Kim took in the scene around her through a daze of confusion and disbelief. In truth, it was one she had been in a number of times before; held hostage by a group of goons while Shego stood in front of her that annoying look of superiority on her face. But that was…before. Before Drakken’s plan had backfired and impregnated her with some of Kim’s DNA. Before Kim found out she was a parent to be. Before the two grew to actually like one another and certainly before they eventually became…lovers.
But now it was like none of that had ever happened. It was like they had been thrust back in time and back into their old roles of hero and villain. Except that this woman standing in front of her was not that Shego from those days that seemed like a lifetime ago now. No, this woman was some kind of twisted monster created by a man who thought himself worthy to play God. She wasn’t Shego. At least not her Shego.
The outfit alone made that fact perfectly clear. While the real Shego seemed to revel in her outfit being an almost swirled mix of black and green to show off her chaotic nature, this Shego cast a more professional light with her solid black body suit and green business style jacket. Even her gloves and boots where matched to offset the respective colors; black for the green jacket and green for the black suit. Her hair was also shorter. Whereas the real Shego’s came down past her rear, this Shego had her hair cut to stop at her middle back and was tied back into a ponytail by two ties, one at the base of her neck and another down near the end of her hair.
Still, for all these cosmetic differences, Kim felt there had to be something of the Shego she knew and loved deep down inside this woman. After all, Anna was created with the memories of their time together, so it stood to reason that the Shego clone had them as well. She just had to find a way to reach out to her. Some way to help her remember who she was.
Of course that was easier said than done what with the fifteen W.E.E. agents still in the room guarding them and their equipment laying on a table across the room. Plus she still hadn’t learned the clone’s name. There was still one name she was sure would get a response out of her.
“Shego,” Kim started in a cautious tone.
“Aahh! Bah, bah, bah, bah!”the clone remarked, wagging a finger shamefully forwards her.
“Not Shego. I may have to look like her but I’m not taking her name or any version there of.”
“Then what should we call you?”
“Jade?!” the three captured heroes shouted in surprise.
“Yes, Jade. Gotta problem with that?” the pale woman growled.
“I guess not but it doesn’t seem very…” Kim said, struggling to find the right word.
“Shego-esque,” Ron finished for her.
“Not a word, but yes, that.”
“Exactly!” Jade cried out excitedly. “It’s not something that Shego would think about, so it works perfectly for me. Besides, the mineral jade is a precious commodity and I’m a precious commodity. At least to Gemini I am, so it fits. And green is my favorite color.”
“Actually green is Shego’s favorite color,” Kim countered with a sly grin.
Jade glared at her through slitted eyes. “Shut up!”
“Hit a nerve, huh? Well then how about this? If you’re created around the same time as Anna here then you-”
“Would remember all about your precious widdle baby you and Shego have a home?” she asked in a mockingly child like voice.
“Then you do remember,” Anna whispered, more to herself than the others.
Jade’s expression changed from one of mean spirited playfulness to one of bitterness and annoyance.
“Yeah I remember,” she growled. “I remember it all. Every little bit of it.”
She stepped forward with every word until she was almost in Anna’s face. She stared at the girl who had been incubating next to her for awhile.
“And you want to know something?” she asked softly before turning her attention towards Kim. “I DON’T CARE!”
Although the statement was directly squared at Kim it shocked all three of them, but hit Kim and Anna the hardest. It reminded Kim of the animosity that existed between the two of them for so long before Shin was born and it helped confirmed to Anna that she was never going to find a soul mate in the other cloned woman. Even if she wasn’t looking to start a relationship like Kim and Shego had, it would have been nice to connect with her on some level. But that one statement made it known to all present that “Jade” wasn’t looking for a soul mate or even friends. She was only looking forward to carrying out whatever orders Gemini gave her. They had definitely failed at this mission.
“But…but…how can you not care?” Kim found herself asking.
“What do you want to hear?!” Jade shouted incredulously. “that that’s how they ‘programmed’ me? That if it wasn’t for that, then I’d run off with Anna and then you, Shego, her and me could spend our days together going out on double dates and just being one happy, really weird family?”
“Well guess what Kimmie, that’s never going to happen! I. Am. Evil! And I like it! Oh and you want to hear a nice, dirty little secret about your ‘reformed’ Shego?” the raven haired woman said with a sadistic smile as she pressed her face into Kim’s again. “Something that she never told you? When she first found out about being pregnant and then came to live with you, you know what she felt?”
Kim shook her head slowly.
“Resentment! She resented Drakken, the baby, you, and most of all herself for being so damn weak for not having to guts to do with she should have done and gotten rid of the damn thing! I bet you don’t even know that during the first few weeks she thought of running out on you dozens of times. She just couldn’t find it in her to go through with it.”
Kim stared back at her in absolute horror. She had to be lying, she had to be! She knew Shego wasn’t happy with the sitch in the beginning and truthfully she wasn’t sure if she was either, despite how in control she seemed. She also knew that Shego had thought at first about aborting Shin, but she couldn’t have had as much hatred in her that she was seeing in Jade’s eyes. This had to be some kind of side effect from the programming W.E.E. put into her. There was no way Shego could have hated their child that much at any time during her pregnancy. Could she?
“Don’t listen to her KP, she’s just trying to mess with your head,” Ron spoke up, trying to help Kim keep her wits together.
“Oh and let’s all hear from Stoppable,” Jade quipped. “The boy who wasn’t good enough to keep Kim to himself.”
