By now most of you have seen the Team Go episode that aired on Friday. Those familiar enough with this story will have noticed the sudden conflict - Shego's green glow comes from super powers, not her gloves as I have written. This was based on an assumption on my part, combined with what one or two people had told me. Since no one ever wrote me to say, "Those are her powers", I assumed I was right. Now it appears that I, and perhaps the rest of us, am learning I was wrong.
I am officially announcing that I am exercising my writer's prerogative, and the events that take place in the Team Go episode do not take place in my story. Consider my story an AU, if you will. The reasons for this are:
1. As mentioned above, earlier chapters in my story have directly or indirectly referred to the powers Shego's gloves have.
2. My plans for future chapters, including the one you're about to read, require that her powers come from her gloves.
3. If it wasn't for the above two reasons, I would try to work with this episode. But to be honest, I wasn't entirely happy with Shego's portrayal in this episode. It was certainly believable - you'd have to be a pretty evil person to create something like "Shegoton". But the sight of Shego keeping her brothers' powers and using them for her own purposes was a bit too heartlessly evil for my tastes. I prefer to think of her as . . . rude, obnoxious, easily bored, and having little respect for laws, rules, and authority ;) (Or, as I told one of my readers, "a little less Demona, a little more Fox".), and so I was hoping to see a kernel or two of good from her. For that reason, I could try to reconcile Team Go's Shego with my Shego, but thanks to the whole powers/gloves thing, I don't have to make the effort.
Anyway, I hope you all continue to enjoy this story, as it moves toward its climax.
Title: An Unacceptable Sitch 9
Spoilers: None that I can think of.
Feedback: As this is my first story in a fandom I've only begun following in the last month, I hope everyone will give me their opinions.
Disclaimers: Kim Possible, Ron Stoppable, Shego, Wade, and all other characters from the Kim Possible television series belong to Disney, its television production arm, and the creators and producers of the animated series. The Acceptable Family and all original characters are my invention. I seek no profit from writing this, and expect none.
"I hope you enjoy your stay," John Acceptable sneered as he punched in the security code.
"You'll never get away with this," Dr. Possible replied calmly. "I'm a respected and well-known member of the community, and people are going to notice, especially given the ham-handed way in which I was abducted."
"We're counting on someone noticing, all right," John said as the door silently slid open. "Your daughter, that is."
"Leave my daughter out of your plans," she retorted.
"You don't know what my plans are," he answered back, "although I could describe them to you." His smile grew lascivious. "They do involve nylon cords and a headboard."
She looked at him icily. "You're obviously a very disturbed young man," she said.
"Probably," he said, shrugging. "I know I have serious mother issues." He punctuated the word "mother" by forcefully shoving Kim Possible's mother into her cell, so that she struck the wall awkwardly and slid to the floor.
Dr. Possible rubbed her elbow as she looked up. John stood over her, so that the dim lighting was obscured. "We'll let you acclimate for a couple days," he said, smirking, "and if your daughter hasn't shown up by then, you'll have to tell us where she is."
"Even if I knew, I wouldn't tell you," she snapped.
"Been there, heard that," he told her. He turned halfway and pointed to the darkened cell across from hers. "You can tell us what we want to know, or you can be stupid like she was. We introduced her to a world of hurt, and in the end, she told us what we wanted anyway." John grinned. "But don't say anything yet. That's fine. Like I said, I've got this thing with mothers, and I wouldn't mind working out some of my frustrations on you." He pivoted on his heel and walked out without another word, allowing the door to slide shut behind him, locking her in.
She moved carefully forward in her small cell until her fingers struck the clear plastic barrier that might as well have been iron bars, it was so thick. In the middle was a small handle, and when she pulled on it, she discovered it opened a small drawer in the door, probably for passing trays in and out.
"He was right . . ."
The hairs on Dr. Possible's neck stood up at the words, spoken in a whisper that was almost ghostly. The red lighting wasn't exactly conducive to seeing things, and she looked about for the speaker. "Hello?" she asked nervously.
