The Rift:

Chapter 1: The beginning of it all

Nick's P.O.V.

The first mammal to talk to me that day was the most inspirational guy I know, Chief Bogo. "Wilde! Get your tail in here!" As I walked into the station earlier, I saw Judy walking to his office. I got a text from Judy even earlier this morning, telling me to come about thirty minutes early to the station today, and wait next to Clawhauser's desk. She didn't tell me why, but all I answered was "Okay"; it was more like an order than her asking me. At least I'm finally getting used to the early schedule. Really the only inconvenience was having to get dressed quicker. "WILDE!"

I was startled when he called me a second time. "Coming!" I hollered. How did he know I was here? I'm one of the few with the guts to yell back to Bogo - the only one I think that has as a matter of fact.

I was speed walking to his office, but I guess that just wasn't enough for him. "Now Wilde!" I reached for the door handle, which was about as high as I was tall, when it suddenly opened to the sight of an angry buffalo.

"You yelled sir?" I greeted him. He noted that I was there but quickly looked back up surveying the outside of his office. Typical.

From behind him I saw, standing on a chair, Judy who quickly motioned for me to come in. Bogo slammed the door closed behind me as I walked in.

"When I call you to my office, I expect a bit more hustle fox."

I ignored his comment. "Well you're in a good mood. Hey Chief, where's Clawhauser. I was surprised to not see him."

"Getting doughnuts. Now," he said sitting down at his desk, surprisingly unruffled, "I called Officer Hopps and you this morning for an important assignment. At least she was on time."

"In my defense sir, I was a minute early."

"I expect ten!" he yelled sitting up while slamming his fist against his desk. So much for being calm.

"Alright alright. Settle down. Now how about you and Carrots over here tell me why I am missing my morning radio."

He started to lean back in his chair. "There's a new case up. Seeing how you handled the Emmitt Otterton case file, I don't see how this will be much harder."

"Alright, what's the case?" I looked over at Judy who seemed very annoyed with me at the moment.

Out from his desk, Bogo pulled out a case file. "If you were here, you'd know already." I looked again at Judy who looked even more annoyed than a second ago, now with her ears dropped behind her head. "Three weeks ago, we got a report of a missing mammal. Like the Otterton case, all we have is his last known location. I already started a small investigation. We were not able to find anything, so I thought maybe Hopps would be able to find another miraculous lead. His name is Michael Redtail."

Redtail? I stood up from my chair and walked around to Bogo's side to take a better look at the file. "Hmmm."

Judy's ears flew up. "Did you already find something Nick?" The second one to speak to me today.

"No, I just don't see why this couldn't wait until the normal time." I questioned him keeping my gaze to the open file.

Bogo continued on completely disregarding my question. "Intelligence shows that he attempted to go off the grid months ago. He successfully hacked into the public records and deleted all of his information. Thankfully for us, there was still some printed information about him here. He was arrested once, but was found innocent."

He seemed done now with his story so I asked again. "So why did we have to come early?"

Before he could answer, Judy spoke, "I'll tell you later okay?" Her ears went back to being flopped behind her head. Now she folded her arms and started to tap her foot on the chair.

She seemed so done with me for the moment, so I turned to Bogo, who looked really angry with me too. He got up from his desk, "I don't have the time for you right now. She'll explain. I suggest just leaving. And DON'T loose the file." With that he grabbed another few files and headed out, leaving Carrots and I to leave the office ourselves. Of course he had to bring up losing the file.

"C'mon Nick, let's go." She said hopping off the chair.

I grabbed the file and followed. "Wait, aren't you going to explain to me what's going on?"

Her whole head seemed to twitch. "Just get to the car. I'm driving."

"Okay. Just give me a minute. I kinda have to use the, you know…"

She put her paws up to her head. "Three minutes, or I'm leaving without you."

I walked into the main room as many of the other officers were walking in, including Clawhauser.

"Hey Nick! Have seen the new music video from Gazelle? It's sooo great! I mean, look at it!" he pulled out his phone, with the video ready to go.

"Look, I don't have time for this, maybe later, okay?"

"Oh, that's fine." he said sadly.

