Quick little announcement. As you might have guessed, there's a new music suggestion to go with this latest chapter update of ours! Gotta love these, eh?
It specifically goes with the action scene involving Judy. Here it is: Cavern - Dragon Ball FighterZ Music Extended
Personally, I think it conveys the tense and impactful atmosphere of said scene quite well, which is why I thought I'd drop it here for suggestion, for those who are interested. Feel free to check it out, if you'd like. It's pretty good, and as I said, fits well with the corresponding action scene involving Judy Hopps.
That's pretty much it for pre-chapter announcements. I hope you enjoy the chapter! Without any further ado, let's jump right on into this, shall we?
"It is better to stand and fight, than run and die tired." - Viking Proverb
6:10 A.M ; The Next Day
Nick hadn't felt this sore since his last near-death encounter.
When he hauled himself out of bed, he nearly fell right back in it just trying to stand up. His back was stiff, muscles rigid, and joints aching like freshly punctured pincushions. Clasping a single paw to his forehead, the fox massaged his temples as the details of yesterday's training filled his mind: He remembered his recent failure on the obstacle course, and how painful it was afterwards. As if the workout itself wasn't enough, belly-flopping into a pool of ice-water definitely put the cherry on top of the proverbial cake.
The fox recalled how the class had moved on to a more sit-down sort of lesson after everyone was finished trying out the obstacle course. The recruits had all been piled up into the academy's lecture hall and subjected to a near endless supply of Power-Points on behalf of Major Friedkin. It was all very basic police stuff, but Nick was just happy that he was given the chance to rest after his catastrophic experience from earlier. The class spent the rest of the day in the auditorium, until they were all finally dismissed.
From there, Nick and Judy had retreated to their room for sleep, and the rest was history.
Now, as he stretched out the soreness of his body, and rubbed out the residual sleepiness from his eyes, Nick couldn't help but notice that Judy wasn't around. Not exactly surprising, as she typically woke up a good half-hour before he did, even on good days. There was nothing to stop that rabbit from a day of productivity. Nick admired that.
Today, though, it seemed that she must've been up even earlier than normal.
With a twitch of his ears, the fox detected Judy's presence in the nearby bathroom. Judging from the sound of running water, he reasoned that she must've been washing or paws, or something of that sort. Nodding in approval, Nick swiftly finished up his morning stretches before promptly dressing himself up in a standard ZPD uniform. A few minutes later, his partner exited the washroom. The fox eyed her up and down, taking note of her clean fur and the slight scent of shampoo in the air. Her body was wrapped up in a bundle of white towels, and as the door to the bathroom opened, a whiff of hot steam circled through the crack in the door before dissipating in the cooler outside air.
"Morning, Fluff-Butt." Nick greeted her with a half-lidded grin. "What time do we gotta fall in to the mess hall for roll-call, exactly?"
"Ten minutes from now." She replied in a shaky tone. Nick noticed something a bit strange to her voice. She sounded almost... Concerned.
"Everything alright with you?" The fox asked without hesitation.
Judy bit her lip, and Nick's eyes narrowed in thought. Something was definitely wrong.
"Hey now, you can tell me." Nick added. "I'm all ears."
The bunny sighed. "I'm sorry... It's just that I got a call from the Chief this morning. He dropped some... Unsettling news." She claimed.
"Really now? Do tell. What'd he say?"
Judy lifted her head and locked eyes with Nick. Her violacious eyes shined like mirrors, and with her voice slightly trembling, she spoke out;
"Chief Bogo thinks that there might be some sort of spy in the academy, likely sent by Al Catpone, or some equally disgusting low-life to cause some trouble."
Nick blinked; Letting that comment hang in the air for a few seconds. Then he cracked a grin.
"Ah, you almost got me there, Whiskers!" He cackled. "You've never been that good of a prankster, though, have you?"
The fox was about to further tease her, but when he caught sight of the serious expression on his partner's face, his smile promptly melted away.
"Y-You're actually serious?" He stuttered. "No way. You're joking... Right?"
Judy simply shook her head from side to side.
