipated. Yori combed through her hair with her fingers until they caught on something. She grabbed it and Monique could see it was a very fine wire, which had been woven seamlessly into her hair. Yori slowly worked it free and when she was done she held a seven-inch section of wire. She repeated this process pulling out a second piece the same size as the first. She then began to fold and twist the wire into specific shapes.
"I believe I can pick the lock." Yori said.
"I guess it's a start." Monique said though she already wondered what they would do next. They had no idea what lay beyond their cell door. There was no guarantee that opening the door would mean they could escape. One thing at a time she told herself. Yori had contorted the wires into the lock picks she needed and rose to head for the door. Before she could take a step sparks erupted from between the door and the frame. The sparks moved quickly tracing around the frame. Then they stopped as suddenly as they started. Smoke clouded her vision but Monique could still see well enough to watch as the door fell flat to the ground. In the doorway a new visitor stood. Monique couldn't see who is was right away, but as the smoke cleared the person's features came into focus. She was an older woman with short brown hair and an eye patch. She wore camouflage army fatigues and held a Beretta M9 handgun.
"Director-soma." Yori bowed toward the woman.
"I'm glad you're both uninjured." The woman said.
"Who are you?" Monique demanded.
"You can call me Betty. I'm a friend." Monique couldn't help suspecting the woman, but Yori seemed to trust her.
"We should go." Betty said. "We don't have much time…"
"Wrong again…" The voice came from behind Betty, Shego's voice. Her tone was flat and cold as ice.
Betty's grip on her gun tightened slightly.
"I wouldn't…" Shego said. "Drop it." Betty considered a moment but then let her gun fall clattering to the floor. She turned half facing Shego.
"I knew you'd figure it out eventually but to come here yourself." Shego clicked her tongue.
"It's not like I could send a rookie." Betty said with a smile. It was an odd gesture Monique thought. Clearly there was history between these two women.
"I guess you did paint yourself into a corner." Shego smiled and chuckled under her breath.
"Seriously Beth…" Shego said, the smile was gone and the chill had returned to her voice. "Did you really think you could just walk in here and walk back out again?" Betty didn't answer for a moment then she nodded. "Maybe I still do…" Betty turned fully to face Shego. "and I hate when you call me Beth." Betty extended her arm and a small gun sprang from her sleeve to her hand. Shego saw it and dropped to one knee as Betty brought the gun up to where her head had just been. Shego's right hand ignited with green energy, she sprang forward and lashed out. Betty tried to dodge but Shego caught some fabric and tore a large whole in the side of her shirt. The impact spun her around and sent her off balance. Shego struck again more acutely leaving three gashes across her back. Betty dropped to one knee with a grunt. A red stain grew across her back. Shego stood over her.
"You should have left well enough alone." Shego stretched out her arm and charged her power for a deathblow. She was so focused on Betty that she hadn't noticed Yori maneuver behind her. Monique barely had time to see it before Yori moved. She swept Shego's legs out from under her. She followed by kicking Shego in the face before she could recover. Yori moved in to deliver another blow but her body suddenly froze and an eye blink later her body was thrown backward. She struck the wall hard enough to knock the breath from her lungs. She collapsed on the floor gasping for air.
Bonnie moved into the room to help Shego. Betty reached inside her combat vest and pulled out a small rounded object the size and shape of a hockey puck. Betty sent it sliding across the floor and it stopped at Bonnie's feet. Shego saw and her eyes went wide.
"Bonnie run now!" Shego barked. Bonnie looked down at the disk. Betty flattened herself on the floor and covered her head. Monique didn't have time to follow her example before the device exploded with a deafening boom and a blinding burst of light. Monique couldn't see, she couldn't hear. She wasn't even sure if she were still standing. Suddenly she became aware that someone had gripped her arm and was pulling her forward. Monique blinked repeatedly and slowly her vision cleared. Betty was running through a hallway pulling her behind. Yori was slumped over Betty's shoulder. The wound in Betty's back was still bleeding staining the hem of her pants. Her shirt was tattered, torn and barely held together. They came to a door at the end of the hall. Betty let go of her hand and opened the door. They fled into daylight. Betty turned toward her and said something but Monique found she couldn't understand her over the ringing in her ears. Betty started to repeat herself but her eyes were drawn to something else, something behind her. Betty gave her a shove and then practically threw Yori into her arms. Betty pulled the M9 she must have recovered from its holster. She brought it up and managed to squeeze off a single shot. Monique turned to see Shego standing just outside the door. Betty's bullet missed by a mere inch imbedding itself in the door next to Shego's head. Then Monique saw the ball of green energy already in the air. It flew in slow motion in the direction the bullet had just come. Betty didn't have enough time to evade it. She brought her arms up to shield her face and the ball of energy struck her in full force. Betty was knocked backward and Monique could see her left arm burst into green flames. She heard Betty scream, smelled burnt flesh. Shego was coming toward them, her hands glowing, her eyes blazing. Everything seemed so far away like she was just a spectator watching things play out on a movie screen. It didn't seem real. But it was real and Monique found she had only one intelligible thought… that she was about to die.
In the next chapter:
Brotherson has disappeared. Shego and Bonnie have gone to ground. The pieces begin to fall into place for a final and deadly confrontation.
I apologize for the delay and the shortness of this chapter, I'm afraid the holidays did a number on me. The story should start picking up speed from here until the end so keep an eye out because there isn't a whole lot left.