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A Stoppable Vacation

Kim Possible, Ron Stoppable, Rufus, Monique, Felix Renton, Wade Load, Mr. and Mrs. Dr. Possible, Jim and Tim Possible, Mr. and Mrs. Stoppable, Dr. Renton, Bonnie Rockwaller, Josh Mankey, Tara, and Hope 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 during Chrismas vacation of Kim and Ron’s sophomore year of college, about two and a half years after “So the Drama,” and shortly after my earlier story, “Unron.” This story © 2005 by cloudmonet.

Sunset lit the scattered clouds with rose while a small black jet with “KP” monogrammed on the tail touched down and taxied to the general aviation section of Middleton Airport. The pilot, Felix Renton, parked the jet, and unlocked his cyber-robotic wheelchair from its place at the controls.

“Well, we’re here,” he said.

Kim Possible, her fiancé, Ron Stoppable, and their friend, Monique, got out of their seats and began gathering their luggage. Both girls had bulky garment bags.

“We’re gonna need carts,” said Monique.

“Parents to the rescue,” Ron said, looking out the window. “There’s Mrs. Dr. Renton, your dad, and Mr. Dr. Possible with a big wheely cart.”

“No Stoppables?” asked Monique.

“Don’t see any,” said Ron. “I don’t have much stuff.”

Kim touched Monique’s arm and shook her head.

“Sorry,” Monique mumbled.

Felix rolled over to one of the cabinets, opened it with one of his wheelchair’s robotic arms, and grabbed two small duffel bags. He rolled back to the controls, popped the cockpit, and rose straight into the air on his chair’s jets and settled down in front of Mrs. Renton.

“Hey, Mom,” he said, as she leaned over to embrace him.

“My son, the jet pilot,” she replied.

“Didn’t think I’d be an action hero, did you?” Felix said. “I caught Monkey Fist with the robot arms in a remote African jungle. Oh, and I got a girlfriend. Her name’s Belinda Brockmeyer and she’s really nice. She went to her own home for Christmas, so you can’t meet her, but I got a picture—”

Monique’s dad gave her a big hug as she stepped off the jet. “I’m majoring in business management,” she said. “I made a fashion buy for Club Banana, some African shirts, and they’re moving really well in select stores, and—”

“Kimmie! Ronald!” said Kim’s dad, Dr. James Possible, hugging her and shaking his hand. “Glad you could make it home. We missed you at Thanksgiving.” He raised a gray eyebrow.

“Oh you’ll get to see us,” said Kim. “We’ve got the word. Ron, Monique, and I definitely made the cut. We’ll be on the Crocodile Jack show the week after Christmas.”

“That’s right,” said Monique.

“Getting on Crocodile Jack’s show is newsworthy, girl,” said Monique’s dad.

“If you go on vacation with Kim, there’s always some kind of adventure,” she replied. “What was it? Ninjas on a Japanese whaling boat or something?”

“Ron and I rescued a Greensleeves crew,” Kim explained. “Let’s get our stuff. You did bring the van, didn’t you?”

“Um, oops, no,” said Mr. Dr. Possible.

“We’ll manage, I guess.”

They carried the suitcases and garment bags out of Kim’s jet and loaded them on the big cart, then Kim and Ron rolled out the stealth bike.

“Wow,” said Mr. Dr. Possible, looking at the hybrid jet-electric motor. “I’ve never seen a bike like this. What’s it do?”

“Trust me, Dad. You don’t want to know,” said Kim.

“Two hundred fifty?” he guessed.

“I’ve never had it much over a hundred. Most of the time I’m rolling through town at thirty five, like I’m supposed to. But if I ever really need to catch someone or get away, I know I can, and the gyroscopic stabilizers will keep me in control.”

“And it’s amphibious,” said Ron. “It turns into a jet ski.”

Kim aimed the kimmunicator at the jet and closed the cockpit bubble and door. “It also collapses small enough to fit into the van, but since you didn’t bring the van, Ron and I can ride this and meet you at the house.”

