VOXISTALE - Episode 3 "A New Threat"

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Frisk couldn’t hear, see, feel, or smell anything. All there was around her was darkness, the vague flickering of dancing shadows around her. She looked around in confusion, seeing nothing that stood out. For some reason, she felt like she was falling, but she seemed steady. She clutched at her chest, heart pounding wildly as she felt like she’d hit the ground at any moment, ready to gasp for air and sit upright to find it was all a dream...
But it didn’t happen. The feeling of falling just continued. She attempted to take a step forward, finding that she was able to. Out of fear, Frisk began to run, hoping to escape this strange cluster of shadows that seemed to mock her from afar.
As she ran, her heart was in her throat, the burning feeling that she was being watched practically devouring her. Adrenaline pumping, SOUL trembling, eyes watering, she felt the desperate urge to cry out.

But somebody came...

Frisk felt a presence behind her. She turned around, only to see more swirling shadows. What was going on?
She turned back around, the urge to run still in her, despite knowing it seemed useless. It was then that she saw something different. Something that stood out.
Two dim, green-ish lights in the distance. Unmoving. Pointed straight at her.

With a loud gasp, Frisk shot up in her bed, panting heavily, heart hammering against her chest, cold sweat clinging to her skin. She felt like she'd just ran a marathon, but knew it wasn't true.
Details of the nightmare began to fade away, and as she tried to remember...
It all just dissipated. Nothing was left.

Chalking it off as stress, Frisk threw her blankets off of her, and swung her legs over the bed, getting up. Still breathing rather heavily, she stared out of her dark window, and saw nothing. No shadows, no mysterious people, nothing of the sort.
Closing her eyes, Frisk let out a sigh, trying to calm herself down. Maybe she just needed to go for a walk...

She glanced at her clock, seeing that it was 2:00 AM. She still had about five and a half more hours of sleep to look forward to, which was a comforting thought. She could spend about a half hour on her walk, and then get to bed for the last five hours. Yeah. That would be fine.
She checked her phone to see if she had any new text messages- and there was one, sent at about 11 PM. She swiped on the notification to see that it was a text from Terrence, and that it said ’Sweet dreams, Frisk.’ She was a bit disappointed she hadn’t seen it sooner, but didn’t text him back to avoid the risk of waking him up. She could wait until morning.
The text was comforting though, and she tucked her phone into her pocket with a smile stretching her face.

------

Quietly, Frisk closed the door behind her, feeling the cool night breeze brush by her. It was soothing and relaxing, at just the right temperature.
Taking in another deep breath, Frisk set off at a brisk pace, choosing to start with some light jogging. That would do her some good.

Voxis, despite being the largest city in the world, was strangely dormant at two in the morning. You get used to it after a while, but to many, it was the oddest thing. Of course, plenty of lights were on, but traffic was little to non-existent. Barely any sounds polluted the air. It was one of the things that made Voxis so unique.

As she jogged, the only sounds that accompanied her were the sound of her breath, and her shoes hitting the sidewalk again and again. It was nice to jog at night. Relaxing, even. She passed by multiple buildings, deciding she’d head up to the school before turning back. That seemed like a good distance.
Frisk half-expected for someone to speak to her. Paranoia had always been part of her, but she was able to brush it aside for now. She looked both ways- no cars, unsurprisingly- and crossed the street she arrived at.

Arriving at the school was easy enough. The elementary school, at that. Her own high school was located closer to the heart of Voxis. Frisk came to a stop in front of the building, reading the sign.
Dreamhope Elementary School
It was a little daunting, behind here. Where Toriel used to work. Now...
Frisk turned away, deciding not to dwell on it. She needed to take her emotion, and use it as motivation to do better, just as Asgore had instructed.

On the way back, however, Frisk decided to take a detour, and eventually came up on a small garden cemetery called Freeway Cemetery.
She slowed her jog to a slow walk, entering the cemetery, heading down a main path before taking a sudden left and entering a long row of headstones.
Finally, she came to a stop in front of a large one, two names inscribed on it. Luthor Brewers and Candace Brewers.
These two names were important to her, but she rarely spoke of them. Sometimes she considered talking to someone about them, but something held her back. Maybe it was fear that her emotions would get the best of her. Or perhaps she was worried that the memories would feel more distant if more people knew about them. Frisk didn’t know, and frankly, she didn’t think she ever would. It was one of the many things she’d kept bottled up for a long, long time.

She stared down at the graves, pursing her lips. "Hey guys..." She began. "It's been a while since I came to visit. I've been doing better. No more... attempts. Not even after..." Her voice cracked, and she halted, closing her eyes. Even after all this time it was still so hard.
"I'm going back to school today. And uh... I might get back with Terrence." She chuckled sadly, staring down at the headstones. "You'd have liked him, dad. He's just like you. Funny, innovative, selfless, a little bit of an airhead sometimes..." Her voice trailed off. "I uh... gotta get going now. Need to catch some more sleep." Her eyes fell on a set of wilted, dead flowers lying at the head of the grave. "I'll get you guys some more flowers, too."

Frisk stood, giving the headstones and wilted flowers one last glance before turning to head home. She hoped she hadn’t woken Asgore on her way out. He was a heavy sleeper, though, so it was doubtful. As Frisk left the cemetery behind, she couldn’t help but ache. She still missed her parents- her biological parents. Toriel had been an amazing mother, and Asgore was an amazing father, and she love them with all her heart... but that didn’t mean she didn’t want her parents back. Luthor and Candace.

Once again, she was accompanied by only her thoughts, the sound of her jogging, and the slightly illuminated sidewalk.

------

"Are you sure you'll be fine?" Asgore asked from the driver's seat of his topless truck. Frisk rolled her eyes in exasperation, though not disrespect. "Dad, I'll live." She assured him. "It's not like I forgot how to school."
He chuckled, and nodded his head. "I know, I know... I just want you to have a good day."
"You too." She replied, reaching over and giving him a quick hug before throwing open her door and pulling her backpack out with her.
"And tell that Terrence boy that he's free to come over for dinner, tonight. I'm making bacon-topped lasagna." Asgore informed his adopted daughter as she closed the door, her face flushing, much to the old King's delight.
“I’ll let him know,” Frisk said, despite her embarrassment. She couldn’t tell if he was being serious or not, but knowing Asgore, he’d be delighted if Frisk invited Terrence over for dinner.

Her adopted father gave her a kind smile and a thumbs up, before driving away, headed off to work. In truth, Frisk was feeling a little intimidated. Returning to school after so long, even a week and a day, felt strange. She felt kind of... gross, almost, like her gut was trying to tell her how bad it was that she’d missed school.
Luckily, she was already almost caught up on homework, which made her feel better. Taking a deep breath, she headed toward the building.

As per usual, her morning class was Marine Biology with Greg. She felt a bit bad for brushing him off so often the past week. She'd have to make it up to him soon. However, when she arrived in class, Gregory wasn't there. Immediately, that concerned her. He was always there. Even after she took her seat and waited, more people arrived, and Greg still didn't show. Mind preoccupied, Frisk didn't even notice the girl asking her if Greg's seat was taken.
"Hey!"
Frisk jumped, turning her head to look at the girl. She seemed to be a couple inches taller than Frisk, with thick and fluffy light brown hair covering most of her face. Only a single turquoise-colored eye could be seen. "Sorry." The girl added quickly. "I was just wondering if this seat was taken? Me and my friend are new and... he already found his seat."
She turned her gaze from Frisk to the desk in front of Greg's at a boy with thin black hair and deep blue eyes, staring back at the girl with an expectant gaze. Frisk followed the girl's gaze to the boy, blinking.

“So, uh... this seat. Taken? No?”
“It’s not taken,” Frisk informed her. “Well, usually my friend sits there, but it doesn’t look like he’s here today.”
“Cool. I’ll keep his seat warm,” the girl said, taking a seat. Frisk felt a little strange. She always sat next to Greg in this class. His absence was worrisome- or... maybe he’d transferred classes? She gulped, not sure what to think.
“Are you.. alright? You’re sweating a bit,” the girl whispered as Mr. Gagne immediately launched into one of his infamous, mind-numbing rants about oceanic pressure levels, or maybe this one was about seashells. Greg was the only one who could pay attention long enough to know, half the time.

