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ZBI - Bureau of Investigation

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Zootopia Bureau of Investigation (ZBI)

Chapter 43: Cease fire, you idiot!

shortly before the assassination of William Stone, Officer Mason Wolford, on the roof of Riverside Boulevard 81

It was a nice and quite comfortable place to be in a moment like this, atop of this old museum. He was sitting on a plastic garden chair right at the edge close to the railing. A place with a beautiful view above the whole Riverside Boulevard. Mason Wolford liked it up here. Not only was he able to silently observe a very interesting festival like event, providing him with live entertainment, but furthermore, this was an assignment much more interesting and exciting than most of what he did in the past. Being able to mammal watch was a nice bonus on top of that.

He was a normal ZPD Officer. Okay, not so normal, like most of his colleagues. He and his Partner, Nadine Fangmeyer, a rather stunning, at least in his eyes, Sumerian Tigress he was partners with for the last eleven years now, were actually very good and decorated officers. They belonged to the best precinct one had to offer. And making it even more special, he was just thirty five years of age. They obtained many a service medal for extraordinary service and dedication for their work as police officers.

Their accomplishment mostly attributed because of their constant work for the T.U.S.C forces of the ZPD. Tactical Unit: Special Commando were the special forces of the police. Anyone of the police force was eligible to become a member of a T.U.S.C raid or operation; you just needed to obtain the training and needed to volunteer. After that, you could get assigned, if the responsible detective or higher rank mammal, most were at least in the rank of captain, decided to use you. Wolford and Fangmeyer were nearly guaranteed to always be first choice if they volunteered.

Unfortunately, Mason was only a Master Sergeant in rank. He wasn't still in the rank of Master Sergeant because of not being eligible for a higher rank, though. He had enough accumulated years of experience already, being over twelve years in the force, and he did have all the necessary seminars, training and requirements to acquire a higher rank. He actually could have become Lieutenant for quite some time now. But he didn't climb the career ladder because of choice: he wanted to stay in the Sergeant ranks.

Normally, there were certain requirements to obtain a higher rank. Those needed not only to be validated but you actually needed the reassurance of the mammal in charge, mostly the chief of a precinct, actually promoting someone personally. It wouldn't be logical even then, to promote someone if they would not have the necessary qualifications. It was done very rarely without proper qualifications, mostly only if you had an abundance of the most important certain requirement, the experience. If you were experienced enough you made yourself more suitable for the chief to take a promotion into consideration, even without going through the proper training required.

Those whole ranking system of the ZPD was easily describable: Six months of basic mandatory training at the police academy was enough to get someone into the force. An exercise and training, anyone, no matter your prior qualifications or occupation, had to go through. Depending on your results, the mammal in question would normally get into the police force in the rank of a trainee, sometimes in a higher rank as a police officer or sometimes even directly as a corporal. Those mammals, with no further training or exercises, were only eligible to become corporal at max rank. But only if they would accumulate enough experience, through years of actual police work, and the favor of their superior officer, mostly the chief. Or if they would just have been extraordinary good in the academy.

To get qualified to become a sergeant, a mammal normally needed a one year leadership and organizing, mostly known as management, training, provided by the academy. Sometimes, a prior finished apprenticeship would be enough to qualify with only the leadership seminars and proper experience, to become a sergeant.

Detectives and supervisory ranks of the police force needed much more work to be obtained. There were two years of additional training and education at the academy and proper, very difficult testing, to become eligible to one of those higher ranks. This, plus the same you had to do, to become eligible as a sergeant. So, a three year training period was normally necessary to become a proper detective in investigation, or supervisory officer, starting with the rank of lieutenant.

But most police officers actually substitute this time of possible constant academy training with small periods, mostly only little three months breaks of seminars, exercise and training, while being on active duty for multiple years. The eligibility to the ranks of detective and the highest rank without being a chief officer of a whole precinct ourself, to obtain the rank of Chief Investigator with your own department were the result of this. Or, if another route was more to the liking of the officer, the ranks of lieutenant up to the highest rank of commander were possible with this qualifications as well. Mammals who were eligible were all considered academics, at this point in their careers. Chief Officers were nominated and staffed by politicians, mostly, or by royal decree, so not an eligible goal for normal mammals to obtain. You can't train to become the boos in a precinct, you were chosen.

This higher rank training could be substituted with something else, as well. You didn't need the whole three years of qualifications, if you already had a university degree. You only needed the mandatory basic training and prove of managing, leading and organizing skills, provided by a university degree. Sometimes even a normal associate degree could be enough, to even start as a lieutenant directly. It obviously needed to be associated with actual police work to be taken into account, but even if not, a mechanical engineer would just have to do the normal provided seminars and training and would be faster in the force as a lieutenant as most others.

It was a surprise for everyone when former officer Nicholas Wilde started directly in the rank of a lieutenant. After confirming that the fox actually had a bachelor degree and three associate degrees, being quite educated, with one associate degree in actual business law, it became obvious why Officer Wilde was provided with this rank only after going through mandatory training. How the fox got four different degrees was a mystery for most, though.

Most importantly though, was that the police academy itself offered their own academic qualifications, either with help of one of the universities in the country, or in their own facilities. Other universities needed more training afterwards. A bachelor or master's degree in criminology, forensics or criminal justice were very good to path a way towards the higher, maybe even into the chief officer ranks, although anyone would still need the mandatory training.

Another way was with the police academy itself. With a three year, six semester of education inside the academy itself, someone would obtain a bachelor degree in police science and would become eligible for the supervisory ranks like lieutenant immediately. A detective was mostly chosen by the chief, not a simple route you could take immediately after coming out of the academy. The most prominent mammal exactly doing this, getting to the academy to study and get a police science degree, only to become a lieutenant immediately, was none other than officer Judy Hopps herself.

The thing with Wolford was that he himself had more than enough experience. Not only that, but he had enough qualifications to become Detective or Lieutenant immediately. He would have already been promoted, if not for declining every time. The reason was rather simple. It was all because of his partner, Nadine Fangmeyer. He simply couldn't abandon his partner. It was mandatory for partners to be in the same rank group, meaning detectives were partners with other detectives, supervisory officers were partnered with other supervisory officers and normal police officers were partnered with other normal police officers. He could only keep hi partner as a real partner, if they would remain in the same rank group. He knew, he would have to lose her if he decided this step. He simply could not get himself to do that.

Corporal Nadine Fangmeyer had a disadvantage. She was renowned and very much liked. Everyone knew that she was an exceptional officer. She could do whatever she wanted, if not for she was not able to pass the tests: Neither to be eligible to become a sergeant, and especially not to become a detective. Every time she looked at the papers, the words would start to spin, letters aligning differently, confusing rotations happening. She wasn't able to concentrate, her concentration slipping every time. She was not capable to read properly, if there were more than two lines of text. And she could do nothing against this. Officer Fangmeyer was extremely dyslexic. Not able to read the questions. Individual words weren't a problem. Small sentences became difficult. But a whole text was impossible for her. She was one of the only officers who actually needed to dictate her reports to someone else so they could be written down.

It was a sad feeling to know she couldn't do anything against this disability, only to stagnate at the rank of corporal. And while Mason was watching his partner of the ZPD through the scope of his trusty IM Rifle, he contemplated the meaning of suddenly becoming a ZBI Junior. It would be impossible for his partner, who was stationed at the south gate of Riverside Boulevard, standing there in uniform and being imposing for anyone to see, to follow him this way. He was sure, that the ZBI would not let her take this path with him. But with enough contemplation, Wolford believed that the mammals from the Bureau were different than most Government organizations. He simply had no other choice as to hope and probably try to convince the responsible Agent to give the tigress a chance. Her record and decorations were nearly identical with Wolford's very own record, after all. If not, this dream might not become his own in the end.

He was sitting there, watching the crowds with his IM Rifle. It was his personal rifle, customized for his needs. Normally, the police force was equipped with the JM special 25 for sniping missions.

Those dart guns had a significant range problem, though. Darts, which were shot with the help of pressure by a CO2 tank, would lose velocity quite fast. This velocity was needed so the small ball at the back end of the dart that was responsible to inject the serum inside the darts, would get fast enough to work. This was creating an effective range were it was guaranteed to deliver a full dose of the serum without problem, but more importantly, it also created a kind of maximum range, were the darts wouldn't be effective anymore after they transfered this distance.

The difference between the main rifle of the ZPD and his own custom one wasn't much, on paper. But it was important and not only the design that was different with Mason's weapon. The JM Special 25 had an effective range of eighty five yards, and a maximum range of one hundred sixty five yards, roughly one hundred fifty meters.

