"Kowalski, analysis." Skipper said, looking the small crate up and down. The leader of the four penguins turned to the other three behind him, flippers behind his back as he stepped forward and away from the brown wooden crate.
The right hand of Skipper stepped forward, pulling his clipboard and pencil out. He flipped past a few scribbled on pages (courtesy of Rico, however that crazed penguin got a hold of it was beyond him) and began to jot down any possible suggestions that would explain the crate. "It appears to be from Canada." He stated, pointing his pencil with the eraser end at the small leaf symbol in the corner.
Skipper hummed, the tip of his flipper touching his beak in thought. "The land of maple syrup, eh?" He spoke, once again viewing the crate with a suspicious gaze. "You know what to do, men!" Skipper commanded, motioning to the crate as he took on a defensive stance.
"Aye, aye, Skipper!" The three penguins each saluted, before jumping into the air and towards the crate.
Kowalski dove and rolled to a stop, putting his head against the wood. He listened in silence before turning to the others, shrugging. "Well, I'm sure whatever is inside is harmless-"
"Hey, guys!" Marlene chirped, popping up out of nowhere. The four penguins jumped back, moving into a small circle as the raised their flippers in the air.
"Oh, it's only Marlene. Stand down, men." Skipper said, falling out of his ready-to-fight pose. The others did as told, walking up to greet the otter. "What brings you here?" Skipper asked, narrowing his eyes at the female.
"And how did you get in? I thought we had the storage room closed off!"
"Well, you see, I-"
"My calculations should have been right! I don't understand this either, Skipper."
"Guys!" Marlene tried to speak up, but was cut off once more, this time by Rico. He shouted something that only the other three seemed to understand, causing the otter to sigh as she crossed her arms. "GUYS!" She tried again, to no avail.
Private looked in between his arguing brothers, to Marlene, then back to his fellow penguins. "Uhm," He raised his flipper, motioning for everyone to quiet down.
"What is it, Private?" Skipper stared at him.
"Shouldn't we just let Marlene talk?" He squeaked out, shrinking from the piercing gaze he received from Skipper. "Maybe?"
"Sir, Private does have a valid point. She would know why she's here and how she entered in the first place…" Kowalski trailed off, turning to the otter. Marlene looked up from inspecting her claws, the ridge of her brow raised.
"Oh, me?" She asked innocently. "Okay. Anyway. I came here because I heard we were getting a new edition to the Zoo. I was curious, so…" The brown otter motioned to the storage room they all stood inside. "By the way, the door was open." She said, causing Kowalski to gasp dramatically. Marlene rolled her eyes and walked up to the crate, inspecting it as she circled it.
"What do you think it is?" Marlene asked in a whisper, putting her head against the wooden crate, trying to make out any noises that could possibly give her any clues to what she wanted to know.
"Hopefully it's not another badger!" Private squeaked out, wringing his flippers as he shivered from the thought. Marlene shushed him with a wave of her paw.
After a moment of silence, the brown otter shrugged. "Huh… Nothing." She said while scratching her chin. Marlene shared a look with the four commando penguins. "I guess we should just crack it open?" She suggested, holding her paw out to Rico.
Rico nodded excitedly, twitching as he hurled up a stick of dynamite. Marlene made a face and shook her head as she put the flame out, causing Rico to dejectedly swallow the explosive once more. "Rico, don't you have a crowbar or something less… I dunno, dangerous?" Marlene asked, crossing her arms. Rico nodded swiftly once more before he threw up a crowbar.
"Thanks." Marlene thanked the weapons specialist, holding back the 'Ewww!', as she twirled the cold piece of iron in her paws. She eyed the box that contained an unknown animal and stuck the end of the crowbar in a small crack, pulling on the piece of iron to wedge open the crate.
The top flew open and out flew a dark shape, disappearing into the dimmed corners of the zoo storage room. Marlene yelped and flew backwards, scurrying behind the four penguins that all formed a circle, ready to fight if anything attacked them.
"Wha- What was that?!" Private sputtered, looking around to see if he could spot… whatever it was that was currently lurking in the shadows.
"Kowalski!" Skipper motioned to the scientist, wanting his options. Kowalski nodded, taking his clipboard out again as he began to jot down the possibilities.
