Undertale: Deeper, Chapter 34 - Red Eyes
Glen slammed the door of Sans and Papyrus's house open and rushed inside shouting, "Sans! Pap! Are you here?"
They were indeed, as was Rahnna. Pap and Rahnna were lounging together on the couch while the Magnificent Sans sat at the table in front of a rock, a bottle of candy sprinkles in his hand. Whatever they were doing before, they were all staring at the sweating Glen now.
"Oh, right." Papyrus said after a few moments. "I completely forgot about you. Everything all right in Waterfall?"
Rahnna looked at him with an expression of shock. "You just left her in Waterfall? Alone?"
"Eh, she's a tough gal. I knew she could take care of herself."
Frowning, Rahnna clenched a fist and bonked Papyrus in the head.
"Ow." He said reflexively.
Glen breathed a sigh of relief and leaned on her knees to catch her breath. "Whew ... you're okay ... you're all okay."
"Of course." Papyrus said. "You look a bit rough though."
Small blue-gloved hands caught Glen with surprising strength.
"The Magnificent Sans is always considerate of others! Here, take my chair!"
Glen didn't resist as Magnificent helped her to the chair. She stared briefly at the rock on the table, wondering briefly as to why Magnificent covered it with sprinkles before chalking it up the the skeleton's eccentricity.
"The human." Glen said, "Has anyone found her yet?"
Sans and Rahnna stared at her for a moment before looking at Papyrus.
"I suppose the answer to that question is yes." He said, sneaking Rahnna's cigarette.
"Is ... is she ..."
"No one is dead." Papyrus said, giving Glen a wink. "Sorry if I worried you, running off like that. Did Alphys give you any trouble?"
"Nah, she bought the erm ... " Glen looked at Sans, who was staring back in wide-eyed interest. "She didn't interfere with my research."
"Glad to hear it." Papyrus said. "She can be so intense sometimes."
"Tell me about it." Glen said under breath. Shaking her head, she asked, "So where is the human? Did they leave Snowdin already?"
"Not quite." Papyrus said. As he paused to take another puff from his cigarette, the door slammed open again.
"The human!" Alphys demanded. "Where is it?"
Papyrus sighed as he handed Rhanna back her cigarette. "Hi Captain Alphys. Come on in."
Alphys glared around the room, her gaze eventually centering on Glen.
"I know you." She said, eyes narrowing.
"The Monstropologist." Glen said, secretly wishing she'd touched up her disguise after arriving.
Alphys continued to glare at her. Shifting uncomfortably, Glen said, "Um, so you're looking for a human? My word. It's been what five ... four ..."
"Six." Papyrus said helpfully.
"Six years since we've seen one of those, eh?" Glen gave Alphys what she hoped was a disarming smile.
Alphys stared for a few more moments before letting out a snort. "Undyne claimed she caught footage of the child in Snowdin. I will be searching every house, every building, every tiny gap where the creature could possibly hide.
"Go ahead and search the house." Papyrus said. "But your wasting your time. We've been here for hours ... unless you're suggesting that a human just waltzed past all of us."
"Getting past you is hardly a challenge." Alphys said with a snort."
"Oh!" Magnificent said, waving his hand in the air. "I've been here too! Nothing to report, Captain, no humans or anything else strange!"
"Maybe somethin' could get past me." Pap admitted, "But do you really think your protoge over there wouldn't notice?"
Alphys snorted and stomped into the kitchen. The clatter of pots and pans soon followed as the lizard warrior proceeded to trash the skeleton brothers' kitchen.
"Now really!" Rahnna said, frowning in the direction of the kitchen. "Does she really have to make such a mess!"
"Oh no!" Magnificent said, hands on his head. "My souffle pot! "
Papyrus sighed and turned his gaze to Glen. "We might as well help so she doesn't have to tear apart the whole house. That okay with you, Al?"
"Fine, whatever!" Alphys grunted, still digging through one of the kitchen cabinets.
Shaking his head, Papyrus said; "All right; I'll check Sans's room. Rahnna, you go ahead and take a look around in mine. Glen, why don't you check out the shed outside."
Papyrus threw something at Glen. She caught it and found it was a silver key.
"Oh, and if I left that thing in the shed, do me a favor and put it behind the house, would ya?" Papyrus said. "I've been meaning to take it outta there for ages."
"Right." Glen said, fairly certain she caught his meaning. "Be back in a sec."
