I do not own the Disney characters named herein, and am only using them for a nonprofit tale meant to entertain only.
Kim Possible: Rogue
Ron lifted the paper he had bought in Tokyo before his flight, and opened it up before him, intent on ignoring the crying child just behind him, and the restless man that barely fit into his seat right beside him.
He stared at the headlines declaring the state of emergency in much of the States as law enforcement found it hard to contain many of the villains and usual felons that were overwhelming the judicial system. Especially in an economy still floundering after the partisan feud that had left the entire country on the verge of collapse before a virtual revolution led to a new, libertarian political party being rushed into power after the last elections.
He grimaced at the news, and spotted a photo on the bottom of the front page under a smaller banner declaring, "Shego Attacks National Guard Amory!"
He frowned at that one, and flipped the paper down to read the surprisingly short news story that declared that once again, the high-profile felon had appeared without warning, raiding the military arms depot at the local Armory, and made up with an undisclosed amount of heavy arms. The Army was doing its own investigation, in coordination with federal agents, but the reporter suggested it was too little, too late.
Apparently, Shego had been running amok for over a year, and no one knew what was motivating her since Drew Lipski, AKA Dr. Drakken had been out of action for over three years. Some even speculated the man was dead. Some claimed, by Shego's hands.
The reporter concluded with a biting summary about how a former teen heroine once brought Shego in seemingly without effort, but had not been seen for years. He wondered over her, as he had Drakken, and Ron frowned all the more.
KP was missing?
Drakken allegedly dead?
What about GJ? Dr. Director had never said a word on those few occasions he had crossed her path during his intensive training that had carrying out certain missions for Yamanouchi as he grew as both a ninja, and a mystic warrior in Yamanouchi tradition.
He folded the paper after scanning it, and let it lay across his lap, considering all he had read.
"Hey, buddy? You mind if I read that?"
He glanced over at the man in a two piece suit that was badly fit to his over-sized frame, and noticed he was already sweating heavily.
"Sure," Ron nodded, handing it to him. "I'm finished with it."
"The man lifted the paper, noisily unfolded it to open the front page, and grumbled bitterly.
"This ain't even in English. You can't read this crap!"
The flight attendant, a petite Japanese woman glanced at him just as she passed, and Ron sighed.
"It's Japanese," he told him, "And very easy to read if you learn it."
"You saying you know this gobbledygook?"
Ron sighed again as the flight attendant shot him a sympathetic look, and moved on.
"Quite well," he told him. I've been going to….school in Japan the past four years."
"That right? Well," he said, tapping a known face on the top of the paper. "What are they saying that dimwit in the White House is doing now?"
"President Zelanski? He's signed a new trade bill with the EU. They hope to stimulate both all their economies by fomenting easier trade between their nations."
"What do you expect from a commie immigrant," the fat man huffed.
"I thought the president was American?"
"C'mon," the man spat bitterly. "Hans Zelanski? That ain't no American name. I still can't see how he even got elected. I'm not even sure he's a legitimate citizen."
"I read he was a third generation citizen. Which means…."
"A commie is a commie. You one of those liberal punks that want to give our nation away to commies and terrorists," the man asked suspiciously.
Ron eyed the man, and tried not to roll his eyes.
He drew a deep breath, and tried not to count the hours before the jet would land in London for the next leg of his journey home after so long.
"I asked you a question. You one of the pinko gay kids that think…..?"
Ron sighed, leaned back, and stared out the window next to him.
The man's rising, overly strident voice had suddenly cut off, and he had slumped in his seat.
The flight attendant walked past, eyed the man, and formally bowed to him as she winked, whispering, "Thank you, Stoppable-San. Perhaps now we shall all enjoy the flight while your countryman….rests."
"One can always hope," he said, blushing at being caught.
Even if it was obviously someone that knew him. Which meant she was likely connected to Yamanouchi.
