Nick woke up, groggily. He sat up and looked forward to see a familiar figure sitting outside. He stretched and got redressed in his uniform, and then stepped on to the front porch, smiling drowsily as Judy waved a bit. “Morning Nick, sleep well?” Judy asked. He yawned again and looked around. “I slept okay…just different to be in an unfamiliar place. And you?” he asked, leaning on the side of the cabin.
Judy nodded and smiled “Yea ,it was nice to not having neighbors arguing for once.” she answered. “They all ways argue…” she said “Well what’s next for the case?” Nick asked. Judy thought for a moment and hummed, rubbing her chin. “We can go over the case file, and maybe get the update from Clawhauser over the radio. Then since the others all seemed to have traces of Night howlers we can try to think of what is making them so…different.” she said, deciding what to do.
“Sounds good to me…where’s Whiskers?” Nick asked as he looked around the surrounding place. “Oh he went down to the lake, said he wanted to walk around.” Judy answered pointing towards the hidden lake. Nick looked towards the path and then back at her, “Well we better get to it, don’t you think so?” he asked, beginning to head back inside, Judy following him. “Yea, We can fill him in later.” she added as she took the folder from the nightstand by where Nick had slept and sat at the kitchen table, sprawling each picture and it’s corresponding file out.
“Ok…the two yesterday made 10 cases. All smaller, prey animals. The smallest was a mouse and the largest a badger. All ten had traces of Night Howlers in their fur and unknown substance. Scientists don’t know what the second half is, so far it is apparently untraceable.” Judy said, as she and Nick looked from paper to paper. “It has to be something simple, something that’s being over looked” she added, now talking mostly to herself.
Nick looked up from the papers and shook his head and then down at the papers. “If it was something like that, I’m sure a group of scientists could figure it out, it has to be something else.” he disagreed. “See, look here.” he continued, sliding the paper work on the badger. “But the odd thing is, badgers seem to be more on the predator list. And all the others, badger included, should high levels of aggression. Worse than before. It can’t be something ’untraceable’. It makes no sense” he objected, making are quotes when he said “untraceable”.
Judy shook her head and crossed her arms. “That makes sense? Anger?” she tested, Nick nodded. “Yea Hopps, Each one was mad. Did you see what that one did to Kens car?” he asked, beginning to lose his patience. Judy tapped her foot softly and scoffed, shaking her head she smiled in annoyance. “Please Nick, think logically.” she said, also losing her calm tone. They couldn’t agree on the second half. Nick believing it was anger, and secretly biology and Judy thinking it was a mixture with the Night howler.
The pair would normally be patient but now for some reason, the began to argue lowly, but it soon exploded into a full blown yelling match. Ken walked in, only to hear Nick snap at Judy. “Then you figure out yourself!” Kens ears flattened in confusion and his eyes widened when Judy yelled back. The pair didn’t notice Ken until he finally shouted over them. “What I-is going on?” he asked. They both looked at him then each other.
“Ken! You’d agree with me right? That what’s going on isn’t a ridiculous mixture with night howlers, but instead due to prey’s short temper. Right?” Nick asked, walking up to the confused civilian. He put an arm around him and waited. “Ken, don’t go with a dumb view. It has to be a mixture, go with the smart idea.” Judy snapped, mostly towards Nick, who narrowed his eyes. Ken brushed Nick off and looked between them. “I can’t believe this…” he said softly. “Well?” Nick asked, stepping forward. Judy stayed silent but also seemed to ask the same thing. “Uh…I-I…I think Judy’s right…” Ken said, stepping closer to Judy.
Nick grunted in annoyance and shook his head, “Ok…fine, that’s fine! You two can do it your way and I’ll do it mine.“ he said in a cold tone. He stepped out, slamming the door behind him. It was silent for a few seconds until he got in the squad car and peeled out, making the tires squeal.
The cabin fell silent again and Ken turned back to Judy, he blinked and stared at her. “What happened?” he asked, surprisingly sternly. Judy sighed and motioned for him to come closer. “We had an argument on what’s causing the new outbreak…I’m sorry to drag you into it, I was just so angry…” she explained and sniffled a bit. Ken frowned a bit as he walked up to the table and sat before her.
Judy held her head and buried her face in her paws. “I messed up big time…” she mumbled, Ken stayed silent and watched her. “Judy…here.” he said softly. Judy peeked up as Ken reached into his shirt and seemed to unscrew something from behind his collar. He pulled out a pair of black strings to a necklace and set it on the table, smiling.
The laces connected to a small, green stone with small swirls of white. It was perfectly round and shined in the daylight from the window. “What’s this for?” Judy asked as she picked up the small stone. Ken continued to smile. “It’s my worry stone. Found it on an archeology trip with my mom and dad when I was about….seven I think. Turns out that gem, when it was popular, was given to emperors or those in power from other lands and territories as a gift of trust and togetherness. They believed that it was supposed to be a great symbol.” he explained.
Judy smiled and began rubbing the stone with her paws slowly. “Ken, that so sweet of…oh!” she said, realizing what Ken meant. “Oh! This is for Nick…” she said. “From me to you, and you to him.” he said, tapping his nose, hinting she got it correct. He looked down at the case, then over to Judy. “Lets give him sometime to calm down. Then radio him on your walkie-talkie and have him come back.” Ken added. Judy nodded and put the necklace on, smiling at Ken.