Six Souls

The story began with Frisk.
A human child who fell upon a secret world, a world she could never have known existed.
The seventh of her kind to come across the incredible land of the Underground.
Yet as one story began with her, another begins with others.
Though not as glorified as she, paved the way for Frisk to take the stage. The stage they themselves once held.
Let me spin you the tale of those six souls that came before.
And how they never returned to the home they once knew.

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2. Patience—Part 2

Sabira secretly wished she had brought a candle with her. Or at the very least a match. The darkness seemed so murky and thick that she could have cut through it with a knife. She could barely see, but she guessed that the path was straight. So onward she walked, brushing her fingertips against the rightmost wall. 

As she moved in what she hoped was forward, her footsteps echoed throughout the tunnel no matter how lightly she stepped. Sabira kept her left hand out in front of her, in case she came to a turn. She wanted to spare her head from any injury. 

Sabira felt like she was in a dream. The passage wouldn't end; it seemed eternal. Her left palm didn't meet any cold wall, and her right continued to swipe against its own stony edge. No glimmer of light could be seen. Darkness was all there was. Had Sabira even gotten up from her bed? Was she merely in a trance, a ceaseless nightmare? Would she soon wake up in the dark bedroom, back in her previous dilemma? Sabira was sure that she was awake, for she remembered getting up from her bed. But as she traveled aimlessly through the blackness, she felt as if she were floating through space.

Sabira soon became irrationally frightened, her mind bombarded with theory after theory of what she may come across in the neverending passage.

Were there creatures lurking below the household, prowling about the frigid ground, at the ready to strike their prey?

Could there be a deadly pit reaching farther than the depths of the Underground would ever know, waiting for a naive soul to meander into its clutches? 

Was there even an end to the tunnel, or would she just be forced to feel her way down it for all eternity?

Would she ever be able to escape this torment that wrangled her mind?

Would she ever find a way back home?

Was this all a trap, just to keep her here forever?

Was she doomed where she stood?

Was there any point in continuing her journey? 

Sabira suddenly realized how heavily she was breathing, and she started to feel a bit light-headed. She stopped where she was to collect her bearings. As best as she could, she tried to slow her breathing, but to no avail. If anything, it only grew worse. Sabira put her hand to her chest, and felt her heart pound through her rib cage like a hammer. Her other hand she placed on her forehead, and wiped away the beads of sweat that had formed.

This was all too much; she couldn't take this anymore. Sabira no longer cared about getting to the Surface. Her mind was her worst enemy, and made this well-meaning escapade into a horrible nightmare. She needed to get back to Miss Toriel's home. There she knew she would be safe, there she knew Miss Toriel would protect her. There she would live with the goat-lady as they read books, played with friendly monsters, ate acquired-tasting food, and enjoyed a happy life together as a new family.

It wasn't what she wanted to do at all; she wanted to go home, to her real home. To her mom and dad, and her little brother too. She missed them so much she couldn't stand it. It had been less than a day since she had fallen upon this secret world, and she already felt like she could implode it with her sorrow.

But no, there was no way for Sabira to go back home. She couldn't even get to the exit of the Ruins by herself. And besides, even if she had gotten to the exit, what then? What would she do? She didn't know where the king's castle was, and she had no idea how she was to get there.

What would happen if she got to the Barrier, only to find that she wasn't able pass through? And if she was caught, all her hopes and dreams would vanish into thin air. She would never get to the Surface. She would never be able to go home.

She couldn't ever see her family again. 

Sabira hated it. She hated it so much! She had to make a wise choice, just like Miss Toriel had said, and she knew the wisest choice she could make. And she didn't like it! She had to stay with Miss Toriel no matter what; she couldn't leave. There in the Ruins at least she would be safe, and there at least she would be loved. That she knew for sure. Miss Toriel loved Sabira, as much as anyone would expect a mother to love her own child. And the two had just met the day before. Somehow Sabira knew that if she stayed, she would be protected as if she were her daughter, and she would be taken care of. Her life before that night was over, as if it had never existed. All that was real was the now and the future for Sabira. She would never see her family...her mother, her father...her little brother...ever again. 

