fay_e: Text: though our instincts say that we should turn and run (instincts turn and run)
fay_e ([personal profile] fay_e) wrote2016-12-09 11:26 pm

true colours (burn those jet pack blues) (4/6)

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 || Part 3

Nick hadn't been monitoring Judy's frequency. He was absolutely sure of that, because as soon as he had made the call to Vector, Clawhauser was next on Nick's to call list. Nick had made sure the image of the cheetah's round face had taken up the entire of his PADD screen, leaving no space for anything else. "Claw! Put aside your Lucky Chomps, cos have I got some local treats for you."

Clawhauser sighed, not even sparing Nick an ear twitch as he tossed back another mouthful of cereal. "What trouble did you get into this time, Nick?"

"Who, me? No trouble at all. Hopps on the other hand - "

Bits of cereal were thankfully splayed thousands of miles away in space and not in Nick's face. Clawhauser wiped them off his camera so he could splutter at Nick, "What did you do to Judy?"

"What did I do to Hopps? As my bud and esteemed colleague shouldn't you ask if Hopps did anything to me?"

Clawhauser was now pouting at the tissues clutched in his paw. "Well. You know Draconis well enough to spirit her away on a boat. Alone. Together. Alone together. The rumour mill was saying that the two of you had eloped."

"Right. And as the most active churner of the rumour mill I'm sure you absolutely didn't add anything to that story. With friends like this who needs enemies?"

"Someone's got a sharp tongue today." Clawhauser leaned in to make a stage whisper. "So it's trouble in paradise? Where's Judy? Judy!"

"She's gone to visit a local warlord about Captain Bogo. That's why my local contact ducked out, warlords and babies are a terrible combination -"

"What? Judy's gone to visit Vector?"

"Yeah, I just made a call to Modimolle lookout."

"Repeat that again."

"What, Modimolle lookout?"

"I had it here somewhere." Clawhauser sent cereal boxes flying as he tapped buttons all over the console. "There you are you little dickens! Get this - the records show the Captain's signal cut out near Modimolle lookout."

"Do you have coordinates where Bogo disappeared?"

"Here ya go." A series of numbers popped up on Nick's screen. "I wonder what's there? A black hole? The Bermuda triangle? Pirate treasure!"

Nick was only half listening, switching Clawhauser to audio so he could pull up the map left open on his PADD from tracking Senator Plumi. He ignored the blips of tracked communicators and universal translators across the map to focus on the coordinates Clawhauser had given him. The coordinates were right in the middle of the river. Despite himself, Nick traced the river for the dual blips of Judy's communicator and universal translator. Her boat was crawling along, but her travel path was clear - she was on a collision course for the exact spot that Bogo had disappeared.

No. He couldn't afford to speculate, he had to be a Comms officer now. Nick sent the map with its tracked signals and all to Clawhauser.

"Ooh someone's been busy! Look at all those communicators go! It's almost like watching a flea circus - but what's the blue stuff?"

"I've been tracking our universal translators too since we heard the agreement was nabbed by our Draconian counterparts. Starfleet officers have both, but most of them should be at Draconis' capital except for Hopps - " Nick's brain caught up with his mouth and the next bit came out more slowly. "Hopps and Bogo."

"Aww, it's so sweet how you care for your bun hun!"

"Claw, is Finnick on shift? I need to beam back to the Integrity. There may be a way to find Captain Bogo, but I'll need the ship's systems." No need to mention Judy for now, if Nick could find the Captain Judy could come home.

"Oh! I almost forgot! You need to stay on Draconis, we need a planetside Comms team." This time it was Clawhauser who sent his map. "The grey areas are where the signal gets bounced like crazy from geological interference. We need to overlay what you've got on the ground."

The patches of the grey looked like blight across Nick's screen. "That's a mess."

"Isn't it?" Clawhauser sighed. "Whaddya have in mind to find Bogo?"

