Ron and the Wegos left for the factory. Shego gave Ron one of the cases of bottled water to carry. Kim and Shego stared at Mego's diagram a minute longer then started over themselves. Shego had the second case of water.
“You have a plan for us?” Kim asked Shego.
“I've got three. The first one is a conventional knockdown. It's not going to work.”
“Then why do you mention it?”
“Because maybe he's gotten tired or stupid. Or maybe he'll run out of fuel and we can hit him before he gets a new tank in. Plan number two. When I yell 'Greek' you run like hell. Greek means marathon, you run.”
“And what will you do?”
“I'll hit his fuel pack with a plasma burst. It explodes. Simple and fast. You run, I duck, Hego is tough, and Mego is safe behind machinery.”
“Is probably okay. He should have put some shielding in his outfit in case of accidents.”
“What's number three?”
“I yell Roman, you hold his attention for a couple minutes. Fire tag is a nasty game -- you damn well better be careful. If you manage to survive a couple minutes of flame attack you'll realize you can retreat and I take him down.”
“How will you do that?”
“You'll know it at the time.”
“Anyone get hurt?”
“Yeah. You get killed if you aren't careful and I end up feeling like shit.”
“But no harm to Hellpike?”
“Be nice if you had as much compassion for me as you do for the man torturing my brother.”
“Let's hope for a conventional knock-down.”
“That's fine. But seriously, Kim, he will try to sucker you in -- make you think he hasn't noticed you, then send a blast of flame when you get in too close to maneuver. This guy has no plans to take over the world -- he just wants to hurt people. Oh, and he may pretend he's out of fuel to lure you in -- that's a trap too.”
“We're all outside the main door,” Will whispered into his headset. “Is he in there with Hego?”
“No, he's not,” came Mego's reply. “Let Ron go in and try and get the woman.”
“How about me?” Shego asked. “Should I try and find where he is? Maybe I can surprise him without his flame throwers on.”
“Sounds good, Sis -- Oh, shit. Scrap that plan. He's coming back in.”
With the alarms disabled and knowing Hellpike's location Shego opened the door into the factory. Mego had supplied a floor plan. Will, Ron, and Kim headed down one hallway towards one door into the storage area while Dexter, Ed and Shego took another hall to the second door.
“You guys in position?” Shego asked.
“All set, Sis.”
“Mego, Will is on the East, Ed on the west. Who goes in first?”
“Will goes in first, leave the door open behind you for Ron. Ed, get ready for my signal…”
The Wego's version of fire tag consisted of drawing Hellpike's flame, and collapsing back into a Wego out in the safety of the hall. Kim and Shego would have the more deadly version since they couldn't retreat in the same manner.
Will burst in.
“Damn!” Hellpike yelled and instinctively let out a burst of flame. Will was so far back he didn't even feel the heat, he simply disappeared, but the door he had used was left open. Ed quickly entered from the other door. Hellpike was moving around, he had not imagined the hideout would be discovered and hadn't thought about how to cover the entrances in case of attack.
“Ron! Now!” Mego directed. Ron moved quietly into the room through the door Will had left open while Ed circled around Hellpike. As Mego had suspected Hellpike moved for the northwest corner of the room. It gave him the best coverage of the two doors, and Team Go appreciated the fact it took him a little further from the hostages.
“Damn it, Ron, make your move!” Mr. Squeaky-voice ordered again.
“He's in,” Kim told him.
“Really? He's good. I was watching and never saw him.”
“And he's probably won't speak while he's in there. How's it going?”
“Will! Ed just collapsed. Your turn, keep the pressure on. Sorry, Kim, no time to talk.”
Hellpike was watching for Will, but Will knew his job only consisted of being a distraction. He wasn't sure where Ron was, but made sure that Hellpike was too busy watching him to look for anyone else.
Hellpike knew he would probably be overpowered eventually; his fuel pack would run out and there would be no stopping them. He pulled a remote from his pocket and pressed a button. Nothing happened. He pressed again. He pointed the remote directly at the tank suit and pressed yet again, then he threw the remote on the floor and cursed.
Mego smiled, he was close enough to hear the curses of the enraged Hellpike.
Hellpike's preoccupation with the tank suit had brought Will in closer than he should have come; he was barely able to collapse back to safety when another blast of flame spat in his direction.
Ron's job required stealth rather than speed. The Wegos would be playing fire tag for a lot longer than they wanted before he would be able to get out with the female hostage.
Hellpike did a fast double take, the damn woman was gone -- and with her his tool against Hego. Fortunately the large man was in no shape to move against him, and Mego and the Wegos could be stopped. He didn't even consider Shego -- no one had seen her for years.
