Donald simply chuckled as Frisk showed her the guitar in the middle of the game room. “Really?”
“I made a teeny adjustment for it,” Frisk said. “I didn’t mess with the game itself much. I know what I’m doing, Donald.”
“You want the character Frisk to carry a guitar? You are a unique woman, I will give you that.” He winked. “Standard basic rules, right?”
“To entice more audiences, sometimes dialogue is different, but the same events will still occur. It is not a brand new game,” Frisk said. “Of course I know that.” She shouldered him playfully. “I’m not going to forget that and sue you, Don.”
“Never can be too careful,” Donald said. “All footage will of course be documented.” He laid his hand beside her on a small TV panel.
What the heck? She might as well try. It would be so much easier on her if she could get him to let up on it. “Is that really necessary?” She asked. She touched his shirt. “I’m not going to have a seizure or anything from using your equipment. If anything happens, the emergency sound would ring.”
“Frisk. I really want you safe,” he said. “I know that you can take care of yourself, especially around equipment that’s for all ages. But, this setup has already been modified slightly.” He gestured to her guitar. “I wouldn’t feel comfortable not having it on. What if something subtle happened and you couldn’t catch it, but the game did?” He gestured toward the head gear. “Did you know, last year alone-”
“At least a hundred people are saved by going to the doctor, because your gaming system they were playing sensed something wrong,” Frisk said. “Medical science has been trying to get you to sell your game secrets to them. It would have been a leap up in your type of clientele. One side, gaming, one side, life saving.”
“But why?” Donald shook his head. “The doctors could do nothing more than playing a game of mine on the system could do. They would just charge customers up the wazoo for it, instead of letting them have fun playing a game. It’s reasonably priced, and there’s no reason to worry about anything before it goes out of control.”
“Yeah, but you’d make more money for it,” Frisk said. She patted his shirt. “Of course, that’s not Donald Rainier, is it?”
“It’s a game. It’s for fun. The medical benefit was an unknown bonus, but I’m not changing anything.” He touched the small TV panel again. “Which means there’s no way I’m letting you just play without it. The game finds things, but it also causes problems to show themselves too,” he warned her. “I’m not risking that for you, Frisk.”
It was worth a try. At least it shows how good the monster in him is. Frisk looked toward the panel. The wording would be different, it was something added to the program, but all the events. Everything had to line up. The only place that it would scramble and get weird, is when she finally met her brother again. He wasn’t supposed to be in there, it wouldn’t know whether to track him as a random sprite, a boss, or a fighter. Not on the outside.
“You didn’t . . . program anything that was an unfair advantage to you?” Donald asked.
“A few weapons, but I kept the game fair,” Frisk said. “Less health items. Just a new, different way to play.” He looked like he wanted to check over everything one more fine. “It’s a small thing, Donald. I’ve helped to program and modify how many of your companies games?”
Donald nodded, then patted her shoulder. “I’m sorry. For some reason, I just thought you’d be giving yourself an unfair advantage. A little childish in my thinking, you wanted all of this to challenge yourself in the first place.”
Frisk shrugged lightly. “We all have a little bit of child in us I guess. See you tomorrow? I’d like to explore the ruins a little bit tonight before bed. That okay?”
“Well, three days. Sure, add the rest of today on,” Donald insisted. “Have fun, Frisk. That’s what it’s all about. I will see you tomorrow.”
After she was sure he was gone, Frisk dove into the game. It was time.
Underground: Ruins, Toriel’s Previous Home
I’m so tired of this. What if this is all there is? Frisk looked around himself. Living day to day for eternity in the Underground, or just stay there and probably die? He knew he couldn’t now, but what if he was on a repeat, and he went through that same dread. That same pain every day.
Then he heard the sound of a whimsun. It was pleading, begging about something. No one’s inside the Ruins. Could it be? Please, oh please! Let it be his sister! He ran out of Toriel’s former home and deeper into the ruins. He saw someone. It was a woman wielding a yellow knife. He saw no opponent for her. She crept closer, but kept her eyes closed. A part of him felt like he should be scared as she walked, her eyes barely opening enough to see in his direction, but there was a different meaning to her walk. Something was different.