And indeed she never would.  

Her tears that so vividly resembled rivers found there way running down her face once again, and she made haste to run back upstairs. But while she intended to do just that she realized, her hand was not on the wall.

She had lost her bearings.

Of course, she could always feel for it again, but would it be the same wall, or the opposite one? Was she facing forwards, or backwards? Was the exit in front of her...or behind her? 

Sabira's breath picked up speed again. Her heart felt more like a jackhammer now. She was lost in the darkness, and completely terrified. Her legs wandered in a direction that they and they alone thought they should move. As she experienced her breath being forced from her lungs in whimpers, she suddenly felt faint.

She didn't care what she might improbably find in the pitch black passage. She didn't care who heard her. 

"M—Miss Toriel!" she yelled with the little air her chest could grab. Her head pounded as she stumbled through this nightmare. "Miss Toriel! Help me!"

Sabira hoped that she was moving in the correct direction. She wanted Miss Toriel. All she wanted was to be in her arms, to feel her kind, warm embrace. Just as she had felt when she had first arrived. She wanted to hear the calm, soothing voice tell her that everything was going to be alright.

But most of all, she just wanted her mom. Oh, how she longed for her mother. The chestnut-haired, fair-skinned, lovely woman that she could call her own. Sabira would have given anything to just see her one more time. She wanted her dad too. His brown hair always spiked with gel, and barely ever seen without a nice suit upon his shoulders. He worked every day, but always made time for hugs and snuggles after his job. What she wouldn't have done to have him there with her, keeping her safe in his own secure embrace.

But alas, there was no hope for that. They were at the Surface, and Sabira was underground, trapped in this tunnel. Perhaps forever. 

And all of a sudden, Sabira saw something. In the moment it seemed blinding, but in reality, it was merely a glimmer.

Just a ways away from where she cowered, she swore there was a light. In the back of her mind she was convinced she was crazy, but her body was already moving toward it. It was most foolish, but she didn't care. There were no stairs in that direction, but she didn't stop running. In fact, there was a sharp turn to the right where the light was seen, not at all resembling where she had come from.

However, even as those helpful thoughts warned her, Sabira's legs wouldn't cease their swinging. Every bit of common sense that she still possessed screamed for her to stop. The amount of common sense she actually possessed, however, was quite small, and not at all enough to grab her attention.

Perhaps she had forgotten that turn while her mind had been attacking her. It wasn't impossible, and that was enough for her. The way she thought it, if there was a light, there was a person, and who else could that person be other that Miss Toriel? Sabira was saved! She was back home! The child internally rejoiced, and on the outside she called for the lady.

"Miss Toriel!" she yelled, expecting to be answered. As the light slowly but surely grew brighter and brighter, there was no response. Maybe the woman didn't hear her.

Sabira called again in desperation. "Miss Toriel! It's me!"

Finally the child rounded the corner that obscured her view, fully anticipating to find the kindly monster standing there.

But... 

It wasn't her. 

Before Sabira stood another monster, and that was just about all she could gather of its appearance.

It wasn't Miss Toriel. There was a person in the tunnel, and it wasn't Miss Toriel.

And it was a big person at that. If the thing hadn't moved, Sabira would have mistaken it for a wall. The monster held a lantern in its furry hand, which explained where the light had come from.

But Sabira didn't care. None of that information wrapped itself around her mind. All that she knew and would allow herself to know was that there was a person in front of her. A person that looked as if it could break her in two with but a touch.

So Sabira screamed at the top of her lungs.

What did she think it would accomplish? Honestly, she didn't know. But nonetheless she continued to scream, and wouldn't stop. She was only ten years old, merely a child. What else was she supposed to do? Fight the living embodiment of a wall? Fleeing was not one of her options, for her legs froze in fear where they stood, and refused to move.

