Jan. 16th, 2017

pronker: (Default)
Title: Dawn's Early Blight

Author: pronker

Era: Sometime during the TV show.

Disclaimer: I make no profit on this fanfiction in Dreamworks' Penguins of Madagascar franchise using its characters and settings.

Summary: Power breakfasts have their place.


At 0640 on a Monday in January, Skipper paced in front of his troops. First light meant first light and not dawn, as his team had all learned when Skipper originally took command. Night still draped the zoo by eighty percent as from Leonard's habitat came the sounds of jump rope exercise before the koala's daytime slumber. "Gypsy, gypsy splat please tell me splat who's my splat sweetheart going to splat be Hots! doctorlawyerbankerthief --- "

The team looked droopy-eyed until the familiar bark. "Tennnnnhut! I hope you all enjoyed the macerated mackerel marinated in monkfish mungbeans. We start the first day of Team Building Week Training with undercover work. A commando never knows when the mission requires stealth and scheming, yes, Kowalski, put down your flipper, I know that you know that I know that you've practiced being Señorita Esmerelda Ramirez to perfection. Stow it for later."

The commander addressed the giggles from Rico and Private along with shhhhhs from Kowalski. "Stifle that noise!" He added his patented glare. "Better. Now ahem I have compiled various scenarios with accompanying phrases in one of my undercover personas, International Playbird Diego Garcia. Listen hard."

He clasped his flippers behind his back and strode without looking at anyone. "Numero uno: Bar pickup lines defense drill, as follows." He cleared his throat. "Always be ready with an answer whether you are in disguise as a female or remain your macho manliest machismoriffic self. You'll thank me later." A deep breath and then release. "In no particular order, here they are."

It's my birthday. Can I have a hug?

Don't lose this napkin. It has my number on it.

Hmmm, we have whipped cream but no pudding. What can we put it on?

Leaving so soon? Give me a chance.

Lean closer and tell me what you think of my after shower splash.

My posse and I voted you sexiest gal in the bar. Prove us right.

What's your gym? You look like you work out.

I'm thinking of getting a tattoo. Show me where you'd put one on you.

Where are you most ticklish?

The team exploded into speculation until Skipper had to step in. "Whoa whoa whoa! One at a time! Kowalski, you're ready with an answer? Get out of any pickle in the list without a hissyfit by either side. Remember, low-key is the object, never mind that I said I don't do subtle. I learned how and so can you all."

The tallest penguin fixed his leader with a jaundiced eye. "You just made up that one about the tattoo to get me to show where mine is of Doris --- "

"Soldier, I could care less about your ink spot. Now come up with a comeback or step back in formation." The growing amount of light showed commander and lieutenant nearly beak to beak.

Kowalski produced his clipboard and sketched furiously. "Ha! Most effective noncommittal response to the tattoo scenario is I had no idea you were such a tease." The lieutenant looked smug. He flourished the clipboard, which showed a penguin with unlikely curly feathers and mascaraed eyes flouncing away from a bar with turned up beak.

Skipper kept a straight face. "Man, if you say that, you're going to be moved in on so fast --- well. No, Kowalski, the correct answer is Check back with me tomorrow and we'll grab new ink together. Nobody would get something as intimate as a tattoo with a comparative stranger."

Kowalski had to concede with a rueful rub to his neck. After noticing everyone's eyes on the position of his flipper, he stopped short. "Very well. I'll take the answer under advisement if Esmerelda ever needs it." He stepped back into formation and shoved Rico. "Go for it, big fella."

Rico stumbled forward with a nasty look behind at Kowalski. "Ahgrommtztklshhere." He pointed to his left pit.

"Now, Rico, I appreciate honesty but the world might not. If you tell everyone where your tickle spot is, if you spill your guts --- Stop! I didn't mean it literally!"

Rico slurped back a string of drool and looked lost. "Howzen?"

Skipper thought hard. Rico was a special case; some would opine a special headcase, but he wouldn't. "Say I have hypergargalesthesia and I don't think you can keep up with me but if you're game then I am."


"Say I'm sick, cough and look pathetic."


"You got it. Private?"

A frown creased the usually worry-free brow of the most junior member of the team. "Need a moment, Skippa." The frown disappeared as he stepped towards his commander, flippers wide.

"No no no! Hugging is not the optimal response to the first sitch."

"It isn't?"

"The object is to get whoever is bugging you to bug off. Think about that and I'll come back to you later. Now everyone pay attention to my enacting a, a, complication from my latest solo mission." He stretched himself as tall as possible, sipping from an imaginary champagne flute. "It's your birthday? Honeybunch, my friend in the band who says he wants to meet you will go nuts. Who is it, you ask? See that drummer on the snare I'm waving to? He just played a rimshot for you hey wait where are you going?"

Kowalski and Rico chuckled but Private remained nonplused. "Eh, I don't get it."

"He's the drummer, Private."

"So wot?"

"Mama always said to never date the drummer because drummers are all crazy."

Private pulled a skeptical face. "Mmm, well, I'll leave that bit of folk wisdom on your doorstep, Skippa, but I've got an answer for Wot's your gym? You look like you work out."

"I'm ready. Hit me with it." Skipper doubled up at the sucker punch that Private delivered. He gasped and dropped to one knee. "Hrrrgh --- "

"That's my answer."

Private folded to the unforgiving cement ice floe when Rico and Kowalski tackled him. "Wot? He ordered me to --- "

"Bad 'Rivate! Bad!"

"I am not!"

You should know better than take him at his word!   Er, uh, I mean in these scenarios, oh you know what I mean --- "

"Let him up." Skipper rubbed his tender gut. "I intended to save approval of excessive force for the final day of Team Building Week, soldier. Tell me why you did that."

Private's expression crumpled as he slumped. "I'm sorry, Skippa, but wouldn't gettin' physical put some pushy git off?" He tapped his flippertips together in agitation.

Skipper adopted his paternal face. "Well, sure it would but then you'd have the bouncer give you the bum's rush out the door and where would the mission be? What if your informant were to meet up with you and got cold flippers because of the foofaraw?"

The young penguin straightened himself with resolve. "Righto. I'll think of somethin' else."

"As long as it's, and I never thought I'd hear myself say this, nonviolent."

The sun peeked over the tallest buildings before Private came up with an answer. With dawn's warmth flooding the habitat and the others involved in stretching before calisthenics, he pulled his commander aside.


Private beamed. "Someone in a pub asks me Wot's your gym? You look like you work out and I reply, sauce and all, Shall we compare our Fitbits?"

Skipper choked on his fish coffee. "Private, that's the most suggestive thing I've ever heard from you, so negatory all around. Let's shelve this lesson and move along." He turned on his heel. "Tomorrow's Team Building Week Training: Numero Dos is in forensics with the affirmative team debating You Lose All Your Dignity Running To Catch A Bus. Negative team rebuts with It's Not The Running, It's The Yelling. Discuss among yourselves and choose up sides by 1800 hours chow. Fifty pushups on my mark."

The wintry sun shone warmer than usual on the doughty team that protected Central Park Zoo. There were four more grueling days of Team Building Week to endure and everyone set to staying in shape with a good will.



The End.



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