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 SIXTEEN

"Don Karnage!” exclaimed both Baloo and Rebecca in shock.

“Yes, yes, that is my name, but there is no needing it to be wearing it out by my abhorring public, yes-no?” said the pirate captain, taking a self-congratulatory bow toward his captives.

“Is he always this much of a show-stealing blowhard?” said Katie disdainfully.

“That’s ol’ Karny for ya, Red. Better get used ta it.”

The wolf glared at the pilot and made it pointedly with his cutlass over his disapproval of the use of this moniker: “I have told you over an umptitrillion times, Baloo, it is Karnage!!” Turning to the vixen archaeologist, he sneered: “So…long time no see – and you have plenty to see, si?” 

Katie didn’t like the way Karnage and his pirates were looking at her or at the box that she was holding. “Unfortunately, not long enough! How’d you find out about this? This was all a closely guarded secret!!”

“Let’s just say that a leetle birdie told me,” said the lupine pirate mockingly and batting his eyelids at her.

“But, Cap’n…” began Dumptruck. “I thought it vas when we vere flying around Khan Tower vith dat thingamabob listening device ve stole from him back in –”

Karnage gave his underling a very sharp elbow to the ribs, silencing the Great Dane fast and continued: “Pay never mind to him, he is an idiot. Now…give me…the Moltese Eagle…please.

Extending his hand in a gesture, Katie scowled at the pirate’s sheer arrogance and his demand for the priceless statuette. Snarling, she clutched the box even tighter to her chest.

Not a snowball’s chance in he—!”

Karnage cut off her tirade by thrusting his cutlass again and directly pointed the tip in her face, speaking in a low, menacing tone: “Must I chew my cabbage twice?”

“Fer cryin’ out loud, Katie,” protested Baloo, knowing that the situation was hopeless to confront the Air Pirate. “Give it to ‘im! It ain’t worth the headache!”

“Yeah!” added Rebecca with fear. “Give it to him!”

“Yes, Katie,” repeated the corsair. “Give it to me!”

Will you all shut up??! Katie screamed mentally. After all she’d been through, eight years of trying to get back the Cache of Molta, she was going to concede to this…this walking reject from a Pirates of Pantsdance production?

Come on, Kathleen, she tried to convince herself, there’ll be another time, another place. You did it before… you’ll do it again. Scrunching up her eyes tightly and trying to keep her breakfast down, she reluctantly handed over the box that the pirate leader greedily snatched from her hands.

“Thank you, Doctor Dodd,” he said with pure satisfaction, holding the box, “Again; there is nothing you cannot possess which I cannot take away. And you thought I had given up.”

“Didn’t I heard that in a movie before?” pondered the pilot dumbly, scratching his head.

“Enough of this…idol chit-chatting! Now I am wondering…what to do with these annoying peoples?” said Karnage wickedly. The three captives looked uneasily at each other before he continued: “You know, archaeologist-type lady…the way I be seeing it, the cappy-tan always go down with his ship. And since you sank this one yourself so long ago…”

Katie’s eyes opened wide in shock and her heart dropped at these words.

“What?!” said Rebecca in surprise, interrupting the pirate leader. “What is he talking about?”

“Nothing!!!” snapped the redheaded vixen.

“Oh-ho…hasn’t told you the real story of the September Weed, hmmm?” grinned the pirate. “Well, you shall have plenty of time to be discussing this most compelling topical subject…in the ship’s cargo vault!!”

 

 

   

“You!” Kit exclaimed.

From out of the Sea Duck’s cockpit emerged the figure that has spoken to the navigator and Myra who were hiding from the Air Pirates’ siege in the Prowler’s air hanger.  The mystery guest was about the same height as Kit, only with a willowy build and carrying a satchel slung over one shoulder, which he recognized as the person came closer towards them into the dim light.

Melita!! W-what are you doing here?!”

“I’m here to help you…and the Cache of Molta.”

“Kit…who is this young lady?” queried Myra , feeling left out of the equation they faced inside the seaplane.

“Oh! Sorry, uh…Melita, this is Doctor Myra Foxworthy, one of the archaeologists. Myra , meet Melita, my, um…friend.”

The navigator really found it awkward and flabbergasted to describe his relationship with the lovely Moltese at this point. She kissed me on the cheek and we like each other, he thought, but what does that makes us? I just met her two days ago, for goodness sake!

“Now we know each other,” said Myra . “So, what are you doing here and why is the Cache a concern of yours?”

