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Big Monkeys

Kim Possible, Ron Stoppable, Rufus, Felix Renton, Monique, Wade, Monkey Fist, and Will Du are characters from the Kim Possible show, created by Mark McCorkle and Bob Schooley, owned and copyright © by the Walt Disney Company. The story takes place while Kim and Ron are going to college, a couple of years after “So the Drama.” This story © 2005 by cloudmonet.

The sun was reddening behind the glass and concrete monolith of Mathom house, a five story dorm on the lush forested campus of Northwestern State University.

In a half-messy, half-neat room on the third floor, Ron Stoppable and his roommate Felix Renton sat with game controls, madly flipping levers and pushing buttons to manipulate the small figures on a small monitor propped on top of a series of shelves made from pine boards and concrete blocks. Ron was sitting in a cup-shaped plastic chair and Felix, paralyzed at the hips, sat in the cyber-robotic wheelchair designed by his mother.

“Ron!” said Kim Possible, suddenly in the doorway.

“Aaagh!” exclaimed Ron, as suddenly five huge orcs jumped from behind a rock formation on the screen and began pummeling his warrior avatar. Then everything on the screen stopped moving.

“I hit the pause button,” said Felix.

“What’s the sitch?” asked Ron.

“In the lounge! Hurry! You won’t believe this!” Kim said, tugging Ron out the room and down the hall. On the big screen in front of the couches was an NBA basketball game. Three boys and a dark-haired girl were cheering as one of the players made a three pointer. “Oh no!” Kim said.

“They changed the channel! Who’s got another TV?”

Dot dot dadot! The Kimmunicator beeped. Wade’s face appeared on the small screen.

“Are you watching this?” he asked. Even on the Kimmunicator’s small speaker, his voice sounded deep and booming.

“Trying to,” Kim replied.

Suddenly the basketball game was in the lower right corner of the big screen, and the rest of the screen was filled with a jungle scene. An attractive blonde woman was sitting on the porch of a tree house, interviewing Lord Montgomery Fiske— Monkey Fist!— about his latest simian research. In an upperclass British accent, he was explaining how his genetically altered hands and feet enabled him to keep up with the troop of rare giant mandrills he was studying, how his monkeylike movements made him more acceptable to them, less threateningly human.

“Big monkeys? I smell big trouble,” said Ron.

“There’s nothing illegal about studying monkeys in the wild,” said Wade. “But you know Monkey Fist. There’s usually something evil somewhere.”

“Do you know how recently this interview was recorded?” asked Kim. “Science News This Week isn’t always really something that happened this week.”

“More bad road from Monkey Fist,” muttered Ron.

The other four people were crowded close to the small basketball game, trying to read the illegible subtitles. On the main screen Monkey Fist was moving through the jungle branches high above the ground with the black, shaggy giant mandrills.

“Those are some big monkeys! What’s with that one’s face? It’s got blue and red warpaint. Creepy!”

Rufus, Ron’s pet naked mole rat, popped his head out of Ron’s pocket, yawned, and scampered up to his shoulder to look at the big TV. He might have echoed “Creepy!” in a funny little voice, or he might have just made a chattering noise.

“That’s how mandrills look, Ron,” said Kim. “That’s the dominate male. He’s the chief of the troop.”

“He’s almost as big as Monkey Fist!” Ron exclaimed, his voice drifting over the line toward panic.

Now there was another clip of the interview. Lord Fiske was calmly discussing the importance of monkey conservation, habitat loss to clearcutting and expanded agriculture, and then the segment ended with an announcement that the next segment would be about restoring Byzantine mosaics in Ravenna.

“Well, our old enemy’s doing some good, I guess,” Kim said, with a great amount of doubt in her voice. “Oh, Wade, you can put the game back on.”

“No way,” the dark-haired girl said, standing up and looking at the kimmunicator. “I gotta write a paper about Byzantine stuff for history! This is so easier than the library.”

“But, Belinda—” said the three guys.

As Kim and Ron walked down the other hall toward her room, his right hand and her left found each other.

“Did you see the whole show?” Kim asked Wade. “Where is Monkey Fist, anyway?”

