Rated M for Kim and Ron’s amorous behavior.
Kim Possible, Ron Stoppable, Rufus, Wade Lode, Mr. and Mrs. Dr. Possible, Jim and Tim Possible, Monique, Hope, and Dr. Betty Director are characters from the Kim Possible show, created by Mark McCorkle and Bob Schooley, owned and copyright © by the Walt Disney Company. This story © 2009 by cloudmonet. Chapter 10 of 10.
Mr. Tully returned after four days of helping out in Kitanga and announced after saying grace for dinner that he would soon be retiring as director of the aid camp and taking a position as the new pastor at the Foothills Chapel in Middleton, California. “Wade found this job for me,” Mr. Tully explained. “His family belongs to this church.”
“We’re all really gonna miss you,” said Maria.
“It’s time for me to move on. I can’t stay in Central Congo much longer. It seems that my former friend Dabel Matombe filed more than a little bit of paperwork blaming me for the missing aid shipments. There’s a warrant out for my arrest, yes, despite all the good work I’ve just done in Kitanga. Colonel Lawunda says he’ll be damned if he’ll arrest me, and the mayor and police chief of Kitanga agree with him. The big problem is, I’m known in the capitol as a friend of Matombe.”
“Don’t you want to clear your name?” asked Kim.
“My name is clear enough in the eyes of the Lord, and that’s what matters to me. I am fed up and disgusted with the power games and duplicity in this wretched country. The only justice you can count on here is the justice of friendship, and I made friends with the wrong powerful man. Once something gets written down in the files, it’s almost impossible to get it corrected. Both Matombe’s enemies and his friends want me run out of here.”
“Who’s going to be the new camp director?” asked Maria.
“That would be one Maria Inez,” Mr. Tully said, gesturing for her to stand beside him. “She actually took up arms against the rebel general, and helped free the city of Kitanga from his stranglehold with her diplomatic maneuvers. At least, that’s how the UN aid office in the capitol is spinning this, and the Central Congo bureaucrats seem satisfied. That’s what diplomacy’s all about— telling lies, so nobody kills somebody else over the truth.”
“So how long before you have to leave?” Maria asked.
“I figure I’ll leave next week with Kim and Ron. If there’s any problems getting me out of here I’d just as soon be with them.”
“Looks like we’re back to booking with the Wade Lode travel agency,” said Ron.
Hans got up and stood beside Maria. “Okay t’en, Maria,” he said, taking her hand. “I guess I gotta ask you t’iss now.”
Maria turned to him, and he held her other hand.
“Maria Inez, will you marry me, Hans Clauson?”
“Yes,” she said quietly, and pulled him into a tight embrace. “Yes,” she repeated, loudly enough for everyone to hear, blotting her tears with her fingers.
“In t'iss case, Mr. Tully, we want you to do a ceremony for us before you go.”
“I would be much obliged,” he replied. “Do you want me to do the honors right now, or are we planning some kind of wedding?”
Several girls started chanting, “Wed-ding, wed-ding, wed-ding!” and after the third, “Wed-ding!” nearly everyone was chanting.
When the chant subsided, Nanahno, who was sitting across from Kim, raised her hand and asked, “Can I be flower girl?” She was eating dinner there because she helped cook it, and also because she was going to stay overnight in the girls’ tent to help Ruthanne and Celia cook breakfast.
Before Maria could answer Nanahno, Ellen and Marsha both shouted, “Bridesmaid!”
“Hold it!” Maria called out. “I’m honored that you want to throw a party for me and Hans, but let’s not make it too complicated. I don’t want to buy some lacy white dress I’ll never wear again, or throw some sort of gourmet feast. That’s just not appropriate here.”
“Just let me and Celia handle the food,” said Ruthanne.
“We’ll plan the whole party,” Celia agreed.
“Well, okay,” Maria said.
“Can I be flower girl? Can I?” Nanahno repeated.
“Yes!” Maria said with a smile.
“Squeeee!” the little girl replied, bouncing up and down in her seat, then running over to give Maria a big hug.
“I’m so glad this is happening,” Kim whispered to Ron. “Nanahno and Maria getting close makes me feel like it’s good enough for me to leave now.”
“So who really wants to be a bridesmaid?” Maria asked.
The wedding happened on Kim and Ron’s second last day at the camp, after being delayed a day by a rainstorm. Two trucks showed up that day with aid supplies, which many of the villagers picked up and took home as usual. Some of the villagers, including Nanahno, Iko, and all the other children, just hung around. Some of them came back from the village, this time carrying conga drums and xylophones for the celebration.
