Kim Possible Fan Fiction ❯ The Possible Substitution Squad ❯ The Possible Subtitution Squad ( Chapter 1 )
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The Possible Substitution Squad
The sun was just beginning to vanish behind the jagged London skyline, lorded over by Big Ben itself, as a puff of glittering smoked suddenly burst onto an empty London side street. And Ron was quick to wave his arms, swiping away the haze as he stepped into view. With only a couple morning classes at Middleton Community College that day, this was one of the few occasions when he got the chance to meet with Kim after classes instead of what was usually the other way around. Of course, considering where Kim's college life had taken her, going to visit her required some particularly rapid transportation. Of course, when one is rubbing elbows with none other than the reincarnation of the wizard, Merlin, transportation generally is never a serious issue, when the need arises.
“Thanks for the lift, Max,” Ron noted, flashing a quick “thumbs up”.
“You guys okay getting back?” Max asked in passing.
“Yeah, we've got the car. It'll be good,” Ron answered simply.
“Good deal. Alright, see you tomorrow, okay?” Max replied as he stepped back into the twinkling cloud.
Ron gave a last parting wave, while the smoke vanished as quickly as it had appeared, with Max along with it. From there, Ron was strolling along the streets, slowly making his way to a nearby coffee shop that he knew Kim usually went to. It was a popular hangout for students in her university who needed to get off campus for a while or just unwind after their classes were done.
The gentle music was droning through the open room as Ron walked through the doors, providing the perfect atmosphere to the soft, milling voices and the occasional clatter of cups and plates. It only took Ron a minute to spot Kim in the middle of the sea of tables, her back to the door as she skimmed through a book, occasionally taking a sip from her cup. And just laying eyes on her was enough to make Ron's heart skip with excitement. But, first thing's first. If he was going to sit down, he should probably get himself something to drink first.
Just then, he caught another sight from the corner of the counter as he prepared to make his order, taking note of two tall, slender young men leaning against it and eyeing the room intently. With their sly looks and the swaggering way they were carrying themselves, it was obvious that they were not there for relaxing so much as hunting. Particularly, any pretty young girl they considered worthy to hit on. Such sights had become fairly common to Ron as he became more and more familiar with this particular coffee shop. Not to mention the all-too familiar tone of the conversation they were having at that moment.
“Hey, what about the cute blonde on the left,” a member of the pair mumbled over to his pal, gesturing his head towards the table where a pair of girls were sitting just a few feet away.
“Not bad,” his friend agreed with an approving nod before shifting his gaze a few tables to the right. “Oh, but check out the cutie over there. The tanned brunette with the chestnut highlights.”
“Ooooo, VERY nice,” the first one remarked, looking quite impressed.
Ron, however, was nowhere near as enthusiastic. This was a conversation he was getting rather tired of hearing every time he came into the place. Just then, a sly grin crossed his lips as a devious thought suddenly crossed his mind. Moving away from the front, he slowly made his way along the counter, slinking up behind the chuckling pair.
“Hey what about that redhead over in the middle there,” he suggested casually, getting their attention as he motioned over in Kim's direction. “She's hot.”
“Oh, keep on looking pal,” the first one replied, rolling his eyes with complete disinterest. “That one doesn't let ANY man get close.”
“Really?” Ron noted, trying to sound somewhat surprised. “Huh…she doesn't look all that unapproachable to me.”
“Hah! Try saying that to the last poor bloke who tried to hit on her,” the second stranger argued. “She very nearly broke his arm in three places.”
“Hmmmm, sounds interesting,” Ron answered. “Maybe I should go over and say hello.”
“Oh yeah, why don't you just go and do that?” the first stranger remarked jokingly.
“Yeah, it's your funeral, chum,” his friend added as the two burst out laughing.
Ron, however, was unfazed by the pair's ridicule as he confidently stepped forward. Slowly wading through the maze of tables and being careful to keep Kim's back to him so she didn't notice his approach, he gradually made his way up to an adjoining table and quietly slid into the chair behind her, leaning over just behind her head.
“Hi,” his voice sounded behind Kim with a playful tone. “You know, I couldn't help but notice you as soon as I walked in. And I just had to come over and talk to you. I don't know…would you like something to drink, maybe? My treat.”
“Oh!” Kim exclaimed, getting in on the act as she calmly set her book down, shifting her eyes over her shoulder and flashing a warm smile. “Well…you know I really shouldn't. My boyfriend should be getting here any minute now.”
“Really?” Ron responded with an affectionate grin of his own. “Well, he can't be much of a boyfriend if he's leaving a total hottie like you just sitting here all alone.”
“Oh, I don't know. I like to think he treats me right,” Kim answered back, dreamily tracing circles in the tablecloth with her finger. “Besides, there is one thing he does for me that I find completely irresistible.”
“Oh? And what might that be?” Ron asked, leaning in closer and continuing to play along as Kim turned around in her chair, looking deeply into his eyes with a loving grin.
“Whenever he kisses me…,” she answered seductively, whispering every word onto Ron's lips as she spoke, “…I-absolutely-MELT.”
“Yeah?” Ron asked, unable to hide his smile.
“Yeah,” Kim answered, her eyes never wavering from his as she slowly nodded.
“Well,” Ron went on to say as he slowly leaned in closer, “Would it be…kinda like this?”
The two strangers that Ron had left at the counter couldn't possibly have been more shocked as Ron's lips softly brushed against Kim's before completely locking together in a long, deep kiss. But while the stunned pair could only look at each other with wide eyes and hanging jaws, Kim and Ron, however, couldn't have been any less interested in what anyone else thought as they let themselves be carried away by the moment. Finally, after what felt like minutes pass by, their lips finally parted and their eyes once again fixed back onto each other and they pressed their foreheads together and simply smiled.
“Oh, VERY good,” Kim purred, still sticking with the routine. “You know…I never told him this…but that night…at our Junior Prom…when we kissed…”
“…I knew I never wanted to kiss anybody else.”
At this point, the act was over as once again, Kim look at Ron with unflinching eyes and a loving grin, showing that she meant every word she said. Not that she had to as Ron smiled back, showing Kim how unbelievably happy he was just to be sharing this moment with her.
“That was a REALLY great kiss, wasn't it?” he had to admit with a playful nod.
“Mmmm…I know I haven't been the same,” Kim replied as the two of them slowly started leaning in again, their lips just millimeters away…
Just then, a familiar jingle of beeps cut into their ears, bringing the moment to a screeching halt.
“Oh no…PLEASE let this be a mistake…,” Kim groaned, hanging her head with Ron before raising the Kimmunicator up to her face. “What do you want, Wade?”
“Sorry Kim, but we just got an emergency call from Nakasumi-san in Japan,” Wade answered regretfully. “One of his factories has just been invaded. They're suspecting industrial sabotage.”
“Okay, we're on it,” Kim replied after rolling her eyes with a heavy sigh. “Let's go, Ron.”
Ron could only slump his shoulders in submission before rising from his seat and following Kim to the door. But on the way out, he chanced to pass by the two young men he'd been talking to earlier, who were still lost in shock over the kiss they had just seen him share with Kim not moments before.
“Whoa, whoa, mate, hold up!” the first one exclaimed, getting Ron's attention as Kim headed outside. “Listen, we've gotta know…how on earth did you DO that?”
“Yeah,” the second stranger chimed in.
“Well, I don't like to brag…,” Ron answered with a shrug, sounding quite smug at first as he shined his fingernails onto his shirt. But suddenly, his looked turned quite apprehensive, his voice lowering to a dull murmur.
“No, seriously, I…REALLY…don't like to brag because, uh…she-can-HURT-me.”
“Come ON!” Kim called out, coming back inside to dragging Ron off by his shirt. And as they disappeared out the door, the two strangers were left still looking at each other in complete disbelief at what they saw.
… … … …
“You know, I have to say, if you're a Japanese competitor out to sabotage a rival company, you'd think you'd be just a little less obvious about it and NOT hire ninjas for the job,” Kim had to say, as she sat beside an equally frustrated Ron and Rufus on Nakasumi's jet as it flew them home. “I mean, seriously, is showing just a little imagination through outsourcing really too much to ask?”
“No kidding. Or at LEAST shell out the cash for some qualified professionals. I mean come on, a couple of first-year Yamanouchi rookies could've taken those guys on,” Ron added before turning to Max, who was sitting across the aisle, calmly sipping his tea. “And no offence to our ride, but why do they need to fly us home? Couldn't you have just `poof-ed' us back or something?”
“Are you nuts? When am I going to get another chance to fly on a corporate jet?” Max replied, leaning back and propping his feet up on the built-in foot rest before pointing his thumb to Naksumi's office at the rear of the plane and lowering his voice to a whisper. “Besides…I love this dude.”
“Uuuh-hhhh,” Kim groaned as she, Ron and Rufus hung their heads.
Max, however, appeared to be thoroughly enjoying the luxury experience he was having. However, the moment quickly became all-too fleeting as Nakasumi entered the compartment from his office, with Ms. Kyoko right behind him.
“Ms. Possible, Nakasumi-san wishes to inform you that we will be flying over Middleton in just a few minutes time,” Ms. Kyoko announced in her usual helpful demeanor. “Unless of course, you wish for us to land…”
“Oh…no, no, we'll be fine,” Kim quickly dismissed, rising from her seat. “We'd better gear up.”
“As you wish,” Ms. Kyoko consented as Kim and Ron got their parachutes and helmets ready. “Again, on behalf of the Nakasumi Corporation, we thank you greatly for your assistance.”
A quick parting followed as Kim and Ron exchanged a respectful bow with Ms. Kyoko and then, towards, Nakasumi. Max quickly followed suit, but after bowing low to Nakasumi, he quickly surprised everyone as he dropped to one knee, leaning in and tenderly kissing Ms. Kyoko's hand.
“It was truly an honor to meet you, Ms. Kyoko,” he remarked quietly, looking up at her with a gentle smile as he softly held her hand.
Kim and Ron didn't know what to think, looking at each other, perplexed, as Ms. Kyoko responded with a shy giggle. But moments later, they were leaping out of the plane and plummeting to earth. Max, with no parachute, was simply falling backward out of the plane, his arms spread with a howl of wild laughter. Ms. Kyoko meanwhile, found herself staring out the window in the direction they had just leapt, a warm smile coming to her lips.
“Yes,” Nakasumi replied simply, joining her gaze out the window to the earth below. “I like him, too.”
Meanwhile, Kim and Ron had already pulled their chutes and were beginning their slow descent toward home. Only a few seconds later, Max caught up with them, matching their falling speed with a distinct layer of magical glitter underneath him. Laying back on the twinkling mass with his hands behind his head, he looked as though he were swaying back and forth in an invisible hammock as he slowly drifted between them.
“Subtle much?!” Kim called over to Max, who simply remained perfectly relaxed with a smile that was practically beaming. “Just what was THAT about up there?!”
“We were both looking at the same woman, right?! You can ask me that question?!” Max answered straightforwardly to Kim's rolling eyes before pulling a Japanese newspaper from inside his jacket. “And speaking of pearls of the Orient, I really should be taking this opportunity to get an early jump on the Tokyo Markets, see how my stocks are doing!”
“Wait…wait a minute…stocks?!” Ron had to ask as Rufus looked on with a bewildered stare. “You own stocks?!”
“What?! You don't think I can afford that place of mine on a college salary, do you?!” Max replied with a shrug before pulling a cup of tea out from behind his back and taking a sip as he calmly perused the pages.
Kim, meanwhile, didn't have the energy or the patience to question anything at that point. All she seemed able to do was slump her head with a sigh and continued the rest of their parachute drop in silence.
… … … …
Tired and frustrated, Kim couldn't even find the strength to unfasten her parachute after she landed in the back yard of the Possible home. Instead, she simply trudged inside, dragging the mass of line and fabric behind her. As she walked into the living room, she chanced to notice her father James sitting on one of the chairs, calmly reading his newspaper. Of course, for Kim, this was of little relevance, making it as far as the couch before flopping onto one of the pillows with a groan, face first.
“Uh-oh, I know that sound,” James noted, not bothering to lift his head up from his paper. “Bad date, Kimmie-cub?”
