Author's Note:

A large percent of comments to a chapter in another story mentioned that they were looking forward to seeing Ron's nightmare in addition to the one of Kim's that was mentioned. (OK, it was ONE comment, but for me, that's a lot - LOL) My first thought was that maybe somebody didn't want to wade through thousands of words in my stories (with footnotes!) to see what the nightmares were that were being referenced. I know, highly unlikely I know, right?

Anyway, collected here for your amusement are the nightmares and dreams that have been or may be referenced in future chapters.


This is from Graduation in Early Mayhem Chapter 13. Ron and Kim had finished an early morning sparing session with Nova and have gone back to Nana's RV for a nap before lunch. This is both a recurring nightmare that Ron suffers from and in this case, how Kim helps him:

Ron desperately tried to think, but the screaming of monkeys made it impossible to concentrate. Monkeys were screaming for vengeance, monkeys were screaming for him to kill. A massive fist struck out at him through the blue haze. Twisting to the side, he managed to redirect the blow to miss him. The fist pulled back into the haze and disappeared from view. The other fist rocketed out of the haze. This time Ron gripped the arm and used it to propel him forward with his other hand pointed for a spear tip strike. As before against Warhawk, his hand penetrated just under the sternum, but the chest wall was too delicate, the heart his hand ripped loose too small. Silence fell and the blue haze faded. The body that Ron's hand pierced fell forward, red hair spilling over his arm.

Ron was cast into the void, everything turned to black, the only thing he could see was the memory of red hair and red blood, the only thing he could feel was the agony of being alone forever and the only sound he heard was the sound of his own screaming. After an age passed, Ron heard the sound of a heavenly angel singing, a sound that pulled him out of the void. As he listened a bit longer it occurred to him that it seemed a little bit too country for heaven. And a little too "kissy" as well.

...
It's that pivotal moment [1]
It's, ah, Kim Possible
This kiss, this kiss (Ron Stoppable)
This kiss, this kiss

Cinderella said to Snow White
Love is something that you work at
All I wanted was a white knight
With a good heart, soft touch, mole rat

Ride me off into the sunset
Baby, I'm forever yours
...

Opening his eyes he saw Kim lying beside him watching him and quietly singing. 'I definitely need to update my vision of heaven,' Ron thought, choking out a sob. Kim looked at him with concern and love in her eyes, "It's OK baby, I'm here, we're both OK".

...

Now it was time to get up and rejoin the real world before someone came looking for them. But not right this very minute. Because right this minute Ron needed to know that Kim was here with him, was alive and was well. Kim put her arms around Ron's neck to help her lean into the kiss to reinforce her words of reassurance. Lack of air eventually caused them to break the kiss and it was Kim's turn to pull a sobbing Ron close to her.

"Nice song," Ron said, after getting himself under control.

"Needs work on the one verse, it's hard to get a good rhyme for 'mole rat' to put into a love song." Kim looked into Ron's eyes while one hand ran through his hair, "Are you sufficiently comforted?"

"Maybe a little more," Ron smiled, pulling her back to him in a less desperate, more tender embrace. They resumed kissing, slowly ramping up from gentle to more passionate.

1. Sung to the tune of 'This Kiss' by Faith Hill. Seriously, listen to it. Adding "Kim Possible" and "Ron Stoppable" to the lyrics is simply a matter of replacing "impossible" and "unstoppable" with "Kim Possible" and "Ron Stoppable".


Later in the chapter, the fear Ron felt in the nightmare of hurting Kim comes back to bite him. In this scene, the two are practicing in a meadow on Slim's ranch, Fred and Ed are shadowing them on electric bikes as a protection detail:

They started running through katas from their favorite styles of martial arts. "Reaching for the blue" gave them extra power and agility. The rough men on the electric bikes could be forgiven for paying a little less attention to their surroundings and a little more to the couple performing a beautiful dance of grace, beauty, and power.

Then Kim screwed up. She didn't mean to, but seeing that Ron was really in the zone she decided to throw in an unexpected attack to mix it up a little. When the kata called for her to step back and dodge a foot sweep, she pressed forward with a leaping snap kick and a descending hammer blow. To her surprise, Ron grabbed her arm and lifted her off the ground stopping both attacks. Apparently, Ron hadn't planned this defense as he held her in the air trying to figure out how to let go of her without getting hurt. Then Kim had a flashback of Warmonga being held up in the air right before being gutted by Warhawk. A blue flash lit the meadow.

