Monday, September 22, 2014

Kim Possible -- Forgotten Seeds, Chapter 2: Stepping Out

“Well?” Surge asked impatiently.

Kim didn't look up from the console she was using, “The facility is bigger than anything I ever intended, but the basics haven't changed.”

“So, can you get us out?” Ryan asked in a demanding tone.


“How?” Surge asked.

“Can you still generate plasma?” Kim asked Shego.

As a demonstration Shego lit her right hand. She also flipped Kim off.

"Perfect," Kim nodded. Then she moved away from the computer console and said, “Come here.”

Kim knelt and pried a small panel off the wall. Inside was a very orderly, very incomprehensible, array of wires and devices.

“See that blue box,” she pointed. When Shego touched it she said, “Yes, that's it. First I need you to slice that end of the main cable free.”

Shego easily cut it with a glowing finger. Kim then tugged the slack out of some of the interior wires, and stripped the wires on the edge of the open panel. She rewired them and then stepped back.

“Now,” she said to Shego. “Send as much energy as you can through the cable.”

“And this accomplishes what?” Shego asked.

“Power; we need power,” Kim said.

“I believe cooperation is in our best interest,” Drakken said.

“Doctor Dimwit,” Shego said. “I don't care what you believe or that you seem to have gotten a more cheerful disposition. I've got a five hundred year old hangover like you wouldn't believe.” Shego lit her hands regardless. They flared so brightly the others had to turn away.

Kim examined a monitor and said, “You're doing it, Shego. Just a few more ergs.”

“Yay, me,” Shego said flatly. “I'm still holding out for an explanation.”

“We all are, Shego,” Drakken said.

“Speak for yourself,” Surge said. “I just want to make it out alive, I could care less if anyone explains how.”

The chatter devolved into three shouting matches. Through it all Shego kept her plasma going.

Finally Kim said, “That should be enough.”

After a few keystrokes, a door that had formerly been closed, a door that by now they all knew they had to get through if they were ever going to leave, suddenly beeped active.

“Finally,” Ryan said, rushing for the door.

“Wait!” Kim shouted.

Ryan opened the door anyway, there was a flash of light and then he fell back into the room.

The most disconcerting thing wasn't the hole clean through his chest. It wasn't the smell of burnt flesh. It was his eyes. His still open, but very dead, eyes.

Shego pulled the body clear of the door. Drakken vomited. Then he closed Ryan's eyes.

Surge seemed to be trying to stop herself from hyperventillating.

Amy was just standing there in shock.

Hawk and Henry didn't seem to have processed what had happened yet.

Horatio closed the door.

Blok was the first to speak: “There's nothing you could do,” he said to Kim.

“I could have--” Kim started.

“You tried to warn him,” Blok said.

“I could have warned everyone beforehand,” Kim said. “I was just so caught up in solving the problem that I didn't think... And now...”

“Nine people are still alive,” Hawk said. “Focus on that. We have nine people who need a way out.”

“He's right,” Shego said. “The problem isn't solved yet.”

Kim took a deep breath and then said, “Blok, you're up.”

“What do you need?”

“Getting power back on has given us what we need to get out but it's also reactivated the security systems,” Kim said.

“Obviously,” Shego said.

“You're the only one that the security can't stop,” Kim told Blok. “Through that door are more holding areas just like the ones you all came out of and at the end of those is a security room. You can shut down the security systems with the push of a button.”

“I'm not good with electronics,” Blok admitted.

“This will be simple. Press a button, nothing more,” Kim said.

“Ok, which button?”

“When you get to the end of the holding areas you'll be in a small room with a console that looks almost exactly like this.” She gestured to the console she'd been using.

“That has a lot of buttons.”

“None of them matter,” Kim said. “The buttons that do matter will be here,” Kim pointed to an empty spot above the keyboard. “There will be a blue one, a green one, a yellow one, and a red one. All you have to do is press the blue one.”

“Just press the blue button?” Blok said uncertainly.

“It's just that simple,” Kim said. “The hard part is getting to it. Any of the rest of us would probably die, you should be able to take any punishment the security system can dish out.”

“Should?” Shego asked suspiciously.

“Should,” Kim said. Then, turning her attention from everyone but Blok, added, “So don't take your time. It's a straight line, just keep on running through the holding areas and going through the doors at the ends until you find yourself in a room that isn't a holding area.”