"Huh?" Frisk turned distractedly to the girl. "Oh, yeah, yeah, I just... it's nothing." She returned her attention to Mr. Gagne as he droned on, excitedly talking about the amount of plankton consumed by whales on a daily basis. How the man found this exciting was a mystery to anyone, but nobody seemed more out of it than the new girl's guy friend, who was staring blankly at Mr. Gagne with wide, glassy eyes, mouth halfway open, a bit of drool beginning to drip down. It was gross, but also a bit humorous to look at.
A new kid noticed, beginning to snicker, but the teacher was way too into his speech to notice. The girl turned back to Frisk.
“Could you wake me up if he assigns us any work?” she asked. Frisk gave her a quizzical look. Was she planning to fall asleep in class?
“Sure?” Frisk nodded, to which the girl gave a wide smile, before closing her eyes. She was asleep in seconds- out like a light. Frisk blinked, secretly wishing she could fall asleep that easily.

The class seemed to continue like this for the next thirty minutes. The boy staring blankly and stupidly at Mr. Gagne, the girl beginning to snore away, and Frisk trying to wrack her brain enough to understand why Greg wasn't here. He came even when he was sick. He gave half the class the flu last year. So that was out of the question...
Then her mind traveled back to when she, Greg and Terrence had gone to Grillby's the day Toriel had died. Gregory had mentioned that something was going on in his life, but Frisk and Terrence had been disinterested at the time...

“Ahem.”
Frisk took a moment until she realized Mr. Gagne was staring right at her- wait... no, he was looking at the girl.
“Ms. Brexin,” he called out to her. Her eyes opened slightly, and she turned to look at Mr. Gagne.
“Sleeping in class, are we, Ms. Brexin?” the man frowned, folding his arms, clearly on edge that someone was ignoring his speech.
“No sir,” she replied simply, smiling with a casual stretch.
“Then I’m sure you can humor me. About how many pounds of food does a blue whale eat, per day?”
“Eight thousand,” she replied simply.
Mr. Gagne blinked, looking a little peeved that she’d actually gotten it right. “And how did you know the answer to that question, Ms. Brexin?”
“You’ve been talking about it for like... twenty five minutes, sir...”

"I… er… very well." Mr. Gagne pursed his lips, gazing around the class for a moment, before his eyes fell on the classroom clock. "O-oh my. Have I been talking for that long?"
He made his way to his desk to grab a stack of papers, calling himself an ‘ignorant shrimp’ underneath his breath.
A few people groaned as they saw the classwork. It was never difficult in this class, but there were a lot of questions in a miniscule font, making it tedious and very time consuming. There was no way they’d finish after the length of that speech.

"Feet off the table!" Mr. Gagne told Sadie, clearly already getting annoyed with the girl as he moved down the aisle of desks, handing out worksheets on each desk he passed. "I forgot to introduce them, but we have two new students here, class!" Mr. Gagne informed. "This here is Ms. Sadie Brexin, and the young man in front of her is Mr. Rian Dasterian. They've just come down from Savory City."
A few greetings were murmured from around the classroom, and it was quite obvious that there were plenty of half-awake people in the classroom. The two new students didn’t seem to mind, however. Frisk was a bit curious about them- they both seemed really unique. Maybe it wouldn’t hurt to befriend them- especially if they’d be sitting nearby from now on.

The worksheet they'd received was, as everybody expected, fairly simple. Multiple choice answer, but it was long and dull, and they had very little time left to finish it.
Frisk put her name down at the top, then Mr. Gagne in the 'Class' blank. She'd almost accidentally put Mr. Shrimp for some odd reason.
The girl began to mark in the boxes, the ratio of hard to easy questions being about one to ten. There was the occasional one that she’d get stuck on. She made the mistake of glancing over at Sadie’s worksheet, just to check how far she was, only to find that the turquoise-eyed girl had already finished, and was now leaning back in her chair, looking miffed that she couldn’t put her feet up.
This was surprising, as the only person who could finish so quickly was Greg. Of course, Frisk had no idea if the girl had actually answered each question correctly or simply guessed. Attitude suggested the latter but evidence of earlier suggested the former.
Once Mr. Gagne had his back to the class, writing something on the white board, the girl subtly grabbed her worksheet and held it out to the guy, who accepted it and started copying off her work.

The boy- Rian, if Frisk recalled correctly- seemed like quite the skilled copier, zipping his way through the worksheet with little trouble. He wasn’t even reading the answers, so it seemed he really trusted Sadie’s work. In under two minutes, he’d ‘completed’ the worksheet, and handed Sadie’s back to her. The two exchanged a subtle high-five.
They were clearly friends, and seemed to be a team of sorts as well. Frisk found it to be... interesting. She'd always considered herself to be very close with Gregory and Terrence, but these two even now we're displaying sibling-level closeness.
It was enough to make her smile, at least a little.

Frisk soon realized that she herself had a lot more to finish, and the clock seemed to taunt her. This would be a lot easier if Greg was here- he did a good job of helping her with the rare, albeit existent difficult problem.
With just seconds to spare, Frisk completed the packet- just as Mr. Gagne began circling the classroom with a metal bin to collect the papers in.
Before he was even done, the bell rang for next period, and the remaining papers were simply thrown at Mr. Gagne, the class rushing to get out. Frisk was one of the few who stood calmly, but she was stopped. "Frisk, can you wait here for a second?" He asked, stooping down to pick up some worksheets on the ground.
Frisk swallowed. She’d no doubt be late to her next class if this took too long, but she didn’t have much of an option. She had a feeling this was just about the work she needed to catch up on due to all her missed days, but nevertheless remained in the classroom to see what he had to say.

Once the last student had left, Mr. Gagne rose from the floor with the worksheets, and took them to his desk. Once they were set down, he turned to Frisk. "How are you holding up, Frisk?" He asked.
She blinked, not having expected that. “I... what?” Frisk questioned, admittedly a bit confused.
“I know this may seem a bit strange,” Mr. Gagne nodded. “I’m aware I’m not exactly anybody’s favorite around this school- or the best teacher by any means,” he stated, “but it does matter to me that my students are doing okay.”

"I'm... fine." Frisk nodded. Mr. Gagne gave her a small smile. "That's good, Frisk. I know losing someone close to you... it's never easy. So if you ever feel the need to find a safe place to talk, Mrs. Difa hosts counseling sessions in the cafeteria after school on Wednesdays and Thursdays."

Frisk had never heard of Mrs. Difa, or these counseling sessions, but she was actually glad. She was definitely feeling better, but maybe it wouldn’t be too bad to try attending one of those. She didn’t like to think that she needed counseling- but a guaranteed judgement free environment? She had nothing to lose.
“Thank you, Mr. Gagne,” Frisk smiled.
“Of course. Now run along, I wouldn't want you to be late for your next class. I know how Coach Small can be.”

Her mind returned to Gregory. He still hadn't arrived all period, and she was beginning to worry, at least a little bit. As she made her way down to the history hall, she pulled out her phone to begin texting Terrence.

'Hey. Have you heard from Greg today?'

After a few seconds, the bubble that indicated he was typing in a reply showed up.
‘I don’t have a class with him until 11:00. Was he not in 1st?’
’Absent,’ she replied simply.
‘Maybe he’s sick.’
‘He’d still show up.’
‘True. That’s how I caught the flu a while back.‘

'Could you contact him?' Frisk texted, entering Coach Small's class.
'Why not you?'
'Because I haven't asked for his new number yet.'
'...Fair.'

‘Alright, let me know if he replies, I’m worried,’ Frisk typed, before sitting down and setting the phone on her lap. It buzzed.
’Sure, you can count on me.’
‘Thanks, T. See you at lunch.’
‘You bet.’
“No phones on in my classroom,” a familiar voice called from the front. Frisk sighed, Coach Small staring at her, waiting for her to put the device away. He lived up to his last name- the coach was only about five feet tall, though he was also quite muscular. Rumors went around that he spent a lot of time in the school gym after hours. Frisk clicked the power button on her phone once to put it into sleep mode, before putting it in her pocket.

"Class." He announced. "I would like to introduce you to a new student. He comes all the way from... Savory City was it? Yeah, that. After that horrible, horrible attack on your school. Everyone, please introduce yourselves to Mr. Jason Clever."

Frisk turned to see the new student, along with everyone else. Jason clearly wasn’t fond of the attention, his deep, golden eyes darting around the room at everyone who’d bothered to turn around. A few greetings were exchanged, but the boy didn’t say much, just the occasional ‘nice to meet you,’ or handshake. Some people even tried to ask about the attack on his school. Frisk debated whether she’d get up to give him a personal greeting. She hadn’t done so in Mr. Gagne’s class with Sadie and Rian, but that was because Mr. Gagne didn’t really like conversations in the middle of class.
Coach Small, on the other hand, was fine with it until classwork began. Especially if it meant greeting new students.

