A Kim Possible Fanfiction
by Greg Fisk (aka "Slyrr")

Kim Possible is owned/copyrighted by Disney and its affiliates, etc. etc.

Chapter 25:
Quest
Or: Desperately Seeking Soothing

Part I: There and Back Again - Again

Kim paused at the top of yet another rise along a winding mountain path. The view was spectacular, even at nighttime, with trees and other vegetation lined thickly above and at the side of the ragged cliffs. In the distance, she could see more high mountains, and saw the white foam of waterfalls. The wind sighed through the near and distant leaves with a hissing rattle, adding to the lonely feeling that permeated the empty path. Except she wasn't alone.

'Come on slowcoach, we're almost there.' came a grim voice.

Kim scowled and adjusted the heavy pack on her shoulders. 'I know, I've been here before.' she said. 'I don't need you to tell me where Yamanouchi is.'

'Then pick up the pace.' said Grimm impatiently. 'The sooner we get this over with the better.'

'Better for who?' Kim growled, trudging down the incline past the rise. 'You haven't even told me why we're here.'

'Yes I did.' Grimm shot back. 'We're here because the Great Bear told me to bring you here.'

'But why do I need to be here?' Kim said.

'I told you that too, and the answer is still the same; I don't know.'

Kim winced as they approached a bend in the path near another dizzying cliffside. If this was a trick to lure her somewhere and push her off the edge, he'd had several chances already. She thought for a moment that maybe she could push him off a cliff without anyone noticing. But, as she'd reasoned at the thought of using her Kung-Fu on Bonnie, she wouldn't want that on her permanent record. 'How long will I need to be here?' she said. 'Ms. Darken doesn't seem the type to ignore tardiness...'

'I squared that all before we left.' Grimm said. 'You'll be good for a couple days. If this takes longer, I'll see what I can do.'

Kim shook her head, trying to catch her breath. The air was a lot thinner on the mountaintops. 'So why couldn't Monique and Rufus come along?'

'I told you - the Great Bear didn't invite them. I'll look after them while you're here. We still can't send them back to Middleton. Monkey Fist knows she's been helping you out, and she'd be in just as much danger in the open as you would.'

'But what about....'

'Enough already!' Grimm snapped. 'What am I, your narrator? Let's just go.'

Kim glared at the back of his head, nearly obscured by the hiking pack he was wearing. She was having more and more doubts about this trip to Yamanouchi with every passing hour. It had seemed straightforward enough the first time she thought about it. She had been to Yamanouchi herself, asking for help from Master Sensei just after Ron had been banished. The elderly Kung-Fu master had a way of speaking and an air about him that she found reassuring, and she could understand why Ron seemed to respect him. And Yori.... well, she didn't like to think too much about Yori or why Ron might respect her.

But the morning after the Prom Rehearsal, she had packed and gone to the Riddleton airport with Grimm. During the flight to Japan, she had wondered more and more. She might have warned Sensei that she was coming, but neither she nor Wade had any way to contact them. Sensei had said he would contact her if they needed her. And by the time they were half-way through the mountain hike to Yamanouchi, Kim was starting to think she should have stayed in Riddleton.

They rounded another bend, and came to the top of another rise, and there, nestled in the living rock near a mountain summit, was the Yamanouchi School. Still visible under the moonlight, the swaying rope and plank bridge leading from the cliff edge to the entrance moved lightly in the eddy of the mountain breeze. Behind the school, she could still see the dark hulk of the Yono Shrine, where Monkey Fist should have been, petrified and immobile.

She could see no one on the battlements of the castle-like walls, but from her past visits, she knew that the school was seldom unguarded. And indeed, as soon as they crossed the rickety bridge and reached the grounds surrounding the school, a deep voice called from above them.

'Yamero!'

Kim looked up, and saw Hirotaka standing on the battlements, as if he had remained there since her last visit. Grimm didn't speak, but stepped back a pace or two until Kim was ahead of him. 'Hirotaka,' she said. 'It's me, Kim!'

'Kim Possible.' he said with a faint smile. 'Welcome back to Yamanouchi. Your arrival was not unexpected.'

the bridge  

Kim smiled as well. 'Didn't you say the same thing the last time I was here?'

'I did.' he said. 'Your arrivals at this school are nearly always anticipated in some way, Possible-chan. Please enter and be welcome.'

Kim strode towards the gate entrance, then paused and looked back. Grimm still hadn't moved, but remained where he was, several paces from the gate. She glanced back up at Hirotaka and saw that he and Grimm were glaring at each other with expressions of repressed loathing.

'Aren't you coming?' Kim said.

Grimm shook his head. 'Not a chance.'

'Why not?'

'Because in case you didn't realize, my name's mud at Yamanouchi.' Grimm answered. 'For some reason, they didn't take kindly to me stealing the Lotus Blade - or helping Ron capture Sensei.'

'But you're the one who set this up.' said Kim. 'What if you're 'supposed' to be here too?'

'The Great Bear only said I had to bring you here.' he said, re-adjusting his pack. 'He didn't say anything about me staying.'

'You expect me to just leave Monique and Rufus with you...?' Kim protested.

Grimm sneered. 'Don't worry - I'll be too busy to hassle your loser friends. I've got detention with Donnie to look forward to - plus Jade, Wade and I are still gonna be looking for Monkey Fist. I don't know what this Mystical Monkey stuff is all about, but it couldn't hurt to keep looking for non-mystical solutions while you're trying to touch the etheric plane.'

He turned his back and started back across the bridge towards the mountain path leading back down. 'Have fun, Possible.' he said flatly. 'And remember, the doors are made of paper.'

Hirotaka continued to glare after Grimm's retreating figure until he was a small dot at the far side of the bridge. Finally he seemed to remember that Kim was there. 'Come, Possible-chan.' he said. 'Master Sensei is waiting.'

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Kim crossed through the courtyard, which was mostly empty. Since it was night in Japan instead of the afternoon, most of the students were probably either asleep or getting ready to sleep.

