Spoilers: Takes place after "But for the Grace of Ron".
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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. All original characters are my invention. I seek no profit from writing this, and expect none.
Kim tried to count the small, furred shapes swathed in black cloth that were crawling out of the hexagonal openings in the walls, but it was impossible even for her trained eyes. The walls were very high, and she couldn't tell how high the openings went. In fact, soon the openings themselves were obscured by a black, writhing mass of monkeys that climbed and swung about the walls. They weren't attacking - yet. Probably the continued presence of DNAmy was the cause, and for that reason Kim wanted to keep her talking. "Adding cloning to your resume, Amy?"
"I find clones to be notoriously unstable," DNAmy replied smugly. "Especially after I read that study from researchers at Pepsico. No, my Monty-poo has been capturing and buying monkeys for years now, each one trained in the art of the monkey ninja."
"Monty-poo?" Kim asked, raising an eyebrow.
"Well, he IS a monkey man," Shego noted. "He probably flings his poo at her."
"I don't think I appreciate your tone of voice, Shego," DNAmy retorted.
"I get that a lot. Is the biting sarcasm or the dripping disdain that gets you?"
Kim shot a look at her. "Let's not provoke the crazy lady just yet," she hissed. "What's Monkey Fist doing with Ron?" she then demanded.
DNAmy's smile was not a pleasant one. "At the moment, probably stealing his powers. Or perhaps he's already moved on to killing Ronald."
"Powers?" Shego asked.
"Monkey magic, remember? We discussed this," Kim said.
"You really ought to be told before my creations tear you apart," DNAmy went on, ignoring them. "I think Monty would want you to know, since you'll never see your friend again. Several years ago, before fate brought us together again - oh, those days where we rekindled our passion!"
Kim felt slightly nauseous at the thought that DNAmy was about to divulge details of their great romance.
"Anyway, Monty's research into the Monkey Master," DNAmy went on, drawing a sigh of relief from Kim, "turned up some interesting information. For example, those powers were never meant to be housed in the body of someone so young. Further proof that Ron Stoppable is a pretender to the title of Monkey Master, as Monty says."
"Which do you think drove her off the deep end?" Shego murmured. "Making love to Monkey Fist, or listening to him rant?"
"Can't it be both?"
"Normally the ritual," DNAmy continued, "involved a subject who had just reached his twenty-first birthday. Only then could the would-be Master access his true potential. Such is why you believed yourself to be victorious all those times," she pointed out, "when in fact Monty only LET you win."
Kim blinked. "Uh, run that by me again?"
"Monty could not allow Ron Stoppable to die until after his twenty-first birthday, of course. Monty believes that if Stoppable died before then, he would be able to access only a fraction of the power Stoppable stole, or perhaps none at all. So when you interfered in his other schemes, he allowed you to win rather than risk killing Stoppable too soon. Nor did he murder Ron Stoppable while he slept, when he had hundreds of opportunities to do so."
"Told you," Shego said.
"That Monkey Fist had a reason for not killing his archenemy sooner."
"Whatever. If that's what he told himself to make himself feel better about losing to a girl," Kim said, shrugging, "then I'm not going to tell him he's crazy."
"My Monty is not CRAZY! He has been waiting YEARS for you and your foolish friends to arrive, and now that you're here, we're going to destroy you all!" DNAmy suddenly snarled at her.
Kim looked her in the eyes and nodded. Anyone who would splice animal DNA together to recreate Cuddle Buddies couldn't be sane to begin with, but whether it was the fault of Monkey Fist, the Acceptables, or tampering with her own genes, DNAmy appeared to have completely lost it.
"You said he was going to steal Stoppable's powers, THEN kill him," Shego said suddenly. "Why doesn't he just kill him?"
DNAmy composed herself somewhat. "There is a possibility some of the magic could escape at the moment of death," she explained. "Monty wishes to possess it all."
"It's actually quite ingenious, not to mention pure evil," DNAmy said.
"Figures," Kim replied.
"By now Stoppable is in a life-and-death struggle with my newest creations, my morillas. Alone he will be unable - "
"I'm sorry, your what?" Shego asked.
"MO-rillas. Part monkey, part gorilla. Monty felt his ninjas could benefit from a bit more size. I used the gorillas Monty obtained over the years to create gorilla ninjas with increased agility."
"Morillas," Shego sniggered. "Sounds like something Dr. D would come up with."
"And that's not a compliment," Kim said.
"She's just jealous that she wasted all those years on a blue-skinned freak when I have allied myself with a true visionary of evil."
