I do not own any Disney characters named herein, and am only borrowing them to tell a nonprofit tale meant for entertainment purposes only.
Kim Possible: Empires
Kim stood balanced on the balls of her feet.
Every sense was alert, and aware.
Just a few hundred feet lay between her, and the glimmer of light that marked the exit from the cavern.
A few hundred feet, and a now mostly quiet, stalking Fallen that had apparently gotten a clue, and chosen to go silent, and dark. She didn't move. Didn't make a sound. She even focused on keeping her breathing soft, even, and controlled.
She had to have patience.
Sure, some still accused her of being an impulsive, impatient sort that wanted to jump, and jump now.
Even she knew the value of stealth, though.
And when she needed it, she could be patient like nobody else.
There was also the sure certainty in her heart, too, that Aburaak was wrong.
Shego would come for her, and she would come soon.
She wasn't off planet, chasing her tail, as he had repeatedly mocked her earlier. She wasn't running in circles, or blundering headlong into a trap. The so-called Fallen knew nothing of her Shego if he truly thought such an obvious ploy could catch her that easily. If it could, Dr. Director would have put Shego away long ago.
More importantly, she could feel her lover. Her friend. Her mate.
She was close.
And getting closer.
She just needed to be patient.
Something stirred not far away, and she focused on nothing.
That was the secret of the null-field, as he had called it.
You focused on nothing, and so nothing detected you, because you were inhabiting a moment of nothingness. It sounded vaguely Zen to her. Or maybe something like Buddhist monks might contemplate.
The essence was, simply put, by focusing on nothing, you gave nothing to others to seize upon. No thoughts that might betray you. No use of power that might…..
Aburaak might have taken her usual Kimmunicator, which she was going to address eventually, but he had not taken the old one. The backup she had been carrying again out of habit. The slender band the crew of the T'n'qura had repaired for her remained on her wrist that looked like an ordinary wristwatch. The one temporarily shorted by whatever the felines had used to shut down the house's built-in security.
He looked down, and eyed the device still on her wrist. It was ninety minutes from full system reboot according to the dial. She smiled, and considered what else the Fallen had overlooked.
Even Aburaak, for all his agents must have told him, had underestimated her.
It wouldn't be the first time a bad guy's ego had gotten in his own way.
She had the feeling it wouldn't be the last.
So, what could she do to exploit that fact?
"I've definitely got some weird power fluctuations coming from this region," Wade reported as Shego and Gyrzza flew over the mountainous terrain that surrounded one of the most inhospitable regions in the nation.
Team Go had been sent back to the house to guard it, and oversee repairs while a very grumpy
Warwuff complained over everything while he was tended by the lupine healers who refused to let the warrior rise while he healed from near mortal wounds. The Possible twins were supposedly on their way, too, and more than a little furious that the security had been so lax it let the saboteurs in at all.
Shego had little doubt that would not happen again. Meanwhile, the lupines were there in force now, too.
The same lupines who had shown up, belatedly, and were less than pleased to be left behind while Shego chose to take only Gyrzza with her while she went in search of Kim. She pointed out that everyone by now thought Shego was off the planet, and if they saw a large number of lupines going anywhere, they might get a little too curious as to why, and tip off the wrong people.
The Lady's new guard did not like it, but they accepted Shego's reasoning, and remained at the house.
Now, Shego listened to Wade through an earpiece that he assured her was on a frequency no one was going to tap, and was guiding her and Gyrzza to the most likely part of the infamous Death Valley where alien infiltrators might be hiding.
Still, Death Valley, they knew, had earned its grim appellation many times over throughout history. That did not keep people from daring its dangers. It did keep many from trying to casually settle, or develop the area.
The expenses were too great if you were trying to farm, build, or even just live in that unfriendly environ. Even the closest, small towns relied completely on outside transportation to bring them the resources they needed just to survive on a daily basis.
In short, it was not a place people went very often, or without reason.
It was also the closest point where someone like their quarry might think of hiding after grabbing the most famous redhead on the planet in his less than clever ploy to dupe Shego into thinking he was already gone.
Even she wouldn't have fallen for so obvious a ploy even before she realized just what being a 'Lady' meant for her, and those around her. Abbie, as she mentally found herself calling the freak, was in for some serious letdown. As well as some very serious payback.
Just as soon as she found him.
And if he had hurt so much as a hair on Kim's head…..