Before he could say anything, she put her finger close to her lips, signaling him to be quiet. “Everything looks functional in Undertale. Some corruption of Gaster has been brought in the front, but other than that, all is well.” She didn’t say anything more, but she cracked a small smile toward him.
Oh! Undertale the game. She was sent in by dad! But who is she? He never remembered his dad mentioning anyone else he wanted in the games. Did his group have some kind of rescuer? No, it’s more than that. No. I know that I know her. He clicked around desperately in his brain, looking for that same look. That same attitude. That same . . . then an image came to his mind. He knew who she’d been. ” . . .Frisk?” His sister.
She held her hand up to her lips, silencing him again. “I keep hearing a voice in the background,” she said. “Besides that, the game is secure. It feels good to be back in it after all this time. I can’t wait to see how far I get.” Her eyes opened for just a moment, before closing them again. “I feel like this time playing genocide, I’m actually doing everyone a favor. I feel so at home, it feels like they could all come with me. Eventually.”
“Wait.” He got it. “It is you, Frisk.” Not only that? She knew how to get him out! “When can I get out?”
“Eventually,” Frisk said again. “There seems to be a slight echo in the game.”
Ah! Frisk wanted to burst and go over to hug his sister. So much time must have passed! Look at her. She’s all grown up. The Underground really had been stuck again. With his magic gone, it must not have lasted long. He’d been living the same day, over and over, just like Sans once did in the game. Somehow, Frisk knew a way for him to get out, but it involved the genocide path. She is talking though like someone can hear her. They must be able to still track what she was saying and doing in the game.
Fine. Frisk nodded. He didn’t know his sister’s plan, but she was the last one to want to wipe out anyone. She was the one who wanted to go back in and save everyone. Appearances had to be deceiving. She was somehow doing what he couldn’t. He looked at her yellow knife she put away and watched her walk past. As she did so, she grabbed his hand, gently squeezing, but putting everything she could say into it.
She missed him. She loved him. She was there for him, and they were getting out. As she left, Frisk followed behind her. “Can they hear me too?” Frisk asked. Frisk didn’t reply. For now, until he could figure out more, he would follow her. The answers would probably come, but if he acted like a noob and pushed too hard, he could jeopardize what his sister was wanting to accomplish.
Underground, Back of the Ruins Door.
He was there! He was there and safe, and hadn’t aged a day. It was like looking into a very old mirror. He should have been in his twenties, like her, but time had stopped for him too. Since he gave away the magic to get out of the game, it treated him like everyone else. He had no power to keep the time moving. While it would be awkward to have him back at such a young age, it was more than worth it to get him back alive. She would get him out. She would rescue all of the monsters. She would do everything, ending the game of Undertale forever. No matter what it took.
Including dealing with an old skeleton in her closet. She had deep regrets over what happened. How he made her feel. She didn’t want to be responsible for any more pain of losing loved ones, but she had to play the game. Fully. Childish feelings over hurt that I never intended nor could intend. She would remember her Momma Toriel’s words. Nothing had been her fault before. Nothing would be her fault now. No matter how those poor froggits, whimsuns, and any other creature in the ruins acted seeing her, fearing her, and knowing their death. Right now? They were being gathered in the secure location. Momma Toriel was greeting them with promises of showers, and extra delicious food they hadn’t had in years. Their pain was now over.
Momma Toriel warned her that for her that night she shouldn’t go too far. She did only have three days but she needed extra sleep to keep on her toes. So, she looked back toward Frisk and winked right before she left.
When Frisk came out of the game, she went back home and wasn’t surprised, but still delighted to see everyone who had once been afraid of her. They were hopping and flying around Momma Toriel. The froggits were especially trying to talk to her, but she couldn’t quite understand them. It was clear they were no longer afraid and thankful though. Those expressions. That result. This is what I need to remember. Because the journey would only become harder from there on out.
“Get some rest,” Momma Toriel insisted as she wrapped Frisk up in a hug. “You’ve already done so much good and your three days haven’t even started yet. You can do this, Frisk. Keep it up.” She squeezed her tight. “You are such a wonderful daughter, Frisk. We can win this.”
