Subject: [FFML] [KP] The Dark Ocean - Conflict (5/??)
From: Rann Aridorn
Date: 2/15/2007, 10:58 PM
To: rannfics@yahoogroups.com, ffml@anifics.com

Title: The Dark Ocean - Conflict (5/?)
Author: Rann Aridorn
Notes: Yes, I'm referencing another fic series in the first part of this 
one. One that abuses the same maguffin plot point that this series does 
to get started, heh. But it seemed appropriate that Kim and Shego would 
find the continuity of that series like a happy dream, compared to what 
they're going through and about to go through.
This part contains a big fight, and only a few parts of it are the 
happy, goofy sorts of fights more typical to Kim Possible. The rest is 
styled more on an intense action anime fight, and thus might be kind of 
intense for some people, as there will be blood and some over-the-top stuff.
Legalish notes: All characters having appeared in Disney's Kim Possible 
are the property of Disney, and are used here without permission, but 
with no intent for profit. All other characters are original and the 
property of Rann Aridorn.


	Kim lay on her stomach in bed, the pillow pulled up to tuck under her 
chin. She still hadn't really gotten comfortable enough in this new 
environment to sleep comfortably anyway, but the thoughts buzzing 
through her brain wouldn't let her relax enough to sleep from anything 
but pure exhaustion anyway, it seemed like. And considering that she had 
near superhuman endurance, that sometimes meant sleeping only every 
other night.
	She tossed a glance at the clock on the bedside table, and sighed a bit 
as she saw that it was a quarter past six. Almost time to get up anyway. 
She jumped a little at a sudden beep, wondering if the alarm clock had 
somehow gone off early, then realized it was the phone beside the bed, 
beeping the tone for an internal communication. She picked the thin, 
bar-like device up and put it to her ear. "Kim here, what's the sitch?"
	"Hey, Pumpkin."
	"... Shego?" Kim blinked, pushing herself up a little on the bed. "Is 
everything okay?!"
	"Huh? Oh, yeah, fine. Did I wake you up or something...?"
	"No. Not really." Kim frowned a little. "So what's up?"
	"... I dunno. I just kinda wanted to talk to you."
	"Oh." Kim blinked again, then turned to sprawl out on her back, still 
holding the phone to her ear with one hand. "Nice. I mean, good. I'd 
like that. ... To talk to you."
	"Don't freak out, Princess, it's not like I'm gonna ask you out to 
Bueno Nacho."
	"Heh. Well, that's true, I guess. Any particular reason you decided to 
beep me?"
	"Maybe. ... I dunno. It's kinda weird."
	"As opposed to the rest of our lives?" Kim prompted dryly.
	"Yeah, there's that. That's true. Hm... well. Lately I've been having 
all these nightmares, see..."
	Kim tensed up a little, recalling her own nightmares that had 
contributed to her sleeplessness. Vaguely-remembered ventures in dark 
water that felt like nothing, clinging to Shego as they were crushed in 
the coils of...
	She shivered, and tried her best to sound nonchalant as she prompted 
with "Yeah?"
	"It's just... I didn't. I had this weird dream that... I don't guess it 
was a nightmare, it might even have been good. But... weird, definitely."
	"Out with it," Kim pressed, smiling now.
	"Okay, okay. It was about you and me. And I guess Drakken was in it, 
too. He'd done something stupid again, and you were... uh..."
	"Dead?" Kim asked, voice quieting.
	"What? No! God no. Like I said, it wasn't a nightmare."
	"Oh." Kim flushed a little in pleasure, though she wasn't exactly sure 
how much of a compliment it was that Shego would find her death 
nightmarish. It wasn't exactly a statement of undying love, after all.
	"But you were, uh... you were pregnant."
	"Not by DRAKKEN!" Kim actually sat up in bed, making a face, then 
immediately felt bad. The idea was still quite disturbing, but she felt 
guilty to react so strongly now that he was dead.
	"Nuh-uh. Again, not a nightmare."
	"Sure." Kim flopped back again, trying to calm down. "So whose was it, 
then?"
	"Um. ... Mine."
	"... Yours?"
	"Yup. Mine. And I got all pissed at him and beat him up. Then I quit 
villainy so I could take care of you and the kids."
	"Uh. Kids as in plural?"
	"Yeah. Twins. ... Kinda goofy names, but considering my family, who'm I 
to talk?"
	"I and my rhyme scheme siblings have nothing to condemn, I suppose. So, 
wow, you really quit villainy?"
	"Yeah. And there was a sassy talking plane and a big dramatic wedding 
and all that. Like I said, weird, like some kind of sitcom."
	"Dreams are like that," Kim acknowledged, shaking her head against the 
pillow.
	"I know. ... Still..."
	"Hm?" Kim turned her head towards the phone, as if that would somehow 
let her get a look at the expression on Shego's face, despite the 
green-skinned woman being quartered at the other end of the hall.
	"There were times where it felt really... good. Like, really good."
	"... Yeah?"
	"... Yeah." Shego paused again, before continuing, her tone very soft. 
"I know it's mushy, and unrealistic, but somehow holding something in my 
arms that was part you and part me made me feel..." There was a moment 
of quiet, before she finished with. "I don't know that I can even 
describe it now that I'm awake."
