Saturday, December 6, 2014

Being more than a Simulacrum (A Kim Possible fan fiction) (part 4)

[The first episode of this is here.]

When Place woke up in the morning she didn't know what to do.

She clearly remembered exactly where she was and what she'd been told, she had no illusions that it might have been a dream and it would turn out that she was, in fact, the real Kim Possible.

Her room had some generic clothing in her size, she dressed in a black t-shirt and loose bluejeans. But then what? Could she really walk around inside of Drakken's lair, looking for all the world like Kim Possible, and not have it turn into a disaster? Wouldn't alarms go off and chaos break loose as soon as one of the henchmen saw her? Wouldn't everyone she met expect her to fight them?

She ended up thinking herself into a box. She didn't remember how exactly she got there, but she was sitting against a wall, knees pulled into her chest, when Shego found her.

She hadn't heard Shego coming and gave a yelp of surprise when Shego tapped her on a shoulder.

"Jumpy?" Shego asked.

"You could knock," Place snapped. She regretted her tone, partially because she didn't think it was called for, but also because it wounded her pride. She only reacted that way because she felt vulnerable, and she didn't like feeling vulnerable.

"I did," Shego said.

"Oh," Place said. "Sorry."

Shego sat down next to Place and asked, "Do you want to tell me about it?"

Place thought it over for a moment. "No." She looked at Shego who seemed disappointed. "I want to get out of here." For a moment Shego's expression turned ... pained? Afraid? Place wasn't sure. It was only a moment before Shego suppressed whatever it was and her face was neutral. Still, Place had a feeling she knew what caused the expression, and it was a misunderstanding. "
Of the room," she clarified.

Shego said a drawn out, "Oh," with relief and understanding in her voice, but then stopped it abruptly and repeated, "Oh," with no hint of emotion.

Place made note of it in her mind, hoping that at some point she'd be able to figure out what Shego's agenda was. If it were nefarious, though, Place had to admit that she'd already been duped. Maybe it was learning Shego's story, maybe it was the impression she'd gotten from Shego's few unguarded moments--there hadn't been that many-- maybe it was wishful thinking, but Place felt like whatever Shego wanted it wasn't inherently bad.

Which made Place realize that, sooner or later, she was going to have to find out if she'd been subject to any mental conditioning or mind control. But not yet.

Now she was planning to stay in the lair until she was strong enough to defend herself against whatever the world might throw her way. Which brought her back to leaving the room. "You mentioned training yesterday."

"I did," Shego said.

"Where would we do that?" Place asked.

"We?" Shego asked. Her voice wasn't neutral, but it also didn't give Place an insight into what the woman was thinking it was... guarded, maybe? It would fit with the way Shego seemed to be trying to hide her emotions.

Then it hit her: since when did Shego hide what she was feeling? Shego said whatever she felt with snark and volume. And she'd back it up with violence if need be.

Whatever Shego was looking for in Place, Place realized that it had to be completely different from Kim's normal interactions with Shego. But that little epiphany was soon cancelled out by the realization that she'd already known that.

Shego didn't offer Kim a place to stay. Shego didn't sit down and talk with Kim. Shego didn't treat Kim the way she was treating Place in any way at all.

Realizing everything was completely different wasn't attaining some new knowledge, it was just going around in a circle and returning to square one.

And that's when Place noticed that Shego had taken out her nail file.

"Sorry," Place said. She said it sincerely. She meant it. If it turned out that Shego was planning on using her for evil then the whole sitch was going to be hell. She was too emotionally attached already. She'd only been there for a day.

Then again, Place thought, she'd only been alive for a day.

"You going to tell me what's going on in there, princess," Shego asked, "or are you just going to keep on drifting off with no explanation?"

"I just have a lot to think about, is all," Place said. "Anyway, where were we?"

"Well, funny you should ask that..." Shego said, a hint of her usual snark in her voice.

"We were at 'we'," Place realized.

"Yes we were," Shego said.

"Well, I just sort of assumed we'd train together," Place said. "Did you not want to train with me?" Place originally planned to let Shego respond, but before Shego could, Place thought of more to add, "I mean if you're not working on any evil schemes then you've got the free time, right?"

"Yes, I do," Shego said.

"So, do you have something better to do?" Place asked. She didn't realize it, but she had slipped into a, very mild version of, the Possible puppy-dog pout.

"No," Shego said.

"Then: yes, 'we'," Place said. She stood up. "Come on, it'll be fun."

