Undertow

BY : pronker
Category: +M through R > Penguins of Madagascar
Dragon prints: 1478
Disclaimer: I make no profit from this fanfiction set in Dreamworks' Penguins of Madagascar franchise. I do not own its characters, basic premise or settings.

 "Moley."

"Mmmmsh?"

"Where are we?"

"Whash you call Canada and I call brzdi."

The digger mecha hummed and growled, its whirling blades melding with the earth, finding and splitting fractals in the composition of the soil twenty feet into the earth's crust.  Masses compressed, liquids decanted, and the mecha moved forward with a clumsy grace.  Moley gestured with a gnarled fist, nearly brushing Frances's tattoo on the back of her hand in his nearsightedness.   She smiled, because unlike Jeff's odious male presence, Moley exuded what she called the male principle with no threat whatsoever.  His general hunch and lumpy appearance made the lines around her eyes smooth out.  "Moley, we've gone too far.  I only wanted to visit Howe's Caverns.  Why did you shoot the Mrsdm over the border?"

Moley wrung his hands and hummed to himself before answering.  His habits grew less annoying the better she knew him, she mused.  Another, angstier Frances might have steamed under her breath, but today's Frances stayed mellow, maaaaaan, as her Fake Miss Cleo persona would have purred.  During last spring, the inaugural trip had shaken Frances; she feared the dirty underground, scrutinized Moley's cave home and his harem with a jaundiced eye, and kissed the semi-clean sidewalks of Manhattan upon return.  Since then, two more trips changed her attitude. 

She'd undertaken the first trip after Moley surfaced in her vacant lot.  Daydreaming about Funkytown's future development in a haze of cigarette smoke, the Mrsdm shook her off her feet as what resembled a sinkhole opened directly in the middle of the lot.  The pack of Luckies tumbled into the hole from her nerveless hand and she never picked one up again. 

With wide eyes, she beheld the Mrsdm poke its tip out of the dirt, its paddle leaf shaped blades grinding to a stop.  When a hatch on the side opened four feet up from ground level and what looked like a man wearing a heavy overcoat peered at her, she paid attention because the dream of establishing a museum outdoors for used kiddie rides seemed doable with such fantastic inspiration, or maybe it was a vision.  She wasn't sure this was real because her stress levels since losing her job remained stratospheric, and she didn't have anything better to do than gauge the brown eyes behind the goggles and trust.  Unemployment lent perks of free time, and no job, no money, plenty of time, and no time, plenty of job, plenty of money as Mom would say.  Moley's crook of a finger got her onboard and they were tunneling at thirty miles per hour before she could scream.  She cut off her daydream from the past when Moley finally answered her question.

"Tish a mean machine, Frawnces.  I like cutting her loose, so you can see what she can do." 

Hmmph.  Men.  They all like to strut, she could almost hear her mother saying from the next world.  What was weird was that Frances was 99.9 percent certain that Moley was maybe 85.3 percent human, with who knew what mixed in.  There was his impossibly acute vision in darkness, for instance.  Her scientific background overrode her new spirituality to eliminate the possibility of species blending through DNA manipulation.  Her spirituality drawled that science ain't the whole world, maaaaaan.

"And I like being in it with you, and, and for its own sake.  Brownian motion turns me on."

It took a while to study how the mecha did what it did: the Mrsdm directed Brownian motion into order.  Since dirt contained water about the first nine feet down under your feet and deeper if you knew where to look for the water table, the power source that Moley called hmdo and Frances learned was pollucite channeled particles away to the edges of the sub-domain containing the lifegiving liquid.  No longer did the particles bounce randomly off the molecules inside a proscribed zone.  Given the dimensions and whirling blades laced with pollucite protected from actually touching water by a sheen of energy that Frances considered over her level of scientific expertise, the pocket created was just wide enough for the subterranean vehicle shaped like a rocket kiddie ride from the 1950s to slither down, sideways, or up.  Even granite had cracks large enough for movement of the eleven foot wide and fourteen foot long traveler, while friable sandstone was a dream to maneuver in.  The closed pocket with the bouncing, bounding and pronking particles circumscribed in their controlled movement operated at thermal equilibrium, which in New York state's caves and caverns hovered at 52 degrees Fahrenheit.

