Story: Fears and Favors (chapter 6)

Authors: A Markov

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Chapter 6

Title: On the Prowl


Wade pushed himself back from the table and wished for the millionth time that he was in his room at home. He could access the internet from here but he wasn’t hooked into his own system. It was kind of like wearing someone else’s shoes, sure they get the job done but it isn’t comfortable. The latest data that his ferrets had unearthed showed that his decision not to return home had been the correct one, whoever was behind this thing was after him with a vengeance. For the last ten days his automated systems had been maintaining a slowly losing battle with a hacker who was determined to get in. Had he taken direct control he could have easily repelled the intruder but it would probably have revealed his current location. So he contented himself with his secondary access points and made sure that nothing linking him to his main system got out. Unfortunately, that meant he had to be out of communications with Kim and Ron.

There had been three more attacks since he had met with the taciturn NSA man, and the people of the country were in an uproar. The latest incident had inflicted amnesia on three quarters of the population of Las Vegas. Demonstrations were being held across the nation calling for the government to do something about the terrorist attacks. Already, many in congress were calling for the military to be deployed on home soil for the protection of the citizens. Exactly how the military was going to protect everyone was not revealed, but with each unsolved incident, the panic increased and the country’s leaders wanted to be seen doing something, even if it was an empty gesture.

He pulled a pen and a piece of lined paper from the drawer in front of him and began composing a note to agent Thomas. It was in code, but the gist of it was an outline of which senators and congressmen were voting to put control with which agency. Anyone pushing for handing control over to Global Justice was suspect in his eyes and needed to be carefully monitored. After he finished the note, Wade contemplated the message he was composing for Kim. He would only have one chance to communicate with her electronically so he wanted it to be perfect, but he was distracted by a surprising bit of data that turned up about Shego. He decided to take a chance and send a paper note to Kim, it couldn’t be comprehensive, but he could at least give her the name. Later, when he was ready to break cover, he would tell her everything.


There was nothing to distinguish the woman from any of the other hundred or so passengers that exited the plane at the O’Hair airport. She wasn’t particularly tall or strikingly beautiful, nor was she hideously deformed. There was no ominous music that followed her through the terminal as she paused with the other passengers to check which carrousel she should collect her luggage from. Instead of tight leather pants, a black singlet, high top combat boots and an intimidating trench-coat, her attire was casual; slacks, loafers and a baggy sweater. She wasn’t even wearing sun glasses. Nothing about her appearance or manner suggested that she was a deadly assassin here in Go City on a mission to kill one person and kidnap another.

The cabbie who took her to her hotel promptly forgot about her. She was just one of dozens of people who passed through his cab that day, nothing to distinguish her, nothing to point at and say, “That was odd.” The doorman, concierge and bellhop all interacted with her without picking up the slightest hint of her malevolent intentions or even registering her in their memory. Even the off duty police officer she shared an elevator ride with dismissed her from his mind as soon as she exited. Being glamorous might be hard work, but being completely forgettable was nearly impossible. She pulled it off without breaking a sweat.

Safely locked into her hotel room, she went to work. From concealed pockets inside her luggage, she removed the components she needed to hook into the hotel’s wireless servers anonymously. Flexible monitor screens and a projection keyboard joined the electronic components arranged in the small briefcase on the coffee table. Satisfied with the set-up, she logged on and sent a signal to her client. Then she closed the briefcase and prepared to rest. It had been a long flight and Lisa Chairman wanted to be at her peak when she went after Kim Possible.


“He’s not here Bonnie.” Kim said acerbically. She really resented the interruption. With both Wade and Shego missing, she was working hard on trying to figure out if their simultaneous disappearance was connected or coincidental. She couldn’t keep herself from hoping that the pale woman had returned and even though she was almost certain it would not be Shego at the door, the sight of Bonnie’s face made the interruption and the let down even more painful.

“I know.” The response was so contrite and heartfelt, Kim did a double take. Was it really Bonnie? “Can I come in?”

Kim was so shocked by the tone and the request that she just stood there, flabbergasted.

“Please?” Bonnie added quietly.

Kim shook off her surprise and motioned for her to come in. As she followed Bonnie into the living room, Kim’s wariness reasserted itself. “Why are you here?” she asked bluntly.

