MoraicTrochee - Oh my goodness, that was seven different kinds of adorable. And Karkatbunny at the end spoiling the moment? Perfect.
Decker - @Fairy Tales: Whoa, this was interesting. Kanaya and Tavros pretty much never interact, in canon or fics, aside from the whole, sawing-off-his legs. I like what you did with it.
@Snapshot: Dave being honest and sentimental and even philosophical? And in character to boot? I like it.
lantadyme - Oh geez. Oh man. Mindfang as a terrifying space pirate and the overtones of blackrom throughout the whole thing. And the atmosphere. Oh man
Rebbe - Happy Aradia is the best Aradia, and you totally do her justice.
Wow, the reaction to Dog Almighty is kinda overwhelming. I may need to write fluffy oneshots more often...
Originally Posted by Rimbaum
PingZing. OH GOD. PINGZING. ILU
That was such an adorable fic.
Originally Posted by Jim Groovester
Finally stopped procrastinating by writing ancestor politics.
@PingZing: This was great. Normal people wracking their brains trying to figure out a defiant omnipotent dog. A great look at Becquerel, too.
Thanks. Normal people just aren't equipped to deal with radioactive superdogs, y'know?
Originally Posted by Roserade
Small comment dump-ish thing wooo
@PingZing; Oh gosh, that was great. Dave just letting them try to deal with Bec to mess with them is all sorts of hilarious.
Thankya. And yeah, Dave was secretly enjoying it, but was way too cool to let on.
Originally Posted by billybobfred
this is the best day ever!
Glad I could help! =D
Originally Posted by catastrophicGenesis
PingZing: Still liking the Adventures of Tarfus, especially now the premise is all set up and the story's starting to really get going. =3
Excellent. With any luck, it's all rising action from here!
This remains part of my chapter-splitting plan, though I may soon restructure the exact splits. I'll spell out the changes once I've settled on them, which won't happen until the next part is posted. Thanks for reading!
-- Censored Version --
Hey guess what it's censored again. I think the mods might be cool with this one but we've got a new mod and so self-censoring seemed polite. Hey, you know what to do, right? That's right, you go to A03. Very good.
Following her rash promise to Vriska weeks prior, Rose had come to swallow her pride and beg Karkat for a sample of his film collection. Not just the ashen films but all of them: especially those with multiple quadrants, though Rose saved those for later in hopes that the simpler ones would help cast a light. While this did help to a degree, she was also punished for it as romances that were not cast at the centre of a film were instead left unexplained, assuming that the audience could fill in the blanks of the relationships on their own. She defaulted to watching the films in order of intended audience, starting with the "grub films." Rose had asked Karkat to leave her be to absorb the films at her own pace in her own room, but he came anyway, prattling on and on in an uninvited, full-body commentary track as Rose attempted to tuck her head closer to Kanaya's lap in hopes of drowning him out. Occasionally he was even the last one to bed, wrapping up the film or discussing ashen mediation past bedtime, and she would let him lock her in before she settled in to sleep.
All that considered, Rose did not fully understand the interplay between relationships until Gamzee lost his arm. She was never at her most cognizant when she came to visit him. He slept constantly, in the recouperacoon Tavros had set up for him inside his section of the lab, as they had been unable to locate Gamzee's at all. He was not in a coma but rather perpetually exhausted, and oftentimes Rose's visits would stop four steps away as she watched him sleep, favouring his intact side, and she clutched tellingly – tellingly even to herself – at her own arm, and would soon leave, words left unsaid another day. But it was still Gamzee. To think that things would change around the lab because they did not have Gamzee around was almost absurd. But that was where the relationships came into play.
There was a strange, mounting anxiety in the days that followed, though whether because of Rose's possession or the loss of Gamzee the Kitchen Confessor, Rose could not tell. What was more immediate was the loss of Tavros, who now spent day and night with Gamzee inside their now-shared section of the lab. He was not alone, as Terezi often came to visit, to read children stories or law books at random to Gamzee whether in consciousness or not. She would hang scalemates from Tavros' horns, reassuring him that he looked "F4NT4ST1C!", no matter how much heavier Congresswoman Mangoclaws became after numerous re-stitching behind Tavros' back. The loss of Tavros meant more free time for Eridan. More free time for Eridan meant more time spent with Vriska, and that was what changed everything.
"Hahahahahahahaha! And that's three!"
"C'mon Vris, since when do you do anything in threes?"
"Shut up! At least I gave you three, and you still fucked up! Now pay up!"
Ever since Vriska's promise on the construction site to break whatever Eridan touched her with over the next three days had led to a broken pinky, Rose's role as metaphorical referee had become literal. Vriska had followed it up with a never-ending series of games and bets that Eridan kept taking against all advice: ashen, ex-pale or shouted at full force. Vriska was gentler from that point on, but hardly kinder, stealing food from Eridan when he proved incapable of using other's full names for an entire day, hoisting chores on him when he could not beat her in a riveting race at the drydock, or borrowing clothes when he could not catch seventeen hefted rocks out of twenty while Outside on a hate-date.
"Roz, cool it, I've got this one. Serious." But he never did. Rose barely even looked up when he would come back from whatever challenge Vriska had arranged, carrying, for example, a broom and scrub-brush and bound for the Scorpio transportalizer. At this rate, Vriska was bound to carve out her position as the permanent dominant party in the relationship by forcing Eridan to personally serve as her throne, but he kept up. As he did, Rose could not help noticing that "Don't touch me for three days" had transitioned smoothly to "Go cook us all a nice meal, shitstain," with a finger stroking down his jawline, or "Don't touch me for three hours," as she removed a hand from his thigh. This time, Rose had just outright abandoned the hate-date. She had not even been there to check up on them in the first place, just to pass on a message from Karkat, and had no reason or desire to stay with them another minute.
When they returned to the lab, Vriska was still wearing Eridan's scarf. Rose was there to see them arrive but was little accompanied, with most of the group having left over two hours ago to shower off the grime of the work day and had stayed away. Sollux was there, on a roll with his coding and unwilling to stop, and Feferi hovering about, but otherwise it was just Rose. She was watching a banal affair she could only really call "Troll How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days", which required no further commentary. She was going to have to have a talk with Karkat about handing her this one. Rose would have appreciated any distraction, and her charges provided with gusto and uncharacteristic happy laughter. It was impossible not to stare.
"No!" Vriska was repeating. "No. No."
"C'mon, why not?" Eridan asked as he came into hearing range. "I think you'd enjoy swimming."
Rose hit pause and looked up, to see Feferi doing exactly the same. Her auspistice buddy looked over to Rose, peaking over the back of the couch, and mouthed their shared thoughts. "Eridan, swimming?" Rose hardly claimed to know her charge more than the months had allowed, but that little quirk had come well enough across.
Vriska leaned her weight against the desk near Terezi's computer and brushed her hair back from her face, eyes checking the room. Seeing that only her auspistice and two other Trolls present, she turned back to Eridan, a smirk playing on the edge of her lips. "You just want to get me into a bathing suit."
"Well yeah," he said.
Rose provided feedback for his lack of tact by planting her face loudly against the back of the couch. Some days… she thought.
"Well thanks for lettin' me finish, Roz. But…" he continued to Vriska, who was having trouble of her own keeping a straight face. "But I mean it too. We used to be on the water all the time! It'd be like old times, with less boats."
"Mm-hm," Vriska said past her hand, trying to cover her grin. And then she did what Rose did not expect. "Well… it's not a… bad idea." Vriska had freed a blue-socked foot from a dusty shoe, and reached out with it to brush up Eridan's ankle. "And I'm not the only one…" she slowly pulled her foot up his leg, guiding him toward her as she spoke, until he stopped against a single upraised finger set against his chest, "…who'd be getting something out of it." Her eyes, which had been on her foot, glanced up and she grinned before sitting back on the desk, her finger still held out to keep Eridan where she had left him.
"But I think you're forgetting something, Eridan," she said. As she spoke she removed her light jacket, which was now several sizes too small thanks to her still subtly progressing Dream-moult.
"What's that?" Eridan asked. Though he kept where he was even as Vriska retracted her hand, he risked his hand by reaching out to stroke Vriska's bare arm.
"You…" Vriska said, gently pushing away his hand with that same finger. "Keep…" She untied his scarf. "…Losing."
"What, you mean your bets?" Eridan set his hands instead in his pockets, and all-in-all was taking the physical rejection very well, for him. Rose watched those two apparent strangers with fascination, blind to the frozen but still comforting stage presence of Troll Matthew McConaughey. "Vris, I'm pretty sure you didn't say shit about not going on any hate-dates considering we were just on one."
"No…" Vriska said, and she reached up to flip the scarf over Eridan's shoulders. She then gently tugged on it, pulling him slowly toward her. "But that was my idea. I don’t know if you… get to name any ideas if you just keep losing our games."
"Was that a 'no'?" Eridan asked, keeping his hands in his pockets as Vriska pulled him right up against her. Vriska shook her head, brushing the tip of her nose lightly against his.
"I never said 'no,' Eridan." She leaned a touch forward to work the scarf properly about his neck, stopping short of brushing lips. "I just saw another opportunity for another of our games and thought…" Vriska pulled away, both ends of the scarf now in one hand and the other hand letting her lean further back. She grinned. "…well..."
Vriska's eyes shifted a little to the right. "Don't you think, Rose?"
"Uhh…" Rose snapped back to the fact that she was, in fact, in the room with these people. "Yeah!" Rose had never seen Vriska like this, but Eridan was keeping such a cool head that she could only assume this was not entirely unheard of, in private. What on earth did those two do after she had left them alone?
"Gotta make sure we're able to respect one another," Vriska said, half to Eridan and half to Rose. Rose was not sure how fond she was of Vriska putting words in her mouth but if pleasant interaction was the result, she was willing to allow it just this once. Vriska pulled Eridan into a lean over her. Their glasses clicked, and she whispered "And you both know how fond I am of games."
Rose checked toward Feferi for some sort of reaction, but her auspistice buddy had ducked over Sollux's computer rather than gawk at her ex-moirail, though a tinge of pink tickled at the extremes of her fins.
"So what are you thinking?" Eridan asked. His left hand had snuck back out of his pocket, and Rose willed him as hard as she could to not push his luck. He held. Thata boy…
"How about you… what was it, Rose? 'Kill me two birds with one stone?'" Vriska loosened her grip on the scarf (Eridan did not budge one inch) and collected her jacket instead. "Go find John. He's hold up somewhere on this rock with Karkat. Get the jacket I had him make for himself, without telling him what it's for. I won't have to alchemize a new one if his fits."
"You want me to find you clothes?" Eridan asked. "I just wanna swim, Vris," Eridan repeated, "You just don't trust me." Vriska just laughed. Eridan did himself no favours by joining her.
"Wanna know a secret, Eridan?" she asked. He nodded, and Vriska stepped up onto the floor, eliminating the gap between them entirely and, indeed, almost hanging off of him by the scarf for immediate support. With her now-freed hand, she pushed back his fin and leaned forward to speak into his ear. "I don't think you've got a chance of pulling it off."
Vriska shook her head, not unlike nuzzling against him given her position. "Because John was wearing it today, and probably still is. And you're gonna walk in there, poor… desper8 Eridan, and tell him to strip in front of our fearless, jealous leader…"
"Ahh…." Eridan laughed as he picked up on the details. "Hah. You're a fuckin' bitch."
Rose startled at the sudden jump back to insults, but Vriska just pulled Eridan closer. "Mmm…" She stepped them both about until she was the one facing the desk. "And while that'd be fun to watch…"
Vriska knocked him back onto the desk. "I'd rather watch you try to use your half-wits to try to outsmart me. Because I think I'd prefer to watch that." She raised the foot still in its shoe and hefted it up onto the table just in beside him with a light bang. From there, she used her knee as a perch for her arm and chin to look down on him. "On one hand you get chased around by Karkat. On the other hand you get to show your real 'skills' and end up a bloody, crying wiggler with no dignity and definitely nothing from John but platonic pity." Vriska ran a hand down his chest to where a Human would have a navel. "That's what I think, anyway. You think I'm warm, Dualscar?"
If anything, Vriska's shift to insults had thrown Rose even more than Eridan's had, but Eridan was entirely nonplussed. He collected Vriska's hand and sat up, patting it condescendingly. "…Get bathing suit, Vris."
Vriska must have dug her claws into his hand, because Eridan unhanded her at once. "What kind?" she asked, in spite.
Eridan leaned over to whisper in her ear this time. "Surprise me." And he hopped to his feet, adjusted his cape and made his way to the transportalizer with fair dignity, except when turned toward Rose and held up his hand palm-forward. Two purple scratches were faintly visible, and while he did not risk his cool from Vriska's perspective, he shot Rose a What the hell is wrong with her? look, to which Rose could not reply before he vanished.
Vriska started talking aloud as soon as he was gone, flipping her jacket into her inventory as she went. "Of course it'd be a surprise if he even gets back here alive at all at the rate he goes. Can't even do simple tasks right." Vriska stepped over to Rose, her claw-nails gleaming and her arm muscles sleek and strong in a way Kanaya could not yet compare. "You look like you just got kicked in the face. Wanna talk about it?"
"I…" Rose could vaguely make out Feferi signalling not to admit a thing, not that she needed to be told not to admit anything to Vriska under any circumstance. "I didn't think you two were so touchy-feelie yet."
"Mm, well, you'll get it one day. Fussyfangs likes you enough." Rose was not about to supply a counter for that, and Vriska just laughed instead and ruffled Rose's hair. Rose snapped up a hand to grab Vriska's arm by the wrist, even though, as she pulled away, she became suddenly aware of the claws, which she noticed were vaguely purple-tinted at the tips. "Aw, c'mon, can't take a joke?" Vriska asked, non-threateningly enough, and Rose tightened her grip. "Okay, fine," Vriska said, "I'm sorry," and snapped her hand away. "I'm off to Tavros'. If Eridork shows up here without my stuff before I get back, tell him to wait so I don't humiliate him in front of Nitram."
"I'll pass it on," Rose promised, and Vriska vanished through the transportalizer. She was replaced, in a sense, by Feferi, who signalled to Rose with a double thumbs up. Rose returned the gesture half-heartedly. "She's up to something, you know," she pointed out, and Feferi just shrugged. It was, after all, Vriksa. Rose returned to her seat with a sigh. "Ugh, I hate them," she muttered. And yet: "I guess that’s the point." It was, as always, little comfort.
Ten minutes later, Sollux broke Rose's half-hearted viewing of Karkat's film with a call of "Ey! John!"
"Rose." A reflex response by now. Sollux forgetting her name always triggered her old passive-aggressive nerve, but Rose was not going to humour it lest she end up venting the same all over Eridan and Vriska. It felt odd to think, but no matter how often they irritated her, Rose had not distanced herself from her charges with her old techniques. She wondered why, instead, she continued to let them in. One day she just knew she was going to regret it.
"Right, whatever. KK says you gotta go find EQ. He wants an update on the arm."
"Why me?" Rose asked at once.
"Hell, I dunno. I could interrupt my coding and leave you with your awesome movie there."
Rose did not take long to weigh her options. "So where is Equius?"
Rose's first attempt was to try Equius' transportalizer's "bell", but he no more answered it than he had the pesters from Karkat. Rose returned to the main lab only to discover that Karkat had doubled his efforts to provoke Sollux to the task, so she reconsidered her strategy. The new plan involved squeezing an approximate map from Sollux and headed off to find Nepeta, instead. Rose really hoped that this was worth all the effort, as it seemed to her that getting a status update from Equius should have involved little more than waiting for him to come up for food. A quick check of her headbandtop showed that Sollux had loosed Karkat on her and she readied herself for adventure. The route through the service tunnels was mostly ladders, and they got more and more rusted and wet as she went. Adventure.
Ratlings greeted Rose to the Under-Laboratory, but it was a long while before she came across any other sign of habitation. The chambers she passed through were entirely distinct from her previous trips, and the only sign of life were the vermin, at least for a time. That changed, very suddenly, as she rounded one of the many vats in the Under-Lab. This one was filled to the brim with three different densities of fluid, long since separated. It contained some sort of centaur creature that had existed in the Troll's session, one that had been built like that pre-prototyping as it lacked both the telltale moustache and udders of Equius' prototype. There she found herself face to face with something she had not expected to see for the rest of her life.
Like a static buzz, the Chalk Basilisk warded Rose away with a hiss and backed up the vat in reverse. Its amphibian grip suctioned off the smooth cylinder and its eyes watched her behind transparent lenses as dragonfly wings buzzed on its back. In those eyes, Rose saw a rapid flickering of letters and numerals flash by at an impossible clip: the game was scanning her. And then the Basilisk advanced, its muscles growing as it stepped, dynamically levelled to an appropriate challenge for her Level 76. Rose drew the Quills of Echidna.
The Basilisk lunged and took a needle-tip straight to the eye in response, but retreated as though unharmed. It used its height as its primary advantage, snapping at Rose as she waited for it to descend, but it would not wait forever. Soon it would come crashing down, and Rose's arms felt very heavy. It had been so long since she had tried to Strife with the needlewands as melee weapons. She resolved that if she got out of here in one piece she was going to start practice at once. Until then…
Another lunge, and Rose's arm shot out faster than she thought capable. She missed the Underling by a hair, her wand going hilt-deep through the safety glass and into the vat. It would seem Sburb had levelled her as a melee fighter despite her pact with the Elder God. The safety glass bulged out and water streamed through the hole as Rose freed the wand just under the teeth of the Basilisk. Another bite closed about the wand, which proved invulnerable, and then a third stopped just short of Rose's face when the entire Basilisk stopped dead and pulled back a second time. Again, its eyes were seized by the digital output. Rose glanced about for her reinforcements but could not catch sight of them at first.
"Nepeta?" she called.
Without warning, the basilisk's tail exploded in a burst of brown gore and filthy vat-fluid, and from a raised platform behind her, Rose saw a black shadow leap off the edge and collided straight-on into the Underling. The entire vat, already punctured twice, caved under their combined weight, and Rose scrambled back onto an upturned table's bar-legs as a thick fluid flooded the chamber. A shower of grist exploded from behind the corpse of the centaur, a piece of Chalk striking Rose on the temple before it was absorbed into her cache.
A face peeked up over the back of the centaur. "Hi Rose!!"
"H-hi Nepeta," Rose said, as Nepeta wrung out her hat as she approached at a run.
"Rose, are you okay?" called Jade from above. Her favourite rifle, the Curian Blunderbuss, was still in her hands.
"Just fine," Rose said, catching herself on the wall as her balance slipped. "What the hell was that?"
"Evil monsters were guarding the Crystal Palace!" Nepeta failed to explain. She sloshed forward against the current the draining fluid had made in its rush to nearby drains.
Jade proved more helpful. "We were roleplaying and opened another door we probably shouldn't have."
"Didn't you learn not to do that the last time?" Rose asked Nepeta as she approached. The Troll only smiled, showing a mouth full of teeth save the two at the top front, which the moult had recently removed, giving Nepeta the gap-toothed mouth and lisp of a grade schooler.
"We thought it was for another room," Nepeta admitted. "But it's confusing down here! The real door was probably walled off."
"Was that at least the last of them?" Rose asked, not really hoping for a good answer. The floor having mostly cleared, she was at least able to drop down.
"We think so," Jade said. "Why are you here? Did they set off an alarm or something?"
"No," Rose said. "Karkat wants a progress report from Equius. Nepeta, do you…?"
"Oh, he's in his room," she said with a roll of her eyes. "I'll show you."
Nepeta led the way, dripping as she went, and Rose was reunited with Jade as they rounded a second corner, only to discover her friend had been made up with tiger stripes on her face and arms.
"Nothing," Rose said, calmly suppressing a reaction. "I'm glad you didn't get wet."
"Thanks," Jade said, checking her arms. "Sorry you did."