Fred Dyers and Ed Dyalov had pulled 'follow and protect' duty that morning. Riding the electric bikes on such a beautiful day couldn't be considered hard duty in any sense. Stopping to watch Ann's kids run through their training katas was amazing. While both had combat hand to hand training and experience, they recognized art when they saw it and these kids were martial artists. Then something went obviously wrong. Kim closed on Ron with a double attack and instead of a block and counter, Ron simply grabbed her arm and lifted her off the ground. There was a blue flash and Kim drew up her legs looking like she was running up Ron's body and kicked off into a backward flip, twisting out of Ron's grip. While straightening out of the backflip Kim reached out and snatched a wide bladed sword out of the air. Immediately bouncing to take a step forward, Kim launched herself at Ron, aiming a sword strike at his head. Ron dropped to one knee and struck up with a solar plexus strike behind the blade as it swung over him. Kim crumpled around Ron's hit and fell to the ground, landing on her back bouncing once but otherwise didn't move.

Ron staggered to his feet and knelt next to Kim. The absolute panic that Ron radiated was proof that something was seriously wrong. Fred paused to radio in a MEDEVAC request to their location and then raced down to join Ed who was already halfway to the kids. Ron unbuckled Kim's weight vest and then tore her tee shirt open, relieved to see her normal pale, unblemished skin from her waist to her neck. No cuts, no blood, no forming bruises. Relief that Kim was OK released Ron's hold on the MMP's 'blue' and Ron sagged to his hands and knees.


Chapter 1 from A Postgraduate Sitch. Kim is flying to Japan for a couple of weeks of Lotus Blade training, leaving Ron earlier than planned. This is the dream that convinces her to go back to Ron to spend those two weeks with him. This was originally a partially finished song-fic based on the "Boys of Summer" that I pulled out of my backlog and used for the story.

Kim was too anxious to wait any longer in her lonely apartment for Ron to return. Her condition, a case of blood contamination from Drakken's Super High Pollinator formula, was getting worse. The contamination, almost like an algae slime in her blood, interfered with oxygen transport. Strong light shining directly on her body was the only known treatment.

After turning on her vacuuming bot to clean the place, she got in her car and drove through a strangely deserted Middleton looking for him.

Kim drove back from the lake after finding no one was there. She drove by Ron's house even though she knew that his parents were out of town and Ron was out. Sure enough, no one was home.

A convertible with the top down drove by blasting out an old O'Boys tune, the glint of blond hair and mirrored sunglasses reflecting the setting sun caught her eye - Ron! She quickly turned her car around, but the car was gone. She was sure it was Ron. 'Maybe he is looking for me', she thought. She drove back to her apartment thinking she had to get to where she could be found. Running up to her apartment, she nearly passed out, it was getting so hard to breathe. "Kim!" said Eric, "Is it the plant mutation again? Let's get you in the toaster.". Eric quickly undressed her. There were great dark green blotches spreading over her body. He picked her up in his arms in a bridal carry and was carrying her toward the bed with its bright lights when Ron walked in the door. "KP, Drakken said I needed to... KP? What's going on?"

"Ron, I can explain," Kim gasped, "just a minute."

"KP, I think I see what is going on. I won't be a bother to you any longer" Kim noticed that Ron was not looking at her, but at the floor by the door. Without looking back, he walked out of the apartment. Kim struggled to get free, but she didn't have any strength. Eric put her on the bed and under the lights saying, "Don't worry Kimmy, I won't make you crazy, and your throwing surprises my way won't make me scream."

The blotches quickly shrank as the bright lights shone on them. Kim raised her head and looked at the floor where Ron had been looking. Next to the door was her spare mission pack, next to that was a strange backpack. Her stupid, stupid vacuuming robot had pushed Ron's backpack into the far corner.

Kim struggled to get to the door. Looking out she saw Ron sitting at a picnic table in the courtyard, tears in his eyes. Raising his hand, he called "Lotus Blade". A short sword flew into his hand. Somebody shouted, "Sir, put the weapon down!" She tried to cry out to him, call the Blade, anything, but she had no breath. "Tanto" he commanded, putting the knife handle on the table and resting his head on the blade with its tip under his chin. Ron issued one last command, "Katana!"

Kim woke up in a cold sweat with a scream.


Chapter 2 from A Postgraduate Sitch. Here Ron is sleeping at college, he has a 'single' room in a basement under the kitchen. His housemates have been warned that if he has nightmares, they are not to touch him or get close to him, but wake him by poking him with pool noodles. His earlier nightmare returns...

...Silence fell and the blue haze faded. The body that Ron's hand pierced fell forward, red hair spilling over his arm.

Ron was cast into the void, everything turned to black, the only thing he could see was the memory of red hair and red blood, the only thing he could feel was the agony of being alone forever and the only sound he could hear was the sound of his own screaming...

"Ron! Ron! Wake up! It's just a dream! Ron! You're OK!"

Ron sat up gasping for air as if he had been drowning. Looking around he saw he was in his bed in his "lair" under the kitchen. He saw Rhona and Pavlina both looking pale and holding the pool noodles they used to wake him. Needing air badly, he got up on shaky legs, saying "Sorry! I'm sorry," and stumbled up the stairs, through the kitchen and out to the back porch where he sat down on the steps.

