Still thwarting Sloth's mind control... Circulation: 107,223,896 Issue: 214 | 28th day of Collecting, Y7
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Trapped Within a Dream: Part Seven

by chibicelchan


Hally was not about to sit idle while the greatest escape in the history of the Pound went on around her.

      Throwing her shoulder against the door repeatedly, she knew the activity was for naught, because clearly the cages had to be built to withstand some major trauma, but she couldn't think of anything else to do. She wasn't thinking much at all, and her mind kept coming back to the same thing.

      Dr_Deaths Biography, page 16, paragraph 2, line 1:

      "Of course we've had small break-outs, minor insurrections and the like. The idea of being stuck in a cramped cage for 48 hours with a 50/50 chance of either being adopted by a kind soul or released into the wild to fend for yourself would prove disagreeable and stressful to anyone. While the pets under our care are under obligation to follow through with the waiver they signed, we find that if a pet is determined enough, any legal obligation will become a non-factor. We are unlikely to have an escaped pet returned to us, even less likely to ever see or hear from the pet again."

      The pets were still coming; older ones plodding along as fast as they could, the Wocky still standing by the door. Above all the ruckus, the Wocky was now saying, "Okay, let's keep moving! Go out the door that's closest to where you're standing right now! The other door's open, too, you guys. Let's move! Go! Go! Run as fast as you can, don't let anyone catch you! "

      Confused shouting, and then the crowd of pets slowly split in two, feet were stepped on and tails were tangled, and for a moment it looked like a fight was going to break out between a Lupe and a Blumaroo, but a petite female Kyrii shoved through and the migration continued.

      Hally craned her neck in the direction of the "front" door, pushing on the broken lock. By now, a large bruise was forming on her shoulder, and she winced as she fell back, exhausted and frustrated tears falling from her eyes.

      She closed her eyes for a moment, her head spinning, her ears ringing.


      Dr. Death's face was twisted in pain, teeth clenched as he tightly held his hand against his lab coat, leaving a bright red stain on the pocket.

      "Well, the security alarm. That's something I... ugh... haven't heard in a while," he sighed.

      "The security alarm!" Reynolds screamed, whirling around. "Oh, no... Hally."

      She shot out into the hall, and nearly tripped over what turned out to be a stream of pets, all of whom were running like the dickens toward the front door.

      "Hey! HEY!" she shouted fiercely, grabbing a Scorchio by the arm. He didn't miss a beat, whipping around with an indignant smile on his face and pushing her away.

      "You come back here," she cried helplessly. "ROSE! DAN! Lock the front doors!"

      "That's a really bad idea," Dr. Death said, suddenly in the doorway. "Mob mentality. We lock them in, they take desperate measures."

      Reynolds was dumbfounded, and she suddenly heard a high-pitched female scream. She whipped her head toward the sound and saw a human man and his young daughter standing in the waiting room. He picked her up off the floor out of the path of the stampede, and the child was wildly pointing at pets as they passed by.

      "Daddy!! I want that one! Grab it for me, Daddy! Grab it for me!"

      "Uh, sweetie, I don't think that's gonna work-"

      "Oooh! Look, Daddy! A Peophin! A Peophin! I want that one, Daddy!"

      Reynolds turned back around and noticed that Death was shaking his head, walking back into the X-ray lab. She angrily pushed through the quickly dissipating crowd and burst through the door, leaping over the few pets that were still in the room. She slammed the door with her back legs and the pets screamed, turning around and running for the other door.

      The Wocky's eyes widened as he saw the enraged doctor barreling at him, and knowing now was the time to throw in the towel, he gave a quick apologetic glance to the pets still in the room and began to run, letting the door swing shut behind him.

      Reynolds was hot on his trail, spitting out angry curses about her lack of opposable thumbs as she flung the door open and then slammed it shut. By this time, the Wocky was nearly to the back exit, every few seconds looking behind himself apprehensively.

      The black gelert ran in what felt like slow motion through the corridor, but her strong and swift movements didn't betray her and in a moment, she was within pouncing distance of the Wocky. She took a leap and the Wocky collapsed under her weight.

      "Don't move. I'll snap your leg in two if you try anything."

      "Dr. Reynolds, I'm impressed. Is there anything you can't do?" the Wocky said sarcastically.

      "I don't know who you are, or how you managed this..."

      "I'm nobody. Just like everyone else you and this place have killed."

      Racing footsteps behind them, and a gasp.

      "Dr. Reynolds! Oh my gosh! W-what are we going to do?!" Rose squeaked.

      "How many pets are still here?"

      "Oh gosh... I... 10? Maybe 15?"

      Reynolds directed her eyes to the Wocky.

