Outback Island! One of, if not the, smallest districts in all of Zootopia! Home to just about every and all things Australian related…Sure, Australia isn’t that big, but seriously! There could certainly be a much bigger district prepared for those creatures that tended to call the Australian outback home! Tiny as it may be, the island was still hustling and bustling with life. Mammals of all sorts would come and go all day…course at this time of night, just about everyone was heading home to bed or getting ready to go out in the city…among those that should be heading home, were two canines, dressed in the signature blue uniforms of the Zootopia Police Department.
The two made their way down one of the district’s sidewalks, plastic grocery bags hanging from both their arms, the one canine, a golden furred wolf was leading, while his partner, a black backed jackal followed closely behind.
“Remind me again why we couldn’t take the cruiser to go shopping?”
“Cause I only use the cruiser when I’m on duty…plus I don’t like the idea of spilling anything in there…it’s ZPD property, so I’d rather not explain fishy smells or weird stains to the chief.”
“Oh please…you get to take the cruiser home with you! That basically makes it yours!” The jackal muttered. “Besides, we’re going back out for night patrol in a little while anyways! Why couldn’t we just keep using the car?”
“Basically, and actually aren’t the same thing. Besides, it’s nice to get out and stretch the legs after a long day behind the wheel.”
“Sure, a nice walk would be…nice…but not a grocery run man! If I knew you’d have me hauling your groceries, I’d have skipped out on your dinner offer…” The black backed jackal groaned as he adjusted the bags in his arms and paws. “I mean really dude…how much fish can one dog eat?”
“What? You don’t like fish?” Echo chuckled, shifting the weight of his own bags as his home came into view.
“Fish is fine, it was kinda a…delicacy or special occasion meal back home…” The jackal muttered, shrugging a bit as he carried several bags of his own. “But still! This is a MASSIVE amount of fish!”
“What can I say? I ran out of fish a couple days ago…” Echo muttered, reaching into his pocket before starting to fish out his house keys. “Plus, it’s not just for me, I got two roommates, remember? I gotta be able to feed them too. Not to mention you’re coming along for dinner tonight.” Echo smiled as he spun the keys on his finger before pulling up the key to his home.
“Still…I feel like you could feed the whole precinct with this much fish….”
“Yeah, well you’ve never met my sisters.” Echo chuckled, sliding his key into the door, turning the key and pushing the door open, glancing over his shoulder to the jackal behind him as he held a finger to his lips. “They might still be asleep…so be q-” Echo paused, feeling something drip on his head as he walked into the home. “The heck…?” The wolf muttered, reaching up and tapping his head. “Those two had better not have gotten in another foodfight…” He muttered under his breath, lowering his paw and flinching as he noticed his paw was now bright red.
“Everything cool man?” Miles’ voice caused the wolf to jump, looking back before showing him his hand. “Wh…uh…dude…what…is that…?” The younger canine’s eyes widened, his paw instinctively reaching towards his waist, hovering over his elephant tranquilizer pistol.
“I don’t…” Echo muttered, looking to his red hand before glancing up, just in time for another drop to land on his head, followed by a small brown ball of fluff. The wolf blinking as a pair of beady red eyes appeared in front of his.
“Hi there!” The small brown creature squeaked, flashing a pair of pearly white fangs to the wolf, staring into his sunglasses before yelping and hopping up as the wolf suddenly collapsed back. “OH MY GOSH!”
“Officer down!” Miles called out, mostly in a taunting tone as he leaned over the golden wolf, the contents of the bags he had once been carrying now spilled out around him. “You good Echo?”
The golden wolf meanwhile stayed completely silent, staring up at his ceiling with his jaw hanging open, staring at a bright red stain that “Echo!” A soft feline voice called out, Echo groaning softly as he felt a familiar ball of fluff land on his stomach and lean over him, two sky blue eyes staring into his. “Echo! Are you alright?”
“Fine….” Echo groaned, ignoring the burning sensation in his stomach. “Skye….please…off…” He shooed her slightly with his paw, sitting up slowly to see the blue eyed lynx giving him a look of worry, a small brown bat resting on her shoulder.
