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The (Not So) Great Outdoors

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Despite Nick and Judy’s renewed sense of vigor after successfully preventing the gang from getting their paws on the other weapons, the fight still dragged on.

Gang member after gang member went down thanks to well-placed shots from the SWAT team, but the pace of these takedowns was way too slow for Chief Bogo’s liking, and he knew that they were running out of ammo, if the lack of spare shells nearby were any indication.

Luckily, even though he could still hear gunfire coming from the other side of the warehouse, it was at a much slower rate compared to when they started, and he knew that they were running low as well.

Unfortunately, the bad news was that the opposition was smarter than expected, as they commandeered the weaponry of their fallen comrades.

Sighing, Bogo fired off a few more shots, managing to catch one in the chest with a shell before reaching down to his belt to reload, only to realize that he only had enough shots for about half a clip.

Swearing under his breath, Bogo emptied out the spent shells in his shotgun before loading the final shots he had.

Instead of firing, however, he turned towards Nick and Judy, who were also still trading shots with the gang, albeit carefully chosen so as not to waste valuable darts.

“You two!” he shouted, catching their attention as they ducked behind their box. “We’re going to have to flank them if we’re going to take them down before we run out of ammo.”

“Wait, why us?” asked Nick. “Why not just use one of the SWAT guys?”

“Because the only ones not injured right now are myself and McHorn, and we stick out like a sore thumb.” he said. “Besides, you two are perfectly suited to sneak around to both sides and ambush those bastards.”

“Because we’re small, right?”

“Exactly.”

Nick didn’t exactly look too thrilled about the prospect of him and Judy having to save the day themselves, but as he looked towards the back of their side of the battle, he could see that McHorn was in fact the only one still fighting outside of Bogo, which he assumed came simply from sheer stubbornness, and in the case of McHorn, really tough skin.

Resigned to their new task, Nick looked down at Judy, who looked tense as her ears were nearly rigid against the flat surface of the box. They would have been perfectly rigid if it wasn’t for the fact that a stray bullet ended up nicking her in the left ear, which thankfully didn’t cause any real lasting injury outside of Nick nearly getting a heart attack from seeing it happen in front of him.

“Alright, Judy, I’ll take that side and you take that one. Sound good?” he asked.

Judy chose not to comment about the use of her actual name, realizing that this probably wasn’t the best time to do so.

“Sounds good. I’m going to head over there now.”

She ended up doing just that, using a lull in the gunfire to shoot out of cover, heading towards the eastern side of the warehouse as she quickly ducked around the corner of the wall of boxes thankfully unhurt, although Nick could see some droplets of blood in a trail from the corner back to him, and he couldn’t help but hope that they could get this finished so that he could get something to stop the bleeding.

Collecting himself, Nick did the same as what Judy did, waiting patiently for a break in the gunfire before rushing off to the western side of the warehouse and around the corner, staying on all fours as he crawled along the mess of boxes, not wanting to get shot again and have to go through constant pain like he did back when Bellwether shot him in the shoulder.

Luckily, though, his size seemed to have definitely helped, as from what he could tell, the gang members still had their sights set on the SWAT team in front of them. Unfortunately, with only two of them still not injured, Nick had to work quickly if they were going to take down the last few of them.

Soon after passing by the jaguar that he choked out (who was thankfully still out cold, although he could have sworn he saw the jaguar’s nose twitch), Nick came to a stop behind yet another box, taking a few valuable seconds to catch his breath before taking a chance to peek over the cover and look across the way to the other side of the warehouse.

In a stroke of relatively good timing, Nick saw Judy poke her head out from her side of the room, the two of them locking eyes for a few moments before they both nodded.

With the two of them now in position, they both lowered themselves enough so that the tops of the boxes were at eye level, Judy lowering her ears so that the only thing visible were their eyes and the tops of their heads.

Holding a paw in view of his partner, Nick held up three fingers, counting down to zero before popping out and quickly squeezing off a shot in the direction of the remaining gang members.

