A Tale of Rust and Flesh ~ Part 1 ~ Prologue
Jan 4th, 2019
- Two months have passed since Kris and Susie's adventure in the Dark World. To their disappointment, a second adventure never happened. They had checked every part of town that they could think of to find another portal, but to no avail. There was one place they didn't check, however: a set of rusted double doors hidden away deep in the woods south of Hometown.
- Susie and Kris felt determined to get those doors open to see what lied inside.
- However, sometimes it is better to let sleeping dogs lie. Neither of them would ever be prepared for what awaited them behind those doors.
- The gray and heavily clouded sky left a drab, depressive vibe in the usually cheery town. Hometown was located in the southeastern part of the United States, so a winter comprised of rain and fog wasn't an unusual occurrence. Piles of dead leaves collected underneath many of the trees surrounding the Hometown streets, managing to stay clumped together with help from the general moisture engulfing the area due to recent rainstorms. The lake in the eastern part of town was several inches higher than usually was due to the downpour.
- None of these things affected a young draconic monster named Susie. Earlier that day, she had found an old crowbar in an abandoned garage in the poor part of town that she lived in. Her house lied just behind the western traffic barrier that officer Undyne used to ward off any potential troublemakers. Only a few people lived in the Hometown outskirts besides her and her dad, but the area was generally considered seedy and less than safe.
- Susie always felt just a little bit safer in the better part of town. She didn't need to feel on edge or be prepared to defend herself. She wasn't afraid of being mugged or anything similar, rather, it was something that Susie would sooner try to forget by focusing on other things. Things like a friend she had made a couple of months prior.
- Susie had planned something potentially fun for her and her friend. She was going to use the old crowbar to tear those old rusted doors open to finally see what resided inside, and she wanted her friend to witness it with her. Casually strolling up to his house, Susie found him sitting on a dry spot in the sidewalk neighboring his front porch, slowly nibbling at and savoring a chocolate bar he bought from the grocery store.
- "Hey, Kris!"
- In front of her was a human with long, brown hair and a green and yellow-striped sweater. The chocolate wrapper he held in his hand was shiny and yellow; the reflective plastic irritatingly shining a light at Susie's face. Upon hearing a greeting from his friend, Kris turned to look at her. His eyes narrowed as he noticed something metallic and shiny sticking out of Susie's jacket.
- "Hey, I think I know how we're gonna get through those doors!" Susie began to pull the crowbar from her jacket before gripping it with both hands. "Look what I found!" An expression of concern managed to break through Kris' stoicism. "...Where did you get that?" Something like a crowbar was hard to come by in this part of town, and they were certainly not cheap in regards to an average teenager's allowance.
- "It doesn't matter." Susie retorted. "C'mon, man, I wanna get this over with. It might be fun." Kris shifted uncomfortably on the curb as Susie continued. "Come on, don't be a wimp! We don't got all day!" Susie spat at her friend. "...I gotta ask mom if it's cool to hang out with you today. I'll be back." As Kris said this, Kris pushed himself up to his feet.
- "Yeah yeah..." Susie wore an impatient expression on her face as she watched Kris lick the chocolate off of his fingers and step inside of his house. Thinking it wouldn't be a very good idea for Toriel to see someone like her brandishing a potential weapon or vandalizing tool, the crowbar was slipped back into the jacket. Susie waited around for several moments, stuffing her hands into her pockets, looking around, and thinking to herself.
- "This isn't a bad idea, right?" Susie internally pondered. "I mean, what could possibly be in there? If something dangerous was behind those doors, it probably starved to death by now. Man, it would actually be kind of cool to find a skeleton... A DEAD one, anyway, not one of those irritating brothers... Or maybe even a pile of dust if it was a monster. Now THAT'S what gets you some bragging ri-" Susie's thoughts were interrupted by the sound of a door opening.
- "Mom says I can hang out today." The human teenager said as he walked out the front door and closed it behind him, still holding his slightly melty chocolate bar. "Sweet. Let's go already." Susie said with enthusiasm.
- The monster turned a full 180 degrees and began walking south, rightly expecting Kris to follow. Small piles of soggy, wet leaves squished under his shoes as Kris picked up the pace to follow her. The trek southwards felt longer than it usually did. Kris never thought that he would ever get those doors open, or even come close, but Susie was carrying the perfect tool for breaking and entering. A small sense of dread stirred within him. If those doors were closed THAT tightly, it had to be for a good reason.
