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 3 of 10.
Dot dot da-dot!
On the tenth day of Kim and Ron’s stay at the camp, Wade called in the middle of the afternoon— an unusual time for him to call, for it was barely dawn in Middleton. Kim was helping wash dishes for dinner, and Ron was stirring a large pot of beans. Kim blotted her hands dry on a towel and pulled out the kimmunicator.
“Get Mr. Tully and Maria,” Wade said. “This is important.”
Kim apologized to Claudia, Big Tom, and Bones and walked over to Ron.
“Keep the fire going as slow as it will burn,” Ron told Fred. “And add the spices I measured out half an hour before dinnertime, if I’m not back. Sorry ’bout this.”
“Does anybody know where Maria is?” Kim asked. “The reverend?”
“He’s probably at his trailer,” said Big Tom. “Unless he’s playing volleyball.”
They walked up the path beyond their campsite to the volleyball court, where they found both Mr. Tully and Maria playing volleyball with eight others.
“Excuse me, Mr. Tully!” Kim called.
“Time out!” he said, catching the ball. “We’ll have to replay this serve. What can I do for you, Kim?”
“Ron and I need you and Maria, privately. Urgent news from Wade.”
“Well, okay, let’s go to my trailer,” said Mr. Tully.
The four of them sat around the little table, looking at Wade on the kimmunicator screen.
“Do you have a TV or computer in here by any chance? A bigger screen might help.”
“Yes, I got this laptop,” Mr. Tully said, opening a cupboard and pulling out a heavy-looking dark gray, 100 megahertz powerbook. “It’s old, but it’s got a wifi card, so I can use the internet when I go to Kitanga or the capital. There’s no internet out here.”
“Turn it on. I’ll fix that.”
It whizzed through the vintage 1996 operating system startup routine like never before, and Wade’s face appeared on the screen. “Ah, the old days of gray laptops! Been a long time since I used one.”
“How’d you do that?”
“Uh— I can’t tell you,” said Wade. “Some of it’s classified, and some—” He wiggled his fingers. “—patent pending. But you’re now running at 400 megahertz and I enlarged your storage space from 80 megabytes to 3 gigabytes by hacking the hard drive— it’s still a slow machine without much storage space, but much better than it was.”
“You can’t overclock a processor like that,” said Maria. “It’ll overheat and short out. And I never heard of hacking a hard drive.”
“Are you a fellow geek?” Wade asked. “How good are you at coding?”
The screen showed a window revealing that the computer apparently really had a 400 megahertz “Load Tech” processor and a 3 gigabyte “Lode Tech” hard drive, which was filled with 960 megabytes of something, in addition to what had already been there.
“Pretty cool software, huh? By taking control of the hard drive’s mech with a metasystem, I’m able to make it behave more like a modern hard drive, which stores much more data on the same sized-disk. As for the processor— but I digress. This is what you guys need to see! This was early this morning, your time, and these are your trucks.”
The screen showed an aerial view of three trucks getting stopped at a checkpoint. The soldiers took all the boxes out of the third truck, and put them inside an armored troop carrier, which drove away on a side road. Then they moved some boxes from the first two trucks into the third and waved them through.
“But the paperwork checked out!” Maria protested.
“Which means you’re getting forged paperwork,” said Wade. “Someone in the capital is deciding which boxes go to you, and which boxes go somewhere else, forging paperwork that makes it look like you’re getting it all, and diverting some of it somewhere else, probably for someone’s profit. So let’s see where the troop carrier takes your UN relief.”
The satellite movie showed the truck on the side road, disappearing more and more often under the trees.
“That’s where I lost the picture, but I know this part of Africa has trees, so I was also tracking with another satellite, and so here’s an animated map showing where the truck went. It started out going north, but it’s now heading east into the hills, which are mostly controlled by rebel troops. Remember that genocide from a few years ago? Understandably, there’s still plenty of bad feelings about that. The Central Congo government is officially neutral, and supposedly represents both factions, but there’s more of one side in the lowlands and the capital, and pretty much everyone’s on the other side in the eastern hills. The rebellion is kind of quieted down right now.”