Maria wore a flowered sundress that Hans bought for her at a shop in Kitanga. Most of her bridesmaids wore pink T-shirts and shorts. Hans wore his UN peacekeeper’s uniform, as did his best man, Dieter.
“Dearly beloved, we are gathered here today,” Mr. Tully began, and wove a couple of character-illuminating stories about his own long friendship with Maria into his speech, as well as one about Hans that could probably be sourced to either Maria herself or Ron. Eventually he reached the vows:
“Do you, Hans, take this woman, Maria, to be your lawfully wedded wife, to have and to hold, to love, honor, and cherish, in sickness and in health, cleaving to her and forsaking all others, as long as you both shall live?”
“Ya. I do.”
“Do you, Maria, take this man, Hans, to be your lawfully wedded husband, to have and to hold, to love, honor, and cherish, in sickness and in health, cleaving to him and forsaking all others, as long as you both shall live?”
“I now pronounce you husband and wife. You may now kiss the bride.”
Hans did exactly that.
Because everyone in the camp who had any money contributed a little, the wedding feast did include a cake baked in Kitanga, made with UN aid flour and local chicken eggs, among other cake ingredients.
The conga and xylophone music was outstanding, the villagers taught the UN aid volunteers some of their simpler dances, and the party continued till long after moonset.
Kim and Ron retired to their tent about that time. Kim was all, “Squeeee!” about the wedding— this was her first experience of a close friend getting married. Kim was all over Ron, wanting pretty much nothing but immediately “Squeeee!” inducing lovemaking, which he was proving pretty dependable at providing.
But Ron eventually fell asleep, leaving Kim still wide awake. By the dim light of the coleman lantern through the tent fabric, she watched his pale body on the dark sleeping bag. This is my husband, she thought to herself. It’s only a matter of time, a few more years. So what if I can’t call him my husband yet?
The next thing Kim remembered was Ron’s voice— and Wade’s voice— forcing their way into her consciousness. Was Ron using the kimmunicator? It was daylight, and Kim was totally nude, and Ron might be as well. The one thing that stopped her from shrieking and rolling herself inside the top sleeping bag was curiosity about what Ron was saying, something about how small a trilithium battery could power a cutting laser.
“So you want a cutting laser in a one carat engagement ring?” Wade’s voice asked. “That’s a really cool idea.”
Engagement ring?! Squeeee! and with a laser? Kim thought that was indeed a very cool idea, and more proof, if any were needed, that Ron was the perfect guy for her. Probably Ron was holding the kimmunicator some way that Wade couldn’t see her, but there was no way to ask without spoiling Ron’s surprise!
“Talk to you later,” Ron whispered. “I think she’s starting to wake up.” He put the kimmunicator down somewhere, hopefully turning it off, and snuggled against her back.
“Mmm,” Kim said sleepily. “Is it morning already?” She rolled over in his arms and kissed him.
One more day filled with work, conversations, hugs, and goodbyes, and one more night filled with ratings-challenging amorous behavior, then an early morning breakfast car-hood clank told Kim and Ron it was time to leave. They rolled up the sleeping bags, pulled out the air mattress, took down the tent, and rolled it up.
They took their bowls of oatmeal to the table with Ellen, Stephen, Marsha, and Bones, and bowed their heads while Mr. Tully said grace for the last time, then finished their meal quickly. Ellen and Marsha said goodbye to Rufus.
Then Kim, Ron, and Mr. Tully got into the backseat of Hans and Dieter’s Range Rover, while Hans drove and Maria sat in front beside him. Mr. Tully was leaving the travel trailer, Land Rover, and upgraded laptop for Maria.
When they got to the Kitanga airport, Colonel Lawunda took Kim, Ron, and Mr. Tully into a private office.
“I’ve got a bad feeling about this,” Mr. Tully said.
“Oh, no, no, no problem,” Lawunda replied with a chuckle. “Well, maybe some problem,” he added after latching the door. “You see, the airplane only goes from here to the capital. No problem for Possible and Stoppable, probably, but the police are waiting for Tully.”
At this point someone knocked on the door. Lawunda opened the door a crack, then let Christiana and Mudib come inside.
“Did Lawunda tell you Wade and the UN arranged alternative transportation?” Christiana asked Mr. Tully. “I hope you have those interview tapes, Kim.”
“I checked my luggage already,” she replied.
“Yeah, maybe, but it’s over there,” said Ron, pointing to a hand cart with two backpacks and three suitcases in the corner of the room.
“I intercepted your luggage,” said Lawunda.
