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Story [Penguins of Madagascar] There's No Chance To Skip Thanksgiving Gatherings When You're Incarcerated

Discussion in 'Non Star Wars Fan Fiction' started by pronker, Nov 27, 2019.

  1. pronker

    pronker Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Jan 28, 2007
    Title: There's No Chance To Skip Thanksgiving Gatherings When You're Incarcerated

    Author: pronker

    Era: Somewhere around Day One Thousand of Remember, Remember, The Fifth Of November, an entry in the One Sentence Challenge. Many thanks to @Sith-I-5 for shaping a slurried idea into Portland cement.

    Characters: Manfredi and Johnson, canon team members thought dead but shown in the last episode of Penguins of Madagascar to be trapped in Seaville, an aquatic theme park with state of the art security.

    Summary: Let us remember that Thanksgiving is simple at the heart of it.

    A/N: A very happy Thanksgiving to those who celebrate.


    Like when moulting announced its beginning with itchy tail feathers, an itch flared inside Johnson for a cleansing discussion over The Incident. He told himself that he needed to direct his dreams to relive it so he could freshen his memory. That was not something he looked forward to, exactly, but it needed to be done and Thanksgiving morning was an appropriate time to dredge up the subject. Thanksgiving offered opportunities to count blessings and entertaining the humans on the holiday would fill up the rest of the day. He hoped Manfredi felt the same way, or would, in time.

    Right before he dropped off to sleep tucked around Manfredi like good Norwegian black bread snugging a slab of sylte a la open sandwich style, he remained unsure if he spoke aloud or simply thought Manfredi's name as slumber claimed him.


    The dream began the usual way and an onlooker in his mind would have seen Johnson determined, not full of himself exactly but not far off. Johnson's voice carried in the echoing stairwell more than he wanted it to; he bit off his curse so hard the backlash burned his tongue.

    "Manfredi, stat!"

    Manfredi crawled on his belly across the fifteenth floor mezzanine and joined his buddy. "I stashed my 'chute on the roof, why didn't you? What happened?"

    "Aw, I didn't want to lose sight when the lead rævhål skedaddled too far ahead with his unholy trio. The crumb bums rappelled as far as the third floor," Johnson ground out, "but they got tangled in the holiday banner, see?" He pointed to the railing twenty-five feet across the stairwell where a line secured there and snaked down. Manfredi wiggled forward to peek over the edge, nodded, and wiggled back.

    "We got no rappelling gear, Johnson. Let's me and you charge down the stairs while they're getting unstuck. I'll take point." Manfredi made to suit action to words until Johnson tugged his flipper.

    "I got a better idea."

    "Let's hear it, 'cause the elevator is eighty-sixed and time's a'wastin,' Bubba Ray Billy Bob."

    "Tandem parachuting!" Johnson waggled his shoulders where the pack containing his parachute bulked up his ripped musculature even more.


    Johnson warmed to his cause. "Easy peasy, mac and cheesey. I drop over the side cuddling you close like I'm your sweetie, then I pull the ripcord, see, and we mushroom downwards. Now my legs lock onto yours the way we drilled in training, I guide us between the railing and the nutsos, get it? We slip past the crazies who don't know we'd do something that badass, see? Now I'm grabbing you and, and steering, and you get all the glory because when we pass the perps, you shuriken their rappelling line. They're gobsmacked, as Private would say, they fall to the lobby and flop like a fish as Sponge Bob would say, we float down like lil angels like I say, to mop 'em up while they're dazed." All this time talking, Johnson had been adjusting his parachute, working his neck, pumping a fist in early triumph as he steamrolled his companion of more years than he wanted to count.

    Manfredi wriggled to the lip of the mezzanine again, looked up at the six floors above them and then down to the bad guys still snarled in the holiday string of lights twelve floors below. Raw curses echoing up the stairwell told the two warrant officers that the baddies didn't suspect they had been followed, much less faced danger of being caught. Holiday time brought deserted buildings nicely lit up, well, nice for the good guys, that is. Good guys who weren't penguin commandos looking to be covert.

    "I dunno, man. I dunno. The drop is pretty short for a 'chute, ain't it? And the 'chute will fill the stairwell side to side, won't it? What if it gets snagged on something and we get strung up high like holiday lights ourselves? They'll spot us and we'll be sitting ducks! Sitting penguins! Oh you know what I mean."

    Johnson paused his jump prep. "Are you saying you don't trust me? After all we've been through together, Nicaragua, the Philippines, France, China, you don't trust me? I'm hurt, Manfredi. You cut me deep."

    Manfredi winced. "It's okay to express an opinion, sheesh."

    "And you did. It's noted and logged. Now let's jump. Come here for a hug, you nut."

    "Let me get my shurikens out. There. Okay, engage hug. Remember I'm ticklish."

    "How could I forget our partners limbo dance contest fiasco last New Year's Eve?"

    Up onto the railing they balanced, Johnson's left flipper snugging Manfredi's spine to him and his right flipper at the ripcord. He whispered, "Geronimo," in Manfredi's earhole and threw himself backwards. As they cleared the balcony, he hooked his legs inside Manfredi's per protocol, ankle to ankle with Johnson's toes pointed outward to lock position. He pulled the ripcord.