	"Maybe your biological clock's just ticking," Kim teased gently, though 
she imagined that the look on her face was unbearably gooey at the moment.
	"Heh. Maybeso. Hope it doesn't make me sound like some stalkery freak 
to be talking about us having kids when we don't even... er..."
	"No. It doesn't." Kim paused, then added quickly, "I mean, dreams are 
dreams, you don't have any control over them. But maybe... I mean... do 
you think we should talk about this thing between us?"
	"It... is kind of easier, over the phone," Shego admitted, sounding 
slightly relieved. "I don't have to... well, smell and feel you all over 
me."
	"Is it really that intense for you?"
	Shego was silent for a few seconds before venturing, "Promise not to 
freak out?"
	"Promise to do my best," Kim replied honestly.
	"Okay. ... Sometimes I wanna... eat you."
	Kim blinked, unsure of whether to blush or barricade her door. "Uh."
	"Er, maybe that's too strong. I mean..." She heard Shego exhale 
strongly, pictured her pacing back and forth with that sleek, deadly 
grace that had either always been her nature or had been endowed to her 
with the changes to her body. "I seriously do sometimes want to... have 
my teeth in you, or drag my nails or claws or whatever along your skin. 
It's like the way that I want you... y'know... WANT you..."
	"Yeah." She was definitely blushing now.
	"Well, it gets all mixed up with this animal thing in me. The part that 
wants me to eat raw meat and run down anyone that seems nervous. By the 
way, could you tell sidekick boy to either grow a spine or stay out of 
my way? Every time he crosses my path I want to tackle him and shake him 
like a bottled frappucino."
	"I'll make a note of it," Kim replied dryly, now more amused than 
anything else.
	"But it's definitely this want for violence mixed into... the other 
stuff. Like that kiss..."
	"Yeah." Kim nodded, smiling. "Yeah, I definitely get that."
	She listened to Shego take a few deep breaths, finding she somehow 
enjoyed the sound of the other woman breathing.
	"It worries me, though," Shego finally admitted. "I mean, far be it 
from me to say no to a bit of rough nookie..."
	"Nookie?" Kim covered her smile with one hand, despite the fact that 
Shego wouldn't be able to see it anyway.
	"Yeah yeah. Thing is... I don't wanna think about that being... it."
	"It?" Kim blinked, confused, then gave a soft 'hm'. "You mean you don't 
want to think about just being an animal in the sack?"
	"To put it bluntly, which is my favorite way, yes."
	"Shego, are you saying you'd like to... cuddle?" The redhead actually 
smiled so wide it hurt a little.
	"Rub it in, why don't you?" Shego sighed. "But something like that. But 
then, every time I touch you, it's like trying to hold a tiger back with 
tinfoil."
	Kim took a deep breath, and let it out, closing her eyes. "Shego, I'm 
sorry if I've been pushing you. It's not really fair, I know. I can't 
really understand what you're going through, and it's just not fair to 
think because I'm suddenly ready to handle it, that you are."
	"... Thanks, Pum-... Kim. That means a lot to me. ... Honest."
	"I know it does. You only call me Kim when you really mean it." The 
younger woman smiled again. "Forget what I said the other day. Call me 
whatever you like usually... save my name for when you really mean it."
	"Okay. You got it." The richness and warmth that had entered Shego's 
voice was one of the more rewarding sounds of Kim's young life, moreso 
at the positively purring tone of the added, "Kim."
	"Now who's pressing?" the redhead murmured, turning over again and 
pressing her face into the pillow.
	"Mm. Got any thoughts on a new supervillainous plan, by the way?"
	Kim sighed, the reminder cooling her building ardor nicely. She raised 
her head, propping her chin on one forearm. "Not a one."
	"Could I make a suggestion?"
	"Sure, I guess."
	"Your little computer nerd was griping all yesterday about something a 
computer company was doing with their new release."
	Kim wracked her brain for a moment, before nodding. "Right, the new 
iVeggie. Comes in twelve decorative colors, from pickle to carrot."
	"I did some checking, turns out a caravan of trucks is shipping a bunch 
of them out on Thursday. Might as well paint a big target on 'em saying 
'Supervillain who needs crayon-colored computers, rob us'."
	"You... want me to steal computers?"
	"Yeah. From another supervillain."
	Kim blinked, then grinned. "You mean, wait until some other 
supervillain steals them, then steal them from -him-?"
	"Yup. And then we can decide from there what to do with 'em."
	It had possibilities. Kim mulled it over. Poor schools with a room 
suddenly converted to a computer lab in the middle of the night? They'd 
have a dickens of a time figuring out how to keep the school from 
getting in trouble if someone found out the computers were stolen. 
Still, even the idea itself was starting to give her other ideas. 
Supervillains came up with wacky devices that had theoretically 
beneficial uses all the time, after all, so stealing from them could 
definitely lead to some villainous heroics.
	"I'll think about it. It's definitely a neat idea. Thanks, Shego."
	"Like you say, Princess, so not the drama."

