It can’t end like this!
The thought burned through The Supreme One’s brain as her descent continued. Her eyes were fixated on her rapidly shrinking throne room and more importantly on the teenaged girl drifting up into the red column of light. It happened again. Kim Possible beat her. But how? She wasn’t following one of Drakken’s stupid schemes. She was following her own plan and it had worked! She had won! She was the ruler of the entire world! She was The Supreme One!
Yet somehow, it was all taken away from her. All she could do now was continue to fall and wait for the inevitable. She wanted to send one last plasma blast towards the annoying cheerleader, but she knew it would do no good. At this distance, she’d miss anyway and it probably wouldn’t do any good. She could feel it already. The time stream was beginning to repair itself. She closed her eyes and waited for either the crushing blow of hitting the pavement below or being completely erased from existence. Whatever happened, one thing was undeniable; Kim Possible had won yet again.
The seconds ticked by, turning quickly into minutes, and still nothing happened. She felt neither her skull cracking open nor her molecules being ripped apart. In fact, when she thought about it, it didn’t even feel like she was falling anymore. Cautiously she slid her hand out and was surprised to feel slide across a smooth, metal floor. She felt it a few more times to make sure it was real and then when she felt a bit bolder she slowly pried open one eye. She could still see the darkness of night above her, but it was surrounded by something else. Structures rose so high around her that she could barely see the top of them. None of them were her fortress or any buildings in Shegoton for that matter. If Shegoton even still existed.
“Which brings up a very good question. Why do I even still exist?” she asked herself.
Not knowing the answer, she ignored the question and pulled herself up into a sitting position. She rubbed her head, which was now pounding for some reason, and let out a groan. Taking a moment to let the pain subside, and being thankful it was only a headache and not a head busted open, she pulled herself to her feet and truly took in her new surroundings.
What she saw was a computer geek’s wet dream. The structures she saw earlier apparently had millions of computer terminals built into them. They didn’t just stretch out vertically either. When she lowered her head, she found even more of the terminal structures on either side of her, stretching too far off for to see and creating a hallway around her. They were placed about ten feet away from each other and they all had a door at the base, adding further to the hallway comparison.
“Yep, this is definitely not Shegoton,” she muttered.
Unsure of what else to do, she began to walk forward in hope of finding an exit out of this strange place. Unfortunately, it proved to be a case of easier said than done. For every corner she turned, she was faced with the exact same hallway. After several minutes, or perhaps hours, of trying she grew frustrated and was about to scream and start break everything around her when a small voice caught her attention. It was lightly singing and as she drew closer towards the source, she could begin to make out the words.
“Time begins and then time ends,
And then time begins once again.
It is happening now, it has happened before,
It will surely happen again.”
She stopped when she noticed a flash of white out of the corner of her eye. She looked up to see a woman hovering above her on a rectangular platform working away at one of the higher consoles. Apparently, the white flash was a long cape coming off the woman’s shoulders and covering up a deep blue outfit she wore that ending in a loincloth slit up to her hips. Her curly black hair swayed with her head to the tune as she happily worked away. The Supreme One was about to call out to her but stopped as she caught a glance of the woman’s pupil less green eyes. Even with everything she had seen over her lifetime that was still weird.
“Little jarring I know, but don’t worry, she’s harmless,” a new voice spoke up.
The Supreme One let out a startled shriek then jumped back and took a defensive stance as she spun to face this newcomer. The first thing she noticed about him was the fact that he did have pupils. A soft brown color that matched his shortly cut hair. While she was ready to fight, his pose was completely relaxed. His hands were partially shoved into the pockets of his blue jeans while his matching blue shirt hung only slightly off well-kept physic underneath. She could only guess at that though as a well-worn tan suede jacket obstructed her view even further. Fortunately, it wasn’t how he looked right now that really mattered to her.
“Who are you! And where the hell am I!” she shouted.
“Well, answering your second question first, you’re in the Neutral Space,” he replied calmly.
“Neutral Space?” she repeated, her confusion causing her to relax.
