When Chase and Zuma get marooned on Seal Island during a heavy thunderstorm, they discover a hidden secret there that will forever change the face of the PAW Patrol.
"PAW Patrol, to the Lookout!"
Obeying the call of duty, six Pups scampered through the automatic glass doors of the magnificent tower shaped like an Olympic torch. Chase, the police and spy ops Pup, arrived first at the elevator, followed by Rocky the recycling Pup, Zuma the water rescue Pup, Rubble the construction Pup and Skye the aviation Pup.
All of the Pups were there, confident and ready, except for one... And from the countless times they've answered the call of duty, the arrival of the missing Pup was going to be unpleasant.
Finally after an eon, the missing Pup rocketed into sight. The spotted fire rescue and EMT Dalmatian, Marshall, charged through the automatic doors with the clumsiness of a clown, only to somehow slip. He flopped on his stomach and slid uncontrollably like a clown on buttered shoes to the elevator.
"Incoming!" Marshall bleated. Instinctively, the Pups already in the elevator prepared themselves for a messy encounter by slamming their eyes shut and braced for an embarrassing impact by positioning their bodies in awkward ways.
But there was no need. Marshall had inextricably halted fishtailing when he reached the entrance of the all-glass compartment. Looking up timidly, he saw his spotted snout was firmly propped up against a grey paw. Curiously, Marshall let his stare wander even further, gradually registering the intimidating image of a muscular grey bloodhound Pup wearing a Homeland Security vest, tinted sunglasses and a purple bandanna.
"Yep, mate, it's me. And it looks like you still haven't learned how to control -" the security Pup stated in a boyish British accent as he pointed at Marshall's legs, "- those wheels."
"What are you doing here, Talon?" questioned Chase, trotting up to the bloodhound.
"There's gonna be a massive week-long security Pup training camp here in Adventure Bay tomorrow, mates." explained Talon as he readjusted his vest, "but it won't be massive unless I show up."
"Oh sure." chuckled Rocky, followed by giggles from the rest of his team. Their security Pup friend really knew how to exaggerate a simplistic gathering into a desperate situation of life-or-death.
"Ha ha ha all you want, mates, but I gotta learn stuff I never did before in the Army, like cooking proper meals, driving things besides a tank and swimming in a pool. Maybe even flirting." smiled Talon devilishly. "Anyways, off you go, PAW Patrollers, Ryder's gonna need you."
And with that, the security Pup trotted casually out and to the outside, whistling a jaunty version of the PAW Patrol theme song. Talon was gone as quickly as he came.
"I never get tired of Talon," exclaimed Rubble as if he was a sales Pup promoting Apollo the SuperPup on a TV ad, "He's so cool!"
Rolling their eyes at Rubble's overly naive statement, the six Pups rested calmly as the elevator rose up, dressed them up in their appropriate attire and delivered them into the dome of the tower. The sliding glass flew open, and the Pups all jumped out like gazelles. In no time, they snapped at attention, forming a horizontal line before a handsome 10-year old boy in futuristic clothing with tall spiky hair.
"Ready for action, Ryder sir!" barked out Chase, his eyes filled with loyalty, much like the others standing among him.
"Thanks for hustling over, PAW Patrol." said Ryder as activated the emergency briefing screen via a touch on the PDA-tablet in his hand.
"We have an unusual emergency today. Captain Turbot was out at sea transporting a load of rubber ducks in The Flounder from the nearby harbor when they spilled over." The crude animations on the screen played out an embellished version of the scenario, yet it was enough to give the Pups a good idea of the situation.
"That weally is unusual. Why would Captain Turbot be delivering bath toys on The Flounder?" agreed Zuma, igniting a muffle of giggles.
"To make matters worse, the ducks have floated quite a distance away from the boat. And a huge thunderstorm is due soon according to the Captain, so we have the start the rescue right away." finalized the PAW Patrol leader.
"The thunderstorms will not make the ocean gentle." said Chase with concern.
"Or make it safe for aircraft to fly." Skye added on.
"Right, Pups. Chase, I need you to go on Zuma's hovercraft and use your net launcher to catch the rubber ducks and bring them back to The Flounder."
'Chase is on the case, Ryder sir!"
"Skye, I need you to fly overhead in your copter and use your binocular goggles to find where the rubber ducks have floated to."
"Let's take to the sky!"
"The rest of you Pups, stay alert in case we need more help with collecting the ducks. Alright, PAW Patrol is on a roll!" Ryder shouted enthusiastically before running over to a firemen pole and sliding down to the underground garage where his ATV was stationed.
Barking and howling excitedly, the three PAW Patrollers chosen for this rescue, raced off to their own slide, while cheered on by the others who were "lucky" enough to stay in the warm haven of the Lookout.
Soon, Ryder and his trio of furry companions arrived at the small blue and white tug boat bobbling on the ocean. A tall and thin sailor in yellow suspenders and spectacles was running pack and forth, arms frantically waving in the air as if he had spontaneously combusted. Once he caught sight of the rescue party, he greeted them with all the symptoms of a panicky person.
" I'm so glad you're here, Ryder and the PAW Patrol!" sputtered Captain Turbot energetically. "You just can't underestimate the power of the sea sometimes. And rubber ducks too!"
"It's all right," chuckled Ryder as he braked his ATV-transformed Skidoo beside The Flounder, "We will get everything back under control. Okay, Skye, show us where those naughty ducks have swam to!"
