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Sanswitches

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You just landed after a 3 hour flight. Your body, stiff from being stuck on a stuffy plane next a lady who probably needed a little more room than the seat had to offer, and a man who was desperately trying keep the internet working uninterrupted while he finished whatever business he had left on his laptop.  Well... it wasn't all bad, at least they gave you an exit row seat.  

 

You clutch at your dark feather lined cloak waiting for the conveyor belt to return your luggage. You only had one medium sized suitcase carrying extra clothes, a few food bars, and couple of hygenic necessities. The most important of your items, your staff, had been approved beforehand to be carried on with you, and you keep it slung over your shoulder, partially covered in it's bindings as you wait. Your carry on, a large canvas satchel, contained your job related necessities. You'd stuffed it under your seat, making sure to keep an eye on it the entire flight. You couldn’t have strangers messing with the contents or removing anything without you there to observe. Humans have a tendency to kill themselves when they mess with those types of things.

 

Beside you, on the floor, Tulu waits in a dog kennel. The medium sized monstrosity was currently taking on the form of a fat, squat, pitch black cat. He done a lazy job of it once again, and looked more like a black marshmallow with gleaming violet eyes than a cat. For once, he was patient waiting in the cargo hold during the flight. He rested quietly the whole way, lazing on the bottom of his kennel. He was usually pissed off every time you had a flight, but today he managed to cover his anger with apathy.

 

You notice your suitcase getting dumped violently out of the chute, nearly falling off the belt before coming to a rest halfway off the side of the metal overhang. Thanks machine. You pull it off and inspect it. Nothing broken on the outside, and inside were mostly full of clothes anyway. You stack your satchel on top, pick up the kennel, and adjust the strap on your staff, before grabbing your things and heading out the glass doors to the pickup area.  

 

Glancing around you catch sight of a soldier holding your name on his sign. You walk over to him, dragging your things, and remove your identification card.  

 

"You’re my ride to Ebott correct?" You ask. The soldier stiffens before taking your ID. He compares it against some papers on a clipboard, looks you up and down, and hands it back.

 

“Everything checks out, please follow me.”

 

He takes your bag and leads you to a camo covered military vehicle. While he opens the trunk, you reach down and unlock the kennel by your feet. You didn’t want to force Tulu to sit in it any longer than he had to. He was in a calm mood, and you liked him that way.

 

In a flash, Tulu shimmies up your leg and onto your shoulder. He takes shelter in the cavity of your hood as he peaks out over the edge, his violet eyes dilating against the outside sun. The solder finishes loading your luggage and you're instructed to take the back seat of the vehicle. A moment later he starts the engine and you begin your 4 hour long drive to Mt. Ebott.

 

You place your arms behind your head and lean back relaxing against the stiff seat as you watch him through the rear view mirror. It would probably be best to get as much information as you can before napping the rest of the way. So you lean over a little and get started.

 

“So... you’ve been around them correct? What are they like?” You ask.

 

“Ma’am, I've been instructed to keep information on the current status of Ebott to a minimum.”

 

“I’m going there anyway." You say dismissively. "Is there anything I should know before I get there.”

 

“Remember to check in and show your ID at the front station, and no photography unless it has been approved by an officer or royal guardsman.”

 

You sigh, watching his eyes through the rear view mirror. You've been reading his intent from the beginning, and all it indicates is he’s not going to give up any answers… This is why you find the military so annoying. If they're told to do something they do it.They're hard to persuade otherwise. Even if the situation would be more efficient, they have to follow orders.

 

If he's not gonna tell you anything important, then you might as well get some sleep. You wiggle around trying to get comfortable, and settle for leaning your head against the glass of the window. It's gonna be a long drive... They better build an international airport in Ebott before you’re reassigned.

 

You wake as the vehicle approaches Ebott city. The enormous mountain stands in clear view, and you stare at it in wonder as it gets closer. All those years and the monsters were there, just under that mountain. An entire race living under a massive pile of stone for years, just waiting to be set free. Good thing they had magic. You don’t think humans would have done very well under all that without it.

 

The vehicle turns away from the city and towards the mountain. Looks like they're keeping the monsters separated like you were told. As the road begins to move uphill, it starts to wind. The forest around you thickens as the car climbs higher and higher. Several signs marked 'Ebott Falls Resort' sprinkle the roadside, and you watch as they pass silently out of sight. Finally, the car comes to a stop at a checkpoint filled with soldiers. They look on edge, all of them carrying weapons as they watch your car. The driver steps out and discusses with the guards as you wait. After a moment, several of them turn their heads towards you. Too bad, you aren’t gonna give them a magic show just yet. One soldier approaches the vehicle and opens the back door,

 

“Ma’am we're gonna need you to step out while we search your luggage.”