The IM Rifle wasn't as strong as the standard rifle of the force. It had an effective range of seventy five yards, and a maximum range of one hundred forty five yards, twenty less yards. But only, if used with the standard sixteen bar CO2 tank. The JM used a twenty five bar tank as the standard. And Wolford was using a customized IM Rifle that was able to use exactly those tanks, raising its effective range to one hundred yards and its maximum range to two hundred yards, reaching a range of one hundred eighty meters. Wolford could snipe from farther away than any other dart sniper. And he was the most accurate of the police in doing so.

The problem he was finding himself in was his concentration. He was mammal watching. Especially his partner Fangmeyer, who was deployed on the south gate area of the Riverside Boulevard, was in his sight. He wasn't able to recognize the goat beside him disregarding his own dart gun to calmly and sneakily get to the Elephant-Stopper.

It was too late to react, before the boom alarmed him of Alan OdabasiThe goat officer and sniper of precinct four was the shooter. He was the one, who killed William Stone, ex-director of the ZBI.

The reaction was immediate and as the mammal Mason was, the wolf decided to act as fast as possible. Letting go of his rifle, the wolf decided to storm directly into the goat, to get this mammal away from the deadly weapon. RJ, the raccoon watched with shock, while listening to the sudden rant of the voice mysteriously called *S* on the intercom system of the authorities.

It was too late, to recognize the knife in the hoof-paw of Odabasi. But it was not too late, to react accordingly and use your own weight to push the sudden enemy farther away from yourself. A swing of the knife was only gracing his right upper arm, cutting into the flesh of Mason.

The resulting standoff with a goat and a wolf circling each other, while a raccoon was frozen in his seat, was at stagnation. No one wanted to move. Wolford was immediately realizing that this was not some self-righteous lone wolf action of Odabasi to take justice in his own paws, but rather something planned by this individual, evident by the sudden appearance of the weapon. Believing to stand against a member of a terrorist group, possibly even the Sturm itself, the wolf clenched his left paw.

Inside this paw was a standard dart, which normally belonged inside his rifle. Every sniper learned, since you only had single shots, that the ammunition box with darts and the tank box with new CO2 tanks, every tank needed to be replaced after only five shots, needed to always be close to the position of the sniper. Not only that, but Wolford was able to take a new dart, while holding his sniper, which was supported by a railing this time, and reload faster than most others. Wolford was able to do multitasking: While accurately shooting, he decided to fish for a new dart, cutting the time to shoot and reload in half. For that, he was always having a new dart in his left paw.

This dart was his weapon now. Wolford knew, the moment he would reach for his stun baton or stun gun on his belt, that Alan Odabasi would attack again. And the wolf also knew that he had quite a good throwing arm, no matter if right or left. The little distance between the two officers was big enough to test his theory, if he could throw a dart accurately enough to incapacitate an enemy. He was doing exactly that.

The throw came unexpected for Alan. The goat, after seeing his enemy move, wanted to start charging into him, only to be stopped by the pricking of his skin. The dart located itself inside his arm, using it's serum in the process. Even with the momentum of a leap, it was nothing special for Wolford to sidestep and watch the goat crash onto the ground, being out cold after shaking for some seconds because of the paralyzing effects.

Wolford would have congratulated himself, if not for the sudden growls and much louder screams on the Riverside Boulevard. After the panic started, there were only screams. Now, there were growls, howls of anguish and the occasional screech. He knew what must have happened. As an officer, he got the same orders onto his own phone approximately two minutes before former ZBI director Stone found his demise by the hoof-paw of Odabasi.

The order was sent to all officers and other security and safety personnel before this happened. It simply read: CODE SAVAGE! Howler is inside celebration wristbands. Repeat: Howler inside celebration wristbands. Immediate disposal of bracelets ordered! And if the growls wouldn't be enough evidence of what just happened, the view after he ran back to the railing to get his trusty IM Rifle, was confirming it.

There were approximately twenty thousand mammals on this event. If you would count individually, there actually would be twenty six thousand mammals. Not counting at least three thousands more mammals to be officers or other authority figures undercover or in civil, who all got the message of code savage. This reduced the civil count to twenty three thousand. And receiving this message of savagery and warning quite early, gave the authorities enough time to get those wristbands with the howler disposed of. If every individual officer, fire-mammal or paramedic would get rid of one wristband every twenty seconds, it would mean you could avoid three thousand mammals to become savage in just twenty seconds.

And this was the average time to calculate with in this situation. Over nine thousand mammals were getting rid of the wristbands in only one minute. It happened to be two and a half minutes, before the wristbands activated themselves. Enough time, to get rid of those things in the most crowded of places. Only to activate those wristbands on smaller crowds, who were more secluded from the actual authorities. Two and a half minutes to get rid of eighteen thousand potential savages.

So, it was a surprise to witness a normal panic and only exclusively some spots in the crowd that found themselves in savagery. Most importantly, it seemed as if every real bigger mammal was barred from this fate. But it was still more than five thousand mammals that did become savage. And you could see how those reacted. As much panic as there was with the conscious crowd, the savage mammals immediately attacked or panicked themselves.

There were some things peculiar though: None of the savage mammals was adventurous enough to run towards any of those gates in the north or south, but rather moved slowly, while attacking things around them, towards the arena. It seemed all savage mammals decided to concentrate themselves closer to the central VIP lounge area close to the arena. But they stayed away from the center of this area.

Wolford was able to recognize the place of the prince and two very popular ZBI agents. No wonder they didn't get into this central area, which was probably too far away from Mason Wolford's position. He would probably have barely to deal with actual sniping there. This center area exceeding the maximum range for his sniper. And all savage mammals were going this way.

Some civilians which became savage were on the side of the buildings on Riverside Boulevard. But even those, slowly paced themselves into this direction. Most difficult for the authorities were obviously those mammals, who decided to sit down inside one of the multiple restaurants, cafés and bars of the Boulevard. Some mammals in there had the same wristbands as others. Wolford observed this all very fast, while getting hold of his sniper. Before he could start assisting though, he needed to secure the sedated body of Alan Odabasi.

Easily said than done. Flinging his weapon of choice over his shoulder, holding it with the strap attached to it, the Officer took the small clothed shrouding of an ammo box and bound it fast around his wound, which was bleeding. Quickly after that, he took the sleeping goat, who was much lighter than him, onto his other shoulder and ran towards the door, that would lead down into the museum of Riverside Boulevard 81. All the time, the raccoon, another supposed ZBI Junior, was sitting on his chair, frozen in place, panicking from the inside.

Wolford's plan was to go to the janitor closet. He knew where it was, having scouted this museum prior to his deployment on its roof. He knew that you could simply lock the door and keep someone in there. Not only that, but he wanted to chain this goat, this traitor, to a radiator. He didn't like the cocking of a gun right next to him after he got into the hallway where the closet was located. A panic inducing moment Wolford decided to approach with calmness.

"I really hope you have a nice explanation to why you are carrying officer Odabasi down a hallway inside this building.", a voice was asking. It was obvious, that a real gun was aimed at Mason Wolford. The voice belonged to another wolf, who looked at the scene with a critical eye.

Stanley Gray got the order to get the roof of the museum under control, as fast as possible. The mink, director Gordon Foreman, who gave him this order via their communication devices had mortal fear of a reuse of the Elephant-Stopper. The mink actually ran back-stage into hiding immediately after he witnessed the head of his former friend and mentor explode right in front of him. The sudden outburst and scream of Gordon inside the devise to, and I quote: "Get the fucking Sturm!", was enough indication to get into action. And he was close to the Museum at that moment in time. It was obvious to sprint here, with his gun in his paws. And an officer carrying another officer on his shoulders into a hallway on the sixth floor of this building was quite suspicious behavior.

The experienced special agent in charge looked at the scene more thoroughly, while officer Wolford stood still and didn't move a muscle, knowing exactly in what dire situation he was in. Stanley saw the impromptu bandage that was used by the officer. He also saw that blood was filling the cloth around his upper arm. The agent was seeing an obvious incised wound, probably from a small blade, maybe a knife or a glass shard. Not only that, but he saw that the goat had a tranquilizer dart in his shoulder. And much more important was the following observation: if you know that a giant gun like the Elephant-Stopper had a certain habit of disposing a small cloud of gunpowder directly next to the ammo-chamber, it was a breech-loader firearm, when fired, you would know to not swipe over it immediately after shooting, without smearing some of the black powder onto your paw. One of Alan Odabasi's hoof-paws had black smudges.

He needed answers, and concluded himself faster than Wolford could answer him. Stan: "I assume officer Odabasi was the one responsible for using the Elephant-Stopper?"

Wolford, who was intimidated, heard the wolf moving closer and answered, "Yes, Sir."

"Report, Officer."

Of course, the wolf officer needed to explain: "I was distracted with watching the mammals and did not see officer Odabasi sneaking to the firearm. It was too late to stop him from using it against the terrorist. I immediately tried to tackle him away from the gun, hoping that this was just some self-induced justice, but the moment I made the tackle I saw a knife in his hoof-paw. He attacked me back and I managed to jump back, so he only cut my arm. Because of my habit to keep a tranquilizer dart inside my left paw, I was capable to throw it and sedate him."

