Shego watched from a rooftop in disbelief as the Seniors’ mansion burned so brightly that it almost made the night seem like day. She could tell that it was a sting operation going on in the house too because she could see Senior’s men being rushed out of the place, tied up or bound in some other way by other people dressed in dark colors. Some of the crates were even being pulled out of the place, for evidence perhaps, she figured. It would seem that things were pretty fucked up.
She decided to observe what was happening rather than charge in and doing something stupid. After all, she was only one person and there were plenty of enemies from what she could tell. There were a lot of people anyway, she noted, since she was not totally sure that they were enemies or not. And then she took notice of the Shogun’s lapdog, also known as Director Betty. Most people did not know the one-eyed woman from any other person on the street, but a special breed would be able to know her from the distance that Shego was standing at.
Shego had seen Director Betty enough times to know who the woman was and what she did. She had expected to see the brown-haired woman thanks to the scheme cooking in the minds of Drakken and the elder Senior. She even considered that they might engage each other in combat to see how far they had come, but not tonight. Everything seemed to be screwed up that night.
To think, she would be in that mess if she had not fallen asleep thanks to all that food and wine. She was not sure what the outcome would have been if she was stuck in all that chaos, but she doubted that her presence would have stopped the fire, so the place would have burned easily no matter what. She would have either been caught or had escaped with nothing really to show for her effort, she figured. How anticlimactic, she thought.
They had a rather decent plan, after all. It might have been possible for them to pull off the coup or at least go out in a blaze of glory. Instead, the house was going up in a blaze and most of their men were being arrested or killed before they even got a chance to do anything. Damn, the Shogun had some good dogs working for him for them to have caught everything before anything even happened, she considered.
Or, of course, those idiots could have just drawn attention to themselves when they were moving the crates from the cave to the house. She could see the morons that she worked with somehow giving themselves away while on the street, even if they were making the move late at night. The grunts were not smart enough to be discreet, especially if they thought that it was a safe time or place or something of the like and they all swore that it was safe to move the boxes of weapons at night. So, either they screwed up or the Shogun’s dogs had sniffed out the plan and dug up their work.
She supposed that it did not matter. Whatever the cause of what was happening was done and gone. Now, there was only what was occurring and what she was going to do to change fate. She scoped things out and decided that she was going to stick close to see if she had a chance to make things worse for the Shogun and make things better for her clowns…uh, Drakken and the Seniors. She was supposed to protect Drakken anyway.
Betty demanded that everyone alive get out of the burning mansion as the smoke built up like a wall, but the true walls were collapsing. Her agents were upset with the orders, knowing that they had to save the plotters against the government as well as their own skins; their boss would not have it any other way. A few dedicated agents did pull out the containers full of weapons. They figured that the weapons might be useful in some manner.
When people started coming to put out the fire, Betty ordered her people to move out as quickly and as quietly as possible; they did have the whole “secret police” thing to maintain. Everyone grabbed what they could, be it a prisoner or two or evidence of the planned uprising, but they all took something and made themselves scarce, leaving the manor to go up in flames unless other people acted on its behalf.
Shego followed the disappearing agents, even though most people had not even noticed them; they were like shadows in the dark. The masses were focusing on the fact that there was a house burning in the noble district of the city. There were efforts to put the fire out, of course. If they just allowed the fire to burn, it could spread and the whole city could possibly collapse to the destructive force. So, people were hurrying to defeat the flames. It all acted as a distraction for Betty and her troops to get out of there without being seen.
Betty and her agents retreated back to the Shogun’s castle, which was where Shego knew they would go. She did not attempt to follow them into the castle; that would have been pure madness to try with them and the usual guards around the place. She needed to figure out what she was going to do about everything, who she was going to rescue, and how she was going to do it. So, she sat in a tree to ponder the matter close by and out of sight.
The prisoners were locked away in a low level dungeon immediately when Betty’s team entered the castle. The entire Senior household that survived the fire along with any henchmen gathered together by the elder Senior and Drakken that were still alive were put away in the cellar prison. The crates were put away in a storage room and Betty went to go make a report.