Frances admired the mecha and the rambling kingdom of Moley.  Her forays with him eventually translated dirt into a realm for her to oversee.  When Santeria practitioners surrounded her in the urban wilds of New Jersey at her new residence, she slid into a gentler set of beliefs, well except for the animal sacrifices; she was a rare thin woman in her group of mostly stout females.  When the idea to crystallize herself into an actress in the mold of the late Miss Cleo, it was easy peasy to adopt the voice and style of her new performing persona. She drew the line at offering tarot readings, though.  The other abilities she was currently learning from the ancient religion were strange enough.

"How does it turn you on?  Do you have a switch somewhere on your body?"

"You never will see me naked, Moley.  I'm not into you that way.  It's an expression --- oh, skip it.  I like random motion and unplanned things, but for today, I need to meet my pushers back in Manhattan."  She had grown accustomed to estimating time underground.  "It'll take fourteen hours to return."

"The one called Brick, yes, him I like.  The other one, no."

"I need copper tubing that they stole for the metal sculptures I'm building as a new attraction and you, my Mole Man, know where to find copper raw --- "

She thought Moley's eyes lit up behind his goggles.  "I shower you with this mineral, my drzhp."

" ---  but it's milled tubing that I can work with.  If I wanted raw minerals, I'd come to you first, you know that."

Moley busied himself with the controls until Frances felt a sway sideways as they reversed course.  He kept quiet so long that Frances thought he was offended.  "Moley, don't pout."

"Not."

"Yes, you are."

"Not."

"This is circular, Moley.  I do like you."

More quiet.  "I want to shzbsh you," he said finally.

"Don't.  You have your harem, why isn't that enough?"

"Whash?"

"What?"

"Whash do you think shzbsh means, Frawnces?"

"It means mate, right?"

He made that sound she thought was subsonic.  She felt it in her chest, like when elephants rumbled to communicate with other elephants miles away via the savannah's parched plains.  "It means live with.  I not live with my harem, I just visit them for --- "

"Okay, I understand now.  They're on call when you're ready."

Moley sounded puzzled.  "Naturally.  Your Jersey men are different?"

"My Jersey men don't exist."

"You must be on fire!"

"Moley, leave it.  Let's enjoy this ride back together like civilized people."  She peered out the thick window.  "I see silver in the quartz, pretty, isn't it?"

Moley petted her lavender hair with his free hand until she leaned away.  "I see rose quartz.  Pretty."

IOIOIOIOIO

"Brick, what did I just tell you?"

"I wasn't picking my nose!  It itched!"

"That's beside the point.  Look, you get performance art stuff and I, unbelievable as it seems, do not.  Lay some interp on me about this piece before Frances gets here."  Cecil pointed to a racing horse with a sturdy pole impaling its belly. The nicks and scratches on the metal steed and its pedestal lent an air of past glory.  He shook the coin box to scarf any coins, but nothing clinked inside.  "Do you think she'll be Miss Cleo again or her real self?"

"Who's Miss Cleo?"

Cecil sighed and tugged his ponytail.  "Never mind.  Think hard as you can and tell me what to tell her about it."  He kicked at the rolls of copper tubing at their feet and looked around.  The few passersby on the sidewalk remained locked in their own concerns, ignoring the mecha museum composed with artful seediness.  Why, the place wasn't even paved.  Giant broad leafed weeds from last summer's rains reached to Brick's thigh and dandelions nodded in a gentle autumn breeze off the East River.  When folks had leisure and disposable funds, paths led the curious from one kiddie ride to the next; in wintertime visitors trod over the mud on rubber mats in violent hues.  Frances popped up at the most popular attractions to do her spiel.  Some visitors swore afterwards that she appeared out of thin air.

Funny, Cecil never thought of Brick as artistic.  When they first met at the end of the crime-ridden eighties and Cecil brought up how he'd been near-Olympic level at fencing in college, Brick asked whether the fencing was wood or brick.  Cecil had nicknamed his partner in crime Brick, but now Cecil paid attention as Brick explained what went on in his head when he studied the kiddie ride.  It wasn't about the horse that Cecil had indicated because Brick's concentration had drifted.  Another animal would do just as well.

"See the rusty giraffe with the pole busted off, Cecil, the giraffe means how we should try to see over life's hard parts, like, you know, losing your teeth in a cage fight."  Brick smiled and Cecil looked away, past the jagged row of smashed choppers to the Moon Rocket kiddie ride.

"Helloooooo, maaaans!"

"There she is!  How does she do that?  She just ups and comes from nowhere!"  Frances approached alone, to Cecil's relief.  The weirdo she hung out with freaked him no end.

Brick looked serene.  "I don't care so long as she buys our loot.  Sell the copper, Cecil.  That's what you're good at."

IOIOIOIOIO



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