“Beep, Beep, Be-Beep!”
The four-tone chime rang insistently throughout the bedroom as teen heroine Kim Possible crawled out from her just-crawled-in bed to retrieve the device making the noise.
“What’s the sitch, Wade?” she asked, wondering what kind of mission would be necessary at this time of night.
“We had a hit on the site from security at the Middleton Mansion,” Wade replied. “Someone has broken in and they called us for help.”
“The Middleton Mansion? The museum in the middle of town?” Kim asked, a little perplexed at why anyone would want to break in there. There was nothing extraordinary in there to steal, or so she thought remembered from her compulsory grade school field trips.
“Yup, that’s the one,” Wade affirmed.
“Okay, I am on it,” she said, after a pause. “You can tell them I will be there in 10 minutes.”
“Gotcha, Kim. I will let them know and give Ron the heads up.” Wade replied and signed off, leaving Kim alone to pull on some clothes and make her way out into the cool night, deciding it was just as easy to walk than it was to bother her parents for a ride.
As she jogged through Middleton, she dredged up all she could remember about the old place. It wasn’t much, admittedly; she had been fairly young when she had gone on those field trips and hadn’t been much interested in town history anyway. But she seemed to recall that it was built by a rich eccentric for a Middleton resident that she had fallen in love with. They had never married, though, and the woman had died a spinster, living only with a cat and her assistant for company. After she had died, the family, most of who lived in Chicago, had donated it to the city of Middleton to use as a museum. And so began the ritualistic, downright boring pilgrimages of pint-sized Middleton residents whose teachers and parents wanted to acquaint them with history.
The first thing Kim noticed when she got there was that at least two or three lights were on upstairs and there was smoke coming out of what seemed to be an upstairs chimney. That was odd, she mused, and it made her cautious as she approached the house. She used her hairdryer-grappling gun to carefully ascend to a second story balcony, and as luck would have it, the glass door that led out to it was unlocked. Passing quickly out of that room, she crept down the hallway toward the lighted rooms, coming first upon one lit only by a large fire. Curiosity got the better of her and she slipped into the room, not noticing the hidden figure standing very quietly behind the door.
Kim looked around briefly and not seeing any signs of burglary, forced entry or any kind of illegal activity, turned to leave, thinking that the fire belonged to a custodian or curator and that the thief was probably downstairs. She stopped cold when an all-too-familiar voice spoke from the shadows.
“Breaking and entering are we now, Princess?” Shego questioned archly, strolling out of the shadows and into full view. “I should have you arrested.”
“I am not the thief here, Shego,” Kim retorted. “I was asked to come here, unlike you.”
Shego chuckled. “I don’t need to be asked, Pumpkin,” she stated, amused at being one up on Kim. “This is my house. And since I sure as hell did not ask you to come and you are standing in my parlor, you are the criminal here.”
“This house was donated to Middleton to use as a museum,” Kim scoffed. “Nice try, Shego.”
“The downstairs of the house was loaned to Middleton to use as a museum with the strict understanding that the upstairs could be used at any time by the rightful heir to the place. And that would be me,” Shego said, smirking, still enjoying being right when Kim was wrong.
“But if this is your place, then why did you ask for my help?” Kim asked, still perplexed but beginning to believe Shego. She was being far too smug for her ownership of the house to be a lie.
“I didn’t ask for your help, Princess,” Shego said, exasperated. “I have no idea who called you, but it wasn’t me. Would you please get out of my house now?”
“Okay, sure, I guess,” Kim answered haltingly, but as she turned to leave, every single light in the mansion went out, including the fire that had been blazing in the fireplace moments before.
“What the-“ Shego began, only to be cut off by an overwhelming chill that pervaded the room and the sound of many doors closing at once. She lighted her plasma in an attempt to see something, but as she did so, the lights suddenly came back on and the fire roared back to life. She looked at Kim, who was standing in the middle of the room, only a little closer to the door. Kim looked back at her, a smile playing at her lips.
“Need my help now?” she asked sweetly.
“No,” Shego responded tartly. “Now get out.”
Kim shrugged. “Suit yourself,” she said noncommittally. She turned to leave again, and again, the lights went out and a mini-version of hell broke loose. She stopped in her tracks and the house relented, causing the lights to come back up. She glanced over at Shego, who glared back at her with a baleful expression.
“Tell Nerdlinger to knock it off,” she ordered. “I did not call you, I don’t need your help, and I don’t care how many times he shuts off my power, I am not going to change my mind.”
“It wasn’t Wade,” Kim insisted, and as she spoke, the Kimmunicator went off.
“Kim, is everything okay over there? I am reading massive power fluctuations in the grid supplying the Mansion,” Wade asked when she had picked up.
“Something is up over here, Wade,” Kim answered. “But the owner over here thinks that you are responsible.” She shot Shego a look and Shego shot one right back in response.
