Disclaimer: Kim Possible and all IP as it is presented in the canon animated television series is Copyright and Trademark by the Disney Company, using characters originally created by Bob Schooley and Mark McCorkle. Chrono Trigger, Chrono Cross, and all IP as it is presented in the two console video games are Copyright and Trademark by Square Enix Holdings Co., Ltd. This is a transformative fan fiction work.
Note: Here is my first attempt at a crossover fanfic. Hopefully I'll do well with it.
KIM POSSIBLE: CHRONO SITCH, CHAPTER ONE
The beautiful red-haired girl stood at the bow of the ship, overlooking the figurehead, as the ship cut swiftly through the gentle waves of the ocean. She wore finely crafted boiled leather armor over traveler's clothes and kept a finely crafter longsword on her hip. A shield bearing the crest of Choras sat on the floor of the ship next to the girl. The warm, salty air moved across the girl's face like a lover's caress and caused her beige cloak to sway slightly. The girl gently brushed locks of her red hair from her eyes, smiling as she considered the rolling waters in front of her.
For a girl of barely seventeen summers, this was an incredible journey. It wasn't the first time she had taken the journey, to be certain. But it was the first time she had taken the journey under her own cognizance and volition. It was the first time she had taken the journey without her parents and her twin brothers. Her family had taken the journey once each year for as long as she could remember, failing only once as her mother's pregnancy with the twins had been a difficult one. Now, she was being allowed to make the journey herself as an adult.
As an adult!
Those words had a powerful effect on the girl's self-esteem. Her parents trusted her to take care of herself and to conduct herself in a manner befitting an adult. The amount of freedom that the girl felt was almost overwhelming... almost scary.
But the girl promised herself that she was ready for this challenge. Besides, once they hit dry land, she would have more family to whom to turn.
As the girl continued the waves and her situation, soft and melodious singing drifted through the air past her. The redhead turned to see the source of the wonderful music and smiled at what she saw. A beautiful young lady, with skin as dark as gourmet chocolate candy, sat atop a nearby barrel of grog, strumming a mandolin and singing softly to herself. Her clothing, as colorful as they were complimentary to her slender figure, danced about her form in a breeze-swept pattern that was almost mesmerizing.
“Monique,” the redhead said, stepping up to the young bard. “Good morning, beautiful.”
Monique returned the redhead's smile as she set her mandolin aside. “Good morning, Kim. Have you been there all night?”
Kim shook her head and turned to gaze back out over the waves. “No. Just since right before the dawn. The anticipation is overwhelming, Monique. I've made this journey fifteen times before. Yet, it seems so new and wondrous since I'm doing it on my own... without my parents.”
Monique nodded knowingly. “Well, you're not doing it on your own, girlfriend. You've got me. And you know I have your back. Always have and always will.”
Kim spun and flashed Monique a playful grin. “That's just it, Monique. It's just you and me. No parents controlling our actions. No little brothers to get underfoot. Just you and me. Against the world. With just our wits and charms.”
“Given your wits and my charms,” Monique laughed, “I would say the world has already lost, Miss Top Of My Class At The Choras Hero Academy.”
Kim bit her lower lip gently and blushed slightly at that reference. It was true. The Kingdom of Choras had founded an academy for aspiring heroes in honor of the lost hero, Cyrus. Kimberly Ann Possible had graduated from the first graduating class of that academy, earning the top honor of that class. Her instructors expected great things from this aspiring paladin. Kim expected to not disappoint.
“Well, with any luck and the blessing of God,” Kim replied, regaining some composure, “you and I won't have to flex those proverbial muscles. This'll be an easy-breezy vacation to the Kingdom of Guardia.”
Monique nodded and stepped past Kim to gaze out over the ocean. “I'm with you on that one, Kim. Didn't you say you had family in Guardia?”
Kim rolled her eyes and smiled sheepishly. “Yeah, you could say that.”
“LAND HO!” a man's voice suddenly cried from above the teenage girls. It had come from the sailor in the crow's nest.
Kim and Monique looked out over the waters and, sure enough, slivers of land were starting to peek out over the horizon.
Kim smiled and turned to Monique. “Monique, my friend? Welcome to the village of Truce.”
Monique smiled back at Kim. Kim couldn't help but admire how beautiful Monique was when she smiled.
“I look forward to seeing what Truce is like,” Monique said. The sincerity in her voice was genuine.
Kim nodded and turned back to watching the approaching land. She couldn't hide her smile even if she had wanted to try.
“Aunt Gina!” Kim cried, dropping her backpack and dashing across the pier to envelope the nearby elderly woman in a warm, tight hug. Monique stood by Kim's backpack and watched on with a smile.
The elderly woman, who possessed a simple attractiveness with dark blond hair with streaks of gray, returned the hug and snuggled the redhead teen close. “My, Kimberly, you have grown so much!”
“Aunt Gina!” Kim laughed, pulling away from the woman. “It's only been a year since you've seen me!”
“I know!” Gina replied, laughing softly in return. “But look at you now. You look so much stronger, so much more self-confident, than you did last year.”
“Choras opened up an academy for heroes,” Kim explained. “I blew through the entire four year curriculum in less than a year and graduated top of my class. I'm ready to become a full-fledged paladin now!”
Gina nodded thoughtfully, an impressed look in her eye. “So, I take it that one of the goals you have while you're here is to take a pilgrimage to the Cathedral, then?”
“Yeah,” Kim agreed. “I'm hoping the Bishop will anoint me as a full-fledged paladin before I go back to Choras.”
Gina glanced up and over Kim's shoulder. “Oh, who is your friend?”
“Oh, I so totally spaced,” Kim gasped, turning around to run back for her backpack. As she scooped up her backpack, Kim kissed Monique gently on the cheek. “Thank you so much for watching our stuff.”
Monique grinned knowingly. “So, this is your aunt, huh?”
Kim turned to see Gina approaching the girls. “Monique, this is my Aunt Gina. This is the family in Truce I was talking about. Aunt Gina, this is my girlfriend, Monique.”
“Your...?” Gina said, stumbling slightly with her words before recovering her composure. “Oh, my! This is a development I had not been told about. When did this happen?”
“We've been entertaining the idea for a few years now,” Monique confessed. “But it wasn't until Kim and I got into the Academy that we decided to make it official.”
“I even took her to the annual Choras Gala,” Kim smirked. “I made all of the boys jealous.”
“We both did,” Monique added. Both girls giggled at each other at that.
“Well, it is very nice to meet you, Monique,” Gina said, taking Monique's hands into her own in a polite gesture. She then turned to Kim. “I have to admit my astonishment, young lady. Getting into a prestigious new academy, taking a beautiful girl to the annual Gala, bringing her on a voyage across the ocean to Truce... it's a good thing your parents are an accomplished shipwright and an accomplished apothecary, young lady. Prices in Choras are highway robbery.”
“Oh, don't I know it,” Kim agreed, rolling her eyes. “But it will all be worth it in the end. Kimberly Ann Possible, hero of the land, and her partner in heroism, Monique Songmoor, conquering evil at every turn.”
Gina turned to Monique. “What is it you do, young lady?”
“I'm a scholar, ma'am,” Monique replied, bowing slightly. “I went to the Academy, too, though I've yet to graduate. While your niece specialized in swordplay and tactics, I focused on music and academia. My music can evoke certain minor magicks that can heal and support Kim in her fights. You... are comfortable with your niece being a swordswoman?”
Kim and Gina looked at each other for a few moments before they both started busting up laughing.
“You haven't told her?” Gina asked of her niece incredulously.
“No,” Kim admitted, blushing slightly. She then turned to Monique. “Monique, I'm sorry. I was scared that if I told you about my cousin, you would think differently of me.”
Monique gasped and gazed on Kim with wide eyes. “After three years, you think I'd think differently of you just because of your cousin? Girlfriend, I'm insulted.”
“Please,” Kim smiled apologetically, taking Monique's hands from Gina and holding them herself. “Let me make it up to you. Let's go meet my cousin and his family. I think you'll understand then.”
“Be sure to drop your stuff off at the house, first,” Gina admonished. “Kimmie can show you where the guest room is at, Monique. Then you can head off to see her cousin.”
“Wait,” Monique said, looking queerly between Kim and Gina. “Um, if your cousin isn't at your aunt's house, then where is he?”
Kim smiled devilishly at that point. “Get yourself ready, dear. Because we're going to Guardia Castle.”
“Lady Kimberly!” one of the castle guards yelped, standing to attention. “Ma'am! It had come to our attention that you would be arriving from Choras. It pleases us that you made it safely.”
“Thank you, Biggs,” Kim replied, nodding politely to the guard. She then turned to glance and nod at the guard's partner on the other side of the door. “Wedge.”
“Ma'am!” Wedge replied, saluting the young lady.
“Lady Kimberly?” Monique asked, raising a brow to her girlfriend.
Kim smirked at the chocolate-skinned beauty. “You'll understand. Come on. We have free run of the castle.”
Monique was left speechless, standing there in disbelief as Kim strode past the guards and through the doorway. “We... we do?”
“Come on!” Kim called back, prompting Monique to shake her head and dart through the doorway to catch up with Kim.
As Monique skipped to a halt next to Kim, Kim presented the girls' surroundings with a flourish. “Monique, welcome to Castle Guardia!”
Monique looked around and couldn't help but marvel at what she was seeing. They stood in a grand hallway, the stone walls adorned with paintings and tapestries of all types. A huge stairway led up to huge double doors ahead of the girls. Large hallways extended out and around in both directions to the girls' sides. With torches burning in numerous sconces and rugs, tables, and statuary adorning the floor, the whole scene held a warm and pleasant feeling.
“I've never seen anything like it, not even in the Hero's Museum,” Monique breathed.
“I know,” Kim sighed happily. “I love it here. I enjoy visiting here as often as I can.”
“So...,” Monique said, finally speaking what was on her mind. “Um, who is your cousin, anyway? The captain of the guard? A court noble? The head chef?”
“Nope, nope, and nope,” Kim replied, folding her arms in front of her and grinning. “Though I wouldn't mind that last one. She took over for her father a few years ago and I would kill to be able to eat her food every day.”
“Then who is...?” Monique began to ask.
“Kimberly? Is that you, sweetheart?”
Kim and Monique turned to look up the stairs to see the most radiant woman Monique had ever laid eyes on. Probably in her late thirties, the blond-haired beauty had a body that would make a twenty-something woman jealous. That body was draped in the most luxurious white silk and lace dress and flattered the figure spectacularly.
Monique privately vowed to design an even better dress someday.
“Marle!” Kim cried, running up the stairs to glomp the blond beauty.
Monique stared at the scene in awe. “The Queen of Guardia is your cousin?”
Kim laughed into Marle's shoulder as Marle smirked knowingly at Kim.
“Are you being all mysterious again, Kimberly?” Marle asked, amused.
Kim only nodded into Marle's shoulders, unable to control her laughter.
Marle smiled patiently and turned to Monique. “No, young lady. I am not Kimberly's cousin.”
“Oh,” Monique said softly, before recovering herself and bowing before Marle. “Please forgive me for my presumptuousness, Your Majesty.”
