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 creation 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 FIFTEEN

     

            Cutting through the seawaters, the Moltese fishing trawlers Kerrew and Abulafia cautiously approached the S.S. Prowler, which wasn’t so simple considering that they were the only visible sea craft for many kilometres around.

            Then the crewmembers aboard them heard a huge sound overhead and saw an equally-sized shadow cast upon the waters. Jordan himself poked his head out of the bridge window, looked upward and saw what everyone on both ships saw: the dreaded Iron Vulture.

            Upon seeing the Air Pirate avatar, the Moltese canine growled contemptuously. Oooh…if I had a rocket launcher, I’d make somebody pay!!

            Tightening his grip on the steering wheel, Jordan quickly grabbed the handheld receiver and announced: “My Brothers! Prepare yourselves! We shall be engaging the Air Pirates when we reach the Prowler. From this moment onward, consider yourselves as dead! Abulafia, set for full speed ahead!”

            “Aye, sir!” responded the other trawler’s captain over the speaker.

            “For the Father, Cross and Molta!! Kerrew out!” 

            Both trawlers ploughed at top speed, but it seemed like the Kerrew was pulling ahead faster. Jordan had a highly worried look on his brow, his nerves feeling all tangled up inside and thoughts were placed over the well-being of their onboard operative on the Prowler and the encroaching Iron Vulture all at once.

            I know that we all have pledged to sacrifice ourselves for the Order, if need be, he thought. But this one, I cannot allow to die!

 

 

 

            Don Karnage patiently, in his own terms, waited for his watch to mark his part into his Operation Toy Box. Soon, very soon, the treasure that was once denied to him by that plucky if not extremely attractive vixen archaeologist would be his for him to steal, fair and square.

            “Ready yourself, Mad Dog!” said Karnage excitedly as the moment approached itself to commence action.

            The minion prepared himself for his mark as his leader counted down: “Five…four…three…two…one…now!!

            Quickly cutting the necessary wires of the Prowler’s electrical grid box, the chain of events that followed fell into swift synchronicity….

 

 

            …As the de facto commander of the Iron Vulture, Second Mate Will felt the adrenaline rush along with the other pirates onboard after a two-day inert state as they sped toward the unsuspecting battle cruiser, with him standing at the helm of the bridge. In the distance, he saw the Prowler coming within their view. He knew that the captain was obsessed in settling the score with Shere Khan’s top naval vessel over their foiled operation and defeat at the Twin Spheres awhile back and if all went according to plan, they will finally get their revenge.

            Will looked at the timer that Karnage had set for them near the commanding chair when Operation Toy Box was planned out. To his instructions after they had got the message to attack, the Iron Vulture was to head out and wait momentarily until the alarm went off, then follow through with the remainder of the plan.

            A ringing noise went off on the timer. It was time to strike.

            Switching on the receiver, the mongrel Second Mate addressed the flanking squadrons outside the airship: “Squadron One Leader, fly in low and keep it tight until Squadron Two covers you, over.”

            “Copy, Will, over.”

            “Squadron Two Leader, reach up to three thousand feet up and maintain height until ordered to drop payload, then move onto target, over.”

            “Copy, Will, over.”

            “Remember, guys – don’t sink the Prowler, just wound it. And avoid hitting the September Weed and the lift. Second Mate, over and out.”

            “Roger – Squadron One Leader, over and out.”

            “Roger – Squadron Two Leader, over and out.”

            The mongrel grinned. Those idiots won’t know what hit ‘em…

 

 

 

            …Captain Hotspur stood on the bridge of the Prowler, looking onto the scene partly with interest, mostly with disdain. He felt he was more of a chauffeur and babysitter than a sea captain. But, like a good and loyal employee of Shere Khan Industries, he did as he was instructed. It did seem strange, he pondered over just the other day as they repaired the turbine engine in Velveeta, that they were recently inspected and passed over a couple of weeks ago prior to this assignment. But his chief engineer confided in him, secretly, that he believed it was the work of saboteurs. He shivered in terror and anger at the thought then as it did now.

            Saboteurs on my ship! Who would dare to be as bold to do such a thing? Hotspur could only think of only one person with the cunning, the verve and the ability to pull off such an operation.

            Impossible. He couldn’t know…

            Just then, the lights and navigational systems flickered briefly on the bridge, which caught the panther’s attention. “Check with engineering on that…‘hiccup’ we just experienced,” he ordered.

            “Aye, Captain,” answered a nearby crewman. The sailor picked up the receiver, to find no dial tone but flat silence. “Captain? I’m getting no tone here.”

             “Try another line,” said his commander impatiently.

             Doing so, he learned that another nearby line wasn’t active either. “No luck here either, sir.”

            “Everybody – check your lines!”

            All hands on the bridge discovered they their lines were also dead as well.

            Frustrated, Hotspur said: “Get communications up here, on the double!!”

            “Sir!” announced a jaguar crewmember. “We have another problem! All power lines connecting our defense systems are down!”

