Kim Possible Fan Fiction ❯ Far from the Tree ❯ Far from the Tree - Part Three ( Chapter 3 )
[ A - All Readers ]
Far from the Tree
“Make it count, Wade, I'm not kidding!” Kim demanded as she walked to her car, the rage still lingering in her voice even after having taken the time to go home and change into her mission gear.
“I don't know what to tell you,” Wade replied, through the Kimmunicator, sounding quite perplexed as he ran his battery of scans. “No flight trajectories, no radar, nothing. It's like she just vanished off the face of the earth.”
“Oooooooooh no,” Kim shuddered angrily. “That little brat is DREAMING if she thinks she's getting away with this!”
“Aw, and they say daytime talk shows are dead,” Max commented jokingly, dressed in his own mission outfit as he attempted to console a worried Rufus with soft pats.
“Keep it up, buster, and pretty soon it won't be my lips doing the talking,” Kim menaced through her teeth, holding a tightly clenched fist in Max's direction.
“I deserved that. I just wanted to be part of the conversation,” Max replied casually, despite his goofy smile.
“Uh-oh,” Wade chimed in, instantly noticing something on his screens.
“Wade, in case you haven't noticed, I'm not exactly in an `Uh-Oh' kind of mood right now,” Kim sternly remarked.
“Sorry, but something just came up,” Wade responded. “It looks like a satellite has just been launched from Señor Senior Senior's island, and it's heading into orbit. But I can't determine what it's for.”
“Oh, great! Like I've got time for this!” Kim complained, slapping her forehead. “How am I supposed to be in two places at once?!”
“Uh, hello…standing right here, you know,” Max announced with a fluttery wave, “I'm…pretty sure I can help with SOME-thing.”
“Oh right, like you're going to just fly up into space with no rocket and no space suit and…!” Kim cut herself off, hanging her head with a sigh once she realized that she'd forgotten who she was talking to. “Oh, just go.”
Max simply smirked in response as he placed Rufus on the ground. A moment later, a huge could of glittering smoke swirled around his body before suddenly bursting into the sky, the smoke forming a trail behind him like rocket exhaust.
“Well, that gives HIM something to do,” Kim stated, with Rufus scampering up to her shoulder as Max disappeared. “As for us, we're going after Senior.”
“Why, you think Senior and Rita are somehow in on this together?” Wade asked.
“I don't think it's a coincidence that Senior is planning something just when his niece decided to treat my boyfriend like a hunting trophy,” Kim replied with an angry scowl. “First stop…Senior's island.”
… … … …
What Kim didn't know was that while Senior was indeed in cahoots with Rita and that they were indeed on an island. However, this particular island was not actually his. In fact, the island in question was located several hundred miles away, on which sat another structure that was charitably referred to as Rita's playhouse. Charitably, because the entire building was every bit as large and extravagant as Senior's own home.
“Oh, this is very good, Rita,” Senior commented from inside a large, metal-plated chamber. “This is the perfect hideaway for us to continue our plans. I must admit that without your valued assistance, this venture could not have succeeded.”
“Believe me, Uncle, it was my pleasure. Anything to keep my darling by my side,” Rita replied, her voice lowering to a soft coo as she snuggled against the cheek of a still-unconscious Ron, who was strapped to a chair with heavy metal restraints. And yet, it was not Ron's bindings that Rita found unusual as she looked up, her eyes taking on a curious gaze.
“Uh, Uncle…what is that metal band around his head?”
“Ah yes, the…the band,” Senior responded, his eyes darting back and forth as he tried to think of a way to explain the strip of metal around Ron's head, which was connected to a nearby computer terminal. “Why…that is second part of my plan…for you, of course.”
“Is it a special love band that will make him love only me and not that…`Kim' girl?” Rita asked excitedly, even as she noted Kim's name with some contempt.
“Well…,” Senior began to reply.
“Excellent!” Rita gloated, not giving Senior a chance to offer a proper answer. “With my lovely little hideaway here, concealed from the world, there will be no one to violate our privacy. And soon, he will be mine! ALL MINE!!”
At that moment, Rita reared back and unleashed a shriek of laughter that echoed throughout the room. But this was no laugh of joy or amusement. Instead, there was pure malevolence in her wild cackle. Indeed, wickedness that Senior found himself completely unprepared for as he clutched his heart in surprise.
“Rita…such a villainous laugh I have not heard,” he uttered under his breath before his faced lightened with a grin that indicated he was actually impressed. “Clearly, you are a young woman of many hidden natural talents.”
Rita simply responded with a shy giggle, too lost in her own bliss to notice that Senior was actually commenting on her potential for evil. But before she could get a moment to gather her thoughts, Senior was already ushering her out the door.
“Now, my dear, if you would excuse me, I am going to require some privacy,” he stated soothingly. “This is a very delicate procedure and I cannot be disturbed.”
Rita had gone along with Senior too long at this point to doubt his word now. As Senior closed the door behind her, all she could do was giggle in anticipation as she skipped off down the hall. Little did she know that back in the room, as Senior turned his attention back to Ron, his lips curled into a wicked smile.
… … … …
On the Seniors' island, the day continued on calmly enough, as Junior had the house all to himself. What better time than now to see which shirt would look best for his upcoming date with Bonnie? This date promised to be informal, but still, which T-shirt best suited him? Golden or golden yellow, golden or golden yellow? As he held each shirt out in front of him, gazing into the standing mirror, he just couldn't seem to make up his mind.
