Welcome to one of the tortures my muse subjects me to when I don't write often enough. I do hope you enjoy it.
To be clear, this is absolutely NOT canon to either of my main stories. If anything, it might be a bit closer to the original Zootopia story-line, with some GhostRider added in for extra flavor.
I do not own Zootopia, GhostRider, or anything that is not my own OC. I could do so much more with them then they are, but I'm just some puke on the internet. Easy to claim that.
That evening, Nick saw things change. The kits, including most of the teenagers that were out in the town, were all locked down in the prison area. Those teenagers that were not were clearly older, and what Nick saw through one of the windows took his rage to an even higher level. Worse, he also confirmed that there were armed guards around the kits, and their intent was clearly not to keep mammal's out, but keep the kits in, with lethal force if needed.
With that, he adjusted his plans, the program for the explosives, the path and targets for the Falcons, and his plan of attack. He would free the kits first. Even if it cost him the extra century, that was better than risking the kits being killed, any of them, by the twisted souls that possessed this town.
Once in the position, Nick readied one of the concussion and flash-bang grenades, pairing them to his phone and then setting them to go off at the same time as the first explosive. The concussion was put right in front of the main entrance to the prison area. He knew there were guards on the other side. The Flashbang went through the window into the guard shack area.
Once he'd tossed the flashbang he triggered the program. Chuckling darkly as he heard the guards ask. "What's that thing?"
"Don't know." They didn't get farther than that before it went off.
The concussion grenade successfully caved in the doors, and Nick was around the corner and into the building as the first explosive went off towards the center of the town. From the sounds of it, the building it was on collapsed. With his BlackWolf up, Nick began to clear the room. While these were not as decayed as most of the bodies in town, probably why they were there, Nick did not have time to try and bind and suck out the possessing soul. The BlackWolf made quick, if not messy work of the occupants of the room. He could sense the souls, both the possessing soul and the soul that the body originally possessed leaving said body, or what was left of it.
He almost laughed as the souls of the possessed bodies did not however leave. Instead, they went on the attack. Just the distraction he needed. It would prevent the possessing souls from reporting that the prison was under attack sooner. He quickly set up a tripwire across the entrance with one of the frag grenades, then moved into the building, closing and blocking the door behind him. He'd be leaving from one of the outer walls using one of the grenades to knock a hole in it.
Moving through, he found the remaining guards he knew of huddled around the door to the dorms where the kits were, and arguing over what to do. "What do we do?" Asked a deer.
A wolf, clearly the leader, responded. "We stay put. The kits cannot be allowed to escape. We cannot afford to have any escape and have to be put down. It takes too long to get them to breeding age, let alone for possession."
"Yeah, but one of those explosions sounded like it was really close." A different wolf said.
The lead wolf spoke again. "It's just the acoustics." Another explosion went off, sounding closer. "See. That sounded close again. Could have even been an echo. The others will deal with this attack just like every time before. They cannot withstand the power of the sourcer or the fact that we cannot simply be killed. Let alone that we can just possess their bodies and turn their own weapons against them."
The original wolf nodded. "I guess you're right. So do we spread out then?"
Nick readied another frag grenade. Popping around the corner, pin pulled. "Sure, let me help. Catch!" Tossing it over to them as they looked to see who had spoken. The lead wolf catching it. "What the?"
The original wolf screamed 'grenade,' just before it went off. There wasn't much left of them, and just like the guards before, the released souls of the bodies original owners went on the attack upon being freed.
He could hear whimpering and crying from all the kits. Approaching the door which had been damaged by the grenade, he kicked it in, causing several screams and more crying. "Hey kits. I'm Nick WildeHopps. I am not one of these possessed scum." Looking around he was shocked by how many kits there were. They were squeezed in, and huddling together. "Is this all of you?"
One of the older teenagers, a black and gray jackrabbit with a damaged ear stepped forward. "Except those that are out in town being used, yes. You should leave, before one of them decides to possess you."