She growled, nostrils flaring as her wings worked to keep her airborne as her present fourteen foot humanoid form sliced easily through the air beside Gyrzza's dragon form.
"Anything," she asked the silver dragoness.
"I should ask you that," the last Kwaa-quu replied evenly.
Shego grumbled audibly, but kept flying.
A part of her was horrified that something might actually happen to the woman she loved with all her heart, which still surprised on a her daily basis. Almost as much as the fact that Kim loved her back. Another part of her was certain Kim would be strolling out to greet them any second now, and toss off a 'No big,' if asked her what had happened.
Just then, as maddening as that flippancy was at times, she would dearly love to see her. To hear her shrug off whatever she had done, or…..
"Lady," Gyrzza drew up, hovering in the air as her wings angled, and beat the currents just so.
Shego paused, following her finger, and seeing a huge, Huqaan carrier. One with at least a hundred felines all working on some kind of contraption that she knew was likely not going to be used for anything good.
"What is that thingamajig," she asked her companion as her green eyes fixed on the device that reminded her a great deal of one of Drew's old doomsday machines.
It didn't help that the three-pronged barrel was pointed down at the ground, and already glowing as the big cats fed something into the four support panels around the barrel even as others continued to work on something they were obviously still hooking into the machine.
"A desynchronizer. It'll shatter the core of your planet, and fracture the globe as a whole before leaving you prey to any radiations when your atmospheric protections fail."
"In other words, they're going to try to kill my planet," she growled. "Again."
Gyrzza didn't bother to reply to the obvious.
She wouldn't have had time anyway.
"Hey, Nerdlinger, we found some invaders," she said, and then moved.
Shego instinctively swelled in size, knowing any search for Kim had to be delayed as she dove at the ground, roaring as green plasma flowed to melt the ominous weapon's core from the start, and singeing a great many cats who howled, and fled for the ship. She knew from experience that you did not give the baddies time to press that magic button.
So she went to work, and shut their machine down hard before turning on the cats.
Some just fled into a nearby cavern.
Shego let them run.
She had a feeling the moment she spotted that big cave that she was where she needed to be. First, however, she had to take care of business. Otherwise, finding Kim would be the least of their problems.
Plasma flowed again, and the right engine of the big ship just starting to hum with life exploded, taking out part of the hull. More cats screamed, and more fled. Some more went into the same cavern. Many ran into the canyons beyond their site.
"Gyrzza," she growled, reducing her size from thirty feet to merely ten, and looking humanoid again. "I want prisoners. If they won't surrender…."
"I know how to treat Huqaan," the twelve foot silver dragoness snarled, and flung herself into the air once more after following her down. This time to give chase to the felines that didn't even waste time trying to fire at the two dragonesses.
When the last cat in her vicinity fell unconscious, Shego triggered a GJ distress beacon the harpy made her carry, and tossed it at the smoldering ship. She figured even those idiots could figure things out when they arrived, and spotted this mess.
She turned, and dropping back into her human shape and size, she walked into the gloomy cavern, and let her eyes focus as she realized her nostrils could make out the passage of the felines with little effort. They reeked. Not only of singed fur, and sweating flesh, but of fear.
She kept going, heading deeper into the cavern even as her ears heard howling complaints not too far away.
Shego strode boldly through the long cavernous tunnel, no one around to challenge her as she finally stepped into a larger cavern to find the felines to her right, looking up at a huge, looming shadow.
She stared, and saw the gleaming, milky-gray orbs of the thing that she guessed must have taken her Princess. Who she still didn't see.
Reddish black, and shaped like a truly nightmarish caricature of the dragons she had come to know, she sneered at the thing crushing a wailing feline in a monstrous hand, and drawled, "You must be Abbie. I'm not impressed."
The Fallen turned, staring incredulously at her, and flung the maimed cat aside with as little concern as a child with a no-longer-favored toy.
"Lady Shego," he growled, his massive jaws stretching into a grim rictus of a smile. "I had not anticipated this meeting just yet."
"I live to annoy people with schedules. Ask anyone," she growled, sauntering into the cavern even as her sharp eyes scanned the expanse around her, peering among the shadows for any sign of Kim. Praying she was not too late.
"So I have heard. I fail to see much in you to impress me," he sneered, looming over her from just over thirty feet in height as his red-black scales glistened strangely wetly in the shadows.