He didn't notice the small group of worried housemates gathered in the kitchen not knowing what to do. Stripping off his sweat-soaked tee shirt, he sat in the cool pre-dawn breeze in just a pair of gym shorts and waited for his racing heart to calm. He had gone over ten days without a nightmare and had hoped that his nightmares were over.

Back in his room, the two girls looked around.

"Did you see? The furniture. It started to move. By itself!" Pavlina crossed herself, "What could he have done to deserve this?"

"No kidding," answered Rhona, "We'd better go check on him." Going through the kitchen, Pavlina told the others to go back to bed, that she and Rhona would see to Ron.

"Drink, braciszek," Pavlina appeared at Ron's side holding a bottle of water. Rhona draped a large towel over his back to keep him from getting chilled.


Chapter 3 from A Postgraduate Sitch. This nightmare triggers an encounter that helps solidify Kim's realization that while she might run into "hotties", they aren't Ron.

"Master Po, I am not chasing after Dr. Alfadurson!" Kim was on the edge of outrage but waited to see where the old monk was going before throwing herself off that edge.

"Perhaps. But I wish to talk about stealing or to be more exact, to take that which is not freely given." Po gave her another nudge to continue the kata, "Dr. Alfadurson is handsome, charming, a skilled doctor, in all appearances, a truly good man. But I believe that something in him is blocked. It is as if a geas has been laid on him, that before he can reclaim his old life, he must do some task. Surely you have noticed that he is very vague about his past and if you press him he seems disturbed that he can't remember. A short time later he has forgotten all about his distress.

I merely wish to point out that should you decide to have a relationship with him, that he cannot freely give his part of that relationship because of the things he cannot remember. To take what is not freely given or cannot be freely given is theft."

Master Po, after Kim had completed the kata to his satisfaction, demonstrated the Striking Dragon's Sweep the Sun From the Sky move, demonstrating that this old monk still had a move or two left in his old body. Motioning for her to try it, she did. After nearly a dozen attempts with corrections, Kim did the move well enough that the old monk clapped his hands in delight. "Show that to your grandmother. Tell her that you learned it for free, she paid a quarter of a chocolate bar to entice me to teach her!" Master Po's smile lit the night.

Bowing to her, he declared the class over. "One last comment. When dealing with relationships be aware of breaking promises that you have already made to yourself or others. Also, consider promises others have made to you."

Being late, she cleaned up and lay down on the mat in her cell hoping to dream of Ron...

but she couldn't move her legs. Looking down she saw that Warmonga, lying in a pool of her own blood held them fast. "Join me in death my darling Great Blue and together we will rule all the hells!" Warmonga whispered as Warhawk walked toward her with a cruel laugh on his lips and a dagger dripping blood in his hand. Kim desperately called for the blue and the Lotus Blade. But she had no MMP and the Lotus Blade didn't answer...

"Miss Possible! Kimberly! Wake up! Kim! you're having a bad dream!"

Kim woke to find the sky-blue eyes of Donar Alfadurson looking with concern into hers and his strong hands gripped her shoulders. A single candle provided soft light in her little room. She felt her body melt against his touch. But the lessons from this night and her mother clicked in her mind.

"Who have you promised? Who has promised you?" Kim murmured.

"What are you talking about, Kim? Are you OK?" Donar answered, leaning closer to her, "Kim, I can feel your desire..."

Kim put her hand on his lips and pushed his head back. "True, my body thinks you are pretty hot. But my mind points out that you can't freely give me of yourself because you can't remember your promises to others or remember what others have promised you. And that my actions can hurt someone who would die rather than hurt me. Thank you very much for waking me from the nightmare. See you at breakfast?"


Chapter 8 from A Postgraduate Sitch Here Kim is being healed after being seriously injured in a battle by Eir, a Valkyrie and senior healer in Asgard:

Kim had drifted in and out of sleep, forever it seemed. She would just wake, start to get up and then Eir would walk in, help her walk to the bathroom while complaining of 'idiot warriors', then lead her back to her bed, touch her forehead, and Kim would be asleep again.

Mostly it was a sound, dreamless sleep. But once she had a dream...

Strong fists pounded down on her shoulder armor, ensuring the pieces were properly set in place.

"How's that?" asked the young Priest of Rama.

Kim did a cartwheel and a backflip. Feeling that everything stayed in place, she replied, "Much better. Thanks for helping me adjust my armor, Rob." Oops, what was his name? Rob? Roger? Ralph? Ron? That was it, Ron.

"Sorry, I meant Ron," she apologized.

"No problem, Lady Kim." the Priest grinned, "Usually people just say 'Necromancer' and then spit on the ground."

They had gotten up to find that their traveling companions, a pair of Zakarum Crusaders and a Sahptev Monk, had set off without them. They left a note explaining that for this last push against a Prime Evil, they would be more effective without having to watch over an 'Archer and her little Necromancer friend'.

