Chapter 1: The New Capitan
"Capitan! My office, now!"
The Capitan scurried up the steps of the adobe fort, and even with the steps being made for much larger mammals, she still took them two at a time.
An impressive feat for a rabbit like herself.
Finally reaching the Commandante's door, she rapped smartly against the wood, pulling her hat from her head and placing it under her arm.
"Come in," the Commandante grunted from inside. The Capitan pushed open the door, walking into the office, her eyes taking a moment to adjust from the glaring sunlight outside. Shutting the door behind her, she walked up to the massive desk, with the even more enormous mammal behind it.
"Capitan Hopps, glad to see you could make it today."
The rabbit winced inwardly, but tried not to let it show on the outside. She wanted to retort that the only reason as to her prior tardiness was due to her fellow officers stealing her uniform and hanging it from the flagpole, but Commandante Bogo was not one to accept excuses, even if they weren't one.
"Thank you sir," she replied, saluting crisply. Bogo snorted, not even bothering to raise his own hoof in return. Instead of lowering her own paw, she kept up the salute, hoping he would return the gesture this time.
Nearly a minute passed with her paw raised as he glared at her.
"Are you finished yet, Hopps."
She wilted inside, her arm falling to her side.
"Ye...yes Commandante," she replied, her gaze never lowering from his, though she felt her nerve starting to fracture from his glare.
"Do you know why I called you in here, Hopps?" The buffalo asked. Judy acknowledged how he hadn't even used her title when speaking with her. It was just another way he reminded her that he didn't want her under his command.
"No, Commandante," she replied.
Bogo snorted in annoyance, "You've heard of the desperado known only as, The Fox, yes?"
Of course I have...Judy replied mentally. Anyone in the entire province of Califurnia knew of that wanted criminal who held a hold of terror over the poor people of the burgeoning village of Zootopia. Instead of the reply she wanted to go with, returning the Commandante's disrespect with her own, she simply resolved herself to nodded.
"I have, Commandante."
"Good, then you've heard of what happened to Capitan Doug and Corporal Jesse and Walter, correct?"
Again, a cheeky reply bit at the tip of her tongue, yet she held it in. She felt sorry for the three rams, as they had only been in command of Zootopia for three months before they were found sheared and tied to a cactus, a large 'F' slashed into a tree nearby.
She gave another nod.
"Excellent," Bogo grinned, placing a pair of spectacles on as he picked a specific case of paper on his desk. "As it seems Zootopia is in need of a new Capitan, and as none of my other, actual, officers seem to want to take the duty station..."
"I'll take it, Commandante," the rabbit nearly shouted. Grimacing as her ears fell behind her head, she swallowed nervously. "I mean, if you think I am able to be in charge of..."
"No I don't think you're capable of it, Hopps," Bogo interrupted. Again his words cut into her heart better than any sharpened steel could. "However, seeing as I have no other option, other to send a bunny to do the job," Bogo leaned across his desk, glaring down at the rabbit, "then looks like you have your first position. Don't mess it up."
He added the last few words slowly, and with great enunciation to each word. With her heart beating rapidly inside her chest, and her drive to show her Commandante that she could, do the job he was asking of her, she nodded, giving the water buffalo a crisp salute.
"I won't let you down, Commandante!"
"Don't care if you do, as I expect you to fail anyways," he snorted, leaning back into his chair. "I expect you to be there in three days."
Hopps was shocked. "Three days sir? But it is a five day journey to Zootopia from here!"
Bogo laughed, he actually laughed. "Then you betting get hopping along, eh, rabbit? Dismissed."
Capitan Hopps lowered her salute and walked swiftly towards the door, exiting the Commandante's office quickly.
After that, it was an all out sprint to gather her belongings and race to her first assignment.
Hopefully I can get at least a small cart to help me carry my belongings...she thought, racing to her quarters. She groaned when she reached them, finding her belongings scattered across the room.
"At least I have a purpose now," she stated to herself, ignore the nearby snickers of her fellow Capitans and Corporals.