“I need to tell Ron something…”

“He’s not here.” Kim snapped and immediately regretted it. The haunted look in her former rival’s eyes touched her. “I’m sorry.” She said. “Come into the kitchen and let me get you a cup of tea.”

“Thank you.”

Kim busied herself with the kettle and mugs for a few minutes, giving Bonnie time to collect herself. “What do you need to tell Ron?” she asked when everything was ready.

“I need to tell him about the time he saved my life.” She said softly.

Kim was confused. “From the Be-bes?” she asked. Something clicked in her mind. If the Be-bes had been involved in kidnapping her brothers, why weren’t they at Drakken’s lair? She filed it away for future reference and turned her attention back to Bonnie.

“No, before that… in eighth grade…” She dropped her hands into her lap and looked down at them. “I tried to tell him about it a couple of weeks ago, but it didn’t come out right…”

“Was that when you woke him up in the middle of the night to tell him how stupid he was?” Kim couldn’t entirely suppress her smirk.

“It didn’t come out right!” Bonnie wailed. “I tried to tell him about… about… about something important… and it didn’t come out right.” She continued sobbing. “The words… got all messed up and he… didn’t understand. Everything I said just came out wrong and he was so mad… now he won’t talk to me at all.”

The doorbell rang, interrupting Kim’s thought. “Just a minute Bonnie, let me see who’s at the door.” She left the table and checked through the peephole. It was a courier. “Can I help you?” She asked through the closed door.

“Letter for Miss Kim Possible.”

Kim left the security chain in place and opened the door a few inches. She accepted the envelope and signed for it, tipping the courier a few dollars. She examined the envelope as she went back into the kitchen. There was no return address, and her name was printed on the front in large block letters. It looked like someone had used a stencil to form the letters. It wasn’t sealed; inside was a three by five card with four names written in the same style:

Lisa Chairman Betty Director

Electra King Lady Tremaine

She recognized the first name; it belonged to the missing girl from the program. And of course she knew who Betty Director was, but the other two were a mystery to her. She handed the card to Bonnie as she sat back down. “Do you recognize either of those bottom names?”

The brunette looked at the card and replied, “No, but the second one sounds familiar. Who sent you this?”

“No idea. It came by courier and there is no return address.” She handed the envelope to Bonnie and sighed. “This is one of those times when I really miss Wade.”

Bonnie looked at her with a puzzled expression, “Can’t you just beep him from anywhere?”

“He hasn’t answered my calls since the day…” Shego left me. “Uhm… since Ron and I went to rescue the twins…” She looked at Bonnie awkwardly, “I think that’s the same day you and Ron…”

“Yes.” Bonnie said sorrowfully.

Kim sighed inwardly; it didn’t matter if Bonnie was a pain in her side. She couldn’t stand to see anyone in distress. “Look, you can tell me what you want to tell Ron and I’ll make sure he hears it.”

Bonnie’s head came up and her eyes were briefly filled with hope but her suspicious nature kicked in almost immediately and her expression became guarded. “Why would you help me? You don’t even like me.”

And whose fault is that? Kim bit off the retort and sighed again. “You’re right, we’re not friends, but we both care about Ron. I’m not so blind that I can’t tell that you really like him, even if you treat me like a wicked stepmother.” She smiled conspiratorially, “Besides, he’s been miserable for the last week and it’s starting to bring me down. The whole time we were fighting Frugal Lucre this weekend, he was moping around, couldn’t get his head in the game.”

“Really?” Bonnie asked hopefully.

“Really.” Kim confirmed. “Now, tell me…” but she was interrupted by the doorbell again. “Who is it?” she yelled as she got up.

“Betty Director.” Came the muffled reply.

Both girls glanced at the card and then back at each other. Kim motioned for Bonnie to hide the card while she went to answer the door. She verified it was Dr. Director through the peephole and began to open the door when the wrongness hit her. The woman in the hallway was wearing a patch over her left eye. Kim tried to slam the door shut but the imposter already had her foot in the way. She threw her weight against the door trying to close it but the woman outweighed her and was slowly pushing her back into her house.

“Bonnie!” She screamed, “Call 9-1-1!”