            What? Get maintenance to deal with the problem immediately!!!”

            Suddenly, the roar of an airplane was heard from above and then a sharp, shrilling noise pierced the air around them before a dull thud sounded off, following an explosion that wracked the Prowler violently, knocking Hotspur off-balanced and onto the deck, along with a couple of other standing crewmembers with him.

“What the devil??!! he roared over the noise.

            A shower of bullets then flailed against the surface decks, peppering the bridge window with shatter webs, obscuring the vision outside. Crouching on the floor, Captain Hotspur looked up and managed to see two planes soar pass the damaged window.

            He recognized the planes. Air Pirates!

            Two more explosions shook the battle cruiser. Pandemonium ensured. All the crewmembers had been trained in combat weaponry, but with the arms room under lock and key under Hotspur’s orders and on his person, such knowledge now rendered them useless.

            “Where is that confounded maintenance crew?! And where’s communications?!!” shouted Hotspur, amongst the chaos. “We’ve got an SOS to send out!!”

             He could see the Iron Vulture coming into view. With the Prowler’s battle guns down, the ship was at the mercy of the looming aircraft. Now the air was filled with more airplanes, scattering the crew onboard into a panic, as several Air Pirates parachuted themselves onto the deck with rifles in hand and shooting began as they landed.

             “Barkley! Davis! You’re accompanying me to the communications room and weaponry hold!” he ordered as he rose from the floor, trying to keep his bridge crew together. “You have the bridge, Mr. Troy!”

            Troy, a young canine, straightened out his uniform and replied: “Aye, sir!”

            But just as the captain and his party were about to leave, the bridge door smashed wide open and out spilled a horde of Air Pirates, brandishing weapons and outnumbering the Prowler bridge crew immediately. Striding into the room after them was a wolf in grease-stained coveralls, but looked as if he was wearing regal attire. The bridge crew gasped.

             “Don Karnage!” growled Hotspur, bile rising in his throat.

            “Who were you expectating – Bumphrey Hogart? And yes, it is me, the pirate-type personage who doesn’t needing no introdoctrination,” Karnage said grandly, gesturing to himself with a flourish. He then asked plaintively: “Who is in charge here?”

            I am,” responded the commander sternly.

            Looking stoically at him for a few seconds before saying without any emotion in his voice, the lupine stated: “Dumptruck?”

            Upon command and without warning, the hulking pirate gave a very sharp blow across the Prowler captain’s jaw, sending him across the bridge and into the ship’s control panel.  

            Now,” repeated Karnage pointedly this time, “who is in charge here?”

            First Mate Troy stammered: “Y-y-y-you are.”

            Karnage glowered at the shivering seaman for a moment, saying afterwards: “It is nice to be seeing that Shere Khan doesn’t always hire such estupid stooges.”

            As Barkley and David helped the groggy Hotspur to his feet, Karnage began to flex his control. “Mad Dog, take the former cappy-tan to the brig and anyone more idiotic than him to be disagreeing with me, si?”

            Si,” replied Mad Dog. “I mean…oui…I-I dunno what I mean.”

            Just say ‘Aye, Cap’n’ like you always be doing,” sighed Karnage irritably. As the scraggly canine complied and lead Hotspur away, the Air Pirate leader got back to business. “Now, where was I?….Oh, yes. Ratchet, retrieve my clothing – and make sure it’s not wrinkled, thank you very much.”

“You two,” he pointed to his other crewmembers. “Restore communicable control, and you three, restore partial electrical power. Dumptruck and Gibber, you’re with me. We have a ditch-digger to discontent with!”

As he was about to leave, the wolf spied a half-finished soda bottle on one of the panel stations. With a glint in his eye and wicked wheels turning, he grabbed the bottle and said gleefully: “You know…I’ve always be wanting to have a battleship of my very own...”

Karnage then hurled the bottle at the steering wheel, smashing and splattering glass and carbonated liquid everywhere.

“Men, I rechristen this ship – The Sea Wolf!!” he happily bellowed as his men cheered over their newest possession.

 

 

…Kit and Myra were inside the Prowler’s air hanger onboard the Sea Duck, overlooking the storage space. “So how many items are we bringing on board back to Cape Suzette?” the navigator inquired.

“Umm…about three,” answered the Aridian archaeologist. “The Guardians of Molta’s Grand Leader ceremonial throne, a crate of three hundred silver dishes and of course, the Moltese Eagle.”

“Help me with this box please, so we can make enough room here,” Kit said. As they carried the box down the plane’s back ramp, he then asked: “Have you known Katie long, Myra ?”

            “Met her three years ago doing a residency at Foxford – I was getting my doctoral degree there at the time. I had heard of her prior to our first meeting and had sincere admiration as a colleague. We shared a room together…she wasn’t too friendly at first, but we sort of grew on each other over time. Katie’s one of the best in the field. A bit on the aloof side, but once you know her better, she really is a decent person.”

“I’m sure,” the youth responded doubtfully.