Betty typically reported directly to the Shogun. He always wanted to hear things for himself from someone that was on the scene. He figured that if he got a first hand account it would be best to understand the situation and it was also a way to avoid true hearsay where the truth of the predicament was lost through channels. He also knew that the one-eyed woman would not try to bury the circumstances under ass-kissing jargon. She would explain things as bluntly as possible, but with all due respect.
When Betty did report directly to the Shogun, she sat outside a room and he remained behind a shut shoji. He sat far from the door, probably on the other side of the room, she guessed. She did not think too much on it because she was so used to it.
Betty was brief in what she said. She explained the plot as far as she understood it, which was that Drakken supplied the guns that he had bragged about creating back when he thought it was safe to talk in front of the geisha. Senior offered up the finances for Drakken to buy what he needed to create the guns. They combined their men to have a small army that they planned to use to storm the castle. The Shogun did not comment to that, not that she expected him to.
She then informed him about the weapons and how they appeared to greatly modified guns. He did not say anything to that either. Betty ended her report and left as quickly as she could, which was not extremely fast considering that she had to bow with almost every move that she made until she was out of the room that she was in. She then had to wait for her orders on what she should do next or wait around in case the Shogun finally decided to ask questions on everything that had happened.
“How could this happen?” Señor Senior Senior lamented in disbelief.
He thought that they had had a flawless plan in its ingenious workings. They had been very quiet about everything, even when smuggling in the pieces for the guns or sometimes whole guns themselves. Drakken had put the weapons together and modified them vastly in his own lair, which was outside of the city and, by their thinking, safe because of that. So, he really wondered, how could they have gotten arrested before even doing anything?
“Father, we’re going to get out here, right?” Junior asked with a slight tremble in his voice. He was sharing a small cell with his father and several other people. It was such a massive round up that the cells were all full.
“Of course, my son,” Senior assured his offspring. He was not too sure about that, though. He did not see how it was possible for them to get out once they were in the palace’s walls. They were swallowed by the Shogun and in the bowels of the beast now, not even the belly.
“I can’t believe they took all my guns,” Drakken complained with a deep huff. He was in a different cell, but the Seniors could hear him griping.
Drakken had worked long and hard on all of those guns, pouring his very essence into his labor, especially the ones that he had to put together completely on his own. Then there were the weapons that he designed chiefly on his own. Those weapons were things of beauty in his mind, works of perfected art, and they had been confiscated by the government. The Shogun was probably going to have them destroyed, he realized, especially since the man did not know how they worked.
The cerulean inventor’s expression dropped greatly as the thought of his hard work being melted down and wiped from the face of the Earth, as if they had never been created in the first place. Or worse, what if some hack started examining his precious pieces and began tearing those weapons apart? He actually wondered what they managed to save from the fire considering the fact that he had been knocked out for the battle and failed to witness any of the inferno, but he had heard about it from the other prisoners lamenting the lose of the brilliant manor.
Drakken was ignorant to what even started the fire. Junior was the same because they had both been unconscious in the fighting early on. Only a handful of people knew that one of the guards was knocked into a lantern by a government agent and the lantern started the wild fire that grew substantially as it was disregarded for other, more interactive opponents. Senior did wonder if the whole house had burned down by now. So many treasures were lost to him and his son if the whole house was gone.
But, Senior supposed he had bigger things to worry about than family bobbles. There was a big chance that he was going to die, as was his son. His son did not really have much to do with the plot and only came around because he enjoyed the particular teahouse that they frequented. He doubted that Junior’s noninvolvement in things was known, but he would wait and see.
Senior did take into account that the Shogun was not a hard man like his father before him. The previous shogun was a man that felt anything that disturbed the calm of the land had to be dealt with in rash method to teach people that he would not tolerate any brand of foolishness and he almost always unleashed Hell on captured criminals. No one questioned the effectiveness of the manner as it was most improper to make inquires of the Shogun. The current Shogun fashioned himself as a just man and tried to make punishments fit the crimes, but he also understood that treasonous acts had to be dealt with. Treason could not be tolerated, after all.
It could not be said that Senior just accepted that he was going to die for his actions. He was not ready for death in any form and he was attempting to think of someway out of his current predicament. He also wanted to get his son out of the situation. He had to take care of his son, of course. So, he felt that it was his duty to get Junior out of there.
