Chapter 2:
Flight of the Testoster-1

'What?' Rhonda yelled in disbelief as her parents opened the door to the mini-van.

She saw a scene of log cabins spreading out in front of her, with beaten pathways between them. The 'log' motif seemed quite prevalent, with signs here and there painted on log circles which hung from log poles and metal chains. Everywhere there were children running around, some in coonskin caps, each wearing a similar brown vest.

'You signed me up for summer camp?' she squealed. 'Why didn't you tell me?'

'This is our way of telling you dear!' said her mother, with the infuriating sanctimony of a clueless parent who thought they were giving their kid a treat instead of smacking them upside the head with a fish. Before the main entrance, a wooden arch was perched atop two tall, thick logs, and written in rough letters were the words, 'Kamp Kwitcherbeliakin'.

Rhonda stepped nervously out of the mini-van, looking around. The whole place was surrounded by a dark fence of pine trees, thick and tall, which stretched away as far as the eye could see. The smell of pine was everywhere. There was a droning of crickets, a chirping of birds, and a dull sigh of wind through the pine needles. She could see a blue lake at one edge of the camp with canoes tethered to a series of docks made of roughly sawn logs. 'But.. I don't wanna go to summer camp!' she said helplessly, while her father took out the luggage he had packed for her the night before.

'Oh honey,' said her mother, straightening up Rhonda's collar and her hair, 'You need to get out more, to experience more of the world! You'll love summer camp. There are all kinds of things to do here that you've never done before.'

'That is quite right.' said a voice behind them. Rhonda turned and was looking up into the slightly squinting eyes of a man with reddish-brown skin. His face was smiling and kind. He wore animal skin breeches over a pair of brown jeans, and had on an ornate vest, and a tall headdress with many eagle feathers. In his hand he held a staff with two feathers tied at the top with strings of beads which trailed down and rattled softly as he walked. 'I believe your daughter will find this camp to be a place full of natural wonders.' he gestured proudly behind him.

Rhonda quickly stood behind her mother, peering out from behind her skirt. The old man smiled warmly, holding out his hand. 'Welcome, Rhonda Fatigable. I am Chief Sakituya, and I run this camp. I will be both a guide and a teacher as you explore a new world.'

Rhonda shrank further behind her mother, her lip quivering. Mrs. Fatigable smiled indulgently and took Chief Sakituya's hand, shaking it. 'She's very nervous. She doesn't go out all that much.'

'I understand, Mrs. Fatigable.' said Chief Sakituya, nodding. 'Most children are nervous when they first come here. But I promise, if she has an open mind, she will discover things here that will seem like magic.'

Her father was setting her suitcase down next to her. 'Don't worry sweetheart.' he said. 'You'll meet all kinds of new friends.'

Her parents were kissing her good-bye and moving to get back into the van. 'But... where's Grimm?' she said softly as the mini-van motor started. And with a crunch of gravel and dirt, her parents were driving away, leaving her standing forlorn and miserable at the entrance to the camp.

- + - + - + - + - + - + - + - + - + - + - + - + - + - + - + - +

And Rhonda awoke with a cold sweat on her forehead.

It was Friday morning and Rhonda stood in her nightdress, getting ready to go. Grimm had slave-driven her to get her school work done in advance for one day so they could go early on the mission.

Rueful watched curiously as Rhonda jammed a ridiculous assortment of things into her pack. He twitched an eye in confusion, for Rhonda usually traveled light when on assignment, but her pack swelled as she kept stuffing it.

'Bear repellant, squirrel repellant, rabbit repellant, badger repellent, raccoon repellant...' she chanted mechanically as she cycled through several spray cans, arranging them in her pack. 'Cougar repellant, monkey repellant, manatee repellant....'

Rueful cocked his head and squeaked softly.

'Hey, you can't be too careful.' Rhonda said. 'Shark repellant - oh you know I'm bringin' the shark repellant - weasel repellant....'