The monster before her looked strangely terrified, as if the tiny girl frightened him. He placed his enormous hands before himself and tried to calm her.

"Shh sh, no no no, it's okay, kid, please," he whispered, in a deep and somehow soothing voice.

Though no matter how much that voice could lull a baby to sleep, Sabira kept on screaming, and felt a flood of tears rush down her face.

Over the piercing tone that the monster seemed to wince at, one would have sworn to hearing the cry of a woman echo throughout the tunnel.

"Sabira!" the voice called. "Are you there?! Sabira!"

The intruder must have heard it, for his head turned to look down the dark passage.

"T—Toriel?" he uttered, barely able to hear himself over the shrill of the young girl.

The crying and the eventually audible panting became louder and louder, until Sabira herself could actually hear it too. She suddenly became silent, and she jerked her head to the left to see, lo and behold, Miss Toriel, sprinting down the passage as if she were being chased.

"Miss Toriel!" she bawled.

And at the sight of Sabira indeed being there, her face a teary mess, the woman ran even faster. And once she had come into the light, she knelt on the ground and extended her furry arms out before herself, into which Sabira plowed like a bull into crimson cloth.

She hugged Miss Toriel as hard as she could, which wasn't very hard at all. She was back in the arms of the one person who loved her down there. Her new parent, as she knew her now to be. The woman she would live with from now on.

But in this moment, she didn't want to think about it. All that mattered to her was that Miss Toriel was here, and she was safe. 

<><><><><>

Toriel knelt there on the ground, holding the child in her arms. Sabira cried into the woman's ear, as Toriel whispered into hers. 

"It's alright. You're safe, my child. Don't worry, I'm here."

It seemed assurance for the young girl, but it was mostly assurance for herself. Upstairs in her half-furnished living room, as she had nodded soundly off to sleep, Toriel was sure she had heard someone call her. Upon suddenly awaking, the woman couldn't convince herself that it was her imagination. Just to be safe, as her motherly instincts suggested, she found it best to see if Sabira was asking for her. Perhaps she was having a bad dream, or possibly just needed a glass of water.

Though when she noticed the bedroom door peculiarly ajar, Toriel found that Sabira was not there. She checked and eventually tore up the covers, but the child was indeed gone. Toriel rushed back into the hallway and called Sabira's name, but no response was heard. She most certainly checked every room in the house, not coming across her anywhere.

And she was about to search outside when in the foyer, she heard her name again...

Down those stairs...

Distinctly followed with the plea, "Help me!".

Toriel's heart dropped. No, she thought. No way. She could not.

But that definitely had been Sabira's voice, and there was no doubt that she had called for help. The woman sprinted down those steps, and when she heard the scream that could have been mistaken for a siren, she moved more quickly than a fleeing Whimsum. Through the dark passage she ran, yelling the child's name as loudly as she could. Until she finally found Sabira in the strangely lit left-turn, and hadn't bothered to see what was holding that lantern. 

But now, as she held Sabira close to her, her eyes turned to her left to acknowledge the abnormality in the tunnel. 

And she didn't want to believe them. 

"Asgore?" 

The monster holding the lantern seemed just as shocked. "Tori?" he answered. 

Toriel's mood changed drastically. "Don't you dare 'Tori' me!" she commanded. "What are you doing here?!"

Sabira eventually looked at the monster that had frightened her so, but didn't stop crying. Upon his shoulders draped a purple cape that honestly looked more like a curtain, and upon his head sat a golden crown. His gigantic arms were covered in white fur, just like Toriel's, and a set of horns were positioned on his forehead...just like Toriel. Sabira realized that the two looked very much alike, and obviously knew each other...somehow. 

"I..." Asgore stumbled over his words. "...I...came to see you..." 

Toriel knitted her brow at his stupidity. "Did you really think that I wanted to see you?" she scoffed. "After what you have done?" 

Her statement didn't seem to be heard. "Is...is that a..." 