"He was right, but he was wrong, Dr. Possible."
"Who are you?" Dr. Possible asked, surprised. "Where are you? And how do you know my name? Are you one of them?"
There was a dry, mirthless laugh. "No, I'm not one of them. Remember me? I'm the stupid one."
Dr. Possible finally realized that the woman in the cell opposite from hers was using the opening in her door to communicate, much as she was. But all she could see was a shapeless mass in the other cell. "So if you're one of the prisoners, how did you know my name? He never said it."
The woman turned her head, so that Dr. Possible could finally see the features on the right side of her face. "I saw your face," she said.
"Your photograph was in your daughter's file."
Dr. Possible stared. "I'm sorry, I have no idea what you're talking about. Photograph? File? You know Kim? Who are you?"
"A fellow doctor, though medicine is not my specialty. My name," her fellow prisoner said, "is Dr. Director."
"Dr. Director?" Dr. Possible asked. "That name sounds familiar. I think - my daughter may have mentioned you once."
"When I knew Kim Possible," Dr. Director replied, "I was the head of an organization called Global Justice."
Dr. Possible's memories returned to her. "Now I remember," she said. "You were the head of a kind of super-spy network, right? Kim helped you on a couple missions?"
Dr. Director nodded her head. "I was quite fond of your daughter, actually. I think she could have been the greatest GJ agent ever, if she'd been so inclined."
"But what is someone like you doing _here_? And what did you mean when you said John was right and wrong?"
"So many questions," Dr. Director sighed.
"I'm sorry," Dr. Possible began to apologize.
"No, don't," the other woman said. "It's nice to have someone to talk to. While I was head of Global Justice, I observed the Acceptable Family on some of their crime-fighting missions. Since your daughter was no longer active on that front, I hoped they would prove worthy successors. But . . . I didn't like them. My intuition told me something was wrong with them. When I met them in person, they raised red flags in my mind. They were too smug, too careless of the safety of others. I thought they lacked a sense of responsibility. They did not compare well to your daughter, Dr. Possible."
"I totally agree with you," Dr. Possible replied. "So what happened?"
Dr. Director chuckled. "They got me out of the way. They must have sensed my disapproval, and because they wanted GJ to trust them, they arranged for me to have a little 'accident'. I was forced to retire. That made it much easier for them to find and kidnap me."
"But if you were no longer in charge of Global Justice, why did they need you?"
The other woman looked down. "They wanted my secrets. They wanted everything I knew about GJ. The Acceptable Family's ambition is to dominate the world some day, and that makes conflict with GJ inevitable. They needed my knowledge to plan an eventual attack on headquarters."
"And John said you wouldn't give it to them," Dr. Possible said. "Or at first you wouldn't, anyway."
Dr. Director raised her head again. "I lasted through six months of torture, you know."
"Oh, I'm sorry, I didn't realize - "
"Don't bother," Dr. Director said gloomily. "I should have died before giving them the information. That's why he was right, and wrong. I was stupid not because I refused to tell, but because eventually I gave in. The daily beatings, the whippings, the electrocution . . . I should have been stronger. But John Acceptable is a resourceful interrogator. He understands the balance between the threat of pain, and pain itself."
"I don't understand," Dr. Possible replied, chilled by the list of things she might have to look forward to.
"You can't just hurt someone," Dr. Director explained. "Pain can be tolerated after a while. It's about inflicting the maximum amount of pain possible without your victim blacking out, and then threatening to do it again. The thought of a second experience is a terrible thing, Dr. Possible."
She turned so that she facing Dr. Possible, and she brushed her hair back.
Dr. Possible gasped in horror.
"Even now, remembering how John Acceptable hacked off my left ear gives me chills," Dr. Director said woodenly as her hand exposed the glaring scar on the side of her head. "But when he threatened to remove the other ear the same way - well, that wasn't something I could take. I wish I had been stronger." She let her hair fall back down.
