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 Escape to the Everglades...? (Me and Blanx)

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PostSubject: Escape to the Everglades...? (Me and Blanx)   Wed Jul 06, 2011 9:19 pm

Wonderful, wonderful Tampa Bay Zoo. Very pretty and humid, perfect weather for the animals in the zoo. Native birds like red ibises and brown pelicans make their home here, as well as many other species such as American alligators and gopher tortoises. But along with these well-known ones that live in the zoo, there is one of the most elusive and rare species in all of Florida: the Florida panther. These animals require the most extensive care out of all the species in the zoo. They're also the most important in the zoo: two of the four in the zoo are part of a breeding program to restore the species to stable numbers in the wild.

However, the zoo budget was degrading until finally another tycoon bought it. There was a visible change; the previous owner didn't have much money, but he was very nice to the animals and knew exactly what they needed, but this new one mostly cared about what fetched money. Sure, he took care of the animals, but sometimes he would overlook things. He didn't have as much knowledge of animals as the other owner had, and it began to show, first in the Florida panthers. These delicate animals are beginning to lose their health; one of the animals in the breeding program is visibly sick.

The other two Florida panthers, which are on exhibit (unlike the ones in the breeding program) are growing uneasy. Would they rather live the rest of their lives here? They hear there's something great out there: the Everglades, a giant wetland. Having heard this from one of the Florida panthers in the breeding program, these two are considering an escape.

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Amethyst's lean form was visible to the many spectators as she paced at the front of the exhibit, which was a large ditch in the ground that was surrounded by wire fence on the top edge for safety measures. The ground below her paws was moist with fresh rain (which didn't happen often in Tampa), and many of the humans watching her from the fence were wearing large pelts that were dripping like ducks. However, the dark clouds were gone now, and through the cypress trees, the brownish felid could see the sun high in the sky. It was very hot in midday, and though her species was used to it, she still preferred to lie in the shade when it was like this outside. She turned around, and with a whip of her slender tail, she padded toward the pool of water that was in the middle of the exhibit. The grass squished under her paws, and slowly she slid into the shallow water at the edge of the pond. Immediately this cooled her off, so she stood up again and shook herself off. Her black-tipped tail vibrated before a few more seconds before she turned and walked out of the water again. The roots of the mangrove trees that grew on one side ensnared some of the longer grass and cattails, but Amethyst walked in the other direction, toward a grove of thick-trunked, drooping cypress trees. Content to get out of the heat, she lay down next to the trunk of the closest one and glared at the humans watching her from afar. She was never really comfortable with them there...
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PostSubject: Re: Escape to the Everglades...? (Me and Blanx)   Fri Jul 08, 2011 1:23 pm

Glacier slinked around the exhibit, watching the keepers boredly and glaring at visitors. "Another extremely ordinary day, right Amethyst?" He padded past her a little and more torwards the plexiglass wall. "Same grass, same food, same trees, same keepers, new and old and littlie visitors. Same seethrough box." The panther leaned up against the wall and looked back at her. He flickered his ears to the visitors tapping on the other side of the glass and barred his teeth at the ones who tried to poke him.
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PostSubject: Re: Escape to the Everglades...? (Me and Blanx)   Fri Jul 08, 2011 3:48 pm

Amethyst turned her head to Glacier as she heard him mumble about the monotony. "No kidding," she agreed. In particular, she was bored of the keepers, who followed the orders of the zoo owner. Though the owner was new, he had irritated her quickly. He just wasn't as good as the one who had been in charge of the zoo before him. Amethyst had never particularly liked living here, but it was good compared to some of the other exhibits that she could see from hers and Glacier's. The Florida panther exhibit was nice and large, with suitable almost everything. But the mood was different now that it was operated differently.