“Oh I knew this was a bad idea…” Skye muttered, glancing to the bat, the small winged creature giving her a hesitant shrug in response.
“Oh come on! It was a great idea!” Echo shifted, glancing past the blue eyed lynx, spotting a matching green eyed lynx sitting on the arm rest of the living room sofa, a bright grin plastered across her face as she held her phone up. “Mammals are gonna looooooooooove this!” She snickered as she winked to her brother. “Fearless wolf cop, taken down by a cute little fruit bat! Ha!” The feline snickered, leaning back before collapsing onto the couch, her little legs kicking wildly in the air.
“Great….” Echo muttered, rolling his eyes a bit before glancing back as he heard a hearty laugh.
“Dude, she got you gooooood…” Miles smirked, leaning over a bit before holding out a paw, Echo sighing before grabbing hold of the jackal’s paw, climbing up to his feet.
“She toooootally got him good!” The pair blinked, a new, unfamiliar voice catching their attention, Miles turning his heads and locking eyes with a small brown bat on his shoulder. The bat grinned, flashing a pair of long fangs at the jackal. “Hey there copper!” She snickered, ignoring the canine’s slowly widening eyes as she poked his throat lightly with her one finger, slowly parting his fur. “Hey, so don’t freak out, buuuuuuut…would you have anything against me maaaaaaybe…having a little sip of your blood…? I’ve never tasted cop blood before.” She looked up, grinning and flashing those white fangs again as she watched the color drain from the black backed jackal’s face, his eyes slowly rolling back before he collapsed to the ground.
“And we’re two for two! WOOT!” Mysty laughed, watching the second canine cop collapse to the ground much like the first. “Good job there Nyx!” The little green eyed lynx snickered, holding out her paw for the bat to land on.
“I aim to please!” The little vampire bat snickered, waving her wing as she looked to the cat’s phone. “Tell me you got that, pretty sure my boy had a waaaaaay better reaction!”
“Oh I got it!” Mysty snickered, lifting up her phone and offering it to the smaller bat, playing back the recording before the pair burst out into laughter.
“Ohhhh man…you totally gotta send that to me!”
“Already did.” Mysty snickered, pocketing her phone before getting mini high five from her little winged companion.
“Uhhhhhh…” Echo muttered, silently eyeing the two felines and their bat companions before clearing his throat. “Sooooo….guess we all brought a friend home today….” He chuckled, leaning over to try getting his partner up off the floor. “You girls gonna introduce me to your friends?”
“Oh! Right!” Skye nodded, smiling as she motioned to her shoulder. “Echo, this here’s my friend Anti.”
The little bat smiled, waving her wing. “Full name’s Antigone, but everyone just calls me Anti.”
“Pleasure to meet you Anti…” Echo smiled, lightly smacking his partner’s cheek before feeling something on his shoulder.
“And my name’s Nyx! Vampire bat! Sweet partier! All around awesome girl!” She grinned widely, poking Echo’s throat slightly.
“Gonna ask if you can drink my blood too?”
“Weeeeeell if you’re offering….I certainly wouldn’t be opposed to it…” The bat snickered, shifting her weight as she looked over the wolf’s shoulder, cocking her head as she looked at the jackal on the floor. “Is your friend okay?”
“He should be fine…Think he just had a little…panic attack from you getting all up close and…you know…the blood sucking comment probably didn’t help…”
“Hey, are you saying I’m scary? Or ugly? Or anything like that?” The bat huffed, crossing her wings. “I’ll have you know, I’m one of the hottest bats in the entire cave district!”
Echo couldn’t help chuckling at that, pulling his partner up off the floor before moving him over to the sofa, Mysty hopping off to make room for the canine. “I never said that…besides, aren’t vampires supposed to be beautiful?” That earned a snicker from the green eyed lynx while the bat cocked her head.
“Oooooo…I see why you like this one Skye kitty….” Nyx snickered, moving from Echo’s one shoulder to the other. “Handsome, and flattering…Mmmmmmm…” She traced a claw through his fur again. “I bet he taste’s reaaaaaal good….”