"I'm so sorry, Dr. Director," Dr. Possible said compassionately.
"I'm sorry too," she replied. "Sorry for the GJ agents who will lose their lives some day because of me. At least it hasn't happened yet. If it had, they would have taunted me with the information." She turned back the other way so that Dr. Possible was looking at her profile again. "You'll pardon me if I don't look you in the eye," she added, patting the left side of her head absently, "but as you can imagine, I'm a trifle deaf in this ear."
"I'm surprised you can find humor in your situation," Dr. Possible said.
Dr. Director might have laughed at that, but it came out as more of a grunt. "I can even take solace in the fact that John Acceptable told me that he could never make love to a woman with one ear and one eye." She bowed her head. "You can draw any conclusions that you like from that."
Dr. Possible needed a few moments to digest what she'd heard and seen. Even then, she had no idea what to tell this woman. "If you don't mind," she asked hesitantly, "did you lose your eye because of the Acceptables too?"
"No, that was more of an on-the-job injury, actually. And you should be asking these things. You need to know what you're mixed up in. Besides, I have been lonely here."
"I see," Dr. Possible replied. "When I leave here," she added, "I'm making sure you come with me."
Dr. Director laughed dryly. "What makes you think people leave here?"
"Why do you think they want my daughter?"
"I assumed they were tying up loose ends," Dr. Director said cautiously. "Removing anyone who could conceivably stop them."
"Did you know someone escaped from here?" Dr. Possible asked.
"No, I didn't," Dr. Director said, surprised. "Who? You don't mean _Kim Possible_ . . ."
"No, thank heavens," Dr. Possible told her. "She was in college last month, actually, until Shego came to her for help."
"Shego," Dr. Director mused. "So you're saying the two of them are together."
"And the Acceptables are so nervous about this that they've taken you as a hostage."
"They shouldn't be nervous," Dr. Possible said. "They've never seen my daughter when she's angry. They should be terrified."
"I've seen footage of Shego when she's angry," Dr. Director replied. "I'd be terrified too."
They were silent for a moment. "So when we get out of here," Dr. Possible finally said, "maybe you and I could talk some more, one doctor to another."
From what Dr. Possible could see, Dr. Director's lip seemed to curve upward. "I think I would like that, Dr. Possible."
Kim was just preparing to dodge a punch from Shego when her Kimmunicator going off distracted her.
"Sorry," Shego said while Kim sat on her rear, rubbing the side of her head. "If you're going to stop defending yourself, I need more than a quarter of a second to stop attacking."
"I'm sure you didn't enjoy that," Kim muttered as she got up and went over to the shelf on which the beeping device sat.
Shego's lopsided grin was all the answer Kim needed. "Wade, what's the sitch?" she asked, looking skyward. Then she saw the face on the view screen. "Dad?"
"Kim, it's your mother," her father said quietly. "She's been kidnapped."
"The Acceptable Family," she said out loud, instantly knowing who was responsible. Her stomach turned to ice.
"We don't know that for sure," he warned her. "She was getting out of her car this morning, according to witnesses, when a white van pulled up. Whoever was inside pulled her in by force, and the van drove away. Still," he acknowledged, "it does seem to be the general opinion that the Acceptables are behind this."
"They must be getting impatient," Kim mumbled, looking at Shego. She thought of the ways Shego had described her interrogation sessions, and the look on Shego's face told Kim that such thoughts were on the brunette's mind as well. "How are the tweebs, Dad?"
"I - haven't told them yet. They're still at school. I was hoping this has all been some kind of mistake, and your mother was going to call any second to tell me she's all right," he said, sounding quite worried.
Kim nodded. "When you tell them," she responded, "tell them she'll be home soon. I'm bringing her back."
"I'll do that," he said somberly. "I'm sure you will, Kim. But be careful. And I love you."
"I love you too, Dad," she whispered. Then she turned off the Kimmunicator. It hurt her to see the look in his eyes.
