Sunday, May 11, 2014

Being more than a Simulacrum (a Kim Possible fan fiction) (part 2)

[Link to part 1]
[For those unfamiliar with Kim Possible, I have a lengthy footnote on Shego's powers, what "Global Justice" is, and the incident with the tower that has such a profound emotional impact on the clone.]

[The Doctor Sound backstory based, with permission, on Blackbird's story All I Really Want which basically inspired this whole thing as a sort of, "What if Shego had been honest from the start?"]


“Ok,” Shego said, mostly to herself. “Since I'm not pretending this is your story, you could probably use some background.

“After the comet we were on our own. Hego and the Wegoes could still pass as normal, and so some people we helped who worked in the right places made them new identities. Mego and I couldn't exactly hide being purple and green respectively, so there was no escaping what had happened.

“For Mego … well he's narcissistic enough that he could have been turned plaid and still not had it bother him, but for me it was a huge thing. I was the green girl. The freak. I was still in high school at the time and that was hell, but I could never leave it behind. No matter where I went there was only one pale green person, so I could never just blend in and pretend to be normal.”

“But you were a hero,” the girl on the bed said.

“That didn't help, Kim-- not-Kim... uh, you need a name.”

“I think I should talk to my family before I decide on one,” the girl said contemplatively.  She accepted that she probably was a clone, but Shego was right about Kim's family, they'd accept Kim's clone as a member of their family.  That was going to be a strange meeting.  A moment later she snapped back to present reality, “But you're right, some placeholder until then would be useful.”

“Ok, Placeholder.”

“That's not what I meant!”

Shego grinned. “No. 'Placeholder'. I like it.”

The girl, newly christened 'Placeholder', just made a grunt.

“Anyway,” Shego resumed, “That didn't help, Placeholder. If anything it made it worse.

“I couldn't leave the job at the job. I was constantly criticized for how I did my work. Couldn't I have saved the day faster? Was I really putting my all into it? Did stopping the bad guy really require that much property damage? Didn't I know that that graffiti covered burnt out building my plasma damaged was actually a 'historic site', not in any official registry of course but still it was a 'National Treasure', which I had sullied with my playing the hero and thus...” Shego let Placeholder fill in the rest on her own.

“Oh,” was all Placeholder could think to say.

“And then there was a question of style,” Shego said. “We had a routine to how we did things. Mego used his shrinking power to sneak in, do reconnaissance, disarm any booby traps, sometimes even more. Once he was done he'd report to Hego and me, and the operation would openly commence. Hego would use his super strength and accompanying endurance to create a distraction. Once the enemy was distracted I'd come in and do most of the actual fighting. While Hego and I were keeping everyone occupied, Mego would evacuate any hostages and do any necessary sabotage that he couldn't do in the reconnaissance phase.

“When the Wegoes were old enough to join us, they helped me, but their style was entirely different. They could multiply into enough copies of themselves to immobilize their opponents just by piling on them.

“Hego was the traditional hero, Mego was the one who rescued people, the Wegoes were the adorable kids. I was the one throwing the punches and doing most of the actual violence.

“Everyone who thought I was too rough wouldn't let me hear the end of it, and the ones who thought we should be tougher on the bad guys usually didn't think a girl should be on the team to begin with.”

Placeholder just nodded. She, well Kim but she had the memories, had had her fill of sexism long ago and it never actually ended. Kim dealt with it by being the absolute best but she didn't doubt that as soon as a male who was her equal, or worse still her better, showed up everything would get infinitely worse.

Kim was mostly able to get a pass because she wasn't part of a team in the traditional sense. She was a lone hero with a sidekick whose name most people couldn't remember. If she were part of a larger unit with equals it would be easy for the sexists to dismiss her contribution.

“The news loved the angle that I was the dark one,” Shego resumed. “In the beginning it was two noble heroes and their hot-headed short-fused sister. Then it was four noble heroes and their violent sister.

“They even had some articles suggesting I was a bad influence on my younger brothers.

“Of course you can't run the same article over and over again so the media made it out that I was sliding further and further into darkness. They'd try to tally up how many punches I thew and how much plasma I discharged. If it was more than the last time it was time for another 'Shego becoming more violent' story. If it was less then they wouldn't mention it. Of course, when there was no change at all random variance meant that half the time they'd get to say I was getting worse.”

“Ouch,” Placeholder said.

