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 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.

 

      PART TEN

 

    Kit walked down the corridor on the S.S. Prowler, noticing that there was a lot of activity on board as he made his way to the VIP quarters of his stateroom. Walking into the room, he found Baloo snoring away on his bed.

   Typical, grinned the youngster.

   Closing the door, he had awoken the pilot with a start.

   “Huh? What? Aww…Kit, it’s you…” said Baloo yawning and stretching. “Ya had a good time with Margarita?”  

   “It’s Melita,” corrected Kit. “And yes, I certainly did.”

   Smiling, he put away his cap and sat down on his bed, asking: “Anything happen while I was out?”

   “Yeah…we got the beacon on that buoy workin’ proper an’ we’ll be headin’ out ta sea by nine tonight,” Baloo explained. “Thought I’d catch forty winks before I grab somethin’ to eat.”

   “So that’s what the commotion’s all about,” said the navigator. He paused for a moment. “Wait…‘grab something to eat?’ You skipped dinner? That’s a first.”

   “Me an’ Becky had a big lunch with Katie an’ Myra in town while you were gone…funny, though – ol’ Beckers just seem to do more glarin’ at Katie than eatin’. Anyway, we then we headed on back here to discuss on what we’re gonna fly back with us to the Cape , an’ then I had to fly the Sea Duck on board the ship inta their holdin’ bay. Got worn out after that.”

    “You can fly and land the Sea Duck on this ship?” exclaimed Kit, hardly believing his ears.

    “You betcha, L’il Britches! This ship is amazin’! Not only can ya land a small plane on this baby, it’s also got room service! Speakin’ of which…I’m gonna call ‘em right now.”

    “Wow! This is almost like a cruise ship, Papa Bear.”

    “Yep! All courtesy of ol’ Khanny himself.” Baloo dialed the galley number, waiting for a reply. “Ya want somethin’, kid?”

     “Naw…except a glass of milk would be nice.”

     “Ya ain’t hungry?”

     “I had something in town when I was with Melita.”

      The dial tone rang three times before answering.

      “Galley here.”

      “Hiya…Baloo here in V.I.P. Room 4. I’d like a plate of spaghetti an’ meatballs, a pepper steak, baked macaroni an’ cheese, fried chicken, mashed ‘taters an’ apple cobbler…oh, an’ a glass of milk, please.”

     “I can deliver all that,” replied the galley voice over the phone. “But we’re out of the macaroni and cheese and apple cobbler, I’m afraid.”

     What? But…I heard ya had some leftovers from last night,” said the somewhat dismayed pilot.

   “We did, sir. And it mysteriously disappeared over an hour ago. For some strange reason, we have a nibbler on board the ship, stealing food from the galley recently.”

   “I see,” the gray bear sighed despondently. “Send everythin’ else up then. Thanks.”

    Hanging up the telephone, Baloo sauntered back to the edge of his bed and sat down.  “Man…a food thief on board?”

    “Gee…I wonder who that could be?” Kit snickered.

    “Hey, hey, don’t look at me,” went the pilot’s alibi. “I was sound asleep last night.”

    “Coming from the man who invented the midnight snack, I find that hard to believe.”

    “I didn’t invent the midnight snack,” said Baloo, and then grinned. “I just perfected it.” 

    After room service came and went, Kit told Baloo about his day in Velveeta and Melita.

    “Sound like this Melita is some gal ya got there, Li’l Britches,” said the pilot, using a toothpick after finishing his plates.

    “She sure is, Papa Bear,” answered Kit, lying on his bed. “But…”

    “But, what?”

    “I don’t know, Baloo. She seemed a little bit mysterious. She told me little about her family and even less about herself. She seemed a bit more interested in what I’m doing here in Molta than anything else.”

     “Geez, Kit, I hope ya didn’t tell ‘er about our –”

     “Oh no!” interjected Kit. “I wouldn’t! You know me. My lips were sealed the whole time…you know that.”  