 “It’s quite simple,” Melita said matter-of-factly. “The Cache of Molta belongs to us.”

Myra and Kit exchanged glances.

“And just who is us?” the navigator demanded, folding his arms across his chest.

The she-canine just walked up to the two and casually fished out the enameled Moltese Cross from her watch pocket of her khaki shorts, the one Kit had seen the other day on their date in Velveeta.  Unhooking the attaching clasp, she presented it to them.

“Your crucifix,” said the young bear cynically, wondering what this gesture meant. “So?”

But Myra gasped upon examining the cross closer.

“But, Kit…this is more than just a crucifix!” she exclaimed with great interest, handling it over. “Check out the ancient Latin on the other side!”

He looked at the inscription and seemed confused. “Huh? I can’t make this out.”

Myra saw the crucifix again and looked obsequious. “Heh-heh…Sorry – read it upside down.”

As Kit turned it right-side up, the engraved lettering on the medal side was evidently clear for him to see. Inscribed were the tiny words: Tuum beneficium noster Domini caelo et Insulam Moltae decernerit tuum gerulum tua sacra cruces membrum Ordinis Custodium.

“What…does it say?”

‘In thy service of our Lord in Heaven and on thee Isle of Molta, decreed thy wearer of thy sacred Cross, a member of the Order of the Guardians,’ Myra translated aloud.

“Well…actually, I’m more of a Dame of Honour, a trainee if you will,” the Moltese corrected. “I’m not a full-fledged Guardian just yet.”

The Order of the Guardians?

“Okay, you…talk,” said Kit, with his eyes narrowing at Melita’s betrayal. Taking a deep breath, she began her story.

“Since the Neapolitian invasion, which lead to the loss of our Cache, the Guardians had fallen from grace and been banished from the island. After our Britannican allies came to liberate Molta from the Gaullists, we returned but were disbarred from ever ruling ever again. For decades, we sought for the missing Cache to redeem ourselves with the locals, only we no longer wish to reign over them. Over time, we soon fell more into a symbolic role as medical caregivers who we have been since the Crusades and, more or less, our particular group became a secret society.”

“When we heard that the Cache had been discovered, we had planned to contest the ownership eight years ago, but we lacked the finance to launch a lawsuit to challenge Doctor Dodd’s university. With the sinking of the September Weed, we had truly lost hope, until she revitalized through…certain circles we’ve heard, interests of recovering the ship and the Cache. We have entertained of reviving the claims suit, however we decided at the time to maintain somewhat of a…observer position.”

“A…‘observer position’?” Kit repeated suspiciously.

“In other words, just watch what you’re doing before we made any plans.”

“In other words, just spying on us.”

“In other words… yes.”

The navigator’s eyebrows furrowed deeper. If he’d learned anything from watching Baloo’s luck with women --- plus that other girl he met and almost fell for in Pango-Pango a couple of years back that almost got them all killed yet saved them in the end --- is to never fall for a pretty face.

“Spying for yourselves…or with Karnage?”

“Kit!” exclaimed Myra .

She was outraged. “What?!  Are you insinuating that we’re in league with Don Karnage?!!”

“Oh, please! I did some reading about the Guardians while we were en route to here, you know. It seems during the Order’s heyday, your ancestors did some pillaging and looting in and around the Sub-Mediterranean…just like pirates!”

“Uh, Kit…” stated Myra uneasily, sensing an impending storm brewing in the she-canine’s face, which was making her pretty features uglier by the moment.

“So what were you all along when you met me – the ‘bait’?”

Melita gnashed her teeth as well as clenched her left hand into a rock-solid fist and without warning, delivered a hard upper blow to the navigator’s jaw that lifted him off his feet and sent him flying onto the deck hard that totally took him by surprise and made the Aridian gasp in shock at the violent incident before her.

“You…filth!!” she venomously hissed at Kit, marching right over and standing over him as he rubbed his sore jaw in pain and disbelief on the floor. “How dare you make such an accusation about the Order and myself! If you had read your history books properly, you dolt, you’d have learned that we hadn’t engaged in any type of piracy since the Middle Ages! And if we were in league with Karnage, do you think I’d be hiding in this plane with the cowardly likes of you?! We don’t want the treasure to fall into that lowlife’s hands either! It belongs to the people of Molta! The Order of the Guardians happens to have a personal vested interest in this venture succeeding!”

“And how’s that?” Kit asked, groggily rising from the deck. Man, can that girl throw a punch!

