Almost over folks.
Ron had made it to Geyser Springs during the early morning hours, and only fallen asleep about two hours before Kim had awakened. She looked over at Ron, and sighed,
'/If only there were more I could do for him at this point, he looks as though he's carrying the weight of the world on his shoulders./' she thought. She watched him sleeping for a few more hours. Even though she hated doing it, she reached over at about eight o'clock, and shook him awake,
"Time to get going, Ron." Kim said, a smile fixed to her face, even though she was in massive pain, her right leg felt as though it were about to fall off,
"How bad does it hurt?" Ron asked, seeing right through Kim's brave face,
"Oh, God, Ron, it hurts like hell." Kim said, not hiding it any longer, she knew that Ron saw through the face, but how, then she realized, as long as they've been friends, Ron could read Kim's facial features like a book, and she, his, and right now, she could see fatigue, and fear mingled together in his eyes,
"Ron, you're tired, maybe we should just hold off for a while, I'm sure the poachers won't find us in here." Kim said, earning a quick look from Ron,
"That's not what concerns me, K.P., right now, I could care less about myself, my concern, is getting you off this mountain, I'll sleep more soundly, once you're taken care of, and safe, until then, I'll gladly sacrifice my sleep, and be a little uncomfortable." Ron said, making Kim look at him strangely, she now knew, Ron would stop at nothing to get her off the mountain, and to the hospital.
Meanwhile, what the two teenagers didn't know, was that the poachers had moved to the left of their current position, and were waiting for them to appear out of the underbrush.
By Mid-morning, Ron had started the hike down the mountain, he had made a new sled for Kim, having left the old one behind at the last camp, he had also surprised Kim when he had reached into his backpack, and pulled out some pain killers, and a couple of penicillin tablets for her,
"Be careful with those, K.P.," Ron said, handing her the pain killers, "that's ten milligrams of Morphine, it's going to knock you out for about an hour."
"I know, Ron," Kim said, then a question came into her mind, "how did you get these?"
"Mike gave them to me last night, after you went to sleep, he said to give them to you, only when the pain is at its worst, and as for the penicillin, he gave me a whole bottle of it, said it should help fight off infection, and that's how Gangrene starts." Ron replied,
" I'm impressed, Ron." Kim said, downing the pain killers, followed by the penicillin, as soon as the Morphine entered her blood stream, she began to feel tired, she lay back in the sled, and fell asleep, just as Ron had predicted.
Kim awakened about two hours later, according to Ron, they were about halfway to the Ranger Station, and that Paulie should be there today,
"He's got the watch at this station tonight, and he never misses." Ron said, turning back to look at Kim, from what little she could see of his face, he needed to stop, and rest, but that was out of the question of even suggesting, let alone, doing it. Ron was obsessed, nothing was going to stop him from getting Kim down the mountain, not even the threat of death, which, at this point, was looming large over their heads.
Early afternoon found the two teenagers about a hundred yards from a rustic looking old cabin, over the door, Kim could barely make out a plaque, bearing the seal of the National Park Service,
"That it, Ron?" she asked,
"Yep, that's the place," Ron said, looking at the cabin, a distant look on his face, "I come here all the time during the winter, I stop, and talk to Paulie, and we talk about the mountain, and when I'm finally going to conquer the summit, we laugh about it, and crack a lot of jokes on each other, but it's all in fun, and noone gets hurt." Kim could tell, that Ron and Paulie had formed a kind of bond, the kind of bond that forms between friends, just as it had done between her, and Ron, all those years ago, out on the playground at the preschool they had attended,
'/Has it been fourteen years,/' Kim thought to herself, '/where does the time go?/'
They reached the cabin within a few minutes after having spotted it, and opened the front door, as soon as they entered, Ron felt uneasy,
"Something's not right here," Ron said, looking around the rather large cabin, the bed in the next room looked as though it hadn't been slept in, and the lights were still on, not to mention, the door was unlocked, "where's Paulie, he should've been here four hours ago."