"Bogo called me just this morning, and warned us to be on guard." She stated calmly. "He said that he'd already notified Major Friedkin."
Nick blinked once again before leaning back and sitting on the bedside.
"What does this mean for us? How does someone even sneak in like that?"
"I don't know." Judy said quickly. "We should go and meet up with Friedkin. She probably knows more about it than we do."
The fox nodded. "Alright. Go and get dressed, then we'll head to the cafeteria and get some grub before checking in with Friedkin."
Judy allowed herself a slight smile. "I hope you don't intend on looking for any actual grubs for breakfast."
Nick smiled back. "We'll see."
At that, Judy swiftly dressed herself in her usual police attire: Skin-tight bodysuit complete with lightweight chest armor, and one shining ZPD badge pinned on her heart. Truly a timeless outfit. Once she was fully prepared to embark, she and Nick promptly set out to find the mess hall. They took a few wrong turns trying to get there, due to the recent revamped construction of several new buildings that only made the complex more confusing, but soon, the two tiny officers arrived at the site of their next meal.
The cafeteria was brimming with dozens of different mammals. All of the recruits, instructors, and caretakers at the ZPA were enjoying themselves a warm breakfast around a multitude of benches and tables spread throughout the large room. Nick and Judy spotted Major Friedkin on the far side of the dining space, intentfully watching over the commotion while quietly munching on a bright-yellow banana. They approached her without hesitation; Weaving around packs of chowing mammals before reaching her side.
She didn't acknowledge their presence for nearly an entire minute. Nick decided to break the ice with the first comment;
"So, did you happen to hear anything about the-"
"Yes, I heard." The polar bear interrupted, effectively cutting the fox's question short. "Chief Bogo called in no more than half an hour ago. He explained everything."
"What do we do?" Judy asked. "Do we tell the recruits?"
Friedkin shook her head irritably and muttered;
"No. Not yet. I'll put some pressure on them, but since we don't know who the spy is yet, we have to play it cool, and continue work as normal. Those were Bogo's orders."
"Sounds about right." Nick interjected.
"We don't want to try anything too hasty, and unintentionally let the spy know that we're on to them." The major continued.
"Okay. We'll play it cool, then." Judy said, to which Friedkin nodded in agreement.
"Exactly. For now, just be careful, and be on the lookout for any suspiscious activity. Those are my orders. Got it?"
Both Nick and Judy nodded their heads in unison.
The former pursed his lips in distaste. Staring out at the crowd of mammals before him, he could only wonder which one of them was the spy. There were dozens, and if Nick knew anything about being sneaky, then it would likely be some time before the scout showed their hand. In the meantime, all that the fox could do was watch and wait. He hated the idea of staying quiet, but if it meant a higher chance of catching the perp before anything bad could happen, then he was all for it. Some things spoke for themselves.
For the next twenty minutes, the cafeteria was bustling with noise and gluttony, and when the time finally came for the day's first lesson to start, Friedkin called out;
"Alright, cadets! Hope you enjoyed your breakfast, because half of you are gonna lose it after this next lesson. Line up and follow me to the gym, pronto!"
Each of the tables cleared out quickly after that. The recruits fell in line and followed behind Friedkin as she led them off and out of the cafeteria, with Nick and Judy both in pursuit as well. As all of the mammals promptly spilled out of the mess hall, Nick momentarily locked eyes with a short and stout common mole, on his way out. The fox then pointed at his eyes with two fingers before jabbing them towards the mole in an I see you gesture. The mole just blinked, clearly bewildered, before hurrying out of the room.
Nick allowed himself a laugh. If he was going to be on the lookout for a potential spy, he figured that he might as well have some fun with it.
Still smiling, he followed Judy onward down the hallway, all the while wondering what would be in store for them today.
Judy was itching for a fight.
Her morning had been stressful enough when Bogo had called in claiming that there was some sort of conniving spy hidden and scheming at the ZPD's training academy. As if teaching a large batch of fresh recruits wasn't enough of a handful already, to think that one of them was a secret criminal only made things that much more difficult for her.
