TALESPIN: F’REEZE A JOLLY GOOD FELLOW

Fan-fiction adaptation by jb

Based on the TaleSpin #6 comic book; story by Bobbi J.G. Weiss

Disclaimer: The following story is based on the television series, characters and situations, created by Jymn Magon & Mark Zaslove, Tale Spin  © 1990-1991 Buena Vista Television/Walt Disney Company and W.D. Publications. This is an adapted work of fan-fiction, using characters and property of the Walt Disney Company without consent and for non-profit use. Some liberties were taken to add more dramatic and humourous effect on the storyline.  

 

PART ONE

 

Sunlight rose over the fair metropolis of Cape Suzette one bright and early morning, bringing a soft, gentle glow to the surrounding skyscrapers, mountains, sea cliffs and natural harbour and along with it, a sense of tranquility for its citizens amidst the sapphire-blue sky above.

But from inside the waterfront cargo freight premises of Higher for Hire, a dramatic drum roll played over the radio speakers, accompanied by a heroic orchestral score and assorted action sound effects, followed by the radio announcer’s voice with equal panache:

            “Faster than a speeding airship…more powerful than a turbine…able to leap city blocks in a single bound…it’s…”

            “…Danger Woman!!” declared a gleeful six-year old she-bear cub in unison with the announcer. Molly Cunningham was sitting on a tall stool by the radio, dressed in her customary makeshift costume of her favourite heroine, consisting of a red cape and a colander as a helmet.

 If Danger Woman had one major fan in the whole world, it was she.

            “Ahhh – nuthin’ on the schedule today but R an’ R!” sighed Baloo happily nearby, already settled in his favourite well-worn armchair, his hat was pulled down over his eyes and feet propped up on a small footrest. “And, oh boy, do I loooove R an’ R!”

             The entire cargo freight service was taking a day off as decreed by the owner and operator, Rebecca Cunningham – a rare occasion indeed.

            An’ goodness knows the ol’ Boss Lady could use one, Baloo thought.

            Molly turned to him and asked: “What’s…R an’ R?”

            “Baloo’s two favourite letters in the alphabet – right, Papa Bear?” Kit Cloudkicker answered with a thumbs-up and a chuckle.

           The twelve-year old navigator was busily packing a knapsack for a day trip into the expansive New-Found Territories that bordered just north of Cape Suzette , acquisitioned by the city-state’s founders almost a century ago during the Dopeium Wars.  The north-western part of the area had now become something of a nature refuge to protect the wildlife and flora that inhabited the area, including some migratory water birds and aquatic species.

            “Heh-heh! Y’got that right, Li’l Britches!”

            “Okay, everyone!” announced Rebecca’s voice from above, “I need your honest opinions... how do I look?”

            The petite businesswoman, who had been changing upstairs for the last half-hour; now stood at the second level of the staircase in a flamboyant pose like some fashion magazine photo shoot of Vague.

             She wore a crisp, large-collared white cotton blouse with a rather daring V-shaped neckline with billowing puffed sleeves pleated at the cuff ends, a black sash for a belt was snugly tied around her waist, a red flamenco skirt tri-sectioned with white lace trimming modestly showing off her calves in silk hosiery and flat red pumps.

 Her face was lightly made-up and hair done into a neat, intricate bun, set off by a festive red straw bolero hat with a black band and small bangles dangling around the outer rim, held by a strap under her chin.  With the air misted with the trace of the Sierra Moonlight fragrance Rebecca had on, her outfit had an extravagant Latin flair that made her quite appealing to the eye.

 She then danced and gave a spin down the stairs as if she was starring in a Metro-Golden Bear-Mare film musical, the colour of her skirt and snapping black sash blurred with flashes of a white lace-trimmed slip, whirling in motion.

 Molly clasped her hands in awe.  “Mommy!  You’re so pretty!”

Wow, Miz Cunningham!” exclaimed Kit.  “You look great!

It wasn’t all that often that Rebecca dressed up fancy for any event, except for a business dinner or that rare date that came very few and far in-between; but to the adolescent she did look really nice, a definite change from her usual purple coat and slacks with the white turtleneck sweater.

Enamoured by the attention the children were giving her, she pirouetted her way over to Baloo and stood before him, making the skirt twirl into a brief clockwise rhythm, then back into place.

“Well, Baloo?  I don’t hear you offering a comment.”

The pilot raised the bill of his hat, lazily looked at his employer and smirked.

