Disclaimer: I do not own Madagascar or any of its characters. They are property of Dreamworks Animation SKG.

Authors Note: This story takes place right after the movie left off. To refresh your memory, Alex found a new food source and they were ready to go, but the penguins forgot to mention that the boat was out of gas.

Chapter 1: Running on Empty

Alex walked on the deck feeling the sense of control that he loved so dearly. The orange glow of the beach sunset illuminated the deck of the boat. He gazed out to the ocean admiring the sun's sparkles amongst the waves. He had been doing this for quite a while. In fact, almost all the lemurs had gone and left the beach (most likely for some wild party). He breathed deeply, feeling his chest rise and fall. His large paws clasped the rail over looking the lower deck imagining people; all of them eagerly awaiting his command. Despite himself he rose his head into a cocky pose.

"Hey Alex!" his trance was suddenly interrupted. It was Marty. "You better come take a look at this."

Reluctantly, Alex left his post and followed the yell to the control room. There, Marty, Gloria, and Melman were waiting with mixed expressions of confusion and worry on their faces. "What is it, Marty?" Alex asked, trying not to sound upset. He was a little annoyed. It had been a while since he had an opportunity to daydream.

"Come here," Marty beckoned Alex and pointed amongst the many buttons and switches, "Look at this."

Alex moved towards the concerned zebra and looked at the indicated area. "Yeah, so wha-" He stopped himself when he saw the fuel reading. The needle was millimeters away from empty. The grim realization came, the boat had no gas left. He felt his face get hot with a mixture of anger and disappointment.

Seeing Alex's changing expression, Gloria tried to intervene, "Now Alex-" she didn't need to finish. Alex had already stormed out of the room.

Alex kicked the sand angrily as he scanned the beach for the penguins. His fists were clenched tight and his claws dug into his palm, punching any low branches or leaves in the way as he heading inland towards the jungle. He knew he didn't have the heart to hurt any of them, but he was mad. He disregarded the occasional rock that rolled under his feet.

But, the atmosphere suddenly changed. He heard a distant beat. He stopped to process the noise. His earsswiveled towards the sound. Sounds of an electric bass entered his ear. It was one of the lemur's raves. He followed in hopes of finding the penguins. The foliage grew thicker, and it grew darker around him. The sunset lighting had difficulty piercing the various leaves of the jungle. Tall grass brushed against him, scratching at his shins, but he didn't care. Eventually he found the source of the noise.

Luckily, his rage had almost subsided. He opened the wall of leaves encasing the party, and peered in. His guess was correct, but no sign of the psychotic penguins. Hundreds of lemurs danced wildly in the clearing. In the middle of all the furry beings was Julien, King of the lemurs with his trusted assistant Maurice. Alex forced himself towards the center.

Apparently, Julien noticed him. "Mr. Alex!" he shouted over the loud techno beat, "What brings you here? Why aren't you sailing off to New York with your fellow giants?" Julien rose an eyebrow over one of his huge orange eyes.

"Long story-" Alex started, "Do you know where the penguins are?"

"Penguins?" Julien looked puzzled, "Oh, you mean, the new ones,"

"Yeah, have you seen them?"

"But, of course," Julien began. ...

Alex began to grow impatient, "So?"

"I believe I saw them over that way," he answered doing an elaborate hand motion to another wall of leaves.

"Thanks" Alex answered while scrambling off towards the penguins.

"Wait," Julien interjected. "While your here, you might as well party!" he ran towards Alex, "A celebrity such as yourself belongs here."

Alex felthonored to be called a celebrity, but he had business to attend to. "Really, I would, but I have to go!"

"Suit yourself, but your missing one hell of a party!" Julien yelled as Alex disappeared into the the dense brush. Alex hardly heard the comment as he darted through the leaves and raced along the narrow path beyond. The thumping beat grew quieter and the many lemur voices diminished. The space suddenly widened into a clearing. In it was a sparkling blue pool of water encased in grey smooth rocks. Swimming in the pool was none other than the penguins. Kowalski and Rico raced each other back and forth through the pool. Private merely watched holding his notepad, he was probably keeping score. In front, only half immersed, was their leader, Skipper.

"Why, if it isn't our psychotic friend," Skipper commented, seeing Alex.

Alex felt insulted."Shut it! "He snapped. Skipper shifted onto one hip. "Why didn't you TELL us the boat was out of gas!"

"Well, thanks for saying hello," Skipper jumped out of the pool. "Honestly, I thought it was funny."

"Funny?" Alex retorted, "You think this is FUNNY?"

"...yes" he answered.

Suddenly, a strangely familiar feeling overtook Alex. This feeling started hacking away at his senses. Alex suddenly felt himself losing control. He was getting angry. Very angry. "I'll show you 'funny'," Alex shouted while lifting skipper into the air with one hand. The other penguins watched in fear as Alex tightened his grip. His pupils shrank and his lip curled. "I'll kill you, you little weasel!" Skippers eyes bulged from the pressure. The other penguins swam frantically to reach their leader. Skipper struggled, but his flippers were too short to do any damage.

Angered, Alex didn't even notice Gloria run into the clearing, obviously in pursuit of him. "ALEX!" Gloria yelled, seeing Skipper dangling helplessly. "PUT THAT PENGUIN DOWN!"

Alex felt the strange feeling leaving him. His senses were being restored. He suddenly realized what he had done. "Oh my god..." Alex looked confused. Slowly, Alex obeyed letting Skipper return on his feet. His face returned to normal. "I'm so sorry..."

"It's a lucky thing I followed you." Gloria lectured, "You could have hurt, him"

Skipper coughed, and spoke up, "You better watch yourself, now, Lion!"

Marty and Melman soon protruded from the bushes as well. "Alex..." Melman instantly noticed Alex's dazed look. Alex eyes merely wandered to Melman's feet. "You don't look so good. Try aloe, maybe you have sun poisoning."

Alex didn't feel good. He held the back of his own head for stability. He looked like he was going to faint.

Marty stepped forward, "What happened, here?"

"That, psychopath-" Kowalski shot an angry glance at Alex, "-tried to assassinate our leader." Rico gave a grunt of approval. Private still looked a bit shaken.

Marty grew puzzled, " Assassinate? Alex, what happened?"

Alex's eyes darted back and forth, "I- I've gotta go..." Alex walked away from the enclosure.

Marty desperately wanted to talk to him. "Alex, come back."

"LEAVE ME ALONE!" He roared as he broke into a run on all four legs. Soon Alex became but a shadow amongst the brush.

"What's the matter with him?" Melman asked innocently, his eyelashes waving in the wind.

Marty's face grew from confused to determined, "Melman, I don't know. But, I have to find out alone." With this, Marty dashed away and soon disappeared as Alex did.

Author: Please review and tell me what you think. I know its fast paced but I'm just trying to stay with the speed of the movie.