So far, so good. “I just covered the Ruins,” Frisk said, “and I have a lot more to go. You’re right though, I should get some sleep. Tomorrow will be a rougher one.” An all day project. “I will do my best to get through it.” Murdering everyone in her path. Making sure she backtracked and murder again, just like she did before. Would she get far enough that she would have to viciously cut down Papyrus though? He was the first, very hard monster who would speak and try to talk reason to her.
Underground, Just Outside the Ruins
Sans rested against the little keep out area Papyrus had made to keep humans out. The day was just about to end, but he saw Frisk actually coming toward him. The boy was barely as clothed yesterday and running, excited about something. Hopefully that meant someone was coming after him. He watched him stop in front of him. “Brave, Kid. Papyrus isn’t anywhere near here. You’re lucky.” Still. “Whatcha want?”
“My sister is back,” Frisk said, “but remember how entrance into the world is really just a game? She can’t speak to me directly. She can’t act any differently. She got away with a little with me, acting like I was corruption because I wasn’t programmed in the game.”
Did the human have to use those words for the Underground? Sans tried to take it easy. “Okay.” He wasn’t going to say anything else until the kid explained better.
“That’s it,” Frisk said, “but she killed everything back in the Ruins. She’s got new weapons.”
” . . .” Sure. That was going to help the situation. Mass genocide.
“She can’t speak, and I’m sorry about referring to the game,” Frisk said to him. “But it is, and she’s playing it like it. You can’t speak to her for some reason. She won’t break character. But, I know she’s not out to hurt anyone. I know I just said she killed everything in the Ruins, but there’s got to be a reason for it. So, try not to say anything different than you would say to the Frisk sprite?”
“She’s way older too,” Frisk admitted, rubbing his hands together and trying to breathe in them to warm them back up. “She’s like in her twenties. So, time did stop.” He breathed back in his hands.
Sans pointed behind Frisk. “Got the update. Get back before you die.”
“So, what are you going to do?” Frisk asked.
“Gonna deal with the Frisk. Nothing new.” Sans wasn’t going to think about it.
“Will you act like your old self for her?” Frisk asked. “Sans, she wouldn’t even talk to me directly. This is way important. Please?”
“So, what?” Sans asked, starting to get a little tired of it. “You want me to just recite the same old crap I said before while she murders everyone in Snowdin, including Papyrus?” Really? “My world’s a game to her. Apparently, that hasn’t changed.” Sister or not.
“Something is wrong though, Sans. Really. Can you like do your little . . . judgment thing on her?” Frisk gestured between them. “Trust me, please? I promise, there’s something more to this than we get.”
“Got the update,” he repeated. “Get back to the Ruins before you die, Kid.” He wasn’t going to add anything else to that. He watched Frisk go away. He himself started heading away, but not toward home. If Frisk was on the rampage, good or bad, it meant he was about to lose a lot of friends again. Especially his number one friend.
Sans’ and Papyrus’ House
“Hey. Here ya go.”
Papyrus looked toward Sans at the front door and what he was carrying. “Oh, another action figure?!” He went over and took it. “I know the perfect spot for it! Thank you, Sans.”
“No problem.” Really no problem. He should have been using the money for the bills, but hey, time’s been stopped for who knew how long again? On and off, on and off. The mail box could get a little more stuffed. Who needed heat anyhow? They were skeletons. Let ’em turn it off. He watched his brother carry his action figure upstairs. “Afterwards, I’ll read ya a story before we go to bed. Okay?” He heard Papyrus shout about his favorite one. Yeah, yeah. He’d do whatever made Papyrus happy right now, ’cause if Frisk was right and his sister was killing everything again, he’d be losing Papyrus. Probably tomorrow.
He’d get a look at her, just like the boy wanted, but it wasn’t going to change anything. Vindictive or innocence, she was out to kill, and he couldn’t stop her. Never could. He’d hope she’d change her mind and stop herself, or he’d eventually go too. Go out the way he wanted, not just living with whatever damage she caused along the way. But he wasn’t going to stop her. No one could. She was unstoppable. She died, she would just start over again, like the boy.