 

You step out of the vehicle, leaving Tulu behind as you face the soldier. He looks young. Hardly over twenty five.

 

And his intent is screaming in fear.

 

He carries your suitcase for you as you fallow him to a nearby tent. Inside are a few tables, and he walks up to the empty one. Another soldier waits at the table, sweating in the heat as he watches you.

 

"Is this your suitcase Ma'am..?" He asks, looking at you before he touches it.

 

"Yes."

 

"We need to look inside. Standard protocol."

 

You shrug, barely nodding your complacency as you look back at him. His eyes drop back to your bag, and he opens it slowly. 

 

"Anything we should know about in here? Guns, knives, weapons?"

 

"No."

 

He digs through the suitcase, removing your clothes and piling them to the side. You stare at him, glance unwavering, as he unfolds every pair of panties. He opens the bag of necessities, looking at each object thoroughly, before putting it all back and shutting the suitcase. Each pocket finally checked, he slides the case off the table and hands it back to you.

 

"The... uh.." He looks at the staff slung on your back.

 

You unsling it, and set it on the table. You proceed to unwrap it from it's bindings, showing off a large 6.5 foot silver pole. One end stops in a point, while the other finishes in a perfect circle. It almost looks like a giant pin. It seems to almost vibrate in your hand as you wait for the man at the table to inspect it.

 

"Um Ma'am...?" He asks when you continue to keep one hand lightly touching it.

 

You flash you're eyes at him, making sure he can see the violet clearly. "I'm not gonna let go... Check it while I'm holding."

 

"R-Right." And the fear melts off him in layers as he looks over your staff, choosing not to touch it.

 

"And your bag." The soldier says after a moment.

 

You sheath your staff, before swinging the bag from your shoulders and setting it down on the center of the table. He opens it slowly his eyes narrowing as he pulls the first object out. A vial containing bubbling black smoke.

 

“A-Anything harmful in here I should know about Ma’am.” He asks, becoming unsettled as he reaches inside the bag for more.

 

“Could be... depends on what you do with it. Be careful with the vials please, I don't want to piece your body back together if they break.”

 

His face pales as he continues more carefully. He pulls out several small colored glass orbs, some vials containing different colored powders, ash, and liquids, a collection of seals written on parchment, an ancient looking book with blank pages, and several more vials with strange silhouettes that seem to move inside them. At last, he removes your cell phone, and a stack of papers in an assortment of binders and folders.

 

He writes something down on a slip, packs the items back up, and rips the slip off handing it to your driver. Your luggage is carried back to the vehicle, and once again, you're on your way. This time, the drive is only a few minutes before before the car stops again in front of a large gate. A sign above it reads 'Ebott Falls Resort' in chipped and broken letters. Several military vehicles are parked in front of the gate at another makeshift checkpoint station complete with tents, folding tables, and swarming with armed guards. You try to look past the gate but the stations are blocking whatever lies beyond. You and Tulu get out and wait as your driver grabs your luggage and hauls it over to a station.

 

Your driver hands the slip of paper to some officers at a table. A few of them swing their heads around to look at you, and finally one very tall soldier walks up and picks up your suitcase. 

 

“Miss, we have been expecting you, if you would follow me we need to take a photo and issue you your new ID.”

 

You  follow him, Tulu running at your heels as you turn into a tent with a white screen backdrop set up opposite a camera. They tell you were to stand and you give a sly grin as the camera flashes.

 

“What about him.” You offer pointing to Tulu

 

“Uhh...” The camera man looks unsure. “I-I don’t think it needs one”

 

“Heh..." You smirk at the small black animal. "Looks like you get off scot free.”

 

Tulu ignores you, glaring as he keeps close to your feet. Several moments later they hand you a military ID. It contains written information about your height, weight, and haircolor. The slot for your birthday is left blank, and you take a moment to look at it a little longer before another smile crosses your features. They added a new category... Species... and underneath it reads... Witch...

 

You take the ID from the cameraman, it's still warm from the machine.

 

The man carrying your luggage walks up to you when you're done. “Please follow me Ma'am. We've informed the king and queen of your arrival, and they've sent someone to guide while you wait for them to finish their current meeting.”

