Go to Cover Brian finds that cheetahs aren't cuddly.Derek endures his first night as a hostage, and his son opts to stay with the scouts.Rom must retrieve the Lycanthrozine, but is not thrilled about being Chaba's dog.Kit and Jeffrey have a friendly fight. Then Kit and the pack escape.Jack, Brian, and Joshua decide to release the young hostages.Joshua is insulted by the seeming indifference of the police, and he meets a tiger.Fact: Hippopotamuses secrete a pinkish oil that helps them keep their skin moist. It was once thought that hippos sweat blood.A wolf, and a fenceGo to chapter 6 in Derek's ViewGo to chapter 8 in Derek's View

Chapter 7 Tuesday, 0700 hours (7:AM)

The Calfers had brought in blankets for the hostages, but they still had to sleep on the floor. Derek had found a place near a wall, and had used his folded up jacket as a pillow. The hardwood floor was indeed hard, and he did not get much sleep. None of the hostages did.

At seven in the morning, along with the sounds of the hostages still twisting and turning in an effort to find an comfortable sleeping position, Derek heard a sound at the outer door. Feeling distinctly unkempt, he pulled himself to his feet. The door opened and three Calfers entered. One pushed a cart while the other two brandished assault rifles. The cart though, Derek found beautiful, filled as it was with breakfast foods: croissants, donuts, cereal, milk, orange juice and buttered toast. But, Derek noted, there was no coffee; he really could use a coffee.

One of the armed Calfers unlocked the inner door, and shouted in to the kids. "OK guys, Breakfast."

The kids, who could be seen looking out the window for loose leopards, turned and ran for the cart. They came like a force of nature.

The woman who the previous night had objected to Derek's son calling him by his first name, looked at the blue flurry of Cub Scouts. "They're very badly behaved." She looked at Derek as if he could do something about it. Then she turned to the Calfer at the cart. "Don't you have any Decaff?"

Derek noticed a few of the hostages looking with envy at the energetic scouts.

"The kids should be sleeping on the floor. We should have the bunks," said one.

"I'd certainly like a bunk," said another.

"Listen sister," said the first. "What makes you think you'll get a bunk?"

Derek went off to see his son. He separated Jeffrey from the pack, and they had breakfast. It was a great breakfast, especially for the kids who weren't old enough to be caffeine addicts.

"Derek, the pack is great," said Jeffrey through a mouthful of cheese filled croissant, "Their leader is the kid we saw at the zoo. Heís my new friend. His nameís Kit, but everyone calls him Cat."

"Yeah, I know," said Derek. "Kit, when he was a baby was nicknamed Kitten. As he grew, that got changed to Cat."

"How did you know that?"

"His Cubmaster told me. But, Iíd stick to calling him Cat." Derek laughed. "According to his Cubmaster, Kit has threatened to kill anyone who dares to call him Kitten."

Jeffrey giggled and Derek was warmed by the sound.

After a while, a Calfer gathered up the pack and sent them back to their room. Then he came over to Jeffrey, glanced over to Derek and made a gesture of kindness.

"Would you like to stay here with your dad?" he asked.

Jeffrey looked down, averting his fatherís eyes. "No. Iíd rather go back to the scouts."

Derek tried for a smile as the Calfer gently led Jeffrey to the dorm room, and then locked the door behind him.

Itís natural, for a boy to want to be with other kids Derek tried not to be hurt by it, but he was. Natural enough. Considering the kind of father Iíve been, I havenít any right to expect otherwise.

Derek turned his attention to the Calfers. In general they were a pretty likable bunch, that is if you could manage to ignore the assault rifles. One of the Calfers though, was definitely not sociable. He--Jack was his name--seemed much more disposed to be alone, enjoying the company of his rifle.

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