Splitting Heirs

Tale Spin Fan Fic

by Katie Sullivan


Chapter 1




22 April 1945 -- 12:06 P.M.

Don Karnage fumbled with the small key, trying not to sneeze from his fake mustache. Finally, the key turned in the lock, and he reached into the post office box to collect his mail. As far anyone knew, the box belonged to one "Phillip Karlson", and Karnage preferred to keep it that way. He glanced over the envelopes, finding none with a Cabo Orgulloso postmark. One marked Frienze, Italia, was addressed in Carlotta's neat, small handwriting. One was a sweepstakes flyer, inconsequential to someone who already had a treasury full to the rafters with plunder. The third was addressed sloppily and mailed from within Cape Suzette. He lowered a dark eyebrow curiously, then noticed the logo printed in the return address portion: USP..The Usland Shore Patrol. A surge of excitement brought a villainous smile to his face. His agent, Triggerfinger! It had to be! At last!

Karnage stuffed the mail inside his navy blue suit jacket and turned to leave the post office. The lobby was quite crowded, and he didn't want anyone to connect him with the dashing pirate on the wanted poster tacked on the bulletin board. He took a sidelong look at his own image and smirked. Not a bad picture. But then, it was impossible for his handsome face to take anything but a good picture, he thought.

Appropiately enough, next to his own wanted poster was one offering a smaller but still respectable reward for the capture of jewel thief, smuggler and pirate, Scarlet Hindenfur. Someone really should inform them that her last name was now Karnage, he mused as he strolled out the door and down the sidewalk. Speaking of his wife... He checked his solid-gold watch. It was nearly time to meet her for lunch.

"Pay-pah! Getcher pay-pah!" shouted a newsboy on the corner. "Soviet troops reach Berlin! Heavy fighting near Okidokiawa! Read all about it! Gether pay-pah!"

He briefly considered stealing a paper, decided it wasn't worth attracting the attention, and flipped a coin at the boy.

"Thanks, mister," said the young lion.

Now to meet Scarlet. As he glanced over the latest war news, Don Karnage took a detour down an alleyway toward their favorite flamenco bar.




Scarlet was armed with a fake I.D. bearing the name Mrs. Sofia Karlson, but the nurses at the Cape Suzette Free Clinic were happy to oblidge her wish for anonymity. Before long, they sent her on her way with a fistful of test results and a stunned expression on her face.

She walked slowly, scratching at her black wig. It was true. She had suspected it, but didn't have proof until now. Now... She shuffled through the paperwork from the tests. It was certain.

With a quick swipe, she removed the small bandage from her arm where the nurse had drawn blood. While she had the sleeve of her white-and-blue-striped dress rolled up, she looked at her watch. Almost time to meet Felipe for lunch. Not that she felt much like eating. Still, she could hardly wait to tell him the news!





She found him at their usual table, poring over a piece of paper and ignoring the fruit drink beside him. Her arrival eventually succeeded in tearing his attention away from the letter.

"Hola, querida," he said, beckoning for her to sit. "You will never guess the stupendenfluous news I have!"

"And you'll never guess the news I have!"

"Whatever it is, it cannot match this. Look!" He shoved the letter in her face, and she read softly aloud, her voice not carrying beyond their table in the din of the small restaurant.

"'Dear Mr. Karlson... I have been promoted to Big Shot. Awaiting response.' Signed...Triggerfinger? And on Shore Patrol stationery?"

Don Karnage leaned in close and spoke quietly but fervently. "Ever since the Lightning Gun went down the train--"

"Drain."

"Whatever. Since then, I have been waiting for this! You see, I decided in my incredibly geniusy mind that if I was not able to conquer the city with a strong weapon like that, then perhaps it would be more better to destroy their defenses instead! Brilliant, yes-no?"

"Yes, yes, brilliant," she said with a wave of dismissal. "So what is this all about?" She handed the letter back to him.

"Well, after the Lightning Gun went kablooey, I put one of my men...Benjamin "Triggerfinger" Thompson...in the Cape Suzette Shore Patrol. I have been waiting for years for him to finally reach a high-enough-up rank so he would be stationed as a cliff gun operator. Do you see now where my extreme smartness is going?"

"I think so, yes. Sabotage."

"Exactamente, my wise wife! This is my new Master Plan! Now that Triggerfinger is in place, I can set it all in motion! I will take out all of Cape Suzette's defenses, and then fly the Iron Vulture through the cliffs in triumph!" Karnage was trying to whisper, but found it hard to keep his voice low through his excitement. "It will be my finest hour! The pinnacle of piracy! A pantheon of plunder! A--"

"You've been using that word-a-day calendar I gave you for Christmas, haven't you?"

"Er...well, yes, actually."

"I thought so. Now, about my news..."

"Oh, yes, querida, I had nearly forgotted. What is your news?"

"You know how I fainted last week, during that raid?"

"Yes."

"And how I've been so sick to my stomach?"

"Yes..."

