The crowded audience in MTT Resort’s Auditorium cheered as the lights came on, illuminating the main stage with a strange, never before seen set up. There was a long folding table with five chairs lined up behind it facing the audience and cameras. The two seats to the audience’s left contained Captain Undyne of the Royal guard and Lieutenant Papyrus, while the two seats to the far right contained twin Fire Monsters who were mostly navy blue in color though they had a golden core that sent shimmering wisps of the warm color flecking at random intervals through their body. The middle seat, shielded by a short, folded, paper protector, was empty.
Sans the Skeleton, who was not unfamiliar to the late-night viewers of the Underground’s sole TV program, was standing center stage and dressed slightly less shabbily than normal: a requirement (and to a degree, compromise) laid down by the particularly fabulous robot who ran the network. His normal hoodie was replaced by his more official black jacket with a white fur lining on the hood. His shorts were replaced by slacks, pressed by his brother Papyrus, and his shoes were newer and properly tied.
“good evening, folks,” Sans said into the mic in his hand. “i know you weren’t expecting me, seein’ as how i was just on with my normal gig yesterday, but our dear mettaton ran into an… issue and had to spend the evening with the doc.”
A murmur of concern ran through the crowd.
Sans waved dismissively. “don’t worry, he’s not that bad off. he just needed the night off and didn’t feel like playing reruns since he already filled the house. so, with frisk spending family time with the king and queen and dj blu k still being a shy scratch table,” the skeleton gestured over to the barely-mobile machine to the right of the stage who immediately gave an electronic chirp before displaying a crying frown across his LED face, “metta asked this guy to fill in.”
He finished the last bit by pointing to himself and waited for the clamor of approval to die down before he continued.
“so i got to thinkin’, ‘what should i do for this last-minute show?’ couldn’t just waltz out here with a repeat or half-done bit. i do have standards with my humor, at the very least.”
“DEBATABLE,” Papyrus said into the microphone set in front of him and Undyne.
The audience and others on stage all gave a loud laugh.
“my bro, ladies and gents,” Sans said with a smile on his face. “standards or no, i did have plans to dm for the little guy’s humans and puzzles session today and thought it would be better to bring it on stage so i didn’t have to waist my effort.”
Intrigue rippled through the crowd who passed around nudges and curious glances before settling to hear what came next.
“right, so before we get started, you all know my bro papyrus and his boss undyne,” Sans continued. “most of you may not know these others, azar and keahi. also known as the infamous fire twins. they’re normally part of this little game, but undyne isn’t; so, we’re going to have to do some messing around to get her in before we start. but don’t worry, it won’t be long until we get to the good stuff.”
Sans carried his mic back to the stand in front of the middle seat and took a shortcut around the table as the audience showed approval with a moderate round of applause. Papyrus gave a disapproving glare at the unnecessary teleport to his older brother but decided not to voice his displeasure. The noise in the stands calmed as the spotlights adjusted and the game started.
“once upon a time, in a kingdom threatened by the forces of evil, the brave paladin papyrus was joined by the twin terrors known as azar and keahi the bards. despite the completely unbalanced nature of their team, they somehow made it past their first few random encounters and survived long enough for an angel to deliver them a quest.
"the angel told the aspiring heroes that they needed to find an abandoned tower and defeat the menace within in order to restore peace to the kingdom. paladin papyrus agreed valiantly. the twins tried to flirt with the asexual, non-corporal angel. that didn’t go so well.”
The twins grinned and shrugged. Papyrus wrinkled his brow bone and Undyne stared between her character sheet and the others at the table like a deer in headlights.
“the angel still gave them each a really cool weapon to get them started and sent them on their way to the edge of their first town to cross into the unknown. the group found their first challenge in the gate guardian who had been instructed not to let anyone out of the city and into the unknown. papyrus made great strides with his eloquence to convince the guard to open the gate and the twins managed to seal the deal by flirting so horribly that the guard had to go to the medic due to laughter.”
Papyrus crossed his arms over the nice MTT brand orange and red sweater he had dressed up in for the show. Undyne leaned over to ask for clarity, quickly changing her mind when she saw the fire burning in the younger skeleton’s sockets.
“against all odds, the three made it out of the town and past several random encounters before their first big challenge, the socknado maze.”
“HE LITERALLY PUT SHARP OBJECTS AND FOLDED UP CROSS WORDS AND JUNIOR JUMBLES INTO A TORNADO IN HIS ROOM AND MADE US FIND AND COMPLETE ALL SIX WHILE HE WENT FOR A DRINK,” Papyrus cut in, unable to hold in his quips any longer.
“hey, what can i say,” Sans said with a shrug. “all the flirting made me thirsty.”
“SANS!” Papyrus shouted as the audience laughed.
The twins laughed as well, and a look of pained resignation crossed Undyne’s face.
Once the laughter died down, Sans continued. “originally, their prize for besting the tornado was summoning mew mew the conqueror, a magical fairy cutie. now it has transformed into undyne the awesome warrior since that’s still al’s favorite.”
Undyne blushed and grinned, dropping her fins slightly.
“THAT’S A LAZY COPOUT, SANS,” Papyrus said, eyes narrowed.