He had already learned that you never knew where you were going to run into one of Sensei's alumni, or students out in the 'real world.' He had thought no one was looking his way when he stabbed the fat man's nerve points just under his jaw that sent him into a slumber that should last at least the next ten hours.
"Would you care for anything," the woman asked him politely as she picked up the paper the fat man dropped, and carefully folded it before handing it back to Ron.
"Thank you, no. Well, maybe a pillow and blanket for my….friend. He might get chilled, and I doubt we want him getting sick."
"No, indeed," the woman smiled faintly.
Then she bowed again, and walked off to get the requested blanket and pillow as Ron stared out the window, and remembered the last time he had been home.
It had, he knew well, not been a good time.
Four Years Past:
Ron had been surprised by the decision made for himself once more without his awareness. He was even more surprised that he had accepted it as wise.
"But, Ron," Kim frowned, having just heard the news that Yamanouchi was calling it's Monkey-Master, and the Han home for apparently critical training that it was time for them to accept. Said training could take years, she had been told. With no breaks. No visitors. No potential fiancées, either.
"It's not like we'll be seeing much of each other anyway" Ron told her, trying to be reasonable. "You already plan on leaving for Hong Kong soon. Which kind of puts a barrier up anyway since you promised your folks to focus on school, and ease off the mission for a change."
Kim's expression twisted, and he recognized it almost at once.
Still, the stubborn redhead didn't say a word. Not then.
"And it's not like we can keep rushing out…."
"I guess our missions don't mean much to a mystic ninja that body slams nine foot aliens now," she huffed, her tone bitter.
"That's another thing…."
"What? You going to harp on the jealin' thing, too? I don't care about your powers, Ron," Kim spat, her expression far from convincing. "I'm glad you stepped up, and left the clowning behind. Glad!"
Ron frowned at her, and asked, "Are you saying….?"
"I'm saying a competent sidekick is better than a clown who got us caught more often than not," she grumbled.
Kim shook her head vehemently.
"That didn't come out right," Kim groaned.
"Kim, we're both growing up. Going through….personal issues."
Kim stared hard at him.
"You're breaking up, aren't you?"
"Go ahead. Admit it. You're better than me now. The mighty monkey master doesn't need a stupid girl that has to be rescued by her own nemesis! I admit it. I was outclassed. Helpless. I needed Drakken, and my sidekick to save me. Is that what you wanted me to say? Well, fine, I said it. We're done. I'm done. Goodbye, Ron."
"Kim," he shouted after her, but she never turned around.
That was not what he wanted to hear. He had guessed Kim was having problems since the day the aliens had captured her, and Drakken. Since the day she almost ended up a trophy on Warhok's wall. She never said a word, but over the summer they uneasily shared at best, he could see her move from grudging awe, to blatant envy as he proved his victory was not only not a fluke, but that his mystic skills had truly woke.
That argument, inevitable, he now saw, was the last time he saw her that summer.
Nor did he see her again before he boarded the plane with Hana to return to Japan.
Hana did return home just six months later.
Ron did not.
He did not see, or hear from Kim in the next four years.
The aircraft landed at Denver National just after midnight, and he rose to his feet, still feeling fresh, and alert after the past nine hours spent meditating rather than trying to sleep.
Unfortunately, the fat man proved his companion all the way home, but fortunately, he kept dozing off every time he would start to get annoying. Just as fortunately, the scowling child behind him at the start deplaned in London with his family, so the rest of the flight was relatively serene.
He had not bothered to call his family, not wanting to disturb them at the late hour, and walked out of the terminal to see a line of cabs.
He intended to take a cab, and then arrive home in the morning rather than bang on the door so late. Even as he turned to find an empty cab, though, he heard someone call his name.
He turned, senses screaming even as he saw a man standing outside a long, black limo.
"Do I know you?"
"You know our boss," remarked the man in a dark blue suit, and wearing mirrored sunglasses even if it were dark.
