Here is the 67th installment. Hope you enjoy.
Sadly, I do not own and thus can claim no rights to Zootopia or its characters. They belong to Disney.
As a note for you, my wonderful readers, to be aware of.
Both AFH, this fic, and WCST (Wilde Cards – Savage Territor), my other fic, are going to undergo a proper review and clean up. So after this chapter, there are going to be a lot of update notifications, but that is because I'm reposting cleaner, more polished chapters.
I'm doing this because I never expected either of these stories to take off in the way they have, but knowing my muse, I should have expected it. In any case, I didn't give them the level of scrubbing you, my readers, deserved.
This will also give me a chance to make sure my timeline notes, character notes, location notes, etc… are fully up to date and accurate. If you are not a writer, you may not realize how hard it can be to keep track of names, dates, and everything else. Specific events need to be tracked so you can refer to them again, and keep things straight when characters reference them. It's a whole thing, and I keep a huge spreadsheet with a dozen tabs to keep track of it all, for all my work, fanfic and original. Only… I didn't start tracking until I was deep in…
Again, I wasn't expecting these stories to take on the life that they have. So with all that said, if you enjoy re-reading fics like I do, keep an eye out for the notifications after this one, because that will be the cleaned up chapters, and I know myself, stuff WILL get added, whether I like it or not. My muse is an arse that way.
I promise, there is still plenty more where all this came from, you all just deserve to get my best work, not my half-arsed, not expecting more than a chapter or two, first drafts. The first few chapters are just that, getting nothing but a basic once over. Time to fix that.
Zootopia General Hospital – Savahna Central – Maternity Ward
They tried to wheel Lizz into one room, Judy and Elli into a separate room. Lizz roared loudly. "NO! They are my sister and First, and my friends. We are in the same room, or there will be trouble."
The doctor, a panda, smiled warmly. "Now ma'am, I'm sure your friends would be more comfortable in a separate room. They are a rabbit and deer, after all."
Judy groaned and then spoke up. "Well, maybe you should ask before assuming. Put us in the same room. I have no more to fear from her than I do you, or are you saying that I should be in fear of you?"
Taken aback the panda blinked. "But, you're a rabbit?"
Domi spoke from the foot of Lizz's gurney. "Listen two-tone. She may be a rabbit, but she is having a fox's kits, so that throws that specist assumption out the window. The deer and tiger are pregnant from wolves, brothers even, which also pokes some rather big holes in your argument. Now put them in the same room and I need monitors on both of them immediately. They have been poisoned and gone into labor induced by that poisoning. We need to evaluate them and get a blood test done to find out what they were poisoned with. Suspected to be Ergot."
The panda shook her head with a deep frown, her eyes going wide as what Domi said registered. "Ergot? Oh no! If that's true..."
Judy groaned again. "I've tasted it before. Definitely ergot, but there was also something else."
"What about the deer?" The panda looked over to Elli.
The deer in question, Elli, chuckled. "Put me in with them, or not. I ate the same thing, but I am immune to ergot. Not what my family calls it, and we actually use it as a spice. So I am at far less risk. Still, as Domi pointed out, I should be tested and treated for the same poisoning as there is no telling if I passed that same immunity to my fawns… or perhaps pups is the correct term, given that the father is a wolf. As well as the fact that Judy says there is something else as well."
The panda blinked in shock. "All three of you? Pregnant outside your species?"
Domi nodded. "Yes. Why do you think I am their midwife? I specialize in hybrid births. I mean, Elli isn't far enough along yet to need my services, but I was going to have Lizz and Judy give her and Maria my card."
Taking a moment and a deep breath, the panda nodded. "Okay." Looking to the orderlies. "Same room for all three of them. What's your name?" Looking to Elli.
"Okay, Elli. What did you eat?"
"It was the crusted salmon with the asparagus." Chuckling at the Panda's shocked look. "Yeah, I know. I know. Hazard of having a predator's young, I have developed an actual need for protein at levels only eating meat can provide. The Ergot was used on both, but had been cooked with the food. It is probably why it isn't hitting them as hard. I used to eat it raw when my mom was cooking. I love the taste, but it is hard to come by because it has such a negative effect on most mammals. I was wondering why it tasted so familiar and nostalgic, then Judy freaked."
The panda nodded. "Okay. We'll get blood tests ordered immediately. If you are feeling alright, we will draw your blood but then we can have you sit out here. I want to keep you close, in case something happens or your condition changes."
