Kim Possible, Ron Stoppable, Rufus, Monique, Felix Renton, Wade, Dr. Drakken, Shego, Hego, Hank Perkins, and Lars 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,” and shortly after my earlier story, “Gila Monsters.” This story © 2005 by cloudmonet.
Traffic crawled slowly up and down the street in front of the marble columns of a federal courthouse. Inside a paneled courtroom, a black-robed judge walked in and took his seat. “Be seated,” he said quietly, and everyone in the room sat down. “Okay, we have before us the case of People versus Drew Theodore Peter Lipsky, alias Dr. Drakken, and Sheila Marie Goble Lipsky, alias Shego, pertaining to securities fraud, alleging that said Mr. and Mrs. Lipsky did create a fraudulent corporation for the purpose of raising money to fund the takeover of Bueno Nacho, Incorporated, a publicly traded corporation—” he squinted at the paper. “The defendants have entered a plea?”
Attorney Hank Perkins rose from the defense table, where Drakken and Shego were seated, Drakken wearing a gray business suit, and Shego a green skirt with a black turtleneck sweater. “Your honor, the defendants plead not guilty,” Hank said quickly, with a perky, clipped voice.
“We will now begin the process of jury selection,” the judge said, and the bailiff began calling names.
“Next witness for the prosecution will be Herman Ralph Goble.”
The district attorney approached the broad shouldered man on the witness stand. “Mr. Goble, I understand you were manager of the Go City Mucho Grande Bueno Nacho at the time of the corporate takeover.”
“And you are also Mrs. Lipsky’s brother.”
“Sadly, this is also true, but we’ve been estranged since her fall into evil—”
“Objection,” Hank Perkins said quickly.
“Sustained,” replied the judge.
“And, Mr. Goble, you are also the superhero known as ‘Hego,’ who distinguished himself in combat defending Go City against the giant diablo robots—”
“Objection,” Hank said again.
“The witness may answer whether he is Hego,” said the judge.
“I am. This is supposed to be secret, but I must tell the truth in a court of law,” Hego replied.
“So, Mr. Goble,” the district attorney asked. “When did you become aware that something unusual was wrong with Bueno Nacho, Incorporated?”
“Next witness for the prosecution will be Phineas Fudge, an accountant for the firm of Fudge, Smudge, and Grudge.”
While the district attorney began questioning the accountant about arcane financial matters involving the defunct holding company, Drakken muttered to Hank, “How many more days of this stupid trial must we sit through before Lars has his act together?”
“Patience, patience,” Hank whispered. “This isn’t looking bad. I might actually get you off.”
“It hardly matters, dolt,” muttered Drakken. “I’ve already been sentenced to 167 years.”
“Oh, but it does matter. A conviction here will bankrupt you.”
“At least this time we won’t have to listen to Kim Possible testify against us,” said Shego.
Kim ran toward the five story monolith of Mathom House, her home on the lush forested campus of Northwest State University. Her fiancé, Ron Stoppable, was sitting on a couch with her roommate, Monique, watching the big screen TV on the third floor lounge.
“Financial news?” asked Monique. “Since when are you interested—”
“Shh,” Ron said. “Kim’s gonna ask questions and this money stuff isn’t easy for me to follow.”
Kim came running down the hall, panting.
“You’re in time, babe,” Ron said, rising to give Kim a brief but tight hug before plopping down with her on the couch. Rufus, Ron’s pet naked mole rat, climbed out of Ron’s cargo pants and onto Kim’s shoulder.
“Our top story,” the announcer began. “Drew and Sheila Lipsky, alias Drakken and Shego, have just escaped from the Federal Courthouse, where they were standing trial for securities fraud in connection with the Bueno Nacho takeover. A helicopter marked as an FBI vehicle landed on the roof, and burned through the ceiling with a laser. Shego knocked one bailiff unconscious with a blast of green plasma from her hands and seized the other one. Drakken quickly climbed a rope ladder lowered through the roof. Shego followed, after knocking out the second bailiff with a plasma finger to his forehead. The bailiffs were taken to a local hospital for observation. They’ve both recovered consciousness and are expected to be okay. The Lipskys’ defense lawyer, Hank Perkins, said that he was under a strict gag order and could offer no comment at this time.”
Kim’s eyes got big and round and she moaned, “Noooo— not again!”
