Art by Ron G. Biv
We marched for mere minutes, till it was time to stop, for we reached our destination.
It was a dark, deep place; deeper within the south of Snowdin. Located in a cave, the shrine was thought to be a site of huge importance by the traditional Underground Monsters. For it was in that shrine, where a skillful wizard named Toby discovered the ability to extend on his worldly existence, reaching out to the ever-growing universe. He earned accolades and praise for his sorcery; that was, till he was heard of no more…
The shrine was large and mostly uninhabited, save for strange whale-like creatures that glide along the walls with pride. If looked at closely, the creatures resemble a whale and a bullet at the same time. Such was the complexity of life in the Underground.
“We are on a mission!” exclaimed the armored dog, its tongue twitching back and forth. “I love missions! They keep me going, each and every day!”
“Indeed,” said the male in the happily married dog couple. “We are supposed to guard this facility from certain harm. Harm that might come from anywhere…”
The female nodded. “Honey, we shall defend this facility with pride, shall we not? For the Royal Guard!”
“For the Royal Guard!” exclaimed the male with excitement.
The couple cuddled each other like the lovebirds, or ‘love dogs’ they were. Meanwhile, I turned my attention to the sight-impaired mutt.
“Brother,” I asked. “What is y…?”
“Huh?” the dog questioned. “Who said that?”
“I did,” I candidly replied.
The dog sighed. “Look, I cannot see things unless they move. So, don’t push me!”
I began walking a little.
I anticipated the worst.
“Marco? You’re with us?”
I nodded, making full use of my imitation. The hood covering my head was able to shield me for the first few minutes with the Guards.
Then, the armored dog called on me. “Honorable plumber, we have known each other for some time. You proved time and again that you are very good at fixing things. That is a great thing!”
“Yeah…about that…what shall I do now?”
The male in the couple butted in. “Have you not heard? Undyne wants us all to guard this place from danger.”
I nodded. “Cool, but what must I do?”
“Fix things!” exclaimed the armored dog, his face a sea of joy. “It is your expertise, wise plumber of the Underground!”
The dog pointed at a pipe, which had water bursting out of it. “See that over there? Use your skills to fix that pipe! It should be easy for a great plumber like you!”
Easy, huh? Well, wait till he finds out who I truly am.
Nevertheless, I reluctantly helped. I was not good at plumbing. Had almost no experience, except for the time I witnessed my old man’s professionalism when dealing with the broken kitchen equipment. That was pure joy, I remembered.
The pipe almost went “SKRAA PAP PAP PAP!” but it didn’t. Instead, it went WHIRRRRR!
This is so not good, I thought.
I had not a clue as to how I should behave like a plumber does. The situation was made the worse, when out of the blue, a ragtag crew of misfits decided to join the fray.
At first I thought they were going to lend a hand, but soon it turned out they were not the friendly kind.
Through some hidden loud speaker, a voice cried out, “Hah! You royal scums are not gonna get out of here alive!”
“Huh?” the blind dog cried out. “Who can this be?”
“It is my servants and I who decided to let you all come here. Since you all are, then my plan is complete! You have fallen into my trap!”
The deep but beautiful-sounding male voice revealed that the burst pipe was the work of his crew of gangsters, five of which decided to storm into the shrine like the rascals they were.
The feathered, bespectacled gangster laughed. “Puppy meat for dinner. Yummy!”
“Couldn’t say it better,” replied another similar bird-like creature. “Let’s finish them!” The bird drooled like a starving caveman.
The married male dog sighed. “Royal Guards…prepare for war! RRROOOFFF!”
The fighting ensued. It was a war of sorts; bodies flown here and there in split seconds, and the risk of injury is as little compared to death, which looked certain for anyone. The blind dog was also a participant, but he was constantly falling off his feet.
A bespectacled creature in leather jacket, with the intense look etched on his face, went for the blind dog, pouncing; attempting to take advantage on his obvious disadvantage.
“Prepare to di…”
I struck the creature with a drop kick, leaving him stunned. Then, I pulled the dog Guard up to his feet, and walked him to safety.
“You okay, fella?” I asked. “What is your name, anyway?”
“Huh? Oh, it’s Doggo!”
“Doggo?” I reminisced about a playful young puppy which belonged to my neighbor at my surface home.
“Yup. Hey, we are in a war zone, aren’t we?”
I nodded. “Indeed we are, but we can’t let these birds win…”
“These aren’t birds! They are Drakes!”
“Drakes? What are those?”
“They are vile creatures!” he exclaimed. “They want nothing more than to take control of the Underground, all for themselves. And they think they can do that by getting rid of us!”
“By the looks of things,” I added, “you are absolutely right.”
Doggo was flailing; it later appeared he wanted to touch my shoulders, so I put his hands on the shoulders.
He was shaking me, saying, “Look, dude, you gotta help me! You gotta help us all!”
In spite of all the fighting, I told Doggo to sit still.
“Can you walk, Doggo?”
“Depends,” he replied. “If I see things that move, that won’t be a problem.”
Soon, Doggo sighted a Monster with no arms. The Monster was of young age and wore a dated checkered shirt.
Doggo grunted. “Hey, you! MK! Come back here!”
With that, it looked like one problem was solved, but it was time to assist the Guards as per Doggo’s request.
