Betty Director chose not to read the final report that Will Du left for her. Her brother's madness always disturbed her. The early parts of the story she didn't need to know. The later parts she knew only too well.
While some imagine the insanity plea is used more often than it should be, and there may indeed be times when the defense is abused, more often those with real mental problems do not have their illness recognized by the court. Gemini's madness could not be overlooked or ignored. His own actions had destroyed the top ranks of WEE, making it relatively easy for Kim, Ron, and a small group of Global Justice agents to bring down what had once been the most technologically advanced terrorist group in the world. Without Pepé, Gemini had appeared a broken man. Almost unresponsive and totally docile the watch over him in the psyche ward had diminished slightly over time.
Months after his committal he began to hear noises at night. Only gradually did he recognize the voice of Pepé speaking to him, calling him to revive WEE. The orderly should not have been in Gemini's room by himself. It was a breach of procedure. Pepé said he must be punished.
The next few weeks were especially hard, on the run and searching for Pepé. Gemini finally located Pepé in an alley. He looked different, but Pepé was smart, he had disguised himself so he would not be captured. Pepé bit Gemini repeatedly, punishing him for taking so long to find him, then Pepé revealed his new plan.
Not everyone in WEE had been in the headquarters when Global Justice moved against them. Small WEE cells existed in different cities and countries around the world. Gemini knew where they were, but few responded to his calls. Some had been captured from evidence discovered by Global Justice. Some had ceased to operate, or joined other criminal groups, or simply refused to deal with Gemini. Pepé assured him the loyal few who answered the call would be rewarded, and the traitors punished when WEE revived. But first, Pepé told Gemini, they needed to secure the aid of a man named Drakken.
Pepé was unhappy with Gemini. He had missed optimum pain. A little pain could make a reluctant man work a little faster. A little more pain could make him work even faster. More pain, more work -- until the optimum level was reached. At that point more pain only decreased the amount of work a person could do. Gemini far exceeded the optimal level with Drakken
The infiltration of Global Justice went slowly. Drakken could not produce the neuro-compliance chips as fast as Gemini would like. But Pepé told him to be patient. They had plenty of time. For the most part the Global Justice agents they chipped were told to behave normally -- except they would destroy any references to Drakken or WEE that might appear in reports. They also called in to WEE daily for additional orders and to give reports.
When the number of mind-controlled Global Justice agents hit a couple dozen, with a dozen more chips prepared Gemini ordered phase two. Half the controlled agents put neuro-compliance chips on the team in the Global Justice research lab. The other half found a way to smuggle Drakken into the lab. Now chips could be produced at a speed which would soon stockpile enough chips for phase three, the complete takeover of Global Justice. All its technology, all its secrets, all its agents -- willing to die on his order -- would be the foundation for a new and stronger WEE.
As Agent Duncan went through security for her night shift at Global Justice headquarters a small chip was pressed onto the back of her neck, held in place with a powerful adhesive.
A voice spoke in her head “They think you're wearing a mind control chip. Play along or they'll kill you. My name is Drakken. Find Shego. There are two other fake chips, they vibrate when you are close to another one. Get help. Message repeats.”
Agent Duncan decided to play along. As she passed through security two men in red uniforms were issuing orders. “Go about your normal business for now. You will only listen to the men in red, and above all you will listen to Gemini.”
“Shit. This is not good.” Drakken's message seemed to repeat about every three minutes. Duncan grabbed some folders and wandered through the building -- she could claim this was her normal business if asked. She had covered most of the building when she felt a vibration at the back of her neck. There were several Global Justice agents present, and one man in red. She scanned the Global Justice agents, and saw Will Du give her a wink. She took a deep breath and walked in the office of the assistant associate director.
“Yeah, you too?”
He shook his head. “If Drakken was telling the truth there is one more of us -- or maybe that chip hasn't been used yet. We have to get word out. In six and a half hours a new shift reports for duty -- and I figure they will all be chipped. You have to leave.”
“How do I do that? Aren't they watching all the exits?”
“I assume so. I haven't checked. Walk out openly, tell them Gemini ordered you to go and buy dog food -- no one will argue.”
“Gemini got his Chihuahua back?”