      "You're coming with us. You'll tell every single pet that's still here to do what we say, to disregard whatever nonsense you've put in their heads. If any of my staff or any innocent pets are injured, it's on your head. Do you understand?"

      "I must say, Christine, that you really chose the wrong career path. Didn't your guidance counselor have any aptitude tests for 'Sloth Minion'?" the Wocky said.

      "Get up. Get up, I said!"

      "First, do no harm. Don't you remember taking that oath?" the Wocky warbled.

      "Yeah, you signed a legal contract, too. Remember that? Get UP."

      The Wocky finally obliged her and walked back toward the cafeteria, his tail proudly flicking. Reynolds stayed right behind him, and Rose walked a few steps behind her.

      "We locked the front doors like you said, Christine. There's a man and his daughter in the waiting room. Dan had them get behind my desk," Rose said shakily.


      They entered the cafeteria and like a flash of lightning, a Korbat flew out the door, not looking back. The Wocky turned around and gave Reynolds a smirk.

      "You see what happens under a tyrant's rule? Once the people decide they've had enough, nothing can stop them."

      "You wouldn't know a tyrant if one bit you in the bum," Reynolds said dismissively. "Say your piece."

      There was a Chia in the room, crouched under a table. On closer inspection, there were also a Mynci and a Flotsam hiding behind fallen chairs. They tried to make themselves invisible.

      "Ahem. My fellow prisoners, please listen to the words I'm about to say, and know that I speak not of my own free will. The merciless powers that would sooner send you to your death than lose face would like you to go back to your cell now. They'd like you to do it quietly, and without incident."

      Reynolds growled at him.

      "What do you think you're doing?" she asked quietly.

      "I'm doing as you said, Doctor."

      "You're trying to provoke them."

      "I'm telling the truth."

      "Your skewed version of it."

      "Skewed? Will you dispute what I have said? Can you, Doctor? Can you tell me with a straight face that what I said is untrue?" His voice steadily rose in volume, and the pets looked on apprehensively.

      Reynolds didn't say a word.

      "What? No threats? No 'if you don't comply, I'll injure you'? Are you losing your spirit, Doctor? Are you losing your will?"

      Rose looked at the two of them with shock.

      "Don't tell me that you've finally seen the light? Don't tell me that all those years of hearing the cries of pets, young and old, of all species, begging, pleading with you to give them just another day, another few hours of time... has finally gotten to you? Don't tell me that your conscience, so neatly filed under 'save for a rainy day', has finally come out? Don't tell me that you don't cry yourself to sleep every night, trying, praying that you can last just one more day, just one more minute... just one-"

      "SHUT UP!" Reynolds roared, grabbing the Wocky's left front foot, bending it back and shoving him against the doorframe to the floor.

      There was a second of silence.

      And the Wocky grinned.

      "MOVE IT! RUN!" he screamed triumphantly. After only a moment's hesitation, the remaining pets bolted for the door. Reynolds' eyes widened, and the Wocky threw her off of him in a burst of incredible strength. She tumbled into the hallway, landing on her stomach. She immediately jumped to her feet, but the Wocky was there with a powerful swipe that sent her reeling.

      Rose, meanwhile, was trying her hardest to corral the pets. A green Quiggle gave her a sympathetic look.

      "Don't get yourself hurt, dear. We all liked you," he said kindly.

      The last few pets were now nearly out of sight, and Reynolds was lying on the floor, covering her face with one paw. The Wocky prepared to run, but gave her one final look.

      "You will be remembered for this," he said quietly, then gave a wink as he strolled down the corridor.

      Rose ran to Reynolds' side immediately.

      "Christine? Oh man, Christine, your face. Are you okay?"

      Dan suddenly came running toward them, stopping, an expression of pure shock on his face.

      "Holy moly, you guys! Everyone... I mean... the whole lot. They're all gone! What are we gonna do?"

      Rose looked at Reynolds, who didn't respond. She frowned and swallowed, then gave Dan as calm a look as she could feign.

      "I guess we're going to do nothing. There's nothing we can do. Keep the doors locked, close up for the day."

      "Shouldn't we call somebody?"

      "No. No, we can't do that. If word gets out, who knows what'll happen?" Rose said.

      "Yeah, but what about the pets?" Dan asked.

      "Forget about them," Reynolds said suddenly.

      "But they-"

      "I said forget about them."

      Dan and Rose were silent for a brief moment. Then suddenly Dan frowned.

      "What happened to Hally?"

To be continued...

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Other Episodes

» Trapped Within a Dream: Part One
» Trapped Within a Dream: Part Two
» Trapped Within a Dream: Part Three
» Trapped Within a Dream: Part Four
» Trapped Within a Dream: Part Five
» Trapped Within a Dream: Part Six

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