Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Kim Possible -- Forgotten Seeds, Chapter 5: Downtime and what came before

[Parts OneTwoThree, and Four.]

Kim looked around the room. Most people seemed mentally exhausted. Also despondent.

Shego had muttered something about Horatio stealing her style shortly after he started focusing on his fingernails. Surge had collapsed against a wall.

Amy and Drakken were discussing the possibility that an infertility weapon could really wipe out the human race. From what Kim was overhearing, it seemed disturbingly likely. The fact that it was targeted at the “meta-human” population meant that it was designed to affect a wider biological range than seen in the entire rest of the species. That reduced the odds that some people might have a natural immunity.

Henry, Hawk, and Blok were just staring into space.

Letting things go on like this couldn't possibly be good. So Kim did her best to muster a confident commanding tone and said, "Everybody listen up. Getting into Doctor Director's account has given me access to more information so--"

"Your wonder car couldn't hack the system?" Shego asked, but it lacked her usual punch.

"The system is hard-line only, Shego. There was no wireless access to hack," Kim said. Shego merely shrugged. “I'll need to look over the new information to figure out the best way to get us home. The good news is that we have more than enough air for the moment, so we can afford to do this right.

"Until I've had a chance to look at the new intel, you all can do whatever you want. A lot of the compartments we have access to were exposed to vacuum before I rebooted the systems here, so that should have preserved anything. Horatio already found some fruit.

"Take a walk, scrounge a meal, have a nap. I don't care what you do, but do something."

The others slowly left the room. Shego didn't look like she wanted to, but Surge practically pulled her out of the room.

With the others gone Kim could get to the important work of trying to actually save them.

* * *

Shego looked annoyed at being called away, clearly she had some business she wanted to finish with Kim, but there was something that Surge needed to say to her and she'd already waited long enough. It was overdue really.

"I'm sorry," She told Shego.

"For what?" Shego said, apparently impatient and annoyed.

Surge was unsure: did Shego honestly not know, or did she just want to make her spell it out?

"You almost ran out of air," Surge said.

"Could have happened to anyone," Shego said.

"You ran out of air because you talked so much," Surge said. "You talked so much to keep me calm. If I hadn't been panicking you would never have been in danger."

"That's what you're worried about?" Shego asked.

Surge looked away, "You almost died and it was my fault."

Shego laughed. Now Surge was really confused.

"Kid, if you almost kill me, it won't be because you panicked a bit at being stranded on the moon, it won't involved an air supply, and I will be very impressed with you," Shego said.

Surge met Shego's eyes in hopes that they'd give some kind of indication of what she was thinking.

"Personally, I don't think you have it in you to take me out," Shego said, "and if you can come close then I've underestimated you."

Surge couldn't figure out what was going on in Shego's head, and finally decided to settle for one last question, "So you're not..."

"I'm not mad. I'm not angry. I'm not holding a grudge," Shego said. "If it means so much to you, you're forgiven." Shego paused for a moment, Surge tried to use the time to let Shego's words sink in, but they really didn't. "If you keep me from talking to Kimmie much longer, though, then I will be angry."

Surge knew the tone. It was a Shego-threat and Shego-threats were often followed by plasma.

"I-- I'm done."

"Good," Shego said, then she walked out of the room.

* * *

When the others had shambled out Kim thought they looked like zombies, just not as cheerful. Dead eyes, emotionally spent, hopeless.

They'd be worse if she'd told them what she was worried about.

She sped through the files she now had access to, only glancing at them, each time determining that it couldn't help and moving on.

The room's door opened and she didn't even look away. She knew the sound of those barely perceptible footsteps well. Shego had come.

* * *

"It was a nice try, Princess, but if things were as peachy as you made them out to be, you wouldn't need to look for new information," Shego said.

"I don't know what you're talking about," Kim said. The fact that she didn't even glance away from the computer's screen annoyed Shego more than the lie itself.