But proper color coordination was about to become the least of his problems. A moment later, Kim burst into the living room, knocking the door down with a flying kick. And a shocked Junior could only let out a piercing shriek as he daintily held up the shirts to cover his bare chest.
“Is it too much to ask that you knock?!” he yelped in surprise.
“Where's…Senior?” Kim asked sternly, clearly not in the mood for Junior's personality defects.
“Who, Father? How should I know?” Junior replied, the confused look on his face indicating that he had no idea what the sudden urgency was. “He left this morning. I have not seen him all day.”
“You expect me to believe that you know nothing about this latest scheme of his?” Kim responded cynically, “And I suppose you didn't hear anything when he launched that satellite from here, either, right?”
“Oh is THAT what that was? I thought perhaps our indoor mountain had avalanched again,” Junior half-heartedly thought out loud before turning his attention back to Kim. “Wait, as long as you are here, tell me…which shirt do you think goes better?”
Never mind the fact that Junior expected an answer to his question. Kim couldn't believe that he had even gone and asked it! She could only roll her eyes and turn away with a groan before turning her attention to the Kimmunicator.
“Wade, it's a dead end. Senior's not here,” she reported, her expression beginning to change from angry to worried. “Please tell me you found SOME-thing.”
“Sorry, Kim, I've tried everything I can think of,” Wade replied with a shrug. “If Rita took Ron somewhere, there's just no indication of where it is.”
Just then, Kim heard a firm tap behind her, almost like a cane striking the floor. Feeling her eye twitch at the sound, she whirled around furiously, preparing herself for anything.
… … … …
Back at Rita's island getaway, in her enormous private gymnasium, Rita was still on pins and needles as she felt certain that Senior was going to come through on his promise to make Ron hers. Just thinking about it made her barely able to sit still. Eventually, it reached a point where all she could think of to do was pick a flower from one of her dozens of gardens, gently plucking the petals.
“He loves me…He loves me not… He loves me…He loves me not…,” she murmured over and over as each petal delicately floated to the floor at her feet. Eventually, she reached for the last petal and her smile grew in anticipation as she tugged eagerly.
“He loves me…”
“…SO-NOT!!” an angry voice chimed in behind her and Rita's eyes went wide as she whirled around to see Kim standing firmly in the doorway, her fists clenched tightly and her face twisted in a wild-eyed glare.
“No…no it can't be!” she exclaimed in shock. “How could you have found this place…?! And the security system in place…?! It simply is not…!”
Just then, Rita froze in her tracks, her jaw hanging open in disbelief. It couldn't be, it just couldn't be! But there was no mistaking it. Even Senior, who was still in the other room with Ron, could only stare in disbelief as the security footage showed him what was happening. Walking into the doorway behind Kim, a stern frown across her face, was none other than Señora Nora Senior herself.
“I am VERY disappointed in you, Rita,” Nora remarked bitterly. “Have you forgotten who had all this BUILT for you?”
“M…M-Mother? She…?” Rita stammered, unable to overcome her alarm until she finally was able to shake the cobwebs out of her head. “You…you took HER word…over your own DAUGHTER…?”
“You misunderstand, Rita,” Nora replied, “I came to HER. I've already been well aware of what you've been up to.”
“But…but how…?” Rita blurted out in confusion, until she heard the squeak of wheels and slowly turned her head to see an unmistakable figure.
“L…L-Lupo…?” she uttered in even further surprise. It was only then that she noticed the soft red light slowly flashing from the top button of Lupo's shirt.
“Lupo did just as he was programmed to do, Rita. He followed your orders without question,” Nora explained. “What you DIDN'T know is that Lupo is ALSO programmed with certain safeguards…particularly a tracking signal that activates whenever someone gives him instructions that violate my rules…”
“…like YOU did.”
“Forgive me, Señora,” Lupo announced straightforwardly as he wheeled himself towards Nora. “I WAS given my orders.”
“You have nothing to apologize for, Lupo. You did nothing wrong,” Nora replied before turning her frown back towards Rita. “Right now, I am reserving my anger for my foolish daughter.”
“So…w-what…are you going to do?” Rita asked with a whining shudder, fully anticipating nothing but trouble on the horizon.
“I?” Nora replied simply. “I…am going to do…”
“W…w-what…?” Rita uttered, her eyes blinking wide in confusion.
“I have no NEED to do anything,” Nora explained before turning her attention to Kim, who needed every bit of self-control to hold herself back as she continued to glare at Rita, her entire body one tense muscle, “Because I strongly suspect…that whatever SHE is about to do to you…will be MORE than punishment enough.”
“As for me,” Nora concluded, her voice turning cold and hard through gritted teeth as she strolled to a nearby door, “I believe the time has come to have a private conversation with my `dear' brother.”
With that, Nora was gone, leaving Rita alone to face off with an enraged Kim and an equally angry Rufus, who was jumping up and down on her shoulder, growling and chattering furiously. Rita, however, appeared considerably more comfortable with the situation now that her mother was gone, being more afraid of her than of Kim. But Kim was determined to change all that.
“I wouldn't challenge me here, if I were you,” Rita declared, the confidence in her voice slowly beginning to return. “After all, every inch of this house is MINE. There isn't a single inch I do not know by heart.”
