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Saturday, April 23rd, 2016 01:06 pm
Judy gains a reluctant partner.

Exorcist Blues (Wilde Spirit Remix)

Summary: In a Zootopia where animals and spirits dwell side by side, some animals turn into guardian spirits. Some go dark. Some types of animals go darker than others.

Judy Hopps should know, since she wants to be the first exorcist in a long line of rabbit mediums.

Or: A Zootopia remix in which Judy Hopps is an exorcist that specialises in hunting dark spirits. And Nick Wilde is dead, but not gone.

Spoilers: Entire movie, since this is a remix
Rating: T
Genre: Gen
Warnings for: Supernatural elements, mythical beings and vague references to the Chinese Taoist religious system. Implied off-screen character death
Disclaimer: Not mine as I'm not smart enough to think of the collars storyline.

The aura on the talisman led Judy to a familiar corner.

She had followed Nick Wilde's aura before and discovered the Pawpsicle stand. Now she watched them set up - Finnick the fennex fox arranging the pawpsicles, Wilde's aura drawing customers in to buy.

Despite herself she bought a pawpsicle. Wilde tossed off a salute. "Thanks Exorcist Ding-dong." He mimed ringing a doorbell.

"Not my name," Judy said, and took a bite of the pawpsicle to get the nasty taste of the comment out of her mouth. "Hey, these are actually good!"

"We know," Finnick growled, the glamour completely gone from his voice. "You're holding up the queue lady, move it!"

Judy glanced at the queue of lemmings behind her, but held her ground. "This is important sir. I think your ten dollars of pawpsicles can wait." She finished off her pawpsicle and fished out her pen.

"Ha!" Wilde had to pipe up. "He has a fox spirit backing up him and you think he only makes ten dollars a day? He makes 200 bucks a day Fluff! 365 days a year, every year since he was 12." He held up a paw for a good five minutes before Finnick moved to pat his outstretched paw in a reluctant high five. "So what he said. Time is money, hop along."

"Please, I just need you to confirm this," She held both the talisman and the picture of Mr Otterton. "I believe he bought a pawpsicle from you. D you know him?"

"I know everyone. I also know there's a toy store that's missing its stuffed toy right now, so why don't you just hop back into your box."

Judy was offended. If she were a toy, she would be an action figure, complete with a sword that she drew right now. "Fine, we'll do this the hard way." With a flick of her sword, she activated the circle she had drawn partially before the stall was set up. She now closed it the rest of the way with her sword. The flare of power sent lemmings scurrying away.

Both foxes stared. Wilde recovered first. "Did you just cast a circle around our stall?"

Judy sheathed her sword and declared, "Nicholas Wilde, you are under arrest."

Despite the discomfort of the circle, Wilde still grinned. "For what? Hurting your feelings"

"Enchantment of a minor and extortion."

Finnick leaned against the ice box and gave her an unimpressed look. "The glamour's just a act. I'm a grown mammal and I agreed to the charm."

"That wasn't the case two decades ago. Also, your sign doesn't say if these pawpsicles have been charmed! If I send these for testing and find they've been charmed, Wilde would have extorted... let's see, 200 bucks a day, 365 days a year for two decades, that's times twenty, which is one million, four hundred, sixty thousand I think! I mean, I'm just a dumb bunny but we are good at multiplying."

Despite his wide-eyed panicked look, Wilde made a valiant attempt to regroup. "You can't make that stick, it's your word against mine."

"Actually it's your word against your word! See, not everyone can see spirits, but they make oh so useful witnesses that recording testimonies for spirits is a big thing. Which is why this is admissible in a court of law." Judy played back the recording of Wilde boasting about their earnings, feeling her grin grow wider and wider by the minute. "It's called a hustle, sweetheart."

Amidst the cackling of his business partner, Wilde gave in. "Alright, what do you need to know?"

"First, did you see where he went after buying his pawpsicle?"

Judy's first hint should have been the returning smile that bloomed across Wilde's face. "Oh yes. Yes I did."

With a healer father Judy had learnt to view bodies objectively, but she found her limits were being tested in the club they had just walked into.

