Would That Make You Happy?

Frisk is your child, the result of a teen pregnancy, but they've always been told that you're their older sister. In an effort to get away from your own abusive mother, the two of you end up falling into the Underground, where Sans is startled by this abrupt change in what had become a predictable pattern of events. Maybe your presence is what is needed to stop the endless cycle of Resets.

After many struggles, both internal and external, you and your found family reach the surface, only to face even more difficulties from the society you weren't sure you'd ever see again. You meet new friends and encounter people from your past, though for good or ill, you're not sure. Sometimes it's difficult to tell kindness from cunning.

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176. The Vigilum

The governor’s mansion is smaller than Sans thought it would be. With a fancy title like ‘governor’, some part in the back of his head pictured something grandiose with pristine white walls and maybe even some pillars. Something historic. Instead, it’s just like any other big, expensive house in the area with a big wrought-iron fence and a manicured lawn.

It only takes Howard a few minutes to phase through the fence and disable the security system to let everyone inside. When asked if there was any trouble, he states nonchalantly that he had to knock out two guards at the front door.

Without cameras to worry about, the group makes their way inside the house. It’s dark and quiet, and in the corner are the two aforementioned guards. Their hands are bound behind their backs with zip-ties. Howard and Vanessa disappear for a few moments to check the first floor, and come back with twin expressions of confusion.

“There’s no one down here,” Howard whispers, looking at Morwenna.

“I think I felt people upstairs,” Vanessa adds, her attention on Grant. “But it was quiet, I think they might be sleeping. Or the vaulted ceilings are fucking with my range.”

“Let’s head up then,” Grant says, heavy brows set into a frown as he eyes the staircase.

“Do you think Avery is even here?” Vanessa says, falling into step beside Grant as they head further into the foyer.  “It’s the middle of the night, if he’s in charge he might have just left a lieutenant.”

“He better be here.”

“Stay focused,” Morwenna hisses, following them. “Our priority is making sure the governor and his family is safe. If he isn’t here that doesn’t affect our job.”

Maria pushes her way towards the front, flexing her fingers as they climb the stairs. Deacon stays at Sans’s side, casting nervous looks around them. He’s been quiet since they arrived, and he thinks he sees little flickers of green ghosting around his fingers. His magic is lurking just under the surface, waiting to be called.

Sans knows the feeling. He can feel the crackle of his own humming in his bones as the tension builds and builds in his body. There’s going to be a fight, there has to be, and he just wishes it would happen so he can get it over with. All this waiting for the last day has been drawing him tight and much more of this is just going to make him snap.

“This has been too easy,” Deacon mutters under his breath.

“The guards in the house are here to keep the family in, not intruders out ,” Howard whispers, glancing over his shoulder. “I expected more on the first floor, but if they’re keeping a light crew, it makes sense.”

“I guess…”

When they make it to the second floor there’s no guards in the hall. Two rooms, an office and a home theater, are open and empty. They look at each other, uncertain of what to do.

“Something’s wrong,” Deacon insists, catching Vanessa’s eye. “Is there any way they could have known we were coming?”

“No,” she says. “They couldn’t have had any idea!”

“Can you sense anyone?” Morwenna asks her, glancing at the closed doors around them. “You said you thought you might have.”

She grits her teeth, eyes darting from room to room. After a moment she gestures down the hall. “There’s something down there. It’s faint.”

“I’ll go check it out,” Howard says, rubbing his chin. “You guys stay here.”

“Be careful, Min,” Morwenna says. “I’m with Stuart, I think something is wrong.”

As he looks at her his body starts to melt into a very faint, barely visible cyan blur. If Sans hadn’t seen him disappear he wouldn’t even know he was there. “They’re not going to see me coming,” he says.

They wait in silence as he goes, and Sans watches Howard’s transparent body slip through the door at the end of the hall. “that’s a hell of a thing,” Sans says to no one in particular.

“He can’t keep doing that, he’s burning himself out,” Deacon says, catching Morwenna’s eye.

“Min knows his limits,” she says. She doesn’t look at him, instead focusing intently on the door. “And we don’t have much of a choice. We can’t go in there blind.”

“Rushing in would give us the element of surprise, though,” Maria says off to the side.

“uh, shouldn’t howard be back by now?” Sans asks, and everyone looks at him. “he was just going to take a peek, wasn’t he?”

Silence falls over the group.

Grant clears his throat. “Give him a minute to come back, he might be—”

“A minute could mean the difference between life and death, if something happened to him behind that door,” Deacon cuts in, glaring. “We can’t just sit here and wait.”

“Hold on, we need to think,” Morwenna says. “Sans can—”

“Bickering isn’t going to get us anywhere,” Maria says, pushing her way past Grant and Morwenna. Her hands are starting to glow bright orange, leaving a faint light trail for a second as she draws her fists up in front of her. “We’re not leaving Howard in there alone.”

Sans could stop her, if he wanted to. He could teleport in front of her, or grab her with his magic and pull her back. But he isn’t going to. He’s ready for this to finally happen, for whatever trap might be laid for them to finally spring. Because once he knows what it is he can finally deal with it. They hurry to follow her, because if she’s going to barrel through that door they can’t let her do it alone.

Maria smashes her fist into the side of the door, breaking the hinges and sending it crashing to the floor in front of her. And as they all come up behind her, trying to see what’s in store for them, the dark room is suddenly flooded with bright, florescent light.

