Kim looked on the man before her carefully. Over the years she'd gotten really good at sizing people up with a glance. Two glances could tell her quite a lot.
Heck, she'd known Josh Mankey was bi long before it was a point of conjecture at Middleton High. Maybe even before he'd fully admitted it even to himself.
The guy in front of her, baring her path, was going to be very… troublesome. He was nearly as big as Hego was. He also carried himself with a lot of professional confidence. And he wore a dark grey Henchco uniform with purple piping around the edges. Those colors meant he was one of the Magenta level contractors; Henchmen who had been around a long time, had very good records, and were fully dedicated to the cause… Or at least to earning and keeping the paycheck.
And they commanded BIG paychecks.
"Are you going to move, or do I have to make you?" Kim offered up the rather obvious choices.
True to his pay grade, the big Hench didn't offer up much bravado or ego. "You're going to have to make me. But bigger than you have tried and failed."
Giving a nonchalant shrug of her shoulders, the redhead admitted he was probably right on that point. She interlaced her fingers in front of her body and stretched her arms, forward, and then up above her head.
"Okay then, let's get this over with." She nodded, striking a stance, "Your boss has you on the clock… The European Space agency has a launch window they want to hit… everyone is losing time here."
The man mountain nodded and unslung his energy rifle, aiming it at her and pulling the trigger without any further conversation.
Kim easily evaded the shot, telegraphed as it was. She wheeled her left leg up and over, kicking the gun's barrel aside. Converting the momentum of her foot into a full-body pirouette, she slammed her elbow into his trigger hand, sending the energy weapon clattering away.
Backing away, he shook his hand where his thumb had been trapped against the grip of the gun and stung by her blow. But just as quickly, he produced a hand-held blaster and again took a shot at her.
"Not bad," the redhead commented at the quick switch, but again evaded the shots. She was used to fighting someone who could fire energy blasts at her without drawing any weapons; so someone swinging a gun around was like having a flag waved at her before every shot.
Ramming her shoulder up under his gun hand, she drove two tiger claws into his midsection. To her chagrin, she felt the coarse fabric of his jump suit pluck at the seams in her leather gloves. Canvas laced through with Kevlar, probably double-thick; basically fabric body armor.
He tried to clock her in the head with the butt of the pistol, but she was easily able to get under it. She switched to dirty tactics, driving her right knee straight up at the big money target on any man.
And felt her knee impact an athletic protector, of course.
Before her foe had time to react to the thwarted blow, Kim knelt down and back slightly beneath him. Using thigh muscles bulked out through years of gymnastics and cheerleading, she barked with effort and drove a much more fearsome knee upwards with all of her mass behind it.
Her aim held true and her blow impacted just to the right of the cup, cracking against the point of his pubis and wrong-footing his stance with a bone jarring crash that belied her size. Using the tipping to great effect, she flipped him the rest of the way over her back and simultaneously drove an elbow into his gut as it slid past.
While a tiny bit ginger to her eyes, he still quickly got to his feet again; and this time produced a rather large and disreputable looking tactical knife.
A bit irritated that he didn't just turn tail after a pair of blows that would have felled most men, Kim blew a breath through her bangs. "Okay then… Didn't your mother ever tell you not to run with scissors play or with knives?"
He took a few broad swipes at her with the big blade. She easily evaded these and tried to dislodge the knife with a backhand. Unfortunately, it proved to be more difficult to get rid of that the pistol or rifle and he held tight, stabbing downwards when she again got inside of his reach.
The first stab missed entirely and the redhead drove an elbow into his ribs for the attempt. He grunted and slashed downwards again.
Kim hissed as she felt the blade penetrate her purple tunic and slice into the back of her shoulder. "Owww, ffffff-,"
Glaring up at the henchman, she took a half-step back and grabbed his wrist with her left hand. He tried to resist, but the redhead was too fast. Giving a quick twist of her hand locked his arm in place, and she drove her palm upwards, spinning her whole body into the blow.
