What's it Called? Chap 6
"Ready to go, Tori?" Sans asked the goat woman once she returned to our table.
"Yes. Let us be off."
"I actually know a shortcut to Asgore's castle, if you want to speak to him quickly?" Sans offered and Toriel accepted gratefully.
I bet she didn't expect the world to turn black and for us to appear right behind Asgore, who was watering flowers.
I glanced at Ben and saw the moment when the smell of flowers hit his nose.
A loud sneeze broke the silence and Asgore jumped and dropped the watering can before turning around.
"Aa, Aa, Achoo!" Ben sneezed again.
"Maybe we can have this heartfelt reunion in another room? Those make him sneeze," I pointed down at the buttercups underfoot and Asgore agreed with a slight stutter.
The poor fellow just had his ex wife and two humans drop in on him out of nowhere. I could understand a slight stutter.
Toriel, on the other hand, didn't care. The moment we got into another room, she began tearing Asgore a new one.
"Do you mind if I bring these two to Alphys and get their Souls checked out?" Sans suddenly asked when Toriel was taking a breath.
Sans made up some sort of excuse about how it would probably help Alphys create an artificial Soul if she had two Human Souls on hand to examine.
Toriel took a little while to persuade. I was glad she had such trust in Sans and let us go not too long after. We left our seabags behind, but kept the machetes.
Sans brought us in front of the Laboratory, next to a Save Point. I went ahead and brushed against it.
"Ugh," Ben held a hand to his head and wobbled a little.
"It affects people differently," I explained to Ben, who looked just a little green.
He touched the Save Point and looked much better a moment later. We waited for the door to open and began to greet Alphys.
Strike that, it was Mettaton. He was in his bipedal form and his black hair looked freshly greased back and his body looked extra shiny.
"Humans! How delightful!" Mettaton exclaimed and stepped closer to the two of us.
"Sorry, Mettaton. We've got to speak with Alphys," Sans pushed past Mettaton and I sent him an apologetic look as I went past.
"Hey, Alphys," Sans greeted her in his normal lazy drawl, ignoring the anime cat girl "Nya"-ing on a large screen in the room. It was quickly silenced by a certain blushing Monster.
"Humans," I finished for the stuttering Alphys. "We've come for your help."
We sent Mettaton away with the excuse that it was important information for Alphys' ears only.
We then explained, with Sans leading the explanation, about the Save Points, Resets, and Loading. About how time was being controlled, to a certain extent, by a murderous girl and, to an even lesser extent, by myself and Ben. Sans also explained that he was the only one, that he knew of, that remembered the many timelines and what occurred in them.
"You worked with Determination and we need to see how it affects these two."
Alphys went really quiet.
"Y-you know about those experiments?" Alphys asked, voice low and as nervous as I ever heard her.
"You came clean in several timelines. It always turned out well enough. Everyone was happy to see their family again, even in their meshed together forms. Now we need to hurry and see what happens if these two are injected with Determination."
"We're doing this willingly," Ben added.
"Follow me," she sighed and led us further into her home/laboratory. She went to a room with several locks and spent a full two minutes unlocking it. In the small closet-sized space beyond the door stood a refrigerator with a great many sealed test tubes. A lot of them were different colors, but Alphys went straight for two test tubes with something red in them.
She held them with the firmest grip and closed the door behind her when she moved to the next room.
"Please sit in that chair," she pointed a clawed finger at a red chair that was shaped very similarly to the chairs you lay on when you go to the dentist and they poke around in your mouth. Much like the dentist's office, various machines surrounded and hummed around the chair.
I never liked the dentist's office.
I got in the chair and resisted the urge to jump right back out when it buzzed at my contact.
"I-it's scanning your Soul and your levels of Determination," Alphys explained while typing on a keyboard and glancing at another screen with various graphs and numbers.
"What is it saying?"
Alphys scanned the screen before declaring, "No different from the other Souls I've scanned. A little bit of fluctuation since you're still-uh."
"Alive?" I prompted.
"Yeah. Yeah, alive. You can get up now."
I didn't hesitate in hauling myself out and letting Ben take my place.