The rabbit needed an outlet to vent her frustrations, and burn off her energy. She was pleased when she realized that Friedkin was taking the class to the gym for the coming morning: It was just what she needed. Judy was extra pleased when she found out that the class would specifically be working on hand-to-hand combat. That's more like it!
Major Friedkin led the pack of mammals to the academy's gym, which was situated on the far side of the building. It was quite a high-quality one, at that; With dozens of exercise machines of varying sizes for different species, multiple fighting stages, full-body mirrors, and even a designated resting area for exhausted gym-goers to unwind.
Judy smiled to herself, knowing that this very same room was where she had taken down a fully-grown rhino all by herself during her own run at the academy, so long ago. She even spotted the exact boxing ring where that taxing fight had taken place, and wondered if it still had the imprint of an unconscious rhino on the floor of the platform.
The booming voice of Major Friedkin severed her train of thought, and she promptly zoned in on the polar-bear's latest speech;
"Now, before we get into the basics, I wanna show you new-bloods somethin' neat: A demonstrative match between two combatants with some actual experience!"
With that statement, the crowd shuffled around with interest. Being able to watch a full-on brawl between season fighters definitely seemed to stoke their excitement.
Friedkin continued her announcement before the recruits could start engaging on conversations;
"Just like the obstacle course from yesterday, I figured that we could have our dear officer Hopps occupy one side of the ring. You up for it, Fuzzy-Bunny?"
The fuzzy-bunny simply gave a proud smile.
"I thought you'd never ask." She stated.
Within minutes, Judy was set to fight. She'd ditched her body armor in favor of softer padding for her head, and a pair of red boxing gloves for her fists. Nick didn't even try to stop her: He just stood there grinning, wondering to himself which poor fool would be brave enough to challenge her. Friedkin singled out a few choice mammals that were roughly Judy's height, with the smallest being the mole from earlier (Who looked about as eager to fight as you'd expect), and the largest being a male timber wolf; The only one in the entire class. The rest of the recruits gathered around the boxing ring with eager intent, though a few looked disappointed that they were too large or small to fight.
They'll get their turns soon, Judy thought to herself. Now, who's gonna be my opponent?
Major Friedkin sized up the recruits, and when it looked like she was about to pick a fat raccoon, another recruit stepped out of line and offered to accept the challenge.
"I'll give it a go." A gruff voice claimed.
Judy turned towards the source, and found herself staring down from the stage at the male timber wolf that Friedkin had selected from earlier. The bunny sized him up.
She recognized him from yesterday. Harlan O'Conall, Major Friedkin had called him. She explicitly mentioned something about him being a pragmatic combatant, at the time.
The wolf probably had triple that of Judy's total muscle mass. His muzzle was rigid and angular, and his eyes seemed as cold as marbled stone, yet he strode with much confidence, and readiness. Clearly, he felt more than obliged to try his own against Judy. He certainly looked like a fighter: A lean, muscular body coated in standard ZPD gym clothes stepped forward and towards the major. Friedkin smiled, and without a word, outfitted the wolf with a bundle of boxing gloves, arm-wraps, and headgear.
"Is this stuff really necessary?" He complained.
The polar-bear chuckled. "Against her - You'll need it." She stated before pacing off and jumping off of the fighting stage, leaving Judy and Harlan facing eachother.
Some of the other recruits stifled humorous chuckles and snide whispers. Clearly, they never could have imagined that a bunny would have the gall to stand up to a fully grown wolf. Unfortunately for them and their egos, however, they also never could have imagined just how surprisingly skillful of a fighter Judy really was. The rabbit officer did notice that despite the consistent snickering of the other recruits, her soon-to-be opponent was not laughing or judging her at all. He still wore that same rigid expression.
It seemed that Harlan was the only one - alongside Nick and Friedkin - that was taking her seriously.
Judy wasn't sure whether or not that was a good thing or a bad thing.
All she knew was that if this wolf really was taking her seriously, then her fight with him would be all the more difficult for her: Lackadaisical opponents had weaknesses to exploit. Serious ones did not. And judging from the hard expression on his muzzle, and the readied stance that his muscular body used, Harlan was far from lackadaisical.