Nick smiled. "I'm actually immune to the kind of possession that they would try. They could try, but well…" Grabbing the soul that was trying to make its way into the room. It screamed in rage making the kits cower further. Nick then opened his mouth, hellfire shooting forth to entrap the soul and draw it into his maw. Giving an exaggerated belch. "Trying to possess me is a one way ticket for them to hell. So let's get you all out of here."
Getting the kits to get clear, he put several rounds into the wall to create a hold, then slipped another concussion grenade into it. Transforming he used his body to shield the kits. Looking back at the kits, they were looking at him with a combination of fear and fascination. Rider smirked. "And this is why I can't be possessed by the evil spirits here. I already have a spirit of Righteous Vengeance in residence. I'm also a cop in Zootopia, and everyone knows I'm like this. Once I take care of the souls in this town, I will make sure all of you are taken care of."
One of the other teenagers. "Taken care of like, how? Killed? Possessed like you instead of them?"
Rider shook his head and turned back into Nick. "No. Placed with families that will take care of you, love you, help you get an education, and do whatever in this life you want. I don't know what they tell you about the world, but it is not nearly as bad as I expect they claim."
"They claim that the world was destroyed by war and that there is nothing but unthinking beasts out there."
"Yeah, no… The world has certainly had some war, some ugly wars where lots of mammals lost their lives. The world has not however destroyed itself. It has mostly gotten over itself and most mammals, predator and prey alike, live together in relative harmony."
A silver gray rabbit doe with slate gray eyes, probably 12, stepped forward. "Then what do predators eat?"
We have huge farms where we raise birds like chickens, as well as bugs, and there are non-meat based protein substitutes as well." Kneeling down. "My mom is actually a rabbit and my dad is a Red fox. I take after my dad." Grinning so his teeth showed and tapping his front two, very rabbit-like, teeth. "Still have some of my mom's traits though." Standing again he turned to the teenagers. "You have a choice. Take the chance. Lead all the kits out of here and up into the forest. Then work your way around the valley to the stream that flows out of the valley. Follow that stream and then wait once you are beyond the mountains.
Or… You can stay here and hope that more of them don't show up and murder you. Or decide that you are old enough to be possessed, or taken for other purposes. Your choice."
The kits all looked at each other, the teenagers nodding in agreement. "We'll go. I truly hope you are what you claim."
Nick smiled and handed the buck his badge. "That's my badge. When you get out of the mountains. Pry it open and press the red button inside until it clicks. Don't do that before you are clear of the mountains."
"What will happen if we do that?"
"Help will come. Lots of it."
With that, the kits all filed out, Nick providing them cover. Once they were clear, he made his way back into the town and towards the church. He still had a job to do, the reason he was there to begin with.
Nick made it to the street across from the church when the final explosive went off. Unfortunately for him, there were four very large guards outside the church. Two rhinos, a bull elephant, and a bull water buffalo. He stood across the street, as they glared back at him. All four were clearly well past the sell by date for their bodies.
Nick adjusted his shooting glasses and made sure his earplugs were seated correctly. He then swapped the mag for this BlackWolf, the one that was alternating ARC explosives and Hellfire incendiary. Once he was ready, Nick looked up at the large mammals with a wicked smirk. "You four are well past your expiration date. Been riding those bodies a bit too long. What say I help you vacate the premises?"
The water buffalo snorted and growled. "I don't know how you got here, fox. If you are with whatever force is currently attacking the town, you will simply be turned or used like all those before you."
Nick shrugged, popping his neck. "Doubtful. I'm unlike anything you have likely dealt with before. However, what I'm here for is behind you in that church somewhere."
"There is no treasure. Only your death or conversion."
"I guess we shall see. Well, I will. You, not so much." Putting a round into the bulls head which effectively made his head vanish. "Oh look, a magic trick." Grinning evilly at the other three remaining guards, they moved to charge and Nick unloaded into them. They fell before they could get even a few steps, their deteriorated bodies unable to withstand the high explosive and incendiary rounds from the BlackWolf.
