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"You can only be what you are..."

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A Zootopia fanfiction written by WildeNick, Three Months a Fox expands upon the canon story of Zootopia, telling the tale of how the city of Zootopia came to be known as 'The City Gripped by Fear' in the three-month Time Skip only briefly elaborated on in the movie.

Picking up in the immediate aftermath of the disastrous ZPD press event that officially kickstarted the Savage Crisis, the story follows Nick Wilde as he is forced to deal with the shattering loss of his friendship with Judy Hopps, the depressing return to his former life as a sly, shifty con-fox, the horror of witnessing the rapid escalation of the Savage Crisis firstpaw as predators start going savage left and right, and the resulting fear, hatred, and discrimination he and the rest of the predator population of Zootopia face from the city's prey as the attacks and casualties continue climbing higher and higher. A story of self-discovery and survival, Three Months a Fox will show the reader just what trials and tribulations Nick had to go through in the three months before his fateful reunion with Judy under the bridge in the movie.

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While chiefly focusing on Nick's perspective, the story is occasionally interspersed with chapters that focus on other character's points of view, telling brief, but sad Slice of Life stories from other Zootopian predators dealing with the consequences of the Savage Crisis, as well as chapters dedicated to the sinister backdoor activities of Mayor Dawn Bellwether, as well as her fellow co-conspirators Kyle Hayworth and Jayson Talon III, in their attempt to sow racial hatred against the predators of Zootopia and to bring the city under their nefarious control. Although, in truth, the conquering of Zootopia may well be but a small part of a much grander, darker plan...

On top of the main story, Three Months a Fox also does an incredible amount of World Building, with the author greatly expanding upon aspects of history and culture for both the city of Zootopia and the wider world outside it in ways that sound simultaneously interesting and plausible.

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Three Months a Fox can be found here.


Three Months a Fox contains examples of:

  • All Just a Dream: The majority of the events of Chapter 23, thankfully. Also doubles as a Catapult Nightmare.
  • Ambiguously Bi: Finnick... uh... enjoys the naturalist club quite a bit, but it's never specified exactly what he likes about it.
  • Ancient Conspiracy: The Purpose, whose origins trace nearly all the way back to the signing of the First Treaty.
  • Animals Lack Attributes: Averted, unlike the movie, when Nick and Finnick spend the day at the Mystic Springs naturalist club during Chapter 14, as at one point, Nick asks for a towel to be brought over for a dozing Finnick, who is unfortunately suffering from a major Raging Stiffie. Apparently this is a common occurrence for Finnick whenever they visit there, and Nick takes no small enjoyment in poking fun at his friend for it.
    Finnick: Makers above, you and the whole naturalist thing!
    Nick: Shuddup, you like it too. For more reasons than one, I might add. (smiles and gives Finnick a sly Meaningful Look)
  • Arc Symbol: The Fox Away logo, as seen in the page image, which becomes the unofficial symbol of the growing anti-predator movement in the city of Zootopia as the Savage Crisis escalates.
  • Arc Words: I am a fox. I am a predator. There is no point in trying to be anything else. Doubling as a sort of Survival Mantra, these words are repeated often by Nick to himself as a reminder to never hope to aspire to be anything more than the world sees him as, because every time he's tried to do so in the past, his hopes and dreams have always inevitably shattered in tragic, heartbreaking fashion.
    • Never let them see that they get to you, Nick's mantra from the film, also frequently appears throughout the story.
  • Beastly Bloodsports: A sick, twisted variation of this trope occurs in Chapter 27, involving predators that have been kidnapped by The Purpose being brought to a pit enclosure in a secret facility and forced to fight each other in a one-on-one death match while under the influence of Night Howler serum. Each combatant is instructed to ingest a single Night Howler pellet situated in the middle of the pit before their opponent, with the promise that if they win, they will be set free. If the combatants refuse to ingest the Night Howler, they are both shot with Night Howler pellets. This is, sadly, how Markus ends up dying, in the throes of Night Howler poisoning, eviscerated by a brown bear. And all the while, these fights are being streamed via cameras situated around the enclosure to members of The Purpose around the world for their amusement.
  • Blood Brothers: Kivo Nychi and Rigel Trich became these after a night of excessively heavy drinking a few years before the events of the story take place.
  • Big Bad Triumvirate: Dawn Bellwether, Kyle Hayworth, and Jayson Talon III.
