THIS IS NOT THE END!
I just wanted to start off by letting you all know that.
Next, I would like to thank each and every one of you who has sent me such wonderful messages and left such wonderful reviews! I cannot even begin to properly express just how much it has warmed my heart to know how you enjoy this story and my writing.
Now, what I meant by that very first sentence in all caps there is that this is not the final chapter for my story here. This is the end of the first story arc though, which I am choosing to call the Breakthrough story arc. I shall indeed be continuing The Door.
Humans are still appearing, and they all have suffered through lives of abuse on the world that they originally came from. They are integrating with the greater mammalian society the world over. There's still the story of Eli as he adjusts to his new life with his new Mom and his new...Nick! (No Spoilers!) There's the stories of Baily, of Russell, of little Sarah, of Lily, and the newly introduced Sergeant Cruz, and the mammals around them! This is far too fertile ground for just one story to be allowed to grow and blossom! I want this garden to bloom!
So, please enjoy this the final chapter of the Breakthrough story arc, because I will be picking up with a new one!
And once more, thank you all for being so wonderful!
The Door (Breakthrough Epilogue)
"Eli, did you finish your homework first?" Judy asked as she looked her kit up and down. They were in the kitchen of their home and flanking either side of Eli were his two friends from school, Big Mike the mouse and Isaac the science-fiction loving coyote boy.
"Yes mom, I did it on the bus ride here." Eli said, still feeling a little nervous about calling the much smaller mammal mom, but becoming more and more used to it. The bunny, for her part, couldn't help the warm feeling in her heart every time her human kit called her that.
"Good job sweetie. Then you three go on and have fun." Judy said. Eli's earlier question had been whether or not he could go to Isaac's house to play some of his games. Since the coyote had an uncle who worked for a game development company, he got to test and play all kinds of different games months before they were ready to be put on shelves.
"Thanks mom!" Eli smiled as he bent down and hugged the happy bunny. There was then a sound of a car horn honking twice.
"That's my brother." Isaac said, his tail wagging in excitement. "Bye Mrs. Hopps, thanks for having me over and for letting Eli come over!" The coyote boy called excitedly over his shoulder, out of hearing range before Judy could explain that she wasn't married.
"Thanks for having us over Ms. Hopps." Mike said, having already been corrected once.
"Anytime Mike." Judy giggled, watching Eli offer his hand to the mouse boy, who scampered up it and his arm to perch on the human boy's left shoulder. Eli gave her one more wave before he disappeared out the front door, shutting it behind him. Judy's ears drooped a little, but perked right back up when an orange-red furred arm looped around her back to rest on her shoulder. Judy looked up into the comforting smile of Nick.
"They sure do grow on you really quickly, don't they?" Nick asked slyly.
"You're one to talk, Nick. What was it you called Eli a few months ago?" Judy said, giving Nick a playful punch.
"I don't have the foggiest idea of what you mean Carrots." Nick had just finished the sentence when he had Judy's phone shoved into his face, the video of him taking down and cuffing Edwin already playing, eight months having already passed since then. Judy smiled smugly as she turned up the volume on the part where Nick referred to Eli as his kit, and hit pause. She continued to look smug as she pulled away and rested both paws on her hips.
"You were saying?" She asked. Nick let out a sigh, but was unable to hide his grin.
"Okay, so maybe he's grown on me a bit as well." Nick said, before being surprised by Judy again, this time by the bunny reaching up to plant a kiss on his lips. Nick was caught off guard.
"I g-guess I'm still not used to that." Nick said, a faint blush just barely visible to the rabbit.
"Oh really? And we've only been dating for how many months now?" Judy asked while raising an eyebrow.
"Seven." Nick answered sheepishly.
"So, while Eli's out at his friend's house, I say we work on that a little." Judy said, lacing the digits of her left paw through Nick's right as she led him to the couch, having already decided on watching a romantic comedy with him the moment Eli had asked to go over to Isaac's.
"I don't know, dating a single mother with a kit in tow can be kind of a pawful. So I think my hesitation is understandable." Nick said, resuming his sly demeanor.
"I think you can handle yourself just fine." Judy said, stopping to give Nick another peck on the cheek before hopping on up to her seat, patting the part of the cushion right next to her, to which Nick happily complied, his smile growing wider a little when he felt her small frame snuggle up closer to him.
Emmett Otterton was smiling as he filmed with his phone, while standing next to his wife, as little Sarah was playing hide and seek not only with their other pups, but also with some mammals in her age group. Presently, she was trying not to giggle from where she was hiding behind a big blue slide while a little tiger boy, also trying not to giggle, was searching for her. In her arms was the little plush otter princess that she carried with her everywhere. She had been so excited to finally get the cast off, her arm having healed up perfectly. Emmett smiled as he recorded the video, catching Sarah's squeal of laughter and surprise at her new friend finding her so quickly.
"Hey there Ethan, didja have a nice nap?" Russell asked the little grey fox kit who wandered into his room, rubbing his little paws against his eyes, before he held his arms out, once again indicating that he desired for Russell to pick him up and set him down on his bed. Russell smiled and complied, finding the little kit scrambling into his lap to hug him endearing as always. For some reason, Ethan seemed to especially enjoy doing so whenever Russell was doing homework.
