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The Secret of Tayburn Zoo: 17

by DougalOfBiscuits


A/N: To explain the thing that happened at the end of the last chapter. The red light that started blinking is automatic, and was registering the presence in the zoo of someone who ought not to be there. Will get this into a previous chapter at some point. Maybe right at the start when Patrick and Dexi go up to the crocodile enclosure.

When I was going through this to make little edits the last few sentences kind of took me by surprise and I'm thinking they may be a bit unnecessary?

---

Patrick threw himself out of the stool. He stumbled, almost went over on his ankle, but managed to grab the edge of the surveillance desk and squeeze it tight, keeping himself standing. The stool clattered to the ground as he swept it out the way and leaned forward to look as close as he could at the screen. Descending into the crocodile enclosure now was a long, black shiny helicopter.

He darted over to the ladder, his hands shaking as he forced himself through the motions of releasing the catch on the panel above. It took him precious minutes, but finally he emerged into the bracing wind of a Scottish October evening. He grimaced as a strong, piercingly bright beam of light immediately latched onto him from somewhere in the air. How many helicopters were there?

His bones creaked as he ran forward, leaning sideways as he powered around past the monkey cage. His feet slipped on the loosely gravelled path several times, but the raw, desperate need to protect Rita kept him always on his feet. Over the bridge, past the tropical birds, then finally scaling the hill up to the crocodile enclosure.

But he was too late. Rita glared at him, but didn't say anything. She couldn't say anything. There was a human standing next to her and her snout was taped tightly shut. Patrick gaped at her, at the accusation of betrayal burning behind her eyes.

"Patrick McAfferty?" the human, a brown-haired young man shouted. He wore a tight-fitting black jacket and black cotton trousers; Patrick could barely see him in the night. "Mr McAfferty, we are here to arrest you for breaching regulations in your research for the Neuromax company."

Patrick hadn't meant to say anything, but before he knew what he was doing, he shouted, "We?"

Suddenly he felt something cold and metal against his right hand, and then it was jerked around behind his back and bound to his left. Handcuffs. He twisted around, but whoever was behind him pushed his head forward. He wasn't sure his knees could take getting knocked to the ground, so he took a deep breath, and didn't struggle.

"Where am I going?" Patrick groaned, trying to stand as upright as he could so the handcuffs didn't cut too far into his wrists.

"Sorry," the voice behind him murmured, a gruff female voice. "That's above my paygrade."

Patrick stumbled sideways as his captor dragged him away from the crocodile enclosure. The last view he got of Rita her eyes were slitted as she stared straight at him. He could feel the searing pain of tears in his own and hoped, if nothing else, she had believed him in the end.

He was at first shoved back along the way he had come

"Patrick!" Treego screamed as he was marched across the bridge. Patrick tried to spot him in the darkness - there, a quick blur of blue - but his guard pushed him faster and soon he was at the other side. He could barely see past the policewoman as he twisted his head around, but he thought he saw Treego clambering onto the top of the bridge's railing. There would be no good in him following. It was true that he was the fastest up and down the ladders, but Patrick was sure he would soon be travelling in some sort of vehicle not even a cheetah could catch.

Helicopters descended upon only some of the cages, and after Patrick's head had stopped thumping so hard he realised that it was Rita, the rhinos, Cedric the lion, anything that could cause harm to an invading force if their snouts were not quickly sealed shut.

As Patrick was taken down the side of the pond towards the front of the zoo, he realised there was only one man posted outside the monkey cage, and he didn't seem to be securing anything. The corner of his mouth twitched, as if it was trying to smirk. He was sure that little Rosie could do some amount of damage if she wanted to. And speaking of Rosie, she was right there at the front of the cage, her head level with that one man. She stood on an older monkey's shoulders, and was talking to him.

"Andrew!" Patrick's guard barked.

The slim young man, Andrew, whirled round with wide, white eyes. "Sergeant! Listen to her!"

Patrick and the sergeant came to a stop. Patrick's was panting, even though they'd been moving at most at a brisk walk. He gaped at Rosie, who had one hand on her hip and an eyebrow raised at the sergeant, who stepped out from behind Patrick but kept a firm grip on his arm.