“Noooo!” Rufus repeated.
“Told you they escape a lot,” said Ron.
Kim glared at him. “They’re too hot. Every cop on the planet will be looking for them. They can’t stay escaped very long.”
Dot dot dadot! went the kimmunicator, and Wade’s face appeared on the screen.
“Are you watching this, Kim?” he asked in his deep voice.
“Different channel, same escape,” she replied. “What were they thinking, putting Drakken on trial in a courtroom on the top floor? This was too easy for them.”
“There’s no trace of the chopper,” said Wade.
“What about Perkins?” asked Kim.
“He’s worth following. He may have coordinated the escape. He may even be the one actually responsible for setting up Drakken’s phony holding company. He’s clever and slippery, and knows how to cover his tracks.”
The sky was blue and clear over the Caribbean Sea. No planes or helicopters could be seen, and most likely any radar system would miss it, but a small helicopter with a large fuel tank and advanced cloaking technology was in fact flying over the water, sometimes low, sometimes high, and often changing bearings.
“We’re almost home,” said Drakken.
“Actually, Dr. Drakken, although our initial course was in the direction of your Caribbean island lair, we’re keeping hundreds of miles away from that place,” said Lars, the gruff, burly man flying the chopper. “It’s occupied by Global Justice.”
“Wonder why they didn’t think of that before,” said Shego. “So, where are we going?”
“Tell me it’s not a cheap rental lair,” said Drakken.
“Well, sir, most of the lairs are either somewhere in America, which is no good, or sealed by Global Justice, also no good, or destroyed. But there is one which is so remote, and we haven’t used it for so many years, that it is usable as a hideout and probably safe. Even Mr. Perkins doesn’t know about it. We will, of course, approach cautiously.”
“Good thinking,” said Shego. “Where are we going?”
“The Peruvian rain forest,” said Lars.
“Wait— the lair behind the waterfall?” asked Drakken. “That’s no good! Kim Possible’s been to that one.”
“You’ll see. It won’t look like you’re there if she does show up,” said Lars.
“Sounds clever,” Shego said. “What about her geek? Somehow he always knows where we are.”
“Energy signatures from the cold fusion reactors,” said Drakken. “I learned this from their website.”
Lars landed the helicopter on a sandy flat near the top of Taishu Falls. Securing a rope to a tree near the edge of the cliff, he wrapped it around his waist and began lowering himself to the ledge halfway down.
“This lair?!” Shego said. “I remember what you did to me here! That mind control chip. You had me saying, ‘Yes, Dr. Drakken,’ to every stupid thing you— no, no, not the puppy dog pout!”
Drakken’s mouth dropped almost to the bottom of his chin, and his lower lip stuck out in a bizarre parody of cute. “I’m really sorry, dumpling, and I’ll never do it again,” he whimpered.
Shego sighed. “That pout’s too evil for me,” she said. “Let’s go down and check out the lair.”
She slid down the rope, followed by Drakken. The noise of the waterfall was almost loud enough to drown out the cacophony of Lars shouting at a troop of screaming howler monkeys. Drakken and Shego walked behind the waterfall into the cave laboratory, where most of the equipment was dirty, rusty, knocked down, and broken, and monkeys were leaping, running, and climbing everywhere.
“You sure this is our lair and not Lord Monkey Fist’s?” Shego deadpanned.
“My reactor!” said Drakken, running toward what once had looked like a tank-sized blender filled with bubbling lime soda, now cracked and only a third full of dried dark green molasses, its wires frayed and corroded.
“Doesn’t look like anyone’s been here in years, does it?” Lars asked, swatting at random angry monkeys.
“Allow me,” said Shego, lighting her hands and shooting a tennis ball sized blop of green plasma at the largest monkey, who yipped and ran out of the cave, followed by many of the others.
Lars pointed to one of the metal doors, which looked rusted solid. “The old electric lock won’t work.” He pressed it and nothing happened. “But just a bit of muscle at the bottom, and—” He bent down and pressed his hands against the bottom of the door and forced it up enough to get his fingers under and push it up with a creaking rumble. On the other side was a corridor in somewhat better condition than the lab.
“I remember when Stoppable locked us all in here,” said Lars, pointing to a dented sliding door. “He opened the door, running from Shego, saw us playing cards, and before we could react, he punched the electric lock and trapped us inside.”