“Yeah? Well let me tell you something I know by heart,” Kim answered in a grim tone. “When you mess with the man I love, you mess with me. But when you try to STEAL the man I love…”
Now was long past the time for words as Kim charged down the steps with a clenched fist at the ready as Rufus hopped to the floor. Rita, however, maintained her calm air, performing a long backflip and avoiding Kim as she lashed out. And after landing on her feet, Rita used the momentum to jump high into the air, catching the gymnastics rings that hung from the ceiling right over her head. A surprising move, to be sure. But not one that Kim was going to let unnerve her for even a second. And now it was Rita's turn for a surprise as Kim fired her grapple into the ceiling, swinging up after her.
Before Rita could react, Kim was on her, scissoring her legs around her wrists and wrenching her hands off the rings before tossing her to the ground. But Rita still had a few tricks left as she rolled in mid-air, landing on her feet and performing another pair of back handflips before regaining her balance. She then merely lifted her arms, like a gymnast at the end of a routine, before sweeping her hair back with an air of confidence.
“Please. I was a competitive gymnastics champion, three years in a row. You're going to have to do MUCH better than THAT if you want to…OOF!” Rita's arrogant boasts were cut off as Kim swung down from the ceiling, driving her feet into Rita's chest and sending her bouncing along the floor before finally rolling to a stop, lying face down.
“You're assuming that I CAN'T!” Kim shouted back, her rage still boiling inside her.
Rita seemed only able to groan as she struggled to her feet, nursing her battered chest. But she wasn't going to get the opportunity to rest as she slowly raised her head to see Kim charging at full speed towards her. The last thing Rita saw was Kim leaping into the air for a flying roundhouse kick, the heel of her foot flashing past Rita's eyes.
… … … …
Meanwhile, in the other room, Senior was working feverishly on the computer, while Ron remained slumped in the chair. The metal band around his head was keeping Ron unconscious, but that was the least of Senior's worries at that moment. When Rita had taken him to such a remote location, the last thing he expected was for Kim Possible to find him so quickly…AND with his sister, no less. He had to work faster and make up for time he no longer had if his plan had even the slightest hope of succeeding.
Just then, he heard sounds coming from beyond the sealed door. Within seconds, the lock was cracked and the door swung open. And a moment later, Lupo wheeled into the room along with Nora, who flashed a fearsome glare in Senior's direction.
“Was it not enough you ruined your OWN child?!” Nora shouted furiously, “You had to come for MINE?!”
“Ah, Nora, my poor, naïve sister…Perhaps you do not understand your sweet, angelic daughter, as well as you THINK you do,” Senior replied with an amused chuckle. “Oh, yes, your lovely Rita has quite the dark pit of unspeakable evil in her heart. One you never knew was there. Or perhaps you simply chose not to look.”
“Never…,” Nora hissed through her teeth. “I will not accept that…”
“Oh, I am afraid it is quite true,” Senior continued to taunt, “In fact, when I suggested this course of action, even I was surprised at how little effort it took to persuade her. But, having said that, I must also confess…”
“…I did have a slightly different motive in mind than the one she'd intended.”
Before Nora could wonder what he meant, Senior pressed an activation button on the computer terminal, causing a metal wall panel to slide back and reveal a window looking out over a second empty room. A moment later, two large doors raised open, revealing rows of silhouettes inside. And as the figures began to march out, single file, Nora could only gasp in surprise.
… … … …
“Uuuuunnnnhh...Let…me…GO!” Rita shouted as she pounded the floor with her fist.
The image itself told the story as Kim had Rita pinned to the floor on her front with a painful arm bar, while Rufus hopped around Rita's face, acting like a referee. Rita's mussed hair and clothes were also a clear indication that her so-called fight with Kim had really not been much of a fight at all. Kim, meanwhile, could only look down at Rita with a slightly amused grin as she firmly held her down. For hours, all she could think of was how much she wanted to just tear Rita apart. But once it became painfully clear that Rita was utterly no match for her, after a few moments, the entire exercise simply became rather…pathetic.
“What's the magic wor-rd?” Kim replied teasingly, applying more pressure to Rita's arm to force her answer.
“Uunh…hnnnnhh…please…” Rita finally whimpered under her breath after a few more seconds of torture.
“Say pretty please with sugar on it,” Kim taunted once more, refusing to let go.
“What?! NEV-AAAAAAHHH!” Rita's insolence was cut off as Kim reapplied the pressure on her arm, causing her to cry out.
Rufus couldn't help but burst out laughing, rolling around on the floor at the sight. And as Rita continued to beat the ground with her fist, groaning in pain, Kim's amused smile grew slightly larger. Still, after a few more seconds, even Kim had to admit to herself that enough was enough.
“Oh, I'm being silly,” she sighed, finally loosening her grip. “Okay…”
With that, Kim released Rita's hand and got up off of her. But as Kim walked away casually, she couldn't help but sweep her hair back in the same swaggering way that Rita had demonstrated not long before, almost as if to show that she'd proven her point. Rita, meanwhile, needed a few moments of nursing her twisted arm before the pain finally subsided. But when she finally turned back to Kim, her face still held a look of angry defiance.
“You think this means you've won, don't you?” she declared as she rose to her feet, her words stopping Kim in her tracks. “Well, this doesn't prove anything! Think about it! There isn't a single thing in the world that I couldn't provide for him! With me, he could have anything he could possibly want. So be honest with yourself…what could you EVER hope to offer him compared to that?!”