“I wouldn't know. It didn't get that far,” Kim replied dully, the combination of the pillow and her hair muffling her voice just as her mother, Anne, walked in, bundling up the parachute Kim had let drag behind her.
“Oh Sweetie, not again,” she uttered, understanding the situation immediately as she gathered up the last of Kim's parachute and sat down beside her. “This is getting to be a problem.”
“You're telling me?” Kim answered before sitting up with a loud huff. “This is how it's been for the last two months. Ron and I try to get some alone time together and just then, out of nowhere, `BAM!' some sitch comes up. And it just gets so…I just want ONE night with my guy, you know? Am I really asking that much?”
“Hmm, sounds to me like what you really need is one night with-OUT `sitches',” James remarked in his usual, plain-spoken way.
“I'm all for that,” Kim stated with a shrug. “But how exactly is that going to happen?”
“Well, you know…,” Anne started to suggest, sounding almost hesitant as she rolled her eyes. “You could just always…forget about sitches for one night.”
“Wait a minute…you're saying ignore the site?” Kim exclaimed, surprised to hear her mother even mention such a thing. “Mom, I can't do that.”
“Why not?” Anne argued with a shrug. “If Kim Possible can do anything, I'm pretty sure that includes taking a day off every once in a while.”
“I have to say, it sounds like a plan to me,” James added, nodding in agreement.
“Yeah…but…” Kim trailed off, still feeling unsure.
“Honey, listen. No one is prouder of what you do than we are, believe me,” Anne noted softly, putting her hand on Kim's shoulder and looking into her eyes. “But you have a whole life to live. Do you really want this to start being all there is to you?”
“You know, the world HAS been around for a few billion years before Kim Possible came along,” James stated with an encouraging grin. “Somehow, I don't think it's going to blow up if she's not on call for one whole night.”
Kim could only let out a heavy sigh as she stared out into space thoughtfully. It was so hard to know what to do at that moment. Over the years, she'd gotten so used to springing into action at a moment's notice, with no questions asked. Still, as she sat there on the living room couch, she had to admit…her parents were making some pretty good points.
… … … …
“Okay, so that's the deal,” Kim stated through the Kimmunicator as she sat up in her room. “Next Friday, It's going to be just me and Ron. We're going to have a date. It's going to be fun. It's going to be romantic. And most importantly, it's not going to have any missions mucking it up. I don't care what comes up on the site at all that day. Whatever it is, I don't want to hear it.”
“Well…okay,” Wade replied, sounding not quite as sure of this course of action. “But…are you absolutely sure you want to do that? It's just, well…there are quite a few people out there who've kind of gotten used to you doing what you do.”
For a moment, Kim felt a slight twinge of doubt. But as she looked over and caught a glimpse of her reflection in her bedroom mirror, she found herself letting out a heavy sigh.
“It is what I do,” she answered before smiling back at her reflection with a renewed confidence in her decision. “But it's not my life…”
“…For 24 hours…I going to just let Kim be Kim.”
… … … …
One week later…
In the bedroom of her apartment condominium, Dr. Vivian Frances Porter was reclining on the bed, her legs crossed with puffy lavender slippers on her feet and a skimpy satin robe loosely clinging to her curvaceous body. On the screen of the laptop placed beside her was a sequence of equations and design images, making her quite lost in thought. Just then, her eyes suddenly lit up with a glimmer of hope.
“Hang on, what if I just…” she thought out loud, rattling some quick numbers off on her keyboard before a look of pure joy splashed across her face. “…that's it…THAT'S IT!! Oliver!”
“Viv, do you want orange juice or coffee today? Because I've got…,” Oliver, Vivian's android “boyfriend” asked, peeking his head in the door just as she called, wearing a chef's hat and an apron that read `Kiss the Cook'. “Aw Viv, would you look at yourself? You're not even dressed yet and you have to be at work in two hours.”
“I'll get there,” Vivan protested as she jumped out of bed and ran over to Oliver, who was already rummaging around for something she could wear. “But that's not important now. Oliver, listen…I got it.”
“Got what?” Oliver asked, sticking his head into her closet.
“The project!” Vivian exclaimed with a whisper, her voice growing louder and more excited with each passing word. “I finally, FINALLY figured it out! I got it!”
“Oh, the famous `project?'” Oliver asked with a hint of cynicism. “The same project that's `consumed your every waking moment and haunted your dreams at night'? That project?”
“Yes! I finally figured out what was going wrong with it and now I can finish it! All I need are a couple more lines of equations and it's done!” Vivian answered, hugging her body and squealing with delight.
“Good,” Oliver replied with a condescending smile before Vivian got a tube top and one of her mini skirts thrown into her face. “That means you can put some clothes on and come eat breakfast now.”
“Aw, Oliver…,” Vivian whined.
“Viv, don't start,” Oliver argued. “Come on, you've been working on that project for two years now. I'm pretty sure it can wait another 20 minutes.”
“Oh, alright…,” Vivian muttered, pouting as she prepared to change while Oliver lumbered back to the kitchen.
A couple of minutes later, Vivian was walking into the kitchen, dressed, and finally looking ready to start her day. And Oliver was quick to respond to her arrival, pulling out a chair for her to sit on and placing a napkin in her lap before pushing her up to the table.
“Now don't forget, the big wigs are giving you an evaluation at the Space Center today, so putting on your professional face might be a way to go,” Oliver suggested, whipping back and forth from the stove to the table to the fridge and back again with Vivian's breakfast. “Also, you've got that youth robotics club meeting tonight. You're not going to have time to get back here to eat, so I threw in another extra meal that you can just microwave and go, okay?”
“Aw, thanks, Oliver,” Vivian answered, truly touched as she leaned over and softly kissed his cheek. “I really don't know what I'd do without you.”
“I know,” Oliver replied with a slight grin, drawing an amused giggle out of Vivian. But just as she was about to start eating, the doorbell suddenly sounded.
“Who's that?” Oliver asked curiously, turning to Vivian, who could only shrug in response. “You just start eating, I'll check it out.”
Reaching the door, Oliver stared out through the peephole, but strangely enough, all he saw was darkness. Unexpected to be sure, considering that the hallway leading to the apartment was always so brightly lit. But Oliver was sure he could see what almost looked like three figures standing behind the door. Pensively, he opened the door just far enough for the door chain to stop it and peered out.
“Hello?” he inquired, staring into the shadowy hallway, again receiving no reply from the three figures on the other side. But just as he was beginning to wonder what was going on, three pairs of glowing red eyes instantly split through the darkness.
… … … …
It was early afternoon as Ron was making his way up the walk to Kim's house. He and Kim had spent the better part of the last week spending their free time to plan for their upcoming date and Ron knew they had a lot to look forward to that evening. But at that moment, his mind was squarely focused on other matters.
“Okay, so you're sure Rufus has enough bedding, right?” he asked nervously into his cell phone. And you got my expanded `Care of Rufus Guide' with the 35 additional rules for overnight stays?”
“Ron, calm down,” Wade answered. “It's just until tomorrow morning. He'll be fine. Besides, you've got a date to focus on. If you want something to worry about, why don't you try that?”
“Okay…okay, I'm shutting my phone off now,” Ron stated, taking a few deep breaths to try and relax himself. “Okay, be good, Rufus. See you tomorrow morning, okay buddy?”
“Mmm…Bye!” Rufus chirped into the phone just before Ron hung up and turned off his phone.
With that matter behind him, Ron turned back to the front door of Kim's house. Steadying himself for the night ahead, he reached out and rang the doorbell, which was promptly answered by Kim's parents.
“Oh, hey Drs. P,” Ron greeted innocently. “Is Kim ready yet?”
“She's just finishing up, Ron. She should be down any second now,” Anne answered in her usual sweet, welcoming demeanor, although James appeared to be rather unsure.
“Uh, Ronald…is that what you're going to be wearing?” he asked, taking note of the brown leather bomber-style jacket that Ron was wearing, along with the cargo pants. His shirt and shoes were nice, but the top two buttons of his shirt were unfastened and there wasn't a tie to be seen.
“Well…yeah,” Ron replied with a shrug, not exactly sure what the problem was. “Me and Kim, we were going for a kind of semi-formal thing today. Why? Is something wrong?”
“No, no, nothing wrong.” Anne responded quickly before flashing a grin over her shoulder to the figure coming down the stairs. “It's just…I don't think one of you got the memo.”
“Huh?” Ron wondered as he walked in the door. But as he looked over towards the stairs, he felt the wind getting knocked out of him at the sight that greeted his eyes.
Standing at the foot of the stairs was Kim, practically glowing with a warm smile in Ron's direction. But it was her outfit which had clearly captivated all of Ron's attention at that moment. She was wearing a creamy white, backless mini dress, hugging every curve of her body like a second skin to fasten up around the back of her neck. Her long evening gloves were also white, as were the open-toed stiletto shoes with the spaghetti straps wrapping halfway up her calves, which were perfectly accentuated with the light colored nylons she was wearing. And on top of that, a white silk sash came around from behind her, draped ever-so delicately over her forearms. At that moment, it didn't seem possible for Kim to be more radiant than she looked at that moment.
“…whoa…” Ron could only breathe in response, clearly not prepared for what he was seeing right then.
“I know, I went a little overboard,” Kim admitted, shifting her head back and forth with a bashful grin. “But…I couldn't help it. I was actually going to save this outfit for something really special, but something just told me tonight was going to be good enough. So…do you like it?”
“Uuuuuuuhhhhh…uuuuuuuhhhhh…,” was all a stunned Ron seemed able to shudder, drawing an amused giggle from Kim as she walked over to him, placing her hands on his chest and grazing a feathery kiss across his lips.
“I'll take that as a `yes',” she cooed lovingly before putting her arm in his and tossing her parents one quick glance over her shoulder.
“Okay, we're heading out. Don't wait up,” she announced with a playful grin before zipping out the door and slamming it behind them.
… … … …
Back in Wade's room, Rufus seemed to be having the time of his life. Balanced on a tiny surfboard, he giggled and chattered with delight as he slid back and forth on a constantly flowing stream of water, kept contained and rotating within a small, watertight dispenser. Flipping off the board and onto the desk, he was quick to give Wade a quick “thumbs up” for the experience.
“Glad you like the mini-wave pool, Rufus,” Wade replied. “Granted, it's just a scale model prototype right now. I'm still trying to figure out a way to get a full human-size unit going. The problem is getting the water to run at a strong enough flow without…”
Before Wade could finish his thought, however, an alarming series of beeps caught his attention. Sliding his chair back to his computer terminal, he quickly turned to a blackened screen that he had purposely shut off at the beginning of the day and switched it on again. After all, he knew that sound could only mean one thing…
“Whoa, emergency hit on the site,” he exclaimed, quickly scanning to the emergency section and looking at the latest entry, his eyes instantly widening. “Oh man, Dr. Vivian Porter's gone missing? We're talking a major red flag here. If even half of what she knows ever ended up in the wrong hands…I've gotta call…!”
It was at that moment that Wade caught a glimpse of Rufus, just out of the corner of his eye. Turning to see Rufus staring at him with a pair of innocent, wide-eyed blinks, Wade instantly snapped out of his panic, remembering the reason he'd shut that screen off in the first place.
“No…no, I can't. I promised Kim I wouldn't,” he thought out loud, taking a moment to center himself. “But what else can I do? I mean, if she's really been kidnapped…”
“…wait a minute,” he paused, feeling a flash of inspiration. “I can call Global Justice. Yeah, that's the way to go. After all, I'm pretty sure we've racked up one or two favors we can call in.”
Rattling off on his keyboard as fast as his fingers could type while Rufus wiped his brow in relief, Wade quickly made his way to the Global Justice communications network. But as soon as he started trying to get through, he suddenly found his message mysteriously blocked by a system of firewalls.
“Oh no, don't tell me! They've changed their access codes!” he shouted, both he and Rufus feeling an onset of panic rushing in again. “Has it been two weeks already?! The last time I lost track, it took me almost two days to crack their new ciphers! Now what do we…?!”
“…hang on…I've got it!” he rejoiced, feeling encouraged again. “Oh yeah, this is perfect. We may not be able to call KIM to handle this. But I might be able to wrangle up a list of names that might be almost as good.”
