This is my Word of God post for all background data on my continuity. My name (both real and screen) means "dog", so here we are. Obviously will receive additional updates with time.
Alternia City is a city on the planet of Alternia. There are also other cities, none yet named. It orbits its single sun with the same frequency as we do ours, so I'm giving them the same calendar. The city map I'm using is Wigmund's.
I'm going to go back to chapter 2 of my fic and retcon Karkat's backstory (again), FYI. Starting now, he didn't graduate college. He had three (or two) years, was pursuing a degree in ectobiology, and was taking Master's classes in genetic engineering.
Note on the calendar: the era is Alternia City (A.C.). 400 A.C. corresponds with 2000 A.D. as far as leap years and days of the week go. What a remarkably convenient coincidence! :P
Evelyn Dearthair: June 16, 368 A.C.
Equius Zahhak: November 29, 383 A.C.
Aradia Megido: April 13, 385 A.C.
Kanaya Maryam: September 15, 385 A.C.
Eridan Ampora: January 29, 386 A.C.
Terezi Pyrope: October 18, 386 A.C.
Karkat Vantas: July 11, 387 A.C.
Rose Lalonde: December 4, 387 A.C.
Gamzee Makara: January 1, 388 A.C.
Tavros Nitram/Mr. Pupa: May 5, 388 A.C.
Sollux Captor: June 12, 388 A.C.
Vriska Serket: October 31, 389 A.C.
Feferi Peixes: March 14, 390 A.C.
Nepeta Leijon: August 8, 393 A.C.
Kade Dearthair: February 1, 398 A.C.
The Resplendent Assassin - This story begins late on the night of April 25, 411 A.C. Terezi works straight into the evening of April 26, when the showdown with Pupa takes place. Her date with Eridan is Friday, April 29, and Vriska's epilogue is from July 5.
Genetics - Karkat's reflections take place on May 3, 411 A.C. He entered college in the fall semester of 405 A.C., and he drops out in the fall semester of his junior year in 407 A.C.
Setting Up the Board - May 5, 411 A.C. Incidentally, Mr. Pupa was in the high school class of 406, Terezi in the class of 404, so their tournament would have been early 404.
Sopor Somnolence - May 5, 411 A.C.
DOOF - May 10, 411 A.C.
Partner - May 6, 411 A.C. Terezi is de-stressing after her match with Mr. Pupa.
Rescue - June 7, 403 A.C. Tavros is 15.
Also, I have a dilemma. I tend to avoid profanity when I talk and write, but this means that I can't write with Gamzee without completely overhauling the character. Even my Karkat to this point has been a bit of a stretch in terms of not-cussing. How would the forum suggest that I proceed?
I made up a character for this AU. I decided Pupa didn't have enough named goons. It's hard to be a mob boss when the only "faces" you control are a 3 troll gang and an angry wizard consort.
Bio: Ands is a Prospitan carapace person who grew up in the abandoned district. He's a poster boy for the area, completely selfish and pragmatic in every way. His modus operandi is kill the guy and take their stuff, seeing as one corpse won't make much of a difference.
He has no friends to speak of, due to his massive selfishness. Earlier in his life he found an abandoned troll child in the gutter, much like Karkat did. Instead of taking it under his wing, he stabbed it and took it's clothes. His lot in life first appeared to be that of a common criminal, destined to live a short and brutal life, when he found a weak, but still useful, artifact. (haven't decided what the artifact is yet.)
Emboldened by his newfound power, he ventured into higherclass areas, and not knowing that in those places people murder aren't exactly common, quickly had half the police department after him for 12 killings. In one of the greatest chases in police histories, he was pursued across half city, killed at least 4 policeman, and managed to get back into the forgotten district and disappear.
Due to several of his murders being children and the police having a pretty good ID of him, he decided to lie low. That's when he was contacted by Pupa.
He disappeared for for several years, and would of become something of legend if it hadn't been for all the other crazies running around. Word on the street is that the dirty white Prospitan is back though, working for someone with a lot more vision then he had.
Appearance: He's not exactly white, more like a dirty gray due to the constant grime of the streets. He has no special outfit, he just wears whatever is the least ruined.
