Hello everyone. This is a new dalliance of my muse. I have no idea if it will go anywhere, and I can guarantee the updates will be much farther apart if muse graces me with any more at all. Don't get me wrong, I'm into Chapter 2, but not very far, so time will tell if this goes any further. Then again, I didn't expect AFH to go past about chapter 5, so… We shall see.
Of course, I do not own Zootopia, and can therefore make no claims to Zootopia or its characters. I only make claim to my own OC's included herein as needed. Though I think I could do more with it than Disney is at the moment. So many awesome ideas that they could use, and they're sitting on their asses.
I blame Bear678 for this.
Anyway, on with the show.
Wilde Cardz - Savage Territory - Chapter 1
Standing on the top of a building, Nick Wilde looked over the city of Zootopia, or at least what once was Zootopia. His home from birth, for better or worse, and where he met the love of his love, and hustled her out of twenty Zs for a Jumbo Pop. Where she then hustled him in return, and an excellent hustle it was, even if he did say so himself. Ending up with a death defying adventure that led them both to heartbreak and then reunion that built to a relationship he never thought could be his. That however, was then. Now… That Zootopia no longer exists. Tundra Town has thawed, the heaters no longer warm Sahara Square, and the Rain Forest only gets rain, when it actually rains.
There were still some mammals in the remains of the city that once hosted Fifty million or more, but they were few and far between, now. He knew he should be dead already. He was a red fox after all. You didn't lose your mate as a fox and stick around to enjoy the apocalypse that stole them from you. Only, as painful as it was, Nick had to know. Before he gave in and let the agony that howled inside him, pull him into that void. He had to know. Somewhere out there was Judy, lost in the after effects of a literal apocalypse. Maybe she was just a skeleton, but he had to find her. And if she was alive, because if there was a mammal that could survive this thing, it was Judy, then he would find her.
Of most of those that didn't succumb to the Wild Card plague were not much more than they were before everything went to shit. Unfortunately, the rest of mammal kind were no longer what they were before, either. Damn prey supremacists. They released a plague. It was only supposed to affect predators. He'd found a few of them that were not effected, and learned a lot before he killed them. The world did not need their kind anymore. He just hoped that Judy, wherever she was, would forgive him.
There were three ways the plague affected a mammal. Most mammals affected by the plague were turned into mindless beasts. Sadly, much like Night Howler before it, their plague affected every mammal, not just predators.
The second group of them were just left alone by it. It was like they got a cold and then got over it. No harm, no savageness, just who they were before, only dealing with the effects the plague had on everyone else.
He and Judy had spoken with the doctors who were trying to find a cure, or at least a vaccine for those not yet affected. Sadly, a lab accident ended that hope. They did learn however, that because they hadn't targeted just one species with their plague, but predators as a whole, their lack of species specificity meant that it in fact would, and did affect every mammal, predator and prey alike. Not that the morons that came up with the idea knew that. They were the first to fall to it, because they infected themselves with the idea that they would just be carriers. At least that is what they were supposed to be, and Nick supposed that, in the end, that is what they were.
They infected themselves, not realizing that while they were carriers, they would be affected by the virus just as much as anyone else. Maybe even because of it, since they were multiple prey species, giving the virus a viable set of prey hosts to mutate within. Or so said one of the doctors just before the accident.
Those idiots… They were the first to succumb to it. They were isolated, and work began, but they had made sure that their disease was airborne. By the time it was realized that it wasn't a new version of Night Howler, it was already too late. The doctors, nurses, their families, their neighbors, everyone at that restaurant they visited on date night with their mate, was infected.
Heck even Nick and Judy were, since they were assigned as primary to the case. Their first big case as detectives. They found the lab that created the virus in. They found all the documentation. It helped, it really did. The doctors tried giving them and a few others officers that volunteered a few different things, but nothing changed. They were all still infected and spreading the virus. The other question was, how long was the incubation period until a mammal was affected by it. It seemed to differ, which just made it worse, because that incubation seemed to be by mammal not species specific.
That answer turned out to be two months, give or take a few days, and it had only taken a few weeks to spread across the entire globe. He and Judy had been chasing different leads. He had been with Grizzoli, she had Antlerton. That was four months ago. They were driving to where the geneticist that helped create the virus lived. Judy and Antlerton were headed towards a raid on where another cell of the terrorists was hold up. Though since they succeeded in bringing about an apocalypse, Nick had wondered if there wasn't a better word.
Grizz said he had a headache all of a sudden, and it got bad, fast. They wrecked, as did so many other mammals. Nick had been trapped for what seemed like hours when Grizzoli tore apart the car to get at him. Nick knew that was it, he was done. Grizz had gone savage and was going to kill him. Only... That isn't what happened. When Grizz bit down on Nick's leg, he broke his teeth. Nick chuckled to himself at the memory. He barely felt the bite, and there certainly was no pain.
