“Junior, I must insist that you clear this area of your toys.”
“These are not toys, father, they are instruments for my band. Now is the time that I will sing for the dancing.”
“There will be no dancing here tonight.” Senor Senior Sr. said sharply. “This is a place of ransom now.”
“Do not use that tone of voice with me, Junior. You know that I am only trying to provide you with the requisite billions to create your own nefarious empire.” The older man shook his head sadly, “I despair that you will ever learn the true art of villainy.”
As Junior moped out of the room, presumably to check on the hostages, Senior checked over his defensive measures one more time. The school had a wonderful security system in place; it had cost him quite a bit to buy the plans and codes for it. He had also added a few touches of his own. For some reason, he still had a soft spot in his heart for Spinning Tops of Doom and he had high hopes for the current version with built in ‘collision avoidance’ software. He was sure that Kim Possible would arrive soon and he was anticipating it with delight. He took his time and made sure that his weapons were not only deadly but also aesthetically pleasing.
“Come with me.” Ron said earnestly.
“What?” She looked at him as though he had grown a second head.
“Come with me.” Ron repeated, holding out his hand. Wade’s voice was getting more strident and the jacket over the Kimmunicator was moving around.
“Are you out of your mind? The last time I went with you, I had to jump out of a perfectly good airplane and a cave fell on me!”
The movement of the jacket was becoming more frenzied. Wade’s amplified voice filled the room, “I can hear you talking, Ron. Pick up the Kimmunicator!”
“Please come with me.”
“I… I can’t.”
“Then promise me you’ll still be here when I get back.”
Bonnie dropped her tear-filled eyes and turned away.
“Look at me!” Ron snapped. When she turned to him, there were matching tears in his eyes. “Promise.” He pled.
“No.” she whispered.
“Your ride’s outside, Romeo.” Wade’s voice came from near his foot.
“Shut up, Wade! And switch off, I need a few minutes.” Ron held Bonnie’s hands and looked into her eyes once more.
“Thanks for the ride, Colin.”
“It’s the least I could do after you saved Randy Beaman and me from his piranha-cat.”
“It was just an underwater fight with a ravenous mutant beast.” Kim replied with a dismissive wave of her hands, “So not the drama.”
“Did I ever tell you about the time that Randy Beaman’s aunt dreamed she was eating a big marshmallow…?”
“Yes. See you around, Colin.”
Shego walked into the apartment still steaming. SA Thomas was a selfish bastard. She knew because she had a great deal of experience with selfish bastards; she looked at one in the mirror every morning. “Kitten…” She called but got no answer. A quick glance at the living room told her that Kim had been called out on short notice. Textbooks were strewn across the coffee table and floor. The girl was a haphazard housekeeper at best but she usually at least stacked her crap into one big pile as a minimum effort to appease the older woman. Shego was surprised at the strength of her disappointment that Kim was not home. Perhaps her words about being a loner to Thomas were less true than she realized.
The soft spoken agent had really twisted her up today. He was trying to manipulate her into running one of his spook squads and she wasn’t going to fall for it. He had probably set up the encounter at the warehouse, just to push her buttons. She’d been subjected to his psyches and their crap for five months now, two months of interrogation and three months of in-house training and field tests. So he must have suspected she would react this way. She grabbed a bottle of water out of the fridge and wandered out to the balcony. She needed to figure out why he wanted her to work for him. He had to have an angle that required some quality that she possessed. She sat down to watch the sun’s light fade from the lake and tried to figure out what SA Thomas found so special about her.
“What’s the sitch, Wade?”
“Ron’s going to be a few minutes late.”
“Pants or Bonnie?”
Kim frowned at the thought. The brunette was starting to get on her nerves, last time Ron had been late because of her, he had been so distracted that he wasn’t a good distraction. She put the cheerleader out of her mind and turned to the task at hand, “Lot’s of cameras around here, can you find me a way inside that isn’t covered?”
