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Not A Hero

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Chapter 6: Time Crunch

 

Judy figured herself as a relatively self-aware bunny. She thought herself as someone that could reliably identify her own flaws or drawbacks in her character, physicality, or line of thought. She had to since she had trained most of her life to better herself. Most of her weaknesses either she or her Master had beaten into submission throughout her 13 year tutelage. 

 

Indecisiveness? Hesitating in the heat of battle will get you killed. Train until you react without having to think. Fear? That leads to bad decisions and will get you killed. Jump off high things and fight enough megafauna until you gain the confidence to push through. Empathy? It leads to misplaced trust and hesitance and will get you stabbed in the back and killed. Bad guys are bad because they only care about themselves, regardless of what they say, do, or beg. Anger? It clouds your mind and will get you killed. Being a Superhero is nothing personal, it is just business so treat it as such.

 

Judy has conquered them all, but as a result of her Master’s aggressive take on “building character” she had developed a thirst for combat bordering on bloodlust and a competitive streak a mile wide. She is an adrenaline junkie through and through, and she is proud of it!

 

Normally her combative and competitive nature is confined to her training out in the wilderness where she could let loose a little with her powers. Since completing her training however she hadn’t had the chance to flex her muscles much at all and admittedly she had been feeling a bit stir-crazy.

 

As soon as she stepped back into the gym-turned-arena it was like she had just walked outside of a stale room and breathed her first lungful of fresh air. The explosive rumbles shaking the bowl shaped arena stirred a fire in her blood and set her little adrenaline junkie bunny heart racing gleefully.

 

Bounding up the dull gray steps that led from the locker room to the bleachers sitting on the edge of arena her nervous frown gave way to the battle crazed grin underneath. She crested the steps and jumped onto an empty space in the front row just in time to see the unusually trim and cut hippo duking it out down in the arena’s center get his shit rocked by a puppet’s flying hook kick. 

 

The mannequin’s armored heel made contact with the hippo’s jaw with a meaty thud Judy felt more than heard. The impact lifted the two ton mammal off his feet and set him spiraling through the air like an American football before smacking snout first into the ground with an earthshaking crash that had everyone in the bleachers flinching and sucking their teeth in pity.

 

Judy hissed through her own buckteeth in sympathy. She knew what a hit like that felt like. She lost count of how many times she woke staring up at the sky nursing a huge bruise on her face and wondering how she got on the ground. Still, to throw a full grown hippo like that with a single kick… Those armored mannequins are no joke and Puppet-Master is not playing around.

 

As the dust settled Judy could make out four other mannequins besides the one that KO-ed the poor hippo candidate strewn throughout the arena in various states of disarray. Judy missed what kind of power the hippo had but whatever it was it was strong enough to crumple the mannequins’ thick armor hide and leave sizable dents in the smooth gray floor and walls.

 

“Alright! That’s enough!” 

 

Judy felt a slight prickle in the back of her mind as Robin Hood stepped off the other end of the arena and slid down the curved wall almost as if he were surfing down its surface, his arms out and his legs slightly bent at the knees. Judy briefly wondered off-pawed about the odd sensation she felt from the Avatar of Order’s voice before disregarding the thought. 

 

As Robin Hood jogged to the fallen Hippo the mannequins Judy had thought beyond repair rose to their feet eerily as if lifted by an invisible set of strings. The crumpled armor torsos and limbs popped and straightened with a series of grotesque snaps until five near perfect mannequins once again stood mute and menacing around the fallen Hippo. 

 

Robin Hood bent over the Hippo and checked him over for anything broken or bleeding. Finding nothing but a nasty bump on the side of the unconscious candidate’s huge jaw the Vulpine Superhero waved for the mannequins to carry the unfortunate mammal out of the arena.

