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Splitting Decision

Written By: Kristof Based on an idea by: Susie (AKA: Ari82) E-Mail:   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.
Two weeks had gone by since the pirate attack on Cape Suzette and it was already forgotten. Some evidence was still found,however,like the burned out CT-37's, the wreckages of the P-39's and the plane currently docked at Higher for Hire.   "How are those engines coming along?" Firehounded shouted up at the two mechanics who were trying to repair the damage the best they could. "Had to put in Superfly's. Bee's are no longer produced;" AC shouted down. "And you lost your overdrive for like,ever and ever;" Wildcat added AC and Wildcat had been close friends from the moment they saw each other,but neither of them wanted to say why. It is a fact however that both shared Wildcat's living-boat,while Firehound had made himself a room in Higher for Hire's radio room. A taxi stopped at Higher for Hire's main entrance and a grey bear got out, carrying a bag. Baloo put the bag down and helped Kit climb out the taxi. Although it was said that Kit only had to stay in observation for one week,doctors decided to keep him there for two more. After some discussion they let him go after two. "Hey small fires;" Firehounded shouted towards the taxi as he saw Kit get out; "how ya doing today?" "Lot's better then when I last saw you,but I won't be running the 100 meters for a while;" Kit joked back. Firehound laughed and turned back towards the reparation of his beloved plane. "When will it be ready for a test flight?" "That itchy to get back behind the controls man?" "Yep. So you better hurry before I come up there myself." "Uuhmm....well....if the propellors hold, the wings don't fall off and the fuel tanks don't leak....later this afternoon;" Wildcat calculated. "You guys are miracle workers!" Firehound shouted up. "No way! A miracle worker would've saved that overdrive too;" AC shouted back. "We can always draw some plans and use some spare engine parts!" Wildcat said. "Think we can pull that off,Frank?" "Nope,we're putting that in,A" Both mechanics started joking and laughing. Firehound decided it was no good to stare at the repairs and went inside the office. "That's one hell of a mechanic you got there;" He said to Baloo who was sitting in a chair. Firehound sat down himself. "Yeah,I know. Wildcat has repaired damage to the Duck that would normally let any mechanic go nuts." "I think he is!" Firehound murmured. "Hehe,I know he appears to be several gallons short of a full tank,but he's a genius;" Baloo joked back; "and so is AC! How did you meet him anyway?" "Long story,sad middle,good ending;" Firehound said cryptically. Baloo knew out of experience when someone didn't want to talk about something,so he switched subjects. "Beautiful piece of wings you have parked there. Any idea when the repairs will be done?" Firehounds face lit up. "That baby is flying again by the time the sun sets!" "So you and AC will be out all afternoon,huh?" "Actually,I planned on taking Kit along!" It was like Baloo's world came crashing down. "I wanted to take him to Louie's for a little 'Welcome Home' party." Baloo never thought of the fact that Firehound could very well interrupt his close bond with Kit. "AC is trying to piece an overdrive together,and I need a navigator Baloo!" "Let Wildcat do that!" "What's wrong with you Baloo? Wildcat can't do that alone. He never did succeed in making one for you did he?" Baloo shot up and went upstairs,followed by Firehound. "What are you doing?"Firehound asked. Baloo opened the door to his room. Kit was unpacking his stuff and saw the two enter.Before he could say anything,Baloo had already asked a question. "Would you rather come with me to Louie's for a welcome home party,or test fly the Kitty Shark with Firehound?" Kit's face lit up. "The Kitty Shark is actually repaired? I'd love to test fly!" "What?!"Baloo interrupted him;"We haven't been to Louie's in weeks!" "Baloo,this is a plane's maiden flight! I can't let this opportunity slip out of my hands,can I?" Baloo grumbled,turned around and went downstairs. Kit hopped after him. "Baloo,you have to understand that....." "Save yer breath Kit!" Kit stopped immediately. Baloo never called him Kit unless he was really upset. Even in an argument he would use the term 'Little Britches'. Baloo