This can't be explained, but perhaps it can be excused.

I moderate a writers' comm on LJ, called fic_rush. We generally have one weekend a month in which we spend most of 48 hours writing, with hourly check-ins. During the check-ins, dreadful running jokes develop, and crackfic is frequently spawned in the final hours of the round.

I eventually posted some of the crack to the MacGyver and crossover archives; and, to my astonishment, I was asked for more.

So I expect this will be an ongoing series of vignettes. Heaven help us all.

The parallel series to this one is "The Penguin Guide to Gate Travel", and you can find that under the Stargate heading, O Best Beloveds.

'Beth

~ x ~

This was written for the first severe outbreak of crackfic on the comm, in October of 2010. By the time the confetti settled, we had two different versions of the Doctor, plus companions, dealing with the Master's attempt to launch an invasion of mutant penguins armed with glowsticks. Avon and Vila got dragged in, as did Benton Fraser and Ray Vecchio of Due South. Alien fish were also involved.

Okay, maybe you had to be there.

Anyway. The Ming vase is the fault of the Master's sense of style.

(No penguins were harmed in the writing of this fic.)

~ x ~

Mutual Assistance

- x -

It was no use. In the Stygian darkness of the bunker, MacGyver had managed to pick the locks of his manacles by touch, but he knew the bomb would go off soon and without some source of light, he couldn't defuse it. Heck, he was having trouble just finding it.

How come that weird guy with the beard had to fill the whole darned bunker with clocks? I can't tell one source of ticking from another . . .

Groping, his fingers brushed feathers, and the strangely alien smell of fish and the annoyed peck at his hand told him he'd found the penguin cage. At least you guys might get away in time . . . he quickly located the lock, felt his way through the mechanism, felt it spring open, stepped aside as the cage door swung open. He could hear the slap of small webbed feet and the soft rustle as the birds waddled out.

Another peck at his leg made him yelp. One of the birds was right next to him, and he didn't dare move for fear of stepping on it in the dark – no wait, it had something in its beak, and it was nudging him. He reached down and felt a long plastic cylinder shoved into his hand.

A glowstick. Penguins with glowsticks?

Whatever. "Thanks, little buddy." Mac cracked the stick. The horde of penguins hopped away from him, clearing the way to the table where the bomb sat. He could see one of them was up on the table, fishing wires out of the casing with its beak. It looked up at him and squawked emphatically.

"On my way, just need to grab something . . . " he snatched the nearest of the large ticking clocks from the side table next to the Ming vase – who the heck keeps Ming vases in bunkers? – and hastily dismantled it. One of the gears was thick enough to serve as a screwdriver; once he had the casing open, the long hour hand had a decorative metal frill that made it easier to hook out the wire to the detonator. While he was looking around for something sharp enough to cut the wire, the penguin squawked again and bit right through it.

"Yikes! Careful!" To his relief, the bird didn't seem to have been badly hurt by the electric current, although it shuffled its feet and orked at him.

A few more minutes' work was enough to make sure all the triggers were neutralised. By the time Mac was finished, the bunker was empty except for himself and the last penguin, which regarded him with its bright black eyes.

"I guess your buddies all found a way out." Mac tried not to feel self-conscious at having a conversation with a bird. He picked it up cautiously, wary of further bites, but it settled comfortably into the crook of his arm as he headed for the exit from the bunker.

No way Pete is gonna buy any of this when I try to tell him . . .

~ x ~