Welcome back to another round of 'Kitty confuses the hell out of everyone with her weird rambling stories that don't make much sense'.
This fanfiction is part of the Omniverse Event, a multi-fandom crossover story arc created by Golden Keyblade (look at his profile for more info). It should be worth noting that I've tried my best to make this story more-or-less standalone, and you shouldn't have to read any other Omniverse stories to understand this one, although I do encourage it (because Calvin's Quest is really good, and this one also intersects with my other Event stories, The Rift Effect and A Theory of Timelines).
So, this story doesn't actually really contain any major spoilers for anything, which is nice, I guess. It's set partway through a pacifist route where Chara's really messing with Frisk's head, which is why they're so messed up in this. Sans is scienc-y in this, as well, a bit more so than in typical canon. Also, he and Alphys know each other. I took a few liberties with Time Lord stuff and the mechanics of the Undertale game world, so I hope this thing makes sense? (it doesn't)
This is just a oneshot. That's all it is. (Incidentally, the code happens to be an Atbash Cipher. That'll make sense if you get to it.)
If you have any questions you need answering, please tell me. I agree, this story is really confusing and I shouldn't have written it.
That's about it. Here we go then.
A Theory of Perseverance
There's a forest, covered in a thick, white blanket of snow.
There's a town in the forest.
There's a house in the town.
Crunch, crunch, crunch- hands bunched into shirt, face down, shivers, tries not to be seen. Getting caught is bad.
Into the house (past the two mail boxes standing crookedly outside), it's small but cosy. A sofa in front of a television, and a kitchen from which loud singing and clanking is coming. The faint, distinct smell of spaghetti, burning, begins to creep in through the house- not quite enough to set off the smoke alarm, but pungent enough to notice.
A loud yelp from the kitchen, followed by the loud splashing of water.
No time for that- quick, quickly, now. Up the stairs. Into the second bedroom. Door creaks as it opens and closes.
Slides drawer out. Key in the drawer.
Takes out key. Clink.
Down the stairs- tap tap tap tap- out the door and into the garden, out back. Icy wet grass under feet. Crunch crunch crunch.
There's the shed.
Key in the lock, (quickly and quietly now) turns with a soft chink, starts to push door open, but-
Freezes. Clanking noise from inside shed stops- it had been going constantly until then. Should have noticed it. Oh no. Oh no.
"anyone out there?"
Dives to the side- into a conveniently placed bush. Swish. Door to shed opens fully. Creak. Bony head peers out.
"'m not mad or anything if you are," says skeleton. "just curious." He looks around. "nobody? oh well." He turns to re-enter the shed, but pauses, looking back. "uh, whoever you are… if you want to come in…" He shrugs. "we can talk about science or ketchup or whatever. i don't bite, promise."
The shed door closes. A moment passes. Clanking noise resumes.
Shivers. The bush shivers too.
From the notes in the shed:
anomaly approaches Waterfall
spike energy increases by 130%
levels drop to 70% power as a passes Waterfall entrance
anomaly continues towards Hotland entrance point
U moves to confront k- a stops
(k possibly carrying/transporting anomaly somehow? looks like the only way that this would make sense)
(on a separate note, the s/t readings for this same sequence are off the scale- related?)
energy spikes 300%, stays there, drops
U's aggression increases
k leads U onwards towards Hotland exit point
anomaly appears to have left k
(energy readings remain pretty much constant from here)
U & k react, k manages to flee
U gives chase but collapses at Hotland ex. point
k revives U
(anomaly spikes somewhat, but dies back down)
U exits Hotland, back to Waterfall
k follows U home
energy spike, almost completely off the scale- doesn't match anything else. completely unprecedented by anything. (?)
* this isn't making any sense.
* call alphys about this immediately after you see it.
"S-sans? Is that you? Um, I'm really really sorry, but I've, um, g-got something really important, and I n-need to call someone in a second, so I need the line clear, a-and…"
"the kid, you mean?"
"How do you k-know about-?"