"What do you mean?" Kim asked,
"Well, shift change up here is at 8:00 in the morning, without fail, Paulie never fails to be ready for his changeover." Ron elaborated, his face becoming more, and more scared,
"You don't think he made it up here?" Kim asked,
"Oh, he made it up here," Ron said, pointing to a large cooler, marked 'P.J. Blazedale,'
"What's P.J. stand for?" Kim asked,
"Paul James," Ron said, looking at the untouched cooler, "and it's still full, Paulie never leaves his lunch for later, he has a set routine he works by."
"And I take it. He didn't follow that routine." Kim said,
"You got that right, lunch for Paulie is at 2:00 in the morning, without fail, every time." Ron said, now looking around the room, next to the large base C.B. radio, was a folded slip of paper, with Ron's name on it,
"Hey, look at this." Ron said, grabbing the paper, and opening it, he read the note, it was in Paulie's untidy handwriting:
'/Check the stash./'
"'Check the stash,' what's he talking about, Ron?" Kim asked, the look on Ron's face making her uneasy
"The arms stash," Ron explained, "he keeps a 30-06 rifle, a .45 pistol, and massive amounts of ammo stored in a huge wall safe in the bedroom."
"You've got to be kidding," Kim said, looking over at Ron, "he wants us to arm up, and go after these poachers on our own, and with one person who can't walk, is he nuts?!"
"You would think so, wouldn't you," Ron said, looking at Kim, "but that's not the case, I'd say the poachers got to Paulie before we could, he left the note to warn us."
"So now what?" Kim asked, for an answer, Ron pointed to the base radio, sitting on a desk, and walked over to it, while Kim sat down in a chair hear the door,
"Ranger Station Seven, to any available base camp, do you copy?" Ron said, the next voice heard, was Sven's,
"Base Camp Two here, ja, Ron, I copy you." he said,
"Hey, Sven, do you know if Paulie made it to this station last night?" Ron asked,
"No, I do not, but you might want to try Station One, Karen, and Steve are there, they might be able yo help, ja." Sven replied,
"Thanks, Sven, Station Seven out." Ron said, then, changing the channel on the radio, he tried again,
"Station One, this is Station Seven, do you copy, over." Ron said, at once, a female voice came back over the speaker,
"Copy Station Seven, this is Station One, where's Paulie?" she asked,
"I don't know, Karen, I just got here, this is Ron Stoppable." Ron said, the immediate response from Karen made Ron feel as though the local news had made it sound as if Kim and Ron had died on the mountain,
"We . . . were . . . so worried about you two, are you alright?" she asked,
"We're fine, Karen," Ron said, then hesitated, before adding, "for the most part."
"What's that supposed to mean?" Karen asked,
"Well, it's just that Kim's got a broken leg, my legs were torn up in the briar patches on this side of the mountain, and we got a group of wacked out poachers tracking us, looking to add our heads to their trophy rooms." Ron said, all in one breath,
"I'm guessing that Kim's broken leg isn't your average, run of the mill simple fracture, is it?" Karen asked,
"No, open fracture, I set the bone, and sewed up the would, but I'm not sure if the penicillin is going to do the trick, I almost lost her yesterday afternoon to exposure, and my legs are cut up real bad from the brambles between Geyser Springs, and Camp Eighteen." Ron said,
"Okay, now, about the poachers, where are they at now?" Karen asked, by this time, Kim was tugging at Ron's arm, hard,
"Hang on a second, Karen, what is it, K.P.?" Ron said, Kim pointed out the window, and Ron saw, with a thrill of dread, two human figures, walking up to the cabin,
"I got two of them, right outside." Ron said, now letting go of the mic., and sprinting for the bedroom, where he wrenched back a loose panel on the wall, to expose a large wall safe, he quickly fiddled with the combination lock, and pulled the door open, to reveal a simple Winchester 30-06 rifle, with a telescopic sight, and a small .45 caliber handgun, from the look of it, it was a military issue gun, and in perfect working order, Ron loaded the pistol with one of several magazines that were strewn about the shelf at the top of the safe, and grabbed a box of ammunition for the rifle, he then threw Kim the handgun,
