Even though they were not currently fighting, Kim's heart was racing fast enough to where even her two companions could hear it loud and clear. She wanted to simply rush in there and rescue her family and only just had enough sense to realize that by doing so, she would be walking straight into a trap.
"Where do you think they are?" Ron whispered to Shego.
"They could be anywhere, and who knows how many guards they have watching them?" Shego whispered back.
I don't care; nothing is going to stand in my way. Kim thought, slowly crawling through the vents, which was more difficult than they thought. Even she could only just fit inside, and was in no position to fight or dodge if they were discovered. Her ear was pressed to the metal, desperate to hear anything that informed her of where her family was being kept.
"Kim, I've managed to take down the security cameras." Wade informed her. "You've got to hurry, though. I'm only going to be able to keep them offline for about ten minutes. They've got some serious security in this place."
"Understood, Wade." Kim responded and put her communicator back in her pocket. If she knew where this tunnel headed, it would be easier, but sadly, Wade was unable to get that kind of information.
Several moments later, she found an opening that the three of them could pop out of. She was just about to kick it open when Kim heard voices outside the room. She quickly moved away from the vent, accidentally kicking Shego's head in the process.
"Will you watch it, Kimmy?" Shego cursed. "I don't have room to dodge your clumsy feet!"
Before Kim could reply, she heard footsteps enter the room. From the sounds of it, there were four, maybe five agents inside. "Are you sure about this?" One of them asked and Kim quieted down to listen to what they were discussing.
"The boss told us to keep an eye on the vents and that's what we're going to do." The second one responded.
"I'm not sure even Possible would be able to squeeze through that." A third complained. "Should we really be waiting in some nothing room while they're in the building?"
"Orders are orders; we're going to stay put." The second declared, making it clear that the subject was closed.
"Besides, if they do crawl out of that vent, we'll be ready for them." A fourth declared arrogantly.
Kim very slowly leaned her head forward in order to get a look at the agents. Two of them were pointing their M-16s at the vent, while the remaining two were leaning against the wall, annoyed at their current position. She mentally calculated their chances of victory. Normally, she managed to take her enemies by surprise by crawling through the vents. Now that it wasn't an option, things had gotten a little more complicated.
"So what do we do?" Ron wondered. That was a good question. The trio couldn't simply slip by them; the agents would spot them right away and the narrow vent gave them no room to avoid bullets. Nor was it likely that they could barge in and take them by surprise. She might be able to take the first two down, but the remaining two on the other side of the room would shoot them all down before any of them could fight back.
"My body is resistant to bullets, but not of that caliber." Shego sighed. "Maybe I could fire a plasma blast, blind them and give us time to get inside."
"You can't squeeze past KP." Ron reminded. "We have two choices: either chance it and hope we can react faster than they can or turn around and find another way."
"That could take too long; I'm going in." Kim stated, her body poised for action. It was a risk, but she was sure that she could take at least the first two down before they even knew what hit them.
"I've got another idea." Ron disagreed. "Shego, you're going to have to lie flat on your belly." She agreed, still wondering just what he had in mind." She groaned and fumed when Ron climbed on top of her, hitting his head on the vent, in order to get a better view.
"Normally, I wouldn't mind you crawling on top of me, but it's a little cramped in here." Shego complained, her face pressed against the vent. Kim gave her a brief glare for the comment.
"Uh... KP... you're going to have to do the same thing." Ron sighed.
"What are you going to do?" Kim sighed, thinking it over for a few seconds before finally acquiescing to his request.
"I hope this works..." Ron sighed, closing his eyes and concentrating his power. It took some effort, but he managed to telekinetically pull all four agent's rifles out of their grip and jumped through the vent.
Not wanting to waste any time, Kim followed and immediately incapacitated one of the agents, dislocating his wrist, and kicking him between his legs. The second agent had more skill, managing to land a hit on her shoulder and was in the process of pulling out his sidearm before Kim was able to defeat him as well by hitting him in the throat.
Shego leaped in and blasted the one standing farthest away less than a second before he was able to open fire. Ron had a little more difficulty, but he too succeed in subduing his opponent. All four of them were forced into the center of the room, two of them with broken bones and none of them in any position to overpower Team Possible.