“My husband is Kimberly's cousin,” Marle added, a devilish grin on her face.
“What about me now?”
Before Monique could respond to Marle, her gaze followed the other voice that had entered the room from beyond the double doors, which were now opened ajar. A tall, broad-shouldered man entered the room through said doors. His most telling feature, his spiky red hair, adorned his head like a crown. He wore beige breeches and a regal blue tunic. The top of the flowing golden cape that the man wore seemed to wrap around his shoulders like a scarf. A katana, sheathed in a scabbard of exquisite craftsmanship, hung on the man's side.
“Crono!” Kim squealed, releasing Marle so that she could switch to glomping onto the red-haired man.
It was all that Monique could do to keep her feet.
“King Crono of Guardia is Kim's cousin,” Monique breathed softly before she finally fainted.
In concerned alarm, Kim, Crono, and Marle rushed to Monique to make sure she was okay.
“Shego, you would not believe the spectacular luck that has befallen us!” the blue-skinned Mystic sorcerer wearing flowing dark blue robes bellowed gleely as he strode into the room as if he owned the place. Well, technically, he did own the place. But the green-skinned demi-human woman wearing dark green boiled leather armor and light green traveler's clothes sitting nearby in a rickety old chair wasn't about to give the man that sense of empowerment by acknowledging as much to him openly. “What we will do tonight will have a profound effect on the world and its future!”
“You're right,” Shego growled as she picked up another dart and tossed it casually at the dart board across the room from her. “I probably wouldn't believe it. But, just to get this out of the way, I'll ask you anyway. Tell me. What are we going to do tonight, Lord D?”
“What we do every night, Shego,” the Mystic sorcerer cackled maniacally. “Try to take over the world!”
Shego rolled her eyes at that and threw another dart at the board. “So, Drakken, how we going to do that this time?”
Lord Drakken smiled wickedly at the question. “I have come upon a most wondrous artifact that will allow me to tap into powers heretofore unknown to mankind. With its power at my disposal, the world will fall swiftly to me!”
Drakken's monologue was swiftly cut short by a blast of green flame striking the nearby dart board. This startled Drakken, as it always did. He turned his gaze, which was both irate and scared, onto Shego. The demi-human warrior merely glared back at Drakken.
“Wha... what is it, Shego?” Drakken finally asked.
“Really, Lord D?” Shego seethed, standing up from her chair and marching up to the Mystic sorcerer. Drakken barely stood tall enough to meet Shego eye-to-eye. “We got kicked out of Medina because of crap like this. Day in and day out, you talk about taking over the world. But adventurers from either Guardia or Porre seem to always be there to stop us. Every. Single. Time. And now you're talking about a power 'heretofore unknown to mankind'? In a world where the King of Guardia has adventured from the beginning of time to the end of time and has killed a planet-devouring alien badass not once but twice? Really? You of all people have discovered a power even greater than that?”
Drakken could only stare in disbelief into Shego's livid, emerald eyes.
“I... take it from your demeanor that you have less then absolute faith in my plans this evening?” Drakken carefully guessed, keeping his tone pleasant.
Shego closed her eyes and breathed in deeply. Finally she stepped back away from Drakken.
“I need some air, Lord D,” Shego growled, storming over to the wall and snatching up the dark green cloak that was hanging there. “I'm going for a walk. I'll let you know when I get back.”
With that, the demi-human warrior stormed out the door to the room, slamming the door behind her.
Drakken breathed a sigh of relief at having survived yet another encounter with Shego. Donning a more resolute face, Drakken turns and walked over to a nearby bookshelf. After he pulled out three random books, the shelf slid away to reveal a secret chamber beyond it.
“If only Shego knew,” Drakken muttered to himself as he entered the room. “If only she would have faith in me. She could have a significant share in the rulership of this world. El Nido perhaps. At the rate she's going, though, she'll be lucky to get Ami Village.”
Drakken then approached a small table with a large crystal globe floating over it. The globe glowed with an eerie red-orange glow. As Drakken gazed into the globe, he smiled at what he saw. Images of large red and yellow gems, each one cut to look like a flame of some sort but each one different from the others, shifted in and out of view within a convalescing cloud of dark red mist. Dark, soft muttering and distant maniacal laughter could be heard.
“If only Shego knew,” Drakken repeated as he admired the images in the floating globe. “Am I not right, my pretties?”
At that, Drakken glanced up and beyond the table. On the other side of the room, slowly crawling across the floor, were several grotesque creatures not unlike heavily armored slugs with bird-like beaks. The spikes on each of their shells would scare off any would-be intruder.
But not Drakken. He exalted in the potential power they held.
Drakken finally caved into the desire to do so and began to laugh maniacally, long and hard. The laughter caused the slug-like creatures to quiver erratically.
[END CHAPTER ONE]
KIM POSSIBLE: CHRONO SITCH, CHAPTER TWO
Kim Possible sat down at the large table in banquet hall of Guardia Castle. The hall was normally only used for official business, such as greeting dignitaries or ruling on disputes within the kingdom. However, tonight, her cousin—Crono, King Guardia XXXIV—and his wife—Queen Nadia “Marle” Guardia—were entertaining Kim and her girlfriend, Monique. The king and queen of Guardia felt it was only proper to host dinner in the banquet hall.
The dinner was sumptuous. It was a simple four-course meal, nothing someone might have expected from a kingdom's ruler, but it was beyond delicious. Crono, Marle, Kim, and Monique sat and ate and talked and enjoyed themselves.
“That's when I woke up under a dead tree on a barren mountaintop in 2300 A.D.,” Crono continued, smiling and laughing. “One moment, I'm facing down Lavos, the next moment I'm lying on the ground with Marle clinging onto me for dear life.”
“In Crono's defense,” Marle added, smirking at her husband, “He had no way of knowing what we had all gone through for the sake of bringing him back to life.”
“Technically, I never died,” Crono pointed out. “You used the Chrono Trigger to step back in time to the point where I was about to die and replace my body with my clone doll. It was the clone doll you saw disintegrate in Lavos' attack.”
“Yes,” Marle purred, warming to the challenge of this argument. “But we spent two whole months thinking you had died. And you might have actually been dead if we had chosen to not rescue you with the Time Egg. Remember, Crono, I brought you back into this world...”
“You can take me back out,” Crono laughed, leaning in kiss Marle on the forehead. “Of course I know that. You remind me of it every day.”
Monique watched the banter between the two rulers of Guardia, carefully taking bite after bite of the food and savoring its flavor. Kim was right. The head chef of the castle was indeed a brilliant cook. Monique glanced over to her girlfriend and found Kim laughing merrily to the storytelling and battles of wit. That made Monique smile.
As the story and the laughter calmed down, Marle glanced up at the grandfather clock nearby and sighed. “Crono, dear, would you please go find your son and ask him why he has not graced us with his presence yet.”
“Will do,” Crono nodded, standing up and stepping away from the table.
“No! Your son! Not the captain of the guard! Sheesh!” Marle called after Crono.
Monique cocked a queer look at the queen, who was now giggling as Crono shook his head and walked away. “Huh?”
Kim giggled and nudged her girlfriend. “The captain of the guard is named Will Du.”
“Oh,” Monique mumbled, taking another bite of her plate. “So, you guys have a son?”
“Oh, yes,” Marle smiled in response. The sparkle in her eye spoke volumes of her pride. “He reminds me a little bit of how I was like before I met Crono. I think that if he had a real adventure... one like I had... he'll make a fine man for any woman.”
“You'll love him,” Kim said, winking at Monique.
“Really now?” Monique asked cautiously, returning a smirk to Kim.
“Here he is, love,” came Crono's voice as he strode back into the banquet hall. The body of a young man was slung over his shoulder like a bag of potatoes.
“Aw, man!” the blond young man on Crono's shoulders wailed pitiously. “I was at the archery range practicing! No one told me it was dinnertime! You can ask Rufus!”
Much to Monique's surprise... and shock... a naked mole rat came skittering into the room behind Crono, jumped onto the table, and stood to attention by Marle. “Uh-huh!” the naked mole rat squeaked. “No one!”
Monique just stopped and stared, allowing her fork to drop lazily out of her hand. The naked mole rat had just... talked!
Crono set the young man down by a chair next to Marle before returning to his own seat on the opposite side of Marle.
“5 o'clock is dinnertime every night, Ronald,” Marle admonished the young man. “You are 17 years old. You should know that by now.”
“But Mom!” Ron pleaded, pointing at Crono. “Dad said to not leave the range until I shot three bullseyes in a row.”
Marle cocked a brow and looked at her husband. Crono smiled sheepishly and shrugged his shoulder.
“I did indeed say that to him,” Crono confessed.
Marle sighed. “And you are thirty-eight, Crono,” she pointed out. “Seventeen of those years has been spent helping to raise this boy. You know damn good and well he would take that literally.”
“And you didn't lie about shooting the three bullseyes?” Monique wondered out loud.
“Well, doy!” Ron responded, throwing his arms into the air. “I mean, really? The 'rents are time traveling superheroes. For all I know, there's a dozen versions of Mom from a dozen different time eras just watching my every move...!”
Kim leaned into Monique and whispered softly, “It's like the freakin' Illuminati, I swear.”
“It's like the freakin' Illuminati, I swe... Hey! I heard that, KP!”
Kim couldn't help but bust up laughing at that point. Monique, in spite of herself, couldn't help but join her.
“Monique, this is our son, Prince Ronald of Guardia,” Marle said by way of introduction. “Ronald, this is Kim's girlfriend, Monique.”
“Monique? The bard that KP's been going gaga over for the last three years?” Ron smiled, extending a hand to the dark-skinned beauty. “Pleased to finally get to meet you.”
This surprised Monique. She carefully took Ron's hand and shook it. “Someone who actually knows about me?”
“Ron's been my childhood playmate and best friend for like forever,” Kim explained. “He's known about you since my first trip out here after I met you.”
“And yet I knew nothing about your connection to the Guardia Royal Family until today,” Monique purred softly, giving Kim The Look™.
Ron glanced down to his naked mole rat companion, who in turn glanced up at Ron. “Hey, Rufus, you want to get in the middle of this one?”
“Nuh-uh!” Rufus responded, shaking his head emphatically before grabbing a cube of cheese from a nearby platter. “No way!”
“What a smart little guy you are,” Monique cooed, scratching Rufus's head lovingly.
“Yeah, I'm in trouble,” Kim sighed, resting her chin in her hand as she rested her elbow on the table.
“Oh, I'm going to give you a chance to make it up to me, trust,” Monique replied sweetly. “But, please, no more secrets. Not even for the sake of pleasant surprises.”
“Well, I think the surprises are over with anyway,” Kim sighed, clearly hurt. “I'm sorry, Monique. It's just that...”
“Trust me, Kim,” Monique said, gently turning Kim's head with a finger so that olive eyes met chocolate eyes. “I don't think any worse of you. Okay, so yeah, your cousin and his wife are two of the most celebrated heroes of all time. You're still Kim Possible. You're still the woman I love. Nothing more, nothing less.”
