Zoobreak

Zoobreak by Gordon Korman Read Free Book Online Page B

Book: Zoobreak by Gordon Korman Read Free Book Online
Authors: Gordon Korman
admitted. “None, actually. I mean, you guys are the first.”
    Griffin dusted the crumbs from his fingers. “Now let’s check out the webcams.”
    They trooped up to her small room, which was so cluttered with computers, printers, scanners, and modems that there was barely room for her bed. Four monitors displayed the live feed from the wireless webcams she had planted around the floating zoo.
    From watching these, Melissa had been able to put together an
All Aboard Animals
timeline:
    6:00 p.m. — closing time
    6:10 p.m. — visitors gone, entrance shut
    7:30 p.m. — Mr. Nasty leaves for hotel
    9:00 p.m. — gangway raised for the night
    11:00 p.m. — lights out in Klaus’s cabin
    “It’s perfect,” Griffin decided. “We’ll meet tomorrow at midnight, and by the time we sail to Rutherford Point, Mr. Nasty will be gone and Klaus will be asleep.”
    “We hope,” added Ben.
    “We
know
,” Griffin amended. “A good plan leaves nothing to chance. If it happens at
All Aboard Animals
, we see it on these screens.”
    The words had barely passed his lips when a menacing shape appeared before the interior-view webcam. It grew larger and larger until it completely filled the monitor. For an instant, there was wild, frenzied action, and sharp claws slashed at the camera. Then the screen went dark.
    Ben was wide-eyed. “What was
that
?”
    Melissa was at the keyboard, typing at light speed. “The video feed has stopped. The camera is offline.”
    “What do you mean, offline?” Griffin asked.
    “Either the camera failed or the transmitter did,” she explained. “Maybe the battery died early.”
    “Or,” Ben added uneasily, “our webcam just got eaten by that — that
thing
!”
    “There’s no thing,” Griffin said, a little less certain than he would have liked.
    “So what was it, then?”
    “How about this: Klaus finds the mini-camera. He doesn’t know what it is, but it’s stuck in a wad of gum, so he chucks it in the trash.”
    Ben was not convinced. “That didn’t look human to me.”
    Melissa had a theory. “It might have been a ghost image generated by the webcam as it lost power.”
    “See?” Griffin was triumphant. “Mystery solved.”
    “I said it
might
have been,” she amended. “We can’t be sure.”
    “Well, we definitely have to find out before we get on the boat with it —” Ben regarded his friend with alarm. “Don’t we?”
    “Zero hour is already set,” Griffin argued. “There’s no way we can put it off. It’s supposed to rain on Thursday, and who knows if Darren can sail in bad weather? And Friday,
All Aboard Animals
moves on. It’s now or never.”
    “So much for ‘a good plan leaves nothing to chance,’ ” Ben complained. “I’d say anunidentified webcam-eating monster counts as leaving something to chance.”
    Griffin couldn’t allow himself to be distracted by his friend’s jitters.
    The countdown was on.

13
    D ressed in a black sweater and his darkest jeans, Griffin sat in his bedroom window, glaring at the tiny square of light coming from the garage door below. What a time for Dad to pull one of his late-night marathons on the Rollo-Bushel! Forty-five minutes to Operation Zoobreak, and he was still in his workshop, tinkering.
    Right now, Griffin knew, Ben was tiptoeing out the sliding door at the back of the Slovak home. If he reached the rendezvous spot and Griffin was a no-show, he’d have a heart attack. Loyaltywise, the kid was rock solid, but he had a very low freak-out threshold.
    What was that?
Griffin heard footsteps on the stairs and peered out the window again. The garage light was off! He heardhis father in the bathroom for a few minutes, water splashing in the sink, and the small motor of an electric toothbrush. Then more footsteps and the
whump
of his parents’ bedroom door closing.
    The hardest part was waiting to make sure Dad was asleep. Minutes passed like weeks. School today had been even worse. Who could concentrate on English or

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