Wilde was smirking at her fidgeting. "Does this make you uncomfortable?"

"That is not ritual you need to perform skyclad," she grumbled as they passed yet another group of naked animals.

"Not everyone is bursting with talent like you are," Yax the owner explained as he led them across the courtyard. "Once, we were all born with enhanced senses, but the material world got in the way. Getting naked is our way of shedding the material and reducing interference in our interaction with the spirit world. Nagi here is the best at getting others to open their third eye. Nagi! Do you remember Mr Otterton?"

The elephant, who had been intoning a series of breathing exercises, replied in the same monotone, "No I don't remember."

"Little otter spirit, sometimes rattles the curtains so the class can see him better?"

"Doesn't ring a bell."

"Sometimes Nagi doesn't quite function on the level of the material world. She see things on a much higher plane. Like she probably saw Mr Otterton as a little nimbus of white."

Nagi didn't agree with Yax. "Not something I've seen>'

"You know, it was really weird the last time Mr Otterton visited. He stepped in the car that had come to pick him up and poof! His aura just vanished! I wish I was spiritually aware enough to cast shields like that."

"Such shields don't sound possible."

Yax was probably the better source of information than Nagi. Judy asked him, "Do you recall anything else about the car and its shields?"

"Yeah! It kept to the ley along the 4th, heading away from the Rodentia graveyard."

"Thank you! Thank you very much!" It was with a spring in her step that she headed back out of the club to the exit that faced the ley on the 4th. Judy was only half-listening as Wilde talked about the clue he'd given her, and then asked for the pen. She ran a hand over the road. Plenty of cars ahd passed here, but only one had a suspicious lack of aura. That meant it had a full on shield instead of just a glamour meant to divert attention. "Yax was right. The shields on that car are extremely strong. The only thing I can tell right now was that the car was here." She could start to scry now, but any materials she had on hand wouldn't be able to pierce the shields and let Judy trace the car of Mr Otterton. Judy thought longingly of the well-stocked ritual rooms in the headquarters, which were only open to exorcists that had been invited past the threshold. She wouldn't be able to get in.

"Carrots, the pen please."

"What did you say just now? Any moron can perform a trace? Gosh I wish there was a moron to perform the trace for me."

"Rabbit I already did what you asked! You can't keep holding this over me forever."

"Not forever. I only have another 36 hours to solve this case. So can you perform the trace or not?"

"Tracking is not my skill set," said the fox spirit, before his grin slid back on his face. "But I do have a friend that can get you set up with anything you need. You want something, he's got it."

"Flash flash hundred yard dash!"

Why a sloth would have the name Flash was beyond Judy. Sloths specialised in the ability to slow time. While that resulted in impressive displays such as the 1000 year old flower still held at the point of full bloom in the shop front, she didn't see how that would help with her scrying where she needed the results yesterday.

Flash looked up at the greeting. "Nick. Good to. See you. Too."

It was Judy's turn to smirk at Wilde. Did he think he could kid her into believing this sloth was fast?

Wilde's smile never wavered, even as Flash reached under the table and put a series of charms in front of Wilde. He picked them up, did a fancy juggle before sending each of the charms thudding back into the tray.

"That makes a hundred," he told Flash, who was covering the charms with a cloth that set the magic. Despite herself Judy had to admit she was a little impressed. Charm bags with ingredients maintained at the freshness when first collected, and fox touched on top of that. That would make the usual disclaimer on charmed objects an advertisement in itself.

"Usual payment. Same time," Flash agreed. Business done, Flash turned to Judy. "Hello. What can I. Do?"

"Hi! Judy Hopps, ZED. I was hoping you could - "

"For you."

"Yes I was hoping - "


Surely the sentence had to be finished by now. "I was hoping you could show us what materials you have for scrying. We are in a really big hurry and we need something powerful that can give us results fast."

"Sure. What do. You prefer?"

"I was thinking - "

"To use?"

Judy did not whimper, but it took considerable effort. "- you could just show us?"

"We have. Mirrors."