“Somewhere in Africa, I suppose,” he replied. “They said the study area was a secret location. No roads, not even a village anywhere nearby.”

“That’s not much help,” said Kim.

“He’s not plugged into the web, not beaming any signals I can trace, and satellites can’t show much under the canopy. Well, I could try infrared, but that’s one monkey man to pick out from many troops of monkeys and apes. I’m not sure I can find anything.”

“Well, if he’s that isolated, what can he harm can he do?” Kim asked.

“Big monkeys, bad road,” Ron said firmly.

Kim pulled her keys out of her jeans pocket, turned the lock, and opened the door slowly. “No scream,” Kim whispered, turning on the light. Two small beds, one with a pink spread, one green, were at opposite ends of the room. In between, both closets were crammed with clothes, and the desk was crowded with computer equipment, CDs, and textbooks. “You know, I think Monique’s not here,” Kim said, stating the obvious with a bit of music in her voice. “You didn’t seem to be busy studying. Would you like to hang out with me for awhile?” She wiggled the fingers of her left hand to make the small diamond ring on her finger sparkle in the light.

Ron woke up to the sound of beeping, and fumbled around to hit the snooze button on the alarm clock, wherever it was, and opened his eyes to see Kim in her bathrobe, pointing something that looked sort of like a flashlight with an unlit bulb at him, with the kimmunicator in her other hand. On the desk chair was a small overnight Fed-Ex box, ripped open. “Wha—” Ron mumbled.

“Mystical monkey power detector,” said Kim. When she aimed it away from him, it stopped beeping. “Wade, what’s the range?” she asked him.

“About a thousand feet. It won’t work that well in your dorm, with all the concrete and steel, but in the jungle...”

“It’s pretty narrow angle.”

“Oh, you can adjust that up to a wide cone. Just make sure Ron’s not in the way.”

Someone knocked on the door.

“You got fiancé boy in there?” Monique asked brusquely. “I’m givin’ you two minutes to get G-rated.”

“We’re on it,” said Kim.

Ron fumbled with his cargo pants and T-shirt. Kim looked at him, then reached over and tightened his belt. The monkey power detector beeped again as Rufus ran across the desk in front of its beam. Kim switched it off, then opened the door and hugged Monique.

“Thanks,” she said.

“You owe me one. I don’t even want to tell you ’bout my own adventures, well, not in front of the Ron man.”

“So, later?” Ron asked Kim.

She hugged him quickly and gave him a brief kiss on the lips. “Later.”

Rufus hopped onto his shoulder, and Ron walked down the hall to the lounge, and back down the other hall to his own room. It seemed like Monique’s voice got louder and louder the farther away he got, but then he heard other voices talking about other things.

“I think we’ve got a mission,” Ron told Felix. “Africa, Monkey Fist, I figure probably this weekend.”

“Oooh-kay,” Felix replied. “I’ll try to get ahead on all my class assignments. You’d better, too. If you flunk out, no more fiancé down the hall.”

A small black jet with the “KP” monogram on the tail was flying a search pattern over the Congo rain forest. Felix’s wheelchair was locked in place at the control panel. Kim was manipulating a small remote control that aimed the mystical monkey power scanner mounted on the underside of the jet down at the jungle. All morning, all afternoon, no beep.

“Either this isn’t working or we’re in the wrong place,” said Ron.

“Felix, how’s the fuel?” Kim asked.

“About another hour,” he replied.

“Nearest airstrip?”

“Working on it.”

Felix landed the jet at the airport in Kitanga, a small city near a large lake. Kim and Ron came out the side door and down the ladder. The cockpit bubble popped open, and Felix’s wheelchair rose straight up, floated to one side, and settled to the ground.

A portly African man in a khaki uniform named Lawunda greeted them. “Ah, Miss Possible and your friends, so good to see you again. Thank you so much for your help distributing the food packages when our country had that most horrible famine last year.”

“Oh, it was no big,” Kim started to say, but Ron interrupted.

“Yeah, that one, the famine, that was kinda big,” he said.

“I’ll agree with Ron this time,” Felix added.

“Well, okay, if you think so.”