“That’s not true at all,” said Mr. Tully. “They’re fighting hard. It’s bad over there.”
“Not at the moment, at least as far as I can tell from the satellites. If there was a bunch of weapons fire, it would show on the C-phase Gorgon system.”
“Wade, you shouldn’t mention those,” said Kim.
“Why not? The AP and Reuters have articles about them, which means there’s a newer system going online, which I won’t name, but I can’t see any signs of war with those satellites either. This doesn’t prove there’s no fighting at all, just nothing big while I was peeking.”
“Well, I guess my information is a few weeks old,” said Mr. Tully.
“So, the truck stopped here for a few hours. It’s under the trees, so I can’t get a picture. Then a truck leaves the site, I think. It takes about a mile before the engine’s warm enough for the C-phase Gorgon to map it, and soon after, another vehicle’s leaving too, in the other direction. Now I must remind you that this is not easy to do. The agencies that own these satellites have their own agendas, so I can’t always get control whenever I want.
“I’m pretty sure the second vehicle’s actually the original troop carrier, because when this blip appears in the open, it looks pretty much the same as it did at first. Here’s an angle shot. Hey, it’s full of soldiers now! Where’d the boxes go?”
“The other truck, obviously,” said Ron.
“Too bad, I lost that one,” said Wade. “But if I just look around at what’s happening in the rebel zone, I find scenes like this—”
The image showed some soldiers wearing black berets distributing boxes of food to villagers who looked a lot worse off than the people who were coming to Mr. Tully’s camp.
“That seems to be where at least some of the looted food is ending up.”
“I feel a lot better knowing it’s going to people like that,” said Maria.
“Don’t be naive, girl,” Mr. Tully said harshly. “They may be doing some good thing, but they’re bad people. Ask yourself why would the soldiers who’re supposed to fight these rebels give the food to the rebels, and why would the rebels give the food to the villagers. Nobody’s givin’ food to nobody. They’re all sellin’ it, and that’s a sin and a crime. And why would somebody in the capital who’s forgin’ documents support all this? Somebody there must be getting a lot of money. Worse, what if the general who’s behind all this is a traitor who’s really on the side of the rebels, and once his syndicate gets enough money to buy what he needs, the war comes here?”
“I think it’s unlikely that the rebel soldiers are charging those villagers much,” said Wade, “The rebels and those villagers are in the same tribal group.”
“The group that committed most of the genocide,” said Mr. Tully.
“Mr. Tully!” Maria said sharply. “We’re supposed to be impartial, here to help everybody. You’re our spiritual leader. What would Jesus do?”
Luther Tully scowled, trying to squint away tears.
“What would Jesus do?” Maria repeated.
“He might get riled up and throw the damned moneychangers out of the temple! Or—” Luther Tully pointed at Ron, “You know what genocide is, brother Jew! What if those soldiers who stole our food were Nazis? Cause though it didn’t make the news much, those people are just as bad.”
“I never heard about Nazis giving or selling food to starving people,” Ron replied. “What do you think, Kim?”
“I’m usually the one who’s gung-ho to bust the bad guys, but I don’t know—”
“So far, I’d call it Code Gray,” said Ron.
“Just a hunch or do you have a reason?”
“Yeah,” said Ron. “The way things are right now, the war’s gone quiet, at least as far as Wade can tell. Maybe the general who’s doing this isn’t really a traitor, but acting like a peacemaker with contacts on the other side, and they’re doing all this so the rebels and their villagers are better fed and don’t have so much to fight about.”
“What exactly does Code Gray mean to you folks?” asked Mr. Tully.
“Wade, what do you think?” Kim asked.
“I agree with Ron,” Wade replied. “I’m calling it Code Gray.”
Kim nodded her head. “I think I agree, subject, of course, to additional 4-1-1 that may clarify the sitch.”
“I’m, uh, nurturing a contact in the capitol who may be able to tell me something. Most people are scared to talk about the politics here. There is a nominally civilian government, with a surprising amount of bureaucracy, but there’s people with military ties at every level. There’s no doubt the generals can do what they want.”