Personality: He lacks any empathy whatsoever. He doesn't hold grudges, as going out of your way to hurt someone is a recipe for getting hurt you self. He's not good at conversation, and really, really can't make small talk. There doesn't seem to be anyone he cares about.
Methods: He goes with the path of least resistance. If he can snap a man's neck and, and do it quietly, that's what he'll do. Failing that, a burst of automatic gunfire usually gets the job done. If that doesn't work, usually it's time to abscond. His weapon of choice is an old, reliable sub machine gun he's had for years that has been kept in pristine condition.
Basically this guy is fic material. Go ahead and use him if you want. Go ahead and kill him even. If you don't like anything about it, feel free to change it. I just thought I should put another face on Pupa's gang.
Karkat already has a plethora of phrases that are technically not profanity but sound disgusting and dirty as hell. "Nooksniffer", "Bulgepolisher", etc.
Although the use of random phrases in place of profanity would suit Gamzee and be hilarious (at the risk of stealing a gag from another series).
"It's so coruscatin' anklet-bletting"
Morning. Karkat quietly wandered from his apartment's bedroom into its living room/dining room/kitchen. If he made too much noise, he'd wake Nepeta. She wouldn't mind, of course - that girl could fall asleep in a heartbeat. Still, he had a lot on his mind, and he wanted to be alone for a bit.
He looked at the floor. Nepeta was curled up, napping in the light of the apartment's only window, looking completely content. Karkat couldn't resist a smile at that. Nepeta could always raise his spirits. She and good-hearted Gamzee. Broken though they both were in their own ways, Karkat would give anything for them. The week before, he had come close to sacrificing Alternia City itself for their sakes.
Karkat tried to walk to the bathroom without making the floor creak too much. He stepped in, relieved himself, and turned on the shower faucet. There weren't any fresh clothes to change in to, but what he had been wearing that week was still clean enough. He hurried and stepped into the shower - they had to use as little water as possible, no time to wait for it to warm up. Whoever took the second shower was the luckiest, since the water was already heated up for them. The hot water always ran out for the third person.
The cold water made him jump, but because of how hot the apartment was, he actually didn't mind. Feeling the water run down his body, Karkat contemplated what had brought him where he was.
"... and so it is with great pride that I announce the graduation of the Stadt High School Class of 405!"
Cheering, and the throwing of caps. Karkat knew that his parents were somewhere in the audience, but there was no way he would be able to pick them out. His brother Michael, of course, would not have come. Not that he cared. He only had eyes for one other person, and she was standing next to him, watching her cap twirl in the air.
Suzie Noia. He'd been infatuated with her for years, but she had this unapproachable aura about her, and he'd never worked up the courage to ask her out. Now there she and he stood, valedictorian and salutatorian in the last moments in which it mattered. If he couldn't ask her now, he'd never have another chance.
His parents had both been the tops of their respective classes, and they inadvertently let slip their disappointment that he came in second, but Karkat knew that there was no beating Suzie. Everything came easy to her. Teachers always felt an inexplicable pride for her, even though Karkat knew they'd had no impact on her whatsoever. She was drawn along by her own genius, a mind that he knew he'd never beat. He held no delusions about his prospects with her - she was beautiful as well as smart, and she seemed perpetually bored. Karkat was decently smart, not too ugly (though he was self-concious about his nubby horns), and a generally nice guy. Safe, but Suzie could do better. Still, she was single for some reason, and he had already decided that he would ask.
As the other students began their procession out of the auditorium, he turned to her. "SUZIE?"
Her cap had landed next to her, but she wasn't bothering to pick it up. Not looking up from the cap, she said, "Mm?"
His heart was pounding. "COULD WE PERHAPS GET TOGETHER SOME TIME NEXT WEEK, FOR DINNER AND A MOVIE OR SOMETHING?" There, he'd asked!
She sighed, and for a moment he was sure she'd say no, but then she looked up and said, "Sure. Lemme give you my number." He couldn't believe it! He had a date with Suzie Noia!
