Story: Fears and Favors (chapter 14)

Authors: A Markov

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Chapter 14

Title: Alas, Poor Yorick

Kim called the number that Shego wrote down. She wasn’t sure what to expect after her brief and very confusing conversation with the woman who answered, but the Pack Media Studios’ helicopter which appeared out of nowhere, with a fully equipped modern triage unit and an army of well-trained mercenaries, was a complete surprise. She looked through the unexpected throng, hoping to catch a glimpse of Shego’s mysterious “Fox” but no one stood out.  Everyone was professional and courteous to her, and after seeing Shego safely to the medical area, she allowed herself to be escorted out of the medico’s way to the passenger section.  After that auspicious start, the ride itself was long and frustrating; no one would answer her questions, beyond fulfilling immediate physical needs, and they wouldn’t let her in to see Shego either.  

When she tried to raise Wade, all she got was static. One of the mercenary/attendants told her the craft was shielded because of the sensitive nature of their portable studio equipment. He didn’t explain why a filming crew would need a fully equipped triage unit or an army of mercenaries and Kim felt it prudent not to push the issue. He did offer to put through a call to anyone the red head wanted to reach.  However, Kim didn’t know exactly where Wade was or how to contact him outside of the Kimmunicator, so she declined.  Instead she paced the passenger area and fretted.  After a few hours, that seemed like days, she was approached and told politely that she needed to find a seat and strap in, they were coming in for a landing.  She grabbed a seat next to a window and peered out over Paris.

They were met at the airport by an officious blonde man who reminded her vaguely of Will Du, without the annoying overconfidence.  He introduced himself only as “Owen” and rebuffed her increasingly stringent demands firmly, but politely.  She was escorted to a waiting SUV and informed that if she wished to accompany Shego any further, she would get in and remain quiet.  Kim looked around the airfield.  She was standing in the eye of an industrious hurricane.  In the area close to the gigantic helicopter, which she had just exited, there was calm, but everywhere else was filled with frenetic activity.  These people, who had Shego and her now, were powerful enough to shut down part of a busy international airport on short notice.  She nodded once and got in the car.

As the caravan of black SUVs and sedans rolled out of the airport without so much as a pause at the security gates, Kim silently hoped that Shego’s Fox was not turning them over to the government.


“What in the hell are they going to do with them?”

“I don’t know, but you’re the old salt who’s seen it all, I thought you might have some idea.”

“Don’t get your panties in a bunch, kid.” Thomas held up a placating hand to the fired up GJ agent. “I know you’ve risked a lot by getting this information and bringing it to my attention.  And I want you to know that after all this… stuff… is over, you’ve got a place here, in my division.”  He poked himself in the chest with his thumb, “Some of us put the welfare of the country ahead of our own personal gain.”

“Thank you, sir.” Will said stiffly.

The older agent turned to his computer monitor and asked, “Whaddaya’ think, Wade?”

“Insurance policy,” was the terse reply. The teen didn’t even look up from his keyboard.

“Insurance? For what?”

“They’ve been declared ‘Enemies of the State,’ right? ‘Most wanted,’ ‘super-criminals,’ and all that jazz.  Wouldn’t it be pretty embarrassing if the big wigs running the show couldn’t catch ‘em?”

“So they whip up some synthodrones to parade around in front of the public and give everyone a victory over the terrorists.” Will shook his head in admiration, “You’ve got to admit it’s a good idea.”

“Yeah, but it’s predictable.  This is the same methodology that we saw when Gemini and Dr. Director were after Kim last year.  Dazzle ‘em with BS and move all your pieces into place while they’re distracted.  This sure as heck isn’t a Drakken plan.”

“But when Drakken kidnapped Kim’s brothers…”

“Convenient, wasn’t it.  That he kidnapped them just as this stuff started happening and that he just happened to have all the equipment necessary for this kind of stuff just lying around in his lab to be found…” Thomas let his voice trail off.

“You mean that was a set up?” Agent Thomas nodded, and Will continued, “If Drakken didn’t kidnap the Possible twins then who did?” He began to pace the small office, muttering under his breath. Suddenly he stopped and looked at Thomas with new understanding.  “It was a set up.” He said excitedly. “The Be-be robots were supposedly involved in the kidnapping--that’s what led us to Drakken. But when we raided Drakken’s lair, there was no sign of the robots at all, just a bunch of cloning equipment and notes.”

“Kim did say that the fight was easier than she had thought it would be.” Wade put in thoughtfully.

“And the absence of the Be-bes would account for that.” Will continued excitedly, “There were a couple of guys on that team who said they thought the machines in the lab were not even hooked up, but I dismissed their comments because I didn’t think they knew what they were talking about… But Betty was in on the raid, she found the evidence that led to the Be-bes…” He looked up at Thomas again, “Her too?” the man nodded, “Then… she’s being set up too, but not as an opponent… as a rival for power!” Will sat down weakly and looked up at Thomas and asked warily, “Who else knows about this?”