"What business could you possibly have with a monkey?" she snapped.

"She says it's not the man's fault, that it's the company, Neuromax! I told you!" Andrew exclaimed. "And boy, you should year her grammar, ma'am. Puts half our force to shame."

The sergeant sighed. "I know your opinions, officer. You don't have to tell me again how sure you are that the big evil Neuromax is to blame, that they're putting things in the water, or the air, pushing science too far. This man has been proven to have no connection to that company, none whatsoever. Now do your job, and get these animals into cages!"

Patrick spotted some cages just to the left of Andrew, which had up until then blended into the wires of the monkey cage itself. But these cages would barely have been head height on the adult monkey whose shoulders Rosie stood on. Andrew glared at his sergeant, who Patrick saw properly now was heavy set, with low, angry eyebrows.

"Fine," he muttered.

He walked around to the cage's door and stuck something small and thin into the lock, twisted it once, then was inside. The monkeys immediately scattered and scurried up the walls of the cage, just as they did every day. But today their audience was a man with a tranquiliser gun who, despite his reluctance, targeted each one of the monkeys one by one with pinpoint accuracy. He ran about, catching each one as softly as he could as they fell, then moved onto the next, shot, catched.

The sergeant didn't move Patrick on until they were done, whether to ensure Andrew actually did it or to make sure Patrick saw it he had no idea. But he could feel the blood in his arms grow hot and angry, and it took all his willpower to stop himself from trying to break out of the handcuffs.

Then Patrick was past the monkeys, past the tropical birds, past the gift shop. The front door was lying open, the lock smashed to pieces. How had he let himself miss all of this? All so he could get the animals not to hate him. They were doomed to lives of experiments and testing because of him.

He let the sergeant march him out of the zoo. He didn't deserve to be there.


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274 Reviews


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Mon Jun 03, 2019 10:40 am
Dossereana wrote a review...



Hi @DougalOfBiscuits, Sorry I have not been reviewing this lately. But anyways here I am with a review about it, then I'm of.

atrick threw himself out of the stool. He stumbled, almost went over on his ankle, but managed to grab the edge of the surveillance desk and squeeze it tight, keeping himself standing. The stool clattered to the ground as he swept it out the way and leaned forward to look as close as he could at the screen. Descending into the crocodile enclosure now was a long, black shiny helicopter.
Okay so you have mad another great start to the story, and I really like these lines.
One thing thought I feel like squeeze should be squeezed in stead it might just make more sens. but as always you can take my advise or leaf it, that never bothers me.

The sergeant sighed. "I know your opinions, officer. You don't have to tell me again how sure you are that the big evil Neuromax is to blame, that they're putting things in the water, or the air, pushing science too far. This man has been proven to have no connection to that company, none whatsoever. Now do your job, and get these animals into cages!"
Wow I agree with what @ShadowVyper said about this line in her review, it is a twist but a really good one. I am loving all the description here, it is really good.
So that is all that i can say about this, so keep up the amazing work. I really hope for another chapter soon. :D also I might go back and review the other chapter for you, just a quick one. I did read the chapter, but maybe I will do a quick review on it, just to give you some imfo of how I felt about it.

Keep up the great writing

@Dossereana Seeking And Helping The Writing Of Many




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Sun Jun 02, 2019 10:47 pm
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ShadowVyper wrote a review...



Heya Bisc,

Shady back with another review for you! I'm super excited to see where you're going to take this chapter -- things are starting to heat up for sure! Let's get started...

He darted over to the ladder, his hands shaking as he forced himself through the motions of releasing the catch on the panel above.


Super minor thing here, and not an issue in this chapter specifically, but I feel like you use the "shaking hands" descriptor a lot throughout the novel so far. Every time you use it it's appropriate -- like I can definitely imagine his hands shaking in this instance I quoted above. But I did notice that it's something that gets repeated a lot.

My thing that I tend to repeat a lot is taking a deep breath. So I def know the feels of the struggle and thought I'd point it out since I know I tend to be pretty blind to how much I repeat my characters' breathing until someone points it out to me lol

"Sorry," the voice behind him murmured, a gruff female voice. "That's above my paygrade."


:oooo MACLEAN!