“For starters, we were the ones who rescued Doctor Dodd from the waters when the ship blew up and nursed her back to health in our own hospital,” retorted the Moltese. “Good enough for you?”\

Both navigator and archaeologist were stunned by the answer.

“Believe me…we are here to help protect you and the Cache.”

Kit just closed his eyes. Deep in his heart, he wanted to believe her. But a lifetime of putting up a barrier against people, even against the ones he loved dearly, leaned him towards a sense of mistrust for everyone. And considering the circumstances of the present time, who was he going to trust now?

“Alright,” he sighed reluctantly.  “We’ll…take your word. But, I will keep my eye on you.”

“I most certainly hope so,” she answered slyly.

Waitaminute…“I hope so”? What does that mean?...

Relieved that an impasse of sorts had been resolved between the two youngsters, Myra stepped towards them. “Now that’s been agreed upon, what are we going to do about the Air Pirates?”

“Ohmigosh, that’s right!” gasped Kit, remembering the situation. “We’ve got to do something!”

“Couldn’t we just fly out of here and get help?” suggested the archaeologist.

“Uh-uh!” declared the she-canine. “Not with a horde of pirates on board and that airship flying about! We wouldn’t make it beyond half-a-mile!”

“Not if we create a diversion,” Kit said thoughtfully.

“A diversion?”

“The way I see it, Karnage probably has the ship’s defences locked down, which could explain why the Prowler’s batteries hadn’t gone off. If we can activate just one of the guns, I could be able to aim at the Iron Vulture and give it some sustainable damage.” 

Melita was astonished. “Y-y-you can do that? How??”

The navigator gave her a knowing smirk. “I wasn’t always a navigator my whole life.”

“Okay,” said the vixen, “once we knocked out the airship, then what?”

“Then, while the pirates are in a state of confusion, I can slip back here and fly the Sea Duck,” Kit continued. “We wouldn’t be able to worry about the Iron Vulture hunting us down, nor have that many pirates after us. But…where do go from here?”

“Flying back to Molta’s out,” Myra sighed. “We’re well out of radio range to the main island with the Sea Duck’s capabilities plus it’s nearly a two-and-a-half hour flight to and back here. It’s time we don’t have.”

 “Maybe my brother can help,” Melita suggested.

 Kit and Myra looked at her again in surprise.

“He’s probably has a small contingency waiting on two small fishing boats for me, should any emergency arise within ten to fifteen minutes from here.”

“Your…brother?” quizzed Kit.

“Jordan Ducina, the current Grand Leader of Order of the Guardians,” Melita said proudly.

 When silent stares prompted a further explanation, she added: “Oh, come on…do you think I became part of the Order on my merit and skill? Machismo exists in this part of the world too, you know,” she finished with her hands on her hips and a sagacious grin.

 “Not to mention nepotism,” commented Kit. “So, I’ll head to one of the batteries –”

We’ll head to one of the batteries,” Melita interrupted adamantly.

“We?”

“Yes. You might need help. And I’m not letting you out of my sight again.”

Kit was now confused by this girl and her intentions. And what did she mean by that, “again”?

 “Fine,” he said. “ Myra , it’ll be best that you stay here on the Sea Duck. If we’re not back in fifteen minutes after we fire the first shots at the Vulture…try to get off the ship and make it back to Molta.”

“Okay then,” gulped Myra . All the sudden, she embraced the two children. “Good luck, you two…and be extremely careful.”

“Thanks, Myra ,” said Kit. “Come on, Melita. Let’s move.”

Breaking away from the petite archaeologist, the duo proceeded to fulfill their potentially dangerous task at hand.

 

“The ship’s cargo vault?!!” said Rebecca, as she along with Baloo and Katie were marched down below the September Weed by the pirates. “W-what are you going to do with us?”

“You’ll see, my dear annoying business-type lady!” said Karnage, prodding his captives with his sword forward.

Ow! Hey! Watch where yer pointin’ that kabob stick of yours, Karny!” protested Baloo.

“That being reminding me…where is that kid of yours?”

The mention of Kit made Baloo teem with paternal anxiety and protective rage at the same time. Figuring that the pirate leader knew he also would be onboard on this assignment, the grey bear said: “Yer guess is as good as mine.”

Keepin’ himself well hidden, if he’s smart!

“Don’t you dare harm one strand of fur on that boy, you fiend!” Rebecca growled through her teeth.

“Awww…is ‘Mama Bear’ worried about her little baby child navigator, is she?” taunted the wolf.

