Written By: Kristof E-Mail: Kristof.email@example.com Disclaimer: All characters expect "Firehound" are copyright 1990/1991 Walt Disney Company and are being used without premission. The writer of this fanfic has made sure that no money was made in the creation of this fanfic and that all material is used with the upmost affection and respect to the Walt Disney Company and the Tale Spin Team. "Firehound" and others is the property of the writer of this fanfic and may not be used without the writers prior consent. You may give copies of this fanfic as long as they are not altered in any way and proper credit is given to the writer. SPECIAL DISCLAIMER! Although this story contains scenes of intoxication and drugging of a person, neither the author or owner of this site endorse, support or otherwise accept drug abuse. This scene was for dramatic purposes ONLY! The author tries to make the point that character "Fang" is too much a chicken too attack in person. By reading on, you will have released the author of any legal action against him and/or the owner of this site. This story is very dark, YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED.
Time flies. Months can seem like hours at times, especially during vacation periods. Summervacation ended too soon for Kit, but at least his leg was healed. And school isn't all bad. The monotony of a schoolweek is easely broken by one fieldtrip. But this fieldtrip to Cape Suzette Police Department will have unforseen consequences
"andehm…thissis our suspect database…"The officer desperately tried to impress the band of bored children without much succes. Comments like 'wow,interesting…not!' and 'we gave up a day in school…for this?' were heard every so often. The officer decided to give it one more try
"Ok kids,come on, let's go see if your teacher has a known criminal past…."
The teacher mouthed a "no!" to the officer but the kids were already following him.
"Ehmm,please watch out in the next room..it's our suspect holding area" The officer pulled out his key ring and unlocked a door marked 'No entry'. The kids poured in, hoping to see some dangerous criminals.
Large city, large criminal population. It's a nice theory,but the kids were quite disappointed at sight of empty holding cells. Appearantly, there was little known criminality at the time. The kids quickly walked through the room. Suddenly a voice resounded
"Hey,Trooper! When did they let you out?" A hand grabbed Kit's shoulder
The voice was too familiar. Kit turned around and beheld a dangerous looking tiger,known as Fang. Originally known as Fangs, the tiger lost a tooth on one of his "shady deals".
"Sorry,sir,but I don't know you" Kit lied
The tigers face started curling in what might have been a smile
"Ah,come on Trooper,who pulled you off the streets when you were 9?"
Kit's teacher saw the strange converstion and decided to act.
"Excuse me,sir,but it's obvious that this child doesn't know you. We are in the right place for a cry for help,so please leave him alone"
"Wow,no need to get nasty lady…" Fang backed off and turned around.
The kids resumed their tour
"What are you hiding,trooper…"Fang said to himself as he followed the kids at a distance
The officer opened another door and the kids entered with great expectations.
"This is our archive" The officer said proudly. The kids were a bit impressed by the size of the room,but then again, there was nothing exiting about filing cabinets.
"OK,who wants his past uncovered?" No response "Your teacher perhaps?" The officer started rummaging through the files and found what he sought "aha….seems you were caught with double-parking three years ago"
The teacher started blushing, knowing she would have to hear this for the rest of her career
"Who's next? OK,you in the green sweater,what's your name?"
Kit felt uneasy. Since he was a run-away orphan,he didn't have a file, or at least one in the 'missing' section
"Kit Cloudkicker,but I don't think you'll find my past interesting"
"Nonsense" The officer started looking again . Kit prepared an excuse…The officer found a file with Kit's name on, but noticed the 'confidential' marking next to the name…
"Ehmm,you're right,not much in there" The officer quickly put the file away,making a mental note to check it later.
"Oh,my god,look at the time" The teacher exclaimed "Thank you so much for your time mister, but we have to get going. Hurry up children, time to go back to school"
Never were children so happy to return to school. Again,remarks like 'thank god' and 'finally' were heard.
Fang entered the archive.
"Oh,hiya jack!" the officer said as he saw him enter
"Gotta check some files. Would you mind leaving the room open?"
"Sure thing. As long as you don't steal anything"
"Hey,I'm an informant, not a mobster"
The officer started laughing and left. Fang started checking the files. "come on,where are you….aha!" He pulled out a file labeled 'Cloudkicker' noted the confidential marking and whistled "Whatever you are hiding trooper, it's got to be big enough to get the feds involved" He opened the file and his eyes widened.
The file was a summary of all of Kit's secrets.
"Aliases: Christopher Windward, Kristof Van Craen, Trooper McJones,….well well. Let's see what else is in here" He turned a page
"Known criminal activities: espionage, assault, piracy….even better" He turned another page
"Adresses: San Flamingo orphanage, Parrot's claw, Higher for Hire…..perfect!"
Fang cracked a smile, closed the file and put it in his pocket.
"This has got to go public sometime Trooper….why not right now?"
He left the archive and closed the door, strolling to the Chief of Police's office. He knocked and entered
"Hey chief, I've got something for you…."
Sunrise over Cape Suzette. The few citizens that were already awake stared at a jogging duo. Kit's condition was below average when the cast finally came off his leg, so he and Firehound had decided to go training every morning, jut like they had done before their escape. It meant getting up before dawn and jogging until it was nearly time for school, but it was worth it. It also meant a renewed membership in the Cape Suzette track and field team.