"I won't know until - "


"I need to - "

"Stones. Crystals."


"We have. Bias cut. And - "

"Crystal balls!" said Judy before Flash could go into the variants of crystals and their cuts "Just put all the crystal balls you have here. Please?"

"That's traditional," remarked Wilde.

Judy was not going to give Wilde the satisfaction of knowing her Mom did own a crystal ball. Instead, she checked her own things were in order - her mirror, Mr Otterton's talisman, some gravel from 4th Avenue that had been touched by both the ley an the car. None of them were resonating with the crystal balls Flash had placed on the table. Judy tried not to tap her feet as Flash went to retrieve another crystal ball.

"Hey Flash, want to hear a joke?"


"Sure," said Flash, and Judy let her head fall onto the counter.

She was the opposite end from calm but if she didn't settle down for the trace she would waste even more time than she already had between Flash's speed and Wilde's jokes.

"Chop chop, time's a-wasting," said Wilde as Judy set up the room Flash had kindly lent them.

"I know!" Judy blurted. The force of her retort almost snuffed out the candle she had been lighting. She tried to recall how she had found her calm even with 10 younger sibling demanding her attention, and remembered how she would focus on the goal. Nothing else mattered.

Yes, finding Mr Otterton was the most important thing here. Finding that spot of calm within her, she took a seat, centered herself and set about locating North. Huh, the table had already been orientated right, and she had had to place her items on the table. She put the crystal ball right in the centre, then her mirror on the farthest end of the table facing North. Mr Otterton's talisman went to the right for East, and the gravel from the car on the left.

"You must really want to find him. You've got both a mirror and a crystal ball." Wilde floated over to get a better look at the set up for the trace. "What's your fourth?'

"Myself. Could you just stay right there?"

"Maybe not so traditional after all." True to his nature, he promptly sidled away. "Did you forget I'm not the one looking for Mr Otterton? I'm not taking your place in the scrying. Do your own trace."

"No, I'm not asking your to direct the scrying. It's just that..." Judy toyed with a few excuses, then settled for the truth. "Your aura smooths things. Stay there."

"I'm not one of your ZED pet ghosties," Wilde sing-songed. "You can't just order me around."

"Could you please stay there?"

Judy braced herself for a retort, but Wilde instead took up the place she'd indicated and waited. It seemed that he was just intent on continuing to surprise her. Before he could change his mind again, she focused on the scrying that would let her trace Mr Otterton.

Those unfamiliar with scrying might think that Judy would see everything that was going on with Mr Otterton as if she were watching it from a TV screen. True practitioners knew that wasn't the case. What Judy saw was a white nimbus she'd come to associate with the Ottertons, the edges of the aura blurred with the rush of speed. She could tell the nimbus itself wasn't the source of the motion, which hinted that it was in a car. Below the nimbus, the ley line glowed yellow.

Then the aura was shot through with green, which slowly turned to black as the spirit grew more and more agitated. Blood suddenly splashed across the ley line, turning it briefly red before the ley disappeared from the scrying surface altogether. The nimbus that had been Mr Otterton too was now no longer within her sight. Instead, the car that had been so thoroughly shielded earlier appeared now as a wheel of chrome, slowly spinning. She extended her senses to get more of an impression of her surroundings, and felt winter, metal, a direction!

She pulled out of the trace and re-centered herself in her own body. She had exerted herself more than expected, for her breathing was coming fast and shallow. She waited for her breaths to even before standing.

She was surprised to find Wilde had stayed exactly in place while she was scrying, though he was looking back at her with just as much surprise. "You've got something on your cheek," he said.

"What?" Judy scrubbed at her cheek and found her paw came away clean. "What's on my cheek?"

"Nothing." His quizzical expression had been wiped and he'd gone to the other extreme of disinterest. "Did you get what you wanted?'

"Yes!" Judy swept everything but the crystal ball into one of the pouches on her belt, and bounded to the door Flash had told them led out to the street. "We've got to get to Tundratown and find that car! If we find something there we can refocus the trace - " She stared in disbelief out of the door. "It's night?"