“Ah, how sweet!” Marle breathed. “Crono, when was the last time you did a romantic gesture like that for me?”
“About an hour ago,” Crono smiled. “And you still haven't noticed it yet.”
“Huh?” Marle asked, raising a brow to that.
“Are you talking about these flowers, Dad?” Ron asked as he sniffed at a bouquet of flowers sitting in the middle of the table. “They look fresh. Did you just have them delivered for dinner?”
Marle blinked a couple of times before sighing deeply. “Okay, you got me. I didn't notice them. I'm a bit of an airhead sometimes, I know.”
“I knew I got my best traits from my Mom,” Ron smiled, winking at his mother.
“Yep!” Rufus agreed. “Best!”
“Ronald!” Marle gasped.
Both Kim and Monique chuckled softly at that.
“Kim,” Crono asked, looking up from his dinner plate. “You said you wanted to leave for the Cathedral immediately after dinner?”
Kim nodded. “Yeah, I wanted to get there before they closed up the Cathedral for the night. That way I could get anointed as a paladin and return to Aunt Gina's house before the high moon.”
“Fair enough, though I do wish you'd wait until the morning, so that you were rested,” Marle responded. She paused momentarily and considered something. “Do you mind taking Ron and Rufus with you?”
“Huh?” Ron meeped, turning to look at his mother.
“Of course he can tag along!” Kim replied excitedly. “I wouldn't let him miss this for anything in this world.”
“Hah! She just can't get by without her trusty sidekick,” Ron smirked, thumbing at himself.
That caused Kim to giggle. Seeing Kim giggle made Monique smile.
“Then it's settled,” Crono said, clapping his hands together once. “I'll have the servants pack a backpack for Ron and you four can be off as soon as desert is finished. Kim, you remember what I taught you of Lightning magic?”
“The very rudimentary basics, Crono,” Kim admitted. “My studies as of late have been focused on the divine arts of the paladin, so elemental magic is a bit out of my reach at the moment.”
Crono nodded knowingly. “Yeah, I'll admit that Marle and I were given something of a boost in that department. Well, there are elements if you need them. I'll give you some gold so you can pick some up in Truce before you head out to the Cathedral. As long as your blade is sharp and your sword arm strong, you'll fair very well, I'm sure.”
Kim smiled. “Thanks Crono.”
“Besides, what's your family motto?” Crono smirked, pointing a fork at Kim.
Kim smirked back. “Anything is possible for a Possible.”
Shego strode through the large double doors of the Cathedral, huffing softly to himself and pulling her dark green cowl further over her face. It irked the pale green demi-human to no end that Lord Drakken's “lair,” as he was delighted to call it, was deep in the woods of northern Guardia. At least it was a short trek to the Cathedral, where Shego could expect safety from the monsters in the area and perhaps some food if she had arrived around dinnertime. Thankfully, the latter was most certainly true. Monks, nuns, Cathedral workers, and pilgrims were all milling about the main hallway, heading towards the worship center to receive a daily blessing of warm food.
Shego took a moment to smell the air and grunted. Stew. Well, at least she wasn't too late, despite it being several hours past normal mealtime. The food was better than she could expect from Drakken. He paid well... very well, in fact... but Shego still had no clue where he got the money... or the meat he used to cook whatever God-awful concoction he called food. Quietly, Shego got into line. It was a quick wait; the nuns serving the food were nothing if not efficient in their work. The one that greeted Shego smiled at her warmly.
“Sister, it is good to see you again,” the nun said softly. “I still feel we have not thanked you enough for your efforts in the recent repairs. I hope the day sees you well.”
Shego smiled softly and nodded. There had been a lull recently in Drakken's mad schemes, so Shego had taken to wandering to the Cathedral and making herself busy, helping out with routine repairs and other chores. She was stronger than the average human; between that and her... special talents... she was especially useful in getting those repairs done quickly. In return, the nuns fed her decent food and blessedly kept their sermonizing to themselves. Even when the nuns spoke to her about secular concerns, they kept their voices to a polite whisper, so as not to agitate the demi-human warrior.
“This gives me a place to go when I need a little peace,” Shego admitted in as soft of a whisper as she accepted the large bread-bowl of stew.
The nun nodded warmly and allowed Shego to excuse herself to keep the line moving. She took the bowl and left the worship center. She turned right and followed the hallway around a corner and on to the back of the building, wear a carefully manicured garden lay beyond the back door. Finding a stone to sit on, Shego sat down and carefully sipped at her stew.
“Sister Marguerite always makes the best stew, don't you think?” a gentle, masculine voice asked suddenly from somewhere outside of Shego's field of vision.
“Any stew with real meat and potatoes is a good stew,” Shego replied, turning to acknowledge the speaker.
A human male, perhaps in his seventies or eighties, shuffled up to Shego. He wore an elaborate white and red robe and a tall headdress that looked rather ridiculous on his wrinkled old head. He leaned on a thick oak staff and seemed to be barely able to remain standing even with its support. But his eyes, already graying from his receding vision, spoke volumes of the gentleness of his intentions.
“Bishop,” Shego nodded respectfully.
“So you are still with that maniac of a Mystic, then?” the Bishop asked, sitting on a stone across the path from where Shego was sitting.
“He's not a maniac,” Shego grunted, taking another sip of her stew. “He's just... a little touched.”
“All of us are touched, my dear,” the Bishop replied, looking in no particular direction. “Some of us more than others. It is simply a part of being within God's dream.”
Shego huffed. “You mean the thing some people call the Entity?”
The Bishop nodded. “The spiritual essence of the world has been called many things throughout history. The people who I lead in prayer and supplication refer to Him as God. The druids of Southern Zenan, who follow the teachings of Fiona, refer to Her as Mother Nature. The people of Choras, when they feel obligated to acknowledge It at all, refer to It as simply Fortune, Fate, or Lady Luck. In the end, we are all worshiping the same Entity... as we are all living within His dream.”
“And being within a dream can drive us crazy at times,” Shego admitted, taking another sip of her stew.
“Understanding the nature of the dream can lead to either ultimate enlightenment or ultimate madness,” the Bishop added. “It is up to each of us to choose which path we will take and what we wish the destination to be.”
“I hope you came to me to do something other than to preach,” Shego grumbled after swallowing a bit of meat and potato. “No offense, boss, but I'm not the best candidate to become a holy-roller.”
The Bishop nodded. “I had a vision last night, Shego. A vision of great destruction and death. You were at the center of it all.”
Shego rose a brow to that. “Destruction and death? Lord D only wants to rule the world, not destroy it.”
“Please keep my words in mind as you go about your life, Shego,” the Bishop gently asked. “Underneath your pain and anger, you are a noble soul. I can feel it. It would break my heart to see yours lost in the maelstrom of darkness and evil.”
“Shoulda been there when Porre ransacked Marbule, then,” Shego muttered, now halfway through eating her bread-bowl.
“An event will occur that will test your resolve, Shego,” the Bishop warned, tapping his staff on the ground. “How you decide to handle it will have a lasting effect on the world.”
Shego swallowed the last bit of bread in her hand with an audible gulping sound and looked at the Bishop pensively. Did he actually just say that the fate of the world rested on her shoulders?
“Just, please,” the Bishop added, more softly and gently than even he was known to be. “Be careful.” He then glanced over past Shego's shoulders and a weary smile crossed his wrinkled face. “Ah, it appears we have more visitors.”
Shego turned around to see about whom the Bishop was speaking. A nun was walking towards the two of them. Behind the nun were three kids... they couldn't have been older than mid- to late teens. One was dark skinned, like she came from the lands south of El Nido; she wore colorful clothes that looked very coordinated, attractive, and becoming on the young woman. Another was a blond young man; he wore practical clothes and boiled leather armor, carrying a bow on his back and a naked mole rat on his shoulder. But it was the third that intrigued Shego; a young woman with fiery red hair, olive green eyes, and a look of determination and confidence that caught the demi-human warrior's attention.
“Forgive me, Your Eminence,” the nun said, bowing respectfully to the Bishop. “Had I known that you were already in counsel, I would have asked our guests to...”
“It's okay,” Shego said, standing up. “I was just about to leave, anyway. Bishop just wanted to give me some advice while I ate my dinner.”
The Bishop stood up, unsteadily, and sauntered over to the nun. He smiled at the teens. “How may I be of service, my children?”
The redhead knelt reverently at the Bishop's feet. “I have come seeking the blessing of God, through your hands, Your Eminence, so that I may be anointed a full paladin in the service of the church.”
Shego grit her teeth and rolled her eyes. The redhead had been looking pretty damned hot until she had opened her mouth.
“What is your name, child?” the Bishop asked, resting a caring hand on the redhead's shoulder.
“Kimberly Anne Possible, your Eminence,” the redhead replied, glancing up at the elderly clergyman.
“Ah, yes,” the Bishop smiled, patting Kim's head. “The headmaster of the Choras Academy of Heroes had wrote me commending your actions. Completing a four year curriculum for paladins in just under a year and achieving top marks? That is quite an achievement, young lady.”
“Thank you, Your Eminence,” Kim said respectfully, risking a small smile as she did so.
“I will be glad to lead you in prayer with God, so that you may receive His blessing,” the Bishop said, tapping his staff. “I fear that we may need your blade and your heart sooner than any of us should like.”
“Paladin or no, I am ever at the service of the church,” Kim replied, bowing her head again.
Shego choked back a gagging reflex and cleared her throat. “As touching as all of this is, I better be on my way. Places to see and people to do, ya know.”
The Bishop turned to gaze softly on Shego. “Please be mindful of what I have said, Shego. I pray that you will.”
“Yeah, boss, I'll keep it in mind,” Shego said, nodding her acknowledgment to the Bishop.
“Boss?” Kim gasped, suddenly on her feet. “Don't you know how to address His Eminence correctly?”
The Bishop held up a hand to ask Kim to stand down. “Please be calm, my child. Shego aids us in her own unique way. She is not of the Church hierarchy, so absolute adherence to formality is not her responsibility.”
“But, Your Eminence,” Kim started to argue. “You deserve more respect than...”
“Oh, he gets more respect, Princess,” Shego smirked. “More than what I want to give to you right now, at any rate.”
“Hey!” Kim gasped, her eyes shooting wide. “I'm not a princess!”
“Yeah!” the blond boy with Kim agreed. “She's not the princess! I'm the prince!”
“Yuh-huh! He is!” the little naked mole rat on the boy's shoulder squeaked.
Kim bowed her head in defeat. “So not helping, Ron, Rufus...”
Shego couldn't help but chuckle at that. “Oh, don't get your panties in a wad, Pumpkin. It's all good. I'll probably be back tomorrow. Most likely, the greenhouse support beams will need more reinforcing. So I'll be doing the things you're not doing while you're out swinging that sword of yours.”
Shego was pleased at the vicious growl she got out of Kim at that comment.
“Shego, please, do not antagonize her,” the Bishop pleaded. “Your services are indeed valuable. But so are Kimberly's. Defense of the kingdom against all who would bring it harm is an important calling as well.”
Shego nodded, realizing that it was probably not a good idea to goad both the Bishop and the paladin.
