"It's been a while since you've visited last, Drake," John Lupin gave his son a hard stare before turning to glance at the still snarling wolf, "as you can see, Cleopatra is fine and healthy."
"She'd be healthier if she were returned to a reserve where she could have more space to run," the blonde scowled, reaching in to lay a gentle hand on the animal's head, "I've raised well over two grand. I am willing to buy Cleopatra from you-"
"And what makes you think I want to sell her," his father crossed his arms with a scowl, "I have explained this many times. Cleopatra is our star project, and tomorrow she will help us accomplish the greatest breakthrough known in medicine! She is helping people!"
"At the cost of her freedom," Drake said, his voice raising slightly, "All you care about is fame and fortune! These animals-"
"Are exactly that. Animals. They have no purpose in this world other than to serve those who are highest on the food chain," John gave a small smirk, "us. Humans. We own these creatures."
Before Drake could say anything else, another man dress in white entered the Star Room, "Dr. Lupin? You are needed in your office."
"Thank you, I'll be right there."
"We're not finished here," Drake scowled, turning back to Cleopatra and whispering to her, "I promise you. I will set you free."
The wolf gazed at him with her electric blue eyes. Holding her head high, she watched the group of humans leave.
"Disgusting," a low voice arose from the shadows within Grimm's cage, "to think they hold any dominance over us. Why, if it were not for these damned bars I'd tear each of them to shreds! I'd claw their faces apart so that not even their own mother would recognize them!"
"Says the cat who was so sick when he got here," a higher pitched, female voice resonated from the fox cage, "that he would have died without those serums."
With a roar, the giant lion approached the bars. Cleopatra gave a small smirk and glanced over at her neighbor. Solomon had not moved since Drake left with his father.
"What's on your mind, old man?"
Ruffling his feathers, the bird swooped down to the ground so he was closer to the larger animal.
"The blonde human," he said in a grizzled voice, "do you know him?"
The giant canine nodded, "His name is Drake. He was the only human to treat me with any ounce of kindness. If not for him, I'd be like Grimm."
"You make it sound like that's a bad thing," the cat purred, striking a majestic pose, "if you want my opinion, you should start acting more like me! These humans don't call my kind kings for nothing!"
Chuckling, Cleopatra returned to her rock and lay down. Solomon had returned to his branch, closing his eyes to try and catch a quick nap before his preparations, Grimm had settled down to groom himself, and Trixie and Joker (now fully rested from their nap) chased each other around their habitat. They were lucky. They had someone to romp with. Ever since she had torn her tire to shreds, John had refused to get her a new one. True, her keeper had tried to bring the flat tire from his car in to her, however Kelsey had refused to let him drag it through the building and risk dirtying up the floors.
Cleopatra had never liked Kelsey much. She was rude, bossy, and seemed to think the entire world revolved around her. Drake had tried to introduce her to the wolf once, but she had merely thrown her nose up in the air and complained about how much the cage smelled.
"Hey Cleo," Trixie's voice broke into her memories, "are you nervous? About tomorrow, I mean."
The wolf laid her ears flat against her skull. She wasn't nervous. She was past that stage. Cleopatra was terrified of her upcoming injections. The serums had always caused tremendous amounts of pain to the animals. Pain that didn't seem to affect the humans who were subjected to the same tests. The bone serum had left her sore for many days and the brain serum left her with unbearable migraines. What would the blood serum leave her with?
"Cleopatra," Solomon's gentle hoot grasped her attention, "we cannot live here forever. According to my notes, there will be a perfect time to escape."
"When the scientists inject us all with the serum, they will come by to inspect their work the next day. Before that, however, the feeders will give us the drugged food. If we were to hide it and act like we were sleeping-"
"Then when the scientists come to check on their progress we could escape," the wolf leaped to her paws and howled with triumph, "Solomon, you're a genius!"
The old bird held his head up proudly, "I try."
"Count us in," Joker smirked from his cage, "we'll follow you anywhere, Cleo!"
"Grimm," all eyes journeyed to the African exhibit, "what about you?"
"I'd be a fool to stay behind these bars," the cat purred, "besides, it will give me a chance to bloody my claws-"
"No," the canine startled everyone with a low snarl, "we aren't going to kill."
"Cleopatra is right," Solomon said, "If we kill even a single human, it would make us no better than them."
"Who says I have to kill them," Grimm smirked, "I can cause plenty of pain without the need to kill. Besides, if I kill them, then how am I supposed to enjoy their suffering?"
"Grimm," Cleopatra stood tall from atop her rock, "I swear, if you harm even one human, I will leave your ass here!"