Chapter 28 Wednesday, 1900 hours (7 PM)
Evan was having second thoughts. "I think we should forget about finding Jack, and just get the hell out of here," he said. "Let the police take care of it."
"A lot of this is my fault," said Brian. "I don't think it would be right for me to run away, especially since I might be able to prevent another death. Joshua said he'd chosen another sacrifice. Besides, getting out isn't going to be easy. The exits are all chained, and there are snipers, not to mention the roaming carnivores. I think it would be safer to stick together."
"Yeah, but I'm going to try it anyway. Maybe I can dig under a fence or something."
Evan and Brian agreed to separate. Brian would try to find Jack, and Evan would try to break out of the zoo. As a fallback, if Evan couldn't get out, they decided to meet at the polar bear enclosure in exactly one hour. It was a fitting place for them to start the revolution.
Brian watched Evan's flashlight fade in the distance. At seven, it was already dark. Then Brian turned and began his search for Jack. It was likely Jack was out in the zoo somewhere. He liked being out alone, and there was no sign of him at Zoo Center, or the Education Building.
Brian had searched the zoo for about half an hour when he heard the sounds of kids playing. He followed the sounds to the Snow Leopard enclosure, and found the Cub Scouts, and one of the Hostages, not the cubmaster. Brian walked up, and the hostage threatened him with a spear. It took a while, but Brian managed to convince him he was on their side. The hostage, Derek, explained the situation.
"Jack said Joshua wants to end it, and surrender the zoo," said Derek.
Brian was astonished. Could it be that his confrontation with Joshua had caused this? No. Impossible. The showdown with Joshua had only just barely happened, and there'd be no way the information could have gotten out so fast. Something was not right.
"But where's Jack now?" asked Brian.
"Joshua wants a spokesman, someone to tell the authorities his side of the story. He chose Kit, the senior boy of the pack. Jack took him to meet with Joshua."
"Oh my god," said Brian.
"What's wrong?" asked Derek.
"Nothing, I hope," said Brian. Maybe there was nothing wrong. Brian looked at his watch. It was time to go to the polar bear den to check if Evan were there. He didn't have much time though. He had to find Joshua. Brian had the sick feeling that Kit's life was in danger. He didn't want to worry Derek, and besides someone had to stay with the cub scouts.
Brian said he wanted to check on things, and would go and find Jack. The polar bear den was close by, on the way in fact. He thought he'd dart in there and see if Evan was waiting. He hoped he was. Two people would be a lot better than one.
Brian found Evan staring into the polar bear den, where Adam Steiner gave his life.
"I tried one exit," said Evan, "but I couldn't get out. Then I decided I just couldn't leave you here alone."