Her pink boxy helicopter flew overhead, the propellers producing a distinctive whup whup whup. The cockapoo's eyes were behind large magnifying goggles, automatically self-adjusting to provide the perfect field-of-vision. The advanced detection system built into the gadget instantly identified formidable groups of the tiny rubber birds. Yipping gleefully, Skye relayed their relative locations back to the waiting PAW Patrol leader.
"Thanks, Skye." said Ryder as he throttled his Skidoo back to life and out into the water, followed en suite by Zuma's hovercraft. Heading to the south of The Flounder, Ryder pointed to various spots around them. Sure enough, each was inhabited by a group of rubber ducks.
"Got it, Wyder." acknowledged Zuma as he carefully maneuvered his waterborne vehicle to their destinations.
Barking a command, Chase's net launcher obeyed by firing upon the targets, enclosing them each in a web of mesh wire. Retracting the nets, he proudly threw the many catches of the day back to The Flounder.
"My golly, Chase and Zuma!" said Captain Turbot, "You're doing awesome, keep up the great work!"
"Your welcome, Captain Turbot!" barked Zuma and Chase in unison.
However, the due weather wasn't going to be as thankful. Like Ryder had said earlier back at the Lookout, a thunderstorm was forming. Rains began to spit, then splatter then bawl. Dark stormy clouds clogged up the blue sky, stashing away the golden sun and replacing it with lighting and booming thunder.
"We need to hurry, Pups." warned Ryder, "Skye, you can return to the Lookout now, since the incoming thunderstorm will make it hard for you to fly in your copter."
On the other hand, the expected negative change in the weather wasn't a problem for the two other Pups. Launch after launch, hand-off after hand-off, almost all of the rubber ducks have been retained successfully, except for a rogue group trapped by the jagged rocks near the coast of Seal Island.
"We're gonna get those, Ryder, it's the last of them!" shouted Chase, trying to overpower the gale-force winds, "Let's go, Zuma, we're almost gonna be finished."
"Wight with ya, dude." Zuma steered his hovercraft right at the inviting rocks, but with enough precision, even in the increasingly raging weather, to not scrap against them which would tear the skirt and cause a bad leak.
"No, no!" Captain Turbot was waving hysterically again and screaming at the two Pups at the top of his lungs, "You've gotta stop! The weather is too strong and you're way too close to the rocks!"
But even if the Captain had warned them with a microphone, it was still too late. A tsunami-grade wave rose up from the surface of the ocean. Like a famished bird of prey, it swooped down and snatched up the hovercraft, Pups and all, and gobbled them up.
"Oh no! Chase and Zuma have been sucked underwater. What should we do now, Captain Turbot?" cried the worried PAW Patrol leader.
"There's nothing we can do now, Ryder. We'll just have to head back to the mainland. And by the way, radio them before the storm breaks up the signal to take refuge on Seal Island. They'll be fine there until the thunderstorm is over."
The next thing Zuma knew, the wave rebounded them back up. The hovercraft reappeared again, this time with two soaking wet Pups clinging onto it. His paws skittered across the dashboard and slammed on a large orange button depicting a sub. Unfortunately, the command screen flashed three demoralizing words.
Sub Command Malfunctioned.
"Dawn it, hang on, dude!" gurgled Zuma as he held onto Chase's collar before the hovercraft sank again. Underwater, the chocolate lab could see the part of the ocean undisturbed by the fierce turmoil above: schools of fish, graceful sea turtles and stunning geometric coral structures.
'Amazing!' he thought.
Suddenly, they were transferred back to hell, now literally releasing down a vertical downpour. Thunder boomed like an all-percussion orchestra, lightning bolts erupted in zigzag patterns and the extreme turbulence of the ocean swung around the Pups on a wild whitewater ride.
"…Zuma…Zuma?...Are…there?...Zuma?" came a crackle laced with static from Zuma's Pup Tag, "Zuma…if…hearing this…head to…Seal Island…take…refuge…there."
Instantly understanding the message, the water Pup managed to slide himself back onto the driver's seat, started the engines and pulled the groaning and moaning Chase against him.
"So…sick." groaned a green-faced Chase, holding his stomach and puking over the side.
"Don't wowwy, dude, we're gonna go to Seal Island until this storm is over!" hollered Zuma. Luckily, despite the monsoon rain, the light from the lighthouse still shone through. It was going to be their savior, their rescuer, their hero. Grasping the beam with his weary eyes, Zuma pushed hard on the steering wheel as the hovercraft struggled against the fury of the unforgiving version of Mother Nature.
"Come on, come on!" he breathed. The rain kept on pelting his fur, running in rivers down his shaking body and gathered in pools inside the craft. Just then, the twin turbo-shaft engines belched an ear-piercing screech, much like carpets being torn apart. The hovercraft surged forward and crashed into the rocks, ripping and dragging onto the slowly deflating skirt like Captain Turbot had predicted earlier.
Nevertheless, this was the type of emergency Zuma had been training for all his career as a water specialist. Flipping open a glass compartment protecting a crimson button marked with an exclamation mark and pressing it, the chocolate lab held onto Chase tightly before they were both catapulted into the air via springs in their seats.
The pair landed on the soggy soil of Seal Island. Regaining his balance slowly, Zuma pulled a now unconscious Chase to the steel doors of the lighthouse. Unbelievably, it was unlocked, probably due to the ignorance of the Captain. Ripping the door open, he shoved the police Pup inside before going in as well. Zuma took a time to catch a needed breath and shut the door with a bone-rattling bang.