"It is possible that-"
"Hey, guys. Why don't we just be normal for once and, you know, ask whatever it is to come out?" Marlene suggested, interrupting Kowalski. Skipper stared at her with narrowed eyes, as if asking 'Are you insane?!'. Without waiting for anyone to respond, Marlene stepped forward and away from the penguins, her paws clasped together nervously.
"Uhm, hi. I'm Marlene." She introduced herself, her eyes scanning the dark corners. "Who- Uh, erm. What are you?" Marlene asked in a quiet and hesitant voice, wincing.
A minute passed before a dark figure swooped down, landing in front of her. Marlene blinked, staring at the much smaller figure. She tilted her head, "Huh." The brown otter smiled. "You're so tiny and cute." She gushed, picking up the small animal.
"M'not tiny. Nor cute." The animal responded, her voice a tad on the high-side. Marlene cooed at her, making the animal huff out in annoyance. "My name is Kali and I'm a bat."
"Aww, a bat. Wait-"
"A BAT!" Kowalski screamed his high pitch scream, throwing his clipboard at the small black bat, knocking her out of Marlene's paws and onto the ground. "NATURE'S BLOODSUCKERS! A VAMPIRE!"
"A vampire!?" Private yelled, joining Kowalski in running around in circles. Rico watched them, grinning in amusement, before deciding to join.
"Men, fall back! And uh, you too, Marlene!" Skipper commanded, grabbing Marlene and dragging her out of the zoo's storage room, leaving the small bat to stare and rub her sore head in confusion.
Once they were out of the zoo's storage room, the four penguins dropped Marlene off back at her habitat (literally, dropped.) and went back to their HQ.
"Wh- Why is there a va- vam- vampire bat h- here?" Private stuttered out, shaking visibly as he lay in a ball in his bunk. He stared at the others; Rico who looked happy about the whole idea of a vampire, Kowalski who looked mildly disturbed by having a vampire at their zoo (and also by the fact that Rico looked enlightened) and finally Skipper, who was pacing back and forth.
"I don't know how or why little miss fangs is here-"
"It's probably because the zoo decided to get a new animal."
Skipper ignored Kowalski, continued his pacing, "-But I know that we need to keep this quiet, men." He finished, coming to a halt. The other three took that as motive to stand in front of Skipper, all saluting.
"What do we do, Skipper?" Private asked, albeit hesitantly.
"I'm glad you asked, Private." Skipper smirked. "Kowalski! Options."
Kowalski nodded, scribbling out an idea. "First we act like everything is normal. Step two: We quarantine the area around the bat's habitat. Next, we find a way to ship her outta here." He smiled, tapping his red marker against the clipboard.
"Force may be required but is strongly encouraged." Skipper stated as he smirked at Rico's 'Woohoo!', watching the crazed penguin puke up a wooden baseball bat, tapping it onto his flipper in a threatening way.
"Alright, men. Let's go top-side and make sure that everything is normal and that no one has learned of her existence yet." Skipper instructed, jumping from the wall to the bar, hoisting himself out of their underground base and onto the island.
Rico and Kowalski followed suit, but Private stared at them before he slowly climbed up the ladder. Doubts filled his mind and Private soon found himself wondering if the little vampire-bat truly did want to suck all their blood.
'Maybe she's just misunderstood…?'
Private watched as Skipper, Rico and Kowalski smiled and waved to the human's as normal. They had just finished checking in on everyone and to their luck, no one else but Marlene and they knew of the vampire bat's existence. The four were back in their habitat by the time the zoo opened and flooded with people.
Private waddled up, choosing to ignore the way the human's 'ooh'd' and 'aww'd' as he did so. "Uhm, Skipper? Can I talk to you?" Private asked, twiddling the tips of his flippers together.
"Well sure, soldier." Skipper said, turning his head to look at the youngest. "What do you want to discuss?" He asked, facing the human's again to commence waving.
"Uhh, well. I was thinking… Thinking that maybe the vampire isn't such… I don't know. Maybe she is just misunderstood?" Sharp gasps met his ears, causing Private to look up, blinking innocently. "What?"
"What is there to misunderstand about an animal that sucks your blood to live?!" Kowalski gaped at the shortest penguin, resisting the urge to just run and hide inside their HQ.