"Scream and I'll burn you into a pile of ash." Shego threatened. The agents were disarmed and gagged.
"That was a nice save, Ron." Kim complimented. "How did you manage that?"
"I've spent a lot of time practicing." Ron grinned, not wanting to let either of them know just how difficult that feat was for him. He wasn't even sure if it would work, but they couldn't afford to waste any time. "So where do we go now?"
"Wade, is there any way you can get me a map of this place?" Kim asked her computer geek friend.
"I'm sorry, Kim; it's difficult enough just contacting you, but you better hurry." Wade warned. "I can't keep the cameras down forever."
"Then what good are you?" Kim snarled.
"I'm going to pretend you didn't say that." Wade said simply. "I'll see if I can get at least a rough distance to where your family is."
James continued to pace around the cell, wishing that there was a way that they would be able to escape. They had stripped him of all of his technology and even if they hadn't, he found it highly unlikely that it would have made any kind of difference.
Jim and Tim were still whispering to themselves, likely trying to come up with a plan, same as he was. James didn't bother listening; all he did was try to put up a brave face for the rest of his family. He looked through the fiberglass and glared furiously at the Agents guarding them. Nobody even acknowledged them, or gave any kind of explanation as to what right they had to do something like this.
"I hope she's not coming." Ann sighed. All of them knew precisely why they were here. "I'm sure she is, though, no matter what the odds." The thought of Global Justice gunning down her only daughter both terrified and infuriated her. She had a sudden urge to scream at the guards at the top of her lungs, and only refrained because she recognized that it wouldn't do them any good.
James didn't respond; what was there to say? It would be futile to convince Kim not to make an attempt to rescue. He knew that were their positions reversed, nothing in the world would stop him from coming after his child. "Just have faith; she can do this." James replied, although he was trying to convince himself just as much as her.
There were times where James believed that everything that had happened over the past few weeks was entirely his fault. For years, he was extremely proud of his daughter being a hero and still managing to get mostly A's in all of her classes. He hadn't realized until it was too late that her lifestyle could have dangerous consequences.
They were being watched by what had to be a dozen guards, perhaps even more. James knew that even if they managed to get out of their cell, an unlikely proposition unless Kim managed to get there, they would still have to overpower them all. Nothing to do at the moment but wait.
"Do you think she'll get here?" Jim asked, considerably more hopeful now that it seemed like rescue was possible. Unlike their parents, the twins were all but praying that Kim arrived before it was too late.
"I don't know; we'll just have to be patient." Ann replied. Like the other members of her family, she was waiting for an opportunity to escape. She was less than hopeful, however, and worried that Kim was getting into something over her head. There weren't mindless goons like most of her opponent; these were trained professionals.
James, meanwhile, was wondering if this was his punishment for everything he'd done. He had made an enormous number of mistakes in his life, but perhaps the worst of them was what he had done eleven years previously. He never imagined that he was capable of such cruelty, even in the face of what he thought was a monster.
It's quite easy to see why Ambrose despised me. James thought. He had intended to kill him when he learned that Kim had been hurt. Unfortunately, he had the wrong person; indeed, the boy was his long-lost son that was looking to connect to the family he had never known. Ever since James had discovered the truth, the knowledge had haunted him every single day. Did he know? Did he not realize the boy was his son or did he willfully blind himself to the truth so he could live with what he'd done? James had asked himself that thousands of times and had never come up with a concrete answer.
Tim opened his mouth, presumably to tell his parents of an escape plan that he'd thought of, but James used a hand signal to cut him off. More than likely, their captors were listening to every single word they said and he didn't want to give them any advance warning of any possible ideas the Possible family had to escape.
"Whatever happens... just remember that I love you." Ann was working hard to keep herself together, but cracks were beginning to show. She hugged both her boys tightly, threatening to suffocate them.
"No worries, mom; we'll get out of this." Jim smiled. James wanted to slap his forehead; he just hoped their captors were too busy to pay attention to them right now.
