"You didn't have to come with, Saki-san," Kim said as the plane descended over Middleton. "This thing is so poorly guarded a labradoodle and a paraplegic could steal it."
"I do not relish the notion of something going wrong," Oroku Saki said grimly. "Especially given the recent string of unanticipated events. That is why I have hand-picked my men for this mission."
Kim finished securing her long red hair beneath a dark red hood, then wrapped the cloth mask around her face. Aside from her bright green eyes and feminine curves, she looked no different from the five other Hamato shinobi on the plane. "Still, it doesn't sit right with me. You've been gracious hosts ever since we crash-landed in your backyard. Now I'm asking you to help me steal something, which...is so totally against my moral code. It's bad enough I have to go down the villain path, but—"
Saki chuckled darkly. "Kim Possible...we are ninja. We are honorable, far more perhaps than any other shinobi clan you could name, but we are ninja. Our very existence is founded on carrying out tasks others find...distasteful."
Kim looked up and down the line of ninja, masked and hooded, their eyes betraying no emotion. She shuddered faintly. "And this is me not asking any questions," she said.
"We're approaching the jump point," the pilot said.
Saki nodded, rising and adjusting his parachute. His men and Kim checked their chutes, holding onto the safety straps as the door slid open with a grumble of shuddering metal. One by one, the ninja lined up; as Saki gave the signal, each man jumped. Kim and Saki were the last to go. Seven black parachutes opened, invisible in the dark of night as they ghosted silently over Middleton's sparsely populated research and development district.
The raid party landed on the roof of the lab complex, spacing out their approach so as not to get tangled up in each others' chutes. Once they landed, they spent some time collapsing and repacking their chutes, then convened on the south end of the lab.
"Hand signals only once we breach the facility," Saki whispered. "Hanto, you're on the silent alarm. Ichiro, you're on advance. Use stun gas and knockout darts only. Kisaki, deal with the cameras. Dan, Gotou, secure the infiltration and exit routes. Kimberly and I will breach the lab and steal the device."
The shinobi all nodded, then jumped down off the roof, landing with their backs pressed to the south wall. Saki exchanged hand signals with one of his men, while another used pitons to go up the wall like a spider until he hung precariously next to a security camera, just outside of its range.
As much as it troubled Kim to be involved in a heist, she had to admire the precision with which the Hamato ninja worked. The five ninja meticulously cleared the path to the core lab, with Kim and Saki bringing up the rear. No alarms went off, no guards were alerted to their presence, no radio reports were sent. The cameras were all dispatched swiftly and silently with simple smears of black ash.
Thirty minutes after breaking the lock on the south entrance, the group stood outside the core lab. Hanto, the tech expert, effortlessly bypassed the security lock on the main door, then stood aside. Ichiro went in ahead, cased the perimeter, then gave Kisaki a hand signal. Kisaki entered the room, scaling the inside wall and spider-crawling his way around the lab, blacking out all three cameras inside. He gave Saki a hand signal. Saki nodded, then turned to Kim and made a hand signal.
She nodded in understanding and followed Saki silently into the lab. "What are we looking for?" Saki asked quietly. "You have seen the device, I have not."
"It's a grey cylinder about the size of a soda can," Kim whispered back. "It has two LED light strips, one at either end. If it's powered on, they should be glowing green."
Saki nodded and began searching, Kim going in the opposite direction. They opened bins, drawers, cabinets, and strongboxes, searching through piles of components, half-finished inventions, and miscellaneous devices. After five minutes of searching, Kim emerged from an equipment bin with the pan-dimensional vortex inducer held aloft in triumph, its LED strips inert. "Got it," Kim said softly. "Let's get out of here."
Saki nodded and made hand signals to his men. They retreated to the west corridor. However, as they were prepared to head for the south corridor and their exit point, one of Saki's men came running up. "Trouble!" he gasped. "We've got—"
A chunk of concrete slammed into him from behind, pitching him forward and knocking him to the floor. Saki and Kim tensed, even as Ichiro and Kisaki jumped protectively in front of them.
"HALT, EVILDOERS!" a loud voice boomed.
"You're surroundedsurroundedsurroundedsurroundedsurroundedsurroundedsurroundedsurrounded," a chorus of near-identical voices said, growing in number and volume.
"Put the thing back and come along peacefully," a snide voice said. "You're making me miss my favorite show."
"I know those voices," Kim said slowly, tensing.
The hallway rapidly filled up with identical teenage boys in red-and-black jumpsuits and black masks, each with a shock of reddish-brown hair. The hall shook as a massive, blue-haired man in a black mask and a blue-and-black jumpsuit stomped into view, holding an unconscious ninja in one hand.
Kim's eyes widened. "Oh we've gotta go," she said softly. She turned around, pulling a grappling hook out of her equipment pouch, ready to swing it—
A ball of green plasma slammed into the ceiling just above her head, raining plaster and dust down on the too-crowded hallway.
A woman with pale green skin and long black hair sauntered up the hall, parting the sea of identical teens. Burning green flames wreathed her gloved hands, and a sinister smirk graced her face.
"Oh, you've got go alright," she said. "You've got Team Go."
Kim's jaw dropped behind her mask. "Oh...snap."