“Nyx….” The blue eyed lynx let out a soft growl, her stubby tail twitching slightly in annoyance as the bat waved her wing.
“Oh relax Skye…” The vampire bat huffed, patting the wolf’s neck. “I wouldn’t dream of making a move on this hunky puppy of yours…” She snickered softly, watching Skye squirm slightly in embarrassment before looking to the wolf. “But in all seriousness mister, you wouldn’t happen to have anything to drink? Getting in position for your sisters’ little prank was real thirsty work.”
“Sure thing Nyx.” Echo smiled, moving over to gather up the grocery bags. “Got a preference? I got a couple juices in the fridge…”
“Bleh…I’ll skip the juice…that’s more Anti’s taste.”
“Fruit is good for you!” The second bat chimed in, quickly hopping off of the blue eyed lynx’s shoulder before joining Nyx on the wolf.
“Yeah, good for YOU. But I’m a vampire! I need blood! Or at the very least insects juice!”
“Well…I don’t believe we have any…uh….fresh blood on hand…” Echo muttered, carrying the groceries towards the kitchen. “I got some fresh fish though…maybe there’s some blood in them?”
“Yuck…fish blood…I think I’ll pass…” Nyx huffed, putting her claws to her chin in thought.
“Sorry bout that…” Echo muttered. “Maybe I could make a call? Order you some fresh bugs? Or…something…there any places that deliver blood bags?”
“Ha, well aren’t you a perfect gentlehound?” Nyx snickered as she looked to the wolf before shaking her head. “I’ll be alright bud, if nothing else, I can just wait and get something later when us and the kitties hit the town!” She cheered, pumping her fist into the air before giggling.
“Well if you’re sure…” Echo smiled as he made his way into the kitchen, stopping to look back to the lynx twins. “Girls, could you keep an eye on Miles for me? I’m gonna put the groceries away and get started on dinner.”
“Great, we’re stuck pup sitting? Can’t we call Allie up to do that for us?” Mysty groaned, motioning to the canine on the couch. “You haven’t even introduced us yet!”
“He’s my new partner. His name is Miles, and you can personally interview him as soon as he’s awake…now can I count on you girls?”
“You can count on us Echo!” Skye giggled, giving a quick salute before moving over to the sofa, Mysty plopping onto the canine’s stomach while Skye sat on the arm rest.
“Your sisters really love you…” Anti mumbled, smiling as she looked to the wolf.
“Eh…they have their…occasional moments of affection…” Echo chuckled, starting to put away all the groceries he and his partner had carried home. “Skye more so than Mysty…but I know how they both work…” He chuckled, glancing to the two bats perched on his shoulders. “So…tell me about yourselves…you girls are my sisters’ friends?”
“Sure are!” Anti giggled out a happy response. “We’re from the cave district…Nyx and I are cousins, and we just love going out clubbing…one night we bumped into these two crazy lynx girls partying on their own…”
“I TOTALLY almost made them wet themselves!” Nyx giggled as she cut in.
“Riiiiight….she has that kind effect when she does her whole: ‘Can I suck your blood’ joke as a hello…it gets REAL old after a while cuz…”
“Oh please, you’re just jealous that you’re a boring old fruit bat and I’m a super awesome vampire bat!”
“Right….cause feeding off nothing but blood is so convenient when compared to just eating fruit…”
“I can feed off bug guts too!”
“Same difference!” The fruit bat huffed, rolling her eyes before smiling to the wolf. “Anyways, we hit it off with your sisters, and we’ve been hanging out just about every night since…Course we usually stick to the Caves…and the Rainforest District sometimes…”
“Yeah…we apparently missed some sweet night of clubbing in Sahara Square!” Nyx grinned, patting the wolf’s neck. “Heard you went out partying with those two, figures it’d be one of the few nights we didn’t come with!”
“Yeah, Skye’s always going on and on about how amazing you are!”
“And Mysty keeps downplaying it…” Nyx gave a slight shrug before smirking. “Still, sounded like you had a great night at that club…any chance you’ll be coming out with us tonight big boy?”
