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Story [Penguins of Madagascar] Aries Parries Queries - COMPLETE

Discussion in 'Non Star Wars Fan Fiction' started by pronker, Mar 30, 2022.

  1. pronker

    pronker Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Jan 28, 2007
    Title: Aries Parries Queries

    Author: pronker

    Setting: Sometime during the run of the show, before Watermelon Snow.

    Summary: Incoming new orders blast the team from peace to - not-peace.


    "Men, today we learn to cry."

    Private looked up from his fifty-three reps of curls to be followed by ninety-nine burpees per schedule. "Wot?"

    Rico dropped the frisbee he was about to pitch between Kowalski's legs, a surefire way to fine tune quick response time. "Ahnogrommtzkwy," he stated firmly before crossing his flippers.

    "Sir" - Kowalski peered upside down between his legs in the approved bent position to fend off the attack and hopefully score a catch - "one question: Why would we make ourselves miserable deliberately?"

    Questions? He could field questions. "At ease, team."

    Kowalski straightened, Rico's expression turned warier still and Private approached after settling the weights back onto their holders. He tapped his flipper tips together in that way he had.

    "Skippa, is this another of your jokes that I will never understand because it's too grown up for me?"

    Rico relaxed into a big grin that showcased his scar. "Haw!"

    Skipper sipped his fish coffee slowly, settling his sacroiliac against their all purpose table. He placed his coffee on the smooth surface, thrusting himself upwards to sit there before taking his coffee once more. "The Big Boss instituted a new drill to get in touch with your feelings and after that, you cry."

    "And to what purpose? Why would I wish to cry?" Kowalski put on his lecturing face. "Crying elevates blood pressure, increases woe and too many other things to list - "

    "Because it will make you feel good, Science Boy." Skipper swung his legs and sipped more java. He'd known this new routine that had yet to be named would turn problematical.

    "Cwaaaaaaazyyyy." Rico was the least likely penguin to disobey orders and at his statement, Skipper's brow creased. He swirled his joe and awaited developments he could pilot into an acceptable port.

    "I feel happy now," Private said slowly. Skipper could hear in the youngest team member's voice that he wanted to believe the new routine would benefit his commando training, yet was having trouble syncing his brain with his emotions. "I just aced more curls than ever before in my life!"

    "Yay!" cheered Rico. Rico proved adept at deflecting attention from himself, Skipper reflected.

    "And I plan an exciting new experiment, oh no time travel, sir, because I learned my lesson about that - "

    "Yeah, Kowalski," interrupted Skipper, still in charge, feeling his way to getting to yessir as his OCS training demanded, "but you haven't learned about your feelings."

    Kowalski drooped. "As you all know, an acknowledged weakness is understanding my feelings." His beak hit his chest. "And women."

    Skipper used the minutes of silence following this bald exposure to drain his cup. "After you get in touch with your feelings, you will feel bad. Then you'll cry, which will make you feel good." He downed the sardine in one gulp.

    "I believe I'll just be passin' over gettin' in touch with my feels," Private avowed in not quite a chirp, not quite an insubordinate I won't and you can't make me. "I'll go straightaway from happy to happy." He headed for the weight rack's dumbbells until Skipper's tennnn-hut! stiffened everyone's spine as they faced front.

    Skipper speared them all with a gimlet gaze but his voice remained calm. "Crying will help you pick up ladies."

    "So let's think about this a minute," Kowalski began. "Tell us more about this new drill. For instance, is the Big Boss absotively set on it, is it for all bases or just Central Park Zoo's and how does it benefit the service?"

    Every eye stayed rivetted on their leader, who hid a smile. He was ready, he was taut, he was toned. "The Big Boss developed this routine, so yes, it's her baby. For the good of our species, she wants all her troops to form solid relationships with potential mates which means she pushes for penguins in touch with their inner lives. A sensitive bird versus a bird unable to state his feelings because he can't identify them" - Kowalski studied his toes - "a bird dodging feelings because feelings might prove too upsetting to him" - Private's beak wibbled - "and a bird loving a doll who couldn't show feelings if she tried." Er, uh, that last came out skewed but Rico hung his head after a guilty glance at his precious Miss Perky asprawl on his bunk.