Elli nodded and the panda followed into the delivery room they had already moved Judy and Lizz into. Domi supervised and asked questions while trying to get ahold of doctor Reddillis. A short time after, the panda got called away to help in the ER and a new doctor showed up, a tall moose. By that point the others had arrived and were in the waiting area. It was also clear that things at the hospital were in crisis mode as doctors, nurses, and other staff rushed around trying to find room for a sudden flood of patients from a major accident on the freeway. It was bad enough they were trying to transfer any mammal they could to maternity recovery rooms to make space.
Domi stepped out of the room that housed Lizz and Judy with a very dark look on her muzzle. She quickly made her way over to Nick, Mike, and Janet, her phone to her head. "Doc… Yeah, I don't know yet what is going on, but we have major complications. Something is suppressing the O2 in the both mothers blood. … … Exactly, they are in Auto-protective labor from what I can tell, but are both also unconscious. … Yes, I have to assume they ingested something. According to Judy and another mammal present it was Ergot and something else, but I haven't been able to get the food sample tested yet. … Yes, that is my next call so expect a confirmation call shortly." She then hung up, and turned to look at Janet as she dialed another number. "Jan, my love. I'm sorry. There are a few things you don't know about me, or why I do what I do."
Janet looked at her mate confused. "What?"
Domi gave Janet a pleading look. "Look. Trust me on this. I need you to get both mothers on gurney's and up to the rooftop helipad to meet a transport I am about to arrange. We'll be taking them to a hospital that specializes in hybrids, because non-hybrids are the exception there. It's where both Doctor Reddillis and I are from. I was going to tell you eventually, this weekend actually, but this situation kinda necessitates it."
The line clearly picked up as Domi's attention switched suddenly. "Hello. This is agent Domi Sandpaw, hybrid overwatch, Zootopia. ID number 882HC766. I need two transports, a medical emergency for transport to Hop General. Pregnant tiger with wolf pups, pregnant rabbit with fox kits. They are category one protectives. Both are unconscious, unresponsive, and are in auto-protective labor that appears to have been induced by something they ingested, which may include Ergot. Second is for their mates and entourage, so send a big one. They have an elephant and rhino as part of their group. Pickup is Zootopia General rooftop helipad. … … Yes, you can confirm with Doctor Reddillis. … Thank you. We'll see you there in five."
Maria and the other ladies walked up at that point. "Domi. I have the samples of what they ate." Holding up several evidence bags. "What should I do with them?"
Domi nodded. "Great, that will help treat them faster once we get them to the Hop General in Von. As for what to do with them, for now, hold onto them." Domi wasn't paying attention, but she got several very shocked looks from the mammals around her.
Pausing for a moment, Domi turned to the others with a determined look and a commanding voice. "Okay, Mammals. I've got two transports coming in hot and fast." Looking up at Delgato. "You need to let Zootopia air traffic control know that they are about to have two hypersonic bogies on their screen." Turning to Doctor Jacobson and Janet. Get those patients moving already! The longer they are waiting to get treated the more likely we won't actually be able to help them, or their young."
Delgoto was on his radio. "Dispatch. You need to advise Zootopia air traffic control that they are about to have two hypersonic contacts on their screens and not to freak out. They're medical transports... Yeah, you heard me. … No, I do not know, Ben. Just let them know." Looking up at the moose he frowned. "I'd do as she says. My cousin Victor moved to where she is from after he married his mate, and I've visited. They are far better prepared to deal with this situation."
Doctor Jacobson took a step back. "I will do no such thing. I am not handing over my patients to unknown mammals. And the idea that they have the young of their supposed mates is even more absurd."
Something in Mike snapped at that moment and he let loose a deep, rageful growl. "No. You are going to do as you are told, or I will have your medical license and make sure you won't be able to practice first aid in a free clinic in Angora. Those are our mates, who you have placed at risk, along with our pups, due to your incompetence. Get them moved as you are told, or we will move them for you and you can enjoy what little time you have left with gainful employment."
Nick smirked and simply walked past into the room, coming out a few moments later with Judy in a princess carry. "Del. Would you be kind enough to help Mike with Lizz?"
Delgato nodded. "On it." Disappearing into the room and coming out with Lizz, also in a princess carry. "Good grief. She is heavier than she looks, and not just because of the whole pregnant thing."
Mike chuckled. "She is very dense."
A few minutes later the entire group stood on the landing pad of the hospital as a very futuristic aircraft came in terrifyingly fast, pulling a very hard, tight circle around the hospital to slow down and then landed on the pad. (A/N Think of a very large Quinjet. You know, that plane they use in all the Marvel movies.)