Lawunda continued, “It is most unfortunate, however, that the civil war in the back country which caused the famine continues, despite our leader’s every effort to reach diplomatic compromise with the rebels.”

“This is bad,” Kim said. “I’m here because of Lord Montgomery Fiske. He’s doing research on the giant mandrills.”

A dark look of uncertain meaning came to Lawunda’s face. “Is he the man called Monkey Fist?” he asked.

“My arch foe,” Ron said proudly, puffing out his chest. Kim rolled her eyes.

Lawunda smiled broadly. “He is the bad road that punctures the tires of your jeep.”

“That’s what I say,” said Ron.

“Ha ha, my friends, but if you are looking for him, there are no roads at all, no villages, only swamps and jungles. Lowland gorillas, leopards that pounce, venomous snakes...”

“Gorillas and leopards and snakes, oh my,” said Ron.

“Giant mandrills?” asked Kim.

“They have regrettably become very rare. We have strict laws about wildlife conservation, but alas, the rebels control the back country where the wildlife actually lives.”

“Great,” said Kim. “Could we, um, walk through town while your crew refuels the jet? I, um, promised my friend Monique I’d bring her a real African shirt.”

“Good luck finding that,” said Lawunda. “My uniform was made in China.”

“I’ll stay with the jet,” said Felix. “Call me if you need any help.”

Kim held Ron’s hand as they walked through the narrow streets of the market section. “I don’t like rebellions and civil war,” she said in a low voice. “It’s so hard to tell which side to take, who’s good or who’s evil. Lawunda’s a good man, pretty much, but he’s corrupt, and it gets worse higher up. The rebels have done some horrible stuff, I’ve heard, but who knows the truth?”

“Um, KP, if you were serious about that shirt, she’s got ’em,” Ron said, pointing to an open stall with lots of colorful clothes. A middle aged woman in a green striped robe sat at an old fashioned cash register.

Kim released Ron’s hand and started going through the shirts, looking for something with lots of red that seemed to be Monique’s size. She held one in front of her chest and looked in the mirror.

“Oh no, that color is wrong for you, young wife,” said the woman in green.

Kim blushed. “It’s not for me. It’s for my friend. She so likes red and purple.”

“Monkey,” said Ron, pointing to the painted ebony carving in the corner.

“Oh yes, you like? My cousin carves this himself and blesses so it makes good luck. Big one, for your house, you will prosper and never go hungry. Little one like this, you can wear, good health, victory in battle.”

“We’ll buy the little one,” said Kim.

Ron gave her a funny look.

“Couldn’t hurt,” she said, and put it in her pocket.

“Wade, are you awake?” Kim asked, looking at the kimmunicator screen. After a moment, Wade appeared at his computers, with a plate of pancakes and a cup of coffee. “Morning?” she asked.

“And late afternoon for you, I’m guessing. Any luck finding Monkey Fist?”

“No. We’re at the airport in Kitanga. Got a 4-1-1 on a rebellion here?”

“It’s ugly. You might want to avoid it.”

“No duh.”

“I’ll see what details I can dig up.”

“Is Monkey Fist really worth the trouble?” asked Felix.

Kim and Ron snapped their heads toward his wheelchair.

“His plots are usually small time. What can he do, even with a troop of big monkey ninjas? Supreme monkey ruler? When has he ever conquered anything? He’s somewhere so remote even Wade can’t locate him, and he’s cut off from the world by a civil war.”

“Maybe he’s making the war,” said Ron. “Big monkeys, evil rebels. That’s it! He starts taking over the world by taking over this country!”

“Doubt it, but—” she sighed. “I guess we have to check it out. Ron could be right.”

They were flying more search pattern over more jungle at twilight when the detector beeped. “Got a lock on that, Wade?”

“Oh yes,” he said, typing something on his keyboard and moving his mouse.

Kim kneeled down to pull the monkey power detector through the deck from a bubble on the underside of the jet and put it in the pocket of her mission pants. She and Ron put on their helmets. “Got your night goggles?” she asked him, and he felt in a couple of pockets, pulled them out a bit, and gave her thumbs up. “Let’s bail!” she said.