Rueful squealed. 'Hey!'

'Oh, sorry.' Rhonda said, removing the weasel repellent. She stood looking at her pack, scratching her head. 'Yeesh, why don't they just make nature repellant and make it easy?' Rueful shrugged.

'OK Rueful, look the other way, cuz it's time for the mission clothes to go on!' She went to the closet and opened the door. She stared in confusion, for her usual mission clothes were gone, and something else was in front of her, swaying slightly on a hanger.

Later, she stepped out of the front door to her house, wearing a purple shirt with darker purple pants, new gloves, and a new hip pouch strapped to her leg. 'Stylin!' she thought, though the dramatic effect was ruined as she tried hoisting her clanking backpack, staggering under it's weight as she got ready to close the door behind her.

'Mom!' she called through the door. 'Me! Grimm! Mission! Back later!'

Her mother called back. 'Be careful out there dear! Remember you have to watch your brother Indy next week!'

'Uy, don't remind me!' she thought as she closed the door behind her. 'Why did they wait until just before I graduate to adopt a baby?'

Grimm stared at Rhonda as she stumbled, panting, up his driveway later. She listed from side to side beneath the weight of her pack, wiping her brow. 'M.. made it, GP!' she said hoarsely. He was wearing an identical outfit to hers, and he looked anxious to get started.

'Is there anything in there besides repellant?' he said, frowning slightly.

She laid her pack down with a metallic thud. 'Of course there is!' she said. She loosened the tie at the top and Rueful popped out, looking around curiously. 'See?'

Grimm shook his head. 'I said pack some DEET, not a chem lab.' he said. 'You were supposed to pack changes of clothes, food and water in case we need it. You're lucky I went ahead and packed for you.' He gestured to another, smaller pack that sat beside his on the driveway.

'Oh yeah, food.' said Rhonda. 'I've heard of that stuff...' Grimm sniffed, half laughing, half impatient. 'Why bring extra clothes and food anyway?' she said. 'I thought we were getting in and out as fast as we can....'

'I hope so.' he said. 'With luck, this'll be one of our shortest assignments ever. But just in case we have to spend a lot of time out there, I want plenty of supplies on hand.'

The communicator in Grimm's pouch sounded a familiar musical Dot-dot-dah-deep. He took it out and activated it with practiced ease. 'Sitch me, Jade.' he said eagerly.

'Just double-checking with Rhonda's greymatter.' said Jade, her tinny voice falling slightly flat in the still morning air. 'I went through the camp archives on their nature hike trails and deduced a ballpark area where Rhonda might have been ditched. Outside of that, it's all guesswork. Did you think of any more landmarks?' she said, craning her neck as if trying to see Rhonda past Grimm's shoulders.

'I already said, it looked the same as any other big pine forest.' she said. 'It was big, piney and foresty. All I remember about the hollow besides the statue was that there was a big cliff outside the clearing. You could see a long way off, and there was a lake in the distance, and a waterfall.'

'Any good?' said Grimm.

'Not much help there.' said Jade, shaking her head. 'Kamp Kwitcherbeliakin has a number of small mountains around it, and lots of lakes with waterfalls too. There are six nature hike trails, and each of them has at least two sets of landmarks nearby that could be what she was describing.'

Grimm shrugged. 'Well, when you want to find something, there's nothing like looking. We'll cycle through all of them if we have to.'

Rhonda groaned softly. Sometimes Grimm liked doing things the hard way a little too much.

'Rhonda and I are gonna get started, unless there's anything else.' he said.

'Actually, there is.' Jade said, and once again her face looked apprehensive.

Grimm raised a knowing eyebrow. 'It's about Possible, isn't it?'

'Right in one.' said Jade, nodding. 'I've had some people keeping tabs on her. They've got new mission clothes. If you're drinking anything, I advise you to put it down.' And she blipped up a graphic, showing Kim Possible fighting Shego. Kim was wearing a purple shirt and pants, just like theirs, except her sleeves were short.