Later that night, he was in his room changing for the grad night party the school was putting on. His parents had tried to make sure he knew how proud they were (even though he wasn't first), but it turned into another one of their warnings about making sure he didn't turn out like Michael, so it was just awkward. He was looking forward to getting out with his friends and being nostalgic. But first, he had to see if Suzie was free to come with him or if she already had grad night plans. He sighed. Life was good.
Her cell phone rang four times before she picked it up. No hello on the other end, just a sigh.
"HEY, SUZIE? IT'S ME, KARKAT. I WAS WONDERING IF YOU WANTED TO GO TO THE GRAD NIGHT PARTY WITH ME? IT'S ALL RIGHT IF YOU HAVE OTHER PLANS, BUT I WAS HOPING WE COULD GO TOGETHER."
A moment of silence, then she responded. "Karkat, I don't know what got into me. I don't know why I gave you my number. You're a nice guy and all, but you're kind of boring."
That was completely unexpected. He had nothing to say.
"Please don't call again." The phone clicked as she hung up.
And just like that, euphoria faded into melancholy.
I'm going to be kind of mean to him, but he's not going to be entirely faultless either. OC 1 is introduced: meet Suzie Noia. Fun fact: Noia is Italian for boredom. That's how I do names: Google Translate.
Stepping out of the shower, Karkat began to put his clothes back on. It had been a lucky week. Mr. Pupa had gone to jail, and Karkat had been released. The insane scheme to take over Alternia City with those genetic abominations was foiled, and Karkat had somehow gotten out of the whole thing scot-free. His luck was never that good. Gamzee probably had something to do with it, him and his "miracles".
Upon leaving the bathroom, he almost walked right into Nepeta. She, of course, was wide awake - there was no sleepy with her, just awake or asleep, though she'd sometimes indulge in a luxurious yawn. She gave a grin and began, ":33 < *nepeta is wide awake after her catnap, and she was wondering if purrhaps karkat knew what was fur breakfast?*"
Karkat didn't know where she got the energy for her metaconversational style of talking so early in the morning. He also didn't know what was for breakfast. "I DON'T KNOW, WHATEVER'S AROUND. HELP YOURSELF."
She clapped her hands together and gave a huge smile. ":33 < *nepeta doesn't want karkat to worry, because she has decided that he will sit down with gamz33 and furself, if that's okay with him.*"
She wanted to make breakfast? No complaints from him. "SURE, GO AHEAD. COOK TO YOUR HEART'S CONTENT."
Nepeta squealed with delight and hugged him so forcefully that she almost tacked him back into the bathroom - he had to grab hold of the door's frame to keep his footing. ":33 < thanks, karkitty! i'll make the bestest and most purrfect breakfast! i know where there's a bird's nest with eggs, i'll run and get them right meow! :33" And with that, she ran out their door.
Karkat sighed and sat down on their couch, the only piece of furniture in the room. It sagged in the middle and was covered with at least a decade's worth in stains, but if one sat just right and didn't move, it was comfortable enough.
He thought back to his life before Alternia City again. Everything had seemed so simple at first. Even Suzie's rejection, though confusing and hurtful, wasn't exactly life changing. So she ruined his graduation night. That in and of itself didn't drive him to run away from his hometown of Stadt and seek refuge in the big city. No, that was the responsibility of someone else.
It was the second semester of his freshman year at the University of Alternia in Stadt, and things were juuust grand. His roommate had dropped out over the break, two of the people in his circle of friends had broken up and now the whole group was choosing sides, and due to sudden changes in plans, he no longer had a group to go with him to the party that night. See? Grand.
Even the 12th Perigree's Eve/Christmas break had sucked. His parents had only wanted to talk about his classes and how there were no good careers in ectobiology. He picked his major because he was fascinated by the collection of sciences that worked together for one field, but the purely theoretical area of study had little practical application outside of academia, and to be an ectobiologist by trade meant being a researcher or a professor. However, Karkat didn't plan on changing majors; if he had to, he could double-major in something more marketable.
But he wasn't going to worry about that tonight. Tonight, he was going to have fun, though he'd probably leave early since he was coming alone and going to parties alone sucked. Then he'd go back to his dorm room and worry some more.
The party was dark and noisy, but not very festive. Some kids were dancing halfheartedly, but most of the students were too tired. It had been a midterm week, after all. Karkat was getting ready to leave even earlier than he'd thought he would when some girl called out to him.