"And why are you here and not on the roof, sniping the savage mammals outside? If you are not aware, we have a crisis right now!", inquired Stanley, while he lowered his gun and went into the viewpoint of the officer, who was visibly shaking.

With some fear, Wolford clarified: "I needed to secure the officer for future questioning and went to the janitor's room, which is through the door on my right side. I wanted to handcuff him onto a radiator and lock the room. I was running down here, when you happened to stumble upon me, sir."

The agent understood. The wolf went forward and opened the door to the janitors room, "Get him in there, we are needed on the roof!"

Of course, the officer Wolf obeyed quickly. Stanley himself stood still while watching the officer do his deeds. Despite the shaking from before, he could say that this officer knew situations like this and did a formidable display of good work. It was obvious, that this T.U.S.C member didn't do something like this the first time. A little recognition would always be good in a situation like this.

So, the agent put his paw on the shoulder of the officer after he stood again at attention. He nodded: "You did well, Officer Wolford. We need to get to the roof and I want you to do your job no..." He was interrupted.

All this time, it was possible to hear the occasional screams from the outside. It was also possible, to listen to the use of net guns. To deploy a net gun was possible the loudest way to alarm your surroundings, using small explosions which were deploying the steel nets to propel them towards their intended targets. Most deafening was a loud screeching sound, as if something massive was just ramming against something and not stopping to apply friction. This sound lasted for three seconds and was loud.

But not as loud as to distract and interrupt Stanley Gray. Something different was cause of a sudden leap from the two wolfs and the sudden sprinting towards the staircase leading to the rooftop of this museum. The telltale vibrations of sound waves uttered by the rotor of a helicopter hinted to this development. It became louder and louder, shortly before the massive screeching sound happened. And only seconds before the boom.

It was an explosion. No, it was two! But this was much too close for comfort. It originated from the roof of this very building the two wolfs were inside at that moment. Their reaction to run towards something as ominous as an explosion wasn't the first rational thought someone should have. Stanley was impressed that this officer locked the door while sprinting himself at his side, a mentality worthy of the Bureau, if he was honest. Depending on what he would witness more of this wolf; he might have found a direct agent candidate, and not a junior. A thought, for the future, for right at the moment the two opened the door to the roof, they saw the destruction of two hand held throwing weapons.

It was obvious that two grenades, originating from the helicopter that just flew above their position, were those explosions from before. One was thrown directly under the Elephant-Stopper, destroying the expensive spring system and catapulting the weapon down onto the street. The gun was obviously not usable anymore.

The much more grim prospect was something entirely else. A raccoon wasn't made of steel. If a grenade of the normal mammal variety explodes next to a mammal of the small variation, it was able to catapult said mammal. The body of RJ was lying sprayed out right next to the door. The raccoon was obviously dead. The grenade exploded only feet next to him, right on top of the surveillance equipment.

"Shit!", was the appropriate reaction of Stanley. "Look if you can help RJ, I will try to salvage this mess here." He gestured towards the scraps now littering the roof. Wolford only needed one look to confirm the death of his comrade.

The agent tried after he pushed the button on his sleeve to communicate while he watched the helicopter advancing rapidly towards the stage area, the occasional shot coming out of the open side door. "General, Warrior here, copy?" He did not get an answer. "Anyone, copy?" Still no answer. If there wouldn't be the possibility of a direct connection from any devise issued to the authorities in this attack towards the mammal in charge by clicking a certain button inside the sleeve, and not at the side, Stanley wouldn't have been able to establish a connection.

"General, Copy?"

The distressed voice of Gordon Foreman answered after a short time. "Warrior … I can't … I need to stay hidden with Jack … Backstage … Silence … There is a shit show here!"

He went closer to the railing, when his eyes nearly bulged out of his head. The mink was right. This was a shit show. There was a helicopter circling the perimeter. There was a literal circle of savage animals around the VIP lounge area. The situation outside this circle seemed to be under control. The occasional green cloud, obviously attempts to direct savage mammals out of certain areas with stinking gas. A Tigress on the south gate was fighting a rhino and winning. The body of someone he knew was laying on the ground, just short south of this dreadful thing that did the screeching sound prior. This thing, that announced the shit show … there was a freaking military vessel docked at the bank of the river, only short south of the arena.

There were three giant Gorillas throwing one or the other mammal on board of this vessel, Stanley actually knew was the HMS Locksley. But most importantly: There was the one, who once nearly killed him. The only mammal he feared to death.

The newly made savage mammals were parting like the red sea. A line with seven wolfs, and on top, there were two Gorillas. One of them was the infamous Horadi, the prime. The Helicopter was obviously shooting anything that seemed dangerous for his comrades, explaining the corpse like body close to the Locksley. Stan witnessed, how the giant ape broke out of the formation to catch someone, he couldn't identify. The mammal aimed a weapon at a prime. A dire mistake. He could identify, that this mammal had no chance. The gorilla used his giant hands to show the brutality of the Sturm. Horadi squeezing the head of this poor mammal into mush, right in front of Prince Henry, who was patiently waiting while crouching down.

At their forefront, walking casually, as if not having any fear at all, was none other than the Sheriff of Nottingham, the mammal Stanley feared the most. Agent Hopps and Agent Wilde formatting themselves in front of the entourage of celebrities in the VIP lounge, staying close to the ground. The situation could escalate at any moment.


the moment a grenade exploded, Pedro Suarez, inside the Sturm's military transport helicopter

He knew this kind of work from experience. He never was a mammal to restrain himself from doing this dirty deed. His soul already was doomed, for what he did in his past. Pedro Suarez was a killer, even before he joined his newest employee. He was not any ordinary killer. He was a killer who trained as a hit-mammal and was doing his job for decades already. If someone would ask the cougar, he would state that he was the biggest potential danger of the Sturm. He was a killer before he became a member of them. His own instincts were already tuned to death before any manipulative drug was administered to him. This mammal was the most experienced and dangerous killer someone could imagine.

Pedro was a killer. But he was someone never being convicted of murder. The official charge was mammal slaughter. The murderer isn't the hit-mammal, under the law. Only the one who ordered the murder had ulterior motives and were considered the murderer. A contract killer was not a murderer. His sentence of only eight years in prison was for killing a convicted murderer. He did Animalia a favor with this. Hence this mild sentence despite him being a dangerous individual.

Pedro was working most of his life as a dependent hit-mammal, dependent meaning, that he was working for an organization and not on his own. The cougar learned his job very early in his life, completing his very first hit with only fourteen years of age. Trained in this kind of employment since he was mere eight years old.

How could someone so young already be trained to become a hit-mammal? Not only that, but how could someone like Pedro Suarez be trained in the use of firearms. Especially in a society like Animalia, where it was especially peaceful and low on crime. The purchase and legal acquirement for anything remotely to be a firearm was incredibly difficult in Animalia, if not going through the proper procedures. For the use of killing and not as sport, only the mob would have been able to obtain them, illegally of course. And even they abstained mostly from actual murder. No one in Animalia would train an eight year old to become a killer

There was an easy answer to this question, though. He wasn't Animalian. He was born fatherless from a female cougar, roughly thirty years ago. He was born in the town of Valencia, in the country known as the Federation. Although, it's full name was the Federation of Liberal Nations, the FLN.

This country named the Federation had other beliefs concerning their society than most other countries. They valued freedom of the individual above everything else. Very lose weapon laws or no constrictions at all by any attempts of their government, making everything legal from the hardest and most deadly drugs to normal or even disgusting cub prostitution, were the result of this politics. One of those freedoms, the probably most disgusting and a very big reason for certain animosities of every other major power in the world, was the freedom to do with your own body as you please. Or for your guardian to determine what you could do.

This included slavery like conditions, since you could simply give ownership of yourself or one of your offspring, as long as they weren't of legal age and their own person, to someone else. This practice got as far, as that some prey families with monetary or starvation problems, could literally sell someone from their family to someone else. Mostly volunteered older folks or mammals too young to know the concepts of their actions to be sold into slavery … or sometimes even sold to a predator to be eaten. The Federation had it's share of massive problems and was the most immoral place in the world, according to anyone else besides those who lived in the most free country of the world. No other country would try to intervene, though. Weren't the three main powers of the world simply too strong individually to risk a full war for their ideologies. Somehow the world was in a constant cold war like state between the Federation, Animalia and Furussia.

Pedro was lucky that he wasn't a prey. If he would have been, they would have most probably served him to some hungry predator with some coriander. He was a cougar though. His mother sold him to the drug cartel of Valencia with the tender age of eight. It was there, where Pedro learned everything to become the cartels very own hit-mammal. For twenty years, since he was eight years old, he worked for the cartel. Even after he reached the age of twenty one and became his own mammal, he decided to stay within the only live he actually knew. His life was the cartel before it was crushed and absorbed by another crime organization, in one of the common crime wars in the Federation.