    Miss Perky's smile never faltered as she remained silent.

    "I need more data, if you would be so kind, sir."

    That's laying it on a scosche thick the commander thought but outwardly Skipper said, "A little self-improvement never hurt anyone, I agree. And" - he deployed a tactic touted by his old instructor as strategically most effective - "I myself could have a go at getting in touch with my feelings. It's been a long time and I'm not even sure where to look, but I'll give it a try with you all, what say, boys?"

    A chorus of yeahs cheered his innards.

    "Wait a minute!" Kowalski's baritone rang out. "Feelings regarding f-females, so does this mean our zoo considers adding delightful members of the opposite sex to our home sweet habitat?"

    Rico did not join Kowalski's or Private's caperings at the news. "Ahgrommtztwansferzout." As two of his teammates froze mid-jeté, he continued, "Ferus."

    Uh oh, a step backwards from getting to yessir. There was only one answer to the glitch. Skipper purged concerns from his voice. "I can neither confirm nor deny rumors regarding any zoo transfers, incoming or outgoing."

    He waited until the murmuring died down. "I can say the Big Boss never does anything without a reason. Remember when Manfredi and Johnson pulled that lame stunt and lost their warrants?"

    Glum nods all around as he pursued his beachhead with, "Well, they violated the penguin credo, so what else could she do?"

    Three shrugs. "Never swim alone, boys. You three won't and I won't and she won't oh you know what I mean."

    Kowalski sassed with aplomb granted from his second-in-command status. "Not even remotely."


    Last edited: Mar 27, 2023
  2. pronker

    pronker Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Jan 28, 2007
    Private stretched his newly-honed pecs, abs and delts as he bent back and forth. Skipper assumed he used the confidence gained by exercise and burgeoning maturity to interject, "K'walski, cryin' is bad for morale, we all know it and so does Skippa. There must be a heapin' good reason why Skippa goes along with the Big Boss this time 'cause he's disobeyed orders before he disagreed with, innat right?"

    Rico held his tongue, flippers crossed obstinately. He still nodded, though, at Private's assessment of the level of devotion Skipper lavished on his team and how insubordination reared its head now and again, or at least Skipper assumed so.

    Skipper cleared his throat. This was going off the rails fast. "Boys, we go camping in Central Park Zoo after we turn on our holographic selves. The Big Boss says camping is the perfect setting, complete with a roaring fire, for unburdening ourselves of long-held angst, crying and screaming and beating the ground with sticks, and catholic tears. She suggested drums, too."

    Kowalski still looked doubtful. "You mean cathartic, sir. As your second, I must express reservations regarding the new drill."

    "Noted and logged, Kowalski. Rig the hologram projector, stat. That's an order. Rico, check your gut for camping supplies and Private, bring marshmallows and our BlackBerry sets." As all good leaders did, Skipper headed topside without looking behind him to see if he were being followed. Fifteen minutes later, a shimmery quartet of penguins smiled and waved in the growing dusk as the real ones beat feet for the great outdoors and freedom to cry.


    In like a lion, out like a lamb, Skipper mused as March morphed into April. A pleasant night breeze in Hallett Nature Sanctuary whipped up their fire to spew sparks upwards; the team might not be perfectly satisfied, but he was. He was certain he understood the drill. Actually, he wanted to get it over with quickly and return to base, yet since his team gave him such static, he needed to reassure them. After all, this was not a new weapon or marching formation to learn, but a personal drill unlike any other.

    Rico laughed when Kowalski's marshmallow caught fire.

    Kowalski scowled at his teammate and grumped, "I must report a breakthrough, sir. I've been on other camping trips where I felt like crying, screaming, and beating not only the ground with sticks, but my fellow campers. I kept the feelings to myself, just choked them down for weeks on end. I became insensitive." He threaded on another marshmallow after gulping the blackened one. "Nobody noticed." Rico's sympathetic awwwww eased the path that edged towards camaraderie. "Is this what you wanted, sir?"