Toriel hugged the child more tightly, and her breathing started to quicken. All of a sudden she let go of Sabira and moved to stand in front of her, blocking the girl's view of the monster.

"Asgore, I want you to turn around and leave," she asked politely, but full of desperation. "I asked you not to come here." 

But Asgore didn't move. "Tori, I—" 

"No!" she yelled, angry that he wouldn't stop calling her that. "You cannot have her! I am not going to let you, no matter what you say! So please just go!" 

Toriel could hear Sabira breathe faster and faster. She placed a hand on the child's shoulder, trying to calm her at least a little. 

The king still didn't leave, regardless of what the woman warned. "I...I don't know what to do..." he said, not choosing the most appropriate of words.

"I will tell you what you will do!" Toriel shouted. "You will turn around and walk back though those doors! And you will forget that you ever saw her! Do I make myself clear?!" 

Asgore seemed to hesitate. "Tori, you know I can't," he admitted. 

Toriel's jaw dropped. "Really?" she asked, completely appalled. "You think you could kidnap this child and kill her?! Are you really that heartless? Are you sure you could live with yourself after doing something so cruel?!" 

Sabira began to cry again behind the woman, and Toriel cringed. She hadn't watched what she said. Sabira hadn't known that humans were to be killed. She had only been told they were to be captured, though technically that wasn't a lie. Humans were to be captured...and then killed. Asgore needed human souls to destroy the Barrier to the Surface, and seven of them he required to be extracted from any humans that fell into the Underground. And that was the reason that the kingdom was without a queen, and the king was without a wife. 

Asgore opened his mouth to retort about a dozen times, but remained silent.

So Toriel continued. "Asgore, I know that you want to get out of this place more that anyone, but you do not understand how much wrong you will cause by doing so! By the time you have finished what you plan to do, you will have ended the lives of seven humans, plus have taken away the home of hundreds more! Are you really willing to go along with that?!" 

Asgore became completely incredulous. "Tori, do you not remember what the humans did to us?! To our family?! Did you forget how they murdered our son?! They deserve this! All of them do! How do you not see it?!" 

"So this little girl deserves to die for the wrongs of her people?!" Toriel interrogated, not noticing the heavier sobs coming from behind. "As if she herself was involved in Asriel's death?! Are you fully prepared to carry the weight of knowing that you killed an innocent child?! Is this what Asriel would have wanted you to do?! Or would he be horrified at what you've done?!" 

Asgore jerked his head away, unable to keep eye contact with the woman. "Don't you dare say that to me!" he demanded, his voice barely wavering. "How can you stoop so low?" 

"How can stoop so low?!" Toriel restated. "You are not one to talk of stooping! You want to kill a child!" 

"I never said that! Do not put words in my mouth! I don't want to kill the child!" 

"But you would do it if it was necessary, would you not?" 

"I don't know, Toriel!" 

"How can you say that?! How is that even an option?! What kind of monster are you?!" 

"Well if you haven't happened to notice, we're all monsters!" 

Neither had time to react, but all of a sudden Sabira let out a pathetic wail. And before either monster could turn to see what was happening, the girl sprinted from behind Toriel, squeezed past Asgore, and kept running. Down the dark passage she continued to run, with no destination in mind. But she once again didn't care. 

"Sabira!" Toriel shouted after her, but the child was already gone. Asgore only stood still, but Toriel shoved him to the side. "Sabira! Please! Stop!"

The king turned to see his former queen, rushing down the pitch black hall. "Toriel! Wait!" he called.

And Toriel did stop, and turned to look at her former husband. "Well done, Asgore," she sarcastically congratulated. "You always did have a way of messing things up."

And with the last say, she dove into the darkness, yelling the young girl's name. Asgore didn't waste a second on lamenting, and lantern in hand he followed after Toriel. 

If she were to get through the tunnel, she would need a light. 

<><><><><>

Suddenly a brilliance shone all around Sabira, and she winced.

However, she did not stop. 

