Shadows crawled against the rock walls while the sounds of fallen droplets echoed through the caverns. Across the ceiling, tubes of aged blue, red, and green twisted like snakes, hiding away any light cracks from above might have gifted to travelers. There were no smiling clouds to reassure the way, nor any dancing flowers to smile and play. The polka-dotted agriculture down beneath the surface craved bites of flesh, like all the other strange assortment of monsters hidden below the ground.
At every turn, it was that same poor setting— This was the norm in the depths of World 7, Pipe Land. The untraveled corridors deep within the labyrinth had remained such for a reason.
Yet, in days past, it had become the trial zone for two unlikely allies.
CRASH!A wall far past its prime met its end to a sturdy reptilian fist. Its destruction brought about a rumbling of the entire tunnel system, as well as clouds of dust which dispersed in their faces. The sound of its demise carried far in every direction, each seemingly as distant from an exit as the next. The smoke cleared, and alas yielded only the same eerie looking corridors as the million before it. Even so, the cause of the destruction, an agitated King Koopa, wore an accomplished grin as he stepped forward into a new area.
"Told you this wasn’t a dead end!"
"Your sense of direction is as worthless as your plumbing skills! Just stay behind me and keep quiet. I’ll find these pests Peach was worried about! Then she’ll offer me my cake, and you can go back to your grimy cabin and whine while she feeds it to me!"
Arrogance. Ah, but such was the attitude befitting the King of the Koopas. The dirt which shaded his yellow scales orange and matted his usually fiery mane had done absolutely nothing to wane his narcissism. Though his stride lost its energy and his stomach gurgled with every mile walked, his endurance kept his red eyes beaming! Bowser’s inability to quit proved to be his shining beckon, keeping his legs moving though their food and water rations were running low.
Unfortunately, like every other passage, the latest addition the tyrant had led them to a scene they had seen over a hundred times. There were more pipes to try, but no sign of their goal. Each path held a hopeless air, as if taunting the two as they approached them. Again, it came down to the same futile choice of warp pipes: Red, Blue, or Green. “Your picks are stupid! This time I’m choosing the path we go!… And it’s Blue!… Ladies first.” He waved a paw toward his selected pipe.
Venturing into this without a map had officially been declared the worst decision of his dictator career… It had to end soon.