The moment his cartel wasn't anymore, Pedro decided to leave the country. His goal was obviously Zootopia, just two years ago. The concept of a utopia in the world called Zootopia and Animalia was knowledge in the world. So, he decided to live the rest of his life in this supposed Utopian place. After he was free of the cartel he decided to allow himself to become his own individual with making his own decisions.

But his time in Valencia made him into quite the prolific killer. This kind of profession paid well and someone in it actually did not need to be killing nonstop to survive. To maintain his way of living, Pedro killed for them. But he did not kill many. You didn't need to. His actual rate was only two commissions in a year, bringing his totality of deaths to roughly fifty individuals. The cougar was a high profile killer. He could remember every mammal he slaughtered vividly: their names, their faces, their occupations, everything.

When he got to Zootopia he had some money to his name. He, a highly intelligent and athletically superior mammal than most others, could have easily used his money to retire from any hit-mammal related jobs. But it did not stop him to try his luck in the only profession he knew about more. As a freelancer, he killed only four mammals for the mob, before he was convicted in Zootopia. Why was he convicted. Because he showed mercy. He din't kill his charge but his contractor instead. A mistake he paid for with a prison sentence outside his home country, in a foreign country whose population didn't know anything about real struggle.

His life told him the lesson to be ruthless. He had no problem with this new organization called the Sturm, who got him out of the prison. He actually cherished what they did to him. What they provided him with: the opportunity to be awoken. This feeling to be constantly savage was incredible and extremely satisfying. He took most drugs at least once in his life, but nothing could be compared with being savage and in control. Pedro was thankful to become a prime. So, he helped them. He was a member of the Sturm.

The only thing he didn't like was their tendencies to be merciful and weak, in his opinion. *S* and Horadi were brutal sociopaths, but the other primes were all quite peaceful, considering their savagery. He himself felt a constant desire for blood. The biggest problem, if there was a problem for him, were his orders from Saul in a situation like this terror attack.

He could easily just shoot mammals indiscriminately, killing possible hundreds with his new senses, that allowed him to use his sniper instinctively, letting him be unnaturally accurate with his bullets. But no, he was to aim to not kill. Only if he got the visual confirmation by another prime that he had to kill, would he kill. His mission on this chopper was to eliminate the biggest threats and protect his comrades. Shooting and disabling all those mammals, who would become dangerous in the long run.

Headphones on his ears were constantly connected to *S* on the Locksley. He would follow the orders of this mammal. And probably in the future, when he would be his own free mammal and in charge, he could actually satisfy his blood-lust. Now though, the helicopter was approaching the perimeter to circle the VIP lounge area of the arena on Riverside Boulevard. They approached from the direction of the museum. It was kinda obvious where the big sniper rifle that killed the white tiger had to be.

While the HMS Locksley itself backed up to get the big platform of the helicopter landing pad and a big bay area under it, that was on the stern side of the vessel, as close to the bank next to the Boulevard as possible, the helicopter with Pedro decided to visit this place the sniper would have been. Only seeing one individual on the rooftop and this giant gun, the cougar decided to immediately eliminate this threat. Two grenades where enough to do the job. He didn't gave this another thought, when he suddenly was able to observe the chaos of this event.

Pedro smiled, when he listened to the explosions of his grenades. He grinned, when he witnessed a savage horse trampling at a small family of mice. He had the best view of all. Inside a helicopter, close to the ground so he could comfortably use his weapon, but far enough away to not be in the slightest bit of danger.

And the best thing was, that he was a prime. He watched this chaos and his instinct screamed to him about everything around him. As if by the paw of a god, his eyes always followed the most gruesome or interesting action automatically.

The voice inside the headset of him was pointing out a target immediately after Pedro saw the backing up of the HMS Locksley. The three gunners on deck of this ship were firing into the river. From his elevated position he could watch easily. It was obvious that they attacked any vessels on the river, sinking anything concerning the Zootopian Coast Guard. The poor mammals would all swim. At least, they had the orders to keep the mammals who involuntarily get a bath alive and not kill them, as long as they didn't approach the Locksley. Another sign of disgusting mercy for Pedro.

Pedro could have shot the offending target that was pointed out to him immediately after he got the order, but the cougar waited patiently till the helicopter he was in was starting its circling. If there was one thing that instincts did than it was the creation of patterns. In a fight or in any random situation most savage mammals had the incredible disadvantage that came with losing your conscious abilities. They relied on movement and instinctual patterns that could be easily beneficial for anyone to exploit. The helicopter starting one of this patterns, repeating a certain flying path around the perimeter. Pedro was watching.

His target was easy. It was a bat who was not fleeing the scene. A brave flying fox he recognized. With a tranquilizer gun on the end of one wing, inside his paw. He could have simply shot his sniper rifle and kill the bat. The obvious officer was diving towards one of the anti-air gunners, probably being the only one capable to do immediate actions against them. The thing was, Pedro wasn't ordered to kill. He was ordered to eliminate the threat.

One bullet was everything he needed. Pedro waited till the officer stalled his flying shortly above his target. The bat would have been able to shot his tranquilizer, if not for the sudden pain enveloping his right wing, close to the stun gun. Pedro waited deliberately to take his shot. If he would have taken it to early, the bat would surely fall with too much velocity, probably losing his life. So, the cougar waited till the officer was calm in the air. Only a moment lasting milliseconds. Enough for Pedro to pull the trigger. And boom: the bat loosed his weapon and was crashing down, right onto the deck of the Locksley. A prime lion taking care of the officer and disposing the mammal into the bay area of the ship shortly after, probably using first aid immediately.

The orders didn't stop. They actually forced Pedro to immediately use not one, but three bullets against a target. The target was standing with a lethal weapon in his paws, aiming at Sturm members. This mammal did not have a chance. Before this mammal was capable to even utter more than just some words, a bullet penetrated the back of him. A big bear falling. Three bullet wounds oozing blood. Pedro liked that, while he chuckled quietly. He was allowed to use force on this one. He liked that.

The cougar was able to act on his own as well. He didn't need direct orders. Especially if he felt a sudden danger. His instincts compelling him to turn and aim at the threat he was feeling. It was a very big weapon. A mammal close to the stage was aiming a real gun at the helicopter. And the caliber of this monstrosity was elephant sized, surely enough to actually be incredibly dangerous for Pedro and his pilot. A giant bison antiquus was wanting to use her shotgun like weapon.

The magazine of the sniper rifle Pedro was using had six bullets. That meant, he only had two shots to get rid of this threat, or this threat would use it's own gun. The first shot penetrated the flesh very low on the right leg of the bison. It forced the Bureau agent, Pedro recognized this mammal from the briefings he had, to suddenly fall. Sudden strength loss on your hoof did those things to you. While the Bison was falling, Pedro used his second shot aiming at the weapon in her hoof-paw. And it worked to get the offending weapon away from her, since she lost her grip after her fall.

She was close to the Locksley, a little more north but not in the arena. Three gorillas were close to her. Three gorillas who's job it was, to collect animals and get them onto the military vessel. This bison needed all three to be moved, after they sedated her with the efficient method of bashing someone repeatedly on the head.

Bashing on a head was exactly what Pedro witnessed immediately afterwards. A small entourage of two primes were walking casually towards the center of the arena. One stupid mammal decided to ambush them. And this resulted in one of the primes, his sociopath friend Horadi, to retaliate with literally exploding a head only with his hands. Enough time to reload while Pedro loathed the display of utter dominance.

Seeing the three gorillas collecting struggling again, the cougar shot immediately at their newest assailant. A lion with the most red mane he ever saw was trying to attack the apes. And in the end, he found a bullet inside his shoulder. Nothing lethal, Pedro was sure of that, but still something that was dazing for even this lion.

He got his next order nearly the moment after. And those were a little bit unorthodox. He had not a direct target, but he had the order to show all the mammals, that he was in control. How could someone do that? All mammals in the VIP lounge area were close to the ground, probably to give a smaller target for himself. Pedro got the idea immediately after he saw that the second in command of the Sturm was approaching very close towards their goal. Two small shots at two mammals in this group was enough to show the air superiority of the Sturm in this situation. He knew the panther would try something. If not now, then in the immediate future. So, he simply shoot him in the foot. His second shot landing close to another mammal in the entourage.

He aimed accurately. And he thought no one capable enough to dodge a bullet. He just wanted to shoot her in the foot, but a reflex he never saw coming catapulted this second target away. This was famous agent Hopps. A potential prime, faster reflexes than he himself believed to have. He shot at her, only for her to jump away with help of the fox towards the direction into the savage crowd around all of them. Dread feeling in his insides, he managed to look through his scope at the mammal that was previously at her side. A look on Agents Wilde face that showed his disappointment of this display, rage like green eyes penetrating his very soul.