At first he didn't recognize her. It was dark, after all, but when she started approaching him, he realized that it was Suzie. "Karkat! Oh my GOD, I can't believe you're HERE!" She didn't walk so much as weave, and Karkat realized that she was very tipsy. "How have you been?" She was wearing a tight-fitting black dress, and Karkat tried to keep himself gaping at her exposed grey thighs. He could hardly hear her, and there was no chance he'd be able to project loud enough to make himself heard. "You wanna get out of here?" she shouted over the din. Not giving him a chance to respond, she took his arm and pulled him outside.
It was a crisp night. Spring was obviously just around the corner, but the cool of winter was still lingering. Ever the gentleman, Karkat gave the lady his jacket. "IT'S NICE TO BE OUTSIDE WHERE I CAN HEAR YOU," he blurted. (Stupid, Karkat, stupid! You're supposed to LIKE it deafeningly loud.)
She laughed at that, apparently finding it much funnier than he did. "I like it loud." Her voice echoed across the dark campus, the only other sound being the dull thumping of the party they'd just left. "If it gets loud enough, I don't have to hear anything else. I like being able to block everything out." She suddenly turned to him, grabbed his tie, and pulled his face next to hers, the smell of liquor making his eyes water. "The alcohol helps, too." She broke out into a mad giggle and then leaned on Karkat very suddenly.
They continued in this broken pace across campus, and Karkat realized that he was leading her to his room. He started to feel nervous. Where was this going to go? Suzie walked in front of him and suddenly executed a twirl. Karkat remembered that she had been on his high school's dance team; the move was still graceful, despite her inebriation, and Karkat felt his face get hot watching her. She stopped and grabbed his shoulders, pressing herself against him. Looking into his eyes, she asked "Can you show me your bedroom, Karkat Vantas?" When she said it like that, even the smell of the alcohol was sexy. His throat suddenly felt dry, but apparently she hadn't been looking for a response; she simply took his arm again, and he began to walk.
Too nervous to go the entire trip in silence, Karkat started to make small talk. "SO, WHAT ARE YOU DOING HERE AT UAS? I THOUGHT YOU WERE AT THAT PRIVATE SCHOOL, EDELMANN U?"
She sighed. He'd missed that sigh. "I dropped out. I don't think college is for me. I need to find myself and follow my own path."
Karkat was shocked. He'd applied to Edelmann and been denied admission. To get in and then drop out was a squandered opportunity! As they entered his dorm building, he pressed, "BUT SUZIE, IT'S EDELMANN! THEY HARDLY ACCEPT ANYONE! AND DID YOU HAVE A SCHOLARSHIP THERE?"
Her grip on his arm suddenly tightened, and he could feel her nails digging into his skin. "Don't talk to me about all that, Karkat. It's not your business, and besides, I just want to have fun tonight. I can't do that if I think you're my mother or something."
He was silent as they ascended the stairs to his room. He'd obviously said something wrong, but she was still walking with him, right? Still, something seemed wrong with her, and seeing her in the fluorescent light of the dorm stairwell instead of the stars and streetlights of campus outside made him wonder if this was what he really wanted. (Yes, Karkat, of course it is! This is what you've wanted ever since you first laid eyes on her!) He walked her to his door.
In his nervousness, he fumbled with the key. It took a couple of tries to get it into the keyhole, and once it was in, he couldn't unlock the door. After twisting the key a couple of times, he realized the door was already unlocked. A familiar voice shouted out from inside: "come In!"
Shocked, Karkat opened his door. There, sitting on his bed, sat his brother Michael. Absurdly, Karkat noticed that Michael hadn't taken off his shoes. "well well, If It Isn't my lIttle brother!" He was wearing a bright red button-up shirt, and the top half of the buttons were undone, baring his trim torso. His jeans were loose, and the pockets looked like they were stuffed with something. He was not supposed to be there.
"WHAT ARE YOU DOING HERE, MICHAEL?"
His brother gave that smile that he'd mastered as a little kid. It always made Karkat feel like an idiot who'd missed the point. "I go by mIkey now, nubs. now are you goIng to be a self-Important prIck all nIght, or wIll you let that chIck behInd you Into your room?"