"If we take things slow so as not to rattle anything we'd accelerate at one g toward earth for an hour and forty-five minutes," Shego said. "Then we'd turn around and decelerate at one g for another hour and forty-five. That puts us in earth orbit.

"It'd take us around six minutes to sync with the earth's rotation. Then we just drop. At that point there's friction and drag involved, so let's average a mere 150 miles per hour to be extra safe. That means two hours to the surface.

"Five and a half hours, give or take, and the first group is safely on earth. Eleven hours and the incredible wonder car is back here for group two. Sixteen and a half and group two is down. That's probably all we need.

"If you're really worried about being able to pack enough air, we could do three groups of three and use the extra seats for air tanks. Twenty seven and a half hours to get us all back to earth using your car, and your car alone."

Kim mumbled something that might have been, "Whatever."

"So what aren't you telling the others, Kimmie?" Shego asked. "Why do you need to look for more information on that antiquated piece of crap?" she pointed to the computer terminal in disgust.

Kim didn't respond.

Shego spun Kim's chair so that she was looking directly in her eyes and half growled, half shouted, "Answer me!"

* * *

Shego's math could use some work, but she was mostly right. If they were truly safe here then all they'd need to do would be to take a few trips in Jade. If they were.

Kim looked away from Shego.

"Look at me damn it!" Shego shouted. The words hit her like a punch. Worse, really. Kim had been punched a fair amount in her time and it never hurt that much.

When she finally did look at Shego she could feel the first tears sliding down her cheeks. It took her a few tries to speak. When she finally was able to, though, the words flowed out just fine:

"If anyone stays behind they won't live long enough for Jade to get back. Unless I find something in this base to change things, some of us are definitely going to die."

* * *

Kim hadn't slept. Maybe that was it. She'd been through a lot of stressful things of late and maybe that was causing her to give up hope. That'd better be the reason.

Possible had better not be giving up hope simply because the situation was hopeless because, "I'm not going to die up here!"

"You... you don't have to," Kim said. "Jade is made to seat five. If we pack her like the orange line at rush hour we can definitely get one or two extra people in there.

"So all I need--"

"The orange line?" Shego asked.

"I got my doctorate in Boston," Kim said. She turned back to the computer. "If I can just find some more space--"

"The trunk?"

"Has rocket engines in it," Kim said.  "I just need to find a way to make Jade work for eight people. Then everything will be alright."

Kim definitely wasn't thinking straight. "There are nine of us," Shego pointed out.

"I'll stay behind," Kim said. "If I can save the others then maybe it'll make up for my part--"

"No!" Shego wasn't even sure why she was so angry at the idea of Kim staying behind. If someone had to, why not Kim? Kim had killed someone, even if it had been accidental. Kim had captured her. Kim had invented the technology that had kept them all helpless for centuries. And Kim was not allowed to die.

Shego wasn't really sure why, but she definitely wasn't going to let Kim die.

"We're not all going to make it out of this, Shego," Kim said. "And I should be--"

"No. No, you don't get to start with the assumption that someone has to sacrifice themselves just so you can justify your desire to martyr yourself to earn atonement points," Shego said as she walked to an empty chair.

"I don't want to die," Kim said.

Shego picked up the chair and started back to Kim, "You can keep saying that if you want, but you're not acting like it."

She put the chair next to Kim's sat in it, and gestured at the computer, "Show me what's going on."

* * *

Henry, Blok, and Hawk had found what appeared to pass as a kitchen. It had things that, according to the labels at least, were in fact edible. All three of them seemed to have their doubts on that point. Even under the best conditions, the standards to which Global Justice held its field rations were not what most people would consider standards worthy of the name "Food".

Henry was sitting on a counter, pressed back into a space where a cabinet might have been intended to go. He watched as Blok stood near the middle of the room --occasionally changing to his stone form to rip cans open-- and Hawk, now topless, modified his shirt with one of the kitchen knives.

