The Return of Talking Time

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Old 08-21-2015, 11:48 PM
Volt Alessandro Arcade's Avatar
Volt Alessandro Arcade Volt Alessandro Arcade is offline
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Default UCIAT Fanfic Selections Thread

Here's where I share some excerpts from my recent fanfiction projects. Depending on reception to them, I may post samples of my older works. For now I start with my flagship completed project, "Worlds Apart".

Synopsis: When five girls from seemingly unrelated universes are brought together by their enemies/rivals and are forced to work together to undergo a "Trial of the Elements", friendships will be forged, secrets will be revealed, patience will be tested, and nostalgia will run completely wild. Watch as characters from The Get-Along Gang, Sonic the Hedgehog (Saturday AM), Samurai Pizza Cats, Showbiz Pizza Place's "Rock-Afire Explosion" animatronic band, and Teen Titans come together in ways you'd never expect and brave the trials of wind, water, fire, wood, and metal. With heavy Mega Man 2 and 3 emphasis, a ton of cheesy moments, and more nostalgic moments shamelessly shoehorned in with plenty of meta moments and fourth-wall breaks, this is the first major undertaking I've written since the Ultra Crew original fanfic line. And now without further ado, here's a preview sample of the incredibly massive single-spaced fan fiction, respaced for your reading ease:


Light. Fuzzy...shapes... Bunnie squeezed her eyes shut and shook her head a bit then opened them again, hoping her vision would clear.

"What the hoo-haa happened...?" Bunnie did a double take and her eyes widened by about two sizes as soon as she saw her left hand. "My arm...it's not roboticized anymore. I'm--" That was was when Bunnie noticed what she was wearing. "A karate gi and pink sandals." At that the realization that her legs were no longer roboticized hit her like a ton of bricks. "I'm...whole."

Bunnie wanted to jump up and scream out something to the effect of "The Bunnie bod' is back." but...something compelled her not to. She instead knelt down and bowed her head, uttering something in Japanese...JAPANESE? "Oh my stars...how'd I learn Japanese? And...why am I speaking without my Southern accent...?" Bunnie gasped.

"You sure like playing twenty questions, sister." Came a rather irrate interjection.

Princess Violet stood up and faced Bunnie. "Are you the one who brought me here?" Vi narrowed her eyes and placed her hands on her hips. "...." Bunnie blinked. "You hard of hearing or what?! Look at the crown, peasant! Royal princess here! And I'm commanding you to answer me!" "No. I didn't bring us here." Bunnie answered cooly.

"At least tell me those three are friends of yours."

"........I've never seen them before in my life."

At that the mouse began to stir. "Oh, my head. If Loony Bird slipped some of Billy Bob's Gasohol in the pizza sauce again, I'm going to.......to...." At that Mitzi looked up and fell backwards. "This wouldn't happen to be a pizza-induced nightmare would it?" She asked, timidly.

"No. I'm afraid it isn't." Bunnie replied.

"Welcome to the party, lady. Apparently someone forgot to include the ruby slippers because Kansas has totally gone bye-bye." Vi crossed her arms.

"It doesn't look much like Showbiz Pizza Place either." Mitzi said, not realizing she was scooting away from Violet and Bunnie. At that she bumped into Starfire who awoke with a start and screamed, eyes lighting up all aglow with green Star Bolt energy. Mitzi screamed, just barely tumbling away from the resulting Starbolts.

"Who are you?! Do you wish to do me harm?" Starfire hovered in the air, both hands energized with Star Bolt energy. "N-no! I'm just a singer for the Rock-Afire Explosion! I'm not a fighter! Don't shoot! Don't shoot!" At that Starfire let the energy fade and hovered back down to the ground. "Sincere apologies then. Let me make amends for my misjudgement! I shall recite the Poem of Apology--all 5,000 verses!"

"......." Violet raised an eyebrow. "This kind of thing happen to you before?" She asked Bunnie plainly. Bunnie shook her head. "First time?" Bunnie nodded.

"Er...thank you but no thank you. Just help me to my feet and we'll call it even." Mitzi said attempting to be polite.

"Very well." Starfire did so.

"What's up with her outfit? Saddle shoes? That is SO four or five decades ago. Someone forget to tell her sock hops went out in the fifties?" Violet whispered.

Bunnie frowned in reply to Violet's rudeness. "At least tell me the network censors aren't having a fit over HER outfit. I don't think they make skirts any shorter and her top doesn't cover her stomach and--" Silence. "She's standing right behind me, isn't she?"

"How dare you criticize my native Tamaranian attire?!" Starfire shouted, doing the suddenly-uber-giant, ticked-off anime head thing. "Umm...I don't suppose it would help if I said I was sorry?"

"Keep it down, would you? I have such a headache..." The dog groaned, rubbing her head. Dottie looked up at the other four and was quickly silent. "I can't say I was expecting to wake up to this. I think it would be a good idea not to tell Cousin Wilton about this when I get back to Green Meadow...IF I get back to Green Meadow."

"Well now we got TWO cheerleaders with hair ribbons. And this one's carrying roller skates!" Vi groaned.

"Want to make something of it?" Dottie retorted hotly. "Yeah. Nice bathrobe, bunny-girl." Mitzi followed up. "It's a kimono! And neither of you better so much as smudge it. This is real silk not that synthetic trash. It costs a lot more than either of you could hope to put in your piggy banks." Vi snarled.

"Oh yeah. THIS is getting us somewhere." Bunnie smoldered sarcastically. "Like you can talk. What's with the pajamas?" "It's a karate gi." Bunnie said simply. "Riiiight." Vi wrinkled her nose.

"Can we stop fighting each other long enough to at least get introductions and figure out where we are and how we got here?" Bunnie questioned.

"Fair enough." Dottie replied.
"Agreed." Starfire seconded.
"Yes. Please." Mitzi nodded.
"Oh, alright. Not like griping has got us anywhere anyway." Violet rolled her eyes. "You go first, puppy-girl."

"The name is Dottie Dog, thank you very much. I'm a student at Green Meadow elementary. What's your story, bunny-girl?"

"You will address me as Princess Violet Tokugawa, Dottie. I am royalty so acknowledge it--"
"More like a royal pain in the--" Dottie started.
"Ahem." Bunnie half-coughed.

"You. Mouse. Got a name or do I nickname you saddle shoes?"

"It's Mitzi. Mitzi Mozarrella. And saddle shoes are quite stylish where I'm from. Better than what you're wearing."

"So what do we call you, besides riding the boundary between PG and PG-13?"

"On my home planet of Tamaran, I was given the birth name, Koriand'r, but I am more commonly known by the name Starfire, and--" "Yeah, that's fascinating. I suppose our self-appointed leader wants to be called something other than Pajamas, right?"

Bunnie sighed and looked up. "My name is Bunnie Mae Rabbot. And I never said I was leader of anything. For there to be a leader there has to be a team, after all." She replied. "Point."

"Question is...why are we here."
"I think I can answer that." Came a voice from the shadows. At that Starfire gasped as a figure stepped into the light. "Slade!" Starfire snarled before launching herself at the newcomer. "What have you done with my friends?! If you have hurt them--" Starfire cried as she took flight and swung...her fist passing right through what was obviously a hologram.

"My dear Starfire you misunderstand. It is not your friends I have done anything with. It's you." "Why have you done this?!" "All in good time. And yet I have not introduced my other esteemed collegues. I believe your friends may already know them."

"In fact...I think some of us are very anxious to get reacquainted." Came another voice.

"Robotnik..." Bunnie gasped, taking a step back. The bloated scientist entered as if on cue. "Bunnie Rabbot...my unfinished work. You've become as much a thorn in my side as that blasted Sonic the Hedgehog and Princess Sally." "The pleasure's all mine, you overgrown crockpot of fat. Someday I hope to be more of a rusty steel spike in your side than a thorn." "Hold your tongue, rodent. Your punishment has yet to begin."

"That was first class villain dialogue, Ivo. I'm suprised you didn't add the maniacal laughter for good measure. Oh well, that's less screen time wasted." The almost fox-like rat grinned as he entered.

Violet took one look and went ballistic. "SEYMORE CHEESE YOU GOUDA-SCARFING PIECE OF MOLDY PEPPERONI! WHAT IS THE MEANING OF THIS?!?!" Violet pulled out her spear and started slashing, slicing, and gouging and otherwise mutilating...yet another hologram. "Fight fair you vermin!!!" Violet shrieked her attacks passing right through Seymore. "..."

Dottie and Mitzi just stared. Even Starfire was a little confused. "I believe this is what Raven means by the saying 'that girl has issues', correct?" "I believe you're right, Starfire." Bunnie nodded.

"Suddenly I'm glad that we don't have supervillain enemies or rivals to deal with." Mitzi breathed a sigh of relief. "Well...that's not completely true. Dottie said, looking around. And her suspicions were confirmed as soon as she came eye to eye with. "Catchum Crocodile? I knew you were a bully but what do you have to do with this?"

"Because this beats fixing the science fair any day." "YOU were the one who sabotaged Hermie the Robot? He wrecked the town because of your tampering! I should have known your lame attempt to pass Leiland in a tin-foil covered suit as your science project was just a diversion you...you..." "Your record's stuck, little girl." "I'm the same age as you so don't you give me static!" Dottie shot back. "Big talk for someone trapped with these four losers." "HEY YOU SHUT YOUR HOLE, SAWBLADE MOUTH!" Violet blasted.

"I guess that leaves me out of--"
"Mitzi...Mitzi...!"
"Who's there?"
"You don't remember do you." "Remember what?"
"I'm not surprised you don't know me. After all I AM your past."
"You're speaking in riddles. What do you want? Who are you?"
"Wolf Pack Five, Mitzi."
"Wolf Pack--"
"That's right. That's where it all began...and where it ended. FOR ME!"
At that the brown-furred mouse stepped into the light, taking a moment to fix her ponytail.

"You look like--" "I AM you. Or at least...I am what you could have been. Before your image was redone!
"..."
"You see I AM you, Mitzi...but you can call me by my original name...I'm Mini. Mini Mozzerela. And that's with one L, sweetie."

"That...can't...be!"

"Yes it can. It was before the grey fur and curly blond pigtails. It was before the cheerleader outfit, pom-poms and saddleshoes. I'm suprised you never asked Beach Bear or Fatz Geronimo about it. After all...they were original members of the Wolf Pack 5. Even your Rolfe DeWolf was Wolf Pack 5. Back when he wore the formal outfit and still had the moustache. Before his poor business decisions reduced him to that loud vest and bowtie and hiring the services of his cagey agent, Earl Schmerle."

"But.......why?" Mitzi asked, a little sad and a little scared.

"Why? Because I was merely your prototype. Like Dingo Star--the WP5's original drummer, and Rolfe's "Wolfman" nickname they weren't meant to be! Well...that's gonna change, my transistor sister."

"But--"

"No buts, Mitzi. You stole my very identity. I could have been you but they had to alter me so much! I couldn't even keep my name because some OTHER girl mouse already had the name. Even the fact that it was spelled differently didn't change a thing! My career was over and Rock-Afire Explosions' careers took off like a shot! Fatz and Beach Bear moved on! They hired some space dog named Duke Larue to replace Dingo! Then came Billy Bob and Earl! And it was completed when you stepped into the picture!"

"Guess it seems we all have people we have issues with...and who have issues with us." Bunnie narrowed her eyes.

"What's your game, you--" Vi started.

"She is an impatient one, Big Cheese." Slade cut in.

"You get used to the name-calling after a while but the whining and demanding REALLY starts to give you the red hienie after a while." The tankooki-looking rat animate mused.

"WHAAAAT?!?" Vi shrieked. "You got a DEATHWISH talking about me like that, Seymore!"

"Oh can it, your highness. Your sacrifice will make it a lot easier to clean up my reputation in Little Tokyo."

"What...sacrifice?"

"You're a smart girl. Riddle me this. Little Tokyo mourns the loss of its one and only princess for its Prime Minister fought bravely and nobly to rescue her from dangerous villains but failed to prevent her demise and was barely able to escape home to tell his people the bad news." Seymore mused.

"So what's the deal? You after our lunch money?" Vi snarled, practically foaming at the mouth."

"We were supposed to have lunch money?" Starfire asked.

"Really, Princess Tokugawa. Such insults are undignified for the active ruler of Little Tokyo."

"Sit on it, tin head!" Vi shouted at Slade.

"We're going to play a little game. Consider it more of a life's test." Slade replied.

"We're sending you on a one-way trip through the Five Elements of the Ancients." Seymore mused.

"Each test will have five trials of death-defying challenges which have claimed the lives of many adventurers." Robotnik explained.

"And for laughs we're adding our own personal touches to some of these trials." Catchum gloated.

"And even if you survive these, we'll be waiting for a final confrontation to weed out the true losers. We're going to reclaim our birthrights and send you to the fate you deserve." Mini Mozzarela pointed at the five theatrically, glaring daggers through her sister.

"And when you've finally had the final curtain call, we'll cash in on the benefits. We are SO going to make a mint with your destruction. And then just because we can we're going to finish your friends back home!" Seymore smirked.

"YOU WILL DO NO SUCH THING!" Starfire blasted, taking to the air and charging up her Star Bolts.

"Try hard, Starfire. If you and your friends do not tread lightly, you will destroy each other long before you face us. And that would be most disappointing." Slade answered calmly.

"Speak for yourself. The less we have to deal with these peons, the better!" Seymore chuckled.

"Peons?!" Dottie protested. "Did your mommy teach you that one? Must've been the only word short enough for you to learn to spell!" She was having none of this.

"Flattery will get you nowhere, pooch. Be a good girl and pick up your pom-poms and run along now before you get hurt."

"I'll pick up these pom-poms alright and jam them down your--"

"Time is ticking, you five. I advise you make the most of it." Slade interrupted. "And if you don't, I'm sure you'll make great roboticized additions to my army." Robotnik cackled. All five of the villains faded away as the hologram shut off.

"Well that's just GREAT!" Princess Violet blasted. "From bad to worse to completely in the toilet! I don't think this day could get any worse for me." Violet grumbled.

"What makes you think you're the only one having a bad day? You better be able to prove the world revolves around you because it sure doesn't when I last checked." Dottie challenged.

"Don't start with me, pig-tails!" Violet snapped back at the grade-school canine.

"We are equally distressed." Starfire spoke up.

"I wasn't talking to you! When I want your opinion, I'll ask for it!"

"Calm down. She was just trying to--" Mitzi interjected before being interrupted.

"Don't you tell me to calm down!"

"Stop it, Violet." Bunnie demanded, now used to speaking without her Southern accent.

"I'll rant and rave if I want, Pajamas! I'm in SUCH a rotten mood! I swear I want to tear something limb from limb! I'll even settle for a stuffed animal or a small woodland creature!"

Starfire let out a scream as she envisioned such a cruel act, a cloud of anime sweat dots appeared around her accompanied by a matching anime action background.

"You know what, I'm not going to stand for your lack of discipline and your immaturity much longer."

"You want a piece of me, Bunnie?!?" Violet challenged, showing some anime fang.

"Fighting solves nothing." Bunnie slipped into a defensive stance.

"Talk to the FIST!" Violet cocked a fist and sent it toward Bunnie's head. In that brief moment Bunnie narrowed her eyes, an anime glint appearing in the right eye. But instead of taking the full force of Violet's punch...Violet suddenly squeeled in pain as her knuckles crashed into something hard. Her fist had connected with a shiny metal robot fist connected to an equally shiny metal arm sticking out of Bunnie's rolled up gi jacket sleeve. Everyone else gasped in shock. Bunnie's expression remained grim and dead serious.

And yet... "Oh my stars...what happened?! In that brief moment I focused and...something happened...I...I roboticized myself?!" She thought. "They're all just as shocked as I am...but they all seem to be under the impression that I knew what I was doing. I shouldn't mislead them but it might be the only way to get Violet under control." Bunnie thought.

"Would anyone else attempt to fill Violet's shoes?" Bunnie snorted, hoping she wasn't coming off as too harsh.

"Uh-uh." Dottie shook her head.

"No arguements here!" Mitzi followed up.

"I do not wish to challenge you." Starfire added.

"Well?" Bunnie looked Violet straight in the eyes. "...no..." She practically squeaked.

Bunnie lowered her fist and her robotic arm suddenly seemed to metamorph back to flesh and fur. Bunnie rolled down her karate gi sleeve. "Okay."

Violet turned away and clutched her aching hand in pain.

"We may have our differences and we may not like the situation. But we're all each other's best shot at getting home." Bunnie shifted her eyes from person to person. "So. Are we a team? Or aren't we?"

Silence. Everyone seemed too scared to reply until. "I will join the team." Mitzi overlapped her hand on top of Bunnie's. "I'm in." Dottie walked over and did the same. "If we are being held here by our enemies and we wish to return to our homes then our quests are the same. I too shall be part of the team." Starfire followed the others examples.

"So. How about it, Violet? Are you in? Or out?" Bunnie asked.

Violet gritted her teeth, and remained turned away from everyone else. "Darn her...why'd she have to block my fist so HARD?! I should just refuse. I mean I'm not much of a team player. But...I don't wanna stay here...and I do want to get revenge on Seymore...and I've never walked away from a fight before...what would my mom think if she ever found out! I don't want to be that sissy she kicked around the palace when I was just a baby again!" Violet cringed thinking of how one-sided her sparring practices with Emperess Frieda were.

"Eh, whatever. I guess I might was well keep the rest of you out of trouble. We're a team, Pajamas." Violet overlapped her hand over the others'. "Then lets start acting like a team. For that to happen we have to trust each other...and we have to believe we can win." Bunnie nodded. "Okay. I guess that makes you officially team leader." "I guess so."

"So now what, Bunnie?" Mitzi asked. "We choose our path." Bunnie replied.

Everyone noticed that they were in dark, foggy room with five circular gateways in a star formation. Each gate had a Japanese character on it. "Well this doesn't help us." Dottie frowned.

"You speak Japanese. At least that's what you were speaking when you woke up." Vi prompted. "Maybe you read it too?" She shrugged.

Bunnie stared at the Japanese characters. "Yes. I recognize them. That one is Kaze, the word for wind. And that one is Hi/Ka/Ba. The word for fire. And that one is Mizu. The word for water. Those are Moku and Kin, the words for wood and metal." "So which one do we take first?"

"I think...we should take Wind first." Bunnie said after a short silence. "Well...wind it is. And hey, if you get us killed, at least you won't have to worry about Prisoner Island." Violet wrinkled her nose. With that the Gate of Wind opened and everyone stepped inside.

To be Continued...

Questions or comments? I'm all ears.
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  #2  
Old 08-23-2015, 11:56 PM
Volt Alessandro Arcade's Avatar
Volt Alessandro Arcade Volt Alessandro Arcade is offline
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Selection 2 of Worlds Apart. Enjoy and please comment:


"We seem to be in some kind of parking lot next to a big building on the side of a road." Bunnie observed as a few sparce cars drove up and down the street.

"Yeah...but what building?" Dottie asked as she dumped Violet off of her, picked herself up, brushed herself off, and walked around to the front. Then her eyes lit up as she saw the neon sign. "Anyone feel like pizza and music?" She asked.

"I'm so for that." Violet piped up.

"Where are we, Dottie?" Bunnie asked.

"Looks like we're at a pizzaria with live enterntainment. Check out the picture of this cool Wuhrlitzer organ. And there must be several dozen other instruments all hooked up to it!" Dottie pointed.

"Reminds me of a restaurant I knew about 11 years ago that burned down. Problem is...I don't know how I remember it. What's weirder is I don't see anyone inside...yet everything seems to be in full operation." Mitzi pondered.

"Well, if dimension hopping has taught me anything it's that we should expect the unexpected...or at least the very weird. Anyway...I'm starving, let's get inside." Violet prompted.

"But if there's nobody here, who's going to make the pizzas?" Starfire asked.

"Well...why don't we cook our own pizza?" Dottie volunteered.

"Say what?" Violet raised an eyebrow.

"Do any of us know anything about pizza making?" Bunnie asked. Mass-sweatdropping all around.

"Well uh...how hard could it be?" Dottie shrugged. "Couldn't be any tougher than the time the gang and I made all those cookies with my grandmother's special recipe."

"Yeeeeah...and how did that turn out, Dottie?" Violet put her knuckles to her hips.

Dottie was suddenly silent as the memories of the big fight she and the rest of the Get-Along Gang got into in the kitchen of Hoofnagle's Ice Cream Emporium came flooding back to her.

"Uh...swimmingly."
"You're a terrible liar, Dottie."

Dottie sighed and hung her head. "That obvious, huh?"
Violet nodded in reply.

"We'll just have to wing it." Bunnie spoke up as she entered.
"Yeah."
"Guess so."

Inside there was a short hallway leading to the cashier desk. A right turn led into a wider hallway with a pair of staircases leading up to the second floor balcony a pair of doors leading into the main room and a salad bar and buffet area at the far end. Some further searching eventually led to the kitchen. After drawing straws to see who would go first, Starfire started things off after she familiarized herself with the ingrediants and preparation of a pizza. Once it was made she popped it in the oven and waited.

"I should compose a poem while I wait for it to cook. I shall let my imagination soar with the gift of prose! Yes, it is here and now I reach for that golden ring, and let my words take flight!" Starfire beamed. She cleared her throat and let the words flow.

"Pizza, pizza, thou art fair. Thy fragrant odor fills the air. Of all the wonders from above, Pizza 'tis thou that most I... IT'S BURNING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" Starfire cried out as she threw open the oven door and pulled out the blackened pizza and sighed.

"I give you an A for effort, Star...a D minus in home economics but an A for effort. Violet held up scorecards with the respective grades.

"Well...uh..so what, cooking's not your strong suit." Dottie tried to comfort.

"You're up next, Vi." Bunnie shrugged.

"Alright. I've been watching Speedy, Guido, and Polly do this long enough. Stand back and watch a pro!" And when the door opened.

"Errr...it's a bit...uh...soggy." Bunnie hesitantly admitted.

"Is it supposed to be dripping?" Starfire asked.

"Alright, alright! I made a slight miscalculation!" Vi complained as she picked up her slice and it literally oozed into a puddle, cheese, sauce, crust, and all.

Bunnie tried her luck.

"AHHHHHHHHHHHH! MY MOUTH IS ON FIRE!!! AHHHH!!!!" Violet ran about, anime fire spewing from her mouth.

"Kill me..." Dottie collapsed, grasping her throat.

"Uh...I guess it is a little spicy." Bunnie sweatdropped.

"A LITTLE? That'll peel PAINT!" Violet roared.

Dottie went next.

"Eww, eww, eww, EWWWW!!!" Violet spat as she stuck her mouth under the faucet and chugged gulp after gulp after gulp of water.

"It's not that bad! You're just exhaggerating to build yourself by tearing me down." Dottie said and shoved a slice in her mouth...and then she turned green. Then she ran to the ladies room, holding her mouth. Moments later she came back, holding her stomach.

At that point all eyes were on Mitzi. A deep sigh. "Well...no pressure." Mitzi said as she got to work.

It was prepared, put in the oven and when it was taken out and cooled.

"Well...everybody ready?" Bunnie asked.

"Yeah. I've got the poison-control center's number and my cel-phone out and ready to dial." Violet wrinkled her nose.

"If I don't see you in the afterlife...I'm going to be a very happy Dottie." Dottie sneered at Violet.

"Let's actually sample it before we rush to judgement." Bunnie interjected.

Everyone bit into their slices at the same time, chewed and swallowed except Mitzi who was too nervous to do so.
She hesitated, waiting for a response.

"Mitzi...that pizza..." Bunnie began.

Mitzi's eyes widened.

"...was..." Bunnie continued. It seemed she was dragging her reply out.

"The most WONDERFUL thing I've ever tasted!" Starfire suddenly burst out as a pink anime backdrop covered with red hearts appeared behind her as she spun around in place.

"Hey...this IS great." Violet blinked, surprised.

"...you're just just trying to soften the blow and make me feel better are you?" Mitzi asked.

"No way! This is great!" Dottie replied.

"It ROCKS!" Violet devoured the rest of her slice.

"Mitzi...taste it." Bunnie urged. And so Mitzi did so.

"Ohhh...just like...Showbiz Pizza Place..." Mitzi looked pleasantly surprised...almost euphoric.

"Well...I guess we know who the chef of our team is." Violet beamed.

"Three cheers for Mitzi!" Dottie urged.

"It's kinda heartwarming really. Us coming together like this just to partake in something as simple as enjoying pizza." Mitzi smiled warmly. "It brings back memories of when the Rock-Afire Explosion really started taking off. The birthday celebrations were especially nice. I remember this one time--" Mitzi stopped short as images appeared in her mind. She was onstage in her usual place on Beach Bear's left, pom-poms in hand.

~~"Showbiz Pizza is proud to welcome the famous Dr. Arcade and his family and friends." Billy Bob announced as the spotlight shone down on one table in particular where an orange, blackstriped cat in a yellow shirt and jeans was seated. Joining him was a yellow-furred dog in a shirt, tie, pants, and a labcoat as well as a grey-furred, thin black-stripped cat in a skirt and blouse. And next to her was a gold-furred wolf child in in cute white karate uniform with a lightning bolt simple on the back. For some reason the girl cat and the wolf seemed to stand out to Mitzi...as if they had some kind of significance or importance. The lil werewolf child waved as the vision faded.~~

"Mitzi? Mitzi, are you okay?" Bunnie snapped her back to reality.

"It was another of these whacked-out visions we've all been having, wasn't it?" Violet asked.

"Yeah...it felt SO familiar...as if I've lived it. The RAE has had a lot of shows, traveling the country but...what's so different about this one...? And who was that gold-furred wolf child..." Mitzi tugged at her lip.

"Beats me. Well we might as well enjoy the pizza before it gets cold." Dottie snagged another slice.

"I can't help but these visions have a special meaning...as if they're guiding us to something...but what?" Bunnie mused before taking another bite.

To Be Continued...
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Old 08-24-2015, 12:01 AM
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Red Silvers Red Silvers is offline
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Pretty sure I read this one years ago when we last talked, but I'm glad to see you sharing it with others.
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Old 08-24-2015, 10:29 PM
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Thanks! And now selection 3:


Sure enough the familiar Dr. W sign lay in wait with the gates to Metal Man's core room just under it. All five girls charged through them and into the hallway. Taking a moment to ready themselves for their dangerous opponent they paused to get their gear ready then ran through the final doorway into the room only to land on yet another conveyor belt. Metal Man dropped in from above.

"Word on the street is some flaky tarts are giving my fellow metal-heads a hard time."
"Hard time? Hah! We sent them to that big scrapyard in the sky." Dottie challenged.
"Oh you did NOT just say that, fleas for brains!"
"The heck I didn't!" Dottie shot back.
"I was only going to kill one of you to avenge them. Now it looks like I'll have to kill you all." Metal Man rubbed his knuckles.

"I think you've got rust in your brain!" Dottie taunted again.
"Dottie! Don't heckle the super-villain!" Violet scolded.
"You stay out of this! I'm not going to take insults from a pile of scrap!" Dottie turned to Violet.
Metal Man took advantage of the distraction immediately.

Metal Man formed a Metal Blade in his grasp behind his back, without warning he launched it toward the girls. "Scatter!" Everyone ran for cover but Dottie wasn't so lucky.

Dottie shrieked as the cold metal cut through her shoulder.
"DOTTIE!!!" Bunnie cried.

"You have...hurt her.....with your terrible instruments of destruction!" Starfire gasped in shock.

"Yeah...and there's more where that came from. I think I should kill every last one of you!" Metal Man materialized a pair of Metal Blades in his hands.

"You feel no remorse! You thrive on our pain! You have no respect for your opponents! And you've injured our friend! We have a name for your kind on my planet!" Starfire raged, suddenly going into the anime giant ticked-off head thingie, actually making Metal Man shrink back into a super-deformed chibi size. "You are a...CLORBAG VARBLOORNILK!!!!!!!" She screamed at the robot.

A moment of silence. "Errrrr...yeah. She's uh...a real potty mouth...isn't she?" Violet sweatdropped.
Bunnie just shrugged.

"Enough of this!" Metal Man slung both blades which Starfire shot down, reducing them to molten blobs of steel. "You will cease your attack and apologize!" She demanded.

"Uhhh...she isn't really this naive is she?" Violet asked.

"Let me think about it. Ummm...NO!" Metal Man pressed a button on his arm and a steel I-beam shot out of the wall, knocking Starfire down. While she was dazed for a moment, Metal Man pulled the steel girder from the wall, and bent it around Starfire, wrapping her up in from neck to ankles. Then he tossed her aside. "Next?" He smirked.

Violet fired up her jetpack and circled around. "Cross wires with me if you dare!" She taunted. "Cross wires? Close but..."
At that massive bundle of steel cables poured out of panels in the walls and wrapped around Violet, binding her. "...close only counts in horse shoes and hand grenades." Metal Man cackled.

"Three down. Why don't you try your luck. You look pretty strong." Metal Man pointed at Bunnie.

"Eat plasma, tin grin!" Bunnie cyber-morphed into Mega Man X's first armor and fired off regular shots from her Super X-Buster. Metal Man jumped them all, flinging Metal Blades in volleys. Most of them pinged off of the armor, some managed to make shallow cuts in the surface of the armor, and most just missed. Bunnie charged up for a maximum charge shot. That was when the orb on Metal Man's chest flickered to life and Metal Man surrounded himself with a translucent green aura. "How do you like that, lagomorph? Hah-hah-hah-hah-hah!"
"More cheap tricks!" Bunnie growled.

"And for my next trick..." Metal Man sent forth a wave of green cutting waves from the spherical shield. All of the blasts crashed right into Bunnie and forced her to demorph and fall to the now inoperative conveyor belt. "And now for the finale...I'm going to make a rabbit disappear...permanently!" Metal Man announced as he chucked waves of Metal Blades at cluster of machinery and structural ironwork in the ceiling.

A deluge of scrap metal and destroyed machinery rained down on Bunnie. When the dust cleared, Bunnie found herself trapped under a huge pile of sheet metal, mechanical parts, gears and crankshafts. Metal Man was more than likely grinning under his faceplate by that point. He didn't have to say anything to accentuate how bleak things looked now. He simply pointed his index finger at Mitzi as if to say 'I choose you'. The evil robot approached Mitzi as her friends could only watch helplessly.

"I can't look!" Dottie turned away. "Me neither!" Violet flung her ears over her eyes. Starfire struggled to free herself, the steel beam groaning under the strain of her Star Strength. Bunnie couldn't even wiggle a toe under the scrap pile. She couldn't even see what was going on because a large pile of the scrap was blocking her view.

Mitzi backed away slowly...until she found herself backed up into a corner.

"I sure could use a miracle..." She thought, searching for anything useful upon her person. It seemed like she had nothing on her of significance--even the Item Units seeming to be of no help--until she found...

"A game token?" The mouse was a little less than optimistic. "Oh well... It's a leap of faith, but my friends are counting on me!"

"So...you going to throw in the towel...or become a messy little red spot under my heel?"

At that moment Mitzi's ear twitched as she heard it above her...and then she happened to look up...and smirk at what she saw.

"Hmm...tough choice. How about...I flip you for it?" Mitzi grinned as she suddenly launched the coin with a mighty flip. Her opponent dodged to the side. "Was that your best shot?"

"Nooooo..." Mitzi began just as the coin pinged off the rusty cotter pin securing a giant gear to a crankshaft directly above Metal Man. Then she realized the obvious.
"..." Mitzi gulped, thinking that maybe her luck just ran out. "Sometimes I think the world just waits for me to get cocky." She whimpered.

Metal Man roared with laughter. "I'm going to enjoy--" That was when they heard something snap and clink to the ground, followed by the groan of metal on metal from above.

"What the--" Metal Man picked the wrong time to look up. CRUNCH. The gear crushed him flat, tipped over, leaving his mangled body motionless. "That.....was my best shot." Mitzi mused as the coin dropped back into her palm. "Even when I'm in crazy alternate dimensions...I can always count on my friends to get me out of a scrape." She smiled, looking at Billy Bob's likeness on the coin.

To be continued...


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Old 09-15-2015, 09:54 PM
Volt Alessandro Arcade's Avatar
Volt Alessandro Arcade Volt Alessandro Arcade is offline
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And now a selection from a Mega Man X8 novelization/Ultra Crew crossover fanfic I worked on after Worlds Apart. I'll post two other selections later on, but for now here's Mega Man X8 as told through the eyes of the Maverick Hunters and the Ultra Crew:


A rustle. Perhaps a woodland creature? No. X reasoned whatever had caused the noise had to be bigger. Metallic noises. The ground began to shake. Yes. Something was definitely coming. Something big. And low and behold it made its presence known.

X looked up...and up...and up again at the towering metal crab-like, mechanaloid in front of him. X didn't even measure up to half the length of its front leg. It clamped its giant front claw appendages menacingly, creating shrill and piercing crashes of metal on metal as it bore down on the insignificant form of X. It's giant red form cast a shadow which extended far behind X as it blocked out the light behind it. The machines glowing green eyes focused upon the little blue centurion.

"X! Axl! I've examined the data on that maverick!" Alia's voice broke throught the static of the comlink. "Looks like it grabs its opponents and immobilizes them. If you're grabbed by the enemy call for a Tag Assist and help is on the way!" And so the battle was on.

The great crab behemoth began spewing energy shots from the domed crystals on its front legs, directly targeting X. Immediately, X dodged them and counter attacked. Realizing that if the blaster pods were taken out, the joints would become unstable. Result: comprimised balance. Inevitable collapse of the main body. Likely it could regenerate the stability within its limbs...but still that would mean a short window of opportunity to attack the head. A simple plan. And so X ran with it.

X pursued the mighty machine at it seemingly began to back off, retreating backwards. It continued firing shots from its legs while it scurried away. X fired upon the closest blaster pod, destroying the gun unit then targeted the one above it. With a creaking groan, the whole leg gave way, compromising the monster's balance. It teeted and collapsed forward giving X the chance to charge his weapon and fire upon the head. The effect was instant, the force of a giant powderkeg laced with plastic explosive slammed into the metal shell, throwing the whole monstrosity backward in a whiplash. Sparks erupted where the metal had been carbon scored, charred, and otherwise melted into a twisted shape. The crab beast crackled a bit with static before regenerating its legs and uprighting itself. Once again it began its retreat...but something was different. It was missing a claw! Where had it gone...? SNAP!!! X was soon at the mercy of increasing pressure of metal on metal. A sneak attack! The claw had grabbed him from behind and immobilized the maverick hunter. X struggled but to no avail. The grip was too strong...and it was getting stronger. X remembered Alia explaining about the Tag Assist and now was as good a time as any to call in Axl.

That was when X found himself hurtling forward, the distinct sound of an explosive crash of energy upon metal preceeding X's sudden release. X landed hard upon the ground. He turned to look in the direction of the claw. "Axl...?" He thought. X hadn't called for the Tag Assist...how could Axl have known? As the blue reploid's vision rebuffered, he could make out something mostly white and brown with areas of pink as well as two emerald green spots...eyes, perhaps? He could make out something coming closer...a hand. A furry brown hand.

As his vision cleared he could make out rabbit-ish features and a white karate uniform with a pink one-piece swimsuit barely visible under the jacket. The face became clearer and X could make out a warm smile. It was then he recognized his rescuer. A brief moment passed as they made eye contact. X nodded, a look of respect in his eyes and he extended his own hand, accepting the rabbit's help. And he was quickly pulled to his feet. The blue machine quickly spotted the smoking buster cannon on the rabbit's other arm. Indeed some things had not changed. It had been a long time. And fate had drawn them back together--Maverick Hunter Mega Man X and Ultra Crew legend, Master Bunnie Mae Rabbot.

Turning back to the machine, which was reattaching its claw to its arm, it was quite apparent that it was becoming frustrated. It only had to deal with one annoyance. Now it had to deal with two PLUS it was wounded. Bunnie stared the opponent down. The machine began retreating, having regenerated its joints and weapons. The two warriors, reacting, began their pursuit, firing at the pulse cannons, bringing it down once again. This time there was no escape once it collapsed. X and Bunnie nodded to one another and executed the finishing blow. Time slowed down and the world rotoscoped about as computer code spun underneath them and rained down all around them, everything turning black against the neon green coding. There was just X and Bunnie and their opponent. In those fleeting moments, they unleashed the full power of their buster cannons, letting loose with solid streams of plasma energy. The shots impacted. Then cleaved through the target. And as soon as it began...it was over. The awesome power of the Team-Up Attack. And with that the crab mechaniloid exploded, scattering metal triangles everywhere. X collected the spoils of war and turned to the one who had assisted him.

"Bunnie."
"X."

A moment of silence.

"It's good to see you again. I guess I owe you for the save."
"No you don't. As you would say...all in the line of duty." Bunnie looked on.
"I wish we were meeting under better circumstances."

X straightened himself.
"What brings Ultra Crew into this?" X inquired.

Bunnie took a deep breath. "We're just doing our jobs." She replied.

X remained silent. "Maybe it is something else." Bunnie almost expected X to see right through her response. No way was she going to get by with a by-the-book answer.

"Unfinished business?"
Bunnie shifted in response.
"I'd call it more of a matter of exorcising personal demons. And I don't just mean myself."

"Violet wants to resolve things as well." X followed up Bunnie's reply.
"I think we both want the same thing."
"And that is?"
"Closure." Bunnie closed her eyes. "To be free of the ghosts of the past. My sixth sense tells me that this won't be just any old battle against the Mavericks. Something in my heart and soul is telling me...this could be the one. This...may be where it comes full circle."

X remained silent for a moment.

"End of an era?"
"Maybe...or maybe just the beginning of a new chapter. Right now...it's too early to presume anything...even with Sixth Sense."

X stopped a moment to collect some samples of the destroyed maverick for Alia. Then he stood up and walked along the path with Bunnie joining him.

"So. Who else is joining you?"
"Obviously Violet. She's running late. Hope she didn't get cold feet. I know how much the fourth war spooked her."
"Anyone else?"
"Newcommer. She's wet behind the ears but she shows a lot of potential. We met her during that so-called Worlds Apart incident. Her name's Mitzi Mozzarella."
"Interesting name."
"Makes sense when you consider she's an anthropomorphic mouse."
"So. What's her angle?"
"She has a shapeshifting weapon. Good for long and short range attacks. We're trying to develop something to give her better mobility. I have air dashing like you, Violet has her jet pack. We were hoping Douglass could take a look at what we got."
"I'm sorry but Douglass was reassigned after the sixth war."
"Oh."
"We do have a whole new R&D lab set up with some new navigator staff joining Alia. Maybe they could figure something out."

Bunnie demorphed her arm cannon into a furry rabbit arm and rolled her sleeve down.

"You still have that ability."
"Yes. Maybe for the rest of my natural born life. Not that I'm complaining or anything. Being able to resume my flesh and fur body makes me feel somewhat...normal. And being able to summon the weapons and gear makes me feel useful...like I can really do some real good in the Omniverse."
"I can't think of many people who deserve that power more than you. You're responsible with it. You know your limitations and you exercise restraint I don't see on a daily basis." X replied.
"I have your creator to thank in part for having these abilities. Between him, Professor Arcade, Chuck Hedgehog, and the very power of nature itself...I was given a new lease on life. I was given a real gift."

Bunnie closed her eyes.

"Even now there's a strong bond between the two of us. We're connected by the technology your creator made possible. But it's more than that...we think alike. We have similar philosophies."
"For what it's worth...I'm sorry for what you had to go through to gain such power."
"Nobody said it would be easy or painless to grow stronger even within a day. Going through a trial by fire is what made me who I am now."

Bunnie opened her eyes.

"You're a good friend, X."
"As are you, Bunnie." X nodded, accepting Bunnie's firm handshake.


Remembering the sample, X radioed Alia just as Axl beamed in.

"Alia... I got a sample of that Maverick for you."

Alia's voice came in loud and clear.

"I'd like to start analyzing it right away. Bring it to me as soon as you can." While it wasn't obvious there was a hint of curiosity and excitement in Alia's tone. She enjoyed this part of the job but she was too professional to let on.

"Roger. I'm on my way. Axl, I'm counting on you to clean up here."

X turned to the black and white, spikey orange-haired reploid. He was entrusting a good amount of responsibility to the still inexperienced Axl. Axl had come a long way to earn the respect he had now and for X to turn him loose on his own was a big confidence booster. While he was going at it alone, Axl had a heightened anxiety over the mention of Zero earlier. X was a good hunter who deserved every rookie's respect, but Zero...well... Zero was way cooler in Axl's opinion. Since Red Alert collapsed, Axl had taken great pains in following in his hero's footsteps.

"No problem, X! This'll be a snap!" Axl was chomping at the bit to get started and his confidence was solid proof of his determination not to let his team down. He brandished his rapid-fire Axl Bullet laser pistol, letting the silvery gun metal glimmer in the sunlight.

"Ma'am." He nodded to Bunnie who nodded back.

"Let's switch!" Axl said as X and Bunnie beamed out.


To Be Continued...
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Old 03-14-2016, 12:45 PM
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Volt Alessandro Arcade Volt Alessandro Arcade is offline
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A little something different. An idea being tinkered with at my old LiveJournal, Cryptosmasher Online. Bon appetite and Happy Rounded Pi Day...

----RECOVERED DATA FRAGMENT FROM THE RESEARCH LOGS OF SPACE TIME CONTINUUM (STC) AGENCY FIELD AGENT AND FOUNDER, DR. VOLT ALESSANDRO ARCADE-----

Sub-Entry 1: "The anomaly":
I had landed on this timeline only seconds ago. My curiosity is peaked. This is the first chance I will have to see the genesis of a tragic tale in the making. I always felt dread when I'd discover a new doomed timeline. I had called these the [GENOCIDE] timelines and with good reason; the only tales to be told were by mounds of dust, a sudden total darkness swallowing everything followed by an endless sea of red number 9's...and the laughter. And for a brief moment the distorted, twisted semblance of a child's face. They all had the same thing in common; rocks fall (metaphorically), everyone perishes, and somehow there's a thread leading back from a destroyed world through the [RESET] that returns everything and everyone to the same point in time with the same inaccessable backstory. To find one that would let me see what happened to lead up to everything going so wrong might yield a better solution in the long run.

I had noticed that this timelines stability was...off. Almost like this was a game running on a PC, experiencing...hiccups in the load. Little...hesitations in the rendering. Like reality itself was having a hard time breathing and its pulse was erractic. And yet to make that comparison wasn't too far off. Flowey himself had said this was "all a game". Worlds like this one...ones that were so meta and self-aware were a rarity. No...meta was the wrong word...if anything it was more like...stress-testing the fourth wall to see how much could be gotten away with before it was full-on-Deadpool territory. And this world had never...truly broken the fourth wall...just...bent it a lot at times; a certain skeleton was responsible for most of these things. Plus there was the fact that everyone tossed around words like [SAVE FILE] and [CONTINUE], and [RESET] so casually. But I'm getting off trakc again. The glitches just never really seemed to emerge...I probably should have given more thought into it. But if I had...maybe I would have intervened at the wrong moment and caused something...worse to happen.

I walked to the place to the moment of fate, intangible to the world around me. The king and queen would never know I was here, nor would the poor souls whos lives were about to come to a bad end, separated by only a short period of time. Let's not sugarcoat this. I'm talking about the exact moment Prince Asriel Dreemurr absorbed the soul of his adopted sibling--the child that bore the "True Name"....Chara. I had never watched it happen before so...I was prepared for my heart to drop into my stomach. I had seen so many bad things happen in this world. I'd seen so many have a "bad time". To see the first instance...I wasn't looking forward to it.

As I watched I could see the heart-shaped entity rise from the departed child. I heard the young goat-like boy utter "I have to keep my promise...for Chara." I held me breath, my gaze sharpened and I counted the seconds...the milliseconds...the microseconds...and then...
...and then something unexected happened.

The floor underneath him suddenly...caved inward but not like a sinkhole...it was more like a hole in reality itself. Like a singularity. And in moments the poor boy was slipping and falling, his fingers only a hair's distance away from making contact with the heart-shaped sum of all of Chara's remaining being. His cry was swallowed up in the darkness as the power he would have gained had been denied.

By sheer impulse my instinct was to take off running and dive toward the portal but then I heard the voices approaching. The Asgore and Toriel were about to enter. For me to enter the portal would mean having to yank the circuit card from my bracer, turn tangible and dive into it--thus rendering me part of the timeline. THus solidifying my place in this world's history. It would be another world I'd have intervened in. I made a judgement call that I didn't want to give up this resource too early. So...I left the area, skipping ahead to another point in the time before Frisk's arrival, knowing that these events of the Timeline had been compromised. At least this one wasn't my fault or Dr. Adonis'. But it really was not much of a softening of the blow when the result was up in the air. I got comfortable and found a stable spot to wait out the fallout. The dimensional area was too unstable to risk watching how the new events would play out. I'd get myself up to speed once I reemerged in a later part of this timeline...

----RECOVERED DATA FRAGMENT FROM THE RESEARCH LOGS OF SPACE TIME CONTINUUM (STC) AGENCY FIELD AGENT AND FOUNDER, DR. VOLT ALESSANDRO ARCADE-----

Sub-Entry 2: "A throw-away character":
I've emergened in a later point in the timeline. To be quite frank...the joke's on me. It seems even with the Prince removed from time and space, events occured pretty much the same way the did in EVERY time line. Asgore still wound up believing he had lost two children to death that day. And he blamed the humans for the latter case. Same end result: the Queen outraged by his horrible actions left her King and imposed self-exile to the ruins. The barrier remained intact. Hope around the underground is slowly eroding. It's like watching a massive train wreck in slow motion. It never gets any easier; when the only thing you can do is watch from the invisible wall that separates you from their reality. To stand there and do nothing. This is the part of being an agent of STC that makes it the worst job in the universe. This is those moments you understand exactly why Dr. Alphys considered herself gabage; non-action just makes you feel the same way. As the timeline kept advancing more and more victims fell into the Underground. And the number of souls that Asgore had acuired incremented. HOw much time in the human world was passing? I got vague clues based on how each of them were dressed and what they carried.

Things like an apron, ballet shoes, an empty revolver. I had memorized the other timelines and knew the significance of each but I never really got an idea of how far apart they were spead out. I had picked up on things like the identity of the cloaked person minding the ferry between towns; that place that made you feel like you were traveling the River Styxx. Nuances like that never felt like they were crucial...but always seemed like they fit into the bigger picture. There were deeper philosophical meanings here but pondering them was not my job.

Something's been gnawing at the back of my mind. Asriel had fallen into that void some time ago. I felt so incredibly bad for him. But I felt disgusted by something else...the world went on without him. He didn't finish playing his part in it and the timeline just graced over it like normal. His parents never experienced the shock and horror of him stumbling to the patch of flowers holding onto Chara's body...evolved by absorbing Chara's soul. I ever timeline I knew there was an instance of the weak, scared sob of Asriel Dreemurr's last words "Mom...Dad...I can't feel anything." before turning to dust. Every time that vision came into my head I cringe and lost a little sleep. But still. Was the life of one child so superficial that not a single event was out of place? There should have been loose ends. There should have been complications. I mean...what happened to Chara's soul if Asriel never absorbed it? Furthermore why didn't Asgore have posession of it? He was alive somewhere but this world...his family had written him off so quickly. Was it just because of the absence of determination? People just...gave up so quickly? And that made me grind my werewolf teeth in following up that thought with "Did monsters give up on each other this quickly?" I was getting worked up over something that was well beyond my control. Besides. I had to double back from the tangent I had just gone off on. I had started off on a valid point. And there was certainly not enough evidence, in my experiecne as a scientist, to conclude Asriel had "fallen" despite the fact that he had in fact fallen. Huh...I almost confused myself by what I just said to myself. Nevertheless, I didn't have any evidence to prove he was alive and I sure wasn't coming up with ways to find out.

I never went back to see where the hole in time and space lead to...and then it hit me. I had overlooked the obvious! Volt Arcade, I can't believe you're such an IDIOT! My next action was clear. There was no time to lament the state of the world. It was about to get worse. The day was approaching. The day the final child would fall down the barrier of Mount Ebbot; the dawn of this world's Judgement Day. But if there was a chance... I had to take it. I had to know if my gut feeling was right. There was only one person who could help me now. I had to see...that person...

The Man That Spoke in Hands.

----RECOVERED DATA FRAGMENT FROM THE R RESEARCH LOGS OF SPACE TIME CONTINUUM (STC) AGENCY FIELD AGENT AND FOUNDER, DR. VOLT ALESSANDRO ARCADE-----

Sub-Entry 3: "Lost and Found/The Two things that were broken that day...":
This was embarassing to admit. I had trouble finding that place. That place between places. Everywhere and nowhere. The void. Whatever you wanted to call it. That..anti-realm where things disappeared from reality. WHere things were erased from existence. The place where I'd find the Man That Spoke in Hands. Wing Ding Gaster. W.D. Gaster for short. The former Royal Scientist. If anyone had answers it would be him. You'd think as many, many times as I'd explored the...enumerable timeline instances of this fractured world, it would be a piece of cake tracking him down. It's humbling to remember you have your limits. It's an eye-opener to remind yourself every now and then that even immortality doesn't equal perfection in all things. What honetly does? Despite my optimistic, almost naive drive to try to bring about more perfect resolutions to my mission , my desire for not just a happy ending but an ultimate happy ending--one without sacrifice without cruel, undeserved punishement to those who've already been forgiven...I know the reason why true perfection is just a fantasy. I have high standards. It's hard for me to settle for anything less than the best of all possible worlds at times. Heh. I guess that's one more of my weaknesses. Anyone in my ranks would tell you my capacity for worry is the other. And boy...I had a lot of potential worries in the making if I couldn't find Gaster. Fragile ego asside...that was second to the real big problem: time was running out.