“And then hit the blue button?” Blok asked.

“Yes,” Kim said.

Blok stood in front of the door, transformed to his stone form and said, “I'm ready.”

Hawk hit the button to open the door while carefully avoiding putting himself in the path of the defenses in the next room.

Block disappeared through the door, which Hawk quickly closed behind him.

“What now?” Amy asked.

“Now we wait,” Kim said, returning to her console.

“Princess, I've been out for a day and haven't eaten. I'm cranky, I'm pissed off, and I'm not in the mood to wait,” Shego said.

“I'm happy you made it,” Kim said.

“Yay,” Shego said in a voice that indicated anything but joy.

“We can monitor his progress from here,” Kim said, indicating the console. “He's making good time.”

“In lunar gravity his stone form probably weighs about as much as the average human,” Drakken said. “He's still got as much mass to move to fight inertia, but when it comes to gravity he's never had it so easy before.”

“Fascinating,” Shego said, again in a voice that indicated her feelings didn't match her words.

“Is he holding up?” Surge asked.

“Impossible to tell,” Kim said, “but he's not slowing down.”

“So how did they get you, Princess?” Shego asked.

“They stabbed me in the back,” Kim said. “Literally and figuratively.”

“I know the feeling,” Shego said.

“I tried to give you a way out,” Kim said. “You wouldn't take it.”

“You're blaming this on me?” Shego shouted.

“No,” Kim told her, looking down. “And I'm happy to see you again.”

“And we wouldn't have gotten this far without you, Shego,” Amy added.

“Hooray for me,” Shego huffed.

“Let's remember we're all here together now,” Drakken suggested.

“What did they do to him?” Shego asked.

“What?” Kim responded, confused.

“Since when is Dr. D all for making nice with Kim Possible?” Shego asked.

Kim returned to her console. She quickly pulled up Drakken's file, read it over, and said, “Nothing.”

Shego just gave her a look.

“Well, nothing they didn't do to the rest of us,” Kim said. “It looks like they had some ham handed attempts at mind control but the cryo beds hardwired programming stopped any of them from working. He just got the equivalent of therapy sessions.”

“Five hundred years of them,” Hawk said.

“Well they don't seem to have affected the rest of us much,” Kim said.

“You do know I'm standing here while you talk about me, right?” Drakken asked.

“Sorry, Drakken,” Kim said.

“Actually I find it fascinating,” Drakken said, “and I do confess that I care much less about the people who laughed at me at university.”

“Yay, therapy,” Shego said with much sarcasm.

There was a beep on the console.

“The security system should be off,” Kim said, then she looked around for something to throw into the next room to trip the motion sensors.

Shego realized what Kim was doing and casually cut a piece of metal from the wall with a plasma encased finger.

Kim opened the door and Shego tossed it in. Nothing happened.

“So...” Surge said.

“Dr. D, why don't you go in there and check?” Shego said.

“Not funny, Shego,” Kim said. Then she walked into the room herself. Nothing happened. “It's safe.”

The eight of them made their way through the holding areas, trying not to look at the cry beds and their deceased occupants, until they reached Blok.

“Good work,” Kim said.

“It was nothing,” Blok said.

“How long until we're free?” Surge asked.

“Now is when we find out,” Kim said. Approaching the console. “This is a guard station so we have more control from here.”

After a few silent moments she showed the others a map of the lunar surface.

“We're here,” Kim pointed to one of two structures on the map. “There's not much here. Cryo beds, a few storage closets, and a tapped out power plant. We need to get here,” she pointed at another point on the map.

“That's a long way through a vacuum,” Hawk said.

“It's the only way,” Kim said. “This facility is just a prison, that one is an actual base. A base for people who would travel back to earth.”

“So... transportation?” Surge asked.

“Hopefully, but we have to get there first,” Kim said. The map zoomed in to show just the prison, “This is a warehouse of all the possessions they took from prisoners,” she pointed at one room back the way they had come, “we'll stop there first.”

“Kimmie, that door doesn't open,” Shego said. “I don't think it's locked; it just doesn't open.”

“It will now that it has power,” Kim responded. Shego shrugged. Kim continued, “Once we've got our stuff back, we'll head out,” she pointed to an exit in the section none had been in yet. “There are space suits here,” she pointed at a storage locker. “If we're lucky there will be a vehicle.”