"Not for long Rabbit," a nearby moose, Corporal Alce, laughed. "I bet you won't even last a week down there."
Hopps just glared at the moose, causing his laugh to halt and for him to quickly turn and walk down the hall. Sighing, she walked into her room and grabbed her rucksack, beginning to throw her spare uniforms and gear into it with reckless abandon.
Somehow, she'd have to make the five day journey in just three days.
"Looks like no rest for the weary," she growled as she picked up a picture of her family. She smiled, tenderly placing the picture into the pocket of her uniform, before shoving the rest of her gear into the bag and bolting out the door.
"Hail to the fox, wherever he be. May he live long, and merrily."
The children giggled, singing the song as they ran through the streets, with two of the kids dueling each other with wooden swords. One, an otter, wore a black mask across his face, with slits for his eyes as he battled a young cheetah in a blue hat and red sash. As the song ended, the otter pup 'vanquished' his enemy to the cheer of his friends.
The nearby adults laughed at the children as they played. It was a common thing to see the children singing the praises of The Fox, especially after how he had helped deliver them from under the oppressive hooves of Capitan Doug and his ilk.
It had taken a while, but children and adults were actually smiling again.
"Interesting performance, kits."
The voice brought the children out of their games, as they all turned to stare at the mammal walking towards them, a grey rabbit in a soldier's uniform. From the looks of it, she appeared wearied, tired, and her uniform was coated in dirt. Overall, the only thing that gave her away as a soldier, and a Capitan at that, was with the way she still held herself, back straight, shoulders back, and a steely gaze matching the feeling she was giving off to those around her. Even with the rucksack tossed over her back, she displayed an air of confidence to those around her.
"May I see that sword?" Capitan Hopps stated, her red sash billowing in the light breeze.
The comment was focused on the otter pup, who pulled up his mask to see the mammal speaking better. He nodded, passing along his wooden toy with a smile. "Are you the new Capitan?" he asked.
Hopps nodded, feeling a little bit of pride inside that the young pup would recognize her rank. "That I am."
"Are you here to capture, The Fox?" another kit asked.
"Well, I hope you fail," a nearby lamb stated.
Inside, her heart froze, while on the outside, her paws twisted tighter around the wooden sword in her paw.
I'm not going to fail...
"Interesting..." Was all she could say, as she handled the toy sword, turning it over in her paws. The look of interest suddenly changed to a frown, as she aptly cracked the wooden toy in half over her knee. The children gasped, and the otter pup quivered in fear as the rabbit hunched over to stare into his now semi-masked eyes. A nearby adult, most likely the boy's father, darted towards him, but stopped as the rabbit glared at him. The grown otter gulped, then stood still, hanging his head as the bunny went back to staring at the pup dressed as the one she was sent to capture.
"You may all like whoever The Fox, is," she said with a growl, eyeing the rest of the children, "but I've been sent all the way from San Furcisco to find, and capture this outlaw. And that is exactly what I'm going to do."
Her attention turned to the cheetah cub still laying on his back, propped up by his elbows. She offered him her paw. Taking it, she hefted him up, dusting off his shoulders before turning to the crowd that had assembled. Noticing the congregating mammals, as well as spying a nearby crate, she hopped onto the box, allowing all those assembled to see her.
"Here me this," the rabbit yelled, grabbing the attention of each and every mammal in the vicinity. "My name is El Capitan Judy Hopps, and anyone caught supporting, or aiding the villain known simply as, The Fox, will be put in a cell until the time I decide they have repented of their treason. This goes for all mammals, of any age."
A light gasp went up as Capitan Hopps once again stared down at the kits who had so merrily been playing just a few minutes before. The otter pup was whimpering as several of the ones singing the song, including a young rabbit and fox holding each other, were looking at her with fear in their eyes.
"I do not care about what you may feel towards this bandit, but, as a soldier of Governor Lionheart, I will arrest him, and anyone who dares to support him."
