posted by KowalskiTheLich
Three days passed and Skipper finally decided that the late night training exercises were not doing anyone any good. No one really knew why he had come to this conclusion, but perhaps he thought it was affecting Kowalski’s mind, as Kowalski had changed throughout the last three days.
Kowalski used to hate music and generally only tolerated it if it was soft and not repetitive and annoying. Now, he already listened to every record the penguins owned and even played them while he was fiddling with an invention. On day three, he finally packed up all of his inventions and threw them into a corner, something that flabbergasted all of the other penguins.
“Something is seriously wrong with Kowalski!” said Private as the three watched Kowalski throw his favorite inventions into the corner.
“He’s just…delusional from all of those late night exercises,” said Skipper. “I suppose someone with a brain that big needs his sleep.”
Private nodded as Kowalski walked towards the three. “Well, that’s the last of ‘em!” he said. “Who wants a disco party?”
That was it, thought Skipper. Kowalski could not bear any sort of disco music; in fact, the last time they had played any of it Kowalski had flown into a rage and smashed the CD machine with a sledgehammer.
“Kowalski, can I, um, talk to you for a second?” said Skipper.
“Yes sir,” said Kowalski.
“ALONE?” Skipper said, glaring at the other two, who got the hint and scurried away.
Skipper glanced behind them to make sure the other two weren’t listening at the door; he at least wanted to give Kowalski some privacy before questioning him.
“Kowalski, what’s going on?” said Skipper. “I understand you could have learned to appreciate music, but throwing all of your inventions into a corner like that…is this becoming a problem?”
“A problem…no…I don’t have a problem!” snapped Kowalski. His voice no longer sounded intelligent at all, but sort of like a deeper variation of Private’s voice without the British accent.
“You sure about that, soldier?” The moment those words escaped Skipper’s beak, he slapped himself, knowing that such a phrase would not likely be the best way to handle it.
“Yes, I’m pretty sure,” said Kowalski. “I like something different now, and if you were a true friend you would learn to accept that.”
Skipper HATED it when people pulled any sort of guilt argument on him. “That’s all fine, Kowalski,” said Skipper, managing to maintain his composure, “But the fact is, we don’t need a music fanatic in our group; we need a scientist/tactical strategist. Private’s close enough, don’t you think?” Both of them knew that this was not true, as Private had never seemed to like music any more than the rest of them.
“Honestly, Skipper, we don’t need anything of the sort. We live in a zoo, our only opponent is a half-insane lemur who thinks he’s a king and the most dangerous mission we’ve had in months involved climbing a tree to save a cat. This isn’t the army anymore, Skipper, and you have to realize that.”
Skipper was quite offended that his first lieutenant would say things like that, but shook it off. “Obviously, Kowalski, you’re head’s not straight. I’m sure, given some time, you will forget this music stuff and go back to your inventing and sciencey things you like to do.”
“Is that all I am to you? A robot that manufactures machines which only serve to make our lazy lives even easier?” said Kowalski. Before Skipper could respond, he was already storming over to the other side of the room. “I’ve had it with you, your nonstop training and your paranoia that we are going to be attacked any day. We are penguins living in a zoo, for God’s sake, and if you’re going to prevent anyone from liking things that aren’t beneficial in a combat situation, then I suppose this isn’t the best place for me to be, is it? I quit.”
“WHAT!?!?!” said Skipper. “Kowalski, let’s stop and think so we don’t do anything rash…”
Kowalski had already left through the fish secret passage. Skipper groaned at the prospect of having to chase down Kowalski, and decided that he didn’t want to do it now. As an excuse, he began to shoot the Styrofoam ninjas and shot the same one in the head four times in a row before he missed and shattered a light. He flinched and the two other penguins ran back into the room to see what had made the noise.
“It’s all right, I just…erm…missed the target.
“I’ll say” remarked Private, glancing at the broken light on the ceiling. “Anyway, what were you and Kowalski talking about?”
“Kowalski, he…he felt as though he needed to move on” Skipper said, trying to be a sensitive as possible so that he would not upset Private. When Private began to make sad eyes anyway, Skipper decided to abandon that approach and simply tell the story. “Well, in truth, he sort of lost it, but I guess he just doesn’t think that he needs us anymore. I tried to convince him to stay, but he just likes music now, and couldn’t care less about anything else.”
Rico made a strange noise while Private continued to make his sad face. “We’re…never gonna see him again, are we Skippa?” he said.
“Of course we are, soldier,” said Skipper. “Remember when you were addicted to those strawberry flavored candies we stole from the zoo’s Halloween program? You were nearly crazy about those, but it was over within days. My guess is that Kowalski is experiencing something similar.”
“You think so?” said Private hopefully.
“I know so, Private,” said Skipper. “He’ll be back. Now why don’t we watch a movie, to get our minds off of this?”
“Yippee” said Private, apparently forgetting all about Kowalski. “Can we watch that one about the tiny short guy with the ring?”
Little did they know that Kowalski, at that very moment was listening to them, right under their feet.