Judy did the same, and the darts easily found their marks, the element of surprise preventing the gang members from even having a chance to dodge the fire.

As the two gang members they hit fell, Nick and Judy prepared to fire again to take down the remaining two, but the sheer surprise of seeing their comrades go down from the ambush caused them to immediately break cover, and Bogo took them down with two well-placed shells.

With the last two gang members going down, the warehouse immediately went quiet, and Nick and Judy stood up, the both of them very much puzzled.

“Is it over?” asked Judy as she looked around the room and saw the mass of unconscious bodies in front of her.

Making his way around the box he was behind, Nick walked over to one of the gang members and gave him a swift kick in the side. When there was no response, Nick nodded in satisfaction.

“Looks like we did it. Nice work, Carrots.”

Judy followed Nick’s lead and poked at one of the unconscious gang members with her foot, not wanting to fully trust Nick’s word unless she saw it for herself.

Thankfully, her concerns were quickly assuaged when there was no movement from him, and she couldn’t help but smile.

“Wow, I guess we did. I didn’t think that was ever going to end.”

“Me neither.” said Nick honestly.

It was then that Chief Bogo broke from his cover and walked towards them, stepping around the mess of unconscious bodies so he didn’t accidentally trip over himself.

“Hell of a gun battle, huh, Chief?” asked Nick, noticing the buffalo coming by.

“I’ve seen worse.” grunted the chief.

“Really?” asked Judy, genuinely curious. “What could be worse than this?”

“Not now, Hopps.” said Bogo, easily dodging the question. “We’ve got a lot of mammals to process, and we’ve got all of these weapons to log as well, so we’re going to be here for a while. Oh, and you two are helping, by the way.”

Judy could hear an audible groan coming from Nick’s direction, but the two of them willingly went to work, each of them grabbing paws as they worked together to drag the bodies out of the warehouse and into the open air outside.

It was a thankless task, but the good news is that McHorn soon joined them in helping, and even some of the injured officers came to help, even though Bogo was looking thunderous at them risking further injury.

Soon enough, the warehouse was clear of bodies, and while Chief Bogo went out to the van to call for extra backup to get all of the bodies and guns transported back to Zootopia, Nick found the crowbar he dropped outside, heading back inside and jamming the straight end into the nearest box, whistling in surprise when he saw the mass of guns inside.

“Well, good thing we didn’t let them get their paws on these.” he said as Judy walked up, standing on her toes to be able to see inside.

“No kidding.” she said. “I don’t think I can even see the bottom of the box.”

“Go see if you can find any more crowbars. We have a lot of boxes to go through, and I sure don’t want to do all this by myself.”

Judy nodded, and began walking off, heading in the direction of where the table was that originally held the map they saw.

Luckily, the map was still there, which Judy assumed must have been because they didn’t have enough time to actually get rid of it before the police busted in.

Deciding that it would be worth taking as evidence, Judy took a few minutes to fold it up before sticking it in one of the cases on her belt, thinking that it would protect it better there than in her pocket.

Hopping down from the table, Judy went back to searching for a crowbar while Nick continued tearing open boxes with the one he had, a sinking feeling in his gut as he couldn’t help thinking about what would happen if he hadn’t taken down that jaguar.

Nick was roughly pulled out of his thoughts, though, when he heard Judy shout out from one of the far corners of the warehouse where he couldn’t see her.

“Hey Nick! I found one!”

“Come on back over! I could use some help with these!”

Nick expected to hear a confirmation from his partner that she would be heading back. His blood went cold, however, when he heard a yelp come from where she was.

Dropping the crowbar with a loud clang, Nick rushed off, sliding around the corner to find Judy on the floor, a crowbar in her outstretched paw as her legs were pressed up against the same jaguar he’d knocked out earlier, holding him back as he tried desperately to get the crowbar away from her.

“Oh no you don’t!” Nick shouted as he rushed forwards.

Instead of tackling him like he did the last time, Nick spun around to where he was standing behind the jaguar, jumping up and latching his arms around the jaguar’s neck once more.

