fay_e: Text: I'm dreaming away, wishing that heroes they truly exist (wishing heroes exist)
fay_e ([personal profile] fay_e) wrote2016-12-06 08:01 pm

true colours (burn those jet pack blues) (3/6)

Summary:(Star Trek and Zootopia crossover) Judy Hopps doesn't do diplomacy. Nick Wilde doesn't do Away missions. Both of them are going to have to make up for what the other lacks if they're going to survive Draconis and maybe save Captain Bogo while they're at it.

Sequel to "the map that leads to you". Features Judy firing big guns, Nick sassing everyone and romance on a planet where reptiles are the dominant species and mammals are not.

Rating: T
Genre: Gen, slices of romance, sci-fi, action/adventure
Warnings for: Fantastic racism, if Nick had a tombstone it would read "dead from deadpan", STAGGERING LEVELS OF COMPETENCY
Disclaimer: If I owned both Star Trek AND Zootopia, I would be paying other people to write this.

Part 1 || Part 2

Up close, Modimolle Lookout was an intimidating peak that ended in a sharp point hanging over the river. "For a peak named by the locals as The Feast of the Spirits, it's not particularly feast like," Judy said to the other animal in the boat.

If her travelling companion had been Nick, he would have made some quip about questioning the tastes of alien ancestors. Plumi simply tilted his head, a gesture Judy guessed meant confusion. Without the effect of the stun, Plumi had as few words as he had at the function. He'd accepted her presence readily enough to find a boat that could take two.

The smaller boat wasn't that much faster. The pace left Judy with too much time to think.

She'd made the mistake that thinking the new found closeness Nick and she shared meant that they'd agree on everything. That had only worked in a boat in the quiet of night. Once off the ship in the thick of action, they were still very different people that treated missions as if they were a different language. She'd tried to explain why going after Bogo had seemed right to her, but apparently it hadn't been right to Nick. She still didn't know what Nick had been thinking in those last moments when his shades and silence had shielded his thoughts. She'd only known how her insides had twisted as each of her steps seemed to take them further apart.

Yet everything Judy now had on her had memories that were linked to Nick. The explosive charges and the energy packs to power her rifle she'd collected under his cool gaze. Her rifle itself that he'd taken without question when she needed him to. The universal translator that helped her understand what little Plumi said. Her carrot communicator.

She popped in her earpiece (also from Nick, he'd given her so much) in the hope that she might now hear a whispered "The wind finally blow you away, Fluff?" She wished it was still last evening. Or better still, she wished she was still on the skimmer, when she'd been flush with the headiness of a job done well, and he'd looked at her with such warmth that she'd pushed aside her anger at their differences.

Thinking about skimmers made her snap out of daydreams and glance up at the sky at the skimmer with the odd flight pattern. Plumi had assured her it was nothing to worry about, but her experience with Senator Rindja left her with doubts. The skimmer of sleek white was keeping the same pace as them, even though it could have travelled a lot faster. It showed a sudden burst of speed now, as it dipped low enough for Judy to pick out weapon turrets.

Judy's ears flattened as she realised the implications. "Plumi! Duck!"

Plumi's disgruntled glare turned into a startled scramble as the skimmer whistled overhead. Judy had already taken her own advice, taking cover behind a high enough seat that still let her track the movement of the skimmer.

That was why she was prepared when the skimmer made a return run. She tackled Plumi to the bottom of the boat.
Plumi's tail thumped the bottom of the boat. "Ensign Hopps, I have to steer!"

"It's too dangerous! There are weapons on the skimmer." The mounted plasma cannons Judy had spotted were large enough. If their energy input was similar to that for Starfleet plasma cannons, neither she nor Plumi could take a direct hit.

Plumi already wasn't listening, shrugging Judy off to scurry back to the controls. Judy left him to it, particularly after Plumi jerked the boat into a turn that threw up a wave of water he'd used so effectively against Ilysia.

Whoever was piloting the skimmer seemed to be anticipating the defensive maneuvers. The skimmer kept just close enough to make Plumi take the sharp turns that threw up waves. Yet the skimmer was far enough out of range of the waves to keep the water from getting into the engines. From the bottom of the boat, Judy could feel the growing tilt. She didn't know how good Plumi was at steering boats, but they were running the risk of capsizing.

