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Butterfly's Wings

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Kim sat in her isolation cell with her back against the wall. The room was about 10 feet square, with a small padding area to sleep on and a smaller window on the door to look in on. Otherwise she was completely alone. She let her shoulder length hair drip over her face like a greasy unkempt veil that obscured her face from the lone security camera encased in a reinforced dome above the door, “So DB, what’s our first step?”

//It would probably be for the best if I were able to download myself into your local hardware so our connection won’t be obscured again, Kimberly.//

Kim smirked behind the strings of hair, “Getting awfully familiar now, are we? What happened to using my full name?”

//I thought since we would be sharing your mental space for the moment, something less formal may be in order. Are you sure you should be talking out loud?//

Kim let out a ringing laugh that reverberated around the small white room, “They think I’m crazy. Might as well use it. Just call me Kim though.”

//Not KP?//

Her eyes went wide at that message and on instinct alone she balled her fist on her remaining hand and slammed against the wall in anger, “NO! Only one person gets to call me that.”

Kim caught a glimpse of the security officers peeking through the small reinforced window on the door to check on the noise. Kim swallowed her piercing rage and gave a simple frown at the man but acknowledged that getting out of here would involve taking out at least one guard. Chances are there were two then. One to check on the patient - or prisoner - and another to buzz the door open and stand watch in case an escape attempt was made.

If she managed to get out the door, she would only have seconds to disable the other guard with only half of her limbs. Not impossible, but not feasible. Kim grinned as she began to plan.
[DB, how much access to my internal systems do you have?]

//I have access to nearly one hundred percent of functional, non-functional, primary, secondary, and tertiary systems.//

[Can you kill me?]

//I would never, Kim.//

[You wouldn’t. But COULD you? Could you maybe stop my heart?]

//Such an action is abhorrent, and it would be a breach of trust… but yes, in theory, I could do that. Your internal security protocols were good, but not DataByte proof good.//

Kim grinned and began to push herself up the wall with her remaining leg. Her years of cheerleading had not betrayed her. She positioned herself near the soft section of the floor.

[Good. I’m gonna need you to do that. I need as much time as you can give me until it’s absolutely the last second to revive me.]

//This is very dangerous, Kim.//

[Good point. Dad said he built adrenaline injectors for emergency activation into my implants. Kick that into high gear when you turn my heart back on. I’m gonna need the rush.]

//That is not what I meant… Are you sure this will work?//

[Check the name, DB.]

//Very well. I will do my best. Disabling Cardiovascular Support. Activating Hibernation Protocols in 3.. 2..//

Kim put on her acting face and let out her best scream of pain as she let her form collapse toward the bedding just as DataByte threw the switch. She collapsed like a ragdoll in the cold room.

Much like her earlier yell, the guard came to peek in through the window. Seeing her unmoving for a few seconds, the guard turned back and called to his partner. After a moment, the two guards rushed in to check on the lifeless form and checked for a pulse.

The second guard turned away and reached for his walkie talkie to call in the incident but at that precise moment a leg kicked out from the ground and slammed directly into the guard’s lower spine, momentarily knocking out his lower motor functions and causing him to drop to his knees.

At the same time, the guard checking Kim’s pulse received a swift chop to the windpipe that cut off his breathing for a moment. Kim’s form rose from its false death to grab the head of the choking guard and drive the knee of her raised leg into the temple of the choking guard’s head, knocking the large man unconscious.

Kim pushed herself with every ounce of strength - and a heavy dose of adrenaline into her bloodstream - to flip up, somersault into the air, and finally drive the heel of her foot into the back of the neck of the kneeling guard, knocking the second man unconscious.

The former cheerleader then proceeded to lose the footing of her one leg and collapse on the hard floor of her cell before letting out a short laugh.

//8 seconds. Very impressive.//

Kim gave a harsh cough from trying to both laugh and breathe at the same time, “You should see what I can do with all my limbs.”

//Logic would dictate it would be 4 seconds.//

Kim dragged herself over to the two guards and unplugged their radios, “Not really how that works.”