“Give me some time, Kim.” Wade said while typing furiously. “This is a premier private school, with a state of the art security system specially designed to prevent… I’m in,” he said triumphantly, “I’m putting up a schematic of the building on the Kimmunicator’s screen, and I’ve plotted your safest route in to the building and marked the two most likely locations where the Seniors could be holding the hostages.”
You rock, Wade.”
Kim studied the blueprints for a few minutes, “Hmmm, the library or the gymnasium…” She paused and looked around, puzzled. “Do you hear a high pitched scream?”
“Hold on, Kim, let me scan the area…” The Kimmunicator sprouted a directional antenna, and Wade began an aural scan. “Yes... and it’s getting closer too.”
aaaaaaaAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAIIIIIIIIIIIEIEEEEI EIEEEEEEE… THUD!
“Good news, Kim…” Wade said with a smile, “Ron has arrived.”
“Kim…?” Ron’s voice came weekly from a large bush, “next time I agree to travel by air-luge, just slap me.”
“Sure thing, Ron. Now, fold that up and let’s get going.”
As Kim and Ron made their way through the school’s ventilation system, Ron asked, “Why is it always the ventilation system?”
“Because someone forgot to bring Rufus.”
“Hey, I was already late, and if I had gone to get Rufus from the sitter I would have missed the whole mission.”
“I can’t believe the Dancing Queen makes you leave Rufus with a sitter when you go to one of her stupid parties.”
“I can’t believe Bonnie still tweaks you.”
“Uh… KP, you’re the one calling her names and getting us lost in an air conditioning duct.”
“What tweaked you?”
“Never mind, I just called…”
“..because you need directions?”
“Please and thank you.”
“Go back Fifteen feet and turn left. That will put you over the library.”
“You rock Wade.” Kim sighed as she turned around, “I’m sorry Ron… I guess I’m just not used to sharing you.”
“I know KP. How do you think I feel when you’re snuggled up to Shego?”
“It’s not all peaches and cream over here, believe me.”
“What’s not to love?”
“We fight over everything.”
“You can’t agree…?”
“No, we fight… as in 'put up your dukes' and fight… over everything… to decide who gets her way.”
Ron chuckled under his breath, “Hasn’t she ever heard of Rock, Paper, Scissors?”
“Only as weapons of convenience!”
“At least she doesn’t lay out your clothes for you while you’re in the shower.”
Kim removed the grill and looked into the library. Everything was still and dark. “Looks like they’re in the Gymnasium…” They dropped quietly down between the rows of books, “Let’s split up. You head toward the security control room. I’ll go check out the gym.”
“Aye-aye Cap’n Possible,” Ron replied with a grin, “divide and conquer it is.”
Kim paused outside of the gym. The students were sitting on one bank of bleachers while Junior was setting up sound equipment on a makeshift stage. He had salvaged the band members from the pizza shop and was arranging them on the dais. The students all seemed to be in good health and spirits, some of them were holding in giggles at Junior’s antics.
“I’ll take that!”
Before Kim could move, her backpack was roughly snatched away, and her arms were immobilized behind her back. “Good evening Kim Possible.” Senor Senior Sr. said affably, “I will, of course, regret anything that happens to you, but I think I would regret more if I allowed you to keep your wonderful toys.” He afforded her a small bow, “Please forgive this intrusion upon your privacy, but I must search your pockets for other tools and weapons.” He motioned to her unseen captor and Kim felt her ankles being grasped in the same iron grip as her fore arms. When she was securely held, the elder Senior quickly removed her grappling gun and Kimmunicator from the pockets of her cargo pants.
“You may put her in with the others.” Kim was lifted and carried through the swinging doors and deposited on the bleachers next to the kidnapped students. Her captor moved away and Kim caught a glimpse of a box-shaped robot with several flexible arms. Whatever it was, it had left restraints around her wrists and ankles. Kim tried to stand up but found that the bonds on her hands were connected to the bonds on her ankles in such a way that she couldn’t stand at all.