Grimm shook his head, looking annoyed. 'I don't believe this!' he said. 'I had the Fashionistas design these stupid outfits so we wouldn't look like them anymore!'

'So do you still want to keep the new ones on order?' said Jade.

Grimm shook his head. 'Heck, no.' he said. 'Once this mission is over, we're switching back to the old ones.'

Jade shook her head. 'Sorry there, G-man. They've been discontinued by Club Banana.'

Grimm sighed. 'Great.' he said, his voice sounding anything but pleased. 'Well, they were too functional to just give up on. Do you still have the patterns on archive?'

'You betcha.' said Jade, nodding.

'Find a good tailor. Give them the specs and have them make some more. We'll let Possible and her crew run around looking like Barney instead of us.'

Jade smiled faintly. 'I told you to let me pick out the new duds.' she said.

Grimm looked at her. 'She was fighting Shego.' he said. 'Does that mean Drakken is back in business?'

'Could be. They haven't called us yet though...'

Grimm sniffed. 'They should have. Keep it real, Jade. We'll contact you once we're at the camp.'

Jade nodded and the communicator blipped off. Grimm hoisted his pack to one shoulder and was fishing a small remote control out of the pouch on its front.

Rhonda dragged her repellant pack next to him and pulled the other pack up on her own shoulder. 'So, if the world's villains are chillin, who's gonna be our ride?' she said, adjusting the straps on her shoulders.

'No worries.' said Grimm, a satisfied smile on his face. 'We're seniors now - and we've finally got our own ride.' He hit the remote control button and the garage door opened, the darkened pit inside growing brighter as the door raised higher with a mechanical hum.

'Woah.' Rhonda breathed, seeing what was in the garage. She was looking at what seemed like a cross between a motorcycle and the DeLorean from Back To The Future. It was a deep, dark purple, almost black, with silver trim and black leather seats. 'Where the heck did this come from?'

'Dad gave me his old cycle a while back.' he said. 'I've been tweaking it on the side, but frankly my sisters are better with this sort of thing than I am. They tricked it out for me.'

Rhonda found herself smiling. 'In exchange for....?' she said, knowingly.

Grimm sighed. 'I have to take them wherever they want until further notice.' He said. 'And they get to call me 'bike monkey' until they get tired of it.'

He walked around to the left side of the cycle. Each side had what looked like small nacelles with turbine fans on the top and bottom. Rhonda walked around the cycle, staring at it and almost drooling. The windshield was smooth and sparkling, and the whole thing had an aerodynamic and streamlined look to it. On the back was a small license plate, and stamped on the plate in raised metallic letters it read, "TESTOSTER-1".

'Cute.' said Rhonda. 'Why not the ESTRO-10?'

Grimm had opened up a small hatch on the back of the cycle and was sliding his pack into a compartment. 'Pilot's privilege.' he said.

'Pilot?' said Rhonda, putting her own pack into the hatch as well, 'Don't you mean driver?' She checked to see if there was room to fit her repellant pack in as well, but between her pack and Grimm's there was only a little room left.

Grimm smirked. 'No.' he said, his eyes sparkling. 'The twisters weren't the only ones working on this. Jade had a hand in it too. I snagged Ron's Mega Magnetic Manipulator before we left the warehouse in Middleton, and she's been reverse-engineering a lot of his stuff.' He pointed to the turbines beneath the nacelles. 'Ron's MMM used the Earth's own magnetism. All it took was a little fine-tuning, and Jade came up with something no one else has now - Anti-gravity through magnetic repulsion. These turbines provide lift and thrust, and since it's the Earth's own magnetic field that provides the repulsion, we can travel anywhere beneath the stratosphere.'

'Strato-whuh?' said Rhonda, feeling stupid. Rueful mirrored her posture of confusion.