"Time to go home kid, don't want you to miss out on your education"
"As long as we don't go on a boring field trip…"
The two jogged home but once arrived, something bothered them.
"Do you see somethiing strange here too?"
Several years as a pirate had sharpened their senses and gave them an instinct concerning run-ins with the wrong end of the law…
"Yeah…"Kit squinted to see what was wrong "The license plate on that car!"
"What's with it?"
" Starts with FPD…"
"Oh no, not now…not again"
The FPD,better known as Federal Police Department or 'feds', specialised in arresting pirates-active or retired.
Suddenly, Ac grabbed them by the collar and pulled them into Wildcat's living boat.
"What's going on here?" Firehound asked
AC pulled out a search-warrant
"The kid is wanted."
"What on earth are you talking about?" Firehound almost shouted,but remembered just in time they were hiding
"Pasts are being retraced" AC replied cryptically "Appearantly, the FPD has been tracking him for a long time, but lost the file during the first pirate attack on Cape Suzette. It just turned up again."
Kit looked shocked but remembered his friends…
"I can't risk them turning over every stone in the office and finding out you two are pirates too…"
"What are you going to do kid? Nothing to do about them finding out sooner or later"
"No,but later gives the two of you a chance to cover up your tracks"
Kit stepped out of the living boat and went straight for the office. He entered the office, seemingly casually returning from his morning run.
"Miz Cunninham,I'm back!" He shouted up the stairs.
Rebecca appeared on the top of the stairs, looking strangely sad.
"Kit…." She started "I'm sorry…"
Two Federal agents popped up behind her and ran down the stairs. Kit dodged them and jumped on the desk
"If it's me you're after, I'll give you a run for your paychecks"
He jumped down and ran through the door. He followed the path to the city center. The agents ran after him. Suddenlly, the first stumbled and fell over a foot, dragging the second one with him. Above them Firehound stood, grinning
"Oops, how clumsy of me. Let me help you up…"
It worked. Kit managed to build up a great lead and dissappeared in the alleys. He looked around and saw no immediate threath. He sat down and cried.
In this brief moment he had lost everything dear to him…
The agents were in the office, chewing out Firehound.
"This is obstruction of a federal investigation and you can expect severe punishment. The premises will be guarded around the clock so none of you will help the refugee. Any hidden evidence will be given to investigators when requested and failure to comply will result in severe punishment. DO I MAKE MYSELF CLEAR?"
Baloo started pulking his ear
"Loud and clear. But with hidden evidence,do you mean his hidden comics too?"
The entire room starting laughing silently. All but the agents…
"This is no laughing matter. Where you see a child, I see a vicious pirate"
"OK, now you're exaggerating"
"Read his file…you are all lucky to still be alive"
The agent threw a file on the desk labeled 'Cloudkicker'
Rebecca picked it up and started reading. She looked at in in shock and immediately sat down
"What's in there?" Baloo asked as he appoached the desk
"I can't believe this" Rebecca stammered
"Can't believe what? What's in there?"
"Merely the summary of his crimes" The agent started "Espionage,sabotage,piracy,murder one…if it's illegal he has done it at least once. Note how he starts with small crimes,like pick-pocketing and then works his way up…to piracy and murder. It's a textbook case of an icorrigable terrorist"
"He's only 12!"
"That's the age when Dallanger made his first bomb. If he shows up, I hope you have the decency to call our help. The officers will be at your front door. Good day further" The agent and his assistant walked out of the office, into the sunlight outside. They stepped into their car and drove off. A squad car immediately took their place.
"This is bad….this can't be real!" Baloo was reading Kit's file "I've known that kid for over a year now…he's not up to all of this"
"If it seems to improbable to be true,it usually is" Firehound said as he took the file "This thing must be fake"
"Why do you think that?" Baloo was puzzled "okay,the facts are too improbable but the file looks nice and legal to me"
"Impossible…they couldn't have checked those things. He wasn't even here at that time. And that stamp appears way too new to be real"
"So how are we going to convince anyone of Kit's innocence?"
"We don't. We'll have to find the guy that faked this and make him confess"
Meanwhile, Molly had taken the file and started reading the best she could. Luckily that wasn't good enough to understand anything
"Mommy, what's in here?" She asked inocently. Rebecca looked into her large, pleading eyes
"It's better you don't know that sweetie"
Molly looked at Baloo with the same eyes
"Sorry, I'm not telling you either. You'll have to ask Kit"
The officers in the squad car were bored
"Another stake-out…on my age.."the sargeant sighed
"Actually, I find this quite exiting. A known criminal can show up here…"
"Rookies…"The sargeant sighed again" ok,so what's the description of this 'criminal'?"