Sans took a sip from his ‘Underground’s Laziest DM’ mug before moving on.
“when we left off, the squad of four had just arrived in a town to look for information on where to go next. since we have a new player, roll for initiative.”
All four players rolled their dice to decide what the turn order would be. The conclusion was Keahi, Undyne, Azar, and Papyrus. The skeleton let out a groan of disappointment but did his best to not to show any external signs of poor sportsmanship.
“alright, keahi, where do you want to go first? there’s a tavern, inn, and bazaar.”
“If it’s information we’re after, it’s gotta be the tavern,” the fire monster said confidently.
Sans nodded. “you lead the group into the tavern. inside you see three people; the fiery bartender, an old tortoise with a soldier’s helmet across the table from him, and a goat lady with leaves in her horns. undyne, you’re up, who do you talk to?”
“The old tortoise, obviously, he has to know what he’s talking about,” the blue fish said.
“ok,” Sans said, his smile never waning. “what do you say to him?”
Undyne cocked her head to the side until Papyrus leaned closer and whispered, “YOU’RE SUPPOSED TO CREATE DIALOGUE SO SANS CAN TELL YOU HOW THE CHARACTER REACTS.”
“Oh, okay.” Undyne cleared her throat. “Excuse me, geezer, we’re looking for the abandoned tower, do you happen to know where it is so we can beat the tar out of the bad guy inside?”
Papyrus gave a nod of approval.
“the old monster turns and leans towards his helmet,” Sans said without hesitation. “’Did you hear that Crabby? These whipper-snappers think they can take on the beast!’ he says. the old man seems to be a few crab apples shy of a pie; you might need to take a different approach.”
Azar began rolling one of his dice. “I roll to seduce Crabby!”
Papyrus groaned and planted his face into his hands.
“your roll is moderately successful,” Sans said. “crabby’s rusty sides seem a bit shinier when you’re nearby.”
“I SPEAK TO THE OLD MAN,” Papyrus said hurriedly. “SIR, WE HAVE BEEN HAND SELECTED BY THE ANGEL TO TAKE ON THIS TASK. I PROMISE WE CAN HANDLE THE FIGHT. PLEASE, TELL US WHAT YOU KNOW OF THE SITUATION.”
“the old man looks thoughtful for a minute. ‘That’s a mighty fine claim there, youngster. I’d love to help. But I’m afraid I don’t know anything about the tower. Crabby is the one who went there, not me.’”
Papyrus made a strangled noise.
“Oh, it’s my turn again!” Keahi said. “I have Azar join me to use Body Polish to clean the rust and grime off of Crabby!”
“you both roll,” Sans said, pausing for the clatter of dice, “and succeed. the flirtatious terror twins pick up the dirty helmet and, using fire and MTT brand elbow grease from your inventory, you physically scrub the helmet clean while doing an interpretive dance. in the distance, the bartender mutters that he doesn’t know either of you and you’re definitely not related in any way.”
“UNDYNE IT’S YOUR TURN AGAIN,” Papyrus said with a nudge as the silence stretched on well after the audience’s laughter died down.
Undyne’s attention snapped back to the table. “Oh, sorry. Okay, so I guess I ask Crabby if he knows where the tower is?”
“crabby can’t answer you, due to him being a helmet,” Sans said. “however, your question seems to spark a light in the eyes of the old man.”
“I ASK THE OLD MAN IF CRABBY HAS REMINDED HIM OF ANYTHING.”
“’Yeah,’ the old man says. ‘He reminded me that some people are crazy enough to talk to metal.’”
“NGYAA! SANS!!!” Papyrus threw up his hands.
Undyne looked more confused than ever before and the twins doubled over with laughter they shared with the audience.
“the lady with leaves in her horns approaches the group. ‘Excuse me, I couldn’t help but notice that you were talking to Helmet the Deranged. You probably won’t get far with him; we don’t even know his real name. Is there anything I can help you with?’” Sans offered.
Keahi wiped her eye, even as wisps of smoke carried away her tears of laughter, and said, “Yes ma’am, could you tell us where the abandoned tower is?”
“the wise face furrows into a frown. ‘Why do you young adventurers want to know that?’ she asks.”
Undyne remembered her cue, though she seemed apprehensive about making a move. “We’re on a quest to take out the creature who took over the tower.”
“the woman looks thoughtful, but pensive. ‘You’ll have to convince me you have what it takes to win, too many have tried and failed.’ roll team.”
All four players rolled their dice with mixed results.
“two pass, two fail. ‘I don’t think you’re ready yet,’ the woman says. ‘but I am willing to point you in the right direction. You need to head south and through the Forest of Echoes. If you can make it past there, you should be able to find the key guardian. I’ll let them decide if you are ready to pass.’”
“I roll to seduce the lady for more information!” Azar said as he threw his die.
“you fail so much that the lady mistakes what you say for an upset stomach. she prescribes sea tea and leaves the bar.”
“I LEAD THE TEAM OUT OF THE TAVERN BEFORE WE HAVE TO DEAL WITH ANY MORE OF THIS EMBARRASSMENT.”