And for the first time since arriving at the school, Monkey Fist felt alarmed. Did they really know where the lair was? If the buffoon was as clumsy and lucky as he remembered, then it was a real possibility that the Jammer might be destroyed. That would free world communications, as well as crippling their ability to petrify more cities. And if Maze was defeated and captured.... 'How irksome.' he said. 'This means I must speed things up here even faster so I can go back and deal with your boyfriend! And as for you Ms. Fatigable, you'll regret siding with the heroes!'
'Hey, you're the one who...' Rhonda sputtered. But Monkey Fist's eyes were glowing brightly.
'Watch it!' Kim shouted, and she dove to the side, pulling Rhonda with her as another petrification beam shot past them.
Rhonda yelped and hopped as she ran behind Kim, with bursts of Yono power sailing past them. They jumped and dived over a pile of bricks and stones made by the rubble of the ruined wall. A flash of yellow light illuminated the rocks, but they were untouched. Another blast came, and then another, but they remained protected behind the broken stones.
'What was with the intro?' Kim snapped. 'You were supposed to do a sneak attack and hit him with the Spirit Strike when he wasn't looking!'
'Sorry.' said Rhonda, looking flustered. 'But Chief Sakituya said I should do what comes naturally - and you have to admit, that 'who are you' was a perfect setup!'
Another blast came, only this one tore apart the rubble, forming a gash between Kim and Rhonda. Monkey Fist had used the power of destruction again. They rolled to the side, with Rhonda cringing behind her now-smaller pile of rocks. 'Now what?' she wailed. 'I'll never get a clean shot like this!'
'I've still got a couple of tricks left, thanks to Wade.' Kim said. 'But call Rueful - I'll need your help.' Rhonda nodded, fishing a silent whistle from her necklace.
Monkey Fist re-focused his anger, preparing to unleash another destructive blast. Just as he felt the Yono's power rising, he saw a flash of white and blue darting out from behind one of the piles of rubble. 'No, Kim Possible.' he thought. 'I will not be distracted from the real threat!' And with a blinding flash, he sent another wave of destructive power at the other pile of bricks, where he was sure Rhonda was hiding.
The blast turned the stones to powder, and a cloud of dust rose, filling the area with a haze that fogged the courtyard. Monkey Fist rushed forward, his fist raised, in case the blast hadn't finished Rhonda. He reached the mass of pulverized rock, but could not see anyone. As the dust settled, he saw behind the rocks there was a dark spot on the ground, which he realized was a hole.
The ground beneath him trembled. There was a roar like a bear, and with a flash of blue light, Rhonda burst out from the ground beneath Monkey Fist. He tumbled in the air, landing heavily on the ground next to the hole he had blasted in the outer wall. He surged back to his feet, his fists clenched. 'You think that makes you clever?' he shouted. 'That you actually managed to pull off such a hackneyed trick as hiding in a foxhole....'
He paused, for there was a soft thud, and he saw a gray metal ball lying on the ground at his feet, which had fallen from above. He looked up and saw a long-tailed weasel waving down at him with a chittering laugh. There was a loud pop, and Monkey Fist was splattered with a thin layer of white as the Moo Goo grenade exploded.
'Way to go Rueful!' Rhonda shouted. Monkey Fist was flailing as the Moo Goo expanded, encasing him in a cocoon of foam. She brought her hands together, chanting and concentrating with all her might.
Monkey Fist stopped struggling as the foam covered him from head to toe, blotting out all sound and vision. He knew he couldn't fight his way out with strength alone. He imagined Kim's face in his mind, using the image to build up his anger again. As the anger increased, he felt the Yono's power rising within him.
Kim saw the balloon of Moo Goo bubbling as a core of yellow light seemed to grow within it. Then with a shout of rage, the foam was blasted apart and Monkey Fist emerged. His angry face made him seem almost feral as he got his bearings, looking around for someone to attack.
But Rhonda was bearing down on him, her hand drawn behind her, each finger surrounded with blue light. Her voice came in a shout that rose above even the din of the surrounding battles.