The rookie took his notebook
"Green sweater, blue and red baseball cap, 3 ft. 9, male bear approximately 12 years old…"
"That's the description of a missing kid…"
"No, it definately says 'Extremely dangerous' at the bottom"
The experienced officer started laughing out loud
"What a joke…a 12-year old kid a dangerous criminal…the feds made another mistake"
"He is labeled 'pirate' sir"
"Even better…" the sargeant started laughing even harder
"Ehm, sir, we have orders to shoot on sight"
The sargeant got very serious in half a second
"Listen up rookie, if you as much as point your gun at that child, I'll see to it that you get a new job in the archive department. Although I love it when the feds screw up, I won't let a child get hurt because of that"
"Come on sarge…it's only a street kid"
The sargeant grabbed the rookie by the collar
"Are you married?"
The rookie let out a weak "yes"
The sargeant let go of the rookie
"If you had any,you'd know you could never hurt one without feeling guilty every time you look in your son's eyes. I don't like trigger-happy wanna-be heroes in my squad…is that understood?"
"yes sir…But what should we do if he shows up?"
"My doctor always told me to start wearing glasses…at my age you start seeing less…like that green blurr around the corner…that might very well be our criminal"
"Hmm,you're right, it might…"
"But do you see anything rookie?"
"No sir, I believe I need to make an appointment with my optician"
Kit had decided to try his luck and returned to the office. To his surprise, the officers in the squad car didn't move a muscle when they saw him. -Don't stand around wondering why you were so lucky Cloudkicker,get going- He entered the office and saw the file going from hand to hand
"Anyone mind to let me read it for a change?" Nobody had noticed him entering, but were visibly happy
"How did you get past that squad car?" Baloo asked and handed him the file
Kit started reading it
"WHAT?! Murder? Sabotage? Espionage?…"
"Yeah, to improbable to be true huh?"
Kit closed the file and sat down
"Not all of it…I did do some pretty questionable things when I was a street kid…BUT I NEVER KILLED ANYONE"
"Any idea who's behind this kid?" Firehound asked, sitting down next to him
"Not really…although…Fang! I should've known he'd try something like this!" Kit was now truly mad
"Wow,slow down kiddo, who's Fang?"
"The first one I met when I hit the streets. He took me in, but saw what he called 'natural criminal talent' and a week later he had me sabotaging planes, robbing businessmen and spying on cargo pilots….not a periode in my life I'm proud off"
"How did you ditch him?"
"On my last espionage mission, I hid onboard a plane and ended up in the Parrot's Claw where I met Karnage. Appearantly Fang thought I got caught"
"That was over two or three years ago…how did he find you?"
"I think he works as an informant with the CZPD…he had acces to my 'lost' file and he must have made it public"
"After he spiced it up a little…" Firehound completed "You can't stay here…but the feds are after you,there's no place to hide"
Kit took a map out of his hidden pocket and started checking several coordinates
"I think there is… Louie's island isn't in territorial waters, so it's considered a souvereign state. They have authority there. And if Fang really knows everything about me,I'm sure I'll meet him there. It's his style…this is just his way of saying 'I've got one more job for you'"
Baloo grabbed the keys to the Seaduck and started towards the dock.
"Are you seeing what I am seeing rookie?" The officers had entered silently
"I believe this is called 'aiding a wanted criminal', punishable by four years in jail…"
"Indeed, and if it wasn't time for shift-change we would've had to arrest you…can we get a cup of coffee until the other shift starts Miss Cunningham?"
"Certainly…" she smiled "Thanks a lot"
"I'm just giving an innocent victim of the FPD a chance to clear his name ma'm. But I'm warning you, don't try to fly too far….keep it within 50 000 miles…"
Kit and baloo ran towards the Seaduck. The roar of the Superfly's once again filled the office
"My hearing must be bad too…I thought I heard a plane take off"
"A red and yellow Conwing L-16 took off heading 270…"
"Say what rookie?"
"A green Convaught 30 took off heading 090"
"I thought so…what are you waiting for? Call it in with the coastguard…."
Slow day in Louie's. It was too late for the breakfast crowd, and too soon for the lunch crowd. Most of the tables were empty and the bartender was wondering to call a happy hour or fall asleep. The familiar roar changed all of that. Louie jumped over his bar, walked towards the entrance and almost got smacked in the face by the opening door.
"Wow,what's the rush cuz?"
"No time to explain Louie, let's say I'll have to lay low here for a while" Kit replied while he scanned the room. At a table in the corner he saw who he was looking for.
"Thanks for the ride Baloo, but you better get back before more strict officers show up…"
"You're right…but promise me to watch out"
"You know me…"
"That's exactly why he asked short stuff…but don't worry Baloo, I'll look after him"
"What is this about anyway?" Louie shouted at the leaving pilot
"No time to explain…ask Kit"
The roar filled the air again and the Conwing winged back to Cape Suzette, full throttle. Louie scratched his head, puzzled, and turned to Kit
"Hey man, what is this all about?"
"Don't worry Louie, I'm fixing it already…" Kit said as he turned around and stepped towards a familiar tiger in the corner.
"C'razy!" Louie decided not to get involved and returned to his bar
Louie's place was generally well lighted and respectable, but the corners were the exact opposite. Being dark, most smugglers preferred these parts because of its location : out of territorial waters and well known. Nobody came here except people on the wrong end of the law. The tiger started smiling when he saw the bearcub approaching. There was no doubt about his intention
Kit took a chair and sat down
"What do you want from me?" The question was direct, posed in a hard way. Kit was used to dealing with people of this kind. His facial muscles had hardened again, giving him a tough look. It was a look Kit hadn't used in over a year.
