The Hammer Waits

Its handle stuck out of the snow, abandoned. It waited for someone worthy to grasp it and use it. For Justice. To Defend. Never for Vengeance. It once had a Master, but they had made a mistake and left it behind until they could prove themselves worthy again. To abandon one's path because of a mistake was foolish. It would wait for its former Master to pull their head out of their nether regions or perhaps another worthy soul would wander by. It was patience itself. It was Mjöllnir.

This story is a continuation of Graduation in Early Mayhem that only tells of Kim Possible's main adventure as mentioned in A Postgraduate Sitch.

That is, the plot lines containing Ron's adventures in college with his sorority sisters, Drakken and Shego, The Lowardian Empire, etc., have been removed. I mean really, the plot bunnies were allowed to run rampant.

I reduced the rating to T from M. (No Ron refereeing the Naked Pillow Fight of Honor in his sorority, for example)

The ending is being rewritten to demote Kim from the status of a Disney Princess. You have heard the test of "Do people assume that all your problems got solved because a big strong man showed up?" Well, in the original, Kim was "rescued" by Ron/Zorpox, Jessica, another of Ron's sorority sisters, three of the Lowardian Empire's most elite troopers, Drakken, Shego, and a lawyer. Sort of overkill. The new ending will pare that number way down.

All you need to know from Graduation in Early Mayhem is:

* Kim Possible is the Chosen One. (along with her half-sister Joss who currently has the Lotus Blade in her possession. Half-sister as Ann donated an egg to Slim's wife.)
* Ron Stoppable is the Mystical Monkey Master.
* Kim and Ron are taking a year mostly apart to let Ron get settled into college to prove himself academically and to allow Kim 'find herself' and travel a bit before rejoining Ron.
* Rufus is in England helping his grandchildren establish a new nest. (Grandchildren courtesy of DNAmy who created a stable, adorable species of "Naked Mole Bats" from his DNA)
* If you ask 'Who is directly responsible for Warhok's bloody and violent death,' both Kim and Ron will say "I am and I didn't just kill him, I executed him."

Kim had lost contact with Wade a couple of hours ago. Wade warned her it would happen as communication coverage by low orbiting satellites that her dad and others were putting up to replace the ones destroyed by the Lowardian raiders didn't have global coverage. The loss of contact wasn't a concern, but a blessing. She wanted some time alone, time to come to terms with killing Warhok. She told herself that the world could manage just fine with Ron and the others to watch it until she got back. If she got in a bind, well, she would find out if she really was "all that" or not. Seriously, with Hirotaka and an entire monastery full of friendly Shaolin monks around, what could go wrong?

The door to the cockpit opened, a crewman entered the cargo area and opened the side door. He smiled and held up two fingers. Kim struggled a bit but got in the doorway. Reaching into her extra cargo bag, she pulled out a package, handed it to the crewman and bowed politely. The man grinned broadly, returned the bow then pointed out the door and slapped her on the shoulder.

Kim rolled out the door. The parachute was the standard military RA-1 steerable chute she expected to be using in upcoming training. She was a little concerned that she wasn't heavy enough for it to work correctly. Thus, the extra cargo bag stuffed with twenty-five (now twenty-four) pounds of amazingly delicious dark chocolate. She pulled early and was rewarded by the solid jerk of a perfect chute opening. She lowered her cargo bag and mission backpack on a shock cord to reduce the weight her knees would have to take on landing, then started trying out the maneuverability of her setup.

Hirotaka and Master Po stood outside the monastery gates watching a happy Kim Possible cut curves and circles in the evening sky. Master Po looked as serene and joyful as always, although his mirrored aviator shades detracted a bit from his traditional Shaolin Master look. Last month he and Hirotaka had debated long into the night about whether vision was a distraction from truth or an additional way to observe beauty and goodness in the world. The next day, Master Po, accompanied by Hirotaka went into a large neighboring city for cataract surgery.

"Aren't Kim's curves lovely to watch, Master Po?" Hirotaka gave Master Po a sideways look.

Master Po laughed at the young Yamanouchi Ninja, saying, "Yes, you imp, and her aerial maneuvers also have a grace and beauty of their own."

They walked out to where Kim had unbuckled her harness and was carefully gathering up her chute to make it easier to repack later.

"Kim Possible, allow me to present Master Po," said Hirotaka. "Master Po, this is Kimberly Possible, granddaughter of Amanda Possible."

"Master Po," Kim bowed very respectfully, "It is an honor to meet you, sir," then stepped forward to embrace the old master in a hug, "My Nana told me to be sure to give you this."

Master Po returned the hug, laughing, "And did she tell you that she used to try to bribe me with chocolate to teach her advanced techniques?"

Releasing Kim, he held her at arm's length to see her better, "Or is there another reason that you have a large bag of what smells like delicious dark chocolate?"

Laughing they helped Kim collect her things and went inside the monastery to show her a room and where she could freshen up before dinner.

Kim was at peace as she finished the Parting the Wild Horse's Mane form for Tai Chi. When she was six, she had thought that it should be called Petting the Pretty Pony. She let her mind gently wander over the last three weeks. Up at dawn, a five-kilometer easy run to the mountain's foothills and back. Then this group Tai Chi exercise in the field outside the main gate with all the monks to settle one's body and mind before breakfast and morning classes.