grabbed the keys to the Seaduck from Rebecca's desk and went outside. Several moments later the hum of the Superfly's made Kit realize this was for real... "What got into him?" Rebecca asked but understood as she saw Firehound put his hand on Kit's shoulder;"oh,no...." "I'm not going to let him ruin your test flight;" Kit said to Firehound as he hopped outside: he still wasn't able to walk normally because of his broken leg. Firehound reached into his pocket for the keys to the Kitty Shark,but found nothing. Rebecca held them in front of his face. "Looking for these?" "I'll have to get used to this;" Firehound sighed as he took the keys. "Be careful up there....The Air Pirates will still be on the lookout for you" "Ha! They'll never catch me!" Firehound shouted back at Rebecca as he walked to his plane. He opened the cockpit door and helped Kit in. He checked for the mechanics and much to his relief he saw they were inside Wildcat's living-boat, drawing up plans for the overdrive. He climbed in and locked the door. "OK.Checklist time...."   The Seaduck lay at the dock of a small island known as 'Louie's place'. A happy, exotic tune was playing inside and most pilots were dancing or singing. But Louie needed just one look at Baloo to see that a thunderstorm had landed in his bar.... "What's on yer mind,cuz?" "Don't feel like talking about it..." "Heyhey....I organised this party especially for you and yer navigator man. I deserve a little explanation why you are killing yer own party!" "That new pilot is stealing him away from me!" "That 'new pilot' is Kit's old friend more then normal he wants to spend time wit' em. Ya don't own him." "I know,but he even refused to come to his party....and even Wildcat is doing more for him then for me." "So it finally're afraid he's better then you." Baloo knew that Louie just hit the jackpot. "Sorta...." Louie couldn't believe what he was hearing. He took Baloo's head between his hands and pointed in the direction of the Wall of Fame. "Look there....tell me who's on top." "I am,but...." "Who isn't on it?" "Firehound,but..." "So who's better then who huh?" Baloo pulled Louie's hands away. "You should've seen him fighting those CT-37's! They had problems following him!" "What plane does he fly?" "A Conwing Classic!" "You know that it was originally a fighter/bomber,it's natural that it outmanoeuvred those pirate planes. Yer plane is a transport,but you can still out- fly Don Karnage any day. You're still the best." Baloo sighed. "Give it up Louie 'Kit chose him over me'." "What is the problem? That Kit wants to spend time wit' him,or that you can't stand him?" "A little of both..." "You know what the problem is? It's that you have to share yer place for the first time in yer life." Baloo grumbled. "Not for long anymore! I have enough to buy the Duck back. I was waiting to earn some more,but the time has come to be free again." "You're just gonna leave like that? Without yer navigator?" "I'll take Kit along,away from Firehound. I don't want him hanging out with a bad influence...." The crackle of the receiver startled both of them. "Mayday,mayday, this is Kitty Shark.Anyone there?" Firehound sounded desperate. "This is station Louie listening. What's yer prob?" "Engine failure. Expect complete shutdown in less then ten minutes." "What's yer position Kitty Shark?" "Hang on,I'll give you my navigator....Cloudkicker to station Louie, we'll make it there,but please clear the dock." "Sure thing short stuff. Good luck." The transmission ended with a click and Louie turned towards the partying pilots. "Yo,guys,unless you want yer planes scratched and dented,you'd better move 'em. We have a plane incoming for an emergency landing in less then ten minutes." The music abrubtly stopped and the pilots rushed out to save their planes. All pilots except Baloo. "Don't ya think you'd better move the duck cuz?" "Nah. If he's really that good,he can manage a docked plane in the landing area;" Baloo said with a strange grin.   