    It was time to bolster spirits, smooth the waters and confess because perhaps tears could grow from this. "I'm not sure. I'll play psychologist. I took Psych One-oh-one in OCS."

    "That doesn't sound like much." Of all birds on his team, he'd not expected these words from Private. All the exercise must have sharpened his Critique Streak.

    "I took it twice."

    "Well, okay then!"


    Last edited: Mar 10, 2023
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  3. pronker

    pronker Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Jan 28, 2007
    A secluded dale near The Pond in Hallett Nature Preserve proved conducive to camping, campfires, and camping camaraderie. A fingernail moon provided scant light, only enough to tinge the team atmosphere as it suggested shadowy, hidden emotions. Skipper opted to tend the campfire while assigning each team member to Jeremy Wade's piscatorial recommendation of a Shimano Tyrnos 2-Speed rig to fish with. Upon Rico burping up three sets of the gear that issued unassembled from his gullet, Skipper pointed north, south and west to Rico, Private and Kowalski respectively, accompanied by the silent signal for Routine Twenty-Two: Pure Penguin Vision. Curt, understanding nods all around made him smile as his team moved out individually and he settled on a log to poke the fire now and then. He mused that Jeremy Wade and himself were both Aries and pondered on the coincidence.

    Kowalski was the first to return in the wee hours of the morning. Good old Lieutenant Kowalski, Skipper thought, prompt to his commander's side with news to make the mission succeed. He patted the space beside him on the log after adding sticks to the fire. A warmth only partly from the flames invaded his heart as he gestured for Kowalski to begin. Tears glistened in the scientist's eyes, a grand sign that a feeling reared its head.

    "Go on, Kowalski," Skipper coaxed. "Your feeling had to do with your early relationship with your father, am I right? I'm right."

    Kowalski sniffled, ay caramba the poor guy was overwhelmed. Skipper leaned a companionable shoulder into his second's before straightening again to return personal space to the sufferer. "You can tell me. It'll go no further."

    "No. Sir."

    Skipper dug deep to be a Father To His Men. "I've been sitting here unable to flush a single feeling into flight. Oh, I thought I sighted one once with a 17AML front target globe model, but no go. You succeeded where I failed. Good on you."

    There was nothing in the world like a little competition, so this tactic turned the tide towards sharing a precious, valuable feeling. Kowalski stared into the glowing coals, looking through them to something a thousand yards away. He blinked hard before sniffling again. "Skipper, I hooked the biggest chain pickerel in my life, a record-breaking 112 centimeters if was an inch. Esox niger slipped off the hook 15 centimeters from landing it on the bank 2.15 feet away from me. Einstein's disproven theory, that hurt."

    Kowalski must be upset if he mixed metric with Imperial measurements along with general and Latin descriptions, Skipper thought. Not the perfect ending to the night's mission, but then Private and Rico were still out there, wrestling with wriggly fish and wrigglier feelings. Hope springs eternal, and so does practicality. "Walk it off, Kowalski. We're here to learn to cry, not to whine. Tell me, where were you when you hooked that pickerel, what bait did you use and did you have to change the gear into low when he really started to fight? Was the lure a 1/8, 1/4 or a 3/8 ounce bucktail jig that penetrated weed cover? I'll bet you used that one for rip jigging. I'm right. I must be."

    Kowalski refocused his stare to the enthusiastic angler beside him. "You want feelings, yeah I get it. You want to please the Big Boss, yeah I get that, too. You're the only one of us to have met her, so what is she like?"

    Any competent leader knows a teaching moment. Kowalski was not out of line to ask this, so Skipper went for broke. "Leopard seals morph into pussycat seals when they encounter her. She's one tough oatmeal cookie. She could bite ten-penny nails into three three-penny nails and nosh on the bit left over. She has zero sense of humor - "

    "Forget I brought up the subject, sir. She's as unlike my Doris as could be. I get it."

    "I, I guess so, it's as you say, Kowalski. You know Doris best."