Thinking about this reminded Amethyst of another topic. The reddish-brown cat turned her green eyes to Glacier as she stood up and walked slowly toward him. "There was that one thing that I heard from Nara. She told me about what it's like outside this zoo: there's land a lot like this, but it's a lot bigger and free... and it has wild animals we can hunt ourselves," Amethyst thought aloud. Her eyes widened with wonder as she spoke. "She said it's called the Everglades..." Even the name was strange and yet invoked curiosity in her.
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PostSubject: Re: Escape to the Everglades...? (Me and Blanx)   Fri Jul 08, 2011 5:12 pm

Glacier cocked his head to the side. "...Everglades? Hmm. Sounds kind of- mysterious." He laughed inwardly. Outside of the zoo sounded like a good idea to him- no more keepers, other animals to chase, other creatures too meet... "But only Nara and her mate are leaving, right? How would we make it out of here? There's really not a way up or under the enclosure minus the door in the keeper's entrance." The felid was reasoning but perplexed at this new subject.
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PostSubject: Re: Escape to the Everglades...? (Me and Blanx)   Fri Jul 08, 2011 7:40 pm

Amethyst's ears twitched as she thought. True, Nara and the other male, whom Amethyst hadn't talked to much, were going somewhere else -- presumably to another facility. It made her only want to leave more, but there really was not much of a way to get out of this exhibit. Glacier was right; the keeper gate was really the only way to get out. Amethyst had considered escaping that way before, but with all the people in the zoo and how the keepers almost never came in at night when there was no one in the zoo, it would be very tough to escape that way. Plus, there were probably special people to catch escaped animals... Was there another way?

Perhaps if they got taken to another place voluntarily they could escape. As far as Amethyst knew, the only way they could be removed from the exhibit was if they were sick... "Maybe we could pretend we're ill?" It was never that easy, but it might have been worth a try. With bright green eyes, the Florida panther gazed at the humans from a distance through the partly transparent fence. They were part of the reason she didn't like this place, but they wouldn't be nearly as bad if the zoo owner hadn't gone and changed how everything worked.
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PostSubject: Re: Escape to the Everglades...? (Me and Blanx)   Fri Jul 08, 2011 9:30 pm

Glacier considered the choice, but then shrugged a little. "But don't you remember what happened to that wolf? He starved himself and then the keepers came late at night and killed him! I don't know about you but I would rather see the Real Everglades than the Heavenly version." The panther snuck a scared glance torward the perpendicular exhibit as if one day it would happen to him. "Could we have a chance if we tried to escape at night? When there are no keepers and no visitors?" Glacier was slightly doubtful at most hopes of escape... especially if the zoo had some kind of special keeper for animals that tried to escape.
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PostSubject: Re: Escape to the Everglades...? (Me and Blanx)   Sun Jul 10, 2011 11:39 am

Amethyst's ears flattened against her head as she recalled Glacier's first point: the wolf who had starved himself in attempt to get the keepers to take him out. They had ended up killing him, since sometimes it was less expensive to just euthanize an animal and buy a new one than it was to get medical treatment for the animal. The Florida panther grimaced; she was still thinking as if the older, kind and more intelligent zoo manager was here. He had refused to let any animal die if he could avoid it.

Then came Glacier's second point: escaping at night. "Usually, the keepers leave the door locked, but it is true that there's nobody here at night," Amethyst thought aloud. As she rose from her spot near the tree and padded over to the tall grass on the other side of the enclosure, she could just feel one of the young humans pointing at her from behind the partly transparent fence. She could hear the humans make pleased noises, but she just as soon retreated into the tall grass and was invisible.

The Florida panther only knew that this gate was here because she saw the keepers come in and out of it to feed her and Glacier; in this tall grass and cattails, she never would have distinguished it from the rest of the fence otherwise. Unlike the one that showed them the humans, this fence was totally opaque, and as far as Amethyst knew, there was no way to get over it, thanks to the fact that it was solid concrete. But there was the gate, which was made of iron bars. As she glanced at it, she could see a lock that held the two sides together, but otherwise the two separate sides look easy to push open. Amethyst turned and walked closer to Glacier. "If we can just do something about that lock..."