Karkat jumped. He'd completely forgotten about Suzie. He turned to her and motioned her in. She had a bemused smile - clearly, she found the reunion amusing. Karkat didn't know if he was blushing or not, but he'd bet on it.
Michael leaned back and flexed his abs slightly. "what's your name, sweetheart?" He licked his lips. What was he doing?
Suzie tossed her hair and gave him a tilty smile. "Hi, Mikey. I'm Suzie."
"I lIke your name, suzIe, and I lIke your look. why don't you make yourself comfortable here on the bed by me? I've gotta some busIness wIth my brother, and It mIght take some tIme." Karkat felt a stab of jealous anger. He was always powerless when his brother was around; Michael had a way of taking over.
"WHAT DO YOU WANT, MICHAEL?" Calling him by his full name was a small show of defiance. He'd hoped it would sound brave, but out loud, it just made him look like the petulant baby brother.
Michael stopped smiling and shook his head. "I'm In deep, nubs. thIs dersIte gang called the mIdnIght crew Is expandIng Its base of operatIons outsIde of alternIa cIty. they've started takIng out some of my delIvery boys, and I need to dump some Inventory." Michael had been in and out of jail for the transportation and selling of illegal narcotics. He'd almost gotten their parents arrested when the police found an unreasonably large quantity of drugs hidden throughout their house. Their parents had decided not to pay bail, and after the state-provided attorney got him out of jail on an evidence-related loophole, Michael rarely came home. "It won't be any trouble for you at all. I've been keepIng a lIght Inventory of thIs stuff - everythIng you'll be holdIng on to Is In my pockets. I'd hIde It my place, but those beetles wIll search that place out before too long. same If I kept It on my person, you see."
Karkat clenched his fist. "SO YOU FIGURE YOU CAN DUMP WHATEVER YOU'VE GOT ON YOUR BROTHER, IS THAT IT?"
Michael looked hurt. "come on now, nubs, don't say It lIke that. sure, I'm In deep, but It's just temporary. I need someone I can trust, and I know that I can trust famIly. you're my brother, nubs, and you've always got my back just lIke I always got yours." He pulled resealable bags filled with black-and-white capsules out of his pockets. "you got nothIng to worry about. thIs stuff Is so new It's barely even Illegal yet. the beetles aren't hIttIng up the colleges yet, eIther, so you're perfectly safe. also, you won't get caught unless you do somethIng stupId, so your precIous educatIon Is stIll safe. come on, man. you're my brother." He put the bags in Suzie's lap and dusted off his hands as though Karkat was already sold on the deal. "If nothIng else, It'll be an excItIng change from your normal routIne." Suzie perked up at that.
"HOW LONG DO YOU WANT TO KEEP IT HERE?" Karkat surprised himself with that question. He didn't realize that he had given in until just then.
Michael raised his hands and shrugged. "I don't know, nubs. a week? maybe more? I just need to lay low for a spell. we got a plan to get back, It'll just take a bIt."
Karkat swallowed hard. "FINE, YOU CAN LEAVE THAT STUFF HERE." He looked at Suzie while he said it, as though to say that he was doing it for her. She smiled and licked her teeth. He didn't know what that meant.
"well, that's all I've got to say. keep thIs on the down-low, obvIously. and don't sneak any for yourself. thIs Is my Inventory, hear? that goes for you too, suzIe." He grabbed her leg and squeezed it, then stood up and sauntered out of the room.
Karkat's pulse was racing. Suzie was sitting on his bed, the pills in her lap, looking at him expectantly. "SURE THING, MIKEY," he muttered.
I actually find myself wondering as I write this if some readers will relate to Suzie. For my part, I tend to find the world a fine place to be in and rarely get bored, but I know that some people aren't like that. I don't know how I'd react if someone told me that she was the character that spoke to them the most.
So guys, remember that thing that Wigmund did about Aradia coming back to life but under Pupa's control? Well I made my own conclusion to that story!
I feel like I'm defiling Wigmund's story, sorry!
“Finally. I’ve been waiting a long time for this.”