Past the gong in the center of the courtyard, she saw the main building, and standing in front of it on the stairs was Master Sensei. He bowed his head as Kim approached, and she returned the gesture.

'Possible-chan,' he said in his deep, resonant voice, 'You have returned to the Yamanouchi School, as I knew you would.'

Kim blinked. 'Wait - you knew I'd be coming back?' she said.

'Of course.' said the ninja master. 'I knew that bringing back the Chosen One would require more than simply tracking down Monkey Fist. When you left in search of him, I knew that your path would lead back here - for the path of true enlightenment is one eternal round.'

'Why didn't you tell me...?' said Kim, but even as she spoke the words, she knew what Sensei would say next.

'This is my way of telling you, Kim Possible.'

Kim felt a stab of annoyance, but fought it down, wanting to show respect to Master Sensei since she needed his help. 'Yeah...' she sighed, running her hand across her forehead. 'Well - you were right. I have come back. And I need your help.'

'How may I assist you, Possible-chan?' he said kindly.

She chewed her lip for a moment, but couldn't think of any way to say it that didn't sound totally weird. 'Do you know anything about the Mystical Monkey?'

'Indeed I do, Kim Possible.'

Kim's mouth fell open. 'You do?' she said.

'Of course, Possible-chan.' he said, soothingly. 'This school was built in 338 AD by the legendary warrior Toshimiru, who used the Lotus Bade. The power of the Lotus Blade can only be unlocked by those who wield the Mystical Monkey Power. The great Toshimiru held that power, having gained it from the Mystical Monkey statues. Since the days of Toshimiru, only two others have been gifted with Mystical Monkey Power.'

'Monkey Fist - and Ron.' said Kim.

'Quite right.' said Sensei, and he gestured her towards the doors leading into the main building. She followed him, and was not surprised to see several stations set up for the practice of martial arts as they walked through the vast, pillared room lit with lamps and lanterns. 'Toshimiru was the original master of Tai Shing Pek Kwar. Many have not understood - since Kung Fu is a widely accepted to be of Chinese origins. The unlearned have marveled that a Tai Shing Pek Kwar master was prominent in Japan. But it was from Toshimiru that the art spread to China, where it became more widely known, and where it was given it's name.'

'I'm with you so far....' said Kim. 'But what about the Mystical Monkey?'

Sensei nodded as they passed out of the larger room and into a series of smaller rooms and corridors. 'Toshimiru did not merely build this school to teach the fighting arts - he made it as a center of study, knowledge and learning.' And Kim looked around as they entered what seemed to be a vast library, filled with scrolls, papers, books and other documents, all stacked and organized on dusty shelves. Sensei's voice became more muffled as he went on.

'In your own schools Possible-chan, I do not doubt you have been taught that energy cannot be created or destroyed - only changed from one form to another. If you accept that as truth, then surely you must have wondered - if the Monkey statues bestowed Mystical Monkey Power - from whence did the statues gain that power?'

Kim shrugged weakly, looking around the library. Everything was in wooden, earth tones, with soft light wreathed around lamps which hung from an ancient looking mezzanine. 'I.. just figured it was magic or something.' she said.

Sensei smiled. 'And so it was - at least as far as magic can be understood. But like all forms of energy, even Mystical Monkey Power must have a source. And that source... is the Mystical Monkey.'

Kim didn't speak. Talking about mystical monkeys sounded even more ludicrous coming from Master Sensei than it did coming from Grimm, because Sensei was speaking about it in a voice that sounded serious. Grimm at least had seemed properly skeptical.

'Toshimiru was a disciple of the Mystical Monkey.' he said, 'He received great wisdom from him, as well as learning Monkey Kung Fu. And Toshimiru set up this school to honor the Mystical Monkey - to be a place where his wisdom might be studied, shared and passed on by those who were deemed worthy to understand.'

They had reached a smooth, wooden table with several candles set up, as well as a chair that looked uncomfortably hard. Sensei stopped here and regarded Kim seriously. 'I have my suspicions, Kim Possible. But tell me how you came to learn of the Mystical Monkey? His existence is a closely guarded secret of the Yamanouchi School, shared only with those who have taken the most dedicated oaths of loyalty. And why do you ask about him?'

Kim sighed. After hearing Sensei's speech, maybe her own story wouldn't sound so farfetched. She told him about Grimm's contact with the Great Bear Spirit, and of the Great Bear's mysterious advice. When she finished, Sensei nodded.

'I see.' he said. 'If you have come seeking wisdom, then wisdom is what you must seek. Before attempting to commune with the Mystical Monkey, you would do well to learn as much about Mystical Monkey Power as you can. There are many texts and documents here, which contain information that may be of value.' He gestured to the many shelves with their countless books and scrolls. He then turned and began walking towards the exit of the library.

And Kim realized, the table with its candles had been set up in advance for her use. She looked around wildly, and called out. 'Wait!' she said. 'This place is huge - where should I start?'

Sensei simply nodded to her. 'As with any great quest - the surest place to start is at the beginning.' Then he was gone, leaving Kim alone and feeling more intimidated by the innumerable tomes than she ever had when facing off with Shego.

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Wade helped Monique as she heaved a large rock across the threshold of the guest house at the Omo-sas. 'Couldn't... Enrique have helped?' Wade grunted.

'I'm not... callin' him!' Monique answered. 'He'll be following me around the rest of the day!' At last they managed to roll the beach ball sized stone onto a pad next to where Wade had set up some equipment. 'What do you need this big ol' paperweight for anyway?' she said.

Wade was picking out various scanning instruments, and a rock scraper. 'This is a chunk of the giant golem.' he said. 'I'm hoping I can analyze it and find a clue as to where it came from. If we can do that, we might find Monkey Fist.'

'Cool.' said Monique. 'How about Mr. Bad boy and hacker geekette?'

Wade chipped off a small fragment from the rock and slid it into a vial. 'Going to Japan isn't like a trip to the convenience store.' he said. 'I heard Grimm's not staying at Yamanouchi, but he still won't be back until later tonight, even if they get a supersonic flight. That gives me pretty much the whole day to work on this. Not much else for me to do at the moment. As long as Monkey Fist and Drakken have the Jammer, anyway.'