"Todd, your dream gets to come true." Coach Small told a boy seated beside Frisk. "Go sit with Randall. Jason needs this seat."
"But... why?" Todd asked, slowly getting up in his seat. "Because he has very specific educational and physical needs. I have a doctor's note. You want to see that, too? Move." The coach ordered.

Randall and Todd were age-old enemies, so both were a bit disgruntled that they would be sitting together now. Frisk glanced over as Jason took Todd’s place. She noted that he was a bit shorter than her, and had slightly spiky hair that was a pale, whitish-yellow. His eyes were fixed on the board up front, and one look at his annoyed expression told her that he would rather be literally anywhere else.

Frisk elected to not bother. He didn't look like he'd be very appreciative of it. So instead, she turned her head forward to pay attention to the subject. World History. Today they seemed to be finishing up with the Black Plague. She'd read up all about it just last night, fortunately.

Frisk crossed her fingers that there wouldn’t be a test on the subject. Not because she didn’t know the material, but because tests were... not a lot of fun. Especially in Coach Small’s class. During tests, if you made so much as a peep, you’d get a zero, and it was never up for discussion either. If there was one thing Coach Small didn’t tolerate, it was noise during tests.
Luckily, it didn’t seem that was the case. Instead, Coach Small began to write on the board, having to get on his tiptoes to reach the top.
‘CW - Read Chapter 9.6 - Conclusion, answer questions 1-7’

With a sigh, Frisk reached into her bag and yanked out her textbook. Picking up right where she'd left off.

------

Frisk jolted up in her seat, gazing blearily up at Mrs. Russo, who stared down at her. "You up now?" She asked. Frisk blinked in confusion. "Mrs. Russo...?" She yawned. She could have sworn she'd just been in World History class... Chemistry already? At least the day was passing by faster than usual.
That meant lunch was next.

Satisfied, Mrs. Russo turned away and headed back to her desk. Frisk took notice of a familiar face grinning at her. Sadie was sitting just a couple seats away, throwing Frisk a wink and a thumbs up.
Frisk was confused. She didn’t even remember walking into this class. She’d even gotten a kind of decent amount of sleep last night. Maybe her early morning visit to the cemetery had caught up with her? Luckily, she didn’t appear to have missed that much. She was looking forward to seeing Terrence for lunch. She took a quick scan of the room to find that Rian wasn’t in this class, nor Jason.
“Now, if I may continue,” Mrs. Russo said, giving Frisk a brief look. “Today, we’ll be burning different elements and writing down the results. You all know the lab expectations, I’d hope.”
A symphony of ‘yes, Mrs. Russo’s’ arose from the students.
“Now, as for your lab partners... Sadie, since you’re new, I’ll need you to pick someone.”

"Frisk." Sadie replied immediately, throwing an arm over her seat and leaning back. She'd answered not even a second after Mrs. Russo had finished speaking. "...Alright. Frisk, are you okay with that?" The teacher asked.
Frisk gave a nod as she felt her phone buzz in her pocket. She didn’t have time to make a reply, since everyone was standing to go into the chemistry lab. She read the notification for the text, however. As usual, it was from Terrence.
‘He didn’t reply. Also, he isn’t in class.’
Now she was even more worried, but didn’t have time to think about it, as Sadie was suddenly next to her.
“Hey, you really gotta learn to nap with your eyes open,” she said. It took Frisk a second to realize that the teal eyed girl wasn’t teasing her, but rather offering actual advice. She did seem to be adept at sleeping in class, after all.

Frisk blinked. "My eyes already look pretty closed." She stated.
Sadie paused, but quickly recovered. "Really? Huh. I hadn't noticed."
Frisk glanced at Mrs. Russo to see if she was turned away before flipping open her phone and typing in a quick reply.

'Lunch meeting. Usual place.'

Once she tucked the phone away, Frisk turned back to Sadie. Mrs. Russo was passing out the supplies for the lab, and everyone was looking forward to burning the magnesium strips. In truth, Frisk had done this in several science classes before. It was fun to watch the metal light up.
“Uh... why’s everyone so excited about burning a piece of metal?” Sadie asked Frisk.
Frisk shrugged. "Because it's cool." She replied. "It's like watching a star burn brightly in the night sky before fizzing out and leaving behind the properties to form a new star."
"You into space?" Sadie asked, raising a brow and looking at Frisk, who gave a shrug. "Maybe a little."
“Have you not done this before?” Frisk asked, looking at the assorted materials they’d be burning, then the matches. Sadie shook her head.
“You’ll understand it if you see it,” Frisk assured the slightly taller girl. “Just try not to look directly at it, it could damage your eyes.”

"Seriously?" Sadie blinked, eyes widening slightly. Frisk gave her an affirming nod, before jabbing with her thumb to the back of the classroom. "Mrs. Russo keeps shaded goggles in a cabinet right next to the normal goggles. Get that and I'll finish getting us set up here."
Sadie didn’t seem very eager to exert any kind of physical effort to get up to get the goggles, but after a few seconds, did so. Frisk tested to see if the matches worked- they did. She put the burning match into a beaker of water nearby that was meant to extinguish. When Sadie returned with the goggles, they were ready to begin.

------

"Mhmhmmm."
"Hmhmmhm."
Large furry hands lightly patted on the steering wheel in tune with what the king was humming as he traveled down the road, heading toward Muffet's to grab some lunch. None would ever be able to recognize the song he hummed. It had been one his mother would sing to him centuries ago before his teachings as a Prince began. It had stuck with him through all of these years.
"Rest ye my angel, you hm hm hmmm..." He continued, bobbing his head. Admittedly, he couldn’t recall all the lyrics.
As Asgore hummed the tune of the song, he couldn’t help but wonder how Frisk was doing. It was her first day back at school in quite a while, and he was hoping he hadn’t pushed her to return too early. Considering she hadn’t called or texted him to come pick her up, he presumed she was doing alright.
Then he started to ponder about what he'd get at Muffet's. Perhaps he'd get the-

CRASH!!!

Almost as if in slow motion, Asgore felt himself jolt sideways as another truck rammed into his side of the cab, coming down from an alleyway.
He could feel his truck crumple from the hit, and be launched off the street, flying toward a building.
...Several bystanders in the way...
Asgore had no time to react, all he could do was brace for impact. He heard the screams of the bystanders as the car slammed straight into about three of them. The sound of bones crunching could be heard even from within the car- it was a miracle Asgore was even still alive after such a hit. He heard car horns going off wildly, muffled groans and screams from outside.

All he could think of was the poor people he'd just been forced to flatten. The looks of terror on their faces...
He felt like throwing up. Ignoring what felt like a broken arm, Asgore raised a hand to his door, and with a mighty push, it gave way, flying off and onto the hood of the truck that had slammed into him.
Nobody was inside, but that wasn't Asgore's concern at the moment.
He already knew the answer, but he wanted those poor people to be okay. He willed it.

Asgore found himself climbing out of his vehicle. It would never drive again, that much was certain- the entire side was crumpled beyond repair. The design that made it do so was the only reason he was alive. He’d actually been reading a fascinating article the other day about it...
But now wasn’t the time. At the speed the car had been moving, he doubted any of those poor humans had survived, but he had to be sure.

Slowly, with anticipation and fear, his heart caught in his throat, he made to limp to the front of his truck.
All he saw was crimson splattered across the front before something suddenly wrapped itself around his broken arm, and with a powerful pull, he was suddenly airborne, being slung up and over his vehicle and into an alleyway, blocked off by the side-turned crashed vehicle.

With a heavy thud, he hit the ground, groaning. Asgore lifted his gaze as he slowly tried to get to his feet to see a woman standing before him, her eyes wide, and a molten orange in color. Her skin chalk white, her hair wild, jet black, and clearly unwashed.
Her frame was tall and slender, almost anorexic, wearing patchy mismatched clothing with a great shiny green bowtie. A disturbing smile was plastered across her face.
"I've waited so long to meet you, King Fluffybuns~" She told him, her voice monotonous, her wild eyes never leaving his, a black whip held in her hand, clearly what she'd used to pull him into the alley.

Asgore could tell this woman was looking for a fight, and the sheer lack of sanity in her eyes was beyond discomforting. He was quick to form his trident, but it wasn’t to attack. Rather, he was ready to defend himself if necessary, and something told him it would be.
That something was definitely the fact that she had a whip, was assumed responsible for just squashing three innocent bystanders, and was staring and speaking in a way so monotone that even the sadistic flower in all its emotionlessness couldn’t compete.

“Who are you?” Asgore demanded, feeling his blood boil ever so slightly.