Master Po had her teaching a children's class in beginning movement in the morning and a course on elementary math in the afternoon. The monastery taught local children basic skills of reading, calligraphy, and math. All children were welcome, even those who had no desire to study to become a monk. Her math class was a lesson in patience as it relied on both her very rough beginning Chinese and her students beginning English to work. She wasn't sure that she was doing any good, but Master Po and her students were pleased with her efforts.

Kim gracefully switched into the Step Back and Repulse Monkey form. She thought, 'Hmm, maybe they should add a Step Forward and Embrace Monkey-Boy form.' If it weren't for Ron, she would consider remaining here for a full semester, maybe even two to give her time to get a basic knowledge of Chinese and a deeper understanding of Kung Fu and Buddhism. In the evenings, Master Po had been instructing her in both Kung Fu and the Eightfold Path, often at the same time. She was not looking to become a monk but felt that there were things that she wanted to learn.

Then there was Dr. Donar Alfadurson. Tall, broad shoulders, blond hair, a face with dancing eyes of sky blue and a roguish grin that had Kim's body flushing with a warmth down to her toes. He was a physician working with the children in the monastery and the people in several close-by villages. He had been eating dinner with Kim and Hirotaka for the last week. His English had no accent that Kim could identify and was vague on his background, but somehow, she had enjoyed their dinner conversations immensely, even though she couldn't necessarily remember the topics. While she certainly hadn't the slightest inclination of replacing Ron with Donar, surely having dinner with him couldn't hurt...

Kim realized that her attraction to Donar had been less subtle than she had thought because last night's lesson had mentioned it.

In their nightly classes, Master Po ran her through practice katas while discussing aspects of the Eightfold Path.

Last night, they worked on Striking Dragon. As was his teaching style, Master Po would reach out with his hand or his staff to gently move her body, arm, leg, or hand into the proper position. They started slowly, and Kim would build up speed with each repetition. As he physically guided her through the katas, he would speak on the topic of the night.

"Tonight, I wish to discuss the principle of Right Action," Master Po had stopped her and corrected her stance slightly. Kim immediately felt the improvement in her balance. "With Right Action, you will strive to recognize the need to act ethically, to consider others and consider the world we live in."

"Makes sense to me, Master," Kim replied, happy to get through a block and strike combo with only one minor adjustment.

"This also includes the five precepts, not to kill, not to steal, not to lie, to avoid sexual misconduct, and not to take drugs or alcohol."

Kim halted her kata. "Master, I have killed," she said softly, looking at the ground.

"My daughter," Po reached over and gently tipped her head up so he could see her eyes, thinking, 'Hiro was correct that vision gives you another sense to see the goodness that exists in this world.'

"Precepts are not commandments or laws that one can break," Po continued, "they are principles to consider in choosing the path you walk. Still, you should not ignore them without serious consideration and cause. Why did you kill?"

"It was the only way I could think of to stop someone who was going to kill my partner and then try to burn the world."

"Was there no other way?"

"I…I couldn't think of anything; the monkeys were screaming so loud it was hard to think…"

"Were you under the influence of Mystical Monkey Power?" he asked.

"Yes, besides enhancing my strength and speed, it gave me an arrogance, a disdain for my enemy that I found disturbing even while in its grip," Kim admitted.

"Perhaps we should change the list of precepts to include 'not to take drugs, alcohol, or Mystical Monkey Power'?"

"Since then I have been learning to draw on the power without drawing on the rage and arrogance," Kim replied. "And to be honest, I currently contain no power so I am not tempted it to use it."

"Currently?" queried the monk.

"I can get a recharge of MMP from my partner, Ron Stoppable, but when that is exhausted, I have none until he recharges me."

Master Po gently prodded her to restart the kata.

"We will talk more about this later, but I wish to discuss another precept." Po took his staff and gently adjusted her arm angle, "Mr. Alfadurson has caught your eye. While I am celibate, as are most Shaolin monks…"

"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 excellent 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 and your question."

He stopped his student to correct an arm position and then had her keep going as he continued,

"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 technique, proving that this old monk still had a cool move or two left in his old body. Motioning for her to try it, she did. After nearly a dozen attempts with corrections, Kim performed 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."

That night, 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 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.

"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?"

Eyes worthy of a Viking god clouded with bewilderment and confusion as Donar tried to remember promises made and received, but drew a blank. After a moment his eyes cleared and he said, "Glad I could be of assistance, Kimberly. See you at breakfast." He got up and left.

After a minute, Kim got up, toweled off her sweat soaked body, put on a fresh nightshirt, then flipping her mat over to a drier side, went back to sleep dreaming of a blond young man who promised her everything...

Kim dragged her mind from last night's lesson and application of that lesson back to the sunny here and now. The form coming up was the closing form. She completed it, and the cooldown then started back to the monastery for breakfast. She was hoping to run into Donar there; maybe she could figure out how to help him with his geas. He was a nice guy and a good man, just not a Ron. Pausing when she felt the ground vibrating, she saw a flash of white on the nearby mountainside. Then she heard thunder from the mountain. Darting through the crowd of monks, she dashed back to her quarters to change into mission clothes.

Kim and Hirotaka had their mission gear on and backpacks ready when Master Chun Yen started to make assignments.

"Hirotaka and Kim Possible will go with Dr. Alfadurson to the mountain village on your motorcycles. We have runners fetching trucks from the local farmers. I expect that the rest of the monks will be no more than an hour behind Dr. Alfadurson's group."

Dashing to their motorcycles, they mounted up and raced to investigate.