Except she was clearly on a different kind of mission. She was gaining the power to keep going, she wasn’t like her brother. It was tough to see when she was younger, there were a lot of things getting in the way. Her shame and guilt. Her thinking it was just a game. Her naive young age. A lot of years passed though. People change. Sometimes good, sometimes bad.
For all Sans knew, maybe she was holding the Underground responsible for what happened to her little brother and she was making it pay. Maybe she had to kill the entire Underground in order to rescue him. There was no way to be sure. Not until she showed herself to him. Even then, it’s not like his innate ability was going to give him any real details like the little Frisk was hoping for. Big Frisk, little Frisk. Probably bad Frisk, good Frisk. He couldn’t say either way right now. All he knew? Was that his brother wanted a story, so he’d be good and give him a story.
You know. Before losing him and Snowdin tomorrow.
“Can you say something like, once more into the breach?” Frisk joked with her Momma Toriel as she finished her cake. One night later. Even after all the happy chirps and greetings with all the small monsters from the Ruins she saved, she could still feel the impenetrable pit in her stomach. Today, she would be meeting Sans. She didn’t know if he would be the exact same or not, if he would remember or not. If he didn’t, it would be better. She could go with the simple script, not really spending any time with him at all. Things would be easier. If not? No, no. Not that direction, not healthy.“ I’m going to murder Snowdrake, Icecap, Gyftrots and so many more. I may have to even murder Papyrus today. If I’m lucky.” She let out a half choked laugh. “If I’m lucky.”
“I know that psychologically this is terrible on you, Frisk.” Her mother gave her a hug. Frisk felt her warm, soft fur around her and hugged her back. “If it wasn’t needed. If there was another way to break this for good, then I would do it. In a heartbeat, I would do it for you. I don’t want you to go through this-”
“I’m lucky to even get this chance,” Frisk finished for her. That’s probably not what her mother would have said, but it was going to be the ending of that sentence to her. “It’s hard, but I’m lucky I even got this chance. I’ve been waiting for this.” She let go of her mother. “I’ll be back Momma Toriel, I promise. By the end of the day, I will do my best to bring back as many monsters as possible.” She placed her guitar back on her. “I didn’t strum at all yesterday, I had no time. I have a little time today.”
“Once most of the monsters are out of the way, you will have time,” her mother told her. “Just go out, and do what’s necessary. You can do it. All these monsters around here, are absolutely thrilled you killed them in the game. Now, they can live again.” She gave her one more hug. “Go out there, Frisk, and I will be sure to have many more showers lined up for everyone.”
“If there’s a knock on my door, just ignore it until I get back,” Frisk warned her. “Lock all the doors, make sure all the curtains are closed. He’ll know I’m playing the game, so hopefully if he does intrude, it’s just toward the gaming area. I don’t think he will.”
“Not for three days,” Toriel said, “He probably won’t show up. Nothing worth showing up for, is there? So, you do well! I know you can do it. It takes a longer time to traverse without being an impenetrable sprite, but I’m glad you made it out of the Ruins last night.”
“Well, there was no boss fight,” Frisk reminded her. “Don’t interact, just get through it,” she told herself one more time.
“He won’t know exactly, Hon.” Her mother still read her mind.
“Who?” Frisk tried to play dumb. “Oh, Sans the Skeleton? That’s fine, I’m fine with it.”
“Sure.” Her mother didn’t believe her. “He’s not going to be completely against you or for you. He won’t know what to make of you. So watch your step, but don’t be afraid. He won’t try and fight you. We know how it goes. And if he remembers? Then he knows you’d just keep coming back anyhow.”
“I better get going.” Frisk wanted to get out of the conversation. The Underground was not a pleasant place filled with bright colors. It was disgusting, riddled with smells, and monsters that hadn’t bathed in thousands of years. It was deplorable, hard to breathe in, and she needed to just get through it.