They jumped out the side hatch, opened their parasails, and drifted toward the river, landing on a sandbank. “Crocodile slide,” said Kim, pointing at an indentation where a large croc had basked in the sun earlier in the day. “Best move away from the water.” She swept the detector in front of her, around in every direction, and up into the rain forest canopy. So far, no beep. The forest was dim and shaded with twilight blues, but still too bright for the goggles.

“There’s something on my back,” whispered Ron.

“Is it Rufus?” asked Kim with some impatience. “Do you have to do this every time we’re in a jungle at night?”

“Well, some time it could be something else, like a tarantula spider, or— Rufus, get back in my pocket! It’s— Look at it, Kim!”

Kim grabbed the small snake on Ron’s back by the tail and threw it away before it noticed being grabbed.

“It didn’t bite you, did it?”


“No big, then. Keep quiet.”

Kim kept waving the scanner in front of her. Still nothing, but there were cries of monkeys and birds in the distance all around, and other jungle sounds. Then it beeped. Kim turned down the sound, narrowed the focus. Beep again. “He’s here,” she whispered, leading Ron on trails he could hardly follow through the forest understory. It was rapidly getting dark now, so they both put on their night vision goggles.

Monkey Fist sat in an apelike crouch on the porch of his treehouse, while several giant mandrills sat with him, eating bananas, grooming each other, and making soft noises of monkey contentment. His loose lips formed a sinister-looking smile. “We have company,” he said softly. “Stay calm.” He jumped from the porch and brachiated his way, branch by branch, to the ground, right in front of Kim and Ron. She dropped into a fighting stance. Ron was a bit slower to react.

“Kim Possible, my old nemesis, come, come, we have nothing to fight about here,” he said politely. “I wondered whether my work with giant mandrills might draw your attention my way. No doubt, you think I’m up to something sinister.”

“Convince me you’re not and I’m out of here,” Kim replied, with an edge to her voice. “Try to fool me and you’re so busted.”

“You’re training the mandrills to be big monkey ninjas!” Ron blurted out.

“Oh, is that your theory? You think I can train a troop of wild giant mandrills, barely habituated to me, to be monkey ninjas, to leap on you and fight with monkey kung fu?” Monkey Fist started breaking out into maniacal monkey laughter but stopped short. “Quite impossible, I assure you. They’re quite shy. If you tried to come anywhere near them, they’d scatter in panic.”

“Maybe—” Ron said slowly, with a sly edge to his voice that often marked his more improbable theories, “you and your monkey ninjas are leading the rebels. You’re gonna use them as your monkey king army.”

“Umm,” Monkey Fist grunted darkly. “If I had an army, don’t you think I’d have guards? The last time the rebels came anywhere near this jungle, they were losing. You might want to do something heroic about them, if you can, so your visit to this country won’t be a complete waste of your time.”

“Any more theories, Ron?” asked Kim.

“How about an evil plot we haven’t figured out?”

Monkey Fist sighed, “Oh, very well, follow me, and I’ll show you my field notes. But wait two minutes before you follow, so the mandrills don’t associate you with me.”

“So you have time to set up a trap,” said Ron.

“I asked the young lady from Science News This Week for the same courtesy, and she came to no harm.”

“You won’t like what happens to you if this is a trap,” said Kim.

Monkey Fist leaped into the branches and out of sight. They heard a thump as he landed on the treehouse, some monkey noises, then silence.

“So what’s the plan?” Ron whispered.

Wade and Felix appeared on the kimmunicator, split screen. “Okay,” Kim whispered, “If I need help, one beep means a monkey ninja trap. Felix, you can help us handle this. Two beeps means he’s linked with the rebels. Get me backup, fast. With, how ’bout, a five minute head’s up.”

“Check,” said Felix.

“You got it,” said Wade.

“Ready, Ron?” Kim asked.

“Let’s do it,” he replied. “Just watch out for flying monkey teeth.”

“Flying monkey teeth?” asked Kim.

“His Amazon treehouse was booby-trapped with them.”

Kim chuckled. “Okay, I’ll be on guard for that.”