“And if we're not?” Surge asked, unable to keep the fear from her voice.

“If not then we'll have to walk.”

“It's over two miles to the other facility,” Hawk said.

“There's no other choice,” Kim said. “Unless you wait here and die of hypoxia we need to reach the other facility.”

“You always were a ray of sunshine,” Shego said flatly.

The group headed back the way they had come. Someone gasped as they passed Ryan's body, but no one, not even the one who had done it, was sure who.

The door to the “Personal Effects Vault” was made of thick and heavy metal. Drakken shuddered to think what it must have cost to move it to the moon. Shego looked ruefully at melted sections where she'd tried to force her way through earlier, before she decided to conserve her plasma.

Kim just smiled.

It was Horatio who tapped in the code to open the door.


The vault again drove home how many had been left to die on Luna-1. It seemed to stretch on forever. Nothing but numbered boxes on shelves.

“Dehumanizing, isn't it?” Shego said.

“What?” Blok asked.

“They couldn't even be bothered to use our names,” Shego said. “Just … cell numbers.” She pulled a box off the shelf and opened it. “This is me. Zero-Zero-One-A. That's all I was to them. A serial number.”

“I'm used to being a specimen number,” Hawk said.

“Things got a lot worse after you guys left the scene,” Henry added. “In the end we were worth less than nothing.”

“That explains why they'd rather see us die than be released,” Shego said as she rummaged through the box.

When everyone started to look for their own belongings, Kim said, “You don't have to limit yourselves to just your things. No one else is going to be using this stuff.”

“I daresay most of them would appreciate their things being used to help those who opposed putting them into this death trap,” Drakken said.

Kim collapsed.

Shego was the first to her side, “You ok?” she asked while helping the young woman up. Soon everyone was around her.

Kim mumbled something too softly for it to be heard.

“What was that, Red?” Blok asked.

“It was never supposed to be a death trap!” Kim shouted. Then she started sobbing. “It was supposed to be a more humane solution than current prisons. No abuse, no gangs, no violence. Everyone kept safe and the only side effect would be people working out their issues in their sleep.” The sobbing turned to dry heaves. “Everyone was supposed to win.”

“Kim,” Shego said, a hard edge in her voice, “You didn't do this. Cyclops did. She overrode your fail safes to kill all those people. None of this is on you.” Shego paused for a moment. “If you give up on us now, though, that will be on you.”

Kim looked up at Shego and said, “Sorry.”

“Everyone's stressed,” Shego said.

“I'm sorry for everything.”

“Get us back to earth alive and you can consider yourself forgiven,” Shego said in a softer voice.

Amy had already started looking through her box, and Kim pulled the next box in line off the shelf without even looking at the number. She figured the numbering scheme was simple. The first prisoner, put in cryo before the prison even existed, was Shego. The second was Amy. Kim herself was the third. She'd be 003-A.

When she opened the box all that was in it was her wristwatch.

“Too bad, Kimmie, looks like you're stuck with that fashion disaster,” Shego said, gesturing at Kim's all white clothing. The expected sarcasm was there, but possibly also a bit of sympathy.

“Actually, I may have found some help,” Kim said, hope returning to her voice.

“We've been here for centuries, what do you think that little--” Shego started.

The device chirped.

Kim hit one of the buttons and for a moment very small writing appeared on the watchface. “Spankin',” Kim said, then she hit one button twice.

“So what did you just do, princess?” Shego asked.

“I found out that my car is still online, and the AI is booting up. I told her to come here once all systems are online.”

“You told you car to come to the moon?” Surge asked.

“I've seen it,” Blok said. “It does fly.”

“And it could reach us on Mars if it needed to,” Kim said.

“Except no one gassed it up in a very long time,” Shego said.

“Jade doesn't run on gas,” Kim said, “and she's been in a kind of mechanical stasis since GJ turned on me.” Kim's voice turned dark, “Telling her to go into it and wait for me was the last thing I managed to do before GJ took me down.” Then her voice returned to a more matter of fact tone: “Unless something very heavy fell on her Jade can get to us without difficulty.”

“That's your plan?” Shego asked.

“No.” Kim said. “That's my backup plan. The primary plan remains the same. We take whatever is useful from this room, get to the exit, and make our way to the lunar base.”

The group again separated, everyone searching for their own belongings. Shego and Amy found spots to change into their own clothes. Kim randomly opened boxes and looked inside to see if she could find anything useful.