"And how I told you I was going shopping this afternoon?"

"Yes, yes, yes," he said with growing impatience.

"Well...I lied. I didn't go shopping. I went to the doctor, down at the free clinic on 8th Avenue, and..." Somehow it seemed easier to say it in Spanish. "Estoy embarazada."

Karnage frowned. "No, no, my dear. You know better than that. 'I am embarrassed' is 'Tengo vergüenza', remember? 'Estoy embarazada' means 'I am pregnant'."

She smiled. "I know. Estoy embarazada."

"What? You are serious?"

She nodded.

He blinked for a few seconds, wrapping his mind around the concept. Then, suddenly, he jubilantly snapped into reality, seizing her in a hug so enthusiastically that he nearly knocked over her glass. "Ha ha! I knew it! Did I not tell you that was why you were being ill? I knew it!"

She held him close in a more serene embrace. "Then...you're happy?"

"Happy? Silly Scarlet of course I am happy! The pitter-patter of little feetsies around the Iron Vulture? Is splentastic!" Then, more quietly, he drew back and put a hand under her chin, holding her eye-to-eye with him. "Querida, to have a child with you is the most perfect-seeming thing in the world. To have a family...an heir...a protègè..." He stopped with a distant look, a mixture of sorrow and anger flickering across his black eyes like faraway lightning.

"What? What's wrong?"

"Nothing. Old memories."

"Carlotta?"

"No."

"What, then?"

"Not now. I tell you later. Is nothing wrong. Really." His face brightened again. "I could not be happier!"

"Good. Because I couldn't be happier, either. I was just afraid you wouldn't want to complicate things like this..."

"Complicate things? Complicate things! Darling, no, do not be absurd! Babies may make things more complicated, true, but also more...more wonderfuller!"

She grinned, half at the situation, and half at his grammar.

"You know, now that I am knowing for sure you are having a ton in the oven--"

"Bun."

"Whatever. I can see a look about you... In your eyes, there is a gleam..." He framed her face gently with his hands. "A noctural glow."

"Maternal glow. And it's not. It's nausea."

"Well, whatever it is, you are beautiful."

She looked down modestly. "Gracias...Papá Karnage."





22 April 1945 -- 8:35 P.M.

It didn't take Don Karnage long to unveil his new Master Plan. Later that same evening, he set up an easel in his quarters where his cracker-munching wife could see. She sat propped up by numerous pillows on the bed, resting her queasy body.

Karnage stood by the easel with a pointing stick, for all the world like a college professor at a geography lecture. "This is a map of Cape Suzette."

"I know. It says so in giant letters on the top. I'm pregnant, not blind."

"Oh." He glanced at the map, which was indeed prominently titled. "But of course. Anyway, here--" He loudly whapped the stick against the paper, indicating a dotted black line running off the eastern edge of the map. "--is where the Dutch Tunnel leaves Cape Suzette."

"I know."

"Would you let me get to the point?"

She merely resumed munching on a soda cracker.

"This tunnel represents the only way to be leaving or entering the city by land, yes-no?"

Scarlet nodded.

"One itty bitty train at the time, only, can go through this tunnel to get at the rest of the continent. Otherwise, the mountains, they are too tricky of air currents to fly, and too jaggedy to let through cars. So the military is useful of the tunnel often, ?"

Scarlet nodded again.

"But--" Karnage held up an ominous finger, grinning maliciously. "If say, perhaps, something were to be exploding in the tunnel, the city would only be reached by air or sea, through the cliffs, yes-no?"

She nodded yet again, more slowly this time, as a similarly devious grin took shape on her pale face. "No train tunnel, no direct connection for the military to send in defenses."

"Exactamente. Even more, it would be a diversion, making them pay not so much attention to the cliffs."

"I see."

"Then!" Karnage jammed the pointer stick at a rectangular gray area on the northern side of the city. "Here we have the airfield for Khan's own personally private air force, the sons-of-yak-herders who dropped the nasty exploding thingies on the Iron Vulture after the Lightning Gun fell into the sea. If some misfortune were to perhaps befall these planes before we arrive..."

"More sabotage."

"Prrrecisely, mi amor."

"I like it."

"I thought you would. A similar fate might come to the police department, too. Say, a bomb or a fire or something else so nasty only I can think of it."

Scarlet smiled fondly at his inflated ego.

"And then we are left with the most peskiest of all the Cape Suzette's defenses." Again a dramatic thrust of the pointer. "The cliff guns."

"Boo," she jeered as if at a ballgame.

He grinned at her. "This is the most important part of all, where Triggerfinger comes in to the plan. You see, some years ago, I sent in Mad Dog, Dumptruck and Hal to hijack the cliffguns. But the goodie-goodies in Cape Suzette knew they were pirates, and that estupid Baloo fellow ruined it!" He snapped the pointer in two to demonstrate his anger, soon realized he had destroyed his prop, and frowned even more deeply. Finally, tossing the broken halves over his shoulder, he continued. "But, no one is knowing that Triggerfinger is a pirate. They trust him. They think he is a Shore Patrol officer. By the time they learn differently, it will be too late, and we will be having a grand time of pillaging the city, yes?"