	"How's it feel?" Punk asked, hands resting on her hips as she watched 
Babs slowly move around the room.
	The redheaded woman was naked save for the silvery bands wrapped around 
her torso and legs. A thin metal collar surrounded her neck, a squarish 
bulge on the back displaying a few blinking lights and plugin ports. A 
broad silver band ran down the length of her spine, with a similar, 
though much thinner one running down her front from the collar and going 
between her breasts. Her midsection was encased almost completely, 
bolstering the damaged section of her spine, with more bands coming down 
her hips all the way to her ankles, the occasional strip of metal 
wrapped around her thighs and calves.
	She was still moving slowly, but Punk thought a lot of it was probably 
due to amazement at being on her feet again after spending a fair chunk 
of her adult life in a wheelchair.
	"It feels... good," Babs allowed after a moment, standing still and 
twisting a bit. "Kind of stiff, but I think I just need to get used to it."
	"Gotta say, I'm impressed." Punk walked over and rested her hands on 
the redhead's chrome-encased waist. "I figured it was gonna look like 
one of those robot suits out of the old cartoons. You could wear this 
under your costume, let alone normal clothes."
	Babylon nodded, looking down at herself again, too absorbed in this 
miracle to even think about blushing due to her nudity and the other 
woman's proximity. The bitterness, however, wasn't that easy to shake 
off, and she scowled a little as she wondered how long Dr. Rexton's son 
would have been the only one to benefit from this technology if GJ 
hadn't snagged it to put one of their temporary agents in the field.
	However, as the door started to slide open, she quickly grabbed the 
robe off of the back of a nearby chair and hauled it on. Modesty had 
worn away just a little after years of necessity with medical 
professionals and personal trainers, and Punk's easygoing, genial nature 
made it easy to feel fairly at-ease with her. But when she saw who was 
walking in, she was quite glad she'd covered up.
	The moment she'd wheeled into the Global Justice base, she knew that 
her sponsor and the director had a history. And whatever that history 
was, it resulted in the short-haired woman looking at Babs with 
something approaching hatred. She sincerely doubted it had anything to 
do with her disability, since the look only intensified whenever Dr. 
Director was looking at Punk herself. No, Dr. Director despised her 
because Punk had brought her here. Somehow, Babs doubted she'd be asked 
to stay on when Punk's little operation was completed.
	"Is she ready?" Dr. Director asked coolly, her manner professional and 
coldly civil, despite the anger burning in her eye.
	"Almost. I'll take her through some workouts throughout the day... Ken 
even said he'd help. We'll rest in the afternoon, and make the hit tonight."
	"And when do you plan to actually find Kim Possible's hideout?" Dr. 
Director queried, in a tone that said she clearly thought she was 
sticking a pin in Punk's balloon and thoroughly enjoying it.
	"I did that this morning before I came down to the lab," Babs 
volunteered, keeping her expression carefully neutral as the one-eyed 
woman shot her a surprised and annoyed look. "It was easy, if you know 
where to look."
	She couldn't deny that she got a thrill out of the fact that Dr. 
Director looked like she wanted to strangle her. If the haughty bitch 
was going to hate her, she might as well give her a reason other than 
who'd brought her around.
	"Very well," Dr. Director said after a moment, voice tight. "Thank you, 
Miss Cordon. ... Punk," she acknowledged with a nod of the head, control 
of her temper obviously frayed, as she turned and walked out of the room.
	The door had barely closed before Punk gave a whoop of laughter and 
threw her arms around the redhead. "Goddamn, girl! You know how to push 
buttons on more than a computer!"
	Babs grinned, actually putting her arms lightly around Punk's middle. 
"What can I say? You're a bad influence."
	"Damn right I am." Punk smirked and drew back, rubbing a thumb across 
one of the marks on her face. "I like you, Babs. For the first time 
since before I went up, feels like I've got a friend."
	Babylon blinked, then nodded slowly. "Yeah. I... guess I haven't said 
how grateful I am for you getting me this opportunity and... everything. 
But also... yeah, I think we're friends. Already." A smile gradually 
curled her lips. "Or maybe we both just like taking strips out of 
Eyepatch's hide."
	Something ghosted across Punk's features, her own smile fading a 
little. "Yeah. Maybe. But lay off the thing about the eye, alright?"
	"... Sure." Babs dipped her head, acknowledging that there was 
apparently a line there she'd crossed inadvertently. After all, she 
wouldn't exactly want someone calling her 'Limpy', so that made sense.
	"Forget about it. C'mon, Babs, get suited up. Me'n'the ninja are gonna 
put you through the wringer for a few hours before lunch."
	Babylon's own smile returned, full force. "Can't wait."