(Sorry that took a while; first I had to think of something to say that wouldn't get them out too quickly. Then I typed up a response, but thanks to the way my touchpad worked, I accidentally deleted it all. So I reinstalled the touchpad driver and had to type it again. I'll try not to be this slow in the future.)
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PostSubject: Re: Escape to the Everglades...? (Me and Blanx)   Mon Jul 11, 2011 2:52 pm

Glacier nodded slightly and watched her as the grass seemed to engulf her. "The lock is a big part of the problem. Hey- do you think we could knock one of the trees over and lean it up against the gate?" He cantered over to one of his favorite trees to climb and put both of his front feet on it's base. It would be kind of sad to pull this one down, but he was sure that wild trees were bigger. "If we dug up those roots close to the hole, maybe we could tip it over and climb up." The felid was imagining if the tree was tall enough to hit the gate and high enough to climb up and over it. "Maybe." Glacier shrugged his shoulders and walked over to the gate with her.
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PostSubject: Re: Escape to the Everglades...? (Me and Blanx)   Mon Jul 11, 2011 4:56 pm

At first, Amethyst was skeptical; she wasn't sure exactly how to bring a tree down. It was a good idea, but she wasn't sure about how it would work. But then Glacier brought up digging at the roots, which made Amethyst think. The panther glanced over at the tree from where she was standing. "It looks like it'll be tall enough," she replied, and padded over to the base of the tree, circling around to the far side. "Might as well start now," she said with a smile, and began to claw at the tree's roots and scrape away the soft earth.

((Just learning to type with the Dvorak layout; it takes a little longer to type than before, so my posts may not be as detailed for the next few days until I get the hang of it. But posting more and being active will be the perfect practice!))
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PostSubject: Re: Escape to the Everglades...? (Me and Blanx)   Mon Jul 11, 2011 5:15 pm

)haha okay- fine with me.(

Glacier laughed a little. "Right. You start first, I'll come in later so they don't suspect anything..." He winked and charged the wall where all the humans were. His ears shot back and he snarled defensively as the panther bounded to and off of the wall. A littlie that was right next to it's mother screamed and hid behind her. Every other backed away from the wall and started to walk off torward another exhibit. Glacier gave a satisfied smile and rolled over onto his back against the plexiglass, purring. "I love doing that.... so much better without them staring." He scratched his head on the grass.
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PostSubject: Re: Escape to the Everglades...? (Me and Blanx)   Mon Jul 11, 2011 7:48 pm

Amethyst focused hard on her digging, but burst out laughing as Glacier scared the humans off, so hard she had to stop for a moment. Their fearful expressions were just so amusing. "It's better if no one can figure out what we're doing," she agreed merrily. "If they watch us, they might tell the zookeepers." She paused for a moment to look around, hoping that Glacier hadn't taken that too seriously, and then continued to dig. She would do so for a while until it was Glacier's turn to have a try at digging up the roots of the tree. Hopefully the tree would fall before nighttime, but even if it didn't, there wouldn't be too much of a problem. Amethyst would rather get the tree down soon, but she and Glacier had a few days to spare, hopefully.
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PostSubject: Re: Escape to the Everglades...? (Me and Blanx)   Mon Jul 11, 2011 9:16 pm

Glacier laughed also and nodded. "They're so gullible. And yes, they might ask, so I guess that was useful entertainment." He mused, pacing the wall and barring his teeth occasionally for show. Visitors were starting to edge back but keeping their distance. The littlie stopped screaming and all went back to normal. "Just tell me when you want to stop, I'll take over."
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PostSubject: Re: Escape to the Everglades...? (Me and Blanx)   Tue Jul 12, 2011 10:38 am