There's just no getting around it. You either numb yourself to what's going on around you...or you let it eat you alive. The mounds of dust steadily increased as the demon child...the worst possible version of the core trigger of this world continued the [GENOCIDE RUN]. I wonder how close to the Capital you were, you little sicko. If there were theme music around I figured it probably would be very ominous by that point. But again I was alluding to Flowey's fairly meta statement. I decided to take my chances with the latter and bottle it up for later. Lot of worry and regret I'd have to vent. Deal with it on your own time, Volt.

I'd just about exhausted my ideas. I'd tried many of Sans' "shortcuts" to no avail. I tried vertical descent from the huge cliff outside of Snowdin village. I'd tried the doors that wouldn't open under normal circumstances. Even behind closed doors oa room with a lot of socks and a perpetual garbage tornado. (Yeah...if you don't know what that's about, you shouldn't be reading any further...you were warned to have the appropriate study material on hand.) The temptation to give up was weighing heaily. But as a lycan I wasn't that different from a human. I was still capable of immeasureable determination. As much as I burned to put mine to the test against the kid's...that wasn't in the starr. That was a no-no. This dimension was already unstable. What I considered was nothing short of a premature end to this universe. I had to use every moment it had left.

Wait...every moment it had left...I said that to myself like I had some kind of plan. What was I going to do if I found what I was looking for? A thought...or rather an idea occurred to me. A crazy idea. I'm sure it was an idea against rules and regulations. But what choice did I have if this world was about to end? All things in time, Volt. First things first. Find-- Huh? Hello, what have we here?

It seemed as I had finally stumbled upon what I was looking for. I had found new resolve. The same kind of resolve I had in an earlier part of my own existence--before I had opened the Genie's Lamp and Pandora's Box as we in STC refer to that which should not be explained to how we become immortal time-walkers. I had an echo resonating in my memories of a time when I lead the Ultra Crew Institute Action Team in that place I called my second home--Miranda City. But that's a tale for another day. This research log is starting to get a little too personal. And a little too unprofessional.

A door. Why wouldn't it be a door? Well. If I was going to do this...I guess I had run out of time. Shoving up the sleeve on both my labcoat and my karate gi jacket, I located the bracer on my wrist and the pull tab the circuit card on the side. One yanked, there was no going back. But it was the only way to interact phyiscally with this universe. So I got a good grip. Counted to three. Took a deep breath and yanked hard with a spray of sparks and a backlash of energy as I felt the timeline wrap around me. I was now in as much mortal danger as anyone still left alive in this world. And hard to believe...I felt good about it. I was finally taking action and not watching and ignoring. This was the best part of the job.

So I opened the door and stepped inside...and fell outside the time-space continuum again. This time not from my tech but from leaving the boundaries of "the game" as the flower had called it. I felt compelled to address Flowey and Asriel as though there weren't the same person. But I knew otherwise. Actually...in this timeline's case that was actually true. Flowey didn't exist. And if my risky gambit paid off...he never would in this world. I guess that would be the only way he could be shown [MERCY], now? The demise of this world was inevitable. I just hope it would last just a little bit longer...

It was dark. Completely dark. Yet I could see myself. There was no ground under me but I was standing as if there were gravity binding me to something. It looked to be an infinite abyss in all directions, though. I couldn't...feel any life around me...no...substance. And yet I could feel something watching. I looked in all direction. Nothingness. I felt as though I had given my hopes up; that I'd walk in and the kid would just be in front of me. But...maybe it wasn't meant to--

That was when I heard it. The langauge that defied description. I turned and looked above to see vague-ly skeleton-esque, very twisted form of a chalk white face...resembled one of those theatre white masks that denoted comedy and tragedy. A crack running down the skull to the top of the right eye socket--a socket bent into an open grin shap. A crack almost like a clean slice running down the bottom of the blotch left eye socket to th top of the mouth. But the hands...a gaping hole through each palm.

"Mind the problem at hand, Volt." was my first thought. Communication was...going to be a hinderance unless I solved this dilema. Fortunately I kept holo tablets collapsed in storage so a simple unfold and access to a word processor with a good number of font options and I had soon devised a cipher.

It was a meaningful conversation.

I turned out to "not be the person he was expecting". And even if I had been it was..."sooner than expected". He offhandedly said that he wasn't meant to be seen as it would "ruin the plan" but I guess he decided there was a matter of greater importance I was bringing to the table. I explained, using the holo-tablet as a translator the predicament. It seemed he already knew much of what I had to say. He was...quite the casual observer from outside time and space. I guess he and I had a lot in common.

But of course...I couldn't hold my tongue for much longer so I asked about-- er...yeah. I guess he was way ahead of me there. He pointed to he very "corner"...?...of the...room? I shrugged and walked...and kept walking until I heard the unmistakeable sobbing. I looked down. And there he was. Alive. Soul intact. Completely unchanged from all the time that had gone outside of this null space. Asriel Dreemurr. What was lost was finally found.

My feeling of pride and triumph was short lived as the humanitarian in me immediately saw how unresponsive he was. Hugging his knees to his chest. Crying endlessly. Eyes sullen; completely devoid of the will to live but unable to...unable to...no, I didn't want to think about that. All took in the moment, thinking to myself...he had the softest cry I'd ever heard from a child. It was gentle...but I the trauma behind it threatened to slash my heart to pieces. I was so close to crying with him.

I felt Gaster's form looming behind me. Another conversation and I soon had a few more pieces of the puzzle. As my gut feeling theorized, Asriel had tumbled into to this place. Apparently Gaster had...remembered this young child from...a far earlier time before his own tragic...falling in. I asked how long he had been here. Gaster replied that information was not relevant. O-kaaaay. I was being kinda reminded of Dr. Nikita Lynx back in my old life in Miranda City. HIs coldness and lack of emotion cut like a knife. There was another image that made me shudder as I knew what it entaled. The threat going on outside. I wanted to ask W.D. Gaster why he didn't take action but...I was pretty sure I had the answer. IN fact I was sure I had more than one answer and they were both correct.

So I had found him. The fallen prince. The Lost Dreemurr. But...now was time for the question I had dodged. What do I do now that he was here? Taking him outside of this space ran the extreme danger of giving him a death sentence. The dullness of his eyes was a dead giveaway that he probably wouldn't stop it from happening. I knew what this meant. This was the lifeless expression of a person who was broken inside. He lost his best friend in the whole world. He lost his mother and would soon lose his father. He lost everything. But that wasn't the worst of it...at least from his point of view. He broke his promise to Chara. Asriel knew...he just knew there was no way to keep it now.

While these tragic realizations were weighing me down, they were counterbalanced by other realizations. I realized at least three things and a possible fourth and it was spelled in bolder letters than the SAVE/CONTINUE screens that...I stilllll hadn't quite come up with an explaination for. (Darn all the meta and near-meta.) I needed to keep in mind these things while looking on a boy who in spite of losing everything suddenly had more potential to gain untold good fortune if...if......if........ Slow down, Volt. This is beginning to sound like you're trying to create another Bruce Wayne. I'd have to thwap a certain red-haired, ruby-eyed, white-furred Edoropian rabbit princess later for that thought...

*ahem* What I assessed was this:

1) This was the ONLY Asriel Dreemurr in every single time-space continuum I encountered that NEVER ABSORBED CHARA'S SOUL.
2) This was the ONLY Asriel Dreemurr in every single time-space continuum I encountered that NEVER CROSSED THE BARRIER INTO THE HUMAN WORLD
3) This was the ONLY Asriel Dreemurr in every single time-space continuum I encountered who NEVER DIED. Obviously being revived or reborn didn't count.
And a potentiial 4) ...this COULD BE potentially...the ONLY Asriel Dreamer I've encountered that...just might be able to survive a [GENOCIDE] Timeline...

The scientist in me was onto something big, the decent person in me was onto something even bigger. But unfortunately I didn't have any time to think it through further. W.D Gaster interrupted my thoughts with--

"Oh dear. This is unfortunate." As if he was aware of something that I couldn't see. But it was definitely something that I inevitably knew. As if to pound it into the ground the seemed to be a...reverberation of...something happening ouside of...the non-existent borders of this sub-space.
"What a waste. The plan it seems can no longer move forward. This timeline is about to come to an end." He continued without any real sign that he felt anything or truly lamented anything. It was apathy in its truest form. I wonder if this lost soul cared about anything anymore. Even his own-- Whoops...almost started down another tangent. There would be time to ponder that some other day. The time to act was now once again.
I turned to Gaster. There was this unsaid conversation that seemed to argue but not really argue about the dangers of going out that door to what awaited outside. But I guess I...won him over. For on cue the door seemed to reappear. I don't believed he had any belief that we'd survive once we were through and yet I don't believe he'd stop us no matter what we did. His form turned gray and a familiar sound seemed to eminate from it as he was seemingly dragged out of existence by some unknown force. There was no mistaking it. He was sparing us both. Huh...well...[MERCY] it was.

Now came the other hard part. Getting him to respond.

"Asriel. Please. It's not safe here." I tried to look him in the eyes in spite of him just hanging his head...staring at the ground. I felt myself a little distracted by those incredibly floppy ears of his. But distractions were the last thing I needed. "Asriel. We have to go. Please. Please, I'm begging. I need to you trust me. I need you to prom--" I cut myself off sharply. I didn't want to use THAT word. So I doubled back in my thoughts and instead finished with..."Asriel...do you trust me? I'll let you decide. We won't move an inch from here if you don't want."

"..."
No response.

Time was running out and I could sense forces threatening to explode..implode...maybe both at the same time?
"Asriel. It wasn't your fault." *silence* "This isn't what...this isn't what your best friend would want."
I saw his gaze move upward toward me. That's it. That's it, look me in the eyes. Look me in the eyes, Asriel." He was still not moving though.
"You have to live. Do it for all of them. Do it for..." I swallowed hard. "Do it for Chara".
Slowly...he got to his feet, his eyes hidden by the shadow of the mess that was his head fur...hair...whatever. That very anime-ish moment when you could imagine the dark cloud of emotion hanging over him...but you couldn't predict where this would go.
"If you trust me...take my hand." I reached out to him. It seemed like the space between us was infinite even though that was farthest from the truth. I reached out farther. I was getting worried. Very worried. I didn't want it to end like this. I didn't want to lie to him to give him false hope. I couldn't promise I could fix this timeline. I couldn't promise I could bring his family back. I couldn't promise anything. It was looking like I couldn't save him after all--

I felt his furry hand wrap around my own furry hand...and then I felt the gentle squeeze. He barely looked up...just enough to see where he was going. With that I hurried toward the door. He kept pace...barely. I swung it open and skidded to a stop to a much worse sight than I had anticipated. Random...slashes of red piecing total blackness, trading off with a pour of blood red number 9's in strings raining down all accompanied by demonic laughter. What was left of the world was folding in on itself and in moments we'd be consumed as well. We were out of time. I tried to access one of the other timelines. No good. Somehow this timeline had destablized so much it had become disconnected from the other timelines. It had gotten so out of hand even the [RESET] was being torn to pieces and fractile code like some kind of computer program before my eyes. That was it. This was a death trap. I'd failed..............no. There was another way.

I shoved up my sleeve, using my werewolf teeth to do it, without letting go of Asriel, I switched hands with him, stepping around him and used my now free hand first to pull out a beacon band from my labcoat pocket and auto-fit it around Asriel's wrist. He didn't try to resist. Then I used my free hand to access the bracer and pry its access hatch open and yank the screen and upper motherboard out of the way, revealling the square shutters with the yellow and black diagonal stripes underneath. I had to admit it looked like on of another of my mentors' Ecto muon confinement "ghost traps" but now was not the time for nostalgia. I pressed on the lone switch and the panels swung open revealing the big red switch underneath. With only a moment of hesitation to take in the full gravity of what I was about to do I pushed the plunger down hard with a spray of sparks as the voice warning "EMERGENCY RECALL ENGAGED. STAND BY TO RETURN TO TIME-SPACE-CONTIUUM BEACON." I thought I had save us at that point so when the next vocal message came up, I was starting to panic. "ERROR. UNKNOWN SYSTEM MALFUNCTION IN GATEWAY."

"Oh for Isaac H. Newton's sake..."

The dimensional collapse was now surrounding us and I stopped counting the moments and started counting the cubic inches remaining.

"..." What did I have left to try? THere had to be something--

"Authorization code 10: Command - Alternate Destination select. Reroute to cooridinate set M-C-S-001. Codeward: Foxtrot, Orange, Umbrella, November, Tango, Alpha, Icarus, November."
"Command acknowledged. Transporting now..." And in that moment upon inevitable dimensional crushing, the world went white...

----RECOVERED DATA FRAGMENT FROM THE R RESEARCH LOGS OF SPACE TIME CONTINUUM (STC) AGENCY FIELD AGENT AND FOUNDER, DR. VOLT ALESSANDRO ARCADE-----

Sub-Entry 4: "Back to the past--my past"
Success! I've rerouted to the proper coordinates and we're home free! I can--" A sudden realization set in as I realized I was most certainly not on solid ground. If anything I missed the mark by several hundred feet...straight up.

"For Petri's sake...! WHYYYYYYYYYY?!?"

There's something to be said against descent at 32 meters per second squared. And most of it would have to be censored of this document.

A look straight down and I soon realized that directly under me was the city square's fountain. It was big and deep enough that I wouldn't be licking my wounds after splashdown. Plus its unique magic properties gave the water healing power so I was good one way or another. So I let gravity take its course made quite a splash.
With a sputter and a few coughs followed by shaking the excess water out of my fur, relief set in as it was finally over.

"We're here, Asriel. We can--"

Stupid question time. Why did I only remember hearing one splash? Oh f---

I looked up and there he was in a free-fall. the top of his head pointed straight at the ground and his arms being pushed up to his sides. Like a falling rag doll.

"No no no nonononononoNONONOOOOO!!"

I ignored the fact that I was quoting Alphys upon learning the disaster of injecting fallen monsters with liquid determination and watching them melt and fuse together into the Amalgamates. I put myself in mortal danger and worked too hard and seen too much to let it all be for nothing. If this boy died I swore I'd spent eternity biting Madam Fate in the ass.

I crouched down then put everything I had into my legs and made the jump of a lifetime. It had to be the single greatest werewolf leap of all time. My terrain master would smirk at me pulling this off without Overdrive Grand Prix overtech and bioware. Using my electric and magnetic powers for a boost (I am an elemental lycan after all), I went up and up...and overshot.

"Are you kidding me? This just isn't my day..." I grumbled as I bent the electric path into a U-turn and shot straight down, drawing my arms in and locking onto whatever underground metal--pipes or otherwise I can find and tractor beaming myself to catch up to the goat-like boy. I grit my teeth, lips curled in a determined grimmace. With one last ditch effort I caught up to him in mid air, wrapped my arms around him and pulled him close, steered myself as best I could and braced for impact with yet another splash.

I think I changed my mind. The worst part of the job was that I couldn't omit this embarassing faux pas from my report...

I emerged, pushing Asriel to the surface first before I worried about my own safety. Sputter. Cough. Wrinsed and repeated. Wellllp. This sure earned a stop at Rock-Afire Pizza or Hestia's. Just my luck. Neither was open this late at night. Guess we're boned, Azzy.

Helping him out of the fountain and helping him get seated on the edge, I plopped down next to him. He was still silent and catatonic. Still completely broken.

"Any landing you can walk away from, am I right?" I tried to put on a happy face. No response. "I know I know, water-you-talking about, old man? We just got dunked IN." I tried making one of Sans' puns. Again no response. "I guess drinks are on us?" I said with a cheesey shrug. After that attempt I sighed and stopped trying to get a reaction. "Yeah...I wouldn't laugh at my jokes either. Some rescuer I turned out to be--"

"Why...?"

"Huh?" I wasn't sure if my ears were playing tricks on me.

"Why, Mister...?" The voice was weak...barely a whisper. There wasn't any emotion behind it. It was so soft and gentle. Even with my sensative werewolf ears...I had trouble hearing it.

"Why did you save me?" Asriel hugged his knees to his chest and looked down at the ground.

"Well I wouldn't be much of a hero If I--"

"Why didn't you let me die?"

"Kid, don't ask such things." That really put a damper on the mood. It was setting in, Volt, wasn't it? That feeling. You couldn't understand that feeling."

"It's my fault isn't it? I couldn't do what Chara asked me to."

"Asriel, no. It's--"

"Mom and Dad are dead because of me. The barrier's never going to be broken because of me. Everything's gone because of me. Please don't waste your time on me. I'm a bad kid. Bad kids don't deserve to be happy. Bad kids don't deserve mercy. I did a bad thing. I let Chara down. She'll hate me. She won't want me to be her family anymore."

"Oh gods..." I felt myself tearing up.

"I'm not her best friend...not anymore. I'm the worst friend ever. Monsters like me...we should turn to dust."

"...!" My gasp could have stunned an elephant. This wasn't right! This wasn't right!
The birds were sleeping. The flowers were hibernating. On cold nights like this...kids like him....had no reason to be burning in Hell.

How does a...a child say this with such a lack of emotion...such a lack of life...so quietly...so plainly? And yet there's no doubt they mean every word of it.

I pulled him into a hug and felt my eyes well up in tears. This was stabbing me through the heart. Curse you, timeline. Curse you, Madam Fate.

"Curse you, Chara. You dirty brother-killer..." I almost said aloud. If I let Asriel hear me say such a thing...I'd lose any trust he had in me.

I was speaking in metaphor and not in a good frame of mind. She hadn't killed his body or soul...but her reckless plan killed his heart and shattered his mind. Asriel was alive but as he was now...how was this any different from if she had taken that knife and plunged it into his chest herself? And that gave me an even more horrifying image of how a Chara-manipulated Frisk slashed Flowey to pieces, the echo of "I knew you had it in you..." ringing in my memories.

My moment of emotional chaos was interrupted by Asriel sneezing and then shivering. Oh crap...I had to get him warm and dry before he caught the death of cold. I was in full panic and full worry mode. Too many worries to list and not enough good things to keep them at bay. I was at a loss. I needed guidance. I needed another responsible adult in on this. I had a chance to finally take in where we were.

Yes. This was Miranda City. The date and time, while I had to keep it classified, was definitely after my years as UCIAT team commander but before the official founding of the S.T.C. organization; squarely in the era I was working with another of my mentors at the Institute for Future Technology......Great Scott, had it been so long?
Things hadn't changed that much around here. Rock-Afire Pizza was still there. So was Walrus Bros. Plumbing Service & Supply. There was Computer Valhalla. Ultra Crew Institute Action Team Headquarters...the old HQ never looked better. And of course...

"Rabbotou Dojo."

Just as there had been only one man who could help me get out of Dodge, there was only one woman I could turn to at this time of night that I could trust with my life or anyone else's.

----RECOVERED DATA FRAGMENT FROM THE RESEARCH LOGS OF SPACE TIME CONTINUUM (STC) AGENCY FIELD AGENT AND FOUNDER, DR. VOLT ALESSANDRO ARCADE-----

Sub-Entry 5: "Through Fire, Enlightment Walks":
I lifted Asriel into my arms, reenforcing my strength with magnetism and carried him through the giant red Jangese gate leading to the temple-mansion of Rabbotou Dojo. A magnificent architecture of the orient, the was the home, martial arts dojo, and much more of my former Second in Command. After ascending the staircase and reaching the doors I didn't even have time to react as they swung open; as if we were expected. This was normal when it came to this dojo's master. I was greeted by its human cartaker, Megami Akane Kobayashi. There was no mistaking her fair white maiden skin, jet black hair tied with a white ribbon in a straight, lengthy ponytail, her piercing blue eyes, and her white and red shrine priestess attire. Megami gestured to enter, staying silent; she wasn't fluent in Common so she refrained from speaking to us in her native Jangese tongue. It seemed my former Second-In-Command's powers of perception were as sharp as ever as she had prepared for our rival without any prior knowledge of me returning to this place. I nodded, carrying Asriel...awake but barely responsive.

After making our way across the bamboo floor of the training area and through the various other sections and rooms we made our way outside again to the Feng Shui Jangese Garden out back. We passed by the garden's occupants--three conspicious sleeping fluffballs; a white, a black, and a green. It was good to see the rabite trio again.

We made our way to the epicenter to the "Go Genso no Mon"--the Five Elemental Gates, I paused to take everything in. Five red gates similar to the entrance to this temple mansion complex. And each one bore one of the five Jangese characters denoting its respective element. It had been some time but I recalled each symbol and its meaning. Hi: fire, Kaze: wind, Mizu: water, Moku: wood, and Kin(zoku): metal. I decided to enter the path of the fire gate. It wasn't long until I came to the cordoned off area. And low and behold there was Megami, scripting on the ground in ancient Jangese writing, using four color of oriental ink--black, red, yellow, and cyan. With the final inlaid symbol, the characters lit up as the young woman stood back and from each sprung forth the 1000 soul flames of the kitsune. Each fox-fire ball gathered in the center and erupted into a mighty tower of flame. Flame that cycled through the colors of the rainbow. My keen werewolf nose sensed someone coming. And low and behond the flames parted and I saw her silhouette in the shadow of the night. At last. The person of interest. My second in command.

Grand Master Bunnie Meiru Rabbotou

In silence she stood, her white karate gi fluttering from the air currents. the lavish haori kimono over top the jacket, opened up. Her pink sandals were unmistakable even in the contrast of light and dark. Her blond hair tied into a trailing ponytail the likes I had only seen on the Maverick Hunter, Zero (Another time, another case file.) Her rabbit ears could easily be made out. I could tell her eyes were closed. She was drawing upon her other sense; her Hybrid Ability known as Sixth Sense--an intensely telepathic/clairvoyant psychic ability. It had grown more powerful since the incident dealing with the Colossus and Nalaar. It seemed that she had the ability to gaze into a person's very soul and not just their mind.

"How can a face so young bear so many burdens...?"

Always perceptive, Bunnie.

Bunnie calmly walked through the parted flames until she was a foot or two away from where I stood.

"Hello, Major. It's been a long time." I'd always called her Major as it was the rank that she had been given long ago by one of the founding members of Ultra Crew Action Team Institute. Despite how important it sounded, around here it was superficial. By now Bunnie had probably been promoted again so...the title was mere formality. Nothing more.

"Volt-san." She opened her eyes. Those emerald green eyes. She always looked like she had stepped out of an anime. One of the serious-toned, elegant art-styled ones. Everything about her was stoic. Everything about her was profound. And everything about her was wise beyond her years. She had matured a lot faster than any genetic Hybrid should.

She looked upon the boy.

"Broken."

It was hard to tell if she was referring to his mind or his promise to Chara. Or both. I felt inclined to set Asriel down. I was relieved that he was willing to stand on his own. The mystic heat from the flames was quickly drying us off and warming us at an unnatural speed. I wasn't complaining. I liked it hot. With the area lit up I could finally get a good look at him.

His fur was silky and white. It seemed almost too pure white to be real. His head fur was still kind of a mess from the fountain. I could make out two curved tuffts which at closer glance might have been undeveloped horns. Of course there were those floppy goat ears; I bet if someone grasped them gently and held them up, Asriel would be doing his best impression of a bunny. His eyes were open and through the glazed expression I could see their red color. They weren't glowing red like a demons, but more natual as you'd see in some types of fauna. In fact his eyes kinda reminded me of Violet Tokugawa's...only with white instead of pinkish sclera. He was wearing a long-sleeved green shirt with yellow-green stripes. Violet would probably joke it looked like reverse Freddy Krueger sweater. And then I'd have to hit her for being insensative. And lastly he was wearing brown pants with a hole in the back for his little goat like tail. And lastly he was completely barefoot, his three-toed feet reminding me more of hybrid rabbit or cat feet. I honestly expected them to be cloven hooves.

"Where does this child come from."

I paused then replied. "Everywhere. And nowhere."

I wasn't just trying to sound as mysterious as her. In spite of my cryptic reply, Bunnie immediately knew that Asriel had been found outside of time and space. On a world, in a timeline that was doomed.

"You have doubts over what you've done."

"...!" There was no keeping anything from her. Her ability to see right through me and know that I was keeping another secret was unnerving. Bunnie's perception let her see what was hidden. Yet Bunnie instinctively knew when the question had to be asked...or when to leave well enough alone.

I squeezed my eyes shut and turned away, defensively.

"What I did, I did without choice, in the name of peace and sanity."

"Would you come to to this place seeking my approval."

"..."

"You already have your answer."

I nodded, knowing what she was getting at.

"Why?"

The same question Asriel asked.
I knew I was going to get disapproval for borrowing a quote as Violet would do on a whim...but it seemed an appropriate response. I looked over my shoulder back at Bunnie.

"There are some corners of the universe which have bred the most terrible things. Things which act against everything we believe in. They must be fought." I said with a spike of anger and deresion toward the situation. "

A brief smirk. Seems I caught her off guard with that one. Despite my unoriginality, It was definitely an answer she liked.

"Truer words were never spoken. But next time use your own, Commander."

Ex-Commander. I wanted to correct her but I wasn't about to nitpick old titles.

Bunnie looked up at the starry sky, putting her hands behind her back as she turned away.
"It's a lovely night. Somewhere there are worlds out there where the sky is burning, the sea is asleep, and the rivers dream. People made of smoke and cities made of song. Somewhere there is danger, somewhere there is injustice..."
Bunnie turned back to me, cocking her head slightly with a big closed-eyes, anime smile. "...and somewhere the tea is getting cold."

"Touche, Bunnie." One stolen quote deserved another, so it would seem. As if on cue Megami reappeared with a tea tray and three servings of tea.

I accepted one and she took one. Asriel remained unresponsive. I motioned for Bunnie to hold off. Asriel was from a race that was made of mostly magic. Food in the Underground had different properties. It didn't spoil, it was always the right temperature--never burning the tongue and never giving brain freeze. It was broken down instantly into magic--which explained why it restored Frisk's hit points instantly......darn that meta game lingo rearing its head. The realization made me realize what the next step was. I needed more answers so it was time to turn to magical, medical, and scientific professional opinions. I was going to have to wake some people at this hour.

----RECOVERED DATA FRAGMENT FROM THE RESEARCH LOGS OF SPACE TIME CONTINUUM (STC) AGENCY FIELD AGENT AND FOUNDER, DR. VOLT ALESSANDRO ARCADE-----

Sub-Entry 6: "A doctor, a magician, and a scientist enter a dojo..."
It was the next logical step. I had to be sure Asriel could survive on this world. I had to know everything from whether he could injest food that was more matter than magic. I had to know if he'd suffer some kind of deficiencies while on this world. I had to know if he had allergies of any kind. I had to know his magic mantra (not that I really understood magic, nor did most of my UCIAT personnel.) And I had to know other science data before anything else.

I called upon my most trusted in the field. I would have to call in a favor from outside my organization. It was time to turn to Miranda's Mage Academy. It was time to get Sarina on the horn. I would also need a scientist to get a second opinion and of course to log Asriel's species into the xenomorphology database and contruct a personal file for him. My best bet was UCIAT's own Dr. Nikita Katherine Lynx, PhD. And lastly I'd need a medical doctor to give him a checkup and physical. I could think of no better person for the job than my eldest daughter, Elektra.

The calls were made. The professionals came. Tests were done. And results were compiled. IN the mean time Bunnie had desided to get Asriel a change of clothes. I was skeptical about Bunnie providing from her own wardrobe but I was relieved that Bunnie's own clothes from when she was a child was unisex. Bunnie had said to me before she was a tomboy growing up. I guess this worked out when you had plenty of t-shirts, shorts, and pants and whatnot. And sure enough she had the right stuff in Azzy's size. And finally a pair of sandals just so he had some foot protection. I could tell he was more comfortable but he didn't feel better per se. He emotionally shut down again so getting him to speak was probably not going to happen. At least not tonight.

When they finished, Sarina pulled me to the side and gave her findings. I could see the concern in her eyes. Then Nikita's opinion. COmpletely professional, concise, and all the emotion of Mr. Spock. A lot of numbers to take in, a lot of theories, and more long-winded breakdown of everything science had a measurement for. And finally my daughter wrapped up her medical tests. I didn't have to worry here.

Well. That was taken care of. So now what? It was late and Asrield needed his sleep. Bunnie offered to let him stay at Rabbotou Dojo in at guest room. I on the other hand went back to my old workshop and collapsed on the cot in back. There would be time tomorrow to figure out the next steps. I knew at some point...it would have to come down to adoption procedures. So...which of us in UCIAT was responsible and qualified enough to care for Asriel Dreemurr?

----RECOVERED DATA FRAGMENT FROM THE RESEARCH LOGS OF SPACE TIME CONTINUUM (STC) AGENCY FIELD AGENT AND FOUNDER, DR. VOLT ALESSANDRO ARCADE-----

Sub-Entry 7: "Monster Parents adopt a Human Child flipped to Human Parents Adopt a Monster Child":

Yeah. Cumbersome name. Real original, too. Don't judge me. It's perfectly straightforward and it tells it like it is.

Legal affairs. You know I hate em. So much bueracracy and red tape to throw a monkey wrench into something that should be simple like welcoming a lost orphan from a doomed world into a new home. Rules...there oughta be a law against them. At least that's what a certain Ghost With the Most used to say from yet another of my old case files. The Deetzes were in for more than they bargained for when their daughter set him free...but enough about that. As old black-stripes would say..."It's showtime."
So. You'd probably jump to the conclusion that I should be the one to do the honors and the Major would be the other. Well...you'd be wrong. As a member of S.T.C. This was one rule and regulation that I couldn't bend or break on my best day. As for the Major? I had no doubts regarding her ability to potentially be a parent. I had no anxieties that she could handle it. What I did doubt was that she'd agree to it. Bunnie had long sworn a vow of celebacy and decided there would be no children as she would be unable to bear them given the...other unique thing about her besides being Jangese and a grand master of the martial arts and the heir of the Rabbotou Technique of martial science; a practice of destructive, binding, and summoning arts that rivaled magic itself. Her cybernetic nature as a result of the cybermorphic nanoplasm--that which let her shift herself from living flesh, blood, bone, organs, vessels, nerves, and fur to sentient machinery with a soul--gave her too many unknowns and too many doubts to try to bring a child into the world from her own womb without...complications or a cybernetic life without being given a say or choice in its very nature entering this world. While this was one very good reason it was unlikely the only reason. As much as motherhood appealed to Bunnie...she wouldn't be tempted. This was her choice and it was a choice made of her own volition for reasons that maybe even I didn't see. Besides...she had the rabite trio--Bancha, Kukuicha, and Houjicha. They were plenty of responsibility for her to be an owner and guardian to. So let's review the rest of the candidates:

Violet: To put it in one phrase? Hell, no. In Asriel's fragile state of mind that last thing I wanted to expose him to was Princess Violet Usako Tokugawa's crass, chaotic, otaku, meme-obsessed, wise-cracking, mischief having, overly-lavish, and otherwise completely self-indulgent and otherwise completely annoying lifestyle. Besides the fact that she'd lead him right into the life of a fanboy otaku gamer, she'd never keep her mind out of the gutter. One part of Beebop's own Francois "Radical Edward" Appledheri (sp?), on part Sans, one part Nintendo Power's Nester, equal parts of Sanji, Franky, and Brook from One Piece, and all genius, philanthropist, DNA-memorizing, super-hacker, troublemaking, politically-incorrect rabbit princess who could make Donald Trump tell her to dial it back a bit while constantly keeping herself amused with her pranks and shenanigans. To reiterate...Hell, no. I knew I'd have to introduce Asriel to her eventually but I was going to prolong it as much as possible.

Jon: My son-in-law, Jon Talbain had married my eldest daughter, Elektra. I had no beef with them taking on the responsibility but...let's face it. The thought of being a father would terrify Jon even more than anything from his Darkstalker past that he spent every effort to isolate himself from. I summed Jon up as one part Vash the Stampede and one part Kenshin with a bit of Son Goku to explain his impossibly ridiculous appetite. A seemingly timid werewolf who jumped at his own shadow when it came to certain things only to hide the darkness of his past that I could tell he was definitely not proud of. I jokingly say Jon would probably make it difficult for Azzy to get his three square meals a day. Assuming he could be on a normal diet.

Pit: He shouldn't even be on this list let alone an option. Granted as an archangel he's actually by far the eldest of us...this gets quickly offset and overturned by the fact that he's barely fourteen in appearance and more naive than Asriel before he met Chara. As a child (or apparent child himself) it was just absurd to even joke about a celestial who was trying to understand mortals himself, this is the kind of thing you suggest just to get a really good laugh...followed by an "Umm. No. Can you be serious?"

Gadget: See above. My adopted little sister isn't even close to being old enough to even think about parenthood. Heck, I wasn't ready to let her try her hand at babysitting yet. Overprotective of my teen sibling as I may be, I wasn't about to even think about weighing her down with a responsibility like this. On a side note, I could easily see the parallel between Gadget and myself with Chara and Asriel when it camed to families of intermixed species. Having said that...Gadget was infinitely and I mean INFINITELY better a person than Chara. My spritely little, scatterbrained, supergenius sis, who saw the world through rose-tinted glasses and her staggering capacity for makeshifting machines and gear out of throwaway recyclables on the fly.

Mitzi: A good choice but a bad setup. Despite the fact that she looked like she was a senior in high school, possibly a junior in college, Mitzi was old enough to be MY mother. Hybrids were lucky that they retained their youthful apperance up until the last few years of their lifespan. Though I often wondered how this didn't lead to misunderstandings and ambiguities over age. But that wasn't the issue. Mitzi still had the echoes of a bad breakup from many, many years ago and botht he personal and professional fallout managed to reverberate even now. As a single business-owner with no other family nor any love interests to assist her, plus her committment to her pizzaria, it would be a lot to juggle.

Sally: A great role-model and she'd be a good teacher, but there were a couple of things workign against her. For starters I wasn't sure she had the maternal instincts to take care of Asriel. If anything I described Sally's personality as one part Peppermint Patty, one part Undyne, and a generous portion of a certain Blue Blur needlemouse who horded gold rings. The other issue was her equally tom-boyish lifestyle and her celebrity status. In Technopolis, Kaeleron, Sally was a huge rising star in the Overdrive Grand Prix powered race circuit and the Pro Circuit's grand champion for several years straight. Even with her racing partners shouldering some of the media attention, I wasn't confident Asriel's life wouldn't become a media spectacle with a moment of peace to himself. Even during the off season, Sally would be spinning the turntables in her gig as D.J. Aelita in discotechs and dance halls and more than likely less-reputable locations that were no place for a kid to be.

Lupe: She would be my best choice except for one thing. While her softspoken, tender, loving, demure nature made her the obvious choice, and she was an experienced druid as well as my science officer in charge of all things flora, fauna, and geology...despite the fact her nature preserve was probably the closest to matching parts of the Underground... It was too much risk of being a trigger for traumatic memories. Especially now that the garden section had a special new plot for Lupe's award-winning buttercups. Yeah...as if I was going to let Asriel near the very flowers that Chara poisoned herself with. And especially with my own anxieties that made me DESPERATE to prevent the return of Flowey in any shape of form. Sorry, Lupe. This was one I really wanted to work out.

Rotor: I didn't really have a problem with Rotor being a parental guardian, in fact I supported it. Especially since he had a younger brother of his own to care after. This could work. But...as his family was in the plumbing business...I thought Asriel could do better than a life of unclogging stopped up toilets and getting covered in doody-water.

Antoine: Surely you joke.

Nikita: I'd be better off leaving Asriel with W.D. Gaster. Too robotic a personality to be a mother.

That ultimately narrowed my choices down to UCIAT's own Dr. Callista Penelope Brighton--a brilliant and potently-psychic neurologist-neurosurgeon and Colonel Scott Angus O'Conner, our super soldier with a pretty jaw dropping alter-ego, having been experimented on. The the of them were this close to being engaged and the two of them shared adequate resources and living quarters even before I stepped down as Commander. I think we had a winner.

And so with my decision made, I'd wait until we could get Asriel in a better frame of mind before we integrated him into our lives, officially. That out of the way...

----RECOVERED DATA FRAGMENT FROM THE RESEARCH LOGS OF SPACE TIME CONTINUUM (STC) AGENCY FIELD AGENT AND FOUNDER, DR. VOLT ALESSANDRO ARCADE-----

Sub-Entry 8: "Legacy of my Mentors Over the Years":
Asriel had a place to stay for a while and I trusted Bunnie would be able to tend to his needs and...wants if any. I didn't really see the other being a likelyhood. The thing he wanted most was the thing I couldn't give him; his parents and his sister back. Back from the dead. Back in an instance of the world that no longer existed. Sure I could consider other timelines to insert him into...but that would cause huge complications. Having Asriel and Flowey in the same place during the same events...it just felt like something would go wrong almost instantly. And there was of course the issue that I couldn't bring him to his parents with him in his broken state...and Asgore and Toriel in theirs. A broken family this shattered couldn't just be reassembled. ANd really...I don't think he'd ready to be put into the Happy End of a [TRUE PACIFIST] timeline. I guess if I had to have a master plan...it would be for him to recover...grow, mature...have a surrogate life before I ever considered bringing him to an instance of the world he left behind. But let's face it. That was my ultimate goal. A happy ending which he and Frisk would finally meet. And then I'd find a way to bring back Chara without mucking the timeline or getting the one that was a knife-wielding psychopath who'd manipulate her own brother. Somehow there was a way of this all working out without sacrifice, reincarnation, or whatever. I guess I just needed to find orphaned instances in unstable timelines and bring them together at the end of a [PACIFIST] timeline. Heh. Some plan, eh? Couldn't be simpler. Yeah....what could be simpler...

...I was in impending trouble wasn't I?"

But as it turned out with Asriel's sleep arrangements squared away...I overestimated my ability to sleep. I think this was right about the time the nightmares began. All of them involved Chara and Asriel. Sometimes Frisk would be there. Many of them would be fashioned from the memories of the timelines. Many repeating over and over and over. Either way...it chipped away at me and made things increasingly harder to endure. Of all of them...seeing Asriel's powered form...that dark body, beaten and bleeding and covered in fatal wounds...shaking, staggering, and barely able to carry Chara's corpse...hearing him cry and utter in that distorted voice...calling to his mother and father and saying he couldn't feel anything...and then an invisible breeze just broke him into a scatter of dust that coated the bed of yellow flowers he was standing on, Chara's body dropping onto them. And the horror and devasation Asgore and Toriel were expressing. That vision...that horrid vision. It would pierce me over and over and over at night. This was the nightmare that drew me to an undeniable truth: Lady Destiny, you failed to protect them and you let me down...you let us all down. Where was your mercy, now? As for your sister? Madam Fate, you are a B****!

After a few days of trying to let things settle until we could bring more responsible parties in and before we could stop keeping Asriel a secret...I decided I needed peace of mind. I needed guidence from the source. It occured to me we still were lost with the boy. I needed to know more. And for that...that meant I had to return to Mount Ebott and return to the ruins. Yeah. I had millions if not billions of logged timelines--both ones I'd integrated into and ones I'd been nothing more than a casual observer in. Obviously, I wanted to rule out [GENOCIDE] timelines. The question was...how could I access more of the "backstory" parts of the timeline. Every time I tried to enter at a point before Frisk's arrival, it bounced me back through the time stream to the wrong place at the wrong time. It was as if the Barrier blocked time itself from having two ends stretching to infinity; thus making a time ray or time line-segment rather than a time line.

Maybe Lady Destiny could sense my derision and utter need to diss her her sister she felt inclined to throw me a bone without Fate catching on. A timeline with questionable stability not much different than the fated [GENOCIDE] run. Either way it was a way to check out another timeline. I designated this one UTPR-3224. The number had personal value to a previous mission so I considered it lucky when diving into new timelines. I just had one condition to add. I was going there on my own terms...

The Emergency Reroute did not sit well with me and it sure didn't instill confidence in the system. If the Council insisted on me remembering my place and doing my job, the least they could do was keep me well informed and well equipped. And of course make sure our systems were working... *ahem* This is what happens when Council puts their trust in tech support made up of undergrads who work for peanuts WITHOUT having me properly train them. As the werewolf who FOUNDED this darn operation, they could at least entrust me with our chrono-spatial-dimensional science.

So...if I was going there, I was using an alternative method. Yeeeeeeah. Oh, yeah. It was time for my underground Command to dust off the relics. It was time to open my secret stash of mentors' legacies. Sometimes it was good to have your own resources off the record and loyal people you could trust working behind closed doors away from the prying eyes of your bosses.
The secret call was made and that place was opened up in the space within the hanger of on of my longest, most on-going and equally personal assignments--which I was currently diverted from by order of the Council...yeah, no suprise there.

No telling how long I can keep this instance of this universe in existence since it was shattered by the aftermath of the second Super Genesis Wave. This new universe was reborn or rebooted or something...and quite literally in pieces. But I'd worry about that later. This was the place. Inside the hanger, I brushed past the Tornado biplane and opened up the secret sections which housed my little shrine of legacy from the various mentors and friends I had...or eventually would meet leading up to my current S.T.C. days. Past and present vehicles for future use. Speaking of future, I knew what I needed was within my reach; the prototype of my mentor at the Institute for Future Technology in fact. My teacher had made a good point when it came to time machines; if you're going to build one into a car, why not do it with style.

I went past the bevy of other vehicles, machines and equipment, I passed by a lab table with some of the quantum/nuclear tech another of my mentors had invented after...*ahem*...after being wrongfully dismissed from his professorship in the now-terminated parapsychology department at the university he conducted the majority of his research. And my gaze was drawn to two of his old scanning apparati. I doubt I would need either unless I wanted to know where Napstablook was at any given time. I looked them over. "Venkman Industries." Couldn't resist putting your name on the trademark, could you, Peter? My mentor was too generous helping you cheat your way through college. Oh well. Better to be prepared. I pocketed both of the meters and proceeded on until I found the tarp over the vehicle in question. I yanked it off and smiled upon seeing the heavily modified, stainless steel and aluminum shell of the gull-wing door sports car in question. Still a full tank of gas. Still air in the tires. Still had the wind-up clock on the dashboard next to the electronic speedometer. A flashlight revealed the glass-windowed box with the crackling glass Y-tube. Yeah...good times. Good times.

I opened up the trashbag I brought along and dumped its mostly organic contents into the trademarked home energy conversion system installed in place of the old plutonium reactor. And I couldn't help but grin and reflect on the concept of using a time-machine...THIS time machine in fact to warp to a world that was all about a chrono-structure that allowed for traveling back in time through the [RESET]. But I was doing it with technology. I could circumvent certain rules and bend others as well as enjoy other advantages. Such as having some storage space and extra gear in case something unexpected happened, something went wrong, or I needed a fast way out of there.

I entered the Deloreon and fiddled with the Dimensional Axis rig I had added so that I could land in the right place in the right dimension. The I used the modified touch-button phone keypad to enter my destination year. Sorry, everyone. No peaking.

I raised the trail leading to the runway and raised the hydraulics on the ramp while I charged up the catapult behind the time vehicle. After reaving the engine I got ready to hit the road...heh. Road. Where I was going, I wouldn't need...roads. (Gods, I'm terrible. I'm sure someone out there is probably facepalming as I speak. A slam down on the gas, the launch button pounded down, and peel of rubber...
The car barreled down the track, accelerating rapidly. The fake palmtrees lining the runway tilted outward, giving plenty of wing room for my non-existent aircraft. With a launc off the track and into the air, the hover-conversion did the rest as the acceleration boost kicked in. The speedometer climbed until it reached the trigger velocity: the iconic 88 MPH. With a discharge of the wormhole emitter I left New Mobotropolis and the planet itself... Next stop: Snowdin.

----RECOVERED DATA FRAGMENT FROM THE RESEARCH LOGS OF SPACE TIME CONTINUUM (STC) AGENCY FIELD AGENT AND FOUNDER, DR. VOLT ALESSANDRO ARCADE-----

Sub-Entry 9:"Goat Mom":
Well. I couldn't have made a more blatent and revealing title to this. I was headed to the ruins to meet Toriel Dreemurr. Though...I wondered if she had a maiden name and gone back to it after leaving Asgore. Forget ole' Fluffy-buns. I was more interested what Asriel's mother had to say. But...I couldn't just ask outright. No...I was going to have to converse under false pretenses. I was going to have to choose my words. And it was not an option to give ANY indication that her son...well...another timeline's instance of her son was alive.

Anyway. The Deloreon flew overhead the unmistakeable perpetual winter that was Snowdin. I had the vehicle outside of time and space like I had done with my other tech. I didn't want to risk it being seen, discovered, or even borrowed for a joyride while I was conducting my business. I searched until I found a cavern that didn't show up on the map. I parked, grabbed what equipment I thought I'd need and set out on foot. I immediately regreted it.

One fact about myself that was universally known: I hated snow and I hated ice. And above all...I hated being cold. Despite having a built-in-fur coat it never did me as much good as I hoped it would. Let the record reflect that trudging through snow in a karate uniform, button-up shirt and tie, lab coat, and sandals was a very poor decision. At least I wouldn't have to do much acting providing Toriel was in.

Thing was...I was going in from the other end. This was where Frisk was destined to leave the ruins and continue their journey. No matter how many times you saw it...it was heartbreaking for Frisk to bid goodbye to "goat mom". And I was about to put the poor woman on an emotional rollercoaster. But...*sigh*...it was for both of our own good.

The gate. That heavy door. I was relatively sure I had manage to circumvent the time stream to a point before Sans started using the door to practice knock-knock jokes. I was in the clear. And yet...that was small comfort to the fact I was about to B.A.E.
Well...this was what I had magnetism for. So I duplicated the function of Bunnie's Magnet Press D-Chip to form a pair of magnetic plates I could slip under and around the door. I was sure I could open it without breaking it down.

And sure enough I did. I stepped through, shaking the snow off. I proceeded into the darkness past the first gate, past the empty green patch where Flowey had made his taunts whether Frisk spared Toriel...or left her as a pile of dust. *sigh* At least I wasn't going near the traps and puzzles. No. I was just going up through a woman's cellar and into her house, uninvited. I trudged down the lenghty hallway. It got darker as it went on. And there lay the second door. Another gate and another magnetic assist. I stepped through and closed it, taking a moment to look upon the emblem. Wings extended from a circle hovering over three triangles. It gave me memories of something...else...I had seen on another world...but I shrugged it off. I did however note that I'd come across this icon several times in several instances while exploring the timelines in my various trips to this world. Toriel herself wore that same emblem on her robes. I thought for a second...trying to imagine Asriel in similar. And the resemblance I was coming up with was uncanny. I shivered...probably from the cold. It wasn't much warmer in this area. I continued down the hallway. There was barely any light. It looked like the walls were purple in color. Purple. The color of royalty. Maybe I was reading too much into it.

A thought crossed my mind, completely unrelated to the situation. I never did quite figure out how I managed to stumble upon a door that led into into where Gaster had been all this time--that void within the Core that resided in Hotland. Furthermore...how did Asriel end up inside it? A lot of things about that malfunctioning timeline didn't make sense. It was a miracle that the goat kid hadn't been in there long enough to be permanently confined there as Gaster had been. In fact...it almost paralleled the Zone of Silence back on Mobius. Maximillian Acorn and the wizard, Ixxus Naugus had been trapped in there so long, venturing outside of the zone caused them to start to crystalize. That was another case file I'd probably have to peruse over at this rate.

Well...there was the end of the path and the staircase leading to the cellar door. I looked at it longingly before climbing up. I took a deep breath...and knocked. Then waited. I worried that maybe she was out; probably somewhere carrying an arm full of groceries...which begged the question where she got her food and supplies from and how she came and went from the ruins. There had to be a way in and out he hadn't thought of. One entrance was the mouth of Mount Ebott itself. The other...well, you just came through, Volt.

There was this feeling of guilt festering in the core of my being. You were going to look this woman at the eyes at some point and withold the fact that you had kidnapped a living incarnation of her son. Was it fair to use the "timeline was dying" as an excuse to feel better about your own actions. Whoah, Volt. Slow down. You're worrying yourself sick again. Just accept that you did the right thing, already. Even when things got this deeply personal; as an agent of S.T.C. it's still all part of the job.

Fear got the best of me and I slowly turned on my heel to walk back the way I came. "This was a bad idea--" I sighed, suddenly feeling like a coward.

"Oh my...is somewhere there? I was not expecting anyone. However did you enter this place? However did you get through gate?"

"..." I hesitated at first...then worked up my courage. "Brave. Adjective. A state in which action in the face of being scared is taken. Contrary to believe it doesnot mean absence of fear. Only the absense of reciprocation from an otherwise intimidating situation." I thought to myself. Bite the bullet, Arcade.

"Umm. Yes. Hello. I apologize for the intrusion. I was travelling through Snowdin and I really needed a place to stop and rest. I know it was probably wrong but...I used a magic spell (Well...magnetism could...kinda be considered magic on this world to anyone who wasn't a scientist.) to open that gate doors. I didn't know it lead to someone's house." (Okay THAT was a lie. Even if it was for the greater good. Only the truth from here, Volt. Just as long as you word it properly.)