“Does the UN know what’s happening?” Kim asked.
“I’ll talk to Dr. Director, and she can source it to them.”
“Well, that’s good, at least,” said Mr. Tully.
Wade told Kim to call back when she woke up the next morning, and signed off.
“Code Gray means you’re not gonna do anything about the looting, right?” Mr. Tully asked Kim.
“I don’t know yet,” said Kim. “Code gray means the sitch is gray, which means just like it sounds like— morally dubious, tangled, complicated, hard to say if a certain kind of intervention would improve the sitch or make it much, much worse.”
“That’s what I thought. That sounds like an interesting topic for a sermon. Did Jesus have a Code Gray? I don’t believe he did.”
Maria looked really upset.
“So what would Jesus do about this situation?” asked Kim. “I think he’d keep on giving aid to the poor, like we’ve been doing. That’s what Ron and I came here to do.”
Ron took his bowl of bean chile and mashed potatoes to his seat at the picnic table beside Kim. It smelled perfect, but Ron wasn’t able to verify the quality until Mr. Tully said grace. As usual, Rufus was out of Ron’s pocket and trying to eat Ron’s dinner, or Kim’s, or even Ellen’s, as soon as the prayer was over.
“You done perfect, Fred, my man!” Ron cried out, waving. “Best chili I’ve had since I got here!”
“Here, here!” said some other voices.
“May I eat with you?” Maria asked Kim and the others at the table.
“Hm, sure,” said Kim. “Scootch over a little bit,” she told Ron.
“Hey, Maria,” said Bones.
“Hi, Mark,” she replied, “and Marsha, Ellen, and Ron.”
Maria didn’t always sit next to the reverend, but she usually was somewhere near his end of the tables. She was late for dinner, which was also unusual.
“We’re all friends, and you’re always welcome,” said Ellen, who was at the opposite corner of the table, across from Ron. “But watch out for little Rufus.”
“Hey!” Rufus squeaked in protest, standing on his hind legs with his forepaws on his hips.
“I’ve seen you on Ron’s shoulder before, or scampering on the boxes in the trucks,” said Maria.
Though Maria did her best to seem calm and happy at dinner, Kim wasn’t surprised by her request for a private talk when they finished.
“I’ll wash your bowls and spoons,” said Ron, and though this isn’t quite what he meant, he ended up doing dishes for Marsha, Bones, and Ellen as well.
“Can we sit in your tent?” Maria asked Kim.
“Well, all right, but it’s really hot inside.”
“I don’t want the others to see me like this,” Maria whispered, after pulling off her shoes and crawling in. She embraced Kim tightly, trembling and starting to cry. “Kim, Kim, I don’t know what to do.”
“I’m guessing this is somehow about Mr. Tully,” said Kim. She tried to pull back a little, not because she didn’t want to hug Maria, but because their bodies almost instantly got unbearably hot, with sweat flowing from every pore.
“He’s become a bitter, cynical man, who’s only joyful when he’s possessed by the spirit of the Lord.”
“You know him much better than I do,” said Kim, holding the other girl by the shoulders and looking into her eyes. “People have moods. I don’t know. Why do his moods upset you so much? Are you his wife? His lover? His daughter?”
“N-n-n-no, no, of course not!” Maria sat back and trembled, her tears cut short.
“I didn’t think so,” said Kim. “So why are you so hung up on him? He’s a good man, as far as I can tell. He’s just not perfect.”
“Since you got here, it’s been so much better. You’re a breath of fresh air. You’ve added so much love to our distribution process, and I don’t know how you do it. When was the last time you went to Church?”
“Do I have to answer that?” said Kim.
“Only if you want, but it’s been a while, right? Maybe last Easter?”
“So why do you know as much or more about how to be a good Christian activist than our preacher and leader?” Maria asked.
“Uh, I don’t know. Maybe I— uh— learned my Sunday School lessons very well and don’t need refreshers?” Kim joked, and chuckled nervously. “Seriously, I just want to be a good person. I’m not a rocket scientist like my father, or a brain surgeon like my mother, but I’ve learned some martial arts, and I’m a pretty good organizer. Helping people out makes me feel good. That’s all there is to it.”