      Baloo looked at the young navigator. He always figured Kit was an enigma onto himself since he became his partner, ward, protégé, all rolled into one. He figured, if given enough time and love, the kid would open up to him completely. 

      Feeling that he didn’t believe Kit on keeping hush-hush, he said: “Yeah, yeah…I know. But ya gotta see that girls at that age…they’re kinda like that.”

     Tell me about it. But you know, there’s something about Melita that makes her…well, not like other girls.” 

     “An’ that’s the kind that turns yer crank, Ace?” Baloo grinned.

     “Yeah,” replied Kit with real feeling.  

 

 In a Velveeta alleyway
For
ty-five minutes earlier…


     
“Melita! Melita! It’s only me!!!”

      The Moltese turned to face the voice, her eyes widening upon the face of her abductor. It was a tall raccoon with medium built and pleasant features, wearing a white shirt, black sailor pants and a similar Moltese Cross around his neck.

       Recognizing him, Melita’s expression turned into an exacerbated scowl and managed to elbow the raccoon deep in the gut, causing him to let go of her, collapsing to the ground coughing.

    “Amante, you clod!!” she hissed angrily. “You scared the living daylights out of me, snatching me off the street like that!!”

    “Sorry,” he apologized, still coughing. “But you didn’t have to ram me in the stomach.”

    “Believe me…I was aiming for much lower than that,” she muttered darkly.

    “Enjoyed the day with your boyfriend?” Amante continued, staggering back onto his feet with a knowing grin.

    “He’s not my boyfriend,” the she-canine growled. “I was doing was I was instruct – wait a minute…why were you spying on us? Weren’t you supposed to be observing the archaeologists and that pilot of theirs?” 

    “It didn’t take that much time. Just a luncheon at a bistro and a brief stroll back to the ship. Anyway, I was under orders from the Grand Leader to tail you. You know how…concerned he is about you being alone with some strange boy.”

    “He wasn’t all that strange. He’s just a silly-dilly –to which, I might add, was a gentleman – with planes on the brains. Kind of unsettling for my stomach, really. And I don’t need a chaperone, Amante. I can take care of myself, if he tries anything.”

    “So I noticed,” the raccoon winced, massaging his still-sore abdomen. “Not to mention that little kiss you gave him. I’d swear you enjoyed that.”

    “I…I was…just being friendly,” Melita blushed a little. “It meant nothing.”

     “Well, don’t get too friendly,” warned her cohort. “They’re just foreigners out to steal the Cache of Molta.”

     “That’s…not the impression I get from them. What if the Grand Leader is wrong about them, Amante?”

     “I think the Grand Leader is wrong in trusting a mere female for this assignment.”

       The Moltese just narrowed her eyes at him. I’d call you a pig…but that would be an insult to pigs everywhere. 

      “Come,” said Amante, marching down the alleyway. “We have to report this to the Grand Leader before Plan ‘C’ is placed in motion. Just keep your mind on your duty to the Order, Melita – that party, especially that Cloudkicker boy, are not to be trusted.”

      “Right behind you,” grumbled the girl, following the raccoon. But she briefly looked back in the direction of the Prowler and thought; Too bad…he was kind of cute. 

 

 

       About fifteen minutes to nine, the S.S. Prowler’s crew hurriedly began to set sail. But in the crew’s quarters below, a disguised Mad Dog cautiously approached a storage room door, looked around nervously and knocked three times on the door, then once.

      The door opened a crack, with a voice saying: “Was-key wee-wees...”

     “Was-key-wah-wah,” replied Mad Dog.

     “Hoitee-kon-toy-tee...”

     “…An’ pirates eat them raw.”

    “Advance and be recognized, Mad Dog,” said Don Karnage, opening the door for his comrade-in-arms. As the scrawny canine pirate entered the storage room, he noticed all his associates were waiting.