"Someone's been taking elocution lessons from Professor Dementor," Shego said.
DNAmy glared at Shego. "As I was saying, my morillas will destroy Ron Stoppable UNLESS he draws upon the monkey magic which his body contains. However, as he uses his powers, the device which my Monty has placed around his neck will drain the powers into a special gem. In his attempts to save himself, Stoppable will be signing his own death warrant!"
"I hope you're as good a teacher as you think you are," Shego said.
"You'd be surprised," Kim replied. Ron had shown tremendous progress, sometimes memorizing moves with just a couple attempts. All he really needed to become a fighter on the level of Kim or Shego, she thought, was another six to nine months of practice.
Plus five to ten more years of experience.
Still, DNAmy made it sound like he was getting several days' worth right now. Especially considering he was being attacked by you-know-whats.
"So you're saying Ron's doomed?" Kim asked.
"Thoroughly!" DNAmy assured her.
"Well then, I guess there's only one option then. Right, Shego?"
"Only option I ever use."
"What's that?" DNAmy asked suspiciously.
"Take you down hard and fast," Kim said. She surged forward towards DNAmy so fast that she almost seemed to outrun her words.
There was a lot of ground between them, however, no matter how quickly Kim moved. And within a second there was a black wall between Kim and DNAmy as monkeys rained down on their position. One pounced on Kim's back and grabbed onto her tightly with all fours as it leaned down and bit her on the shoulder. Kim cried out and reached up to dislodge him, but Shego had already torn him from her back and hurled him like a football into a crowd of simians.
"Did I forget to mention?" DNAmy called out from behind her defenders. "I added rat DNA to their genetic makeup. They've become quite carnivorous now. And while Monty may not entirely approve, his ninjas aren't afraid of biting and scratching their opponents."
"You know," Shego said as she turned her back on Kim, preventing any creatures from sneaking up behind them, "if we survive this, we don't tell anybody what it took to make it. Otherwise we're going to have PETA picketing our doors for months."
Kim frowned. She didn't like that word "if". Especially coming from Shego.
Of course, Monkey Fist never sent QUITE so many monkeys against them in the past. Especially monkeys with altered genetics. And now, ironically, they were trapped like . . .
"Rats," Kim muttered.
Monkey Fist glowered at the monitor as he sat on his throne. He clasped his fingers in front of his mouth while he twiddled his toes. Others had always laughed - having the SIDEKICK as an archenemy! But Ron Stoppable had been a constant thorn in his side, always possessing that which belonged rightfully to him! The true Monkey Master, the man who had compromised his very humanity to mold himself in the proper image!
Not some BOY who didn't even like apes!
Still, he'd had years to prepare for this eventuality. The pack of hyenas known as the Acceptables had made him doubt for quite some time, but they had fallen, and Kim Possible had risen again. Bad news for a lot of villains. Good news for him, because where Kim went, Ron was sure to follow like the loyal spear-carrier he was. Good for running, screaming, flailing his arms about, and not much else.
And that was his archenemy.
Monty buried his face in his hands as he conveniently forgot the time he'd been defeated in his very own ancestral home by Stoppable. Or the time in Japan. If that pretender hadn't interfered . . .
He calmed himself. He took deep, cleansing breaths. None of that mattered now. The boy was a man now, of age, and ready for the slaughter. The jeweled collar around his neck would drain the monkey magic from him as quickly as he used it. And then his body would be just an empty vessel - much like his head.
There was just one problem.
Stoppable wasn't using his powers. Either that or the mystical artifact he'd obtained wasn't working. But it was legitimate, he was sure of it! So Stoppable simply wasn't using his powers.
It would be highly unacceptable for Monkey Fist to go to so much trouble, only to have his victim DIE before his magic could be stolen!
Although he wasn't sure just WHEN Stoppable was planning to die. He didn't seem to be in any great hurry. He wasn't winning, of course. He was outnumbered by attackers who outweighed him substantially. Stoppable simply couldn't incapacitate them, no matter how well he fought.
But he wasn't losing either. If it hadn't been for the fact that the moves Stoppable was using were distinctly NOT Ta Sheng Pek Kwar, Monty Fiske would have felt compelled to conclude that it was in fact the artifact that was to blame.
So Stoppable was defending himself without using Monkey Mystical Power. That was all there was to it. And against two morillas trained by Monkey Fist himself, he had to tire sooner or later. Then he would be killed.
But he had to use the Power first!
There was no other option, Monkey Fist concluded. He must challenge the pretender himself. Challenge him to see who the TRUE Monkey Master was! Then Stoppable would be forced to defend his honor by fighting in the ancient art of monkey kung fu. And his power would become Fist's power.