For a long time no one spoke.

Finally Blok turned to Henry and asked, "How'd they get you?"

"I tried to make the world a better place," Henry said. Try to improve things and they slapped you down. He should have stuck to identity theft.

Hawk turned to look at Henry and smiled. "You too?"

"What did you do?" Henry asked him.

Blok had stopped messing with cans and had moved on to a bar of something that, if Henry interpreted the label correctly, claimed to be peach flavored. Block looked like he disagreed with that assessment of the flavor. Regardless, Henry's question to Hawk had obviously caught his attention, because he said, "You're kidding, right?" to Henry before Hawk had a chance to answer.

"I'm not kidding," Henry said.

"I'm interested in why you think I should be a household name," Hawk said. He paused to put on his shirt. "I was always small time." His deep blue wings burst into existence through the holes he had cut in the shirt.

"You were a folk hero," Blok said.

"I specialized in dealing with places where the security overlooked their vulnerability to aerial approaches and getaways," Hawk said while stretching his wings. "Hardly the stuff of legend."

"So you didn't get caught while leading GJ forces on a wild goose chase while a group of Saunders Act refugees under your protection escaped to freedom?"

"They got away?" Hawk asked. Henry could hear the genuine interest in his voice. He understood it. He'd feel a lot better about his own capture if it had done something good for someone.

"They all did," Blok said. "That's about the only thing all of the stories agree on: all of them, however many there were, made it to freedom."

Hawk smiled wide. Then he asked, "Where was freedom? Did they make it to Marcella's--"

"No, not the Free Zone," Blok said.  "Shortly after you were captured a new territory was created: Ashley's Protectorate. Your refugees weren't far from the border so they crossed into it."

Hawk looked, understandably, at a loss. Which meant that Henry would get to tell a story because this he knew about. "It's a great story," Henry said.

"After the Grass Famine of 2019 a lot of people were unhappy with their leadership, but you couldn't exactly opt out," Henry said.

"Any time someone tried to rebel against the federal government or their GJ allies, the rebellion was put down, hard," Blok said.

Hawk shivered. "I remember seeing the video from Charlotte."

Henry did too. That had been when he promised himself that from that moment on he would only ever use text-only news sources.

"So, a lot of people wanted to have someone else in charge, but couldn't risk choosing to change leadership," Henry said. "That's when a first time villain named Ashley came onto the scene. She didn't see the point in code names, didn't want all that much and didn't even have a death ray.

"She threatened Cleveland with a non-lethal ray that simply would have caused discomfort. Before she could say how much --or really how little-- she planned to extort, Cleveland surrendered to her rule."

"As did Akron, Elyria, Youngstown--" Blok said.

“Within fifteen minutes it was the entire I-71 corridor all the way to Louisville," Henry said. "She was still trying to explain that she just wanted money, not to be in charge of anything, when the surrenders spread outward. Pittsburgh to the east, in the west Indianapolis followed by Chicago some 20 minutes later. When Fort Wayne saw her territory on both sides the people figured they should surrender too.

"She ended up with Ohio, Indiana, eastern Illinois, Northern Kentucky, and western Pensylvania."

"And before the territory was even settled," Blok said, "she was getting treaties and trade agreements from various places. Detroit was first to recognize her holdings as a nation--"

"They were always a thorn in Global Justice's side," Henry said.

"Canada threw in their support for reasons that no one really understood," Blok said.

"Japan and Marcella's Free Zone both offered alliances that were quickly accepted," Henry said.

"I'm … confused," Hawk said. "The Midwest just handed over control to someone who didn't even want it?"

"They wanted new leadership, and the prospect of a complete unknown in charge appealed to them more than either the people in Washington or the Global Justice leaders in whatever secret bunker they operated out of," Henry said.

"And they figured that while they could be punished for rebelling, they could hardly be blamed for being conquered," Blok said.