The imposter put on a burst of strength and threw the door open knocking Kim painfully against the wall. The fake GJ agent gave Kim a moment to recover by removing her eye-patch entirely before rushing Kim, but she was still on the defensive and the woman’s superior reach was making it tough for the red head in the close confines of the apartment entryway.

“The phone is dead!” Bonnie screamed from the kitchen, prompting a feral grin from the intruder. Still fighting defensively, Kim drew the woman into the main living room. It was fairly large and gave her more room to maneuver. It also meant that Bonnie had an unobstructed path out of the apartment. As soon as they were both in the room, Kim went on the offensive with a Shaolin Chuan attack, alternating between hand and foot strikes. When she had forced the imposter away from the main entrance she shouted, “GET OUT OF HERE BONNIE! RIGHT NOW! RUN!” And turned her full attention to her opponent.

The fake Dr. Director’s eyes flicked toward the kitchen for a second but Kim pressed her attack and forced the woman to pay close attention to her. With a little more room to move around in, Kim found herself with the advantage. She concluded that she was facing a clone or a syntho-drone. Its skill level did not match her own but she refused to let her guard down or even let up on her attacks. She was able to push it into the sharp edge of the coffee table and noted that the thin scratch dripping blood from her leg meant she was a clone or a double. Had she been a syntho-drone, the living room would be covered in goo and there would be an empty skin suit draped across the floor.

Within minutes, Kim had the imposter at bay. Trapped in a corner of the large room and frantically looking to escape. She was wondering how to capture the woman without breaking any more of her furniture when she heard the sound of sirens from the street below. “Sounds like your ride is here.” She taunted the woman who crouched defensively, eyes darting around trying to find an escape route.

“What do we have here?”

Kim heard Dr. Director’s voice from behind her and cart wheeled across the room attacking the second intruder with a propeller kick to the head and followed through with a series of uppercuts to the body that lifted the surprised woman off the floor. Kim stopped her attack when she noticed several police officers and GJ agents entering the room with their guns out. Two of the guns were pointed directly at her.

“Put your hands up and back away.”

Kim raised her hands and backed away.

“It’s O.K.” Said Dr. Director from the floor. She stood slowly and motioned to the imposter still in the opposite corner. “I think we can chalk it up to self defense.” She rubbed the right side of her face and looked over at Kim who was staring at her suspiciously. “It’s really me Kim. Your friend called 9-1-1 and told them I was attacking you. Naturally they contacted Global Justice and we responded with the police.” Bonnie entered the room with a Go City policeman and waved her cell phone at Kim.

“Sorry about the… you know… attacking you.” Kim said contritely.

“No need to apologize for that, it was a good attack.”

“What are you going to do about…?” Kim indicated the woman currently being cuffed by the GJ agents.

“I Think I’m going to go have a talk with my big brother.” The one eyed woman’s tone indicated that something more than talking would probably occur. “This is getting old.”


Shego examined the picture frame carefully. She was certain that there was more to the security system than met the eye, even an eye as discerning as her’s. She was not disappointed. Two magnets attached to the back of the frame were most likely activating proximity switches buried in the walls. Remove the painting and the magnet would move away from the sensor, setting off the alarm. A good system would have polarized switches; that meant that she had, at best, a fifty/fifty chance of getting a replacement magnet oriented correctly. The magnets were also countersunk into the frame; she couldn’t pry them out without removing the frame from the wall. For the first time in two weeks, Shego smiled. This was going to be fun!

Placing her hand flat against the wall, Shego ignited it and began directing heat into the wall cavity. After a few minutes, she stopped and pulled an infrared imager out of her pouch and pointed it at the area she had just been warming. The heat dissipated quickly from the air pocket inside the wall but lingered in the junction boxes and electrical wires of the security system. Creating a tight beam of plasma, she cut a fist sized hole, next to the box containing the wires that went to the proximity sensors behind the picture frame, then reached into the box and bypassed the switches. Working quickly and carefully, she removed the picture from the frame and returned the frame to its position on the wall. She then reset the wiring to the proximity sensors and patched the hole in the wall.

She was sneaking past the security station when the beta unit in her pouch started beeping.

[End notes:


Next Time:
Blast from the past


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