He opened the back door, and Ron shifted the bag on his left shoulder, wriggling his right fingers as he mentally prepped himself just in case.
"Welcome back, Ronald," a familiar growl of a voice drawled as he peered into the limo.
The one-eyed woman wore a familiar blue jumpsuit devoid of any markings, and was holding a small notebook computer in her lap she had obviously been working on.
She only nodded as the agent at the door gestured.
"Get in, Ronald. We have much to discuss. Much to discuss," the woman told him.
"I told you four years ago….."
"Technically, it was only two years ago. The last we met," Dr. Betty Director told him, and he could see there was more than a little gray in that once dark brown hair, and her face had garnered quite a few more lines.
"All the same," he went on, though he climbed into the car, "I'm not for hire. Nor am I interested in….."
"I'd like to hire you freelance. Onetime only. It's a very special, and very critical mission."
"And why would I want to sign up at all when I've already told you….."
"Yamanouchi's concerns aside, I'm sure you noticed that things aren't quite….as simple as they used to be. Not anymore."
Ron said nothing to that as the agent shut the door, walked around, and climbed into the driver's seat. He then left the terminal, and headed for the main road without asking for a destination from either of them.
"Listen, Ronald, things are….very different. And critical. To be honest, we've been hard-pressed to hold out against half the usual rogues you and Kimberly faced so casually back in your day. Considering we have some far more hardcore felons out there, and the ones you knew have all stepped up their games, frankly, Global Justice is seriously starting to lag. We can barely hold out against the usual terrorists and assassins these days. We just aren't getting the quality agents we used to find. Most of them go into private service, and chase paychecks now, rather than try to aid their fellow man."
"I read the papers. Shego's not the only one running wild."
"Far from it, though she is one of the worst."
"The job, Ronald, is Kimberly. You were about to ask about her, right?"
"Well, yeah," Ron agreed, having grown taller, more mature in the past few years. Still, it unnerved him that the one-eyed agent could still read him so easily.
"Just over four years ago, Possible went to China to attend a very prestigious university there."
"I knew that much," he nodded.
Betty closed the notebook, and looked pointedly at the young man next to her.
"She graduated from the university with honors in eighteen months. With a Master's."
"That's fast," Ron blinked, having worked his butt off just to pull off a minor degree in business to compliment his culinary lessons that were both his love, and his cover.
"That is fast. She boarded a plane for Middleton after graduation, and promptly vanished."
"Vanished," Ron frowned now.
"Since she got on that aircraft, no one has seen, or heard from her. Not a word."
"Nothing. They're as worried as I am. Probably more so," she had to allow.
Ron frowned now.
"So, all this time…..?"
"I have had countless agents searching for her since. Even Will Du went undercover in Hong Kong, trying to retrace her final steps, but we found nothing. Not so much as a red hair anywhere we looked. Kim Possible has genuinely vanished, Ronald, and we need her back. The world needs her back."
Ron ran a hand over his face, frowning at the idea that KP had been missing the past two-plus years. It made no sense. Kim would have been the last to worry her family, or friends. Which meant…. Nothing good.
"I heard Drakken disappeared, too."
"No, he's in a coma in one of our top secret research centers."
"A coma," Ron echoed.
"Something happened at just about the time Kim went missing. We got an emergency call from Lipski, along with the coordinates for the devastated lab where we found him buried under a mound of equipment we still haven't deciphered."
"Shego had already left his employ. Lipski, recall, tried to go straight. He was putting his dubious intellect to work on things that would benefit mankind. We had all but written him off until we got that call."
"And he's been comatose since?"
"Hasn't opened an eye," she admitted.
"What about Wade? Surely he knows….?"
"Wade is now working for us, Ronald. Frankly, he's proven himself one too many times, and I didn't want him ending up on the wrong side of a hacking charge when he's far too valuable to us as an ally."
"That makes sense. Still, hasn't he found….?"
"When I say all of GJ has been looking, I include Wade."