  • Big Damn Heroes: In Chapter 20, Wolford and Grizzoli show up just in the nick of time to save Nick from being beaten to death by a gang of ram vigilantes.
  • Bilingual Bonus: There are a few Latin phrases mentioned within the story:
    • Simul Consurgant, which is the name given to the mysterious, unexplainable event that gave the creatures of Mammalia the gift of sentience thousands of years ago. It roughly translates to the phrase we rose together at the same time.
    • Carpe omnia...et magis, the Purpose's motto. It translates as Seize it all...and more.
  • Bookcase Passage: Jayson Talon has one of these in his executive office which leads to an elevator that goes to a secret area underneath the Talon Complex. It is in this secret underground area where Ricker Tavy's cell/living/work area is located.
  • Breather Episode: Chapter 14, 'Wilde Times', which focuses on Nick and Finnick taking the day off from hustling after being kicked out of Jumbeaux's Cafe, which the owner has now openly segregated from predators. They spend the day relaxing at the Mystic Springs naturalist club with a deluxe treatment deal, followed by them going to a favorite restaurant of theirs for dinner and drinks. To their surprise, the restaurant has also become a predator-centered nightclub since the escalation of the Savage Crisis due to a great number of Zootopia's popular nightclubs closing their doors to predators, or at least to those who are not wearing a T.A.M.E. Band. While there, Nick is approached by a sultry vixen named Skye who takes a...particular interest in him that Nick can't help but eventually return. Coitus Ensues from there (although it is made clear that Nick didn't go all the way during it). All in all, it is probably the lightest and softest chapter of the entire story so far, and a much-needed one after the incredibly dark Chapter 13.
  • Broken Tears: In the very first chapter, after arriving at his father's abandoned warehouse in the immediate aftermath of his falling-out with Judy, these occur for Nick, as he contemplates all the potential that was just within his reach, only to watch it be cruelly taken away from him yet again, because of his status as a predator and a fox.
  • Catapult Nightmare: Nick suffers a particularly violent one of these during Chapter 23, to the point where his bed covers have been completely shredded from his claws.
  • Chekhov's News: Throughout the story, traditionally at the beginning of a chapter, a series of news stories written in the form of online articles are presented, most often related to the ongoing Savage Crisis. Word of God has stated that these stories are being presented to the reader as Nick reads them for himself.
  • Cool Car: Nick finds one of these in a hidden room of the warehouse during Chapter 22, a vintage Ferox Mustang that is strongly implied to have belonged to his father.
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive: Jayson Talon III, CEO of Talon Defense Company.
  • Corrupt Politician: Mayor Dawn Bellwether and Councilor Kyle Hayworth.
  • The Cracker: Ricker Tavy, a brilliant, sociopathic mongoose hacker who is being used by Jayson Talon to develop a sophisticated cyber-spy network for the city of Zootopia to track the whereabouts, movements, and behavior patterns of all the city's predators. Until he was caught by and started working for the Purpose, Ricker would spend his time selling his skills to the highest bidder, hacking into government databases and committing numerous other illegal acts of cyber infiltration for money, and had been doing so for a long time, so he definitely counts as this.
  • Cranky Landlord: Victor Pruitt, Nick's bigoted mouse landlord at The Groves, a cheap apartment complex in one of the less affluent neighborhoods of the Rainforest District. He has a particular hatred of foxes, and has made Nick's tenure at The Groves as difficult as possible, charging Nick his rent payment weekly, instead of monthly (Nick has to pay $100 per week, instead of the $400 per month other tenants pay), and establishing a ludicrous monthly 'predation insurance' fee of $500 as the Savage Crisis gets worse, all in an attempt to get Nick to leave his apartment voluntarily out of frustration. None of his tactics have succeeded, however, as Nick is always able to meet the rodent's exorbitant demands (He did say he makes $200 a day, after all), and seems to take great satisfaction in angering the hell out of him by doing so. At the end of Chapter 20, however, Mr. Pruitt finally succeeds in evicting Nick from his apartment, on the basis that he had been harboring 'unapproved occupants' there, since Nick had been allowing Finnick to stay there with him in light of the citywide curfew being enacted at the end of Chapter 18.
  • The Cynic: Nick, in spades.