“Okay, then,” Kim said, and rummaged through her pack’s side pocket for the precious tapes.
“Thank you very much,” said Christiana, putting them in her handbag. “Now, Kim, your cover story is going to be this. You and Ron bribed Colonel Lawunda here, to help you smuggle Luther across the border. No mention of me or the UN, understood?”
“Yes, ma’am,” said Kim.
“And what about my bribe? I do need to have one,” said Lawunda.
“Just when I finally think I’ve met some official in Central Congo who’s not that kind of man—” said Mr. Tully.
“It’s just the system,” Lawunda replied. “If I help you out without getting a bribe, then maybe I’m with you and Matombe, and that’s trouble for me, but if you give me a bribe, then we’re just doing business, and there’s no problem. You see?”
Mr. Tully did a facepalm. “I’m never gonna understand this place.”
“Here you go,” said Christiana, handing him a check card from the Bank of Middleton. “There’s about five thousand dollars in the account. The ATM code is 0476.”
“Now that’s what I call a bribe!” Lawunda said with a big grin.
“Bank of Middleton?” said Kim.
“It’s supposed to be your bribe,” said Christiana. “Don’t worry, the account’s not in your name.”
Lawunda read the card, “Kolya Dragonov.”
“I advise you to transfer the money to your own account as soon as you can,” Christiana said.
Kim, Ron, and Mr. Tully climbed into the SNN jet copter, taking seats behind Christiana and Mudib. The pilot evidently was not aware of Christiana being anything but an SNN reporter, so she was not willing to talk to Kim about anything but SNN business. She even said, “I’m delighted to give you a ride, Kim Possible, after all the help you gave me with those interviews.”
“Oh, it was no big,” said Kim, feeling more than a little bit like she’d woken up on the wrong side of the looking glass that morning. This didn’t quite seem like the same Christiana.
Ron just shrugged and looked relaxed. In Kim’s experience, Ron often seemed distracted or oblivious, but if anything was really wrong, he was quick to notice.
“I’m glad we’re flying high over these mountains,” Mr. Tully said. “That’s where the rebels live. That’s where the genocide happened.”
Ron immediately looked out the window. “That’s a long way down. I figure we’re okay. No one shoots at SNN, right? And anyway, they want to keep their positions hidden.”
“It’s beautiful country,” said Kim. “Don’t the mountain gorillas live down there somewhere?”
“If there’s any left the poachers haven’t killed,” Mr. Tully said darkly.
“Dude, you really need to perk up,” said Ron. “The burdens of Africa are off your shoulders now! Other people gonna carry on, with light, and love, and optimism. Naive? I know you’re gonna say that at me. You say it a lot. But if there weren’t any people naive enough to think they can make stuff get better, then nothing ever would get better, cause no one would try.”
“That’s why I left the aid camp in the hands of a naive but very capable young disciple,” said Mr. Tully.
It seemed to Kim that the helicopter changed direction or slowed down a few times, and Christiana was busy discussing something technical with the pilot.
“Is she gonna come back here and interview the rebels?” Kim asked Mudib.
“I never talk about my lady’s plans,” he replied. “You’ll pardon me.”
But then the SNN helicopter flew fast over the great rift valley lake, and turned again to make a beeline for Nairobi, Kenya, where it landed at the general aviation section of the airport.
“Your connection should meet you in the terminal,” said Christiana.
Kim and Ron put on their packs, and Ron carried one of Mr. Tully’s three suitcases— not much in worldly possessions, given that he’d lived in that trailer for at least five years— and they walked into the terminal.
“I wonder where we should wait,” said Ron.
“I wish I knew who we’re waiting for,” said Kim.
“There’s a newsstand,” said Mr. Tully. “I would like to read a real newspaper.”
“Fine with me.”
They set their luggage down while Mr. Tully bought a New York Times.
What caught Ron’s eye was a headline on the Nairobi paper, General Dabel Matombe killed by subordinate officer.
Mr. Tully was very upset. He folded his hands and bowed his head in prayer, but mostly he was trembling and crying.
Though it was the middle of the night in Middleton, Kim called Wade.
“That’s news to me,” he said. “Where are you now? Nairobi? Stay by the newsstand. Your connection is looking for you. I can’t find anything about the Matombe story from SNN or Reuters. It is on the London Times website. Not really much here. Killed in his sleep with a knife. Subordinate officer missing, presumed to be the culprit. Looks like he was killed by his own guard.”
A woman in a pilot’s uniform walked past the newsstand and said, “Follow me.”
“Mr. Tully, we’ve gotta go,” Kim said gently.