Ron had looked hurt and Kim looked angry. Actually, she always looked angry. Coming home from a stint of service as a castle guard to find her village burned and her mother, father and two brothers slaughtered had given her a goodly supply of hatred.

Although most sane people would rather deal with an attractive young warrior woman than a Necromancer, in this case, the perma-glare on her face made Ron the best choice for dealing with the townsfolk. Checking with the innkeeper of the inn where they had all spent the night, Ron found that she had no idea which direction their missing companions had gone. She did, however, beg the two to hunt to the north for a group of demons that had been attacking farmers the last few days, repeating the tales she had heard from survivors that had fled to her inn looking for safety.

After collecting a few supplies for the trip, the two headed off to the north. Once out of the village, Lady Kim whistled and a large, dirty-gray colored wolf trotted up, walking between the two. Drawing her sword, a medium length, curved blade with a lotus blossom engraved on it, she held it up and the gleaming steel split into pieces. Steel bolts appeared and flew into her crossbow and quiver as well as daggers that flew into sheaths on her belt.

Walking down the tree-lined road they came across an old bridge crossing a small stream. On the other side, they came to a cemetery. Ron paused and held out his hand. A half-dozen graves erupted and skeletons carrying swords appeared and fell in behind them.

"Ron," Kim asked a question that she had been wanting to ask him after their first battle but it was too awkward when they were walking with holy warriors, "Have you ever raised a skeleton from someone you know?"

There was a long pause. "My sister," he softly replied, "I was going home to visit and she snuck out to meet me on the road. She ran into a bandit raiding party. I don't know why they didn't hold her for ransom. I can't think of any reason for them to kill a young girl. I didn't take time to ask them, I killed them all and she provided the first skeleton warrior."

"I'm sorry," said Kim, adding his grief to her vast supply of hatred and lust for vengeance.

Kim walked on, her head swiveling as she scanned for threats. She saw the wolf bump up against her companion's leg. With a grin, he reached down to give it a scratch behind its ears. He had told her that he became a Priest of Rama to help restore balance to the world. That there would always be both good and evil, but now evil was getting help from demons. Kim thought that keeping a balance sounded nice in abstract, but in reality, she couldn't stand by and allow the kind of evil that had so brutally destroyed her family to survive. She had told him that she was powered by hatred for evil, and that was true. She could even become Vengeance Incarnate for short periods of time. Ron had seen her do that, and she thought that scared him. Supposedly, few things scared a Priest of Rama. This Priest has several odd fears. For example, he was afraid of tiny spiders but oddly he didn't blink an eye the time they cleared a cavern of spiders the size of ponies.

They continued walking north, the trail they followed now leading them past pastures and unharvested fields. Getting close to noon, the Priest insisted on a "snackage" break. When she started to protest about the delay, he retorted with a grin, "Hey, I can't restore balance on an empty stomach and I bet that it's hard for you to keep that ball of hatred rolling when your stomach is growling."

They sat under a tree eating bread, cheese, and smoked sausage. The wolf could recognize a soft touch just as well as the evil dead. Watching the wolf staring with big, sad eyes at the Necromancer's food until he relented and gave the wolf some of his lunch, made her actually smile and pushed her hatred down to a quiescent level.

Her companion seemed like a nice person, slow to anger, quick to find humor in, well, pretty much anything. She wondered if there was another road that they could have taken, a road that didn't start with the death of those she loved. A road where they could have been friends and maybe even partners in life instead of partners in death.

No, she decided, she didn't pick this life any more than she could imagine her teammate with his child-like sense of wonder and joy picking to be a Priest of Rama. Evil had stolen their choices in life and set them both on this road. That thought brought her hatred bubbling back up. Taking a drink of water from her bottle she stood up, brushing off crumbs from lunch. Looking at the young man scratching the wolf's belly, she said, "Come on, let's be about it."

It was about another two hours down the road when they first detected the faint smell of smoke in the air.

When the wolf snarled about a half hour later, Kim held her crossbow out to Ron, asking, "Please and thank you."

Ron took a dagger, cut his hand and dripped blood onto the weapon. Kim cocked the crossbow which was now glowing a soft blue with a sickly yellow vapor dripping off of it. With Ron's life essence on it, that would be the last time she would need to cock it manually for hours. Using the bolts made from the Lotus blade, the weapon was basically auto-reloading and auto-cocking with a six-bolt clip. The 'Lotus Bolts' would shatter inside the target with the pieces reforming back into a bolt as they flew back to the crossbow.

They made a wide circle around a burning church. Since neither were heavily armored, they preferred not to be surprised up close. Behind the church they discovered the innkeeper, her soft brown eyes now glowing red, her body bleeding from terrible wounds, her clothes torn and disheveled. She was standing next to a large crevice ripped in the earth. At her feet lay the bodies of their companions. Dozens of ghouls with red flames flickering over their skin were feasting on their flesh along with the flesh of fallen demons. Taking a quick glance at the area, they saw two huge slain demons and the bodies of dozens upon dozens of lesser demons.