“Heh…unfortunately no….” Echo muttered, starting to carve up a fresh fish for dinner. “Miles and I are going to be working the night shift for the foreseeable future…so…no clubbing…less sleep…I’m probably going to be seeing the girls even less than usual…” He sighed, shaking his head slightly. “Not really looking forward to it…”
“Ah dude, that bites!” Nyx huffed. “Not the night stuff, the night is AWESOME! Zootopia at night is the best thing ever.”
“To be fair, we don’t really know much about the city during the day…”
“Doesn’t matter! Zootopia nightlife is the best! Just ask the kitties!” She grinned, flashing her razor sharp fangs before pausing. “Course…I guess it might be a bit hard if you’re working the night…but I guess we know who to call if we have any trouble at any clubs…”
That earned a laugh from the wolf. “Well…as much as I’d love to be there for you girls…Miles and I are pretty much limited to this island…course you girls are more than welcome to party around here if you’d like.”
“Eh….we’ll see…this place doesn’t seem really….happening…y’know?” The vampire bat muttered again, her cousin nodding in agreement.
“Not really….course I really don’t…you know…go clubbing…” Echo chuckled as he shrugged. “So I really don’t know what’s good or bad…”
“Eh…it takes time…I’m sure your sisters will rub off on you soon enough.” Antigone smiled, patting the wolf’s neck slightly. “Did you tell them about you switching hours?”
“Not yet…” Echo sighed, putting some fish in a pan before starting to cook it up. “They are not gonna be happy though…”
Echo glanced back to the livingroom, half expecting to see the sisters to be listening in on his conversation…or to be fighting…or…well…any number of other things, but they seemed to be quite…odd…but the wolf wouldn’t complain.
“Hey…HEY!” Miles groaned, shifting slightly before groaning as he felt a small paw smack his face. “WAKE UP!” The voice hissed, causing the jackal to jump slightly, looking around in confusion before locking eyes with a green eyed lynx sitting on his stomach. “Bout time you woke up….”
The canine blinked, staring in utter confusion before looking around a bit. “Uhhhh…what…where am I…?”
“You’re in our house stupid!” The cat growled smacking him again. “Come on, pay attention!”
“Mysty!” The jackal blinked, seeing a matching lynx a few inches away, her blue eyes just as fierce, though they were directed to the cat on his chest. “Come on, don’t make him mad!” The blue eyed lynx cleared her throat, smiling as she stepped forward. “You’re Officer Miles right?”
“Uhhhh…y….yeah….that’s me…” Miles nodded, giving the lynx on top of him a questioning look before speaking up. “Who…are you both exactly?” He stroked his head. “I…remember walking back to Echo’s place…then…” He shuddered. “That bat wanted to suck my blood.”
“Yeah…Nyx gets…vampirey when she hasn’t had anything for a while…” The green eyed lynx shrugged, the canine instinctively reaching for his neck, expecting to find some sort of bite marks...or incisions…or something…but to his relief there wasn’t anything to be found. “Chill rookie, she didn’t drink your blood…” The lynx snorted, rolling her eyes. “Nyx is real particular about drinking mammals’ blood…if they don’t give her permission she doesn’t do it…”
“Ah…that’s…good…Sooooo…” He motioned to the pair. “I….remember seeing you two when I came in…who…are you girls exactly?
“I’m Skye.” The blue eyed lynx smiled, patting her chest before motioning to the lynx on top of the jackal’s stomach. “And that’s my twin sister Mysty.” Mysty gave a slight eye roll, waving her paw slightly.
“Yeah…hi…” Miles muttered, looking to the two cats. “Sooo…are you…” He muttered, silently looking between the two cats. “Like…Echo’s friends…? Or something?”
Mysty snorted, rolling her eyes. “Or something…though Skye would looooove to be something more….” She teased, the blue eyed cat hissing softly before smiling. “Actually…Officer Miles…” She smiled. “We’re Echo’s sisters.”