“Thanks, princess,” Shego said. “Anyway, the worst part was that Hego bought into the whole thing and thought that I was sliding into evil.”

“Hego did say that the more you fought evil the more you liked evil,” Placeholder said, drawing on Kim's memories.

“Yeah, that was his take. After his fifteenth attempted intervention I decided I wasn't going to talk to him outside of missions any more.”

“That probably made him think you were more evil,” Placeholder said.

“Probably,” Shego agreed. “And this is where the story I was going to tell you goes.”

“I was wondering when we'd get to that,” Placeholder said. “Do tell.”

“All of that got to me, mostly it made me lonely because I didn't have a single friend, and--”

“Sorry,” Placeholder said, gently taking one of Shego's hands.

“It wasn't your fault.” Shego snorted. “You didn't even exist yet.

“Anyway, maybe it did make me a bit more angry, maybe it did make me a bit more violent, but apart from Hego buying into it, it didn't really matter to anyone but me. For all of the bad press I was still a hero in good standing.

“No article about me throwing more punches this week than last week could change that.

“Then, in one instant, everything changed.” Shego took Placeholder's hand away from her own and put it back in Placeholder's lap. “There was a new villain, a small time themed villain who called himself Doctor Sound--”

“I've never heard of him.”

“There's a reason for that,” Shego said darkly. “I ended up fighting him on top of a roof. In the final moments I had him cornered and was expecting him to either charge me to get away or to just surrender. The problem was, he didn't know I had him cornered.” At first it seemed like an ordinary pause between sentences, but the time went on and Shego just sat there, not saying another word.

“What happened?” Placeholder asked softly.

“Wha?” Shego said as she snapped back to the present. “Sorry.” Shego took a moment to compose herself and then said, “He took a step back when there was no back for him to step on.”

“That's it?”

“No, that's the beginning. A news helicopter recorded things from just the wrong angle. It looked like I might have pushed him.

“That was enough. Everyone who had said I was getting too extreme or going evil was convinced that their suspicions had been confirmed. That's to be expected, what took me completely off guard was everyone else.”

“What do you mean?”

“I mean that in an instant everyone in the world turned on me. Even the few people who had publicly defended me before found that it was so much more fun to tear someone down than build her up.

“I mean that no one would believe me when I said that I didn't push the man. I mean that every single owner of every single building I had ever been involved in a mission in decided to simultaneously sue me for damages to their property. I mean that I was denounced as a poor role model for children and a corrupter of youth whose very existence would cause little girls throughout Go City to grow up to be murderesses.

“All of this time I was trying to set the record straight and say that, even though I didn't kill him, I was so very sorry for being the cause of his death.” Shego was suddenly angry, “Because I was sorry, damn it! I'd never felt so horrible in my life as when that asshole died. I didn't agree to Hego's plan of becoming superheroes because I wanted to fight or because I wanted vengeance, I agreed to it because I believed in justice.

“I wanted to take Dr. Sound to jail. I didn't want to kill him. I didn't want to kill anyone. I swore that I'd never kill again. Which probably seems redundant since I never planned on killing anyone in the first place.”

“You put me-- you put Kim and Ron into loads of deathtraps.”

“None of which stood a chance of actually hurting either of you-- of them,” Shego thought about the mistake they'd both made. “Damn this is going to be hard Placey.”

“'Placey'?” Placeholder asked.

“Well I can't exactly call you 'Kimmie'.”


“Where were we?”

“Death traps.”

“Right. In addition to expecting you-- her-- them to escape, I always had at least seven ways to save you if somehow things went wrong.”


“The first three would make it look like Drakken had failed in either the design or manufacture of the death trap. The fourth was in case things went so wrong that I had to risk a failure that had no obvious explanation, and the last three were desperation plans that would make it unmistakeable I'd saved,” Shego paused to make sure she said the right words, “Kim and Ron, and thus would destroy my reputation as a villain.”

“You had a tendency to look happy about them getting in the deathtraps.”

“Well, Place, I--”


“I'm trying to work out variations on your temporary name PH. I'm not going to call you 'Princess' or 'Placeholder' every time I want to make reference to you,” Shego said, slightly annoyed.

“'Place' is better than 'Placey'.”

“Noted. I was happy to see them get into deathtraps because it meant I got a free show watching them get out of the deathtraps.”

“A free show?”

“The only thing missing was popcorn.”

