TALE SPIN: SUB-MEDITERRANEAN SEAWRECK BALOO
Fan-fiction Story by jb
Disclaimer: The following story is based on the television series, characters and situations, created by Jymn Magon & Mark Zaslove, TaleSpin © 1990-1991 Buena Vista Television/Walt Disney Company. Fan-fiction story and non-TaleSpin characters are creations by the author and may not be used without permission. This is a work of fan-fiction, using characters and property of the Walt Disney Company without consent and for non-profit use.
After a quick refuelling stop in Pallystine, the late Sub-Mediterranean afternoon sun greeted the Sea Duck as it flew into Molta's Grand Harbour. The visitors were in awe of the scenery as they went past the ancient fortresses and the Vedette watchtower that crowded around the tiny shorelines of its capital, Velveeta.
“Where are we s’posed to land again, Katie?” asked Baloo.
Katie was standing by the pilot seat in the cockpit, along with Rebecca and Kit on the other side.
“Fly into Dockyards Quay,” instructed the archaeologist. “Our docking port is just next to Khan’s S.S. Prowler.”
“Take the next inlet to your left, Baloo,” said Kit, checking his map.
“Better strap in, ladies. We’ll be down in a jiffy,” the pilot announced.
Katie smiled as she placed her hand on Baloo’s left shoulder. “Thanks for the smooth flight, Baloo.”
The grey bear covered his hand over hers, smiling. “Yer welcome, Katie.”
Rebecca saw this from the corner of her eye and involuntarily squirmed inside. She thought: Does she have to do that with him? Let him fly the plane, for Pete's sake! Returning back to their respective seats, Katie buckled up, still smiling.
“You’re in a better mood, coming into Velveeta,” commented the businesswoman.
“Just relieved that I have people I can trust, working with me, Rebecca," answered Katie honestly. "And besides, my assistant is waiting for us at the docking port. Now I know everything will be alright.”
That statement relaxed Rebecca's guard. She was flattered to be considered reliable and trustworthy enough to take on this important assignment in the name of science. But... there was something disturbing about the way Katie just touched Baloo's shoulder back there, like they shared more than just a history together, but also some deep, personal secret...
She then gave a start, realizing she was digging her nails into her palms. Rubbing them gently, she would later --- much later --- resent herself, without really knowing why.
Executing a perfect landing on the water, Baloo glided the plane alongside the sandstone dock and stopped all engines. Leaving the cockpit, the flight crew helped the women gather their suitcases, along with theirs. Rebecca placed a wide-brimmed picture hat on her head that matched her recent-changed attire of a yellow blouse and white shorts.
“So who’s this assistant we’re meetin’, Katie?” asked Baloo.
“Like I said, she’s an old colleague of mine. Made a name for herself a little while back in…what’s that place again? Oh, yeah! It was a find out in Aridia.”
“Aridia, ya say? I know an archaeologist out there ‘bout a –” began the pilot, when a familiar voice rang out as he opened the door.
“Baloo? Baloo, is that you??”
The grey bear saw before him a young, bespectacled vixen dressed in the same manner as Katie. Attractive, yet unassuming, she had dark brown fur and the same build and height as Rebecca. A sweet smile lit up her face, making it radiant, so genuine was her delight in seeing him again.
“Myra!” exclaimed Baloo happily.
Myra charged toward the grey bear and gave him a warm hug.
“Baloo!” said Myra as they parted. “I knew it had to be you. I’d recognize your plane anywhere!”
“You…two have met?” inquired Katie.
“Yes, Katie…remember about my findings in Aridia I was telling you about? Well, this is the wonderful pilot who helped me.”
“Aww,” Baloo blushed. “She says that ‘bout all the wonderful pilots that help her.”
Katie just grinned.
This guy sure gets around... she thought.
Rebecca shook Myra's hand. “I remember that assignment,” she said. “The Cape Suzette Antiquities Society and the Aridian government hired us to transport those tablets to your country. Baloo and Wildcat told me all about that rather... shall we say, exciting trip over there. It's nice to meet you, Doctor.”
“Thanks, but please call me Myra,” said the archaeologist. “The guys told me a lot about you. And ‘rather exciting’ wasn't even half of what we went through. Um... isn't Wildcat with you?”