Of course, Pedro immediately fired. A bullet embedding itself in the ground the fox just stood before. Frustrated about that, he changed his aim and searched for the fast bunny again. He saw his second in command getting control of this situation. The movement of a maw indicating talking, Pedro couldn't listen to because he was in a loud helicopter in the air. At least, he showed that the Sturm was ready to use lethal force if necessary. The displeased voice ordering him to not shot at the fox giving him other options.

He waited some time, searching for the bunny again. The helicopter was circling in a pattern, while Pedro observed. There was the fox he tried to shoot before, the one he once called his ally, was standing between a giant wolf and their main target. It was all filmed, like this whole event was for the whole duration of the Sturm's attack. There were cameras all around the place, elevated enough to not be destroyed by savagery. It seemed the shots ceased. A vixen in a hood approached from the savage circle around this place. That meant that the Sturm won, in Pedro's opinion. The giant wolf and the male red fox facing each other not moving their muscles. A standoff, if you ever saw one. He waited and observed some more.

He recognized a commotion with the collecting gorillas again after some time. They were further inside the arena, halfway to the north part of it with the wagons and open air bar. But this commotion was actually very dire. He recognized a slumbering prime when he saw one. The hyena trying to get towards the lion, the one with the red mane, that was thrown over the shoulder of one of the apes was dangerous. Pedro needed to act. In the end, he inflicted the same injury to her, that the lion conceived: a shot in the shoulder.

The Gorillas would have an easy time to transport the hyena just like they did with the lion, if not for the interference of the bunny. But she wasn't alone. A small fennec fox with a baseball bat was on her side, trying to get the gorillas away from the hyena, while a cloaked figure in a hood slowly but steadily helped the hyena towards the bar. He would easily just use his rifle to aid the apes, but he couldn't.

He could not believe the new order in his ears. Was this serious … Pedro didn't fire and watched while the bunny used a revolver fruitlessly against one gorilla. The two smaller mammals retreating immediately after realizing their position. They ran towards the cloaked figure with the wounded hyena. The gorillas were not following them. They continued their previous task and took animals into their hand or over their shoulders to dispose them onto the deck of the Locksley again.

Agent Hopps and the fennec disappeared from his line of side shortly afterwards.

The reason for Pedro to not fire was easy. He knew the plan. It seemed, it worked, indicating by the appearance of *K*. The result was that *S* order was not disputable when the voice of Sheriff Rickman told him: "Pedro, cease all fire you idiot!"


shortly after the Sturm rammed their ship next to the bank of Riverside Boulevard, Nick and Judy, the central VIP lounge area

Nicholas Wilde and Judith Hopps were both agents. They were responsible for anything happening around them concerning the safety of civilians. Especially Judy was immediately trying to get the situation under control. The moment the two realized that this situation might get out of control, they sprinted towards the center VIP lounge area again. Their orders were clear: They were the ones in charge of the safety of the prince. They had their area of deployment. So, they immediately sprinted after they witnessed the death of former ZBI director William Stone. It was obvious something would happen shortly afterwards.

The moment chaos ensured was shortly after that event of brain matter distribution on a stage. Panicking mammals were trying to run towards the Boulevard, the actual street, away from the stage and arena area. It played to their favor, since it reduced the mammals in their immediate vicinity. The panicking only increased when the two, their stun guns in paws, reached the central area. The prince and the four celebrities with him stayed as calm as possible in a situation like this. They were close to the tiger who was the main security detail of the prince. Many other security mammals were around the area as well. Eight tigers by request of the rainbow prince himself. All surrounding the immediate perimeter of the VIP lounge area. Judy's brother and sister were still with them as well.

All had stun guns out, ready to use them. And they got the chance immediately at the moment a signal inside the HMS Locksley was carried to every still attached wristband. The starts of growls and screams were the start of the supposed chaos.

If not for the fact that everyone who called themselves authority was prepared. Judy was getting into action with her ten tranquilizer darts the moment this happened. Her first leap was towards a big bull cow. Using two, instead of only one dart, the cow who simply happened to be a much too big target to miss, was the first to be sedated. It was the obvious choice. The bigger the mammal, the bigger the risk to let them roam with savagery.

Nick himself engaged in this as well, running into the crowd around them. Judy and Nick were both partly savage at this moment. That meant, they had access to the radar like ability of instincts. The suddenly turned savage mammals had those instincts as well. And they were reliant on those, trusting only this stem of their brains. A stem, that signaled incredible danger coming from the rabbit and the fox.

A danger that forced every single mammal who got the normal night howler dose to literally run crazy if one of those two still slumbering primes advanced towards them. This made their job very difficult. If not for the realization of Judy, they would have run and compromised the happenings of the other authorities around them.

The stinking gas was already provided and thrown. Those worked incredibly good. Not only did they deter any savage mammals from going into certain areas, but directed the forces of nearly five thousand savage animals towards a certain area. Agent Hopps and Agent Wilde didn't stray much away from the central lounge area, able to react if anything would happen in there. Nothing happened there. It was as if the place, Judy and Nick stayed the longest, was avoided like the plaque by savage animals. Judy screamed for Nick to listen to her conclusions, "Nick! Look, they are all concentrating around the lounge area!"

The fox, who deposited another of his darts into a wild boar, responded: "Yes, but they also don't come near us. Judy! We need to get to the center an let others do this. We are more a hindrance and distraction than any help!" The two needed to scream to hear each other. Judy wanted to protest. Her eyes finding Nick's as if on instinct. For the last week, or probably for even much longer, the communication between those two was capable to consist only of meaningful eye catches and facial gestures. They understood each other without words. A nod, and both sprinted into the little circle of security personal that were confused around prince Henry.

Judy explained her theory: "They are afraid of us, so they don't come close to us. But they want to be close to this area … because of a certain primes action, right?"

Nick concurred: "Yes. Because Kim was around here. She is the safe place all savage mammals want to go to and we in the center are the most dangerous place. Hence, all want to be here, but not too close, creating a circle around us of savage animals."

It seemed right to assume that this was the case. The evidence were the savage mammals attacking themselves around them. There weren't any sane animals in the vicinity anymore. Only a circle of mammals around them.

The first tranquilizing of mammals and the new positioning inside the circle of savages happened before the HMS Locksley did its maneuver to get on land. A loud screeching sound indicating exactly this development. The boom of explosions on a roof three hundred yards away signaled chaos. Anyone realized the situation of a military vessel on the river.

There was a freaking ship with Sturm mammals on board stopping right in the river. Judy's new friend detective Victor Zeal was flying with his stun gun closer to it, trying to stop the firing gunners. Wait, there were gunners? This situation became crazy for any observer. She and Nick needed to stay calm … so they were, feeling the oppressing feeling of a helicopter behind them, that seemed so much more dangerous than the savage mammals who were moving around them.

If not for the defiance of logic, anyone would have assumed that this were allies. It was only shock for outsiders to witness a military vessel that was deploying a little entourage of prime mammals and some savage ones, seven savage wolfs and four seemingly savage giant apes. They jumped up the bank of the river. This ship was with the Sturm. They stood as if the world belonged to them. The cruel grin of Horadi the gorilla was unnerving. The much more calmer face of John Rickman, Sheriff of Nottingham, didn't give this situation justice. Savage animals were parting like the red sea to give this mammals passage.

Bullets can kill. They can wound. They are simply incredibly dangerous. John Rickman knew that. Why did this idiot do something so stupid. Everyone was witnessing how calm and collected the prince was. Much more important was how the two most prolific fighters of the ZBI were calmly observing, not doing anything rash anymore because they realized the situation they were in. If they didn't attack, that should stop anyone else from thinking that attacking them would be a good option. Why not this idiot of a bear.

He heard the order of *S* and tried to not lose his composure when he witnessed an old friend falling in front of him. The great brown bear know a John T. Little aimed a gun at him and screamed, "You traitor, in the name of just ..." and he was stopped by three bullets in his back. Probable fatal injuries. The bear was stupid to try this. Even with the advantage of a weapon, he did not know of the sniper in a chopper.

As of protocol, everyone inside the circle of savages got down onto the floor as fast as possible. In the case of a sniper, everyone had to crouch down and make as small a target of themselves as possible. The shout of "Sniper" affirming their actions. All getting down as fast as possible, the tiger Tigerius, main Secret Agent of the prince was using his own body to envelop the body of the prince, true dedication towards his charge by guarding him from any bullets.

The bunny agent crouched right next to Nick, "Nick, we need to do something."

The fox was thinking hard, "I know Judy. The thing is, as long as the chopper is in the air, we are at a massive disadvantage. The risk to act is simply too high." he gestured with his paw towards the fourteen mammals of the Sturm, three of the gorillas departing from them, somehow catching savage mammals and throwing them on board the ship. They were obviously collecting for the Sturm. "If it gets to fighting, I will stay here with the prince, Carrots."