"Kim?" Shego asked.
"Get dressed," Kim growled, letting her anger wash away her fears. "We are leaving _now_." Without even waiting to see how Shego would respond, Kim turned around and marched away to find Senior.
Shego watched her leave thoughtfully. After a minute she casually began walking in the direction Kim had gone.
"What do you mean, we can't?" Kim burst out at the elderly man.
"My men are not ready," Senior Senior said, unperturbed as he watched the men he'd hired training. "If we are to carry out the plan effectively, we cannot attack with men who are ill-prepared."
"Maybe you weren't listening," Kim retorted. "They have my _mother_."
"Yes, and they have my son," he snapped. "They have had him for years, and they taunt me with invoices for his room and board!" He visibly calmed himself, something Kim didn't appear interested in. "So you see, you and I want the same thing, and we want it now. But sometimes you can't have what you want, when you want it. That was a lesson you taught me quite forcibly when you were younger."
"Believe me, I get that your son's imprisonment has been made as hard as possible," Kim said. "Which is why I have to save my mother as soon as I can - _before_ they start hurting her."
Senior shrugged. "Fine. Go then. I'm sure you will get far."
"I am under no obligation to help you," he said. "I will transport you off this island, yes. But after that, you can handle the rescue mission on your own. I will thank my men for their services and send them home. Hopefully I will have another chance to save my son before I die, a chance that will not be wasted so foolishly," he added sardonically.
Kim began to grow truly angry. "Look," she began, jabbing her finger under his nose.
"Can it, Possible."
"Stay out of this, Shego," Kim said without looking at the woman who had spoken behind her. "You're getting your revenge without having to wait any longer. You've told me how much you hate the waiting."
"I also hate having the shit beaten out of me by the Acceptables," Shego replied, studying her fingernails, "and that's what is going to happen if we go running over there like they want us to."
"They do not take prisoners thoughtlessly, Kim Possible," Senior pointed out. "They imprisoned Shego and my son, not because they were perceived as a threat - no offense, my dear."
"I'll pretend none was taken," Shego said wryly.
"But because Dr. Drakken and myself were seen as the threat," Senior continued. "They want your mother because they want you. Certainly they will try to get information from her regarding your whereabouts, but I suspect they don't think they'll need to, because they think you will go rushing into the crocodile's jaws."
"I've seen you and gators, Kim," Shego told her. "You used to be avoid their teeth, not walk right in. And he's right. They'll wait a couple days before they try anything with your mother, if only to make her sit and wonder what they'll do first."
"But I can't wait a couple of days!" Kim shouted. "I can't stay here and wonder what they're doing to her, and I can't ask my family to do the same."
Senior looked at her calmly. "Fine," he finally said. "Obviously we need each other. We will go with the plan ahead of schedule, _but_ I will require at least eight hours to give the men last-minute instructions. Besides, the idea is to attack at night, and the sun will not set in Middleton for some time yet."
Kim sighed, feeling her anger subside. But a nervous tension settled in her bones. "All right," she said. "If you say she'll be okay until then." She looked at Shego, daring her to contradict her earlier assertion.
Shego nodded. "There's always a chance, Kim, but they're fat and lazy over there. They'd rather you come to them, so they can spring their trap and show you how smart they are."
"To be honest, they waited much longer than I expected to make this move," Senior said. "It has given us all time to prepare."
Kim knew this was true. Certainly the weeks of incredibly intense physical training had left her in the best shape of her life. She could see how her upper body strength had improved from the increased muscle mass when she looked in the mirror. No longer a teenager, Kim knew she was at a level her sixteen-year-old self could only have dreamt about.
"For example," he went on, "I spoke to some of the best evil scientists in the world about possibly recreating the gloves the Acceptables stole from you, Shego."
Her eyes widened. "You got my gloves?" she asked, stunned.
"Regrettably, no," he apologized, and she deflated. "The technology was not something they could recreate. They were amazed such a thing existed, actually. The power source, the ease with which you were able to activate and deactivate them - where on Earth did you get such things?"