The back opened and three mammals that looked very much like hybrids ran out pushing gurney's that had no wheels but were instead floating. One appeared to be a Wolf/Fox, another was without question a Fox/Rabbit, and the third appeared to be a rabbit, but was as tall as a wolf. The fox/rabbit saw Domi and spoke as the other two helped put Lizz and Judy on two of the gurney's. "Agent Domi. Who is the third?"
Elli stepped forward. "That would be me."
He helped her onto the third gurney and turned it around, Domi following. She stopped Nick and Mike trying to follow. "I know you want to go with your mates, but we don't have enough secure couches for you to come. Another transport is on route and will be here in just a minute or two. It'll bring you to where they are going. Please trust that we are taking them to the best place they could possibly be, considering what is happening."
Nick and Mike nodded and took a step back, both with their ears down and tails tucked, terror for their mates and unborn kits clear on their faces. Domi looked past them. "Jan, please. Come with me. Your knowledge of your sister will be invaluable."
Jan frowned, but walked up the ramp beside Domi, having received the evidence bags continuing the samples of the food from Maria. "This." Indicating the aircraft with a paw. "This is going to require a lot of explanation, Dom."
"I know." Domi nodded, her ears folding flat as the ramp closed. The aircraft took off a few moments later, accelerating away at a shocking speed. Gone from sight in a matter of seconds.
Back on the landing pad
Nick and Mike looked at eachother, looking terrified as Ed came running up having just arrived. "Where is Elli? What's going on? Darr all but kidnapped me and dragged me here." Darr ran up behind him a few moments later.
Terry stepped forward. "Sir. That's my doing. I contacted him and let him know what was happening and to bring you here. When we were at a restaurant in the mall, someone poisoned the food that the Regent and her First ate, as well as Lady Elli. She did not appear affected but was taken with the Regent and First as a precaution, as there was something other than Ergot in the food according to Lady Judy."
Mike nodded. "Our midwife made some weird phone calls and then we packed them up here. Total scifi going on. Crazy looking aircraft and gurneys that floated. I don't know what is going on." Both Nick and Mike turned to Delgato. "But Delgato seems to know. So spill!" A deep warning growl in Mike's chest, a snarl on Nick's muzzle.
Delgato took a shocked step back from the wolf and fox, putting his paws up. "Guys. It'll be okay. I have several family members that live there. It's a city populated mostly by hybrids and interspecies couples. Same species couples are the minority there. There isn't a better place on the planet for your mates to be taken. They're also more advanced medically, and otherwise, as you may have guessed."
Nick nodded with a growl. "Let me guess. The name of the city is Von. I think I heard Domi mention that but couldn't be sure over the sound of everything going on."
Delgato nodded. "You've heard of it?"
Nick rolled his eyes with a groan as his anger deflated, this causing Mike to pause and look down at his First. "Yeah. I've heard the legends. What kinda freaks me out is not that they exist, but that they would break the secrecy they have maintained for literally thousands of years to help Judy and Lizz." Turning to Maria. "We haven't gotten through all the records yet. Do you know anything?"
Maria frowned and shook her head. "I do not." Though she did not miss the skeptical frown Nick gave her.
While they waited, Jarvis arrived along with Bill. Bill looked over the group. "What is going on?"
Carry smiled at her mate and gave him a kiss. "Someone poisoned Judy and Lizz, the recently recognized Wolford Pack Regent and her First. Since their young are going to be hybrids, and given who they are..." Pointing to Nick. "Von has broken their secrecy and sent in a set of transports. The first one already picked up Judy, Lizz, and their friend Elli."
Bill's ears folded back. "Von broke their secrecy? Damn. Well, we'll just have to see how that plays out. If they are going to open up and show themselves to the world, saving Judy would be a good reason I suppose."
Carry shook her head. "Come on Bill, it's the prophecy, and you damn well know it!"
Maria laughed nervously. "Prophecy? Come now. That's a bit silly."
Nick glared at Maria. "Maria…" His tone went cold. "What prophecy? And don't even pretend you don't know what they are talking about?"
At that moment, another transport, even larger than the previous one appeared and pulled the same maneuver before landing on the landing pad. The back opened and an obvious Rabbit/Fox stepped down. "Come on. We need to go. The other transport just landed at the hospital, and we're not nearly as fast as they are. Especially with this load out. So get a move on, mammals."
Nick glared and pointed at Maria. "This conversation is not over." He then turned and ran up the ramp. Mike and Ed, hot on his heels.
The Rabbit/Fox looked over the group. "Anyone else that is coming, get aboard." With a collective look, everyone climbed aboard. Cellphones coming out to make calls and send text messages.
Delgato reached up to his lapel and grabbed his mic. "Dispatch. Ben, tell Bogo I'm continuing my escort duties, but I'm going out of jurisdiction. We're heading for Von. He'll know what that means. Patricia is with us. I will keep her safe."