I heard the door unlock and then I saw it open slowly. And there she was. A feminine, fully-grown adult mirror image of Asriel wearing the ceremonial robes I had described earlier. Same eyes, same fur, same long floppy ears. And she had curved horns but they were small and understated. I tried calming my nervousness by thinking to myself that it wasn't that much of a stretch to mistake her for a cow from a distance. Maybe some strange breed of dog?

"My good sir, you should come in and warm up. It's not safe to go travel alone in the world outside."

"I couldn't impose. I don't want to be a burden."

"Nonsense. I cannot deny a weary stranger even the smallest act of mercy in such a cruel environment. Come in. I insist." She beamed with a smile. She showed the way in and I followed.

Up the staircase past the railing to the first floor. Hardwood floor. There was a small bookcase, a few hanging portraits, a stand with a vase of flowers. Everything was bathed in old-timey, light sepia tones...like a living...fade black and white photo. The room lead to three paths; one to the east, one to the west and one to the south. At least that's what it felt like. I didn't have a compass at the time...not that it mattered. I almost turned to the east, subconsciously following Frisk's path. No. This was the way to the children's rooms. You were not observing Frisk. And you didn't have to see Asriel's and Chara's old rooms or Toriel's. You'd already done so in various other timelines you logged. Westward it was into the family/living room.

The fireplace was a welcome sight. A rack of fireplace tools. A massive book case filed completely with books. There was a single comfy recliner by the fireplace. A pair of reading glasses and a book entitled 72 Uses for Snail rested on the arm. The table. Three chairs...three places for......everyone.

Toriel offered me the arm chair. I hesitated a bit but then accepted the hospitality when the expression assured me it was okay. Wow, I was really on my best behavior. She went to the kitchen and returned with a serving of tea and a plate of pie. *sniff sniff* Huh. Butterscotch-Cinnamon. Odd coincidence...or...?

"I usely bake snail pie but...something compelled me to make butterscotch-cinnamon this time. I hope you like it."

Something. Heh. I had a feeling...that she intended butterscotch-cinnamon all along. Oh, Toriel. How long have you been waiting for the next one to fall into your life? I knew that in Chara's old room there were six pairs of six pairs of shoes which gave a clue.

"That's very generous of you. Thank you." I took a bite. Words, man. Words. It was as delicious as I expected it to be. Holy schnikees this was so good. But I ate daintily, compelled to show some manner. I think she could see I was trying to hard. A closed eyes smile with a supressed chuckle. You're a peach, Toriel. Just looking at me she could tell I fell in love with it and probably couldn't get enough if given the chance. I knew the offer of seconds was on the table.

Toriel pulled up one of the wooden chairs from the dinning table and had a seat across from me while I tried the tea and absorbed the warmth of the fire.

"What brings you out to Snowdin?"

"Research. I'm an explorer and a man of science. The labcoat is probably a dead giveaway. Sandals? Not so much.

"Oh! An educated man. How nice! What is your field?"

I knew that technology existed in the Underground. They had TV and internet, cell phones, and the like but...not nearly in the obssessive concentration it was on 21st century Earth. It was a nice balance around these parts when you didn't have to worry about people walking and texting everywhere or playing Angry Birds on a tablet. So I was honest.

"Electronics. I engineer new devices and such but I really only the time in between other responsibilities for TV repair. Not as impresive as someone working on the electrical systems for an orbital plasma accelerator--" Oi. Shouldn't have let that slip out. I knew the tech level around here wasn't that high. Not even in Alphys' lab. At least I didn't think it was. I was still trying to learn all her secrets in the other timelines.

"Sounds...complicated." Toriel said with an anime sweat bullet practically hovering on her temple. She was scholarly but quantum electronics and plasma technology was waaay outside her education.

"But today I'm exploring and documenting the ecosystems of Snowdin, Waterfall, and Hotland for one of my collegues."
Well...it was true that back in Miranda, my chief eco-science officer and trained druid would want to know a lot about this place if I could let her sneak a peak at my journal entries without getting the stink eye from the Council. It was bad enough when Violet INSISTED on accessing my data behind my back to learn my little secrets. You're just a dirty little hacker...aren't you, Princess Violet Tokugawa?

"This is really good tea. I think I have a new favorite drink."

"It's only Golden Flower Tea. It's nothing fancy." I could almost see a rose tint in her cheeks. Having a face covered in fur made it difficult to tell when a person was blushing but...I was pretty sure she was doing just that. She looked a little off on a cloud like she was remembering something. "It's...strange that you should like this tea..."

There it was. An "in". I knew where this was going.

"Hmm?"

"There was someone in my life once. Golden Flower Tea was his favorite."

Okay. You got her thinking about Asgore. Now if you can keep this conversation going and have her NOT think about Asgore...well...Asgore of the present. Ease into it.

"Were you close?"

"He was my king and I was his queen...I mean in the sense that--"

"Yes, I know what you meant. Forgive me for interrupting. I should not be so rude." I jumped at the softening of the memory.

"That was a life time ago...we are all so happy then."

"I can understand the feeling. I have someone in my life, waiting for me at the end of my long and winding research." I decided to gloss over the missus. There'd be time to talk about her another day. As tempting as it was, I didn't want to stray too far."

"A girlfriend?"

"Wife. Happily for many years."
This was true. But it wasn't in the stars for my family to follow me down the path of S.T.C. Immortality didn't suit any of them.

There was a slight hesitation but the question was asked.

"Have you any children?

"Yes. Three daughters. One grown up and out of the house with a medicinal career. She's a great healer. And much younger twins. They're with their mother. It wouldn't be fair to them to pull them into the kind of life I have to live for my research. Besides...I don't want them turning into workaholics like their dad."

"You must be very proud."

"Immeasureably."

I sighed.

"Umm..." I started.

"No. I live alone out here." She looked down, easing back into the chair.
There was a lengthy pause. She could tell I was perceptive so she came clean.

"I did have children once. My...precious son, Asriel. And...our child, Chara...she was...adopted." She looked off to the side. I knew she was starring off in the direction of the calender. The one that existed in the "New Home" within the castle in the Capital--the carbon copy of this place with...diffrences. That calender with the circled date...the day Chara arrived.

I watched her face fall. Her gaze get a little dull and misty. The feels, man. The FEELS.

"And they're...no longer here?"

"Tch...!" She held back the gasp. "Sorry. Um...a bit of of hiccup there." That wasn't true. Watch it, Volt. You're in the proverbal cat in a room full of rocking chairs. That was quite a landmine to step on. That one made me feel really bad. I wasn't doing this for sinister reasons, I wasn't trying to emotionally toy with this woman. I honestly needed a better understanding of her psyche. I needed some insight in how to handle Asriel.
She composed herself instantly.

"No. They are--" She couldn't bring herself to lie. "They have passed on. Long before their time." Here come the tears.

"Oh no...I'm so sorry. Please... I can tell I'm upsetting you. I shouldn't pry." I chickened out.

"Do not mind me, sir. It is good that I am able to talk about such tragedy in good company. I cannot cower behind my own grief. I would...actually prefer it if you know my tale. Our children were inseparable despite being from two diffrent races. Our daughter, Chara...she fell very ill one day. It devastated poor Asriel. He would not leave her bedside. Asgore assured me that the boy needed his space. We gave him as much as he needed. I...suspected that he and Chara were...keeping something from me but I pushed it to the back of my mind. I do not know for how much time we left them alone but...it was the gravest mistake of my life. I had...heard the noise in the throne room and I insisted Asgore come with. We were greeted with a... *sob*...truly horrific sight...my son...my baby...my pride and joy...what had he done? He was...twisted...I knew he had absorbed a soul...no...NO...he absorbed Chara's soul! His own sister! What possessed him to do such a thing? He was...covered in wounds and bleedig...so much blood. He had trailed so much of his blood into the room and despite the size of his evolved body...he was faltering and using every ounce of his strength to life Chara in his arms. So...so much pain he was in...he was streaming tears and looking so frightened...so deathly frightened. He looked at us and spoke...his voice so...warped. 'Mom', he said..."Dad'. I--" Toriel was starting to break down. She was shaking and clutching her heart. She choked, cringed, squeezed her eyes shut.

It was that point I was about ready to lose it. I could feel the tears forcing their way out. If this continued I was going to drop the cup and soil her clean floor...what a frivolous thing to worry about. I knew. Word for Word. What she was going to say.

"Mom...Dad. I can't feel anything." She scrunched her face up...then buried her face in her hands. Now you've done it. "He was there for a moment...and as if some...breeze had come in...he dissolved into dust. And then our family...just broke apart...and......and...."

I started to get up to console her but she motioned me to remain seated. She pulled her hands away. She looked up, forcing the least-convincing smile I had seen. "Pathetic, is it not? As a mother...I had one responsibility over all others. And I failed at it."

Without thinking I countered with my own sob story. It wasn't as horrific or tragic but it was a point in my life I screwed up big.
"Try as we might...we cannot protect them from everything. Once...my eldest daughter was...caught in a propane tank explosion. I was grilling that day and...I wasn't observant and...I hadn't left the area for long...I just went to get ketchup...maybe it was mustard..and then........boom." My gaze fell and a tear rolled down my muzzle.

Silence from both of us. It was a lengthy one, if you didn't count the sniffling and sobbing on both sides.

"How rude of me...hah...ha...in the length of this conversation I was so uncourteous that I would not ask the name of the kindred spirit I share this time with. Would you do me the honor of gracing me with your name, sir?"

"Arcade. Dr. Volt Alessandro Arcade." I replied.

"It is...very nice to meet your acquaintence, Dr. Arcade. I am Toriel.......j-just Toriel.

"Hello, Toriel. It is okay if you want to call me Volt. We're all friends here. It's...awkward being so formal."

"Yes. Yes, of course...Volt. Hah...your name is the unit of measurement for electric energy, is it not?"

Wow. Someone studied science in school.

"Yeah. It kinda is. You know...you seem like you'd be a good teacher and...your name isn't that far off from "tutorial".

She held her hand over her mouth and uttered a soft giggle. "Yes. So it would appear. I...actually always wanted to be a teacher. And...that is...that is very fitting.

The conversation resumed and we discussed many things for a while. But eventually I had to leave. I...needed to get back to Asriel. I really hated hiding that from her.

"...one of my many legal guardians tried to get me to take piano lessons. But it didn't suit me. Another of them inspired me to take up the saxophone. So I did and I loved it."

"I would enjoy hearing you play some time."

"Yeah...I'd enjoy playing some time." Ease it back, trigger. This was just a meeting between parents. Don't start dropping pickup lines or you're going to invite someone to rain Hell upon you. Besides. Happily married, remember?

"Goodness the time! I have kept you from your journey! How absentminded of me!"

"Oh...oh dear yes...my co-workers will worry." I realized I hadn't even taken off my labcoat I had been through two servings of pie and three cups of tea. I was going to pay for this later...maybe? Oh right. Monster food. Maybe not. I got up and started to show myself out, giving a bow and a thank-you for the hospitality. I paused a bit just to give a wave good-bye. Toriel however decided to accompany me out, walking me to the outer gate. I had started to think about Elektra back home...my daughter could take care of herself but...I worry. It should be a mother's job to worry not a father's. I was as unique as they came. I didn't realize that I was huming a song to myself. It was something I heard from one of the Earth realms...a state song of some kind about sunshine, being happy...something like that."

"What is that song? It is very lovely."

"Just...a lullabye I guess. Elektra...my eldest was fond of it. I learned it from one of my legal guardians...she was very motherly. Much like you."

"Oh...how precious."

We arrived at the outside gate.

"I suppose this is farewell."

"So it would seem."

"Mayhaps we meet again in the future, Volt Arcade."
*sigh* Or the past...

I stepped forth about to cross through the doorway to the outside.

"..."
Without looking back, and maybe without thinking it through first...I asked a question that I should probably have known was a little too close to a landmine.

"Toriel. I had told you that I was orphaned at a young age. My...memories of my birth family are...faded. But still there."

"Doctor?"

"...hypothetically speaking.......if...the most precious thing in the world to you was taken from you without explaination without a reason that made sense....if you got on with your life and it was...still a very nice life in spite of not having much....if one day...life decided to return to what was lost. You convinced yourself that this was impossible...but by some miracle the world showed you overdue mercy...what.........what would you do?"

There was no answer. Silence. I turned on the chance that maybe she didn't hear me--

Her eyes were hidden by a mysterious shadow but there wasn't enough head fur to cast a shadow.

"That is not the kind of question you should ask if you do not wish to provide false hope."
I felt like there was a spark of anger behind it. I had inadvertantly implied I could give her son back to her. This was very selfish of you, Volt.

"I...I know. I...was...I was just asking, hypothetically." I looked down at my feet.

"Oh. I see. Well then...I'm...not sure I have an answer for you, Volt. Hope is such a...precious and delicate resource. So fragile and frail. Even though they lead to dreams...dreams are meant to be broken. I would certainly wish that such a miracle could pass but......when does it stop being a wish and start being a dillusion. I just don't know what to believe."

"...my primary legal guardian used to tell me to never give up and stay determined." Oh boy, Volt. Do you know what you were doing here? I bet you do. "I guess that's all I can do...even if it's just...if it's all just a dream..."

Toriel lifted her head and I could see her eyes again. It wasn't an angry look.

"Well then. I'll be off."

"Safe journey." I stepped out and the door closed behind me. I heard a sniffle...followed by the gentle hum of the very tune I had walked down the hallway humming. At the last part of the song I heard a sob choked up...followed by weeping. I fell back against the door and slid down into a sit...and buried my eyes into the back of my wrist. I hope you're proud of yourself. You made goat mom cry.

File continued in XXX-XXX-XXX-UT-002B. Codename: The Lost Dreemurr

CRYPTOSMASHER LOGOFF
End Transmission...

Last edited by Volt Alessandro Arcade; 04-09-2016 at 02:47 PM.
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Old 03-14-2016, 09:32 PM
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wow, I'm pretty sure this has to make up about 59% of the world's Get Along Gang fanfic..
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Old 03-14-2016, 09:39 PM
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Probably. I take pride in my crossover fanfiction.
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Old 03-17-2016, 08:11 PM
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More pieces of the UCIAT x UT project. Enjoy!

----RECOVERED DATA FRAGMENT FROM THE RESEARCH LOGS OF SPACE TIME CONTINUUM (STC) AGENCY FIELD AGENT AND FOUNDER, DR. VOLT ALESSANDRO ARCADE-----

Sub-Entry 10: "The Legendary Fartmaster":
My sincerest apologies for the title. I usually avoid low-brow of any kind in my logs. But if you knew the significance of this super secret SECRET password, well...it would make sense. Do I even NEED to tell you who this was about?

After I managed to pick myself up I followed the path down the cold, spooky woods. The trees were all devoid of foliage. I stepped over the heavy branch in the road as if rehearsed. My mind was a miriad of thoughts and my heart was a tornado of emotion. I guess I really should have been reminding myself what--

*SNAP*

I doubled back and saw the branch was crushed like it was nothing. But there was no one there. Oh gods...I knew what this was. I knew but it was escaping my mind. I turned and retraced my steps...picking up the pace.

I got a further distance ahead and then I hear the snowpack crunch. A look and still no one.

I kept moving. I should have been familiar with this situation as I had both seen and experienced it a hundred thousand million times over...but...why did each time feel like the first time. I really had to get back to the Deloreon.

"..." I heard...or felt...or sensed......something eirie in the air. I slowed my pace and reached into the labcoat pocket and pulled out the P.K.E. meter and switched it on. Not so much as a crackle or a blip. The meter arms were unlit and completely down. Nothing paranormal out there, Volt. You're jumping at shadows. Well...what about the Giga Meter? A switch of the gauges and still nothing. The indicators in the glass dome were stopped and unlit. The displays shows zero valence. Spengs, your advice would help right about now.

I pocketed both and kept moving until I got to the wooden "barrier" gate. I heard it behind me and whirled, without thinking. In the brief moment as the world panned around me, I saw an eerie ghostly blue glow in the darkness...an eye? Once I completed the 180 turn I saw the silhouette before me. Hands in his pockets. What looked like the outline of a parka or hoodie.

"That face..." I heard the voice of the figure before me say. "That looks like the face of someone who's died a thousand deaths...and lived a thousand lives.

"...!!!!" I felt as if I imagined it. It had to be imagination, plus the wind was howling at the time. But the words...they were so true. And yet...the number wasn't a thousand...it was much greater in both cases. In fact...I'd say it was as vast as the stars in the sky...except the stars above were fake. Maybe...magic illusion.

"Don't you know how to greet a new pal?"

I tried to start a conversation...but I couldn't think of anything to say.

"Reach out and shake my hand." I saw the gesture. I reached out and--

FRRRRRRRRRRRRRRT!!!

"...wh....what?" My eyes bugged out. I didn't notice that I opened my jaws and was seconds away from laughing myself stupid.

"The old whoopie cushion in the hand trick! It's ALWAYS funny!"

Hello, Sans.

"Yeah...yeah. You might say...it's a real gasser." I grinned the cheesiest and most forced of all grins.

A chuckle. "Good one. Anyway. Can't say I've seen you around here. New in town?"

"Er...yeah. Stranger in Snowdin." I felt like I was making a reference to a Michael Jackson song somehow.

"Well, stranger it doesn't get too strange around these parts. Name's Sans. Sans the Skeleton. I'm a sentry around here--"

"Right, right! Keeping on the lookout for humans. You're not with the Royal Guard are you?"

"Nah. That job sounds like too much work. Come to think of it this one's really boring. Now my brother, PAPYRUS, now there's a guy who wants to be in the Royal Guard. He's a human-hunting fanatic."

"That uh...that's great. Good for him!"

"Anyway. Noticed you were coming from the direction of that big door over that. I've been meaning to check it out sometime. Looks like a great place to practice knock-knock jokes. Say...you don't live behind that door, do you?"

"Oh, no no no no! I just came to a dead-end and doubled back."

"No kidding..." Sans said, keeping one eye socket winked shut... I felt on edge by that. But I guess the truth went past him.

"Look, I don't me to be impolite but I really gotta hurry on. People are kinda waiting on me and I don't want to hold them up."

"Yeah. I know how it is."

"Yeah. It was nice meeting you, Sans!"

"Right back atcha', bud. THough...I don't think I got your name."

"Yeah. That's because I didn't give it."

"Touche."

"It's Arcade. Dr. Arcade. Not-so-local scientist."

"Huh. Brainiac, eh? I think we got one of those in Hotland. Never met em'. Y'know. Y'hear things. Not sure why the King needs a royal scientist, but I'm pretty sure he's got a good reason."

"Yeah....well...um...anway......I'll be going."

"See round'."

I turned.

"You know for someone who doubled back from that doorway...not a big thing or anything...but can't help but notice your tracks stop where you are. There doesn't seem to be a set coming this way from across the gate."

Oh crap... I didn't come from Snowdin village. I had come from around the mountain and cut through the trees. Hell...if that had been true and I had come from the village, I probably would have passed by the other sentry stations...the snowman, navigated the puzzles... Plus there was the simple matter that Sans despite his goofiness was one of the most super-aware in this world. He...knew things....like the number of times that Frisk had...died in a run.

"Well...there's a perfectly logical and rational explanation for that..."

"And that would be...?"

Think fast, Volt. Very fast.

"Well umm..." I charged up with electromagnetism and used superconduction to lift off the ground and hover. "I kinda do this."

"Oh. Apologies then, pal. Guess the boredom's setting in. Anyway. Better get back before Papyrus--"

"SANS!

"Uh-oh."

"Your brother?""

"That's him. He's the coolest."

"Umm...you want me to smooth things over so you don't get in trouble?"

"Nah, that's okay. I'll just wow him with some of my best puns."

"He likes puns?" I was asking a question that I already knew the answer to. I think I was good at weaving in and out of these encounters without letting on how many times I'd experienced them. I wonder if this is what it was like for Frisk?

"Not in the least!"'

"Eheheheh...yeah. Siblings right?

"You know it."

"Well...gotta fly. You sure you good?"

"Well I don't know what I'm gonna say to him yet...but I'm sure it'll be...humerus!" A sudden turn to the 4th wall and a shrug with a wink.

"Hahah...hilarious."

With that I did my impression of Marceline the Vampire Queen, discretely circling around back through the maze of trees, and hovered off toward the Deloreon. At first I thought the encounter was just...completely out of left field but...as I closed the gull-wing door and clicked my seatbelt I realized...this was just what I needed to take the edge off.

"Thanks, Sans." I knew what I had gained from this experience. It was time to return to Asriel and nurse that shattered mind back to sane.

"Hold on, Toriel. I WILL return what is most precious to you...some day. I just have a very long road ahead of me...and well...that's quite a feat for someone at this moment...doesn't need...roads." I smirked a cocky grin as I lowered the futuristic shades that were once my mentor's and the creator of this fine machine. "Be patient, Asriel. When I'm this far away from you, I've got to double back again, my friend!"

----RECOVERED DATA FRAGMENT FROM THE RESEARCH LOGS OF SPACE TIME CONTINUUM (STC) AGENCY FIELD AGENT AND FOUNDER, DR. VOLT ALESSANDRO ARCADE-----

Sub-Entry 11: "Sweetheart of the Pizza Pie":
I had told Bunnie that I had terrible nightmares. I dream of Asriel's fall and death, rebirth as a flower, and desparate gambit to bring the world to an end when the power of souls overwhelmed his obsessive desire to fullfill the promise to Chara and his dillusion of Chara seemingly standing in his way. When you're so alone and so desperate to hold onto the person in your life that mattered even more than your own life...why wouldn't you deny the truth that they had been dead for almost as long as you had been? She would console me to a degree of temporary relief until the next restless night. But at least I could tell myself that he and I were safe and sound now back in good old 1985......wait a minute, I'm thinking of something else. I meant it was good that we we had made it to Miranda City on the continent of Fontraile.

I returned to town. It was before dawn. I drove, unnoticed to my shop and the garage next door to it. I opened the garage door remotely and parked the Deloreon next to my own personal car--the 1957 Chevy Bellaire convertable I considered my dream car since the day I bought, restored, and customized it. As giddy as it made me to admire my favorite classic car which I had given a gold and silver paint job to match my werewolf fur color and gi (just the tiniest bit of ego-stroking when I needed to nurse the cracks in it) there would be time to reflect another day. Off to Rabbotou Dojo.

At the dojo, Bunnie was up and silently motioned that Asriel was still asleep. Usually he was as restless as I was but this time he had his first sound sleep. I guessed even magical child goat bodies had the final say when too much insomnia was too much and it was time to recharge. I couldn't help but try to connect the dots as I had in fact had a long conversation with his mother of another timeline. I entertained the notion that UTPR-3224 would be the one I could come back to some day...maybe after the [True Happy End]. But I wasn't even closed to being prepared to make plans for that.

With notes in hand and renewed confidence that Asriel would be okay on this world, I decided that it was time to move beyond specially prepared rice and sushi dishes based on what Sarina and Nikita had come up with and Elektra's assessment of his body processes--metabolic and magic. It was time to bring more people into the circle. I would start with the most experienced of the first of UCIAT's Miranda-specific extended team and the best professional of the cullinary arts I could get as well as the most brilliant of Miranda City's own master chefs--one who specialized in meals that contained a bit of magic in both the figurative and literal sense. Yup. It was time to head to Rock-Afire Pizza to call upon the Sweetheart of the Pizza Pie. Our own Mitzi Minerva Mozzarella. And from there to her (chuckle) idol and friendly business ally/rival, Hestia Beveloure.

While I knew snail pie was a starting point, I wasn't about to have him on a diet of only escargot-filled confectionaries. And while burgers and/or fries was a pretty obvious choice on what to give a kid, this wasn't Grillby's. And before my mind could suggest silken spaghetti aged in the finest oak cask I stopped myself right there. Did I really need to explain?

Still...spaghetti felt like it was on the right track. And the obviousness of what Mitzi specilized in only drove the point home. Heck, did I even need to remind myself the name of her restaurant?

I dug out my old T.A.O. link communicator and contacted Mitzi. Being that it was on the UCIAT encryption, she'd know immediately that I wasn't just placing a pizza order. I had asked Bunnie to come with and bring Asriel. It would be good for Bunnie to see her favorite martial arts student and future benefactor of the Rabbotou Legecy and its teachings. And I had Mitzi contact Hestia and request for Sarina to fax her the information from reading Asriel's magical aura...essence...whatever it was that mages had to look for. And of course bring whatever magic ingredients she thought would be appropriate. I didn't have to give any warnings. I knew Hestia could be trusted to not accidently turn the goat boy into a frog or something. I was beginning to ponder if I should bring Cid Padesh in on this; as an alchemist of the Nu Mou race

There it was. Rock-Afire Pizza. Designed in the likeness of the old Showbiz Pizza Place of Mitzi's musical past. But small enough to be family appropriate without turning into a corporate engine like her ex-boyfriend. I was tickled pink by the thought that it was breakfast time but our meal sure wasn't going to be on the breakfast menu. There's nothing weird about a kid's first real meal in town to be pizza for breakfast...right?

We stopped in front of the entrance. The glow of Rock-Afire Pizza sign was enough to draw Asriel's eyes to it.

"...?"

Asriel didn't really vocalize let alone speak but I knew that curiosity was getting the best of him. Despite all this time going by...it was completely inconceivable that not one of us had even introduced ourselves to him. Sure he didn't ask us let alone say much beyond his heartcrushing words at the fountain...but what kind of excuse was that?

"Trust me. You'll love it!" I beamed.

"Perhaps you have recovered enough from your ordeal that we may become acquainted. I know it has been difficult for you, Dreemurr Asriel Ouji-san but things will improve if you allow them the chance." Bunnie was addressing him quite formally, using the honourific for "prince" I was pretty sure he didn't understand that. It was just Bunnie being her amazing self.

Mitzi was already present as were Hestia and Sarina; the latter two handling the magical aspects that Mitzi couldn't, being that genetic hybrids were magically inert and incapable of mysticism in any form.

At just a little over 5 and a half feet, long blond hair done up in twin bushy pigtails and twin tresses running down each shoulder, eyes as emerald green as Bunnie's and pale grey fur, the hybrid mouse was as girl-next-door as you could get. Red lipstick and a similar color of eyeshadow as Bunnie--the only makeup Bunnie ever wore (in rememberance to her long-dead mother, Anna May Rabbotou, btw.) Sweet, petite and always neat. But suprisingly...or maybe not so suprisingly capable and spry. She was a cheerleader in her old life after all. Her apparent age was so misleading it defied belief how she could be so much older than Bunnie and myself. Heck, she looked so good, she wore her old green and white cheerleader outfit, green sandals with the gold star buckles and green hair ribbons from when she was in high school as a work uniform.

Pink-haired, slender and incredibly buxom. Hestia was incredibly lovely as far as human women go. I was relieved that Violet wasn't around because the lewd moments would never cease...and Vi would never recover from the inevitable head trauma from getting *ahem*..."disciplined" for bad behavior. But I'm not about to turn this into a discussion about her appearance. There was no better person to partner up with Mitzi than the woman that UCIAT's Photon Combat Specialist held in such high regard.

As for Sarina. To be perfectly honest she was the spitting image of Dark Magician Girl from Yu-Gi-Oh lore. Well...save for the corrupted arm but that's a can of worms for another report. Having her here was probably overkill in the magic department but a scientist like me with next to no understanding of magic, the various ways it manefested itself, and the rules governing it better to be overprepared than under.

"Welcome back home, Commander!" Really. Did any time pass since I stepped down and passed the torch? Although...it was flattering to have left such an impression.

"Hey, Mitzi."
I nodded to Hestia and Sarina.

"Sensei!" Mitzi bowwed formally to her teacher. Bunnie returned the bow.

It was then that Mitzi immediately spied Asriel holding onto Bunnie's hand. "And who is this?" She crouched down, sliding her hands down her knees with that big-sisterly way.

Asriel uttered a low whimper, dropping his head slightly.

"Aww. Shy thing, aren't you?"

"Mitzi?" I gestured for a private conference. She could tell I had a lot to talk about behind closed doors of the kitchen.

----RECOVERED DATA FRAGMENT FROM THE RESEARCH LOGS OF SPACE TIME CONTINUUM (STC) AGENCY FIELD AGENT AND FOUNDER, DR. VOLT ALESSANDRO ARCADE-----

Sub-Entry 12: "Things to discuss":

Once I was sure we weren't going to be overheard I explained everything from the top.

"Oh no...that poor soul." Mitzi covered her heart with both hands. "How long has he been like this?"

"I'm hesitant to give an exact timelength based on that particular Underground timeline but...I'd have to say it's been a lot of years. Five other children besides Chara had fallen into the Underground and had been cared for by Toriel before leaving the ruins and...meeting their eventual fates. Frisk was the seventh and final. All that time that went by, Asriel spent it all with Wing Ding Gaster."

"But...how is he the same age?"

"When a monster family is broken apart...the aging process stops. It doesn't resume until the family is restored." I explained my observations.

"That's terrible! A boy unable to grow up or move on...with such poor company to watch over him." Mitzi didn't cover up her emotions like the Major. When she emoted you felt it.

"It's touch and go, Mitzi. I'm hoping over time we can get through to him. Help him come out of his shell. Get him to a better state of mind and...maybe see him smile for the first time....well...not counting his other selves at the end of the [PACIFIST] timelines."

I could tell Mitzi was trying her hardest to keep up with me.

"So. What's the plan, Commander?"

"Taking it one step at a time, Mitzi. As a father I have a rough draft of what to do but...I've only raised daughters. And you know that Bunnie and I both have too many complications and road blocks for either of us or both of us together to raise him. That's why I'm turning to all of you for help. Everyone in Miranda Ultra Crew Institute. As they say, it takes a village..."

"You already have someone in mind? I mean for the kingdom to recognize his legal right to live here and for a responsible party to care for him until he's of legal age?" Mitzi cocked her head, already on the ball.

"You mean adoption procedures. It's going to be...pretty complicated explaining...but to get to the point, I'm asking Dr. Brighton and Colonel O'Conner to take him in."

"Oh that's a wonderful idea! Callie and Scott are practically engaged at this point! But is it okay if a human family--"

"Stop. Let there be no species issues here. Besides. I have a pretty benevolent sense of irony in the grand scheme of things. I think we can do better with Asriel than Asgore and Toriel did with Chara. Anyway...he won't have any siblings in this setup but...I don't know at this point if that will work for him or against him."

"Yeah...but...if he eventually does accept them as his step-family...doesn't that mean he'll start aging again?"

"I want to say that's the plan. As much as I'd like to bring him back to the King and Queen of a different timeline...it would be incredibly cruel. And especially not as he is. Time...doesn't stop even if aging does. If I bring him to his home...in a stable timeline...to a separated Asgore and Toriel.....if I bring him back to them at the end of Frisk's journey...it won't end well. Someone once said you can't force a happy ending. So...I won't try. Not until...not until I have a sign that one can come about naturally, Mitzi. Well, naturally with just a slight helping hand. I mean...on the same note you just can't stand by and just EXPECT a happy ending to just happen all on its own. It's the balance that confounds me."

Mitzi looked away for a moment.

"So the only ones who know about him right now are in this building?"

"At least until we bring more people in. Hopefully we can do this without the flood gates blowing open. And there's one key factor I want to put a lock and key on to prevent any chaotic "whoopsies"."

"Violet." Mitzi crossed her arms and she wrinkled her nose. "I get it. Say what you want about the girl but someone who has so much talent, so much going for her, and so many resources for us to rely on...she could be a worse wildcard than this Chara ever was."

"At least we don't have to worry about her doing something reckless and stupid like getting him to agree to absorbing a human soul. Which I don't need to tell you is incredibly bad. There's no seven-souls barrier around here that he would even need a soul to break through. Violet may be easily bored and may push the boundaries...but she's not going to be a total idiot just for her own amusement. And besides...I do have one hope to bank on: Violet of all people knows what it's like to be alone in the world. Asriel didn't have any friends until Chara came into his life. Violet didn't have any friends until she was 18 and met Bunnie. When we're sure we can keep a leash on Violet...as many concerns as I have...I have no doubt she'll be one of his new best friends. BFF's as they say nowadays?"

I paused before continuing on.

"From here, Asriel has nowhere to go but up. This place is better than any monster in the Underground could ever ask for; a dream come true. In Miranda he will find no segregation and no war for racial supremacy. Miranda is the best case scenario for him to grow up in. Be raised right. And be spared the Hell of a broken family. What we have to worry about is getting him..." I hesitated. "...getting him to let go." My gaze fell at the thought of Chara. The more I thought about her the more I realized I didn't have a clue how I'd ever bring her back if that could ever be an option. Loss is a normal part of life but......I couldn't suppress the part of me that felt even "not the best person in the world" could use a second chance.

"Commander. Let's cross that bridge when we come to it. First thing's first..." Mitzi turned and slipped on her oven mitts and pulled the pizza out of the oven. "I make sure all my customers get the homemade meal they need and one better than they deserve no matter who they might be. And everything is baked with motherly love just they way he, she, or they like it."

"Don't ever change, Mitzi!" It was the first time I honestly grinned pointy werewolf ear to pointy werewolf ear in a long time.

----RECOVERED DATA FRAGMENT FROM THE RESEARCH LOGS OF SPACE TIME CONTINUUM (STC) AGENCY FIELD AGENT AND FOUNDER, DR. VOLT ALESSANDRO ARCADE-----

Sub-Entry 13: "Where a (goat) kid can be a a (goat) kid":

Well all gathered at the table.

"You have many thoughts clouding your mind, Asriel-san. But the time for grieving is not now. Now is the time for new beginnings. New experiences. A new life. It may be hard to accept at times, maybe impossible. You may may even reject all of this as you long for the world you left behind. If you wish to be be vocal about your unhappiness do not withhold it from us. If you do not feel up to this, then we will not force you into an uncomfortable situation. But it would be a great courtessy to us all if you would allow us the honor to finally give long overdue introductions. It is not right to confine oneself to ignorance. You should at least know where you are and who you share the company of." Bunnie started things off.

Asriel looked up into her green eyes. I began to see...some semblence of life behind them. He was at least paying attention. Toriel had taught him well enough to mind his manners.

I went first. "You know me already, the one who rescued you. My name is Dr. Volt Alessandro Arcade."

There was a hesitation and a scared whimper.

"H...H...Howdy...Doctor Volt. It's nice to meet you."
It was still soft and weak. A little louder than the whispers from before but...still the voice of a broken soul.

"Konichiwa, Asriel. I am Grand Master Bunnie Meiru Rabbotou." Bunnie bowwed her head.

"K...Ko...kon...ichi......wah?" Asriel sounded out the word, clearly a spark of intrigue.

"Konichiwa." Bunnie spoke slower. "That means howdy." Bunnie beamed with a closed eyes smile.

"Oh...ko-nichi-wa to you too." The slowness of his response was reminding me of my encounters with Napstablook. With Napstablook I kinda expected the slow, hesitant speech. I mean...how do you expect a ghost to talk?

"I'm Mitzi. Mitzi Minerva Mozzarella. It's so nice to meet you."

"Howdy, Miss Mitzi." His voice remained soft and gentle but completely submissive. I felt like he was trying to the good...son in a room full of strange people. It was a step in the right direction. I could tell he was far from sure about the whole situation around him. And then the strangest thought to me occured...

Chara...is this how you must've experienced the first time the Dreemurr family sat down with you and broke bread? You must have been confused. It must have been overwhelming. I bet you couldn't understand. I bet it felt like more than someone like you deserved.
"Why were you all being so...nice to me?" What a fascinating role-reversal.

"This is Sarina and this is Hestia."
"Hi! We're glad to have you!"
"Welcome to Miranda City, Asriel!"

Mitzi hear the egg timer go off in the kitchen and she excused herself and headed back to the back.
"Okay! Pizza's ready!" Mitzi brought it out to the table. She had given it time to cool just as a precaution. I knew for a fact they had burgers, hot dogs and various other similar foods in the Underground as they did on this world. But it completely escaped my attention if they had pizza. You'd think that would be a detail I of all people would have recorded. Oh well...cest l' vie, as Antoine would say.

Just as a courtessy, Mitzi had made an extra large so we'd all get plenty--half pepperoni, half cheese. In time we'd figure out what Asriel's preferences were. We all proceeded to dig in, except for Asriel. He starred at it a bit, unsure of things. I could tell his mind was abuzz with thoughts and he looked beside himself...like he was debating whether it was really okay or not. Then I heard the unmistakable sound of his stomach rumbling followed by another whimper.

He inched toward a slice of the cheese side..looked to each of us like he wasn't really sure what the proper ettiquite was...brought the wedge to his mouth, semi-cringed for a moment, then closed his eyes and opened wide and took a bite. I thought I saw him wince a little like he wasn't used to the temperature but it must've been my imagination.

"Hmm...?" He opened his eyes...then opened them wide, lighting up with life. No use hiding it, kid. How about that? Azzy likes it. There was zero suprise there. I smiled as he began to eat a little faster, trying to cover up the"Mmm's". He was still being quiet but in all fairness he was enjoying his meal. I know he wanted to say how good it was, but he was too polite to speak with his mouth full.

There it was. You just couldn't beat that. It wasn't much. But it was a start.
"Welcome to Miranda City, Asriel."

----RECOVERED DATA FRAGMENT FROM THE RESEARCH LOGS OF SPACE TIME CONTINUUM (STC) AGENCY FIELD AGENT AND FOUNDER, DR. VOLT ALESSANDRO ARCADE-----

Sub-Entry 14: "One More Reassureance for the Road":
I had no more doubts about matters concerning Asriel. But the visit to Toriel left me with some lingering issues. For starters...this could technically be considered both integrating with a timeline for personal gain and directly interfering with that timeline. While I was confident that talking to Toriel and Sans wouldn't screw up the progression of events leading up to Frisk's arrival and beyond, I also realized that professionalism went out the window. This was a personal project underneath the coat of car wax and you know it. On the off chance that the Council still saw this as a professional assignment and had yet to reprimand you for rule and regulation violations you'd still know.

I guess Bunnie must've saw right through me before once again she was by my side with a gentle hand on my shoulder and Jang-ly advice to give.

"You did say you did what you did in the name of peace and sanity. You've done worse in the name of the greater good."

"I suppose so."

"Do not suppose. Believe."

"None of you have taken on the responsibility of immortality and time-space-dimension walking. You're here in this part of my past all the time while I've answering to the "future sequel to the Dragon Council". Speaking of which, I don't always have the resources--technological or friendwise to shoulder this burden. I guess these are the times I see the world through Asriel's eyes...and Violet's."

"You of all people feel lonely?" Bunnie raised an eyebrow.

"A...difficult thing to admit when you have more friends than you know what to do with to lean on. But still with limitations--mortality and being beyond the gaze of the all-seeing Council of Space-Time-Dimension."

"Volt-san..." Bunnie cleared her throat. "Do you know the meaning of the Jangese saying, 一人で歩くことはありません願っています。 [Hitori de aruku koto wa arimasen negatte imasu]?

"You know I never learned your native tongue."

"一人で歩くことはありません願っています。 [Hitori de aruku koto wa arimasen negatte imasu] in translation means: 'Hope never walks alone'."

"That's a good thought, Major."

"Mind cleared?"

"Mind cleared."

"Good."

"Now. The next step. Contining the path. We'll keep bringing more into the circle and build Asriel's trust and comfort while we adjust him to society. Try to get him down the path to being a normal kid again. Or...as close to normal as it gets. And of course out of the funk of solitude and being unable to let go. Maybe get him to move on from being chained to Chara's plan."

"Have you given any thought as to how to proceed with this...Chara?"

"Not in the least. My opinion of her see-saws between sympathetic and completely bent on sending her to the deepest part of Gehenna."

"I see."

"So...Asriel at this moment?"

"In the garden. The serenity is doing him some good. He's still...broken. But he's started becoming aware of his surroundings. Perhaps he may find some new companionship...

"Your three little ones. The rabite trio. How are Houjicha, Bancha, and Kukuicha?

"They've grown since you last saw them. But they're still the same."

"I've yet to see a child who can resist the charm of a pet as cute as a rabite. And with three of them...I think it's just a matter of time. Anyway...would you object if I brought Gadget and Pit into the circle next?"

"Object? I'd have suggested it myself, Volt-san."

"I guess with nutrition, living, and other comforts at hand...what do we do about education?"

"He was homeschooled up until his disappearance, correct?

"Yes. Toriel saw to that personally."

"We may need to collaborate a bit until he is of age that he can be enrolled in the Ultra Crew Institute. Depending on his level of magic and how it develops over time, we may wish to have him to to the Mage Academy." Bunnie paused. "Perhaps we should consider building some structure into his life.

"If you're suggesting karate classes at the dojo, I do have concerns. His world is...kind of a mystery with such things to consider as Level of Violence and Extermination Points. Two little details that make make my skin crawl underneath my fur. The other Asriels of the other timelines had plenty of time to learn violence and that accursed "kill or be killed" philosophy as Flowey. I honestly don't know if such dirtying of the soul carries over. I saw it happen to the various Frisks of the [GENOCIDE] and [NEUTRAL] timelines. I don't even know if it works both ways. Either way...I'm also worried by the fact that you can just tell by looking at the boy that he's the most gentle creature you'll probably lay eyes on. Anyone who resists the control over his sister, in spite of being evolved and twisted by the power her soul unleashed...anyone who refused to fight back in spite of mortal wounding...that's a special kind of strength there. I really hope that much about him holds constant in this incranation. Someone who passed up the chance to collect six more souls, shatter the barrier and give monsters their freedom...knowing that it would require human sacrifice to do it."

Bunnie smiled brightly.

"That is the mark of a true warrior. A warrior for peace. And that, my dear Volt-san, is the very thing that will make him an exceptional martial artist one day. To value life is to be alive. To protect it at every cost is the true immortality."

"Wise beyond your years, major. Well...pick him out a gi and white belt and get him started when you is the right time."

"Now that that's settled...let us get him some more friends in his life."

----RECOVERED DATA FRAGMENT FROM THE RESEARCH LOGS OF SPACE TIME CONTINUUM (STC) AGENCY FIELD AGENT AND FOUNDER, DR. VOLT ALESSANDRO ARCADE-----

Sub-Entry 15: "An Angel but not THE Angel of Prophecy...":
I wasn't sure who would show up first. I never had to worry about Gadget showing up on time...just worry if her latest make-shifted ride would hold together long enough to get to the square. Sometimes her inventions had a way of falling apart. It was to be expected when you work without blueprints and from recycled junk and broken electronics. And Pit was always prompt as his scouting rounds were a daily regimen.

Bunnie had brought Asriel to the fountain again at the wee-hours of the morning when the square was emptied out. I didn't want to run the risk of someone seeing him and spilling the beans to the wrong people. We still weren't ready to handle the adoption process and I hadn't brought him to meet Callista and Scott yet. Asriel obviously had questions about the kanji on some of the clothes Bunnie had provided but he was still too timid to ask.

A few days had passed since the pizza party in the wee hours of the morning, when the sun hadn't come up yet--dark enough for Rock-Afire Pizza's neon signs and display to leave an impression. Asriel had spent a lot of the evening and night sleeping so getting up early wasn't a problem. As a courtessy, I'd given him my favorite Elec Man alarm clock. Light Labs number 008 was always my favorite. Speaking of, the doctor, besides being a science hero growing up, was the creator and father of one of Pit's partners while he was in the long-since disbanded Ultra Crew Institute's "N-Division". The predecessors of the moderned UCIAT. Sorry...getting off track.

Oh yes! That reminded me. Asriel still hadn't seen the sun per se. We'd always taken him out after hours and way before hours. It was actually a short wait until sunrise. I knew that he and every monster in the Underground had always dreamed of a world outside the barrier that they'd never see. And this instance of Asriel never got the chance unlike the other timeline instances. But in all fairness...their experience in the outside world was......deadly unpleasant. *shudder*

We got comfy on the edge of the fountain. I'd noticed Asriel wasn't looking down at the ground as much. Reassuring but he was still in a fragile state. Slow and steady, Volt.

"Doctor Volt?"

"You can call me Volt. Just Volt."

"Volt? We are we here? At this place again?"

"Well you're going to meet some new people. I hope in time they can be your friends."

A pause.

"...friends..." He looked down like he was debating something.

I considered a couple things at that moment. Maybe it must've seemed to him like we were trying to replace Chara. Maybe he wasn't sure if it was okay to let someone else into his life. Maybe he still felt unworthy.

"Asriel. It's okay to make new friends. You don't have to have just one person in your life." Bunnie offered.

A furrow of the brow. The gears were really turnin' in there, weren't they?
Asriel had said so very little and kept so much to himself. I knew there was more personality and intelligence beneath the surface. He was older than was implied by his manner of speaking. That was just the mental entropy of retreating inside that protective shell.

My watch beeped. My ear twitched by not in the direction of the beep. I could hear it above in the sky. A look toward the clouds confirmed it. The figure of a human-shaped object with...wings. Well. There was no doubt who would make it here first.

In the next few moments the being had begun their descent. I watched and waited for Asriel to take notice. And sure enough, his expression changed to inquisitive as if he sensed or heard something. He looked up with the dull expression...and then as soon as he saw it I watched his eyes begin to widen.

"Wh...what...what is that? Is...is that a human? A flying human? That...that doesn't make sense. Chara never said anything about...flying humans. Wait..."

Asriel looked a little frightened.

"Is....is that...?"

Pit made his final descent and dropped to the ground, landing on his sandal-clad feet. He folded up his wings and saluted. There he was, taller than Asriel but still small compared to the Major and myself. He was clad with a black body suit which was like shorts at the bottom, underneath his white toga. His layers of golden brown hair looked slightly spikey, adorned with a wreath of olive leaves. A set of leather greaves criss-crossed from his knees to his ankles. And of course there were the leather sandals. His wings were smaller than most celestials but still had enough wingspan for him to wrap them around himself when he was moody. When he did so and curled up in a ball, it was always adoreable. And like the Major and Mitzi, Pit had green eyes--different from his various other dimension counterparts I had come across in other universes during my time as STC.

"Scouting rounds complete, Major-- Oh! Commander! I didn't know you were back in town!"

I was starting to keep a tab on how many times people were going to call me Commander.

"Yeah...safe haven from an ongoing research mission from the Council."

"Volt...is...is that what an angel is?"

"Hmm? Oh a new friend! Hello there, young mortal. What species are you? Where are you from?"

Asriel didn't even blink. Hard to tell if he was in shock or awe. Or both.

"Uh...monster, I guess. Um...the Underground Capital?"

"Underground Capital? I cannot say I've ever heard of that. You don't look much like a monster. You're not very scary. You don't seem very evil. You look kinda...kinda like one of those animals...not a sheep but......a goat!"

"A.....a goat? I look like a goat?" I wasn't sure if Asriel was offended or not.

"Yes! A goat!"

"Um...okay...thank you? (I think.) Er...are you the angel?"

"Why, yes, young mortal friend." Pit replied, not realizing what Asriel meant. I had a suspicion.

It brought to mind overhearing the conversation of an elderly turtle in the Underground. He looked like one of those British explorers, whethered by time. Listening closely I was sure I had caught the mention of an angel in the Prophecy. While I knew that Prophecy was foretelling Frisk's coming in all of the timelines, the chances of Frisk being an angel of mercy or an angel of death were...infintessimally beyond my ability to predict. Every timeline that sprung up beyond what I already had recorded had no discernable pattern. Today's [PASCIFIST] became tomorrow's [GENOCIDE].

"But...if you're the angel in the Prophecy...why...why didn't you save us?"

Pit's happiness faded.

"Save you? Save you from what?"

"Asriel, maybe you shouldn't be thinking about--"

"Is it because of me? Is it because of what Chara was going to make me do? Is it because I didn't stop Chara from--"

"Who is...Chara? What are you talking about?"

Asriel started to tear up a little.

"Chara is my bes--"

"I'm sorry, little guy. Pit isn't the angel from the Prophecy."

"Commander? What Prophecy?"

"I'm sorry, Pit-kun. It seems we have much to discuss...much to brief you on."

"...are you the Angel of Death?" Asriel looked really afraid. "Are you going to judge me? Am I going to be punished? Does...does this mean I'll be with Chara again?"

"N-no! You must mean Reapers. No! I am no such thing! I would never take the life of an innocent!"

"But I"m not innocent. Chara is...because of...I-I-"

Bunnie suddenly got between the two and kneeled down before Asriel and placed a hand on his forehead.

"Shhhhhhh. It's okay. You don't have to be afraid. Pit is a friend. He is not here to punish anyone. You're safe, young one. Everything is calm. Everything is just."

Asriel was shuddering but the Major quickly calmed him down. While she did, I explained the situation from top to bottom to Pit.

"Oh no...he's a foresaken child? That is so tragic!"

"Chara...do you know what happened to Chara? Is she alright? Can you...can you bring her back to life?"

".........I'm sorry. But that is beyond my power."

My face fell at the realization. How deep did you have him wound around your little finger, Chara? I was getting nauseus over the idea that all that time you were just using Asriel. Did you ever really want a family or...?

"...I understand. I'm...sorry. I just thought......" Asriel looked down. "Is...is it ever meaningless to say that you're sorry?"

"Asriel. Never." Pit suddenly smiled. "You are...better than you believe you are. In time I hope you will come to accept that you did nothing wrong."

"Asriel? Do not be in such a hurry to rejoin those you have lost. Live for now. Live for them. And when you meet again, you will have the best story to share with them. The story of a good life. Don't rush. They'll wait for you." Bunnie said plain as night and day. Speaking of which...