"pap's been watching the show. 's not hard to work out."
"you're doing a good job. don't worry about it. and besides, i know for a fact that the kid's over in snowdin 'bout now. they were just outside a second ago."
"Oh. Um, t-thanks!"
"i'll try 'n be quick,, but this is important. have you picked up any… weird readings, lately?"
Rustle. "A-actually, now that you mention it… yes! R-roughly, uh, three-or-so hours ago?"
"that's the one. would've showed up about the time that undyne was chasing the kid."
"Y-yeah, what was that?"
"no clue. was just checking to make sure my equipment wasn't faulty."
"…um, look, I'm really really really sorry, but I really n-need to, uh-"
"yeah, s'fine. if anything else shows up… update me, 'k?"
"S-sure! See you, Sans."
"so," says the skeleton, laying his papers out on a table, and placing the necessary components on top of that diagram. He often talks to himself whilst working. It's currently his best source of puns and inventive prank ideas. "mysterious energy surge, huh? looks like a job for…" He considers for a moment. "…someone else. definitely not me."
He fishes around in a small toolkit underneath the workbench, and pulls out a screwdriver. With an approving nod, he sets about taking apart the box that's sitting incongruously on the bench in front of him. "'s not like it matters, right?" he mutters under his breath, twirling the screwdriver rather savagely. "not since…" he trails off, does the skeleton equivalent of biting his lip. He taps, and the box's top comes off cleanly in his hands. With a clink it's set aside, and he looks inside, tapping clusters of wire away with the screwdriver to get a better view.
"oscillator's broken," he announces aloud (to nobody in particular) after a moment of contemplation. "or maybe overloaded. either way, it's not gonna give out readings unless I…"
Bright blue flares in his eyesocket, and after a moment a tiny component rises out of the box and into his outstretched hand. He lifts it delicately, and peers at it for a moment, tapping it with a bony finger, before tossing it carelessly over his shoulder. Crash. Shatter. Whoops. Oh well.
With considerably more care, he replaces the crystal oscillator, wiring it in with blue magic, and screws shut the box, patting it affectionately. He takes the cord trailing off the table with one hand, and pulls on it until the plug swings up to meet up. The plug goes into the socket on the wall, and the cable at the other end goes into his computer.
He flicks the switch on the side of the box.
Numbers and characters dance over the screen.
The skeleton's eternal grin increases just a little bit.
Shivers and curls into self. Cold out. Wishes they were somewhere else. Wishes they were dead. Huddles into icy leaves and branches, twigs poking into back through shirt. Hurts. At least it's not windy here.
Still cold, though.
Someone's talking. Don't want to look at him. This voice is nice, though, a bit like skeleton- the smaller one, not the large red one. Soothing, kinda.
Could listen to it all day.
Hands on shoulders. Someone's shaking. And saying something. Hands are cold. Why? Not an ice monster.
"Getoff." Mutters quickly, shaking man off- wait, man? No humans down. Impossible. So what-?
Looks up. Hard to see. Icicles on cheeks. Man-shaped blur crouching, holding hands, looking worried. Blinks some more, opens mouth, tries to speak. Forces words out of throat painfully. "Um." Really hard. "Human?" Really hard. That's all. Can't manage any more.
He seems to understand, smiles a bit. "Not quite."
"Um." Can manage a bit more, maybe. "Monster?"
"No," he says, laughs, helps stand. Hard to stand. Feel like falling over again. "Let's go. You'll freeze to death like this."
Closes eyes, tries to think, puzzles out the words. Opens eyes. "Yeah."
His lips kind of press together tightly for a second and a look passes over his face. "You… want to freeze to death?"
Mouths the words, frowns, shrugs. "Um. Yes?"
Man frowns too. "Where's the nearest house?" he asks, looking around.
Thinks for a second. It's getting harder. Carefully raises hand, points at skeleton home. Hand drops. Blinks heavily.
"Fine." Hands helping up. Blinks in confusion. "Come on."