    The moonlight became fainter still as a cloud high up passed before it to shroud any look Kowalski threw his friend and commander's way. "You know her second best."

    "Let's not go into that. Let's cry. I believe I can work up a tear or three now. It must be the smoke from the fire."

    "Wot do they mean, Rico? Is this another topic I'm too young and gormless for?" Private must have polished his covert sneaking because Kowalski and Skipper jumped a little at the approach of the last two campers.

    From one step behind the youngest member of the team, Rico slid his free flipper over Private's eyes but Private knocked it down. Rico sighed, "Neffermind, 'Rivate, neffermind."

    All four twitched in the next minute while a fluttering shape circled the fire, dipping and climbing, circling danger, flying ever nearer to singe its wings. "An early luna moth, gents, everyone have a gander! Crikey, usually it's May before they come out!"

    Skipper admired the beautiful creature as he held out his flipper for it to land on safely, but it did not land and swooped instead nearer the orange flames. Protectprotectprotect surged into his brain as he thrashed his flippers instead, well they all thrashed to shoo away the delicate green sprite of the night. The moth spiraled upwards to disappear from view.

    "How sweet it's gettin' away, yay!"

    "Yay!" the rest chorused until Private picked up his train of troublesome thought once again. "Hang about, I'm not lettin' this go - wot did the two of you mean - "


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  4. earlybird-obi-wan

    earlybird-obi-wan Chosen One star 6

    Aug 21, 2006
    Those penguins and their new mission are hilarious.
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  5. pronker

    pronker Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Jan 28, 2007
    + earlybird-obi-wan I'm pleased you think so, they're such fun to write!:-B

    And now the conclusion:


    "You men have some tears to share?" Skipper barked. He refused to fail on Not So Important Mission as much as he would have on Important Mission. Land sakes, now was not the time to go into the whole Kowalski-Doris-Skipper debacle. Skipper's patented glare wilted Private into a snit while the young penguin turned away, crossing his flippers. He threw his leader the stink eye over his shoulder, resembling the rebellious teen penguin he had been until a short time ago.

    Time to beat this mission into submission! "Rico, report. No slacking off, soldier, show 'em how it's done." He sat back as Rico made a displeased face, wiped it off while he saluted and gabbled for two minutes straight. Kowalski, usually the one to translate for his bud, looked lost at sea.

    "Sir, I'm trying --- give me a minute --- Hamarskaftet Nunatak dialect is challenging --- "

    "Relax, viejo. I've got this." Skipper took a deep breath. "So, Rico, you say your father made you cry when he chucked you into the briny with no warning when he taught you to swim? Oops, wait, that was my Pop-Pop. Ha, false start." He ignored the pity gushing from Kowalski and the subsonic grumbles of Private. He cleared his throat. "All righty roo, once more into the breach, dear friends. Rico" --- he shoved aside his special understanding of his ordnance guy as well as his appreciation of Rico's sublime trust in his commander in order to pursue his own agenda of Let's Get This Mission Over With So We Can Get Home In Time For Breakfast --- "says that his father found him looking at comic books instead of obeying his papa's order to Zamboni their ice lawn like he was told to do right after batting practice but before supper" --- Skipper also ignored the amazed look growing on Rico's face at these words --- "so his dad commandeered the comic books and Rico" --- the look blossomed into comprehension and collusion --- "never saw them again." He patted Rico's shoulder in rare coddling, a reward for joining the conspiracy to Get 'Er Done I Want To Go Home. "Even at this late date, it's no wonder Rico's tears flow while remembering the harsh." Everyone stared at Rico who, after much blinking and winking, produced one tear trickling downwards.

    Kowalski's brow crept upwards. "And when did this happen because it sounds suspiciously a priori, a propos, not to mention ad hoc --- "

    "Doubtful? Do you doubt my translation well have at it yourself, Science Boy --- "

    Putting aside his pout, Private soothed oil upon discord as he generally did. "Gents, I may have a tear to add to our success."