“Well, Kimmie,” Shego drawled, delighting in the involuntary twitch the teen gave at the pet name, “I do hope to meet you again under more pleasant circumstances. And if we do end up fighting, it'll be because my boss is an utter moron.”
Kim's eyes went wide and she glanced at the Bishop in utter panic.
“Not Bishop, you idiot!” Shego sighed, rolling her eyes as the Bishop chuckled softly. “I only volunteer here for odd chores so I can eat real food. I'm talking about the guy who actually pays me money. Has it in his head that he can take over the world with one scheme after another. A squad of six Guardia soldiers is usually enough to set him straight for two or three months.”
Kim narrowed her eyes at Shego at that. “And you work for him? You sure do lead an odd life.”
Shego smirked at that. “Says the little girl who sailed all the way from Choras just to have an old man say 'Okay, you're a pally now. Go and play.'”
“Gyahh!” Kim seethed, literally trying to pull her hair out.
That was when Shego's attention finally remembered the gorgeous black girl with the paladin. The black girl had moved in to lay a comforting hand on the redhead's shoulder, even as she shot Shego the most hateful of glares.
Oh, so you lean that way, Shego purred to herself. File that under 'I' for 'I Might Need That Someday.'
“Speaking of going and playing,” the Bishop admonished Shego, a rich mixture of mirth and agitation in his voice.
“Right, right,” Shego said, shrugging casually. “I'm done for the night, anyway. I'll see you tomorrow?”
“Of course,” the Bishop replied, smiling. “I look forward to it.”
With that, Shego blew Kim a playful kiss and walked away.
“Dear God,” Kim mumbled softly as Monique gave her a shoulder massage. “Grant me the serenity to accept things I cannot change...”
Even as Kim said her prayer (and probably counted to ten in both Common and Celestial), the Bishop watched as Shego left the building. He could not shake the feeling that his visions were going to come true sooner than even he had expected.
The Bishop could only pray that Shego made the right choice when the time came.
Shego strode outside the Cathedral, basking in the warm feeling of a battle of wits well won. She subconsciously pulled her dark green cowl over her head and strode off into the wood in the direction of Drakken's lair. She had not traveled for more than an hour or so when she was stopped cold by the sound of an annoyingly familiar voice.
“Ah, Shego! You're here! Good!”
Shego looked up and was shocked to see Drakken standing there in is dark blue robes. The shock of him being there would have normally been over how coincidental it was that he would have been near the Cathedral at all. But the shock was compounded by the two creatures flanking either side of him. They appeared to be like giant slugs with birds' beaks and spiky armored shells; they stood about as tall as Drakken's waist.
Shego's eyes went wide at the sight. “Um, Lord D? Where... where did you get Lavos spawns?”
“Oh, is that what these things are?” Drakken asked, glancing down at the two creatures and then shrugging. “All I knew is that they looked vicious looking and therefore useful in my latest scheme for taking over the world.”
“For the love of...,” Shego snapped, storming up to Drakken like a woman on a mission. “Drakken, wake up! Those things will grow up to become planet-devouring alien parasites who manipulate the evolution of a world's life forms to benefit its own evolutionary needs! We have to kill them!”
“On the contrary, Shego,” Drakken smirked, holding up a glass orb in front of Shego's face. “With this, I have complete and utter control of them.”
“What... is that thing?” Shego asked, intrigued by the shifting images of gem-like flames fading in and out of the rolling red mist within the orb.
“I call it the Chrono Switch,” Drakken laughed, delighting in Shego's sudden interest in his scheme. “You see, the present theory is that when someone travels in time and changes the events of that time period, the events that had previously taken place in the future fade into what is called the Darkness Beyond Time, where they simply fade into oblivion.”
“Any school-age adventurer has known that for twenty years now,” Shego growled, suddenly looking back up at Drakken. “So what?”
“So,” Drakken continued, delighting in his audience, “I have discovered a way to pierce through the Darkness Beyond Time, into the Far Realms beyond it, and pull back elements of those lost timelines.”
“You... what...?” Shego stammered, looking at Drakken as if he had lost his mind.
“You see, Shego,” Drakken smirked, “the visions of those Far Realms are most liberating. Everything you know is wrong, Shego. Black is white, up is down, and short is long. Everything you thought was just so important doesn't really matter.”
“Drakken,” Shego said, taking a step back away from the mad sorcerer. “You... you're starting to scare me. And I don't scare easy.”
Drakken's face took on a vicious, maniacal grin. “It is about time you began to realize my full potential and how you stack up to it.”
“What... what do you plan to do with this... Chrono Switch?” Shego asked, continuing to take small steps away from Drakken.
“I plan to take over the world, of course,” Drakken laughed maniacally, causing the Lavos spawns next to him to quiver erratically. “And reshape it to my choosing by pulling elements from lost timelines to transplant into our own. Can you imagine an army of Reptite soldiers loyal only to me?”
Shego gawked at Drakken for a few moments before it finally occurred to her.
“This is it,” Shego breathed. “This is the event that Bishop was talking about.”
“What?” Drakken asked, pausing in his laughter to look at Shego queerly.
“I can't let you do this, Drakken,” Shego growled. She dropped into a battle stance and willed two green plasma short swords into her hand.
“Have you lost your mind, Shego?” Drakken cried. “We are so close to finally realizing our goal...”
“Your goal,” Shego corrected. “I was always only along for the ride because I thought I had nowhere else to go thanks to the Porre military. But now you're the one who's lost his mind. Whatever you saw in those Far Realms things is rotting your brain, Drakken. If you keep using that Chrono Switch all willy-nilly, you'll...”
“Bah! I don't have time for this!” Drakken snapped, holding up the Chrono Switch. “Are you with me or not, Shego?”
Shego snarled at Drakken for a few moments before finally narrowing her eyes at the mad sorcerer. “I think not.”
Drakken sighed and shook his head. “Such a beautiful woman. And I thought you were so smart, too. It saddens me to have to do this.”
With that, Drakken held the Chrono Switch up high. Shego thought for a brief moment about tossing a plasma knife at the Switch and destroying it. But she was distracted from the thought by a bright light flashing from the Switch. The light was so bright that Shego was forced to reflexively cover her eyes with her arms.
When the light dimmed and Shego uncovered her eyes... what she saw made her turn tail and run.
Kim, Monique, Ron, Rufus, and the Bishop strode out onto the front steps of the Cathedral. Kim had a smile on her face, in spite of her intellectual altercation with Shego earlier that evening. In fact, she was in a rather good mood.
“Congratulations, sweetheart,” Monique gushed, kissing Kim on the cheek. “You're officially a paladin now.”
“The important matter is that she always was one, in her heart,” the Bishop pointed out, turning to the children. “One can obtain all of the official endorsements from the Church one could possibly want. It would not mean a thing if one's heart is not right with God.”
“That's right,” Kim agreed, pounding her chest slightly. “You've got to have a light heart, a good head, solid morals, the conviction to stand up for what is right, and the courage to stand up against what is wrong.”
“They taught you well at the Academy,” the Bishop said admiringly.
“Well, that all sounds like stuff that would be harder to actually do than to just say,” Ron pointed out. “I mean, someone who was like that would be the perfect human being, right?”
“No one is perfect, my Prince,” the Bishop pointed out. “But one can strive for perfection, knowing that it cannot ever be truly achieved, but also knowing that his efforts make him right with God.”
“Yeah, a bit too deep for me,” Ron laughed, patting his bow and quiver. “Just give me a few arrows and a twelve point buck any day.”
“Yeah, venison!” Rufus squeaked excitedly.
“Speaking of venison,” Monique said, bowing to the Bishop, “thank you for the desert tonight while Kim held prayer vigil.”
“You know, Monique, I'm not even mad you got cake and topping and I didn't,” Kim laughed. “I got to spend time with God and become a full paladin.”
“An admirable trade-off, I must agree,” the Bishop nodded.
“So, what now, KP?” Ron asked. “Back to the castle?”
“I would advise you three to stay here at the Cathedral until the morning,” the Bishop said, looking at the three children. “Monsters are more dangerous after dark.”
Kim nodded. “Good point. You guys ready to turn in?”
Ron stretched and yawned. “I sure am. And I didn't really do all that much today. Except walk all the way from Guardia Castle to the Cathedral.”
“Maybe some cuddle time would soothe my wounded ego from earlier,” Monique purred, stepping in close to Kim and nuzzling her cheek.
“I do owe you at least that much, don't I?” Kim chuckled, turning her face so she could steal a light kiss from her girlfriend.
“I am curious, though,” Monique said, sighing happily from the kiss. “How dangerous are the monsters around here? Are they like the monsters in Choras?”
“Mostly beetles and eaglets,” Kim admitted, shrugging her shoulders. “With maybe a rolypoly here or there. Actually so not the drama. It's just...”
“What?” Kim, Monique, and Ron all said in unison as they turned in the direction of the screaming voice.
At the edge of the forest surrounding the Cathedral, the heroes could see Shego, scrambling like mad in a full-tilt bolt towards the Cathedral. Hot on her heels was a massive monster none of the teens had seen before. It easily stood two stories tall, with a well-muscled body supporting a disproportionately large reptilian head. Its ridiculously small arms did nothing to temper the vicious appearance of the creature's massive jaws and teeth. And its long, strong legs was allowing it to keep easy, casual pace with Shego. Shego had to dodge a couple of times as the scaly creature attempted to bite at her.
“So it begins,” the Bishop sighed.
“What is that thing?!?” Ron cried, pulling out his bow even as Rufus was scrambling into one of Ron's belt pouches.
“A tyrano!” Monique breathed as she readied her mandolin. “But they went extinct sixty-five million years ago.”
Kim growled as she drew her sword and shield out. “Looks like we're getting a workout tonight, guys. Get ready.”
With that, the heroes braced for the attack as Shego and the tyrano closed in on the Cathedral steps.
[END CHAPTER TWO]
KIM POSSIBLE: CHRONO SITCH, CHAPTER THREE
“Ron!” Kim Possible yelled as she brought up her longsword and shield and dashed forward. “I need it distracted!”
“Kite it? You got it, KP!” Ron shouted back. He took aim with his longbow and fired off an arrow.
The tyrano dinosaur that had been chasing the demi-human warrior woman, Shego, up to the Guardia Cathedral lurched back in pain as the arrow that Ron had fired lodged itself into the left eye of the creature. The tyrano spun its head and glared angrily at the teenaged ranger.
“I've got agro, KP!” Ron shouted. “Make it count!”
With that, Ron turned and began to run away from the Cathedral steps. The tyrano roared mightily and began to lumber after him.
Kim skidded to a halt in front of Shego, holding her shield up so that both she and Shego were behind it.
“Are you hurt?” Kim asked, glancing back quickly at Shego.
“Only my pride,” Shego snarled, dropping into a battle stance and willing her two plasma short swords into her hands. “Which I plan on taking out on Drakken now. In the most vicious, evil way possible.”
“Your boss?” Kim asked, turning her attention back to the tyrano. The dinosaur was still running after Ron, who was turning and taking pot shots at the creature before continuing his running.