Du shuddered, “No, he's carrying around the largest rat I've ever seen -- and he keeps calling it Pepé and talking with it.”
“What are you going to do?”
“I'm going to see if there is anything I can do on the inside to cause problems for Gemini.”
T-minus 6 hours
One of the red-clad agents stopped Agent Duncan, but accepted the excuse Will Du had offered her. She breathed a sigh of relief when it worked. The WEE agent also breathed a sigh of relief -- Gemini was so irrational he could have gotten on the intercom and ordered everyone in the building to go buy dog food.
Du had told her not to use a cell phone, it wasn't clear what Global Justice monitoring equipment might be in use. It had taken her half an hour to leave the building and drive to where she could find an honest land line. She said a little prayer that the number Will had given her was as secure as it was supposed to be. It was answered on the third ring.
“Dr. Director, we have a serious problem…”
T-minus 5.5 hours
Kim was almost home, Betty Director would arrive there in minutes. Her parents and Shego were awake, and Jean had started a pot of coffee. The tweebs had been awakened by the noise and no one wasted breath telling them to go back to bed.
As soon as Kim got in the door she got on the phone to Ron, the frantic call that disturbed her and Bonnie hadn't given her time to think. In the drive from campus she had awakened enough to remember Ron and knew he would be needed.
Dr. Director didn't bother knocking. When the helicopter sat down she ducked low and ran to the Possible house.
“What happened to you?” she demanded when she saw Shego.
“You should have seen me two weeks ago. Believe it or not I'm looking a lot better.”
T-minus 5.25 hours.
A flushed Betty Director told what little she knew. “Gemini has used mind control chips to try and take over Global Justice. He was working with Dr. Drakken, but Drakken has sold him out--”
“That's not true. Didn't you read the report I had Dr. Kemal send you weeks ago -- warning you that someone was forcing Drakken to manufacture neuro-compliance chips?”
“I didn't see any report.”
“Then either Kemal has been chipped -- or Gemini had already infiltrated your headquarters.”
Neither was a pleasant thought. Betty Director preferred to believe Shego was lying -- but the message from Drakken said to contact Shego. “Look, the message on the two fake chips was to contact you. Drakken seemed to think you know what to do. What do you know about the mind control chips?”
Shego thought for a minute. Her technological skills weren't that good. She had fallen victim to the chips when Drakken used them before… the victory belonged to… “JIM! TIM! What did you do when you beat Drakken's mind control device a couple years ago?”
Startled to be included in the conversation there was a pause before one of them said, “We had been working on a portable silicon phase disrupter -- it disrupts the bio-electrical chips.” The twins suddenly found a space open for them at the adult table.
“Portable… Meaning small -- could you make a large silicon phase disrupter, something large enough to cover a city block, for example.”
“I guess, but”
“it would take a lot of power”
“you'd need the whole US power grid”
“for that much coverage and to penetrate walls.”
“Your portable version… How much power did it require? What was the range?”
“Uh, I think it was good for about twenty feet”
“We were using the Kimmunicator battery.”
Betty Director looked at Kim, “Our friend, Wade, invented it. It's amazingly powerful, but still too expensive for commercial production.”
“How many might he have?”
“I don't know, let me get him in on this,” Kim turned on the Kimmunicator.
Shego spoke up, “Your best hope is the twin's portable disrupters. You need several, and power supplied for them. Jim, Tim, do you still have your disrupter around?”
“No, we broke it up for parts.”
“Could you make more if you had a lab to work with?”
T-minus 5 hours
“I'm taking the boys to Drakken's lair. Kim, the keys to Herbie.” She caught the keys Kim tossed in mid-air. “Boys, get in the car. Dr. Director -- call Middleton's finest and tell them not to stop or follow a white Volkswagen Beetle. Hopefully there will be parts and time for a half dozen disrupters. Someone needs to figure out the power supply problem -- and Director, you need to locate any agents you think you can trust. My instinct is to trust Kemal, but it's your call.”
T-minus 4.75 hours
Shego didn't know the Volkswagen could move that fast. She blindfolded the twins. Besides the fact they were driving at night they'd kept their eyes closed much of the trip -- afraid to look at how Shego was driving. Kim was going to be mad about those two fenders -- but Global Justice should pay for the repairs.