    Uh oh. There was no snap pwwwshp when the 'chute deployed but a hrmsplp, which meant it didn't deploy correctly. A tangled mess sprouted like a head of creamy fårikål cabbage that Johnson could see out of the corner of his eye. Oh well, he knew backup procedure as training protocol demanded. He had to give Manfredi credit, his buddy didn't let out a penguin peep as Johnson squeezed him harder and with both flippers. Johnson spreadeagled himself but only his legs assumed proper position because he had to hold Manfredi tight; there was no option on this. They'd break their necks together or get moderately injured together. Given their aerodynamics, their spread legs but tightly compressed flippers tilted them headfirst towards the lobby floor, which looked to be granite. Marble, maybe?

    He felt rather than heard Manfredi's huh? as he whispered into the earhole of the one penguin he trusted above all others in a sitch like this one. "Reach around to deploy backup 'chute, on my mark."

    An economic nod.


    Manfredi didn't drop the shurikens, oh no, not that professional. He transferred both of them to his left flipper, reached around to the breakaway handle and yanked. The handle came off as Manfredi pulled it without hesitation, and the main chute fell away. Aw snap, now Manfredi had to transfer the shurikens to his right flipper so he could reach the reserve ripcord and wasn't the high gloss of the floor approaching faster than it ought to?

    Johnson gave up the notion of resuming his one-flipper hold on Manfredi and concentrated on holding him tightly with both flippers in their headlong descent. He used body language best he could to guide their fall straight downward.

    Manfredi pulled the reserve ripcord, they heard a satisfying snap pwwwshp, and the backup 'chute bloomed up and out like Manfredi's favorite flower, the lily of the valley. Their heads leveled up, their feet positioned underneath them again and their sitch likewise brightened.

    Down they floated and oh yeah, this worked perfectly! Skol, teamwork! In his dream, Johnson smiled and knew that he had smiled. It was weird, but he let it pass.

    Onward they dropped, Johnson unable to tug the control lines although his body English steered well enough. Yes, the 'chute did nearly reach the sides of the stairwell, but enough leeway remained to maneuver for an experienced soldier such as Johnson. Manfredi tensed in his grip, silly bird! Everything was under con---

    Uh oh.

    They neared the third floor where silence prevailed from struggling baddies, who seemed thunderstruck to see parachuting fellow penguins on the side of the angels drifting to them.

    Manfredi aced his assignment: he snapped one shuriken sideways to slice their rappelling line and the next cut the holiday lights string so that the two groups fell in one great ungainly glob to the lobby floor.

    The danger-sparked sense of slow motion prevailed and Johnson perceived through the flash of red and green lights popping one by one that a baddie grabbed for Manfredi. The bird wanted, no doubt, to seize him to slow his fall.

    Nuh uh.

    No way.

    Johnson wouldn't have Manfredi touched by any bad guy because Manfredi was his. He kicked outwards to the villain's beak, hearing a crack at the connect. He caught sight of the bird's eyes crossing while the unsupported feathery body dropped to the hard floor.

    Then time resumed normal passing and everything happened at once: he got his and Manfredi's feet underneath them for a textbook landing, the baddies moaned and groaned after their fall, the 'chute settled on both groups of penguins, and the front door opened as the Big Boss charged in at the head of her picked troops. Although he couldn't see them at the time, Johnson recalled their names as some pals of his and the memory burned with shame as if it had just now happened. The dream played mercilessly onward with the grueling auditory part.

    "I thought you'd need backup, you --- you --- what in the sweet seven seas did you two think you were doing?" the Big Boss barked as she must have signaled silently to her troops. Johnson heard twelve penguin feet surround the 'chute quickly and another pair of feet approached with the measured tread of authority. Suddenly he didn't want to come out from under the silky haven, but it was not to be. The footsteps halted and worn flippers lifted the 'chute directly in front of the two of them.

    Johnson and Manfredi saluted.

    Johnson ended the dream with a groan, unwilling to witness their hearing, punishment of a week in the brig, and revoking of their warrant.

    No longer officers except non-commissioned.

    Humiliated in front of the service, the Big Boss, and his pals.

    Dissing of his tactic.

    Coercion of a fellow soldier to partake in an unsafe procedure. Yeah yeah, Manfredi stood up for him and told the story to the Big Boss to put Johnson in a good light, but her decision stood.

    When Manfredi woke up, Johnson was unprepared for the fallout of a quite reasonable request to lay The Incident to rest by dissecting it, decision by decision.

    "Whatever made you think I'd want to relive it? We survived it and we've survived this black torture for years, but could you leave the past alone? Oh nooooo. Oh no, you had to bring it up --- " and then Johnson couldn't help himself: for the sake of his own honor, he had to defend his part in their decisions made within the span of ten minutes, Incident time.

    He never knew Seaville Aquatic Park could echo so much.


    The End.

    Last edited: Mar 11, 2020
    Kahara likes this.