“Yeah. It’s what we call the hub for all of space and time.”
“You’re in the middle of all of space/time. Don’t ask me to explain that because it gets really complicated and I don’t think you’d be able to understand. Now, as to who I am, you can call me Ben.”
“Let’s say that I accept the fact that I’m in ‘hub of all space/time’,” she marked her words with air quotes, “then why would someone who obviously lives here call himself Ben?”
“Cause I like the name. It’s simple and catchy. And around here keeping things simple is really for the best.”
“Guess that would explain the wardrobe.”
“What can I say, I like to keep things casual. Besides it’s not like I really have the legs to pull of an outfit like that,” Ben pointed up towards the woman on the platform. “And you’re hardly one to criticize someone’s outfit.”
“What’s wrong with my outfit?” she asked, looking down at her black and green costume.
“Nothing. If you’re a Batman villain.”
“Look, we’re getting a little off the subject here,” he said, pulling his hands out of his pockets and holding them in front of him in a stopping gesture.
“You’re right. And the subject is how you get me out of here and back home!”
“Well…we can’t. Cause you’re home exists only in,” he paused to pull out a small translucent orange cube from his coat pocket, “in here.”
“Let me try to break down the way time works for you a bit. You see, time exists in a straight line. It’s only suppose to go forward. When someone goes messing with is by using…oh let’s say an ancient monkey shaped artifact, things go slightly askew.”
“Askew?” she asked, placing her hands on her hips in irritation.
“Yeah. You see…” he stopped and snapped his fingers. “Better idea, let me show what it’s like. Follow me.”
He turned away from her and began to walk down one of the seemingly infinite hallways, motioning for her to follow him with his finger. She stood still for a moment, debating whether or not following would be a good idea. She relented when she realized that at this point she really didn’t have anything to lose. They passed several similar looking doors for only a moment before he stopped in front of one. What the difference between that one and the millions of others was, she didn’t know. When they stepped inside, however, she was completely blown away by what she saw. It was a large pond nestled between two lush hills with a healthy forest backdrop. Unlike the main room, this one had a blue sky completely with a bright sun and a few clouds. Again The Supreme One found herself in utter amazement and simply stood there with her mouth hanging open.
“Pretty cool, huh?” Ben beamed. “Love being able to do stuff like that. By the way, you might want to close you’re mouth, you’re starting to drool a bit.”
“Oh, sorry,” she replied, slightly embarrassed and dabbed her mouth with the end of her cape.
“Eh, it’s understandable. Lot to take in here. Now then, image this,” he gestured towards the lake, “is the time stream.”
“Taking the ‘time stream’ idea just a little too far, aren’t we?”
“Hey you want the easy version or the migraine inducing hard version?”
She sighed as she rolled her eyes. “Easy version.”
“Alright then. This is the time stream,” he repeated, again pointing towards the pond. He then picked up a small rock. “This is the Time Monkey. This is the time stream on the Time Monkey.”
With that he tossed the rock towards the pond as hard as he could. It hit the water with an impressive splash followed by the inevitable ripples.
“There!” he said, pointing to them. “See that? Same thing happens with time travel. You mess with the natural order you create ripples throughout all of space/time. Our job is to wade out those ripples and help smooth everything back into it’s usual calm, semi-peaceful state. It’s why time travel’s always so hard has to involve something like a stone monkey or leaping in and out of people’s bodies or a supped up DeLorean. It’s just not suppose to happen! Like I said, time is only suppose to go one way; forward,” he accented his point by moving his arm in that direction.
“Uh huh, yeah that’s all interesting and everything, but it’s got to do with me?” The Supreme One asked, irritating slipping into her voice again.
“Well, you were created from your past self schlepping around in the time stream. The effects of which were undone when Ron broke the Time Monkey. Unfortunately, it’s not as easy as all that. Once things have been set right, we have to come in, taking the alternating time line and compress it down into,” he held up the cube again, “this. We take this wonderful little cube here, insert it into our database, file it away and hopefully never have to deal with it again.”
