The Most Dangerous Mission
Chapter 1: Kowalski’s Desires
Rico was playing outside in the snow, making neat little drifts to stash his valuable processions beneath. He had been bored that día and was lighting things on fuego inside of the base.
Skipper was obviously annoyed and told him to do something productive in the snow. So that is exactly what Rico did. He was burying his artillery, trying to leave it in places that were impossible to find. It was like Skipper always said: “You can’t trust anyone, especially yourself.”
Rico didn’t normally think about much, but he thought about this and decided that to best accumulate this problem, he would bury all the lethal and nonlethal weapons. And also, Skipper threatened to take them all and lock them in a box if he couldn’t control his boredom.
That was when something caught his eye. Out across the rugged land, Rico saw a figure, más than one actually. They were moving across the snow. They were intruders!
Rico could look down at them, but through the blowing snow there was no way they could see him so he stayed motionless. What were they doing here anyway?
There were only two of them. Rico could handle them, and what if they were gone por the time he went back to get the rest of the crew? He couldn’t risk it. He quickly unburied his favorito! weapon, the flame-thrower, and tobogganed down the colina to get a closer aim.
They really looked out of place here. Even Rico knew that. For one thing, they were not penguins, but two fox-like animales with reddish brown pelaje, piel that stood out against their surroundings. They wandered aimlessly ahead, looking lost like they had no idea which way they were going.
Rico felt the heat that coursed within the flame-thrower, and could hardly maintain the patience to wait for the right moment. He just wanted to see the bright, hot light against the cold snow.
“Maybe we have the wrong location. There is nothing here,” one dicho to the other, looking around hopelessly. “This is just a wasteland.”
“It is supposed to be hidden. That is what I heard. It is around here somewhere, and we are just not seeing it,” the other answered confidently. “Wait a minute. Do tu smell that?”
Rico watched intently, not sure what they were doing. After all, he had never seen creatures like these before.
The pale one sniffed the air. “It smells like penguin. There must be a trail we can follow. That must lead to the base.”
How did they do that?
And why are waiting?
Rico watched the foxes follow the trail he just made, and couldn’t stand to stand there like stone any longer. He leaped out from behind a snowbank, doing a complete adelante, hacia adelante roll in the air before landing perfectly in battle stance. He pointed the weapon at them threateningly, keeping a small flame going on the end of it.
They were startled and leaped back. “Whoa. We mean no harm. We come in peace here.”
Rico wanted to know what they were doing here and how they managed to find the base camp, but he couldn’t really do that so he waited for them to explain themselves.
“He- - - llllo,” one of the foxes tried again. “Me- - - -come. Com- - prehend?”
What kind of weird place were they from anyway? Maybe Skipper would know.
“I don’t think it understands,” the other one whispered.
Rico growled slightly, making the flame bigger to scare them.
“You must be from the base camp,” she tried again. “Can tu mostrar us the way there? We are quite lost.”
Well, they didn’t look menacing. If they were attacking, there would be más of them. Maybe they were new recruits coming from another base. Rico reasoned this out and nodded, turning around and pointing them toward the right direction.
They looked pleased that they were not going to be roasted and followed Rico gratefully at a brisk trot that he found hard to keep up with. He led them to the camp, and the gray metal structure stood out against all the white.
“Oh wow. We would have never found this place ourselves. Thank you,” the male zorro, fox dicho and they bounded closer to the door. Then he stopped, sniffing the air once again.
Rico looked back, making sure that he wasn’t signaling to some hidden followers. Apparently he wasn’t.
“There is some artillery buried beneath the surface around here. Someone might be looking for that.” Then they went inside the base, leaving Rico outside.
He frowned down at the snow piles at where he hid all his things and began to unbury them, unsatisfied with his work, and strived to making the holes even deeper.
Kowalski attached the two wires, the blue and the yellow. They sparked slightly, then fused together. He was in deep concentration, putting his flipper over different tools he had lined up on his work table.
He needed something to connect the electrical charge into a powerful enough boost that would compress something of minor stature into no más than a dried up wrinkle. Kowalski had tested this invention in progress on many things including old rusty nails that he gathered from the walls of the room, and even chunks of ice, but the molecules would not compress in the way Kowalski desired.