    "I knew you could do it!" crowed Skipper. Thoughtful creases crinkled his brow. "Wait, wait! Rico, Kowalski and I subbed for your father so it must be another source of tears, right? 'Cause it couldn't be us, right? It couldn't be Rico or Kowalski, and it goes without saying that I never ... made you ... cry ..."

    Skipper choked on his words at the level gaze of the youngest of the commando cadre. He swallowed hard at Private's affirmative nod as all heads swiveled his way. "I wouldn't be a leader if I couldn't handle this. Proceed, soldier."

    Private's gumption fled momentarily as he toed a circle in the leaves in front of him; his shadow from the fire swayed uncertainly and then he firmed his stance as would a senior commando. "You made me cry when you tried to teach me to swim oh it's so long ago." He looked at his own feet. "I've forgiven you."

    "Oh. That was when we assumed we'd all drown when our iceberg melted --- "


    Skipper burst out, "Ahem yourself, Kowalski, because you were the one spouting how baby Private had no family and we were all going to die --- "

    "'Kippaaah." Rico proved the voice of reason as he occasionally did. "Pastnao."

    Reason fled at the sight of Private snuffling back tears, tears that would complete this mission no matter if Private felt better afterwards or not. Skipper felt tears coming on himself, tears from hurting a baby, and he allowed them because really, how else could this mission succeed? He yearned to Skype "Mission Accomplished" to the Big Boss with no details but dammit, she likely would demand details about her pet project. It was too much to bear. He'd be duty bound to spill his guts. He blubbed, "S-See what you did, Private, you made me cr-cry and that's, that's a good --- " but then he couldn't talk any longer. He made a last ditch attempt to control himself to preserve morale.

    Private, Rico and Kowalski took one aghast step backward at the sight of their leader coming apart following an anguished, "I pushed you in in in icy seas --- I only did what was done to me I mean with me wh-when I learned --- I tried to make it up to you for years --- I c-can't handle this --- "

    The old adage when in trouble, when in doubt, run in circles, scream and shout must have thrummed in Kowalski's stressed brain as he took charge. "Leave fishing rods behind! The can of worms, too! Douse the fire with dirt, yes that's the way, Private! Rico, you're in the driver seat! I'll gather up Skipper!"

    Chaos reigned for four minutes as the team erased their presence in Hallett Nature Preserve, well, nearly. Kicking apart the fire, Private mumbled ouch hot hot as he obeyed orders while Rico vaulted into their car to gun the engine. "Hang about, drums! He said we ought to drum, gents!" screeched Private.

    "S-S-S-o-o-k-kay to l-l-l-eave 'em out --- " hiccupped Skipper from his place slung over Kowalski's shoulder but Kowalski was on a tear.

    "And sticks! He said sticks! Good call, Private!" Kowalski added. He dropped Skipper in his haste to take over the mission properly. "I'm on it, sir!" He scurried out of sight, picking up sticks here and there.

    Skipper bounced once on hard packed earth, missing the cushioning leaf litter by three inches. "R-R-Rico --- " he began but Rico operated in full bore hysteria, vaulting from the driver seat in an eye-popping triple somersault to land big orange feet on the car's bumper. He pounded on the hood. Echoing kabooms thundered through the woods as Rico found his rhythm a la Keith Moon.

    "Extreme scream, team!" expounded Kowalski as he returned with sticks sticking out every whichaway from under his flippers with a few carted between his thighs. These ones he laid like a Silver Laced Wyandotte hen deposits her precious eggs. "Everyone take a stick and beat the ground and scream as per orders! Rico, belay the drums!"

    Rico catapulted from the bumper to grab the largest stick in the pile, screamed as only he could, and commenced obeying the mission's parameters. He whirled like a dervish prior to kickstarting a Cossack dance, earning admiring looks from all his teammates. Showing off his newly developed pecs, Private fenced elegantly with his willow withe as Kowalski joined him in combat with an elm épée until they saluted each other as at a draw. Following earhole-splitting screams in his not-to-be-outdone falsetto, Kowalski outperformed even Rico walloping the ground until finally Skipper couldn't stand listening anymore.