"You have suffered a terrible fate, Asriel. But don't be sad. Let me cheer you up. "

"You will? But how?"

"WIth this." Pit produced his favorite golden lyre-harp. And low and behold he started playing.

Asriel began to calm. This was by far the most he had opened up. The most talkative he'd been. And while most of it was panic, fear, and sadness...it was still progress.

PIt played beautifully. It was about that time when who should roll in on that makeshift skateboard.

----RECOVERED DATA FRAGMENT FROM THE RESEARCH LOGS OF SPACE TIME CONTINUUM (STC) AGENCY FIELD AGENT AND FOUNDER, DR. VOLT ALESSANDRO ARCADE-----

Sub-Entry 16: "Little Big Sister":

"I'm here! I'm here!" Came the spritely voice I knew all so well. The peach-furred, blue-eyed, blond-haired hybrid mouse reached the fountain and quickly stowed her makeshift skateboard into her backpack of holding.

Asriel briefly broke eye contact to see the newcomer.

She immediately hustled up to me, threw her arms around me and hugged, bending one leg and standing on the other like a flammingo. So cute.

"I got here as soon as I could. I hope I didn't keep you waiting!"

"You're right on time."

"Ohh, I'm so anxious to meet your new friend, big brother!"

"Huh...? Big...brother?" Asriel cocked his head.

"I'm sure you are, little sister. I'm sure you are."

"She's...youre sister?" Asriel's attention was full on by this point. A familiar chord was resonating.

"Yes, this is my sister, Gadget Tress Hackwrench. She's adopted. It's a long story."

"Golly! You must be who big brother's said so much about! Is he from another of those worlds you explore, big bro?" Gadget cut in, too energetic for her own good.

"Y...yes."

"Oh, I bet it's a wonderful place to be! Can I visit someday? Pleeeeease?"

"...." I didn't have the heart to tell her the truth. While she was looking away I shook me head and motioned for Asriel not to say anything. Pit seemed to confirm my request with a soulful nod.

"You're still a bit young, Gadget. Some day."

"Okay! I understand!"

Gadget turned to Asriel.

"Oh look at you! You're so cuuuute!"

Gadget immediatedly fawned over him, unable to resist petting him and stroking his ears.

"...! C-C-CUTE?" Asriel blurted out. It wasn't a defensive exclaimation. In fact I could tell he was flattered and embarassed. He shrunk back the tiniest bit. I joked to myself that Asriel was probably going to have trouble speaking to girls when he got to that age. Oh the things Violet would joke about.

"My name is Gadget Hackwrench. Oh wait...you already knew that. Huh...what comes next. Umm...oh yeah! What's you're name?"

"Asriel. Asriel Dreemurr."

"It's wonderful to meet you! I just know we're going to be besties!" Gadget gave him an unexpected loving hug he wasn't ready for.

Wow. Just wow. He was beyond overwhelmed at this point. I wonder what you were thinking right now. Probably something like Chara was never like this. Chara was always...well...snippy. Always her against the world with a chip on her shoulder. Especially against the human race--her race. Always irate over things and always mischievious.

"I like to build things from junk parts and recyclables. Do you have any hobbies?"

"I...uh...that is..."

Huh. That was something I never thought to ask. What were the kid's interests? Hobbies? Talents? I guess I'd better try and learn that soon.
At this point I was only very slightly worried that Gadget would talk his ear off at some point. While he was definitely making progress and opening up, he was still pretty silent compared to my adoreable little mouse sister; the occasional chatterbox when she was really excited. And making a new friend like this sure seemed exciting. Pit began to wrap up his harp practice. And it was at the perfect time, too.

"Asriel. Look. Over there at the sky. Right in that spot."

"Huh? What is...? Ohhh!" That was all he said for the longest time as his eyes just lit up. He had never seen anything like a sunrise before. It was so amazing that it left him speechless. And by extention...it left Gadget speechless too.

"Wow..." Mostly speechless.

"The most beautiful sight to wake up to in the world." I mused.

Bunnie nodded.

"Enjoy your first sunrise, Azzy. There are many more on the way..."

Last edited by Volt Alessandro Arcade; 04-09-2016 at 02:51 PM.
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Old 03-20-2016, 06:11 AM
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Volt Alessandro Arcade Volt Alessandro Arcade is offline
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Even more pieces of the UCIAT x UT project. Enjoy!

----RECOVERED DATA FRAGMENT FROM THE RESEARCH LOGS OF SPACE TIME CONTINUUM (STC) AGENCY FIELD AGENT AND FOUNDER, DR. VOLT ALESSANDRO ARCADE-----

Sub-Entry 17: "Heartache Comes in Many Forms. Some Incorporeal..."
From that point I thought that I'd have no further doubts or anxieties about traveling back and forth between the Timelines and Miranda City. The Council had yet to send me a memo let alone reprimand me, though I was waiting for the other sandal to drop. At the very least I'd probably be asked about unlogged commuting. And then I'd be tempted to hold the Emergency Recall "st'nank" over their necks like the albatross corpse it was. Whatever punishment that would earn would be worth it. With no reservations about continuing my research on newly manefested Timelines, I would be unprepared for what came next. After being rewarded by Lady Destiny, I shouldn't have underestimated Madam Fate adding a new twist to the stage play she was constantly editing like a Wikipedia page for her own amusement.

During some routine diagnostics on the Deloreon, I discovered problematic readings. According to the Chronometric Analyzer the chromium components in the time circuits had become unstable during the last temporal shift. They would need to be replaced with titanium. What a tell-tale case of bad luck. I didn't want to risk problems in the flux field. This malfunction had come up before for my mentor and his ward during a mishap that spanned the 1930's.

Given the nature of this problem, I wasn't about to risk my arrival time having an 8 hour discrepancy. Eight seconds could be the difference between life and death in many cases. Eight minutes could equate to "very bad". Eight hours could easily turn into "another Big Twinkee"... The thought of Toriel, Sans, Papyrus, Undyne, Alphys, or anyone else being a pile of dust because I was late to the party was unacceptable. Any other field agent would just write it off and abandon the timeline, recalculate, and jump around until they got it right--completely ignoring the instances of lives that just got snuffed out. The Council didn't care, just as long as the job got done. I wasn't any other field agent. I got this right in one shot or I add it to the pile of mistakes I'd made in my eternal lifetime and beat myself up over it another day.

So I was down a time vehicle. Well. That wouldn't stop me but the next choice in line would be a bit...cumbersome. I wasn't confident that I could pilot it around the undertown without at least some kind of complication. And besides...even incorporeal to the Timestream, it would be a lot harder to hide away than the Deloreon.

I picked up more equipment from the labtables; trinkets occupying my own personal Memory Lane over the lifetimes and lifetimes beyond the Institute for Future Technology. Then I headed over to the miniature version of the track switch I had seen on my visit to Macbeth in the Lylat System. I gave it a good shove back and let the rotary carosel rise from the circular hatch in the ground and link up with the rails that unpacked themselves from the floor, leading down the new ramp. In the darkness three letters drove home it home: E.L.B.
Hello, giddiness, my old friend. Time to take the train out.

It didn't take long to heat up the boiler and get the magnets and modifications sparking, turning, churning and glowing. It was a good thing that this pocket universe was abandoned. I'd draw attention from everyone in New Mobotropolis if they weren't alive, well, and rebooted in their new reality, existing in some other parallel instance where the shards of this reality had rended the fabric of time and space into swiss cheese and left the planet a case of "Dinosaur Planet Redeux". Mobius was a case I really needed to get back to when things blew over with my current assignment. Whats a few more decades compared to the few hundred more centuries they'd stick me into criss-crossing? But I digress. I was off to Mount Ebott again.

My goal this time was to make my way to the capital. I put off my chat with Asgore long enough. Though in all likelyhood I was probably going to be diverted by everyone else between the Snowdin and the King's Castle. No shortcuts this time. I was parking her at the mouth of the hollowed-out mountain and descending. That meant braving the puzzles and traps of the ruins. It was okay. It wasn't my first rodeo in these parts. I was feeling laid back so a little time and patience was warrented.

I put the E.L.B. Time Train on lockdown and kept it cloaked, outside of reality. I had picked a neighboring timeline from UTPR-3224. I didn't think there was any cause for alarm. As soon as I touched down on the flower bed directly under the mouth of the mountain I could swear I heard the P.K.E. meter chirp. I dug it out and checked. I thought I caught sight of a blip but it must've been my imagination. It was then I noticed the writing had worn away from the levers. That was...new. There were also unexplainable...discrepancies I sensed in the local fauna. The Froggits seemed...off today. Eventually I reached the tree in front of the humble household that was Toriel's residence of self-exile. I went up to the door and knocked. No answer. I started to get a creepy feeling. I was sure this wasn't a [GENOCIDE] timeline. Maybe she was just out? Or maybe she was...

Without thinking, I phased through the door. The circuit card in my bracer had been replaced so I wasn't about to charge THAT recklessly into a situation...even though I was charging recklessly into a situation.

I walked down the hallway. I hadn't met this instance of Toriel so it would be a lot harder to explain myself if for some reason I integrated with the timestream. I was about to turn the corner when a mystical fireblast rocket past and dissipated upon impact with the wall, leaving scorch marks. There went my good mood. Looks like I wasn't paying as much attention as I thought I was when I was setting the time and space coordinates. Frisk was already here and fighting goat mom. I shoved my hands into my labcoat pockets, closed my eyes and shook my head. A neutral timeline didn't necessarily mean there would be no battles. I decided to wait out the battle and move on at the aftermath of it. Toriel would either return upstairs...or not at all. I was prepared for both. THis had happened so many times without so much of a single variation--

CRACK!!!

"What the--?!"

I recoiled in horror as I watched Frisk fly past me, and slam into the wall. My expression turned instantly to aghast. This wasn't supposed to happen. Toriel, what the Hell?!

I rounded the corner and my eyes pentupled in size at the sight I had seen before me.

This was goat mom alright. But that was not the same person I talked to before. I saw the flames in her eyes and the rage in her expression.

"You were given a command to return to your room. Did you really think you had a choice in the matter?"

Whoah, whoah, WHOAH. Where did that come from?

"You are like every child that comes through here...defiant. You're all always so determined to leave that you'd crush a mother's heart and throw it away. I give you protection from what lies beyond these doors and you reject it so callously."

Wait a minute...I don't think I'd remember Toriel using contractions in her speech. And while I knew she had a lot of...issues...what I was watching was impossible.

I looked to Frisk. Poor kid was dazed and suprisingly not trembling. The bruises and burns however...

"...!" That tears it. I didn't like where this was going but there was only one course of action: either leave things as they were with the very real possibility that Frisk could actually die or...

"C'mon, kid. Reset and get out of there..." I murmured. And yet the interface didn't show. What were you waiting for, Frisk?

More fireballs crashed down around the kid. She walked toward Frisk's helpless form, a complete look of remorselessness making the situation even more nauseating. I felt my muzzle scrunch upand my teeth and fangs gnash. I guess that was it. If I felt bad about making goat my cry, I was going to feel like TRASH kicking her butt. I yanked the circuit card with a spray of sparks and electromorphed, slingshotting my lighting form toward her. I solidified and cocked a fist and aimed right for the stomach. A lot of sin to go around. Goat mom attepting to kill a child...did it really justify beating up a woman...who happened to be more skilled at pyrokinesis than my daughter, Elektra.

Toriel slid backward, the soles of her bare feet squeaking against the surface of the floor as she steadied to recovery.

"You! Who are you? This is not a matter which concerns you."

"What a terrible creature. Torturing such a poor, innocent youth." I turned her own words from dealing with Flowey against her.

"!!!" That pissed her off. A lot.

"You know not what you speak of! I am doing this for this child's own good. This child...this undisciplined child will die at Asgore's hands. Do you not understand the gravity of this situation?!"

"And if I leave things as they are, this child will die at yours." I countered.

"If you interfere then--"

"You'll discipline me as well?"

"Insolent whelp!"

I knew that losing Chara, Asriel, and Asgore had messed her up but this was a whole new level.

"I'm giving you one chance to step aside and let the child go."

"Never."

"Is that so?" I casually said, closing my eyes. Not-so-ironically, talking was not the solution in this situation. "If that is your decision..."

I suddenly charged her, locking grips with her. "PREPARE YOURSELF!" The two of us struggled, attempting to overpower one another.

Something was really freaky and it wasn't just the situation. I wasn't exactly a bodybuilder but I was sure I should be overpowering her in physical strength but her grip in each hand was like iron and steel and I felt like I was slowly backsliding. My sandals weren't giving me as much traction as I thought.

It was then pain shot through my hands as I felt the flames ignite in hers. I didn't want to get into an elemental battle but I couldn't have my hands burned off. So I lit mine up with electricity. She squeezed her eyes shut and faltered before intensifying the flames. I raised the stakes causing her to spasm. Enfuriated, we both unleashed a surge of fire and electricity at the same time. The resulting energy backlash threw us both apart. I did what I could to douse the flames. Already the time-space continuum was starting to reject the horrifying injuries; it was the same power that Orihime Inoue of Karakura Town wielded. Toriel back up against the doorway, clutching her arm, which was hanging limply. Residual arcs of electricity seared across her. A healing spell. A crack of bones and her arm was working again.

"You don't understand my pain. You don't know my sacrifice."

This many contractions in her grammar. Her way of speaking remained...ahem...flowery and formal but this was an out-of-place element that was drawing my suspicion. I looked to Frisk again--the kid was out cold. This made things so much easier. If I had to let Frisk watch every gorey detail of this heinous confrontation I'd never have another peaceful sleep again. Just when I was making progress with you, Asriel, I had to go and let you down like this. If you ever knew what I was doing to your poor mother, I wouldn't blame you for whatever you had waiting for me. It would still be too good a punishment.

The flames manefested in the air, like kitsune soul flames. ANd then they shot toward me like comets. Goat mom was a lot tougher than I had given credit for. The only person who could kick Asgore's fluffy-buns and I was up against what I was presuming was her full potential. I dodged like this was one of Violet's import danmaku shooters. I was hesitant to retaliate back with electric projectiles. Even though my first instinct was to beat her down, I was in the heat of the moment, no pun intended. I didn't want to hurt her even though it was clear she wanted to hurt me. Magnetism it was. I forged a magnet plate and brought it down upon her and pressed her to the floor. Not enough to crush her but enough to keep her pinned.

"Stay down." I ordered.

I thought that would hold her. Wrong again.

"What?!" I watched as her fur seemed to gain a blazing sheen and then I heard the magnetic plate actually crack and shatter into wisps of static. Magnet fields could easily contain plasma and chemicals too caustic for glass. This was a clear violation of the laws of physics. Or...maybe it was just magic. Gods, I didn't understand magic.

As soon as she got up I saw them manefest. The entities of magma...vaguely handshaped at the heads...or maybe they were supposed be stretched out goat heads? And in my confusion, it hit me...there was something about them that harkened back to Gaster Blasters...but these were compltely different. I dodged and jumped, firing back with globes of compressed magnetism. They'd knock the wind out of her but they wouldn't harm her the same way my signature V.O.L.T. Strike.

A direct hit to the forehead made her whiplash. "Oh gods, I'm s--"

Before I could get the words out I felt the heat blast pierce through me. And then I was rapidly riddled by them. The battle had turned and she had me on the ropes. It was then I noticed she wasn't doing much talking. In fact what little vocalization I was hearing could be equated to growling.

In desparation I looked about the walls...then sensed behind them. Brick and cinderblock...and metal spires reenforcing them? I didn't have time to contemplate why there were iron rods running though cinderblocks and concrete. Maybe the ruins weren't as ancient as they implied. Either way with a few flexes of a few hundred mega-Teslas I wrenched a few few right out of the walls, let them hover a bit then slingshot them, bending them into boomerangs as they took their maiden flights. I was immediately dumbfounded when they were quickly backhanded and melted in puddles that splashed down on the floor and hardened.

The fight was draggng out. I had to end it somehow. I tried forming compressed magnetic projectiles and winged them in waves. Toriel dodged all but the the last one then gave me an even greater shock when she actually snapped down on one with her jaws and shattered it. Whoah. At what point did she get this feral?! She had dropped into a sprawl on all fours and was staring death lasers though me. I was getting scared now. I couldn't bring myself to put her down.

That was when I heard the unmistable warbling of the Giga Meter in my pocket and the chirp of the P.K.E. meter. The realization set it. I knew it. There were forces here at work that were unnatural. I dug both out at the same time and switched them on with a small static arc. The readings were off the scale and they were coming from Toriel. I'd seen this kind of valence before...this was clearly the indication of spiritual possession.

Without no further hesitating, I slipped a gizmo from my pockets onto my gi's black belt and gave it a slap. It quickly unfolded into an aparatus which expanded into a familiar, modified nuclear accelerator pack on my back. I cycled thrhough the additional modifcations and engaged it as the upper left corner of the machine opened up revealing the glass container with the bubbling green plasm. It was just like the 1991 case. I sure wasn't facing down one of Ivo Shandor's followers, though and this was no mandala node.

"Sorry, Toriel. But this is for your own good." I took aim and squeezed the trigger, unleashing the massive jet blast of psychomagnethric plasm. A momentary distorted cry which quickly turned to a cry of anguish and then the whimper of a goat mother passing out and dropping to the floor with a splat. I looked again at Frisk. Still out. The fight was over. Time for the cover-up. It took only minor STC tools to negate the damage that had been done to the room and a switchout to the Poltergust-5000 to vacuum up every drop of the plasma. By the time she woke up, Toriel would be dry. A wave or two of the Ecto Aroma Elimator and they'd be no lingering scent of the Mood Slime. And finally as one final step I propped her up and carefully used magnetism to force open her eyes. She was unconscious but her brain would register this final precaution. I took the M.i.B. neuralizer pen out of my pocket, donned my shades and gave Toriel a calculated dose. She wouldn't remember what happened. And then I headed over to Frisk and repeated. I couldn't take the chance. They'd wake up soon enough and things would progress normally enough. And just to be sure I used some healing items. The used bandaid was suprisingly effective. This was by far the most I'd interfered in a timeline. But that was of little concern now.

"Isn't it about time you showed yourself?"

----RECOVERED DATA FRAGMENT FROM THE RESEARCH LOGS OF SPACE TIME CONTINUUM (STC) AGENCY FIELD AGENT AND FOUNDER, DR. VOLT ALESSANDRO ARCADE-----

Sub-Entry 18: "Villain":

There was the echo of laughter in the room. "My, my...a new player in the game."

"So it was you." I tried to keep calm despite the fact I was boiling over.

"You don't belong here, do you?" The voice was sing-songy.

"That's a case of the pot calling the kettle black." I slid my gaze aroudn without turning around.

The meters were definitely crackling.

"Isn't this the part where you tell me I'm clever. Very clever. That I spared the lives of two innocent souls?" I smoldered.

"I think you have me confused for something else."

"You call this a game. Is that all this is to you?"

"All the world's a stage." Came the smug giggle.

"And eveyrone in it is your puppet to command."

"Now you're getting it."

"You're the most paper-thin villain ever. Manipulating people for your amusement. In the end, you're still just a kid."

"Awww...how cute. Puppy dog thinks he's going to bait me into doing something foolish."

"Why don't you cut the crap. You've got a lot to answer for...CHARA DREEMURR!" I whirled and came face to face with the transluscent, red-auraed apparition that was Chara. That familiar greenish shirt. The red eyes. The cartoonishly rosey cheeks. Definitely older than Frisk. As it stood she was the last person I wanted to see.

"How many times? How many times have you haunted these time streams. How many [GENOCIDE] timelines have you made Frisk your unsuspecting tool?

"Dunno. Lost track a long time ago. It was starting to get a little stale so--"

"So you decided to change the rules. Did it ever occur to you that you might have taken things too far?"

"What? Just think of it as a much-needed patch for an imperfect set-up?

"That's ALL you have to say for yourself?"

"You certain are brave. Talking down to me like every other grown up. You sound like just another worthless human."

"You've no idea."

"Just what do you intend to do to me? There's nothing you can do to hurt me anymore. I don't even have a body for you to attack."

"..." My eyes disappeared underneath the shadow of my bangs.

"So...you possessed your own mother and made her and Frisk your playthings."

"You make it sound like it's a bad thing. Mom won't even remember this after Frisk resets again."

"Yes...that power you don't have." Chara seemed unphased by that. Power was power by any other means.

"So what's your point? You gonna lecture me about using people?" No. That was too good for you.

"Tell me , Chara...was Asriel your plaything too?"

Suddenly the smug grin turned into a dour frown and the wicked red eyes disappeared under their own shadow. Those rosey red circles on her checks burned a little brighter or it seemed.

"You just became a lot less fun." The energy drained out of her voice, replaced with coldness.

"Do you even know the meaning of that gold locket you've stuffed in your pocket. Which you hide from a world that can't even see you?"

An angry grunt.

"Best friends forever. Isn't that what the engraving said?"

The breathing became heavier.

"What kind of best friend takes her own life in front of her brother's own eyes. How much did he agonize over you suffering from the poisoning? How many hours did he stay at your bedside?"

"....."

"You made him absorb your soul...twist into that form...that adult-ish body...those black sclera eyes with the piercing red eyes, the black lightning bolt marks on the sides of his face...the darkened copy of Toriel's robes."

"What are you doing?" Came Chara's derisive response.

"You were in control the whole time. You carried your lifeless body through the barrier, into the human village to its center. It was Asriel's mercy to lay you in a bed of flowers. He knew you were gone. There was no going back into your body. You got your wish, didn't you? You were no longer human. You were a human soul fighting for dominance with a monster's soul in a monster's body."

"Why are you doing this?"

"You wore him like PANTS." I let a surge of anger overwhelm me. "He was nothing more than a living suit to you, like some kind of messed up Kill la Kill life fiber mass. He was not some damn kamui for you to put on and use to slice people to ribbons!"

"S-shut up! Shut up!"

"And then in his grief he wrestled control away from you. But it was too late. You lead him to his own slaughter!"
I saw the crocodile tears start to form under the shadows. The dour scowl had turned into a toothy grimmace.

"What did you tell him? 'Do what I say, Asriel'? 'Stop being weak, Asriel'? When you couldn't do the deed yourself you put it all on his shoulders to slaughter and harvest?" I was seething but I was calm, cold, and calculating.

Chara's readings were starting to destablize.

"What are you doing? What is this feeling....?"

"He told you didn't he? He told you he didn't like the plan anymore. You ignored him. There was no way your plan could fail."

"Stop it! Get away from me!" Chara backstepped.

"Do you hear me? I'll tear you apart!" The knife manefested in her hand.

"I know why you're doing this. Do you know why I am doing this? Do you have any idea how much I'm struggling to find a good person in you? Asriel saw something in you that was worth befriending, worth loving, worth saving. He didn't have a drop of hatred in him. That's why the plan failed, didn't it? He did not believe it was right to kill or be killed.""

"You don't know anything about me!!!" Chara raised her head, showing the stream of tears and the anguished look.
She charged at me and shoved the knife deep into my chest...to no avail. The blood crawled back in and the wound sealed shut. The shirt and tie were ruined.

"You were special. He cared about you. You were the only one who understood him. The only one who was any fun to play with."

"Wh-why won't you...why won't you die?"

"Don't you see? Even in his final moments he wasn't ready to let you go. If it was in his power he'd fight to hold onto you. And now...now it's too late. It's over now. So please...stop this and just let me--"

"Give him back." came the response.

"Hmm?"

"I said give him back! You have him, don't you! You're hiding him from me! He's mine! He's mine and you can't have him! Give him back!"

"...you poor, deluded creature. You haven't learned anything."

Chara slashed repeatedly. "Give. Him. Back. Now."

"Chara Dreemurr. As you are now... I cannot allow that. My answer to you is no. You are selfish. You are manipulative. And you just can't stop yourself. Until you understand what I am trying to teach you...you and Asriel will never be together again."

Chara's expression turned to extremely aghast. Like she was completely stunned. For the next few moments all I could hear was her scream. And with that her form exploded in a release of spectral energy. This wasn't that last I heard of her.

Well. This mission had gone off the rails. If I wasn't in a bad mood before I was completely devastated by this point. You tampered with a woman's emotions. Then you beat her to a pulp. And finally you struck at her dead daughter with every low blow you could speak. This was a new low, Volt. This was a setback of untold proportions. And all you could do was walk away. I opened the gate and stepped through and walked out of the runs, closing the gate behind me. I knew Toriel and Frisk would be okay on their own. Chara wasn't coming back and they were both healed up. It was time to lick my wounds. It was time to drown my sorrows. The way I was feeling now...I really didn't want to bump into anyone. That was what this adventure was missing up to this point, wasn't it? No story could be complete without a villain. She was wrong. I did hurt her. And despite how much she had it coming? I couldn't have felt more rotten. On top of that I really should have checked Toriel and Frisk more thoroughly. I'd probably screw that up to. The way I was...I didn't really have a reason to believe in myself.

----RECOVERED DATA FRAGMENT FROM THE RESEARCH LOGS OF SPACE TIME CONTINUUM (STC) AGENCY FIELD AGENT AND FOUNDER, DR. VOLT ALESSANDRO ARCADE-----

Sub-Entry 19: "Someone Else Believes in You Even if you Don't Believe in Yourself":
What a mess. What an awful, awful, awful mess I was too broken up to even cry. It would take a lot more than fart jokes and bad puns this time around. I really didn't want to run into Sans. I trudged past the faulty "gate thingee". Too wide a gap to stop anything.
I quietly pressed on. I looked off to the left of the path. Heh. Conviniently-shaped lamp. Good times. Good times.

Speak of the lazybones, there he was asleep at his sentry station. Best keep moving. I was sure I could sneak past him without incident. And low and behold I managed to just that. No worries from here. Just a lot of misery and the previously-agreed-upon-beating-myself-up.

I continued on the way. Probably should have stepped out of time and space but what was the point. I was engraved into this Timeline's history now. Even if Frisk did reset, this Timeline would just be replaced with a new one. And who knows what memories would carry over. Sans? Flowey? Gaster? ...Chara?

I looked over my shoulder, thinking I was in the clear when my thoughts were interrupted by the unexpected cry of--

"SANS!"

Oooooh. I guess I was cautious around the wrong skeleton.

"?!?" I stopped in my tracks as Papyrus skidded in his.

"Hmm? You there! You're coming this way. You passed by the sentry station. You must have seen my lazy brother boondoggling at his post."

Sorry, Sans. I was gonna have to rat you out. What's one more mistake to add to the pile today?

"Yeah, there was a skeleton in a hoodie asleep at a station just behind me."

"Un...be...lieveable. He could at least pretend to care what's at stake. It's been eight days since he's recalibrated his puzzles! Unacceptable! What if a human were to come through here?! I would have to pick up the slack for him! He should be taking initive not relying on my help all the time." Papyrus gripped his fists and stomped his boot repeatedly.

Okay, Volt. Worst thing you could do right now is make a pun...so...don't make a pun.

"Uh...is there--" I started before Papyrus interrupted.

"I must be ready! I will be the one! I must be the one! I WILL capture a human!"

"You okay there? You're getting kinda worked up."

"Why shouldn't I get worked up? The only way to be truly great is to have truly great ambition! And there is no greater ambition than that of I, the Great Papyrus!"

"Err...okay?"

"With the capture of a human I will be on the fast track to everything I've ever dreamed of! All that I utterly deserve! Respect! Recognition! I will finally get into the Royal Guard!" Papyrus stopped ranting and started stroking his mandible, looking quite confident if not a little euphoric in his daydreams. "People will ask to be my...friend?"

It never got any less overwhelming...maybe a little uncomfortable hearing Papyrus spill his life story every time I encountered him. I was really starting to wish I hadn't pulled the circuit card with the frame of mind I was in. Oddly...being this stunned by the flamboyance and somehow naive idealisms of Papyrus...somehow took the edge off? It was far from fart jokes but...how was it that being caught off guard like this always seemed like the best preventative measure for feeling worse?

He then moved his hand to the chestplate of his "Battle Uniform" in a way that said right off the bat that he was going to reveal more of his true feelings. I had to wonder...when did his red cape start fluttering? There wasn't THAT much of a cold breeze.

"I will bathe in a shower of kisses every morning..."

Okay a little T.M.I. At least he had goals...eheh...

I started to siddle past him while he was on cloud nine. I had almost gotten down the road when--

"You there!" Out of the corner of my eye I could have sworn I'd seen an yellow-ish orange glow behind me. Oh man...Papyrus does it too?!

I turned around and stupidly pointed to my lip whihc was hanging open in a "Who, me?" expression.

"Yes, you! You seem to have a lot of anxieties! I should know because, I the Great Papyrus, am a master of observation! My perception skills are second to none. I don't miss a single detail! You look like you are in need of valueable advice!"

A pause. "By the way, when did you change your fur color...and size...and...clothes? My, my...you're certainly the strangest Greater Dog I've ever seen."

Yeeeeeah. Observant.

"Well uh, actually--"

"I knew it! Nyeheheheheheheh! You are troubled! Don't be shy! I'll be happy to lend an ear to your troubles."

"Uh...okay."

"Walk with me, talk with me. We'll bond over things. Maybe I could get your input on my latest puzzles!"

"Oh yes. To thoroughly jape any human who comes through here!"

"Wowie! You get me! You really get me! It's like you're reading my every thought!"

The walk took us to a familiar setting.

"Ah yes. The Invisible Electricity Maze!"

Wait. Electricity? Ooooooh. So tempting... Okay. I was going to feel some guilt later but for now. I was going to take advantage of Papyrus. Guess I had to put on an act so he could feel like the smartest guy in the room.

"How does it work?" I feigned ignorance."

"I'm glad you asked! The human must walk the correct path of this maze if he or she wishes to advance onward. But if said human touches the walls of this maze they will receive a hearty zap!"

"Oh I see. It's quite brilliant in conception."

"I know, right?"

"I'm sure any human will find this maze quite...shocking!"

"....ugh." Papyrus' disgust was easy to see.

"I hope you're proud of that pun you just made. I swear my brother's bad humor gets more and more infectious every day."

Wait a minute...Papyrus used that same pun to desribe the trap in every timeline! Of all the--!

"What? Is that not okay?"

"As if I would use such a juvenile description to describe such an amazing puzzle!"

He was going to steal this joke from me, wasn't he? *sigh* Okay, he can have it. Whatever makes it easier to put on airs. I almost rolled my eyes at the irony.

"Okay, okay. No more puns. I'll try it out." I stepped onto the snowpack and--

ZAAARK!!!! Papyrus was quickly lit up like a neon sign.

"Gaaah! What happened? What did I do wrong?" Okay, I admit it...I was starting to really get into putting on an act for this big lug. It only took a moment for the black soot to dissipate and for Papyrus to get his bearings.

"Heh..." Papyrus looked at my foot which I had yanked away from the snowpack. "Heeeh." He looked at the orb in his hand. "Heh." He looked back at my footprint. Then the orb. Footprint. Orb. And this went on for a about three more times before... "Maybe you should hold onto this."

I motioned for Papyrus to pitch it to me rather than walk all the way through the snow. I knew that under normal circumstances this would be a cakewalk puzzle but I had...alterior motives.

I caught the orb and nestled it between my werewolf ears on top of my head. I could sense the potential energy buildup. I already knew where the path was even without Papyrus' tracks in the snow to show the way. I stepped down the path but about half way through I deliberately took a wrong turn and let the high voltage race through me. Not a bad kick to it. After my battle with Toriel and my spat with Chara, it was good to have some fresh electrons running down the nervous system.

"Huh...maybe I need to recalibrate it--"

"Oh...I mean oww! Oww! I'm getting zapped! Oww!" I faked electrical spasm and just to add more convincingness to it, I charged my fur with latent static to cause it to poof up a little.

"Nyeheh heh heh heh! Better luck next time, I suppose!"

"Eheheh...yeah...I suppose so." I stepped off the path and handed the orb back.

"Another successful puzzle fine-tuned by the Great Papyrus! Nyeheh heh heh heh!"

Oh gods... Violet would be joking that Wannabe-Skeletor certainly had no ego deficiency.

"For being a good sport, I offer my ear and humble advice."

Ear? I wasn't going to dignify that with a response.

I sighed. I didn't want to bring down the mood but I guess I had to come clean after those antics did make me crack a smile. I of course gave a...dilluted version, leaving out a looot of details. In essence it equated to getting in a fight with someone I had a lot of respect for then getting into an uncomfortable conversation with someone I didn't care for.

"Oh. I see. That is quite the conundrum. Well...let me share with you, monster to monster, some complex feelings."

Oh god...not the speech. Not the speech.

"Feelings like...the joy of finding another pasta lover...the admiration for another's puzzle-solving skills...the desire to have a cool, smart person think you are cool."

"Yeah...those are nice feelings but..."

"No. I get it. This might not be the best advice in this situation." Papyrus slid his gaze to the size...if you could call empty eyesockets a gaze, that is.

"Friends...have fallings out. It happens. I would never admit to how ashamed I feel after having it out with Sans on matters. It's not that we want to be hard on the ones we care about...it's for the own good. I mean...what kind of brother would I be if I let Sans grow up to be unable to fend for himself. I...hate to admit it but I might not always be there for him. That's...not the best feeling in the world."

"Yeah...that's true."

"If that person really is your friend...they will forgive you. It may take some time apart but...it's not the end of the world."

These responses were almost textbook if not cliche...yet...coming from Papyrus...they were an earnest quality that anyone could tell this came from the heart. For all his...personality quirks, Papyrus really was a cool brother. He was definitely the coolest, Sans.

"I know! You could go visit your friend and take some of my finest spaghetti!"

Annnnnd the moment was ruined.

"That's okay. I'll just give it time for things to blow over."

"If you're...sure. It's no trouble. "

"Positive. Thanks for the offer though...I doubt she'd be very hungry anway..."

I looked down, thinking back to Chara.

"As for the other...well, to be frank it's there loss if they can't acknowledge how great you are."

"Huh?" That kinda caught me off guard. It really wasn't the issue but...it did make sense. Chara did look down upon me until she got an understanding of what she was up against. Arrogant kid.

"What matters is that you acknowledge how great you are. "

"...?"

"And if you recognize that much then it's easy to believe in yourself. And you know what...I barely know you but I believe in you, strange dog person."

That made me smile.

"That's very big of you, Great Papyrus. I think you've given me exactly the advice I need."

"Wowie...I finally have .a...fanbase? Er...I mean...of course I have! I am after all...very great! Nyeheh heh heh heh!"

"Well. Thank you for everything, Papyrus. I've got to be on my way."

"Be well, good friend!"

I headed off.

"Wait! I didn't get your name!"

"It's Arcade! Dr. Volt Alessandro Arcade!" I called back.

I was beginning to really take a shine to the skeleton brothers. Okay. Frisk and Toriel should be waking up by now. I had very little time to lose. I switched my bracer to render me out of space and time. I electromorphed and arced as a streak of lightning back the way I came, flying past an unsuspecting Papyrus. I bolted past Sans' sentry post as the skeleton was waking up. I had moments before he'd use one of his shortcuts to get appear behind Frisk. And I had less time than that to get to the gate in time to speed past Frisk and through the other gate in time to slip past Toriel. Finally I'd have to get through the ruins and back to the mouth of the cave and back to the Time Train. Heh. Piece o' cake.

I surged forth past the bridge, being careful to avoid the tree branch.
Sure enough, the gate opened and Frisk trudged out. A sad look but that quickly turned to nervousness. I sped past Frisk a momentary glance-- Huh? That was weird...it almost looked like Frisk had looked in my direction for a second. Did...did Frisk somehow see me? ...no. Just my imagination. I blasted down the hallway past the empty patch of grass and toward the inner door. Toriel was just about to close it before I shot past. A momentary tachyon flux caused a brief change in air pressure.

"Oh my...! Where did that strange wind come from?" Toriel clutched the bottom of her flowing robe dress to keep it from blowing everywhere. "How very curious..."

The brief instance was all the reassureance I needed to know she was going to be fine. It was only a minor task getting past the traps and puzzles and reaching that familiar spot where ever single human had fallen into the Underground. I looked up and gave a cocky smirk as I bolted straight up and up and up. And in moments I was back in the Time Train, setting the coordinates for home. I had a specialized spot at a trainyard not far from the a UCIAT storage depot. But I wasn't headed back to HQ or the square. I had arranged for a different meeting spot that was nice an open for Asriel to meet some more crew members...

----RECOVERED DATA FRAGMENT FROM THE RESEARCH LOGS OF SPACE TIME CONTINUUM (STC) AGENCY FIELD AGENT AND FOUNDER, DR. VOLT ALESSANDRO ARCADE-----

Sub-Entry 20: "Role Models":

Bunnie and Asriel were already waiting at the station. I had...pulled strings to have the area evacuated for..."safety reasons". I didn't like covering up the truth for the greater good but...how I was feeling now, I was okay with whatever backlash we'd be in for.

Suffice to say it was yet another sight for Asriel to see...a train appearing out of nowhere. I'd have it sent to a secret depot where I could get it back to the X-Vault on Mobius at a more convinient time.

"Oh...!"

It was getting harder for Asriel to supress and cover up his vocalizations. It was taking a just slightly more effort to keep bottled up inside. We were making progress with him but...he was still a long way from being okay. I felt in the back of my mind there was something ahead that would have to to happen--I wasn't sure whether it was something good or bad--in order for Asriel to truly move on. I just didn't know what it was or where it might be. I knew over a gradual time I was narrowing down the list of places Asriel had been at times when he wouldn't be discovered or seen. Maybe I was being over protective. But...this was Asriel. It might only take one minor landmine, one minor misunderstanding, one...thing going wrong and......I couldn't even finish that thought. I had so many possible routes. Maybe...I was just trying to see through Asgore's and Toriel's eyes as parents. Did I have what it took to raise their son...without screwing up.

I opened the doors and stepped out.

"Major."

"You are...smiling. Your outing was successful?"

"Yes and no. I didn't quiet make it to..." I hesitated. "...to the person of interest. But I found alternative wisdom and reassurance along the way."

"Hmm?"

"As well as...a craving for spaghetti. Join me at Hestia's later?"

"Commander?"

"Just a business meal." As if I really need to clarify.

"Spaghetti?" Asriel cocked his head.

I gave a reassuring smile.

"You know what spaghetti is, don't you?"

"Of course I do." Asriel didn't seem offended by the question.

"Come on...walk with me, talk with me. We're going to meet a couple more friends."

"Miss...Bunnie got me some...strange new clothes. They're...kinda like pajamas. Hmm? Oh. I didn't notice before but...you're wearing a set, too. Come to think of it, so is Miss Bunnie." As if it was something that escaped his attention.

"You mean our gis. Yeah. They're comfy. They're the clothes of a martial artist."

"Martial...artist?"

Bunnie and I looked at each other. I guess that was one thing I was glad Chara never taught him about. From my encounters watching Undyne, I had learned that she was trained to fight by Asgore. So...at least some concept of self-defense and combat was known in the Underground.

"Miss Bunnie will be teaching you all about that at some point. For now we just have to get you adjusted to things around here. Get stuff set up. And...we'll be getting you a home to live and good people to look after you."

Asriel was kinda quiet about that.

"You mean.....I'm getting a new mom and dad." His gaze fell.

"You know...you don't have to think of it that way if you don't want to."

"..."

"One step at a time. You'll grow into things and we'll all decide together. Okay?"

"Okay, Volt."

A pause. And then he had a question for Bunnie. "Miss Bunnie? I...can't read the strange writing on some of my clothes. What does this say on my shirt?"

"Well, it is Jangese. The characters on your shirt read 純血 <junketsu> It means "purity" or "pure blood". It's kinda fitting, Dreemurr Asriel Ouji-sama."

"Purity..." Asriel looked very contemplative at that.

"So. Getting along with Gadget and Pit?"

"Yeah...they seem nice. I...like having people closer to my own age."

Still pretty meek. Still inside that shell. A little more social. But not quite the smart, cheery, angel that I'm sure Toriel would describe him as...yet. We'd get him there.

We eventually reached that open area. There were some wide concrete steps with a loong series of hand rails leading down to the ground level. The area had been emptied out. I checked the time. As soon as it got to the one minute before the hour mark I smiled.

"Let the countdown begin."

And one more thing, Asriel-kun." Bunnie had started using the more casual honorific for a male friend around Asriel. The sign of personal familiarity, I guess. I wasn't sure how Jangese honourifics worked.

"What's that, Miss Bunnie?"

"Don't blink." Bunnie gave a slow, confident but mysterious smirk.

"Don't...blink?"

"Don't blink or you'll miss it...!" Bunnie mused.
The clock counted down from the last few seconds.

It was rather quiet.
And no sooner had the thought of silence come... There it was...the sound...something was coming...
Bunnie heard it first due to her nano-assisted hearing. I heard it next thanks to my werewolf ears.
And then...finally...Asriel heard it too.

"Huh? What? What's that sound?"

"Asriel. Don't just listen...look."

And there it was for a moment, searing through the air. A beam of blue light with the sound of the high tech whine of some form of plasma-powered jet engine.

"Ahh!" Asriel took a step back.

The blue beam richochetted between buildings and obstacles, forming a tangled web of blue light contrail.

"Right on time." I mused.

The beam, slowed down enough for its shape and form to become noticeable...a person...female. Brown fur with white sections. Almost squirrel or chipmunk like. They were wearing an extremely high tech suit; a mix of strange flexible hardware, neon trim and highlights as well as pseudocircuit paths and piping. And on her feet were metal sandals which were equally tech-ed up, with a dance of chaser lights and display. From the hardware in the back sprouted four blazing cones of flame in the shape of blue moth or butterfly wings.

"Heh."

A cocky grin as the girl took to the rails of the staircase, grinding down them with a spray of sparks. She vaulted off with a series of somersaults before letting the jet thjusters carry her upward for an axel spin like some kind of sky ballerina! She immediately rocketed down, slamming down only a couple feet away from us in theatrical drop. She landed in a crouch identical to Tony Stark in Iron Man.


"Prompt as always, Terrain Master. It's good to see you."

"Ahhh.....ahh....Woooooooow!!!" If Asriel's eyes were any bigger they would be falling out of his head. There it was. The look of admiration.

"Great to see ya', Commander!" came the reply.

"Sally-chan." Bunnie smiled brightly. This smile was different. This was the smile reserved only for an old friend.

"Bunnie!"

Both extended knuckles for a fist-bump.

"Asriel. This is our Terrain Master and Miss Bunnie's old friend, Princess Sally Alecia Acorn."

Sally was of course our universe's counterpart to another Princess Sally Acorn who was native to Mobius. Much to same as our Bunnie was counterpart to a Bunnie on that same planet of Mobius. It seemed our universe had a lot of parallel versions of people. Sally was the very definition of tomboy. Confident, bordering on cocky. Outgoing and spontaneous. But suprisingly calculating and a meticulous planner.

"Are you a...a...a SUPERHERO?" Asriel was starting to sound like a normal kid at that point.

Sally let out a hearty laugh. "I guess you could say that. I'm a pro-racer in the Overdrive Grand Prix; a powered race on the other side of the world. It's kind of a big thing."

"Sally, this is Asriel Dreemurr. The young one we told you about."

"Hey ya, Azzy"

Are you really a princess?" Asriel asked.

"Are you really a prince?" Sally countered.

"Uh-huh." Asriel nodded.

"Well, I'm definitely a princess. Or...at least I was in another lifetime. But that was a long time ago! Hope we can be good friends."

Asriel nodded.

"That's way shway! It's going to be cray-cray in hey-hey!

"Huh?"'

"We'll get you up to speed with Sally's manner of speaking. It's very different in Technopolis."

"Oh...okay."

It was so much for Asriel to take in. But this was a very good thing. It was about that time that a familiar plumbing van should pull up, park and out of the driver's seat came...

"Sorry to keep you waiting." Came the mellow voice of the plumber walrus.

"You're not late at all, Rotor." Bunnie gave a closed-eyes smile.

"You're just in time for an Ecotropian reunion, old friend."

Asriel looked upon the assembly of friends. It was beginning to make sense. It was beginging to chip away at old walls.

"Hey there."

Rotor shyly waved. He wasn't nearly as socially awkward as Alphys. He was laid back rather than high strung. Whatever mistakes and failures he had in the past he had plenty of experience to come to terms with them.

"I'm not that impressive and I can't hold a torch to Bunnie or Sally but...I'll do my best to be my best at what I do. Or...something. I'm just a humble plumber."

Asriel gave a little wave.
He looked around.

"It's nice to meet you all. Everyone I've already met...everyone I'm meeting for the first time. This is...this is all really nice. I...don't know if I deserve you all but...but..." *sniffle* "Thank you...everyone... for being so nice to me..."

CRYPTOSMASHER LOGOFF
End Transmission...

Last edited by Volt Alessandro Arcade; 03-22-2016 at 09:07 PM.
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Old 03-22-2016, 09:15 AM
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Volt Alessandro Arcade Volt Alessandro Arcade is offline
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A quick update to Project: Lost Dreemurr

----RECOVERED DATA FRAGMENT FROM THE RESEARCH LOGS OF SPACE TIME CONTINUUM (STC) AGENCY FIELD AGENT AND FOUNDER, DR. VOLT ALESSANDRO ARCADE-----

Sub-Entry 21: "Of Grand Masters and Men..":

Things have quieted down on both sides of the equation since then. No new timeline instances have sprung up to merit investigation and I didn't feel compelled to visit any of the billions of Timelines I had already logged. It was now a waiting process to cut through more red tape and make more arrangements. During that time followup checkups and evaluations were made to make sure Asriel was still doing okay on this world. With everything still looking in the green I perused the UCIAT personnel files to see who else was left for Asriel to meet before we could get to the next step. In spite of the surplus of time...somehow none of us found the time to explain more about ourselves...or more specifically our own backstories. Heck, Asriel still didn't know I could shapeshift between werewolf and human form. He'd...have questions about that and as things were I hadn't had a chance to introduce him to many humans yet. Or maybe I was just procrastinating. I had to tip my hat to Chara despite how little respect I was having for her after possessing Toriel and nearly killing Frisk; as the first human Asriel ever met, she'd be a tough act to follow.

That was something I felt was crucial; getting him to know us. Asriel was still in danger of backsliding to a bad place as long as the dark cloud of being orphaned hung around his neck. And Chara's grip on him continued to tighten the noose. I didn't know what to do about Chara. But the least we could do was tell our own sad stories about how we had crummy pasts. Many of us were orphaned in fairly violent ways; some of us were even witness to our own families' assassinations. It was imperative that Asriel know that he wasn't alone. He was in a town where there was no shortage of orphans who lost everything but found each other. This was Miranda City, the City of Second Chances. The problem was finding the right moment and the right setup to do it. Every moment, every new experience just seemed to get in the way.

Speaking of moments, I had been asked over to Rabbotou Dojo to check something out. I had a feeling I knew what after remembering Asriels's words the other day after returning to town in the Time Train. I was just a little curious what the little guy would look like in a training gi.

I had reached the top of the stairs and stopped at the doorway. Now that it wasn't an emergency I could observe the proper customs. I slipped off my sandals and left them by the doorway, flexing my toes a little before stepping into the dojo. The feel of the bamboo floor was something I never forgot. I reached the training area where a barefoot Bunnie was waiting in her own training gi.

"Well, Major?"

"He'll be right out."

"So...when can we expect classes to actually start?"

"Once we have his citizenship and adoption affairs in order I think we can stop keeping him a secret from the town."

"I'm more worried that her highness will catch on before we get to that point. Nothing hammers a point home by being summoned to the palace for an audience with the Queen."

"You have a right to be concerned, but let me handle Brooke-domou."

"Rice wine sake?"

"Appeasement is an effective tool for taking the edge off."

"Or it at least gurantees you won't get Hell Ball'd on the off chance she's pissed off."

That earned a disapproving look.

"Right. Too much of a Violet response. I know, she's not like that but...her power is frighteningly real. Don't think I've not noticed a bead of sweat roll down your forehead when she uses "the scary voice".

That made Bunnie actually wince slightly. No one got through an encounter of "the scary voice" without feeling something--usually utter terror. I guess that was what came with having a ruler who was part fiend. I didn't know about Bunnie but someone like Brooke would completely rend Asriel to a dust pile with barely a fraction of her wrath. But that was worry talking. The was no reason why she'd ever tear into a child, much less one who lost his entire world. She was a fair and just ruler but there was a reason even the Dragon Council didn't 'eff with her. And Hell...she had her own incredibly dark backstory. That darkness, that demonic legacy was the reason a lot of things got done (or else). I think I found someone I wanted to hold off on Asriel meeting even more so than Violet. At the same time, I really wanted to introduce her to Chara... Demon child would be way in over her head. Our queen, our trump card, and what I worried was my biggest obstacle in finalizing things around here. Queen Brooke Canciaris. To respect her was to fear her and vice-versa.

"Seriously, Bunnie. We've gotta be playing with fire keeping this from her."

"One step at a time, Commander. One step at a time."

That was when Asriel entered. And the first thought in my mind was...

"White. So. Much. WHITE."

Here we had a white-furred goat-child monster in a white gi with a white belt.

"You couldn't get him one in black?" I whispered.

"Hmm?"

"If he ever takes a trip to Raxis during a snowstorm we'll never find him." I whispered.

Bunnie give me a disapproving frown.

"What? It's a legitimate worry!" I protested.