He could barely see past the policewoman as he twisted his head around


I am quite interested to know whether these people are Neuromax representatives or actual police. It raises a lot of questions either way. For example, if it's real police, then why in the world would Neuromax be willing to expose their own secrets to the police force just to get Patrick arrested? If it's not the real police, and is simply Neuromax guards, then why do they have handcuffs and how do they have the authority to "arrest" him?

he realised that it was Rita, the rhinos, Cedric the lion, anything that could cause harm to an invading force if their snouts were not quickly sealed shut.


I'mma go full on annoying science major now. Ready? K. cool ;)

Soooo, Rita I was buying, needing her snout taped shut. That's a pretty common thing when working with crocs/gators, to keep them from harming you when you work with them. But... what is taping the snout of a rhino or a lion going to do? Rhinos do damage by ramming into things with their horns -- that can still definitely been done even if their mouths are taped shut. I guess taping a lion's mouth shut would help somewhat, but they still have razor sharp claws -- and what's to stop a sentient lion from just cutting the tape off, using said claws?

I'm so sorry you got stuck with the biologist reviewing your novel xD I PROMISE I LOVE YOUR STORY I'M JUST NIT-PICKY

The sergeant sighed. "I know your opinions, officer. You don't have to tell me again how sure you are that the big evil Neuromax is to blame, that they're putting things in the water, or the air, pushing science too far. This man has been proven to have no connection to that company, none whatsoever. Now do your job, and get these animals into cages!"


That's a twist! :oooo I love it! That's so evil and awful and exactly a Neuromax sort of move to pull!!!

... wait I read above. The very first officer said that they were there to arrest him for his research with Neuromax. And now the sergeant is claiming that he has no connection to the company whatsoever? That doesn't really make sense... either he's in trouble for working for them or he's in trouble for going off doing his own thing, but it doesn't make sense for the charge of his arrest being his research for Neuromax and then Neuromax claiming he had no connection with them.

He let the sergeant march him out of the zoo. He didn't deserve to be there.


Awww </3333

~ ~ ~

Okay! If you meant the last few sentences of this chapter are unnecessary... idk they're not exactly vital but I think they're good, and I would personally keep them. That last sentence especially hit me right in the feels. I feel SO bad for Patrick. And having to watch his monkey friends get tranquilized right before his eyes and not being able to do anything to help them? Hon. I wanna give him a blanket and cup of tea, poor guy's been through it these last few chapters <3

Overall, I think this was a pretty strong chapter! I liked that Patrick was having a lot to process emotionally without coming across quite as angsty as he has in the past. I also like the little detail of some of the officers not being sold that Patrick is really to blame here. I am very interested to know why in the world the actual police department is involved in all of this -- as I mentioned earlier it doesn't seem like it'd be to Neuromax's advantage to have their sins bared to the police department.

And also I don't know at all how things work in Scotland, so take this with a grain of salt, but I would think that it'd be animal control and/or other biologists/zookeepers that would be there to do the capturing of the animals, no? At least in America, police officers really aren't trained to handle animals except for maybe like aggressive dogs at the most, not lions and rhinos and gators, and they would be so far out of their league when it came to neutralizing a zoo full of talking animals.

I mean, maybe that's what you want -- maybe they're going to screw up and something is going to come from that. But I just thought I'd let you know that it did strike me as a bit odd that they were the ones called to take care of the dangerous animals.

That's all I've got for you this time! Looking forward to the next chapter!

Keep writing!

~Shady 8)






Hmmm i can't quite remember why I mentioned Neuromax the first time. I think the idea was that they knew he had worked for them at some point but now believed him to have gone rogue? At which point the sentence she should have said is "But this man has not worked under their affiliation for some time!" or something like that.

I wasn't meaning for the rhinos snouts to get bound, just for them to be neutralised in some way. I realise however that I'm tranquilising everyone anyway regardless of how dangerous they are so that maybe doesn't make much sense.

Yeah... I guess animal control would make more sense. The problem is I could imagine them being more sympathetic to what the animals would have to say? I could maybe have the police directing an animal control department of some sort and that's where Andrew is from.

Thanks for the review! :D




The only person I know for certain I am better than is the person I used to be.
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