She stuck out her tongue at him, biting down on it as she stared. For a moment, they held each other's gaze, before a bit of blood trickled down to the tip of her tongue, and she slid it back into her mouth, face the same as ever. "I am your new buddy." She informed him matter-of-factly. "Your pal. Your chum. Your bestest friend. I'm here to take you over the rainbow."
At this, she cracked her whip threateningly. "You do want to join me, don't you?" For the first time, her face shifted, her grin turning upside down into a frown, a bit of blood dribbling out of the corner of her mouth as she made a horrific pouty face at him.

“I’m going to have to ask you to drop your weapon,” Asgore said sternly. Yes, she had just gotten multiple people killed, but she clearly wasn’t all there. Asgore could actually feel some pity for the lunatic, but it was dwindling rapidly, turning more into anger. Then it clicked.

...maybe this was the person who’d killed Toriel. This seemed like exactly the same scenario- albeit he’d never gotten the details on the killer. Nobody had. The grip on his trident tightened.

Seeming to pay attention to a hint of realization in his eyes, the woman's own eyes widened even more somehow, and her grin returned wider than ever. "Maybe you know more about me than you thought, Asgore Dreemurr. Hm?" She cocked her head to the side, and proceeded to bite her lip this time.
"Poor Goat Mama... she didn't put up much of a fight. She was dead before she even had a chance to cry out her yucky daughter's name." Her eyes flared with the orange, appearing like blazing embers for a second as her grip notably tightened on her whip. "She died like a bitch."

Asgore could tell she was trying to anger him so he would make the first attack- and it was very tempting. The way she spoke about Toriel made him red in the face, his grip on the trident so tight that he was concerned it may crack. With a heavy heart, he made his decision.
His temper got the better of him, and several dozens of fireballs appeared behind him, before launching themselves toward the lunatic. He felt bad about it, but this was also perfectly justified. She’d just killed multiple people, attacked him, had a weapon out, and was practically admitting to Toriel’s murder.

With agility and surprising grace, the fireballs were subsequently dodged by the thin woman, who cackled brightly. "Is this how you treat your friends, Gorey~?" She spun on her heel in a full circle, twirling the whip before lashing out with it, the weapon cracking against Asgore's cheek before he even realized it was coming.
He felt his fur immediately grow heavy with blood from the gash the whip had caused.

"Silence!" Asgore roared, and suddenly, the alleyway was filled with fireballs whizzing toward the woman from every direction as the red trident paled to a cyan.
Despite being insane, the woman clearly knew exactly how to get to Asgore. She was using all of Toriel’s old nicknames for him, and it was arguably one of the most painful things he’d ever heard. More fireballs began to appear- he knew he needed to calm down. He was in immense danger, and letting his blinding rage consume him definitely wouldn’t help. He needed to calm down... He needed to calm down.
Asgore took a deep breath, before swinging with the trident. A shockwave of cyan energy was sent toward the woman, numerous fireballs also moving in.

Her eyes widened, this time in surprise as she tried to dodge another fireball, and the blast of cyan energy struck her, launching her back.
She flipped through the air, before thrusting her arm down, showing off her long, wicked fingernails. Asgore watched in disbelief as said nails dug into the concrete, bringing her to a stop.

The woman returned to her feet, giggling as she peeled a broken fingernail off of her finger, watching it swell with blood in interest. "You hurt me." She told Asgore, her grin appearing even more sinister somehow. "That's new."

Asgore was horrified. She actually seemed to enjoy the pain, even going so far as to inflict extra on herself by doing that unspeakable act to her own fingernails. He forced himself to keep a straight face rather than visibly cringing.
Despite her odd liking of the pain, Asgore couldn’t afford to get back onto the defensive. The woman was simply too fast. He needed to outsmart her again. The trident remained blue, and he swung it again, more fireballs accompanying a cyan shock wave.

"Not this time, Gorey." She cackled, and ran to one side of the alley, leaping up and using her momentum to literally race up the wall and completely avoid Asgore's attack.
She grabbed onto a balcony, proceeding to rip off a bar and landing deftly back on the ground, eyes lighting up with hunger as she charged toward the King.
Asgore growled as she cracked the whip again, striking his hand. He felt blood trickle down his knuckle, but didn’t dare drop the trident. It shifted to a deep orange, and Asgore swung once again as a ring of fireballs appeared around the woman. They closed in quickly, just as the orange shockwave did the same.

With a shout of triumph, the woman dashed forward, ignoring the fireballs and rushing straight toward Asgore, raising the metal bar she now held and striking at him, who raised his trident to block the attack.
Pain jolted up his arm as he took a step back. He'd almost forgotten how busted up he was from that wreck...

Asgore grit his teeth. He wasn’t proud of what he knew he had to do, but he had to put an end to this quickly before something bad happened to him. He refused to allow the same thing happen to him- the thing that happened to Toriel. He refused to let Frisk lose another parent.
His eyes began to rapidly blink orange and blue, the pattern unseeable due to the speed. Asgore began swinging the scythe, and the woman at first did a good job of keeping up with the pattern- but as soon as she was struck once, it threw her off, and she began taking hit after hit...but didn’t seem to mind much, despite her bleeding.
With one final hit, Asgore launched her into the wall. The brick cracked on impact, and the woman slumped to the ground, appearing dazed for a moment as Asgore raised his trident, aimed at the woman.

"Hngh- you win round one, Fluffybuns... but next time I will have your head for dinner." Throwing aside the bar, she yanked a switchblade out of her back pocket, flipping it open.
Asgore threw the trident, but only struck it into the wall as the woman leaped over it, then bounced off of the trident's handle, propelling herself halfway up the building, before scaling it with the assistance of her blade, using it like a pick.
It only took a few seconds before she was out of sight.

Asgore caught his breath, before the adrenaline quickly wore off and the pain in his arm, hand, and face caught up with him. The trident vanished as he looked back at the alleyway. This was going to be a mess... he’d have to get someone else to pick Frisk up from school today. No doubt he’d be busy for the next few hours...

------

“Maybe he got a schedule change and just happens to have not checked his phone,” Terrence suggested. He and Frisk had been tossing back and forth ideas about why Greg was gone and what he could possibly be up to. So far, Frisk’s favorite was when Terrence had suggested that Greg was busy volunteering at an animal shelter. It was a nice thought, albeit unlikely.
“No, that can’t be it. They don’t change our schedules after two weeks into each class,” Frisk shook her head. The two were seated in a booth at Muffet’s, having decided to switch things up a bit and not go to Grillby’s.

Muffet's was packed, as usual. Ever since the spider monster had stopped adding spiders to all of her meals, her popularity had skyrocketed. Most of her spiders did the grunt work while the young monster herself resided behind the front desk, greeting customers in with her flirty grin and five blinking eyes.
Terrence and Frisk's orders came down from the ceiling, being lowered by a small team of spiders, the plates set down gently in front of them. One of the spiders waved at Frisk before they all shot back up to the ceiling.
"Still creeps me out." Terrence muttered, watching the spiders go.

“Don’t worry, they wash their hands,” Frisk assured him. She’d ordered some crepes, while Terrene had just gotten a bagel. The spiders had brought him a lighter, unsplit, frosted bagel, however.
It was just a donut.
Not that he was complaining.

“So, how was Marine Biology without Greg?” Terrence asked as he took a bite.
“It was pretty boring,” Frisk admitted. “But there were two new students, so I guess it was a little bit eventful.”

"You mean Rian?" Terrence asked. "I had a class with him. He's okay. I'm guessing his girlfriend is the other one you're talking about?"
Frisk blinked. "Are they together?" She asked, and Terrence offered a shrug. "Dunno. Was hard to tell from the way he talked about her."
"And how was Earth Science without Greg?" Frisk asked. Terrence sighed, leaning back. "Empty, honestly. It was kind of weird not seeing his hand shoot up in front of my face at every question Mr. Gagne asked. Even he seemed to be missing Greg."
At this, Terrence paused. "Remember when you told me that Mr. Gagne asked Greg to stay after class and Greg acted weird after? What if... these are connected?"
 

comic

Member
“You really think something that Mr. Gagne told Greg would make him skip classes?” Frisk cocked her head to the side. “I guess we don’t have a better explanation. What could they have talked about, though?”
“No idea,” Terrence admitted, frowning. “Maybe he sent Greg to college early or something. I just wish he’d text back... hey, I have an idea. Since I’m not busy after school, maybe we could go by his place and get our explanation.”
“I... I like that idea,” she smiled warmly. “This is probably a bad time to tell you, but speaking of after school, my dad wants you to come over for dinner.”
Terrence's face darkened with a red tint. "O-oh? Really? Why's that?"
Frisk shrugged. "Nooo idea." She lied, though she wore a smile, her tone teasing. "He set us up on a date, he's inviting you over for dinner... even you could figure this one out."
“Alright, alright, I can put two and two together,” Terrence raised his hands in playful defensiveness. “I’ll come. Just promise me he won’t serve Papasta again. Papyrus is cool and all, but he’s given me so much of that stuff...”
Frisk giggled. “No Papasta. He was actually going to make lasagna last time, but Papyrus must have swapped our ingredients out at some point.”