“The buffoon?” asked Drakken.
“I didn’t know who Stoppable was then, but when I was boss of the Middleton Bueno Nacho, I got to know him. He figured out that whole scheme, deduced everything the moment we stopped having bendy straws.”
“He’s smarter than he acts,” said Shego. “Much smarter.”
“Bendy straws?” asked Drakken.
Lars reached under the dented door to lift it up. “We fixed up one of the back rooms for you, Dr. Drakken.” He led them across the cavernous room to one of the doors, and slid it up. Inside was a furnished suite, clean and in good condition, with a small television, a laptop computer, couches, books, a well-stocked kitchen, and a large bed.
“The honeymoon suite?” Shego asked, raising an eyebrow.
Kim and Ron stood in the lobby of a sparking glass walled office building, reading the building directory. She wore a dark green velvet blouse and a knee-length skirt, and Ron wore a blue business suit with a darker blue tie. Rufus was sleeping in the coat pocket.
“Look, Ron! Hank Perkins and Associates has the entire tenth floor now.”
“And the ninth floor,” said Ron, “and some rooms and suites on the eighth.”
“I feel so out of my league here,” said Kim. “We won’t learn anything useful from Perkins. Keep your eye out for anyone who looks like one of Drakken’s henchmen, and I’ll look for any room alignments that deviate from Wade’s floor plans.”
“You have them memorized? Wow.”
Kim and Ron got into an elevator with several other people. Kim pressed the button for the eighth floor. The elevator stopped at several floors on the way, and people got on and off.
On the eighth floor, the elevator opened onto a small enlargement of a corridor that wrapped around the building. One sign said, “Rooms 801-820,” and the other, “Rooms 821-838.” Kim led Ron around the corridor. The larger, even numbered rooms were on the outside of the building. The odd numbered rooms were toward the center. Kim was trying to memorize which numbers were omitted. Ron saw a few people walking in the corridor, but no one he recognized.
They look the elevator to the ninth floor, which at first glance looked very like the eighth floor, but many of the even numbered rooms were merged into suites.
“Mr. Stoppable and Miss Possible!” said a gruff voice.
“Lars, from the Middleton Bueno Nacho,” said Ron.
Rufus popped his head out of Ron’s pocket and said, “Ew, Lars!”
“If you wish to speak with Mr. Perkins, you’re on the wrong floor,” said Lars. “You are not welcome to snoop around here, Miss Possible.”
“Where are you hiding Drakken?” Kim asked.
“The police and Global Justice have searched this building thoroughly. I assure you they did not find either Dr. Drakken or his wife.”
“You’re pretty articulate for a henchman,” Kim remarked.
“Miss Possible, I have an associate degree in business management. A large legal office like Perkins and Associates requires people with skills like mine.”
Ron and Rufus kept looking around nervously, as if expecting to be attacked by henchmen, robots, or whatever. “This is a trap,” Ron said. “Kim, this is the man who made the diablo toys attack me.”
“I assure you, Mr. Stoppable, this is a law office, and nothing illegal will happen to you here. You are, however, trespassing.” Lars flipped open a cell phone. “Mr. Perkins, are you interesting in speaking with Kim Possible and Ron Stoppable?”
A quick burst of clipped speech came over the cell phone.
“I’m sorry, Mr. Stoppable and Miss Possible, but Mr. Perkins cannot say anything to you about any of his clients. Will you allow me to escort you to the main lobby, or must I call building security?”
“We’ll go,” said Kim, taking Ron’s hand and walking toward the elevator. Lars rode with them to the ground floor.
“And I strongly suggest you don’t come back,” he said, as they walked across the lobby toward the front doors. “Mr. Perkins will press charges for any breaking and entering.”
In the student union, an old brick building on a campus without many old brick buildings, Kim and Ron were sitting in the cafeteria eating slices of pizza. Actually, Rufus seemed to be getting as many slices of pizza as either of them did. Ron’s roommate, Felix Renton, was at the counter in his wheelchair, ordering a cheeseburger and fries. His chair’s cyber-robotic tentacles with fingers deftly moved the plates of food onto the tray on his lap. He paid the cashier and rolled down the ramp to join Kim and Ron at their table.
“It’s been almost a month since the escape,” said Felix. “Drakken’s holed up tight somewhere, probably plotting something. Shouldn’t we join the search?”