"Like Carrots, he has both his communicator and the universal translator. Think we can find him with double the signal and starship scanners?"

"O. M. Goodness Nick! This might be the break we're looking for!" Clawhauser hammered furiously at his keyboard, but Nick knew what he was going to say once he'd slumped in his seat. "It's not the break we're looking for."

Nick sure had his work cut out for him in keeping Judy safe. "Well we've still got all those grey areas. Where do you need me?"

Even Clawhauser's whiskers were drooping. "You'll have to go to Modimolle lookout. It's right smack in the middle of the largest grey zone."

Going to the place that Ilysia refused to have anything to do with was not doing wonders for Nick's confidence. Ilysia had booted Nick out of the skimmer when he'd mentioned getting in touch with Vector, which was a feat for a species that didn't wear boots. All the locals Nick had met so far thought Vector was trouble, and Nick hadn't seen anything to the contrary yet. "Red shirt in a danger zone. Thanks bud."

"Sorry Nick. But you're Away Comms - "

"Where Comms officers go to die, I know." That was the literal meaning of never getting attached to Away teams after all.

"Well from her communicator signal it looks like Judy's heading in the same direction! You'll have better odds if you go with her - "

"No." Nick liked to pick his fights, and that was not a fight he was going to go into, not again.

"Nick, what happened?"

Clawhauser had seen the awful faces that Nick had made at his Comms station before, but Nick had never given him a straight answer on what had prompted them. Why would he, when this came so easily? "What could have possibly happened? If Fluff and I are heading into trouble, I've got to keep my eyes off her fuzzy wuzzy tail. Since I know her perky tush has no appeal for you, I'll let you watch it."

Clawhauser bought it. "You two are the cutest!" By tomorrow Clawhauser was going to start taking odds on when Nick was going to grab Judy's tail in public. Nick would bet on it, except Clawhauser had claw tips in every betting pool on the ship.

"Time to get off the horn and keep an eye on the map, Claw. I'm gonna have to bug Finnick to get in position. See you then, Wilde out."

"Be careful, Nick. Clawhauser out."

Clawhauser was doing his job, now it was time for Nick to do his. Nick toggled his personal communicator, putting Finnick right at the top of speed dial before calling him.

Finnick answered with a drawled, "You forget how to start a boat again, Wilde?"

"Ha! We're getting a technology upgrade in transportation options. Think you can set up a planetary hop via transporter?"

"I could do it in my sleep, which you woke me from you fucker. Where to?"

"Modimolle lookout."

If Nick was told to design a listening post based on his Comms station and an unlimited budget, he might have built Modimolle lookout. Whoever built this place knew what he was doing. That meant Nick had all that technology at his disposal and all from a convenient rocky hideaway 50m away from the lookout. He had a few tricks, and if you had the right security codes technology didn't care who you were.

He made a call to Clawhauser on the Crurotarsi dime. "Wilde to the original Spots. Spot anything from your eye in the sky?"

"Flying blind up here, Nick." Clawhauser's tone set off alarms in Nick's head long before Claw added, "I can't see you and I can't see Judy."

Nick almost couldn't muster a quip over the harshness of his own breathing, but he made a stab. "Gone the way of the Bogo?"

"No kidding." Clawhauser sent an updated version of Nick's map. "I was monitoring her live. One minute she's there, the next? Poof! Gone."

Nick could see that on the map. He could also see the actual location Judy had disappeared was within broadcast location of Modimolle. Why was Plumi asked to come to Modimolle if he was going to disappear before he arrived? Clearly there was another purpose to Modimolle that could lie in the building itself.

Nick was already in range. What harm would a few more checks do?

"Claw, I'm gonna give you your eyes on the ground, and then I need you to watch my back."
Clawhauser gasped in awed tones. "A rescue!"

"Aren't you getting me mixed up with Carrots here? We're Comms, not Security. I was thinking a little investigative work."