"Private, Private, Private," Skipper shook his head, walking up to Private to pat him on the head. "Sweet naïve Private… We need that bat outta here."
"But… Why?" He asked, kind of confused about the whole plan. "Couldn't we maybe just talk to her?" Private suggested, earning himself a light slap across the face. He frowned, rubbing his stinging cheek. "Sorry, Skipper." He mumbled, turning away to face the humans once more, putting on his best and cutest smile.
"If she stays, she'll cause an uprising," Kowalski explained, shaking his head at the very thought. Rico gave him an odd look, while Skipper arched his brow.
"Don't you mean uproar?" Skipper asked, although it sounded less like a question and more of a statement.
"Uh. Yeah. Both." Kowalski nodded. "Point is," He cleared his throat, pulling out his trusty clipboard and pencil. "She'll scare everyone and try to suck all our blood." He concluded.
"Oh, dear…" Private whimpered, fearing the thought of having his entire preciously-needed blood drunk by a tiny little bat.
Skipper sipped his morning coffee, stopping only a moment to stir it with the small fish that he always added in. "Today will be a good day, boys." He stated in his matter-of-a-fact voice, putting one foot on the ladder as he faced the other three.
"Kowalski, report." Kowalski straightened, removing his gaze from the periscope in order to face Skipper.
"All is well with the others, Skipper." The tallest penguin reported. "No one seems to have noticed anything about our new addition. Or, soon to be a negative-addition." Kowalski snorted at his own amusement, shaking his head.
Skipper raised his brow at him but nodded. "Good." He retorted, eyeing Kowalski before putting his now empty cup down. The head penguin announced that he was going to perform a quick security check before the zoo opened, disappearing as he swiftly scaled the ladder and flipped into the fresh, open air on the island of their little habitat.
The other three remained below ground, all focused on their own little tasks until they heard a yelp.
"That sounded like Skipper!" Private gasped, sharing a look with Kowalski and Rico. The three quickly dove into action and jumped and flipped through the opening and onto the island, all forming a protective triangle around Skipper. "Skipper, are you alright!?" Private peered over his shoulder, his eyes widening. "Oh. Marlene." The shortest of the four blinked.
Marlene stared back at Private, smiling sheepishly. "Heh. Hi. Sorry." She apologized, smoothing out her fur on her stomach. "I kinda snuck up on Skipper and started squealing about the bat. I scared him." She explained, shrugging.
Before Skipper had the chance to scoff at the idea of 'being scared', Kowalski, Rico and Private all beat him to it. "Skipper isn't afraid of anything!" Private interjected, curling the tip of his flipper as if to form a fist.
"Uh-huh!" Rico gawked out.
Kowalski made to agree, but paused as he thought back. "Except of needles."
"Needles?!" Skipper tensed, looking around hastily. "Defensive maneuver: 5, men! On me!" He said, diving into the water.
Marlene and the others stared at the small ripple where Skipper had disappeared to before the Asian otter shook her head. "So, anyways,"
"You were saying something about the bat!" Private smiled, albeit worriedly. "You've kept quiet, right? Skipper doesn't want anyone else to know about her."
"Huh? Oh, yeah." Marlene nodded, smiling. "But I seriously think that you guys shouldn't get rid of her. She's totally cute!" The otter gushed, bringing her arms close to her body in a mock-hug.
Private stared at Marlene, "Really?" He asked, now feeling rather curious. "She didn't try to suck your blood?"
Marlene frowned at the mental image that displayed itself in her mind, but shook her head. "No. Not at all! I really think that she's just misunderstood…"
"That's what I said!" Private counted, nodding excitedly. "But… No one listened to me." He mumbled quietly.
Marlene patted him lightly before turning. "Do you wanna go meet her? I just talked to her like ten minutes ago." The brown otter smiled, jumping from out of the penguins' habitat and onto the railing. She turned and motioned for the others to follow, watching as Rico slid on his stomach, rolling and giving Kowalski and Private boosts.
Rico jumped on the railing that separated their habitat from the humans but paused as he turned to stare at the water. "Hey!" He spat out in his gravelly voice, gesturing to the water impatiently.
