This is the first part of a 9 part series. No OC's will be used or harmed without authorization from their respective owners.
The Pups are having fun after another mission when the world starts to shake violently. As reports of disaster pour in, an explanation comes from Perathius as he informs them of a powerful energy source known as the Nexus and its role in protecting the Earth from apocalypse. The pups now must journey on foot to the Undersurface and reach the Nexus to find the problem and potentially unlock its secrets.
The Canon Characters
Star and her family
The citizens of Adventure Bay
The story begins in Adventure Bay. The pups are on a mission to catch thieves who just stole from the city bank. Chase is in hot pursuit.
Chase : I got 'em. They're right on my 12. (the robbers open fire) Now, I'm coming under hostile fire.
Ryder : Roger that, Chase. Rocky's up ahead with his barricade.
Chase : (still under fire) He'd better hurry up. They're closing on him fast.
Ryder : He's going as fast as he can.
Chase : (still under fire) It might not be fast enough. (the crooks turn to the right to,try to outmaneuver Chase) They just turned. He has a little more time. No telling how much.
Ryder : Excellent. Return fire if you must and keep them spotted. Skye's got a surprise incoming.
Chase : (still under fire) Surprise? What surprise?
Ryder : You'll see.
Skye flies overhead with something hanging off her hook.
Chase : (still under fire and talking to Skye) What's your plan?
Skye : I'm gonna test my new ground mode.
Chase : (still under fire) Ground mode?
Skye brings her helicopter to within 4 feet above the street and pushes a button. The helicopter turns into an armored car which absorbs the gunfire from the crooks.
Chase : (blushing) I'm impressed.
Skye : (giggles) I thought you would be.
Chase : (slightly embarrassed) That's sweet, but the crooks are still getting away.
Skye : Not for long. (to Rocky) Rocky, is the barricade finished?
Rocky : Just one more screw... There. It's done now.
Chase : (to Marshall) Marshall, you're up.
Marshall : Just what I was waiting for.
Chase : Dalmatian spirit?
Marshall : I've been visiting my dad lately. I've got a surprise for them.
Chase : One they won't see coming?
Marshall : Exactly.
Marshall drives his fire truck in front of the crooks and jumps out in his Dalmatian armor onto the hood of the crooks' car, but is thrown off when they turn.
Marshall : (dealing with the pain) Well, that didn't work.
Chase : (rolling his eyes) Figures.
Skye : uh oh.
Chase : (concerned) What's wrong?
Skye : The armor isn't working right. I have to retreat. (does so)
Chase : (now back under fire) Rocky, they're almost to your position.
Rocky : Relax. This will work.
Chase : Are you sure?
Rocky : Positive.
Chase : Alright then.
The crooks turn the corner and slam front first into the barricade. Chase pulls up alongside them.
Chase : You boys are in a heap of trouble.
Scene changes with Chase's badge. The pups are back at the Lookout. They are playing Pup Pup Boogie 3 on a multiplayer song. Marshall is going against Everest and the scores are tied.
Marshall : I'm gonna win.
Everest : You wish.
Just as Everest is about to pull off a game-changing move, the Lookout shakes violently, throwing everyone against the wall. Everest goes straight through the window and is hanging off the catwalk. The shaking quickly stops.
Rubble : That's the shortest earthquake I've ever felt.
Everest : Uh... Help!
Marshall rushes to the catwalk and pulls a petrified Everest to safety. She kisses him and he blushes.
Zuma : Now, what the heck caused that?
Rubble : I don't see how that's possible. We don't live on a faultline.
Tracker : Whatever the cause was, I'm not sure it's natural.
Skye : (slightly scared) What do you mean?
Tracker : Since we don't live on a faultline, as Rubble said, and we still got hit by an earthquake, the cause can't have been natural.
Chase : It was more likely the shockwave from a very big earthquake. Nothing superstitious about it.
Tracker : You never know. It could be.
Ryder arrives in the elevator with a panic-like look on his face.
Ryder : (panic stricken) What happened?!
Rocky : We just had what felt like an earthquake.
Zuma : Quite a big one.
Everest : Almost fell to my death because of it.
Rubble : And we don't live on a faultline.
Chase : Why do you ask?
Ryder : I was just wondering because I felt it from Katie's Pet Shop. By the way, Chase, Sylvia's there and she wants to talk to you.
Chase : (surprised) Oh boy.
Ryder's pup pad rings.
Ryder : Ryder here.