“Call me Luther,” he said, wiping his eyes and rising to his feet.
Kim, Ron, and Luther followed the woman through a gate to a hypersonic jet. Once she slipped into the cockpit, she turned to look at them for the first time, and Kim saw the eyepatch and recognized the face.
“Betty!” she said.
“I’m delighted to give you a ride, Kim Possible, after all your help—”
“Yeah, yeah, it was no big,” said Kim.
“Kim, sit with me,” Betty said, drawing the curtain while Ron sat with Luther in back. “You doing okay?” she asked quietly.
“I’m fine,” Kim replied. “Why wouldn’t I be?”
“I’m really curious how you did it.”
“Okay, you lost me.”
Betty dropped her voice to nearly a whisper. “I told you to make it look like one of his men did it.”
Kim laughed. “Betty, I didn’t do it! I just learned about it at the newsstand, just now. If not for that, I’d be all, ‘What? He’s dead?’ As far as I know, he really was killed by his own guard.”
“Wow. You’re a real pro. You can scan the cockpit for recording devices if you like. It’s clean.”
Kim sighed. “I didn’t kill Matombe. In fact, after he left Kitanga and moved his troops from the area, I had no reason to want him dead. Luther’s really upset about him getting killed.”
“Well, I’m glad he’s dead for a number of reasons, but we don’t need to argue about that.”
“Thanks for the weapons and uniforms. That really helped. And thanks for getting Christiana involved, if you did. She saved us.”
“So you know about her?” Betty asked. “I didn’t contact her, though I did leak your video to SNN. Christiana just played off that video brilliantly, and negotiated Matombe right out of Kitanga. What was in those cans you used for target practice?”
“Something like homemade napalm.”
“Cute,” Betty chuckled. “I wasn’t sure just how many laser weapons to send you. I didn’t want to send so many that you’d think you could mount an assault on Kitanga, or even stage a commando raid, which could’ve easily gotten the UN kicked out of the country— it’s happened before— but at the same time I realized you had some very unmilitary people to work with, and I wanted to give you enough for self defense. Then the thought occurred to me that perhaps the best way to avoid any incident at all was a good bluff, so I sent the camera. By the time I leaked the film to SNN, Christiana was already on the move. It worked perfectly, and no one suspects I had anything to do with it.”
Kim wanted to sit in back with Ron to help him comfort Luther Tully about Matombe’s death, but this rare opportunity to talk freely with Betty Director kept her in the cockpit. They discussed a number of Kim’s recent adventures which have no relevance to this story, as well as Kim’s plans for the future. Two two-hour hypersonic flight seemed over in a flash, leaving Kim wondering why she didn’t talk to Betty about that, or that, or that other sitch.
Betty landed her jet at the Middleton Space Center, went inside with them, and before Kim and her father could even properly say hello, Dr. Director pulled Mr. Dr. Possible into a secure meeting room, and began a long conversation about something.
“What’s up with that?” asked Ron.
“I didn’t even know they knew each other,” said Kim. “Could be work-related, I guess.” She looked at Luther. “Don’t worry about any of this stuff, okay?”
“What is this place?” he asked.
“This is the Middleton Space Center,” said Kim, “where my dad works as a rocket scientist. This is where they designed and built the Jupiter and Saturn orbiters, and the Mars Explorer Bots.”
Kim and Ron led Luther Tully through the maze of corridors to the public exhibits near the main entrance, showed him some of this stuff, then sat with him in the bus stop out front. It was morning in Middleton.
“I guess this is goodbye,” Luther said, when a bus appeared about a block away. “I’m gonna be preaching in your hometown, but you’ll be somewhere else pretty soon.”
“I really wanted to share the last flight with you, but I kinda got distracted,” said Kim.
“That’s okay. I wasn’t very good company.”
The bus pulled into the bus stop, and Luther got on with his three suitcases.
“He spent the whole flight from Nairobi to Middleton praying for that man’s soul,” Ron said after the bus left. “That’s real friendship, I guess, but I don’t think the general was any friend at all.”
“Betty thought I killed him at first,” Kim said. “She was glad he was dead.”
“That is kinda funny, what her note said, and what actually went down.”
Kim stood up, and looked around. “We’re back here,” she said.
“Should I try to say hello to Dad, or just go home?” asked Kim.
“We left our backpacks at his desk,” said Ron.
“Yeah. We need to put those in his car.”
When they got back to Mr. Dr. Possible’s desk, he was very busy with his computer.
“Good to see you back, Kimmie. I’m sorry, but I’m really behind on some designs I really can’t talk about. See you tonight, maybe. Could you take these backpacks out of here?”