Kim was curious, too. Shego had remained stubbornly quiet about her past, and the gloves had been no exception.
"Maybe you should have spoken to better scientists," Shego said. Her tone suggested the topic was closed, and Kim shook her head.
"Perhaps," he admitted. "But, I was able to commission this prototype." Senior went over to a long box on his desk, and opening it, he removed a pair of long black gloves with sharp fingerpads.
Shego gasped. "What are those?"
"Try them on and see," he invited her.
She went over to his desk and, almost gingerly, slipped them on. "They fit perfectly," she murmured.
"I'm told you need to snap your fingers," Senior said.
Snapping her fingers, Shego waited for something to happen, but nothing did. "What's the big idea?" she asked, irritated.
He picked up a paperweight from his desk and gently lobbed it toward her.
She deftly caught it out of the air. "What are you . . ."
Within a second, the paperweight became white with frost. Shego squeezed it slightly, and it shattered in her hand. "Cooool," she whispered.
"Literally," he agreed. "I'm afraid you won't be able to fire any sort of missile blasts with those, but they will have a deep-freezing effect on whatever you touch. As I was saying, the scientists were amazed that you had such gloves when you first began your career as a criminal, but that was several years ago, and technology has progressed significantly since then. They offered several alternatives to your green fire, and I thought you might like these."
Her eyes sparkled. "Want to spar a little, Kimmie?" she asked cunningly.
"No thanks," Kim said quickly. "We're leaving in eight hours, like he said, so you've got plenty of time to freeze everything in the gym."
Shego laughed evilly.
"You have a very nice evil laugh," Senior told her. "Why could you never teach my son that?"
"Too busy teaching him to defend himself, I guess," she muttered.
Kim folded her arms. The Acceptables had crossed a line with her, and she was going to kick them back across it.
"How long will we wait?" John asked, bored as he perched in a chair.
"Before what?" his father asked.
"Before we start working on the mother."
"I don't think we'll have to wait more than a day," Mrs. Acceptable said, smiling coolly. "If Kim doesn't show herself by then, we'll get the truth out of her mother. Say, morning after next?"
John smiled and nodded.
"What about Stoppable?" Mr. Acceptable asked.
Don casually clicked his mouse, and an image of Ron Stoppable appeared on one of the monitors. "We have him under video surveillance," he said. "He's in his car at the moment. He's headed away from our base - to the gym, possibly - but he could be going to meet her. When he does, we'll follow their every step."
"Excellent," Mr. Acceptable replied. "How hard will it be for her to get in?"
"She'll probably try a back way," Yvonne said. "We've disabled some of the security measures - not enough to make it easy to break in, but enough to make it doable. You're sure you want her to get in?"
"Once she's in, she won't be getting out," Mrs. Acceptable reminded them. "None of them will, if she's bringing Shego and Stoppable like we suspect."
"So much for Team Possible," Don said contentedly.
Then the room was rocked by the tremors from a powerful explosion below.
"What the hell was that?" Mr. Acceptable roared.
Don and his mother rapidly typed away at their keyboards. "Someone just fired a powerful laser blast at our front entrance," Don growled, getting cameras onscreen.
"Two helicopters," Mrs. Acceptable said flatly. "One appears to be landing, and armed men in uniform are disembarking. The other one is hovering in midair, and - "
Another explosion sent new tremors through their feet.
"It's continuing to fire on our front defenses," she finished.
"This can't be Possible," Yvonne muttered. "It's not like her at all."
"We're getting a video transmission from one of the choppers," Don reported.
"Let's see it," his father ordered.
"Greetings, Acceptable Family," Señor Senior Senior said on their screen.
"What are _you_ doing here, decrepit old man?" Don asked.
"I have received your latest 'bill'," Senior retorted, waving a piece of paper in his fist, "and this amount is pure extortion!"
"They've all been extortion," John sneered.