“No one.”

“Good.” With that, Will stood up and pointed his pistol at Special Agent Thomas.  He was only mildly surprised to find himself looking at the old man’s revolver.


Kim stood at the window watching the sun come up over the Arc de Triomphe. It had become apparent that they were not in the custody of any government or government agency as soon as they arrived at the palatial private residence.  Kim had been shown to this comfortable room and then ignored for the rest of the time.  Just like on the ‘copter, her physical needs were met, but no one would give her any information about Shego. She had stopped even trying to get answers from anyone several hours ago.  Awake only through force of will and copious amounts of caffeine, she drifted in and out of awareness at the window.

“You must be Kim.”

The soft words startled her and she turned so quickly that she lost her balance. Strong hands caught her arm and steadied her until she was able to recover.  The woman had a distinctive tattoo around her right eye. She was as tall as Shego and her hair was a dark brownish red. She was older, probably a little older than Kim’s mom, but looked to be in top physical condition.  She didn’t have the air of “staff” around her and Kim thought she was finally face to face with her hostess. She held out her hand, “And you must be Fox.”

The woman took her outstretched hand, but instead of shaking it, she held it gently and scrutinized the tired girl from head to toe.  Kim felt like she was being examined under a microscope and just when she was feeling uncomfortable, the woman smiled and released her hand. “I don’t see it.” She said.

Kim was nonplussed. “What?”

“Your halo.” The woman gestured toward Kim’s head, “I don’t see it.”  She carefully moved Kim to the side and looked at her back, “nor the wings. No halo… no wings… The way Shego talks about you, I thought you’d at least have a halo...”

“Shego talks about me?”

“Constantly. You got a harp somewhere?”

The question didn’t make any sense to her, so Kim ignored it. “Is she going to be okay?”

“She’ll be fine- in a week or so. She has severe second degree burns in some difficult to treat places and some of the burn sites are infected, but she’s a fast healer and she’s in good hands. Would you like to see her?”

“May I?”

Again, Kim endured a searching look, but dismissed her concern as soon as the woman said “Of course, down the hall, third door on your left.”

Fox stood looking at the closed door for several minutes, assimilating the information she had gleaned from the young hero. When she had organized her thoughts she raised her voice slightly and asked, “Did you track this… Lisa Chairman?”

Owen stepped out, seemingly, from nowhere. “Yes.”


“She will no longer pose a threat.”

Fox arched an eyebrow and glanced toward the door Kim had departed through, “Really? I didn’t think the kid had it in her…”

“Ahem, well… I thought it prudent to… finish the job.”

Fox sniffed reflectively and nodded her approval. “The current political situation in the States is bad for business. David and I would very much like it to change. This girl… this young woman,” she corrected herself, “poses a threat to whoever is behind the whole debacle, I want Shego’s young idealist aided in any way we can. Unobtrusively, of course.”

“Of course.”


Even though an attempt had been made to mask the equipment, it was still a hospital room.  Shego lay in the gel bed, covered with a light sheet that was tented so as not to come in contact with any of her blistered skin.  IV tubes and wires for monitoring equipment trailed from the unburned portions of her body and her face was mostly obscured by the apparatus over her mouth.  It was supposed to speed the healing of her tongue and soft palate, but Kim was worried that it would remind the pale woman of the gag that Lisa had used.  Kim was trying to be cheerful and positive about Shego’s recovery but the pale woman wasn’t making it easy for her.  Now she had to leave for a few days and she was hoping for something from the woman before she went to rescue Ron.

Kim walked in and tried to catch Shego’s eye, but the pale woman turned away from her.  She walked around to the other side of the bed, but Shego turned away again.  “C’mon!” She snapped and instantly regretted it. She spoke again, in a more persuasive tone. “Please, Shego, at least look at me.” Shego closed her eyes and shook her head.  Kim sighed; this was going to be harder than she thought. “I’m not sure why you’re upset, and I don’t know why you won’t look at me.”  Kim took a deep breath and went over what she wanted to say in her mind one more time. “I think I know why you left. I think it was because I was asking you to change too much and maybe you thought you were losing yourself.” Tentatively she reached out to caress one of the woman’s hands. “I know I come on strong, and I guess I pushed you to be what I wanted instead of who you are.” She swallowed nervously; she really didn’t want to say this next part. “I have to leave for a while. They’ve got Ron. He’s somewhere in Washington D.C. I have to go try to help him.” Shego moved her hand away from Kim’s touch. “I’m sorry, Shego.  I’m sorry.”  