    “Now that we are all chartered a-counted for,” began Karnage, “this ship will soon be heading for the open sea and will lead us to the Cache of Molta. And when they bring it up – heh-heh – that is when we will make our move, men!”

     “But, Captain,” questioned Dumptruck. “Why are vee leddin’ dem get it first?”

     Because, you ninny-winny-doop-doop, it is better to let them do all the hard working to dredge it from the sea!!” snapped the wolf. “Do you expect us to be doing it ourselves?!”

     “Kinda?” answered the Swedish pirate with a shrug.

     Karnage just slapped his forehead in disbelief, sighing heavily.

     “Are ya getting one of your headaches again, Cap’n?” queried Mad Dog.

     “Just keep your silly little selves low-profiled until we reach the September Weed, yes-no?!”

      “Aye-aye, Cap’n” responded his minions.

      “Very well. Now, to your stations before they discover your foolishnesses are gone.”

      As they dispersed to their respective departments, the Air Pirate leader straightened out his Khan sailor uniform and thought to himself: Why of someone of my brilliantness must be leading such incompetent reprobates? 

 

 

     The Prowler’s anchor slowly broke the surface as it rose up to meet the ship. A black-clad figure waited in the shadows for the right moment to move. Calculating when the anchor would reach the level, the opportunity arrived.

     Leaping into mid-air, the slim-built person landed atop of the moving anchor, only to lose footing on the wet surface and slip. Quickly grabbing the edge, the figure hung onto the anchor as it reached the top of the ship. A sudden vertigo overtook the figure’s senses and mentally fought to keep focused.

     Count backwards from thirty in Molti, just like he told you, gulped the figure while breathing deeply and ignoring the overcoming waves of nausea. Tletin...ghoxrin-disghin…ghoxrin-tmeinja…

     From a small, unpretentious fishing boat across Dockyards Quay, Amante discreetly watched from his binoculars as the figure dangled from the anchor. He looked worried and turned to his companion, who stood by his side.

     “Do you think it was a wise idea, allowing…this agent to go onboard, Jordan?” he asked.

     The tall, trim and incredibly handsome Moltese canine, wearing a goatee and drooping moustache, looked seriously at the raccoon.

     “I trust that the agent’ in question, will succeed as part of the mission,” Jordan answered.

     “With all do respect, I do not. This could compromise the whole thing…”

     The agent will complete the task at hand, Amante. Personal feelings will be put aside, as I instructed.”

     “As you instructed?…This will complicate things! Do think you can make them turn off their feelings like you’d turn off a light?”

   The Moltese gave the raccoon a hard stare that would have frozen Medusa herself. 

   “We must place faith in all our operatives, Amante, including you. If you question one operative to do the job…then you’re questioning the judgments of the Grand Leader. Are you?” said Jordan slowly so that every word sank deep into the sentence.

    Amante blinked nervously, but said: “No. I would never question the Grand Leader’s judgment.”

    But it doesn’t mean I have to like it!…

    “Good. Let’s see how we’re doing.”

   I hope the vertigo is under control, Jordan worried.

    Turning back to the Prowler, they saw through their binoculars that the figure carefully clambered up the anchor chain and over the ship’s railing. With a few signal flashes from a flashlight, the operative then scampered into the darkness of the destroyer.

    “We’re in,” said Jordan . “The agent will keep an eye on things aboard that ship.”

    “We’ll see,” responded Amante, although he didn’t share his comrade-in-arms’ confidence.

     “Let’s get back to the others. They should be waiting for us at the mouth of the harbour.”

      The raccoon went over to the onboard motor to operate it and the fishing boat chugged away from the scene, which was followed by two other fishing boats taking cue from the leading watercraft.

      At nine o’clock exactly, the S.S. Prowler, under the command of Captain Hotspur, went into full sail from Dockyards Quay, out of the Main Harbour and into the open sea with all hands – invited and uninvited – on board.