“How about meeting us in the parking lot to help load all this stuff?” asked Mr. Dr. Possible.

“Sure thing, Dad,” said Kim.

“We’re in section 8-A. I wanted to surprise you, but look for a smallish shamrock green gas-electric hybrid sports utility wagon. We don’t have the van anymore.”

“Shamrock green?” asked Kim.

“I think it’s what sold your mother.”

Kim and Ron rode the stealth bike through the twilight to the security gate. She showed the guard her general aviation ID and asked where section 8-A of the parking lot was located. The large baggage cart was easier to spot than the vehicle. It was less heavily loaded. Monique and her dad had already driven away.

“Whoa, you startled me,” said Kim’s dad. “Your bike’s really quiet.”

“Are Ron’s parents waiting in the terminal?” asked Kim.

“I didn’t see either of them,” Dad replied.

“You did tell them we’d be in the general aviation section, didn’t you?” Kim asked Ron.

“You know how frugal they are,” he replied. “They figure I’d rather ride with you.”

Kim smiled at him, and looked at the car. “This looks like a pretty green, as well as I can tell in these orange parking lot lights,” she said.

Dad popped open the rear door and they started loading suitcases. Then they put the bulging garment bag and the rest of the suitcases in the back seat.

“You didn’t have quite this much stuff in September, did you?”

“Maybe I bought a few clothes. I didn’t bring everything back.”

“Do you want me to meet you at Ronald’s house to drop off his bags?”

“Sure, thanks, Mr. Dr. P,” said Ron.

They all arrived at Ron’s house at about the same time. A light was on in the living room but the front door was locked. Ron rang the doorbell.

“Hello! Anybody home?” Ron called out. “Huh. Maybe they went out to dinner or something. This might be bowling night. I don’t know.” He took out his key and unlocked the door. He walked in, followed by Kim and her dad. “It looks even cleaner than usual,” he said. Rufus, his pet naked mole rat, poked his head out of Ron’s cargo pants pocket and with a little cry of joy ran toward the kitchen and the refrigerator.

“There’s a note,” Kim said.

Ron took it off the magnet and mumbled to himself. “They went on a cruise to Fiji!” he exclaimed. “Tropical Princess, adventure of a lifetime, yadda yadda, left food in the refrigerator and freezer— better check that out.” He opened the refrigerator door, saw that it was pretty filled inside, and looked at the food that was easily visible. “Yeah, okay.” Rufus grabbed something and ate it, then shivered from the cold and jumped back in Ron’s pocket. Ron then checked the freezer. “Not quite what I would choose, but okay.”

“I can’t believe they’d take off and leave you alone for Christmas,” Mr. Dr. Possible said indignantly.

“Uh, Dad—” said Kim.

“Right, they’re Jewish, but even so—”

“It’s okay,” said Ron. “I’m twenty years old. I’m a man. I could be living in my own place. I can handle this.”

“Yes, Ronald, you’re a man,” said Mr. Dr. Possible, “but you’re still a young man, and this is your parents’ house, not yours. Don’t throw any parties here, or leave a mess for them to clean up. And Kimmie—”

“Father, I’m a grown woman, too, and I’ve been alone with my fiancé, Ronald, in Central Africa, Peru, Egypt, China, and Australia, since September, and you’re not going to tell me I can’t come over here.”

“You left out the cheap motel in Arizona,” he said, raising an eyebrow.

“What, the one where Dr. Gonzales, the mad herpetologist, left a ten foot long gila monster in my room?” asked Kim.

“He had some that were eighteen feet long, but they wouldn’t fit,” said Ron.

Mr. Dr. Possible sighed. “Let’s get Ronald’s bags.”

“Already on it,” said Ron, walking back out to the car.

