Movement was high at the subway, as it was normal in a city like Zootopia. The three officers, now out of their uniforms, were on the station waiting for their train.
"So, what movie should we see today?" Judy asked him.
"You know, Carrots?" Nick said, before looking at her, "I'm feeling awfully nice today, so I'll be letting you decide. After all, we will be seeing it at your home."
"Oh, my. What a gentlemammal." Judy said to him, and Ben just looked at them, and he almost looked like he wanted to squeal as he looked at them. Nick noticed it, and he looked up at the cheetah.
"What about you, buddy?" The fox asked, surprising the pudgy feline. "Would you like to tag along in our movie night? Carrots' apartment is not very big, but I'm sure we can all fit in there."
Benjamin was really surprised at this.
"Oh, sounds like a good idea!" Judy said, beaming. "You could join in our movie nights! It would be the three of us watching movies!"
Nick looked at her as she suggested that, and he saw how happy she was with the joke suggestion that he had made.
Benjamin looked at the bunny, and he seemed like he was trying to find words.
"W-well, I'd love to
but I really need to go back home tonight
" He said, a bit awkward.
"What, not wanting to be in the middle?" Nick asked. He wasn't sure why, but he kind of hoped that Benjamin would not tag along. It was not that he dislike the cheetah's company, it was
"Don't worry, Ben, you won't be intruding in anything." Judy assured him, really liking the idea of Ben tagging along with them.
"It's not that." Ben said, "Is that, my roommates are both waiting for me back home, and if I don't appear they might get worried."
Both mammals looked at the bigger one.
"You have roommates?" Judy asked. "I didn't knew that."
"Yeah, not everyone knows." Ben said, "Is that
I get a little lonely, and they make me company."
"Well, you could give them a call and tell them that you will be doing something else today." Nick suggested.
Ben looked at them, and after a while, he said:
"Better not. They usually wait for me to get home, and they are probably waiting for me tonight." Ben said to them. "Maybe another night."
okay then." Judy said.
"Well, we can still share a train and talk." Nick said, and he looked at the cheetah. "Maybe you can tell us about these roommates of yours."
He could swear that Ben looked a bit nervous at this.
Soon their train arrived, and the three animals walked inside, taking a seat. Soon they were talking as the train moved, and Ben was actually quite talkative about these roommates of his.
"They are kind of hardcore, you know?" Ben asked them, "They only eat animal protein, and they love to see horror movies. I can't stand those things, but they really love it. Do you believe that they spend the night awake seeing the late night horror marathon?"
"Wow, they stay awake all night?" Judy asked.
"Yeah, they are nocturnal." Ben admitted. "They tend to stay awake at night and to sleep during the day, but they also tend to stay awake during the day when they want to."
" Judy said, and she couldn't help but ask:
"And, what do they do for work?"
Ben got a little awkward at this.
they don't really work
but, they help you pay your rent?"
Ben looked at her, and the expression on his face said it all.
"Well, at least they help with some chores around the house, right?"
when they want to
but sometimes I have to clean for us three all by myself." Ben admitted, and Judy looked back at him, and so did Nick.
"Well, it sounds to me that you got yourself two parasites." Nick said, and Ben said nothing in return.
"Ben, the point of having a roommate is that you all help each other." Judy said to him, "Like splitting the rent or helping with the chores. It is not right for a single one of the roommates to take all responsibility while the others do nothing all day."
Ben seemed to be struggling to find something.
they are not like most roommates." Ben admitted, "But they do help with the house. They are quite helpful when they want to."
Judy accepted that, but she found it rather unfair that they left Ben to pay the bills for them. It did felt like they were somehow taking advantage of him. But Ben really seemed okay with it.
"They helped me a lot in the past, you know?" Ben said to them, and the way he spoke seemed to be sincere, so Judy had to suck it up.
They conversations continued, and around them, some other animals were talking among themselves:
"Have you seen the news?" A rhino asked a horse who was standing by his side as both of them held on. "The Queen of England is making an announcement. She is asking members of the Association to come to the palace and talk to her and to the other guys of the govern in there."
"You mean the parliament?" The horse asked, and he had a British accent. "Now that is quite interesting."
"Yeah, it seems that she wants to discuss with them how the Association will relate to the rest of the country. Some say that she even wants to make some agreements with them in regard to mages and non-mages." The rhino said.
"Well, it sounds like a reasonable course of action." The horse said, "After all, dialogue is the best way to solve conflicts."
"Totally." The rhino said to him. "I heard around that some of the governments are considering following suit and asking the mages who live in their countries to come meet with them. I have a friend online who lives in China, and he says that some say that the government is planning on talking to the Chinese mages."
As they talked, other two mammals were talking on a bench on the opposite side to the three officers.
"Have you heard the news?" A puma in a suit said to his friend. "Pearl Paradigm is going to make an announcement."
"Pearl Paradigm? Aren't they the technology industry that build the climate walls?" The zebra sitting with him asked.
"The very same. They let out a note that saying that they will make a public announcement tomorrow. Something to do with how the world is changing." The cougar continued, "Maybe they have a thing or two to say about mages."
The subway was a place for talk, like many others, as many of the passengers who traveled together often found out that talking to each other was a way of passing time. Of course, not everyone would do it, as they preferred to go into their travel in silence. However, the ones who talked found a lot of topics to discuss.
Soon, the subway stopped at Ben's station, and the pudgy cheetah bit farewell to his two friends, apologizing of not being able to tag along with them and promising that he would make up for them at some point.
"Maybe next time you can bring your roommates along." Nick suggested, and he could have sworn that the cheetah had a brief look of panic in his eyes.