The dense starlit jungle looked ghostly green in their night-vision goggles. They came to a cavernous hollow in the vegetation, where a crude structure made of sticks and thatch was perched high in the boughs of a tree with huge spreading branches. Kim aimed her hairdryer upwards and fired. High above, the jaws of the grappling hook clamped on a branch. Kim embraced Ron under the shoulders, raised a few feet off the ground to make sure the branch would support their weight, then zoomed up toward the canopy, shifting her weight in the air so that they swung onto the treehouse porch. The cord detached from the hairdryer, Kim spun it around and put it in its holster.

They took off their goggles and walked inside. A kerosene lamp filled the small room with a warm, yellowish glow. The crude bench was littered with pocket-sized spiral-bound notebooks, most of them worn and dirty, and several larger, leather bound journals. Monkey Fist was thumbing through one of the little spiral notebooks.

“These are my notes from this week. There’s some details about maternal care and infant behavior that really are quite fascinating.” He passed the notebook to Kim. She took off her gloves to turn the pages. It was filled with line after line of incomprehensible scrawls.

“I can’t read it,” said Ron. “There’s some letters, I think. Dude, your handwriting’s worse than mine.”

“It’s shorthand, of course, a way of writing quickly not much used in this age of computers,” Monkey Fist explained.

“Right, my grandmother showed me how to do this when I was a little girl,” said Kim. “You remember Mom’s mom, don’t you?” she asked Ron.

“And then of course, every night while the mandrills are asleep, I transcribe my notes into these journals.”

“May we have a look at these?” asked Kim.

“Oh, all right,” said Monkey Fist.

Kim walked to the stack of journals, but Ron was continuing to try to read the arcane scribbles in the field notes. He came across a cartoonish sketch of a mother mandrill and her infant. “Kim, look, I—” he began saying, but Kim was slumped to the floor, a pink gas smoking from a carved out hollow in the false book.

Ron immediately began wildly pummeling Monkey Fist with kung fu blows while the monkey man fought back. Long dark faces of shaggy giant mandrills in black ninja clothes appeared in the doorway and swarmed the room before Monkey Fist could even finish bellowing “Monkey ninjas, attack!” Ron did his best to beat off the pandemonium but was eventually overwhelmed and pinned to the floor. Monkey Fist then held a small tin in front of his nose and opened it. Pinkish, sweet smelling gas knocked him unconscious.

Kim and Ron awoke tied to stout wooden posts supporting the ceiling beams of a dim room walled with what looked like heavy mud bricks. Rufus was locked in a small steel cage.

“Just when his cover story almost had me convinced,” said Kim, wiggling the fingers of her left hand to feel if her ring was there and smiling. “Real bad move on Monkey Fist’s part. I don’t see anything that looks like a surveillance cam, do you?”

Ron looked at what he could see of the room carefully. “Nothing obvious,” he whispered. “But be careful what you say.”

“What can I say? Monkey Fist took everything, our backpacks, my hairdryer, my laser lipstick, my kimmunicator.” Kim looked at Ron’s face with shock. “You took a beating!”

“Those giant mandrills, like I said, his big monkey ninjas, and they’re bad. They even caught Rufus.”

“Big monkeys, mm-hmm,” Rufus seemed to say.

Kim scowled. Ron knew that look. Too bad for Monkey Fist, next time she crossed his path.

“Hello!” Kim said, a little louder, with affected hoarseness. “Guard? I’m thirsty here!”

The heavy door opened and an African man in camouflage walked in, carrying a rifle. At least one other man could be seen in the doorway. “What’s the commotion here?” the first man asked.

“Could you please bring us some water?” Kim asked.

The guard scowled. “Oh, okay,” he grunted, left the room, and returned with a coffee mug filled with water which he poured into Kim’s mouth, then Ron’s. “Satisfied now?”

“Why’s a nice freedom fighter like you working for Monkey Fist?” Kim asked.

“Work for him, no, he do us a favor, that’s all.”

“So what do you guys want with Ron and me? Ransom?”

The guard grinned, “Ransom, yes, handsome ransom for the famous Kim Possible, yes, sure! No, we want our prisoners released, we want the corrupt and evil president to resign, we want new elections.”