Ron sat behind Kim on the stealth bike as she drove uphill toward the Possible house. Their Christmas light display was somewhat scaled back from what Ron remembered in previous years, but was still the brightest on the street. Kim pulled into the garage between one of the cars and the work bench. Ron somehow ended up carrying most of Kim’s luggage into the house, and up both sets of stairs to her attic bedroom. On the second trip, Jim and Tim poked their heads out of their room. They were both almost as tall as he was. “Hey, Ron.”

“What up, guys?” he replied.

“We’re working for Wade, and making some big bucks,” said Jim.

“Do you like the bike?” asked Tim. “We helped design the thruster nozzles.”

“Quietest jet engines in the world, and they run on regular unleaded,” said Jim. “Check out our computer.”

Ron walked into their room and stared at the 48 inch monitor, with an elaborate engineering drawing on display.

“You don’t understand what that is, do you?” asked Tim. “It’s secret.”

“I’m just drooling at your monitor.”

“Yeah, it’s what, 2880 by 4800 pixels. It’s custom, of course. We’ve got a twenty processor unix rack—”

“Okay, geek overload,” said Ron.

“We’ve got our own supercomputer,” said Jim.

“Oh my gosh, when did you get all this?” asked Kim, standing in the doorway, staring at the huge monitor and rack of computer hardware.

“When we started working for Wade,” said Jim.

“They helped design the stealth bike thrusters,” said Ron.

“Wow, really? Dad was blown away when he saw that engine. You should tell him.”

“Maybe not,” said Tim. “We kinda borrowed some technology for this which might or might not be covered by some classified patents, so we can’t sell this one, but for your use—”

“You’re so sweet.”

“Is she gonna hug us?” said Tim.

“Told you she would,” said Jim.

They stood up, and she briefly hugged each one. “You’re taller!” she said. “You’re almost as tall as I am.”

“Why is this important to older people?” asked Jim.

“I don’t know,” said Tim.

“I got Chinese takeout tonight,” said Kim’s mom, Dr. Anna Possible, walking in the door with a bag labeled “Chun Yo’s.” She walked into the kitchen and set the bag on the table. “Kimmie! Ron! You’re back. I so missed you at Thanksgiving. Anyway, I got chow mein, chicken fried rice, and, um, bacon fried rice for James, hed ped fu, mushroom gong, and I don’t know how to pronounce this, but it looked good.” She got out some plates and bowls and began setting the table.

“So who’s coming for Christmas this year?” asked Kim.

“As far as I know, just us,” said Dad. “Your Uncle Slim and Cousin Joss are in Florida with Nana. Oh, and there probably won’t be any snow. The EPA won’t let the Middleton Institute of Technology use its weather machines to make Middleton’s Christmas white any more. So we’ll probably have sunshine or rain.”

“There’s snow at the Mount Middleton ski area,” said Mom. “We could go up there sometime.”

“I, um, recently saved some Alaskan pipeline workers who got lost in a blizzard,” said Kim. “I won’t suffer for lack of snow.”

“Ron? Sweetheart?” came a whisper in the dark, and a bounce as someone warm slipped beside him under the covers. “Wake up, I can’t stay all night.”

“Kim? How’d you get in? I locked the doors before I went to bed.”

“Cybertronic skeleton key, silly.”

“Oh, right,” Ron said, then they started kissing.

Ron and Kim carried trays of food to the booth at the Middleton Bueno Nacho where Josh Mankey, Tara, Bonnie, and Hope were seated with their food.

“I think you’re just rushing into it,” Bonnie was saying. “How do you know you want to spend the rest of your lives together?”

“It’s beautiful,” said Hope. “Bonnie, you’re too cynical.”

“What am I walking in on?” asked Kim.

“Josh and I are engaged,” said Tara, raising her finger to show off the diamond ring.

“It’s bigger than the one Ron got you,” said Bonnie.

“That doesn’t matter,” said Kim. “It’s beautiful, Tara.”

“I don’t think Kim’s is so small,” said Hope, pulling Kim’s hand next to Tara’s. “What matters is the love.”