"But wouldn't GJ or the feds just take the land back?" Hawk asked.

"Global Justice was never equipped to wage a full scale war," Henry said. "They were much better at targeted operations dealing with specific individuals. Even then, it was generally assumed that they'd have the cooperation of local authorities."

"Or at least not be arrested on sight for being Global Justice," Blok said.

"The cops were always contrite about it of course," Henry said. "'Sorry, I don't want to throw you in jail, but a supervillain took over the entire area and horrible things will be done to me if I don't.'"

"The videos were so much fun," Blok said.

"Videos?" Hawk asked.

"Ashley didn't have the manpower to defend her, suddenly very large, borders," Henry said. "Part of what she did was simply use the existing law enforcement, move all military assets in her territory to the border, and stuff like that. But right from the start she needed a lot more people.

"Apparently she was uneasy giving weapons, the best evil science could create, to complete strangers. So anyone who did any kind of enforcement or defense for her had to wear a camera while on duty, cameras were also attached to weapons and various other things." Henry paused. "Intentionally turning one of the cameras off was automatically assumed to be to hide a major crime. The result was that--"

"Every time those storm troopers in blue and black got picked up by the police and thrown in jail there was a video of it," Blok said. "Generally from multiple angles."

"From when the camera policy was first implemented to when the Protectorate finally fell, the film of GJ agents getting what they had coming to them was a non-stop internet sensation," Henry said.

"Ok," Hawk said, "but what about the US military? They wouldn't just sit by and do nothing while the heartland defected."

"Ashley was thrust into power without ever wanting it," Henry said, "but she was also really good at managing it. She declared people who were 'different' a protected class, just like any ethnic or religious minority, and as a result people with powers flocked into her borders. She never conscripted anyone, but she was an extremely persuasive speaker and by the time the campaign to retake her territory in the name of the United States really took off she had special forces units equipped with reality bending tech and populated by reality bending people."

"She also said that the Protectorate was a second chance state," Blok said. "She explained it as getting a fresh start the moment you entered, if you wanted it, in exchange for service. Whatever your crimes you had a second chance. Second chance, not third, so you could still blow it."

"Since getting the second chance meant service directly to her government," Henry said, "everyone who took up the offer had the cameras. It worked out surprisingly well, even with the few catastrophic failures.

"Regardless, she had a sizable defense force by the time the military was coming after her, and she also managed to enlist several weather machines in her air-force. The going theory was Canadian assistance."

"Ok, that's the second time you mentioned Canada," Hawk said. Henry nodded. "But they were a GJ country."

"They were, and if they ever pulled out of the alliance GJ would have used their leverage in the US government to invade," Henry said. "No one knows why they risked GJ's wrath, but there are some theories I find compelling."

"What theories?" Blok asked.

"I was gonna say that," Hawk said.

"Ok," Henry said. "They couldn't openly defy Global Justice because of a big long border with GJ's closest ally and charter nation that was the US. But they seemed to enjoy thumbing their nose at GJ whenever possible, it was in large part thanks to their support that Detroit was able to remain largely independent.

"In fact, they were always supporting border regions that resisted Global Justice provided that the regions were on the US side of the border and thus didn't directly look like them rising up against GJ.

"The border regions provided Canada with a buffer zone since any invasion force would first have to fight through unfriendly territory on the US side of the border. Fighting resistance in the US meant that Global Justice's North American resources were tied up and couldn't be used to effectively crack down in Canada. When Canada was unable to shelter it's own citizens targeted by GJ, they could send them to the border regions for relative safety.

"And, finally, whenever they were forced to explain why they were supporting rebellions in a country they were allied with, they seemed to take great joy in detailing human rights abuses GJ committed in the US as justification for supporting the rebellion in question."

"It probably also made them feel good to do the right thing," Blok said.

"Ok, enough Canada," Hawk said, "what happened to the Protectorate?"