When he kicked Grizz away with his other foot, the poor bear went flying, as in three blocks before he came to rest. Nick never went to see how badly injured Grizz was, but the next time he walked past there, Grizz was gone. He kinda hoped that he didn't kill him, and that Grizz was able to get up and crawl away. However, Nick also had other problems. He tried calling Judy, but she didn't answer. He kept trying, but after a few days, the cell service died. Then the power that kept Tundra Town cold and Sahara hot, shut down.
With that, he was left to his own devices. At first he wondered why he wasn't affected by the virus, but then it dawned on him, it had. He was attacked by a savage bull elephant. The beast was knocking aside cars as if they were nothing. Yet, when it hit Nick, who had stood there in shock as much as anything as the elephant charged, there was a loud crack. The poor beast broke its leg on Nick. Nick then, without thinking about it, shoved the six ton animal. That shove knocked it not just into, but through a building.
After that, Nick went to the local precinct. He had been working his way across the city, dodging other mammals out of fear. The elephant incident made him realize that he perhaps didn't need to be quite so cautious. He loaded up on radios, batteries, fuel, and weapons. Procuring a new cruiser, he made his way across the city to where Judy and Antlerton were headed, checking the routes they would be expected to take. He found their cruiser, and what was left of Antlerton, but no Judy. He tried her on the the radio, broad band emergency transmission. A unique feature that let him transmit on both civilian and city frequencies at the same time.
Nick, slowly, started to get responses. Other mammals that were not savage were out there in the city, but none of them were Judy. Not that all of them were exactly nice mammals. Many were more than happy to try and build their own little kingdoms. Lots of posturing, and lots of the best, and the worst, of mammal kind. Why, he also wondered, often, were some of the worst kinds of mammals the ones that survived to try and subjugate, or just let out their most base impulses. He hated it, but he had killed a lot of mammals since it all started, and not all of them were savage. Though, some insane mammal sitting on a throne of skulls… That could be argued to just be a different kind of savage that needed to be put down.
As time went on, and searched for Judy, Nick found that he had a collection of abilities beyond being functionally invulnerable. He'd been shot and it hadn't hurt, stabbed and the blade broke. Someone even shot him with an RPG. He wasn't even sure where they got it, but this is where he learned that he was also fast. Fast enough to make a cheetah seem like a sloth on elephant tranquilizers.
He wasn't sure how many mammals were affected like him. Most seemed to just not be affected at all, and that was how those that were making themselves kings, ruled. Fear and power. Nick would not let that stand. In the months since, he had almost given up and let the void howling in his heart claim him, but then he would hear Judy's voice telling him to not give up. That he needed to live for her, and make the world, such as it now existed, a better place.
So that is what he began doing. One wanna be king had set themselves up in a nice barricaded and defended area. It was all very post-apocalyptic, B-rate movie. Including gardens growing vegetables and a chicken coop. Them and their hench mammals were mammals Nick knew, and he knew they were no good from before, the apocalypse just set them free. Well, Nick was free too, and they weren't empowered like he was, they just had a lot of guns. They had been a small but effective criminal organization before, and after everything, they set themselves up as would be kings.
Nick went in with swat body armor, etc... No point in letting away his secret. He cleaned house, and claimed it as his own base. There were other officers who stepped up then, and they formed a quick government based on a council of leaders, each one having a different base function. Nick was voted in as the head of security. He had a knack for it. Those mammals that were part of that community welcomed them and the chance to reclaim a modicum of the freedom they lost when the world fell. Somehow word spread, and more mammals started to seek refuge there. They found themselves quickly expanding.
There had been nearly fifty million or more mammals in Zootopia. The count was hard to keep track of, and depended if you counted Little Rodentia, as well as the outlying territories like Bunnyburrow, Podunk, Deerbrooke, and other such locations. Now, the little city within the city that he had liberated, currently held almost one hundred thousand as it had grown over the last month, expanding as quickly as they could and absorbing several other groups. one was a full ten blocks from their main border and a series of bridges across the buildings had been built and were constantly monitored until the border between the two could be secured. There were many more out there who survived the plague, and Nick now had at least a dozen empowered mammals working with him. And there were several dozen more that worked for their little refugee city in various areas.
The others powers were things like the bunny, sadly not Judy, but a very nice chocolate brown and tan buck, with the ability to make just about anything grow. He was why they were able to feed most of their residents. The predators were surviving, and they had scavenger teams locating any canned meats and such they could find.