 

Now that she actually looks at the other mammals seated around her more than a few of them are sporting bandages and cradling sore limbs. She noticed that a number of them were only wearing the bare minimum amount of armor and padding. They were paying for that arrogant rookie mistake in spades. Nearly every single face in the crowd was turned into a pained frown and a few looked like death warmed over, their faces pale underneath their fur with an unfocused and traumatized glazed expression in their eyes.

 

The sad spectacle brought the crooked delivered words of her master back to her. “Your misery warms my cold dead heart.” She hadn’t found it funny at the time (Though the floral arrangement of bruises all over her body at the time may have had something to do with it) but seeing the other candidates who had strolled in here cocky and full of themselves reduced to this pitiful gaggle of wretches… Well, she could certainly appreciate the irony.

 

After seeing the last candidate dragged out of the arena over the shoulders of two the mannequins Robin Hood turned his gilded face towards the spectators and addressed them in his smooth demanding tenor. Again Judy felt a tingle in the back of her head as his words rolled over her. Perhaps that sensation has something to do with Robin Hood’s power after all?

 

“That was the last one of your group.” He announced. The beaten up candidates sagged in relief as he continued. “Go strip your gear in the locker room and follow Puppet-Master’s mannequins down to the written testing room.” 

 

The bruised candidates slipped off the bleachers without so much as a word or a sneer in Judy’s direction opting to instead use their remaining dregs of stamina to limp away and drag themselves to the classroom. They were too tired to even bother poking fun at the cute bunny about to get stomped by a squad of overgrown metal dolls.

 

A few minutes later the rest of Judy’s group filed onto the vacated bleachers clad in armor padding and weapons strapped to their person. Despite being armed to the teeth many of them were wearing concerned frowns on their muzzles. One of the tigers looked like his fur was about to floof out in terror. Judy had to bite her lip to keep from giggling.

 

“Everyone here?” Robin Hood asked. When no one said anything to the contrary the hooded fox nodded. “Good, because I am only going to explain the rules once and if you dare to break them and endanger anyone else here then I will break you instead.” The vulpine hero’s tone chilled the anxious air around the nervous candidates and the pair of ice blue eyes faintly glowing from the shadow of his foliage green hood set Judy’s fur on end.

 

 “Am I understood?”

 

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Terrifying fox Superheroes and killer puppets aside Judy was looking forward to showcasing her skills to an actual audience. Besides the odd cantrip of power or short acrobatic display for a group of her siblings Judy had never performed anything related to her powers in front of other mammals before and after attentively listening to Robin Hood’s rules she was chomping at the bit to get started.

 

The rules were simple, don’t aim any attacks above the arena where they could possibly hit the spectators, Don’t use your powers to interfere with another’s combat test, and finally any attacks that could endanger the building or the spectators was forbidden. A few of the candidates were scratching their heads at the last rule but Judy had run into a number of Heroes her Master knew that possessed chemical-based powers so she thought it quite necessary as a rule.

 

As Robin Hood detailed a few last notes in his orientation Judy scanned the gym-turned-arena and saw another set of clear blast shields like the ones in front of her off to the right side of the oval shaped arena. A number of comfortable chairs in a variety of sizes were lined behind the blast shield with Elasti-Mare standing off to the side with a clipboard in her hooves and Dawn Bellwether in the small seat next to her. the diminutive ewe’s eyes were closed and her legs crossed in the lotus position as she controlled her puppets. 

 

The rest of the seats were empty except for the center seat. It was the largest and adorned in the humble piece of furniture sat Adrian Bogo, A.K.A. Helios. The most powerful superhero in the world lounged in the seat as if it were a throne, and for all intents and purposes it was. His hooves were steepled in front of him as his sharp and intimidating gaze flicked about the room with a frightening intensity. 

 

His eyes made contact with her own inquisitive gaze for the briefest of moments and a trill of exhilarating terror shot up Judy’s spine, making her feel as if she had done overstepping some unspoken boundary or decided to free-dive without a parachute when daring to meet his eye. 