"I'm glad too! I'm also glad these didn't get wet!" Nepeta said as they entered another room. Rose supposed that they must have entered Nepeta's territory proper as she passed through the door, not just for the improved lighting but more for the murals that greeted her. The room had been covered, from rusting head to filthy toe, with shipping diagrams.
"This is Terezi's room," Nepeta explained before Rose's mind could even comprehend that one of the Trolls in every drawing was wearing red shades. There was just so many of them, of varying sizes, often duplicated. From the sheer number of duplicates, Rose gauged that Nepeta was perhaps more fond of Terezi/Aradia than she might have ever suspected. Also fairly frequent were a few drawings of Nepeta herself with herself and her friend, both with and without scalesuits, each one decorated by a question mark or written criticism. But the biggest drawings were new.
"ohhhh my paawwwwd, rose!!" Nepeta said, her eyes lighting up when she saw where Rose was looking. "have you s33333333n them? before? after? oh my pawd! " Nepeta wrung her hands, but her gap-toothed smile lost none of its enthusiasm. "This is such a sensitive time in their relationship! I wish I could help! They're friends so they're testing the waters and who knows what they're going to find! They could go any of the four ways and you just… you just hope they're going to do something great because they're so kyoot!!!"
Nepeta had been very observant, and had already diligently updated her shipping wall to match those observations. In at least one drawing Terezi was hunched over a book, and Nepeta had already smudged out Gamzee's left arm in every iteration. True to her word, Nepeta had drawn the couple in every possible relationship, with duplicates in the red and light grey. "Rose," she said. "Rose. Rose." Rose looked up. "Rose. Gimmie a hint, Rose. You're their friend. I mean, their friend, not their…" She coughed into her sleeve. "…their friend." And she waved a hand at her wall of suppositions to demonstrate what she meant. Her smiling twitching on and off her face as she gauged their reactions, to see if she was properly understanding their system compared to her own.
"I don't really know, Nepeta," Rose admitted. "I mean, Gamzee's mostly asleep, I don't really think he's considering… that… sort of thing."
Nepeta nodded acknowledgement but kept talking. "I know but like, I really, really hope that it's crossed their mind, because… uh… because…" Nepeta tapped her pointer fingers against one another. "I really think they could go, like, for flushed! I do! Because she's… Terezi's… I don't wanna seem… like I know but Ithinkshe'sdonewithKarkat?" Another grin teased at Nepeta's lips and then vanished. "And Gamzee could be really into her! I mean… if she's interested."
Nepeta suddenly cast a look over her shoulder and her tone shifted dramatically to confidence. "But I think…" she said, waving both of the Humans closer so that she could continue at a conspiratorial whisper. "I think this might be Moirallegience. Shh!" Another check of her surrounds. "Now I don't wanna, you know, what with Tavros. Because he's been doing great but I think, just maybe, that Gamzee might actually be more violent than him. I do!" she said, as if they had doubted her in reply. "And it should be… like… closer to each other, in terms of anger, unless you're a Pale Sub, and Tavros might be but I can't really think of Gamzee as Pale Dom, you… you know?" Rose did not. "And I don't want them to be upset! But Terezi, well… picture this. Trust me."
Nepeta stepped back to give herself room, apparently to gesticulate. "So… so Gamzee just hit somebody." And she struck the air. "He's sober and he's mad and he just hit somebody really hard! B-but I don't want him to have hit someone I like s-so maybe he just hit Jack! Yeah! He hit Jack so hard that Jack flew away!. And Gamzee's like 'MoThErFuCk, My mOtHeRfUcKeRs, I'M So mOtHeRfUcKiNg aNgRy!' You know?"
"Oh yeah," Jade agreed. "That's totally how he'd sound."
"Great!" Nepeta said with a grin. "And then Tavros is like 'uHH, gAMZEE, i DON'T THINK I CAN REALLY CONTAIN THIS KIND OF STUPENDOUS ANGER.' Stupendous. No, no, not 'stupendous'. Uh… stup… would he say 'motherfucking' for Gamzee's sake?" Rose opened her mouth but Nepeta stopped her. "Nevermind.
"So he can't do it! And Gamzee doesn't want to hurt his friends but he's so angry, and then Terezi shows up! And she's like 'G4MZ33 1 KNOW YOUR3 4NGRY BUT YOU DONT H4V3 TO B3' and he's like 'No, My mOsT MoThErFuCkInG PrOsEcUtIn' PaL, i dOn't wAnT To hUrT YoU ToO! ' and she's like 'NO G4MZ33 1 H4V3 TO STOP YOU. 4ND NOT JUST B3C4US3 TH1S 1S TOT4LLY 1LL3G4L BUT B3C4US3…'"
And Nepeta reached out with trembling hand and cupped Jade's face. Nepeta was actually shaking in her act and looked Jade straight on with her intense yellow eyes as vat water dripped down Jade's neck. "'B3C4US3 1 WONT L3T YOU G1V3 1N.'" Nepeta's arm shook but her Terezi found new strength and she stepped forward, much to Jade's obvious discomfort. Nepeta's eyes softened. "'1 WOULD ST4ND 1N FRONT OF YOU…'" She gasped in air. "'t-to the end.'"
And then Nepeta gasped, jumped back and rubbed both palms together. "Ohhh my pawd I have to draw this. i have to. I will be right back!" And she bounded away to collect her paints.
"Well," Rose said into the silence of the room. Jade wiped at her face with her sleeve. "This sure was a thing." Jade nodded. "Are… we here?"
Jade smiled a little, despite the oily green smudge still running along her ear, and pointed to the far corner of the room. Rose head over, curiosity building as she went, until she was greeted by the sight of a blonde-haired stick figure in a purple dress holding hands with a Troll figure wearing red shades, a red heart perched between them. A nearby picture had them both with arms raised as if in a cheer, also slotted for moirallegiance. Not far from there, stick!Terezi grinned a stick!John, with the caption "ehhhh… not really"
"Are you here?" Rose asked as she looked around, not finding any more Human stick figures.
"I must be somewhere," Jade said. "But I… think she's been hiding my ships, since I come down here so often."
"Am I not supposed to be looking at this, then?" Rose asked as she bent down to look at a few splotches of paint that seemed to have been misplaced in the exact corner. Jade just shrugged behind her, and Rose peered closer. The more she looked, the clearer it became that the splotches were not just random. Rather, they were all that remained of a drawing Nepeta had canvassed over with long, slow swipes of gray paint.
One drawing, with what looked like the dimpled top of a heart poking out from under the cover, was mostly lost, but the other, the relationship symbol properly obscured, depicted a stick figure with a red-sleeved arm. Since this was the Human section, Rose did not have much trouble determining who Nepeta had once shipped with Terezi here.
Jade had obviously reached the same conclusion in the past, if she had not outright seen the original drawing. "Even a great shipper's wrong sometimes."
"Jade did… you ever talk to him about this?" Rose asked as she took to her feet.
"Dave? …No." Jade started walking and Rose picked up her pace. "I mean, John and I went after him after the fight but it's not like he listened to us. I didn't even get the details until I talked to you. Did… you talk to Terezi? I mean, after?"
"Terezi's only mentioned it off-hand one time," Rose said. "Other than that… well." She waved her hand to the murals depicting Gamzee and Terezi, the friends Nepeta felt were on the cusp. "I guess when you think you're there but you're really not even on the board, that's a kick to the gut. But it's not like Dave knew." Jade nodded. "So…" Rose said as they continued to walk. "Do we have, like, full rooms down here?"
"Well, only the girls have rooms or there'd be doubles!" Jade explained. "Nepeta said it was because her room was already 'her room'. But no Human rooms yet. Oh! But there is one thing."
Jade head off at a jog and led Rose through a few corridors to a junction not far from what looked like Feferi's ships. Jade gestured with spread arms toward the floor. The floor below was set with a grate, but on the four solid corners of the intersection, Rose made out four stick figures of the Humans. In the middle, on the bars of the grate, was painted a great blue circle.
"Friendship," Jade said, her arms wrapped as if about the circle. "She said she got the idea from King Arfur's Round Table."
"King Arfur?" Rose asked as she examined the drawing.
"I'm allowed to make up plot, too, you know!" Jade snipped. "Because everyone is equal, they look out for one another and… well, a circle's easy to draw."
"It's great," Rose said, and while, as an artist herself, she had a few things to say about Nepeta's sketches she would never let out, she felt it as well, this definite gesture from Nepeta. She wished she could show this to the others, to Kanaya, but she could only imagine John appreciating it. Kanaya, as much as she hated to admit, would be a risk of the opposite. Still, John at least. "Are there…" Rose was worried to ask. "Are there many circles down here?"
Jade shook her head. "I think there's one of Karkat and Sollux or Karkat and Gamzee somewhere, but Equius saw it and got mad. Oh!" Jade took her bearings. "You were here for Equius, right? Well, I can show you the way. Nepeta's… honestly going to be busier for a lot longer than she thinks."
Rose agreed, and Jade guided her through the tunnels until they came into an basement administrative section, with less exposed, decayed lab equipment and more exposed, rotted office supplies. In the back they came to a heavy door, where Jade knocked.
"Oh, hi Jade!" Nepeta said when she opened the door. "Hi Rose! I'm sorry, if I knew I had left my paints all the way back here I'd have just brought you along!" She then stepped forward and mumbled something in pig latin that Rose translated to "Please don't tell Equius about the Basilisks."
Jade walked in at once, but Rose hesitated, still vaguely remembering the unspoken rule the Trolls had drilled into her once upon a time, to never enter Equius' room, as she would not understand. She understood the warning, at least, as soon as she crossed the threshold. The room was split down the middle by a series of furs on one side and protective mats hung up to keep the furs from catching fire on the opposite. On that opposite side, every other available surface was wallpapered with exaggerated horse pornography that flickered in and out of sight in the glare of Equius' welding torch. The Trolls had been right. She did not understand.
"Equius! Rose is here!"
Equius did not respond. Ear protection aside, Equius was not unlike Sollux at the moment, completely and utterly engrossed in his work in a way Rose had never experienced herself. She would have admired it if he was not so unfortunately flanked by fetish posters that now seemed poised towards him.
Seeing a spare pair of eye protection probably intended for Nepeta, Rose collected them and approached Equius. "Equius, Karkat wants an update on the arm."
"Stand back," he said, giving her his attention only when a bit of slag flew off in her direction. "Tell Vantas that it will be done when it is done."
"Look, Equius," Rose said, her eyes drifting toward the object of Equius' diligent attentions. The robot arm was not at all what she had pictured considering Tavros' legs. She had heard that it was based on a model that was originally worn by Vriska, but that had not really prepared her for the sight of the new. "Even if Karkat was just doing this to annoy us both, it'd be a lot less annoying if he doesn't send me back down here to do it again because you weren't giving details."
"You want details?" Equius said without looking up. "All right."
And he proceeded to give her details, at length and buried in roughly translated jargon. Only her thorough education managed to give Rose the fact that the arm's ring finger was functioning more-or-less as intended at this point in time. The rest was lost on her, whatever it had been. When he finished, he dismissed her with "Is that satisfactory?" and without waiting for a response. Rose left with more respect for the racist blueblood, even if she knew that she would never understand him, literally and figuratively.
When she came to Nepeta's side of the room, she found that Nepeta and Jade were still searching for the lost paints. A quick exchange had her soon filled in on which of Nepeta's many piles (furs, bones and bait) had yet to be searched, and she set to work. Nepeta and Jade worked as a team, bustling and chatting animatedly, and Rose felt just a touch left out to hear them go on with their stories that had no part in. But if she had been with them, she never would have found the paints, because it was next to the paints, tucked behind the furs, that Rose found another shipping wall.
It had been drawn in chalk (the chalk was also there, stuck under the white fur of a bear of some sort) and had been smudged away in some hurry, not unlike the pile itself. There were four drawings, in a standard grid, with red smudge, pale grey, black and dark grey in the quarters Rose might well have expected from her talks with Karkat. In each quadrant there had been figures: the same pair, Rose quickly gauged from the smudged colours. One was a Human – Nepeta liked to use snow white for their skin and the shade hardly corresponded to anything on any of the Trolls – and the other was a Troll. Rose thought back to her Doyle as she looked at the rest. Black hair on the Troll, of course. Black hair on the Human, much more useful. The Troll's body was a smudge of black… no, black and green! The Human was wearing white. That was useless, as they all wore white from time to time. She had to squint – she had to get much closer to the wall than she was really comfortable considering that Nepeta had hidden it and might turn around at any moment – but she found her clue. A tiny patch remained of the shirt's symbol in the matespritship quadrant. Light blue. Rose did not know what to think, but the conclusion was clear. Nepeta had drawn herself with Jade, four times: once in every quadrant, even moirallegiance
Rose shifted a fur to cover the wall. "Found them!" she called. Rose watched Nepeta's face when she turned about to heft the can. Sure enough, a moment of panic overtook her and she stepped forward at once, but calmed down when she saw that the wall was safe and instead switched to joy at recovering her paints.
"Equius!" she called. "I'm gonna go paint!"
"Then I had better go," Jade said. "I don't want to get in the way."
"Okay Jade!" Nepeta said. "We'll go back to the Crystal Palace some other day!"
But farewells were halted by a voice from the back. Equius, it would seem, was listening more than he let on. "Nepeta, didn't you have something to ask Miss Harley?"
"Oh. Uh…" Nepeta looked about furtively, which seemed to be her way of hunting down a lost train of thought. "Oh yeah! Did you want to come over tomorrow after work to see the art Equius has been restoring? It could be a lot of fun!"
"Uh…" Jade flicked her eyes to Rose, who was briefly but ultimately not surprised that her friend the lover of Anthropomorphic Fauna was not into Equius' art, considering that she was still Jade in the end. "No thanks, Nepeta, Equius. I promised I'd hang out with Rose tomorrow!" Rose nodded at once. After all, what were friends for if not entangling lies upon lies?
"Okay!" Nepeta said, not at all perturbed, and she threw her arms around Jade's neck and squeezed goodbye. When she turned to Rose there was an awkward pause, but soon she was also taken into that same clenching grasp.
Once Rose and Jade were off on their own, Jade heaved a sigh of relief and flashed Rose a circle sign with her hands. "Thank you," she said. Rose laughed and returned the sign, and they headed back toward the exit as Rose had come, discussing her and Nepeta's ongoing story as they went. Rose waited, as Jade was still talking at a energetic pace and it took a good while for her to explain why she was still dressed in tiger stripes, but the opportunity finally came as they climbed the second-last ladder.
"So hey," Rose said, an excuse ready to be used. "Do you want to get something to eat? I… wanna talk about something."
"Oh nooooo, is something the matter?" Jade said when she saw her friend's face. "Not you and Kanaya, right?"
"Ah… no. No. This is more like… well it's like Dave and Terezi but with…" Rose looked back at her friend as they approached the last ladder they would need to climb. "Someone else. I'm worried, uh…"
But Jade slapped her hand on Rose's shoulder. "Feelings jam," she said.
"It's something I learned here," Jade said matter-of-factly, and she headed off in a different direction, toward Aradia's and their rooms. "Follow me."
Rose watched her go. "Who do you think I'm talking about, Jade?"
"Get in the feelings jam first, Rose!"
And so Rose followed.
This is one of the few times I've broken out a Troll's tone when they weren't in an emotional state. I really have no idea how to spell out Sollux's abbreviations, and the fandom handles them inconsistently as a whole so I couldn't decide which one to go with. So we got yellow text to excuse me saying "EQ". "Eck"? "Eee-Queue"? I have no idea. I should really just pick one.
Last edited by SkaianRedeemer; 04-27-2011 at 07:46 PM.
Deferrer weaves in and out of traffic, runs a few red lights, cuts off a patrol car, and in no time at all, the outlandish vomit green of the Felt’s concert hall is in view.
There’s no better way to tell when something just doesn’t belong in this universe than when it’s covered in garish bright green.
You wish you meant that figuratively.
Sleuth doesn’t actually remember English Performance Hall ever being constructed. He remembers that the lot was zoned, but he never saw any construction vehicles or men working or even so much as a pile of dirt ever on the property. One month it was an empty lot, the next there was a gaudy green concert hall with ornate architecture. Maybe Doc Scratch moved it from places unknown, or maybe he raised it from the ground molecule by molecule. Or maybe there isn’t really a concert hall there at all, just an illusion maintained by the omnipotent being that looks and feels very much like a concert hall. It’s always hurt Sleuth’s eyes to look at it, though it could just be the color.
The Felt occasionally put on concerts, and when they do the concerts sell out and are heralded by glowing reviews. Sleuth has no idea why. For some reason, the music critics rave about how it is a must-listen surreal experience for every acoustically inclined person in the city. Sleuth figures there’s probably intimidation or blackmail or something criminal going on with the reviews, because whenever he hears the music, he just gets sick.
When the Felt aren’t butchering music, which is thankfully rare, they use the concert hall as a base in the middle of the city. The Felt mansion lies far enough away from the city outskirts to make many criminal operations unfeasible due to travel time. If Sleuth wants to find the Felt after what he did to them last night, it’s a good bet they’ll be here.
They won’t be happy to see him, though.
Deferrer pulls up to the curb. “Come back in half an hour. If I’m not out by then, come by again in another half hour. If I’m still not out, go find Ace Dick and Pickle Inspector.” Sleuth says as he opens up the backdoor. “And don’t stop driving. Never stop driving. Got all that?”
“Yessir, Sleuth.” Deferrer says. Sleuth steps out and closes the back door. “Hold on.” Deferrer says as Sleuth steps onto the curb.
He leans in through the front window. “What’s the matter?”
“Where’s my fare?” Deferrer says with a wicked grin.
“Oh, you have got to be kidding me.” Sleuth grumbles. He pulls out his wallet and opens it up. He’s got a whole dollar. In change. He closes his wallet. “You and me are on a mission to be big heroes and you’re still gonna make me pay the fare?”
“I don’t give free rides, Sleuth.” Deferrer says. “Not even for you. You have to take me to dinner first.”
“Well,” Sleuth says. “I can’t pay it anyway.”
Deferrer frowns. “Have fun with the Felt, Sleuth!” Deferrer shouts. “See ya tomorrow!” Sleuth pulls out of the window before Deferrer’s cab screeches off, leaving Sleuth in the dust. Halfway down the street she reaches her hand out of the window and waves.
Problem Sleuth turns away from the street. The concert hall is immense and imposing. It’s much larger than it needs to be, but that’s about what Sleuth expects from the Felt. He walks down the green concrete path, passing by the green garden towards the green front door. He pushes on the door, but it’s locked.
Problem Sleuth: Use key on door.
Problem Sleuth pulls his key out of his coat pocket and checks the chamber. It’s completely empty, just like he left it last night. Ammo doesn’t just mysteriously appear in a gun whenever it’s convenient.
A security guard notices Sleuth futzing around with the door. He opens the door from the inside, hand gripping a gun at his side. “Sir, English Performance Hall is closed for today and the foreseeable future. Please return when an event is scheduled.” The guard tells him.
“I got business with the Felt.”
The guard takes a breath and sighs. “English Performance Hall has no affiliation with the gang of mobsters known as the Felt. Any reports to the contrary are slander and will be contested by our legal team.” He recites.
“Are you gonna let me in or not?”
“No, please come again when an event is scheduled.”
Sleuth holds up his gun for display. “Are you gonna drop your script and talk to me straight? I got a key here and I’m running out of patience.”
The guard half-smiles. “You’re empty. Why else would Problem Sleuth bang at the door of the Felt’s concert hall when he could just shoot it open?” The guard asks. He drops his smile for his best intimidating glare. “Now scram.”
The guard pulls the door. Sleuth puts his hand in the door and grunts as it’s smashed between the door and frame. He grabs the edge of the door with both hands and pulls it open.