Earl of Barkingburg : Ryder, there's been an earthquake at the castle! The Princess is alright, but we can't find Sweetie! Can you help us?
Ryder : Sure thing.
Chase : What happened?
Ryder : I just got a call from Barkingburg. There was an earthquake there and Sweetie's missing.
Marshall : She may be a bad pup, but we still have to help her.
Ryder : Right, then, pups, let's go.
Scene changes with Sweetie's badge. The pups are at the Barkingburg Castle. The gate tower is missing the flag and part of the gate is destroyed. The corner towers aren't as damaged except for the Northwest Tower, most of which is in the moat. The center roof is completely collapsed. None of the perimeter walls escaped. The East and West walls have collapsed completely as has bridge and entrance plaza, and the rest are precariously close to collapsing. The pups are in the main hall, which is little more than a room filled with debris. The Princess is wearing a sling for her broken arm and the Earl has a pair of crutches due to his damaged legs. Both are worried.
Princess of Barkingburg : Last time I saw her, she was in her puphouse with Busby. Who knows what happened to her?
Ryder : Don't worry, your highness, we'll find her.
Princess of Barkingburg : Thank you for your help. (she and the Earl walk away albeit with difficulty due to the rubble in the floor)
Chase returns from his search.
Chase : No sign of Sweetie in the North Wall.
Marshall returns from his search.
Marshall : I didn't see her in the West Wall.
Rocky : (having just returned from his search) Nor did I in the East Wall.
Everest : (just returned from her search) There's no sign of her in the South Wall, but I did find Busby. (shows Ryder)
Chase : That can help us find her. (sniffs Busby) She's over this way! (points to the Northwest Corner Tower and walks that way, sniffing as he goes)
The pups search the remains of the Northwest Corner Tower. Tracker sees a white paw in the rubble.
Tracker : I found someone! (the pups rush to his position)
Rubble uses his shovel to move the bricks, revealing Sweetie. She is unconscious, and her beautiful white fur is stained with blood. She is taken to the Princess and Earl, who are horrified by what happened to her. Marshall quickly does an X-ray scan and isn't proud of the results.
Marshall : Sweetie has sustained numerous skeletal fractures with several clean breaks. Her right hind leg joint has shattered and... wait... her skull is fractured in hundreds of places. I also see a ruptured lung. Thankfully, her heart and liver made it through. Unfortunately, she has suffered brain damage as well. Given all that, I don't think she has a good chance of surviving.
Princess of Barkingburg : (desperate) Please, can I get a second opinion?
Marshall : (sorrowful) I'm afraid mine's all we have.
The Princess begins to sob.
Earl of Barkingburg : Will you, please, help Sweetie? My Princess can't be without her.
Ryder : We'll do what we can.
Scene changes with Marshall's badge. The pups are back at the lookout. Sweetie is on a bed with ER equipment positioned around her. Katie is worried.
Katie : With all the injuries she suffered, her odds of survival are indeed slim , getting more so by the minute. I'm afraid there's nothing I can do.
Ryder : Thank you for your help.
Katie : You're welcome. (leaves)
Tracker : (worried) What's going to happen to her now?
Marshall : Either she lives or she -
Tracker : (interrupting) Don't say it!
A wisp is seen in the room that forms Perathius. He looks worried.
Perathius : Chosen! Your help is needed!
Marshall : (pointing to Sweetie) This pup needs help too.
Perathius : (confused) What happened to her?
Chase : She got crushed by debris when the castle she lives in collapsed in an earthquake.
Perathius : (shocked) Then we weren't the only ones feeling it. It spread to the Surface.
Zuma : What did?
Perathius : The earthquake. It seems as though the Undersurface had it worse.
Tracker : (panicking) That sounds bad, but can we please help her?!
Perathius : (after examining her soul) I sense greed in her heart, but that means not that she must pass for it.
Perathius casts a spell which heals Sweetie. She groans as she regains consciousness.
Tracker : (tail wagging) She's waking up!
Pups and Perathius and Ryder : Shhh!
Tracker : Lo siento.
Sweetie : (as she wakes up) Ugh. Ohh, my head. (realizes she's not in her pup house) Where am I? (sees Everest, Tracker and Perathius) Who are you?
Everest : Me? (Sweetie nods) I'm Everest. This is Tracker. (points to Tracker as he gives a nervous wave) And this is our friend Perathius. (points to Perathius, whose face has lost all expression)
Sweetie : (disgusted) That cat looks creepier than Frankenstein.