 

Thankfully Helios’ piercing gaze slipped away a second later as if she were just another faded stain on the arena wall and for once Judy was achingly thankful to go unnoticed by her idol. He intimidated the pellets out of her and the last thing she wanted to do was embarrass or make a fool of herself in front of her childhood idol.

 

When Robin Hood was at last finished Judy was hoping he would ask for volunteers for the first candidate but unfortunately they were going by Candidate Number. Fortunately Judy was Number 103 and since the first group was exactly 100 mammals strong she only had to wait for two mammals before it was her turn.

 

First up was the Rhino in the ZPD shirt. Elasti-Mare Stretched an arm out and slingshot herself over the blast shield and bounced fluidly into the center of the arena with a  casual grace that made Judy ever so slightly envious. The beautiful painted mare called out the Rhino’s number off the list and he lifted himself off the bleachers and confidently marched down the stairs into the center of the Arena. He exchanged a few words with Elasti-Mare and she scribbled a few notes on her clipboard before knocking a hoof to his shoulder for good luck and both she and Robin Hood strolled back to their seats beside Helios with easy graceful steps. 

 

Judy watched the painted mare lean over to Dawn Bellwether to relay a few of her notes to the meditating sheep. Puppet-Master kept her eyes closed but nodded her head. Elasti-Mare turned back to the Rhino waiting patiently in the center of the Arena.

 

“McHorn, are you ready?” 

 

“Yes Ma’am!” The rhino boomed and cracked his knuckles enthusiastically. 

 

Elasti-Mare nodded and turned to Bellwether and said, “You’re good to go.” A nasty little grin broke across Puppet-Master’s scrunched up lips and with an almost regal wave of her little hoof the gym once again turned on its head.

 

The curved arena floors lifted and frothed randomly as spires of grey floor shot towards the ceiling and crevices in the earth yawned open and pulled apart like ocean water parting wet sand. Judy watched in awe as a multitude of blank faced mannequins of various shapes and sizes melted from the writhing gray walls. She noticed that throughout this maelstrom of organized chaos only the arena’s epicenter where McHorn stood was left unmolested. 

All at once the room froze still as a photograph. The bowl shaped arena had vanished and in its place was a gray-scale mixed species residential bloc common in Zootopia. Grey blocks shaped into small, medium, and large sized apartment buildings lined a number of crisscrossing streets that ended abruptly at the Arena’s walls. Puppet-Master had stretched a number of overpasses over and through the faux neighborhoods giving the already cramped terrain a chaotic 3rd dimension.

 

Judy squinted through the false structures and spotted a number of the armored mannequins sprinting about in a seemingly random manner to their starting points for the test. She popped to her feet and set her padded helmet on her seat to try and catch a glimpse of McHorn, unfortunately she couldn’t see anything through the throng of buildings. After a few moments Judy was about to resign herself to just listen to the fight below and moping until McHorn was finished when the Ballistic Shield in front of the bleachers flickered and McHorn appeared, his position projected onto the translucent screen from an unseen camera.

 

The Rhino was decked out in SWAT-esque black padded armor from horn to toe and because of all the other candidates’ wacky and eye catching attire  and weapons Judy had failed to notice the modest utility belt strapped across the Rhino’s waist. A number of different metal plates were strapped onto the belt itself, their surfaces shined and exposed for easy access, for whatever reason. A couple more pouches were attached at McHorn’s lower back though they were just plain black nylon so Judy couldn’t tell their purpose at a glance. The only over item of note was the odd shaped nylon scabbard strapped on McHorn’s right thigh with a wrapped  handle protruding from it.

 

The rhino looked calm amidst the gray buildings and silent puppet horde waiting in hiding. He calmly kept his head on a swivel and a hoof hovering close to the odd shaped weapon strapped to his thigh. Elasti-Mare primly settled a headset over her ears and pressed the toggle, her voice echoed clearly through the arena.

