in the back of another hypersonic jet. The helicopter at Yamanouchi
had taken her straight to an airport, where the jet had been waiting,
along with two ninja pilots. The dedication of the Yamanouchi students
was funny at times - even though the pilots were uniformed and wearing
flight helmets, they still kept on their ninja hoods. And Kim had a
slight surprise during the flight when another ninja seemed to pop up
out of nowhere, poised as if to attack. But his hands blurred quickly
into his billowing sleeves, whipping out a small bag of peanuts and
a can of soda which he presented to Kim, who took them warily.
ninja refreshments - great.' said Kim, nodding to the ninja, who bowed
and vanished as quickly as he had appeared.
from Japan to England took several hours, in which Kim touched base
with Wade. 'So... what will you do if you find Monkey Fist at the manor?'
as usual.' said Kim confidently. 'Bust up whatever racket he's got going,
make him bring Ron back and then cart him off to jail.'
it sound easy.' said Wade, looking nervous.
is!' said Kim, smiling. And she meant it. As long as there was a clear
path in front of her, she'd never worried about what villains might
be at the end of it. She could do anything, a fact which none of her
enemies seemed to 'get'.
stone thing?' said Wade. 'Hirotaka's no slouch at martial arts - but
he said Monkey Fist beat him easy.'
eyes glinted. 'If he's made of stone, it just means he'll break easier.'
she said. 'Remember we took on a whole gang of gargoyles at the second
key shrine, and they're all gravel now.'
'Just remember to get him to bring Ron back before you turn him into
grit for the driveway.'
worry.' Kim said, her voice more serious. 'Whatever he did to Ron, by
the time I'm finished with him, he'll be begging to undo it.' She shut
off the Kimmunicator and sat tapping her heels, checking her chute and
waiting for the ninja pilots to signal that they were at the drop point.
The cavernous lair was silent, with only an occasional falling pebble
interrupting the quiet which filled the high chambers. The banks of
computers and the devices connected to them whirred quietly about their
tunnel-like entrance, there came an approaching sound of heavy footsteps.
Two statues that stood on either side of the entrance ground their heads
on their stone necks as the footsteps became louder and closer.
Fist entered the cavern. His stone arms supported the thin, nearly limp
form of Maze, who staggered weakly to the rough furniture near the computer
station. He sat down in one of the carved chairs, letting out a great
sigh. He let his staff fall next to him and leaned his head back, his
Fist looked at him quietly for a moment, then he strode to the table
where the Overthruster, the Transmat and the Harmonicizer sat connected
and humming. He opened the case containing the Universal Decryption
Matrix and carefully took it out, setting it next to the other devices.
labored in silence, consulting manuals and books before he connected
the UDM to the hub which linked the other devices together. He tried
activating the device several times, fiddling with wires, ports and
switches while looking perplexed and often frustrated. At last he seemed
satisfied as the UDM whirred and lit up.
went to the main computer consoles and carefully checked several websites
as well as readouts from several programs. Monkey Fist looked in satisfaction
at the computer readouts - which tapped into several scanning satellites
as well as Google Earth. On the monitors, each screen showed every nearby
city, highlighted with readouts on their electricity use, incoming and
outgoing transmissions from cell phones, internet and land lines. He
zeroed in on the coordinates of their lair. Nothing was to be seen.
Despite their power usage, the mountain where the lair was set up appeared
just as black and invisible on the scanners as the uninhabited mountains
a rustle and a sigh from the chair where Maze was sitting. 'Ah, feeling
better?' he said, glancing aside.
back at him wearily. 'The pain is easing.' he said. 'Another day or
two and I should be fully recovered.'
to hear it.' said Monkey Fist. 'Soon we will need your peculiar talents
to test the machine. It's initial functions are working well - the lair
is now completely hidden from any surveillance, and all our communications
will be untraceable.'
'And your peculiar talents?' he said, his voice still sounding
raspy and strained. 'We still have not found a way to fully harness
them. That will be crucial.'
be told, you were not even sure I would possess them when you freed
me from my imprisonment.' said Monkey Fist. Maze did not answer. 'As
it happens, your guesses were correct.' Monkey Fist went on. 'This machine
will assist in harnessing them - but it will be incumbent on me to unlock
them so they can be harnessed.'
'Then we should begin training as soon as possible.' he said, making
as if to sit up, but he winced and fell back against the chair.
said Monkey Fist, glancing at him. 'As you say - you still need rest.
And that is just as well, for there is something I need to tend to.'
He turned and began walking back towards the exit, his feet making a
dull thunking noise at every step. 'I will be back before long.' he
said. 'Please do not touch the machines while I'm away.'
fighting up to a full sitting position. 'Maokiiwa - Where are
you going? said Maze, his voice suspicious. 'You cannot travel openly
in that state without attracting attention, and I cannot mask you again
until I have recovered! It was all I could manage to conceal us until
we returned here....'