“Yeah, yeah, Middleton’s true lovers, ever since preschool, watched most of the soap opera, didn’t believe it, still don’t believe it, but here they are,” Bonnie said, shrugging. “And here I am, captain of the cheer squad and homecoming queen. I’ve got what the guys want and they know it, but the sports and fraternity guys are all jerks, and most of the rest are geeks and losers. Maybe Kim can be happy with a guy like Ron, but I want—”

“Someone higher on the food chain?” asked Kim. “When are you gonna get over that and go for a guy who knows how to be sweet?”

“I just want a sweet guy with a good career path who looks good in a suit,” said Bonnie. “Is that so much to ask for?”

“You want to know why I never dated you?” asked Josh.

“Oooh, that silenced the table,” said Ron.

“Mm-hmm,” said Rufus, who was sitting next to Ron’s plate nibbling nachos.

“Okay, I’ll bite,” said Bonnie.

“Cause you weren’t interested in who I am,” said Josh. “You just wanted a popular, good-looking status-symbol guy. I didn’t find that role very interesting.”

“All right, so why did you reject Kim?” Bonnie asked.

“I won’t be a pawn in your silly rivalry,” said Josh.

“Actually, I’m curious,” said Kim. “If you wanna tell me.”

“Kim, you’re a hero, a strong woman, and that intrigued me, but what I got was a giggly embarrassed girl who couldn’t think straight, and wouldn’t tell me the truth about what was happening to her.”

“Um, er, oops, sorry,” Kim stammered.

“There, see, I still make you nervous. You need to be with the guy who makes you comfortable,” said Josh.

“You’re so right,” said Kim, kissing Ron on the cheek. He took a sip of soda and kissed her for real.

Bonnie sighed. “Kim’s got her own jet and whatever. She’s not living in the same reality as the rest of us. Think about it, Tara, if you marry Josh, and he’s an artist, you’ll be supporting him, working as some business creep’s receptionist. What’s your major again?”

“History. Josh and I are planning to both be high school teachers,” said Tara.

“I’ll do art and music, she’ll do history and social studies.”

“That makes a lot of sense,” said Kim.

“It does,” said Hope.

“Don’t you remember how much most of our teachers just hated their jobs?” asked Bonnie.

“Don’t you ever see the bright side of anything?” asked Tara.

“It’s not like I’m some gloomy Goth girl who always wears black and thinks the world’s already hopeless so why bother,” said Bonnie.

“You’re just bummed they’ve got love and you haven’t,” said Hope.

“What about you?”

“I kind of have a boyfriend. I think he wants to make it more serious, and I don’t know if I’m ready for that. But he is pretty nice to me, and Tara and Kim seem so happy, I’m thinking maybe after Christmas break— I’m making you even more bummed.”

“Who’s the fool here, you guys with your romantic delusions, or me? I’m starting to think it’s me, and I don’t know what to do about it.”

Ron settled down on the couch in front of his parents’ big TV, after another supper with the Possibles. “What to watch, what to watch,” he said, looking through the cable guide.

“Next, the eleven o'clock news with Don Bother. Our top story: masked gunmen who claim to be members of Central Asian Jihad have hijacked a cruise ship, The Tropical Princess, bound for Fiji.”

“No!” cried Ron, turning up the sound, picking up the phone and punching Kim’s number.

“Oh, hey Ron,” she said.

“Channel, I don’t know which number, looks like American Broadcast news. Put it on, quickly!”

“What’s the matter? Oh, no!”

“We demand that the infidel imperialist president of America agree to release all jihadi prisoners immediately,” a masked figure was saying, “or we will destroy one tourist each day. If any planes or boats approach The Tropical Princess, we will detonate our bomb and sink the ship.”

“I’m coming over, babe,” Kim said. “We’ll save them, okay? Your parents. We’ll do it. Whatever it takes.”

