Chapter 9 Tuesday, 1200 hours (Noon)
Late Tuesday morning, the police finally called the zoo. A communications Calfer put them on hold and rang up Brian who was getting ready for his noon broadcast. Brian who until then hadnt the slightest notion how he was going to handle the program, decided to handle it as a call-in show, live. The techie routed the call to Brians desk, and kept the police on hold until the Broadcast was underway. Brian liked the idea of this format, dropped by fate into his lap. He didnt need a script, and the phone was another prop that he could play with.
The police negotiator was very mellow, and he was good at listening. Brian gave an impassioned justification for their take over, and thought he detected sympathy on the other end of the line. They just talked, trying to establish rapport. After a while, the negotiator got to one of his concerns.
"Brian, Im worried about the hostages."
"Theyre fine. Theyre our guests."
"Good, good. Do you think I could talk to one of them. My boss here thinks they might not be well treated. It would make him happy if he knew Id talked to one of them. Could you help me out?"
Brian thought the negotiator a nice guy. "Sure," said Brian. "In fact during tonights broadcast, you can talk to them live."
"Good. Thanks," said the negotiator, "I appreciate it. By the way, my name is George."
They chatted a little longer, thanked each other, and hung up. Brian, comfortable with how things went, decided to end the broadcast at that point. He gave the fade to black sign and stayed at the desk thinking, while the techies wound down the transmitter. Brian had promised the negotiator rather more than he had planned to. A live broadcast with the hostages would be tricky since he didnt want the camera to give away their location in the zoo.
In dealing with the problem, he thought not as a terrorist, but as a video director. "Well have to keep the room lights down, or even off. Key lights on the cameras, and wide lenses. Head shots only of course." He felt uneasy and inexperienced as the head of Operation Zoo, but he had studied film direction for years. "Yes, good production values. Well have to have a few kids on for contrast." Then he remembered that they were going to release the kids. Theyd be freed right after lunch. "That should make George happy, even though its going to mess up the shoot."
Satisfied, Brian patted the desk and stood up. Hed best arrange the release of the cub scouts now. He went to his office in Zoo Center to raise Jack on his Walkie-talkie. He asked that Jack arrange to get the kids out of the zoo without being eaten. Jack said hed take care of it.
Brian sat down at the desk in his office - the only desk in the room with a computer. He leaned back, put his feet on the desk and considered what to do next. There really wasn't all that much to do. It seemed that Joshua had thought of just about everything. Brian thunked his feet back to the floor.
"If I'm not careful, I'm going to get bored."
He looked out the window and saw Lori and another Calfer. It looked like Roger. Brian waved but they didn't notice. They got into a zoo cart, probably to go on patrol. At least they were doing something. Brian was getting bored. He flipped on the computer, and started playing computer games.