"It was a beacon of acceptance, tolerance, and saying, 'Damn the Man!' to the powers that be for about two years," Henry said.

"Then US forces with support from GJ pulled out all the stops and destroyed it in about a week, with another week afterward for mopping up," Blok said.

"Ashley was able to stop the previous efforts because she was consistently underestimated and none of those attempts went all out.  The last one, though... the phrase I heard was that they were 'hit with everything short of nuclear weapons'," Henry said.

"That sucks," Hawk said, the depression in his voice was unmistakable.

"Consider where we are today," Henry said. "No story can have a happy ending. But the end of the Protectorate wasn't all bad. In the chaos that surrounded the fall, all of the Saunders' Refugees disappeared."

"Not Global Justice 'disappeared'," Block said. "They, somehow, got away clean."

"Ashley kept all of the attention focused on her,” Henry said. "It was only after she died in a 'last stand' that GJ realized that she'd been distracting them. By then the Saunders' civilians were gone."

"Well, at least something went well," Hawk said.

"Your people were probably some of them," Blok said, "given how your story spread."

"You know," Henry said, "you never did tell us how a 'small time' criminal ended up sacrificing himself for refugees."

* * *

"Ok," Shego said, "I'm with you on the fact that not leaving on the initial trip means certain death."

In fact, the facility was designed incredibly poorly. There weren't enough resources to make repairs, it wasn't set up so you could write off damaged zones to conserve resources, and the way it kept the atmosphere from escaping the damaged sections was force fields. Force fields. Arguably the stupidest things one could install in the face of a vacuum.

When you repaired something to keep your atmosphere from escaping you wanted the patches to last, not to require a constant expenditure of power.

The power would fail before Kim's car could make a round trip. If they didn't leave as one, people were going to die.

"Which is what I told you, ages ago," Kim said.

Testy, Princess? Shego thought. "But you're still going about this wrong," she said.

"Thanks for the vote of confidence," Kim said, and Shego decided that she needed to give Kim sarcasm lessons.

"Fitting more people into the car isn't the solution," Shego said. "We need to be looking for a vehicle to take the extra people in."

"And then what?" Kim asked. "Jade can tow whatever you find to earth, but once we get there it's not as easy getting it down. She doesn't have a tow cable that can fight the stresses of gravity and inertia and wind and whatever the hell else we might encounter."

"Did Miss Perfect just swear?" Shego asked, allowing herself to be a bit playful.

Kim simply blushed.

"There might be hope for you yet, Kimberly Ann Possible," Shego said.

"Middle name?" Kim asked. "I must have done something really bad."

"Worse than bad," Shego said, "you showed potential."

The conversation lapsed into silence.

Shego broke it by asking, "Are you ready to give my idea a chance?"

* * *

"Is the information you get specific or general?" Surge asked Horiatio. "You know, when you look at the past."

Horatio ignored her.

He was sitting on the floor, leaning against a wall, and staring off into space.

"I want to know about my girlfriend. Her name was Jana." Horatio closed his eyes.

"Did she live a good life? How did she die?"

Horatio sighed. "I'm spent. I'm useless now."

She wanted to be angry, but the way he said it almost made it seem like he'd actually said the word, "Sorry." She leaned on the wall next to him and slowly lowered herself to the floor at his side.

She had nothing to do. Nowhere to be. She had no one now. She wasn't even sure if she cared if she lived now.

* * *

Her hand touched his. Horatio held it. She was warm.

People overrated warmth. Cold blooded species were perfectly nice. Dinosaurs had merely been luke-warm blood. Still, warmth was something he could relate to. It made her more real. She had been warm when she'd helped him walk.

Not incessant chatter, just a simple feeling of warmth.

She'd helped him. She'd trusted him.

He tightened his grip on her hand and followed her back.

Wandering, Shego, the group meeting, it would take forever at this pace.

The trip to the base flew by, Surge was back in her cryobed. Nothing.