Aradia was floating in the air. The wind blew her scarf behind her. Very theatrical. Her whip blew by her side as well, though she would have little use of it in this fight.
Across from Aradia was Aradia. The moonlight shined off of her metallic exterior, a testament to Equius’s works’ durability, considering it had been made over five years ago. The very fact that it was shining seemed to anger the living Aradia.
“Look at you. They’ve brainwashed you; made you think they actually care about you.”
The other replied, in a voice that seemed not so much anger as it was pity, “Mainly because they d0.”
She exploded, “AND YOU ACTUALLY BELIEVE THEM? The only one who cared for you was Pupa! To the rest of these fuckers,” she spread her hand to include the audience: CrowBro, Sollux, and Equius, “you’re just a tool! Think about how Sollux abandoned you! None of them, NONE OF THEM, actually care about you! You’re a fool.”
Aradia actually responded with emotion, an occurrence that had become more and more common recently. In a tone that once again seemed more pitying than anything else, she said, “It’s y0u wh0 is the f00l, and the 0ne wh0’s been brainwashed. Y0u haven’t seen anything. Y0u didn’t see S0llux spend every day by my c0mat0se b0dy. Y0u didn’t see his family have t0 f0rce him away fr0m my side, kicking and screaming. Y0u didn’t see Equius p0ring 0ver every detail. Y0u didn’t see him dev0ting his sweat, tears and…” she paused, “and bl00d t0 let me live again. Y0u didn’t see anything, being l0cked up in Pupa’s mansi0n.”
At this, the others prepared to battle the other Aradia, but they were waved off with a metallic hand, “N0. This is my battle.”
The other Aradia was consumed by anger. She let out a scream and charged forward in the air with her psychic powers, aiming to finish this fight in one fell swoop.
Aradia extended her arm.
Maroon blood dripped out of the hole created by Aradia’s metallic claws. She retracted her hand, and Aradia’s body fell from the sky. The body crashed onto the pavement, and snapping was audible to everyone.
Sollux spoke up first, “2o that’2 iit? Thii2 AA ii2 dead? That quiick?”
Equius replied, “Obviously, Pupa’s recreation could not stay faithful to Aradia. He had created it when filled with anger, and this crude copy reflected that quite well. It takes more than b100d and flesh to create a person.”
“Yeah, but 2tiill. II wa2 expectiing 2omethiing more… cliimactiic than that.”
Dave spoke, “That climactic enough for you?” He pointed to the metallic Aradia cradling the dead one in her arms and kissing her.
Sollux’s jaw dropped.
Equius sweated and stared.
The three men watched as the robotic body ended the kiss, stood up, and deactivated. The light of her eyes went out, and it seemed that it lost an aspect of trollity that it had before. Now it was but a metal headstone for the troll at its feet. Then that troll stood up.
She pointed at the still bleeding hole in her abdomen and spoke with but a trace of her hollow voice, “S0. I think we may want t0 take me t0 the h0spital, 0r this revival will be sh0rter than expected.”
Gamzee Makara was approximately awake, but it was tough to tell with him sometimes. Whereas Nepeta was either all energy or completely conked out, Gamzee was exclusively middle-of-the-road on this matter. Karkat had actually seen him fall asleep standing up a few times. It was kind of creepy, actually.
"NEPETA'S MAKING BREAKFAST, AND IT'S YOUR TURN TO TAKE A SHOWER. TIME TO GET UP." One always had to be direct with Gamzee to get him to do anything at all.
Gamzee's half-closed lids snapped open. "wHoA, wE gEt BrEaKfAsT? sEcOnD mIrAcLe Of ThE dAy, My BrOtHeR."
Karkat sighed. "THE MIRACLE WILL BE IF SHE CAN ACTUALLY PRODUCE SOMETHING EDIBLE FOR US. APPARENTLY, SHE'S RAIDING A BIRD'S NEST FOR EGGS OR SOMETHING. AND EVEN THOUGH I KNOW I'M GOING TO REGRET ASKING THIS, WHAT WAS THE FIRST MIRACLE?"
Gamzee looked in Karkat's general direction, gave a dull smile, and then pointed to the ceiling. Ah, of course. The water stains. They changed every time it rained. It was the closest thing their apartment had to a TV. Not that it was raining. Gamzee was just... out there.
