"Well, you did it again, Fluff. Who else but you could know that Mr. Potamos was hiding the diamonds in his mouth all along?"
"What can I say Nick?" Judy shrugged with a smile. "Sometimes you just have to suspect the hungry hippo."
"Well c'mon, Carrots. Dinner is on me."
"Right behind you Ni-"
Judy stopped in her tracks, clutching her head in pain.
"Carrots? You okay?"
"Ugh." The pain returned, blurring her vision. "D-do you hear that, Nick?"
Nick stared at her in concern. "Hear what?"
"T-that!" She struggled to speak through the pounding in her head. Nick slowly shook his head and took her by the paw.
"Maybe we should get you to a doctor…"
"Yeah, maybe you're righ—Agh!"
"Hm? Stop what?"
"You know very well what. Stop it."
"Alright, alright. I don't see what the big deal is…"
"We can't allow outside stimuli, it'll screw up the readings. So quit it."
"Yeah, but it's not like they can hear anything in this state."
"We don't know that, so unless if you want to screw up years of brain wave study, stop it."
"Fine," he sighed and picked up his clipboard to make a few notes. "Say…"
"Do you ever wonder if they- You know?"
"If they dream. While we have them under."
"They're animals," he grunted at his colleague, "I doubt they dream of anything more than running around in the wild."
"Yeah, I guess so."
"I'm going to get some coffee from the lounge, want anything?"
"Nah, I'm good."
Moments after his colleague had left the room, he leaned back down to the plexiglas container labelled 5839-VLT-46777 and quietly looked at the comatose wild rabbit inside; diodes were peppered all over the creature's tiny skull, wiring it into the same databank as countless other animals throughout the facility. Watching the slow, rhythmic breathing of the rabbit, he felt the compulsion rise up again and he raised his index finger to the glass.