He blinked at his side, his eyes finding hers again. She was concentrating internally, looking at the environment and recognizing some things. She responded calmly, "I see Finnick and I might have an Idea." she pointed at the bar on the north side of the arena. "I just need to get there."

"Don't do anything stupid, Judy."

"I won't, Nick.", she recognized the fear in his voice.

The fox sighed. A sudden horrific scream capturing his and Judy's eardrums. The moment they were engaged in conversation, the ape prime decided to act on an impulse. Horadi recognized one of the savage mammals not actually being savage. A big Dane, a dog of the Secret Service, waited patiently and showed only submission. He somehow managed to mingle within the savage mammals, standing close with a paw on his chosen weapon. Horadi felt him. Never try to sneak up on a prime if you are not a prime yourself. The ape made it pretty fast.

Using his hand to suddenly snatch the culprit of a planned ambush on the head, the gorilla started to squeeze. It was a gory experience to see someones head explode, only by the crushing force of a hand squeezing. Sir O'Broin died this day. The entourage was coming closer to the center of the savage circle.

This image wasn't very pretty. A massive wolf was strolling with seven wolfs and two gorillas. One of whom just killed another one considered a defender of civility. And they could do nothing against this. The oppressing feeling of danger was nearly overwhelming. As if you would look into the eyes of a predator. Like in the prehistoric past when a rabbit froze realizing it saw a fox. The same happened with anyone not strong enough to resist this feeling. All eight tigers of the security detail of prince Henry, including Tigerius the main security mammal of the prince, were as much frozen as everyone else in this circle. Some still able to move, but feeling hindered in their abilities. The tigers seemed to be out of it, not capable to intervene, even if they wanted to.

Only four mammals in the VIP lounge area were capable of moving freely. The two obvious ones were agents Hopps and Wilde who crouched down at the very front of this. Prince Henry was watching patiently, not trying anything. He was calm despite this chaotic situation. The last one with no feeling of hindrance was Jared Letho, the black panther who worked as an actor and musician most of his time.

It was this panther who got to feel the wrath of the Sturm the next. The Sturm knew, who might get difficult in this esteemed group in the circle of savages, who actually were gaining in numbers around them while deserting any other places besides the area around them. The tactics of the authorities and the work of Kimberly Wilde paid off quite good. The way Jared felt the Sturm was with a bullet through the sole of his right foot.

The helicopter sniper shot the panther who was crouching very close to the two agents. It seemed as if the slight movement into a leaping position was what provoked this behavior. This potential prime would be no problem to collect for the Sturm anymore.

This shot's startled everyone. Especially the close proximity and feeling of immediate danger were responsible for the sudden leaps of two agents. A short time after Judy and Nick used their position close to the ground and to each other, they flexed their hind legs and shoved themselves away from each other. This happened at the exact moment a bullet was shot at the position Judy's leg was before.

Since the rabbit had an idea, she did not stop after this. She sprinted without a second thought out towards the circle after that. She figured that the savage mammals wouldn't even dare to get close to her, so she hopped under the next savage camel and into the savage circle. No one had the chance to stop her before she couldn't be seen anymore. A dangerous predicament for the Sturm members on the ground. The obvious angry reaction of Nick was to look at the helicopter, somehow locking his eyes with the mammal inside there sniping. The fox was on all fours and showed his displeasure with a snarl, baring his teeth.

A shot was fired again but missed the fox who simply needed to take a small step to the site before the bullet was released. It seemed as if Nick was able to participate the shot before the shooter actually consciously comprehended that he was shooting.

Nick stayed on all fours and watched back at the helicopter, feeling the threat diminish slowly. His instincts not warning him as much before, switching towards another much more important target. Swiveling his head towards the entourage of Sturm animals, the bared teeth intimidated any savage animal in there, stopping them in their advance.

This group was close enough now. Evident that the voice of the Sheriff of Nottingham was clearly audible for all them, "Animals! We don't want further unnecessary bloodshed. We just want to get prince Henry Wolfenstein to come with us and enjoy our hospitality. Do this and this will end."

Nicholas watched, still on all fours, his teeth not bared anymore. His eyes roaming through the savage crowd around him, searching for a little fluff he could recognize.

Henry stood up. Tigerius freed his crouch atop of his charge only seconds prior. Of course, the well being of his subjects was much more important than his own well being. Anyone who would know the rainbow prince even a little bit knew that the flamboyant fox would jump at this opportunity, "I will come with you if you stop this madness!"

"Excellent ...", was not the voice of John Rickman. It was a calmer voice, still able to be audible enough and much more intimidating than expected by anyone seeing the petite vixen strolling up behind the mammals of the VIP lounge area. Even Nick was surprised that Kimberly was behind them, probably for the whole time. She was this way before she was a prime, but now this vixen was terrifyingly sneaky. Kim was a prime, wasn't she?

Latching her paw onto the upper arm of the prince she smiled at him, "Good my dear. Tam tam. Everyone get up and use your feet. Miss Jones, Mister Hairy … anyone besides the pathetic security detail," it was then that everyone realized that every single one of the tigers around them was on the ground. But not because of the sniper threat anymore, but because they were all sedated, obvious because of whom touching the prince right at that moment. "You are all required to come with us."

As predicted by Kim, everyone obeyed without protest. They all went beside them, only Nick and Jared standing still, one of them obviously not able to walk. The prime called Horadi was the one throwing the panther over his shoulder and quickly getting on his way to the ship. Sheriff Rickman was standing close to Nick now. His wolfs around him. Nick stayed as still as before, watching for any sign of his carrots. The prince and celebrities, including Judy's brother and sister with her husband were just passing him.

A shot was fired in the background, aiming somewhere different than their position. The reaction was immediate. Henry screamed at the Sturm mammals, "You said you would stop!"

The Sheriff sudden response was a little button on the sleeve of his uniform he liked to always wear, even in a situation like this. He communicated somewhere, "Pedro, cease all Fire you idiot!", and no shot was heard again.

The reason for the shot was closer to the north side of the arena. There were wagons and quite a big open air bar. The three gorillas who were searching and collecting savage mammals and sometimes normal sane mammals of at least level B, were just doing their job. They threw bodies of different mammals over their shoulders and brought them to the HMS Locksley, effectively abducting them. But the last mammal they got their hands on was a lion. The lion wasn't the reason for the shot, though. He was already shot prior. He was pretty easy to transport, right?

No, because a hyena of imposing physique tried her best to get the apes away from them. This hyena was Jasiri. The lion was her best friend Kion. Using a steel rod as an impromptu weapon from the arena barriers, she was only moments before she could have smashed it on the head of the closest gorilla. But a bullet came between her and her rescue. She was shot in the shoulder. It was nothing fatal, bleeding strong but obviously not a shot supposed to be deadly. A flinch and lose of strength was enough consequence to get her down though.

She would have been taken just like her friend, if not for the sudden appearance of non other than agent Judy Hopps. The bunny jumped at the offending gorilla with a velocity worth of a train. Her feet collided with the side of the gorilla. Gorillas are heavy apes, but a bunny capable to defeat a rhino with her feet was no laughing matter. It managed to catapult the ape off his feet and sail into the air. The landing was not nice, several yards away from the position he was standing last. It was not enough for Judy Hopps.

The rabbit aimed her Revolver as a warning towards the two other gorillas. The one with the lion was already running away, but the one closer to her was slowly approaching. She took a shot, aiming at the leg of the ape. And it was not good. Judy Hopps had a small weapon with a very small caliber of only .22. And it was not enough to seriously injure the giant ape. It did sting and the gorilla flinched visibly, but he did not stop.

Judy had no other choice as to leap backwards to not be crushed by the gorilla. What a surprise it was for the rabbit to be mid fly with a back flip and see the cloaked figure of Lord Patrick Hood escorting the injured hyena back towards the bar area. Recognizing this while turning up side down. Her flip was nearly complete and she would be on ground again, the revolver in both paws in front of her, wanting to use a second shot to get the enemy away from her. She couldn't, since there was a bat wielding fennec fox crushing the kneecap of the gorilla in the way.

Her first shot did something to the gorilla for because of it, it was not able to avoid a bat wielding fennec fox. Finnick was precise and took all his power to archive this feat to permanently eliminate the speed of this threat.

The fennec fox would have done more, but turned and ran back towards the Lord. His paw was catching Judy's wrist in his sprint. Judy came with him without any protest. But she wasn't finished with something.

She wanted to know something, so the rabbit turned mid run with her revolver in paw and shot at the freshly standing up other savage gorilla she kicked prior. She shot not one shot, though. It were four precise shots on four different places. One into the groin area, one into the stomach, one into the breast and the last creating a small hole right under the throat. She accomplished it and her impromptu test was successful. None of the shots did anything against the prowess of the ape. Fleeing was the right option. So, she fled with Finnick. They jumped over the bar, with the help of bar stools. The helicopter couldn't see them anymore. The apes retreated back towards the HMS Locksley.