“Damn fool thinks he's got full control of something he calls a Chrono Switch. I'll explain later,” Shego said. “Right now, I'm thinking about how many mouths that thing's flesh is going to feed after we're done.”
“Right,” Kim nodded. She then glanced at Shego's weapons. “Um, are those things real?”
“I'm a soulblade, Pumpkin,” Shego smirked. “I use the power of my mind to create these weapons. I can even do neat tricks with them if I focus hard enough.”
Kim grinned. “Neat tricks you're willing to test on a dinosaur?”
“Now that I'm not having to take it on by myself?” Shego asked by way of clarification. “Damn skippy! By the way, is your boy toy going to be able to handle keeping that thing's attention like that?”
“If there's one thing Ron can do, it's run,” Kim replied. “But you've got a point. I need to make it easier on him.” She then turned to the Monique, who was still up on the Cathedral steps. “Monique, love! Can you make that thing any easier to hit?”
“I'm on it, hun!” Monique yelled back. She started strumming on her mandolin and humming a beautiful tune as she bolted forward towards the tyrano.
Monique slid to a halt right in Ron's path. Ron, seeing Monique, leapt over the beautiful black girl just as Monique was finishing her song. Suddenly, her hands began to glow. The tyrano, still focused on Ron (hey, there's only so many times one can be shot with arrows before one exhibits blind rage at his assailant), it didn't notice Monique under it's feet. Monique twisted around to avoid being stomped, allowing her mandolin to swing on its harness strap to settle onto her back, and she reached out and touched the creature on its ankle.
The results were satisfyingly obvious. The tyrano stumbled, tripped on its own two feet, and fell on its face.
“Nice!” Shego grinned.
“I love you so much, Monique!” Kim agreed. She then turned to Shego. “You ready, soldier?”
“Willing and able, Cupcake,” Shego said, holding up her short swords menacingly in response. “Let's do this.”
With that, both women darted forward. Kim went straight to the front of the creature, who was vainly attempting to right itself. As the tyrano roared in frustration at its helplessness, Kim stopped within its eyesight. Shego darted to the side and out of sight.
“Foul creature, behold!” Kim growled. “My righteous wrath at the danger that you pose to innocent lives will be your downfall!”
The creature roared mightily in Kim's face. Both Monique and Ron, who were still nearby, stumbled back in fear away from the tyrano, but Kim held her ground with an angry, resolute look on her face. At that point, the tyrano finally righted itself and reared its head back for its attack.
Kim dropped into a defensive crouch, holding her shield up high and her longsword at the ready.
“That's right, monster,” Kim purred softly, smiling inwardly. “All eyes on me.”
Then the tyrano struck. Kim screamed mightily and swung her sword around, her shield still in front of her, as the tyrano snapped its jaws down and took the paladin completely into its mouth.
“Kim!” both Ron and Monique screamed in unison.
Suddenly, a bolt of lightning struck down from the sky, hitting the tyrano on its head. As the creature spasmed violently at the jolt of electricity coursing through its body, it spit Kim out of its mouth and high into the air. Kim flipped in midair and fell back down towards the creature, slicing down on the tyrano's jaw.
At that exact same moment, Shego, who had snuck around the creature for tactical advantage, bolted up the tyrano's tail and up its back. Just as Kim's sword slashed into the tyrano's jaw, Shego committed a one-two punch into the creature's upper back. Shego grinned at the visceral feel of her plasma short swords entering dinosaur flesh. Kim slashed down past the creature's neck as Shego ran up the tyrano's neck with her short swords still buried in its flesh. Both women kicked off of the dinosaur and backflipped away just as blood spewed from both wounds.
But the tyrano was still in the game. It's roar was a gurgling cacophony of painful wails, but it still lumbered after Kim as the paladin danced backwards with her shield at the ready.
“Monique!” Kim cried, keeping her eyes on the tyrano. “Singing Blade!”
Without a pause, Monique swung her mandolin back into position. Hitting several chords on the musical instrument, she began to sing an eerie dirge. As she did so, Kim's longsword began to glow an equally eerie blue. Kim leapt forward to land right in front of the tyrano. Just as the creature snapped its jaw at the hero, Kim leapt up high into the air, flipped, and brought her enchanted blade down on the dinosaur's nose. Kim's strike was rewarded with a violent crescendo to Monique's dirge. A fresh spout of blood answered the girls' efforts.
Shego ran in from behind the tyrano, sliding between the creature's legs and then spinning rapidly. Over a dozen new wounds immediately formed along the dinosaur's massive calves and ankles. Shego tumbled forward towards Kim just as blood spewed from both legs. The tyrano began to teeter as is gurgled painfully.
“Now it's my turn,” Ron grinned, pulling back his bow and letting three arrows fly at once.
The arrows met their marks. One sank deep into the creature's neck, where Kim had left her slashing wound. The second sank deep into the tyrano's breast, right where the heart might be. The third sank deep into...
Both Kim and Shego winced when they realized where the third arrow sank.
In one final mighty roar that somehow broke through the blood and bodily fluids that was collecting in the creature's throat, the tyrano collapsed onto the ground and began to convulse in its death throes.
“Yeah, baby!” Ron cheered as he watched the monster collapse. “Kill shot!”
“Booyah!” cheered Rufus, the naked mole rat sitting on Ron's shoulder.
Kim stood up in a relaxed position and began to breath heavily, now that the adrenaline rush was beginning to wear off. “It's done. Both Shego and the people of the Cathedral are safe.”
Shego strode up next to the paladin and dismissed her short swords. “And now well fed,” she added. She then smirked at the redhead. “That rush felt good, though. I think I judged you too quickly, Kimmie. You and I make a good team.”
Kim nodded and couldn't help the knowing smile on her face. “Better than Drakken?”
Shego growled and looked off in the distance in the direction from whence she had came. “A damned rolypoly would be a better partner than him right now.”
“Do you mind explaining to me what that was all about, anyway?” Kim asked, pointing to the dinosaur.
“Whatever this Chrono Switch thing is,” Shego sighed, closing her eyes to try to hide her feelings of both anger and irritation, “it gives Drakken the ability to reach beyond the Darkness Beyond Time and grab pieces of lost time lines we thought had faded into oblivion.”
“What?!?” Kim gasped, stepping back to consider Shego carefully. “You mean... there's a place beyond the Darkness Beyond Time?”
“I didn't know either,” Shego shrugged. “But, whatever it is, it's affected Drakken's mind. He's as loony as an imp on a sugar-rush now.”
“Really, Shego? Don't you know that words like that can hurt?”
Shego, Kim, Ron, and Monique all turned to see a blue-skinned Mystic, standing (relatively) tall with his dark blue robes, his frazzled raven-black hair tied back in a ponytail, a wound mark on his right cheek, and a maniacal gleem in his dark eyes.
“Drakken, I take it?” Kim asked casually, glancing at Shego.
Shego slumped her shoulders and sighed in resignation. “In the flesh.”
“You may have defeated the tyrano, heroes,” Drakken laughed. “But I have plenty more where that came from! With this...” At that point, Drakken held the Chrono Switch up high. “...I will be able to summon anything I want! Want a couple of Dinopoleis and Chronopoleis bound to my beck and call raining destruction down on Guardia? Coming right up!”
“Drakken, you're insane!” Shego yelled. “All of this tampering with the time streams is going to lead to the destruction of our universe! You need to stop this, now!”
But Drakken didn't listen. Instead, he held the Chrono Switch up high and began to chant incoherently. Kim recognized parts of what he was saying as the language of magic.
“We have to stop him!” Shego cried, willing her plasma short swords back into existence and darting forward.
“I'm with you on that!” Kim agreed, bringing her longsword and shield at the ready and following Shego into the fray.
“Don't worry, KP! I got this!” Ron yelled, drawing his bow back and letting an arrow fly.
As Kim ran along, she followed the trajectory of the arrow and her eyes went wide. “Oh, no! RON, NO!”
But it was already too late.
The arrow buried itself deep into the Chrono Switch. It response, the Chrono Switch began to spark and flare.
“What in the...?!? No! No, no, no, no, no!” Drakken shrieked as he began to dance around and juggle the Chrono Switch haphazardly.
Shego skidded to a halt several paces away from Drakken. “Um, what's happening?”
Kim stopped next to Shego and grabbed the beautiful demi-human's arm. “Ron just shot the Chrono Switch! We've got to run! Now!”
“What? Why?” Shego asked. “I want to see that thing blow up in Lord D's face.”
“If that thing is anything like Lucca's old Time Eggs,” Kim explained quickly, “it's going to open up a huge time gate and suck us all in when it explodes!”
Shego's eyes went wide on that. “Okay, you've convinced me, Princess. We're outta here!”
“I'm not a...!” Kim began to protest, but then gave up. “You know what, never mind. Let's just get out of here!”
Kim and Shego spun around and began to run the other way. Ron and Monique, who were still behind Kim and Shego, saw the two warriors begin to retreat and decided that it was probably a good idea. The four heroes began to bolt away from Drakken, who was still dancing about, juggling the Chrono Switch and cursing wildly in a language that Kim recognized as Infernal.
Finally, the Chrono Switch exploded.
Kim and Shego found themselves frozen in place for a brief moment before they were all pulled backwards. Kim saw Monique and Ron were being pulled back into the time gate and she tried to reach out to them. She was trying especially hard to reach Monique. Monique, with a panicked look on her face, tried to reach back. The two girls' fingertips grazed each other before they were both pulled in different directions by the turbulence of the time warp.
Then, a technicolored darkness enveloped all of the heroes right before each of them blacked out.
Ron groaned as he slowly came back to consciousness. He was inside of a house. It looked solidly built, but it was simple, even by Truce standards. There were straw beds rather than matresses. There was no sink, stove, or oven. The nearby table was solidly built and extremely serviceable, but rather crude-looking despite. There were curtains on the windows, sheets and blankets on the bed, and other such creature comforts, but they appeared obviously hand-woven. Most telling was the fireplace... it looked more like a firepit set into the wall rather than an actual fireplace.
Ron sat up in the bed and rubbed his head. “Gyah! I have a headache something fierce.” He then looked around again. “Rufus? Buddy, you here?”
A small squeaky yawn greeted the young ranger. His animal companion, the exceptionally intelligent naked mole rat Rufus, had been asleep at Ron's feet. Rufus blinked a couple of times before looking up at Ron. As soon as he saw Ron, Rufus perked up immediately and jumped up onto his two hind feet.
“Yay!” Rufus cheered before scampering up onto Ron's shoulders and hugging onto the young ranger's neck.
“Yeah, I'm okay, buddy,” Ron smiled, patting the naked mole rat gently on the back. “But this is just freaky-deaky weird. Where are we?”
“You are near the Manolia Cathedral, in northern Guardia, Ronald” came a voice from the doorway.
Ron turned to the doorway and saw a tall, regal man in half-plate armor. He wore a longsword on one hip and a buckler shield on the other. The flowing green cloak flowing off of his back nearly matched the flowing green hair cascading past his shoulders.
“And you are...?” Ron asked, carefully considering his options. He realized he was without his armor and bow.