Perathius : (laughs out loud) Tha - That's funny. hehe. Wait, what?!
Everest : (giggles) Let's not get on his bad side. You haven't seen him when he gets angry.
Sweetie : (not scared) I can imagine.
Perathius : No, you can't.
Sweetie : (after a long pause) Huh?
Perathius : Would you like to see my bad side?
Skye : (trying to break the rivalry) Nononononononononono, she doesn't.
Sweetie : I am curious though.
Skye : (whispering) Shut up.
Perathius : Do you really?
Skye : No.
Sweetie : Yes.
Skye : (whispering) Shut up.
Perathius : Really?
Skye : No.
Sweetie : Yep.
Skye : (whispering) Will you please shut the &%*$#@! up!!! (not whispering) Excuse me, please.
Chase : Excused, you are.
Skye : Thank you.
Sweetie : I still want to know.
Perathius : (trying to remain calm) You will in time.
Everest : I've been meaning to give you this. (shows her Busby)
Sweetie : (excited) Busby! (grabs him and hugs him)
Rubble turns on the TV and Apollo The Super Pup comes on. Perathius is uneasy about the show, but his uneasiness is cut short when the News comes on.
Rubble : Aw, man.
Marshall : I wanted to see the ending.
Perathius : Some things we aren't meant to see.
Rubble mutes the News in anger, but Rocky reads the bottom headline.
Rocky : Wait a minute... The News are talking about the earthquake!
Chase : (after reading the headline more clearly) or earthquakes.
Rubble : There was more than one?
Perathius : (concerned) There can only be one explanation for all this.
A knock is heard on the door.
Skye : Sounds like that will have to wait.
Zuma : (after checking the door) It's Sylvia.
Chase : (nervous) ok.
Skye : You seem nervous about talking to her.
Chase : I don't know how she's been since I beat her in the herding competition. She might be mad at me.
Skye : She might not, you never know.
Chase : (gulps) Wish me luck.
Chase nervously walks to the door. When he opens it, he finds Sylvia smiling. She doesn't seem upset at all.
Sylvia : Hi, Chase.
Chase : (nervously) Hey, Sylvia.
Sylvia : (confused) Is something wrong?
Chase : (scared) No, no nothing's wrong. It's just that... I didn't know if you'd be mad at me for beating you in the herding competition.
Sylvia : That's why I wanted to talk to you. You were amazing at the competition, better than I ever could've been!
Chase : (surprised) Really?
Sylvia : Yes! I've never seen such moves in my life! I wanted to tell you sooner, but I couldn't get myself to.
Chase : Sounds like you were just as nervous as I was.
Sylvia : More so. I spent years building up the courage to talk to you. If you're busy, I'll go for you.
Chase : No, it's ok. We could use another pup on our team.
Sylvia : (confused) Really?
Chase : Yes. But, I'll have to introduce a friend of ours to you.
Sylvia : I like meeting new people.
Chase : Oh, cause he's a cat.
Sylvia : Does it matter? You wanted me to meet him, so I'll meet him.
Chase : Well, there's no point in arguing with you. (ushers her in)
Sylvia walks in and sees Perathius and Sweetie staring at each other. She's instantly concerned.
Sylvia : What's up with them?
Chase : I don't think they like each other.
Sylvia : You can say that again.
Chase : (to Skye) What's going on with them?
Skye : Sweetie challenged Perathius to a staring contest. So far, Perathius seems to be winning.
Sweetie : (struggling to hold her eyes open) Shut up. (finally blinks after a pause) @%#&$! I blinked!!! How did you not even tear?!
Perathius : It isn't difficult when you're partly dead.
Sweetie : So, you cheated?!
Perathius : No, I can still blink. (does so) I once did a staring contest with Rhea. She won, but we were at it for at least a few centuries.
Sweetie : (shocked) That's one way to pass the time.
Sylvia : You said you were dead, didn't you? Or are you alive?
Perathius : uh... neither actually.
Sylvia : (nervous) There's a shocker. (to Chase) Is this what your "friend" is like?
Chase : I thought you said you like meeting people.
Sylvia : (growls) I hate myself.
Zuma : About the explanation?
Perathius : Oh, right. It must've been caused by an instability in the Rift.
Sylvia : Rift?
Perathius : It's a shield of energy that defends the Earth from outside invasion.
Rubble : That explains why we've seen no aliens.
Perathius : That may be, but the Rift requires an enormous amount of energy to remain stable, energy only the Nexus can produce.