The innkeeper shrieked an inhuman laughter, "It appears that someone told your colleagues that you were headed north to scout out a report of a Prime Evil."

Kim bumped Ron with an armored shoulder. "Corpse explosion?" she growled.

"On it," Ron replied.

While the innkeeper was going on about something or other that, quite frankly, Kim had no interest in listening to, she pointed her crossbow up to the sky and shot off the entire clip of bolts. Pulling out her spare clip, she slammed it home and took off toward the innkeeper. Her body became wreathed in a black-tinged fire as Kim embraced the ball of hatred that she carried instead of a heart. She became the Incarnation of Vengeance.

The innkeeper grinned to herself and signaled for her troops. A hundred or more demon troopers scrambled over the edge of the crevice and charged the young woman. Kim focused on the innkeeper trying to get it to change back to its true form. Where normally, she could get off six shots per resting heartbeat, now she fired twenty-four flame-enhanced shots in the same amount of time. In addition, her excess hatred manifested itself as demon-seeking globes that exploded on contact. Drilling into the innkeeper, her bolts stripped the very flesh off its body.

With a burst of light, a twenty-foot tall Prime Evil appeared. Kim didn't know which one, and she didn't care, she just kept firing into its center. When a group of demon troopers got too close, Kim's belt exploded, sending out daggers to drive them back.

A crossbow bolt that was fired up comes back down to earth at the same speed it was initially fired at. Each Lotus Bolt had split into one hundred small bolts on the way down and many selected Demon Troopers as targets. The rest selected the large twenty-foot tall target.

With her bolts arriving from the sky like a Rain of Vengeance, Kim reversed course, and in a combination of cartwheels, flips, and just running while dodging demonic fireballs, she made it back to Ron relatively unscathed.

Ron threw out his hands towards the demons as the bolts struck home. Many demons needed more than a handful of small bolts to kill them, yet a few died. As those died, Ron's curse activated and their bodies exploded killing the wounded demons next to them. Then those demons exploded. Explosions cascaded all across the field and when the smoke cleared the only thing moving was the big demon struggling to stand.

Skeletons appeared from some of the corpses and random body parts connected themselves together to create a ten-foot tall golem. Together, they mobbed the demon and with the help of Kim's ordinary crossbow bolts, the demon fell to the ground. With a blinding flash, the demon exploded, showering the pair with bone fragments and fleshy bits. Walking to the smoking crater, they saw a glowing crystal. Kim felt her hatred start to recover and was about to find out just how tough the crystal was when a glowing white portal appeared and a massive Angel stepped through.

"Lady Kim," the Angel boomed, "Well done, hero. You have stopped the last of the Prime Evils, even with the handicap of this buffoon Priest. I will take their essence crystals and put them in a safe place." The angel held two other crystals in its hand.

"Don't think so," Kim pointed her crossbow at the crystal on the ground, hatred powering her shift into the Incarnation of Vengeance.

Ron suddenly stepped between Kim and the Angel. A fiery sword blade stuck out from his chest. "You imbecile, you can't stop the Will of Heaven!" cried the Angel and swung the sword to the side, Ron's body sliding off of it to the ground.

Kim brought the crossbow to bear on the Angel and poured her hatred into the attack. It staggered under the stream of bolts and started to raise its sword when a skeleton pinned its arms back. Even Angelic Armor could not long withstand Kim's rage and hatred, and eventually, the Angel crumpled to the ground, dead. Kicking the two crystals it dropped into the crater with the third, Kim poured a continuous stream of fiery bolts and explosive blobs of concentrated hate into the crater. Just as her hatred was exhausted, she saw the three crystals deform and start to crack.

The skeleton pulled Kim away from the crater, raised its hand and the crater exploded with a flash of multicolored light. Peeking back in the crater, she saw no trace of the crystals remained.

Her hatred temporarily spent, she looked at the skeleton with sad wonderment. "You raised a skeleton from your own corpse?" she said. When the skeleton nodded, she asked, "How long do you have?" A shrug was the reply.

'Is it really too late to turn away from this road?' she wondered. As a brand-new lieutenant of the Castle Guards, she had been excited about serving Justice. But then her family's murder happened and things changed. Mjöllnir had abandoned her when she forsook Justice in favor of Vengeance. The Lotus Blade was happy to serve Vengeance, so she had taken it and started down the road of a Demon Hunter.

No, she decided, Justice could not be recaptured, Mjöllnir was forever lost to her and once again, she was alone. She took comfort in the thought that she was close to the end of this road and if not peace, then oblivion would be her final reward.

Her recovering level of hatred began to push all softer thoughts from her mind. She didn't know about the need for any balance between good and evil, but she now had Rog's death to avenge and there was an open portal right here to take her to where she might get started.