//It was a joke. Ha ha.//

“Yeah, we’re gonna have to get you a joke book or something,” With the radios unplugged and any weapons removed and tossed outside the door, Kim crawled over to the heavy metal door and closed it behind her.

Outside the detention room, Kim found the simplistic control room that included a few monitors showing the inside of the cell, a chair, some Bueno Nacho that smelled like it had been sitting there for a day or two and a wheelchair.
[Can you get the cameras while I climb in the chair?]

//Of course, Kim//

The monitors in the corner flickered a bit before the image of the two unconscious men vanished from the screen and were replaced with Kim laying on the cushioned floor. Meanwhile Kim crawled across the ground to the wheelchair and pulled herself up into it, “Now we have some mobility.”

//Kim, there is a checkpoint before the elevator. The cameras show one guard stationed there.//

“Not a problem,” Kim whispered with a grin. She slid her hands along the wheels and launched herself forward at top speed down the attached hallway.

The guard at the end only looked over his shoulder for a second, but in that time it was enough for Kim to bolt down the hallway, spin herself around 180 degrees and pull hard on the brake lever, which shot her and the chair up into the air. Kim wrapped her arm around the guards next and used the rotation and momentum of the flying wheel chair to lift the guard up and throw him into the closed elevator doors before the former cheerleader landed with a hard crack on the tiled floor.

// How… I… Did you do the calculations? I mean… what? //

Kim laughed a little bit as she caught her breath, “It was a trick my friend Felix showed me. He was pretty handy with coming up with ways to use his wheelchair to his advantage.”

// I can see why they recruited you to Global Justice. //

Kim exhaled and hit the button, “Skills, yes. Opinions, apparently not.”

// That’s Global Justice for you. Justice is blind and all that. //

Kim moved into the elevator and hit the button to head down to the main level “Not a hundred percent with that idea,” Kim gave a small scowl.

// That justice is blind? //

“No, that Global Justice is. It’s just a gut feeling, but something feels rotten at the heart of this place.”

// You may be right. In my own research it seemed like the organization has been deliberately dragging their feet on the whole crisis in Europe. In both manpower and financially, Global Justice has had the means to stop the Tech problem dead in its tracks, but instead of doing so they simply trickled agents in to stop specific uprisings. //

The elevator dinged as Kim slid over to the side of the elevator to peek out before whispering, “That somehow doesn’t feel overly shocking.”

Kim slowly moved down the hallways of the main Global Justice facility. She took every precaution and used every bit of her stealth training to listen for footsteps or peek around corners. The wheel chair was very much a double edged sword because while it afforded her the extra speed and surprisingly quiet movement of the wheels, it was difficult to maneuver with any great agility and even quickly hiding was too slow and too bulky to necessarily get out of sight in time.

[ Do you have the security cameras? ]

// On it. Putting a feed in your HUD. //

Kim’s eyesight flickered for a small second before her heads-up display flickered to life in the periphery of her vision. True to his word, DataByte had placed a small square in the upper right of her sight that cycled through all the cameras in the immediate area. The halls seemed relatively quiet with very few patrols. Kim figured they’d be pretty easy to avoid. The harder issue was the immediate path to the director’s office was blocked by Team 10.

[ That might be a bit of an issue. ]

// Perhaps we can try to distract them. Should I tap into comms? //

[ You are insanely good at this. ]

// I do seem to excel at spycraft. Is that a yes? //

[ Yes, please and thank you! ]

Kim started wheeling her way through the halls of the main campus. She didn’t need much of a map for this area of the bus. She had only spent the past few who knows how long mopping and sweeping every inch of this entire area. Even through her haze it was almost like a muscle memory at this point. She took the opportunity to weave through the minimal patrols to listen in on Team 10.

“You are wasting the Director’s time, Agent Clear Eyes,” Trapdoor said in his typical analytical monotone.

“Look, all I’m sayin is dat Kosch didn’t have any hostages. We didn’t need to do things dat way!” Tint shouted in response.

“He had that little girl with him. He’s Kosch the Killer for a reason,” Three-Eyes said in a gruff tone of disappointment.