Even though the jaguar was bigger than the two of them combined, he was still weak from the tranquilizer dart in the leg, so to his surprise, he found himself being pulled backwards as Nick shifted his weight to his lower half to serve as a sort of counterweight.

Soon enough, the jaguar was pulled back far enough that Judy was no longer holding the much larger mammal back.
Sensing the opportunity, Judy coiled her powerful legs in before lashing out with a kick, a loud crack sounding through the warehouse as her feet connected with the jaguar’s chin and most likely cracked his jaw.

Stunned, the jaguar reared backwards, clutching at his jaw, allowing Nick to pull out his pistol and fire a dart point blank into the jaguar’s neck, quickly sending him down for the count once more as the drugs took hold.

As Nick extricated himself from the jaguar’s once again unconscious body, the two of them breathing heavily from the exertion, they could hear heavy footsteps before Bogo appeared from around the corner, looking harried as he must have heard the sounds of the fighting.

“What the devil just happened?” he asked.

“We missed one. We took care of him, though, as you can see.” said Nick, gesturing towards the unconscious jaguar as he spoke through his heavy breathing.

“Well, at least we won’t have to deal with him anymore. Hopps…Wilde…check around the warehouse for any more stragglers. I don’t want this to happen again.”

The two of them saluted before doing what the chief asked, but it was quickly apparent that most of the gang members were part of the melee in the center of the warehouse.

Judy couldn’t help but point out the possibility of them hiding in the catwalks like they did during their original visit, but Nick quickly shot that down, noting that the police had a clear view of the steps up to said catwalk the whole time, so there was no way anyone would have been able to sneak by them unless they could fly or jump high like Judy did.

After a thorough search with no other gang members in sight, Nick and Judy agreed that they did in fact get everyone, so after trading nods, they returned to Chief Bogo to share their reports.

“Good.” grunted Chief Bogo. “The paddy wagons should be here within the next half an hour to haul everyone back to the city.”

“Yeah, I’m sure Cotton probably wouldn’t be able to fit all of them in his cells.” snarked Nick. “How many did we take down? Thirty? Forty?”

Bogo chose to ignore Nick’s tone in favor of studying some of the guns from one of the open boxes.

Picking an assault rifle out of the box, Bogo turned it over in his hooves a few times examining the weapon, which looked surprisingly brand new.

“I wonder what they were planning to do with all of these weapons.” commented Judy as she watched the chief study the gun.

“Most likely weapons dealing. The only question is how did they manage to get their paws on this many guns?”

“Maybe they might be involved with one of Zootopia’s crime families?”

“Possibly.” said Nick, catching the interest of the other two as they clearly were aware of his knowledge of the seedier side of the city.

“What do you mean by that, Wilde?”

Nick didn’t answer Bogo immediately, taking a few steps forwards before stopping with his back to the others, paw to the bottom of his muzzle as he tried to collect his thoughts.

“Well, Mr. Big is definitely not involved, I can tell you that. He may be a jerk who nearly iced us, but I’ve never seen hide nor hair of any weaponry while I worked with him.”

“Are you sure, Nick?” asked Judy. “He may have been hiding them away.”

“Definitely sure.” he said. “Mr. Big is not a secret keeper by any stretch of the imagination. Besides, Tundra Town isn’t exactly the best place to manufacture weaponry, being freezing and all.”

Both Judy and Chief Bogo could see Nick’s point, but this left many more crime families within the boundaries of Zootopia that could be involved. There might even multiple families working together, even with how crazy that sounded.

Unfortunately, as much as they wanted to commiserate about the possibilities, they still had some other business to take care of.

However, before Judy could mention the elephant in the room, Bogo held up a hoof, having quickly figured out what she was trying to say.

“I know, Hopps. Let’s deal with this matter first, and then we’ll have our talk once we get back to the station, alright?”

Judy fell silent, but nodded. Trading looks with Nick, the two of them joined Bogo as they headed outside to wait for the wagons to arrive, wondering just what the chief had in mind now that their big problem was out of the way.