Crash, bang, clatter, hiss.
A knock at the door.
Clatter, smash, rattle, thud.
"WHO'S THERE? SANS, IS THAT YOU?"
Bang, thud, thud, thunk.
"HOLD ON, HERE I COME!"
Thunk, thunk, thunk, thud.
The door of the house smashes open with dramatic flair, and a skeleton stands in the doorway. "GREETINGS, MYSTERIOUS VISITOR! I ASSUME YOU HAVE COME TO SEE ME, THE GREAT PAPYRUS, BECAUSE THERE IS SOMETHING THAT I CAN HELP YOU WITH- IS THAT THE HUMAN? WHAT'S HAPPENED TO THEM?"
The skeleton in the shed looks up in surprise as his equipment starts to go almost insane with activity. The phone rings again, and he snatches it up instantly.
"are you getting this?" he asks without preamble.
"Y-yes, that's why I called… b-but, Sans, it's centred at your house!"
" Yeah, it's j-just entered through the front door! Sans, are you g-going to-"
But he's already hung up.
It's not exactly the crisis he had imagined. But it's pretty darn close.
"SANS! STOP FUSSING! THE HUMAN IS PERFECTLY ALL RIGHT!"
"humans are pretty fragile, bro. better safe than sorry."
Sans has found a couple of thick blankets in some long-forgotten storage cupboard, and wrapped the diminutive figure of the human in them until they resemble a hot dog- head poking out sulkily at one end, toes just visible at the other. It would almost be funny if they weren't on the verge of freezing to death.
"Gettoff," they sort of mumble, struggling against their enforced blanket bundle. He pats them on their head, ruffling their hair.
"not just yet, buddy," he says. "wait 'till you're at room temperature, huh? 'snow joke to be this cold."
They stare at him for a moment as if personally offended that such an amazing pun had been uttered in their presence, then wrinkle their nose. "Ha… um. Ha!"
It's not quite a laugh, but it's close enough. He ruffles their hair again, and turns to their other visitor. "now that's sorted… who are you?"
"Irving Braxiatel, at your service."
"Thank you," he says modestly. "I try."
"what're you doing here?"
"Saving your friend here," says Irving Braxiatel dryly. "Apparently. Apart from that, just a slight detour from my final destination."
Sans raises a hand, almost casually, and twists it in the air. There's a sound like shattering glass being reversed, and the world goes monochrome as the familiar sight of a combat interface materializes around them both. He hasn't done this sort of thing for a while, but he's not intending to fight the visitor.
"SANS, THAT'S RUDE!" exclaims Papyrus, but makes no move to stop him. Irving just looks back and forth in interest.
"Fascinating," he says, and it sounds like he means it. "Some form of magic meant for fighting, I'm assuming."
If Sans had eyebrows, they'd be raised ridiculously high right now. "wow, buddy. you're a bit of a freak, aren't you?"
"I am?" Irving looks down at where two perfect heart-shaped organs are floating in the air, both glowing brightly. They're pulsing, slightly out of sync with each other. One's a bright cyan, and the other's bright purple. "Fascinating," he repeats. "Am I to take it that this is… unusual?"
"just a bit," Sans agrees, and twists his hand back the other way, dispelling the entire setup. "you're not human, are you?"
"BUT THEY LOOK THE SAME!" Papyrus disagrees, motioning between Irving and the other human, still bundled up. "NOT THE SAME HEIGHT, BUT THEY'RE BOTH KIND OF… THE SAME!"
"I'm a Time Lord," says Irving tiredly. "Never mind that. Do the colors have any great significance, or should I just ignore them?"