Feeling curious, Rufus scampered over to see exactly what kind of scheme Wade was hatching. But as he looked at the images on the screen, a wide-eyed look wiped across his face and he found his glance turning back over to Wade. And even as Wade grinned in anticipation, Rufus couldn't help but wonder exactly what in the world he thought he was trying to do.
… … … …
The shimmering skyline of Paris seemed quite at home against the twinkling blanket of stars in the night sky, cementing its reputation as “the city of light”. But for Kim and Ron, the scenery was merely a backdrop to set the stage for their personal event. Sitting side by side on the outdoor patio of a French restaurant, with a perfect view of the Eiffel Tower, neither one of them had any complaints about how their night was going so far.
“This is nice. I'm glad we decided to come here first,” Kim stated as she and Ron each flipped through a menu. “Paris for appetizers, Italy for entrees and Switzerland for dessert…talk about a three-course meal. So…have you decided what you want yet?”
“I'm not sure. You know French was never really my best subject,” Ron answered, looking at the menu from all angles before a glimpse of Kim caught his eye and he found himself turning to her with a warm smile. “You know…I wonder if I might be able to get away with ordering something that's not necessarily on the menu.”
“Oh really?” Kim asked, picking up on Ron's train of thought just by the look on his face and responding with an affectionate grin of her own. “And just what might that be?”
“Oh, you know…something sweet,” Ron replied with a suggestive tone, slowly leaning in closer to Kim, “And very, VERY savory.”
“Ooooohhhhhh,” Kim cooed lovingly, tickling Ron under his chin even as a hollow giggle escaped her lips. “You are just so adorable when you try using those cheesy lines.”
“Yeah, well…it's not like I actually need them to work, right?” Ron responded while he and Kim took a moment to gently nuzzle each other's noses.
“True,” Kim agreed. “But you ARE getting better. For the record, if we weren't already together, that last one almost might have worked on me…”
Of course, “almost” was more than good enough for Ron, given the circumstances. And a moment later was all it took for him and Kim to lean in together and begin savoring a series of soft, deep kisses. Within seconds, their dinner plans instantly faded into the back of their minds. They didn't even notice the tall figure suddenly appear behind them.
“Excusez-moi, Madame,” the voice behind them sounded with a French accent so heavy, it sounded almost comically fake, “`Ave yu de-sai-ded wot yu wuud lak tu `ave for de-nair?”
“Mmm…not yet,” Kim murmured, in between kisses, still lost in the moment. “Just give us another five…maybe ten…wait a minute.”
Kim's final words were muffled, her lips still pressed against Ron's. But even in her almost trance-like state, she could tell that something was slightly amiss about their “waiter”. Even in spite of that cheap French accent, she knew whose voice that was and instantly pulled herself away from Ron.
Ron, meanwhile, was just snapped back to reality himself as Kim put a stop to the moment. All he could see was the annoyed frown on Kim's face and that didn't provide him with any answers, either. It wasn't until Kim finally spoke that the situation began to dawn on him.
“What's the big idea, Max?”
“Huh…? WHOA!!!” Ron's confusion instantly gave way to shock as he looked up to see Max towering over them, a hand over his eyes and a ridiculous toothy grin across his lips.
“I wasn't looking, I swear,” Max announced in a tone that was every bit as cheesy as his smile.
“Uh-huh, and you're here, because…?” Kim asked, a stern look still on her face.
“Just wanted to see how long it would take you to notice,” Max answered, sounding quite amused with himself. “Relax, this third wheel's just passing through. There's someplace I need to be anyway.”
“Like where?” Ron felt the need to ask.
“Oh, nothing you need to worry about, I'm sure,” Max replied simply as he was about to turn and walk off.
“Someone had better hope not,” Kim responded, a slightly threatening tone in her voice.
“Well actually, if it helps, there is one thing you MIGHT want to know,” Max noted, pausing just a few steps away.
“Which is…?” Kim asked, sounding more impatient by the moment as Max zipped back, slinking in between her and Ron.
“You absolutely have to order the fondue here,” he recommended quietly, his voice shrinking to a whisper. “It's TER-RIFIC!”
With that, Max was twirling his cane and snapping it over his shoulder as he walked off down the street, whistling away as Kim and Ron looked on. Ron could only look on in a perplexed state while Kim simply shook her head in aggravation. But as their focus slowly drifted back to each other, the brief interruption instantly faded away as they gently pressed their foreheads together, their fingers intertwining as their hands instinctively found each other.
… … … …
“So, get me from A to B on this. You're asking us for help, why?” Monique asked, sitting in the Middleton Mall food court with Wade and Rufus, plus Felix Renton and Zita Flores. “Isn't this kind of thing more of a `Kim' setup?”
“Kim's…indisposed right now,” Wade answered, somewhat nervously as Rufus simply tossed him a worried glance. “Look guys, I normally wouldn't do something like this, but when someone like Vivian Porter goes missing, that's kind of a big deal. Someone's got to go looking for her.”
“But, why us?” Felix had to ask.
“Felix and Monique kinda have a point, Wade,” Zita nervously had to agree. “I mean, sure, we've all helped out once or twice, but it was always Kim running the show. We can't just go and jump into center stage like that. I mean, what if we run into…?”
“Guys, relax. You'd still just be helping,” Wade interrupted, trying to sound reassuring. “Nobody's asking you to take anyone on. We're just looking. Okay, how does this sound? If at ANY point, it looks like we're in over our heads, I promise, Kim's the first one I'll call. Does that sound okay to you guys?”
Monique, Felix and Zita could only look at each other, unsure of exactly what answer to give. And Wade found himself growing more and more concerned with each passing second he wasn't getting an answer. But just then, after what seemed an eternity of waiting, they finally turned their attention back to him.
“So…you got a plan or what?” Monique asked simply, causing Wade to breathe a huge sigh of relief.
“Well, what I was thinking of doing was…Rufus and I could go and check out where she lives, see if we find anything there,” Wade explained. “You guys could probably check out the Robot Rumble club where she hangs out and see if anyone there has heard anything.”
“Uh, Wade…you do know that the Rumble is for members only, right?” Felix questioned. “I mean, I'm taking robotics at Upperton University and even I'm not in yet. How are we supposed to get in there?”
“Actually, I've been doing some thinking about that,” Wade replied, “It turns out that Vivian has been donating her time to running an inner city robotics club and…Monique, this is where we'll need you to come in…”
Rufus merely sat on the table as Wade continued to outline his plan. Unfortunately, he didn't appear to be anywhere near as enthusiastic or confident. All he seemed to do was look on with a troubled gaze and make worried whimpers in the background.
… … … …
“Okay, I'm coming up on her apartment now,” Wade announced through the KP communication system as he made his way down the hallway. “How are you guys doing?”
“Well, we're almost there and we're dressed for the part,” Zita reported, noting the “ghetto” clothes Monique had selected for them and Felix. The basic look consisted of tank tops and bandannas for Zita and Monique, sunglasses, a ball cap and a heavy sports jersey for Felix and all three of them wearing baggy pants that were at least three sizes too big for them.
“Gotta say, as design goes, it may not be high end, but at least it pulls off what we're going for,” Monique commented. “Now we just have to get inside this place.”
“I-DEN-TI-FI-CA-TION NOT RE-COG-NIZED!” the cold mechanical voice of the Robot Rumble security system analyzed, shining its light down on Felix.
“What?! You trippin'?!” Felix protested, trying to get into character. “Now listen up, Homes! We're in Viv's crew, you feelin' me?! She been jawin' for weeks, `bout how we s'posed to come on down here and watch her and the `O' man do their thing! And you gon' dis `em like that by puttin' us out on the street?!”
“What is going on over there?” Wade had to ask, having heard all the commotion on his end.
“Felix is trying to get down with the street,” Monique answered, not looking particularly impressed as Felix continued carrying on in the background. “It might be funny if it weren't so sad to watch.”
Monique's comment immediately drew a stern look from Zita, who was quick to come to her boyfriend's defense. But it wasn't about to change Monique's assessment of the situation, as she simply responded with a deadpan expression on her face.
“I'm sorry, Zita. But it's true.”
“I know it,” Zita sighed in agreement, forced to do little else as she and Monique turned their attention back to Felix, trying their best to feel as little embarrassment as possible by his caterwauling.
“This is totally whack, yo!!”
“Okay, well, I'm going to start looking around here,” Wade stated, making his way to Vivian's door. “Just let me know if you guys get inside, okay?”
Cutting the transmission just so he and Rufus didn't have to hear any more of Felix's rants, Wade reached up and knocked on the door. Not surprisingly, there was no answer. Pensively, Wade grabbed the knob and turned it, pushing the door open, only to find it surprisingly unlocked.
“Uh oh, that can't be good,” Wade noted, drawing a worried whimper from Rufus. “Hello?”
Cautiously, Wade made his way inside. Walking past the living room, nothing appeared at all out of the ordinary. But suddenly, as he turned his direction into the kitchen, his calm was soon shattered as his eyes went wide with shock.
Oliver's massive frame lay sprawled out on the kitchen floor, his chest plate ripped open and something pulled from inside. On the other side of the table was what appeared to be Vivian's breakfast, seemingly untouched, but for only two bites taken out of a piece of toast and an overturned bowl of cereal.
“Oliver!” Wade exclaimed as he ran over to the downed android. Examining the damaged area, he immediately picked up what had been pulled out of Oliver's chest.
“I…think it's his power cell. And it looks like someone's crushed it…with their BARE HANDS,” Wade deduced, trying not to sound half as panicked as he felt, even as he turned to Rufus who was chattering with fear and dread.
“You know, in retrospect…I'm starting to think this probably wasn't such a good idea.”
… … … …
“What happened? How did you talk me into this?” Ron asked dryly as an amusement park attendant calmly lowered the shoulder harness of his chair.
“Oh Ron, would you relax?” Kim argued, giving no heed at all to the enormous vertical bungee slingshot they were being strapped into. “This is going to be fun. Come on, we jump out of planes all the time but THIS worries you?”
“Uh-huh, yeah, well, jumping out of planes is a little different when you've got something like…oh, I don't know…a parachute?!” Ron snapped back. “Not exactly something I'm seeing on this thing.”
“Ron, it's okay. Trust me, everything's going to be fine,” Kim assured, reaching over and taking Ron's hand, focusing his attention on her as her voice became softer and soothing. “Hey…do you believe me?”
Ron still wasn't sure what kind of response to give, even with Kim's gentle eyes looking into his. But he soon had something else to occupy his mind as Kim leaned in and met his lips in a slow, deep kiss. With each passing second, as the kiss continued, Ron could feel his insecurities being stripped away and replaced with just the pure, unrelenting enjoyment of the experience. Finally, after what felt like a lifetime, their lips finally parted and Kim looked into his eyes with a loving smile.
“There…feel better now?” she asked softly, which only drew a string of incoherent murmurs from Ron. Kim, however, chose to take that as a “yes”.
“Mmmm, good,” she cooed tenderly on his lips before turning her attention to the attendants manning the controls. “HIT IT!”
“What the…! WAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHH!” Ron shrieked with panic as the release was triggered and the metal frame they were seated and strapped in catapulted into the sky, with Kim giggling and whooping all the way.
Meanwhile, elsewhere in the park, far from the ride Kim and Ron were on, a second pair was making their presence known on the midway as Dr. Drakken and Shego were making their way through the various games. At that moment, Drakken was playing one of the skee ball games and to the amazement of the game caller, he was doing magnificently. He'd already played two games and had gotten perfect scores on both of them.
It was the final ball of his third game and once again, he was playing flawlessly. What no one seemed to notice, though, was that as Drakken appeared to be holding the ball in his hand, the ball was actually being gripped by one of his tiny mutant vines that had run it's way through his sleeve and out through his glove. Drakken was simply performing the required arm motion so it would look like he was throwing the ball himself. And sure enough, as Drakken released his arm forward, the vine released the ball, rolling it straight and true and sending the ball sailing into the top point target, earning Drakken another perfect score.
“Good boy. Good boy,” he cooed dotingly, stepping away from the handler's view while Shego could only roll her eyes in annoyance. “There, you see, Shego? I told you this would be good dexterity practice for them. What do you have to say to that?”