Ron saw a flash of light ahead of them, and frowned. Then his instincts screamed, and he shoved the door open, grabbed Dr. Director's arm, and pulled as he leapt out of the car.
They hit the ground rolling, and landed near the trees in the cover of dark on the sloping shoulder even as the night was lit by artificial flame as thunder filled the air.
"Benjamin," Betty shouted, staring at the limo that had just been blown literally to pieces.
"Down," Ron hissed, and kept his eyes on the road ahead of the car. "Someone fired something at us. You upset anyone lately?"
"Trust me, it's a long list," Betty growled, and pulled out a small laser pistol. "You armed?"
"Always," Ron smiled coldly, and slid back into the shadows with his small tote, and promptly vanished.
She grunted, already knowing how skilled the young ninja had become.
While it wasn't on any official report in any government archive, she knew he had to be the one that took out the Scarlet Spyder's terrorist group in Indonesia just a few months ago. A hardened site that had been impenetrable by ordinary means until one morning it wasn't.
The U.S. had been sending out drones for months. All of them were shot down.
Then one morning, the drone found an empty base. Devoid of life, and many buildings devastated by fire.
Bodies lay everywhere, and the Spyder herself was nowhere to be found. Still, her threats, and anarchist actions had stopped that same day. Her most recent actions had been aimed at Tokyo, and Betty had no doubt it had been Ronald that went after her group.
Two armored SUVs had pulled up to the smoldering limo, and Betty felt a rush of fury over the very good agent that obviously didn't get out in time. Four men climbed out, wearing a black uniform with a silver patch.
The new Henchco design, she knew.
One of these days, she was just going to sanction Jack. God knew, the bastard deserved it.
She eased up the slope, moving away from the limo as she did, staying away from the light the dying flames provided, and kept her eyes on the transports.
Innocuous plates. Easily changed once they left, she had to guess when she spotted them.
Reaching for her belt, she pulled a small, silver tube, and fire a tracking dart at the rear bumper of the first car. Arming the tube, she fired again, and marked the other. Replaying the tube, she adjusted her grip on the laser, and considered her next action.
Stoppable obviously intended to do something.
Did she wait, and back his play? Or did she…..?
She tensed, hearing footsteps, and looked up to see a dark shape looming over her.
"It's safe," Ron told her in a somber tone as he offered her his hand.
She frowned, and half rose from where she lay, seeing two bodies laying out cold on the pavement. She saw the foot of a third man near the front of one car.
"There were four?"
"He's tied to the bumper," Ron pointed. "I thought we might want to ask him a few questions."
"You're fast," she admitted. "And better than I remembered."
Ron said nothing to that as his hazel eyes glittered, and Betty rose to her feet.
She didn't holster her weapon, though. She did trigger an auto-beacon that would have the nearest GJ personnel converging on their location without hesitation.
"By all means," Dr. Director went on as she walked around the vehicles. "Let's find out what this was about."
The man had a cold glare in his dark eyes, but his hooded face was unremarkable. Ron reached down, and jerked the mask off, and they stared at a man that could have been anyone.
"Let's have a little chat, shall we," Betty asked.
"Go to hell, bitch," he growled.
Ron knelt by his right side, and smiled.
Even Betty noted it was not a nice smile.
"Language, dude," Ron drawled, and simply pinched the man's ear.
Or so it seemed to her.
The man wailed as if someone had just stabbed him through the gut, though.
"Now, I can make you scream in pain the next four or five hours. Until one of us gets bored," Ron shrugged. "Or…. You can talk. Your choice," he said, and cracked his knuckles in an ominously fashion.
"Viper sent us! He heard you were coming back, and wanted you taken out before you could get back in the game."
"One of our new players. He's a hardcore assassin. Takes out major targets for major cash. He's already killed over five critical political leaders, a half dozen corporate CEOs, and a religious leader. He'll also kill anyone that tries to stiff him."