“Sir Glenn Stalwart, Servant and Protector of the Crown,” the man replied, stepping carefully into the house.
“Sir Glenn?” Ron asked, thinking for a moment. “Wait, as in the Glenn. As in Frog, the guy who was cursed by Magus and helped my Mom and Dad defeat Lavos?”
“Aye,” Glenn replied, smiling patiently. “I would be that same man.”
“Woah!” Ron breathed in astonishment. “I didn't know you were in 1025 A.D.! How'd you get here?”
Glenn bowed his head and sighed. “Nay, young Ronald. It is not I who traveled to 1025 A.D.”
Ron cocked his head sideways and considered Glenn queerly. “Um, then how are you here, if you didn't travel here?”
“By all that is holy in Cedric's descendents...” Glenn cursed under his breath before taking a deep breath. “Nay, Ronald. No one traveled to 1025 A.D. It is you who has traveled to 625 A.D.”
“Oh! Okay, that makes more sense,” Ron said, nodding. “Wait, what?!? I'm in 625 A.D.!”
“Indeed,” Glenn nodded. “For reasons we have yet to discern, you have been thrust back in time to this era. The era your mother and father referred to as the Middle Ages.”
“Oh, wow,” Ron breathed. “That doohickey that that one Mystic dude that Shego worked for must've really packed a wallop! Hey! Have you seen Kim, Monique, or Shego around?”
It was Glenn's turn to consider Ron queerly. “I am afraid that we only found you and your companion there. There were no others.”
“Damn,” Ron muttered softly, looking down at the floor. “That means they're somewhere else.”
“Or perhaps somewhen else,” Glenn offered. “It would not be the first time that a party of adventurers were scattered across the eras.”
“Ick,” Ron sighed. “That so makes things so much harder.” He suddenly perked up and cast a suspicious eye on Glenn. “Wait a second! If you didn't find any of my friends, how do you know my name or that I'm even a time traveler? I never gave you the first thing and even I didn't know the second thing.”
“That would be because of me, Ronald,” came a gentle, feminine voice from the other side of the doorway.
Ron leaned over to look past Glenn and saw a beautiful older woman standing in the doorway. She had long, reddish-auburn hair and brilliant green eyes. She wore a colorful yet simple dress, primary in yellows and greens. She smiled warmly at Ron.
Ron narrowed his eyes as he considered the woman. “Who are...? Oh, my God! Seriously? Oh, my God! I thought you were dead!”
The woman giggled as Ron jumped out of the bed, pushed Glenn aside, and ran into the woman's arms. She returned the hug warmly.
Ron snuggled into the embrace for several long moments until finally looked up into the woman's eyes. “Wow! You look so different with long hair and without your glasses, Auntie Lucca!”
Lucca smiled knowingly. “I know, right?”
Monique opened up her eyes and groaned in pain. She ached all over. She attempted to roll over, but found herself bandaged up rather thoroughly. Both of her hands and her feet were wrapped in crude cloth which was bound by leather tendons. She glanced about and realized that she was in a large cave of some sort. The air was warm, but she gave a guess to that being from a combination of the nearby bonfire in the center of the cave and the large number of people in the room.
The people themselves intrigued Monique. Most were rather burly and unkempt, strong of frame and dressed in animal furs. Some, however, were much slighter of build and stood more upright, wearing tattered remains of elaborate cloaks and robes in addition to animal furs. The spark of intelligence was much more prominent in the latter type of folk.
Monique attempted to sit up, but found the pain to be much too great to endure. Whining softly, she slumped back down on the thick fur bedding she was lying on and took several deep breathes. Hell, even breathing was painful.
One of the more intelligent-looking persons in the room noticed Monique move and approached the bed. It was a girl, maybe Monique's age, if the age of these people were really measurable, with tanned skin and short brown hair. She tugged at her fur scarf and glanced down at Monique.
“I see that Sleeping Beauty is awake,” the girl smirked.
“A whole bunch of parts of me wishes I wasn't,” Monique sighed, looking back up at the girl. She couldn't help but be mystified by the girl's eyes. They were a rich brown color, like Monique's. But this girl's eyes also had flecks of gold sprinkled within that sea of brown.
“I don't doubt it,” the girl agreed. “You took a nasty tumble down Skyward Peak. Nearly froze to death, too, if my Dad hadn't accidentally found you while on a mammoth hunting trip.”
Monique's eyes shot wide. “Mammoth? Mammoths haven't existed for nearly thirteen thou...” She stopped herself in mid-sentence, suddenly understanding the implication of what she was about to say. “Um... the Kingdom of Zeal fell a couple of decades ago, didn't it?”
The girl's face darkened in irritation when Monique asked the question. “Of course it did. That's fairly common knowledge that even an Earthbound could comprehend. Why are you bringing up such a painful memory?”
Monique closed her eyes and took another deep breath, ignoring the pain. “I'm not sure you would believe me even if I did tell you.”
The girl knelt down next to Monique and glared at her. “Listen. I am an Enlightened One and an Innate. My natural affinity to the element of Shadow makes it to where there are very few mysteries that I cannot comprehend. So, try me.”
Monique opened her eyes again and looked at the girl. “I'm... I'm Monique Songmoor, by the way. What's your name?”
“Bonnie Rockwaller,” the girl replied. “My family was a prominent family of nobles in Queen Zeal's court until those bastard time travelers and that damned Prophet ruined our chances at immortality. Now we're no better than the Earthbound, scraping for scraps and using our dwindling magicks to hunt for animals like beggers.”
Monique glanced around the room as Bonnie spoke. No one seemed to even acknowledge that Bonnie and Monique were having a conversation, let alone...
Monique glanced back at Bonnie. “They're all used to you venting like that, huh?”
Bonnie sighed in defeat. “They're all used to everyone in my family venting like that. Even my dad vents about it sometimes, even though he was the first amongst us to willingly start living the Earthbound way. I was born after the fall of the kingdom, but I've heard my grandmother tell such wonderful tales of what life was like in Zeal. It makes me want to go there so bad.”
“Well, knowing that does make my story a bit easier to digest,” Monique said, bracing herself. “You see, I'm... I'm one of those bastard time travelers.”
“WHAT?!?” Bonnie screamed, jumping up onto her feet. “YOU DARE COME BACK TO US AFTER WHAT YOU DID?!? I'LL KILL YOU!!!”
Monique, helpless in her bandages, could only wince and pray as Bonnie began casting a spell.
“I won tsac gninthgil tlob nopu uoy!” Bonnie yelled, her voice taking on a hollow, reverberating sound. Her hands began to wave about in front of her and magical energies began to coalesce between her palms.
Just as suddenly, a large man of the Enlightened One variety stepped in and violently took hold of Bonnie's wrists. The spell dissipated harmlessly. Bonnie simply turned and glared at the man hatefully.
“What are you doing, Bonnie?” the man snapped. “She is helpless in her current state!”
“She just admitted to being one of those accursed time travelers who destroyed the Kingdom, Father!” Bonnie snapped back.
The man turned to consider Monique a moment, then turned back to Bonnie. “She may be a time traveler, but she isn't one of the ones who destroyed Zeal.”
“What?” Bonnie asked, confused.
Bonnie's father sighed. “The time travelers who destroyed Zeal would be more along my age by now. This young lady appears to be more along your age. Besides, none of the time travelers who destroyed Zeal had skin color such as hers.”
Bonnie narrowed her eyes at Monique. “Are you sure. You said they had a robot and a frog in their midst.”
Monique simply laid there and glanced nervously between the two of them. It wasn't like she could much more than that, given that her hands and feet were securely bound in bandages.
Bonnie's father turned to look at Monique. “I am more than certain of it. She is a fresh adventurer, not the type who could challenge the likes of Lavos.”
“Speaking of...,” Monique said, feeling brave enough to enter into the argument, “Wasn't it Lavos and not the adventurers who destroyed the kingdom?”
“The way it was told to me,” Bonnie sneered at Monique, “is that the adventurers angered Lavos, who lashed out in anger at the kingdom.”
“You listen to your grandmother too much,” Bonnie's father mumbled.
“Whatever the case, I wasn't there,” Monique added. “And could someone mind explaining to me why my hands and feet are bandaged up?”
“When I found you,” Bonnie's father said, calming down noticeably, “you had succumbed to frostbite. The Earthbound shaman here was able to use herbal ointments to save your hands and feet, but we needed to keep them warm and keep the ointment applied.”
“At least the Earthbound are good for something,” Bonnie mumbled, earning a slap in the back of the head from her father. “Hey!”
“Thank you, sir, for saving me,” Monique said sincerely.
“Don't mention it,” Bonnie's father replied, raising a dismissive hand. “We all have to watch out for one another, what with the encroaching ice age and all. What do you intend to do now?”
“Well, I need to get back to my era,” Monique replied, finally finding the strength to sit fully up. “A villain has a new time-altering device that could threaten our entire world. I need to get back and help stop him. I... I just don't know how to get back.”
“Well,” Bonnie said, thoughtfully, “there is a time gate far to the south. But it is sealed by magic... some say the Princess Schala herself sealed it at the behest of the Prophet. And even if we could break through that seal, no one here knows how to use a time gate.”
“It's still my best shot,” Monique grumbled. “I just need to find a way to break that seal and use that time gate. If only I had one of Lucca's gate keys...”
“Well, you're not doing anything until your hands and feet heal up,” Bonnie's father said. “I don't know what the weather is like in your time era, but here the wind chill at night is enough to kill a strong and healthy man within minutes.”
“Right,” Monique mumbled helplessly.
“Now, get some more rest,” Bonnie's father admonished. “You'll need it to heal up. Dinner should be ready in a few hours. Trust me, you're in for a treat if you've never had mammoth meat before.”
“Father!” Bonnie gasped.
“It's true,” Bonnie's father smirked, shrugging his shoulders.
Bonnie could only sigh at that.
Monique watched as Bonnie's father walked away, joining many others gathered around the bonfire. Bonnie stood by and looked at Monique before turning and joining the others with her father.
Monique was left curious by the look the Bonnie had just given her. She couldn't tell if Bonnie had glared at her or looked at her with sympathy.
Kim woke up groggily and stretched. All her muscles aches, especially her back. She sat up slowly and looked around. Suddenly, she realized why... she had been sleeping on the floor. Admittedly, there was a gigantic bear skin rug between her and the hard ground, but it was sleeping on the floor nonetheless.
“Hey, Pumpkin,” a familiar voice drawled from over to the side. “Welcome back to the land of the living.”
Kim glanced over to see the demi-human warrior, Shego, sitting next to a stone cauldron, stirring the contents with a large, stripped tree branch.
“Ugh!” Kim replied, stretching in order to try to relieve the kink in her back. “Don't count me there just yet. How come you're not feeling this bad.”
“Oh, I did, when I first woke up,” Shego replied. “But I heal faster than normal people. Some smartass once suggested I was part troll. He took that opinion to his grave, though.”
Kim shook her head to that. She didn't want to think of her current companion as being a casual killer. “Where are we? Better yet, when are we?”