“Yeah, congratulations, Dr. D. You just proved that a dumb weed can do something better than you can,” Shego responded in her usual snide way, although her words caused the vine peeking out of Drakken's sleeve to droop, almost sadly.
“Oh, now see what you've gone and done?! You've given the poor thing a complex!” Drakken scolded her before turning back to his vine, gently petting it. “There, there, she doesn't know what she's talking about, does she? Nooooo.”
“Oh, for crying out…,” Shego muttered in frustration.
“That's right, you're feeling better now,” Drakken continued before turning his attention back to Shego. “And someone else is going to start being nice to you, too. That is, if she wants to go home with a big prize today…RIGHT?”
“Uuhhh, you've got to be kidding…” Shego grumbled, turning away as her voice trailed off.
“What was that? We didn't hear you,” Drakken shot back sternly, moving his hand closer as the vine slithered just slightly over Shego's shoulder, like a pet waiting for attention.
At first, Shego mumbled something that couldn't quite be made out. But a moment later, she looked over her shoulder at the vine, which was still regarding her with curiosity. And after a few more seconds, she reached over and gave it a couple of short pats, but only turned her head slightly as she spoke.
“Give me the big green bulldog and shut up.”
… … … …
Before long, Kim and Ron were back down to earth and walking, arm-in-arm, down the packed midway. Kim was still giddy, coming down from the thrill of the slingshot ride. However, Ron was far less enthusiastic, scowling and grumbling as this went.
“Oh, would you stop it, already?” Kim teased, tracing her finger in little circles on Ron's chest. “Just admit it. You…had…fun.”
“Well…maybe…a little bit,” Ron mumbled under his breath, rolling his eyes. “…still a dirty trick…”
“Oooooooohhhhh, my poor guy…I'm sorry,” Kim cooed with a pout-y voice as she started trailing slow, delicate kisses along his cheek. “Really, I am. Forgive me…please…pleeeeeeeeeease?”
“Weeeeeeellll…,” Ron pretended to answer thoughtfully, a warm smile coming to his lips until a reality slowly began to dawn on him. “Aw, man…I don't believe it! You just did it again!”
“That's because you like it, Baby,” Kim replied with a giggle as she tickled Ron under his chin. “That's why it works.”
Further down the midway, walking in the opposite direction, Dr. Drakken and Shego were both loaded down with Drakken's bounty of prizes for the evening. Unfortunately, having to carry three giant stuffed animals each made for an awkward burden to bear. Especially since their field of vision was completely blocked.
“Shego…a little help,” Drakken mumbled, the pile of plush novelties muffling his voice. “I can't see where I'm going.”
“Not my problem,” Shego answered. “You're the one who couldn't quit while you were ahead. You're lucky I'm even carrying any of these for you.”
“Well, at least one of those is yours. In fact, aren't ALL of these yours…? OW!” Drakken started to argue, only to cry out and hiss in pain as his foot slammed into a trash can with a stone base.
“Careful,” Shego cautioned, not trying very hard to hide her amusement.
It was at that moment that Kim and Ron, still arm-in-arm, happened to be walking up to them. Fortunately, between the bustling crowd and the two-foot layer of plush covering Shego and Drakken's faces, neither one of them even noticed the other pass by. In fact, the closest thing just happened to be just as Kim and Ron had passed Drakken's line of sight. Fortunately, between the bustling crowd and the two-foot layer of plush covering Shego and Drakken's faces, neither pair even noticed the other walk by. That is, until Kim's voice happened to come within earshot, just as she and Ron passed by Drakken.
“Oh, Ron…” Kim giggled lovingly as she rested her head on his shoulder.
“Huh?! What?!” Drakken exclaimed as he whirled around. By the time he was able to find an opening in the stuffed animals to look through, however, Kim and Ron had already been swallowed up by the moving crowd.
“Yo! Dr. D! Chop, chop! Let's hit it!” Shego called, having stopped and turned herself to find out why Drakken wasn't behind her complaining anymore. “What are you looking at?”
“I'm not sure,” Drakken replied, still looking around. “For a moment, I could have sworn I'd heard…Nah! Must be force of habit.”
With that, Drakken adjusted his load and moved on. And Kim and Ron, who both had no idea who had just walked past them, simply continued their stroll down the midway…
… … … …
“Thanks for your help Dr. Freeman,” Wade announced from inside the Professor's home as Dr. Freeman began examining Oliver's head.
“Please, for a teammate of Kim Possible, anything,” Dr. Freeman replied. “Although I have to say, it might have been better if I had the entire body to go on.”
“Trust me, the head was all I could get over here,” Wade explained. “I wasn't able to get him powered up again, but I figured if I could somehow access Oliver's memory files, I might be able to find out who took Dr. Porter. Still, I didn't want to go tinkering around in his brain without another AI specialist to help out, so…”
“Completely understandable,” Dr. Freeman remarked. “AI is a specialty, so you really should come to the best. That's not to say that Vivian hasn't made some MODEST advancements in the field. However, compared to some of MY theories…”
“Uh, Doctor?” Wade interrupted. “IS there a way you can help?”
“Oh…of course,” Dr. Freeman answered, getting back onto the proper train of thought. “However, I would have to write a completely new interactive program that would allow his brain to interface with my computer system. Although I must say, that should make for a very interesting challenge.”
“Well, we may not have that kind of time,” Wade cautioned. “Isn't there any way of speeding things up a little?”
“Well, I suppose we COULD translate his short term memory files into basic machine language and then see what my computer can make of it. That might go faster,” Dr. Freeman thought out loud.
“Then maybe you'd better get started,” Wade agreed. “I'll be right with you.”
Excusing himself, Wade headed into the kitchen where Rufus was standing guard over Vivian's laptop, which Wade had also confiscated. However, Rufus wasn't the only one keeping watch over the kitchen.
“Aw, you sound tense, little guy,” Dr. Freeman's AI blender piped up as Wade entered the room. “Maybe a nice strawberry shake will lighten you up.”
“Uh, not right now,” Wade replied, not entirely sure what to think of all of Dr. Freeman's talking appliances.
“Perhaps a toasted blueberry bagel you'd like to nosh,” Dr. Freeman's toaster suggested.
“No thanks. Actually I just need to make a phone call,” Wade answered, sounding more and more nervous as he opened up communications with Monique, Felix and Zita again. “Guys, please tell me you're there.”
“Wade, what's up? Did you find anything?” Zita asked, responding to the signal.
“Nothing yet,” Wade replied, pausing to take a look at Vivian's computer. “But I'm starting to get convinced that whatever she was working on had something to do with something she was researching. A lot of these side projects of hers are light years beyond anything she's been working on for the Space Center. Most of it is so advanced, I can't make heads or tails of it. Anything happening on your end?”
“Well, it took a bit of doing, but we finally managed to get someone to let us into the rumble,” Zita stated over the cheering in the background, “Monique's asking some questions now.”
“Yep, I guess there's nothing like the proper role played right,” Felix remarked.
“Actually, they only agreed to let us in if Monique and I promised we wouldn't let you talk anymore,” Zita corrected.
“Well, that…MIGHT have been a…SMALL…contributing variable,” Felix noted, earning a kiss on the cheek from Zita in his attempt to save face.
“Oh, it's a good thing you're cute, Felix,” she sighed before turning back to Wade. “Anyway, we've only been here for a few minutes. We'll call you back if we find out anything.”
“Guys, I think I may have something,” Monique called out, running over to them just as Zita signed off.
“What have you got?” Felix asked.
“See that guy way at the back of the crowd?” Monique replied, pointing to a particularly tall, lanky young man standing above most of the others gathered around the pit. “His name's Theodore Shankman. Rumor is that someone was asking him questions about Vivian a couple days ago.”
“Well, no sense waiting around,” Felix stated as he wheeled over to the group. “Let's go see what he has to say.”
… … … …
“So you noobs want to come in here, wanting something from me?” Theodore remarked with a cocky air as the rest of the crowd gathered behind him. “Well, it's possible that SOMEONE may have been around asking me about Vivian. But you guys obviously don't know the rules around here too well. You want information, you better be ready to fight for it…in the pit!”
Monique was just about to object to Theodore's challenge. But before she could even open her mouth, Felix pulled her back by her bulging pant leg.
“We'll take the challenge,” Felix whispered confidently. “Trust me, I've got it covered.”
“Monique, don't worry about it. He knows what he's doing,” Zita chimed in, exchanging a warm smile with Felix while Monique forced out a heavy sigh.
“Okay, String Bean. You're on!” she agreed as she turned back, much to the club's delight. “But you better be ready to bring what you sing.”
“Oh, I'll be bringing it, alright,” Theodore shot back, pulling out his remote control box.
The crowd quickly parted down the middle as a loud whirring sound could be heard coming up from behind them. A moment later, Monique, Zita and Felix got to see what they were up against as Theodore's robot rolled into view. The contraption was massive, nearly as tall as Theodore himself. Mounted on a pair of massive tank treads, the main weapon of the robot was a long vertical spinner, with a carbide-tipped circular saw on each end.
“I've been working on this bad boy for almost a year,” Theodore explained. “Cranks out at about 300 rpms and that's just the spinner, never mind the blades. I was hoping I'd get the chance to take on Oliver, but I guess whatever you've got for this baby to chew on will make for a decent appetizer.”
“Okay, something tells me this wasn't such a good idea,” Monique remarked nervously.
… … … …
The stars and the city lights were reflecting brilliantly off the ocean water as Kim and Ron slowly walked, hand-in-hand, along the empty beach. The gentle whoosh of the crashing waves made the whole experience very calm and soothing. And for Kim, it was very romantic as well.
“See Ron, this is pretty nice,” Kim commented, gently holding Ron's hand a little tighter. “It's definitely way better than waiting in line for some stuffy club.”
“Yeah, I guess,” Ron agreed, taking in the peaceful surroundings. “It still would have been nice if we'd gotten in, though.”
“Maybe,” Kim remarked. “But I say forget it. I mean, three hours getting into someplace just to dance? Come on, seriously, who's got THAT kind of time?”
“Point taken,” Ron stated. “But still…”
At that moment, Ron pulled his hand away. And as Kim turned to him, she noticed Ron pulling an MP3 player out of his jacket pocket and unwinding the earphones before handing one to Kim.
“Well, I know it's not the PERFECT place, but…may I have this dance?”
“Oh, Ron,” Kim sighed, taking the earphone and fitting it in her ear before stepping in and putting her hands on his chest, looking into his eyes with a loving grin. “With you…ANY-place is perfect.”
It was only a moment later before a slow track start piping in through the earphones, accompanied by the soft ocean waves. And before long, Kim and Ron had their arms wrapped around each other, cuddling cheek-to-cheek and smiling as they calmly swayed back and forth to the music.
… … … …
Back at the Robot Rumble, Monique was about to completely call off the robot challenge Felix had accepted from Theodore Shankman. Even with all the abilities Felix's mother had built into his wheelchair, Monique couldn't help but have serious doubts about Felix's safety against that monstrosity. But before she could object, Monique found herself just as surprised as everyone else when Felix, without a pause, blasted forward at top speed and ramped into the pit, across from Theodore's robot.
“Hey, what's the deal?!” Theodore complained as Felix readied himself for combat. “Is this some kind of joke?!”
“The only joke here is how much time I'm going to need to take out that overgrown deli slicer!” Felix called back defiantly. “Let's get this party started!”
“Be-gin!” The cold, mechanical voice of the announce system sounded as the battle began.
Before Theodore, or anyone else, could react at all, Felix was already springing into action, activating the rockets on his wheelchair and rising above the ground. Next, he activated his chair's mechanical arms. But the result was a little different than Zita and Monique were expecting, because instead of only two arms, Felix's chair instead produced four. Instantly, the arms whipped out, two holding the tank treads in place, keeping the robot from advancing. A third firmly grasped the spinner before it had a chance to even start spinning. And the metal fingers on the fourth began spiraling at rapid speed like a saw blade--something else Felix's chair had never done before. A second later, the free arm was slicing through the wires that connected the robot to its battery supplying, shutting the unit down.
“Ro-bot dis-abled in 3.28 se-conds,” the announce system voiced. “A new Ro-bot Rum-ble re-cord.”