The battle tense as always, I witnessed the Drakes seemed to be winning. They still had three members on their feet, while I saw the male dog nursing his injuries. His female life companion was still standing, but looked exhausted. The largest dog was standing firmly; he had a strong armor that worked well in his favor.
The Drakes set their sights on the big one. After disposing of the female dog, tossing her away like crumpled paper, the two bespectacled, bird-like creatures surrounded the remaining dog. One of them slipped because the female dog pulled his legs.
“Give it your best shot!” the dog yelled. “I am not going down without a fight!”
The Drakes grinned. “If that is what you really want…be our guest.”
The dog did all in his power to prevent damage, but his armor kept getting beat up. After several near-misses, the Drakes succeeded in weakening him.
They targeted his feet. Using some wooden planks, they started hitting the dog’s legs. The two were quick to strike down the Dog, and there was not a chance for the dog to get up, for he just could not call for anyone to help.
The male dog was severely injured, blood pouring near his stomach area. The female was having a quarrel with a fallen Drake member. Doggo I saw fled the scene when all was breaking loose.
Then I came back in.
I equipped myself with a wrench which, when held, felt a bit like an 8kg dumbbell.
“Hey!” I screamed.
The Drakes turned to me. I got their attention. They got mine as well, for I stared them down their souls.
The Drakes were vicious in their character and irrational in their motives, but little did I care for those who hurt others for the sake of prestige and pride. Determined I was, to end their cruelty at that very moment.
“If you wanna fight somebody,” I said, “I am here.”
“Well, look who the reinforcements sent!” the Drakes giggled. “Easy meat.”
They laughed, before turning serious. “Get him!”
Equipped with planks, they were on to me like a pack of wolves. Their relentless efforts nearly paid dividends, when I was caught for a moment and sent to the ground, my body joined by patches of snow.
They could not wait for me to get back up.
“You have no idea who you are messing with, plumber punk!” a Drake exclaimed. “Give it up, or I will tear you limb by limb!”
I refused to give in to either proposal. Instead, I hit the wrench on the Drake’s right foot.
“AAAAUUUUGHH!” he yelled in pain.
It appeared the wrench was ‘doing its job’.
I was almost sidetracked by the other Drake who lurked behind. I just managed to avoid his strike, which split the plank to pieces. Suddenly, the plank resembled a little stick, but I had a stronger, unbreakable weapon.
I ran off momentarily, giving myself some breathing space, but once I reached the wall, I started to jump.
For a moment, I flew high up. The Drake could only drool in awe.
“What kind of plumber are you?”
By estimation, I was to land near – or directly on top of – the menacing maniac. So I thought, might as well strike while the iron’s hot. A blow to his head; he was down and out indefinitely.
A Drake tackled me from behind. A strong tackle; I felt the friction with the snow and the ground. My face was covered with snow – and drops of blood. I could not see red, but I felt it pouring out of my forehead. My skin was torn. Oh God, no.
My head was uncovered. My identity suffered the same fate.
“What the…?” the Drake thought. “You ain’t the plumber! You’re…”
The moment of hesitation by the bird, was what I needed to silence him. His head was near my legs, so I thrusted myself forwards and locked his head up. I tried my hardest to suffocate the living life out of the intruding Drake. I also pulled his head by the rear neck to add more pressure.
“Tap out!” I screamed. “Surrender, or else I won’t let you go!”
The Drake didn’t respond, but his eyes were turning white. He was really struggling for air.
The momentum was stopped, when a Drake member pushed me off of his friend.
The Drake told his friend to get up, but there was no response. The friend was still in shock; probably paralyzed.
“You did this,” the Drake said with anger. “You destroyed him! You are evil, just like your people!”
His mention of my people being bad people struck a chord in me. I was out of words.
The remaining Drake picked up my wrench. “Let’s see you taste your own medicine, punk!”
I stared him down, but there seemed to be no effect. The Drake was as aggressive as he could be, not giving a thought to most of his actions. The same goes for the others that I put down before.
Out of nowhere, the large dog pulled off a surprise. He came charging towards the Drake and mauled him. It was painful to watch; the Drake was instantly dead from loss of blood.
I kept silent. The dog looked at me.
“So, you are a human?” asked the dog. “But humans attacked…”
“No, you got it wrong,” I interrupted. “I attacked them because they attacked you.”
The large dog was still trying to figure things out. He looked confused at best.
The female dog voiced out. “Greatest Dog, it is true…”
“Which part is true, dear friend?” the Greatest Dog inquired.
“It’s what this soul said,” she replied, pointing her finger at me. “I saw it with my own eyes. This soul, however tarnished it may or may not be, has saved us from certain death. He has destroyed the Drakes.”
It looked like one of them understood.
Greatest Dog kept on turning his head, first towards me, then towards the female dog, and then back at me.
The buffed dog nodded. “I am sorry, human, but I have misjudged you, and unfairly labelled you because of your race. It was my mistake.”
He bowed down in front of me. What?
I was not able to collect a lot of vocabulary to get the conversation rolling. All I said was, “I am sorry, too.”
Things were getting a bit strange, even though I loved the outcome. It turned out better than I thought, but I refused to stay in the shrine.
My attention was turned towards an ailing male dog, husband of the female one, who was still nursing his injuries. He was bleeding badly then, but managed to make the bleeding stop.
“Get him to the hospital,” I said, before I ran out of the shrine.
“Wait!” I heard the scream from Greatest Dog. “You are hurt. Should you not follow—“