"Your Determination levels are a lot smaller than Chara's," Sans muttered to me when I went to stand by him.
"Then we may be on to something?"
"I think so."
"His Determination is a little higher than yours," Alphys spoke up after a minute.
"It's not much, but it is noticeable."
I nodded at her words and asked, "What do you see when you touch the Save Points?"
"Uh, the File Saved thing?" Ben answered, his face confused.
"Anything else?" I pushed for details.
"Umm. It says our location, I think. It has my name, then the letters LV and a one next to them. That's it."
I had seen none of that before.
"We're definitely onto something. Let's hurry and try injecting the Determination."
"Maybe you should Save first?" Sans suggested and Alphys nodded quickly after. She apparently absorbed everything we had told her and understood what this meant: if she screwed up, we could simply start over. No repercussions. This situation was a dream to someone who had gone through what she had.
"Yeah, good call. We'll be right back."
We, Ben and myself, made our way back outside and touched the Save Point. I stared intently at the screen, but didn't see what Ben had mentioned. I only saw File Saved, our location, and the blank screen on the rest of it. Even when Ben touched it, I only saw what I saw on mine.
"Hey, are you sure this is a good idea?" Ben asked, slowing down on the way back to the doors. I slowed with him.
"It's okay. If something goes wrong, Sans can just kill us and we can try again."
Ben's disgusted face made me rethink my wording.
"Ah, that sounds worse than it really is. Honestly, it lasts for about ten seconds, tops. And if this makes all this better, then we have to risk it."
"What do you mean?"
"I mean why are we doing this?"
"We're stopping a crazy brat who has literally cause mass genocide hundreds of times and hasn't only done that to Monsters. And we are stuck in the loop now. While she's in control, we might have to repeat this. All of this. Just like Sans has had to. Monsters can't get Determination without it doing something horrible. We may literally be their only opportunity to stop all of this."
Ben was quiet for a minute.
"I. I think I understand. Let's go."
I smiled and smacked him on the back comfortingly.
"If it makes you feel better, I'll go first until the results get better." I had died before. I wouldn't be as freaked as him.
We went back into the room and I climbed into the chair.
"We've come up with a system for figuring all this out," Alphys said while preparing a needle filled with the red liquid. The extracted Determination.
"Any time this d-doesn't work, remember what number we were on. We can steadily lower or raise the amounts until it works. This is test number one. U-unless we've already done this?"
I shook my head. "Nope. First time. Let's do this."
Alphys nodded and moved closer.
"Sorry," she murmured before pushing the needle into my neck and sending the Determination into my veins.
I began screaming a few moments after she finished injecting and stepped back to watch.
The Determination burned-no, it didn't burn. It was cold, hot, lukewarm. Everything and nothing. Indescribable! Reality became layered. I saw an endless stream of Alphyses moving through the lab, performing tasks that remained a mystery due to the overlapping nature of what I saw. I saw the thousands of afterimages of Ben, running towards me with a panicked expression. Even the walls vibrated and twisted to my eyes. An endless stream of Monsters entered and left the room.
My Soul rose out of my body. Once pink, it was now red and dripping crimson.
Sans was the only somewhat normal thing I saw. His form had a faint buzz around him and that was it.
His hand rose and bones were embedded into my chest.
I was back in front of the laboratory.
A shaken Ben stood next to me.
"I'm glad you went first," he said, right before I puked into a pool of magma.
It was weird, getting used to normal reality. Despite it lasting "approximately fifteen seconds," according to Sans and Ben, my brain was trying to get its 'reality legs' back. Much like the sensation of a rocking boat, my brain had to get used to normality.
The ground seemed far too ridged. Ben being in a single position was sacrilegious. The empty rooms we went in made me feel exposed.
I was shaking when I went back in the chair under Ben's guidance.
"Test two. Reduce the dosage," Sans said after discussing what they both remembered with Ben. Sans ability to remember timelines wasn't perfect, so be had to make touch base with Ben.
Alphys gave my twitching eyes and overly-still body a concerned look.
"C'mon. Let's go."
"I'm going to put half the original amount in. Sorry-er, again."
She pushed the needle in and took it out in half the time as before.