Wade shrugged. “Wasn’t me, Kim,” he said. “But I can check it out for you if you like.”
“Please and thank you. Bye, Wade,” Kim signed off.
Shego glared at her some more. “Now I expect you’ll want to stay until the Geek figures out what the problem is,” she huffed.
“Nope. I am leaving now,” Kim said unexpectedly. “I’ll call you if he finds anything.” She walked to the door, but as soon as she touched the doorknob, the lights went off, the room went cold and the door would not budge.
“Guess you are staying, Pumpkin,” Shego commented in the darkness, finding the situation amusing now that Kim’s plans had been foiled. “That only seems to happen when you try to leave.”
“So it would seem,” Kim responded, intrigued. Then, feeling like a moron, she addressed the house. “Um, Haunted Middleton Mansion, if I promise not to leave, could you turn the lights back on and let me out to look around?” Nothing happened for a few seconds, as if the house was considering the offer. Then the lights came back on and the door opened of its own accord. “Thanks!” Kim chirped and walked out into the hallway
“Having a nice conversation with my house, Kimmie?” Shego asked sarcastically, following her out of the room.
“Shut up, Shego,” Kim said brusquely.
“Rowr!” Shego uttered softly, but loud enough so Kim could hear.
Kim sighed. “ I am going to look up around up here,” she informed Shego. “You can join me if you want.”
“Tempting as that is, Princess, I think I’ll take the downstairs” Shego replied and headed off in the direction of the staircase. Kim shrugged and made her way down the opposite end of the hallway. A motion near the bathroom drew her attention and she went into it looking around carefully for anything out of the ordinary. She did not have long to look, for as she turned to the large mirror that hung over the sink, the reflection that stared back at her was not her own. Certain features, the color of the hair and eyes, for instance, were exactly the same, but where Kim was dressed in her standard mission clothes, the person in the mirror was dressed like an Edwardian lady, her red hair swept into a massive bun and her body clothed in a high-collared dress fastened with a cameo.
“Um, Shego?” Kim yelled. “There is something up here that you should see.” She made a few movements and noted that her movements were being exactly copied by her twin in the mirror.
“Where are you, Princess?” Shego yelled back.
“In the upstairs bathroom,” Kim called.
“Just jiggle the handle,” Shego shouted, incorrectly assessing the problem. “That toilet gets temperamental sometimes.”
“It is not the toilet! Could you stop being difficult for once and just come up here?”” Kim loudly replied, noticing that the apparition in the mirror looked like she was trying not to laugh. Kim was not nearly as amused.
“All right. Sheez, Princess,” Shego grumbled as she climbed the stairs and made her way to the bathroom. “What the hell is so important?” she asked when she got there. Kim pointed to the mirror. “Holy shit,” Shego commented, looking not only at Kim’s oddly dressed mirror image, but also at her own historically clothed doppelganger that had entered the mirror at the same time she had entered the bathroom. She hade a few hand gestures here and there to see if the mirror “Shego” would do the same, and she did. Intrigued, Shego started making more complicated moves to see if the apparition could keep up. She could, and Kim was unavoidably reminded of the famous “No, I really am your mirror image” scene in that old black and white TV show. Finally, Shego grew tired of the game and raised her left hand. “Copy this, Pinky,” she said, preparing to light her plasma.
The plasma was forgotten when Shego glimpsed the ring that her mirror image wore on her left hand. Her eyes widened briefly, and she put her own hand closer to mirror so she could get a better look. She chuckled in disbelief and then glanced at Kim’s reflection, thinking. “Raise your left hand, Kimmie,” she ordered. “Put your palm toward you.” Too interested in what was happening to protest, Kim did so, revealing an identical ring on the mirror “Kim’s” left hand. Shego looked at the mirror and frowned. “Nana Sheila?” she asked, hesitantly. The black haired woman in the mirror quirked an eyebrow, smirked exactly as Shego herself would have done, and nodded. Shego broke out into a wide grin, surprising the holy heck out of Kim, who had maybe once or twice seen her with a genuine smile on her face. Not only did she know this woman, Kim realized, she actually liked her.
Shego stared the mirror, her bow knitting. “So, I don’t mean to be rude, Nana Sheila,” she said, “but why are you in my upstairs toilet?” The black-haired woman glanced at her mirror mate, and the redhead nodded. She produced a red wax pencil and began writing on the mirror. She must have been writing backwards and right-to-left on her side, because for Kim and Shego, it was perfectly intelligible.
“Dearest Junior and Kimmie-Ann,” it read, “We apologize for the spectacle we made of ourselves earlier, but it was necessary because what we have to say concerns you both and Kimmie-Ann seemed hell-bent on leaving. We have arranged this meeting tonight because we require your assistance in preventing the destruction of the human race.”