“What’s happening?” asked Kim’s mom, seeing her rush downstairs.

“Those terrorists on the news have Ron’s parents. I gotta go.”

Dot dot dadot! beeped the Kimmunicator.

“Wade, I was just going to call you,” said Kim. “That cruise ship—”

“Cruise ship? I was just calling to see if you and Ron and the tweebs could come over for dinner tomorrow. What’s the sitch?”

“The Tropical Princess, a cruise ship with Ron’s parents aboard, got hijacked by terrorists. It’s on the news. I’m going to get him.”

“Okay, okay,” said Wade, frantically typing and bringing up images on different monitors. “I’m getting the story. This just happened. Bring Ron back to Jim and Tim’s room. We can go over the plans and schematics of the ship on the big screen. I’ll try to pinpoint the most likely locations for the bomb.”

Jim opened the door to their room. “What’s happening, sis?”

“Gotta go!” said Kim.

“Big emergency,” Wade’s deep voice boomed from the big speakers inside their room. His face appeared on the monitor. “We got some terrorists to disarm. I need you two mix up the two reagents of Global Justice’s secret antiexplosive foam. I got the recipes for you right here.”

“Chem lab time!” said Tim.

“Hoosha!” Jim replied.

“Wade did say ANTI-explosive foam, didn’t he?” asked Mrs. Dr. Possible.

Ron opened the door at the sound of Kim on the steps.

“They always take the Jewish people first,” Ron said hoarsely. Rufus looked totally freaked perched in his hair.

“Oh, baby,” Kim said, hugging him in her strong arms. “Stoppable’s not obviously a Jewish name. The terrorists might not know. But it doesn’t matter. We’ll get there before anything happens to anybody. Wade’s already working up a plan of action.”

“Right,” said Ron, wiping a tear from his eye. “We’ve beat armies of giant robots, squads of henchman with lasers. These guys are just ninjas with guns.”

“Remember Will Du’s blue anti-explosive foam?”

“I sure do,” said Ron. “Yeah, we can take ’em! But we can’t just drop the foam from a plane. The bomb’ll be deep inside the boat.”

“That’s my partner. You’re thinking. Wade wants us at my house. He’s got the plans and schematics of the ship. We can see it clearly on the tweebs’ big monitor.”

“Let’s go,” said Ron.

Kim and Ron sat in the tweebs’ room in front of their big monitor, looking at views of the ship.

“First option,” said Wade’s voice. “They have a powerful bomb, placed in any closed room below the waterline. That would eventually sink the ship, maybe, but it would be slow enough that conventional military intervention might save most of the passengers. This would be the hardest bomb to find, but the least immediately deadly. You never know with Central Asian Jihad. Some of their actions are well-designed, others not so much.”

“I’m guessing they put the bomb near the fuel tank,” said Kim.

“Or near the fuel line, which is probably easier to break with a small bomb. So here’s the engine, here’s the fuel line, and the fuel pump. If they really wanted to be sophisticated, they could set a small charge on the pipe in this chamber, let the fuel start spraying, then set off a bigger charge and blow a big hole in the hull.”

“Is someone gonna be guarding the bomb, ready to set it off?” asked Kim.

“Depends on whether they need all their men to keep the crew and passengers under control,” said Wade. “Now the fuel tank itself has a heavy double hull. It would take a fairly large bomb to break through, but if it did, it’s all over. The ship blows apart and plummets to the bottom. I kinda doubt they have a bomb good enough to do this, but they may think they do. If so, they’d put it here, here, or most likely here, where the fuel line comes out.”

“What about the engines?”

“Again, really heavy duty, hard to do much damage with a small charge.”

“So probably somewhere along the fuel line.”

“Most likely either the fuel pump chamber, or where it comes out of the double-hulled tank,” said Wade. “If there’s a guard, you’ll have to be quick with the blue foam. This stuff expands so fast, it’ll fill a chamber the size of either of these in the blink of an eye, fizzle any explosion anyone tries to trigger, and knock down whoever’s there. You’ve got to be ready for this, and get up and fight before they recover.”