 

“McHorn, you are on a routine patrol when a call comes in from the local ZHA branch. A C-Class Villain has been identified to operate in the area and has been terrorizing the local neighborhoods. Your mission is to find and neutralize the threat with as little damage to the city as possible within the 10 minute time limit. Your target is marked with a red X while his henchmen are marked in yellow. Be cautious as the villain’s power is chemical based but specifics are unknown at this time. Your time begins as soon as you step outside your circle. You may begin when ready.”

 

Judy’s puff of a tail wiggled in excitement. It sounds like every test is a different scenario! But what dictates the kind of goal for the test? McHorn answered that question when he stepped out of the center of the arena and touched one of the dull silver metal plates on his belt. The rhino’s thick gray hide shimmered for a brief moment before solidifying into a reflective shine identical to the plate of metal he had just touched. 

 

Metal Mimicry? Mostly considered a C-Class power. Being a rhino and touching steel or something similar would basically turn him into a living tank. It would be kit’s play for him to just fight a few mannequins like that hippo. Is that why Elasti-Mare gave McHorn this search-and-suppress mission, to see how he deals with being at a disadvantage? 

 

Judy felt both a small sense of relief for finally understanding how the combat trial operates and a slightly terrifying trepidation for what lay ahead settle over her. She knew she was as prepared as she possibly can be for whatever lay ahead but judging from the way they were creating the combat trial the better prepared the candidate the harder the test. McHorn was only a C-class and this crazy display was all for him, just how hard will the trial for an A-class like her be?!

 

A thundering rumble from the arena below jolted her from her thoughts. The projection on the blast shield was marred in smoke, mirroring the plume of dust that rocketed up from the far side of the false neighborhood. She could barely make out a flash of silver hide careening through the billowing dust followed by a thick thud and the bodies of numerous yellow painted puppets spiraling out of the chaos with thick dents pounded into their armor.

 

McHorn appeared from the dust cloud horn down plowing a path through a disheveled squad of yellow puppets. A trio of puppets leapt from a third story window overhead to land on the charging rhino’s back. Judy thought he was in trouble seeing exactly what those deceptively powerful puppets were capable of but before they could do more than wrap their knobby limbs around his neck and shoulders he bucked his head. 

 

The rhino’s metallic horn caught the center puppet in its blank faceplate and instantly sagged as if someone had flicked its off switch. With a snort McHorn flicked his deadweight from his back and crossed his massive arms to grasp his remaining passengers by their heads and slammed them both simultaneously into the gray faux sidewalk. Shaking his freed armored shoulders McHorn marched victoriously passed his down foes and farther into the maze.

 

Without thinking Judy bounced to her feet and loudly cheered with an exhilarated grin on her face, a feeling shared by most of her fellow applicants, a number of voices joined her in cheering on the rhino.

 

That was great! 

 

“Woot! Go McHorn!” Judy’s ears bobbed as she did one of her overly excited little happy-shuffles before plopping back into her seat, her violet eyes wide, not wanting to miss a second of the action.

 

Watching fights in person beats one of master’s recorded battle-reels any day! 

 

As exciting as his opening moments were Judy quickly realized just how daunting McHorn’s trial was. The Rhino super’s “Metal Mimicry” ability seemed to tire him out quickly, Judy guessed his power doesn’t just copy a metal’s toughness but its mass as well, easily adding several thousand pounds to his considerable muscled bulk. This search and suppress mission seemed to focus on speed, aggressive combat ability, and stamina, all of which McHorn’s Superpower did nothing to help. 

 

If anything his ability to coat himself in heavy metal armor seemed to be more of a hinderance, the increased weight from using his power both slowed him down, cost him mobility, and taxed his endurance. 

 

Eight minutes had elapsed and although McHorn had reduced dozens of yellow puppets to spindly piles of recycling he still hadn’t even found the red painted boss. Another drawback that Judy hadn’t thought of before was that it seemed that McHorn’s thick metal hide prevented him from sweating, his wide tongue lolled from his mouth and Judy saw his movements sway and become sloppier, the telltale signs of overheating. 

 

McHorn might not make it! 