Darnit! Not the best thing to say. "Hey hey, buddy. I didn't mean it like that. Judy is really mad at me right now, so I'm under a lot of pressure, okay?"

He looked up at me with a giddy smirk. "I knew it! You two are a couple."

I could feel my ears shoot up. "No, we are not a couple." At least not officially. "We are friends - and partners."

"Sure you fox. So sneaky."

I felt a mix of nervousness and anger arise inside me as I started to walk away. "Go watch your video!"

I finally reached the restroom. I looked over at the clock on the wall. Two minutes already. I turned around and walked away. "Screw it!"

I walked to the street outside the station where Judy sat in the idling patrol car. I opened the door and got in. Her ears were still down.

I looked at her. I knew she was unhappy with me right now, but it seemed that there was something else too. "What's up Carrots?"

She spoke still looking forward, "Really Nick? Really?"

"Come on Judy, you seriously can't blame me for being a minute late. And you said for me to wait at Clawhauser's desk."

She turned her head to me. "I'm not talking about that, I'm talking about…" she paused for a moment like she was about to say something but stopped herself. " you act around Bogo. I understand that you don't want to be pushed around by him, but he's our Chief, our boss. And you just act like, like…"

There was definitely something else there, but I decided to go along with it and finish her statement for her. "... like a complete jerk. I see."

"No, that's not what I meant, I was thinking more of just being disrespectful."

I took a deep breath. "You're right, I know that. I just don't want to accept it."

She shook her head, "We can talk about this later, we have a case."

She's getting really good at making things up on the spot. "And that would be?"

"Well, he's a fox like you, so do you know anything about him?"

I took yet another deep breath. "Normally I'd accuse you of being stereotypic, but you wouldn't be wrong."

"So you know him?" she said as she put the car in drive and took off for the 'last known sighting' location.

I laughed, "I told you, I know everybody." I paused for a moment. "Except him."

She slammed on the breaks. "Nick? Really!?"

"Well I know him, but I haven't seen for at least the past year."

"So you're 'knowing everybody' is useless right now."

I grabbed the case file and opened it. "Okay, you see this?" I said pointing at the picture of Michael's last known location. "This is a business plaza; a hotspot for a successful hustle - or at least it used to be."

She looked at me with a smile. "Well what's this story?"

"A few years ago, Michael challenged Finnick and I to a hustling contest."

She pulled over into a parking lot and stopped. "I'd like to hear how this plays out." she said getting comfortable in her seat.

"Well, as you should know, I told him that we really shouldn't…"


"...but it was Finnick that convinced me to try it."

"That dastardly Finnick." she laughed out sarcastically.

"Anyway, we beat him by over a hundred bucks. He complained that it was the spot so we switched for the day, and we beat him by double."

"Hmm, impressive."

"Yeah, well, he didn't think so."

"As expected."

"We went back to our normal spots, and long-story-short, he ended up scaring away his customers in desperation to beat us."

"You sly fox." she chuckled.

I gave a quick little "Ha!" then continued, "Don't forget that he was a fox too. But I guess we're not all good hustlers."

We sat there few a moment before Judy got all serious again. "So, based off your story, why would he be back here if the spot failed for him?"

"That's what I'm wondering Carrots."

She put the car back into drive and turned on the sirens. "Alright let's go."

We stopped at the plaza. "You really didn't need to turn on the sirens."

"Yeah, but I could. So I did." She explained with a smirk as she exited the vehicle.

"Sly Bunny." I joked exiting the car after her.

She stood with her paws on her hips. "Where to first?"

There were multiple buildings around. A few multi-storied, and a few only single. But a dark figure caught my attention. "How about we ask him?" He was sitting up against the wall of one of the buildings. From where I was standing, I could tell he was another fox, a kind like Finnick, but he was wearing a cloak.

Judy whispered to me, "Are you serious?"

"Come on, you were fine with that naturalist club. Now don't tell me that this scares you."

We started walking towards him. "First off, I was not fine with that club. Second, this is different, he's, he's..."

...Homeless, strange, different, a fox? "Here, I'll do the talking. Just wait here. Okay?"