    His team's frenzy of devotion to the misbegotten mission boosted his tears as he buried his face in his flippers and sobbed. The next thing he knew, anxious looks surrounded him as Kowalski gently exposed him to their gaze. Kowalski held his flippers no longer than necessary after a heartening squeeze.

    "Sir, at ease. Sir, mission accomplished, right? Sir?"

    "Yahchill." Rico offered a comforting pat on the commander's shoulder.

    Positive reinforcement was Private's specialty. "Skippa, let's go home, wot? Time for brekkie kippers." The young penguin pointed to where the sun would soon come up as dawn caressed Central Park with hesitant fingers. Light dribbled into their clearing while Skipper gathered his strength.

    Home. The ineffable comfort and peace of home as reward for completing this mission or any mission. Yes. "H-Home, team."

    A collective sigh from the three spiraled the leaf litter into tiny tornados. "Wait. Belay that order."


    Kowalski was not the only one to offer options to his team, Skipper thought as he presented a few to his command. "You know, when the Big Boss went on and on about how fathers or" --- he looked pointedly at Private --- "any parental figure, actually, prove responsible for childhood trauma that clogs grownup emotions to the point of constipation ---"

    "Please, Skippa!"

    "Sorry, sorry, I forgot how sensitive you are, young Private. Well, anyway, when she pounded home how papa's neglect of tenderness does the nasty, I couldn't help thinking that I didn't blame the fathers all that much in the first place. There's a lot of pressure on fathers." He swiped at his eyes and snuffled. "But she has a bee in her bonnet about the subject so I ask you: Do we as a team continue to report our feelings and concomitant tears ---"

    "Sir, have you added concomitant to your vocabulary?"

    "Keen observation, keep it up, Kowalski! Moving right along, do we as a team vote to adopt this mission as ongoing to add it to our list of regular routines and call it, oh I don't know, Routine Fifty-One Fifty: Spill Your Guts?"

    Rico snorted and turned away. "PleaddaFifth."

    Private's face was a study in indecision, Kowalski frowned thoughtfully as he stroked his beak and Rico already stated his vote.


    Skipper assessed his post-cry emotions which did not make him feel better. Time to hit the road for home and postpone Skyping the mission report as long as feasible, but first, one final decision.

    "Or do we commit to ahem my preference that I in no way wish to influence you upon, that in future we vow to keep our feelings decently bottled up and never ever cry in front of another unless it is a really good-looking señorita?"

    After tallying the vote, Skipper declared another win for democracy.


    The End.

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  6. earlybird-obi-wan

    earlybird-obi-wan Chosen One star 6

    Aug 21, 2006
    A hilarious end for a crying mission. I love those antics
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  7. pronker

    pronker Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Jan 28, 2007
    Thank you! It sprang from my Corporate America days when "management" came up with all sorts of touchy-feely things to do so employees could "bond". The ideas weren't half bad, it was just the forced aspect of it that grated. Many good friendships and ordinary camaraderie came from seminars, picnics, etc. :)
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    THE_PIED_PIPER Chapter Rep Knoxville, TN star 4

    Jun 8, 2006
    These penguins are some of my favorite characters! Their personalities are so distinct and you capture that well. Your Ricco is perfect, and I like the idea of Kowalski not understanding women and Private as a weight lifting buff.

    Great job
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2022
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  9. pronker

    pronker Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Jan 28, 2007
    Thank you! The TV show lends itself to great characters, IMHO, so it's such darn fun to plop them into new adventures.:D
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  10. Tarsier

    Tarsier Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Jul 31, 2005
    This was really fun! I love all the penguins' personalities. Poor Skipper! And poor Private too!

    I really like this line: "The old adage when in trouble, when in doubt, run in circles, scream and shout"

    Great work, thanks for sharing!
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  11. pronker

    pronker Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Jan 28, 2007
    How kind a reply/review, thanks for reading! Yes, the adage deems that some situations lend themselves to chaos, so just let them be chaos and ride it out ... :D Or, in Skipper's words, use Combat Routine #17: Just Relax and Take It, You Fool.
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2022
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