 

Unconsciously Judy’s stubby nails found their way between her buck teeth and she nervously nibbled them as she remained transfixed on the exhausted rhino. She saw a yellow mannequin snake its way past his guard and strike him hard across his cheek and to her horror McHorn toppled over. 

 

Judy bolted to her feet as yellow sparks sizzled and danced across her gray fur and jump between her erect ears. She cupped her paws and screamed,

 

“COME ON!! GET UP!!! GET UP MCHORN! GET UP!”

 

For one still, heart wrenching moment the applicant didn’t move. Then the rhino’s steel ear flicked and with aching slowness his boulder like arms bunched underneath his weight. With a colossal effort and a guttural snarl of defiance that had no business coming from a rhino’s throat McHorn rose to his feet and towered over the small army of yellow puppets like a Titan from myth and legend.

 

Judy swallowed what would have been a very demeaning squeal of delight as the Rhino clashed with the wave of puppets with renewed vigor. A swing of his arm scattered a trio of his yellow assailants across the street and a sharp jerk of his horned head sent another spinning into a false apartment building foyer leaving the rhino standing alone in the street his armored chest heaving as he sucked in air.

 

Then just as the clock hit nine minutes a lanky figure with a blood red ‘X’ on its barrel like chest emerged from the hole in the apartment building and McHorn’s brief victory went up in smoke as he sized up his new opponent.

 

The previous puppets Judy had seen Puppet-Master control had been vaguely canine or cervine in shape, their segmented limbs modest and familiarly mammal-like with average proportioned core and chest with a sleek blank head in the silhouette of a wolf, though none of the puppets had a tail.

 

This one, the ‘boss’, was anything but average. Its limbs were far too long and tapered to sharp points attached to a body distorted into a mockery of the mammalian figure with a wide blank head that looked like reptilian in nature. This thing was more at home in one of Judy’s nightmares.

 

“What in my grandma’s sandy shorts is that?!” a camel applicant shouted a few feet from Judy’s right.

 

The spider/snake-headed thing locked its wide viper head in McHorn’s direction then skittered towards the shaken Rhino with a burst of speed it absolutely had no business having. Its spear-like appendages made a rapid spine-chilling “click, click, clicking” noise as it ate up the distance between it and its prey. As it ran its previously unseen jaw unhinged and a sickly green smoke oozed from its maw.

 

McHorn to his credit decided now was a good time to panic.

 

The rhino released his power and his silvery armored skin collapsed back into normal leathery hide as he fled from the monstrosity just as it let loose a blast of the green gas. McHorn managed to avoid the cone of weaponized smoke and barreled down the empty street as sweat that had built up form his fight spilled in rivets from his skin quickly soaking into his Kevlar armor and making everything slick to the touch. 

 

McHorn was fast, almost deceptively so for a mammal of his mass but even he couldn’t outrun the spider-snake puppet skittering after him and gaining with every second. It overtook the rhino and its front leg lashed out slicing a gash across his arm. McHorn bit out a pained grunt and ducked another spear-like limb aimed at his leg. 

 

Judy didn’t know how the rhino was going to turn this fight around. The spidery boss puppet’s gas attack and frightening and lethal appearance was a perfect counter to McHorn’s metal mimicry power and his natural might. If he could somehow avoid the boss’s gas and deadly limbs to land a solid blow to its relatively delicate looking body he had a chance but he had less than 45 seconds to do it!

 

Those same thoughts seemed to have been going through McHorn’s head as well, but unlike Judy McHorn seemed to have figured out a plan. 

 

He skidded to a halt just as the boss caught up with his and reared its spindly body up, its jaws open and head cocked to spew its gas, but before it could exhale its chemical attack McHorn grasped his previously untouched hilt strapped to his thigh and drew it from its holster. A mace made of a dull gray metal slipped from its holster and whistled through the air harshly right before impacting with the boss’ jaw with a thick thud.

