Which is good, because it's without heat again! -______- OH WELL. At least it's been pretty warm out lately.
Other than that I'm pretty good. Figured out how to work around an issue with the Undertale fic. Which I'm posting more of. Yay! (Also, I'm sorry I'm lousy at replying to comments. Will try to get to that when I finish posting this, it's just that it's easier to post to both DW and LJ in Semagic.)
Uh, there's police brutality in this excerpt, so if you're not in the mood for watching shitty things happen to a skeleton that don't read it. D:
After I drop in on Alphys and tell her not to put away her little black bag just yet, I start heading northwest, towards the river. The idea, as Tori and I had discussed, is just to cause a ruckus and keep attention elsewhere. Unfortunately I was kinda hoping for more of a head start than they gave me. Lucky for me, I get around pretty fast when I gotta.
The first step to being a general nuisance is noise. You gotta be LOUD or else no one's gonna hear you over the sound of their own private lives, especially in this city. I put my hat on the ground, throw a nickle in it for luck, and take out my trombone.
Now, I learned to play trombone as a kid, it being the most obnoxious instrument I could think of. I was never a great talent, but after my promising career in physics was snuffed out for, uh, reasons beyond my control, I tried being a musician. I figured the musician's life would agree with me; sleep late, stay up later, travel if you get real good at drawing a crowd or if you get real bad at paying off debts, and so on. But as it turns out you need talent and luck to make it in music, two things I do not have in abundance.
My point is, I am not exactly a maestro here. Still, I know some great tricks. I start by sliiiiiiding up the scale slowly and agonizingly, then staccattoing back down, hitting all the sourest notes I can find. An old music teacher once told me that should be impossible for a skeleton to have a good embouchure, and despite having proven her wrong many times, I take this statement to heart, and not incidentally to the eardrums of everyone in the vicinity. I play When The Saints Go Marching In, only backwards. It don't sound half bad, actually! When The Saints Come Running Out, maybe? I couldn't blame them.
Eventually, after dodging some items thrown at my head by the good people of Summerwine Street -- I keep telling them, I want cash in my hat but they're a very enthusiastic audience -- I hear the sweet sound of sirens. Now it's time for phase two, which is the really fun part.
I stash my trombone away and get out my stepladder and my rubber cement.
I'll be plain with you. I'm bending one of my rules here; not breaking it, but just giving it a little twist. This is not ordinary rubber cement. Technically it's not rubber cement at all; it's a low-viscosity epoxy adhesive in two parts, which, if it acts like it did in the lab, should cure in thirty seconds to a minute once I've applied the hardener. (No blue humor, please; this is a family criminal nuisance I'm prepping.)
I asked Alphys to try mixing up something like this, more in case of broken bones than anything, since she's the one who has to patch us all up, but then she came out with about ten different varieties of the stuff, all useful for different things. I've been telling her to patent some of 'em but she's too nervous. She ain't got a real doctorate -- monsters don't get degrees -- so she thinks they'll think she stole the formula or something.
"Sans," you may well ask, "where exactly is all this chemical mumbo-jumbo going? Get to the goddamn point!"
The point is that between these two buckets and squeegees, I have something that's perfect for gluing cops to plate-glass windows.
I climb my stepladder and lay down a layer of resin across the window of a candy store, right as the first cop car pulls up.
Officer Ogden's the first on the scene, always. "Evening, officer," I say, spreading the resin. I whistle a little to myself.
"Aah. It's the comedian. I should have known," he says. He is soon joined by his partner, Officer Morris.
"What do you think we should do with him?" Morris asks.
"The usual," Ogden says. He looks between me and my buckets. "Hey. What the fuck are you doing, funny bones?"
They really need to leave the bone puns to me. "What's it look like I'm doing? I'm washing these windows!" Swipe, swipe. I put my squeegee back in the bucket. The windows don't look very washed, and hopefully the cops will want to take a closer look.
Good old Officer Ogden. He gets up real close to the window. You gotta love a guy who walks right into the joke. "What are you doing?" he demands once more.
Quick as I can, I grab the other squeegee, the one with the hardening agent, and squeegee it on. It looks even less washed now. I spray the squeegee with solvent and wipe it off on a rag, then pat Officer Ogden on the back, hard. "I'm doing a service to the community and washing these windows! But enough about me; it's good to see you, pal! How ya been?"
Ogden does the first thing I thought he'd do -- puts his hands out to keep from falling into the glass. Then he does the second thing I thought he'd do, which is that he figures out he's stuck. "Is this some kind of monster magic?"
"Nah," I say. I get down from my stepladder while he struggles uselessly. "Just an arresting development in science." I almost feel bad for Morris then, 'cause his first reaction isn't to slug me, it's to help his partner. But I don't feel that bad. Somehow, while they're not looking, some of the sticky stuff gets on Ogden's coat, and as soon as Morris tries to pull him off, he's caught too.
Now I'm not gonna pretend the cops only hate me because they're jealous of my dazzling wit and personal charm; it is definitely at least partly because an asshole. And I'm very proud of that. However I think it's mostly because they never manage to pin anything on me. At first they were just picking on me on account of I'm four feet tall and don't fight back, but now, at least for the cops I've made fools of, it's personal. This incident here is probably the worst thing I've ever done to them, but Tori did say it was important, and if she's right about the DT, they gotta get that kid out of there.