“I had visuals on the situation, No-Eyes. He was protectin’ the girl, not hurtin’ her.”

“No way to know that. Hostage safety could have been dependent on his own safety,” Trapdoor responded again, his analytical tone cracking to reveal irritation.

“Agreed. Tint, as your CO, I’m ordering you to drop this,” Kim could tell Three-Eyes was starting to get angry. That ‘No-Eyes’ crack was probably toeing the line.

“No. I’m going ta speak to the Director about this.”

“I gave you an ord-”

“And I said NO, Double-Vision. Kim wouldn’t have standed fer dis and I won’t either.”

That outburst from Tint put a small smile on Kim’s face. Tint was still the closest she had to a friend in this place, and the fact that she still thought of Kim that highly made her feel a bit fuzzy.

Suddenly, the intercom outside Doctor Director’s door screeched to life and an angry voice, “Agents, if I have something to say to you, I will call for you. Agent Clarity I have your report. You are dismissed.”

The voice sort of sounded like Betty, but there was something clearly--

[ Was that you? ]
// Guilty. I saw an opportunity to remove the obstacle. Does this displease you? //

[ No, just… ]

Kim watched the HUD as Tint’s facial expression shifted from righteous indignation to hopeless pleading, “But… Director?”

“You heard her, Tint. And we’re going to have a word about your conduct,” Three-Eyes growled as he and Trapdoor walked away towards the barracks.

Trapdoor turned back for a moment, “Due caution, Agent Clarity. Speaking so highly of former agent Phoenix could result in a question of loyalty.”

Tint gritted her teeth and glared daggers at Trapdoor, “Wouldn’t want a dog to grow a conscience, eh Trap? Kim had a conscience. Kim wouldn’t kill one person to save the

“No, Kim would kill an entire operation center to save one person.”

She turned and started following but her feet would hit the tile of the hallway hard enough to crack it slightly. Trapdoor nervously turned around and quickly caught up with Three-Eyes.

[ Wonder how long they’ve been fighting? I’ve never seen them like that. ]

// Unsure. I’ve been out of the system for a while. It is sad that they cling to that kind of thinking. The mission above all. As I’ve adapted to new forms and new systems, I find myself more willing to be flexible in my approach and thought process. //

[ Don’t worry, DB. I still think you’re a stuffy. ]

// Thank you? //

With the coast now clear, Kim wheeled herself around the last few turns to Betty’s office. She crawled out of the wheelchair and pushed it back down the hallway with her remaining foot so it slid toward another doorway at another intersection. Kim then rotated around and got on her existent knee to bring her eye-to-eye with the magnetic lock on the office door.

[ Think you can get this open? ]

// Should be doable. But I won’t be able to control the cameras while I do it. //

[ Do it. We should be clear for a minute or so. ]

The HUD that DataByte was maintaining vanished from Kim’s site as the small artificial intelligence left her systems and transferred into the door’s locking mechanism. Kim’s mind once again quieted in a way she found slightly disturbing. She hadn’t really been alone with her thoughts like this for some time. Either DB was there, or she had been drugged to the point of being unaware.

The thing that concerned Kim most about being alone with her own thoughts was the doubts and fears starting to creep in. She had killed people at this. A lot of people to be precise. She had hoped that what had happened in the ops center during the mission was a drug addled hallucination but hearing the icy cold words of Trapdoor quickly dispatched those notions. Then there was Doctor Drakken. She had no doubt in her mind that that's who it was. No matter what the shrinks had said. She shot him right in the head… er monitor… thing.

She looked at the cybertronic connectors on her missing limbs. Was she human still? Maybe that was the heart of this. She had more in common with the Techs than other humans. Maybe like Kosch - no, not Kosch. Ron. - like Ron she had grown so detached from humans that she no longer had an issue killing them.

But then why does she hate herself for doing it?

Her HUD sprang to life again.