Long minutes went by before the crew of the Kitty Shark finally saw Louie's island. The left engine was smoking and the right one was starting to sputter. "Let's hope they cleared the dock"; Firehound said. "Still one plane docked Firehound....but....that's the Seaduck!" "Hang on,I'm going around." Firehound managed to turn his plane seconds before they hit the Seaduck. He lost airspeed and altitude in the turn and the left wingtip hit the water. The Kitty Shark cartwheeled down and miraculously stayed afloat. "You all right kid?" Firehound asked while making sure he was all right himself. "Yeah! That was close;" Kit started rubbing the part of his head that had hit the window and noticed it wasn't bleeding. "A bit too close! What was the Duck still doing here?" "Ask Baloo;" Kit opened the door and took the inflatable life-boat. "Rest assured that I will."   The splash announced the landing of the Kitty Shark and most pilots ran outside to make sure the crew was all right. Baloo was sitting at the bar,not caring about what just happened. Firehound and Kit walked in. Firehound was steaming mad and Louie saw it. -Time to let those two fight it out among them.- "Hey Kit,hop over to the Icecream bar and I'll take yer mind of that hospital-food. On the house." Kit knew that Louie was trying to keep him away from the coming argument,but took the invitation anyway. "You know,we were almost both in the hospital again;" Firehound started. "Was the landing THAT lousy?" Baloo asked cynically. "What was your plane still doing there hot-shot?"Firehound yelled at Baloo;"Of all the irresponsible things I've seen in my days,this tops them all." "A good pilot is prepared for such things;"Baloo yelled back. "Don't you even care I had your navigator with me?" "Yes I do. And I don't want him hanging out with an ex-pirate of the worst kind!" Firehound was now beyond mad; He took Baloo by the collar of his shirt,heaved him up from his barstool,sat him down and gave him a swift right in his face. A silence fell and everyone turned towards the fight. Baloo got up and started punching Firehound in the stomach. "HEY,STOP IT!" Kit yelled at the fighters. The two pretended they didn't hear him and continued fighting. Kit opened his new airboard and threw it to his fighting friends,hitting both Firehound and Baloo. The two finally stopped. "Hey?!What gives Kit?" "'What gives',Baloo,is that it was stupid of you to leave the Seaduck out there to avange your envy of Firehound! You almost got us killed!" Kit yelled. "Yeah,this hot-shot!" "And that's no reason to start fighting Firehound! You two will have to work together,wether you like it or not." Another silence fell as guilt started to overtake both of them. Baloo recovered quickly. "No. I don't have to work with him.." "What are you saying Baloo?" "I have enough to buy the Duck back,and I'm taking you with me." "WHAT?!" Kit couldn't believe what he was hearing ;"I'm not one of the Duck's accesories Baloo. I have the right to choose where and with whom I want to stay." "There was a time you didn't have to think twice about this!" Baloo started yelling again; "Ever since you met this pirate you have changed." "I'm no pirate anymore Baloo....and the kid chooses who he wants." Kit started to look very sad "Don't force me to choose between the two of you!" "That's exactly what we're asking you;" Baloo stated coldly. "Don't do this to me;" Kit shouted. "What's it going to be kid? This irresponsible bear or me?" Louie decided it was time to intervene. "Whoho...calm down. This ain't no decision like 'what am I going to eat'. This takes time." "Either way,I'm not leaving without you Little Britches." "Neither am I. We've been through a lot together kid,remember that. I got you out of the pirates,remember that." "How can you two do this to me?" A tear started to form in Kit's eye "If I really have to choose,I want to sleep on it first." "A room for three or three seperate ones?" Louie asked.   Night falls quickly in this part of the world. Although the bar was empty now, Louie was still there,feeling partly responsible for what happened. He set a frequency in the radio and flipped on the microphone. "Station Louie to Higher for Hire,come in please." Rebecca was in the radio room,waiting for a message from Firehound or Baloo when she heard Louie. "This is Rebecca from Higher for Hire. I'm receiving loud and clear." "Miz Cunningham, your entire staff is on the island. But the situation has gotten a bit out of hand." "What's wrong? Pirate attack, enormous fire flies,go ahead,I heard it all before." "This is no excuse miz. Your pilots are forcing your navigator to choose between the two of them. I'm not responsible for what is going to happen tomorrow,but I beg you to come over here and talk some sense into them." "Thanks Louie. I'll be there as soon as I can get an air taxi. Higher for Hire out ." Rebecca put down the microphone and and hurried down -Great! Now I have two pilots that are giving me problems.