"Like the Great Mouse Detective. I'll be the Dawson to your Basil!"

"If you feel like a tiny mouse, be a tiny mouse." Nick set up a portable transponder to relay signals that the nearby lookout may have diverted or masked. "Your feed should be coming up... coming up... it's there. "

Nick's local feed was overlaid live over Clawhauser's. The grey areas were looking significantly smaller.

"Ooh, I finally see you! They were using jammers, the rascals!"

"Which makes me think Hopps and Bogo disappearing just around the river bend? Not a coincidence. And if there are any records, it would be here."

"Target lock on one bushy fox tail, go get your records!"

"Since you're looking, does this uniform make my butt look big?" Nick quipped as he navigated the history of Modimolle feeds.

"Oh no, that's a question for Judy. I would never question the bun hun if she likes your butt the way it is."

"Can we send you instead on the next diplomatic mission? Your talent is wasted on a Comms console, wasted."

"That's if we get the Captain back. Without him, there will be no Away missions, no next planet, no ship!"

Nick would have a smart comment for that, he really did. But he had made the mistake of looking through the video feed before sending it to Clawhauser, and he had seen the impossible - the boat Judy was in had been sucked into the water.

Even back on Zootopia the water had been the domain of dolphins and whales and maybe hippos like Higgins, if you were stretching it. On Draconis, the water was the domain of the Crurotarsi. Forget the jamming station at Modimolle. That was only smoke and mirrors before heading straight into the crocodiles' jaws.

" - Nick? Are you alright?" Clawhauser's frantic question drew Nick back to the present. Glad for the excuse, Nick sent the relevant videos off to Clawhauser.

"Just checking the videos - "

"Ssh!" Clawhauser all but hissed at him. "Are you sure there's no one near you?"

"I thought you knew me so well, bud. There are things I actively avoid, like entering enemy bases." Nick dared a peep out of his rocky hiding place. Modimolle was within sight, and he was sure if anyone was looking all his red would stand out against the landscape. However, there were no alarms or approaching soldiers that Nick thought would signal that he'd been sighted. "What makes you think I have company?"

"Tsiny just called Higgins to ask if he knew where you were. And when Higgins brushed him off, guess what? Tsiny claimed he had a better idea than the Commander did!"

"How long ago was that?"

"Not even five minutes! You sure there isn't anything? Storming soldiers? Draconian death rays? Flying lizards?"

"The closest I've got to anything on your list was when I saw a lizard walk on water." Nick was already packing, both physically and digitally as he closed backdoors and erased traces that could give away his location. "Are your feeds still holding up without my connection?"

"They're fine, but you might not be if you stay in location any longer. If I can see you, who knows who else can."

"You need to work on your inspiring speeches, Claw. I'll call when I get to a safe location. Wilde out." Nick tucked his PADD away so he had his hands free as he made a dash -

"Where do you think you're going?" came a voice from the stone outcropping shading Nick's hiding place.

Nick looked up to find Tsiny rising from his crouch, the grey and brown of stone Tsiny had adopted standing out against the orange and reds of a sunset sky. Just as Tsiny had surprised Nick at the diplomatic event, the Secret Service officer now shifted the colour of his skin and clothes to the black favoured by the Squamata military. His right eye was fixed on Nick, his left flicked back to look at his other agents joining him before also turning back to focus on Nick.

Nick had been too quick in cutting the line. Clawhauser might not know Draconian, but he would know that Nick was talking to someone else. If Nick could let someone else know...

Tsiny was already getting impatient. "Don't act dumb. I know you can speak several dialects of Draconian. Your call to Vector was... fascinating."

Nick stuck his hands in his pockets. "Funny, I thought it would be below you to know the tongue of serpents. Or do you just like keeping tabs on Vector like a jealous ex?"

Tsiny didn't rise to the verbal jab, or bother with Nick's change in posture. "I like to know what the Bellycrawlers are saying when I step on them. Do you still remember what I told you when I returned your translator?"