"Uhhh, yeah, I guess not
You see, these two are not very sociable
I gotta go." The cheetah said and he rushed out the doors, as if he wanted to run away from the suggestion that Nick just made.
The fox found it just a tad bit suspicious.
"I was thinking about a cop movie." Judy said, breaking him out of his train of thought.
"For tonight." The bunny said again, "There is a new cop movie that was just released and that looks pretty good."
"We work as cops and you want to see a cop movie on our free time?" Nick asked her, "Really, carrots?"
"You said I could chose the movie." She sid to him with a smile, "Not going back on your word, are you, Officer Wilde?"
"I just think that the point of having an evening off is to step away from the job and things related to it." Nick said to her, "I don't think that we should take a time off from our job to watch a movie about our job."
Judy chuckled, and she said, "Okay then, what about some romance?"
"I'd rather watch Die Hog." Nick said to her, and soon both the fox and bunny were chuckling as they discussed about movies. It was healthy to have some friendly discussions like that, and Nick knew that he said that he would let Judy choose the movie they would watch, but he had high hopes that he could at least influence her choice on the kind of movie. He was a master of this, and he had done it successfully a few times already.
However, Nick got distracted from the talk when he caught something in the corner of his eye. He took a double look, and his ears suddenly perked, standing in attention.
"I just think that a mystery movie would be nice." Judy said, "I've loved them ever since I was a kit."
" Nick said to her.
"I know that you prefer some action movie, or maybe a comedy, but we cannot only watch these kinds of movies. More realistic movies are just as thrilling."
" Nick said, and this time he approached her. This caught the bunny slightly off-guard.
"Wha- Nick?" Judy said, and the fox approached, and his mouth was now so close to her ear that she could feel his breath tickling her fur.
"Judy." Nick said to her. "Listen to me."
Judy almost froze, and she felt her heart beating somewhat faster, and she had to fight to keep her foot from thumping at the ground.
What was going on? Why had Nick gotten so close to her? And why was se feeling flustered because of this?
"N-Nick?" Judy asked, her nose twitching, but this was not out of fear, this much she knew.
"The butterfly is back." Nick whispered in her ear, and Judy blinked. "Look there in the corner."
Judy blinked again, and Nick gestured with his head, and she followed it. She could see it in there. The blue butterfly, in the handrails above, and it seemed like it was looking at them.
"Act naturally." Nick said to her, before he moved back and Judy followed suit. As he did, Nick noticed a few mammals looking at them. Some of them with raised eyebrows, and some with expressions that were almost of outrage. They probably mistook the proximity with something else, and they didn't quite liked it.
Nick would give some kind of answer to their glares, but he was far too focused on the butterfly that was spying on them.
Judy too reflected on the butterfly, but she had troubles to it, as she tried to understand why her body reacted like that when Nick got so close
The two mammals did their best to act naturally. They continued to talk, and they did so until they were at their station. They walked out of the train and, as both of them half-expected; the butterfly fluttered its way after them. It remained slightly above and behind, following them as they walked into the stairs and out in the open. It remained behind them as they walked down the street.
"Aaand it is still following us." Nick whispered to the bunny, as they both walked in the empty street.
Judy was about to say something, but her ears caught something. The sound of wings coming from above.
"Yeah, and the crow is here as well." She whispered at him, and Nick yawed, stretching his body and throwing his head back. He was able to catch a glimpse of the black shadow hoovering above them.
Nick thought as he sighted the crow, and soon, he straightened himself and continued to walk as if nothing was wrong. He had a relaxed expression on his face as he and Judy walked. Judy, however, was a bit more uncomfortable, as it could be noticed by the twitching of her nose. Now they were not only being followed by a butterfly, but also by a crow. Both of them someone's familiars.
That was something that the two cops had come to conclude based on what they learned on the last days. After they learned that mages had those "familiars" who did things for them. The fact that Zane and the other mages referred to the butterflies as familiars, and after they saw that Zillah Ferron had a familiar of her own that was a bird, it was only natural for them to conclude that the butterfly and crow were someone's familiars.
This helped them understand a bit what was going on, but it also raised more questions. As in, why would a mage, or mages, put familiars to watch them like that?
This thought remained with them as they walked to Judy's apartment, and they went through the door as the crow perked into the power line, and the butterfly stayed behind.
The landlady already knew Nick, and she was not bothered by him coming over, unlike other armadillo lady would probably be. It was nice having some prey besides Judy not looking at him with mistrust. At least not the blatant kind.
"So, we still need to find out who is sending these things to watch us." Nick whispered to the bunny as they climbed the stairs.
"Yeah, the question is how we do it." Judy admitted. "We both still know nearly nothing solid on magecraft, or on how familiars work
I wish we knew a mage that we could ask it to
"Yeah, like that horse, for example?" Nick said to her. "I wish that we could take him in for questioning
well, for now, lets focus on having our movie night and getting this out of our heads."
"Yeah, if we can focus in the movie while we know that there is a creepy crow watching us from the window."
Judy had to agree with him, and as they walked to her apartment, they soon were hearing familiar voices.
"Why do you still get on my tail because of the website?"
"Because it could be some kind of scam! Someone could be putting a virus on your computer through it and taking things from us! Do you know how many people lose money over a website!?"
"I told you I have been using this website for five years now! Almost six! If someone was using it to scam us we would know it already!"
"Not if it is one of these long-run scams!"
"What kind of scam would last for almost six years? Who would waste the time of their lives like that?"
Judy and Nick both rolled their eyes as the two were in yet another of their squabbles. They continued to approach as Judy fished out her keys. And the squabble continued.