Having been on the receiving end of one of Rhonda's attacks, Kim thought the sight was even more impressive when she didn't have to worry about dodging it. As Rhonda swung her arm at Monkey Fist, there was a sound like a thunderclap and five sickles of light spread from her fingertips. Monkey Fist was only two feet away from Rhonda as the Spirit Strike swept in an arc straight through his chest. He reeled backwards, falling against the wall behind him. He looked down at his body, and across his torso he saw a wide section that was no longer gray or stony. He felt the cold night air against his skin, and saw pale flesh beneath the folds of his outfit.
The fighting all around paused. The Yamanouchi students and even the golems seemed to hesitate, watching with anticipation to see what the result would be. Kim looked at him in wild hope - it seemed to have worked. The sections of Monkey Fist's body which had been touched by Rhonda's attack seemed to have returned to normal. If she could hit him again before he recovered, they stood a chance of returning him completely to flesh and blood.
Rhonda also saw it, and she started chanting again, getting ready for another strike. Then there was a flash of yellow that came from Monkey Fist's left hand. The mark of the Yono was flaring brightly. His stone skin spread out from the parts of his body that were still covered, smothering and covering his chest until his whole body was stone again.
Monkey Fist glared at Rhonda in surprise, but also relief. 'A nice try.' he said. 'Sskipoyiwa warned that your powers were dangerous to me, but it seems I cannot be forced off the path of the Yono so easily.' He turned to Kim. 'So you thought to make me flesh again - to weaken me? Well, there is still hope for your plan.' he said with a smug grin. 'Just take my hand, and agree to walk the Yono's path in my place.'
'Not gonna happen.' said Kim, glaring.
'Then it's back to doing this the hard way.' Monkey Fist's body glowed, another beam of yellow lashed out.
Kim dodged, tumbling out of the way. 'Hard way?' she said. 'That was easy!'
But Monkey Fist was smirking. 'I wasn't aiming for you.' Kim looked behind her with a gasp. The destructive beam plowed into the multi-storied wing of one of the buildings, and it began to collapse. A number of Yamanouchi ninja were below the building, still occupied in battling the golems.
Kim used her booster soles and sailed up and over, landing in the midst of the fighting. She raised her shield and covered them just as a rain of cornice and stones fell down on them with a mighty crash.
Rhonda saw Kim and the ninja disappear under a cloud of rocks and dust, and she brought her hands together, chanting again. But Monkey Fist seemed to zoom in out of nowhere, propelled by his levitation. His hands gripped Rhonda's and pulled them apart.
'Sskipoyiwa told me everything I need to know about your powers.' he said. 'You can't use your strike if I can bind your hands and stop you from speaking!'
Rhonda grimaced, remembering how Monkey Fist had covered her mouth back in the UNIT labs before they banished her. 'Looks like I'm as strong as you, though.' she said, and indeed they were both quivering in place as if playing a high-intensity game of Mercy. 'You can't trash the school and fight me at the same time!'
'Well observed.' Monkey Fist growled. 'But it does put you in a perfect position for this..!' And Rhonda blanched as his eyes glowed yellow. He was holding her in place, with only a foot or two between their faces, and there was no way she could dodge if he used the power of petrification.
Just as the beams shot out of his eyes, a brown blur tumbled between them. Rhonda wrenched free and pushed hard, falling backwards while Monkey Fist stumbled. There was a thud, and Rhonda looked down to see a small figure lying on the ground next to her.
'Rueful!' she screamed, but the weasel didn't answer. Rueful's petrified body still seemed graceful and lithe as he was frozen while leaping between Monkey Fist and his mistress. Rhonda got to her feet, turning in rage on Monkey Fist. The birthmark on her left shoulder suddenly blazed like a star.
Monkey Fist righted himself. Maze had told him about Rhonda's strength, but he was still surprised that she had broken free from his grip. He concentrated again, marshalling his hatred and preparing to unleash the Yono's power. He heard a female scream, but it seemed somehow mingled with another sound, like a roaring bear.
Rhonda was thundering towards him, and it seemed to Monkey Fist that he saw another figure behind her, the ghostly shade of another girl he didn't recognize. It was a beautiful Indian woman with an identical bear paw mark on her arm. Their movements and posture matched perfectly as Rhonda's fist connected solidly into Monkey Fist's chest.
