Kim used her laser to cut through the bars of the cage. She kicked them down noisily before leaping out and locking down a nearby henchman.
Dementor snarled and started hitting keys. "If I can't be rid of you by leaving, then I'll make it that you leave instead!"
Ron released Rufus, who scampered towards the control panel. There was no chance of operating the controls whilst Dementor was using them, but once Kim had captured him, Rufus would be in position to rescue the teachers.
Downtown Middleton, the figure approached Barbara. A familiar figure.
"Are you... Barbara?" the female enquired, her accent ending all doubt.
"What are you doing here?"
"We've been kidnapped by a Doctor Dementor for experiments. Oh, Susan, am I glad you're here!"
"Where is here?"
"It's a small American town called Middleton. It's in some sort of alternative reality."
"Oh, that's bad! That's really bad."
"There's a person here, Kim Possible. She has offered to help us."
Susan was worried. "There must be as little contamination as possible, or the universes might permanently merge. Is she someone you trust?"
"Absolutely, she rescues people for a living, although this is probably a little unusual. Would the universes merging be a bad thing?"
"Anything impossible in either would turn into a blast of pure energy. Entire worlds would be incinerated."
"Well, in that case we must make sure that doesn't happen."
"The contamination that does take place must also be equal in both universes, or the same thing happens."
"I don't quite understand."
"Oh, Barbara, I've missed you so much! We need to find out how much each universe has been changed and then have someone change the other by the right amount."
"So we have to send someone to our universe."
"Or bring someone over, depending on where the damage is."
Barbara nodded. "I know someone who can help."
Barbara and Susan explained the situation to Wade, who visibly paled as he knew Kim's approach tended to be direct.
Kim was busy dodging weapons fire and did not answer the Kimmunicator at first.
"Don't damage the machine, we need to balance the universes as well as send everyone back."
Kim gritted her teeth. "How are we going to do that?"
"I'm arranging transport for everyone brought over to Dementor's base. They can do that part, once you've stopped Dementor."
Kim shouted to Rufus that there was a change in plan and they retreated from the control room - Kim to a series of antechambers, Rufus to a duct. Ron had lost his pants twice and was in the main corridor.
Rufus was cornered. Sort of. The entrance was blocked and a grenade had been rolled in and there was a fan immediately behind him. Nowhere to run.
Kim had an easier time of it. The henchmen were not the best fighters she had encountered. Worse, they'd run into the smoke their smoke grenade had created, impairing their visibility but not hers. She, standing still, could hear them clearly and was able to knock two of them out as they struggled through the murk of their own creation. A third tripped over the bodies and knocked himself out.
_That's... unique_ Kim thought as she retreated further, drawing the henchmen further away from the machine.
Ron was imitating kung fu movies he had seen on a cartoon. It was not impressing the henchmen who were giggling. One offered to buy him a striped cat. So Ron did the only other thing he knew he excelled at, he ran. A side corridor beckoned and he took it. He only realized it had a very solid door on it after he had gone past. _Too late now_ he thought.
It took the guards a few moments to realize he'd left, such was their mirth, but they chased after him with a vengeance.
"Hey, what did I do?", he called back.
Distracted, he tripped and fell, sliding a short way on the polished metal floor. The guards, packed in, couldn't stop. The ones behind had not seen what had happened, so forced the ones in front to keep going. The result was a bruised Ron with a pile of half a dozen guards on the floor next to him.
He was the first to pick himself up and run back up the corridor. This time, he did close the door on his way through. The solid thunk was reassuring, as was the big button marked "lock".
Rufus had managed a somersault over the grenade, pushing it hard towards the fan. Just in time. It emitted a thick, choking black smoke that was now being drawn away from him. He was concerned that one of his friends might have to deal with it, but they were better able to deal.
But now, the guards were convinced he was choking in the vent. The fan was increasing in speed, making it hard to walk anywhere, so clearly they were wanting to make sure. However, now, all that was going into the blades were large pieces of smoke bomb. Large enough to damage the fans. In fact, a couple of blades broke clear.
That lessened the efficiency of the fan enough for Rufus to get back to the entrance. Nobody was looking for him. _Good_ he thought. Another blade shattered and the fan was now not much more than a spinning central spindle. It was doing nothing at all.
Kim ran into a room and grabbed something to help swing her out of view. It turned out to be a lever to the laundry chute. Eight guards hurtled downwards when they failed to stop in time. Kim wondered briefly if that meant they'd made a clean getaway before decided Ron was becoming a bad influence.
Two guards had stopped in time, but after a brief fight, they joined their friends down the chute, which Kim then closed.
On returning to the main room, she realized the only man left was the Professor. The machine had to be kept safe, so she couldn't let him destroy it, which he surely would if he realized she was still standing. Nor could she risk any accidents by fighting him too close to the machine.