It was a surprisingly long time before Amethyst grew tired. Florida panthers weren't really built for digging, but Amethyst had managed to go for quite a while. The small, tangled roots that were hidden below the ground were hard to dig through and hampered her progress, but she hadn't given up until now. Her paws felt as if they were about ready to drop off! She stepped back from the slowly progressing hole. It was still small, but the roots were already well-exposed. She glanced over to Glacier and began to walk toward him. "Hey, Glacier. This side's pretty good; why don't you start digging at the roots on the other side of the tree?" They did want it to fall toward the fence, after all.
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PostSubject: Re: Escape to the Everglades...? (Me and Blanx)   Tue Jul 12, 2011 10:00 pm

Glacier looked torward her and dipped his head. "Alright." He replied, shaking some of the dirt out of his coat. "Okay, you started over here so I'll start closer to the fence." The felid trailed off while padding to the other side. "The keepers are bringing food if you want to relax, I'll take over for a while." Came an offer from behind the tree, along with the usual sounds that accompany digging. "Oh, but save a piece for me, please."

)Gosh, it's hard to describe digging! xD Like- how? LOL(
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PostSubject: Re: Escape to the Everglades...? (Me and Blanx)   Wed Jul 13, 2011 3:57 pm

((Maybe clawing at the earth?))

Amethyst had been so focused on digging that she hadn't noticed that the keepers were coming with food. Now that Glacier mentioned it, she was kind of getting hungry. Even though it was the same old meat that she and Glacier were always fed, she figured that she might as well eat it. To keep their attention off the other panther, Amethyst padded closer to the keepers in anticipation of being fed, but she was careful not to draw too close. Her green eyes were focused on the humans in dull tan uniforms, and she stayed like that until the humans dropped a portion of the meat. When they finally withdrew from the exhibit and were out of sight, Amethyst approached the pile and eagerly took part of it. With the limp meat hanging out of her mouth, she walked back to Glacier. "You can have this one," she offered, dropping the steak near him. Then she returned to the pile of meat to get her own serving.
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PostSubject: Re: Escape to the Everglades...? (Me and Blanx)   Thu Jul 14, 2011 11:14 am

Glacier nodded his thanks while still focusing on clawing at the earth. "Thanks. So- what and where are we going to go when we do get out?" He asked curiously. "I mean, we don't know anyone that's been released except for Nara, and we don't know how to get to the Everglades..." The panther said as he stopped to retrieve the meat beside the fresh dirt.
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PostSubject: Re: Escape to the Everglades...? (Me and Blanx)   Thu Jul 14, 2011 4:48 pm

"Nara wasn't released," Amethyst corrected, "But she does know a lot about things outside the zoo. I don't think she was born here." She stopped to devour a piece of her meat heartily, then continued talking. "I don't think the edge of the zoo is far from here. Maybe we can escape quickly and find our way from outside the zoo. I'm sure that there's some river we can follow to the Everglades. It is a big, swampy place, after all." As she continued to eat, she also thought. If they could just find a river that flowed south, she was sure that they would be able to find the Everglades.
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PostSubject: Re: Escape to the Everglades...? (Me and Blanx)   Tue Jul 19, 2011 4:48 pm

The two Florida panthers continued to dig; once again, Amethyst switched with Glacier and took another shift. Thankfully, by the time the sun went down, they had made good progress. The cypress tree's roots were mostly dug up, but some of them still clung to the ground and held the tree down fast. Amethyst's ears twitched as she examined it; it looked enough like a den to keep anyone from getting too suspicious, but they would have to continue clawing at it tomorrow until the tree fell down. Then perhaps they could get over the exhibit's door and escape. But for now, her paws felt like they were going to fall off. Amethyst curled up in the tall grass under the moonlight; she didn't want to sleep under the tree in case it fell over during the night. She kept her green eyes open for a moment to make sure that Glacier was settled down, then she closed them again and began to fall asleep.