Once the clown finally meandered into the bathroom, Karkat reclaimed his spot on the couch, continuing his recollections.
"I HATE THE WORLD SO MUCH," Karkat muttered to himself.
Michael was a jerk. He'd picked up his pills (they were called "soma") a week later as promised, but he brought with him a whole box of the stuff. ("thanks for holdIng on to that for me, nubs. I'm just gonna leave thIs In your closet for a couple days, kay?") Having initially consented to being the storehouse of his brother's illicit inventory, Karkat didn't know how to back out, and by the end of the semester, Michael or one of his "business partners" were picking things up and dropping them off at least once a week. There were more days that not where Karkat's room was worth an arrest warrent, and he found himself increasingly withdrawing from his friends in order to hide what was going on.
He'd kept telling himself that it was only until the end of the semester, that come next year, he'd stand up to his brother and get his own life back. Fat chance.
When summer break finally arrived, Karkat was shocked to find out that Michael had moved back in with their parents. He'd told some sob stories about how he'd realized that what he was doing was reckless and dangerous and selfish and wrong. Hallelujah, the prodigal son had returned, and his parents ate that crap up like they'd never heard a lie. Now, instead of "Don't turn out like Michael", it was "Why don't you help out around the house some like Michael? Why don't you spend some more time with the two of us and Michael? Why won't you forgive your brother Michael? He's changed, Karkat." It was simply unbelieveable.
Sophomore year finally started, but Michael had decided to be a good brother and move Karkat in. Of course, he left little presents in different hiding spots he picked out. "you're lIvIng In a sIngle, nubs, and you're my brother. we need thIs chance to keep our foothold on campus here!" Karkat had tried to work himself up to disagree with his brother, but he couldn't. Every time he played out the conversation in his mind, he'd get stumped whenever his brother would simply ask, "why?"
His answers sounded lame even in his mind. It's illegal. I don't want to get in trouble. It's unethical. No matter what he planned on saying, his brother would find a way to twist it, make it sound selfish and boring, like Suzie had said he was.
Suzie. THAT night hadn't gone so well, either. After Michael left, they lied down together and started making out, but it felt so surreal that Karkat pulled away. "What?" Suzie snapped.
"WHY ARE WE DOING THIS? SHOULDN'T WE BE GETTING TO KNOW EACH OTHER BETTER FIRST OR SOMETHING?"
She stared at him, incredulous. "What, like talk?"
"OR SOMETHING LIKE THAT, YEAH. I MEAN, I HAVEN'T SEEN YOU IN MONTHS, AND NOW WE'RE ABOUT TO..." He trailed off.
Suzie looked somewhere between bored and angry. She sat up and grabbed his crotch. Hard. It hurt. "What's the matter, 'Nubs'? Can't get it up?"
Karkat blushed, but the feeling of emasculation was nothing new. He supposed there was Michael to thank for that. "IT'S NOT THAT! I CAN- LOOK, YOU SAID YOU WERE TRYING TO FIND YOURSELF? WHAT DOES THAT MEAN?" It wasn't very subtle as far as subject changes went, but he was feeling very uncomfortable about the whole thing.
She let go of him, her expression unquestionably a glare at that point. "What does it mean? It's some bull I fed to my mom. I already know who I am. I'm the valedictorian, I'm the girl who got the scholarship to Edelmann, I'm Miss Perfect, and I'm an insignificant speck floating around in an insignificant cosmos. Nothing I do will ever matter, I'm bored as hell, and I just want to stave off all of the nothing with a little copulation, okay? Is that too much to ask? Don't you want me or something?"
He'd wanted her for years, and here she was, handing herself to him on a silver platter, and it made him feel empty.
Suzie must have read his silence correctly; she go to her feet and stormed out of his room, slamming the door on the way out. That part of the memory was the most distinct in his mind by this point.
Back in the present, Karkat got off the sidewalk and stepped into the frat house where he had come across Suzie that fateful night. One of the members was expecting him. "Hey Nubs! I'm so glad you're here, man! You got the merchandise?" Karkat slipped off his backpack, reached inside, and pulled out a baggie filled with soma. "Sweet, man! I'm really glad you brought it! Mikey's stuff is the best. You can't get this from anyone else around here, you know?"