“No. He's back home, taking care of the office and my daughter. And call me Rebecca.”
“Well, ain’t this ol’ homecomin’ week,” commented Baloo.
“And is this the highly capable navigator you've told me about, Baloo?" Myra said, peering around Rebecca and spotting Kit.
Aw, gee whiz...he thought, blushing. But at least she didn't call me cute -- it reminds me of puppies!
“Yep! The one an’ only Kit Cloudkicker,” Baloo introduced him with a chuckle. “Kit, Myra Foxworthy.”
“He told me you’re an outstanding young man,” said Myra, shaking his hand. “Pleased to meet you at last.”
“Thanks… but I’m not all that outstanding,” said Kit modestly. “I just love to fly. I’m gonna be pilot one day soon, the moment I get my license.”
“I have no doubts about that. So, Katie,” said Myra, turning to her colleague. “Is the rest of the equipment on board?”
As the adults talked among themselves, Kit's attention decided to scope out the view. He'd heard so much about Molta in the history books and was soaking in its grandeur, when suddenly, he saw something by the boardwalk area that took hold of his attention a lot more than the conversation that was going on.
A Moltese girl, a lovely grey-white canine, was standing by the docking registrar's office. She looked about thirteen or fourteen, with her long hair-like ears cascading down her shoulders tied up in red ribbons, just like Molly's. She wore a modest beige halter top and matching khaki shorts that fully complemented her willowy figure.
Kit was totally beside himself. He couldn’t explain why his heart leapt inside his chest and did somersaults or that his eyes felt like they were going to pop right out his sockets. He just couldn’t stop looking at the girl.
Ho-lee! Kit thought. She’s a knockout!
Katie spoke briskly to Captain Hotspur, a stern-looking panther sea captain who had just joined them. “When can we get this equipment onto the Prowler? I’d like to get this going underway immediately.”
“I can have my sailors unload the equipment onto the ship right away, ma’am,” the captain answered. Captain Hotspur was the Prowler’s commanding officer, a stalwart and true employee of Khan Industries. “However, the ship is currently under repair for a day or two.”
“A day or two?!!” said Katie in surprise. “But we must get to the wreck immediately!”
“My regrets, Doctor Dodd,” Then he explained, “We recently had a malfunction with one of the turbines, which is quite puzzling since we already had a routine maintenance two weeks ago. I promise you, ma’am, we will be seaworthy by tomorrow night.”
Katie groaned as she placed her hand over her tightened eyes, gritting her teeth.
“Don’t worry, Katie,” Myra said, adding hope in her voice. “We can take that extra day to go over the excavation plans and catalogue. And Baloo can also do some aerial photography over the site to give us an idea of what to do.”
“Oh…all right,” sighed Katie. “I waited eight years to recover the Cache… one more day wouldn’t hurt, I guess.”
“Good!” said Myra. “I’m sure you all want to rest up a bit before we head out to sea. And speaking of which, I’ve made dinner reservations for us all at the Three Cities Restaurant overlooking St. Julien’s Bay. They have excellent seafood cuisine!”
“Great!" said Baloo joyfully. “I'm a-lookin' forward to some seafood!”
Rebecca snorted. “Yeah. Whenever you see food, you eat it, Fly Boy.”
Myra laughed. “Is your employer always this witty, Baloo?”
“Constantly… but she's got too much retread to fix a worn-out tire... so, where are we stayin' while we’re in town?”
“Mister Khan had specifically stated that you all have accommodations on board the Prowler,” Hotspur spoke up. “We may not be a five-star hotel, but you’ll find our facilities agreeable. If you’ll come this way…”
“Sound good,” conceded Katie, grabbing her suitcase and turning to her companions. “Ready to come aboard, guys?”
“Justaminute,” said Baloo. “I gotta go over to the dockin’ registrar’s office ta sign in the Sea Duck with this form here, an’–”
Kit, still fixated on the Moltese girl, suddenly snatched the register form from Baloo’s hand and made a mad dash for the office before the pilot could do anything. “I’lltakecareofit,PapaBear! Seeyaonboard!” he babbled.
“Wha’ the…?” The pilot just stood there in a daze and blinked twice, watching the youngster run like he was on fire.