Judy wasn't sure how extensive her opponent's combat skills were, but she had a gut-feeling that this fight would be a tough one, even for her.
She promptly assumed a readied fighting stance: Fists raised, legs sprung, and eyes firmly locked on her intended target. Major Friedkin rang the bell, and the match began.
Wasting no time whatsoever, Judy rushed forward and lunged out with one of her paws. The attack wasn't designed to do much other than startle her foe, but it worked.
"Ha!" She shouted out when her punch made contact.
The wolf let out a pained mixture between a gag and a growl as her fist sank into his abdomen. Judy spared a brief glance up, momentarily locking eyes with her much larger opponent. His teeth were clenched and his expression was that of frustration: It was clear that he'd never faced a foe quite as agile nor surprisingly strong as a rabbit before.
Grinning to herself as the onlooker's gasps of awe filled her ears, Judy swiftly stepped back; Dodging one of Harlan's swings all the while. The momentum from his missed downward-hook and the lingering disorientation from getting hit right in the stomach just mere moments earlier caused him to stumble slightly, but he quickly recomposed himself, bringing his fists up to the level of his muzzle, and growling beneath his breath. Although the sight was admittedly intimidating, Judy didn't allow herself to be afraid.
"Come on O'Conall," She verbally beckoned him. "Show me what you got."
Hardening his expression, the wolf then stepped forward heavily, but Judy saw his coming move from a mile away, and so, prepared herself to dodge another punch from him. Harlan's feet shuffled forward quickly, closing the distance between the two fighters until the rabbit herself was in range of attack. Due to the difference in height, Harlan had to slightly lean down in an effort to aim his punches, and that gave Judy an extra moment to prepare. As the wolf's fist sailed towards her body, she swiftly sidestepped, dodging his first attack with ease. Then, she whirled around and positioned her back against his chest, grabbing his arm in an effort to throw him forward using the weight and momentum of his previous punch. He may have been a lot bigger than her, but under the right circumstances, Judy would have more than enough strength to flip him.
Unfortunately for her, Harlan must have seen through her strategy. Just as she was about to pull on his arm while simultaneously pushing up with her powerful legs so as to flip him, the wolf planted one of his feet forward, readjusting his stance and overall body weight, ultimately making it impossible for the rabbit to throw him from her current position. As her opponent's leg stepped forward and stomped beside her, Judy's sensitive ears heard him roar out loud in triumph milliseconds before one of his fists plowed into the left side of her headgear at a nearly upward angle, causing her whole entire body to be sent flying towards the bungee cords that lined the fighting ring's perimeter.
Around her, the crowd both gasped in shock and cheered in amazement at the same time. As her body collided with the ropes, she was sent stumbling back into the interior of the ring. Judy dropped to her knees and painfully coughed. She had taken a direct jab to the left side of her head. It had been both well-placed and powerful enough to cause her to go airborne for a few moments back there. Now, though, her head lolled slightly, and throbbed with aching pain. Her eyes rattled and her vision was still blurry.
Judy couldn't remember the last time that she had taken a hit that bad. Although she knew what she was getting in to when she had challenged her opponent earlier, she wasn't expecting his punches to be so darn strong. It was clear that he had had a whole lot of practice. This would be a great challenge, much like her old fights with Ivar Obdenberg and Lucy Sang, but on a completely different level: The arena that she had fought the former in may not have had any ropes to aid in her duel, but her massive adversary, Ivar, was way too confident for his own good, and because of that, Judy had managed to beat him by tricking him into impaling his own tusks into the floorboards, ultimately immobilizing him. Her tussle with Lucy, on the other hand, was extra difficult due to the hazardous battleground of that rotting warehouse, and the fact that her opponent was actually trying to kill her, though, thankfully, she had managed to chase that nasty little bat off in the end. At least now, her opponent didn't have wings.
Harlan, like Ivar, was a seasoned fighter, but unlike Ivar, didn't have the arrogance that Judy could use to her advantage. She couldn't win this fight through trickery on its own. Likewise, Harlan definitely wasn't trying to kill her, as Lucy had, but his strength and skill made him a dangerous opponent that had to be beaten using creative tactics.