"Hey, are you guys okay?" I ask. They swear at me; I'd offer to wash their mouths out if I actually had soap. "You look like you're in kind of a sticky situation."
"We'll get you! There's backup coming!" says Morris.
"Oh good," I say. "We'll have a ball. A regular policeman's ball."
I set up my stepladder a little further down the street and start squeegeeing more windows with resin. When the windows are be-resined to my satisfaction, I get out my trombone again, and play a few more tunes, just to pass the time. Officer Morris is mostly silent. Officer Ogden doesn't sing along either, or at least, if that's what he means to do, his idea of lyrics is mostly along the lines of "You fucker, you fucker, I'll kill you for this." He's no Ira Gershwin.
A couple more cop cars pull up. This time it's Thompson and Bilandic, and Cermak and Medill. I am surprised to see Officer Cermak on duty, because last I heard he had a close call with a bullet; he hates me too, but he ain't in the pay of the Flower Boys, at least, or they wouldn't have shot him. For a second I think, hey, maybe I should let that guy go. Then he calls me a little shit and says my jokes ain't funny, and I decide, nah, let him suffer.
Everyone has their own way of dealing with heckling. This is mine.
"Don't touch the windows!" Ogden shouts.
"Yeah, don't touch the windows," I say. "I worked hard to get 'em this clean. You'll get all your nasty human fingerprints on 'em." And then I lean one hand onto the nearest resin-coated window. It's not dangerous just like this, after all. But then I work my squeegee slight-of-hand, and the cops try to dogpile me, but I step out of the way juuuuust in time. Just like that I got four more of Ebott's Finest caught in my web. I'm sure Muffet would be proud.
I figure that's enough for this particular part of town, so I pick up my stuff and go make a nuisance of myself elsewhere.
Eventually, by about 10:30 or so, I got as much of the local police force as I can stuck to various windows or sidewalks or mailboxes or whatever. I decide to look in on my compatriots before I reach the third phase of my own task, just in case they need a little luck. I know I shouldn't be doing this -- one day it'll probably come back to bite me in the coccyx -- but I'm too curious to stop.
I take a shortcut over to the warehouse, and stay in the shade where I can't be seen. Things are going pretty good, looks like. Five of the Flower's six lieutenants are there, looks like, along with the regular grunts; I can pick 'em out from the rank and file by their colorful boutonnieres. Asgore and Toriel seem to have Zielinski pinned down with fire magic, and as I watch Undyne grabs Tachibana bodily, and uses him to club Corcoran over the head, which is pretty impressive seeing as how Tachibana's got a pretty mean uppercut himself.
I blip out of the main warehouse space to check out the rest of the place. The old boss' office is empty, looks like; so's the kitchen and the break room. Where's the kid?
I retrace my steps back into the office. There's a closet. Careful not to make too much noise, I go listen at the door.
There is definitely someone in there. Maybe two someones. I hear 'em breathing.
I rap my knuckles on the door. "Knock knock!" I say, brightly.
There is no response. Really? I knock again. "You're supposed to ask who's there," I supply helpfully.
They do not take my advice.
"Hey!" I say. "It's rude to pretend you ain't home." I open the door. For a split second the tableau in front of me is still; the Flower's sixth lieutenant, Patience Gorman, with a ribbon in her hair, a baby blue flower in her buttonhole, and a gun to some poor kid's head.
Then she turns to shoot me in the face.
I remove the bullets from the gun. I am not entirely sure where they've gone, but it ain't here and that's the important part. She pulls the trigger, frowns, then throws the empty gun away and lunges for me, so I shut the door in her face. There's a loud Thunk!, like a skull bouncing off solid wood, and then a softer Ka-thump!, like a human hitting the floor.
I open the door again. Gorman's out cold and the kid's staring at me like they never saw a skeleton before. "Hey, pal," I say. "It's, uh, kinda dangerous out there and I gotta get going." I nod at the door out into the warehouse; the rat-tat-tat of guns and fwoosh of magic comes through loud and clear. Undyne is shouting orders, too. "My friends are gonna come get you, hopefully, but you have to wait out this fight, okay?"
The kid nods. They don't seem spooked, at least, just quiet and confused. I was expecting crying, maybe, or screaming, but sometimes kids are more resilient than you'd think.
"And, uh, don't mention I was here, all right? It's between us. If you want, tell 'em you knocked Gorman out yourself." I wink, and I step out, and I am gone, back on the streets of Ebott.
It's nice out, one of those rare autumn days when the rain's let up and the wind off the lake's not so cold yet. The night's mostly pretty quiet, except for the sound of cars speeding along a busy road to the north. I pick up my trombone case and my buckets and I make my way back to my captured cops to see how they're doing. Now comes phase three of my plan -- the incredibly not fun part. The part where I get the shit kicked outta me.
Some of the cops have worked themselves free. I spot Cermak, newly free and headed towards me, still a couple blocks away. I wave and smile. "Glad you could stick around!" I yell. It takes him a little bit to run up to me and clock me, but I let him, because the job was to keep 'em occupied, not to stay safe. Morris pulls out his nightstick. Medill's writing something on a notepad; I can only assume it's something about self-inflicted wounds. It usually is.
It's hard to remember much after that, and when I come to again, I'm at the station.