 

You nod your head and follow the guard, Tulu padding along near your heels. He stops you at the gate where he shows you how to have your card scanned. He hands over your bags and you step through, finally getting a proper look at the opposite side. The first thing you find is a proper guard station. The tables have chairs, and the tents look like they aren't going to fall over if the wind blows a little to hard. But that's not what catches your interest first. Running at you is a fluffy white dog in a suit of armor. A big suit of armor. He wags its tail as it approaches, and behind, you see a few other canine looking monsters all in a mishmash of different gear, manning the station along with a few humans wearing camo outfits. In fact... the humans look out of place with the bright colors of the dogs...

 

The dog monster stoops in front of you, and you can't help but feel surprised. He's enormous, and that's saying something as you're pretty tall yourself. 

 

You look the dog over as he holds out a paw.

 

"Uh...?" You say in confusion before it hits you. You can’t feel anything from him! Nothing! Usually you feel something, even around animals. But with him, the only thing you can sense is a solid mass of magic. Where's his intent? Why can't you feel it!

 

The dog monster barks, before pointing a finger his ID, then back at you.

 

"Oh..." You say, realizing what he wants. You had over your ID and he looks it over before barking twice this time.

 

“Uhh” You start “I’m suppose to have a guide?” At that you hear another loud voice answer

 

“OH MY GOD!, GREATER DOG, IS THE MAGIC HUMAN FINALLY HERE!!!”

 

The dog barks again, and suddenly you sense a large mass of magic barreling towards you from behind. You barely have time to get into a defensive position before you're grabbed around the middle into a bone crushing hug. What! when did this guy... how... what's happening. You're swung in circles as the monster continues shouting.

 

“MAGIC HUMAN! LET I THE GREAT PAPYRUS BE THE FIRST TO WELCOME YOU TO THIS WONDERFUL, PREVIOUSLY HUMAN, VACATIONING SITE THAT WE ARE NOW CALLING HOME!!!”

 

He places you down and you immediately step away. Ears ringing with the sound of his voice.

 

“Oh, uh, thank you.” You say, turning around and attempting to smile at whoever just hugged you.

 

You weren't expecting to come face to face with a walking talking skeleton. A huge walking talking skeleton. Managing to be slightly taller than you, he's dressed in a strange suit of armor. Long red boots cover his legs, with matching long red gloves for his arms. Adorned across his back, he wears a scarf that flutters heroically in the wind as he stands at attention watching you with a smile.

 

You try to get a read on him, but you cant. His intent is as blank as a whiteboard. No... the only thing you can read is a block of thick magic standing in front of you.

 

“That's a very uh... heavy welcome.” You say, still trying to take the guy in. You look around for the dog monster from before, but he seems to have dissipated somewhere in the station.

 

“OF COURSE MAGIC HUMAN, THE GREAT PAPYRUS IS ALWAYS MASTER OF WELCOMING.  NYEH HEH HEH!  WHAT LUCK YOU ARE TO HAVE ME AS YOUR GUIDE.  AND NOW, WE SHALL BE OFF AS I LEAD YOU THROUGH A TOUR OF OUR MOST AMAZING HOME!”

 

His voice continues at a loud volume, and you assume it's just his natural voice. You noticed his lack of name usage, but disregard it. As long as you can communicate, you don't care how monsters prefer to refer to people.

 

He grabs your bags before you can protest and begins marching off at a speedy pace.  You almost have to run to keep up with him.  You can’t stop the smile that passes your lips.  This guy feels genuine.  You pass what looks like a main square and are met with a bizarre scene.  The square is filled with monsters of all shapes and sizes hauling boxes and furniture into different buildings.  Slime monsters are absorbing whole boxes into their bodies and spitting them out at their destination.   Larger monsters like the wolf to your right seem happy enough to have two couches tossed on either shoulder walking into what looks like a lodge building.  In fact every monster seems to be hard at work moving, hauling, or helping someone else.  You still can't feel anything from them, and realize you probably never will.  Monsters didn’t give off intent.  This might be difficult.  Papyrus turns and faces you raising his arms.

 

“THIS IS THE MAIN SQUARE MAGIC HUMAN.  IT IS WHERE MOST OF THE MAIN ACTIVITIES WILL TAKE PLACE.”

 

He motions to what looks like what was once a strip mall to the left.  There are tables and chairs set up inside some of the shops, with monsters surrounding them.  Some of the tables have monsters serving meals onto trays, or handing out different packaged snacks and bottles of liquids.

 

“THAT AREA OVER THERE IS WHERE WE ARE SERVING MEALS.  TEMPORARILY OF COURSE.  WE HOPE TO OPEN UP OUR OWN MONSTER SHOPS IN THE FUTURE!”