"I know you know how to use one of these, Kim, use it only if you have to, and please, be sure of your target, don't hit me, even by accident." Ron said,
"So not the drama, Ron." Kim said, pulling back the slide, chambering a round, as Ron sat on the bed, and, pulling the lever on the rifle, he began to load the gun, once that was done, he pushed the lever into the ready position, chambering a round, and readying himself for a firefight,
"Those two are gonna come through that door any minute," Ron said, looking over at Kim, "as soon as they do, I'm gonna open fire, that'll give us a little time to get out of here, and head for cover, preferably, closer to Station One, and help." Ron gestured to the back door, which was bolted. He went to it, and slid back the bolt, making it easier for them to get out through that door, and just in time, the front door came open with a loud crash, Ron whipped around, and began firing from the hip, Kim watched, stunned, as Ron dropped first one, then the other,
"Let's not sit there with our tongues hanging out, let's get out of here!" Ron said, picking Kim up, and cradling her into his arms, he ran for what seemed like forever, until they came upon a small stream, Ron seemed to recognize this place,
"Ah, the underground lake, we're halfway home, K.P." Ron said, his voice sounding tired, for the first time all day,
"Thank God for that." Kim said, pulling back the trigger on the handgun she was carrying, and easing the hammer into the uncocked position,
"Tell me about it." Ron said, following suit.
It was Mid Afternoon when Kim called Wade, Ron was keeping watch on the camp from a ledge about a hundred yards out,
"What up, Kim?" Wade asked as soon as he saw her face,
"Not too much, we made it to Station Seven, the lights were on, but noone was home, literally." Kim said, Wade's face went into a frown,
"Impossible, Paulie's always there." Wade said,
"No, he was gone, but he left Ron a note, 'check the stash.'" Kim said,
"Uh-oh, this is not good." Wade said,
"Tell me about it, Ron figured it out, and grabbed all of the guns, and ammunition he could carry from an old gun safe in the station, and shot two men." Kim said,
"I kind of figured that, they're not dead, but the Park Rangers are gonna have fun with them." Wade said,
"What do you mean?" Kim asked,
"Paulie is dead, that's the only reason he left Ron that note, it was a code to Ron, get the guns, and get the hell off the mountain, any way you can." Wade said,
"Do you think we're gonna stay up here another day?" Kim asked, looking at the spot where she knew Ron to be hiding,
"If all goes well, you should be at Middleton Memorial Hospital by this time tomorrow." Wade said,
"An if it doesn't, like everything else that's happened on this trip?" Kim asked,
"Then, we're in trouble, unless Ron has found some antibiotics, your window will be closed." Wade said,
"We did, Ron found some penicillin, so we're golden." Kim said,
"Smart one, I think Ron's starting to grow a brain." Wade said,
"I heard that, Wade." Ron said, making Kim jump into the air, and draw out the gun she had hidden in her pants pocket,
"Easy, Kim, easy, you don't want to lose me this early in the game, do you?" Ron said playfully,
"Damn you, Ron, you almost bought a bullet, you know that, don't you?" Kim said,
"Yeah, I know," Ron said, now looking at Wade, as though saying, 'it was all your fault,' "I just finished my check, nothing moving for about five hundred yards, we're golden."
"That's good news." Kim said, now settling back down, and allowing her heart to stop racing,
"We should be able to get at least a couple of hours sleep tonight, and then be on our way, I want to get you to the hospital as fast as I can." Ron said setting down next to Kim with a groan of pain, rubbing his back,
"Are you hurting, Ron?" Kim asked,
"Well, you're a lot heavier than you look." Ron said, giving Kim a playful elbow to the ribs,
"Ooh, you're gonna pay for that one, Stoppable." Kim said, turning over, and play fighting with Ron, this went on for another couple of hours, until the two of them were worn out, and decided to go to sleep, just as the sun was setting.
A/N: And that's day six, I needed something to lighten the mood a little bit, and I needed a little action with the poachers, so I thought I would have them bust into the station, and cause Kim and Ron to run for it, but the idea of having Ron shoot them came from my oldest nephew, so props to him for that one.