His elbow bent sharply at an angle nature had never intended it to and he howled with pain and anger. Kim bent the limb even further backwards as she spun inwards, driving her own elbow into his ribs. She completed the movement with a judo flip, whipping him around the broken arm and down to the ground, the knife finally clattering away from his grasp.
"Are we done now?" She glared impatiently as she took a step back, in case he took a wild swipe at her ankles, "Because I've got a short German scientist to foil."
To her irritation, he hoisted himself to his feet, largely ignoring the right arm dangling limply at his side. He then struck a more guarded stance, presenting his left fist at her and practically inviting her to attack again.
"Oh, for the love of… FIIIINE." The once-cheerleader glared, striking a hand through her hair, and wincing as it pulled her wounded shoulder.
She tucked and rolled forward in an artful somersault, coming up right beneath him and driving a punch into his gut. He, in turn, slammed his fist downwards on her exposed back.
Kim grunted under the blow and angled downwards, battering the insides of his knees with her elbows until he stumbled backwards and out of reach of her prone position.
Rolling backwards, she sprang to her feet again and struck an aggressive pose. Looking between them, she could see a couple of long red streaks on the tiles. She realized these were from her lacerated shoulder blade and growled.
Reaching behind her back, she pulled a hard metal tube out of her belt loop and gave it a snap. A collapsing metal baton clacked into place in her hand and she rocketed forward, swinging it upwards.
The first strike missed completely, but she reversed the swing and brought it down again, striking him on top of the head with the weighted end. It rang against his plastic helmet soundly with a clack. Gritting her teeth at the mostly-thwarted blow, Kim proceeded to swing the baton downwards again, and caught the soft ligaments at the top of his knee more precisely with a satisfying whapping sound.
Stepping back, she pivoted on the ball of her foot and drove the butt of the baton into the side of his head. This time the helmet could to only so much to deaden the blow with all her weight behind it, and the henchman went stumbling to one side.
Spinning once more, she gave the back of his helmet another crack with the end of the baton before coming down to rest on one knee with a flourish. Looking up, she waited for him to topple or wave her off.
He did neither. Instead, he braced himself against the wall; using his shattered right elbow against a hand railing to hold himself up until he could get his feet more fully under him. "Is- is that all you've got?"
Snorting irritably that this high paid thug was intent on holding her up, Kim gave her baton a sword-like swing through the air, "Seriously?! Is this how much you want that paycheck?!"
"It's a-," he huffed, his head apparently still spinning inside his helmet, "It's a two-hundred percent combat bonus if the Professor gets-, gets away safely."
Grunting with effort, he stepped out from the wall and again struck a stance. He was too close to the door for Kim to simply turn and run through it and ignore him. He could still make a likely successful grab for her; and given his size, she would be stopped from getting by.
Baring her teeth, the redhead took a step into the next strike. She swung her black baton downwards viciously, and smashed the tip with wicked precision right down into the top of his fist. She then swung it back upwards again, intending to clock him under the jaw.
She missed, but still caught the visor of his helmet, jerking it upwards around his head and cracking the view. She gave a short forward kick into his ribs with the heel of her boot, and was sure she felt at least one buckle under the impact. "Two hundred percent huh? I hope it's worth it!"
Scowling, she spun and gave him another kick to the body that probably jarred her as much as it did him.
And again he failed to topple or yield.
Glaring, Kim bounced from foot to foot, swinging the baton again at her side to make sure it was well-extended. "Go. Down."
He glared at her in return and held his broken arm next to his side more closely, but other than the cracked visor, seemed unlikely to bend to the command. "Make me."
Snarling and ignoring the red mist filling her vision, the redhead swung in viciously with the baton. Calling on preying-mantis-kung-fu, she struck once, twice, three times as she spun her entire body into the blows, snapping at his collar bone, his jugular, and then at the inside of his shattered elbow.