Kim had lowered her shield soon after the outer face of the building had collapsed. There had not been enough rubble to actually bury them. She and the ninja quickly pushed and heaved the stones away to rejoin the fight. But Kim heard a distant scream and a roar, and then there was a thunderous blast like someone had set off a bomb. She could feel a powerful shockwave pushing through her, and saw Monkey Fist's body sailing through the air. He slammed into another section of the outer wall and blasted through it as if it were made of chalk.
Through the haze of the battle, Kim ran back to Rhonda's side. She was on her knees, cradling something in her hands. 'That was some punch.' Kim said, but Rhonda was crying.
'He hit Rueful..' she sobbed. 'Just like he did with Grimm...'
'We can fix him!' said Kim, though she wasn't really quite sure. 'We just have to stop Monkey Fist!'
'But the Spirit Strike didn't work on him!' she wailed. 'You saw it - that Yono thingy is keeping him petrified!'
'We'll figure something out!' Kim shouted. 'He'll be back any second, and if he petrifies you...'
Rhonda nodded, but she wouldn't let go of Rueful. She carried him towards the center of the courtyard, where Sensei and the Yamanouchi students were fighting off the attacking golems.
'Things go ill, Kim Possible.' said the ninja master. 'The longer this battle goes on, the greater the advantage to Monkey Fist. His golems do not tire, and we cannot hold them off much longer.'
Kim nodded, looking around at the golems and a pair of petrified ninja. Then her eye caught something strange. There was a short, rotund, bearded man in the midst of the ninja, cowering against the base of the statue almost next to her.
'Who are you?' she asked.
The man looked like he was desperately searching for an opening in the attacking golems so he could flee, but he answered in a shaky voice. 'That Monkey Fist blackguard brought me here!' he said in a British accent. 'Don't let him take me again!'
Kim's mouth fell open. 'How come you're not stone?'
'I don't even know for sure how I became stone in the first place!' he shouted. 'But that blonde girl hit me with some kind of light just now, and....' he faltered, his skin going pale as the golems continued pushing closer.
Kim understood at once. 'Stay down!' she said. 'We'll do what we can to protect you!' She turned to Rhonda, who had been listening.
'I must have grazed him when I hit Monkey Fist!' said Rhonda, biting her fingers.
'Your power broke the petrification! You have to hit all the golems directly!'
'But they're everywhere! How can I hit them all...?'
'Can you do a ballerina spin?'
'What?' Rhonda said. 'No - I don't do 'ballerina'!'
'We'll help you!' Kim shouted. 'Get your strike ready and when I give the signal, jump and spin for all you're worth!' Rhonda nodded and gently set Rueful's petrified body down on the pedestal of Toshimiru's statue. Kim looked at Master Sensei, who nodded and turned to Yori. Yori also nodded, and stood so that Rhonda was between Kim and herself.
Part V: The Yono Unleashed
Monkey Fist had felt no actual pain when Rhonda had struck him. But he had been surprised by the sheer force of the blow. He clutched at the ground as he flew through the wall, leaving deep gouges in the stony earth. He barely managed to avoid falling off the edge of a cliff over a dozen yards away from the outer wall. 'It seems I'm not the only one who can use anger to become stronger.' he thought.
He gathered his inner focus, using the power of levitation, and shot across the ground. He circled back towards the main entrance, avoiding the large hole in the outer wall, not wanting to go back in through the hole where they might have prepared a counter-attack.
When he passed through the broken gates, he saw his golems had the Yamanouchi students surrounded. The ninja were hemmed in around the statue of Toshimiru, desperately fending off their attackers. Sensei was there as well, and he appeared to be concentrating, his body surrounded by the spherical glow that he used when meditating and levitating.
From the shadowed concealment of one the dorm rooms, Chief Sakituya nodded silently as he saw Rhonda chanting, and the bear mark on her arm was glowing again. Sensei clapped his hands together, and the glowing sphere slid from himself to Rhonda.
'Go!' Kim shouted.
Rhonda leaped and spun as best she could while still chanting. Kim and Yori braced her and leaped, adding their own strength. They pushed hard and flipped backwards, spinning her even faster.