“Great, so even all of space and time is governed by bureaucrats.”
“I prefer to think of us as parents cleaning up after their inconsiderate kids.”
“Fine, whatever,” she made a dismissive motion with her hands. “What I really want to know is, if everything in my world is suppose to in the little cube, then why aren’t I?”
“Well you’re what we like to call a ‘cosmic oops’.”
“Yep. Take a look at your right hand there.”
She gave him a suspicious look for a second before she glanced at her right hand. It took a moment for her to realize there was a small scrap of ripped fabric stuck to the tip of her claw on her index figure. She peeled it off and looked at it closely.
“This looks like it came from Kimme’s pants,” she muttered.
“That’s cause it did,” Ben said. “You tore it off of her when she kicked you and you fell. And amazing as it is, that little piece of clothing right there is why you’re here instead of in the cube.”
“Since Kim was from an earlier part of the time line she kept her down chronal particles around her. When you ripped that piece of fabric off her pants there were just enough of her particles to intermix with yours and keep you from being erased from existence. Unfortunately, we couldn’t let you just go back into time line cause…well that’s our job. So we sent you here.”
“Good then you can get me out.”
“Actually no. You’re an anomaly and we can’t have anomalies running around all willy-nilly in the time stream. Again, it’s kind of our job.”
“That wasn’t a request,” she sneered, igniting her plasma powers.
“Oh don’t do this,” Ben said apathetically as he spun around.
The Supreme One smirked at how he just made himself an easier target then started to charge. With a might roar she leapt into the air, ready to cut this smug idiot down and find away out of this madhouse. Right when she was about to pounce on him, he spun back around and held out his hand to her in a “stop” motion. Much to her great surprise, that’s exactly what she did. She froze in mid-air, claws positioned to strike with plasma still incasing them. Even her cape was stopped in mid flutter. Ben chortled a bit as he put his face just inches from hers.
“Humblin’, ain’t it?” he quipped.
He pulled back from her and walked off to the side, snapping his fingers as he did so. The act seemed to undo the effect and The Supreme One feel face first into the dirt. She picked herself up with a growl, and after wiping some dirt off her face, was ready to try her attack again. She stopped though when she saw him holding up his hand again. She stayed tense for a moment, but when she realized she couldn’t win she sighed and lowered her arms as she shut down her powers.
“So what are you gonna do with me?” she asked.
“That’s all up to you. If you try that stunt again we could put in a prison for all of eternity, or you could play nice and we’ll set you up with a good room and pretty much whatever else you need. So, what’s it gonna be?”
“Some choice,” she scoffed as she crossed her arms over her chest. “I guess I’ll just have to play Ms. Nice while I’m here.”
“Good choice!” he said emphatically. “You’ll find out it’s really not to bad here. While we’re setting up a place for you, let me show you one of the coolest things here.”
He lead her out of the pond area and back into the endless stretch of hallways. As she followed behind him, The Supreme One wondered what she was going to do. She wasn’t particularly interested in staying here with this freaks until the end of time, but as she just learned, she couldn’t just blow by them either. As much as liked to think of herself as being “supreme” it looked like this guys could bend space and time around their little fingers and that was just a bit out of her league. So she’d just have to sit back and play by their rules until an opportunity presented itself.
She fought back the devious smile she knew would form on her lips at the thought and refocused her attention to her host. The door he stopped at this time was actually different from its endless cousins as it actually had a label written above it.
“‘The Observation Room’?” she read aloud. “What, are we gonna someone having surgery?”
“Could be. Never know what you’re going to get in here actually,” Ben replied as he pushed the door open.
Again she followed him inside and found herself disappointed. She was expecting something like the pond to be on the other side and instead found a chair sitting in front of a 15” TV mounted into a large wall. She was about to make a snide remark when she heard Ben snort before he burst into full blown laughter.
“Sorry, I just couldn’t help it,” he explained after he calmed down. “You’re the first guest we’ve had in a long while so I just had to have some fun. Here’s the real room.”