The cryobeds started to disappear from the room as the prison population dwindled. Horatio didn't look at them, he didn't want to know. Dead people he had no desire to see alive.

Movement. The world moved around him as Surge's cro-bed was transported. Into a lander, up to orbit, back to earth. All in a flurry.

He slowed down. A secret launch facility run out of Vandenberg. Various shipments to get her there without being tracked. A Global Justice facility. She was out of the cryobed, sedated though.

More movement, she was in a mall. She was standing.

“Damn,” Horatio said to himself. She hadn't been breaking any laws, she'd been shopping. The GJ goons had knocked her out with one of their damned electroshock watches without even noticing that she was one of the innocent victims of the situation they'd been sent in to stop. Then they just shipped her off to the moon without ever letting her regain consciousness to tell her side of the story.

He followed her back. A few hours earlier she was in a small apartment with another young woman.

Nothing to indicate a name though.

Further back.

A phone call. The other one on the phone, but at the beginning of the call, Surge handed the phone to her. Perfect. He let time play out at a usual pace.

"Jana, it's for you," Surge said. The other woman walked in from a different room, took the phone, and thanked Surge.


He zeroed in on the exact moment that the phone was handed over, when Surge was closest to Jana. Then he did what he knew he should never do without his equipment. He did something that was incredibly stupid. He switched anchors, and thus switched time-streams.

A jarring sensation, like if you caught your arm on something while running and it swung your whole body around.

Pain, but considering how these things went ...

Not bad. It was the trip back where things really hurt.

No one could see him. No one could hear him. Look, but no touching. Still he spoke: “Jana, show me how you lived.”

For a time everything was normal. Just a daily routine. Then a growing unease. “Where are you Sarah?” Sarah, that was Surge's name. Shego had used it while they were on their trek.

Pacing. Phone calls. All to voice mail. Restless sleep. Nothing the next day. Reporting the disappearance to the police. The lack of evidence that Surge-- Sarah had gone missing against her will caused there to be no case opened. Jana was told to come back later.

Jana started to ask around on her own. She found out that Sarah had been at the mall. She tracked down witnesses, finally people who remembered seeing Sarah. It took her weeks but she found people who had been in the same room as Sarah when GJ took her.

Now she knew what happened. She went to the police again. The person working the desk that day was sympathetic. A case was opened.

Nothing came of it. Eventually the officer came to Jana off duty and off the record and told her that Global Justice was stonewalling. There was nothing the local police could do, and pressure was being put on them to misfile all records of the case so that no one would connect them to the disappearance.

Internet chats. Human rights groups.

Talking to a member of The Mothers of the National Mall, a human rights advocacy group made up of mothers of people who had been disappeared. “She's an orphan,” Jana had said when asked where Sarah's parents were.

Freedom of Information Act requests.

A gathering of about ten people in Jana's home town.

The Grass Famine. Pain. Loneliness.

Jana turned her laughable human rights group into something to help people through the famine. And every chance she had, she told people about her beloved Sarah who had been obeying the law and trying to make a meager life for herself before she had been abducted without cause.

People who had no interest in the disappearances learned about the true love of the woman who gave them food.

When the famine was over Jana's group was three hundred people strong and in partnership with other like minded groups around the country and around the world.

Political hell broke lose. Riots.

Barely back to normal after the Grass Famine, the truth about Kim Possible threatened to tip the world into anarchy. During the famine, after the famine, right up until the news came out, people all over the world were remembering the days of heroes. They were remembering that Kim Possible had stopped the super grass and thinking that if she were still alive, maybe the recent catastrophe would have been averted. Then they learned that she was still alive, just held in a secret prison on the moon.

The fact that she had never been given a trial just added fuel to the fire.

For Jana the news meant something else, something more personal. She knew where Sarah was. She talked to the moon. She prayed at the moon. She said, "I love you," to the moon every day. Sarah was somewhere up there.

