Chapter 7 Tuesday, 0700 hours (7:AM)
Chaba sat on the good chair in Alan's apartment. He nursed a cup of tea and looked tired and worried. He had cause to be tired as he'd driven through the night from Ithaca.
"I wouldn't worry," said Rom. "I'm sure the kids are safe. Animal rights activists wouldn't hurt kids."
"It's more than that. During the drive down, I had time to think. I called all the parents of course, including my son in Budapest. He mentioned that you hadn't managed to get the Lycanthrozine to him before he left."
"I gave it to Kit at the scout meeting, but he forgot to give it to his dad."
Chaba nodded. "That's what I thought. I'll bet he put it into his uniform's pants pocket."
"Yeah. He did. Why?"
"The uniform he's wearing now?" asked Chaba.
"I suppose. It's his only uniform," said Rom. "Oh. You think it's still in his pocket?"
"Yes, and I know my grandson. If he finds it, he'll be very tempted to try it, and he'll talk the other kids into trying it too."
"Oh boy," said Alan, "a pack of werewolves loose in the zoo."
"Not only that," said Chaba. "If the Lycanthrozine falls into human hands. I shudder to think."
"What do you mean?" asked Rom.
"Lycanthrozine. In the young or infirmed, it facilitates changing, but we think if a human drinks it, it would be as if one of us had bitten him. We don't know for sure. We'd like to test it, but human experimentation is outlawed."
"But even so," said Rom. "he'd only turn into a werewolf if he had the gene, and the gene is not all that common."
"True," said Chaba. "but perhaps common enough. And that werewolf would not know the prime precept and would not have had Elso Lecke."
Alan and Rom exchanged glances.
"We've got to get that vial of Lycanthrozine, without delay," said Chaba.
"How? The zoo's sealed. No one can get in or out," said Rom.
"Alan. Do you have a dog leash?" asked Chaba.
"What? No. I don't have a dog. Why?"
Chaba, with Rom as a passenger, drove up the Harlem River Drive on route to the zoo. It was later than Chaba would have liked since first they had to wait for a pet store to open so that Rom could run in and buy a dog leash.
"I'm not nuts about this leash idea," said Rom.
"It's the only way for you to get in, and it hurts nothing except your dignity. We're almost there. Get down out of sight. Slip out of your clothes and change."
When Chaba pulled into a parking space on Fordham Road, there was a great, wolfish-looking beast sitting in the passenger seat. Chaba put the leash around Rom's neck and they left the car. Chaba walked Rom nonchalantly down Fordham Road, toward the zoo's Rainey Gate entrance.
The plan was that when they reached the entrance, the 'dog' would break free of the leash and run into the zoo. Rom would then track down the vial of Lycanthrozine, and get rid of it. Not that it was going to be easy. Rom would have to keep well out of sight, especially since in human form, he would be buck-naked.
Back in the zoo, Sam and Elliot realized they were going to be there for a while.
"What do we do?" asked Elliot. He eyed the car-phone. "We could call for backup."
"I'm not sure I want to get the bureau involved quite yet," said Sam. "But I have a friend in the city. Let me have the phone. You hungry?"
"I'll ask my friend to pick up a few orders of burgers and fries. He could hand them to us through the fence over there."
"Sounds like you intend to stay here for a while," said Elliot.
"Yeah, the idea of becoming a werewolf is growing on me."
"Are you saying you think the zoo's been invaded by a pack of werewolves?"
"Sounds ridiculous, doesn't it?" Sam shook his head. "Hell, I don't know what to think."