And then Fist would kill him himself.
Really, wasn't that for the best?
"Being able to adapt is the true sign of genius," he told himself as he leapt from his seat and sauntered toward the room where Ron Stoppable would die.
Shego panted as she tried to speak. "Remember - remember that time - "
"Don't speak, Shego," Kim said. "Save your breath."
"Look who's talking," she muttered.
"I'm trying to think!"
"Then shut up!"
Kim growled as she blew hair out of her eyes. This was getting them nowhere, and she didn't mean their arguing.
Individually, and even in groups of twenty or more, these ninja monkeys were no more a match for the combined force of Kim and Shego than they had been for Kim and Ron all those years ago . . . She forced herself not to think about Ron, and the danger he was in right now. She was in plenty of danger as it was.
And as it was, they were surrounded by what could be called a group of "twenty or more" only by the most broad estimates. There were in fact over a hundred monkeys in the room right now. Some of them were dead, an unavoidable occurrence when you were battling for your life. More were unconscious. Many were nursing bruises, cuts, broken limbs, broken tails, and other injuries.
Many were still fresh, because more monkeys continued to pour from the hexagons which had remained open the entire time. Kim guessed that for every monkey they'd taken out - and that number was in the dozens - two more had arrived.
"We've got to find a way to close up those tunnel openings," Kim said.
"Other than jamming them shut with dead monkeys, I don't see much to work with," Shego said as she pulled a hand back, narrowly avoiding having a monkey latch onto her fingers with its teeth. She kicked a foot out, sending it crashing into the wall.
"What about your gloves? Couldn't you freeze them shut?"
"Senior told me their powers are very limited in their effectiveness in hot climates," Shego muttered. "Otherwise I would have chilled some monkey brains by now."
"We've got to try it anyway!" Kim burst out. "Or they'll just keep coming until Monkey Fist runs out of ninjas, or until we run out of blood." Her blood leaked from many cuts and scrapes all over her body. Her outfit would be hanging in scraps if this kept up for much longer. Shego wasn't in any better shape.
Only by virtue of their workout sessions, which tended to last for hours, were they still on their feet instead of passed out from exhaustion.
"Fine," Shego said. "Don't know what good it'll do, though." She snapped her fingers, activating her gloves.
The monkeys encircling them froze.
Shego looked at her hands. "Uh, Kimmie? You want to look at this?" she asked strangely.
Kim risked a glance over her shoulder. "What - the hell?"
The green glove on Shego's left hand appeared to be on fire. Green fire.
"There's more," Shego said, holding up her right hand with its black glove.
It was glowing with black fire.
Kim stared at her, their peril briefly forgotten. "When was the last time you powered those up?" she asked, astonished.
"That corporate heist we broke up," Shego replied. She looked almost - annoyed. "Kimmie," she went on. "I always keep my gloves locked in my room when I'm not wearing them. Can you think of any time in the past week where my room was unlocked and unattended?"
"You were IN your room when I left the door unlocked!"
"I was sleeping! Anybody could have come in and done something to these - and somebody did!"
"But the only other person even in the building that day was Betty Director," Kim said, still confused. Then she stopped. "Oh . . . and she had Thomas with her."
Shego scowled at her. "You're saying that two-year-old mad mechanic did this! I TOLD him - no touchee!"
"What are you complaining about? You WANTED your old powers back!"
"Yeah, but I don't know what he did to them. They could short out any second!"
Kim gestured toward the monkey ninjas, who were still mesmerized by Shego's flames. "Then perhaps you should use them while you still can by destroying those monkey holes?"
Shego looked at her gloves. She slashed her right hand through the air, and a wave of black plasma flew out, striking a group of tunnel openings and reducing them to impassable rubble. Monkeys scattered, screeching in panic.
Then she smiled. "Treat every blast like it's my last, you're saying?"
"That's how we live our lives, isn't it?" Kim pointed out.
Shego grinned. "I'm suddenly thinking we'll be living them tomorrow after all." A well-timed burst exploded over Kim's shoulder and knocked a monkey out of the air. "What do you say?"
Kim could only smile. There was Ron's life to think about still. "I say we find what PASSES for humans in this dump, and pummel them mercilessly," she said.
"Then if you'll just give me a few seconds of breathing room," Shego said, gesturing to the wall DNAmy had escaped through earlier, but which had turned out to be solid rock operated from without, "I can start by pummeling the wall." She clenched her fists and brought them together, causing the glowing fires to start building.
"Please and thank you."