“How nice of you to finally join us,” says a smooth, masculine voice. “Please, why don’t you all come in. I wouldn’t want anything bad to happen to your friend here.”

As Sans and the others squint to try and regain their bearings, Maria lets out a string of curses in Spanish. The room is some kind of den, with a pool table shoved into the corner and a sitting area with a TV. A woman is standing off to the side with a knife to Howard’s throat, her hand fisted in the hair at the top of his head, yanking it back to expose his neck. For a second his edges blur, and he starts to slip out of her grip, but she lets out a flash of yellow and he jerks his head back as flames dance over her hand holding the knife, just enough for a warning.

She clicks her tongue as the fire vanishes. “Nuh uh. You’re not getting away,” she says, grabbing his hair tighter and yanking him backwards. He cries out in pain, almost losing his balance but she keeps him upright.

In the center of the room is a middle-aged man, standing there with a self-satisfied grin on his face. Dark blonde hair is swept to the side, and even in the middle of the night he’s dressed smartly in slacks and a shirt and tie. At his sides are a handful of men and women which Sans can only guess are the initiates. And off in the far corner of the room, bound and gagged, are a man, a woman, and a teenage boy. The governor and his family.

Slowly they all do as the man says, filtering into the room as his smile widens. Sans watches him, pulling his hands out of his pockets as his eyes flick over to Howard and back again.

“Ah, the… You know, I can never remember the name of your little gang ,” the man says, giving a flippant gesture with his fingers. “Honestly I thought we’d gotten rid of you ages ago. What was it, seventeen years? Did it take that long for you to lick your wounds?”

“Fuck you, Avery,” Grant snaps, glaring as yellow magic swirls around his hands.

Avery’s smile widens, then he points at Grant’s hands. “None of that, unless you’d like to see your friend here die. Now, in all seriousness can you please remind me of the name of this… merry band of yours. What was it? It’s on the tip of my tongue.”

“The Literatum,” Morwenna says.

“Yes, that’s it! And you, oh you do look familiar, don’t you? Were you there at that little spat we had? I think— Oh , Vanessa, you wait your turn dear,” he says, eyes flicking over to where Vanessa has slipped to the front, grabbing Grant’s arm. “There’s nothing that old man can do for you right now.”

“How do you know my name?” she demands.

“Did you think that we didn’t know all about you? God, that’s adorable. You may have changed your last name, but we never forgot you. And your purple magic is so crude and unrefined, it didn’t take much to feed you the information we wanted you to have. If you had stayed with us, I could have taught you so much more,” he says, giving her a pitying look and heaving a dramatic sigh. “I could have made you into something great .”

“You would have turned me into your lap dog!” she snaps.

“You’ve already interrupted once, dear. Mind your manners, I was speaking,” Avery says, dismissing her and returning his attention to Morwenna. “Now as I was saying. Maybe it’s the hair, but you look awfully familiar.”

“You killed my brother,” Morwenna growls, clenching her jaw. The muscles in her arms stand out in sharp relief under her skin, and Sans can see her eyes dart over to Howard and back to Avery. Like she’s gauging something in her head. “Did you forget that too?”

His eyes widen with recognition, and he plops his fist into his other hand. “Oh, that’s right! So you were there, bravo. Ah, and I see you’ve brought a monster this time, how quaint! Do you really think it’s going to help you? We defeated them hundreds of years ago, what makes you think this will be different? Mages are stronger than monsters.”

Avery’s eyes are on Sans now, but he doesn’t say anything. He feels his magic welling up beneath the surface, ready and waiting and itching to be freed.

 Now , how about we talk about how this is going to go?” Avery says with a smile.

You’re woken up by a loud knock on the door.

You jerk upright, disoriented, and nearly knock your head against the low ceiling of the loft bed as Frisk makes a soft, confused sound at your side. Reaching for them, they pull up beside you and latch onto your arm, rubbing the sleep from their eyes. Below you, you can hear Chris mumbling something to himself and the creak of the sofa.

Who could that possibly be at this hour?

A twist of dread coils in the pit of your stomach as you look at Frisk. “When’s the last time you Saved, sweetie?” you whisper.

They look up at you, eyes widening and brows shooting up in alarm. They bite their lip, nose scrunching as they think. “Um. Not since before I fell asleep.”

“You need to Save right now,” you tell them, smoothing their hair from their face. “I’ve got a bad feeling.”

Nodding, they shut their eyes. After a second they look at you and nod. Okay, that’s taken care of.

“Stay up here,” you tell them, and head for the ladder.

Chris is already on his feet, looking at you as you reach the ground. “Expecting anybody?” he says quietly, arching a brow.

You shake your head, then jump as there’s another loud knock. You and Chris stare at each other for a second, then he heads towards the door. Glancing around the room, you spot your can of mace on top of the television and snatch it up. Just in case.

You barely hear the sound of the door unlatching before it bursts open, knocking Chris back. He tries to catch his balance but he stumbles into you, sending you both crashing to the floor. You let out a cry of surprise that sharpens into a gasp of pain as you jam your elbow and Chris’s weight twists your arm.

“Don’t move,” says a familiar, harsh voice. “Or I shoot your friend here.”

Looking up through the hair that’s fallen into your face, you see, looming above you, Jacobs with a gun pointed at Chris’s head. His mouth is set into a hard line, eyes narrowed.

“You and the kid are coming with me, and I don’t much care what happens to this one. So you can do this the easy way or the hard way, it’s your choice.”

   
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