Disclaimer: I own nothing. All Buffy the Vampire Slayer characters and DreamWorks Animation/Nickelodeon characters are the property of their original owners.
As she hopped over the zoo fence, Buffy Summers irritably muttered to herself, “So, where’d Speedy go?”
Looking around the cages, exhibits and preserves of the New York City Central Park Zoo, the blonde Slayer had a scowl on her face over spending far too much time on this. Tonight, after an entire day spent in meetings on New Council business at their hotel, she’d just wanted to burn off some energy on a run through Central Park at well past midnight, and maybe dealing with an idiotic mugger or two along the way. She hadn’t really intended to hunt for her normal vampiric prey, but one of those demons had actually been lurking inside the park, and after a single horrified look at the Slayer, it had promptly bolted in the direction of the zoo.
“Kids got no respect these days,” grumbled Buffy, stalking through the sleeping zoo in her search. “Don’t those guys know when they meet me, they should put up a hopeless fight while allowing me the chance for a quip or two? It’s traditional, dammit!”
Stopping by a large water-filled pool, Buffy drew in a deep sniff in an attempt to continue tracking the fleeing vampire by his smell, using her heightened senses. A few seconds later, Buffy’s face turned white, then green, then white again with greenish blotches, as she urgently made a dash for the nearest trash can.
Disgusting noises resounded through the air, until the woman finished vomiting into the container, to then make a beeline to a water fountain a few steps away, taking a mouthful before spitting it onto the ground, only then allowing herself to drink to settle her stomach. Straightening up and wiping her lips, Buffy stared at the pool where she‘d felt ill, and muttered to herself, “Never, ever do that again standing right next to a hippopotamus pool. What do they EAT, anyway?”
Buffy’s complaint was interrupted by the noisy rustling coming from a patch of bushes about fifty feet away on her left. Instantly, the Slayer blurred into action, running right at the greenery and launching herself into a horizontal dive over it, face first and her arms reaching out to grab what she’d sensed was waiting for her.
Her arms automatically swept inwards to bring her prey into closer contact, but her embrace came up totally….empty? Looking down in the middle of her leap as she clutched her chest, Buffy saw staring up at her the vampire she’d been chasing.
He was lying flat on his back, his arms and legs sticking out, as they were all tied together at the wrists and ankles with very thick, strong ropes, and seeing the Slayer sail overhead, the vampire’s eyes widened over his gag, a zoo brochure stuffed deep into his mouth.
Still looking down as she went past, Buffy allowed herself a blink of total bewilderment, until while still in midair, she lifted her head to notice she was just a few feet from colliding headfirst into what looked like the very thick concrete wall of a cage….
A few minutes later, a weaving Buffy Summers, holding her head with both hands and feeling the onset of a severe concussion, stumbled over to the vampire still lying on the ground. Pulling her hands away with a groan, Buffy blearily looked down, at the vampire now struggling with panic in its bonds and trying to make grunting noises through its gag.
“Give it a rest,” unsympathetically moaned the Slayer, who really wanted to get this over with, and she pulled out her stake from her clothes, knelt down by the vampire, who was now frantically jerking his eyes to point at something over to his right, and plunged the stake into the demon’s chest. At least what happened next was normal, as the vampire puffed into ashes.
Still on her knees, Buffy glanced over at what that vampire had thought was so important in his last moments. A puzzled look slowly appeared on her face, and then the blonde woman unsteadily got to her feet, and again holding her head, Buffy wandered over to a railing. Stopping in front of the fence, the Slayer groggily looked past the barrier at another water-filled pool that in this case had a small, flat concrete island in the middle of the pool.
Standing on their feet, four penguins lined up abreast on the island stared back at her.
Buffy slowly closed one eye to see if this made any difference. Nope, there were still four flightless birds in their familiar black and white coloring, standing stock still and watching her with beady, unblinking, black eyes. Opening the eye she’d shut, Buffy said muzzily, “Huh, I didn’t know penguins were nocturnal.” After these words, the woman did something without thinking about it.
She took her right hand from her head and nonchalantly waved at the penguins.
Totally expressionless, as one, every penguin lifted their right flipper and waved back.
Buffy’s hand froze in mid-air, and she abruptly clamped her eyes shut. Still holding her eyelids firmly down, the Slayer put back her right hand in supporting her head, and slowly about-faced, to start walking away from the railing. It was clearly evident that she’d suffered a more serious injury than she’d thought, considering how fast the hallucinations had started.
Now opening her eyes to determinedly make her way through the zoo, Buffy decided that right now, what she wanted most in the world was to get back to her hotel, collapse in her bed, and have Willow place a damp hand-towel on her forehead before the witch started with the healing mojo. After that, she’d forget as fast as possible everything that had happened on this most weird night.
With every bit of her being, Buffy Summers steadfastly ignored the conversation now taking place behind her, easily understood by Slayer hearing.
“Well, that was most unexpected, wouldn’t you agree, Kowalski?”
“Absolutely, Skipper! I think we need to collect a sample of what happened to that human. Private, get ready.”
“Yessir! Rico, bring up some gloves and a sterile specimen container.“
Belch. Clatter, clatter.
It was just another night for the Penguins of Madagascar.
Author’s Note: Blame Nickelodeon for this. If they hadn’t shown their cartoons of the avian quartet, I wouldn’t have come up with this zaniness.
Oh, the Latin in the title for this story? It’s the proper nomenclature for the Emperor Penguin from Antarctica, which the guys seem to be, considering how they look, though it’s never quite said so in any of the cartoons and movies. Yes, yes, I know those birds are cold-weather natives and unlikely to easily live in the climate of New York City. Hey, Skipper would gruffly explain to anybody who dared ask, “We adapted, okay? You gotta problem with that?”
P.S.: I was going to use an entirely different title: Never Send A Slayer To Do An Aptenodytes Forsteri's Job, but I couldn't get it all in the Title section. Grumble, grumble.