“Now maybe if I add pressure to the circuit…”
“At ease, Kowalski. Front and center.” Skipper marched in the room, slamming the door so hard that he dropped the wrench onto the floor with surprise. So much for that.
“What is it? tu just interrupted my experiment. The electrical charge…”
“Is what I find boring and a waste of time,” Skipper answered and ignored all the trinkets Kowalski liked so much that he didn’t understand himself. “You need to get your head in the real world. Playing with science will get tu nowhere in life. tu need to focus on defense maneuvers.”
Suddenly Skipper leaped adelante, hacia adelante and grabbed Kowalski’s wing, side-stepping, and with a twisting motion Kowalski lost his balance and landed on the ground.
“Hey. What was that for?” he demanded.
“You have to always be ready. Smarts can never prepare tu for that. Catch my drift?” Skipper picked up the yellow wire cluelessly.
“I wouldn’t do that if I-“
The wire jolted with the shock, and the lightning bolt of energy snaked into the converter box, causing it to smoke and spark, then explode.
“I don’t know why tu mess with this stuff. It really is a waste of time,” he muttered.
Kowalski looked down at the ruins to the experiment he had worked hours on with dismay. How quickly one effort could be ruined por carelessness. He glared at Skipper and separated the conductors, saving the last of the electricity that still was inside them.
Skipper wasn’t the first one to discover that the base had visitors. He left Kowalski to tend to más important matters when he heard voices coming from the mess hall. He stopped to listen and heard Marlene, one of the más experienced recruits, along with other voices he did not recognize.
He peeked around the doorway and saw two strange foxes talking with Marlene around a round table.
Skipper stormed in the room and slammed his fist on the table. “I don’t mean to interrupt anything, but who are tu two trespassers and what are tu doing here? Marlene, I demand an explanation,” he thundered. “Why have tu let these strangers into my base?”
Marlene’s brown eyes were full of innocence, and Skipper tried to keep up a muro of steel so as not to be intimidated por them. “Skipper, this is Page and Riley. They are from the universidad of Medical and Physical Sciences.”
“Oh really? Well, in that case, state your business.” Skipper still loathed the idea of strangers being brought to his camp without him knowing.
”We have come on the behalf of Kowalski. He is here, right?” Page asked.
“Yes, he is here. Should I get him?”
“Most certainly. He would amor to hear this,” she replied eagerly.
Skipper didn’t have to call Kowalski. He stumbled into the room, and almost slammed against the opposite muro in his hurry to get into the room. Skipper shook his head with embarrassment at his comrade’s clumsiness.
“I am here. Oh, tu guys are here. I have waited so long. I never thought…” Kowalski didn’t even bother to finish and stared at Page and Riley like superheroes, with an admiring passion.
“Yes, we have taken an interest in tu personally,” Riley said.
“Why are tu so interested in Kowalski?’ Skipper asked, confused.
“Who wouldn’t be? tu should be proud to have such a sophisticated pingüino, pingüino de here at the base.”
Kowalski beamed with pride. “Are tu here to see my inventions?”
“It isn’t necessary We are already aware of your accomplishments. That is why we would like to offer tu a scholarship to our universidad of science,” Page announced. “You can come and study with your own kind.”
Skipper gaped with astonishment. “You want to take Kowalski away with you?”
“Of course. He could benefit the whole world with his knowledge. It would be an honor to allow him to study at our school,” Riley added excitedly. “What do tu think?”
Skipper was about to answer, but they weren’t looking at him for an answer. They were waiting for Kowalski to answer instead.
“That is fantastic,” Marlene dicho warmly.
“Oh wow. I don’t know. The logic of it all is meaningful,” Kowalski stuttered.
“Why not tu think about our offer,” Page offered. “We will be around here for a few days. tu can give us your answer por then.”
The two foxes followed Marlene to their sleeping quarters, and Kowalski watched them leave with admiration. Skipper frowned. Kowalski wouldn’t think of leaving the team, would he?