The indescribable sensation took longer to hit. The world was a bit more held together and I didn't scream so much as let out a keening whine from the back of my throat. I only saw afterimages of what was actually there rather than everything changing and making me sick.
"-id!" Ben's voice echoed in my ears and I did my best to focus on the fifteen Bens in front of me.
I tried to speak, but found my tongue unable to form words. I wasn't able to figure out where it was supposed to go to form words.
The bones embedded themselves in my chest again.
I puked, again.
"Half the dosage," I rasped once I was done and the magma burnt away the last of my sick.
"We can take a break-"
"Nah, I'm fine."
My slightly unfocused eyes and the concerned look from everyone when I came into the room told me that they thought otherwise. The world was still off, just a little.
Alphys changed the dosage and, after apologising, stuck me again.
The world was just about clear, this dosage. I still couldn't speak, but there were only about four or five afterimages as opposed to the hundreds of thousands it had felt like I had seen before.
The thing that was different, this time, was the glitchy bastard that walked in out of the blue.
His body was tall, about the height of Papyrus. He wore a black lab coat and he seemed like the most anatomically incorrect skeleton that could exist. His domed head looked nothing like a skull and the holes in his hands should have left him unable to move his fingers. Two scar-like things extended from the top and bottom of his right and left eye sockets.
"1/19th of the original dosage," I heard the glitching Monster say, his voice nearly inaudible through a static haze, moments before bones sent me back to the Save Point.
I didn't feel the urge to vomit when I appeared and immediately turned to Ben.
"Who was the guy that came in?"
"What? No one came in."
"Umm, big guy. Domed skull with some interesting scars. Black lab coat. He was literally a few feet in front of you. Anything?"
"Nothing. Are you sure we shouldn't stop?"
"He told me 1/19th dosage. Let's try it."
I told Alphys the amount and she pushed it into my system, apologizing once again.
The glitchy Monster appeared in front of me the moment I felt the indescribable sensation.
"We will not have long. I am Doctor W. D. Gaster. The others will not be able to see me as I am no longer a part of the reality that you-"
Ben walked straight through Gaster and I blinked at the sight. I hardly saw any afterimages, but I could tell that they were there.
"G-g-yaster," I forced my tongue to pronounce, slightly skewing the name.
It was enough for Sans to recognize it, however.
"How do you know about Doctor Gaster?" Sans questioned me, moving closer.
"R-ri her," I pointed towards the silent Monster that was in between Sans and Ben. They both looked to the area I pointed and I could tell they didn't see him.
"What does he look like?" Sans asked and I described him with shaking lips.
"I require a conduit to bring me back into the proper reality," Gaster interrupted me. "Please take my hand."
Gaster extended one of his hands and I grabbed into it. I wasn't really in a position to question what would happen otherwise and the risk seemed minimal.
The world went dark.
I noticed a screen in front of me. It was blurry and indistinct, but I could make out the words.
"Hit Continue, if you please," the clear voice of Doctor Gaster said from next to me, his body no longer looking like a television with a faulty signal.
I tried to speak, but I couldn't produce any sound.
Seeing no other options, I pressed Continue. The Reset, weirdly enough, seemed more solid that the other option.
"What the hell!" Ben jumped away when we appeared. The thing that made him do this was Doctor Gaster being less than a foot away from him. I also stepped a few feet away, but that was more because he was uncomfortably close than anything else. He didn't seem incredibly dangerous or anything.
"I'm sorry," Gaster's said, his hands moving and creating signs as he spoke. "I did not mean to startle you. I just wanted to return to this reality. I am Doctor W. D. Gaster. Pleasure to meet your acquaintance. Would you please Save?"
I reached out and Saved.
"I can see them!" I exclaimed, pointing at the File Loaded screen.
"LV 1, my name, this area, is that a timer?" It was somewhat blurred, but I could see them.
"It tells you how long it has been since the first time you touched a Save Point," Gaster explained. It was clear that he could see, or at least knew about, the Save Points.
"Please, let's go inside. This plan of yours. I would like to discuss it further. I've done some calculations and I think this will work."
"It is good to see you again, Sans."
I had never seen Sans so flabbergasted than when Gaster strolled into the room that they were waiting.