“So…where are yer castanets?” he said, unimpressed.

“Hmph!”

“Ya said yer honest opinions, Beckers…‘member?”

 I get all dressed up and he can’t even give me so much as a proper compliment?  He can be such a…a typical…man!!

“Will everyone be dressed like that on the boat, Mommy?”  Molly inquired.

“I don’t know, sweetie,” her mother said as she walked over to her desk, “I’ve never been on a day cruise before.  But I’ve heard they’re like big floating parties!”

“Sounds like fun!” said Kit, packing the last item into his knapsack and fastening the straps.

“Sounds stupid, if ya ask me!” commented the huge bear, sounding annoyed.

“What?” said Rebecca, in half-surprise and half-sarcasm as she reached for her yellow-fringed shawl and matching purse.  “The original party animal objecting the idea of a shindig?”

“Only when he’s not invited,” joked Kit heartily.

“And since nobody did ask you, why should you care, Fly Boy?”

C’mon, Becky!” he said to her, now rising from his chair.  “If ya want to meet nice guys, go to Louie’s!  Meet a real man – not some rich snob with some fancy-schmancy suit who calls himself Skippy or Biffy or –”

Rebecca looked at her pilot for a moment.  There was something in his voice that she had never registered before.  Something had changed in Baloo’s attitude, even his work ethic a little; since returning from the Thembrian gulag of Bedevilled Island to lose weight for her – which she was truly touched over – in time for the Cape Suzette Pilot’s Ball two months ago.

And although it didn’t seem possible, she wondered if he had begun to harbour some…feelings for her.

            “Why, Baloo – are you jealous?” she said teasingly, batting her eyelashes at him.

            This statement shook Baloo’s senses.

“Jealous?  Now why would I be jealous?”

The knowing smile that had crossed her face quickly dropped.  If she was disappointed, she didn’t register it.

 “Oh…no reason,” the businesswoman sighed.  “Never mind.”

Forget it, she thought, not a single romantic bone in his body…if he even had the inclination to find one in that bulk of his…I sure feel sorry for the woman who ends up with him—

Now why did that final thought amuse, yet startle her at the very same time?

            “Besides,” she added as she wrapped the shawl around her shoulders, “What make you think there are any real men in that upholstered frat house of what passes for a nightclub?  I’ve been inside phone booths with better class than that place.”

            “Mebbe ya need to stop demandin’ such high standards fer everythin’.”

            “I have you for a pilot, remember?”

            “Ha-ha-ha, Beckers… yer a regular “Moms” Maybe.  Don’ quit yer day job.”

            “At least I can do a job, Snooze Brain!!”

            “Li’l Miz Perfect!”

            “Underachiever!”

            “An’ proud of it too!” retorted Baloo with a smile.

            Rebecca just rolled her eyes and shook her head with a groan.  Why me?         

Molly was somewhat puzzled by the two adults’ banter, yet Kit tried to contain his snickers to himself.  Sometimes, he swore that there was a muted passion in those fighting words that made them sound like…some old married couple.

 You know the old saying; a strange thought came into his head, unbidden.  ‘The hotter the argument, the hotter the love…’

“Come on, Kit,” Rebecca said as she headed for the door, no longer interested in continuing the unrelenting snipe contest she was having with her pilot, “I’ll give you a ride.”

            “Thanks, Miz Cunningham,” said the youngster, slinging the knapsack over his shoulder and following her.

            “Now you watch out fer snakes, Li’l Britches,” called out Baloo, now sounding serious.  “An’ poison ivy!”

            “Gee whiz, Baloo!  I’m just goin’ on some hike with some kids from school.”

            “…I was talkin’ to Becky, too.”

            To that comment, Rebecca turned to the grey bear and addressed him sternly.  “And you better take good care of Molly, buster!  I don’t want any trouble!”

            Relaaax!” he assured her, raising his palms.  “She’s gonna be glued to that radio – they’re playin’ a Danger Woman Marathon all day today.  She won’t be that much of a problem to watch, Beckers!”

            “Yep!” said Molly, smiling.

            You poor sap, Kit thought, rolling his eyes.

            “Good!  Then I’ll see you tonight at seven.  And remember – no trouble, Baloo!  I mean it!”

            “All right, already!” the pilot said irritably, holding the little girl with one arm.  “I get the message!”

Man, that gal needs ta unwind more often – she worries too gul-danged much!

