Saturday, March 14, 2015

Being more than a Simulacrum (A Kim Possible fan fiction) (part 6)

[Link to part 1]

"So, Um..."

"Yeah, Place?" Shego asked.

"Well, if I'm a few days old then I don't actually, uh, own anything unless someone gives me stuff, right?" Place asked.

"Uh, yeah.  I got those clothes for you," Shego said.

Place's room was stocked with fairly generic clothing in her size; she'd settled into jeans and a t-shirt.  Plain blue jeans plus a t-shirt that was an earth tone or just plain dark.  She definitely appreciated having clothing of her own, but that wasn't what she was thinking about at the moment.

"I talked to one of the henchmen, Andrew, about how people bet on everything here," Place said.

"If you want," Shego said, "I can make sure they don't bet on you."

"Thanks, but I was actually thinking about something else," Place said.  "I was thinking about putting down some money on one bet myself."

Shego didn't even try to hide her surprise.  When she found her voice she asked, "Which one?"

"Are you gonna tell me why you made me?" Place asked, in teasing tones.


"Then it's my secret," Place said with a smirk.

"Well it's my money," Shego said. "I don't think anyone else is planning on helping you start your savings."

"So you will give me money of my own, but only if you're first convinced that I'll use it for something you approve of?"

"Nah, you can have money," Shego said.  "How much are you planning on wasting?"

"Wasting?" Place asked, pretending to be offended. "Have you no faith in me?"

"You're not Kim," Shego said, "but I don't really see you as a big gambler."

"Well, it's a topic I'm interested in," Place said.  "Also, maybe it's a good thing when I do things that Kimmie wouldn't.  I don't want to be a carbon copy."

"'Kimmie'?" Shego asked.

"'Cupcake'?" Place asked.

Shego shrugged, "Whatever you want to call her, Princess."

"Anyway, if I don't want to be a copy of her, and I don't, then it seems like I should embrace areas that she wouldn't," Place said.

"Provided, of course, that you don't embrace them simply because she wouldn't," Shego said.  "Doing the opposite of what someone else would do is letting them dictate your life as much as doing the same as what they would do.  We have a specific term for it, but really it's just a mirror image of conforming to an authority figure's expectations, and no more healthy."

"Who is this 'we'?" Place asked

"Degree in child development, remember?" Shego said.

"Not a child anymore; neither is Kim."

"I know," Shego said.  "Believe me, I know.  I can still generalize what I learned."

"Well, I'm not planning on doing things just because Kim wouldn't do them," Place said.  "I am, however, considering that if there's something that interests me, which Kim, though interested, wouldn't do, then maybe I should go for it."

Shego nodded.  "That seems like a reasonable way to build your own identity."

"Thus, betting."

"Ok, lets talk about money."

* * *

"Are you sure Kim is human?" Shego asked asked while blocking a kick then countering.

"Pretty sure," Place said, struggling for breath.  She flipped backward to avoid Shego's glowing fists, and then asked, "Why?"

Shego didn't pursue, instead letting the sparing stop.

"You're improving a lot faster than I would have expected," Shego said.  "You'll be at Kim's level in another week, two at most."

"That's a good thing," Place said.  "Right?"

For a moment Shego didn't say anything.

"Right," Shego said.  "Yeah.  Good thing."

"And that wasn't suspiciously forced at all," Place said.

"Your sarcasm is improving," Shego said, her tone completely level.

"So do you want to continue sparing?" Place asked.

Shego glanced at the clock in the training area, "Actually, I was thinking about your exploring avenues Kim doesn't, and specifically your interest in gambling."

"Ok..." Place said.

"If you're interested in cards, you'll want to hit the shower soon," Shego said.

"Poker?" Place asked.

"Nah," Shego said.  "The henches call it 'The M-Game', you're not allowed to say the rules, but it's kind of like crazy eights."

"Mao?" Place asked.

"We do not speak its name," Shego said.

"How can you bet on ma-- 'The M-Game'?" Place asked.

"Financial point of order," Shego said.  "Betting is in order of play.  Once it's settled play resumes.  Whoever takes the hand wins the pot.  Pretty simple."

"You bet on a game where the rules are in a constant state of flux and confusion rules the day?" Place asked.

"Pretty much," Shego said.  "Well... I usually don't.  I mean, if I want money I steal it, not win it.  But it can be fun."

"Sounds good," Place said.

* * *

"Have room for two more?" Shego asked.

"Yeah," a hench said, sounding somewhat confused.  "Come on in."

Place was getting used seeing the henches around, but she still mostly kept to herself around them.  It had been a lot easier for her to be at ease around Shego than the rest of the people who worked in the lair.

She stayed close to Shego as they entered the room.  Place reminded herself that the six henches were not, in fact, her enemies.  It was easy to tell herself, but it was somewhat harder to get to the point where she felt it was true.

"Place!" one of the henches called out.

It took her a second to recognize him, then she responded, "Andrew!" and whispered to Shego, "My bookie."

The sat around the table, Place beside Shego, and introductions were made.  The henches were Andrew (obviously), Jacob, Ryan, Michael, Alex, and Ian.

Shego dealt.

* * *

For the first three hands Place just watched.  With mao it was always paid to make sure you knew what rules were in play.  Declare spades, obviously, law of sevens, but are the rules for aces, twos, jacks, and so forth being obeyed?  Are there any special rules?

For another five hands she bet conservatively and repeatedly lost.

On the next hand she got hit by the law of sevens, hard, and spent a while paying more attention to sorting her hand than she paid to the game.  When she started paying attention again she had more cards in her hand than Shego, Andrew, Michael, Jacob, and Ian combined.  She was also pretty sure she was going to win.