“What could we do that Global Justice hasn’t already done?” asked Kim.
“You are the world’s Drakken expert,” said Ron.
“He’s got about, what, twenty or twenty five lairs that I know about,” Kim said, “and I don’t know how many more I’ve never seen. Global Justice is guarding his best lairs— the Caribbean island, the huge Swiss Alps complex, the castle on Mount Saint Marie. Both Middleton lairs have been sold. One’s a public swimming pool now, minus the piranhas of course, and the other’s become a dance club. A lot of the lairs got destroyed.”
“Wade should have the whole list,” said Felix.
Kim took out the kimmunicator and called him. “Could you get me a complete list of Drakken’s known lairs and hideouts? Please and thank you!”
“I sent Global Justice what I have, but it’s not complete,” said Wade. “Some of my records got hosed when Team Impossible spiked my system. I recovered what I could. You might have more information than I do about some of the early lairs Drakken hasn’t used again.”
A small black jet with “KP” monogrammed on the tail fin flew high over the Grand Canyon of the Colorado River. “You’ll have a long fall,” said Felix, his wheelchair locked in position at the controls. “I couldn’t get clearance to go any lower.”
Kim was wearing her white and blue jumpsuit, designed and made by Wade, which Ron called her “supersuit” because it enhanced her athletic and fighting abilities somewhat, and more importantly generated a force field to deflect Shego’s green plasma. She pretty much only wore it when combat with Shego seemed likely. Ron was wearing a similar white and red jumpsuit, with a large pouch on the leg for Rufus. His suit didn’t actually do anything but boost his confidence.
“Ready to bail, honey?” Kim asked him.
He gave her thumbs up, and they tumbled into the sky. Kim reached for one of Ron’s hands, then the other, and they slowly rotated together like dancers. Kim pulled Ron closer by flexing her arms and kissed him.
“KP, falling through the sky here.”
She laughed. “Keep my head in the game? As soon as we reach the lair, I’m all business! Looks like the river’s over this way.” She pushed against Ron’s hands to put some distance between them. “Count of three, pull the parasails. One, two, three!”
Kim and Ron glided a few hundred feet above some startled tourists standing on the rim, and coasted down the middle of a side canyon plunging toward the Colorado River. They floated to a gentle landing on a sandy beach beside the swiftly flowing water.
“Wade,” she asked, pulling out the kimmunicator. “Where’s the target?”
“You’re close. It’s half a mile downstream, on your right.”
Kim pulled a small rubbery shape from her pack which quickly inflated to a two-person raft with a steering oar. “As I remember it, the river’s pretty quiet at the cabin.”
“There’s nothing between where you are and there that should give you any trouble. Felix has already touched down at Lake Mead.”
Ron got onto the rubber raft and Kim followed, pushing the raft off the sand. The river almost carried it away from her but Ron pulled her aboard.
“There’s the donkey trail bridge!” shouted Kim, yanking on the oar to steer them toward the right bank. They spun around once in the relatively calm water and pulled the raft up on a sandbank. “But where’s the cabin? It looks all wrong somehow.” She got out the kimmunicator and called Wade. “Are we in the right place?” she asked him.
“GPS coordinates say yes.”
“That big pool behind us, with the rockslide, that wasn’t there before,” said Kim.
“I guess the lair got flooded by the river, which caused the cabin to collapse and the cliff to crumble,” said Wade.
“So they’re not here,” said Ron. “What next?”
Kim got a big smile. “Whitewater rafting all the way to Lake Mead. Honey, let’s take a ride!”
“Rufus, stay in my pocket,” said Ron.
“Okay,” he replied.
Drakken hummed a maudlin tune while pouring pancake batter, which sizzled and sputtered as it hit the hot cooking oil on the griddle.
“Not pancakes and cocoa-moo again!” complained Shego’s voice from the other room. “Oh no, I’m gonna be sick.” Incredibly disgusting noises came from the bathroom, followed by a toilet flushing. A disheveled Shego wearing green and black pajamas and a robe, her usually greenish skin a sickly pink, staggered into the living room, flopped on the couch, and turned on the television. “No breakfast for me, Dr. D.,” she said.
Drakken sighed and flipped his pancakes.
A bit later, he sat beside Shego on the couch.
