Leonard remained speechless. He knew that if he took up a conversation with someone he'd end up spilling it. He turned around and leaned against his tree, clenching to the bark. Suddenly, the night air seemed to thicken and भालू down on him. Private waddled up a few steps until he was standing just behind Leonard.
"Leonard...if आप don't tell us what happened, there's nothing we can do to help. We can protect you, Leonard. Help us to help you." Private pleaded.
Leonard closed his eyes. "You don't understand what's at stake."
"But Leonard, if आप don't tell us, the other zoo जानवर may be put at risk. आप wouldn't want that, would you?" Private reasoned.
Leonard opened his eyes slightly and looked down. "No..." He muttered. He tried to talk himself out of it. No...telling them will only make that dog come after everyone...then again, the dog already killed Marlene...and the penguins MAY just be crazy enough to be able to stop him...
"Leonard?" Private gently grabbed his shoulder.
Leonard looked at it out of the corner of his eye and a moment later he sighed. "It's just...last night...I saw..."
"It's okay, Leonard, आप can tell us." Private urged.
Leonard hesitated. He wasn't exactly sure of how to tell them, and he knew he had to tell them something. They certainly weren't going to leave him alone now that they knew he knew something about who killed Marlene, and that he'd witnessed another death that they didn't know about. He turned back around, finally admitting to himself that he had no choice. He looked around to make sure they were alone, then took a deep breath in and exhaled slowly. He spoke as quiet as he could dare. "Look...last night in the junkyard...I heard something. In hopes that it was you, या someone that could help me get out of there, I followed the sound. But instead of help...I saw..." He paused for a moment, gathering his thoughts, unsure of how to explain it. "I saw a dog. Pit सांड, बैल to be exact." A mournful look crossed over his face, and his eyes were deep with seriousness. He कहा the rest of his confession slower, hurting inside with every word. "He mauled an innocent pup. Teared him to shreds and used him as a main course, without hesitation, and without remorse."
The penguins' faces fell in shock; Private covered his beak with his flippers.
"After I got over the shock, I tried to run away, but he caught up with me just before I was able to escape. That's when आप came in and he retreated. Then I made the stupid mistake of telling आप four that I wanted to 'get back to the zoo'. Now he knows where I am, and he's attacking my फ्रेंड्स while he's at it. And now because of me, Marlene is dead." He कहा looking down and cringing inside.
Skipper was about to ask a सवाल when what Leonard कहा sunk in. "Wait...what do आप mean, 'Marlene is dead'? She was fine when we left her."
"But...I saw Kowalski pulling her...you know...out of her pond, and आप कहा आप wanted her to 'rest in peace'." Leonard explained.
"Yeah, but it wasn't hers. And I only meant that I wanted her to rest without worrying about anything." Skipper explained. "When did आप hear that anyway?"
"Oh, Private told me that something happened at Marlene's. I wanted to be sure she was okay. I'm glad I was mistaken. But I know that it was that pit bull. I don't know why he just doesn't come after me. It is me he wants." Leonard कहा with a shrug.
"Well, we're gonna be sure he doesn't hurt आप या anyone else. Until he's caught, this whole zoo is gonna be under strong surveillance. Kowalski 'll have the cameras from around the zoo connected to our security feed and under our control. If he comes back, he's gonna be in for a surprise. आप let us know if आप see anything suspicious." Skipper ordered.
Leonard nodded. "Just...be careful. If he gets a hold of anyone...that's it. He's unlike any dog I've ever seen."
"Don't worry, Leonard, we'll be careful." Kowalski assured him, but Leonard wasn't convinced.
"It's gonna take और than being careful." Leonard insisted.
Skipper laughed, as if he had no fear. "Ha! And what exactly does the little canine look like?"
Leonard remained silent for a couple of seconds, then stepped आगे until he and Skipper were face to face. "Picture आप times four, with snarling blood-stained teeth that still have कुत्ते का बच्चा, पिल्ला flesh caught in between. With bulging leg muscles that seem to propel आप faster than आप can even imagine. And with blood-red eyes that burrow into your soul and seem to alone eat आप alive from the inside out."