Slinging the BlackWolf, Nick switched to his DemonFox and entered the church. Sweeping it quickly, he found it to be mostly empty, and moved quickly towards the document, a book really, upon the church altar. The book reeked of evil and the stench of corruption. It was so evil, there was an odd rot that appeared to be eating at the stone of the altar upon which it lay.
Looking around one more time, Nick flipped the pages of the book, seeing dozens, hundreds of names inscribed in blood upon its pages. Closing it, he slipped it into his mostly empty duffle and put it over his shoulder. Turning, he found himself facing a dozen rotting mammals and one elk that looked perfectly healthy.
The elk smiled at Nick, although there was nothing friendly about said smile. "Welcome to San Bengalis, friend. "You must be the one who attacked us. Smart to keep us occupied with the distraction. Strange devices you have." Holding up a broken Falcon, the one with the flashlight. "What magic do you wield that lets you produce such things? Especially the light made by this thing?" The flashlight still shining.
"No magic. Just simple technology. Now, if you will let me pass, we can all go about our business and no one else has to get forcibly exorcized."
"You have done a good job of that. What surprises me is that you have somehow not become possessed in the process. What magic protects you? I suppose we will find out soon enough. I'll ask you kindly to return the book to the altar. It is of no value to you or anyone of this world."
"It is actually of great value to me, the reason however is my own. Now stand aside."
"I respect your determination. However, you will join us, become a vessel, or die here. There are no other options."
"I beg to differ." Flipping the switch on the DemonFox to three round bursts, Nick started dropping mammals.
The elk chuckled. "Your weapons are amazing. The world has grown in its ability to deal out death."
Nick, moving slowly to one side, nodded. "We have, although most of the time we use non-lethal methods. Things like tranquilizers delivered at range. We will kill if we have to, but will avoid it if we can. The residents of the town however fall into a slightly different category. Since they are all possessed by horribly evil spirits, other willing members of this town, and the moral and literal horrors you commit daily. Well… I will take great pleasure in razing this town to the ground again, and ensuring that it can never rise again."
"If you think the mammals here are the only ones that have signed that book of their own free will. Well, there is a bridge in Zootopia I would like to sell you."
"Depends on the bridge. I might be up for buying." Dropping another mammal that made a move for him."
"While you are entertaining, it is time you surrender to the inevitable."
Nick nodded. "I agree." Tossing another frag grenade into a group and then lighting up the elk.
The grenade did its work well, the problem being, all nine rounds he sent, on target, to the elk, never actually reached him. They detonated against an invisible wall a few inches from the mammal, who was laughing. "Oh, my. You are quite the firebrand. However, I think that is quite enough." Nick was staring in surprise at the fact that the elk still stood, and what happened with the rounds he fired at him. So, he was surprised by the invisible fist the size of an elephant that slammed into him and drove him into the wall. "Now you will learn what true power is. The power one gains from within themselves."
Nick groaned as he pulled himself out of the wall. "Ouch. Not appreciating that. What the hell was that?"
Zath spoke in Nick's head. "That was actual magic. He's the sorcerer that we heard mentioned. His is the one that twisted this town originally. We must mark him. However, if we transform he will know what we are and be able to respond."
"Then we'll just have to get nasty, and up close and personal."
"What's that? You are still able to move? Impressive."
"Yeah, I am not a normal fox. I'm a fobbit, actually. So I'm a lot harder to put down. Charging, Nick dodged to the side as another invisible fist drove directly into where he was. It wasn't actually invisible, but it wasn't exactly visible either. It was like a vague heat mirage.
The elk smiled. "Impressive. You will however not be able to resist me."
"We shall see about that." Pulling his remaining DarkFox, Nick dropped the remaining mammals inside the church. A wall of the same shimmering energy slammed in front of the exit, Nick however was counting on that and bouncing off it, using his powerful legs, leapt up and over the elk, emptying the magazine and reloading as he landed. "I wonder how long you can keep that shield up."