“What’s wrong with Mr. Tully?”
“I guess he’s getting burned out,” said Kim. “Between the bureaucracy, the generals, and the pushy villagers, he’s seen too much of the bad side of people. That’s hard for an idealist like him.”
“We used to have a real translator,” said Maria. “It was better then. There weren’t any shipment shortages either. It’s so hard to tell what’s really going on from here.”
“Wade gave Mr. Tully satellite internet access, so after I go—”
“I wish you could stay,” said Maria. “You and Ron are certainly qualified for staff positions.”
“But you’re much more experienced than we are, and you’re just a volunteer yourself, aren’t you?”
“No, I’m paid staff. I started as a volunteer.”
“But you’re only— how old are you?”
“I’m 18. I really believe Jesus guided me to this place, and I’m so grateful Mr. Tully was able to persuade the UN to hire me as his assistant. It’s a great job, Kim.”
“You know, this is a career I’ve considered,” said Kim. “But I want to get my B.A. first, and I’m not even sure what I want to major in.”
“Well, if we ever work together again, I’ll be very happy,” said Maria.
“Don’t say goodbye yet. We’re gonna be here for three and a half more weeks.”
“Well, that’s your plan,” Maria said, wiping the last tears from her eyes with her sweaty hands. “God may have a different plan.” Maria folded her hands together, bowed her head, and closed her eyes. She mumbled something inaudible then looked at Kim. “This is gonna be hard, but if we’re both as strong as we can be, it’ll work out well. I’d better go back to the girls’ tent. Do I look okay?”
“Well, you’re totally shiny with sweat.”
Maria laughed. “It’s Africa. This happens.”
Kim got out of the tent and watched Maria walk away. Ron appeared, coming toward the tent. He exchanged a few words with Maria, they hugged briefly, then Ron came up to Kim.
“What’s up with her?” he asked.
“She’s having a spiritual crisis, and she thinks I’m wise, or something.”
“You’re wise when you’ve got enough time to think something through,” said Ron. “The rest of the time you get by with skill and luck.”
“Assessment accepted,” said Kim. “By the time we finished talking, she thought Jesus told her what to do.”
“He must be awful busy,” said Ron, “following all these folks around and giving them advice. Does Jesus ever tell you what to do?”
“I like to think I’m making my own choices.”
At this moment, with the clear sky just beginning to darken, the mosquitos began to bite, and Kim and Ron dove into the tent, zipped the screen closed, and immediately started pulling shirts and shorts off their sweating bodies. Kim pulled a roll-on deodorant from her backpack and applied it to her armpits.
“Can you imagine? The sun was still shining on the tent, and Maria and I were sitting in here hugging! Zee oh em gee, she was hot, and she was crying, and I was wearing that T-shirt after my shower, cause all the tank tops need washing, and now my clean T-shirt’s drenched with tears and sweat.”
“Like they say, welcome to the third world,” said Ron.
“Raise your arms. I’ll do you,” said Kim, rolling the ball around Ron’s blonde armpits. “Hold still.”
“That tickles,” said Ron. “It doesn’t tickle when I do it myself.”
They lay beside each other on the spread-out sleeping bags, talking as the night got dim. But with a bright full moon in a clear sky shining through the green nylon tent, they could still see each other pretty well.
“Do you mind if I change?” Kim asked. “This bra is just sticky and uncomfortable. I could wear the black lace one. That’s your favorite, isn’t it?”
“Why don’t you just take it off?”
“Is that a dare?”
“Sure. I’m not wearing any kind of top. If I can do it, you can do it, that’s what you said.”
Kim laughed. “Okay, then I dare you!”
“Uh, you dare me what?”
“I dare you to take it off me! And you’d better not hesitate. If you’re not sure, I won’t let you do it.”