Her breath clouded into puffs like she were the chimney of a train. A blanket of snow cloaked the trees and ground of the forest, and the bitter cold enveloped her body. Goosebumps traveled up Sabira's arms, but she payed no heed. At least, she tried not to. 

The fluffy whiteness crunched under her feet as she ran. The air chilled her down to the bone. Down the frigid but straight path Sabira moved as quickly as she could. The ankle-high snow tried to trip her time and time again, but she wouldn't let it.

Upon arriving at a bridge that spanned over a small chasm, Sabira felt her ears go numb. And when stumbling across an empty clearing, she lost the feeling in her cheeks. And as she encircled a mountain placed in her way, Sabira could barely hear the faint shouting of her name over the whistles of the wind, which she pretended she couldn't hear.

She didn't want to think about Miss Toriel now, and how she was chasing her through this tundra. She wanted to go home, and not the monster's home that she had convinced herself was hers. That was not her home; she wanted nothing to do with that place. She wanted nothing to do with Miss Toriel, or this Underground she was trapped in. There was too much that she didn't understand, and honestly didn't want to understand. Her mind didn't have a backup plan to her escapade, but it made Sabira not care. She only wanted to get away from these people—these monsters.

It was all too much for her, a small ten-year-old girl stuck in a world full of creatures she knew not of. Creatures that could possibly tear her limb from limb with their bare hands, or slice her into bits with their razor claws. The thought of the world inhabiting the monsters of her nightmares, the ogres children feared to live under their beds and inside their closets, made her want to cower from the world.

And that was the reason Sabira could figure as to why she was still running. 

How long it had been since she had arrived in the underground equivalent of Antarctica, the young and frozen child didn't know. Every limb that contributed to moving her across the snow screamed for rest, locking their joints in rebellion. Sabira forced them to continue to swing, but she nevertheless moved significantly slower.

The calling of her name was but a distant memory, carried away by the chilling wisps of winter air. Sabira had succeeded in carrying out her plan, but she couldn't call it quits yet. She was in the middle of a snow-ridden forest, with no place to stop and rest, lest she wish to become a popcicle. So she carried on over the path through the ocean of trees, keeping a squinted eye out for a habitation she could perhaps sneak into. 

It seemed Sabira's prayers had been answered, for as she was debating whether she would even survive this endeavor, or live her life as an icicle, she saw this adorable little hut. The shack contained a giant window in its front, looking like those cubicles where people would sell hot dogs and whatnot. The peak of the roof bore the wooden insignia of a dog. Only a face however, but still a bit strange of a decoration.

And on the sill below the window, adding to the theory that this was once a place of buying and selling, sat a bell. Sabira didn't exactly know what it was called, but she knew that grownups had them on their desks all the time, and kids always made sure to annoy said grownups by dinging them over and over. The warming look of the shack and the temptation of pressing that bell's button was more than enough to entice Sabira to inspect it. 

But then she froze. 

A figure rose from the floor and appeared in the window. An object that strangely resembled a bone peaked from the corner of its mouth. And the more Sabira observed the creature, she realized that there was a good reason as to why the bone-shaped dog treat was in its mouth. 

"Did something move?" he asked to the air, his pointed ears perking upward, and his eyes darting left to right, and then left to right again. "Is something there?"

Sabira stayed completely still, hoping to not be identified as the something moving. The canine monster kept still as well, scouring the area for what he had thought had moved. But as she stood in plain sight of him, he wouldn't look at her, as if she weren't even there.

"I know I didn't imagine it," he said aloud to himself. "I...I can only see moving things...and something was moving." 

The wind strove to tip the young child over, but Sabira used all her might to keep upright. Maybe if she just kept still, the monster would go away. 

"Reveal yourself, moving thing!" he commanded to the frigid air. "Or I will make sure you never move again!"

Sabira held her breath, thinking that preventing inhalation would make herself seem more nonexistent. A few moments of silence passed, save for the violent whistle of the breeze. Yet she stayed still, knowing that he had to go away eventually. She just needed to wait. 

