The Talespin cast grudgingly reenters the theater. The fic Double Vision 3, by Phoebe Kersula appears… Three~ _But the tigers come at night With their voices soft as thunder Kit: Who wants to bet that Shere Khan isn’t even in this? Becky: That would be a tease… As they tear your hopes apart As they turn your dreams to shame..._ The memory tight in his chest, Kit felt the pain flow over him, and as he rested his head in his paws, he felt his heart constrict with unshed tears, grief. ~_No. Boys don't cry. A solider shouldn't cry._~ Yet he had seen, >>Kit: The newest fall ABC schedule… heard, of his best friends mowed down, >>Kit: Oh. I was way off.. slaughtered by boys and even the rare girl their own age and younger, in a war too great to comprehend, in the summer of their lives. Did anyone ever comprehend war? Her eyes darted in front of him, mocking him, mocking the only way they had known how to survive, daring him to gainsay her. >>Becky: Gee, she says a lot with those eyes..(makes snoring noise) Her, who made the war unreal, who brightened the dreariness of solitude, who had--_NO._ >>Baloo: good lines… That door slammed shut in his mind, and with it, she was gone, only the whisper of her voice carrying across the water. _Kiiht...Kiiht Cloudkiihcker...Schwingen Heil, Kit! _Swing_ Heil! ... _ >>Kit: God, she’s still working on my name?? >>Becky: Someone needs to get hooked on phonics… "Heidi? " But only the gentle lap of the waves answered him. "Heidi! " Kit called. Kit: Heidi! Here girl! (makes the whistling for a dog noise) "Heidi, Swing Heil! SWING HEIL! " >>Becky: (sings) Swing low, sweet chariot, its aw-ful… Oh, sorry. No reply. A seasnipe cried,circling in the sky, and Kit felt his heart shatter into a thousand pieces once again, much like the oyster which had just been smashed upon the docks. >>Kit: Geez…*Im* pretty fragile…Why don’t you just have me making candles and put me in a bonnet? "Heidi..." he moaned, staggering to sit on the ramp of his plane, and bury his head once again in his arms. "Come back Heidi, _cariad,_ don't leave me again, please don't...” >>Becky: Cariad? Is that German for “hottie”? Baloo was leaning heavily against the counter, tossing down fruit drinks like there was no tomorrow. Molly laid a hand on his arm, and he calmed down a little when he saw her, the daughter of his h eart. "He's been acting funny all morning. I don't think he meant it. " "He was always a hero to me...did you see all the metals he brought home? >>Baloo: Metals? You mean like souvenir shrapnel?? >>Becky: Okaaaaay… ...Never wanted to hurt him, I'm proud of m'boy Pigtails, he's a hero..." "I don't think--" >>Baloo: about anything but Danger Woman…La la la la la… Molly attempted, then began again. "Maybe you should go apologize? " It came out in a squeak. "He's the one who needs to apologize! " Baloo informed her angrily. "He knows where to find me. " That, in a sudden roar. Molly stepped back, shaken, her composure crumbling as tears pooled in her big brown eyes. Baloo, unheeding, stomped away to find Louie, and Molly fled. She found Kit on the wharf, screaming at the sky. >>Kit: What am I on?.. "K--Kit? " Molly asked, laying a trembling paw on his shoulder. He spun, breathing heavily, eyes dark with a pain she dared neither question, nor fathom. "Something's wrong, Kit. " It was a statement, no questions here. Kit offered a short, bitter bark of laughter. "Something's been 'wrong' for a long time, Molly. How astute of you to notice. " Kit coughed--once, twice, both rackingly. >>Kit: Oh, sure. Give me a disease on top of everything else! MiSTie Authors note: At this point the story gets kind of hard to tackle, so let me just summarize. Slaughter, war. War, blood. Slaughter again. Messy, bad things that happen to Kit, Kit winds up as some sort of enraged victim of war that they could make a TV movie about, and probably have but with different names…You may now go on to Part 4. >>Kit: Well, that was lame… Note from her royal Ricia: Not so fast! I'm tackling the rest myself! "Once I thought of you as more perceptive than _this._ " Molly took his paw in hers, gently. "Whatever it is, you can always tell _me._ You know I care...You'll always be _my_ hero, no matter what anyone else says. " >>Baloo: (Molly): You'll always be the wind beneath my wings. "Hero? _Hero!