	"-and that's the news," DNAmy said in a tone that didn't have the full 
measure of her usual cheeriness behind it. "It's possible... but not 
very... that I could restore Shego back to the way she was before, and 
slightly more possible to just make her a normal human again. But even 
those would require months and months of research, slowed down by the 
fact that Shego's the only subject we have, soooo no clinical trials!"
	Kim sighed, rubbing her face with both hands. "Thanks, Amy. Keep at it 
a little longer, at least?"
	"Well, dear, I don't mind doing the work, really. I do feel a tad 
responsible, and what was done to her isn't terribly cute, after all."
	With a smile, Kim nodded. "Thanks. And thanks for the other 
information, too."
	"Well you're very welcome, dearie!"
	Kim strode out of DNAmy's lab, hands clasped behind her back, gaze 
distant. Amy had been very helpful about pointing out other villains who 
were working with genetics, including one that worked almost exclusively 
with plants. If Kim could get ahold of some of his inventions, it 
sounded like she could sneak completely drought-resistant plants and 
desert-blooming crops into any number of stricken countries. Which, of 
course, would have violated more laws about national sovereignty and 
genetic tampering than she'd have ever been allowed to get away with 
before, but that wasn't exactly a concern anymore.
	The news about Shego was less encouraging, but at least it was some 
mark of progress, no longer a vague hope, but a definite possibility, 
albeit a slim and far-off one. She wondered what her villainous sidekick 
and semi-girlfriend would think of the idea that it would actually be 
easier to go back to being a normal human than to go back to her regular 
meteor-induced superpowers.
	"Kim!" Wade called as he hurried up, looking agitated. "Why was Shego 
asking me how easy it would be to eradicate serial numbers from iVeggies?"
	"Uh," Kim replied intelligently, blinking. Not only had she been 
shocked out of her own musings, but she'd been confronted with what 
might not be an entirely favorable reaction to a supervillain plot she 
hadn't even made a decision on yet.
	"Kim!" Ron's voice sounded rather panicked as he hurried up from the 
opposite direction. "I just had this thought, and it was kinda like a 
memory, about something you maybe were trying to tell me the other day, 
but it was ridiculous, but could you maybe tell me it wasn't true?"
	"Uh."
	"Kissy-kissy," Rufus chirped from Ron's pocket.
	Kim shot the naked mole rat a venomous look, then looked up at Ron 
again, clearing her throat to buy time as she tried to figure out 
exactly what to say that wouldn't have him passing out and hitting his 
head on the floor.
	"Kim." A hallway door opened, Dr. Possible stepping out. "I was 
wondering, have you had a chance to think about what we were talking 
about yesterday?"
	"Uh." Kim's eyes widened, shooting a glance between Ron and her mother, 
and adding Wade in as an afterthought.
	"Ah, excuse me, Miss Possible." Hego raised a hand as he walked up, 
flanked by his younger brothers. "I wanted to ask when we might actually 
be doing something? After all, we've been waiting around for awhile now."
	"Uh." Kim shrank in on herself just a little, getting the distinct 
feeling she was surrounded. In fact, she was beginning to hope that 
something, anything, would come along to distract from the sudden 
barrage of questions.
	The lights abruptly took on a reddish tinge, alarms sounding from 
hidden speakers. Shego's voice almost immediately joined the cacophony, 
calling, "We've got uninvited guests!"
	One of these days, Kim thought as she turned and ran down the hallway, 
she'd learn to be careful what she wished for.

	Shego snarled, quite literally, at the board in front of her, lip 
lifting on one side to reveal a fang as her gaze swept across the 
screens, which were showing only static.
	"This is never a good sign," she growled to herself. She hated not 
getting at least a glimpse of what was about to start trying to come 
through the heavily shielded door in front of her, especially 
considering that it had come through three of them already.
	It started with a faint shrieking sound, and Shego's head snapped up as 
it grew louder and louder, a tortured screaming that just kept getting 
worse as what looked disturbingly like frost edged itself up over the 
inside of the door. The howl of metal under extreme cold came to an 
abrupt end as the door exploded inward, Shego ducking behind the counter 
as ice and steel flew threw the air.
	"Knock knock," Punk called, shaking off her hand as she strode forward, 
yellow eyes sweeping the room, then locking on the hint of movement as 
Shego stood up. Grinning, she walked forward, Ken and Ice Princess 
flanking her, Ferretgirl drawing up the rear. "You must be Shego."
	"You've heard of me. Pity I can't say the same about you," the 
green-skinned woman replied, stepping out from behind the console and 
taking up a stance opposite the feline-featured intruder.
	"I'm probably just before your time. But playtime's over." Punk's smile 
turned into a smirk, eyes narrowing. "I won't bother telling you to go 
quiet. That wouldn't be any fun."
	"Oh, so you're a masochist."
	"Some say. But we're here to haul you and your girl back to face 
Betsy's tender mercies. And frankly, you're outclassed. So any time you 
wanna lay down and go unconscious, it's okay by me."
	"Sorry, but I'm not gonna be as easy as your usual dates," Shego 
replied, her lip curling, though the difference between that and her 
earlier snarl was a hair's breadth.
	"Oo. Relationship jabs. Nice. Very nice." Punk chuckled softly, then 
took a step back. "Go."
	Ice Princess took a step forward and swept her arm up as if rolling a 
ball, ice spikes bursting from the floor in a long line sweeping right 
at Shego. Snarling, Shego backflipped away from the deadly wall of 
frost, landing and immediately swiping her hands at the pair of throwing 
stars curving through the air to come at her from both sides, the 
sharpened metal deflecting off the claws in her gloves and the green 
glow surrounding her hands.
	Another wall of ice spikes was roaring right at her, and this time 
Shego leapt upwards, legs together and swinging around to move through a 
slower flip, giving the last spike time to form so that she could brace 
her feet against its surface. She felt her feet start to slip, but even 
through her boots her toes curled and her feet shifted in such a way 
that she had purchase for the part of a moment that she needed it. 
Launching forward, hurtling less than an inch over the top of the 
glinting points of the spikes, Shego drew back her fist and tensed her 
muscles.
	All Ice Princess really had time to see was Shego's face twisted in a 
feral snarl and then a very rapidly incoming fist before she was hurled 
backwards by the force of the blow, actually spinning around until her 
head clunked on the floor before she skidded across to almost touch the 
far wall.
	Shego slowly rose out of the low crouch she'd landed in, nostrils 
flaring with every hard breath. Normally, she'd be hitting her stride 
with quips about now, all smarm and sass. But she was distracted by the 
feel of her blood rushing through her veins, or at least it seemed like 
she could feel it... she felt like she was in motion even though she was 
standing still. Her eyes, now rimmed by yellow rather than white and 
with thin, vertical pupils, slid back and forth between Punk and Ken. 
Her upper lip curled, baring a fang again.
	Punk's own expression had gone decidedly grim, but at least she wasn't 
betraying the distinct chill she'd felt run up and down her spine. She'd 
had a long time to consider just what her face might have looked like 
just before she'd reduced twenty men to spare parts, and she couldn't 
shake the feeling that it had looked something like that.