Remind me again why I thought this was a good idea? Shego groaned to herself as she fired several plasma blasts in an effort to advance. Like all of their previous attempts, this one got nowhere. Neither she, Kim, or Ron had been able to move anywhere for several minutes now.
At first, they managed to overcome the agents pretty easily, launching ambushes and striking from behind. Now, though, it looked like they had gotten their acts together, for the trio had not managed to win a single victory since. She didn't know how many agents were around the corner, pinning them down; it was too dangerous to take more than a glance, even with covering fire.
All three of them were nearly deaf from the constant gunshots. Shego could scream at the top of her lungs and neither Kim nor Ron would be able to hear a word she said. Kim was becoming increasingly impatient with their lack of progress, very worried about what had happened to her family during their imprisonment.
The only decent thing was that they hadn't been able to advance, either. Three of them were laying on the ground badly injured. She hadn't meant to use such force, but in a life-or-death situation, Shego considered it justified.
"Can't you just... I don't know, use your powers to rip their guns out of their hands?" Shego screamed, but she could barely hear her own voice, much less either member of Team Possible picking it up.
Kim pointed behind them, gesturing. It took both of them a couple of seconds to figure out what she meant, a mistake that nearly cost them their lives. The agents were making yet another attempt to advance, throwing a pair of smoke grenades in order to subdue them. Shego held her breath and forced herself not to close her eyes, no matter how difficult it might have been.
There were a second group of agents about to hit them from behind. Shego briefly considered surrendering, but knew that it was very unlikely they'd be willing to accept it.
Kim realized that whatever the plan was, she would have to act fast. They had only seconds before they would be overwhelmed. She scanned the ceilings for ay entrances that they could crawl into, only to dismiss the idea instantly. Even if they got through in time, the guards could easily shoot through the vents.
Instead, she decided to take the new group by surprise. She barreled into them, aware of just how risky this was. However, they had no alternative if they wished to survive. They were professionals, not the usual goons that Drakken or Dementor usually set against her.
Shego blasted two of them, burning them severely. Their screams of pain were still barely audible over the gunfire, but Kim knew that there was no time to lose. In a matter of seconds, she succeeded in disarming them, although subduing them entirely proved to be something of a challenge. She groaned in pain as some of their punches and kicks managed to connect. Kim was almost superhumanly fast, but the corridor was narrow and they had her outnumbered half a dozen to one.
Only a quick limbo kept one of the agents from hitting her in the throat hard enough for it to be fatal. Kim dislocated his elbow and kicked him in the groin, taking him out of the fight. Each and every one of them were wearing body armor, making it even more difficult to bring the battle to a quick conclusion.
"Kim, I'm not going to hold them much longer!" Ron screamed, trying not to let the women know just how nervous he was at this point. Two of them were down, but a pair of bullets came so close to his body that his shirts had large holes in them, nearly making his heart stop.
"Coming!" Kim screamed back, abruptly exiting her current fight and leaving Shego to fend for herself. Ron fired three more energy orbs, giving her enough cover to dive under them and throw the strongest blows she could manage under the circumstances.
And it was that moment where Kim Possible truly understood what the stakes were in the game. It was more than her family that was at stake. It was Ron Stoppable who was in danger. She saw the fear in his eyes, as he prepared for what he considered the inevitable: his defeat... his death.
The agents' will was strong. They had gone on many missions, killed or captured countless threats to security over their careers. They were the best Global Justice had to offer; the men and women never failed, no matter what the odds were. All of them had undergone training that even the majority of Special Forces failed.
None of it made any difference whatsoever, for this was Kim Possible unleashed. The battle was already over; the details were all that mattered now.
Kim decided that merely winning was not enough. She decided to crush them, prove just how useless their abilities truly were against someone like her. The final stage of the fray lasted only 10.4 seconds.
"KP, KP, that's enough!" Ron held her back, forcing her to come to her senses. "They're not going anywhere, trust me!" He quickly stripped them of their weapons and radios, sidestepping a final attempt to take him down with a knife. Ordinarily, he'd try to see what he could do for their injuries, but there was no time.
"Are you all right?" Kim asked frantically. "Did they hurt you?"