The guard lets go and pulls his gun. “Alright, you asked for it.” Sleuth grabs the guard’s hands and smashes the grip of the gun into the guard’s face. Sleuth twists it out of his hands as the guard falls onto the floor.
Sleuth tosses the gun aside and walks into the lobby. “You’re a dead man. You know that, right?” The guard says as he sits up on the floor.
Sleuth ignores the guard and stuffs his hands in his pockets as he walks into the auditorium. It’s big enough to hold half the city. He starts walking down the aisle towards the stage.
Snowman’s standing with her back turned to Sleuth, practicing a violin solo. Sleuth’s stomach drops as a hatred boils up inside of him. There’s a part of him that’s saying that she is the enemy and she is extremely dangerous and she must be defeated. A lot’s changed since he was a soldier, but some things stay the same.
On the stage with her is Crowbar. “No, it just happened. He’ll be fine, but Stitch has a hard time fixing broken bones, and he’ll have a harder time fixing Doze up with all the other work he has...” Sleuth hears Crowbar as if he were standing a foot away. Crowbar turns his head towards Sleuth.
“Thank you for the report, Crowbar. Please continue your work.” Snowman responds without a pause in her playing. “Is there something the matter?”
Crowbar starts moving. “Yeah. I got a promise to keep.” Sleuth hears with a delay. Crowbar hops off the stage and starts walking fast towards Sleuth. He’s got his crowbar hanging at his side.
“We need to talk.” Sleuth shouts down at Crowbar.
“There’s nothing to talk about.”
“You’ll want to hear this.”
“I don’t know what you came here for but I don’t care.” Crowbar says with fury in his eyes. “I swore you’d be dead by the end of today.”
Crowbar lifts his crowbar up high and starts running towards Sleuth. He swings it at Sleuth’s head. Sleuth flinches and closes his eyes, but the blow never comes. He opens his eyes.
Snowman’s got her hand around the crowbar. “Gentleman, please. There is no need to discuss matters in this fashion out here. Think of the carpet and how it would look to future guests if it was stained with blood.” Snowman says with a polite smile, lowering the crowbar.
“No, he needs to die. I swore he would.” Crowbar protests.
Snowman shoots him an angry look and Crowbar shuts right up. She turns to Sleuth. “It is good to see you, Problem Sleuth.” She extends a dainty hand towards Sleuth.
Sleuth looks at the offered hand. He hesitantly reaches for it. People have been beaten to death by Snowman’s hands, yet they’re probably just as graceful and unblemished as they were when she was first... instanced. It occurs to Sleuth that brutality and elegance is an odd contradiction that perfectly describes Snowman. “Likewise.” Sleuth says with a smile that seems completely inappropriate given who he’s talking to.
Snowman pulls her cigarette holder out of her coat and idly places the tip in her mouth as her other arm is folded across her chest. “To what do we owe the pleasure of your company, Problem Sleuth?”
“I just had to say hi to the only thing of the Felt with any class.”
A calculated laugh comes out of her mouth. “Oh, Problem Sleuth, you’re too kind.” She says. Her face instantly drains of any good cheer. “Come to the back.” She orders. She twists on the dagger-like heels of her shoes and starts strutting back towards the stage.
Crowbar grabs Sleuth’s elbow and it comes as a bit of a surprise. “Quit gawking. Come on.” He says as he roughly shoves Sleuth towards the stage.
“But her coat tails are so distracting.” Sleuth says. “What’s it like working with her?”
“Shut up, Sleuth.”
“It can’t be fun getting beat up by a woman. But the view has to more than make up for it.”
“Shut up, Sleuth.”
“Once you get on her good side it shouldn’t be too bad.” Sleuth says. “You’re on her good side, right? Can’t imagine what it’d be like if you weren’t.”
Crowbar takes a breath and grits his teeth. Snowman walks up the stage and disappears behind a curtain.
“So what’s it like?” Sleuth says in a hushed voice.
“Better than being with Hysterical Dame by choice.”
That was a pretty good comeback, you have to admit.
You could almost like this guy if he hadn’t sworn to kill you.
“You’ll pay for that remark, Crowbar.” Snowman shouts in a sing-song from behind the curtain.
“Shit.” Crowbar swears through gritted teeth.
Crowbar marches Sleuth up the steps to the stage and leads him through a mess of curtains. On the other side of the stage is a bunch of dusty instruments, stacked chairs, a few tables, assorted weapons and guns, and several effigies. Stitch is busy adjusting the limbs of an effigy wearing a blue top hat, and standing in the middle of the room doing nothing in particular is Cans. Snowman is leaning to one side with her cigarette holder in her mouth waiting for Crowbar and Sleuth.
“Crowbar, I believe you had an issue you wished to discuss with Problem Sleuth.” Snowman says.
The next thing Sleuth knows his face is on the floor and the back of his head is throbbing. Not even a moment’s hesitation or a warning.
“Crowbar!” Snowman says in a mock surprise. “What are you doing? Problem Sleuth saves us the time and trouble of finding him even though he knows we are searching for him and this is how you repay his generosity? This is utterly unthinkable! I will not stand for this.” She playfully lectures.
“Are you going to let me finish the job?” Crowbar asks.
“Perhaps.” Snowman takes a breath. “It depends solely on what he has to say.”
“Hey, cut it out.” Stitch rasps. “I ain’t helping you with him if you go too far. Got it?”
“Thank you, Stitch, but your assistance will not be required for now.” Snowman says dismissively. Snowman casually points at Sleuth. “Crowbar, we can not talk to Problem Sleuth while his mouth is pressed against the floor.” She says like it was obvious.
A hand grabs the back of Sleuth’s coat and Sleuth shakily stands up with more than a little help from Crowbar. Sleuth puts his hand on Crowbar’s shoulder and faces him. “Thanks.” He says. He curls his other hand into a fist and puts it into Crowbar’s face. Sleuth turns around to Snowman. “Oh, sorry. That’s your job.”
Crowbar growls and picks himself off the floor. He wraps both hands around his crowbar and raises it for a swing. Snowman lightly shakes her head. Crowbar curses and walks to Stitch. “Problem Sleuth, why are you here?” Snowman asks.
“I came for a concert.” Sleuth looks around. “You guys still do those, right? Those instruments haven’t been used in a while, and Crowbar playing the drums on my head wasn’t what I was expecting, to be honest.”
“Do not waste my time.” Snowman snaps, eyes thinned to slits.
Sleuth thinks carefully about what to say next. Snowman isn’t angry in the same way as Spades Slick, but she’s got plenty of fury and she still treats herself like she’s a queen. An iota of disrespect is more than enough for her to break limbs and inflict pain and torture. But she’s smart. She knows when to hold back to get whatever she needs. It’s tricky to know what the line between her restraint and overwhelming retaliation is.
Problem Sleuth: Tempt fate.
“I’m not. When’s your next concert? Years go by between them and I was hoping I could convince you to put one on sooner rather than later.”
Snowman glares hellfury and damnation and daggers and all sorts of other nasty things at Sleuth. “Stitch.” She calls without breaking her glare. “Prepare an effigy of Problem Sleuth, please.”
“I already told you, I ain’t helping. I’m busy keeping this gang from falling apart.”
Snowman is simmering fury right now. “Problem Sleuth, while it appears I will be unable to implement the exotic method of torture that I personally preferred, I will remind you that I know hundreds of more mundane techniques that are equally painful that I will inflict upon you until I am satisfied by your screams if you continue wasting my time.”
“And you’re bored by torture.”
“Precisely.” Snowman says. “Do we understand each other?”
“Well, why didn’t you just say that to start with?” Sleuth asks.
Snowman stares at Sleuth for a moment. “There is one technique where I take an extremely sharp and delicate knife and carve your carapace off layer by flaky layer. The pain is not so much in the removal but the result. One victim likened it to a constant searing fire all over her body, and from what I understand the pain increased bit by bit as bit by bit was removed, if I am to gauge pain by the volume of screams.” A small menacing smile spreads across her lips.
Sleuth gives her an unimpressed look. “Is this supposed to scare me?”
“Another technique involves boiling you inside your carapace, much like the former inhabitants of this planet used to prepare shellpinchers for meals. Their technique involved thorough cooking. However, the pain caused from organ dysfunction as a result of light cooking is far worse than simply boiling you to death.”
Sleuth groans and sighs, not because he’s scared of the torture but because it’s annoying listening to Snowman drone on about it. “I’ve got the Sapphire of Alternia.”
She doesn’t look surprised. “Of course.”
“I don’t want the thing and Wealthy Quantifier can’t pay me enough money to return it to her. But I know the Felt have deeper pockets than her. Much deeper. I think you may be willing to empty them to get it.” Sleuth says.
Snowman shifts her weight to her other foot. “If it is simply a monetary issue why have you not gone to the Midnight Crew? They have more than the Felt do.”
“Oh, well, thanks for the tip.” Sleuth says. He starts turning around. “Guess we’re done here.”
“Not so fast.” Crowbar says. He walks to Snowman’s side and leans into her. “Can I talk to you?” He says into her ear.
“No.” Snowman says.
“I don’t want to suggest that you’re not perfectly capable of doing everything I do on a daily basis because you’ve made sure to make that clear on multiple occasions,” Crowbar says slightly sarcastically, “But since you’re more often than not too busy smoking cigarettes or sleeping in or just plain not interested enough to get involved in the cogs and gears of the Felt, maybe you should let me tell you how much we actually have to give away before you promise Problem Sleuth something impossible.”
Snowman’s eyes dart downward towards Crowbar as she thinks it over. They quickly return to Sleuth. “Pardon us.” She says. Crowbar and Snowman walk towards the doors that lead deeper into the concert hall.
Problem Sleuth is left standing by himself. He starts slowly making his way to Stitch. He’s having a hard time setting Doze’s limbs through the stuffed effigy and it’s showing on his face. Stitch glares at Sleuth as he puts his hands on the table. “So,” Sleuth starts. “Been busy lately?”
Stitch’s glare turns to a wide smile. “Hey, Cans. Can you believe this guy? He shoots two of us near to death and the rest of us just for fun and thinks he’s being funny when he asks me if I’ve been busy.”
“You gonna tell ‘im ‘e’s not funny?” Cans’ deep bass echoes through the whole auditorium. “Might do ‘im some good to tell it to ‘im straight.”
“Nah, I ain’t got the heart to tell him his jokes are fucking awful.” Stitch shoots a glare at Sleuth.
“What the hell did I ever do to you guys?” Sleuth asks, smirk on his face.
“Just cut it out, Sleuth. I’m busy, no thanks to you, and if you don’t get outta my hair I’ll have Cans throw you out the door and straight into tomorrow.”
“I told Crowbar to take me along last night.” Cans shakes his head. “I coulda helped out, made sure none of this happened.”
“You ain’t exactly easy to move around, Cans.”
“But I told ‘im, and then this happens!” Cans repeats.
“Where’s the rest of the Felt?” Sleuth asks.
“Out.” Cans answers.
“Hunting you down.” Stitch answers. “Itchy should’ve been around when you did this to Doze. The bastard wasn’t for some reason.”
“Why do we keep ‘im around? He doesn’t do anything.”
“You mean like a hulking brute I know that punches people through calendar years?”
“I keep asking, Stitch! But Crowbar keeps saying no. At least I’m trying ta be helpful.”
Sleuth looks at some of the other effigies. Crowbar’s got an ugly stitch over his gut, and Quarters is completely covered in crisscrossing stitches. Trace’s and Fin’s are in similar shape, and they’re soaking wet for some reason. He points at the two. “I thought I killed them.”
Stitch smiles. “You would’ve too if it weren’t for me.”
“We love this guy.” Cans pats Stitch lightly on his back. “’e keeps us alive even when we oughtn’t."
“So why aren’t they dead?” Sleuth asks.
“Do you know what happens to an effigy when a member of the Felt dies?”
Sleuth tries to think. “No.”
“Then shut up. It wouldn’t make sense to you and I’m not about to tell you our secrets.”
Sleuth glares. “So you’re cheating bastards.”
“And proud of it.” Stitch says. Stitch looks past Sleuth and points. “You’re up, Sleuth.”
Crowbar walks back from the back stage doors. Snowman emerges from a dark corner of the room and both walk towards Sleuth. Sleuth turns around and raises a brow, waiting for them to speak.
“We have considered your offer, Problem Sleuth.” Snowman says. “We have decided that, instead of paying you money, we would rather coerce the location of the Sapphire of Alternia out of you.”
Problem Sleuth reaches a hand into his pocket for the tube of lipstick-
It’s not like that! It's not like that at all! You don’t secretly want to know what it’s like to wear make up! Besides, you already know what it feels like goddammit just god fucking dammit all to hell.
But a crowbar smashes hard into his wrist. He can’t grab hold of anything while his wrist is throbbing. He reaches his other hand for his key but Snowman grabs his arm, twists it behind his back and forces him onto the floor. “Crowbar!” Sleuth shouts. “We’ve been through this already. You can’t force anything out of me if I don’t wanna talk.”
“Crowbar is incapable of conducting a competent interrogation.” Snowman says as she suddenly presses her knee onto Sleuth’s back, knocking the air out of his lungs. “I, however, am. Where is the Sapphire of Alternia?” Snowman shouts.
Sleuth breathlessly chuckles. “In my office safe.”
Snowman glares at Crowbar. “I told you to get that open!”
“Are you seriously falling for that?” Crowbar asks. “It wouldn’t even be in there.”
“What the hell were you two doing in my office?” Sleuth asks. “Oh, come on. Come on! I have to work there! What’s wrong with the Felt mansion? Too many people listening in? It’s gonna take forever to make sure everything’s clean.”
“Quiet!” Snowman twists Sleuth’s arm further.
“Oh, that’s right. Spades Slick is the only man for you.” Sleuth says, mouth tasting the floor. “No wonder why you’re so hard on Crowbar. He just doesn’t measure up.” Sleuth pauses. “Too compliant.”
Snowman pulls Sleuth’s head back and bangs it into the floor. “Quiet!” Snowman screams.
“I don’t get it.” Sleuth says between pained laughs. “The two of you could be ruling this town. But you’re gonna pass up total control to get revenge for a wrong centuries old?”
Snowman screams incoherently. She turns Sleuth onto his back and throws him hard into the ground. She starts throwing punch after punch at Sleuth, beating his face into the ground.
“You’re gonna kill him!” Crowbar shouts, him and Stitch pulling Snowman off of Sleuth. She shakes them off, knees Crowbar in the groin and tosses him onto the floor. She leaps back at Sleuth and bashes his face in more.
Cans grabs Snowman by her arms and pulls her away. “You’re letting ‘im get to you.” He says in a calm voice.
“I will kill him!” She screams, struggling against Cans’ unbreakable grip. “No one talks to me like that! No one! No one dares say those things to me!”
“Don’t let ‘im get to you.” Cans says.
“I am the Queen of Derse! Do not treat me like I am a tantruming child!” Snowman shouts. “Now let me go so I can kill him like he deserves!”
Sleuth blinks several times. He’s surprised he stayed alert through all of that. All things considered, Snowman punches like a woman.
“Stitch,” Crowbar says, order left unsaid.
Stitch kneels over Problem Sleuth’s head. “How many fingers?” Stitch asks, holding up three.
Sleuth rubs his face. It’s bloody all over. All things considered, Snowman still punches pretty damn hard. “I’m fine.” He says. “Should I just stay down here?”
“Get up.” Crowbar says. “If we want you on the floor we’ll throw you down there again.”
Sleuth sits up. “You know, I think I’ll just see Spades Slick about this. I think he’d be more reasonable about all of this.” Sleuth stands up and glances at Snowman.
Snowman glares at Problem Sleuth. She’s stopped struggling, but Cans isn’t letting go.
Why doesn’t she just teleport out of Cans’ grip? Is this some sort of good cop, bad cop routine?
You’re not about to mention it in case it isn’t.
“Just shut up.” Crowbar says. “You came here to talk. You’ve done plenty of that already, but get to the point, would you? I think you can figure out what happens if you run out my patience too.”
“That’s funny coming from a guy who tried to bash my head in as soon as he saw me today.” Sleuth points out.
Crowbar doesn’t have an immediate response. He then smiles. “Day’s not over yet, Sleuth. Plenty of time to make good on a promise. But Felt business come first.” He says. “Let’s hear everything you’ve got to say. If I like it, I might just go along with it.”
Sleuth takes off his hat and dusts it off. He straightens his coat. “Finally, someone who gets down to business.” Sleuth says. “You bring me a hundred thousand dollars, I tell you where you can find the Sapphire of Alternia. And you can bet I’ve thought through all the details. You’ll never get to it if you even think about double crossing me.”
Crowbar raises a brow. “A hundred thousand dollars is a lot of money. We don’t exactly keep that much liquid cash around.”
“That’s not my problem.”
“And that’s a hefty price. Seventy-five thousand.” Crowbar haggles.
“Not a chance. A hundred thousand’s a bargain for what I’m offering you.”
Crowbar grimaces. “What if I just hold you hostage, round up everyone you know and torture them all for the information?”
“It’s on its way to Wealthy Quantifier as we speak. If I don’t get out of here in the next,” Sleuth mentally tallies up the time he’s spent here. “Fifteen minutes and make an appointment with a payphone, it’ll be in her hands. Once that happens, you can bet it’ll never be seen again.”
“Do not take the deal.” Snowman orders from Cans’ grip. “He is bluffing. He would never let anything that powerful come into our hands.”
Crowbar folds his arms and tosses his head towards Snowman. “She’s got a point, Sleuth. This just doesn’t seem like you.”
“I’m tired of being a hero for no reward.” Sleuth says. “You just let Snowman tell me exactly what she thinks of me. You think I want to keep letting things like that happen to me for the rest of my life? I’d rather be rich and unbruised.”
Snowman disappears out of Cans’ grip. She reappears from the front of the stage as curtains billow outward and throws her whip at Sleuth’s neck. Sleuth grabs the whip, trying to pull it apart, but it’s wrapped tight. She tugs on the end. “Liar!” She shouts. “Admit it! You have no intention whatsoever of making any deal with us.”
“Snowman,” Crowbar says, trying to get her to back off.
“What makes you so sure?” Sleuth rasps out.
She tugs on the whip until she’s breathing down Sleuth’s neck. “Because I know you, Problem Sleuth, and your reputation. And this,” She spits. “Is something you would never genuinely do.”
“Snowman!” Crowbar shouts again. He signals Stitch and Cans to get ready.
“So you think you know me?” Sleuth asks. “Would I hit a woman?”
Snowman grins. “Oh, no. You are much too respectful and chivalrous for that.”
“How about this?” Sleuth reaches a hand behind Snowman and grabs hold.
Snowman lets go of the whip with a disgusted gasp and pushes Sleuth away. She stands beside Crowbar with her cigarette holder idly in her mouth.
“That’s it?” Crowbar asks. “That’s all he has to do?”
Snowman chews on the holder for a moment and levels a vicious glare at Crowbar. “Do not dare follow his example.”
Sleuth unwraps the whip around his neck. “That’s an invitation if I ever heard one.”
Snowman breathes in and lets the remark pass. She’s still staring fury at Sleuth but her vicious rage has subsided. Crowbar eyes Snowman, searching for a prompt. “Clearly I do not understand Problem Sleuth as well as I thought. Please, continue with your moronic negotiating. Do not let me deter you any further.”
Crowbar shrugs and looks at Sleuth. “Alright, Sleuth, you’ve got a deal.”
“Imbecile.” Snowman mutters.
“Where and when?” Crowbar asks.
“Midnight.” Sleuth says. He hadn’t thought of where. He says the first thing that comes to mind. “Alternia Park. To keep you guys honest.”
Crowbar offers his hand. Sleuth grabs hold and shakes it. “I know you’re playing some kind of game, Sleuth.” Crowbar says. “We’ll keep our end of the bargain, but if you don’t, we’re done. We’re not wasting any more time looking for the Sapphire of Alternia. We’re cutting our losses, and you know what that means?”