“What happens when the food’s gone?” she asked. “Do you trust Lars and Hank Perkins to bring us more? We’re not in command anymore. We’re so out of the loop, we can’t even see the loop from here. You don’t even have functioning lab equipment.”
“Ah, that’s where you’re wrong, Shego!”
Her face brightened up. “A rant! You’re going to do a rant! It’s been so long since I’ve heard one. Okay, what are you gonna do?”
“My nanomanipulator is fully operational! I can invent and build— really small stuff.”
“Really small stuff?” Shego asked, her voice dropping all enthusiasm.
“I could make robot ticks.”
“Oy,” said Shego. “Wait, what’s that? Shhh!” She turned off the sound on the television. “Somebody’s walking around outside,” she whispered. “Why don’t you make really small monitor cameras so we can see what’s going on?”
“It’s probably just monkeys,” muttered Drakken.
“What if it’s Global Justice, or worse, Kim Possible?” asked Shego.
After a short time, someone began playing drums and other instruments and voices began singing and chanting.
“Okay, don’t think it’s Global Justice or Kim Possible,” said Shego. “Let me get dressed.” She went into the bedroom and came out wearing one of her green and black “Team Go” uniforms. “The pants are kind of tight,” she said. “I don’t know how I could be gaining weight, as little as I’m keeping down.”
“Whoever they are, they’ve got a good beat,” said Drakken.
“Let’s find out,” said Shego, pulling up the door.
The drums echoed through the henchmen’s common room.
“Ow!” said Shego, looking at her hands. “What the—” She grunted, tried to make green plasma glow, trembled and collapsed at the knees, and clutched her stomach with non-glowing hands. “My glow hurts when I try to do it, real bad, right down here,” she said. She stood up, assumed a fighting pose, and tried a couple of kung fu kicks. “I think I can still fight,” she said.
Drakken bent down and lifted up the door.
In the room with the storage tanks and ventilation ducts across the hall, a group of rain forest Indians were drumming and dancing, the men wearing loincloths, the women grass skirts and T-shirts that read “Stop the Logging.”
One of the prettiest women told the biggest, fattest man, “They don’t look like loggers.”
“You speak English?” said Drakken.
“We learned English from satellite TV,” said the big man. “You have blue skin, so you must be a space alien like Mr. Speck or Yodo. Your scar shows me you are a mighty warrior. Maybe we are friends, huh? Maybe you can help us with our war.”
The gray overcast of a rainy autumn day faded to twilight blue outside Mathom House. The lights in the five hallway windows visible from the sidewalk shone brightly; most of the room lights were veiled by curtains. Kim and Ron were watching news on the big screen television on the third floor lounge.
The announcer was saying, “And now, for today’s soft fuzzy news we go to the Peruvian rain forest, where a tribe of Indians is forcibly resisting a logging operation of doubtful legality.”
“Good for them,” said Kim.
The video showed several large pieces of heavy equipment damaged beyond repair by explosions in their fuel tanks.
“I don’t know. That looks kinda nasty,” said Ron.
“Exactly how the Indians are causing these explosions is unknown,” said the announcer. “Their witch doctor’s explanations are not exactly credible.”
A fierce looking Indian with warpaint on his face and a “Stop the Logging” T-shirt said, “We have the help of a powerful space alien from a federation starship crew.” When asked where this space alien was, he replied, “He must remain hidden. It’s the prime directive. Surely you, a television reporter, must know about the prime directive.”
“This appears to be a garbled reference to Space Passage: the Next Generation, which this tribe watches every week on their satellite television. While we may chuckle at their naiveté, the explosions are no joke. Someone could get hurt or killed. While several organizations of ecological activists have expressed conditional support of the action, all have denied responsibility.”
The announcer’s face appeared on the screen. “Next, the investigation of Perkins and Associates continues. The infamous defense lawyer of convicted supervillain Dr. Drakken, who by the way is still at large after his daring courthouse escape, may himself be implicated in the corporate shenanigans leading to Drakken’s short-lived takeover of the Bueno Nacho Corporation two and a half years ago. What’s that, Thomas? Um, I have just been advised by our management that the characterization of Hank Perkins as “infamous” and “implicated” is heresay, slanderous, and potentially actionable. Note that I did not write the copy. We’ll be back after these important messages.”
Kim giggled. “That attempt at censorship backfired. Perkins seems much worse than anything the announcer was saying about him.”