 

    About a quarter-past nine, Katie and Myra were returning back to their shared stateroom. They had spent a good three hours preparing one of the Prowler’s large storage areas to place the major artefacts after they’d been recovered from the wreckage of the September Weed.

   The vixens were passing by the ship’s gym room, when the open door they saw somebody moving in repeated rhythm. Both eager to satisfy their natural curiosities, as scientists often like to do, they entered the gym room.

   They found Rebecca standing by herself in the middle of a floor mat, wearing an orange-yellow tai chi outfit, slowly repeating fluid movements, eyes half-closed and concentrated breathing. 

   She sunk on her left leg, slid on her right foot out in line with the left heel, sunk further down, bringing the right hand along with the rising right leg. Then turning right, she rose up to stand on one leg, keeping her centre of gravity steady, raising one knee up to her left elbow, then repeated the step again.

   Seeing the rhythmic she-bear in motion stirred up a memory of Katie’s that wasn’t too far gone…

 

 

Eighteen months ago
Pingpong Province , Middle Kingdom of Xanadu  

   A winter breeze chilled the old lion’s bones as he swept the stairs with his bamboo broom outside his monastery, snowflakes lightly falling in the rising mountains that surrounded his semi-isolated home.

    Although the Wonton Temple has only a handful of devotees, including him, he felt alone. His children had grown up and gone away. As for his brother…

   No… he didn’t want to think about him….

   Another gust of wind blew through his long silvery beard. Looking up at the slate grey snowing sky, he shivered slightly.

   A nice cup of tea will be nice after this, he thought pleasantly.

   Unexpectedly, a sixth sense tingled in his cerebellum and quickly turned his head around. An approaching figure appeared in the distance on the roadway that led to from the village below. Advanced as his age was, the lion’s eyes could still make out a little on the incoming figure.

   In a little while, he saw just what he had predicted: a parka-clad figure riding atop a rugged horse, carrying two packs on both sides. Both the rider and steed were covered with a heavy blanket of snow.

   The lion waited until the traveller came up to the Temple . The rider pulled back on the horse’s reins, making it whinny and came to a halt. Dismounting from the horse, neither the visitor nor the lion spoke to each other.

   The fur-lined parka, ridged with ice and snow along the rims, covered the visitor’s face. The mystery guest then went to one side of the horse, untied a bundle of chopped wood, placed it before the temple sweeper, removed the wool scarf from the neck, dropped to one knee and bowed, presenting the scarf to him in deep respect.

   “What brings you here on a day like this?” the aged lion finally spoke in his dialect to the visitor.

   “Just a former disciple visiting an old instructor, Master,” answered the visitor in the same dialect, still kneeling before him.

   The lion recognized the voice and blinked in surprise.

  “Doodlebug?...” 

   Roughly brushing off the ice that hardened in the fur trim of the parka hood, the visitor pulled it off, flashing a wave of flowing red hair, a pair of steel blue eyes that faced the hard stare of the lion’s features, which then softened.

   Katie! Katie “Doodlebug” Dodd!” the lion said in English, following a hearty laugh. “Nice of you to remember your old teacher.”

   “Nice of you to still be alive and well, Master Yuen,” smiled the vixen archaeologist. 

 

  

 

     After unpacking and changing into a red angora sweater and black sweatpants, Katie shared the evening meal alone with Master Yuen in his quarters. Pouring the after-dinner tea she had made, the vixen sat cross-legged across from him behind a low wooden table with the fireplace crackling behind them with the wood she had provided.

      “It has been fifteen years since you left these mountains with your parents, Doodlebug,” said the aged lion. “How are they keeping…still digging for ancient cities like you?”

     “Well, you know Mom and Dad, Master,” said Katie, pouring herself a cup of tea. “Currently working in the Yucca Desert on this lost civilization ruins they found three years ago. They finished translating the sacred scrolls of this temple by the time I got my doctorate. I just visited them to celebrate their thirty-fifth wedding anniversary two months ago. They’re both in good health and send their warmest regards.”