"Th- that…. That all you got, little girl?"
Yeowling like an enraged cat, Kim slashed away with the baton again; adding to her punishment now, driving her feet into exposed joints. She heard the telltale popping of dislocations and snaps as she grunted and spun, throwing her weight behind each blow, now ignoring the burning in her muscles and lungs as she made the over-promoted hench paycheck for daring to stand in her way.
"You want More? YOU WANT MORE?!" She drove her knee upwards as he drooped down, further cracking the visor and calling a large chunk to pop out as she drove the butt of her baton onto the top of his head again. "Get up again, I dare you!"
But she didn't give him a chance to respond in any way. She slammed her knee a second time into his head, lifting him upwards slightly with the blow. Then she jammed her collapsing weapon across his throat and held him up to the wall, gut punching him under the lower edge of his body armor; punishing his belly and feeling the front of his uniform grow warm when his bladder gave way.
"And now you piss on me?! You sonnuva-," Kim spun away and ducked down, and then spun forward again, intending to drive her elbow right through the side of his head for the affront.
She almost jerked her arm out of its socket when the blow was intercepted by someone grabbing her wrist at the last moment with a blue-enclosed hand.
Riding a wave of adrenaline and rage, she wheeled around the point of contact and underneath of it, intending to hook her leg under the new attacker.
It was like kicking a granite column; and Kim finally looked up, realizing that she was looking at her partner, with his powers turned on, holding her wrist tightly and looking now over her head, "I think you got him…"
To her side, the indefatigable henchman finally collapsed in a heap of limbs. Kim jerked her arm a few times. Finally she was released from Ron's grip. She panted past sweaty bangs knelt down, smacking the baton closed at her feet and then slipping it again into the back of her belt.
The building rumbled around them, light fixtures swinging chaotically.
The shaking and chaos faded in the manner which they all knew to be an escape rocket… escaping.
"Two Hundred Percent…" Kim turned and glared liquid death at the felled hench.
She cocked her foot back, preparing deliver a coup de grace, but Ron intercepted her, pushing her backwards gently, "Whoa KP…. Whoa… amp down! He's down! Down! No es capable la resist!"
Kim turned away from Ron, panting past gritted teeth and trying to will away the red mist filling her vision, and the throbbing of her pulse hammering at the back of her eyeballs as she squeezed them shut against the chaos storming inside her now.
"Dude! KP, you got cut! Here, hold still while I take a look. NO wonder you wanted him dow-,"
She couldn't even feel the stinging in her lacerated shoulder now, grinding a palm into her eyes as she shrugged for him to take a look at the wound she had taken from the henchman. Now that the world began slowing down, she could feel the hot sticky sensation of blood down her back, though. She followed several streaks of crimson across the floor, as well as flung dots and drops here and there. And finally back to the felled henchman.
It was true… the hench was black and blue, unconscious, probably had been since before she choked him out with the baton. In truth…
"Oh Crap, he's barely breathing!" Kim recognized that fact only after a moment of glaring.
She knelt, shoving away the shattered helmet and feeling for a pulse. There was one, but it was thready.
"Ron, call for an ambulance! Oh man! Please don't… please don't…. come on!" she peeled and grabbed at the uniform until she found a zipper and opened up the neck line and chest.
"Multiple dislocations, broken elbow, broken knee, both collar bones broken, three fractured ribs, pretty sure those teeth are lose as well." Officer Hobble looked at the sheet in front of him, "You really did a work up on this one, little lady. We won't be able to move him from the hospital for a week at least."
The round and Irish officer seemed impressed; proud even. The girl standing before him didn't look quite so impressed; as much as sick to her stomach.
"But I understand he gave you a pretty nasty cut too," the officer put the chart back on the desk with a nod, "So makes sense you had to put him down. Hate ta' think what one of us uniform types mighta' had ta do in the situation,"
Kim indeed still had a line of stitches on her left shoulder, not that that compared to the lump of human debris laying in the hospital bed.
