FORT LEWIS, UCAS — A tense three-way standoff entered its second week on Tuesday, as protesters affiliated with the Seattle Bear Doctors Society refused to leave prohibited space just outside the Fort Lewis Zoological Gardens research center. Security forces from both the UCAS Pacific Army Command and the Salish-Shidhe Council have mobilized outside the Center, which operates as both a public zoo and research center for paranormal and augmented animals.
At issue is a large adult American Black Bear, known to visitors as Barnaby. The bear was donated to the center by the Bear Doctors in 2075 after the bear swam to Council Island and became habituated to human food. “We clearly stipulated that Barnaby would be left to live as naturally as possible in the Fort Lewis facility.” said Bear Doctor Spokesperson Dr. Brenda Treesplitter. “We should have known better than to trust the UCAS’s offer to provide a home for this wayward bear. When we received reports that Barnaby had undergone cybernetic augmentation, we knew we had to take action!”
The Bear Doctors, a Council Island based group of shamanistic healers, is popular among the Amerindian population of the Seattle Metroplex for it’s free clinics. It has, nonetheless, drawn harsh criticism from the Salish-Shidhe council. “While we appreciate the Bear Doctors’ concern, and everything they have done for this community, we are concerned that their rash actions will undermine Council/UCAS relations, and we insist they stand down immediately!”
UCAS Pacific Command Press Secretary Brock Hamilton made himself available for comments on Monday morning: “We have talked with the Ares contractors who run the facilities, and they have assured us that any work done on animals in the facility is humane and improve the quality of life of the animal. These allegations are the typical lies we’ve come to expect from eco-terrorist groups. If the Salish-Shidhe Council will not clear their people from the prohibited space outside the Fort Lewis Zoo, our Soldiers will remove them with extreme prejudice.”
Salish-Shidhe Council Ambassador Margaret Lone Feather urged calm in a rare joint press release with Governor Kenneth Brackhaven. “We are well aware of the situation at hand, and while we respect the Bear Doctor Society for their healing skills, we fear they may have let their tempers override better judgement. We encourage everyone, regardless of their nation, to avoid the area and leave it to our security forces to negotiate a peace. We value our relationship with Seattle and the UCAS, and believe that to jeopardize it over something as insignificant as a single bear would be incredibly unwise.”
“Stupid, even,” added Governor Brackenhaven. “Fortunately, the facility is in lockdown and the protesters have been unable to breach the hardened doors and magical barriers.”