“Yeah, so, like how do we get onto the ship?” asked Ron.

A small black jet with “KP” monogrammed on the tail flew through the darkness ten miles above the Pacific Ocean. Kim’s father, Dr. James Possible, was seated at the controls. “Wake up call,” he said. “Ten minutes to target, and let me say again, I do not approve of your bunking arrangements aboard this plane.”

“Dad, this so isn’t the time,” said Kim, getting up, opening a cabinet and pulling out the large titanium squirt guns loaded with reagents. “Now listen carefully while I run this down one more time. Ron and I will drop, reach the ship, disarm the bomb. I’ll contact Wade. He’ll contact you. Then you swoop down low and fast, spray the blue goo on deck, and land on the nearest island airstrip and wait for more instructions.”

“Roger that,” said Dad.

Ron, meanwhile, was selecting grappling hook guns, laser cutters, and night vision goggles while Rufus scurried around, apparently helping somehow.

“Not that one,” Kim said, taking away one of the grappling hook guns. “It’s not as good as Felix says it is.”

“These parasail packs are huge,” said Ron.

“These are jetpacks with double chutes. Here’s how it goes. We freefall nine miles, pull the small chute, then pull the parasails. Just above the water’s surface, we dump the chutes, light the jetpacks, fly to the ship, and break in through a porthole.”

“That’s scary,” said Ron. “Glad you didn’t give me the details before. I wouldn’t’ve been able to sleep.”

“Have you two done this before?” asked Mr. Dr. Possible, concerned.

“Not exactly this, but anything’s possible for a Possible, Dad.”

“It’s scary, but I can do it,” said Ron. “I just don’t want to lie around worrying ’bout stuff when I need to sleep, you know?”

Kim and Ron fell hand in hand through the night sky toward the shifting cloud layers far below, the big squirt guns in holsters attached to their belts.

“Wade, what’s the elevation of that cloud deck?” she asked him.

“It’s about three thousand feet top, eight hundred feet bottom,” said his voice in her helmet and Ron’s. “You’ll want your drag chutes before you enter the clouds, parasails, your call. These clouds’ll make it darker, which should help you sneak in.”

Down they fell, faster and faster, toward clouds that looked all too solid.

“Bearings on the cruise ship, relative to us and the moon,” said Kim.

“The moon’s just about due west,” said Wade. “The ship is east southeast, about four miles from your nadir, moving south southeast at five knots. You’d see the wake if not for the clouds. They’re headed for nothing but more open water.”

The cloud got closer and closer. Kim pushed Ron away. “Drag chutes, now!” she said. With a rustle of cloth, the small chutes caught the air and slowed their descent.

“Pull the main parasails when we drop below the clouds, okay?”

“Okay!” said Ron.

Then they were enveloped in gray mist, unable to see each other or much of anything else. Just as suddenly Ron dropped out of the clouds and pulled the parasail, steering toward Kim.

“There you are,” she said. “See that light? That’s our target.” Maybe twenty feet above the waves, they pulled the cord that jettisoned the parasails and lit the jetpacks.

“Whoa, these are quiet,” said Ron. “Think it’s more tweebish engineering?”

“Maybe,” said Kim. “Quiet. No more talk.”

They flew swiftly, a few feet above the swells of the cruise ship’s wake. Now they were flying slower, just a few feet from the hull, below the row of portholes. Kim fired her grappling hook gun at a handhold next to a porthole, which gripped. She jettisoned her rocket pack, Ron jettisoned his, she swung and caught him just before he hit the water, and winched them up to the porthole, which she began cutting open with her laser cutter. In less than a minute, they climbed through the hole into Room 225, occupied by a very frightened Donald and Judith Stoppable, Ron’s parents.

“Shhh,” whispered Kim. “It’s Kim and Ron. We’re here to save you. Who’s outside the door?”