'So where's Jade? She not helping out?'

Wade bit his lip as he took another chip from the rock and fed it into a small grinder, collecting the powder into another vial. 'I'm... not sure where she is.' he said without looking at her.

Monique smiled. 'Look Wade - I'm not Kim, but I know awkweird when I see it. You can't keep avoiding Jade just because of the kiss - you're supposed to be keepin' an eye on her to make sure they don't pull any funny business.'

'I know...' he said sullenly.

Monique paused. 'Unless you're more down than you let on.' she said. 'Wade, did you really like her? And now you're avoiding her because she turned you down flat?'

Wade didn't answer. He kept fiddling with the controls on one of the widgets he had set up on a desk.

Monique felt a sudden wave of sympathy. 'Oh, Wade...' she said, putting a hand on his shoulder.

'I know it would never work.' he said quietly. 'We live too far apart, we're too young, we really can't stand each other... Plus she's evil.' He sighed heavily. 'You think I'd be used to this after what you said to me on Valentine's Day. And you'd think as smart as I am, I'd have known better...'

'Love makes fools of us all, I guess.' said Monique.

'That's 'time makes fools of us all'.' said Wade.

'I know.' she answered. 'But love does it faster.'

'Yeah...' Wade said. 'I guess it does.'

'Try and take tips from Enrique.' she said. 'That boy just keeps right on truckin'.'

'Maybe later.' said Wade, his smile returning. 'I've got to work on this for a while.'

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Meanwhile in her room, Jade was looking over a set of rough blueprints on one computer screen, while taking a video call on another. 'There's not much here.' she said.

Professor Dementor grimaced in the chat window his face occupied. 'When you consider my current circumstances Fraulaine Jade, you should be grateful I have moved so quickly! It is not easy to create proper designs while still in a prison cell. I have gone over my materials, and also looked over ze schematics for your detector device.'

'And?' Jade said.

'And... while your machine is crude, it was a good foundation on which to build.' he answered. 'If my calculations are correct, I should be able to design a device based on your machine which will not only detect any satellite taken over by ze Jammer, but prevent it from transmitting any outgoing signals - a counter-jammer, as it were.'

Jade's mouth fell open. It was more than she dared to hope. If it was true, it would allow them to stop Monkey Fist from using the Yono's power to hit remote targets. 'Your full-scale Jammer had the power to affect every satellite at the same time.' she said. 'Will we be able to as well?'

'Perhaps.' said Dementor. 'I will need to run more projections.'

'But we still won't be able to track the Jammer to it's source.' she said.

'It is a question of ze scale at which they use ze Jammer.' he answered. 'If they run it at full power on a global scale, then you should be able to find them. Of course, by then they could do a great amount of damage...'

'It's a start.' said Jade. 'Once you've run your tests and given us the specs, we'll have Leigh secure your release.'

'I look forward to it.' sad Dementor with a smile. 'I dismissed ze idea at first, but Herr Probable's suggestion of making my own battle-suit is beginning to take root...' and he vanished from the screen.

Jade spent several minutes looking over the designs. They seemed solid, but she would need several sets of hands to make a prototype of decent size. She could always count on Grimm's sisters, and there was also Wade...

She pursed her lips uncomfortably. They'd been avoiding each other for some time, but soon they were going to have to get past it and work together. As long as he didn't try anything else...

And suddenly a thought flitted into her mind of the two of them working on the counter-jammer together, and another kiss being shared. His lips had felt warm... and soft.... She had her chin in her hand, propped up on her desk, a faraway look stealing into her eyes.

'Maybe if he hit the gym for a while....' she thought, but then slapped herself across the face and resumed her examination of Dementor's files.

Part II: Book Smarts

As Kim was still going through jet lag, she hadn't felt tired as she read through the night. The candle flames flickered, making soft fluttering sounds as she continued to pore over page after page. But as dawn rose, weariness crept in, and her head started nodding when she was brought back to awareness by the sound of a tray being set next to her.

'You have been here through the night, Possible-chan.' said Yori, pouring out tea and uncovering a dish of rice and vegetables. 'I was sent to bring you some refreshment.'

Kim wasn't much on Japanese food, but she was so hungry she didn't care. 'Thanks.' she said, fumbling with the chopsticks, but managing a clumsy mouthful.

Yori looked around at the jumble of parchments and scrolls which stretched across the tables. 'I hope your research is going well.' she said.

'Better than I expected.' Kim answered. 'I didn't know the Yamanouchi School kept English texts in it's libraries. I thought I'd have to learn Japanese first.'

Our collection of texts is not as large as it seems.' said Yori, nodding. 'For the benefit of our many students, the original texts have been copied into several different languages. It is a task that our scholars and students have carried out gradually over the course of many years, but it has multiplied our library to the size you now see.'

'And I'm totally grateful.' Kim said. 'Otherwise I wouldn't be past page one. I've gone through dozens of scrolls, but they all say pretty much the same thing.' said Kim, shaking her head as she set aside yet another document. 'True wisdom comes from within.'

Yori smiled. 'Yes.' she said simply. 'It is a riddle that many struggle with for long years.'

Kim immediately thought of Riddleton, and it's vast network of riddles which had been set up, seemingly just to befuddle everyone. And she wondered if Yori somehow knew more than she was letting on by casting this tedious study as a 'riddle'. 'Get a grip, Kim.' she thought. 'You can't go through this whole caper thinking everything is a puzzle that needs solving.'

She pushed aside a mound of paper that had collected in front of her, getting ready to put them back on the shelves. 'Well... I think I've learned all I can if that's the case.' she said out loud.

'That is just as well.' said Yori. 'It is Master Sensei's wish that you meet him in the main courtyard.' She put a box on the table in front of Kim. 'There is an empty room in the third dormitory - it is the same room which Stoppable-san used during his stay here. You may change in there. Come to the courtyard when you have eaten and are clad.'

Yori left as quietly as she had come in. Kim lifted the lid from the box, and picked up the intricately embroidered collar of a beautiful red kimono.