Judy wasn't going to let things get to that stage.

After the trouble she had sabotaging the boats with only her rifle, Judy had stocked up on grenades. That should work as well on a skimmer. If she aimed right, she could take out a few of the weapon turrets before they could be used again them.

The odds weren't in her favour. Plumi was still jerking the boat to dissuade the skimmer from strafing them, which meant Judy didn't have a stable base to work from. There was no Nick here to hold her steady, even though the idea of firing from the open back of a skimmer had his fur standing on end. No matter how much better it had been to work with Nick, she'd have to do this alone. She'd done it before.

Judy plucked one of the grenades from her stash and squared her stance. She spent some moments observing. There had to be some tells of how the skimmer and the boat would move.

She found her opening. When the skimmer's dive at their boat reached its lowest point, there was a short window before Plumi threw up a wave that the boat and the skimmer were closest to each other. She had to try to get the grenade behind one of the extended turrets. She had to. She had to make it back, so long as she owed Nick his favour.

She waited, as the skimmer's nose started to dip. She waited, as the skimmer dropped into its dive.
Weapons were fired.

But not at Judy's boat. A new skimmer was streaking along the river, close enough to the water surface to throw up waves. As this skimmer of gunmetal grey moved, it was firing up at the white skimmer that had been worrying the boat Judy and Plumi were in.

A boat that was suddenly sinking into the water. Judy looked around but saw no holes in the base of the boat that would explain their sinking. "Plumi, what's happened to the boat?"

Plumi grabbed Judy's arm, his grip strong despite the thinness of his fingers. "Vector is here. Vector has come to get us!"

Judy looked over the side of the boat. There was a shape below them, though the agitation of the water surface by the gunmetal skimmer was making it hard to see what the shape was.

Water sloshed over the side Judy was peering over as their boat was dragged completely into the water. As water lapped at her ankles, she wondered if she'd ever have the time to find a proper beach. Nick probably could. He had his ways to get to somewhere safe, unlike Judy who jumped into sinking boats.

By the time the water had reached her waist, she saw the curved sides of a submersible. The sides were rising out of the water to start closing over their boat. The water and Judy's alarm were rising faster though. When the water was at her shoulders, the edges of the submersible had yet to close in a water tight seal over the boat.

Buoyancy had Judy's feet floating off the bottom of the boat long before the water rose any further. Plumi let go of Judy's arm to dive into the water itself. Judy glanced between the slowly rising sides of the submersible and the two skimmers that were now in a dogfight in the sky. The exchanged phaser fire made her take a deep breath and dive after Plumi.

The first obvious thing was electronic lights, glowing ghostly amber as indicators of the electronic mechanism that was dragging the boat under. Plumi was following the boat, a dark blob in water murky with river silt. Judy couldn't see anyone or anything else.

She popped back up to the surface. The sides of the submersible had risen enough that it now formed walls about Judy's height on all sides. Guessing that those would be enough to keep out the rest of the river, Judy kept paddling at the surface until the submersible's metal dome closed fully overhead. With her free hand, she fished out her carrot communicator and saw its indicator shift from the green of online to the red of offline. So this was why Bogo's communicator had cut out over the river. He'd gone under it.

The sound of stomping feet had Judy pocketing her communicator before it was seen. Crurotarsi were now entering the dome without concern for the water, of waist height to them, that soaked their clothes. She only recognised Vector because of his headphones and thick gold chain.

When he saw Judy, Vector's mouth spread in a toothy grin that had Judy's back up all over again.

"My apologies," He called out in Standard. "Our submarine is designed for our kind. A little bit of water is of no trouble to us."

"It's not a problem. I can swim," said Judy. She wasn't going to show any discomfort in front of them, even though the water would render her rifle unusable for the next ten minutes as it dried out.

"We'll have the engineers drain the water faster."

Judy's feet had yet to touch the floor when Plumi had skittered out of the water to come up to Vector. Their dip in the water had conveniently cleaned the dust from when he'd been crawling in the sand earlier. "Warlord Vector!" Plumi's use of his own tongue set off Judy's universal translator. "It is an honour that you would come to rescue such a humble one as myself - "

"I did not come for you," said Vector, switching to Draconian too. "I came because someone without a forked tongue yet speaking in the tongue of serpents called to inform me of intruders in my territory."