And like magic, all the screaming and thundering entering his eyes disappeared. No more rain, nor thunder, nor lightning. No more water turbulence or escaping rubber ducks.
"That's was…one beast of a storm, dude" panted Zuma, shaking his fur violently until it was the next closest thing to dry, and then flopped onto the ground, clearly over-killed.
"Guh, what happened?" whispered Chase weakly, his eyes fluttering open and stretching his store body. Water was gradually forming a halo around him.
"Something howwible." croaked Zuma, clearing his throat as he wrung Chase's drenched uniform.
"I'm afwaid we're mawooned on Seal Island, dude."
"You mean...stuck?" gasped Chase, suddenly sitting up and wagging his tail back and forth.
Staring at the traumatized police Pup, Zuma realized he had no other choice but to recount to Chase how they had ended here, From the unusual emergency Captain Turbot was in to the monster waves capsizing the hovercraft, the police Pup listened to every single word with silent dread.
"So Ryder radioed that we have to stay here until the storm is over?"
"Yes, but it could have been so much wowse, dude." responded Zuma, taking off his orange helmet. "My hovewcwaft's stuck in the wocks and thewe's no way to get it out again."
"Well, what do you want to do now?"
Zuma sighed as he fiddled around with his Pup Tag. It was an OCD he had developed recently, probably as a minor method of passing time at the Lookout while his friends were out rescuing Adventure Bay from troubles.
"I weally don't know, Chase, I weally don't know."
"How about let's go explore? I haven't been here since the time Ryder and us came to fix the light and save the cruise ship."
"Chase, that was like two weeks ago."
"Still, I want to find out more about this old place. Besides, all we've been to is the light room."
"I guess so. Let's just hope that when we're done, this thunderstown is done." said Zuma reluctantly.
Just then, something out of the ordinary caught the water Pup's sweeping gaze. Attracting the attention of Chase as well, he turned around. They both saw it. A large trapdoor flaking of brown paint partially covered by boxes of fishing bait and canned sardines.
"Let's go see where this door leads to." Chase stated excitedly.
Going up to the trapdoor, the German Sheppard yanked on the lock sealing the handle. No surprise, it was so ancient it broke in half, revealing its charred inside. Kicking it aside, Chase pulled open the door, unveiling a tunnel saturated with darkness. After a happy howl, he lowered himself in. Zuma eagerly followed.
Surveying his surroundings, Chase barked a command, and a large powerful flashlight propped out of his Pup Pack. It rested peacefully on his shoulder, like a pirate's parrot.
"If my flashlight can help navigate cruise ships, then it can definitely give some light for us." Chase said boldly as the device illuminated the tunnel with a beam rivaling the brightness of the sun.
What appeared before them wasn't surprising at all. They were at one end of a hallway, no more like a long burrow supported by wooden fixtures. Blackened bulbs lined the rocky ceiling, providing anything but a good shine.
"This place is old." remarked Zuma blankly, "It be some sowt of an abandoned place."
"What are we waiting for?" yelped Chase , "Let's dive in!"
Zuma smiled at Chase's joke. He cautiously wandered forward, eyes peeled on the unknown horizon. Dried leaves and sand rustled noisily under his paws.
"This is like a mine shaft, I watched a show about them once." Zuma declared.
"Interesting." Chase muttered. Together, they started down the corridor, hoping for something juicy to discover and tell the PAW Patrol when they get back.
In no time, they had come to the other end of the tunnel, fruitless. It was a dead end, but on either walls were three evenly-spaced prison-like doors, totaling six in all. Unlike the dilapidated trapdoor, these were gleaming like the sun, and sported tough complex numerical locks.
"Looks like we can't go thwough these doows now." sighed the water Pup disappointingly.
"Wait, this door doesn't have a lock." Chase exclaimed as he gestured to one. Although it was like any of the others, it lacked the numerical lock. Zuma's eyes filled with determination again and put his paw on the cool metal surface. It sent a tingling sensation, ending in butterflies in his stomach.
Looking at Zuma, who nodded in compliance, Chase slowly pushed forward.
The door groaned and scratched, the hinges repelling against Chase. But they were defeated as soon as Chase gave a heave with all his might, and the door fully opened. Zuma held his breath, anxious and nervous at what they were about to face.
Bright white light overtook the view. Both of the Pups turned away and covered their faces with their paws, their eyes blinded by the sudden exposure. Seconds passed. Finally, Zuma slowly turned his head back and put down his paw.
The light had come from powerful neon tubes organized in horizontal strips on the ceiling. It flickered and twitched, but nevertheless emitted enough beams to guide a whole convoy of ships.
"Hello? Anyone?" called out Zuma, attempting to know who had turned on the lights. The large black blotches crowding his sight slowly began to vanish.
Nobody answered. Then the water Pup remembered. The Lookout lighting system was automatic, meaning there were no switches to turn on or off. They just opened when somebody walked in the room, much like sliding doors. That technology should be what turned on the lights.
The room they were in was pretty large, about half the size of the soccer field near the Pup Park. But instead of green turf, the ground was shielded by clean white linoleum tiling. Counters lined the walls, their tops neatly littered with scientific equipment, such as Bunsen burners, test tubes and computers. Wires of different sizes and colors ran everywhere, snaking around the floor from one end to another, connecting huge machinery and mainframes.