"Ah, yes," Kowalski spun around, jumping up onto the railing next to Rico. "Someone needs to fish Skipper out."
"Alright, listen up." Skipper called their attention, leaning into the huddle they formed. "We're going in, but first things first. Since Marlene distracted me earlier, I never got the chance to do my routine security check."
Marlene, who stood off to the side, rolled her eyes at the mention of her name. "Listen, guys, I'm gonna head back to my habitat for a few." She announced, thrusting her thumb in the direction of where she lived. "Guys…?" Without receiving any sort of answer, Marlene huffed and left.
"Kowalski and Rico, you two are on duty. Private and I will scope out the target- I mean, the bat, at its new location. We'll meet there. Got it?"
"Got it." They all nodded.
Skipper smirked, "Dismissed."
"Aww… Isn't she just precious?" Private cooed, his flippers cupping his cheeks as he stared at the upside-down bat that was currently sleeping with her wings wrapped around her tiny body.
Skipper did a half-turn, looking Private up and down before crossing his flippers. "Private," He warned, glaring at the youngest among the four penguins.
"What?" Private asked innocently.
"No falling in love with the enemy." Skipper warned. Private looked shocked. "Ahh, tut, tut, tut…" The head-penguin shook his flipper, cutting off whatever Private was about to say. "I don't wanna hear no but's about it, mister." Skipper instructed, turning back to face the sleeping animal, ignoring the way Private tried to hold his laughter in about the 'but's' part.
A few moments later, Kowalski and Rico entered. The pair stared at Private who was snickering to himself, but Kowalski shook his head from the distraction and waddled up to Skipper as he gave him a salute.
"Skipper, after careful observation, we discovered that everyone did in fact learn of her existence, because of when Alice was making the transfer, and they're all now panicking." He announced. Rico came up, nodding viciously with a small grin forming on his beak.
Rico coughed up the same bat he had earlier, swinging it around in excitement. Private gasped and grabbed the bat, barely managing to avoid being hit.
Kowalski, unfortunately, wasn't so lucky.
"Rico, no!" Private burst out, holding the bat behind his body. "You can't hurt her. She's just an innocent little thing." The shorter of the bunch defended the bat with a frown.
"Private," Skipper cut in, walking up to the enclosure that the bat was housed in. "We don't know for certain that-"
"Sorry, Skipper," Private apologized for cutting their leader off as he stepped forward, using the baseball bat to point to the small stand which held a rectangular wooden board with some words on it. "If I could read, I'd be sure that this right here tells us everything that we'd need to know." He stated, looking up at the board of information.
Skipper hummed in thought, stepping closer to the small stand. "Men. We're going to need specialists for this." He said.
"Well, I say…" Mason trailed off, unsure of whether he really should follow the penguins or not. He glanced over at Phil, who only signed to him and then shrugged. "Are you positive that the little bat won't suck our blood?"
Skipper nodded, "Oh, sure!" He said in an overly loud voice, resisting the urge to roll his eyes as he just wanted to get this over and done with before the zoo opened. "Even if she tries to do anything, we'll be there to protect you primates." He assured.
Mason sighed, "Well alright." He said as he motioned for Phil to follow them. "We'll translate it for you, but then we're leaving."
"Fine with me." Skipper agreed, leading the mammals towards the bat's new habitat.
The moment the penguins and chimpanzee's arrived, Mason and Phil glanced around the dimly lit, eerily quiet habitat. "I- I do say… It is quite… Dark." Mason commented in a hushed stutter.
The others shared looks before Private waddled away to turn on the lights. "Ah. That is much better. Thank you, Private." Mason smiled down at the youngest of the penguins before turning to Phil.
Phil read the words on the sign and translated it to Mason, using sign language. Mason nodded and turned to the penguins. "Phil says that it is a plaque and that the words upon it simply state facts about the bat."
"Details, man!" Skipper demanded, crossing his arms over his chest.
Mason gave a small eye roll but turned to Phil, nodding as the primate began to translate the words scrawled across the sign. It says: 'The Fruit Bat falls under the category of the Megabat. Fruit Bats can also be referred to as Flying Fox's in other locations, however due to this certain type of variation, fruit bats can often be mistaken for one of the many other types of species of bats.'," Mason looked down at the penguins as Phil jumped down next to him. "So. Not a vampire." He cleared.