Tsiny was just excellent at giving Nick the creeps, but Nick wasn't going to let anyone know that they got to him. Especially when Nick was digging in his pocket for his communicator. He was matter-of-fact when he recounted, "You told me you hoped I knew my Draconian history as well as I knew the language."

"I also told you I hoped it helped you choose the right side. The next thing I know, one of my boats is missing. Then, after you make a call to Vector, I find you at one of his bases. Your mistake was visiting a lookout that I'm keeping tabs on. What's the saying? Three strikes and you're out?" Tsiny held out a clawed hand to the nearest agent, who handed him a rifle.

Well, it looked like Judy's rifle. Nick wasn't the officer who could recognise weapons at a distance. He talked, which he attempted now even as his finger pads brushed his communicator. "I did not know you were the sort to play baseball, sir! If I could interest you in watching a game, our ship does feeds - "

"Perhaps I should have asked if you knew Draconian law as well." Tsiny had devoted one eye to inspecting the rifle, with the other still fixed on Nick. Eyes that were able to move in different directions were just weird. If Tsiny had looked away, Nick could actually see who he was calling, rather than relying on blind faith. "On Draconis, trespassers on protected areas can be shot on sight. I know Vector practises that, from the number of agents I've lost to him just to keep an active watch on this lookout. For that, I don't mind helping him get rid of a pesky Starfleet officer with one of Vector's preferred rifles."

If Judy was in this position, the entire thing would have gone down like a showdown at high noon. But Nick wasn't confident enough to shoot Draconians, even on solid ground instead of out of the open back of skimmers. He had to find another way. His usual method of talking it out with Tsiny was impossible when there was that much baggage between Vector and Tsiny, and Nick was just a convenient way of thumbing his nose at the warlord. But maybe there was another way that involved whoever had picked up Nick's call.

"You've been talking about the language and history and laws of alien planets, how about we add theology while we're at it? See, this place is called Feast of the Spirits. Makes me think that supernatural things might happen, amirite?"

"Do I look superstitious to you?
" Tsiny scoffed.

"No, but I'd love to see how you explain what happens next in your report." Especially since Tsiny didn't know about Nick's speed dial to Finnick. "Beam me up Finnick!"

The inside of the transporter room had never looked so welcome.

Now adrenaline had run its course, Nick slumped against the console that Finnick was operating. Finnick shot Nick a bleary-eyed and unimpressed look.

"When I pull all-nighters, it's for better things than your sorry ass. It's gonna cost you extra to beam up the rabbit."


"How many rabbits do you know of planetside?"

Nick could put on a brave face for Clawhauser, but Finnick had come from the USS Tundra. He'd seen too many of the masks Nick had pulled on over the years to be fooled by one.

Nick put one on anyway, the one with the greasy smile of a kidder. "I don't know where she is. She went to rendezvous with Captain Bogo. He put the bull in bulldozer, she's the Energiser Bunny with gun upgrades. Together they fight crime! Or at least amazingly dubious alien warlords."

If Nick had been talking to Judy she would have called his bluff, as she had when he'd tried to dissuade her from meeting Ilysia. But Finnick and Nick had developed the fine art of ignoring each other's bullshit. Finnick saw through Nick, and pretended he saw nothing. Instead, he hopped off his special console seat, the one Nick called the baby high chair and Finnick called "the thing I'm going to jam up your butt if you don't stop calling it that, Wilde."

"Is the tiny tot heading off to catch up on his zees?" Nick wheedled.

"Grabbing a snack from the replicator," Finnick grunted. "Onion rings, to be washed down with the latest batch from the still. What's your poison?"

How'd about a bikini? crossed Nick's mind. But that placed too much stock in the future when even the next minute was an uncertainty. It would have to be greasy excuses for potatoes, if the replicator could get the amount of grease right.