The businesswoman was about to retort, but Baloo gave her quick glance that meant for her to keep her mouth closed and not make things any worse as they were now. Reluctantly, the she-bear held her tongue.

“So,” commented Karnage. “Finally got her on a tight leash like all women with big mouths should be?”

Now this remark Rebecca could not let go. Forgetting she was a captive, she spun around to tell him off, pointing a finger at him. “Why, you chauvinistic – mmph!!

Luckily, Baloo had quickly clamped her mouth shut with his hand. Personally he would have loved to hear his boss chew out Karnage and spit him onto the floor, but this definitely wasn’t the time or place for it now.

“Good for you, Baloo,” he said. “But how I pity you will have to deal with her right to the end.”

 “What are you talking about?” Katie demanded as they approached the now-empty ship vault.

“It is all very simple, Miss Archaeologist,” Karnage said, pointing his cutlass toward the vault and spat out his next chilling words: “Into your new home you go!!!”

“Our new…” she began before a cold sense of fear ran up her spine. “Y-you…you don’t mean…”

“B-b-b-but, Karny…” stammered the pilot as they walked inside. “That’s murder!!”

“Score a point on top of the big fat bear’s head!” bellowed the lupine as his fellow comrades laughed along with him. “For too long a timeline you have been the thorn in my ointment, the fly in my side…”

Rebecca clamped her ears with her hands, grimacing. “Must you go on with such dumb wordage??!”

“That is Karnage! Don Karnage!” he corrected her angrily. “You’ve been hanging around this estupid pilot of yours for too long!!”

 “You won’t away with this!” shouted Katie.

“My dear Doctor Doddy-doops, I am getting away with this,” snorted Karnage contemptuously. “I now have the Cache of Molta; the S.S. Sea Wolf, formerly the S.S. Prowler and the Sea Duck –! ”

“WHAT?!” yelled the grey bear angrily. “My baby?!

The corsair pretended to think that over. “Hmm, perhaps you are right…maybe I shouldn’t take your plane as a prize. Maybe I’ll use it for…spare parts and targeting practice!”

Now the rage within Baloo came to a full boil as he balled up his fists into lethal weapons and stomped towards the Air Pirates, not caring that he was unarmed and outnumbered. “Why, I oughta –”

“Baloo!!” shouted Rebecca. But suddenly a pistol held by Dumptruck in his face stopped him cold in his tracks, but managed to continue his defiance against the aerial thieves.

“Do ya feel lucky…punk?” the brawny Great Dane prompted him with a wicked grin and continued in a raspy voice that even Karnage himself never knew he could concoct up through his thick Scandinavian accent: “Go aheadmakemy...day.”

“Look,” whispered the vixen to the she-bear, “we can take them. Baloo’s got them distracted! Let’s go clean their cuckoo clocks!”

Tempted as she was to use their martial skills against the pirates, until her pilot decided to back down knowing the odds were stacked against him, made her change her mind.

No, Katie!” Rebecca warned. “Not now!”

Baloo muttered bitterly as he stepped back with the ladies: “You win this round, Karny.”

“Of course I win!” he said gleefully, as he and his party backed out of the vault slowly, readying themselves at the door and preparing to seal the three occupants inside. “I always win! How oddity that it should end this way for us after so many stimulating encounterings, Baloo. I almost regret it. Where shall I find a new adversary so close to my own level?”

“Try the local sewer,” said the pilot with unhidden caliginosity as they entered the vault.

 “And to make doubly sure that you don’t do something clever like grow a brain and escape, my three most least-favourite personages, I will personally be releasing this rusty bucket back to its watery gravesite!”

Gasps of horror rose from their throats.

“You…you…you monster!!!” yelled Katie. “I’ll get you for this!”

The pirate leader raised a highly pretentious eyebrow at the comely vixen. “Oh, really now? That would be a neat-o trick, foolish-type ditch digger…enjoy your burial at sea!”

The archaeologist felt a little choked on those words that had previously echoed in her nightmare while en route to Molta on the Sea Duck, now coming back to haunt her for real. It felt calamitous as well as frightening.

“Baloo…you were a worthy, not-so worthy foe…adieu,” Karnage said almost softly on the last word, giving somewhat of a respectful if not mocking salute with his two forefingers to his long-time rival as he stepped out. With a crank and a heave, the Air Pirates quickly pushed the vault door onto their bewildered victims. Just as it slammed shut and encased them in darkness, they heard Katie cry out:

“Noooooooooooooooooooo!!!”

                                                                            

                                    End of Part Sixteen

 

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