"Oh did I forgot to mention the sloth mold?" Wilde feinted wide eyed innocence as he tapped the door edge, which was indeed lined with green. "Don't you just find sloths and their stasis spells amazing?"

The car was locked behind a very sturdy gate by the time Judy and Wilde got there.

"Too bad about that trace."

Wilde's smarmy remark had Judy rounding on him. "You wasted the day on purpose! Does seeing me fail make you feel better about your sad miserable existence?"

"It does, 100%. Since there's nothing for you to use in your trace, I guess we're done?"

Judy kept her expression as straight as she could. "Fine." As Wilde reached for the pen she tossed it over the fence.

One of Wilde's ears twitched. "First you throw like a bunny. Second, you're a very sore loser." Grin back in place, he let himself begin to drift through the fence. "I just wish I could help, but coincidentally you forgot I can just turn intangible and step through the fence -"

"Oh, there isn't a threshold!" Judy pretended to gasp, then made short work of the chain with her sword. Before Wilde could turn tangible again she scooped up the pen. "The thing is, exorcists go where spirits go, and I'm pretty sure I saw a shift no-gooder sidling through the fence. So you're helping plenty!"

She turned on her heel, intent on not wasting any more time on Wilde. The car she had detected during her trace was a white limousine that betrayed no signs of the heavy shielding it had been under two weeks ago. She ran her hand over the doors, trying to pick up any trace of Mr Otterton.

Wilde, now corporeal again, just tugged the door open. Judy tested the blast of frigid air that burst out of the car for aura, and hopped in when she felt nothing. Scoured the floor for anything she could use in her trace. Polar bear fur, jaguar fur -

"Oh my god!"

Judy shot upright, hand on her sword hilt. "What?"

"The velvety pipes of Jerry Vole!" Wilde waved two CDs at her. Judy glanced at them and decided even if Mr Otterton had touched those, she didn't wnt anything that had Wilde's aura contaminating it. She went back to looking over the car seats for anything she could use.

She almost wanted to ignore Wilde when she heard him speak again, but he was using a serious tone she'd not heard him use before. "Hopps, if your otter guardian was here, he had a very bad day."

She felt the aura left behind long before she saw the clawed up back of the limousine. The aura left behind was oozing black like what she had seen when scrying. If she wanted to find Mr Otterton as he was now, this would be the best sample she could get.

Anguish and pain hit her like they were her own feelings as soon as she slid through the privacy screen. She tried not to heave as she put up shields and re-centered herself.


"One moment." Academy had taught Judy how to work through pain. Learning how to manage her powers from her Mom had taught her how to acknowledge feelings that weren't her own. Between the two, she was able to keep moving as she looked for something that would symbolise Mr Otterton in his new state, whatever it was.

Wilde bumped into her while picking up a glass. "Oops."

Juy cast him a sidelong look as she tried to figure out what his motive was. He couldn't be sticking close to her because his aura gave her some reprieve from the immediacy of Mr Otterton's aura. No, he had to be trying to prevent her from finding something she could use for her trace. After the trick he'd pulled with the sloths how could it be anything else?

That was why when Wilde suddenly blurted out, "We gotta go!" her first instinct was to dig her heels in.

"I haven't found anything for my trace!"

Wilde actually started to guide her away. "Trust me you don't want to trace anything that might lead you anywhere near Mr Big. He's the most terrifying mammal among the living and dead!"

"So we're just giving up on Mr Otterton?"

"We can search for Mr Otterton somewhere where Mr Big can't find me, or this place will be where I died a second time - "

Judy did not start like Wilde did when they found polar bears on the other side of the car door, but she had the benefit of facing the door when it opened. As Wilde attempted to talk himself out of the situation, she found herself staring at the rope the polar bears had coiled at their waist. It had been woven with materials like the pouches on her belt, and would let them bind any spirit caught in its loops.

Unfortunately it was just as effective on the living, as Judy discovered when they were roped into seeing Mr Big.

Part 1 || Part 2 |...| Part 4 || Part 5 || Part 6