- Molly was still downstairs,waiting for news. AC and Wildcat had taken the duty to look after her. "So,what's new?" AC asked as Rebecca got downstairs. "Two pilots gone nuts and a navigator torn between them;" She sighed;"I was afraid this would happen." "So,ehm,are you going to give them lecture number 15,the one about teamwork and cooperation?"Wildcat asked. "No.I'm going to talk some sense in those two flightjocks. Call me an air taxi please AC;" Rebecca said as she reached for her coat. "Mommy,customers!" Molly said as she noted the men walking up to the door. "Sorry,we're closed;" Rebecca shouted through the closed door. A laugh sounded through the door and moments later the 'customers' had broken it down. "No,this pretty much seems to be open;" Mauler said sarcastically as he and his compatriots entered the office. "Ah,AC,already conning another business out of its money?" "I've got a job here;" AC replied. "Yeah,sure,whatever you say loser. Tie them up guys." The Ground Crew did its job fast and efficiently. In half a minute everyone was tied up good except Molly. "Whadya wanna do with the kid?" "That pipsqueek won't be any trouble! Let her run around." "What do you want?" Rebecca asked. "Lady,what don't we want!"   Dawn. The sun starts to rise,the night starts to give way to light. The moment of truth.... Baloo and Firehound got up,determined to let Kit choose. By the time they arrived in the bar,Kit was already there,looking very sad and trying to hold back tears. "Aw,why are you looking so sad? We'll be free in a minute Little Britches,that's been our dream for so long,remember." "This is not a happy occasion Baloo!" "Can't believe you're doing this cuz! The kid has been here for most of the night looking fer someone to talk to.If ya really knew him good,you would've known that." "This lazy bear doesn't know anything except how to fly,and even that is pretty lousy." "Keep it down fellas,this is hard enough already." Louie had indeed spend most of the night talking to Kit and knew how bad he was feeling right now. He didn't want to lose his best frriend,but not losing his best friend ment losing his surrogate family.He was desperate but decided to choose for stability. He was through being a street kid... "I'm sorry Baloo,but if you decide to go! I won't stop you,but I won't come with you either." It had the same effect as a bombshell. Luckily the bar was still closed, or the customers would've left not to hear the coming yelling..... "So you want to stay with this pirate?" Baloo started,tension building within him; I pick you off the streets,save your life several times AND NOW YOU DO THIS TO ME? I KNEW IT: ONCE A PIRATE,ALWAYS A PIRATE...." Louie could hear no more. "CUT IT OUT! THE TWO OF YOU HAVE BEEN ACTING LIKE FOOLS. I can yell too,ya hear." "But.." "And no buts. Baloo,you let your envy get the best of you,and Firehound, why do you always try to be better then Baloo? The both of you will have to work together, like it or not. You can't keep running away from that. AND YA CERTAINLY DON'T INSULT SOMEONE THAT TRUSTS YOU! Now apologize to the kid. And you too Firehound." "Sorry,I really have been acting like a fool;"Baloo said. "And have always been a fool;"Firehound replied. "I didn't mean that pirate stuff....I was looking for something to insult you both with.....but why would you choose Firehound over me?" "Baloo,Understand....I didn't. I chose for a life at Higher for Hire,because that's where my family is!" Baloo started hugging Kit. "I'm sorry. I almost took everything away from you out of foolish pride..." "Hello? Anybody there?" The receiver in Louie's bar came alive. "Molly?" Kit grabbed the microphone;"Molly,what's wrong?" "The pirates came in and tied up mommy and AC and Wildcat!" "Don Karnage is in the office?" "No,the other one. He's threatening to hurt mommy if she doesn't give him a plane and fuel." "Is he there with you?" "No,he's downstairs,sleeping." "Stay where you are. We're coming. Cloudkicker out." Kit put down the microphone and started hopping towards the door. Baloo and Firehound stood still. "Well? Surprised that I was right?"Louie asked "Come on, yer friends are counting on you....both