The middle was crammed with many empty glass tubes, which resembled those holding babies at the hospital. Some of the wires on the floor went into holes of the sides of them. What are they? And why are there so many?
"Where are we?" breathed Chase, who was just as startled and puzzled as the chocolate lab he was standing beside. He walked over to one of the glass tubes, and examined it. Propping his front paws on the glass, the German Sheppard could now get a clear view of what was inside it.
All Chase could see was mounds of soft padding. They looked comforting and welcoming, and suddenly, his back start to ache. The wild ride during the thunderstorm and the hard landing on Seal Island had battered his poor body, and he was as tempted as ever to kick off his uniform and have a nap. But what would Zuma say? The Pups looked up to the police Pup as a ringleader, not a dog who preferred leisure over work.
Letting his eyes creep upwards, he saw nothing unusual. Until he got to the very top. A large portion of the glass was missing, more like shattered because of the jagged ends of the remaining glass. A transparent breathing mask laid next to the gaping hole, covered with dried red splotches. Blood?
But what disturbed Chase the most wasn't the identity of the red splotches. It was that every single glass test tube, including the one he was looking at, were the same. Soft padding, broken glass, breathing mask. The German Sheppard felt scared to know the purpose of them. Yet somewhere in his mind, he saw them before.
"You know what they are for?" asked Zuma, who was still standing at the doorway.
"I don't know, Zuma. This seems very strange but also very familiar." answered Chase uncertainly, "Though I still have no clue what these glass things are for."
Silence. 'Was Zuma feeling the same as I am?' pondered the police Pup as he got back down.
"Hey Chase, you should weally check this out."
The German Sheppard trotted over, his body trembling with renewed energy. He sat beside Zuma, who was staring at a metal plaque-like sign beside the door. But before noticing it, something else caught his attention. A professionally-framed photography of a lab-coated man. He was bald, his shiny head glowed with an halo, and his stocky yet handsome face bore a smile.
Who could this person be? He had the formal looks of an office executive, yet his eyes shone with the childishness of a toddler. His name was neatly printed beneath. Dr. Adrian Smith, Department Head? Yet before Chase could infer about this Dr. Smith any further, Zuma's lisped voice interrupted.
"Chase, weally check this sign out. It literally tells us what this woom is used for."
Curiously, Chase's head went back to the metal plaque and read out lout in his most formal voice the words inscribed onto it.
"Adventure Bay Genetics Modification Research Lab, Main Testing Lab."
Zuma swallowed hard, and turned back towards the test tubes. Now, they appeared haunting and produced an invisible field of fright that created ice in both of the Pups' hearts.
"I always knew there was something weird about Seal Island. There is a hidden lab in there the whole time!" exclaimed Zuma, scratching his head.
"You know what genetics modification means, Zuma?
"I think it's when scientists take genes from one animal and put it into another. And it gives the animal with the new genes the abilities of the other animals. I also saw a show on that." Zuma replied darkly, almost as if he didn't want to share that disturbing piece of fact.
"Ryder told me about it too," said Chase, "I wonder what kind of animals have been genetically modified here. I can't seem to smell their scents."
"Beats me, dude." Zuma responded. He went to the nearest glass tube. Sweeping his eyes from one end to the other, he spotted a label. It was tiny. Illegible handwriting adorned it. Zuma leaned closer and squinted, attempting to know what the handwriting was trying to say.
"Subject 26 out of 26, Codename...Talon?" The chocolate lab recoiled, as if the words was a sentence to death, "W-W-What is this?"
As if on a cue, Chase appeared beside him, read and reacted in the same way. Then his penetrative gaze fell upon the glossy picture next to the label.
The picture was a clear close-up of a puppy, but strangely he wasn't focused on the camera. His fur was steel grey, his body was ripped and muscular and his looks resembling a cross between a Doberman and a bloodhound. He wore a beige beret and a green USMC vest. At that point, both Zuma and Chase knew who he was, but a final piece of visual evidence topped it all off. The Pup was wearing an eye-patch.
"It is Talon!" exclaimed the two in unison. Obviously, the photo had been taken before Talon left the Army, as signified by the USMC vest he had put on, not his usual Homeland Security vest.
"Talon was here?" asked Zuma with shock.
"He must have been genetically modified, probably with genes from some unknown creatures. I think we should search this lab more to find out."
Not waiting for an agreement, Zuma and Chase scampered to the next one. This time, the subject was codenamed "Tundra", and showed a gorgeous white and grey husky rolling around happily in a pile of snow. A lanky teenager in hip winter clothing standing beside the pile watched her.
"Who is she?" pondered Zuma out loud, "And what is Jake doing in this picture?"
"Beats me. Must be one of Jake's pets he never told us about."
Tube after tube, the pair hungrily devoured all the pictures and labels plastered against each. Unfamiliar codenames such as Brutus, Icee, Blake and Princess showed up. The pictures depicted a scene containing the subjects. All of them were puppies, and none of them Chase and Zuma knew.
"It seems the scientists of this lab were only genetically modifying dogs. Puppies to be exact. Puppies of all breeds and sizes." Chase finalized as they tiredly approached the last eight glass tubes.
"Only, what animals' genes did these subjects receive?"
Shrugging off Zuma's question, Chase wandered up to a tube. Rolling his eyes, he expected to find a subject codename he never knew about, and a picture of a Pup he had never seem before in his life.
He was wrong.