'My ninja skills will be enough for concealment.' said Monkey Fist,
pausing and looking back. 'I must return to the manor. I'm expecting....
company.' Then he vanished into the tunnel, his footsteps echoing
to silence as Maze stared after him.
Probable strode out from Chief Sakituya's cabin at Kamp Kwitcherbeliakin.
His expression was one of disappointment, and fear, as well as steely
determination. Rueful chittered softly from his perch on the handlebars
of the bike outside as Grimm took out his communicator. He punched in
a set of numbers and paused. There was a dial tone and a click, then
the still, pine scented air of the camp was pierced by a tinny voice
from the speakers.
reached the offices of Credible Investigations, paranormal researchers
and exterminators. We're not here right now but if you leave a message
with your name, number and what kind of otherwordly problem you're having
we'll get back to you as soon as we can."
winced. 'Figures.' he thought, scowling at the LED screen and
breaking off the connection without leaving a message. 'The arrogant
little twerp keeps turning up when I don't need her, and now in the
one sitch where she might actually be useful, she's nowhere to be found.'
again, and Jade's voice answered. 'Yo - GP!' she said, her voice sounding
anxious. 'What'd he say?'
paused, looking like he wasn't sure how to answer. At last he shrugged.
'I'll fill you in later.' he said. 'Right now I've got some... hiking
to do. It could be a while before I get back - in the meantime, keep
analyzing the data we've already got.' Jade nodded, then Grimm shut
off the communicator.
doubtfully back towards Sakituya's cabin, and then turned to the Ksikkihkíni.
From the trunk he took a pack and supplies, then he wheeled the bike
to a storage cabin and secured it, activating the defense mechanisms.
Then he hoisted his pack, checked several files on his communicator,
and left on foot, taking one of the hiking trails and plunging into
the surrounding forest with Rueful scurrying behind him.
sat at a small desk in his room at Monkey Fist's manor. He looked around,
taking in the familiar surroundings of the building in which he and
his family had served the Fiskes for generations. From the external
surroundings, he then moved to internal reflection. He sighed, remembering
happier times when his master had been a famed archeologist and the
name of Fiske was honored and respected.
had been good days, recalling to his mind the stories his grandfather
had told him of the times when the sun never set on the British Empire.
Safaris, the collecting of artifacts and journeys of exploration were
the sport of nobles then, and the Fiskes had been among the greatest.
not minded journeying with Lord Montgomery Fiske in those days - indeed
he had been honored to join in the adventures, and to be mentioned in
the reports of them, even if only in passing. The respect and admiration
given to the name of Fiske after a successful recovery was more than
enough to put up with the insect bites, the heat and discomfort of camping
in the wild as well as the long and sometimes fruitless explorations.
matter of the monkey idols had arisen. Whether the idols were mystical
or not, Bates hadn't known or cared. But from the moment his master
had collected all four of the idols, it was as if they had set a curse
on the Fiske family.
been bad enough when his master had gone to that horrible DNAmy woman
and had his hands and feet genetically altered. At least he had kept
it secret at first. But after the defeat of his master by that blond
haired interloper, everything had come out.
Fiske had gone from being a respected member of the community to being
the looney with monkey hands. While his master may have been respected
by the villains and ne'er-do-wells of the world, his reputation at home
had gone, for lack of a better phrase, straight down the loo. But still
Bates had kept at his job, partly from family tradition, and partly
because it still paid well. He could endure the taunts and whispers
he heard from the townsfolk when running errands to maintain the manor,
which grew steadily worse every time 'Monkey Fist' made the news for
his schemes or his capture at the hands of a teenage girl. But it had
been partly a relief when his master had disappeared for a time after
setting out to seek some shrine to the Ono, or the Yo-yo, or some such
master had returned. Bates would normally have been delighted, but the
changes that had come over Monty Fiske had only caused his fears to
increase rather than diminish. For the last few weeks he had grown increasingly
worried, wondering what madness the manor might soon become a staging
platform to enact. And he found he could no longer endure the uncertainty,
the seemingly never-ending descent of the Fiske name into ignominy and
disrepute. He had quietly been winding up his affairs and there were
only a few more things to set in order.
sighed and sit down, taking up his pen and pausing every so often, wondering
how to best phrase what he was writing.
It is with the deepest regret that I inform you I can no longer continue
in my current position. I hereby tender my resignation, effective immediately.