“What?” Sleuth says tensely, already knowing the answer.
“I get to keep my promise.” Crowbar smiles grimly.
Sleuth stares at Crowbar. “Then we’ve got a deal?”
Crowbar nods. “We’ve got a deal.”
“He could have been broken.” Snowman says to herself.
“Not Problem Sleuth.” Crowbar says, turning to Snowman. “Even if we could get him to give up where it is, we’d lose our chance to get it.”
“I could have easily broken him in time.”
“At the rate you were going he wouldn’t have had a mouth to tell us.”
Problem Sleuth starts backing away. “Well, nice talking to you all.”
“Just get out of here, Sleuth.” Stitch tells him, Crowbar and Snowman occupied with an argument.
Sleuth guides himself through the curtains to the front of the stage. He walks down the steps and starts walking up the aisle.
Yeah, they don’t buy that for a second. There’s no way they could, unless Snowman’s got the average intelligence of the rest of the Felt.
But that doesn’t matter. All you need is for them to show up.
He exits to the lobby. The guard turns his head towards him, surprised. “Well, I’ll be.” He says.
“What do you know?” Sleuth says. “I’m still alive.”
The guard opens a door for him. “Hope you don’t stay that way.”
“Same to you, pal.” Sleuth says as he walks out. He walks along the concrete path towards the street, trees providing little shade from the sun.
He steps onto the sidewalk and looks down the street. A cab with a cloud of smoke behind it rounds a corner, charges down the street, and does a half donut, skidding to a stop in front of Sleuth. Sleuth gets inside.
“What happened to you?” Deferrer asks as she quickly drives down the street.
He rubs his chin. Still bleeding. “You ever met Snowman?”
Deferrer gulps. “Once.” She says hesitantly. “It was the most terrifying experience of my life.”
“This sort of thing happens every time I see her.” Sleuth says. “But she’s got one hell of a strut. Seeing that more than makes up for the bloody mouth.”
“If you’d like, I can take you back there.” Deferrer says. “You know what? I think that’s what I’ll do.” Deferrer spins the wheel, throwing Sleuth into the door.
“On second thought, it’s not that great. Second only to one.”
“Oh?” Deferrer says, her eyes twinkling in the mirror. “Who takes first?”
Sleuth smirks. “Wealthy Quantifier.”
Deferrer rolls her eyes and groans. “You are unbelievable.”
With this segment comes the glorious return of PS getting the crap beaten out of him. Didn't I say earlier that PS wouldn't get beat up much more? I guess I changed my mind. I was just going to have the Felt skeptically make a deal with PS but it works out much better if they beat the crap out of him because they don't believe him instead.
This segment is five thousand words long (longest I've posted) and it's full of Felt fluff. As much fun as writing Snowman beating PS up is, I think Stitch and Cans bantering with PS is probably my favorite part.
So, Trace and Fin being alive is a complete and total cop-out on my part. I think this highlights a weakness of this fic: that for how much posturing and threats there are it's completely non-lethal. I feel like there should be people dying, but since this fic can technically take place before the MC Intermission I'm limited in what characters I can kill. I also feel like they're not mine, and I can't really kill them for that reason either. Since I don't know exactly what to do about it I'm instead opting for inaction.
@Jim Groovester: Where's Path? I think Path needs to see this one. Problem Sleuth's little display in the park is going to be pretty interesting, though I'm still on the edge about whether or not it's going to play out for him. Time will tell!
You pretty much have free reign to kill Matchsticks, Quarters and Crowbar, of course.
@SkaianRedeemer: Nepeta talking about all her ships was adorable, and Vriska plotting to use Eridan and John to get at Karkat was great. And, hey, Jade! Haven't seen too much of her. Great (partial) chapter as usual.
Yeah, I know I could. But those kills belong to the MC. It wouldn't be appropriate, I think, to have Matchsticks and Quarters and Crowbar die in a fic that isn't directly about the rivalry between the Felt and the MC.
I'm not too worked up about it. They're all immortal and who knows how long the city's been around. Fights probably break out all the time over any number of things, and nobody's dead yet. Maybe that's just business as usual for all of them.
@PingZing: I should've commented sooner, but holy hell Hot Blooded is fantastic. And now we're getting some actual plot? You've got me intrigued and interested and eagerly awaiting every installment.
@A Fan: Performance Reveiw was a great setup to a great punchline.
@rebbe: That was a good character piece about Aradia, I thought.
Problem Sleuth was once again standing inside a room with Chief Arbitrating Retainer, being chewed out by a 'superior' officer who technically held no authority over her. Unlike all the other times she got chewed out though, it wasn't Retainer making a fuss over the work she does for the city, which the government isn't paying her to do anyway. In fact Retainer was standing right in front of her, receiving the brunt of the city council's fury.
"How could you let this happen!?"
"An insult to the good name and integrity of this proud city-"
"If Hiveworth Lane isn't safe, then what place is!?"
"Damn you and your incompetence, Retainer, we shall have your badge for this!"
"With due respect." Retainer started. When government workers started their side of the explanations with these three words, they meant anything but. " The Midnight Crew are dangerous and unpredictable. More of our men-"
"Ahem." Interrupted one of the councilors.
"Sorry, officers." Retainer said. Goddamn gender correctness law. "are being sent on patrols far from their normal capacity. To be quite frank, the force is stretched to beyond its limits. We need more bodies, better equipment and more funding. That's the only way we'll be able to keep up with this town's gangs, especially the Midnight Crew."
"Chief Retainer." One of the councilors droned. "This is a meeting concerning the increasing inability of the police department to prevent crime in our city as shown by the kidnapping of noted philanthropist Professor Honeybee, not a submission of your proposed budget, do I make myself clear?"
"True, true." Another of the councilors added. "We've already given you enough money as it is. Any more will be a drain to society."
Sleuth could see Retainer use every ounce of his self-restraint to prevent himself from murdering these assholes. She had to admit, if it was her in his shoes Sleuth would've punched every last one of them in the face and stormed out of the meeting room. It took a person with a lot of patience and self-control to listen to idiots like these bitch and moan, especially when they were feeling very self-righteous, which was all the time.
"Yes, sir." Retainer said, gritting his teeth. "Are there any more questions I need to answer?"
"I would like to ask you a question." One of the councilors said. "Concerning the level of damage inflicted by the Midnight Crew."
"Councilor Questioner, I do not think that is-"
"On the contrary, councilor, it is. Now if you were to politely keep yourself quiet I would like to continue my query." Whoever this Councilor Questioner was, Sleuth liked the way she shut put that councilor in his place. "According to your report, which I am sure my fellow councilors have read." A few of the old bastards began to clear their throats. "The Midnight Crew inflicted substantial damage to the Honeybee premises, yet evidence indicates a third party may have been involved. Is this true?"
"Do the police have any information on who this third party may have been?"
"We suspect Mobster Kingpin, ma'am."
At this answer Councilor Questioner smiled. "Yes, Kingpin has been known to employ assassins tasked to attack the Midnight Crew. Thank you Chief Retainer, no more questions."
When the meeting had ended Sleuth and Retainer left last. After Questioner's interrogation they had to endure another half-hour of listening to condescending instructions from the council on how to run a police department. It was pretty hilarious though when one of the councilors implicated that Retainer was taking bribes. She didn't expect the guy to hold his breath for more than 2 minutes while Retainer kept himself from committing murder.
"So you go through that everyday?" Sleuth asked while they were having a cup of coffee in a deli outside city hall.
"Nah. Only twice a month, not counting surprise meetings like this one." Retainer said as he added a teaspoon of cream into his coffee.
"None of those bastards know about Slick's new tricks, do they?"
"Heh." Retainer smiled. "Peace-loving Mayor thought it'd just make the situation worse. I may have slipped a few references to his magic teleporter machine, but none of those idiots will figure it out."
"Except for that Questioner chick." Sleuth pointed out.
Chief Retainer groaned. "Oh gog, you're right. And that girl's a smart enough to get herself killed."
"Why thank you Chief Retainer, I didn't know you thought so highly of me." Councilor Questioner said as she joined the chief of Police and the city's top Sleuth.
"What do you want?" Retainer asked. "Don't you have some slums to tax while you're setting baby seals on fire on your private yachts?"
Questioner smiled amicably, ignoring Retainer's insult like a born politician. "I would, but there are more important things to discuss. Like defeating the Midnight Crew and their dangerous devices."
"So, figured it out, huh?" Sleuth said.
"A sweaty associate of mine may have said something of the sort." She said.
"Sweaty associate... ugh, you don't mean Fedora Freak, do you?"
Arbitrating Retainer shuddered. He never did like Fedora Freak and his tendency to work for everyone carrying a large enough paycheck, but he tolerated him somewhat. "Don't tell me he's involved in all this?"
"Looks like he is, Retainer." Sleuth didn't mention the List she found while investigating earlier. She was all for helping Retainer stop the Midnight Crew, but this was her case. No copper was going to take this job away from her.
Questioner glanced at Sleuth. For a second Sleuth thought she knew about the List, which she might've if Questioner was as inquisitive as she looks. "Yes he is. I'll tell you the details later, once Peace-loving Mayor gets back from his trip. First, we need to talk about stopping the Midnight Crew, or at the very least stalling them while we find a way to even the playing field."
Retainer reached for a cigarette and lit it. "Like I said earlier. Get me more men. More equipment."
"I'm sorry Retainer, but we both know that you'll never get what you want in time." Sleuth saw Councilor Questioner slowly push her seat away from the table. "We need to get assistance."
"Really, Ms. Questioner? And who do you have in mind?" Retainer said, his voice dripping with irritation. "Who in this gogdamn city would be willing to help the gogdamn police department?"
This was bullshit, Retainer thought. The Midnight Crew had the upper hand. No one, not even the craziest gangsters in this cesspool of a city would dare commit a crime in Hiveworth Lane. It wasn't worth the trouble afterwards, and it was impossible to do in the first place. But the Midnight Crew made it happen. They attacked what was supposedly the safest place in the city, and they got away with it. Hell, knowing how the people worked in this city, they'd sooner flock to...no, she couldn't be suggesting...
Arbitrating Retainer turned to Problem Sleuth, looking at her in disbelief. She closed her eyes and shook her head. Looks like Sleuth already knew what Questioner's trying to say. What outrages Retainer is that Sleuth seems to be in agreement with her.
"No." Retainer said. "We are not getting help from that monster."
"We have no choice." Questioner said gloomily. "In difficult times, we must sometimes..."
"No." Retainer repeated. "What you're suggesting is impossible. I won't allow it."
"It ain't that hard, Retainer." Sleuth said. "And this alliance will be in everyone's interests. I don't like it any more than you do, but we have no other options."
"The mayor can't do anything while the rest of city council are bickering amongst themselves. Wise Viscount can't galvanize the upper class when they're too busy trying to get out of the city." Questioner reasoned. "The only person who can help us now is Mobster Kingpin."
"I won't allow it!" Retainer slammed a fist on the table. "Mobster Kingpin is a bastard who'd betray every last one of us on a whim!"
"Well, what else can we do, Retainer?" Sleuth asked. "Wait until the three of us gain psychic powers before the Midnight Crew kills everyone!? We ain't got any choices left, and Kingpin knows that too!"
"We're not the only ones in trouble here." Questioner said. "I don't think Kingpin's allies will stay friendly if the Midnight Crew can offer better protection."
"Shit! shit! shit!" They were right, Retainer hated to admit. He didn't have a choice anymore. They needed Mobster Kingpin as an ally. "Fine, you win! I'll agree to your proposition."
"I apologize that you have to do this." Questioner said, keeping her expression neutral. "But with this alliance, everything will be okay."
The Midnight Crew seldom used the Wicker Building. It was the place the Midnight Crew used to conduct deals with other mobsters, and considering that Spades Slick's policy on inter-gang relations was formed while they were watching Highlander few such deals ever occurred, unless it was an ambush or if Droog did it behind Slick's back.
Today was different though. Representatives from at least 5 gangs had met with Diamonds Droog and Spades Slick in the past 6 hours. Their little stunt last night convinced a lot of people that the wind was blowing their way.
"Ugh, this is so boring, Droog." Slick said while they were having a break before meeting with the head of some smuggling ring Slick didn't know about. "Can't I go help Boxcars and Deuce?"
"No, Slick. You need to get used to conducting business if you're going to end up ruling the city." Droog chastised. "And besides, we don't need three people keeping an eye on that irritating professor."
"Ruling the city? What are you talking about, Droog?" Slick asked. He was smiling mischievously. "That was never what I wanted, Droog."
"Then why are we doing all of this in the first place?" Droog sighed. Slick was being difficult again. Why couldn't he be difficult when they weren't this close to taking over the city?
"I'll tell you when we get it, Droog." Slick said, smiling.
Sometimes I wonder if I'm subconsciously making AR more like Sam Vimes, and if this is a good thing or not. Kingpin was supposed to debut in this chapter, but I decided to have that happen in the next chapter. And I should write Slick being mysterious more often, it's fun.
This one's in two parts because it ended up being ridiculously long. The second half will be up later tonight.
RESET - 6a
And the girl falls to the ground, dead.
And the boy screams.
And the world shatters into a million pieces.
> Pick up the pieces.
You are Vriska Serket, and you are back on Alternia.
The final battle has been won, and you claimed your reward: unfortunately, the reward was the world you thought you'd escaped. You look around at your fellow survivors: fifteen all told. Looks like everyone made it through...well, except for Eridan, of course. Poor Eridan. Suddenly, a thought registers: John is a troll. He's a troll. Oh god he's a troll and he's smiling right at you with those buckfangs and oh my god he's so cuuuuuuuute!
You are Gamzee Makara, and you are stone-cold sober.
You have been since the reset. You were right about that shit rotting your thinkpan: constant exposure had made you motherfucking insane, and you didn't realize it until the sopor finally ran out. When you were resurrected, you were sober again, but you were sane. For the first time in who knows how long, you are yourself again, and it's a motherfucking miracle.
You are Tavros Nitram, and you are running around on your own two legs.
It feels marvelous. You feel marvelous. Beating that game is quite possibly the best thing that ever happened to you: you are more confident then ever before, and it's not any of that fakey-fake bullshit confidence either. Rufio may be dead, but you don't need him any more. You spot Vriska flirting shamelessly with the newly trollified Egbert. You walk up to her and punch her in the jaw hard enough to lift her off her feet.
"That's for killing me," you say. Then you help her up and give her a peck on the cheek.
"And that's for kissing me."
You walk away, the smoothest motherfucker on the entire planet of Alternia.
You are Equius Zahhak, and you are informing your one-time companions that you will not be joining them in their foolish endeavors.
If the game has taught you anything, it is that doing one's duty outweighs obligations to the hemopectrum. Feferi may be your friend and she may be royalty, but your duty is to your empire.
You are Karkat Vantas, and you are taking one last look around your hive.
The recruitment ships have arrived, and if you want to survive the next ten minutes you are going to have to run. You glance around your kitchen, and the memories overwhelm you
...pinning a picture of you and Crabdad to fridge
...an image, frozen in time, of you jumping at your lusus, wielding a sickle. there may or may not be music playing in the background.
...you sprinting into the kitchen screaming, only to find the charred and smoking corpse of your guardian
...on second thought, fuck this place.
You turn to the trapdoor in the floor, where John beckons to you urgently and Strider glowers at you from the shadows. You run in and pull the door closed just as the drones break down the door.
You are Nepeta Leijon, and you are standing in the immense cargo bay of one of the many recruitment ships docked above Alternia.
You are in line with all the other green-bloods from your area: you can see Jade farther back in the line, smiling with a familiar buck-toothed grin. The drone has just informed you that you are now the newest member of the Pouncelors, and is now giving you helpful directions to your new barracks. You dash to your respiteblock and log on to your compurrter, eager to see where your furriends have been recruited to.
You are Kanaya Maryam, and you are on a shuttle to your new post.
You look around; Jade, Nepeta are staring avidly at the view screens, watching the planet approach. Rose sits aloofly to your side, but when she notices your gaze she gives you a slight smile. If only you knew where the ones who disappeared had gone.
You are Terezi Pyrope, and you are working on a case for his Honorable Tyranny.
It appears that someone is plotting to assassinate the Empress! You cackle and prepare to unleash justice upon the perpetrators. You lick the page, giggling, but stop when you taste one...no, two delicious cherry-red names. Oh shit. A few days later, all files dealing with the incident mysteriously catch on fire. Delicious cinnamon-flavored fire.
You are Equius Zahhak, and you are so glad that beating SGrub fixed your sweating problem.
Beating the game granted each of you a boon: yours was the ability to control some of your more...unpleasant personal problems. When you realized you could hold a bow without breaking it, you STRONGLY shed a single tear, and now you are standing in front of the Empress in your pristine new Archeradicator cuirass. From your position you can make out the individual gems on Her Imperial Condescension's crown. Such close proximity to royalty would have had past you drowning in your own sweat, never mind the fact that you're currently staring at a ghost.
Eridan stands behind the Empress's throne, despite the fact that you quite clearly saw him die almost half a sweep ago. He is trying very hard not to look at you, but all the blood has rushed out of his face and he looks at least, if not more, uncomfortable than you are. Thankfully, the awkwardness is interrupted by someone barging into the throne room.
Oooh how suspenseful.
More coming later.
Avatar by Adoxographist! Fanfiction in spoiler! Lots of shout poles!
Oh man, AHiHH, SoA AND Reset all on one page? It's like Christmas up in here.
Skaian - I think it says something about the quality of your writing that some of my favorite parts of your story include little action or plot development, and just have the characters interacting with each other. Nepeta has a crush on Jaaaade~
Jim - Okay. Sleuth's method of dealing with Snowman? Priceless. At this point, I cannot believe that he hasn't imploded from the sheer audacity of that entire exchange.
RogerMexico - Oh good, so that's what everybody else has been up to during all this. And...badass Tavros? A-buhhhh? But...awesome! And I can't help but feel like Jade as a troll is so incongruous. All the other trolls are probably baffled by her.
Originally Posted by Jim Groovester
@PingZing: I should've commented sooner, but holy hell Hot Blooded is fantastic. And now we're getting some actual plot? You've got me intrigued and interested and eagerly awaiting every installment.
Excellent! I almost feel bad about the fact that I'm pretty much winging a lot of it.
I mean planning yes planning all of this is meticulously mapped out
The battlefield is trapped in an unshakable stalemate. The Wind Rock ceases to blow, the Azure Sphere ripples and contorts with horrible waves, the Loam Stone begins to rot from the inside out, and the Crimson Globe flickers and sputters.
The people wait; their only hope, a prophecy:
'When Destiny itself deserts us, Four Warriors will come....'
After a long journey, four young warriors arrive, each wielding a sacred light...
the prelude to something that might happen some time soon, maybe here, maybe not.
I wasn't around when you posted those but now that I read them I am amazed.
You are wonderful.
So are all of you and boy howdy I need to catch up on the fanfics and maybe write some if I don't get too depressed about sucking so hard xD
Sorry for the late reply but aaaaaaaaaaaaaaah thank you so much!! >3<
I thought I'd dredge up an old Aradia fic and toss it up. It's around the time when she rose to God Tier.
The voices had followed her since she had hatched. Sometimes pleading, sometimes angry, but never loud. They whispered feverishly, frantically, their words digging into every crevice of Aradia's mind, cajoling her to listen, to bend to their lingering wishes.
They had scared her at first. But eventually she learned to live with the haunted gabblings and they simply became a part of her. She would live with her thoughts and the thoughts of the desperate dead. She was okay with it. Had to be.
It was the music box that saved her from caving in to the spirits. It was fairly old, with a rusted lid and a key that creaked when she turned it. She forgot where she found it, as it had been so many sweeps since her first excavations. But its tinkling, imperfect melody drove the voices back, forced them down to the dark recesses of her mind as she closed her eyes and listened.