"Subject 8 out of 26, Codename..." Chase's eyes widened until it looked like he had melons in them. His mouth formed our the word, but refused to get out, and then solemnly hit the floor.
Hesitantly, Zuma peered at him. Looking back at his friend, the German Sheppard was now fixed on the picture. It showed a handsome and big German Sheppard puppy in blue police uniform sniffing around a garbage can. It was that time, when he was called to search around the train station for a peculiar little gosling named Fuzzy.
But no doubt, the subject was ironically one of the Pups reading it.
The subject was Chase.
"I've...been here before"
For all his life, Chase had been oblivious to this simple yet downright disturbing fact. He had been modified to acquire the properties of some other animals? That was just too much to take in.
"I don't believe it, Zuma, I was taken here and changed." he whispered. Dismay was taking over his mind. All this time he thought he was natural. Well, almost, the ability to drive vehicles and play Pup Pup Boogie might be exceptions.
"If you had been here, then so must we." remarked Zuma, his blank expression showing no signs of shock nor remorse. He dragged his bone-tired chocolate-colored body over to the next five glass tubes. Sure enough, the codenames plastered on them were Rubble, Rocky, Skye, Marshall and Zuma. The pictures depicted an English bulldog on a skateboard, a mix-breed with a faux hawk and sunglasses, a cockapoo jumping on a trampoline, a Dalmatian entering a cave and a chocolate lab playing with a group of pengiuns. "And I'm wight."
"But I still don't get it!" Chase urgently demanded, pacing back and forth, "We have furry bodies, four paws and two ears. We bark, howl and eat kibbles. Why on earth is the meaning of this?"
"Chase, think about it. How are we different from normal dogs?"
"Normal dogs?" Chase scrunched up his forehead. He looked like a deer in headlights. A normal dog? What could he possible mean by that?
"Believe it or not, Chase, but some dogs can't talk. Or think. Or even wead like us. We're special. Us Pups were bwought here for a reason, to gain the abilities of the human being."
"WHAT?" The German Sheppard's light brown face froze once more, but this time, he conveyed an expression of pure shock, "Normal puppies can't do what we can do?"
"Nope, dude." stated Zuma, now circling the German Sheppard, "I've seen nowmal dogs, they're nothing like us."
The revelations and emotions boiling inside Chase couldn't stay put anymore. Yelling out in rage, he exploded and punched the nearest glass tube, instantly shattering the remaining brittle glass. His paws banged relentlessly against the metal supports beneath the tube, ignoring the excruciating pain.
"WE WERE MADE TO DO THIS!" screamed the police Pup, his face flushed with fury. Zuma tried to calm him down, wrapping his paws around his body in an attempt to restrain him, but it was no use. The German Sheppard was much stronger. With a sharp flick, the chocolate was flung off.
Bang! Bang! Chase continued pounding anything in his way, adrenaline and emotions running razing his insides like a wildfire. All this time, he thought he was natural, one with Mother Nature. Now, that suggestion had blotched, he was nothing more than a programmed organic being.
"Chase! Please calm down!"
Whipping around, Chase lunged and grabbed Zuma's collar and pulled him up until they were snout-to-snout. Normally, the police Pup's face was friendly and welcoming. This time, it was notorious, conveying the image of a paranoid scientist.
"Listen to me, Zuma. Do you know how outrageous this is?" sneered Chase, enjoying the moment of intimidating the whimpering chocolate lab, "All of us, Skye, Rubble, Marshall, Rocky, you and I, we were made to be like humans. We are basically their servants!"
"Let go..." Zuma struggled uselessly against his iron grip, "Please, Chase, we can find out more if you let me down first."
Chase's eyes grew blank, and his paws relaxed. Zuma dropped onto the floor with a painful thud. Standing shakily back up, he faced the German Sheppard once more.
"There's more to it than just that, Chase." said Zuma, "Even though we were given the abilties to think, write, wead, there's much more."
"yes, Chase. You're only thinking of ourselves as servants, but we are much more. But have you thought of all the times the PAW Patrol rescued Adventure Bay from various twoubles? Does Wyder and Katie and all our human fwiends in Adventure Bay tweat us like servants?"
The police Pup's mind flew into memory-recalling mode as soon as Zuma finished talking. Even though he utterly despised the idea of genetics modification, his "abilities" really did help out his hometown. Directing traffic during a blackout, trying to capture a group of penguins and firing tennis balls at balloons, all that was due to the genes he received sometime in the past. But when?
"Tell me, do you wemember having any family?" cooed Zuma.
Chase shook his head; he couldn't remember anything that had to due with family. Parents, siblings, grandparents, nothing! His biological relationship status was blank.
Chase looked up at his friend, who's eyes were now starting to glisten.
"The earliest memory I have is just playing at the beach. I was in the water the whole time." chuckled Zuma, "I did play with some other dogs, but I can't recall who they exactly were."
Chase gasped, his mind was telling his the exact thing! "Same here, Zuma. All I know was that I watched action movies and pretended to be a cop. Then this boy cam along and brought me to..."
Zuma nodded. "Chase, this is our destiny. If we didn't receive these modifications, who knows what we would've ended up as? And even though we have some twaits of humans, we still act like dogs, barking, howling, eating kibbles."
"It all makes sense, now." whispered Chase quietly, "This is our legacy. This must also be the legacy of all the other subjects, wherever they are now. And we must continue it, even if our past wasn't so great. We must forget about the past, because life moves on fast."