yer friends." "Is the Shark repaired?" Firehound asked. "Sorry cuz,mechanics had a day off." "Better take the Duck then....I'm willing to sacrifice my baby." "Nobody is going to sacrifice anything! I say we bust in there,knock some pirate skull and sweep 'em under the doormat..." "Great plan if they didn't have hostages!" "GUYS?!" Kit was already outside waiting for the pilots to join. "SORRY!" Baloo and Firehound shouted back in one voice as they started to run outside. "I'll have the mechanic working on the Kitty Shark,and I'll pilot it back myself;" Louie shouted at the running pilots. "Thanks,I owe you one!"Firehound shouted back. The Seaduck's engines started and they flew towards Cape Suzette,full throttle. "Nope,you owe me exactly $5 000 for the repairs, $500 for the rooms and 4 $500 unpaid consumptions and fuel;"Louie calculated as he wrote it all on the tab and sighed 'not that you ever pay though'."   The atmosphere inside the Seaduck was extremely tense. "Heading 270. The Ground Crew is gone,we can risk to fly over the Goman Height." Baloo adjusted their course and posed the inevitable question. "What are we going to do once we get there?" "I told you already: we bust in,knock some..." "We're not busting in anywhere;" Kit said ;"We lure them out saying we give them the Seaduck." "Hey?!" Baloo protested. "Let me finish Baloo. One of you,or both of you hide in the secret compartiments and disable them in flight. So you'll get your chance to bash some pirate skull Firehound,but without hostages this time. Good enough?" Firehound smiled;"You see Baloo,that's exactly why I let him plan our escape. This kid is full of ideas." "Yep,but who is going to tell them the good news?" "I will. I don't think they will suspect a kid of luring them into a trap." "I don't know....there's no telling how Mauler will react...last time he broke your ribs;" Firehound bit his tongue. He always reminded himself never to say that to Kit. He had always lied that the fall was the cause of that. Baloo's eyes narrowed. "Then I volunteer to stay aboard;" Baloo said with a strange undertone in his voice. "And I have business with Mauler too;" Firehound said with the same undertone. "So it's decided. I lure them out,you take them out." The Seaduck quickly approached the cliffs and got ready for a landing....Kit got ready for a landing. "You sure you now how to do this?" "Don't worry Pappa Bear,I know how to fly....sorta.." Baloo ran to the back and opened a hatch. Firehound got in ,followed by Baloo ;"I trust you Little Britches."   The Ground Crew was getting impatient.... Mauler had found Molly in the radio room and realised his mistake. He kept a close eye on her,but she knew when to stop trying to contact anyone. "Listen up lady. Your daughter contacted your navigator,we know that. If the plane doesn't show up within half an hour,something is wrong and you get to meet the fish in the bay,up close and personal;" Mauler adjusted his language when talking to a businessman or a lady. In this case it was both at the same time. Rebecca cringed at the thought and Molly crawled closer to her. "Baloo is always late!" Rebecca tried but got slapped in the face. "Don't gimme that crap! Either he shows up in time,or you die,capiche?" Mauler let go of his 'businessman/lady' philosophy. "No,really,he is!"Molly defended her mother. Mauler grabbed Molly and heaved her up with one hand. In the distance,the hum of engines was heard,but nobody paid any attention,being this close to the harbor. "That does it;"Mauler was still holding Molly;"You have given me enough problems!" "Hey boss,the plane is here,but ehh! I don't think this is Baloo." Mauler dropped Molly and ran outside,followed by the rest of his band and saw Kit climb out of the cockpit with some difficulty. "Where's the pilot?" "Baloo was still asleep! I stole the plane.It's yours if you let your hostages go." "I don't trust traitors!" "Who are you calling a traitor? Don Karnage puts all his traitors in the Ground Crew." "Ya know kid,you're starting to annoy me....but I think I'll take the plane an let the hostages go." Kit let out a sigh of relief. "One catch however;" Mauler started. "Huh?" Kit turned around. Mauler gave him a hard punch in the stomach. Kit let go of his crutch and fell to the ground,curling up. "I'm taking you with me;" Mauler tied Kit's hands to his back and put a gun to his head;"Can't