When day rose, Aradia would wind it up and fall asleep to the tinny notes of an ancient lullaby, the voices quieted to feeble murmurs. And she was truly okay with that.
His name was Sollux. She wasn't sure how they met, but all she knew and cared about was that she was happy. He, too, was like her--a victim to the ceaseless voices, though he heard those of the imminently deceased. "a pain iin the a22 that2 what iit ii2," he had told her. And she smiled, both in amusement and in sympathy, and answered that she thought so too.
It was strange--she found every bit of him charming: his lisp, his moodiness, his mismatched eyes. Often she would catch herself daydreaming of him and blush. She showed him her music box, after he showed her his combs. "iit2 niice," he said, and left it at that.
The voices were not pleased. They hissed whenever they talked, growled whenever they met. They could sense that this Troll was swaying Aradia away from their influence and they detested him in return. But Aradia paid no attention to them, as she was not their puppet--they were hers, and nothing could change that. And so she dreamed, drifting into fantasies of red.
Sollux Captor. Yellow blood, fellow sufferer, and her light in the dark.
Her world ended in red and blue.
(Pain, pain everywhere--her skin, her eyes, her heart.)
She's dead. Somehow she knew, and she found herself murmuring the very words she despised hearing from the spirits. She could feel the dead pressing against her, touching her with their icy hands. She tried to scream, but she had no lungs, no air to scream with and found herself drowning. They screeched as they mobbed against her, pulling her under. She flailed in a futile attempt to push them away but they were all over her, relentless as they sunk into her.
(Something was slipping away and she tried to hold on to it but it was too late--it's gone. Somewhere in her, the memory of a tinkling lullaby faded to deafening silence.)
Suddenly, she opened her eyes to the blue and purple night sky. She could see. She felt cold yet felt nothing at the same time. As she sat up, she saw her dead Lusus, burned and charred to a crisp, a music box smashed to the ground. She reached out to it.
No, the voices whispered, and they guided her head toward her ruined hive. There, there is where we must go.
Sollux killed me, she thought and waited. She felt nothing. No anger, no sadness. Only the voices, who urged her to move. I loved him and he killed me.
The lie, once a truth, brought nothing to her. She withdrew her hand and slowly floated to her hive's remains.
The voices murmured in approval.
She was okay with this.
(no no no she was not)
Sacrifices had to be made. The voices told her so.
(she doesn't want to listen to them anymore make them stop)
It was all for the greater good, the greater purpose. So she listened.
(she wants to hear her own thoughts not of the dead she wants to feel again wants her music box back wants her friends wants sollux wants to be free)
It was her calling.
(she doesn't care)
She was okay with this.
She had felt too little, and now she felt too much. Her rage screamed over the voices, spilling over, exploding like Vriska's blue blood. Blue blue blue how she hated the color blue she wanted to smear it across the ground across her body burn it all away smash it until there was no more. And she does, crushing and punching and slamming until she heard the gurgling gasps cease, the crack of bones underneath. She smiled as she teleported away, even as her heart cried out.
Attagirl. A different voice, one alive yet cold. It nudged at her, pushing her as the other voices had done. Skip to the end.
She was tired. She was sick and tired of being a puppet, of listening to whims that were not hers and raises her hand, writes a message in blood: st0p b0ssing me ar0und, i kn0w what im d0ing.
Amusement entwined the voice's response, a simple, As you were, then.
She reached out to the fabric of time, as she knew she would, and did as she was told, as she always had done. What else could a caged bird do?
She was happy. She didn't recognize it at first, among the hurting and the errors and the sulking voices, but when she did she almost cried. She was dying, and she was happy.
TA: iif you want two 2ay 2omethiing two me why don't you ju2t turn two your left and 2ay iit, iit'2 bad enough that you've hardly 2aiid two lou2y word2 two me 2iince you became that 2weaty a22hole'2 2moochbot. AA: i kn0w
AA: but this is hard f0r me
He didn't understand. But that was okay with her. She was okay with what was to happen. Had to be. Glad to be.
AA: i have t0 g0 n0w TA: what, where are you goiing?
The dead muttered, trying to bring her back, but she ignored them. Her body blared, ERROR ERROR but it didn't matter. Everything hurt wonderfully.
AA: i think y0ull be 0k with it th0ugh
AA: i wish
AA: i c0uld s0meh0w make that em0tic0n smile
AA: n0 that l00ks stupid
AA: 0h well
He was confused, she could see it. But he didn't have to worry. She hugged him close as alarms went off in her head, wailing of paradoxes and lost circuits. He gave a startled "Hey--!" and she let him go, smiling. He had to understand, he had to know too that this was all okay, all of it was.
The spirits screamed with the alarms as she stepped back, feeling her metallic insides twist.
With the smile still on her face, she exploded.
Out of green fire and crumbling red rock, the puppet rose, her strings snapping as her wings unfurled. The voices were still there (they would always be), the fury and hurt still lingered (yet it didn't burn as much as before), but she knew, she knew that she was free as the lost melody of an ancient music box washed over her. She smiled as she opened her eyes, lullabies, singing voices, and pure joy coursing through her veins.
Aradia, red blood, broken puppet, Maid of Time, had risen.
As I mentioned before, I wrote this a while back o 3oa I feel like there could be a smoother transition, perhaps, and that I could've done better with Aradia's voice. And played more on the puppet symbolism. Oh well. I may or may not go back to edit this ffffff.
It's time for the next chapter of my poorly-proofread run-on sentence fest! YAY. Given the amount of overtime I've been working these days, the idea that I was able to knock out a chapter in only ten days is astonishing to me.
There is a character with Asperger's Syndrome in this sad excuse for a story. Several people already have expressed concern over this, so I'm sticking this at the top of chapters for now. I am going to do my best to properly write a character with Asperger's, though it seems to me that every person has their own idea of what that would be like. Here's my "qualifications" if you will for even attempting to write a character with Asperger's syndrome:
I'm a bit of an Aspie myself, though it's quite minor compared to others (and no it's not self-diagnosed like most self-proclaimed Aspies on the interwebs.)
While I've met and hung out with many people that exhibit various facets of the syndrome (I work as a game developer, these people are everywhere), this character is basically going to be based entirely off of one specific person. This person is the most heavily Asperger'd person I have ever had the "pleasure" of knowing (I hereby decree that "Asperger'd" is now a word.) I was his roommate for over a year and until recently sat next to him at work. I have EXTENSIVE notes. :p But seriously, I actually have notes. Everything you will see from this character will be modified things taken from this person and my interactions with him. So yeah, maybe this character won't seem like somebody with Asperger's to you. But I assure you it will be my best attempt to capture this person that has made my life so very... interesting these past few years. I have this feeling that everybody is going to have their own idea of what a character with this would be like, and maybe my version will not match the person in your head, but trust me when I say I'm not just making it up out of nothing.
Other notes basically copied from before for new people:
For a short explanation of what the hell this thing is intended to be, see the notes for Chapter 1.
There's going to be a lot of things that I have happen as this story unfolds that will go against things that Hussie has made canon. This is to be expected. I planned out completely what I'm going to write using what we knew when I started and I'm expecting that by the time I'm done that Hussie will have contradicted me on many occasions. Please give me a little slack in this. The only way around it I could think of was that they're not playing the beta, but rather the more balanced, tweaked final product. :p
I am writing this story with entirely "original" characters because I can't do justice to the voices and motivations of Hussies characters. There's no trolls, no John or Dave, etc. It is more of a way for me to mess with the concept of Sburb and the world of the Medium, anyway.
First person to be able to guess the band I've been listening to for the last month or so WITHOUT using google gets one free slightly-used Internets. After a few chapters it will probably be obvious to some people.
Tom Spencer once again glanced over the nearby balcony, eyes and ears alert for adversaries hiding in the jungle that surrounded his humble abode. He had been doing that a lot recently. The many sounds of the jungle were really starting to wear on his currently fragile mental state. That, and the whispers. Oh god, the whispers. For the umpteenth time, Tom silently cursed whatever or whoever had decided to make a world with ceaseless, ever-present, creepy-as-fuck whispering. Then, for good measure, he cursed them again, this time less silently.
Who was he kidding? The whispers and general sounds of the jungle were unsettling, sure, but that wasn’t what had him on edge. “I’ll see you later,” his disturbed counterpart had said. Tom hated the indefinite nature of that threat, and he had a feeling that was why Future Tom had said it such a way. At what point can you relax when the greatest threat to your well-being comes from somebody that can be anywhen? It had only been a few hours since Tom had entered the Medium but his nerves were already ragged. Sure, he had Hendersprite around to provide some awesome protection, but the previous incident had demonstrated just how ineffective it would be against somebody with the ability to freeze a being in time.
Tom surveyed the area below him once more. It was harder to tell if anybody was hiding in the undergrowth now that he was so high up. Joshua had been busy since the fight with his future self, using the grist he had available to begin the transformation of Tom’s house into a spire of stucco siding and bland aesthetics. It wasn’t that high yet, but he was already getting a little uneasy leaning over the balcony his server player had constructed at the top of his modified dwelling. How high was he now, he wondered. His rough estimate was that he was at least 50 feet off the ground at this point, but space and distance had never been his strong point. That had always been more of Zach’s specialty. Zach was probably going to be the Something of Space, if Tom understood the conventions of Sburb properly at this point.
He was more than happy with his own title. “General of Time” had a nice ring to it. It indicated command, which was his self-appointed role in all things, but especially in multiplayer gaming. Hendersprite had told him his title soon after they had reentered his house, but he had already figured out the important half of the title. Dozens of time-traveling future Toms made it fairly obvious, really.
-- siliconScholar [SS] began pestering acapellaAdministrator [AA] --
SS: I have exhausted our supply of build grist.
AA: good job. I’ll get MORE as soon as SOME ENEMIES bother to SHOW UP. We’re going to NEED GRIST once Zach’s COUSIN finishes DOWNLOADING Sburb
SS: Indeed. I had expected there to be some by now.
AA: me TOO. I’ve been WONDERING where THEY’VE all BEEN. I THOUGHT that Sburb would have more ACTION than this
The sharp snap of a breaking branch grabbed Tom’s attention, and he leaned over the railing once more to investigate. The murky depths of the jungle below obscured his sight greatly, but he could make out enough to know what was going on down there: movement. Movement from something vaguely humanoid in shape and size.
AA: IT’S TIME
SS: Have fun.
Scampering down the winding stairwell, Tom drew his Louisville Slugger from his strife specibus. He had acquiesced and switched out his aluminum bat for a wooden one he had lying around in his closet. As if the scorn of his childhood idol hadn’t been enough, the inevitability signalled by his glimpses into his own future equipment made Tom just decide not to fight the change any longer. He reached the ground floor quickly and entered the living room. Or rather, he entered what remained of the living room.
The boy’s heart sank faster than a luxury liner after hitting an iceberg. A great battle had taken place here recently, a battle between scurrilous vandals and an assortment of courageous but sadly inanimate appliances and furnishings. The couch, once a comfortable delight covered with soft cushions and placed at the perfect height for Tom to lean back into yet still get back out of easily, now lay in tatters, ripped to shreds at the hands of miscreants unknown. Its formerly plush cushions lay scattered around the destroyed accoutrement like the cast off petals of a rose that had wilted and died, their once-plump forms now rent asunder and bleeding stuffing all across the carpet. The television placed across from the sofa had not fared any better: somebody had taken the poker from the adjacent fireplace and rammed it deep into the screen of the expensive device, effectively converting it from a source of joy into a $1500 paperweight. Paintings that once hung on the walls now lied on the floor, slashed to pieces, or hung broken over chairs, end tables, or lamps. The carpet itself looked to be stained by some unrecognizable inky black goop.
Yes, this was a battlefield alright, and the horrors of war struck Tom with a profound sadness. It was official: he was grounded for life the second his “parents” came home. At least he could have tried to explain away the garage as a small explosion from a gas leak or something of that ilk. There was no coming back from this. Maybe his future self was just trying to spare him the pain his “parents” would soon be inflicting upon his very soul.
A cackle echoed from down the hall. Triggered by the signal of a culprit nearby, Tom’s sorrow quickly transmogrified into boiling rage. Those fuckers had the unmitigated audacity to wreck his house? Tom knew what time it was: it was motherfucking clobberin’ time. He barreled down the passageway and into his dining room like an wounded rhinoceros, bowling over a small black shape that had the misfortune of being in his way. The figure tumbled into a nearby wall and exploded into a shower of grist, its corpse dematerialising in less than a second. Tom turned to his right and faced another of the figures, bat raised and ready.
The creature stood about 4 feet high, its arms, legs, and head all covered in a shiny black insectoid-like carapace rather than soft mammalian skin. Smooth and slick, its body glinted as light from the overhead lamp reflected off of its shiny surface. The torso, unlike the bare limbs and head, was covered in metallic armor that had a general science-fiction feel to it. The part of Tom’s mind that took note of such things was unable to place exactly where this familiar armor came from.
The rest of his mind didn’t give a fuck. Those parts were too preoccupied with the immensely rewarding act of slamming his club into the hard but brittle head of this cur as it reached for some expensive china. The skull caved in with surprisingly little resistance and the imp collapsed, disappearing in a grist cascade.
Tom pivoted to his left and locked on to the one remaining adversary. The imp had been busy defacing the dining room table, but had ceased its actions upon the entrance of its opponent. It stared at the human with cold white eyes, its face flat and and devoid of features other than two slits for nostrils and a wide eager grin filled with sharp, shark-like teeth. Tom made it a point to slam his bat into that grim smile with as much authority as he could muster. The action imparted a feeling of retribution and finality upon him, and he smiled in satisfaction as the final enemy faded away and left nothing but precious grist behind.
His phone buzzed.
-- innocentIlluminary [II] joined room “Sburb Team Chat” --
II: K it's dn! :D
II: Whr iz evry1? :\
AA: sorry, I was BUSY delivering an ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY BEATDOWN
II: oh it's U >:(
AA: you’re fucking RIGHT it’s ME. In my INFINITE WISDOM I chose to be YOUR GUIDE to the WONDERS of ONLINE GAMING. We’re JOINED AT THE HIP now, you and I, two PEAS in this extremely UNFUNNY ODD-COUPLE COMEDY pod. Are you ready to GET UNDERWAY
AA: great. Let’s START with a RUNDOWN of the BASICS of this GAME...
* * *
II: I don’t undRstNd wot U mean. O_o
AA: what’s so HARD to UNDERSTAND? Throw something INTO THE SPRITE and it TAKES on the CHARACTERISTICS of the object. It’s SIMPLE
II: Bt I don’t knO wot 2 uz! >_<
AA: SIGH, I CAN’T BELIEVE I’M ABOUT TO ASK THIS
AA: this is SO STUPID, but... do you have ANYTHING DEAD like a DECEASED PET or a CREMATED GRANDMOTHER by any chance
II: :O Yes!
II: My hedgehog Petey died DIS morn. :'(
AA: wait, are you CRYING? THERE’S NO CRYING IN SBURB. NO CRYING ALLOWED
II: Bt I ms him so much.
AA: then TAKE the little RODENT and CHUCK it into the sprite AND KNOCK IT OFF. GOD DAMNIT
II: Stop doin dat! >:O
AA: THEN STOP BLUBBERING AND DO WHAT I SAY
Malory Olick glared daggers at the Pesterchum window that housed the words of this horrible individual. Just who in heck did this jerkface think he was, she fumed. All he ever did was yell and rage and be a disrespectful bully. She rubbed her tear-filled eyes and wiped the moisture off her cheeks. Petey was not a rodent, and Tom had no right to be so mean to her about Petey or anything else for that matter. She set down her laptop and headed towards the kitchen.
Malory had contemplated leaving the game ever since her first encounter with this neanderthal, but quickly dismissed those thoughts every time. For some reason, Zach was counting on her to be there. He knew that she didn’t play video games outside of Farmville, but he had asked her when he surely had many better options to choose from. Why would he ask her to do something so out of the ordinary for her if it wasn’t important to him?
Spite also played a large factor. Tom wanted her to quit, she was sure of it. The way he berated her and treated her like a simpleton at every opportunity exposed his desire to have her gone for good. She wasn’t exactly sure why he hated her so much; he barely even knew her at all, and yet seemed to exhibit an almost pre-formed loathing for her that it seemed he had prepared in advance for just such an occasion as this. No, she wasn’t going to quit. Not if it meant that he won.
When things were going awry in her life, Malory always fell back on the common advice of “What Would Jesus Do?” Most people felt this advice was hackneyed and overly simplistic, but it had yet to fail her. This case was a perfect example: simply turn the other cheek until the end, and no matter what happened everything would be fine. She wished more people would let Christ be their personal guide to life; surely the world would be a better place if that were the case. Her server player could especially benefit from His guidance. She was willing to bet he was an atheist. The nastiest people always were.
Her house was unusually quiet, especially for a nice late evening such as this. A traditional California ranch, like so many others built in the 1950’s, her home was almost constantly filled with the noise of life, usually generated by her twin younger brothers bouncing around the place like the maniacs they were or her mother slaving away over a hot stove to prepare another of her delicious family meals. Tonight was a different story. Her brothers were off at the church for a Bible Study sleepover. She had wanted to go along and join in on the fun, but her parents would not waver on her grounded status. Stupid B minus. Why did German have to be so hard to learn? And was a B minus really cause for a week’s grounding?
Malory walked through the kitchen into the adjacent garage. The garage was empty, as she had expected. Her mother was currently out at her weekly book club meeting. She would be back soon, probably to bake a batch of cookies or some other treat and bring it to her brothers and the others having a great time over at the church. Meanwhile, here was Malory, reaching for the door to their upright freezer in order to retrieve the freshly-frozen corpse of her best little friend ever, all to appease the irate rantings of a jerkface mouthbreather. Stupid German. Why was “woman” a feminine noun but “girl” a neuter noun? It made no sense! She opened the freezer and began rummaging through its contents.
Her dad was off at a buddy’s house or something; she didn’t really know or care. He liked to watch the game most nights with his friends, and Malory didn’t really need to know much more than that. She didn’t even know what sport “the game” was today. That was Guy Stuff, and she never really had much of an interest in Guy Stuff.
There he was. She pulled out the remains of her dead pet, neatly sealed in a ziplock bag. When Malory had discovered Petey’s corpse that morning, she had cried for hours. Her parents had wanted her to bury the body immediately but she wasn’t ready for that. Instead she had scheduled the funeral for the next day. She needed time to come up with a proper speech to eulogize her little guy and celebrate his life before she returned him to the Earth and sent his soul on the way to heaven. Crazy as it sounded to the rest of her family, Petey was just as important to her as everybody else in the household, and she was going to give him the farewell that any member of the family deserved.
The kernelsprite had followed her on her journey through her house. It circled her in a lazy arc, blinking furiously but enigmatically as always. As she walked back to her room, she unzipped the bag and carefully extracted her buddy’s remains. What exactly she was about to do was still unclear, but Tom had promised to stop being such a jerk and to stop taking the Lord’s name in vain if she did this so she was going to give it a shot.
A soft toss sent the dead hedgehog into the sprite and a flash blinded Malory momentarily. She blinked several times and shook her head. What had just happened? She looked around for the light blue kernelsprite that had been shadowing her for the past half-hour, but it was no longer in existence. Instead, she saw something that horrified her greatly.
* * *
Tom leaned back in satisfaction as he watched Malory bend over and rummage around her freezer. Hormones began to percolate as his eyes fixated on her firm, well-proportioned posterior. With sudden awareness of his current actions, Tom tore his eyes away from the seductive scene displayed on his monitor. No matter what, he was never going become one of THOSE people, regardless of how easy and tempting Sburb technology made it. He was rather surprised that no lawyer had thrown up a bevy of red flags over this whole design decision. The unlimited access that being a server player provided would make it a stalker’s holy grail. With so much power, many seemingly normal people were going to fall prey to their creepiest desires.