Sweetie : Nexus?
Perathius : It's the most powerful energy source on Earth. (Sweetie expresses surprise and greed in her face) It is the most important asset we have... but it's also the one we understand the least.
Sylvia : (confused) Aren't spirits supposed to know everything?
Perathius : (after a long pause) There are limits to our knowledge just as there are limits to your's. We only know the Nexus is the power source of the Rift, and we know where it is, but little else is known even to us.
Everest : Wow... that's a shocker.
Perathius : I know not what you mean by that, but if there were multiple quakes symultaniously, it's a sure sign that the Rift is starting to weaken. I don't know how long we have as this has never happened before, but I can imagine the result of the Rift collapsing.
Rocky : I'm gonna guess it would be bad.
Perathius : Beyond so. I was thinking more like -
Skye : Apocalyptic.
Perathius : Yes.
Tracker : If that's what happens, I'm not waiting around.
Chase : I agree. We need to go to the Nexus and fix it. (to Perathius) Where is it exactly?
Perathius : We keep it in a chamber in the Undersurface.
Marshall : What the heck is it doing down there?
Perathius : It's the safest place we have. Only a handful of us know how to get to the chamber, myself included.
Ryder : (who has been standing near them the whole time) We would like it of you'd take us there.
Perathius : Under normal circumstances, the chamber would be off limits, but since we are in danger, I would be more than happy to take you there. But your vehicles will not be able to make it to the gates. When they stop, we'll have to continue on foot.
Steetie is so dreamy about what she can do with the Nexus at her disposal that she isn't paying attention, but everyone in the room can see it. Perathius then gives the pups sacks of gold coins.
Perathius : This is how Mius will know you are the chosen. He will then take us to the main chamber by boat.
Sylvia : You have boats down there?
Perathius : Only in the River of Souls, the only river in the Undersurface. It has properties that allows us to use it for transportation... except for the trapped spirits who sometimes try to break out, which, if they did, would be bad. If they try to grab the boat, just knock them off. The river will do the rest. I'll explain more on the way. We must start as soon as possible. There is no telling how long the Rift can hold in its present state.
Ryder : Then let's go.
The Pups suit up and fire up their vehicles. It is dark by the time the vehicles start to malfunction.
Skye : (nervously) uh oh.
Chase : What?
Skye : My helicopter's malfuctioning.
Rocky : So is my truck.
Rubble : And my rig.
Skye : I have to land. (does so)
The pups soon begin wondering what happened. Sweetie panics.
Sweetie : Perathius, our vehicles stopped woirking.
Perathius : We walk from here.
The pups exit their vehicles. They walk until the Sun starts to set. Sweetie starts to get tired as she is used to riding in carriages, not walking about on her legs all day.
Sweetie : (panting) Can we stop? My legs are about to collapse.
Perathius : The Sun is starting to set. It wouldn't hurt to stop for the night, as long as no Talikas find us.
Sylvia : What are Talikas?
Perathius : They are vicious predators. They are quite scaly and they have huge wings so they can fly. They will not hesitate to make a meal out of you... at least that's what the texts say.
Tracker : Texts?
Perathius : Ancient texts, written by ancient poets and writers. Some of them even make references to you all. One of you may even be the Ultimate Guardian, the most powerful of all the Guardians.
Sylvia : Sound's awesome!
Perathius : It would be to see one. As of now, no one has ever become the Ultimate Guardian as there is no one known who can withstand the power of the Nexus and the Eternal Sources that power it.
Rocky : Wait... How many Eternal Sources are there?
Perathius : 6. They are commonly stored in their respective temples, but they are mostly kept close to the Nexus as they seem to give it its power.
Sweetie : (dreamily) Imagine what can be done with all that power.
Perathius : I do recall mentioning your greed.
A roar is heard in the distance.
Sylvia : (nervously) What was that?
Perathius : That was a Talika. That one sounds like it's far away, but it could be closer.
Chase : (frightened) Speaking of which.
Perathius : (realizing why Chase is scared) There's one right behind me, isn't there?
Skye : (also scared) Yep, and she is angry.
Perathius : (tail between his legs (Yes, cats do that too)) In that case, RUUUUUUUUNNNNN!