The Aridian archaeologist sensed his discomfort and went over to him. “Kit…I know she’s abrasive and demanding at times. But believe me; she’d go through fire and ice to help out a friend in need.”

Kit gave that some thought before saying: “Sounds like ol’ Papa Bear…the latter part, that is.”

“Yes,” she smiled warmly. “Just like Baloo.”

The first barrage of explosions then shattered their quiet understanding, knocking them to the deck of the air hanger. Kit and Myra picked themselves up quickly and staggered to the open entrance.

“What’s happening?!!” she cried out.

It didn’t take long for the answer to introduce itself literally, viewing the fighter planes and a huge magenta-and-dark gray airship looming towards them.

“Don Karnage!!!” gasped the two, and then looked at each other.

“You’ve dealt with him?!” said Kit, surprised.

“A couple of years back – he’s definitely bad news! What about you?”

“More times than you can count – or imagine! C’mon!” the navigator said running for the control box where he banged his fist on the down button, causing the hanger doors to come down quickly as the bullets and bombs flew over their heads. Quickly heading for the Sea Duck, the two of them could hear bullets ricochet off the steel-door paneling and further gunfire in the background. Hurrying up the rear plank, Kit also pulled the level to close and switched the seaplane’s lights off to feign inactivity.

“Kit! What are we going to do now?” Myra asked Kit, as the chaos reigned outside the plane and air hanger. She was frightened, but also saw the fear in his gaze too.

The young navigator paced around nervously. “I…I-I don’t know! We can’t get to the others and we sure can’t fly out of here now!”

He sat in a passenger seat, looking dismayed and moaned: “We’ll have to hole up in here for a while, until we can think of something…”

But what was he going to do? He’d been in tight situations before, but nothing like this. He felt so totally lost. The vixen was about to say something, when she heard a voice from behind her.

“Thinking is fine for philosophers, but it won’t help this situation.”

Kit looked up. Out of the plane’s cockpit came a figure with a height nearly to his own, becoming more familiar to him in the dim light. He couldn’t believe his eyes when he recognized the person before them, to which he gasped in shock:

“You!”

 

 

            …The September Weed’s cargo vault was all but empty, as a couple of the Prowler’s seamen hauled away the last major crate, leaving only Baloo, Rebecca and Katie behind with one medium-sized box lying at the archaeologist’s feet.

             “Well, that’s the last o’ them,” said the pilot, looking back at the last sailor leaving the vault. “What’s this box all ‘bout, Katie?”

            The archaeologist had her hands clasped in front of her chest, looking down at a box set before her with a small smile on her face. It looked like a momentous event for her, something she’d been waiting for the longest time as she answered:

            “This, old friend…is a moment of truth.”

            She then knelt down, took a crowbar, pried open the top, sorted through the packing material and peered inside. Both their eyes widening, Katie gently pulled out a bird statuette that managed to glisten in the pale lighting of the vault. The two bears marveled at its glory, dazzled by the sight of the brilliant silvery finish of the statuette encrusted with many coloured jewels.

            “It-it’s beautiful!” gasped Rebecca in awe.

             Baloo gave a high appreciative whistle. “Well, pop my peepers!”

             “The Moltese Eagle,” Katie breathed, looking at it adorningly. “I’d never believed I’d ever see it again with my own eyes. Now, finally in the right hands.” The three of them gazed at it a few seconds more before the archaeologist placed it back carefully in the box like a newborn into a crib.

            “There,” she said. “Safe and sound.”

            Just then, an explosion shook the adjoining ship, making it creak and groan slightly, making the vault occupants almost lose their balances before steadying themselves.

             “Huh? What’s goin’ on?” commented the huge grey bear. “Did a blue whale collide with us or somethin’??”

            “I think it came from the Prowler!” Rebecca stated.

A couple of explosions followed, then the sound of machine-gun fire. These were sounds Katie knew all too well and it terrified her. “Oh, no,” she groaned. “Not again! It can’t be! Not again! It can’t be!

“Katie, what is it?” said Rebecca, coming to her.

But the archaeologist started to grab the box containing the priceless Moltese Eagle, then the thumping of boots sounded on the derelict ship, with her shouting in panic: “We’ve got to get out of here – fast!”

The two bears didn’t need convincing, as the gunfire from above was more than enough to get their feet moving. Climbing up the first flight of stairs, Katie muttered to herself: “I will not let him get his filthy meat hooks on this! I’ve worked too darn hard for this! No way!”

“Whaddya talkin’ about, Red?” Baloo huffed. “Who’s him?!”

But before she could answer or even reach the upper deck level, a dark figure from atop of the stairs blocking their way with a couple of others spoke thus: “Well, well, well…fanciful to be meeting you here again – yes-no?!”

The fur on the back of the redheaded vixen’s neck rose. “Great Scott!”

Grazie, grazie…but I’m Andorran, actually. And it is my most mah-vellous self…” the voice paused for effect, before concluding the sentence:

“Don Karnage!”

 

End of Part Fifteen

 

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