Ben gasped over the radio. "Von? Okay. I'll let him know. Take good care of her and bring her home safe."
"No worries, Ben. I will."
With that, the ramp closed and the transport lifted off and sped away.
City-State of Von – Hop General Hospital, just as the second transport entered Zootopian airspace.
The transport pulled a hard turn and dropped its velocity from mach 4.5 to 0 in under 1000 feet, landing on the platform where emergency workers were already waiting. The ramp of the transport lowered even before it was fully settled on the pad. The three floating gurney's were quickly pushed down the ramp, Domi and Jan riding on Lizz's while giving updates on the condition of all three females to the doctor in charge.
The doctor, a large charcoal gray wolf with a striped tail, took a pad from the transport tech's and looked it over. "Agent Domi. I'm rather surprised to see you, but seeing as these are your charges, I suppose less so. Tell me what you have, and once we get them stabilized, you can tell me how it is you got this class of transport authorized."
Domi chuckled weakly. "We were at the mall, a final shopping trip for the rabbit and tiger before they gave birth and had young ones to worry about. As their midwife, I went along to make sure they didn't overstress themselves given they are just about ready to pop and we were looking at inducement within two weeks.
At lunch, they all had the same thing." Jan held up the baggie with the food sample. "Whatever it was is in the food. Ergot and something else. The rabbit is the one that figured it out first. How a rabbit knows what Ergot tastes like, I dunno, but the water deer confirmed it. According to the rabbit, there is something else in the food as well."
The doctor nodded, grabbing a nurse and indicating the food sample. "Take that to the lab. We need to know what is in it, and what should not be in it. I want confirmation of Ergot and whatever other poison or toxin is in there."
Grabbing the bags from Jan, the nurse ran off. "On it, Doctor Fangmeyer."
Nodding, the doctor turned back to Domi. "Great. So, now what can you tell me about the patients themselves?"
They had entered the emergency room as they spoke, Domi and Jan hopping down and stepping out of the way while additional doctors and nurses hooked Judy, Lizz, and Elli up to various monitors and transferred them to three side-by-side beds. Elli giggling occasionally at the attention.
Domi nodded. "The water deer is Elli Wolford, married to the Zootopia chapter of the Wolford pack's second. She confirmed the Ergot, stating it was cooked into the food, both veggies and the salmon. I had a thought that perhaps the cooking caused an interaction between the Ergot toxins and the other seasonings of the food. Elli stated that she recognized it, but didn't hit on what it was until Judy, the rabbit, called it out by name. She was also not immediately affected. She started to feel some effects about half way here, though as you can see, she is still fully responsive, just feeling bad."
Doctor Fangmeyer nodded, glancing at the pad he had gotten from the transport. "Okay. And the other two?"
Domi smiled. "I brought Jan." Indicating the rabbit standing next to her and marveling at the tech in play. "She's Judy's sister. So she can provide deeper medical history for Judy. Judy is Judith HoppsWilde, married to the fox Nicholas WildeHopps, and carrying his kits. Which is why we are here."
The doctor groaned. "Well, that takes care of the explanation about the transport, and why you are here as well."
"It does. As I mentioned, we were going to have a call with Doctor Reddillis this Friday afternoon to schedule inducement for both rabbit and tiger. Now, you are just going to love this one Rich."
Doctor Fangmeyer looked down at Domi confused. "What are you talking about?"
Domi grinned. "The tiger is the recognized Regent of Wolford pack, Zootopia. She is married to Michael Wolford, the recognized Designate, and carrying his pups. Judy is her recognized First, and her mate Nick is the recognized First of Michael. I'd like you to look over at that tiger very carefully and say hello to your cousin, Elizabeth Wolford-Fangmeyer."
Doctor Fangmeyer looked up at Lizz with shock, down at Domi's grin, and back up at Lizz. He then slapped a paw over his face and dragged it down his muzzle. "Domi, that's not even funny or fair."
"Not being funny, and it is not fair. How do you think I felt when I walked into their apartment and realized who I was potentially going to be hired by to act as their midwife? Oh, one other thing. Judy has been dosed with Nighthowler variants dozens of times. Both her and her fox have also started dosing themselves to build up a tolerance. Something that has been quite successful, apparently. From what I understand, they go into more of a primal state, still aware, but no inhibitions."
Jan spoke up. "I can confirm that. Judy has also been eating meat since she was about twelve. It helped her get past a wall in her efforts to get stronger and faster so she could become a cop. Most of the family has been sneaking meat ever since we saw what it did for her. Though not at the levels she did. As such, Judy is probably as strong or stronger than you are, doctor."