Drakken was also trying to figure out how to get out of his cell. He really had no desire to die. He had not even considered that might be an option when he began his planning. He always thought that any plan that he had was going to succeed. So, he did not know what he was doing in the cell and he did not know how he was going to get out of it. He silently hoped and wished and prayed that Shego would somehow manage to be his savior. It was what he paid her for, so she had better save him, he quietly huffed.
Betty decided to go rescue her good, little spies since there was nothing else for her to do at the moment. They seemed to think that they were in the lowest levels of Hell while undercover and she might as well get them out of there while she had the time. There was no reason for them to be there anymore anyway.
The one-eyed woman did take her time, however, since she could. When she made it to the house, she did not even go directly to the girls’ room. She decided to see Vivian and inform the blonde that she was taking back her whiny spies. She knew that Vivian would freak out if she woke up and the girls were just gone and she did not know what happened to them.
“Vivian-san,” Betty whispered as she sat down next to the blonde’s bed.
Vivian murmured in her sleep, but she did not stir. Betty sighed and shook Vivian slightly, which worked. Her eyes fluttered open and she smiled when she caught sight of who was waking her.
“Betty-san, visiting in the middle of the night? How daring,” Vivian commented as she sat up to face the one-eyed woman. She continued to smile, looking somewhere between coy and seductive, which was probably only a feat that she could pull off.
“Stop looking like that. I’m just here to take back the two troublemakers,” Betty informed the other woman.
“Is that all?” Vivian pouted, looking genuinely disappointed because of that reasoning.
“You should stay for a moment. You work too much. Every time I see you, you’re working. Why don’t you sit and have some tea with me?” the blonde offered with a pleasant smile.
“I don’t have the time for that,” Betty sighed. While she had spare time, it was not so vast for her to do something so leisurely as to sit and have tea with the blonde.
“You always say that. What do you ever do aside for be a dog for the Shogun?” Vivian inquired with a huff.
“Don’t be that way and don’t call me a dog for the Shogun,” the brunette woman replied in an offended tone.
“Or else what? You’ll use that?” Vivian asked and she flicked Betty’s short sword, which was the only sword that Betty was carrying at the moment.
“Vivian-san, can we not have this argument again?” the one-eyed woman practically begged while sighing.
“And when would we have this argument? The next time you come by and want a favor from me yet have no time for me in the end?”
Betty growled like an upset hound. Of all the people that there were in the empire and she just had to know all of the difficult or weird ones, she silently huffed. Why did everyone have to bother her over the fact that she had a job to do? Maybe they wanted someone to overthrow the government and destroy the peace that the land enjoyed.
“Look, Vivian-san, I have a job to do, an important job,” Betty started out, but the blonde did not let her finish.
“I know it’s an important job, but you’re going to burn yourself out. You’re all about the work. You don’t have anything outside of your job. I mean, the only family you see is your nephew and that’s only because he works with you. You don’t have any friends and you don’t go out to the theater if you have a chance because you never have a chance. You need to relax,” Vivian gently argued.
The blonde reached up and put her hands on Betty’s face. She looked the brunette directly in the eye. Betty tried to look away, but the hands did not leave her cheeks, so she eventually turned back.
“You do need to relax. That’s why I always ask you to stay. I’m not looking to downplay your job or anything like that. I understand it’s a very important job and you help keep the peace and everything, but how long do you think you’ll be able to do that if you’re always so tightly wound?” Vivian asked.
“I don’t have time to relax,” Betty insisted.
“You have to make time. Now, since you’re taking back the girls, I’m guessing you have time to spare because you’ve probably caught the bad guys. You should come back here tomorrow and have tea with me.”
“Vivian—” The officer attempted to object, but she was not given the chance.
“Don’t tell me no or I’ll never do you another favor,” the blue-eyed beauty promised and she sounded quite seriously.
Betty sighed. “Okay, fine. I’ll come by tomorrow and we’ll have tea,” she agreed.
“No, no, no. Say it like you mean it, so I can trust you,” Vivian said.
“I do mean it. I’ll come by, as long as I don’t have anything else to do, which I shouldn’t. So, I will have tea and whatever else you want,” Betty vowed.
Vivian seemed to brighten. She smiled and everything. She finally removed her hands from Betty’s face and then Betty turned her attention to the door. Vivian knew Betty was leaving before the brunette even stood up. Betty bid Vivian farewell by telling her to go back to sleep. The blonde pouted, but she did lie back down to go back to sleep because it was the best thing for her.