They both fell silent, before Terrence looked up from the table at Frisk, opening his mouth to speak, before closing it, unsure of how to say what he wanted to say. "Um... Frisk?" He asked. She looked up from her food, raising a brow at him.
"I know... last time you said... no, but... I..." He paused, biting his cheek. "You're... sorta giving me really mixed signals here, not gonna lie."
Frisk paused, quickly realizing that he was right. What was she doing? Just the other day, she’d rejected him, and now she was flirting with him? A sudden pang of guilt coursed through her. She was confusing him, and it wasn’t very fair at all.
“I’m- I’m sorry,” she said, shaking her head. “I don’t know what’s up with me. I know I haven’t been making a lot of sense, lately...”

"Hey, it's okay, just... you can talk to me." Terrence replied, leaning forward a bit. "You're my best friend, Frisk. I care about you. Just tell me what's going on."
Frisk took a deep breath, before setting both her hands on the table and leaning back slightly.
“I still have feelings,” she admitted, but it had been fairly obvious. “I guess I’m just... scared? Nervous?”
Terrence couldn't help but let a smile tug at his lips. He'd assumed as much, but to hear her say it? "Then... maybe we take it slow this time?" He offered. "I... still like you too, Frisk. I don't think I ever stopped."

Frisk found herself very... happy. This conversation didn’t seem as frightening as it had yesterday. She smiled at him, not looking uncomfortable at all, much to his joy.
“So... does this mean we’re back together?” she asked.
“As long as it’s not too fast for you,” Terrence grinned.
And just like that, their relationship had been rekindled. It was official.

But the excitement was short-lived. Not even a few moments later, Frisk's phone began to buzz.
It was Asgore. Frisk smiled apologetically at Terrence, who just gave her a nod as she answered the phone. She was about to say ‘hello,’ but Asgore spoke first.
“Frisk? Frisk, there’s been an accident,” he said, sounding upset.

Her mood shifted immediately as she held the receiver closer, brow furrowing. "Is everything okay?"
"No. Frisk, I'm having Sans pick you up. I'll see you at home.”
“Wait, did-“ she began, but he’d already hung up. She swallowed, looking at Terrence, as if expecting him to have an answer.
“I... Asgore... he said there was an accident, but he didn’t give me any details...”

Her boyfriend frowned, leaning forward slightly. "Is he okay? Do you need me to do anything?"
"No... I need to call Sans, he'll pick me up here. You just worry about Greg, okay?"
“...Right. I will,” Terrence nodded, but looked like he was worried about a lot of things. He nearly began biting his fingernails, but stopped himself. Frisk had helped him break that habit last year.
Frisk began dialling Sans’s number, hoping he’d pick up- which he always did.

"heya kiddo. on my way. you're at muffet's right?"
Four years ago, Frisk would have asked how Sans could have possibly known that. She'd gotten used to his seeming omniscience in certain matters, and simply stopped questioning it. "Yeah, I'm with Terrence."
"cool. my bike is at the shop so i got one of paps' old cars. terrence can ride with us."
“Okay. Thank you, Sans. I’ll see you soon?”
“yeah.”
Frisk tapped on the ‘end call’ button, and looked at Terrence. “Sans will be here soon, he says you can come if you want.”
“Oh, uh... well, I would, but I don’t think that bike can fit all of us,” Terrence replied.
“Goof, he’s gonna be in one of Papyrus’s old cars.“
“Oh. In that case, sure, I’ll come.”

"Guess I'll have Sans drop me off at Greg's. You'll tell me what happened later, right?" Terrence asked, pushing his empty plate slightly away from him, and folding his arms. Frisk gave him a nod in reply before rising to her feet, Terrence following suit.
Usually when Sans was 'on his way' that meant he was right around the corner, and the two of them had become well aware of it.

Sure enough, by the time they’d gotten outside- Terrence oh so generously holding the door- Sans was out front, sitting in a red sports car. Frisk wasn’t even sure if he had a license, but didn’t bother questioning it.
“hey, kiddo,” he greeted her through the rolled-down window, with his usual grin, though Frisk could tell he wasn’t at his happiest.

"Hey Sans." She greeted in reply as Terrence followed her to the vehicle. Once they were both in, she asked her pertinent question on the forefront of her mind. "Sans... do you know what's going on?"
The skeleton gave a slight nod. "uh... yeah. there's been another attack."
"What?" Terrence leaned forward in the back seat. "Who?"

“asgore,” Sans answered. Frisk’s eyes widened with shock, before Sans spoke again. “he’s alright, though. he fought off the person who attacked him.”
Frisk let out a breath she hadn’t realized she’d been holding, relief washing over her. “Thank god… Sans. Do you know what's happening?" Frisk asked. She'd thought about asking Sans this before, but he usually kept a lot of his knowledge a secret. If there was anybody she knew that might know something, it was him.
Sans didn't look at her as they drove down the street, heading toward Asgore's home. After several moments, he formulated a reply. "i... have a theory." He offered.

Frisk had a few theories of her own, but she wanted to hear what he had to say. She looked at him, waiting for him to continue, which he did after a brief moment of silence.
“i think it’s got something to do with, uh... the person who got to toriel and bp. but... i don’t think it’s the same person. the person who attacked asgore did it in the middle of the day, and killing three innocent people. the ones who attacked bp and tori did it in the shadows, quietly.”

"So... it's a group of people?" Frisk asked. "i think it could be an organization. considering crime has been so low since undyne became an officer, i don't think these are random. it's probably a group of anti-monster radicals. whether they have ulterior motives, or even names... i don't know yet. i'm not sure who's getting attacked next, but toriel and asgore... they're the leading figures in monster rights. burgerpants... i can't think of a reason why they'd select him. possibly he was in the wrong place at the wrong time."
"This is... crazy. You really think it's some organization?" Terrence asked.

“i do,” Sans answered with a grim expression on his face. “and i’m worried, too. paps and mettaton are also pretty big representatives for monsterkind, so...”
“So you’re worried they might be next,” Frisk frowned.
“yup,” Sans said. “i’m gonna have to keep a close eye on them. pap, especially.”
“Isn’t there some way to identify the attackers?” Terrence asked. “Like... security camera footage?”
“nope. even the reckless one was smart enough to get asgore into an alleyway with no surveillance. none i know of anyway.”
Frisk felt an overwhelming sense of pressure fall upon her shoulders. Like the whole world was suddenly crumbling on top of her and she was powerless to do anything about it. What could she do? There was seemingly some secret organization of apparently very powerful people targeting monsters... The perfect world that she had finally established was coming apart at the seams, and she felt powerless to stop it. She couldn't even reset it...

“sorry for not taking you to asgore,” Sans said to Frisk as he turned a corner, nearing Greg’s house, where he’d be dropping off Terrence. “but he asked me to take you home.“
“That’s okay. I’m sure he’s busy...” Frisk sighed. She just hoped Asgore would be alright. But judging from how bad the attack sounded, she had her doubts. The car stopped in front of Greg’s driveway. A single, run-down white jeep was there, rusted over.

"Thanks, Sans. I'll see you later ba- uh... Frisk." Terrence's face reddened as he climbed out of the car and shut the door behind him, making his way to Greg's front door. "so you and terry are back together. that's hilarious." Sans winked at Frisk, grinning wider as he put the car in reverse. Somehow, Sans could drive this vehicle despite barely being able to see over the steering wheel.

“Why is that hilarious?” Frisk questioned, knowing that Sans had a strange sense of humor, but she was confused nonetheless.
“because i knew it would happen,” Sans replied simply as they began to drive off. “just a gut feeling, i suppose.”

Terrence watched as Sans and Frisk drove off, before his attention returned to Gregory's front door. He knocked again, but... nothing. "Greg! It's T! Open up, man, I know you're in there!" He called, knocking again- admittedly a little harder this time.
However, upon his more forceful fist, the door creaked open slightly. It had been unlocked and slightly ajar...