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She had to call Wade to figure out how to put on the kimono properly, but twenty minutes later, she stepped out into the courtyard. She passed by several organized bands of white-clad ninja practicing various techniques, including rope climbing, smoke bomb use, a shuriken target range and several kinds of Kung-Fu. A few of the male students who were sparring lost their concentration and wound up flat on their backs as they paused to look at Kim. She had to admit, she wished there was a camera handy. With her hair done up and the decorative sash in place, she thought she must cut an impressive figure.

  Kim-ono

Master Sensei was waiting by the large gong set near the center of the courtyard. 'Come with me, Kim Possible.' he said, and led her to the western edge of the courtyard, towards a building that was on a set on top of a square rise of several steps. It looked like many of the other dojos which were set up at Yamanouchi for the benefit of the students. But this one seemed more important somehow. Latticed walls, sturdy pillars and many decorations set this dojo apart, with intricate carvings all around and wind chimes hanging from each corner of the peaked roof. Like most buildings inside the grounds, it showed signs of damage from the Yono's attack - and also the signs of that damage having been carefully repaired.

Sensei stopped at the foot of the stairs. 'This was the personal meditation and training dojo of Toshimiru.' he said. 'Since the ancient days, this has been a shrine to those who seek the wisdom of the Mystical Monkey. It is said that he may still appear to those who are worthy.'

Kim looked up the stairs and into the interior of the dojo, which was too dim to see anything clearly. 'Are you saying I should go in?' she said. 'I'm a stranger - I'm not a member of your school. Wouldn't I be breaking some kind of taboo?'

'It is true you are not one of my students.' said Sensei gravely. 'But you are a friend of the Chosen One. And if Grimm Probable is not lying, then you have been specially summoned here by forces beyond the normal doings of even this school. As such, special exceptions have been made for you. Your stay in the library was a privilege normally reserved for our advanced students. And to visit this dojo is considered a high honor.'

And Kim understood why she had been asked to change clothes. This level of formality was to show her respect for being 'bumped ahead' of where other students might normally go. She felt humbled, but still didn't quite understand. 'What should I do?' she said.

Sensei pointed to her forehead. 'As you have labored to fill your mind with knowledge, now you must fill your heart with peace.' he said. He gestured to the building.

She followed Sensei into the dojo, adjusting her kimono. The inside was lined with ancient practice dummies. Brass censures hung from the ceiling next to more chimes. The walls were covered with the brush-like strokes of several Japanese talismans. The west side of the dojo had a bhudda statue set up between the pillars. The middle of the dojo was empty, set up as if for a sparring match. But in the very center there was a soft mat. Sensei gestured to the mat.

'Now... meditate, Kim Possible. Ponder what you have studied. Consider what I have told you. And perhaps you will find the wisdom you seek. Many students and many masters have meditated in this shrine over the centuries - but few have ever seen the Mystical Monkey.'

Kim approached the mat. 'Have you seen him?' she asked.

Sensei seemed to be smiling behind his flowing moustache and beard. 'Yes - I have.' he said.

Kim wanted to believe him - but it was all so fantastic. After all the things she'd seen over her many adventures, this just felt too strange. 'What did he say to you?'

Sensei raised an eyebrow. 'That, Kim Possible, is between the Mystical Monkey and myself.' Then he turned and left.

The dojo certainly had atmosphere. If she'd been asked to envision what an ancient Japanese dojo might look like, this was it. The dojo had a long-disused air like a museum, and everything in the dojo seemed like a museum piece, not to be touched for fear of an alarm going off. But it also had the air of a building that had once been a hub of great activity, now stilled and quieted.

She was afraid to touch anything, though she circled around the dojo several times, inspecting everything closely before returning to where the mat was set. The dojo was empty, and even the sounds of the students practicing out in the further courtyards seemed to have been cut off. But she saw nothing that looked enlightening or mystical.

She sat on the mat and sighed, watching as the light from the sun gradually began to change from the dull orange of morning to the piercing white of day.

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Grimm stepped off the flight from Japan to find the Ksikkihkíni in short term parking where he'd left it. He'd left early in the morning from Riddleton with Kim, reached Yamanouchi at night by Japanese time, and returned home at nightfall by Riddleton time.

It was the one thing he really didn't like much about traveling, keeping track of what time it was in whatever country he wound up in. He'd missed the school day, but planned to pull an all-nighter to catch up, in addition to helping out Jade with tracking down Monkey Fist.

It hadn't been an easy term at school - even setting aside Rhonda being gone. With all the running around he'd done, he'd have to put in some serious studying before graduation. He mused as he drove home on the bike, wondering why he was even bothering with classes. He had enough money saved from his mercenary work. But the thought of both his parents giving him 'the look' for not graduating was enough to steel his resolve and plow through.

And he winced, for he'd just driven by the Stoneport house and remembered again that he also had Friday detentions, and the weekend was coming up fast....

Part III: The Mystical Monkey

Kim sat in the Lotus position, staring around at the burning censures of incense and the chimes which hung from every corner. She saw nothing else, and heard nothing but the occasional tinkle of the chimes.

Then she heard her Kimmunicator beeping. She had forgotten to shut it off, and the electronic beeps sounded somehow out of place in the ancient dojo. As nothing else was happening, she didn't think it would hurt to touch base with Wade, and nudged the decorative sleeve up her wrist. 'What's the sitch?' she said.

Wade's face glowed in the tiny screen on her wrist. 'So you got the kimono on all right.' he said. 'I guess you of all people should be wearing a Kim-ono. Where are you?'

'I'm 'meditating' in an old shrine at Yamanouchi.' she said, yawning. 'I've been here for nearly two hours.'

'Didn't mean to interrupt.' Wade said.

'You're not interrupting much.' Kim said, looking around again at the empty dojo. 'What's going on?'

'I just got finished analyzing the fragments of the giant golem.'

'And?'

Wade shrugged. 'I wish it could be like a detective show where I say 'this kind of rock only exists in one place'. But it's just plain, solid granite through and through. There's other kinds of rock marbled into it, but this composition of stone exists in nearly every part of the world. There's no way to trace it to any one location.'

