As the convoy headed
down The Avenue of the Americas towards 59th Street where
the Humane Society waited, the animals all remained quiet. Everyone
occasionally looked over in RJ's direction, hoping he would finally
have an answer. But all they saw was a grieving raccoon lost in his
"Listen, RJ…about what was going on back there…you want to," Verne rubbed the back of his neck, "talk about it or something?" he finally asked, hoping that conversation might open RJ up a little and clue everyone else in what was going on.
RJ continued to rest his head and paws on his knees, staring into the darkness around him as if he were the only one in the vehicle.
"Don't mope, RJ. It's not going to accomplish anything." Verne chided, his expression growing annoyed.
"I figured it all out." RJ finally said, his voice dry and almost a whisper.
"I figured it all out."
"So how do we get out of here?"
"No! Not that." RJ said waving a hand as he stood up and began pacing the length of his cage. "I mean, I figured out what was going on. Why everything happened the way it did."
"What are you talking about?" Verne was getting confused and a bit worried at his friends mental stability.
"My mother dying, Robert taking me in, it was all a damn setup!"
"What? RJ, you've completely and totally lost it." Verne was angered now. "You're supposed to think of a way to get us out!"
"Maybe I shouldn't!" RJ snapped, making Verne freeze in surprise. "After what I figured out it's probably for the better that I don't come back!"
"What are you talking about, there?" Penny asked, trying to comfort the kids who were now afraid of RJ.
"My own father had my mother killed, and Robert and his boys were the ones to do it! Then dad let Robert take me in. He killed her just so I could become his inside man!" RJ rambled, his voice cracking and fading.
"What makes you even think that?" Verne asked, growing more and more concerned.
"There's no thinking about it! Don't you see?" RJ gestured to his eyes as if telling Verne to pay closer attention, "It all connects together so well! It explains why he never came back for me! Why he always asked me what the pigeons were up too instead of 'how are you doing son?' It all makes sense!"
"So, what you're trying to say is…" Ozzie tried to make sense of what he was hearing.
"That my whole life was turned upside down and I just now realized it!" RJ finished the sentence.
"Well that's all well and good, but how do we get out of…"
Verne was cut off by the sound of something hitting the rear of the truck, echoing throughout the space.
"Okay boys! We've
established contact!" Skipper commanded, hanging onto the fishing
pole that he had used as a makeshift grappling hook. The line was
tied to a large hook that was now hanging onto the truck's bumper.
"Commencing boarding procedures!"
As the other troops followed his command, one of the police escorts noticed them climbing up the rear of the truck.
"Do you copy? We got hostile penguins, over?"
"Hostile penguins?" the voice on the radio asked.
In an effort to break their fishing line, he eased the front bumper of the cruiser into the rear of the truck, causing the animals inside to be shaken around violently.
"What's going on out there?" Lou asked, grabbing his cage bars to keep from falling.
"Okay boys! We need to shake Johnny Law here! Rico? Diversionary tactic!" Skipper commanded.
Rico saluted and proceeded to cough up one of their home made smoke bombs. He tossed it at the windshield of the police cruiser, causing the cop to lose control and swerve off the road, taking out a nearby fire hydrant.
"Excellent work!" Skipper commented.
"What is all that
racket?" Alex asked, hearing the muffled action through his crate.
"I don't know. Maybe someone's trying to rescue us?" Marty asked, unsure of if he was right or not.
"The only one's left that would try to rescue us are…" Gloria trailed off.
"Oh no." Alex groaned, slapping a paw over his eyes.
"We need to open this door! Rico?"
Rico coughed up a can opener and began peeling the truck door away enough for the four to slip through. The animals inside were happy to see them and thankful for being rescued.
"Okay, " RJ commanded, stretching now that he was outside his cage, "here's what we're going to do. We…"RJ trailed off as he mentally done a head count of everyone before him."Where's Hammy?"
As if on cue to answer his question, the truck lurched them forward with a sickening crunch. RJ scurried up front to see Hammy had somehow commandeered the truck and began ramming the bigger truck ahead where his zoo friends were being held.
this drew the attention of the police escort, who began surrounding
the smaller truck. RJ saw this and relayed what was going on.
"Okay boys…and girls," Skipper added noticing Heather and Stella. "When the time comes everyone must learn to defend themselves. " he began handing out BB guns to everyone, who looked at them strangely for a moment.
"I don't really condone violence." Verne said sheepishly, declining to take a gun.
Skipper walked up to the turtle and lightly slapped him across the f ace. "This is a kill or be killed situation! Snap out of it private!"
The others continued to hand out weapons as Skipper continued talking.
"Each of you has 20 shots in your gun, 19 of which will be your protection."
"What about the last one?" RJ asked, joining the others.
"That's to give you an incentive to make the others count!" Skipper replied.
RJ got the idea, and grimaced slightly.
"Alright boys…and girls. OPEN FIRE!"