Just what would Judy come up with to save her skin this time? She didn't know yet, but had no intention on losing, and since her foe wasn't advancing, she began to think.
Briefly considering the thought of using the cords around the ring like she had against officer McHorn all those years ago, Judy ultimately decided against it; She likely wouldn't need the extra strength and momentum to take down an opponent the size of a wolf. Rhinos were in a whole different class. Besides, the bunny wanted the challenge of taking down Harlan with her own strength and skill, rather than through pure trickery and other advantageous methods. It wouldn't be easy, but it would be fair.
That was all that she needed, in the end.
Meanwhile, from across the ring, Harlan howled up towards the ceiling; His bellow soon trailed off into a grunting slew of hard, dry chuckles. He then stated aloud simply;
"Talk is cheap."
The bunny felt herself warm up a little bit in a mixture between embarrassment and minor frustration. Not only had she taken a pretty tough hit, but to quite literally add insult to injury, Harlan was now criticizing her previous statement: He had most definitely shown her what he was capable of. But now it was time for her to return the favor.
Rising up to her full height, Judy lolled her head to the left, spawning an audible cracking noise that almost made her cringe, but she ultimately swallowed her own unease, if only to amp up the intimidation. As the muscles in her neck stretched, she felt some leftover stiffness from the force of her opponent's previous punch prickling at her nerves. Refusing to let any of the discomfort get to her, the bunny then brought her wrapped-up fists to her eye-level, and stared down Harlan with the intent of finishing the match.
"Still got some fight in you, huh?" Harlan berated her. "We'll see how long you can last."
Some more shouts and mumbling sprang up from the crowd, though neither of the two fighters took their eyes off of one another for a single moment. Tension filled the air as the noise quickly died down, only to be replaced with steely pressure. Harlan then stepped forward, and instinctively, Judy stepped back in apprehension. Snickers ensued.
Her cheeks felt irritatingly warm. She wasn't about to let herself be intimidated like this! Not today!
At that, the rabbit lurched forward and closed the distance between herself and her opponent by a few short feet. She didn't want to get too close, and needed to think up a decent strategy to win the fight, yet she wasn't about to let herself get cornered and oppressed by her foe, either. For a short time, she kept herself bouncing on her toes.
All the while, her mind raced to develop a reasonable plan of approach.
Judy considered jumping up and trying for a whack at Harlan's muzzle, but she ultimately decided against it when she pondered over a slight problem with that tactic: Her lupine opponent was nearly twice her height! Similarly to Judy's fight with Ivar the walrus, she couldn't rely on effectively aiming for his head or jaw: Instead, she would have to make do with body-shots and other more creative methods to take down her opponent. Weighing her options, the bunny figured that a swarming flurry of rapid punches would work best to beat the wolf. Judy had speed and agility as an advantage, while Harlan had strength and endurance. If she could overwhelm him with a bunch of small, yet quick and disorienting punches, she could chip away at his defense until she found an opportunity to use her more powerful legs to strike, and hopefully knock him over.
Judy doubted that Harlan would make it so easy, but for the moment, she didn't see any better options. The rabbit promptly nodded her head: She knew what she had to do.
All of those thoughts and strategies registered in Judy's mind in less than a few seconds. With her plan formulated, she zoned in and intently focused on her opponent, all the while trying to ignore the rambunctious fanfare of cheering spectators from just outside the boxing ring. Suddenly and without any warning, Judy then rushed forward and towards her larger foe, who snarled in distaste as the bunny rapidly closed the distance. Just as Judy was about to be in range of Harlan's arms, she swiftly sidestepped, and with her powerful leg muscles, proceeded to push herself forward and insert herself directly into Harlan's sphere of influence. With an energized shout, the rabbit threw out a solid punch into a small patch of muscle just below the left side of Harlan's rib-cage. The impact made a satisfying thwack sound as Judy's fist collided with the wolf's body.
The surrounding crowd jeered loudly in excitement, though none could have guessed that Judy's latest bout of combat progress was about to be unsuspectingly short-lived.