_ " Kit spat out the word as if it was insect dung, bitterness forming in his mouth, gagging him. "What do you think a "_hero_" is, Molly? Huh? " >>Kit: Well knowing her, it's probably someone with a strainer on her head brandishing a spatula. "What...what you are Kit. " Molly faltered. "You saved our country! " "Some who 'saved our country', as you so generally term it, never came back. " Kit gripped the girl's paw tighter, heaving a great breath as he did so. "I was one of the unfortunate, as I now discover. It was either them or me, and if this is the way war is supposed to be...You call me a hero? _Me?!_ A loose term generally describing anyone who 'does brave deeds' , right? _Right?_ " >>Rebecca: Hey Kit. Is this the part where you lose it and start picking people off? >>Kit: No this is the part where I start talking about Charlie. >>Baloo: Wrong war. "R--right..." Molly faltered, and began to extract her paw >>Kit: From the bloody knife I had plunged into it. >>Baloo and Rebecca: *edge away from Kit* from his, as xavier was coming their way. But Kit gripped her wrist, and would not let go, eyes burning with a fire she shrank from. >>Rebecca: Oh dear God! Not "The Incredible Shrinking Molly"! Nobody deserves that! Perhaps he did not know how to let go. "Stop, Kit! You're hurting me! " Molly cried, flailing futilely in his iron grip. And Xavier was running towards them, panic in his eyes and rage upon his countenance. "You wanted to know what a hero was, Moll...is a hero someone who kills a little boy with a machine gun only to discover he was a woman? Do heroes mow down civilians in cold blood because they are the enemy? Kill boys their own age, make promises they never intended to keep? " >>Baloo: I wasn't paying attention. Has this happened? Did he mow down civilians in cold blood yet? "_Please,_ Kit! " Kit dropped Molly's wrist, >>Rebecca: And her hand fell off. >>*Molly storms in* >>Molly: That's it! I want out of this fic right now! staring at his own paws in horror. He never _meant_ to hurt... >>Baloo: (sing) ...the one you love, the one you shouldn't hurt at all! "Molly! Molly, did he hurt--" Xavier never finished his sentance, >>Rebecca: What's a sentance? >>Baloo: Like a seance? I dunno. only took one look at her tears and swung at Kit--Kit, whom he had idolized since before he could remember. The blood took him completely by surprise, because he had been expecting Kit to dodge. And once started, he couldn't seem to stop. He took another swing, his fist connecting with kit's jaw. There was a sickening crack, and with a roar, >>Kit: The lion ate him. The end. Kit slammed Xavier's thin frame up against the side of the _Swingin' Suzy_, blood pouring from his mouth grotesquely. >>Baloo: As opposed to blood pouring beautifully. Xavier >>Rebecca: Roberts created the Cabbage Patch Kids slumped in Kit's paws, but Kit shook him and he awoke to find his head on fire. >>Kit: He had fallen asleep on the stove again. Kit punched him, and the wharves swam red around him... Blood stained his fur, and a choir of angels sang in his head. >>Kit: (to the tune of Hallelujah) This story sucks, this story sucks... "No! " He begged in vain, shaking his head to clear it but failing, dumbly, dizzily. "No, please! " The other words he wanted to say seemed to be floating just beyond his reach... >>Baloo: I'm guessing they're..."Get me out of this Twilight Zoneish fic!" _No, please!...No!..._the words took on a different meaning in Kit's mind >>Rebecca: For some odd reason they were in Spanish , in memory, as he ran from a past he could not forget, never... _May, 1944_ "Halt! " >>Kit: (squeaky voice) Who goes there? >>Baloo: (same) It is I! The most holy and exalted Vanguard of that group of Fraggles who are so exalted that I may not speak their name! The word scraped against Heidi's already high-strung nerves, >>Rebecca: And played a beautful Mozart piece. and she forced herself to stop, look the officer in the eye, do the talking. _~The jeep broke down, back there, I have killed two escaping prisoners...~_ >>Baloo: Is she thinking of saying that? Rebecca: I have no idea. But he did not give her that chance. "Who are you?! " Was the next thing from the man's lips, and his eyes roamed over her >>Kit: Is this a lemon? scrutinizingly, deep pits of fire. "You are not Lieutenant Ziegheimer! >>All: *snickering* Ziegheimer! Why, you aren't even a man! You're a--" >>Rebecca: You're a mushroom! the bear's eyes bugged from their sockets, >>Kit: He's been eating Crunch Berries. and he uttered a whimper of pain, clutching his gut with both paws as he fell to his knees. Kit half-grinned at Heidi, and she took her cue from there, positioning her gun at the man's temple. "Supermergentroid! " >>Baloo: I love that video game! >>Rebecca: That's Super Metroid. >>Baloo: Oh. She whispered