I do not own any D.C. or Disney characters named herein, and am only using them for a story meant for entertainment purposes only.
Kim Possible: Wonder Girl
"Ron, get the chutes," Kim shouted over the howling storm that pummeled the Lockheed C-130 carrying them home. "I'll tell the pilot we're ready to bail!"
Loud as the aircraft was at the best of times inside its massive cargo bay, the storm was even more deafening just then, making the redheaded heroine think they had flown into the heart of a hurricane. Or worse. Ron gave her a thumbs up as she struggled against the rocking aircraft's erratic movements, and headed back for the cockpit.
"Sure this is a good idea, KP," the young, sandy-haired man with her complained as if he weren't a world-saving hero himself. Nineteen years had not really matured Ron all that much when it came down to the essence of her longtime friend, and occasional boyfriend. He was still uncertain of many things in his world. Himself, most of all.
"We already lost at least one engine. From the feel of it, the rest aren't far from failing," she shouted back over the storm, and the vibrations that filled the cargo bay before she reached the thin, metal door, and banged hard.
Someone pushed the door open a crack, and Kim shouted into the cockpit, "We're ready, give us five minutes after we open the hatch, and then get out yourselves," she told the flight crew.
The navigator gave her a thumb's up, and nodding curtly, she turned, and almost landed on her backside when the aircraft jerked again.
"I'm okay," Kim shouted, not bothering to rise, but scrambling on all fours to reach him, and the rest of the crew to pull on her own parachute. "Everyone ready?"
The five men around her looked grim.
"Maybe we can still make it…..?"
The aircraft jerked again, thunder a deafening boom that almost eclipsed the sound of an engine on the starboard side exploding.
"Lightning strike," one of the men shouted knowingly as another struggled with the side hatch. The rear wouldn't open, the hydraulics already having been damaged by the first lightning strike that fried a lot of the big Hercules' control systems. "We definitely lost another one! Maybe two!"
"Everyone switch on your emergency-locator beacons, and get ready to bail," the man at the door shouted, finally twisting the latch up enough to release the side hatch. "Don't hesitate, go!"
"Gone," Kim shouted, and ran, and leapt into the dark-gray haze beyond the aircraft.
"KP, wait for me," Ron shouted, and chased her out of the aircraft.
"Kids," the burly noncom growled. "Let's move! Perkins, don't forget that raft, or it's a long swim home!"
Chutes blossomed almost unnoticed in the nearly pitch conditions beyond the wounded aircraft's dim lights. They all wore transponders, and emergency lighting on their rigs, but the wind, and the rain was enough to keep even the brightest light from being very visible.
Kim noticed that the moment she bailed, and it seemed the big shape of the failing C-130 was rendered almost invisible the same instant she left it behind. She focused on her altimeter, knowing she still had to time her landing, or face some serious leg injuries. In ways, a water landing was as tricky as a normal jump.
Not that she made many of those.
She yelped when the wind suddenly grabbed her deployed chute, dragging her horizontally for a heart-stopping instant, and then she was falling again, praying the chute had not collapsed. It was known to happen in such conditions.
To her relief, the material flared anew over her head, and her descent stopped with an adrenalin-pumping jolt. She heard thunder, and saw jagged bolts of lightning filling the sky all around her, but she saw nothing else. Not so much as a single light from any of the other crew.
Random as he could be, she knew he would be all right. Ron was a born survivor. Even before he had finally mastered his monkey mojo, he had an uncanny knack of landing on his feet. Or close enough. She just had to keep her own head, and remember everything she knew about water survival.
What seemed an instant later, she plunged into the bone-chilling waters of the Atlantic, and almost drowned before she remembered to close her mouth. Her chute seemed to be dragging her down, but she knew it wasn't the Mylar material. It was the combined weight of the equipment, and harness pack she still wore.
Quickly shrugging out of the packs, and dropping even her own equipment to lighten her body, she pushed back for the surface, and came up sputtering, and sucking air even as the waves tossed her on the water like a bit of flotsam. She forced herself to relax, looking around in all directions as she tried to find the raft, or the glow of any lights from the other jumpers.
Unfortunately, she had forgotten to grab her own transponder-beacon from the pack before it sank, so she was genuinely on her on just then. In the middle of the Atlantic with no idea where anyone else was, or where she might be, either.
Definitely big. Definitely a bit of drama.
Spitting salt water, she shook back her head, and then tried to float, knowing that swimming in circles would only tire her all the faster, and end up costing her precious energy. For the moment, it was all she could do, and pray that the Possible luck had not run out just yet.
The ocean was eerily still in the wake of the night's storm, and clear as the water in an aquarium. Only there wasn't a sign of the aircraft, or Kim. Only one of the pilots had joined them when they finally found one of the flight crew in the dark in spite of the odds, and he, and Kim, were the only ones missing.