"And I've heard you're another poser, and a nut job, who thinks he can take what's mine. I'm here to educate you, Abbie. Ready to get schooled?"
"You jest," he sneered. "You have not even…Ascended," he trailed off, staring as a thirty foot dragoness that suddenly rose to manifest before him.
One with hands that radiated with shimmering, cosmic energies.
"Still want to joke, poser," she growled, green steam emanating from flared nostrils as the Fallen gaped upon her.
He turned to eye the cowering felines, and snarled.
"You did not tell me she had Ascended!"
"We tried, o' magnificence," a feline wailed, hating that those gray-white eyes fixed on him for answers.
The Fallen growled.
"Ascended, or not, you have not enough wit, or experience to…"
The big creature suddenly shouted in rage as something blue flashed near one massive foot, and Shego almost roared with laughter as a huge chunk of rock slammed into the outer talon of that foot without any apparent cause.
Had she not seen that flash of blue energy that sparkled just for an instant, she would have been confused, too.
But she knew Kimberly, and her toys.
She flung herself forward, slamming herself into the big creature, hands radiating raw energies she didn't hold back as her teeth, claws, and tail found, and bit, slashed, or hammered at the weirdly slick flesh of those oozing scales. No way was she giving this jerk a break. Not after all she had heard about him.
The Fallen roared as he staggered back under the suddenness of her feral charge, and even as he did, another massive outcropping of rock from a stalagmite abruptly snapped off, and was slammed into his softer belly that was exposed for a moment.
The Fallen roared in pain, and shock he rarely experienced of late, and then used brute force to shove Shego back before a right hind leg stamped down on the end of the offending rock, and shattered the brittle stone under his mass.
There was no cry of pain.
No obvious indication that anyone had been attached to it.
"About time you got here," Shego heard from her left, though, as the Fallen looked around, but still could not see Kim.
"Vile primates! Pretentious wyrms," the Fallen roared, and began to shimmer. "This is not over," he challenged, and then simply vanished like a soap bubble popping out of existence.
"Whoa. Now, that's a neat trick."
Even as Shego slowly turned to look around, Kim's stealth cloak faded, and the redhead grinned up at her as she deactivated her battle suit.
"Took you long enough," Kim complained. "I thought I was going to be stuck in here."
"What happened? I thought he….?"
"He did. He grabbed me, and brought me here. He's like all the other posers, though. He likes to rant. He actually gave me the chance to break loose, and hide, after tipping me off to one of his own tricks."
"Because your little gizmo wasn't enough?"
"Not with him," she admitted. "It was still rebooting at the time, too. They used some kind of EM burst to shut down the security. Still, he's stronger than we guessed. But he's not infallible. He's a bit….scatterbrained, in fact."
"That's what your Nerdlinger already guessed. We need to compare notes," Shego told her as she shrank down, and took human form again.
The two women smiled, and then just hugged as the fearful felines, several badly injured, just stared. Not one of them tried to move on them.
"So, what do we do with the cats," Kim complained as the tall felines stared uneasily at them. "Those jerks really stabbed us in the back this time."
"More than you know. They were about to destroy the whole planet when I showed. Another few minutes would have been too late."
Both women turned to train their eyes on nearest of the felines, and not one of them didn't cringe.
"Global Justice," a familiar voice barked just then. "No one move," Will Du ordered as he, and a team of agents swept into the cavern with a platoon of heavily-armed Guardsmen behind them.
Kim only sighed.
"I would ask if he was kidding, but…."
"Yeah," Kim sighed again. "But."
"Possible," the senior agent who seemed overly smug in the fact she was now far from a threat to his standing at Global Justice these days nodded as he came over to stand near them as his men quickly shackled the felines after disarming the few that still had weapons. "I'm grateful you are unharmed."
"Really," Shego murmured, having heard of some of his complaints, and his own antics in the past.
"I couldn't begin to imagine the complications, or the paperwork, were you injured during your abduction," he went on.
Both women rolled their eyes even as a medic appeared to treat the single feline that wasn't even trying to move. A moment later, the soldier looked up, and shook his head after the feline gave a single last gasp.
"Did you have to….?"
"It wasn't us," Kim cut Will off. "The Fallen was here. He…crushed him."
"With what," the medic asked, having noted the severe deformations in the feline's skeletal structure.