Sincerely, your servant
Arthur Alistair Bates, Esq.
over the paper, which represented the termination of nearly a hundred
years tradition in his family. He was wondering whether there was some
better way to say it, when he suddenly heard a heavy knocking at the
across the foreboding cobblestone bridge leading from the grounds to
Monkey Fist's manor. 'Been a while since I was here.' she thought
briefly. 'Even though it wasn't really me, it was holo-me.' She
had parachuted down to a perfect landing on the grounds outside the
manor, stowing her chute and putting her helmet over the face of a garden
bust of Monty Fiske.
In a strange
way, she felt coming here was somehow closing the loop. It was in a
secret chamber beneath this manor where Ron had first been gifted with
the Mystical Monkey Power. She remembered hearing Ron's yelping screams
through her Kimmunicator as he was being chased by the genetically altered
criminal. She remembered the feeling of utter helplessness, being thousands
of miles away from Ron while he was in danger, unable to do anything
about it. And then her cousin Larry had taken the Kimmunicator and given
Ron the cryptic instruction to remember the Cloud Guardian from Fortress.
next thing she knew, she was listening in amazement as Ron reported
that Monkey Fist had been defeated and he needed the police to come
help clean things up. She'd never given the Mystical Monkey Power much
thought after that. Yet it was a thread that had run through Ron's life
from the moment he had stepped into the circle of the four Monkey idols
within this manor.
itself reminded Kim of a Transylvanian castle, but without the gargoyles
and thunderstorms. It had a slightly more homey look to it, with latticed
windows shining yellow on the upper floors through the dim twilight.
Kim took the heavy brass knocker in her hand and heard the echoing hammer
of metal against wood as it rolled through the unseen hallways behind
for nearly a minute before she heard a lock clicking, and then the door
creaked open. She saw the short, rotund form of Bates peering around
the doorway. Bates saw Kim and his mustached face sprang into a look
of sudden worry. 'Bingo.' she thought. 'He knows something.'
seemed on the verge of slamming the door in her face, but Kim pushed
her way into the manor without waiting and he began stammering through
the usual displays of unnecessary British courtesy. 'Ah... Ms. Possible.
To what do I owe this unexpected...'
at him. 'Where is he?' she said, and was pleased to see his tan complexion
turning several shades paler.
who?' said Bates, with poorly feigned confusion. 'I'm afraid I don't
know what you're talking ab..... Ms. Possible, I beg your pardon!' Kim
had turned from him and was heading towards the stairs. 'I say Ms. Possible,
this is an intrusion! I must insist...!'
followed at her heels, protesting every step of the way until she reached
the upstairs study, following the floor plans Wade had uploaded to her
Kimmunicator. She looked around the study, opening drawers, checking
behind wall paintings, looking for any evidence of current activity.
lady, if you do not stop this vandalism I will be forced to call the
police!' Bates said, as Kim swept a number of articles off of the desk
to check beneath the blotter.
to glare at him. 'You do that!' she said. 'Let's get as many
bobbies down here as you can gather! That way we can have them help
search the place for your monkey-fisted boss!' And as he blanched even
whiter, she knew that the last thing he wanted was to have a house full
of policemen. 'But we don't even need to do that, do we?' she said.
'You know where he is!'
hands were shaking and his eyes were wide. Sweat was beading on his
forehead. 'You... you must leave immediately!' he said, and his voice
sank to a pleading whisper.
leaving until I find him!' Kim shouted. 'You think I'm fooling around?
Note serious face!'
is he?' she said, raising her voice even higher, and Bates finally
seemed to crack.
I don't know where he is now!' he answered, shaking even harder. 'He
came back to the manor several weeks ago, but he only stayed long enough
to reorganize his affairs!'
right in front of him, seizing his collar in one fist. 'What do you
he's planning something - larger and more ambitious than anything I've
ever known from him before - but he wouldn't tell me what it was. He
emptied all of his accounts and transferred the funds somewhere else
because he knew they could be traced! Then he ordered me to look after
the manor and simply disappeared, that's all I know, I swear!' He looked
utterly terrified, glancing from side to side as he continued. 'Ms.
Possible, you're in great danger as long as you stay here! He comes
back periodically, but only to make sure I'm following orders - I think
he has been expecting you to come....'
darkly. 'Well he got that much right!' she said.
He's not the same as you remember him! You must leave, I beg you!'
a recessed alcove, nearly black in it's shaded darkness, Kim heard a
smooth voice. 'Thank you, Bates.' Bates flinched, looking behind him.
'So good of you to escort the cheer squad to my study.' said
the voice, sounding amused and sarcastic. 'Wait outside, I will now
entertain our guest.' And from the shadows, a figure emerged. His outfit
was slightly different, a bit more stylized than she remembered. His
skin was rough and gray, but there was no mistaking the person who now
stood by the fireplace with a relaxed smiled on his face.