“Taking hostages makes you evil, too,” said Kim. “Holding me for any reason is the dumbest thing you could possibly do.”

“We know about that walkie talkie of yours. Your guy don’t see us, don’t learn nothing ’bout us. We pull the battery. Very neat, no?” He chuckled.

Behind her back, where her hands were tied out of the guard’s sight, Kim pressed her thumbnail into a certain spot on her engagement ring, twice. Ron frowned and nodded, almost imperceptibly.

“Now, if you excuse me, I going back to the round stones game,” the guard said, and walked out.

“Found out what I needed to know, and now we wait,” Kim said quietly.

After about half an hour, Kim felt an electric pulse in her engagement ring. She pressed her thumb on the opposite side of her ring. A blue laser beam focused by the diamond began burning the rope. In a moment she was free, and silently freed Ron, then Rufus, who crept into his pocket.

“We don’t know where we are,” she whispered. “We don’t know who’s outside. All we know is in five minutes, there’s gonna be a battle. Monkey Fist is gonna pay for this, believe me. What do you think? Hide, or fight our way out?”

“Where would we hide?”

Kim shrugged and moved toward the wooden door. It was solid, with no visible lock or latch. She aimed her ring laser at the hinges. The edge of the door started smoldering.

“Hey, what’s goin’ on?” said one of the guard’s voices. As he lifted the latch outside, Kim made a flying leap, kicked the unhinged heavy door on top of him, sprang from there to kick down the other guard, seized his rifle, smashed it against the wall, and rushed out the outside door. Ron hurried across the room behind her, taking the other guard’s rifle and trying to smash it. Unfortunately for Ron, it fired a burst of bullets before jamming, which fortunately didn’t hit either him, Kim, or anyone else, but unfortunately attracted the attention of a whole group of armed rebels, who came rushing toward Kim.

“This time I think we guard you better, Miss Possible,” a gruff voice was saying.

“All right, guard me,” she replied. “I’ll be in here.” She slammed the outer door closed and Ron pushed a heavy desk against it. “The kimmunicator!” she said, picking it off the desk and inserting the power cell. “Wade!” she said.

“It came down to a choice between alerting the government and flaring up the civil war, or calling in Global Justice. I figured you’d prefer Global Justice. But they’re not at all pleased.”

“Like this is my fault?” Kim asked.

“You did realize this could happen when you went in.”

“Monkey Fist working with the rebels? Is that supposed to be a good thing?”

“They’re here. I just thought I’d warn you.”

Outside, there was splashing, gurgling and foaming all around. Ron moved the desk and Kim cracked open the door. A sticky, bubbling blue goo began forcing its way in. Kim and Ron lunged the door closed again. “Better wait another minute or so for it to slow down,” she said.

“It’s okay, Kim, open the door and jump on a table or something. I’m right here,” said Felix’s voice. She did as he said and his wheelchair hovered into the room, followed by blue goo foaming across the floor.

“Ewww... What is this stuff?” asked Ron.

“Antiexplosive foam,” said Felix. “It’s supposed to bond with gunpowder and most other chemical explosives, making them non explosive. Nobody fired a shot at us.”

Kim and Ron climbed onto the arms of the hovering chair, which flew through the doorway, above a small rural village, and toward a hovering Global Justice jet.

“Amateur!” muttered an all-too-familiar voice.

“Nice to see you again, too, Will Du,” said Kim.

“Do you realize what kind of ‘sitch’ your personal vendetta against Monkey Fist almost caused?”

“I was ready to buy into his cover story and let him go when he captured me. The knockout gas was in a hollowed out book he claimed was his most recent field journal. Clearly he was expecting me to investigate him.”

“Mandrill ninjas!” said Ron. “That can’t be legal. They’re endangered.”

“I guess he thought we’d find out and wanted to get rid of us,” said Kim. “I wonder what he’s planning to do with them.”

“They pack a wallop,” Ron added.

Hi, ya!” said Rufus, making some monkey kung fu moves.

“So he took you both prisoner and gave you to the rebels to use as their hostage?” Will asked.