Another mammal, a sloth, and Flash of all mammals, had speed. He was as fast as Nick was before the change, which is what they had started calling it. Interestingly, all sloths seemed to have been gifted with speed. Flash was also able to mold metal. So, whenever they expanded, a few cars would be dragged to that intersection, and he would then mold and reform that metal into a secure wall that was braced against the buildings. Then he would take the old wall down and use that to make other things, or new walls. All this to keep the savage mammals out, and Nick included the roving bands of weaponed up would be raiders in that list.
Another mammal was able to fire nails from their hands and at lethal speeds. Useful when patrolling or on searches for supplies. None of them had the myriad of abilities that Nick did, one or two abilities at most, with the exception of the other officers that had received some of the treatments with him and Judy.
Nick could only guess that it was because of the treatments they tested out on Judy and him. He had Speed. Strength that seemed to have no limit. Invulnerability. Fire didn't bother him or even singe his fur, bullets didn't penetrate, and his senses were amplified. Those were just the things he knew about so far. While he couldn't fly, he was okay with that, though he was kinda disappointed that he couldn't shoot lasers from his eyes or breath fire, but otherwise, he was a regular super-mammal.
No one knee that Nick was empowered, and he preferred it that way. Giving a wry smile, Nick stuck his nose back into the wind, taking a deep breath through his nose. He concentrated. Judy was out there somewhere. He knew it in his heart that she was, and that she was still alive, and not a savage. She had to be. Anything else and he would lose himself to that void inside, and there wasn't a power in the universe that could save him then.
All things considered. Nick was shocked by the way his little take down of some bad mammals had exploded. He had only wanted to put those mammals in charge of themselves again. Make the world a better place, just like Judy would want. They now had an elected council that was in charge. Former ZPD were re-deputized, which included him, as well as being head of security. It proved that, given a chance, most mammals were tolerant and wanted to work together.
Nick wasn't however happy with the most recent council decision. They decided that savage mammals could be hunted for food. He understood it. He just refused to eat it. Maybe he would eventually give in. He had secured all the data, the computers, and other stuff that the doctors and scientists had come up with. Some copies of which kept finding their way into the hands of doctors and scientists that joined their little slice of civilization in the middle of otherwise Savage Territory.
They were working on it. He knows they are because he is part of the council, and voted against it. But, strangely enough, even the prey on the council, which was half of it, voted for the measure. They were not making much headway, just not fast enough. They needed a breakthrough, and that was why Nick was heading out in the city with a small team. Well, it was part of the reason they were headed out.
They were going to the geneticist's house, just as he and Grizz were originally going to, then they would follow the lead that Judy had been. He really hoped that they would find something to at least help those that had gone savage. He was also using it as an excuse to search for Judy. He would give up his empowerment, if it gave him back Judy.
He took another deep breath. There it was again, the hint of his bunny, but too faint to follow. So faint he couldn't actually be sure he was smelling it. "Judy..."
Fangmeyer put a paw on Nick's shoulder. "Hey, boss. I'm sure she is out there somewhere trying to find her way to you. While we are out and about, we will look for her. I know that's one of the reasons you are going on this mission. So don't even pretend. I swear. We will find her."
Nick looked up at the Tigress. "Thank's Lizz." Nick looked back out across the city, silently swearing that they would find her. "Let's go. We have a lot of city to cover, and most of it is way beyond the territory that we control." Looking down to where Mike stood next to a heavily modified cruiser. "Glad we have Flash, because that thing is a tank, thanks to him." It had reinforced side panels, a roof turret, and other things one might expect on a military vehicle, not a modified ZPD cruiser. It looked like it drove right off the screen of the last Mad Maxim movie.
They loaded into the vehicle, Mike driving. He looked blind now. Where his eyes used to be was now covered with seamless skin and fur, but he was in fact not blind at all, if anything he saw more than anyone. He was also as strong as a rhino and about as easy to hurt. One of the few things that was able to hurt him was Lizz.
Lizz herself was similar, she was stronger, seemed to be able to track just about anything, and her claws were so sharp, they could rend through steel like hot knives through butter. Nick planned on testing just how sharp those claws were by having her try and cut him. Even if it did mean revealing that he was empowered. He trusted the wolf and tiger well before the Change. That's what it was called, at least by those in their little slice of recovering civilization.
Several hours of slowly working their way through the streets of what was once the great city of Zootopia, they stopped for a short break. Down the street that they needed to go down, about ten blocks, they could see a blockage that was clearly not what now qualified as the natural blockage in the city. That being abandoned vehicles. Instead, the vehicles had been lined up and stacked to create an actual wall right up against the buildings at an intersection.
Sadly, this was one of those bottlenecks because buildings had burned and collapsed in one direction, as well as a full on collapsed skyscraper, and the remains of the climate wall to the other side. After launching a drone, they also found that the other two streets towards the climate wall were suitably blocked with collapsed buildings and rubble. The only way through to the part of the city that lay beyond the collapsed skyscraper was either to go all the way around, or through the barricade.
