must break free from this prison and find her. The gate was locked and Rampal stood guard. His sidearm was holstered and he held on to the semiautomatic rifle. I looked down at my feet and the wounds from my previous attempt at escaping. I limped around wincing in pain. My food lay untouched in the corner, flies buzzing around.
Time went by and dark ominous clouds covered the sky. The sun almost disappeared and it started drizzling when the van stopped in front of the gate. They had called Dr. Gupta to check on my health. I know he will come inside to check my vitals. I was way too important for them.
Dr. Gupta got down from the van. He held his bag above his head to take cover from the rain and ran towards Rampal.
“Can I see him? I need to check if his infection has come down under control…”
“Sure, sir” Rampal pressed a button on the switch panel. A red light started flashing and a drop gate fell from the top with a screech and landed with a bang. The main gate was released open. Dr. Gupta walked into the safe enclosure between the main gate and the drop gate. Rampal closed the main gate. Dr. Gupta prepared his syringe and signaled Rampal.
Rampal pressed a button and the drop gate moved up. In a fraction of a second, I pounced on Dr. Gupta. I pinned him down on the floor and looked into his eyes. The syringe was rolling down on the floor. His face was wet with rain and sweat. I could smell it.
Rampal was stunned. He held up his semiautomatic, turned the safety off and aimed for my head. He had already pressed the master alarm.
“No! Don’t shoot” yelled Dr. Gupta.
Rampal counted his options. I had Dr. Gupta pinned down exactly where the drop gate would fall. There was no way Rampal could bring the drop gate down without killing Dr. Gupta and me.
“I am coming in!” shouted Rampal. He could hear the vehicles screeching as they negotiated the turn that was about 200 meters from where he was.
Rampal opened the main gate just as four teams of five guards each arrived there. They jumped from their vehicles and ran straight towards us with their weapons on the ready.
I looked angrily at Rampal and walked two steps towards him. Dr. Gupta rolled over and reached out to grab his syringe. I jumped at Rampal.
The noise of rapid gunfire drowned Dr. Gupta’s scream. That was the last thing that I heard as I died.
The next day newspapers all over the world announced -- “Khan is dead. The world’s last surviving member of the tiger species is Suri, the tigress, held in captivity at the same zoo where Khan was.”
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