Cities in Peril

When Calatonia and Zootopia are in danger of facing an illegal recession, ZPD Officers Judy Hopps and Nick Wilde bring in Johnny on the case. But when he goes undercover, will he stay focus on the case or get distracted and put his families and friends and the cities into risk?

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3. On The Way To Zootopia

Johnny took a deep breath as he, Judy and Nick waited in the prison visiting area. He was stressing out about how he was going to break the news to his dad. He had never ever been good at breaking anything to him, especially when he honestly told him about wanting to be a singer and not part of his gang on the day they got arrested.

            Finally, Big Daddy showed up followed by two rhino prisoner guards. He smiled widely as he always did when Johnny came to see him. “Hey, my son!”

            Johnny ran to him and hugged him tightly. “Hi, Dad. How’s it going?”

            “Well, to tell you the truth, the boys and I are stressing over the trial coming up.”

            “The trial? You mean they’ve set a date?” Johnny always knew that his dad and his gang would be put on trial but before tonight a date had never been set.

            “Yeah, in three months time. So, what’s on your mind, son? What do you need me for at this time of night?”

            “These are Officers Hopps and Wilde.” Johnny pointed to Judy and Nick, who waved back. “They are from Zootopia and they need my help over there.”

            Big Daddy looked shocked. “You in Zootopia? What do they need your help for?”

            Johnny explained that Judy and Nick knew about him helping in his dad’s gang even though he never wanted to. So they made a deal with him: if he went with them to Zoopotia and help to solve the crime, he will be cleared of all his charges. “I’ve also persuaded them to ask the judge of your trial to limit the sentence as short as it can be. Also for Stan and Barry.”

            He never got his hopes too high because his dad had never been the easiest animal to please. Big Daddy was looking very worried and angry about something. “May I talk to your new friends?”

            Johnny stood out of the way and let Judy and Nick approach.

            “Sir, I promise you this is no joke. We promise that we will – ”

            “I don’t care about your promises!” Big Daddy roared, frightening the cops. “I only care about my son’s safety! I’d rather have him join me in prison than put him at risk in Zoopotia!” He calmed down only when the prison guards got in front of him and gave him their warning looks.

            Nick had to take a deep breath before he approached Big Daddy. “Sir, I know he’s your son and what we’re asking of him is very risky, but the city needs someone with criminal experience like him to solve this computer virus that’s putting many businesses in our city out of… well, business. If this operation works out, he will be a hero.”

            Big Daddy was still unsure about this.

            “Look at it this way, sir,” Judy said. “Things will get better for all of us if he comes with us and do what we ask him to do. Bury our heads in the sand and things will only just get worse.”

            The strong gorilla sighed. “All right. But you bring him back here the very second the mystery has been solved or you are done with him. Not a second later. Understand?”

            “Sure, we promise,” Judy said.

            Big Daddy turned to Johnny. “Johnny?” His son approached him again. “Look, you don’t have to go, you know. Prison isn’t as bad as now that the boys and I have settled.”

            “Dad, I want to go,” Johnny said. “I’ve been stuck in a rut doing nothing but volunteering for months with no paid job, no vacation and no other future. I feel like this will prove myself of something.”

            “Johnny, you don’t need to prove anything of yourself to me or anyone in the world,” Big Daddy said. “You’re my son and I’m proud of what you’re doing with your life. But if you want to go, go. Good luck.” He gave his son one last hug before the guards took him back to his cell.

            “Don’t worry about him,” Johnny said to Judy and Nick. “He’s always been a hot-tempered gorilla as far as I can remember.”

            “We’re used to mammals like him,” Judy said.

            “We’ve had much worse than him,” Nick said.

            “Well, thank you for letting me speak to him,” Johnny said. “I’m ready to go to Zootopia now.”

            “Don’t you want to pack before we leave?” Judy asked.

            “Nah. These clothes are all I’ve got.”

 

 

On the way to Zootopia, Johnny enjoyed looking at the countryside. He had been in Calatonia all his life and never went anywhere because he and his dad never had enough money for a vacation as his dad was always interested in bank heists than working jobs. And he never had a mother to help them at all. He sometimes asked his dad about where was his mother, but all he ever told him about her was that she left them because she didn’t deserve them. He still wondered what his mother could be doing right now and why she never bothered to see them ever again.

            “Johnny, dude?” Nick called. “Are you ready for your briefing?”

            “Yeah,” Johnny said.

            “We believe that the CEO of Palm Industries is causing this computer virus to shut business down for good so they can take over the city and rule it,” Judy explained. “They are giving an internship course. We have managed to get you on board. As an intern, you can look around the building and see if they are hiding anything suspicious.”

            “Is it a business internship?” Johnny asked. “Because I don’t think I’m smart enough for it and one thing I know I’m not is an actor.”

            “Well, I’m pretty sure even if you don’t do well as an intern, you will do well for our part,” Nick said. “Any questions?”

            “Yeah, where will I be staying at?” Johnny asked.

“ At my place. It has a spare bedroom, heating, Wi-Fi and I have some spare clothes for your first day tomorrow.”

            “First day? Tomorrow?” Johnny felt more confused than before he asked them.

            “Don’t worry,” Judy said. “We have confidence in you already.”

            Johnny tried to share their confidence but he just couldn’t.

 

 

It was eleven o’clock at Homes For Homeless when the karaoke finished in its big and beautiful courtyard. Ash was tired but she really enjoyed playing her electric guitar with the bright colourful lights in the tall striking trees above everyone. It was a lot more fun than she thought it would be and she enjoyed playing music and singing with the people who stayed at the homes more than the Rock Corns. If Johnny was here, it would have been perfect. Everyone was heading to their rooms as she put her guitar away. As she walked off, she saw an owl on a laptop. “Christine, is it?”

            “Hey, Ash,” Christine said. “I had such fun tonight. You were really great.”

            “Thanks.” Ash looked on her laptop and saw a website of singing competitions.

            “Thanks to your music playing and encouragement to help me sing,” Christine said, “I’ve discovered I was born to sing and decided to push myself further by entering some of these competitions.”

            Ash had never felt a feeling like that before. She had never helped someone get out of their comfort zones to sing before like Buster Moon did to Meena the elephant at the show they did. It was making her feel good. She hadn’t felt it in ages. She took a look at Christine’s laptop and saw many competitions on the website. She took a look at the name of the website called Music Of The Future Competitions before Holly the snow leopard came to shut down Christine’s laptop and take her back to her bed.

“Thank you once again, Ash,” Holly said. “We’re having another karaoke night next month. Always feel free to bring yourself and your guitar.”

“Thanks, Holly,” Ash said. “I will. I’ll see you guys later.” Then she headed back to her apartment. On the way, she wondered what the Zootopia police could want with Johnny. She hoped he would be okay. Even though they never spend a great deal of time together, she started to feel she had a crush on him. It started after Lance cheated on her with Becky and after she held his arm when the Moon Theater collapsed and he tried to protect her from it. Then when they put the show back on and they were helping the others set the stage up, she watched him work hard and thought he was very helpful. She wished she had one boyfriend like him instead of all of the jerks before she gave up on boyfriends for good. Then she decided to think about how she was going to make some money before she got kicked out of her apartment. Then she thought about that Music Of The Future Competitions she read on Christine’s laptop.

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