As soon as the rabbit officer withdrew her arm in order to administer another punch, her wolfish adversary, seemingly unfazed by her previous attack, stepped back and right out of her fist's striking range. At first, Judy was rather hopeful, as she suspected that Harlan was about to go on the defensive: His arms were tucked tight to his torso, and wouldn't be able to hit her. The majority of his body weight was on his back leg. Everything about his posture screamed defense. Judy smiled wide: She had him. This was it.
Judy shifted forward, and prepared to engage. Just as her toes inched outwards, Harlan's posture suddenly changed: His front leg shifted direction, and his body twisted along with it. His leg cut through the air like a hammer, and plowed directly into Judy's abdomen. The bunny sputtered an audible groan of pain as she was kicked aside and into the ropes that surrounded the boxing ring. The cords lurched back before their elasticity caused them to tighten once more and drop Judy to the surface of the stage.
"Carrots!" Nick called out, though the rabbit in question barely heard him.
She hadn't been expecting a kick like that. Her stomach felt like it was trying to digest a puddle of lava: A hot throbbing sensation built up in her sternum. She had to resist the urge to throw up, and as she tried to rise, she promptly fell back down to her knees. Fighting in real life definitely wasn't like it was in the movies. Here, every little hit or miss could make or break a match, respectively. Victory wasn't assured. Pain was a given. There was nothing Judy could do except squat there and try to recompose herself.
A surprise shift in Harlan's stance had definitely caught her off guard. She wasn't exactly sure what that move that Harlan had used on her was - some form of advanced street fighting, or perhaps even martial arts - but it didn't matter to her. In the end, all she needed to know was that she had been kicked. Hard. Now, she needed to rethink.
From across the ring, the wolf allowed himself a smug smile. "How's that?" He boasted gruffly.
Judy felt a shot of adrenaline surge through her body. If she wanted to win this thing, she's have to take down her opponent as quick as possible. She couldn't afford to sit here and wallow in her pain, especially if it meant giving Harlan the opportunity to finish her off. No, she wouldn't allow it. Not on her watch! The rabbit huffed as she forced herself to stand up and stare down her opponent. Time was of the essence: If Judy didn't make use of her sudden burst of energy, than nothing could save her from defeat.
Rushing forward, the bunny officer closed in on her foe in lightning-speed. She yelled as the bottom of her foot slammed into Harlan's stomach. The wolf gagged aloud and stumbled back, still reeling from the pain. But Judy wasn't done yet. Lunging out once more, she closed the distance yet again and forced herself into Harlan's comfort zone.
That got his attention.
Recovering as quickly as he could, the wolf stepped out to meet the rabbit head on. He tried for a direct jab to the side of the head, but Judy was too quick for that. He swung and missed, swung and missed again and again, each time allowing Judy to land another hit in his stomach. Finally, the wolf's defense broke, and Judy struck out.
For nearly a dozen more seconds, Judy landed blow after blow on Harlan's torso. Her punches were so fast that he barely had time to react from one before another sailed right in and connected with his body. Judy was getting tired fast, yet she could tell that her strategy was working: Her attacks had completely overwhelmed her adversary.
She knew she had to finish this quick, and knock him on his back before he could recover. As much as the pain was getting to him, if Judy took even a moment to rest, then her advantage would be lost. Recognizing what needed to be done, the bunny jumped up and into the air and plowed both of her legs into the wolf's diaphragm. Phlegm flew from his maw as he wretched in pain before stumbling back. Judy touched down nimbly on her two feet, ultimately sparing herself the humiliation of landing hard on her side.
Judy thanked her lucky stars that she was so agile.
Her attention reset onto her contender. She watched Harlan cough. Before he could recover, Judy rushed around to the behind of him, and prepared to deliver the final strike.
The rabbit landed a firm blow in the spot just behind Harlan's knee. The wolf grunted as he toppled backwards and landed hard on the floor of the boxing ring. The back of his head bonked lightly on the floor, and he proceeded to let out a pained gurgle of discomfort. He tried to lean up, but ultimately sank back down and let out a defeated sigh. As soon as his muscular arms went limp, and his usually stoic expression slacked, the onlookers knew that the match was over. Harlan was defeated, and Judy stood victorious.
