Story: Fears and Favors (chapter 10)
Authors: A Markov
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Title: If You Give a Mouse a Cookie...
[Author's notes: I covered James Bond in the last chapter but he still isn’t mine and Cessna is owned by Textron.]
The following security measures are in effect immediately, National curfew will be set at ten PM. All non-citizens are under house arrest and may not leave their place of residence without proper authorization. All citizens must carry valid identification at all times and be prepared to show correct permits when traveling more than twenty five miles from their place of residence. No private assemblies of more than five persons are permitted. No public assemblies of more than five persons are permitted without notifying your local Security Czar and obtaining the proper permits. All public assemblies of more than five persons must be attended by at least two members of the National Security Force and duly recorded for review by your local Security Czar. Gasoline rations will be issued in accordance with schedule fourteen of the Security Protocol and all requests for variance must be submitted to your local Security Czar. The complete Security Protocol is available at your local Security Center and we encourage all citizens to familiarize themselves with it as soon as possible. Hard copies are available for your convenience. All violators of the Security Protocol are subject to immediate disciplinary action under schedule thirty-nine of the Security Protocol. Citizens are encouraged to report violations and violators to their local Security Center using the phone numbers set up for that purpose. Be patient and support your local Security Czar through these temporary measures until we can ensure the safety of every man woman and child in these great United States. We now return you to your regularly scheduled program, American Icon.
“Did you just say ‘pie’?”
“Um, yes sir.” Rho said nervously.
“His computer is filled with pie?” Gemini looked doubtful.
“Yes sir, to approximately one hundred trillion decimal places.”
“Pi… the number?”
“Yes. He seems to have come up with a new method to calculate it and used his system to run the program when we surprised him.”
Gemini’s face furrowed into a dissatisfied scowl. “So… instead of information about Kim Possible, her friends or her family we have one hundred trillion-“
The interruption caused Gemini’s frown to deepen, an action Rho had thought impossible. “Approximately, one hundred trillion decimal places of…”
“Pi.” Gemini pronounced the word slowly and deliberately with great distaste.
“We believe that one hundred trillion digits is a new record, sir.” Rho said hopefully, before the floor opened up beneath him and he plunged into darkness.
“What does Mr. Load have to say about this?”
“Well, we’re not sure… sir.”
“And why not?”
“Because he isn’t here, sir.”
“And where, pray tell, is he?”
“We’re not sure, sir.”
As Gemini pressed the button that would send Kappa plunging after Rho, he sighed. Some days it just didn’t pay to take over the world.
As Shego’s plane neared the private island, she activated the transponder provided by Senor Senior Sr. The gadget was supposed to guarantee that someone would attend to her approach personally and prevent the automatic defenses from shooting her down. She hoped it worked; the Cessna, Skyhawk she was flying wasn’t the world’s fastest or most maneuverable plane. Any hostile action would probably mean she would have to bail out and she didn’t fancy a swim today.
“To the small plane approaching my island, please verify your identity or I will, regretfully, deploy my short-range, ground-to-air, heat-seeking missiles.”
“Tell you what, old man, you shoot me down and I’m gonna’ put my boot so far up your ass you’ll need a grant from the European Speleological Foundation to organize a search party to go find it.”
“Ah! Ms. Shego, how nice of you to join us. I take it your venture was a success?”
“Yeah, I got your stupid painting, and questioning my competence won’t make it any easier to find my damn boot.”
“Please, Ms. Shego, I did not mean to cast aspersions upon your professional capabilities. It is only that there have been rumors of unpleasantness involving you, and I thought that, perhaps, you were approaching me for reasons other than our previously agreed on business.”
“Rumors of unpleasantness are the least of your worries if you keep jerkin’ me around.”
“Now, where do I land this thing?”
“Your tone of voice is most disrespectful. Almost, I am tempted to shoot you down, despite the precious cargo you carry. However, I will honor our agreement and turn you over to our automated control tower for final approach instructions.”
Ron limped across the lido deck to where Kim and Bonnie were lounging. “Hey ladies!” he said brightly, “The Ron man is here for your interactive pleasure.”
Kim lifted her head marginally and glanced around with a confused expression on her face. “Did you hear something, Bonnie?”
“I brought snackage.”
The brunette didn’t even bother to move. “I didn’t hear anything. What about you, Rufus?”
“Aw, man! Et tu, Rufus? Et tu?” Gingerly, Ron kneeled down on the deck between the two lounge chairs and folded his hands together in supplication. “C’mon, guys, it’s been like, ten days! When are you going to let me out of the dog house?”