Whistling for the wolf, she said, "Come on, Rob, let's go balance heaven."

A wolf and an animated skeleton followed the figure of Vengeance wreathed in black-tinged fire into the open portal.

Stepping out of the portal, she immediately encountered two Angels. Tall, beautiful and highly offended that she 'dared to do something or other'. Frankly, Vengeance didn't stop to listen but just cut them down the moment they raised a weapon.

Scanning for new targets, she felt the skeleton put his hands on her shoulders and drain away her hatred. "KP? KP? Wake up honey, you are having a nightmare."


Chapter 8 from A Postgraduate Sitch Here Dr. Ann Possible and Dr. Paksmonga are pushing Ron to the edge of death for, well, let's just call it an MMP "thing". Not really a nightmare although Ron's recurring nightmare has a cameo. Here Rhi/Rhianna and Leah/Paksairlea are observers:

Ron looked up at Ann, tried to think of something funny or brave to tell her, but came up blank. "Mrs. Dr. P, I'm ready when you are."

"OK Ron, count backward from seventy-three by fours," commanded Ann gently. She emptied a syringe into the drug port on the I.V. She reached under the sensor blanket and took his hand.

"Seventy-three..., sixty-nine..., sixty-five..., sixty-one..., uh, fifty...fifty..." and Ron was out.

Ann reached up with her free hand and pulled one of the diagnostic screens down to her eye level so she could watch them easier. She had a half-dozen syringes already prepared and waiting on a tray next to her.

Paksmonga started adjusting settings on her console. She called out to Ann, "Changing heating units over to fast chillers, increasing blood oxygen saturation. Cardiac and mental process arrest in ten minutes."

Ann felt Ron's limp hand slowly grow cold...

Sometimes a Cigar is Just a Cigar

(Or as Steven King once said, "Sometimes a cigar is just a smoke, sometimes a story is just a story.)

"Leah! Leah! Where are you?" Rhianna had found herself in the Avatar's mystical forest for a short moment before everything grayed out and she was lost in an impenetrable fog. Soon she heard Ron screaming in despair and sorrow and a faint red glow in the distance. The fog blew away in a sharp gust of wind. She found herself in a waiting area with a viewing window into a large room, a hospital perhaps. Corridors connected to both ends of the waiting area.

"Rhi! You're here!" she heard Paksairlea say as strong green arms wrapped around her.

"Leah! What was that screaming I heard? Was that Ron?" ask Rhianna.

"Ron was not reacting well to the drugs. That was an old nightmare that I managed to break him out of. This is new..." Paksairlea looked around.

"Ron!" Rhianna called out to Ron walking down the corridor. Ron walked past the two without stopping or even appearing to see them. He took the hand of a smiling young red-haired woman. She quickly dragged him inside a door that had just appeared. On the door was a sign that said 'Contribution Room'. As the door closed, Rhianna managed to catch a view of a bed and lots of candles. She thought that Ron looked like he was happy to go in, even eager.

"Is that Kim?" Rhianna asked.

"Yes, that's Kim. I think the drugs have pulled him too deep for us to interact with him in this dream." Paksairlea replied.

An obviously pregnant and happy Kim came walking arm in arm with Ron from the other direction and were ushered by a nurse into another door that had appeared. This door had a sign that said 'Labor and Delivery'.

Next, they saw Ron in the room on the other side of the observation window looking into a baby bassinet. He picked the baby up and cuddled it with a look of joy on his face. The nameplate on the bassinet said "Stormrider".

For the next several minutes, they stood and watched an increasingly harried Ron run back and forth from room to room. A third door appeared. That door led to a dojo of some sort where Ron was drilling toddlers in the proper technique for turning pages in a book. 'What the heck?' thought Rhianna, 'Has Ron lost his mind?'

Soon a line of Kims mixed with a few other women had formed outside the door to the "Contribution Room" and grew in length until it stretched down the hallway. At the other side of the waiting room, a line of very pregnant Kims mixed with a few other very pregnant women formed outside the labor and delivery room and soon stretched down the other hallway. All the women in the lines were laughing and talking to each other. Baby bassinets kept appearing in the room behind the viewing window. That room kept expanding as more and more babies were rolled in. All the bassinets had the same name, "Stormrider".

Curious, Rhianna walked over to the line of Kims outside the bedroom. They paid no attention to her, just kept talking and laughing. Their words were just on the edge of being intelligible. Try as she might, Rhianna could not make out what they were talking about.

"Rhi, I don't think that Ron knows what topics to have these dream women talk about. I find it interesting that all the women in his dream all seem very happy," said Paksairlea.

"Leah, I understand why Kim is here, but who are these other women?"

"Rhi, that is something that is private to Ron. I will not say." Paksairlea replied.

"And the labels on the bassinets that say 'Stormrider'?"

"That is a fascinating story, but again, not mine to tell, Rhi."

"Odd," remarked Rhianna, "My mother's maiden name was Stormrider."