Zuma smiled. His police Pup friend was finally getting what he was trying to tell him all along!
"We must forget about the past, because life moves on fast." repeated Chase. His bared teeth slowly formed a grin, then a smile wider than the sun. Suddenly, he opened his arms and hugged Zuma.
"Thanks, Zuma." said Chase.
Chase couldn't sleep. His eyes refused to close, his mind refused to stop its bustling mental activities and his body refused to halt its annoying twitching. His entire self was beyond tired.
Earlier, Zuma tried radioing Ryder back at the Lookout via his Pup Tag. Nothing came on the line except crackling static, which eerily made Chase think of a storm of bloodthirsty flies. That could only meant one thing.
"The storm's not done yet, dude," Zuma had said, "Guess we just have to spend the night here."
"That can't be too bad, can it?"
"We have to see, but surely this storm will be over by tomorrow morning." reassured the chocolate lab, "Now do you have any snacks in your Pup Pack? I'm starving!"
Chase shook his head sadly, "Well, we're not exactly survival puppies but missing dinner won't make us go crazy." For a moment, his regretted saying that. If Rubble or Marshall had also decided to tag along, a supper-less night would cause problems.
"So...where do you wanna sleep? In the lab?"
"No way!" Of all the decisions he had made when they got marooned, this one was the most certain. After viewing first-hand the stark horrors of genetics modification, the lab seemed to give Chase goosebumps, "Let's camp out in the hallway, it looks pretty comfortable."
Now two hours later, Chase was still trying to believe that he had said the hallway looked comfortable. It was rough, like a pile of leaves, and pricked his fur and gave him pins and needles. The German Sheppard tossed and turned and moved away as much sand from beneath him as possible, but no matter what, his body couldn't stay still.
Zuma, on the other hand, slept like a lazy newborn. He cuddled up warmly on the other side of the hall, face turned away and soft snores escaping from his snout.
Suddenly, a noise made him snap up. It seemed like a scratch against a blackboard. Chase's hair stood on ends, and his ears perked up, trying to identify the sound. The scratch remained steady, with the occasional pauses. Then, it hit him.
What Chase was hearing was writing!
Leaping up, the aware police Pup crept towards the source. It seemed to be coming from the lab. Strangely, the lights, which were supposed to activate when somebody entered, was turned off. A ghost?
'Uh oh,' Chase thought, 'I don't wanna go in there.' But his curiosity was in the dominant position. Shoving away his new fear, Chase poked his head through the open doorway. The lab was a whole lot darker without the illumination, as well as more sinister and evil-looking.
Yet Chase saw instantly who was making the scratching noises. A bald and pompous man in a white lab coat was propped up on a high stool beside the glass tube Chase had shattered earlier in a fit of rage. His hands moved extremely quick for a person his size as he scribbled down notes on a clipboard.
H-Hello?" The German Sheppard tried to sound as brave as possible, but his voice was shaky and uncoordinated. Who was this person?
"Ah, Chase, you're here." said the man in a friendly tone. He didn't stop his writing nor bothered to look up, "Please, do come in."
Chase remained frozen on the spot. He wasn't sure if he was ready to confront this stranger.
"You have nothing to fear, Chase." the man continued, "Have a seat, and I'll explain to you everything you need to know about this place."
Easing up a little, the German Sheppard trotted forward, his command bark for his tennis ball launcher ready just in case the man was a disguised serial killer. But there was no need, he just kept on scribbling down whatever he had to write. Eventually, Chase had made it. The man gestured him to a smaller stool beside him. The police Pup eagerly jumped onto it.
"So what do you want to me to spill the beans first about?"
Despite the calm mood Chase appeared to be in, his voice remained blocked. He struggled to get out a word, and a cold sweat rolled down his forehead. The man seemed nice enough, but Chase still wouldn't let his guard down. It had been a mere two years since his training he was taught to not trust strangers. During his time with the PAW Patrol, he hadn't been using that skill much. Ryder wouldn't have allowed it. But now, his instincts was coming back into play.
"Still tense?" chuckled the man. Letting out a laugh, his meaty hands reached over and began to scratch gently against Chase's ear, sending a tingle down his spine. Realizing it was the first time anybody had done that to him in days, Chase moaned in pleasure. His body gradually tensed down, and soon he found himself rubbing against the white-coated man like he was Ryder or Katie.
"W-Who are you?" Chase stammered, his voice quivering."
"Good question. I believe you may know me." Bringing Chase's head up to face him, the man smiled a wide toothy grin.
Chase gasped. It was Dr. Adrian Smith, the same person in the photo above the bronze plaque Zuma had pointed out earlier.
The man, no scientist, nodded, "Affirmative, it is me, Dr. Adrian Smith. I was the department head of this place, Adventure Bay Genetics Modification Research Lab. But that was years ago."
The police Pup had a thousand questions boiling in his throat. Yet his mouth was still like a funnel as narrow as a straw.
"Please tell me everything!" Chase blurted out, his paws wrapped around Dr. Smith's waist. Grinning, he propped Chase back onto his stool, just as he was about to tell him the story.
"Well, it began as a government experiment probably a decade ago."
"Government?" However good Chase's English vocabulary was, that word was a foreigner.
"Oh, it a group of special people who is in charge of Adventure Bay, as well as all the other towns and cities in his country. Anyways, the government had just began to realize the potentials of genetics modification. Do you know what that is?"