She gazed over the assembled mammals, watching them and their looks of fear and dread etched into their faces. In all their eyes, she could see that none of them viewed whoever this, The Fox, mammal was as a villain.
They only viewed her as one.
Hopping off the crate, and avoiding any more eye contact with the villagers, she marched out of the square, chin held high, but ears hanging low as she dropped the splintered remains of a toy sword in the middle of the square, a silent reminder to all, that a new Capitan was in town. She paused, breathing in deeply several times, her head slipping to look at the ground, as she worked at holding in her conflicted emotions within.
But she had a job to do. Her first assignment, and she was going to prove to Commandante Bogo that she could do the job of a Capitan, just as well as any other mammal.
Even better than anyone else...she added quickly.
With a new kick in her step, she raised her head again, headed for the nearby barracks. The two soldiers guarding the door, a rather hefty male cheetah, and a female timberwolf, crisply saluted, recognizing their new Capitan, and pushing open the large wooden doors for her to enter.
Only when she disappeared around a corner, did she allow her mask to fall and leaned against the stucco walls of the barracks outer walls.
"I can do this..." she whispered, clenching her fist, fighting at the sense of worry that threatened to engulf her. "I am the first rabbit El Capitan. I have been appointed by none other than Commandante Bogo...and I will capture The Fox. I...I will earn the trust of the mammals of this city."
"I cannot fail..."
The crowd began parting as the rabbit disappeared into the barracks at the other side of the town square, and as the doors shut behind her, the townsfolk went back to business, noticeably more worried than just a few moments before. The young otter's father went quickly to his son's side, dabbing at the tears on his cheek, picking him up and carrying into a nearby home.
Silently watching everything from the second floor window of a nearby hacienda , a fox turned from the window and walked deeper into his room. His perch from the second floor window of the hotel offered him a grand view of the entire spectacle he had witnessed, and had watched in sorrow as the rabbit officer had broken the pup's sword, and even more at her threat to the townsfolk.
His interest was piqued, however, as he noticed her clear signs of distress after her display.
Looks like all that was simply a show...he mused.
"Interesting," the fox mused, scratching his muzzle, before turning from the window. He began pacing his room, only stopping to look at himself in a nearby mirror. He tutted softly, before straightening his black half coat with its many swirling gold designs, as well as the red sash around his waist. "Finnick, come here please."
A short fennec fox ambled towards the mammal, staring up into his master's mischievous emerald eyes.
"What do you make of the new, El Capitan's threats?"
The short fox frowned, before pounding one of his fists into his open palm, then waving it in the direction of the barracks.
"I see. I take it you don't like her very much?" the taller fox laughed, placing his paws against his waist,
Again, the smaller fox shook his head as the larger red fox moved back towards the window. "Well, this ought to make things a lot more interesting around here, that's for sure."
The red fox missed his shorter friends smacking his palm against his head.
"Oh, don't be that way, Finnick," the red fox laughed, surprising the shorter fox that he knew what he was doing behind his back. He turned once more, flashing his shorter friend a smile. "I think there are two sides to this new, Capitan Hopps. And I intend to get to know both a little better."
The shorter fox grinned, then made three quick swishes in the form of the letter "F" with his finger, causing a bout of laughter from the taller red fox.
"That's correct, Finnick, Don Nicholas Wilde needs to pay our new Capitan a visit." Don Wilde picked up his nearby hat and placed it aptly upon his head. "Though I think later tonight, The Fox, needs to as well."
AN: And thus it begins. Hopefully you all enjoyed the start of my new story. If you haven't noticed, I'm taking a lot of inspiration from Disney's 1950's series, "Zorro". First decided to write this story, after seeing a picture of this AU over on Deviantart by an artist named KungFuFreak07. The cover art is by charliebarkinq, over on tumblr. So check both of them out.
And, let me know what you think of this! Leave a review, comment, fav, follow, etc and let me know what you'd like to see in upcoming chapters. ;)