"I don't know, some really patient scammer? I just know that you don't need to use some fancy meditation site like that! What do you even do in these meditations?"
"Well, it always starts with me focusing on a mental image. I focus on a bunch of lightbulbs lighting up inside my body, starting with one on my heart and spreading from my torso to my head and all of my limbs, kind of like a Christmas tree lighting up."
"You imagine yourself as a Christmas tree? For real?"
"It is just an analogy! It is suppose to represent the life force inside of me strengthening and spreading all over my body!"
"Like it is different from the meditation techniques that they teach in Mystic Springs!"
"If it is not different then why you follow the website!? You should have all the meditation that you need from the place!"
"Oh, shut up!"
"No, you shut up!"
"No, you shut up!"
"No, YOU shut up!"
They had already started banging on the wall, and they didn't even heard the door being unlocked and opened by Judy, and the bunny soon had to call their attention by calling up:
"Hey, boys! I'm home!"
"Oh, hey Hopps!"
"How was work today?"
"Oh, just fine!" She said to them, closing the door again and tossing her keys over her desk as she walked, going straight to the window and closing it, not even bothering to look at the crow that she knew was perking on the lines, she would not let it ruin her night. "Kind of busy, if you want to know."
"I've seen a video of you two online!" Another voice said, "About how you met a mage and he threatened you and your partner with some flaming cards! Are you okay?"
Judy sighed. "Yeah, I'm fine. I didn't got hurt, and neither did Nick!"
"Good to know!" The voice answered back at her, "Still, it must have been scary! Having flames so close to your paws like that!"
"I'll say!" Nick said, "By the way, I'm here too!"
"Oh, hey fox!" A voice came from the other side. "You guys doing your movie night again?"
"We plan to!" Nick said to them. "Today we might see something with a little action!"
"Yeah, just try to keep it down a little bit! I have work tomorrow!"
"Okay, we will keep it down!" Judy said back, as she was already getting her laptop started for them to be able to watch their movie.
"Thanks!" The voice said, and soon after Judy and Nick could her some quiet discussing coming from the other side, as they two antelopes seemed to be still discussing about the website, but now they were keeping their voices down in consideration to the other two mammals. They could be loud, but they were really nice when they wanted to.
"I still say that you should start streaming their squabbles online." Nick whispered to the bunny. "Seriously, you could easily reach the thousands of followers."
Judy chuckled, and she continued on what she was doing, when suddenly, her phone buzzed to life.
Judy picked it up and she saw who was calling her. It were her parents, calling for a conversation on MuzzleTime.
Huh, what do they want? Judy thought. She then turned to Nick.
"It's my parents, I gotta take that." She said, and Nick nodded at her. Soon, the bunny was pressing the 'accept' button, and soon, she saw the familiar images of her parents appearing.
"-so, if the guy really was a mage
" Stu was saying to his wife, but he stopped as soon as he looked at the screen and saw Judy looking back at them. "Hey! Jude the dude!" He said very happily, and Nick perked his ears as he heard that.
"Jude the dude?" The fox mouthed at her, wondering how he never knew this kind of nickname that the bunny had. Judy would have said something back at her, but she was far too focused on her parents now, and the heating of her ears did not let her focus properly.
"Hi dad. Hi mom." Judy said to the two mammals on the other end. "Did something happen?"
"Something?" Stu asked her, "No. Why would you think that anything happen?"
"Well, you two don't usually call during a weekday." Judy said to them. It was Bonnie who was quick to talk to her.
"What, does it need to have a reason for us to call our daughter?" she said, in a very sweet tune. "We just called to talk. To check on you. See if you are okay."
"Me? Oh, I'm fine, I
" She was saying, but she heard a sound that called her attention.
She blinked, and the sound came again.
Judy looked over, and she saw Nick making gestures to her.
"What is that?" Stu asked. "What is that noise? There is something leaking?"
The male bunny was in the dark about that, but Bonnie was more perceptive on this.
there is someone in there with you?"
Crackers! Judy thought, holding back a groan. She then sighed, and turned her phone at the fox, who had been gesturing at her and now was frozen, as if he had just been caught.
"Mom, dad, I think I already told to both of you about my partner, Nicholas Wilde. Nick, say hi to mom and dad." She said, giving a murderous glare at the fox for creating this kind of situation.
Nick could only stare at the bunnies who were staring back at him, and he was able to wave nervously.
"H-hey, Mister and Missus Hopps." Nick said to them, as they continued to stare. "Nice finally meeting you two, kind of
Judy didn't gave then any more time to talk, as she turned the phone back at herself, and she noticed that her father was looking at the side, as if he expected to see a window that would allow him to continue looking at the fox.
"Nick is here for our movie night, we do it every week. In case you two are wondering why he is at my house." She said to her parents, already being ready for the kind of commentaries that could certainly come from the two of them.
right." Stu said, but he was still rather nervous. "That is
very nice! Yeah, very nice that you and your fox friend are getting along! I mean, I hope you two get along! Oh, what am I saying? Of course you two get along! Otherwise you wouldn't visit each other for movie nights! Ha ha! By the way, what kinds of movies are you two seeing? Some romance? Oh, what am I saying now? Why would you two see romances? I mean, you would see romances if you wanted, but
"Stu! Calm down!" Bonnie said, stopping the train wreck that was unfolding. "So, this is the famous Nick who you always talk about? He looks to be really nice."
"Why, thank you, Missus Hopps!" Nick said loud enough to be heard on the phone. Maybe a bit louder than it was needed. Judy had to hold back a groan.