Nick watched this happenings concerning his bunny anxiously. John Rickman, now very close to the only mammal in the circle of savages, could feel it. The Sheriff was terrified of the possibility of something happening to the bunny, wasn't anything concerning Nicholas tied to the well being of this certain mammal. Being this close, John was able to feel the foxes so called aura and the spikes of fear were overwhelmingly terrifying.

The prince just boarded the HMS Locksley with *K*. Horadi and his savage gorilla were on their way towards the downed gorilla closer to the north. Multiple mammals were all abducted, taken down into the bay area by the Lion prime who stayed on the ship and was responsible to secure their captives. John was not finished to collect.

The giant wolf looked at the fox, who was still on all fours. He saw that the savagery in him somehow was much more present than the last time he found himself looking at this fox. This fox was strong. But he needed guidance, though. And John wanted Nick with him to provide this guidance. He wanted his godson to be with him. So, he tried after he saw the prince getting into the catacombs of the ship.

"It would be really nice if you would come with us, too."

"Never!", growling and barring his teeth. Nick would never do this. Not wit the promise he gave to Judy. He could not join them. John flinched and slightly moved backwards, a paw finding it's way to the sword on his belt.

Nick's reaction was aggressive. Too aggressive for one of the seven savage wolf companions of John to ignore the reaction of their master. It was the wolf closest to them who leaped and started this. It just wanted to protect it's alpha.

A gray wolf is a big predator. Big enough to intimidate a normal fox. But Nick was no mere fox. He was a prime predator. And he knew his main move by instinct. Every time a bigger predator attacked him, they would come from above. What they always forgot was the moment they would show their throat. It is only a second long act to bare your teeth and somehow digging them deep into the scruff of your enemy. If not for the enemy turning reflexively away and doing the thing you wanted to do, just on your much more vulnerable jugular. A fox was biting again.

Nick's hat was pushed back, held by a string around his neck. He made his typical move and managed to open the wolfs main carotid. Despite staying under his enemy and showering in the resulting blood, Nick jumped immediately back from the dying wolf. He didn't want a bloody display like at the memorial.

He didn't do it for appearance, though. He had to jump back. John Rickman saw what his foolish savage wolf did. And how the fox reacted. His instincts told him to defend himself and his pack. So, the Sheriff of Nottingham drew his sword and swung. The jump backwards was the only reason for Nick to not be sliced in half. He backed of some distance, hackles rising. John Rickman was in front of him, Sword above his head. A terrifying situation.

Especially for a bunny who could only watch close to panicking.

Before this happened, Judy and Finnick managed to hide behind the bar. The rabbit was taking her second clip strip to reload her revolver, while the Lord and a zebra were tending to the injured hyena from before. To her surprise there was a mammal she recognized with them. She sometimes found this fan of hers in a café close to the precinct. On most days she drank there some coffee in small break times of her work shift for the ZPD. That was the time when Nick was undercover as a prisoner. This mammal, with his typical outfit of knee pads and Go-pro camera on a helmet, even the roller skates, was standing there watching the spectacle as calmly as the Lord and she herself seemed to be. Meaning, they were close to panicking but managed to look calm.

"Skippy Jumper?" was her reaction then. The rabbit grinned at her. Their reunion was short lived though. Finnick decided immediately to ask about the situation. Mainly what to do at that moment in time. The surprise that Skippy was actually a knight of Lord Hood, a secret service agent, was short lived.

Quickly the group came to the conclusion that, as long as the helicopter was there, they could not act and try to rescue the captives or do anything else beneficial for this situation. Of course, they all watched the happenings in the middle of the circle of savage animals and witnessed the boarding of the VIP's onto the Locksley. They decided to somehow getting rid of the chopper, using all their time to dedicate towards this goal.

If not for the sudden oppressive feeling of everyone, resulting of them all to cease their plan making and look at the center of the circle. What happened scared Judy to the core. She screamed his name in the process. "Nick!", inclined to move herself she screamed to her allies around herself, "We need to help him!" She would have sprinted towards him, if not for the firm hold of Finnick.

Lord Patrick Hood witnessed this as well and was afraid beyond belief for the young fox. The older fox opened his cloak and drew something out of a sheath, no one knew the Lord had with him. With a steady hold on his weapon, Patrick addressed the group, watching Nick backing off of the Sheriff, "She is right." taking his weapon and presenting it to Skippy, he ordered the hare, "Get it to him as fast as possible."

In a moments notice the hare with the roller skates moved quickly towards Nick. Skippy was fast. He even avoided a savage tiger who tried to launch itself at him easily. Finnick with a small device on his neck used the obvious microphone there to make an order himself, "Get the Sheriff away from the bastard."

Nick was watching his enemies. John was the utmost dangerous enemy in the vicinity. The six other savage wolfs not even important enough to mention, compared to the danger of the Sheriff of Nottingham. Everything did not matter for Nick. He needed his everything to survive this. And he saw and felt his rescue coming.

It was a sgian-duph, a short Celtic knife that was thrown precisely towards the head of John Rickman. But not precisely enough for John not to avoid. It clanked against his sword close to his face, a skillful swing from down upwards into the ox guard position was enough. The elevated position of his weapon being used to slash downwards after. Downwards towards Nick's position, who surprisingly did not move back or avoided the slash.

Why would someone ask. The reason was obvious after a rabbit was using his own rabbit sized wakizashi to deflect the attack of the Sheriff. Tadao was close to this position the whole time, just like the other secret service agent who threw one of his knifes at the giant wolf. The thing why Nick didn't move wasn't because he knew he would be safe. He stayed, because he knew this ally wouldn't be. With catching the collar of the oriental rabbit Nick managed to take Tadao with himself after a leap backwards. The next slice of John not hitting his supposed enemy.

What happened afterwards was something Nick would not have wanted to happen, but he could not avoid it. If those two would not have interfered and Nick had to simply defend himself, there would not be this senseless death happening in front of him.

Tuck the badger, two of his sgian-duphs in paws, charged towards the wolf. A slice upwards since his stance was the alber then was very easy to do for John. And he was much too fast for the badger to react.

A giant sword, compared to a badger it was giant, and the proclivity to brutality of his upwards swing was not stopped by any tissue or bone it took with it. Sir Tuck died by cleaving through half of his body. John Rickman killed the badger easily. The blood oozing out of the two halves on the ground.

Tadao was already in a leap to reenter the battle before Nick could stop the rabbit again. The result was not as deadly as what the Wolf did with the badger before. His sword was high and it was much easier to subdue his enemy with the nice art of a hard pommel strike, which the Sheriff did precisely. It was very hard and Tadao had no possibility to use his sword before he lost consciousness. John leaping backwards to create some space between himself and the now fast advancing Nick.

Nick wanted to at least rescue this foolish rabbit again and tried to catch and throw Tadao some place behind him. That was the moment another one of the savage wolf lunged at the unconscious form of Tadao.

The wolf was mid air when Nick growled savagely. The eyes of the fox dilating into savage slits. The intimidation of this intended display was enough for the wolf to abandon his plan to bite down onto the rabbit. With turning its head away from Nick in a panic, it was easily accessible for Nick to use his old technique again. His hind legs were shoving the body of Tadao backwards while his own lunge landed at the jugular of a wolf again. Nick killed another mammal again. He was the only one showing it and actually did the killing of the enemy. The mystery of his savage fighting style alluring mammals around the globe about his fighting prowess.

John Rickman reacted with a deep terrifying growl himself. Pedro in his helicopter watched and wanted desperately to shot the fox, his orders stopping him from doing so. The fox was taboo for him and he had the feeling he would not be able to hit him anyway. The important animals were all already abducted in the bay area of the HMS Locksley. Horadi and his four gorillas were still collecting at the edge of the savage circle, the limping gorilla at the back of them.

Nick decided to stay on all fours right above the unconscious Tadao. His paw finding the grip of the wakizashi that was next to the downed rabbit. He had a weapon now. Not one he was familiar with, but still enough to now effectively defend himself.

The sudden appearance of another rabbit on roller-skates was not surprising for anyone of the primes. They saw and felt Skippy's approach before he was there. John immediately tried to swing at the newcomer.

This time Nick deflected the attack easily with the oriental sword by misdirecting him. While he did that, he needed to convey the message that it was fruitless to help him, "Get away you fool!"

The wakizashi was rabbit sized, smaller than what he knew. And his uncle Johnny wasn't alone in this fight. A savage wolf saw his opportunity with the appearance of a bunny and sprinted towards it. Nick himself jumped back while Skippy used the momentum of his own to change directions and flee from the savage attacker.