“That’s not true!” Kim snapped.
“Really? Then why is it you two aren’t still together?” she asked, crossing her arms over her chest.
“That’s none of your business,” Anna spoked up, glaring at Jade.
“But it’s yours, right? Cause you’re a clone of Possible and you have all her memories so obviously you have the right to comment on it.”
“No I don’t. And neither do you. We don’t really have the right to comment on anything in their lives cause we’re not them, despite having their memories and faces, we’re not Kim nor Shego.”
“Now you’re starting to get the picture,” Jade smirked.
“So then tell me, what were we created for?”
“Oh see now there’s a funny story. Turns out, Gemini found out about Shego’s baby and that it made her reform. After failing to capture it thanks to the efforts of Kimmie here, he decided to go with the next best thing.”
“You,” Anna remarked. “But why me?”
“Because he figured that whenever Shego lost all the baby weight she’d probably get back into the field as a good guy again. Which, by the way, is a disgusting thought. So as a way to counter Kim and Shego’s supposedly ‘unstoppable force’ he decided to create us. Apparently we’re suppose to be some kind of ‘Evil Dream Team’ or something. Personally, I think it’s one of those things where he just didn’t want Dr. Director to have something better than him. Twins, go figure,” Jade said with a shrug. “But of course things didn’t go quite according to plan.”
“And they knew we’d come back to save you so they brought you out before hand so you could help set up this trap,” Kim ventured.
“Pretty much, yeah.”
“Not that I’m complaining mind you, but why are we still alive?” Ron asked.
Jade and slumped her shoulders a bit.
“Because just like Drakken, Gemini is an idiot who wants to personally gloat over you. I told him we should bring you to him, but no he insisted that he come here. And since this place has no prison cells we have to stand guard over you. There. Happy?”
Ron seemed to think about it for a second. “No, I can honestly say I’ve been a lot happier than this.”
“Yeah well-” Jade stopped mid sentence when something clicked in her. “Waitaminute. You’ve got me monologuing, which means you’re trying to distract me. But what are you…?” Her eyes went wide with shock as she realized there was something very she and her men overlooked. “His pockets! Check his pockets!”
“Uh…ma’am?” one of the agents asked, as he and the agent next to him looked at each other in confusion and a bit of apprehension.
“Oh for the love of…” Jade muttered as she stepped forward.
The thrust both her hands into Ron’s pockets and began to search them vigorously. The blonde squirmed nervously as she did so, afraid she might hurt something valuable. Of course, under different circumstances this would have actually been quite an enjoyable experience. After a bit of searching, Jade withdrew her hands and let out a frustrated growl.
“How could I have been so stupid?!” she screamed. “We forgot to get that stupid rat thing!” She whipped her head around two of the men who seem unoccupied. “You two! Search the room for it! NOW!”
“Uh…with all due respect ma’am, how much damage can one little naked rat thing cause?” one of them asked.
“Plenty,” Jade growled as she narrowed her eyes dangerously.
Rufus scampered along the floor to the lab, staying close to the shadows and large pieces of equipment to avoid being seen. He had jumped out of Ron’s pocket during the fight between the three teens and the W.E.E. agents. He had planned to jump in and help them out, but the battle was surprisingly short and ended up with all three of them captured. Now, once again, it was up to him to find away to free them and save the day. Unfortunately, the agents currently combing the labs looking for him was making that a little difficult. He held back a terrified shriek as one of their boots nearly trampled him, then ran as quickly as he could into a small space between two consoles. He breathed rapidly in an effort to calm himself and when his little heart stopped racing he poked his head out to take a better look around.
It seemed the immediate danger of being stepped on was out of the way, but he could still be found and while he was sure they couldn’t reach him in his hiding space, their guns most certainly could. He would definitely do well to avoid those.
He looked around frantically for something that would let him help his human friends get out of their current jam. Unfortunately, there didn’t seem to be that many resources available to him at the moment. He was just about to try and make a run for Kim’s backpack to get something out of that when he noticed a large box sticking out of the wall. Though he couldn’t make out the writing on it, the cartoon lighting bolts to him it was most likely the fuse box for the area.
“Ah-ha!” he mused with a snap of his paws.
He looked from side-to-side again to make sure the coast was clear, then scampered over to the wall the box was on before jumped up onto the thick cable connected to it. He climbed up to the bottom of the metal box then twisted around so that his front paws were holding onto the cable while his hide ones pushed against the box itself. He grunted as he pulled on the cable with all his might. After nearly a minute of trying, he was finally able to yank the cord out, casting the room into total darkness.
Though nothing could be seen, there was plenty to be heard. Specifically the sounds of fists connecting with skin and fabric and the pained groans of the W.E.E. agents. These were quickly followed by the scurrying of feet along with a slightly panicked scream from Ron. With a frustrated growl, Jade ignited her plasma power in both her fists, illuminating the area around her just enough to show off her scowling face and reveal that they prisoners were, in fact, gone. She looked at the men laying on the ground in disgust then looked back to those who were still standing.
“Well, what are you waiting for?!” she screamed.
“The emergency lights ma’am,” one of explained. “Protocol says we can’t move until they kick in.”
“Well then the hell-”
She was stopped mid-sentence when the hum of the backup generator filled the air soon to be followed by blue tinted emergency lights. They were about half as bright as the original lights, but certainly provided more illumination then Jade’s plasma.
“There! There’s you emergency lights. Now find them!” she ordered again, pointing a charged finger at the small group of agents.