	Across the room, Ferret Girl grinned a little bitterly at the 
information scrolling by on her laptop's screen, cables running from it 
and into the guts of a console she'd pulled the face off of. The first 
minute or so had been a relative breeze, with extremely good firewalls 
and defenses, but nothing she couldn't have taken care of after being 
awake for thirty hours and having a severe headcold. Then the system had 
apparently started to defend itself rather more effectively. Mr. Away 
must have found himself somewhere to hunker down and defend his system, 
and that was just fine by her.
	'Alright, Wade. You've been fiddling with gruntwork for a cheerleader 
and IT contracts for big business for awhile. Let's see if you've still 
got some authentic hacker chops.'
	
	"Excuse me!"
	Kim Possible sounded almost pleased as she burst into the room, and 
Punk had to suppress a grin that cut through some of her sense of 
danger. The kid either wasn't taking this seriously enough, or she'd 
settled in much faster than expected.
	"But I don't remember inviting any of you to a housewarming!" the 
redhead finished as she came to a stop, posing with her hands on her 
hips. She looked good. The blonde with the bald rat on his shoulder 
trying to strike some sort of Hong Kong Cinema pose behind her wasn't 
quite as impressive.
	"Just call us party-crashers," Punk answered breezily, taking a step 
back and to the side and shrugging expansively, making sure she was 
facing, at least in general, towards both Kim and Shego. "Heya, Red."
	"You." Kim blinked, drawing up short as she parsed Punk's current 
appearance with her voice and face. "What are -you- doing here?!"
	"Betsy cracked open my container to shut you down. Sorry, Red, but 
that's the way it's gotta be." Punk's grin faded. "This isn't the little 
leagues anymore. People are gonna get hurt here if you want to do it the 
hard way, too."
	"I'm handling this, Princess," Shego growled, her fingers clenching 
into fists a few times. "They aren't anything I can't kick right back out."
	The redheaded teenager looked at Shego, perhaps picking up on the fact 
that she didn't sound quite normal, herself. Then she looked back at 
Punk, grinning a little grimly. "You heard the lady. Shoo."
	Punk stared at Kim for long moments, as if silently asking her 
something. Kim didn't intend to provide any particular answer, but the 
pink-haired fighter apparently found one there anyway. Something almost 
like pain flickered across her features, before she nodded.
	"Okay. We can do it like that."
	She suddenly burst into motion, leaping into the air so fast that she 
was almost a blur. Kim, Ron, and Shego's eyes widened, and Shego jerked 
into motion to grab for Punk, only to twist at the last second and 
narrowly avoid a slash from the ninja-to Ken had whipped from its sheath 
on his back.
	Kim threw herself backwards, Ron yelping and taking a flying leap to 
the side to keep her from tripping over him. Punk's fist slammed into 
the floor where Kim had been standing a moment before, the metal plate 
cratering and peeling up from its fastenings at the edge, almost as if 
it were trying to curl around Punk's hand. The pink-haired woman was 
upright immediately, twirling in a spinkick that narrowly missed Kim's 
nose as the redhead continued to stumble back and away. A punch came at 
her face and she barely dodged to the side, shaky and off-balance, and 
unable to do a thing about the follow-up jab that took her in the 
stomach and actually lifted her off her feet.
	Kim's eyes widened, pupils contracting, her mouth opening wide in a cry 
of pain that instead came out as a short, ragged cough flecked with 
spittle. She felt some shift in Punk's grip, and then the world went 
topsy-turvy as she went flying through the air to one side, everything 
jarring to an abrupt and painful halt before she slid to the ground. 
Some analytical part of her brain was trying to inform her that Punk had 
just thrown her into a wall, but the rest of her's general thought 
processes could be best described as a faint whimper.
	Punk didn't take time to gloat, even if she'd wanted to. This was 
necessity, it wasn't fun... all the more shame. But more importantly, 
she had a wrathful Monkey Kung Fu master in her face throwing a 
blistering combination of punches that would have overwhelmed anyone who 
wasn't genetically enhanced. Punk ducked and weaved as Ron's punches 
flew at her head and upper body, though she was relying on blocks for 
the most part, feeling the mysticism-empowered strikes bruise and break 
skin under her jacket, the abrasions fighting a losing battle to heal 
under the heady assault. She heard a horrible, angry sound from off to 
the side, but put it aside as something she just couldn't give her full 
attention at the moment.
	A blur of color caught her eye, the sense of incoming danger giving her 
just enough time to turn her head as it passed. A long, thin line of red 
opened up along her cheek going just under her eye for just long enough 
to allow a tiny blob of crimson to fly into the air before it closed up.
	Punk risked a glance over her shoulder for long enough to see a 
snarling naked mole rat coiled on the floor as if ready to pounce, and 
wasn't sure whether to laugh or just be really impressed. The thing had 
almost taken out her eye! No, that deserved being accredited with 
"threat" status. She dropped back a half-step before ducking into a low, 
sweeping kick, trying to smack the thing with her heel, and wasn't 
terribly surprised when it leapt over the strike easily. Stoppable tried 
to follow up with a rising kick that she knocked off-balance with the 
back of one hand before snapping her other in a hard palm-strike at his 
shoulder. Ron was able to go limp and move with it enough to keep her 
from breaking his shoulder, but he was off-balance and falling backwards.
	The pink-haired mutant snagged his ankle and whirled, hauling him up 
and giving him a toss, intercepting his pet who had been making another 
leap for her face, and sending them both to thud, skip, and slide across 
the floor before coming to an uncomfortable stop against one of the 
walls of ice spikes.
	Then she whirled around to deal with the worst threat yet.