"Give it up, kid," the co-pilot rasped, his forehead wrapped in an emergency dressing.
Just before bailing, lightning had hit the cockpit, and shattered the tough glass in their faces. He was half blind, and half conscious, but his pilot got him out. No one had seen him since, though.
"L.T.'s right, Stoppable," the noncom told him. "Not a chirp from her transponder, or the cap'n's. And if they were close, we'd see them."
Ron just stared at them, then looked back out across the sea.
"She has to be okay. She's always okay. She can do anything," he told the burly man in a sodden uniform.
The seven men said nothing. Their emergency beacons were their own best chance, and they were sure by now that a rescue effort was underway. Military birds didn't go down unnoticed in this world, after all. Especially not while ferrying a world-class heroine back from saving a very important world leader just two days ago.
"Then trust her to know what to do," Staff-Sergeant Rolinski told him. "Yelling at the ocean isn't going to do her, or you any good. Conserve your energy. All that yelling will only make your throat dryer than it is soon enough."
Ron settled back into the raft, knowing the men didn't like him kneeling the way he had been doing, but feeling utterly helpless as he tried to consider what more he could do.
"I can't go home without her," he muttered. "I can't."
"Don't give up yet, kid," Lt. Saunders, the navigator told him, pointing. "Look."
"What is that," Airman Perkins frowned, shading his eyes to stare out in the direction the navigator pointed. The co-pilot just sagged, resting his injured head, still too weak to do more than lay there.
"Looks like a body," another of the airmen murmured.
"Paddles," Rolinksi barked, and four of them grabbed the small, plastic paddles, and began guiding the raft toward the faint, dark spot not far ahead.
They reached the body in short order, but they already knew it wasn't the slender redhead when they reached him. The man in Air Force blue was facedown, pale, and completely still. The staff-sergeant still pulled him into the raft, and checked him after removing his parachute, and pack.
"Damn," one of the men murmured, seeing the glass shard embedded in the man's neck very close to his jugular.
"He must have been dying even while he was getting Bill out of the bird," Saunders realized.
"So long, Captain Rogers," Logan Rolanski said, and took the discarded blouse of one of the men removed against the growing heat to cover the man's face. "Nice knowing you."
Ron stared hard, then looked out to sea again.
"Odds aren't on her side," Gerald Saunders told him grimly.
"I know about odds," Ron told the navigator. "Kim beats them every day. Every….single….day," he spat, and kept staring out into the distance.
Logan said nothing as he looked from the captain to the young man that refused to give up.
"Never trusted the odds myself," he growled, and nodded toward Ron, though he didn't see it. "We'll keep our eyes open. You never know."
"She's out there," Ron said grimly. "I know she is. I can feel her. She isn't dead, and I can still feel her being alive."
When he looked back, Logan had nothing to say as the boy's brown eyes seemed to be glittering bright blue for a moment.
"She's alive," he said firmly, and then went back to looking.
"I believe you," Logan rasped, thinking of stories his old Gran used to tell him from the Old Country.
"Guys," one of the airman shouted, pointing not to sea, but up. "Look!"
"Get the flare gun," Logan growled, shoving to his knees himself the moment he spotted the gleam of sunlight off the nose of a low flying aircraft that had to be a rescue ship. He grabbed the gun himself, and fired it just off the starboard nose of the approaching aircraft.
"Looks like the odds just shifted," Gerald Saunders admitted. "We can call in an AWAC, and have them track your girlfriend's transponder by satellite, now," he told Ron. "We'll all be home in time for supper, too," he grinned.
"My girlfriend can't cook for beans," the wounded Bill Dayton groaned, not even bothering to do more than open his eyes to look up before he sagged back again. Then added, "And I have tell Steve's wife he's not coming home. Damn storm," the nearly blinded co-pilot spat.
No one said anything to that, even as the small aircraft overhead began to circle, and dropped even lower as it obviously spotted them.
"Ronald," Dr. Director herself nodded as she walked into the room aboard the Kennedy where he was currently staying. Refusing to leave the area until the Navy did.
"Dr. Director. Have you heard anything?"
"They found her equpment pack. It was released, and that's why her signal came from the ocean floor."
"I knew it," Ron sighed in relief.
"The problem, Ronald, is that means she's been out there on the open sea for three days, with no raft, no communications, and no way to even stay afloat. Three days, Ronald."
"They're giving up, aren't they?"
"Even we have to be practical. Possible miracles aside, and no pun intended, there's no way that we can justify keeping the Fleet in this area without cause. I hate to say it myself, but…. It looks like Kimberly's luck may have finally run out."
"No. I can feel her, Dr. Director," Ron rasped, looking up from the chair where he sat, looking as if he had not slept in the entire three days of the search. "I know she's out there. Waiting for us to find her. I know it."