  • Darker and Edgier: Much moreso than the movie, if the fic's M rating wasn't indication enough. The author goes into excruciating detail as to describing just how much of a hellhole Zootopia became during the three-month Time Skip, with predators going savage seemingly every day, horrifically maiming and killing citizens, rampant fear and racial hatred developing amongst the city's prey against predators, a biased news media that is all too happy to escalate that fear and hatred, civil unrest and protests that often turn violent, a city that becomes more and more racially segregated each day, and a shadowy, sinister force at work behind the scenes that is responsible for orchestrating all of the aforementioned chaos, with an end goal that is truly terrifying in nature.
  • A Day in the Limelight: While the story is mainly focused on Nick, occasionally the story takes a break from him to tell chapters from other character's perspectives.
    • Chapter 4 is dedicated to Bellwether's point of view, as she celebrates her successful ascent to the office of Mayor after her predecessor's removal. The chapter also introduces the readers to Kyle Hayworth, as Bellwether outlines her plans for him to formally announce his candidacy for Mayor in the coming election to replace her, whereupon Bellwether herself will announce her own campaign for state Senator.
    • Chapter 7 is entirely dedicated to news articles, with ZNN reporting on the details of the savage polar bear attack on the caribou in Tundratown that was briefly shown in the movie itself and giving a detailed timeline of the events and attacks since the start of the Savage Crisis. The chapter also introduces the reader to Anton Pouncehart and his hard-hitting, sensational style of journalism.
    • Chapter 12 is again dedicated to Bellwether's point of view, as well as Hayworth's and Jayson Talon's, as the three co-conspirators meet at Talon's opulent mansion in the Zootopian highlands for dinner, to congratulate each other on their successes so far and to discuss future aspects of their plan to bring Zootopia under their control and how to go about mandating the mandatory banding of all of Zootopia's predators.
    • The immediately following chapter, Chapter 13, is told from the perspective of Markus, an albino red fox that Bellwether had kidnapped years ago by Doug and his cronies and brought to an abandoned nuclear power station on the outskirts of the Rainforest District for the purpose of being used as a living guinea pig for the development of the Night Howler serum, as he receives a visit from Bellwether, Hayworth, and Talon that ends with Talon gleefully testing the newest formula of the Night Howler serum on him.
    • Chapter 16 tells the story of Rigel Trich, an African wild dog, who up until the start of the Savage Crisis was a very successful, wealthy risk assessor for one of the biggest banks in Zootopia. However, as a predator, the events of the Savage Crisis wound up upending his life just as much as any other predator's, with his employers giving him an ultimatum: either retire early in return for a year's severance pay, or face indefinite suspension from his job until he can comply with the company's new safety mandates, that being mandatory wearing of a TAME Band for all predator employees. The chapter follows him as he meets a gang of rams in a seedy back alley to buy a secondhand TAME Band all so he can keep some semblance of the life he's grown accustomed to.
    • Chapter 21 is told from the perspective of Martin Caldwell, a ferret surgeon on transfer to Zootopia General Hospital to help treat the daily influx of wounded mammals mauled by savages across Zootopia. Through his eyes, the readers are shown just how horrifically stressful it must've been to be working in the city's hospital during the Savage Crisis, and yet simultaneously shows how steadfastly brave the hospital's staff were in the face of such terrible carnage, always performing their assigned duties efficiently and without complaint, never letting the social instability of the city impede them in their goal of saving as many lives as possible, be they predator or prey.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Nick, of course. Not even seeing Zootopia going to hell in a handbasket can erase this quality from his character.
  • Disappeared Dad: Nick's father, John Wilde, who died when Nick was still just a kit. All Nick has to remember him by are old photos, his collection of ties, awards, and business books, and the abandoned, derelict clothing warehouse that his father owned for a short period before he died, and is still technically the legal owner of.
  • The Don: Mr. Big makes a reappearance in Chapter 11.
  • Fantastic Racism: Sweet Makers above, yes. One of the central aspects the author explores in the story is just how horribly the predators of Zootopia were treated by the city's prey during the Savage Crisis, with racial slurs being thrown at them on a regular basis, being beaten near to death in the streets by prey vigilante groups, being segregated from stores and public transports, being unjustly fired/suspended from their jobs, and even being outright murdered.
  • Fantastic Slurs: Quite a few of these appear throughout the story:
    • 'Red pelt', chiefly aimed towards red foxes, and to other fox species in a lesser extent, which can be described as the most offensive word one can call a fox, so much so that not even foxes deign to use it amongst themselves. It is an old insult, dating back hundreds of years, back to a time when hunting and killing red foxes for their pelts was still considered morally acceptable, and is meant to remind foxes of their social inferiority in the world, and that the only thing of true value they had to offer the world at one point in time were their pelts.