'Figures.' Kim muttered. 'This whole caper has been like that - dead ends one after another. And it feels like I'm in another one right now.'

'So no 'Mystical Monkeys' have shown up?' said Wade.

'No.' said Kim. 'And I'm starting to think Grimm was just pulling my leg - again. Except that Master Sensei is playing along. I should be out looking for Monkey Fist - instead I'm sitting in a dojo trying to talk to an invisible monkey.' She shook her head. 'How am I supposed to 'commune' with a Mystical Monkey anyway? Am I supposed to say, 'hey Mystical Monkey' or something....?'

'Hello.' came a voice behind her.

Kim yelped, whirling around. 'Kim?' said Wade. 'What's wrong?'

'I'll... call you later.' she said, and turned off the Kimmunicator.

Kim gaped, for there, seated in the lap of the bhudda statue, was a large monkey. It looked about the size of a young human being, though shorter since it was hunched over. It was dressed in an ornate robe, just like Sensei's. In it's hand it held a short staff, the tip of which was tied with a pair of decorative ribbons which trailed down like cobwebs. It's fur was brown with some white patches at the forearms and feet and around it's face. The face looked very old - wrinkled like a prune, and it had thick white sideburns that trailed down in front of it's ears.

But the eyes were very piercing and intelligent. The monkey stared at Kim, it's expression curious. 'Wh.. where did you come from?' she said.

The monkey raised a bushy, white eyebrow. 'Hey - you in my house, red!' it said, the voice sounding male, but rather squeaky, and he spoke with a very thick oriental accent. 'I ask the questions! I the Mystical Monkey. I heard you calling. So what's the deal?'

'You're.. real?' Kim stared in shock. This certainly didn't fit her idea of what the Mystical Monkey would look like, if he was real. After reading the texts and scrolls she had studied about Mystical Monkey Power, she was expecting something..... different.

mystical monkey  

'Of course I real.' said the Mystical Monkey, getting down from his seat and sauntering over towards Kim with a lumbering gait. 'How 'bout you, Red? Are you for real? Huh? Are you? Are you?' He started poking at her with his staff, jabbing her in the ribs and knocking her softly on the head. Kim flinched and fended him off for a few moments before he stopped poking. 'Ok, so we both know we real now.' he said at last. 'You came here to talk with me. So what's on your mind?'

Kim dredged the mission details back into her brain, fighting through her surprise. 'Sensei told me I should come to you for wisdom.' she said.

'Yeah, Sensei....' said the Mystical Monkey, rubbing his chin. 'He nice guy. Good fashion sense.'

'I need to know how to save Ron.' she said, but then stopped abruptly, wondering if the Mystical Monkey even knew who Ron was. The words Chosen One and Ron just didn't seem to go together in her mind, but they sounded more mystical and formal. 'The Chosen One.' she went on. 'Can you help me?'

'Mmmm.' said the Mystical Monkey. 'I could help. Thing is, you not the Chosen One. I wouldn't talk to you at all, but you very close to the Chosen One. He think about you all the time.'

'He does?' said Kim, feeling a rush of happiness at the thought.

'Yeah, it kinda boring,' said the Mystical Monkey, shrugging his robed shoulders. 'Like watching the same movie over and over again. But you mean a lot to him, so I come when you call.'

'Then... you'll help me?' she said, her heart pounding with wild hope.

'Hey, I don't just give my wisdom away, red!' said the Mystical Monkey, shaking a long, knobby finger. 'There will be a price.'

Kim frowned. She remembered that Grimm said the Great Bear had demanded a price from him in exchange for his strength - and that price had weakened him. She braced herself, thinking of Ron. 'Name it.' she said.

The Mystical Monkey stared at her. 'Nacos.' he said.

'What?' said Kim, baffled.

'The Chosen One - he always want to eat Nacos. All the time it 'naco naco naco'! I just wanna see what all the fuss is about!'

Kim stood dithering. 'Uh...' she said, realizing how stupid she sounded. 'I... don't have any here.' she said.

The Mystical Monkey waved at her dismissively. 'That my price, red. You make with the Nacos, then we talk!' He turned and tottered back towards the bhudda statue, walking around behind as if he were going to circle around it.

Kim rushed forward after him. 'Wait!' she called, rounding the statue. 'How do I....?'

But she stopped abruptly. In the brief instant in which the Mystical Monkey had passed out of her line of sight, he had disappeared. She leaned back and forth, checking both sides of the statue, but he was gone.

Kim emerged from the dojo and stepped blindly down the stairs, a dazed look on her face. Sensei was there, and he stared at her curiously. 'Kim Possible.' he said in his deep, soothing voice. 'What has happened? Have you made contact with the Mystical Monkey?'

Kim shook her head, seeming to come to herself. 'Y...yes.' she said.

Sensei nodded. 'And... what did he tell you?'

Kim looked bewildered, running a hand across her forehead. 'He... wants Nacos.' she said.

To her surprise, Sensei actually chuckled softly. 'I see he has not changed.' he said. 'When I first communed with the Mystical Monkey in my youth, he wanted me to bring him rice cakes before he would share his wisdom.'

Kim shook her head. 'But there isn't a Bueno Nacho anywhere near Yamanouchi.' said Kim. 'By the time we got to one, made the order and hiked back they'd be stone cold. And when do they even open in Japan?'

'Do not fear, Kim Possible.' said Sensei, and he snapped his fingers. Two black-clad ninja appeared as if from nowhere, kneeling behind Sensei with their heads bowed. Sensei turned and nodded to them slightly. They nodded back, and then seemed to vanish as quickly as they'd appeared. He turned back to Kim. 'The entire resources of the Yamanouchi School are at your disposal in this matter. You will find a helicopter behind the rear courtyard, and it will be manned with pilots who will aid you in your noble quest... for Nacos.'

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Inside the hidden mountain lair, Dr. Drakken directed a small army. The labors were now moving fast. With the destruction of the Ubergolem, a number of the golems who had sculpted it were now free, and had swelled the numbers working on construction of the full sized Ultra-Atmospheric Jammer.