Papyrus brightens, having something to explain that he knows about. "THEY DO! IT'S REALLY QUITE SIMPLE!" He strides forwards, and pokes Irving in the chest, where one of his souls would be located. "LIGHT BLUE MEANS THAT YOU'RE PATIENT! THAT'S A VERY GOOD THING- IT MEANS THAT YOU HAVE THE ABILITY TO WAIT FOR THINGS LIKE CHRISTMAS, AND YOUR BIRTHDAY WITHOUT GETTING BORED! WELL, YOU MIGHT GET BORED- BUT YOU WON'T GET IMPATIENT!" He pokes Irving on the other side of his chest, crinkling the fabric of the man's elaborate suit. "PURPLE IS PERSEVERANCE, WHICH IS KIND OF THE SAME THING AS PATIENCE BUT DIFFERENT! I NEVER DID QUITE WORK THAT ONE OUT!"
"basically, your soul's're tellin' us that you're perseverant and patient," Sans summarizes, taking the opportunity to check on the kid again. They're doing just fine. He pats their back, and they glare sulkily out at him. "interpret that however you want."
"Fascinating," Irving repeats for a third time. "However, I'm not here to talk about the color of my souls, or hearts, or whatever they may be. I'm here to recruit help."
"HELP?" Papyrus asks eagerly. "WE'D BE HAPPY TO HELP WITH WHATEVER YOU NEED, NOT-HUMAN!"
"what sort of help?"
"Not anything special," says Irving. "You'd just have to keep an eye out for… unexpected visitors. From other universes and timelines, mainly, although some might slip in from the future and past. Take care of them."
"we already get plenty of visitors from alternate timelines," says Sans, glancing over at the kid, who doesn't appear to be listening. "what makes this any different?"
"Maybe it's started already here, then," Irving says. "In which case, keep on doing what you're already doing." He plucks a small tablet from his pocket, and offers it to Sans. "A way to contact me."
Sans tilts his head, and the tablet is surrounded by blue magic for a moment, and then it's sitting in his hand and he's examining it.
"There's no guarantee I'll pick up," Irving continues. "But you'll be redirected to someone who know what they're doing. My resident archaeologist is probably on call at the moment- or she will be once she gets back from her current project."
"an archaeologist, huh?" Sans grins. "i guess she's working for you because-"
"OH MY GOD, STOP," Papyrus yells, sensing the oncoming pun.
"-her career currently lies in ruins."
"WHY DO YOU HURT ME IN THIS WAY, SANS?!"
Irving smiles, more out of politeness than anything else. "Yes, well. I really must be going."
"not so fast. i have one more question for you."
"Yes?" says Irving.
"there's been some activity on our readings for a while, but they only really started to spike up when you arrived. coincidence?"
Irving stands still for a moment, and considers it. "Probably not. What sort of activity?"
"two space/time anomalies."
"And I'm one of them?"
"That's news to me," he admits.
Sans indicates the phone. "i'll tell you if anything else pops up."
"Much obliged." He turns on his heel, and exits the house with an easy grace.
"MY BROTHER IS SO SMART," Papyrus declares, wiping an imaginary tear from his eyesocket. "YOU'RE USING SO MANY SCIENC-Y WORDS! I NEVER KNEW YOU KNEW ALL THESE THINGS, SANS!"
"nah, bro. i was a terrible student, remember?" Sans chuckles, winking at the human, who kind of attempts to sit up. "i nearly drowned."
"THIS HAD BETTER NOT BE ANOTHER PUN," Papyrus says suspiciously.
"none of my grades ever made it above c-level."
"OH MY GOD!"
The human laughs too- just a bit, but Sans feels like it's a major accomplishment.
"Oh, h-hi Sans! I've, um- I've lost the h-human. Have you s-seen them anywhere?"
"don't worry, we've got them. they're chilled to the bone, but fine."
"good news. i met the space/time anomaly- one of them, at least."
"they were nice. he gave me a nice new phone."
"Oh. Um, great!"
"we'll send the kid along when they're warmed up. i know you've got a schedule."
From the notes in the shed:
1 of the 2 anomalies found- other's still out there
ano. B is harmless
ano. A might not be
keep an eyesocket on the readings- things could go from bad to worse
* this looks like more work
* time for a break- i'm off to grilbz
* wonder if pap wants anything