“K-kim and Ron?” Mrs. Stoppable asked, trying to see their faces in the dark room.

“Mom, just tell Kim who’s outside the door,” Ron said firmly but quietly. “We need to know. How many guards in the hall?”

“We don’t know, son,” said Mr. Stoppable. “The door’s locked.”

“How many terrorists on the ship?” asked Kim.

“Ten, maybe fifteen, not sure,” he replied.

“I counted twelve,” said Mrs. Stoppable.

“Any laser weapons or just guns?”

“Machine guns,” said Mr. Stoppable.

“We’re ready for those,” said Ron.

“I see how they locked the doors, they reversed the doorknobs,” said Kim. “No big. Let me try to darken the hallway.” She pulled out a plug without a cord. “Get next to the door, Ron. This should blow the circuit breaker and keep it blown.”

She got her keys out of her pocket, selected the cybertronic skeleton key and put it in the door, then stuck the plug into the electrical outlet and waited for the lights to go out.

“No alarm,” she whispered. “Wade said there wouldn’t be one. I’ll leave the door unlocked, but you guys stay here, okay?” In another moment the cybertronic key reconfigured itself to the lock and Kim turned the knob.

With their night vision goggles, Kim and Ron were able to see the hallway well enough by the faint light coming through the deck prisms. They knew exactly how to get to the fuel pump chamber. Kim managed locks and security devices and unwanted lights on other circuits while Ron watched for terrorists. So far, none, and none inside the fuel pump chamber, and nothing that looked like a bomb anywhere in the room.

“My gut says the fuel tank, where the line comes out,” whispered Kim.

“Got your back,” said Ron.

They edged down the corridor, this one still lit. When they came to the door, Kim plugged another short-circuiting device into an outlet probably meant for cleaning equipment. The corridor went dark.

“Who’s there?” asked a gruff, heavily accented voice. Then he asked something in his native language, as though speaking into a communication device.

This door had a more elaborate electronic lock. Kim got out a comb, which unfolded to show a screen with a view of the mechanism being manipulated by a complex electronic signal. She opened the door, and without even looking inside fired her titanium squirt gun and shut the door, as blue foam oozed out around the door cracks into the hallway. She stooped to pull the plug out of the wall socket. In a moment the lights came back on. “If anybody comes, just squirt,” Kim said, opening the door to a flood of bubbling blue foam.

A black-bearded man in a black turban tried to fire his gun but nothing happened. Kim swung herself on the doorway, kicking his face and knocking him down into the slippery blue goo. The bomb was a crude unsealed device, dynamite sticks with a triggering device attached to the fuel pipe with duct tape, and already neutralized by the goo. Kim ripped the duct tape off and dropped the explosives into the receding blue foam, just to make sure.

She punched the sputtering bearded man a few times, pulled off his turban, and ripped it into pieces to tie his wrists, and gag his mouth.

“You walk,” said Ron, pushing the man from behind. “Where we going?” he asked Kim.

“How about room 335?” said Kim, pulling out the kimmunicator. “Wade, we killed the bomb. Have Dad spray the deck.”

“I’m calling him now, and he’s on his way. I’ll guide him through it.”

“You rock, Wade,” said Kim.

Their prisoner charged Ron, who tripped him and jumped on his back. “You don’t want to make us mad, dude,” he said.

Kim jerked the prisoner to his feet. “We don’t have a lot of patience with guys like you,” she told him.

She grabbed one arm, Ron grabbed the other, and they dragged him up a back stairway to level three. The hallway seemed clear. Ron opened the door to room 335, pushed the prisoner inside, and Kim dove on top of Ron just in time to avoid a volley of bullets. Kim pushed the muzzle of her titanium squirt gun through the nearly closed door and squirted, quickly closing the door against the pressure of rapidly foaming antiexplosive goo.