"His hand," Shego told him. "So be grateful you weren't here ten minutes ago. The guy has a serious attitude."
The man actually paled as he rose from where he had been trying to work on the alien.
"Lady Shego! Lady Kimberly," Gyrzza appeared just then. "I found their pride leader. You will want to listen to him."
The pair turned to the big cat the dragoness back in human form shoved to land on his hands and knees before them, and Kim noted the nearly hairless feline looked more than a little singed.
"Someone get carried away," Kim asked Shego.
"He actually tried to bite me," Gyrzza snorted. "Vile cat. He needed a lesson."
Kim sighed, but said nothing.
She looked down at the big, now much denuded feline, and asked, "Why do you guys keep following that freak?"
"Because he'll destroy our world if we don't obey him," the big cat said without looking up at her.
"Nice guy," Shego muttered.
"It sounds like he intended to do that here," Shego told him. "Any reason why I should turn you over to the nearest firing squad?"
"Let him tell you what he told me," Gyrzza told her, her expression ominous.
"Forgive us, Lady Shego, but we have no choice but to follow the heretic. More than our world is in his grasp. He holds our Supreme Matriarch…."
"Think queen," Gyrzza told Shego, who was starting to frown in confusion.
"Gotcha, wings. So, he makes a habit of kidnapping people to make them tow the line?"
"Cooperate," Kim translated for the confused feline. "It is an Earth expression. He took your Matriarch to insure you cooperated. Right?"
"This is so. Without the Supreme, we….. We will cease to exist as a species."
"Can't you replace her," Shego frowned again.
"Supreme Matriarchs are not made. They are born. Our new Supreme Matriarch just reached the age of her ascension to power when the Fallen appeared, and abducted her. If she does not return to join with her consort, and produce the next queens of harvest, our race ceases to be."
"You're a hive species," Kim guessed. "Is that it?"
"By your understanding, you might call us so," the feline said irritably, but obviously sounded less than pleased to have his species simplified so. "I tell you now, did you return our Supreme Matriarch, we of the Huqaan would be sworn to you."
"You would change sides just like that."
"We are not on….sides, Lady," the feline nearest the singed feline hissed. "We are compelled. Still, never before have we seen any defy the Fallen. Never before has he fled a foe, other than the Great Lady. If you are truly the Lady of Prophecy, then spare us, save our Supreme Matriarch, and we shall be yours to command."
"We swear it," every feline still in the cavern, already bound or not, said as one.
"Oh, boy," Shego sighed, eyeing the others, then looking around as Commander Du just scowled.
"Listen, you jerks quit trying to stab us in the back, quit planning against us, and I will do all I can to find your Matri…. Supreme baby-maker."
One of the felines hissed at her manner.
The singed cat only dropped to his knees, obviously weary as he was battered, and dropped his head to the stony ground.
"I accept your vow, Lady, and swear we shall follow your command."
"Great. Now, get these guys out of here, and make sure they behave," she told Du.
The soldiers easily rounded up the rest of the felines after the captives gave out some kind of call, and every Huqaan in the area came in, and literally bowed to Shego. Before giving up.
Will obviously didn't like it, but Shego was looking thoughtful again.
"What is it?"
"I need to talk to the harpy again. I just thought of something, and it's not going to be pretty if I'm right," Shego grimaced as she pulled out her own communicator Wade had built for her to use to contact anyone she needed.
Shego held up a hand as Kim started to question her, frowned when she was cut off, but then spotted Dr. Director's image on the digital screen.
"Shego! That is, Lady Shego," she added, obviously spotting Gyrzza. "You found Kimberly? Good. We have five teams already approaching the…."
"I know you thought sending in guys to check out Abbie's other likely hideouts was smart, but call them back," Shego told her curtly.
"Bets, listen to me. He was here. He took off, but he was here. Trust me, if your people engage, they are dead. Not hurt. Dead. Get them out of there. Now."
"I'm sending the abort signal now. How bad….?"
"Bad enough. This guy is no joke. We need to confer. There's been….."
She paused to eye the kneeling cats that let the soldiers guide them to their own transports to carry them to a waiting cell.
"New developments," Shego told her. "And we need some brainpower. Call Nerdlinger, and every thinker you know. We need to plan."
"Do I want to know?"
"We're going to war," Shego said with an ominous glitter in her eyes.
Kim, standing next to her, had absolutely nothing to say.
To Be Continued…