"So, any reason why Mr. Wilde was hissing a few moments ago?" Bonnie asked, and this wiped the smile out of Nick's face as Judy looked at him.
"Oh, you mean, that? Oh
I was just
" Nick said, and he cleared his throat. "Well, I just wanted to mention to my partner about the tune of voice that Missus Hopps has used." Nick said, "You know, my mom tended to use this kind of tune when there was something bothering her but she did not wanted to share it with me, and instead she approached and tried to be subtle. I heard that a lot growing up, and I learned how to recognize it, not only in my om, but in other females." He spoke. "Now, I wonder if Mrs. Hopps would be bothered with something and is trying to act okay
Judy looked at the fox, and then back at her phone. She noticed that her mother was serious. The bunny on the other end sighed.
"You are quite perceptive, Mr. Wilde." Bonnie said, talking to the fox that was not in sight but that could be clearly heard.
"I try to be." Fox said. Judy couldn't help but look at the screen, and see if Nick was actually right on this. The expression of her parents said it all.
"Wait, there is something wrong?" Judy asked. "What? Is it a problem with someone?"
"Well, it isn't really a problem with anyone in here." Stu admitted. "Is just, Bonnie has been very worried with you lately
" He admitted, and he looked at his wife, who remained impassive. She sighed, and looked back at her husband.
"Stu, why don't you go check to see if the younger kits are already in bed?"
"But, didn't we both checked
" The male bunny was saying, but a look from his wife was enough to silence him. "Okay, check on the smaller kits, got it!" Stu said, and soon he rushed out of the sight of the camera, leaving Bonnie alone to look at her daughter.
"Judy, I love your father from all of my heart, but sometimes he is just
" Bonnie said, and finished her thought with a sigh. "He truly is not the sharpest tool of the shelve sometimes."
Judy looked at her mother, and saw that her expression was serious. More serious than Judy was used to see it.
"Mom, what is it?" Judy asked, now getting really worried. "Is it something wrong?"
Nick looked, and he really felt that somehow he was intruding at something. Maybe he should wait outside?
"I'm worried about you, Judy." Bonnie said to her, and the younger bunny looked back at her through the screen of her phone. "I have been worried about you ever since you moved at Zootopia."
"Mom." Judy groaned. "Are we going to talk about this again? I can take care of myself!"
"I know you can Judy." Bonnie said to her, her expression was serious, but it was soft, and at the same time, it looked somewhat sad. "You have already proved it many times already, especially when you brought down Dawn Bellwether."
Judy looked at her mother, and the way that she was looking made the bunny stand down a little bit. Her mother looked to be truly worried at her.
"Still, Zootopia is a dangerous place." Bonnie said, "More so than most other places."
"Dangerous?" Judy said, looking at her mother. "Why? Because it is a big city?"
"Because it houses all kinds of mammals." Bonnie said to her.
"You mean, like bears, wolves and foxes?" Judy asked her. She was truly not getting what her mother meant. "Like, big mammals that could prey on a bunny, like dad always said?" Judy hoped that it was not that, because she didn't needed to have this kind of talk again, especially coming from her own mother.
There was a silence following these words, and Bonnie looked as if she was reflecting on her next words, as if she was deciding what she would say to her daughter next.
"Like mages." Bonnie finally said, and Judy looked back at her, not sure of how to answer that.
"Judy, there are mages out there
" The older female bunny continued. "Mammals that can do things that common criminals can't."
Judy said nothing, she didn't knew what to say in return. She knew that her mother was referring to all that had happened. She knew that her mother was referring to the fact that now everyone knew that there were mages out there.
"Now, not all mages are evil, or dangerous." Bonnie said to her, "This is not something automatic to mages. I know that, just like now I know that not all foxes are untrustworthy." She said, and Nick perked as he heard that, while Judy continued to look at her mother.
"However, there are mages who are dangerous
Like that horse."
Judy blinked as she looked at her mother
How did she knew?
"It is on the internet, you know?" Bonnie said to the bunny on the other end. "A lot of your brothers and sisters are sharing about the 'new video of a mage', and some of them are talking on how you and your fox partner are facing them off."
Oh, great. Judy thought, she had almost forgot that the video that was made from their meeting with Percival Colter. And it showed how she and Nick had both a close call with him.
"I actually saw the video twenty minutes ago." Bonnie said to her. "How is your paw?"
Judy sighed. "Well, it's really fine, not burned or anything."
"Did dad see the video too?" Judy asked, wondering if the nervous bunny had watched the same thing that his wife had.
"If he had, he would not be as calm as he was just now. You know how your father it." Bonnie said, and Judy had to agree with her. Stu was not the calmer of bunnies, and if he had seen that video of one of his girls being threatened by a mage who could create flames, he would surely be nervous and would have been asking her all the while if she was okay.
"I mean, he knows that there is a video that involves you and a mage, but he does not really know what it is about." Bonnie admitted. "But I know
and that makes me worried."
"Worried that maybe something like that could happen again. And that next time you could not escape unscratched." Bonnie admitted, looking at Judy. "Honey, I know that you are strong, and can take care of yourself
this is different
I don't want to have to bury yet another of my kits."
Judy looked at this in silence, and Nick was just as silent, and the neighbors were also unusually quiet. Judy thought very careful on the next words to say.
"Mom... I know that everything is kind of crazy now." Judy admitted to her. "And I know that you worry about me, just like about all of us." Judy said to her, "But, I already told you, I need to be in Zootopia. It is my home now, and it is where I chose to pursue my dreams."