Will let out a scream of pain as the flame hit his arm.
“What happened?” Shego demanded.
Kim's voice came over the headset, “He's hurt. He should see a doctor.”
“Should we call an ambulance now? What happened to you, Will?”
“I fell for that old 'I'm out of fuel' gag. I got too close. I can wait for the doctor.”
“How much pain are you in? Can you still split?”
“I can… I'd better not. I'm in too much pain to concentrate.”
Mr. Squeaky Voice came through the earpieces, “Is Ron out of there? He's good. I can't see him, but I haven't seen a thing.”
“He's not out yet.”
“Damn,” came the high voice, “Ed, it's on you now. Just try to keep him preoccupied and give Ron a chance. Don't try anything stupid like Will.”
“Thanks,” Will complained.
“I can go in now,” Kim offered.
“NO!” Mego told her. “You and Shego have your job to do later. We can't risk you getting hurt yet.”
Hellpike sensed that the Wego left was a distraction. That meant the woman hostage might still be in the room. He tried to move around a little, but was afraid of losing his good defensive position. Ed kept his distance, throwing anything he could find at Hellpike, and trying to make sure his enemy didn't have time to discover Ron.
“Ron's out!” Kim shouted.
“You okay, Ron? How is she?”
Ron had not spoken to keep his position quiet during the rescue, but he spoke now. “I'm fine. She's bruised, but--”
“Get her out to the ambulance.”
“Then come back here?”
“We're covered. You did your job.”
Shego's voice came over the headsets, “Ride with her to the hospital. This is family business.”
“I could come back--”
“Ron, leave!” Mego said. “It was always Shego and Hego who fought over how to do things -- it just slows us down.”
“Hey, guys,” Ed spoke up, “hate to interrupt -- but I'm getting hot in here. Isn't it someone else's turn?”
“Hear that, Kim?” Shego asked, “It's show time.”
“Who first?” Kim asked.
“He's trying hard to watch both doors, I can't… Shego's in, Kim. He's firing at her.”
Kim entered with a spectacular flip to draw Hellpike's attention away from Shego, perhaps too spectacular a leap as a burst of flame came closer than she wanted.
Kim hoped Hellpike could be brought down by a conventional attack, but the heat had probably risen to a hundred and sixty degrees in the old storage area. He must have some sort of cooling system in his leather outfit to endure the heat. Not that thinking about it helped her. Another blast of flame came dangerously close. The heat, and thinking about it were ruining her concentration. She had to just stay alive and wait for Shego.
Shego moved in closer, drawing Hellpike's attention from Kim, and earning the pale woman a double blast of flame. Kim's heart stopped, wondering how Shego could avoid the fire, but she executed a back flip that took her out of harm's way and yelled, “ROMAN!”
Kim threw a piece of a board at Hellpike to get his attention, then began a series of moves that took her in dangerously close. She couldn't tell what Shego was doing -- watching Hellpike took all her attention. Shego pulled back a little, pulled a vial out of her pouch on her calf, held her nose and took a swig of the nastiest stuff to ever cross her tongue. She hoped she could keep it down long enough for it to work.
Kim was beginning to wonder if the plasma shot to Hellpike's fuel pack would have been the better option. She'd taken no serious burns, but had been singed a couple times. Shego had said keep Hellpike busy for a couple minutes. In the heat it seemed like hours that she had been playing fire tag. Shego had told her that she would know when to retreat; Kim glanced over, unsure what that meant. The pale woman was beginning to vanish. Her outline was blurring and Kim had the distinct impression she could see through her. It startled Kim so much she stood still for a second.
“MOVE IT!” Shego yelled, and Kim did just in time.
Hellpike glanced over, but couldn't see Shego -- or the little left of her that was visible. She had ducked behind a machine lathe which would have offered no concealment under normal circumstances.
Kim retreated, the heat was taking its toll and she needed a rest.
Hellpike glanced around the room. He'd winged a Wego, but didn't think he'd done serious damage. Team Go must be regrouping. He couldn't let them have time to plan. There was one sure way to bring them in quickly -- they took care of their own.
Hellpike let loose with both flamethrowers directly at Hego's face. He was no longer trying to prolong the pain. Enough heat would blind Hego, perhaps even kill him. But it would bring Team Go in running and careless before that happened. Hellpike glanced back and forth between the doors, where was Team Go?
Hellpike, of course, never saw what hit him. A blow to the head staggered him and before he could even think his fuel tanks and fire harness were stripped from him and he was sliding across the floor -- crashing headfirst into a wall.