"Didja come to help me with my algebra?" Russell asked as the kit sat there and looked up at him, sucking on his thumb.
"Or maybe today's the day you finally decide to say something?" The kit, while old enough to talk, had yet to say a word as far as Russell, or anyone else in the Spitz residence knew. Russell smiled down and ruffled the headfur of the kit and making him giggle, adjusting him a little from where he was perched so as for the both of them to be more comfortable. Russell went back to working on one of his equations, using the F.O.I.L. method, when he heard a small voice whisper, "Wussewl."
Russell stopped and looked down at the kit, who smiled right back up at him, still sucking his thumb.
"Wussewl." He said again, wagging his bushy little tail. Feeling excited, the teen human stood up, with the kit in his arms, and carried him out his room and downstairs, where he saw Mr. and Mrs. Spitz, the husky couple whose foster home he and several others called home, chatting up a large polar bear in their living room.
"Oh, hi there Russell." Barry said, looking on curiously as the human boy descended with a kit in his arms.
"Hi Barry." Russel said to the polar bear, and then turned to the Spitz'. Before anyone could ask what was going on, Ethan pulled his thumb out of his mouth and yipped out, "Wussewl!", his tail wagging happily behind him.
In the meantime...
"So your cards are calling me a fool?" Chaz asked incredulously as he looked at Baily in the private room just for fortune telling at Eyevory Tusks, his arms folded and looking unhappy. The wolf had come along as a show of support for the human, as well as to check out the claims from his rhino partner on the force, Arnie, that ever since his aunt Phyllis had hired the human, business had really started to pick up. Just about everyone wanted this strange new mammal to read them their fortune.
Baily smiled at the off duty officer patiently. "Not in an insulting way. The Fool card is a great card to have. Its presence indicates that you, or someone in your life, is about to start something new. Like a new adventure. Of course, we gotta take a look at how it interacts with the other cards first before we try to discern just what it is that they are telling us." Baily said. Chaz just huffed a little, before relenting and letting the human to continue.
As Baily slowly turned over another card in the spread, that revealed to be the Ten of Cups, he checked his watch. He didn't want to rush his friend, but he did have a date with Sophia once his shift ended.
Notta DATE date, just two friends catching a new movie and a dinner. Baily thought to himself, the thought of spending time with the lioness making him feel some butterflies in his stomach.
"Alright, the Ten of Cups is a great card to have turn up Chaz."
In the Rainforest District...
"Oh Renato, your home is just wonderful!" Lily Blackthorne gushed as she looked around the inside of the tree apartment. The black jaguar wrung his paws nervously, having spent the entire day yesterday, and a good portion of today, tidying up just to make sure that everything looked nice and clean for Lily's arrival.
"Thank you Lily." He said, feeling a little less nervous.
"And this entire district is just so lovely!" Renato let out a quiet sigh at Lily's words.
"I know. It reminds me of where I grew up as a cub." Renato said as he led the human woman over to his couch, offering to get her a drink.
"Oh, and where was that? And a drink would be lovely."
Renato smiled, beginning to feel comfortable once more around Lily, as he made his way to the kitchen, returning a short moment later with a glass in each paw.
"A small town named Sao Andre." The jaguar explained, picking up a remote to start the movie. Lily smiled brightly when she saw the box for the DVD on the coffee table. Homicidal Mimes from Deep Space.
Back at the Hospital...
"So have you thought about what you're going to be doing once your leg heals up?" Benjamin Clawhauser asked the human in the bed. Sergeant Cruz's left leg had been broken when he had appeared, badly. But the doctors had thankfully reset it and been very optimistic about his recovery.
"Yeah. Not sure what I'm going to do though." Walter said, a little despondently. "My whole life, all I ever wanted to be was a cop. That's all I ever trained and studied for."
"Then maybe you could join the police academy!" The chubby cheetah said excitedly. There had yet to be a day that passed without Clawhauser coming to visit the human officer of the LAPD. As of now, it was definitely more along the lines of former officer.
"...The thought may have crossed my mind... I would imagine that there would be some significant differences than the one I went to back on my world. So... what would it entail?"
I think I'll leave out the part about fighting a rhino out for now. Benjamin thought to himself before he started to explain what he had gone through when he was training.
At that exact moment, in cliffside asylum...
"The subject named Eli," Edwin said aloud, still frustrated at not having been allowed his tape recorder, "the very first human to appear, is still the prime subject." The armadillo looked around at the padded walls, after the building had been remodeled after its initial closing.
"This temporary setback is proving to be quite the difficult puzzle to solve. But I cannot let the ignorant masses deny a mammal of science from ascertaining every shred from the creature by any means necessary. I will extract from him all that I need. But first... I must find myself a way to my freedom."
And there you have it ladies and gentlemammals! The final part of this story arc! Once again, I would like to reassure you that I am continuing the story. The next one in line is going to be titled The Keyhole, which was thought up by my friend AeroQC! Be sure to check out their stories as well. Furthermore, I held back on posting this chapter until I had finished the first one of The Keyhole and was ready to upload them both simultaneously! I hope that you enjoy it as well! And, Happy Holidays everybody!