            “‘Bye, Pumpkin,” said Rebecca kissing her daughter’s cheek.  “Be a good girl and don’t try to drive Baloo crazy.”  Although he’s halfway there already…

            Molly kissed her mother back.  “‘Bye, Mom.  Have fun! See ya, Kit!”

            “G’bye, Papa Bear!” Kit called back, as they walked along the boardwalk to the parking space. The four bears all waved their farewells to each other as Rebecca and Kit piled into her car, started up the engine and drove away down the street.

Baloo closed the door, lowered the golden-furred dynamo onto the floor and she bounced her way back to the stool by the radio and he, likewise plopped into the same comfortable position in his armchair.

“Oh boy, oh boy, oh boy,” said Molly cheerfully. “Danger Woman all day long!”

“Me – jealous!” Baloo laughed. “Ha! That’s a good one!”

With an ego that big, he thought as he closed his eyes, she’ll be lucky if the boat don’t sink with her! As if the notion of ‘nother guy bothers me… Just ‘cuz she’s all decked out that Prince Charmless will show up an’ sweep her offa her feet like that Cap’n Stansbury fella did…or that Covin’ton cat…holdin’ her close…lookin’ inta those brown eyes…breathin’ in that perfume she’s wearin’…puttin’ his mitts on her –

A sudden twinge tweaked inside Baloo’s conscience momentarily, then it was gone

Aw, ferget it, Baloo – that don’ mean nuthin’!

And with that, he drifted into a snooze. 

“…And don’t forget, kids, today is Saturday, Danger Woman’s favourite day! Why?” said the radio announcer, following a pause. “Because every Saturday, Cape Suzette gets a fresh supply of Frosty Pep Ice Cream! Tell your mom to buy you Frosty Pep – Danger Woman’s favourite food!”

And mine too! Molly thought. And since Mom’s not around…

She jumped on Baloo’s stomach from her stool in a single bound, interrupting the beginnings of the pilot’s nap and making him expel a resounding “hoof!”

“Baloo!” begged Molly; “You’ll buy some Frosty Pep ice cream, won’t you, huh? Please oh please oh pleeeease??”

“R an’ R…” moaned the bear. “…I think it’s gonna stand for run ragged!”


* * *
 

On the far away, secretive hideout of Don Karnage on Pirate Island thousands of kilometres from Cape Suzette , a cheerful, if not a slightly corrupted rendition of a familiar song rang out in the private quarters of the dreaded leader of the Air Pirates…

“Happy birthday to me! I’m as young as can be! If I never hit thirteee – it will never hit me!”

Oooh, Don Karnage, you handsome rascal you,” he said in complete regalia in front of his favourite place on the island – his own full-length mirror. “You have not aged any days in years! There is nothing to do but admit the implorable truth – you have been staying twenty-nine years forever – hee-heee!”

He stopped his self-appreciating soliloquy, suddenly remembering something important. He looked at his wristwatch and gasped in surprise.

“I almost forgot!”

Rushing over to his radio, he switched the on knob and raised the volume to hear the following dialogue:

Stop, Canolli!” stated a female voice. “I’ve caught you red-handed!”

“Don’t count on it, Danger Woman!” the male voice actor portraying the villain Canolli said. “Rocko and I have ways of dealing with you!

“Oh, phooey!” Karnage muttered in disappointment.  “I missed the beginning!”

“And now a word from our sponsor…”

“Ah, commercial time! Who pays attention to them annoyingly thingies, anyway?”

A knock came upon Karnage’s door just then.

“If you brought a present for the birthday boy, come in!” sang the pirate.

The door opened to the presence of Mad Dog, his top lieutenant.

“Uh…Happy birthday, Cap’n!” he greeted nasally.

Grazie, grazie! Now, what is your matter?”

“Well, it’s about your party tonight! I –” Mad Dog began, then correcting himself, “I mean your surprise party tonight…”

A sudden full gale storm brewed up on Karnage’s brow and went directly into Mad Dog’s face. “What about my surprise party tonight?” he growled through gritted teeth. “Is there something wrong about my surprise party tonight?”

“No, no!” the minion trembled. “It’s just, well…”

“Well, what??”

“…We’ve been able to get everything on the list that you asked for, but these two items!”

Karnage looked where his underling pointed out on the long list he held in his hands and said in a somewhat surprised tone: “The cake and ice cream?! How can I have a birthday party without cake and ice cream?!”