“I was hoping we could put them in your car.”
“Oh, okay, sure, go ahead.”
“Dad, I need a key.”
He fumbled around in his pocket and pulled out a keyring. “Uh, I don’t remember which car I used this morning, but one of these should work. Bring them back.”
So Kim and Ron went out to the parking lot where her father thought he parked one of the cars, eventually spotted the station wagon, unlocked the back, and shoved their packs inside. Kim pulled out a skateboard with a jet engine and two helmets.
“Look at this,” she said. “Doesn’t that bring back memories?”
“Does it work? Can we both fit on it?” asked Ron.
“Hmm,” said Kim, pulling a little wrench from a clip on the underside and loosening a bolt. She tried pulling on the ends. “I think it’s stuck. You tug on that end and I’ll pull the front.”
They did this, and after a jerk, the skateboard telescoped to one and a half times its original length. Kim retightened the bolt with the little wrench.
“I don’t remember us having a skateboard quite like this,” said Ron.
“It probably belongs to the Tweebs,” said Kim. “But they borrow my stuff all the time.” She locked the car, and set the board on the parking lot, and aimed it toward the building.
“I am,” she said, putting on one of the helmets. “Put the other helmet on, stand behind me, and hang on tight.”
Ron wrapped his arms around her, Kim tapped her heels a certain way, and the skateboard took off across the parking lot. They were able to go in through the automatic door by zooming past the electric eye, cutting a small circle, and rolling in just as the door opened. Kim steering through the corridors, even at the slowest possible speed, caused several mishaps and near collisions. She tossed the car keys onto her dad’s desk, turned around in another tight loop, and rolled down the corridors the other way.
“Oh, thanks,” Mr. Dr. Possible said, but Kim and Ron were already out of the building and picking up speed as they wove through traffic.
Kim’s mom was also at work, but the Tweebs were there to meet her and Ron.
“We heard you wrecked the car,” said Jim.
“It’s not your fault,” said Tim. “We’ll show you.”
“Oh really?” Kim asked, following with Ron into their bedroom.
Apparently they’d upgraded their computer equipment over the summer, for they now had several towers wired together, attached to a 24 inch monitor. Tim hit the shift key, and the screen came to life, showing three-dimensional wireframe diagrams of rocket engine parts. Fiddling with the mouse a little bit, he brought up a 3D view of the Kitanga airport, as it was the day Kim and Ron crashed.
“Look at this,” said Tim. “There’s a nail on the runway, in the middle of all the skid marks, scratch marks, and tire fragments.”
“Now watch the sim.”
Tim froze the animation with the car less than an inch above the ground, and there on the runway, spotlit in vivid green, was the same nail, about three inches long.
“We can duplicate the accident if we put the nail here,” Tim said. “Somebody didn’t clean the runway. Airplanes have thicker tires, and they’re mounted in pairs. You landed on this nail at 200 miles per hour at about ten degrees.”
“Instant blowout!” they said together.
Jim added, “and pieces from the first tire blew the other three.”
“Chain reaction!” they said together.
“And the nail usually ends up right about where the photo shows it,” said Tim. “Fortunately our ejection seats worked perfectly.”
“Well, I’m glad the crash wasn’t my fault,” said Kim. “But maybe a suborbital car isn’t such a good idea.”
“We think so too,” said Jim. “You should have your own jet.”
“That’d be cool,” said Tim. “You could carry all your gear along and drop right into the zone like the special forces guys.”
“You guys are dreaming,” said Kim.
“Nuh uh,” they said together, and pulled up a wireframe diagram of a small jet.
“They may be dreaming, but they’re making blueprints,” Ron remarked.
“Wow,” said Kim, as they enlarged various parts of the wireframe to show detail upon detail.
“It’s a long way to go from this to anything real, you understand,” said Tim. “Maybe years.”
“Months,” Jim interrupted.
“Uh huh,” said Kim, not really sure what to believe.
Kim and Ron stood together in front of the garage.
“It feels so strange to say goodbye to you,” said Kim.
“Yeah, well—” Ron began to say, but was interrupted by a long kiss.
“You know that window on your bedroom that faces the tree?” Kim asked.
Ron sort of gasped. “You mean—”
Kim smiled. “I want that screen fixed so I can come in quietly. It’s latched from the inside, and when it’s unlatched, it squeaks and clatters.”
“Okay, I’ll— I’ll do something about that.”
“Then I’ll see you tonight.” Kim said softly, giving him a last little kiss and going back inside.