Theodore could only drop to his knees in defeat and disbelief as Felix rocketed out of the pit. The rest of the crowd, which had been cheering but moments before, was also rendered silent at the shock. But Monique and Zita couldn't have been more pleased with the outcome, with Zita even hugging Felix around the neck and kissing his cheek.
“Felix, you were incredible!” Zita cheered excitedly.
“Well, what can I say,” Felix replied, feeling a little smug himself at that moment. “I've made a few…`modest'…upgrades.”
“Dude, that was completely off the HOOK!” one of the club members exclaimed, running over to Felix with the others once the shock had worn off. “You've definitely got to come back here again!”
“We'll…talk about that later. But first…,” Monique replied before running over to Theodore and dragging him away from the group. “Now maybe you'd like to tell us what someone wanted to know about Vivian and what exactly you told them?”
“What? It was some woman with a hat and trenchcoat. And she had a robot with her,” Theodore explained as Felix and Zita came up. “She just wanted to know some things about Vivian.”
“And you have no idea what she looked like, or even a name?” Zita asked.
“You just told a complete stranger things like where she lives?” Felix added in disbelief.
“Well, to be honest…I was…looking at the robot,” Theodore replied bashfully before falling into an almost trance-like state. “If anyone else here saw that marvel of technology…they would have told her anything. It was just…I mean, words can't describe…It was so…perfect…”
“Ooooooo-kay, boy, I'm going to give you a word of advice here,” Monique commented, rolling her eyes before turning back to Theodore. “Now I want you to listen to this VERY carefully, okay? Because this is a word that you SERIOUSLY need to put in your vocabulary right now…”
“…`Girlfriend',” she said sternly as she, Zita and Felix backed away slowly, “Seriously, let that word rattle around in your brain for a little while…GIRL-FRIEND.”
… … … …
Back at Dr. Freeman's house, Wade was still sitting at the kitchen table with Rufus, surrounded by food that had been prepared by Dr. Freeman's AI kitchen appliances. All in all, they appeared to both be enjoying the feast. Particularly Rufus as he chowed down on a microwave pizza. But they're carefree attitude quickly diminished as Monique, Felix and Zita walked in.
“Oh, I'm so glad we came here to touch base now,” Monique commented sarcastically. “I wasn't aware this gig came with dinner breaks.”
“Sorry guys,” Wade replied sheepishly. “I couldn't help it. You know, for household appliances, they're very persuasive.”
“You better believe it!” Dr. Freeman's AI microwave chimed in. “More cheese-stuffed pizza rolls, anyone?”
“AL-RIGHT!” Felix remarked, exchanging a smile of agreement with Rufus before they both made their way to the food, with Monique and Zita both rolling their eyes.
“Well anyway, the Robot Rumble turned out to be a major bust,” Zita reported as she and Monique sat down at the table. “All we got was a story about some lady in a trenchcoat with some kind of `perfect' robot.”
“Actually, that might not be as unrelated as you think,” Wade answered. “I've been taking the time to go over these projects of Vivian's in more detail. A lot of it is still over my head, but from what I COULD understand, it looks like she was working on some way of merging AI with nanotechnology. If she managed to get anywhere with this and it ended up in the wrong hands, we could be talking MAJOR catastrophe here.”
“So basically, all this hinges on is finding a woman in a trenchcoat?” Monique declared, not particularly caring for their odds.
“Or just find out where Vivian ended up being taken,” Wade responded. “That's the reason I brought Oliver's head here. I wanted to see if there was anything we could use that got stored in his memory before he was deactivated.”
“Well, this might be your lucky day,” Dr. Freeman announced as he walked into the kitchen with a piece of printout paper. “I wasn't able to come up with too much, but I did find what looks here to be a set of map coordinates. It was probably the last thing Oliver heard before his power supply ran out.”
“Hmmm,” Wade murmured thoughtfully, looking over the numbers carefully.
“So…this is good, right?” Zita suggested. “End of problem. This is the part where we call Kim?”
“Well…,” Wade responded, sounding very apprehensive. “Not…necessarily.”
“Why not?” Monique felt compelled to ask. “Look Wade, we did our thing, right? We did the looking around, like you said. That's one thing. But now we have a place where Vivian might have been taken. Wouldn't going there be kind of a “going-after-the-bad-guys” thing? And wouldn't that be kind of a “KIM” thing?”
“Not exactly,” Wade answered, sounding more and more reluctant. “We don't know if these coordinates are where Vivian actually is. And Kim's…well, kinda still busy. I'd hate to waste her time on a wild goose chase. And it's not going to hurt to just check it out.”
“Well, I don't know…,” Zita commented, feeling very unsure.
“Look, I'll tell you what,” Wade proposed. “We'll just buzz the area, give it a quick look. And if it looks in any way suspicious, we'll get out of there and then we'll call Kim. Does that sound like a plan?”
Felix, who had been too busy eating by the microwave to comment, simply exchanged glances with Rufus, curious as to why Wade seemed so insistent that Kim not be called. But as he turned to share the same look with Zita and Monique, Rufus, who had been putting up a tough front for the benefit of the other three, suddenly regarded Wade with a very worried expression.
… … … …
“Wow,” Ron could only breathe in awe.
“I know, isn't it?” Kim agreed as she cuddled up closer to him.
Kim and Ron were sitting in the back seat of Kim's car, holding each other close as they stared up through the sunroof. But instead of parking on some faraway spot, looking up at a starry night, they were actually at the bottom of the ocean, looking up at all the different forms of sea life swimming by. Their scales reflecting off the brilliance of Kim's headlights, the sight of the fish was awe-inspiring to behold. Some fish shone silver, others gold. Still others glistened with a soft array of colors looking almost like a rainbow. It was a sight so few people ever came close to experiencing, and Kim and Ron were making sure they took every single moment of it in.
“Now this, I really like,” Kim had to say. “You know, anyone can just look up at the stars. But this…this is something you can do when you put just a little bit of imagination into it.”
“Yeah well, that and, you know…a car that can survive the crushing water pressure of driving on the sea floor.” Ron added, drawing an amused giggle out of Kim.
“Of course, the other good thing about this is…I think it's a lot more romantic,” Kim noted, sliding in and placing delicate kisses along Ron's cheek.
Ron simply had to smile, picking up on Kim's hint. And a moment later, they pulled in even closer and a series of soft, tender kisses began to pass between them. Although the moment didn't last long before Kim pulled away slightly.
“You know, as nice as this is, we probably shouldn't stay down here too much longer,” she pointed out. “The fish down here probably aren't used to this kind of thing, especially at night. I'd hate to think we're disturbing them.”
“Yeah,” Ron agreed, though still noting that they were holding each other quite close. “So…about when, do you think?”
“Well…,” Kim answered, taking a moment before looking at Ron with a suggestive smile. “How about we go at the count of three?”
“Well, okay. So…one…,” Ron shrugged before starting off the count, following up with a long, soft kiss on Kim's lips.
“…Two…,” Kim added, sounding almost in a trance as she and Ron finished with yet another kiss.
The second kiss was longer and deeper than the first, indicating that they were definitely getting more into the experience. In fact, as they parted the second time and looked at each other, they both seemed to be completely lost in each others' eyes.
“Why are we counting again?” Ron asked, completely in a daze.
“Oh…who cares?” Kim sighed as they leaned back in, completely shutting out the world beyond them as they clung to each other and kissed deeply, savoring the touch of their lips in what appeared to be a never-ending embrace.
… … … …
“Don't worry guys. I've had plenty of experience piloting the Pilot-less Drone Chopper,” Wade spoke assuredly, piloting the helicopter with the remote control stick. “This baby'll get us to those coordinates in no time.”
“Greeeeeeeeat,” Monique shuddered as she and Zita sat behind Wade and Felix, their fingernails practically digging into the armrests.
Eventually, Felix and Monique had calmed down enough to actually look out the window and enjoy the view of the rippling ocean zipping past them. But after a while, Monique turned her attention over to Zita and noticed that she was still looking rather nervous and unsure.
“Hey,” she called over softly, getting Zita's attention. “You okay, girlfriend?”
“Huh? Oh…yeah, I'm fine, I guess,” Zita replied, still sounding very uncomfortable. “It's just that, well…why me?”
“What do you mean?” Monique asked.
“I mean, why call me?” Zita explained. “You know, I've heard about all the things Felix has done with Kim and all the things you've done with Kim and even all the things Wade's done with Kim. I mean, you guys have actually met bad guys. And me…all I did was get sucked into a video game once. So…what am I doing here?”
“Mmm,” was Monique's only reply.
“Even during this whole thing, you've all done SOME-thing,” Zita continued. “I mean, we've got you with your disguise thing, Felix with his robotics thing and even Wade with his genius thing…what have I done? I'm just wondering if all I've been so far is dead weight.”
“You know, for what it's worth, I think I know exactly how you feel,” Monique noted. “I've been there myself, for the record.”
“Really?” Zita wondered, feeling he spirits lift slightly at being understood.
“Yeah,” Monique replied. “I mean, when I think about the first time I actually did a mission with Kim…You know, Ron's always been like a brother to me. And I always thought it was great that Kim let him tag along everywhere whenever she did her mission thing…”
“…But until that time in Milan, when Kim and I took on the Fashionistas…I didn't know he was tougher than me,” Monique added, looking into Zita's eyes with a gaze to prove that she was serious. “After the Fashionistas thing, I felt like I needed a week just to come back from that. And these weren't even the REALLY bad guys. Ron does this with Kim EVERY-SINGLE-DAY…and the guys THEY go up against…man…I just don't know how he does it.”
“Wow,” was all Zita could find herself saying.
“You know…during that whole Milan thing…I think I maybe only had one…good…moment that day,” Monique went on. “And…the rest of it…was just trying to stay in one piece.”
“Mmm…one good moment sounds pretty good to me,” Zita remarked.
“That's what I'm saying,” Monique replied, her voice sounding more excited. “One good moment…is GREAT. It's like a three-point shot from full court. I guess that's what really got to me when I got another chance. The next time, it had something to do with one of her enemies…Doctor…D'uh, something, and this pirate thing. And all I remember thinking was…I just wanted to be OUT there. And I didn't care what ended up happening…I just wanted to feel that moment again.”
“Huh,” Zita thought out loud.
“All I'm saying is…girl, when you get that moment…and I mean REALLY get that moment…you're gonna want it back again,” Monique stated confidently, looking at Zita with a reassuring smile. “I guarantee it.”
“Well, we're coming up on those coordinates pretty fast here,” Wade announced, getting everyone's attention. “Huh, it's weird, though.”
“What is it?” Felix asked.
“It's just these coordinates…they seem very familiar,” Wade explained, sounding very perplexed. “It's like I've seen these somewhere before, but…I just can't put my finger on it.”
“Well, something's definitely out there,” Monique noted, pointing out the window. “I'm seeing what looks like…some kind of island.”
“Yeah, and there are a lot of lights flashing, too,” Zita added. “Whatever's down there, it's definitely big.”
“Wait a minute…,” Wade thought out loud, his voice filling with dread. “…island off the Gulf coast…oh, no!”
“Whoa!” Monique exclaimed as Wade jammed the control stick hard to the left to turn the helicopter around. “What's the deal here? Wade, what's going on?”
“We've got to get out of here! NOW!!!” Wade shouted, his eyes wide with panic.
But before Wade could head into full retreat, a bright red beam of light pierced through the night sky, blasting into the helicopter's rear rotor and utterly destroying it. Despite the terrified screams inside the cockpit, Wade luckily managed to maintain enough presence of mind to keep the helicopter in the air long enough for it to slam into the island's beach, rather than into the ocean.
“Uunh…everyone okay?” Wade called out groggily.
“I…I think so,” Felix answered in a daze.
“Oh…what hit us?” Monique asked as Zita tried to shake the cobwebs out of her head.
Just then, as if in answer to her question, three figures began making their way through the island jungle towards the helicopter. Silhouetted against the lights in the distance, they appeared human in form, but their glowing red eyes revealed them to be anything but.
“Trust me,” Wade replied as the figures suddenly appeared to cross a distance of 50 feet in less than a second, “You don't want to know.”
“You are un-in-vi-ted guests,” a female voice sounded towards them, with a heavy Eastern European accent as the moonlight glistened off the figures' blond hair, and metal-plated skin. Pointing at Wade and the others, the tips of their index fingers suddenly popped open, revealing bright red, flashing lights, like the laser that had just shot them down.
