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, Tale Spin © 1990, 1991 Walt Disney Company/Buena Vista Television. Fan-fiction story and non-Tale Spin characters are creations of 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.  

                                                            PART FOURTEEN

 

            As soon as Kit unloaded his box on the deck of the Prowler, he was quite perturbed. He wasn’t trying to get into a confrontation with Katie. He’d only mentioned the unusual explosion marks he’d found in the September Weed.

            This proves she’s not telling the truth about the sinking, he thought angrily. If only I had more…more evidence that she had something to do with it!

            He took a deep breath and sighed. I wish Melita was here…

            The navigator was so preoccupied with his thoughts that he didn’t notice that Baloo was trying to talk to him.

            “Are we almost done down there, Li’l Britches?” he inquired of his ward.

            “Don’t Li’l Britches me!!!”

            Baloo was taken aback by this behaviour. “Heyyy…what was that for?!”

            Kit then realized whom he was talking to and was immediately contrite.

            “Oh! Sorry, Papa Bear…I-I didn’t see you there.”

            Looking puzzled, the pilot looked over himself. “Well, at least my diet’s workin’,” he joked ruefully. “What’s got the bee in yer bonnet there, Ace?”

            Kit was about to speak, when Myra approached them.

          “Kit,” she said, “Katie just wanted to say she’s sorry for the way she reacted to your inquiries.”

            “Then why doesn’t she tell me that herself?” he retorted quite bitterly.

            “You know how busy she is right now, dear. And besides, she’s probably stressed at the moment with having to handle the Cache and all that, as of now.”

             A little bit? Dumbly, Kit nodded. It made some sense, even to him if not entirely.

            “Uh…I musta been out fer popcorn on this scene. Couldja let in ol’ Baloo on this one, guys?”

            “I got an even better idea,” said Kit. “I’ll show you what I found.”

            “Sounds good ta me. Ya up fer it, Myra?”

            “Sure, I’m an archaeologist,” beamed the diminutive Aridian. “Curiosity is an occupational hazard, you know.”

            Baloo just chuckled. “Lead the way, son.”

 

            Keeping out of sight from the activity below, the stowaway observed the excavation of the September Weed from one of the upper decks near the communications tower. Through the mini-binoculars lenses, the operative could clearly see the contents of the Cache of Molta carefully being placed on the open deck of the Prowler, none of the crewmembers were armed. But then again, why would they believe that they were under any perceived threat at this time?

            Fools, thought the operative. Only the powerful believe that they are untouchable…we once had such arrogant beliefs in ourselves and look what happened to us.

            How the mighty have fallen…

            Sighing, the figure continued watching until seeing something – or someone – that put a shock to the system, causing a myriad of emotions to rise to the surface, but fought them back real hard.

            No…don’t jeopardize the mission. Remember: ‘For the Father, Cross and Molta’…

            Putting this into perspective, the operative rummaged through the knapsack, with a silver Moltese Cross emblem on the left corner of the flap cover; and pulled out a small signal lantern and small box of waterproof matches, lit the wick and cranked on the green-coloured cel setting. Making sure that no one was looking, the figure hooked the lantern’s handle onto a nearby mast’s step-pegs, sat down and looked at the wristwatch, then out into the watery vastness.

            Wait twenty minutes, they said. They should be out there and get the signal by now…

 

            After going through the safety passages one deck below, Kit lead the two adults to a large, gaping hole near the port bow of the September Weed that left Baloo and Myra flabbergasted. The pilot gave a high whistle.

            “Man! An’ I thought my teeth fillin’s were huge!” he exclaimed.

            And then Kit went on to explain on his questioning of the sinking and of Katie’s reaction to his inquiry over the whole thing.

            “Kit, I’m tellin’ ya, Katie couldn’t have sunk this ship…”

            But he looked at the downward blast that mangled the upper level and the matching breach on the deck beneath their feet and just sighed despondently.

          “But then again…I’m a startin’ ta believe the evidence.”

            With her hands on her hips, the brunette vixen studied the damaged decks thoroughly and shook her head. “If Katie did do this, she must have had a really good reason. To sink such an important find to avoid those Air Pirates could be the only one…”

           “If that’s the case, why avoid telling us the real truth? Why get all hostile about it?” wondered Kit.

            “It was kinda traumatic for her, Li’l Britches. Mebbe it brings some painful memories,” the grey bear said.

            “Or guilt,” suggested Myra .

            “So what do we think we ought to do about this?” Kit said.

            “Why don’t we wait ‘til we get back ta Velveeta an’ see then? This ain’t ‘zactly the time or place ta be askin’ ol’ Katie all sortsa questions on this now.”

            “Good idea,” agreed the petite archaeologist. “And in the meantime, let’s keep this between the three of us. Understood?”

            The two males nodded and all three carried on with the business at hand with the Cache retrieval.

            But little did they know that above them, someone overheard their conversation, grinning over the information that the extraction of the Cache of Molta was nearly done.

           Ja,” said Dumptruck to himself. “That vill be our little secret.” And he walked away to inform his comrades of his news.  

 

Doing as he was instructed, the Great Dane in his sailor disguise waited for the moment he knew the last item on the September Weed had been retrieved. Trying to blend in – which wasn’t easy for the copious Air Pirate – was no easy task, but somehow managed to keep up the false pretence.

Myra had just come upstairs and went over to Rebecca, who was also making inventory rounds on the Prowler’s deck.

“Rebecca, could you come down to the vault?” she said. “Katie and Baloo are the only ones left down there and they need your assistance.”

“I’ll be right down, Myra . Kit honey, could you wrap things up in security space on the Sea Duck?” asked Rebecca, handing over the inventory clipboard to him that she held in her hands.

  “On it, Boss Lady.”