	Shego had heard a loud slam that was usually accompanied with bending 
metal, and it worried her. It didn't, however, worry her enough to take 
her eyes off of the ninja trying to turn her into a cut of sushi with 
his sword.
	He was fast. Even if the sword wasn't his specialty, if she didn't have 
the freakish animal mutation running through her veins like the world's 
biggest adrenalin rush, she'd have lost at least one limb by now. As it 
was, she was being extremely hard-pressed, reacting more to instinct 
telling her where the threat was coming from than the actual visual of 
the blade cutting the air.
	The ninja-to glanced off her green-glowing hands, or more exactly the 
concealed metal of the sewn-in claws, again and again, sending up tiny 
showers of emerald-auraed sparks. She snarled, both in anger and 
desperation, as the strikes kept falling like rain, Ken's face impassive 
and cold through the veil of his long hair. Dammit, she had to figure 
out how to take the offensive!
	Then a scent hit her so powerfully it was like a physical blow. Pain. 
The entire room was flooded with a well-known smell twisted and sour 
with agony. Time seemed to slow to a crawl as Shego turned her head at a 
crawl, just in time to watch Kim slam against a wall and slide slowly to 
the ground, a few smears of red left in her path down the vertical surface.
	It was like every nerve in her skin suddenly cut off. She was immersed 
in her dark ocean, neither hot nor cold nor feeling anything, but still 
awake. She turned her head back towards Ken, eyes still wide with shock 
and horror, but not directed at the blade that seemed to be inching 
inexorably towards her shoulder.
	Then, not slow in the slightest, her eyes snapped to narrow slits. Her 
hand shot upward, the edge of the ninja-to cutting through the palm of 
her glove and sliding into the skin and muscle beneath almost to the 
bone. Blood slid down black leather as Shego curled her fingers around 
the blade. Normally, she would have been pleased to see that cool 
impassiveness replaced by shock on Ken's face.
	But the creature did not know pleased. It only knew rage.
	With a cry that was half woman's scream and half beast's roar, Shego 
slammed her free hand against the flat of the ninja-to, metal shattering 
under the blow like glass under a hammer, shards of silver dancing 
through the air. Shego's fist, still gripping a third of the blade, 
lurched into motion from its prior position and slammed across Ken's jaw.
	The ninja staggered back, feeling blood fill his mouth and several of 
his teeth come loose. But to his credit, he actually dodged the next 
slash that would have taken his face off and blocked a hard knee at his 
side with both hands. He did a short backflip, snapping his feet to clip 
Shego under the jaw and send her stumbling back a few steps. He 
quick-stepped back several paces, hand diving across his body and then 
slashing out, throwing a tight arc of three shuriken at the 
green-skinned terror.
	Shego's arm snapped up, preceding a trio of low *shnk* sounds as a 
point of each shuriken slammed home and buried itself in her muscle and 
bone. She didn't even slow in her charge, slashing with her still-free 
hand and making Ken dodge wildly, then swinging a wild haymaker with the 
fist still clutching part of his sword blade. He ducked the punch, but 
the opposite points of his own shuriken tore across his chest and 
unbalanced him, sending him crashing to the floor. Shego pivoted and 
snapped her foot as if kicking a soccer ball, launching Ken across the 
floor to slam against the edge of a computer console.
	But the creature had only been eliminating the immediate threat so that 
it could focus on its real goal. Opening her hand and whipping it to one 
side to dislodge the shattered blade, Shego whirled towards Punk, her 
own claws bursting through the tips of her gloves, the metal inserts 
falling to the floor or hanging by threads. With another howl of fury, 
she launched herself at the one who had attacked her mate.

	If that shriek of hatred hadn't alerted her and gotten her turning 
faster, Punk would have taken Shego's strike right in the back and been 
knocked on her face. As it was, the black-haired bundle of fury slammed 
against her front and knocked her to her back, Punk giving her own yowl 
of pain as Shego's claws dug deep into the muscles of her shoulders, 
blood actually spurting out around the feral woman's thumbs where they 
penetrated in front.
	Shego's head raised and her mouth opened, baring her elongated fangs, 
and Punk quickly shoved a hand upward and under her assailant's chin. 
Despite her formidable strength, her hand shook with the effort to keep 
Shego's head from descending, the green-skinned woman tossing her head 
in her effort so sink her teeth into her enemy.
	Punk managed to get her other hand up against Shego's shoulder, trying 
to push the hissing green-skinned fury off of her, but Shego simply 
tightened her hold, sinking her claws deeper into Punk's shoulders. The 
pink-haired woman's face twisted in pain, her own gritted teeth bared. 
'Not good!'