Besides feeling like she was about to throw up on the teacup ride at Disneyland, Rhonda also felt a strange sensation of guidance. She let her arms spread straight out, and as she hit the ground again, she somehow knew what to say and do.
'Everybody down!' Kim shouted, and she threw herself to the ground.
There was an explosive clap like thunder, and from both of Rhonda's arms, white light was spreading out. Not in curved sickles, but in a glowing ring. It swept through the entire courtyard like a white ripple through a shining pond. It passed through golems, buildings and even the outer wall with a roar like a passing train.
Monkey Fist was so surprised that he forgot to duck, and again he felt cold air as the spirit wave slashed through him. The mark of the Yono glowed and his stone skin reformed, covering the broad stripe that was left across his chest by the attack. Rhonda slumped to the ground, looking exhausted, and Monkey Fist gestured wildly to his golems. 'Take them - take them now!' he shouted.
But none of them moved. Instead, there were flashes of yellow light that rippled across each statue. And the residents of Graniton and Basalton backed away from the Yamanouchi students, squeezing their hands free of the steel bands. 'Do not harm them!' Sensei bellowed. 'They are no longer our enemies.'
'Woo hoo!' Rhonda shouted, jumping back to her feet. 'Bear power rules!' At that moment, several of the dorm buildings, and the pedestal which held up the statue of Toshimiru all fell over. The Spirit Wave had sliced through them, and loud thumps and bangs echoed through the courtyard. 'Oops. Sorry.' she ended lamely.
Monkey Fist stared in amazement. With one move, they had freed his entire army, making him the lone attacker. 'Well - I said I could defeat them myself.' he thought angrily. 'They're really making me put my money where my mouth is.' The Yamanouchi ninja were clustered more closely together, making for an easier target. Another destructive blast would certainly take out a large number. It would mean taking out a number of his slaves as well, but it was a small price to pay in exchange for destroying Kim Possible. He focused his anger, letting it build stronger and stronger. The light of the Yono's power steadily grew, becoming a shimmering flame...
Kim was hurriedly trying to usher the freed golems into following the Yamanouchi students. Master Sensei had quickly ordered a squad of ninja to gather the former golems and hurry them to the back of the school, to somewhere safer. Kim spared a second or two to wonder how exactly Monkey Fist's power and Rhonda's power were clashing.
Grimm's petrification has been broken when she had struck out the emet golem symbols on his hand. But Rhonda's strike had done so without touching the emet symbols. Monkey Fist had nearly been freed from his own petrification after he had been hit. But the Yono's power had pulled him back in. There was something else about the Yono's curse that the Spirit Strike couldn't overcome. Maybe Monkey Fist was right, and the only way to break the Yono's curse was for someone else to agree to take his place.
Back when they had cured Grimm, Jade had said that Maze's golem spell and the Yono's power of petrification seemed to depend on one another once the enchantments were sealed. If Rhonda's power could break the petrification, then the golem enchantment obviously wouldn't work on someone who was flesh and blood....
'I need Wade to come up with a math equation that lays all this out - it's too confusing.' Kim thought. At that instant, she saw a light at the further end of the courtyard near the wrecked gates. Monkey Fist was there, and his entire body was blazing with power.
Kim had no time to think, she merely reacted. She drew all the power from her suit and funneled it into the shield, boosting the field of effect. In an instant the shield expanded, but instead of using it to cover multiple persons, she used it to push everyone who was near her across the courtyard. Then she dropped the shield and dived away.
The attack screamed through their midst, but struck no one. Instead it plowed through the wall, across the grounds, and slammed straight into the Yono shrine. The grotesque structure split down the middle like an apple hit by an axe. Stone decorations, outcroppings and masonry flew in all directions with a deafening roar.
Monkey Fist stood still, dumfounded by his blunder while ninja, former golems and Kim got back to their feet. 'Way to go, genius!' Rhonda taunted, leaning out from behind the fallen statue of Toshimiru. 'You fragged your own house!'
'He did the same thing back in England.' said Kim with a faint smile, remembering her experience at Monkey Fist's manor.