"I'm not going to say that I'm not scared, because I am." Judy said, admitting it to her mother. "But, I have to keep doing my work. This is more important than my own fear. I cannot turn back and go home like I did last time. I have to stay here and help in any way I can. Because this." Judy said, sounding confident and quite proud, "Is how I've chosen to make the world a better place."
Bonnie could only look back at her daughter, before she sighed. "Yeah, I know." She said to her. "I have always known that, ever since you first made that play back in the Carrot Days Festival."
She sighed. "Just promise me that you will be careful, okay?"
Judy looked at her, and she nodded.
Bonnie nodded back at her, and then she said:
"And, Wilde?" She said, and this caused Nick to perk once more. "You better do your part to keep my daughter safe, got it?"
The way that Bonnie spoke was authoritative, but it was more of a motherly boss than a general, still, it somehow held the same amount of authority and power. That much was enough to put Nick on attention.
Judy chuckled, and Bonnie actually chuckled along with her.
"Take care, sweetheart." Bonnie said, "I love you."
Judy smiled. "Love you too mom."
And with that, the call ended, and Judy sighed as she put her phone down, and she looked at Nick, who was smiling at her.
She sighed once more, and said:
"Okay, go ahead."
"D'awwwwwww!" Nick went, and a similar sound came from the other wall, as the neighbors were imitating the fox. Indubitably they had heard the whole thing. Darn those thin walls!
"Okay, okay, it was adorable, I get it." Judy said, "So, I get along with my parents, so what?"
"You bunnies can be really adorable when you want to." Nick said to her. "As well as scary. You certainly go after your mother."
"Yeah, I guess so
" Judy admitted to him. "I wonder if I'll be as protective as her when I have my own kits."
"Well, you are already quite protective of me, if you want to know." Nick said, "I guess all women have this 'protective mother mode'. I mean, worrying about their kits and wanting to protect them is kind of their job." Nick said, remembering very well of is own mother, and finding many similarities between she and Mrs. Hopps.
Judy smiled, "Yeah
I guess you are right." Judy said, and they both smiled at each other.
"So, you guys have a 'Carrot Days Festival'?" Nick said, with a smirk on his face that Judy already knew, and preferred to avoid.
"So, let's focus on our movie night, okay?" She said to him, "So, I was really thinking-"
But Judy did not finished that thought, because immediately there was a loud sound coming from outside, and the two mammals almost jumped out of their fur when they heard a very loud cawing coming from the window.
"What is that!?"
"What is going on!?"
The neighbors had already noticed it, and they, just like Nick and Judy, rushed to the window to see what it was about.
Drawing the curtains, Judy and Nick looked outside and saw the crow. It was flapping its wings madly, and cawing at something. At first sit seemed like nothing, but soon, the two mammals were able to catch a good sight of what the crow was cawing at: a blue butterfly.
The crow cawed at it and flapped its wings as it tried to beak the butterfly, only for the thing to flutter out of the reach of its beak and fly back at the winged creature. Each time it got close, it sliced through the crow, drawing blood. However, this blood was green and viscous.
"What the- Wow! What smell is that!?" Nick said as he backed away from the window, and Judy almost did as well, as she could feel the smell that came from the crow. It smelled like something rotten.
The crow continued to caw and try to beak the butterfly, only for it to fly out of reach and counter by slicing the crow. All the while, the butterfly was starting to glow almost as if it was charging up. The crow even lifted off the powerlines and tried to grab the butterfly with its claws, but it backfired.
As soon as its talons closed around the butterfly, they fell to the ground, sliced to pieces. Green viscous blood fell out from the open wounds. The butterfly continued to glow, and now it looked almost as if it had a battery of its own, and suddenly, the butterfly started to duplicate itself, much like it did back on that night on the storehouse. All of the butterflies were glowing, probably ready to attack.
However, the crow was faster.
The creature cawed and flapped its wings violently. As it did, something black came out of its wings in a very wide area, looking like many projectiles. They passed through the butterflies, completely shredding them, and continued their way past the creatures. Nick and Judy dove out of the way as soon as they realized that there was something coming out of the crow, and so did the neighbors, going back and ducking as the first of the black projectiles hit their windows, shattering the glass.
As soon as the butterflies died and vanished, the crow cawed loudly and flew away, green blood dripping into the ground bellow as it flew.
Meanwhile, Nick and Judy were back at the apartment. They were lying on the bed, with Nick using his own body to cover Judy. They were pretty close to each other, as they both breathed heavily at what had just transpired.
"You okay?" Nick asked his partner, looking on her.
I guess so
" Judy said to him. "You?"
"No wounds or anything."
Judy nodded, and she looked at the wall.
"Pronk! Bucky! You two okay?"
"Y-yeah! We are fine! I guess!"
"What the eff just happened!?"
Nick and Judy shared a look, as they had pretty much the same question on their minds.
"Well, I think that crows and butterflies don't really get along." Nick said as he and Judy both got up and looked at the damage that the two creatures have made in their, for the lack of any better word to describe it, battle.
The two mammals got up from the bed, and looked at the window. The glass was destroyed, the curtains ripped, and it looked like there were still some of the projectiles that the crow threw. It was possible to see it because they were of a very intense black coloration.
They both looked at it for a few moments, before Judy rushed out of the bed and to her desk. She fumbled into the drawers in look for something, and she soon found it: a pair of twizzles and some plastic transparent plastic envelopes, which actually looked a tiny bit like small evidence bags.
She soon was bringing it back at Nick and handling what she caught.
"Excuse me?" Nick said, still shaken and trying to understand what happened.
"The projectiles!" Judy said, as she fished out her phone. "Pick up some of them and put them in the envelopes. We need to get this analyzed."