They all nodded eagerly then nearly tripped over themselves as they ran off to search the lab and more importantly to get away from their highly anger, and probably unstable, boss. Jade extinguished her powers then placed her hands on her hips as she once again look at the unconscious men laying where Kim and her friends had just been standing moments before. She shook her head in disgust of their shoddy performance and hoped that the others would be able to recapture the teen heroes.
“Oh who am I kidding?” she muttered to herself. “Want something down right…”
She left the sentence hanging as she walked off to start searching for Kim, Anna, and Ron herself, all while being unable to shake off this unsettling sense of deja vu.
Not far away from all the commotion, the three people at the center of the impromptu manhunt, sat crouched behind one of the consoles in a darker part of the lab. They each looked in a different direction to see if any of the agents had spotted them, but thankfully the only one to find them was the very same… “person” who had helped them escape.
“Rufus! Way to bail us out!” Ron cheered quietly, holding up a finger for the mole rat to five high.
“No big,” Rufus squeaked humbly as he slapped his little paw against his human’s finger.
“OK, we’re free. So now what do we do?” Ron asked, looking between Kim and Anna.
The redheads looked back at him for a second before they turned their attention to each other. They had a feeling they’re both thinking the same thing, but neither of them really wanted to say it. Saying it was admitting it and admitting it…was something they just couldn’t do. There had to be someway they could complete their original mission, there had to be, but what?
“Uh…you girls OK?” the blonde hair boy asked again, looking between them.
“We’re good Ron,” Kim lied. “We’re just…trying to think of something.”
“I…I think it’s pretty obvious that we can’t take Jade with us,” Anna forced herself to say.
“Yeah I’d say that pretty obvious. She’s much more about capturing us than coming with us,” Ron pointed out.
They gave him a look that would have caused even the most harden of criminals to break down and cry. While he was able to keep his tears in his head, he still crouched down to make himself as small as possible.
“I’ll shut up now,” he said meekly.
With Ron quiet, the girls focused their attention on each other again.
“Like it or not, he’s got a point,” Anna reasoned. “I…I think we’ve lost her.”
“I know, I know,” Kim said with a sigh. “I just wish…”
“Me too,” the clone girl agreed softly. “But we can’t worry about that now.”
“You’re right. If we can’t bring her back with us then we’ll have to at least make sure W.E.E. can’t do anything like this again.”
“So what do you suggest?”
“You two take out the agents running around then find someway to shut down all this equipment for good.”
“And while we’re doing this, what will you be doing?” Ron ventured.
A regretful expression crossed Kim’s face just before she answered. “I’ll be holding off Jade.”
“I don’t think that’s a good idea,” Anna protested.
“Do you really think you could fight her?”
Kim stared into her clone’s eyes for a second, looking for what she didn’t exactly know. Maybe something that told her this girl didn’t really know what she was talking about. Something that would convince essentially herself that she was able to put aside all the feeling she had developed for Shego over the past few months and fight a woman who looked just like her. Unfortunately, she couldn’t find that something because she knew it wasn’t true. She didn’t think there was anyway, at least right now, that she could bring herself to harm Shego, even if it was a deranged clone.
“No,” she finally said with a heavy sigh.
“Then I think you two should shut this place down and I’ll handle Jade,” Anna advised.
“What makes you think you can fight her any more than I could?”
“I’ll…manage. Trust me.”
Kim gave her an odd look, but again this was basically herself asking her to trust her and if she couldn’t even trust herself then who could she trust?
“Alright,” she agreed with a nod. “But if you need any help…”
“I know who to call,” Anna remarked with a smirk.
Their assignments clear, the three checked the area around them again before heading off in different directions to accomplish their goals. While Kim took Ron and Rufus with her, Anna moved by herself which is the way she preferred it actually. She did have a plan on how to handle Jade and if it didn’t work out as she wanted it to, then she didn’t want Kim anywhere near them to hear what she hoped they’re going to talk about.
She rounded the corner into a section of the lab that appeared to be a mess of pipes and half finished machinery. The question of why exactly an organization as advanced as W.E.E. needed a room like this escaped her mind when she spotted Jade standing in the middle of it and appearing to be searching for someone. Herself of the other two no doubt. She quickly ducked into one of the mazes of pipes to avoid being seen. It did little good, however, as Jade whipped around and activated her powers at the sounds of the footsteps.
“Who’s there?” she asked, slowly stepping forward. “Come one, don’t play coy with me, I heard your footsteps. Is that you Kimmie?”
“No, but you’re close,” Anna’s voice answered back.
“Ah so it’s the clone. What are you calling herself again? Ann?”
“Well then, Annie why don’t you come out and play?” Jade teased, taking a swiping charge around the corner, only to find no one there.
“I’d prefer we just have a nice sit down and talk,” Anna remarked, hiding the nervousness of how close she had come to already being caught.
“And what exactly do you want to talk about?” the pale woman asked as she continued to track down the voice’s owner.
“There is no ‘us’.”
“I know. And I think there should be.”
“Oh and why is that?” Jade questioned irritably, extinguishing her flames to place her hands on her hips. “Because that’s how Kim and Shego are?”
“Well…yeah,” Anna replied, carefully stepping over a pipe as she circled around the other woman.
“Please. Like we have to be just like them because we’re their clones.”
“OK I’ll give you points for wanting original thoughts, but like it or not we do have their memories. Memories of what they’ve been through and how much they mean to each other.”