Skipper looked into his deep, serious brown eyes and gulped slightly. After a short moment, he looked toward his men, whose eyes were wide with fear, especially the young Private, who whimpered slightly. He snapped out of it and said, "Alright, boys. We have work to do. Roll out." Leonard watched Skipper, Kowalski, and Rico jump down to the ground with a flip, and Private, who looked back at him silently for a moment before he followed behind. A few moments after they left, Leonard heard something from behind in his tree. He looked up, scanning the branches.
"Hello? Anyone there?" He called. But he saw no one. He heard another small rustle from below and looked down. Once again, he saw no one. He slowly climbed down and cautiously looked around. Paying close attention to the bushes scattered about his habitat. But he still did not see anyone. Was someone spying on him? He decided to shake the thought away and assume it was only the wind. How could anyone spy on him without being seen? There was just one thing that bothered him about accepting that theory.
There was no wind, not so much as a breeze.
On the way back to their habitat, Skipper stopped द्वारा Marlene's. "Hey, आप three go on ahead to HQ. I'm gonna check on Marlene for a minute. I'll catch up." His team nodded and pressed on. Skipper leapt into Marlene's habitat and entered her room. She was still sleeping soundly, though her blanket was on the floor. He assumed that she'd kicked it off. He picked it up and fixed it back over her. Suddenly, he heard something at the entrance to Marlene's. He turned on his heel on instinct, automatically fixing himself in a fighting position. When he saw nothing या no one, he looked back at Marlene to be sure he didn't wake her. She merely just turned over in her sleep. Skipper walked out of her room and stopped outside in front of her pond. He heard a rustle in a nearby bush.
He once again turned on instinct, flipping over on his flippers and landing combatively in front of the bush, then karate-chopped a chunk of leaves out of the way. Once again he saw nothing but shrub. He relaxed slightly, looking around the habitat. He searched around for a few minutes, and when he didn't discover anything suspicious, he hopped up on the दीवार of the habitat and looked back one और time, still not seeing anything या anyone. Though he was still suspicious, he continued to HQ.
When he got there, Kowalski had already gained control of the zoo's security feed and was scanning the cameras. He went up to his lieutenant. "Hey, Kowalski. आप go on to बिस्तर with Rico and Private. I'll take the first watch." Skipper ordered. Kowalski nodded and went to his bunk with a yawn. For some reason, Skipper kept thinking about the blanket that he'd picked up off of Marlene's floor. There was something about it that bothered him, but he couldn't place what it was. Then it hit him. It was fairly warm in Marlene's habitat when he put her to bed. He didn't cover her up. If he didn't cover her up, she couldn't of kicked the covers to the floor. Then again, she may have woken up and covered herself...but Skipper's gut told him otherwise. There was someone in Marlene's habitat earlier. That's when his suspicions were confirmed. Skipper looked at the security feed and something caught his eye. He enlarged one of the windows and zoomed in slightly.
Someone had just left the zoo.
The अगला morning, Kowalski went into his lab to examine the only evidence they had from Marlene's, the female dogs' skull. Rico decided to take the अगला shift on watching the security feed. Skipper went to बिस्तर to catch a few hours of sleep. And Private went to go check on Marlene again.
Once he reached her habitat, she wasn't outside अगला to her pool like she usually was. Understandable, considering what happened yesterday. He entered her habitat and saw her lying awake in her bed, staring at the ceiling, completely silent. "Marlene?" She jumped at the sound of his voice.
"Oh...it's just you. Hey, Private." She कहा softly, turning her head back to the ceiling.
"I was just wondering if आप were okay."
"I'm fine, Private. Just a little shaken up. So आप never found any clues?"
"No, I'm afraid not. But we're still looking. Kowalski's got control over the zoo's security feed. Oh, and Skipper wanted me to ask you; did आप hear anything suspicious yesterday while आप were sleeping?"
Marlene glanced over at him. "Well...no...at least I don't think so."
"What do आप mean?"
"Well...I did have this weird dream. At least I thought it was a dream. There was someone in my habitat. But all I remember is that whoever it was had gray fur." Marlene explained.
Private thought for a moment. "Uh...I think आप may have just help us greatly, Marlene."
"But...it could've really just have been a dream."