    • 'Chompers', a catch-all offensive slur for predators in general.
    • 'Woolheads', an insult aimed at sheep.
    • And finally, the 'cute' insult for rabbits makes a reappearance.
  • Fictional Document: The Magna Cognatione, a venerable document mentioned in the story that Word of God likens to being the nation's Magna Carta and U.S. Constitution rolled into one. The title translates as 'The Great Family'.
    • There is also the First Treaty, a document dating back to when mammals were still separated into disparate, often warring tribes. The First Treaty was a simple, mutual written agreement of peace and cooperation between the collective leaders of a handful of these tribes in an effort to stop any further bloodshed between them, and is regarded as the moment in which mammalkind began to make their first steps towards true civilization.
  • Forensic Accounting: This is what Kivo Nychi's underground resistance group is utilizing to track and identify the unusually large money transactions on the stock market made on behalf of Talon Defense Industries from an unknown investor, transactions that seem to have a rather damning correlation with the timing of savage attacks within the city.
    Kivo: Someone is making an awful lot of money off this savage thing. We're going to find out who.
  • A Friend in Need: One of these moments occurs at the end of Chapter 18 between Nick and Finnick, where Nick, in light of the just-announced citywide curfew being enacted, outright tells Finnick that he is coming to stay with him at his apartment until the curfew's end, since Finnick doesn't have a place of his own to stay, preferring to sleep in his van, which could lead to him getting in trouble with the police for technically being out past curfew. The decision does end up costing Nick a great deal, as he winds up getting evicted from his apartment a week later on the grounds of harboring 'unapproved occupants' (i.e. Finnick) there.
  • Fun with Acronyms: Although there's definitely nothing fun about it, the acronyms in T.A.M.E. Band stand for Tactile Aggression Modification Entrustment Band.
  • The Ghost: Judy Hopps. Her name is mentioned several times throughout the story, and appears on a ZPD recruitment poster at one point, but other than that, she does not make a formal appearance within the story.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: Kivo Nychi and Rigel Trich definitely count as these, full stop. They have been close friends with each other for over two decades of their lives, going to the same schools, majoring in the same degree, working at the same business, and even living in the same neighborhood as each other. It is outright stated at one point that either one would unhesitatingly kill or sacrifice their life to protect the other. The bond of friendship between them is so strong, in fact, they have formed what is essentially an empathic bond with each other by way of a pack-oriented predator phenomena known In-Universe as 'Scent Empathy', which allows the bonded packmates to be able to sense the emotional state of each other through scent, with whatever emotion one of them feels at any given time likely to be mirrored and reciprocated by the other.
  • Intrepid Reporter: Anton Pouncehart, and by extension the rest of his reporting pack at Pouncehart Media.
    Just like with everything else, we are going to be asking the hard questions, following the evidence, and reporting on the facts...whether you're big or small, predator or prey, or even a grey fox like me, you deserve the truth. Your hunger for truth led you here, and it's the millions around Zootopia, just like you, that have made Pouncehart Media the reality it is today. This is the real movement, and its demands are truth.
  • Money Is Not Power: Kivo Nychi and Rigel Trich are both relatively wealthy, extremely successful stock traders for one of the biggest banks in Zootopia, but their wealth does not exempt them from the rising hatred and discrimination for Zootopia's predators as the Savage Crisis escalates, with their employers mandating that they and all other predators wear T.A.M.E. Bands or face termination. Kivo and Rigel's team was also evicted from their impressive upper floor offices down to a dingy, dirty sub-level in an effort to keep the predators out of sight.
  • The Napoleon: Finnick. While Nick is seen as the cool, unflappable, smooth-talker of the two, who prefers to talk his way out of trouble, Fin is much more prone to hot anger when he feels insulted, and prefers to solve dangerous situations with intimidation and violence, despite his small size as a fennec fox.
  • Nebulous Evil Organisation: The Purpose, a shadowy prey supremacist organisation that Bellwether, Hayworth, and Talon are members of. With origins dating back hundreds of years and a far-reaching, powerful influence, with cells of members spread across the continent and possibly the world, the Purpose is the true force responsible for orchestrating the Savage Crisis and all of the chaos that has unfolded within Zootopia because of it. Their desired end goal is nothing less than the total subjugation of all the world's predators and any prey mammals sympathetic to them, and are willing to use any tactics necessary to achieve that goal.