   “Excellent to hear that old friends are doing well,” Master Yuen commented, sipping his drink. “Now…what brings you to the Wonton Temple , disciple?”

   Katie had finished her tea just then, placed her cup down on the table and prostrated herself before him.

   “Master Yuen…I come before you, humbled,” she said. “I am in need of retraining of all that you had taught me during my time here, for I am about to undertake a difficult task that will require the knowledge that I had…lost.”

   “I trained you for four years, disciple,” he sounded sternly. “How could you have…‘lost’ your knowledge?”
   “I…was in accident,” the archaeologist said sheepishly. “I was on board a ship and there was an explosion that knocked out the finer points of your training, Master. I know I should have come back to you since, but I got busy with my doctorate, then I was in Ghaphia and…”
 

   Her voice trailed off. All she could do was to stay prostrate and listen to her former instructor quietly breathing and sipping his tea in silence. This went on for about five minutes, but for Katie it seemed to last for five hours.

   For goodness sake, she thought impatiently. Say something!...

   Master Yuen placed his cup down just then, looked at Katie through and through, cleared his throat and calmly said:

   “No.”

   No?! What do you – !” Katie started, then held her tongue.

   “Uh…no, Master? May I ask why?”

   “I am a devotee to the martial arts. The Temple of Wonton is a house of dedication – not some, as you would say, ‘night school’ crash course on brushing up on your own failures, Doodlebug.” 

   “But, Master,” she pleaded, “I’ve placed myself on a six-month sabbatical from my university. I’ve come so far to see you. You can’t turn me down!”

   “I can and I will,” growled the lion. “When I undertook you when you were fourteen, you had fire in your eyes and heart, not just out of favour for your father. I look at you now and see that there is nothing to teach you. I refuse to retrain such an un-spirited and undisciplined charge.”

   “Master, I –”

   “Silence, Doodlebug!” bellowed Master Yuen. “Leave me to meditate!”

   The vixen dropped her head in shame.

   “Yes, Master,” she said, barely a whisper and bowed weakly.

    Katie stood up and started to walk out of Master Yuen’s room. As she reached for the doorway, she pulled out from the pocket of her sweatpants, a Switzer Army pocketknife and unsheathed the knife section. Rage burned within her.

   With an ear-splitting roar, she spun around and hurled the knife with all her might at the aged lion, whose eyes were closed in meditation. Whizzing through the air at near-lightning speed, Master Yuen seemed not to notice – until the very last second with ultra-quick reflexes, caught the projectile just half a centimetre from his face.

     He opened his eyes.

   “So…the bee has not lost her sting,” said the old lion, still holding the knife.

   Katie just looked at her teacher, with hardened determination but secretly her heart thumped, partly glad the knife didn’t kill him. 

   “If I re-train you in the timeframe that you seek, Doodlebug…you will abide by all my teachings?”
   “Yes, Master.”

   “Even if your back breaks, your bones crack and your feet bleed?”

   “Yes, Master.”

   “And what will happen if you do not follow properly?”

   “You’ll beat me into a bloody pulp.” 

   Master Yuen looked coldly at the former student for a moment, and then broke into a grin.

   “Very well, Doodlebug…it will be my honour to teach you again.”

    Katie bowed low. “The honour is mine, Master.”

   “Then your training begins in earnest tomorrow at dawn,” said the aged lion, relaxing his stance and walking over to Katie. “Come, disciple…I shall escort you to your quarters.”

   “Thank you, Master…umm, could I have my pocket knife back, please?”

   The martial arts master looked at the knife, folded the blade section and placed it in his pocket. “No. I’ll just hang onto it until you are ready.” 

   The archaeologist just raised an eyebrow and grinned.

   “Very well, Master,” she said as they walked down the long corridor.