Bunnie shook her head.

"Umm. H-how do I look?" Asriel asked.

I hesitated a bit but then I gave a warm smile.

"You look great, Asriel."


"You mean it?" That brightened his expression.

"It'll be a while before we can get you started with lessons."

Asriel kinda looked at the floor like he was starting to figure out just what the martial arts were. I could sense an anxiety over learning to fight. As gentle as this soul was, how could he be anything else but a pacifist. I could sense this might be a big stumbling block along the way. Bunnie had brought this up before and assured me he had the fundamental understandings of what the martial arts stood for and not what pop culture had glorified them to be. Any other kid couldn't wait to learn how to kick butt and take names. Asriel wasn't any other kid. I wondered how every other instance of him would act in the same way. And then I got a disturbing image of Flowey in a tiny training gi accompanied by that unholy laughter. No. No. Hell to the no. Away with you, vile thought!

"Well, now that we're all dressed up with no place to go..." I started. Bunnie motioned us over to the tea table. We each knelt down at the table in Jangese fashion. I then noticed an extra place at the table.

"Bunnie, there are three of us but four places at the table. I know Megami didn't miscount."

"Actually...I have another guest coming."

"Hmm? Did you invite your half-sister, Bunnette Von Rabbotte?"

"No. Someone from my past when I was traveling the world, filling in the gaps of my training after I was brought into the Ultra Crew Institute Action Team."

I scratched my head.

"Wait. You mean one of your many teachers throughout the years."

"Yes. He was very instrumental in learning the ways of ninjutsu. It is through me that his clan's teachings can live on."

There was a knock on the doorway by what my ears determined to be a wooden object. I turned and saw a rather short figure, completely cloaked in the door way, a wooden walking stick in his grasp. He couldn't have been more than four feet in height and his stature suggested slight arthritis. Or perhaps unusual skeletal structure.

"Welcome, sensei. It has been a long time."

"Bunnie-chan. It fills my heart with warmth to be invited to your home." Came the mellow Jangese voice under the shadow of the hood.

"Master. You are in friendly territory. You needn't feel judged by your apperance nor fear persecution. This is not the city where you and your four students live and you will find no need to dwell underground from prying eyes."

"Then let there be no secrets between us." The figure reached up and pulled off his hood.

Okay. I wasn't expecting a hybrid rat. Brown fur, pointy ears similar to my own but pointed slightly back at an angle rather than on top and straight forward like my big wolfy sound-scoopers. Big black nose. I could see his top front incisors extend just underneath where the nose segued into the lip--definitely mouse-like. Whiskers. I couldn't tell his eye color from where I was.

Megami was immediately present, requesting in Jangese if she could tend his cloak while he was a guest in the dojo. The rat nodded and removed the outer garment revealing a magnenta kimono with distinct gold emblems on each breast of the jacket garment. Wrapped from his ankles to his toes were white wrappings that looked like they might have once been part of samurai type trousers.

"Hamato Yoshi-sama." Bunnie smiled.

"That name once had meaning in another limetime ago. But I fear that Yoshi is gone. There is only Splinter."

So this was Grand Master Splinter. I had heard Bunnie talk about him before but this was the first time I had met him. Splinter walked to the table as Bunnie rose to her feet. Both exchanged a formal bow at the same time.

"You look well."

"I have aged a bit."

"Not by much. You still have many years left in you, wise one."

"It may be less the way my students keep me occupied. There is much effort to be expended in raising a teenager. But raising four is an act commendable even by my ancestors' standards."

"You cannot fool me, sensei. You are not as weary as you make yourself out to be. You know very well they keep you young at heart."

"Of course. How perceptive you are, Bunnie-chan."

"It's a gift. One I do not take lightly. As it is written, power should be given to the ones that have no desire for it. In this lies the very foundation of responsibility."

"Well spoken. You have grown wise in the philosophies of Jang. Wise beyond your years." Splinter rippled his rat tail a little.

"Please. Do not stand on my account. Join us for tea."

"I humbly accept. Tea would be most welcome."

I'd be fibbing to myself I didn't feel overwhelmed by the highly elegant, very formal, flowery conversation that I had come to expect from the Jangese. It was always polite and it was never blunt. There was always an understanding of withholding true feelings in lieu of the comfort of the company. And that air about that made everything seem more pure and clean that the world tended to be.

Bunnie started the tea ceremony appropriately. Once complete and a little bit of guidence on proper tea ettiquite we all enjoyed our servings of tea and riceballs.

"This is my former student and our team's commander, Dr. Volt Alessandro Arcade."

"Konichiwa, Arcade Volt-Hakase. It is an honor to meet the Ultra Crew Institute's authority figure."

"And a fond welcome to you as well, Grand Master Splinter. It's rare that Bunnie tells us much about her past. I'm sure she has her reasons and all. But it's wonderful to meet you." I bowwed my head slightly.

"You were one of her best karate students."

"Karate felt like a good fit for me. I couldn't really see myself as a ninja or a samurai. As flashy as my moves are I wouldn't be able to handle the stealth. And using a sword doesn't really suit me."

"Stealth? Sword?" Asriel looked as though we were practically confirming the path of a warrior.

"Sensei, this is the young forsaken one I wrote to you about."

"Ah, yes! Allow me to get a good look at you, my son." Splinter looked deep into Asriel's eyes. A few moments in, Splinter narrowed his eyes slightly.

"......?" Asriel swallowed hard, feeling on the spot, eyes wide open. Was Splinter...staring into his soul like Bunnie?

My anxieties were dispelled as Splinter suddenly smiled very warmly, with a chuckle.

"Oh, yes. Yes, I see. You are quite special. I sense much hope and light in you, Dreemurr Asriel-Ouji-san."

By this time Asriel was beginning to catch on that Ouji-san was some kind of title of respect. I could almost see the blush under the fur on his cheeks.

"I'm really that special?" Asriel cocked his head slightly."

"You have potential that I cannot properly evaluate. It will be up to decide your own path but I firmly believe you are a well-spring of hope. I can sense it. You are gentle. You are kind. You are curious. And you are merciful. I have no doubts that you will be a truly legendary martial artist one day."

I could almost see the blushing intensify. If he blushed any harder, his facial fur would turn completely red.

"And so modest." Bunnie said with a giggle. She sounded so litehearted but I could tell she was trying to be completely serious.

"Th-th-th-thank you, M-Mr. Splinter." I was certain Splinter's apparent age was intimidating. Maybe it was just his overwhelming wisdom.

Splinter and Bunnie then looked at each other, longingly and stoicly. I had the feeling there was an unspoken, psychic conversation going on between the two of them. It was just as well. Some things probably couldn't be discussed amongst prying ears.

"わかりました。 <Wakarimashita>" Splinter closed his eyes and nodded his head.

"それは問題です <Sore wa mondaidesu.> Bunnie nodded, arms crossed and eyes also closed.

"もちろん。 良い時間ですべてのもの。 <Mochiron. Yoi jikan de subete no mono.>

私は彼の信仰を持っています。結局...ホープは一人で歩くことはありません。<Watash i wa kare no shinkō o motte imasu. Kekkyoku... Hōpu wa hitori de aruku koto wa arimasen.>
Splinter acutally laughed joyfully at that.

そう だ ね。 <Sou da ne.>

"Volt? What are they saying?" Asriel looked perplexed.

I shrugged and gave a very Frisk-like "Mm-mn-nnm." (I don't know.)

A little bit more Jangese back and forth and Splinter apologized for leaving us out of the conversation.

The meeting lasted a while longer before we disbanded and bid our fairwells. I think the experience was just what we needed. A nice little calm before whatever storm might lie ahead.
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Old 03-23-2016, 09:14 AM
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Very interested to hear what about the Rockafire Explosion spoke to you. I've never encountered a fan of that property before.
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Old 03-23-2016, 10:28 AM
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Volt Alessandro Arcade Volt Alessandro Arcade is offline
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Childhood memories run the deepest. The memories are faded but still mean as much as they did when you first experienced them. Showbiz Pizza Place was a great place for birthdays during that part of my life. It was where I was introduced to arcades, pizza, music, and animatronics. As you can probably tell Mitzi had the greatest impact. Maybe I just had a thing for green-eyed cheerleader mice. Who knows?
I was young so a lot of things probably went past me. It was new, it was animated, and it was fun.

As the years went by and I outgrew it, RAE just kinda faded away. By the dawn of the 90's the transition to Chuck E. Cheese escaped my attention. So, it wasn't until somewhere in the early 2002's after my college years when internet surfing lead me back to the Rock-Afire Explosion and a renewed interest in the nostalgia.

I had always had a fondness for crossovers since high school so when I started dabbling in fanfiction, Mitzi found her way into my pool of ideas along side the like of Bunnie Rabbot and Princess Violet. I penciled her in as the "girl-next-door"; demure and big-sisterly. From there it just kinda evolved into the UCIAT version she is now.

I can't wait to bring her into more interactions with the Undertale characters as time goes on.
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Old 03-23-2016, 10:37 AM
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I grew up on Chuck E Cheese turf, so my first encounter w them was the Love In the Club video. Is there like an online community of RAE fans out there?
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Old 03-23-2016, 11:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ample Vigour View Post
Very interested to hear what about the Rockafire Explosion spoke to you. I've never encountered a fan of that property before.
there's a whole movie about it, actually
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Old 03-23-2016, 11:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by upupdowndown View Post
there's a whole movie about it, actually
Oh my damn, that's a must watch.
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Old 03-23-2016, 07:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ample Vigour View Post
I grew up on Chuck E Cheese turf, so my first encounter w them was the Love In the Club video. Is there like an online community of RAE fans out there?
http://showbizpizza.com/ Was where I used to frequent all the time. When they still had flash chat I even got to talk to Aaron Fechter right around one of the last Rock-A-Palooza online events. Never got to go to the Cheese-Ventions. Also I think there might be communities on Facebook.
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Old 03-24-2016, 09:51 AM
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Not only was there a Cheese-Vention, there were ten of them! Life is beautiful.
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Old 03-24-2016, 05:19 PM
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Project: Lost Dreemurr updated.

----RECOVERED DATA FRAGMENT FROM THE RESEARCH LOGS OF SPACE TIME CONTINUUM (STC) AGENCY FIELD AGENT AND FOUNDER, DR. VOLT ALESSANDRO ARCADE-----

Sub-Entry 22: "The undying, unstoppable force meets the undying immoveable object":

"Unngh!"

I skidded backwards in a sprawl, actually bearing my werewolf claws and digging them into the soil as I found myself knocked out of the arena but not all the way back where I started. How did I get into this mess?

"Seven souls. Seven. That's how many we need. That's how many Asgore will use to shatter the barrier and give us freedom. I ask you again why you would stand in the way of that goal?"

Dammit, Undyne.

It was probably a mistake on my part coming to the timeline and having a brush with Frisk. The child confirmed my original suspicions. I could be seen despite being intangible. It of course struck me like lightning. All of the instances where Chara had influence over you...of course you could see and hear the demon brat. You could probably see Gaster as well. I wonder...if Asriel...even in death...even with his soul shattered and his body turned to dust and reanimated as a flower...did the missing part of him linger around somewhere? It wouldn't do me any good if it did. The most I could do in that instance is put a spirit into a muon trap and decide what to do with it; release it or bring it back to my old mentors' headquarters and dump it into a 220-volt, 10 Megawatt, laser containment system. And doing that to an innocent soul would just 'eff me up sooooo baaaaaad. So bad. Course...maybe that was an option with Chara. I'd love to see how that little megalomaniac would faire against the like of Sam Hain, the Boogie Man, the Sandman, Killerwatt, and the worst of Gozer's ranks. But business before pleasant thoughts. Right. Out of thought, out of mind. Get back on track, Arcade. You're getting your butt kicked by Undyne.

"What's it to you that I talked to the kid?"

"That kid isn't some person for you to get chummy with. It's a thing. A thing that needs to be destroyed and its soul harvested."

"You have a lot of hate for a species you barely know anything about."

"Sh...shut up! Quit trying to confuse me with your crap!"

Undyne you would not win any awards for intelligence. No, you reminded me of Violet's temper mixed with Sally's hardcore attitude and Red Stoke's propensity for being brutal on the battlefield.

"It was just a chance encounter. What, did you expect me to make a citizen's arrest or something?"

"Damn right! For years we dreamed of a happy ending...to think one of our own would try to deny us that?" She tightened her grip until th bones were cracking.

"And now sunlight is just within our reach! Why would you reject it?!"

The spears manefested all around me from all sides. I immediately compressed a wall of magnetism into a dense shield over one arm and whirled around to deflect each volley.

"Keeping your distance won't help you!" On this she was right.

I took off running. I was going to need a weapon. It had been a while since I invoked it since I resigned my brief tour of duty assisting in Karakura Town. But you never forget the name of your soul-slayer. Or your even briefer time taking up the cause of a Soul Reaper. Was ther any case I hadn't take? Any world I wouldn't set foot on? Any situation I wouldn't get involved in?

"Discharge...Kaminarioh no Danganken!" I drew Lightning King of the Bullet Fist and manefested the harmony of iron, steel, and electric modification.

This was a bad idea. Going up against a water elemental with an electric weapon.

The spears rocketed for me. With a mighty swing I unleashed bullet hell, sending forth the lightning blasts, but aiming them for the weapons and not the sender. Each collided with a loud snap-crackle-pop and electrolysized the water masses into hydrogen and oxygen near instantly.

"We gonna keep this fight up all night?" I grimmaced.

"Just until you fall!"

Between the suplexing of the boulders, the menacing smile, and the pounding the ground, I had never encountered such display of masculinity in a woman let alone one of an aquatic race. Like a really butch version of a Zora. It was like watching a mashup of 300 and World Wrestling Entertainment. And I just knew someone would bite me in the rump for making that comparison.

I advanced and amassed a charge in my empty fist. I slugged the ground, sending forth a low-level version of Triad Thunder. It'd stun her long enough to get back into the arena.

"Tch...! Not bad...but how about this?" She leapt in close and swung her spear, taking multiple swipes. I already ruined one shirt, ti, and gi. I wasn't about to back to Jonathan Lawrence Talbain with my tail between my legs...for multiple reasons. Just the figure of speech alone was...undignified.

A second barrage of attacks prompted me to start blocking an parrying. Each contact with my blade sent high voltage down her own weapon. I could see her wince but each time she did her sadistic smile grew even toothier. She was enjoying this?

"I haven't had a proper challenge since I battled our own king! Which is gonna make this suck when I send you to your grave for defying him!"

"Jeeze. Switch to decaff!" I was scraping the bottom of the barrel for one-liners.

Metal armor...duh!

I let the magnetism take hold and bind her. Hopefully locking it up would give a chance to-- ...no way...she was straining the magnetic field faster than I could reenforce it. If I cranked up the Telsas any higher I'd risk the electromagnic radiation getting well past safe zone. I was already expending more than a pair of neodymium magnet slabs and she was not only breaking free but thundering toward me.

"Your magic is useless against me! Fight me like a warrior!"

I grit my teeth and initially spiked the magnetism before collapsing it entirely. As expected she rushed toward me, giving me a chance to jump over her. WHich in retrospect was a bad move. I looked behind me and saw the edge of the cliff. Oh crap. I didn't know what lay below but I didn't want to take the risk I'd never climb my way back out. The Emergency Recall was looking like an optinon. I sensed the spear coming for me again and bent over backwards, the blade grazing my nose. I stumbled and landed on my back. I rolled to the side into a crawl to dodge the incoming ground strikes. This girl was good.

I stabbed Kaminarioh no Danganken into the ground and lit it up. The ground wouldn't conduct electricity but it would form a momentary guard for me to get my balance; a misplaced strike would mean a few gigavolts down the spear.

"Yo! Dude!"

"Huh?" I recognized that voice. Monster Kid?"

The armless, mini-dino creature in the distinct striped shirt raced onto the battle field. "I almost missed Undyne's battle! I get to see her take down a bad guy!"

Three letters. W. C. S.
Worst.
Case.
Scenario.

Goddamm you, Madam Fate.

"Hey, Mister! You did it! Undyne is right there! You got front row seats to her fight!" He got in front of me where I was nearly face down in the dirt.

He looked toward Undyne...then me...then Undyne...then me. Undyne. Me. Undyne. And then it clicked.

"Wait...who is Undyne fighting again." He looked at me then backed away. "Are you...are you the...bad guy?" He backed away further.

"It's not what you think--" Is started before I realized he ran out of ground and his heel met thin air.

"No...! My eyes widened. Undyne started to make a move.

Without thinking I pushed off on all fours and dove off the edge and did a repeat performance of my rescue of Asriel above Miranda Square's fountain. Which in retrospect was a signifantly stupider move this time.

I tightened my grip around and squeezed my eyes shut...then I yelped when I felt the iron grip around my tail.

"...!!!"

I felt myself being dragged up. I hung for a moment before I set the kid down. He scurried a short distance away. And then Undyne dropped me onto the ground, roughly. She made a move for my weapon.

"Yo! Dude! If-- If y-you wanna hurt my friend... you're gonna have to get through me first!" Wait...he was looking at Undyne, not me.

And then the memory came back to me. Once again this was a strange case of deja vu.

"..."

Undyne grabbed the kid by the frills and dragged him off.

"Hey! Y-you're not going to tell my parents are you..."

Undyne looked over her shoulder.

"You get one."

"Hmm?"

"Next time. No mercy."
My face fell for only a brief moment but then I was astonished when she flashed me a cocky smile. The smile that told unsaid volumes of respect.

I got up, brushed myself off and sighed.

"So. That...that just happened." I muttered. The encounter left me pretty neutral. On one hand I didn't feel particularly good about fighting Undyne. But on the other...I felt a sense of pride that I saved a life and earned a moment of respect. I didn't know if I'd take any wisdom home with me that day.

I retrieved my zanpakutou and collapsed it back to katana form and returned it to the E.N.G.I.N.E. microdot storage system on the side of my black belt.

----RECOVERED DATA FRAGMENT FROM THE RESEARCH LOGS OF SPACE TIME CONTINUUM (STC) AGENCY FIELD AGENT AND FOUNDER, DR. VOLT ALESSANDRO ARCADE-----

Sub-Entry 23: "Frisk. Again.":

I made my way back down the path. I looked over my shoulder and wondered what I'd submit in my report. And then I looked forward and who should be standing there.

"..."

I had already removed the bracer card so there was no doubt Frisk or anyone else would be able to see me. I closed me eyes, walked over and knelt down.

"One of us is not supposed to be here. But you already know that don't you?

"Mm-hmm." Frisk nodded with a quiet vocalization.

"You know I'm not...I'm not like the rest of them, don't you?"

Mm-hmm." Another nod.

"Does it bother you that I keep showing up out of the blue?"

"Mmn-mnn." A shake of the head.

"I suppose it wouldn't. You're...pretty determined. And...pretty brave in spite of things."

I paused.

"Listen...you probably have come in contact with another...another human like you. But...she's...not like you. She tells you thinks, right?"

A nod.

"You shouldn't listen to what she has to say. It's...not very good advice. You haven't been listening to her have you?"

"Mmn-mnn." A definite no.

"That's good. You're making goat mom very happy."

"Mmn...?"

"You're doing just fine. You're making great friends. And you're learning new things. Anyway..."

I looked down at my feet. I had one foot on top of the other, in the same nervous position as Alphys all hunched down and meek.

"There are still a lot more people to meet. You've got a ways to go before the Capital and...things aren't going to get much easier. But it's okay. You'll do the right thing. I know you will."

"...?"

I knew this was stretching it but...I had to ask. Just for peace of mind.
"There's...one last person you'll meet on your journey. I mean after Asgore. Someone...well...I can't really say too much. But..."

I swallowed hard.

"When the time comes...you will know that person's name. I know you'd do this of your own volition...your own choice.......call out to him. Call his name. Make sure he knows the truth. Make sure he knows he's...that he's not alone. He must know...that it's okay to finally let go. I...know I'm talking crazy talk right now and it's a lot to put on you but...you'll know what to do when the time comes. Please. Forgive him. Console hijm. Give him the happy ending that this world won't. Give him the happy ending that this instance of him.....that I can't give him."

That was the line, Volt. Interferring with the timeline. This was Frisk's choice to make. Not yours to request.

"S...sorry. I don't have any right to ask that of you. You got this. Only you can choose what's best. Anyway...I've got to go now. I--"

At that Frisk reached up and pet me. On the head.

"Oh!" And that was all I could say.

I smiled. And then closed my eyes and bowed me head. "You're a good kid. I know you'll be told this a lot more. You've already been told a lot. But....stay determined."

I stood up and turned and walked off...and waved.

Frisk waved back. And then I was gone.

I reached the phone booth. I didn't expect Rufus to be there. Guess he wanted to check up on me and make sure I was taking care of the booth in lieu of the Two Great Ones. I covered my heart and brought my arm out, palm open.

"Be excellent to each other."

"Party on, dudes." I received an answering response and pose.
We each entered our respective booths and headed off into the Circuits of Time.

----RECOVERED DATA FRAGMENT FROM THE RESEARCH LOGS OF SPACE TIME CONTINUUM (STC) AGENCY FIELD AGENT AND FOUNDER, DR. VOLT ALESSANDRO ARCADE-----
Sub-Entry 24: "A brush with Insanity":

I arrived back in Miranda City and headed to the garage. I wasn't prepared for my mentor and founder of the Institute for Future Technology to be there, underneath the Deloreon on a mechnic's creeper. Seemed he was up to speed about the chromium-titanium problem and arrived to fix the issue for me. I decided not to disturb him. I then went next door to my shop. It was just about time for Bunnie to bring Asriel by. I wasnted to show him my trade and maybe I'd work up the courage to show him my secret. Human? Monster? Neither. And that would take a bit of explaining.

I had a seat in my computer chair and got busy on a stack of circuit cards--

BAMF!

"...Major." I looked up. By now it no longer suprised me when she used that pink smoke version of Nightcrawler's teleport.

Asriel let go of Bunnie's hand, a little spooked by the sudden method of travel.

"You'll get used to that. Eventually."

"I will take my leave now, Commander." Bunnie bowed then spiraled out of existence in a coil of sakura blossoms.

"Have a good day?"

"Pretty good."

"Well. Welcome to my shop. This is (or was) my day job. Electronics."

Asriel looked at the stack of components, wires, meters, and complicated equipment.

"..." He looked like he didn't quite know the question he wanted to ask.

"You've watched TV before, right?"

"Yeah...we had...TV back home."

"Ever ask how it worked?" I mused.

Asriel kinda blinked. It seemed like a question any kid would have asked.

"I...never really thought about it. I always thought it was...magic."

"Let's see if we can get that curiosity sparked, then." I said as I lived an old TV set up off another table in back and set it down and got a couple of screwdrivers.

"Always want to make sure this is unplugged before you ever open it up." I strongly cautioned. "Not everyone can take an electric shock like I can."

I started removing the screws.

I hummed to myself as Asriel watched. Eventually I managed to get the screws out and remove some of the framework and trim as well as the knobs and such. I slid the unit apart and looked at the dusty innards.

"Hold your breath and don't breathe in for a sec, kay?" I got the canister of compressed air out and hosed the machine down, kicking up dust clouds and cobwebs. I used a bit of static in the other hand to ionically attract the grime, then used a toweled to collect what I had absorbed.

"Now let's see what we got here."

It was a long explaination as I pointed out the different parts and explained the principles of electricity and the science behind television and such. I could tell he was following along. The look in his eyes confirmed he was absorbing everything like a sponge.

"Y'know if you're interested I'll have to get you started on some of my old project lab kits and circuit trainers."

"That's nice of you to offer. I think I'd like to that."

Time passed and I let Asriel help out around the shop. I had the closed sign up so I didn't expect anyone to show up. Shouldn't have let my guard down because that's exactly what happened.

I looked up only a brief moment before I saw the outline of the rabbit ears and the distinct shape of the kimono. Without really thinking things through I turned to Asriel.

"Asriel, duck behind the counter and stay quiet." I sounded concerned.

"Hmm?"

"I'll explain later. Oh. And try not to listen in on the conversation. Ignore it if possible."

The door opened as Asriel obeyed and stayed out of sight, squeezing into the space under the register and hugging his knees in tight.

"Ohhhhh Commanderrrrr!" I knew that voice too well.

"Violet."

Significantly shorter than Bunnie. White fur, ruby eyes with pink sclera, fiery orange hair in a short-ishs style but still long enough for those upside-down V-shaped bangs. She was wearing her usual silk, cyan and cobalt kimono--specially tailored with reenforcement to support the built-in jetpack in the back that completely blended in, completing the kimono apperance the way the jet thrusters and intake ports formed a metallic ornate bow. She of course wore her favorite "bunny on the moon" sandals with the half-moons on the ankles and buckles. Girl had a weird fetish for sandals and not just out of comfort and common fashion statement like most of us in UCIAT. For werewolves like me, sandals were about the only thing we could comfortably were on our feet. As some I once knew by the name of Coda had described in so many words "Shoes...squish toes."

And of course she completed the outfit with the family crown. I tiny Jang-like thing but Bunnie would confirm it was Edoropian rather than Jang or Ecotropian.

"Question. Would you be prepared if gravity suddenly reversed itself?"

"Violet, not now, I've got a headache." That was a lie.

"The only real problem I'd have is how to keep the change in my pockets." I started to protest but she cut in. "I got it...NUDITY."

FFFFFFFF--!!!! At least she wasn't bringing up the dream about wearing Sun God robes while in a pyramid with a...heram screaming and throwing pickles at her again.

"What do you want, Violet?

"Actually I came to drop this off. Needs a little work. But isn't it just the bomb-dot-com?"

She placed a 1980's model red, JVC cam-corder on the counter.

"Violet, haven't we warned you about hotfingering movie props?"

"Prop nothin'. You know where this came from, don't you?".

"....Faraday's ghost, Vi...tell me you didn't get that from the McFly auction..."

My reply was a huge grin from the bunny princess.

"Violet, you're the only one who insists on peaking over my shoulder at my...real job. It's getting to be a breach of confidentiality. If the Council finds out how much you know about S.T.C. and how much you keep hacking my data and borrowing my equipment... Anyway...this transgression is not as bad as when you ripped off the "R.V. from Hell" straight out of Tango & Cash or the plasma cutter from the Nova Robotics S.A.I.N.T. prototype..."

"Johnny Five didn't need the thing anymore. Not after the--"

"I get it, Vi. I get it. Anyway. What are you messing around with old cam-corders. What, hacking the lights on the Pharmikon corporate headquarters skyscraper to play the world's largest game of Tetris not holding your attention anymore?"

"Good times. Nah, I was thinking something more along the lines of falling back on my other job as Miranda's global internet administrator. I feel like dropping some memes and some vines."

"As if those haven't got you in enough trouble."

"Relax. I know better than to leak movie spoilers."

I rolled my eyes. No one enjoyed feeding the trolls like Violet.

"For someone as brilliant as you, why can't you be more constructive with your time. I know you get as easily bored as Gadget but she doesn't try to be the next generation Bart Simpson or Stewie Griffen to get attention."

"If it makes you feel any better, sweetie, I'll stop asking Elektra for that certain kind of plastic surgery..."

"For the thousandth time, NO, Vi. Stop trying to compete with women who are more...endowed than you."
God I hope Asriel didn't hear that.

"Take it or leave it." Another insane grin.

"Fine."

"Well with that settled, I guess I'll be on my way." Violet turned and headed out.

"Gods, you're incorrigible. Do you know how much you drive us all up the wall?"

A chuckle.

"It's a talent. I just really know how to...get a person's goat." She slid her gaze to the side.

"!!!"
No. She couldn't! She didn't!

I held my tongue.

"I guess I'll be seeing you. Gonna drop in on Jon. He's probably asleep on the park bench again. He is quite a harcore sleeper...I wonder if he's as hardcore a...dreamer?"

She did. Damn rabbit hacked my personal logs! She knew!

"Off to the snail races I go! Toodles, my favorite Inklings...I mean Inkling! Did I pluralize that? Silly me. Anyway...stay freeeeesh!"

The door closed. And then I collapses against the wall and slid to the floor and covered my face with my hands.

I knew she wouldn't be an a-hole and blackmail me with such a thing. She liked to stir things up but there were lines even she wouldn't cross...at least not on purpose. But I knew she'd find ways to torment me about it without spilling the beans or worse.

"Volt?"

"Yeah, Azzy? I know you're going to ask questions about that and..."

"Nah. I'll hold off. I can wait until you're feeling better. Take all the time you need. When I'm ready to know about that person...you'll introduce me. Okay?"

Holy s***. This was it, wasn't it? This was that intelligence you were waiting for. He was starting to show how aware he was. I mean...I'd hardly call him a prodigy. I didn't really intend to make him one but...the signs were there that he'd already taken his first steps in that direction.

"Okay, Asriel."

"So. Um...hot dogs later on?"

Hot dogs...I was reminded of the stacking incident in Hotland. And Hotland was just a stone's throw away from Undyne's arena.

"Sounds good. I'm getting mine with lots of mustard." I grinned. Somehow I felt like I was channeling another universe's skeleton but...I wasn't about to check the Dimensional Axis windows at my S.T.C. lab just to confirm it.

I mussed Asriel's head fur a little. He forced back a big grin. This was the dawn of a lot more interesting times to come if Violet had any say in it.

We got to our feet and I was about to head square things away when I noticed Asriel's gaze was fixated on the cam-corder. At first I was confused then...I remembered the tapes in Alphy's True Lab. A worry crept into my mind. There weren't very many options to dance around this but I gave it a shot.

"You um...interesteed making home movies?"

D'oh!

Asriel looked up at me. I could see the bad thoughts creeping in the back of his mind.

"You know what...let me fix this up and I'll let you hang onto it for a while. Anything to keep it out of Violet's hands." I looked off to the size.

A lengthy pause.

"Sure. I'll take good care of it."

"Really? Why?" I gave a litehearted response, implying that he should teach Vi a lesson. Careful, Volt. That was almost a Chara moment.

"Because it doesn't belong to me and I shouldn't--"

I laughed in response.

"Sorry. I was kidding. Yeah. Once I get it fixed up and find some new video tapes for it, we'll get you going."

A smile. And there went my worry. How did you have this effect on me, Asriel Dreemurr? I was going to make my daughters jealous at this rate. Well. I'm sure the day was coming I could introduce them, too. For now... It was time to shrug off the insanity and enjoy the rest of the day...

CRYPTOSMASHER LOGOFF
End Transmission...

Last edited by Volt Alessandro Arcade; 04-09-2016 at 02:55 PM.
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Old 03-26-2016, 07:44 AM
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Volt Alessandro Arcade Volt Alessandro Arcade is offline
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An update to Project: Lost Dreemurr and it's a tear-jerker. I'm at least 99% certain that at least someone won't be able to make it through this without misty eyes. Enjoy.

----RECOVERED DATA FRAGMENT FROM THE RESEARCH LOGS OF SPACE TIME CONTINUUM (STC) AGENCY FIELD AGENT AND FOUNDER, DR. VOLT ALESSANDRO ARCADE-----

Sub-Entry 25: "The Storm (of Emotion)":

I've spared no effort in making sure I don't make a mistake watching over Asriel and I've had my crew covering the remaining bases. I have been inclined to make sure Asriel isn't exposed to certain triggers that might induce psychological stress in his still fragile state. There have been a few touch-and-go situations such as the cam-corder. Or another instance where a chocolate bar had been left in plain sight which I soon learned carried memories tied back to Chara. And even making sure we avoided clothing combinations which...were all too familiar. Maybe I was trying to hard to isolate him from things which carried those bad reminders of what was lost. But until this point there hadn't been a single mishap. Which only amplified the impact when we were all caught off guard.

I had repaired and upgraded the JVC cam-corder and entrusted it to Asriel. At times when he could safely explore the city in spots I was sure he wouldn't be noticed or wouldn't have unexpected company, I'd let him film whatever drew his interest. It was difficult keeping him away from large crowd or even small crowd. Heck, keeping him out of sight altogether was near impossible. But the fact was we weren't ready with the paperwork and arrangements to naturalize him into Miranda's populous with minimal questions, complications, and *ahem* ball-breaking should our secret have been discovered prematurely.

I saw the light at the end of the tunnel when it seemed like Dr. Callista Penelope Brighton and Colonel Scott Angus O'Conner finally had open spots on their calendar for me to bring Asriel and get him prepared for his eventual adoption. When that day came I felt insistant that we retain his family name. I already had in mind what I wanted to put on the adoption papers. When everything cleared, Scott and Callie would be the parental figures of one Asriel Tobias Dreemur-Arcade. I'm sure someone in my crew asked the proverbial "why 'Tobias'?" To which I would have the response. "I figure someone will probably nickname him Toby." To which Violet would follow up with something to ruin the moment like "That name sounds sexy!" And then Bunnie would have to thwap her. I had a sneaking suspicion Vi was taking a creepy interest in Metatton, having read my personal logs.

Most of the population of Miranda was tied up with some major event. Might have been a holiday where everyone took vacations to see the families in other countries or on other continents. Whatever the case it made it all the more easier to provide Asriel with the freedom that I'm sure he craved. I really didn't want to restrict him. But the worrywart in me was worried someone would find him and turn him into child services or worse. And I really didn't want to answer to the queen about the STC Council's stake in this or the fact that it could technically be considered that I went a little rogue with this assignment, bringing a lifeform out of a doomed timeline to a strange world that was under the agency's radar. *sigh* If only things could be simpler and if only there weren't so much red tape slowing the processes down. But I digress.

The fountain had become a favorite spot of Asriel's whenever it was possible for him to be there with only my company or the company of one of my responsible crew. So I didn't think twice about letting him get some panoramic shots for whatever filming project he had undertaken.
It was right about that time when I got a conference call from Command, my way-above-top-secret trump card behind the scenes who gave me all of my additional off-the-books advantages, tools, shortcuts, and "cheat codes" that let me do my job in spite of the Council's restrictions. Many of Command's little drops and "add-on-content" made the difference between success and the mass genocide of entire worlds--most of which my former protogee, STC traitor, and menance to everything we stood for, Dr. Alouicious Nixon Adonis was at the epicenter of. Having an archnemesis really sucked at times. Crap. I'm rambling again. Ahem...back on track.

I conferenced with Command as Asriel filmed. I hadn't noticed the arrival of Lupe Ayla Lycans' alpha-male lion, Shi-Shi. A surprisingly gentle big cat, despite his intimidating size and presence. I sometimes drew the comparison to...another lion from that case centering around Rose Quartz. Had I been paying attention I probably would have noticed whether Asriel experienced fear, wonder, or some other emotion upon meeting this gentle giant. Shi-Shi did what he did best, got a few laps of water from the fountain, stretched and lay down for a lengthy cat nap. In retrospect I really wished I hadn't missed the session of Asriel bonding with this beast. It didn't take much to make Shi-Shi content. A mane-stroking was all you needed to make a friend for life. So I guess there was no cause for alarm when Asriel decided to put his filming on pause and take a little nap with the lion, snuggling up to his sleeping form.

I'm not sure how long Command kept me in conference but it was long enough for Shi-Shi and Asriel to wake up from their nap. Of course Shi-Shi instinctively knew to return home to Lupe's nature preserve; a super-haven for all things fauna, flora, and mineral. As an activity center open to the public, it was one part new-age zoo, one part botanical gardens, one part rock and mineral study and exploration (even with a cave system), and one part learning and wildlife preservation center. In short it would be the perfect place to take Asriel too...but...I had forgotten about that pretty big, bad memory trigger. The buttercups.

Imagine my horror to finally end the call and look up to see Asriel had wandered off, deciding to follow the cat back home. What in the name of Luigi Galvani was I thinking?

"Asriel? Asriel?! Asriel, where are you?! Answer me, Azzy! Oh no... No. No. Nonononononono!" Again with the Alphys moment.

"Shockley, Brattain, and Bardeen! This is so not good! Major! Major?!"

With that Bunnie was on scene, drifting into existence with all the anime splash I had come to expect. Even in times of crisis, she retained that flashy presentation.

"What is the matter, Volt-san?"

"Asriel! It's Asriel! I can't find Asriel!" I was freaking out.

"Calm. We will search for him, descretely."

"Bunnie, if anything happens to him, I'll never forgive myself." It was like the propane explosion all over again. It was like the time the twins had gotten lost and separated from each other at the mall. I was ready to cite about 10 different instances I felt like an irresponsible parent.

"I will send Megami and my advanced ninja class to scout."

Bunnie let the Shodouphone--one of her two Moji-Cellulars-- drop out of her sleeve. She unfolded it from its cell-phone form into its strange mechanical calligraphy brush form and begain scripting in mid-air. With the mystic energy of Mojikara--the so-called Symbol Power of her family's "martial science"--the fluorescent neon Jangese characters manefisted in midair before Bunnie's strike activated them, forming her "Shinkenmaru" praxioscope-hilted katana. She slipped on the "Mizu" disk and gave it a spin with the heel of her palm, transforming the blade into a bow. She scrawled a message onto a scroll, tied it to the arrow and then drew back and shot the projectile in the direction of Rabbot Dojo. Moments later an answering arrow sailed straight for Bunnie. At the last second she caught the arrow head between two fingers, inches before it would have pierced her skull. Bunnie unrolled the message, read it then nodded. That was all I needed to know that the calvary was on their way.

"I'm also contacting Sally and Rotor. " She folded the shodouphone back up and opened it, dialed, and made the call to Sally and Rotor.

"Let us fan out. Any ideas where you'd think he'd go?"

I shook my head scrunching up a bit, fighting back the panic. Who's to say who's a bad parent, Tori?

The search began. We only asked questions to anyone who was already in the loop. Mitzi. Hestia. Gadget. Pit. Sarina. Cid Padesh. Anyone who could help. Finally it came back to me that Shi-Shi had been spotted around the square. It was a long shot but the trail had to lead to Lupe's nature preserve. If only I had prepared myself better for what was to come.

At the preserve, Asriel had the largest of head-starts and his curiosity was in full overdrive. Had I been there I might have actually caught his first joyous smiles and joyous laughter. I still had time before he found his way to the gardens.

As we drew closer to the preserve, we were quickly joined by Sally in full-on OGPX turbo speed. Rotor had dug out an old Ecotropian "Rider" series hoverboard he had kept from a time when it was a popular sport in the old kingdom. With some modifications and upgrades Sally had gotten from the Kinneceleron Company during her last overhaul, it was able to keep pace with her OverTech. It might have even been fit to work on water like the aptly named "Pit Bull" hoverboards of Technopolis...

The four of us reached the main gates and soon found ourselves in a conundrum. This place was very huge. How would we ever find him in all of this? Well...it was said many times by Fred Jones of Mysteries Inc. I guess we had no choice but to "split up, gang".

Asriel had combed his way past the zoo sections pretty quickly. Little goat was faster than I gave him credit for. A thought entertained my mind, offering only seconds of solace; an image of Asriel at the petting zoo yielded the thought of how he'd react to normal goats? Violet would probably tease him with the pet feed to snack on. As if he'd want that! Mental note to self...thwap Violet for doing something I potentially felt could get us in trouble.

Asriel poked around the rocks and minerals section...but I guess it didn't really draw his interest as much as the animals. So I guess that was when the countdown to the storm started.

----RECOVERED DATA FRAGMENT FROM THE RESEARCH LOGS OF SPACE TIME CONTINUUM (STC) AGENCY FIELD AGENT AND FOUNDER, DR. VOLT ALESSANDRO ARCADE-----

Sub-Entry 26: "A Family of Orphans in the Eye of the Storm":
Asriel had stopped in front of the sub gate to the gardens, taking it all in. I wondered if the fear had crept into him yet. He was curious and innocent so probably not at that point.

He walked the paths and likely noticed the huge variety of flowers all around as well as the other plants and foliage. This had to have been awakening long dormant feelings. A sense of familiarity must've been there.

I was the closest to his position by that point and I was getting winded. Between sporadic sleep and the fact that I could really snack on a stream of electric current at that, it was begining to take its toll.

Asriel had long since lost sight of Shi-Shi who had likely returned to his area. It was about this time he found the entrance to Lupe's current main attraction at the gardens. A grassy spread covered nearly end to end with buttercups. And there, kneeling down with gardening tools and watering can nearby was the form of wolf hybrid, Lupe Ayla Lycans.

Silvery grey fur, ice blue eyes, very tall and slender in stature. Her black hair was done up a spiky formation that was too full and gravity-defying to be a mohawk. White, jagged stripes ran down the sides of her hair. And it all came down to a lenghty rope ponytail accetuated with jade glass beads separating each segment. Her simplistic aqua green one-piece dress-like garment matched her criss-crossing leg greaves and daisy-buckle sandals. On her wrists she wore polished gold bracelets. And around her neck was the triangle shaped, tri-colored Spirit Meld prism her mother once had. Strapped to her back was her father's Shaman Staff. Just looking at her you could tell she was a practiced druid.
But a close look at her soon revealed the wavy scar under her left eye which told of her own tragic past.

Asriel started to greet her with his usual "Howdy" when he suddenly noticed his surroundings. Buttercups to the left. Buttercups to the right. Buttercups behind him. Buttercups in front of him. Buttercups...those accursed flowers that Chara...that Chara........that....that...no...not that...please not that...

Asriel's eyes widen as he starting looking about frantically, his expression slowly turning to aghast and terrified. His breathing became eratic to the point of hyperventilating. He was starting to tremble. He had dropped his cam-corder in the grass, leaving it recording. It got a view of everything that would transpire.

"Ah...ahh....ahhh..." He whimpered for breath. And then he squeezed his eyes shut and threw back his head...

"AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!" His scream pierced like a knife.

My head snapped up and my eyes widened as soon as I heard it.

Lupe dropped her tools suddenly, immediately drawn the panicked child.

"Little one? What is the matter? Why are you--"

Asriel let it all out crying like the likes had never been heard before.

Lupe ran over and dropped to her knees and placed her hands on his shoulders.

"Are you lost, are you hurt? What is wrong? Why are are you so upset?!"

The crying continued.

"Little one, please talk to me! What has gotten you so frightened and sad? There is nothing here that can hurt--"

"Chara...Chara's gone. The buttercups..."

"Is...Chara your friend--"

"It's my fault! It's all my fault! Chara's gone and it's all my fault! I...I shouldn't have...I shouldn't have...I shouldn't have let her..."

"Little one...?"

"I never should have let her eat the buttercups!"

Lupe's gasped a little, starting to catch on. They were poisonous if ingested.

"She wanted me to absorb her soul...so I could c-cross the b-barrier. Chara...why did you want me to bring your body to the center of your village?"

Lupe's expression started getting a little more more scared and disturbed.

"Chara.....Chara, I don't think this is a good plan anymore...I don't want to kill anyone and take their souls. Don't make me do this, Chara...please...just come back...come back, please...d-don't die...I...I--"

I had skidded to a stop at the gateway at that point to see Lupe kneeling down before a sobbing Asriel, trying to comfort.

"I so scared, Chara...I don't want to be alone...I.....I...*sob*...I'm not ready to let go..."

Those weird were like a bullet to the heart. I'd heard them before. Similar context, different situation.

By that time Lupe had put it all together.

"No...it's my fault...it's my fault you died. It's my fault that Mom died. It's my fault that Dad died, too...everyone's dead because of me..."
Lupe's expression turned to aghast...I watched her slowly put her arms around Asriel and embrace. I watched her face scrunch up and her eyes well with tears...I heard the sniffling, a sob choked up. And then I knew what was coming.

"It's...my fault..." She repeated. "I...lost my family...because I wasn't strong. Mother...mother died from sickness but father...father died because I was weak...the soldiers...the soldiers came for us. They pushed us to the Reservation. Their leader wouldn't stop hurting father...I tried to stop him...my crude weapon...it drew blood but it did nothing. The bayonette..."
Lupe reached up and touched her scar. "Slicing..." Lupe was reliving the moment she too became orphaned. "Why...why did this have to happen? Why must...why must I be alone?"

And then like iron to a magnet, I was drawn to the embrace, offering my own, turning it into a group hug.

"I'm an orphan, too. My real family...my whole village was taken from me. Slaughtered by...by hunters. Hunters who despised our race." I felt inclined to withhold the fact that they were humans. "...was it because...I was small? I was the runt? Was that why I was beaten down and left to...be slowly poisoned to death by the chemical darts?"

Who should arrive next but Bunnie. Eyes hidden beneath the shadows of her bangs. But I could tell she was also crying. She joined the group hug with her own tragic story.

"I was in my teens...when I was captured and imprisoned in an illegal laboratory during a time of war. When I helped another prisoner escape I was punished by being forced to watch my parents die from a horrible nanomachine injection experiment. No child should ever have to watch their mother and father being torn apart from the inside out. And...this same nanotechnology was used on me...why was I the survivor? Why was I given this power?"

Another embrace. Sally, this time. "I was the prisoner that Bunnie freed. But I was orphaned long before that. I...lost my kingdom. I was there when...when mommy and daddy were assassinated. I was covered in so much of their blood. I was going to be next...why was I saved? What reason could the world have for not letting me be with them in death...oh gods, what a terrible thing to think right now..."

Rotor was the last to join.

"I was left without a father. But I didn't lose him to death. I lost him...to evil. He was a traitor to our kingdom. When Vorostov approached him he sold us all out. Mom took us and fled the city before it was wiped off the map. Mom, Skeeter and I...we traveled Vorostov's badlands...did...unspeakable things to survive. We made it to South Plumbington in Neo Arcadia but...with no direction on what to do with our lives. We did the best we could and I carried on...until Mom passed only a couple years ago. I'm all that Skeeter has in the world now...I have to be my little brother's everthing. It's so much weight to bear...never letting him see me like this. Trying not to be ashamed of my career...my profession as a humble plumber."

It was the first time Rotor had told any of us, even his old friends his whole story. He had kept it to himself all this time.


After all that...it set in to Asriel.

"S-see, little guy. You're not so alone after all..." I choked up a half-hearted chuckle. "We're all in the same boat. We're all orphans. And we all don't want to let go..."

It had started to rain by that point but it didn't matter. Something beautiful had come from something so terrible for each of us. This was the turning point. This was the point of no return. It was time for Asriel to move on. It was time for all of us to move on. From that point onward, after letting it all out, Asriel was finally on the road to recovery and from there it was sunny skies and no more fear of the flowers.

"Heh...even grown-ups can be real crybabies." I offered.

Asriel looked up with a sniffle and managed a smile.

"We should probably get in out of the rain..." Lupe finally said, wiping her eyes.

"Agreed." Bunnie nodded.

And so we did. To the learning center where a visit to the cafeteria let us drown our sorrows in food, drink, and tales a plenty. The hurting was over and the healing had begun.

"How about that, Azzy. You called for help.......and everybody came."

"Yeah. *sniffle* Thank-you, everyone. Thank you." And he just kept thanking us until we let him know that was more than plenty.

It was then I came to a realization. A true happy ending never really ended. A true happy ending would go on...with plenty of bumps in the road, plenty of moments, plenty of laughs, cries, and as Violet would probably say...hurling. Oh well. This seems like a good spot to make my own "save point". Until next time...

CRYPTOSMASHER LOGOFF
End Transmission...

Last edited by Volt Alessandro Arcade; 03-26-2016 at 10:20 AM.
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Old 03-28-2016, 01:04 PM
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Volt Alessandro Arcade Volt Alessandro Arcade is offline
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----RECOVERED DATA FRAGMENT FROM THE RESEARCH LOGS OF SPACE TIME CONTINUUM (STC) AGENCY FIELD AGENT AND FOUNDER, DR. VOLT ALESSANDRO ARCADE-----

Sub-Entry 27: "Writing's on the Wall":
The experience left me too overflowing with emotion. Before anyone was awake the next morning, I decided to take the Deloreon back to the Underground and clear my head. It was so early it could be considered super-late. This time I'd stay out of trouble. Out of sight. I headed toward Waterfall. It was nighttime...I think? The faux stars hovered in the inky blackness. It wasn't that hard to set the plants adrift and bridge the gap over the bodies of water. And of course there were those Echo Flowers I had studied. They could catch passing conversations and replay them. I had heard they were created for Asgore as a means of remembering things. Cute. And practical. I entered the Wishing Room, my ear catching the conversation of an Echo Flower.

"A long time ago monsters would whisper their wishes to the stars in the sky..."

This made me think back to Bunnie's Tanabata star-gazing festivals every July 7th.

"If you hoped with all your heart, your wish would come true. Now all we have are these sparkling stones on the ceiling."

I listened to each one as I traveled the cave system.

"Thousands of People wishing together can't be wrong! Asgore will prove that!"

I look through the telescope, a new path through the wall. I entered and continued down the path...and then I saw it along the wall.

"The War of Humans and Monsters."

I read each section in sequence and immediately turned somber.

"Why did the humans attack? Indeed, it seemed that they had nothing to fear. Humans are unbelievably strong. It would take the SOUL of nearly every monster... ...just to equal the power of a single human SOUL."

"But humans have one weakness."

Only one? I mentally jabbed. Nah, that wasn't fair. Every race had their weaknesses. Even werewolves.

"Ironically, it is the strength of their SOUL. It's power allows it to exist outside the human body, even after death."

The next part made me swallow hard.

"If a monster defeats a human, they can take its SOUL. A monster with a human SOUL...a horrible beast with unfathomable power."

I worked up the courage to look at the last part. There was no writing. Only a picture of a strange creature. Something very unsettling about this drawing--

"...!!!" I gasped. It couldn't be.