“My, he’s certainly is speedy,” said Myra with a little laugh.
Even Rebecca was bewildered as Baloo. “Yeah,” she said, holding her suitcases. “Considering his school came fifth in the Cape Suzette Junior High City-Wide Track Meet two months ago.”
Baloo, scratched his head in wonder, shrugged and picked up his and Kit’s luggage. He was feeling kind of sleepy and admitted to himself that a before-dinner nap was a good idea as he headed for the Prowler’s gangplank.
Panting as he made his way to the Dockyards Quay registrar’s office, Kit was trying to come up with the right introduction to the pretty Moltese that caught his eye. Running up to the boardwalk, he saw her standing by the dock’s edge, looking out into the inner harbour, her long ears fluttering in the light sea breeze.
Okay, thought Kit. Stay real cool, Cloudkicker. Just walk up to her casually and say ‘hi.’ As he walked over, he failed to notice a protruding level of sandstone in his pathway. His foot caught the crack, causing him to trip and fall onto the sidewalk, losing the registration form in his hand.
Oh, no! Kit thought as he saw the form catch a strong breeze away from him, until a grey-white hand grabbed it. It belonged to the Moltese girl, who looked at him lying on the ground.
Nice going, klutzy, he thought. I just want to die – now.
“Are you alright?” the girl asked with great concern in her voice, which was a cross between a Maghreb and Cockney dialect that was spoken throughout the Moltese Archipelgo. To Kit, it sounded angelic.
Then again… he thought hopefully.
“You ought to be more careful,” she playfully scolded, as she helped him up. “The sandstone foundations around here aren't as even as they used to be.”
Her touch felt like tingles on his fur, almost electric.
“Y-yeah...I ought to be,” he repeated, dusting himself off. Kit looked at her winsome features. The black nose, her light grey eyes, the flowery fragrance that emitted from her had an effect on his senses.
Mmmm… lavender, he thought drunkenly.
“You dropped this?” the Moltese girl asked Kit, holding the register form in her hand.
“Hmmm?…Uh, oh! Oh, yeah, yeah! The form! Thanks, um…”
“Melita,” answered the girl. “And they call you…?”
“Kit… Kit Cloudkicker,” he breathed. But you can call me “yours”…
“That’s a nice name,” said Melita. “Sounds adventurous.”
The story of my life, he thought.
“Th-thanks…for the hand-up and for grabbing that registrar form. That was close.”
“Oh…have you just sailed into our fair harbour?”
“Me? Oh, no. I…I just flew in on a seaplane,” Kit said. “I’m a navigator. I read air maps.”
“Kind of young to be navigating planes, aren’t you?”
“Not for me. I love flying. It’s in my blood… one day I’m going to be a pilot myself. Been taking some flying lessons lately. Baloo says I’m going to be a great one.”
“Baloo…?” said Melita, sounding interested.
“He’s my pilot…and my best friend. I hooked up with him around two years ago. Been with him ever since,” Kit said. “He’s the best pilot in these skies.”
“Really now? He sounds wonderful,” Melita said. “I think you better get that form to the office before you forget. Are you in Molta on business?”
Remembering the secrecy of the assignment he was on, Kit just answered: “Yeah… kind of.”
“Well, I won’t keep you. ‘Bye now,” she said as she began to walk away.
“Wait!” pleaded the young navigator,
discovering that it sounded desperate. “ I mean…I’ve got some time off
tomorrow, and I was wondering if you could…you know, show me around.”
“I’m just a plain local girl, not a tour guide.”
You’re hardly plain, he thought.
“It’s…um…for my…school project! Yeah! I got a term paper to write about Molta and it would help my geography grades a bit.”
“Well,” said Melita, looking thoughtful. “I can’t have you failing your class now, can I?”
“So…you’ll meet me here tomorrow?” asked Kit tentatively.
“Is…two o’clock good for you?”
“No problem,” said Melita, smiling warmly. “Two o’clock at the docking registrar’s office.”
“Pretty girl…” said Kit, dreamily. “I mean, pretty good! Pretty good! I’ll see you tomorrow, Melita.”
“Tomorrow it is, Kit,” Melita waved as she walked away.