in reference to Kit's swift move, and felt her trigger finger waver, overcome with uncertainity. Would she kill him now, or make him suffer? >>Ricia's voice: Suffer! Suffer! Suffer! >>Baloo: What was that?? >>Rebecca: You don't want to know, believe me. "I know you! " His words, bitter, brought back memories of her own, dark memories best forgotten. "I know you. " It was softer this time, and she shot him a glance. It was a mistake. The burned into her own, >>Kit: The what burned into her own? >>Baloo: Who cares? captivated her, entranced her like so long ago. >>Rebecca: Oh jeez! It is a lemon! "Yes, Heidi. I never forget a face as pretty as yours. Yes, I remember you now. The swing dancer from Hunberg, back in '39. You held dances in your basement--in open defiance! Yes, you were quite the hellcat, weren't you? " The man sighed passionately. "Don't you remember? Or has that labor camp taken that from you too? I'm your brother's best friend, Anthony. " >>Kit: Anthony? Yeah I know lots of Germans named Anthony. Anger flashed in her stormy eyes, >>Baloo: And they lit on fire like all eyes in this fic seem to. and she hissed "You _aren't!_ You betrayed him! Me! My little sister! " >>Kit: My second cousin, my barber, my dental hygenist, my third grade teacher... She choked back a sob. "I heard what you did to her, you bastards! You _monsters!_ The man shrugged, this time laconically. "They were Enemies of the State! As are you! " He eyed Kit, who, not speaking German, >>Baloo: Oh they were speaking German! I wondered how Heidi became so verbal. could only return the disdainful glare. "An Uslandian? You would betray your homeland? " "It is different, " Heidi answered, let the tip mouth of the gun slide downwards--let him think he was off the hook. See what he wanted to see. "As am I. " She pulled the trigger, and Anthony crumpled, a dark bloom expanding from the dark hole in his gut. He stared up at her, uncomprehending, blood beginning to gush from his wound, an error on the canvas. >>Kit: Oh club soda will get that right out. He began to rise, pistol in hand, aiming >>Baloo: Towards us to put us out of our misery I hope. for her, and she shot again, lower this time. >>Rebecca: *snicker* >>Baloo and Kit: That's not funny! He screamed in agony, beginning to writhe madly, like a live gorilla bird with it's head cut off. But his eyes remained fastened on hers, burning with a fanatical light she dared not name. >>Kit: Flaming eyes again. These people need Visine. And then there was a shot. >>Baloo:...in the dark >>Rebecca:...on that dark and stormy night >>Kit:...the butler got his revenge She flung Kit out >>Rebecca:...the window. of the way, and for a moment, was perfectly weightless. >>Baloo: (Heidi) I can fly! I can fly! I can....AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH! "Heidi. _Heidi._ " Kit's voice seemed to be coming from a distance, >>Rebecca: Cause he was running away. and she gazed about wildly, past the red haze which had settled before her eyes. >>Kit: Why can't we see a blue haze or a green haze. The gun fell from her hands to the soft grass, >>Rebecca: went off and shot her in the leg. and Heidi watched it go. She put a paw to her side, and it came away sticky wet with blood. She hardly knew she had collapsed until she saw >>Kit: the ground come up and smack her in the face. Anthony's boot before her and felt the heat of her weapon just millimeters from her nose. She curled into a fetal position, every breath agony, Anthony's laughter in her ears. Why had he not died? Had she not shot him with her own two hands? Was--had there not been--three bullets in her gun? Or had she been lied to about that also? "Kiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiihhhhhhhhttttt!!!!!!!!!!!!! " Heidi screamed, clawing at her side as she heard his footsteps going away from her, away, away, away--"I'm dying, I'm dying, I die, I die, " >>Baloo: Okay...now repeat after me "I died, I died" and we've covered the tenses. she kept on repeating, almost keening, >>Kit: And gearing? and Kit slid his arms under her, >>Kit: When did I come back? picking her up, running now, through the long grass and heading for the woods, perhaps there they would be safe...Heidi closed her eyes, saw Anthony's floating before her >>Baloo: Told you it was "The Twilight Zone" , and immeadiatly they snapped open. "Kit, I'm dying! " Heidi shaped the words but could not give them voice. And suddenly, as one discovers perhaps a malady or madness, she realized that they were leaving a trail of blood for those who would come along to