TALE SPIN: SUB-MEDITERRANEAN SEAWRECK BALOO
story by jb
Disclaimer: The following story is based on the television series, characters and situations, created by Jymn Magon & Mark Zaslove, Tale Spin © 1990, 1991 Walt Disney Company/Buena Vista Television. Fan-fiction story and non-Tale Spin 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.
rapped a number of knocks on the wooden door and waited. The door opened a crack
and a voice inside riddled him in Molti:
the best bakers come from Mdina…or Qormi?”
“Depends on how fresh you want your bread,” he replied.
door opened wider and the raccoon stepped inside. Waiting at the doorway was a
grey-hooded figure that held a similar robe over his arm and handed it to the
visitor. He put it on immediately.
late,” said his companion.
assignment took longer than anticipated,” answered the raccoon as they strode
down the gilded hallway of oil portraits and battle shields lined up along the
walls. Coming to a large wooden double door, the two figures walked up and the
raccoon knocked the same number of knocks as he previously done outside.
wide open revealed a grand hall lit up with torches, filled with large
Renaissance paintings, medieval tapestries and statuettes, casting shadows and
lights everywhere. Walking into the hall, they were surrounded by several other
figures, all dressed in hooded robes and stone silent in their mannerisms.
raccoon’s companion broke away from him and stood in the empty spot that
clearly marked his place among his comrades, while he continued onward until he
came upon an imposing red-hooded robe with a golden rope belt around the waist,
standing beneath a huge eight-pointed cross, the symbol of Molta itself.
raccoon dropped to one knee and bowed before his superior.
Leader,” said the raccoon.
“State your report, Commander Amante,” the
Grand Leader said.
For the next ten minutes, Amante described his observations at the Three Cities Restaurant and his personal assessment of the crew, to which the entire hall assembly listened to intently.
all seem to possess an agreeable level of intelligence, except for that fat
pilot of theirs. Doesn’t seem all that sharp. But,” concluded the raccoon
with wry humour, “he is quite light on his feet with the ladies of the
laughter and chuckles echoed amongst them, which the Grand Leader silenced
immediately by raising his hand.
wise man once said: ‘Never underestimate your opponent.’ This is never been
more stated, my Brothers, as a new element as entered the equation,” said the
Grand Leader, to which a photo emerged from within his robe and showed it
and quiet gasps came from the hooded ensemble.
was taken few hours ago from our operative by the
is to be done, Grand Master?” questioned one member.
stakes has been raised and we must rise to the challenge, men. More than ever,
our honour and heritage is at risk. We’ll have to put Plan ‘C’ into
operation – the auxiliary unit can cover for us at the
honour me,” said the Grand Leader, looking around the hall with pride.
“Before you return to your homes, you will be given your group assignments,
including you, Amante. Tomorrow, the retrieval of the Cache will begin!”
ensemble all shouted in unison:
the Father, Cross and Molta!”
* * *
Sea Duck soared over the vast blueness of the Sub-Mediterranean late the
next morning, keeping an even level above the water’s surface. Katie and
surveyed the watery horizon through her binoculars, alert for the floating
anything, Rebecca?” asked Kit.
yet,” replied the businesswoman. She then turned to the two archaeologists and
called out: “Katie!
to the surviving nautical maps of the Weed, it should be around here
somewhere,” called back Katie.
is that consarned ship? she thought impatiently.
minute or two passed before Kit said: “I see it, Papa Bear! Turn ninety
degrees, three o’clock!”
pilot did as his navigator told him and the Sea Duck swerved to the
right. The two vixens were raring to shoot. “Remember,” said Rebecca,
“When we hit the ten metre mark from the wreckage buoy, start shooting.”
Kit began the countdown.
the right angles on that camera?” said Katie to
cameras clicked like crazy and the Sea Duck’s back hatchway doors
metres…four…three…two…one – mark!”
