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There was no doubt about it.

Hannah was being watched, or followed. By who or what, she just wasn't sure. She was left to trudge uncertainly through the snow, taking frequent glances behind her. She always felt like she'd see someone.

But nobody came.

She continued to trudge through the snow, until a loud SNAP came from under her feet. She yelped, jumping up. 

"It's just a twig! You stepped on it and it broke." Webby giggled.

"Startled me..."

"It's alright. Let's get out of here."

Hannah kept walking until she reached a bridge. There were some wooden bars lined up on it, but they were too far apart to actually block anyone. She would've crossed, but she felt a freezing cold sensation on her back. Then, she heard a voice.

"human."

Not every monster would be as nice as Ms. Holloway, would they?

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

Or maybe this one would be?

"turn around, and shake my hand."

Hannah turned around, and held her arm out, but it had gone straight through the monster's body. The monster screamed, and so did Hannah. But once she has realized the monster was a ghost, that screaming died down and the ghost laughed. But somehow they were frowning at the same time??

"it's been so long since i've actually gotten anyone with that, wow! it's always funny, though."

Hannah stared silently.

"so you're a human, yeah? that's hilarious." The ghost said, still frowning.

"... What?"

"i'm uh... okay my name takes a little bit of explaining, huh? so me and my friend just showed up here one day with no memories of our identity or anything. we had to give ourselves names, but we had no ideas so uh... one day, i was typing something out for whatever reason and she said 'hey, let's name ourselves after fonts!'. so naturally, i picked the font that resonated with me the most. so yeah, my name is bastard. great to meet ya."

"... Bastard??? Your name is Bastard??" Hannah asked.

"yeah, it's bastard."

"I like her. She's carefree. That's how I wanna be." Webby said.

"... Is there a name other than Bastard you like?"

"bastard or comic sans."

At the mention of comic sans, Hannah and Webby felt a strong power radiating from another timeline. The kind of strong power that only a character turned into an overused but still very much loved internet meme could radiate.

"I'll go with Bastard." Hannah decided.

"sweet. here, i should bring you to town. it's a long walk, though, just warning you."

Hannah and Bastard crossed the bridge together. On the other side, was mainly more snow. But there was also a little stand, which no one was at. There was also a lamp with a scarf draped over it that was sitting out in the snow for no reason whatsoever.

"oh, there's lesser squirrel's scarf. i'll have to tell lydian to tell him... speaking of lydian, she's probably on her way over here. you should hide behind that conveniently shaped lamp with that conveniently placed scarf on it, got it, kid?"

Not even bothering to ask, Hannah hid behind the conveniently shaped lamp with the conveniently placed scarf on it. If it weren't for they scarf, her braids would've been in plain sight.

"also, just so you know, lydian's really loud. She Talks Like This, And It Takes Some Getting Used To."

"THAT'S NOT HOW I TALK AT ALL."

"you're right. it's how I wish you talked."

"YOUR NAME SUITS YOU... WHO WERE YOU TALKING TO EARLIER, ANYWAYS?"

"this conveniently shaped lamp with a conveniently places scarf on it. wanna look behind it?"

"NO."

"okay, you're really loud right now, even by your standards."

"It's Really Fun To Prove You Wrong! Okay? Also, Isn't That Lesser Squirrel's Scarf?"

"yeah."

"Why Didn't You Tell Me To Tell Him That It Was Over Here?"

"i forgot. also, you'd figure it out just by looking at me. i'm pretty... transparent. ba-dum tsss."

"Oh Yes Haha, We're Ghosts. Haha... Why Aren't You Guarding The Bridge?"

"this lamp just really captures your attention, you know? you really should get a good look at it from all angles."

"Bastard, This Is Ridiculous. I Don't Have Time To Look At Lamps. I Need To Capture A Human!"

"right, right. sorry for distracting you. get back to work."

"You Don't Tell Me What To Do! I Need To Get Back To Work."

"alright, kid, it's safe. come on out."

Hannah came out from behind the lamp, playing with her hair and fidgeting with it. "What's Lydian working on?" She asked.

"some kinda project, i guess. that's what i call it. she wants to capture a human so she can join the royal guard. so, she spends all her time making these little traps and puzzles... and she takes cooking lessons from the captain. she's really a sweetheart, though. she can't hurt you much at all."

"Royal guard?" Hannah asked.

"yup. this group of monsters tasked with defending the king and collecting human souls. the squirrels keep watch here in snowdin. you won't need to worry about them, though. actually... can you do me a favor, kid?"

"What is it?"

"it'd be great if you could go along with lydian's puzzles and stuff. she's gonna be so excited, it'll be awesome."

"... Alright." Hannah didn't see any harm in that.

"thank you so much. i'll be up ahead, then, alright? see ya later."

Bastard followed Lydian, down the snowy road. 

"I knew the underground wouldn't be dangerous. It's just like it was when I was alive! Everyone's so friendly. And you're gonna love Snowdin! Sometimes we would visit on the weekends. And it's just an awesome place, trust me. " Webby chirped excitedly.

Hannah smiled at her enthusiasm, and followed the road through the trees. She found a fork in the road, and a box with a sign next to it. She decided to investigate the sign and box.

This is a box, the sign read, you can store things in it, and they'll appear in all the other boxes like this one around the underground! Isn't that amazing and excruciatingly convenient? A little bit like that lamp back there... - Sincerely, a box lover

Hannah opened the box. There was just a  tough, orange, worn glove in it. She decided to put it on, for warmth. Taking another look around the area, she noticed a yellow spark in the snow. It's gentle light still persisted in the cold, like Hannah's determination to get home did. It had such a soothing aura.