Paksairlea stopped cold, "OK, the ten-second summary is that Ron has two biological mothers that contributed to his DNA, Jean Stoppable and Jennifer Stormrider. The maternal DNA that he will contribute to his children is nearly one hundred percent from Jennifer Stormrider."

Rhianna squealed with delight, "Wow, we're cousins! That must be why I feel so safe around him! Oh... Wait a minute... We might not be kissing cousins. Hmm..."

"When you get back, tell Mrs. Dr. P. She can do a DNA test and tell you how close in the family tree you are." Paksairlea suggested. The two observers went back to watching Ron race around.

The next time Ron raced out of the toddler dojo to accompany the next woman in line into the 'Contribution Room', Paksairlea noticed that the little ones seemed to look right at her. "Maybe we can interact with part of this strange dream..." she said and walked into the dojo followed by Rhianna.

As Avatar walked into the room and sat in front of the group, all the children, as one, silently tracked the Avatar with their eyes. She opened a book with the pages facing the children. As one, the children all opened their book. Rhianna swore this was a scene out of some horror movie.

"Turn the page...," Paksairlea said, showing them how to turn a page. As one, all the children tried it. Rhianna walked around behind the children, trying to help those that seemed to not quite understand. At one point, Ron started to come in, but nodded in thanks, turned around and left when he saw the children were in good hands.

"You're welcome, Ron!" Rhianna shouted at Ron's retreating back. "You're on your own for the other two rooms!" she added to Paksairlea's laugh.

Paksairlea and Rhianna continued the page turning drills with their tiny students when suddenly, the children all stopped and stared straight ahead. The women outside became silent. Paksairlea got up and ran out in the hallway to see what was going on. All the Kims and the other women had stopped talking and were all now staring at the clock. It had stopped at exactly ten minutes after three.

"Rhi, get ready, I believe that Ron's crashing!" said Paksairlea breaking the absolute silence.


Sun Wukong

"Invoking cardiac arrest and suppressing mental functions," said Paksmonga. Ann nodded grimly and watched her displays flatline.

"Restarting in five minutes..." the Commander said as she adjusted controls.

Unnoticed and alone in her corner, Jessica began to pray for her friend.

Rhianna found herself at the edge of a temple courtyard. Hearing a woman begging and then screaming, she took off at a run looking for that woman. Flinging the temple's doors open, she saw Paksairlea scream a final time and then disappear in a flash of light. Blinking the spots from her eyes, she saw four green jade statues where her friend used to be. A group of men stood nearby congratulating themselves. Jumping when a hand was placed on her shoulder she turned to see a pale Paksairlea.

"Rhi," this is just a memory, it's not something we can interact with. But," Paksairlea growled, "it's not my memory!"

"Hello, White Blossom," said a man standing behind them. The man was of average build, had prominent ears, and a short beard with hair growing high up the sides of his face. "Have you come to apologize?" he asked, plucking a hair out of his beard and dropping it on the ground.

Paksairlea screamed in wordless rage and punched him with such fury he was knocked through the stone wall of the temple and into the courtyard. Still screaming, Paksairlea jumped through the hole snatching the Lotus Blade out of the air and began attacking the man with a ferocity that Rhianna would not have expected from the typically peaceful and serene Avatar. The man produced a black iron staff and the two battled with wild abandon.

A hand gripped her shoulder and pulled Rhianna out the door just as the temple collapsed due to the weakened wall.

Turning, Rhianna saw the same man that her friend was fighting in the courtyard.

"She doesn't seem to be sorry at all for rejecting me, he huffed. "Still, I suppose that I might have overreacted by binding her to the statues."

"You're the Monkey King?" It was clear from the growl in Rhianna's voice that she was less than a dozen heartbeats away from trying her Monkey Kung Fu skills out.

"Sun Wukong, at your service, young warrior," the man bowed low and continued, "Instead of trying to beat my old body bloody, perhaps you would rather learn how to free your friend?" replied the Monkey King.

"Wait... I thought this was a memory and couldn't be affected?" Rhianna said, looking at the collapsed temple.

"It was until I showed up. White Blossom's desire to beat me to death caused a partial copy of our surroundings to be made in her own bubble of virtuality," he replied.

Hearing a crash, Rhianna turned to watch the contest between her friend and the Monkey King.

"OK... Uh, why did she just call you a 'tofu-eating egg of a tortoise'? Whoa, do WHAT 'to all your ancestors to the eighteenth generation'!? Never mind, I think I can figure that last insult out."

The Monkey King shouted with laughter. So, this is what it must feel like for others to deal with his randomness. But, time was short and he did go overboard a little bit in punishing the researcher. Even though she did deserve it.

Turning at his laugh, she turned to see the Monkey King was now sitting at a table looking through stacks of papers. The memory papers that she had been helping Paksairlea with.