“Jim, Tim, tools in here. Parts over here. You tell me what you need, let me get it for you.”
Back at the Possible house Ron had arrived and was being filled in.
T-minus 4.5 hours
Shego linked the computer in the lair to Wade's Team Possible site.
“Whoa, smooth Shego, you set that link up yourself.”
“Yeah, compliments later -- I had a good teacher. I've got the tweebs started. What's the word on power supply?”
“I don't have enough Kimmunicator batteries for the job they need done. The silicon phase disrupters take a lot of juice. Kim says they have some really huge battery packs at the research lab and is on her way over there with Dr. Director and her dad.”
“Oh, tell Betty I'm going to have to break into… No, you tell her that we couldn't make any disrupters because we were missing a part and I knew Global Justice wouldn't want me to break into Transistor World to find what we needed. Tape what she says, I want to hear it.”
“Where will you be, couldn't you just listen in?”
“No time, Wade, I'm on my way to Transistor World to steal what we need. By the time she found a manager and explained the problem it would be too late.”
T-minus 3.75 hours
Shego was back at the lair with the parts the twins required. A routine little break-in left her exhausted.
T-minus 3 hours
Wade served as communication hub for the operation, “How are Jim and Tim doing?”
“They've got three almost finished and are about to start on two more. How much time do we have?”
“Dr. Director says she needs to leave Middlton in two hours. It's going to take time to get to the Global Justice, and she needs to start the mission before the morning shift arrives to punch in.”
“Damn, I hope the twins get those two finished -- we need time to work them in with the power supply.”
“You can probably do that on the flight.”
“How is the power supply problem coming?”
“They have a half dozen of the big battery packs -- sounds like more than you'll have disrupters for. They're hard to hide. Dr. Director plans to have the initial team go in with the disrupters using Kimmunicator batteries. After taking the security entrance it will be easy to bring in the big packs.”
“Oh, you'll have to tell Kim's parents some awful news -- the boys are having a wonderful time in the lab. They want to be mad scientists when they grow up.”
“I think their folks already know.”
T-minus 2.5 hours
Shego fired up the hovercraft and took out one of the disrupters -- Betty Director wanted to test it out with a Kimmunicator battery on Mustapha Kemal. The head of Global Justice swore a blue streak at Shego for breaking in to Transistor World.
Shego just smiled, “You want me to take the parts back? I thought you needed the disrupters.”
“Just give me the damn thing! We'll pay for them tomorrow.”
“So my theft was justified?”
“I don't have time for this.” No, they didn't. And Shego gave her the disrupter and headed back to the lair.
T-minus 2 hours
Betty Director used the Kimmunicator to check on progress with Shego. “Kemal confirms you asked him to send a report--”
“Don't get flip. How soon until the fourth and fifth disrupters are done?”
“The twins say about half an hour -- there'll be no time for more before we need to leave.”
“We? You're not Global Justice.”
“And you're in no position to bargain. I have the disrupters. My job is to rescue Drakken.”
“Then you're in no position to bargain. We go in with or without the disrupters.”
“You need help. I'll do this one job cheaply.”
“We're Global Justice. We don't hire thieves.”
They glared at each other over the screens. Shego blinked first. “Okay, what do I have to do to be a part of this?”
“You can ride with us to Global Justice headquarters, and you can serve as communications link with Mr. Load. It doesn't look like you're in any shape for a fight anyway.”
“Okay, I'll accept that.”
“You're lying, aren't you?”
“Well, I made the offer, you can come -- but you really need to think about whether you'll be a help or a problem in your condition.”
“Hey, what weapons are you going to use besides the disrupters?”
“We've got a supply of tranquilizer guns and tasers for our attack force.”
“Tranks and tasers? Nothing lethal? Tranks take awhile to kick in. You're going to be fighting people willing to use lethal force against you.”
“And most of them are my own people under mind control. I'm not going to kill my own people.”
“Yeah, but they are going to kill you if given the chance -- and then where will Global Justice be?”
“With the disrupters working we'll be gaining allies by the minute. There will be no need for deadly force.”
“I wish I had your faith. Any idea what's happening at your headquarters?”