Dot dot dadot! went the kimmunicator, and Wade’s face appeared on the screen.
“What’s the sitch?” Kim asked him.
“Did you just see the soft fuzzy news segment about Indians and loggers in Peru? I’ve dug up some additional information about that.”
“As long as nobody gets hurt, my sympathies are more with the Indians,” said Kim.
“Your sympathies may be about to get divided. They discovered an unexploded device— a nanoexplosive fixed to the back of a robot tick. The Indians are believed to be planting the explosive ticks with blowguns.”
“Drakken!” exclaimed Kim. “Now I know where he is! Taishu Falls! He’s using the tools he used to make copies of Bortal’s neural compliance chips to make robot ticks. He’s the blue skinned space alien who’s helping the Indians.”
“Drakken’s a space alien?” asked Ron. “That explains a lot.”
“Of course not!” said Kim. “He’s blue because of a freak biochemical accident, not because he’s a space alien. He went to college with my parents. I’ve met his mom.”
“That doesn’t prove anything,” said Ron. “There could be space aliens right here at Northwestern State! I’ve often wondered about Belinda Brockmeyer. The way she kinda looks right through your eyes into your brain.”
“She’s flirting with you again, isn’t she?” Kim asked.
“She’s just spooky, like the mystical water witch from the fourth level of—”
“I don’t think she’s a space alien,” Kim said.
Kim and Ron took off their parasails at the top of Taishu Falls and lowered themselves to the ledge with climbing ropes. Again they wore their white jumpsuits, anticipating trouble with Shego. A troop of chattering howler monkeys screamed and leaped around wildly in the laboratory cave.
“Drakken has monkeys! It’s not fair,” Ron complained.
“I don’t think they’re his monkeys,” said Kim. “This looks abandoned years ago. I don’t see any nanomanipulating stuff.” She pressed a button to open one of the doors. Nothing happened.
“What’s this?” asked Ron, noticing some scratches near the bottom of the door. He tried pushing it up, and it moved with a creaking rumble.
“Be careful,” whispered Kim, following him into the dark corridor.
The door to the vast chamber with the empty globular tanks was open, and Kim’s flashlight revealed some litter suggesting recent use by Indians, including some baskets and a stack of “Stop the Logging” T-shirts. Kim put one of them on over her jumpsuit, and had Ron do the same. “It might help, if we meet up with those Indians,” Kim whispered.
“This is where all the henchmen were playing cards,” whispered Ron, pointing to a dented door. “Are you ready?”
Ron slid the door upward with a metallic chatter, and they entered the dim room. There was a brighter light showing under the bottom of one of the doors. Kim and Ron approached cautiously.
Suddenly, the electric lights came on. About twenty Indian men, women, and children swarmed around Kim and Ron. “Kim Possible! You’ve come to help us, in our time of great need,” said the biggest man, smiling broadly. “The Prime Directive said you would know the best way to stop the loggers.”
Kim smiled nervously, pretending this was no surprise. “Yes, about that. Okay, if the loggers are trespassing on your land, it may be possible to get a permanent restraining order from the national government, or maybe get UN recognition as an endangered tribe. Let me call Wade.” She got out the kimmunicator and did so. “Wade, could you get me someone from Earth Eco Action or Greensleeves? The Indians want me to stop the logging, and I’d prefer to do it legally if possible. Drakken told them I’d do this for them, and I really would like to help them.”
“What about Drakken?” asked Wade.
“I think he’s in that room,” said Ron.
Rufus climbed out of Ron’s pocket and ran underfoot to the door, sniffed a few times, then back to Ron. “Uh huh, uh huh,” he chattered.
“The Prime Directive says if you bring a medical doctor, he will see you,” said the big man. “His woman is not well with hot fever. You don’t want to just go in there.”
“Okay, maybe not,” said Kim. “Did you hear that, Wade?”
“You need a doctor. Greensleeves can send an action team. I’ll have them bring the doctor.”
“Code gray,” said Kim. “I never thought Drakken could be a code gray sitch. No records, no notification, till further notice.”
“Your call, Kim. Not sure I agree.”
“I’ll be right back,” Kim told the Indians. “Ron, come.”
“She gots little baby inside,” an older woman told Kim. “That’s how I think. Morning sickness. Barf all a time.”