 

McHorn’s gambit paid off, his powerful blow smashed the boss’ jaw closed and sent the lanky monstrosity reeling with an unnatural grinding screech that tore at Judy’s sensitive ears like claws. It landed on its back its spear-like appendages thrashing wildly in a manner that was far too much like a spider’s death throes.

 

McHorn, his chest still heaving from exertion, tapped a hooved finger to a tool steel plate on his belt once more encasing himself in silvery armor. The thrashing limbs slammed into the advancing rhino but bounced off uselessly with a sharp ping. McHorn smirked as he lifted his mace and with a bellow he brought his weapon down onto the boss’ head and immediately the legs curled in on themselves and finally it lay still.

 

A horn blast signaled the end to his trial and McHorn shouted his victory and pumped a fist into the air as the landscape around him melded into the floor until all that was left in the bowl shaped arena was the rhino and his defeated foe. Judy and the rest of the applicants jumped to their feet and cheered, the rabbit herself shook her hips and tail in a victory dance, her arms pumping in time with her flopping ears.

 

Elasti-Mare was unphased by the applauding applicants and sling-shot herself over the blast shield and landed fluidly a few feet away from McHorn, her neutral expression dousing much of McHorn’s glee and sucked a lot of the energy from the cheering crowd.

 

Elasti-Mare sidled up to the sweaty and exhausted rhino and showed him her clipboard. She pointed out a few of her notes and explained a few things that had McHorn nodded along with a mix of both pride and humility. 

 

I guess he did well, but not outstanding. Judy mused. 

 

It was an exciting trial but even though McHorn had technically completed his objective he had done so through wrecking half the false neighborhood along with the small army of puppets. Though what they had otherwise expected from a defensive ability wielding mammal the size of a wolf’s minivan was beyond her.

 

After a few more brief and quiet exchanges McHorn and Elasti-mare separated, the rhino had a satisfied curl to his lips on his tired face so in the end he passed the Public Defender Trial. He climbed the stairs and locked eyes with Judy and gave a tiny nod of his head silently communicating that at some point during the fight her shouted cheering had been heard. She coughed; a bit embarrassed that she had been so loud but returned his small gesture.

 

“Here ya go mate.” The strange hyena that had sat behind her in the written test had hopped down with a crooked grin on his face and took hold of McHorn’s forearm to help him up the last of the stairs. 

 

Judy raised an eyebrow at the odd hyena’s behavior (Just how much help would a mammal in the same weight case as your excrement really be in carrying you up a flight of stairs?) but chalked it up to just one of the stranger’s quirks. McHorn’s face carried a similar expression as Judy but he relented and let himself be led to an empty set next to Judy. 

 

Suddenly he jerked back the arm the hyena had been holding and Judy realized the spider/snake puppet’s glancing blow had scored through his padded gauntlet and a steady drip of blood trailed from his hooved fingers.

 

“Sorry ‘bout that.” The hyena said, his paw coming off McHorn’s arm a little bloody. The strange mammal flashed the rhino another weird grin and  his eyes flicked to Judy’s face for a split second as if the gauge her reaction. She furrowed her brow but the hyena just wiped his stained paw on his hoodie and took his seat behind Judy so  she decided to leave it alone.

 

She turned her head a little to side eye the hyena has he climbed the bleachers and for a split second she thought she saw him lick his claws but when she glanced behind to her look square in his face the hyena’s paws were in his lap and he meet her gaze with another crooked grin and tiny giggle. 

 

Judy shook herself and with a small amount of trepidation and a sudden urge to change seats and scrub her fur clean of his gaze she turned her attention back towards the arena, but not before thrusting a fist out towards McHorn. The rhino blinked down at her tiny fist in confusion for a moment before comprehension dawned on him. He snorted good naturedly and returned her fist-bump and slowly scooting her a full foot across her sea eliciting a small giggle from the bunny doe.