He even managed to settle into a routine which seemed to be working well - having the golems do the heavy lifting and metal bending for a while, and then making them back off so he could go in and do the fine-tuning, in addition to adding the circuitry, wiring and components. He felt for a while as if he were back in control of the Cupcake factories, with his henchmen working efficiently for a change.

Though the thought made him pause for a second. He'd been gone from his own lair for days now. As reliable and loyal as his henchmen normally were, he suspected they had all abandoned the lair - and assuming they'd left the front door unlocked, he was sure to have a big mess to clean up when he got back..

And that also made him wonder. When would he be allowed back? Maze and Monkey Fist now had him working full bore on the Jammer, and they seemed to have given him free reign - though he was sure they had ordered Shegolem to keep an eye on him. With no communication allowed, and under the sleepless watch of the golems, he felt more like a captive than a partner.

He sniffed at their arrogance - they weren't even there watching over his efforts. They had taken a small number of golems and were engaged in what they said was 'another project'. But as far as Drakken had observed, this project had none of the scale or grandeur of the Ubergolem. They had simply been stacking boxes filled with massive numbers of small spikes like nails with the heads clipped off - millions of them.

And they had been using the computer monitors and Maze's shadow passages to transport these boxes. He'd caught glimpses on the monitors of several major cities across the world - Paris, Moscow, Washington, Peking and hundreds of others. Sometimes they had used the mini-Jammer, but always they had double-checked with Dr. Drakken to make sure that it was powered low enough to avoid detection by Wade. He caught occasional mutters between them about 'global saturation', and 'strategic locations', but nothing that led him towards any clear idea what their plan was.

He thought back to his own plan with the Diablo robots - and all the little parts of that plan which Shego had put up on a computer screen in an effort to try and guess his ultimate intentions. And he tried to apply the same reasoning while he worked on the full size Jammer.

'Once the big Jammer is done, they can use it to take control of the world's satellites,' he thought as he welded parts and equipment in place on the superstructure of the Jammer. 'The threat of a global network outage would be enough to make a number of countries surrender... But what's with the nails then? Are they setting up little antennae all over the place to boost the Jammer's signals? So they can use Monkey Fist's petrifying gimmick against larger targets? No, they haven't taken long enough on any of their jaunts to do more than just dump the boxes and leave. Curious.... What's their final game I wonder?'

Maze and Monkey Fist had promised him 'a place in the new world order' once their plan was finished. But if the caper so far was any indication, the new world order was going to be horribly boring.

Drakken glowered. There was just something missing from all this. Where was the banter, the insults? Where was the fun? And he glanced aside to look at Shego, who stood rigid and silent, waiting for orders. He sighed, shook his head, and lowered the visor on his welding mask before returning to work.

Part IV: The Fate That Launched A Thousand Chips

It was the most mundane and therefore the weirdest 'quest' Kim had ever been on. The black helicopter had flown Kim swiftly through the afternoon sky to the nearest city and landed in the middle of the street in front of a Bueno Nacho restaurant, much to the amazement of passing pedestrians who gawked from the sidewalks.

Kim, feeling very conspicuous, entered Bueno Nacho to make her order. The attendants in the restaurant stared out more at the helicopter than they had at her, and numbly handed Kim her order after she had haltingly pointed to various items on the backlit menu behind the counter. She gave them what she hoped was enough money, and returned to the copter, which sped her back up into the air.

She clutched the warm bag and the cold soda caddy through the flight, a thousand doubts swirling in her mind. She usually ordered salad, so she wasn't sure what kind of Naco the Mystical Monkey would want. In the end, she had simply picked a triple order of what Ron normally ate, and hoped it would be sufficient.

She had changed back into her mission clothes for the 'quest', and didn't know if she should change back before returning to the dojo. As long as it took her to get into the kimono, she figured she shouldn't waste any time changing lest the Nacos get stale.

At Sensei's encouraging nod, Kim went back into the dojo alone. The still atmosphere hadn't changed with it's tinkling chimes. The frosted window panels which had glowed white in the morning were now deepening to yellow. She looked around, but there was no sign of the Mystical Monkey.

'Hello?' she called out. Nothing happened. She walked in further, looking behind the bhudda statue, seeing nothing shadows. 'Hello?' she called out again, a little louder.

'What you looking for, red?' came a squeaky voice, and the Mystical Monkey was peering around her from behind, looking where she was looking.

Kim yelped and jumped, and the Mystical Monkey did so as well. 'Why you always yell like that, red?' he said, backing away from her slowly. 'What's wrong wit' you?'

Kim sighed, letting her heartbeat slow down a moment before answering. 'Great Mystical Monkey,' she said, still unsure of how formal she was supposed to act in front of him. 'I have returned from my quest and...'

'Yeah, yeah, yeah, long time no see.' said the Mystical Monkey, waving his hand impatiently. 'You got the stuff?'

Kim held out the bag as she approached him. The Mystical Monkey sniffed and his face brightened. 'Smell good!' he said, as Kim opened the bag and handed him a Naco. The Mystical Monkey opened the wrapper and breathed deeply. 'Mmmm!' he hummed, then he unwrapped it completely. 'Hey, it fits right in your palm!' he squeaked excitedly. Then he nibbled a crisp corner. He smacked his lips for a moment, then took a full sized bite. Then he was stuffing the Naco into his face eagerly, spilling crumbs and some tomato chunks onto the floor. Once finished, he licked his empty palm. 'You got more?' he said, and Kim handed him the bag. The Mystical Monkey plunged his hand into the bag and took out another wrapped Naco. 'Ooooh, gimmegimmegimmegimme!' he cackled.

Kim watched as he devoured another Naco, the sound of crunching and smacking mixed in weirdly with the tinkling bells of the dojo. At last, the Mystical Monkey slowed down, and was waving a hand at his throat. Kim guessed why and took the soda out of the cardboard carrying case, handing it to him. 'I wasn't sure what kind you like....' she said, but the Mystical Monkey was chugging eagerly through the straw. He paused a moment.