“No idea, I've talked with Agent Duncan, but she doesn't know much. I wish Will Du had come out -- he could give a much clearer tactical view of what we're up against. But in his place I'd have probably sent the junior agent out to safety myself and stayed on to see what I could do. I imagine he'll be at the security entrance when we get there. I hope he's found another agent with a warning chip.”
“Oh, talking about lethal force -- what's the medical plan?”
Betty Director mentally swore at herself for missing the obvious, even with the chaos she should have remembered. “Thanks, Shego. I'll have agent Duncan get to work on securing medical personnel from hospitals and the army.”
T-minus 1.25 hours
The Possible car was parked well away from the rotors on the Blackhawk as they waited for the hovercraft to arrive. Dr. Kemal kept wiping his hands with an already soaked handkerchief -- this was field agent work and it scared him. Betty Director paced nervously. Kim's mom and dad hugged her and wished her luck. Ron was on the Blackhawk with three agents who lived in the Middleton area. A disrupter had been used to take a chip off one of them.
With a whoosh the hovercraft sat down beside the Possible car.
“Cool! A helicopter!”
“Jim! Tim! In your parent's car -- you aren't going with us.”
Jean gave Shego a hug and kiss on the cheek, “Good luck.”
“Thanks. Call Wade -- ask him to get the hovercraft. I've got a bad feeling I won't be coming back soon -- they're going to arrest me.” She handed over a ring of keys.
In her impatience Betty Director almost dragged Shego towards the Blackhawk. “Join me at the controls. I want to know if you see anything else I missed.”
T-minus .75 hour
Shego set the Blackhawk down just behind the ambulances on the long drive into Global Justice headquarters. It would stop any cars heading in. One disrupter and a battery pack would be left there to make sure chipped agents didn't arrive from behind the attack party. Global Justice security cameras covered the parking lot, but not the entire drive. They had to move quickly.
T-minus .5 hour
Duncan, Dr. Kemal and two other agents led the way as they walked towards headquarters. Ron and Kim stayed slightly behind where there was less chance of them being seen and recognized. The four agents carried disrupters connected to Wade's batteries. Kim and Ron had the job of taking out the two WEE agents stationed at the security entrance.
T-minus .25 hour
Drakken considered it a failure of the neuro-compliance chip that the person being controlled stayed mentally alert and remembered everything that happened. The Global Justice agents managing the security check considered it the only positive thing about the mind chips. The two WEE agents standing just behind the doors drew guns and came in when they realized something was wrong. Ron and Kim had knocked them out before they had a hint of how badly their plan was going.
“Will, I just turned off the volume to the camera in central security. Should I turn off visual?”
“That will tell WEE that we're trying a rescue.”
“Well, they'll sure as hell know it if they can see the visual.”
Will kept his back to the camera and pulled a video-cassette from his jacket pocket. “Put this in the camera feed. It's yesterday's tape. If they missed the last sixty seconds we can fool them a little longer.”
Shego's no-frills Kimmunicator beeped. “Send in the battery packs and the medics, we've secured the entrance.”
Shego and Dr. Director emerged, arguing, from an ambulance.
“Who do you think you are, Captain Kirk? You should keep yourself out of harm's way. You get hurt and the whole operation suffers.”
“I don't need a felon telling me what to do. You promised to stay in the rear.”
“Like you expected me to keep that promise. I need to find Drakken.”
“Look at yourself, you're in no condition for a fight.”
They quit arguing, there wasn't time. Shego and a Global Justice technician unplugged the disrupters from Wade's small batteries and connected them with the huge packs. Will, Ron, and Kim had been strapped into three of the battery packs. Betty Director wanted the fourth -- but her subordinates over-ruled her. The fourth went to the agent who worked with Shego on the connections.
“This is the main entry point. There are three large exits that aren't normally used. I want them secured. Ron, you know the least about the building. You stay here at the entrance while the other three--”
“Ron moves very well. If Will takes the South exit he will have to go near the east exist. Ron can go with him that far. I'll take the west.”
“Okay, move people.”
Agents with tranks and tasers accompanied those carrying disrupters. With no clear sense of the building's interior Shego accompanied Kim.