“Guess we needed to soften this hallway up a little,” Kim said, turning around to look at a frightened young couple with a little girl. “Let me tie up this guy’s feet. He’s trouble,” she said, using the rest of his turban. “I’m Kim Possible, here to save you, already neutralized the bomb, working on the terrorists. Can you watch this guy? If he tries to get loose, rough him up. This shouldn’t take too much longer. How’s the hallway?”

Ron opened the door. “No rata tat tat!”

“Then let’s get ’em,” said Kim.

There were five of them, all black-bearded men with dark turbans, three still struggling to get up, but two having it together enough to open one of the doors to seize hostages. Not quite quickly enough, though, for Kim’s grappling hook gun grabbed one of them by the arm, the winch knocked him into the other one, they both dropped their knives, and Kim flew through the air with a flying kick. With a bit of fist and foot action too complex and rapid to describe in detail, Kim had them all prostrate in the slippery, sticky, bubbling goo.

Ron, meanwhile, was opening every door, saying, “We got ’em disarmed, you got ’em outnumbered! C’mon, whoever’s able, swarm ’em, tie ’em up.” A bunch of the men, and a few tough looking women, punched them, kicked them, tied them up with their own turbans.

“Six down, six to go, maybe a few more,” said Kim. “Let’s trade guns, Ron. Don’t know how much more goo mine can make.”

They did so, and Ron followed Kim upstairs to level two, which was still dark. Quietly they slipped through the hallway, opening every door. “We’re the good guys, here to save you,” Ron repeated.

“What about the bomb?” a man’s voice asked.

“Already got it,” said Ron.

“Ron? Kim?” asked Mrs. Stoppable, when Ron opened their door.

“Can’t talk now. Busy,” he replied.

They went upstairs to level one, heard the sound of a jet swooping overhead.

“I thought Dad’d be here before this, but the timing could be good,” Kim said, firing her goo gun toward an opening door. Two black-bearded men in black turbans were knocked down by the rapidly expanding blue foam. Kim and Ron opened a door, stepped inside, and shut it to keep out most of the foam, and fortuitously found the captain and a number of other crew members bound to chairs in a large stateroom.

Ron pulled Rufus from his pocket and gave him a laser cutter. “Set these folks free,” he told him, and the little mole rat began doing so.

“We’ll be right back,” said Kim, opening the door.

The two terrorists aimed their automatic rifles at Kim, but nothing happened. “Gunpowder, yeah, it’s kinda obsolete,” she said, flipping through the air to kick them down.

The captain, crew, and a large group of passengers followed Kim and Ron up to the deck, where the remaining terrorists were sputtering and choking in the bubbling waves of foam, in no shape for a fight.

While the crew took care of the terrorists, Don and Judy Stoppable found themselves doing something they seldom did— gush with pride over Ron.

“You really are a hero,” said Mrs. Stoppable. “I didn’t quite believe all those stories you told us.”

“We just thought it was just your excuse for staying out late with Kim,” said Mr. Stoppable. “Especially when you started with the mad scientists and monkey mutants.”

“We didn’t know you could fight terrorists,” said Mrs. Stoppable.

“Kim did most of the fighting after the first guy,” Ron admitted.

“And you’re humble, too, such a good boy.”

“We can’t thank you enough, Miss Possible, for everything you’ve done,” said the second mate, who steered the outboard lifeboat through the morning toward the atoll where her jet was waiting.

“How’d it go?” asked Mr. Dr. Possible, walking out on the beach.

“Spanking, Dad! You knocked out everybody on the deck. Wade says the marines should show up soon to take the prisoners away. Those people they wanted freed? They’re gonna join them.”

“That sounds good.”

“So, I forget, is today Christmas Eve or tomorrow?” Ron asked.

“Technically today, but only because we’re west of the international date line,” said Mr. Dr. Possible. “It’ll be tomorrow after we get home, unless it takes us all day to get there, which it might, I suppose.”

“We’ll be home for Christmas,” said Kim.

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