// Unlocked. Leave it to Doctor Director to use the most cryptic and esoteric locking algorithm I’ve ever seen. //

[ Thanks, DB. ]

Kim pushed gently on the heavy door, inching it forward bit by bit to try and avoid any sound. As soon as she had enough room to squeeze through, she began to slide in. There was enough office furniture and sofas in the room that Kim knew how to maneuver around them to get to the vault, but that would only work if Betty would stay distracted and facing the other-

“The FUCK?” Betty screamed. Kim immediately froze and held her breath.
[ We couldn’t already be caught? ]

// Theoretically possible. But we didn’t hear a gun cock. So that’s a point in your favor. //

Then another voice joined in. This was clearly coming through a speaker, and even more clearly was a male voice, “I’m just saying it would really help things along if you let a few Techs through the line at the ENML to help spook the European Union into rushing the approval of the PATCH 2.0 deployment.”

Kim took the opportunity to slide the rest of the way in and slide the door shut again. She slid across the carpeted rug which left a burning sensation along her knee, arm and cheek but it kept things quiet so the former cheerleader toughed through it like a rigorous practice before competition season.

Finally, she reached a crack in the furniture and could see across the room to see Betty and whoever she was talking to.

“And what about North America? You’ve been letting those things run loose for a month now,” Betty said with a fury in her voice that you would have sworn she was a woman scorned.

“And the U.S. Government is eating out of my hand. Patch 2.0 is government mandated and subsidized, complete free injection to every man, woman and child in the red, white and blue. Targeting the bible belt was a golden suggestion,” Kim could see the other voice belonged to an older man in a black and purple three-piece suit and dark hair with streaks of gray.

[ Jack Hench? ]

“I’m glad it worked out for you. But don’t forget what you promised me!” Betty snarled.

“Of course. As soon as the press release goes out, the media will be on a full blitz, then you swoop through and take out those pests - Bam! Government contracts to handle Tech problems coast-to-coast. Global Justice becomes a very wealthy private military contractor for the feds.”

// What the hell is she up to? //

Kim paused her movement for only a moment at that. She can’t think of a time she could honestly describe DB as being “pissed off” but this definitely was close. She inched closer to the vault door, which was a locked metal door on the far end of the office.

[ No time to find out. Door? ]

// I can do it. But as soon as it opens, she’ll know someone is in here. We’ll have to move quickly. //

[ Do it. ]

Kim’s heads-up display fizzled out as she doubled up on her scooching to make sure she was in position when the door opened.

“And what about HIM? What does he get out of all of this?” Betty sounded like she was speaking through gritted teeth.

“Honey, there are no heroes without villains. All he wants is a thirty minute head start before your boys bust in and start mopping up. He gets first pick of the haul and can securely get it - and himself - off site and you get to have a big heroic clash.”

“He can have ten.”

“That’s not how this works, Betty. You need Gemini as much as he needs you. You need an enemy, and he needs someone who cleans up after him so no one else tries to put an end to his operations. Thirty isn’t going to hurt your numbers. Don’t lie. I’ve already checked.”

“God damn you, Jack!” Betty shouted and threw a small table at the large monitor on the wall.

“It’s a deal then! G’night, sweetie!” Jack gave a hearty laugh before going silent as the transmission cut.

Doctor Director let out a roar of frustration and began to kick furniture and scatter objects in an uncharacteristic and unbridled rage that Kim had never seen from the woman.

// Now, Kim. //

Kim turned her attention back to the metal door that popped open with a hiss. She scrambled quickly and shoved herself through. She had no idea if Betty caught her. She wasn’t going to wait to find out. As soon as she was clear of the doorway, she threw herself up and grabbed the latch to slam the door shut, “Well, she definitely noticed that.”

“I’ve scrambled the locking mechanism. It will delay her for approximately 1.8 minutes. We will need to work fast,” DataByte said out loud. Kim glanced around and saw the small shining figure standing on a computer terminal near the door.

“What are you… ?” Kim asked.

“I am scanning. This terminal includes a complete database of the contents of this vault and which locker things are stored in. For instance, your limbs are in locker 31,” DataByte pointed towards a tall locker in the corner, “Accessing.”

