With directions from Clawhauser Felicia Briggs found her way to the lower levels of the ZPD. The warm inviting décor of the main floor gave way to concrete gray and the dull green paint of out of date hospitals, illumination was provided by hanging bulbs with green metallic hoods. It reminded her of old detective movies, or modern horror films. Fortunately the rooms down here were clearly labeled and opening the door to records she was greeted by a fairly large room filled with a forest of old filing cabinets. Off in the distance she could make out a desk directly under one of those old hooded lamps
"Hello?" Briggs called, looking around.
"Yeah? Who's there?" Came a voice from dead ahead
"Officer Felicia Briggs. I've got to register my three-wheeled joke mobile."
"Three-wheeled...? Oh yeah. that'd be the standard issue ZPD Traffic Patrol conveyance. Those things always were a joke no matter what size they come in. Come on over to my desk and I'll be right with you." the voice said in a tne that suggested someone who either didn't get enough sleep last night or was carrying a large chip on their shoulders. "Did you already fill out the B-728-5 Yellow circular and attach a photocopy of your defensive driver's license?"
"Yes. Figured that would save you some time."
"You figured right." The voice replied as she stepped up to the desk. It was an old steel office desk that had seen repainting many times before. It was covered in paperwork and had not only a cup filled with pencils that declared to the world 'You can't scare me. I've been through basic training' but also a rack of rubber stamps, an ink pad and, surprisingly enough a computer. It was from the age of 'beige' electronics but it was still a computer. "And you already got form 3-Y-29 from Chief Bogo?"
"Yes. Already filled out in triplicate, and properly signed and notarized."
"Huh. That's good. That's very good. Hold on a moment." She noticed the chair behind the desk swiveled slightly, and then a Shape made it's way up the back before getting high enough to leap from the chair to the top of the desk. "All right. Hand them over and let's make sure everything is in order."
Briggs raised an eyebrow but simply handed the paperwork over, waiting to see what would happen.
According to the nameplate on the desk this indeed was Sargent Walter Hamlin. She had not expected someone that worried so many of the other ZPD members to be so... well, small. The Brown rat was definitely much smaller than she was, and was definitely dwarfed by his own workspace but the uniform he wore reminded her that in his own way he was also walking that thin blue line.
After taking the paperwork from her he laid it down on the desk and purposefully walked back and forth across it as he read and re-read the information. He might be small but there was an intensity to his actions and only when he seemed satisfied did he go to the cup and pull a pen as large as he was and click the ball point into position.
"Right. Everything seems to actually be in order for a change. I see no reason to NOT complete your registry." He set the pen to paper and with some effort wrote out his full name. Sargent Walter J Hamlin.
"Well I'm sure you've had other officers expect you to do the form filling for them, but I'm not one of those lazy louts. When you get down to it, I know what working behind a desk is like."
"Tell me about it." he said looking up at her with a raised eyebrow before wrestling a rubber stamp from the rack and pressing it to the inkpad. "You spend months in the academy, proving you can handle things as much as the next guy and then... you get sent out of sight and out of mind."
"It's necessary if unrewarding, and people take you for granted."
With the freshly inked stamp over his shoulder he walked into position and gave a mighty downwards thrust, making it official. "Yeah. It's not the work but rather the feeling of ingratitude and that I feel... small."
Felicia leaned on the desk, looking right at him and said in a droll tone: "You don't say.."
"Hey, I'll have you know that I'm on the tall side for my species. It's just I can see what's going on here. The big guys upstairs don't believe I can handle myself on the streets. That I'd be at a disadvantage, a liability in spite that fact I got through all of the training without anything being adjusted to my scale. It's like they think I'd get stepped on or something. ...Buncha jerks."
"Sounds like typical Bogo mentality, honestly. He means well but he keeps thinking you gotta be bulging with muscles to get the job done. Anyway, I got some time. You wanna grab a coffee while the red tape's being untangled?'
The rat actually paused in mid-action of putting the stamp away. He genuinely looked surprised before glancing back at her.
"Yeah. Why not?"
He thought about it a moment, then finished putting the stamp back with a awkward smile.
"Yeah, sure. Good point. It's not like I have anything earthshattering going on either."
"Alright. Ah... would you like a lift?" she offered, holding out a hand.
"Uh... Sure. And thanks for asking first." He said walking to the edge of the desk. "It's a little annoying when people get... grabby."
"... Geez, it's like nobody has manners anymore," Briggs grumped putting her arm on the desk to let Hamton climb onto her shoulder. "Ask first, then see if they'd rather climb. It's only polite. Don't assume. Ish... Some mammals, am I right?"
Once settled into a sitting place on her shoulder he gave a chuckle. "No kidding. Did you have a place in mind, cause I know this little place not far from here. Makes a great cappuccino and caters to a wide variety of mammal sizes."
"As long as it's within a meter maid's budget, my new friend," Briggs said as they strolled out probably to a lot of surprised looks.
Walter Hamlin is my own Zootopia fan character and Felicia Briggs belongs to Werekitty www.furaffinity.net/user/werek…
Illustration by the very talented Foxena www.furaffinity.net/user/foxen…