She acted like I was denying her something, but I could tell she was thankful. Dumb bunny.

I walked over to him. "Hello sir, I have a few questions for you concerning a missing fox."

He was quick to answer - and loud as well. "I tell ya! I had nothing to do with it!"

I stepped back. "Woah, settle down sir. We just need you to answer a few questions."

"WE?!" He gasped lifting his head up, causing his cloak to come off. "Where?"

His face was frightened. Something about this fox was familiar, but he had a large gash next to his eye. One that couldn't be more than a day old - still bloody. I was speechless from his appearance. Instead of answering his question, I asked him my own non-case related one. "Are you okay?" I turned around me. "Judy! Come here."

I started to reach out to him, unconsciously trying to comfort him. "Keep your paws away from me!" he screamed!

I could sense behind me that Judy pulled out her tranquilizer gun, ready to shoot. I was about to yell to her not to shoot, but the next thing I knew, the dart whizzed by my arm, hitting the mammal in the shoulder. A skillful shot.

"What was that for?" I asked her.

"He was attacking you!" she shouted at me.

"He's injured, call medical!" I shouted back.

It took a moment for the ambulance to arrive, but much faster than I expected. Two other officers accompanied the ambulance to the hospital - I'm guessing that Judy reported his aggressive behavior. She and I went and questioned the owners and employees of the surrounding businesses, but all they said was that the only fox they can recall seeing for the last few weeks is the one that was just taken up by the ambulance. That he's always usually out there.

Carrots was the first to speak getting back into the car. "Well that's just great. Only one lead and he was a lunatic!"

I laughed in both humor and sorrow. "He seemed scared more than anything."

"Yeah, because he's a psychopath and probably thought you were going to kill him." She put the car into drive but kept the car still with her foot on the break.

"You know, I thought you were top of your class, and this is how you're treating a case?"

She put the vehicle back in park and laid her head against the wheel. "I'm sorry Nick. I know I've been treating you badly all day, but it's because I'm stressed. And I'm stressed because, because…"

"You can tell me." I said trying to comfort her. I could tell she was trying to think of something else again.

She looked over at me with her head still resting on the wheel. "...because my parents are coming to visit."

I started to feel nervous, even though I had said plenty of times that we are not a couple. We're only partners. In turn, I played it off like I do most things. "Hmmm, getting off that farm for once, it should be good for them."

She knew what I was feeling awkward about this. "No, that's not what I mean. They're coming, and want to see around, that will include meeting you."

My heart seemed to stop for a moment. "Well, they should know you're partner."

"Yes, but, they don't know, about, ya'know, us."

Us? "Us?!" I gulped. "What about us?"

She gave a small nervous smile. "Us. I've wanted to say this for a while now, but I've always stopped myself at the last moment."

I was startled, but continued my silence.

"Nick, I want you to know that I, I..." she started to stutter. "...I love, love, you."

I felt like I was about to collapse. "I know you love me, you've said it before." I croaked out, hearing the roughness in my own voice. I really hope she turned off her uniform mic.

"That's not what I'm saying. I love you. I want to be more than friends. I want to be partners in a different aspect. I want to be with you!

Oh how I was screaming inside! I love you too Carrots! You are my light, my world! All that truly matters to me! "Wow, I don't know what to say, I…" I trailed off.

I could see disappointment forming in her eyes. "I thought that you would, I don't know, react different than this."

Time to accept it. "Well that makes things a bit different." I said with slight sarcasm.

She didn't seem to get it. "Please don't tell me it's just me." I could hear that she was about to cry from her voice.

I smiled at her. "No, I just thought that I'd be the one to make it official."

She unbuckled herself and leaped at me with arms open. "Oh Nick!"

"Alright Carrots, when are they coming?"

She got back up. "They're supposed to come later today. I spoke to Bogo yesterday, and he gave me the later of the day off."

I laughed. "Oh, is that why we had to be there early?"

"Yeah, mostly."

I smiled at her. "And Bogo granted all of this to you how?"

"I promised him a favor. He has a young niece, and she's having a birthday party soon. And supposedly, I'm her hero." she stated nervously.

"I thought that sort of thing would be common for you by now."