“So I heard,” said Kim. “They claimed he wasn’t their leader. He just did them a favor. Don’t know if that’s true. Don’t know what it means.”

“So now we go back and find Monkey Fist and bust his sorry self!” said Ron.

“He could be charged with fomenting civil war in a foreign country,” said Will. “Of course, if the government here catches and charges him, it’s capital crime. I know you well enough to know you don’t want that.”

They hovered over a small lake where Kim’s jet was floating on its pontoons.

“Well, there’s your jet. I have my orders. If you can get Monkey Fist to Britain, America, China, or Japan, I think we can press charges that will stick. These so called super villains usually manage to hire good defense lawyers.”

Kim sighed.

“Don’t get captured again, and don’t cause worse problems than you solve.”

“Okay, what do we have?” Kim asked, as she and Ron went through the jet’s storage compartments. “Another grappling hook hairdryer, good, I’m looking for handcuffs, and—”

“Got ’em,” said Ron.

“Don’t play with them, okay? How about more grappling hooks?”

“Okay, but this one jams sometimes.”

“That’s no good,” said Kim.

“That one’s okay now. I fixed it,” said Felix, rotating his chair to face them. “The way I see it, if we use my chair to hover just above the canopy, Kim can drop down, snag Monkey Fist, and lift him out of there before he or the mandrills knows what’s happening.”

“Couple no goods,” said Kim. “Your hover jets could set the canopy on fire, and Monkey Fist is skilled and dangerous hanging in the air—”

A metallic tentacle with strong claws shot out of Felix’s wheelchair. “Not if I grab him with this,” he said.

“If those mandrill ninjas swarm onto your chair, it’s no joke,” said Ron.

“I can see that,” Felix said, looking at Ron’s swollen face.

“We don’t really want to fight them,” said Kim. “They’re endangered.”

“That’s why you need me,” said Felix.

“Okay, but we’re gonna have to get him from below. I don’t have the monkey power detector. I can’t find him from above the canopy.”

“Let’s roll,” said Felix.

Kim, Ron, and Felix with his chair rolling on wheels tried to follow the sound of monkey commotion. “I see him,” said Kim, aiming and firing her hairdryer high in the trees. She rose high and swung toward Monkey Fist. Ron fired his hairdryer, and followed. Soon they were both swinging from branches and vines, pursuing the brachiating Monkey Fist. Giant mandrill males, some costumed as ninjas, some not, leaped back and forth. Most of the time Kim was able to dodge their lunges. Ron was struck repeatedly but continued after Monkey Fist.

As for Felix, he was airborne now, veering and swerving through the open spaces, trying to get in front of Monkey Fist. Suddenly, Monkey Fist was leaping right toward Felix’s lap and firmly grabbed by a robot tentacle. “Got him,” Felix said, maneuvering to a space out of mandrill leaping range. “You be quiet,” he told Monkey Fist.

Kim and Ron reached the ground, Kim smoothly, Ron with a bit of awkward tumbling. The mandrills, having apparently driven them away, and in lieu of a command from Monkey Fist to press the attack, backed off, jabbering and barking like dogs.

“Now the only question is, where do we want the trial?” Kim said, making sure the handcuffs were securely locked on Monkey Fist’s hands. “British justice has slapped you on the wrists and let you go far too many times. America would be convenient for my testimony, but there’s a lot to be said for Chinese prisons being the most secure.”

“You can’t just take me out of the country like this!”

“You really don’t want a trial here,” said Ron. “So what was with you and the rebels, anyway? Confess and, uh, maybe I can talk Kim into turning you over to the U.K. office of Global Justice.”

“I’m not saying anything without my lawyer.”

“Suit yourself, dude. So, China?”

“Hmm, maybe,” said Kim, as Felix prepared the jet for takeoff. “What’ve I got in my pocket? Oh, it’s the monkey thing. They didn’t take it away.” She held it up and showed it to Monkey Fist.

“It’s nothing, just tourist trash,” he sneered.

“It’s said to bring good health and victory in battle,” Kim said with a smile. “I guess it works.”

“Where to?” asked Felix.

“Let’s go home,” Kim whispered. “I don’t want to commute to China for a trial!”

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