John himself was on a backwards trajectory since his upwards swing was deflected with misdirecting him, forcing the giant wolf to take steps back to find his balance again. The savage wolf was not. Nick wouldn't be fast enough to help Skippy. He had no other chance as to throw his newly obtained weapon at the attacker, piercing through the maw of it. It pierced the brain-stem easily, it's tip coming out of it's back head.

"Take this!" was Skippy's answer when the fox positioned himself in front of the hare. Skippy simply let go of the weapon he was ordered to deliver. It did not clank onto the ground, Nick recognizing the blink on it's stainless steel, turned and snatched the handle easily, only to stand in the pflug position in front of the Sheriff of Nottingham. Skippy scattered back and tried quickly to take Tadao away from the scene. His job was done and he did not want to be near this fight anymore.

This was a weapon made for a fox like him. Literally. You could obviously not keep an old weapon and think it would sustain the powers of time. But you could replicate according to a plan making an exact copy of it. This was one of those copies. Made by the best blacksmiths of Animalia and a token of the powers of a Hood clan. Nicholas Piberius Wilde was wielding it again. A sword made for none other than Robin Hood and his descendants himself. Good that Nick was a descendant of said Hero of old.

Purple eyes were watching when stainless steel sparked again. Nick and John Rickman, a Hood against the Sheriff of Nottingham. A battle that made history and did not stop to continue making it. Judy was only slightly relieved to see her fox wielding a weapon that made things at least somewhat fairer.

The only reason she didn't storm back was the fennec fox holding her wrist firmly. Okay, it was not the only reason. She wasn't able to listen to the Sheriff and the decisions made prior to this by the Sturm. Judy did not hear, that the sniper in the helicopter shouldn't shoot anymore and ceased all fire. It was quite a deterrent to simply get out of their cover if she knew that she would have to deal with being shot at.

Despite that, her heart yearned to run behind Skippy and help the fox she had to watch defend himself. She was immensely afraid, was the distance between her and Nick far enough to feel uneasy. She did not know where this thought of needing to be close to him, or rather, to protect him, came from, but she knew why this thoughts were manifesting themselves in Judy being on edge. Emotional turmoil was there, after all. So much her heart yearned to be by his side.

"We need to help him!", was the resulting shout of her.

Finnick was irritated about the bunny. The last moments they watched the happenings and very one sided, if not for the force to be reckon with named Nick himself, fighting off the Sheriff and his goons. But watching, did not mean that they didn't discuss the situation at hand.

They got relatively precise with a plan concerning the threat. The first conclusion made by the Lord was the most obvious that all of them could agree on. Even the hyena named Jasiri behind them had to agree to the most important objective: The helicopter and it's sniper needed to go down.

The decision was somehow already made. As Judy pointed out, the chopper was flown by a partly savage animal. And as Judy experienced herself, savagery relies on instincts, who have the proclivity to use patterns. Meaning very simply that their movement was predictable.

With this information they concluded a plan, with Judy occasionally squeaking and shaking, as if she would start to sprint at any moment, only Finnick literally holding her back.

This plan was to get the chopper down by the use of a projectile. With certain gestures and much pointing and very fast mathematics done, Lord Patrick Hood managed to predict a certain trajectory of a pseudo missile if lunched. This pseudo missile was concrete, literally. For this to happen someone would need to know that the Arena wasn't actually built on a foundation in the river. It somehow was hovering partly over the riverbank. The weight of it was distributed through steel cables that were positioned parallel to the riverbank. They were holding the arena comparable to how a steel cable construction was holding the roof of a stadium, or a steel cable bridge was capable to hold it's weight by itself.

Those cables had stress constantly put on them. And they were hold down to the ground by concrete blocks in a north and south arc of the arena. Those concrete blocks had some small holes put inside of them so stress was contributed differently inside those blocks. If someone would put sudden pressure, probably through an explosion, into certain places inside this holes, those could be able to slack the concrete strong enough for them to crack. And since the cables are on stress like a rubber band, that would mean that the loosened block of concrete would catapult into the direction the most stress was directed to. The Lord calculated this with one of the blocks which would be capable to be used as a pseudo missile this way.

Because of the patterns the helicopter was flying, they would have a three to five seconds window if they would be capable of shooting this missile. The plan was to do exactly this.

The constant worry of Judy, who couldn't hold herself till she saw Nick getting his paws on a sword, was incredibly irritating for the fennec fox on her side.

Judy: "I can't … We need to get to him!"

Finnick couldn't hold his own stress in anymore: "Rabbit! Stop this, we need to concentrate on this ..."

The rabbit called Judy interrupted him desperately, "But, I just can not stay and ..."

A fuse exploded inside Finnick's mind at that moment, "Shut up already! If you wouldn't be so damn selfish, Hood wouldn't have to send his own knights to over-complicate a situation that wouldn't even get out of control if you wouldn't fucking want to help a mammal that wouldn't need it in the first place."

Judy seemed to be surprised by this outburst and wanted to rebuttal this, if not for Finnick being on a roll, "Little John is dead! O'Broin is dead! We couldn't do anything against that. But Tuck is dead because of this selfishness of yours! Tadao was hit pretty hard and might die as well! And you can just think about your damn fox without considering the logical consequences."

"That does not mean, we should not at least try to help him!", was Judy's confident response immediately after.

Before the fennec could further his irritated speech, he was stopped by a paw on his shoulder. Another paw of the same mammal was holding Judy's one as well, stopping the two of them to argue further. The only word coming out of Lord Patrick Hood's maw was, "Why?"

Finnick and Judy turned their heads to the Lord in question. A collective "Huh?" showed the Lord their confusion. Patrick was not amused. His look showing the importance of this question. Ignoring the fennec fox he looked at Judy. Repeating his question with much more significance in his voice, "I want you to look me in the eyes and tell me why."

Judy wasn't able to look away from this eyes. It was as if she would look into those eyes, she so much admired. This was the father of Nick. Her Nick. Green orbs observing her, asking her the simplest of questions. And this were eyes she could not refuse to answer to. How she knew what the fox was asking her, was instinctual. There was only one way to interpret the question of "why" in this situation. And it was connected to Nick.

It was the most honest answer she was able to give him. It came out of her without any more thought into it. She watched the Lord's eyes went wide when she proclaimed with confidence and no sign of being uncomfortable about this testimony: "... Because I love him ..."


Chapter 43 End


GLOSSARY :

T.U.S.C = Tactical Unit Special Commando / equivalent to SWAT
A TUSC Leader (normally supervisory rank, at least captain) decides what team they want. The team can consist of mammals of all ranks, as long as they volunteered, have the qualifications and are available (not sick or injured)

Ranks of the ZPD in advancing order:
Without Sergeant training (depending on academy credentials, you could start at a higher rank / normally advancing every 2 or 3 years automatically): Cadet (Academy student) or Trainee (outside the Academy) → Constable → Senior Constable → Police Master → Police Senior Master → Police Chief Master → Corporal
With Sergeant training (Advances every 3 years automatically): Sergeant → Staff Sergeant → Master Sergeant
Detective ranks (chief decision / promotion depending on chief / normally 6 years for promotion / Chief Inspector has his own department, rarely promoted making Senior the end for most): Detective → Senior Detective → Inspector → Senior Inspector → Chief Inspector
Supervisory Ranks (Equivalent Status to Detectives / Advancing 10 years to captain and 15 more till Major automatically, chief can promote earlier / Commander ranks, rare ranks, only with promotion by the chief personally): Lieutenant → Captain → Major → Lieutenant Commander → Commander
Chief Officers (Elected / Chosen by Politicians or Royalty / no period in office): Assistance Chief → Chief of Police → Chief Commander (Chief of precinct one) → Commissioner (Someone in the rank of Chief Officer who got elected to this politicians position. Normal four year period in office)

IM Rifle = Injection Rifle (Dart Rifle), Effective 75 Yards, Max. Range 145 Yards

JM special 25 = Injection Rifle (Dart Rifle), Effective 85 Yards, Max. Range 165 Yards

Wolford's IM Rifle: Effective 100 Yards, Max. Range 200 Yards

FLN (Federation of Liberal Nations) called: The Federation = One of the three global powers in the World, consisting of former mostly liberal countries who decided to form a united federation. Democratic with council and chancellor on top. Third biggest (GDP and Land Mass) and most populous global power in the world. Their societies value freedom above all … including the freedom to be an idiot. Biggest issue: they populate their country without supervision, so they have to live with the consequence of a constant famine, millions dying annually (but don't infringe in anyone's freedom to breed however they want, freedom above all, even the freedom to die, right!) Crime and corruption is abundant in the Federation. It is oligarchic in nature, crime bosses and corporations ruling this country.

Valencia = Town in the FLN, birthplace of Pedro


NEW CHARACTERS:

Nadine Fangmeyer, Sumatran Tiger, ZPD Officer / Partner of Wolford