 

While Judy and McHorn had been distracted Elasti-Mare had called the next applicant down to the arena. A powerful looking tiger in a minimal amount of armor and a robust bodybuilding physique rose from a small cluster of other felines that had congregated on the far end of the bleachers and strode confidently down the steps and into the arena’s epicenter.

 

Elasti-Mare cocked an eyebrow when the tiger grinned down at her and said something. Whatever he said must have been rude because the painted mare frowned and with barely restrained ire went through her set of questions and noted them down on her clipboard then returned to relay them to Puppet-Master. Judy noted that Elasti-Mare leaned over to Bellwether and whispered something into the ewe’s tapered ear. 

 

The grin that spread across both female’s faces sent a shiver down Judy’s spine.

 

“That tiger’s a goner.” She commented. McHorn raised a brow at her but smirked with a shrug.

 

Judy’s offhand prediction turned out to be painfully accurate. Elasti-Mare announced the tiger’s objective for his trial and instead of another urban simulation the floor cracked and rumbled for a moment before pillars of solid gray shot up randomly towards the ceiling and stopped at varied heights. Atop some of the pillars stood solid gray puppets armed with blunted weapons and (though this could have just been Judy’s imagination) dangerous tilts to their heads as if they were sizing up newfound prey.

 

For the first time the tiger’s confident smirk slipped.

 

When his trial started the tiger lasted exactly 5 seconds, the feline ending his test with a yowl of terror before being buried under a wave of bat-wielding puppets.

 

On the observer’s seats Robin Hood face palmed and Helios’s shook his head with as exasperated sigh. Elasti-Mare and Puppet-Master on the other hand shared supremely satisfied grins. As for the applicants, suddenly their confident smiles became sorely lacking. Judy gulped and shifted in her seat, knowing what she was going next.

 

When the tiger was scraped off the floor and carried off Puppet-Master reverted the arena back to its bowl shape Elasti-Mare once against stopped at the center of the Arena and called out the next applicant.

 

Judy tucked her padded helmet under her arm and rose on suddenly shaky knees and with as much dignity as she could manage hopped down the stairs and across the arena until she stood a few feet from Elasti-Mare with a pale look on her face.

 

She only hoped it didn’t show through her gray fur.

 

Elasti-Mare noticed anyway and smiled down at the suited up rabbit comfortingly.

 

“Are ya ready sweetheart?” the painted mare asked kindly dropping her professional Hero persona for a moment to set the bunny at ease, her melodic voice carried a distinct country drawl that Judy found familiar.

 

“Yes Ma’am!” Judy piped up with a nervous bounce on her heels, her own country accent bleeding onto her voice, something that Elasti-Mare noticed.

 

“Yew’re from Bunny Burrow, ain’tcha?” The mare inquired, a smile overcoming her masked face as she went down on one knee to better talk with the short bunny. Judy bobbed her head a touch more vigorously than she had intended, for all her preparation and internal pep-talks she still was wrecked with a sudden attack of nerves.

 

“The best county there is!” Judy exclaimed with a competitive grin, feeling a little lightheaded from her nervousness. It had the adverse effect of somehow removing the filter between her mouth and her brain because the next thing she said was, “Though Deerbrook is a quant second.”

 

Elasti-Mare burst into giggles and Judy stood back and mentally gawked at her own audacity while thanking her lucky stars that the hero hadn’t been offended.

 

“If you can joke like that here in your trial than I think ya’ll do just fine.” Elasti-Mare quirked before falling back into her professional demeanor and turning her attention to her clipboard.

 

Judy watched with object fascination as she saw Elasti-Mare’s brows rise as she read Judy’s application, then rose higher again, then again until it looked like her purple half-mask was about to pop right off from over her eyes. Elasti-Mare tore her eyes from her clipboard and set Judy with a flabbergasted stare.

 

“You’re A-Class already?” Judy nodded cautiously, unsure on where this was going. Elasti-Mare seemed to be having trouble processing what she had just read. “A-a-and your mentor was Typhoon?”

 

Again Judy bobbed her head, still confused. Elasti-Mare still seemed unconvinced.