“Ok, so you have a semi-plausible explanation for the deathtraps,” Placeholder said. “And I suppose it would explain why you never punched Kim with the full force your plasma provides.”

“Uh... out of curiosity, did you just figure that out or does Kim know I've been pulling my punches?”

“Given what you can punch through when you want to and the relative frailty of human flesh and bone, do you really have to ask?”

“Kim knows.”

“Kim knows,” Placeholder nodded. “So is there more to the story?”

“Nothing I said or did could convince anyone, and that includes my family, that I didn't do it. Nothing could convince them that I was sorry for it happening.

“I tried to track down Dr. Sound's family to see if there was anything I could do to help.”

“Did you?”

“Eventually, yes. At the time, no. I wrote an editorial against vigilantism because even professionals, which we were --at that point Team Go had an understanding with the Go City Police Department-- could kill someone with a simple mistake.

“And then, finally, the pressure got to me.”

“How so?”

“You have to remember that there wasn't really evidence against me. He died from falling off a building, there was a video that made things look ambiguous. I wanted to be arrested. I thought that if I had my day in court I could prove I was innocent and everything would go back to normal.

“Before Dr. Sound died I never thought I'd want normal. I hated normal. But even with all the things that made my life hell before he died, that was infinitely better than how things were after he died.

“They didn't arrest me, in spite of me offering to turn myself in, because they knew they couldn't make the case hold up against me. And they were very clear on that. It wasn't because they believed I was innocent, it was because they didn't have enough evidence to prove that I was guilty.

“Which was basically the same thing as saying I was guilty.

“Since I wasn't arrested, and I was still in high school, I was still attending school. Except instead of being the green freak, I was now the killer green freak who got away with murder.”

Images of a school engulfed in green flames played out in Placeholder's mind. She asked, “What happened when the pressure got to you?” even though she wasn't sure she wanted to know.

“Almost nothing,” Shego said. “I punched one bully and broke his nose.”

“That's it?”

“His name was Allen, when I was planning to tell you this was your story I was going to say you hit Bonnie.”

“I would nev--”

“Are you sure? Someone's been making your life hell for years, your entire world is coming crashing down around you, everyone thinks you're guilty of a murder you didn't commit, and you don't think you might lash out?”

“You're right. I know that I've never even met her and, even so, just having Kim's memories of her makes me want to punch her. If I were stressed enough to loose control I probably would.”

“The important thing is that punching Allen was something that could be proven. Normally a fight in a school would never get that kind of attention, but it was basically used as a proxy for what happened to Dr. Sound. They even called it, 'assault with a deadly weapon,' on the grounds that my hands theoretically could kill someone.

“When they tried to arrest me for that... that's when I ran. And when I found out about Global Justice.”

“Global Justice?” Placeholder knew the name, of course, but wouldn't expect them to be involved in the story.

“They never had all that much interest in Team Go because we were strictly local, but they had apparently been planning on recruiting me when I was older and their recruitment files double as their 'How to take down a threat' files.”

“So the fact that they've worked with Kim...”

“Probably means that they've worked up multiple plans on how to take down Kim.”

“What did they do to you?”

“Well they saw me as a hero turned villain just like everyone else, so they decided to hunt me down before I could get my villainous act together.”

“I'm guessing they failed.”

“Damn straight. But they did manage to make me feel like an animal. Being hunted will do that to you.”

“So where does the story end?”

“It ends with me finding that there was one group that would accept me. Before that I tried being a fugitive hero and got certified to teach, but neither of those worked out.”

“I'm guessing that the group that would accept you happened to be villains.”

“Some of them thought that I did kill Dr. Sound and had no problem with it. I wanted nothing to do with them. Others believed me when I said I was innocent. A surprisingly large portion of the villainous community only became criminals after being falsely accused of being criminals.”

“Really?” Placeholder had a hard time believing that and let her incredulity show in her voice.

“I said, 'a surprisingly large portion,' not, 'a majority,'” Shego retorted. “It's a large enough portion that a lot of villains who are guilty of every crime they've ever been accused of are still willing to believe that someone claiming to be innocent may well be innocent.

“I wasn't ready to sign on with take-over-the-world schemes, but it turned out I had an aptitude for thieving.”

“I'll say.”

“I started out as an apprentice and within a year my teacher claimed to have been surpassed. I stayed in that career until I met Drakken. He was perfect ... well ... almost. He's got a lot to learn about consent--”

“Mind control comes to mind,” Placeholder said.