risk to be attacked inflight ,hey Firehound?" It was silent in the Seaduck and Mauler yelled again. "I said: CAN'T RISK TO BE ATTACKED INFLIGHT,HEY FIREHOUND? I'M NOT PLAYING HERE, THIS GUN IS LOADED!" A clicking sound was heard in the Seaduck,followed by the clattering of a steel plate. Firehound stepped out in the open. "Let the kid go....I'm here already." Mauler grinned. "Ya know,if ya had waited ten more seconds,I would have let him go....but now.... who knows what surprises you still have in store for me hey? Take ten steps away from the plane or my finger gets itchy." Firehound did as he was told,be it somewhat reluctantly. The Ground Crew boarded the Seaduck and Mauler started laughing in the cargo hold. One of the pilots started the engines and flew the Duck out of the harbor. Firehound started freeing Rebecca and the others. "Are you okay?" He asked. "Yeah,but those pirates got the Duck and Kit! I can't believe Baloo slept through all of this!" Firehound laughed. "No matter how lazy and irresponsible that bear gets at times,he does care about his navigator and plane...He's still aboard the Duck." "But how?" "He hid in the secret compartiments. I just wish we could go after them." An honest wish is always granted...Firehound realized that as the Kitty Shark landed in the harbor. "Hey cuz,need a ride?" "What took you so long ?" "I'm not landing this ting near a pack of armed pirates,ya hear? I don't like holes in my fur." "No need to get out Louie,we're leaving immediately." Firehound,AC and Rebecca boarded the Kitty Shark and started the pursuit. Wildcat and Molly stayed behind,looking at the two leaving planes. "Getting rather empty here....where'd everybody go? Oh,well, want some chocolate Mollycat?"   Meanwhile,in the Seaduck,Mauler had tied Kit up in a chair in the cargo hold and was busy taunting him. "Ya loser! You actually thought I'd fall for that stupid 'hide-a-friend-in-the- plane' routine. Firehound is so predictable. And that mother of yours....she is such a pain in the ass! She actually thought she could bargain with me." "She's not my mother idiot." "At least one good point about you....but watch your tongue!" "...or I'll cut it out of your corpse myself? Not quite original either. What else did you steal from Karnage? His stupid accent per..." Kit got slapped in the face. "Shut up kid. I might not be original in my threats!" Mauler clicked open a knife and held it in front of Kit's face"..but I execute them." "Why not just shoot me in the head,huh?" "Because I ran out of bullets two days ago. You got lucky back there." "REALLY?" A voice resounded in the cargo hold and a solid metal panel fell to the ground,immediately followed by Baloo "good to hear that!" Baloo picked up the panel and knocked Mauler's knife out of his hands. "Come on pirate,just between us now..." Baloo and Mauler started fighting man to man and Kit took the oportunity to grab the knife with his feet. Taking it between his toes he was able to bring it to his mouth. A twist of his neck later,the knife was in his hands and he started cutting himself free,knowing Baloo wouldn't last much longer against a trained pirate leader. "Starting to get old,hey flyboy?" "Starting to get careless,hey loser?" Kit said as he pressed the knife against Maulers throat; "You OK Pappa Bear?" "Nothing to worry about! He never even hit me!" Baloo started feeling his jaw;"Ok, maybe once...." "Man,what is wrong today? Underdogday?" Mauler asked desperately. "Cheer up!" Baloo said as he started tieing Mauler up; "If that's so,you might still win....things can only get better from here;" Baloo gave Mauler several light taps on the head and started towards the cockpit; "I'll leave you in the hands of my assistant!" Kit sat next to Mauler,holding the knife "Who's the loser now?" "Owh man!"   