- Surprisingly, nobody in town seemed in the mood to inquire about their business. Everyone was either inside their homes to avoid the nasty weather, or at their job working a weekend shift to pay off recent holiday related debts. Catty, however, could be seen watching the teens pass by through her catflap. It was odd considering that she had a window to look out of, but Catty was always a little odd.
- Layers of more soggy leaves and the occasional piece of trash littered the street leading to the church. The occasional car passed by, the sound of crows cawing echoed in the distance, and the chilly winter breeze passed over the two teenagers as they traveled together, not saying a word. Susie had noticed that things were unusually quiet between them, so she decided to kill the silence with some good old fashioned small talk.
- "What do you think we'll find in there?" Susie asked.
- "...I dunno." Kris couldn't come up with anything creative.
- "I didn't ask if you knew, I asked for a guess."
- "...Maybe an old generator that powers the town?" Kris pondered.
- "Yeah... Maybe... That would be boring as hell, though. Maybe we might find some old hu- A-ANIMAL bones... or something." Susie sputtered and fumbled over those last words.
- "...Heh... Or maybe some old monster dust." Kris caught onto what Susie almost said, but didn't take any offense.
- "S-shut up!"
- The duo eventually reached the old church in the southernmost part of town. "It should be at the end of this trail." Susie informed. The trees walling the trail in looked dead. Most of their leaves had fallen off, giving the entire area a spooky vibe not out of place in an old horror movie. The once grassy path had been reduced to mud and puddles of water with the occasional tuft of grass poking out. Kris and Susie had to make a conscious effort not to get their feet caught in the mud lest they trip and fall.
- After several minutes of carefully stepping around the treacherous, muddy path, a small hill came into view. "Looks like we're here, Kris. You excited?" Susie pulled the crowbar out of her jacket in one swift motion before swinging it around to get a feel for the weight. "...Yeah."
- "Let's do it, then." Susie led Kris to the other side of the hill to find an old rusted set of double doors engulfed in overgrowth. Susie approached the doors and gave one of the handles a small tug just to be safe. Finding that the door handle expectedly stayed put, Susie backed away and bent her knees. Raising the crowbar above her head, the draconic monster slammed it down into the left door handle with an ear-piercing clang, leaving a massive dent. Another swing, and the handle came off.
- It took three swings to remove the right door handle. "*huff* Alright! NOW! *huff* Let's get this shit open!" Finding a small gap between the doors, Susie jammed the back end of the crowbar into it, and pushed. When the doors didn't give way, she pushed harder and harder to the uncharacteristic worry of Kris.
- "...Hey, be careful..."
- "I GOT THIS, Kris!" Susie barked.
- "It might slip out and smack you right in the face. How would we explain the dent in your head?"
- "I SAID I GOT TH-"
- The doors suddenly cracked open, causing Susie to lose her balance and stumble onto the ground, prompting a small chuckle from Kris. "S-shut up! Stop laughing!" A cold, wet sensation greeted her side as she remembered how wet the ground was. "Fucking great. More ruined clothes..." Susie turned her head towards Kris only to find that his mouth was agape. "W-what? What is..." Turning to see what Kris was looking at, Susie followed suit in opening her mouth in disbelief. It was a familiar darkness. Piercing darkness not unlike the darkness that cut into the school hallway.
- Before Kris could fully process what he was looking at, he was startled by Susie screaming in excitement. "FUCK YEEAAAH! KRIS! KRIS, WE FOUND A FUCKIN' PORTAL!"
- "...No shit..."
- "Oh man! I can't wait to see Lancer again! I wonder how the goofy little squirt's doing as the new king." Susie could barely contain herself.
- "Uh... You probably want to see Ralsei again, right?"
- "...Yeah." Kris rarely smiled, but the prospect of seeing Ralsei again made his lips curl upwards.
- "...Well? What are we waiting for!?" Susie shouted, grabbing Kris by the arm.
- As Susie, still dragging Kris by the arm, approached the doorway... she abruptly stopped. A horrible feeling of dread twisted in her gut as sweat began to accumulate at her brow. "Wait..." The grip on Kris' arm faded as she let him go. "Kris... does something feel... off? I don't... know if this..."