“We’ve captured six planes so far this morning, Cap’n, but nobody’s carrying party supplies,” reported Mad Dog. “What’re we supposed to – mmph!”

He was abruptly interrupted with Karnage’s hand over his mouth.

“Wait – listen!” he said, making an audible observation from the forthcoming radio message.

 “…And don’t forget, kids – today is Saturday, Danger Woman’s favourite day? Why?...”

Si, si, tell us why?”

“…Because every Saturday Cape Suzette gets a fresh supply of Frosty Pep Ice Cream!”

“Ah-ha and double ah-ha!” said Karnage grinning evilly, finally removing his hand from Mad Dog’s muzzle. “You have so little faith, my estupid stooge! Have you never heard of the great birthday rule?…”

 “What a birthday boy wants…a birthday boy gets!”

The wolf pirate leader dramatically stormed out of his room. “To the planes, men!” he barked. “A-ice cream hunting we shall go!”

* * *                      

 

Within a short while, the Air Pirates were airborne with Don Karnage in the lead. Monitoring all air traffic signals for the next ninety minutes, they picked up on the frequency of FP 427, the flight number of the major cargo plane that served the Asia-Pacifica region, including Cape Suzette .

Inside FP 427, the two Frosty Pep pilots were making the uneventful flight bound for the city, when suddenly, Karnage’s posse had them in their sights. Unarmed and frightened, the pilot radioed for help.

“Mayday! Mayday!” the pilot shouted into the mike. “Traffic Control, this is FP 427! This is FP 427! We’re under attack! I repeat, we’re under attack by air –”

 But it was too late, unable to out-manoeuvre them; the Air Pirates had quickly boarded the plane in the usual manner and overcame the pilots. Happy over his latest plunder, Karnage relaxed in the co-pilot’s chair and listened to the Danger Woman episode already in progress, while his half-crazed dingo minion Hacksaw took control.

“…Say your prayers, Danger Woman!” sneered Canolli. “You’ve interrupted my plans for the last time! Blast her, Rocko!”

“But, boss –” began Rocko, “Look up!!!”

“A net – it’s coming down on us! Aaaargh!”

The sound of a net came crashing right through the speakers, followed by a series of screams, dust flying, coughs, moans and groans from the radio villains.

 “Nice try, Canolli,” announced Danger Woman triumphantly. “But you and your gang are the catch of the day!”

“Hee-hee,” chuckled Karnage. “Ooooh, I just love it when she tinfoils the bad guys!”

“Oh, Captain!” interrupted Dumptruck.

Karnage turned to the back to see him and Gibber holding the pilot and co-pilot of the cargo plane by gunpoint. He was irritated that he had to be interrupted while listening to his favourite radio programme, especially during a marathon broadcast.

“What, what, what?” he demanded.

“Vat do you vant us to do vit dees two? Da usual?”

The pilots trembled in fear. The reputations of Don Karnage’s pirates were of nightmares beyond belief, and they weren’t keen on knowing what “da usual” was in any case. The wolf pirate marched over to his captives, looked them dead square in the eye with a hardened look but then brightened up, only more predatorily.

“You know,” he said, “I am feeling strangely magnamoneous today!”

Both pilots breathed a sigh of relief.

“I think we shall give them one parachute to share between each other – then push them out!”

“Aye, Captain!” said Dumptruck, as he went to look for the parachute.

The pilots gasped.

Then, Gibber muttered something into Karnage’s ear.

 “A band? What – a rubber band?” queried the leader. “What are you talking about??”

“He means for tonight, Cap’n,” answered Mad Dog. “Y’know – music!”

“Oh! That is a very good idea, yes!” agreed Karnage heartily. “I was just about to think of it myself! I put you in charge of finding one!”

“M-me??” stammered Mad Dog. “Where do I look?”

“Must I tell you everything? Just find one and bring it back – or else!!!”

“Yes, Cap’n,” the pirate sighed and walked away to carry out his task.

While the two cargo pilots were fighting over who would be using the parachute that Dumptruck had just given them, Karnage paced the floor trying to figure out the next part of his birthday party plans.

“Now, that leaves nothing gotten but the cake! Hmmm…where can I get a great big cake?”

Gibber whispered another suggestion into Karnage’s ear.

“What do you mean, from a great big bakery, you –” he started, and then another idea popped into his head. “Uno menudo – that’s it! I know where to get the perfect cake for my party!”