Inside the Kitty Shark,Rebecca was talking over the radio to the coast guard. "Several armed suspects heading towards the Goman Height in hijacked plane." "Any hostages?" "One known,another one uncertain." "Identification of hijacked plane?" "Seaduck." "Distance to Goman Height?" "10 miles." "Keep them busy,we're on our way." "Roger, Kitty Shark out." Rebecca put down the microphone and sighed. "In other words: we'll see wether we show up or not!" "Don't worry Rebecca,we'll hold them up all right." "What do you mean?" Firehound flipped a switch and a hum filled the plane. "What happened?" "Look outside." Rebecca too a look through the starboard window and saw several metallic tubes sticking out the wings and center fuselage.. "You armed the plane?! This is an inappropriate,irresponsible,and dangerous decision and as a pilot for Higher for Hire you will..." "Save that for later. Right now,we're going to need these guns." "And fire on a plane with hostages onboard?" "YEP!" AC shouted from the back, adjusting his gunsight;"Just watch!" Rebecca ran to the back,trying to stop the gunner from firing "NO,DON''T SHO..." It was too late. AC had squeezed the trigger and a projectile soared away,hitting the Seaducks port engine. A thick blubber immediately developed on the engine, blocking the air intake and choking it out. "You see,Miss Cunningham" AC explained "Wildcat and me have developed a projectile that creates a blubber on impact....a non-lethal bullet if you want. This way we can still defend ourselves against pirates without killing anyone....The perfect solution." "Or did you think we would use live ammo on a hijacked plane?"   Baloo was about to open the cockpit door when he saw the blubber hitting the engine. The Seaduck immediately started banking left because of the dissymetry of the engines. A pilot ran out to the cargo hatch. "Boss,we're under at 'uhoh';" He noticed the strange hostage situation. The pirate turned around and started to run towards the cockpit to alarm his colleagues. There weren't many Ground Crew pirates left after the failed attack on Cape Suzettte. Some got lost over sea,most of them abandoned their leader in the city,but 5 or 6 had remained loyal,and all of them were in the cockpit. "Going somewhere?" The pirate saw his way cut off by Baloo and realized his leader was tied up for a reason. "Ehmm.....not really! Would you mind if I took a seat over there?" "Oh,be my guest,but we do have a dress-code." "Huh?" Baloo took some rope and the pirate extended his hands. "Ah,I see!" After the pirate took his seat,Baloo opened the cockpit door. Inside,the pirate behind the controls was desperateley trying to maintain speed and altitude. "What's our airspeed?" "Ehm,you're overheating the starboard engine;"Baloo interrupted. "Whaddyou know about this plane?" The pilot asked without noticing who he was talking too. "It's kinda my plane!" The pirates looked up and grinned. "One against five! What are you going to do hotshot?" "Me? Nothing. But we kinda have your boss tied up in the back." The pirates started laughing. "I'm serious ya know,look if ya don't believe me." "No,I think you better take a look." Baloo turned around and saw the opposite of what he left behind. The pirate that had joined the hostages had been able to free himself and was cutting Mauler loose with one hand while keeping Kit in a chokehold with the other arm. "Er,Baloo!"Kit started;"Where did you learn to tie knots?" "Cape Suzette Navy I think;" Mauler laughed;"sit down the both of you,and be glad I'm not killing you two right make me laugh." Baloo sat down where Mauler once sat and was appearantly waiting for things to happen.... Suddenly the pilot-pirate ran out of the cockpit,strapped on his parachute,opened the hatch and jumped out. "Guess it's time to bail!" The rest of the Ground Crew rushed to their parachutes and jumped out too,leaving Baloo and Kit behind. Baloo got up slowly and strolled to the cockpit;"Let's see what's the problem."   The Kitty Shark flew alongside the Seaduck and the crew let out a sigh of relief as they saw Baloo and Kit enter the cockpit. Firehound took the microphone. "Well,the rats are abandoning the sinking ship." Baloo laughed. "Joke is that the situation is not as bad as it seems. The port engine is coming back on....I don't get it." Kit took his airmaps and saw pirate calculations. His eyes widened in shock and he grabbed the microphone out of Baloo's hands. "We're over the Goman Height guys....the pirates parachuted back into their base, better get out of!"   The two planes winged back to Cape Suzette alongside,their pilots chatting away over the radio,not realizing a receiver on the ground was hearing every word.... "Let them go for now" Mauler said "But if they ever show up again......they are priority targets." Mauler took his cutlass in hands and started cleaning it,imagining he was cutting Firehounds thoart.....       THE END

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