Betty made her way to Kim and Yori’s room. She had learned from her first time coming to collect information for them that they slept there like they did anywhere else, namely on high alert. She had learned it the hard way, though. She had entered the room in the middle of the night only to be tackled by Kim while Yori pressed an undoubtedly poisoned shuriken to her throat. She had not made that mistake a second time.
Betty made some noise before she slipped into the room. It was a specific sound and warned the two spies that it was her coming into the room. The first couple of times they dived into bed to pretend that they were sleeping like “normal” people. They did it because they thought that they might get admonished for not being “normal.” After a while though, they did not even bother with pretending to be normal since Betty had already busted them the first time and she was no fool anyway. They were very aware that they were not tricking her by lying in the beds.
Kim and Yori were sitting up in the room; it would seem that they had been waiting for Betty to show up. Betty almost laughed when she saw them, but she caught herself. They were ready to go as far as she could tell. They were anxious and eager to depart like any prisoners being granted freedom.
“Did you bring pants?” the girls asked simultaneously and that broke Betty. She chuckled.
“No, I didn’t. I guess you’re just going to have to go home like that,” Betty answered.
“I told you,” Kim said to Yori.
“That you did,” the ebony-haired female concurred.
“Will you two knock it off before I leave you here? You know, Vivian might not act like it, but she likes you two and she could use two good musicians,” Betty threatened the pair and they believed her. In all actuality, there was no way that she could just leave them there without it ruining way too many lives and ultimately leading to her, at the least, to have to commit suicide, if the girls did not kill her first anyway.
“Let’s go, let’s go, let’s go,” Yori urged Kim. She had a husband that she wanted to get back to and if she never saw another okobo, it would be too soon.
“All right, let me just get my swords,” the redhead replied.
Betty nodded and she did wonder where Kim had hidden the weapons. Yori knew the space, so it did not strike her curiosity. The brown-haired warrior watched as Kim lifted up her futon and reached into a small hole that she had put in the thing. Kim yanked out her swords from her bed.
“That explains why you weren’t sleeping on the thing,” Betty muttered.
“Well, I’m ready,” Kim stated. She had to put the swords were they were close to her. She just would have not have been comfortable otherwise.
“It is time to get you two home,” Betty agreed.
Yori and Kim nodded; they were ready to go home and forget the whole shameful undercover operation had happened. They exited the room and the house silently. They hit the streets and strolled off toward the Stoppable manor since it was closer. They dropped Yori off.
The shinobi (1) entered the house quietly and sneaked right into her shared bedroom with Ron. He was knocked out as far as sleep was concerned. He was an odd sleeper. He always looked totally out, but if someone got close enough, he woke up in an instant. And she happily got close enough.
Ron shot up and dashed toward the intruder. He clashed weapons with the perceived trespasser. As soon as he noticed whom it was that he drew his knife on, she was pressing her lips to his.
“Yori!” Hr grinned against her mouth and then wrapped his arms around her.
“I’m so glad to be back,” she informed him while dropping her weapon. She had only drawn the blade because she was well aware of how her husband woke up. It would not do them any good if he killed her in a half-sleep stage of alert.
“I’m glad you’re back too. Why were you gone for so long?” he inquired while making sure to keep her in his arms. He was not looking to let her go anytime soon, especially considering how good it felt to have her pressed against him.
“You know, what I always do,” she answered cryptically. She doubted that she would ever be able to tell him what she had to do, even though no one touched her inappropriately. It was just that it could have happened and she had been in such a disagreeable situation in the first place.
“As long as you’re here to stay now,” he commented.
Yori nodded because as far as she knew that she was there to stay for a while. It was not likely that she was going to be given another mission anytime soon because Betty was a little more considerate than that. She should be able to stay with him and just enjoy him. The thought made her smile.
Ron decided against asking about the mission since she would not tell him why she was gone for so long. It had been well over two months and he was just so happy that she was back. He leaned down and kissed her again to show the joy that he was experiencing thanks to her return. She eagerly accepted the show of affection. It felt so indescribably good to be together again.