'Ooooh, and it bubbles on the tongue - that is so cool!' he slurped loudly, then paused again, looking up at Kim. 'Oh yeah, I forgot, I supposed to be dignified - hold on a second!' He lurched to the statue and sat back down in the lotus position, with the Naco bag on one side of his knees and the soda cup on the other.

He cleared his throat and closed his eyes. 'Ok.' he said, putting his hands up with his fingers curled in a meditating position. 'Your offering has pleased the Mystical Monkey....' he said, his voice now sounding mysterious and sage. 'You may approach with your questions.'

Kim stepped forward and, not knowing if she should kneel or not, she got down on one knee, bowing her head for good measure. 'Great Mystical Monkey....' she said.

'Present!' said the Mystical Monkey, reaching for the soda glass and taking another loud slurp.

'I seek to rescue Ron Stoppable - your Chosen One - from the spirit realm. Will you help me?'

The Mystical Monkey pursed his lips, staring at her and tapping his chin. 'I think I can help.' he said, nodding.

Kim felt elated. If this weird monkey could actually bring him back it would all be worth it. 'Thank you!' she said. 'You're the greatest!'

'Hey, don't thank me yet, red!' said the Mystical Monkey. 'I said I think I can help! There a difference.'

'Well... is there anything you need from me?' said Kim.

The Mystical Monkey kept staring at her as if sizing her up. 'Actually, yeah.' he said. 'But this not gonna be easy. Gonna take time to set up....' He picked up the last Naco and stuffed it greedily into his mouth, munching hard for a few seconds, then he washed it down with a pull at the soda straw. 'OK - come back tomorrow morning red. We start early.'

Kim was taken aback by the abrupt dismissal. She got up and moved toward the dojo exit, then paused and looked back. 'Should I do anything to prepare?' she said uncertainly. 'Like... meditate or something?'

The Mystical Monkey had gotten down from the statue, picking up the soda cup and shambling around the statue's side again. He seemed distracted, and surprised by Kim's question. 'Meditate?' he said, narrowing his bushy eyebrows. 'Yeah sure, why not?' Then he shrugged and disappeared behind the statue again, and Kim knew he had vanished.

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Later, Kim lay on the thin padded mattress on the floor of her room, listening to the night sounds which seemed to circle around the Yamanouchi School. The sound of the air stirring, the sound of leaves wafting in distant trees, and the occasional soft tread of a passing footstep. She had spent the rest of the day going over more scrolls in the library, and joining some of the students in training, just to keep her mind focused. She even managed to snatch her evening meal neatly from the grasp of the lunch lady ninja.

But her meeting with the Mystical Monkey remained in the back of her mind. She mulled over the experience, fighting her disappointment. Truth be told, she felt let down. This Mystical Monkey so far hadn't displayed much in the way of mystical powers. His unexpected appearances and disappearances didn't seem far beyond the skill of the other ninja students. True, she'd never seen a talking monkey before...

But she had thought, once the Mystical Monkey agreed to help, that he would wave his staff in the air with sparkling lights or something. And that Ron would reappear in the dojo, bemused and befuddled, but safe.

And he was supposed to be a mystical entity. Why would a mystic need time to prepare? And what was he preparing? As sleep crept closer, she resolved that whatever the Mystical Monkey had in store, she would be ready. 'I'm Kim Possible - and I can do anything!' she thought, 'Bring it on, monkey boy!'

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In the spirit world, Ron had seen both meetings and was wringing his hands. 'Monkeys!' he wailed. 'Why did it have to be monkeys?'

'Don't be such a baby.' said Rhonda, who was feeling a bit smug after being able to see Grimm pretty much the entire day. Granted, it made for a boring sight, watching him take flights to Japan and back, but it was still nice to just look at something that wasn't Ron or shadows. 'It's stupid to be scared of an animal like that.'

Ron had a sour look on his face, then pointed desperately behind Rhonda. 'Look out, a bear!' he shrieked.

Rhonda let out an ear-rending scream, throwing her hands over her head and cowering. Then she heard Ron's laughter and quickly got up with an equally sour glare. 'That wasn't funny!' she said. 'Besides, bears are scarier than monkeys - you never hear about people getting eaten by monkeys while they're out camping!'

'Come on, bears are more friendly looking! The National Forest mascot isn't 'Smokey the Monkey!'

'Oh yeah? Look at a bear's teeth - look at their claws! You think they just go around eating nothing but honey and berries?'

'Monkeys are scarier!' said Ron.

'Are not!' said Rhonda.

'Are too!'
'Are not!'
'Are too!'
'Are not!'
'Are too!'

Unheeded by either, the darkness had deepened. The images of Kim and Grimm faded and disappeared. It wasn't until the shadows surrounded them like a smothering blanket that they seemed to notice. They both looked around in sudden silence, fear edging into their faces.

'Ok, ok...' said Rhonda, dropping back into a meditative sitting position. 'I get it - bad vibes....'

'Yeah.' said Ron, following her lead. He looked up around into the surrounding shadows with a nervous wave. 'Sorry about that, darkness dudes...'

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Kim had entered Toshimiru's dojo early that morning and found the Mystical Monkey waiting for her. Without speaking, he gestured to her and began walking in a clumsy, lurching saunter. He wobbled as he descended the steps, using his staff to steady himself while Kim followed.

The main courtyard was already full of students, busy with their morning training. Kim expected a lot of staring, but was surprised when no one, not even Sensei, turned to look at her. None of them looked at the Mystical Monkey either, even though he loudly clattered and tottered his way past, practically within arms' reach of the rope climbing station.

She tried waving at Hirotaka, who was walking by on the battlements doing patrols, but he didn't react in any way. She wondered if no one could see them - or if they were under orders from Master Sensei to ignore them.

They made their way into the sheltered rear courtyard, which seemed dimmer than the outer courtyards. This was partly because they were nearer to the uncarved section of the mountain which rose behind the school, and was lined with thick, leafy trees. And partly because the buildings in front of the rear courtyard blocked some of the sunlight which flooded the training areas.