Nick blinked at her, and he seemed like he was about to say something, but he changed his mind when he saw that Judy had just gone into "cop mode", and he knew that he would not really be able to talk her out of this. He didn't even had courage to remember to her that it was her own house, and not the scene of a crime, although what just happened would beg to differ.
The fox just sighed in defeat, and moved to the window to check on the damage and see the projectiles to bag. Meanwhile, Judy had hit the recorder in her phone.
"Crow entry, June 29 of 2018. Officer Nicholas Wilde and I were at my apartment for a social meeting while off duty, when suddenly the crow started to fight the blue butterfly that had been following Nick." Judy said as Nick looked at the window, and picked up the projectiles that had become stuck into the wood with the swizzle, only to find out that they were a lot softer and more malleable than he expected.
"The butterfly produced injuries in the crow as it tried to attack, and the crow retaliated by generating some kind of projectile into the butterfly. These projectiles destroyed the butterfly and the other butterflies that it created by replicating itself, and also caused some damage to my window and the window of the apartment next to mine. Officer Wilde is collecting the projectiles as I speak."
"Carrots!" Nick called, "Take a look at this!"
Judy turned to him, and she saw that Nick was holding up one of the "projectiles" for her to see it better in the light, and looking now, she saw that it was somewhat malleable. And it looked like
"A feather?" Judy said, getting closer.
It was, indeed, a feather. A black one.
The two mammals shared a look, and Judy soon was using her phone to take a photograph of the feather.
"You can bag it." She said to him, and Nick decided to do as she told him. He was soon opening space for her as she looked at the window, and saw that the rest of the "projectiles" stuck into the wood of the window were, indeed, many black feathers.
The crow can actually use its feathers as deadly weapons? Judy thought as she looked at all of the damage that was made with the feathers, and she started to take pictures of it.
Meanwhile, Nick was looking around the apartment, and seeing that the damage was not limited to the window. It looked like some other feathers had managed to get through the wall on the other side, and now their tips were sticking out of the greasy wall of the apartment.
Nick approached, and gently poked one of these feathers with his finger, and he saw that it was as soft as a feather was supposed to be.
How did a feather can do that? The crow must be able to fling them with a lot of force. The fox thought, as he grabbed the feather with the twizzle and started to pull. However, he found out that the thing was seriously stuck into the wall. This forced the tod to make some effort, for the feather was holding firm to the hole it had created.
Nick grunted, and pulled hard, and the feather came lose. However, Nick was not prepared, and he almost fell backwards, bumping into Judy's desk, and knocking down a few things, and also making the radio that was in there buzz to life as he bumped into it.
Judy perked her ears and looked at the fox, who was quickly to recover and apologize. Judy looked at him and at the wall, seeing that the feathers looked like they almost make it through the wall, coming from the outside.
"Sweet cheese." Judy said as she rushed to the wall, looking at it and recording it with her cellphone.
Meanwhile, the radio that Nick accidentally bumped into was tune in a station.
"Yeah, it seems that the world has changed, pals." The voice of some host said on the other side, as Judy continued to film her own wall that had been pierced by feathers. Nick was right by her side taking a close look at everything.
"Just a few months ago we all were sure that magic didn't existed, and now we all know that it does. This makes you wonder what will happen in the following day. Especially when you don't know if you can actually trust mages and stuff."
On the other side of the wall, Pronk and Bucky were also recovering, and the radio could be hear through the thin wall.
"We all have learned that as adults we must worry about serious stuff, like robbers and someone breaking into our houses, as well as getting and a job and paying rent. We learned to leave behind the worries that we had of monsters coming to get us and the neighbor putting a curse on us. Well, I guess that for some of us these worries are coming back with a vengeance."
As the two antelopes took deep breaths, they looked at each other, holding on each other's shoulders as if they were trying to find support. They both panted and looked at each other up and down. Bucky blinked as he looked at Pronk's horns, seeing something stuck in them.
The kudu blinked, and reached out slowly, to pluck the objects out of Pronk's horn.
"Ouch! What was
" Pronk said, and he looked at Bucky, who was now holding a feather in his hoof.
Both antelopes blinked and looked at each other.
"I told you that there was something strange about that crow
" Bucky said to his husband.
"This makes us all think, you know?"
"It makes us think about on how many mammals who believed that these things could be real were actually right. They were right when everyone told them that it was impossible and that they were insane." It came from a radio that was in a nearby table. This radio was kind of a cheap one, but the sound that came out of it was of quality, being red and gray, and looking quite worm down, with the color having faded from it.
As the radio continued, the two brothers were now in front of the laptop. Chief Bogo looked closely as his older brother explained to him his method of research. The two brothers talked to each other as they discussed what the older cape buffalo had been doing. Bogo looked to be honestly interested in Timetri's methods.
"Well, I guess many people who have considered them insane will regret having done that, now that they have seen that they might not be so crazy. And the guys who were called crazy, well, maybe they will get to point a finger in the faces of others and rub it in that they were actually right all along."
The two brothers continued to look into the website. It was a new one, which Timetri had bookmarked. The title was "NAVIGATING IN THE NEW WORLD: WHAT TO DO NOW THAT MAGES ARE AROUND".
"Of course, it is not only about them that we are thinking as of right now." The voice came from a radio that was of some good quality, but not too expensive. "As we also think of what it might mean for the mages now that they know that the bird is out of the bag."
As the radio continued, Sophie Wilde passed by it, a serious expression in her face as she walked to the window. She opened it and looked outside, at the night air.
She reached out for something inside of her clothes.