“Uh...” Terrence swallowed. He didn’t really want to go inside. Didn’t that count as breaking and entering? But he was just trying to check on his friend, right? Yeah. It would be fine. He pushed the door, and it opened fully, revealing a barely illuminated hallway with several pairs of shoes lined up against the edges of the walls.
The floor was a bit grimy... and he immediately noticed one wall had a fist-sized hole in it. The smell of cigarette smoke and wet dog hit him like a brick.
Coughing as a reaction, he wrinkled his nose in disgust. How the hell did Gregory actually live here?
He slowly entered the homestead, calling for his friend again, but getting no response. The entryway split off in two directions. The living room and the kitchen. The living room had two doorways, likely to bedrooms, and there was another hall that led to the back door, another doorway there that led to a bathroom.

Terrence doubted it was Greg who’d made the place smell like a barbecue pit, so he concluded that it was likely Greg’s mother. He couldn’t help but feel bad for his friend- he knew Greg didn’t have the best home life, but he couldn’t even imagine living in these conditions. There was even some kind of mold growing on the ceiling in some spots. He would genuinely rather sleep outside than in this house.
Terrence took the path leading to the living room, and found that the smell wasn’t any better. A couch was leaned against one of the walls, a rug with several pee stains in front of it, likely from a dog.
"Greg!" He called again.
No response.
Terrence began to feel uneasy. Where could Greg possibly be...? Slowly, he made his way to one of the doorways, peaking past the half-closed door. The room beyond was no doubt Greg's. It appeared clean and organized, a complete contrast to the rest of the house.

He swallowed the lump in his throat. Maybe Greg was just on vacation. Or... judging from the state of this place, maybe child services had taken him. He was already prepared to vomit from the smoky smell by the time he entered Greg’s room.
Just as suspected, Greg wasn’t in there.
The only thing that seemed out of place was a paper sitting on Gregory's desk. It was the only thing not cleaned up or made to look neat like the rest of the room. A torn-open letter lay beside it. Out of curiosity, Terrence grabbed the paper, reading it over.
As his eyes traveled further down the paper, his eyes slowly widened.

Greg was leaving. According to the letter, he'd been accepted early at a college. Lightway University. The best college in the country. Terrence started to feel conflicting emotions at that moment. He read carefully over the paper. Was this what Mr. Gagne had spoken to him about after class the other week? Why hadn’t Greg told him? Or Frisk, even? Had he already left? What was going on?
He was conflicted over taking the letter, instead whipping out his cruddy phone and snapping a picture of it to send to Frisk later. This all just seemed so odd and sudden.

------

The moment Asgore entered his home, he felt a pair of arms wrap around his waist. He winced slightly, feeling Frisk's head press against a busted rib. "I'm glad you're okay." He told her, closing the door behind him as she let go. "Are you kidding me?" She asked. "I'm glad you're okay. Sans told me what happened."
Asgore gave a small smile. “No need to worry about me, my child, I’m alright. It’s more than I can say for those poor people that got caught in the middle of things.” Frisk eyed Asgore, noticing the bandages on his face and hand. He looked tired, and she couldn’t blame him.

"I'll make you supper tonight." She decided. "What?" He asked as she grabbed his big furry hand and led him to the couch. "You get the night off, dad." She told him. "Relax and heal. I'll make something for us to eat."
“Are you sure?” Asgore raised an eyebrow as he sat. “I wouldn’t want you to burn yourself, or something of the sort.”
“I’ll be alright, I know how to cook,” Frisk assured him. “You just take it easy, okay?”
Asgore let out a sigh, before smiling warmly at his adopted daughter. "Thank you, Frisk." He told her. "I'll be in here if you need me." With that, he sat down. Satisfied, Frisk moved to the kitchen, already having an idea of what to make.
Bacon-covered lasagna. The plan hadn’t changed. She'd need to invite Terrence over too. That still stood, despite the circumstances.

She pulled out her phone as she tapped a few buttons on the oven to begin the preheating process.
‘Hey, I know today’s been kind of weird, but are you still coming over for dinner?’ she typed. A couple of seconds later, a reply bubble popped in.
‘Yeah, when should I be there?’
‘Any time is alright. I’m making bacon lasagna.’
‘I’ll be there as soon as I possibly can, in that case.’

Frisk smiled, sliding her phone into her back pocket before getting to work as Asgore leaned back on the couch, feeling his wounds ache. His mind was reeling with the recent events.

That woman... she'd been sadistic. Psychotic. Terrifying. He'd never faced someone like her before. Sure, he'd faced tougher, but the way she toyed with him... it was all unsettling. Every part of his mind screamed to hunt her down and exact revenge. She'd taken Toriel from him... but for some reason, he didn't think she had. Toriel's death had been much different than the attack on his life. This woman was certainly not working alone. He'd need to pay Undyne a visit and see if he could get involved in the investigation surrounding the recent monster attacks.

His gut sank as he recalled the poor people in the path of his truck... His heart ached at the memory. It made him sick to his stomach.
And a part of him couldn’t help but wonder- he’d been the only one so far to actually survive one of these strange, sudden attacks against monsters. Would she be coming back for him? In his sleep, perhaps? Paranoia began to creep in, much to his chagrin. Frisk had wanted him to relax, but all he could think about was how horrible this all was.

A few minutes later, a knock could be heard at the door. Asgore looked over to see Frisk, busy cutting the bacon, and decided to stand up to answer the door. Perhaps it was the police, or maybe a lawyer, or... something.
He opened the door, and saw a familiar orange-eyed boy standing there.

"Ah. Terrence." Asgore smiled, though it seemed artificial, and to Asgore, felt that way. He was too anxious at the moment to be the proper host he'd like to be. Terrence smiled back. "Hey, Mr. Dreemurr." He replied as the king stepped to the side to let Terrence in. "I'd almost forgotten you were coming by."
“Me too. How are you doing?...” the boy looked at Asgore’s bandaged wounds as he entered the home. “I’m doing fine,” Asgore told Terrence with a smile. “Thank you for your concern. I’m told these will be healed in a few days, best case scenario.”
"Worst case?"
"A week." Asgore shrugged. "So not too bad."
"Hey T!" Frisk called from the kitchen. Despite the situation, Terrence was quick to notice that she seemed in unusually high spirits.

“Frisk!” he greeted with equal enthusiasm, approaching her. “I would have brought some flowers or something, but all they had were some shriveled up daisies.”
“That’s alright,” Frisk told him, and began washing the bacon residue off of her hands. “I’m just glad you came!”
Asgore returned to the living room, delving back into his own thoughts as Terrence lowered his voice. "Hey uh... found out something 'interesting' about Greg's disappearance." He informed her.
“Interesting? Good or bad, interesting?” she asked. He looked a bit uncomfortable as he pulled out his phone, showing her the photo. She leaned in to look at it, and it was more difficult to tell how she felt the more she read.

Finally, Frisk pulled back, her mouth a thin line. Terrence tucked away his phone, staring at her. "What do you think it means? You think he's already... gone?"
“Well... he wasn’t home, he wasn’t at school... I don’t know where else he would be, honestly,” Frisk sighed. “He won’t answer our texts... so how do we find out?”
"I think we just have to wait." Terrence replied with a shrug. "I mean, I really hope he didn't bail on us, but... he has been acting pretty distant lately, and now, with things starting to get crazy..."
“I just wish he would at least let us know he’s okay,” Frisk admitted, looking at the uncooked lasagna, layered perfectly. “It’s so unlike him to disappear,” she added, picking up the dish to put it in the oven.

"Why do you think he wouldn't tell us about this, anyway?" Terrence asked. "I mean, he knows we'd both support him for getting into a college this early, right? It just... doesn't make any sense."
“Maybe... he’s... upset with us?” Frisk wondered aloud, looking at Terrence. “We have been hanging out a lot just you and me lately...”
“...Oh. Did we third-wheel him?”
Frisk pursed her lips. "I think we'll hear from him soon. I think this was probably an emotional decision on his part and he'll regret it soon. Or maybe he's actually somewhere where he can't talk to us. I mean... he doesn't have mobile data like us, after all."
“I guess you’re right. At least we know what college he might have gone too,” Terrence said, holding up his phone. “In the meantime, though... I guess we should just keep our fingers crossed.”
Frisk gave a nod of agreement as she set the timer for the lasagna.