Tom sighed. This was making it clearer than ever that he needed a girlfriend, and he needed one badly. Just not her. Especially not her. Though he had to admit that while the brains were suspect, the body was a definite pleasure to behold. She stood less than six feet tall. In fact, he doubted she was taller than five feet nine inches on a good day, but the body she did have was as fit and toned as any teenage girl he had ever seen. Not a trace of excess fat could be found on Malory’s figure, or at least not that Tom could see from the parts that were visible to him. Shapely legs protruded down and out from a pair of feminine white exercise shorts, terminating in a pair of undersized feet sporting purple flip-flops. Her raven black hair hung down her back in a loose braid, tapering off at her mid shoulders, which were covered by a loose purple t-shirt with a graphic of a unicorn on it. The arms she was using to rummage through the freezer at the present moment were perhaps her most impressive feature. Tom could actually see her biceps flexing as she easily shoved large frozen objects around in her search for whatever it was she sought in there. He had at least 5 inches and at least 100 pounds on her, but he figured even with that said she stood a chance to beat him in an arm wrestling contest. Okay, fine, she would be the heavy favorite, but that was more thanks to his own weakness than anything else.
Tom raised an eyebrow in confusion as she straightened up, arms locked around some brown lump in a ziplock bag. He leaned forward and zoomed in to get a better look at the girl’s cargo as she walked back to her room. No way, was that her dead pet? Why was she was keeping the carcass in the freezer? He shook his head and reminded himself not to question the thought processes of the spectacularly dense. The good thing was that this would quiet her down a bit and perhaps get her to listen to his sage advice more readily. He needed to build some trust in his knowledge and abilities or she was going to be an absolute handful later on. It was going to be hard enough to lead this group of idiots as it was without them thinking he didn’t know what he was doing. He actually didn’t know what he was doing in this case, but that was irrelevant. He leaned forward once again and began to type as his client player tossed her frozen companion into the kernelsprite.
-- acapellaAdministrator [AA] began pestering innocentIlluminary [II] --
AA: there, you SEE? Isn’t that FANTASTIC? Wait, you’re STILL CRYING. WHY ARE YOU STILL CRYING, YOU PET IS RIGHT THERE NOW
II: U lied 2 me! U nevr sed DIS wud hpn! >:(
AA: WHAT are you TALKING ABOUT? I said it would TURN INTO PETEY and LOOK, THERE HE IS
II: Bt nw Hs soul iz trapped & won’t mAk it 2 heavN! :’(
AA: please TELL me you’re JOKING. There are SO MANY things WRONG with what you just said, I DON’T KNOW where to START. For the SAKE of this ARGUMENT let’s EAT some LEAD PAINT and PRETEND that HEAVEN is MORE than just a SAD DELUSION USED TO JUSTIFY LEADING A BORING LIFE and that SOULS are REAL. LOOK at PETEY. DOESN’T he look HAPPY
II: Yea. <_<
AA: do you REALLY think that he would look THAT HAPPY if his SOUL was ETERNALLY IMPRISONED on a PLANE OF TORMENT? NO, HE’S HAPPY because INSTEAD of BECOMING WORM POOP he gets to SEE YOU AGAIN and HELP YOU PLAY THIS AWESOME GAME
II: Bt f he’s lIk dat thN how wiL he eva git 2 heavN? :(
AA: he’ll go there once he DIES or WHATEVER
II: U promise he’s goin 2 die?
AA: YES. I PROMISE he will die
II: ...k :)
Tom felt like he was going to get an aneurysm dealing with this lunatic. No matter how he tried to understand these religious types, he continued to be amazed at the thoughts that came out of their skulls. A normal person would be happy with having a second chance with a loved one, but no, all she cared about was some bullshit abstract concept that others of her ilk had convinced her was real. Being worried that her pet might not die? The very idea that this might be a bad thing boggled his mind. He was just telling her what she wanted to hear at this point in a desperate attempt to get her to finish what they had started. Luckily it seemed to have worked... for now.
* * *
AA: now you have to TURN THE TOP LEFT
AA: no the OTHER LEFT
AA: ok now take the RIGHT SIDE and ROTATE IT DOWN
AA: no NOT LIKE THAT
AA: no you
AA: NO IT’S
AA: IT’S THE FLIP OF THAT
AA: YOU HAVE TO TURN IT FLIP-WAYS
II: Wot duz dat evN mean?
AA: OKAY I have NO FUCKING IDEA. It just kind of SLIPPED OUT
II: I’m nErly dn. U cn chill out nw. :p
AA: hey, ONLY ZACH gets the PRIVILEGE of me IGNORING HIM as he tells me to CHILL OUT
II: Y R U so annoyed by DIS NEway? <_<
AA: it’s just that I have NEVER UNDERSTOOD the appeal of a RUBIK’S CUBE. THEY’RE DUMB, and you can SOLVE THEM ALL the SAME WAY
II: Bt dat helps us.
AA: TRUE. They’re STILL LAME
Malory twisted away at the cube in her hand. It was a bit harder than normal cubes because every square was a different shade of blue rather than the normal rainbow of colors. Luckily, Tom had Googled up directions to solve a Rubik’s Cube and everything was falling into place, despite his repeated failures at communicating to her what the next move was. There! She gave one final twist and the world suddenly swirled around her, then just as suddenly returned to normal. She was in, not that she had any idea what that meant.
AA: CONGRATS, you are OFFICIALLY PLAYING SBURB
AA: welcome to the LAND OF RUST AND HAZE
AA: woah I GOTTA GO, I’m HEARING NOISES downstairs. I think THOSE LITTLE FUCKERS are back. HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED TO DO: you can PROTOTYPE your SPRITE with ONE OTHER THING we think, so PICK SOMETHING ELSE YOU LIKE and THROW THAT IN. Then Petey should START TALKING
II: rly?!?!? :D
AA: yeah, BACK SOON
Tom ran downstairs to intercept the incoming wave of coal-colored midget assholes who were probably just as intent on causing massive property damage as the last bunch had been. The battle that ensued was short and swift. The little fuckers were actually really weak, he had come to realize, though these ones had been all spiky, so maybe they were a different variant. He assigned the role of “pest control” to Hendersprite and went back upstairs.
Malory had heeded his advice and prototyped Petey with something else. The light blue hedgehog floated in the center of Malory’s clean and neat bedroom, gesturing wildly. He was surprisingly animated, actually. Hendersprite was incredibly relaxed about everything, but perhaps this was not as typical of sprites as he had assumed. Tom gave Petey a closer inspection, and began to feel uneasy. Was that a beret? And a horizontally striped monochrome turtleneck? And was that... This could be trouble. Suspicions began to form about Malory’s choice, accompanied by a sinking feeling in his gut.
AA: is that FACE PAINT on a HEDGEHOG?
II: U sed he wud TLK bt he won’t! O_o
AA: WHAT did you PROTOTYPE HIM with
II: I thawt it wud b nIs 2 uz d plushie I slp w/. It alwys makes me fEl happy. :)
AA: you’re EIGHTEEN and you STILL sleep with a PLUSHIE
II: Wot? >:( I mAd it wen I wz yung & I stil lIk it.
AA: okay WHATEVER. WHAT is the plushie
II: He iz d 1st character I eva mAd. Hs nAm iz Francois. :p
II: He’s v soft & I lIk hugging him wen I go 2 bed. :)
II: Wot? <_<
AA: is FRANCOIS a MIME
AA: DID YOU PROTOTYPE YOUR KERNELSPRITE WITH A MIME
AA: OH MY FUCKING GOD
II: HA U sed U wud stop doin dat >:O
AA: I AM FACEPALMING SO HARD RIGHT NOW. HOLD ON I NEED TO DO IT WITH BOTH HANDS. SOMETHING OF THIS MAGNITUDE NEEDS A DOUBLE FACEPALM. IN FACT I THINK I’M GOING TO GROW A THIRD HAND RIGHT NOW AND TRIPLE FACEPALM THIS BITCH
AA: I CAN’T LEAVE YOU ALONE FOR FIVE FUCKING MINUTES WITHOUT YOU ROYALLY FUCKING UP CAN I
AA: FIVE FUCKING MINUTES
II: Wot did I do? >:(
AA: IT TAKES THE CHARACTERISTICS OF THE OBJECT, MALORY
AA: IF YOU PROTOTYPE IT WITH A GOD DAMNED MIME, IT’S NOT GOING TO BE ABLE TO TALK
AA: WHY IS IT SO HARD FOR YOU TO UNDERSTAND SIMPLE GAME MECHANICS
II: doh >_<
AA: I THINK I’M GOING TO GO BREAK DOWN A LOAD-BEARING WALL WITH MY FACE, AND THEN LET THE SURROUNDING HOUSE CRUSH ME TO DEATH. IT WILL BE LESS PAINFUL THAN PLAYING THIS GAME WITH YOU AND JUST AS EFFECTIVE IN THE LONG RUN
II: U don’t hav 2 b so mean. I’m sry. :(
AA: I DON’T CARE. I CAN’T TAKE THIS ANYMORE. I’M DONE
-- acapellaAdministrator [AA] ceased pestering innocentIlluminary [II] --
II: You’re quitting?!?! AftR aL dat? >:\
II: Loser!!!! >:O
What an asshole. Malory was not surprised that he had reneged on his deal and continued to blaspheme. She was shocked, however, at what had just transpired. She had assumed from the start that Tom was the driving force behind this entire activity. She was playing because her cousin Zach was playing, and he was playing because somehow he got along with this sad excuse for a human being. Had the most gung-ho member of the team really just thrown up his hands and quit over her simple mistake? Sure, the goof was going to make things a little more challenging, but it wasn’t like it was going to be impossible to overcome, right?
She was ashamed to admit that she had derived some large measure of satisfaction from outlasting his impotent rages, inexplicable hatred, and constant heresy and blasphemy. The idea that she had somehow “beaten” him sent swells of schadenfreude cascading around her psyche. Malory heaved a mental shrug and closed her laptop. Oh well. If he was going to be a pathetic quitter there was nothing she could do about it at the moment.
She glanced at her alarm clock as she stood up. It had gotten late faster than she had initially thought. Her parents should have returned several hours ago, but the house remained oddly silent. A quick tour of the abode confirmed the lack of nearby familial beings. There were no messages on her phone. The hairs on the back of Malory’s neck slowly began to stand on end. Something was wrong this night.
Malory grabbed her keys and a flashlight and headed outside to see if her father had parked his car out on the street, as he often did when he had had a little too much to drink that night. The air was thick with fog; it was so thick, in fact, that the effective visibility was limited to no more than a radius of several meters. Never in her years of living in Winter Park, Florida had she ever seen fog this impenetrable. In fact, now that she gave the matter a little thought, she was having a hard time remembering the last time she had ever seen fog there at all. Yet here it was, and it was so dense that she couldn’t even see the houses of her neighbors while standing in her front yard.
She began walking carefully away from her house towards the road, being sure not to trip over any of the toys that her brothers loved to just leave lying around on the lawn. Suddenly, the grass simply ended. She stopped. There was supposed to be a road here. Instead, Malory saw nothing but dirt as far as her eyes could see, which admittedly was not very far at all at the moment. The bare soil was flat, lifeless and devoid of moisture. Large cracks, an inch wide or more at times, crisscrossed the surface like lightning bolts carving a path through the night sky.
Eyes straining, Malory thought she could see large shapes in the distance and headed towards them, distress slowly increasing. As she got close enough to properly observe the shapes that, as she had suspected, were buildings, that distress accelerated up towards danger levels faster than a starving man heading towards an all-you-can-eat buffet. Orlando was gone. In its place stood some hellish industrial graveyard, a rusted monument of corrugated steel and towering smokestacks. The barren wasteland was dotted with neglected industrial equipment, from mechanical monstrosities she couldn’t name that towered over her slight form, to a simple broken wheelbarrow that lied on its side by the entrance to a large, abandoned manufacturing plant of some kind. Everything, from the buildings to the equipment to the very ground she walked upon, seemed to be in an advanced state of decay and disrepair. Rust covered every inch of the metal walls and ceilings that made up the facilities, save for the shattered windows and the doors that looked like they would fall off their rusted hinges at any second.
The most disturbing characteristic in her opinion was the scale of the place. As she walked deeper and deeper into the labyrinth of twisted steel and broken glass, she only came upon more and more wrecked facilities. Piles of concrete chunks filled what were once rooms before their walls or ceilings collapsed. Weathered rebar protruded from various crumbling surfaces like the bones of a half-rotted corpse. Chains and wires littered the ground and hung from railing and pipes everywhere she went. The place just seemed to stretch onward into infinity, with no end in sight. Miles upon miles of desolate testaments to the lost heyday of industry, and yet not another soul anywhere to be found.
“welcome to the LAND OF RUST AND HAZE”. Malory had assumed he was just being metaphorical when he had typed that, but she understood now the true meaning of those words. For the first time, Malory considered abandoning Sburb for a reason that didn’t begin with “Tom” and end with “Spencer.” The dilapidated assortment of oxidized iron and the pervasive miasma lent an air of foreboding that chilled her to the bone. Everything here was just too ominous for an innocent girl like her to take for too long. She turned around and began her slow traversal through the soup back to the relative safety of her home. At least Petey was there.
Her mind never truly registered the silence that had permeated her surroundings until it was broken. As she neared the edge of this manufacturing realm, her ears picked up a subtle sound of movement, a soft tap on a steel roof. Something was out there. Something alive. Malory called out to the mystery visitor. Perhaps there was somebody out there who could explain just what this place was.
A rustle to her right. Apprehension skyrocketing, she spun clockwise to face the latest noise, shining her flashlight around the general area from which the sound had originated. There was nothing. A soft thump, this time between her and her house. Frantically swinging her torch back to her left, Malory called out once again. Still no answer. Then, from almost directly behind her, she heard the sound that sent shivers down her spine.
The call rang out through the stifling quiet, echoing off the metal walls and around cavernous halls. Malory froze in utter horror. Not frogs. Anything but frogs.
An answer, this one somewhat far off in the distance. Then another, and another still. Suddenly and without warning the whole world seemed to erupt in a chorus of ribbits and croaks, as hundreds of amphibians made their presence known.
Now in a state of full-blown panic, Malory sprinted, as fast as one can manage whilst wearing flip-flops, back to her house and the security that only a sealable enclosure can provide. Tom had the right idea after all, though for the wrong reasons.
She could handle dealing with that jerk. She could probably learn to not be disturbed by the collection of corroded corpses of commerce now located just meters from her front door. She would never be able to handle frogs. Frogs and toads were the most disgusting creatures Malory had ever known. Slimy and sticky and just generally gross, they sickened her in a way that no other animal could ever hope to achieve, and now there were hundreds of them just outside.
It was time to give up on this game. There was only so much one could expect a girl to take, after all. Suddenly, being bored and grounded seemed like a fantastic way to spend a week.
Slamming the front door shut, Malory dashed madly around the house, closing all the windows in a frantic attempt to erect an impenetrable barrier between her and the mass of horrifying croakers. The circuit she took deposited her in her room, where she suddenly realized she didn’t know how to exit Sburb. Oh well, it looked like it was time to contact the only other person she knew with the need for that information.
* * *
Red-faced and incredulous, Tom decided to ask again, only this time even louder.
“WHAT DO YOU MEAN, WE’RE ‘STUCK HERE’?” he cried. Hendersprite looked down at his apoplectic companion in annoyance.
“You heard Rickey,” he replied. “You can’t go back to Earth ever again. Welcome to the Hotel Incipisphere. You can log out any time you want, but you can never leave.”
A ding sounded from his pocket.
-- innocentIlluminary [II] began pestering acapellaAdministrator [AA] --
II: How do I Leav Sburb I h8 it hEr & I wnt 2 Leav lIk U did & go hom pls don’t b mean & jst teL me pls pls pls pls pls
II: pls pls pls pls pls pls pls pls pls pls
AA: ABOUT THAT...
AA: have you ever WATCHED that movie JUMANGI? YEAH... FUNNY STORY...
Last edited by IrateRapScallion; 05-03-2011 at 11:26 PM.
JEGUS WEPT WOMAN YOU HAVE A LOT OF PROJECTS AND WORKS.
Yes I do, and here's a list of them. Also, there's a tumblr link in there, because I talk rather endlessly about my stuff on my tumblr.
Well, here's the tumblr, AKA Spitting Embers.
We've got Retroversion Dissolution, an ongoing AU involving an original cast: chapters 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, and 13.
We have Frontierstuck, an ongoing AU involving the canon Homestuck cast I affectionately call "the cowboys-pirates-alchemists" story, featuring Rose/Kanaya and John/Vriska so far: chapters 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, and 12.
There's Bear it All Broken, an ongoing humanstuck AU wherein Rose Lalonde is hit by a car and the rest of the cast interacts with her in the context of the hospital as well as the past she dwells on: part 1.
We have Couture, a silly little piece of Rose/Kanaya fluff.
We also have To Weave a Tale of Her, another silly piece of Rose/Kanaya fluff done for round two of the Homestuck Shipping Olympics.
I take prompts from tumblr for Writing Wednesdays, and I compile each new chunk of work into Works from Wednesday on AO3.
Finally, I do readings of works, both of others' and of my own stuff. You can find all of my recording here on my Tindeck profile.
You are Feferi Peixes, and you and you friends are here to claim a throne and kick some ass.
You boldly challenge the Empress, full of confidence gained from beating an omnipotent demon dog into a bloody pulp, confidence that quickly proves to be empty bravado as the guards surround your friends and seize you by the arms. You are dragged unceremoniously up to the throne. You struggle, trying unsuccessfully to pull free from the guards, and now the Empress is saying something to you but you can't hear her because behind her is Eridan. Poor, frightened Eridan. Eridan, who was mortally wounded in a one-on-one battle with Jack. Eridan, who you watched bleed out before you could claim your final reward. And now here he is, standing with his gun held limply, pointed at the Empress, with what is possibly the most heartbroken expression you've ever seen.
You go limp with shock, and the next thing you feel is the 2x3dent piercing your ribcage.
And after that, there is nothing.
You are Eridan Ampora, and you are screaming and screaming as the only girl you ever loved falls dead to the floor and you are crying and you don't know what to do!
You are John Egbert, and you are surrounded.
You and your companions stand, unbelieving, as Feferi falls, dead. Then someone screams, a scream of pure pain and loss, and you fly into action as your friends stand there, stunned. You pull a guard's weapon out of his grasp, grab him, and with one STRONG movement you break his spine.
You are Karkat Vantas, and John has just snapped.
Like, literally--he just snapped some guy's spine in half. He's gone into full on beserker mode, and by god it's infectious. You are suddenly full of righteous rage and your hands are suddenly full of sickles and then you are threshing the shit out of these fucking guards as the two of you lead a desperate attempt to escape the palace.
You are Gamzee Makara, and you are introducing these motherfuckers to some of your miracles.
One guard goes down to a blow from oune of your clubs, and another is mauled by an imp that you pulled out of your miracle modus. Your best motherfuckin friend Tavros is right beside you, using his lance to knock guards off their feet and then throwing them across the room. You reach into your sylladex for a bottle of Faygo, which, when tossed into the melee, promptly explodes, killing several guards. Motherfuckin miracles.
You are Dave Strider, and you are shoaing these bipches your stabs.
You flicker in and out around the guards, introducing one after the other to the blade of your sword. You are an implacable force of nature wearing ironically cool sunglasses. It's time to let the bodies hit the floor.
You are Tavros Nitram, and you are fighting for your goddamn life.
