I decided to start updating some of my older stories, correct the spelling and grammar and stuff like that. I'm starting with Mutiny, and then I'll probably move on to the Greater Good.
"This court martial is now in session." announced an emotionless Skipper. "You are hereby charged with unlawful mutiny, the use of classified weapons without permission from a senior officer and the assault of a senior officer. How do you plead?"
"Guilty." Kowalski and Private replied in unison. Rico made a grunt to the same effect. Skipper looked like he'd been sat on by Burt. "But, men," Skipper stuttered, "you know what the punishment is for mutiny? You're not guilty right? Off the record? I..."
"Skipper, I'm sorry." returned Kowalski, though it took all his will power to force the words from his beak, "but that is our final decision." The HQ was silent for a few seconds. Finally Skipper spoke.
"You are hereby remanded to the custody of Joey."
Death thought Skipper. Death was the punishment for mutiny. The first crime and punishment listed in the penguin code. Assault and battery of a senior officer, namely him, held the same. That, but not mutiny. What had he done to his men to force them to do such a thing? Skipper stared at his empty coffee cup. Empty, just like the base, now the team wasn't there. He knocked the mug off the table with a single flipper. It clattered to the floor. He should be the one on trial, but for what? He had always thought of himself as a good leader, a little soft on them, at times, especially Private, but a honest and just leader. Skipper stood up, pacing the room. The worst part of this nightmare was that he would have to be the one to dispense justice: judge, jury and executioner. There was only him. His senior officer, Special Agent Buck Rotgut had lost his sanity, taking with him the right to command, as stated in the penguin code, and the name of his senior officer. In the penguin operation you only knew the name of your senior officer and the names of your team, that way you couldn't compromise the rest of the operation if you talked.
Skipper sat up in his bunk. He couldn't sleep. What was his duty? To his men or to the law? He was taught at the Academy, that it was his duty, above all else, to dispense justice when necessary. However, he had learned the hard way, in the field, that the lives of his men were his first priority. Skipper climbed down from his bunk. Manfridi and Johnson. Denmark. Could he bear to lose another team by his own wing? He climbed the ladder and opened the fishbowl entrance. He had to talk to someone. Marlene.
He and Marlene had a bit of a strained relationship but she was the one he trusted the most. He had met Marlene after he had married. He'd loved his wife but had never wanted to get that serious. In fact the only reason he married her as he hadn't the heart to tell her this. He had compromised her dignity and she had travelled all the way from Madagascar with him. He figured he'd be able to live with her. Then he met Marlene. It was just after he'd returned to his post after having left his wife at the home they'd bought in the South of France. That was the policy for all penguin ops brides, no living within 1000 miles of the officer, and for once he was glad for the regulations. He could resist the temptation no longer, and a small affair with Marlene. But they both felt guilty and decided to break it off. It was the honourable thing to do. Then she died. His wife. His responsibility. His fault.
It was five years ago. Skipper was frustrated. The girl of his dreams lived next door and he couldn't bear to file a divorce. It would kill his wife. He was frustrated because he and Marlene couldn't talk anymore because of that damn affair. He was angry because he had repeated the mistake he made with his wife on Marlene, leaving her dignity compromised too. The phone rang. He answered it. It was her. He could hear her tapping "Skipper, it's an emergency! Listen..." he hung up. His wife spoke only in Morse code. He had found it cute when they first met but now it was just infuriating. The last thing he wanted to hear was his wife tapping on with how she'd lost their life savings at the casino, or how the house burned down. He dealt with worse as his day job!
However, if he had picked up the phone he would have discovered that his wife had called to tell him that her house was surrounded by lobsters. Two weeks later he was in the middle of a battle with Blowhole when the crazed villain did the last thing he expected and dragged his wife into the field of battle, holding a laser gun to her head. Skipper knew what Blowhole's demands would be even before he spoke. As much as he hated to allow his arch enemy to escape, he was forced to tell his men to stand down. Blowhole backed over to the edge of the dock and into an escape pod. The danger was passed. Then he shot her. Without any provocation. The last glimpse of her Skipper caught before she was reduced to ashes was a terrified stare that screamed, "Save me."
He knocked on Marlene cave. She was awake and beckoned him to enter. "Marlene I'm sorry to bother you it's just..." Marlene looked up. Skipper was on the verge of breaking down. "It's okay. I understand," Marlene said.
"It is my duty to protect the lives of my men and my duty to uphold the code. I...I…don't understand what could I have done to make them…?"
"Why don't you start from the beginning."