Splitting Heirs

Tale Spin Fan Fic

by Katie Sullivan


Chapter 6



10 Oct 1945

Later that evening, when the other pirates were busy working on The Plan, and Scarlet was shopping with Katarina, the Captain paid his new prisoner a visit.

Kit was in the back room of the penthouse, gagged with a white towel and bound tightly to a chair.  The thick rope made his wrists itch.  It was an opulent room, with polished oak furniture, silk curtains and gold-tinged wallpaper.  He was certain Sue had noticed his absence by now, but he silently hoped she wouldn't come looking for him.   She would only be captured, too...or worse.

The doorknob turned, and Kit opened his eyes.  The room was dark, but he easily recognized the figure in the door, backlit by the lamp in the other room.  A grim frown took form on his brow.

His former Captain and mentor flipped the light switch on and strode into the room with sure, unhurried steps.   His commanding presence filled the room.  Kit frowned even more deeply, determined not to show a hint of weakness.

Karnage paced the length of the room for a few moments, then stood, regarding him with a penetrating gaze.  Kit did the only thing he could, in his current position--sit still.  But his eyes made his distaste clear.

Finally, without ceremony, the foxwolf tore the gag away from the boy's mouth.  A few long moments later, he spoke.  "I am going to be a father soon, you know."

"Either that, or Scarlet's been shoplifting watermelons."

"Shut up, you insolent boy!"  He raised his hand as if to slap his prisoner.

Unafraid, Kit glared up at him.  "I don't take orders from you anymore, Karnage."

He paused, his hand in mid-air, and then slowly lowered it.  "Yes...a pity..." he mused quietly.  "You know, boy, you threw away the chance of a lifetime.  To be the protégé of a magnificent Captain such as myself is a great honor."

"Honor?  Yeah, right!" Kit said with a humorless laugh.

"You could have had a life of adventure and freedom as a pirate.   Instead you are now stuck delivering cargo from here to there, back and forth, every day.  Tsk, tsk, tsk."  He shook his head in mock pity.   "How boring for you."

"At least it's an honest way to make a living."

"That never used to matter to you before."

"Things change."

Karnage sighed.  "Yes.  They do." 

There was an awkward silence.

"Ah, but no matter.  You are nothing now, and soon..."  He held up an anticipatory finger.  "Soon, I, Don Karnage, will have a true child of my own to train, and--"

"--and corrupt," Kit interrupted.  "I pity any kid of yours, Karnage.  No one should have to raised by a lunatic like you!"

A low, wolfish growl rose in his throat.  "Watch your tongue, boy, if you want it to remain in your mouth.  And do not be all high-and-mighty-like with me! You are nothing!  I trusted you, gave you chance after chance, and you betrayed me!  And then you ruined my Master Plan, you ungrateful little hairball!  I was willing to train you, to teach you everything I know...well, almost everything.  I am very, very smart, you know.   But I was willing to try.  And you never showed any gratitude, you traitorous tidbit of a bear!  I...I tried to be like a...like your...your f--"

Kit raised an eyebrow.  "My what?"

"Your...friend."

"Friend?  Ha!"

Karnage knelt in front of his captive and gazed sternly into his eyes.   "Fine, boy, tell me.  What did I do?  What did I do to deserve your betraying tricks?  Tell me!"

Kit wasn't frightened by those gleaming white teeth.  But behind that menacing expression was someone he had once looked up to.  Someone who had trusted him.  Someone he had betrayed.  He at least deserved an explanation.  At last, he swallowed and said simply,  "I got sick of you."

"Sick of me?  What is that supposed to mean?" Karnage snarled impatiently.

"Sick of watching people suffer, and knowing I was partly responsible for it.   People work darn hard for their money, and their stuff, and...I know what it's like to lose everything."

"If they are so stupid and weak to let themselves get caught by the great pirates, they deserve to lose their valuables."

"You're wrong.  And you promised to teach me to fly!"

"If you had stayed with me, I would have.  When you were old enough."

"I was old enough!  It's not like you'd've worried about the legal age."

"No, but you were still not old enough.  Not by a long spot.  Your feetsies could not even reach the floor!"

Kit couldn't argue with that last point, so he changed the subject.  "And another thing.  Killing.   That's where I draw the line!"

"I kill when I have to, boy, and no more.  You know that.  You saw that."

"I saw you kill that guy in Port Largo."

"What guy in Port Largo?"

"See?  You don't even remember!"

"Rrrefresh my memory."

"On the docks, behind that tavern.  There was that cheetah, with the gun, and--"

"Oh, yes, Roland deMonet.  A bounty-hunter.  For years he had been after me, for the reward money.  He had me trapped in that alley, and if I had not sliced him open with my sword, he would have captured me and taken me to jail."

"Where a penny-ante crook like you belongs!"

"No, no, no.  I am a gentleman of fortune, yes-no?  I live by my own rules.  And how much better it is that way!  Do you not remember, boy?  The freedom?  The adventure?"

"The lying, the shooting, the punishments, the insults, the--"

"Hard times make you strong."

"I am strong, Karnage.  And if hardship strengthens you, then I'm even stronger than you.  If you had any idea what I've been through in my life...  Of course, maybe you do, since you were the cause of a full year of it!"

"You chose to join me, Cloudkicker.  No one forced you."

"Yeah, well, we all make mistakes."

"Very true, boy.  Mine was trusting you."

"I was going to say the same thing.  I mean, I've had my share of hardships and then some, but--"

"Hardships?" Karnage interrupted.  "What does a little scrap of furriness like you know about hardships?  I saw my brother murdered when I was just fifteen!" 

"I saw my parents killed when I was four."

"My father practically disowned me."

"I didn't have a father!"

"I am a hy--"  In the heated attempts to one-up each other, Karnage nearly said too much.  Flustered, he stopped himself and looked away.  His heart rate jumped even higher when Kit finished the thought for him.

"What, a hybrid?  I know."

"What?  How did--  No!"

"Oh, come on, Karnage!  You've gotta be.  You don't look like an...an anything!"

"How...how dare you even incinerate such a thing about the Prince of Pirates?" Karnage sputtered.  "I am a fox!"

"With that tail?  And those ears?  Don't make me laugh!" Kit mocked.  "Besides, I've seen your family album."

"You what?  That is locked in my desk, always!"

"Don't forget, I can pick locks with the best of 'em!" Kit said with a smirk.

"You snoopéd in my personal belongings?  Why, you nosy little flea!   Why, if I did not have more important things to be doing, I would--"

"What?  Have me thrown off the Vulture again?  Didn't work the last time."

"No.  It was too good for you.  This time, I will be more...thorough," he said with quiet menace.

Kit let his eyebrows drop into a disdainful frown.  "Sure.  Go ahead and kill me.  The answers won't be so easy with your own kid.  You won't be able to just get rid of it if you get fed up.  You'll have to stand and face it, then.   I mean, really...not even Don Karnage is coward enough to kill his own son."

**SLAP!**

The blow neither surprised nor truly effected Kit.  He just kept staring at his captor with a hard look, almost as if their positions had been restored and reversed...he the tutor and Karnage the pupil.

The pirate stood, quivering with fury.  But behind that overwhelming ire was genuine disquiet.  Kit had made his point.  At last, for lack of a sufficiently scathing reply, he roughly replaced Kit's gag and stormed from the room. He clicked off the light, leaving the bear in a darkness threaded with heavy silence.



Chapter 7
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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.