At first, Kim didn't respond as she simply closed her eyes and hung her head. But it was only for the briefest of moments before she stood tall and alert once again, walking back to Rita and getting right in her face.
“Did you actually LISTEN to a single word you just said?” she responded, looking straight into Rita's eyes with a deathly serious gaze that also seemed to hold a slight twinge of pity. “Let me tell you something. If you can honestly stand there and say that with a straight face, then I've got news for you…”
“…There is NO WAY you could EVER love him…Because you OBVIOUSLY have NO idea what that means.”
For a moment, Rita could only look at Kim with a face full of confusion. But before she could say anything, the door slid open on the far side of the gymnasium, revealing a silhouette walking into the room. An image that looked almost like…
“Ron…?” Kim uttered softly, a smile crossing her lips as Rufus chirped excitedly.
“Darling…?” Rita chimed in, her eyes still looking for a small glimmer of hope, even as Kim and Rufus could only roll their own eyes in annoyance.
However, what walked into the room was not Ron at all. It was shaped exactly like him, no mistake about it. It was even wearing the exact same clothes. But the metal plating instead of skin made it perfectly clear, to Kim, Rufus and Rita's combined shock, that it was, in fact, a robot. And it wasn't alone. Slowly, one by one, over two dozen identical-shaped robots each made their way into the room, slowly marching towards Kim.
“Oh, you have GOT to be kidding,” Kim blurted out, her face a mixture of anger and disbelief.
… … … …
“It is called the Memory Programmer,” Senior explained to Nora, pointing towards the band on Ron's head. “Courtesy of the fine scientific minds at HenchCo. With this band, a wearer's memories can be copied and stored as data and reprogrammed into any computer or robotic system. It can be anything the wearer's mind retains…from computer knowledge to top secret plans to even…fighting styles.”
“Yes, I was quite impressed by Ron Stoppable's formidable display of power when he rescued Rita back in my home,” Senior continued. “In fact, as he is now, his abilities might rival even those of Kim Possible herself. And with his skills to power my new robot army and my recently launched satellite to command them all from this one location, soon I will have every country in the world bowing to my evil demands.”
“And to think, I might never have come up with this ingenious plan had it not been for your timely interference a few days ago. I truly cannot thank you enough.”
Scowling angrily, Nora charged forward, hoping to do something to free Ron and upset Senior's plans. Unfortunately, she barely made it a few steps before Senior cut her off, holding her at bay with his cane.
“Uh, uh, uh,” he cautioned with a smug grin, “Such behavior is not very ladylike.”
Nora, however, was not about to let herself be held back. With a flick of her wrist, her parasol snapped up, knocking the cane out of Senior's hand. Senior was distracted as the cane went flying, but as he turned back, his eyes went wide as he saw Nora twirling her parasol, switching from hand to hand like a master Chinese swordsman.
“Clearly, you have forgotten who it is that you are addressing,” she remarked with a stern glare as she took a defensive stance. “Did you think I had lost my touch? If anything, my skills have improved since the last time we saw each other.”
Spiraling around on the tip of her parasol, Nora whipped her right foot around to kick in Senior's direction before following up with her left in a second roundhouse kick. Senior was quick enough to back away, but Nora wasn't about to let up, once more twirling her parasol from hand to hand, forcing him further and further back. Until finally, she lunged into Senior with a forward thrust of her parasol, causing him to trip over the wires connected to the band on Ron's head and pulling them free.
A moment later, Ron uttered a few semi-conscious groans, stirring ever-so slightly…until his eyes suddenly snapped open…
… … … …
Back in the gymnasium, Rita had no idea what to do as Kim was suddenly set upon by a legion of “Ron-bots”. For the moment, she was holding her own, but it was clear just in the opening moments that she had more to worry about than just the sheer numbers against her.
“Okay, mental note. These things don't just look like Ron. They FIGHT like him, too.” Kim mused in between groans of effort, dodging one Ron-bot's blows and knocking it back before another one immediately joined the fray, “I think we can firmly list this in the `Bad Sitch' Category.”
Rufus could only nod in agreement, whimpering in fright as he and Kim were cornered against the side wall by the slowly advancing Ron-bots. But just as Kim appeared to have absolutely no idea what to do next, a muffled rumble could be heard on the other side of the wall…followed by another, closer and louder…and then another. Even Rita and the Ron-bots were frozen in their tracks as they looked in the direction the sound had come, with absolutely no idea what was happening.
“Oh…NOW what?” Kim muttered under her breath.
Just then, the far wall of the gymnasium exploded with a roar. A split-second after, a huge slab of metal was sent flying across the room, taking most of the Ron-bots with it as it slammed them into the far wall on the other side, smashing them to rubble. Even the few that remained were sent flying like dust before an angry wind. It took Kim and Rita a moment to recover from the impact of what happened. But there was no question in Kim's mind now as the silhouette stepped into view. There was only one person who could have done THAT.
Kim's smile instantly grew wide and a relieved sigh also managed to escape her lips as Ron stepped out of the dust, his entire body shimmering with its Mystical Monkey Power glow. Even Rita was thrilled to see him. But her excitement was instantly shattered as Ron caught a glimpse of her out of the corner of his eye and turned to her with a fierce glare which actually forced her back a step.
“I'm only going to ask you one time,” he hissed, his voice slowly rising to a full-blown shriek. “Where…is…RUFUS?!?!?!”