Ron sat up, pulled Kim to a sitting position, slipped his arms around her, started kissing her, felt for the clasp in the middle of her back, and with some difficulty, managed to get it unhooked. He slipped the ribbons off her shoulders, and she pulled it off the rest of the way and snuggled against him.
“I love you,” she whispered, and kissed him again.
Soon they were kissing in one of their usual positions, with Kim on her back and Ron on top of her. Kim giggled and and shifted her hips a bit, making a joke about the possible location of Rufus which the narrator will refrain from quoting directly.
Actually, the little molerat was sleeping snuggled up on Ron’s unwashed laundry. Anyone who has pets knows that most of them love smells like this.
Meanwhile, Ron’s hands began exploring the two small but deeply fascinating soft objects recently freed from their silk encasements. Kim giggled every time she caught herself making sounds like those that sometimes came from Bones and Marsha’s tent.
“Oh Ron, you’re so sweet,” Kim whispered when Ron started kissing these objects—
We’ll skip ahead a little to the next moment of conversation, when Kim expressed some awe and disbelief about how more wonderful kissing felt, this way, and then added, “I wish we had some birth control.”
“Um, Kim, we do,” said Ron. “Well, I do.”
“What?” Kim said, looking at him with disbelief. “Why didn’t you say so before?”
“Cause I just got these a few days ago,” Ron said, pulling a small purple box from his backpack.
“Ron, how could you? This is a UN kit, for the villagers. We can’t use any of these.”
“I kinda feel the same way— Honest to God, Kim, I didn’t take them! Please believe me— Mr. Tully gave them to me! He said,
“ ‘I know how young people are with a boy and a girl in the same tent. I don’t want Kim getting with a baby before you-all are ready for that, so you take these and use ’em if you need ’em, you hear me?’
“ ‘Yes, sir,’ I replied.”
“That’s a pretty good imitation of his voice,” said Kim. “Did you thank him?”
“Sorta. I was kinda surprised and embarrassed. But he smiled and patted me on the shoulder, saying, ‘Good man.’ ”
“You’d better not be lying about this, Ron. I might just have the nerve to ask him. But if it’s true I guess you didn’t do anything wrong. Still, I don’t know—”
“Uh, be careful what you wish for?” Ron joked.
“Oh, you!” Kim said, and hugged him. “I did wish for this, didn’t I? My bad for spoiling the mood. Just hold me for awhile.”
Kim lay on her side, her back pressed against Ron’s front, and put his hand back on one of her soft upper convexities, saying, “Let’s talk for awhile.”
“Okay, sure,” he replied.
“We met in September at the preschool. How soon did we become best friends?”
“Immediately. You started talking, and I started talking, and we spent the whole day together, and every day after that. I started coming over to your house, and sometimes you came over to mine.”
“You remember this stuff better than I do,” said Kim. “When I started high school— no, I was probably still in middle school— I just wanted to forget ever being a drippy-nosed, freckle faced, funny little girl.”
“Yeah, there are certain incidents you told me I must never ever ever bring up again if I want to keep being your friend.”
“Now I’m kinda sad, cause we’ve been together for almost fourteen years, and I’ve lost so many of the memories. Did I really kiss you then? What else did we do?”
“I remember one time we put a tablecloth on a cardboard box in my backyard,” said Ron. “We pretended we were on a date at a fancy restaurant, while we were eating peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and drinking cherry sodas in paper cups.”
“Aw, that’s so cute!” said Kim. “How could I forget something like that? Why would I want to?”
“Sometimes we even talked about getting married when we grew up. It was more your idea than mine, but I was cool with it. Course, later, you stopped talking like that.”
“Did we ever pretend that something like, oh, maybe an empty key ring, was a wedding ring or something?”
“Kindergarten or first grade, I think,” said Ron. “You called it a gagement ring.”
“Gagement? That’s adorable!” said Kim. “We really were childhood sweethearts!”
“I really hurt you, didn’t I? And yet you stuck with me. You stuck with me even while I was dating that— ewww—”
“I had to stick with you. Kim, I love you. That’s just it. That’s how it is, and it’s never been any other way.”
