Alright, I know I kinda left you guys hanging last chapter, so I'm not going to waste time with getting to the story.
Memphis blinked awake and the first thing that he noticed was that there was no light. He stood and found his head came exactly to the ceiling of a box. He felt with his flippers along the side until he confirmed that he was in what Mumble called a box. Once he had made his whole way around the box, he realized that there was a square hole that daylight was streaming through. He heard familiar voices and his still-foggy mind began trying to decipher them. Was that Mumble?
"Mumble?" Memphis asked.
"Pa?" Mumble's voice asked. Memphis pressed his eye up against the opening and looked around. He saw two boxes in front of him a ways. In one of them was another penguin. This penguin was Guin, the son of Noah. Memphis could tell by the white feathers. But Memphis didn't see Mumble.
"Son, where are you?" Memphis asked the air.
"I don't know, Pa. But I know who is with us."
"Who?" Memphis inquired.
"I've talked to Guin, Atticus, Erik-" Mumble began listing.
"Wait, Erik? You're boy's with us?" Memphis asked. He began worrying about their destination. Poor Norma Jean couldn't lose Mumble and Erik. Not to mention Gloria.
"That's not it Pa. Gloria's brother, Libretto, is here too. But he won't say much."
"Is there anyone else?" Memphis questioned. This time it wasn't Mumble's voice. It was Chase.
"Memphis, Mumble's tired. He's been awake the longest and needs some rest. I'll tell you who else is here." He said.
"Well, I'll assume you are here." Memphis tried to kid. Chase laughed, but his laughter was stale.
"Yeah, and Annie."
"So that's it?" Memphis asked. He was beginning to clear his mind and the first thing he remembered was his fight with Darlin'.
"Well, Memphis...Darlin' is here too." Chase said slowly. Memphis forgot to breath. Where was she? Why hadn't she spoken up before?
"Darlin'? Darlin'? Can you hear me?" He began yelling. A shout stopped him.
"Memphis!" Guin's young but deep voice demanded. Memphis stopped, breathing hard. "She can't hear you." Guin said quietly. Memphis immediately feared for the worst.
"She passed out a while ago." Atticus joined in. Memphis realized that Atticus and Guin were the two that he could see in front of him. "You better get back to sleep, man. We're keepin' watch."
But Memphis couldn't sleep. He didn't know what else to do, until he heard something. A light tapping. He realized that Mumble was dancing. The opening beats to a song Memphis knew well. So he bagan to sing along.
"The warden threw a party in the county jail,
The prison band was there and they began to wail.
Everybody was jumpin' and the joint began to swing,
You should've heard those knocked-out jailbirds sing:
Everybody, let's rock!
Everybody in the whole cell block,
Was dancin' to the jailhouse rock!"
Memphis finished the song just as quietly as when he began it.
The black world opened up again to reveal a new cold and white one. Darlin' tried to stand and slipped on the ice under her. She made it to her feet and looked around. She could see creatures on the other side of this clear ice which closed her into this island of ice, around which was water. In the water swam fish. Darlin' felt how hungry she was and slid down into the water.
In the water she saw someone else. So she caught her fish and returned to land, hoping to see the other penguin. She did, and she immediately knew who it was. It was Mumble, her brother. The two saw each other and Mumble waddled over quickly.
"You're awake!" He said excitedly. Darlin' nodded and looked out the clear ice again. Mumble began to explain. "Those are the Aliens. They brought us here to watch us. I'm not sure why but the last time they saved us from starvation."
"But we aren't starving now in Emperor Land." She pointed out. Mumble shrugged.
"But the others are over here." He began again and waddled over to the far side of the island. Through another sheet of clear ice Darlin' saw Chase, Annie, and Atticus. On the other side of the island, through another sheet of ice, Darlin' saw Guin, Libretto, and Memphis.
"Daddy!" Darlin' called out. Memphis turned his head and the two dove into the water so they could get as close as was possible. Through the ice below the water Darlin' watched her father look back at her.
