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Plumbers Don't Wear Ties

by DreamerDeceiver

Silverstream wasn’t much of a fighting mare, and was even less of a loving one, to tell 
you the truth, but she made her way into the Plumber Force all the same.

She made her way through the sewers, itching as she felt the humidity clutch at her already-warm body. Not many creatures ever knew of what lurked beneath their streets. They probably never cared to know; just some sewage and maybe an alligator or two, that’s all.

The Plumber Force of Equestria wished that was the case. Sewage would be a great deal easier to fight than an abyssal. 

It was odd, them being abyssals, wasn’t it? Silverstream never really thought too much about it, but figured the name probably came from a pony who spent a little too much time playing Ogres and Oubliettes, and much too little time doing their job.

The abyssals were vile wretches, truly; the scum of this earth. Beings that persisted, not of feeling or emotion, but of pure maniacal instinct. Ponies, griffs, and others, that were left nothing but an empty husk, a shell of who they once were.

Luckily for her, the underground was quiet tonight, and her shift was almost over. Not too much longer until she could end her shift and head back to the dormitories. 






“None?”

“None,” she said, coughing the word more than speaking.

Nothing struck anxiety into the hearts of junior officers like the potential of being lambasted by the star plumber of Equestria, Red Delicious.

Red was a magnificent plumber, and one that always got the job done, no matter what. Outside of the organization, he was but a simple stallion, nothing to his name but a famous family. ‘One of the lesser Apples,’ they called him, not that he seemed to ever mind. 

He was a rare breed, that stallion, and one that was the best there is at what he did. Something of a nameless, faceless pony before the organization, but once he joined, a king.

She wretched at the thought of him not liking her, of him giving any opinion less than stellar on her work. Fortunately, he never did.

Though she still feared it, he did admire her, going as far as to call her a “potential successor,” which could have been the compliment to end all compliments, as far as she was concerned.

“Hmm,” he grumbled, stroking his nonexistent beard with a hoof. “Nicely done, as always.”

Silverstream’s quivering lips erupted into a smile; a grin, even. It didn’t take many words from him to lift her spirits.






“Now listen!” Red shouted from the front of the classroom. “You can’t treat ‘em like ponies, not like griffons, yaks, or whatever the heck you happen to be. These are monsters. And monsters that threaten Equestria don’t have feelings. And if they did, they certainly don’t deserve yours.”

She supposed that was true. It was hard to argue that they weren’t dangerous and prone to attack.

“Now, you’ll all be given apprenticeships at the end of today. Each of you will be assigned to a Senior Plumber. Or in my case,” he flipped the bangs that definitely were not obscuring his eyes, “a Plumber General.”

Her eyes went wide. This was the perfect opportunity, she thought. With her grades, her perfect attendance, she had to be a shoe in for his apprentice, right? Right? Right?!






  Red and Silverstream made their way down into the lower sewers. Here, they’d almost certainly find an abyssal. She never understood why she’d never encountered one. With the amount she’d studied she could’ve been one of the world’s leading experts on abyssals.

Still, if anything, this was the perfect situation to show off her prowess to her superior. And not just any superior, this was the superior.

“Silverstream, go check down that corridor. Don’t want any wretched abyssals sneaking up on us.” 
She did as instructed, of course. And listen, it wasn’t glamorous, but she was very uniquely qualified for this job.

Silverstream’s necklace illuminated, and she sprung into her seapony form, diving into the water and swimming with speed and grace. Swimming through sewage was dirty work, but hey, someone’s gotta do it.

It didn’t take too long till she was at the end of the passage. She peeped her head out of the murky water to keep a lookout, but she saw nothing but darkness.

She was very good at swimming and looking, but she wished her talents could be on display to Red Delicious. Being a plumber was her dream, and his opinion carried more weight than anyone else’s.

Almost answering her yearning, she heard a scream echo through the sewers. But not of a pony, no. This was something else, something she’d studied months to meet, and something she was determined not to stand up on their first date.

She dove back into the water, swimming even faster this time. She couldn’t see anything through the water, but it didn’t matter—hippogriffs learn from a very young age to know their surroundings from the vibrations in the water. 

When she reached the source of the vibrations, she surfaced, seeing her mentor surrounded by abyssals. 

Vile creatures. Were they waiting to catch him alone? Did they think they could defeat the great Red Delicious, here and now?

Red unsheathed his trademark double-sided longwrench, and beat them off like it was routine. It was routine, she supposed, given how experienced he was. 

Their green, lumpy, slimy blood plastered the walls. He was a painter, that stallion, and every stain he left on the walls of the sewers, another one of his masterpieces. 

Not a single abyssal could touch him. One by one, they were knocked back and snuffed out completely. All that stood in his way now, was one.

The other abyssals seemed to be ponies, or were, once. This one had the distinct shape of a yak; a large one, male, she thought.
“C’mere, boy!” Red yelled as the abyssal yak charged him.

Silverstream gasped, making Red look back at her for a moment, staring daggers into her very soul. In the span of a moment, the abyssal yak had Red pinned to the floor of the sewer. Dirty water washed over his face as the abyssal let out a guttural roar.

As swift as she could muster, Silverstream sprung into action. She brandished her signature all-purpose mop and drove the handle into the mouth of the abyssal, pinning it to the wall.

It wretched, angry at first, but calmed down after a few seconds. For a moment, she could hear its soft whimpers, and saw its eyebrows raise. 

Was this…? No.

She hesitated, holding the creature there for a few more seconds, before Red slammed his hoof on the bottom end of her mop, driving the handle further into the yak. 

And just like that, the abyssal yak was nothing more than a puddle. This was her first success against the enemy, so why did she feel like this?

“Don’t tell me that was you first,” he said, snarky as always.

“It… Yeah. They just don’t show up when I’m on patrol.”

“Well, no wonder. They never just show up,” he said.

Her brow furled. “What do you mean?”

“The abyssals haven’t made an attack on Equestria for decades. We have to hunt them down. The game doesn’t just come to you, young one.”

Game?

“I-I don’t understand. We’re supposed to protect Equestria from them. We’re supposed to defend creatures.”

“Don’t be stupid. We’re called the Plumber Force, not the Plumber Defence.”

Silverstream tried her best to swallow the massive frog in her throat, but it wouldn’t let up. Her grip on the mop loosened and her claws felt weak.

He sighed, frustrated, and rubbed his hoof into his forehead. “I’m not asking you to treat 'em the way I do, okay. I’m asking you to not get in my way when I do what I do.”

She raised her head, meeting Red’s irritated gaze. She gulped and said, "If I stand by while you hunt them where they live, how does that make me any different.”

It was the one and only time she'd talked back to a superior officer. And her last words as a member of the force.