I noticed that Gaster was the only skeleton I had seen thus far whose mouth actually moved normally when they spoke. His lips, however thin and near non-existent as they were, could form expressions more so than his sons.
Yeah, his sons. It turns out that Gaster created Sans and Papyrus in some lab, a century or so before. They couldn't remember the exact time.
"They were originally meant to be weapons against humanity," Gaster admitted. I could believe him. I had seen what Sans could do. We talked while Alphys injected me with a miniscule amount of Determination. The amount was calculated by Gaster and Alphys tried it without hesitation.
I'm not sure if it was true, but apparently almost everyone forgot about Doctor Gaster when he fell into some place called the Core. Alphys began remembering him and was soon stuttering and fangirling over her predecessor: the former royal scientist.
I felt only a fraction of what I felt originally and the world came into more focus than any attempt before. The world didn't seem any different to my eyes, but my Soul said something different. It said that I could achieve it.
What that 'it' was, I had no clue. But I could achieve it, I was certain. I was Determined.
"It worked," I said, moments before Alphys checked the machine and confirmed.
"His S-Soul is stable. It worked!"
There were grins all around, but Ben asked, "What now?"
There was a pause.
"Now we go and face the brat and see what happens," Sans said, his sockets empty.
"Perfect. Always wanted to go fight a demon," I groaned and pushed myself up.
Sans brought us back to Toriel and declared us both healthy and that Alphys confirmed that she had a chance to create something akin to the Human Soul when she had two examples to work off of.
He was lying out of his ass, obviously. But we had a plan for this.
It was the next day, and the world still had a feeling of 'I can manage anything I put myself to.' We were in Alphys' lab and Ben was being injected with a slightly less amount of Determination than what was put into me.
We had confirmed that I had the option to Reset on command. And soon after, so did Ben.
We didn't, though. We had worked far too hard to simply throw it all away.
Sans, who had been keeping an eye out, appeared in Alphys' lab.
Gaster, Ben, and myself all stood and made our way to Sans. Alphys stayed where she was, but wished us all luck.
Sans brought us to in front of Toriel's house and we, Ben and myself, Saved. We had noticed, after being injected with the perfect amount of Determination, Save Points that we had not been able to see before. Save Points in seemingly random locations throughout the underground that were now visible.
We made our way through the Ruins, Saving at some location, until we found Chara.
Her blade was in a half-dissolved Froggit when she turned to us, grinning. I grit my teeth and pulled out the machete. Ben copied me, looking sick at the sight of the Froggit's last moments.
Chara was practically covered in dust. I was glad we had taken Toriel from the Ruins.
"You didn't come last time and I got so bored," Chara said with a pout that quickly shifted to a smile.
"This is the end of the line," Sans said, his tone utterly serious and his one eye glowing azure.
I groaned and everyone looked at me.
"Seriously, Sans? You had to go with something so clichè?"
Ben punched me in the arm and told me, "Be serious!"
I rolled my eyes and began walking forward.
"You're not the only person with the ability to Reset," I said locking eyes with the brat. I noticed that, when our Souls came out, both were equally as crimson. Her eyes narrowed at the sight.
"Most people's Souls aren't like mine. Yours never got that color." She referred to several occasions before she first Reset when Sans attacking her would cause my Soul to appear.
"What can I say? I'm feeling Determined!"
With that, I swung my machete at the brat and she jumped out of the way, her Soul staying in place in front of her chest, over her heart.
I began to run after her, ready to get some revenge for the times that she killed me, when bones sprang forth and stabbed her right in her stomach. Sans had ended things quickly.
She dropped her knife (finally), and I grabbed her Soul when it began to fall at the speed of a feather. I hated how it felt exactly like Ben's Soul. I expected it to burn, to be colder, to be less Human in some way. I was disappointed.
"Heh," a wet noise came from Chara and we got closer to the dying girl. She was on two knees with the long bones propping her up in front.
"There's one. I'll be sure to get you next time."
"That's just it, Chara," I bent down to her level. "We have the same level of Determination now. You're not going to Reset any more."
Even as I said it, the screen I had seen before appeared.
