Chapter 26 Wednesday, 1645 hours (4:45 PM)
Rom thought hard, trying to figure out a feasible method of escape. The best idea he could come up with was to ignite a mattress and shout ‘fire’. Then he remembered he had gotten the same idea the last time he was a captive of CALF. He gave up on the idea again, and for the same reason. If nobody responded to his call, and with the windows barred, they could all be incinerated. Then he thought about fire codes and it seemed strange that the windows were allowed to be barred. Rom went over to examine a window and found that there were pull out rods. If they were removed, the bars should just swing out. That was the intent, anyway. The barring had been painted many times though, and as a result the pull out rods were immobile, both from globs of paint as well as rust. For lack of anything else to do, Rom took out his pocket knife and started picking away at the rods, stopping when any carts rolled by.
"Hey guys, look at this," Rom shouted back to his fellow hostages. "There’s a lion running around out there." He pointed out the window.
Nobody seemed to care.
It had been over two hours since Sam stalked off.
Elliot, waiting in the safety of Jungle World, decided the time had come to go off and try to find his partner. He couldn't really believe Sam would kill young kids in cold blood, but he had an uneasy feeling he could be wrong. Elliot drew his service revolver from his shoulder holster and opened the basement door a crack. The way was clear. Elliot slipped out into the quiet zoo. He noticed the sun was low in the sky, and it would be dark soon. I should have started earlier"
Sam had set out down the path, boldly as if he owned the zoo. Elliot was more circumspect.
He had a good memory of the zoo layout. He'd go to the Education Building, where he assumed Sam had gone. But he'd go stealthily, and for cover, stop at the Reptile House along the way.
Elliot reached the Reptile House without difficulty. He had moved only when the SkySafari gondolas were out of view, and he had seen no one, neither human nor wandering animal.
In the Reptile House, Elliot noticed a lump floating on the surface of the alligator pond. He went over to look and saw that the lump had been a person. It wasn't Sam. Elliot steadied himself against the rising nausea. Large chunks of the person were missing, but you could still tell the poor guy's hands were tied and his mouth was sealed with tape.
These guy's play rough.
Elliot turned away, lurched out of the Reptile House for fresh air, and continued on to the Education Building, both to seek out Sam, and to escape the horror behind.
As he breathed in the cool, outdoor air, he felt a sense of outrage welling up. He hated crime and disorder. It was why he joined the bureau. He had to do something, but what? Outgunned and out of his jurisdiction, he decided he'd better first find Sam. Sam as the senior agent, should take lead, and maybe this crime would make him forget this ridiculous obsession with werewolves.