"I don't doubt your….mystical intuition, Ronald. We've both seen too much to doubt that. Still, unless you can point out a few coordinates, then the Fleet has no choice but to move on to their regular deployment. I'm here to take you home. Your family is waiting, too."
"And Kim's family," he said somberly.
"I'm sorry, Ronald. If she is still out there, then we'll just have to trust her to make her own way back. Somehow. We've already done all we could. Wherever she is, the entire Atlantic Fleet has been unable to find so much as a red hair out here. And they are very good at finding things. You know that."
"I want her things," Ron said quietly. "She'll….want them back, when she gets home."
" I don't see an issue with that. I'll tell the captain."
"I'm not giving up on her," Ron said as he finally rose when she nodded at the door, turning toward it herself.
Dr. Director allowed a faint smile.
"Neither am I, Ronald. I'm bringing in Team Impossible to keep a presence in the area, and oversee civilian efforts to keep searching the area. Just in case. After all, we both know Kimberly has an unbelievable amount of luck. I'm sure she'll be turning up soon enough. Until then, we have to move on. The world doesn't stand still even for her, you know."
Ron eyed her knowingly as he followed her to the command deck as the Marines stepped aside in respect to let them pass.
"Who is it now," he asked perceptively.
"Dementor. He's active again, and we don't want to wait for his inevitable ploy to bite us in the backside again. Especially since I've little doubt he's only exploiting Kim's….absence."
"I'll call Wade…."
"I have my VTOL on deck. We'll see the captain, and leave from there."
"Fine. Then I'm joining your people out here when they arrive. I've always had her back, and I know she's here," he said plaintively. "I just can't…..see her."
Dr. Betty Director, who knew all about Yamanouchi, and mystical monkey power, knew there was a wealth of meaning in the young man's words. Meaning that both cheered her, and worried her. Because if Ron said Kimberly was alive, then she believed him. Yet if something was keeping him from finding her, then something out there was very powerful to be able to block his mystic gifts. That implied something that made the pragmatist in her worry.
She didn't doubt for a moment that Ron was having the same worries himself.
Kim choked, and sputtered as she swam in carefully measured strokes toward the island she had spotted on the second day of floating in the middle of the world's second largest ocean. Although, just then, it felt even larger.
She didn't want to admit it, but part of her was starting to despair. No raft. No rescue. No aircraft searching the area.
Still, it wasn't in her to give up, and so she kept going. Swimming toward what she perceived as the eastern horizon, knowing it was the closest land for her since they had just left Europe behind when the storm hit. She floated as much as she swam, trying to conserve energy.
She had a few soggy energy bars in her pockets left, and that nourished her, but thirst was an issue she couldn't help. Especially when the sun continued to hammer her as relentlessly as the waves that would toss her about at times, as if purposely keeping her from her goal.
She wasn't sure where she was, or even where she was going, but she kept going all the same.
Then she had heard the distant sounds of muted surf.
Rolling over, she tread water to look around, and gaped at the impossible sight of a large island not far away. So far as she knew, there were not islands in this part of the Atlantic.
True, they might have been blown off-course. A lot. Still, the island didn't look like anything she had ever seen, or heard about. Considering how well-traveled she was by now, she would have been certain to hear of a place with what looked like ancient Grecian architecture on the green hills of the apparently volcanic island.
Ivory spires jutted up over the island's idyllic meadows, and she almost drowned as she forgot to tread water again while she simply gaped at the impossible view she managed from where she was. Then she surged forward, careful of her energy, and her effort, as she used long, methodical strokes to carry her toward the nearest beach.
Whatever it was, it implied civilization, and help.
She almost laughed as she scraped her knees on corral, and then managed to push to her feet as she staggered through the shallow surf to the sandy beach. She did laugh as she dropped to her knees, and just stared at the forest that now hid those impossible structures from her eyes. She knew someone was here, though. Someone had built those spires, and temples, and that meant someone lived here.
Someone that could get her home.
Even as the thought filled her mind, she saw two large horses trotting down the beach toward her.
"You see, Diana," the tall, voluptuous redhead pointed. "Just as I said. A stranger."
Kim stared not at the impossibly beautiful brunette, but at the slender, muscular woman in a short, matching robe beside her on the other horse.
"Mom," she choked out, and then passed out, face-first in the sand.
"Mom," the brunette frowned at her companion.
Artemis jumped from her horse without a word, and then went over to pull the redhead up out of the surf, turning her over to look into the pale oval of her face after brushing back her thickly tangled red mane.
"By the gods," the woman in the white robe rasped. "It can't be."
"Artemis, what is it?"
The Amazon looked up at her companion, and said, "She is the very image of Anastasia," the redhead told her. "My sister."
To Be Continued….