Shego ignored the comment and continued, “--but that's true of villains in general. He needs stuff stolen frequently, his staff is unionized, he's brilliant enough to create reality warping inventions while still bumbling enough to not be at risk of actual world domination--”

“Two things.”

“Why is it always two things?”

“Thing one: How is not being able to succeed a plus?”

“Do I seem like the kind of person who wants to live in someone else's autocracy?”


“I like the world the way it is. A mess of conflicting laws and jurisdictional conflicts. A never ending line of politicians and unelected villains tripping over each other trying to grab power for themselves while leaving the rest of us with some modicum of freedom.”

“You think politicians are elected villains?”

“Read the congressional record sometime.”

“I think I'll pass. Thing two: Drakken came pretty close at times.”

“Close isn't good enough, Place. Close just gets you frustrated.”

Placeholder thought about the memories she inherited from Kim. The ones where Drakken had come close. One memory wanted to be first in line, she tried not to think about it, trying not to think about it made her think about it more, and finally she was reliving a moment that she'd never lived through in the first place.

Kim told Shego that she hated Shego. Kim kicked Shego off a building into a tower charged with enough electricity to kill any normal human. The tower collapsed on top of Shego which also would have killed any normal human. Kim didn't realize that Shego's comet-given power would save Shego, instead she had every reason to believe that Shego had died. After all, Kim had done enough to Shego to kill almost anyone twice over. Kim smiled at that.

Placeholder didn't like that memory. Placeholder didn't like that person. For the first time Placeholder hoped that she wasn't the real Kim.

“Moving on,” Placeholder said, a slight shudder in her speech.

“Is something wrong?” Shego asked, concern audible in her voice.

“One of Kim's memories,” she said and hoped Shego wouldn't inquire further.

“Something involving me?” Shego asked.

“Yes,” Placeholder said with, she realized after saying it, perhaps too much force.

“Did I do something?” Shego asked.

“Kim did something,” Placeholder said angrily, the volume of her voice rising. Shego had a look that was unfamiliar in Placeholder's memories: utter shock. When Placeholder resumed she spoke softly. “Kim almost killed you.”

That,” Shego said, contempt and disgust mingling in her voice.

“And then, when she had every reason to think she had killed you, she smiled.”

“I ... didn't know that,” Shego said, a slight shake in her voice.

“I don't want to be Kim,” Placeholder said.

“Kim is better than that particular memory makes her seem,” Shego said.

“Don't defend her!” Placeholder shouted.

Shego held up her hands, in a gesture of, “Calm down,” and, “Give me a moment to explain.”

But, there was going to be a 'but',” Shego said.


“But you don't have to be anything you don't want to be,” Shego said, “and you can't be Kim anyway. Kim's already being Kim.”

“Ok, so, what now?” Placeholder asked.

“Well, you're ready to walk by now...” Shego trailed off.

“I just realized I never told you,” Placeholder said, “I'm staying. I decided to before asking about your story.”

Shego tried not to smile. She failed.

“I've had living quarters prepared for you,” Shego said. She stood up and gestured for Placeholder to follow. “Shall we?”


[Previous][Being more than a Simulacrum Index][Next]
[Kim Possible Index]


Shego has green skin, green plasma powers centered on her hands, and positively inhuman durability.  She got these powers when a comet struck her and her brothers.  They became superheroes.  Nothing canonical ever says what became of their parents. 
Her brothers are Hego (Super Strength), Mego (able to shrink and return to normal size), and the Wego twins (able to multiply themselves.)  At some unspecified time before the series she switched sides and ended up sidekick to Kim's arch-nemesis Drakken.  She's generally considered more useful than he is.
In what was supposed to be the climax of the entire series (but then the series was given another season), Kim --enhanced with a supersuit-- kicks Shego into a tower surging with uncontrolled electricity and the tower then collapses on top of Shego.  Given that any normal human being should have been killed two or three times over by the kick/electricity/giant-pile-of-building-landing-on-head combination, this is generally regarded as kind of a big deal especially since Kim smiles at this before she finds out Shego somehow survived. 
 Global Justice is the Kim Possible version of S.H.I.E.L.D.

1 comment:

  1. I like it.

    Haven't read Part I yet, and have only the vaguest contours of the Kim Possible universe available to my brian, but this is fun.