"A...Asriel...?" It was right out of my nightmares. Right out of the end of the [PACIFIST] timelines. I whirled around, expecting someone to be there...but there was no one. I fell back against thee wall, careful not to phase through it...then slid down into a sit...and kinda crumpled a bit.

"Asriel..." I swore I'd never let this happen. How do I live? How do I breathe?" I felt every time those nightmares struck I was suffocating. I wanted to give him love. A better world. At the risk of breaking STC protocol. If I wanted to give him his happy ending, would I have to give it all up? "For you...I'd have to risk it all." I turned and looked at what I had read. "Cause'...the writing's on the wall."

I was sure I was channeling something...like the theme to a movie but it felt appropriate.

A deep reflection later I returned to the Deloreon and headed home.

----RECOVERED DATA FRAGMENT FROM THE RESEARCH LOGS OF SPACE TIME CONTINUUM (STC) AGENCY FIELD AGENT AND FOUNDER, DR. VOLT ALESSANDRO ARCADE-----

Sub-Entry 28: "Moving on":

It rained for the rest of that day, yesterday, at Lupe's nature preserve. We had all returned home and slept it off. I stepped out super-early this morning to head to Waterfall and returned in reasonable amount of time to greet the new day. Almost as a sign, the next day was sunny, bright, and vivid. It was a major Holiday for the Major: the Ecotropian festival for celebrating the rebirth of spring known as Festival of the Rabbit. Children--human, rabbit-hybrid, or otherwise loved to partake in a day of bunnies, rabites, chocolate, and activity. Much like Easter on the many Earth realms of the infinity-verse. So it sucked large portions of uncool that we had to keep Asriel from it.

"Tempting, isn't it?"

"It seems like...it'd be a lot of fun." Asriel watched from the window.

"Any other kid would have just taken off and joined in by now. That's a lot of self-control you're showing."

"It'd just be...too overwhelming. I...I don't think I'm ready."

Felt like Asriel was trying to lie just so I wouldn't feel guilty.

"Too big a step, too soon."

"Yeah."

"Maybe...mabye next year."


He probably didn't fully grasp the real reason he couldn't be out in public like that. Not yet. But again I'd probably underestimate him if I made that conclusion.

"Looks like there's a lot of chocolate out there." He observed. "Chara...really liked chocolate. She had a favorite band of chocolate bar. Heh...I'm having trouble remembering the name."

Again the expression saddened.

"About Chara--".

"I've been giving it a lot of thought and...maybe I've always known...maybe I just didn't want to admit it but......Chara...really wasn't the best person in the world."


"Asriel..." The words echoed from another timeline. I'd heard him tell Frisk this.

"Do...do you think she really hated humanity?"

"I can't even say."

"She was always so...bitter whenever I asked about humans. She never wanted to talk about them. But that night at my favorite viewing spot of the kingdom. She suddenly asked me if I hated humans. I told her 'Nah, I don't hate humans.' But she went on about how she couldn't stand what they did to my people. That she was a part of that species. Did I...disappoint her when I told her I didn't hate them?"

"Would it matter so much, little guy?"

"She seemed so sad. She told me she wished she wasn't human...that maybe if she wasn't a human then mom and dad wouldn't look at her like..." He paused. "I stopped her. I told her that Mom and Dad loved her no matter what she was. And...I loved her too. I didn't care if she was human. Monster. Whatever. I was just so happy that she was part of our family."

"That's...that's some pretty amazing things for you tell her."

"If her soul is still out there...maybe she feels like I betrayed her."

"Maybe you feel like you betrayed her, Asriel."

"Maybe."

"Maybe...maybe she's in a place she doesn't have to feel that way. I'd like to think she's left her regrets behind."

I sighed

"Asriel. Sally used to tell me "To thine own self be true."."

"Hmm?"


"If you had kept your promise and did what she told you...absorbed her soul, went to the outside world, killed six more humans and took their souls...I don't think that would be very true to yourself."

Asriel looked up at me and blinked a bit.

"It would have been wrong, wouldn't it? I mean...really, really wrong."

*sigh*

"In this world...we shouldn't live by "kill or be killed". We should live by "spare or be spared"." I offered. I'd almost said save or be saved...but it didn't seem like the right words for me to say. Mabye from someone else, somewhere else they'd be more fitting.

Asriel nodded with an "Mm-hmm."

A period of silence.

"Asriel...how do you feel about humans right now?"

"Well...some of them are mean. But...in spite of what Chara says. They can't all be bad, right?"

A pause.

"Volt?"

"The differences...the divide between the human and monster races..." I pondered.

Reflecting on the prejudices that lead to the Seven Souls Barrier in the first place I recalled a different case in my STC-career. It was one I thought would be ongoing but eventually did wrap up. Humans and monsters...it was the same case when applied to humans and demons. But that case was unique because there was a third thing to consider; how would one who was half human and half demon figure into the mix? In this instance the person of interest found rejection from both sides. This case had brought me back and forth between modern Japan and Feudal Japan and the curious relationship between a high school girl and the half-demon; Kagome and Inuyasha.

I made up my mind.

"Asriel...there's something I have to tell you. Something I have to show you. It might change the way you see me. But...I can't put this off any longer."

"V...Volt?"

"It's...not that I kept this from you on purpose. It's that...there've been so many things getting in the way. You need to know who...and what your rescuer is."

"What...what are you talking about?"

"No secrets, Asriel. My race is known as lycan. Commonly called werewolf."

Asriel blinked.

"You...don't know what that is, do you?" I stepped back a bit and made sure the lighting was good.

"I won't make you promise to not get scared. And I accept however you judge me from this point on."

With that...I decided to un-morph.

It wasn't a painful process. I was born lycan so the shift was as natural as breathing. There was no bone-cracking or meaty contorting like there was for lycans who resulted from the infection of a bite by a feral werewolf. The fur slowly receeded. I normally kept my claws retracted--my specific species could extend and retract them like cats--so it was a lot more visual when they dulled and shortened into nails. My big feet; four bulbous equal-sized toes--shrunk back into homo sapien 5-toed variety of normal asymetrical size, big toe and all. My tail, shrunk back into its confines. My muzzle pulled back into my skull and my fangs and teeth dulled and also shrunk back. My ears shifted back through where they poked up out of my hair to the sides of my head.

My clothes were specially made from an integration of adaptable biometric nano-tube chains and various bio-receptive polymers that allow them to instantly reconfigure to my adjusted size. Morphing one way or the other meant no clothing malfunctions; no ripping tearing, and no being charged with indecency. A weird side effect was that when my electric powers went dormant, the shiny silver color would disappear from my karate gi and sandals leaving white versions behind.

Asriel watched every moment, eyes wide as beach balls, not even blinking. He didn't gasp, he didn't whimper, he didn't even move from his spot.

I tried to keep my eyes open as long as I could but my vision was starting to blur. That was the other quirk of making all my werewolf powers go dormant.
When the process was finished I immediately reached into my labcoat pocket and pulled out my glasses and put them on. There. That was better. I ran a hand through my jet black hair. Violet had told me I looked a lot like that Harry Potter kid in human form. And often joked I should get a lightning bolt tatoo on my forehead. Stupid rabbit.

"This is me...the real me." I was finding it hard to look him in the eyes. I still felt like I had been lying to him all this time.

"I'm neither human nor monster...and yet I'm both. I can only imagine what you must be--"

I wasn't prepared for the tacklehug!

"Oh, wow! You're...you're...you're so amazing! You're a human! And a monster! You're like a...hu-monster!"

"Asriel?"

"This is so cool! So cool!"

"Well...I suppose--"

"So cool! So cool! So cool! So cool! So cool--"

"Okay, take it down a notch, Asriel. I feel like you're channeling something you shouldn't be." I sweat-bulleted, almost feeling a familiar blue glow in a familiar eye socket behind me.

He reached up and touched my nose.

"Boop."

Well that was all too familiar. Where'd he pick that up from.

Asriel then snatched up my hands, feeling them , thoroughly examining them, giggling with laughter.

"Er..."

Asriel knelt down and poked my toes a little.


"H-hey! Personal space, kiddo!" I wasn't really that uncomfortable. It was actually kind of a pleasant sensation. Even in human form, my feet were sensative but not in a bad way.

"Sorry! I'm just a little over-excited!"

Jeeze, kid. Didn't you spend enough time around Chara to learn something about human morphology? But...I guess I couldn't really blame his innocent curiosity. I was two creatures in one.

"Okay, Azzy. I'm going to change back now." I expected him to moan or whine but again...this had to be the most cooperative boy on the planet. But he stepped back, hands behind his back. Beaming and watching. Like he couldn't wait to see the process reverse. I removed and folded up my glasses. Didn't want them being pushed off my snout and falling to the floor and breaking.

And so I changed back, ending the transformation with a brief crackle of electricity.

"Well. I guess that's done." I scratched the underside of my jaw. "So...now what?"

Asriel shrugged and rubbed the back of his head.

"Maybe...maybe when this excitement dies down I can introduce to to Scott and Callista."

"Are they going to be my.......caretakers?" He really took a moment to choose the right word.

"If all works out. They're really good people. Callista is a college professor at the university and is a master painter-artist and skilled at the violin. Scott...well...Scott's a soldier. He's kinda quiet and reserved because he's...seen a lot of war and had a lot of bad things happen to him. Scott's suffered a bit of...memory loss. Maybe you can help him remember...well...what it's like to be a person again. If that makes sense."

"Well...I guess I'll figure it out when I meet him. They both sound super-nice."

"Oh yes. Callista is super nice. She's kinda shy, too. Callista has what we call psychic powers so...she can do a lot of things with her mind. Don't be surprised if you catch her painting while she's...er...invisible."

"She can turn invisible?"

"Among other things."

"I guess that will make her my...trans-parent?"

".....did you...just make a pun?" I whirled.

"Yeah. Mom used to make them all the time. Is that okay?"

I chuckled.

"Yeah. That's more than okay."

"So...if you're not going be my...er...new dad...what does that make you?"

"Well...I'm not sure."

"Well...you're neither dad nor uncle...maybe you're a dun--"

"Gonna stop you there. I feel like you're channeling something that's gonna get us in trouble...not sure how." You would be enjoying this too much, Sans.

"...I know what you are..."

"You do?"

"Yeah. I guess with Chara gone...there's kind of an opening......I'm not sure how to put this without it sounding a little weird and awkward."

"Asriel...?"

"You're my new best friend."


"......." I was stunned by that.

"Sorry. I...don't have a locket to give you." He said with a big silly grin.

"Yeah, that WOULD be kinda weird." I admitted. "You don't have to give me anything. You've already given me your friendship and that's more than enough."

"Best friends forever?"

"Best friends forever."

----RECOVERED DATA FRAGMENT FROM THE RESEARCH LOGS OF SPACE TIME CONTINUUM (STC) AGENCY FIELD AGENT AND FOUNDER, DR. VOLT ALESSANDRO ARCADE-----

Sub-Entry 29: "It's Not Official Until You've Been Rabite-Hatted":

When the festivities died down and the square did empty outI could see the shadow of regret hiding behind Asriel's gaze. But he seemed like the kind of kid who could handle the wait. He at least deserved something from the holiday that'd be worth a good memory until next year.

Bunnie gave us some chocolate and candy to take back with us. A nice gesture but not a lasting one.

I entertained the possibility of hosting a Lunar Cycle celebration on the clocktower balcony. Wasn't sure if I should get Asriel hearing protection. That clock could be loud when it rang and its mechnics inside weren't much quieter. I had been working on noice-cancellation measures for some time after spending some time offworld on a place I had taken a shine to; the world of Elebits. The father of a boy I had met named Kai had invented various devices including a noise-cancellation unit I thought could be adapted into a more lasting implemenation for use in factories or intensely noisey areas.

I led him to the clocktower balcony. We passed by the park. I didn't notice the light tremor behind us as something burrowed up out of the ground with a "Chuu!"
Wrench had just missed greeting us. But that wouldn't stop the rabite from following us top side.

As we passed by the gate leading to Rabbotou Dojo, I felt a psychic presence for a moment. Bunnie? Callista? No. This was more...like......heh. If I had stuck around I might have noticed Bunnie's favorite Ebon Rabite en route to the dojo to give her favorite trio their singing lessons. Nothing and I mean nothing could ever be as theraputic as the song of rabites singing. A large sum of money? Fame? The key to the city? A new CD ROM video game console? Why...it didn't even COMPARE! (With apologies to Johnny Turbo.)

Jonathan Talbain, my son-in-law, was already topside. Big, blueish-grey werewolf lug was asleep on one of the lawn chairs set up. He was going to wait all this time for nightfall? Lazy wolf. Not a care in the world as long as the other "Darkstalkers" from his past were far away from him. He was always scared if too many of them gathered in the same place it would only endanger everyone.

He was still on edge after Felicia had transfered in from the main UCIAT branch in Neo Arcadia City. His old friend from the dark times was the reason he even got into UCIAT. Spritely girl. A little naive about things. Felicia had big dreams of being a star in the spotlight whther of the movie or Broadway variety. Cat woman could dance, too. Which was only counterbalanced by how completely oblivious to the fact that she didn't wear nearly enough clothing to be considered decent that she was. Keeping her away from Violet was a must. At least she kept a clean labcoat on at times while on the clock.

"Later tonight, we're going to have a barbecue. I don't know if you like steak but we'll have plenty of burgers and hot dogs. And grilled chicken and spareribs. It's going to be a feast!"

"Mmm! Sounds yummy!" Asriel noted.

"Usually we host these things on the three nights of the full moon."

"The moon?"

"Yeah." Come to think of it...It completely escaped my attention if there even was any semblence of a moon in the Underground. I really should have paid more attention in Waterfall or the viewing spot of the castle. Speaking of I didn't notice a pair of beady glowing eyes peaking out from the shadows in the corner of the balcony by the entrance. "Chuu..." Really should have expected Mitzi's fleaser, Chu-Chu would be there too.

"You'll get to see it. It's...like the brother...or sister of the sun. But at night time."

"Ahhh." He nodded. We both had a seat on lawnchairs. From there we just enjoyed the mostly-quiet, the muffled clocktower noises and occasional lurch of the minute hand the only thing breaking the silence.

I closed my eyes for only a moment before I was awakened by Asriel's sudden yelp!

"Ahhhh! Something jumped onto my head!" I saw him recoiled in fear, eyes wide open...and then I saw it.

"Chuuu!"

"AhhhH! It's alive! Whatever it is is alive!"

I suddenly started laughing.

"Take it easy, Azzy. It's only Wrench."

"W....Wrench?" He questioned, still in panic mode.

I shuffled through my E.N.G.I.N.E. micro dots I kept on my black belt and decompressed a hand mirror. "Look for yourelf." The image I was treated to was priceless.

"Ohhh! It's a...it's a...!"

Wrench peeked down from his sitting spot.

"Uh...what is it?"

"It's a rabite!"

"Ra...bite?" Asriel kept his head still, afraid to move it.

"Local fauna. They're adoreable. They make great pets. This guy here is Wrench. He's friendly. Say hello."

"Uh...okay...umm.. *ahem* Howdy, Wrench. I'm Asriel." He looked up at the creature staring back. Asriel then noticed I was having trouble containing my laughter.

"What? What is it?"

"You just became official."

"Official?"

"You're not officially part of town until you've been rabite-hatted." That wasn't really true but it was true enough for most of us in town. Chameleon would certainly have...things to say. Another person I wanted to hold off on Asriel meeting until better circumstances.

The appearance of one floppy-eared, mostly-limbless puffball that was vaguely rabbit-shaped on top of another floppy-eared creature was too much.

"Heh...heh..." Asriel started laughing himself. After a bit of a laugh, Wrench hopped down into Asriel's arms.

"Go ahead and pet him. And I guarantee you've got a friend for life."

And so he did.

"Chaaa..." Wrench was quite content.

The rest of the day just faded into night from there. This night was best saved for another log entry.

CRYPTOSMASHER LOGOFF
End Transmission...

Last edited by Volt Alessandro Arcade; 04-08-2016 at 08:41 AM.
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  #22  
Old 03-30-2016, 10:58 AM
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Volt Alessandro Arcade Volt Alessandro Arcade is offline
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CATAGORY: Update! FULL POINTS!

----DATA RETRIEVAL IN PROGRESS.......ERROR...UNKNOWN SYSTEM ANOMALY...----

*STATIC*

Personal Log: Date encrypted. Time encrypted. Coordinates encypted.

< FILE MISSING >

Sub-Entry ???: DATA NOT FOUND

"...where...where am...? How'd I get here?"

I checked the bracer. Static. The world is ominously silent. It felt unusually cold. And...colorless?

I looked around and noticed I was atop Mount Ebott. Barrier was intact. But something wasn't right. The sensation I was getting was like there was a vacuum at the mouth of the mountain and it was sucking the life away from everything.

"This must be one doozy of an unstable timeline..." I muttered, feeling a bit paranoid. Strange...I don't remember what vehicle I used to get here. My holo-tablets only display television static. A.E.O.N. isn't responding nor is Command.

I leaped down into the entrance , forming magnetic walls in sequence which I used to kick off of to control my descent before landing at the bottom.

"...what the--"

Werent' there...weren't there supposed to be flowers in the ruins? Seemed like an obvious question. In fact there should have been grass, too. Ground was as lifeless as everything else. And the ruins themselves looked a lot more dilapidated. I was starting to notice the traps were broken, disabled, or missing. Abandoned? That didn't make sense.

"ACHOO!" Dusty-- Oh crap.

"A Genocid Timeline. Not good. I must've arrived really late."

I picked my way to Toriel's house. The tree was uprooted. Okay...easy, Volt. You knew sooner or later you'd come across an unstable timeline like this. It was just a matter of time.

I started to phase through the door when my hand pushed it open. Not even latched shut...wait a minute. I checked the bracer. The Hazard Card was still in it. Now this was definitely not making sense. What a time for my equipment to malfunction.

I searched the house. It was...unusually filthy with cobwebs. Maybe Muffet was invited over in recent times...ehehh...ehehh......ehhhh.

A number of barely-eaten meals were laying out. At least they weren't spoiled being monster food and all. But I had no indication how long they'd been sitting there.

I decided to check the bedrooms.

Toriel's seeed the same but...the bed had obviously not be slept in...probably since the room was furnished.

The other room was boarded up as always.

The last room......completely empty? This didn't make sense. By now the other children had to have come and gone. There should be no reason for...

I shuddered suddenly.

I walked to the basement staircase, picking up the pace. I could only guess how bad it was outside the ruins--

I turned the corner and found the inner gate standing wide open. It wasn't like Tori to leave it like this. I went through and down the hall. Curious. I usually got brighter the closer I got to the outer gate.

"Man...this is giving me the creeps." I turned to look over my shoulder--

"OOF!" I bumped into someone. "Ugh...gotta watch where I'm going. Sorry, about that, I was just--"

My eyes widened.

"T-Toriel?!"

It was Goat mom alight. But... she wasn't responding to my voice. She didn't move much from the impact.

"Toriel, thank science you're okay. I thought you were du--" I had placed a hand on her shoulder...no reaction. I shook her a little. Worried I turned her around to face me. That was when I saw...

"Toriel...?"

The same lifeless expression Asriel was wearing when I found him in the void. She was alive but completely catatonic. How long had she been staring at the gate?

And for that matter...it was standing wide open, too.

I made several attempts to get through to her until I could see it was hopeless.

"Oh, Toriel..."

I didn't want to leave her but I was getting nowhere. So I exited the ruins.

As I continued my trek I found more and more of the same lifelessness. More familiar faces. More in total despair and unresponsibe. Before I knew it I had combed my way all the way to the Capital and met with just about everyone I had documented previously. Asgore was the final stop on the list. And hew was right where I expected to find him. The hallway leading to the barrier; the spot where he and Frisk battled. Again. Unresponsive. Eyes sullen and lifeless.

I gripped my fists...then charged through the barrier. My soul was easily powerful enough to allow me passage.

I looked again and found myself outside Mount Ebott. There were no answers to be found here. Maybe I'd find them in the above ground in the human world.

It was nightfall. I climbed my way down the mountain...and a feeling crept over me. I knew this feeling. It was the feeling of being watched.

I stopped at the base of the mountain, looking off toward the closest human structures. Somewhere out there was where Chara, Frisk, and every other child had originally come from.

"What the Hell's going on? Can someone tell me please?" I made my plea, knowing there was no one to answer. I began to notice the micro-glitches jump around spots. Yup. Unstable timeline.

I sighed and tried to get my bearings...and out of the corner of my eye I saw two glowing red dots behind, something perched on the elevation behind me---

I whirled too late as whatever was in the shadows suddenly lept and pounced on me, knocking me down. I felt a set of jaws snapping at me. I was pinned to the ground but managed to get one arm free.

I struggled to get free and was about to scream at my attacker when I opened my eyes. No. No. Nonononononono...!

"Asriel!" I panicked.

It was him alright. Definitely him after absorbing Chara's soul. Oh my god...he was alive! He was alive...and trying to kill me?!

I squeezed my eyes shut, dodging each snap. In desparation I let instinct take over and did the only think I could. I drew back with my free arm and slapped him across the face. Hard. And then he suddenly stopped, black-sclera-and-red-iris eyes as wide as they could go. He backed off, staggered back for a bit...got his balance... and dropped to his knees, putting a hand to where I had struck him...and then his face scrunched up and he began to cry. Really cry.

This was crushing me. It was like I was staring at my own failed efforts. But...at least he wasn't a pile of dust. But...why was he alive.

"Asriel...I'm sorry...I didn't mean to..."

Asriel fell backward into a sit, scooting away, scared.

"Y-y-you're...you're another m-monster? Out...outside the b-barrier?" His voice was deep and distorted with an unholy echo.

"Well...it's a long story." I got up and offered a hand. Asriel turned away, ashamed. I pressed it until he reluctantly accepted the help.

"Do...do you know me? You called me b-by my name."

"I know who you are but...how are--"

Asriel got to his feet.

"It's...it's not safe here...they'll...they'll come. I don't want to be around when they do."

"Afraid of them?"

"No......afraid of me."

"...Asriel, it's not that bad--"

"No! It's worse. I can't be around them. I can't. I just can't."

I was hearing the echo of his words to Frisk at the end of the [PACIFIST] timelines.

"What happened to you? I thought..."

Asriel was already leading me away to a small cave entrance at the base of the mountain. Pretty well hidden. We entered.

"I think I have time to explain. But I'd better make it quick...she won't like it if..."

"You mean...Chara."

I suddenly began to see the big picture. He hadn't stopped resisting Chara's control over his body.

"You know about Chara, too, huh?"

"I know the whole sad story."

"Not all of it."

Asriel's gaze fell.
He sat down on a large rock by a small campfire. He was obviously living here...in exile. I sat on one opposite.

"After I...we...crossed the barrier, I let her carry her body toward the human village. The things she was saying to me...they got scarier...creepier...darker. She was going home. I really didn't like the plan by that point. She said something...really horrible at that point...and I felt her making that face she always did...but it was my face. I had a huge panic attack and resisted her and ran away before we could get to the village. I was too scared to think straight. I couldn't go through with it...so...I ran and hid. I had never felt Chara so mad...she was saying terrible things to me in my own voice. She asked me what I was trying to prove."

The microglitches fluxuated for a bit. I thought I saw them overlap Asriel at some point.

"She told me I'd have to start surviving. She wasn't about to let this be for nothing. At that point I knew she'd try again. She'd make me lose control and start hunting humans. It became a war between us day and night. She'd make me sneak to the human village and hunt for victims. But I'd always stop her and get away. I stopped trying to sleep because I had to stay on guard for any attempt to take control of me while I wasn't conscious."

Asriel looked up at me. That's when I noticed how...weary he looked.

"I'm tired. So very tired. And Chara won't let up..."

"She can't be reasoned with, can she?"

Asriel shook his head. I noticed how ragged and torn his robes were. I then noticed the scars in exposed spots.

"Oh gods...did the humans--"

"No. That was me. From when I had to stop myself."

Pain. The worst possible way to break Chara's hold.

"I can't go back either. I can't let Mom and Dad see me like this...they should remember me how I was."

Again. Those same words spoken to Frisk. Or at least similar in the same context.

"Is there anything I can do?"

"No. That's...very nice of you to offer but...no. No one can help me. And it feels like it's getting worse every time. I feel her rage inside. It's not natural. This can't be what humans are like inside...can it?"

"Azzy..."

Asriel let out a forced chuckle.

"It was...it was a stupid dream. Wasn't it? Freeing all my people." He turned away.

"You know that's not true. Dreams are never stupid. What about wishing on stars to make your dreams come true. You're outside of the barrier. There are real stars to wish on, now--"

Asriel didn't anwer.

"You can't just give up. It'll be okay. Come on, Asriel. There's hope even for you. You just gotta stay det--"

"NO!"

He spun and roared.

"That's what got me into this in the first place!" He stared right through me. "This accursed determination...it's what's wrong with the world! It only leads to pain and suffering...and no matter how much of it you have you're going to die!"

"Asriel, please. Just listen to me--

I was suddenly grabbed by the tie and yanked close.

That's when I saw the sword materialize in his hand.

"I'M. NOT. ASRIEL!!!!"

I gasped.

"Chara...!"

"You...you really PISS ME OFF! He's MY brother. Mine! Mine, you hear me. You can't take him away from me. He's going to become a god! Even if I have to forcefeed every soul down his throat--"

Asriel suddenly let go of me and grabbed his own face, clutching it in agony.

"N-no! No, I won't let you do it, Chara!"

"Stay OUT of this!"

"No! He's not a human! His soul is worthless to you--"

"Is that what you think?! You sense it, don't you! You feel his soul. It's not like a monster's. And it's not like a human's. It's incredibly powerful. Maybe better than a human's! Why would anyone pass up an opportunity like this!"

I gasped. Echos of Flowey. Again.

Why was I so scared? Death was the least of my concerns. I...no...it's Asriel. I know it's really Chara but all I see is Asriel.

The other sword came out.

"In this world...it's kill or BE killed! DIE!" The sword began its maiden voyage toward me--

"AUGGGH!!!" You...!"

The other blade was now stabbed through his arm.

Asriel's eyes were streaming tears and he was cringed in pain.

"You IDIOT! These injuries are inconsequential!"

"Chara...I'm tired...I don't want to fight you anymore..."

"Then be a good little brother and stop interferring!"

"I won't fight you anymore...that's why...I'm so sorry...but..."

"What are you doing, Asriel..."

"Hey...mister...you're remember me as I used to be...right?"

"Asriel...what are you saying? Don't talk like that. You're stronger than she is." I forced a smile but it must've look like pure panic.

"No. I'm weak. I'm pathethic. And I've given her everything to keep her from turning me into a...a...a serial murderer."

No don't speak that anagram out loud, Asriel. Don't do it. Please don't rearrange the letters of your name into...that.

"I guess this is goodbye. Hey. Why don't you visit mom...she makes a great snail pie. Or maybe you're the type that likes butterscotch-cinnamon. Heh. It's to die for. Kinda...wish I had some right now."

"Don't do it!"

"Don't cry. That's what I do. You don't have to feel sad for me. Asriel Dreemurr has been dead for a long time. I'm just an......an echo in the mirror."

Asriel tilted his head back, looking up to the sky with an excruciatingly painful attempt at an open smile.

"Mom...dad...I'm going to be a little late getting home. I was just too impatient. Guess I'm REALLY grounded, this time. Well...if I don't see you soon...catch up to me when you can..."

And the blades flashed.

"No...!"

His expression softened. I saw the black heart with the white outline leave his chest...shudder a bit then break in half before exploding to shards and falling to the ground.

And then I saw the dust drift off of him as he slowly dissolved away. The particles swept over the floor.

I was aghast. I dropped to my kneels and tried to scoop up the dust. I threw my head back and squeezed my eyes shut.

"ASRIELLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL!"

I anguished, calling out his name. The glitches were getting worse. The world was starting to twist and distort. Dimensional collapse. My bracer was dead. This was the end.

I kept calling out to him, even though I knew he was gone...this was it... As the world turned white I heard it...

"Volt...! Volt...! Volt...!"

I felt myself shake as the light grew blinding.

"Volt! Wake up!"

----RECOVERED DATA FRAGMENT FROM THE RESEARCH LOGS OF SPACE TIME CONTINUUM (STC) AGENCY FIELD AGENT AND FOUNDER, DR. VOLT ALESSANDRO ARCADE-----

Sub-Entry 30: "See you round', Space Cowboy...er...Time Traveler..."

My eyes snapped open as I felt myself being shaken.

I looked up and saw...!

"You...I thought that. It was..."

"Shhhhhhhhhh..." I was shushed with his gentle voice and the gentle stroking of my forehead and muzzle

"This is all just a bad dream...*

Those words...the last words Asriel spoke to Frisk before...!

I then noticed I was in the lawn chair. Still topside the roof. It had turned to night. Moon hadn't come out from behind the clouds yet.

"You okay?"

A pause.

"....yeah. I am now."

"That other wolf guy over there woke up and he got started while you were asleep. Also...someone dropped off a bunch of food earlier but I wasn't watching and didn't see who it was. The door closed before I could get a look while I was busy with the rabites."

Violet. Heh. And this was one of the moments that I really appreciated having her on my team. A firecracker she might be but she kept her affection in the closet. It'd ruin her reputation if people saw her actually be nice and not just a crass, annoying tease.

"Rise n' shine, gov! You keep overworking yourself and you really will sleep through one of thse. Can't have a bloke miss out on the best three nights of the month."

It was impossible to mistake that British accent for anyone by my son-in-law, Jonathan Lawrence Talbain. Known around UCIAT ranks as our gentle giant, Jon was even bigger than me at my usual six feet in morphed height and multiple times stronger. In fact he was probably the strongest in our ranks, bench-pressing ridiculous amounts of weight. But we also knew him as the walking, talking, furry, tailed garbage disposal. When it came to eating he was a black hole by werewolf standards. His favorite staple was the quadruple-decker "He-Man Burger Deluxe" served with two triple-cheesed side orders of fries (with apologies to Commander Cody). A sandwich the diameter of a dinner plate with four layers of burger and toppings. Even for your average werewolf that was a ludicrous amount of food.

Jon was out and abount wearing his usual purple pants and an extra large shirt that could accomidate his massively furry barrel chest. Plus he was wearing his favorite Kiss the Cook apron as he grilled. He stood completely barefoot on his haunches. His sub-species of lycan was closer to wolf than man when morphed. Which likely explained his embarassing habits and behaviors such as yelping and hiding when Elektra ran the vacuum cleaner or his tendancy to get down on all fours and sniff around. And of course that silly dog-like behavior of shaking his leg while on his back when Elektra gave him belly rubs. Seriously, Jon. Show some dignitiy for our species.

"Sorry."

"Cor' blimey, Volt. You're lucky that I'm here to lecture you about being a workaholic instead of Lisa or Elektra."

"Or Velaska." I brought up our other chief medical officer.

"Well, steaks are on the grill. A bit more and happy days are here again."

I smiled at that.

"Oh! I need to introduce you both. Jonathan, this is Asriel Dreemurr. Asriel, this is my son-in-law, Jonathan Lawrence Talbain. He's our data archiver and part-time tailor."

"Howdy, Mister Talbain."

"You can call me Jon, love. How are you this fine evening?"

"I'm doing a lot better now."

"Smashing!"

Asriel gave a closed eyes giggle with a floppy-ear-to-floppy-ear grin.

"By the way, we've kinda drawn a bit of a crowd."

Asriel looked off to where the rabites had gathered. Wrench. Marie. Chu-Chu. And even Bunnie's trio--Houjicha, Bancha, and Kukuicha.

Jon was one step ahead and brought the carot root, veggies and such and laid them out on little plates for our hungry little puffballs. Asriel had been keeping himself occupied with fawning over each one. He let Jon borrow the cam-corder to film. I had modded it to include a playback option with a flip-out panel screen. I delighted upon seeing him play with them with such energy. There are no words for watch a dog pile...er...rabite pile on a laughing little goat boy.
It's just. That. Good.

Eventually the food was ready and the additional guests that we entrusted with Asriel's secret arrived. Mostly other lycans in town. Vidian. Glenn. Valerie.
Some not so-lycan like our favorite genetically engineered "R-Series", Red Stokes. As had been customary, those of us of the lycan variety had started adopting dojo rules for the lunar cycle cookouts and left our shoes and/or sandals by the entrance to the stairwell. Something about the full moon brought us closer to our animal instincts. And animals tended to be barefoot. We lycanthropes and theranthropes were weird that way.

The circle was growing and it was amazing how well the secret was staying secret. But I knew the expiration date on that was fast approaching.

I had decided to call in UCIAT co-founder, Kitty Rosetta Dimitir to accelerate the legal process. As one of the ten co-founders of UCI, Kitty was way meeker than even Asriel when he first arrived. Described as mousey, apologetic, and nervous.....y'know in a way she reminded me of Alphys. At least when it came to most of the time. As soon as she opened her legal briefcase, got her paperwork readied and snapped it shut...it was like all sound just stopped for a moment and the echo of the briefcase clacking reverberated through you soul. Because that was the point she got that super-intense, all-business look that almost said "I'll kill you" if you look at me wrong. Rumor was that she served as prosecutor in a case against a notorious mob boss; by the end of the trial the accused had soiled himself and gave a full confession, pleading that Kitty be kept the Hell away from him. It was the most unexpected turnabout victory ever recorded in recent Neo Arcadia times. And I thought Maya Fey had a split personality. With her speeding things along, Asriel would have his new legal home and guardians.

Mitzi had even come by to deliver a generous supply of garlic bread and garlic toast. Mmm! Garlic was like candy to our lycan species. Quite to opposite of vampires.

Food was served and soon the magic hour arrived. For the clouds parted and there was the full moon.

"Goodness! Look at that!" Asriel looked up at it, bathed in the light. His laughter and excitement were peaked.

"The only thing as beautiful as the sun." I smiled.

Jon didn't waste a moment baying at the big white ball in the sky. I looked to Azzy and shrugged. I'd explain later. But for now...a few of us decided to join in on that.

It was the first of three nightly celebrations and it was good. Despite the bumps in the road and the nightmares, things were looking up. And I was finally looking forward to what lay ahead...

CRYPTOSMASHER LOGOFF
End Transmission...
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  #23  
Old 04-02-2016, 09:14 AM
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Volt Alessandro Arcade Volt Alessandro Arcade is offline
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Let's do the Update agaaaain!

----RECOVERED DATA FRAGMENT FROM THE RESEARCH LOGS OF SPACE TIME CONTINUUM (STC) AGENCY FIELD AGENT AND FOUNDER, DR. VOLT ALESSANDRO ARCADE-----

Sub-Entry 31: "Meet the Parents 5: A psychic brain-surgeon painter, a kabuki quantum fighter, and Goat Son":

I put this off long enough. It was time for Asriel to meet the 'rents. I don't know if it was fair for Bunnie and I to tend to him for so long and then suddnely foist him off on two people he hadn't even met yet.

"Well. Here's the place."

"It's nice."

"It looks like it's big enough for the three of you."

"To be honest...it could be really small and I think I'd like it."

"Yeah...that's right. You said you grew up in a pretty humble home within the castle."

"And sometimes one just like it at the ruins. It was like a summer home for us for when it got too hot in the Capital. It was so close to the entrance of the moutain. If there were any chance of a human falling down here, I guess we'd have the best chance of being there for them."

"That's how you met Chara, wasn't it?"

"Yes. She was...face down in the flowers. I helped her up. Dad wasn't that far behind me so I brought her to him. We took her through the ruins and decided to bring her home to meet mom. She seemed...kind of...what's the word.......re...relu-"

"Reluctant?"

"Yeah. Reluctant to follow us. I think she was still kind of afraid. I remember being so excited. Maybe a little too excited. I wouldn't stop talking and I wanted her to share my energy and happiness. It too a little coaxing but everything worked out."

Asriel looked happy.

"You don't...regret bringing her into your life, do you?"

"No."

"Well. I know it's not my place to say but let's just put the past aside. It's time for new beginnings."

"Okay."

I knocked on the door. And almost immediately it opened and there was Dr. Callista Penelope Brighton.

"Doctor!" I smiled.

"Ex-commander!" Finally, someone got the message.

Callie Brighton. Height 6'6", weight none-of-my-damn-business (I know better than to ask a woman that!), hourglass figure, blue eyes, red hair, light freckles. As always her hair was styled the same as Princess "Peach" Toadstool. Violet had gotten her a set of Pokeball earrings as a joke since her UCIAT numerical designation was number 150 and her powers resembled a certain genetically-engineered psychic type.

She was wearing a white blouse with purple skirt, a lab coat stained with various colors of acrylic and oil paint. And of course her favorite crystal-clear, strappy, ice-pick sandals. Yeah...even the human members of UCIAT tended to favor sandals. It was just...our thing.

I noticed in the next room over, Callista had a telekinetically-levitated canvas which a paint brush seemed to be dabbing color onto it without a hand to lift it and a telekinetically-levitated violin that seemed to be playing itself. Even from this far away, Callista could maintain her focus on her two favorite activities. Scott must've been nearby.

I was certain Asriel noticed both. I could practically see the stars in his eyes.

A quick hug.

"It's finally happening, isn't it?" She said cheerfully.

"Yes. I know you and Scott have had reservations about having a child on your own, the natural way. But you know how we Arcades feel about adoption."

"It's your family legacy. Just as Garfield Arcade found you those years ago. It's your turn to find a lost soul and give them a place in our extended family."

Callista noticed Asriel. He was a little wide-eyed. She kneelt down and spread her arms, offering a big hug.

Asriel hesitated.

"Oh my...I'm sorry, that was a bit too forward. I mean we haven't even really met and I'm getting ahead of myself. "
But at that Asriel graciously accepted the offer and embraced.

"Howdy. It's nice to meet you, Miss Callie."

"It's nice to meet you, Asriel."

"Maybe...it's a little forward of me but...is it okay if I call you........*pause*...Mom?"

"Well...I suppose.......would that make you happy?"

Oh god...the deja-vu feeling. Was this your doing, Lady Destiny?

"To call me..."mother"? Well then...call me whatever you'd like!"

Seriously. Were you psychically linked to Toriel at this moment in time, Callie?

"Mom!" Asriel looked up with a closed-eyes, open-mouth smile. I was never going to get tired of that happy face.

Callista stood back up. "Scott! We have a guest."

----RECOVERED DATA FRAGMENT FROM THE RESEARCH LOGS OF SPACE TIME CONTINUUM (STC) AGENCY FIELD AGENT AND FOUNDER, DR. VOLT ALESSANDRO ARCADE-----

Sub-section 32: "Colonel Scott Angus O'Conner, the Kabuki Quantum Fighter":

"He's...a little shy and introverse. His past wasn't very happy." Callista explained, leading on into the other room. There he was was on the sofa. Just kinda sitting there, lost in his thoughts.

Short, blond military haircut. Blue eyes. Tanned skin. Nothing out of the ordinary.

"Really, Scott. Wearing your combat fatigues again? You have civilian clothes you can wear around the house."

"Sorry. I guess I was...lost in my memories again. What memories I have that aren't missing and corrupted."

"Scott, you've been doing better since the time in Mainland."

"I know...sometimes I have relapses like this. What I remember just...sometimes disappears again." Scott didn't sound particularly morose. In a way he was similar to Flowey. It wasn't that he couldn't feel anything. It was more like he was having trouble remembering how to feel anything. Like..."The Program"...was getting in the way at times.

"Colonel Scott O'Conner, this is Asriel Dreemurr. He's going to be living with you once Kitty gets the paperwork through."

"Howdy. Umm...I guess you're my new......Dad?"

"Howdy?" Scott was the first to think Asriel's greeting was unusual. "Oh...um..." He suddenly backed off a little, frowned a moment then saluted.

"Uh...Scott?"

"....!" He quickly reciprocated. It was weird seeing him this awkward in a situation he didn't know how to handle.

"Sorry...I mean...hello there, son. Old uh...army habits are hard to break."

"I apologize. This isn't one of Scott's better days." Callie whispered.

I knew the moment Scott mentioned his army past at some point Asriel would ask the dreaded "Did you ever have to kill people?" that came with being a soldier. But for now it looked like that was furthest from his mind.

There was a bit of silence at that point.

"Scott's actually kind of unique. He's a human that can transform." I offered. Oh man. I'd probably have to apologize to Scott for that.

"You can?"

Scott kinda looked off to the side, like he wasn't sure if he was comfortable activating the KQF program. But as I promised Asriel. No family secrets. Maybe next time I'd show him Bunnie's cybermorph transformation.

"Yeah...it's...different."

Scott got off the sofa and stood in the center of the room. He closed his eyes for a moment then opened them. When he did I noticed the red nano-circuit tracks lacing his eyes followed by the hazy neon glow. And from there the circuitry spread throughout his body with a release of quantum energy particles and piles upon piles of computer code and scrambled, overlapping pixel-sprite clusters.

"Oooooh!" Asriel was even more fascinated by it than my transformation. Jealous much, Volt? No way......okay, maybe just a little.

The light show enveloped him as he seemed to collapse within his own outline like stars being sucked into a black hole. The black silhouette left behind was immediatley replaced by a sudden splash of neon sparks from the epicenter. THey unfolded into a blue wire-frame human skeleton, rains of 1's and 0's moving up and down around their wire-a-matic surfaces until theys stabilizes. A second wash of sparks unfolded into green wire-frame organs, muscles, and innards with a spider-web of vascular network that looked like fiber-optics. Bright neon code sped through the digital veins and arteries at breakneck speed. A final wash of red wireframe formed over top of it all, forming a human body shell over top. I noticed the hazy aura of what seemed to be loose clothing taking shape around it. The semblance of red, transluscent fiber optic hair poured out of the head.

The whole shape stabilized and solidified with a flux of polygons and texture-rendering until the form was complete.

Standing barefoot, wearing white samurai-esque kimono-robes with a red sleeveless vest-garment over the jacket, Scott O'Conner was now his alter ego of Kabuki Quantum Fighter. The huge flaring sleeves and trouser legs. The massive ankle-length neon hair with the tresses that went down to his waist. The pale white "make-up" of his skin with the bright neon red eyes. The transistor-arc, oval-shaped crystal jewel on his forehead and the straight circuit lines that ran from underneath his eyes to the underside of his chin that vaguely reminded me of W.D. Gaster. Yeah...this guy was a sight to see. So Jangese that it was uncanny.

"So cool! So--"

I half-coughed, and half ahem-ed.

"Sorry, Volt. Guess I got a little carried away again!"

Asriel rubbed the back of his head.

"You're...you're amazing! This is the best family ever! A superhero for a dad and a mom who can play music and paint with her mind!"


Oh yeah. Definitely on the path to being a normal kid. This was the Asriel that Chara must've first met.

"Well. I hope it's okay if I leave him with you for a while. Get to know you while I wait for Kitty to come by with the paperwork and find out if we're going to have to make an appearance before her Highness."

"Don't worry. Bunnie will have things covered for her Majesty."

I'd noticed that Asriel would sometimes stare off at Miranda Palace. It must've reminded him of Asgore's castle in the Capital. I had a feeling he'd be seeing it sooner than later.

"Yeah...no sense in worrying."

"This of course brings up another point."

"What's that?"

"Taking him to meet the the REST of the family." Callista said with a grin as bright as her last name.

That on the other hand did make me smile. Taking him to see the UCIAT founders. The ten hybrid philanthropists who gave me my wonderful life. They'd most certainly want to see the next generation.
I wonder if they would think it was too soon after I had already brought aboard my successor as UCIAT commander. By now, the Ecotropian orphan who had been scooped up by Corinth science think tank, "Alphabet Soup", young Miles Prowler had more than proven himself capable. If anything he spent too much time on the front lines handling missions personally. It wasn't that he was showboating or hogging the spotlight...no it was because he felt inclined to keep the rest of his team out of unnecessary danger. Like Asriel he didnt' want to see anyone get hurt or killed. He was a protector...to a fault at times. Oh well. That would be food for thought for another day.

"Nine hybrid cats and a hybrid dog. Think it'll be too much for him?"

"Whyever would I believe that? It'll be fine. You of all people know they're all wonderful."

"Yeah. Yeah, I do."

"Anyway. Feel free to go back to your duties. We got this." Callista assured before giving Scott a sudden smooch on the cheek. And darned if he wasn't caught completely by suprise and probably blushing ten shades of red under his faux makeup.

"Bye, Callie. By, Scott." I waved.

"I know I don't have to tell you this but...you'll be good...won't you?"

"You sound just like mom......Toriel, I mean." He hestiated at using his mother's name rather than addressing her as "mom".

"Yeah...imagine that." I chuckled. I waved one last time and stepped out the door and headed off to H.Q. I think I neeed another visit just to hammer things home. And maybe get someone's blessings without directly asking...

Last edited by Volt Alessandro Arcade; 04-02-2016 at 09:35 AM.
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  #24  
Old 04-04-2016, 01:19 PM
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Volt Alessandro Arcade Volt Alessandro Arcade is offline
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Today on The Mighty Morphin' UPDATE Rangers:

----RECOVERED DATA FRAGMENT FROM THE RESEARCH LOGS OF SPACE TIME CONTINUUM (STC) AGENCY FIELD AGENT AND FOUNDER, DR. VOLT ALESSANDRO ARCADE-----

Sub-Entry: 33: "Asking Goat Mom for her Blessing...Without Really Asking":
Back here again. This time to Snowdin Village. Everyone else had gone inside. Normally I didn't really expect anyone to be out at this hour. But this time I had advanced info thanks to A.E.O.N. that let me know just the person I wanted to talk to was out and I'd have a fated...no...a destined encounter with them. I carried my saxophone case with me, past the skeleton brothers' house. Sans' mailbox was stuffed to overflowing. Papyrus'.....not so much (and by that I meant completely empty.

UTPR-3224 again. I had already made my mark on this one so...as long as I didn't interfere with the crucial events that would be paramount to ensuring Frisk's journey went without a hitch all the way to the True End, a few minor interactions shouldn't muddy the timeline. In fact it might even set groundwork down the road if this worked out.

With Jon's permission I borrowed his favorite park bench and compressed it into an Energized Nanotomic Granular Infrostructure-compression Neotech Encapsulator (E.N.G.I.N.E.) microdot and released it onto a spot on the side of the road/path, opposite Grillby's. I sat down, opened the case and pieced the horn together.

I closed my eyes, brought the mouthpiece to my lips and played the first thing that came to my head. It was a slow somber song from an Irish presentation, Lord of the...something or other. It was the lone romantic track that made me think of candlelight...a cozy fireplace...just that kind of song.

"Oh my...such a beautiful sound..." I hear the murmur of a familar voice. Right on cue.

I smiled without stopping my song.

We meet again, Toriel Dreemurr.

I finished.

"It seems that we were destined to meet again, Doctor." Toriel's warm smile put me at ease.
"So it would seem."

"Have you finished your research?"

"No...I've had a couple setbacks. I figured I'd retrace and find out where the data went wrong."

"Oh. I'm sorry to hear that."

"It's not worth crying over. In science we can repeat an experiment as many times as we need to just as long as we properly observe and record it."

"I understand. Anything worth doing is worth doing right and practice makes perfect. Speaking of practice you seem to have brought your saxophone this time."

"Yeah. I found a rare moment to myself so...a little sax therapy seemed appropriate."

This would be the part I'd have to smack Violet for making a joke about practicing "Safe Sax". Lewd little lagomorph. Definitely not an appropriate pun to say around Toriel. Even if it probably would get a laugh. I was just too polite for dirtying the humor.

"That song you were playing just now. What was it?"

"It's called Fiery Nights." I knew it was composed by Ronan Hardiman but I didn't want to bring that up to Toriel. Obviously she'd never heard of the artist or the production.

"It is quite nice. Very pleasant and somber. Soothing."

And so appropriate considering I was in the presence of one of the best fire-casters I had ever met.

"Just the thing to warm up with on a cold night like tonight. I used to play it for Elektra every so often. It made her fire magic feel extra special when she would do a few parlor tricks with flames to get a smile out of me."

"What a precious comfort! But it is no wonder you are cold this night. Your garments. Have you nothing better suited to the weather?"

"Probably would help but...I have my reasons."

"Forgive my say so but they look like pajamas."

"Well...actually it's called a gi. It is the uniform of a martial artist."

"I am...unfamiliar with that kind of artist."

"Well...martial arts is...a form of self defense."

"Oh. I see." Toriel's brightness disappeared. "I did not know you were into something violent."

"No, no. You misunderstand. The martial arts aren't about being violent. The martial arts teach courage, kindness, intergrity, fitness, loyalty, and discipline."

"Oh." Toriel seemed a little more at ease but still unsure at that. I set the saxophone in the case and slipped off my labcoat and took a stance a short distance away in the center of the road. I eased into one of Bunnie's more serene katas. My moments flowed slowly, looking more like a dance than fighting moves.

"The martial arts are the single most perfect contradiction in the world. We learn to fight so we don't have to fight. That should be the goal of any martial artist; to resolve a conflict without having to resort to a fight. Granted...the most ideal way is to strike up a conversation and diffuse an otherwise volatile situation. But...sometimes conflict cannot be avoided and your opponent may press the fight. In this, a true practitioner must never try to take out his opponent. A master of martial arts knows to meet an opponent with discipline and self-control."