 

He picks back up your bag and continues moving towards a group of similar looking buildings all stacked together.  Many of the monsters are pushing and pulling furniture in and out of these buildings.

 

“THIS IS THE MAIN HOUSING AREA, MOST OF THE MONSTERS WITH FAMILIES AND SMALL CHILDREN ARE STAYING HERE.”

 

Ahhh, so they have children.  How cute.  You looked around trying to spot them, but you didn’t know how to tell them apart from the adults.  A size comparison was probably your best bed.  Once you memorized all the different types, you could learn to spot children from their smaller statures and larger heads.

 

He moves on to a building that looks like it once hosed a gym.  The sign indicates it holds an indoor swimming pool, track, weight area, and  tennis courts.

 

“THIS IS THE TEMPORARY HOUSING FOR YOUNG SINGLE MONSTERS WITH NO IMMEDIATE FAMILY, AND THE AQUATIC MONSTERS”

 

Ohh, so there were monsters that only lived in water.  That was news to you.  You wished you could walk around and get a better look at the different monsters in all the facilities, but Papyrus was already leading you away from that building in a different direction.  You had to run to catch up.

 

“AND THIS IS WHERE WE HOLD ALL OUR IMPORTANT MEETINGS WITH THE OFFICIAL HUMANS, AND WHERE ASGORE AND LADY ASGORE WILL BE MEETING YOU SHORTLY.”

 

The building was small and official looking.  The sign next to it indicated it was a managing office for the resort before the monsters had repurposed it.  Papyrus pulled your bags to the door and held it open for you.

 

“Thank you Papyrus, this has been a very educational tour.”  You gave him a smile

 

“OF COURSE, BUT UM, MAGIC HUMAN?”  He wrung his hands through his gloves

 

“Yes”

 

“THERE SEEMS TO BE SOME KIND OF ANIMAL FOLLOWING YOU…. COULD IT BE, DO YOU HAVE A CAT!  AND IF SO, MAY I PET THEM.”

 

Papyrus was giving you the largest puppy dog face his eyeless sockets could handle. He keept looking from you and Tulu and back to you.  You looked down at Tulu who glared up at you daring.

 

“Ohh well, he does somewhat resemble a cat, but he's not a cat.”  Papyrus deflated at this.

 

“Witches, or magic humans as you are calling us, sometimes choose to form a contract with a fiend from beyond the void…. a wrath filled creature as you might say, they often take on a form that may look similar to an animal, such as a cat.”

 

“SO THEY AREN’T A CAT”

 

“No, but if you would like to pet him, you must ask him yourself, his names Tulugak, Tulu for short.”

 

Papyrus steps in front of Tulu who glares at him unblinkingly with his big violet pink eyes.

 

“HELLO MOST WONDERFUL CAT FAMILIAR, I THE GREAT PAPYRUS WOULD ASK YOUR MOST HUMBLE PERMISSION TO PET YOU ACROSS THE HEAD.”

 

Tulu continued to gaze up at papyrus unblinking before walking past him into the building.

 

“Sorry Papyrus, he’s not the most friendly type, being a wrath filled creature and all.”

 

Papyrus looked disappointed but quickly bounced back.

 

“DO NOT WORRY MAGIC HUMAN, I WILL NOT GIVE UP HOPE.  IM SURE THAT WE WILL BECOME GREAT FRIENDS AND SOON PETTING COMPANIONS SOON NYEH HEH HEH.”

 

“Heh, yea, If my meeting goes well we should have plenty of time.  But, don’t be too disappointed if he never lets you.  Void fiends aren’t the touchy feely types.”

 

You feel a little bad for Papyrus.  He seemed like a nice enough guy, but there wasn’t anything you could do.  Nowhere in a contract with familiars did it say they had to submit to being pet, and you knew better than trying to force a familiar to do something that wasn’t in their contract.  You step into the building with Papyrus following along behind you carrying your bags.  He leads you past a series of doors into an area with a few chairs for waiting.  Papyrus places a gloved finger to his lips.

 

“When waiting for a meeting one must keep their voice down.  Lady Asgore was very clear about this.”

 

You smirked at his choice of words.  Lady asgore was a fine woman if she could get him to whisper like that.  You mimicked his whispering tone.

 

“Thank you for warning me Papyrus, do you have any idea how long the meeting will take to be over?”  

 

But, as you ask, the door to the conference room opens, and a group of humans began to file out.  You and Papyrus wait until they finished, then get up and enter the room.  You prepare yourself for your first time meeting monster royalty.