At that moment, Rebecca quickly pushed out a large, lightweight beacon buoy out the hatchway, where it splashed nearly next to the wreckage buoy and bobbed steadily.
away!” called out Rebecca to the cockpit.
target!” confirmed Katie through her camera lens.
exclaimed Kit joyfully.
looked at his navigator puzzlingly, wondering what was so exciting about that.
mean…” added Kit quickly, “alright, it’s…back to Velveeta it is.”
replied Baloo suspiciously.
seemed different this morning on the flight out to the September Weed,
the large pilot pondered. Kit had on usual navigator’s cap, but he wore a
respectably light yellow shirt and had put on enough of his borrowed cologne to
knock out a horse’s stable in their stateroom back on the Prowler, that
Kit had to go back to the bathroom to wash some of it off before joining the
for Rebecca, she had on a light red cotton blouse with embossed white Bauhinia
orchid prints and sand-coloured khaki shorts much like Myra’s, plus a touch of
lipstick, eyeliner and mascara seemingly leftover from last night’s outing at
the restaurant, which made her look quite nice in a modest way.
he and the vixens were dressed in their usual attire that seemed the only thing
that was normal around here.
goin’ on? Baloo thought.
he caught Kit fidgeting and looking at the side mirror, checking on his
so nervous ‘bout, Ace?” he asked.
know what your mean,” said Kit evasively.
lookin’ in that mirror an awful lot like yer face is gonna disappear any
Ya got yerself a hot date waitin’ fer ya in Velveeta?” he chuckled.
face turned a bright crimson and just scowled before storming out of the cockpit
without saying a word.
Kit! Kit!” called out the large bear. “Aw, c’mon, man!…”
young navigator stomped into the passenger area, plunked hard into the nearest
window seat and looked out the window, sulking. Baloo clanked on his makeshift
“autopilot” on the pilot wheel and followed him.
a minute!” said an alarmed Katie, witnessing all this. “Who’s flying
he has it on autopilot,” assured Rebecca. “I’ll see what’s going on.”
of these days I have to put on a real autopilot for this plane,
she thought nervously as she went toward the two bears.
going on here, guys?” demanded the she-bear in low tone. “You’re making
the passengers nervous – including me!”
dunno, Becky…we were havin’ this conversation an’ next thing I know,
Li’l Britches here’s poppin’ a piston on me!”
looked at Kit, who was still scowling, then placed her hand on Baloo’s arm.
handle this, Baloo. Just get back and fly the plane, okay?”
looked uneasy at the two, then resigned himself to let his employer deal with
But I need ya back, ‘kay, Ace?”
remained in furious silence.
the deflated pilot returned back to the cockpit, Rebecca sat down in the seat
next to Kit.
honey…do you want to talk about it?” she asked soothingly.
heated silence from the boy still remained. Only if you don’t call me
come on. I’m not that ugly,” Rebecca said jokingly, rubbing his
shoulder gently. “Come on, Kit…what happened back there? Did Baloo make fun
of you about something?”
Kit said softly, relaxing his guard a little. “Not really.”
“It…uh…it was…about….you see, I…met this…uhm…girl here, and…”
understood just then and smiled.
you’re anxious to see her, right?”
looked at her in surprise.
was fourteen once too, you know.”
blushed a little and looked down at his lap.
okay to have those…feelings for girls. It’s a part of growing up. Is that
why you wanted to skip fishing with Baloo today?”
Kit said shyly. “She’s…showing me around town today. She’s…totally
‘she’ have a name?” Rebecca prodded a little.
Kit sighed dreamingly.
businesswoman tried hard not to giggle, remembering her first crush so long ago.
understand, Kit. And I’m sure if you explain it to Baloo, he’ll understand
right, Rebecca. I’ll go apologize for flying off the handle. Thanks a lot.”
boy gave Rebecca a warm hug to which she gladly returned.
she addressed him, as he made his way back to the cockpit.
“You can have the rest of the afternoon off,” she said with a smirk.