Nick. That had to be Nick. Judy felt her spirits lift as she realised that Nick still had her back, even this far out. It wasn't his voice directly in her ear, or his warmth by her shoulder, but it would be enough.
Judy's feet touched the ground. She gave her communicator one last squeeze before letting it settle in her pocket. Her grenade, meant for a skimmer but now as a means of defense against the Crurotarsi, stayed in her hand.

"You've told us why you're here," Judy said to the gathered Crurotarsi and Senator Plumi. "Now it's our turn to tell you why we're here. Senator Plumi, didn't you have an agreement you wanted to talk about?"

Thankfully, Plumi finally took the cue, although it had been delayed. "It is as the Starfleet officer said. We would like a better venue for us to present you with the agreement between the Federation and Draconis."

"The agreement comes with conditions as well," said Judy, wondering if she was right, wondering if she hadn't come along Plumi might have simply given the agreement to Vector. "We would like you to release Captain Bogo in exchange for the arrangement."

"A negotiation," said Vector, stubbornly using Standard although it was clear Judy's universal translator was working. "If this is a negotiation, you will have to excuse us for taking the negotiation to a better location than a submarine." He turned on his heel, a dismissal. Or a call onwards, if the way Plumi scurried after him was any indication. The rest of the Crurotarsi followed, without care for this strange rabbit and her weapons.

Further down the rabbit hole, Judy mused to herself, because there was no Nick to quirk a grin at her. Her mind helpfully supplied that Nick would rib her by asking, Oh you can make those jokes but I can't?

She took a deep breath and followed Vector, as she had planned all along.

The trouble with arriving at the enemy's base in a submersible was that Judy had no gauge of the size of the base they had been brought to. The narrow channel of water they had surfaced in was just larger than the width of their submersible. The dock was a lot larger, taking up half of the domed structure they were in.

Beyond that, Judy had no idea of the scale of the building. Were there more docks? Was any part of the base above ground? There were some stairs leading away from the dock, but she did not have the luxury of exploring. Vector and his retinue, which included Plumi, were leaving the submersible. Vector was leading the group towards the other end of the docks with single minded purpose.

Though no one was making sure Judy followed, she did so anyway. Anger at their arrogance in not taking her seriously aside, she still didn't trust Plumi with the negotiation. She didn't need negotiation skills to tell when he'd left important parts out of the discussion, as he had kept doing in casual conversation with Vector in the submersible.

Following the group proved to be a good choice. The doors in Vector's base seemed to be exclusively manually operated blast doors. Judy could have blasted through them now her gear was dried out, but it was easier to let Vector's soldiers heave the doors open. She was less certain about the elevator they ended up in, but at least the elevator had enough space that Judy wasn't crammed against the wall.

She counted six levels before the elevator doors opened. Vector led them down a gunmetal corridor to a large conference room, if the huge table in the middle was anything to go by. Despite the number of seats, Vector dismissed most of his guards, with only two stationed within the room. The bulk of Judy's attention, however, was on the extreme end of the table where Captain Bogo was seated.

"Captain!" Thankful that his seat made him more accessible and that the table provided a convenient cover, Judy went right up to him.

"Hopps." Bogo's response was more measured. Since he wasn't a Security Officer, he froze like a deer in headlights when Judy went right up to him and started checking him over. She was thankful the Captain was seated and the convenient cover of the table, which made carrying out her plan easier.

As expected no one pulled her away, although Bogo finally managed, "Hopps, in case you haven't noticed I'm not Wilde."

She clucked her tongue at him, imitating the way her mom fussed over the younger Hopps. "Can't I make sure my Captain is alright?"

When Judy dropped a grenade in his pocket, Bogo's expression cleared. "I'm fine." She slipped him a roll of explosive charges with a detonator next. "Thanks for your concern."

"Just doing my duty." Judy took a step back before her proximity became too suspicious. She'd have handed him a phaser if phasers for hooves weren't in short supply, and hers wasn't sized for rabbits.

"It seems no introductions are needed," Vector mused in Standard from his seat on the other end of the table. Plumi was standing at attention by Vector's shoulder.