Chase nodded, remembering the lengthy discussion he had with Ryder on it, as well as with Zuma back during the day.
"Good. So, a number of towns were picked to be sites for genetics modification labs. Adventure Bay was one of them. The construction began in secret, and very soon it was completed, yet nobody other than the government and the lab scientists knew of its existence. Afterwards the government issued puppies of various breeds to be the test subjects."
Chase's ears perked up at the mention of dogs. Dr. Smith must be talking about him and what would be the members of the PAW Patrol!
"The puppies were injected with human genes, giving them the ability to think, read, talk and write like ordinary humans. But not only that, they were also given the capabilities of human workers, construction workers, polices and engineers."
Now that explains why the PAW Patrol were so skilled in their field. Chase's desire to know more and more from this "stranger" grew greater.
"After months of tests involving the puppies, the government and the lab people deemed it a major success. But the government's next plan for the subjects was very-" Dr. Smith suddenly stopped, his hand producing a handkerchief and dabbing it against his head, "-sinister. Very horrible, too horrible for me to speak. My fellow scientists agreed with me, and so we staged a plan to help the puppies escape."
"Some of my men deliberately smashed the cover glass of the incubation tubes," Dr. Smith pointed at one, "while the rest tried their best to distract the government inspectors from checking on our cooperation with them. But they somehow figured out. My scientists were all arrested and put in jail, except for me, well because those government jerks thought a department head like me would be loyal to them!"
"That's horrible!" whispered Chase.
"Even thought for the arrests of my good friends, the puppies still escaped. They were all to be delivered to various makeshift animal pounds across Adventure Bay, then to be joined together one-by-one to from a rescue agency deemed the PAW Patrol! Yes, it must be, my men and I decided a rescue agency for the town of Adventure Bay would be an invaluable decision!""
Chase gasped. Dr. Smith had just revealed to them the origins of the PAW Patrol! It was something Ryder had never ever discussed with them. But one question, more like a question regarding an exception, lingered in his mind.
"Wait, what about the other test subjects? Weren't there like a lot more?"
Dr. Smith smiled once more, as if he enjoyed begin casually interrogated by Chase, "My dear Pup, the other subjects also possess the extra abilities you members of the PAW Patrol have. I believe you've already met one, Talon right?"
"Yeah, Talon, Ryder's parent's security Pup. He's a good friend of ours. But why isn't he a part of us?"
"Well, even though most of the formation of the PAW Patrol was actually planned, if was ultimately up to your leader, a 10-year old boy by the name of Ryder, to decide. Talon does have the skills of a security Pup, as well as an Army commando and a special forces fighter, yet I believe Ryder thinks his services wouldn't be much use to this small peaceful town."
"And the others. In total, there were twenty-six test subjects. Seven, you good Pups of the PAW Patrol and Talon, have already been bound together for life. The rest you will meet later on. Some will be your best friends, maybe be accepted into the PAW Patrol by Ryder! Some will be your worst enemies. But know this, Chase, all nineteen other test subjects you and the PAW Patrol will meet."
"Wow, that's interesting," breathed Chase, his jaws literally dropping to the floor, "It's just like I've been told of the future!"
"It was all planned, Chase. The PAW Patrol, the six founding members, everything. But before we end our conversation tonight, I need you do to me a favor."
"Forget about everything we've discussed about. The lab, the government and everything else in between. I'm only telling this to you because you were actually the first to find me in all these years."
"Forget about everything?"
"Yes, Chase, forget about everything. If you don't you'll find your life weighed heavily under anxiety and stress. It will surely ruin your PAW Patrol career. Just put it in the back of your head. Remember Chase, we must forget about the past, because life moves on fast."
It was the same statement Zuma had told him earlier, the one only successful remedy that cured him of his rage and tantrum. Chase smiled, then yawned a long and big yawn. He suddenly felt very sleepy.
"Thanks for telling me everything, Dr. Smith. And I will forget...about...everything." Just as Chase finished his sentence, his eyes fluttered shut, and he drifted into an intoxicating snooze. Dr. Smith scooped up his clothed body, then marched out of the room. He laid the sleeping German Sheppard beside his chocolate lab friend, who was still snoring as loudly as an elephant.
Glancing at the puppies one last time, Dr. Smith went back to the lab. Yet as he reached the doorway he stopped. Reaching inside, he pulled the door shut quietly, then produced a numerical lock from his pocket and hung it on the handle. It would be an extra measure to encourage Chase to forget the conversation.
Dr. Smith stepped over the Pups as he put on his raincoat. His heavy masculine legs started up, and he walked down the tunnel, towards the trapdoor, and out of this situation forever. There would be no turning back.
The sky was a painting of black rage and and grey anger, spewing electrifying lightning and producing booming claps of thunder. The white and red lighthouse stood on its tiny island like a professional acrobat, struggling to stay balanced.
And like magic, the stormy weather was defeated. The sun, now charged with burning energy, heaved away the grey clouds and painted the sky a delightful blue. The rain ceased, the splattering of raindrops against everything it fell upon was now a thing of the past.
It was early morning.
Chase yawned and rubbed the sleep out of his crusty eyes. He did in fact have a good snooze, after the interesting conversation with the -
'No,' Chase thought firmly, he must forget everything. No matter how much his mind yearned to recall that moment, his soul was going to take the precaution of the scientist very seriously. He had a job to do and a town to protect. Added stress was the last thing he needed.
