Chapter 1: The Third Aster Brother
I grinned as I touched the yellow SAVE star before turning and walking down through the Judgement Hall. I was excited to see the comedian again.
I stopped where the smiley trash bag would normally stand, and frowned when I didn’t see him.
‘Don’t tell me he didn’t show. There’s no w-’
I started, spinning in place as I heard the clacking of footsteps behind me. I was confused as to what I was seeing. I knew one thing for sure though.
This wasn’t the comedian.
He was tall and dressed in all black. He wore a hooded sweater with the sleeves pushed halfway up his arms, with an arrow pierced heart t shirt and faded biker jeans and mid calf zip up boots. I saw a black bead bracelet on his right wrist and a silver skull pendant necklace. His hood was up, but I could tell he was humanoid by the pale skin of his forearms.
“You’ve been pretty fuckin’ busy huh? Slaughtering the entirety of the Underground?” He asked, his voice deep. It was decidedly neutral, which was rather off-putting.
“Who are you, and why are you here?” I asked, not wasting any time. His presence meant things weren’t following the ‘script’, as it were.
A low chuckle. “Who am I? I’ve got a buncha names around here, but…” He reached for his hood with his right hand.
Pulling it down, I could see his face. His hair was bone white, and hung down a little past her ears. His eyes were a hazel green, and were chillingly empty. A small smirk stretched his face.
“Most know me as Roman. Roman Enright-Aster, youngest of the Aster family.” He finished, smirk falling away. His eyes hardened, stone cold anger and hatred all too obvious.
At this point, I’d have made a quip about ‘being the LAST of the Aster family’ but for once…
I was terrified.
Firstly, because this ‘Roman’ was something of a new piece to the puzzle. I’d heard about him from various sources, but I’d never seen him with my own eyes before.
Second, the look in his eyes spoke of a vast intelligence for someone only a year older than Frisk and I. The thought had me shaking in Frisk’s boots.
*Play song on repeat until prompted: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=495MUfrcbMc*
He must have seen this, because his smirk returned only with a cutting edge of cruelty and sadism. “What’s wrong pal? You seem rattled about something. Did I spook ya?”
He chuckled at this, a dark mirthful sound that seemed to shake my very SOUL. “Ah, don’t be scared bud. I ain’t gonna kill ya…”
“I’m just gonna hurt ya. Really, really bad.”
I smiled, despite the fear. “Oh really? Well, I can take it.” I pulled my dagger from the waistband of Frisk’s shorts.
A grin split the Aster’s face, his head cocked to the side. “Oh good, because I want us to have a fun time together.” A veritable cavalcade of sharpened bones appeared behind the Aster…
And the fight began.
I dipped, dodged and weaved through the storm of bone-shaped bullets. He sent more and more at me, never losing his grin. I made sure to concentrate on the task at hand, but that one fact seemed to play on my mind.
As if he knew something I didn’t. This infuriated me.
“What’s that smile for asshole? You like torturing kids or something?” I sniped, getting a high pitched cackling in return.
“Torture? Kids? Oh no, not at all. What I enjoy is putting down rabid dogs like you!!!” His grin fell away as his voice took on a VERY dark tone, as he flicked his right hand.
Almost instantly, a scythe as long as ‘Roman’ was tall appeared in his hand. It was seemingly made of bone, stark white with the staff bearing the appearance of a spine with spikes along its length, coming to an end with a double bladed head with a snake’s skull in the middle. The blades were composed of pure magic, colored royal purple and fading into a deep red near the ends.
I was so immersed in my observation that I’d barely dodged his opening swing. I felt the air being cut in front of my face, and I felt cold sweat break out on my brow immediately. ‘Fast’ was my only thought as I sprung backwards before his second swing bisected me.
And so it went. We traded blows, each swinging at each other with calculated precision. Some hits connected, others were barely evaded but it continued like that for quite some time.
Eventually, we both jumped away from each other. I was breathing heavily, the repeated exchanges of melee combat having more than worn away at my stamina.
But I was DETERMINED to see this through.
I heard the ‘human’ chuckling, which snapped me out of my reverie. “What’s so funny?”
The laughing continued for a moment, before petering off into a small smirk. “Oh, it’s just that, you’re rather strong. Haven’t had a serious fight like this in a while.”
He looked me square in the eyes. “But I think I’ve entertained myself for long enough.”
A snap of his fingers and I felt pain erupt in the backs of my knees. I dropped my dagger in shock as I fell, and it was knocked away from me with a solitary bone. I looked behind me and saw two more bones protruding out of my legs and piercing the ground underneath.
I heard a whine of building energy, and turned back to face my opponent. He stood stock still, hands in his hoodie pockets and smirk still on his face. I noticed two things as I really looked at this guy.