That certainly got the officer’s attention, the jackal’s eyes widening and his jaw dropping as he looked to the two felines. “Yeah, that’s the general response…” Mysty muttered, pushing the jackal’s jaw shut before smirking. “Chill copper, we’re not some weird…hybrid family…our parents aren’t even canines or felines…we’re adopted…Echo can give you the details…We just…wanted to have a quick word with you…” Mysty smirked, extending her claws as she leaned forward, her eyes looking deep into the jackals. “See….Echo’s a good dog…stupid…boring…kinda lame…poor sense of fashion…”
“Mysty…” Skye grumbled again, her sister rolling her eyes.
“Right right…I’m getting off track…” She looked back to the canine and growled. “Anyways…Echo’s a lot of things…but he’s still our brother…so….” She placed a claw against Mile’s chin. “If anything….and I do mean ANYTHING bad happens to him while you two are out on…patrol…or whatever it is you two mutts are gonna be doing….” She pulled her claw away, slowly tracing it along her own throat, the jackal shivering slightly as Mysty leaned forward. “Understood?”
“Y…yeah…” Miles muttered, taking a deep breath before nodding. “I got it…” He gave the feline a serious look. “I promise…no matter what…I’ll do my best to keep your brother safe…”
“Thank you…” The blue eyed lynx muttered softly.
“You better…” Mysty muttered, crossing her arms and rolling her eyes. “Knowing Echo, he’s bound to use himself as a mammal shield…throw you out of the way of a speeding car only to get hit himself…trade himself for a hostage…he’s probably chock full of dumb ideas…he doesn’t sleep enough…he works too hard….he’s sloppy…and he’s getting sloppier…” The green eyed lynx huffed. “He’s bound to get himself killed…intentionally or unintentionally…if you’re gonna be his partner…then it’s your job to make sure he doesn’t die…alright?”
“Alright…” The jackal replied flatly.
“Promise?” The two lynx spoke together, giving him a fierce look as the jackal nodded again.
“I promise…” He chuckled. “He gave me this…pep speech earlier…about how the ZPD’s a big family…” He smirked, noticing the two cats snicker from that. “Corny, I know…but he had a point…I don’t got anyone here in Zootopia…I got no plans to lose your brother anytime soon.”
“Thank you officer…” Skye smiled, placing a small paw on the Jackal’s while Mysty hopped off him. “We’re counting on you.”
“Don’t mention it…” Miles smiled, pushing up slightly off the bed before looking to Mysty, the feline playing on her phone. “And I….won’t mention that whole…death threat thing…to anyone either.”
“Good dog.” Mysty muttered, shooting the jackal a look before waving her phone to him. “Cause if you did try anything, you’d have this video of you fainting like a scared little puppy when Nyx came down to say hi to you…” She giggled, watching the jackal freeze up almost immediately.
“Dinner’s ready!” The trio looked over, watching as Echo came walking out of the kitchen, slowly wiping his paws with a rag while he wore a pink apron over his body. “Hope everyone’s hungry, I got lots of fish!” The two cats cheered, rushing by him into the kitchen while Echo smiled to his partner. “Also got some fruits and vegies if you’d prefer those Miles…Anti’s definitely digging into some fruit.”
“Heh…I could go for some fish…” Miles muttered, walking in before elbowing his partner. “Nice apron dude.”
“Hey, I make this look good.” Echo chuckled, following the canine into the kitchen, four chairs set up, and a small makeshift table on the counter for the bat cousins. “Plus, I don’t want to have to change…we still gotta go back out for patrol.” The wolf muttered, pulling out his phone as he started looking through his contacts. “Hey…I gotta make a call…you guys start eating alright?” He moved back out into the living room, stepping outside before bringing the phone to his ear. “Hey….yeah…yeah it’s me…look…I need a favor….” He sighed, his ears lowering as he glanced back to the house.
About an hour later, after a difficult explanation that he’d be working the night shift and that meant he would be spending even LESS time with his twin sisters, Echo and Miles found themselves back on the streets of Outback Island, the two on foot patrol as they wandered the streets of the small district.