“Ed! Mego!” Shego barked, “Secure Hellpike. We won.”
“What happened,” Mego yelled.
“I took him down,” Shego answered.
“Where the hell are you? I don't see you.”
“Secure Hellpike you idiot!”
Three Eds ran in, and Mego grew to a larger size. A few second later Hego heard Shego's voice. “Open your mouth, I got some water for you.”
“Thanks, Sis. Where are you?”
“Right here, just open your mouth.”
As Hego gulped down the bottled water Shego's image began to make a blurry reappearance.
“Thanks for the water and the save.”
“It was nothing,” Shego told him. “I wasn't here. You never saw me.”
“What are you talking about? You're…”
Shego thought Hego's face took on a blanker than usual look -- with Henry it was hard to tell. She held the bottle back up for him, “I wasn't here. You never saw me.” She kept repeating it as she let him drink from the bottle.
Mego frowned as he watched the two, he couldn't quite hear what was being said, so he moved in closer. “It was hot in here, can I have a sip of that water?”
“NO!” Shego snapped. “Uh, I mean, Hego needs it the most. There's more water outside either door.”
An Ed came over, “Found the keys for the chains in his pocket. Let's get Hego down.”
Shego moved the side as Mego and a half dozen Wegos worked on freeing Hego. As they lowered him to the floor she doubled over in pain from the after effects of the invisibility elixir. She had located a bathroom while the Wegos did their job. She almost made it.
The Alchemist and the injured Will joined the group in the storage area.
“Where's Shego?” Will asked.
“She was invisible for a minute -- then she took off,” Kim explained.
“She took the invisibility potion? She's probably sicker than a dog by now.”
“Nasty side effects. She won't feel like doing anything for awhile.”
Kim looked at Mego, “I'll stay here with her.”
Mego asked the Alchemist. “Do you have anything that will help her?”
“My, cousin has some great stuff, both for the diarrhea and the nausea.”
“Look, we're all tired, but it would be nice if you could bring something. Bill the Tower.” He tossed a set of keys to the Alchemist. “Just park it in a tow-away zone and lock the keys in the trunk, the city will get it back to us.”
Kim called the O'Ceallaigh home. As she expected it was picked up during the first ring.
“Hello? … Yes, this is Kim. Everyone is pretty close to fine. … No, Hego has some slight burns, nothing serious. Will has a burned arm. That's not too serious either. … Yes, we all are. … Ron went with the woman hostage to the hospital, I forget which one. … No, you'll have to ask Hego for details. … Yes, Mego and Ed will be taking Hego and Will down to… hold on.” Kim called over to Mego, “What did you say the name of the hospital was where you are going?”
“St. Eligius,” Kim told Susan. “Look, Shego is really feeling sick. Could you get a change of clothes out of our bag and have George drive them down here? … Thanks. Oh, better send a couple towels and washcloths too, and maybe a large plastic bag to put things in after she gets cleaned up. … Yeah, she'll live, but she's going to have to take it easy for a couple days.”
The men of Team Go made of show of walking out the front of the factory as if nothing was wrong. Mego and Ed turned the bound Hellpike over to the police.
None of the police had seen Will's injury and Hego tried to move as if he wasn't hurt. Fortunately his legs felt fine even though his arms were sore from hanging by them all day. The two stayed in the background and let the healthy brothers do the talking.
“We're fine,” Mego assured the police. “Just going back to the Tower for a little sleep.”
Kim knocked softly on the door, “Shego? I'm here if you need me.”
“YOU CAN GO TO HELL, POSSIBLE!” the pale woman shouted with a violence that brought on another spasm of vomiting.
“I'm still out here. They took Hego and Will to the hospital. The Alchemist said he was going to get something for you.”
“It's nice to know who your friends are.”
“What does that mean?”
“You don't…” a series of groans interrupted Shego's answer. “You don't trust me. Go sneaking around to follow me. I don't need someone who won't trust me. Get lost. I didn't ask you to come. You said you wanted to help, but you only came because you didn't trust me out of your sight.”
Kim leaned back against the wall, then slid down to a seated position on the floor. This was going to be a big one. Maybe she didn't trust Shego enough, but Shego had made so many mistakes in her life it was hard to trust her fully. At the same time, Shego had been very honest with her for more than a year. Kim had to admit her actions didn't look good, but was Shego really so blind she couldn't see that Kim was acting out of love?
This was going to be a big one. And from the sounds coming through the locked door it sounded like Shego would not be in any shape for the fight in quite a while.