Now, she had to figure out which path to take. She decided to turn away from the original path. She just found a riverbank there, though. A few monsters were talking nearby. One of them, a large, flashy, bird-like creature, seemed to be putting on a show. In the audience was a monster with a beautiful, tall cap made out of exquisite, sparkling ice. The other monster was... Jerry. They were simply Jerry. He was just being tolerated. No one actually wanted him there.

"Okay, you've been a tough crowd," the bird-like monster said, "but this next one will have you HOWLING, I swear it."

"It's okay, it's okay. I get it. Your jokes haven't quite been as good as usual. You keep staring at my amazing hat, and it throws you off. Happens to the best of us."

"No, that's not-"

Jerry interrupted with a loud sneeze. He didn't even cover his nose or anything.

"Look, Ice Cap, I'm used to your hat now! I swear!"

"It doesn't matter," Ice Cap said, "we're here for jokes."

"The only joke here is your parents's marriage." Jerry quipped.

"Jerry!! What the hell!?" Ice Cap shouted.

"What?"

"Don't say that! Snowdrake's mom DIED! It's been a really hard time for him and his family."

Jerry crossed his long, thin arms. "It was just a joke."

Snowdrake frowned, looking down at his feet. "Well, it was very insensitive and it wasn't funny..."

"I'm not apologizing."

"Hey Jerry, look," Ice Cap suddenly yelled, "one of your biggest fans just showed up!"

"Huh? Where?"

While Jerry was looking away, Ice Cap and Snowdrake ditched. They ran straight into Hannah.

"Okay??" She asked, looking down at them as they tripped over her feet.

The two monster teens got up. Snowdrake shook his head, getting all the snow off of it and flinging some onto Ice Cap and Hannah. 

"Who are you??" Ice Cap asked, "actually, WHAT are you?"

"Hey, Cappy, calm down. They're just a kid. You can tell by the striped shirt, see?"

"Oh, yeah! Red with yellow stripes, like ketchup and fries. Nice colors."

"Thank you." Hannah smiled. 

"But seriously, what are you?" Snowdrake asked.

She decided that these monsters didn't seem like they wanted to hurt anyone. "Human."

"Wait, seriously?!"

She nodded.

"Woah! I mean... You seem super cool but... If I got your soul I'd be like a hero and stuff! This is... A moral dilemma!... I should not sound that excited about that."

Ice Cap laughed.

"No, it's not funny, not a joke-"

"But it is."

"You like to tell jokes?" Hannah asked.

"Snowdrake does," Ice Cap said, "he's trying to be a comedian at least I think. I just like my hat. It's quite fashionable. Do you like it?"

"Yes. Lots and lots."

"I knew it!"

"Okay, I'm gonna tell you a joke! This one's a new one. You'll like it!" Snowdrake announced.

Hannah and Ice Cap listened attentively.

"What's a snowman's favorite noodle dish?"

"I don't know," Hannah replied, "what's their favorite noodle dish?"

"Macaroni and 'freeze'!"

"Oh my god..." Ice Cap muttered, looking down.

Hannah made a small sort of snort. That joke reminded her of the ones Lex's boyfriend would make. They were awful, but very charming.

"Yes! Someone laughed!!" Snowdrake beamed.

"It's a miracle, honestly."

"Can I try a joke?" Hannah asked.

"Sure. The floor is yours." Snowdrake nodded.

"Okay..." She stayed quiet, thinking. She looked at Webby, hoping she'd have advice.

"Try making a pun. Monsters all seem to really like those," she suggested, "there's squirrels around here, right? Try a pun about squirrels."

"Okay... Um..." Hannah shifted around and tapped her feet.

"You can do it!" Snowdrake encouraged.

"Why should you never call a squirrel crazy?"

"Why?" He asked.

"They like the term 'nuts' more."

Snowdrake snickered.

"Not bad," Ice Cap admitted, "not bad at all."

Hannah smiled, taking a bow.

"Do you have anymore?" Snowdrake asked.

"I think I should get going," Hannah said, "I'm sorry."

"That's alright! It was great meeting you."

"Great meeting you, too."

 

Hannah returned to the path she had been following before. She stopped when she saw Bastard and Lydian talking to each other, watching and listening.

"hey, lydian. i think there's someone coming down this path: someone you'd really like to meet." Bastard was telling the other ghost. She was still frowning, which didn't match her tone of voice at all.

"Someone I'd Like To Meet?!" Lydian exclaimed before turning to face Hannah. She was beaming. "Oh Wow! Hiiii!"

"yup. i found one."

"But... Bastard. Are You Sure We're Ready For Another Pet Rock? The One We Have Should Get To Know Us Better. What If It Feels Scared When We Introduce Another One Out Of The Blue??"

"no, not the rock. look at what's in front of the rock."

Lydian stared a bit more before she started to spin around in place. Bastard decided to do the same. After their spinning had ended, their gaze landed right back on Hannah.

"Oh My Gosh! Bastard, Is That... A Human???"

"looks pretty human to me."

"Woah! Um... Ahem! HUMAN! Don't Be Afraid- Actually, Do Be Afraid! I Am The Great Lydian! And I Will Capture You With My Super Amazing Things. Like Traps And Puzzles!"

"I um... Am a little afraid." Hannah replied honestly.

"Shaking In Your Boots, I Would Imagine?"

"They're sneakers."

"Shaking In Your Sneakers?"

"Yes."

"I'm Already Doing A Great Job! The Puzzles Are Deeper In The Forest. So, You Can Try To Solve Them And Walk Forth... If You Dare! We'll Be Waiting!"

Lydian and Bastard left. Hannah decided to dare to walk forth.

This is where her adventure would really begin. She was filled with determination.