"This makes us think what must go through the minds of mages now that they know that normal mammals know that they exist and that they are around. We wonder how they will think and what they will try to do now. Well, I guess we can only imagine about that. Imagine what they must be thinking within the confines of their homes, doing their mage things and imagining how they will conduct their business from now on, since secrecy is not an option
Sophie pulled out a flashcard binder. She opened it and scanned through the flashcards in it. Each one of the cards had something written, but it didn't looked like traditional writing
Sophie stopped in a specific card, and she took it to her mouth, biting it softly and ripping it out from the binder.
Sophie looked out of the window as she held it in her mouth, and she took a deep breath through her nose, before letting the breath out through her mouth, her teeth holding the flashcard to her mouth. As she did, the piece of paper flailed with the breeze of her breath, and as it did, the writing in it started to glow.
Sophie loosened the grip of her teeth in it as she finished breathing, the paper floating out of her mouth. It glowed in the air, before it started to dissolve in the air. The light of the writings remained, and now took the shape of something that was glowing. The glow diminished, to reveal a butterfly with blue wings.
"Go." Sophie Wilde said softly, and the butterfly started to flutter away, under the watching gaze of the vixen
"Yeah, the guys must be at their homes, with their pet familiars, wondering what they will do and how their lives will actually change now that our world has changed like that." The voice came from the radio.
"Well, he is not wrong." Zillah Ferron said as she laid in her recliner chair. Cory was by her side, obedient, while she played with something in her paw.
"Now, are they planning on continuing their lives like they always did? Are they planning to come out in the open and be honest with mammals? Are they planning to ignore the problem until it go away? Or solve everything with their spells? Well, maybe all of these things, maybe none of them. After all, mages are still mammals, I think. And, as mammals, we can wait the best and the worst from them."
Zillah looked at the object that she had in her paw, a small pyramid of red crystal. It practically pulsed with the power of all of the magical energy that was stored inside of it. As she looked at it, and listened to the radio, she remembered the night when that small object ended up in her power.
The night when she had to save some non-mages from a dangerous bunch of mages that could be nothing more than trouble.
" Zillah spoke to herself. She closed her paw in a fist around the red pyramid, and in doing that, she could practically feel the amount of power that was stored inside of that crystal. Power that these mages went through a lot of problem to get, and that they surely had some kind of plan for. Now, what that plan was, Zillah could only guess, but she had the feeling that it was nothing good
"Now, that also makes us wonder about the mages, right?" The voice continued, coming from a small radio over a kitchen counter. "We wonder about the mages who live among us, and on what they could be planning on doing now. All the while, we wonder if they are around. I can't tell how many of my neighbors are getting paranoid, thinking that someone who lives next to them could be a mage in disguise. But, we do have to wonder, if mages have lived hidden for centuries, then who can guarantee that someone who lives near us could not be a mage in hiding?"
Benjamin Clawhauser turned the radio off, and he finished preparing something for himself. It was a couple of sandwiches and a big glass of juice. The cheetah licked his chops as he saw the delicious snack that he had prepared for himself. He was just picking up what he had prepared, when he turned his head, and called out over his shoulder:
"Hey, boys!" The ample cheetah said, "Do you two want some snack?"
"Nah, we are good!" A voice said, following soon after by another.
"Unless-sss you have a gecko in there!"
"Yeah, no geckos, sorry." Ben called back, already knowing what these two liked and disliked.
"Yeah, then we are cool."
Ben heard that, and he nodded. These two were very icky when it came to their food, when they wanted food at all. Benjamin knew that pretty well after a few years with them by his side.
"So, anything good on the tv?" Benjamin asked as he walked carrying a trail with his snack. A voice came from the living room.
"Marathon of 'Nightmare on Elk Sss-street'." The voice said, and another said right after:
"Only the bes-sss-t of them."
Benjamin cringed as he heard that.
"Maybe something different?" He offered as he arrived into the living room. "Something that does not have blood or guts? Or any of that gory stuff?"
"Like what?" A voice asked, as Benjamin made his way to the living room, and was met with two pair of red eyes looking back at him, as the two in the living room looked at the cheetah. Benjamin looked at them and smiled.
"Well, I just heard from a friend online that there is a marathon of Gazelle video clips going on in the Musical Channel." Benjamin said to them. "And, while I know that I am very different from you two in what it comes to television taste, I know that all of us really love Gazelle." Ben finished in a musical way, swinging his hips to the sides.
The two pairs of eyes looked at each other for a few moments, before they turned back to Benjamin.
"Deal." They said at the same time, and Benjamin smiled at this, as he was glad that these two were reasonable enough to come to an agreement with him.
"Now, this means that we should all be on our toes, ready to jump and to run away, maybe even to fight, in the case we ever met a mage? I don't think so." Said a voice coming from a small portable radio. "I don't think that this could be the answer we look for in here. After all, we would not be able to live in peace if we acted like that for every little thing. In my view, if the mages wanted to do something bad to most of us, then they would probably have done that a long time ago. I really think that they only want to keep living their lives and continuing their business in peace."
As the small group of bunnies sat on the balcony, they looked at the night sky, chatted among themselves, and some of them were even drinking as they talked. It was quite of a common sight to see the Hopps family gathering like that, having some good moments together.
As they did, Bonnie walked out of the balcony, and she smiled as she looked at her children, some of them already adults, gathering and having some good time together. It was nice seeing them happy and joyful, as it was the norm around the house. Yeah, bunnies worked hard, but they also played hard, and having fun was something that the Hopps family was good at doing, and Bonnie didn't wanted that to change.