The Frosty Pep cargo pilots stopped their fight over the parachute upon hearing these words and looked at the wolf in disbelief.

“Wait!” said the pilot. “You’re doing all this for a party? You’re crazy, Karnage!”

Ordinarily Karnage hated being called crazy by anyone, which would have put that person into intensive care or the morgue. But since this was his birthday, he decided to play the compassionate pirate – for the moment.

“I am not crazy – I am just one heck of a fun-faluting guy, hee-hee!”

With that, he and Gibber shoved out the two pilots out of the plane, both clinging to the parachute for dear life, still arguing over who would use the parachute before it opened up, saving both of them.

“Happy landings, gentlemen!” called out the pirate leader sarcastically.

Returning back to the controls, Karnage sat at the co-pilot’s seat and watched as Mad Dog’s squadron flew off in the other direction in search of a music band to play for his party.

“Where to now, Captain?” asked Hacksaw, waiting for instructions.

“First I must take the booty home before it melts – then, I shall run a special errand!” Karnage jotted down a couple of notes, gave them over to the dingo that read them quickly and flew off to the co-ordinates his commander had just given him.

* * *  

Back at Higher for Hire, Molly was contentedly listening to the Danger Woman radio marathon while Baloo was taking a snooze. Molly had been quiet for the last hour-and-a-half, a record even for her, not bothering the grey pilot in the least.

And to him, that was just fine…

“…But, Danger Woman,” pleaded the Police Commissioner, “it could be a trap!”

“Of course it is trap, Commissioner!” said Danger Woman. “That’s why I have to go in!”

“Then be careful, Danger Woman!”

Molly held her breath in anticipation…

Then the programme stopped, interjected by the radio announcer.

“We interrupt this program for a special news bulletin…”

Aw, nuts!! pouted Molly silently. Why do they always gotta do that? Probably some stupid weather report…

“The cargo plan carrying this week’s shipment of “Frosty Pep” Ice Cream has been hijacked!”

The she-bear cub gasped in horror.

Oh no! The Frosty Pep!!! 

“…Stayed tuned for details as they develop!”

But Molly wasn’t going to sit around and wait. After all, Danger Woman herself wouldn’t do that either. A woman’s gotta do what a woman’s gotta do, she thought determinedly, and it might as well just be me.

Getting off the stool quickly, she ran to Baloo’s side and shook his arm.

“Baloo! Baloo, wake up! It’s been stolen!”

The large bear, who was having the most fantastic dream of his life that he was in a prison made completely out of pepperoni pizza with extra cheese and was just about to eat his way to freedom, woke up with a start.

“W-who?? Where? What – what’s been stolen?”

“The Frosty Pep Ice Cream plane! Somebody took it! The radio just said so!”

Ice cream? Aw, Button Nose,” protested the pilot, “the police’ll handle it! We can’t do anythin’!”

“But…but how can you get me some Frosty Pep if there isn’t any?”

“I guess you’ll have to take a rain check. I’m sorry.”

“Can’t we go look for it?” said Molly, climbing on his lap. “Oh please, Baloo?”

Go look fer it? Jeepers, Becky’ll have my backside sliced fer bacon in the mornin’!

“Y’mean in the Sea Duck? I don’t think we…”

Molly then started to give him a face that seemed all too familiar to him...

“…Now, Molly, don’t look at me like that – I-I…”

“Pleeeeeease?” she begged, fixing him with a pleading look and fluttering her eyelashes at him – just like Rebecca would do with him whenever she would want something done that even Baloo could not resist.

“Aww, man,” mumbled the pilot. “This kid’s good! She’s reeeeal good!” An’ she sure takes after her mother...

 “Okay, Cupcake…” he sighed in defeat, “Let’s get inta the Sea Duck – but just fer an hour, ‘kay?”

Molly hugged Baloo warmly. “Oh, thankyouthankyouthankyou!”

“Yeah, yeah, yeah…just don’ let it get aroun’ that I’m a big ol’ softie,” he said. “Or else yer Mom’s gonna have me creamed fer yer Cream o’ Wheat fer breakfast tomorrow!”

Yes!! Doing the eyelashes thing like Mommy really works!

After scribbling a quick note for Rebecca and Kit in case one of them came home early, Baloo carried the little girl in his arms, grabbed the plane’s keys and started for the door. It looks like a good day for flyin’, he thought. What could go wrong on a day like this?

 

 

End of Part One