Bonnie sat up and pulled an organizer from her carryall. Opening it, she started flipping through the pages, muttering numbers. “Ah!” she stopped turning pages and jabbed her finger at a page near the back. “Right about… never. Is that good for you Kim?”
“Yeah, never’s good for me.” She replied, barely suppressing her smile. “Hold it!” she sat up. “Is that this never? Or next never?” As the girls dissolved into laughter, Ron got laboriously to his feet and limped back to the Jacuzzi. It looked like he was in for another lonely day of soaking his sore body in the hot jets. He was healing up pretty fast; he figured he’d be able to walk normally in another week or so. For now he comforted himself with a mental of Kim and Bonnie in bed together, Kim on her back with Bonnie snuggled up against her, one arm draped across Kim’s stomach, Bonnie’s head on Kim’s shoulder, tilted just so, lips parted slightly, seemingly waiting for a kiss from the beautiful red head who’s face was turned just slightly toward the Brunette. The pain faded as he visualized the scene.
Kim looked over at Bonnie who, in the last two weeks, had become, if not a friend, at least not an enemy. “We really shouldn’t blame him, you know. I don’t think there’s a man alive who could have resisted.” She smiled ruefully, “At least he left our clothes on and didn’t take any pictures.”
“So he says.”
“I went through every thing he owns very thoroughly. If there were pictures, I would have found them.”
“When did you go through his stuff?”
“You remember when he was hanging upside down from the yardarm and you were dunking him at random intervals?”
Bonnie’s smile grew and a satisfied gleam brightened her eyes.
Kim relaxed back into her chair. “In a few days we’ll be in Cannes, enjoy the Mediterranean while you have the chance and keep the heat on Ron until he buys you something nice.” She closed her eyes and tried not to think about the inactive Kimmunicator in her bag. The network that it used seemed to be down and she hadn’t been able to make any calls. Although she did have all the information stored on the device, she wasn’t able to link to anything outside of it. Trying to put Wade’s fate out of her mind for the moment, she wondered how to get a cell phone, she was pretty sure they had stores. She’d seen a commercial for one on TV once.
Agent Du walked casually up to the checkpoint. He presented his forged credential to the agent on duty and was admitted into the records area without question or fuss. Outwardly he was calm and collected. Inside he was shaking like a martini in a Bond flick. He was about to disobey orders for the first time in his life. Well, not so much ‘disobey’ as ‘act without orders in a manner contrary to the established chain of command’s known desires.’ In short, he was going to release a prisoner and make it seem like a clerical error. He had to admit; the thrill of testing himself against the Global Justice system was somewhat intoxicating. He understood why people would want to do this sort of thing on a regular basis.
He pulled two files and substituted their contents with documents he had prepared on his home computer, and then he logged on to the records department’s computer with an alias that he had generated specifically for this mission. Once in the system, he issued a command to release Special Agent Thomas from custody and countermanded the standing order that Dr. Director immediately be notified of any change in the prisoner’s status. He quickly logged off and left the building by way of the side entrance. The door he utilized had one advantage, no camera.
Outside, he hurried to his rented car and climbed inside, only then did he allow himself to succumb to the nervousness he felt. He waited for a few minutes until his hands stopped shaking and the urge to throw up passed, then headed to a rendezvous with his alibi. The mainframe clocks should reset tonight and make it seem as though the release had been ordered while he was otherwise occupied. When he reached his destination he took several deep breaths, calming himself for his lunch with Betty.
“My name is Doctor Candice Grain. I have a Masters Degree in political science from the University of Notre Dame. I speak five languages. Prior to this posting, I served the President of the United States as National Security Advisor and Secretary of State. You may refer to me as “Madam Security Czar,” you may refer to me as “Doctor Grain,” I’ll even allow you to refer to me as “Mrs. Grain.” But I warn you, I have unconditional dominion over a substantial force of heavily armed soldiers, mercenaries and agents, and the next person who calls me “Candy” is getting shot!” Her penetrating glare swept over the assembled men and women of her war cabinet. “Do I make myself clear?”
There was a moment of nervous silence, broken by the sound of several Marines chambering bullets into their side arms followed quickly by a chorus of, “YES MA’AM!” from the people around the large conference table.
“Damn skippy!” She muttered as she sat down at the head of the table. “Now, I believe the Global Justice representative has something to report to the committee. Dr. Director, You have the floor.”