    • Becomes a chilling case of Fridge Horror when you consider the outcome of the movie. While we know that the Purpose's plot for Zootopia will eventually be foiled by Nick and Judy, it does nothing to assuage the fact that the Purpose is still out there, with cells of members in several cities across the continent, each waiting to enact their own sinister plans. And if they're anything like most Nebulous Evil Organisations, they're not going to react kindly to hearing of one of their plans being foiled, potentially putting Nick and Judy square in their crosshairs...
  • No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: Nick winds up on the receiving end of one of these from a gang of ram vigilantes in Chapter 20.
  • Spiteful Spit: Nick delivers a powerful one of these to the face of the leader of the ram vigilantes beating him down in Chapter 20. Bonus points for the spit being laced with both the blood of himself and the ram leader's.
    Ram Leader: (leans in close to Nick's face) You ever shut up, fox?
    Nick: (delivers spit) You ever gonna hit me?
  • Strawman News Media: Zootopia News Network (ZNN). A large portion of their reporting staff seem to have a very clear bias against predators, and throughout the Savage Crisis put out a number of articles and reports that are subliminally anti-predator in sentiment, only serving to further exacerbate the fear and hatred of the city's prey towards predators.
  • Tell Me About My Father: It is revealed in Chapter 11 that Mr. Big actually knew Nick's father before he passed away, expanding on the few concrete memories Nick has of John. The crime lord remembers John Wilde fondly, revealing that he made every one of his suits, remarking on how gifted a tailor Nick's father was. He eventually came to be seen as an honorary member of the Big family, although Mr. Big says that John firmly refused to take part in any of the crime family's more illicit activities out of concern for his mate and unborn kit. It is revealed that it was Mr. Big who bought the clothing warehouse for John, the one that Nick now owns, because of how much respect Mr. Big had for John's drive and ambition to make an honest living for himself and his family. When Nick first met Mr. Big many years later after his father's passing, the crime boss could even at that point see a lot of John in Nick. This praise of his father, unfortunately, only serves to make Nick miserable, as he shamefully compares the proud, honest life of his father to that of his own, with the contemplation that if his father were still alive, he would be deeply ashamed at the way his son's life turned out.
    Mr. Big: Ah, Johnny Wilde. Some mammals might have called him a good fox, or even a good predator, but I always thought of him as a good mammal. Straight-laced as they came, smart, genuinely kind, he was the type of mammal others wanted to be around, the type others wanted to follow. He was driven and capable in the way that few mammals ever are.
  • Tragic Keepsake: Nick has a few of these:
    • His collection of ties, which all belonged to his late father.
    • His old Ranger Scout neckerchief, which he always keeps in his pocket.
    • And most recently, Judy's recorder pen, which he also takes to keeping in his pocket alongside the neckerchief.
  • Unexpected Inheritance: The vintage Ferox Mustang Nick unexpectedly finds in a concealed room of his father's old, abandoned warehouse, which, given the area where it was found, most likely belonged to his father.
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom: Judy Hopps, as in the movie. Through the story's events, we get to see just what terrible effect her poorly thought-out words during the ZPD press event have on the city and its public, making it quite easy to see why she suffered her crisis of faith in herself that led to her leaving the ZPD. Of course, Bellwether, Hayworth, and Talon are all thrilled at her status as this; at one point, Talon even asks Bellwether is she would consider asking Judy to join the Purpose, but Bellwether refuses, claiming Judy to be too valuable the way she is, and that her sense of justice and empathy would never allow her to go along with the Purpose's plans, regardless.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: Nick and Finnick. They constantly snark and throw insults at each other, and occasionally get into some really heated arguments, but there is no denying the close friendship shared between them.
  • Wham Episode: Chapter 9, 'Free From Fear', where Jayson Talon III makes his big announcement to the city of Zootopia, with the public unveiling of the T.A.M.E. Band. Cue mass Oh, Crap!
  • Would Hurt a Child: As one of the news articles presented in Chapter 17 shows, not even predator children are exempted from the city's rising hatred for predators, as an innocent nine-year-old red fox kit winds up being tased with a Fox Taser (a weapon with a shock voltage meant to only be used on adults) for well over a minute by a female aardvark who claimed the kit was 'stalking' her, who continued to tase the kit even after he had been rendered unconscious until the battery was completely drained. The level of shock inflicted on the kit was so bad it wound up sending his heart into a near-fatal case of cardiac arrhythmia. And the aardvark's reason for tasing this kit for so long? Because she 'didn't want it (note: it) to wake up and go savage.'

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