"Scared me out of a year's growth, but other than that, I'm fine." Ron took a deep breath. Kim hugged him so tightly it felt like his ribs were going to break, sobbing on his shoulder.
"I hate to break this touching little reunion up, but we need to go find them before they send more of these goons!" Shego interrupted. The two of them reluctantly broke their embrace. "I'm sure everyone in the facility heard that, so we better move now!"
"Yeah, you're right." Kim agreed, wiping her eyes. She opened her communicator. "Wade, have you had any luck tracking down where my family's being held?"
"As a matter of fact, yes." Wade nodded. "Just give me another minute and I should have their location."
"We don't have a minute, nerd boy!" Shego snarled. "Just find them already so we can get the hell out of here!" Blood stained her uniform, which the duo only just then noticed.
"I'm going as fast as I can here!" Wade responded, typing furiously.
"Are you all right, Shego?" Ron asked her. The blood was oozing down her leg and she was starting to have difficulty keeping her footing.
"One of them managed to hit me a few times with a pistol before I killed him." Shego winced, trying to hide just how much pain she was actually in. "My skin acts like a bulletproof vest, so I'm fine."
"Kim, I've got a location; here's the map." Wade exclaimed. "You'd better be careful, though. According to the security feed, they've got at least half a dozen guards watching them."
"How are they?" Kim asked anxiously. "Have they been hurt?"
"Not as far as I can tell." Wade shook his head.
"We don't have any time to waste!" Kim exclaimed, waving Ron and Shego forward.
"Please be safe, please be safe, please be safe..." Ann recited as a mantra as they heard the sounds of battle raging outside. Kim had indeed come to rescue them; with a vengeance, it sounded like. That didn't stop Ann from being terrified that something would happen to her.
"She'll be fine: she's gotten out of tough scrapes before." James tried to reassure, but he was just as terrified. Countless scenarios ran through his mind, each more horrifying than the last. And he was powerless. Powerless to help, powerless to beg, powerless to do anything but listen and pray that his daughter made it through. Jim and Tim were in the corner, whispering to themselves.
He was sorely tempted to pound on the fiberglass in an attempt to escape, however futile that might have been. The only decent news that they had was the guards evidently had other things on their mind than four prisoners who were no threat to them. James knew they were likely right, but he was determined to get out and protect his daughter.
The sounds were getting louder, indicating that Kim and Ron were getting closer to their destination. James didn't know if he should feel overjoyed or dismayed at that. He knew that there was something set up. When they believed he wasn't paying attention, he heard a couple of the guards chuckling about it. More than anything, he wished he had a way to warn Kim what was in store for her.
"She's smart; she'll know there's something." Ann declared, but it was an attempt to reassure herself rather than anybody else.
Two of the guards had hastily left, taking their gear with them, as the fighting began to get closer. Even though the gunfire, they were able to hear screams, although none of them could decipher whose it was.
"That's our girl: sticking her neck out for anyone in trouble." James tried to say proudly, but it came across as a sob instead. Truth be told, he was proud of her; he just wished she wasn't risking her life this way, even though he would do so in a second were their situations reversed.
His legs became weak and he collapsed against the wall, sinking to the ground. James had tried to be brave for the sake of his family, tried to believe that Kim would somehow pull through, but his doubts began to get the better of him. His face was in his hands as he sobbed quietly. He imagined each scream outside his cell to be his daughter's, with the grinning faces of Global Justice's thugs.
Ann knelt beside him, hoping to keep him from completely falling apart. "Come on, James, just have faith in her. She can do this, I know she can. Do you think I'm any less terrified about what could happen? But I believe in her... and you should too. Think of how often she's won against impossible odds, against the most dangerous people in the country. She will succeed, and we WILL see her again."
"I hope so," James said through his sobs. There was a dark pit where his heart should be, however, He raised his head to look at his wife, but did not have the mental energy to remove himself from the floor. "Maybe I'll have a chance to make up for everything I've done."
Before Ann could respond, Jim and Tim run towards him in a hurry, nearly barreling into him. "Dad!" Jim exclaimed, showing him a handheld device that somehow managed to evade their security. "This is the only thing we managed to get past them, but it should be enough." He anxiously looked over at security, but they were still preoccupied paying attention to what was currently going on outside.