“Kudos on actually paying attention to what I was telling you before,” Shego smirked, lifting up the tree branch and tasting a bit of the concoction she was apparently making. “Yes, we are somewhen else. Sixty-five million years in the past, to be precise.”
“Ugh,” Kim groaned again. “Hey! Crono told me about his friend from this era. Her name was...”
“Ayla, I know,” Shego grinned. “She's the one who found us and brought us here. That's how I know when we are. She's out hunting right now. But she should be back in short order. The woman scares me, quite frankly. She stand a foot taller than me and has muscles to spare.”
Kim nodded. That fit the description she'd been given of Ayla quite well. But then something else popped into Kim's mind.
“Oh, no,” she groaned. “If we're in the Prehistoric Era, that means we're in a society that doesn't have the technology to comprehend time travel. We're stuck here.”
“Not necessarily,” Shego said, tasting the stew again.
“How do you figure?” Kim asked, curiously.
Shego set the stick aside and stood up. “Come with me, Kimmie. I'll show you.”
Shego strode out of the cave the hut they were sitting in. Painfully, Kim stood up and followed the soulblade out into the open as well. The brisk night air slapped Kim awake.
“Wow, it's cold out!” Kim muttered, embracing herself and shivering.
“Lavos crashing into the planet twenty-five years ago covered the planet in a dust cloud that's triggering an ice age,” Shego explained. “It's going to get much, much worse before it gets better.”
“So, where're we going?” Kim asked, striding up next to the demi-human woman.
Shego glanced down and noticed how cold Kim must have felt. Without saying a word, Shego wrapped an arm around the redheaded paladin and pulled her close.
“Shego!” Kim gasped. “What are you...?”
Kim's protests were cut short as an aura of green plasma enveloped both of them. Not only did it dispel the chill of the night air, but the heat seeped into Kim's bones and her muscles began to relax. It made her feel much better.
“Nevermind,” Kim cooed, snuggling into Shego. She was going to have to apologize to Monique later.
“We're not going anywhere,” Shego said, answering Kim's original question. “We were just stepping outside. To look at that.”
Kim watched Shego point up into the sky. Kim followed Shego's finger and gasped at what she saw.
Off in the distance, perhaps a dozen or so miles away, floating in mid-sky, was a gigantic stone structure. It was both roughly carved and elaborately architectural at the same time.
“Do you know what that is?” Shego asked, glancing down at the redhead.
Kim nodded her response to the green-skinned beauty. “I've heard stories about it. It's the Dinopolis.”
“And I'm willing to bet they can get us home,” Shego added. “If we can get Ayla to help us.”
Kim bit her lip at that prospect. If her cousin's stories were to be believed, the Reptites wouldn't help Kim and Shego willingly.
[END CHAPTER THREE]
KIM POSSIBLE: CHRONO SITCH, CHAPTER FOUR
“I love you, Momma!” the little boy exclaimed as he was hefted up high into the air.
Ron couldn't help but sit nearby and admire the young boy. Probably no more than three summers in age, the boy had green and red hair down past his shoulders and wore simple, utilitarian clothes. The boy's mother, a happy woman with long reddish-auburn hair and brilliant green eyes, smiled at the boy proudly.
“Wow, Aunt Lucca, you and Glenn have a son,” Ron smiled, demonstrating his knack for stating the obvious. “That is so cool!”
Rufus, the naked mole rat on blond young man's shoulder, simply smacked his tiny forehead and rolled his eyes.
“His name is Lucien,” Lucca smiled. She then cooed softly at the boy. “Lucien, say hi to Ronald. He's like a cousin to you.”
“Hi, Wonald,” Lucien said softly, huddling up close to Lucca's shoulder as he considered the young ranger carefully.
“D'aaawwww!” Ron sighed, smiling gently at the boy. “Hi to you too, Lucien.”
“This is the real reason I haven't returned to the Present Age, Ronald,” Lucca explained. “I actually perfected a device that could approximate the function of a Time Egg. But, by that time, Glenn and I were very much in love and I was carrying Lucien. With Porre having taken over Guardia and the orphanage in Regiorra destroyed, I felt I really didn't have much else to return to. Not anything that compared to Glenn and Lucien.”
Ron nodded solemnly. He felt he was mature enough to accept what Lucca was saying at face value. But it still hurt. He hadn't seen his “Aunt Lucca” in almost ten years... knowing that she was not only alive but had willfully stayed away was like a sucker punch.
“Oh, Ronald,” Lucca sighed, having just noticed Ron's expression. “I'm sorry. I didn't mean it like that. It's just....”
“They're a huge difference between the son of a family friend and your own child,” Ron said, smiling bravely. “I understand. Plus, I can only imagine what sort of wrongsick damage your mind would have taken if you saw your house again.”
Lucca bit her lower lip and nodded. “That's very true. Thank you for understanding.”
“How did you end up here, anyway?” Ron asked, looking at Lucca curiously. “After we discovered the orphanage was burned down, we all thought you were dead.”
Lucca shook her head. “A creature calling himself Lynx and some woman in a clown outfit calling herself Harle tried to back me into a corner and demand that I do something horrible to something called the Prometheus Circuit. Once I realized they were talking about the circuit that held Robo's personality, I adamantly refused. Lynx thought to burn down the orphanage because of that. But I managed to get Kid and the other children out of the house. When Lynx and Harle trapped me and were about to kill me, I pulled a trump card out of my sleeve.”
“A time egg,” Ron guessed.
Lucca nodded. “I took the portal back in time, to this era, and managed to close the gate before Lynx or Harle could follow me. The rest, as they say, is history.”
As Lucca finished her story, she brought her finger to the bridge of her nose, as if subconsciously adjusting something on her nose.
“Hey, what happened to your glasses, anyway,” Ron asked, suddenly noticing that Lucca wasn't wearing her trademark thick lens glasses. “You can't see very far without them, right?”
“They broke a couple of year ago,” Lucca replied, casting a sideways glance at her son. “Lucien...”
The young boy, who was now sitting on the floor playing with some blocks, looked up and giggled. “Yeah, snap!” He followed his proclamation with a gesture suggesting that he had snapped the glasses in half.
“Ouch!” Ron gasped. “Harsh, little dude!”
“To add insult to injury,” Lucca continued, “no one in the Middle Ages has the resources or skills to craft a new pair. So I've had to learn to live without them.”
Ron took a deep breath. “It must suck not being able to built inventions like you used to.”
“Oh, I still do, but they're more in tune with this era's technological level,” Lucca corrected Ron. “Truce, in particular, is quite happy with my aqueduct system and the refined fuel I developed for hooded lanterns.”
Ron smiled softly at that. “You always knew how to make the best of a hard situation.”
“Which is going to work in your benefit, young man,” Lucca replied, standing up and walking over to a small chest in the corner of the room.
Ron watched Lucca carefully as she opened the chest and pulled out a small wand-like device.
“A gate key?” Ron breathed. “It's just like the one Mom and Dad keep over the fireplace mantle in the castle. If you had one of those, why did you have to try to build...?”
“A gate key is only useful if the gates are active,” Lucca explained. “A time egg can create a temporary gate to a preprogrammed time era... Gaspar's time egg was much more precise than mine will ever be... but otherwise gates only appear when a major disturbance in the time stream has occurred.”
“Like when I shot the one dude's Chrono thingee and made it explode?” Ron asked.
“Wait... what?” Lucca asked, now thoroughly curious.
“Yeah!” Ron said, shrugging. “KP met this new girl, named Shego. Turns out Shego works for this dude that's trying to take over the world. Anyway, Shego ran into her boss going home from the Cathedral and found out that he had this thing called a Chrono Sitch or Chrono Glitch or something like that. I didn't hear everything Shego said to KP after she came running back with a tyrano hot on her heels. But something was said about something beyond the Darkness Beyond Time or something...”
Lucca's eyes went wide. “A dimension beyond the Darkness Beyond Time? I can only begin to imagine what alien laws of physics such a place must have. And this villain was using an artifact to pull things from that dimension?”
“Yeah,” Ron nodded. “Something about timelines we thought had gotten ate up by the Darkness Beyond Time or something.”
Lucca sat down, her face expressing a shock that Ron had never seen before on anybody.
“You... you okay, Auntie Lucca?” Ron asked carefully, leaning forward to try to catch a glimpse of Lucca's eyes.
“You... shot... this artifact?” Lucca asked, suddenly looking up at Ron. “And it exploded?”
“Um, yeah,” Ron replied, suddenly scared. “I... uh... that's how I wound up here, I think.”
Lucca cursed under her breath before looking back at Ron. “Listen, Ron, I need you to take this gate key on the time gate in Truce Canyon. It will take you to a place called the End of Time. Talk to the man there. His name is Gaspar. He should help you find your friends. If this villain of yours is really able to pull things out of timelines that were supposed to have fallen into oblivion, he could reawaken threats that could tear this world apart... like Lavos, the Dream Devourer, or... worst of all... the Time Devourer.”
“Right!” Ron said, standing up. “You can count on me, Auntie Lucca. Prince Ron of Guardia will save the day. I'll be unstoppable!”
“Heh,” Lucca chuckled.
“What?” Ron asked curiously, raising a brow.
“Unstoppable... Ron Stoppable...,” Lucca chuckled. “I'm sorry. My mind is just enjoying the play on words. Don't mind me.”
“Ron Stoppable,” Ron thought for a moment. “You know... I actually like the sound of that. It's like KP's name and it gives me a cover identity for when I don't want anyone knowing I'm the Prince of Guardia.”
Lucca smiled mirthfully. “I'm glad I could help.”
“Anyway,” Ron said, striding over to the bed and collecting up his bow and quiver. “I better get going if the sitch is as dire as you say it is.”
“It is,” Lucca agreed. “I'd go with you, in fact, if it weren't for Lucien. However...”
“I will escort you to the time gate, Your Royal Highness,” said a man that strode into the room. The plate armor, broadsword, shield, and long green hair identified him immediately.
“Oh, puh-lease!” Ron said, rolling his eyes as he shouldered his bow. “Just Ron will do. But I'll gladly accept your help, Glenn.”
“Let us be off, then,” Glenn smiled.
“Hey!” Lucca chided, standing up and approaching Glenn. “May I have a kiss?”
“Of course you may, my love,” Glenn smiled, taking Lucca into his arms and kissing her soundly.
Ron smiled softly and turned to walk out the door. “I'll meet you outside, Glenn.”
As Ron stepped outside and took in the fresh air and the warm sunlight, he sighed quietly.
“Maybe someday, I'll find the happiness that those two have,” Ron whispered softly.
Rufus could only pat the side of Ron's head sympathetically.
Monique stood at the mouth of the cave, huddling deep into the mammoth furs she had been given, staring out into the cold expanses of the wintery landscape. Softly, she hummed to herself, trying to build her courage up.
“Nice song,” came a voice from behind Monique. “Wish I had a voice like that.”
Monique turned to considered the young brunette in old Zeal robes and thick furs that was approaching.
“Thanks, Bonnie,” Monique smiled softly. “Coming from you, that means a lot to me.”