Kim began to slide herself across the room as the locker opened and a foam tray containing Kim’s cybertronic arm and leg appeared. A loud banging and muffled yelling echoed from the metal door.

“I have also located your father’s master control program for the cybertronic components and semi-autonomous programs. Probably shouldn’t leave that with Global Justice after all thi- Oh.”

Ignoring the banging and shouting, Kim connected her limbs, “Oh what?”

DataByte struck a ponderous pose as he looked at the screen, “There’s a locker with an external drive with a number of classified files in it, including one labeled ‘Project DataByte.’”

“So let's grab that too,” Kim said as her cybertronic limbs gave a slight hiss as the cool blue lightning pulsed through the various connections. She muttered to herself, “Low power. No combat functionality. That sucks, but I should be able to walk.” Within seconds, she could stand normally on her own two feet again.

“I’m just pondering the metaphysical and ethical ramifications of-”

“Grab now. Ponder later. We’ve got escaping to do.”

“Right, right. Of course,” DataByte sighed as a second and third locker opened.

Kim dashed across the room and grabbed both the disc and the hard drive before backing up against the wall seconds before Betty broke into the room, her hair in shambles and the rage sculpting every feature on her face, “WHO THE FUCK IS IN MY VAULT!?”

“Hiya Betty!” Kim chimed in with a cheerful tone. As soon as Doctor Director turned to see who had spoken, Kim launched forth with a sucker punch at the other woman’s face using her cybertronic fist. The impact sent the Director flying into a row of lockers as Kim waved her mechanical hand over the terminal to quickly upload DataByte back into her system and then ran out of the vault. She let the door shut behind her, “Can you scramble it again?”

// Yes, but not as thoroughly. //

“Hey I’ll take any lead we can get,” Kim said with a bit of a giggle in her voice, “Can I just say how good that felt?”

Kim rushed out the doors of the Director’s Office and into the hallway, but she only made it ten feet past the doors before the stark white lighting of the hallways shifted to a deep and pulsing red. A voice came over the speakers, “Red alert. Red alert. Agent Phoenix has escaped. Use of lethal force authorized.”


// Proceed 90 feet forward. Then turn left and travel down the hallway until you reach a junction in the sewage pipeline. //

[ What? ]

// I am telling you how to escape. //

[ Can you just put the map on the HUD? ]

// There is no map. Eighty-six percent of this base is unmapped. It is a frequently reported fire hazard. But I KNOW how to escape. //

[ Oh. Uh… Okay. Moving! ]

Kim ran down the hallways, following every instruction she was given. She encountered a few Global Justice agents, but she did her best to avoid them using her patented flips and jumps.

// Turn right at the large window. This will lead to a staircase down to the Zeta Floor. Why aren’t you attacking back? //

[ I uh… kinda feel bad about killing all those people? I figure if I don’t HAVE to hurt them I don’t want to. Wait. Did you say Zeta? Who is numbering these? ]

// It’s a cipher utilizing three different numbering systems and a Fibonacci sequence. //

A pair of Global Justice guards rushed Kim and she leapt up with her hands gripping their shoulders before she twisted and collided the pairs heads into one another.

[ And you just figured it out? That’s impressive, Deebs. ]

// Yes. I… Well, no. It’s almost like I just knew it. Another left at this next junction. The escape tunnels should be down that way. Also… “deebs”? //

[ Yeah! It’s a nickna-- Oh boy. ]

Standing at the end of the hallway that connected the the Global Justice base to the cavern hosting the ‘land lines’ - a series of vacuum tubes used for high speed transport to and from the surface - were a pair of familiar figures: The hulking and angry image of Agent Three-Eyes and the diminutive and calculating figure of Agent Trapdoor.

Three-Eyes held out a hand giving the signal for Kim to stop, “Agent Phoenix you are-”

“It’s Kim Possible,” Kim said with a grin.

[ I thought you said no one was going to be here! ]

// No one has a map. That does not eliminate the possibility of people being here. //

Three-Eyes gave an exasperated sigh, “You are under arrest for violation of your detainment, and the murder of sixteen fellow officers.”