She moved toward the door, only for it to slam open again, this time revealing the blue-scaled face of Undyne. It was a sign that Glen was getting used to her current universe when the sight of Undyne in a lab coat didn't surprise her.
"Alphys!" She said, straightening her thick glasses. "Alphys, are you here?"
Rubbing his forehead, Papyrus said, "Does anyone just knock anymore?"
"Oh ... Papyrus ... I'm sorry, but I've been reviewing footage from my security cameras, and have made an important discovery!"
She winced as a heavy saucepan banged against the wall beside the door.
"She's remodeling the kitchen." Papyrus said, his tone dry.
"I've found another human in the Underground!" Alphys said.
Realizing her cover was likely blown, Glen took the opportunity to slip out of the house. The shed in question was just a few feet away. To her surprise, however, there was no lock on the door. Puzzled as to why Papyrus gave her the key, Glen pushed open the door and walked inside.
The room was divided by a set of thick bars whose purpose Glen could only guess at as they were too far apart to contain anything small enough to get through the door. A small figure huddled in the corner, partially covered by straw.
"Hey there." Glen said, slipping between the bars. "Don't worry; I'm human too."
She caught the barest glimmer of an eye peering out between the little girl's folded arms .
Smiling, Glen knelt down in front of the girl. "I'm from a little town called Bridges in Texas. Where are you from?"
After a few moments of silence, the little girl said, "E-ebott."
"Ebott." Glen repeated nodding. "I've spent some time there myself. I used to live in a place called the Cherry House."
The gap widened a little more. "Y-you lived in the Cherry house?"
"That's right." Glen said, a little surprised that it even existed in that universe. "Had my own share of adventures ... but that was a long time ago. My name's Glen, by the way. Well, Glenda, but don't call me that; Glen's just fine."
Glen held out her hand. "And you are?"
The little girl hesitated for a few moments before sitting up straight and meeting Glen's gaze with two ruby red eyes. "C-chara. My name is Chara."
Glen sucked in her breath, yanking her hand back. "You!"
Fear crept into Chara's face as Glen said, "You're the one who tried to kill Sans!"
"W-what?" Chara said, "I-I never ..."
"Who are you?" Glen demanded. "What is it that you want?"
There was definite fear in Chara's eyes now as Glen bore down on her. "I-I ... I ..."
Glen grabbed her and held her tightly in her grasp, wincing in anticipation of the burning sensation of ichor against her flesh ... which never came. The little girl was petrified with fear, but there was no ichor ... not even a trace of it.
"P-please ..." Chara begged. "Please don't hurt m-me."
Chara was not infested with the ichor. What's more, the fear and confusion in her eyes made it clear she had no idea what Glen was even talking about. She was just a scared little girl lost in the Underground ... and Glen had just scared her even more.
Shame filling her chest, Glen blushed and set the girl down before kneeling once again, her hands on Chara's shoulders. "I'm sorry, Chara. I ... mistook you for someone else. Forgive me."
Chara took a trembling breath before slowly nodding. "I-It's okay. I-I'm used to people yelling at me."
Glen stared at her a long moment, feeling even worse. Glen knew of the stigma; she'd been responsible for bringing it to an end.
"Because of your eyes." Glen said softly, gently pushing a wisp of hair out of the little girl's face. "They thought it was a sign of a demon; that you were possessed or just flat out evil."
Chara nodded, sniffling a little. Glen could see the entire story in that sad little face. The adults would ignore her, treat her as she wasn't there. That was nothing, however, to the treatment she got from other children. 'Demon-girl', 'witch' ... 'monster'. In comparison, most of the people of the Underground must've seemed like paradise ... until a certain Dreamer lost her cool. Glen knew the story only too well; after all, she'd heard it once before.
"They called me monster too, you know." She showed Chara the rune on her right hand, channeling a little power through it so that it glowed. "At least, until I convinced them to stop."
"You made them stop?" Chara asked, hope in her eyes. "How?"
Glen grinned and clenched her fists meaningfully, "I knocked them on their asses."
"Might not be the way for you." Glen said, "I'm betting the monsters have been nicer to you, though."
Chara nodded. "After I fell, a big goat man helped me."
"Goat man?" Glen said before realizing who she was talking about. "Asgore?"
"I-I should've listened to him ... stayed with him in the Ruins. He told me it was dangerous out here." Blushing, she said, "He said I could be his daughter. It made him seem so happy."