Kim waited for a few minutes, willing the injured woman to open her eyes and share a glance, at this point she’d even settle for a glare, but Shego kept her head turned away and her eyes closed. “I’ve gotta go. I left a beta unit with your friend, Fox. In case you… change your mind…” Kim kissed her fingers and laid them tenderly on Shego’s temple. “Good bye.” She whispered and walked out of the room.  She managed to hold in her sobs until she had closed the door.  And because she didn’t trust herself to be able to maintain her composure if she looked back, she didn’t see Shego’s outstretched hand.

Fox was waiting for her in the foyer. “You’re not going to be able to save her, you know.” She said darkly.

“What the hell is that supposed to mean?” Kim snarled, her red rimmed eyes betraying her recent crying. “You said she was going to be fine!”

“Physically, yes.  Emotionally, I’m not sure.” She put her hand on Kim’s shoulder, “I know you, Kim, you’re a hero, you save people. It’s what you do.” Fox continued gently, “But I know her too, and you can’t save her.  You can only hold out your hand and hope that she saves herself.”

“I’m Kim Possible, I can do anything.” She wasn’t sure if she was trying to convince Fox or herself.


“I’m telling you, this situation calls for subterfuge and stealth!”

“And I’m telling you that it calls for a frontal assault and public knowledge!” The two antagonists faced each other across the desk, shouting at the top of their lungs, noses about two inches apart.

“Uh, you two aren’t going to draw down on each other again, are you?” They both turned to look at the live picture of Wade.

“No!” they growled in unison. Wade rolled his eyes in relief.  Last week they had faced off with guns drawn, and it had taken him nearly half an hour to get the two to where they trusted the other not to be a part of the conspiracy.  He was really hoping that they were ready to work together now.  Kim hadn’t checked in since reaching Canada and there were indications that she might have been captured.  He still didn’t have a lock on Ron’s tracking chip and he needed these two agents to work together if he was going to help his friends.

“They’re starting the arraignment hearing tomorrow. We need to turn over all of our information to the media and get them to spread it for us.”

“Have you watched the news lately?” Thomas said tiredly. “It’s completely controlled by the National Security Force!”

“How do you know that?”

“Because,” Wade broke in, “over the last week, I’ve tracked several stories in the press, and everything that doesn’t follow the NSF party line gets cut before the broadcast. They’re even trying to control the net; anyone who posts something out of line gets their server shut down.”

“Dr. Grain is in charge of all of this.  I need to see her in person.”

“Like you said, she’s in charge of all of this. If you walk into a room with her, you’ll be dead before the door closes behind you.”

“I don’t think so, Will. I know Candice from way back, if anyone over there is fighting for the people, it’s her.”

Wade nodded his head. “It’s good strategy to use a front man who doesn’t know what’s really going on until you’ve consolidated power. The weakness of that strategy is that if they find out what’s really going on before you’re ready, they can shut you down.”

“Then let’s bring this stuff to her attention.”

“And if she’s in on it?”

“If she’s one of the people behind this, I’m already dead.” Thomas sighed and began hunting through his pockets for a cigarette, “Like I said, we go way back, if she’s in on it, there’s probably someone on their way over to kill me right now.”

Somehow, Will didn’t find that comforting at all.


That night, someone leaked footage of the interrogations to the media, and hundreds of millions of people around the world watched as Betty Director, her arm in a sling, ranted about “lancing the boil of civilization” and ushering in a utopian age with herself as Empress. She bragged about having clones on every continent and an invincible army of trained agents ready to rise up in revolt at her command. She sounded like a deranged egomaniac, and the coverage of her tirade portrayed her as unstable and very dangerous.

Nearly five thousand people turned up at the courthouse where the hearing was to take place, forming an angry mob that pushed and shoved against the barriers and each other.  They shouted invectives at the lawyers for the defense and hurled garbage and rotten fruit at the defendants, as they made their way into the building.  Inside it wasn’t much better. The large court room was filled to capacity and TV cameras covered the scene from every angle. Will and agent Thomas watched from his office, Wade watched from his lair.  Betty Director continued to stand firm, displaying pride in her actions and insisting, by her demeanor that she was on the right path.  Kim seemed to be folded in on herself, crying and saying “I’m sorry” over and over again. Ron just looked confused. Shego seemed to be in fine form, cursing everyone around her and trying to hit, kick or bite anyone who got too close.

When the Bailiff pulled his gun and started toward the defendants, it took several seconds for the crowd to notice. Panic spread through the court room as he advanced on them.  People shoved their way toward the doors but those outside knew nothing of what was going on and were still pressing inward.  Three other Bailiffs moved in and grappled with the murderous guard, trying to wrest the pistol from his grasp without causing anyone else harm. Two shots rang out. One of the Bailiffs sagged to the ground and Ron Stoppable flew backward and slammed into the jury box, blood pouring from his chest. Nineteen people were hospitalized in the resulting stampede, the hearing was rescheduled.

[End notes: Next Time:
Spilled Milk and Broken Cookies

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