“Dude, you sure you’re okay? Those scratches look awful nasty…” Miles muttered, eyeing the cuts and bruises the dog had received when the sisters found out about his schedule change.
“I’m fine…” Echo chuckled, shrugging slightly. “Believe me…those two have given me far worse…” He sighed as he looked up to the sky. “Not that I really blame them…I’m not happy about this reassignment either…”
“Yeah…but hey, things seem pretty quiet…and you will probably get to spend some time with them…you know…making dinner and everything for them before they go out partying and we go out for patrol.”
“True enough…” Echo sighed, slowly rotating his limbs. “So…how was dinner?”
“Dude…it….was….amazing…” Miles smiled, elbowing his fellow officer quickly. “I wouldn’t say it’s as good as my mom’s cooking…since…y’know, she’s my mom…but you’re definitely the second best fish cook I’ve ever had….”
“Well I’ll take what I can get…no one beats mom’s cooking.” Echo laughed, the pair continuing along, Echo’s mismatched eyes scanning their surroundings while Miles moved forward a bit.
“What are we supposed to be looking out for again?”
“Anything suspicious…” Echo muttered, slowing in his steps.
“Greeeeeat….” Miles muttered, rolling his eyes as they kept walking. “It’s the middle of the night on Outback Island…anything’s suspicious…” He chuckled, expecting a laugh or response from Echo but he received none. “Meh…Whatever…what do you say we do a few laps around….then maybe grab the cruiser and crank up some tunes?” Still nothing… “Ooooor….we can get some coffee? We’ve been up all day, now we gotta be out here all night? I know I want some coffee! I’d rather not pass out in the middle of the street…” Silence…. “Hey, you giving me the silent treatment or some….” Miles turned, only to blink as he saw…well…nothing…the street behind him completely empty, no pedestrians, no cars, and no Officer Howl.
“Echo?” Miles called out, taking a moment to look around as he started retracing his steps. “Echo?” He called out again. “Hey, come on man! What is this? Some sorta prank for the new guy? First day doing night patrol and you gotta scare me? Not cool!” He kept looking around, slowly starting to reach for his holster. “Officer Howl!” He yelled out, ears perked for some response, anything at all, but he got nothing. “I don’t like this…” He whispered to himself, paw moving to pull out his tranquilizer while his mind attempted to make sense of where his partner had gone. Search the area? Find witnesses? Radio for help? Yeah...he should probably do the last one…Biting his lip, he called out one last time. “OFFICER HOWL!” He pulled the tranquilizer pistol from his waist and reached for his radio, only to let out a loud grunt as he felt something make contact with his back.
“Nghhhh…” The jackal stumbled forward, reaching back and pulling out a….a tranq dart?” He tried to turn, his body already shutting down as the tranquilizer ran through his system. His motions were getting sluggish and weak with every passing second...and it only got worse when he felt another dart hit his back. The black backed jackal let out a loud groan as he stumbled forward, collapsing to his knees and falling flat on his chest. He needed to radio for help, needed to call in that he’d been attacked, his partner too…probably…he needed…he….he….needed……….sleep…The jackal groaned, eyes shutting tight as he gave into the effect of the darts, slipping into a deep dark sleep.
“Nghhhh…my…head….” A soft voice groaned out in the darkness. Two mismatched eyes peering around before shutting tight as a dim light appeared above them. The dim light revealing a golden furred wolf, sitting alone in a simple wooden chair. The wolf moved, trying to raise a paw to stroke his head, trying to remember what happened...only to have the paw jerk back, he looked over his shoulder, the his wrists bound together with zip ties…his ankles too… “What the…”
“Officer Howl…” A soft voice rang out from the darkness, the canine moving his mismatched eyes over to a pair of glowing yellow eyes in the darkness. “Pleasure to meet you…” The eyes gave a slight nod before a white wicked smile appeared below them. “We brought you here tonight because…well…” The voice laughed softly. “We….have some…fun little plans for you…” The wolf shifted slightly in his chair, tugging at his binds while giving the figure a skeptical look. “I hope you enjoy your stay officer…we certainly are going to be enjoying having you around…”