Grimm kept smirking. 'It means we can fly anywhere we want.' he said. 'All that, and the only thing it needs is a car battery.'

Rhonda's jaw fell open. 'Boss!' she said. 'A flying motorcycle - it sounds like something that someone should write into a kids story! Why haven't you shown the guys at school this thing? Donnie would be spitting bile..!'

'Oh I will.' he said, running his hand over the windshield. 'But this mission will be it's first field test. It may still have kinks to iron out.'

Rhonda's frown returned instantly. 'Do any of those kinks involve us crashing from a thousand feet and exploding in a storm of fiery debris?' she said nervously.

Grimm smiled, putting on a sleek helmet with a visor and throwing one leg over the bike and settling behind the handlebars. 'Let's find out.' he said. Rhonda hurriedly pulled some repellant cans out of her other pack and jammed them into as many crevices of the trunk as she could manage. Grimm started the ignition, staring at her impatiently. 'Come on GF, the daylight's burning.'

Rhonda climbed into the seat behind him. 'Wait, I think there's still room for the shark repellant....' she said, but the bike was already starting to move. She hastily put on her own helmet, then put her arms around Grimm's midsection and held on.

Within moments, they were past the driveway and riding down the street. Rhonda was amazed. 'It's so quiet!' she said. 'I can't hear a thing...'

Grimm smiled. 'I told you - magnetic repulsion. Right now the earth's own magnetic field is pushing us along. All the accelerator and decelerator do is increase or decrease the power to the turbines. It's that simple.'

They rode for several minutes, and Rhonda adjusted her own helmet visor. 'So why are we putzing along on the ground?' she said, glancing down at the tires, which looked quite ordinary. 'I thought you said this thing could fly.'

'We're coming up on city limits.' he said. 'I wanted to do our first field flight away from prying eyes.'

And sure enough, Rhonda saw the sign marking the edge of the city coming up and passing by. Grimm checked behind him and in front. 'Now comes the fun part.' he said. 'Hold on tight.'

Rhonda started as the nacelles on either side of her rotated down and two flaps unfolded until they locked in place, looking like small wings. The turbines attached to them, which had been pointing up, were now pointing down, and were sounding with a faint, high pitched whine.

She squealed, and Grimm smirked with satisfaction as he felt her arms squeezing his chest. The bike rose up from the highway and he veered off to the side, following Jade's GPS coordinates on the dashboard.

'Oh crud....!' Rhonda shuddered, seeing the ground falling away beneath them. Just as silently as when they had been street side, the bike took flight and shot like a bullet across the fields outside of town. The tires rotated up and to the side, the small turbines on the side of each rim whined, and they rose even higher.

'It's just like a Star Wars speeder bike!' said Grimm excitedly. 'Only we can get some serious air! How about some barrel rolls?' he said.

'Don't!!' Rhonda screamed, and Grimm laughed. He checked the settings in the turbines. As long as they had power, they would continue to provide lift while the turbines on the back provided thrust and the ones on the wings provided steering and extra boost. He made a few slow circular turns above the field, checking the steering.

'Not too shabby,' he said at last. 'Could be a little tighter though. I'll have to have Jade do some more tweaking. Man alive, I can't wait until we get our sea legs...'

'I think I feel a Jackson Pollock coming on...' said Rhonda weakly.

Grimm resisted the urge to start pushing engine speed. Jade had told him not to try any high intensity stunts on this run, just to see if the bike held up under regular use. The real fun would have to wait.

'So how long a flight is it?' Rhonda gulped, her helmet laying weakly against his back.

'It would be an all-day trip by road.' he said. 'But only two hours or so as the bike flies. Kwitcherbeliakin awaits!' He twisted the handle, feeding more power into the turbines, and they silently rushed through the air.

Chapter 3
The Summer Of Discontent

E-Mail Slyrr

Return to Slyrr's Home Page
Return To FanFic Main Page