Fang started laughing
"It's not so much what I want, but what I can give you. You see Trooper,Cristopher,Kit,whatever,, this is just to get your attention. You wouldn't want to see the same thing happening to AC and Firehound do you?"
Fang pulled out two files labeled 'confidential' and Kit's eyes widened in shock
"Who's names are on there?"
"No names on it yet….but you know how easy it is to change that….By now the feds think you are the most dangerous criminal on this world, next to Don Karnage, and in reality your file wasn't even that incriminating…maybe only a few weeks worth of prison. But after I gave it my special treatment, the entire Police population was after you"
"What do you want?"
"I think you know. You're a born spy…and if you should choose to accept, there is a bonus for you"
Fang threw another file on the table, labeled 'Cloudkicker' this time. Kit started reading
"You see, this is your dream life" Fang said, interrupting Kit's reading "…allow me to recite:
Name: Cloudkicker Kit
Known Criminal activities: none
Adress: Higher for Hire, Cape Suzette…"
"Foster parents: Baloo Bear and Rebecca Cunningham…"Kit completed and put the file down.
"What if I refuse?"
Fang pulled out two nametags and put them on the blank 'confidential' files
"Then your two friends are doomed to run again…along with you. What's it going to be kid? Dream…or nightmare?"
"What's in it for Firehound and AC?"
"Citizenship and a blank past…good enough?"
"There was a time that I would give myself up just to get you behind bars, but that's behind me…What's the mission?"
Fang smiled and rubbed Kit over the head
"I knew you'd see it my way…you're a born criminal, wether you like to hear it or not. I've got my plane docked outside, we can leave imediately." Fang got up, immediately followed by Kit. Louie saw the two leave and checked the cash register
"Hey! You haven't paid!" Louie shouted at Fang
"Put it on Baloo's tab!" Fang shouted back as he left
"Go ahead Louie, he won't mind this time" Kit reassured Louie before he walked outside after Fang.
Louie shrugged "Sure, whatever…." and noted the amount on Baloo's tab. A roar filled the air and a black C130 left the dock, taking off after a short run.
Offcourse, the idealism of the two officers did not go unnoticed. By the time Baloo arrived at Higher for Hire, the Feds were there, lecturing and demanding an explanation…
"The suspect passed 3 feet from your squad car…how is it possible you didn't see him?" The first Fed demanded
"It appears our eyesights are not as good as was said in our fitness report…" The Sargeant started.
The first Fed grunted and sat down, trying to calm. The second one took over
"You both called in a green convaught flying 090…the cliffguards never saw that plane…"
"I haven't checked my compass in a while and my knowledge of aircraft design is below average…I even believe I have problems distinguishing red from green"
"And that's a documented medical condition?"
"And how is it possible that this pilot…" he pointed at Baloo "could leave without you two knowing?"
"That's the pilot of the green convaught sir…"
The second Fed slapped his forehead and sat down next to his colleague, both were wondering wether to retire or shoot themselves through the head…
"Called the seahorse if I'm not mistaking…"
"I do believe it's the 'Seaduck' gentlemen" The first fed interrupted
"No, it says so right here in my notebook…The Sea Horse, Convaught 30, green color, landbased…"
"This is a Conwing L-16! A seaplane! It's red and yellow!?"
"Ah,you wouldn't say so sir….take a look rookie, what do you see?"
"I don't know sir, it looks like a green convaught to me…"
The second Fed got up and stood there for two seconds. He looked the officers in the eyes and hissed "Get out of my sight…"
The two officers walked out, joking and talking to each other 'Ever thought about having kids rookie?' 'Not me,but my wife did…' 'Really? And why don't you have any?' 'Been too busy with my work' 'You look sick rookie…better take a few weeks off' 'yes sir!'
The Feds tried to calm down…
"People…believe me, what just happened was a miracle…next time you help a fugitive, you won't be so lucky! If this Cloudkicker boy shows up, we'll be here…because we're not leaving ,are we esteemed colleague?"
"No,we most certainly are not…"
The two feds sat down.
Rebecca walked back to the little kitchen in the back of the office and shouted "Coffee?"
The C130 was flying near Cape Suzette, but its course was directed several miles north of it. A C130 is in essence a very heavy transport plane. It can withstand severe punishment, but is slower then a seaslug. It was flying at a very high altitude and the crew had to put on oxygen masks.
"Where are we going?" Kit could hardly be heard through the mask, but somehow Fang understood him
"Goman Height…You're going to steal the new P40 prototype"
"I know these pirates Fang…they'll kill me on sight!"
"Then make sure you don't get seen…"
Any more conversation was unnessecary. Fang could not be reasoned with when he had smelled money, and Kit knew it.
His eyes searched the cockpit…-come on, there's always a way out…Fang,I can't believe you forgot the radio…-
He plugged his built-in mike into the radio and started broadcasting to a familiar frequency
"Cloudkicker calling Higher for Hire, come in please…"
The feds jumped up when they heard the message. One of them grabbed the mike
"I knew you'd fall for this…Report your destination!"