follow, unmistakeable, unthinkable, yet as true as the day is long. The pain sang in her head, >>Kit: Was it singing Hanson songs? >>Rebecca: No that would be pain*ful* and she felt herself drifting in and out of conscicousness. Time passed. >>Baloo: Oh really:? I thought it was just standing still. Kit's running jostled her, and every bump or thud, tree branch or step was still agony, worse this time, an agony she held back as she fought--for herself, for him, for _them._ Them? Who was them? Two people trying to stay alive, enemies some would say, allies others. She looked up at him, searching for some sort of reassurance. His eyes were the same mahoghany as his fur, >>Kit: You mean they're not red and on fire?? Wow! she noted. Determined eyes. Kind eyes. She clung to him, she couldn't fall. >>Rebecca: Cause as we mentioned earlier. She was weightless. And, as suddenly as he had run, he stopped. She glanced around, shaking her head to clear it, as everything claimed blurred outlines. Somewhere along the way, her cap had fallen off, and her hair fell tousled against his arms. A fern bed. Trees. >>Rebecca: Grass. Dirt. Rocks. Weeds. Bugs. Land mine. Land mine? >>All: Make explosion noises. Gently, he laid her in the ferns, and rose, dusting himself off. She saw now he thought her asleep, meant to leave her here, to die in peace--most likely, to die at the hands of her pursuers--or to live. "Kit. " Her voice was barely above a whisper. "You leave me here?" She saw something flash in his eyes, but it was gone in another instant, and he crouched over her, brushing a strand of black back from her eyes and twisting it around his fingers, >>Baloo: and ripping it out of her head. breath warm on her face. "I'll never leave you. " >>Kit: Oh! It's the promise I don't intend to keep!! I'll bet it is! But his eyes slid almost imperceptibly away, and she gingerly touched the hole in her side, >>Rebecca: And realized getting her waist pierced had been a silly idea. her ribs, the bullet lodged in there--somewhere... "I'm just goin t' get some water. " He rattled his canteen for good measure. "Kinda empty, ya might say." "Yes. " Her voice, she noticed with rising panic, was coming harder now. "I...I vant..." >>Kit:...to be alone! she groped for words, for things she did not know how to ask. Uslandic, she was forgetting what little Uslandic she posessed! "Anything for you, pretty lady. " His tone was playful, but with an edge to it, an edge the words 'soft and gentle' were not associated with. As one speaks to the doomed. She had heard consumption victims bloomed before they died >>Baloo: Bloomed? This isn't one of those 'very special episodes' is it? ...was it they same with all victims? She spoke so soft he had to place his ear just above her lips, and even then...She was cold to the touch, even though it was summer! >>Kit: Well she's bleeding to death you moron! Do something! "There is a hole in my side. I know. You know. So...you will leave me for them. Already the flies have begun to gather. A rib is broken. How bad? I do not know. Nor vhere ve are. See, my Uslandic goes too! Ve are near Black Forest. I vill likely die here, alone... Unless..." she put a paw to his lips, stilling any words. "No. Do not speak. I know you vill leave me. " An exclaimation of surprise. "So--" she made an airy motion with one paw, "--all I ask from you is one thing. A meet of lips. A kiss. " ~_It is so little to ask,_~ her head rationalized. ~How can you refuse the dying?~ >>Rebecca: (Heidi) Give it to me you big beautiful stud muffin! >>Baloo: Becky! "So be it. " Kit replied, and his lips were on hers, warm in the dying light. >>Baloo: (dully) Oh how very romantic. A stick snapped nearby, and they both tensed. Heidi, supine in her fern bed, froze. "No, please, not them! " She whispered. "No!" Another step. Closer, this time. Kit took quick action, unbuttoning his flight jacket >>All: AAAAAAAAAH! No! and, turning it inside out, he rolled it into a ball and propped her head over it--and resumed kissing her, deeper this time. She warmed in his grasp, melted against him. >>Rebecca: It's a lemon. Oh dear Lord in Heaven! The sound of heavy breathing for a few moments, then it tapered off along with dying footsteps which drifted farther and farther away. Kit stopped kissing her long enough to stare at her, bemused, as she dreamily noted how handsome he was. "You won't leave me now, will you Kit Cloudkicker? " Heidi asked, enchanted, in Jerrmian. >>Baloo: *covering Kit's eyes* I think it's over. >>Rebecca: End of this part? >>Kit: Guess so. Let's go.