   “By the way, Doodlebug, that was quite a good throw back there…you almost got me between the eyes.”

   “Not really,” she confessed. “I was aiming for the centre of your forehead.” 

 

 

    In the days and weeks that followed, Katie felt she was a younger novice again under Master Yuen’s tutelage. Up before dawn, daily gathering water down by the mountain creek five kilometres from the temple in the snow in her bare feet, gathering firewood and back up to the temple; sweeping the stairs and making his tea – all before the first rays of sunlight.

   And the Master retrained her well – and hard. At times, the vixen had become overconfident in her lessons to which the grizzled lion made quite sure she learned a little humility.  

   Her hand and eye coordination, block and defence techniques all seemed to come back to her, giving her the feeling she had lost long ago return with a sense of pride. But like all things, time went by quickly and before she knew it, her six-month training period was over and the coldness of winter blossomed into spring.

   Saddling up her horse to return back to civilization, Katie got a bit sentimental in leaving after living and learning at Wonton with the Master. She’d forgotten how beautiful and serene it was up here in Xanadu. But she had a promise she had made herself to keep years ago in the Sub-Mediterranean and she was determined to keep it.

   Master Yuen has seen her off outside the temple. “So…going back to your so-called civilization, Doodlebug?”

   “You never tire of calling me that, do you, Master?” she smiled.

   “Forgive me, Doctor Dodd…it was what your father called you when you were here many years ago. Does he still call you that, Katie?”

   “Not since I was twenty-five, Master.”

     Pity, though… she thought. I kind of miss it now, coming from him. I should call the folks when I get to the nearest phone.

   “Farewell, Doctor Kathleen Dodd. Mind what you have learned. Save you, it can. May your forthcoming quest be free any peril that may come your way.”

   “Yeah, right,” she said sarcastically, as she settled herself into the saddle. “Like that will never cease. Peril is my middle name, you know.”

   “Really? I thought it was Shavaun.”

   I’m going to get Mom for naming me that, the vixen grinned wickedly, shaking her head. 

   “Take care, Master,” Katie said, jockeying her horse that began to pace down the road. “I promise to visit you again soon.”

     She’d just gone down a few metres, when suddenly her ear pricked up a high-pitched whistling sound. Whipping around, she saw a small object moving at her with blurring speed. With quick reflexes, the archaeologist caught it in time and looked at the object in her hand.

   It was her Switzer Army pocketknife.

  “You forgot your knife, Doodlebug,” called out Master Yuen humourously.

    She smirked, pocketed the knife in her jacket pocket and waved goodbye to her instructor, as she trotted off into the sunshine of the day… 

 

 

     Smiling at the memory, she now saw the businesswoman do her postures, the way her eyes held a certain concentration, her breathing method. It was all too familiar – and yet…

     She had to find out.

     “‘Snake Creeps Down, Golden Rooster Stands on One Leg?’” inquired Katie.

     Rebecca jumped and let out a little yelp. Recognizing the two, she grabbed her chest, panting a bit labouredly.

     “Jeez Louise!” she exclaimed.

     “Sorry! Didn’t mean to startle you. We just…saw you standing here by yourself. But, that was the move you were doing, right?”

     Getting back to normal, Rebecca answered: “Uh, yeah…I was. I couldn’t sleep, so I thought I’d do a little tai chi to help me relax.”

     “Really?” Katie said doubtfully. “I didn’t think you even knew how to relax.”

     For some reason, Rebecca found this remark quite offensive.

     “And what’s that supposed to mean?” she demanded, which was quite uncharacteristic for her when it came to clients.

     Katie just looked at the petite bear for a moment, studying her expression.

    Okay, sister…you asked for it, she thought, feeling a tension swelling from within.

    “I mean, you get so terse whenever you see me with Baloo. And you’ve been acting awfully competitive for his attention lately.”

    “I have not!” blurted out the businesswoman. “Where do you get off saying that to me?”