All around her, the crowd filled the air with a mixture of gasps, groans, and cheering. Judy beamed with excitement, and quickly singled out her husband Nick amongst the crowd. He smiled right back, and gave her a double thumbs-up of approval. The bunny raised one of her arms into the air in a gesture of victory as Friedkin's voice blurted;
"We have a winner, folks! Officer Fuzzy-Bunny takes home the gold!"
Judy felt relieved that the fight was finally over. It had definitely been one of her hardest matches in a long time, and she recognized better than anyone that credit was due to the fighter who had put up such a challenging match. Without hesitating, Judy went over to Harlan, who was still lying motionless and weak on the floor of the boxing ring.
"That was an incredible match." She claimed. "We should go at it again sometime!"
Extending a paw down toward her defeated opponent, Judy smiled warmly as she took notice of the wolf's reaction.
A minuscule grin tugged at the edge of Harlan's mouth. He seemed to be both humbled and satisfied at the same time. He then reached up with one of his arms, and firmly clasped Judy's grip within his own. The bunny helped him to his feet, and although he staggered and stumbled a bit, he managed to hold himself upright without any trouble.
"You did a great job, Harlan." Judy added. "I'm sorry if you're hurting-"
The wolf chuckled in a good-natured manner. "Don't apologize, ma'am... I knew what I was getting into." He stated.
Judy couldn't help but smile. He'd taken a pretty stark fall from grace, back there, yet here he was taking it like a champ. The bunny respected that. She had a feeling that this wolf would make an excellent sparring partner and demonstrator for future hand-to-hand combat lessons here at the academy. She could only wonder what was to come.
All she knew was that whatever it was, it would be nothing but fun.
Meanwhile, Nick watched proudly as Judy helped her opponent down from the fighting stage before jumping down herself. Major Friedkin proceeded to give a short speech to the recruits about the dangers of fighting in hand-to-hand combat, especially without a weapon for backup, though the fox barely paid attention. He was too busy admiring the generosity of his wife, and secretly contemplating just how she managed to pack so much raw power into her punches and kicks, despite having such a tiny little body.
Truly; An enigma, if there ever was one.
Nice to get a new update after so long, eh? This was less of a plot-advancing chapter, but I do hope that you enjoyed what it had to offer nonetheless.
I really wanted to give Judy another real challenge in this chapter. So, feel free to tell me whatcha thought of the action scene!
Hope that you enjoyed this brand new chapter! It was fun for me to cook up, and I can promise you that the next one will be here before you know it! In the mean time, do feel free to drop a nice review detailing your thoughts on this particular update of ours. I always enjoy those. Also, if you haven't already, feel free to favorite and/or follow this story of ours! I always appreciate new readers and reviewers, alike. Regardless, I thank you all for sticking with me!
Last up for announcements, I'd just like to make mention of the fact that there's some new fan-art that can be viewed on my tumblr and DA accounts, including a very detailed piece that depicts the Deciduous-District! We haven't had one of those in a while, have we? Mostly just been characters and scenes, not that I'm complaining. So yeah, if you wanna check out all of the latest fan-art contributions for this story of ours, you can find them all there.
Likewise, if any of you out there are considering making a contribution to the growing gallery yourself, all that you have to do is message me beforehand.
Anyways, I'm out of things to say for now, it looks like. Again, thanks for reading this latest update of ours, and I hope you all will stay tuned for the next!
'Till next time...
PS: Sorry for taking so long with this chapter. My lack of motivation has been killing me. Thankfully, I think I've gotten back in the groove. Alongside that, I assure you, the next chapter (97) is already nearly 80% complete, I'd say, so you lot will probably get it within no more than a week. It's a bit shorter than this one, and takes a brief detour away from the plot at the ZPA, but it's got plenty of detail and other important stuff that you won't want to miss out on.
It'll be here quicker than you know it. Stay tuned!