"Let's not worry about it right now."

"What else are we supposed to worry about right now, we kinda just started an official relationship."

She put the car back in drive and started going. "We're still on duty for now, so let's get back to the case."

"Alright, but just out of curiosity, when do we get to go home today?"

"4:30, but my parents are getting here around 5:00."

"Only a half-hour gap? You're cutting it close."

"It's better than normal, so I'm happy."

"So how are we doing this? Do you want me to just say 'hi' to them at the station, or do you want me to do something more?" Then it hit me. "Are you going to tell them?"

"I'm not sure. We'll see. Just be prepared alright?"

"Prepared for what, if I may ask?"

"Anything really. Run if my dad reaches into bag though if we do tell them."

I had a bad feeling about what that meant, but I decided to count on it not happening. I started looking outside the window. "Umm Carrots, where are we going?"

"That's another thing, please don't call me Carrots around my parents."

"No really, where are we going?" I asked again.

"Well, I thought, since we are officially now a couple, and it's still mid-morning. There's a really nice restaurant I know that serves breakfast."

Wow, she's going fast with this. "Does it now?"

"Yeah, or it did when I went. Granted I was alone that time."

"When exactly was that?"

She can sometimes be really easy to read. "It was a while ago, maybe a few weeks. It was one of our off days."

"And you didn't want to spend it with me. I am hurt." I bugged her.

She whirled back at me. "I wanted to explore the city, on my own."

"Jeez Carrots, I was only joking."

She didn't respond. "We're here!"

I looked to the sign above the door. "Tame Times." Really?

"I thought it sounded nice."

"What kind of name is that? Seriously!"

We got out of the car. "We don't have to eat here you know."

"Well, what do they have to eat."

She gave me a, 'are-you-kidding-me' kind of look. "Normal things."

I was about to go along with it when a savior called. "Hey isn't that your phone Carrots?"

She was already grabbing for it. "Oh shoot! It's my parents."

"Well? Are you going to answer…"

She waved her paw in my face to shut me up. "Oh hey Mom, is Dad there? … Packing huh? … Really? Now? … No it's not a problem, just I won't be done by then. … I guess you can wait at the station. … There's a Cheetah at the front desk, talk to him if I'm not there. … Yes, you can trust him. … I'll likely still be out then. … Just call me back when you get here. … Love you too."

I was already turning away from the building. "That doesn't sound too good."

She let out a sigh. "My parents thought it would be a good idea if they came early. Now instead of 5:00, it will be closer to 3:00."

"Bummer, I guess that means no breakfast-date for us."

She looked up at me suspiciously. "You wanted this to happen, didn't you?"

"Parents early, no. Skipping the breakfast, yes."

She gave me a dirty look. "Sly fox."

"Now how many times have you said that to me?"


Unusual of me, I decided to become serious first. "We're still on duty for now, so I say we head over to the hospital. I bet those doctors have woken up the lead by now." Her ear twitched as I said it. "Wow, you're actually scared of that guy."

We got back into the car. "I don't know Nick. There was just something about him that seemed off. I know he's a fox and I'm not being stereotypical. It's just, I had a feeling. Something that made it feel wrong."


"I'm serious Nick. There was something wrong with him."

"As I told you earlier, there was something wrong with him. He seemed scared. I say that's a good lead."

She gave another sigh similar to the one from before. "I was waiting by the car, I could hear that you two were talking for a second. Did he say anything to you that might help us?"

"Not really, he said something like, 'I didn't do it!', but nothing else really."

Her ears shot up. "And that wasn't suspicious to you? He may be our first suspect."

"Really? Wow, I did not think of that." I said sarcastically.

"Well, let's go. We have time before my parents get here, and even then, I don't see Bogo letting us go that early."

I gave a sigh of my own. "There is no such thing as an easy day is there?"

She smiled. "Not unless you want parking duty."

"Okay, then. Hard day it is."

We arrived at the hospital around 9:00; Judy grabbed the case file and her carrot pen before getting out. Awaiting outside the main doors for us was a nurse. She was a small prairie dog.