Kit stood there watching her go captivated, then the Moltese stopped, turned and said: “Kit?…”
“I’m really am looking forward to seeing you again,” Melita said with a smile that could have lit up rainy day. Kit’s heart exploded like fireworks as she left. Yes!!! I’m so glad my voice didn’t crack the way it did last year!
Beaming, he skipped his way back to the Prowler only to stop halfway and realise he forgot to hand in the docking register form, hurrying back to the office to complete his task.
Emerging from their shared stateroom that evening, Baloo and Kit had donned some respectable shirts and jackets. Both wore ties, which Baloo had begrudgingly done as well, complaining as usual.
“C’mon, Baloo, I know you hate ties, but can’t you just wear one without whining about it for tonight?” Kit was exasperated.
“Nuh-uh, Ace! I don’ mind doin’ it one time, but once is enough fer me. ‘Sides,” he said, as they approached Katie and Myra’s stateroom. “I already did the tie thing fer Katie the other night. There’s no need ta be overdoin’ it!”
“Oh, no,” said Kit jokingly. “We can’t have that.”
“Yer durn tootin’.”
He knocked on the archaeologists' door and bellowed: “Katie! Myra! Ya gals ready?”
Maybe I should go over that etiquette book with him again, Kit thought, trying not to look embarrassed. Oh...why the heck bother??
The cabin door opened and out stepped Myra in a light purple jacket and matching skirt with a white blouse and lacy jabot, wearing pearl earrings. “Real nice outfit there, Myra,” Baloo complimented her.
“Thanks…what do you think of Katie?” she said as her colleague appeared in her familiar blue strapless gown, cocktail gloves and pumps. It was a very serious attention-grabber for the two males.
“Whoa!” was all that Baloo could say.
“Awesome!” Kit said.
“Don’t stare too long, kid,” grinned Katie. “You’ll arrest your glands.” “Way too late for that,” murmured Kit.
Taking Baloo by the arm, Katie said, “Shall we get Rebecca next?”
Baloo was still in awe of Katie. “Uhhh…Rebecca who?”
“Rebecca Cunningham…our boss?” Kit reminded him.
“Oh... oh, oh yeah! Ol' Beckers... right... uh, this way, I guess,” Baloo stammered, jolted back to reality. Walking a few doors down, the ensemble went to Rebecca's assigned stateroom.
Kit went ahead of Baloo and said tentatively, "Uh, let me ask if Becky's ready, okay?"
“Go ahead, Li’l Britches," said Baloo nonchalantly. He was too preoccupied with Katie's appearance for the time being. The navigator knocked on Rebecca's door.
“Rebecca, are you all set?” he asked.
Silence fell for five seconds. The doorknob turned and slowly opened...
And there stood Rebecca, wearing a fiery red silk Oriental cheong sam dress that clung gracefully to her figure in all the right places. It was beautifully embroidered with colourful dragons, phoenixes and multicoloured flowers in a pattern that swept from her left shoulder, across her torso, spiralling down to the edge of her hem. The slide slits ran on both sides, revealing enough leg in silk hosiery and a pair of red high heels for added effect. Her face was perfectly made up, accompanied by seashell-shaped gold earrings. If there was one word to describe her, the word was… exotic.
Baloo gaped at her. “Rebecca…?”
The female bear coyly looked at her pilot with just a smile, closed her door, brushed past him and stood by the left side and just spoke in a sultry voice: “No… Becky.”
“That’s some outfit you’ve got there,” said Katie, so taken aback that she let go of Baloo’s arm in surprise.
“Oh…this old thing?” Rebecca said, as she curled her arm through Baloo’s. “I just threw this on.”
“You sure don’t miss,” Kit muttered.
“Well, let’s be off,” Myra reminded them. “We don’t want to miss our reservations.”
“Yeah…right,” said Baloo, still in disbelief as they all made their way down the corridor.
Katie was a bit dumbfounded, yet intrigued at the same time. She was beginning to sense some animosity between her and Rebecca since they left Cape Suzette. Considering the way Baloo reacted at her hotel room doorway the other night, she wondered if there was something between them.
And before this trip is over, she thought, I’m going to find out.
Baloo, on the other hand, still amazed over the transformation of his boss just thought to himself, Man…when women change, they really change!