The pups run about to confuse the Talika, but it doesn't seems to take the bait and targets Sweetie, who has been standing there paralized by the fear. She snaps out of it when she sees the Talika creeping towards her. She immediately turns and runs as fast as she can with the Talika chasing her. She comes to a fork, and in her panic, she take the path that leads to a dead end. The Talika closes for the kill, backing Sweetie into the wall with her tail between her legs. But, just as the Talika is about to eat her, it pauses from what seems like curiosity. After sniffing Sweetie, the beast's eyes widen with fear and it flies away. Sweetie is confused by this and slowly walks out of what could have been her trap. She sees the other pups looking for her.
Tracker : (seeing her) There she it. (his tail wags)
The pups rush to her and express their joy that she's still alive.
Sylvia : How did you get out of there?
Sweetie : You won't believe what I just saw.
???? : A Talika flying out of a chasm?
The pups and Perathius look behind them to see an ocean blue cat padding towards them. She seems nervous.
Perathius : Moseda?
Moseda : Perathius! I've been looking for you for at least a month. Where were you?
Perathius : You didn't know?
Moseda : Know what?
Perathius : I left to find the Chosen to see if they could help us.
Moseda : It's been at least 30 short term cycles since then.
Sylvia : Does that mean he's been gone for a month?
Moseda : Yes.
Sylvia : But he was only here for one day.
Moseda : Time in the Undersurface passes much faster than time on the Surface.
Sylvia : (confused) That doesn't make any sense.
Moseda : Nor does it to me. Anyway, Perathius, I came to tell you that things are getting worse in the Undersurface. My chamber just caved in as did Cratonas'. Several of the thick collumns have also started to crack.
Perathius : This is worse than I thought.
Chase : (sneezes) How much farther is the Entrance. We were told there would be one.
Moseda : It's not much farther. It's just through that pass. (points to a narrows canyon in front of them)
Ryder : What are we waiting for? Let's go.
Perathius : You can't come.
Ryder : (surprised) Why not?
Perathius : The Undersurface is a secure soul containment center. If you wish to go there, your life must end, otherwise you will not be allowed to enter. Your pups are the Chosen, and thus will be allowed in. This is for them to endure alone.
Ryder : (slightly saddened) I see. (to the pups) Well, I guess it's time for you to go on.
Everest : What about you?
Ryder : I'll go beack to the Bay. Help may be needed there.
Chase : We won't let you down, Ryder sir.
Ryder : I know you won't. (jumps on his ATV and rides away)
Marshall : (whines) I miss him already.
Chase : We've handled our own before. We can do so again. If we don't, things could go bad for everyone.
Rocky : I agree. Let's go.
Sweetie : Oh, no.
Moseda : What's wrong?
Sweetie : I'm used to riding in carriges, not walking on my feet.
Moseda : Sometimes, we must walk to our destinations. I didn't like having to walk throughout the Undersurface, but I did because the Undersurface depended on me.
Sweetie : Nothing depends on me.
Moseda : It could, you never know.
The pups walk through the pass to a large doorway.
Perathius : (to the pups) This is the Gateway to the Undersurface. Remember what I told you.
Everyone except Sweetie : Yes.
Perathius : Alright then.
They walk through the gates. They see Mius standing next to a boat.
Sweetie : Stand back everyone. Let me show you how to get a boat. (walks up to Mius) Hey there sir. What's your name? (Mius turns his gaze to Sweetie, who sees a massive scar in his left eye, which is missing) Battle scars... I love it. Anyway, we kinda need this boat. I could give you something good if you can, ya know, take us for a ride.
Mius speaks in a language Sweetie doesn't understand, but he speaks rather sternly.
Sweetie : (confused) I know right, (laughs) (to the pups) I have no idea what he's saying here.
Perathius : He wants you to pay him.
Sweetie : Now that I can do. (hands Mius a bag of gold) I know, I'm rich... in more ways than one. (Winks)
Mius is unmoved.
Sweetie : (seductively) You know, I can be your one and only.
Moseda : He already has one.
Sweetie : $@&%!.
Perathius : Plus, he doesn't understand you.
Sweetie : Well, now we're even, aren't we?
Chase : You've had your turn. It's time we show you how it's done.
Sweetie : (tauntingly) Good luck.
Chase walks up to Mius and says something in the same language Mius was speaking before. Mius replies and Chase hands him a bag of gold with another response. Sweetie watches in awe as Mius says something and motions for the pups to board the boat. Chase smiles as they board.
Sweetie : (still in shock) How di- How did you do that?
Chase : Well, it's not hard to do when you have a friend who knows this stuff. (points to Perathius with his tail)
Sweetie : (confused) That cat knows that language?