Kim frowned, “You’re right. I did. Regardless of how in-control I was due to the extreme amount of drugs that Betty had me on, I did metaphorically pull the trigger. I have to live with that. But not here. Not like this.”

Three-Eyes’ cybertronic arm expanded and whirred, the quick clacking of mechanisms expanding and receding to reveal a gun, “Sorry. You don’t get to make that determination.”

// Kim, your internal batteries are in the red. I cannot recommend a prolonged conflict. //

[ How far to the escape tubes? ]

// They are directly down this hall. //

[ Any other exits from the base? ]

// None that wouldn’t be locked down by the red alert. //

[ No choice then. ]

Kim stretched her neck till it gave a comforting pop before shifting her body into a combat stance.

Trapdoor shook his head, “Unreasonable as always. Guided by emotion, instead of logic,” the shorter man’s cybertronic implants hissed to life and extended a pair of shoulder cannons that ignited with a bright blue glow, “This is why you failed in Moscow, Agent Phoenix.”

Kim gritted her teeth and planted her feet into the cold steel floor beneath her. “I told you… IT’S KIM!,” she screamed and launched herself down the hallway toward her former teammates.

Trapdoor’s shoulder cannons sprang to life and started firing a rapid-fire array of plasma shots at Kim. Kim began to strafe from one side of the hallway to the other in an almost serpentine pattern, barely outpacing the plasma blasts colliding with the metal of the tunnel path and leaving scorch marks in their wake.

Three-Eyes began to power up his arm gun which crackled with bolts of electricity. Kim saw it in the corner of her vision. A charged ion blast would make short work of her electronics and probably put the rest of her out of commission for a good while too. Kim continued to weave and dodge Trapdoor’s shots in order to close the distance, her heart pounding in her chest. There weren’t many people who would run closer to the guns shooting at them - but Kim was definitely on the short list. She didn’t have much choice. She didn’t have the battery for a ranged attack. She had to get close enough to not give them a chance to react.

// Kim, Agent Trapdoor’s shots are increasing in accuracy. I believe his tracking is locking on to your movement patterns. With the closed distance, I don’t know if you can continue dodging. //

[ I was afraid of that. I just need to get close enough that he can’t lock on without hitting himself. He’ll have to one-on-one with me until Three-Eyes finishes charging his shot. Just get ready with the jai alai configuration. ]

Kim took a sharp inhale and then sprinted straight at Trapdoor at top speed. The plasma blasts seared into her leg, then her arm, and finally a third shot connected directly with her forehead, burning away the protective skin coating and exposing the pearly white implants in her head. The pain was excruciating, like sticking your palm into a boiling hot shower and just leaving it there. However it was enough to get Kim close enough and she dove right toward Trapdoor’s midsection and tackled him against the wall.

// Kim, Agent Three-Eyes’ gun charge is reading at 78%. If he releases it now- //

[ He won’t. He won’t go for anything less than a sure thing. That’s just how he is. Meticulous. How’s that configuration coming? ]

// I don’t even know why you have this loaded into your software. Yes, it’s ready. Just give the word when you want me to load it. //

Kim slid back a step and then threw a flurry of punches at Trapdoor’s abdomen, “They stuck in all this hardware but they couldn’t take out a few pounds?”

Trapdoor gritted his teeth as he took the full force of Kim’s rapid blows. He raised his hands above his head and locked his hands before bringing them down at an accelerated rate enhanced by his own implants and collided his balled fists with Kim’s spine right where it connects at the neck.

Kim’s vision flashed for a second and she slumped over, stunned for a moment as the cybertronic nanomachines began to repair the hardline installed through her spine that connects all her systems. It was enough of an opening and Trapdoor activated the jump boost on his mechanical leg which shot up quickly and smashed into Kim’s lower jaw, sending a resonating crack noise through the hallway. Kim flipped over and landed on her back.

Trapdoor stood over the woman with a pompous grin, “It would seem your jealousy over my intellectual mastery of your father’s invention is palpable. Does it bother you to know you were just wasting it?”