They could have searched the vault for ages, but none of them wanted to stay longer than they had to. It quickly became apparent that weapons and advanced technology had not been stored with other personal effects so the only truly useful items they found were things that had been overlooked, like Kim's watch.

When they left Surge was dressed in her own clothes, the t-shirt and jeans typical of a woman in her early twenties in 2018, and a long coat: a duster enhanced with nanotechnology to heat or cool its occupant and change color and texture. Currently she had it in pink suede.

Drakken was in his usual blue suit.

Amy was in her standard getup, this turtleneck two tone purple, but instead of her own glasses she'd found a pair that could shift to match her prescription, zoom, and show various non-visible spectra.

Shego hadn't located anything of particular use in any of the other boxes, but she surprised everyone but not changing into her jumpsuit but instead a simple tank top with green slacks.

Hawk took none of his own clothes, they were just what he had thrown on while fleeing
Global Justice. He'd found a dress shirt and trousers that he deemed “passable”.

Blok was wearing beat up jeans, a black tank top, and a red leather vest that honored his favorite fictional gang.

Horatio and Henry both wore unremarkable t-shirts and jeans, though Horatio's t-shirt seemed like it might be fitted for a woman. Henry had found a navigational wristband. It had a compass, had a GPS receiver, contained maps of the entire planet, and promised to be able to preform celestial navigation via stored star charts. All of it was useless when one wasn't on the earth, of course.

Newly equipped they all headed back to the guard station.

Kim returned to the console and started typing in commands, “I'm trying to channel oxygen out of the areas we're leaving and into the ones we'll be traveling through,” she explained. “But there's not a lot to work with.”

The trip to the airlock was uneventful. The space suits were in the locker like Kim had said. There were more than they needed and Shego scavenged extra oxygen canisters from the unnecessary ones.

“Once we're in the suits we need to keep our breathing even and take it slow,” Kim said. “If there isn't transportation outside we'll need to walk two miles.”

“Hop.” Hawk said.

“What?” Kim asked.

“The low gravity combined with the loose regolith on the lunar surface makes walking difficult at best,” Hawk said.

“It's hard enough to walk in here,” Surge complained. They all knew it was true, not one of them hadn't had difficulty with pushing off the ground too hard.

“Astronauts found that the best way to move around is to hop,” Hawk told everyone.

“Ok, if there's no transportation we'll need to hop a long way,” Kim said. “It's important that we conserve our air if we're going to make it. Once the suits are on I recommend the only talking we do is to confirm that the suits are working. After that: silence.”

When they were in the spacesuits and could hear each other only through the built in raidos Kim said, “Kim; suit secure.”

“It works,” Shego said.

“Drakken. Suit is working.”

“Surge. I'm still breathing.”

“Blok. I'm good.”

“Hawk. I'm cool.”

"Oh, the air tickles my nose," Amy said.

Shego rolled her eyes.

“Horatio; suit intact.”

"Henry. I'm fine."

Shego looked at Kim then said, "Okay, we did roll call. Can we go now?"

"Everyone grab a spare tank," Kim said, then opened walked to the airlock.

The computer in the airlock had information the internal computers didn't.

“Damn, no transportation,” Kim said. "Don't forget. Stay calm, breathe evenly, and we should be fine."

When everyone was piled into the airlock, Kim shut the interior door and opened the exterior door. It was their first glimpse of where they truly were.

The barren gray moonscape stretched in all directions. Kim oriented herself toward the other facility, but couldn't see anything but more moon.

She knew, intellectually, that it was because the horizon on the moon was closer, making the facility a half mile over the horizon instead of nearly a mile closer than the horizon as it would be on earth. She knew that. But it still felt hopeless to step out onto the moon's surface when she couldn't even see where she was going.



  1. Backup plans are good. A backup plan means that failure of the original plan is less fatal.

    ...'fatal' being unfortunately more literal in this case than in most.

    I'd definitely read more of this.

  2. I must admit, part of me was thinking that they would go through all this spacesuit-gathering and talk of conserving air, only to step out and find themselves in a terraformed wilderness. (Which would, of course, pose its own set of dangers, but entirely different from the set they were expecting.)

    This should be good too, though.

  3. Chapter 2 is awesome.

    I like the title "stepping out" and how it connects with them all choosing what to wear.