A penguin with a yellow bandanna tied to his tiny forehead spat out the cigarette in its beak and crushed it with his webbed foot under the icy, Antarctica floor.
“What’s taking Jackal so long?” the penguin asked in a low, gruff voice. Another identical penguin stood next to the bandanna penguin. Except he was smaller and had a fluffy, brown afro on his head instead of a bandanna. So not very identical at all.
“Be patient Cougar, he should be here any minute,” the smaller penguin said. He made a movement with its left wing as though it were checking his watch, but then he remembered penguins don’t wear watches, because penguins wearing accessories would be just strange. Silly me, he thought, and proceeded to groom the giant afro on his head with his beak (just try to imagine it).
The smaller, afro penguin heard the sound of scraping ice, looked up, and said to Cougar, “Jackal’s here!”
Another identical penguin slid on his belly towards the other two. Except he had a long beard, so he wasn’t that identical either. “Sorry I’m late guys!” he said. Jackal was known among his peers to be a strange penguin; he wore nothing on his head. Nothing at all. And this made Jackal feel very vulnerable, but he wasn’t about to reveal his inner weakness.
“About time you got here!” Cougar roared in his deep, low voice. “Why I -” Cougar broke off, and fell into a fit of coughing.
Afro penguin scolded Cougar, “You should really stop smoking.”
“Shut up, don’t lecture me, Penguin,” Cougar shot back.
Jackal guffawed at afro penguin. “Your name is ‘Penguin?!’ Of all the cool codenames you could have chosen?”
“Hey! I’m proud of being a penguin, unlike you two,” Penguin defended. But the real reason Penguin chose “Penguin” was because he lost a bet to his sister, Tiffany. Penguin bet he could fly, and shockingly enough, he lost. I was young and naive way back then, Penguin thought to himself. But that was a long time ago, and I had since grown wiser.
“Hey,” Cougar started. “What happened with that bet you made with your sister yesterday? Something about you thinking you could fly, right?”
“Shut up,” Penguin snapped. “That never happened. Anyways, we should get to business. Jackal, what news have you?”
“Gimme some krill and I’ll tell you,” Jackal said.
Cougar waddled menacingly towards Jackal.
“The enemy troop has been spotted, moving towards our feeding grounds,” Jackal reported. Jackal always did as Cougar wanted. Penguin assumed it was because Jackal respected Cougar. But actually, Cougar had a secret: he could use mind control on fools whose names began with “Jack.”
“They’re headed by Leapord Seal,” Jackal continued. “Actually, it’s only Leapord Seal. By himself.”
“Leapord Seal!” Cougar shouted, and slammed his wing down in an imaginary fist onto an imaginary table. “Our worst enemy!”
“But he’s alone,” Penguin reasoned. “If we form a plan of action, we could…”
“You don’t know Leapord Seal, do you?” Cougar asked Penguin. “He’s the most, horrific monster to ever grace Antarctica!”
The sound of a seal’s voice roared through the air. A figure in the distance approached the three penguins, shrouded by the snowy air.
“Egad! He’s already here! I’m scramming,” Jackal said. He flipped onto his belly and zoomed away.
Penguin squinted his eyes and looked at the looming figure. It looked identical to a penguin.
“Hey wait, is Leapord Seal a penguin?” Penguin asked.
“Fool! You mean you didn’t know?” Cougar shouted. “He specifically chose that name to strike fear into our hearts.”
Leapord Seal waddled closer, and Penguin could see that Leapord Seal looked identical other than the panama hat he wore on top of a top hat on top of a bowler hat. He must be wealthy and powerful and not at all identical, Penguin thought.
“Did you like my seal impersonation?” Leapord Seal asked.
“Who do you think you are?! Roaming into OUR territory?!” Cougar roared, and waddled furiously at a slow pace towards Leapord Seal.
Leapord Seal gave a look of surprise. “You mean you don’t remember me? We met at the bar a few days ago. We had a pleasant and friendly chat about pastries.”
Penguin stared at Leapord Seal, then at Cougar, then back at Leapord Seal. He felt stunned by these unexpected words. I’m shocked, I never knew penguins could eat pastries, Penguin thought, I’ll have to try some.
“Oh, oh yeah. I know who you are. No, I meant like, ‘who do you think you are, some tough guy?'” Cougar explained. “Or maybe like, someone important or cool. You know what I mean. I was challenging you.”
“I understand now,” Leapord Seal said. “But you know, I am an emperor penguin. I’m the emperor of you all, that’s kind of important.”
“Lies and blasphemy!” Cougar shouted. “We’re a democracy. We don’t have emperors! I call your bluff.”
“Fine then,” Leapord Seal said. “I accept your offer. I will smite you so hard, that you will explode into a million pieces into the air, and each individual piece will fall back down to earth in such a fashion that they will arrange themselves into their original shape. And it will be as though I never smote you so hard that you exploded into a million pieces.” Leapord Seal narrowed his eyes and continued, “Oh, but you will know. Oh you will know and remember, that I DID smote you so hard, that you exploded into a million pieces into the air, and each individual piece fell ba-”
Cougar slapped Leapord Seal with all his might.
“Wha- why I never! Have at you!” Leapord Seal shouted, and slapped back at Cougar.
“Ouch!” Cougar exclaimed. His face slightly tingled. “Is that all you got? Ha! I’ll show you true strength,” Cougar taunted. “This next one will KNOCK YOU INTO ORBIT! HUURRRUNNNGGHHHH!!!!”
Cougar slapped Leapord Seal with just as much force as before. Penguins aren’t very good fighting.
Penguin watched the ineffectual fighting from afar. There must be something I can do, he thought. Penguin tightened every muscle in his body, and flapped his wings. He ran at full speed and flapped harder, then zOOm! Penguin took off into the air.
He navigated through the sky, his afro blowing in the wind. He caught sight of Leapord Seal, and dove downwards. It was as though time had slowed down. In fact, it did slow down because time had a very tiring day, and took a quick nap.
Leapord Seal turned around with an expression of horror on his face. In slow motion. Cougar watched Penguin dive down in amazement. And also in slow motion. Penguin swooped down directly towards Leapord Seal. In fast motion, because time woke up, and drank four cups of coffee.
The increased speed threw Penguin off his path. He veered upwards, and missed Leapord Seal. But in his beak, Penguin carried Leapord Seal’s towering pillar of hats. Good enough, he thought.