for letting us take the Sloth in the cargo hold, Clutch.' Kim
said to a muscular man with a wide chin, a red jacket and silver hair.
'It'll save us a lot of time once we hit the UK.'
I can do for the girl who found my missing co-pilot on that Amazon adventure.'
replied Clutch, who smiled back at her while he worked the controls
in the pilot seat.
faintly at him before returning to her seat towards the back of the
cargo plane. She was still feeling glum, considering the mission a waste
of time. But she buckled herself into her seat and took out the photograph
of the missing person which Wade had scanned and given her. She memorized
his features so she could recognize him at need.
next seat, Wade had on a pair of magnifying goggles and was tinkering
with a pair of devices in his lap. A set of delicate tools were in a
compartmentalized pouch on the armrest next to him and he looked very
focused. 'What are you working on?' she said.
soldering a component in place and didn't look up. 'Just stuff I meant
to finish at home later tonight...' he said.
sounded like he was paying even less attention, so she resumed studying
the photo. After several more minutes, Wade seemed to pause in his labors
and she raised her voice again before he could get re-absorbed in his
work. 'So how was it figured that it would be easier to send in a girl
from half-way across the globe as opposed to just sending a cop car
from any nearby city?' she said. 'I mean, everyone knows how I feel
about wasting energy...'
as he focused his goggles and began making adjustments with a needle-thin
screwdriver. 'They're having trouble finding someone to get out there.'
he said. 'Graniton is a really small small town without a police station
and no crimes are known to have taken place in decades. Plus, all the
surrounding areas are stretched pretty thin. Something about having
their people cleaning up at a site where someone's manor mysteriously
got turned into a pile of rubble...' He let his voice trail off with
a faint smile.
and pretended to be studying the photograph again. But her thoughts
drifted back to the note she had thrown away and wondering what it meant.
Had Grimm really sent it? Was he just trying to dig further into her
head or mislead her again? Was he in on the scam with Monkey Fist and
Maze? She hadn't been sure at the UNIT lab, but there had been so much
uncertainty and weirdness that she wasn't even sure about her uncertainty
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Monkey Fist stood in the main street in Graniton. Several crows were
perched on the gables of the surrounding houses, sending an occasional
echoing croak through the air. Monkey Fist looked at Maze and nodded.
Maze nodded back, and then raised his staff.
figures of several statues around them began to move. From the thresholds
and doors of the houses they came, silent except for the thumping of
their feet, until they stood in a semi-circle in front of Maze and Monkey
Fist smiled. 'I doubt there are any prying eyes nearby.' he said. 'But
just in case, let us move to the plains behind the town and conduct
our tests there. It will be advantageous to the plan if you can order
them to obey my commands as well.'
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announced that they had reached the drop point. Kim and Wade entered
the Sloth and buckled up. Wade reclined his seat as far as it would
go, looking frightened.
were released and Kim saw Wade's hands clench around the armrests of
his seat as the Sloth rolled forward and out of the cargo hold. His
eyes were closed by the time they were clear of the plane and he was
biting his lip when the Sloth's booster jets fired a few seconds later.
'This was more fun when I was just watching out of my screen...' he
the road leading to Graniton far beneath and zooming up rapidly. Soon
the tires touched down with a lurching squeal. 'Eyes open Wade, we're
down.' she said. 'Graniton awaits!' They drove down the empty road and
the mountains on either side loomed higher. A tiny clutch of houses
and buildings could be seen in the distance, and before long they were
the Sloth and Wade followed, seeming a lot less steady on his feet.
They left the car parked by the side of the main road next to one of
the houses. The sky was overcast and gloomy, though some rays of sun
were leaking through the clouds to cast mottled patches of daylight
on the nearby mountains. A gust of wind blowed, sending a plume of dust
rolling down the street. A shutter caught by the breeze creaked faintly.
They walked down the street, their footsteps echoing in their ears.
like England's party central.' Kim said, but her voice seemed to fall
dead even as she spoke, and the humor was leached out. They were about
half way down the main street. The atmosphere was like a museum or a
library where any sound felt somehow forbidden and unnatural. Nothing
moved. They saw the doors to several of the houses standing open, and
some lights were still on. 'So where is everyone?'
moving his scanner back and forth as they walked. 'It's zero across
the board.' he said, his voice lowered as if he were afraid of disturbing
something. 'Total weirdness - no life readings, no sonic vibrations,
no heat signatures - nothing.'
check inside the houses just to be sure.' said Kim. 'You take this side
of the street, I'll take the other. We meet back here in ten.'
took a remarkably short amount of time. The houses were all unlocked,
and small enough that going through them was no great chore. She called
out occasionally as she searched, but no one answered. Each house was
undisturbed, with no sign of any struggle. Some had meals sitting cold
on the tables. It was as if everyone had simply gotten up and walked
off into the blue, leaving their homes abandoned. She met with Wade
again in the main street. 'Did you find anything?' she said.
his head. 'Just like Flannan Isle.' he said.
an eyebrow. 'Wade, if it wasn't in Teen Scene, I don't know it...'
in an eerily low voice.
though we hunted high and low,
And hunted everywhere,
Of the three men's fate we found no trace
Of any kind in any place,
But a door ajar, and an untouched meal,
And an overtoppled chair.