Chase : Yep. He was kind enough to teach us the language so we could get to the Undersurface and get to... you know what.
Sweetie : Oh, the - (is cut off by Perathius)
Perathius : It may be best if we don't mention our quest at this time.
Sweetie : Oh, ok. (shows signs of nervousness as Mius sails the boat further and further down the river)
As the pups sail down the river, something shoots out of the river and lands on Sweetie, scaring her out of her fur. The now revealed corpse looks at Sweetie and says something to her.
Corpse : (in a female voice) I new you'd come to me, my sweet little girl.
Muis uses an oar to whack the corpse back into the river. Sweetie looks back to see the corpse smiling at her as they sail away from it. Both wave at each other, Sweetie's more nervously, and the corpse sinks into the river. Sweetie begins to think that something's up.
Sweetie : (to Perathius) Who's body was that.
Perathius : That was your mother.
Sweetie is shocked. She never knew her mother, nor her father for that matter. She isn't sure what to think.
Sweetie : Where's my dad?
Perathius : He's in the river as well. The river contains those who were lost before their time.
Sweetie : So, my parents are... dead?!
Perathius : Sadly, yes. I knew them well. It was a terrible tragedy.
Sweetie : What happened?
Perathius : (hesitates) Perhaps it's best to leave that for another time. We're nearing the edge of the river.
Sweetie looks ahead to see what looks like a waterfall. She starts to panic.
Sweetie : Uh... pups. We're heading for a WATERFALL!!!
The pups look ahead and they too start to panic. Chase and Skye hug each other, as do Marshall and Everest, as they head towards apparent doom. Perathius gets up, grabs an oar and, simultaneously with Mius, shoves it into the riverbed. The boat turns parallel to the edge of the waterfall and remains level as the slowly descend over the edge. Right next to the waterfall they're going down is another waterfall that seems to be going up. This confuses the pups.
Rocky : I may not be a physics expert. but I'm pretty sure water doesn't go up.
Mius says something.
Perathius : He says it's a transportation feature. It allows travel between the different layers of the Undersurface.
Rocky : So, these waterfalls act as elevators.
Perathius : You could say that.
The boat descends to a dark grey platform. Mius then motions for the pups to disembark. They do so. Tracker notices something's wrong with Sweetie and gets concerned.
Tracker : (to Sweetie) Is something wrong, amiga?
Sweetie : (surprised at the concern) Oh, no, nothing's wrong. It's just that... I just met my dead mother in the river, and I don't know what happened to her. To top it off, I don't know my father.
Tracker : Oh. Well, you're not the only one. I only just met my momma and I still don't know my poppa.
Sweetie : I don't see how you know how I feel considering both of my parents are dead.
Tracker : Oh... I'm sorry.
Sweetie : Everyone says that.
Perathius : (having noticed Sweetie and Tracker haven't come with the rest) Are you coming?
Sweetie and Tracker : Yes, we're coming.
Perathius : Then, come on.
Sweetie and Tracker follow the pups into the Main Chamber. They are greeted by a blood-red landscape that empties into an ocean of glowing lava. Occasionally, mini eruptions are seen. Massive pillars bear the crushing weight of the world above them. The pups are amazed.
Perathius : Welcome to the Undersurface.
Sylvia : This reminds me of Kilauea. (Perathius expresses confusion) It's in Hawaii. It's a volcano that's been erupting for decades.
Perathius : That's a very long time to be erupting. But, let's not forget why we're here.
Chase : Right, where do we go?
Perathius : The first doorway not far from Rhea's chamber. Anyone can open it, but it is hard to find if you're not careful. Unfortunately, I can't quite remember exactly where the door is.
Tracker : I have a good nose. I can sniff it out. (starts sniffing and immediately covers his nose) It is very smelly down here. (the other pups notice the smell as well)
Perathius : That would be the ground. It's made of a material that produces that smell.
Chase : Can you smell it?
Perathius : No, but I could back when my siblings I first came here. It was quite unpleasant, but we eventually grew used to it. Now, let's go check on Rhea. She's probably missed me.
The pups follow him. On the way, Sylvia hears a weird noise. She stops and looks around and keeps hearing the noise.
Sylvia : (scared) Hello?
She looks around her until she sees a worm-like creature with a large, circular shaped thing on the front that contains a pair of pinchers and is lined with four rows of sharp claws. It scares Sylvia, who shrieks. The creature shrieks too. Sylvia is puzzled and takes a closer inspection. She then sees that the creature is friendly, as evidenced by it squiggling closer to Sylvia and rubbing itself on her legs.