"And why didn't you?" Glen asked. She wasn't accusing or judging; just curious.
Chara rubbed her shoulder, bowing her head. "I never knew my real mom. She died just after I was born. I ... I hurt her inside, and she died, and its my fault, and I don't wanna hurt Mister Asgore."
"What?" Glen said, wiping away the tears that were forming. "Of course it's not your fault! Who told you that?"
"I heard the people at the orphanage-"
"Oh did you?" Glen said, making a mental note to pay said orphanage a visit at some point. "Well they're wrong. You aren't gonna hurt people just because you have red eyes. The only person who decides if you help or hurt people is you ..." Ruffling her hair, Glen said, "And I'm thinkin' you wanna help."
"But what if you're wrong?" Chara asked, a little hope in her eyes.
"You left Asgore because you were afraid you'd hurt him." Glen said gently. "You made a decision that hurt you because you thought it would help him. That's called selflessness, Chara, and it's a good thing. In moderation, of course."
"Then ... then I can stay?"
"Of course!" Glen said, "I'm sure there's a way to get back into the ruins. Until then, I'm sure Pap and Magnificent will be happy to let you live with them."
"You really think so?" There was definite hope in Chara's eyes now.
"Indeed I do! Once we shake Alphys, we'll head over to the Ruins and figure something out." Glen paused, the mention of the Ruins bringing to mind a question.
"Say, Chara, while you were in the Ruins," Glen said, rubbing the back of her head. "Did you hear or see anything about another little girl named Frisk?"
Chara's eyes widened with recognition, but before she could respond, Glen heard Papyrus's door slam again, followed by an enraged, "HUMAN!"
"Crap." Glen said, glancing at the entrance to the shed. "Sounds like Alphys finished with the kitchen."
"Why does she want to hurt me?" Chara asked, fear again in her eyes.
"She wants your soul to break the barrier to the surface. Long story." She hurried to the door. Tearing a plank from the ceiling supports, she slid it through the handle and twisted it so it would prevent the door from opening. Glancing around the cabin, her eyes fell on one of the glass windows in the back of the shed.
"Right." Glen said, hurrying over to the window and yanking it open. "All right, Chara. You first."
Chara took a step back, a worried look on her face.
Glen sighed and said, "I promise I'll do everything I can to protect you from harm, but if we don't go now, that's gonna be a lot harder. I know I didn't make the best first impression, but I have to ask you to trust me ... please."
Chara still looked uncertain, but the loud bang of the shed door being hit by something short and scaly helped her make up her mind. She took Glen's hand and held it tightly.
Glen helped her through the window, setting her down gently outside just as another loud bang sounded from the door, this time punctuated with a loud crack. With a final glance at the door, Glen hurled herself out of the window and into the massive snow poff behind the shed.
Popping her head out of the pile of light and fluffy snow, Glen quickly reached up and pulled the window shut moments before the crash of the door being torn from its hinges shot through the air.
Chara tugged at Glen's shirt, looking fearfully into the shed. "What are we gonna do?"
Looking back at Chara's wide red eyes, Glen said, "Behind the house. Papyrus wanted me to go behind the house. C'mon!"
They hurried to the back of the house, Glen shoving past snow-covered bushes and brittle tall grass until she found herself in front of a small unmarked door the same color as the house. If it wasn't for the handle, Glen would've missed it altogether.
She turned the handle and found it locked. "Ah, right. The key!"
Glen fished through her pockets, the growing sound of splintering wood and Alphys's growling and roaring spurring her to search all the faster until her fingers brushed against the silver key. She yanked it out of her pocket and quickly unlocked the door, standing aside so Chara could dart inside first.
Glen started to follow her in, but froze at the sound of Undyne calling out, "Undyne, look! Footprints!"
"Dammit!" Glen met Chara's frightened gaze.
"Lock the door." Glen said before tossing the key into the room and pulling the door shut. Not waiting to listen for the click, Glen took off running, taking a moment to make sure her trail through the snow was very visible.
She raced around the front of the house, briefly considering her options before choosing the path opposite Waterfall. She raced through the town, careful to make sure she was seen by several of the startled residents.
Sprinting past the sign at the town entrance, Glen risked a glance back. It was a bit blurry, but she was fairly certain she saw something yellow and gray in the distance growing larger by the second.
"Ha!" She thought to herself. "You want a chase? I'll give you a chase."