*Complete* Part one to Elephas. The story of a strange sickness that begins to kill elephants in captivity and in the wild. When Adilyn finds herself forced into the heart of this mystery she realizes that she might be as interested and in it for the gold as the other players.


3. Chapter 3

Traveling to California was less than exciting. In fact, Adilyn was glad when thy were on solid ground again, no matter where they were. I marinated traveling, and Adilyn couldn't say she blamed him. When you're a baby Asian elephant, it takes more Ghana short airplane flight to get somewhere. 

Motherless and without a herd, the poor little guy was in desperate need of stability and a sense of security. All this traveling wasn't filling that need. Adilyn wished she could explain what was happening to him but she couldn't. All she could do was stroke his trunk and talk in a soothing voice until they finally arrived. 

They had take a long boat ride over along with two trailer rides. But at last they were standing in front of their new home. The San Diego zoo was beautiful with large bushes chopped into the shapes of elephants for a grand entrance. Very fitting and elegant Adilyn thought. 

"Ah you must be Miss LaRue." A man was walking towards them in a tan zoo uniform. 

"And this must be Imari! He said with more enthusiasm. 

"I'm Ranger Roberts, in charge of the elephant's exhibit. I think I speak for both animals and employees when I say we're happy to have both of you here." Adilyn smiled and shook his hand.

"We're excited to be here. It's nice to meet you Ranger Roberts." He glanced at Imari and then at Adilyn. 

"He's a beautiful one. I'll bet there's a great story between the two of you." He was hinting, something she had hoped to avoid here. Adilyn drew in a sharp breath and forcing a smile took a step back to rest her arm on Imari's shoulder and neck. 

"Yes, but we don't like to talk about it much. Some other time perhaps. I'm sure the zoo will be opening soon anyway." Ranger Roberts nodded with understanding. 

"Yes, quite right! We'll lets head to an entrance that's a little more Imari's size. He lead the way around back, talking the while way about how wonderful the zoo was. Adilyn kept her arm on Imari protectively and listened, not adding a word. 

Ranger Roberts hadn't mentioned the sickness plaguing the elephants yet and Adilyn wondered why. At last they came to the elephant exhibit. Ranger Roberts brought the other Asian elephants over to meet Imari. 

Imari was the only one his age, the three others  were fully grown. Ranger Roberts said there were four African elephants left that were in a different area for now. 

"Come on I'll show you the rest of the exhibit while these four getting know each other better." Adilyn was startled. Leave Imari without anyone watching over him? He was just a baby! 

"They won't hurt him, will they?" Ranger Roberts laughed at the unsettled fear Adilyn had in her voice. 

"Hurt him? Absolutely not! He'll be fine." With that he walked off, expecting Adilyn to follow. She didn't want to, but it seemed that she had no other choice.

"I'll be right back." She promised, kissing Imari's head and taking her arm off him. With one last longing look behind her, she left Imari alone to the mercy of the other elephants and followed after Ranger Roberts. 

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