She smiled when she saw Judy. "Officer Hopps, you're here. The patient just woke up, and we tended to the wound on his face…" she turned her gaze from Judy to me. "... I'm sorry sir, but friends and family are not allowed at this time."

Judy stepped in, "Actually miss, this is my partner, Officer Wilde."

The nurse was still gazing over me. I could tell she didn't trust me. "I'll need some identification before I can let him in."

I gave an expression to Carrots, something like, 'Really?' but she ignored it. I rolled my eyes and pulled out my license.

She nodded, reading it out loud, "Nicholas P. Wilde. Fox. Male." She mumbled out the rest and handed it back. "Sorry officer, I just have to take precautions in this situation. You two follow me. I'll escort you to Mr. Redtail's room."

Judy jumped. "Did you say Redtail?"

The nurse was confused, as was I, but for different reasons. "Yes, Mr. Redtail. Michael Redtail."

I jumped in, "Are you talking about the short fox, about this tall." I asked lowering my paw to about the same height as Finnick.

"Yes, the fennec fox. You two are on that case, correct?"

Judy opened up the file and pointed to the picture of the fox in the 'last known sighting' section. "This is the Michael Redtail We're looking for."

The nurse looked closely at the picture for a moment then handed it back. "Missing mammal case huh? It looks like all of you cops have been looking at this photo all wrong. That Red fox in the middle isn't your fox, he is." She pointed to the edge of the photo. It showed a cloaked figure sitting against one of the buildings in the plaza.

Judy closed the file back up and looked over at me. She did not look pleased. "What about that story you told me earlier Nick. Were you just making that up?"

"No no no. That fox we saw in the photo. I did know him, his name was Michael. We did hold our little contest."

"Then how does it explain this?" she started tapping her foot.

"I don't know, okay? Maybe they're both Michael."

The nurse just stood there during Judy and I's feud.

I hate seeing Judy like this. "What aren't you telling me?"

I knew what I was talking about, but to stop the fight, I made something up. "I never caught my Michael's last name, okay? Happy?"

"Yes. Wait in the car, I will question him. We will be talking about this later." she turned and ushered the nurse to go. Judy followed.

What a stupid case! Useless!

I got back in the car and rolled down the windows. I noted where we were: City central, usually we're all over the place. I started to gaze off into the distance while waiting for Judy to return. It had to be at least twenty minutes. I was looking out the window, watching different animals walk by. A small one though caught my eye. It was a small rabbit, that looked very similar to Judy; she was younger though and a much more of a distinct pink nose. Not many bunnies in this part of Zootopia. And not much to my surprise, a familiar face revealed itself: Duke Weaselton. Him and the little bunny were heading straight for each other. I sat up and squinted, suspicious of the weasel. I instinctively reached for the door handle, ready to jump at the moment's notice. I could feel my heart race ever-so-faster the closer they got, until they passed each other, without any struggle. I sat back down in shame of myself. For how much I'm against discrimination, I can be very prejudice. I pulled my paw away from the handle and rested it on my lap. I was closing my eyes when I heard a yell.

"Hey. That's my money!" I heard somebody yell. I shot back up in my seat. I looked back across the street and saw the unexpected. It was Weaselton who was yelling, and it was the bunny who was running away.

I jumped out of the car and sprinted to the other side of the street. There were three of us running. First the bunny, second Duke waving his fist and cursing at the thief, and then there was me, about thirty yards behind them.

I guess the police training was really good for me because I was catching up to them relatively quickly. I would have expected that Weaselton could have outrun me any other day before this.

They both turned down an alleyway in front of me. I too, turned down it, but they were both gone. Crap! I reached down to grab my radio and call Clawhauser, or as Judy calls it, 'dispatch'.

I had been calling for about ninety seconds and he still didn't answer. He best not be watching one of those Gazelle videos again. I started to get a strange feeling that someone was watching me, but I ignored it. He finally answered. "Clawhauser! There you are. Mammal was just robbed. It was a bunny. I lost the suspect."

"Okay, who and what was the suspect?"

"A bunny."

"No, who was the suspect, not the victim."

"Listen to me Ben. The bunny is the robber. She stole from Duke Weaselton."