“Oh yeah, I’ve got a lot of memories bouncing around in my head that I don’t want,” Jade remarked as she began her search again.
“And none of them make you want to see if we’d have the same kind of relationship?” Anna asked, peaking out her from one of the holes in the piping.
“Nope. Perfectly happy being what I am now.”
“A tool for someone else?”
“Evil,” she countered. “Picking up where Shego left off cause she went soft. You’re right I do have all of her memories, specifically her reasons for wanting to be evil.”
“Oh please, enlighten me.”
“Sorry, you probably wouldn’t understand,” she said, jumping around another corner only to find nothing.
“Not there either,” Anna remarked, unable to keep her grin down from alluding Jade for so long.
“Where are you?!”
“Sorry that’s for me to know,” she teased as she glanced around a corner to find she was now behind the pale villainess. “Just like I guess it’s for you to know why you want to be evil.”
“Well what about you?” Jade replied, finally slipping into the network of pipes herself. “Why do you play the good guy? Isn’t that just giving into Kimmie’s thoughts and feelings.”
“Better than being programmed by someone.”
“I wasn’t programmed.”
“Already told you that,” she growled as she ducked under a low pipe. “Hey, here’s a question for you. Why don’t you just give up this hero stuff?”
“Huh?” Anna asked as she started to move again.
“Instead of being all Kimmie-like and playing the hero why not just go along with Gemini’s original plan and joined W.E.E. You want us to be together and that way we could. And come on, ethical standards aside, he did have a good point. As an evil duo we would be unstoppable.”
“No! Unlike some people, I’m not evil,” Anna started defiantly.
“How do you know? Just give it a chance, you might like it.”
“Come on Annie, join our side. Try terrorism for hire, we’ll blow some stuff up. It’s more fun!”
“I said NO!” she scream, stamping her foot down.
“Oh well, I tried. Guess it’s back to basics. Which works just fine for me.”
Out of the corner of her eye, Anna caught a flash of all-too-familiar black and green flames, and jumped just in time to avoid Jade tackling her to the ground. They both rolled along the floor, then sprung to their feet in defensive stances, now standing in the empty space of the room. As they glared across from each other, memories of previous battle’s Kim and Shego had over the years ran flashed through their minds, adding even more to the confusion of the situation.
Jade was the first to attack, launching a volley of plasma blasts that Anna deftly avoided. She moved forward inch by inch as she jumped, rolled, and ducked to avoid the blasts until she was close enough to launch herself into the air to try and catch Jade with a dropkick. The other woman was too fast for her though, and easily jumped to the side to avoid the attack. She then swept her leg out and kicked Anna’s out from under her before she could even find her balance. The her redhead let out a loud “oomph” as she hit the floor. Jade took advantage of the situation grabbed the girl’s wrists in one hand and hovered above her with her free hand glowing menacingly.
“Well isn’t this a comfy pose?” she teased, her voice dripping with sarcasm. “This bringing back any memories for you?”
Anna’s reply was to force her knee into Jade’s gut, causing the older woman to loosen her grip enough for Anna to free her hands and flip them over so that she was now holding Jade down. She had free hand ball up into a fist and cocked back at the ready.
“I’m telling you it doesn’t have to be like this,” she tried again.
“Yes…” Jade started, forcing her legs between their bodies, “…it…does!”
She punctuated her sentence by catching Anna’s stomach with the heels of her feet and flipping her across the room. Anna regained control of her flight enough to spin around and land perfectly on her feet, assuming a battle stance the second she landed.
“Why?!” she cried out in frustration.
“Because that’s the way it’s suppose to be!” Jade spat out. “We’re suppose to be fighting! They’re suppose to fighting! Not playing kissy face with each other!”
“Things change. They’ve changed! And we could follow them. It’s only natural.”
“Nothing about this situation is natural! Their relationship, their kid, us. It’s all just…so sick and wrong!”
“So then you just want to keep fighting?”
“Yes! Finally! That’s the way it should be.”
“And you really believe that?” Anna asked, a hint of hopelessness in her voice.
“Here let me answer it this way,” Jade replied just before she launched herself into the air.
She slashed a plasma charged hand down as she landed, intent on taking Anna’s head off, but the girl was too fast and rolled away from the attack in the nick of time. As she as she bolted upright, however, she was on the defensive as Jade pressed her attack. They fought for several long minutes, parrying each others fists and legs in a dance their borrowed memories told them they had done many times before. When Jade lashed out with a high kick, Anna grabbed her ankle and twirled her straight to the floor. She tried to land a finishing punch to the back of the woman’s head, but Jade caught her fist and countered with a right hook of her own to Anna’s chin. She stumbled back a bit which allowed the pale skinned woman to jump up and lash out with another hard right. This time, however, Anna caught her arm and quickly spun her around and held the arm firmly against Jade’s back, giving it a few sharp tugs to keep her opponent in pain and off balance.
“For the record, I’m really hating this,” Anna revealed.
“You know what I really hate? You,” Jade snarled.
Though it was a simple retort, it carried with it a large amount of history and depth. Immediately, Kim’s memories inside Anna’s head replayed the night on top of the Bueno Nacho headquarters building where Kim had said those exact words to Shego right before kicking the other women into the Diablos’ control spire. It was a miracle that she had survived that experience and was something that haunted Kim to this day. Especially given how close the two women were now. Even though it wasn’t her doing, the memory was still jarring enough to cause Anna to go numb and loosen her grip.