Upon seeing the look on Ron's face, Rita could only bite her bottom lip and groan slightly as her eyes nervously darted back and forth. Just then, Kim happened to slink up behind her, flashing a sly grin.
“Oooooooooo, someone's in TROUUU-BLLLLLE,” she taunted before motioning her head to Rufus, who immediately scampered over to Ron and tugged on his pant leg, chattering happily to get his attention.
“Rufus!” Ron cried out joyously, scooping him up and snuggling against his cheek before looking over and seeing Kim. “KP!”
“Ron…,” Kim sighed as they ran over together, hugging each other tightly. For Ron, nothing else in the world seemed to matter at that moment, except holding Kim close to him. But just then…
“Uh…Baby…?” Kim rasped, rapidly tapping Ron on the shoulder. “Not to kill the mood here, butmyribsaregonnagiveoutinaboutfiveseconds…”
“Huh…? WHOA!” Ron blurted out in shock, realizing he was crushing Kim in a Mystical Monkey Powered embrace and instantly tearing himself away.
“Sorry, sorry…! Sorry…sorry…”
Kim needed a few seconds to catch her breath as she held herself up against Ron for support. But once she was done gasping and choking, all she could do was smile with a hollow giggle as she gently took Ron's face in her hands and fluttered a soft kiss past his lips. At that moment, Rufus was dangling from Kim's leg holster, whistling up at them and waving Ron's half-heart pendant around before placing it in Kim's hand.
“Here,” Kim noted softly as she reached around and fastened the necklace back around Ron's neck. “I think you lost something.”
There didn't seem to be a need to say anything more as Kim kept her arms wrapped around Ron's neck and Ron gently placed his hands on Kim's hips. And as they both leaned in, sharing another gentle peck before pressing their foreheads together and looking into each others' eyes with a warm gaze, Rita could only turn away and hang her head. It was at that moment that she finally realized her total and utter defeat at trying to win Ron's heart.
Just then, Ron felt another tap on his shoulder…
“Huh…? What the…?!” he exclaimed as he turned around to see a Ron-bot standing behind him. Surprised at first, Ron suddenly turned curious as he leaned forward. And strangely enough, the Ron-bot did the exact same thing. Instinctively, Ron raised his hand, only to have the Ron-bot perform the same act, like a mirror image.
“Uh, Ron…?” Kim uttered nervously trying to get Ron's attention as the Ron-bot continued to mimic his every motion.
“Whoa…now THIS is cool! I mean, how did they get the mirrors to look like that?” Ron remarked, quite excited until his gaze slightly shifted. “Huh…that's weird. KP, I don't see YOUR reflection anywhere. But that can't be right…unless…oh no!”
“Ron!” Kim called again, louder than before. Instantly, Ron whirled around, but not for the reason she thought.
“Kim, have you been turned into a vampire?!” Ron screamed, checking Kim's neck back and forth for any markings even as the Ron-bot loomed behind him, readying its fist to strike. “I mean, you'd tell me if you got turned into a vampire, right? RIGHT?!”
“RON!” Kim shouted at the top of her lungs and pulling Ron forward as the Ron-bot's fist came down, smashing into the floor where Ron had just been standing.
“WHOA!!! Okay, fun mirrors are NOT supposed to do that!” Ron shrieked, sliding beside Kim who could only hang her head with a heavy sigh.
“Why?” she thought out loud, shrugging her shoulders and turning away as though she was looking at the viewing audience from a TV screen. “Because I love him, that's why.”
But there was no time for sarcasm or explanations as the few Ron-bots who hadn't been destroyed by Ron's entrance had recovered and were moving in to attack once again. Once again, Kim and Ron were managing to stay in one piece as they traded and dodged blows from the Ron-bots, but Ron's confusion and the numbers made it hard for them to gain an advantage. And as they both swept away a blow from an advancing Ron-bot, it also left them open to attack as the Ron-bots lunged forward with an open palm to strike.
At that moment, Kim and Ron each instinctively flinched, only to open their eyes a second later to discover that nothing had happened. Curiously, the Ron-bots in front of them had stopped their attack just inches away from their bodies. But what was REALLY confusing was the fact that the pair of Ron-bots in front of them looked just as perplexed as Kim and Ron did, looking down at their hands as if they expected something to happen. Again, they shoved their hands forward towards Kim and Ron, but again, nothing happened. Two more attempts followed, in rapid succession…Again, nothing. At this point, even the other Ron-bots started looking over their shoulders at their hands, as if they couldn't figure out why something that they seemed so sure would happened wasn't happening.
“Uh, Ron?” Kim whispered in Ron's direction. “I think they're trying to do your little…hand…air…pushy…thing.”
“You can't think of a name for it either? I know, I've REALLY been trying to think of one,” Ron answered with an annoyed eye-roll. “I mean, I'm not saying it has to be REALLY flashy. But just something to give my repertoire a little zip, you know…?”
“Uh, Ron, not the point,” Kim chimed in, trying to nudge Ron's train of thought in the right direction. “Don't you see? These things may know your MOVES, but they DON'T have your POWERS. That means…”
“Oooooooooohhh…” Ron responded with a knowing smile, finally picking up on what Kim was trying to say. A second later, his body flashed with its Mystical Monkey Power glow, instantly regaining the attention of the distracted Ron-bots.