But there was something new above them. Something neither of us had seen before. And something I would have bet money that Chara hadn't seen before. Above the options were the numbers, "(0/3)."
Chara moved and touched the Reset option and the (0/3) turned to (1/3).
Ben touched the Continue option, and it matched the Reset option.
I smiled. Chara gave me a look of terror.
"I-I-I won't do it again! Please!"
I hesitated for a moment, my finger hovering above Continue. All I could see right then was a scared child who didn't want to die. Who was in pain.
Then I remembered everything she had done.
Even as the resolve became evident in my eyes, I saw her act, for that's basically what it was, vanish and her scared visage became one of a snarling beast.
I pressed Continue.
Chara stopped moving, like she was a marionette with her strings cut. The bones vanished and she flopped over, dead.
"I think we have our seventh Soul," I said hand holding up Chara's Soul.
The story went as such.
With the help of two living Human Souls at her, and Doctor Gaster's, disposal, they managed to create an Artificial Soul.
Only the five of us, myself, Gaster, Sans, Ben, and Alphys, knew the truth.
Before we presented the Soul to Asgore and Toriel, who had basically taken control but had not become Queen, we visited Chara's grave. We had buried her beneath the yellow flowers that had broken my fall when I first fell into the Ruins. There, we found Flowey.
"You couldn't have hit Reset? She just wanted to live." Flowey's voice was something that sounded broken.
"And so do all of the Monsters of the underground," Sans said, his eye socket once again azure and glowing. We had been waiting for Flowey to show up. We didn't understand why he hadn't been included in the decision between Continue and Reset.
We didn't care.
Sans, ever the efficient and lazy bastard, put Flowey in a cage made of blue bones. It extended below the ground, so he couldn't escape.
"Get dunked on," was all that Sans said before blasting Flowey with a Gaster Blaster.
The screen came up. I quickly chose Continue.
"You can have the honor since he killed you so many times," I told Ben.
Ben hesitated for just a few moments before touching the screen and sending the (1/3) to (2/3) above Continue.
Flowey didn't have a Soul, which surprised me. He was strong enough that I would have expected him to have one.
"It's over. Let's get going."
We presented the Soul to the two Dreemurrs and Asgore broke the Barrier soon after.
We went to the surface and basically did the same thing that I had done before. A few things were different. For one, Ben was alive. I didn't have to tell his family that he died in an accident and try to make them feel better by saying his sacrifice allowed the freedom of a trapped species.
I didn't have to fake not being sad at the death of my best friend.
Monsterkind was back. New Home was thriving. My best friend was alive. I only had one more thing to take care of.
"You about done, pal?"
I was in the spot I had been in the first time I had climbed that pile of dirt. I was finishing the drawing, now including New Home in the picture of the West Virginian landscape with the sun setting in the back. I had drawn basically the same thing, but on the other side of Mt. Ebott and when the sun was rising.
"Done," I declared, setting everything down and slouching a bit. My shoulders ached from being hunched over my work. Sans left the spot of grass he had been napping in for the last couple of hours and walked over to where I was sitting, putting away my supplies.
He leaned in and glanced back and forth from the real deal and my work.
"What's it called?"
I had thought about it and had decided upon it at some point through this attempt. My last attempt, if what we achieved meant anything.
As I wrote my signature on it, I declared, "This is going to be called 'Beginning of a New Age.'"
Sans thought for a moment.
"Kinda corny there, David."
This all took me a grand total of three weeks. All of this. It would fill me with great joy if you would all leave me your opinion of this work and do not hesitate to give suggestions and ridicule, where deserved.
Yes, I know that Sans was not the pun-master that he normally is. Unfortunately, neither am I. I tried where I could, but I am certain that I did not capture his punny awesomeness. His hilarity, alas, wasn't the point of this story. I wanted a more serious, though still lazy, form of Sans than what most other stories do.
My apologies to the readers of my other stories for being so lazy with them recently! This caught my attention and would not let go until I finally got it out. All almost thirty thousand words of it.
Darn Plot Bunnies.
Anyways. As I've said in my other chapters, review! And if you enjoyed this, feel free to check out my other stories.
Thanks for reading,