The German Sheppard stretched his arms up way above his head and yawned some more. Suddenly, he remembered. The storm would be over by now. No more lightning, no more gale-force winds and no more rainfall! At last, he and his water Pup companion would be able to return to their friends and resume their daily activities.
"Zuma!" Chase barked happily as he bounced up, "Zuma, we can go back now!"
"Zuma? Hello?" Then it hit him. Zuma wasn't there. He had completely disappeared into thin air! Looking around, the police Pup still found no visuals of the chocolate lab. Yet his sensitive nose had other plans.
Sniffing around vigorously, it wasn't long before Zuma's scent was lingering in his nose. Chase embedded it into his tracking senses and eagerly followed it. The scent didn't go far, in fact it led straight through one of the six metal doors. It wasn't the same one leading to the lab, but like it, it didn't have a numerical lock.
Strange. When the two came here, all of the doors were locked except for the one leading to the lab. Looking back at that door, Chase's mouth dropped in complete disbelief. It was as if they were under the presence of a paranormal, now the lab door was locked!
Calming himself down, Chase pushed open the door with Zuma's scent. It opened without resistance, and Chase found himself looking at probably the most awkward sight ever. Unlike the lab, this room was small, about four times the area of the Lookout elevator. There was nothing, the walls were bare and windowless, the ceiling was bare and fan-less except for some bright light bulbs and the floor was simply tiled. Yet the most shocking was what was in the middle.
Zuma was kneeling down, back towards Chase, his head bowed down. In front of him was what appeared to be a large metal box. Chase gulped, it eerily resembled a coffin.
A sniffle broke the silence, and at once the police Pup knew Zuma was crying. He could hear his friend quietly muttering, then sniffling and then repeating the whole process.
"Zuma, what are you doing here?"
Turning his head ever so slightly, Zuma whispered one reply, "I'm useless, Chase, I want to die."
"What?" Chase gasped, then rushed forward towards the kneeling chocolate lab. The box was indeed a coffin with a note pinned to it. Ignoring the note, Chase tried his best to comfort his crying friend, "Why would you say that, Zuma?"
"Look, "Zuma sniffled as he held up the note. Passing it onward to Chase's paw, the German Sheppard hurriedly read it.
Here lies two chocolate Labrador dogs, respectively scarified to produce a healthy puppy, Subject 03 "Zuma". May they now rest in peace, knowing that their son will one day be a great service to the small town of above. Dr. Adrian Smith.
"I have family," Zuma was now crying hard, "I weally did have family. A mom and a dad, and I denied their existence! How could I?"
"Zuma!" said Chase, placing down the note gently, "how would you have known?"
"And look at what I've done to repay Mum and Dad!" Zuma howled, "I'm the most useless Pup on the PAW Patrol! The last time I've been called on a wescue was like...like" Zuma suddenly collapsed, and started to bawl. Pitying his friend, Chase hugged him even harder.
"No you're not, Zuma! You're not the most useless Pup. All of us, Marshall, Skye, Rocky, everyone! We all have equal parts in the PAW Patrol."
"It's no use now Chase. My parents, who I didn't even get to see, died to make me. I know they'd wanted their son to be great, I know it in my heart!"
"Please, yours parents did see light in you, Zuma. You're special, and don't ever let anybody tell you otherwise."
"I've failed them. I also failed the PAW Patrol. Wemember the Lookout fire? If I had actually stuck to my time to guard the Lookout instead of giving it to you, you wouldn't have suffered." Zuma looked up. His eyes were crimson red and teary. His mouth formed a sad frown.
"Remember what you told me earlier?" whispered Chase, "We must forget about the past, because life moves on fast."
Zuma nodded. Still, tears were rolling in rivers off his cheek, "I do."
"Well then, you must know how to forget, Zuma." reiterated Chase friendly, "You're not the most useless Pup. Nobody is. You serve an equal part to the PAW Patrol as like the rest of us. Look at how many people who care about you, Ryder, Katie, Mayor Goodway. You're not alone."
"Yes, you're wight, Chase, we must forget about the past, because life moves on fast. I do have lots of friends who treat me like family. I'm not alone." Zuma's glistening eyes were twinkling like the Northern Star, "My parents do love me."
"Zuma, you're special just the way you are, don't you ever tell yourself otherwise."
It was a heart-warming sight: two Pups in their uniform hugging each other lovingly like caring brothers and sisters. Suddenly, Chase's Pup Tag came to life again. It crackled, and then for the first time since getting marooned, contact came in from outside of Seal Island.
"Chase! Chase! Are you there!" The German Sheppard's ears shot up at once, also as if it was savoring the voice, "Are you guys okay there?"
"Ryder!" Chase exclaimed, "It's you!"
"Yes Chase, it is. How are you doing on Seal Island?" asked the PAW Patrol leader in his usual friendly tone.
"It was great, we -" Chase stopped. The haunting memory of the scientist's dear warning resurfaced,.
"Nothing, nothing. It was actually quite boring here. Zuma and I can't wait to get back to the Lookout and get a shower and stuff. Right Zuma?"
The water Pup looked up with a happy look, "Yes, we just can't wait to go back!"
"Alright then, Pups, Talon and Marshall are on the way here right now to pick you up. Over and out, Ryder."
Chase smiled. Zuma grinned a happy one as well. Finally, the chocolate Pup was beginning to put back his parents back to their restful places.
Both their lives have turned over a new leaf. A good one, that is.