“Hey, I'm only a bitch to those who deserve it,” Bonnie shrugged as she stepped up next to Monique. “Dad says you didn't cause the fall of Zeal, so I don't have any ill will towards you. In fact, I kinda like you.”
“Um, thanks?” Monique replied carefully.
“You have a way with the kids, what with your singing and storytelling,” Bonnie smiled. “You have a patient and caring personality, even though you don't back down from anyone. And you're really cute. What is there not to like about you?”
Monique considered Bonnie a moment and nodded carefully. “The fact that I'm taken already?”
Bonnie's eyes went wide for a brief moment before she started to fight to hold back her laughter. “Really? You thought I was coming onto you? You're joking right?”
“Well, um...,” Monique stammered. She really felt like she'd stuck her foot in her mouth on that one.
Bonnie managed to sober herself a little before looking at Monique with a playful grin. “So, who's the lucky guy? I hope he's at least as cute as you are.”
“Lucky girl,” Monique corrected, turning back to staring out into the snow-covered landscape. “And she is beautiful beyond imagining. I just hope she's still alive.”
“Oh,” Bonnie breathed, taking that information in a moment. So, she is a lesbian, Bonnie thought to herself. Maybe...
“Listen, I'm sorry for teasing you like that,” Bonnie said, placing a reassuring hand on Monique's shoulder. “I hope your lover is still alive, too. I mean, after everything my Dad and I have done to help you, I'd really hate to see you with a broken heart now.”
Monique smiled softly at Bonnie. “Thank you.”
“I have something for you, too,” Bonnie said, unclasping a pendant from around her neck.
Monique looked with wide-eyed wonder at the beautiful red-metal pendant that Bonnie handed to her. “Bonnie! I... I can't. This looks too valuable. I...”
“It concerns our quest, you ninny,” Bonnie laughed. “Grandma was telling me that when Queen Zeal was working on something called the Mammon Machine, only a select few nobles could roam freely about the palace. You needed a pendant like this one to access certain rooms. If this time gate is really locked by Princess Schala's magic, then this pendant, along with my shadow magic, should help us unlock it.”
Monique looked at Bonnie curiously. “You're coming along?”
“Well, yeah,” Bonnie replied, smirking. “Did you plan on trekking out there all by yourself, blindly looking for this time gate while not knowing what to do with it?”
“Um...,” Monique mumbled brilliantly.
“Come on,” Bonnie laughed. “I've got the rations and supplies. If we make good pace, we should be at the cave with the time gate by sundown.”
Monique nodded, then fell into step behind Bonnie, who was already striding out of the cave and into the wilderness beyond. As the two of them began their journey, Monique began to sing an upbeat ballad that somehow lightened the two girls' steps, making the journey feel easier to make. Bonnie smiled coyly back at the bard, who simply smiled warmly back and continued singing.
On a nearby cliff, looking down on the two girls as they left the cave, stood a tall, regal figure holding a scythe. The figure narrowed his eyes as he considered the two girls carefully.
“Why is there a girl from Crono's era here in my era,” the figure asked himself. “This... bears investigation.”
With that, the figure spun and floated away, his cape billowing behind him.
“Of course Ayla help Kim and Shego!” the tall, muscular blond woman replied with a grin. “Shego strong! Kim strong! Ayla like strong women. Ayla help strong women. Sounds like fun!”
Kim Possible smiled softly at Ayla. The chieftainess of the Laruba people had not only rescued Kim and Shego from hypothermia when they were thrown back into the Prehistoric Era, she had provided the two women with food and shelter, as well as song, drink, and dance. For some reason, the arrival of a new person always prompted Ayla to throw a celebratory feast... at least that was what Ayla's husband Kino claimed.
Now, the large barbarian woman was offering to help Kim and Shego stage a raid on the Dinopolis floating in the sky nearby... in the hopes of finding a means of traveling back through time to return to the Present Era. It was a long shot, but it was the best option Kim and Shego had at that point.
The three of them were now sitting inside of a Laruban straw hut, basking in a warm pit fire and planning out the next day.
“Ayla travel through time,” Ayla added, sporting a curious look on her face. “Ayla remember how things were before. Ayla no remember a floating Reptite city before. Yet Kino say it float there for years and years.”
“How come you don't remember it but your husband does?” Shego asked curiously.
“Because Ayla is a time traveler,” Kim offered as a way of explanation. “Somehow, having traveled through time makes you immune to the changes made to the time stream by other time travelers. You remember what things were like before the change. So, since Ayla came from a timestream where that Dinopolis didn't exist, she sees it as something that just recently happened. Kino, on the other hand, who hasn't traveled through time, only knows that the Dinopolis has been there for as long as he can remember.”
“Ah,” Shego replied, not thoroughly convinced. “Well, be it as it may, it is recent development, as far was we're concerned. Drakken must have brought it over with his Chrono Switch. I just hope your boy toy destroyed it when he hit it with that arrow of his.”
“First of all,” Kim sighed, clearly irritated, “he's not my boy toy. He's my cousin. Even if I wanted to make him into a romantic partner, that would be wrongsick on so many levels. Second of all, would it kill you to remember our names rather than make up nicknames for us?”
“I remember Ayla's name, Cupcake,” Shego replied, smiling apologetically. “In my defense, Ayla looks like she could kick snap my neck with two fingers, so I'm not going to piss her off.”
“But you're willing to piss me off?” Kim snarled, narrowing her eyes at the demi-human warrior.
Shego laughed. “Only because your reactions are always so precious. You should see the way your green eyes dance when you're livid.”
Kim humphed and hung her head in defeat for a brief moment before she perked up and looked at Shego in disbelief.
“My green eyes dance?” Kim asked incredulously. “Shego, why are you looking at my eyes like that?”
Shego blinked for a few moments before she cursed quietly to herself and turned her head away. “Um, because, uh, your reactions are funny?”
Kim narrowed one eye to that response.
Ayla began laughing deeply at the scene developing in front of her. “Ayla like this! Ayla leave hut so that strong woman Kim and strong woman Shego have room to selves.”
“Hey! I'm already taken!” “She's already spoken for!”
Ayla nodded and smirked knowingly. “Ayla believe that like Kino throw megasaur. Strong woman Kim and strong woman Shego rest tonight. Build strength. Leave at dawn.”
With that, Ayla got up and bounded out of the hunt, moving swiftly on all fours.
“I can't believe she thinks we're an item, Shego,” Kim breathed. “I mean, we just met recently. Not only that, I don't even think you're...”
“Ya know, Pumpkin,” Shego grinned facetiously, turning from the hunt entrance to Kim. “For a tall woman with developed muscles, Ayla sure does have a nice ass, doesn't she?”
“I have to agree with that one,” Kim replied, turning her attention to the hut entrance. “And she has pretty eyes, too. Wait, what?” Kim snapped back to Shego with a shocked look in her eyes.
Shego only smiled playfully at Kim.
“So... you're...?” Kim began to guess.
“Bisexual,” Shego agreed. “Took you long enough to notice. I had you're sexual taste nailed the moment I met you.”
“Yeah, when you saw Monique hovering over me,” Kim breathed, looking down. “I miss her already.”
“Kimmie,” Shego sighed. “You said you loved her during our first fight together. If you meant it, of course you're missing her right now. I'd be worried about you if you didn't.”
“Thanks, Shego,” Kim replied, smiling softly at the demi-human beauty. “And... for the record... your emerald eyes are beautiful too.”
“I...,” Shego started to say before stopping herself. She wasn't quite sure how to take that statement.
Kim stood up and strode over to the sleeping mat that had been laid out for her. “Let's get some sleep, Shego. We've got a long day ahead of us and we should be well rested. Hopefully, we'll have enough potions and elixirs to carry us through the fights ahead.”
“Right,” Shego agreed. “Don't let the bed bugs bite, by the way. I hear they're pretty damned big around these parts.”
“Haha, smart ass,” Kim laughed as she settled onto her sleeping mat and covered herself up with her cloak.
Shego smirked softly before she rolled over onto her own sleeping mat and covered herself up.
It didn't take long for either woman to fall asleep. Or to dream.
An old man in a derby hat and a longcoat stood underneath a gas streetlight, dozing softly. The snot bubble growing and shrinking to the rhythm of the man's soft breathing suddenly popped when a sharp noise cut through the area. The man glanced around. The small platform he called home was still surrounded by the blackish-gray miasma of oblivion. Two doorways still led into and out of the platform area. Except one of the doors was now wide open and a blue-skinned mystic lay kneeling in front of the doorway.
“Ah,” the man said, in a tone that suggested pleasant surprise. “A visitor. I don't get many of those anymore. Not since Lavos' ultimate defeat as the Time Devourer. I never did get to thank Serge properly for that. I wonder if the young man even remembers what he did. But anyway, I digress. I am Gaspar, your humble host during your stay here at the End of Time. Who might you be, may I ask?”
The mystic slowly rose his head and grinned maniacally. “Gaspar? As in... the Zeal Guru of Time, Gaspar?”
Gaspar blinked and considered the mystic carefully. “Well, yes, at one time in ages past I might have gone by that title. But that seems like eons ago. Why do you ask?”
“Because,” the blue-skinned mystic replied, rising to his feet and revealing his dark blue robes and black gloves, “I believe that the power and knowledge of the three Gurus of Zeal will allow me to repair the Chrono Switch and renew my quest to take over the world.”
“The... Chrono Switch?” Gaspar began to ask before he realized with whom he was dealing. “No, it cannot be you. You're supposed to have died after...”
The mystic's eyes suddenly flared. With a speed that even Gaspar could not have predicted, the mystic thrust his hand out and lightning began to fill the room. Gaspar's body rose off of the floor and began to convulse wildly in the thick lightning storm.
“With your essence, Guru of Time, one third of the Chrono Switch will be repaired,” the mystic growled as he continued to focus on the spell that was producing the lighting storm within the room. “As to your assumption...”
The other door opened. A creature resembling a short, squat, white-furred kilwala, stepped through door and gasped at what it saw.
“Let Gaspar go, monster!” the kilwala cried. “Or face the wrath of Spekkio, God of War!”
“God? Please!” the mystic laughed, suddenly turning one hand towards Spekkio and shooting a lightning bolt at him.
Spekkio was caught completely off guard. The lightning bolt struck him square in the chest and sent him hurtling back into the room from whence he had came.
“You are no god,” the mystic growled. “I am Lord Drakken. I am one-seventh of a true god. And with the power of the Chrono Switch, I shall become the only one of the seven who shall ascend again to godhood.”
With that, Drakken released Gaspar from the lightning storm. Gaspar's corpse, charred beyond recognition, collapsed unceremoniously onto the floor. Quickly digging in his pocket, Drakken brought out a globe shaped object. At first, it was dull and lifeless. But as the seconds ticked by, a faint dull glow began to emanate from it.
“Two more Gurus and the Chrono Switch will be repaired,” Drakken cackled. “And I am now in control of the time gates, as well. Let those meddlesome adventurers come to me. I shall exact my revenge on all of them, especially that traitor Shego.”
Drakken began to cackle loudly and maniacally at that point, his laughter echoing through the expanse of nothingness that was the End of Time.
[END CHAPTER FOUR]