Sylvia : (chuckles) Not so scary once you're known, are you?
The creature makes another weird noise that Sylvia can somehow understand.
Sylvia : Oh. Well, I'm new here, so I don't know where to go.
The creature makes a playful sounding noise.
Sylvia : (somewhat surprised) Why you little. (grabs the creature and puts it on her back) I have friends who are going somewhere exciting. Wanna come?
The creature makes another noise.
Sylvia : Ok, then. Let's go and find them. (they set off)
Meanwhile the other pups are nearing Rhea's chamber.
Perathius : This is Rhea's chamber. It is here that she makes all diseases known to the surface.
Marshall : She must be an expert in her field.
Perathius : She never sees herself as such.
Everest : I was about to call her a showoff.
Perathius knocks on the door.
Rhea : (slightly muffled by her chamber's walls) I'm busy with a patient!
Perathius : Patient?
Rhea : Oh, it's you. You have them?
Perathius : Yes, I do.
Rhea : Well, come in then.
The pups enter the chamber and they see a blue-grey cat with a star on her forehead. She looks as though she isn't feeling well. She raises her head when she sees Perathius.
Star : Perathius, You ca- (coughs) Came.
Marshall : (concerned) Is she ok.
Star : I'm fine. (repeatedly sneezes)
Rhea : You don't sound fine.
Perathius : (starting to worry) What has she caught?
Rhea : That's what I'm trying to find out. (severely enlarges a viron which appears on her inspection table)
Sweetie : I wish doctors could do that.
Rhea : It's an ability unique to me. (opens the capsid and peers inside) There's the RNA.
Sweetie : RNA?
Marshall : It's basically half of a DNA. It's mainly used to send instructions from a cell's nucleus to elsewhere.
Rhea : A cellular messenger. Some viruses use RNA to transfer their instructions when they infect a cell. These RNA strands look strange. If only I had something to compare it to.
A strange noise is heard as Sylvia enters with the creature on her back.
Sylvia : Did I miss anything?
Sweetie : You missed everything. (sees the creature) Don't move a muscle.
Sylvia : Why not?
Sweetie : (very nervous) There's something eating your back.
Sylvia : What? (looks to see the creature sucking on her back) Will you stop that? (the creature makes a noise as it does) (to Sweetie) I found it on the way here.
Rhea : Is that Gnathostoma? (the creature makes a noise) It is you. Come here. (the creature squiggles over to Rhea, freaking Sweetie out) You naughty parasite you.
Marshall : That's quite the parasite. It is bad if it gets in our systems?
Rhea : In your case, it's often serious, occasionally fatal. Not so much in humans. Such a case is not what Star has, but it's the RNA itself that's got me puzzled. The symptoms at least seem to match what Star has.
Sylvia : Even spirits can get sick?
Star : Yes. (coughs) Even we get sick. (coughs severely)
Marshall : That sounds bad.
Star : I've been like this for a while. I can't recall how long, though. (sneezes)
Marshall : That's worse.
Rhea : You beat me to it.
Chase : Right now we need to focus on our objective.
Rhea : Oh, right. It's right this way. (leads the pups to a door, which she opens)
The pups follow Rhea into the dark passageway. Along the way, Sylvia begins to rethink her opinion on spirits.
Sweetie : (notices something's up with Sylvia) Syl, what's troubling you?
Sylvia : I don't know. It's just that... I'm learning so much about spirits that I never though possible. These spirits seem to be more like us than I once thought. They have limits to their knowledge and can forget, get sick, and even have emotions. They're nothing like I first though them to be and it's got me surprised. I just don't like it.
Sweetie : Well, you're not wrong. I usually feel like an underdog. I was born to royalty, but I was never treated so. I just wanted to be treated like the royal pup I am.
Sylvia : Is that why you tried to take the Royal Crown?
Sweetie : (surprised) How did you know that?
Sylvia : It was all over the news.
Sweetie : Those pesky news reporters keep nothing secret, don't they?
Sylvia : Nope.
Sweetie : No wonder the Princess still doesn't take me seriously. And, yes, that is why I stole the crown.
Sylvia : Are you sure you know what it really takes to be a queen?
Sweetie : Well, I-I thought I did. You don't get whatever you want when you're queen, do you?