------

Something felt...
Familiar about this.
"Rest ye my angel, you hm hm hmmm..."
Asgore stopped humming, looking out of the front of his truck before him, seeing three people on the sidewalk together, talking and laughing. His blood ran cold as he moved his gaze to the left, watching as a truck was seconds away from ramming into him...
He slammed on the brakes, but the car kept moving, much to his dismay. His heart was beating rapidly as his vehicle went crashing through the street, the sound of screams and metal colliding with pavement echoed around him. Asgore slowly peered out of the semi-shattered car window to see a face staring back at him.

The woman, sneering at him before grabbing his door and yanking it off with force. "Gorey... what's with the look? I've missed you dearly..." She licked her lips, reaching inside with bloody hands, grasping his shoulder. "Come play with me~"
Asgore trembled with rage and fear, about to shout and attack with all his might...
But then he shot up, cold sweat beading up on his forehead. He looked around, and realized he had fallen asleep on the couch. The king rubbed his eyes, checking his watch.

It was only two in the morning...
He had a long day ahead of him. Work, and...
He frowned. He'd just been attacked. Surely Mr. Obaseki would allow a day off? If that were the case, Asgore could schedule a meeting with Undyne, maybe do a little digging of his own. Hopefully she still had that USB drive they'd taken from Toriel's. Undyne had taken it somewhere safe once Asgore requested she keep it away from her superiors.

He glanced over at the kitchen, remembering that he, Frisk, and Terrence had eaten that bacon lasagna. He rubbed his eyes, hoping that nightmare wouldn’t be recurring as he stood. What time had Terrence left? He wasn’t sure if he’d been awake.

He was about to grab his phone to call Officer Dhelaron, before deciding against it. It was much too early to be bugging the late-working Undyne. But... perhaps Alphys could help? It had been a while since he'd seen the Royal Scientist, and there was a possibility she was already conjuring up inventions to detect these assailants and combat them.
He felt a bit bad about calling the scientist so early in the morning, but he could recall that Alphys was usually up even later than this watching anime. Asgore wasn’t sure if her sleep schedule had changed since she began living on the surface, but dialled her number anyways, hoping for the best.

It rang for a good two seconds before it was picked up. "Asgore?" Her nasally voice came in through the speaker. "Good morning, Alphys. Or... night, if you're still up." He chuckled softly at that. "It's good to hear from you." She admitted. "I was really really w-worried when I heard about the attack... did you get a look at your attacker?"
“I got plenty of looks,” Asgore answered. “She must have thought she would kill me. She had no problems with letting me see her face.”
”Well, h-how are you? Hurt?” she said, sounding concerned.
“Yes, a bit. But it’s nothing I can’t handle,” he assured her. “I’m calling because I would like your assistance.”
"O-of course." Alphys replied. "That's why I asked about her. I have a new monitoring system I've been setting up since Toriel was... k-killed. I'm almost done with it, a-and when it's set up around the city? Nobody will even so much as b-blow their nose without me k-knowing about it."
"That's quite the invasion of privacy." Asgore commented. "But it needs to be done." She stated.

“But such a device... would it even be legal?”
”Not at all,” Alphys admitted, sounding like she’d already made up her mind about this. Asgore didn’t want to get involved with this sort of thing, knowing that if they were caught, they would be punished severely. Greater good or not...
But at the same time, he desperately wanted to stop these people. The people that had taken his beloved Toriel away.
"Does Undyne know?" Asgore inquired. "Er... n-not yet..." Alphys sighed. "I don't think I'll tell her, either. Not until everything's o-over. She cares too much about upholding the law and all that... I think she'd just be disappointed in me, but... t-this has to be done. I won't allow anyone to get hurt any more."

------

"N-not if I can help it..."

"Darlings!"
Mettaton threw his arms up grandiosely, beaming at his adoring fans with pearly whites, taking in their cheering and applause as the spotlights showed down upon him. "Thank you for attending this special early morning premier of the 'Cooking With Mettaton' spin-off... Skelechef!"

More applause, much to the robot’s satisfaction. “Unfortunately, darlings, I won’t be your host this time around, but fear not! Your chef is someone with plenty of glamour- introducing the great Papyrus!”
There was a wave of clapping and cheering, whistling too as Papyrus pranced onto the stage, striking a few dramatic poses as he did. He was wearing his ‘cool dude’ outfit, along with an apron.
“NYEH! THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR HAVING ME, METTATON!” Papyrus greeted him as he arrived at the center stage.
"Of course, darling." Mettaton smiled brightly at the skeleton, before lowering his voice. "You memorized the script right?" He muttered urgently.
"ERM. YES. OF COURSE." A bead of sweat trickled down Papyrus' skull as Mettaton let out a sigh. "Well... I have faith in you, Papyrus. Knock 'em dead, darling."
Papyrus’s grin widened, and he turned to face the audience, who were awaiting his cooking expertise. Mettaton dramatically danced his way backstage, leaving the skeleton alone.
“AHEM! NOW, TODAY, THE GREAT PAPYRUS WILL BE MAKING ONE OF THE MOST GLAMOROUS DISHES IN THE WORLD! AND IT IS... A WONDERFUL CAKE!”

Mettaton made his way past a few crew members, heading for the dressing room. Papyrus' program was only thirty minutes at the moment, plus commercials, so that gave the robot just enough time to beautify himself up for the after-show. The finale of season 8 of 'Cooking With Mettaton'. Some had questioned his decision to place Skelechef ahead of the finale, but frankly, he felt pretty positive about this choice.
He could hear the skeleton talking about proportions and whatnot, which was in the script, luckily. Most stars had people to help them with their outfits, makeup, hair, and overall glamour, but Mettaton had refused to hire anything of the sort. He was more than capable of self-beautification, after all. He entered his personal, private dressing room, softly shutting the door behind him before falling into a seat with a sigh. He definitely was gonna need a recharge once the morning was over. And that much-deserved break was just over the horizon... Once the finale was over, Mettaton was going on a vacation to the Bahamas. Why? Because he felt like it. Papyrus would handle things back here until the robot returned home.

There was a soft knock on the door, surprising Mettaton, who frowned. "I'm in the middle of destressing!" He shouted through the door. "You know how I feel about being interrupted."
No reply. Just another knock.
Mettaton blinked, even more peeved. He decided not to answer- but then there was another knock on the door. The robot groaned, standing up, wondering who he was about to fire. Whoever was on the other side of the door was persistent, which was extremely odd- maybe the show had gone wrong? Oh, dear...

When he opened the door, Mettaton was greeted by... nobody. Hm. Had they left after knocking a third time? Or perhaps it was just his imagination.

If it was a mistake, he needed to get his audio sensors checked. It was about that time for a tune-up from Alphys anyway. They were scheduled to meet tomorrow, so hopefully he wouldn't be hearing things for much longer.
He turned back around, closing the door behind him, shaking his metallic head. "I need this vacation..." He muttered to himself, staring in the mirror at his perfect body.

Slowly, Mettaton approached the mirror. He really should have been rehearsing by now... not that he thought he’d mess up, goodness no, but it never hurt anyone to be careful. Mettaton looked at himself for a few seconds, before striking a pose. “Why yes, Papyrus, darling, I did get a haircut. How sweet of you to notice,” he said, glad nobody was around to see him. After a few seconds, he looked back at himself in the mirror.
Then paused.
There was someone behind him. The outline of a person, standing in the corner of the room. Mettaton couldn’t make out any details, which was strange, since the room was well-lit.

Flipping his head about, Mettaton turned to face this peeping tom, giving a very hard frown. So hard it actually started to hurt a little. "Who are you?" He demanded. Was that even the right question? It was weird... maybe he should pose a more appropriate inquiry.
"Er... what are you?" He corrected, still frowning.
Suddenly, the figure shot out from the corner, and was standing behind him. Mettaton nearly let out a scream- before he saw that it was just Papyrus, grinning goofily.
“HELLO, METTATON!” Papyrus greeted. “THE SHOW IS GOING VERY WELL SO FAR! WE’RE ON A COMMERCIAL BREAK, SO I FIGURED I WOULD SAY HELLO! NYEHEHEHE!”