Which is exactly what Jade was counting on. She flashed a quick smirk, before bringing her hands back to grab the collar of Anna’s hoodie and throw her over her shoulders. For the second time that day, Anna’s back collided with the metal floor, sending jolts of pain throughout her body. She forced it back and did her best to focus on person standing above her.
“Gee, you wonder if that’s ever come up between them yet?” Jade quipped, referring to her earlier vocal jab. “Maybe I should just find Kimmie and ask her.”
Jade’s conceding laughter cut through the redhead like a rusted knife, and Anna found herself seething in anger. Before she even realized what she was doing, her right fist shot upward and caught the villainess under the chin with such a force it caused her head to snap back. As Jade held her chin and stumbled backwards in a daze, Anna stood up and glared hatefully at her.
“Leave…” she started as she threw another right hook, catching Jade in the jaw “…them…” it was followed by a left hook “…ALONE!” she finished with a devastating haymaker that sent the black and green clad woman to the floor. Anna breathed heavily for a moment as she stared down at her. “If you want to fight me, that’s fine? But just leave them alone. They don’t deserve this. After everything they’ve been through, they don’t deserve to deal with us messing up their lives as well.”
Jade simply laid there on the floor and looked up at the younger woman. It was a totally new side to her that she bet neither Shego nor Kim had ever seen before. It was angry, ugly, and more importantly focused. If she wanted to Jade had no doubt that Anna could rip her head off right now. Despite that knowledge, she couldn’t help but smile as she wiped a bit of blood off her lips and stood up. She calmly soothed out her jacket then began to brush some dust off the sleeves as Anna stood ready to continue the fight.
“You know one of the best things about working for W.E.E.?” Jade asked rather rhetorically as her hand traveled down the left hand sleeve of her jacket. “The perks.”
With that, she pressed down on her cuff button which emitted a small “beep” sound. Almost immediately afterwards a muffled explosion was heard followed by the entire base shaking. Anna forced herself to keep her footing as she stared at Jade in shock.
“What did you just do?!” she demanded.
“Oh nothing, just set off a series of explosives throughout the base of the island,” Jade explained in a casual tone. “Yeah I’d say there’s about ten minutes before the whole thing sinks into the ocean.” A sadistic smirk crossed her face at Anna’s horrified expression. “So what’s it going to be Annie? Continue to beat up on me or find Kim and Ron and let them know what’s going on.”
The redhead stood frozen for a moment. She realized she probably could end it all now by letting them both sink, but 1) she wanted to make sure at least Kim and Ron got away safely and 2) she really wasn’t in a hurry to die herself. She cast one last hate filled glance towards the bemused Jade before turning and running off to find the others.
“Good girl,” Jade remarked before pulling out a small communication device from her breast pocket and held it up to her ear. “So I take you guys got the signal and are ready to go. Good. I’ll be there shortly. Tell everyone else to hurry up if they want to live.”
She clicked the device off and placed it back into her pocket before turning and calmly, and a bit quickly, walking out of the lab herself.
Anna ran towards the main part of the lab as fast as she could. She just hoped she’d have time to find Kim and Ron and then get out of building before the island sank. Thankfully, luck was on her side as she caught up with them running in her direction. In fact, Kim was running rather quickly in her direction. Right towards her direction. Their eyes went wide as they realized what was about to happen and they both stopped as quickly as possible. A high pitch squeak filled the room as their shoes skidded across the floor, brining them both to a stop just centimeters from each other. They both let out a relieved sigh and held each other shoulders for support. Another tremor broke their reprieve.
“What’s going on?!” Kim asked Anna urgently.
“Jade set off some explosives! The whole island’s going to sink!” she replied hastily.
“Sink?! We gotta get out of here!” Ron shouted nervously.
“What about them?” Kim asked, nodding to where the W.E.E. agents had been laying.
When the three turned to look, however, the agents had not only found time to pull themselves up but also made their way to the door as quickly as their injuries would allow.
“I think they’re good,” Ron quipped. “Now what about us?!”
“Wade!” Kim shouted, pulling out the Kimmunicator. “We need an exit. Fast!”
“But what about…?” he started to protest.
“So don’t need to worry about security.”
He nodded in understanding of the not so subtle message and his image was quickly replaced by a map showing a bright orange line of where they were straight towards the exit. Kim motioned for the others to follow her, which they needed no convincing doing. The three raced through the complex, being completely ignored by the W.E.E. agents who were only concerned with saving their own skin. Soon enough they came to the door they had entered through and Kim silently thanked Wade for already having the door open. The second they stepped through it they were greeted with a now visible Global Justice aircraft sitting in the clearing only a few feet from the door. Ed waved them in as the island shook violently once again.
“What the hell’s going on?!” he screamed over the roar of the engines.
“Explain later, leave now!” Anna ordered.
“Well you heard the lady,” Ed remarked, turning his head towards the pilot. “Go! Go! Go!”
Anna stared out of the rapidly closing door to get one final look at the building that was for better or worse the place she was born. She really didn’t know what she was suppose to feel right now other than the fact she was happy to be alive.
On the other side of the compound, Jade was securing the hatch to one of the many escape submarines stored in a hidden grotto underneath the building. After giving it one last hard twist she slid down the small ladder and raced into the control room.
“Ma’am! I’ve got a radio transmission from Gemini’s personal transport vehicle. He wants to know what’s happening. What should I tell him?” one of the men asked from his work station.
“The same thing I’m telling you, get the hell out of here!” she screamed.