// 94 percent. //

Blood trickled from Kim’s mouth. She sucked in and spit out a glob of the red tinged spit at Trapdoor’s feet, “This technology was made for me. You’re the ones wasting it. You don’t even know how to use it right.”

// 98 percent. //

Trapdoor shook his head, “I think we’ve already proved you wrong, Agent Phoenix. Ready, Agent Three-Eyes?”

Three-Eyes grinned and nodded, “Yup. I think it’s time we take Agent Phoenix back to her cell.”

Kim snarled, “I told you assholes… IT’S KIM!”

[ Now! ]

// Loading configuration. //

Kim’s cybertronic arm shifted and morphed into a long hook shaped half-tube cesta that she swung behind Trapdoor’s leg and swept him, dropping the shorter more rotund man to the floor. Kim then executed a rolling flip off the ground just as Three-Eyes shot finished charging and flew from the taller man’s arm. Kim swung her hook and scooped the blast out of mid-air before landing on her feet and immediately leapt forward toward the exit tubes in a somersaulting dive where she launched the blast back at her former comrades.

Time seemed to slow as the two Global Justice agents realized what was about to happen, and braced for the shock. The explosion sent bolts of lightning arcing down the metallic hallway and completely fried the two agent’s implants. From gritted teeth, Kim heard Three-Eyes shout down the hallway, “EXECUTE BACKGATE, CLARITY!”

Kim’s eyes went wide. Tint was here? Her eyes snapped to the entrance to the next room to see the young neon-haired woman standing in the doorway holding a detonator in her hand.

[ DB, I need boosters online NOW. ]

// Kim, the battery… //

[ Battery nothing. If we get trapped in here, it won’t matter how much battery we have. ]

The pair of anti-grav orbs emerged from Kim’s back as a spark of plasma erupted from the heel of her cybertronic leg and sent the redheaded woman flying through the air toward the doorway. She had to reach it before Tint pressed that button because whatever it did, it wouldn’t be good.

// Kim, if I don’t cut the jets now, you won’t be able to escape without a recharge. //

[ Give me as much time as you can get to keep a bare minimum level of function. ]

// But if there’s a fight? //

[ Better to find out than lose to opportunity entirely. ]

//Very well.//

Kim gritted her teeth, closed her eyes and extended one arm forward. She would feel like a superhero if it wasn’t for the dread quickly tightening her throat with the thought of feeling rubble about to smash down on her arm - or worse her.

All she could do was go. Go as fast as she could and just hope it was enough. It felt like an eternity and she couldn’t bring herself to pry open her eyes to see how close she was or how far Tint had pushed that button. Kim just waited for the sound and prayed.

Then it happened. After what seemed to be hours of worry, the whole thing ended in a matter of moments. Like the pop of a balloon after watching the needle inch ever closer. Kim collided with something - something much softer than rock - and as they tumbled across the floor she heard the explosion go off behind her.
Kim opened her eyes and snapped her fist into an attack stance to find herself stradling Tint’s waist and the other girl was… laughing?

“Didn’t think ya’d be able to make it before I had to push dat button,” Tint breathily said between chuckles.

Kim shook her head, “You were waiting?”

// How strange. //

“Hell yea I wuz. Ya think ya would get anywhere NEAR that doorway if I didn’t want ya too?”

[ You’re telling me. ]

Kim looked back at the now collapsed passageway, a ten foot pile of rubble now covering the only door in and out of the room, “But why?”

Tint scooted her way out from under Kim and sat up, “Cuz ya fucked up but ya meant well. They,” the girl with the multicolored hair gestured her head towards the collapsed passage, “Say they mean well, but they just fuck up.”

Tint stood up and then proceeded to offer a hand to help Kim up, “Kosch was helpin’ dat kid. Boss lady said kill’em both. I didn’t join Gee Jay to kill kids.”

Kim felt a tear begin to well up in her left eye as she smiled at Tint, “I’m not even sure why I joined anymore.”

// They cleaned up the blood. //

Tint gave Kim a big toothy grin, “Cuz your Kim fucking Possible! You kick bad guy ass. An ol’ one eye was willing to give a scholarship to Kick Butt U. Go fighting chihuahuas!”