It took a while to get rid of cards that didn't fit her plan, but once she had she just had to wait for the right moment and then:

"Financial point of order!"

Everyone slapped their cards down on the table.  "I'm putting in everything I have," Place announced."

"Uh, Princess," Shego said, "you have noticed that you haven't even come close to winning, right?"

"You think I can't win?" Place asked.

"I think that if you blow everything you've got in a single hand, I'm not going to pay for your next buy in," Shego said.

"I'm putting in everything I have," Place said.

"You overestimate the value of bluffing," Michael said.  "Call."

Alex and Ian called as well.  Then everything stopped as they waited for Andrew.

After a while Shego said, "Raise, call, or fold.  It's not that complicated."

"I... I don't know what I want to do," Andrew said.

"You want to fold," Place told him.

"I want to fold?" he asked.

"You want to fold," Place repeated.

"I fold," Andrew said.

Jacob called, Ryan folded, Shego called, then announced, "End all points of order."

Everyone grabbed their cards and Place immediately said, "Twoed," and slapped down a six of hearts on top of the six of hearts on the discard pile, ace of clubs, twoed, seven of diamonds, twoed, and so on.  She had the entire thing planed out, all she had to do was make sure that no one else got a card in and remember to declare what she had to declare.

Eight "twoed"s later she got to the tricky part, where forgetting to say things could trip her up.  "King of hearts, Shego is king--"

"Damn straight I am," Shego said.

"Twoed.  King of hearts, Shego is king," Place said.  "Twoed.  Three of Spades.  Twoed.  Three of Spades..."

And Place kept on shedding cards until she reached, "Ace of Spades.  Last Card.  Twoed.  Ace of Spades."  She slapped the discard pile and declared, "Mao."

As Place pulled the chips to herself, Shego said, "Good run, Place."

"Still think I shouldn't have put it all in?" Place asked.

"What do you want me to say?" Shego asked, "'I was wrong'?"

"Wouldn't hurt."

"I was wrong."

There was a murmur of shock around the table.  Place was pretty sure that the henchmen hadn't seen Shego admit she was wrong before.

As Shego shuffled a stack of about a hundred cards she said to Place, "You'll ruin my reputation if you keep doing things like that."

Place shrugged and cleared her mind in preparation for the next hand.

* * *

Place heard something, but it didn't register.  It was louder, still didn't register.

"Earth to Place," Shego said, quite loudly.  When Place looked up at her she said, "You're getting stuck in your own head again."

"I was just thinking that I should have a mission outfit," Place said.

"Please don't copy Kim's purple disaster."

"I definitely don't want to be a mirror image of Kim," Place said.

Shego plopped down next to Place and said, "Well if you want my advice..."

"Green and black jumpsuit?"

"Nah," Shego said.  "I doubt you'd go for something like that, but I do have two thoughts."

"Don't strain yourself."

"Funny," Shego said. "I do think that there's something to be said for bright colors in one's mission gear.  That was thought one."

"And thought two?"

"I know I made fun of it, but Kim's old mission gear was a good look," Shego said.

"They don't make that anymore," Place said.

"They don't need to, do you have any idea how many versions of that were produced around the time we used syntho-clones?"

"Kim style," Place said with a hint of disgust.

"Which means that you can absolutely get the same style," Shego said, "But I recommend replacing the t-shirt with something bright."

"You're hoping for bright green, aren't you?" Place asked.

"A girl can dream," Shego said.

"Any other ideas?"

"Match your hair," Shego offered.


"Your hair is orange, Princess," Shego said.  "It's called red when discussing hair for reasons that defy comprehension, but it is definitely orange."

"Bright orange?  I'd look like road work."

"Maybe a warm orange?"


* * *

After her second weekly game of mao, Place took Andrew aside to talk to him.

"I'm confused," Andrew said.

"About which part?" Place asked.

"The part where you're..." Andrew said.  "You know what, that's the thing.  Starting at the beginning, continuing through the middle, and reaching all the way to the end.  That's the part that I'm confused about."

"Ok, I'm not offering to teach you how to beat Kim."

"I got that."

"But I am offering to teach you how to better fight Kim."

"And you've lost me again."

"If you're going to lose anyway, it seems to me like you might as well toss the fight rather than risk getting hurt."

"We...  we actually do that already," Andrew said, looking embarrassed.

"I did not know that," Place said.

"Well, it's not like we advertise it."

"Makes sense," Place said.  "Anyway, we could spar, you could better practice with Kim's moves, and be able to put up a more believable fight while having a lower chance of getting hurt."

"Interesting offer," Andrew said.  "I'll pass it around." 

* * *

"I think I'm ready to go out on my own," Place said.

"Planning on leaving?" Shego asked.  Place was pretty sure she heard some sadness in Shego's voice.

"I'm planning on seeing my family, checking some things out, and thinking a bit," Place said.  "Maybe getting a permanent name."

"Are you going to come back?" Shego asked.

"Yeah, but don't wait up for--" Place stopped.  "Actually, if Drakken has an evil scheme thought up, I might have use for it."

"What are you thinking?" Shego asked.

"Nothing terribly interesting," Place said.  "I'm just not sure that I'm ready to deal with Kim, if you could get her out of the house so I could see the rest of my family without her..."

"Yeah, we can probably work that out," Shego said.  "You are coming back, right?"

"I'm coming back," Place said



  1. It would make sense if the same magic that gave Place memories gave Place accelerated physical conditioning. A clone is traditionally the equal of the original, after all.

    I'm still enjoying this.

  2. If this was part one of a trilogy, or season one of a television series, or something like that, this would be a nice way to end it.