All of a sudden the dog-monster placed a paw on the shack's sill, and with it still planted he hoisted his body through the window. Sabira sneaked a quick exhale and inhale, but held it in after. In the canine's other paw were two swords of equal length, the sight of which filled Sabira with terror. Once on the other side of his cubicle, he placed one of the glistening blades into his other paw, so that they were evenly distributed among his hands.

He wore a t-shirt with the emblem of a dog on the belly, its eyes seeming to stare unblinkingly at Sabira. How this monster wasn't a "pupcicle"—Sabira wanted to kick herself—was a question she certainly wondered. Perhaps it was his black and white coat of fur that kept him warm and alive, that Sabira secretly would have given anything to have. 

"I know you're there, little pest..." he taunted, making his voice sound that of a psychotic killer. He inched forward, just missing Sabira's body as he moved. She kept holding her breath, though her lungs were about to give way. 

"I know what you're doing. You just wanted to poke a little fun at me. The poor guy that can't see anything unless it moves." Sabira could feel his dog breath on her face as the monster crept right in front of her. "Wanted to see how flustered you could make me, did ya? Wanted to play a little game, did ya? Well, you know me; I'm not really the playing type..." 

Sabira slipped a breath before the canine made a 180, taking in his surroundings. But nothing moved, besides the child's slight trembling. Seeing that he noticed nothing, he walked to his left a little, keeping a darting eye out.

"I do enjoy this one game though," he admitted, holding his swords before himself. "However, I don't think it's the kind of game you would enjoy."

Sabira tried to keep herself from shivering too much, but the cold was starting to get the best of her. She did not want to be caught, least of all by this monster. From what Miss Toriel had said about capturing humans, and what she hadn't said about killing humans, she didn't want to take a chance with this guy. He had swords; two of them in fact. That was not at all comforting. 

She wished so badly to run away, but she convinced herself that it would be only a little while longer. She just needed to keep on waiting.

And be patient. 

"Could you possibly be..." he questioned, though Sabira did not plan on answering him. "...a human?" The child cringed, as the monster tiptoed behind her. "Because if you were a human, you might as well give up your hiding. For I will find you, and cease your moving permanently!" 

Every fiber of her being yearned to flee. She allowed herself to be a little lax on breathing with the monster's back turned on her, but not much. It eventually came to the point where she could stand it no longer. Perhaps if she kept quiet...and moved just a little... 

Sabira lifted her right foot ever so slightly, and moved it barely an inch. The canine made no comment, so he must have not noticed. She repeated the process with her left, and then with the right again. She found herself progressing, extremely slowly, but moving nonetheless.

She tried to steady her breath, but she was too scared to breathe normally. Her quivering exhale balled into a cloud in the air. The dog-monster was searching the area behind her, not paying any attention at all to the small patch of ground he had missed. Sabira took that to her advantage, and after half a minute or so she had advanced considerably. At this rate she would be out of the monster's reach, and then be able to scurry away as quickly as she wanted.

So onward she looked, viewing the road and scenery ahead, wondering how long it would take to find another habitation, but this time not actually inhabited by someone else. 

Perhaps she shouldn't have been viewing the road or the scenery ahead, but paying attention to where she trod. For suddenly, out of the blue, she felt a thin object underfoot. And before she could react...

Snap! 

Sabira panicked. What had she done?

The canine voiced a grunt, clearly hearing the noise.

She glanced down to the twig her foot had broken in two, and made haste to start running.

Though before she could even put the thought into action, Sabira felt cold. Colder than she had ever felt before, and colder than the snowy forest could ever make her feel. 

Her back and chest sensed a sharp pain, and her throat let out a gasp. The child looked downward, seeing why all of this was so, and found a silver tip protruding from her body. A crimson fluid made its way down her light blue shirt, and as she allowed herself to fall to her knees, she realized what had happened. 

She was going to die. 

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