	Kim got a hand under herself, slowly pushing her pain-wracked body 
upwards, her hair falling around her face. She'd managed not to throw up 
so far, though it was a very close thing, more to do with not having 
much to eat that day. Hugging her stomach with one arm, she raised her 
head, eyes widening at the sight of Punk and Shego tussling on the 
floor, Punk obviously trying to keep Shego from delivering a poisonous 
bite. Further across the room, Ron was staggering to his feet, a tiny, 
unsteady blob of pink on his shoulder.
	The redhead drew in a deep breath, regretted it, then quickly focused 
on what she was doing, pulling out her Kimmunicator and hitting the 
quick-call button. "Wade," she forced out in a weak croak.
	"Kind of busy here, Kim," Wade's voice answered tersely.
	"Evacuate."
	"... What?"
	"They're too tough for us. Evacuate."
	"... Alright. I'll tell everyone else to get out," Wade replied before 
closing the channel.
	Some other time, Kim might have wondered about his specific phrasing. 
But she saw that the white-clad teenager that had been on the ground 
when she came in was starting to sit up, and the black-clad ninja had 
actually gotten to his feet and was walking unsteadily towards where 
Shego and Punk were tangling, a tanto gripped in one hand. Though that 
was foremost on her mind, Kim also noticed a brown-clad woman bent over 
one of the computers. (Wait... was that Ferret Girl? ... Perhaps all the 
straight-out weirdness wasn't out of her life just yet.)
	Shoving herself upward and forward, Kim shouted, "Ron! Stop the 
ferret!" She was forcing herself forward almost purely on momentum of 
that first shove off of the ground, moving on an intercept course. Ken 
turned towards her just in time for her palm to slam across his already 
bruised jaw and stagger him. Doing her best to ignore the wave of nausea 
the motion caused, Kim swung into a high spin-kick, Ken doing his own 
unsteady twirl back and away from it. The black metal of his knife 
darted out as Kim returned to facing him, slicing open the front of her 
shirt and leaving a tiny red line across her skin from just above her 
bellybutton to just below her collarbone.
	Kim threw herself forward into the opening left by his slash, slamming 
her palm against the bloody gash on his chest, twisting her hand, and 
shoving hard, the pain and the force of the push knocking him backwards 
again. Resisting the urge to put a hand to the papercut-like slash along 
her torso and consoling herself with the knowledge that at least he 
hadn't cut all the way through her shirt and she'd still retained her 
modesty. Shoving such thoughts aside, Kim turned around to face her next 
biggest problem.
	"Shego! Shego, come on! We've got to get out of here!"

	Ferret Girl glanced up, then yelped at the sight of a foot coming at 
her face. She stumbled back a half-step to dodge it before forcing 
herself to stay calm and think of what Punk and Ken had taught her. It 
was a basic set of moves, but it had everything she needed. 'Just think 
of it like a set of hacking tools!' she thought desperately as Ron swung 
a fist at her chest.
	She turned the strike away with her forearm against his and whirled 
away, moving to the side, dodging that way further as he snapped a kick 
towards her. She shoved her own foot in a kick towards his feet, making 
him hop back, and closed the gap, arriving back at her original spot and 
typing in a fevered barrage of commands on her laptop.
	The weakened Ron came back in, trying for another high-speed barrage of 
monkey-punches, Ferret Girl quickly backing up and holding her forearms 
up to block, before snapping a high kick up and forcing him back again, 
letting her type in another series of commands. Ron swore and tried to 
duck back in, but she held him off with hard swipes of her stiffened 
hand, forcing him to stay at a distance long enough for her to type in 
one last furious string of data.
	Rufus leapt at her with a tiny battle cry, only to have it turn into a 
yelp as the costumed redhead yanked him out of the air, boinked his head 
against the enter key, and tossed him.
	"Rufus!" Ron cried, leaning over to catch his friend safely, and not 
seeing the laptop descend on his head with a loud crash.
	Ferret Girl actually winced a little at the sight of Ron laying on the 
floor, her laptop cracked in half over his head, a goofy expression on 
his face as his pet patted his cheek in attempts to rouse him from his 
dazed state. ... She'd rather liked that laptop.
	But time was now of the essence. Leaping over Ron's prone form, Ferret 
Girl hurried down the hallway, following the layout of the lair she'd 
uncovered and memorized in the cyberspace war she'd been waging since 
she arrived.

	"Shego! Shego, don't do it!" Kim grabbed the back of Shego's jumpsuit, 
tugging on it. "Don't kill her! We're leaving!"
	Shego snarled. She could hear her mate's voice, and it was penetrating 
the haze of her fury somewhat, but the scent of pain and blood was just 
as strong as ever, and she was being driven to destroy the one that had 
caused it, to bite and rip and tear until it just didn't exist the way 
it used to.
	Punk grit her teeth harder, then twisted hard and got her foot against 
Shego's stomach, screaming as she kicked hard and forced the other 
woman's claws to shred their way out of her shoulders, the force of the 
shove enough to knock Shego into Kim and send them both sprawling.
	Grunting, Punk forced herself to her feet, her arms hanging nearly limp 
and fingers twitching spastically. Luckily, Shego seemed to be having 
some problems deciding whether to get up and attack or wrap herself 
protectively around Kim, and the redhead's struggles and confused 
protests weren't having much effect either way. If she was lucky she 
might be able to make a fist and swing her arm by the time Shego decided 
one way or the other.
	She raised her head, starting to check for the positions of her other 
foes, and saw the Stoppable kid laying out on the floor, with Ken 
kneeling at his side. She blinked as she saw that he was raising his 
tanto, then swore loudly.
	"Ken, goddammit, don't!"
	Unfortunately, harsh language was about all she'd be able to use. This 
was supposed to be a smash-up job, not a slaughter! She started forward, 
willing her slashed muscles to heal faster, but knowing that there was 
no way she was going to be able to keep the ninja from killing Ron.