"Wait just a minute, those are private papers!" Rhianna scolded.

The Monkey King shrugged, "Then you shouldn't have left them laying around. I can see that Ronald Stoppable isn't quite what I had in mind as a Monkey Master..."

"Ron is a hero!" argued Rhianna.

"I didn't say that he wasn't, but giving the kid some training would have been nice. I guess the Avatar didn't work as well as I had hoped..." the now bespectacled Monkey King groused, rummaging through the papers. "Let's see, Hmm. Why is Ron speaking with a silly accent and what does 'crikey' mean? I think he would be more serious in this situ..."

"Give me that page!" Rhianna interrupted, snatching the page away from the Monkey King, "That's private!" Folding the paper up, she started to stuff it in her pocket, but not having any pockets she just clenched it in her fist.

Unperturbed, Sun kept rapidly flipping through pages.

"Ah!" he said, "Here is the problem. Hiding the statutes kept the Avatar isolated for years. Idiots! I wonder if she is still even sane?"

"Leah is sane, but her memory is messed up," admitted Rhianna, another crash making her look at the battle again.

"Focus, young warrior," he said, snapping his fingers to get her attention, "See the blade she is trying to remove my head with? It is a shadow of the real Lotus Blade. The plan was to have her call the blade and since the real Lotus Blade cannot cross into mystical virtualities, it would pull her back to the real world, correct?"

"Yes," Rhianna looked crushed realizing that this attempt had failed.

"This demonstrates the difficulty that you must overcome to free her," he continued, "She called the blade to punish me and the MMP that is surrounding us created a shadow version. Only when host's MMP was not present in sufficient quantity will the real Lotus Blade respond.

"But we drained as much as we could of Ron's MMP!" Rhianna wailed.

"Try it again, then finish draining the rest with combat. You will know when Ronald is close to empty when the Lotus Blade resonates physically with his failing glow. Once that happens, continue to have Ronald drain his MMP with combat while White Blossom calls the Lotus Blade and dismisses the shadow copy. She will be pulled into reality when a shadow copy cannot be made."

"What will happen to Ron?" Rhianna asked.

"For that, you must throw the dice and see," he replied, adding for good measure, "Having a good doctor in the area would be prudent."

"Why do you call her White Blossom?"

Sun Wukong laughed again, maybe this young person would someday be worthy of being his apprentice. She certainly had the randomness. If only she was his White Blossom...

"When I first laid eyes on her, I beheld a tall beauty with skin as white and pure as the new snow. I knew then that I must possess her." Sun looked critically at Rhianna. "Unlike you with your dark skin the color of common dirt."

"But she's green!" protested Rhianna.

Sun gave a mighty sigh, "True, her white skin was a ruse to help her slip into the village more discretely," then he laughed, "Discretely indeed! Her glorious height and extreme beauty set her apart from all other women. To be honest, her green skin has an allure all its own."

A sudden gathering of clouds darkened the sky. Sun Wukong glanced up at them and became serious, saying, "You must remember these seven things: Have Ronald fight to drain the last of his MMP. When the Lotus Blade reacts, you will know he is close to empty. Do not let the Lotus Blade touch Ron. White Blossom can pull herself free by calling the true blade to her. Make sure you give Ronald the needle outside in the open. Tell him the rings will solve his 'fertility leper' problem."

He looked at his other self, who had managed to disarm the angry Lowardian. He held her bent over backward kissing her passionately, oblivious to the bone breaking body blows she was raining down on him with her fists. He nodded with approval.

"What needle? What rings?" asked Rhianna.

"I never did get to see whether her skin is uniformly green all over," he sighed with disappointment.

"WHAT NEEDLE! WHAT RINGS!" Rhianna shouted.

"No need to shout, young one, I am not deaf," Sun looked offended. "The rings are on this needle," he said pulling a large sewing needle from behind his ear and driving it through her forearm as thunder boomed from the heavens.


Paksmonga announced, "Time is up, let's bring Mr. Stoppable back to the living," as she adjusted controls and flipped switches.

Ann jumped when she heard Rhianna scream from the second med bay.

"Go, Ann. I can care for Mr. Stoppable," said the ship's physician.

Ann got up and dashed the short distance to the next bay. Jessica also got up but looked torn about where to go. Finally, she sat down on the seat Ann had just vacated and waited for the flat lines on the display to show movement.

"Ms. Fields, perhaps you should hold his hand. If you can, put back some of the mystical energy he gave you." Paksmonga suggested.

Jessica reached under the sensor blanket and took Ron's hand. It was so cold and limp. Tears appeared in her eyes as she tried unsuccessfully to give back some of the MMP.

Ann arrived to find that Warluse was holding Rhianna's arm immobilized. An arm with a large golden upholstery size sewing needle sticking through it.

"...his ancestors to the 18th generation!" Rhianna gritted out in pain, then screamed, "That tofu eating egg from a tortoise! He only told me six things!"