Karkat shrugged. "I'M JUST THE DELIVERY MAN."
The house member walked up to Karkat and put his arm over the troll's shoulders. "Hey, by the way, when you see Mikey, I got a request for him. If he has anything that could knock a person out, if you know what I mean, we'd all be really happy about that. There's a big party planned next month, and we want to make it extra special, you know?"
Karkat involuntarily clenched his fists. There was only one reason they'd want a drug like that; this was one message he would not deliver. Forcing himself to act calm, he shrugged again. "SORRY, I'M JUST THE DELIVERY MAN."
The delivery man. That's what he kept telling himself. "really, nubs, It's not lIke you're doIng anythIng wrong. they made the decIsIon to buy, and I made the decIsIon to cater to them. at least thIs way the money stays In the famIly, you got me?" Karkat had refused to accept any money for these deliveries; he felt, probably wrongly, that if he didn't get paid, then he was still in some way not responsible for what he was doing. It was stupid, really. He was doing the same thing either way, he was just poorer.
As he left the frat house, Karkat wondered in the back of his mind why he was still doing whatever Michael told him, even though he already knew the moronic answer. He did it because of Suzie. He hadn't seen her since that night the year before, but part of him was still working overtime to change him out of his "boring" persona. He wanted to be someone with whom she'd want to be, and then their being together would mean something. Though apparently that damned woman had decided that NOTHING meant anything.
Karkat sighed. The semester was halfway over, and since he had no social life to speak of, his grades were fantastic. He'd even taken a Master's class in genetic engineering, at the behest of his parents. Just two and a half more years to go...
Welp. Good job, Karkat. You'll be out of this pickle in a jiffy. >_<
I've been reading K. J. Parker's The Engineer trilogy, and one of her(?) major themes is that all of the evils in the world are caused by love. I strongly disagree with her way of looking at it (I take C.S. Lewis' approach, that evil enjoys a parasitic existence off of good), but apparently I'm channeling her a bit as I write this backstory. Don't worry, though - Karkat loves Nepeta and Gamzee, and that's a happy story, right?
Except I had Karkat willing to destroy a city to keep them alive, which is DEFINITELY channeling Parker. Ah well, we are what we eat, and we write what we read.
Originally Posted by C.S. Lewis
Don't say it was "delightful"; make us say "delightful" when we've read the description. You see, all those words (horrifying, wonderful, hideous, exquisite) are only like saying to your readers "Please will you do the job for me."
I threw that in there because I was looking for a Lewis quote to cite for my earlier point, and I found this instead. This one makes me feel a bit guilty...
Originally Posted by C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity
To be bad, he [Satan] must exist and have intelligence and will. But existence, intelligence and will are in themselves good. Therefore he must be getting them from the Good Power: even to be bad he must borrow or steal from his opponent. And do you now begin to see why Christianity has always said that the devil is a fallen angel? That is not a mere story for the children. It is a real recognition of the fact that evil is a parasite, not an original thing.
RE mythmonster's Hatred:
I liked it. Especially how deadpan Aradia was at the end. :P Also, I'm happy that she's back. I was giddy for, like, a whole day when she was resurrected in the canon, which I find odd in hindsight, given how much I hated her. I guess I liked what I saw of her pre-death self, and I was happy that said character was back. Still am.
Counterintuitive, you say? Well, it means I no longer have homework, so that's basically a guaranteed 4 hours of free time on each day where I don't have other things to do. Granted, I've had other things to do this whole week, but to make up for it, I've been staying awake an extra two hours per night. On a COMPLETELY unrelated note, I'm really tired.
Welp, off to the cubicle farm...
Had a pot luck dinner with a bunch of grad student friends tonight, and I have to go to bed early to get up early tomorrow to lead a short Bible study, so no chapters today.
The city only employs one bus driver in the forgotten district. He is a terrifyingly huge thing, angry and big, that no one, not the midnight crew, not the felt, not even Pupa would dare rip off. He's Henry Harrison Tant, and he's a bus driver.