Private sighed, putting his flipper to his heart. "Well that's a relief." The smallest stated, smiling as everyone else nodded.
"Who made this accusation, anyway?" Mason asked, feeling quite curious.
Skipper, Rico and Private all turned to Kowalski, who sheepishly scratched his beak when all eyes were upon him. The tallest among the penguins offered weakly: "Scientists… Make mistakes, too?"
After the chimpanzee's left, leaving the four penguins alone in the bat habitat, Skipper had ordered everyone to remain on alert.
"We never know what may happen in here, boys." The commando penguin stated, his eyes narrowed as he searched the habitat for any sign of their new addition. "If you are approached, remain calm and-" Skipper never got the chance to finish as a black blur zoomed past his eyes and into one of the many fruit trees that filled the habitat.
"Formation twenty-nine!" Skipper called out, flipping and jumping behind a trash can to blend. The others stared at him blankly.
Private shook his head, waddling up closer to the habitat and staring up at the small bat. "Hi, I'm Private!" He introduced himself, waving. Skipper watched his youngest adoptive brother and arched his brow.
Once assessed the situation again before slowly coming out of his hiding spot. He cleared his throat, staring up at the bat, "What did you say your name was, little fang?" Skipper asked.
The bat let go of the branch she had been on and swooped down to the ground with ease. "It's Kali." The small fruit bat replied, smiling.
"Ahh, Kali." Kowalski nodded as he came up next to Skipper. "Named after the Goddess of Destruction."
"Oooh." Rico cooed, already liking the sound of her name.
"I think it's a lovely name." Private said, smiling down at the little bat.
Kali stared at him, "Thanks." She smiled, flying around before hanging upside down.
"You're welcome." The youngest of the four penguins replied. Private looked around her habitat. "You know, I'm glad you aren't a vampire."
Kali looked at him with minor confusion. "I never… Said I was." She spoke, feeling awkward. "I don't drink blood, if that's what you were thinking. Well, I kind of suck the nectar out of fruits and stuff." She shrugged, inspecting her wing.
"Excellent. Now we don't have to get rid of her, right, Skipper?" Private turned to Skipper, a hopeful look in his eyes.
Kali faltered and lost her grip, falling to the ground but saving herself last second. She swooped onto the floor of her habitat. "Whoa, whoa, whoa. You guys were gonna get rid of me?" She asked, wondering if she should feel kind of honored or just really insulted. Or maybe sad. Or angry.
"We… Kowalski," Skipper took a moment to turn his impending gaze onto Kowalski, who shrunk under his stare, "Made us think that you were a vampire. Here to suck all our blood and kill us all. Like a villain. You're not a villain, right?"
Kali scoffed, "No."
"…" Skipper eyed her suspiciously, walking a circle around her. Kali only kept silent, watching him before she rolled her eyes.
"You have some serious trust issues." She stated, smiling in amusement. "But seriously, I'm not a… villain, or evil-doer. Heck, the most evil thing I've done was probably scare you all." The small fruit bat grinned. "And I'd classify that as an unintentional prank. Of sorts." She added in, nodding to herself.
Skipper hummed in return, eyeing her briefly before turning away. "Then I guess our job here is done, boys." He said as he flipped off of a chair and towards a window. Skipper flipped the latch on the window and pushed it open, breathing in the cool air.
"All is well, then. Boys, we need to get back before its opening time." Skipper voiced, holding the window open as Rico and Kowalski both climbed out. Private looked up to Skipper and glanced back at the bat.
"It was nice meeting you, Kali!" Private smiled, waving before waddling over to the window. He hoisted himself up onto the chair and jumped out of the window in the style of a somersault, leaving Kali to stare at Skipper.
"Carry on, little fang." Skipper urged, giving the fruit bat a nod before he jumped from the window, disappearing from Kali's habitat.
"Uhm… It's Kali."
Ahh... I finally finished it. I've been so obsessed with Penguins of Madagascar ever since I saw the movie~! I still have two more ideas that I need to write but I'll work on those eventually. I should probably update some stories, first...
Also, am I the only one who'd want to see this as an episode?!