Shego smiled, an actual honest smile. No evidence of a reverse polerizer. No evidence that the tables were about to turn against her. No common enemy. Place was experiencing something Kim never had. It was odd, but it was also good. Place wanted to see more of the smiling Shego.

Once Shego was on her feet Place was out the door. Only to turn right back around and say, "I know you already told me, but where is the training area again?"

Shego laughed. A good-natured, non-adversarial laugh. Place instantly decided that she wanted more of the laughing Shego too.

"Follow me," Shego said.

* * *

"Ok," Place said, uncertainly, "so, why is it such a disgusting color?"

"Snot?" Shego asked.

"Yeah, snot," Place said. "Why is it snot-colored?"

Shego launched a plasma burst at the far wall of the gym. When it hit the far wall it looked like any other time Shego's plasma hit a resilient wall, but when the flash had faded there was no evidence the wall had been hit at all. "It can't stand up to my best, which is why the military sold it so cheaply--"

"The military?" Place asked.

"It was the usual thing," Shego said. "Someone wanted plasma powered soldiers and thought they could get it by capturing me, experimenting--"

"Oh god, Shego," Place said. "I'm sorry."

"I'm not," Shego said. "They couldn't catch me anyway. When I found out why I was getting annoyed by them so often, though, I let them catch me."

After that Shego said nothing.

"Well?" Place asked.

"Well what?"

"What happened after you let them catch you?"

"They decided that they never wanted to catch me again, and sold the allegedly plasma-proof materials they'd developed, amoung other things, to anyone who would buy them in an attempt to cut their losses," Shego said with a smile.

"What did you do?" Place asked playfully.

"Oh, not much."

"Come on," Place asked in her best coaxing voice.

"I may have escaped from their plasma-proof cell by turning it to ash," Shego said. She smirked. "And I may have set fire to the entire facility." She paused for a beat. "And I could, possibly, have started a minor volcano at the site."


"Ok, it's not as impressive as it sounds," Shego said, her voice colored by an unusual humility. Also, Place wasn't sure if she might be imagining it, but could it be possible that Shego was being bashful? Place thought she picked up on it, she was almost sure of it, but on the other hand: Shego.

"How is creating a volcano anything but impressive?" Place asked.

"After I scared the people out of the facility I wanted to make an example of it," Shego said. "It had been built for the sole purpose of experimenting on me, after all."

"So you made a volcano."

"Not on purpose," Shego said.

"How do you--"

"I just went full burn in the center and was planning on burning downward a few hundred... or maybe a few thousand feet. I don't really remember the plan..." Shego trailed off. Then she finished quickly, "I just remember trying to get away as fast as I could when I realized how much heat was coming from the other side of the bedrock."

"You just randomly hit a magma chamber?" Place was incredulous.

"How was I supposed to know one would be there?" Shego asked defensively. "They're supposed to be buried deep. One to ten kilometers. It shouldn't have been so close to the surface."

"A kilometer is a few thousand feet."


"Why would you go that deep anyway? Were you trying to make the place into an inverted mountain?" Place asked. "Or... something?"

"I just wanted to make it into a massive hole in the ground," Shego said. "Then all of a sudden I realized that the rock was going to melt without my help." Shego sighed. "And at that point I realized that I should run. Unfortunately, I had to climb a long way before I got to the running."

"Thus, a volcano," Place said.

"Thus, a volcano," Shego echoed.

"And therefore snot-colored gym?"

"You got it," Shego said. "Much easier to work out when you don't need to worry about burning the place down. So, are you planning on talking all day, or did you want to spar?"

"Definitely spar," Place said, lunging at Shego before she even finished the sentence.

Shego leapt back and smiled at the surprise attack, then visibly settled into her fighting mode, "You'd better be careful, Princess--"

"Think I'm afraid of you?" Place said, feeling good. It wasn't a fight without banter.

"I think I'm rubbing off on you," Shego said. "I mean, a sneak attack?"

Place just lunged forward and threw a punch.



  1. Assuming Place really is a clone, I wonder what she should do after she leaves (assuming she leaves). It ... doesn't seem like Kim would be especially willing to listen to Place's impressions, given the automatic excuse of "they screwed with your perceptions to make you see things differently".

  2. Kim vs. Place would be fun.

    1. I imagine Place as more willing to use new techniques, but Kim as more willing to escalate force. I don't know how it would result.

    2. Perhaps it wouldn't result very well... depending on what kind of person the other Kim has turned into...