"Darlin', I'm so sorry. I thought I had lost you." Memphis apologized through the glass. Darlin' smiled.
"It's okay Daddy. And I'm all right. I've got Mumble and we'll get outta here soon."
"Well you two be strong over there. And you will triumph. Remember, the word triumph starts with try."
"And ends with Umph." Darlin' finished.
When Darlin' resurfaced one of the aliens was standing on the island, looking at Mumble. Darlin' moved closer to get a better look.
When Anthony saw the female coming up, he smiled. Both the specimens in this tank were very unusual. Judging by the genetic tests that the veterinarians had run, they were related. Most likely brother and sister, or maybe even father-daughter. So far they had discovered that the fluffy penguin (the staff were calling him Taps) was related to the largest male (King), the dark female (Sweetie), and the small male with the bow-tie (Dandy). The other three were not related to any of the penguins. The taller of the three, who was also the quietest one was named Hubie, after a children's movie character. The fat one was called Mr. Big and the white penguin was named Ghost. And then there were the last two. Most likely a father and daughter. That male was named Michael and the daughter was named Blanket.
Anthony had seen Sweetie swim off to see King and guessed that they had some sort of connection. He looked through the glass into the tank that held Blanket, Michael, and Mr. Big. There stood his friend Chris, trying to get the penguins to dance. But Mr. Big was biting the heck out of him instead. Anthony suppressed his laughter and turned back to his task. He had to try and get these penguins to dance. So he conjured up all the dance lessons that his mother forced upon him and began tapping out the number for WHEN THE SAINTS GO MARCHING IN. Taps immediately called out and joined in. Sweetie stood a few feet away watching. Then she let out a low call that rose. And the TUNE of the song itself came out of her throat. Anthony almost collapsed on the ice from surprise but he managed to continue tapping. Sweetie sang through the song, really vocalized through it, beautifully and when the dance number was finished she continued dancing with Taps, the two spinning round each other and her continuing to sing off on a repeat of the song. Anthony watched until they finished and when they did he clapped for them. This would make for an interesting report.
A few weeks later, all of the Emperors were moved to one island. Memphis waited as penguins filed in, not all from Emperor Land. At last he saw his two children come in and he belly-slid over to them. He immediately hugged Darlin' and the two stayed there. Memphis had honestly thought that he would never see his daughter again.
"Daddy?" Darlin' asked.
"Hmm?" Memphis answered.
"Daddy, you can let me go now." Darlin' said quietly, trying to pull away gently. Memphis opened his eyes and hurt filled his being for a few moments. Those were the words that a father never wanted to hear but knew they would always come. He let her go and hid his hurt before she could see it. She laughed, embarrassed, before smiling at her dad and running off to see her friends. Memphis watched as she went and sighed. He looked over to the side and saw Chase and Annie. The two stayed together and Annie didn't run off. Memphis envied him beyond measure until he heard a voice rise and was distracted.
"You're not really expecting me,
but I know where you hide the key,
Under the mat.
There's no better place than that.
Don't know how long I've been gone,
All I know is that it's been too long and I'm off track."
It was Guin singing. He lifted his light gray head and sang, until another voice chimed in.
"That's why I'm coming back!" Darlin' vocalized her verse and Memphis was reminded of Norma Jean. Darlin' began dancing with Guin and the two spun around each other until Atticus joined in.
"The boys are back in town,
The boys are back in town,
The boys are back in town,
The boys are back in town."
Then Libretto drew up to take his turn and Memphis had enough. Before Libretto made it up to Darlin', Memphis came up to her and the two began dancing. Libretto realized that he had missed his chance and lowered his head before turning back around.
So, how did you guys like it this time? I am loving these reviews, so please keep them up. I was wondering if I have enough people reading this to ask, who do you think Darlin' should love? Should she stay single? You could even have me introduce an OC of yours! Oh! And does anyone have any ideas as to her heartsong? Thanks if any of you choose to respond!