"But...perhaps they do not wish self-control." Toriel looked crestfallen. "Some...only wish for a fight." She slide her gaze off to the side as if she was remembering someone. I had a suspicion that she meant a younger Undyne.

"In the martial arts you meet any conflict with the least amount of force." I explained, channeling the advice of one Trini Kwan. Heh...had I been away from Angel Grove THAT long?

I ended my kata.

"Toriel. The highest form of martial arts..." I smiled brightly. "...is making a friend......of an enemy." I gave my most formal bow, hand wrapped around my fist.

"It seems...you are the kind of warrior this world needs."

"But I wonder if I am the one it deserves?" I mused. I couldn't resist that line.

Toriel smiled.

"For all your powers you truly are a gentle soul."

"Oddly...I am gentle BECAUSE of my power. They say absolute power corrupts absolutely. Well...my belief is power should only belong to those who have no desire for it. In this is the very essence of responsibility." These were the words of Bunnie.

"That's a nice thought."

"Well. I should be going. The others will worry." I packed up the saxophone and put my labcoat back on.

"You are the kind of man I wish I had met years ago. Maybe...if Asriel had a role model like you in his life--"

There it was. I had my blessing. And Asriel would be able to start his martial arts training without anything holding us all back.

Thanks, Tori. But I couldn't leave it at that.

"For what it's worth, don't write Asgore off too soon. Sure he's done terrible things. Things so bad he can't take them back. But...we all make bad choices and mistakes. We have to pay for them. But...our burden shouldn't be heavier than it needs to be. Someone wise once told me that forgiveness is divine...but never pay full price for late pizza."

"Er...?" Toriel looked very confused.

"Sorry. It loses something in translation."

"Oh. I see. But...I think I understand. Well. I suppose I will be seeing you, Dr. Arcade."

I turned and gave a non-challant good-bye wave. "Goodbye, Toriel. And may the Power protect you..."

----RECOVERED DATA FRAGMENT FROM THE RESEARCH LOGS OF SPACE TIME CONTINUUM (STC) AGENCY FIELD AGENT AND FOUNDER, DR. VOLT ALESSANDRO ARCADE-----

Sub-Entry 34: "Citzenship and Adoption. In that order":
"I've got it! I've got it!" The pitter-patter of Kitty's sandals was a breath of fresh air. With cornflower, powder blue fur curled up like wool, at times she seemed more like a sheep than a hybrid cat. Something about that made it all the more cute when I envisioned her next to Asriel. A sheep and goat. All I needed was a few other farm animals and I could call it a petting zoo.

Her Greek style of dress made her look like she came from Pit's world rather than Neo Arcadia. Which was no coincidence as Kitty had a reputation for being an angel fanatic. Like Lupe she enjoyed gardening. Like Pit she practiced archery. And like Alphys she was just a ball of insecurity and awkward.

She ran full tilt and stopped before Scott, Callista, Asriel, and myself. Callie was using her powers to keep Asriel cloaked. I think he was just tickled pink enjoying the temporary power of invisibility that he didn't mind being out in public.

"I'm deeply sorry, it took so long. I've just been a nervous wreck over all this. I broke a mirror, spilled my morning tea, I about ran over the neigbor's pet, I made so many mistakes with the forms and had to reprint them. I made you wait all this time. I-I....I--"

"Easy, Kitty. Deep breaths. And chill on the apologies."

"Oh! Sorry sorry sorry sorry!"

"Kitty!" I frowned.

"I'm sorry. I mean...er...mnnghh..." She looked so sad and worried and meek.

"I just came from the palace with the rest of the paperwork. I'll need you all to sign as the parents and witness."

"Don't worry. We'll get it hammered out."

"And...you may need to...make an apperance before her highness..."

".........." I must've blanched a little at that.

"She's going to have questions." I sighed.

"Bunnie is already on route."

"Sake?"

Kitty nodded.

Asriel had been keeping quiet as instructed just as a precaution.

I lead us all to an area where we could sign the papers and read them over and not draw any attention. I of course let Asriel know he could speak again. When we were finished I handed Asriel the relevant papers and the...ahem...slightly doctored birth certificate. This was the second time Kitty had to make one of these. Gadget was the first; but the tale of how an ordinary control group laboratory mouse became a hybrid was a story for another time.

"Asriel...Tobias...Dreemurr-Arcade?" He cocked his head with a slightly confused look.

"Do...do you like it?"

"Yes...but...why Tobias?"

"Well...uh...I kinda wanted to go with "Toby". It came to me after Bunnie suggested Tobiou, the name of some Jangese anime character."
Despite Violet being the anime otaku, Bunnie had a fondness in her heart for the old Jang anime, "Astro Boy".

Asriel smiled.

"Toby sounds like a cool middle name!"

I rubbed the back of my head, almost feeling Violet looming over me. I just knew I was tempting Madam Fate somehow...

Final signatures, including Asriel's and we were ready.

We headed off toward the palace. En route...we'd pass by Chameleon's shack. And the lizardman in question was out front...almost like he was waiting for me. Red scaled, alligator-tailed, and wearing that familiar sword at his side.

He looked at Callie with suspicion. I knew how little he trusted psychics. Then he turned back to me.

"Something you want to share, Arcade?"

"I uh...am not sure what you mean."

"The rabbit has been a little too coy around me lately. When she gets that way I know something's up. Something that's drawn her attention." He glared through me. "And that...concerns me."

The stupid thing to do would be prod that he felt jealous that Vi found someone new to have fun with.

I then noticed Chameleon's familiar, Tithius poking around. Likely wondering if we were carrying any food. He stopped as soon as he made his way to Callista's heels. He cocked his head confused and licked the air around with his little forked wyrmling tongue.

"You're headed to the palace. Any meeting with our demoness of a rule all but confirms you've got something you're hiding. I'm warning you right now...if it turns out to be an annoyance..."

I gulped a little.

"That look...that's the look of someone who knows what's coming." Echos of Sans' warning in the Genocide Timelines. His hand was on the grip of his sword.

I was sure Asriel was going to hyperventilate, Tithius was going to spill the beans, or something else would royally mess this up.

CLACK!

That was Kitty's briefcase. Uh-oh.

"I am legally bound to warn you, Mr. Ja'Kerith. Threatening my clients can and will be used as justifiable cause for a restraining order as well as direct correspondence to Queen Brooke Canciaris. Furthermore any act of aggression will be verified by several witnesses." That icy stare and almost paranormal look of murder-death-kill.

"I'm not intimidated by lawyers."

"I'm not the one who can ensure a return assignment to De Midian. But I can report to the one who can."

"......." That made Chameleon back off. The lesson to be learned was that if you're going to break into the Royal Treasury...don't get caught.

"Good day to you, Prince Ja'Kerith." Kitty turned and lead us to the castle.

"Master. Smell strange thing next to vanishing artist! Smell like--"

"Silence. I don't want to know about it." Chameleon ordered the mini dragon.

"But--"

"Punishment 54 if you press this further."

"Eep! Yes, Master." Tithius hung his head and followed Chameleon back in.

We kept on.

"That guy was scary."

"You have no idea." I shrunk a little back.

"The little dragon creature seemed nice."

I smiled awkwardly. While I didnt have too many reservations about Asriel meeting Tithius......I just knew Tithius might try to exploit his naevity for personal gain. One too many snacks, free meals, and pilfered steaks from the grill led to one too many mishaps...and often backlash from his master.

Oh well...the grilling we got from Chameleon would be nothing compared to what we were in for if Brooke was in a bad mood.

And yet...I still had a good feeling about it.

CRYPTOSMASHER LOGOFF
End Transmission...
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  #25  
Old 04-06-2016, 10:57 AM
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In the name of Justice! I UPDATE THIS CROSSOVER FANFICTION!

----RECOVERED DATA FRAGMENT FROM THE RESEARCH LOGS OF SPACE TIME CONTINUUM (STC) AGENCY FIELD AGENT AND FOUNDER, DR. VOLT ALESSANDRO ARCADE-----

Sub-Entry 35: "Queen Brooke Canciaris":

The encounter with Miranda's grittiest freelance mercenary had certainly shaken me, however Kitty's steel samurai (Heh.) nerves was all the confidence builder I needed to shake it off. I should expect no less from the hybrid cat who was on a first name basis with Phoenix Wright and Maya Fey. Now came the real nerve-racker. Facing her Royal Highness.

Asriel came through the situation smelling like a rose......er...maybe I better hold off on the flower metaphors. I still felt leery about bringing him back to Lupe's garden.
It was about that time I saw Bunnie, arms crossed and eyes closed, leaning up against the main entrance to the castle.

"Major."

"Commander." Bunnie uncrossed her arms and walked over and joined us.

"Kitty-chan. Callista-hakese. Scott-taisa (Colonel)." She nodded to each. Then looked directly at the cloaked space where Asriel was standing.

"Asriel-kun." She said with a smile.

"Aww. Miss Bunnie can see me!"

"That tends to be the case with highly psionic beings who are versed in psychic cloaking. Her instincts are amazingly sharp." I explained.

Bunnie gave a brief closed-eyes smile. Then she turned to me.

"Are you ready for this, Volt-san?"

"Not even close." I shook my head.

"Heh. Well. Don't feel left out."

"Don't worry. We'll get through this." Callista assured.

"Hmm." Scott's vocalization definitely sounded contemplative.

The guards led on, escorting us through the castle. I could almost sense a feeling of familiarity resonating through Asriel. Despite a lack of Golden Flowers covering the ground, everything must've been ringing some familiar chords.

The proverbial red carpet.

It made me feel like we'd been expected for a lot longer than the government had become aware of Asriel Dreemurr's presence in town.

"Nervous?" I asked Asriel.

"Mm-hmm." Came the soft response.

I wasn't quite sure why Callista was still maintaining the cloak. We were inside away from prying eyes and such. This was under control. I had to wonder if it would become public knowledge that Asriel came from off world. And that would no doubt mean interviews by reporters. If it came to that, I wanted to make sure Azzy's story was received by a credible member of the press. I could think of no one better suited to the job than Prisma St. Croix. Between her and Wrench, who served as her faithful camera-rabite, I was sure I could get a fair, unbiased interview that would paint Asriel in a sympathetic light and not turn the whole affair into a media circuis. That would be the last thing I wanted to put him.

Of course thinking about this made me ponder...what would it be like if Asriel ended up on Metatton's show? The thought of him going through Metaton's gameshow/talk show antics...proved to be more than my brain was willing to process at a time. And that was saying something when you knew the first question would always be "Would you hug a ghost?". Anyone who was anyone knew there was one and ONLY one answer to that. Oddly...that thought made me smile ear to ear. Maaaaaybe it wouldn't be so bad. Maybe. It was about that time I was getting that feeling I got when I felt I was channeling something that could get me in trouble. Right, Arcade. Mind on what lies ahead. File this one under possible AU research before the Council tells you to look away from the other sandboxes. *sigh* *moan*

We reached the main gate entrance to the throne room. Why did it never get any less intimidating?

A detail of Royal Guards lined each side of the red carpet leading to the person of interest.
I would have been sweating bullets if I weren't morphed. But I wasn't about to start panting. My hands must've been disappating the majority of my excess body heat by that point.

Bunnie continued walking, arms crossed and eyes closed. It was amazing how she navigated without relying on her sight. I'd see her catch a fly with chopsticks blindfolded before. Those instances made me wonder if that was her nano-cybernetic enhancements or purely Sixth Sense. Mental note to self: show Asriel Bunnie's cybermorphing ability.

Callista just kept pace and a warm smile. She didn't seem like she had anything to fear.

And Scott just continued on, an expression as blank as a refrigerator. He was tempered by war so he wasn't about to lose his nerve.

Which made me curious what Asriel must've looked like at that point.

We arrived at the spot where the guards wouldn't let us go further. There we the thrones. I knew one of them was reserved for the late King Jacob, Brooke's husband of marriage in the years much prior. And there seated at the other was Brooke herself.

Brooke dismissed the guards with a wave of the hand. For a moment it felt like a wave of gravity itself washed through us. Was she really this powerful even when completely supressing her abilities?

Bunnie immediately dropped into her most formal of kowtows. It was her way. Her family was trained to be submissive in the presence of authority. She presented the bottle of sake.
The rest of us bowed as well.

"Commander Arcade."

Brooke rose out of the throne and walked toward us. The first thing anyone would notice was her clawed, demonic wings extending from her back that wrapped around her like an opened billowing cloak. But underneath she seemed human...maybe...superhuman. Violet would consider her buxom enough to be...if Brooke weren't the only person in the world who could actually get HER of all people to behave. Her blond hair was styled into a very regal, very anime-ish look, accessorized with an understated tiara and earrings. Her elegant gown seemed more impressive than the likes of those I had seen on Peach or Zelda from N-Division archive photos Pit had shown me. The front was accentuated by criss-crossing ivy patterns (almost seemingly referencing her daughter, Ivy) Her lavish cloaked robe was drapped over her, accentuated by gold pauldrons Violet only wished her WoW character could acquire in-game.

"Your request, while unusual is granted. I see no reason to delay the young one's proper welcome to our kingdom any further."

"Thank-you, your majesty."

She turned to Kitty next.

"My staff have received and reviewed all of the initial paperwork, Miss Dimitir. I trust you can submit the final paperwork appropriately."
"I can, Lady Canciaris." Kitty was still in business mode but keeping it very civil.

"If you would, please present the boy before me."

I turned to Callista and nodded. With that she dropped the cloak around Asriel and let him step into existence. Callista had felt it best to dress him as formally as possible. I could tell he was still not used to the sandals as his entire family was used to going barefoot. But with my input and help from Jon, we had crafted a pair for him with his family crest on the buckles--the winged circle above three triangles. I'm sure Toriel would have approved.

As a final afterthought, Callista had combed his head fur as neatly as she could, making him look rather dapper, in Napstablook's own words.

"Young Asriel Dreemurr-Arcade. Step forth."

Asriel slowly obeyed. He looked up at her. I could almost see the fear in his eyes.

Brooke spent a few moments examinig him. She placed a hand on his head which made him gasp slightly. I wonder if he felt her fiendish aura?

"Do you like our kingdom? Have you been enjoying your time here?"

"Y-y-yes, y-your h-highness. V-very m-much so."

"You needn't be intimidated. We will provide you with what makes you comfortable in our fair city-kingdom."

"Th-thank-you, Queen Brooke. I'll try not to be a burden on anyone."

A light chuckle.

"That should not be a concern of yours. Miranda City is your home and you shouldn't feel guilty about making yourself at home."

"Are you okay with taking on the name Arcade? Would you prefer the name be O'Conner or Brighton?"

"No. I...actually want it this way. Dr. Arcade saved me life. I feel it's the least I can do. And...I don't think it will complicate things between Dad, Mom, and me. I'm grateful that they all want to keep my family birth name. It's like I'm part of two worlds now."

Yeah...part of two worlds, even though the specific Timeline you came from was long gone. I still wondered if there could be compatabilization between Asriel at a point later in his life and a different but similar timeline. I know the longer I kept this going, the more of Asriel's life that another instance of Asgore and Toriel would miss out on. Was it selfish that I was enchanging the life that his real parents would give him for one we were providing? I just kept trying to justify it knowing there was no place for him in a broken family. And I just couldn't shoehorn him into Frisk's true happy end. There would still be a Flowey waiting there at Mount Ebott once everyone had found their new lives on the surface.

How many years would have to go by before I could bring Asriel back to this home without the painful experiences the Dreemurr family had endured turning the meeting into something dark? How much of a dark cloud would it put over Asriel's head every time a separated Asgore and Toriel got into a bitter argument? No. I would not allow that. Not while he was this young and vulnerable. This wasn't the first time I felt this passionate about an ongoing case. And probably wouldn't be the last. I'd entertain thoughts of Asriel meeting the dear friends I made during those other cases...another day....week...month...year...decade maybe.

Speaking of the weed... I couldn't even imagine how a meeting between a grown-up Asriel and Flowey would go down. I just knew I wasn't ready for it any more than he was at this point. Flowey was loneliness. Flowey was frustration. Flowey was an incomplete lifeform. Flowey was regret. And many other negative things I had cut from this Asriel's life. In a way...it would be like bringing Chara back into this Asriel's life. Unacceptable.

Brooke removed her hand.

"Doctor Brighton. Colonel O'Conner." She addressed the pair.

"Are you both prepared to provide young Asriel with a proper loving home, tending to his needs and desires. Will you be able to ensure his education and well-being?"

"Yes on all accounts." Scott worked up the courage to speak.

"You are not yet married. Will this be an issue?"

"No, your highness. In fact we may be discussing engagement very soon." Callista smiled.

"...!" Scott turned to Callista. "We never discussed this!" He whispered, looking a little on the spot and flustered.

"We are discussing it now, are we not?" Callie was a little too jubilant over the matter. Sometimes I didn't know who reminded me of Toriel more...Lupe or Callista.

"You have my blessings."

"Ehh...!" Scott was definitely blushing in his human form. The only way to feel less nervous about a meeting was to be with someone more nervous than you. Thanks, Scott. I owe you one.

"Cheer up, Dad! We're going to be a family!"

A bit of laughter all around.

"Well. I don't want to hold you up so you are free to go and enjoy your new lives together. You are dismissed. May your time together be very happy. And please do consider the wedding sooner than later."

"We will be sure to invite you, Lady Canciaris." Callie courtseyed formally.

Scott saluted...and quickly drew his hand back. Old habits. Again.

"I will submit the paperwork immediately and then I must return to Neo Arcadia City." Kitty shuffled through her briefcase and shut again.

CLACK!

"...um...th-thank you f-for your time, y-your highness." Mousey Kitty was back.

With that Callista, Scott, Asriel, and Kitty exited the throne room. I started to rise when...

"Dr. Arcade." The mood suddenly chilled.

"I want to know what the Council's stake in this is." Brooke's expression turned very grimdark and I could feel her eyes pierce through me.
There it was.
The dreaded...scary voice.

----RECOVERED DATA FRAGMENT FROM THE RESEARCH LOGS OF SPACE TIME CONTINUUM (STC) AGENCY FIELD AGENT AND FOUNDER, DR. VOLT ALESSANDRO ARCADE-----

Sub-Entry 36: "Heavy is the Head that Wears the Crown":

To say that my soul was shaken to its core was understating it. This was the voice of a demoness, calling from the depths of Hell and its very sound felt like it threatened to dismantle you--all 7 billion, billion, billion atoms worth. The point was only driven home by noticing the bead of sweat rolling down Bunnie's forehead. The only thing that every shook Bunnie and we both had taken the full force of it.

"Let me see if I have the full gist of this. You have come back from outside of the Space-Time-Continuum after researching an unknown alien world. You have brought with you an outsider; a being native to that world, to ours. An alien child. And an orphan at that."
I swallowed hard.

"In so many words."

"And you have been raising this child in secret, without informing the kingdom of this action, have you not?"

"I will not deny it."

"You have even turned to a trusted member of the Royal Court to assist you in these matters. From the Mage Academy no less."

"Guilty as charged." I hung my head. I had dragged Captain Sarina Giltia into this.

Brooke paced a bit.

"I have had tolerated the arrogance of the Dragon Council and kept them on a short leash. It...vexes me that the ones in charge of your agency should remain untouchable. Their agenda has put this town through as many incidents as those overgrown lizards and their Fareskels have dragged this kingdom through."

My crew had a list a mile long of the number of instances, the Fareskel known as David had involved us in the Dragon Council's miriad of inner political games, cover-ups of world-threatening secrets, and of course putting Chameleon through Hell. And the Council of S.T.C. was no different whenever they came knocking on what I considered my safe haven world here in Miranda. Of course some of that was on Dr. Adonis. At least the Council and I had a common enemy to bind our goals at times.

"So I ask you again. What stake does the Council of Time have in this young monster?"

I took a deep breath...and confessed.

"In a word...none. I accept full responsibility for this--"

"I see. This has become another of your personal missions of mercy."

"Yeah I fear that the Council may one day address the fact that I've...technically gone a little rogue on this ongoing investigation and exploration of th Timelines. ...again."

"You understand the gravity of the situation. Bringing an offworlder to Miranda, while I don't morally object to it, still carries a list of discrepancies that it will be hard for the law to turn a blind eye to."

"I...accept this." My ears drooped. I must've looked pretty pathetic by this point.

Brooke wandered the room, looking over the decor and the furnishings. Portraits and whatnot.

"Volt Arcade. When Miranda was torn apart, uprooted by the drums of war that was Ekris......following its aftermath your Ultra Crew Institute Action Team offered the laurel of peace and the hand of friendship. You spent many months of intense labor--some of which your yourself handled personally; the rebuild of the electric power grid among other things. You and your team invested so much, financially and technologically to our lone city kingdom. This is a debt that has remained unspoken and continually expanded with each of your missions...your service to the crown."

"M'lady?"

"As a personal favor I am going to turn that blind eye to the complications and work hand in hand with the UCIAT Founders to smooth the bumps of this little entry into our history."

"I...don't know what to say."

"Do not mistake this only for compassion. I also want you to carry with you a warning to the Council that if their decisions become a problem to Miranda, they are welcome to present themselves before me and address their grievances. I will be certain to repay them in kind...for all of what they have done...or will do..."

Brooke drew her hand into a clawing clutch as a mass of dark, fiery magic swirled into existence...moments before she crushed it with a tight clench. So tight I was certain a drop of blood had left the confines of her elbow-length glove. I felt like this act alone carried enough magical force to completely poof Asriel out of existence down to the last dust particle. *gulp*

Feeling a moment of bravery at Brooke's contempt for my bosses I chimed in with: "Believe me...I gladly deliver the message and make sure the stick goes all the way up."

She responded with a dark chuckle. We were on the same page.

"Bunnie."

"Yes, Brooke-donou?"

"Please meet me in my private quarters and bring the sake. I believe a celebration is in order

"Brooke-sama?"

"The Arcade Family has gained a new member. I believe in Neo Arcadia City this is in fact an auspicious occasion."

"Hai." She bowwed her head.

"We have much to discuss. And I implore you not to leave out the juicy bits." A rare mischievous smirk? Heh. I guess I shouldn't be that suprised. Heavy is the head that wears the crown...but getting a little lightheaded from the offer of Bunnie's strongest batch of rice wine sake made it bearable at times like this.

"Doctor, you are dismissed. And don't wait up for your Second in Command."

I knew it was just a meeting between friends and there was nothing to read between the lines......but Brooke always made it sound as if there was something that Violet would drool over. It was the fiendish part of her. Sometimes it made her as flirtacious as Morrigan Aensland.

I rose to my feet and bowwed and headed out while Bunnie followed Brooke back to her room, carrying the sake and producing a tray of riceballs. One of these days I'd figure out her anime subspace pocket.

But for now, this chapter of the story was opening up full force. Whatever lay ahead, I was ready for it....at least I hoped I was.

CRYPTOSMASHER LOGOFF
End Transmission...
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Old 04-07-2016, 09:02 PM
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Volt Alessandro Arcade Volt Alessandro Arcade is offline
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Update!

----RECOVERED DATA FRAGMENT FROM THE RESEARCH LOGS OF SPACE TIME CONTINUUM (STC) AGENCY FIELD AGENT AND FOUNDER, DR. VOLT ALESSANDRO ARCADE-----

Sub-Entry: 37: "First Karate Class":

I knew this day would come. Asriel was now allowed to be out and public and the first place he'd have his debute would be Rabbotou Dojo at his first karate class. I still couldn't get over how much white could be present on one being. But darned if I didn't think it was adoreable on some level. But that aside that brought me back to an older worry. How Asriel would deal with a confrontation.

The initial lessons and such had gone pretty well. Asriel was a little reluctant at first to do the drills but I convinced him to think of it as a form of dancing...that just happened to involve a lot of punches and kicks. It was about this time I noticed the soft pads of his feet were heart-shaped. It of course made me think of his soul...how it had stayed intact and unaltered from his time in the Void. I knew the readings of the dimension inside and out of the Core were very strange but I guess there was no concern for alarm.

It was about midway through the day that after drills came sparring practice. And that's where Asriel met his stumbling blocks. His reluctance had made him shy away from everyone he was partnered up with both boy and girl. I could tell Bunnie wasn't about to let this disrupt her class. But I wasn't really expecting her to try one-on-one sparring with Asriel. When your sensei had the height, weight, strength, speed, and experience advantage, the chances of him not being even more intimidated were next to zero. And this was one time I had no doubts about playing the odds.

Asriel was quick but very clumsy to dodge the blows. But too afraid to block let alone counterattack.
"Focus, Asriel! You have to learn this material!"

Azzy was starting to breath a little funny and his look of fear slowly began to build.

Bunnie was patient but I knew she meant business to make sure Asriel understood the situation and took in the lessons.

It was at this point that she made a calculated decision to force him into a defense.

"This is for your own good! Stop shying away and defend yourself!"

"...!"

The blow wen straight for his head. Mitzi covered her eyes.

And then--!

Time just seemed to stop for all of us as we were caught in the sudden shock of it all.

"No way..." I gasped. "Impossible!"

"Asriel...?"

Sub-Entry: 38: "Spared...":

Was I seeing this?

Asriel, on hands and knees, hovered his hand over the familiar hololythic 2-dimensional orange rectangle with the orange X before the word "MERCY". Above it hovered the familiar SPARE and FLEE options. Both where white.

This wasn't possible. This was NOT a power that a Monster should have. This was FRISK'S ability! Which only drove the point home when I considered the Frisk that should have this power was on a full-on GENOCIDE run.

I could make out the ITEM and ACT icons next to it...but maybe my eyes were playing tricks on me but it looked like a part of the interface was broken off. I could swear I saw broken pixels and voxels trailing off the spot where one particular word was missing. Yeah...the FIGHT option wasn't showing.

The scientist in me realized that I was going to have to run tests on Asriel. I needed to know how he had ended up with Frisk's interface HUD. Dr. Lynx alone wouldn't be able to crack this one. I dreaded the realization. I was going to need to turn to the other person qualified to analyze this. I needed Violet's help.

Asriel slapped his hand down over the SPARE option...then again...and again and again, repeatedly as he sobbed.

Bunnie's fist was frozen a mere centimeter from striking Asriel.

"..." She hesitated then asked.

"Asriel. Why did you forfeit the match?"
Asriel sniffled but didn't give an answer.

"Asriel. Are you afraid of getting hurt--"

"N-no."

"Hmm?"

"I'm afraid of anyone else getting hurt. When people fight...they get hurt. And sometimes they even die. I don't want to hurt you, Miss Bunnie. You're my friend.
I'm sorry I failed the test. I...I...."

Bunnie slowly smiled.

"Asriel..." She closed her eyes and bowwed her head a little.

With that the SPARE option turned yellow and Asriel's hand was able to access it.

With that a familiar whoosh seemed to spread thoughout the dojo. But other than that...nothing really seemed to change.

Murmurs and whisperes went up around the other students. I feared the worst.

It was at that point when Bunnie suddenly clapped. "Congratulations, then."

Asriel raised his head, completely confused.

"C...Congratuations? I...I don't understand..." For a moment I though I heard the reverberation of a spared Flowey just before running away from Frisk.

"You have learned a lesson of the martial arts that most of the students in this room may take much longer to fully comprehend and take to heart."

"I have...?"

"Asriel. What are the lessons the martial arts teach us?"

"Oh! I know this! Ccourage, kindness, intergrity, fitness, loyalty, and discipline."

"Correct. You memorized that pretty quickly. Reflect on the virtue of kindness. To value life is to be alive. To protect it at every cost is the true immortality. Your compassion and your mercy are your greatest strengths. That is why I know you will excell in the martial arts. You are the very definition of what the teachings of the Rabbotou Clan are all about."

"Ohhh."

"Do not be discouraged by your meekness. In time you will learn to stand resolute. And the hand-to-hand will come in time."

"Mnn..." Asriel's gaze fell a little.

"Do not mull over it. There will be time to reflect later. In fact...meet me after class and I'll walk you through something that will suit your a little better."

"Y.....ye...yes, sensei." I could hear the sadness in his voice. His eyes were closed and the tears kept coming.

Bunnie offered her hand.

A long hesitation and Asriel accepted it and was helped to his feet. He dried his eyes with the sleeve of his gi.

Bunnie and Asriel exchanged bows and he slowly walked back over to me.

"Hey. You did your best, slugger. It'll just take time. Don't worry about it."

"We're all proud of you for having the courage to even attempt this." Callista rubbed his shoulder.

"Thanks, Mom. Volt."

Scott had taken on his KQF form to make it easier to abide by dojo rules.

"Listen...it wasn't easy for me either to learn how to fight." Scott offered. I didn't really know how true this was. Vorostovian Army boot camp was a whole other beast compared to Bunnie's karate training.

"Really?"

Scott nodded.

"We all believe in you, son." He added as an afterthought. I felt this was him attempting to get used to saying the word "son" to the point it would feel natural.

"Now come on, best friend. Dry those eyes." I wiped the tears away. "Let's see those big bright eyes and that smile.

Asriel nodded then opened his eyes.

"........"

That was when I noticed.

"Asriel.....? Do...do you know what color your eyes are?"

"Of course I do. They're red. Why?"

I hesitated and decompressed the hand mirror and held it up. And the realization hit him immediately.

"G.....Green?!" Indeed. They were as green as Bunnie's. As green as Mitzi's. As green as Pit's.

Now I really needed to get test run on him. A kid's eye color just doesn't change like that. What was going on? Was it...related to the sudden manefestation of the HUD interface? You know now that I think about it...didn't I recall an instance where I saw Frisk's eyes open. Weren't they...green? Coincidence. It had to be. This was Asriel Dreemurr not the human child. Almost immediately I felt the worries set in. Completely outlandish worries like he was going to change into a human.

"How...how do you feel? Are you okay?" I asked, worried.

"I...I feel fine. I...just don't know why..."

Callista felt his forehead.

"His temperature seems okay."

"Are you sure you're okay, son?"

Asriel hesitated...and then the growl of his stomach interrupted his thoughts.

"You know what...I'm going to take that as a definate yes." I smiled.

After class, we agreed to meet at Mitzi's for pizza after Asriel finished whatever Bunnie needed to meet with him over.

----RECOVERED DATA FRAGMENT FROM THE RESEARCH LOGS OF SPACE TIME CONTINUUM (STC) AGENCY FIELD AGENT AND FOUNDER, DR. VOLT ALESSANDRO ARCADE-----

Sub-Entry 39: "Meditation";

"I'm glad you could meet me out here in the garden in this serene environment." Bunnie has brought him to the area overlooking the garden's waterfall.

Master Splinter was there as well.

"Is this going to be after-class training?"

"In a sense it is. But a very different kind of training." He acknowledged.

"What are we going to be doing?"

"I'm going to to teach you how to meditate."

"Me...di...tate?"

"Yes." Bunnie said slipping her sandals off and urging Asriel to do the same.

Watch me carefully and position yourself as I do."

Bunnie sat down in the practiced "Lotus Position". Her legs crossed in a particular style and her arms outward, elbows bent, and her fingers clasped in an "okay" gensture with the thumb and index fingers in a closed ring with the other three fingers fanned out. In a way this seated position did resemble a lotus blossom.

Splinter did the same.

Asriel followed suit, doing his best to place his limbs in just the right manner.

"Now what?"

"Meditation is a mental excercise. It purifies the mind and the soul and concentrates your focus, renewing your energy and raising your awareness. To the uninformed it may seem like it's just sleeping...but believe me. This goes far deeper than sleeping."

"Close your eyes. Empty your head. Clear your thoughts. Focus only on a single point in your mind. Breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth. And continue doing this." Bunnie and Splinter closed their eyes and began their session.

"And above all...be patient with it. Some have trouble with it. Some can meditate for hours on end. Don't pressure yourself. Just go at your own pace. Relax. And be one with all. And be all with one."

"Ohmmmmmmmm...." Bunnie and Splinter quietly chorused in regular rhythm.

Asriel closed his eyes and waited until he felt comfortable and joined in.

"Ohmmmmmm...."

"Ohmmmmmm..."

"Ohmmmmmm..."

For some time the trio meditated together. Asriel had even forgotten his hunger, having gotten lost in the serenity.

And then at an appropriate moment.

Each opened his or her eyes within seconds of one another.

"Grand Master. Sensei." Asriel looked at the both of them.

"...?"

He suddenly smiled very warmly.

"I understand."

That made Bunnie smile. And made Splinter withhod a chuckle.

----RECOVERED DATA FRAGMENT FROM THE RESEARCH LOGS OF SPACE TIME CONTINUUM (STC) AGENCY FIELD AGENT AND FOUNDER, DR. VOLT ALESSANDRO ARCADE-----

Sub-Entry 4o: "A Happy Ending to a Challenging Day.":
It was yet another of the bumps in the road but it ended with another mini happy ending when all was said and done.
Elektra and Velaska gave Asriel a thorough physical. They could find nothing wrong, nothing out of place, and nothing that merited any kind of worry.
As for the change in eye color? Neither had any explaination, plausible or completely farfetched to give. I guess it would be up to Nikita and Violet for that.

And of course the day wouldn't be complete without a nice dinner at Rock-Afire Pizza.

It was a breath of fresh air, and a relieving one at that to finally take Asriel out on the town and let him come and go as he pleased. For the first time it felt like we were giving him the freedom he deserved. And I had a feeling he'd make other friends as time went on.

We ordered an extra large with cheese, pepperoni, and extra sauce. And we ate heartily.

"I'm so glad you're feeling better, Asriel. You really are something else, aren't you?"

I sweat-bulleted a little, feeling like Mitzi could have worded that better. It felt almost like something Flowey would have said. But she was right.
If I wasn't convinced before that this Asriel out of the hundreds of thousands, of millions of Asriels out there in the other timelines and AU's was special, it was driven home and put to bed this day.

"Thanks, Mitizi. I don't really feel all that special but...I do feel good about today."

"Well if you feel like we're smothering you with too much affection and encouragement, go ahead and say something." Scott volunteered.

"Nah. I can tell it makes you happy to encourage me. And I'm happy when you're happy, Dad. I just want everyone to be happy."

Violet would say this kid's too good to be true. I was just wating for the moment she'd pop up next to me and mischieviously tell me Asriel was going to grow up to be a Gary Stu. But on the same note she'd remind me that he'd probably have trouble talking to girls. Now I really wanted to thwap Vi for her cynicism. I wasn't going to question it. Asgore and Toriel raised him right. And I had severed the ties to Chara in time. He was going to be great some day. Just as Garfield Arcade said I would be when I was his age. And just as Giovanni Marco Arcade, Garfield Arcade's biological father, had said about his own adopted brother, UCIAT Co-Founder and vice-president, Professor Odie M. Arcade would be. Odie Arcade...my first mentor. And more brilliant than Egon Spengler and Emmett Brown put together.

"You will get better at this over time, Asriel-kun. I have faith in you."

"And we all have hope for your future."

"Thanks, everyone. This really means a lot to me." Asriel said as he snagged another slice of pizza.

Eventually the pizza was eaten and the goodbyes were said. I was the last one to leave when who should I bump into.

"Kid had a Hell of a day, didn't he?"

"Violet, please don't--"

"Relax. I'm not here to give you or anyone a hard time. Truce. Truce."

"Okay...you've earned your reprieve. But seriously...what do you want?"

"I know you need my help. And you got it."

"Well that was easy--"

"I just have one condition."

"...I knew there had to be a catch."

"You have to bring him by Computer Valhalla to formally meet and greet. I know you've been avoiding it. But you can't hide him from me forever!"

"Violet..."

"You want answers. I sure could use a new friend."

I sighed.

"Okay. As long as that's the only reason."

"You won't regret it, ex-Commander."

"That remains to be seen...but you've got one chance, Vi. Don't blow this for any of us."

"I know, I know. If I screw up just this much I'm going to be flying a cargo plane full of rubber dog doo out of Xing!"

"I see you watched Top Gun again with Speedy Cerviche. Did you at least NOT hogtie him like a rodeo calf?"

Violet just griiiiined.

"You're just trying to create a love triangle between him, Lucille Lambert and yourself, aren't you?"

"Nah. I just like making him do hard time for old play dates. I've been dating Miyamoto Usagi for months now."

Violet was of course speaking about the young samurai who was caretaker of Bunnie's family temple back in Midori no Oka, Jang. And he was also an acquaintence of Master Splinter.

"You really are shameless."

"And proud of it."

"Don't do anything stupid, Violet."

"Come on, Commander. I'm Violet. I DARE to be stupid." She said with a wink and turned and walked off to Computer Vahalla.

I facepalmed then shrugged with a laugh. "That'd do, rabbit. That'll do." I headed back to the shop and called it a night.

CRYPTOSMASHER LOGOFF
End Transmission...

Last edited by Volt Alessandro Arcade; 04-08-2016 at 07:01 AM.
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  #27  
Old 04-09-2016, 10:55 AM
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Volt Alessandro Arcade Volt Alessandro Arcade is offline
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Warning. The following update contains more references and insertions than should be considered safe, sane or legal. Read on only if you are brave enough to endure intense amount of nostalgia, internet cliches, and otaku-fangasming. You have been warned.
Dictated, not read by the Author...

----RECOVERED DATA FRAGMENT FROM THE RESEARCH LOGS OF SPACE TIME CONTINUUM (STC) AGENCY FIELD AGENT AND FOUNDER, DR. VOLT ALESSANDRO ARCADE-----

Sub-Entry 41: "This isn't Zion, but the Rabbit Hole Sure Goes Deep..."

I looked up at Computer Valhalla's over-the-top splash and decor along with the animated neon characature outline of Violet's likeness. I sighed longingly for about the fifth time as I held Asriel's hand.

"You don't really seem to be looking forward to this, Volt. Is there something I should know?"

"Nothing you should know...but you're going to find out very soon." I rubbed my eyelids.

I looked to the doorbell. I wonder what abomination you programmed into it this time? It wasn't so bad when you borrowed the Super Mario Bros. 3 segue from the tri-Lambda fraternity. But your latest ones? I just know we were going to get letters.

I nodded to Asriel and he reached up and pressed the doorbell. A decision I immediately regreted. We were greeted with the sounds of Skrillex and 320 kbs of "Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites." Or...maybe it was "Breaking a Sweat". You know what I don't have any idea what Violet programmed in there.

Asriel's eyes were as big as dinnerplates. I could't blame him for his reaction to his first experience with dubstep.

"Goddammit, Vi..."

The doors opened with a fwoosh of steam and what I quickly identified as Daft Punk's score from Tron Legacy.

"It's dangerous to go alone..." I heard Violet say.

"But...neither of us are alone--" Asriel started.

"Just...don't question her."

Inside was just an aboslute testimate to ridiculous amounts of self-indulgience. One part cosplay cafe, one part internet cafe, one part video arcade and virtual reality center, one part anime haven, and all parts complete and and total brothel of multimedia. Grow up, Violet...you're actually older than Bunnie and you couldn't possibly make me facepalm harder.

We approached where Violet was seated a hugely modified computer chair, back to us and working at a massive bank of computers.

"Stop. Proceed no farther." She said without looking to us.

At that a pedistal with a wide-screen tablet rose out of the floor. On the holder in front were a pair of wireless lightpens modified to look like fountain pen quills. One in red. One in blue. Oh no. I had a feeling I knew where she was going with this. At that an archwal assembled itself directly behind us.

"I have waited my entire life for this day."

"Y...you have?"

I looked to Asriel and shook my head. "Take that with a grain of salt."

"You have had many chances for this encounter. But alas things did not quite go according to plan."

"...?"

"If you wish to proceed, you must sign in. I will generate your account from here."

"Account?"

"This is your last chance. After this there is no going back."

Asriel remained wide-eyed.

"You sign with the blue quill....the story ends...you wake up in your bed...and believe whatever you want to. You sign in with the red quill...you stay in Wonderland and I show you how deep the Rabbit Hole goes." I knew this speech. All too well. Darn it all, Violet, you're not Morpheus!

A pause. Then a half-cough. Violet, no. Don't drag me into this.

A full ahem. I sighed.

"Where we go from here...is a choice I leave to you." I finished the quote in my best Thomas A. "Neo" Anderson impression.

Asriel hesitated then reached for the quills...hovering initially over the blue one...before changing his mind and picking up the red one. With that he signed his name on the pad.

"Your password is now being displayed. This is for you and you alone. Remember it when you sign in again."

"Asriel Tobias Dreemurr-Arcade. Password: THESIXTHANOMALY"

I facepalmed again. Vi was milking this for all this was worth.

Asriel entered the password on the keypad and then clicked on the ENTER icon.

"My my...you have by far the neatest signature I've ever seen. So pristine. So perfect. So......SYMMETRICAL!" Death the Kid, now, Violet?

I shook my head and then signed in as well. "Dr. Volt Alessandro Arcade. Password: WISEFROMYOURGRAVE"

"You haven't been hitting the classics, lately, Commander."

"I've been busy, Violet."

"But you MUST play the Sega Saturn!"

"Violet, don't you start with the Segata Sanshiro worship again. Asriel's not ready for your level of otaku."

"Commanderrrrrr...." She crooned, sing-songy. "Saaaaaay-gaaaaaaah!"

"Violet just get on with it."

"Okay, okay. Enter through the archway." And so we did.

We stopped a few feet behind her. It was then I noticed just how many security and surveilance feeds she had open. Not just here in Computer Valhalla but all over town. We were going to have a talk about this some other day.

"Violet, can you make this as painless as possible. I really need your help with--"

"Come now. Asriel's had a long day at the dojo. Have a heart! Let him master the Art of Play!"

"You okay with this, Azzy?"

"I...guess so?"

"Well then. Allow me to introduce myself." At that the lights went out as Violet started to spin around in the chair.

"Waaaah...!" Asriel grabbed onto me, protectively.

WIth that the spotlights on the cosplay cafe's stage turned on and centered on where Violet was standing in a dramatic pose.

" Genius, billionaire, rabbit princess hacker philanthropist. From Little Tokyo, Edoropia I have traveled far and wide, scouring the universe for all that is 1337 and all that is n3rdy! The thousands of movie dialogue I've memorized, the hours logged in intense gaming sessions, the vast number of comic books and manga I've bought in entire series and collections at a time The questionably sane number of MP3's, memes, vines, and videos I've downloaded! The even more questionably legal weapons I have in my collection...oh, and I think I have Cloud's Buster Sword somewhere in there too...ahem...anyway. Yes, it is with great PASSION and DETERMINATION that I come to you live from the grandest stage of them all! My name...is Princess Violet Usako "Usa-Hime" Tokugawa! For the thousands...er...actually for the both of you in attendence, and the millions and millions of you out there subscribed to my MeScreen channel...ladies, gentlemen, werewolves, and Goat-Son......"

Violet grinned disturbingly widely with eyes even wider. This was scarier than anything Chara could pull off.

"LLLLLLLLLLLLET"S GET READY TO NERDGASMMMMMMMMMMMM!!!!!!!"

With that the fog machines, lasers, and strobes, and discoball all kicked on.

Asriel just stood their, mouth hanging party open with an entire raincloud's worth of anime sweat bullets dotting his head.

"Sorry. But I did warn you." was all I could say.

----RECOVERED DATA FRAGMENT FROM THE RESEARCH LOGS OF SPACE TIME CONTINUUM (STC) AGENCY FIELD AGENT AND FOUNDER, DR. VOLT ALESSANDRO ARCADE-----

Sub-Entry 42: "To Toriel...*ahem*...Tutorial":

"Since you've been a good sport up to now, I'll go easy on you with just a quick test of your aptitude. I gotta know what I have to work with, after all." Violet mused.

With that a massively over-sized platpanel 4K monitor dropped down from the ceiling.

"Ohhh!" Asriel's eyes again widened.

"I've never see a TV that big before!"

"I have a 2000" inch TV back home."

"Two-Thousand?!"

"She's kidding." I said crossing my arms. "And channeling Weird Al Yankovic."

With that Violet handed him a modded NES controller.

"Huh? What do I do with this?"

"Isn't he a kidder, folks?" Violet laughed in her best Dave Coolliere impression, giving him a couple hearty slaps on the back.

"Ungh!" Azzy wasn't prepared for the back pats.

"......" Asriel looked at the controller than up at Violet. Then shrugged.

"You're serious." Violet said, voice deflating. She turned to me.

"Jeeze, Commander. Did Tori raise this kid Amish or what?"

"Violet..." I grumbled. Did you ever think before you spoke, you insensitive little lop-lop? Though she did have a point. How was it possible that Asriel had never played a video game? For that matter, how in the world did Chara never teach him about them?

Violet switched on the wireless device she had installed on it.

"Hold it like this." She demonstrated with a second controller.

"Er...okay." Asriel tried to be careful with his tiny claws.

"Hey, Iris! Load up the Gen-3 consoles. Empasis on big, grey, and boxy. "

"NES library accessed." The building's speech-recogition mainframe responded.

"So...what do we cut your teeth on? Platformer? Action? RPG? Racing? Sports?" She listed off the genres.

"Or maybe...puzzzle?" She said as if she wasn't really trying to hide that entry.

"Puzzle sounds nice. Oh! I get it! This is a game, right?"

"Now, you're getting it. I always test the aptitude of the nOObz that come in here."

"Noob?" He cocked his head.

"Newbie. A person who's never done this before."

"Iris, give us some of Alexey Pazhitnov's crowning glory!"

"Now loading Tetris."

"This is a simple quiz for you. Some easy-going block-stacking. Make as many complete lines as you can, don't cause gaps in the horizontal rows, and don't let the tetriminos pile up to the ceiling or you lose."

"Er...okay."

"Move the with the crosskey, rotate with the B and A buttons. Pause if you need to with the start button. The more lines you make at a time the higher your score. Try to score a 4 x 10 block of lines if you can."

With that the game started and Asriel began the trial. He was slow at first, but once he caught on with the controls he began to make progress. Violet stood by as he continued his game.

"I made a line!"

"That's great, kid! Don't get cocky!" Vi smirked with a bit of Han Solo.

And from there on it snowballed. Before I knew it he was up to 10 lines...then 20...and 30...

He began to smile as he got the hang of it. In fact I watched him pull of several four-line Tetris-es.

As the game progressed, the blocks fell faster. And Asriel adapted to them quicker.

He started to struggle a little as he surpassed level 90. By the time he got to level 100 I could tell he was really trying.

His look got intense by level 120. He gritted his teeth a little. It was the first time I got a look at his tiny fangs. I thought back to Toriel when I battled her.

Finally he gave up the ghost at about level 130. And honestly, I felt my ego shrivel a little. Asriel had topped MY high score. But between the two of us we'd never catch up to Violet. Her Hybrid Ability made her natural cheat at the game so she could easily max out the score counter and still keep going.

"Awww...I lost." The flustered face he made was just so adoreable. But I could tell he wasn't terribly frustrated. Just a little disappointed.

"Not too shabby. You got game, Az. Oh yeah...I can work with this easy."

"Well, Violet. You satified?"

"That will do, Goat-Son. That will do." Violet mused. "Meet me in my personal sub-lab at HQ later on. We'll get to the bottom of your curious dilema."

"Agreed."

"Oh, and Commander...I think you should give him that special thing you keep in the Delorean. You know the one?"

"Violet...are you asking me to give him the--"

"Commander...2015 wasn't that long ago. Why sit when you can stand? Why stand when you can walk? Why walk when you can run? Why run when you can fly?"

Was she really trying to quote Henry Ford?

"Oh....alright. I'll give it some thought. But you're going to have to get him a helmet, knee pads and elbow pads."

"Yeah, we can't have the kid busting a grumpy and then busting his head."

"Well. Thank you for your help, Violet. We'll be over later one."

"Toodles, you two. And remember...STAY FREEEEESH!"

Last edited by Volt Alessandro Arcade; 04-10-2016 at 09:28 AM.
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Old 04-12-2016, 01:41 PM
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Volt Alessandro Arcade Volt Alessandro Arcade is offline
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DANGER! Nostalgia and nergasm levels at SUPERCRITICAL! This may be too much Violet insanity for you to handle! Will you take the challenge? I dare to to withstand as much Violet insanity as you can! You've been warned:

----RECOVERED DATA FRAGMENT FROM THE RESEARCH LOGS OF SPACE TIME CONTINUUM (STC) AGENCY FIELD AGENT AND FOUNDER, DR. VOLT ALESSANDRO ARCADE-----

Sub-Entry 43: "Headquarters":

Well, true enough to my word I brought Asriel to UCIAT's headquarters. And I could tell he was again completely overwhelmed. Not since Metatton's hotel had he likely laid eyes on a building of this magnitude. The mix of glass and ironwork combined with the shape made it possibly the most futuristic building in Miranda City. While it still wouldn't win the tallest building award (That honor went to Displace International), we had the flash and style to go head to head with Wayne Enterprises and Stark corporate headquarters. Sorry Bruce. Sorry Tony. We got better architects than you. *cocky grin*

"It's so...!"

"I know. Don't cheapen it with words."

I slid my ID into the scanner and opened the door. I lead Asriel past the foyer, checking in with the security detail and the receptionist desk. I brought us to the elevator, opened the door and poked the button for the upper residential levels. I was going to need my access key and such from my safe to enter the basement labs down below. And I kept those in my safe.

I rarely used my living quarters on "campus" here. The upper levels housed our corporate business levels. Our lower levels were our classrooms and academic facilities. Below that were recreation, day care, and whatnot.
The door opened and we stepped out onto the right floor.