“Bebes do not like un-in-vi-ted guests.”
… … … …
The next thing Wade and the others knew, they were tied up with chains and dangling on the walls of the Bebes' hive like hunting trophies. As dozens, perhaps hundreds of Bebes filled the chamber, with more being made by the minute through the Bebes' old assembly line, finally, some of the pieces were beginning to fall into place.
“So, these are the robots that Kim fought before?” Monique asked as she looked around. “But I thought she busted them up.”
“So did I…twice,” Wade replied. “I can't figure it out. She keeps smashing them up and they keep coming back somehow. And this time it looks like they've got their assembly line back up and running, too.”
“Well, I guess now we know to the `lady in the trenchcoat' was,” Felix deduced.
“Hey, look over there,” Zita noted, nudging her head over to the far side of the room, where a familiar blond sat unconscious, hooked up to the Bebes' Hive Mind chamber.
“It's Vivian,” Wade exclaimed. “So the Bebes really did take her.”
“Okay Wade, enough is enough,” Monique declared. “We can't wait anymore, okay. We NEED Kim.”
“Weeeeellll…” Wade groaned, sounding very unsure.
“Wade…please tell us you can call Kim,” Zita stated, her voice beginning to sound panicked.
“Well, I CAN,” Wade answered. “It's just that…well…”
“Wade, listen to me. You said that you would call Kim as soon as it looked like we were in over our heads,” Felix repeated Wade's earlier promise, his voice growing more and more restless. “Now look at the situation. We're captured, we're chained up. And we're surrounded by an army of robots who, if every sci-fi movie I've ever seen on the subject is any indication, are going to want to go out and enslave the entire human race soon! Exactly what part of this DOESN'T look like we're in over our heads here!!”
“Wade…!” Monique shouted.
“Wade…!!” Zita followed up.
Just then, Rufus, who had been curled up in Felix's pocket and passed out from the crash, suddenly appeared. Upon seeing him, and with nowhere else to turn, Wade could only let out a heavy sigh of regret.
“Rufus,” he whispered. “Come here. Can you get into my pocket? There's something in there I need you to get.”
“O-kay!” Rufus softly chattered back, scrambling along the chains to rummage around through Wade's pocket.
… … … …
On a small island in the South Pacific, the only sounds that could be heard were the wind rustling through the palms and the waves washing onto the beach. And for Kim and Ron, they wouldn't have it any other way. Laying back on the hood of Kim's car as they held each other and traded long, soft kisses, all either of them could feel was just an intense desire to just have time stop, so they could live in the moment for as long as they wanted to. But eventually, Kim would pull her lips away and as she looked down into Ron's eyes, pressing her forehead to his, there was only one thing either of them wanted to say at that moment…
“I love you.”
“Jin…!” Kim's words were cut off by her own hysterical laughter, her whole body squirming as Ron suddenly began tickling her sides.
“Jinx!” Ron called out teasingly, finally claiming victory as he stopped tickling Kim, only to get a swift punch in the arm for his win. “OW!”
“You jerk,” Kim giggled, gently laying her head on Ron's chest as she looked up at the stars out of the corner of her eye and sighed. “Oh…I needed this so much. You know one of the things I love about being with you?”
“Hmmm?” Ron wondered, causing Kim to look into his eyes with a loving smile.
“This,” she answered simply. “Just…being like this. Ron, when we're together, I like that I don't have to…be `on' with you. I don't have to be Kim Possible when I'm with you. I can just be Kim. I guess I just like that not everything has to be a special event with us. Things can be simple.”
Ron wasn't quite sure how to respond at first. But as he felt himself reaching up and gently caressing Kim's cheek with the back of his fingers, he instinctively knew exactly what to say. And that alone was enough to bring a smile to his face.
“Aw, Kim…you were always special to me. You never had to prove it.”
“Oh, Ron…,” Kim murmured as she rested her head back on his chest.
For a moment, everything was quiet again. But before long, Ron heard what he could have sworn were low, throaty sounds coming from Kim.
“Uh…KP?” Ron had to ask. “Are you…purring?”
“Mmm…maybe,” Kim replied with a playful grin, lifting her head up to look Ron in the eyes and sharing another soft, lingering kiss before pressing her forehead to his. “Oh…this has been such a great night.”
“Yeah,” Ron agreed, even as Kim noticed his voice trailing off, “Pretty…great..”
“Excuse me? `Pretty' great?” Kim noted teasingly. “Not exactly a ringing endorsement there, you know.”
“Sorry, I didn't mean it like that,” Ron replied. “I just…feel something in the back of my mind right now…You get this feeling that we were going to do something today and we forgot to do it?”
“Huh,” Kim could only utter after pausing to think for a moment. “You know, I wasn't going to say anything, but isn't that so weird…?”
Before Kim and Ron had time to wonder about this curiosity, the headlights on Kim's car suddenly began to flash wildly. Suddenly, they let loose a wave of soft light, instantly forming into an image of Wade chained up in the Bebes' hive.
“Wade?!” Kim blurted out, completely at a loss as to what was happening.
“Kim, Ron, I hope you're seeing this. And if you are, listen, because there isn't much time,” Wade warned, his voice coming through the speakers on Kim's stereo system. “I figured you didn't take your Kimmunicator with you, so I had Jim and Tim set up this holographic projection system for your car, just in case. Look, me and Felix and Zita and Monique, we…kind of wound up in a bit of a problem, although we didn't know it was a problem at the time, but…Now, please don't ask me, how, but the Bebe robots are back, they've kidnapped Vivian Porter, they've got us, too, and I know I promised I wouldn't call but, uh…COULD YOU PLEASE STOP EVERYTHING YOU'RE DOING RIGHT NOW AND COME SAVE OUR LIVES…?!?!”
That was as far as Wade's message got before the transmission cut out. Completely caught off guard by this turn of events, all Kim and Ron could do was look at each other in a state of complete and utter confusion.
… … … …
“Na-ked mole rat,” One of the Bebes noted coldly, holding Rufus by the tail in one hand and crushing Wade's holographic projector control with the other. “Yet a-nother un-in-vi-ted guest.”
“What's going on?!” Wade demanded, mostly out of hope that Kim and Ron had received his message and that he could stall for time. “Why did you walking scrap heaps take Vivian?!”
“Sub-ject: Doc-tor Vi-vi-an Fran-ces Por-ter…no-ted ro-bo-tics au-tho-ri-ty,” the Bebes stated through their Hive Mind link, each taking a turn to explain, sentence by sentence. “Her ac-qui-si-tion was e-ssen-tial for Be-bes con-tin-ued per-fec-tion. Her brain con-nec-ted to our Hive Mind en-ab-led Be-bes to fi-na-lly a-chieve our ul-ti-mate ob-jec-tive…”
“…a per-fect queen.”
“So…SHE'S going to be your queen?” Monique chimed in.
“Ne-ga-tive,” the Bebes replied. “For all of Doc-tor Por-ter's im-pres-sive in-tell-ect, she re-mains, re-gret-a-bly, on-ly hu-man. But her vast know-ledge of Ar-ti-fi-cial In-tel-li-gence has pro-vi-ded us with the means to ac-quire the on-ly queen wor-thy of be-ing Be-bes' lea-der…a thin-king ma-chine.”
“Wait a minute. You guys are BUILDING your own queen?” Zita asked.
“NOT `BUILDING'…!” a voice sounded throughout the chamber. A voice that sounded almost like Vivian's, but colder…more metallic.
Suddenly, a pair of doors slid open from the floor of the hive, revealing a hidden chamber below. Just then, a huge metal spire, looking almost like a massive supercomputer, slid up from underground. Instantly, the Bebes all turned to the spire, giving it their undivided attention as a door slid open from the spire, revealing an inner compartment. And at that moment, it became obvious where this new voice was coming from as the open section of the spire revealed a figure standing inside.
Gradually, the Bebes parted as the figure stepped out of the spire and towards Wade and the others. And a few moments later, as she finally stepped out of the crowd and into view, it was impossible for anyone not to be surprised.
Standing before them was a construct that was dressed like the Bebes, wearing a black, one-piece swimsuit with Pink and grey stripes around the waist and even the horseshoe-shaped headband in her hair. But her physical structure was nothing like the other Bebes. In fact, her body looked identical to Vivian Porter's in every detail, from head to toe. The only difference was her metallic skin and red eyes, but even then, her look was sleek and streamlined, not like the Bebes with their metal plating, bolts and rivets. If anything, she looked exactly like a metal human.
“ALL HAIL QUEEN VI-VI!!” the Bebes announced, all dropping to one knee.
“Queen Vivi?” Monique blurted out, turning to Wade. “Is this for real?”
“Uh-uh-uuuhh,” Vivi cautioned, her finger suddenly stretching out and pressing against Monique's cheek, turning her gaze back towards her. “From now on, you'll be addressing your questions to me.”
“Vivian's nanotechnology research,” Wade uttered under his breath as Vivi's finger shrank back. “They used the Hive Mind to learn what she was working on and used it to create you. But how were they able to get trillions of microscopic robots working in unison to create an actual working brain?”
“Hmmm, intelligence, perception…,” Vivi noted, sizing Wade up. “Impressive qualities…for a human.”
“As for your observations, let us just say that none of this would have been possible without the good doctor over there,” Vivi continued to explain as she briefly turned to Vivian, who was still unconscious in the Hive Mind Chamber. “At first, the Bebes only sought her out for her AI expertise, so they could create an artificial brain to lead them. But once she was linked to the Hive Mind, they were able to learn so much more. And through her, the Bebes were able to create a queen far superior than they'd originally planned…”
“Just imagine,” Vivi went on. “Two years of painstaking research and effort from a human and only a few short hours of mechanical labor, all leading up to the ultimate, the perfect result…”
“You didn't actually answer my question.” Wade remarked.
“No I didn't. Did I?” Vivi responded with a smirk, leaping across the room and landing on a platform high above the chamber. “Of course, now that her knowledge has been put to use, Vivian Porter is no longer relevant to the equation…just like the rest of you. You see, for all of the Bebes vast physical superiority, they possessed only one weakness which allowed them to be defeated time and again. And that was their need to rely on a human brain to provide them with direction and purpose. A weakness which, I assure you, through me, they no longer have. And now that they HAVE been rid of that annoying vulnerability, the Bebes can now finally flourish…and march over this world!”
“BE-BES WILL RULE!!!” the Bebes cheered, each raising a fist to the sky.
For Wade and the others, the situation seemed completely hopeless, none of them having the slightest clue what to do in response to this quickly mounting threat. Just then, Wade caught a glimpse of something out of the corner of his eye.
“Hey guys, I think the cavalry has just started arriving,” he whispered, causing Felix, Monique and Zita to look up at a lone figure silently prancing along the railing of a catwalk above them.
Of course, with his spiked hair, sunglasses and wide shirt sleeves folded over a tuxedo jacket modified with long, wide tails like a trenchcoat, it was hard for Felix, Monique or Zita to get a read on this complete stranger. Wade, however, knew exactly what to think as Maximillion continued making his way towards them. Unfortunately, they weren't the only ones who noticed.
“In-tru-der de-tec-ted!” One Bebe who happened to look up at the wrong moment declared, drawing all the Bebes and Vivi to look up towards Max.
“Hey! You peeked!” Max shouted down at the robotic crowd.
“Wait a minute…,” Zita exclaimed, instantly recognizing the voice. “Max?!”
“Awww, was I too obvious?” Max responded, lifting his sunglasses briefly.
“Uh, Zita? Some catch-up, please, for those of us a little out of touch,” Felix requested. “Just who is this guy?”
“He's…our Student Councilor,” Zita answered, still perplexed. “But what is he even doing here?”
“Hold up…I remember you,” Monique declared. “You're that guy I bumped into at Bueno Nacho a couple of weeks back.”
“Just what is the meaning of this intrusion?!” Vivi decreed angrily.