“So, what did you tell my parents for them to be all right with me being gone for so long?” Kim asked Betty curiously as they made their way to her home.
“I told them that you had to track a criminal for me and you probably ran into some of your usual things since he seemed to be heading south and he had a head start on you,” Betty explained.
Kim shrugged; it was plausible. A few times in life, she had disappeared for a couple or more months while hunting down fugitives for Betty. She just did not like to lie about it, but she would rather lie than to tell her parents where she actually was for the past couple of months. So, it would seem that she was going to be lying.
“How worried did they seem while I was gone?” Kim asked curiously. Her parents made it a habit of harassing Betty when Kim was gone because even though they did not know exactly who Betty was when it came to her occupation as the leader of the secret police, they knew that she was a good reason if their daughter was missing for more than a couple of days.
“They both came by my house a few times a week. Luckily for me, I’m never home,” Betty answered.
“Unlucky for you, they know where to find you,” the teenager remarked.
“That they do,” the one-eyed woman admitted with a sigh. The Possibles did know where to find her almost anywhere she might be, wanting to know any kind of news about their wandering daughter. She could understand that, but it was annoying.
“Well, sorry if they’ve been a handful, Director-sama.”
“It’s all right. I know how they are and you’re their daughter, after all. So, you don’t have to apologize,” Betty replied.
Kim shrugged because she did not know what else to do. She bid Betty farewell and entered the house. She went right to her room. She would announce her return in the morning to avoid interrupting her family’s rest.
Shego eased her way into the holding cell area. The prisoners heard a yelp, but they did not know what it was until they saw Shego. She motioned to them to be quiet by holding a finger to her lips.
“What are you doing here?” Drakken demanded to know. He was enthused to see her, even though that was not coming out in his tone. Part of him was even declaring how he knew that she would rescue him.
“What the hell is wrong with you? Be quiet. I’m here to get you out of here, of course,” Shego replied.
“Oh!” Drakken said as if he was surprised by that.
“A break out? For all of us?” Senior asked from his cell.
Shego made a face. “I didn’t say all that.”
“If you free me, we can all go to my castle and regroup,” Senior informed her.
“Yes, then we can get revenge!” Drakken proclaimed rather loudly.
“Will you be quiet?” Shego hissed.
“Father, who is this woman anyway?” Junior asked as he took a good look at Shego, who was not wearing her mask or hat. She liked her hat, but it was difficult to sneak into a fortified area wearing a large hat. She did dislike the mask and only wore it to be granted access at the teahouse.
“The woman saving your skin. Now everyone shut up, sit back, thank me when this is all over,” Shego informed them.
The pale woman ignited her hands and carefully went through wooden bars. She had no desire to start a fire, especially since she could possibly kill several hundred people if she set the place ablaze. She pointed in the direction that everyone should flee to; it was a hidden passage for them to escape into.
“Are you some kind of demon?” Junior asked when he saw how Shego freed them.
“Yeah, the bitchy kind. Do you want to leave or see what it’s like to lose your intestines?” Shego inquired.
Junior did not argue with that response and he exited the cell with the stream of other prisoners. Shego directed everyone where to go, which did surprise a few people that were perceptive. They wondered why she knew about a secret passage in the Shogun’s palace.
“I’ve escaped this place a few times in my life,” Shego informed them when the elder Senior finally got around to asking about the clean getaway that they seemed to be making.
No one argued as they made their way unmolested through corridors. There were sprinkles of guards were laid out unconscious as she led them through everything. Shego had had some fun knocking those guards out when she had been making her grand, but silent entrance. The poor souls never saw her coming and certainly did not expect her to know so many classified ways to enter the castle. The path out was pretty clear, but Shego figured that they could use a little distraction, so she started a very small fire in place that she believed it would be not burn the whole palace down.
“You all get going. I’ve got something else I need to do,” Shego said.
“What do you mean something else?” Drakken inquired.
“Just something else. Now, you might want to get going before they leave you,” Shego pointed out.
Drakken noticed that the Seniors were leaving without him and he did not know how to get to their castle. He ran off with them and they all eventually stole some horses to hasten their escape. Shego ran off; she had one more person that she figured she could rescue.
1: shinobi: a ninja
Next time: Shego goes to rescue that one last person while Betty finds out about the sudden lack of prisoners.