"I see. And you are?"
"Doctor Janet Hopps. I am head of the Zootopia General small mammal maternity ward."
Giving a nod and chuckle, Doctor Fangmeyer smiled. "Well, welcome to Von, Doctor Hopps. Thank you for the information."
Domi spoke up again. "From what I understand, Nick and Judy were also starting to dose Mike and Lizz with very low doses of Nighthowler the same as they did to themselves."
Nodding, the doctor checked his pad again. "Initial labs just landed. Ergot confirmed, and you were right, the Ergot interacted with a few of the spices to create some novel toxins. Nothing too dangerous, but probably why Elli isn't feeling so hot."
"It makes sense. If Judy hadn't recognized it, we might be considering a city wide memorial."
"In both cities, from what I understand. I'm actually glad to hear that they have been taking some levels of Nighthowler. It has likely protected them and their young, even in the lower doses I expect Lizz has experienced." Stepping away from Domi and Jan, he started barking orders and checking on the condition of his patients.
Jan turned to Domi. "So… You're from Von… A place I only know exists from stories told to us as kits. Supposedly, it was founded by an offshoot of the family that had gotten in with several clans of predators. We're just not called Hop anymore because of a clerical error a few centuries ago."
Domi nodded. "Simplified, but yeah, that's the gist of it."
Jan rolled her eyes. "I don't think there is anything else we can do here. Let's find the waiting room, because I'm sure my brother-in-law, if not here yet, will be here shortly, and both him and Lizz's mate will need some updates."
Domi smiled. "Yes." Leading the way out of the treatment area, giving a signal to doctor Fangmeyer that they were heading to the waiting area in case he needed them. As they walked, Domi glanced at Jan. "So… How much trouble am I in?"
"You said you were going to tell me?"
Domi nodded vigorously. "Absolutely. I've told you, Jan. I am madly, totally lost and beyond redemption, completely and utterly compromised, in love with you. I had plans to bring it up this weekend, but well…"
"My sister had to go and get herself poisoned."
"Yeah… So not mad at me?"
Jan stopped, grabbed Domi by the shirt and pulled her close, locking eyes with her. "I am very much mad at you, and you are very much in trouble. It makes me feel like you don't trust me, and that hurts. That you were going to tell me, and I believe that, is the only reason I'm not kicking your fluffy tail right now. I'm mad. I'm hurt. However, I will get over it, as long as you promise to spill all the beans. No more secrets." Domi nodded vigorously, her eyes wide. "Good. Accepting things like presents." Planting a passionate kiss on Domi's lips that lasted several seconds before releasing her with a wink and walking off. "Now, let's go see if Nick and the rest of them have gotten here yet."
Domi stood there for several heartbeats as her brain rebooted, a grin crawling across her muzzle. Spinning, she followed after Jan. "Yes, dear!"
One of the nurses at the nurse station they were standing next to chuckled as they walked away. "Yep. Agent Domi is officially off the market. Too bad, she is damn sexy."
The other nurse laughed. "Yeah, but you should have known that she was into females."
The first nurse nodded. "Yeah. It's why I never tried. I get shot down often enough as it is. I don't think my ego could have taken that particular rejection."
The second nurse laughed. "Well, if you would bring your pickup lines into this decade, maybe you might have more luck."
Rolling his eyes, the first nurse laughed. "Yet my pickup lines are how I landed the most beautiful Box in the city. While I can recognize the inherent beauty in a Funny like Domi, a Funny todd like myself has only room for only one mammal in his heart."
Blushing furiously, the second nurse smacked the first in the chest. "Stop it! You're so bad."
Smiling and giving her a peck on the cheek before picking up a clipboard. "I mean it and you know it. It's already too late for me." Leaning dramatically against the nurses station counter, paw on his forehead. "If my condition was an injury in some bad movie, I'd be telling you to go on without me, that I was done for and wasn't going to make it." Standing up with a grin to her rolled eyes. "Now, I'm going to do the rounds. Want anything from the break room?"
Still blushing, but grinning in happiness as well. "Sure, you know what I like, and it's hours before Henna and Lee will get here to relieve us. Just wait till I get you home. You are in so much trouble."
Laughing as he walked away, tail wagging happily behind him. "I can't wait."
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If you enjoy this, and you are not also reading my original Log Entries series over on my Blog. Why aren't you? (takes a Nick-esk pose of hurt) Also. I am now posting them on AO3, so you have even less excuse. It's free, ORIGINAL fiction. "An original story told through the log entries of the pilot and captain of an experimental star ship."
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