"True, but it's still something we can work with." Private replied. He turned and started for the exit. "Call us if आप need anything."
"Okay." Marlene replied back, then continued staring at her ceiling in silence.
Back at HQ, Private reported to the others what Marlene told him.
"Gray fur? That's all she remembered?" Kowalski asked.
"Yes, but it was only a vague memory." Private pointed out. Skipper thought about the intruder he'd seen last night leaving the zoo. He could swear that whoever it was had gray fur.
"Well, there's also something I need to report. That skull I've been examining, it was definitely from a small female dog, no younger than three, but no older than five. And from what Leonard told us last night, it's very possible that this is the same pup he witnessed mauled द्वारा the pit bull." Kowalski explained.
"Did आप find anything else?" Skipper asked.
Kowalski hesitated, then looked at Private. "Uh, no. But...I do need your help with something." He told his leader.
"Uh...okay." Skipper replied, unsure of what was going on. He followed Kowalski into his lab and shut the door behind them.
Kowalski lowered his voice. "I...discovered something...it's about the pups' DNA."
"Well, what is it?"
Kowalski took a deep breath and picked up a clipboard, handing it to Skipper he said, "I found a whole lot और than just the pups' DNA."
Skipper looked over the paper attached to the clipboard, eyes wide in shock. That was a long list. "How many other victims?" He asked handing it back.
Kowalski's eyes went deep. "Fourteen other DNA results were found so far. And I'm only halfway through my analysis." He reported slowly and mournfully.
Skipper turned around, unable to look Kowalski in the eye. "Keep going. रिपोर्ट to me if आप find anything else." Skipper ordered.
"Aye, sir." Kowalski replied, then turned and went back to his research. Skipper left his lab.
"What was all that about, then?" Private asked upon Skipper's return.
"Nothing, Private. Just keep an eye on those scans." Skipper ordered, then went back to his bunk to get some और sleep. Though with fourteen innocent souls whose blood was spilled in one of the most inhumane fashions possible, it's not really that easy to.
Later on, while Kowalski was taking his shift on the cameras, Rico and Skipper were out guarding the zoo and Private was taking his turn sleeping. It was a warm night, the clouds hung low in the sky, shielding the moon from wandering eyes. Skipper and Rico had decided to stay within seeing range of each other, so if anything happened, the other wouldn't be alone. Suddenly, something caught their eye. Skipper signaled for Rico to come to him and Rico obeyed.
Meanwhile, back in HQ, Private woke up, unable to sleep any longer. "Kowalski?"
Private waddled up to his side. "Do आप think we'll find who did this?"
"I don't know, Private. I hope so. I just don't see much chance without any clues." Kowalski कहा adjusting the angles of the cameras.
"I just don't understand how he could've gotten in and out of Marlene's habitat so quickly without leaving a shred of evidence...." Private pondered.
"I don't know either, Private. We just need to think outside the box." Kowalski suggested.
Private thought for a moment, then his eyes widened in realization. "That's it, Kowalski! You're a genius!"
"Well...I know that, but...what did I say?" Kowalski asked, confused.
"We swept Marlene's habitat four times and didn't find anything. But guess what place we didn't search!" Kowalski cocked his head in thought, then shrugged. "We didn't खोजिए any of the areas outlying her habitat! We didn't खोजिए the drain either! We were so caught up in the crime scene that we were looking in all of the wrong places!"
"Private, you're right! We were executing the wrong investigation! I'll keep an eye on the cameras, आप go tell the others."
Private waddled over to the walkie talkie and pressed the button on the side. "Skipper! Skipper, do आप copy?"
A moment later Skipper's voice came back through. "I copy, Private, but we're a little busy. Is it important?"
"You bet your fishsauce! We've been searching in all of the wrong places! When we swept Marlene's place, we didn't check the outlying areas या in the sewage drain!"
"Fishsauce?!?" Rico's voice resounded through, अगला Skipper's came.
"Give me that, Rico! Good thinkin', Private! We'll head over there right now."
"Okay!" Private put down the talkie feeling very proud of himself. He may have just helped them get that much closer to solving the crime.
Rico and Skipper headed toward Marlene's, but their attention was diverted at the sound of someone else's scream.