On the ledge outside the falls, Kim talked to Ron and Wade. “I want to make sure I make the right decision. Drakken’s guilty of, what, 154 years worth of crimes?” Kim asked.
“I believe the current total prison sentence is 167 years,” said Wade.
“But here he is,” said Kim, “surrounded by perfectly decent people who admire him, and he’s doing something admirable to help them, and his wife’s sick. Busting him now just doesn’t feel right. I’m a hero, not a cop.”
“They just got married so they couldn’t be forced to testify against each other,” said Wade.
“There’s a good chance Sheila Goble Lipsky is pregnant,” said Kim. “Sounds like a real marriage to me.”
A large green helicopter marked “Greensleeves,” settled on the sandy flat near the top of Taishu falls. Two shaggy men in camouflage clothes, named Scruff and Tuff, and a similarly dressed woman with blonde dreadlocks, named Natty, got out and introduced themselves, followed by a neatly-groomed black-haired woman in a lab coat.
“I understand there’s some illegal logging going down,” said Scruff, “and some Native South Americans have a problem with that.”
“That’s about right,” said Kim, “and you must be Doctor—”
“I’m Dr. Anna Ruiz,” she replied. “So is my patient a native woman?”
“Expatriate American, I guess,” said Kim.
“Like these guys? Okay, I get it. Where are we going?”
“Down the rope,” said Kim.
“All right!” said Natty. “I love climbing.”
Dr. Ruiz sighed. “Okay, I’m ready.”
Shego was lying in bed, wearing a thin green nightgown. Drakken sat on a chair, holding her hand. Dr. Ruiz walked into the room and stared. “I don’t think I like your color, either of you,” she said.
“I’m fine,” said Drakken.
Dr. Ruiz took Shego’s other hand. “Sheila, I’m Dr. Anna Ruiz from Lima Hospital. Your friend Kim sent for me.”
“My friend?” Shego mumbled slowly. Dr. Ruiz offered Shego a pill and a glass of water. Drakken helped her sit up.
“This should make you feel a bit better.”
“Thaggs,” Shego said.
The doctor examined her mouth, nose, and ears, took her temperature, listened with a stethoscope, and poked various places while asking, “Does this hurt?” When Dr. Ruiz finished, she said, “Sheila, you’ve got the muscles of a world class athlete. It must seem painfully ironic to be reduced to this.”
“No kidding,” Shego replied, trying to muster enough energy for sarcasm.
“Good news, it’s just a low-grade infection which a course of antibiotics should cure. These orange capsules will take care of that without harming the baby.”
“The say what?” Shego asked.
Drakken immediately hugged her.
“You’re gonna be a mom in about seven and a half months,” said Dr. Ruiz. “I’ll try to get you regular prenatal care.”
“A mom,” Shego said.
After Dr. Ruiz left the room, a tearful Shego told Drakken. “Sweetie, this is terrible. We’re sentenced to a hundred fifty years in prison, Kim Possible’s here to bust us, and I’m in no shape to fight her. They’ll take the baby away.”
“Not necessarily, Sheila,” said Kim, leading Ron into the room. “But let me be straight with you. One way or another, your evil career is over. You can either reform, or spend the rest of your lives in prison and lose the baby. It’s your choice. This really is your one chance. I’ve made common cause with you, helping these Indians save their rain forest. Some folks from Greensleeves are here to help out. Let’s try something less dangerous than exploding robot ticks in the fuel tanks, shall we? In addition to killing or maiming someone, you could burn down the forest you’re trying to save.”
“Oh, well,” said Drakken. “So, is doing evil for a good cause okay with mmmph!” Shego clamped his lips closed with her hand.
“I’ll make him behave,” Shego said, and wiped the tears from her cheeks.
On impulse, Kim hugged her. At first Shego cringed, but then she relaxed and actually smiled.
“Dude, you interested in bringing down Hank Perkins?” Ron asked Drakken. “He’s been kinda taking over your evil empire while you’ve been in jail, and anything you might know about his operation, well, we’re kinda curious, you know.”
“You want me to rat on my own defense attorney?” Drakken asked.
“What defense? You’re guilty for 167 years. I wouldn’t call that defense. And he actually did what you were on trial for last month, set up that phony Bueno Nacho takeover company.”
“We don’t want to cross with Hank,” said Shego. “You don’t either, Kim. You’ll find yourself on trial if you do.”