There are simply too many guards, and they have you and Gamzee backed into a corner. You are beginning to worry that this is it, that you are about to die, when the multicolored lightshow that heralds the appearance of Gamzee's miracle modus starts up. Then he grabs your hand and holy shit you think he's captchaloguing the two of you and then you are being expelled next to an empty hive by the sea. You have no idea what just happened, but you think it was probably a miracle.
You are Karkat Vantas, and you are about to do something you know you're going to regret for the rest of your life.
That insufferable prick Strider has gotten himself wounded, and now every asshole in the entire fucking throne room is trying to kill the mutant. You slice your hand with your sickle and hold it high, bright crimson spurting from the wound.
"HEY YOU BULGEGARGLING FUCKWADS, LOOK OVER HERE!"
Egbert better be fucking grateful for this.
You are John Egbert, and you are swinging your hammer like a street-tough maverick with nothing to lose.
Guards are flying all over the room, and you and Vriska are still no closer to reaching Dave and Karkat.
"Karkat! Dave!" you shout. "Hold on!"
"EGBERT YOU RETARDED PIECE OF SHIT!" Karkat replies. "GET THE HELL OUT OF HERE!"
You are torn, but Vriska blasts a hole through the crowd with her fluorite octet and pulls you bodily out of the throne room.
You are Equius Zahhak, and you are thinking about your life and about your choices.
At first you were so sure that your duty was to respect the hemospectrum and all that it entailed. Then you were strangled by a crazed indigo-blood who then proceeded to club your moirail to death. Next, you thought that your duty was to the empire. Then you watched as the empress brutally murdered a girl who was not only your superior on the hemospectrum and the empress in waiting, but also your friend.
Now you don't know what you believe in, but by gosh you are absolutely freaking...no, you are absolutely fucking sure that this is not it.
The archeradicators surrounding Karkat and Dave turn in shock when the captain's head is splattered by an arrow. You grin and throw yourself into the melee alongside your friends.
You are Dave Strider, and to your immense confusion, you are fighting side by side with Vantas.
For reasons you have yet to understand, the dumpass came to your rescue after every fucking guard in the entire throne room turned on you. You are also surprised at the amount of ass the two of you are kicking.
There is one last guard standing between you and the door, and the face he makes when he narrowly dodges Karkat's sickle only to your shoe to the face has the two of you laughing your asses off as you sprint out of the palace and into the city.
You are Vriska Serket, and you are running through the city with about half the Imperial Legion chasing you.
John trails behind you, trying valiantly not to burst into tears and losing. You turn back to grab his hand and comfort him and that's when you see the ship.
It's a small ship, the kind generally used by intergalactic police patrols, and it looks like it has recently dropped off one such patrol to find you. The idiots even left the thing running.
You have all the luck. All of it.
You and John run towards the ship, and just as you are about to take off you hear a voice from outside.
"Wait! Please, take me with you!"
It's Equius, and he's absolutely covered in blood. You turn to John.
You are John Egbert, and you wordlessly extend your hand to Equius, helping him aboard as the ship lifts off.
You are Eridan Ampora, and you are standing in the wreckage of the throne room.
You are still in shock from what just happened. Fef was killed, and then there was a lot of screaming and fighting and blood everywhere, and somewhere in there you became aware of the brilliant white light shooting out of your hands into the air. You're not sure, but you think you may have obtained wwhite science powers somewhere.
Fat load of fuckin good that did you.
> Eridan: Isn't there something important you have to tell someone?
Well, it looks like while you were lost in your memories your computer was replaced. You guess it's probably time you put it to use, preferably to contact someone who won't set you on fire.
cullersAuthority [CA] contacted educatedBrigand [EB] at 2025 LOCAL TIME
EB: oh, hey eridan! what's up?
CA: i havve important newws
CA: i tried to tell roz but she bleww up my computer again
EB: oh! i'm sorry!
CA: its okay dont worry about it
CA: anywway its about fef
EB: ummm...eridan, i don't know any tactful way to say this,
EB: but she's been dead for five sweeps!
CA: yeah thats wwhat i thought too
CA: but i finally got access to the records from the incident
CA: and they said they nevver found a body
CA: john i think she might be alivve
Sweet jegus that was a long chapter. I hope you all enjoyed watching me try to be all post-modern like lucidSeraph and failing miserably.
Honestly, it didn't take me that long to churn out, but I have almost no time left in my schedule for writing so I've taken to writing these during play rehearsals.
In other news, this chapter in its entirety along with the rest of the work are now up on my shiny new AO3 account! It's here.
Expect a comment dump once I get all caught up!
Avatar by Adoxographist! Fanfiction in spoiler! Lots of shout poles!
Part three of that fanfic in which the trolls reached adulthood without ever playing Sgrub. In which we learn Gamzee's favorite kind of sandwich. And then some other stuff happens that isn't nearly as important.
-- the Commandant Octavius came within hailing range of Colony world 125 --
-- grimAuxilliatrix [GA] began trolling arachnidsGrip [AG] --
GA: Hello Vriska How Are You
AG: Holy crap! Kanaya!
AG: I didn't know you were on 125. I would've talked to you sooner!
GA: Yes You Did
GA: When We Were Still Living On Alternia I Told You Multiple Times Where I Would Be Stationed After Recruitment However It Seems You Were Not Paying Attention
GA: Not That I Am Particularly Upset Or Anything I Just Thought I Would Mention It
AG: Well soooooooorry if I missed it, I was pro8a8ly doing other stuff.
AG: I used to have a lot of irons in the fire you know.
AG: So many irons. And you were just one iron! It's hard to keep track of one iron when you have so many.
GA: Yes I Was Aware Of Your Irons I Already Said I Was Not Upset
AG: In fact it was pro8a8ly your fault. You should have put some effort into 8eing a more interesting iron.
GA: Can We Stop Using This Iron Metaphor
GA: It Has Been Quite A While Since We Last Spoke Online Or Otherwise And I Do Not Wish To Spend Our Impromptu Reunion Being Compared To Your Hypothetical Blazing Ferric Objects
GA: You Said You Used To Have A Lot Of Those Do You Not Now
AG: Wow, way to skip right to the meddling.
GA: It Was An Innocuous Question
GA: To Be Fair You Brought It Up
AG: I guess so.
AG: Yeah, I don't have a lot of irons right now. I'm pretty 8ored actually!
AG: 8eing on the Commandant is all a8out honing your skills and training the upper classes to 8e gr8 military leaders and stuff. Every8ody up here was singled out when they were really young and given challenging lusii just like I was!
AG: So we're all a 8unch of 8acksta88ing 8lue 8loods and seadwellers all fighting this 8ig passive aggressive 8attle to gain the upper hand!
GA: That Doesnt Sound Very Boring To Me
AG: Well it wasn't at first. It was a lot of fun!
AG: 8ut now it's just sort of getting old.
AG: I've 8een doing stuff like this for my entire life anyway. There is only so much you can 8e the 8est at something 8efore it stops 8eing special.
AG: And all the other stuff I'm learning is just useless junk like etiquette and military tactics and UGH, people skills.
GA: Alright I Am Just Putting This Out There And You Dont Necessarily Have To Listen
GA: But Maybe You Should Be Paying Attention To That Kind Of Thing
GA: They Are Probably Teaching It To You For A Reason
AG: Yeah, to 8ore me to death!!!!!!!!
AG: There's hardly even any com8at training. Why can't we learn fun stuff like that?
GA: Well As Future Leaders Of The Fleet I Doubt You Will Encounter Much Hand To Hand Combat As You Will Have Troops For That
AG: I don't need to know any of this. They should just give me a ship already and let me go out and have 8attles!
AG: Instead of just hanging around here forever with nothing to do.
AG: And no8ody to talk to 8ut Equius!
GA: Is He On The Commandant I Was Not Aware
AG: No, he's on 362. You know, training to 8e a Ruffiahnihilator with all the other freakishly strong freaks.
AG: Man, how do you even need training for that? Can't they just point him in the right direction and tell him to start punching?
GA: I Am Certain There Are Nuances
AG: Yeah right!
AG: 8ut he is my only iron right now. Eridan has us 8oth working on a secret project.
GA: Is That So
AG: Yeah! I can't tell you anything a8out it. It's top secret!
GA: For Such An Important Secret You Sure Were Quick To Bring It Up
GA: Almost As If You Want Me To Beg You For Information Which I Will Not Do Out Of Respect For Your And Eridans Privacy
AG: Of course I don't want you to 8eg for information! Why would I want you to ask me a8out something that is so o8viously incredi8ly secret????????
GA: Alright Then
AG: You should just keep your meddley nose out of it.
AG: This 8ig secret that you are pro8a8ly so tempted to meddle in.
GA: To Be Honest I Am More Curious About How You Are Contacting Equius When He Is On Colony Planet 362
GA: But If That Is Also Part Of The Secret I Will Not Pry
AG: That is most definitely part of the secret. Don't ask a8out either of those things!
AG: Even though you must really want to.
AG: Your meddle instinct must 8e going crazy right now, wanting to know a8out my one and only fire iron.
GA: No Not Really
AG: Well good, because I'm not gonna tell you!
AG: No matter how much you 8eg, my lips are sealed.
GA: Then We Have Established That It Will Be Kept A Strict Secret And We Do Not Have To Talk About It Any More
AG: We sure don't!!!!!!!!
AG: Good. >::::I
AG: Ok, geeeeeeeeze, it's called the IG!
GA: I Did Not Ask
AG: We're working on it with this chat program Sollux set up. It runs on some ultra-secret sever that lets you chat with any8ody, no matter where they are.
GA: You Probably Shouldnt Be Telling Me This
AG: And the whole thing is set up for Feferi's 8ig takeover! Eridan asked me and Equius to make him a superweapon!
AG: Kind of like the ones we used to mess around with 8ack on Alternia, 8ut this one is a whole lot deadlier. And he's gonna use it against Her Imperial Condescension!
GA: Wait What
AG: Maaaaaaaan Kanaya, stop grilling me for information!
GA: I Was Not I Suspect You Just Wanted To Brag
AG: You so were!
AG: You tricked me into letting something slip with your slippery ways, you slippery slip8east!
GA: Im Not Sure There Is Such A Thing As A Slipbeast
AG: Well if there was you would 8e one!
AG: Talking in circles around me while I was 8eing all trusting and unsuspecting!
AG: How dum8 was I????????
GA: Doesnt Making A Superweapon With The Intent To Kill The Empress Seem A Little Bit Reckless To You
GA: I Am Not Telling You Not To Do It I Am Just Asking
AG: Ahaha, now who's curious? :::;)
AG: Sorry Kanaya, you're not gonna get another word out of me!
AG: I guess you'll just have to stay sadly uninformed.
GA: I Guess That Is Inevitable Then Isnt It
GA: In Any Case You Should Take Care Vriska It Would Be Unfortunate If You Were Executed For Treason
AG: Yeah yeah, 8oss me around why don't you.
GA: Not Everything I Say Is An Attempt To Boss You Around You Realize
GA: Sometimes It Is Just Friendly Concern
AG: Yeah yeah,"friendly concern" me around why don't you.
AG: Me and my one measly iron!
AG: Soooooooo 8ored.
AG: Are you as 8ored as I am out in this stupid empire? 125's a mining colony, right? That's pretty 8oring.
GA: It Is An Agricultural Colony Actually
AG: Meh, same thing.
GA: And It is Far From Boring I Quite Enjoy It Here
GA: The Sunlight Is Much Weaker And Very Pleasant And I Spend A Large Portion Of My Day Enjoying It In The Greenhouses
GA: Many Of The Trolls Here Are Diurnal Like Myself I Have Plenty Of People To Talk To Who Share My Interests And I Am Incorporating Some Of The Flowering Plants We Grow Into Floral Designs For My Dresses
AG: 8lah 8lah 8lah dirt and sunshine.
AG: I'll 8et you're 8ored out of your skull, sitting around watching grass grow all day.
AG: Wow, I feel 8etter now, knowing some8ody out there has it worse than I do!
GA: It Isnt Boring
AG: Sure it is! Your job sucks, haha!
GA: It Does Not
GA: I Am Very Happy
GA: I Am Doing Work That I Love And I Have Plenty Of Free Time
GA: To Spend With My Matesprit
AG: You have a m8sprit????????
GA: Yes I Do
AG: 8ullshit, since when?!
GA: I Met Her Shortly After Arriving On This Planet
GA: She Too Is A Verdominator We Work Together Monitoring The Growth Of Experimental Breeds Of Vegetables
GA: She Is Very Interested In My Sketchbooks She Very Much Likes Fashion
AG: No way!
AG: You're lying. That's gotta 8e a lie. You don't h8ve a m8sprit!
GA: Would You Like To Read My Mind I Could Picture Her Very Clearly For You
GA: This Matesprit That I Most Definitely Have
AG: Now you're just 8luffing, you know I c8n't really get into your he8d.
AG: Fine then miss Smartyp8nts, wh8t's her n8me????????
GA: Bellaa Swanne
GA: Her Favorite Color Is Topaz The Color Of My Eyes
GA: Did I Mention That
AG: Everyone's eyes are t8paz!!!!!!!!
GA: But It Is Mine Specifically With Which She Is Enamored
GA: She Compliments Them Quite Often It Is Very Flattering
GA: She Compliments Me A Lot She Is Very In Love With Me
GA: Sometimes We Just Spend Hours Lying In The Sun And Talking About How In Love We Are
GA: I Do Not Understand Why You Are So Upset About This
GA: It Should Not Effect Our Moiraillegiance
GA: I Will Always Be There For You In That Quadrant And I Think You Should Be Happy That I Am Happy
AG: I'm not ups8t. Wh8t m8de y8u th8nk I w8s ups8t????????
GA: Yes How Silly Of Me Clearly I Am Mistaken
GA: As You Have No Reason To Be Upset
AG: Okaaaaaaaay, yeah, you're right.
AG: I'm just 8eing dum8. I am happy that you're happy!
AG: It just sounded for a minute like you were making stuff up.
GA: I Assure You I Am Being Entirely Veracious
GA: Why Would I Make This Up
AG: I dunno, I guess I just always thought you kind of had a thing for........
AG: Congrats on your m8spritship.
GA: Thank You Vriska
GA: I Am Afraid I Must Leave Now I Have Things To Do
GA: It Was Nice Talking To You Again
AG: Yeah fine whatever you too.
GA: And Vriska
GA: Be Careful With Your Secret Project
GA: I Mean That In A Friend Way And Not A Bossy Way In Case That Wasnt Clear
AG: Don't worry a8out it. This weapon is kind of a 8ig deal, we're 8eing extra careful.
GA: Well Good Luck
GA: It Would Be Nice If You Succeeded I Think Feferi And Eridan Would Do A Satisfactory Job As Our Rulers
AG: Who cares who rules the Empire, I just like stirring things up. >::::)
AG: See you around, Kanaya.
-- Subdeacon Payaso of the High Laughssassins [SPHL] ceased responding to gallowsCalibrator [GC] --
-- Acolyte Makara of the Lesser Laughssassins [AMLL] responded to gallowsCalibrator [GC] --
AMLL: HeY ThErE My mOtHeRfUcKeR.
AMLL: HaVe yOu rEcEiVeD SaLvAtIoN ThRoUgH ThE MoThErFuCkIn mIrThFuL MeSsIaHs? HoW CaN I Be aLl uP AnD HeLpIn a bRoThEr oR SiStEr oUt wItH ThOsE WiCkEd qUeStIoNs aBoUt rElIgIoN AnD ShIt?
GC: 1 4M NOT H3R3 TO T4LK 4BOUT YOUR W31RD CLOWN R3L1G1ON
GC: 1TS M3 YOU DUMMY >:]
AMLL: AwWwWw hEy tErEzI!
-- Acolyte Makara of the Lesser Laughssassins [AMLL] changed their handle to terminallyCapricious [TC] --
GC: G4MZ33 YOU N33D TO G3T 4 COMPUT3R
GC: 1T 1S F4R TOO MUCH WORK TO G3T 4HOLD OF YOU >:I
TC: HaHaHaHa, SoRrY MoThErFuCkEr. yOu kNoW I CaN'T JuSt uP AnD Do tHaT.
TC: GoTtA ShUn tHaT SuPeRfLuOuS ShIt, It aIn't gOoD FoR YoUr sOuL.
GC: 1 M34N 1T GAMZ 1 4M RUNN1NG OUT OF JOK3S
TC: Aw sHiT SiStEr, ReAlLy? YoU?
TC: I ThOuGhT YoU HaD A BoTtOmLeSs sUpPlY A ThOsE MoThErFuCkErS!
GC: SO D1D 1!
GC: BUT 1T 1S G3TT1NG H4RD TO TH1NK OF R34LLY GOOD ON3S 1 H4V3N'T 4LR34DY TOLD
GC: YOUR SH1P H4S 4 V3RY D3M4ND1NG 4UD13NC3 4ND 1 4M US1NG UP 4LL MY B3ST M4T3R14L
TC: HaHa, NoW ThAt aIn't tHe mOtHeRfUcKiNg tRuTh! YoU KnOw sOmE Of uS JuSt lAuGh aT AnYfUcKiNtHiNg.
GC: Y34H YOURE R1GHT
GC: 1 4M PR3TTY MUCH JUST TRY1NG TO M4K3 YOU F33L B4D SO YOULL BUY 4 COMPUT3R
GC: 1S 1T WORK1NG
GC: W3LL CR4P
GC: TH3R3 GO3S MY BR1LL14NT PL4N
TC: HaHa, SoOoOoRrY
TC: ThErE'S ShIt i jUsT GoTtA ReSpEcT, yOu kNoW?
TC: MoThErFuCkIn mEsSiAhS SaY If i wAnNa gEt mY HoLy mOtHeRfUcKiN SeRvItUdE On, I GoTtA KeEp mY DiStAnCe fRoM ThAt wOrLdLy uNcHiLl sHiT.
TC: BeSiDeS, SuBdEaCoN PaYaSo'd uP AnD FlAy mE AlIvE, hE FoUnD OuT I BrOkE SoMe mOtHeRfUcKiNg rUlE.
TC: AnD Uh
TC: JuSt bEtWeEn yOu aNd mE
TC: PaYaSo sCaReS ThE MoThErFuCkInG ShIt oUtTa mE.
GC: YOU M34N SUNGL4SS3S GUY
GC: G33Z3 G4MZ33 1 C4NT 1M4G1N3 WHY
GC: WH4T COULD POSS1BLY B3 SC4RY 4BOUT A PSYCHOT1C CLOWN
GC: 1T 1S TRULY 4 MYST3RY
TC: HaHaHa hOnK!
TC: YoU AiN'T GoTtA TeLl mE, gIrL. cLoWnS ArE ThE ShIt!
TC: GoIn oUt uNtO ThE WoRlD, sPrEaDiN ThE LaUgHtEr aNd aLl lIkE It's mOtHeRfUcKiN PeAnUt bUtTeR On a sAnDwIcH MaDe oF MiRaClEs
GC: 1 DON'T 3V3N KNOW WH4T YOU'R3 S4Y1NG 4NYMOR3
GC: BUT 1T SOUNDS D3L1C1OUS
TC: DaMn sIsTeR Me nEiThEr! NoW I GoT Me tHe mUnChIeS. :o)
GC: WHY 4R3 W3 T4LK1NG 4BOUT M1R4CL3 S4NDW1CH3S TH4T 1S NOT WHY 1 TROLL3D YOU 4T 4LL
GC: 1 H4V3 SOM3TH1NG R34LLY GR34T 1 W4S GO1NG TO T3LL YOU!! >:]
TC: NaAaAw sIsTeR JuSt
TC: YoU KnOw hOw yOu mAkE OnE Of tHoSe?
GC: 4 M1R4CL3 S4NDW1CH?
TC: YeAh, It's lIkE A MoThErFuCkIn sEcReT ReCiPe To bLiSs, GiRl. SaNdWiCh oF ThE GoDs jUsT GeTtIn iTs aMaZiNg oN AlL Up iN YoUr fUcKiN MoUtH.