“Now, hang on.” Her mother gave her one more look over, and healed her one more time. She was anxious in that environment, Frisk’s body would not be able to take it without picking up some kind of disease. It was something Frisk couldn’t doubt her on. She cared a lot less about whether she ended up with Donald, than if she found herself face up in a ditch dead because of something she caught. “Take a break if you feel strange, sick, too hot, too cold, or if you just need a break.” She patted her shoulders one more time. “I know it’s a terrible time for you, but I want you to remember that others are having a terrific time because of you.” She laughed. “I am off to make more cake, and prepare more homes for showering. Soon, we’ll have homes more situated. They do have to go on the farther end though, so they aren’t discovered by Donald Rainier.”
“I know,” Frisk said. “I can remember that.” She would remember that. It was all worth it. “Bake some excellent food, get the towels ready, and have fun.” With that, she started to head out toward the gaming station.
“Yeah, I was afraid of that.” For some reason, the game wouldn’t keep her progress through stars. Her father once said it couldn’t do that, and he was right. At least she would get to see her brother Frisk again. It felt so different, seeing him so small. He was supposed to be the same age as her.
He waved at her, like he’d just been waiting. Good, it looked like he remembered. He was more than glad to see her.
If only she could talk to him directly. Tell him everything he needed to know. Not only about the monsters, but everything else too. How their parents were both gone, and how they went. How she survived and went on. She wanted to share so much with him, but it was risky. Saying she was hearing things from some kind of modified Gaster experience was one thing. Talking about their parents was another.
And as great as Donald Rainier was, there was no way of knowing how he would take the fact someone knew his heritage. He might destroy all of his games and disappear altogether if he knew someone made that connection. Or, maybe he was even putting his own magic into it unknowingly? Frisk could program, people could build, but every system was only handled and prepared for functioning and powering after Donald went through and approved it. There was just too much riding on it to risk it. At least, so far.
She pulled out her guitar. It would be empty for a little while. All the creatures she defeated yesterday were home, and anyone left over (if there was any left over) would never come out. So, as a little tribute for them, she played Stairway to Heaven on her guitar at the beginning of the journey. She could hear her brother in the distance, humming it lightly too. After the first leg of her journey, doing all the little puzzles to get across, she started to play another song. This song was from her Momma Toriel.
Fallen Down. It was a song that Toriel hummed to her.
///”Are you okay?” Toriel asked her as she placed her hand on her knee, trying to heal her.
At the time, Frisk had no idea who she’d really been. She was a character from the game, and in need of a bath so badly. Her rampant smell was repugnant, but Frisk didn’t reject her for that. She wasn’t being real conversational, her mind was on everything that had happened. Everyone is gone. Her mother was murdered, shot at that unforgettable party. Her father had been shot saving her. Toriel took her away, and when she woke up she found out about her brother Frisk’s fate too. T is gone.
Her whole family. She’d been so out of it, when she felt the touch of Toriel on her again, her fur had been cleaned and white. She’d left for a bath, and had come back. Frisk rubbed her eyes. The tears would never stop.
“This wasn’t supposed to happen. They were just pushing a little harder. He was just such an idiot. He had the most important pawns, but he couldn’t get them away.” The woman that her mother made her father slap was speaking over in a corner. “Tragic, but, we’ve been trying to accomplish this for so long.” She swallowed. “We won’t let it down.” She turned to Toriel. “What you see is yours. This place is paid for by the group. I’ve shared what happened. They have the most sincerest of condolences.”
“Why bother saying this to me?” Toriel asked. “It is the poor girl Frisk here who is hurting.”
“Yeah.” Still, the lady didn’t sound so happy. “There’s more than enough room for all of you, whenever you do return. The group won’t force anything else, seeing what happened. We’ll probably wait longer to do anything. If you want to do something yourself, that’s up to you.”
Frisk barely lifted her tear-stained eyes to the woman. She had no warmth.
“I’m not taking it,” the woman said again. “If you want it, you take it, otherwise I’ll drop her off somewhere. Find her a different home.”
“She is not an ‘it’,” Toriel said back to her. “She is an innocent little girl, whom you and you’re group have mentally abused without even her knowledge. And yes, I will take her. And yes, I will eventually get the others out, but not for a long time.”
Frisk felt Toriel’s soft fur on her head as she hummed to her lightly. The other woman left without a word. Her mother, father, and brother were all gone. The only human in that room had been cold and distant to her. Yet, the monster. The monster before her who owed her absolutely nothing, had been kind to her. Had saved her life. Frisk looked down at herself. She had cleaned her up too, getting her into some fresh clothes. “Thank you.”