Nick turned to Mike. "Okay Mike, what do you see? Any sentries? Lizz, anything visible via the drone?"
Lizz shook her head. "Nothing I can see." She finished landing it and retrieved it from the roof to put back on the charger. "Some weird scraping on the street on the other side of the barricade. Not sure what it was made by, but these days, it could be anything."
Nick nodded. "Fair enough. Mike?"
Mike shook his head. "None that are obvious. In fact I'm not seeing or sensing anything living but us for several blocks. There are a few bodies in those wrecks, and they have clearly been there for a while. It is honestly a bit worrying. I don't even sense those bands of rats that we deal with all the time. Smart of you to recruit the ones in our area. Now it's just the unaffiliated ones when we're away from Haven. When was the last time someone has been down this way?"
Nick shook his head. "Me, and that was months ago. So it might be abandoned, or a trap." Looking back at Lizz. "Lizz, let me see one of your claws."
Without thinking, Lizz put her paw over the back of the seat so Nick could access her paw, then flexed her claws out for him. One of the modifications was that the cage had been removed. They needed the seating now more than they needed a cage for some perp. There were a few unmodified cruisers, but they never made it out of the controlled area.
Lizz freaked out when he grabbed her index claw and drove his palm up into the tip, and not gently. She saw blood and… that isn't what happened, that was what she expected, she saw it happen in her mind's eye, but that wasn't what her eyes were showing. Instead, she saw his paw pad press down, but her claw failed to penetrate. "What the fuck!?"
Nick looked at his paw and Lizz's claw with interest. "Well, that answers that question. Thanks Lizz. I've been wanting to test that for a while." Glancing back at her with a smirk. "Let's eat, and then we can approach that blockade... carefully."
Lizz looked at Nick in shock. "You're empowered?! Since when?"
Nick chuckled. "From the very beginning. I don't broadcast it, but I trust you two from before all this shit, and since. So I would appreciate you keeping it to yourself."
Mike chuckled. "I've suspected for a long time. You never flinch when an empowered mammal does something near you. Non-empowered, no matter how strong, or how experienced, always twitch. You. Not even once. Toren missed his target and blasted the wall right next to you. All you did was turn slowly to see what kind of damage he had done, then turned back to him and raised an eyebrow. Your heartbeat never changed."
Nick frowned. "That figures. Well, on that depressing note. I'm hungry, let's eat."
Mike chuckled. "Just learn to flinch."
After a quick lunch, they slowly approached the barricade of cars.
Approaching the blockade, Lizz drove so Mike could focus on his sight. "I'm not seeing or detecting anything but the bodies. No one hiding in a truck, or on the roof tops in the area. That said, there are what might be explosives or other traps. What's the call, boss?"
Nick thought for a moment, then smiled. "Where are the would-be traps? I'll investigate."
Lizz frowned. "Why you?"
"Because I've taken an RPG to the chest and only had to find new clothes." Lizz's eyes went wide, while Mike's eye-less brows went up. "Yeah. I'm that hard to hurt. Move on."
Mike pointed to three cars near the base of the stack. "If those are charges, they are meant to topple the stack on the mammal messing with it, because they're on the far side and would push up on that side of the stack. There's nothing of note higher up except that the glass is all intact, and if it shatters with the explosion, that would probably shred friends of the poor sap that sets that thing off."
Nick nodded. "Okay, then you two stay in here and back up a bit. If there are watchers there's no need for them to know all three of us are empowered, or how many of us there are for that matter."
Lizz nodded with a frown. "Still think it should be me."
"Yeah, not happening this time. maybe at the next blockade."
Nick then got out and approached the stacked and lined up cars, carefully stepping over several trip wires and one poorly hidden mine. Clearly some of the stuff had been taken from an organized crime weapons stash, or someone managed to break into a Mammal Guard Auxiliary armory. With empowered, that was pretty possible. That's how their people had done it. Between Lizz, Mike, and a few others, they cut right through the wall.
Keying the mic on his shoulder, Nick reported to Lizz and Mike what he was seeing. They had managed to reclaim the police band radios, which was really useful in situations like this. "Couple of trip wires. At least one, not very well hidden mine. This seems more like it is meant for savages and not thinking mammals. Still, could kill someone if they weren't paying attention. If you can, Mike, see if you can see and then follow the trip wires to what they are hooked up to."
Mike replied back. "Already ahead of you. Saw you stepping over them and did just that. They link back to the explosives you are going to investigate."
Nick looked back at the wires, then up at the stack of cars. "Yeah, that seems right. They'd probably topple the whole stack down on whomever triggered it."
Mike replied back. "Yeah. That's not nice."