Nick was about to find out when his communicator buzzed. He'd expected Clawhauser checking in on him. He didn't expect to see Judy's name on the display.

Muscle memory had him answering the call before he could think about it. He didn't know what he was going to say. He didn't know what she was going to say.

"Ensign Hopps to Integrity," she said, even though she'd commed his personal communicator, not the main ship channel. Then again, she'd hailed him in the same way when she'd first appeared at his door. As if reading his doubts, she added, "Nick, talk to me."

Nick went with the first thing that came to mind, because he was already remembering Judy's boat and rising water and he didn't want to go into more details beyond that. "I didn't know there was network coverage under the sea."

"Nick! Oh Nick. Listen, I found Captain Bogo in one of Vector's bases that is accessible from the river by an underwater channel. They're only going to exchange the Captain and the Squamata agreement in three days, I think they have some plan to convince the Captain to sign the agreement and we've got to save him before then."

"Wow. Isn't that an interesting story for Starfleet." Nick was really looking forward to those fries now. Or maybe he was going to go straight for the strongest drink that Finnick had in the still.

Judy picked up on his flat tone. "Wait! I - I know I just left you on a hostile planet when you're already in danger from the Draconians. Even Tsiny is hunting for you. And I know asking you to help me save Captain Bogo is going to put you in more danger. But I already know I can't do it without you." Damn Finnick and his choice of a sensitive microphone that let Nick hear the hitch in Judy's voice. "I tried - I tried to negotiate with Vector, I tried to make Plumi hand over the agreement, but I couldn't. You were right, and I was wrong. I'm really am just a dumb bunny."

"You just said all that on record." Nick pretended to mull his opinions. "Where would be a good place to play this recording? Oh I know, at your Captain inauguration. Some Ensigns will ask 'Was Captain Hopps ever young and stupid like us?' and I'll reply, 'Did she ever call herself a dumb bunny? Yes, yes she did'. And I will play this recording and it will be glorious, Carrots, it'll be another thing you'll never get to live down."

A sensitive microphone also let Nick hear when Judy was startled into laughter, which made Nick more willing to put up with the other inconveniences. "Someone's due for a promotion before I am, or is the Lieutenant rank just for show, Wilde?"

"Junior Grade. And you don't make Captain without pulling the type of heroics that you do and I don't, Fluff."
"Promotions happen only if the heroics deliver results. The Captain is still held captive. And - and are you safe Nick? I heard Tsiny was looking for you."

"Safer than you are." Nick cradled his communicator to his ear so he could tug out his PADD to update the maps. Judy was finally showing up, the dual blips of her communicator and translator steady and clear. "Sure I can't convince you to swing over to the starship side?"

"Not until Captain Bogo is safe." Judy tripped over her next words. "If - if you could just coach me on what to say via my ear piece - "

"No can do, Fluff."

She sighed. "Is this about the problem I have with polite forms in Draconian or doing things the wrong way?"

"Neither. Hold still. I'm beaming down to you, Carrots."

He shot Finnick a look in case his buddy wanted to get shirty about beaming Nick back to the place that Finnick had just yanked him out of. But the good thing about Finnick was that he was your go to guy when things needed to get done without question. He had already clambered onto his booster seat, a claw tip poised over the right button.

That and Judy's restored tone of victory had Nick smiling at his communicator. "I'll be in position," Judy promised. "See you soon, Nick."

Nick clicked his communicator shut so he could shove his PADD under Finnick's nose. "You think you can get me here?" He tapped Judy's signals.

"Quit asking dumbass questions, of course I can. For the record, I'm not asking any favours because I'm not convinced I can collect from idiots that pull heroic stunts."

"Oh ye of so little faith. It's not like you have a better colour shirt to lend me."

"Get one from Bogo when you see him."

"I'll tell him you said that." Nick tossed off a quick salute and backed into the right spot on the transporter pad for beaming back planetside. "Energise!"

Part 5 || Part 6