However, Bonnie's ears twitched as they picked up a sound.
"Still, I would keep watch around. I'm not going to be paranoid and bigoted with mages and all." The voice came from the radio on the handrail of the balcony. "But I'd still keep my eyes open. I mean, now that we know that the supernatural exists, we are walking into a very strange world. It might be the same, but it has changed, and we need to keep our eyes and ears ready for anything."
Bonnie turned her head, to see a black figure against the sky, flapping its black wings erratically.
Her face hardened, and she looked back at her children, seeing that they were all distracted, and hadn't even noticed her presence, before she turned her head back to the figure, and walked out of the balcony and in direction to it.
Bonnie walked until she was out of hearing reach from her children, but on the hearing range of the creature.
"I told you not to come here when my children are near." Bonnie said to the creature. "Do you really have difficulty to understand it?"
If she expected any answer of the black-winged creature wasn't clear, but the creature cawed in answer, and they way that it cawed, plush the way that it flapped its wings of black feathers, made it clear to Bonnie.
"Oh, you are in pain, aren't you?" She asked, and the creature cawed back.
that serves you right." She said with indifference, looking back at the creature with crossed arms.
"I told you many times to leave my family alone." Bonnie said to the creature, "And this means all of them." Bonnie spoke to the bird as if she was talking to another mammal. "Now, unless you want to face even more pain, I suggest you to stop spying on us. Now shoo!" Bonnie said, making a gesture that was dismissive to the bird.
The black creature cawed at this, and flapped away from the Hopps state, all under the hard gaze of the matriarch of that family
"Well, all I'm sure right now is that the world has changed." The voice said, coming from a small radio that was on the paw a certain mammal. "Now, it this change was for better or for worse, we still have to decide. All I know is that we need to learn how to navigate in this new world where magic and the supernatural exist and where mages are living among us. Now, will we be able to live in peace with the mages? Or will it prove to be too hard for us to accept and adapt? Well, in the late case, I guess that we would all be doomed. I am in favor of adapting and trying to live in peace. Of course, since no one can truly know the future, I guess all that we can do is wait and see. Let's all hope for the best. This is Doyle Bearbrum, and this is the Bear Bro Talk."
The figure continued to walk as it heard the talk through the radio. After the host was done talking, the mammal simply turned the radio off and threw it away over his shoulder. As the radio broke when it hit the ground, the wolf continued his way. His gray fur looked darker in the darkening sky, and the gray clothing that he wore surely made him stand out, including the fedora that he was wearing. His yellow eyes almost glowed as he looked around as he walked into the place.
Fangtropolis had always been a nice place for vacation. Before it was destroyed, of course, for now it was a ruined city, full of broken buildings and dreams, and with the streets decorated with the remains of what once were the inhabitants, turned into grotesque and nightmarish charred statues of mammals. It was a sight that would make many look away, but the wolf who walked among the many charred and frozen corpses seemed like he didn't minded one bit.
"Enjoying the view?" A voice came behind the wolf, and the lupine stopped on his tracks. He didn't turned around, but he answered, with a smile on his muzzle:
"Just admiring what has been done with the city." The wolf said. And a second mysterious voice came from behind him.
"Well, it is actually something, now I don't know if it is to be admired."
"The result is quite interesting to look at, if you stop to consider." Said a third voice. "If you look at it the right way, it might almost look to be artistic."
"For some more than for others." Said a forth voice.
The wolf finally turned around, and he looked at the owners of these four voices. They were not alone. The wolf looked at all of them, as he smiled.
"Well, I guess it is only natural for me to look at it with pride, since it is my own work." The wolf said to them. "Or, should I say
None of the figures said anything. The wolf looked back at them, and simply chuckled.
"Oh, come on, don't be so gloomy, all of you." He spoke to the mammals. "After all, things might not have pan out like planned, but you all still took part in something formidable. Something that forever changed the face of the world." He said, walking to a particular figure, which looked like a big feline that was shrunk into a ball and shielding itself with the arms. The wolf knelt by its side, as if to take a closer look, he had a twisted smile on his muzzle.
"And surely changed the looks of this city." He said, his voice was almost one of delight. He could hear a growling sound coming from behind himself, form one of the figures, but he ignored it.
"Too bad you can't go and assume that the work is yours, since you are a criminal."
"We are all criminals, my friends." The wolf said back to the one who spoke that. "We did it all together, after all."
"So, I guess it is safe to say that we don't need the website anymore." Another of the figures said to him. "Now that everyone has accepted that mages exist, then there is no reason for us to maintain it, right?"
"Yeah, guess you are right." The wolf said, still crouched as he took a closer look at that poor figure. "You might take it down if you want to. The website has fulfilled its role already."
"And what shall we do now?" Another figure asked, and this one had a particularly deep voice.
"Well, we continue our work, of course." The wolf said, and he got up, turning to the other mammals. "We continue doing what we must do to get this all moving ahead
unless some of you want to call it quits."
"We cannot quit." Another of the figures said. "Not after all of this. Not after what we lost. Not after what we found out."
"You sure?" The wolf asked them. "Don't any of you miss your families? Your loves ones?
"They no longer matter." Another figure said with a certain disdain. "Not that they ever did, anyway. We serve to a new lord now."
The wolf looked at them with a smirk.
"Yeah, that is right." The wolf said to them, and he stood proudly in front of the mammals.
"My friends, the curtain has risen in this glorious new world, a wonderful new show." The wolf said to all of them, and many of them were actually smirking back at him.
"Let's continue playing our roles and see what kind of beautiful spectacle unfolds."
To be continued in: NaZooverse Book 2