Boss Lady,” he said as he entered the cockpit smiling.
was relieved she could defuse an awkward situation between those two and that
Kit could be open with her about it. And she felt that was well handled. After
all, before long she’d have to deal with Molly when she hit adolescence.
she returned back to the two archaeologists.
what was that all about?” asked
a little…family quibble,” said Rebecca, picking up a clipboard and
scribbling away on it. “It’s okay now.”
alongside the Prowler at Dockyards
Quay an hour later, Kit craned his neck in the cockpit to spot Melita. As soon
as the plane’s engines slowed down, he finally saw her standing by the pier,
just as they arranged the other day.
over there, Baloo!” he said, almost excitedly.
Melita?” said Baloo, getting a good look at the willowy Moltese girl. He
turned to his charge and said with a warm smile: “Well, she’s a real fine cutie
ya got there, Li’l Britches.”
cutie? She’s gorgeous!”
Baloo hid a smile under his hand.
an’ see yer friend, Kit. Have fun.”
gave him a big hug. “Thanks, Papa Bear. See ya!” he said as he tore out of
the cockpit and out of the Sea Duck.
he made his way to the waiting Moltese, he slowed down his pace.
alright! he thought, don’t get yourself all worked up to see her. Check your
overactive glands at the door, for bejeeper’s sake!
up to her, all he could say was, “Hi.”
Kit,” Melita smiled. “Ready for the tour?”
she sure has the prettiest smile…
to go. Lead the way, Melita.”
the two youngsters walked away, Baloo and Rebecca looked on.
figger we’ll be seein’ more o’ this from now on, eh, Becky?” he said
get used to it, ‘Papa Bear,’ giggled
to be fourteen and in love again, thought the two adult bears in their separate
spheres. But then again…thank goodness I ain’t!
* * *
* * *
few minutes later, the Prowler crew had removed the last of the aerial
photographing equipment from the Sea Duck that Rebecca checked off her
clipboard. Things were going smooth, as Captain Hotspur had personally informed
them that they would be underway to the September Weed wreckage by nine
o’clock sharp tonight.
businesswoman inhaled deeply the fresh salt air into her lungs, feeling the
sun’s warmth on her back. The scent made her feel invigorated and homesick,
all at once. As much as she loved to travel, the marine air reminded her of
hope she’s not getting into any mischief, thought the businesswoman.
then, Baloo had come out of the plane, accompanied by the two vixen
archaeologists flanking him on both sides.
Beckers…wanna go inta town fer some chow? Katie’s buyin’ lunch.”
have some things to take care of onboard?” queried Rebecca.
photos won’t be developed for a least a couple of hours to be accurate and
most of the work’s done for today,” explained Katie. “Besides, I’ve had
this nostalgic craving to visit this little bistro I went to during my student
summer days here.”
about it, Rebecca?” said
I got some work to finish up.”
yourself. Come on, guys,” said Katie, as she lead the pilot toward the
sounds kinda tantalizin’ when ya say it in French, Red,” commented Baloo,
licking his chops vigorously.
better,” he replied gleefully.
animated laughter came from the trio that somehow made Rebecca grit her teeth
and feel a little annoyed seeing her
pilot with two attractive young women in that manner. Not so much over
small crunch sounded off somewhere and then the businesswoman felt a sudden
crumbly sensation and a little wetness trickle from her right palm. She looked
down and discovered that she had unintentionally crushed her fountain pen, now
leaking black ink all over her hand, much to her dismay and embarrassment.
“Uh…hold up, guys!” Rebecca called out, running after them after chucking the shattered pen and clipboard into the Sea Duck haphazardly. “Wait for me!”
* * *
took a trip across St. Julien’s Bay in one of the many colourful fishing boats
that docked the harbours and he got a first-hand taste of the local date-filled
pastry square called an mqaret, which felt kind of heavy in his mouth.
deep-fry them,” answered Melita in between bites of her own, as she noticed
Kit’s reaction on his first bite.
good, Melita…really. This would be more of Baloo’s liking, though.”
get used to it,” she said with a smile and a wink, taking another bite.
didn’t know if this was just a tease that girls do, but he did find it…well,
charming about her. But it all seemed to go by so quickly as the two youngsters
watched the sunset burn over the
isn’t it?” said Melita.
just looked at her, with the backdrop of the orangey-red sky behind her, with
her ears fluttering in the light sea breeze and the evening light accenting her
slightly smiled at this compliment and sort of looked at the ground, as if
you always talk to girls like this?”
the navigator replied. Come to think of it, he’d been attracted to some of the
girls back at the
does this all mean?