"Enough for what?" Ann wondered, her hope beginning to return. Despite her words to her husband, she was just as terrified for her daughter.
"Hicca bicca boo?" Jim looked at his twin.
"Hicca Bicca Boo!" Tim confirmed.
For the first time in weeks, Ron was beginning to feel a small amount of optimism. It was almost like the old days before Kim had suffered so greatly. He even felt the old instincts kicking in.
Not that they were entirely out of the woods yet, however. Most of the guards had been beaten, but there were still hidden dangers. Ron would bet anything that more than mere agents were imprisoning Kim's family; whoever had set all this up wouldn't be so foolish as to leave them so lightly guarded.
Ron looked back at Shego, who had noticeably slowed. She did her best to hide it, but he could tell that each step she took was agonizing. When he offered to assist her, she snarled: "I'm not an invalid! I can get around perfectly well by myself, damn it!" He knew her well enough to realize that she was not going to change her mind, and there was no time to argue, but even so, he continued giving her concerned glances.
"Wade, what kind of defenses do they have around the cell?" Kim demanded.
"There's something, but I haven't quite made it out." Wade responded. "I'm going to guess that they're prepared for any possible rescue you have planned. Give me some time to incapacitate them before you charge in there. I know how difficult this is for you, Kim, but you're going to have to wait a little longer."
Much to everyone's surprise, she nodded and agreed without a word. Both Ron and Shego could tell, however, that it was taking a serious toll on her. Her body was trembling, every instinct she had screaming at her to jump in there and save her loved ones, regardless of the danger to herself. Ron subtly moved forward, ready to restrain her physically if it came to that. She might hate him for that, but if it saved her life, it was a consequence that Ron told himself he could live with.
He heard Shego panting behind him, struggling with the pain she endured. "Shego, you can't go on like this." Kim remarked, much to everyone's surprise. "With your injury, you'll just get in the way."
"Bite me, Princess." Shego snarled, her hatred driving her to continue. How dare Kimmy insinuate that she was unfit for battle, that she was a liability? "Might want to remember I'm here helping you save your damned family!"
"We've got more important things to focus on." Ron interrupted, knowing the explosion that was about to happen. If the duo started bickering amongst themselves, they were dead. "Wade, how much farther is it?"
"It's close; about 20 yards." Wade stated. "There are about... a dozen guards yet, and some kind of trap that I can't identify."
"Is there any way you can shut it down?" Kim demanded, her nerves on edge. They were close, so close that she could no longer stand the waiting. Each second dragged on for eternity. She did not even deign to notice the remaining Agents' efforts to stop the trio; they would be easily overcome.
"Hold on, it looks like..." Wade began.
"Like what?" Kim demanded.
"Like their defenses are being shut off on their own." Wade exclaimed. "That's not possible!"
"Hey, maybe the twins managed to sneak something past security and bring them down." Ron hypothesized. "Sounds like something they would do!"
"Then we don't have a second to waste!" Kim shouted, charging forward. A bullet grazed her shoulder, but she felt no pain. The desire to rescue her family overwhelmed everything else.
Ron and Shego both fired a few ground blasts in order to obstruct their vision. Had they not done so, Kim would have been shot down in seconds, which neither of them were going to let happen. Shego was slowed by her injury, but still proved to be more than capable of holding her own.
Not that it's going completely our way. Ron thought. They were skilled fighters, much more formidable than the goons Drakken had. His powers provided an enormous advantage, swiftly ripping the guns out of their hands, but even so, they were still dangerous. He merely intended to subdue them with minimal damage, if possible.
Kim, on the other hand... with her family so close and yet still so far away, the last of her restraint had been eliminated. She took out an Agent's eye, crushing his throat until he was on the brink of death, and shattered another's arm when he tried to interfere. She snarled with fury, channeling her hidden strength and speed. The corridor was narrow as well, giving her an even greater advantage.
A few tried to stand and fight, but most of them decided that they had had enough and attempted to surrender. Kim refused to let them; everyone was going to pay for what they had done! Ron and Shego's efforts were no longer necessary, as they watched in horror of the depths Kim was sinking to. Both wanted to say something, but Kim was completely out of it at the moment, with no sound entering her ears.