"Sounds good to me!" Scarlet said, her illness temporarily forgotten in her excitement. "When do we start?"

He wagged a finger at her and made scolding clucking noises. "No, no, no, querida, it is not that easy. First we must get the men to understand--"

"By which time our child will be out of grade school," she said disdainfully.

"Well, they do not need to know all the brilliant details like myself, but they must understand what they need to do. Then there are very precisely time-things to be sin-crone-lyonissed."

"Synchronized."

"That is the word. Also other details to be worked out, and supplies to gather. I am guesstimating we will be ready for the big attack by the end of October."

"The end of October?" she said with a somewhat startled look.

"Yes. You had other plans?" he joked.

"Not particularly. Just giving birth."

"What?"

"The baby is due the 19th of October."

Karnage blinked. "You are right. Well." He looked contemplatively at the map, then back at his spouse. "We shall just have to hurry it up a bit."

Scarlet looked unconvinced, and her brow came together in worry. "Won't this be dangerous? I mean, moreso than our usual plundering? Should we be taking risks like this right now, considering?"

Karnage shrugged confidently. "Do not be the mother hen, Scarlet. All their defenses will be gone kaput. What could go wrong?"





23 April 1945 -- 3:24 P.M.

Kit Cloudkicker approached the door of Higher for Hire with a bookbag slung over his shoulder. Before he even entered the building, he could hear the familar sound of Baloo and Miz Cunningham bickering, and he smiled a bit.

"Look at this mess! That sock has been there for a week! I don't know where the other one is, but this one is going in the hamper. Now!

"Aw, but--"

"No buts! This office looks like a pig sty!"

"Naw, it looked like a pig sty that time you bought that mound of psychotic bacon for truffle huntin'. Now that was a mess!"

"That mess had a purpose."

"This mess has a purpose, too. To keep me from having to clean up."

"No more excuses, Baloo, just clean!" Rebecca threw a mop into the pilot's hands as Kit came in the door.

"Aw, but Becky, I'm allergic to soap," Baloo pleaded.

"And I'm allergic to whining employees. Get to work!"

Grumbling, the large bear sulked his way into the storage room for soap and a bucket.

Rebecca turned to Kit with a softer expression. "Hello, Kit."

"Hi, Miz Cunningham."

Baloo trudged out of the supply room toting cleaning supplies, looking like a condemned prisoner. "Hiya, Lil' Britches."

"Bad day, Poppa Bear?"

"Not 'til Miz Neat Freak decided to make it that way."

"A clean office is a happy office," Rebecca said, straightening a stack of papers as if to prove her point.

"But the office ain't unhappy. Listen! Hey, office! Are you unhappy?" Baloo cupped a hand to his ear. "Nope, I don't hear it complainin'."

Rebecca rolled her eyes unsympathetically.

"All right, all right, fine, I'm cleaning," he said with a gusty sigh as he dunked the mop in the bucket of soapy water.

"Better," Rebecca said with a glimmer of amusement showing through her stern facade.

Kit started up the stairs, still carrying his bookbag. "Well, have fun, Baloo. I've got homework to do."

"Sure, run off and leave your ole Poppa Bear at the mercy of the slave driver," Baloo griped as he mopped.

"Homework so early, Kit?" Rebecca said curiously, looking up the stairs at the teenage cub. "Not waiting until the last minute? I'm proud of you!"

Kit shifted his weight. "Yeah, well, I've got other plans later." He continued climbing.

"What other plans?" Rebecca pursued.

"I'm going to the movies," he said quickly.

"Alone?"

"Uh, no, with somebody from school." Kit tried to reach the door to his room without running before the next question came. Too late.

"A girl?" Rebecca asked with a sly, dreamy lilt to her voice.

"Uh, well..."

"Now, Beckers, leave the kid alone. He's nineteen. For Pete's sake, he graduates in another month! If he wants to go to the movies, with or without a girl, it's his business." Baloo stood with one hand defensively on his hip, the other holding the mop at arm's length. "So..." He, too, looked up at Kit. "Is it?"

Kit ran a hand down his face in exasperation. "Yes, it's a girl. Her name's Sue. No, you don't know her, no, it's not serious, and yes, I'll be home by midnight."

"Just askin', kiddo," Baloo said with a smile.

Kit shook his head and disappeared into his room.



Chapter 2
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This story and the character Scarlet are (c) Katie Sullivan and may not be used without permission. Katarina is (c) Kayleen Connell and shouldn't be used without permission, either. Don Karnage, the Iron Vulture, the Air Pirates, Mad Dog, Dumptruck, Cape Suzette, Kit Cloudkicker, Baloo, Rebecca Cunningham, Tale Spin and all related indica, etc, are (c) The Walt Disney Company and are used without permission for non-profit entertainment purposes only.