First, his eyes changed colors. The whites had turned pitch black and his irises turned two different colors. His left was a royal purple, and his right a deep red. Both seemed to fade into a vibrant gold near the pupils.
‘So he had Red, Yellow and Purple magic. That explains a lot.’
Colored Magicks were extremely powerful and highly specific, each having their own unique properties. In this case, Yellow or Justice Magic scaled the damage of the caster’s attack with the recipients Level of Violence.
Purple or Perseverance Magic translated to Karmic Retribution or Karma Poisoning. This magic didn’t deal damage in the normal fashion. Instead it dealt damage, again scaled with the recipients LV, over time and could only take HP down to a single point. It also didn’t give the target ‘I-Frames’ or ‘invincibility frames’ when struck, which could be heavily exploited.
Red or DETERMINATION magic simply acted as a booster to the other Colored Magicks.
So with all of ‘Roman’s’ Magicks put together, he could deal massive amounts of damage over a short period of time based on his target’s LV.
Second, was the magic construct to his left. I was familiar with the comedian’s ‘Blasters’, being draconic in design. But this was serpentine, lacking the crest of the other Blasters and was much more streamlined. I briefly questioned if the Blasters took a different appearance between wielders.
“Before I put you out of your goddamn misery,” I was shaken from musings by the Aster’s voice. “I just have one question, one thing I gotta know.”
I looked the Monster(? Human?) dead in his mismatched eyes. “What?”
“Why? Why kill everyone in the Underground? Why commit genocide of an innocent people, who have done nothing to you?”
I was slack jawed, completely floored with this question.
Was this guy for real?
“Why? Because they’re weak.”
This prompted a raised eyebrow. “Explain.”
“Monsters are made of Love, Hope and Compassion right?” A nod. “There’s no room for that on the Surface. You either step on the weak to get further or die up there. You Monsters are too fucking spinele-”
I was cut off by immense pain in my hands. I screamed as two bones embedded themselves in my hands, pinning them to the ground as well.
“Alright. I’ve got what I wanted.” I heard the whining of building energy again and I saw a ball of glowing magic forming in the jaws of the Blaster. “But, before you go, let me give you this little nugget to mull over. Considering you’re gonna come back anyway.”
“You say there’s no room for Love, Hope or Compassion on the Surface right? That you have to be ruthless to survive?” The Aster shook his head.
“I highly doubt that.”
I opened my mouth to question that, but it snapped closed to stifle a groan as the bones in my hands and legs were twisted.
“As I was saying, I highly doubt you have to be a ruthless bastard to survive on the Surface. And if that is indeed the case, then we as Monsters will have to change that little rule when we get to the top.”
Here, a smile stretched his face again. “All that being said, I’m not opposed to showing you that we aren’t so easily pushed around.”
My vision was filled with bright light as my molecules were eradicated by searing heat and energy.
As my vision faded to black, I heard Roman’s voice again. “And stay dead this time. You little demon bastard.”
I sighed as I gazed at the bloody spots on the tiles where I’d pinned the human.
‘No, not human. That was a wolf in sheep’s clothing, a demon in human skin.’
I shook my head as I dismissed my Blaster and sat down on the floor with my legs crossed in front of each other. I reached into an inner pocket and rifled around.
‘Need a fucking smoke right about now.’
I finally made contact with the plastic case and I pulled it out of my sweater. I cracked it open and pulled out two. I held one out behind me, and a bony hand grasped and pulled it gently out of my own.
“thanks bro. the little brat dead?”
I nodded as my older brother Sans plopped down next to me. “They’re pushing up daisies as we speak.”
A low hum and a smokey exhale from my left. “how long do you think it’ll take?”
I shrugged. “Dunno. Probably not long. I think I caught them off guard though, so they might give up the ghost this time.”
A bark of dry laughter. “not a chance. kid’s too damn DETERMINED to give up after one shot.”
I shrugged again. “Maybe.”
We sat in silence, taking drags off our cigs as we waited.
“During the fight, I saw something kinda interesting.”
I turned to look at Sans. “This kid isn’t just some cut and dry killer.”
Sans turned to me, bony brow raised in question. “whaddya mean?”
“I mean, I think the kid’s possessed.”
“I saw their appearance glitch a couple times. Halfway through the fight, it glitched and they looked completely different.” Sans pivoted in his spot, looking me dead on.
“Well, for one they were male. Their skin was pale, their hair was a lighter color, their sweater went from blue and purple to yellow and green and their eyes were open and a bloody red color.” I faced Sans, my expression deadly serious.
“Something’s fucking screwy here bro. We need ta-”
We both looked around, seeing the Judgement Hall glitch again. I sighed, putting out my cig and saw Sans doing the same. I stood and pulled Sans to his feet as well.
“Here we go again.”
And the world RESET.