He nodded urgently and sent out the message while the men actually at the controls began to work frantically get the sub out of the dock as quickly as they could. The engines kicked on with a whirl and soon enough they were sea bound and caught up with the rest of the small fleet running from the island. Jade let out a soft sigh of relief as she fell down into the captain’s chair. She propped her head up on her hand in anticipation of a long, boring voyage back to W.E.E. headquarters. There was only one thing she had to deal with first.
“Incoming tidal wave from the island’s fall! Brace for impact!” one of the officers yelled.
Jade growled and held on tight to the arms of the chair just as the sub was suddenly rocked violently back and fourth. The terrified screams from some of the men echoed off the metal walls as they stumbled about, some even falling down altogether.
Note to self, tell Gemini to put seatbelts in his subs, she thought in annoyance.
After several long minutes of rocking, the ship finally settled down and everything appeared to be calm again. She looked around suspiciously for a second before she looked back to the man who had cried out.
“Is that is?” she asked.
He checked the instruments again before looking up.
“Yes that appears to be it,” he informed her.
“Good. Then let’s just get home and try to forget this day ever happened.”
The men all nodded in agreement then went about their jobs to make sure they had a smooth ride home. Jade leaned back in the chair again and tried to think of what she was going to tell Gemini. She really wasn’t sure what to expect, since she had never had any direct contact with him since she was created nor had Shego ever really talked to him outside the few times he tried to lure her away from Drakken, so her memories were no good. The only thing she really had to go on were the reactions of the men who seemed genuinely scared of him. Of course most evil henchmen were afraid of their bosses so that really wasn’t that good of an indicator. Still, if what she had heard was true, the one thing she definitely did not want to go was have a seat near him.
“Please, have a seat my dear,” Gemini offered in a pleasant voice as he gestured to the seat in front of his raised desk.
Jade gave it a questioning glance before turning her head back towards the one-eyed man.
“I’m good standing,” she replied.
“Very well,” he said, sounding somewhat disappointed. “Now would you might explaining to me what exactly happened.”
She rolled her eyes before answering. “The same thing that always happens. Possible showed up and ruined everything, only this time it was twice as bad because they’re two of them.”
“I’m not sure I like your tone,” he remarked in a low voice.
“Well you better get use to it cause this is just the way I am.”
They glared at each other in a tense silence for several seconds before an almost amused smile crossed over Gemini’s face.
“Alright then. I suppose keeping someone around who talks back will help keep me on my toes,” he mused. “And it would be such a shame to see the entire project go to waste. Especially since it yielded at least one positive result. I suppose we could always try the Possible clone again at a later date.”
“No!” Jade protested. “No more clones! Didn’t you learn you lesson just now?! You really want to run the risk of three Kims running around?!”
He brought a metal finger up to his chin in thought.
“I suppose you have a point. Very well, for now we’ll just keep you around my dear. I can finally have someone to call my Alpha Agent.”
“Just as long as you don’t call me ‘Alpha’ or try to get me to wear one of those stupid uniforms.”
“Well I wouldn’t dream of changing that very alluring uniform you have on now my dear,” he replied as his one remaining eye looked her up and down. “But the name ‘Alpha’ carries with it so much prestige.”
“No! Jade. My name is Jade,” she insisted.
“Fine,” he huffed. “Now do you have anything else to report?”
“Nope. I’m just waiting to get back to my quarter and take a long deserved rest. Did you get those requests I sent.”
“Received and fulfilled. Though some where quite…unusual for our operation.”
“So am I,” she said with smirk before she turned and exited the room.
Gemini watched her leave and once the door was closed, he leaned back in his chair in thought. He brought his real hand up to lightly pet the small dog resting on his lap.
“She certainly is spirited, isn’t she Pepe?” he asked, earning a small whimper from the dog. “I agree she might be just a bit too spirited. Still like every good dog, she just needs to be taught who is her master and once that’s done, she’ll be my perfect attack dog.”
Jade stood the doorway to her private quarters for a second to take everything in. It actually resembled a studio apartment a great deal in that is was really one large room split up into different sections. The smallest part was the one she stood in now which was an entrance area for one to take off their shoes or hang their coat up or something similar. Off to her right side was the bed room area, complete with king sized bed, dresser, night stand and a closet. Close to that was the only other door in the room aside from the main one and that one led into the bathroom. Straight ahead of her was the living room section and she was pleased to see everything she requested seemed to be there. A leather reclining chair sat in the center of the area and faced a large entertainment system shelf, filled with the most high end television and stereo systems around. A small coffee table sat the perfect distance between the two pieces of furniture so as to allow her to pick something off the table without having to recline the chair down. She had thought about requesting a coach at first, but nixed the idea as she didn’t really expect to have many, if any, people over. And if she ever did, they could see and hear everything just fine from the bed.
She took a step forward to fully enter the room and allow the door to slide close behind her. She then unbuttoned her jacket and hung it up on the coat rack sitting next to the door. She shivered a bit as the air pasted over her now bare arms thanks to the sleeveless top of her body suit and she made a note to increase the heat a bit. She then slipped off her gloves and laid them on the small table next to the coatrack, followed quickly by the clips from her hair. She shook her head and ran her hands through her hair to force it out of the pony tail shape it had held all day, then reached down to unzip her boots so she could pull them off.