A giant march, maybe a million people. The streets of New York City, at least the ones near the UN building, were covered in people. Commuters had abandoned their cars. Protesters stood on top of the cars as they demanded that their friends, family, and loved ones be returned. "Habeas corpus!" was one of a thousand things chanted.

They were ordered to disperse. Police and GJ agents said the gathering was unlawful.

Protesters held their hands together, daring the other side to cuff them. A chant arose and soon the protesters, maybe million strong, chanted as one, "Fly me to the moon." again and again.

Tear gas. Shorts fired. Blood in the street.

Running in all directions. Dragging the wounded so they wouldn't stay in the line of fire.

Bodies in the streets. Running from hiding place to hiding place, looking for a way to get free.

A cross country trip to get back home.

Telling people there what had happened. Some members leaving because they were afraid of what might be done to them. Others vowing to fight for what was right even more fiercely.

Being worn down over years.

Hope. The Saunders' act was repealed.

Despair. The person who led the repeal and oversaw it happening wasn't the Vice President but an impostor.

Years passed.

War. War with everyone.

Leaving home. Setting out to find some place to live, her followers behind her.

Finding Marcella's Free Zone and being welcomed with open arms. People who gave all that they had in spite of not having enough for themselves.

Years passed.

Old age caught up to her. When she was sure she was dying, Jana demanded to sleep outside. Each time she went to sleep she found the moon in the sky, and said, "Sarah, I love you."

One day she didn't wake up.

A funeral. Well attended. People sharing things Horiatio had seen and not even paid attention to. Lives that Jana improved, all shared in her memory.

Horatio had seen enough. He started to go back whence he came.

The first leg of the journey was simple. He went to where Sarah gave Jana the phone in a flash.  Then the change over.  It felt like he was hit by a semi-trailer at that point. It always hurt more coming back. Now he was with Sarah again. It was easy to follow her back to the present.

* * *

Horatio seemed to suddenly crumple. It wasn't easy for him to have that appearance given that he'd already been sitting in a pretty compact shape.

Looking at him Surge could almost feel the pain that had suddenly come over him, apparently from nowhere.

"She never stopped loving you, Sarah," he said.

She couldn't remember how to make words, she just said, "Whu?"

"She never stopped loving you; she never stopped trying to get you back. The world was better for it. She lived to a ripe old age and died of kidney failure. She died surrounded by people she'd helped."

"I-- I thought you said you couldn't-- I don't-- Thank you." She was grateful, even if she didn't know how to feel about what he'd said.

"I shouldn't have," Horatio said.

"I-- I'm sorry," Surge said. "I put you through that and I don't even know how I feel about the answer."

"Everybody dies," Horatio said. "She lived well. Maybe that counts for something."

* * *

"We're not going to randomly find some magical way to get back to--" Kim stopped right there. She should have said this was pointless ages ago because apparently the universe wanted to prove her wrong. "This looks interesting."

"What?" Shego asked.

"When you say you can fly anything...?"

Shego leaned in toward the monitor. "Oh, I can work with this."

* * *

Sarah had left to find something to eat. Horatio stared at his left hand, he was trying to hold it steady.

Good so far. A twitch. A flinch.

A shudder. A spasm the length of his arm. Shudder, shudder, spasm, twitch, flinch, twitch, spasm.

This was not good.

"I'm guessing it's not supposed to do that," Possible said. He hadn't even noticed her entering the hall.

How do you respond to that? No, it's totally supposed to move when I tell it to be still.

If you'd used your battle suit so much that you came to rely on it, do you think maybe you'd be unprepared for working without it and end up doing things you shouldn't, overtax your body, and screw yourself over in your musculature?

It's just my cells becoming unstuck in time which will likely kill me if not treated.

"It's not supposed to do that," Horatio said.

"We have a plan," Possible said. "Come to the room we met in before in 15 minutes or so."

Horatio nodded.



  1. I like the stories about the past. And I hope Horatio will be all right.