 

 “I mean, THE Typhoon. Like retired A-Class hero with the most Super-Villain captures of any Superhero in history? That Typhoon?”

 

“Yup.” Judy replied automatically. “He was my neighbor. He lived in a little cabin by the river.” She added.

 

“Is there a problem?” 

 

Judy looked over and with a jolt saw Robin Hood standing just a few feet away, his blue eyes shining from beneath his hood.

 

Elasti-Mare shook her head. “No, there is no problem per say, but…” She leaned over to the red fox and showed him Judy’s application. She watched as Robin Hood’s own shadow darkened brows rose and she flinched when his frigid blue eyes suddenly snapped to her with what she could only describe as a bloodthirsty fire dancing in his gaze.

 

“Judith Hopps?” He said in his smooth, rich tenor tinged with subtle power. “Your trial will be one-on-one combat-” Judy felt a trickle of fear freeze low in her gut as Robin Hood’s lips peeled back into a maniacal grin.

 

“-and your opponent will be me.”









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Zootopia Hero Association Database

-Location: ZHA HQ

-Terminal: #218 2nd floor

-Access Authority Level: Confidential

-Access date-time group: 23:45 Local 23 MAR 2019

 

…Accessing Personnel Databank…

…Accessing Personnel Databank…

 

[ERROR!] [ERROR!] [UNAUTHORIZED ACCESS DETECTED!] [HOSTILE MALWARE DETECTED!] [ERROR!] [eRroRRRrRRr….

 

…Access Granted…

…Welcome Back Cypher…

 

…Accessing A Class Personnel Files…




-R0bin Pi#*[ERROR]+?*us

-Hero Alias: Robin Hood

-Age: 28 Years =@?|[ERROR]

-Status: Active (2009-Present) 

-Species: Red Fox

-Family-

-Mother: Gl**([Error]@! (Deceased)
-Fa-&**#[ERROR]?./
-%^*859[ERROR]

-Power: Avatar of Order (P0wer L8@el: A-S)
Avatars are considered the most powerful type of ability any mammal can possess.

Avatars are the embodiment of whatever they represent. Avatars of Order are among the strongest Supers in the world, often with abilities capable of controlling the world around them and bending them to their wills.

Robin’s Avatar Catalyst is an ethereal bow with a wide arsenal of abilities at its disposal, including exploding arrows, warp arrows, smoke arrows, trap arrows and others. Robin has a reputation as of never missing a shot. His aim is perfect.

-Brief History: After his parents divorced Robin was… %82(&*2?’{[ERROR] [FILE CORRUPTED]… again until nearly 5 years later when his mother had cleaned up her act. 

^*2q43th^&FG[ERROR][FILE CORRUPTED]uk4tfYEUgw0y… and many others.

Robin threw himself into his studies and training, his hatred for chaos was only fed by his disgust for &948w?.,>[ERROR].,;

At 18 years old Robin would become the youngest official Hero Zootopia ever had and he would go on to serve the city for the next ten years in the name of peace through absolute Order.

 

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A/N: Whew boy, Judy is in trouble now, isn’t she?

 

I would like to apologize for the lack of updates in of fics as of late, 2019 hit me hard and I found much of my enthusiasm for Zootopia fanfiction quashed as did much of my free time. I’ve released some other works but it wasn’t until recently that I’ve turned my focus back to the fandom with a renewed heart and a bit more time on my hands. I hope I haven’t lost too many of you folks due to my inactivity and I hope to rejuvenate my presence once again.

 

I would love to hear your thoughts and field any questions you have in the comment section. I truly do enjoy reading your reactions and speculations! (Not A Hero is full of sneaky little details in my endeavor to give your second read-through of the story as many “oh shit! How did I miss that?!” moments as possible.)

 

I bet you can’t guess who Robin Hood really is! (Or maybe he is really no one at all!) Chew on that ‘til the next chapter comment section! Mwahahaha!

 

-Untraveled