“Ron,” Kim announced with a confident smirk, “Maybe it's time you showed these wannabes how it's REALLY done.”
With a grin of his own, Ron wasn't about to waste a single second, pulling his arms back and slamming them forward before anyone or any-THING else in the room had any time to react. A split-second later, all the was left of the remaining Ron-bots was a smattering of metal and wire bashing through the far wall of the gymnasium, courtesy of Ron's force wave. And as Kim and Ron stared triumphantly at the twisted pile of rubble on the other side of the wall, it seemed as though the crisis was well and truly over.
“Huh, it's too bad, really,” Kim commented jokingly, “They were actually kind of cute.”
“Kim…,” Ron responded, a slight whine in his voice.
“Oh, stop,” Kim answered with a soft kiss to Ron's cheek before draping her arms around his neck. “You know I prefer the real thing.”
… … … …
Meanwhile, Nora continued her battle against Senior, although the outcome was looking more one-sided by the second. Nora's smooth attacks and fluid combinations of kicks and parasol strikes were consistently keeping Senior off balance, stumbling back and forth around the room. Then, with the right opening, Nora leapt up, catching Senior under the jaw with a backwards flip kick which slammed him into the far wall. With victory assured, Nora simply flashed her parasol forward to hold Senior at bay as he struggled to his feet.
“Such a pity you never put forth the effort to properly hone these skills,” she commented, a touch of criticism in her voice. “You always preferred wasting time with your bicycles and skateboards and the rest of your foolish sports hobbies.”
Senior, however, was not about to allow himself to be defeated just yet. Pulling a small remote from his jacket, he simply pressed a button. Suddenly, Nora heard several metallic clangs which drew her attention back to the computer terminal, only to see Rita's gymnasium on the screen, with several compartments opening around the floor and ceiling. Kim, Ron and Rita, meanwhile, could only gaze around the room with a perplexed look before Kim got an idea of what was happening.
“Uh, Rita?” she asked suspiciously. “You didn't happen to let your uncle do any interior decorating on this place, did you?”
“Well…,” Rita's voice trailed off as she looked away shyly and nervously tapped her index fingers together. “He…might have made…one or two…little…suggestions…”
Just then, the ceiling compartments burst open, revealing lines of laser cannons, ready to fire in a heartbeat. Rita gasped in shock as Kim and Ron's bodies were instantly peppered with red dots from the lasers' targeting beams. However, Kim and Ron could only stand there with dull looks on their faces, having seen this kind of thing from Senior far too often to be surprised anymore.
“Self-activating lasers?” Ron remarked dryly.
“Yep,” Kim replied, equally unimpressed.
Rita, having never seen this kind of danger before, could only back away, shuddering in fright. But she barely made it two steps before the floor opened up behind her, causing her to jump away with a yelp of fright. Quite the appropriate reaction as it turned out, since the floor dropped into a shallow pool filled with growling, snapping alligators.
“Oh…that'll be the alligator pit,” Ron announced, still hardly surprised.
“And that can ONLY mean…,” Kim added, sounding almost annoyed as she motioned her hand to the doorways aligning the far wall.
Sure enough, true to Kim's prediction, the doors opened up to unleash the spiraling fury of Senior's Spinning Tops of Doom, ready to grind anything that crossed their path into a fine pulp. Kim and Ron could only hang their heads and sigh at having yet another go-around with Senior's predictable arsenal. Rita, however, surrounded by danger on all sides, could only let out a piercing shriek of unrelenting terror.
“Okay…Ron, you handle the spin cycle, alright? I'll take care of Rita and the light show,” Kim planned out, as Ron responded with a firm nod of agreement. “Break!”
With that, Kim and Ron leaped apart, barely avoiding the wave of laser blasts that slammed into the ground where they had just been standing. Immediately, Ron charged into the Spinning Tops of Doom, his Mystical Monkey Power glow flashing once again. Grabbing one of the tops as he reached it, Ron's fingers actually dug into the steel plating, forcing the top to a grinding halt before bashing it into another top, taking it out of commission as well. Then, without a pause, Ron whirled around and tossed the top in his hands across the room, sending it flying into three others, which smashed them into the walls.
Kim, meanwhile firmly had the lasers' attention, running across the room towards Rita, who could only huddle in fear once she saw the barrage of lasers heading towards her. But she soon let out another yelp of fright as Kim fired her grapple, grabbing Rita's collar and swinging her across the alligator pit before unceremoniously dumping her onto the other side. From there, Kim swung in a wide circle around the lasers as they continued to fire, each trying their best to hit her. Unfortunately for the lasers, however, they were all firing so relentlessly that all they managed to hit was each other, exploding one after another like fireworks. Within seconds, there was only one left, which Kim swung in and kicked away, instantly eliminating its threat.
Clearly, Kim and Ron had the situation in the gymnasium well in hand. But such observations were completely irrelevant to Nora, who could only look on the screen in horror. All she knew at that moment was that her daughter was in terrible danger.
However, such a distraction was exactly what Senior was counting on, opening a compartment beside him which revealed a rocket powered escape pod. Diving inside and peering out at Nora through the window, Senior simply responded with a fluttery wave of amusement before the pod took off. Nora could only scowl in anger at her brother escaping, but at that moment, she hardly had the luxury of worrying about it.
“Lupo!” she shouted as she ran out the door, her manservant wheeling right behind her.