     “Oh, please…what was with that decked-out to the nines act and cutting in at the restaurant the other night?” the archaeologist continued, crossing her arms over her chest. “The way you coiled your arm around his arm, you act as if you own the guy lock, stock and barrel.”

    “Well, he is my…pilot! Besides, he has this tendency of letting that small brain of his switch off whenever some pretty face crosses his wake and ends up doing something reckless!”

    “You think that’s the first time that’s ever happened that I hadn’t noticed? I’ve known him long before you! And why are you giving me static for? Is it just your plane he pilots – or is it something else?”

    “Now, ladies…please…” said Myra meekly, trying to be the peacemaker.

    Ooooh, you think you know everything, don’t you?! Of all the ridiculous notions, that’s the biggest one of them all!” yelled Rebecca, going face to face – to the best of her ability – with the tall vixen, “How dare you make such a suggestion that I could ever…if you weren’t a client, I’d… I’d…”

     “You’d what? Hog-tai chi me and hang me by a yardarm?” Katie mocked.

     “I’ll have you know I’m a practitioner of the martial arts, Doctor Know-It-All!”

     “One as I, does not practice it…I live it.”

     Boy, do I want to smack that smugness off her face, the she-bear thought, her eyes narrowing.

    “Look,” said Myra , trying to break up the fiery eyeball-glaring confrontation between the two women that was getting pretty ugly. “Can’t we discuss this rationally?”

    “No way, Myra …. I think we need to get this out of our systems – if Little Miss Pipsqueak here is up for it.”

     Pipsqueak?!!

    “I accept!

    “Fine! Let me change into my outfit…it’ll take me just a few minutes,” the vixen announced as she turned on her heels and walked out the gym door with Myra trailing behind her.

     “I’ll be waiting!!!” called out her opponent.

 

 

 

      Awaken by the knocking on his door, Baloo dazedly stumbled out of bed, yawning and scratching his backside as he made his way to the door. He opened it to find Myra standing there with a worried look on her face.

      Myra …whazzup?” said the pilot groggily.

     “Oh, Baloo! You have to come down to the gym room,” she pleaded.

     “Wha? What for?”

     “Katie and your employer had some words and now they’re going to fight it out,” Myra answered.

     “What?!!” said Baloo and Kit, who had just woken up and put on his bathrobe.

     “Now what in tarnations would they fightin’ for? We’re a team, fer cryin’ out loud!”

     Myra placed her hands on her hips and gave an exasperated facial expression. “It appears, over you, believe it or not,” she explained.

     A strange look fell over the pilot’s face, culminating in a myriad between confused and bemusement.

    “I dunno whether ta be flattered or beside myself,” mused Baloo scratching his head.

    “Smooth move, Bassanova,” smirked Kit. “I’d never figured you to be a playboy pilot, Papa Bear.”

    “Come on, you two!” Myra protested. “You got to help me stop them!” Just then, a door closed and coming down the corridor was Katie, filling out her jet-black kung-fu outfit and matching shoes very well. She looked determined.

     Dag-nam! Baloo thought. I bet she’d make a burlap sack look good!

     Passing by their stateroom in a rush, Kit eyed warily at the situation.

     “This…doesn’t…look…good,” he said.

     “I dunno, Ace. Mebbe we should stay outta this.”

     “C’mon!” Kit said, pushing himself past him and following the vixen. “Rebecca’s pretty good, but she could get hurt really bad by Katie.”

      “Uhh…ain’tcha got that the other way ‘round?” Baloo queried, knowing what Rebecca lacked in height, she made up for it by strength.

      Baloo!” said the navigator sharply with Myra following him.

       Baloo just sighed, grabbed his pilot’s hat and closed the stateroom door. “I’m a-comin’,” he said after the two, mumbling, “Don’t wanna let a coupla gals break their nails or necks in a catfight over nothin’.”  



End of Part Ten

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