Kim wished she knew how to pilot the hovercraft. She knew Ron would get them there are quickly as possible, but she desperately wanted something to do to keep the image of Shego's throat being cut out of her mind.
“What?” Kim asked.
“Dross,” Ron replied. “I just remembered the name of the town.
As Ron set the hovercraft down Kim thought that Dross had seen better days. Windows were broken on most of the wood frame houses which were still standing, and roofs sagged on others which looked like they would soon be collapsing. A number of stone and brick buildings appeared to be in better shape. They had set down in the front of what had been the playground for the school. The church stood about two blocks away on a small rise. In the still of the late afternoon they worried that the noise would be too obvious if they tried to land any closer.
“Uh, KP, I should have probably told you this a little earlier…”
“What is it, Ron?”
“Well, I got pretty good at calling up the Mystical Monkey Power that last summer when I was in Japan. I'm not always as good at controlling it as I'd like to be.”
“So, you're going to attack me?”
“Probably not. Just warning you to stay out of my way. I could be dangerous.”
“That's exactly how I want you in there.” She gave him a hug. “This is going to be another of those Wannaweep moments when you're taking point and I'll just try to cover your back. I'll find Shego and get her out. Don't be a hero. We don't need to defeat him today, I just want all three of us to be safe.”
“I don't think he has a chance. I could take apart a tank with the MMP. I want to finish this now.”
Even as they moved toward the old church building Kim began to sense changes in Ron. He seemed to grow larger somehow, and more feral. His words, if he spoke at all, came out as guttural growls. She ceased trying to speak as she fell in behind him as he moved silently up the hill.
One of the large double doors had collapsed on the front of the church, the other door hung at a crazy angle from its single remaining hinge. If Kim had anything else she wanted to say she would have no opportunity to say it. Ron was moving faster now, eager to engage the enemy in battle. Kim wasn't sure but thought she heard a low snuffling nose from him as he drank in air, seeking the scent of his prey.
They crossed the vestibule and entered the sanctuary. The light which shone in through empty frames and the remaining stained glass windows illuminated the interior enough for Kim and Ron to see the sanctuary. At the east end of the sanctuary, where Drakken had told Kim to look for Shego, was the platform on which the vampire sat, reading a book. It made sense it would want to keep her close to him, but it would make finding her difficult to find if the fight stayed on the platform.
The portion of his brain where Ron still reigned seemed aware of the potential problem. He held himself back from the speed he was capable of moving as they walked forward. The Jack closed his book, wondering if hikers had somehow stumbled onto his lair, “Can I help you?” it asked coldly.
Back at Lipsky and Load, Drakken had gone to a large storage closet and drug out the boxes labeled cybernetics into the large auxiliary lab. He pushed some experiment of Tim's off to one side and began rummaging around in the boxes for parts. Wade had so radically altered some elements of his design that he wasn't sure how quickly he could assemble what he needed.
The blue man chalked some of Wade's changes to the young man saying he had built in a number of safety features, but a lot of the differences appeared to be cosmetic in nature - designed to make the Bebes look more human. Working at a feverish pace to assemble a robot Drakken didn't take the time he would have liked to examine the modifications. He had noticed the cosmetic changes when Wade made one up as Shego for the Villain of the Year banquet a year earlier. The mouth moved more naturally. The face had been given small ‘muscles’ which allowed a limited range of expression. It could be mistaken for human in a way his models could not have been.
The power supply would be a major problem, Drakken realized. He had built photovoltaic cells into his Bebes, along with thermocouple and kinetic generators. Bebes required a lot of energy, but his had been virtually energy self-sufficient. Wade's batteries, despite their amazing energy storage capacity would be drained quickly in the fight Drakken envisioned with a vampire. Wade had not been able to improve on the inert polymer which served as the ‘skin’ of the Bebes. It wouldn't react to most acids and chemicals and was largely resistant to the high heat of friction generated when the earlier models moved at super speed. The skin, however, was actually too insulating for Drakken's needs. He took a knife and hacked off the ‘ skin’ for the left hand. Once a glove was placed on the hand no one would notice the missing polymer.