Then, Kit noticed something hanging from the belt loop of her khaki shorts. It was a silver Moltese Cross with red enamel on each section no bigger than an average thumb.
that?” he pointed at the little trinket.
looked and became aware of the object, looking a little flushed.
It’s…it’s my crucifix. It’s… very special to me.”
“Funny…it reminds me of one of those emblems I saw in that museum concerning the Guardians.”
island nation was founded by them, Kit,” Melita offered an explanation. “You
can’t go anywhere in Molta without seeing one It’s been part of our society
for at least two hundred and sixty-eight years before your arrival.”
see,” was all he could say.
If he didn’t know any better, Kit swore he was detecting some mixed signals from her, that this Moltese was hiding something from him. But then again; he too had a past that he kept from people, especially from those that he loved the most. As someone once told him when he was much younger, The past is all gone, Kit. It’s better to focus on the future…
“Say – don’t you have to go back to your friends, Kit?” Melita asked.
“Yeah,” he sighed. “I’d better get back real soon. We have a…job to do. But I’ll be back in a few days. We could see each other again.”
“I don’t come down to the harbour that often. I have to help with my…brother at work.”
“You work? You don’t go to school?”
“Yes…but I get off early so I can help the family business.”
“Maybe I can meet you at your workplace when I get back,” Kit said, sounding hopeful.
“My brother wouldn’t like that very much. He likes to be…the protective elder brother, if you know what I mean.”
“You don’t have any other family? It’s just you and your brother?”
The Moltese canine just looked out at the sea and just sighed: “Yes.”
“Well, still…I’d like to see you again before I go back home.”
“You will, Kit,” she replied. “I’m pretty sure of it.”
Melita smiled coyly. “Don’t you like surprises?”
Now he was puzzled by her secretive behaviour. What is she hiding from me?
Sensing this, she answered: “Kit…you seem like a nice guy and you really are sweet. And today was great and all that, but…let’s not rush things, okay?”
“Umm…okay,” he said uneasily. “I just…like you, Melita. I think you really are pretty.”
With that, the navigator immediately just scrunched up his cap over his face in embarrassment. Ahh, geez! Why’d I have to say something that gushy like that, dopey?!
The girl just giggled. “Thank you.”
Somewhere in the town, a church bell chimed off in the distance, ringing seven times.
“I really have to go now,” said Melita, looking at her watch.
“Me too,” said Kit, shuffling his feet. “Well…until next time. I hope we meet again.”
“Yeah…until next time.”
They both looked at each other with that universal What now? expression on their faces. Then suddenly, Melita gave a quick peck on Kit’s cheek and quickly walked away, catching him completely by surprise.
“Bye!” she said, looking back with a big grin.
All Kit could do was just stand there and touch his face where she had kissed him, feeling a warm sensation inside as the evening began to cover the Moltese sky before heading back to the Prowler five minutes later, his head in a delirious spin.
* * *
* * *
Melita walked merrily along the cobblestone streets of Velveeta, humming a happy tune to herself. She loved her island home, the familiarities and the people, feeling fiercely proud of the heritage that she was surrounded by.
But more so, she couldn’t help the feelings that had grown over that Kit Cloudkicker. She didn’t know what it was that was coming over her, but she knew one thing: she liked it – a lot.
Suddenly, she felt a rough hand grab her off the street and dragging into an alleyway with a hand over her mouth, a flurry of buildings and the evening sky cut an abstract dance before her eyes in confusion and fear. She let out a muffled scream through the fingers, until she hear a voice say:
“Melita! Melita! It’s only me!!!”
Melita turned to face the voice, her eyes widening upon the face of her abductor…
End of Part Nine