Kim stared blankly at him. 'It's a famous English poem.' Wade said.
'I'll look it up for you... once we're away from here.' he glanced around
nervously at the surrounding, empty homes.
before that happens, we should check the area around the village.' Kim
said. 'Maybe there are tracks or something if they all walked off...'
seem sorry to leave the ghost town behind them. They went behind the
houses on the west side of the street, and though Kim couldn't see anything,
it wasn't long before Wade piped up. 'Got something!' he said. 'The
scanner's showing a trail of heavy footsteps, leading off in that direction.'
and he pointed to a rocky plain some distance away.
walked, Kim caught occasional glimpses of a footprint when they crossed
dustier patches. But for the most part the terrain was hard and bare
and showed nothing. When the town was starting to dwindle in the distance,
they reached an area with several large boulders and outcroppings, and
Wade's scanner seemed to lose the trail. He stopped and stood rotating
in a small circle, sweeping the scanner around. After several seconds
in which only the whirring of the scanner could be heard, she was about
suggest going to higher ground. Then she felt a chill as she heard a
voice speaking a short distance behind her.
well.... the cheer squad. And before you ask - no, I never get
tired of saying it.'
and standing a distance away on top of an outcropping of stone, Monkey
Fist was staring down at her, his lips curled into an expression of
calm smugness. 'Monkey Fist!' she said. 'What are you doing here?
What did you do to the people in this town?'
am I doing here?' said Monkey Fist darkly, 'I was going to ask
you the same question.' He paused, looking down at them carefully.
'But I see that you weren't expecting to find me here. I suppose it's
just another of the curious coincidences that keep drawing us together.'
you're a regular beau.' Kim answered. 'Speaking of which, are
you ready to tell me what you did to mine yet? Because if you
don't start talking, what happened to your manor is gonna seem tame
compared to what I've got in store for you.'
Fist seemed to sigh in exasperation. 'Another constant.' he said. 'Always
saying you want to talk, but in the end your conversations are
little more than leaping and kicking.'
when the bad guys don't cooperate.' she growled.
well.' said Monkey Fist, shaking his head. 'But before we begin - there's
something I want to tell you. I hate you, Kim Possible. I hate
your chirpy optimism. I hate your constant meddling. I hate the way
you're always somehow interfering with my plans. I hate you from the
soles of your feet to the ends of your infernal, flippy red hair!'
wondering why Monkey Fist was taking time out to insult her.
But she looked and saw a light rising around him as he continued to
rant. Then his eyes suddenly flared with a yellow light and twin beams
lanced towards her.
Wade shouted, but ust as the beams struck her, a blue and white sphere
of light expanded around her like a bubble and the yellow beams were
out the way, and when he looked up again, Kim's outfit and jacket had
been torn apart by the field that surrounded her. She was dressed in
a white body suit with bands of glowing blue. She stared back up at
Monkey Fist, her face set, but very much unharmed and unpetrified.
suit!' Wade cheered. 'Way to go, Kim!'
said Monkey Fist. But his voice was quivering and he hunched over as
if a great weight had suddenly been laid on his shoulders. 'So nice
to see you wore your Sunday best...'
sure when I'd meet up with you again, Monkey Fist.' Kim said. 'So I
decided to bring the suit along, just in case.' Monkey Fist glared,
but remained bent over, his teeth gritted. Kim smiled faintly. 'Looks
like using the Yono's power takes a lot out of you.' she said. 'I wasn't
expecting that, but I'll take every advantage that comes up.'
Fist sank to one knee. 'And you think this will enable you to win?'
he snarled. 'There is more to my power than you guess, Kim Possible!'
know more about your power than you guess.' she answered. She
went on, hoping to goad him into calling Maze for help, or otherwise
revealing where he was. 'Give it up, Monkey Fist. Bring Ron back and
maybe they'll let you put up some monkey wallpaper in cell block D!
You can't beat me by yourself this time!'
Fist looked coldly at her. 'Perhaps you're right.' he said. Then he
raised one hand and snapped his fingers, though the sound was more like
two heavy stones grating and clunking against each other.