As she rested, Amethyst listened. In the nighttime she could hear a variety of bugs and animal noises, which only made her that much more eager to get out. Imagine what it would be like in the Everglades! No humans staring at them, no fake meat... she and Glacier could actually taste something fresh that came from something they caught themselves. As she slept, a smile crept across her face, and her tail-tip twitched contentedly.
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PostSubject: Re: Escape to the Everglades...? (Me and Blanx)   Tue Jul 19, 2011 7:55 pm

)Ah, sorry i made you double post- had a long week... :c (

Glacier twitched his tail absentmindedly, looking up through the enclosure torwards what few stars you could actually see in Tampa Bay. Just think, the panther imagined, how many more stars there will be in the wild! There will be more wild in the wild! He laughed inwardly, still staring through the light pollution torwards the dark- lit skies.
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PostSubject: Re: Escape to the Everglades...? (Me and Blanx)   Wed Jul 20, 2011 7:32 pm

((It's okay. I was just making sure that you weren't not posting because you were stuck.))

Soon the sun began to creep up above the horizon, casting long, light shadows across the thinly forested land. The grass didn't do much to shade Amethyst after the sun rose higher, however, and she woke with her back to the bright orb. The morning was proceeding quickly, and Amethyst stood up, stretched, and began to look around. The first human guests to the zoo weren't quite there yet, but perhaps they should wait to dig. Those humans might be able to communicate to the keepers if they felled the tree. The Florida panther waited until Glacier woke up to tell him to wait to dig too much more.
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PostSubject: Re: Escape to the Everglades...? (Me and Blanx)   Wed Jul 20, 2011 9:13 pm

Glacier squinted harshly as the sun rose from behind the trees and onto his face. Strangely, he had slept on his back most of the night. 'Agh." He groaned as the star persisted to agitate him. "Morning, I guess." He called to Amethyst, launching his body weight upward to his feet and onto the grass. "Okay. Is there more digging to be done before the keepers arrive?" Glacier yawned and slinked torward her.

EDITED>
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PostSubject: Re: Escape to the Everglades...? (Me and Blanx)   Sat Jul 23, 2011 11:51 am

Amethyst's ears pricked. "Before they arrive..." She began to consider the option. "I guess we could escape this morning if we wanted to...." The Florida panther padded over to the base of the tree that they were digging up. "The reasons that I wanted to wait for tonight was that it would be easier to get around in a human city under darkness, and if we could escape right after everyone left, we would have a better head start." She looked at the tree for a moment more, and then gazed back up at Glacier. "If we escaped now, the keepers would discover that we've gotten out as soon as we got here, and they would start looking for us right away."
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PostSubject: Re: Escape to the Everglades...? (Me and Blanx)   Sun Jul 24, 2011 2:24 pm

Glacier stopped planning and nodded. "Mm. Right. It would be better for us to escape at night when there are no keepers and no risk of visitors reporting us. And, every twoleg would be asleep, assuming we leave late enough." He re-edited his plan and paced the exhibit. The first visitor and it's littlie arrived and tapped quietly on the glass. The felid's ears flickered at the sounds, and then looked torward the wall. The bigger one started to pull it away, but didn't do much. Glacier, not tired of today's twolegs yet, paddedover and sniffed the glass around it's face. The littlie giggled with excitement, but then ran back to it's guardian and off to another exhibit. The muscular male looked timidly back at Amethyst and smiled as he returned.
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PostSubject: Re: Escape to the Everglades...? (Me and Blanx)   Mon Jul 25, 2011 6:46 pm

Amethyst's ears flicked toward the exhibit wall as she noticed that the first guest was arriving. She didn't do anything much to interact, but Glacier padded forward and sniffed at the glass as the human kit prodded at it. Soon after the kit's parent drew it away, Glacier padded back to Amethyst. The Florida panther's ears twitched in mild amusement, and then she turned, looking up toward one of the taller trees. With its thick roots, they could never tip it over, and it would be very hard to climb, not to mention there was a chain-link fence roof sort of thing near the tree, so it was impossible to jump out of the exhibit that way. Just looking at all the options made Amethyst impatient, and she anxiously waited for the sun to rise and set. However, just standing there, she quickly got bored, and leaned up on her hind legs against the tall tree, sharpening her claws and dragging them down the bark.
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