Ron burst into the control room expecting a fight, or at least a sentry, possibly even an alarm but found only a deserted room filled with control boards and monitors. He located the screen showing the gymnasium. On another screen Junior was setting up a camera While Senior arranged himself in a leather chair by the fire. He wondered what was taking Kim so long and then he saw Junior dragging her into the camera shot. Senior must be telling the world that he had captured Kim and that he was raising the ransom price. Ron looked around frantically for anything that might help. His eyes fell on the button marked “For Emergency Use Only.” This sure seemed like an emergency. He pressed it several times but nothing interesting happened.
Senor Senior Sr. paused his admonitory speech and listened intently for a moment. He could hear the sound made by the Spinning Tops of Doom as they began winding up to speed.
“Junior,” he said almost keeping the note of resigned frustration out of his voice. “Did you, by chance, happen to push the button marked “For Emergency Use Only?”
“No father, I have been only here, wallowing in despair because I shall never become a pop star.”
“This is no time for self pity, Junior. Let us leave this place now.”
“But father, I have not yet had a chance to sing…”
“Hold it right there Mr… Senior… Senor… Ah…” Ron’s voice trailed off in confusion and he turned to Kim. “I never know if I’m supposed to call him ‘Mr. Senior’ or ‘Senor Senior.’ I mean… I know he’s from Spain and they say ‘Senor’ but I’m not from Spain… I don’t even speak Spanish…”
“Right Kim...!” He paused to collect his thoughts, “Hold it right there… Uhh… you!”
“Ah, Senor Stoppable.”
“Dude, you are the only one who remembers my name.” Ron said sincerely, “That means a lot to me.”
“You see Junior, polite behavior is always appreciated.”
Senior glanced at the area where the Spinning Tops of Doom were staged, “Kim Possible, you have foiled my plan this time, but we shall meet again. However, before I go, I would not like you to think of me as a man who only takes from others, so… In the spirit of giving back, I have generously provided new sporting equipment for the school.” He gestured to a monitor showing the gymnasium. A line of tennis ball launchers was moving toward the students on the bleachers, “I believe you will find them most… inconvenient.” As he finished speaking the ball launchers began thumping and beeping. Soon tennis balls were being shot at the hostages with surprising speed and force. Ron freed Kim’s legs and arms and they ran toward the gymnasium. Bursting through the swinging doors, Kim used Ron’s Kimmunicator to contact Wade and bring him up to date on their sitch.
“Wade, can you jam them?”
“No can do, Kim.” The genius said regretfully, “they’re all internally controlled, nothing to jam, nothing to hack into.”
The pitch of the spinning tops leveled out as they reached top speed and began to move toward Kim and Ron. Ron heard the noise and turned to look.
“KP… We’re in trouble…”
“I know, Ron. I’m trying to figure out how we can get past the tennis balls right now…”
“NO KP!” Ron shrilled, “We’ve got BIG problems!” He grabbed her by the shoulders and turned her around so she could see the Spinning Tops of Doom coming up from behind them at full speed.
“We could use some help here, Wade.”
“I told you Kim, all of those things are on independent circuits, I can’t hack into them, I’m sorry, but I’ve got nothing for you.”
“Look at the positives KP, what do we have?”
“Your luck, his brains and my Kung Fu skills against an army of independently controlled, ball-shooting robots and Spinning Tops of Doom…? We’re sunk! I mean… if we only had a wheelbarrow; that would be something…”
“What about a laundry cart?” Ron asked, pointing to a cloth covered bin under the bleachers.
“That’s no laundry cart…” Kim said excitedly, “That’s an equipment cart!”
“So… she’s standing there… in the middle of the gym… wearing a football helmet and hockey pads holding a lacrosse stick and a badminton racquet…”
Bonnie walked away from the room where Ron was retelling the details of his close escape with Kim for the third time since they had arrived at the party. He proudly displayed the fresh stitches on his thigh from where the Spinning Top of Doom had narrowly missed amputating his leg. Kim was standing near by being annoyingly self effacing as usual. Bonnie was miserable. When Kim wasn’t around, Ron was submissive and malleable. He never seemed to find motivation to do anything, just kind of coasted. Something about being around Kim energized him and gave him self confidence, made him whole, made him seem so alive. She had never been able to affect him like that.
She walked out of the party and hailed a cab.