"Why the interest?" Hobble shook his head, "Just a bit of nasty work in the end…"
"I- just- you see-," the redhead frowned, not exactly sure how to phrase her feelings on what she had done.
"Oh… is this about your probation?" Hobble shook his head roundly, "Dun worry about that. This was an on-tha-job thing. I dunna think the judge will look askance at beating up a reprobate who woulda done the same or worse to ya…"
"You… You don't think…" Kim's mind swam. One part of her was profoundly relieved that she had official confirmation that there'd be no consequences from this. Another part was flailing manically that there should be consequences. Still a third was getting angry that her attempts to apologize, to let someone other than Ron know that she'd crossed a line.
After a long moment, she shook her head and turned away, wandering down the hospital's hallway.
Eventually in her meandering, she bumped into her mom.
"Kimmie cub, you seem troubled." The Doctor Misses Possible stopped in rounds to look over her daughter.
"I beat the crap out of a guy today, and no one seems to care that I put him in the hospital, and officer hobble says no one will care, and I really don't feel good about what I did, but no one seems to be listening to me, not even Ron, even though he pulled me off the guy, and now my stitches really itch and I'm tired and I'm ranting like a loon in the middle of this stupid hallway and all I can think of is breaking Bonnie's arms and-,"
She found herself wrapped up in a fierce hug by her mother and sobbed into the elder Possible's lab coat as her rambling trailed off incoherently.
After a few minutes, Kim managed to get herself somewhat under control.
Anne looked at her concernedly, shaking her head uncertainly, "Kimmie, I don't know if you went too far or not on someone. I do know there is a difference between beating up a henchman on the job and beating up Bonnie. And the fact that you feel badly about doing either one is very important too."
Sighing, Anne squeezed her daughter, "I'm not really equipped to talk to you about this. I work on brains, not on feelings. Didn't you get a bunch of phone numbers in your release packet? A warm line or a confidential line or something you can call?"
Sniffling, the younger redhead nodded, a hand unconsciously reaching for a wallet with a laminated card full of the sorts of phone numbers she'd said she'd never be crazy enough to need.
"Then I'd say to try to call one of those and talk to someone who is more qualified to listen to you than I am." The doctor kissed her daughter's forehead lightly, "But remember this; I love you. Your whole family loves you. Whatever you decide to do, we support you. Okay?"
Reluctantly, Kim nodded at that, trying to remind herself that she wasn't alone.
Even if that was what it often felt like.
The last time she'd tried to talk to Daddy about this, he'd come back to her with a story about sitting before the review board after giving a lab rat a mechanical battle suit.
Accidentally destroying a lab because of a poor research decision seemed a far cry from personally putting people in the emergency room with her bare hands, plus, daddy hadn't even gotten a reprimand out of it, where as she was sitting under a felony conviction.
Five stitches in her shoulder continued to try to whisper to her that she was ferociously justified. The guy who was going to get a rod bolted into the bones of his leg would probably beg to differ.
Rubbing her face, breathing into her palm and nodding again at her mother, Kim realized that she definitely needed additional professional help. She wasn't qualified to gauge what she had done, and no one she knew was either.
Kim made her way into the chapel of the hospital, which was thankfully dark and deserted for the moment. She peeled out her regular cellphone and again felt the five stitches in her shoulder tug dully at numbed skin. She thumbed through a couple of cards she'd been given at Shady Pines.
"Comfort and Care Warmline, this is Tonya…"
AN: With the proviso that this doesn't seem to move the story that much, but that I felt an urge to write it anyway. Those of you who follow me over at the Slash Haven probably saw another attempt at this chapter. While that chapter was good too, and had the same idea of escalating consequences, it didn't really fit with the other chapters in the story. So here, instead, is this version which is minus Gemini and Shego; and instead deals with Dementor and his big thugs.