Chapter 1: Three Confused Penguins
Skipper has packed the last of his things in a greatly oversized suitcase, filling it to the brim so that it had difficulty closing. It was full of the latest and most deadly military equipment in the base for enemies could be lurking in the very shadows of the Bahamas. आप can't be too सुरक्षित on vacation, Skipper thought as he dragged it off his bunk and it fell to the ground with a clatter, waking up Kowalski.
Kowalski rubbed the last of the sleep from his eyes and blinked sleepily. "Your flight leaves at precisely 2.4 hours. आप are up three hours early."
Skipper struggled with the suitcase full of explosives while Kowalski watches him suffer as if still in dreamland. "It will take awhile to get to the airport, and a stealthy rondevu is called for before duty. I mean vacation. It is best to set out before dawn."
Vacation. This was pretty unfamiliar to Skipper, but he wasn't going to just let the tickets to the Bahama Island get-away go to waste. He found them in the waste receptical, and had to use them before the limited offer एक्स्पायर्ड in a few weeks. He would have to take some time away from the base, which maybe wasn't a bad thing as he always thought.
At the sound of Skipper heaving his luggage, Rico and Private jolt up from sleep. They instantly leap out of बिस्तर and stand in a perfect military-fashion line.
"I have everything packed and I secured the base already. Mission accomplished. Hmm...I almost forgot something. Before I leave, I must appoint a temporary captain while I'm gone. Duty could call आप in at any moment and I am entrusting one of आप with this responsibility," Skipper said.
The penguins gasped with shock. One of them as leader. It sounded so wrong! Skipper not being leader was like Kowalski without a notebook, and that was just plain unusual.
"But, Skipper. We couldn't possibly-"
"Negative, Private. Sure आप can," Skipper interrupted and turned to the three penguins waiting. "Now the one I choose has my greatest trust to hold down the fort while I enjoy a luxury vacation. I declare that the new leader will be..."
The three stare at each other, wondering which one of them could possibly be chosen any second, hearts pounding with excitement.
The beeping is coming from inside the suitcase and Skipper rushes out the door, tripping on the mountain of suitcase on the way out. "No time. I only have three and a half hours to get to the airport. Work it out amonst yourselves. I have to catch my flight." And with that he left, leaving Kowalski, Rico, and Private in the silent room, never to know who Skipper was about to give the position of leader to.
"Now what?" Private asked.
Rico shrugged and both of them turned to Kowalski for answers.
"Perhaps we should elect a leader between us. That is what Skipper said," Kowalski reasoned out, which was indeed a sensible plan.
"Sounds sensible. But the problem is who wants to vollunteer for such a position?" Private wondered. It is no doubt a new experience for all of us. I...was...wondering...maybe I could."
"Scientifically speaking, smarts make one capable for the leader in battle," Kowalski insisted.
Rico nodded excitedly, no doubt suggesting a silent vollunteer.
The three penguins are momentarily confused and look at each other with disbelief.
"Okay, if we all vollunteer for the job then it makes sense to pick the one that is most qualified for the job. The absolute best, right?" Kowalski reasoned out. "So, which one of us is the best for the job? That is who it should be. The answer should be obvious."
The three of them nod with agreement that neither of them felt.
"And we know who that is, correct?"
They all nodded again and all of them minus Rico who just murmured something undestinguishable answered, "Me."
"Wait a minute. It sounds like we all want to be leader," Private said. "How does that work? I guess we could all be leaders?"
Kowalski gave Private a stare like he was looking down on a clueless infant with no brains in its head. "That is the most ridiculous idea I have ever heard in my lifetime, Private. We can't all be leader. It just can't work. I have already calculated that suggestion and it just doesn't compute." He looked at the spot where Skipper left and cluelessly shook his head. "Who would Skipper have chosen? Actually, I have a philosophy. Right when Skipper कहा that the new leader will be __________, I heard a tiny K sound before the beeping interrupted him. There is no doubt Skipper was about to say Kowalski. After all, I don't blame him for choosing me. I have been here the longest."
"Skipper कहा no such thing," Private objected, outraged. "If anything he made a P sound. आप are making up lies."
Rico started growling at them, arguing with both of their improvised philosophies.
"Nope. It is decided. I am the new leader. Problem solved." Kowalski is about to walk over to Skipper's office when Rico and Private leap on चोटी, शीर्ष of him and they all tumble to the ground, strangling and knocking each other about until Private backed out of the tussle and pulled Kowalski and Rico apart, shoving them to opposite walls. Kowalski just stood there with wide eyes like he couldn't believe he resulted to physical violence while Private still held a growling Rico in a firm grip.
Kowalski sighed. "Look at us. We are turning into power-hungry monsters. This is no way to resolve conflict."
Rico stopped struggling and whined miserably.
"Right. There has to be another way to do this. I have an idea. We will just have to see who is best for the job. The problem is that we all think we are best for the job. We should have a competition, and whoever wins gets to be leader until Skipper returns from the Bahamas," Private suggested helpfully.
No one could argue with that. As much as they resigned Private coming up with a good idea, they had to agree that it was a flawless suggestion.
"That could work," Kowalski said. "But what would it be." After a moment of thought he suggested, "How about a race?"
"All right. We will see who wins and whoever does becomes captain," Private confirmed excitedly, already having plans for his victory along with the others.
"Yes, bring it on."