Kim rolled over and started kissing him. She stopped suddenly, sat up, and reached for the little purple box. “Lose the boxers, Ron,” she said. “Let’s see how one of these fits.”
“Um, yeah, okay,” Ron said, struggling a bit because the waistband got caught on, er, something.
Kim misinterpreted this purely mechanical problem as hesitation. “Oh, dare you!” she said, and pulled off her Elizabeth’s Secrets bottoms.
The foil package presented no real problems, nor did the unrolling.
“We’re gonna get married, aren’t we?” Ron asked, while pushing slowly into Kim’s secrets.
“Yeah,” she said, closing her eyes to kiss him.
The long dance of fingers, lips, and hips that followed was the culmination of nearly fourteen years, the beginning of many more, and something so natural, that it felt as normal as sharing a meal at Bueno Nacho, swinging together on a line attached to a grappling hook, or playing tag on the climbing bars at preschool.
“How are you?” Kim asked, while they lay cuddled afterwards.
“Booyah!” Ron said softly. “What? You were expecting me to say anything else? That was made of booyah. How ’bout you?”
“Well, I’m all squeeee!” she said, and giggled. “I love this! I love you! Zee oh em gee for real.”
“What’s the “Z” supposed to stand for, anyway?” Ron asked. “I never figured out that part.”
“I don’t know,” said Kim.
Dot dot da-dot!
Kim stirred and stretched, shaking the sleep from her consciousness.
“Aaaagh! Don’t do it!” said Ron. “Let it go to voice mail.”
Kim giggled. “Oops! I’m kinda nude.”
And the morning light gave Ron had some very interesting views of her reaching over him to grab the black lace undies from her clean laundry pile. “Oh, that’s how you do that!” he said when she put the bra on backwards, fastened the clasp, and pulled it around to the right position. “I always wondered.”
Kim rolled her eyes and pulled on a clean black T-shirt. Ron tightened the belt on his cargo shorts and pulled on his own shirt. Kim snapped and zipped her own shorts, studied Ron to make sure he was also ready, and turned on the kimmunicator.
“Wade here,” he said. “Call me back as soon as you can.”
Kim pressed a couple of buttons and Wade reappeared, live.
“Hey, Kim, I want to apologize for messing up. It’s pretty clear from his reaction that I should not have shown the reverend my presentation yesterday. I actually thought he would help to cool down you if you got all gung-ho and wanted to do something rash. That’s what I was afraid would happen.”
“Maybe it’s all the talks I’ve had with Maria,” said Kim. “She’s reasoned me out of even thinking rash.”
“Well, it’s pretty bad. Mr. Tully filled out online paperwork at three different levels, one UN, one Central Congo civilian oversight, and one Central Congo military command—”
“Oh, no!” said Kim.
“—or so he thinks,” said Wade. “By the end of our discussion yesterday, I was pretty sure he’d do something to make trouble, and kinda took control of his satellite internet. He got the real forms to fill out, all right, but the filled out forms came to me instead of where he was trying to send them. He kept at this most of yesterday evening, your time, which is the middle of the day, Middleton time. I had to cancel meetings, or move them online. Not so good for my business! But this was my fault. I talked to Dr. Director. She suggested I go ahead and file Mr. Tully’s UN form with his UN bosses, and let them decide what to do about it, if anything. Do you think that’s okay? I wanted to ask you before I do it.”
“Is there any possibility that someone in the UN aid office could be in bed with the Central Congo schemers?” Kim asked.
“I doubt that. UN bosses in the Third World are almost always from some other part of the world than where they work.”
“Well, okay then,” said Kim. “It may even do some good.”
“Well, I’ve gotta get some sleep tonight,” Wade said, “so I spoofed Mr. Tully’s browser with a worm. It took me a long time, but I made dummy copies of every Central Congo government website, and hosted them on a server farm in Cape Town that had been hosting a Central Asian Jihad propaganda and recruiting site. They don’t update very often, so this should work okay.”
Kim laughed. “Well, I’ll know what happened if Mr. Tully ever complains that the Central Congo websites were hacked by Central Asian Jihad.”