Once all that was done, she headed right for the most important piece of furniture. It was the one she had specially requested and no doubt the “unusual” item Gemini had talked about. Still, what he or any of the others thought didn’t matter to her right now or ever really. All that she cared about was that she glorious object sitting in front of her. It was a high quality, dark maple oak, fully stocked liquor cabinet. Smiled giddily as she ran her hand over the smooth varnished surface. Glasses of all shapes and sizes sat on the two shelves in front of her sandwiched between two glass door cabinet that held almost every time of alcoholic beverage she could imagine. She opened the two doors at the bottom to reveal a small fridge with a bucket of ice already waiting for her and any drink that needed to be chilled. She licked her lips in anticipation and could barely think of where to begin.
Oh come on, you know exactly where you should start, she told herself mentally.
And she was right, she did. She reached up for one of the smaller glasses then went over to the right cabinet and nearly threw the door open to pull out a tall bottle of scotch. She paused for a moment as she considered wether or not to get some ice for her glass, but waved it off. She didn’t want to run the risk of watering down the scotch at all. Taking bottle and glass in hand, she turned to walk towards the living room, catching a glimpse of the fully furnished kitchen out of the corner of her left eye. She decided that inspecting that part of the room could wait til later.
She carefully placed the bottle and glass on the coffee table and then leaned back into the recliner with a bit of a flourish. She let out a content sigh at the feel of the rich leather against her skin. It was a little hard at the moment, but she was sure she would be able to break it in so that it would be just right. She closed her eyes and just sat there for several seconds, enjoying the peace and quiet and not having to think about…certain things. Like what exactly she should consider herself; her own person or just a copy of Shego? She certainly had some of Shego’s personality and of course physical traits, but she still considered herself her own person. But even if she did create a whole new identity for herself, at her very core wouldn’t she always just be another Shego?
“No!” she told herself firmly. “You’re not going to think about that crap. You’re going to sit here and enjoy the perks of being in a criminal organization that actually seems to have its act together.”
Her mind made up, she leaned forward to unscrew the cap off the bottle and poor some of the brownish liquid into the glass. She replaced the top then held the glass firmly as she reclined the chair.
“Good. Now a little music,” she mused as she reached for a remote in the chair’s said compartment.
After studying the remote for a bit, she found the button that activated the stereo and switched it on, setting it on random so she wouldn’t have to worry about messing with it anymore. She brought the glass up to her lips and was about to take a sip when the first lyrics to the song playing caught her attention.
What’s the matter Mary Jane, you had a hard day
As you place the don’t disturb sign on the door
She lowered the glass as the memories of last time she, or rather Shego, had heard this song and what had happened then. While it wasn’t an unpleasant memory, it was one of those she preferred not to think about. She would have picked up the remote and changed it to another song, but for some reason her body didn’t want to seem to listen to her brain. Or at the very least, it was listening to the wrong part of it. She knew she should try harder to resist, but she just didn’t have the energy at the moment.
“Eh, screw it,” she muttered then raised her glass. “To me,” she toasted herself before taking a sip.
Shego gently rocked the sleeping Shin as she looked over at Kim sitting next to her on the couch and Anna sitting in Kim’s recliner. She was still trying to take in all they had told her about their recently failed mission to save her clone. She really wasn’t sure how to feel at the moment. On one hand she liked the idea of not having the clone around as she never cared for them and it would just be creepy to keep seeing someone who looked exactly like her. On the other hand though, the fact that there was someone out there that looked just like her wouldn’t do much to help her already bad reputation with the law. There was also something else that seemed to be on Kim’s mind that she wasn’t talking about. Shego could see it in her eyes, but she didn’t feel like forcing the issue. She was sure that Kimmie would tell her when she felt the time was right. Of course, out of everything she had heard there was one thing that really just bothered her about the whole thing.
“Jade?” she asked again in disbelief. “She’s actually calling herself that?”
“Yeah,” Kim replied.
Shego let out an annoyed groan. “I thought I had a better imagination than that.”
“Well that could be why she’s calling herself that. She was very adiment about not being like you. Trust me on that,” Anna said with a slight sadness to her tone.
“And she’s doing that by following in my evil footsteps. Yeah that’s real original,” Shego scoffed. “Thought I guess I can’t blame her since W.E.E. programed her like that.”
“Actually…” Kim spoke up a bit hesitantly.
“Wade doesn’t think they really ‘programmed’ her to be evil more like…intensified what was already there.”
“Oh,” the pale women replied, understanding all too well. “Well…I…that is…”
“It’s okay,” Kim said, placing a reassuring hand over hers. “I better than anyone know what you’re like before and…I guess we’ll just have to come to terms with that.”
Shego nodded and couldn’t help but reflect the gentle smile Kim was sending her way.
“Still…this probably isn’t going to help me get the law’s good side again,” she mused. “By the way, how’s GJ going with clearing my file anyway?”
The smile quickly faded from Kim’s face and she looked away with an embarrassed expression.
“Actually…I forgot to ask,” she said sheepishly.
“Oh that’s real nice Kimmie! I ask you to do one thing!” Shego bellowed
“Well excuse me if I got caught up fighting off your clone!” Kim shot back.
“Hey I didn’t-”
Their arguing was cut shot when the room was filled a rather piercing cry from Shin. They immediately focused their attention on her and did their best to calm her down.
“Shhh, shhh, it’s okay,” Shego said softly, rocking the baby slightly faster. “Mommy and Momma are all done fighting now.”