"I'd prefer explanations over introductions. Why are the two of them here?" Bogo jabbed a hoof tip at Plumi and Judy in turn.

"We have a proposal that all of us must absolutely discuss," said Plumi, his translator doubling his words. "Vector and I were thinking that in the interest of fairness, he should also have a copy of the agreement."

"That wasn't what we discussed!" Judy was about to launch into the details when Bogo held up a hoof. Relieved that someone who knew better could speak, Judy let Bogo take over.

"Senator Plumi, allow me to remind you of two points." Triggered by Plumi's use of Draconian, Bogo's translator was also churning the Draconian version of Bogo's response. "One, that is an agreement with the Federation that I've been authorised to sign. Two, you seem to have forgotten the agreement is confidential. Should I refresh you on its meaning in Standard?"

"That's why you're part of the negotiation." Plumi was quick to counter. "We absolutely must have your views."
"I don't offer my views under duress. In negotiations with the Federation, freedom of movement and of will is a prerequisite, not a condition."

"Patience, Captain," said Vector. With his curious insistence on Standard, his words came out slow and measured compared to his rapid fire exchanges with Plumi on the submersible. "In the three days you are my guest, you will have all the time to mull your final decision."

The steel in Bogo's words harmonised with the formal tones of his translator. "It's difficult to mull a decision I'm not aware of. What precisely am I supposed to ruminate on?"

Vector waved a clawed hand at Plumi, who had drawn himself to full height at the attention. "Plumi has with him a copy of the agreement that you were willing to sign with the Squamata, leaving half of Draconis out in the process. I suggest you sign the agreement with me instead. Then you may go."

Bogo's nostrils flared in annoyance. "Seeing that only Hopps here is capable of such leaps in logic, I don't understand why you would want to sign an agreement flawed enough to leave out half the planet."

"That is a question for the Federation and Senator Rindja, no?" Vector's crocodile smile was bordering on the unnerving. "I am following in their footsteps."

"Well I have no intention of following the herd this time. You'll need better justification than precedent to get me to sign the agreement."

"Maybe the three days to witness the injustice suffered by my kind will change your mind. You will have time, Captain."

"I don't see why this time has to be spent on your base. The longer I stay, the less likely the Federation will allow me to represent them on the agreement."

"Even a former representative will still wield some power. I'd prefer us to be on the same side before we discuss more. Isn't that right, Plumi?"

"That is right. I will be here and keep the agreement with me to maintain the confidentiality you talked about. Please do give Vector's proposal a chance!"

"Plumi, I don't care for your choice in accommodation. But I am interested to hear from Hopps. How do you feel about the three days to consider Vector's suggestion?"

Judy knew what she wanted, but was less certain about her ability to convince the others, even with the aid of her translator. "I think you should let Captain Bogo go. There's nothing he can see here that he couldn't from the Integrity.

"As for Hopps herself, as her commanding officer I would prefer that she be allowed to report back. She doesn't have to be here for any of this."

"Oh certainly." Vector's quick agreement was suspicious. "She's welcome to find her own way back. I wouldn't risk my soldiers as her escort."

"What about Captain Bogo?" Judy was tired of this very important point that the Crurotarsi seemed to find any excuse to side step. "He doesn't need the three days!"

"The three days is what your Captain and I agreed back in the capital. You were there, Ensign."

"We both know we're renegotiating now. Plumi wants to give you the agreement. Let the Captain go."

"I will. After three days."

Judy didn't know how to get out of the rut she was stuck in, or the significance of the three days to Draconians. Nick would have known. But Nick wasn't here now.

"Hopps, let it go," said Bogo. "I'm in no immediate danger. You've done what you can here, see to the rest of the crew."

"Yes sir." Judy hadn't been able to say that without bitterness today. At least Bogo didn't look as hurt as Nick had. That thought gave Judy the confidence to turn on her heel and stride out of the room, never mind the echoed smiles of Vector on the guards she passed.

For all that Vector had said Judy would not have an escort, as soon as she left the conference room she saw guards that just happened to be standing in front of other routes that she might have taken. The only clear path was to the elevator, which sat empty and waiting.

