Got caught up with an idea from watching Zootopia too much (fantastic movie by the way) instead of writing the next board game short story. I enjoyed writing the two Armello stories a lot and Zootopia made me realize how well it can work outside of a game, so got thinking on a darker story. Next thing I know was thinking future and thought about Blade Runner and what follows is the first chapter. I will most likely write more to this as it was a ton of fun!
Ch. 2: Predator’s Club
The room was dimly lit, smoked trailed from the ash tray, several cigarette butts filling the tray with a fresh one sitting on the edge. The desk was littered with paper and files a complete mess yet organized in a chaotic way that few could distinguish. A clicking sound filled the room from the fan that spun in the corner moving the heat and smoke around. A rattling sound up above echoed, the building’s main A/C turning on bringing little in the way of cool air into the humid room.
Sitting in his rickety, leather chair was a heavy set stag, his brown fur unkempt, bags of exhaustion beneath his eyes. The police uniform he wore was worn and had a few rips along it, the badge on his chest in a desperate need for a re-shining. The only thing that was kept in perfect condition was his antlers, long and sharp a form of pride among any deer.
“Smoke’s sticking to your fur again Klavin,” the wolf said to the stag. Sitting down in the small leather chair, his knees banged against the desk causing him to let out a low growl of frustration, “still keeping these crappy chairs?” He asked with a shake of his head.
“Ahh come on Jax you know you can call me Tom after all we are friends by now, you hurt me by being so formal!” Tom exclaimed with a chuckle.
“We can be friends after you get better chairs!” Jax Denek replied, shifting again causing his elbow to hit the chair next to him, its wheels sending it rolling off to the side into a dusty fake plant long since stained a sickly green.
“You make me wonder sometimes if you like seeing us predators sitting in these cramped chairs,” Jax growled. Sitting at an angle with half his body off the chair’s edge, Jax ran his claws through the fur on top of his head, scratching an itch.
“I wouldn’t dare think that, there’s just a lack of budget in the department, you’ve been here long enough to know that Jax.” Tom replied, leaning forward to rest his elbows on the paperwork covering his desk.
“Yea, yea, yea, same story, same excuse. Let’s cut to the chase, why’d you call me? I was in the middle of trying to crack down on those couple of ex-fed badgers.” Jax said pulling out a rag to wipe at his sensitive nose, the smoke starting to get to him.
Tom smiled showing his flat teeth with visible gray stains, “well I got a better case for you that I think you’ll like.” The stag began shifting through his paperwork taking another drag from his cigarette. “Here we go!” He said tossing a plain vanilla file onto the edge of the desk before Jax.
Flipping the file open with a clean sharpened claw Jax came into view of several pictures paper-clipped onto the report detailing a dead sheep left in a gruesome state in an alley. A few of the pictures showed the sheep with visible cuts, the wounds cauterized. Several patches of wool were ripped from the skin with a clean shaven spot over his heart marking an emblem – three slashes made by claws with a crooked circle surrounding. “I haven’t seen this one in a long time, mark of the Tri-Claw Federation, what the hell are they doing skulking around?”
“Beats me, but we believe it could be an attempt at inciting fear with such blatant advertisement of their mark. As it is we have no idea why they’d even go for this sheep, just an ordinary citizen, nothing special about him just some factory worker.”
Shifting the pictures of the sheep to the side Jax picked up another image blurry by comparison to the clear image of the sheep.
“Taken by security cam, in that part of the city a lot of the tech hasn’t been upgraded, but we can make out for certain that the two suspects are a lizard of some kind based on the tail and a large mammal, most likely a bear. Can’t get better details with the heavy clothing they’re wearing and the poor cam quality.” Tom said, leaning back in his chair taking a long drag and flicked the cigarette butt into the ash tray, adding to his growing collection. “We swept the area heavy, didn’t come up with much in the way of anything nor any clues at the sheep’s home.” He closed his eyes pausing before taking a deep breath and continuing, “In that area are some locations frequented by predators, some of the businesses shadier then others, I’d try there. We know the suspects haven’t gone far, none of the cameras in the ship and train yards show any lizards traveling in the area.”
“What if they have their own means of transport?” Jax replied finished studying the file and closing it, setting it on the desk.
“Impossible, it’s one of the low life sectors of the city, security is high on the few major transportation hubs, and there are no reports of stolen ships nor any ships going or arriving in the area in the past few days. They are most likely lying low and plotting their next move.”
Running his claws through the top of his head again, Jax closed his eyes thinking for the moment, his ears flicking at the sudden bang up above then a growing silence of the A/C unit turning off.
“It should be an easy job for one of my best tanners, the rabbits from up above were even kind enough to lend a new pistol they developed.”
Opening his eyes again, Jax reached for the file again taking the pictures of the sheep along with the two suspects, folding them to fit in the pocket of his trench coat. “You know how to convince me, though don’t think I’m happy dealing with crazy Claws, last time I did got me nearly de-clawed and killed.”
Tom grinned, and reached underneath his desk to bring forth a bulky pistol holstered along with three clips.
Picking up the holster, Jax ran a claw over the sturdy leather then wrapped a paw around the ridged grip of the pistol. Un-holstering the pistol he turned it side to side looking over its three barreled design that extended over the majority of the pistols length. The three barrels left the pistol bulky as well and heavy, only able to be handled by the strongest of animals and fire the largest of hand-held caliber bullets. “The rabbits made this? It’s practically half their size!” Jax laughed, reaching a hand over to the three clips picking them up between his claws. “How did they even test it without being blown back against the wall?”
“Should know me by now Jax, I have no idea how those little cotton tails made it, just know it packs a punch and should handle either of those two Claws with ease.”
“Suppose you are right,” Jax replied, placing the three clips to his side, he flipped the switch on the gun. The three barrels swung out presenting three slits for the clips to slide in.
“Clip one is your 7.65 plasma caliber, not as big as the other two but more rounds packed into the barrel. The second is a physical slug round, rabbits called it the ‘fat carrot’, can blow off limbs with ease or even a head, though only got three rounds so use it sparingly. Third they nicknamed ‘piercer’, it’s plasma as well with a computer chip made to cut through walls and stop in flesh. Its powerful but careful not to hit civilians hiding.”
“All very impressive and we can’t afford better chairs,” Jax replied glancing over to the stag who only returned a smirk. Shaking his head he rubbed his running nose with the rag and stuffed it back in a pocket. Gripping one of clips between claws he slowly pushed on the lever on the bottom of the clip. Bullets fed into the chamber and compacted in. He slid the clip off, the slit in the barrel now sealed, packed with rounds. He repeated the action for the other two then flipped the switch so the barrels realigned with the gun itself. A small indicator lit up right above the handle of the pistol facing him depicting a twenty, three, and an eight. “How fancy, anything else I should know about?”
“No, what I’d have to say would be the usual crap that I repeat to any tanner who comes into this office for an assignment.”
“So, make sure the target is dead at any cost to sum it up.”
“That’s my tanner!” Tom Klavin chuckled, showing off his dirty grin.
Ch. 2: Predator’s Club
– As always critiques, suggestions, and questions are all welcomed either through the comments below, the social media pages, or my email at firstname.lastname@example.org