“It’s okay. No need to say anything until you are ready.” Toriel simply hummed her song. Soft and smooth. She was more than just the character she remembered from the game. “I know what it’s like to lose family, Frisk. I lost my children. You know that from entering into my world before.” Frisk nodded lightly. “My husband, I could no longer see the monster I had once married either. He was gone to me as well. So, you don’t need to ask. You don’t need to think about your future at this time. You can simply grieve, knowing that I will take care of your needs from now on.”
With that, Frisk started to cry even harder. Her little chokes were giving way. Toriel brought her into her arms, and moved to a rocking chair, rocking her back and forth as Frisk grieved for everything. Her old life was gone as she had known it. The father she had once treasured to have the love of, had been shot and killed. Her mother had died, the glass shattering around them. Nothing would ever be the same again. Yet, through all this, at least she had someone who cared.///
“I can do this, Momma Toriel.” As she played the song, she heard her brother humming in the distance again. His way of letting her know he understood her actions, and he was there for her. Strangely, the game Undertale’s ‘soundtrack’ had included her song. They gave the game all the life, all the connection it could. The songs from the game were all monster songs. Important monster songs of the past, holding the connection even tighter to the outside.
And the songs also had a power of their own. Not a magical force to be reckoned with, but since it kept the world’s tied together, it helped to fuel her journey. Any remnants of magic that had been there that was created before the Underground, would come to her, slowly. Strum by strum from the ancient songs. She would have never known it if it hadn’t been for Momma Toriel. She fully taught her every song, on guitar. A simple guitar.
Gone were the days of needing to master games to feel any love. Her new mother had shown her another new way to express herself, and gave her a guitar. She taught her, little by little, about playing the instrument. If Frisk messed it up, she wasn’t lauded or told she wasn’t good enough. She wasn’t criticized, just taught a part over again, until she finally got it. And the praise was natural, nothing over the top. Nothing that said ‘you have to do this, or I won’t love you.’ Nothing like her father.
While she was learning that, Toriel had also taught her about fighting and made her weapons as she grew older. The newest games, Frisk wouldn’t have even known about, if it wasn’t for the Rainier connection she had to keep. Which, was okay. The connection to games, it was still inside of her. A part of her life. But now, just a part. There was so much more to life out there than beating a game.
As she finished the song Fallen Down, she moved into the next ancient song, Ruins. It was said that they all originally had words when they were first conceived. They were conceived above ground, so much longer before the ending of the monsters on the surface. Toriel nor Asgore never let on about the songs, but somewhere in the Underground, they were always playing. Lending hope. Lending power. The words were long gone, but their melody lived on in whatever format it could be heard. From a simple saxophone, to the pitter patter of rain. It was the only blessed thing in the cursed, dark, and disgusting habitat of the Underground.
She stopped playing though when she reached the purple doors again. She looked backward, seeing her brother Frisk again, giving her a thumbs up. At least he was smart enough not to go out too far. Even with the guitar holding and gathering power, there was no saying for sure that there wasn’t something infectious that would kill her without it’s protection. And even it’s protection was not enough to satisfy her Momma Toriel.
Besides, one day the momentum she had gathered Underground, would be released. But not that day. She opened the door into the snow. She spied the cameras, knowing they were right there. Probably due to Alphys. She started to walk along the way.
Frisk waited to see if she’d hear it. It would show whether time stopped for Sans too, whether he remember what happened on the surface. Step by step, she waited for it. Nothing. Damn it. That meant he knew.
Oh good. Frisk felt relief flood into her. It was so much better if he didn’t know what was happening. She kept going, not looking back at all. She made sure to try to keep her eyes closed as much as possible. Her expression emotionless. Just like the sprite had been. It was her best chance to get him to follow into the same act he had always played.
When she neared the bridge, she felt herself freeze. She expected it. She heard the sound of his voice, asking her to turn around. He didn’t say the friend bit. So far, everything was the same except the friend bit. She turned around.
And met eye sockets of solid black. Shit!