TC: YoU GeT PeAnUt BuTtEr AnD HoNeY AnD ThOsE LiTtLe mInI MaRsHmAlLoW MoThErFuCkErS AnD A SmAsHeD Up bAnAnA
GC: 1 W1LL 4DM1T TH1S 1S SOUND1NG PR3TTY GOOD SO F4R
TC: AnD JeLlYbEaNs aNd cReAm cHeEsE AnD BoW-TiE SpAgHeTtI
TC: AnD BaCoN AnD ChOcOlAtE SaUcE
GC: OH WOW
TC: AnD ThEn, SiStEr, YoU MiX It aLl tHe mOtHeRfUcK ToGeThEr aNd sLaP It nIcE AnD CoZy bEtWeEn tWo sLiCeS Of bReAd.......
TC: AnD YoU GrIlL
TC: OuT Of iT.
TC: MoThErFuCkIn mAgIc.
GC: Y34H WOW 1 DON'T 3V3N KNOW HOW TO R3SPOND TO TH4T
GC: MY H34D S4YS NO BUT MY STOM4CH S4YS Y3S
TC: TeReZi yOu gOtTa hOp a sHuTtLe oVeR To tHe bLaCk cAtHeDrAl sOmE TiMe. GeT YoUr cHiLl oN AnD We cAn jUsT BaKe sHiT.
GC: H3H3H3 1M SUR3 LOTS OF TH1NGS 4R3 G3TT1NG B4K3D OV3R TH3R3 G4MZ33 >:]
TC: I MeAn iT MoThErFuCkEr! I wIlL Up aNd lEt yOu iN On tHeSe mAd rEcIpEs i bEeN InVeNtInG. wAkIn uP In tHe mIdDlE Of tHe dAy wItH ThE WiCkEd mOtHeRfUcKiN CrAvInGs fOr lIkE
TC: GrUb sAuCe oN ToAsT Or sOmE ShIt.
GC: OK4Y BUT G4MZ33
TC: I MeAn fUcK, gIrL, hOw dO I EvEn aLl uP AnD ThInK Of tHaT DeLiCiOuS SnAcKaGe? JuSt hItS Me lIkE A MoThErFuCkIn mIrAcLe.
TC: FuUuUuUcK HoW DoEs tHaT EvEn wOrK
GC: W3LL DONT SP4C3 OUT 4BOUT 1T 1 W4S K1ND OF 3NJOY1NG H4V1NG 4 COH3R3NT CONV3RS4T1ON W1TH YOU FOR ONC3
GC: 3V3N 1F 1T W4S 4BOUT S4NDW1CH3S
TC: HaHaHa, WeLl nOw i wAnNa gO MaKe mE A SaNdWiCh.
GC: 4ND 1 GU3SS FOR 4 G1V3N V4LU3 OF COH3R3NT. >:/
GC: BUT 4G41N TH1S 1S NOT WHY 1 TROLL3D YOU
GC: STOP D1STR4CT1NG M3 W1TH YOUR T4NT4L1Z1NG GR4P3 J3LLY WORDS 1 W4S GO1NG TO T3LL YOU SOM3TH1NG 1MPOR4NT!
GC: 1 H4V3 V3RY 3XC1T1NG N3WS!!! >:]
TC: ShIt gIrL, sChOoLfEeD Me!
GC: 1 H4V3 B33N G1V3N................
GC: G4MZ33 DONT YOU W4NT TO KNOW WH4T 1 H4V3 B33N G1V3N
GC: OH G33Z3 4R3 YOU ST1LL TH3R3
TC: Aw yEaH, MoThErFuCkEr, BuT I FiGuRe yOu cAn uP AnD TeLl mE WhEn yOu'rE ReAdY. :o)
GC: YOU 4R3 NO FUN TO T34S3 >:[
GC: OK4Y F1N3 1 W1LL T3LL YOU.
GC: 1 H4V3 B33N G1V3N.....
GC: MY F1RST C4S3!!! >:D
TC: WhOoOoAh gOoD FoR YoU, gIrL!
TC: TeReZi aLl lEgIsLaCeRaTiN Up iN HeRe!
TC: HoNk hOnK!
GC: H3H3H3H3 YOU KNOW 1T!
GC: MY F1RST B1G C4S3 4S 4 PROS3CUTOR!
GC: TH3 GUY ON TR14L 1S 4 R34L SCUMB4G
GC: 3MB3ZZL3M3NT 4ND F4LS1F1C4T1ON OF DOCUM3NTS 4ND 1MP3RSON4T1NG ROY4LTY
GC: 1MP3RSON4T1NG ROY4TLY HOW LOW C4N YOU S1NK
GC: (TH4T W4S 4 F1SH PUN D1D YOU C4TCH 1T)
GC: (H3H3H3H3 TH4T W4S 4NOTH3R ON3)
TC: HaHaHaHa hOnK!
GC: TH3 R33K OF H1S GU1LT D1SGUSTS M3 3V3N NOW
TC: WhAt's iT SmElL LiKe?
GC: G4SOL1N3 >:P
GC: 1T W1LL B3 SO MUCH FUN BR1NG1NG H1M TO JUST1C3! >:]
GC: DO YOU KNOW WHAT H1S HONOR4BL3 TYR4NNY S41D WH3N H3 PUT M3 ON TH3 C4S3?
GC: H3 S41D 1 R34LLY STOOD OUT FROM 4LL TH3 OTH3R N3W R3CRU1TS D3SP1T3 MY "D1S4B1L1TY"
GC: 4ND H3 W4NT3D TO G1V3 M3 TH3 OPPORTUN1TY TO SH1N3.
GC: H1S HON4BL3 TYR4NNY THOUGHT OF M3 P3RSON4LLY G4MZ33!!
GC: H3 S4YS 1 4M GO1NG TO B3 SOM3TH1NG GR34T!!!
TC: GiRl, ThAt's tIgHt. My mAiN SiStEr aLl uP AnD BrInGiN JuStIcE To sHiT.
GC: Y3S 1 W1LL BR1NG JUST1C3 TO SH1T
GC: TH3 SH1T THOUGHT 1T COULD 3SC4P3 FROM JUST1C3 BUT 1T D1D NOT COUNT ON M3
TC: YoU ShOw tHaT ShIt!
TC: BuUuUt uH, mAyBe fIrSt yOu sHoUlD BrInG JuStIcE To tHaT MoThErFuCkEr yOu wErE JaWiN AbOuT EaRlIeR?
GC: Y3S G4MZ33
GC: TH3 SH1T W1LL H4V3 TO W41T WH1L3 1 D34L W1TH H1M
GC: GOOD TH1NG YOU C4UGHT TH4T
GC: BUT FORG3T 4BOUT TH4T C4N 1 4SK YOU FOR 4 F4VOR
TC: ShOoT GiRl, I GoT My lIsTeN On.
GC: W3LL 4S 4 L3G1SL4C3R4TOR ON3 OF MY DUT13S 1S TO S3NT3NC3 CR1M1N4LS TO TH31R JUST F4T3
GC: 4ND S331NG 4S TH1S 1S MY F1RST TR14L 1 WOULD L1K3 TO 3ND 1T W1TH 4 B4NG 4ND R34LLY 1MPR3SS H1S HONOR4BL3 TYR4NNY.
GC: 4COLYT3 M4K4R4 OF TH3 L3SS3R L4UGHSS4SS1NS
GC: WOULD YOU L1K3 TH3 HONOR OF B31NG MY 3X3CUT1ON3R?
TC: FuCk yEs!!!
GC: ...DO YOU KNOW WH4T 4N 3X3CUT1ON3R 1S
TC: NaW BuT It sOuNdS PrEtTy bItChIn.
GC: W3LL TH3 B4S1C 1D34 1S TH4T YOU CULL TH3 SCUMB4G 4FT3R 1 PRONOUNC3 H1M GU1LTY
GC: NOT M4NY L3G1SL4C3R4TORS H4V3 TH3 R3SOURC3S TO S3NT3NC3 SOM3ON3 TO B3 SUBJUGGL4T3D
GC: 3V3N THOUGH OUR SH1PS H4V3 4N 4LL14NC3 TO 4SK 4 P3RSON4L F4VOR FROM 4 SUBJUGGL4TOR 1S 4 R34LLY B1G D34L 4ND 1T W1LL C3RT4INLY M4K3 M3 ST4ND OUT 4S ON3 OF TH3 B3ST OF TH3 B3ST >:]
GC: WH4T DO YOU S4Y G4MZ33 W1LL YOU H3LP 4 G1RL OUT???
TC: WeLl uH, I AiN'T A SuBjUgGlAtOr yEt. JuSt aN AcOlYtE.
TC: I MeAn I Am.
TC: CaUsE OnCe yOu gEt tHaT MoThErFuCkInG CaLlInG YoU JuSt kNoW ThAt's wHaT YoU AlWaYs uP AnD BeEn.
TC: BuT I AiN'T EaRnEd iT yeT, yOu kNoW?
GC: TH4T WONT M4TT3R TO TH3 COURTBLOCK
GC: 1F YOU 4R3 FROM TH3 BL4CK C4TH3DR4L YOU 4R3 3NOUGH OF 4 SUBJUGGL4TOR FOR TH3M
TC: YeAh, I'Ll dO ThAt!
TC: I ThInK PaYaSo aNd tHeM AiN'T ToO ChIlL WiTh mE, jUsT Up aNd dOiN NoThIn aLl dAy. BeT ThEy'd lIkE It iF I CuLlEd sOmE MoThErFuCkEr wHaT Up aNd dEsErVeD It, GeT OfF My bAcK A BiT.
TC: CaN I UsE My sPeCiAl sPeCiBuS?
GC: G4MZ33 YOU C4N US3 WH4T3V3R YOU W4NT >:]
GC: TH4NK YOU TH1S W1LL H3LP M3 OUT 4 LOT!!!
TC: HoOoOnK! :o)
GC: NOW TH3N
GC: T3LL M3 MOR3 4BOUT TH3S3 M1R4CL3 S4NDW1CH3S
-- adiosToreador [AT] began trolling carcinoGeneticist [CG] --
CG: THE FUCK DO YOU WANT.
AT: nOTHING, i JUST GOT UP AND, uH, SAW THAT YOU WERE ONLINE,
AT: aND SINCE YOU'RE PRETTY MUCH NEVER ONLINE WHEN I AM, i THOUGHT, mAYBE WE COULD TALK,
AT: oR, uHH, iF YOU DON'T WANT TO, i GUESS THAT WOULD BE OKAY TOO,
CG: NO. I DO NOT HAVE THE ENERGY OR THE MOTIVATION TO PUT UP WITH THE COMMA-RIDDEN KEYBOARD SEIZURES YOU CALL TYPING RIGHT NOW.
CG: BECAUSE HEY! HERE'S SOME CRAZY NEWS!
CG: YOU KNOW WHERE THE SUN GOES WHEN IT'S NOT ON YOUR SIDE OF THE PLANET?
CG: IT ENDS UP ON MY SIDE OF THE PLANET! ISN'T THAT AMAZING! AREN'T YOU JUST STUNNED BY THIS FUCKING AMAZING DEVELOPMENT?
CG: IT'S THE MIDDLE OF THE DAY HERE, DIPSHIT.
CG: I'VE BEEN SPARRING ALL NIGHT.
CG: I'M EXHAUSTED.
CG: NOT EVERYBODY HAS IT AS EASY AS THE FUCKING PONY CORPS.
AT: wELL, tHAT'S PROBABLY TRUE, eVEN IF YOU MAYBE DIDN'T HAVE TO WORD IT LIKE THAT,
AT: iT'S A LOT EASIER FOR ME THAN THE OTHER RECRUITS,
AT: bECAUSE OF, uHH, tHE ANIMAL COMMUNION THING, i GUESS,
CG: OK TAVROS, I REALLY, *REALLY* DON'T CARE.
CG: YOU'RE NOT DEAD YET; I CAN FIRE OFF THE TWO MEASLY BRAIN CELLS REQUIRED TO REALIZE THAT YOU'RE DOING FINE.
CG: BUT MY RECUPERACOON.
CG: IT CALLS TO ME.
AT: oH, oK,
AT: uHH, bEFORE YOU LOG OFF THOUGH,
CG: OH GOD WHAT NOW.
AT: i THINK, i SHOULD MENTION,
AT: tHAT MY TRAINING, fOR THE CAVALREAPERS, iS GOING TO BE FINISHED IN ANOTHER COUPLE OF DAYS,
AT: aND THEY'RE SENDING MY SQUAD TO THE WARFRONT ON, uH,
AT: wELL I GUESS COLONY WORLD 1025, iS WHAT THEY'RE GOING TO CALL IT, wHEN WE COLONIZE IT,
CG: OH, HUH. REALLY?
CG: CONGRATULATIONS, MAN. I'VE STILL GOT THREE MORE WEEKS.
AT: yEAH, i KNOW,
AT: bUT THEY'LL PROBABLY SEND YOU TO 1025, wHEN YOU'RE DONE, bECAUSE OF ALL THE HOSTILES, rESISTING COLONIZATION,
AT: sO MAYBE I'LL SEE YOU THERE,
CG: JUST MAKE SURE YOU LEAVE SOMETHING FOR ME TO KILL.
AT: i'M NOT SURE HOW MUCH, cONTROL OVER THAT I'LL HAVE,
AT: bUT OK,
CG: AND DON'T DIE, I GUESS.
-- twinArmageddons [TA] logged on to server: Fold2pace --
-- arachnidsGrip [AG] logged on to server: Fold2pace --
-- apocalypseArisen [AA] logged on to server: Fold2pace --
-- centaursTesticle [CT] logged on to server: Fold2pace --
TA: alriight guy2, 2tatu2 report.
AA: after pr0curing a new huskt0p i have been running the pr0gram n0nst0p f0r several days
AA: n0 further expl0si0ns have 0ccured
AG: No pro8lems on my end!
CT: D--> Indeed
CT: D--> My computer has e%perienced no ill effects
AG: And would you look at that, mister paaaaaaaaranoid. None of us have 8een horri8ly mutated by space radiation!
TA: you 2ure vk?
TA: you were kiind of ugly already 2o iit miight be hard two tell.
AG: Oh ha ha ha.
AG: I'll let that one slide, cause it's pro8a8ly pretty hard to see me with those stro8e lights on your face.
TA: at lea2t ii have two of them.
AA: c0uld we n0t have this argument right n0w
AA: is that a thing we c0uld p0ssibly d0
TA: iit wa2 a valiid concern, we are defyiing the law2 of phy2iic2 iin 2o many horriible way2.
TA: ii 2wear troll i2aac newton ii2 probably rolliing iin hi2 grave riight now.
CT: D--> Nonetheless, the program is sound
CT: D--> You are to be commended for your e%pertise, lowb100d
CT: D--> I commend you
TA: gee thank2.
CT: D--> Yes
CT: D--> Both you and Aradia have risen admirably to the task
CT: D--> Despite your natural disadvantages
TA: you know ii hone2tly cant tell iif that wa2 a compliiment.
CT: D--> It was meant to be
AG: Well good, are we done?
AG: It's pretty o8vious nothing's gonna go horri8ly wrong, so it's kind of stupid to keep testing.
AA: the v0ices are certain that we have d0ne all we can t0 satisfy predestiny
AA: whether the pr0gram suceeds 0r fails it will d0 s0 because it was destined t0
AA: regardless 0f c0mputer err0r 0r lack there0f
AG: Now say that again 8ut without all the fancy schmancy mystical 8ullshit.
AA: the v0ices in my head say it will w0rk
AA: unless its destined n0t t0 in which case we cant really d0 anything ab0ut it anyway
TA: that ii2 ju2t 2o encouragiing.
TA: ii gue22 that mean2 iit2 tiime two tell captaiin iimpatiient hii2 program ii2 ready.
TA: al2o, ii can't beliive iim 2ayiing thii2 but you guy2 were really profe22iional about thii2.
TA: not telliing anybody out2iide the loop or anythiing.
CT: D--> Er
TA: whiich ii2 kiind of 2urprii2iing, but uh, good job.
AG: And you dou8ted us. >::::)
TA: con2iideriing all the many MANY rea2on2 ii had two doubt you, vk
TA: yeah, not really 2omethiing two gloat about.
AG: Well I didn't tell anyone, did I? You are soooooooo paranoid and o8sessive and I think I deserve more credit than that!
AG: Geeze, it's like you expected me to 8la8 to the first person I talked to, which, hey, I didn't do!
TA: ok ii admiit ii wa2 beiing kiind of a jerk two both of you.
CT: D--> Yes
CT: D--> It is proper for you to apo100gize
CT: D--> Such detestable mistrust of your superiors is una%ceptable
CT: D--> But the important thing is that the secret has been kept
-- arsenicCatnip [AC] logged on to server: Fold2pace --
TA: oh my god what.
CT: D--> Fiddlesticks
AC: :33 < *ac leaps down from the branch of a tall tr33 and bares her fangs*
AC: :33 < *she eyes her startled prey*
AC: :33 < *and with a flick of her tail she pounces on the thr33 unsuspecting trolls!*
CT: D--> Nepeta
CT: D--> Did I not e%pressly tell you never to log on to this server unless I invite you
AC: :33 < *she tackles her boring no-fun meowrail to the ground and says maaaaaaaybe*
CT: D--> Yes
CT: D--> I did
CT: D--> You should not be here
TA: no 2hiit 2he 2houldnt!
TA: ii told you two keep thii2 a 2ecret!
AC: :33 < aw but sollux!
AC: :33 < you didnt mean meeeee right?
AC: :33 < *ac says with her biggest roundest eyes*
CT: D--> Clearly Nepeta is e%empt from your 100dicrous vow of secrecy
CT: D--> I have no secrets from her
AC: :33 < *she crinkles her nose a bit distastefully and mutters sometimes i wish you did!*
CT: D--> Silence
AC: :33 < *ac mimes it instead*
TA: ii cant beliieve you people!
TA: get her out of my fuckiing 2erver eq!
AG: Haha, nice going Equius. All this time Sollux was worried I'D 8e the one to mess things up.
AG: And now heeeeeeeere we are. :::;)
AA: t0 be fair y0u did tell kanaya
TA: FUCKIING HELL.
AG: Y8u lying little snitch! >::::P
AA: which am i
AA: a liar 0r a snitch
AA: if i was a liar i c0uldnt be a snitch because i w0uldnt be telling 0n y0u whereas if i was a snitch i w0uld be giving accurate inf0rmati0n ab0ut y0ur misdeeds which means i w0uldnt be a liar
AC: :33 < h33 h33!
AG: Oh f8ck you and your stupid l8gic!
AG: I only l8t it slip to 8ne person! H8w'd you 8ven kn8w????????
TA: 2he2 p2ychic you moron.
TA: god damn iit, why diid ii even thiink for one miinute that thii2 wouldnt happen??
TA: real briight there 2ollux, let2 ju2t get the two back2tabbiing blueblood2 two be our beta te2ter2, no way ii2 that goiing two backfiire horribly!!
AC: :33 < maybe i should leave? this is purrobably a bad time
TA: ju2t dont tell anyone, ok np?
AC: :33 < *ac has already furgotten all about this silly foldspace thing*
AC: :33 < *she s33s something shiny in the distance and darts off to chase it!*
-- arsenicCatnip [AC] logged off the server --
TA: now everybody off the 2erver.
CT: D--> I hardly see how this warrants the fit you are throwing
TA: ii 2aiid
TA: get the fuck off
TA: my motherfuckiing 2erver!!
Red Pen, that was funny
I don't know if it was funny because it is, or because I'm reeeeeally tired, so you might have to ask someone else for clarification, but I most enjoyed reading it and am now gonna go back and read the first two parts!