The ‘battle’ was essentially an anti-climax to the preparation. Gemini, who didn't realize the power of the neuro-compliance chip could be broken, ordered the mind-controlled Global Justice agents to attack in force. Which simply lined them up for the disrupters. The small group of agents with the disrupter teams swelled in numbers, although they weren't always well armed. It was enough, however, to discourage the WEE agents.
“KP? Bad news.”
“What is it Ron?”
“Just captured a WEE communicator. Gemini is telling WEE agents something about killing Drakken.”
Shego swore and grabbed the Kimmunicator, “Where is he?”
“Sorry, I don't know.”
It was over. Everyone but Gemini seemed to realize it. Most of the small band of WEE agents simply surrendered. Stoppable and Du were using their phase disrupters to free GJ agents. The hard part would be mopping up -- to make sure everyone was located and all the neuro-compliance chips had been removed.
But Gemini still moved through the building, now shooting at anything that moved as he sought to find and kill Drakken, the man he blamed for his failure. He had shot three GJ agents, one seriously, and one of his own men. A Global Justice agent, free from the mind control, kept a compress on the badly wounded man.
“Help is on the way,” Kim assured him. “We have open communication now. Medical teams will be here in a minute.”
“Stay here with them, Kim, I've got to stop Gemini.”
“No, I'm coming with you. You don't know the building.”
“No, but I have to--”
“Quiet.” Kim spoke into a GJ communicator, “Will?”
“Yes Miss Possible?”
“I've got more than thirty Agents here with free will and four wounded. I'm calling the west exit secure and heading into the building. I need to stop Gemini before people die.”
Betty Director's voice broke in, “Leave your disrupter there.”
“It will take too long to take it off. Anyone with a mind chip is deeper in the building. I'm taking two agents with tranks and tasers.”
Shego would have preferred to go in alone, but had not recovered enough strength to travel quickly.
Kim took point, with the two agents flanking Shego. They went deeper into the building, into areas where mind-controlled Global Justice agents could still be found. Twice Kim's disrupter freed agents from the compliance chip before they could fire, and once Kim had knock an agent unconscious when there was no time to use the disrupter.
“You're tired, Shego. One of those guys might have had you if you were by yourself.”
They heard a shot. “Oh, no. Sounds like the research labs -- probably the best place to look for Drakken.” She pulled out the GJ communicator as she ran, “Shot fired in research area. I suspect Gemini and am on my way. Medics requested.”
Shego panted as she tried to keep up with the other three.
In the research lab a red-clad WEE agent sat on the floor, holding a hand to his bleeding leg. Unable to move Global Justice research technicians sat at their stations, continuing the make mind control chips. Kim turned on the disrupter and began to sweep the room. Chaos erupted as technicians ducked for cover when the beam hit them. Kim's escort gave her a wide space for free movement, so neither was in a position to see what Shego observed -- Gemini stepping out from behind a large piece of machinery and taking aim at Kim.
Shego threw herself at Kim, knocking her out of the way. She felt the impact and searing pain as the bullet caught her in the back. Red blossomed on the front of her uniform from the exit wound.
“God… It hurts…”
Despite the weight of the battery pack Kim caught Shego before she hit the floor and dove for cover. Shego stared up at Kim, trying to comprehend what was happening.
“I'm coughing blood -- hit a lung… Not good… Not good…”
--- The End ---
Postscript: I wrote the first two Best Enemies stories on my old computer without a grammar checker. Grammar checkers are stupid devices with no sense of style, but they do catch a variety of things which need correction. There were several reasons I wanted to rewrite Best Enemies:
- It had a number of small mistakes in it I wanted to correct.
- Several people commented I had not gotten into the characters’ heads well enough, showing their emotions only through their dialog.
- I hoped to reflect Season 4, although I find it a disappointment. I like Ron and feel they've reduced his role to comedy relief.
- A Markov suggested an interesting back-story for why Shego contacted Kim.
Feeling less need to revise Cognitive Dissonance I barely touched it. But as I extensively revised Best Enemies I had Kim and Shego make a bet about New Year's Eve and who they would be out with. I wanted to write that scene, which appears in chapter 11.
Thanks to all readers who enjoy my stories. No point in thanking those who don't -- they haven't gotten this far. Triple thanks to those who leave reviews, you are very much appreciated.