- "...It HAS to be a portal to the Dark World, right?" Kris said as he rubbed his arm. Her grip was tight enough to hurt.
- "..." Susie stepped back a few feet. "This feels off, Kris. It feels weird and... I don't like this."
- "...Susie, didn't we search around for two months straight? You're not... You're not SCARED are y-"
- "NO!" Susie unconvincingly denied. "Er... uh, no, of course not! But... uh..."
- "...I'm going in." Kris said as he straightened his posture.
- "Kris, wait!" Susie placed her hand on her human friend's arm just as be began to walk inside. Silence engulfed the two teens as Susie's thoughts scrambled for a reason not to go in. Feeling the awkwardness of the current situation creep up on her, Susie reluctantly let Kris go. "...*sigh*, never mind. It'll be alright. We got gotta walk in and wait for the floor to drop out again, right?"
- "...Maybe." Kris wasn't so sure anymore.
- Several more moments of awkward silence passed as Kris and Susie looked at each other, both being unable to come up with anything to say. "...Wanna walk in at the same time again?" Kris finally asked. "Y-yeah..."
- Kris and Susie walk in at a brisk pace in order to push through any fear building inside of them. The room was completely devoid of light and was seemingly endless, with no walls in any direction, or even a visible ceiling. Just as Kris peered back at the entrance again, the doors slammed shut with a startling crash.
- "AH SHIT FUCK!" escaped Susie's lips as she jumped back. "...No going back now, huh?" Kris rhetorically asked. The two classmates stayed in place, waiting for the floor to start trembling like they had before. However, no such trembling occurred. Just a still silence save for the sound of breathing coming from Kris and Susie. After several moments of waiting around, the feeling in Susie's gut only intensified.
- "I'm here." Kris replied.
- "...I... I think I'm starting to regret this."
- "..." Kris shared the sentiment, but didn't say anything.
- "I can't see shit and I don't know why this isn't working... Maybe I have to... run to the door like last time?" Susie suggested.
- "You could try."
- "...I don't remember where the door was." Susie admitted.
- "...Wanna keep walking?" Kris asked.
- "Hey, wait, I got an idea. Kris, you still got your phone on you?"
- "Try to make some light! I hate being blind like this!"
- Kris rummaged around in his pocket to retrieve his phone. Pulling it out, Kris turned it on. It was an ancient cellphone only capable of texting, calling, and playing a game of Snake. A small green light illuminated the human's face at the press of a button. Just as the phone was turned on, however, a small yellow light appeared somewhere off in the distance. "Hey, do you see that light over there?" Susie asked. "Yeah..."
- "I'm gonna follow it." Without any further warning, Susie took off into a jog towards the light, prompting Kris to immediately follow. "Shit, Susie hold up!" The light grew in intensity as the teenagers slowly began to pick up speed, gradually beginning to start sprinting towards the light.
- "Kris, I think I see something!" As the classmates got closer, the light was revealed to be coming from a lit candle. The flickering yellow light illuminated a cracked concrete floor, scattered pieces of a broken beer bottle on the floor to the left, and a large ripped armchair with an eye symbol painted onto it to the right. "*huff* ...What the hell? *huff* What is... *puff* all this?" The two teenagers found themselves in an island of light in a sea of darkness.
- After regaining her composure, Susie picked a large piece of the bottle up, examining the label still attached to it. She recognized the brand and scowled as she instinctively dropped the piece of glass onto the floor. As the glass made contact with the cold concrete, the fire in the candle dimmed and flickered as if someone failed in attempting to blow it out.
- "...Hey Kris, that chair kinda looks like the ones you got at your house, doesn't it?"
- "I dare you to sit in it."
- Kris wasn't one to back down from a challenge. He did defeat a tyrant king after all, so what's sitting in a creepy chair? If it collapsed on him, it wouldn't hurt nearly as much as it did to get slammed with a barrage of spade bullets. "Alright." Kris accepted the dare as he promptly approached the chair and positioned himself to sit down. As the teenaged human made contact with the chair, the fire in the candle was snuffed out by an unseen force. Before either Kris or Susie could react, the floor dropped out beneath them.
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