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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5. Reporting To Nick and Judy

Johnny had to admit he was impressed when he entered the restaurant. It was a massive and beautiful place. The seats and tables looked big, clean and comfortable. The food he saw the waiters serving to other tables looked and smelt really delicious. Then he saw at the back of the room there was a massive stage for entertainers to entertain. It had a badger performing magician tricks.

       Johnny found the table Judy and Nick were sitting at and he joined them. The seats felt more comfortable than they appeared to be.

       “Well, how was your first day?” Judy asked.

       “Well, I found the place easily,” Johnny said. “I got passed through security and focused on the lessons. I did check around for anything unusual or if anyone was up to something during breaks. I couldn’t find any yet. Though I did find a zebra student stuck in the ladies’ during our lunch break. She told me it only became locked after she was in. She didn’t lock it herself and she couldn’t get out at all. She missed the rest of the afternoon’s lessons and because of that she was the only one that got kicked out of the internship on the first day! I tried to see if I could find anything or anyone that caused it to happen but I’ve found no results.”

      Both Judy and Nick had to admit that was both strange and unfair. They were hoping for more information than that, but they were glad Johnny got through the first day and he could hopefully find out more about as his time there continued.

      “Did you find anything at work today?” the gorilla asked.

      “Only more businesses are going out,” Judy sighed. “And all that does is put more pressure on us and the entire police force.”

      “Especially Bogo,” Nick said. “Every day he blows more and more steam off about this virus business.”

      Then they began to look at the menus. When the waiter came, Judy asked for a giant fruit salad, Nick asked for a bean burger and Johnny asked for a mixed vegetable pizza.

      After the waiter wrote down the order and the menus, Johnny’s phone rang. It was his dad. “Sorry. If I don’t take this now, I won’t be able to call him later.” He answered it and headed outside to hear his dad better.            “Hi, Dad. How’s it going?”

     “Well, I’ve been worrying about you all day,” Big Daddy confessed. “How did it go?”

     “Well, to tell you the truth… I really enjoyed it.”

     “What? Really? You’re not saying that because those cops are with you, are they?”

     “No, Dad, I promise you. I’m outside of the restaurant on my own so I can talk to you. They’re still inside. I went there, studied hard and I enjoyed the lessons. I would still enjoy them if I weren’t on this mission. I feel like my mind’s getting fed with useful information. How’s your day?”

     “Same old, same old,” Big Daddy said. “Lifting weights and eating mash potato everyday for lunch. Nothing new. Oh, time’s up. Well, I’m glad you’re having fun and learning useful stuff. Good luck for tomorrow, son.”

     “Bye, Dad.” As he was about to head back into the restaurant, Johnny heard some shouting coming from the nearby corner. He popped around to see some a blonde gazelle wearing a white dress. He recognized her. It was Gazelle, the celebrity pop singer. Her pretty face looked angry as she was yelling on her phone.

     “What do you mean you don’t see the motivation in this?” Gazelle snapped. “A young cub with a serious illness wants to see us! Yes, us together, not just me!” But after hearing nothing except a dialling tone, she turned it off and sighed.

    Johnny decided to walk to her. “Hey, Gazelle. You need a hand?”

    Gazelle turned to face him. “What instrument can you play?”

    “Well, I can play a piano if that helps.”

    The pop icon smiled. “Thank you, Mister…?”

     “Oh, Johnny.”

     “Well, let’s go right in and get some music playing, Johnny.”

 

 

It had been ten minutes since their meals had arrived and Judy and Nick were still waiting for Johnny before they can begin their meals. They could see him through the restaurant window talking to his dad but they hadn’t seen him for the last fifteen minutes.

     “You think we should go out and find him?” Judy asked.

     But Nick smiled when he looked at the stage. “No need, Carrots. Because he’s on the stage.”

     Judy was confused when she looked at the stage and everyone applauded when Gazelle appeared on the stage. Then she and Nick noticed Johnny sitting by the piano in the corner.

     “Thank you, everyone,” Gazelle said. “This song is a birthday present for young Timmy Longgrass.” Then she turned to face Johnny. “Take it away, Johnny.”

     Johnny looked at the piano sheets for Gazelle’s song Try Everything. He did his best to play it. Though he was focusing on his playing, he thought everything was going well as Gazelle was focusing on her singing and everyone in the audience was singing with her. When the song finished, everyone applauded and Gazelle took Johnny on stage with her for a bow. Then they were greeted by Timmy Longgrass, a nine-year-old anteater in a wheelchair, with his family.

     “Thank you very much, Gazelle,” Mrs. Longgrass said. “And thank you, Johnny.”
     “No problem.” Johnny bowed again, jumped off the stage and rejoined Nick and Judy. He dug into his pizza which was still warm.

     “Wow, Johnny, you were great,” Judy complimented.

     “Yeah. You play that in your spare time?” Nick asked.

     “Yeah, I do,” Johnny said. He did play the piano sometimes for the Homes for the Homeless parties. He was glad he was keeping his skills up since his performance at the destroyed Moon Theatre.

     “Before you ask,” he continued, “I only went out and helped her to check she wasn’t one of the mammals that could be behind this mysterious virus. And I thought because I’m not a you-know-what like you two are, I thought that would give us more advantage.”
     “I suppose so,” Judy said. “But be very careful and don’t overdo anything. Got it?”

     “Got it,” Johnny said.

     After he finished his pizza, the three of them shared to pay the tab. When they walked out, Gazelle popped out. “Hey, Johnny. Can I talk to you quickly?”

     “Sure.” Johnny turned to the police officers. “You guys can go home if you wish, Nick. I’ll meet you there later.”

     “All right,” Nick said before he and Judy walked off.

     Johnny walked to Gazelle. “Yes, Gazelle?”

     “After our performance,” Gazelle said, “I got called over by a concert manager. He wants us to perform in the I.C.S.C.”

     The gorilla gasped. “You mean, the International Creatures Song Competition?”

     “I sure do,” Gazelle said. “And I meant it when I said us. I really need you in my band to help Zootopia win.”

     “Will there be enough room for me to join your band mates? I thought you had enough problems with them already.”

     “Well, we’ll work something out tomorrow after your internship,” Gazelle said.

     Johnny remembered that he told her about his internship while they were getting the piano ready for their performance. “Okay, well, see you tomorrow then.”

     Gazelle kissed him on the cheek. “See you.” Then she ran off.

     Johnny turned around and caught up with Judy and Nick. He told them about being offered a part in their band and promised to use it for investigation purposes and not for any pleasure at all. Nick and Judy were still unsure about it but because no one on the police force was getting anywhere and Johnny gave his promise to stay focused on the mission, they decided to go to trust him and go with the flow.

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