“You know, for only being two minutes old, you sure have a high opinion of yourself,” Max replied, not feeling particularly intimidated. “But if you absolutely HAVE to know, the point is this…”
With a snap of his fingers, Max pointed toward a small loading platform on the other side of the Bebes' hive. And no sooner did he snap his finger than a long, rectangular area exploded in a flash of pyrotechnic fireworks, followed by two figures slowly rising up through an opening under the platform which had not been there before. And even with the smoke from the pyro, it didn't take Wade and the others long to recognize who the two new strangers were.
“Kim?! Ron?!” Wade shouted, feeling even more relieved as the blue lights of Kim's Battle Suit shimmered into view.
“Yay!” Rufus squeaked with joy, still trapped in a Bebe's grip.
Neither Kim nor Ron spoke a word. But each raised a fist to the air and flashed an angry scowl while Max snapped his fingers again, causing another pyrotechnic burst to explode around them for added effect.
“Okay, seriously, I've gotta know,” Ron piped up, breaking the tension of the moment as the second haze of smoke settled around them. “Did we totally nail that entrance or what?”
“KIM POS-SI-BLE!” the Bebes reacted in unison while Vivi looked down with an indignant frown.
“Okay, this is really starting to get ridiculous,” Kim declared as she looked around at a hive chamber packed with Bebes. “I'm serious, ladies, now how many times am I going to have to scrap you all before you finally get recycled into something useful?”
“Well, you…could…let me give it a shot,” Ron suggested, trying not to sound too eager…for the first few seconds. “Come on, can I, huh? Can I, huh? Can I, can I, huh? Pleasepleasepleasepleasepleeeeeeeeease?”
“Oh…how can I say no to that face?” Kim cooed, tickling Ron under his chin. “Okay…but leave some for the rest of us.”
Without a pause, Ron hopped off the platform in front of the army of Bebes, although Felix, Monique and Zita had no idea what he could possibly have been thinking. Even the Bebes saw little cause for concern as they slowly made their way towards him.
“TAR-GET: RON STOP-PA-BLE!” the Bebes announced. “LE-VEL OF THREAT: IN-CON-SE-QUEN-TIAL!”
“Uh, guys?” Zita pointed out, suddenly noticing something unusual as she looked at Ron. “Is the light hitting him wrong, or does he actually look…blue?”
Before anyone else could respond, one of the foremost Bebes lashed out, sending a thundering punch rocketing towards Ron's head. But to everyone's surprise but Kim's, Ron's hand snapped up and easily caught the Bebe's fist in mid punch. Shocking enough, but what truly gave the Bebes pause was when Ron flexed his hand and effortlessly crushed the Bebe's fist as if it were made of nothing but aluminum foil.
“RE-AS-SES-SING LE-VEL OF THREAT,” the Bebes noted, “MO-DER-ATE!”
At first, the Bebe that attacked Ron could only look down at its shattered hand. But as it turned back to its target, Ron had already jumped up, spinning in the air repeatedly before slamming a crushing soccer-style kick that took the Bebe's head clean off. The head instantly went flying into the Bebe behind it, sending its head flying and creating a domino effect, knocking the heads off an entire line of Bebes.
“RE-AS-SES-SING LE-VEL OF THREAT: SUB-STAN-TIAL!”
Instantly, the Bebes in front of Ron, popped open the tips of their index fingers, preparing to fire their lasers. But Ron was in no hurry to simply stand there and let it happen. Bracing himself firmly, Ron threw back his head. And with a yell, an unseen wave of force erupted from his body, slamming into the first three rows of Bebes and sending them flying in all directions before he firmly straightened the lapels of his white jacket and cracked his neck.
“RE-AS-SES-SING LE-VEL OF THREAT: EX-TREME!” The Bebes declared, beginning to sound almost…nervous as Wade and the others could only dangle from the wall, completely stunned at what they had just seen Ron do.
“Okay, I am feeling SO out of the loop right now,” Felix could only mumble in wide-eyed shock, while Wade and the girls remained simply dumbfounded.
“Oh…laser fingers, huh?” Kim commented as she jumped down beside Ron. “I guess that does sound about right.”
“Hm…must have traded up on the super speed,” Ron noted. “Still…you'd think that would have been an original design feature, you know?”
“Don't just stand there!” Vivi shouted down at the swarm of Bebes, who seemed at a complete loss as to what to do. “Eliminate Kim Possible!”
“Oh look…one of these things is not like the others. And I'm guessing she's the new queen of the castle around here,” Kim remarked, turning to Ron. “So, you don't mind if I get to have a little fun now, do you?”
“Hey, fair's fair,” Ron answered with a shrug.
“Max, we're counting on you to keep everyone over there safe!” Kim called over.
“I'm pretty sure I can handle that!” Max replied, snapping his fingers.
In that instant, the chains which held Wade and the others to the wall suddenly separated into the individual metal links that formed them and clattered to the ground, followed immediately by Wade and company. Fortunately, a quick wave of Max's hand created a glittering cloud under their feet which caught them and allowed them to land safely. Especially Felix, whose chained-up chair managed to zip under him and catch him before he touched the ground.
Meanwhile, Kim and Ron needed some room to work. Popping her proton cannon out of the left arm of her Battle Suit, Kim fired a white hot stream that tore through an entire line of Bebes, opening a clear path towards the platform Vivi was standing on. Then it was Ron's turn to follow up as he charged forward, with Kim flipping into the air right behind him. Suddenly, Ron stopped short, reaching his hand out for Kim to land her feet perfectly right into his palm. Then, stamping his foot into the floor up to his ankle to brace himself, Ron heaved his arm forward, sending Kim flying straight towards Vivi at incredible speed. And before Vivi had time to react, Kim was already adjusting her body in mid-air, turning Ron's throw into a high-speed flying kick straight into Vivi's chest, sending them both flying into the far wall of the hive.
“Be-bes…ad-vance!” one of the Bebes called out, recognizing the Hive Mind's need to regain control of the situation before they were handed yet another defeat.
While Ron was cut off from the others, fighting an army of his own, many of the Bebes had turned and began making their way towards Wade and the others. Instantly, Felix sent his chair into flight mode and extracted his mechanical arms, ready for a fight. Unfortunately, his efforts couldn't guarantee that he would be able to protect all of them against such numbers, especially when the Bebes readied their laser fingers to fire.
Just then, before any of the Bebes could strike, Max landed on the ground, in front of Wade and the others. Of course, his presence alone wasn't enough to deter the advancing Bebes. But then suddenly, Max lifted his hand and instantly, the individual chain links that had once been used to bind Wade and the others slowly lifted off the ground, floating before the eyes of the perplexed robots. Then, whipping his arm across his chest, the chain links shot out like bullets, shearing through the Bebes' bodies as though they were made up of nothing but wet paper. This included the Bebe that was still holding Rufus in its grip, allowing him to scamper into Wade's hands for safety.
“Here,” Max noted, tossing two discarded Bebe arms towards Monique and Zita. “Those should work just fine.”
At first, Monique and Zita had their doubts, not sure what to do. But as Monique pulled back on the thumb, the finger laser instantly fired, giving her a lot more confidence.
“Well…whatever works, I guess,” she conceded with a shrug.
What ensued from that moment on was on every level, a much fairer fight. While the Bebes did still have greater numbers, it was soon proving to be a fleeting advantage. Between Ron's Mystical Monkey Power and Max's magic, they were dispatching whole waves of Bebes in a matter of seconds. Felix, with the abilities of his wheelchair, was also more than holding his own. Even Monique and Zita, using the Bebe finger lasers, were managing to keep any advancing enemies at bay.
But just then, Kim came flying out of the dust that was still lingering in the air from where she and Vivi had hit the wall. She'd managed to find her footing and skid to a stop. But the numerous tears and cuts in her Battle Suit were clearly visible, despite the suit already working to repair them quickly. Meanwhile, Vivi was strolling out of the dust towards her, seemingly without a scratch on her anywhere.
“That's it? That's the best you got?” Vivi asked with a simple shrug, hardly looking impressed as her fingers grew into long claws.
Kim was beginning to get a little aggravated at that point. However, before she could even think to launch any kind of offense, Vivi lashed out, her arms stretching out and quickly closing the gap between them. Luckily, Kim was fast enough to catch her wrists and keep her hands at bay. But Vivi quickly dashed towards her with Bebe-like speed, sweeping Kim's feet out from under her and pinning her down.
“KP!” Ron shouted, grabbing one Bebe and twirling it around like in a hammer throw, blowing away all the other Bebes surrounding him before turning to Wade and the others. “Max!”
“Whoa!” Max exclaimed, suddenly appearing at Ron's side. At first, it looked like Max had simply teleported from one spot to another. But the cluster of Bebes he'd just ran through told the real story as they exploded into pieces a split second later.
Meanwhile, Max had grabbed the collar of Ron's shirt and looked as if he was going to throw him up to the platform. But as Max whipped his arm upward, Ron disappeared in a puff of glittering smoke. A moment later, Ron appeared from a second cloud which appeared over the platform, while Kim was trying desperately to hold Vivi's hands and her growing metal claws away from her face.
“HEY!” Ron's voice shouted from behind Vivi, forcing her to turn around and see Ron's open left hand shove at her face, causing her to momentarily twitch her head back.
“Made you look,” Ron taunted, plowing his right fist into Vivi's cheek and sending her spiraling into the far wall before helping Kim to her feet. “You okay?”
For a moment, Vivi could only let out groans of effort, her head stuck in the wall of the hive. But a moment later, her body began to warp and shift, almost like liquid. Within seconds, her head was where her left shoulder was and her head had been replaced with her right hand, which she effortlessly pulled out of the hole Ron had just made.
“Are you quite done?” Vivi responded simply.
“Okay, was that supposed to happen? Because I don't think that was supposed to happen,” Ron exclaimed, both he and Kim looking very perplexed as Vivi leaped between them and the computer spire and prepared to attack again.
“Okay, something tells me I'm going to have to get up there pretty soon,” Max observed, looking around at the dwindling number of Bebes before turning to Wade and the others. “You guys'll have to watch things down here.”
“And just how are we supposed to do that?” Zita had to ask.
“Eyes on the prize, kid. There's always a way if you look for it,” Max replied before tossing Zita a playful wink. “Trust me.”
Back up on the platform, Kim and Ron were managing to fare better against Vivi than Kim was alone. But all Ron's presence seemed to be doing was evening things up. Nothing they did seemed to cause her any serious damage at all.
As Vivi struck again, Kim and Ron blocked each of her arms with one of their own, both slamming their free fist into Vivi's chest and sending her crashing into the back wall again. Before Vivi could manage to right herself, Max suddenly appeared, streaking past Kim and Ron and plunging his fist inside Vivi's stomach. A moment later, Vivi's whole body began to tremble and quake, as if the very air itself was warping around Max's fist. Eventually, within seconds, Vivi's body completely disintegrated, falling at Max's feet into a pile of dust.
Kim and Ron were both shocked at the sight as Max turned and simply began to walk away. But before they could even think to ask what kind of magic Max had just used, the pile of dust that had once been Vivi's body, began to shudder and stir. Just then, within moments, her body began to reform again, to Kim and Ron's even greater astonishment. Even Max finally had to turn in response to Kim and Ron's expressions, only to see Vivi, fully reformed and scowling back at him.
“Huh,” Max remarked simply. “Well, that didn't go the way I wanted it to at all.”
“Gee, you think?” Kim responded sarcastically.
Vivi, however, was quickly beginning to lose her patience. Flipping through the air, she landed in front of the computer spire, cutting off Kim Ron and Max once again.
“I…have had…ENOUGH!!!” she shrieked, lashing out with arms that had quickly transformed into giant fists.
Down below, Wade and the others could only look on as Vivi's transformed limbs appeared to splash off Max's mystic barrier and Kim's Battle Suit force field like liquid. However, Zita, herself, was paying particularly close attention. That was the second time Vivi had done something that just seemed unusual. Well, unusual to Zita anyway. But the more she thought about it, the more she found herself thinking back to what Max had just said before he went to help Kim and Ron.
“There's always a way…if you look for it…,” she murmured to herself before finally turning to the others. “Hey guys, did you see that?”
“See what?” Felix asked.
“Well, it's just…that's twice now, she's done that,” Zita explained. “Every time Vivi's recovered, she never attacks them right away. She always positions herself between them and that big supercomputer thing.”
“So?” Monique wondered.
