Margaret slowly descended down the ladder of the manhole on her way to the sewers of Motor City. As expected from a sewer, it was damp, grimy, gloomy, dark, stinky, and most important of all, very stinky. She covered her nose, not that it did anything to hold back the stench but it did help make her feel better, and looked around the area of the sewers she had arrived on. There wasn’t much to see, just muddled water, bits of trash and the sewer itself. She slowly began to walk on, looking for any signs of that toy soldier that she had followed.
Her footsteps echoed down the sewers as she marched on. Her eyes darted to the side from time to time whenever she had thought that she saw something but dismissed it after examination. Her hearing wasn’t helping too, the only overwhelming sounds she could hear were the sounds of gushing water, which was natural for a sewer, and her own footsteps. For a sewer it was surprisingly quiet and calm and she did not like how it felt and how it made her gut feel, or maybe that was her nose?
Suddenly she felt something land on her shoulder and she froze solid. Her head slowly turned to her right and she saw the most horrifying thing she had seen in the sewers so far. She felt it her heart race and she began to sweat nervously as she stared at it. It had so many legs skittering about, its black imposing color made it scarier for her, and its many antennae moved around rapidly. She was gazing at the horrendous might of a large cockroach with lots of baby cockroaches on its back. She could not take it anymore. With a deep breath her scream shattered the fragile calmness of the deep dark sewer.
“EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEKKKK!!!” She screamed rapidly as she suddenly shook and thrashed about, trying to get the insect/s off of her. In her panicked frenzy, she didn’t notice that she had already swatted the bug/s off and kept going on for a few moments. Finally she had been reduced to a messy and frazzled state as she finally began to calm down and leaned her back against the nearby wall. “I didn’t know there were cockroaches that big…” She cried quietly as she hugged herself and felt unclean. Suddenly she heard a noise during her little breakdown. Clacking? Ticking? No…those were…”Footsteps…” She whispered to herself as she cupped her ears to try and increase the sounds quality. “Those are tiny footsteps…” She said before she scrambled to stand up and rushed to follow the sound. They seemed distant so she had to move fast or else she might lose track of the toy soldier again.
The sewers became increasingly difficult to navigate with its twists and turns and fair share of dead ends and collapsed paths. She began to ignore the stench the more she navigated through the sewers and focused solely on her goal, the job. Unbeknownst to her, she had caught the attention of not one, not two, but four sewer alligators. It had been a while since these gators had eaten fresh meat, days even. They watched as Margaret ran around the sewers and waited for the perfect moment to strike. The sewer predators slowly sank into the water, stalking their prey without her notice.
Margaret gave out a quiet gasp of joy as she saw the toy soldiers that the client was talking about. Indeed they were carrying small items and were heading to what seemed to be a dead end. She moved to finally discover what these little toy men were up to when she heard the guttural growling of something. She carefully turned her head, little by little, to face the sound’s source. Four predatory reptiles that dwell in the sewers could be seen at the corner of her sight. And they looked very, very hungry. Margaret made the first move to protect her.
“Aftershock!” She shouted as the gators crawled out of the water. The familiar magic circle appeared an shattered before sewers shook as she moved back, trying to put a bit of distance between her and the gators. The gators were hurt but they’re stomachs hurt even more as they kept advancing towards her. She had to act quickly! “Thunder Hammer!” The magic circle appeared above the gators and shattered, dropping lightning down in front of them then the thunder followed. Heavily surprised and frightened by the appearance of lightning and the sudden thunder, the alligators chose to retreat. One by one they submerged back into the water, with the last one giving her some kind of glare before following its brethren back to their den. Margaret gave herself a little cheer before she remembered that she had a job to do.
Margaret peeked around the corner to see what was going on with the toy soldiers and what she saw touched her heart. The soldiers stood in a circle and faced outwards, like they were protecting something. Inside the circle was a small nest made up of tiny parts and bits of trash. In the center of it all, there lied an injured blue bird and a few eggs. She slowly approached the scene, attracting the soldiers ‘attention. They drew long needles and held them like swords and they looked ready to defend. “Hey hey, it’s ok. I’m not here to hurt anyone.” She said slowly while holding her arms up. She stood there for a few moments before they put down their needles and let her approach.
She reached the make shift nest and scooped it up, being careful not to break it. One toy soldier clambered up her shoulder and held onto her hair like it was a rope, making Margaret giggle for a bit. She climbed the ladder with one arm and reached the outside world once more where she was welcomed by sunlight and the sights and sounds of Motor City. She returned to the client and told him what the soldiers were doing down there and left the bird with him when he promised to take care of it for her.
She left the shop and began to plan her route back to the guild hall. “So…” She said to the soldier that sat on her shoulder. “Do you need me to drop you back at the sewers?” The soldier shook its head. “Where do you want me to bring you?” It pointed at her. “You want to come with me?” It nodded its head. “I warn you though, it’s not going to be easy with me.” It shrugged and she chuckled. “Alright alright, if you insist~” She said cheerily as she began her journey back, this time, with a new friend.