	Wade bent over the console in the small, dark room, sweat pouring down 
his face. He hadn't had this formidable a challenge to his skills in 
years. Some of the traits of his opponent were eerily familiar, but they 
also seemed to be using a little of everything from a dozen other 
different, highly-skilled hackers. These were tricks he'd only seen once 
or twice himself, ever! It was taxing his own considerable repertoire to 
keep coming up with counters for them.
	His head snapped up as the door slid open, wondering if Kim had 
returned. He'd put Hego and Wego in charge of getting everyone else out 
of the base, and neither of them should have needed to return for more 
directions. But he stared as he realized it was a distinctly unfamiliar 
person in the doorway, wearing... a Ferret Girl costume?
	"Hello, TuxedoNewb," Ferret Girl said with amusement in her voice, 
stepping forward enough that the light of the hallway didn't cast her 
into silhouette.
	Wade's eyes felt like they were stretching to the size of dinner 
plates. "S-SailorLeet?!"
	"Been awhile. Guess you outgrew those beginner tricks and the test 
chatroom, huh?"
	Wade's gaze flicked back and forth between the screen and the intruder. 
"But... I was fighting right up until you came in the door!"
	"Macros. I preprogrammed some of my tricks. Gambled on what you'd do, 
that it'd hold you in place long enough for me to get here."
	He wilted a little, feeling like somebody's grandparent who'd just been 
handed a Binux server. Fooled by preprogrammed instructions! Was it 
possible she'd become that much better than him, when they'd practically 
been newbs together?! No, it had to be random chance! He glanced at the 
console near her, then quickly turned back to his own board. The duel 
would be harder with her so much closer to the main functions, but he'd 
show her yet!
	Ferret Girl blinked, then actually looked sad. "Wade. Don't touch that 
keyboard."
	Wade glanced at her, then saw that she was coming closer to him, rather 
than heading for another computer terminal. "Whoa! Hey! Synthodrones, 
stop her!"
	The hulking humanoids stepped from the corners of the room, walking 
towards the costumed redhead and grabbing for her arms. Ferret Girl 
grabbed something from her belt, shoving it against the first 
synthodrone to touch her, then raking it across the second one as it 
grabbed her arm. The little flip-open knife only had a three-inch blade, 
but it was plenty sharp enough to cut through the material of the 
synthodrone suits and let their liquid essence pour out onto the floor.
	Shaking a bit of green slime off her glove, Ferret Girl stalked 
forward, then brought the knife up. "Wade. I don't want to hurt you. But 
I have to destroy this database. Move aside."
	Wade stared at the knife, trembling. For long moments, he dug for the 
courage to fight back, to try and knock it out of her hand, to just 
refuse, to believe she was bluffing and call it.
	Then some synthodrone liquid collected at the point, gradually 
lengthening and extending down, until it separated and fell to the 
control panel with a distinctly bloodlike spatter. Tears running down 
his face, Wade scooted away from the computer console and let his former 
friend go to work.

	Ken heard Punk shout behind him, but ignored her. What was supposed to 
be a simple smash-up had wound up humiliating and injuring him, and 
someone was going to die for it. This one, by all accounts, was of minor 
importance. He would probably be able to get away with it.
	Then he heard the word "Betrayer!" shouted in his own language, and 
felt a foot slam into the same side of his jaw that had already taken 
two hard blows. His last thought before his head hit the side of a 
workstation and his consciousness fled was that he would probably need 
dentures.
	Ron groaned and raised his head, staring at a black-clad form that 
seemed to loom over him. As his vision slowly focused, one hand rising 
towards what looked a lot like a sword hilt over one of its shoulders. 
Since he didn't think he could stand let alone fight, he was rather 
relieved when the hand gripped the edge of a ninja mask and lifted it 
away instead, revealing smooth honey skin and a fall of dark hair.
	"Y-Yori?"
	"Many apologies for being late, but it is your honor to be saved just 
in the nick of time," the Japanese girl replied cheerfully, sketching a 
quick bow, before smiling and offering Ron a hand.
	Taking the offer, Ron managed to pull himself up into a seated position 
before dizziness got too bad and he had to stay as he was. "Dang. I'd 
say that we're definitely gonna win now, but I don't wanna jinx it!"
	"Oh, Stoppable-san, you and your silly American superstitions," Yori 
teased, giggling.
	Her laughter cut off with a sudden gasp as something glistening and 
ruby-colored burst from just below her left shoulder, small droplets of 
her blood spraying across Ron's horrified expression. Yori's head turned 
slowly, looking down at the point jutting from her body, a few bits of 
steam rising from it.
	"Stoppable... san..." she whispered, staggering a half-step forward 
before falling into Ron's lap, revealing the numerous smaller icicles 
embedded in her back.
	One hand still extended and wafting frost from the palm, Ice Princess 
smirked from her semi-slumped state. "Everybody loves ninjas, huh?"
	"Yori!" Ron screamed, wrapping his arms around the still form in his 
lap, white showing all the way around his eyes. "YORI!"

-End Part Five

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