Meanwhile, back in the gym, Kim had long-since dispatched the lasers, leaving Ron to finish off the few remaining Spinning Tops of Doom. A task that he was just in the process of wrapping up as he grabbed onto another one, this time, not only stopping it, but sending it spiraling in the opposite direction. The now-opposing top then slammed into the remaining three behind it a second later, smashing them all to bits. With the last of the traps eliminated, Rufus jumped onto Ron's shoulder and cheered in approval, just as Nora and Lupo entered the room.
“Rita!” she shouted, running towards her and hugging her tightly. “Oh, my beautiful daughter, are you alright?!”
“I'm okay, Mother,” Rita replied softly, hugging Nora back before pulling away and looking at her smiling face with a hopeful gaze. “So…does this mean you are not angry with me anymore?”
“Not a chance,” Nora answered abruptly, her smile instantly dissolving into an acid frown.
Rita hung her head with a slight whine as Kim could only shrug and roll her eyes. Just then, the tone of the Kimmunicator caught everyone's attention.
“What's up, Wade?” Kim immediately responded.
“Uh, Kim? I just thought you might like to know…,” Wade answered nervously, his eyes darting back and forth. “Uh…remember when…Max went up to check on that satellite that Senior launched?”
“Yeeeaaahhh,” Kim replied with an immediately suspicious tone, “What-about-it?”
“Wellllllll…” Wade uttered, wincing as he scratched the back of his head.
… … … …
Even in midday, the remains of Senior's satellite could clearly be seen streaking through the sky like a massive ball of fire. Granted, the event of a satellite falling out of the sky was hardly an uncommon occurrence. In most cases, they simply crashed harmlessly into the ocean. But such was not the case with this particular satellite, which was heading straight and true towards a single island…
More than that, Max, who was actually standing on top of the flaming satellite, seemed completely oblivious to what was happening. With a twisted smile across his face, his free hand was tightly clenched around two streams of magical energy wrapped around the front of the satellite, almost as though he were holding the reins of a team of horses.
“HYAH, MULE! HYAH, HYAH!” he shouted over the top of his lungs, laughing hysterically as he waved his cane over his head like a riding whip. “HYAH! HYAH, HYAH…! HYAAAAAAAH MUUUUULE!”
… … … …
“Okay…we have to leave now,” Kim tried to announce casually, despite her trembling voice and the panic etched across her face.
Ron and the others needed no encouragement to take her seriously as they ran out with Kim as fast as they could. It took them time to reach the outside, but once they did, they all looked up in shock to see Senior's satellite already in view, plummeting towards them at a blinding speed. At that point, the only possible hope of escape was Kim's car, which was what she'd used to transport Nora to the island in the first place. But it had been left parked on the beach. There was no way they would be able to make it in time.
Just then, a huge stream of smoke and glitter came into view, covering the underside of the satellite as it streaked through the sky. And gradually, the satellite began to level off, falling at a much shallower angle than it was before. Now, instead of striking the island, the satellite was positioned to pass harmlessly over it. It seemed that maybe Max knew what he was really doing after all…
But…if that was so…why was he still riding the satellite?
“HYAH, MULE! HYAH! HYAAAAAAAH!” Max continued to shriek with delight as the satellite roared overhead.
Kim only caught the briefest glimpse of Max on the satellite as it shot past, but she lost them both a split-second later as they disappeared past the tree-line. But another second or two later, the satellite slammed into the ocean with a thunderous crash, unleashing a searing explosion of steam. It wasn't hard for the cloud to be seen wafting into the sky from where the other's were standing. And instantly, Kim's mind turned to Max's safety, whirling her head towards Ron with a look of dread before breaking off into a mad dash to her car, with the others right behind her.
The steam from the impact had blanketed the entire shoreline like a dense fog before Kim and the others had driven around to the other side of the island. And as Kim and the others got out and tried to peer through the haze as best they could, it was almost impossible not to fear the worst.
Just then, a wisp of sound echoed in their ears. Something that sounded almost like…laughter. And sure enough, casually strolling into view a moment later, with his cane slung over his shoulder, was Max. Not only was he completely unharmed, he was actually chuckling with an almost childlike glee. And even as Ron and Rufus were pleasantly relieved and Rita and Nora were momentarily stunned, Kim could only roll her eyes. After all, at this point, she and Ron REALLY should have known better.
“Having fun?!” Kim exclaimed, her voice a mixture of sarcasm and disbelief as she as the others ran over to him.
“Actually, yes,” Max replied cheerfully suddenly appearing very thoughtful, “Although I suppose my only regret is that amusement park rides are going to do NOTHING for me after this.”
“Aw, poor baby,” Kim responded cynically before turning back to the aftermath of everything that had happened. “Well, at least everything's okay now. It's just too bad that Senior got away.”
“Well, why is that a big deal?” Ron asked, with Rufus nodding in agreement. “I mean, it's not like we don't know where he's gonna take off to, right? So why don't we just go back to his island and…?”
“Actually, that will not be necessary,” Nora interrupted with a casual smile. “Lupo, if you would be so kind…”
“At once, Señora,” Lupo answered, opening a compartment in his chest to reveal a small view screen. Instantly, the screen flipped on, revealing the unmistakable face of…
“Wade?” Kim blurted out, quite confused.
“I was able to contact your friend through Lupo before we'd found our way back to the gymnasium,” Nora explained before turning her attention back to Wade, “Is it done?”