"Goman Height, stealing the P40 prototype from the Ground Crew"
The fed was surprised. It was the first time in his career that a terrorist gave in that easy.
"Ehhmm,you bet we'll be there"
"I'm hoping you will. And I won't be alone!"
Fang laughed under his mask and decided it was time to act.
"The other criminal is known as……" Kit felt his throath tighten. He desperatly tried to get some air, but felt a terrible choking experience. He looked to his side and saw Fang with the other end of his oxygen hose in his hands, laughing
"Kit…believe me, I didn't forget the radio…I rigged the mikes to broadcast in my headset too! I heard every word"
Kit tried to reply but at this altitude, oxygen was sparse and he started to black out
Fang saw Kit's eyes roll and plugged his oxygen hose back in
"Let this be a lesson"
Kit's vision started to clear up. Gasping for air, he realised that this was not the type of criminal to mess with. He looked to his side again as he felt someone tugging at his sleeve. Fang had put the plane on autopilot and had taken an injection needle in hand, filled with a white liquid. Kit tried to pull away his arm, but saw that it was tied firmly to the armrest. Fang grinned, rolled up Kit's sleeve and injected the liquid in Kit's veins. Once again his vision blurred.
"This is a venom that will kill you in 6 hours, unless you get the antidote" Fang pulled out another injection needle, filled with a greenish liquid. "The side effects will wear off in 5 minutes, and stay away for four hours. After that, you will get feelings of nausea and disorientation. The last half hour you will hardly be able to stand, let alone run. When you get the antidote in time, you will heal in less then thirty minutes. If not…well, I think you get the picture. Is this understood?"
Kit tried to keep his breakfast in and nodded
"Good boy! This is just a precaution…I have no intention of letting you die. Believe me, if you land that P40, You will get that antidote"
"Offcourse…you have no use for…a plane wreck…" Kit's stomach turned and Fang handed him a paper bag. Ten seconds later, Kit's breakfast was neatly wrapped.
He had problems staying concious, but he had to know something
"What was that stuff?"
"You should know that…you stole tons of this stuff before you ran"
Kit's eyes widened in shock. In his early streetkid days, Kit stole lots of a substance known only as "White Cloud" because of it's white color. The antidote, known as "Green Earth" was a lot harder to find. It was very well possible that Fang held the last available cannister.
The world started turning again, and the paper bag filled up some more. Fang laughed….
Meanwhile, Kit's message had caused a discussion in Cape Suzette
"….and his accomplice will be apprehended. The judging will be severe,and …."
"It proves he's innocent!"
"This message proves absolutely nothing. Only that he is also a member of a violent gang…"
"Are you guys deaf?"
"Only to the words of known criminals. If you have a complaint, fill out form number…"
"This requires immediate action!"
"You are right! This gang must be stopped by all means necessary, and…"
Rebecca sighed and wondered how long Firehound, Baloo and the feds would keep arguing about who made the most sense. She looked around the room and saw AC sitting behind the desk with Molly on his lap. Rebecca decided to take action herself.
"AC, can you fly?" AC looked up and realised what she was getting at
"You want me to fly you to an island full of dangerous criminals to rescue a wanted refugee?"
She looked him into the eye
"I thought you'd never ask." He picked up Molly and walked towards Wildcat's Houseboat " Oh Frank, I've got a little job for you…"
The discussion was reaching new peaks
"And if you don't let us do our job right now, we will arrest you on the spot"
Firehound and Baloo let themselves be cuffed without much problems
The sound of the recently installed Bee 500's filled the air and the Kitty Shark left the dock. The feds stared in shock…
"They're gone already…"
"After them!…..Ehmm….can you fly?"
"No, but we can commandeer some pilots…"
Firehound and Baloo coughed
"Ehmm…sorry about the arrest, but could you two possibly fly us to….not gonna happen is it?"
Firehound and Baloo gestured 'NO!'
"Come on, get us there and we'll forget about the arrest"
The first fed freed the two of them
"Well…ok" Baloo replied and got to the Seaduck, followed by Firehound and the feds. Once there, he exclaimed an "uhoh"
"What uhoh?" The first fed demanded.
Firehound arrived and exclaimed an "uhhoh" too
"WHAT UHOH?" The second fed demanded
"Look at that engine…can't fly like that, can we colleague?"
Firehound shaked no
"Then call your mechanic!"
"Only our boss can order a repair" Firehound defended Baloo
"And where is your boss?"
"She just left" Baloo and Firehound replied in one voice
The feds started to wonder why they ever chose this line of work…
The C130 lay docked on the beach to the Goman Height. It was a long climb to the Pirate's hideout and Kit started to experience the first side-effects of the White Cloud drug. Not quite the effects Fang was talking about, but it appears a 12-year old was more affected then an adult in the first four hours. He stopped and rested on a treestump for a while
"What's the damn holdup?" Fang shouted back
"Gotta rest for a while Fang…my legs won't work with me"
"Nonsense! You're trying to stall us! Get this straight kid, you won't get a drop of that antidote until that P40 has landed on my airstrip"
"I can't make it to the top…"
"Then you die at the bottom…."