I could hear him laugh on the other side of the line. "Alright Nick, you got me. I know you're getting me back for earlier, but you're not suppose to use this line as a joke. Okay."

I yelled into the radio. "CLAWHAUSER! I'm serious. A rabbit is the suspect. I lost both the suspect and the victim. See if you can contact Duke Weaselton."

It sound like he was trying to get off the floor. I could hear the chair being righted. Did he fall over? "I'll see what I can do."

I started walking around when my radio started to buzz. I answered it as if it was a cellphone. "Wilde here."

It was Judy. "Where the heck did you go!"

"About that…"

"Just get back here."

"I'm north from the hospital. I'm at an alleyway next to a..."

She was not very forgiving. "I don't care where you are just get here!"

She hung up. I put my radio back on my belt and started heading out of the alley. I turned around the corner and started walking back towards the hospital when I had another strange feeling. I turned back around and headed back towards the alley. I stopped right before it, put my back against the wall and slightly peaked my head around the corner. Nothing.

I started to turn back around when I was kicked further into the dark shadows. The shadows didn't bother my seeing, but I knew it would make it nearly impossible for anyone outside the alley to see me.

A voice spoke, from behind me again, despite me now facing where the kick came from, it was feminine. "Stupid fox, you should have gone on your way." I turned around but there was still nothing out of the ordinary, not even a scent. "Come on now. You're a fox, right? Why are you dressed in that then?"

"Who are you?" I yelled out. I reached down for my radio. "Judy, I need back up now. There's…"

A swift kick went across my face, causing me to drop the radio. "And calling on a bunny for help. Pathetic!"

I was holding my paw against my muzzle where the kick hit me. "Ow!"

"Oh shut up!" Another kick came, this time pushing me to the ground. "You're a Predator for crying out loud! Show some aggression. Show some power!"

I felt someone step on my tail, forcefully. I couldn't help but growl out in pain. "Show yourself!"

"Yes! More like that. More growling. More Predator. More savage!"

I could feel my adrenaline running, in a way I have never felt before, causing me to curl up on the ground. "Why are you doing this?"

"Oh, but don't you like it? Don't you just love feeling the energy of your ancestors running through you?"

"How?" I was trying my best to fight it, but I had to admit that there was something desirable about this feeling. "No, I am not a savage!" I told myself.

"We'll see about that." I heard her say. "But for now..." I felt something sharp hit me in the arm. "... we'll have to leave it here. I would love to have some more fun with you, but alas, you're not on the list."

I could feel my left arm going numb. "What did you do to me?"

"I'm not the only bunny in this city with a tranquilizer gun. Don't worry, it's not the worst I could have done to you."

My thoughts were going fuzzy. "Bunny?"

I looked out towards the opening of the alley. I saw a silhouette of the rabbit against the bright light. I heard a giggle in her voice, "Oh, and good luck with the little bunny's parents later."

I dragged myself towards my radio. It was only about six feet away, but it felt much farther on my muscles. I grabbed the radio with my one good arm and tried to call Judy.

Before I could speak though, I heard her behind me. "Oh Nick!" I could hear her run to me, but could only barely feel her touch when she grabbed me in a hug. "Are you… oh no!"

I tried to speak, but found my muscles in my face starting to go numb. All that came out was a groan.

She pulled out the dart, but I didn't realize until she was holding it in front of me. "Don't worry Nick, I'll get you help. Just relax for now. It will make it easier."

My mind was so numb, I just took everything she said as my own. And I was all at the same time aware of this. It almost felt like being a child, so vulnerable. I once again attempted to talk, but all that came out was a soft moan. "Carrots…"

"Shh, Nick. There's nothing else you can do right now. Just relax." I closed my eyes. "Relax…"

Thank you to all who read Chapter One of this story. This is by-far, the longest chapter I've written for any of my stories. This is my third story, and my first in the Zootopia genre. This chapter being the longest, has also gotten the greatest amount of time put into it, revising and editing, but there will likely be more flaws I hadn't caught before. If an error if found, please let me know. I will do my best to fix it in a timely manner.

Anyway, Read and Review, Private Message me any suggestions you may have for the story, and always read for your own enjoyment.