Wade, Joss, Jim and Tim huddled around the radio in lab two. Kim had alerted them before she and Ron went into the church, now they were waiting news from the conflict.
When the Jack closed his book and asked coldly, “Can I help you?” Ron pounced, he made an almost inhuman leap onto the platform, grabbing the creature and throwing it twenty feet with a violence that crumbled the plaster on the church wall when it hit. A human would have been crippled for life, if he could have survived. Kim had time to notice the force of Ron's attack, which gave her comfort. But she also noted the creature rose easily from the pile of debris with an evil smile on its face. Somehow Ron's power gave the creature a greater feeling of confidence than fear, which worried Kim. The redhead climbed the three steps to the platform, eager to find Shego so the three of them could get away as quickly as possible. Ron was wearing the polarized lenses, it had been vital for him to see the creature. They had not counted on the monster being visible, and now Kim wished she had the glasses as she looked over the search area. It was possible the Jack had killed the pale woman and disposed of the body in the time it took them to reach the ghost town. Kim preferred to think Shego was still there, but that the creature kept her from seeing her lover.
The listeners in the lab heard the sounds of a terrific fight, without really knowing what was happening. Ron was equally uncertain of what was happening. As he moved down to floor level the monster attacked him, seeking to get its hands around his throat. Ron threw the creature again, but wasn't sure if he had tossed it as far or as hard. The plaster barely cracked and the creature landed on its feet, ready to move against him again.
The creature rushed him again. There was no doubt in Ron's mind this time, he could not match the power of that first throw. Two ancient magics met in the abandoned church, and Ron suddenly feared that his power was simply more fuel to feed the vampire. He grabbed the back of an old pew and wrenched off an oak plank. Despite its age there was still strength in the wood, and Ron hoped to keep the monster at a distance long enough to maintain some level of power and allow Kim to find Shego and escape.
Ron swung the heavy plank back and forth, like a fan used to shoo flies away. But the Jack moved in and grabbed the timber. Its strength was now every bit as great as Ron's and the wood began to crack and threatened to splinter.
Kim had begun a fast but systematic sweep as soon as she got onto the platform. She began by circling out from the chair where the creature had been sitting, thinking Shego would be kept right beside him. When that failed she began travel back and forth across the platform. Near the second heavy chair in the front she stepped on something she could not see. She quickly knelt and felt a hand, still warm with life. She traced the arm back to the body and put her ear to the victim's chest and smiled as she listened to the firm, regular heartbeat. “Ron I've found her!”
The listeners in the lab rejoiced to hear the news.
“Let's get out of here,” Ron grunted. “This isn't going as good as I planned.”
“SHEGO! WAKE UP!” Kim screamed to no available. She shook the older woman, but nothing happened. “I can't wake her Ron!”
“Carry her! Get her out of here! We've got to get out of here!”
The mood in the lab turned grim, they had thought finding Shego meant the mission was a success.
Kim attempted to pick up Shego, but was jerked back when she tried to move her. She ran her hands over Shego's body. “She's in chains, Ron. He's got her chained to this rail.”
“I'll try. It's hard when you can't see.”
The plank that Ron and the Jack held snapped as loudly as a rifle shot and the monster was on him once again. Ron threw the monster, but not as far or as strong. It was back on him again in seconds. It possessed no knowledge of the martial arts, but in the face of its inhuman strength Ron knew he no longer stood a chance. He threw the creature two more times, but both through his own skill and not with the power he no longer possessed. On its next rush it grabbed Ron, and threw him hard. He tasted blood in his mouth, a cut from crashing into the front of the platform. He struggled to try and get back on his feet, even as it came at him again. He had to protect Kim…
At Lipsky and Load four figures huddled around the radio, listening to the sounds of the battle.
“Ron! I've got her free… Ron?”
Those were the last words they heard from Kim over the radio. They waited in stunned silence, desperate for news and hearing only what might be bodies being dragged across the floor. They had somehow all come to believe she really could do anything.
“I'll call mom and dad,” Jim said in a hollow voice.
“What about Kasy and Sheki?” Joss asked.
Tim closed his eyes, “I don't even want to think about that one. Someone better call Kim's place.”