A/N: This was...torturous to write. And there'll be more later this month! Don't worry, this isn't the only chapter!
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Chara knew about the cameras, and Alphys could tell. Even from the first camera, hiding in the bushes before San's first sentry station, the child gave the camera a dust-covered wave and a creepy smile.
Alphys took a few breaths, and called her friend.
I don't want to do this. I said I'd never do this again.
Undyne picked up on the first ring. "Hey, Al. What's going on?"
"The last human showed up." Alphys rocked back and forth in her chair to keep herself from stuttering.
"Yeah, I heard from Papyrus. He's pretty excited!"
"Yeah, well, about that..."
Undyne paused for a bit as Alphys' voice trailed off. "Is there something...wrong?"
"Just. Get down here okay? Like, as soon as possible?"
Undyne didn't even bother leaving a goodbye message. She hung up immediately.
Great. Guess I can't prolong the inevitable.
Alphys dug around her desk for a moment, stopping to only look at her console, with the child's wicked-looking smile as they stuck a plastic toy knife into one of the dog guards. The dog yelped and howled, thrashing in pain as more bullets collected to harm their attacker, but to no avail.
Alphys swallowed her stomach acid and finished writing her note.
Y'know what I pretend is the bathroom? I'm in there. Go to the third floor down. I'll be waiting.
"That sounds really cryptic, you idiot," Alphys groaned, hitting her head on the desk. "But I guess it can't be helped. It's not like it matters anymore."
Instead of crumpling the note as she normally did and trying again, she left it outside the True Lab, just as she heard the front door opening.
Shit. She's fast. She's already here. And I'm not ready...
Stop panicking, Alphys. It's okay. It's just Undyne.
As Alphys, blinking back tears, heard Undyne go, "What the fuck?" and the rustling of paper.
I wonder if she can even read my handwriting.
"Alphys?" she heard Undyne call from the door of the True Lab.
Alphys didn't reply. She couldn't. Gotta save my voice for a little longer. And she made her way down the elevator.
Where it still stood.
It haunted her. Every day, every night. It stood there, mocking her daily when she fed the Amalgamates, like a sinister Plague Doctor's mask she had seen from the shows from the Surface.
Alphys heard footsteps behind her, quick enough to definitely be Undyne's.
She never finished her sentence before Undyne whisked her off her feet in an aggressive embrace. Alphys hugged her back for a moment, just long enough to memorize how Undyne's arms felt holding her.
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After Chara enters the Underground and kills those she loves, Alphys uses a last-ditch effort to save her people, one that she promised she would never use again...November's Patreon poll results.