“Well, in video games, usually when you fight a boss character and there's something around that they know is a weak spot, they're always programmed to protect it,” Zita replied. “Now I don't know if this is the exact same thing, but just by the way she's behaving…”
“Zita, that's IT!” Wade shouted. “Oh, I can't believe I've been such an idiot!”
“What?” Monique asked.
“I was so preoccupied with trying to figure out how they got trillions of microscopic machines operating in sync to form a functioning brain that I missed the most obvious solution…they DIDN'T,” Wade went on. “It was right in front of us all along and I never even saw it. SHE'S not Vivi…”
“THAT'S Vivi!” he exclaimed, pointing at the spire. “Or at least it's her brain, anyway. That body the nanobots created is just receiving signals from it. She's just using the body as an avatar to interact with the physical world. Like reverse virtual reality.”
“Well, that's good to know, but how are we going to stop it?” Felix chimed in as two arms from his wheelchair smashed two remaining Bebes together.
“Hmmmm,” Wade thought out loud, looking around until the Hive Mind Chamber that Vivian was in caught his eye. “That's it! All of the hive's functions are run from that point. If we could find the two largest electrical hookups and then expose the spire to all that electricity…”
“…It could trigger an electromagnetic pulse and fry Vivi's brain. That's brilliant!” Felix shouted in agreement.
“Sounds good,” Monique added, looking over at the Bebes that were still functioning. “Just one problem though…we've gotta get by them first.”
“Okay, hop on,” Felix invited, lowering his wheelchair enough for Zita to sit on his lap and for Wade and Monique to climb onto the sides. “But hold tight. This might get a little rough.”
Without a pause, Felix burst forward, heading straight towards the cluster of Bebes still standing between them and the Hive Mind Chamber. But just as he reached them, he pulled hard to the left, sending his wheelchair into a spiral and having his arms acting like the teeth of a giant saw blade, smashing the Bebes to bits. Luckily, Felix was able to regain control just before his wheelchair slammed into the Hive Mind Chamber.
“Okay…not one of my better ideas. Everyone alright?” he asked as the others groaned in a daze.
“Depends,” Monique mumbled nauseously. “Did one of those upgrades of yours happen to include air sick bags?”
“Let's go,” Wade called, spying the two largest electrical cables tied into the Hive Mind Chamber. “Felix, you should be able to get those pulled out of there. Just make sure they don't touch you.”
It was a simple enough matter for the mechanical arms on Felix's wheelchair to rip the cables out from the Hive Mind Chamber. All that remained was to get them to the spire, with Zita and Monique threading the cables on the ground to make sure they didn't get snagged on anything in the process. Fortunately, Zita and Monique were safe in that they were not the focus of the remaining Bebes.
“Be-bes must pro-tect Queen Vi-vi!” one of the last functioning Bebes commanded as they last of them all dashed for the spire.
Flying beyond the reach of even the Bebes' extendable arms, Wade and Felix quickly made their way to the top of the spire. In a desperate bid to stop them, the Bebes prepared to fire their finger lasers, only to find themselves distracted as Monique and Zita started firing wildly in their direction from behind the machinery.
Meanwhile, Vivi was still up on the platform, doing everything she could to stand against Kim, Ron and Max. Charging forward, she lashed out at Max, only to pass straight through a cloud of glittering smoke. Taking advantage of her being caught off-balance, Ron grabbed Vivi's arm and heaved her over his shoulder, while Kim activated her proton cannon and slammed Vivi back into the far wall. Of course, it all did little when Vivi simply rose to her feet, seemingly unharmed.
“Um, excuse me,” Wade called out, gaining everyone's attention, especially Vivi's, as he and Felix hovered over the spire with two live electrical cables. “There really isn't a single electrical pun I could come up with that wouldn't just end up sounding totally lame, so why don't we just cut to the chase?”
“NOOOOOOOOOOO!!!” Vivi shouted as Felix's mechanical arms drove the cables into the spire.
The resulting electrical feedback was massive, giving off exactly the electromagnetic pulse the Wade and Felix were hoping for. The surge caused the few remaining Bebes to collapse in a heap while Vivi herself seemed to just freeze up completely as the spire shut down. Unfortunately, the pulse also affected Felix's wheelchair too as its arms fell limp and its rockets failed.
“You know, in retrospect, we probably should have planned this a little bet-TEEEEEEEERRRRRRRR!!!” Felix pointed out, his voice rising to a panicked yell as the chair began to plummet. Luckily, both he and Wade were both rescued with a wave of Max's hand and a twinkling cloud underneath the chair, slowing their fall.
“You might want to keep an eye on this one!” Max called down to Zita, regarding Felix with an amused smirk. “Something tells me he likes to live dangerously!”
“I know it!” Zita replied, tossing Felix a light smile.
Meanwhile, back up on the platform, Kim and Ron were investigating “Vivi's” frozen body. Looking closely, they began to notice small, minute traces slowly crumbling off of her. And Kim could only let out a hollow giggle of amusement before taking a deep breath and blowing hard, reducing Vivi's delicate form to a fine powder.
“`Simple', huh?” Ron commented.
“Mmm, hmm,” Kim replied before she put her arms around Ron's neck, meeting his lips in a slow, deep kiss before continuing. “You know, I think I figured out what that thing was that we forgot tonight.”
“Yeah,” Ron nodded in agreement, holding Kim around the waist and looking around the hive. “Kinda looks like we took care of it though.”
“Looks like,” Kim noted, looking into Ron's eyes with a warm smile. “I think that means we can now officially call tonight, perfect.”
Ron wasn't about to argue. He simply savored the moment along with Kim as they gently pressed their foreheads together and pulled themselves in close, giving each other a warm cuddle.
… … … …
“Oh, man, somebody wanna fill me in?” a dazed and groggy Vivian asked as Ron, with Rufus on his shoulder, helped her out of the hive. “I mean, I'm just starved right now. I feel like I've only eaten two bites all day.”
“Look guys, I'm really sorry for getting you all into this,” Kim stated as Wade and the others walked out with her.
“Sorry? Why?” Monique had to ask.
“Yeah, you didn't do anything wrong,” Felix responded as Wade hung his head in guilt.
“Maybe not, but it doesn't change what I should have done right,” Kim replied. “I mean, Ron and I were trying so hard not to let the whole mission sitch take over our lives, but…it's still what we do. We should have been paying attention.”
“Speaking of paying attention,” Zita noted, looking back at the hive, “Should we really be leaving THIS here?”
“Oh, no big. We've got someone to take care of little things like that,” Kim answered. “Oh, Max!”
“I'm on it,” Max replied simply, strolling up between them and the hive. “Sunglasses everyone.”
Before anyone could say anything, Max simply wiggled his fingers conjuring up a pair of sunglasses over everyone's eyes. A moment later, he was bracing himself with a hard stance to the ground, slowly raising his arms.
“He really likes this kind of thing,” Kim had to say as Monique, Felix and Zita could only look on with perplexed looks.
Suddenly, with a twisted grin and a wild yell, Max threw down his arms. And out of nowhere, a huge stream of lightning ripped through the Bebes' hive, reducing it to a charred, flaming husk. At the same moment, the very earth itself seemed to come alive as a massive sinkhole opened up, swallowing up the hive's remains and burying it completely.
Max could only laugh in amusement while everyone else but Kim and Ron could only stare with wide eyes and hanging jaws. A moment later, he simply rotating his neck to crack out all the kinks and began heading to the beach, twirling his cane and snapping it over his shoulder.
“Uh, Kim?” Monique had to know. “Where exactly did you find this guy?”
“Smarty Mart,” Kim replied simply.
“Wow,” Felix remarked as they all turned to the beach. “They really DO have some good deals there.”
… … … …
After retrieving Oliver's head and dropping Vivian off back at her apartment, it was off to Bueno Nacho for a much deserved celebratory meal. However, Kim and Ron opted to seat themselves a few booths down, feeling that they still had a little date time left. Still, their separate booth had everyone else unable to contain their curiosity.
Kim and Ron were sitting in the booth, their lips locked together in a long, deep kiss. Of course, that was only how it appeared on the surface. Anyone who was close enough to listen would have been able to hear delicate streams of mumbles and murmurs going back and forth between them. That alone might not have meant much, but at that moment, after Ron had mumbled something, Kim could almost seem to be heard giggling through their kiss before the soft murmurs started again. Another few moments passed and the kiss finally parted, leaving Kim and Ron cuddling up to each other, with Kim making her little purring sounds once again.
“Okay…were they ACTUALLY just making out and having a conversation at the same time,” Felix asked, looking as bewildered as Wade, Monique and Zita did.
“Oh, probably,” Max answered, showing little reaction at all, as he didn't even bother to look. “Actually, I'm kind of impressed. Their lung capacity is excellent.”
“You know, Max, I keep thinking about what you said in the hive and there's just one thing I've gotta know,” Zita wondered. “Did you really know what Vivi's weakness was? Were you just waiting for me to figure it out?”
Max didn't answer right away. He simply paused before looking over at Zita for a moment, his lips eventually curling into a cryptic half-smile.
“Does it matter?” he finally replied. “You figured it out, didn't you?”
“Hey, yeah girl. You just got to have your moment,” Monique commented. “So…how was it?”
Zita didn't offer up any kind of reply. She simply hung her head bashfully so nobody would see how wide her smile was.
“Well, good,” Max declared, nudging his head in Kim and Ron's direction. “Because, you know guys, there's always the chance that something like this could happen again. They might want another day off, one of them might get sick, need their tonsils out, you never know. And I might not necessarily be around. So, somebody's going to have to pick up the slack. Know anybody who might be good for that?”
At that moment, Wade, Monique, Felix and Zita could only exchange a curious look. Granted, when this whole thing began, none of them had expected to get as far in as they did. And the experience definitely had its low points, to be sure. But in the end, they did manage to get through it alright. And they did manage to work together pretty well. And once that revelation set in, they suddenly found themselves flashing enthusiastic smiles to each other.
“We might,” Wade replied, feeling somewhat encouraged, drawing a mock thoughtful smirk out of Max.
“Good to know,” he noted before looking down at his watch. “Oh, man, I've gotta go. I had to leave my date hanging to get here. I've already left her waiting for almost an hour.”
“Aw, dude, bad form,” Felix responded as Wade and the girls shook their heads.
“Well, try not to get in trouble next time,” Max remarked jokingly before getting up to leave. “Oh, and one other thing. If you guys are going to come up with some kind of name for yourselves, it doesn't have to be cool or anything, but at least make it something that won't get you laughed out of the room. You want people to take you seriously.”
With that, Max walked out the door and faded into the night, leaving Wade and the others sitting around the booth. They took one moment to look over at Kim and Ron, still cuddling in their own booth, then turned to each other. And with an understanding that didn't need to be spoken aloud, all four of them lifted their soda cups in agreement.
“Wait a minute!” Ron blurted out, instantly regaining the attention of Wade and the others as he and Kim peered over their booth. “Did he just say he had a date?!”
“Uh…yeeaaaaaah,” Felix answered, looking as perplexed as Wade and the girls.
“Did he say with who?” Kim asked sternly, flashing a suspicious gaze.
… … … …
The brightening sky just beginning to appear over the horizon quickly indicated that the night in Tokyo was coming to an end. Max had just appeared on the street as a vehicle passed by and rushed over to where he'd left his date. Luckily, she was sitting right where he'd left her, on the ledge of a fountain in a nearby park.
“Oh, I'm sorry about that,” he sighed as he ran up to her. “That ended up running a bit longer than I thought.”
“No apologies are necessary,” Ms. Kyoko replied as she rose to her feet. “After all, I am quite sure the situation was quite an important one for Kim Possible to call you away so quickly.”
At first, Max could only let out a hollow chuckle. But a moment later, he gently took Ms. Kyoko's hands in his and gave her a light smile.
“You know, there really should be more people like you,” he observed.
“So…is there anyplace else you would like to us to visit?” Ms. Kyoko asked invitingly, giving Max something to think about for a moment.
“Hm…think we can get into Tokyo Tower at this time?” he wondered. “I've always liked the way the rising sun looks out here.”
Ms. Kyoko simply smiled in response. And with Max putting his arm around her shoulder, the pair turned towards the exit and began strolling out of the park.