Ok, ok, I know, I should be working on the next chapter of The Terran Jedi. But I have a bad case of writers block, plus I have an appointment in the Chair of Horror (better known as the dentists) that has scrambled my brainand finally this little thing popped into my head. Where the hell it came from I have No Clue, but here it is. And an odd one it is. Ok, disclaimer - I do not own these characters. Bugger.
The zoo was jumping that afternoon. The Labour Day holiday always brought them in, the crowds of people wandering, pointing, photographing and sometimes, most unwisely, laughing. The schmucks had no idea how accurate the monkeys could be.
He checked his six. That ass of a lion was doing his thing again. He had an ego the size of Panama, he really did. Luckily the scuttlebutt was that his friends were able to tone him down a bit. What he would have been like otherwise made him shudder.
Looking around he checked the perimeter again. All secure. The Skipper and Rico were hard at work tunnelling again, whilst the private had the nasty job of taking care of the earth. So far they'd been able to hide in a number of places, although there would be hell to pay if the pigeons ever worked out that they were being swindled. 'Magic' dust indeed. Luckily they were too stupid to cotton on fast. Plus they had the attention span of a gnat. Persuading them that they were high was easy.
A deep sigh emerged from his chest. Escaping from the zoo… it was all a far cry from his old life. The life that he used to have was hazy at times, the memories jumbled and blurred by things that he could only dimly grasp at. In his dreams he could recall things with more clarity, but what had been clear as daylight when he was asleep turned to smoke and drifted slowly away when he woke up. He had started going to bed with a notebook and pencil by his side.
Naturally the Skipper had spotted it and had asked if things were ok. He'd told him what was going on and the older penguin had sighed deeply. "You're lucky," he had said, "Most penguins never remember who they're reincarnated from. Oh, they get dreams and so on, but the actual details escape them. All I know is something about special forces training and pressing a big red button that was labelled 'Do not touch' in Arabic. Wish I'd known that at the time. No, good luck. Let us know what you work out."
Since then he'd been able to put more of the pieces together, but the concept of reincarnation was still one that confused him. Who would think that humans could be reincarnated as penguins? Life could be whacky.
Checking the perimeter again he looked to his right and then froze. No way. It couldn't be. He shuffled forwards and squinted into the crowd. A man and woman were walking past the enclosure. He was medium-sized, wearing dark glasses. Civilian clothes but a pose that was part military strut and part slouch. There was more white in the hair than the last time they'd met, but it was him. And the woman… blonde, smiling in an impish way, eating an ice cream. It was her.
Instincts snapped in and he did the only thing that he could think of.
Jack O'Neill looked up at the blue sky and then smiled. Despite the fact that the place was packed, he was having a good time. Part of the reason for that was walking by his side, but the other part was that he felt relaxed for once. No alert in progress, no imminent threat to Earth on the horizon, no honking great Goa'uld spacecraft hidden behind Jupiter. At least there hadn't been one the last time they'd looked, but hey paranoia could be a beautiful thing. Teal'c was in a marathon Star Wars session, Danny was poring over some new rocks that had been brought back from Egypt and now he and Carter were taking a moment to smell the flowers.
Sensing a lack of Carter to one side he turned. She was standing there a few yards away, staring at the penguin enclosure.
"You okay Carter?"
She shot him a puzzled look. "Sir, am I going crazy, or is that Penguin saluting us?"
He shot her a bemused look, before looking into the enclosure. To his astonishment a medium-sized penguin was stiffened to attention on the bank and had a flipper to its brow in a regulation salute. It seemed to be trying not to cry.
"Okay that's weird." He returned the salute in a rather bemused manner. "You know what? Kowalski used to salute like that…"