He pulled out a small remote and pressed a button. The wall surrounding the TV broke apart and slid back to reveal an nearly endless wall of screens. THIS is more in line with what she was expecting. She stared at the seemingly infinite screens in complete awe. Each one showed off a different world. Some featuring people and creatures she had never seen before while some showed different versions of her world. Those were the ones that captured her attention the most and one in particular showed a younger version of herself, though still slightly older than what current time line would be, walking alongside Kim in a zoo. While that was odd in and of itself, it was not the strangest part of the scene. That would have to be the two children at their sides. Both of them shared her pale green skin, but one had her black hair while the other had Kim’s red hair. From the foursome’s mannerisms it was easy to tell that they were a family. The thought almost made The Supreme One vomit right there.
“How…the hell!” she screamed.
“Think that’s scary you should see the world were you stayed with Team Go,” Ben remarked.
“No thank you. I think I’d rather stay away from the alternate versions of myself. Having to explain how to use the Time Monkey to my younger self was enough.”
“Suit yourself. Like I said you’ve got plenty of worlds to chose from here. We use it to look in on the multi-verse and see if anyone’s causing any trouble we might need to fix.”
As if to accent his point, alarm klaxons suddenly began to fill the room accompanied by a flashing red light.
“Great! Now what the hell is that!” he shouted in annoyance.
“Chronological distortion!” a woman’s voice yelled.
“I know, what exactly is it!”
“Someone’s moving back and fourth through time using wormholes.”
“Wormholes. I HATE wormholes,” he muttered. He turned back to his guest and handed her the remote. “Sorry I gotta go take care of this. You can stay here for awhile and look through things. The chair can move throughout the room so you can look at the different sets.”
He waved her a quick goodbye and ran out of the room to deal with the latest time disruption. For a second The Supreme One thought of using this as her chance to escaped, but decided to wait until she had a better understanding of how things worked her. So instead she sat down in the chair and began to play around with the control panel on the right arm. She squawked in surprise as it moved rapidly at first, but after a few minutes she got it under control. From there she moved all over the giant wall, trying to find something that interested her. On one screen she saw five garishly costumed teenagers lead by a boy in a red and green costume fighting another group of equally garishly dressed teens, this time being lead by a girl in a black and red costume. Another one show a boy with his long, blonde hair tied back in a braid and in a red overcoat walking next to a large, armored man. Still another showed a group of giant robots that changed into cars fighting against a group of large, half mechanical animals. The strangest one had a human sized talking milkshake berating a lump of meat with a face while a floating box of fries with a beard yelled at the shake.
As fascinating as it all was though, nothing in particular stood out to her. Perhaps going from the overlord of a world to house guest for a bunch of time line repairmen put her in a bad mood, or maybe it was just that she didn’t want to watch the universe’s biggest reality show, but whatever the reason nothing was interesting her. She rested her head on her left hand as her elbow rested on the chair’s arm.
“Great,” she muttered, drumming the fingers of her right hand, “all infinity and nothing’s on.”
Author’s Note: Taking yet more time away from the fic I should be working on, this fic came to me after watching my copy of “A Sitch In Time” as well as seeing other people’s ideas of what became of The Supreme One. For now this is going to stay a one shot as I really don’t have anything else in mind for it. If someone else wants to do something with it, be my guest. Just make sure you give me the credit for the idea and chars if you use them.
Speaking of giving credit where it’s due, I need to point out that the scene with Kim, Shego, and the kids at the zoo was inspired from NoDrogs’ fic “A Trip to the Zoo” from his “Small Possibilities” series. If you haven’t checked it out, due so right now. Good stuff. The little song in there is from the “Brigadoom” episod of “Lexx”. The scene with the teens in the brightly colored clothes is a reference to my own Teen Titans fic “New Players on the Stage”. Check that one out too if you have the time, I’d like to hear feedback on it. As for the other worlds The Supreme One was watching…well part of the fun is figuring it out for yourselves. So have at it!