"I can't fly"
Fang got sick of the excuses and grabbed Kit by the collar
"You'll steal that P40, or I'll pour the Green Earth on the ground right here" He let go of Kit, took the cannister filled with Green Earth and unscrewed the top. A drop of the green liquid hit the ground and vaporised.
"OK…I'll steal that prototype…" Kit had no choice. He got up,wobbled a bit and started marching to the top.
Fang grinned and screwed the top back on the cannister.
It took too long to reach the hideout, mostly due to the resting pauses of Kit. Fang had to motivate him every time by dropping some of the antidote on the ground. Right now, there was almost nothing left, just enough for one person…
"OK kid, this is your cue. You go in, steal the prototype and bring it to these coordinates." He handed Kit a map with a marked airfield "And hurry…You have about 30 minutes left before the side effects start"
"That airfield is over an hour away…I won't be able to land" Kit started feeling dizzy already
"Remember this kid, if that plane crashes on the field…The wreckage will be enough for examination,but you can forget about the Green Earth. I want it intact, on my field within the hour. Good luck!"
Fang turned around and started down the hill towards his C130.
Kit started thinking -his C130 will never make it to that field in one hour. He's planning on letting me die on the strip! How far is Cape Suzette? Think Cloudkicker…-
Kit calculated the course and put the map in his hidden pocket. He started shiverring and started to run towards a hanger. Strangely enough, there were no guards. The P40 was fuelled up and unguarded…Kit got a strange feeling about this. He got in and started the engine…no response of the pirates. As he taxied out the hanger, he noticed something blinking in another hanger. He rubbed his eyes -that White Cloud was really getting to him now- and beheld the entire Pirate attack fleet, Air Pirates included, with running engines and ready to leave. Fang had betrayed him yet again.
He pushed full throttle and took off, almost brushing the ground when retractng the landing gear.
The radio filled his cockpit with maniacle laughter, first Don Karnage's, then Mauler's and finally Fang's…
The Kitty Shark was in the vicinity of the Goman Height and picked up the laughter over the radio. The crew needed exactly half a second to realise what was going on.
"AC,can you broadcast this transmission to Cape Suzette Police Scanner?" Rebecca asked without much hope. She knew very well that the Scanner had a restricted frequency. AC smiled and flipped a switch.
"Well, this was originally an infiltration plane…no infiltration without fooling the police…"
In Cape Suzette, even the feds now heard the laughing on their private frequency, followed by an overconfident Fang
"Kid, I can't believe you fell for this! All I did was fake your file a bit and the entire population of Cape Suzette bought it…"Fang laughed again "Better yet, I even get the chance to get even with you, and so will my good friends Don Karnage and Mauler. If they don't kill you, the White Cloud will…"More laughter from all three filled the radio receivers from everyone ten square miles across. In the background a pirate cheer was heard.
The fed cleared his throath and was visibly embarrased. He looked towards the pilots and saw them standing a few yards away with their arms crossed, looking in his direction. He walked towards them…
"ehmm…I apologise for our…ehmm..well..you have to understand,we had nothing to compare that file with"
"We told you before he was innocent. And don't stand around here, get in, time to get going"
Baloo opened the door to the cockpit and got behind the controls. The feds followed.
"Wasn't the engine busted?"
"Whatever gave you that idea?"
Baloo pushed full throttle and took the radio
"Seaduck to Cape Suzette hospital"
"go ahead Seaduck"
"I trust you heard that transmission?"
"Can you prepare an antidote?"
"We'll try…but Green Earth is hard to get. We might have to use a substitute"
"Do what you have to do, I'll try to get your patient back alive. Seaduck out"
The Kitty Shark was very close to the source of the transmission. The crew saw the ongoing dogfight. The P40 got pounded by an entire fleet of CT-37's and P39's. AC grabbed the radio.
"Kitty Shark to Cloudkicker, come in please"
"Cloudkicker to Kitty Shark, mayday, get these pirates of me"
"You'll have to do that yourself. I know you don't have any experience in air combat, but I'll give you a few pointers…"
Don Karnage was barking orders to his band of pirates. They were not to fire at the cockpit…he wanted to do that himself. He grinned: finally a chance to get even with Cloudkicker, and without giving him the chance of escaping. He looked into the cockpit…-who is he talking to?-. He aimed his six cannons to the center of the glass cockpit and prepared to fire. The P40 suddenly activated the War Emergency Power module and pulled a sharp turn that caught the pirates by surprise. So far, he had only been jinking a bit. Several Air Pirates turned with him, but stalled because of the drag of their floats. Three down, more then twenty to go. The P39's of the Ground crew got behind him and started firing their Cobra guns. Several trees caught fire. Kit pulled up and felt G forces squash him down in the pilot's seat. The CT-37's followed but choked as usual. The P39's however stayed in close pursuit. Kit completed the loop and flew head-on to Maddog. In a reflex, he pressed the triggers. Appearantly Mauler wanted this to be as real as possible. The guns were armed and a stream of bullets flew towards the approaching CT-37. Maddog jumped as his plane got perforated by a curtain of lead. Another one down…The P39's switched to machineguns. Several bullets perforated the wings of the brand-new and unmarked P40. Kit looked out the window and saw a piece of the wing tear off. The flaps were gone. The P39's positioned themselves for a final attack. Suddenly, a green blubber formed on the leader's cockpit. He swung left, blocking the path of his port wingmen. As all of them bailed, the first P39 crashed into the others. A ball of fire fell to the ground.