"Why would he care about me? I've not even heard of the guy, and…. How did he even know I was coming in tonight?"
That last was addressed pointedly at the Hench.
"He didn't! We've been watching the airport for weeks. Ever since one of our operatives heard your parents mention their son was coming home."
"And why is he so worried about me? What's really going on?"
The man actually bit his own lip.
"I think you're not saying what's really important here. Let's up the stakes, shall we," he asked, and pulled out a short, but deadly ceramic dagger from his belt.
The man's eyes glared, but he said nothing.
"Now, I know what you're probably thinking. You're thinking, I'm a good guy. I wouldn't hurt you. Besides, there is the head of Global Justice watching, too. Surely I wouldn't do anything bad with her here?"
The man just glanced between them.
"That's what you're thinking. Right," Ron asked.
"Close enough," the man muttered.
"I thought so. Shame you're wrong. You see anything, Dr. Director," he pointedly asked.
"Not a thing," Betty replied as she walked a few steps away, and put her back to them. "I'm watching for my backup. They should be here…..eventually. Hopefully, they'll have medical help with them."
Ron smiled his not too nice smile, and pressed the dagger just under the man's left eye.
"Now, your boss may not know it, but I'm not a hero. Not even a sidekick. Not any more. I'm worse. Much worse. You just blew up my ride, killed an innocent man, and pissed me off. That's a very bad combo in my eyes. Very bad. Now, I'm going to ask again. If I don't like your reply, you get to look like Dr. Director. If you still prove stubborn, you'll need a seeing eye dog. If you survive."
The man's eyes rounded as he banged his head trying to pull back from the dagger.
The man tried to stay quiet.
Right until the tip of Ron's dagger pricked the flesh just to the side of his left eye.
The big man screamed, and started babbling.
"Viper has a big deal coming up. He's afraid you might interfere. He wanted you gone either way. Taking out Stoppable would amp his cred. He's still trying to make a name, and since Possible ghosted, or got whacked, he thought taking you out was just as good. That's all I know," I swear," he howled as Ron pulled the dagger back from the man's face.
"You get all that," he asked Dr. Director.
"Yes," Betty nodded, still looking back. "All the same, I kind of wonder why they risked firing on my car, though."
"Good point," Ron nodded, eyed thing man.
"We saw you get picked up. We thought, taking out GJ's poster girl would make us look good, too," the man whimpered.
"Instead, you get life in a maximum security prison. If you're lucky," Dr. Director drawled.
"You killed Benjamin Golde. Not just my driver, and my friend, but a member of the Golde Family in Poland. You're with Henchco. You must have heard of the Golde's? Or rather, 'The Golden Claws.' Patriots, and occasional gangsters. The most vicious, vindictive freedom-fighters in the Western world today. Even the usual terror cells won't touch them."
"Even I've heard that," Ron nodded as the man paled.
"What's that they say," Betty murmured, still looking down the road. "The cost of a Golde's life is blood. They do enjoy vendetta almost as much as some of the old Italians."
"He fainted," Ron drawled, and Betty turned back to eye the man.
"We'd better search the cars. Just in case."
"Just more missiles, and a map."
"A map," she frowned, walking over to take the paper held out as Ron scooped it off the hood of the nearest car.
"This is a map of the Middleton Science Center."
"Anything, or anyone big there of late?"
Betty frowned, eyeing the map.
"In three days, Dr. Pietyr Romanski is going to demonstrate a cold-fusion engine that could generate free power for whole continents at less than a quarter of the cost of the current electric systems."
"Even I could see where someone might want to get rid of him," Ron nodded.
Even as Betty nodded, the sky was lit up as brilliant searchlights covered the ground as no less than five, sleek VTOLs flew down, and bracketed the smoldering limo.
"Looks like our ride is here," Betty told him.
Only when she looked back toward the now darkly clad ninja, he was gone.
"Damn," she grumbled, wondering if he was going to help, or not.
To Be Continued…..