  “Here, Kit,” offered Myra . “I’ll give you a hand.”

  “Sure. Right this way.” 

As Kit and Myra walked off toward the ship’s air hanger, the businesswoman made her way back downstairs on the derelict ship, yet paused for a look back and pondered: That big, tall sailor…where’d I see him before?? After a few seconds, she shrugged and continued downward into the shipwreck.

Wasting no time, Dumptruck quickly untied a red bandana that was secured on the shaft on his rag-mop, pretending to wipe the perspiration on his forehead. Then he stuffed it into his left back pocket, hoisted the mop over his right shoulder and walked away to his meeting point. One of Karnage’s men, a golden retriever, spotted it from the bridge and made a brisk walk to the communications room. Inside, he scratched the left size of his muzzle nonchalantly as he passed by his team members who noticed it.

The first one; a muskrat, secretly send a Morse code out to the Iron Vulture. His partner; a lynx, casually walked out of the communications room with a toolbox in his hand. A few metres down a corridor; he carefully looked around, picked up the ship’s blue phone, cranked the handle four times and waited.

In the engine room, a sailor in work coveralls heard the phone ring, walked over to the phone nearby him and picked it up.

Si? And what is your matter?”

The lynx said these code words to Don Karnage that began their operation:

“The toy box is open.”     

 

Sixty kilometres away, a pair of fishing trawlers sailed untroubled by anything out of the ordinary. A red toque-capped feline fisherman stood on one of them, the Kerrew; looked out on the horizon with his binoculars. And then he saw it.

“Commander! Commander Amante! The lantern is green!” he exclaimed.

The raccoon rushed over to the feline from the bridge and joined him by his side.

“Are you sure, Micallef?”
            “Positive! See for yourself!”

Amante took the binoculars from Micallef and focused hard on the Prowler. He could see the operative’s lantern clearly, which he then raced back to the ship wheel where Jordan was steering.

Jordan , the lantern is green! It appears the salvage of the September Weed has been successful and the Cache of Molta is being recovered as we speak!”

The Cache…at last!

“Alert the crews to be ready, Commander, but maintain the ‘normal’ behaviour onboard,” he ordered calmly. “After all, we are trying to look like fishermen out here. I’ll inform the Abulafia to fall back, and then follow us when we’re half-a-knot away.”

“Yessir!”

Radioing the Abulafia as Amante went to tell the news, the Moltese canine’s heart swelled with excitement and anxiety all at once. The prized Cache of Molta had been the staple of legend and lore, hundreds of years of history and heritage, once thought lost to time – and to a shameful error – but now finally within reach of reclaiming and righting what was once wrong.

This time, Jordon thought as the Kerrew pulled away from its companion trawler to a respectable speed towards the gunship, we must not fail the Order!...  

 

Twenty minutes after he had received the codeword, Don Karnage and Mad Dog were deep in the engine room, readying themselves to put their diabolical plan into action. “Here we are, Mad Dog,” said the pirate leader. “The power grid that controls the electricity on the ship.”

Putting down the big duffle bag from his shoulders he was carrying, Karnage unzipped it, rummaged around until he found a chisel and mallet.

“Too bad,” he grinned mischievously, “there’s going to be an itty-bitty ‘blackout,’ yes-no?”

Holding the chisel, the lupine handed over his minion the mallet and placed the chisel steadily over the key lock. Mad Dog repeatedly whacked on the blunt end of the chisel with confidence, knowing that the din from the Prowler’s engines would drown out their activities.

A few hits later, they succeeded in breaking the lock, but on the very last strike Mad Dog accidentally hit Karnage on the hand. Giving half-a-painful yelp, he restrained himself into a suffering silence. He delivered a rather withering look at Mad Dog, who could only give a meek, apologetic grin.

“Sorry, Cap’n. That one got away from me.”

Grabbing the mallet from him with his good hand, the wolf waved the object at Mad Dog’s head threateningly who cowed from his leader’s gestures.

 “If I didn’t need you on this job, you birdy-brain booby prize, I’d pound you into yoghurt!!” he snarled in the lowest tones.

Regaining his composure and clearing his throat, he just gave him a warning: “Be careful next time, please!”

Prying open the electrical grid box, the two pirates then brandished out a couple of clippers. Tracing two purple and yellow intertwined wires, Mad Dog placed his tool under one set, his leader the other.

Karnage looked at his watch. “When Mickey’s right hand reaches the six and the left reaches the two, Stage Two of my most brilliant plan begins…in fifteen menudos!”  

 

Isle of Molta

Twenty-five minutes earlier…  

Floating in the lagoon that protected the Iron Vulture under the natural arch rock formation of the Blue Grotto near the Dingalingy Cliffs on the southern side of Molta, the crew remained inactive. On the bridge, the dingo Hacksaw had nodded off lethargically waiting by the telegraph machine, until it suddenly came to life.

Awakening with a start, he quickly jumped to his feet and jotted down every beep that came. Looking at the message, he became more wild than usual with excitement. He rapidly responded his acknowledgement to his comrades on the Prowler, hurriedly ran to the intercom system and made the announcement.

“All ‘ands on deck!! All ‘ands on deck!! Toy Box is a-go! I repeat – Operation Toy Box is a-go!! All ‘ands to their stations!! We make way to the September Weed immediately!!! All ‘ands to their stations!! Hacksaw out!!”

Crikey! Some bloomin’ action at last!!

Alarms sounding onboard and engines activated, the Air Pirates scrambled to their respective departments to get the Iron Vulture airborne, preparing themselves for the forthcoming raid. Within minutes, the huge dirigible had lifted itself from the Blue Grotto lagoon and fearsomely made its way to the unsuspecting Prowler with four armed airplanes flanking on each side.

Operation Toy Box had begun.  

                                                End of Part Fourteen

 

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