“Oh, it's done,” Wade answered, “I was able to hack into the escape pod's computer and alter its destination, just like you asked.”
“`Alter' it? To where?” Ron asked, as an equally confused Rufus shrugged his shoulders.
“Well…let's just say he's gone to a big house, alright,” Wade replied before throwing up security footage of a prison onscreen, where Senior's escape pod had crashed outside the gates. “Just…not his.”
“Excellent,” Nora declared, appearing quite satisfied with the outcome as the footage showed Senior's pod being quickly surrounded by prison guards, “Gracias, Señor Wade.”
“De nada, Señora,” Wade answered, “Believe me, it was my pleasure.”
“Well, that's the end of that,” Kim remarked with an amused smile as Senior was pulled from the pod and taken away by the guards. Just then, she felt Ron's arm wrap around her waist and as she looked up into his eyes, she suddenly remembered what all this insanity had been about in the first place. And at that moment, she couldn't help tossing him a warm smile.
“Well, I guess we'd better get home now. What do you say?” she added affectionately, sliding her finger down Ron's cheek as they lingered in the moment for just a second longer.
“Agreed,” Nora replied, turning her attention back to Rita as everyone began to walk back to Kim's car. “And as for YOU, young lady…once we DO arrive home, you and I are going to have a VERY-LONG-TALK.”
“Aw, man…,” Rita blurted out, sounding almost Ron-like in her whine.
“Don't start!” Kim warned sternly.
… … … …
“So…I'm guessing that Señorita Rita Senior WON'T be coming to MCC next term?” Zita speculated with an amused smile as she sat across the booth from Kim and Ron at Bueno Nacho the next day.
“Not as such,” Kim replied. “I think there are still some things her mother needs to educate her on a little bit first.”
“Yeah, I figured,” Zita responded before the beep of her watch caught her attention.
“Oop, I'd better head back if I don't wanna be late for class,” she added as she rose from her seat, but tossing a sly grin in Kim and Ron's direction as she noticed their hands locked together on the table. “Now, be good, you two.”
“Mmm, if not, we'll try to be better,” Kim answered, leaning over and caressing Ron's cheek with a soft peck before guiding his face around with her free hand to place a feathery kiss on his lips.
There didn't seem to be anything more for Zita to say as she rolled her eyes with an amused smile and walked out the door, leaving Kim and Ron to cuddle in their booth. Still, they didn't stay that way for long. A few minutes later, they were out the doors and walking down the block, hand in hand.
“Well, I hope whatever Nora does, she'll be able to straighten Rita out,” Kim remarked out of the blue.
“What's up, Kim?” Ron asked. “You almost sound like you feel sorry for her.”
“Well…I guess I do, now that I think about it,” Kim replied, “I mean, it's not like she really KNEW any better. And Senior DID kind of trick her into doing what she did. And then…”
“…Well, don't get me wrong,” she added as she stopped walking and looked into Ron's eyes with a loving gaze. “I mean, sometimes I like feeling like I'm the only one who gets you. It… makes you feel even MORE special to me…”
“…But…at the same time…it was…kind of nice…to meet someone who saw the same things in you that I do.”
“Yeah?” Ron asked, smiling into Kim's eyes.
“Yeah,” Kim answered as she gazed warmly into Ron's eyes. Then suddenly, she draped her arms around Ron's neck, meeting his lips in a deep kiss before pulling away and flashing him a sly look.
“But you're MINE and I'm KEEPING you.”
“Oh…I think I can live with that,” Ron responded with a loving grin as he and Kim held each other close, sharing another gentle peck before holding hands and walking off again.
Meanwhile, Max was on his way into Bueno Nacho when he noticed Kim and Ron down the block. As they kissed and walked away, he simply responded with a nod of approval. But a moment later, he soon had something else to get his attention as his eyes slowly panned over his shoulder with a smug grin.
Kevin Barkin was flashing a stern look in Max's direction as he peered out from a nearby bush. Dressed in camouflage gear with twigs and branches tied around him, he was bound and determined not to lose sight of Max this time. In fact, all he could think about was how Max had given him the slip so easily, the day before last. For the life of him, Barkin still couldn't figure out how he did it. But this challenge wasn't over yet. If anything, Barkin was even more determined to follow through on his vow to keep Max under his watchful eye. But just then…
“What are we looking at?” a voice cheerfully whispered behind him. A voice that could only belong to…
Impossible! It couldn't be! But as Barkin whirled around, there was no doubting his eyes as he saw Max leaning over beside him, looking him in the face with a wide, toothy grin. But how was that possible? Barkin was watching him the whole time. He'd been at the Bueno Nacho doors and hadn't moved a muscle.
“Hi,” Max announced simply with a fluttery wave.
Instinctively, Barkin flashed his gaze back to the doors, only to gasp in shock upon seeing that Max was no longer there. But how could he POSSIBLY have…? Without a pause, Barkin whirled around in rage, only to see that Max was no longer beside him. In fact, he wasn't ANYWHERE!
Just then, Barkin heard something echo in his ears. It almost sounded like Max's laughter blowing on the wind, taunting his efforts. At that moment, Barkin's entire body trembled in rage as he reared back and roared to the heavens, forcing all the birds in the area to take to the skies in fright. Of course, his bellow was too far away for Kim and Ron to hear as they blissfully kept walking, hand in hand, down the street, their heads softly resting against each other.