That might have been their mistake. Once in the elevator, Judy might have mistimed her leap so that she hit the topmost button instead of the last button that would have brought her back to the dock. She'd never promised Vector that she would take the most direct way back.

No one stopped her and Judy found that the elevator opened up to a roof, where the blue skies she had been travelling under earlier was giving way to dusk. Even in the fading light, Judy could see that there was no apparent river winding between Modimolle in the distance and the building she was on now. Judy herself might not have found Bogo at this base if it hadn't been for Senator Plumi.

Judy's vantage point from the rooftop also showed her one other thing - the white skimmer that had been tailing Plumi and herself had discovered the base too.

A quick glance around showed no surface to air weapon installations. Perhaps Vector had been too confident in the secrecy of his base. Judy's paw went to the earlier grenade that she'd wanted to use on the same skimmer. The roof offered better coverage and stability than the boat.

Again the flight pattern of the skimmer gave her pause. This wasn't the smooth flight path of earlier where the skimmer was tuned and had fuel to spare. The skimmer flew with erratic dips as it struggled to maintain altitude. As it drew closer, Judy made out phaser damage standing out stark black against the white of the skimmer. She drew back to the shadow of the elevator well, and waited.

The skimmer didn't land so much as drop onto the roof of the base, like a weary animal on its last legs. The back of the skimmer opened more smoothly to reveal Waran and other Draconians - no, Squamata, that was the term Nick had used - with wary claws on their weapons.

The mystery was too great. Judy too kept a paw on her rifle as she stepped out to confront Waran. "What are you doing here?"

Waran's security officers immediately turned their rifles on Judy, but Waran was quick to wave them down. "Ensign Hopps," he said in Standard, as polite as he'd been when he spoke to Judy and Nick in a foyer, which seemed like a lifetime ago. "I am checking the Crurotarsi locations that Captain Bogo might be held in. I said I would during your interview. We didn't manage to finish yours, since Starfleet wasn't able to tell us where you were."

"I'm here now, and so is Captain Bogo. What are you planning to do about it?" Judy wasn't going to explain herself when Waran's presence was still raising too many questions, especially after the bomb.

"A rogue Senator has his uses." Waran's comment had Judy tensing on the balls of her feet, ready for a dash. "Thanks to Senator Plumi we're on our way to rescue Captain Bogo. Come with us. Getting your captain away from Vector is important."

"What do you plan to do with Vector?"

"Does it matter?"

"Captain Bogo and Vector have discussed nonmilitary resolutions many times. That means it's against Starfleet orders to engage him in battle."

"Convenient," the Standard word spat by Judy's universal translator made Waran's hiss sound harsher than it did in his own tongue. When Waran had eased back to Standard, he almost sounded reasonable when he said, "How about you get in touch with Lt Wilde then? We don't know his communicator number, and Tsiny says his translator is always off."

The reference to Tsiny was Waran's mistake. Judy's unease gave way to full blown alarm for Nick. What did the Draconians want with him?

She wasn't going to get any answers out of Waran. And maybe it was time Waran stopped getting answers out of her.

"I would. Except that I don't have a communicator on me, and I wouldn't know Lt Wilde's number off the top of my head."

"Search her," Waran clicked at his officers in Draconian. Even though her translator let her know what they were doing Judy didn't protest, because they weren't going to know what they were looking at even when they found it.

They were thorough enough to find it, but Judy kept a bored expression even as one lf the security officers turned back to Waran to say in Draconian, "Sir. Other than her weapons, this was the only other thing of interest that we found." He held up a carrot shaped object to show Waran.

"What IS that?"

"A joke between friends. I'm not sure if Draconis has carrots, but they're a Zootopian delicacy I find really tasty."

Waran already wasn't listening. At Waran's curt nod at Judy, the Draconian security officer handed Judy back her belongings. Judy took them, making sure to hide the green light of her communicator behind a cautious paw.
None of the Draconians noticed anything amiss. Judy watched them file into the elevator, and only when the doors closed did she rock back onto her heels.

She couldn't afford to relax for too long. Thumbing the right buttons on her communicator, she hailed on the now green and clear communications channel. "Ensign Hopps to Integrity. Nick, what's your status? Talk to me."

Part 4 || Part 5 || Part 6