Chapter 6 Monday, 1600 hours (4 PM)
They made us go upstairs, into one of the dormitories that school groups use for sleep-overs. There were two rooms with a door in between. Each room had a bathroom, but only one had beds. The other had tables and chairs. That's the room they made us go into.
Then three guys with guns came in. The middle one, the man who said we were guests, stepped forward. He looked friendly, but I knew he really wasn't. He said his name was Joshua Cave and he told everyone that CALF had taken over the zoo because they liked animals and didn't like zoos. He said we couldn't go home until everyone agreed to close all the zoos, but he said CALF would be nice to us, as long as we didn't try to escape.
He said it was useless to try to escape because there was a Calfer in a SkySafari gondola with night-vision binoculars and a rifle and he would be watching the zoo day and night. 'Calfer' is what the CALF people call each other.
Two more Calfers came in then. Mr. Cave called them Jack and Brian. This Jack guy stepped forward.
"We are against keeping animals in captivity," he said, "and we've decided to let some of them loose. We're going to release the large cats: the lions, leopards, and tigers. I wouldn't try to escape, if I were you."
He smiled. "They'll be released in an hour."
"Neat!" I said.
I don't think anyone knew I was there until then. All the adults were standing, and we kids were surrounded by them. I didn't mean to say anything, but it just came out.
The guy named Brian saw me and walked forward. "Look," he said. "I didn't know there were any kids here. Kids are okay. They're innocents, like the animals." He looked directly at us Scouts. "Guys. We're not going to hurt you. You're Scouts aren't you?"
I don't think he meant for us to answer that question. It was pretty obvious anyway. We were all wearing our blue uniforms.
"It'll be like a campout," he said. "You'll have your own room with bunks." He pointed to the door to the other room. "We'll send in food. You'll be under our direct protection."
He looked at me, but I didn't say anything. Neither did the other kids.
"Look guys." This Brian guy seemed to want me to say something. "We're for the animals. You like animals, don't you?"
"Leave us alone," I said. I'm the Denner, and I'm supposed to speak for the pack. "We don't want our own room. We want to stay here."
"The next door dorm room will be better for you," said Brian. He turned to the guy named Jack.
"Take them in to the dorm now please, while I talk some to the adults."
Rom tried to come with us, but they wouldn't let him.
They made all us kids go into the room with the bunks and they closed the door. If Jeffrey hadn't been with us, there'd have only been werewolves in the room, and we could have done wolfy stuff and tried the Lycanthrozine. Instead, we just sat on the bunks. I think we were all scared because Rom wasn't with us.
After a while we got bored because there was nothing to do and we were locked in. Then Jeffrey said he had a little TV set. We all kicked off our shoes and sprawled across a bunk. We were all squeezed together, nose to nose, watching the 2-inch screen. Jeffrey clicked through the channels. There were lots of dumb programs, but on one channel way up where there were nothing but Chinese programs and cooking shows, we saw that guy Brian. He was talking about taking over the zoo. He called it Operation Zoo. Then Brian said that Mr. Romulus Haldane had been sent out of the zoo with a list of demands.
"Rom wouldn't have left us alone here," said someone. I think it was Paul.
"Not unless they made him," I said.
We argued about it, and then started wrestling for fun on the bed. Jeffrey wrestled with us too. Then someone banged on the door.
"Keep it down in there."
We froze for a second and then started giggling. Then we went back to watching TV. I forgot what we watched. I guess I fell asleep.