This section seemed more devoted to meditation training than fighting. There was a rock garden, as well as a trickling waterfall. And near the back wall, there was a large stone fountain with a surrounding pool. There was no one else present.

The Mystical Monkey stopped by the edge of the fountain and turned to face her. 'OK red,' he said, cracking his knuckles and looking up at her intently. 'You want Chosen One back?'

'Yes.' said Kim firmly.

The Mystical Monkey paused and eyed her, as if he wasn't quite convinced. 'You do whatever it takes to get him back - no matter how tough?' he said, staring straight into her eyes.

'Yes.' said Kim.

'Are you ready to take the journey?' he said, pointing at her with one furry finger.

'Yes.' said Kim, starting to wonder how many times she would have to say it before he believed her.

'Are you ready to go the distance?' he said, clenching both his fists and shaking them.

'Yes!' said Kim, getting impatient.

'Are you ready to get your feet wet?' he shouted, dancing in place and waving his staff in the air above his head.

'Yes!' said Kim, trying to sound just as enthused as he did.

The Mystical Monkey hopped up onto the rim of the fountain, pointing his hand dramatically towards the horizon. 'Then follow me!!' he said loudly. Kim stared in amazement as he threw down his staff and jumped into the fountain, plunging into the water and moving through the pool towards a raised sculpture in the middle.

Eventually he paused and looked back at Kim. 'What you waiting for red?' he said. 'Feet wet! What I just say?'

Wondering how on Earth this was going to help, Kim gingerly stepped over the fountain rim and eased herself into the water, which rose up past her knees. The Mystical Monkey was in nearly to his shoulders, the parts of his robes which were submerged billowed under the water.

When she reached him, he sank nearly to his chin. 'Sit.' he said simply.

Kim winced, the cold mountain water biting her skin as she lowered herself to a sitting position. She caught her breath as the water rose past her stomach and to her chest. The Mystical Monkey was in up to his neck, his eyes were closed and he seemed to be meditating. Kim settled herself beside him, waiting.

At last he spoke again, and his voice had taken on a soothing, dream-like quality. 'In order to save Chosen One, you must learn to flow like water.' he said. 'Very important. Meditate with me, Kim Possible, and try to become one with the water....'

But all Kim felt was chilly. 'How?' she said, trying to stop her teeth from chattering.

'Relax...' came the squeaky, but soothing voice. 'Close your eyes. Focus on nothing but the water...'

Kim sighed and closed her eyes.

'Concentrate on the sound of the water....' the Mystical Monkey chanted. 'It's calm... it's peace. Feel how it flows... flowingly.... with it's wonderful, peaceful flowey-ness...'

Kim didn't 'feel' like water, she felt like a fool. She was glad Bonnie wasn't there, and also glad that none of the other Yamanouchi students were watching. She didn't really know them well but the thought of Hirotaka or Yori looking at her while she sat chest high in a chilly fountain, trying to become 'one' with the water....

'Do you feel the flowey-ness....?' Came the voice of the Mystical Monkey.

Kim grimaced. The cold was really starting to sink in, and she felt her arms and legs beginning to shiver. 'This is for Ron.' she thought fiercely. 'Don't think about how stupid it is, just do it for Ron....' She tried to think past her physical discomfort. She focused on the sound of the fountain as water drops splashed softly around the sculpture. It was peaceful - it was the only sound in the dim and sheltered courtyard. She felt the water lapping around her arms and torso and soon imagined that she could feel outside herself a little bit...

Just as she was thinking that she might be getting somewhere, she felt a wet, hairy arm wind around her neck, while another hand clamped around her shoulder. Before she knew what was happening, she felt her head plunging beneath the surface of the water, and took a swift gasp of air.

All sound was muffled, including the sound of her own grunts as she struggled to break free. The Mystical Monkey's arms felt like iron bands and she couldn't even budge his fingers as he kept her held firmly against the bottom of the fountain. She could feel her clutching fingers breaking the surface of the pool, with air just beyond her reach.

She started kicking with her legs, but felt the five-fingered foot of the Mystical Monkey gripped tight around one ankle, and she couldn't get enough leverage to push him loose. Her lungs started burning as her breath became more stale, the need for oxygen sending waves of panic through her.

the lesson

She strained and twisted with all her might, fighting to break free, but it was no use. She felt herself starting to black out, and she thought bitterly that this was not the end she had envisioned for her crime-fighting career. Getting bushwhacked by a talking monkey while trying to meditate... she would almost have rather been finished off by Frugal Lucre. She thought about her parents, her brothers, about Monique and Rufus who were still waiting in Riddleton... And one last thought crossed her mind as darkness seemed to surround her. 'Ron....!'

Then she was above the surface of water again. Air rushed into her eager lungs. She sputtered and gasped for several seconds, her vision coming rapidly back into focus. The Mystical Monkey was patting her on the back, holding her up, and helping her catch her breath again.

'What... was... that for?' Kim wheezed as soon as she could, knocking his hand away angrily. 'I said I wanted Ron back, I didn't ask to be nearly drowned! What kind of crazy spirit guide are you?'

The Mystical Monkey stared at her, and his face looked grave and disappointed. 'This one of the oldest lessons in the book and you didn't get it.' he said, shaking his head. 'You are not ready to save Chosen One.'

Kim's mouth fell open in protest. 'What?' she said. 'What are you talking abou...'

The Mystical Monkey held up his hand, silencing her. 'When you want Chosen One back as badly as you wanted to breathe... then you will be ready.'

Kim stared back at him in stunned silence.

'Think it over, red.' The Mystical Monkey hopped out of the fountain, picked up his staff and started shambling back towards the dojo, leaving a wet trail as water dripped and spilled from his robes and fur. 'Come back tomorrow - we start early.' he disappeared past the entrance of the courtyard, but a second later his head popped out again. 'And bring more Nacos!' he called to her. 'That very important - spirit stuff will... uh, not work without more Nacos!' Then he was gone.

 
Coming Soon:
Chapter 26