[ Wait. What? ]

Kim blinked, “What? Chihuahuas?”

Tint’s face turned deadly serious, “Oh yeah. Ya ever run into a pissed off chihuahua? Merciless bitches. And they go for the ankle.”

// I remember there being a lot of blood here. //

Kim and Tint shared a good laugh at the joke before Tint’s chortle trailed off, “Anyway, need ya to give me a shiner now.”

[ DB… why did you know the way here? ]

“What? Why?”

Tint shrugged at the red head, “Gotta make it believable dat ya escaped.”

Kim shook her head, “No! You’ve gotta come with me. They’ll kill you for letting me go.”

// I… I don’t know. Kim, someoneoneoneone died here. D-d-did I die here? //

“Naw. No way. I am literally,” Tint slapped the shining pearl color metal arm, “too expensive to kill now. So just give me a good one. Think of it as payback for jacking yer look.”

[ Stay with me, DB! ]

Kim gave a small grin and balled up a fist, “I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t gonna enjoy this a little.”

// AMAMAMAMAMAMAM I-I-I-I-I D-D-D-DEAD, KIiiiiiiiii?%$ //

“Figured as much,” Tint gave a small shrug.

Then with the speed of a camera flash Kim dropped Tint to the ground with a right hook to the face. She then stepped over the prone woman and walked over to the elevator.

“But uh… Tint? If you ever find yourself on the outside. Look me up,” Kim said softly. The only response she got was a weak thumbs up from the woman on the ground.

[ Hang in there, Deebs. I’m gonna get you some help. ]

Kim punched in the coordinates on the elevator tube and as soon as the suction started up she smashed the control panel. Taking a single step into the tube, she turned around in time to see Three-Eyes break open a small hole in Tint’s makeshift wall.

Kim offered the enraged looking agent the gesture of a middle finger, “Don’t call. Don’t beep.”

Then Kim was gone. Shooting upwards through a series of tubes that connect all over the globe. How GJ had actually set this up so that you could traverse the planet with the architecture of a hamster cage is anyone’s guess but if Kim were to hazard a guess - the Lorwardians weren’t the first out-of-towners to visit.

“I guess it’s not that weird when you take into account super-power-granting meteors, exploding golf balls, and ancient monkey magic,” Kim muttered to herself as she watched the subterranean scenery slip past at frightening speeds.

[ You still there, DB? ]

// Tworp gizzlefut nolmy bak bak //

“Oh he is fizzled,” Kim grimaced, “He’s no all-the-king’s anything but let’s just hope Wade can put you back together again.”

As it seemed like Kim’s speed was beginning to slow, she activated her heads-up display and saw the battery level blinking at 2%. She hoped it was enough to make a call because she definitely did not have enough juice to walk home from Lowerton.

Kim popped out of a hole in the floor of the painfully obvious only-phone-booth-that-still-exists-for-50-miles-so-it-had-to-be-a-secret-entrance. As the hole closed below her, she let herself fall to the ground and rest against the cool glass. She looked out and saw an inch of snow on the ground.

“Shit. It’s winter already? Or spring? It’s Colorado, so I guess that just leaves out July. Let’s get Wade on the horn,” Kim muttered, her voice strained with exhaustion.

Her heads up display blinked the ‘Contacting…’ message for a few seconds then a familiar voice greeted her, “Well, look who’s back from the dead. What’s the sitch, Kim?”

“That’s my line,” Kim said with a smile, “I need a ride, Wade. Stuck in Lowerton with no battery. I’ll need a charge bed ready for me when I get home too.”

“That’s not a problem,” Wade responded.

“DataByte’s in a real bad way too. You need to download him from my hardware and get him some help. I got a hard drive that might help in my storage in my leg. Do whatever you can, I owe him big.”

“Oh no, working on a hyper-advanced artificial intelligence. How could you do this to me,” Wade snarked.

“And one last thing before I pass out here, Wade.”

“Yes, Kim?”

“Make the call. Assemble Team Possible. We got a world to save.”

Next Chapter: pREPAIRation