"Hey, ex-commander" I got a wave from Williamina "Windshear" Mongoose, another Ecotropian survivor and a member of Sally's OGPX race team. "Great to see you back in town." The yellow-furred hybrid mongoose was in bathing attire and a bathrobe. Looked like she was headed to the indoor pool.

"Hey, Mina."

"Catch me if you can, slowpoke!" Came a voice from behind.

"Ahhh! Not cool, Honey!"

Honey "Flametrail" Cat zipped past, the mischievious orange-yellow cat darting past Willamina. Sally's other OGPX partner and yet another Ecotropian survivor, was a spitfire compared to her more reserved other half.

"Checkered flag waits for no one!" She pulled her eyelid down and stuck her tongue out.

"Ooooooh!" Willamina slipped off a flip-flop and tossed it, which Honey promptly ducked.

"C'mon! Don't do me like that!"

There went the other flip-flip.
"They're...sure energetic."

"Friends of Sally's. They're on the same racing team.

We reached my room and I pressed my hand to the biometric plate, causing the door to open. We went inside. Pretty plain room. Pale green walls, old carpet that needed cleaning. A king-sized bed that hadn't been slept in in forever. The usual TV, phone, fridge, small cooking area, and furnishings. A quick entry of my numeric code and a thumb-print and open sesame. I retrieved the keycard.

"Down we go to the basement."

Access to the labs required a card key, first to access the elevator functions for the lower levels and again to access the outer door.

"Ever been in a lab before?"

"I...don't actually remember. Dad used to have a Royal Scientist. If I had ever been to his lab I must've been too young to remember it now."
I nodded, suddenly feeling a sadness wash over me. This Asriel had never known the company of Alphys or his time as a Golden Flower in the True Lab. Another thing I had shielded him from.

I reached the inner door. This required just a little bit more security. "Sarge" Arlene W. Pinball's rules. Sometimes our operation's co-founder and head of all UCIAT security tended to go a little overboard on militarization protocol.

"No peaking and no listening in, Asriel. It's the rules."

Asriel slipped his hands under his floppy ears covering up the ear canals and he closed his eyes tight.

I opened my eye, bringing it close enough for the retina scanner to do its job. I pressed my palm to the scanner, letting both the print and DNA scan go through. I entered my code and gave my voice command while finally sliding my key card through the scanner.

"Dr. Volt Alessandro Arcade, UCIAT Agent number 0-5-7. My voiceprint is my key, verify me."

* IDENTITY ACKNOWLEDGED. WELCOME DR. ARCADE *

I was glad that I hadn't been removed from the system after all this time.
I gave Asriel a light shake on the shoulder. "Okay, you can look and listen now. But I don't want you walking off with anything in your pockets from here. We'll both get in biiiig trouble."

He nodded and took my hand and followed me in. If his awe and wonder was a 10 outside it was easily 100 in what spread before him.

"Whoaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah...!"

"Welcome to UCIAT HQ's main lab."

This area was absolutely massive, filled with technology, labtables, experiments in progress, factory lines, and populated with lab coated staff a plenty. At the center of it all were the four super-massive pillar of the Supercomputer Quadumverate--the very heart and soul of our research core. In plus formation they stood, interlinked in a parallel-processing colony--NintendoNet, SegaDyne, SonyCom, and MicroTech. Each its own mother computer capable of quadrillions and quadrillions of calculations per second, each able to render a quarter of the entire lab and the sub-labs within its own quadrant in real-time. But together the pride of Technopolis computer evolution. Who needed a Bat Computer or JARVIS when you had these beauties?

"Violet's sub-labs are this way." I lead on past the all of the splender toward the
quadrant that Violet was stationed in.

"Doctor! Hey, Doctor! Could you sign off on something!"

"Huh? Oh, hey, Felicia--" I started.

A sudden furry hug.

"Hey! Watch the public display of affection in the workplace!" I cautioned. "And jeeze! Close your labcoat! There's a kid present.

Felicia the Catwoman. Brilliant mind, cheerful personality, curious as ever...and still oblivious how very inappropriate her clothing or lack-there-of was in the workplace. It wasn't that she was trying to be lewd. It was more like she was completely clueless about it. I was just glad there was enough fur to cover...at least...some of it.
I accepted the tablet and signed and handed it back.

"You're just a cutie, aren't you?" Felicia bent down and gave a pretty smile to Asriel.

"Howdy!" An oblivious Asriel responded.

A pat on the head and she let him go on his way.

"She's pretty. And nice."

A long walk up and down corridors and we eventually made it to Violet's personal sub-labs. She did most of her software development here but she normally commuted to the DNA library to update our biometric data and xenomorphology indexes. By now Nikita had already had her archive Asriel's genetic sequence.
I sighed.

"Prepare myself?"

"As if it would do any good." I crossed my arms and looked off to the side.

"I guess I've been warned again. Violet seems alright, though. How bad could it be?"

He said as I pressed the call button. And with that the door opened and for the second time today I regretted it.

Sub-Entry 44: "The Method to the Madness of Princess Vi":

We were immediately blasted by lights, display, fog and light pyrotechnics as we stepped through the doorway as our ears were pounded by the unmistakable blare of John Cena's entrance theme, "My Time is Now"

"Annnnnnnd his naaaaame iiiiiiis...!" Oh god NO!

The spotlights circled around and rested on Asriel.

"ASRIELLLLLL DREE-MAAAAAAAAH!!!!"

I think we both facepalmed at the same time.

"Cut the music, Violet! And take a memo that we're going to discuss your unauthorized use of laboratory resources for your own amusement.

"Bow the the Meme Empress!" Came the response chuckle.

"Not even if you turned the gravity up to 100 G." I smoldered.

Violet's sub-lab was RIDICULOUSLY big for a personal laboratory. And there was a lot more going on here than just programming and work-related projects. There were way more computers than anyone should probably have in one place. THere were libraries of anime DVD's and Blu Rays. There were countless stacks of video games and consoles wired up. There were all kinds of robot drones and remote controlled gizmos--smart pets and such you'd see in Little Tokyo, Edoropia or in Eki Hiroba, Jang. THere were boxes of Pocky and stacks of manga. Posters lined the walls ranging from anime worship to several Periodic Tables of the Elements. One of them according to Breaking Bad.
There was Vi seated at a computer chair before a huge bank of electronic keyboard synthesizers, all wired together and pooled into a huge MIDI interface and other music sequencing and sampling computers.

"Welcome to Pacific Tech's Showcase of Smart People on Ice!"

"There's no ice in here." Asriel cocked his head.

"I think it's a metaphor."

"Pull up a seat, Azzy. You play any instruments?"

"Mom tried to give me piano lessons once. I dabbled a little with a guitar when Chara was around."

"Ahh. Nice and fertile mind. Definitely ripe for musical expansion. Chances are she had you practice something like this." Violet's fingers danced over one of the keyboards that had been programmed to emulate a grand piano.

"Yeah, something like that. It was nice but hard to learn. And--"

"And no fun, right?"

"Well..."

"Violet, is there a reason for this?" Violet ignored me.

"Piano's nice and all...but I think it could use a little update."

Violet rolled her chair over to the "Tune Machine"--the rather flashy, keyboard once used by Fatz "Salvador Alvarez" Geronimo of Mitzi's old rock n' roll band, the "Rock-Afire Explosion. The light up Rock-Afire Explosion display was still in back of the machine as were the lights and display lining its spacey, futuristic hind legs. A whole bundle of caples lead into ports on the machine leading back to Vi's workstations, keyboards and a couple of server towers.

With that Violet hack-n-cracked and belted out a high-energy, rockin 80's synth arrangement of "Intro Stage (X)" from Mega Man X3. If anything I could tell she was playing the Project X-Zone 2 remix.

"Really, Violet. Do we have time for--"

That was when I noticed Asriel was already dancing to the music.
I opened my mouth to speak and pointed my finger up like I was saying "number one"...then I slowly lowered my finger, leaving my mouth hanging open.

"I don't even..."

"But with time and patience..."

Violet rolled over to of all things a massive pipe organ. She got a crazed smile, raised both arms into the air then brought her hands down with a massive bellow of the mighty organ as she pounded out the overture to Phantom of the Opera.

"...anyone can be a virtuoso. You don't have to be a genius...but it helps."

Vi finished her song then rolled over to the table with the remote controlled equipment. She picked up the RC box for what appeared to be a massive gyroscope.

"You didn't pick up my place did you, Commander?"

"I wouldn't touch a thing in here with a ten-foot cattleprod."

"Good. Because all of my filth is in alphabetical order. This, for example, is under "H" for.......toy."

"What is it?" Asriel asked. Before I could warn him Violet cut in with--

"This? It's a...butt enlarger!" Violet grinned widely as she yanked the antenna on the cradle up.

Asriel's eyes doubled and he shrunk back a bit.

"Want to try it?"

"No!" He about yelped.

"I'm KIDDING. It's yet another long series of diversions in an attempt to avoid responsibility."

"And she does that so well." I fumed.

"Y'see, Azzy. I used to be you." Violet switched on the power and the gyrosphere lifted off and hovered around us. Asriel backstepped a bit, clearly intimidated.

"And lately I've been missing me so I asked Volt here if I could room with you and he said sure--"

"I said no such thing!" I protested.

"My last roommate was a neat freak. I went through his wardrobe to see if I could do anything with it, found the usual stuff--shoes, shirts, pants. I had a little trouble with the sport jacket so I threw it out."

I knew what Violet was reenacting by this point. Which was why I was about to--

"Duck!" Asriel suddenly hit the floor as the gyrosphere whooshed by him.

"Violet stop ripping off movie scenes and put that thing down before you kill someone!"

Vi rolled her eyes and returned the gyrosphere to the cradle then wheeled herself to the workstations and tapped away. I looked at the screen then facepalmed.

"Seriously?"

"Come on, Commander! The world's just begging for Nerd vs. Critic, round 3."

"Will you PLEASE stop reigniting the rivalry between James Rolfe and Doug Walker!"

"It's a crowdpleaser! Everyone loves it when they get into it."

"Did you ever stop to think maybe THEY don't?"

"You'll thank me some day."

I facepalmed as Vi shuffled through windows and brought up MeScreen.

"Still no E.R.B. season 9. Oh well...it's coming sooner or later." Vi mused then rolled herself over to the stack of DVD's.

"Mew Mew Kitty 2? Ugh. Get that trash out of my lab." Vi picked up the DVD case and dropped it in the paper shredder.

Vi diverted her attention to a few more things before sitting backward in the chair, resting her crossed arms on the top of the back-rest and resting her chin on top of it. I'd see the same mannerism from Dr. Franken Stein of the Death Weapon Meister Academy (DWMA). Save for the lack of a giant screw through her head, she was just as eccentric if not moreso.

"Let me let you in on a little secret about me, Azzy."

She got up out of the chair.

"Voilaa! In view a humble vaudevillian veteran, cast vicariously as both victim and villain by the vicisstitudes of fate. This visage, no mere veneer of vanity, is a vestige of the vox populi, now vacant, vanished. However, this valorous visitation of a bygone vixation stands vivified and has vowed to vanquish these venal and virulant vermin vanguarding and vouchsafing the violently vicious and voracious violation of volition!"

Violet snatched up a light pen and slashed across a computer monitor, leaving a letter "V" within a circle before clicking the post button on her web page's blog over top of a particularly hateful flamewar before hitting the ban-hammer, causing DoS's on several accounts.

"The only verdict (for spammers and trolls) is vengeance, a vendetta, held as a votive not in vain, for the value and voracity of such shall one day vindicate the vigilant and the virtuous."

Violet chuckled.

"Verily, this vichyssoice of veriage veers both verbose. So let me simply add that it's my very good honor to meet you, Asriel, and that you may call me "Vi".

"Are you some kind of crazy person?" Asriel asked.

"I'm sure they'll say I am." She mused.

A pause then a sigh. "Okay. Confession time."

"Vi..." I suddenly felt the mood shift.

"I know what it's like, man. I used to be you. I didn't have any friends until I was 18 years old."

"No friends at all?" Asriel suddenly looked very sympathetic.

"Family doesn't count. Mom's a hippy-dippy free spirit who's always traveling. Dad's kinda nuts...and I mean that he's mentally incompitant and barely says anything outside of his own name and his impression of a 1960's beatnik scat singer."

"Ohh...I..."

"This might seem unlikely as heck, but my first friend became my best friend. Do you know who that was?"

"No."
"It was Bunnie Rabbotou."

"You and Miss Bunnie are friends?"

"We might not seem like it. We're total opposites and the things I do make her thwap me over the head a lot. But..."

Vi looked a little wistful. "It's...what you don't see that counts."
I decided to hold my tongue.

"The me that I used to be wasn't a very nice person. What you see now is the new me. She's a little more fun-loving, a little happier, a few more additions to my circle of friends. But hey. That's just me."

"I think you're very nice, Miss Vi."

"I think you're nice, too." That was the sincerest thing I'd ever heard her say.

"Anyway...you needed my help figuring what's going on with you. Maybe figure out why those eyes of yours are green. Pity, I kinda liked the red color. We would have been a match."

Violet pointed to her own eyes.

"Well, follow me this way to the Supercalculator."

"Supercalculator? Violet, are you--?"

"I'll give you a minute to get yourself up to speed on Franz Hopper's legacy. And why I suggested that Sally take the name D.J. Aelita and the Sub-Digitals when she scratches up the vinyls."

"...darn it, Vi."

Violet opened a steel door that I was sure I had seen in Maverick Hunter territory. It even unlocked and opened in the same manner. I was starting to get a feeling. Violet entered and disappeared into the darkness. I shrugged to Asriel and followed behind. But we were soon stunned to see that somehow Violet had disappeared ahead of us. She wasn't THAT fast...

The door closed behind us with the ratchety clicks.

It was only a short distance away before the door in front of us opened up the same way and we stepped through. Immediately it slammed shut with a steely crash. Asriel whirled at the sound. But that wasn't what had my attention.

"Violet...did you redecorate in here recently?" My ears drooped as we were suddenly inside an impossibly bigger area. And the weird thing was...I recognized this place from X and Zero's world.

"Where are we Volt?"

I had only taken a step to turn around and answer when suddenly the whole area flashed with red light.

"Emergency Alert! Emergency Alert! Prepare to repell intruders. Emergency Alert!"
"Oh no..." I suddenly moaned as a massive roar of supercomputers all around slowly built into existence. The drum-like supercomputer terminal to our left suddenly lit up as a giant ball of blue holographic projection appeared over top of it.
"The Central Computer."

CRYPTOSMASHER LOGOFF
End Transmission...

Last edited by Volt Alessandro Arcade; 04-14-2016 at 09:50 AM.
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Old 04-14-2016, 09:56 AM
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Volt Alessandro Arcade Volt Alessandro Arcade is offline
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Update. With a special love letter to anyone who was a fan of Code: Lyoko

----RECOVERED DATA FRAGMENT FROM THE RESEARCH LOGS OF SPACE TIME CONTINUUM (STC) AGENCY FIELD AGENT AND FOUNDER, DR. VOLT ALESSANDRO ARCADE-----

Sub-Entry 45: "Hundred-Legs' Stomping Grounds":

"If we get out of this, I'm forcing you to take part in next Festival of the Rabbit...no matter HOW much you hate it, Princess Violet Usako Tokugawa!" I grumbled, too perturbed to ask how we even got off world.

Already the Barrier Attackers were out in full force.

"Volt? What's going on? I'm scared! I don't like this!"

"Just stick close. I'll get us out of this."

I brushed the E.N.G.I.N.E. dot on the right side of my black belt and decompressed one of my paired weapons--the plasma vulcan cannons I called Xtremely Badass Twin Octuple Chaingun Laser Cannons. (XBTOCLC's). I pointed and sprayed unimaginable bullet Hell, soaking the protections of the supercomputer with more ordinance than they could handle.

I hustled on through the blueish slate-grey corridors, Asriel holding on for dear life. Several levels of catwalks and paths were above, below and around us. Chaser lights and displays lined the machinery. I could make out a window overlooking the city outside of the building. We darted across the gaps in the road and under the platforms.

I stopped in my tracks a spotlight swept past us, just missing my nose. Okay. Don't get seen by these. It would be bad--

Suddenly I heard a klaxxon go off and another flash of red lights throughout the facility. whirled to see where Asriel's tail had clipped the path of a spotlight.

"Oh no...I did that, didn't I?"

"Asriel, move!" I yanked him away as a massive metal block in the ceiling dropped and transformed into a pulse cannon.

"Great, the Bleckers are alerted." I muttered to myself.

"It was an honest mistake! Apologize later!"

A zip through spotlighted territory got us to a more open area. "That was too close. You okay?"

Asriel looked up at me and smiled...then suddenly his expression turned aghast.

"Azz--"
He suddenly yanked on my arm as hard as he could pulling me forward, causing me to stumble a bit.

I regained my balance just in time before a deafening crash slammed down behind me with a HUGE blast of air and dust, nearly knocking us both over. I whirled at the MASSIVE steel cue that would have landed right on me.

"Whoa...you saved me from a real splitting headache!" Lame joke. I could do better.

I could survive getting crushed by one of those but I'd probably never get myself out of it. It would be really hard to hit the Emergency Recall from there.

More crashes came down and soon the path was nearly blocked off.

"Climb up on my back. We're taking this off road."
I squatted down and let Asriel climb up and lock his arms around my neck.

"Don't let go."

I quickly jumped my way up the mess of Installer cubes and through the quickly changing corridors as even more cubes dropped down. Eventually we crossed another gap and came to a doorway. But once inside we were greeted by another supercomputer drum. And it had a digital surprise waiting for us. I could make out the wire-a-matics as the energy projection took the shape of a katana.

"Chop Register."

I quickly pushed Asriel to the ground as the sword swung itself toward us. I released the other XBTOCLC and dual-wielded, saturating the cyber-projection repeatedly.

"Stay low! We're gonna get out of this!"

Asriel log-rolled to the side as a swipe came his way. Nimble little goat.
I keep the pressure on as the blade missed my ears by inches.

I growled and returned on XBTOCLC to its E.N.G.I.N.E. dot and charged up a blast of electricity in my hand before giving Chop Register a V.O.L.T. Strike down the middle. A crackle and a wavering of code and eventually it self-destructed with a violent explosion. THe other door opened and the path led...down.

"Up on my back again, Azzy."

He obeyed. I knew what was coming next. I dropped down the hole and we found ourselves in an elevator shaft filled with sweeping spotlights. I leapt from one spot to the next, using my claws and magnetism to grip the walls. A few close shaves and we made it to the bottom. We ran past the overhang before...

"You've GOT to be kidding me!!" I exploded as rains of Installer blocks came slamming down, actually causing the topography to change.

"Volt, look!"

I whirled to see the energy projection cursor appear and start to track us. This computer was trying to analyze us for weaknesse! If it caught up to us, it would have our combat data and capabilities. I started moving like the wind. Asriel was in for the wildest ride of his life. We reached the other side and I started climbing, the scanner nipping at my heels. We tumblerolled into the gate as it unlocked and let us in...right into a trap.

"What is your deal, man?!" I cried out as the massive Radar Killer robot dropped in and started firing at us. I formed a magnetic dome in front of Asriel, shielding him from the fire blasts.

"Weakness...weakness..." It suddenly came to me as I forged a large saw blade ring of dense, compressed electricity and just tore into the machine repeatedly with hit after hit after hit. I keep this up as it jumped around until it too fell.

"Anyone else?!" I challenged angrilly.

"C'mon." I lead Asriel through the other gate and we raced for our lives. The red lights were flashing constantly and the Installers were dropping and sliding everywhere. And on top of that the floor was collapsing behind us.

"Hold on!!!" I grabbed onto Asriel and hurtled my body into the gate ahead.

We tumbled into the hallway and slid across the super-smooth surface until Asriel's nose lightly touched the final gate. It opened up and there was Violet standing by with a stopwatch.

CLICK.

"Not too shabby, you two." She said with a grin.

"You..." I looked up with furious eyes. I rose up and grabbed her by the kimono and lifted her up, pressing her against the wall.

"What the Hell, Vi?!? What the Hell?!?"

"Relax, Commander. It was all just a simulation. Computer, terminate Magna Centipede run."

"Acknowledged, Violet."

Everything from the hallway down turned to wireframe on balck before it returned to the simple lab layout I was familiar with that lead to the Supercalculator Room."

"All this...just to test our abilities?!"

"Admittedly I was going to put you through Cyber Peacock's area but I figured this would be a better test of your ability to adapt."

"Is that all you have to say for yourself-- Huh?"

Asriel tugged on my labcoat sleeve.

"It's okay, Volt. We weren't in any danger. We got through together just like you promised. Sure it was a little scary...but now that I think about it, it was a lot of fun!"

That closed-eyes smile. How could I say no to that?
I sighed and lowered Vi to the ground.

"Violet...why do you do these things?"

"Chin up, Commander. You passed my test and I'm convinced you're still as sharp as ever. You've got my respect, man."

"Violet..." I sighed. "Alright. But no more favors. Honor our request."

Violet nodded and turned the lights on. And there it was. The Supercalculator. A copy of the one at the "Factory" where Jeremy Belpois and company lead their war against the evil X.A.N.A.

I looked to the side and sure enough there were the scanner capsules.
"So. That's the plan. You're going to scan Asriel into LYOKO and try to analyze him as quantum code."

"You guessed it."

"Miss Vi? What is...LYOKO?"

"You're about to find out, kiddo. If ever there was a better place in cyberspace."

Asriel just blinked.

----RECOVERED DATA FRAGMENT FROM THE RESEARCH LOGS OF SPACE TIME CONTINUUM (STC) AGENCY FIELD AGENT AND FOUNDER, DR. VOLT ALESSANDRO ARCADE-----

Sub-Section 46: "Virtualization":

It was about that time we noticed our surroundings. Everything was bathed in a warm neon green glow. So much ironwork and machinery. The Supercalculator in the center of the room was dome-shaped with the top part sliced off; similar to the drum computers of Magna Centipede's Central Computer. And of course it was projecting a huge spherical hologram.

In the center of which was a 3-dimensional map of multiple...sectors. Like a ring of planets. A solar system of sorts. And directly over it was a second ring of planets--perfect copies or "Replikants" of the first set. A quick toggle to a different view expanded each sector into topographical maps, detailing the paths.

From a giant robotic arm hanging from the ceiling, a massive mainframe computer was suspended off the ground, easilly accessible from Violet's chair.

Violet had outdone herself recreating a mostly offline version of LYOKO. The Replikants however had to be run online at offsite server facilities, so that meant getting to them inside Lyoko required crossing the Digital Sea. Which by normal methods meant permanent de-virutalization. But Violet had her ways around that. Her correspondence with Jeremy Belpois had seen to that.

Off to the side were six conspicuous metal cylinder capsules. Each was emblazened with a familiar ice blue logo--a bullseye pattern with three foot-stubs on the bottom and an elongated arrow-antenna on top. The symbol of LYOKO.

"I've only had time to put the basic framework for a new profile into the Supercalculator. I'll work on getting him set up proper as we go." Violet took her seat at the computer system.

"You're sure this is going to work?"

"Hey, I didn't pool through thousands of pages of Waldo Schaeffer's notes just to hand you one big goose egg. You have any idea how much trouble it was for a rabbit hybrid to sneak in and out of Kadic Academy unnoticed just to talk to Jeremy and the others?"

"I have a pretty good idea."

"Human. Hybrid. Monster. The scanner won't know the difference. Well...technically it will but if it's alive, walks on two legs, and has intelligence it can find its way into LYOKO."

"Yeah? What about something four-legged?"

"I...don't recommend it. Odd Della Robia learned the hard way not to sneak pet dogs into the scanner underneath your clothing."

"I'll take your word for it."

"It's as fundamental a life's lesson as don't feed him mustard crackers. The poots are not something you want to be sniffing all day."

"Violet please curb the low-brow and do your job." I moaned rubbing my temples.

"Right, right. I've only got the pre-existing profiles ready. Which means Asriel will have to use the others' data."

"How many you got to work with?"

"I have the programming for Ulrich Stern, Odd Della Robia, Yumi Ishiyama, and Aelita Schaeffer and..."

Violet's gaze kinda fell.

"...WIlliam Dunbar."

"Violet. They got him back. Let it go."

"I know...but...all that time under X.A.N.A.'s control..."

It was rare seeing things that were actually personal to Violet.
It was about that time I checked on Asriel. And much to no surprised he didn't look like he had a clue what we were talking about. I could tell he was lost long before we even delved into old memories and nostalgia.

"Alright the Scanner is set up." Violet said as one of the big metal cylinder capsules hummed to life and its doors slid open.

"Come with me this way." Violet took Asriel's hand and let him to the Scanner.

"Miss Violet? What is this thing?"

"A scanner."

"What's it' going to scan?"

"You."

"Me?" Asriel kinda gasped. "Will...will it hurt?"

"No. It might even be a little fun. What am I saying, it's going to be lots of fun once you're virutualized."

"Virutalized?"

"Think of it like...being in a dream but you're wide awake. You're going to have special abilities, too."

"Wow."

"Okay, in you go and don't move too much. You'll know when you can move again."

Asriel looked at it a little warily. He sat down and slipped his sandals off and left them to the side of the machine and stepped in.

Violet took her seat and got started. The doors closed. Asriel looked so nervous.

One of the monitor banks switched to the inside of the capsule as well as readouts of Asriel's vitals and such. The heart icon bar graph was tell tale. Currently the number next to it was blank but that would change soon enough.

"Scanner: Asriel." Violet prompted as the machine hummed to life.

Asriel was lifted off his feet by an unknow force, suspended in midair. I got a chill down my spine as I felt the memory of a different instance of Asriel unleashing the Final Power--the release of all of the souls he had taken into his body as one final act to crack the barrier. Seeing him hover like that made me uneasy. I knew this was different but seeing him with his eyes closed like that...

Green-yellow energy like rain poured upward all around him as a pale yellow ring of energy encircled him and swept up his body, latent static cracking onto him as he spun like a top at a semi-slow pace. His fur only slightly poofed a bit and his ears wear dragged upward by the unknown air currents. But I could tell he wasn't in any pain. It actually looked like the process was very pleasant to him.

"Transfer: Asriel." Violet prompted again as the light became brighter.

"VIrtualization."

Asriel's fur was dragged upward as if he was standing on an air vent. And the inside of the capsule went completely white. I could see the red crackles of quantum energy barrel up the cables pouring out of the machine.
I turned my attention to the surveilance feed of the sector of LYOKO Violet had chozen.

"Mountain Sector."

If Violet was playing this the way I thought she was, then this was going to parallel the Undertale treks pretty closely. And the starting point was always at the top of Mount Ebott. And by extension, Violet would probably send Asriel either to the Forest or Sector 5; the former because of the parellel of plantlife in the ruins, the latter because Sector 5 was fairly "archaeic" as far as computer environments went. This was as close as a "ruins" as you could get. From there I assumed the Ice Sector would be the logical choice since the ruins led to Snowdin. Since there wasn't a waterfall area, I guessed that the Desert area was next on the list. Or Sector 5. And that meant a final stop in the Replikant area off-site--The Volcano. A perfect counterpart to Hotland.
"Asriel. Wake up, Asriel. Wake up and test out your new virtual body."

"Huh...wha...?" Asriel's eyes opened. "Oh...!"

He blinked several times and looked at his hands, flexing his fingers. And again I got a chill up my spine. It was the same as when the other instances of him...Flowey...had absorbed all of the Monster Souls in the underground and regained his old child form. My breathing must've gotten a little quicker because I was deathly afraid the next words out of his mouth would be "At last. I was tired of being a flower. Chara? Chara are you there? It's me! Your best friend...ASRIEL DREEMURR!"

"Hey. You alright?" Violet shook me a little.

"F-F-Fine. Just fine."

"Well...what do you think? He looks good as an MMD don't ya think?"

And then she snapped me out of it by saying something stupid.
There he stood...how could I put this..? Real-er than...real. I guess that was the best way to put it. I had seen CGI rigs and Vocaloids in the past. But seeing someone as they appeared inside LYOKO was beyond description.

"I pre-loaded you with Ulrich's ronin samurai profile. But I can cycle you to the others to see if we can get you a better fit. In time I'll put together something more customized for you."

Asriel reached up and felt the headband then looked at at his outfit. A sleek body suit. Somewhere between ninja and shinobi was my guess. Guards on his arms. A pair of katanas strapped to his back.

"I modified it slightly to accommodate you. I switched out the tabi-esque boots for waraji rope sandals. Y'know give your feet some breathing room. Also changed the color palette to something more familiar. Purple and white were the color of Toriel's robes, right? I also changed your headband icon to be your family's Royal Crest."

"So. What do you think?"

Asriel looked down a bit...then looked up.

"I've got...a lot of questions."

"Of course you do. Give me a chance and I'll try to answer them all."

"But...I have to say..." Asriel's gaze fell again...but only for a brief moment before I saw the sudden cocky grin.

He tightned his fists and brought them over his chest in a look that said he was really trying to contain his excitement...and failing.

There were the starry eyes and that hyper-genki expression. He suddenly jumped up and exclaimed, his echo reverberating throughout the mountains.

"THIS IS SO COOOOOOOOOOL!!!!!!!!"

CRYPTOSMASHER LOGOFF
End Transmission...

Last edited by Volt Alessandro Arcade; 04-14-2016 at 08:17 PM.
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Old 04-16-2016, 03:54 PM
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Volt Alessandro Arcade Volt Alessandro Arcade is offline
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Special 50 Sub-Entries Post. It's a milestone, so that makes it special.

----RECOVERED DATA FRAGMENT FROM THE RESEARCH LOGS OF SPACE TIME CONTINUUM (STC) AGENCY FIELD AGENT AND FOUNDER, DR. VOLT ALESSANDRO ARCADE-----

Sub-Entry 47: "Twenty Questions...and Then Some":

"Okay, Asriel. I'm setting up to start running background diagnostics and tests on you. We'll get to the bottom of your curious code, yet. For now...just play around a bit. If you get bored, I can set you up with some training to show off your normal and special attacks."

"Okay...um......." Asriel paused.

"...I know we just met and we're friends and all..." Asriel started.

"But...is it weird if I start calling you Aunt Violet?"

"Heh. The strange thing is...you're not the only one who does. Call me anything but late for anime night. But from now on I gotta get you an endearing nickname."

"I'll bet it's something cool like--"

"From now on, I'm calling you...Cinnamon Roll."

Asriel's WTF expression was enough to make a short laugh slip out.

"C...Cinnamon Roll?!?" He protested, face scruching up and looking like he was about to shed a few tears.

"Violet...I don't even want to know how, where, and why you came up with that of all possible nicknames."

"Hey! Now what kind of look is that for a mighty warrior to wear when he's about to do some cool moves and fight some bad guys."

"F...fight?" But...I don't want to hurt anyone--"

"Relax, Cin-Bee. Nothing I throw against you will be even remotely alive. They'll be more lke...Training Dummies."

"Training Dummies that hit and shoot back, Vi. Or did it slip your mind to explain THIS to him?"

I pointed to the Life Point gauge. The red heart was glowing and beating. The number next to it displayed 100."

"Oh yeah. Like any video game if you take a hit, you'll lose Life Points. That's what that gauge in the HUD overlaying your vision in."

"Huh...didn't notice that."

"If your Life Points drop to zero, you'll get de-virtualized and be kicked out of the system. Dreams aren't much fun if you don't do anything with them."

"I guess you're right, Aunt Vi."

"Why don't you start by moving around. And maybe getting a feel for your swords."

"..."

"Hey. It's okay. You can use those things without hurting or getting hurt. It's not a bad thing if you learn a little self-defense. After all...didn't your dad, the King, teach the head of the Royal Guard how to fight?"

"Miss Undyne? Y-y-yeah. But..." Asriel's expression turned pensive. "How do you know about that?"

"Violet..."

"Look, Azzy. I know it's frustrating to know we keep a lot of secrets from you. A lot of things you're not ready to know just yet. We're only trying to protect you from them."

"I know but...it's weird how much you know about--"

"Asriel. I can't tell you much of anything...yet.......but you have my word. Someday. I'll be able to tell you everything. What it is I really do. Why I was on your world. Why I spent 100 years searching for you before I found you and saved you from the collapse of your Timeline. My original position in the Space-Time-Continuum Agency...and MISSION."

I explained, sounding much like Data the robot monkey from yet another case; the one on Terra that we now codenamed "Digoutter's Adventure Story in Halcyon days." "D.A.S.H." for short. I entertained the notion of bringing Asriel to Kattalox and exploring the ruins when he was older and better trained to survive offworld. Maybe introducing him to the Casket family and letting him meet another...*chuckle*...superhero--MegaMan Volnutt.

"Can you at least tell me...who you are, Volt?"

"I know I'm taking a risk...but I'm a Time Traveler. And...I was able to search for you for 100 years because I don't grow old. I don't age. I'm...nearly immortal."

"Did you...absorb human souls--?"

"No! No, oh gods, no. No...my powers came from...something else."

"That's...that's a relief."

"Asriel. Absorbing souls is the worst thing in the world. At least I think so. I trust you enough that I don't feel like I have to hold you to a promise. The reason...I think...the reaons you were spared because some...higher power didn't want you making a big mistake."

"I.....still don't understand why...I was chosen of all people. I'm a coward and I worry and cry so much. "

"You know something, Best Friend? That's me in a nutshell. Just ask anyone in UCIAT how much I worry myself sick over everyone I care about."

"But..."

"Remember Bunnie's teachings. As another of her masters...one other than Master Splinter....used to tell her in his own words: Concentrate not on destroying your foe but on attaining your own victory. Trust your instincts. Push yourself to the limit!"

Violet looked on and grinned as I found myself in sagely speech mode.

"Be prepared for the unexpected. Concentrate mind and body as one. Achieve tranquility through movement. Integrate spirit and flesh. Channel the powers. Focus the mind. Cleanse the soul. Focus that which is native. Separate darkness and light. Mind and body as one. Oneness through knowledge. Give birth to yourself. Oneness through emotion. Define your existence. Create your divination. Oneness with the Heavens! From strength...learn gentleness. Through gentleness..."

"Tch..." Asriel bowwed his head and closed his eyes.

"Through gentleness...strength will prevail." He finished.

A moment of silence.

"Good speech." Vi pat my shoulder. Annnnnnd moment ruined.

I rubbed the bridge between my eyes and tried to salvage the profound moment.

"Mind cleared?" I asked Asriel.

Silence as his eyes remained under the shadow of his bangs.Then he looked up with a confident smile and a look of...determination.
He tightned his fists as if he were tightening the belt of his gi and gave a nod.

"Hmm! Mind cleared."

"So...any more questions?"

"They can wait. Now...show me what this body can do."

"Alright. Let me get set up. Volt, I need you to get some equipment from the tables over there."

"Gotcha. I'm on it."

----RECOVERED DATA FRAGMENT FROM THE RESEARCH LOGS OF SPACE TIME CONTINUUM (STC) AGENCY FIELD AGENT AND FOUNDER, DR. VOLT ALESSANDRO ARCADE-----

Sub-Entry 48: "The Price to Pay to Be a Wet-wired Courier":

"Okay. I need a Sino-Logic 16...SOGO-7 Data Gloves...a GPL Stealth Module...one Burdine intelligent translator...and Thompson Eyephones."

Violet opened a metal briefcase and wired the computer contents of it into the Supercalculator. I handed her all of the necessary parts where she assembled it into both the case and the machine. She slipped on the gloves and the Eyephones, lowering the visor.

Violet started assembling more of the rig. She attached the cylinderical unit to the clear Mado brand hardcopy printer and plugged it in. She fit a tiny optic disk into a nearly frameless Hayo brand high-speed magneto-optic drive. She stringed together wiring into a circuit block marked with Xingese and Jangese writing.

"Violet...is all this really necessary? I...get nervous whenever you have to--"

"I need to install this software digitally to my own cortex in order for my Hybrid Ability to handshake with LYOKO's quantum code. Only I can handle this many Quebits of information without it resulting in neurological failure."

"Violet...if Asriel knew how dangerous this was to attempt..."

"Hey...it's me. This hasn't been my first rodeo. Did I ever tell you how I almost became a Data Courier?"

"Right. But then you'd have to drop a large chunk of your long term memories to make room for the wet-wiring in your skull. I have my hands full with one amnesiac on my team. I don't need you butchering yourself just so you can hold terabytes of information without data degration. Anyway...are you sure you can handle all this? I mean...with Couriers who upload more than their memory capacity, they suffer the problem of "seepage"."

"Relax. I'm not going to endanger myself like Johnny Mneumonic."

"Hope so. We're a long way from a Dolphin named Jones if we need to unscramble your brain."

Violet's eyes lit up with neon light as purple as her name. This was her Hybrid Ability--Organic Ultra-Calculation; The power and speed of an entire server farm of supercomputers within her own brain. Able to upload massive amounts of programming to it and run it in real-time. Able to see the "Matrix" code in its raw binary "rain" form. And so much more.

Violet opened up her laptop and access her Internet TV service.

"When the counter reaches zero, click on three frames on the TV. Any three. They'll meld with the data and I won't know what they are. That's the download code for later when I need to purge my memory. This will print out a hardcopy. Upload begins when you press here." Violet pointed to the optic drive start switch.

I nodded and sighed. As much as I joked about hurting Vi for being stupid, I couldn't stand the though of her getting hurt for real. And one mistake from this would mean serious brain hemhorage.

She lowered the eyephones and stuck the mouth guard in over her teeth.

"Hit me."

I thumbed the switch and stepped back and braced. THe disc started to spin...and Vi started to shudder violently and grit her teeth as she clutched the arms of the chair. She grunted and groaned as her mind was flooded with data at a TERRIFYING speed and volume. The numeric counter started speeding backwards from 320.00 GB.

I watched her claw at the chair and writhe as the counter ticked down. When it got close to zero I clicked on the laptop three times in success, capturing the images. And then it was finally over. Violet raised the Eyephones and pried her hands off the chair.

"Violet? You okay?"

"Give me your handkerchief." I handed it to her after she suddenly lurched forward.

"DAMMIT!"

She squeezed her eyes shut and clutched her head. Then she accepted the handkerchief and squeezed it around her nose. She breathed in and out for a bit then handed it back...a noticeable bloodstain on it.

"You're going to be the first person to give a werewolf a heart attack, Vi." I pocketed the hardcopy strip of images from the printer.

"Okay. I'm going in."

Violet slipped on the data gloves and lowered the eyephones again, shoving the upload equipment to the side.
Violet started accessing LYOKO, directly streaming the data to her optic centers. After a bit of manipulating the Data Gloves and poking around the interface that would probably put me or anyone else in a coma...

----RECOVERED DATA FRAGMENT FROM THE RESEARCH LOGS OF SPACE TIME CONTINUUM (STC) AGENCY FIELD AGENT AND FOUNDER, DR. VOLT ALESSANDRO ARCADE-----

Sub-Entry 49: "Mastering the Basics":

"What do you see, Violet?"

"Well so far far the bioelectric composite of his digital self seems pretty tell-tale. Nothing yet but I'm still just scratching the surface." Violet contacted Asriel.

"Okay, move around. Run. Jump. Swing your swords. Do whatever. Let's get some kinetic data."

"Okay." Asriel took off at what he thought was a brisk sprint but to his surprise he tore off, leaving a dust cloud.

"Whoah! So fast! I didn't know I could run like this!"

"Try jumping."

"Waaaaah! My body's so light!"

"Try dodging."

"Dodging?"

"Here. I'll give you a little incentive." Violet said as a she motioned with the gloves.

Asriel had barely any time to react when one of X.A.N.A.'s tank bug creatures appearaed on the battlefield and unleashed a ring of energy.

"YIKES!" His form blurred as he dove to the side and cartwheeled as the wave passed over him.

"Viiiiiiii! That was meeeeean!" He cried.

"Loosen up, Cee-Roll. You're doing just fine and I"m getting great data."

"If you say so. But could I have less nasty suprises like that?"

Some more of X.A.N.A.'s polymorphic creatures and Asriel was quickly playing defense. It was just like at the dojo.

"You know you could try to actually go on the offense. Those Twin Sabres aren't just for decoration."

Asriel swallowed hard and pulled one of the energy blades from its scabbard.

"You're not gonna advance until you defeat your foes. And I'm sure you're gonna tire out before I learn anything."

"Focus, Asriel. Even Asgore worked up the nerve to pick up that trident spear of his."

That was a risky thing to say. He'd ask me how I knew about that.
The incomming laser shots streaked toward him.

"Azzy...remember how brave your were when you saved me from the Installer block back there? Remember that feeling!"

"...!" A glint appeared from the shadow underneath his head fur. In a blinding flash Asriel had suddenly deflected all of the lasers.
He zipped toward the first creature and the blade flashed. His foe broke apart into voxel cubes and vanished.

"Way to go, Cin-sy!"

"I'm really going to hate that nickname..." I heard him mutter. "Hmm?"

He spotted the movement out of the corner of his eye and drew the other sabre and started duel wielding. I felt a familiar anxiety creep over me as I remembered the God of Hyperdeath duel-wiedling those Chaos Swords. Easy, Volt. Easy. It's just a coincidental parallel. This meant nothing.

"Good! Alright, you got all that down. It's time for you to use your...SPECIAL ATTACK!"

Violet plurked down a larger foe this time.

"It's time to Triplicate!"

"T-Triplicate?"

"Focus and access your Special Energy and summon forth your copies."

"Er...okay....umm..." Asriel concentrated. At first...nothing...then.

An identitical duplicate suddenly lept out from him at the same tme a second identical duplicate lept out from him in the opposite direction.

"Hey! You're...you're me!"

"You're me, too!"

"You're also me!"

"Wow! I have a cool new friend!"

"You're cool, too!"

"Not as cool as you!"

"But you're cooler!"

"Hey, you're both pretty cool!"

"Asriel...er...Asriels. Eyes forward and focus."

"Sorry, Aunt Vi!" All of them said in unison before swooping in their foe and struck at the same time. No sooner had the enemy dissolved, the Asriel trio merged back into one.

"Geeeeeeeet dunked onnnnn!" Violet hollered out.

"D...dunked on...?" Asriel lowered an eyebrow. "Why...do I know that expression?"

"We need to talk, Vi." I shuddered, feeling Sans' influence in the room somehow.

----RECOVERED DATA FRAGMENT FROM THE RESEARCH LOGS OF SPACE TIME CONTINUUM (STC) AGENCY FIELD AGENT AND FOUNDER, DR. VOLT ALESSANDRO ARCADE-----

Sub-Entry 50: "We Will Stand Real Tall, Stronger After All...":

"Alright. You passed the tutorial stage, Asriel. Time to take it up to the next level. Okay, guys, you can come in now!"

"What?" I turned as the door opened and in stepped Mitzi, Gadget, and Pit.

"What are they doing in this secure sector of the lab, Vi?"

"I called them here. So. You three know what to do?"

"I...guess so." Pit scratched his head.

"Yay! We get to play with Asriel! This is going to be so fun! I'm going to do my best-estt!"

"You're sure wound up." Mitzi crossed her arms.

"Okay, take your places, team."

"Team?!" I gasped.

Three more Scanners opened up and Mitzi, Gadget, and Pit took their places inside.

"Scanner: Mitzi. Transfer: Mitzi. Scanner: Gadget. Transfer: Gadget. Scanner: Pit. Transfer: Pit. Virtualization!"

And with that Asriel was joined by three more players.

Mitzi materilized first in a kunoichi's battle attire. The top was very kimono-esque, cut off at the mid-rift, showing off a little belly button with an oriental skirt, knee-high socks, and shoes that looked like they came from a school uniform. She had a lavish bow in back of the top similar to Vi's. It had a green and white color scheme. She held in her graps a pair of Jangese Tessan war fans.

Gadget 's was similar, resembling a cross between a sleeveless gi jacket and a tank-top. A small oriental skirt, leg bands up in unmatching patterns up and down her legs, and tabi toe-socks. Hers was almost completely pink. She held her palm up, generating hazy ball of pink energy.

And Pit's was a sleeveless tee-shirt with a gold version of the Arrow of Palutena I had seen on his angel form's wrist guard. The bottom was half a body suit with heavy knee pads and cat-like boots and cat-like paw-gloves. Plus he had a cat's tail in the back. HIs was mostly white and gold. His cat paw gloves seemed to have some kind of dart launches on them that shot Claw Darts.

"Miss...Mitzi? Gadget? Pit? What are you three doing here?"

"Well, they're your team. Your mission, should you choose to accept it is to lead them to the Tower at the end of the Mountain Sector, enter the tower and all three of you stand in the node inside and shut the tower down." Violet smiled.

"B-B-B-But Aunt Violet! I d-don't know h-h-how to lead a t-team!" Asriel panicked a little.

"Then you'll learn. The easiest way is by crash course."

"But..."

"No butts, Cinnamon Roll."

"Cinnamon Roll?" Mitzi questioned with a smirk.

Asriel reached up and grasped his ears, tugging slightly on them out of frustration.

"It's a cute nickname! I like it!" Gadget hugged him.

"Mph..." Azzy was again unprepared for the Public Display of Affection. It was a hug but it was the hug of a family member rather a romantic one.

"But...we haven't even practiced with each other. How will we ever--" Pit started.

"Simple. A 1980's montage!"

Vi grinned as she accessed a music player on her laptop and piped its music into the Supercalculator so that we and the LYOKO crew could hear it. And with that the trek through LYOKO began. It was an adventure for the times as the four of them discovered their powers; from Asriel's Triplication to Gadget's Flight Wings to Pit's wall-scaling Cat Climb, to MItzi's telekinesis and tightrope balancing.

And finally it led to the tower. The quartet stepped onto the bullseye rings of the LYOKO logo as each lit up in sequence.

"Go ahead, Asriel. You can have the honors." Violet smiled as the hololyth appeared before him and the prompt awaited his password.

"What do I do?"

"Type in L-Y-O-K-O. ANd then you've won the game." And so Asriel did and that was that.

The four scanner capsules opened with fwooshes of steam and all four stepped out. Each noticeably tired but definitely content. Asriel put his sandals back on and enjoyed the group comradery.

"You did good, kids."

"Hey. I'm no kid." Mitzi crossed her arms, sounding sassy.

"Admit it. You enjoy the compliment."

"Just this once." Mitzi smirked.

"Ahem." Bunnie's voice got our attention.

"I wondered what was eating up the lab's computer power." Sally smirked.

"Just us "Garage Kids"." Violet mused.

"That's...another obscure reference, isn't it, Violet?" I shook my head.

"Maaaaybeeeee."

"Well. I hope you finished up what you needed to do. It's getting late and Scott and Callista should have Asriel-kun's dinner about ready."

"So did you crash the mode in there?" Sally asked.

"Er..."

"That's a good thing, Az-ma-taz." Violet clarified for Sally.

"Uh...well then...I guess yeah, I did."

I gave Bunnie a nod and an approving smile. She picked up right away that all was well.

"Well then. If there is nothing else, I will take my leave." Bunnie exited.

"I'll show you guys out. Cool?"

"Cool, Miss Sally."

"More like WAY past cool." Sally said with a wink and a grin as she took Asriel's hand and led out of the lab basement and UCIAT HQ itself. Gadget and Mitzi followed behind.

"So. Anything interesting, Violet?" I asked.

VIolet took off her gear and packed everything up.

"Yeah...I did find something. Something at a sub-atomic, quantum level. Interlaced with his composition--the part that is matter-based--I found something akin to strongly correlated quantum spin liquid (SCQUSL). It seems similar to the quebit processing, storage, and manipulation I see in arc transistor arrays formed in Herbertsmithite ZnCu3(OH)6Cl2 single crystal nano-gels and nano-sols comprising next generation semiconductors. I've compiled the data on the long range magnetic orders and the spin freezing factors. Based on the energy processes I've observed it's like the complete opposite of Dark Matter Ion Trapping & Recovery Infrostructure. If I had to draw a comparison, it's more like a solar computer colony. Did you get any of that?"

"Actually...yeah. And oddly...that makes a little bit of sense when you consider the Dreemurr Family's affinity for fire-type magic. But...why is it manefested like this and not as magical power?"

"It looks like some of these digital wavelengths seem to suggest exposure to some kind of...dark energy. But instead of contaminating him, it looks like he built up a natural immunity to it. From his time here in Miranda it must've evolved into its current solar quantum array. There's also foreign code intermixed in with his bio-rhythms, his natural bioelectric field, his genetic data, there's and brainwave activity that looks like it doesn't belong. Might explain his eye color, too. But it's just speculation. So...where in that Timeline did he get this imprinted into him. And how?"

"It may have come from Frisk." I reasoned. "It's a weird thing to speculate but maybe Frisk...discarded the unwanted part of their HUD when they went on their Genocide run. Somehow it got sucked up into the Core and compressed into Asriel's very being over the course of 100 years."

"Might explain the broken framework. Well. I capped off the damaged area and cleaned up what I could. It shouldn't degrade or become unstable but...I don't know anything beyond that."

"Thanks, Vi. You've made up for your your stunts--"

Violet grinned.

"For TODAY." I finished.

"Aww." She pouted.

"Anyway. I have a lot to discuss with Nikita. You head on up and be with your best friend and the others. I'll catch up later."

"Right. See ya, round, Violet."

"Stay fresh." She said plainly before turning back to the massive pools of data on the holograms and monitors, staring longingly at the wire-a-matic of Asriel.

"You really ARE something special......Cinnamon Roll."

CRYPTOSMASHER LOGOFF
End Transmission...
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