Thirty seconds later, all of them were on the ground, moaning in pain from broken bones and pleading for mercy. Ron nearly slipped in the pile of blood forming under them.
It would be so easy to simply finish them all right now. Kim thought, pondering her next move. There was no defiance left in them, only terror. A couple tried to futilely move away from her. She rubbed her chin, her eyes cold and devoid of compassion. It would only take seconds for her to put them out of their misery. Yet as the thought circled through her mind, she was still as a statue.
"KP... don't you think you better get your family out?" Ron interrupted. He recognized that look in her eyes and however much part of him believed they would deserve nothing more, there had already been enough bloodshed.
The bloodlust in her eyes faded, being replaced with longing. She sprinted to the controls, pulling the lever and finally freeing them from their prison. The instant the doors opened, Kim tackled them all, laughing and sobbing at the same time. Her embrace was such that all of them were finding it difficult to breathe.
"I missed you guys so much!" Kim sobbed. "I thought I'd never see you again!" She tried to open her mouth, but no further words came, and she hugged her parents even tighter.
"It's good to see you too; I never doubted that you'd come through for us." James smiled, crying just as much as his daughter. He didn't want her to know of how terrified he was for her. He promised to himself that he would take full advantage of his second chances. No more mistakes, no more foolishness; she was the most important thing in the world to him.
"What took you so long?" Tim smiled, trying to hide just how relieved he was. Neither he nor his twin had failed to notice how terrified their parents looked.
"Tweebs!" Kim smiled, crushing the two of them. "I promise, I'll never complain about your antics again! I love you both!"
"Ew!" The twins responded, but hugged her back all the same. Bratty older sister or not, they still loved her.
They spent several minutes hugging and crying over one another, while Ron and Shego kept their eyes peeled. None of them ever wanted to be out of each other's sight again. Instantly, Kim's fears evaporated, and she felt happy for the first time since the debacle started. Any anger she ever felt for her dad before was replaced by relief that he was alive.
"So was that you two that managed to bring them down?" Kim smiled at her brothers affectionately.
"Sure was!" Jim exclaimed. "I just used a few tricks a magician taught us to keep it hidden!"
"You mean, we used tricks!" Tim smiled. "Don't try taking all the credit for yourself!"
"Have I ever told you what geniuses you are?" Kim laughed, feeling light-hearted once again.
"I hate to break this touching reunion up, but we'd better get out of here." Shego pointed out. "I'd bet on only having a limited amount of time."
"Thanks for everything, Ron." James nodded at him. "Don't believe I've forgotten your contribution to this."
"Uh... it was nothing, Mr. P." Ron rubbed his head sheepishly. "I think we'd better get out before any more agents come, just in case. You remember the way out, KP?"
"Yeah, don't need any thanks or anything." Shego bit out. "I didn't contribute or anything; it's not like I didn't save Kimmy's life more than once. Just go ahead and ignore me."
"Shego, I can't believe I'm saying this... but thank you... for everything." Kim nodded at her. "I'm grateful for everything you did, even though I was..."
"A bitch?" Shego put bluntly. "You're welcome, Princess, but this was a one-time thing. Don't drag me into your problems again."
"I wouldn't dream of it." Kim chuckled.
"Good to see all of you alive and unharmed." Ron nodded towards the Possible family.
"Kimmie-cub, why are you covered in blood?" Ann gasped with concern. She spotted the graze on Kim's shoulder and immediately moved to treat it.
"We'd better get moving, guys." Ron said yet again. Out of the corner of his eye, he spotted one of the Agents weakly grabbing a weapon and pointing it in Kim's direction. "KP, look out!"
The instant Ron's warning was heard, James immediately shoved his daughter out of the way. Two bullets hit his chest, causing him to sink to the floor. The last thing he was aware of was Kim's agonized scream.
Yeah, this definitely took a lot longer than I hoped. Had a major writer's block and a lot of emotional crap to deal with at the moment. I've got about 4-5 chapters left in the story before it's complete; thanks for your patience and I hope you enjoyed the latest installment.