"Papyrus..." Mettaton shook his head, breathing deeply. "Don't do that." He paused, brow creasing. "Erm... Papyrus, you didn't... hear what I was saying, did you?" His metallic cheeks simulated a blush, a stupid mechanic Alphys thought necessary.
“OF COURSE I DID, METTATON! EVEN THOUGH MY EARS ARE STILL RINGING FROM THE APPLAUSE. METTATON, IT IS CLEAR TO ME THAT YOU ARE DRAWN TO ME LIKE SANS IS TO KETCHUP! THE GREAT PAPYRUS FEELS THE SAME WAY ABOUT YOU!“
Mettaton blinked, before smiling widely. “Oh, Papyrus! I’m delighted to hear you say that. Say, why don’t you and I do the next segment together? Could you get me an outfit from the closet?”
Mettaton pointed to a nearby door, the room likely filled with clothing. The moment Papyrus’s back was turned, Mettaton raised one leg, kicking him in the back of the skull as hard as he could. Papyrus went flying across the room, hitting a wall. The skeleton looked terrified, turning.
“M-METTATON! WHY?!”
“Because Papyrus wouldn’t sneak up on me,” Mettaton began, hands on his hips. “And I know the show’s schedule like the back of my hand. Commercials don’t begin for another three minutes and eight seconds. And most importantly? Skeletons don’t have ears. So, I’ll ask you again- what are you? Who are you?”
‘Papyrus’ stood up, not grinning anymore. “ALL THAT VOCAL PRACTICE... FOR NOTHING!!”

"That still doesn't answer my question, darling." Mettaton's eyes narrowed, his tone threatening. "Nobody impersonates my Papyrus and gets away with it. Answers. Now." He demanded.
Papyrus scowled, before a long, thin blue bone appeared in his left hand. "I'm here to kill you." Was all he said before a wall of bones erupted between the two, shifting across the floor for Mettaton.
Whoever this imposter was could also clearly impersonate Papyrus' attacks.

Mettaton narrowly avoided the rows of bones, noticing a burgundy glow emitting from his attacker’s ribcage. Clearly, this person had been hoping to end things before the commercial break, but the clock was ticking, and they both knew it.
“That still doesn’t answer my questions,” Mettaton sighed, his SOUL firing a bombardment of small bullets, to which the attacker created a large orange bone in their hands, rapidly spinning it around. The bullets bounced off it with clinking noises.

"That's the only answer you need to know." Papyrus replied, though the voice had long since lost the Papyrus charm, now feminine and cold, Mettaton's SOUL turning blue and he was slammed down as a wall of bones erupted around him.
The robot let out a cry of pain as several bones punctured through his suit in various places.
“I don’t have time to dispose of you the way I wanted to,” the cold voice said. “I was hoping to drown you in a sea of bones, but that’ll take too long. Lucky you. You get to experience true beauty before you’re reduced to scrap metal.
It was then that Mettaton noticed the security cameras in the room were missing... he frowned, before ‘Papyrus’s’ disguise gave out. In a flash, the stranger’s form changed, and instead of a skeleton, a human now stood before Mettaton.
It was clearly a female, judging from the slightly elevated chest region and the feminine features, accompanied by long, curly purple hair and piercing burgundy eyes. She wore a lot of black leather and skull markings, giving off the appearance of a biker. Her boots were spiked, her belt was lined with some sort of foreign symbols, and the orange bone in her hand was now a burgundy katana.
“I’m impressed with you. Not many can sniff my disguises. It’s a shame this star’s about to... burn out,” the woman said, grinning from ear to ear. Despite this, her gaze was stoic and cold.

------

"-If you need proof then look at my biceps because they're wearing sunglasses and that clearly means I rule..." Papyrus hummed softly to himself, strutting backstage, beaming and glowing with confidence. That had gone exceptionally well. While he had ruined the cake with the addition of some Papasta, the audience had clearly enjoyed it. Now he had to find Mettaton and let him know how successful the first half of the premiere had been.

Papyrus stopped in front of a door with a star on it. On the star was a picture of Mettaton, and beneath it was the word ‘Mettaton.’
He concluded that this room must contain or belong to Mettaton. He attempted to open it up, but the skeleton found that the door was locked from the inside. How strange.

"METTATON!" Papyrus called, rapping his boney knuckles on the door. No response. Frowning, he knocked again. "METTATON! IT'S ME! THE GREAT PAPYRUS!"
Still no response. How odd...
"I'VE DECIDED I WILL ENTER, METTATON."
Papyrus tried the handle again, but had no luck. He tried picking the lock with a very miniscule bone- and shockingly, the door opened. Inside the room was dark and silent- odd, considering how bright and sparkly Mettaton preferred things.
“METTATON! I HAVE ENTERED THE ROOM!”

Still no response of any sort. Papyrus frowned, and looked around the dark room for anything shiny. The light streaming in wasn't a lot, but it was reflecting a bunch of glitter on the ground.
He shifted his gaze to start looking for a light switch.
It was difficult in the darkness, but his hand eventually found the slightly elevated patch of wall that held the lightswitch. Once he flicked it on, however, he didn’t like what he saw. His jaw nearly fell off.
Mettaton was collapsed on the floor, cut down the middle. Not completely cut in half, but the wound was deep, and the machine was making no noise or movement.

"OH MY GOD! METTATON!" Papyrus cried, falling to his knees and pulling the body to him as gently as he could, his eyes bulging out of their sockets. "OH NO! WHAT HAPPENED? I NEED TO... YES! THE BRILLIANT DOCTOR! SHE CAN FIX YOU UP IN NO TIME AT ALL!"
Papyrus whipped out his cell phone. It was times like these that commercials were very convenient. He dialled in Alphys’s number, but was sent to voicemail after some anime-like ringing. He groaned, calling Undyne instead.

"HEY BONEHEAD!" The response was immediate and sudden, making Papyrus slightly jump. "UNDYNE!" He replied. "PAPYRUS!" She yelled back before he could say anything. "UNDYNE," He began. "I-"
"PAPYRUS!"
"UNDYNE, Y-"
"PAPYRUS!"
"..."
"..."
"UNDYNE, T-"
"PAPYRUS!"

Papyrus took in a deep, deep breath despite not having lungs.
“UUUUUUUNDYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYNE!!!!” he screeched as loud as possible. A pained murmur creaked out from the other end.
”G-good lord, Papyrus, what is it?” Undyne’s voice grumbled, having likely had an eardrum ruptured.
“IT’S METTATON! HE’S BEEN ATTACKED!”
There was only a split second of silence before Undyne's voice came back in, gravely dark. "I'm on my way." Was all she said before hanging up.

Papyrus let out a shrill sigh, looking at Mettaton’s deactivated body. Nobody was around who could have done this. It had to have happened during the show...
That was when he noticed it. Looking down, his gaze landed upon a piece of fabric lying on the ground. It was... leather. Odd. Mettaton hated leather.

Papyrus nearly snatched it, but then remembered Mettaton’s advice from the hit TV show, Detective Mettaton. You should never move or touch potential evidence. He leered at the leather, not sure where it came from.

"HM... I WISH SANS WAS HERE, HE'D KNOW WHAT TO DO..."

------

Meanwhile, on the north side of Voxis by the docks, a young woman stood by a pier, leaning against a post, arms crossed. Her hair was bubblegum pink, shoulder-length, and blown back to look poofy. Her eyes were a deep, bright blue.
Another woman was approaching her.
“It was easy,” the approaching woman said, without properly greeting the pink-haired girl, as if they were picking up from a previous conversation.
This was the woman who’d just attacked Mettaton.

"Well, 'course it was, Trixie." The younger one with pink hair winked. "Told ya drinks were on me tonight if you succeeded. Thank God Psycho didn't kill the King or she'd be trying to get me to drink her blood about now."
“Oh, Mag. You’re so funny,” the purple haired woman said with a grin. “You know, I think the leaders secretly knew that Psycho wouldn’t win that. You and I got lucky.”

"Suuuper lucky." Mag agreed, pushing herself away from the post as Trixie came to a stop. "You get the ego bot and I get the lazy skeleton. Whoever has the fish cop is doomed, though. Was it... Warmy?"
“Oh, yeah. She’d snap poor ol’ Sunshine like a dry twig. But he has a way of getting his work done, one way or another,” Trixie shrugged. “Say, wasn’t there a human on the list, too?”

Mag gave a slight nod, shivering slightly. "Yeah. That kid who was ambassador a few years back. Remember her?" She asked.
“Yeah. I feel bad for her, honestly. Guess she just didn’t know what she was doing to herself when she took on that roll, I suppose. I’m just glad I’m not the one who has to kill a little girl.”

Magnum shivered again, though this time it wasn't from the cold. "Well, anyway, I'm glad to see you came out alright." She told Trixie. "Now can we head somewhere warm? I'm freezing."
“Sure, sure. I know a few places around here,” Trixie said, putting a hand on the younger girl’s shoulder. “Hurry, now. I’d hate for you to catch a cold there, Mag.”

Together, the two made their way back into the city, leaving the docks behind. The night sky was clear, cold, and dark.
An ominous feeling hung in the air.

Something had started this day, and nobody knew how serious it was yet.
 
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