"Well, this decrepit old man has enough life in him to enjoy seeing you die for what you've done to my family," Senior shot back.
"Kids, why don't you go downstairs and greet our visitors?" Mr. Acceptable said gruffly. "Show them the same courtesy you showed Mr. Senior's last party of guests."
"I could use the relaxation," John said cockily before rushing out of the control room.
Mrs. Acceptable calmly rose from her seat and moved to another part of the room, fiddling with random knobs. She didn't like this - Senior's arrival was timed too conveniently with the abduction of Kim Possible's mother. The idea that Senior and Possible were coordinating their attacks was laughable, but so was the idea of Kim Possible helping Shego.
Making up her mind, she darted out of the room without telling the others. This was a good chance for all her kids to learn how to play together.
"How did he get here without our noticing?" Mr. Acceptable asked as Senior ended his transmission.
"Must've flown in below radar," Don said.
"Well, John's on his way. The two of you go on. I'll be down shortly."
Don and Yvonne looked surprised. "You haven't fought in the field in three years, Father," Yvonne reminded him.
"This isn't the field. It's our home, and a man has a right to defend his home," he replied coldly.
Shrugging, she hurried out, and Don followed closely behind her.
"Mrs. Acceptable," her husband began to say, but then he realized she was gone. Surprised, he shook his head and headed for the ground level.
Oryx couldn't feel the explosions, but she could hear them. The past few weeks had been tense nights in Middleton. She'd spotted three separate ambushes where ordinary-looking citizens were being followed by one or more Acceptables. "At least I've learned how to spot a trap," she muttered.
When she'd spotted two helicopters flying unusually low in the direction of the Acceptables' hideout, she'd waited only for a second before beginning to leap from one rooftop to another in pursuit.
Getting closer, she was surprised to see the mass of men pouring into the building that disguised their base of operations, while the second helicopter fired on the structure. "I've got to get these people off my back if I want to go on doing this," Oryx said to herself. "Maybe this is my one chance."
Checking that her stun gun was fully charged, she began skirting the edge of the property, looking for a less "lively" entrance.
"Tell me again why we're bringing _him_," Shego said acidly as they lurked in the shadows behind the Acceptables' hideout.
"Hey, I may have been crushing on you when I was a teenager," Ron hissed, "but that was then, and I don't need any crap from you. If I want grief from a woman, I go to my personal trainer."
"You crushed on me?" Shego asked. "Like, you fantasized about me? Ewwww! I feel grubby just considering it!"
"Quiet, both of you," Kim said. "Team Possible includes Ron, and that's that. Although if you want me to think of you, Shego, the next time I need someone to run away and lure five guys with him, I can do that."
"Thank you," Ron said. "Hey, what did that mean?"
Kim looked up at the walls above them. "It looks like an office building," she said.
"It's supposed to," Shego told her. "You can't just build a secret lair without making it a secret. Don't you know anything about building a hideout?"
"I never did take Villains 101," Kim said.
Ron looked mistrustfully at Shego. He'd switched cars with his mother as soon as he got the signal that Senior had started his attack, and he'd changed into the old black shirt and cargo pants in the car. He also had a naked mole rat in his pocket, but this would be her first time fighting evil. "You ready, Ruby?" he asked, patting his pocket.
A little pink head popped out. "Uh-huh," she squeaked.
"Ruby?" Kim asked.
"If you were a girl, would you want to be called Rufus?"
"If I was a boy, I wouldn't want to be called Rufus either," Shego muttered.
Ron didn't exactly want to go up against the entire Acceptable Family with just Kim, but he didn't like the beautiful but deadly Shego, and if Kim was ever in trouble, he would be the one to help, because he didn't trust Shego to do it. "If I was a girl," he retorted, "I wouldn't want to be called Shego."
Shego growled at him and flashed her claws past his face. A whiff of icy air tickled his nose.
"Enough," Kim hissed. "We're going in."
To be continued . . .