Sylvia : No. When you're queen, you have a whole country on your shoulders. You have to put your county's needs before your own, so everyone is happy.
Sweetie : That sounds hard.
Sylvia : It can be if you handle it poorly. If you handle it well, however, being queen can be fun.
Sweetie : It can?
Sylvia : Yes.
Rhea : We're almost there. (They come up to a wall) Just behind here is the Chamber of the Nexus. Only the chosen and the Ultimate Guardian can open the Nexus and bear it's power source.
Star : So, we'll finally know what its power source is.
Perathius : We already discussed the possibility that the Eternal Sources mat be the power source, though some texts say there's a concentrated mass of power hidden inside.
A spider comes down and lands on Rubble's nose, causing him to shake with fear.
Rubble : Sp-sp-sp... SPIDER!!! (ends up throwing it off) Is it gone?
Moseda : Are you ok?
Rubble : Oh, yeah, yeah. I'm fine. I'm just scared of spiders, that's all.
Rhea : None of the texts said anything about that.
Chase : Even we have fears. I'm scared of the... dentist.
Marshall : Flying really sets my alarm bells ringing.
Skye : I'm scared of eagles.
Rocky : I hate water.
Moseda : Of all things.
Zuma : I'm scared of ghosts, but you seem to be more alive than anything.
Everest : I'm scared of ants.
Tracker : The dark is my kryptonite.
Star : I don't know what tha- (coughs) means.
Tracker : It's a weakness.
Sylvia : I kinda get freaked out around thunderstorms.
Tracker : What about you, Sweetie?
Sweetie : I... uh... I'm scared of uh...
Moseda : You don't know, do you.
Sweetie : I'm scared of falling?
Marshall : Aren't we all?
Sweetie : Ok, it's pressure. As in responsibility type pressure.
Perathius : You most likely won't have responsibilities anytime soon.
Rhea : Alright, let's get in, shall we.
Star : (scared) But, that door hasn't been opened for many a millennia. There's no telling how bad things have gotten since the door was closed.
Chase : Only one way to find out.
Rhea opens the door. On the other side is a vast chamber. On a platform in the middle is a small black cube with a glowing hole in the top.
Perathius : (pointing at the black cube) Behold, the Nexus.
The pups gather around the Nexus and are surprised by how small it is. Sweetie finds it funny.
Sweetie : (sniggers) That's the Nexus? I was expecting something bigger.
Perathius : (slightly offended) It's small size allows for portability if it needs to be moved.
Star : The chosen and the Ultimate Guardian can open it.
Marshall : I vote Sweetie.
Sweetie : (surprised) Why me?
Perathius : You did question its power, didn't you?
Sweetie : (scared) I did. Alright, I'll go.
Sweetie slowly walks up to the Nexus.
Sweetie : How do I open it?
Moseda : Oh! Silly me, I forgot the Catalyst. It's the key to open it. All you have to do is put it in the top and turn it. It shouldn't matter which way you turn. (tosses the Catalyst to Sweetie)
Sweetie places the Catalyst in the top and turns. The top opens and a very bright glow emits from the Nexus. A surprised Sweetie reaches in and pulls out a small glowing crimson ball. The others are amazed.
Rhea : (to Moseda) So, the texts you read are true.
Moseda : But, they said it was supposed to be a beautiful blue, not an ugly red.
Star : (coughs) It must be low on e-(sneezes) nergy.
Marshall : (having taken the ball's temperature) It's still a good 4,000 K. How Sweetie can hold it without burning herself is beyond me.
Perathius and Star are shocked.
Star : You don't think...
Perathius : I do.
Rocky : Wait a minute. I think that glowing red ball it the Nexus itself, and the black cube's just a box to put it in.
Rhea : I knew I read about that somewhere.
Chase : If the Nexus is low on power, than we need to find the Eternal Sources. Perathius said they were the source of its power.
Perathius : I said we though they were.
Chase : Even so, there's a chance that someone's looking for them for their own ambitions.
Rhea : I agree with that.
Star : So, all we have to do is get to the Eternal Sources before the thief does.
Perathius : Right, then let's go.
The pups leave the chamber, taking the Nexus and its case with them. As they leave, a pair of glowing eyes stares at them. A smile appears on a hidden face.
Female Voice : You may have the Nexus, but I know where the Temples are. When I have the power of the Eternal Sources, even my parents won't dare stand in my way to power. (she laughs eerily)
Thus concludes the first part of the pups' quest to unlock the Secrets of the Nexus.