“Thank you, Madam Security Czar. We have traced the biological agents used in the attacks back to a man named Drew Lipsky. He is better known as ‘Dr. Drakken,’ a self proclaimed ‘Mad Scientist’ who has tried, on several occasions, to take over the world. We have him in custody now but we are unsure if he was the mastermind behind the scheme or just the supplier of the biological agents. Now, if I could turn your attention to the screen behind me…” She called up the first slide. “This is Dr. Drakken. A few months ago we raided his lab in connection with a kidnapping. Timothy John Possible and James John Possible, twin brothers, fourteen years old, were abducted by Dr. Drakken for reasons as yet unknown to us.”
“Are these twins any relation to Kim Possible?”
“Yes, they are her younger brothers.”
“So, they could have been kidnapped as a way to lure Miss Possible to some sort of trap.”
“That is a leading theory, but the I mention the kidnapping only because it resulted in the raid on Dr. Drakken’s laboratory where we found the materials and machinery necessary to manufacture the biological agents used in the attacks.”
“And how long ago was this raid?”
“Approximately two months.”
“Two months! And you’re just telling us about it now?” the irate man jumped up from his seat. “For God’s sake, woman! There’ve been ten attacks in the last two months!”
“And he’s been in custody that whole time. We confiscated nearly a dozen devices with unknown purposes and several reams of notes that had to be sorted through. Our investigations turned up this information two days ago and we have been vetting it for the last forty-eight hours. We contacted the Security Czar’s office as soon as we found solid evidence and this meeting was convened at the earliest possible time.” Her eye swept the assemblage, “Are there any more questions about the timeliness of this disclosure or the actions of my ay- ahem, I mean, Global Justice?”
There was a general murmur of denial and a few coughs. If anyone caught her slip of the tongue, they let it pass unmentioned. With an infinitesimal smile, she continued. “We have reason to believe that he employed three agents to disperse the biological agents: A cat burglar, known only as “Shego,” A mercenary for hire, calling himself “The Ron Man” and, this pains me to say, Kim Possible.” There was a murmur of disbelief around the table as everyone reacted to the bombshell that Dr. Director had just dropped in the room.
“How can you accuse Kim Possible of being involved in… something like this?” one outraged man yelled.
“Yeah! She’s always helped people, this isn’t the kind of thing she’d do.”
“What kind of hokey crap are you tryin’ to pull here, Betty?”
“ORDER!” Dr. Grain banged the table several times, “Order! The committee will come to order!” gradually the sound died down and when they had fallen into an uneasy silence, she turned to Dr. Director and motioned for her to continue. “Please tell us why you believe Miss Possible is implicated in this matter. And, Betty, this had better be rock solid.”
“If you’ll all turn to page nine of your briefing, you’ll see that we have evidence showing that Miss Possible and her accomplice, a Mr. Wade Load, are implicated in five robberies with an estimated average take of one point six million dollars. We believe that the kidnapping was part of a power play between Kim Possible and Dr. Drakken into which, Global Justice was unwittingly drawn. We attempted to take them into custody three weeks ago, but they were somehow alerted to our plans and remain at large. Kim Possible was last seen at Go City Memorial Hospital one day before we attempted to detain her and we confiscated all of Mr. Load’s computers but have hot been able to recover anything of use to our investigation from them.”
“This evidence is circumstantial.”
“They fled when we tried to pick them up for questioning.”
“That hardly means she is an international terrorist-”
“Her family is also missing. No forwarding address, no word to neighbors, no record of travel, they all just disappeared from the face of the earth, the day before Global Justice tried to speak with Miss Possible about her connection with these matters. There have been no attacks since that day.” She paused for a moment to let them absorb that and went on, “According to schedule twenty-three of the Security Protocol, Kim Possible can and should be declared an Enemy of the State.”
As soon as special agent Thomas walked into his office, he knew something was amiss. His paperwork had been disturbed. Someone had been going through his files and notes. It upset him quite a bit. Not because anyone would be able to decipher his code, (Two parts obscure references and three parts illegible handwriting,) but because it meant that someone on his staff was a traitor, working for or with that harpy from Global Justice. He stood absolutely still and began surveying the room. He let himself sink into a light, receptive trance as he took in the room as a whole. This pile used to be a foot to the left. That pile has been rifled through. The pile on the coffee table just moved. He came out of his trance quickly and eyed the pile suspiciously. It failed to move again, but he was now aware of a faint rhythmic sound, almost like breathing. He drew his gun and crept across the room.
[End notes: Next Time:
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