"Thanks for …the shot…..AC" The White Cloud was getting to Kit's head
"Wasn't me kiddo…"
Rebecca grinned. She had pressed the armament button on the main control panel and started firing at the closing P39's. Miraculously, her first shot took out half of them.
"Keep 'em…keep them busy….gotta take out Fang…he got enough to….make our liv….lives a hell…"
Fang was indeed still in the posession of the faked files. Although Kit's name was cleared, he could still frame Firehound and AC.
At the first sign of a competent air warrior, he had taken refuge in the run. He saw the P40 closing and knew his C130 was too slow to evade it. He pressed a button and the automated defence systems came alive, revealing cannons on every side of the plane. The tail cannon started firing. Kit was able to evade it and switched weapons. He fired at the tail gun, noticing too late he had selected a Cobra gun. The shell soared towards the tail, penetrated the fuselage and exploded. The tail section of the C130 broke off as the plane went into a spin. Half the plane was on fire. As it fell towards the earth, the fire reached the fuel. A midair explosion followed and nothing but debris hit the jungle soil…Fang's threath was gone for good…
"Nice shot kid…kid?…Cloudkicker come in!"
Kit felt dizzier by the second. At the time he could no longer distinguish north from south. His stomach twisted, but was empty already. His strength seemed to leave him as the controls slipped out of his hands and the torque of the engine started dragging the plane down.
AC set the volume to maximum and emitted a strong squawk
Kit jerked awake, grabbed the control stick and pulled up. The Kitty Shark was fighting the last P39's and the Seaduck had arrived too. Together, they mopped up the few resistance left.
"Seaduck to Cloudkicker, please respond"
"Cloud….Cloudkicker here….go…..ahead Sea…Seaduck"
"Litlle Britches, I'm proud of ya! You haven't flown a plane in your life, and now you outfly 75% of the pirates."
"Thanks…got….some hel….help though"
"Don't bother calculating you course back to Cape Suzette, just follow us in and concentrate on staying in the air"
The Conwings turned around and headed back to home field. The P40 continued his route and followed. The radio chatter continued between the three
"So,how is it….like to lan…land a plane?"
"Hard at first, but it gets easier…just go with the flow"
"And keep the nose up!"
"Guys….prob…problem…this a land based fighter….need a strip"
"Don't worry, the airport is notified already"
The airport was completely empty. On authority of the Federal Police Department, the runways had been cleared and all incoming traffic had been diverted to nearby airstrips…including Khan's. The emergency services had been notified of an incoming damaged plane, so firetrucks and ambulances bordered the runways. All were waiting nervously for the unknown plane to arrive.
"Appears to be pretty dangerous…" One fireman said to his colleagues
"Yeah, what on earth is coming in?"
"Dunno, but they want it as intact as possible. They have half of our material here"
"Have you seen that green gunk in the first ambulance?"
"Yeah, they told us to stay away from it…something about being vital to the survival of the pilot…If that plane's as banged-up as I think, he won't even survive the landing"
"Do you think it has something to do with that weird broadcast?"
The most experienced one of them listened carefully
"Shut up guys…" he pointed in the air "time to go to work"
The atmosphere got tense as the roar of distant engines filled the air. The airfield was now buzzing with activity: doctors preparing an ambulance and stretcher, firemen rolling out hoses and foaming up the runway.
"OK, just like you have dreamed it every time Kit!"
"Lost flaps….apprch wi….be too fast" Kit had problems forming the words. He had about 5 minutes before the White Cloud entered the fatal phase
"Come on, don't let me down here…you know how it is done"
"Best of luck kid. Remember, when in doubt, rev up and go around. We'll be on this freq if you need any help. You'll need to do the landing yourself though"
Kit rubbed his eyes again and tried to focus. He grabbed the throttle and slid it three quarters of the way back. The engine grumbled and the plane lost speed rapidly. Too rapidly! The stall horn flared and Kit pushed full throttle again to get out of the stall. On the ground, a fireman started complaining.
"No wonder they called us here! This guy can't fly! What is he doing in a fighter? Wasting our time like that…if he doesn't get killed landing, I'll kill him myself"
"Kit, what happened?"
"dnno….did as in mnual…stlled"
"There's no manual written about this thing. You're the first to land it or even fly it. Go with the flow…"
Kit turned and got ready to try again. He set the trim and aibrakes and slid the throttle back half, carefull not to slow down too much. As he felt the plane descending, he pulled up the nose a bit. He lowered the gear and saw the altimeter descend steadily. -Just a few more feet-…His fingers suddenly went cold and his vision blurred as his strength left him again and the control stick slipped out of his hands. The P40 hit the ground, straight and level. As the speed kept dropping, the plane tilted forward and hit the ground nose first. The engine grinded to a halt and broke off propeller blades while the airframe creaked under the pressure. One of the broken off propellor blades dug itself in the ground and turned the plane around, almost throwing it on its side. While the engine started spitting flames, the plane came to a halt. The firemen started extinguishing the fire as one of them ran towards the cockpit. He opened it, getting ready to chew out the pilot that just wasted his time and endangered an entire city. But instead of the self-confident hotshot, he found an exhausted bearcub.