The flashbang he had dropped next to the elk went off, surprising him. Nick fired again, three rounds. Two hit the same shield, the third however got through and clipped the elk in the shoulder.
Calling out in pain and slapping his hoof over the wound, he glared at Nick. "What magic is this? No matter your weapons, you should not be able to get through my shield."
Popping two smoke grenades, Nick laughed. "Told you, I'm not a fox, I'm a fobbit. I take you you don't know what that is. Perhaps I'll tell you just before I end you."
"What now? How do you summon smoke like that? I sense no magic in use."
"That's your problem, Sourcy… Not everything is magic. Hell, even I know a few parlor tricks." Grinning as the smoke filled the room, Nick was able to see through it thanks to the polarization of his glasses. He had considered the fact that he was able to transform in the sun, even if it took extra energy to do so. He could summon his chains without transforming, and even transform just his eyes to Pennance the deer at the diner. It suggested, he could do more than that, and given the situation, it was worth a try. "How about this for a magic trick." Transforming just his paw and the DarkFox held in it, Nick put three rounds of hellfire into the elk. All three cut right through his shield and scorched him.
"Impossible! How can you summon Hellfire? How can you hurt me? There is nothing in this world that can touch me."
Nick put two more rounds into the elk, then dodged back and to the side as the fist, now easily visible as it moved through the smoke, displacing it, tried to smash him again. Moving through the smoke, Nick continued firing the hellfire rounds into the elk, the sound from the weapon echoing so other than the direction they shot came from, there was no telling where Nick was due to the smoke.
Finally seeing the elk limping, Nick managed to target one of his hooves. This ended the attacks of the invisible fist. Nick also noticed that the barrier that protected the elk was failing. There were holes in it wherever he had put the hellfire through. Using that, he put several regular rounds through those holes into the elk.
At this, the elk backed up away from Nick. He was initially concerned that the elk could see him, but the fear in his eyes and the way he looked around wildly said otherwise. "This isn't possible. You wield powers even I lack. What are you? Who are you?"
"My name is Nicholas WildeHopps. Half fox, half rabbit. All, your worst nightmare, and more."
The smoke cleared slightly as the grenades exhausted themselves, the elk bolted for the door, only for it to be barred by hellfire encased chains. "No! You summon hell itself? Impossible! You are no sourcerer!"
The chains snapped around, encasing the sorcerer and constricting so he could not move. Before he could do anything, Nick put a round into his undamaged hoof causing him to scream in pain. Stepping up to the sorcerer so he could be seen in the smoke, Nick looked up at him. "Now then. This was fun and all, but I have a purpose here. That being to claim the contract for the one who owns my soul." Transforming and increasing his size so that he was slightly taller than the elk. He pressed his palm to the elks forehead, branding him. "You now belong to him."
"You're a rider?! But… How? How are you able to do all this without me sensing you?"
"Because the demon that possesses me does not control me. You, on the other hand, took such wondrous power, that could have helped mammals and reshaped the world. Instead, you twisted it and yourself, and for what? Not that I care, but I am curious. What did you gain?"
"Immortality. Power. I am a god here."
The chains constricted further, wrapping around both hooves and crushing them to the elks scream of pain. The hellfire covering them, searing his flesh where they touched it. Rider pulled the machete/sword from his sheath down his back, the blade glowing and wreathed in hellfire, having transformed with him. Runes visible along its length. With two quick motions, he removed the elk's antlers. An almost electrical arcing sound happened at that and the elk slumped, his power now gone.
"You now belong to Mephisto. It took me some thinking to figure out why demons like him and Blackheart would want the contract. Then I realized. You defeated the demon you made the contract with. Thus granting you everything you wanted from it, but also freeing you from it, so long as no new demon claimed it. Now, even if no demon were to ever claim it, you belong to Mephisto."
Bowing his head the elk nodded. "And with my antlers gone, I have no power to resist."
At that moment, the smoke cleared, flowing out of the room as it sucked out and Blackheart walked in. "Well done. You exceed the bragging of my father. I look forward to what wonders you perform under my service."