“Yeah we’re sorry. We didn’t mean to make the loud voices,” Kim added, gently stroking the girl’s short hair
Anna watched in amazement as the two worked in perfect harmony to clam their daughter down. She would have smiled at the heart warming scene if she hadn’t remembered some of the things Jade had brought up during their fight. While Kim and Shego did get along quite well nowadays, they did have a long and storied past that they would have deal with at some point. But it wasn’t her place to bring that up, even if she was a clone of Kim. No, they had to live their own lives and she had to go make one for herself.
“Uh…guys,” she spoke up softly. “I have something to say.”
Once they were sure Shin was content again, Kim and Shego turned their attention to Anna.
“What is it?” Kim asked.
“I…I think I need to go,” Anna confessed.
“Is this cause of my stance on clones? Cause you know you are the exception to that rule,” Shego told her.
“No, no it’s not that. It’s just…it’s something I feel I have to do.”
“OK, I can see that. So…what exactly do you have in mind?” Kim asked.
Anna just looked at her with a smirk.
Kim looked over at the girl who was, until very recently, her exact double. A quick stop by Global Justice's physical alteration room changed that however. It was a simple change, her double now sported sunny blonde hair that was braided with only a few bangs hanging in front of her face and lighter, sea foam green eyes, but it was enough to tell them apart, which what she really wanted. Even with the change there was still a vague “looking in the mirror” feeling that left Anna feeling a bit uncomfortable and only helped strengthen her resolve.
“Are you sure you want to do this?” Kim asked, looking at the GJ van parked outside her house.
“Yeah I'm sure,” the now blonde girl replied. “I appreciate the invitation to stay here and all, but let's face it it would just be too weird.”
“I know that, but…Los Angeles?”
Anna shrugged. “It was either that or New York and…well at least LA is close to a beach.”
“Planning on becoming a beach bunny, are we?” Kim smirked.
“Maybe in between studies.”
“And going to college too,” Kim shook her head. “I think that’s what gets me most.”
“Well I just figured at least one of us should try to lead some kind of normal life. And GJ has already set me up with an apartment and a new identity.”
“Yep,” Anna replied before she pulled out a LA driver's licence proudly displaying her new name.
Kim gave her a questioning look as she read the name aloud.
“Yeah I know,” the newly dubbed Ren remarked. “It's alliterative and it sounds like something Scooby-Doo would say, but I like it. I mean, there’s nothing really wrong with Anna, and if you look you can see I kept it as my middle name, but I just wanted something was more…distinctly me. So I looked through some name databases and those two stuck out.”
“I guess I can see that, W.E.E. might still be looking for you. But still…” she stopped and shook her head. “You know what? It's not my place to judge. You're trying to be your own person now and I respect that.”
“Good because if you didn't we might have had to fight it out,” Ren replied with a smirk.
It was a gesture Kim couldn't help but return. “I really don't know how that would turn out. I mean, technically you do know everything I know so…”
“But you more actual experience with it and you probably know more things than I do,” the other girl surmised. “In any case it doesn't matter. I really need to get going.”
“Alright. And hey, even if it is weird, keep in touch OK?”
“I'll send you something as soon as I get there.”
With that, the two embraced in a sisterly hug before Ren picked up the duffle bag full of the meager belongings Kim had given her and began to walk towards the van. The door slid open and the familiar face of agent Ed Fynn appeared to take the bag from her and help her inside. She turned back to give one last wave to Kim before the door slid closed again and the van took off. Kim continued to wave until the van was out of view then sighed and slumped her shoulders a bit.
“Sad to see her go, huh?” Shego asked as she walked up behind Kim.
“A little, but she has a point it would just be too weird to have her anywhere around here.”
“Yeah. Though honestly I'm a little sad to see her go too.”
“Yeah,” Shego replied, wrapping her arms around Kim's waist and leaning on her shoulder. “I just keep thinking about how fun it would be to have two Kimmie's in the bedroom.”
“Shego!” the red head blurted with a blush.
The older woman chuckled. “So…how long do you think this whole 'normal life' of hers will last?”
“Oh I'd say about two months. Three tops.”
Author’s Notes: And there it is, the conclusion to the second story in the “Maternal Instinct” universe. I hope you all enjoyed it. Not sure when I’ll get to the third story in the series as I have a few other stories started that I need to get back to. Still, I’ll get to it eventually and for the near future I have a sequel to the “MI”-verse story “Shego’s Ballad” in mind and I’ll try to get to that here soon.
Now I must mention the new name for Anna. It’s actually a homage to two other characters, the main one of course being the Spider-Clone from the 90s Spider-Man storyline, Ben Reilly. It was actually was insured this story would get written as it was just too good to pass up. Hell I even gave her the partial outfit what with the blue hoodie and red shirt. Now she even has blond hair to fit the role even better. As if that weren’t enough I learned that the VA for Kim Christy Carlson Romano was on a live Disney show called “Even Stevens” where she played a character named…Ren. So it works out as a homage to that was well! Works on so many levels! Granted, that last one was a happy accident, but still cool nonetheless.
Now I’m sure some of you may be a bit disappointed that Ren didn’t hang around, but it would be kinda weird for her to be there and…well quite honestly I couldn’t think of what to do with her as part of Team Possible. But on her own…well let’s just say her quest for a normal life doesn’t quite go as planned. It does make me wonder if I can post a story starring a clone of the main character and still have it be called “fanfiction”. Just one of those questions on the nature of the beast. Hmmm. In any case she will reappear in the main “MI”-verse again as will Jade of course. There’s just a certain fight scene that’s too good to pass up. “But perhaps I’ve said too much”.
Well, til next time folks. Thanks for reading!