"Whatthe….what are you doing in there?"
He heaved Kit out of the cockpit and put him on the prepared stretcher
"Hey, kiddo, what were you doing flying a plane?"
One of the doctors rolled up his sleeve and gave him an injection with Green Earth. Kit pushed a button on his wristwatch and passed out
"Hey doc, what's this all about?" The fireman demanded
"Another drug victim as far as I'm concerned…read the press communiqué later!"
The fireman joined his colleagues. The fire was out in minutes, and a crane pulled the plane in it's normal position.
The feds started admiring the plane
"Good, no serious damage except the engine…Tug it away boys!"
Rebecca came running towards them
"Just a second there! Just what do you think you're doing?"
The fed looked at her like she just asked why apples were green
"What does it look like we're doing? We're securing federal property"
"This plane isn't federal property" Rebecca stated calmly
"And why isn't it, if I may ask?"
"Are there any official plans on this plane, signed by a recognised designer?"
"Are there any known 'other' owners?"
"And who flew it in?"
"So 'that boy' is the only known pilot?"
"So it's settled…this plane is Kit's property"
"WHAT?! Just one second there lady…"
"What's going on here?" The officers came out of nowhere. The same officers that got Kit off the hook earlier that day
"Miss. Cunningham is trying to steal Federal property, a crime punishable by three years in jail!"
The sargeant started laughing out loud
"I followed her reasoning,'sir', and she is quite correct…The Federal Police Department, nor the State own this plane. It is private property of Cloudkicker Kit…a bit damaged though…"
"You haven't heard the last of this…"
The feds turned around and left, followed closely by the two officers.
Rebecca started examining the P40…"Well, he always wanted his own plane…"
When Kit opened his eyes, he was surprised to see so many familiar faces. Getting his bearings, he noticed he was in a hospital room. Rebecca, Baloo, Firehound and AC were with him, all asleep. He took a look at his wristwatch…Although Fang had claimed that the effects wore off after half an hour, his chronometer indicated seven hours. As he shifted in his bed to sit up straight, Rebecca woke up.
"Good evening Miss. Cunningham"
"Actually…" She yawned and looked at her watch "it's morning already"
"How did you like the landing?" Kit started joking "Needs practice, doesn't it?"
Rebecca got closer, not to wake up Baloo when talking
"Truth is…you'll need lot's of practice. But you have to earn that plane back first"
"According to the judge it's yours. I let Wildcat fix the engine and flaps, but you owe me for the parts young man…"
"25 000. And I'm not giving you a raise…"
"It'll take me until I'm 18 to earn that kind of money" Kit calculated
"Good! It'll take you at least that long to get your license. And I'll be glad to have you around that long" The last was almost a whisper
A knocking on the door woke everybody up. The two officers entered the room while Baloo, Firehound and AC yawned and sat up straight
"Good morning officers…what seems to be the problem?"
"There seems to be a problem with your identity file…" The sargeant pulled out a file labeled 'Cloudkicker' "It says right here that you have a pilot's license…but that landing couldn't quite convince me…"
"That's not supposed to be in my file.." Kit bit his tongue.
The sargeant grinned
"Two questions young man: one: do you own a plane, or do you have one in leasing?"
"I have one in leasing…"
"OK….and two: Can you fly or has it been your lifelong dream to fly?"
"I can live with the second explanation…"
The sargeant grinned and the rookie stepped forward, holding a document.
"Congratulations mr. Cloudkicker. Under special circumstances you have just earned your pilot's license on condition that you take lessons from a licensed pilot"
Baloo smiled "I don't think that will be a problem"
"Wait a minute…what 'special circumstances'?"
"Air-to-air bravery son. We have confirmation that you succesfully attacked and downed two planes, containing wanted criminals."
"Are they…?" Kit hesitated. It was never his intention to kill Fang
"No, no bodies were found. Only the remains of a campfire near the crashsite of the C130" The sargeant reassured Kit
"There are some other conditions though…" The rookie grabbed his notebok and started reciting "You are not allowed to fly without the supervision of a licensed pilot and it is forbidden to fly further then 50 miles away from that pilot's plane. Any violation will cause you to lose your license. If you would now just sign here…Thank you very much for your cooperation" The officers turned around and started their morning route
Kit could not believe what just happened. In 24 hours he had lived his worst nightmare and his sweetest dream.
"Well Little Britches, congratulations…we'll have to work on that landing though"
"What….What just happened? This can't be real…" Kit was speechless
"Oh,it's real allright" Rebecca said "I expect you back to work on wednesday. And by the way, your teacher called. It appears there's a pile of homework waiting for you…"
"Yep, it's real allright"
As everybody started laughing, Kit's thoughts drifted off to his first flying experience, and the ones that had yet to come…